Sunday, 16 December 2018
As I've been getting back into the newly re-branded 'Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game', I've been digging out all my old LOTR miniatures and really enjoying getting them ready to play with. While doing this I began contemplating starting a Hobbit-era force and my first thought was to do a 'Dark Powers of Dol Guldur' army as it would be fairly small, I love the Nazgul, and I'd get to use the Necromancer miniature I already own. So I went to look at the Nazgul miniatures that would make up the bulk of the force. It was the first time I'd really looked at them in any detail and I found myself really disappointed. So much so, that I felt the need to write a long, rambley post about it on my blog complete with hastily thrown together diagrams.
Thoughts after the jump:
Saturday, 24 November 2018
For the first time since I've been at uni (which is getting to be quite a long time now), I've been going along to the wargaming evening that the Tabletop Society runs on a Friday and there has been talk of a possible narrative campaign some time next year using the Inquisitor or Inquisimunda rulesets. I've never played in a campaign like that before but I've always wanted to really go crazy kit bashing a bespoke little war band for 40k and creating a story with them. Many years ago I had a great time doing something similar with Mordheim and I'm getting that itch again. I've long been an admirer of the guys over at Iron Sleet who have churned out some glorious projects over the past few years, The Pilgrym in particular being absolutely stunning and exactly the kind of modelling and gaming experience I'd like to have with some fellow minded hobbyists.
I've always been amazed and inspired by the Navigator projects done by weirdingway (Found here on DakkaDakka) which have always made me want to explore the Navigator houses myself in a modelling capacity. Though it may be a while before I have the chance to do some converting, I have started to do some sketches roughing out ideas and thinking about parts I might use to create a unique-looking Navigator war band.
Hopefully in the next few months people will start coming together and the campaign can get organised. I'm getting rather excited at the prospect of such a project so I really hope it gathers enough interest to take off. Even if it doesn't, I may do some of these conversions anyway as a fun little side piece to the other projects I plan on undertaking next year. Much like how I briefly worked on a Kill Team alongside my Custodes this year. We shall see, if things go ahead I'll make sure to try and document my work and the campaign as best I can on the blog.
Sunday, 11 November 2018
As I mentioned in a previous post, I've kinda decided to just quit Warmachine now unless Privateer Press really shake things up. I repainted my army last year after getting a few more things for it, but I found the process of doing so quite draining and not the most enjoyable of hobbying experiences for a number of reasons. In 2016 I tried to renew my interest in the game and had a few battles with my brother, but the Mk3 rules and a new focus on themes didn't really invigorate me. I've just ceased to have any interest in Warmachine at all, and after having having some really great experiences with GW recently as well as getting into Malifaux; I've decided that I'm no longer going to buy new miniatures for Warmachine or try and get games in.
This is the first time I've really fallen out of love with a game and its a strange feeling. I think its been a slow process and probably happened a long time before I realised it. I have however decided that I'd like to end on a high note by purchasing and painting two miniatures I've always wanted to get for the faction: the Harbinger of Menoth, and Servath Reznik, the Wrath of Ages. I had more of a preference for the latter so managed to get one cheap on eBay a few months ago.
Just the act of assembling Reznik reminded me of nearly all the problems I have with the miniatures themselves. The use of metal, the ungodly combination of metal and resin parts, the weird mould lines, lots of clean-up, the pieces that don't fit together properly, details that aren't as sharp as one might expect... the list goes on and on. After some tribulation I managed to finally get him assembled into sub-assemblies for painting. Still though, I live in fear of him shattering into his constituent pieces should I drop him (indeed bits constantly kept dropping off during painting without the need to drop him, and despite all the superglue I used), a fear I'll no doubt share with the all-metal Harbinger.
I've elected to paint him like the rest of my army, and he forms a nice centrepiece for that force. Similar to the other war casters I have painted him in slightly more highlighted colours than the rest of the army but to contrast his lighter blues I've added extra grunge and bloodiness to represent his malevolent character. Though this post is quite negative I would like to make it clear that I do quite like the miniature, even if it was a paint to put together. I think its very cool aesthetically and thematically, and I am a sucker for having an army general mounted on a suitably impressive monster or war-engine.
Just as a quick note, I did buy this second-hand on eBay as I think that PP pricing on some of its miniatures is ridiculous. Though I believe the Harbinger to be more sensibly priced than Reznik (who costs as much as Nagash here in the UK and is nowhere near the same size or possessing the same quality in my opinion), I will be getting her second hand as well. If indeed I decide to get her at all as despite me liking the miniature I'm not sure if I want to deal with a large all-metal miniature. We shall see...
