Monday, 18 November 2019

SPORTS FANS - It's Thursday Night Blood Bowl

Otty gave me a call the other day asking to play Blood Bowl. He's found a local league and has joined up, built a Goblin team from his extensive collection of random figures and need to familiarise himself with the rules. Despite my Middenheim Marauders being WiP I thought I'd take them along regardless. So here's some good old ES Posthumous to start the ball rolling.

Otty won the kick-off.

But was over-confident with the ball bouncing off  my endzone into the crowd.

My Thrower [Saul Tigh] recouped the ball and I sent one of my Throwers dancing down the line, while the rest of the team tried to systematically put down as many gobbos as I could. A troll even got floored, I came out of this turn really well.

On top of the trolls Otty also has a Goblin on a Pogo Stick [that looks awesome], a chainsaw wielding fanatic and a ball and chain loony. I think this was the loony's abject failure to pummel my Lineman and summed up much of Otty's game. Although I certainly found the crazy mix of characters, with the trolls to be a considerable challenge.

With the turnover I tried a number of things but ultimately my pass at full range was incomplete, I'm more used to playing Elves with their advantages so I was a big ask and the ball scattered at the Catcher's feet.

When the Pogo Stick failed to pick up the ball and it scattered it was a simple task for my Catcher to poach a touchdown.

I think I also did some damage in his team, pushing a couple of gobbos into the crowd.

Next kick-off and the pogoer managed to snatch the ball up while the trolls and secret weapons managed to KO/wound some of my players in return for my first round of injuries to his team.

I managed to make a break for the pogoer, but only pushed him back. The ball and chain was swirling around doing significant damage one turn and then avoiding every opposing player the next, it was fantastically random and funny to se..

Bouncing out of my grasp the pogoer went deeper into Otty's backfield...

...and then somehow managed to make it all the way here - that's what happens when you forget to take pictures and as it;s over a week since I can't remember what happened between pics or what happened next as I don't think it made the touchdown - I think I blitzed it and it was KO'd and there really wasn't enough turns left for me to get it upfield before the end of the first half. Not to mention it was after midnight!

Anyway, it was  good laugh, again hard to play because of the unfamiliarity of the rules. There's definitely something about Blood Bowl that feels more like chess in a way. Making the 'cage' is a key skill and maximising how tackle zones work. With more time I'd appreciate the nuance a little more and help improve my game. It certainly feels like a more balanced game than 40k, obviously there's random dice rolling and players stats gift advantages and disadvantages but for a Goblin team they had some really powerful characters compared to my average Joes. I don't know whether we'll be playing more games but it was a welcome change, I only regret not getting a close-up of Otty's teams as for only a couple of days work and scrounged models they looked great, maybe next time.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Warhammer 40K the next generation

Typical, after the high of #dreadtober - both with my hobby progress and surge of joy blogging about it I ended up with a bit of burnout, coupled with a number of things meaning I didn't have time or motivation. But we've been there, done that, many times before so I won't bore you with apologies [again].

What I will say is one weekend had us visit Liverpool, the well-spring of my hobby journey and aside from peaking int the Cat Cafe and Worlds Apart [independent comic shop] I was allowed to visit Warhammer. I wasn't going to buy anything but the youngest did comment he's the only one never to play 40k [which isn't true but I wasn't about to argue with him], so I decided to rectify the situation.

I set up the Warhammer Conquest intro board with a number of my future containers, that in pairs perfectly fit a Munitorum Container footprint. A couple of other bits of scatter scenery [which I really must paint] and we were ready. I gave him 3 Tyranid Warriors and I took 5 Space Marines, one with a Flamer, so I was outgunned from the get-go. Conquest give ethe Space Marine player first turn and I moved forward. Oscar moved the Warriors behind the containers, but one had just enough line of sight to target a marine and killed 2 for my hubris.

I would subsequently get into combat but after overwatch I only had the Sergeant and another Marine left. I did some damage to a Warrior.

But I was utterly outclassed by this stage and he wiped the floor with my Dark Angels.

We couldn;t have played for more than 20 minutes but I was struck how hard it was to try and introduce some of the concepts - AP for instance is a minus modifier but when you describe it it's always a 3+ save becomes 4+. Try explaining to your child 3+ -1 = 4+!!! Anyway, he enjoyed it, said we'd play another game a few hours later after 'a rest' but it didn't happen, which is fine. I'm more inclined to want to try Deathwatch Overkill with him again, it seems a lot simpler and might be more of a springboard game.

