Monday, August 23, 2010

Vampires: Black Coach now with 100% More Flying!!

A cowardly Bretonnian peasant deserts his Lord and keeper. Night falls as he stumbles along the road alone (use your imagination on this one, cameras work better with lots of light...).

Suddenly, he hears the braying of horses, but not the familiar clip-clopping of hooves. Terrified, he raises his longbow, and looses an arrow at a ghastly vision in front of him.

...but he already knows....

...that his arrows will not save him....

...let this be a lesson to peasants who stray from their Lords.

How could I not write a little fluff for the awesomeness of a flying ethereal Black Coach. I might have to paint this one...

Vampires: Greenstuffing

After writing the pinning guidelines I thought I might share the basics of green stuffing. What's greenstuff? It's a two part epoxy that you can use to fill gaps or sculpt entire models. The stuff is fantastic. I'm no expert, but a little greenstuff goes a long way.

Step 1: Have the appropriate tools. You'll need the basics. Gale Force 9 makes an excellent 3 piece set that I can't recommend enough! Check them out:

Step 2: Fill a cup for water. This might be one of the most important steps. You will see why shortly.

Step 3: Mix your greenstuff. Remember a lot goes a long way, and patience is a virtue. Mix even amounts until the Blue and Yellow turn, you guessed it, Green!

Step 4: This step varies a bit, but lets start with filling a undesirable gap. Notice the gap in this Vargulf's shoulder. You can even see the pin!

(Step 4 continued) Apply a bit of greenstuff to the shoulder area.

Step 5: Dip your tool in the cup of water! The water prevents the greenstuff from sticking to the tool!

Step 6: Using the spoon headed tool work the greenstuff along the joint. Don't smooth the greenstuff flush with the two joined pieces. You will want the greenstuff slightly raised to do the texturing.

Step 7: Using the variety of tools texture the gap to match the surrounding areas. Flat areas are easy! Just follow the contours of the model.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vampires: Assembly Line in Full Swing (Part 4)

I made some major headway this weekend on my VC commision. I assembled the Zombie Dragon, Black Knights, Black Coach, and primed/based 20 x Grave Guard, 20 x Skeletons, 20 x Ghouls, and the Black Knights.

Here are some shots of progress over th weekend:



Ghouls! (the classic Ghoul models really mix in well)

Grave Guard!

Black Knights!

Black Coach!

I'm going to make that Black Coach fly if that is the last thing I do!

I have been using Army Painter Color Primers and they have worked great.

I did notice that there seem to be at least two different types of nozzles on some of the different Army Painter Primer colors. If you have a Black Nozzle on your Army Painter Primer expect a slower less powerful spray, and if you have a White Nozzle (these look more like the GW Chaos Black nozzle) then expect some power behind the spray of your primer can. Make sure those models hold fast when you go to priming!

Vampires: Zacharias on Zombie Dragon

A great follow up to the pinning post is my tackling the "Zacharias on Zombie Dragon" model. This model was a beastly pinning job.

Zacharias atop his dragon required 6 pins alone, but it was worth it! The Zombie Dragon though? An unlucky 13 pins! The result though? I'll let these pictures speak for themselves:

Vampires: Pinning

Ah pinning...

Love it or hate it, pinning is a vital step in the assembly process of metal models. Over time I realized that I had developed a my own approach to pinning (mostly because I was tired of injuring myself), and I thought I might share it.

Step 1: Clean the model! Nothing fancy, just some suds and a brush.

Step 2: Line up the two pieces to pin. Usually I do this by blobbing a dot of paint where I think the hole will be drilled for the pin. Then I dry fit the pieces I am planning to pin together, the paint transfers to the other piece and now I know where to drill on both pieces.

Step 3: Prime the drilling point. Be very careful when taking this step. Again, this step is the first risk of injury. Take a push pin or something of the sort and slow push it into the spot where you intend to drill. You don't need a deep mark, just something that will allow the drill to catch.

