Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fimir - Odhrán

The fianna fimm reboot continues. I've finished the unit champion, Odhrán the finmor. I'm much happier with the skin now, so I'll re-do the rest of the fianna to match. I added some freehand to the axe as it was a bit plain, and while I do love this model, there's some definite weirdness going on around the hand holding the axe where it meets the body. I essentially painted in some details to mask it. Here's the blurb on the fianna of the red oath for those who like a bit of background.

Fianna Fimm - An Mionn Dearg (The Red Oath)
The fianna fimm are regarded as the elite warriors of the fimir, second only to the nobles themselves. Greater in size than the more numerous fimm warriors, the fianna fimm are often found in the bloodiest fights in the battleline, smashing their enemies with mace, axe or spiked tail. The Fir Domhan boast a large proportion of fianna fimm, which adds greatly to the power of the clan. One of most renowned of these groups are the mionn dearg, or those who have taken the red oath.

These fimir have sworn to avenge some slight to the clan, whether a specific transgression or simply those fimir maddened by the wrongs done the to the fimir as a race. As the fimir are almost as prone to grudge-holding as the dwarves, this band of warriors is never short of those willing to join. They fight under the eye of Solkan, a God of law, who acknowledges the ancient grievances of the fimir but rarely intervenes unless a judgement is required. The mionn dearg are led by the hulking finmor Odhrán, a fimir who won the right to bear a belly shield for recovering a relic from the time of Fimul. Thought lost forever, the axe known as the doras an bháis, or death's door, has since been carried by Odhrán as a symbol of the resolve of the warrior's of the red oath.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wargaming Ireland Podcast

The Wargaming Ireland podcast has recently kicked off with a new series. With Nigel, Lenny and Eoin giving us the latest on the Irish wargaming scene, it really is great to see the podcast take off again, as I think an Irish focused wargaming podcast is badly needed. The three lads have a nice dynamic between them and make for good listening, but then Nigel does have the sultry tones of a late night radio host.

I fervently hope the lads keep at it, as over the last few years now the Irish wargaming scene has really started to coalesce, with a lot of clubs becoming aware of each other's existence and more events to meet them at. The Wargaming Ireland podcast can only help the Irish gaming community continue to grow and thrive. (We also got a nice mention for KnaveCon in episode two. Cheers lads.)

With the TLC and NWG being something of a nexus for wargaming in Ireland I'm expecting great things. You hear that lads, GREAT THINGS.

Get the podcast here, and the wargaming Ireland website is here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stripping Miniatures - No More Nitromors?

Having recently received various packages of lead-based goodness, I had call to employ the dreaded Nitromors. I usually use Dettol, but some of the latest lead treasures had substantial amounts of paint and glue on them. Nothing scours a miniature to the bone like Nitromors.

Or so I thought.

Having picked up some craftsman formula, I submerged the miniatures, confident they would be clean and shiny come the morning. To my extreme disappointment, the next day the paint had barely started to bubble. The glue had not broken down at all. It seems that the formula has been altered for Nitromors, making it really not so great at stripping miniatures any more.

Sad times.

What do I use now when I need a multi-part metal miniatures rendered down to bare metal? I have a beast of Nurgle awaiting the answers. Has anyone else noticed that Nitromors has lost it's teeth?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fimir - Fianna Fimm Reboot 2

I've been beavering away on my fianna fimm, looking to take more time over them this time. I spent longer on the skin, and bought myself a new shiny tin of strong tone dip from Army Painter. The reason for this is that too much dip had dried out on the lid of my old tin, compromising the seal, and the air getting in pretty much ruined the dip left in the tin over time. Once dip starts to thicken it is only a matter of time before it's totally useless. Sure, you can thin it out again with white spirits, but the viscosity of dip is fundamental to its use. It should be like thin gravy. It also gives you more time to work the dip before it begins to coagulate, and you don't get long at the best of times. Dip that has begun to thicken doesn't spread as evenly and dries faster giving you less time to brush it on and then brush away the excess pooling in the recesses. It's not a technique for the faint of heart.

This is what led to the fianna looking less than I hoped first time around. Granted, I always paint over the dip, using it more as a wash than a final step, but if the dip wash is a fail, it's all over baby. The new tin made me realise just how treacley the old one had gotten. Taking no chances I'm sealing the lid with blu-tack to make sure it's airtight this time around.

