Friday 31 August 2012

Army of the Dead

I had thought that it would be a quick and easy job before I started working on this bunch. White primer, some washes, drybrush and all's done. Well, in the end it was a bit more complicated than that.
I started by preparing the bases - adding larger stones/boulders and sand. The minis were primed separately with AP grey basecoat. I followed it with a light spray of white, which added some basic highlights.

Then it was washing time. After a wash of Vallejo Green Shade, I glazed them with thinned down Guilliman blue. The only exception was the king's coat which was given a very light touch of red. I had to be careful here as adding too much of it would result in a pinkish shade which wouldn't work well at all with this one.
I decided that they need a bit more depth and worked a bit more with Vallejo Green Shade. After that it was just a matter of bringing them back to bright colors and making them look more ethereal. I used P3 Underbelly Blue with increasing amounts of white for that, finishing off with a very light touch of pure white. The hairs and beards were painted using more natural colors and I think that in the end it worked out well too.

In the end what was supposed to be a quick and easy paintjob has proved much more complicated. The trays were meant to tie them with the rest of the Gondor force, while still giving them a slightly different look. OK, enough talking, here are the pictures.

Plastic warriors of the dead are quite nice with lots of features to make each of ten models look unique and the plastic is really strong and doesn't break easily. The metal ones (especially the riders) are just fantastic and I really enjoyed picking out the details on these miniatures.
Now I'll probably paint at least a few Malifaux minis but with the end of summer holidays and September being the busiest month for me, it might be hard to find as much time as I'd like to spend doing that.

Monday 27 August 2012

Pure Evil

I painted another few minis from Malifaux range. This time something from another faction that I'll be playing - the Neverborn. The Neverborn are basically human fears and nightmares personified. They often take forms of mythical creatures or they remain humanoid, finding their pray among the peoples of Malifaux. I figured I'd start my Neverborn with the most abominable of them.

Those three little ones are the Dreamer's totems. I had a blast painting them. The sculpts are really great. They seemed a bit too small on a regular base so I added a chest/barrel. They also served as test models for bases that I'll be using for my Neverborn crews. Each of these took about an hour to paint so they were fairly quick paintjobs.

While it's nice to make them more unique by preparing themed bases for each crew, I wanted to be able to mix them easily when preparing crews for gaming. Basing all of the minis from this faction on the same type of base gives me more versatility and it also means that whatever crew I come up with, it will always look more or less coherent.

Knights of Dol Amroth again

This time plastic mounted versions. I wrote about earlier that initially I wasn't too impressed by these as they seemed too bulky and less detailed than the old metal versions. Now that I look at them, on finished bases and themed movement trays, I think they're not that bad after all.

The Knights aren't glued to the mounts as I wanted to make adding a rider to the mount more flexible.  
The saddles might seem a bit too flat but these elements are almost completely covered by knights' tunics so I didn't worry about that and focused more on the edges that are visible.
They add a nice touch of blue to the otherwise slightly too uniform (at least in my opinion) Minas Tirith army and should make a nice addition to other heavily armored units.
Not much more to say really so here are the pics of the whole six.

I probably don't need to add that the banner bearer was my favorite to paint - the pattern there is really nice and it did take quite a few layers of paint to get it looking right.
Now, onto some undead warriors!

Friday 24 August 2012


I can now officially admit that I've been roped into the game. I've been a fan of the minis from this range for a while but after playing a few games I feel that I've found the system to focus on.
Since I decided I will be playing Malifaux for a longer time, I needed to make a few purchases. I spend a lot of time painting my miniatures and wanted to make sure they're well protected when I carry them to play somewhere else than my place. Battlefoam immediately came to my mind. I used to have a bag for WARMACHINE produced by this company and it was great. So I went ahead and ordered one for Malifaux. Here are a few pics:

The material is very solid and the sides are made of canvas strengthened on the inside with plastic. Everything fits in nicely inside; two fate decks, counters and laminated cards. There's also plenty of space left for a tape measure, marker and a book (or two since in can be put inside from both sides).

The bag comes with three foam trays, two regular sized ones for most of regular ht 2 minis and one thicker that can be customized (as seen in the picture above). There are 76 slots on the smaller trays and as many as you can pluck to suit your crews in the big one. It means that you can easily fit 4-5 crews inside of it (maybe with the exception of NLCB and some of the avatars).

