Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Commercialismas; a bit of festive Deadzone cheer

Merry Christmas (eve) all, hope you're having a good time celebrating the most important holiday of the Capitalist religion ;) I'm not a big Christmas person myself, but I do enjoy overindulging on glazed ham and other delicacies. And I received a pretty awesome book (the world of Thedas) as a gift, so hey, maybe it was worth the tinsel, lights and terrible christmas advertising.

Anyway, I've managed to get a bit more Deadzone stuff done, including some more terrain and the start of painting my Plague. I also had a small game on the weekend, just trying to learn the rules. The biggest thing I learnt was that I need way, way more cover. Anyone who ventures into the open just gets railed.

Enjoy some pics while I go and enjoy tiramisu and mead.

The colour scheme for my plague is more or less the official one, purple and bone, with lots of added blood. I picked up a couple of the new GW technical paints from Tabletop Empires, just to see what they're like. So far I'm pretty happy with the blood.
Paintjobs are just rushjobs, no need for anything fancy. I must say, the Stage 1 is a truly amazing model. I haven't settled on what to do with the bases yet, which it why they're unpainted.

Cheers all,

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Two Towers; Deadzone terrain

Just a quick update tonight - I spent a fair bit of time today continuing to work on my Deadzone. Assembled a bunch more figures, with an eye to maybe playing a game this weekend.
In view of that, I figured I'd better have a look at the terrain. First of all, the new Mantic Battlezones - just awesome. Incredibly flexible and fun to play with, like lego for wargaming! These are an awesome product, and I'll definitely be picking up a few more sets in the second wave.
I was initially unsure what terrain to build. The sheer variety of options made me leery of building something only to later regret using those pieces. In the end, I've more or less settled on building military/industrial compound style pieces, perhaps a garrison on a small colony, or a lightly fortified industrial plant. While the terrain is great, I don't think it's too well suited for residential style terrain. I already have plans to get some Mass Effect style colony pods for use in Mass Effect, Infinity, MERCS and now Deadzone.
Anyway, I figured I'd start learning my way around the terrain with some simple pieces to start with, namely a pair of towers. These were a good way to learn, since they used a variety of pieces and taught me a few dos and don'ts. One thing I'm really trying to do with this terrain is ensure it makes architectural sense. A lot of the suggested terrain for Deadzone just looks silly to me, too many small, partially enclosed buildings that serve no logical purpose (prefab market stalls, maybe?). It just serves to make the board look like a construction site I think. In an effort to avoid that, I've tried to be thorough about small things, like making sure every level has access by a ladder, either on the outside or via a floor hatch. I'm pretty happy with how these two came out, complete with a walkway linking them (detachable) that will have a couple floodlights attached and serve as a kind of gateway.
One feature of the Deadzone terrain I'm not taking advantage of is the theoretical 'modularity' afforded by the clip system. In theory, you couple disassemble and remake the terrain between games. In practice, I don't think this would work, the clips are incredibly tight fits, and very hard to remove. My solution was to file each one to ensure it smoothly clipped into place, while using a small amount of plastic glue to keep it solid once assembled.

Ok, so maybe not such a quick update after all...


Monday, 16 December 2013

A Zone, A Zone of Death, a Deadzone; Deadzone arrives

Slowly easing back in the hobbying hard mentality. Still hoping to finish the last 20 models I need to reach 250 for the year. We'll see how much time I have in the coming weeks...

Anyway, this post is mainly about one thing. One very, very big thing.

My Deadzone pledge (wave 1, at least) arrived today! Exciting stuff. I've been getting more hyped for this game with every update, as everything about it looks to be even better than I'd hoped when I dropped a sizeable chunk of my year's hobby budget on it back in May.
I backed for the double Strike Team pledge, but I've arranged to sell most of the models from the second lot, which more than pays for all the extras in the second set I'll keep.
I've only just started thinking about what exactly to do with it all... lots of terrain and models to build and paint! I assembled about 15 models this afternoon, and have to say, they are the best restic models I've dealt with yet. I'm still not a fan of the material, but Mantic are really stepping things up when it comes to the quality and detail of their models. They run Kickstarters better than anyone, based on the 20+ I've backed, and it's nice when the product they deliver is top notch.

Anyway, there'll be plenty more in future posts, but for now I'll finish with a few quick shots of (part of) the total...


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Best in Show, Worst on Field; Massivebowl, the wrap-up

I'm back! Wow, sorry about that extended interlude, three weeks without a post is way longer than I intended.

