Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Faerie Folk


Now, I know RTVoril and Neverness really wanted another Battletech post, but they'll have to suffer through a 40k post Whilst I'll be heading outta town yet again this coming weekend for another fun-filled trip, things are starting to settle back down to something approaching 'normal' and so I've started to turn my attention back to 40k. I still have more CBT to post about and even a gauntlet to throw at Screech on that front, but it can wait. My gamer attention span has held one course for far too long as it is...

Anyways, onto 40k!

After the forthcoming holiday weekend, I'll actually be able to make it to the game shop and play a game. Shockingly, that's something I haven't been able to do since July! To go along with that, my GF has rearranged her work schedule to be able to make that trip as well. Thus the Fem Fa'Tau and their newly acquired Hammerheads and Pathfinders will be out in force. Whereas, after waiting for a decade for a new codex, and then ignoring said codex for a month or two, I've decided that I'll be fielding my Exodites on my return to the FLGS.

With the old codex, Warlock powers were always just 'on' and my Farseer really only needed three powers for victory: DOOM!, Guide and Fortune.  As the Exodites are a bunch of 'tree huggers' in the eyes of most everyone, I made three markers for these powers using Wood Elf Faeries. I've been a long time fan of Bryan Froud's Faerie Art books which is what lead to the idea (his older books anyways, his more recent collaborations with his daughter are just books about dolls IMO). In any case, they've worked quite well and are all but required now.

lol, it looks as thought that Dragon is about to eat the 'Guide' whilst the Guardian is going to shoot the other two!

The Problem with that, is that now the Farseer has seven powers to choose from. However rather than choose, he randomly gets them via die rolls. Meaning more markers were needed (and this is ignoring the Psychic powers from the main rule book all together). Worse yet, Warlock Powers are in the same boat, and has I have three Guardian squads who still want their Warlock support, that means I'll need a potential of 21 Faerie Markers just to cover all of their possible psychic power roll combinations! WTF?!?

I bought a few Wood Elf bits from ebay a little ways back, and the other day (after coming to this new realization) I ordered another bucket load of Wood Elf bits, and bases to put them on. Collectively, these purchases (all of which were still much cheaper than any one Wood Elf Boxed regiment) will net me a veritable platoon of Faeries, and waystone markers (cause there are only so many Faeries to to choose from).

The first batch is started...

Hopefully I'll have them all, or at least most of them done prior to the Exodites new codex debut..

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weekend Warriors


My Dad came to visit this past weekend. So it was 2 more extra days off, and another long weekend spent working around my grandparent's place to get them settled in. As such they're pretty close to done on that front, so soon I can get back to my normal state of gaming on the weekend, and have more time for hobbying than just the 'quick and ugly' Battletech minis.

I picked up a Mobile Headquarters as I had proxied two of them in the game where my Ruff Puffs Mercs managed to have their Urbie kill a King Crab in one shot. Were it not for that one act, then that name would have disappeared, never again to see the light of day. Instead however, they've become my own little 'home brew' merc unit (when not playing podunk PDF forces). The only difference between the Puffs and the Podunks is the Mobile HQ addition (the remainder of the force is a motorized infantry company).  The Urbie, using the fame garnered from its infamous kill shot, has since been inducted into my Chisolm's Raiders company.

For the Puffs, I used the Mobile HQ, ICE -LL variant (Internal Combustion Engine - Large Laser) as a dirt cheap, slow  (and generally crappy though amusing) tank destroyer. However on receiving the actual Mobile HQ in the mail, it was HUGE! More and more the scale issues in this game are starting to annoy me (I put together a Toro last night and its the size of an assault mech, WTF!?!). Sure, the MHQ a glorified tractor trailer, in which people need room to maneuver inside, but clocking in at 25 tons, it dwarfed my new 60 ton Po tanks!

So hack saw in hand...

(yes really)

MUCH better!

