Haanz

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34 Lord Celestant

About Haanz

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    Judicator
  • Birthday 04/22/1989
  1. Sign me up, please! Michael Hanns
  2. Hello all, it's been some time since my last post! I won't beat around the bush - as was the case with many I'm sure, 8th Edition 40K stormed into my life and Age of Sigmar was, quite simply, put on hold while I sorted out my first 1000pts army. Beyond the miniatures themselves, there were a number of scenery pieces that needed painted and assembled and in between all of that, I'd been chipping away on my Nurgle Daemons, who I'm hoping to have a dual existance with in both my 40K army and my eventual Nurgle Daemons/Rotbringers/Pestillens army for Age of Sigmar, but more on that when I've more to show for it. In any case, between finishing my Heretic Astartes and continuing to put together my Nurgle Daemons, I took a break from all things Chaos to finally polish off my Stormcast army. Now at 2000pts (1000pts of which is in 3 models, which is pretty crazy), it - like my Wolf and the Rat army - is built strictly around the philosophy of cool models > theme > how does it play. I did want it to be something of an antithesis of my Wolf and the Rat Bloodbound, and so the whole army is a small, elite core of only 28 models (Dracoth Celestant, Drakesworn Templar, Celestant Prime, 5 Liberators, 5 Liberators, 5 Judicators, 5 Decimators, 3 Prosecutors, 2 Fulminators) with 2 more not in the list (Lord Relictor, Knight Questor) vs the horde of 77 models in their nemesis list, which makes for a pretty interesting matchup! It's been a fun project, and in many ways neat to work on the antithesis of Chaos while most of my other models have been Chaos of some form or another, but I think I'm pretty much done with Stormcast Eternals at this point. If I work on any more forces of order, I'd quite like to work on something a little more nutso (Flagellants and Warrior Priests, for example), or even just bring in some actual Aelfs for the Azure Tempest to ally with. Then, of course, there's always my big pile of Dwarfs I've got waiting to be painted, and with the new Fyreslayer Start Collecting! box coming out.. I'm starting to think I have a problem. My ramblings aside, here's the models! Eldyra the Immaculate, Blade of Tyrion Okay, so this is an idea I've had pretty much since I started the Azure Tempest. While I try not to involve named characters in my own fluff to be best I can achieve (though this can be unavoidable to a point when working with Stormcast, particularly if you're the kind of idiot that decides to do something that didn't come from standard human origins), I figured Eldyra is such a minor plot character whose conflicting tales of her fate in End Times gives a bit of leeway. Princess Eldyra of Tiranoc was Tyrion's squire and in at least one End Times novel I believe her fate in End Times was to be turned into a Vampire. With that said, she was still a High Elf, and so I imagine her soul was probably consumed by Slaanesh with the rest of them. Due to the Vampiric Taint in her body however, her freed soul was perhaps less tainted by the digestion leading to her reforged 'human' Stormcast body retaining many more of her Aelf traits. As Tyrion's squire in the world that was, she was given many great gifts following her reforging by Sigmar from her former lord-turned-new-God. Among those were Tyrion's legendary sword Sunfang, and a magical sceptre with a fragment of the Flame of Asuyran itself. From a hobby perspective, there's a lot going on here. The most obvious of which is, the Celestant Prime is switched with Saint Celestine with her sci fi bits and SoB/Imperium markings shaved off. Her head was originally going to be one I'd gotten from a plastic wood elf kit, but the proportions turned out to be incredibly jarring. I'd been told Saint Celestine was a small mini, but this blew my mind a little. She's almost pushing LOTR 25mm when compared to some of the other heroic scale minis in Warhammer, and that's kinda neat, but a pain to kitbash. Her head ended up being one of the Seraphim bodyguard, with a little more of a fringe and longer hair green stuffed on. In photo, I feel like she comes off as a little mannish in their face for an Aelf, but I think it works fine on the tabletop. Another key kitbash was Tyrions sword. This being an important named character in my army, I didn't want to half ass this, so it ended up coming from an old metal Tyrion miniature I got off of eBay, making this certainly the single most expensive kitbash of my life. Unfortunately, the tiny Celestine model again makes even Tyrions sword long as massive as the Cometstaff, but in the heroically proportioned Stormcast army, I don't think it looks too jarring, even if it's a little goofy. The final touch was another sword, slung in a scabbard at her waist that came from a set of Dragon Princes I bought for me fiancé. I'll admit freely that a demigod, squire to an actual God and wielding both a God's famed sword and a staff containing a fragment of a fire used to judge the worthiness of kings of a whole race.. yeah, they probably don't need another short sword, but at least she has less weapons than a Space Marine Primaris grav transport (apologies, more 40K bleeding in!). In truth, this was a last minute addition and is mainly to cover up a little dodgy green stuff work in getting her skirt part of the cloak to fit snugly on her waist. D'oh! The base is the last part probably worthy of comment. Honestly, it wasn't supposed to be quite so overgrown, but for the longest time I'd pictured her divinity and lifeforce causing a ripple of all four seasons across the ground she tread, a more intense variant of the spring flowers blooming in the ash wastes that the rest of my Stormcast are supposed to evoke.. okay, that was the plan, until I saw the base of the assembled model. There wasn't a lot of room for detail beneath the spiral. In the end, I painted the spiral in a nice blend between four seasons of colours, but it wasn't quite what I'd pictured in my head. I just went nuts in the end and blended a light green, dark green, winter green and a dead wasteland brown of grass, with spring flowers, summer flowers, dead leaves and GW snow effects adorning. I wish I'd