Step 4: Get that Pin Vise out, you have plenty of drilling ahead. Or... check out step 4b.

Step 4b: After briefly using the Pin Vise, just enough to get a defined hole, pull out your Dremel Stylus. The Dremel Stylus is the hobbyists multi-tool! Look how small of a bit you can use:

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 through 4b on the other piece that you are hoping to pin.

Step 6: Drop a bit of super glue on the end of the pin and insert the pin into the hole.

Step 7: Clip the excess pin length.

Step 8: Drop a bit of super glue on the bare surface area of the pieces that you are pinning.

Step 9: Fit the pieces together, and finished!:

Well maybe you are finished. The two piece Fel Bat is as simple as it gets. Nice big surface area for priming, drilling and then gluing. Check out this Black Knight, keeping in mind that the pins in him are 1/32 of an Inch wide:

Remember to exercise caution when pinning, particularly when involving a Dremel Stylus. While burning the midnight oil don't let an injury be the signal to call it quits for the night:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vampires: Assembly Line in Full Swing (Part 3)

Alrighty, if it's new plastic it is built. Above is 20 Skeletons...

...and then 20 Grave Guard...

...and then the Corpse Cart with the Driver up front (I think he looks awesome!)

Of the new plastics I've assembled:

10x Dire Wolves
1x Corpse Cart
20x Grave Guard (Great Weapons)
20x Skeletons
10x Ghouls (not pictured

Of the old plastics skeletons I have either mounted on base or assembled (or repaired):

128x Skeletons
20+ Dire Wolves

Of the new metals I've assembled:

1x Vargulf

Of the old Metals I've mounted on base:

20x Ghouls
20x Grave Guard (Sword and Shield)

The army is growing in size and I might have to begin basing and magnetizing. Transporting options are going to have to be decided on soon as well.

So many Skeletons...

Next post is going to have the full army list.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vampires: Blood Knights!

Ok. Cracked open a box of the infamous $90 Blood Knights set. Quite possibly the smallest and yet priciest boxes available for any army in the WHFB universe. The models are impressive, very cool stuff. With metal models comes cleaning lines like the one below (look at the raised reflective area on the horses leg).

... and the models don't quite fit together nice and neat like plastics:

...and sometimes you end up with two halves of a whole that clearly don't match. Look at the reins and how low they are to the horse's mouth. The really unfortunate part of this is that the reins are completely attached to the leg.

... as you can see in this image. I tried a little separation with a dull hobby knife, but no luck. The two are solidly attached.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Empire: Greatswords

I realized while I was writing my last post that I never posted any pictures of my Greatswords! I have fallen in love with the way bronze and blue lay together. Might be the beginning of an army color scheme... Maybe Von Steger is from Middenland? Perhaps.

Vampires: Assembly Line in Full Swing (Part 2)

I can't say that I was a fan of the Grave Guard models until I started building them. Call me a hypocrite for not liking the massive headdresses the GGuard have when I own a Bretonnian army... I'd rate these guys as a 6/10 difficulty to assemble, only if you are assembling them with the great weapon option. Just like the Empire Great Swords, the GGuard have the positioning issue when considering how the weapon arm is angled so that the second supporting arm can be positioned to receive the weapon arm.

If you were giving them a sword and shield then they're still a 5/10, as there are a several bits involved in putting these guys together.

Next I did a first pass assembly of the Corpse Cart without any instructions. Tricky business, I looked at a lot of images and dry fit several pieces before assembly.

Instead of the usual placement of the cart driver in the rear I put him up front wading amongst the corpses. I'm going to either assemble him with the long pike with the corpse at the end or with the long lash. I prefer the cart driver up front, there is more of a sense of action from the model.

Here is an updated photo of my overall progress:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vampires: Assembly Line in Full Swing (Part 1)

Now that the clipping and organizing is done I have moved on to assembly. I'll say this, the Vampire Count Army sure has a lot of models with oddly angled contact points of assembly. The Ghouls don't really fit together properly at the torso and the Dire Wolf sprue doesn't have all of the matching halves of heads to other halves of heads. Skeletons are another nightmare, but do they look sweet...

