Bring on the Warhamsters!
Sunday, 29 January 2012
Bring on the Warhamsters!
Saturday, 28 January 2012
The Buddha said that all life is suffering, and let me tell you, one thing about painting a [CENSORED] Empire army is that [EVEN MORE CENSORED].
No, I love ’em really. I’m doing a thirty-stage paint scheme for six-point models, so I must do. Either that or I’m a masochist.*
Some may wonder: why am I painting a new Empire army, when I already have this one?
Two reasons. One: you can never have enough silly moustaches in your display cabinet. Two: because about three months ago, my friend John bounced up to me with the sort of childish glee that only a burly, six-foot Kung Fu teacher can, and asked if I’d team up with him to take part in GW Oxford’s doubles tournament on 7th February. Each entrant was allowed to use the contents of any one Warhammer Battalion box. I swear I spent at least three seconds contemplating the purchase of a battalion box with the attribute ‘not Empire’.
The Hochlanders in this battalion will form the basis of the army I’ll be painting up for the Beard Bunker’s campaign, but thanks to my deadline of February 7th, I need to paint the first 800 points rather sooner than everyone else.
With only a week and a half to go before the tournament, and having started two months ago, my plan was to have everything bar the knights done at this point. A fairly reasonable goal, I felt. Forty state troops. Two months. Very doable.
Now, because I’m the man, I have thus far produced fifteen state troops.
[Insert embarrassed cough here.] Yeah, this is going to be a busy week.
However, to prove that I’m not a total failure, I thought I’d include a picture of the newly painted handgunners on a pretty little movement tray.
The movement tray is just one of the pre-made ones GW sell, as opposed to a modular one. I’ve turned it around and filled in the bit that used to be the extra space at the back with sprue. Not only does this prevent them from sliding out of their tray when placed on hills (my Middenheim handgunners just look at me accusingly when I ask them to walk up hills, and then stage a lie-down protest), but it also means that there’s a bit of a scenic buffer between them and enemy units, so if and when they get charged, their handgun barrels aren’t going to get in the way of enemy models.
The rag-tag uniforms and well-maintained handguns were in no way inspired by Bernard Cornwell’s portrayal of a certain regiment of riflemen in the Napoleonic Wars.
Fortunately, the scheme also ties into Hochland nicely; its people are famed for the craftsmanship of their blackpowder weapons, despite it being a relatively rural province.
The length and colour of the sergeant’s hair also has nothing to do with a pugilistic Yorkshire-born officer of the 95th. Nothing whatsoever.
I sincerely hope I'll be posting soon, telling you all about the 700 points of Empire I painted in a week.
There may be other people (people called ‘Jen’, for instance) who’ll be thinking fat chance right about now, and not without precedent. Pff, whatever... it’ll be fiiiiiine....
*Those two options are so not mutually exclusive.
Thursday, 12 January 2012
The first thing that should strike you is that the armour looks a bit, um, ragged. This is for a reason, I want these guys in corroded armour and by attacking them with a dremel for a while I create texture for the Jeffrust to work with. The second thing might be the lack of a banner, shields or a couple of heads. The first element is just to make it easier to paint the standard bearer. The solid plastic banner is a big ol' slice of win but it is somewhat large and gets in the way of the brushwork. The same problem informs the leaving of the shields until later. The lack of heads is because I am eagerly awaiting a parcel from a Polish company by the name of Puppetswar. This will contain some suitably gribbly-wibbly heads to adorn five out of 14 models in each of the units. Should provide some icky character.
With the banner bearer being so sparse I figured you could get a look at the pitting on the armour. A great deal of additional texture will be provided by the Jeffrust painting (an example of which can be seen below)
but the pitting will really raise the game to the level of "how the hell is that holding together?". The pitting was achieved by attacking the piece with a sharply pointed grinding tool in my (cheap knock-off) dremel. Vary the depths and put in some bigger holes. When finished give the piece a clean up with a craft knife to remove most of the extruded material.
This guy was a total kitbash. I had some plague monks to make some of the Ragged Crusade marauders. I figured that the gong would make a splendidly Nurgle musical instrument for the warrior unit. Simply glue it to a standard bearer arm, trim off the excess and add one of the standard tops to finish the job. Lopping off the weapon head and replacing it with the drumstick end from the Plague Monks polished off the model nicely. Looks properly grim, "Bring out yer dead!".
And to round off our look at my first minis we have the champion. This was more of a conversion than the musician. First I dry-fitted a bunch of the parts to be sure that I wasn't going to create an ill-fitting monstrosity. The scythe is from the Empire flagellants sprue (more marauders!) and was attached to the warrior champion arm with delicate application of plastic glue. The important thing in this kind of conversion is flat, 90 degree cuts on the joins. I have a nifty tool called The Chopper II (no, really) that makes this sort of thing a snap. <tangent> Might have to do a "what I use" featurette sometime...</tangent> With plastic models there is no need to pin any componants so long as you have a good join, a decent plastic glue and patience. Once the glue is dry the bond is solid as a rock. It is a much different story to join metal to plastic.