I removed approximately half of the body, and most of the axles in the undercarriage, and made it more the size I think it ought to be. I also looked up 'communications equipment' to see what that does. At 3+ tons, it has tangible benefits, however all of the ICE variants have only 2 tons, so its basically a waste. Given that I've already modified the mini, I took it into skunkwerks and swapped the bogus equipment for 2 MGs (one on the left, the other the right) sharing a half ton of ammo, and put the other half ton into beefing up the armor. It can now take a gauss rifle slug to the front and not go internal. Plus there was enough armor left over to add another point to each of the other facings. I've named it the 'Garbage Truck of Doom!'

'The Poor Man's Patton Tank.'

Next up, at the repeated suggestions of Counterfett, I picked up a blister of Po Heavy Tanks for my Capellans. The Po is their quintessential MBT anyways, and is fairly respectable for its BV. Both tanks' muzzle breaks were mismolded, so I just cut them off. Not an all that unlikely field modification, and I figured that would just make the main guns recoil like hell now!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Conversions for the Draconis Combine


I've managed to squeeze in two little conversion projects into my schedule here recently. One yesterday, and the other a few days before my birthday trip. Both are relatively simple and small, but that's all I have time for right now. I miss the extensive hobby time I had prior to when everything decided to happen on each and every weekend of this month!

First up, I tweaked the weapons fit on my Catapult to be used for the Draconis Combine's K2 variants. Not being a fan of Arrow IV artillery, I quickly got bored with the Cat as a Capellan mech. Plus the launchers were too small (as opposed to the old catapult sculpt which was all legs and a tiny body...). Battletech uses wildly varied gun barrel sizes for the same weapons, so these giant PPCs really don't look out of the ordinary. Especially when sitting next to my AC20 toting Hunchbacks (where the AC20s bear no resemblance to those on say...a Demolisher tank).

Speaking of size issues, scale has always been out of whack in this game, however that works in this case, as I trimmed down a 75 ton Typhoon to use as a 60 ton Tokugawa. I had Tokugawas years ago, and wanted them again. However they went out of production in 2005, and don't exist on ebay or any other web-stores aside from a special order from Iron Wind Metals. Set up fee + cost of the blister + the minimum $10 in shipping would run me $30 for a blister pack. What is this 40k?

Thus the Typhoon met the clippers, exacto blade and Dremel, and now makes for a reasonable facsimile of the real thing. In hindsight, I ought to have removed the two coaxial pulse lasers on the turret. However there is a Tokugawa variant that has a small pulse laser, so I guess mine just has an odd twin-barreled variant of that weapon...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

38?!? Sheesh, I'm starting to get old...

However I still play with all of my 40k toys as well as video games, so I certainly don't act 'old' lol.

One of the views on the Frazier Discovery Trail in the Shenandoah National Park.
Nothing to report on the hobby front for this week as my GF and I took a long weekend trip out of town for my birthday. We rented a cozy little cabin in the woods, spent a day in Shenandoah National park, another at Monticello and finished up the weekend with a tour of Luray caverns. Now we're back home, back to normal, and flat broke. :-(

It was well worth it though!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Grymn Decals...

I figure some of you guys might be a bit tired of Battletech so I thought I'd show some of my meager progress on my beloved Grymn. Seriously, I love these little guys even though they lack a proper game system which they can call 'home' (especially as their 40k debut was less than stellar).

First off I changed the squad ID's. Initially I had a green swatches on the back of their helmets. Never really liked that though, and pondering on what to use on my Grymn walker, I decided  on using Necron decals. I've never seen anyone (locally) use them on their Necron armies, my own past army included. So why not? As an alien race, having their iconography in an indecipherable language makes sense to me.

I only have 3 Grymn troopers painted, but all three have the same icon as shown on the my squad leader's helm here, as does the back of her laptop. Its simple, and cut from a larger decal. Could be a squad name, number...who the hell knows? Also let me tell you, it was fun (not really) cutting the decal down to fit on that tiny laptop's screen! In the end it all looks good though (I think).

I also have the legs of the walker base coated and decals applied as some areas will be recessed and difficult to apply the decals to later.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hardly any time means hardly any painting time...