been smarter with where each strand started instead of ending up mostly summer on the front, mostly autumn on the back, but again, you live and learn, and I'm still fairly pleased with the result in the end. Probably not the smartest choice to field in an army already packing a Stardrake, but the heart wants what the heart wants! Fulminators, Dracoth 'Princes' In contrast to Eldyra, I don't really have a whole lot to say about these guys. I magnetised the arms for future proofing, although I love the idea of the glaive's so much from a theme, miniature and even rules concept so much I didn't actually bother assembling the other options. I'm planning on running these guys together with my Dracoth Celestant with Tempestos Hammer as a glorious charge unit! From a painting point of view, I enjoyed these guys, but they weren't a great deal different to paint over the Lord Celestant on Dracoth, although practice and new, consistent paints have made some of the parts I'd previously struggled with a little bit easier. One thing I noticed after painting these, the final units in my Stormcast army, was what a terrible idea using gloss varnish over the white plate sections for a ceramic effect was - I genuinely enjoyed the look of their plates before adding the gloss, and was a little dismayed by how it looked after. I think I'm going to go back over all my glossy shoulder pads and whatnot with a matte varnish again and fix this. Still like the glossy wings on my Prosecutors/Celestant Prime though. So that's the Azure Tempest finally completed. It's been a fun journey, especially considering that the first model I painted in 10 years was the Knight Questor from the Silver Tower box set that started this whole thing. It's been fun going from my first attempts to figure out gold (and pretty much no highlighting at all) through to my experimentation with techniques, technical paints and various effects from the miniatures to the bases to the kitbashes along the way. Maybe one day I'll return to my Aelfs of Azyr, either with more Stormcast (I do love those Gryph Chargers, and Vanguard Warriors would make great post-Dark Elf Reavers) or with whatever crazy Aelf release that Games Workshop decide to drop on us out of nowhere, but until then, it's back to the forces of Chaos for me as I try and get my Nurgle Daemons ready for both Age of Sigmar and as reinforcements for my 40K army! The Azure Tempest - 1980/2000pts Heroes: 'Prince' Cazris and Glauranax (Lord-Celestant on Dracoth) - 220pts Aemarion Dragonborn and Chaerofax (Drakesworn Templar) - 500pts Eldyra the Immaculate, Blade of Tyrion - 360pts Battleline: Liberators with Warblades - 100pts Liberators with Warblades - 100pts Judicators - 160pts Decimators - 200pts Fulminators - 240pts Prosecutors with Celestial Hammers - 100pts So, what's next? Well, aside from the aforementioned Daemons (whom I'd rather like to build 1000pts of to match my Dwarfs), I think the next time I'll post an update to this blog will be a scenery post! This month has been a big month for buying and painting scenery to provide better cover and thus more interesting battles, especially some fixer-upper pieces from eBay. I've got everything from some high-fantasy Age of Sigmar pieces (Dreadstone Blight, Ophidian Archway, Arcane Ruins) to even just some nice, low-fantasy ruined towers that'll fit nicely with my bridges, walls and farmhouses from Warlord Games to add to my collection, so I'll hopefully have some nice battlefield photos of my next game of Age of Sigmar to show off (and also reveal both of my armies in their fully mustered forms!). Thanks for reading!
  3. Any luck yet??
  4. Any luck on the photos for these yet?
  5. Are they based on squares or rounds? Do you have any photos?
  6. As far as bringing the games close together enough to be compatible with each other.. There's a number of reasons that potential compatibility would be fun, but I don't think it's necessarily a good idea - even something as simple as Chaos Daemons, I think, should possibly behave differently in 40K to Age of Sigmar because of their relativity to the other armies and units. Maybe they don't have to, but I think both games would have to be designed from the get go to be compatible with each other. I'm not saying that's impossible, but it'd take either a collossal rules release, or a couple incremental editions of each game. Maybe that's GWs end game here, to make their games compatible in the way of Warmahordes, and the push towards Big Awesome High Concept Fantasy With Massive Monsters in Age of Sigmar and making 40K a little closer in playstyle to AoS is their first step. Maybe the games will learn from each other for another edition or two before becoming, essentially, the same game. Maybe. Would that be good for the fluff for each game? Eh, debatable. But it's kinda happened before? I get the appeal of having two distinct systems though - it's something that to this day makes me miss Fantasy a little. I liked walking into a GW and seeing two sides, and the immensely distinct grey vs red divide, and on the tabletops you'd have these futuristic skirmishes and fantasy/medival rank and files. It's nice having two distinct games with distinct rulesets that provide a little something different for each. But most of the rules they've previewed in this new edition of 40K - simplified Strength and Toughness comparisons, restricted shooting out of combat, characters and so on - it all sounds great, and none of it feels explicitly 40K, like it's worth keeping to a single system. Yeah, you could argue Age of Sigmar is a little easier, but the difference is nowhere near, say, 3rd Edition 40K and 6th Edition Fantasy. I have no idea what GWs long term game is here, but I definitely forsee some more cross pollination of ideas for a while, and if GW is going the annual incremental update route with the Generals Handbook, then we probably won't see any more sweeping changes that require everything to have new warscrolls any time soon. I'll be very disappointed if the shooting and characters rules don't come to Age of Sigmar though!
  7. Holy cow, that's grizzly! Actually, come to think of it, we had a couple of rescue Catfish growing up that did pretty much the exact same thing; I've always been a little squirlly around Catfish since. Thanks for the kind words!
