Thursday, September 29, 2016

Panzerfauste: My first battle

SPOILER ALERT: Gnomes: 1, Da Masta Cheef: 0

This originally was going to be a nerd rage fueled, vitriolic rant post! However the fine folks at Hysterical Games, and co-owner (I think) Rob specifically, corrected that notion before I even had the chance to type up that kindova post. 

Good print quality!
As everyone knows, I prefer Weird War II rather than purely historical minis for Bolt Action (but not Konflict '47 because its full of stupid zombies). My intent was to give BA's 2nd ed. a try in hopes that I'll like it a bit more, and to get things going with a new army, using the Gnomes from Panzerfauste. Thus I bought a starter set, with the minis swapped out to be all gnomes. It also came with some dice and a Quick-Start rulebook.  

The artwork is reminiscent of GW's old B&W art, albeit with a WWII flare! 
Not sure how these will roll without divots on the one side...
Being roughly the same height as the now out-of-production Kindred minis produced by Hasselfree Miniatures, my aim was more or less to have the Eleventy-First 'hop the channel' and fight in France (or Belgium, as they're equipped more or less identically). Waiting with eager anticipation for the slow sail across the pond from the UK to Tennessee, I was pleased to find a box on my front porch this past Monday. 
The Gnome CAD renders from their website.

Actually, I was kinda horrified, as the box looked as though it had had the living shit kicked out of it! Knowing it was filled with little resin minis, gave me an immediately bleak outlook on the contents. Luckily the minis were swaddled in what seems like half a roll of bubble wrap, and they arrived with only 3 breakages. One of which was due probably more to an air bubble which would have doomed it anyways, a 2nd was of the exact same mini (I ordered 2 identical squads as the Gnome options are quite limited currently), in the same spot but was a clean break, so it ought not be any trouble to glue back together. The last was a VB launcher snapped from a rifle end. 

The air bubble victim has already been 'bagged and tagged'.
Note, these are laying on a 1 inch grid and yeah, those teeny tiny weapons and arms!
Casts of the bodies look pretty clean, with only one showing a noticeable mold line, though given the small stature, it'll probably be lost when painted. However the weapons…seriously, WTF?!?!

I've heard many a complaint form Neverness, Kushial and Screech about the tiny, fiddly guns and bits for their bolt action kits. However by comparison to these, those BA rifles are like space marine bolters in terms of thickness! Yes, seriously! The SMG barrel is probably a millimeter at most? I have no idea how they survived shipment. Likewise I have no idea how you'd be expected to straighten it out without breaking it, or how they would expect it to survive normal use and storage. In fact ALL of the weapons fall into this same category, the the SMG is the most egregious example!

My first attempt at assembling a mini met with disaster, as an air bubble in the minuscule rifle caused it to snap in half at the slightest touch, and there was no fixing it! Zap-a-gap was proving futile (odd, as that's what Hysterical Games uses), and after about 30 minutes I was in a state of nerd-raging fury!

Kind of an ugly mold line, but when viewed at 'actual size' its hardly noticable.

Like any irrationally minded gamer, I blasted out a rage-filled 'WTF?' IM to Hysterical Games via Facebook. Of course they're 5 hours ahead of us, so no immediate reply was expected. Forcing myself to calm down, I put the broken mini aside and over the next hour or so, managed to assemble the 2 VB troopers (minus both of their VBS), and a single BAR trooper. 

VBs broke or mis-molded and removed. Their Bolt Action stats suck anyways. 

They're nice sculpts but seriously, I don't expect their weapons to last at all! Possibly not even the painting process which is anything but violent. The next day I got an apology for my disappointment in the minis from Rob @ Hysterical games, and in our working it out back-and-forth, he offered a full refund along with telling me to keep what I have! Wow, was figuring on shipping em back!

The thin weapon issue doesn't apparently affect their Orc Minis, and only a very few of their Dwarves. However they just recently decided to redo all of the gnome arms and weapons in metal to hopefully alleviate the fragility problem. Indeed Rob told me to give them a shout (seems they already know me well…) in a few weeks and for a 'token fee' they'll ship me some new metal arms and guns for my 2 dozen Gnomes, huzzah!

A good size comparison.
'Surrender you scrawny little Mon'keigh!'

Not quite, but it'll probably feel like it!
Content with that idea, in the cabinet they wait. Not much of a concern as my beloved Wolfy will be getting her 2nd bionic upgrade this coming Monday, and as such we won't be out and about (well, not to the FLGS for game night anyways), for at least a month or so whilst she recovers. So in the interim, its back to working on the Alpha Legion I suppose.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Just trying to map things out.


