Monday, January 14, 2019

Man O'War - The Fleet Sets Sail

Eluf Gorebeard, Bloodfated, chosen of Khorne and Jarl of the Hversing clan strode along the deck of the bloodship World Eater with mounting impatience. He was man unused to answering the summons of another like some lackey, not even for one such as Aesir Vortag.

As Eluf approached the steps leading up to the immense black sterncastle he could hear the exhortations of a slaughterpriest addressing the faithful. The priest stood atop a high gantry which rose above one of the gigantic bronze vats that fed the bloodship's colossal greatcannon. He was loudly extolling those watching below to fight well in the coming battle. A captive lay kneeling before the priest, precariously balanced on the edge of the walkway, his eyes glazed with terror. As Eluf watched the priest raised his axe high, paused to give one final bellow to the crowd below and then effortlessly struck the head from the prisoner. The corpse collapsed forward before disappearing into the noxious gases rising from the bubbling inferno beneath. Eluf nodded curtly in approval at the perfection of the priest's killing stroke.

Turning away, Eluf took the steps up in a measured fashion. He would not be seen to hurry, especially not with Vortag's personal guard gazing impassively down at him from either side of the huge iron and oak doorway that led to his audience chambers. As he reached the head of the stair he could have sworn the guards took just a little too long to open the door to him. A measured insult he would take pains to remember. Grinding his teeth, he swept inside.

Rush hour can be murder.
At long last the Khorne fleet is complete! The bloodships Worldeater and Impetuous Glory take their place alongside the flagship, Guns of Anarchy. The fleet now numbers twelve ships. Along with the three Bloodships there are two squadrons of Ironsharks and a squadron of Death Galleys. That brings me up to around the thousand point mark.

It's been a fun project working on something new like a Man O'War fleet, but I am very happy it's complete. I took way, way too long on it. The ships are dainty things, so I spent a long time figuring out ways to make them a little more sturdy. Metal flagpoles, masts, heavy card sails and clear bases are all intended to give the models more endurance. I may add some adhesive magnets under the bases for transport a well. You don't want them banging about in a box. Gods no.

The fleet in it's entirety.
I had some nice new ship cards printed for the Khorne fleet, so I'm game ready. I may add a kraken or some other sea monster to the fleet, but for now the Bloodtide is ready to go a reaving! 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Meandering Wander Back Over 2018

I quite like doing yearly reviews, it ties into why I blog in the first place. For me, blogging is as much a diary and archive as it is a means to present myself to the hobby world. I quite enjoy looking back over old posts and more than once I've looked up and old post for a name, company or link I'd forgotten. So, grab your walking stick and join me in the main lobby as we peruse the last twelve months in the Mumblings. Sherry?

Welcome to the January room. Take a seat on one of the chaise lounge if it pleases you.

This time last year I was working on some diminutive undead for the Bonefields project from Macrocosm. These were great fun, and I churned out quite a few. I particularly enjoyed the goblin vampire. Sadly I didn't get to keep most of them, but they did turn up in the Bonefields rulebook, so that's cool.

Once the undead dwarves and gobbos were off to the UK (sob) I consoled myself with building a gang for Dracula's America based on the Shadow Dragon Tong posse. But in space. Based on the Big Trouble in Little China movie. With eldar tech. And terracotta warriors.

Looking back, this was probably my favourite project of the year. I was really happy with how it turned out, and I overcame my fear of painting black. It also added some spice my my Shadow Empire army for Dragon Rampant.

Moving on, (we're into April now) I got bitten by the Underworlds bug. The miniatures are really excellent, and so I returned to the cold bosom of the undead with the particularly gorgeous Sepulchral Guard.

Actually, maybe this was my favourite project. I loved painting these. You may have noticed warbands were my schtick in 2018. Maybe my attention span is narrowing. As signs of age go, it's not too awful. You should see my eyebrows. Nobody tells you about what happens to your eyebrows as you get older. Then, one day you're in the barbers and the hairdresser asks: 'Will I do your eyebrows?' and you think 'What the actual f*ck? Do my eyebrows?! What do you mean, do my-' (looks in the mirror) 'Yeah... I guess you better.' What next? Tops of my ears?