I'm tempted to try the new GW blood/gore special effect paint on the bloody hand. I'll try out a wee tester first I think. In any case he needs a few more highlights here and there, basing and varnishing. Then I'll get cracking on his five mates.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fimir - New Models Spotted

While perusing the Oldhammer Group on Facebook the other day, I came across a post from Diego Serrate from Troll Outpost Miniatures. The post got me rather excited, as they were greens for new fimir models. Or, bog raiders maybe? Or Fenfolk? A few companies have now tried their hands at fimir-type models over the last couple of years. As far as I understand it, these are private sculpts, and nothing to do with Troll Outpost. They are, however, some of the best fimir-style models I've seen. They look quite large too, judging by the scale comparison shot. So far there are plans for a noble, dirach and meargh, hopefully more are in the pipeline if they prove popular. I have several fingers crossed in the fervent desire that they are available soon.

Scale comparison with 40k orc.

Friday, March 14, 2014

White Dwarf - New Daemon Rules

I must say, I've been enjoying the new weekly white dwarf. It's a nice roundup of what's going on in the realms of Games Workshop for the week. The tone of the magazine seems slightly more casual, whilst obviously still trying to sell you all the things. There just seems a to be a tiiiiiny bit more whimsy in the editorial style, and it's lacking the fevered desperation to shift product that was sadly evident in the monthly. I really didn't like the blurb text on new models in the rebooted monthly. It was a little too heavy on the hard sell.

But I digress. White Dwarf weekly issue 7 contains something I'd been hoping to see for a while now. New rules not available elsewhere. Enter the exalted flamer.

Page 18-19 contain all new rules for using the exalted flamer as a new hero choice (or HQ, if you dig on the 40k) for daemons. No longer bound only to a chariot, the fellow can now be fielded on foot. Or, stump, I guess. Or whatever that flamey mouth thing is he has for feet.

Regardless of the usefulness of the new unit, it's a very good sign that this has appeared in the magazine. Granted, it's rules for an existing model that was essentially useless if you built the kit with the herald, but it's still a move in the right direction. I dearly hope it's not an anomaly, and we get more new rules in the weekly.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fimir - Fianna Fimm Reboot

After finally managing to pack everything away from KnaveCon and get back on track, I've decided to roll up my sleeves and get cracking on re-doing the fianna fimm. I've been sore tempted by the hobby butterfly of late, being almost lured away by ideas of greenstealer Gorkamorka mobs, skeleton warriors, infernal guard, genestealer hybrid parts, bloodbowl teams and so on. I stayed strong though. There's still a lot to do with the fimir, and added to that the fenland display board is starting to demand some time as well.

I painted the fianna a little too hastily for the the KnaveCon participation game, and I wasn't happy with them once they were done. Here's how they looked at the time:

Serviceable, but far from where I wanted them. I'm going to take a little more care with them this time around. Looking at the models again, I decided they needed a few more points of interest. They are almost all skin, so some shields and cloth, bags and such might be an idea. I'm generally loathe to alter such rare models, but these lads need something.

The first model up is this lad, to whom I've added a hood. A lot of my fimm are hooded, so it fits in nicely with the rest of the army. I'll freehand some knotwork around the edge of the hood to reinforce the focal point of the model. I think this is alteration enough for this particular fianna fimm, I don't want to load them up with stuff just for the sake of it or they'll look like the end of a game of Buckaroo.

I'm working on the next fellow, and the addition of one of Scibor's wonderful Celtic style shields really does help immensely. I'll be raiding my rapidly diminishing stock of ogre bits for maybe a rack of meat or a bag of bones to add some more jazz. I'm still putting off dunking the four painted fianna in the Dettol as I'm unsure how it affects greenstuff, so I'm delaying the date of execution until I find out more on that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Any Old Iron? Miniature Trading & Selling Sites

Lately I've been doing a bit more miniature trading than usual. My preferences are such that a lot of the miniatures and kits that I'm after are out of production, and have been so for some time. I've noticed that, especially where Games Workshop is concerned, I don't tend to buy many of the new kits, and those I do buy are usually to convert or cannibalise them for bits. I do, however, hunt certain miniatures across the length and breadth of the internet to complete whatever range I'm currently obsessing over.

Anyhow, this post comes about after watching some commentary on one of the trading sites I've recently signed up to. There's a billion trading and selling sites out there, big and small, and this post applies to them all, so I'm not going to put up a list or anything.

