Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Call Me Bruce

Caster number 3 for Khador finished up recently, eIrusk.  This one had two significant modifications, one intentional and one reactionary.

The intentional modification was a head swap, entirely because I hate his silly hat.

I get what they were trying to do but it just looks ridiculous.  Instead I fished a plastic head out of the bits box, probably something originating in the GW nebula, which I thought worked better.

The other modification was not expected, but the massive patriotic flag that he carries was badly warped in my package; the bulk of the flag was twisted around so that it would need to intersect his body if the hand was properly aligned.  I tried to fix it but realized I wouldn't be able to bend it unless I got out the vice grips, which would damage the piece and render the entire effort moot.

I went in a different direction instead.  I tried to come up with something that looked like the Khadoran equivalent of a French Imperial Eagle.  I think it's suitably grandiose for the guy.

I went heavy with the gold on this guy; he fits in nicely with the rest of the force, while being glitzy enough to stand out as the obvious centerpiece.  Very happy with him.

Also, I really think that, with the new head, he looks like Bruce Campbell.  Which is not a bad thing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Success, and Otherwise

A bunch of projects on the workbench creeping toward completion.  A Koldun Lord and eIrusk (with some converting done to him) are in varying states of completion.  Two models got wrapped up lately, neither of which I'm totally happy with.

The first is a Manhunter.

Fitting her into the existing scheme was a little rough and I didn't really start out with a clear picture of what I wanted her to look like.  She worked out okay, but not as good as she could be.

The other model is a Lancer, for Cygnar.

I could spend a lot of time talking about what's not working on this guy.  When I painted Stryker I was sort of making it up as I went along, and it ended up in a place I was pretty happy with.  Blowing that scheme up to jack scale really didn't work out as I'd hoped.  I ended up trying out a sponge weathering with gun metal paint and it helped somewhat, but the colours don't particularly work together, the shield is just a huge mess, and the whole thing doesn't pull together well.

On the upside, the conversion of the arm and lance is something I think worked out very well.

I'm torn about what to do with my Cygnar.  I have a metal Hunter light jack coming in the mail and I think I'm going to try a totally different scheme with it.  If it works out, I'll strip the Lancer and repaint it to match, and just leave Stryker as is.  I don't really like him as much as I do some of the other casters I've used, so I can live with him being interestingly painted in a different scheme.  On the other hand, if I can't come up with a better scheme, I might be able to salvage this one by updating a few bits and redoing the shield.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I knew that I wanted a Hordes army, but I really didn't know which one.  It was very conflicting.

There's alot about Legion I like, but a lot I don't.  I'm not sure about their playstyle and I suspect painting them would get repetitive.

Trolls never really appealed to me much.

Circle did.  They have an interesting design, a challenging play style, they're very different from the other factions I've played, and they look like they'd be fun to paint.  I went so far as to buy a Druid Wilder and start painting it.  Unfortunately I want to do them in a style that their design doesn't really support, and I have concerns about how their play style would work for me.  Reluctantly, I shelved them.

Skorne has always pulled at me, though, but in a contradicting way.  I loved the design of the titans, but I hated the infantry.  I didn't like how the studio models were painted and so I assumed I couldn't do anything interesting with them.  And I had misgivings about their style of play.

In the end I bit the bullet, bought eHexeris and a Titan Sentry, and decided to jump in and see what happens.

Man, am I glad I did.

I'm calling this scheme "Centauri Imperial", for obvious reasons.  It's a very different colour scheme than the Studio one, or any one that I've seen online.  I love how they look and they're unbelievably fun to paint.  The only downside is that everything I had on the go was put on ice until I ran out of Skorne models to paint.

eHexeris is a fun guy.  I like his playstyle and it's a great miniature.  This was the first one, and just about everything about him was an experiment.  I had a picture in my head of what I wanted and I knew that I would have to figure out three or more techniques and approaches that I'd never really done before in order to make it work, and they all came out exactly the way I wanted.

The Titan Sentry was the product of a few requirements.  First, I love the model.  This is one of the old metal ones and I think it's a great sculpt.  It also works well with eHexeris because you can use him as the bonded beast, and have an arc node who is hellishly hard to take down.

One of his small arms is just a blade grafted onto a stump.  I got tired of trying to glue on the actual hand/blade piece and decided to improvise.

I wasn't as happy with how the white bits turned out on this one but I learned a lot and the end result is quite acceptable.

I have more Skorne on order and I can't wait to get my hands on them.

Friday, October 19, 2012


The second army I'm putting together is Cygnar.  I settled on them due to a more extensive list of criteria; I wanted a faction that I'd find interesting to play, that was different than Khador, and that would be a good force to lend people while I teach them to play.  Cygnar is a great teaching force, with lots of ranged options that lets a new player have some elbow room while they figure things out, and one which isn't particularly convoluted to learn.

So far I only have one finished figure for this force, pStryker from the battle box.

This guy was a learning process in a couple of ways.  I'm gradually converting from Delta Ceramcoat craft paints to Vallejo game paints, due to the former's abrupt unavailability at Michael's in Canada (bastards).  My Cygnar force uses a lot of Vallejo paints and I'm experimenting with their washes as well.

I wanted something with a bit of blue (it is Cygnar, after all) but not the typical scheme, and something which looks very distinct from my Khador army.  I think this is about what I was looking for.