  8. It's been something of a nightmare, but I've finally finished my gaming table, and I'm really happy with how it came out. The whole process started back when I started getting into Age of Sigmar - upon deciding to take the plunge and jump right back into miniature wargaming again, I decided I didn't want to half ass anything this time around; if I was going to play with miniatures, then they'd have to be painted, and I'd have to have a proper surface to play on, scenery and all. One of the first things I looked at were GW's Realm of Battle boards; I liked the idea of something prefabricated, but that I could tear down for storage and transport and build up and I saw fit.. but I didn't really like how expensive they were, I heard awkward things about the hills on the original Realm of Battle and I didn't like how setting-specific near enough all of them were; I have neither the money, free time or storage space to make more than one gaming table, and so I wanted mine to be fairly setting agnostic - while I'm not particularly expecting to be playing any historicals any time soon, it would have to at least work with Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000, but it'd be nice if it could be used in some capacity for GW's specialist games such as Lord of the Rings, Mordheim and Necromunda as well. To that end, crazy clockwork gears, Imperial Aquilas and skull pits were a bit much for me. I also found out that 'mousemat' style printed mats were very popular - they'd certainly be more storable and transportable, but I couldn't guarantee anywhere I'd play would have a full 6'x4' surface to play on, and I didn't like comitting to the full 6'x4' size either. And then I discovered this range called 'Tablescapes' by a company called 'Secret Weapon Miniatures'. They're 1'x1' injection moulded plastic tiles in a number of styles that come in sets of size 4'x4' and 6'x4' (and 2'x4' expansion sets if you order directly) and can be tore down and rearranged in any order you like. The underside is reinforced with a solid circular and cross pattern that keeps them very durable and unmalleable, and they hold together with a really robust set of compression clips at the corners. They come in X and V shapes for connecting 4 corners, or two edges together, and once everything is locked together, is holds tight. I haven't done much stress testing because I had no plans to review them as such, but for my needs, the hold is perfect. The table we lay them on is (very roughly) 3' x 7', so we have a 6" overhang on each side of the table when everything is set up. Even with a little bit of gentle leaning, there is no give and everything feels safe and secure. Here's an overview of the finished product: Bottom line? I really like these tiles. They're well built and well designed, richly detailled without becoming cluttered or tacky, and many of the sets are generic enough to work as a nice foundation for a specific project, or repurposable for fantasy, sci-fi, historicals, and so on. As my primary interest was playing Age of Sigmar, but with a mind to 40K, Necromunda (or Shadow War: Armageddon), Mordheim and LOTR, I eventually decided on a combination of the Rolling Fields and Forgotten City tilesets, painted up to be like the edge of a temple aside a more of a volcanic/mountainous/ash wastleland. I figure that this works equally well at full size as the Realm of Aqshy for AoS or a volcanic 40K planet, the Mines of Moria or the wastelands of Mordor or Angmar, and dialling back to a 4x4, it could either focus on the Fields/Lava tiles and be an industrial underhive (Necromunda) or focus on the stone and concrete tiles and be a ruined city (Mordheim/Frostgrave). This is another reason I like these tiles so much - the Rolling Fields is so versatile that you could paint it as concrete, mud, grasslands, or a desert and it wouldn't look off. For my money, I opted to go the concrete route because it seemed more versatile in the long run - green grasslands seems the obvious candidate at first, but it looks a lot less strange to put a the ruined city of Mordheim or the opressive underhives of Necromunda/Armageddon on concrete with patches of overgrown weeds than it does a big green field. In retrospect, maybe using green tinted Vallejo Still Water for a slimy/polluted river might've been a little more reusable (I wouldn't have to exclude this tiles in Mordheim, for example), but the fiery orange and yellow lava really brings some colour to the otherwise drab and oppressive monochrome colour palette I used on the rest of the tiles. Back to the tiles themselves, I'm really happy with the overall finished result and I'd recommend Secret Weapon Tablescapes as an option to consider for anyone looking to build a gaming table who might not have the space or resources to scratch build. With that said, they're not without their flaws. Let's get them out of the way now. The 'Rolling Fields' set's river is a little unnatural looking with it's right angle corner pieces. I'd almost have rathered an option with just a 4 tile straight river. I've considered buying a 4 tile 'display board' pack just to have the option not to use them. The more three dimensional 'hilly' tiles on the rolling fields can occasionally be problematic for miniature balance I've encountered this a surprisingly small amount of times in play, to be fair. Far fewer balancing problems than expected. The only times I've had real issues with sliding is, somewhat ironically, when using Secret Weapon's resin moulded bases (which are flat bottomed, rather than the usual hollow kind). This was resolved by putting some felt over the bottoms of any resin bases I use, which is kinder on surfaces too. 1'x1' tiles mean more configurability, and arguably easier storage, but they also mean more gridlines. I didn't bother clipping the tiles together properly for these photographs, so they're a little more noticable in these pictures than they are in actual play, but you can see them. For some, I could imagine that being a dealbreaker. I've read people on the internet complain about plastic tiles - either Tablescapes or GWs - and not liking the sound dice make when rolled on them, especially compared to the silence of a neoprene mat. Personally, this isn't an issue to me. In fact, I quite like it. These tiles don't ship with any good system for storage or transport. AFAIK, the Games Workshop tiles come with a fitted bag - I have no personal experience with this, but I've heard it does the job okay. The best thing these tiles get is a kinda ill fitting cardboard box, which did the job for a couple of trips and would probably be fine for storage only, but it's not great. When these things were originally on Kickstarter, there was talk of storage spacers that clipped into the compression clip corners, or of Battlefoam producing a proper insert for them; as far as I can tell, neither came to fruition. Personally, I ended up investing in a Battlefoam Pack 1520XL. I store each tile vertically back to back, with a thin sheet of foam between each tile on either side, and it fills up the full width of a BFL tray, leaving 10" of space above for storing my scenery and terrain. With a PACK Plus strapped to the top of the 1520XL, I can carry the full board and more than enough terrain to cover the board pretty safe and securely, along with rulebooks, rulers, dice, etc. It can withstand pressure, sharp knocks or rolls or jabs or any other punishment it might endure in the boot of a car. But it was not cheap. I spent about as much on all of this as I did the tiles themselves, and we'll get onto that shortly. There is not a doubt in my mind that there is a less expensive solution to all of this, but the thought of damaging these tiles after the hours of my life that went into producing them worried me too much to cheap out at this stage, and having everything together in one easily stored and transported box is a lifesaver. If you already have transportation/storage for your terrain though, you could probably fit a full 6'x4' set of tiles in a PACK 720, which is something to think about I suppose. They weren't cheap, and they're getting harder to find in Europe. I had originally forked out for the 4'x4' Rolling Fields section, expecting