19 February 2017

JTC Crossbow for Now, More Undead for Later


I've painted the first group of Westfalia halfmen for the Jackrabbit Trading Company (JTC.) These are the crossbowmen. I liked the idea of crossbows because it's a different take on halflings. It seemed to make sense, for some use, to me. Greater draw, range, power than bows or slings. Both of those will still have a place with scouts, rangers, militia, etc. But for the "professional" guard of the JTC, I'm going to use some crossbow troops.


If you look carefully, there is actually one with a handgun. I picked up some miscast figures from Westfalia, with the intention of using them for casualty markers. And I will. But I needed a few more figures for this group, and one of the supposed miscasts was a handgunner that I couldn't find any flaw on. So "Boomstick Bill" the hobbit joined the ranks. Bill's always got to do his own thing.

On that topic, I still wanted one more. So I picked a halberdier from the miscasts, reconstructed his helmet and side of his head (a couple of big bubbles in the casting) and then cut off the halberd and put together a standard. So once this guy is painted, he will join the above unit plus the first sample figure I received from Westfalia, giving me a unit of 16. Or two smaller units of 8. I regret not getting more crossbow hobbits, and if they become  available for general purchase, I would like a second batch.



Yesterday I received (another) package in the mail from Shadespyre. A small batch of the later Citadel armoured skeletons, to match the few I painted up in Deadcember. I knew they were on their way, so I also got hold of a sample pack of similar looking former Harlequin skeletons from Black Tree Design to see how they scaled up. In the photo below, there are three Citadel figures on the left, and three Black Tree figures on the right. Pretty close match!





16 February 2017

Scrobbleton Jackrabbit Trading Company



Since returning to the hobby, I've had a long term goal of putting together my own take on an oldschool story driven campaign pack or packs. The plan would also include running these games both for myself (either solo or with friends) and optimistically hosting them at events as well.

The specifics have drifted back and forth quite a bit. OK, a lot. But at this point I've got a good start, and its time to start solidifying the ideas. While I plan on creating scenarios with specific forces, etc. I have also decided to re-write some army lists both for my own guidance (not that I have to stick with them,) and maybe for using with friends at some point.

The concept has wandered as my interest has, and so the thing has grown from two factions -- Marienburg vs. the Undeadish, to for and a half:

  • Marienburg
  • The King of Old (undead)
  • Fomorians (more or less, Fimir in WFB terms)
  • Zogmar (his warband is the "half")
  • The Jackrabbit Trading Company. 

The latter, as I have previously written, is the security arm of a trading company based in the Wasteland -- Marienburg's hinterland -- and is based on the unconventional concept of mercenary hobbits. I've got further back story behind all of that, I will write it down eventually.

I previously posted (I think) my re-written draft for the Fomorians in WFB 3rd. I have also come up with a Kings of War list for them. I've moved on to the Jackrabbit Trading Company, here's my initial thoughts on a WFB list:


(Dammit, blogger won't embed Google Drive PDFs. How naive of me to expect Google products to cooperate with each other. Well, I switched it to a link now.)

Some thoughts: The multiple +3 shock elites seem excessive, but they really just put some of the hobbits on nearly equal standing with other armies/races that are a bit more... capable. The major point being that it give them access to at least some "elite" troops with WS3 and S3. I figure the usual halfling profile assumes regular militia types -- and that will still be the bulk of the less experienced caravan guard. Small, sedentary, more inclined to missile fire, skirmishing, and avoiding combat in the first place. But perhaps after some experience fighting off bandits, raiders, and creepy one-eyed swamp perverts, some of the company has developed at least a slight knack for combat. The S2, in particular, is going to be a killer when facing T4 & T5 troops. I wanted to give them at least something to work with!

Related to this, I've (slowly) started painting the Westfalia halfmen miniatures. :)


14 February 2017

Con on the Cob 2017?

Further musings about gaming... I should go to Con on the Cob.



It's relatively close, sounds interesting/fun/mildly-insane. I think know I will run into some old friends. I should go. I should run miniatures games. There's enough time that I should be able to prep something fun. Several somethings fun.



13 February 2017

Musings

Eyes

I've started painting up some Westfalia hobbits. 16 figures. 13 crossbow, 1 gunner, and the wizard & apprentice. I think I've hit a turning point in my painting "career": I don't think I can paint the eyes.