There is just something so undeniably cool about hordes of skeletons shambling towards their enemy.

Also on my mind... a flying ethereal black coach. More on that later. Think this...

...except more of a greenish white color all over, angled up into the air with a tree in the middle of it... eh eh?

Hobby: Scoring? Do you do it?

I'm wondering if anyone else out there takes the time to score the areas where you plan to use adhesive.

I score almost every time on any surface. I hope that the extra effort strengthen the bond between the two surfaces.

The picture above is of the base of Dire Wolf from the VC army I am working on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vampires: Them Bones

97 of 135ish Skeletons Assembled. The goal is to have the Skeletons based by the weekend and ready for priming by the weekend.

A few of the models were already assembled, and someone gave a shot a priming these guys already. Unfortunately the primer was very rough, and the assembly was done using blobbed on superglue. The Skeleton's are a little brittle at the joints. I suppose that fits with the fluff? I stress tested several models and they easily came apart.

Vampires: Clipped and Organized

Another post already! I've clipped all of the models, remember that pile of sprue and boxes? Gone! All of the models, save the Zombie Dragon and Black Coach are tucked away nicely and neatly in these plastic organizers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Invaded by VAMPIRES!!!!

You might ask why there are thousands of points of unassembled Undead on my gaming table. Remember how I said I was a little bit of a "magpie" gamer...

No! They're not mine I swear. I am officially a "Hired Gun", well more of a Hired Assembler/Baser of sorts. About a month ago I discovered that a coworker of mine had a Vampire Counts army that had been sitting in a closet for ages. We started talking Warhammer 8th and he came over to watch a game.

Today he approached me and asked if I would be interested in assembling his models for a fee. He had seen the work I had done with my Empire and Bretonnian armies and confessed that he wasn't really into the whole hobby side of Warhammer, but really wanted to play the game.

Getting paid to hobby? Of course! Honestly I am humbled that he would place his army in my hands to assemble and paint.

I'll see if I can't post pics as the project moves along. He doesn't have a deadline, but I would like to get models on the table soon. Let's see how quickly I can assemble and base almost 3000 points of Vampire Counts. Once I sort through his models I'm going to post the list here.

Admittedly this will take away from my own hobbying, but extra cash equals extra models which equals extra hobbying. Right? Right?!

Don't look at me like that!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition: My Observations (Part 1)

Backtrack several months ago, before the announcement of 8th...

I was growing disenchanted with 7th Edition WHFB, and my friends and I had always looked at 40K from afar, but our collective disenchantment with WHFB drove us closer and closer to Orks in Space. Before I knew it I had 1500 points of Imperial Guard!

...and before my hobby spending could recover 8th Edition was announced!

My friends and I kicked of the launch of Warhammer 8th edition with a hell of a Warhammer Weekend! We had nearly twelve straight hours of gaming the first day, and another eight the second. We plodded through the rule book, trying to forget what we had just learned in 7th (being relatively new hobbyists). Between the three of us we knocked out five games using all of the randomization rules. Since then, I have personally played four more games, brining my total 8th Edition games to 6, only one of which was a 2500 point list.

How can I best sum up my 8th Edition experiences?

1. Fast - Once the new rules are learned of course
2. Wacky - Especially if Random Terrain/Random Battles are rolled for!
3. Replayability is High! - Random Terrain/Random Battles are great!
4. Plays well from 1000 to 2500 - 40K is fun at a range of points levels, so is WHFB!
5. Inspiring - The BRB is full of inspiring content from terrain to campaign ideas!
6. Full Color Rule Book - Nice touch!
7. Thoughtful Rule Writing - Arguments have been slashed by 90%!!!
8. Pre-measuring - Why hasn't this always been a part of the game?!?!
9. and most importantly Cinema!

What do I mean by Cinema?