Whew, this is turning out to be a whirlwind of a month! My grandparents are moved in, and the entire weekend was spent trying to get them all settled into their new house. Indeed, most every night this week will be spent doing that. Well, at least for the beginning of the week, towards the end I'll be getting ready for a few days outta town with my GF for my birthday (and after all of this moving stuff, a vacation will be needed!).

Now that the heavy lifting is done, my Dad is coming down for a visit and to help my grandparents on the 22nd. Had the prior move dates not been moved back onto his anniversary (during which he and my stepmother were on vacation), he'd have been here to help with the move as well. Regardless, that visit will wipe out the one weekend that I had open for gaming this month as I'll be outta town over Labor Day weekend as well. As such there has been, and will continue to be minimal hobby time till September it seems.

I have had a few moments here and there to do a smidgen of painting though. My Grymn have received a little bit of painting time, but mainly I've only had time for Battletech. Tiny tanks, especially partial repaints are easily weaseled into my schedule!

At some point they'll get decals which will be the only thing that ties them together.

First up on that front, I've added the 1st Chisolm's Raiders to my unit roster. They've had a checkered past and to my knowledge were wiped out in the Fedcom Civil War. Rob insists they were rebuilt afterwards and may have been. Dunno, he's read more of the CBT fluff than I have, that or he's still trying to convince me to try the Dark Age crap. For the most part I've been pointedly picking out units that were wiped out prior to when that era started. The dark age era is epitomized to me by the bombast laser, which has a 'formula to calculate the roll needed to hit'.

WTF, really?!?

Like this game isn't convoluted enough...

Anyways, the best part of the 1st Chisolm's Raiders is that they have no unifying color scheme. This fits well with the ADHD type of time frame that my hobby time has been reduced to here of late. I can just sit down and paint whatever I want, without worrying about any kind of consistency. It also allows for repaints, or partial repaints as you can see on the Centurion and Scorpion above which were previously Draconis Combine units trimmed in red.

The large desert camo tank is an old Battledroids Hunter. The current Hunter tank is about the size of the Scorpion next to the old mini, so I'll instead be using it as a Fusion variant of the Ontos (pre-3050s upgrades). 2 LRM10s and 10 (!?!) medium lasers will make for a scary, if mud slow MBT. It does violate my 'no expensive tanks cause I hate the motive crit chart' rule but whatever. Every rule needs an exception I guess. There's also a temptation to use it as an Ontos LRM variant which would render that crit chart moot anyways as it wouldn't ever need to move.

I never liked how I went too light on the grey layered dry brushing. The result of which made this stick out like a sore thumb amongst my other DC units. Now trimmed in blue, it'll fit right in with all of my other misfit paint jobs!

As big, slow and scary as the Ontos is (think of all of those lasers as an LBX10, only each point of damage is multiplied by 5), it needs some supporting units to escort it. So I have a cheaply acquired Typhoon arriving via ebay soon, and the Goblin above (again, formerly of the Draconis Combine). Those three running in tandem thru the city in which we usually play CBT will put a lot of hurt on anything they comes across. The lone Scorpion on the other hand will wander around and just snipe I suppose. By itself its not much of a worry, meaning it hopefully won't draw too much fire. That's the theory anyways. At some point I'll probably stick some precision ammo in it by mistake and inadvertently move it way up on the priority chart!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ye Olde Warmaster Christmas


Well, I've mentioned my Grandparent's imminent move for quite some time now. However despite incessant delays, deals falling thru and mortgage company shenanigans (its curious how the companies who destroyed the US economy with their bullshit, got government bailouts so that they can now make home buyer's buying experiences exercises in absolute misery...) and whatnot, the move is now finally in progress! Indeed, my uncle and I spent yesterday packing up the odds and ends of the shed and garage, and the 'professionals' are moving the rest today.

As such, there's been no hobby progress here of late as I've been packing boxes instead, and will soon be unpacking boxes rather than gaming, painting, etc. However like some of my Grandparent's dollhouses that have been stored at my house whilst this has all been going on, the other day my Grandmother's village was also moved to my house for safe keeping.