Anyway, miniatures. These were magic to paint, but in some cases total bastards to assemble. I painted a few in sub-assemblies and didn't take enough precautions regarding how they'd go together once painted. I learned much. Like how much self control I have. I amazed myself by not eating some of them in pure frustration. Happily the minis survived my ill-prepared attentions, and boy is it worth it once they're done. I have some pretty solid plans for what I want to work on in 2019 (hah!) but I'd love to do another warband. The Skaven maybe, or the Tzeentch lads.

Follow me through now into the May gallery. What's that smell you say? I was taken by some more Kickstarter goodies in May, and painted up some of the Circus of Corruption minis.

These are part of a set sculpted by Jason Fairclough, whose work I really, really like. I have many more in storage and it's a project I can see myself returning to sooner rather than later. The bearded lady for sure. I think almost everyone want to do a Nurgle force at some point, it seems to be one of life's major milestones in the hobby. 'Well John, this year my goals are to get fit, eat better and paint that Nurgle warband.' That's what I want to see on operation transformation. 'This week Sally lost 3 lbs and finished her plaguebearers.' I'd watch the crap out of that.

Moving into the Summer terrace I have the most unusual mini of the year, the meatwalker. This was  another kickstarter by Theoc Games and sculpted by Johan Tieldow.

Mental, isn't it? Originally part of the Oldhammer sculpting contest, I had my eye out for a sneaky copy ever since. It's the first troll I've ever painted, certainly the first troll controlled by stabby brain sticks. Perhaps the start of a future greenskins warband? Only Mork (or Gork) knows.

As Summer settled in I briefly returned to a favourite project of mine, the Kabeiroi, my Genestealer Cult. I have plans to greatly expand the cult in 2019. In July 2018 the cult received two new members, an ancestor and brother Sloth.

I'm a big, big fan of the new cult releases. The new plastic kits are magic. At the time of writing images of the next wave have just hit the internet and I am positively foaming with excitement at getting back to painting more cult. When I started this project the cult was a dimming memory from the 1980s, now it's a hugely popular range for current 40k. All those tearful entreaties to the star Gods paid off it seems. I really want to clear the decks once my current project is done and then roll about in cult parts, American Beauty style. 

Toward the end of Summer I started on a new project that would hoover up all my hobby time (which was about to diminish drastically) for the remainder of the year. Yarr, it be Man O'War!

I decided to get in on some local Man O'War enthusiasm and finally paint myself a fleet. I chose KHORNE, (the blood God demand caps AND bold) and with almost zero knowledge of the game or fleet requirements, I nagged my gaming pals (and anyone else in earshot) until the gave up the info. Even my wife wasn't safe. 'So, what do you reckon? Does this sail work? Does it? Is it straight do you think? What glue should I use to attach it?!'

I harangued all mercilessly until knowledge of the arcane mast and sail making process was also mine. With these new powers I got to work hunting down ships, sail templates, masts and other fiddly bits. Eventually I had enough to assemble a fleet worthy of the blood God. It turns out the blood God is big on attaching working jaws to the front of his ships.

First up was a squadron of Death Galleys, the Cogs of War. HIM (His Infernal Majesty's) Bloodhound, Damnation and Brass Retriever.

The next addition to my nascent Khorne fleet was my flagship, the Guns of Anarchy.

Most recently I finished up two squadrons of Ironsharks. The first consists of The Gorger, Mercy of Iron and The Wrathful Tide. The second squadron is The Coward's Due, The Hateful Word and finally The Harmstead.

At the moment I am putting the finishing touches to the last two ships for the fleet, the Bloodships Worldeater and Impetuous Glory.

It has taken waaaaaaay longer to build the fleet than I had hoped, but sure, that's the way it goes. When a project drags on like this one has, motivation does suffer. The last two ships in particular have been on the painting table now for about a month and a half. Normally I would maybe switch over to another project for a bit and come back to them. However, being so close to finishing I decided to plough on and take the hit in mojo as I dislike leaving projects almost done.

