Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cowboys and Gunslingers, for Free!

Reaper miniatures are giving away free copies of their rules "Cowboys and Gunslingers" as a pdf over on their website. I have downloaded a copy for myself, and have given it a glance through so this is not a comprehensive review, just some thoughts.

The downside is that these are not so mch complete rules, but are an add on for the Warlord 2 rules, which until now, I was unfamiliar with.

The rules (or should I say supplement) are not long running to only 11 pages, of which only 6 seem to be actual rules, 1 page for scenarios, and the rest being stats and cards to be cut out for play. The rules seem to be designed to go with the new Box 'o Cowpokes that Reaper have released recently. As such, these are for small, cinematic skirmishes. As to the boxed set itself, if I hadn't already bought many of the minis individually, I would be sorely tempted.

Hey, if nothing else, it gives me a reason to link back to this gal!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sculpt by Werner Klocke
In a direct response to this post, and a wander down to one of the other gaming stores in town who have a large selection of Reaper miniatures, I selected myself some completely historically inaccurate vikings. The first was this little lady, who could depict Freydis Eiriksdottir. The second was this standard bearer, with whom I will complete a little vignette to act as the chief of a viking horde. Yes, they are rather fantastical representations of Vikings, but to my mind Saga, or at least the sagas on which the game is based, are not entirely historical accurate renditions. They tell a story, and as such, I feel there is some leeway in how I chose to represent my band.

A search online suggests that there are no hard and fast rules for basing Saga minis, but that leaders seem to be on 40mm round bases as a general rule. I was kind of hoping it would be 50mm bases as a, I have some of those, and b, they alow for more space to arrange the figures, but 40mm it shall be.

Not a round shield.
I think the first and major changes to both minis will have to be the shields. Ingrid's shield is a nice shape, but from all I can see, the Viking shields were round. I'm not entirely sure how easy that will be to change, as the left arm is firmly fixed to the current shield. Unless I find some shields that come attached to arms, it may have to stay.

On the Standard bearer, I feel the small knife he's holding in his left hand is really out of place. It kind of unbalances the mini, and really, why would you bother with a knife, if you're the standard bearer, you're looking to be holding a shield to get a bit more cover, to at least keep that flag flying, or maybe to cover the chief.  I kind of like the idea that he's resting the shield on the ground, but that will mean finding a large shield.

I like the dragon head.
Also, I'm not sure I can keep the horns. The wings, I'm kind of okay with, as he's the standard bearer, he's flashy and stands out, but the horns are so cliched. I know by fielding these minis I am already quite far off the historically accurate track, but even so, I think the horned helm may have to go. A shame really.

As to the diorama, I plan it to be really simple, just a placing of the two minis on the appropriate base once these simple changes are made.

Off to source some local viking shields, or at least plasticard to make my own.

Montrez votre fierté! II

Some larger pics of the finished model for those that didn't make it to the end of the last long WIP post.

The concept was mooted here, and the paint scheme is based on Black and Silver. Black to mourn the loss of Llaelese liberty to the Khadoran invaders, and Silver to represent the hope that Llael will once again be free.

The Standard
 And finally, this is his partner, I had fully intended for him to be finished in time for the end of the challenge too (and he still may be, as I have a few more days) but painting time this month has been reduced.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Montrez votre fierté! I

June's challenge is almost over. I figured this month, instead of spamming you all with an update after every painting session, I'd make use of Bloggers draft function to write up as I went,thereby foregoing on all the WIP shots, and hopefully making the post more meaty, and of more interest.

This month's challenge is to "Show your Pride!" by painting up a standard bearer (or figures in blue, go here to see the explanation). I chose to go with this guy, with this flag for my Highborn Covenant army. It seemed the right thing to do.

Long tutorial and many pics after the cut.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Infinity: Highlander Cateran

A lovely model isn't it. Not OTT in it's stance, but realistic, and the scenic basing really sets him apart from the other sniper models, who stand in (what I think to be) an unrealistic fashion. I like it, so I ordered one. However, whilst ordering it, and looking at the pic online with the guy at my FLGS, we wondered if he really came with that 40mm scenic base, as it is larger than the 25mm base he is fielded with in the rules.

So which was it, normal base and that's just a pic, or a larger base with included scenery.  The answer?


Yes, that's right, the box contains the normal 25mm base, and a larger 40mm base. This means that you have the option of either the large scenic base, as shown below, or to base him for use in game.