Saturday, 3 November 2018
"Build me an army, worthy of Mordor"
Though I began earlier this year working on my Easterlings, the first army I am planning on getting painted up fully is my Isengard force. This is mostly because I'm quite happy with the base colours (it just needs highlights and touching up), I don't need to buy anything else for the force as its around 1000 points already, and Saruman is one of my favourite characters so he kinda gets preferential treatment.
The previous incarnation of this army (with some really awful blurry photos to boot) had a slightly different composition to how it stands now. Notably missing is one of the trolls and the unit of orcs which I have moved over to my fledgeling Mordor army. However, I have replaced them with some Uruk-Hai warriors I fixed up, a demolition team I forgot I owned, and a while ago I picked up a version of Saruman on foot and Grima Wormtongue. While I have no plans on expanding this force, if I were I'd probably want to add some Warg Riders for cavalry, possibly put some orcs back in there for cheap bodies, and crossbowmen for more shooting.
There's still lots to do in order to achieve the look I'm going for, in particular I will have to spend quite a bit of time working on re-applying white hands to quite a few of the miniatures who previously had them on their faces. However, I'm hoping that this project wont end up taking too much time and I'm aiming to have it finished by Christmas whereafter my Mordor army will become my main focus. My Mordor force will be comparable in size to my Isengard army but requires much more work.
Here's a bonus quick pic of the small Rohan force that I'm cobbling together as well. As you can see from the range of different coloured bases, these miniatures have served in quite a few other projects previously and I was actually surprised at how many I was able to pull together for this project. I've got 5 riders, 12 warriors with a decent mix of weapons, 4 royal guard, and hero-wise I've got Eowyn, Merry, and Hama. With the addition of the contents of the Battle of Pelannor Field box and a few more heroes I think this should end up as a solid 1000-ish points force.
Non-LOTR stuff is taking up most of my painting time at the moment, but now my Kill Team is finished I hope to really get going on my Isengard and Rohan armies while I finish off my Talons of the Emperor who just need tidying up and basing now.
Saturday, 20 October 2018
The new Warhammer Conquest part-works subscription thing looks quite interesting. If the armies involved were different and I had more disposable income I'd be somewhat tempted, but instead I just decided to just pick up the first issue because it was only about two pounds and you get three pots of paint and a brush with it which is an absolute steal. I also received a second one as a gift and was then faced with what to do with the six Primaris Marines that came with the issues that I didn't particularly want. As everyone seems to be raving about the new Kill Team rules, I thought I'd use them to whip up a little team of my own.
I have written down all the paints I've used on these miniatures just in case I decide to add more to this little band. Its unlikely, but I must admit that there are a few Primaris miniatures I do like. In fact I'd probably say I am quite a big fan of the Primaris miniatures generally (barring the Repulsor Tank). I'm not a fan of their fluff, but I do like their design quite a lot and I like that scale-wise they embody what Marines are meant to be like in the lore.
|Captain Obadiah Knox 'The Bruiser'|
|Interrogator Abraham Klaw|
I've always been interested by the Ordo Astartes, a minor ordo of the Inquisition that oversees the Space Marines. So I've decided that Klaw is a lackey to an Ordo Astartes Inquisitor tasked with ensuring chapters comply with the integration of Primaris marines (especially poignant as most of my regular opponents are likely to be playing Space Marines). I thought he'd make a good objective marker as perhaps he's gotten lost or separated from him Primaris bodyguards, or needs extracting from a situation gone south. Perhaps one day I'll convert his Inquisitorial master, who knows.
|The three, unconverted easy-build marines|
Saturday, 13 October 2018
Last year in late autumn I wrote a bit of a rambling post about current things I was working on as well as reflecting upon my progress over the year in relation to the goals I posted back in February. I've got a few odds and ends I'm working on at the moment, and I've started thinking about next year already, so I thought I'd write another rambling post as autumn comes upon us once again.
Saturday, 6 October 2018
The agents of the Dark Gods also turn their attention to the Court of the Silver King. Seeking to foil the machinations of the God-King Sigmar, Tzeentch calls upon one of his more unusual servants to claim the head of an ancient traitor...
Sunday, 23 September 2018
As I mentioned in a previous post, I managed to pick up this old Citadel miniature of the Mouth of Sauron off of eBay which I thought looked pretty cool. He didn't take particularly long to paint up as he is a fairly simple sculpt, but I had an absolute blast doing it. It's got me really excited to start getting into some more miniatures from Middle-Earth!
