Thursday, 29 May 2014

042. Terrain - something different...

The mojo I had to paint figures has fallen by the wayside, but that hasn't stopped my mind from devising new things to try.

The other week Garfy over at Tale of Painters posted about the terrain he was doing up in homage to, and to complement the second edition box set he was painting up.  To say I was impressed is an understatement - he turned a simple idea, using some very basic terrain bits, into some quite handy terrain that perfectly suited the set.

Then over the weekend I spotted a big old rusting anchor while out with the family for a picnic.  Between that, and the stuff Garfy had posted, I got to thinking about my terrain collection, which bar a few smaller pieces, is largely sat in undercoated ignominy.
Lots of interesting elemental effects
Sitting in my hobby room looking at some things I had lying around, I noticed my metallic Mr Metal Colour paint range which I picked up over a year ago with the intention of using on the Titan that languishes on my shelf.  I'd not tried it since buying it, but it is essentially a paint range scale modellers use to get a rich, somewhat buff-able metallic finish.  The FW Masterclass book 2 uses a somewhat similar product on the Reaver Titan demonstration piece.

I pulled out a spare resin plinth I got as part of the 'bag 'o crap' promo Secret Weapon Miniatures had run over the Christmas period and splashed some of the metallic around.  I then went away and read some reviews on how this stuff is meant to work.  In one of those it mentioned overlaying some of the colours onto each other to get different effects.

So I gave that a try, as the Copper colour I picked up seems to want to be patinated copper rather than the fresh kind.  So a few experiments later using the metal paint, plus some oil paint and some AK Interactive washes and I had some interesting effects cropping up.
After trying different colour combos and different weathering effects - the circled bit is what I want to aim for
I then thought about what I could try this out on and after a bit of a think and a rummage in the shed, I pulled out these pieces.

The first is my Imperial Martyr statue (or insert real name hear).  When I set a table with terrain I invariably set it up along certain angles and lines, generally with a plaza space in the centre.  This terrain piece is intended as my centrepiece for that plaza space.  I imagine it as a fountain which has had its retaining wall cracked by artillery/explosives.  I want to have an aged metallic look to the statue, with a bit of stagnant water pooling out of the base, and maybe some tide markings on the inside wall.
So stern - he's not happy about the dust situation
To help me get that look I am going to use some of the weathering material I've picked up over the years and never had the gumption to use.  I'm imagining at this stage a dirty grey stone work on the statue plinth, with blue/grey outer walls, dirtied up with powders on the inside.  The outer base will be my standard brown/tan basing process, but the inside I want to add some green to that to suggest sediment like you see in an old duck pond.  I'll add some water effect to the inner section to suggest pooling water.

The other piece I pulled out of the shed is sandbag/hastily erected debris pile.  I started painting this probably 3 years ago and then stopped - that's terrible when I think about it.  I'm going to spruce up the existing work and finish the piece off.
A simple sandbag/scatter terrain piece using plaster and some odds and sods
The reverse hides an ammo/radio cache

I'm hoping getting something as simple as this stuff done will reignite my mojo and get me going again on the actual miniatures.  With the imminent release of the new Ork Codex I should hopefully get this terrain finished and be fully pumped by all the crazy new stuff I'll see in my blog roll to knock out the boys that have been languishing since the last game and maybe start on the next batch, or a Death Kopta!

Cheers all,

Muppet

Monday, 19 May 2014

041. Couple of weeks break...

I got sick of looking at the same old post when I open my blog on the bus to and from work (when I do my blog reading) so am posting a filler post.

Since the game with the lads, I've been on a bit of hobby slump.  I wanted to finish my 4 Orks I didn't quite get to tidy off before the game, but instead I have been watching Stargate re-runs and spending more time with the kid.

She's going to be one in a couple of weeks - the time has really flown by.  Looking back over the last year it's amazing how far a person progresses in such a short time.  She's gone from being a tiny thing who if I'm honest was a bit of a wrinkly mess, that would simply lay around sleeping most of the time, to a very inquisitive (future career or army choice there) little stomper who tonight took her first upright steps towards walking.  She babbles at me now when we play and follows me around watching everything I am doing.

She's a canny little thing which I guess most near one year olds are - as a first time parent I wasn't prepared for the joys and trials of parenthood, but I wouldn't trade what I have for the world.