So, what have I been up to in all that time? Well, um, a busy week at work, then watched a lot of Counterstrike during Dreamhack... then a bit over a week ago I realised I had committed to attending Massivebowl in Melbourne on Sunday. Hmm, didn't leave that until the last second, did I?
So last week I finally returned to the hobby and set about finishing my team. The first few days were spent assembling/converting the remaining seven or eight figures I needed for the team. The most effort went into my deathroller conversion - I've never liked to steamroller style of the official models, to me, they just look ugly. The concept I came up with was somewhat inspired by the Trollkin caber thrower from Hordes - basically a dwarf carrying a massive stone column onto the pitch. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, given my limited sculpting ability.
WIP pic:

 I lost a day on Tuesday when I went to Canberra for the day (got to see the cartography exhibition at the National Library, was pretty awesome). On Wednesday and Thursday I got stuck into painting the ten models I had left to do, then on Friday I finished the team, packed, booked tickets, tried to make last minute arrangements to meet up with people on Saturday, and got next to no sleep before getting up at 1am to catch my train.
Phew, by that stage I was feeling pretty exhausted.
Anyway, the weekend was a whole bunch of fun. I got to meet up with a bunch of people I'd previously only known online and everyone was friendly and accommodating. Particular thanks to Penny, for keeping me company while I tried to stay awake on Saturday, and Chris and Roy for giving me a place to sleep on Sat/Sun respectively. While wandering the CBD on Sat I also found this beauty in a store full of geeky collectibles. While I might not devote as much time to my Mass Effect project as I'd like, I'm still a huge ME fan, so couldn't resist...

Anyway, Sunday was the big day, and it was as much fun as I'd hoped. In reality, the weekend was more about coming down to Melbourne and hanging out than actually playing seriously. On that account, it was a total success.
The actual games... well... I might have finished my team in time, but the problem with leaving that until the last minute was that I ran out of time to actually, you know, learn to play. So the tournament represented my first four games of Bloodbowl. Suffice to say, it was a steep learning curve, but all my opponents were great and very helpful, and by the end I was starting to get a grip on at least the basics.
In the end, I lost all four matches. To give a brief rundown -
Game 1: I played Chris' pro elf team, featuring Morg'n'thorg. I very quickly went down a point, before getting a bunch of KO's that left his team badly outnumbered in the first half (I had some pretty good luck). Unfortunately, come the second half, with my two heavy hitters sent off and most of Chris' players recovering, I found myself outnumbered and overrun. Result - loss, 0-3
Game 2: I played James' halfling list, featuring three treemen and Morg. It's fair to say not much went my way this game, and James actually felt a bit guilty for how badly he beat me. It was all good fun though, and produced some moments of hilarity. Basically, I couldn't break the halfling's armour. Seriously. By the end of the match I had just 5(!) players left, while he had four reserves remaining. The only player James lost was a halfling sent off for fouling (and killing!) my deathroller on turn two. Clearly halflings are an overpowered bash team and need nerfing! I did manage to cause a casualty on one of his treemen with Flint's chainsaw (so apropos), but he had an apothecary, so not even that made a difference. The other highlight of the match was Grim failing a dodge roll, tripping and killing himself. Yeah. Result - loss, 0-5
Game 3: I played Brett's humans. Brett was fairly new to the game himself, and this was the closest game for me, as I almost scored on two occasions, only to fall just short, running out of turns in both halves thanks to some great, desperate defence. The most noteworthy moment of the game came when I used Grim's multiple block rule for the first and only time (such a terribad rule...). It nearly worked... except I failed my dauntless roll on the ogre and Grim proceeded to get killed on his own turn. Again. Grim really didn't have a great tournament actually... Also amusing was rolling on the kick-off table, and having one of my fans throw a stone, killing one of Brett's blitzers. I like to imagine it was my deathroller after being sent off... Result - loss, 0-2
Game 4: I played Liam's wood elves, led by Jordell. This was a great game, Liam was a super friendly guy and made a real effort to show me how to play better (since by that stage he'd basically won...). His ultra fast team more or less toyed with me for the first half, during which my deathroller blitzed four times rolling nothing by pushes and skulls *sigh* In the second half, I landed some hits and KO'd a bunch of his team. He wound up with just three players left, while I had the ball, and showed me how to form the infamous 'cage' dwarf teams are known for using to grind out games. Result - loss, 1-2

So there we go, my tournament in a nutshell. If you're interested in reading more, check the thread on WAU which has the winners and such. I came, surprisingly, not last. Apparently there was someone else who also lost every game. I did, however, manage to win best painted. The TO Scott described it as something of a landslide, and throughout the day almost everyone complimented me on the team, which was pretty gratifying since it's been four years since I had a chance to play games with other people. It also made me feel kind of bad for describing the team as a rush job... which they really were to be honest. Anyway, I was very happy to win best painted, and thanks to everyone who voted, there were plenty of other great looking teams there.

