Thursday, 23 January 2014

2013: A Year of Nerdery - Part 2

The last post was all about Maisey and Jeff showing off what they painted last year. Well this post is all about me showing off what I should’ve painted in 2012.

That’s right, I’ve finally finished the 2k army that was meant to be finished a year ago. Who da man...?

...Never mind. Here’s two thousand points of Hochlanders:

At the start of 2013, I had 37 models left to paint before the Blades of Taal and the Flagellants were finished. The flagellants were featured in Cult-o-Matic 9000, whilst the Blades were finished about a week ago:

Actually, looking back at what you’ve done over the last year can be quite surprising. At any given moment, I generally feel like everyone else is achieving more than me, but it turns out, I made a fair bit in 2013, it just wasn’t army-shaped; there were random side projects - things painted for one-off scenarios and suchlike.

And, of course, I added a battle standard and a jade wizard to the Hochlanders.

And actually, I produced quite a lot of scenery (by my standards).

The fact that deadlines work is nothing new, but 2013 definitely taught me that long-term deadlines are too abstract. I’m a sprinter, not a long-distance runner. Most of the things I did happened within the two weeks leading up to an event, which means I need to use that to my advantage in 2014.

Anyway, all this talk of productivity and targets and so forth is missing the point: 2013 was a damn good time. Whilst playing lots of games might not produce good blog material, it did mean that I had fun. Lots of it. There are a number of plans afoot for 2014, and even if only half of them come to fruition, this year promises to be even better than the last.

Bring it the fudge on. 


Sunday, 19 January 2014

2013: A Year of Nerdery - Part1

So 2013 is over, 2014 has begun. So what did we all do in 2013 and what do we want to do in 2014?


Well, it started off kinda busy, with a massive painting effort to get my Dark Angels up to 2k for the Nerd Thunder event. Then I went a bit further with them, and they ended the year at a respectable 2.4K of stuff. Which isn't too bad since I haven't touched them since March. The middle of the year was a bit of a hobby drought for me. There was some mild flings with Dark Eldar (I really shouldn't have painted them yellow) and some more Space Marines (I think I've had my fill of power armour, for now) but neither really took off for me and have been shelved.

The Vampires, well we all know that they have been growing fairly fast and the back end of the year I kicked back into gear. I managed to actually finish off a bunch of units and gather in the next lot of dead things. I finished the year at a tasty 4.5k of Vampires.


Also, I've managed to churn out 500pts of German Bolt Action troops as well. These being Heer Grenadiers.

Since Neither the Dark Angels or Vampires existed when we started this blog I'm really impressed with myself that I've managed to paint nearly 7k of models in 24 months without getting too distracted. They don't look too bad either.

Looking forward to 2014, well there is certainly going to be more Vampires on the menu, and a secondary Fantasy project involving Ogres (more on that later). The Bolt Action is certainly going to get some more love and I've got the next 500pts for Heer planned, and I know I want to do 500pts of Fallschirmjägers (Paratroopers for those who's German is rusty) at some point soon. As for 40k, well the butterfly still hasn't landed on anything that grabs me by the lapels and screams PAINT ME!!!... I'm sure something will turn up. I hear rumours that the Imperial Guard get a new book this year.


2013 kicked off for me with the Campaign week of awesomeness and mucho gaming. For this I had been feaverishly painting all the Dwarfs ever. 2012 had been dominated by the stunty beard wearers and so was the opening few months of 2013, rangers, miners and artillery. As campaign week hit I finally had the entire plan that I started in June of the previous year finished. Ahhhh.

After the campaign week we were kinda casting around for the Next Big Thing. We posited some sort of Dark Eldar multi-user mashup, none of us really got to grips with that. Then I got very, very excited about Inq28.

 And accompanying Grey Knights

But that didn't go anywhere really either, eventually we realised that the Next Big Thing was going to be playing with the results of the Last Big Thing! We've done tons of warhammer gaming and a fair number of more roleplay style sessions helping to cement characters and build the world we inhabit. Of course, me being me, I couldn't let it be just that so into the campaign world strode Rhagat king of all the goblins:

(just don't let them know that's what he thinks of himself as, we'll have trouble with Skarsnik...). His horde has grown considerably over the year and is teetering on the edge of completion. Hopefully I'll be able to complete it before gobbo fatigue shuts the project down.

Toward the end of the year I was fooling around with Dwarfs again, building new characters to expand the army and waiting for the rumoured new army book just around the corner before I go any more stunty crazed! This is definately going to be part of 2014's mission.

So, 2014 then? What's in it for me? Well, a lot of upheval for one, I still don't know exactly what the year holds employment/college wise so it is difficult to make too many real plans. That leaves lots of time for wurbling about hobby plans as distraction, huzzah! Amongst the schemes rattling around in my head. Well, first, the Night Gobbos really don't have many more to do before the original workometer is complete. I've got some expansion ideas (ALL HAIL TOADSQUIG) but I really want to get the solid core of the army done and dusted. That does mean painting 10 more bleedin' spiders but I shall head down and power through it. I'll likely finish the Grey Knights too as they were always designed as a small allied army and will be useful when we get a 40k yen back.