Meanwhile, a little elf has mentioned how he may want to paint some things with me, these things would appear via a mystery red-suited fat man. So I have to think about things I would like, that might be suitable for a novice to also paint. I immediately though of the Warhammer Underowlrds Sepulchral Guard - Skeletons are easy to paint. Bone and rusted armour, or spectral skelly-bobs with rusted armour a doddle, but they only come as a box set without the cards now. I also thought of some Death Guard, as again Nurgle is very forgiving to the novice painter - rust, corrosion and slime hides a multiple of sins.

However, I think I might suggest the Nurgle's Rotters Blood Bowl team. OK that may seem left field, I hadn't played Blood Bowl since 2017 [I actually had a game last week  but that's not necessarily a call to arms]. But this has the same sort of advantages as the Death Guard painting wise, and has at least a couple of each model type so he can paint one and I can paint one and then I'll do all the bases to tie them altogether. Seems like a plan but if you have any suggestions for alternatives, or ways to teach 40k to a novice I'd be very interested.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Dreadtober 2019 - Mostly TO DONE!

#Dreadtober update and as promised yesterday, today is just a preliminary wrap-up of pics. There's still varnishing to do and adding some flock but it's effectively complete.

 I have to say Dreadtober has been an absolute joy this year. Sure I made it easy on myself by prepping so much of it in advance, but I do that with all my projects and even so I almost [actually] didn't meet the deadline so I can't be too hard on myself - I know my pace.

 I think next year I'll have to post every time I progress instead of sticking to my schedule and doubling. it might be a nice exercise in micro-blogging and also help with the whole community vibe.

It's also worth mentioning Mordian 7th's hard working in keeping Dreadtober up-to-date not to mention painting his own Contemptor Achillus. Collating everyone's work in an additional blog is a thankless task, so I just thought I'd say 'thank you'! 

lastly a couple of comparison pics, alongside my old skool Rhino/Razorback. Not quite as saturated green, but the battle damage is comparable.

And lastly, alongside my Armiger Warglaive. I think the Warglaive just edges the Redemptor - it's on a bigger base for a start and I was always rather horrified that the interred marine's tend to 'burn out' in these newer dreads. It's horrific and seems perfectly grimdark 40k, but there is an element of callous disregard for a venerated brother and for me that doesn't fit with how marines honour their [almost] fallen [not that kind] comrades.

That said I have grown attached to the Redemptor, something I never thought when I initially saw the model. It's just a little sad I can't envisage playing Dark Angels for a while because of the new additional rules, but I've said before they can be my 'display army', even if the Tyranids are actually more of a display! Anyway, happy Hallowe'en, happy Dreadtober!

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Dreadtober 2019 - The Final 5

#Dreadtober update - "so say we all" fellow Dreadtoberists and Dreadtoberistas! Given the timescale I pushed [aka rushed] on through with this last night. Not only did I resolve most of the remaining details, but I got the glow FX and battle damage done.

Now the glow FX is not my best work, but once again I can live with that. Tyler Mengel covered something applicable last week in his article The Art of the Shortcut I'm referring to - 'point 2. Focal Points', in that although my glow FX is the brightest colour and stands out, the actual high quality shading of the bulk of the model may help mitigate the roughness of the glow and gives the illusion that it has all been painted to the same standard. Either way I'm not that fussed, it's alright and I'm happy with 'alright'.

With the reactor glow done I could finally glue on the Dark Angel reliquary. I broke it off about 5 minutes later so I can foresee that super-gluing it is going to come back and haunt me. If it does it again I may try polycement.

The fist is finished and battered. I loosely mixed Khorne Red and black and sponged on, so I got areas of more red and other darker areas so there was very little to do in making the damage stand out aside from the green highlight. This was mainly dabbed on after thinning with water and where it was a bit blobby a quick tap with my finger would blend the edge while leaving an area that was more saturated. I mean the detail isn't pristine/fine but it does the job, much better than 'alright' anyways ;) I didn't want too much damage as Redemptors are a 'new' unit and I noted my Old Skool Rhino/Razorback wasn't riddled with damage so this fits. One major success is I was a little more selective with it's application - mainly on the lower half, unlike my Knights which seem to have loads of damage on their carapaces but not many units are bigger than them to visit such damage...

And that's pretty much it, I need to add a couple more coats to the base rim, varnish and Tamiya Clear the lenses with some yellow flocking on the base. But, that will take a couple of nights and as Hallowe'en is tomorrow I'll be otherwise occupied. So what I'll be doing tonight is taking some preliminary pictures as it's all but complete so I can share for the culmination of Dreadtober. I'll finish it proper over the weekend and next week it's time to take stock on other projects again...