I mean, I *can*. And I may paint the apprentice's eyes. But for most of the rank & file they're just too damn small. That's a good thing, in terms of the sculpting proportion & scale. Beautiful figures. But I don't generally paint eyes on 15mm figures, and although these are still a bit bigger than that, I don't think I'm willing to invest the time in it. My own, actual, functioning human eyes are aging. I'm in my mid 40s and I've recently been experiencing some changes in my eyesight (and general eye health, which I won't go into) and I've been trying to just take it as part of the natural aging process and not freak out too much. I did paint the eyes on the sample figures I got from Westfalia last year. I can actually see the eyes on these hobbits just fine, and my hands are still steady enough to do it. But as my time shrinks and there is some extra focus (haha) required to do these details well, I think I'm going to pass on painting eyes on some 25/28mm figures for the first time in my life. I know a lot of people don't bother, even on the human sized figures. And I understand and appreciate the logic behind that, especially in the greater context of what we see at various sizes & perspectives, and the representation of that in any art form. But I've always prided myself on doing a decent job with eyes, and always painted them. Until now.

(The previously painted hobbits.)




Paint

I've run into a bit of a paint problem. There are a few off-the-shelf paint colors that I can't live without. I sometimes get a bit OCD about this, and go on epic quests or start hording paints in order to stay supplied One is a sort of dark burnt sienna color whose use evolved from an old Poly S color, which I then found a good equivalent in Ral Parha's (I think) Minotaur Fur Brown, briefly I may have used a Citadel color, but then switched to a Vallejo Game Color equivalent. I can't read the label of the almost empty bottle in front of me, but looking online maybe it's Pestilent Brown? Sort of frustrating, because I need more. I am literally stretching the last bits of paint & pigment as far as I can. But I don't really have any good options (that I am aware of) for buying Vallejo locally. I've been trying to find more accessible alternatives but that has not worked out. I now have an Imperial ton of brown paints of various shades and qualities. I'm on the verge of just trying to mix my own. Like I said, it's sort of like a burnt sienna... but not quite. It's darker, but still retains that subtle reddish color that gives it a great touch of warmth.



Garagehammer

I've also been thinking about my plans for the Year of Gaming (aka my mid-life crisis, gaming style, in 2021 ;) ) and have some thoughts. Our new house isn't really a great space for gaming. But one of the trade offs we made with the small house, is a larger yard than our previous homes. And our garage is pretty clean and has, thus far, been unused (by us) for cars. So maybe I could try inviting some friends over for some Garagehammer in the summer. Long day of gaming, cook out on the grill, etc. My table tops are already stored in the garage rafters at the moment. I'm even tempted to make one or two more in order to accommodate larger games. If they're going to be out there, I may as well take advantage of the space, right? Especially if I want to try some all-day gaming. So... just something else I'm thinking about while hoping to get back to some sort of gaming ASAP.

(Previous photo from the old attic.)



Oh, the drama of a dedicated lifetime miniatures painter. ;)



12 February 2017

One More Small Update



Photo of the finished & based figures from last update.

From left to right: Two previously painted Marauder dwarfs with spear, one freshly painted White Knight dwarf with spear (now available at TAG), one freshly painted Marauder dwarf with great sword, and one freshly painted, converted Marauder dwarf (swapped spear with greatsword.)


Also, the finished hobbit from Effin Cool, along with my first use of some new tufts from Shadow's Edge Miniatures.


11 February 2017

Short on Patience, Big on Lead

I don't have the patience to wait for the bases. I've been scraping together time when I can (mostly at ridiculous hours of the night, when I should be sleeping -- like now) to finish a few of the little people. I'll post better pics once the bases are done and I look them over for final touch up's when I'm more awake...



Left to right are a White Knight speardwarf, an old Marauder dwarf, and the Effin Cool halfling I posted (unpainted) pics of a week ago. (Thanks to Blue for the dwarfs!) I cut some corners on painting these, but I think that's what things are coming down to at the moment if I want to get more than one figure done per month.

I also made another acquisition. An old Tom Meier/Ral Partha giant. Cloud Giant, according to Orclord's sodemons/solegends page. It's my favorite of the old Meier giants, and I've been hunting around for a good deal for a while. I'm going to try cleaning it up a bit more and putting it aside for my second annual giant month.





05 February 2017

Short People, Bots, Life



Not much in the way of painting lately. Most of the little time I've had has been put into some minis and a couple of toys that other people are still waiting on. I did sneak in one thing for myself, I put the final paint a dwarf who was over half painted for ages. A bit rushed looking, though, which is a shame since it's one of my converted classic models. I wanted some doppledwarfs to supplement the usual spear, handgun & artillery. Embarrassingly, I started these before the White Knight figures (which I need to get my hands on) were available -- if that's any indication of how slow the progress has been. The Marauder landsknecht dwarfs fall into an odd category of miniatures that I love, but hate to paint.

At any rate, here he is with some of the other conversions I've previously painted.