Option 1: Full scenic
I'm a bit miffed by this, as one of the reasons to buy him is the way the model is set in all the pictures of him online, but yet you cannot use him like this in game (well, I guess in theory you could, but he'd be making a big target of himself all the time, which is not what you want from your sniper). How dare you give me choice? What do you think I am, some kind of hobbyist who spends his time modelling and tinkering with models? Oh, wait, right.

Option 2: Game legal
So, the question is, what to do? I could go with option 1: do him up on the full 40mm scenic base, with the realisation that I'll hardly ever play the game anyway, and when I do, suck up the larger base for all the difference it would likely make. Or is it to be option 2: go with the smaller base, with the small rock/staircase that is included, thereby being completely game-legal, but to my mind, losing some of his charm.

Option 3: Can't be arsed!
There is of course option 3, where I try to arrange some kind of set-up with wires/magnets/mirrors, where I can display him on the full base, and take this apart to be able to field him on the game-legal 25mm base. This sounds the most fun, but is in the end the least likely option.

Option 4: Half-way house.
Most of those I see in the forums (well, ok, I found 2) were based on the 25mm base with half the wall added. This goes way over the edges, but still doesn't look too bad. Seems to be a half-way house between most of the scenics kept, and large (but not 40 mm base size) presence on the battlefield.

Decisions, decisions!

The Assault Group free miniature

The TAG free miniature that I requested a while back arrived today. I'm impressed. Very clean little miniature, simple in design, but the face is very well sculpted with little to no flash. I decided to ask for the Russian priest from their renaissance range, although, his robes are such that he could happily fit into any era since, for example I have seen him in dioramas for Bordino in 1812. He,s all cleaned up, about to stick him onto a base and get painting him. Thanks again to The Assault Group for this chance of a freebie. Now to go on over to their site to see if I can use this 10% off voucher that came with him. This mini is certainly a good advert for their sculpting and their minis.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

1/72 Samurai

So why 2 boxes of 1/72 Samurai in my last shopping spree I hear you all ask. Well the answer is, why not? For one, I wanted to see what scale 1/72 is. I mean, for sure I can go on to wikipedia, and read all about the different modelling scales, but there is no better way to learn than through experience. So, 1/72 is supposed to be somewhere between 15mm and 20mm. Well, I have some small-ish samurai models I bought a long time ago, so lets see how they match up. Also, there was no way to look into any of the boxes, and these two were amongst the cheapest that fit into an era of my interest.

So, what did I get for my $5 (each), well, first off, some snap fit models that are apparently expansions for a game called Art of Tactic (although the website only contains information on their WWII game). There's some nasty translation from the Russian going on there, but I'll let that pass.  There are 5 Ashigaru to a box, and 2 mounted figures. They seem clean models, with no flash, and easy enough to take off the sprues. You can use the snap together system, but I found it made a cleaner join if I just cut off the little plugs and glued the parts together. Once this was done, they went together really cleanly.

back of the Ashigaru box
The boxes also contain a card for each of the units for use, I assume, in the game. There are only numbers and pictures on the cards, so I guess they'll work for any language (currently only Russian and English seem to be supported). The box also contains 5 of each red and yellow flags (sashimono), and neat little decals to assign the troops to either the Oda or Takeda faction. These I do like, and you get extras, so I can use these elsewhere. I do like decals.

Back of the Mounted Samurai box
Can I use them? Well, unlikely that I will buy into Art-of-Tactic as a game, considering these were the only two kinds of mini available, and their site doesn't support the Samurai version of the game (not to mention I doubt the translation from Russian to English for any rules I'm likely to find will no doubt be terrible). Also, they are far too small to be used with the other Samurai figs I have, which are at least 25mm, so no. They're not likely to see the table top any time soon, but I do think they are kind of cute, and may very well paint them up, at least as a test for my painting for this scale. And although I have yet to put them together, the mounted Samurai do look to be just as cute. What I did learn here though, is that if I do want to get into 15-18mm Napoleonics, as this scale seems to be more 18mm than 15mm, to play, for example, Napoleon at War if it catches on in my gaming circles, then I know exactly where to go to buy my minis in bulk.

Size comparison. Nope, too small!