to really only be playing around 1000pts games of AoS and maybe some Skirmish games like Kill Team, Necromunda, etc. Obsession took over and I found myself needing that extra 2'x4' section. In an ideal world - if you're an American customer, and buying the 6'x4' option in a single go, it'll cost you less than GW's plastic Realm of Battle boards, even from a 3rd party retailler, but not much as much less as you'd hope and those RoB boards aren't considered cheap as it is. But that won't get you any storage/travel packaging other than the cardboard box it comes in, which won't last. But if you're a European customer, they're getting harder to find without getting them direct from Secret Weapon themselves, which means importing, which means dealing with customs/import tax and the not-so-great conversion rate at the moment - I got my first 4'x'4' section from Wayland Games a year ago for £100, which is 2/3rd the size of a Realm of Battle Board and half the RRP, but the 2'x'4' extention that I bought direct from Secret Weapon ended up costing more thanks to (in SW's defence, fairly reasonable for it's size/weight) international delivery and customs charges, making the whole thing more expensive than a Realm of Battle board - but my tale was a particularly woeful one. Not everyone will incur the costs I did, especially if they just bought a 6'x4' outright from Mantic or whatever. I could've paid half what I paid if I just bought a 6'x4' Rolling Fields set from Wayland when I did. But there will be people who have built a comparable, possibly much nicer board from scratch who would feint at the price I ended up paying for mine, but thems the breaks. But enough negativity. Here's some closer shots of the table with a little commentary on my process. Above is a closer shot of the Rolling Fields section. The paint job on this section is incredibly simple, in fact, it's pretty much just a drybrush of Vallejo Heavy Bluegrey over a black rattle can primer. I don't own an airbrush, and that's never been more of a problem to me than on this step. I think I applied the drybrush using a Citadel Medium Scenery brush, which accounts for the streakiness in parts - you live, you learn. I'd figured out how to get an even drybrush by the time I moved onto the Forgotten City tiles (with a flat brush it turns out, who knew other than everyone?). The next step was the lava. This was done by first painting the riverbed a dark red and building up layers of Vallejo Water Texture, some layers mixed in with a bit of ink/wash to slightly colour/tint the whole layer, where other layers I would lay down untinted, then put a couple drops of red/orange/yellow on top and brushing it through. Each of the layers took overnight to dry, so this step easily took the most amount of time from start to finish to complete, and getting the right streak to tint to clear ratio for each layer was a bit of a learning curve. The end result was a thick, textured blend from dark red to yellow with thick marbling in places and a little transparency. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how close the lava turned out to the image I had of it in my head. After painting, I sealed everything with brush on Vallejo Polyeurethane Matt varnish. Again, this was before I discovered the slightly better and slightly more matt Vallejo Matt varnish, although it was a little cheaper which was pleasant. Everything has a very slight sheen (kinda like I imagine a 'satin' varnish would look like), but I will say it's done a damn fine job of protecting the paint job. As far as I can tell, I've had no paint rubbing off or chipping despite going in and out of it's foam sealed case and having all manner of plastic, metal and resin miniatures tossed over it. The final step was flocking. I didn't want a grasslands so much as blasted wasteland, but I also wanted to have a few very grassy tiles that if I wanted, I could clump together to create more fieldy section of the board if the need arose. I used four different types of flock/static grass, and mostly stuck with wasteland/marsh/dead/winter oriented products to keep things wastelandy. I also made sure to only use the torched brown flock and very sparingly on any tiles with lava itself. There's also a whole bunch of Highland and Wasteland grassy tufts from Army Painter on there. Several months later and the need arose to get the table up to a full 6'x4' for full 2000pts games of Age of Sigmar. I was always going to be paying a premium to buy a 4'x4' and a 2'x4' rather than everything in one go, so I thought I'd take advantage of my situation and mix and match my Tablescapes - enter, Forgotten City. This section eventually turned out about as well as I could've hoped for, but it wasn't without it's share of problems. The lack of lava meant that I could get all 8 of these tiles finished in under a week, though it was tedious going at times. To begin, I primed it with rattle can black, and drybrushed all the dirt patches with Vallejo Heavy Bluegrey like I did on the Rolling Fields to tie the tiles together. Next, I whipped out all my paints that advertise themselves as 'Grey'. I'm a dropper bottle kinda guy. I use a wet palette and almost all my paints are Vallejo or Army Painter, with the occasional Citadel Texture paint or effect like Blood for the Blood God or Typhus Corrosion or whatever. I have recently branched out and bought the must-have Citadel washes though, as I like how they go on and I like being able to dip from the pot when it comes to washes. But a little while back when following the Baleful Realmgate painting tutorial on Warhammer TV, it ocurred to me that I don't own a real straight up 'grey', nothing that really hit that Mechanicus Standard Grey black/white midpoint grey. Just Vallejo Heavy Bluegrey. So, I bought a few Vallejo greys online - Stonewall Grey, Heavy Charcoal (which is weirdly glossy, by the way), Cold Grey, Heavy Grey.. man, none of them is even close. I swear, whoever wrote VGC Heavy Grey is a colour match to Mechanicus Standard Grey on the DakkaDakka Paint Compatibility Chart was either colourblind or trolling - or maybe even the person who named that paint. That colour is a freaking Green. 100%, no doubt about it. It's like a pale camo green/olive. The base coat of any of the lighter green looking stones are courtesy of Heavy Grey. Go figure. Eventually, I bought myself a pot of Mechanicus Standard Grey because I GIVE UP. Aaaanyway, to get back on subject, for each batch (I batched them in groups of 4 to preserve sanity), I'd pick a 'grey' and colour in a few clusters of tiles in some random spaced out spots, repeat for each tile in the batch, and then switch to a new grey. Once the whole thing was coloured in this way, it got a massive wash of Army Painter Strong/Dark, and drybrushed over with VGC Khaki to pull all the different tones together. And then the whole thing was varnished. And man, what a pain in the ass that was. As always, I was using brush on Vallejo Polyurethane Matt. I'd like to say that was that, but in the process of varnishing it the brush strokes and moisture of the varnish caused some of the khaki drybrushing to melt and move around. My guess is that the wash didn't bond so well to the massive expanse of flat paint - the actual base layer of paint had no problems sticking to the primer, after all. After I realised this was happening on the first set of tiles, I left the rest for 48-72 hours, hoping that maybe with time the paint would cure better and the bond would be stronger.. no dice. In the end, I basically had to try and cover it with as few brush strokes as possible, cleaning the brush throughly as often as I could, and making sure that as little varnish as possible pooled in the dark recesses - the varnish had a tendency to go cloudy with the khaki paint and lighten up my darks. After the first coat, I'd touch up with another drybrush, redarken some of the recesses, and seal the whole thing again. It's times like this that I'd probably benefit from owning a rattlecan can of some kinda matt varnish. I wish Testors wasn't so hard to find in the UK, because I've heard too many mixed things about Army Painter and Citadel rattle can varnish to risk it. Oh well, chalk up another lesson