The bag dimensions are 12.5W x 10.5L x 7H" (318W x 266L x 178H mm) so it's fairly small and easy to carry, especially with the strap that is connected to the bag with metal clips.

It's not a cheap purchase (I got mine at waylandgames for £62.40) but I think it's definitely worth the money.

I also bought two fate decks - a Puppet and a Retro one. Both are plastic so shuffling them is much easier and faster than with paper ones. They are definitely going to be be more durable too. And last but not least - the graphic design. It's wonderful. While the Puppet deck has bright, vivid colors with puppet imitations of Malifaux characters (Viktorias are the Jokers), the Retro deck has a very classy feel to it. It can be easily used for regular card games as are the suit colors and symbols are the same. To make them better adapted for Malifaux, figures such as king also have a number next to the suit symbol. Also, the damage is marked by dots (* for weak, ** for moderate and *** for severe). I find it a bit clearer than the dots on Puppet deck (a dot at the bottom of the number - weak, in the middle - moderate, and severe if the dot is on the top).

A quick look at two plastic fate decks
Now I'm off to enjoy the weekend but I'll be back at the beginning of next week with an update on my LotR commission.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Soothing sounds

My parents have recently been to a festival in Edinburgh and they saw this guy there. I looked him up on youtube, quite a few videos with him there. Beautiful and soothing music, enjoy!

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Hile Gunslingers

OK, it's official - I've bought my second Guild crew. So far I've played only with LJ's crew and much as I love the minis and enjoyed gaming, I felt that my crew was very slow. Playing with these will feel much different.

Right now they're undercoated/painted but I'll strip them off the paint (I prefer brown over black for basecoat with minis that have lots of browns). Nino's ankle is broken but I plan to mount him on a base in a slightly different pose, making it look as if he was shooting while jumping back. I've seen it somewhere over the forums and it looked nice. I can't wait to paint these and put them on the table but I need to complete a commission first.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

My fifth game and... first victory!

I played another game last week, this time against Lilith and a list based on Nekima and her skills that enhance the growth of young Nephilims. The scenario was Supply Wagon. I haven't played this one before so I didn't really know what to expect. And having never played against Lilith (or Neverborn) before, I was at a slight disadvantage.

Just a quick pic that shows the situation somewhere around the middle of the game when LJ started her DF flips ;) 

In the end it was a very tough battle with both crews reduced significantly and seriously wounded. I think my main mistake was that I underestimated Nekima. My opponent (caen again) played her very skillfully and he proved that she can be very nasty and has a few aces up her sleeve. Still, I should have taken advantage of her relatively low defense... Anyway, it was a good experience and I was looking forward to my next game.

Yesterday I played against Ophelia and her family. It was a 25SS scrap. Knowing that she heavily relied on speed and companion rule, I tried to choose the most mobile crew I could come up with from the minis I currently have. I ended up with :
The Judge
2x Death Marshals
2x Austringers

I thought that since the Judge is the only model that has a WK of 5 other than LJ, I'll include him this time (despite his less than impressive performance in the games I've played so far).  That Left me with 4 SS in my cache, compared with 3SS in Ophelia's. My opponent used:

Ophelia Lacroix
3x Young Lacroix
Francois Lacroix
Pere Ravage
Rami Lacroix
Raphael Lacroix

Silence before the storm

The scenario was Slaughter and we had the Standard Deployment. I took Assassinate (Ophelia) and Bodyguard for LJ. My opponent picked Hold Out and Kill Protegee (the only one that wasn't announced).

My opponent won the priority flip in the first turn and quickly started putting the family into position.
Playing against very nicely painted minis added a lot to the enjoyment of the game
I moved my whole crew together with only one DM staying slightly behind. I realized that a frontal assault would be suicidal so I tried to time well the moment of coming from behind the cover. Keeping the Austringers alive was crucial as they're deadly against gremlins (+flips for dmg and wd). Ophelia sent Pere my way, hoping to blow him up as close to my crew as possible.

The action picked up from there quickly. First, much to my dismay, Rami made short work of one of my Austringers. This wasn't a good start at all but I paid back by taking care of Pere - DM wounded him and the Judge finally managed to make some impact by finishing him off. The same DM was killed a moment later by YL but managed to put him down thanks to his Slow to Die ability. After that the real slaughter began...

