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Terrain, terrain and more terrain

First of all apologies for not posting anything over the past three weeks (shock horror… so long!). As seems to be the norm for me this year, live has been extremely hectic. I did get things done from time to time, but did not find the time to take photos or much less post them.

Until last week. But then again time was running out due to me and the better half driving to the other side of Germany for a job interview (well that was only me) and then taking a few days off to get to know the region in case the interview leads to something. So I uploaded the pictures to this blog with the idea to post stuff while we were away. That is until we arrived at the self catering place we had booked only to find that it had no internet as advertised. So no posting. Well that is until the last night when I urgently needed an Internet connection and remembered, that I could use my iPhone as a modem (doh!). It could have been so easy!

Some of you may remember, that one of my big goals for this year is terrain building. With the weather getting better, it is now time to tackle that. So what do we have?

Nodding Donkey Oil-Well

This model is from Fenris Games in the UK and made from laser cut wood. The looks of the model alone are great and it allows you to build it in any position during the pumping cycle. So far so good. The big problem is that it is not cut from MDF like most kits these days but some kind of sheet wood with strong fibres. So you have strong wood grain on the model itself. I went and sanded the parts as much as I dared (for fear of losing the etched details). But a lot of the graining still remained. So I decided to depict it as heavily used equipment. This meant a yellow base, fading, lots of chipping and rusting. Makes it look were hodge podge and effectively masks the wood grain(at least a bit).

Nodding Donkey oil well

Nodding Donkey oil well

Concrete road barriers

The next items are from Frenris Games as well, this time their resin range. Nothing to complain there. Great casting quality, excess resin was minimal and easy to remove and great value for money. I wanted to keep them generic, so no markings or anything else on them. I airbrushed them in USN Ghost Grey and sprayed a homemade wash of Vallejo Panzergrey Primer and Grey primer over it to make them look well used and exposed to a lot of pollution and that was it.

Concrete road barriers

Concrete road barriers

Concrete road barriers

Concrete road barriers

There are actually about twice as many pieces, but well… they are not the most interesting subjects to photograph, so these shall suffice!

4Ground World War II buildings, repaints

When 4Ground released their pre-painted buildings about three years ago, I was high as a kite and bought some of their WWII buildings. Do not get me wrong, they are great, but there are some things that are not perfect. Inevitably some parts connect in a way that the burned edges of some parts (key) can be seen where they connect to the painted sides of others (slot). This leaves some ugly dark brown squares on otherwise light colored areas. Some details like the stonework on the building corners are just etched in and not painted. And parts were cut from the wrong sheet of wood (colour wise) which leads to stone chimneys the colour of plaster or window sills the colour of the front door. And then there are those spots where the scorch marks left by the laser, just look wrong. Eventually all this needs to be painted over. I assembled these buildings the previous two summers and actually fielded them in three games (where you may have seen them already), but was never too happy. So I repainted, or rather overpainted them now.

Repainted 4Ground houses

Repainted 4Ground houses

Unfortunately I had no colour to match the green painted buildings, so removing the scorch marks on their plaster will have to wait, till I can get the appropriate colour from 4Ground.

Repainted 4Ground houses

Repainted 4Ground houses

I have to say, after it is all said and done, I am not completely sold on these pre-painted laser cut buildings. You pay a premium since they are repainted, which is technically fine, if it actually saved you time, but I felt it does not. Since the inside walls are a different colour they are separate pieces that are glued against the outside walls. Every piece of exposed brickwork has to be glued into both the inside and outside walls and so on. Essentially I found that assembling a “good condition” building takes about twice as long as it takes for an unpainted one and the ruined ones take even longer. And then you have to spend some time to paint them over to hide the imperfections. In this case with these 8 houses this amounted to about a weekend. So I personally felt that it took about as long to get these to a state where I am content with them, as it would have taken me had I gone for unpainted ones. But then you have already paid your premium and have buildings that will look virtually the same as thousands of others used around the world. So I guess this will have been my last batch. Later this year I will be getting some pre-painted MDF buildings from another company that are cut using a different method. I am really looking forward to see how those work out.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Terrain building

 

Warzone Resurrection: Corporate Agents

Last year Modiphius Entertainment ran a Kickstarter to launch their Mutant Chronicles RPG. For those who do not know… it is the same universe as Warzone, with Warzone being the wargame. Anyway, the Kickstarter contained a number of miniatures for use with the Wargame, so I pledged. The fact that I will also get the RPG books in PDF format is a little icing on the cake. Now I had planned to paint the Imperial set up first, but sadly, that one was accidentally not shipped along with the rest and will go out this week, so I had to choose something else. I am in no mood to paint Bauhaus or Mishima right now and I am still waiting on base stamps for Dark Legion. So I picked something of universal use… Corporate Agents.