With work looking sketchy (government jobs aren't too secure here in Australia at the moment), but remaining very busy (requiring me to travel a  fair bit - off interstate again tomorrow) I'm taking all the opportunities I can to play with the little one which means no hobby.  By the time she settles into sleep I'm generally knackered.  Rather than push myself to do something hobby wise I've decided I'm taking a break.  No active hobby for me for a couple of weeks I think; give myself some time to recharge and come back fresh.

Cheers all,

Liam

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

040. Liebster Award...

Apparently its a thing!
The Internet is awash with chain mail-esque devices, most of which are click bait loaded with malware leading to no good.  The Liebster Award is a like product, but for the purposes of good and not evil!

I became aware over the last month of the Liebster Award after my blog roll starting filling with the same images - the image you see above, and which may now also reside in your blog roll.  I'd seen something similar a few years back and then it had all gone quiet, but this year it is back with a vengeance and I have scored not 1, but 2 nominations for one which to tell you the truth I am quite chuffed about, enough so that I went and bored my missus with the details of it all.

While I blog mainly for my own pleasure, and as a vehicle to store a blog roll that provides me reading content for the bus trips into and out of work each day, I (like I imagine most people) do get a little buzz when someone else comments on what I'm doing, even if it is a simple 'good post' type comment - it means that while I occupy a few electrons (or whatever the appropriate measure of Internet space is) worth of the Internet and post about things I am happy to show in a non-public/aliased forum, someone else has also stopped by, read or looked at my post and been kind enough to leave a few words.

To have not one, but two fellow bloggers recognise me publicly on their own blogs as worthy of stand out amongst the hundreds of other small blogs out there is something else again.  So I must extend my thanks to both Adam over at Between the Bolter and Me (where you will find many fantastic posts showing the intricate level of detail Adam and his (what I presume in my own mind to be) brothers go to with their models - absolutely cracking stuff) and Kieran (AKA Headologist) from Do You Have A Flag? whose past posts on Necromunda gangs and terrain are real gems, and whose recent delve into adventure gaming books had me reliving my childhood vicariously through the images his posts stirred up in my minds eye.

Enough of this drivel, on to the meat of the post, shamelessly copied from elsewhere:

The purpose of the Liebster Award award is to allow bloggers to recognise a selection of blogs that they think are exceptional, with a focus on newer or smaller blogs that may not have as many followers or are still trying to carve out a niche for themselves.  Each nominee is asked to state eleven truths about themselves, answer eleven questions from the blogger who nominated them and finally come up with a series of eleven questions they would like their nominees to answer.

So here go my replies:

Eleven Truths:
  1. I love coffee and orange and poppy seed muffins for my morning teas at work and secretly have them every morning without telling the missus - that's why I need so much 'bus money'.
  2. This is my second blog.  My first blog, Rogue Pom, I gave up and deleted after our young dog died suddenly throwing my life at the time out of kilter.  I regret deleting the blog (the domain name is now in the hands of a porn pusher), but miss even more greatly my beloved dog Astro.
  3. I work for the government collecting taxes (or at least 'managing' risk and directing those who actually go out to collect taxes) - it was not my first job preference - I wanted to blow stuff up for the army but they wouldn't let me in as '16 year olds have no life experience' - you don't get experience I've found unless someone gives you a chance to get onto that first rung!
  4. I have tossed up more than once giving up my job and going back to uni to get a Masters or re-skill myself.  I am still fascinated by engineering.  The only thing stopping me is the idea of leaving my family destitute while I chase a whimsical dream.
  5. I started to collect miniatures in the dying months of 2nd ed 40K - my first official game was at the launch weekend for 3rd at the Marion GW.  Looking at the 'kids' in the shops now-a-days I shake my head and feel old.  I'm not even 30 yet - the older side of 20 something shouldn't feel old.
  6. My best mates are all cops.  I have on more than one occasion entered a station in their presence and been presumed to be an undercover officer - I have at no time agreed to that notion, nor disproved it.
  7. I entered Australian GD on three occasions, in the second two I went through the regionals and got 'runner up' pins on both attempts at the nationals.  I stopped fooling myself when I saw the real quality of GD winners first hand - I'm happy with my standard, but it's no GD winner.
  8. I have no ability to float - something about my bones being dense - my missus wouldn't believe it until I threw myself into a pool and nearly drowned. I can't swim either so it wasn't the smartest way to prove a point.
  9. Frothing Muppet is a play on my first Facebook alias, An Angry-Muppet (hyphenated to trick the name function on Facebook into thinking it was a legit real name), before I grew up and reverted my alias back to my real name.
  10. I'm from England originally but memories of those days are hazy to say the least.  Last month I celebrated 22 years in Australia, and 20 years as an official (albeit paper) Aussie.
  11. My 11 month old daughter sneezed snot into my mouth just before I sat down to write this post and because I was in the middle of changing her and the price of her 'making mess' everywhere outweighed the cost of the alternative I swallowed it and got on with the job at hand.
Eleven Questions to Answer (care of Adam):
  1. Eisenhorn or Ravenor?  - Eisenhorn all the way - he's a radical but I'm thinking he's still rocking out on the side of the Emperor!
  2. What is your favorite aspect of the miniature hobby?  - Building a kit.  I love seeing it come together, and recently the kit bash aspect of building has really gotten to me.
  3. Will dread Cthulhu rise from his sunken city of R’lyeh?  - I honestly had to Google 'Cthulhu' - I've seen the name around for years but never in material that has directly been of interest to me
  4. Who is your favorite artist?  - Anyone who can take a half decent landscape (natural or urbanscape) photographic spread.  Whoever does the Windows desktop backdrops that cycle on my Windows 7 machine at work - I love a good landscape.
  5. If you are about to embark on a long drive with nothing to think about, what musical album would you want to listen to?  - My mate and I would take a road trip across/around Australia each year before my little one came along and all we ever played on the stereo was ACDC's greatest hits.  He likes Hip Hop and I like alternative rock - neither of us liked or had listened to ACDC before our first trip but it was our laugh at a compromise CD.
  6. Have you ever played the cRPG: Planescape: Torment?  - No.  The only RPG I have ever played was a little Dark Heresy and 2 sessions of DnD.
  7. Games Workshop’s White Dwarf magazine recently switched formats and is now weekly, thoughts?  - I bought the first of the updated monthly WD when that switch happened and was not impressed and havent bought one since.  I have acquired through nefarious means a couple of the new weekly version and like you can get rules in it but I still miss my old WD's - circa issue 245 (Australian) to 270.
  8. Is the Alpha Legion the Imperium’s doom or their salvation?  - I don't know - Abnett left a cracking cliff hanger there in Legion though.  I think subsequent books and mentions by other authors have spoiled what he set up.
  9. Benchmade or Spyderco? - That was another Google job - Knife Ownership in Australia is obviously not as prevalent or big a thing as it is in the US.  On website design and functionality its Benchmade, but on product looks its Spyderco.
  10. What boardgame would you most like to play this weekend?  - Risk.  I was talking to Col. Ackland about it over the weekend.  Risk is a great game.
  11. Who is your favorite sculptor? - Jes Goodwin just because all my first miniatures were his and they were (and still are) brilliant sculpts.  Some of Simon Egans stuff though is jaw droppingly good.
Eleven Questions to Answer (care of Kieran):
  1. Why did you start blogging? - As a way to keep track of what I had done, when I did it, and with a vain hope to document how I did it - this last part has not worked as planned as I forget to document the how (ie paint recipes).
  2. If you could change one thing about the wargaming hobby, what would it be?  - I'd get rid of the WAAC mentality that has crept in and been promulgated through the blog network - this should be a fun 'hobby' for friends - not a blood sport.  The current online discussion spawned by the 7th ed leaked WD images is horrendous and a great example of the ugly side of this hobby.  Also, GW should allow direct sales to Australia and wind back the prices.
  3. What is best in life?  - Seeing my daughter smile when I get in from work - instantly brightens my day.
  4. Do you want to live forever?  - What would be the point?  I have my family hear now, I'll watch them grow up and start their own family and then my bit is done - why linger around longer than you need to.
  5. Fame or fortune?  - Wealth enough to live to our needs (not necessarily our wants) and allow me to do what I would like with my life.  My secret desire is to own my own hobby/gaming shop.  The kind that you see in the US on the tele with big open playing spaces, comfy couches, paint stations.  But a store where making money wasn't the point - the point is to have people around that I want to hang out with and trade insults and have a laugh.
  6. What miniature are you most proud of having painted?  - I'm going to say my test Tactical Marine I did a few posts back.  It went back to my roots in reimagining my original Ultramarines so has nostalgic value, plus it was the first time I'd successfully (in my mind) managed to edge highlight a miniature, plus free hand on symbols, plus pull of a decent flesh tone, and get the shading and overall look of the miniature exactly as I wanted it from my mental image.
  7. How do you deal with burnout?  - I remember that this should be fun - if I'm not having fun, then why am I doing it - no one forces you to do this hobby.  I step away - it will all be there later on.  Even if GW went and disappeared tomorrow, I'd still have all the product and paint I needed, together with the rule books and supplements I'd collected over the years to carry on gaming with like minded people.  I don't worry about burn out.  I have an Xbox and hundreds of DVD's.  Even when I personally have no mojo flowing, I still read my blogs in the feed every day - eventually I see something that sparks an idea that I want to try to capture.
  8. Why is a raven like a writing desk?  - What sort of question is that?!  Pfffttt!!!!
  9. Star Wars or Star Trek? - I used to love Star Wars - I would watch the originals every 6 months.  I even had the missus on that routine and she hates sci-fi.  And then the prequels came out.  Then Lucas couldn't leave good enough alone and we got Hayden Christianson in the end scene of Jedi.  And now I find I can't watch the movies without cringing.  I misquote them.  It makes me sad.  The other day I read the EU is not considered any form of canon - even the stuff Lucas Arts put out.  Sod that I say.  JJ has done a brilliant job with the relaunch of Trek - the cinematography/colours/sounds of the reboots are brilliant.   Having said that, its currently Star Gate SG1 all the way baby.
  10. If you could only buy from one miniature company from now on, which one would it be?  - Forge World - I'd do Heresy and Mechanicum if money allowed.
  11. What is your favourite takeaway? -Ging Ling Chinese take away down at Daws Park was the best Chinese food I ever had - and then we moved.  Lamesauce.
Eleven Blogs (in no particular order):
  1. John's Toy Soldiers
  2. Mordian 7th
  3. Officio Convertorum 
  4. Admiral Drax
  5. Recalcitrant Daze
  6. Excommunicate Traitoris
  7. A Galaxy in Flames
  8. Eternal Hunt
  9. Devos 4
  10. Palladian Guard
  11. Miniature Tim
I am sure some (if not all of these) have already been nominated, and some are not so small anymore - but so be it - they rate as the blogs that I have followed for years under one guise or another, who have consistently put out content I have found useful, interesting, copy worthy, and fun to look at and/or read, and which people visiting here for my content, may enjoy just as much as I do.