learned. Finally, I applied some static grass and tufts - in smaller areas and patches, mostly focussed around the ash/dirt mounds and cracks, which also helped with covering up any glaring blending issues or notable khaki rub off, and the job was done. Again, I'm happy with the overall turnout of it, and hope you liked reading my rambling account of the journey to get here! I can't wait to play my first full size game on the 6'x4' table and see what the extra room for maneuvering brings to the game! But wait.. there's more! There's BONUS DUARDIN! Something I've been working on as a side project along with my two main armies is a truckload of 6th Edition era Warhammer Fantasy Dwarfs from my youth. There's around 2500pts of stuff here in various states of completion, including but not limited to several heroes, 40 Warriors, 20 Quarrellers, 20 Longbeards, 20 Ironbreakers, 2 Bolt Throwers, a Cannon and a Stone Thrower, much of it only primed and some just clean metal, with about 1000pts of it sloppily painted for the tabletop by a younger, more careless me. Starting with the prepainted stuff, it's been my plan to rebase it all to rounds and improve the most unacceptable paint jobs to something closer resembling my current tabletop standard. For starters, here's a group shot of my Great Weapon Warriors (top) and Ironbreakers (bottom). These guys were built and painted back in the day, but I've given them a bit of a new lease of life by trying out a can of Army Painter Quickshade on them, as well as repainting their shield designs from a lazy flat gold from back in the to a new orange and black split, which I think makes them look a little more striking en masse. You can also spot a Stone Thrower in the back from the days when a Dwarfs Warmachines came in a blister pack. I'm not going to bother with individual shots, because they don't particularly hold up to scrutiny, but I think they look good in a pack! There's something really gratifying about a fistful of these small, really lightweight little blobs of painted plastic on a 25mm base after the smallest things I've worked on in AoS being Bloodreavers and Stormvermin on 32mm bases. I'm also feeling pretty good about using my new tiles with a black background for photography. Here's the Ironbreakers below. If you look even a little carefully, you'll notice the Quickshade has pooled a bit on the bottoms of the Ironbreakers shields, obscuring detail. It's a bummer, but harder to notice with the added edge highlighting. It could've been avoided by brushing on the dip, but at that point I don't really see the advantage in dip over an all over brush on from a pot of Nuln Oil - although, the built-in layer of varnish, I will concede, is pretty handy on these metal miniatures. Even moreso than the Dwarf Warriors, who were at least multi-part plastics, I'm actually quite surpirsed with how much I still like these mono pose sculpts on round bases. They look unified, disciplined, dignified.. and I will admit, there is a certain charm to handling a finished metal miniature - the weight of the item really gives it a great feel in the hand. I'm certainly looking forward to getting around to the 20 strong unit of Longbeards I've got ready and waiting for a paint job now! But finally, the main event.. my Dwarf Lord and Shieldbearers, King Ragnar Herk. This model is something of a re-conversion. Back when I was building my Dwarfs army, I needed a character to represent my Dwarf Lord/General Thane/whatever, and I absolutely loved the King Alrik miniature - not for stature and his shieldbearers though so much as I loved that big winged helmet and big bushy face, and I loved that his face was obscured enough by it all that he had a level of anonymity that made him a great choice of mini for a generic Dwarf Lord. So, I stuck him on a rock, changed out his axe for a hammer and stuck his big awesome shield to his back, because why throw away such a great looking shield?! Anyway, when I started re-purposing my Dwarfs, I noticed the 'Dwarf Lord and Shieldbearers' warscroll before I encountered the 'Warden King', and when I saw you got those two free wounds for adding shieldbearers, I figured 'why not?'. My lord was already converted off the Shield though, so I scratched my head about what to do and looked in my box of Dwarfs. Shortly after, I encountered two miniatures I thought were perfect - one of Alrik's old shieldbearers that I'd converted into a very awkward Thane with a great weapon, and an amazingly old Citadel 'Dead Drunk Dwarf' that a friend of mine had ordered from our local GWs mail order catalogue for me as a birthday present over a decade ago. The Thane, in practice, kind of looked like he was struggling with the axe, possibly even offering it up, which made him a great dutiful squier-esque kind of companion, which in turn worked well for the Dead Drunk Dwarf who uh, wasn't much use to anyone. As a model, this didn't take an awful long time to complete. I just CA glued the three of them (Lord on his rock and all) onto a 60mm round base, textured it with some Vallejo Black Lava (an absolute godsend for fast textured basing when you're not priming black, and a zillion times cheaper than any GW texture paint), applied some brush-on primer to the two 'shieldbearers', touched up the Lord's paintjob (adding some orange for the new colour scheme where appropriate), and painted up the two shieldbearers, then put some brush on matt varnish over the lot. I will say I was happy with a couple of details I might normally pick out - I used a little Bloodletter Glaze on the Dead Drunks nose to give him that boozy look, and I actually bothered to paint the pupils. They're not the cleanest job I've ever seen, and could maybe do with being a little subtler, but they give him a sort of "I've seen too much" dead eyed stare at the clouds, which I enjoyed. For a final touch, I used a few types of flock and static grass to give the rocky area a more opressive feel like on my Skin Wolves as the base was too big for just a couple of tufts, but not big enough to justify some lava cracks. Then, I added some spilled ale from my Dead Drunk Dwarfs flagon with a few layers of Vallejo Water Effects with some brown and yellow ink tinting it. Around the top of the flagon, I also added a few particles of Army Painter 'snow' effect and a tiny bit of white paint to make it look just a little bit frothier where it's thickest, although I'm not sure how visible it ended up being. Closing thoughts Well, that's what I've been up to since finishing The Wolf and the Rat! Expanding my game board to a full 6'x4' became a bigger and more apparent priority than finishing up my 2000pts of The Azure Tempest this month, which is why my Dwarfs ended up getting some time in the sun. As it stands, I could take a Warden King, ten Warriors and ten Ironbreakers and give my Chaos forces something of a reasonable fight (and certainly adds more miniatures to the table than the additional four Stormcast I had planned!), although more likely that I'll paint up my Cannon and Stone Thrower and add a little long ranged punch into the army instead of the Ironbreakers. To throw a curveball into the mix, I've also received a bunch of miniatures for my birthday that are demanding my attention. A friend of mine gifted me a Warhammer Games Day/Golden Daemon event Daemon Slayer miniature that is just way too bad as to leave unpainted in a box, and my ever lovely better half had bought me a box of Putrid Blightkings and a Daemons of Nurgle Start Collecting! box, having noted that I once rambled to her that I'd have picked Nurgle as my Chaos Diety of choice, had the starter box for AoS not come with a bunch of Khorne stuff. She's not wrong, and I'm really stoked to start painting these guys, just as soon as I pick up some rust and Nurgles Rot effects. I'm going to have to start taking some serious consideration into the Nurgle/Khorne lists I've been playing about with under the name The Red Plague. I'm already thinking of the Pestillens Skaven I could justify adding now, and with all my Chaos Daemons I've managed to amass, it could be a lot easier than expected to jump back into the new edition of 40K when it launches. Sigmar can wait.. I can hear Grandfather calling.