So, what are Corporate Agents actually? Well when the megacorporations that had essentially taken the role of governments left Earth they began battling each other with their military might. In order to have a forum where the corporations could discuss their differences on a purely diplomatic level, without having to resort to hostile activities, the Cartel was created. The Cartel has, with the appearance of the Dark Legion, been given a more aggressive role and extended authority to battle the new evil. This was the one place the corporations could pool their resources together to stand against the Darkness. One of their assets are the Corporate Agents. They act as an intel service trying to find and weed out Dark Legion sympathizers and as bodyguards for high value figures from the corporations. And this is, what they do in the wargame… act as bodyguards.

The set consists of two types of miniatures. The first are three actual corporate agents. Looking at the minis, the two male versions instantly reminded me of a certain movie. Want to have a guess?

So the choice how to paint the minis was easy. Although all the black suits and ties made them slightly boring, so they at least got brown shoes and belts (were visible) to break that up. Although the facial features and the hairdo does not completely match I also painted the two male agents up to be inspired by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith.

Corporate Agents

Corporate Agents

The other two minis in the set are Iron Mastiffs. These are mechanical dogs under an artificial pelt to make them look like rear animals, while still being able to operate even in hostile environments. Extremely efficient at sniffing out heretics and as attack dogs on the battlefield. The inspiration for them came from this original Paul Bonner painting (left hand side, together with a Corporate Agent btw):

warzone art

The basing gave me some headaches. They can be used in virtually any non-Dark Legion force, so I wanted their basing to be generic. The high heels of the female agents suggested an inner city type of basing, but that is what I will be using for my Dark Legion, so I felt it would be strange, if they blended with the bases of those troops they can not join. So in the end I went for some summer grass ground, like I did on my Brotherhood minis (which serve as auxiliaries for other armies as well).

Iron Mastiffs

Iron Mastiffs

They other thing that gave me a headache was the varnish. I varnished them matt on Saturday evening only to find that it had formed small bubble in some crevices over night. I was able to fix that on most of the minis, although one can unfortunately see some of them on the back of the black agent and the dogs on close inspection. But I was in no mood to strip these, so they will have to do.

Corporate Agents and Iron Mastiffs

Corporate Agents and Iron Mastiffs

Oh and for those of you who got the pack as well but are wondering why there is no info on how to field the Mastiffs… here is the text missing from the cards (straight from the proofreading phase):

Squad Upgrades: The squad may be increased by up to three Corporate Agents for 14 points per model. Up to 2 Corporate Agents in the squad may be replaced with an Iron Mastiff for free.

 

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Cartel, Sci-Fi, Warzone Resurrection

 

2nd March game of our Warzone: Resurrection League

No do not panic… you have not missed game one (I am still waiting for the write-up on that one), but we are now into the second month of our Warzone League.  And I did not want to keep you waiting too long so here is the first AAR (Imperial vs. Dark Legion). Both forces fielded units that are not seen on the tabletop too often (Golden Lions and a Praetorian Behemoth) and it was actually them who decided the game.

It can all be found here or by going to the March entry for Warzone League menu at the top of the page. Enjoy!

Warzone art

 

Warzone Resurrection: Imperial Greyhound tankettes

Warzone Resurrection: Imperial Greyhound tankettes

So after that small excursion to Mishima I returned to Imperial, namely two Greyhound tankettes. These are ridiculously small one man tanks, used either to fire poisonous gas in a flame thrower type attack (the version depicted here) or as a short-range vehicular mortar. Personally I am not sure if I would have bought them, since a) I find the models a bit ugly and b) for slightly more points I can get a Hurricane Walker, which can do far more!

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

Otherwise, I went for the same camo I used on my Hurricanes, although it looks far less effective on these small models, and the same beat up and muddy look as the rest of the army. I also added WWI or WWII desert style red-white-red tank markings to the sides, but these are mostly covered up by the dirty and wear by now.

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

Since the unit I play is loosely based on the Black Watch, they both got Scottish town names on the turrets. One is Peairt (Perth) to other Port Rìgh (Portree).

