29 April 2015

Heavy Skeletal Infantry Test

Quick paint test for the heavy skeletal infantry. Obviously I did leave the excessive paulrons off, and swapped out the skull from one of those I got from Secret Weapon. Pretty pleased with how it looks.

This was also a bit of a photographic experiment as well. I used my phone and a pretty well rounded online, Flash based image editor called Pixlr for the photo editing.

While I was cropping the photos, I also noticed some of the extra stuff in the perephery of some of the photos and thought I would post this tiny peek at other parts of my desk...

28 April 2015

Secret Weapon Skulls

The Secret Weapon skulls arrived today. They look great! They're a decent size, well sculpted & cast. I just wish some of them had lower jaws. But I think I will still have plenty of use for them. Here's a pic next to an old, huge GW skull, and one of the Warmachine Bane Thrall skulls (has a peg on the bottom.) I think these will work as perfect replacements for the Bane Thralls!


22 April 2015

Cleaning up a Bane Thrall

I attempted to clean up and assembled one of the Bane Thralls, sans pauldrons. I set them up next to the figure so you can see how huge they are. They look like pieces from a segmented sewing thimble! You can see that the platforms on which the pauldrons are supposed to sit could look like more modest pauldrons on their own, if I dressed them up a little. So I might just try that.

I need to go back and spend some more time cleaning up mould lines, especially on the fingers. I can't say I am a fan of whatever this material is. It's like they used something that combines the worst qualities of lead/metal and polystyrene. Filing the stuff leaves a lot of texture and "fluff" that needs cleaned off, similar to styrene. Normally I use an knife on the styrene, which did seem to work better with this stuff. But it's a harder plastic/resin, so it doesn't cut/scrape as nicely. This one looked like it had a gate/tab/sprue/whatever on the collar that had been cleaned off, but left behind a pretty rough, chunky surface. That and the fingers were the worst parts to clean.

In spite of that, I still like the sculpting, aside from the head and pauldrons, and they are nice designs. You can see in the pic that they are much smaller than those old, monstrous Citadel skeletons. But they're bigger than just about anything. I think the Bane Thralls should fit well with the Mantic stuff, which is good since I have a big pile of their skeletons to work on eventually! In fact, I think I will also look into using some of the Mantic skeleton heads on these. If I can get my hands on some of the current GW skeleton heads, those might also fit.

19 April 2015

Remote Gaming and a Bit o' Basing

After exploring the Oldhammer forum a bit more this week, I've started thinking about the idea of "remote gaming" as an alternative or supplement to solo gaming.

The concept would be that I would set up the battlefield, the figures, etc. and would play against a remote opponent by keeping a blog with updated photos of the table, use an online random number generator to get dice results, and would get instructions from my opponent that I would carry out on their behalf. This got me reconsidering Hail Caesar as the basis for a fantasy game, since the movement is somewhat loose, based on a verbal description, and partially dependent on dice. There would be little change from playing an in-person opponent other than me moving their figures for them.

So now I'm considering digging up an opponent and giving that a try.

I like to include at least one photo with each entry, so here's a pic of two older figures I finally based. The figure from the Confrontation range is quite a bit bigger, even when taking into account the larger base. But between that and his proportions, I think he might make a good partner for the old GW "Death Elemental" that I will be painting up sometime (hopefully) soon.

Bane Thralls

Earlier this week I received a box of Warmachine Bane Thralls. I've been looking for an option for some armored "elite" skeletal troops. I had been considering a few different ideas, and these were on the list but I kept resisting because I think the shoulder plates (pauldron?) look ridiculous, as do the bits of someone's iron fence they are wearing on their backs. The latter are easily left off. I had considered clipping the shoulders, too, as illustrated by my quick photoshoppery to test the idea...

So now that they're in my possession, I can see that the square "pads" on which the separate shoulder plates sit might look like decent, if someone bland, armor plates on their own, with the exception of the "champion" figure who is designed completely differently. I could just leave his on, as above. Honestly, though, I think the plates look less ridiculous in person.

Other observations about these figures.... they are sold as "plastic" but they are not polystyrene. Maybe a lightweight, hard resin? Not sure the shoulder plates will be nearly as easy to trim down & clean up as if they had been polystyrene. The detail seems OK on most of the figure, but the skulls look pretty disappointing. I was already on the fence a bit when I saw close-ups of the skulls in photos. In person they are even more caricatured with pretty soft looking detail. Looks like there will be a little cleanup, hopefully this plastic isn't too tough to work with.

