Monday, October 31, 2011

My weekend dreadnought


Real life has been kinda rough here of late (more on that below) however painting minis (and indeed gaming in general) makes for an ideal escape from reality for several hours. As such my mini gaming (40k & otherwise) has picked up considerably in the past few weeks as I seek distraction. Three games were played last week, with a few highlights of the third one to be seen here.

Also last week, I picked up an AoBR dreadnought off of ebay for less that half the cost or a regular dreadnought box. Sure it lacks the options of the boxed set, but $44.50 is a bit much in my book, especially as for what? another $20 tops? I can get a FW dreadnought that looks far prettier. No I thought I'd just go on the cheap this time around. Anyways, it arrived Saturday in the mail, and with no plans for the evening, I set to work on it, finishing it up yesterday.

It came out pretty good I think. I dressed it up a bit adding a regular dreadnought base, heavy flamer, searchlight, smoke launcher & several purity seals from my bitz box. It still needs iconography but I am out of materials to make some Aurora custom decals. I also need to figure out what will be written onto its leg & torso scrolls, but for the time being it's 'done'.

I wanted a full HQ roster for the Aurora army, but with only 2 slots available, the librarian & chaplain are found vying for the same slot. However using this as a chaplain dread (probably just make it venerable) cures that problem (of course this only matters when I'm not running them on a split force org. list). At some point I need to get a drop pod for this guy too. My old Dark Hands ven. dread. w/multi-melta attested to the waste of points that this mini can be w/o one.

And now on a personal note...

In general I've kept my personal life off of here, however this time it will directly effect this blog, so I'll give it more than just the token mention. I will be going on hiatus from blogging here shortly. My stepfather is about to lose his short & brutal war with cancer, and I'm expecting the 'the call' to come now any day. My Bags are packed, arrangements made, etc.

Bob's been a central figure in my life for a little over a quarter of a century, and he's going to leave this world far too soon. Its going to be pretty rough for us (well even more so than it is now). I'll be bringing my paints with me, so whenever it is that i return to the blog, I'll have something to show you. As I said above, painting minis is a wonderful way to escape reality for a bit, and while I can't hide forever, the occasional respite will be needed. The photo of Bob above was taken @ my sister's wedding just a few short months ago.

Take care.

Da Masta Cheef

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How Quar are born.


I thought these were pretty cool & thought I'd Share them here for those that haven't seen them. The two following videos were made by Josh Qualtieri who created the Quar (scroll to the bottom for a brief description) & goes by the moniker of 'Headzombie' on the Zombiesmith forum. They're the first two in a series (don't quote me on that as I'm not sure if any more are forthcoming). Anyways, its been pretty interesting to see his set up, as in all of my years of mini gaming I really had no idea as to just how minis were cast. Also this ought to provide some good insight for those interested in home casting (looks @ Warfrog...).

And for those who've not seen it, the Quar short film (which is how I discovered them when it was posted on Miniature Review).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My 200th post!!!!

Umm....yeah. After that kindova title, the following will be rather anti-climatic. No speechs, confetti, marching bands or even hooters' girls (and let me just say that that last bit is nothing short of tragic). Anyways...

This is just a quick little post (honestly, till this morning I hadn't realized it would be #200) to show off my finished Rat Ogre. Digging thru the bitz box, I saw that I have a definitive lack in anything that looks 'Empire-ish'. I've never fielded a human based WHFB army barring my initial Chaos army, and that was back when I first tried the game well over a decade ago. However I did contemplate a Bretonnian army at some point as I recall, and found a Man-at-Arms' shield and the Bretonnian decal sheet. I also found a claymore without it's hilt and together they finished off the ogre's base nicely I think.

So there you have it. Number 200 in all of it's anti-climatic glory!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A big rat and a slice o' cheese.


Well, despite my thoughts of my henchmen horde as being a 'failing' list, in their battlefield debut they almost tabled a mech/vet. IG army. Indeed the only remaining model IG model was a demolisher (in which all of my units in its range were redeploying away from, as they couldn't hurt it). Coteaz should be considered the MVP I guess having taken down a chimera & Pask's Vanquisher single handedly. However I think the MVP award goes to the death cult assassin who stood his ground after his squad was annihilated. Flush with victory, the IG vets. then charged him and 2 rounds of HTH later, he cut down the fleeing IG survivors. Not bad for a 15 point scrub!

Matt Fucking Ward & the Eversor assassin on the other hand were both gunned down via massed shotgun fire after doing nothing more than looking scary. I dunno, the army has potential I guess, though as my opponent noted, my anti-tank options are rather limited.