I decided to go for broke and moved LJ to the young Lacroix and dealt an attack from melee expert. He somehow survived but that wasn't the worst thing. I stupidly ended LJ's movement so that she was touching the opponent's base, forgetting that she has a reach of '2 with her greatsword.
Sometimes a small detail can lead to a big obstacle
Winning priority in the next turn was crucial. I flipped 13 and could start my punishment. I declared a charge against Ophelia (she was partly in cover but LJ's Blindfighter allows her to ignore LoS when declaring charges. My mistake from the previous turn resulted in not only wasting a solid 13 from hand but also burning a  SS. I managed to avoid a disengaging strike but a very high card and a precious SS were wasted. Having played with the same crew a few times I came to a conclusion that hiding LJ behind covers and stalking around makes no sense. She's meant for melee and should get into it whenever she has a good chance...

...even when the cards on hand look like these.
I cast Sword Style and managed to inflict a moderate damage on Ophelia, which wasn't good enough but with cards like these one can't hope for too much. Not only I didn't kill her but she also managed to use a Squeel! df trigger and moved '4 away. LJ tried to take out her frustration on Raphael by using her melee expert attack but he survived with one wd remaining. My action clearly made an impact but I knew it wasn't enough and braced myself for punishment which came moments later. Ophelia used "Oooo! A girl!" to move Raphael from the danger zone and together they started dealing in lead, making short work of LJ (have I mentioned lack of good cards  on hand?).

The Judge activates and starts "plan B"
Having failed at Assassination, I decided I'd try completing my other Scheme and moved the Judge forward. Seeing two Young Lacroix in front of him, I made one WK action and shot in the next. When that failed, I moved my remaining Austringer '4 forward and made one Raptor Strike against the wounded YL. Much to my dismay, nothing good came out of this and turn three ended.

Turn 4 started with Young Lacroix killing the Judge and the prospect of winning  suddenly started looking very remote. Not only my chances of reaching Ophelia's deployment zone were basically non-existent but also my crew was outnumbered and at this point models removed from play were worth more SS than the dead Gremlins.I thought that this had to be the end but I won the initiative flip in turn 5.

Luck was with my as I drew 4 very good cards (11,2X12 and one 13), which made it possible to make a solid Hunting Raptor attack against Ophelia. One that she didn't survive as she had no SS left. Raphael managed to heal 4 of his wounds and put himself in a position to attack the Austringer next turn.
At the same time, Rami unsuccessfully tried to kill the remaining DM. at ths point my opponent made a big mistake by moving Rami too close and the DM walked '4 forward, got him in sight and fired a deadly shot from his trusty Peacebringer (free Critical strike can be a good thing).

I lost the much needed priority in turn 6 but once again I was able to draw very good cards and the Austringer cheated fate successfully two times in a row. It was a promising start but I got rid of my best cards and as a result was unable to inflict damage on Raphael.

Bird's eye view on the final stage of the scrap
And that ended the game as my last flip was a 9, meaning we could start counting victory points. We both completed only one of our schemes but the total SS cost of models I killed was higher and I was victorious.

The game was a true Slaughter. We exchanged deadly blows turn by turn and most of the models that started the game ended up dead. It feels good to finally win a game but I have to admit it was very challenging as my opponent was very skilled.
Austringers are really strong against Gremling. An additional damage and wound flip against Gremlins is a huge advantage. If I hadn't lost one of them early on in the game I might have been able to do much more damage with their nasty Hunting Raptor strikes.
I'm beginning to get used to LJ crew as I feel that at this point I can take advantage of most of their skills and  remember about all the triggers. Still, I'm looking forward to playing with the Ortegas. It won't be long as I'm buying a crew later this week.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Dol Amroth reinforcements

I finished another batch of minis for the Gondor army. This time I painted a few metal Knights of Dol Amroth. The lighting conditions aren't perfect as it's a bit cloudy today so the quality of the pics isn't great. What comes out the worst are the swords, especially the blades. For some reason the camera focuses on these too much and they look too sharp, as if they were covered with some kind of dust.
Once again, plenty of metallics on these and I was glad to make use of Army Painter silver colors. I'm quite happy with how the white clothes turned out and they way dry pigments work with them, quite realistic effect I think.

And here's a true leader for this unit - prince Imrahil. The pics don't show it very well but I used different shades of blue for shields, cloaks and horse's caparison. What I like in particular about this mini is they way his face is sculpted very well detailed and full of expression.