A unit of four Dark Elf Crossbowmen found themselves lacking courage after being charged by armor clad Knights of the Empire. In flight they found themselves in front of a curious "Sinister Statue". Having somehow escaped the Knight's speedy mounts the Crossbowmen rallied.

One of the Elves caught the faintest glow out of the corner of his eye as he turned towards the statue. To the elves' horror the "Sinister Statue" stirred as white hot beams lanced out at them! D6 STR 4 hits yielded 4 wounds. The Knights in the distance saw the abrupt flash as a smell of seared flesh wafted passed them.

What a moment! All because of a simple piece of terrain! Honestly my favorite addition to 8th is the superb cinema of the game. My games have seen huge swings of momentum leading to nail biting finishes!

Our first attempt at the Watchtower Scenario saw 30 Chaos Warrior entrench themselves in the tower on turn 3. A beleaguered Empire force, weary from fighting off units of Chaos Knights and insane Marauders, found themselves dominating the field but not the objective!

If any army of the Old World can pound a garrisoned structure into submission it's the black powder armed soldiers of the Empire. The Greatcannon's crew charged powder and rammed ball as a unit of 5 Outriders closed in. The air filled with the the smell of sulfur and saltpeter. FIRE! Reload! FIRE! Reload! Turn 3, Turn 4. The hearty soldiers of the Empire were running out of time! In the Watchtower scenario the game ends on a dice roll, in short you add the turn number to a roll of a D6 beginning with turn 4. If the total is less than 10 the battle continues another turn, if the total is more the battle ends immediately!

At the end of turn 4 the die was cast, a 5! Praise Sigmar! The guns reloaded. FIRE! Chaos Warriors were blasted through the windows of the tower.

At the end of turn 5 the die was cast again, a 4! Turn 6! For Nuln! FIRE! The guns roared. Chaos Armor can hardly stop blessed cannon fire!

At the end of turn 6 the die was cast again, a 2! Turn 7! For Karl Franz! FIRE! The garrison of Chaos Warriors was dwindling! They couldn't take much more!

At the end of turn 7 the die was cast again, a 1! Turn 8! FIRE! After suffering severe casualties through a storm of cannon-fire and handgun shot the Warriors of Chaos felt their courage waining. The Warriors broke for the cover of the forest behind the tower! The nearby State troops readily claimed the Watchtower objective.

At the end of turn 8 the die was cast, a 4! The battle was over. The smoke of the Empire's guns cleared. The men of the Empire had driven back the forces of Chaos one more time.

My friends and I have talked about this battle several times like it was the hit movie of the summer! What excitement!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A hearty goodbye to "The Boar's Head Inn," welcome to Round Square!

Haven't posted in awhile, and truth be told I haven't had the desire to. My waining desire to post wasn't because of a decline in hobby. On the contrary, my hobby has developed beyond "The Boar's Head Inn", and I am happy to say I am expanding!

The honest truth is that I don't just have a Bretonnian Army, and I am little bit of a "Magpie Gamer" (credit to the guys over at the D6G for that term). I own board games, video games, and a significant amount of models for 4 different armies across two miniature gaming systems. In fact, it's all a little overwhelming sometimes and definitely less efficient than more focused hobbyists.

I've gone through my first year of miniature wargaming, and I'm looking forward to the second! Instead of my previous whimsical posting habits I thought I might get back into the habit of writing articles. Here's a laundry list of topics that have been on my mind for awhile:

1. Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition: My Observations.
2. 40k and Fantasy - Say no to shapecism!
3. The Bretonnian Army in 8th Edition WHFB.
4. Book Review: "The Saint" by Dan Abnett.
5. Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle: No I haven't played...but I might.
6. Battle Chronicler: Can I actually make a full battle report?
7. Painting Chronicles: Steam Tank.
8. Painting Chronicles: Greatswords.
9. Thank You Podcasters!
10.The Importance of the Alpha-Gamer.

Let's see how far I deviate from this list in the coming months!