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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mantic Dwarf Berserker Brock Riders and Hero

As commanded by The Bevie!

Our Kings of War Dwarf army is founded with the completion of the first unit of Berserker Dwarf Brock Riders and the Berserker Dwarf Hero on Brock.

Now she'll have to get to naming them!

These are great and inexpensive models that I built with very little clean up or prep.  They are pretty characterful with expressive faces.

I painted up all the extra arms and heads from the kit which gets me about halfway to the next unit... in arms and heads anyway!
 The unit comes with a brock cape for every rider but I elected to leave those off except for the unit champion and standard bearer.  The cape makes the figures very stable on the brock but the overall effect was very very gray... especially on these gray bases.  I went with gray bases because Bevie wants to use dwarf themed movement trays.  Those are Dwarf Hold stone gray and once I get them in I'll color-match the base with the movement tray or vice versa.   I think the little bit of color from the cape-less dwarfs makes the unit stand out better.
As I like to build my fantasy armies to be compatible with 3rd Edition WHFB lists I'm at a bit of a loss with these.  No dwarf cav in that list, and certainly not Slayer cav!

That said I also elected to not paint the whole unit with Slayer orange hair... I like the more Nordic feel these guys have.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New bits, broken tools, a Supreme Ironcaster, and a mystery vehicle

 Its been slow the last couple of weeks, mostly due to a bad bounce that resulted in a broken frame on my magnifying headset.... Score for the clumsy!

So, by way of making lemonade out of lemons... I took the opportunity to replace the headset with a higher quality one.  The new one has a strap that is actually large enough for my head so it sits more securely up there, and has a frame that is both more durable and lighter weight.
 Then a box of Mantic crazy boxes arrived!  It's huge, as shipments from them seem to trend, and is chock full of random goodness.

One of the things I really like about the Mantic Crazy boxes is that they are not just second quality odd bits dumped in by weight.  They are actually complete models selected from across the range so.. if you are into several of their games you get a lot of stuff that is useful in it's own right... and not just a huge addition to the bits box.

 These boxes included Marauder buggies, Iron father heavy weapons and crews, Units from all of the Warpath/Deadzone factions, Mars Attacks, a pile of building sprues, Logos? pieces and more.
 This mystery vehicle looks like a Mars Attacks Martian vehicle... its a bit hard to see still in the bag but looks like a big walking truck. 
 Completely apart from the Crazy Box is an Abyssal Dwarf Supreme Iron Caster on Dread Abyssal.  I was cleaning this up while waiting for the headset to get here.  Its pretty large so could be worked on a little better. 

Basically they took one of their Dragon models and gave it a metal bit work over to create the Dread Abyssal and saddle.  The Ironcaster himself has a choice of two heads and can equip either a sword or a scepter/wand.

Equipped with new seeing aides I should have the first of the Dwarf Berserker Brock riders up a day or two.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Iron Empire Mecha Lance goes operational

 The last of the Iron Empire Mecha comes online completing the Ushabti Honor Guard for my Necrontyr.

These great models took a bit of getting used to but I'm more confident in the construction method now and the other faction Mecha should be a lot easier to assemble. The models have complete freedom of pose so can be a very dynamic element on the tabletop.
 Here with Mortaria and Vera the Ushabti prepare to enter the fray.

The kit comes with three different heads so no two are alike in this unit.  The heads are really elaborate funerary masks so identical heads could just as convincingly be used if you prefer... or really have a big pile of Mecha!

I'll have to name these individually as I imagine them to be notables of the Empire serving in a near death state... possibly even former Yagas or, perhaps, their loyal parents.

I've relocated the the army lists I was working on for these so that's another thing to get up to speed.

Back to work on Dwarfs, Papa Kurganova, and the rest of the Yaga coven.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mantic Berserker Brock Riders WiP, repairs day, and a Mystery figure

 Lots of stuff seeing the light of day after a long time here... Given how often I move its no surprise that I am often rediscovering projects that have languished for years, sometimes decades, in a storage box or bin just waiting to be finished.  Today I knocked out a few.