I painted him in fairly muted colours (similar to my Mordor stuff), except for the eyes upon his chest and his helmet to provide both a striking spot colour and to remind his underlings that he speaks with the conviction of the Dark Lord himself. I was surprised to find that the sculpt was of decent quality for its age, though the eye patterning on the fringes of his robes and the bridle of his horse were not particularly well defined so I struggled to do my best at picking them out. There was also text sculpted onto the scroll of the dismounted Mouth, but the detail wasn't great and got lost under a few layers of paint, which allowed me to just write over it. I must also admit I was surprised at how big he is. I was expecting him to be of a weird, smaller scale due to being an older miniature but in reality he seems to more or less at the same scale as modern LOTR miniatures. On foot he does appear about the same height as GW's Black Numenorians, so just a bit taller than most men, fitting as the Mouth of Sauron is believed to hail from that race.
As I already have a Mouth of Sauron miniature, I like to think of this guy as another, similar emissary of the Dark Lord. In the books at the Council of Elrond, the dwarves reveal that an emissary from Mordor offered them a ring of power in exchange for the location of Bilbo Baggins, and while I think this may have been an early allusion to the Mouth of Sauron himself, it could have been one of a number of Sauron's mortal thralls whose job it is to travel beyond beyond Mordor bearing the word of the Dark Lord. Whether this might be to deliver terms to Sauron's enemies, or to muster armies like the evil men who owe their fealty to Mordor, I like to think of this guy as one of many emissaries of evil to sally forth from Barad-dur in the third age. Consequently I think that I'll use him in game as the Mouth of Sauron, but as an allied unit in other evil armies rather than in my Mordor army itself; to represent him gathering, threatening, and relaying orders to the other dark powers of Middle-Earth.
Now that he is finished I'm ready and raring to go with my existing Middle-Earth collections. I've taken stock of what I've got and made some plans as to what I'd like to do with it, and I've decided that my first big project will be my 1000 point Isengard force as I don't plan on adding any more miniatures to it. Its as big an army as I think I need and there aren't really any other miniatures in the range I want. I think I'll also potter around with my Moria and Rohan stuff, laying the foundations for expanding those forces several months down the line, so check back on the blog soon for more Middle-Earth miniatures.
Saturday, 15 September 2018
As Artorian begins to make his way to the city of Gravenport, other forces set their eyes upon the Court of the Silver King...
Saturday, 8 September 2018
I'm rather excited about GW supporting Lord of the Rings again! It was the game that first got me into the hobby and I'm really looking forward to jumping back in. The lacklustre (and overly expensive) Hobbit releases just didn't do it for me, but the promise of new Lord of the Rings releases has me wanting to gather together my old miniatures and make something of them. As I mentioned earlier in the year, I've decided to work on my LOTR stuff and I think I may see about doing some expanding of my collection as well.
|1985 Mouth of Sauron|
Hopefully I'll soon be visiting my parents, and when I do I'll be able to pick up a force or two to bring back to uni with me so I can get some more progress done on my various LOTR armies. I'll certainly have the time to start indulging in Middle-Earth soon as my Talons of the Emperor are getting closer and closer to being completed. Though LOTR wasn't in my goals for this year (and I doubt its a project I'll wrap up in a year), I am more than happy to put other projects on the back burner, and dive back into a classic game and setting that is very close to my heart. Check back on the blog to see more Middle-Earth goodness soon!
Friday, 31 August 2018
More after the jump:
Friday, 17 August 2018
After having fended off the predations of the Duc d'Castlefells, Artorian must now find his way out of the high hills by any means possible...
Saturday, 4 August 2018
Following the magical attack on the Revenger, Knight-Questor Artorian Fellstrider finds himself wrecked on the coast of the Gloom Sea. He must find his way to the city of Gravenport, and from there onto the Lion's Den and the Silver King himself. First however he must overcome the Castlefells...
Sunday, 22 July 2018
|This month I've been adding culture and custom transfers to my Custodes|
I largely followed the WHTV tutorials for painting these Custodians (as I discussed previously), though I did include some Baharroth Blue when painting their swords between the layers of Temple Guard Blue and the White. They are almost done now, just final touches and tidying up in places to do now. I will base the whole army at the end when I've worked out how I'll achieve the effect I want.
|(Left to Right) The Last Judgement - Michelangelo, Lady with an Ermine - da Vinci,|
Lady with a Unicorn - Raphael, Portrait of a Woman - Veneto
|(Left to Right) Cosimo I d'Medici - Bronzio, Pope Alexander VI - dell'Altissimo, Leonardo Loredana - Bellini|
Sunday, 8 July 2018
'At the Court of the Silver King' is going to be my first narrative-driven foray into painting and modelling in the Age of Sigmar. At the centre of this shall be my Flesh Eater Courts army, the mad minions of the legendary Silver King himself. I shall also be converting several small war bands representing characters and forces that are travelling to the Silver King's court with myriad interests and intrigues in mind.