I'm still thinking about that Rogue Trader/sci-fi misanthropic pirate robot crew. I picked up a few angry/murderous looking robots from Effin Cool Miniatures today.



Speaking of Effin Cool minis, I also got a halfling for scale comparison. From left to right it's:

Citadel, Effin Cool, Westfalia, Marauder, Goblin Factory, Grenadier, a random goose. The base on the Effin Cool mini doesn't have the magnetic layer, so he will end up a little taller. A good match, in terms of size & style, for the Citadel, Goblin Factory, and Grenadier. Westfalia are a little taller with more natural proportions, and the Marauder halflings remain one of the two tiny ranges I've got (along with some of the really old Ral Partha -- which I've stripped and re-primed. So maybe I'll paint at least one of those up soon sometime in the next few years.



As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been busy with my new job, both in the office, and travelling to distant lands...



I was also happy that when I recently got back into town, we finally had a decent snow and I finally got to build an overdue first snowman with my daughter. We've been waiting for a decent snow for *years*. It was actually a little wet because it had warmed up a bit during the day, but we managed to get it all together. :)




22 January 2017

The Slowdown Lowdown


The new job is great, but exhausting. Especially as I am spending half of January travelling. So that quick painting on the Lord of the Feast is about all I'm going to get done this month. I'll be home for a while after the end of January, but not sure how much painting time I will have. Still, I've been thinking a little more about what I'd like to paint in the next few months, and the coming year. So the slightly revised list is:

  • Fomorians/Fimir
    • Finish the eight GW orc conversions I started last year.
    • Paint the Troll Outpost hero.
    • Paint the remaining Oldhammer lead Fimir.
    • Convert & paint the few remaining Reaper orcs I've currently got, plus the batch of new ones I'm awaiting from the Bones 3 Kickstarter.
  • Giants
    • Paint the oldschool Citadel C28 giant I've got.
    • (I've re-considered, and I'd like to get a set of the three multi-piece C28 giants -- so, acquiring the other two is another goal).
    • Paint the last metal giant Citadel produced (its already assembled & basecoated).
    • Paint the Warploque giant!!.
    • Acquire the Otherworld Giant (the last "must have" giant on my list)
  • Halflings
    • Paint the Westfalia KS reward halflings.
  • Rogue Trader
    • Paint a few figures. Still up in the air... Robot Pirates vs. Spacetime Bandits. Still just a half-baked idea anyway.
  • Trolls (No reason or plans behind these -- they're just cool figures I really want to paint!)
    • Paint the first three trolls from Drew Williams.
    • Paint the second three trolls from Drew when they arrive.
  • Empire
    • Paint more halberdiers
    • Paint more landskneckt dwarfs
    • Aqcuire and paint that last MM41 Marauder fucking Ogre I've been after for years!
  • Undead
    • Paint oldschool wights & wight lord
    • Paint last few Nightmare Legion.
    • Odds & Ends. Whatever else I feel like painting. The dead are always waiting...

If I get to half of what I posted above, I'll be happy. Realistically, I'm thinking about what I can do away from the painting/modeling table instead. So I'm thinking about finally giving some structure & polish the campaign concepts I've been brainstorming on for... a couple years? I think the hobbit merchant/mercenary company introduction I did late 2016 was a good start. I've got scenarios outlined for that too. So maybe I can indulge in some writing, sketching, organizing, etc. when I can't get to a painting table in 2017.

Which brings me to a long-term goal. I turn 50 in 2021. Still a few years off... but not so far away. I used to love doing something fun for my birthday each year, but once I hit my 40s it's mostly been just another day in the grind.

2016 was a nice fun tease of a year-- I got together & played KoW (which I am totally sold on) a couple times with old friends that I desperately miss. I had a great time at my first Oldhammer USA event. So although it seems like it's going to be harder to repeat even my humble 2016 schedule, I'm going to be a self-centered bastard about turning 50, deny growing older, and play games with toy soldiers as much as I can. So I'd like to get a campaign concept wrapped up by the end of 2020, and then play out a bunch of games with old friends, new friends, and, sure, total strangers at a few conventions/events throughout 2021.

And if I'm going to try pulling something super-geeky off for my 50th, I may as well do it right. The Eccentric Gamer's Mid-Life Crisis. So... Printed campaign pack? Or at least printed maps? Stickers? T-Shirts? Cast miniatures? Micro-brew? The possibilities are endless. My resources (mainly money and time) might not be, but my ideas.... endless. ;)



(WTF?!? I remember when the year 2021 was something used for reference in post-apocalyptic gaming settings... now I'm making real-life gaming plans for that year?!)