  9. Vile. Morbid. Perfect.
  10. I like dipping. I think it has it's uses, depending on your definition. In the looser definition that you seem to be using, I pretty much just washed my Bloodreavers all over with Agrax Earthshade and called it a day. They looked good enough that I can put them on the tabletop and think "that looks nice" and I didn't have to spend more than a weekend painting 20 guys who didn't even have an armour save until about a week ago. Yeah, you can argue that I'm "wasting time" of sorts if I didn't enjoy painting that unit, but I had the minis and I wanted them painted for the tabletop. The end result still makes me happy to play with, over grey plastic or even a better looking paintjob that I'd paid someone else to do would, because it's mine. And I have my converted heroes and even some smaller units of conversions that I'll have taken longer on to get my hobby jollies from. Now, you might say 'that's not the same' because I'm not just dipping everything, just the units I don't mind looking a little more basic. Fair play. But I think there's still plenty hobby joy to be obtained from painting an army with a basic dipping technique - I've got about 2500pts of 6th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Dwarfs, some painted, some not. The painted ones are.. basic. They're all old minis and lower on my priority list than any fancy new minis I'd want to start or paint, but when I've got spare time between projects, I like to work on building them up - maybe with the idea of adding some Fyreslayers and Kharadron Overlords into them for a Duardin Coalition of sorts. So, I want to repurpose them, but I don't want to spend a whole lot of my time and effort painting them. My solution has been to dip the already painted ones in Army Painter Quickshade (dark tone), which hides some of the messier edges and shades all the parts that weren't shaded well enough, as well as kinda unifies the whole force. Bonus: built-in varnish, so I don't need to waste time with that step. When that's dry, I repainted their shields what my new coalition colour scheme is going to be, stick them on a new base with some Vallejo Black Lava for texture and then BAM, I've got some playable minis - ready, and good enough looking en masse for the tabletop. That being said, if we're talking about varnish style dip here, the bonus of it being ready varnished and shaded in one go is nice if you don't mind gloss varnished minis, but if you're planning on matte varnishing over it, it's kind of a wasted step - and the thickness of the dip is a pain, and most people brush it on anyway. QuickShade is weird, and I think I'd recommend just brushing on a wash over the QuickShade dipping method for anyone else. The funny thing in this scenario is that despite the momentously 'basic' paint jobs, it all looks good enough on the table and it looks like my work. The colour scheme is mine. The unit choices are mine. The conversions and unique aspects are all mine. No, they're not as exciting or make me as proud to field as my better painted armies that I took more time on, and most of the work I've done to get them tabletop ready has been more of a chore than a fun exercise, but the end result still makes me happy and excited and I never feel like I wasted my time getting these guys together. Everyone can enjoy whatever parts or all of the parts of the hobby individually or as a complete as they like, I'm sure no-ones arguing against that. Some of us like gaming, some of us like painting, some of us like collecting, some like all of the above. For some, myself included, playing against grey plastic can be a bit of a downer and ruin a bit of the fun of the hobby (which is to say, the visual spectacle of it all), so I don't think we should ever argue against any technique employed to get an army looking tabletop worthy, because I'll take dipped minis over grey plastic or a black undercoat any day.