If they hadn't nominated me, thus excluded themselves from my list above, both Adam and Kieran's blogs would have been up there as well.

That's a long winded post of text to digest so I will leave it here.  For the interests of completeness to anyone on my list wanting to carry this forward I am too lazy to extend this post further by writing out another 11 questions, so feel free to answer any combination of 11 questions from the ones found above, with one rider, you must answer the following question:

If you could change one thing about the hobby, what would it be?

Genuinely interested in others views on this as at the end of the day, it is our hobby to make of what we will - we shouldn't (and don't) need someone else to put the hobby in a box and tell us this is how it must be done.

Cheers all,

Liam

Sunday, 4 May 2014

039. A day of gaming and how Ray's still a jammy git...

Dale, Ray (Col. Ackland) and I got together for another day of gaming (aiming for a monthly catch up at this stage) and managed to thrash out two thoroughly good fun games for which Ray trumped us all again using his sound tactics derived from beardiness and being a jammy git.  I'll let the following pictures tell the story of our day.  

Our first game was a 200 point Kill Team three way bash playing Mission 3 - Head Hunt; basically a who can kill the Team Leader and the other Specialists first.

I took my small Ork force, Ray had his Scions rolling in their lowered Taurox and Dale had his Blood Angels.


We quartered the table - I got the bottom right zone, Dale the top right and Ray the top left
Deployment from Dales point of view - sneaky Snipers in the tower and Assault Marines behind the wall

