Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Painting Den

This is where I spend a few hours every week. As can be seen, at present I am painting just over 200 GB and Foundry EIR foot figures. I prime by hand in black gesso. I am using Privateer Press Fleshtones. They are the best I've seen. I'm impressed with the GW Foundation paints and have been using them to paint almost everything (though particularly Khador) over the past year. I also picked up the new washes from the WarStore stand at GenCon this year and they are on the table because they are about to be applied on some white-primed Landsknect pluderhosen. I still have yet to find better metallics than the old Citadel paints from the 90's. You might also see a bottle of Reaper Master Series Clear Red on the table. That's a trick to make reds pop. I learned it at a seminar with Marike Reimer at GenCon 2007. I generally use a wide variety of paints but I have very little time and so I have to wholly focus on techniques that save time.

Mirliton Adventures

During my honeymoon in 2004 I ended up in the little storefront of Mirliton in the little town of Tavarnuzze, just outside of Firenze. These are some of the things I saw there.

William Wallace and friends

More of William Wallace's friends. He had lot's of friends. Just ask Mel.

More kniggetts
Northern wars...beautiful vignette
Another view of the Rus
Caroccio at 15mm scale
Teutonics at 15mm - I purchased these. I could not help myself.
Caroccio at 25mm scale.- I picked this up too. I was helpless.
Another view of the Caroccio vignette
Another view of the Caroccio vignette. The box comes with only 4 of the oxen so you should pick up another pair from Mirliton.
Scotland Forever - The Scots Greys at Waterloo. Wow!

Friday, August 29, 2008

WAB Late Roman Action

During the years 2001 to 2003 I was totally obsessed with WAB. There is no other way to describe it. I engaged in a massive joint project with a gaming buddy, Stu G., under which we respectively purchased and painted massive GB Late Roman and Sassanid armies. We spent two years painting them. Seriously. In May of 2003 we trotted out our finished armies at the local modeling (and wargaming) convention. Both of us had based our miniatures with desert scrub and I had painted the boards in a theme that made homage to the scenes at the beginning of The English Patient showing the desert below the storm wracked plane.

Was it all worth it? Yes. Damned right. Yes.

Here are some pictures from the mass battle we fought. I think the armies were fairly evenly matched...Stu had like three units of 12-16 clibinarii on the table but I had warmachines. The bolt throwers were amazing. It was a great day. I should note that I have a unit of 36 or so Foundry LR foot and a unit of 12 Foundry Cataphractii, but the army is still overwhelmingly GB.

The second major WAB endeavour of 2003 was Britcon. Mi bella signora traveled with me to Roma and then Loughborough. She may have enjoyed Roma more, but she stood it well.

The first day I got there I met a wonderful chap named James Brewerton, and we played a pick-up game between his First Corps Ancient Indian army and my Late Roman Limitanae force. His chariots were awesome.

I think it was that evening that the WAB tournament began. My first game was against a Shieldwall Saxon army played by Karl. As you can see, he had a lovely army and he proceeded to dispatch mine with surgical precision. I actually really enjoyed the game, he was a great sport, and I had a lot of fun. That said, a FotW Late Roman Limitanae force is hard-pressed to deal with this kind of Saxon goodness.

The next day, I played a good few games. I don't think I will ever forget the one I played against the Shieldwall Welsh army of this fellow. It was one of those strange games where I felt like I had an army of lemmings on the table.

Later that day, I was impaled by the Assyrians.

My last game at Britcon 2003 was against a MiniFigs or Lamming Sassanian army played by a fellow named Duncan M. Now this turned out to be probably the least enjoyable wargame that I have ever played. First off, I was shattered after the Pub-Night, which was an absolute blinder but which, well, blinded me from imbibation of ale. Second, my foe appeared to be equally affected throughout the game, because I can think of no other reason to explain his chronic inability to measure properly, a problem so critical that my girlfriend was heard to utter at one point "That's the longest 8 inches I ever saw", which was fairly distracting in itself as you can well imagine. Then, I experienced the most shite moment of WAB that I ever had the pleasure to enjoy, when I chased a unit of Sassanid Horse archers off the table with my Late Roman light cavalry only to have to return them to face a unit of Cataphracts and a unit of levy foot that my foe had had the leisure to reposition to do them to death in his turn. The whole game I had been rushing through my turns as Rob B. was waiting to drive Duncan home and in the end I just conceded the game so that my foe could catch his ride back to Notts/Newark, whatever. Then, a couple of days later, I realized that Duncan had totally devastated my elite unit of drilled heavy foot with an elephant charge which, of course, is as impossible to do with an elephant as climbing a sheer cliff.

Actually, I haven't played a game of WAB since then. But I still love the game. From afar.

With acknowledgments and thanks to Tim M. for the images from the 2003 St. John's Hobbyshow.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Beastie Boys

At Britcon 2003. Top drawer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Massive Attack

I suppose every wargamer worth his salt has to do a battle of the titans at some point or other. My group did our first such game in March, 2002. 12,000 points in all, 6,000 points of Tyranids attacking length ways down a 12' long by 6' wide table against entrenched elements of Space Marines from a number of Chapters, i.e. from the collections of at least 4 members of the group. I have - I hope with fair cunning - attempted to hide from you the fact many of the miniatures were unpainted or only partially painted, because I don't want to ruin what I can assure was a dramatic spectacle which I shall be fortunate to ever see repeated again. The scenario is one of the great games of 40K that GW devised, where Tyranid troop units that are destroyed get replenished and can join the battle deploying from the sides of the tables. (The other great 40K scenario in my opinion was Carnage).