Well that is all, I leave you with this musing, how cool would this guy:
|Image taken from Games Workshop for illustrative purposes|
Look as an old school Nurgle Undead Champion? Maybe swop out the weapon head to give him a different profile. Can totally see him leading a unit of chosen. Until next time fellow Dwellers.
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Monday, 9 January 2012
...and end up creating this instead:
If you just had a twinge of recognition, I feel your pain. Or rather, twenty-one unpainted Dark Eldar models and three discarded Tyranid Warriors (amongst many others) feel your pain.
New projects: they're great, unless you have too many of them. I can get excited about many many things, if I let myself get carried away. I’ll have what some call ‘Hobby Butterfly’ syndrome, and develop Sprue Blindness (when you have so many unassembled models populating your house that you can no longer decide where to begin). Clearly, this is unacceptable. There must be control. CONTROL!
Control is good, unless you assert too much of it. I can do an amazing job of making solemn promises of army monogamy. Quoth the army selection techpriest, “Do you, Charlie, take this Space Marine army to be your rules-compliant list? To have and to hold, ‘till death do it sunder on turn three or thereabouts?”
There’ll be a honeymoon. I’ll stare enthusiastically at the little blighters just long enough to get one squad painted up, when some other project, winking at me alluringly and promising untold excitement begins to tempt me away. “No!” I say, with desperate fervour. “I’m saving all my love for that there Space Marine army.” That’s fine if it works, but if I’ve now lost the buzz for the Space Marines whilst successfully clinging on to my hobby monogamy, I’ll simply stop doing anything hobby related at all. For shame, for shame! [By the way, try saying ‘hobby monogamy’ out loud, it’s great.]
What does all this mean? It means, give yourself some limits in the number and ambitiousness of your projects, but not to the point where things stop being fun. Obviously, it’s a limit which will be different for everyone. For me, I find I’m usually quite happy with two concurrent army projects and one scenery project. That way, at any one time, I’ve got three things to do. If one of them starts to feel like an obligation, then I’ll stop, because the hobby is meant to be fun! Instead, I’ll work on one of the other two projects, which will now taste that much better for having the sweet, sweet tang of procrastination... and polygamy.
Friday, 6 January 2012
So now I'm set with the main characters of my army. Next step is to work out what units I'm going to include and what the colour scheme will be (HINT: It wont be red!). This however, is a story for another time. Mostly because as Jeff hinted at in his earlier post there seems to be a new vampire book on the way so I'll be waiting for that before getting stuck into the army list details.
Thursday, 5 January 2012
Litko round base movement trays to facilitate the project. The Warriors though were calling me, I had done a Slaanesh themed army about eight years ago and had some ideas I had not yet used.
The next phase in selection for me is to take a look at the army list for the choices. Notice that this is the first time I have mentioned rules at all. The look and feel of an army is all important for me. I will struggle to paint an army if the models do not excite me regardless of how nifty their rules are. While I was reading the Warriors list I kept on looking at the Nurgle stuff, something about it was calling to me. My choice was made. I then embarked on writing a list for the army and musing on model selection as I went. This is the result:
I knew I wanted Knights, I knew I wanted a Palanquin mounted lord and I had had a mad idea for a warshrine mounted on a Stegadon. With those choices taken care of I needed to round out the army. A couple of units of warriors 14 strong to fit a character and be 3x5 was a decent start. Knowing that the magic of Nurgle is hideous I threw in a sorcerer (with a potion of strength as a nasty surprise for challenging characters). I was starting to realise that I would have precious few units in the army so any of them running would be a disaster. With this in mind I added a Hero with a Battle Standard to keep the army together when the going gets rough. I was musing about adding another unit of warriors but the look of the army in my head was starting to appear monotonous. Plus there wasn't any real "soak" unit that I could throw at something to keep it busy. To fill this role I decided on the awesome visual appeal and savage combat chops of an entire horde of Marauders. 50 of these guys makes a horrible challenge. With three out of the five ranks capable of fighting in combat that is a potential 31 attacks just from the regular guys and the champion. Given that the mark of Nurgle drops your opponants WS by 1 they are likely to be hitting on three's as well. Armed with hand weapon and shield means that they have that parry ward save and look the business too.