Not a whole of physical progress on the hobby front this week. I did however make a chart showing how my 30k army is coming along.

Its about half painted...which is already better than most of my past armies.

If everything was assembled (and its not), the army tops out at about the 1750 point mark. Its still a bit light in the anti-tank department but that aside its fairly well rounded. You'll also note from the chart that Centurion Asirnoth has been demoted to a mere Sgt. As cool as that mini looks, I want a commander who brings a bit more oomph to the tabletop. Thus I managed to p/u the BoC terminator Captain for $6 on ebay who will now lead the army.

Speaking of, I think I'm just going to build what I have so I can at least play a game of 30k if the opportunity arises. The current rate of build/paint/repeat method, odds are I wouldn't have a field-able army for at least another year at best. Not sure if I would ever complete my Alpha Legion with that sort of neverness-like

Edit: Thus I assembled another Sgt., but it'll be easier to paint before assembly is I guess I'll go into build everything mode after this mini.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Like a shot out of left field!

I painted an Eldar mini. 

I've always liked this model and every now and again the urge would pop into my head to paint it. However having no real want to play 40k instead quelled the notion and in the case this mini remained. This go round however, that thought was acted upon as you can see below.

This still needs matte varnishing and 'ard coat over the gems and eye lenses. I may add some writing on his bandana, something that equates to: 'Suck it Mon'keigh!'

I don't recall if this is simply an old, glorified Guardian, or rather a Dire Avenger Exarch. The point is kinda moot as I've always intended him to be an Autarch for my rinky-dink Iyanden contingent. This mini's most frequently fought battle however has been to survive the list building process and simply make it onto the tabletop!

Competing with my 2 Exodite Autarchs, of which both are better equipped and better looking than a primed white mini was the first hurdle. Then came the inevitable need for a Spirit/Farseer, as psychic accompaniment is all but required for the Eldar. To my knowledge I can only recall one game in which this Autarch was used, and that battlefield debut can be described with just one word: 


Attached to a squad of Dire Avengers, I was going 2nd and on turn 1 his squad suffered 2-3 casualties. Rolling boxcars for both LD and distance to run off of the table and I was in the unenviable position of having given up 1st Blood and Warlord VPs within minutes of the game's inception. As you can imagine it prettymuch went down hill from there. After that game, this fucker should have gone the way of ebay, but its hung around long enough to get painted this week instead.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Quonset the Hut!!!


Yesterday I finished my Quar-Bolt Action terrain piece. For those that missed my mention of it previously, its a very Foreign Legion monument and triage station. The project was a fun little exercise and a nice diversion from painting all of those Alpha Legion marines. The base is a piece of slate which was nicely textured for drybrushing to look like stone. However it also means that I'll have to be extra careful with this piece as one drop to the floor and it'll shatter like glass!

The spray painted camo was much more difficult than expected!

Gotta love those little leaves!

The Quar in the doorway was a bit of a test model using my new Vallejo paints. Blue skin aside (painted using good ol' GW paint), he's in the color palette of my forthcoming Bolt Action Army (which is still somewhere in transit). True its a bit drab, but then again I'm used to painting mainly sci-fi and fantasy minis. Even the greens and browns of GW's paint seems unnecessarily vibrant in comparison to replicating a 'real-world' military uniform (not that he's wearing one...).

As for the mini himself, with his neck, head, snout as well as his one remaining leg covered in protective fabric it would be a safe bet that he's a victim of some very severe burns. Possibly a former tanker or the like. Given the ridiculousness of the Quar's tank design, I would imagine that they'd be easy prey on the battlefield.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Punishing" some new colors...

Our 1st batch of Noble Knight goodies arrived Wednesday and once again the urge to paint this ship up like Da Bad Moons icon has hit me! This however is my Beloved Wolfy's ship, so the colors of it's repaint will be up to her.

Speaking of paint, I got the above to go with a few other Vallejo paints I bought at the FLGS for my forthcoming Bolt Action army. I've always used GW's paints...and a few from Coat D'Arms which are just some of GW's former paints. These however have more paint per pot and cost less! To go along with 'em I bought a pack of 6-well palettes for $2 at the craft store, and will soon give these a try!

Short post today though as we'll soon be heading out to watch Labyrinth on the big screen! Its one of Wolfy's all time favorite movies, and we already have our tickets!

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Quar are dead. Long live the Quar!