Below is my finished Justicar for my Exorcist's Purgation squad. He was both finished in time for the game and the sole survivor of his squad. They did account for a Basilisk & a vet squad, so I guess they gave a decent accounting for themselves.

With the 'cheese' out of the way, I now move onto the big rat. lol, no more explanation is needed on that topic I suppose.

This isn't quite done as I've yet to decide on what to add to his base. 40mm bases are too large to simply flock without some sort of decoration. Otherwise they look more like wasted space than a proper base. I'll have to dig thru the bitz box to see if I have anything 'Empire-ish' looking to add. Aside from that, it was fairly quick & easy to paint with the Ogryn flesh wash once again doing most of the work for me. It certainly is a nice model though. Oh, and I've named him 'Scrum' which strikes me as an appropriate moniker for a rat Ogre.

My Skaven will be taking to the field tonight actually, though this big beastie won't be amongst them. They only have 70 gc or so in their stash, so he's a bit out of their price for the moment.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My GK 'Failing Circus'

I have no Stormravens, so the 'flying circus' name is out...


Despite my lack of want to play 40k, i will be around to play @ the FLGS this Saturday & am going to give the Retinue Horde a try. I started paint on my Purgation squad Justicar last night, and hope to at least have him finished before then. Matt Fucking Ward will also be in attendance. I know that I posted a prospective list some time ago, but its been worked over a multitude of times. Not so much looking for anything that's optimized (not an option here) rather this is just an attempt to hold (somewhat) true to my old retinue themes while giving some vague semblance of combat effectiveness.

Did I succeed? Who the hell knows, but at this point I'm tired of tweaking it for now. In the end, the various retinues are named close to the way they were before (only now being named after included acolytes who used to be inquisitors), and I'm sorely tempted to write the names of each named mini on their respective bases. Doing so in total opposition to Neverness's suggestion from 2 posts ago to not give every model a name! (ahhh, glorious spite!) Below is my list. It holds true (sorta) to my old retinue themes, and has the token allotment of primed SM vehicles trying to not look like they're codex hopping...

Honestly! This is just a test run! The Auroras will get them back, eventually...

So totaling up @ 1500 points even, this is what I've got:


Inquisitor Coteaz

O.M. Inquisitor Longshot w/Hellrifle & 2 servo skulls


Eversor assassin

Matt-Fucking-Ward (Paladin) with master crafted halberd

Venerable psyfleman dread


The Imperial Forestry Service:

6 acolytes w/5 autoguns (shush! I paid the point ea. for bolters, if i want them @ str. 3 then that's what I'll use them as) and (1) stormbolter)

Forestry Service Rhino w/Extra armor & plow

Skubb's Storm troopers:

(5) acolytes w/Hot shot lasguns & carapace
(1) acolyte w/boltgun & carapace

(1) acolyte w/hot shot lasgun & power armor

(1) acolyte w/carapace & flamer

Chimera w/extra armor & searchlight

Proust's Fire support:

(1) acolyte w/power armor, plasma-bolter
(2) acolytes w/bolters
(3) Heavy Bolter Gun Servitors

Ben Franklin's Chinese wave assault*:
(1) acolyte w/Carapace, Power sword
(1) Death Cult assassin
(1) acolyte with 'melta bomb' (Sgt. Pepper for those who remember him)

(7) Acolytes

Rhino w/extra armor & plow

Heavy Support:

(5) man Purgation Squad w/(4) Psycannons

Razorback w/Psybolt

Landraider Crusader w/Psybolt

*These were trimmed down to 10 models to fit into a rhino as 15 screaming idiots with next to no armor [some even without clothing] and pistols running across the table will die before ever doing anything useful!

So there they are, the bulk of my former allied retinues and their handful of Exorcist (GK) allies (kinda ironic to use that word in this particular context). Coteaz isn't present as I don't have the mini yet. I'll be proxying him with a friend's old Njal Stormcaller model, because he too is holding a bird.

Sorry for the lousy photo, I just took a quick photo before heading out the door this morning.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Some colors just don't come in a paint pot.

Its a bit early to be the peak weekend for the Autumn colors, yet this past weekend was postcard perfect in terms of weather and foliage. Not a cloud in the sky either day, cool but not cold mornings, and a nice breeze to keep it comfortable instead of getting too hot. So, over the course of two afternoons I hiked roughly 10 miles and never even considered picking up a paint brush. I did get my rat ogre in this week, so in the event I can keep myself out of the woods long enough to not inflict a state of exhaustion on myself (this weekend was so worth it though), then perhaps I'll have some painting progress to show you later in the week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So what happens when the side projects are no longer on the side?