Shopping spree

I had a long lunch today, and walked that little bit further out of town than my usual gaming store to the hobby store (Udisco). This is the warehouse sized place that sells all the other modelling stuff, whether it's model trains, planes. boats, RC cars, airplanes, helicopters, the works. They have a large (and I mean huge) selection of miniature soldiers in 1:72 and 1:35 scale. Up until my recent foray into historical minis, I have always gave this section a miss, but I decided to give this section a good browse.

In the end, I spent too much money in the place (I always do, but what they have is so reasonably priced compared to hobby stores), and came out with the following:

The Haul

Dead Trees
  • box of dead trees
  • box of 1:35 NATO tank ammo and boxes
  • 2 packs of tree foliage (3 colours total)
  • scenic long grass
  • Bone saw with 2 blades (called a razor saw here)
  • Water effect (same price as a small bottle in the games store for x10 the volume) this time it's the sculptable water effect rather than still water.
  • 1 box 1/72 scale Mounted Samurai
  • 1 box 1/72 Ashigaru-Yari
This may seem like completely random purchasing, but there's method to my madness, hear me out.

1/35 NATO 105mm shells
The dead trees are perfect for 28mm scenery and or bases, and the foliage will do them proud. Dead trees will go especially well on the kind of trench bases my current Khador seem to be based on. Go look at any WWI photography, dead trees everywhere in the trenches. The grass is great stuff, I already have some in a different colour, and going with the trench bases/scenery, the shell cases and boxes will fit right in. They did have some metal casings, but they seemed kind of skinny for what I wanted, and expensive (the sealed box meant I wasn't sure what the ones I bought were made from till I got them home. The razor saw was a bit of an extravagance. In theory, this will allow for better cleaner cutting for conversions. In practice, I'm a ways away from doing the kind of conversion that requires a razor saw.
Ok, so what are these made of?

 And the 1/72 Samurai? Yeah, that one is harder to justify, but I'll give them a post of their own to explain, and to showcase them.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pimping for prizes, again.

This is becoming a regular feature it seems, but there is a tendancy out there in the bloggosphere to have give-aways to increase following, celebrate blogging milestones and just for fun. It is a commendable effort, and to be encouraged, even if it is not something I am likely to do in the near future (though never say never). It is through such a scheme that I found a new blog to follow. Gunner's Wargaming. He is in the midst of just such a give-away, so go check him out. The post detailing the prizes also has handy links to some of his previous work, and is therefore a great intro to his blog. Go check it out if you haven't already, there's some great modelling and painting on display here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tutorial: Ice bases I

Ok,so not so much a tutorial, as 'I tried this and here's what happened'

I was reading some blog/forum or other (sorry if you're reading this and it's you, but I just can't find the link)a few days ago, and I saw mention of ice bases. It struck some inspiration in me, ans i remembered a few years ago I had found some rubber moulds for rocks in a hobby store. I had tried to use these moulds with polyfilla as a quick and dirty way to make some scenic bases/scenery. That was a failure as the polyfilla never cured well in the moulds, and even a few years later the remnants on the moulds are rubbery and not set. Anyway, back to the now, and the idea came to me to fill one of the moulds with some Still Water. Ever keen to see what this stuff can be used for, I filled one of the moulds. As an afterthought, I realised this may have been better if I had first tinted the water with some blue/white paints. Instead, I ran to the fridge* and pulled out the baking soda, and sprinkled it on top (well the bottom of the rock). It floated, so I grabbed a spoon, and used it to push the baking soda into the Still Water. I then placed it on top of the fridge and left it to cure. 48 hours later, I pulled it out, and this is the result.
Flash to be trimmed
In the mould

Then on to cleaning up the 'flash', colouring the underside to give a tint to the ice, and finding a use for it. Both my Legion and Khador are Northern factions, and are therefore suited to ice terrain. Maybe a 'jack or 'beast base, as the mould I chose was larger than 30mm.

The above pictures show it off well, but in reality, it's a little too transparent, and there's no visible definition. A wash of some kind should bring out the details of the rock/ice pattern, but what colour to choose?

*As an aside, what is it with North Americans and their compulsion to put baking Soda in the fridge. I know the theory is that it soaks up the smells, but really, if your fridge smells, clean out the offending food! In all my years in the UK, I never had this problem, and yet here, every fridge! What's up with that?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Highborn vs Circle. Finally a game is played.