Random GW ghoul that I got from a friend who was , sadly, getting out of the hobby.  This is a salvage job that had been partially painted a long time ago.
 With salvage work I like to retain what I can of the original paint scheme and you see that in these GW Zombies.  They came along in the same batch as the ghouls and had been base coated and the first colors blocked in... primarily the yellows and blues... I kept the scheme but gave them the Blanche treatment which narrowed, and dulled, the color palette and gave them a "just dug up" vibe.

Some GW Spectres or Wraiths... I don't remember which ... and there may be one of each..  These are form different editions and show the growth in figure size over the years... mind you,... both of these are older edition models and, as such, are considerably smaller than their modern equivalent.  Fortunately the Undead army they will be joining has been kicking around the tables for for 35+ years so they are in good company scale wise.

 A mystery figure.... Hey Pat!  I think this might be one of those Rackham models.

This is a really great Elven Fire Mage.  I'm going to lump it in with the Carnevale stuff for the moment and use it in that game until I get Cadwallon running...

 Mantic Berserker Brock Riders!

Ok its just the Brocks at the moment but they are well under way.

Here you see the size difference between the Hero mount and the regular Brock.... That is one big hunk of angry metal there!
 I'd first thought of Brocks as bears... but on closer look they remind me more of  badgers, wovlerines, or some similar feisty... subterranean... rodent thing.... obviously not sourced from the Skaven.... but.... if you are gonna have some shame to work out ...

Bevie has comanded the creation of a Dwarf army stat!  and wanted Berserker Brock riders first!  Of course, it doesn't fit with the "Everything Fantasy must be playable in 3rd Edition WHFB"  but maybe I can get a friendly geek to cobble me together an army entry for them anyway!

Next post should have the final Iron Empire Mecha up and more salvage work...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Iron Empire Mecha 2 and Mantic Musings

What's better than an Iron Empire Mecha?

Why two Iron Empire Mechas!  The second of three rolled off the line today after some major construction mishaps.... I managed to drop the thing during assembly and accidentally batted it across the room while trying to catch it.... making a small drop into a long journey.

The beast broke apart as expected but the bad impact angle caused half of the Halo to snap off and those tine little resin support struts were a booger to reconstruct.  Its together now so I'll try not to repeat that particular bit of drama in future!

Number 3 is coming along which will finish up the unit.

Here you see the pair escorting Hilda.

 I'm leaning towards calling these mummy driven mecha "Ushabti" in keeping with my Necrontyr theme.  These are great Tomb Guardians and life support systems animated by the will of Necrontyr nobles who have aged well beyond their normal span of years.  These heroes are trapped within the life-giving shells and have been maintained for centuries in the twilight land between life and death.

 Over the Holiday... and really a bit before that... I got involved in a ton of Mantic Kickstarters.  I've always been attracted to Mantic because of the price point but had been afraid to get much from them because I'd heard horror stories about the tremendous amount of clean up they required.

I bit the bullet and went in for Abyssal Dwarfs and then Regular Dwarfs and then.... Warpath and Deadzone... DoH!
 Anyway after looking over the minis I was very pleasantly surprised!  The minis were great quality, the casting was relatively clean, and certainly no worse than average... the material is solid and dry to the touch.  It took primer very well so I'm not anticipating any problems with paint adhesion..  all in all I gotta say these are ace models and a great value for money as well.

I got in about a dozen games of Kings of War second edition over the holiday and now feel like I've got a grasp of it.  The rules are very fast playing and easy to learn.  I think they are a bit too streamlined for my preference, but not a lot so and I think a few house rules would make them just the right amount of fiddly... for example there are no formation changes in KoW.  It would be pretty easy to add that to the game and bring the complexity level up to my comfort zone.  Also there are only about six spells in the magic system... its a very tight system and that would be harder to mess with in terms of balance.  I approve!  Mind you I'm a 3rd Edition WHFB player at heart so all of my fantasy armies are built with the idea that they'll be used in that game as well.