What came up was some commentary I've seen a lot before, so I thought I might put up some advice from having been at this for some time. Here's some pointers that might help budding traders out there.

  • A brief mention of eBay. Always check the postage for your country, and always check the sellers reputation. If you're still unsure, ask them a question. If they don't respond, do not bid. 
  • When trading, check any reputation indicator for that seller. Watch for communication, if they are tardy or less than polite, don't trade.
  • Always ask for pictures of the item you are trading for, and always provide them for your items. Again, ask how postage is covered and who covers it.
  • Be prompt sending items once the deal is struck. If there's a delay, tell the receiver about it. They'll understand.
  • Be wary of people who want you to send money as a gift via Paypal. If the deal goes bad you have no recourse to claim your money back. That said, it's not a deal breaker, just something to watch for.
  • You don't have to buy a box of squats for $500. Yes, it's a poor show, but don't spend week moaning about it to everyone, move on.
  • Be polite, and watch the language.
  • Aim for a fair deal, not as much as you can get.
  • Haggle for above mentioned fair deal. People won't be offended, and if they are you're probably better off walking away anyway.
  • Patience. Be wary of buying 'that mini' you've been after for ages. I've seen miniatures I've been hunting for years going for $50, only to pick it up in a lot for $10 a week later. Chaos dwarves hobgoblin wolf riders are not really worth $200 for 5. Without wolves. Or shields. Or bases. 
  • Most people out there are decent, but there are people who will rip you off. Thankfully they are a minority, but they can ruin a good trading site. If a deal seems off, trust your gut and don't go ahead with the trade or purchase.
There you go, a few pointers. I'll pop in more as they come to me. Buying 2nd hand and trading is a very satisfying way to pick up some new minis. Nothing better than watching a jar full of Dettol work it's magic on a batch of soon to be shiny new old figures. Actually speaking of which, I think those hybrids are probably about ready...

Monday, March 3, 2014

KnaveCon 3 - Post Mortem & Oldhammer Funtimes

That's right. Catan cake.
KnaveCon 3 is done, the smoke has cleared and the games are all back in their boxes. We were extremely happy with the turnout and the vibe on the day, everyone seemed to have a fine old time. A big thanks to Vic and Deccie for keeping the wheels on all day, keeping the bank of coffee machines running and manning the bring and buy as well as taking registration. Nice one lads.

Possibly the ultimate gamer breakfast.
The Wee gamers posted an interview about the doings of the day with the incomparable Victor Gannon, you can catch it here.

For my own part, I met up with some of the Irish Oldhammer personalities to run our participation game. Paul, Sean and John (Cheetor, theOttovonbismark and Just John respectively from the Oldhammer forums) had taken various responsibilities for building terrain, painting figures and assembling cards and playing sheets. Once we had reconciled our online preconceptions with the real life versions of each other we pulled ourselves together and set up.

The fimir move off the beaches in search of booty.
We had intended running a few games over the day with some breaks in between, but with a list of people interested in playing the whole break thing flew out the window. Despite a hideous lack of preparation and zero playtesting, somehow the whole thing held together and provided us with a copious amount of entertainment. We gave the players four turns of mayhem before the slann rescue party arrived, giving the fimir another four turns to make it back to the beach. The slann hero on cold one wearing a power fist was particularly feared as he punched the raiders back to the waterline.

And the screaming begins in halflington.
Burninating the village.
Some favourite moments: three eagle-eyed halfling milita managing to shoot a fianna fimm square in the eyeball, the players realising they could use the larger fianna to throw sheep and halflings, and the scrum over halfling princess as one warband struggled to murder their way through the halfling guards only to have a rival fian sprint in, grab her and run headlong back to the beach. Good stuff.

It's graviton gun time.
There are a few things we would tweak if we ever ran it again, remembering to bring stats for the fimir being high on the list. There was enough accumulated knowledge to get us by on the day though. Sean's sheep (sculpted, cast and painted in a very short amount of time, I might add) were easily my favourite thing on the day, and I fully intend to convert a fimm carrying one under each arm as a tribute to the day. All in all a great success and we're certainly giving thought to running something else in the future. Finally, a little group shot of all the oldhammer gents there on the day.

On a side note, Sean's Skeletork was one of two Skeletor conversions there on the day, the other being Skeletogre.
With that, I'll leave you with some more images from the day.

Wayland Games

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