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Dreadtober 2019 - Devil in the details

#Dreadtober update and time seems to be running out, but that's only because these first 2 pictures are from the 24th of Dreadtober. The truth is I'll most likely be on track to finish this, what with working on the details now. But trying to fit in the blog updates before the end of the month, now that's the difficult challenge.

As you can see I've started to pick out some pipework on the sarcophagus, shaded his power fist, added grey and a shadow wash to the Dark Angel Chapter moulding on is front and also added a company number on his shoulder

The other shoulder will have a Dark Angel decal, so I've glossed it, complete with these chunky brush strokes 😞 I'll do another coat and see if it smooths out. I mean I could have free-handed this but for some reason just felt that a decal was the right way to go, time will tell.

I had a few more details to pick out, [red pipes, lenses, Tyranid elements on the base, Dark Angel Relic trophies on the back, rivets etc.] highlight all the black areas and some other bits and then consider battle damage. Luckily I got some time at the weekend to paint during the day. It's a rare treat but I got to progress a lot of those details. So the initial 2 pics have suddenly got all these to show progress.

 It also helped I got the Chapter decal affixed so I could then go about shading highlight so it was less decal looking. And I started the base for my plasma glows. 

There's actually a fair bit more detail in the chapter badge than this picture conveys but it does appear to have the notorious decal 'halo' which is a little misleading as I actually painted an outline of Caliban Green to add some shading to it and depth. The Genestealer Node also got highlights, just the teeth to do now. 

I had a spare number 5 stencil knocking around from my Predator, that's also been cleaned up after stippling and highlighted. Hindsight a big red stripe down the centre would have looked better. Or the panel underneath made white, echoing the Predator... The interior of the sarcophagus had some orange added to echo the Drop Pods. Decisions I will dismiss for now, maybe consider them down the line as an update?

The Genestealer skull also got highlighted and his head crest Bahama blue, ready for turquoise next.

These later pics are from 27th Dreadtober. Still a number of things to do but it should be painted by the end of the month, meeting the deadline. Varnishing might be in November but I can live with that.  

Inside number nine

It's my #blogaversary and somehow I've been blogging for 9 years! I wondered last year if I could even take a break? Careful what you wish for...

Given the family situation that transpired at my last blogaversary and all the IT obstacles that have been put in my way blogging is now finely balanced between the effort to keep it going and the need to share my efforts. That's not to say I don't appreciate all those who keep coming back and find value in my postings, as well as the support I've felt for during this difficult period. I am forever grateful for all of the comments and support.

But I know I haven't been able to keep up with the blog how I would like and that has also meant I have failed to contribute quite as much as I'd like to the hobby blogging community - I read less blogs and haven't been able to support them with my own feedback as much as I receive. In some respects I've been seduced by twitter - spending more time on there because of the bite-size chunks. And I have been able to respond to comments a little more here, compared to previously. As the IT policy on the images has tightened the actual blog and comments have relaxed and with G+ dead it's now straightforward to see all the latest comments chronologically in the dashboard and which ones I need to respond to [or delete of they're spam].

Rest assured I've no intention of stopping any time soon. I may well have had a lot of challenges to test my love of blogging recently, and I'm fine with a platonic 'friends with benefits'. 😂 But at the moment I think I'm enjoying it again; and if you hadn't noticed there is evidence that blogger has some new functions in the dashboard, so maybe google is investing a bit of effort in it? A different way to view your stats isn't ground breaking but maybe it heralds more for the future...

Here's to another 12 months, 9 years though ... how did that happen?!

Monday, 28 October 2019

Dreadtober 2019 - Verdigris and vert de green

#Dreadtober update and the verdigris has been added. Typically it is a mixed affair, where sometimes the application looks as close to what it can be in reality

And then in other areas where it just looks like I've splodged turquoise paint on it. 

But the fist got quartered for the 5th company's badge and I also started shading all the panels with black. 

Again, subtle unwanted tide marks with the black, that's what happens when you don;t apply a layer of texture to hide all these mistakes! However, the subsequent highlights/glazes should mitigate this issue.  

Waaargh Flesh I think is the highlight, mainly drybrushed on but some areas where it was applied as a line-highlight and others where it was thinned and blended.

I could feel myself rushing this a bit in places, but I'm thinking I may go back in with some Caliban Green, drybushed to help blend the lighter and darker shades together.

This will also help cover up any marks I hadn't resolved, although if I do any weathering/battle damage that will be even less of an issue...

More highlights and glazing next...