So, the total for the year is about fifty miniatures painted, which is pretty poor, and about average for me. Once again I will shoot for one hundred miniatures in 2019, but we'll see how it goes. More importantly I want to get a lot more gaming in this year, as last year was pretty dismal, with only a handful of gaming outings, and only one (YES, one) wargaming session. It was a good one, granted, but that a terrible result for a year's gaming. Christ.

So, I wish you all the best for both brush and dice in the year ahead. As I said, I am rubbing my claws together for the new genestealer cult releases, oh yes I am precious.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Man O'War - Khorne Ironsharks

When I first decided to build a Khorne fleet for Man O War, it was the Ironsharks that sealed the deal. How can a man be expected to resist a ship full of blood-crazed murderers that has a giant articulated metal shark's head at the front? Not this guy.

So I painted six of them, two squadrons. The first consists of The Gorger, Mercy of Iron and The Wrathful Tide. The second squadron is The Coward's Due, The Hateful Word and finally The Harmstead.  (The final ship named in honour of the mighty Captain Crooks who sorted me out with three of the Ironshark models in the first place.)

Khorne, master of tasteful understatement.

As with my death galleys I wrestled with some thirty year old transfers to add icons to the sails. After some initial failures I got the Microsol and Microset working and they smoothed the geriatric old transfers nice and flat. I think my decision to base them on clear bases was probably wise, as not basing would lead to chipping and I wasn't mad about sculpting waves and such, which is odd for me. I'm usually mad for going crazy on the basing.

Okay, here's the plan: we just brave the barrage of cannonfire and then bite them. Cool? Cool.
These fellows were on my painting desk for a very long time, so I'm super happy to have them finished. That's given me the mojo boost to tackle the last two ships in the fleet, two Bloodships, The Worldeater and the as yet un-named final ship. 

As the project has gone on I've decided to tailor my 28mm Khorne warband to work as the captains and crew of various ships from the fleet. It'll be a nice thematic tie-in, don't you think?

Like a floating death metal festival.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Man O'War - Khorne Bloodship

A Khorne Bloodship is a fearsome vessel to behold. It is a vast, towering war machine that grinds across the surface of the waves, its armoured prow snapping open and shut like some great beast's maw. The massed banks of its beaten bronze oars cut through the water at inhuman speed, and deep within its titanic hull great drums are beaten in incessant rhythms. As its jaw opens, whirling blades and pounding hammers spring forth, and great gouts of flame roar skywards.

The hull of a Bloodship bears the device of Khorne, the Blood God, on its bronze-plated hull. Ranks of Chaos Warriors cram the decks and boarding platforms, eager to rend the flesh of their enemies and bring skulls before their Lord. The coming of a Khorne Bloodship is a time of dread indeed.

The latest addition to my nascent Khorne fleet is my flagship, the HIM (His Infernal Majesty's) Guns of Anarchy. The Khorne is dialed up to eleven on this ship. Articulated skull faced prow for grabbing enemy ships, big flame cannons that fire napalm coated skulls and immense Khorne flags. Subtlety is an alien concept to Khorne.

I painted the bloodship in several sections. After reading up on some old pirate traditions I decided to give the Guns of Anarchy red banners rather than black. A red flag, or Bloody Red, as they were known, when flown by a pirate ship meant that their victims could expect no mercy. Not that you can expect any from a howling Khorne boarding party anyway, but making the right first impression is so important.

The banners are coloured card that I covered with some truly ancient transfers. A note to you all: be careful putting Daler Rowney matt varish on paper. I have noticed it can whiten in places when applied to paper. Such was the case with these flags, but nothing a little touch up couldn't fix.