Well I ended up going with the test rat pack for Morheim the other night. I wanted to see if blowpipes are actually useful, rather than just over-priced, ineffective & very situational weapons. It would seem to me that no, they aren't useful, and they are in fact the waste that i thought they were. True the dice weren't with me, but I doubt that the blow pipes would have made a difference even if they were. In the aftermath of the game (where my dice rolling continued to fail) 4 of the rats in my test pack (including three characters, one of whom was my assassin adept) died.

The test pack was thus disbanded after it's first and only game.

Despite this debacle I've been rather enjoying Mordheim, indeed so much so that I've ordered some minis from the FLGS to form a human mercenary warband. (the captain* @ right is just one of the minis ordered). I made up a preliminary list but will have to finalize it after I open up and see just what all is in the Empire Free Company (or warband in a box) at a later date. I'm thinking of using the Marienburg list, though painted in the colors of Sollund, with a theme of it being a desperate attempt to raise funds to reinstate Sollund as a province (or something like that, I'll figure it out later).

Also, this morning I got a shipping confirmation email for another 5 Quar that I ordered a little ways back. Those Quar will bring my total up to 11 Royalists, which will equal what I'll get when I buy the Crusader starter deal (again @ some later date). However the Quar, BFG, Mordheim, Heavy Gear, etc., all got me to thinking about 40k (or rather my lack thereof). I've played 40k I think twice in the last 6-8 weeks or so. That's it, and here's the kicker, I don't miss playing it.

At all.

I'm just not having fun playing the game. I'm sure the MC/pysker spam nid list that I got handed every week for several months had a hand in that, but no more than the never ending onslaught of the Space Wolves and their apparently now required 'deathstars'. I still recall when that codex came out, it felt like I was fighting the entire chapter as there are so many SW armies here locally (and more have been added since that time!).

In years past I had 'blackballed ' a player or two as their idea of fun was to murder you to the point of you weren't having any fun playing the game (looks @ Warfrog), yet lately it seems that everyone wants to play 40k like that! WTF? Do I really need a sign on the door to my own game room that reads 'No Powergamers'?

So ebay would be the only option right? Well, I've been thinking on that concept for some time as well, and the problem is, is that I'm down to my favorite armies at this point (barring the GK which are a test of sorts). They're the ones that I don't want to sell. Yet, why keep them? Most of 'teh nterwebz' scream 'PLAY WARMAHORDES!' whenever someone says that they're tired of 40k. However i don't like that game.

Nice minis, but I don't like the play style, or the fact that every character is a special character. Additionally, a friend of mine recently played a demo and commented that the game felt like it was designed for you to be a total dick. Yup, that's what I recall from my past WM gaming experiences in WM Mk I. I took a really long & hard look @ Mk II, and nope, still the same game @ its core. Killer combos from 'teh interwebz' is what its all about (even more so than 40k, cause WM is supposed to be for competitive players). Brian @ the Gentleman's Ones called it 'mental masturbation' in his first impressions of the game, and I couldn't have phrased it better myself.

Waits for the WM players to stop screaming their just as unbiased opinions about the games that I like to play...

So, at this point in time I find myself enjoying all of my (not-so) side projects, and instead shelving my massive 40k collection, while still not wanting to sell it. Indeed, its becoming a struggle to get myself to even paint my few GK minis just to see if that idea will work, if only to save all of my otherwise worthless inquisitorial retinues from the auction block. Hell, I feel dirty every time I open the GK codex (and I do so only sparingly). I mean, who (over the age of 13) actually read Draigo's fluff and thought 'wow, that was really good'?

Sure they're marketing this stuff towards kids these days, but kids have short attention spans and shallow pockets from which to spend. Whereas older players like me have long term addictions to feed. I dunno. I'm just not quite sure on just where to go from here with 40k...

* Photo is a copyright of Games Workshop & used without their permission or consent (though if I'm buying one then I think they ought to be grateful enough to allow me to post it w/o a disclaimer).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Skaven outbreak!


This is coming a little late after yet another long weekend spent with the family. Unlike the last however I was able to get some painting in. Quite a bit actually, though Skaven are rather easy to paint (speaking of easily painted minis, I also finished off a Blood Bowl lineman & brought two more close to completion).

Above you see my second & last Stormvermin & five verminkin for the Clockwork Forage. With these my warband is now fully painted with quit a few spare models in which to swap out in the case of casualties, new hires, etc.. My favorite of the bunch is he one with the meat cleaver. However that's not a Skaven weapon option so I'll just treat it like a dagger.

I would like to use him as a hero model, but Skaven heroes can't start off with shields. So I'll lump him in with the other dagger wielding slaves and just wait for a roll of 'the lad's got talent' to make him into a hero.

