Wednesday 5 August 2020

A couple of Adventurers

A couple of random figures in the form of two of the Artizan Design Adventurers, which I think they no longer do.

The figures have been sitting in the painting queue three quarters complete for a while and I decided to finish them off and get them out of the queue.

Simple deserty bases for tboth figures, which in hindsight could do with a bit of interest and might add a couple of dry tufts or a small stone or two just to lift them a bit.

Nice and slightly unusual subjects for adventurers, Artizan didn't do very many and don't think they sold well but have the Artizan look which I like right across their catalogue.

The Middle-eastern moor type is nice but I particularly like the fighter. Not sure why, but makes me think of a Greek/Byzantine type somewhere in Egypt or India doing the Alexander TG thing in far away places.

I've another couple of the adventurers to be done from the pack which are an elf wizard type and a female thief which are both unfussy and generic of their type and will be added to the paint queue in due course.

Tuesday 4 August 2020

Future Wars Update 008 - WIP

Another small update on things that have I have been working on, on and off over the lockdown, and this time a few bits that are for my on going 'Future Wars' project which continues to grow as the whim takes me.

First up is the Heavy Hulk Battlesuit from Nuclear Shrimp games that I picked up as part of their Black Earth Kickstarter last year. Received a couple of vehicles and several troop models all of which are very nice and characterful and I'm resisting the urge to get more before I get whats already on the bench, particularly the vehicles.

The resin model was a wee bit fiddly to assemble and the only way seemed to drill and pin the legs together and then to the body, but once together it's very stable and the parts went together pretty well with minimal alteration. I've decided on the paint job it'll receive and is due to join the ranks of the European Federation troops in due course. What I haven't definitely decided yet is whether to base the piece or leave free standing as it were. I'm tending towards the base idea but the model would be more utilitarian if I leave free standing. The scenic base idea will probably win out.

Next up are a quad of Anvil Industries Robot types (C-48 Autonomous Mechs) from their Afterlife range which is easily their best range to date. Sadly the Afterlife range looks to be unavailable now which is a pity as there are lots of bits I would like to get more of there too, 

Really nice models to assemble and they have been put of some constructed bases to try out a roller that I recently got with selective terrain rubble added. All that done so far painting wise is the base paint scheme which was to paint a graded metal/silver finish with an all over blue wash to give an all over sheen to the figures which worked pretty well and turned out haw I was looking for. Pretty simple now to pick out the details and finish off the bases.

Lastly for this trio of Future Wars WIP are a duo of fighters/skimmers for the Kra'uul, which take the form of GW Forge World Tau Piranha, which have been assembled in a non-40K cannon way as I preferred the look. These are still partially glued until I complete the crew cockpits when they'll be finally assembled. 

Again, a fairly simple paint scheme planned for these guys with the Kra'uul generally going for an off white with red/gray/ochre detail. Might try a touch of air brushing for these models as I've never tried airbrush for models even though I've had the airbrush for a good few years and only ever used it for art work. Should be fine for vehicles or so I believe. I'll probably go for my own home made decals for them too.

I've a few other bits are on the table in various states of assembly including a fair amount of Anvil Industries gun tractors and Grenadiers which I like lots and I succumbed to another Kickstarter, this time Mordian Tanks and their current buggy goodness. Lots to keep me going on this project.

Friday 17 July 2020

WIP July - Oathmark Troops

As promised in my last post, I have here some of my WIP that I've been working on during the lockdown. This time around it's the first of the troops I intend to use for games of Oathmark when we are allowed to get to the clubs again.

Infantry unit is based on the Fireforge Forgotten World Infantry that I picked up in the kickstarter tale end of last year, or the first two of the three boxes I picked up anyway. Took a bit of construction and a reasonable amount of mould line removal plus the heads that I used from the box sets don't fit very well (sitting very high on the torso) and required cutting down to sit correctly to my eye anyway.

I used a selection of GW heads from Empire and Bretonnian sets and altered a few of the Fireforge heads adding greenstuff caps to match the look I was going for. I ended up using about half a dozen or so of the historical heads from a Fireforge Scandinavian box set to add some more variety but these had to be drilled and pinned with gaps at the neck filled as the location method between the kits is completely different (historical the socket is on the head, fantasy the socket is on the torso).

I'll add the other box set to the unit some time in the future for use of the unit in other rule sets but they're not required for Oathmark. In fact only 20 of the figs are needed for Oathmark and I'll probably sabot the figs so they fit the base frontages for use in the rules.

The Cavalry follow the same basic premise of the Infantry being from the Fireforge Forgotten World Kickstarter bundle I picked up but this time using only GW heads principally Bretonnian for a slightly diffent look. Again, there's another box to be constructed to make up a larger unit but not required for initial small Oathmark games planned. The Infantry and Cavalry units are destined, in their full sized capacity, to also be used in my ongoing Alba Campaign as Northern states militia types.