  11. I absolutely feel your pain, to an extent. I love building and painting, but I also always can't wait to get onto the next project. When I'm collecting my current army, my mind constantly wanders to conversions I could make that would look great and new units I could add that would gel well with the fluff. Simultaneously, I've got this bug in the back of my head that demands that I get a little something from each grand alliance. But then a new release comes out, and I want to get me some of that! And oh, if I collected a little more of this faction, it'd really plug the holes in my current allianced up factions. And man I really need to get me a piece of the Blood Bowl action and a 40K army sure sounds good and so on and so forth forever ad nauseum. My solution to this is not to limit my daydreaming about future plans (this is next to impossible for someone with such a bad case of gamer ADD), but instead to build to do lists, and to prioritize and re-prioritize them as my mind chops and changes, but never actually pull the trigger. This last part is key. You simply need to be disciplined. Finish what you've got started right now and at most have the next thing ready to start when you finish, so you're never left waiting for something to arrive. Prioritise your lists around reaching minimal viable goals (500pts Khorne painted to tabletop standard, then 1000pts of Khorne OR 500pts of Death, and so on), and order those based on what's the most important to you right now. But when you start a minimum viable goal, you must complete it before moving on. Don't just paint a hero or a unit in an army you'll never field - that's a waste of time, but it's a waste you could repurpose if you just finished a 500pts chunk or so. 500pts is not a difficult task to accomplish if you have any time for the hobby, at all. Sometimes it might not work out the most economical to buy things in that order, but you'll save a fortune in unbuilt plastic sprues you never get around to anyway. Picking up the Age of Sigmar starter set was probably my biggest, most indimidating lot to finish in a single go, and I have no plans to pick up anything in such a volume again. But when I finished that, I wanted to expand botharmies to 2000pts, so I built my army lists to aim toward, and using the piecses in the 2000pts lists, I figured out how I'd built a 1000pts, 1500pts and 2000pts list of each. Then I'd build and paint what I needed to make a 1000pts of each, then a 1500pts of each, and so on. Right now, I'm looking at my last 500pts of Stormcast to finish, and I've never been in danger of serious burn out. I could stop if I really wanted even now and start something new and shiny and I'd have two armies worth 2000pts and 1500pts respectively, but ultimately my priority is to have two lists that could play against each other - but even if I did stop, the important thing is to finish something, so whatever I moved onto, I'd want to bite off a 500pts chunk or a single Blood Bowl Team or a single Shadow War Armageddon warband or something, anything really as long as it's achievable in the short term, and I can play something with them. I'm rambling and I'm in danger of repeating myself now. My advice in a nutshell to you in the following: Make a list of what you want to build and play. Do it now. Figure out what's important to you, what you like and what you want to play first. The list can get long. That's okay. The order can change. That's okay too. You can keep thinking about it, and you can keep changing the order and priority as the flavour of the month hits you - it's fine, it's just a list. But do not buy anything on the list yet. Finish a playable portion of what's in front of you. This is the most important. If the Bloodbound is what you want, then paint the Mighty Lord, the Bloodsecrator, the Bloodreavers and the Blood Warriors. That's 500pts of playable Bloodbound. Cool. Focus on these one complete minimum unit at a time. You don't need to paint all of the Bloodreavers in one sitting, though. I know 20 Bloodreavers can be a pain. I know I definitely said to myself 'never again' when I finished mine - which were painted to tabletop at best. But when it's done, it's done, and they'll look great on the table! Try and do units first. Do 10 Bloodreavers, 5 Blood Warriors, a hero, 10 Bloodreavers, then a hero. Congratulations, you've got a finished warband! If you want to, you can push on and finish the whole set, but if you don't, it's fine! Stick the rest in a drawer. You might come back to them, you might not, but the 500pts is complete. BUY MORE STUFF! When you're just about finished with your current minimum viable objective, buy the first thing of your next bunch of stuff! Enjoy that sweet, capitalistic endorphin rush - you've earned it! Now, you're getting happiness from three sources - the thrill of buyin' stuff, the thrill of seeing your completed models looking finished and pretty and ready for the tabletop, and the thrill of working on your next chunk of stuff! Pick the single most important thing to you at this time from your prioritised list and start working on it. You can start as small as you like, but try not to exceed a minimum target here. You might know that you plan to collect 1000pts of Ironjawz next, but you don't know that's not going to change one unit of Ardboyz in, so try and aim for something small first - a 500pts army. Start Collecting! boxes are a good kinda size for something to give a bit of variation without going over the top. You might collect 500pts of Ironjawz and realise that you can't live without some Kharadron Overlords, but as long as you follow this protocol and finish the 500pts of Ironjawz, you'll at least have something to show for it first. There's no shame in owning seven different 500pts armies in Age of Sigmar, but there's no point in having 2500pts of one army in a drawer half-built. So buy your 500pts introduction to a new faction, or buy your next 500pts of Bloodbound, and then... Start all over again! Prioritise your wishlist. You might find after starting 500pts of Ironjawz that you, having finished 500pts of Chaos and Destruction, want to finish 500pts of your Stormcast next. And then a 500pts Death army after. Or maybe an all new Order force. Or who cares, it doesn't matter, as long as you start another sprint of 500pts/minimum viable new force/force upgrade and as long as you finish it before starting the next, you're winning! Don't beat yourself up if you're not interested in finishing the rest of your Bloodbound models, or your starter set Stormcast at the moment. If you're really sure you don't want to go any further with them, you can sell off any excess you have. If you'd like to, but you want to make some other army first? That's fine too! Stick it in your prioritised to do list. As long as from here onwards you're only buying in small increments and you're finishing what you started, you can forget about them in good conscience as long as you're not growing and perpetuating the problem. Hobbying should straight up never be a chore. It's a hobby. It's fun and relaxing. If you don't care about gaming but want to collect a bunch of cool minis? That's fine. Do that. Buy mismatched units that are cool and build them for fun. If you want to play games, then start small and always finish what you start. You can work this retroactively like I explained, and it's a great model for moving forward. Reward yourself with games with what you finish and begin one new project at a time. Too many things in parallel get daunting, but you don't need to work on projectts in increments of 2000pts armies!
  12. I'd really love it if they got some new minis if and when they get the Stormcast treatment. The range is pretty slim right now, and there's very little they could stick in a Start Collecting! without just upping it to a Battleforce, like you say. Some mini-Magmadroth heavy cavalry in a sort of size/scale as Gore Gruntaz would be amazing. Three of them, 10 Vulkite Berzerkers and an on-foot hero would be pretty cool. I'd settle for the box you described though, or even just a price cut for the Vulkite Berzekers. £35 RRP for 10 battleline minis is just crazy talk.
  13. I never realised until now how utterly perfect the concept of Stormcast Eternals is for use in video games. Even death would look cool, with the whole lightning reclaiming. It'd be neat to have your protaganist slowly lose personality with each subsequent reforging.