Well, one game. A 25 point Warmachine vs Hordes battle at my New Local Gaming store (NLGS) (also on facebook here). I have been planning to go along here as it's just a couple of streets from where I live, which means I can theoretically wander over once the girls are in bed. Yesterday evening, the stars aligned to allow this to happen. There,s a small group of players who frequent the Tuesday Warmahordes sessions, and a lot of them are fairly new to the game. I know of at least one veteran player (and good friend) who goes, but he wasn't there last night. I watched a 15 point game where a new player was taught the ropes of her legion force, then I stepped in to play against her opponent.

At his request, I didn't use my Khador army. There are apparently a couple of Khador players in the store, one of whom is no fun to play against, and I think there is a feeling that Khador are too strong an army to play against. I do feel this can be the case sometimes amongst beginner players, as Khador is certainly the most straight forward of factions, and can be the easiest to rack up the wins with early on. That's not to say that there cannot be some subtlety to the faction, they certainly have a depth to them when required, just that it can be harder to figure out the winning strategies for the other factions when you're just setting out.

So, with that in  mind, I pulled out my Highborn Covenant army. I think it was the first time the players there had played against this particular army (like I said, small group of keen beginners), so there was some excitement to see what they could do.

My opponent played Circle, and went with Moshar the Desertwalker. Not the best choice in a face off against Warmachine as it would turn out, as I was told his feat is primarily anti-Hordes. Also, not a Warlock I had ever faced off against, as his release came during my 'hiatus' from gaming, so some unknowns for both players. All good.

In the end, my opponent was far too cautious which was to be his undoing. He threw forward his Reeves, I presumed as a screen for his beasts and caster. I ran forward the Devil Dogs, with tough from the piper. First blood to my opponent, as he took down one of my Dogs, but he failed to follow up with his beasts. In the next turn I pretty much took care of the Reeves, and brought up the rest of the army behind my screen of Devil Dogs.  He was shaken by the loss of the Reeves, and pulled back the Warlock and beasts. I followed up, managing to pull a critical hit from the Mule on his Warpwolf Stalker, knocking him down, and at the same time the blast brought him closer to my Devil Dogs, who charged and did what they do best, turned him into dog-meat.  This really scared him, and he tried to block me out with his remaining beasts (A warpwolf and a Gorax, but next turn Ashlynn popped her feat shot the caster in the face and cast one of her new MKII spells, Gallows, and drew the 'Lock into charge range for the D-Dogs, who finished off the Gorax and the 'Lock.

In the last turn my opponent had pretty much given up the ghost, and said as much, but I think we both had fun, which is the only reason for playing, The starts of the show for me were the Devil Dogs, but only because my opponent didn't take care of them faster. In reality, they shouldn't get so much use out of their Slug Guns with a RNG of 4 inches. The Mule knocking stuff donw and them finishing it off was a very nice combo, if not a little unreliable as the Mule's deviation could throw stuff the wrong way.

Some of the onlookers expressed an interest in my return, if only so they had a new faction to test themselves against. Win-win!

I think Sam McHorne's unit is now deserving of a completed paint job. They're back up the list, after I finish off this month's Colore ton Monde challenge, although, they are more than half way done.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I love the Devastators. Their chassis to me defines Khador jacks more than the juggernaut chassis. They  encapsulate the brute strength and force of will that allows Khador to do what it does best, get in your face and break you.

The problem I had with only having 1, was which way to model him? Open or closed? Each had it's pros and cons. Open, it was unleashing iron death on the foes of the Motherland, closed it was a depiction of almost immpenetrable ARM 25. Then I saw another route. With this conversion in mind (of course the other minis in that thread are also stunning, for the Devvy alone, go here), and a sale at a local gaming store allowing me to buy another Devvy, the path was clear for these two models to get painted. Yes, I will have to buy a third to be shown closed, but with the supposed arrival of the plastic kit for this chassis, that should be easier.

Although that would mean I'd have buy another kit to make a Spriggan, of which I have heard many good things but have never tried, or the new Demolisher. You see, it never ends, it never ends...

Looking again at Olekkkkk's conversion, what really makes it work better than mine is that the back arm is placed pointing backwards, giving much more of an impression of movement. Ok, I'll get it right next time.

Just to round things off, here's a pic of the new Demolisher model, as shown off at this year's Lock and Load. That'll be 3 plastic kits I need to buy when they are released then! Source. Click to embiggen.

Edit: Olek's Blog can be found here. I thought it works linking, as I am in awe of this person's painting. It all looks so simple...