Several years back (possibly a decade) I bought several pieces of Warmaster terrain, and made a little village for Ma as a Christmas present. She loved it and its been kept in a glass case ever since. Shortly after purchasing these pieces, Forgeworld discontinued their entire Warmaster range. As such, I'm sure that sentimental value aside, this little village is probably worth quite a bit of $$$ now...

Monday, August 5, 2013

...aaaand this week in 'tiny tank antics'...


Rob unsurprisingly ran an almost carbon copy of the Steiner lance that he had used the week previously. This is quite fluffy actually as house Steiner is known for its lack of imagination. In return I fielded a Draconis Combine combined arms company and whilst casualties were light (in terms of losses, i.e.: 1 mech and 1 tank vs. Rob losing just one mech), there were a lot of really beat up machines on the table! Rob felt he was in worse shape than I, so on turn 8 he ran up the white flag and fled the field, huzzah!

Given his love of heavy Gauss Rifles and AC20s, my mechs were more of the long and medium ranged sort, with 2 of them sporting precision ammo to make their shots count (to no avail in the Dragon's AC5...).  The mechanized infantry and tanks on the other hand were outfitted to get in close and get their hands dirty. Thus, in our usual urban battlefield on which we usually play, my tanks and infantry went right up the center and inflicted a death by a thousand paper cuts (in exchange for a death via big guns). My cicada mistakenly followed them leading to it's demise. :-(

First up, I bought and built some GHQ M-113 ACAVs for use as tracked mechanized infantry (with MGs appropriately enough). Boy let me tell you there was some serious cursing and swearing as i was gluing on (and often dropping) those microscopic MGs! Mech. inf. platoons are supposed to have 4 vehicles, but only 3 fit on a standard sized hex base, meaning I have enough to field a second platoon (which is assembled though not painted yet).  In their battlefield debut, these little tanks got the killing shot on a surrounded and thoroughly beat up Blitzkrieg (god that's ugly!) when they hit the exposed AC20 ammo bin!

While I failed to kill the Fafnir this week (Again, quite ugly. In fact I'm thinking of naming Rob's units the 'ugly Duckling Brigade'), I certainly ruined its day with a crappy little tank. A ML variant Scorpion was immobilized by a single LBX blast (typical) and was summarily ignored by the nearby Fafnir. However the Faf had taken quite a good pounding by turn 8, when the Scorpion got a lucky snake eyes critical hit on the Faf's right side (using the right side hit direction chart) it hit the heavy gauss rifle! Taking a full 25 point internal hit all but ripped the right torso from the mech!

...and that's when the white flag went up.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grymn Walker WIP


Here it is, sans-weaponry.
When I ordered my Grymn Walker (a.k.a.: the Mawe) I should have special ordered a second twin-gatling gun as I kinda liked the idea of having it outfitted with quad guns. Of course I didn't, and thus special ordered the extra gun once I received the walker in the mail. Poor planning FTW! With the new part ordered I figured I'd wait till it arrived before starting work on the model.

...and I waited, and I waited, and so on...

The Mawe walker's pilot.
After a month or so, I realized it wasn't coming and emailed Hasselfree about it. However it took 2 emails (and another week) before they noticed as they were in the midst of moving their offices, restructuring, etc. Tracking wasn't available as that would cost (quote) 'A bloody fortune!' but they would happily send another gun in a bigger and more substantial package. As it would be coming from 'across the pond' I settled in to wait a few more weeks. Thankfully my part arrived safe and sound the other day, and with a freebie mini as well, a female Grymn walker pilot!


Rear view of the legs and torso.

Da' Grymn iz gettin' MOAR DAKA!!!

Thus the legs have been glued together and after these photos, the whole mini and it's various parts primed. It'll give me a nice break from all of the Quar and Battletech that I've been working on here of late.

The Eldar will continue to wait (deal with it RTVoril) though for you 40k fans out there, my GF's Tau have some heavier reinforcements that need a bit of work but will soon be added to the Fem Fa'Tau's roster...