I call this force Vitamin B Complex.  If you've had to take any, you'll get it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


When I started getting interested in Warmachine, the choice for my first faction wasn't a difficult one.  I liked the style and character of the Khador miniatures, I thought they'd be interesting to paint, and I thought I'd enjoy their playstyle.  Plus, the Warmachine starter force made for an inexpensive way to get started.

Eventually I came to understand that Khador isn't as good at being jack-heavy as I had thought, that Man o Wars aren't considered to be very good, and that the faction is mostly characterized by the strength of their infantry; but I don't play in tournaments, and Warmachine is nicely balanced for casual play.  I find that those hard evaluations of what is good and what is not (the "forum logic" as it were) is really oriented towards a much more competitive, tournament-based environment than any I'm likely to play in.  I can win plenty of games with jacks and Man o War units in my usual meta.

I wanted a lot of red in my Khador scheme, but I didn't want something that just looked like every other fire-engine-red Khador force.  I opted for a much darker maroon and black mix for them, with black pieces mixed in, and a bright cyan to liven things up and put a unique touch on the force.  Metal pieces are all in bronze with a reddish wash and gold highlights.  The whole force has a very distinctive look.  I'm really happy with how they're turning out.

Bases have rock outcroppings made of spackle, with flock and static grass, and a judicial scattering of Secret Weapon leaf debris.  I've marked my bases with forward arcs in a muted maroon.

Incidentally, these pictures are the first ones I've taken with a crude light box that I bodged together.  I'm still a long way from being able to take what I would consider good pictures (ones that are properly representative of what my models look like in the pink) but I'm getting closer.

The Butcher was basically my first warcaster; this was the first model I got after a set of metal Man o War Demo Corps, and the first one I painted, so this is where I was figuring out the scheme.  Like any pilot mini, you learn a lot and none of the rest look exactly like him, but warcasters are supposed to stand out, so that's okay.

In game, the Butcher is my favourite warcaster.  Axe to face, as subtle as a brick through a window.

I tried pSorcha for a few games but she just didn't click for me, so I converted the plastic Sorcha from the starter box into a Zerkova.  Zerkova is complicated, nuanced, and strange.  Switching from the Butcher to Zerkova is like switching from an M-1 tank to a speed bike.  I tend to have a harder time winning with her, but when I do, it feels like I pulled off a complex and subtle magic trick.

War dog.  Great little utility player.  I really like how this guy came out.

Widowmakers.  These guys were my first effort to adapt the scheme to someone who wasn't in head to toe armour.  I tried to mix in a few different colours to make them a little more varied and ad-hoc, while still obviously fitting in with the rest of the force.  It's something I'm going to have to push even farther into when I do my Woodsmen.

Man o Wars.  The first full unit I got finished.  These guys are hefty and it takes a while to paint them.  They look very intimidating on the tabletop though.

Jacks!  I have three of these bad boys and they're all magnetized so I can field all the available options.  These guys were easy to paint and just look great on the tabletop.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Big Love.

I originally started this blog to host pictures and discussions of the tabletop gaming I was doing, at least in part to keep me motivated to paint up some of the vast hordes of miniatures I had in an unfinished state (which was, to be honest, most of them).  In that, it failed miserably, but there's good reason for that.

At the time I was mostly playing Warhammer.  There are a few downsides there.  For one thing, Warhammer is a pretty awful rule system, and every time I played it, that awfulness grated at me.  For another, you have to paint a completely ridiculous number of models to have an army completed, and you're painting the same model over and over and over again, as a typical unit will have 15-20 completely gratuitous wound counters worth of guys.  Both of these things worked as a powerful incentive to do something else.

Eventually I more or less shelved Warhammer and got into Dystopian Wars.  I've made good progress on my three fleets, painting up a ton of models, but I didn't have a compelling reason to put any of that on this blog.  Instead, I posted it all to the Spartan forums.  Taking pictures of my finished ships and posting them to the forum became the final step in my painting workflow.

But now I have a fresh reason to pull this blog from the abyss, knock the dust off it, and see if the engine will turn over.  I've gotten into Warmachine.

DW is a fun game but it doesn't entirely scratch my tabletop gaming itch.  For one thing, I got started in 28mm and that's where my interest keeps returning.  For another, DW, for all of its virtues, is not a very deep game.  It's fun, but it's shallow, and there's only so much variety to be had out of one fleet.

Warmachine, on the other hand, is a massively deep game.  With 11 factions (or more, depending on how you count it), and multiple casters per faction, the amount of diversity and variety available is huge.  Moreover, it has the benefit of a very polished and slick ruleset which gives you extremely fun, challenging, and involving gameplay.

As such, I've been painting up models, demoing the game to friends, and having a ton of fun with it.  But I don't really want to post pictures of my models or discuss my games on the Privateer forums, and I feel like there's an important step lacking in my miniature painting workflow.

Hence this blog.

Over the next while I'll be posting pictures of the armies I have on the go.  First up will be Khador, my first army and really the one which feels most comfortable for me.  It's also the one which has seen the most progress in my painting.  For now, here's an early shot of one of my magnetized Khador heavies, taken before I settled on a basing scheme.  Better and more shots to come.