Anyways, as Chris E. would singsong to us all, "To War! To War!"

The Marines have the ridge line. They have to prevent the Tyranid Horde from getting into the city behind them. Intercepted radio transmission from the time: "They have a Barbed Hierodule." Let me assure you that the Marines melted away like smoke in the wind from its shooting.

The Marines await their doom. This is Chris E.'s rather high-priced Devastator squad with Commander, which came in at about 732 points (I'm sorta joking) but they looked sweet. My kit-bashed Whirlwind is next to them...LOS for arcing artillery, when will GW learn?

The view down the Marine's right flank. You will note the unit of Genestealers towards which 2 Death Companies of Blood Angels are eagerly rushing. Interesting idea that; and you know what people usually mean when they use the word "interesting"?

I love the drama of this picture. What can outfox Scout Snipers? A Lictor, perhaps?

Ummm, dinner. This is what happens when one rushes 2 Death Companies of Blood Angels towards Genestealers in this scenario.

I love this photograph. A Marine runs away, leaving his Commander to face the Genestealers.

I love this photograph too. A Genestealer, having dispatched a Dreadnought, runs towards the city leaving the Space Marine Commander to reflect upon the price of failure.

This is the end, my only friend, the end. The last stand of the Marines. The city taken, the slain being rendered down into the planetary gruel the Hive Fleet nourishes itself upon, the vampiric Emperor of Mankind getting a little of his own back.

With acknowledgments and thanks to Tim M., without whom this game would not have been possible, and for taking and cropping the pictures.

The Mighty Eldar

I started collecting Ulthwe Eldar, my second army, in 1996. Over the years that followed I acquired a huge collection that included everything in the range except jetbikes and vibrocannon. I was musing about how I would paint this on DakkaDakka back in early 2002 and a fellow named Neil Dutton from Toronto offered to do it for a reasonable fee. Well, after a little thought I accepted and over the next 18 months he painted just about everything.

I was very busy with my job at the time, the work was reasonable tabletop quality at a minimum (Neil is an artist and he didn't put too much paint on the miniatures), the price point was good, and I was painting other miniatures anyways so it was a win situation from that perspective. What I didn't then realize was the identity issues I would have with miniatures I didn't paint. Coupled with a disenchantment with 40K due to a combination of misgivings over the rules and disgust over GW pricing in 2004-6, it was inevitable that I rid myself of these I suppose. In the event, I sold my entire Eldar collection to a fellow in California in 2007.

So thanks for the memories to Games Workshop but, again, I am without regrets. The moral of this story is that while you can covet any miniature of beauty, to truly love it you have to paint it yourself.

I will be posting more Eldar over the next few days.

With acknowledgments and thanks to Stu G. for the pictures of the Wraithlord and the Wave Serpent.

Wargaming with the Dark Angels

This is just to prove that the lads did gird themselves for battle.

With acknowledgments and thanks to Tim M. for both the game and the image.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things of Beauty - Rackham Devourers

These splendid miniatures are actually on my shelf, no more than 3 feet from me, as I type this.

The Master of Carnage is one of the finest miniatures that I have ever seen, and my friend Markus did a paint job on it that puts the Rackham studio's in its place. The two Huntsmen, the shaman Nemetis, and the two Marauders of Vile Tis are all superbly done as well. Thanks again, Markus.

Marauder, Master of Carnage, Marauder

Nemetis and the Master of Carnage

A Huntsman and the Master of Carnage

The Master of Carnage and a Huntsman

Most recently painted - The Khador Behemoth

I built and painted this monster over several days in early August, 2008. I required it for the Warmachine Khador army I was taking to GenCon 2008. It is no masterpiece, but it is neatly done.



Monday, August 25, 2008

My very first painted miniatures...sniff!

I discovered this picture when I was looking through my archived photographs. I painted these GW WFB Empire halberdiers just under 12 years ago using Citadel Colours over a sprayed white undercoat. I had no notion of highlighting, shading, washing, drybrushing or, well, of anything really beyond the basic techniques I has used as a boy when applying Humbrol paints to my Bandai tank kits. Years later I applied a not particularly effective wash to these miniatures, signs of which have gathered rather unconvincingly on top of the slashes on the several of the lads' pluderhosen. The picture was taken pursuant to an online auction. I have no regrets. Really.

First Steps: The Dark Angels Space Marines

Like so many others, my first collection was of GW Space Marines. I sold and traded most of these miniatures in early 2007, but I played many a game with them between the middle of the year 2000 and the end of November, 2006. The only faction of Imperial Space Marines that I ever painted were the Dark Angels, and here they are, - or, more accurately, were - in such glory as they ever possessed in my hands:

Terminator Command Squad

Jump-Pack Chaplain, Terminator Command Squad, 3 Tactical Squads, Assault Squad, Devastator Squad, Scout Squad, Bike Squad, 2 Landspeeder Tornados, Dreadnought, Whirlwind, Predator, Razorback, Rhino

Jump-Pack Chaplain

Librarian, Commander with Command Squad, 2 Tactical Squads, 2 Scout Squads, Devastator Squad, Jump-Pack Captain with Assault Squad, Terminator Assault Squad, 2 Attack Bikes, Landspeeder Tornado, Vindicator, Predator Annihilator, 2 Rhinos, Dreadnought

Librarian and Terminator Assault Squad