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

Imperial Greyhounds

 

Warzone Resurrection: Mishima Kunshu Dragon Riders (5th Entry, part 2, 5th AHPC)

Warzone Resurrection: Mishima Kunshu Dragon Riders (5th Entry, part 2, 5th AHPC)

Now I have painted a lot of Imperial for Warzone during this Challenge and before I tackled the last units, I needed a break from Imperial. Keeping with Warzone (partly because a mate of mine jumped in on our league but has no units painted yet) I chose a unit for Mishima, the Kunshu Dragon Riders. Looks wise they are one of the coolest units in the Mishima selection, but a bit too overpriced to play for my taste. (Or rather not as underpriced as the rest of Mishima.)

Kunshu Dragon Riders

Kunshu Dragon Riders

Now what they are some Dragon like creatures found in the caves of Mercury. Domesticated (to a certain degree) they are ridden into combat, usually by the heirs to noble houses of Mishima. AThey are a very fast monster choice in the game, which can do lots of damage either at close range (combination of the riders SMG and the Dragons spewing flames) or close combat (combination of the riders Katana and the Dragons teeth and claws).

Kunshu Dragon Rider (Squad Leader)

Kunshu Dragon Rider (Squad Leader)

Two things that slightly bleeped me off about these models. For one, I had always had a vision of how I would paint them. Mostly like those flying creatures in Avatar. But once I took out my airbrush, I had to find, that the body and wing anatomy is too different for this to work, so I had to go for something less intricate.

Kunshu Dragon Rider (Trooper #1)

Kunshu Dragon Rider (Trooper #1)

The other thing is in the background. The riders wear so-called “Retainer” type armour, which is always a crimson red, whence the colour of the riders. Now this type of armour is also worn by the Crimson Devils, the most dishonored unit Mishima has in its inventory. I doubt that a noble in a culture based on feudal Japan, would want to wear the same armour as a dishonored regular soldier. So I would have preferred, if they had gotten a different type of armour, where one could have gone wild with the colours. As a small personalization I gave the troopers white face masks and the squad leader a gold one.

Kunshu Dragon Rider (Trooper #2)

Kunshu Dragon Rider (Trooper #2)

Kunshu Dragon Rider (Trooper #3)

Kunshu Dragon Rider (Trooper #3)

Kunshu Dragon Riders

Kunshu Dragon Riders

 

 

Modern Russian T-55 (5th Entry, part 1, 5th AHPC)

Modern Russian T-55 (5th Entry, part 1, 5th AHPC)

With the Challenge drawing to an end and me being about 100 points short of my target, I knew I needed something and I needed something fast. My output for this year has been abysmal so far, but with the weather getting better here in Germany I was hoping to catch up. So over the next couple of days, you are going to see what made up my 5th entry.

Now this first one was quite simple one. The model is a 1:48 die-cast (although it has a lot of plastic for that) from the James Bond collection (the one Pierce Brosnan drives through St. Petersburg). I have had that for ages, but never got around to work on it. Those who have been following this blog for a while now will remember, that I actually purchased this model about three years ago (almost to the day)… those who have not been along this long… this is how it looked back then. Since I like my 2nd and 3rd Tier Russian tanks for Ultra Modern to look quite unspectacular, I decided to keep it in its original single colour green looks. But I cleaned away the mould lines, painting imperfections and so on. The green was faded, skirts and mantlet painted in a different colour and minor details (like oil stains on the barrels) added. Last but not least it got a liberal coat of dirt and dust with an airbrush (which unfortunately blended too well with the fading :-( ).

T-55

T-55

T-55

T-55

T-55

T-55

 

 

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

As I said before, at first I had huge problems deciding on an anti-hero for the last AHPC theme round at first, but in the end I could not pick between Discworlds Death and this one. So what do we have here. It is Tyrion Lannister from George R. R. Martins “The Songs of of Ice and Fire” (or Game of Thrones for those who rather watch TV ;-)). I know at first he seems like an unlikely Anti-Hero. At first glance he seems to be almost more mischievous than everyone else in the series, which is hard to be honest. He does his best to gain personal power, advance his family at the expense of others and to lure those into traps that he can not manipulate. Not the nicest person, right? Well , but if you look closer he has many good aspects about him. He tries his best to reign in the sadistic and at times (well most times) sociopathic character of his nephew Joffrey and when married to poor Sansa Stark for political reasons refuses to consummate the marriage, not to cause her extra pain. When you look closely, most of the time his actions that seem to be in favor of his family, actually are in favor of the people of the realm and usually he does not get the the appreciation he would deserve, but rather a kick in the behind. Being born a little person and having his mother die in labour he was despised by his father and elder sister from day one and still he always tried his best to win his families appreciation. Not that he got it. What he got instead was them scheming against him and trying to kill him. So he ends up with a huge scar on his face (from an attempt on his life, while saying the capital) and having to flee to a foreign land to escape a death sentence for a murder he did not commit. For me, he is a perfect Anto-hero and actually on of my favorite characters in the books (and I am entirely glad George R. R. Martin has not killed him off (yet) in half a sentence like he did with so many other characters).