I also started working on a unit of Mounted Knights of Dol Amroth. I used Plate Metal Spray on the Knights and mounted them on temporal bases for painting and basecoated the horses with grey, lightly spraying over it with white.

The plastic KoDA seem a lot bulkier than the metal ones and the details aren's as sharp but I guess they'll look good enough after painting.

Saturday 11 August 2012

Evil Baby Orphanage on Kickstarter

In case you've missed it, here's a link. A twisted card game developed by Wyrd Games. Looks like tons of fun and the price is decent. You get the physical game by pledging $18 (+$8) for shipping costs if you're from Europe. And the more you pledge the more goodies there are. I strongly recommend it to everyone :)

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Third time's a charm?

I played my third game against caen yesterday. We decided to change the SS limit to 30, which allowed me to add two newly painted Austringers to my force.

Caen played with Viktorias supported by Freikop's Trapper, Librarnian and two Ronins.

The strategy was Turf War. Caen had Gather Soulstones and Bodyguard Strategies and I chose Bodyguard and Breakthrough.

The way the terrain was placed on the table (especially the large building in the center with no direct way in on the ground level from the right side), together with the character of scenario we played meant that it was going to be a rather defensive, less open game.

I started by moving all my models as far towards the center as possible, being very careful not to get shot at by the Trapper. I didn't succeed entirely as the Judge got a critical hit together with a Red Joker, which reduced his wounds significantly. I moved LJ to the other side of the board in order to avoid her being shot at. Caen quickly moved her Viktoria (they're so damn fast) and finished off the Judge.

Not the best start for me but I managed to spend three full turns moving my Austringers towards the center and kept them as a hidden. The ability to remain hidden, high CB value and 0 action Deliver order skills madke them a serious threat to everyone.

In the third turn caen made a risky move and placed his Viktorias close to the Austringers and a DM that stood in front of them. We both realized that whoever loses the initiative flip for turn 4 would be at a serious disadvantage.

Caen won this flip decisively and there was no use for me to use a Soulstone to reflip as I would need a 13 or a Red Joker to win it. As we had predicted, winning this flip had devastating effects. After this turn I realized that only a miracle would enable me to get enough points to secure at least a draw. Well, the miracles don't happen when you expect them and I ended up losing 8:4

Once again, I was disappointed with the Judge as he died too easily. True, the Trapper had a bit of luck by flipping a Red Joker but still I feel that 7 SS could have been used better. The Judge is relatively fast and can cast some spells but I think that next time I'll try to use two DM instead.

Looking looking back at the game in retrospect I have to admit I made lousy use of LJ.

After the death of Judge I moved her to the other side of the table and tried to move around the large building in the center in order to attack from another side. I guess I should have risked moving her head-on into combat. A Guardian would be a great help here but since I con't have one yet, I have to make do with what is available to me currently.

Overall, it was a good game with a few turning points that had big impact on the final outcome.

As far as newly painted models are concerned, here's a quick note on the Austringers.

I initially wanted to paint them following the color scheme from Wyrd's online store but in the end decided that black coats are reserved for DM. I chose a much brighter color for their dusters.

I really like these minis, great and dynamic sculpts, both full of character. I also like the idea for this unit as they're basically Falconers who use... Hawks for hunting. The word "Austringer" comes from old French. Kudos to Wyrd Games for taking the effort to came up with original names for the minis in their game.

I tried to imitate a very simplified hawk feather pattern instead of just drybrushing the whole surface of the wings.

I made the rock on the base using a cork. The way the Austringer is placed on it made the mini bend backwards on uneven terrain so I bought a set of fishing weights and placed them in the front part f his base (both above (concealed by flock) and below it.

No it stands still without any problems.

And last but not least - here's a family pic of all the Guild minis I've painted so far.

I plan to expand them soo with Perdita Crew, A Guardian, Pale Rider, Guild Hounds and possibly a few more. But before I do that I plan to start working on my Dreamer Crew. I will be posting updates in this thread. C&C are welcome!

Monday 6 August 2012

Isengard's eyes

I finished another Lotr project. This time I had some Isengard scouts on my agenda. I really like working on those minis. Maybe they're not as detailed as the metal ones but still it's a pleasure working on them. One of the reasons I really like U-H Scouts is that they usually are done in shades of brown and Citadel paints brown pallette is great. You can judge that yourself ;)

That's pretty much for now. Sitting next on my workbench is a group of Moria minis ;) Stay tuned 

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