Something I tend to do is take an army list on to the next level to see what I can do to expand the army in the case of rampant enthusiasm. I figured that using the lances from the knights (seriously, does anyone take lances?) as halberds would look great so some Chosen were thrown in, I liked the idea of making a snail chariot so that was in too. Finally there was space for one more unit of Warriors and that was it! I often find that the difference between a 2000 point army and a 3000 point one is not an awful lot of models. Finally I start to plan the order of painting for the army. This begins by making a 1000 point list out of the 2000 point army as follows:
Make sure you only use models from the 2k list. You don't want to have to buy more models just to make a smaller army. I can now see that the priority paint jobs are warriors, knights and a sorcerer. This means that I can restrain myself from the parts of the army that are really exciting me (palanquin, marauder horde, warshrine) until the workaday parts of the army are finished. As though Warriors and Knights of Chaos can be called "workaday"... While I was writing the lists I was musing as to the story line of the army, that helps to inform painting choices but will have to be a story for another time.
As the newest recruit to war gaming by a long shot I fear all I can offer this blog is my somewhat bewildered observations of an unfamiliar and mystifying world. My knowledge of Warhammer races and the realm in which they live is somewhere between scanty and non-existent. I do love fantasy in general however (Tolkien, George RR Martin, Robin Hobb etc) and I inherited the model railway gene from my Grandad so the leap into miniature armies full of orcs, dragons and elves shouldn't strain too many muscles.
The sum of my Warhammer experience so far is a handful of trial games against seasoned generals who at first went 'soft' on me. Then they started to play properly (darn) and jolted me into an uncomfortable realisation that if I want my ponies to live, (and I do, I really do), I might actually have to pay attention and not rely solely on lucky dice rolls.
Splitting an Island of Blood set as a first purchase seemed an economical choice - the High Elves were shiny and my boyfriend Maisey was keen on starting a Skaven army. I had very nearly completed the first unit of Swordmasters when... BAM, something deliciously dirty caught my eye; the Warriors of Chaos. My pony lust is no secret to the other Beard Bunker guys so you can imagine my joy at finding mounted core units. The 'Willow-esque' Warhounds also won me over as did the impressive strength of even the basic models (i.e. I can avoid the tedium of painting hordes and hordes of cannon fodder!)
At this point I was unaware of the narrative being eloquently constructed by Jeff and Charlie so I am hoping they can spin my smelly brutes into the yarn in a credible way. I started reading up on Chaos gods and Tzeentch stood out as a likely candidate. The down side of having no clue how to pronounce this particular deity was soon cancelled out by the +1 ward save under his mark. Oh and the fancy blue colour scheme possibilities.
After reading that the Warriors of Chaos hail from ‘oop north’ I began visualising my marauders as grungy wildlings on stocky Icelandic or Fjord ponies. The Chaos Knights are by far and away my favourite models. I am determined to pimp them out like tanks so they do not suffer the same fate as my Ellyrian Reavers. (I merrily cantered them towards two enormous rat ogres…I know, schoolgirl error).
Next step? To the Warhammer oracle! (aka Maisey) armed with a want list so he can tell me what I can and can't have in a conversation reminiscent of childhood trips to ToysRus...
Emma 'I can has dragon?' Maisey 'No Emma you can't have a 570 point dragon in a 2k army'.
Emma 'Aww...I can has giant?' Maisey 'Yes you can have a giant'. Emma 'Yay! I shall call him Lilliput'.
Of course this did not stop me from ordering an ice dragon 10 minutes later on ebay :P He can sit next to me and look scary, even if I can't unleash him. Yet. Tomorrow I am off to the Oxford Games Workshop to buy my first unit of PONIES! What's that Maisey? I have to be sensible and buy a box of plain old warriors first and figure out colour schemes? Bah.
As a result we are all going to produce a 2000 point themed Warhammer army to showcase our style of gaming. That means every unit and character named, backstory written to give character to the army and to inform conversions and imagery, every model fully painted and based. We will make themed scenery to complement our armies and if there is time even build baggage trains for the armies to allow for convoy raids and skirmish gaming. As if that isn't enough we are going to share every stage of the project with you all here at the Beard Bunker. We'll take you through how we choose armies, how we design colour schemes, we'll introduce the backstory, demonstrate how we develop campaigns, show the process for some of our conversions and painting and above all... Have fun. So that is 2012 sorted as far as Warhammer fantasy hobby goes!
Doubtless there will be other stuff that will randomly appear as we are mercurial beings, prone to shiny thing syndrome. [Note, shiny thing syndrome is a disorder classified as going off at a mad hobby tangent because something shiny and new has been waved at you] That is why we are giving ourselves a whole year to make these armies as distraction will inform deadlines!
We hope that you enjoy taking this journey with us and encourage comments and suggestions. Heck, join in yourselves and play along at home! The first posts covering selection of armies and choosing lists should be appearing in the next few days. Personally I feel the foetid call of Grandfather Nurgle... time to break out the penicillin I think...
Tuesday, 3 January 2012