I'll withhold final judgement until I've actually worked on & painted these, but at first unboxing I find them a little disappointing given the regular retail price.

16 April 2015

Caller's Beast & Giant

I stole a series of 5 & 10 minute breaks throughout the last few days to put some paint and a series of washes/glazes on the Caller's beast. This is a bit of a new technique to me -- I've been using it to an extent on all of the undead, but for decades I've been more of layering & blending style painter, and have stayed away from doing many washes. But I'm learning to love it!

However, I've got mixed feelings on how this particular figure turned out. It's not really a subject that should be too colorful, but also felt like it needed a bit more color than the washed out look of most of the rest of what I've done. Hopefully it doesn't look too out of place once the army is filled out.

While I was basing it up, I also finished the base on a previously painted Undeadish giant.

For reference, the giant is on a 50x50 base, the Caller's beast (I need a new name for it) is on a 50x100.

14 April 2015

While digging around through old boxes, I came across this. I had intended to use it for my old Skaven army, but it will work just as well (better?) with the undead!

12 April 2015

Musings on the Black Knights

I have started putting together a box of the current plastic GW undead black knights. As I’ve been working on them, a few thoughts have crossed my mind. I haven’t put together any of their kits in a long time, so nothing they’ve done in the past few years or more.

They are really nice models. If the rumors of GW focusing on being a company that produces nice models for hobbyists and collectors first, and a game company second (or fifty-second….) are true, then I think that’s probably not a bad plan. While I have enjoyed a number of their games, I don’t think it’s their strong point. Especially recently, and especially at the insane prices to get the rules.

They take forever to clean & assemble. At least more time than someone like me wants to put into it. By that I mean, someone who wants a table full of nice painted models to play some big battle games, but can’t devote their life to it. I suppose you get out of it what you put into it. As I said, they do look great so far. But I am starting to grow weary of assembling plastic figures.

WTF is with GW and putting flaming braziers on everything, especially HEADS? Are “brazierz” the new “skullz”?

Pics when they're done. It might be a while...

08 April 2015

Rough/First Draft Map

I've quickly sketched out a first, (very rough) draft of a map-like thing. I've decided to completely part ways with the Warhammer world (I was originally going to set a campaign in an alternative Warhammer world) and invent my own setting through a narrative campaign. I'm still keeping the name Marienburg, because I like. I also like the idea of a late medieval trading port, such as some of those in the Hanse. The highlighted area is where the action will happen, centering on the city of Marienburg and the surrounding hinterland.

07 April 2015


While I make up my mind about the horse colors, I decided to finally base & varnish some of what I've recently painted. I decided to stick with the same style base as almost everything else I've got. At some point I will paint something on the banner.

I have been contemplating whether I want to rebase my individual Marienburg figures onto 40mmx40mm bases like these. I've never been a fan of individual based figures for mass combat games. But I'm also not a fan of extra basing work.

04 April 2015

Undeadish Cavalry Test Colors

I painted a couple of test undeadish cavalry. Not sure if I want to go with light horses, dark horses, or a mix of both...

02 April 2015

Return to the Great (Air) War

I finally finished a loooooon (years) overdue 1/72 plane for a friend. Lothar von Richthofen's DR1. The kit is from Eduard and probably the nicest plane model of this scale that I've put together.

Lothar's plane is, I think, even more striking than his more famous brother's. Now that I've done this, I'm feeling a bit of the WWI bug again, and want to do a second one for myself.

Speaking of the WWI bug... I played Wings of Glory for the first time earlier this week. One of my co-workers picked up one of the paired plane sets, along with a couple of single planes, and a game mat. Pretty easy to learn, and along the lines of Blue Max/Canvas Eagles, it's a pre-planning game of trying to predict your opponents actions and plan accordingly. I think I actually like the three move planning better, and the cards really help keep the game moving fast (once we figured everything out.)

The planes are very nice. Not crazy about the segmented posts on the flight stands, but it's a better solution than was used in Angels 20/Axis & Allies.

Needless to say, I dug out my box of half-finished planes today....