As I complete characters and units for this project I shall be posting them on the blog alongside some narrative prose to create a sense of this corner of the mortal realms I am creating. While I cant guarantee a high quality, I hope this will give me the chance to try and improve some creative writing skills as writing is something I enjoy doing and would love to get better at!
I started getting miniatures together for this project when the Flesh Eater Courts battle tome first came out (about two years ago I think) but due to uni and only having sporadic moments of interest in AoS I haven't really gotten much done. With the release of the second edition of Age of Sigmar I have been reinvigorated and I've gathered together all the plans and notes I started compiling two years ago in order to actually start this planned narrative project.
We begin our story on the wind-swept deck of The Revenger, a ship of Scourge Privateers taking their deadly cargo across the Gloom Sea...
Sunday, 24 June 2018
|The crusade begins!|
So the core of this force will be two squads of three Custodian Guard, one with spears and one with swords. To make these I have mixed and matched three Custodes with three easy-build Stormcast Liberators, alongside some spare bits. One thing I've really tried to do with my Custodes (where the kits have allowed it) is to create a strong, square silhouette. I decided to start this force back when Trajann Valoris was first previewed because I loved how square he was and how solid and intimidating a look that is. I've therefore endeavoured to create a 'squareness' to my Custodes, creating vaguely square silhouettes by refraining from using tall helms and changing poses to create strong visual lines.
Fluff-wise I am terming this force: the Mourner-Host, being composed of members of the Adeptus Custodes who ordinarily do not leave the confines of the Imperial Palace due to the fact they primarily do not serve the Emperor in combat-roles. These are his librarians, his philosophers, and the private executioners of his will. Though they maintain a traditional colour-scheme of gold and scarlet, they continue to wear the black of mourning as they mourn not only the Emperor, but also the death of his dream for humanity to which they were particularly close. They have been gathered by the Lord-Historian, newly wakened from his millennia long cryo-sleep, to accompany him on his travels through the Imperium. The wisdom, knowledge and ideals they bring with them, will be a familiar assurance to the Lord-Historian who has found himself in an Imperium far more alien than any he has awaken in before.
Apologies for the poor photos, I only had my phone camera available and not the best lighting conditions but you get the idea of what I'm doing.
- The Neo-Sigillites
Made using Custodes torsos and Stomrcast legs, this is a conversion I have seen many times before and though looked quite effective. Mix and matching Custodes with Stormcasts was not as difficult as I thought it might have been, it just required a little thought when cutting and some use of green stuff to cover the few gaps. I then added Allarus helmets to keep their silhouette low and squarish which I'm going to paint red in lieu of them having crimson plumes. I've added books at their hips as I imagine these as the keeper's of the Emperor's personal library on Terra. They are loyal servants of the Lord-Historian who attend to him while he is in cryo-sleep, now venturing forth at his side to collect new materials for the Emperor's library.
- The Watchers
So I made these using a combination of Custodes legs and Stormcast torsos. I've been very unimpressed with attempts I have seen by a few people to make the most of the Custodes kit by simply sticking spare heads and weapons onto Stormcasts. In my opinion they just look like Stormcasts holding the wrong gear, and I think my torso/leg swap is much more effective at making them distinctly custodian. I've also added some cloaks to help add 'squareness' around the shoulders and emulate the robes of mourning seen on the cover of the book 'Watchers of the Throne' which has served as inspiration for my colour scheme. These individuals with their long plumes and ornate armour are philosophers, they are known as the Watchers because they spend much of their time standing upon the walls of the Imperial Palace, looking out over the surface of Terra and ruminating on the nature of death and sacrifice.
I've then build two Shield-Captains with the appropriate load-out to lead each squad.