So, that more or less wraps up this mammoth post, which hopefully somewhat makes up for my recent silence. I'll finish things with some photos of my finished (mostly) team:


Slayers and blitzers



Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Painting Doldrums; terminators and ALEPH

Sorry for the brief absence - too much time watching CS:GO tournaments and not enough motivation to pick up a brush. That changed tonight, though I have to say I'm not exactly happy with the results of my last few hours' efforts.

First off, some more Epic. I knocked out these terminators in about an hour, and they're so bad I only bothered taking one photo. Will have to go back and fix them up sometime.

And then some more progress on my Infinity stuff, or to be exact, my brother's Infinity. Remember that Aleph model I posted months ago as a WIP? Well, I wasn't happy with it then, and despite making a bit of progress, I'm not happy with it now. Need to keep working on it, especially the turquoise areas. Something about Infinity models just makes me struggle to paint them. My style isn't clean and smooth enough.

I also made a start on the bases for them. The idea is to have them fighting over glowing 'chunks' of data, tying them in with the whole AI synthetic stuff. The photo is absolutely awful, it looks considerably better in real life, which isn't saying much I guess. I'm really struggling to create the kind of translucent glowing effect I want. *le sigh*
So yeah, not a great night really. I'd really appreciate feedback and comments on the Aleph, tell me where I'm screwing up. Ultimately if my bro's happy with them, that's good enough, but since they're basically a gift from me for his birthday months ago, I'd like to do a good job on them.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Bloody Bindis; more Infinity, with basing

I went to see Thor: the Dark World yesterday, thoroughly enjoyed it, like I have most Marvel films, despite not being a reader of comic books.
Today I sat down and knocked out another Infinity figure, the Sakiel from my Tohaa starter box. I also did the basing for both Tohaa, with mixed results. Not much more to say about them. The Sakiel is... ok. Not amazing. The orange on his symbiotic suit thing is super detailed, but really hard to shade properly without losing the brightness I wanted. In general he's a bit rougher than my Kamael, which is pretty normal I guess for me. My test models tend to have more attention paid to them, everything else becomes a matter of replicating the result, while trying to cut down on the steps (since my test models often end up having loads of layers and washes as I look for a certain shade or tone).
Overall though, he's good enough for tabletop.
The bases... do they work? I'd really love feedback on them - I've already had some good, mostly positive, feedback on the Kamael, now I'd love some on the bases. I really wanted to make them look truly alien, I'm just not sure if they look good or not. Also, the colours on the foliage match the colours on the models. This seemed like a mistake at first, but now it kind of makes sense to me - we have green/brown camouflage to match with our plants, why wouldn't aliens with aqua and purple plants have similar coloured armour?

Anyway, feedback on the bases in particular, thanks for reading,

Monday, 11 November 2013

Demon Space Monkey; an Infinity paintjob I don't hate

Well folks, today was a big day for me. As of about 10 hours ago (I'm posting this at nearly 2am...) I am the owner of a car. Without getting too much into boring real life crap, one of my goals this year was to use part of my wages to save for a car. While I may not have earned as much as I could have hoped, I still managed to save a few grand this year, and today went down to the local car yard and to have a look at a vehicle there. Long story short - inspection, test drive, haggling, taking time to arrange insurance and withdraw money (more green than I've ever held in my hands before...), culminating in me owning a 1998 Ford Falcon.
Nothing fancy or anything, but it will hopefully give me a a good few years of service, which is all I want from it.

Anyway, just thought I'd share that exciting piece of news :)

On with painting stuff, and something almost as exciting for me - I painted an Infinity figure! And I like it!

Yes, as my one previous post on here about Infinity shows, I find these gorgeous figures difficult to paint to a standard I find acceptable. Tonight, however, on a whim, I decided that rather than knocking out another base of Epic figures, I'd paint one of my neglected Tohaa models. I didn't have any cohesive idea of what I wanted it to look like, and so it was basically a process of trial and error. The end result, however, I am pretty happy with. The photos show a few areas I need to fix, but otherwise, I think it looks good.
Part of the success I think is my use of more intense colour. This is a recent development in my painting technique, and I plan to write full post on it in the near future, but as is hopefully apparent from browsing my more recent work vs my older stuff (though since this blog is mostly newer models, it's probably not very apparent) is my recent shift to using very intense colours and strong contrasts in painting. Something about these strong colours really appeals to me, it seems to make the paintjobs more vibrant and eyecatching. My painting style really does not lend itself well to the kind of ultra smooth blending that so many of my favourite painters demonstrate, but I'm definitely inspired to try and emulate the amazing work of Mousemuffins from WAU, who does incredible things with colour and contrast.