The Tower Dale wishes he was in and Ray being a chump and hiding in his ride
I stole the initiative and went slogging over the board - theses Grotz had more pluck than smarts
Captain Beard went and hid his Taurox in a corner - he argued it was sound tactical sense, I thought he was more being a pussy
I started keeping count of the turns with my pile of dead - by turn 2 my Leader and 3 Specialists were out of the game
My Runt Herd manages to slog the four foot plus a ladder climb to get into combat with some Scouts
These pictures are out of order - This was my Leader (on the left), having already taken a wound, walking back across the board to smack down some Assault Marines - it didn't end up as planned
By turn 4 I was bottled and down to the Runt Herd
Some more plucky Grotz - Can you guess how that ended?
Yeah, not great looking at this stage
Dale has also bottled and decides to throw his last active Marine towards Rays Taurox which has slipped into Dales deployment zone
The combat between the Runt Herd and the Scout went for 3 turns - Ray tried joining in and got shivved for his efforts
The Runt Herd stands alone on the platform at the end of the game
But Ray the jammy git claims victory, 11-4-4, having seen off both Dale and my Leaders, most of the Specialists, and breaching the line
Rolling like a pimp - my Runt Herd totally had this
We then took a lunch break (sorry no pictures, just imagine three grown men with beards sat around a booth at Hungry Jacks (or Burger King for you Yanks) talking about toy soldiers and you'll get the image of what happened.

We kicked off the afternoon session sated after our meal, with beer in hand, for a 500 point a side, three way capture the Relic game.
Dale added a Predator and Captain to his army - he deployed along the bottom table edge
I grew out the Orks with another Boyz squad, a Deffkopta and a Warboss to go with the Nobz - I deployed on the left long edge
Ray mixed his force up - dropping the Scions and Taurox; taking instead Veterans, an Exterminator and the new Wyvern (a custom kit bash) - Ray had the right long edge
Ray stole the initiative and started in with his Wyvern - only 3 kills and one wound on a Nob to start the game - not the threat I had expected - but it did pin the Warboss and Nobz
It took Ray two turns to notice these 'stealthy' scouts - white on black must be a hard thing to spot
The lay of the land, my Deffkopta has boosted up the table edge looking to get a shot on that Wyvern next turn - the plucky Grotz are out for some fighting too!
Ray demonstrates how to be a jammy git, walking his Wyvern shots onto the Deffkopta after the first shot scattered with the re-roll out into no mans land
Such a jammy git - this barrage did for my Deffkopta before it even got a chance to do much of anything
Rays moved his Exterminator and a couple of squads down the other flank starting a tank duel with Dale's Predator
From Dales point of view - this duel caused much consternation between the boys over lines of sight and cover saves
Dales Snipers announce themselves with some missiles into the Annihilator - not doing much else - The Assault Squad prepares to enter combat with my Orks
Having eaten one of my Boys squads, Dale has the idea to challenge my Warboss to combat and see off my Nobz - pity for him he failed at rolling dice, and in the challenge left my Warboss with a single wound which was more than enough encouragement for my Boss to cut down his Captain, and my Nobz to 'insta-gibb' his Assault Squad for no wounds caused!
Dales Assault Squad and Captain whimpering on the side table after their schooling by the Orks on how you fight at proper fisty-cuffs
My plucky Grotz ran out of pluck after a sound thrashing by some in form Veterans - last seen running off into the sunset
Rays luck continues to hold after Dale rolls yet more 1's and 2's.
We won't say Dale hid his Predator behind a wall in terror - we'll think of a more manly description for it
Yet another Wyvern blast leaves my Warboss dead and my Nobz fairly well beat up - and pinned yet again.  They were pinned 3 times in this game
My last Boyz Mob (or the 5 lads left in it) throw caution to the wind and run at the Imperial Guns - it wasn't much of a last charge - they were cut down forth-with
Lots of dakka-dakka and pew-pew noises were made by these lads
Pinned once again and all on his lonesome.  Maybe that 'primer black' camo will help him blend into the surroundings so they will forget about him - or not
Dale making more horrendously bad rolls
The game ended on turn 5 with me wiped out, and Dale on his last legs - Ray being the jammy (defensive he might argue) git he is, still had 2 and half Veteran Squads, his Command Squad and both tanks in play, waltzing away with the second victory of the day.

We learned today that the Wyvern is a massively under-costed beast of a unit - any Guard player out there not taking one needs a good hard look at themselves.  

We also learned that, in Dales view, my gaming shed is located near to the Eye of Terror given the abysmal dice rolls he was making all day. 

Personally, I learned that while Orks are good fun to paint and play with, they are more suited to bigger point games where their Mob strength comes into its own - playing them as a kill team is not the best idea given their low initiative and generally rubbish stat line - quantity is everything, when it is properly deployed.

Our next catch up will be at Rays where we are planning another round of Kill Team (I'm thinking Marines for that one) as well as stepping it up to 750 or 1,000 point main games.

Cheers all,

Liam, Ray and Dale