Finally in this WIP trio is the first of the giants planned. Probably easily recognisable as one of the GW Giants of Albion from the defunct Dogs of War range which I have multitudes of in the 'to do' list.

Picked up a couple of the Giants boxes when they were current but never really had a use for them until now so they've finally managed to see the light of day.

Bit of a pig to assemble with much drilling and pinning and still to finish off filling in the gaps with greenstuff to finish off the assembly and will move onto painting up this bad boy once I've finished a couple of other figures that are nearing completion.

I'll post again and report on progress for this project including other troops in construction for this army.

Next up, a wee bit of WIP on my Future Wars project progress from during lockdown.

Monday 6 July 2020

Bad Day at Ganish Aer - The Celesterale

Back at the beginning of April (doesn't time fly when you're having fun) I posted up a small project that was planned to keep me busy during lockdown, 'Isolation Excercise' in painting up the terrain and figures for playing a Thud & Blunder based skirmish game.

As fate would have it, lockdown didn't seem to have as much free time available as I thought it may and with working from home and my better half thinking up lots of 'odd jobs' that suddenly required doing, the last three months have positively flown by. This being a good thing really.

Don't get me wrong, I have managed to get through much hobby goodness over the period, probably more than I would have normally, just not as much as I thought (or hoped) I may. Lots's of WIP to post about, some of which I'll do over the next couple of days, over several projects and not least 'Bad Day at Ganish Aer' which this update is around with the first of the three warbands finally getting completed.

A brief background for the Celesterale are that they are a Radical splinter group of the Magus Preceptory, which are the Magister faction of the ruling elite from the declining Celebrian Empire. The representative's of the Celesterale is the warband led by Graven, who is an 'agent at large' attempting to further the machinations of the Preceptory by any means he deems necessary.

Graven - Magister
A lot of you may recognise the figure here being the long OOP pre-slotta base Citadel Chaos Wizard which I've had rolling around for 35 years or more unpainted and un-loved, so he got picked as part of the project to do some. I found the figure quite hard to paint and couldn't settle on a paint scheme that I was happy with but ended up going for a dark blue and red scheme which didn't end up as dark as intended. Should of gone for a standard bad guy black and red with gold bits scheme but hey, turned out alright I suppose.

Ademar Vinx and his 'pet' Wraith
Ademar is the bad wizard type 'Vonatar' from the old Lone Wolf mid 80's Ciadel range and is a figure I'd already painted for a Mordheim campaign we had a couple of years ago, but received a touch up and a re-painted base. Ademars Wraith is a fairly newly acquired figure from one of the Northstar Frostgrave Nickstarter's a couple of years ago. This is a pretty easy figure to paint having a single colour or so to paint and highlight. One of the first to be put to bed.

Sooni Khawn and Vengtar U'Bharunn
Corrindessian Mercenaries

The two Corrindessian Mercenaries, Sooni Khawn and Vengtar U'Bharunn, hailing from much sunnier and distant climes, the figures are again from Northstar's Frostgrave range Cultist knights which I picked up as soon as they were released as they really fitted my idea of what Corrindessian's would look like as soon as I saw them. They took a considerable amount of time to paint, mainly due to the amount of detail on them but quite happy with how they tuned out.

Skeleton Bodyguards
The cannon fodder of the warband, the ubiquitous skeletons, are again figures which I had previously painted but again received a facelift and brightened up bases. They are early-ish citadel armoured skeletons which I picked up a pack of somewhere in a bring and buy and are some of my favourite skeleton figures. I would like to track down some more of these as they are full of character.

So, a small update this time and the next warband now moving into the WIP pile are Elspeth and Melinda, commonly known in adventuring circles of Northern Tir-mor as 'the Glitter Twins' and their band of colourful 'Toughs'.

Saturday 25 April 2020

Mount & Blade II; Bannerlord

Back in 2016 I posted on the up and coming PC games I was looking forward to get a hold of and play in that year. All the games were purchased sooner or later except one. Yup, you guessed it Mount & Blade II; Bannerlord.

After being in development for the last five or so years the game has finally been released recently and I quickly purchased to help with whiling away a few extra free hours suddenly available recently for some reason.

Always a fan of the Taleworlds Entertainment Mount & Blade series in 'Warband' and 'With Fire and Sword' and played through both included mod versions they hold enough interest though the graphics are now pretty basic looking. This is the first and obvious update on M&B II with the graphic input ten times better than the original.

Having a strole round one of the many townscapes
First Character after a few game days adventuring
Still pretty lowly equipped
The graphics are very nice and the game map is much improved and much more appealing to the eye (the original Calradia and Eastern Europe maps being graphically sparse, travelling could get quite tedious) and with a lot more going on and more information for locations of objectives and info on encounters and so on.