Finally... Our friend Ed let us know that we'd missed out on a pile of expansions for Firefly the Board Game!  For Christmas we got ourselves that big pile and are busily working our way through them!  Zoom Zoom! 

See it set up on a 6x4 table... lots of board and just enough room for all the card decks.

All is shiny in the verse!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The first Iron Empire Mecha strides into action!

 I'm back from an extended vacation with the family.  It was a blast, and I even got to play a lot of games, but I've been itching to get back to painting so... here we go!

Before I took off I'd almost finished the first of three Iron Empire Mecha.  Its shown here with I.E. Army standard Vera Kreabbenhoft for scale.  She's wasn't stable on her base so has been weighted with a metal washer.... nothing bothers her now!  But it does make her base slightly taller than usual.

 I use these for Necrontyr (precursors to the Necron) in my own little pocket universe... although I hope to one day use them for actual Iron Empire when Raging Heroes gets the game ready.

I continued the Purple and Cream color scheme here and most of the army will be in a similar scheme... with the exception of cyber zombies and maybe some shock troops/assault specialists.

The other two mecha are also pretty far along so I expect to have them up soon.  These models are completely ball joint in construction which gives a very wide range of posing options... but makes them just a tiny bit tricky to assemble!  I wouldn't have it any other way of course and I learned a lot about assembly from this lead model.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Iron Empire Mecha WiP and some Carneval in action

I have some family visiting which has slowed down the painting... quite a lot!  But, on the flip side, I've been able to get in an initial game of Carnevale... so that's a bonus!

Here you see the Mecha in the Iron Empire Cream and Purple colors... at least that's the colors of Iron Empire in the Swelterverse!

 I've been painting the bits seperately as the final posing will make a lot of areas practically impossible to reach... the range of viable poses is quite large with these kits.

A lot of Secret weapon washes helping out with the weapon glows and so forth... note the Mummy Pilot and the Egyptian Death Mask!  Scary!

 On to Carnevale!  Our first game pits the classic foes .. Vatican vs Strigoi.  Were still fumbling around with the rules but the game seems very evocative and fun...

Some thoughts so far:

The rules are a little hard to follow and a little confusing in places like... its not always completely clear if an AP (Action Point) cost is a replacement for another AP cost or an additional AP cost.

I'm also unclear why the final health box has a penalty listed when it appears that checking the final box should take a model out of action... odd to have a -2 penalty to action performed while dead... not undead... just dead.

*Update*  We figured out that we were reading the health chart wrong...DOH!  There is no postmortem penalty !

 It is interesting that a lot of abilities are available to any faction but really are tuned to a specific faction.  A lot of choices are available... even if many of them are silly.  I think like that... and once I understand the synergies it might make more sense why some choices, which currently appear to be silly, might be fun or effective to make.

 I am a little concerned about the Inquisitor in the Vatican faction, who looks a lot like Marilyn Manson, seems to be a vampire without the undead trait... or maybe a demonic entity... he certainly doesn't appear to be human 1.0.

I do like all the focus on theatrical maneuvers and water stuff... like how to drown ... accidentally or... on purpose... how to hold the head underwater until the bubbles stop.... not sure how it works precisely but it's very detailed!

More on that... after we play a few more rounds!

*Update*  After finishing the first game we think the Vatican is a strongly designed faction... The Cross Bearing Deacon in particular is very powerful and makes the faction largely immune to morale effects.  The Inquisitor and Executioner are also pretty spectacular in their effects and the whole force has an intuitive synergy that is really significant.

The Strigoi are less intuitive, although they have strong signature special effects, the synergies of the faction are less obvious and require more tactical forethought that the Vatican does. 

We got a lot of basic stuff wrong but, by the time we finished we had most of that sorted and things began making a lot more sense.  A couple of more practice games will tell the tale... and I'm really looking forward to playing some of the other factions...