Enough blather, time for pics. I'd really love feedback and advice on this paintjob, what works and doesn't. Like I said, there are a few things I can see that need touching up, and of course, the base isn't finished. Finally, I'd like to especially mention that the face on this model is my absolute favourite part - it was the first thing I painted and had it not worked I likely wouldn't have finished the model.

Finally, I initially painted the straps in a rainbow effect, from purple to teal. This looked crap, so I repainted it as you see. I did, however, take a photo before fixing it, and thought I'd add it.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Straight from the Li-berry; more Imperial Fists

Another day, another post about Epic - I promise to introduce some variety soon!

Again, not a whole lot to say about these. I got a bit sloppy in parts and will probably go back and tweak things, like forgetting to paint the rhino lights. Derp. I also tried to take on board some of the feedback I've received, with using a brown instead of black for shading (still too dark, but I like the stark contrast...), and using white in my hazard stripes (it does help them stand out). Also, I realised too late that the devastator symbol on the rhino doors looks like a peace symbol... Lulz.
So yeah, pics:

More soon - I've been feeling the hobby buzz the last few days.
Oh, and a small milestone I passed a little while ago but didn't note at the time - I've passed 200 models painted for the year. Pretty pleased! Hoping to reach 250 by year's end.


Friday, 8 November 2013

The Great Boxing; more Epic

Spent the last day and a half trying to organise my stuff in preparation for moving - lots of boxes, not for packing  (still two months away), but just to try and organise things. Have to get quotes from removalists. Always hate having strangers looking at my stuff, I'm sure they just see a bunch of boxes and weird man-dollies. Oh well. At least I'm now better organised and tidier than I've been in a long time.

Anyway, tonight I assembled and based some more Epic. This will mostly round out my 'standard' stuff, future additions will probably feature more conversion/variation.
The list now stands at:
1 HQ
2 Elites
2 Troops
3 Heavy Support

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Painting Whirlwind; more Epic

I'm managing to stay fairly focused on my new Epic stuff it seems, to the detriment of the other projects I'm procrastinating on *cough*bloodbowl*cough*
But that's ok, got plenty of time for that.
For now, enjoy some Whirlwind artillery support!

I went back and added numbers and insignia to the two side panels on the rhino - will plan to follow this system for all my vehicles. Yes, this means the rhino has two fists on its front... guess when it tank shocks anyone I can tell they got double fistpunched.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, 4 November 2013

Aren't You a Little Short for a Space Marine?; more Epic marines

Knocked out another base of Epic figures tonight, this time a tactical squad for my small Imperial Fist force. Not a whole lot more to say about them, so pics:

With their ride:

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Something Tiny, Something Epic; real life, Bloodbowl and 6mm 40k

Few things to share today, more Bloodbowl, a new project, and some personal stuff. 

On a personal front, at the start of next year I will be moving from my current abode in rural NSW, to the (less) sunny shores of Warrnambool. The biggest upshot of this is that there is actually a gaming club in Warrnambool, not to mention that it's far closer to my spiritual home gaming club, the Massive in Melbourne.
So hopefully this will mean gaming will once again be a weekly occurrence, as opposed to the handful of times a year thing it's been for the last four years. 
On the downside, well, moving sucks (and I've done it more than most people), and there'll be the hassle of finding gainful employment etc. So chances are this blog will become (more) infrequent during January/February as I pack up, move, and set up again. Probably won't get much painting done.

Anyway, enough of the boring real life nonsense. I got some painting done tonight.

First off, a WIP pic of the next member of my Bloodbowl team. Not much else to say about him yet.

And finally, I began another project tonight. Surprise. I've long been interested in the idea of trying to play 40k using 6mm epic figures. Most of the range is now OOP, but there are a number of quality proxies available. I got myself a small OOP marine force from ebay for not many pesos, and in the future will look to add Tau, Tyranids, Sisters of Battle and other such armies. For now I'm just going to be doing occasional bases up with what I've got.
My space marine chapter of choice has always been Imperial Fists - tough, defensive, my favourite sort of playstyle. I also like yellow.
So tonight I painted a squad of veterans (denoted by carrying assault shields), these will function as sternguard. I also painted a rhino, ostensibly to transport the squad, though eventually I'll be getting the parts to make razorbacks for the smaller squads and save the rhinos for the larger ones.
While the painting/sculpting (Mk3 helmets on a couple dudes) may appear rough, keep in mind that these guys are 6mm tall. I've never painted anything this small before and they're a bundle of fun, if fiddly. Might go back and try to neaten up some of the eagles/fists.

Thanks for reading,
~ Alex/Magos