- The Wall
This was the very first character I envisioned for this force and rather than waffling about how I put him together I'll just paste my first write-up of fluff I wrote for this army: This grim Custodian never speaks, indeed no one knows quite who he is or how old he is. His armour is certainly aged and atop his head The Wall wears the helm of an Imperial Fists Legionnaire. Many believe he was there upon the walls of the Imperial Palace when the traitors laid it to siege (from whence he has gained his moniker from the Watchers) and wears the yellow helmet in remembrance of a fallen companion from that battle. Whether he is a truly ancient Custodian, or if many have inherited the armour and role, nobody knows. When he leaves the Palace, he is followed by a procession of Custodians who feel drawn to him as a manifestation of the Emperor's will and follow his silent commands into war. Mysterious as The Wall may be, he is respected and revered by his fellow Custodians for being a near-mystical expression of of their order's duty and vigil of remembrance.
- Commodus Vendyrion, Lord-Magister
I wanted to try and adapt the look of a basic Custode, making them sleeker and more agile looking. My initial idea was to convert a squad of Custodes Assassins but non of my ideas panned out so I decided to just take my best ideas and apply it to a single miniature to use as a shield-captain.
Fluff-wise, he is a keeper of ancient knowledge from old Terra, a master of mysticism and an expert on long-extinct ideologies that promised their adherents enlightenment. His armour is not marked with the same symbols of the Emperor as his brethren, instead I will cover it in arcane glyphs from times long forgotten.
- The Emperor's Executioners
Alongside this core of my army I have my Allarus Custodes who I think are absolutely gorgeous miniatures. As hunters of enemy commanders, I decided to make my unit look like grim executioners and swapped out their heads for ones with cowls from the Deathwing set, while removing the plume to lower their profile. This order was responsible for the execution of prisoners, political dissidents, and others during the Unification Wars. They persisted until the time of the Horus Heresy and the Scouring, keeping a level of fear and order on Terra in that turbulent time.
- Theophilos Drax, The Lord-Iconoclast
I happened to have another Stormcast body from an old abandoned project which I have extensively converted into a Shield-Captain in Allarus armour. The Lord-Iconoclast joins the Executioners but has a duty beyond simply killing the leaders of the Emperor's foes. He is also tasked with the destruction of enemy artefacts. This position has existed in some form in the Custodes since the Unification Wars where the Lord-Iconoclast was charged with the destruction of ancient Terra's holy places following their conquest by the Emperor's armies. I see him and the executioners as those more responsible for clean-up and pacification than actual combat, but now sally forth with the Lord-Historian in hopes of fulfilling their ancient roles in a new galaxy.
It was my birthday recently and I received some more Custodes stuff which I should hopefully start work on soon. This includes some Vertus Praetors whose helms I've already purloined for the Watchers, Trajann Valoris himself (who I'm very excited to work on), and Tribune Ixion Hale from Forge World who I plan on converting into my Lord-Historian who will lead the force when I'm not fielding Valoris. Lots still to do on these current ones though and I hope that this entire project doesn't end up lasting longer than this year!
Sunday, 20 May 2018
|Looking forward to this!|
For my Talons of the Emperor I am pretty much just following the techniques from the following videos:
Sunday, 6 May 2018
I was wrong.
Once again I have stumbled myself into another big-ish project I hadn't planned on doing. As well as improving paint schemes; I've had some ideas for conversion, basing, and incorporating disparate miniatures into a single force. This is proving to be a fair bit of work thus far, but rather enjoyable and should I get it done in a timely fashion (i.e. this year) I think I might do something similar with my Isengard forces. Below I've collected some pictures of my progress thus far:
Sunday, 22 April 2018
As I mentioned in my hobby goals for the year, I plan on getting myself a box of Custodes every time I finish a project. My first few boxes will be geared towards a 1000 points doubles list, then afterwards I hope to build up to a 1500 point force of pure Custodes supplemented by roughly 500 points of complementary misc. Imperium stuff: e.g. Sisters of Silence, Eisenhorn, etc. I don't intend this to be ultra-competitive (after all, double Custodes isn't exactly a tournament-winning formula) but I hope to have a decent variety of things that I can have fun with. My list will be roughly as follows:
- Shield-Captain x1 (weapon yet to be determined)
- Guards x3 with Guardian Spears
- Guards x3 with Sword and Shield
- Allarus x3 with Axes
- Vertus Praetors x3 with Hurricane Bolters
I'm hoping to make this army out of four boxes of stuff plus some various bits bought off of eBay as I'd like to convert every miniature in this army, even if it is only by a little. From a modelling perspective I'd really like to flesh out some of the more niche roles the Custodes perform for the Emperor. After all, besides being peerless warriors the Custodes are described as being diplomats, philosophers, artisans, assassins, etc. and I'd like to try and represent that on the tabletop with some little characterful conversions.
|I have not read this book but I have been inspired by the cover art|
|My hobby habits in a nutshell|