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

The miniature by Dark Sword is actually based on the character in the novel and not modeled on Peter Dinklage from the TV series. At first I was a bit sad about this, since I really like Dinklage´s acting and portrait of the role, but when painting him, it is actually a good thing, since I gave me as a painter much more room for artistic license. The mini itself is really great. Nice clear line and a characterful sculpt. The only thing I did not like was the Lannister heraldry. For one I felt that the Lion had a strange shape. And it is only weak… hard to make out while painting (constantly had their website open while painting it), but to strong to ignore and just make it up. Really looking forward to painting some more minis from the series, which I got off their Kickstarter last year!

All in all the mini was received quite well, ending me up with a 4th place. So the summary of all seven theme rounds is that I got to second places and was on the top five twice. Given all the competition out there, I think I can really be happy with the results!

 

Some Waffen SS (5th Entry, 5th AHPC)

Ok, the end is neigh (regarding the 5th installment of the AHPC) so I felt it was time to get some points added to my tally and fast. So looking through my massive lead pile I found some SS troops that I will need for a demo at a show later this year. That is one thing I like about WWII (compared to Napoleonics or as I had to find out even SciFi minis)… they paint up fast even if wearing camo and even if they have lots of insignia on their uniforms.

SS troopers

SS troopers

Up first are some additions to my infantry. These are not the first SS I have painted, but I had a certain lack (and still do to be honest) with some types of minis. One are normal riflemen without the face late war G43´s or StG-44´s. While most of them are geared towards late war, those weapons still were an exception and not the norm, so here are two soldiers with K-98 carbines (one of them also carrying a magnetic mine). There is also an NCO beefing up the numbers of squad leaders. and last there is one machine gun assistant loaded up with lots of ammo to feed into a a Hitlers buzzsaw (already had that one painted but minus the loader).

SS troopers

SS troopers

I wanted a distinct late war look. So they are wearing Erbsenmuster camo clothing. Now to enhance the rag tag looks many German units had to take on in 1944 and 1945 they are wearing a mix of both mint and faded clothing as well as a mix of camo clothing and field grey clothing.

Another area where I have a distinct lack of minis are gun crews, so I painted up a gun team for a PaK or other light field piece.

SS PaK Crew

SS PaK Crew

 

Again they are wearing a mix of camo clothing in various states of fading and field grey uniforms. This team will eventually see more men in Eichenlaub smocks added to the team (not sure if that will happen during the challenge though). This will add yet more variety to their looks and enable me to field them as a large team. Even though we are using 28mm we play the Battlegroup set of rules which work out really fine at larger scales as well. In Battlegroup a large crew for a gun gives you a chance for an extra shot per round, so that is a nice option to have.

SS PaK Crew

SS PaK Crew

All the minis in this post are from Victory Force and scaled at 28mm.

 

Terry Pratchett

It was with great sadness that I read yesterday that one of the brightest lights in literature had forever ceased to shine yesterday. At age 66 Terry Pratchett has lost his long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

I will forever remember and enjoy reading (again) his novels, for they brought me a lot of happiness over the past two decades. Rest in Peace, Terry! I hope Death was happy with the way you portrayed him and treated you like and old friend!

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“It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.” 

 

“The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.”

Terry Pratchett – Monstrous Regiment

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Books, Discworld

 

3rd and 4th February games of our Warzone: Resurrection League

Just short note to let you know, that the after action reports for the third and forth February games of our Warzone: Resurrection League are not online, including the table with the standings after the first month.

They can all be found here or by going to the Warzone League menu at the top of the page.

IMG_1077

The sub page for march has also gone live, so for those who want to know who plays who this month, you can go there as well. But with the first games taking place this weekend, you should not wait too long for the first game reports anyway!

 
 
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