  14. Today, I'm very pleased to share that my army "The Wolf and the Rat" just hit their 2000pts of painted minis target and I can more or less draw a line under this army as "completed." This will undoubtedly prove to be a fabrication as the urge to add new guys will eventually hit me, though the limiting factor will now be how much space is left in my storage foam. More Bloodletters and Blood Warriors would be nice to mix things up, and theres no shortage of awesome models to paint that would fit this theme - Rat Ogors, Slaughterbrutes, Flesh Hounds, and hey, I hear Khorgoraths are getting a bit of a buff in the new Battletome! But enough about my screaming wallet, this is supposed to be about me finishing this damn army. Skritt's Hunting Pack (Wolf Rats) Awesome miniatures, and a lot bigger than I expected. In fact, I actually expected the Skin Wolves to turn out a little bigger and these guys to be a little smaller. I gave them the same two tone grass and animal bones/skulls/warpstone crystals as the Wolves, which I really like on these bigger base minis. For the paint job, I wanted them to have a cohesiveness with the Skin Wolves, but with a few distinctions. In the ended, I chose to paint them with the same sort of grey/brown fur as I gave the Skin Wolves, but with a ratty pink flesh instead of the blue/grey. One key distinction is their armour/adornments are red, like the Wrathmongers, as opposed to the bone white of the 'enlightened' - like the Wrathmongers, they're feral and vicious and useful in a fight, but not considered 'people' in the way the Skin Wolves (perhaps foolishly) are. Skaarakh, The Fang of Khorne I did a thing with this guy, which you might notice if you saw him in his primed-only state in the last photo, and that's that I hacked off his axe hand, twisted it and re-pinned it back in place. The reason for this was my 'dynamic pose' I was going for looked really weird, and the more I kind of pictured myself with my arm outstretched like that, the more it seemed unnatural. I had originally wanted him kind of pointing the axe in a challenge, but reposing white metal is difficult, and in the end I realised his arm would make a lot more sense if he was at the end of a big arcing swing of the axe, so that's sorta what I went for. If you didn't see my previous post, then what you're looking at is an old, white metal Bloodthirster. I have no real stylistic reason for using him, other than I had one lying around at my parents house from back when I played World Eaters in 3rd Ed 40K when I was 13, and using him over buying a new plastic kit saved me like £50. He was obviously pretty dated looking though, so I made a few adjustments. The key ones were giving him a new head from the plastic Bloodthirster kits (which just look a zillion times better), reposing his arms to look a little more dynamic and a little less like the old style where everyone stood in that same unnatural pose, and finally I decided to go nuts and give him a giant green stuff fur cloak, because the new style Bloodthirsters are a little more burly than the skinny, boney style of old and I wanted a thematic way of bulking him up a little. In order to make the cloak not look weird over the wings, I added some beaten brass spiked collar pauldron things, that I personally think turned out pretty good for my first major green stuff endevour. I'm particularly pleased with the bulging vein on his axe arm bicep that I used to cover up some of the fingerprinting and roughness. Oh, and I shaved off the little stars where his nipples would be, because I have no idea what they were thinking with that design choice. As with my Bloodletters, I went for a slimy albino look on this one as well, and I'm again pretty happy with how he turned out; I'm getting a little more confident in painting whites, which is something that I absolutely failed at 6 months ago when I was starting out again after my decade long hiatus. There's no point in painting bone armour on a white guy, but I wasn't really that keen on red armour either, so I decided to make his breastplate black, and just get a little dark red on the cloak lining and the whip (and the blood effects, obviously!), and I'm really happy with the overall result. Basewise, he's on the same Secret Weapon Miniatures sculpted resin lava base as my Lord of Khorne of Juggernaut, which I think looks great. I also added the one remaining huge rock and animal skull piece to it to tie him in a little with the Skin Wolves and Wolf Rats. I was originally planning on sticking a Fenrisian Wolf on the base with him, like I'm planning to do to my aforementioned Lord of Khorne, but I'm not 100% he really needs it anymore, what with everything else going on. I'm still working on the lore, but I'm starting to think that 'he' might actually be a 'she' considering the weirdly low cut and chesty armour and more slender build compared to the modern Bloodthirster design. Hopefully I'll have that figured out at some point, and I'll include it with a big full-army photo in a future blog post. Conclusion and Army List And that wraps up my 2000pts of The Wolf and the Rat! As I said before, I have no immediate plans to expand - it'd be nice to take a break once I finish my two 2000pts armies and work on something smaller scale like Blood Bowl or Malifaux for a while - but ****** if I'm not tempted to fill up the (limited) free space in my BattleFoam for these guys by rounding out my two units of Blood Warriors and Bloodletters. Beyond that pipe dream, I have plans to add some furry tabards and pelts to the Blood Warriors and Bloodletters that I already have, but I'll just edit them in my original post. Here's my final, 2000pts list that I'm planning on running these guys as. Note that this list isn't built to win any tournaments. I tend to build armies around what models I want, how I can tie a theme/narrative to them, and work from there. I don't know how many games I'll actually win with this list, but it looks cool and it's got a lot of fun things to play and a lot of weird mismashed synergies and that's what's important to me. If I ever consider what I include from a rules perspective, it's mostly to balance against my other armies so that I can fun games using only my models, should I want to demonstrate to friends, etc. Thanks for reading! The Wolf and the Rat - 1960/2000pts (pre new Battletome) Heroes: The White Wolf (Mighty Lord of Khorne OR Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut) - 140pts Skritt Ashenfang (Skaven Warlord on Brood Horror) - 200pts Skaarakh, Fang of Khorne (Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury) - 300pts Tanaris Redmaw (Bloodsecrator) - 120pts Battleline: The Red Hunt (Blood Warriors x 5) - 100pts The Enlightened (Blood Warriors x 5) - 100pts The Bloodhounds (Bloodreavers x 20) - 120pts The Bloodied Teeth of Skaarakh (Bloodletters x 20) - 200pts The Rabid (Wrathmongers x 5) - 180pts The Blessed (Skin Wolves x 3) - 120pts The Ashenfangs (Stormvermin x 20) - 280pts Skritt's Hunting Pack (Wolf Rats x 5) - 100pts
  15. I 100% get the apprehension though, and I think it's got a lot to do with how the special weapons are never presented that way in box art, etc. Additionally, the units number of special weapons scales with the unit probably has an effect too - so, sometimes you could have a unit with two Goreblades, and the Champion no longer feels unique. Sometimes the special weapons don't synergise well with the Champions bonus either - a Starsoul Mace is wasted on a Paladin champion, for example. And then there's the fact it's an upgrade for any model in the unit, rather than specifically the champion - but doesn't exclude him - which is a bit of a new way of thinking for GW games IMO; the nonspecific wording contrasted with the change results in confusion - not unlike when AoS first came out and people weren't sure if they could shoot into/out of combat, etc. Consequently, to use 40K Space Marines as an example, people tend to see the weapon upgrades as more like a units plasma gun than giving a Sergeant a power sword or something. When in reality, it's like both and it's like neither.