Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Champion of Khorne WIP 3

A little more work on the chaos champion. This step is quite tedious, blocking in the main colours, but it does give a good idea of the overall palette.

The armour plates are dark brown (a mix of coat d'arms negro and black) - this is a little experiment for me in painting black armour. The armour trim is a brass colour, a mix of brass and gold. And of course it wouldn't be Khornate without a splash of red, the leather trim on the front of the figure is brick red - hopefully this will form a nice base for some red leather.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Dwarf Warriors WIP

Last week while holidaying in the wonderful city of York, I made a start on building my own version of dwarf warriors. The official plastic versions I have never really liked that much, so I thought I would kitbash my own. These are a mix of three versions of plastics. You have to imagine the front rank holding up their shields. The eagle eyed will have noticed that the two central dwarfs are hollow - I still need a little green stuff under their beards to fill the gap. I am reasonably happy with them, though it's hard to get much variation in the posing.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Danelaw Village

I am on holiday in York and yesterday visited the Yorkshire Museum of Farming. Now I enjoy looking at farm implements and fertilisers as much as the next man (i.e. not at all) but the reason for my visit was the reconstruction of a Danelaw village. It's based on best guesses and archeology, giving a good feel for a dark age or even fantasy settlement. You will probably recognise the basic building designs from the plethora of mdf kits around, but the photos might prove useful for colours and a few other little touches. It was a glaringly bright day so some of the colours are washed out a little.

Bronze age huts

Typical wooden dwelling

Carved sign above the doorway

Wattle and daub house

Potter's house

Animal Shelter

Cart, possibly pulled by hand or maybe goat?

House decoration

Another house carving above doorway
Represents Odin and his ravens maybe

I certainly picked up a few ideas. The wooden walkways to aid with muddy conditions I have seen before and certainly is a nice idea for any bases. Other bits lying around that can add authenticity is chopped wood, lots of little outhouses/animal shelters, wicker fencing everywhere, cart, etc. There was even a longship moored in the nearby stream. And much, much more.......

Friday, 16 September 2016

Champion of Khorne WIP 2

A little progress report on the chaos champion. I am off on holiday for a week and when I get back I will have forgotten what I did, so this should be useful to me, if nobody else! Over the white primer I applied a very thin coat, pretty much a glaze really, of the pale flesh - this is my own mix. Then I stippled on some beige brown, for a little texture. While that was drying I painted the loin cloth with tan earth and the boots a watered down negro. By now the flesh had dried so I glazed in some watered down negro in the deeper creases, and also in the loin cloth folds. First session over, about half an hour or so.

More work on the skin, glazing horse chestnut into the muscle shadow areas and around any scars, spikey bits and the like. I put in a fairly solid line down a crease, then dampen the brush and draw out towards the higher area for a basic feathering/blending effect. It's not expertly done by any means, but there's still more to come and I can tidy up any mess in a later stage. I also glazed the chestnut into the loin cloth as I had a little bit left on the palette so thought -why not? Then I added a simple highlight on the loin using desert yellow, or dessert if you read the label - it does have a custard hue to it!

That's it for at least a week, but I am reasonably hopeful of completing the figure for the end of the month. I want to get a good result on this figure as he is to be Vorghan the Slayer, leader of my chaos warband in an upcoming campaign. More on that in a future post.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Gunnar Gunnarson the Brave

Dwarf Captain Gunnar Gunnarson, ready to lead his troops into battle. I chose the name as a bit of a joke, but looking up Gunnar on wikipedia - it means fighter, soldier or attacker, but is mostly referred to by a viking saying which means brave and bold warrior. Rather coincidentally, I had based the colour palette on a character from the Disney film Brave.

This is a metal figure from the early 2000's I think, it was one of a handful of thanes released at the time. It was quite hard to paint, the face is mostly obscured by the beard and eye patch. In fact, it's pretty much a beard on legs from the front.

I decided on a ginger beard, then painted the cloak a contrasting green. However, for some reason the model says "Scottish" to me, so I added a tartan pattern to the cloak. I searched far and wide for tartan patterns before finally settling for the style worn in the film Brave. I started with the green background, then painted on yellow vertical and horizontal strips. Where the stripes intersected, I painted a little orange square or blob. Then I shaded the cloak with a few glazes of browns and orange.

Here Gunnar the Brave stands grumbling at the unpainted state of his unit, which have been this way since April. Hopefully this situation will be rectified in the near future. In the shorter term, I will soon be on holiday in Britain, so will be taking along some hobby material for those inevitable rainy days. I have quite a few plastic bits that I want to kitbash together to make dwarf warriors, having never been satisfied with the standard models. I want to build a unit of twelve warriors to add to my force - in reality it will probably be a couple of metal figures as leaders and then ten plastic kitbashes. Hopefully I will have made significant progress by the end of the month.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

A game of 40K

It's been a while, but I finally managed to squeeze in a game, around at the dungeon. I wanted to give 40K another try - I have played it a few times and never quite seen the appeal, but with such a huge player base I reckon there must be something there right? I have a small Dark Angels force which was pitted against Matt's Tau. We rolled up a scenario from the battles book, but it turned out to be a straight-forward kill them type thing. I deployed on the right, taking advantage of all the cover provided by the industrial complex, while the Tau came on from the left across broken ground, hopelessly exposed apart from the odd rock formation here and there. In a gunfire battle, where would you rather be - smugly hunkered down behind a concrete wall, or marooned in a field desperately trying to hide behind a blade of grass?

Not suprisingly, the Tau held back making the most of their superior firepower. The space marines bikes were blown off this bridge in turn 1 and consequently will not be appearing in this report, but the terminators proved more resilient, soaking up huge amounts of fire on their way up. 

The marines took cover from Tau firepower, though it turns out this was completely pointless as it did not affect shooting or armor saves. I find this strange - surely it is harder to hit a target hidden behind a rock/wall/barrel than one strolling around in the open? I cannot think of any other game in which cover does not affect shooting. Just one of the little rules idiosyncracies!

The Tau commander was destroyed by a multi-melta, though it did take several shots (as I kept rolling 1's). His troops fought on valiantly, presumably for the greater good.

The terminators proved most effective, soaking up huge amounts of enemy firepower while dispatching two Tau units. If only they could have made it into combat, but the Tau kept running away before they could be pulverised, presumably for the greater good.

I have to admit I am pretty puzzled by the game. It has a huge following, but to me it seems very clunky in comparison to games I have played recently. The turn structure seems archaic, I much prefer games in which play constantly switches from one to another, either alternating like one-page-40K or random like Bolt Action. The lack of reaction to enemy actions seems completely inappropriate for a game of modern/future combat. This is my third game over the past few months and each time I find it hard to like the game, there's just so many little things that seem wrong to me. The models are nice enough, but I need to find another set of rules for them.

The next day, Matt sent me this photo, I had mistakenly left behind the heroes of the hour and his Tau troops delighted in blasting them with their carbine plasma rifles and their stubby photon blasters (I could be slightly off in the nomenclature). Cover them in cotton wool balls, for the greater good!
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