Next, well, there's allegedly a new Dwarf book on the horizon, I think the likelihood of new core troops is somewhere between slim and none so I'll still be in my warrior quandry but doughtless there will be some new shinies and reorganising to be done. There's plenty of Dwarf yet to paint. My addiction over the years means that well ain't going to run dry soon...There will certainly be more characters and the Stormborne Impossible Mission Force - Stromni's gang of mad-hard rangers that have been used as somewhere between the SAS and James Bond in the roleplay sessions.

But what of the new. this is me! Captain Butterfly Brain! There must be some new on the horizon! Well, there is, firstly, Maisey introduced me to Bolt Action and I thought it a splendid little game. Cheap too, so I'm dipping my toe into the frosty waters of the Red Army. I've got the best part of 500 points almost painted and I'll see if it goes further than that. Next, another new Warhammer army I think. This time, the Dark Elves. I've loved 'em for a long time and they've finally, finally fixed the core troop models. I'll be doing some test painting to check that they are a go-er but I suspect that the tiny numbers involved (seriously, 1000 points is not even one of my gobbo archer units and a horde...) might make it a real possibility.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Drag Queens and Sprue Trebuchets

Due to popular request ('popular' meaning one person asked, and I'm a pushover) today's post brings you something special. Something dreamy. Something that tried to apply make-up atop a galloping love pony. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Precious, the Brettonian Drag Damsel!

Frequent readers may remember Mary, John's K'Daai Destroyer. Well, this is one of his more eccentric creations. Some of you may be wondering why John felt the need to create a Brettonian Drag Queen (others may have thought 'why not?') and amazingly, there's actually a perfectly good reason.

Many moons ago - indeed, at the very beginning of this blog, in January 2012 - I wrote:
"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."
Just the Battalion box. Whatever you could carve, bodge, sculpt and convert. Make it as hench as possible. So obviously, a level 4 damsel using the Lore of Life would be pretty nifty. Problem was, there weren't no wimminz in the box.

Yes, that's a cigarette in her right hand. She fashioned
the hand-mirror out of her favourite frying pan.

John figures Precious was once a boy of such incredible raw talent that he was taken in by the Lady of the Lake. Rather than breaking down gender stereotypes and becoming the first male wizard in Brettonia, he got a bit confused, and assume he had to become a lady to do the job.

Dem hips. Dat ass.

You can actually see photos of her beehive hair at the sculpting stage in a post from February 2012: The 'Lady' of the Lake.

Aside from sculpting her cracking rack, I can claim no further credit. John is also hesitant to claim any credit, since his painting skills have seen significant improvements over the last few years. That, and he did a deliberately terrifying job with the face paint.

Why so seriousss?

Other hilarious achievements of that army included the trebuchet built entirely from sprue, the chains from the archer's stakes, and a bit of string.

The important thing is that it was built out of sprue from the battalion box. Nifty, no?

In case you're wondering, Precious pretty much won the tournament for us.

We'll be back soon, possibly with some retrospective stuff on 2013. Maisey in particular has been a busy, busy bunny.


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Ermagahd, snowy trees!

I've had a snow board for ages. It's very nice. Didn't have any scenery for it... until now.

Behold, the trees of alpine delight:

What the whole tree-buying experience taught me is that oh dear sweet Hasselhoff do you need a lot of trees to cover a table. It might not look like it, but there's over forty in that photo, and I really haven't covered much of the board.

As much as one answer would be to buy even more trees, my bank balance would probably start looking squiffy. Next on the hit list will be the edges of some mountain slopes, along with some rocky outcrops, so as to make this board look like the mountainous region it needs to be.

In case you're wondering, the trees are by Bachmann Scene Scapes. The biggest of them are about 11" tall. I got them off ebay for about £3 per big tree, which is a pretty sweet price compared to some other big manufacturers. Of course, when you're buying forty trees, that racks up quickly.

The bases are MDF circles from Sarissa Precision. They were attached with a hot glue gun, and then textured with a mix of baking soda and PVA before getting a coat of white spray primer.

In other news, Clan Voltik have finally emerged from the loathsome pit once called Hergig. They've been digging up the banks of the River Kiefer looking for iron. Feeling that this was not the best news ever, the army went in to put a stop to it, and failed miserably on account of being assailed by all the rats.

Skaven: like being attacked by a carpet full of rusty needles.

The army retreated in a (vaguely) orderly fashion back to Fort Schippel, and put a nice red mark on the map in case anyone forgot that the Kiefer Valley is now full of whiskers, fur, and toiling rat-slaves.

Since we haven't updated the campaign map on the blog for some time, here it is:

There's loads of developments on it, some of which will be covered in issue 2 of the Hochland Gazette. When I get around to writing it.