There's a lot going on generally but follows the same basic premises of the genre set up in M&B Warband so familiar enough ground though the controls are much more involved and with more alternatives as well.

The milieu is new as well, with Calradia gone and a new realm peopled with the same technological level as before, roughly 12th Century (ish) medieval times. The eight various factions you can choose to play (Aserai, Battania, Khuzait, Northern Empire, Southern Empire, Sturgia, Vlandia and the Western Empire) in all, follow general Medieval tropes and are recognizable from their inspirations; from Byzantines, Norman's, Viking/Scandinavian's, Rus, Mongols, Anglo-Saxon and Saracen types and so on.

The art work for the loading screens (which you see a lot of going from battle to map to town to dialogue) all give a good idea of the artistic look and feel to the game and are pretty good on the eye as well which is just as well really;

The foregoing artwork by a Turkish artist Ilker Serdar Yildiz, is very eye catching and evocative work and must of been involved in the art direction in the game build as the aesthetic is maintained throughout the game.

I'm still early on in my first game play but so far it is interesting and worthwhile play, especially if you're into RPG style games in the medieval period. The game does have a pretty steep character development curve. It takes a fair bit of grinding through early missions and hunting looters to get anywhere. The cost for failing missions is noted and can be quite prohibitive sometimes finacially, cutting off lines of trade or limiting future access to a town. There are lots of lines of character development, in social standing, finances, local and faction standings and notoriety that all play a part in developing and advancing your career, not just killing folk and taking their money as was pretty much the previous norm.

I do quite like this as it gives a decent challenge and can be quite political as well as militaristic in flavour. Lots of depth.

There are a fair number of mods available for the game already and  include the inevitable LotR make-over and I believe a GoT as well plus the usual AI tweeks and so on. I'll play the vanilla game through before having a look at these.

All in all, pretty favourable opinion so far and generally recommended for anyone into the more 'believable setting' RPG genre. An early Warblog rating of 8 out of 10 'Worth Watching' easily merited and worth the wait.

Friday 3 April 2020

Isolation Exercise

Setting myself a bit of of a challenge here and have set up a solo skirmish game using the Thud & Blunder rules. The challenge (exercise) part is that a good part of the table set up includes a large part of unpainted/incomplete terrain and figures and the idea is to complete all the terrain pieces and figures before I complete the game.

I deliberately chose pieces thst were either incomplete or not started in the main and have started working my way through the items on the set-up. So far most of the accessories are complete with just some barrels to do, the GW Osgiliath ruins are done and a couple of the trees are complete.

The warbands are a mixture of complete and incomplete figures (mainly incomplete) and I'll start working my way through the chosen figs next.

The warbands are all set up and 'The Merchant Adventurers', 'The Glitter Twins' and ' The Celesterale' are ready to rock in the scenario 'Bad Day at Ganish Aer'.

I'll introduce the players in more detail as they are painted.

I've a few more bits under way at the moment which I'll post seperately that I'm doing with all the extra time available with this isolation thing going on and flitting a bit from bits to bits as the mood takes me. So more anon.

Take care, stay safe and stay sane!

Tuesday 7 January 2020

Middle Earth SBG - Fords of Isen

A bit of a late post as this was my last game of 2019 but hey, that's the way things roll recently.

With the release of the recent War in Rohan supplement for Middle Earth SBG, Kev wanted to give the troops a try out and plumped for the ever popular Fords of Isen scenario to give the rules/stats a try out.

Myself and Alan plumped for the Evil side (as usual) and Kev and Ian taking the Horsemen s side for the encounter, with all the toys supplied by Kev as usual.

The game was it's usual very enjoyable affair with the evil side having to kill Theodred and have 12 bods on the other side of the river by game's end being a very tough nut to crack.

Luckily for us this time, Ian was the 'One King' and threw multiple 1's for much of the game and the Uruk Hai shooting was pretty effective when the Multitude of Rohan Mounted re-enforcements arrived being mown down as if facing machine guns.

Needless to say, the game was a ding-dong affair with much splashing about and only a couple of Uruks drowning trying to cross at the deep end and much heroics on both sides and Theodred refusing to die gracefully, but die he did in suitable style surrounded and alone on the evil side of the river and the evil side just managing to squeeze the victory on the last (twelvth) round of the game with having twelve bods alive and on the other side. Skin of the teeth stuff.

Anybody's game right to the end and a great way to end the year with. Look forward to more Middle Earth shenanigans this year.

Thursday 2 January 2020

Happy New Year

A slightly belated happy New Year to all for 2020.

Just about recovered from the dreaded lurgy having been laid low over the festives and not feeling up for much hobby activities during the break but up for more once up and on full steam once again.

All the best to all for the coming year!
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