We're set to play Mordheim tonight actually, though I'm going to try out a different Skaven warband. This will make for only a half painted warband, but will let me try out a few other weapon options. While less experienced than the Clockwork Forage, my Reiklander opponent's dice consistently hate him, so my odds of victory are still pretty good!

Edit: I just bought a cheap rat ogre off of ebay, so i think I'll wait on using the new warband till that arrives!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Bleeding line


Its been a short week, so notta whole lot has happened hobby wise. Indeed about all that I've accomplished was the creation of some background fluff for my Quar and the creation of their Catrawd's company standard. With SoA players so widely scattered (the closest that I've found on their forum lives approx. 5 hours away), tourney play seems to be nonexistent, and instead games are of the beer & pretzels sort. Themed armies also seem to be a common, which I'm sure makes its appeal to me obvious to all.

First up, the standard:

The design is based off of a standard that was created by the Headzombie (the Quar's creator) and Pete (Pete who? you ask...well, damned if I know the answer to that). The two triangles are Quar numbers ('5' on top with '7' below) and the three lines in the bottom right corner is the Quar number '9'. This will one day become a battle standard and probably trimmed down to a square (removing the numbers) for a vehicle decal or two.

As for the fluff, first I'll offer a few translations for those completely unfamiliar with the Quar (and somewhat miraculously still reading at this point):

Catrawd: regiment (though the word 'regiment' itself appears in the Quar fluff as well, so perhaps not?)
Tok: The nation that spawned the Crusade against which all of the Royalist factions have been fighting (and generally losing) against.
Aklyinder: The Tokish general who deposed Tok's royalty, reorganized the military (structurally as well as in tactically) into the Crusader form it has now.
Quar: Kinda overweight looking, bipedal aardvarks with guns who have been at war with themselves for centuries.
Chyweethal: The Royalist MBT (essentially anyways). Its a turretless design like the WWII Stug. The resemblance ends there however as it looks more like an oval shaped British Mk 1 with a pedrail rather than tracked method of locomotion. It certainly is a bizarre vehicle.
Backside Plates: A name of my own creation to describe the 57th's spaced armor.

I think that about covers all of the otherwise untranslatable bits for you. So onto my bit o' fluff (which I'm pleased to say has been fairly well received on the Zombiesmith Forum).

57th Consolidated Catrawd - ‘The Bleeding Line’

The 57th is believed to have originally been a Tokish guard catrawd that mutineed and then switched sides after Aklinder’s reorganization of the unit into a light infantry catrawd. However due to the mutiny, the 57th never gained the trust of royalist generals. Unfortunately all of the supposedly mutinous Quar of the later renamed 57th Consolidated Catrawd have long since passed. Whether or not the mutiny actually happened, or the 57th simply got (and kept) the 'short straw' during a long forgotten retreat is something that no living Quar knows.

What is known is that the 57th is now the dumping ground of survivors from shattered, depleted and all but destroyed royalist units. Worse yet, the 57th is permanently tasked with the thankless job of going forward to ‘hold the line’ and then make an orderly fighting retreat, after more prestigious or simply intact catrawds have already pulled back out of danger. Needless to say, losses to the ranks of the 57th (be they killed/injured/or captured) tend to be exceedingly high. However as the Crusader armies continue to slowly grind their way forward, the 57th Consolidated finds itself with no shortage of ‘remnants’ with which to fill its continually depleted ranks.

Any Chyweethals that are unfortunate enough to get posted to the 57th are hastily equipped with 'backside plates' on the tank's forward facing along with the addition of a roof mounted, rear facing periscope for the driver. After such modifications, the Chyweethals make a mad dash to the front. Their chances of survival during their slow retreat are marginally improved with their newly up-armored 'backsides' facing the enemy. More importantly, they're be able to provide fire support for the rest of the 57th rearguard with their main guns, whilst moving in reverse! Interestingly, given the moniker of 'backside plates', it's never occurred to any other Quar regiments to add such armor protection to their advancing tanks...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Purgation Squad assembled, sorta


Just a quick update. I went outta town to visit my Mom & stepfather this past weekend, so there is little in the way of hobby to talk about. I did however finally get my Exorcist purgation squad mostly assembled in the days prior to leaving. The backpacks are still separate as is the justicar's helm (it won't be primed black like everything else will be).

I doubt I'll start painting on these this weekend though. My dad & stepmother will be down visiting & I'll be staying @ my grandparent's house with them. While granted its normal for me to paint minis there (not much to do around here @ night), I'm not bringing a model who's base has 'Matt Fucking Ward' painted on it to grandma's for a painting reference. Likewise I won't have any internet access there (Ma says that they're too old for computers) to allow me to pull up his photos on here.

Of course I have tons of other minis to paint, so I'll find something to work on...