To be clear I'm referring to my (former) army of Quar, not Zombiesmith who both makes the Quar and is alive and kicking. True, they really are lovely minis, but like so many armies of my past, I tired of painting them. That and as they were used exclusively in Bolt Action, a game which I've had something of a love/hate/yawn relationship with, I thought it was time to send them off to become trade-in credit at NobleKnight.

In Memoriam.

A few Quar did survive their exodus however. First up, the mini that Kushial gifted to me this past Christmas. As you can see above, it has been painted up as a statue. This is just the first stage in a larger Bolt Action terrain piece which will be a memorial to France's (very) Foreign Legion.

Not sure of all of the specifics yet, but the gimpy Quar above will be the statue's keeper. Whilst he appears to be doing a good job of keeping the statue clean of bird shit he doesn't seem to be bothered by the plant growth that seems to be taking over the pedestal. The piece will also feature one of my DUST tactics quonset huts, which my beloved Wolfy suggested I paint a red cross onto. Sounds like a plan that'll tie it all together nicely I think!

My favorite pic of this bizarre beast in the midst of combat!

The last survivor of my Quar collection is this tank. It is to be transferred to my new Bolt Action army which is currently making its way over from the UK. Bolt Action 2nd. ed. is being released more or less right now, and I'll be purchasing the new rule book when its available.

Will I enjoy the game more than its prior incarnation?

Will I be using actual, historically accurate miniatures to represent my army?
lol, nope! That said they'll look a lot more um...realistic than the Quar did.

Is this whole exercise just an excuse to paint a new army that I wanted more than anything else?
You betcha!

I'll leave my new army's identity a secret for now, but rest assured I'll be giving Bolt Action another go at some point in the coming months. I'll still be holding at the 500 point limit initially, but as bigger games seem to be more popular I can just team up with somebody I suppose for the time being.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

My first Alpha Legion Sergeant is complete


Ya know, way, waaay back in the olden days of my youth, I was apparently a more talented mini painter than I am today. I thought things through before starting. I would think of things like:

 'once built these areas will be hard to reach with a paint brush, I'd better paint-as-I-assemble this model.' 

Ah yes, I see that old timer's disease is in its early stages, as currently I instead like to think:

'fuck it, I can reach anything with the right brush!' 

...and promptly start gluing bits together with little to no thought of the forthcoming painting process.

The result? It looks good, indeed no worse than any of my other Alpha Legionnaires, but man was this model was an absolute bitch to paint! The leather centurion's belt (...what's it called? Bob help me here...), connected to the Thousand Sons helmet beneath and...yeah. Painting in under there was a nightmare! Luckily part of painting recipe is to simply slather the whole model with an ink wash which darkened up (read that as: hid) any obvious mistakes.

As far as armament goes, this sergeant for my 'non-decal' Veteran tactical squad is equipped for versatility. He has the same bolt pistol and CCW of the rest of the squad, as well as a combi-flamer. That in concert with the squad's heavy flamer means any unit charging this bunch (or any failing to keep them at a safe distance) will be in for a mightily warm reception!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cutting myself while listening to Jim Gaffigan...

Sounds like I need to schedule an appointment with a therapist doesn't it?


The truth is nothing near as worrisome. Sunday, after taking the WIP pics for my prior post, I decided to continue work on the beast. My desk is in our living room, so whilst I started hobbying away, my beloved Wolfy pulled up a Jim Gaffigan stand up routine on the roku to watch. We love his comedy, he's hilarious! Listening to him whilst using an X-acto blade and working on minis? No, not a good idea at all!

Pieces on the floor, almost broke a bit or two due to spontaneous laughter, cut my thumb, blood on the dreadnought (that was hastily wiped off with a paint smeared paper towel which was then pressed onto the bleeding wound!), gluing pieces to me rather than the dread (always a concern but all the worse when laughing) and uh...yeah.

I highly recommend watching Jim Gaffigan's routines, just not while working on minis!

Despite minor self-inflicted injuries and several near catastrophes, I think the project coming along nicely:

New armor plating, search lights, and a tuning-fork-antenna-thing (aka: the bit I almost broke).
Additional hoses and hand holds (the latter of which may help in maintenance, but probably are a bad idea in close combat situations...). It looks good though.
Feet, rocks, and wargear liberated from the enemy (loyalist or really doesn't matter to the Alpha Legion).
An approximation of the forth-coming finished product. 

The heavy bolters' ammo belts were attached as well, though I forgot to take photos of that. I'm almost finished painting my first Alpha Legion Sgt., so with that minis' completion (which is something of a nightmare that I'll discuss later), I'll start the painting of this one.