The small but growing Khorne fleet.
The fleet is still tiny, numbering but four ships, but the chaos shipyards (imagine being the foreman there) are currently beavering away on a squadron of Ironsharks. If there's anything better than a big skull with clamping mandibles and a cannon mouth, it's a big iron shark head with snappy metal jaws.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Kickstarter - Shieldwall Fine Shields

A distinctly oldschool flavour to today's post. Some pals of mine are currently running a kickstarter for shields and shield inserts. You can check it out here. Shields are fun, and for those that like to freehand intricate designs on their shields, more power to you. As I get older, however, I'll take any shortcut I can get. Behold, this is one of those delightful shortcuts. Along with swanky shields you get themed inserts to suit most fantasy factions. Here are a few examples, though there are several shield shapes in addition to the rounds you see here.

Personally, I would probably paint the shield face wooden, then maybe fray or cut down an insert to show damage/weathering, then pop it on with the wood underneath showing through. A little run of ink around the edge maybe to blend the edge of the insert into the shield edge, and done. Swanky shield, minimal effort.

The kickstarter runs for another 24 days at the time of posting.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Man O'War - Khorne Death Galley Squadron

There's a lot of love for Man O'War among my gaming buddies of late, so as is the way with these things I was soon swept up in the tidal wave of enthusiasm for this most excellent of Games Workshop games.

I always looked at Man O'War as a game I missed the boat on. I had none of the sets, no ships, no rules. There were those in my group that kept the faith (TheOttoVonBismark is a Man O'War fanatic) but I had enough going on. That was until the most recent tsunami of boat love coming primarily out of Sho3box. I resisted as long as I could, but it looked too much fun. With that, I threw my lot in with the forces of Khorne, and the HIM (His Infernal Majesty's) navy was born. Cheers for that one Sean.

Getting ships proved to be reasonable enough after I threw out my nets. Getting masts was another matter. I was initially perplexed as to how to approach assembling and painting the sails. I need a 3 beam? what's that? Triangular sails on the Ironsharks? What? This went on for a while and I badgered all around me for advice. I eventually secured enough mast parts to serve the fleet. The flag poles I made from florists' wire and some plastic rod. I managed to get a Khorne sail sheet, and made templates for all the sails I would need. I bought some coloured card to cut down on painting. With this scale I had to consciously pull back on texturing and weathering so as not to overwhelm the models. I did add glowing eyes to the skulls and a smouldering effect to the sails to add a little more visual interest.

I used some very old transfers on the sails. 26 years old. MicroSol and MicroSet saved the day here, softening the ancient transfers so they would sit nicely on the paper. A quick roll around a wooden dowel to curve the sails, some vanish and done. I attached the sails to the beams with Impact Contact adhesive, which worked like a dream.

My gaming pals gave me a ton of solid naming suggestions for the ships. All are crewed by Khornegor. So it was the HIM Bloodhound, Damnation and Brass Retriever were born, collectively the Cogs of War squadron.

Next up my flagship, the bloodship Guns of Anarchy.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Genestealer Cult - Brother Sloth

When Overkill came out I all but curled into a ball of mewling joy. After years on the verge of extinction the cult were back in the heart of 40k lore. The attendant plastic deluge was like something from a beautiful dream. Since then the cult has enjoyed a huge resurgence, and as I write this a new wave of Genestealer cult minis are about to hit. I am target demographic man.

With the new cult list for Necromunda it gave me the ideal opportunity to paint an aberrant. I just love these less than perfect members of the cult. It shows even the hive mind makes a balls of things sometimes. You kind of feel sorry for them.

'Sloth luvz Maguz. Heerez magus, Sloth makez maguz a presend. (presents dripping rat) Ah... thank you Sloth. Now, aren't there more rocks you should be breaking? Off you go now, there's a good man.' 

In any case, the image of one of these charging across a gantry before burying it's power hammer in some gangers skull isn't something I was built to resist.

I loved painting this guy. The miniature is just delightful. I'd have painted another right away if I hadn't a new project awaiting attention. I stuck to my cult scheme, but treated Sloth to a nice new Necromunda base.

Here we have Sloth with my original aberrant from 2014, when if you wanted a cult you had to hunt for bits and out of production metal minis. At the time he was a proxy for a weapons team. His auto-cannon is magnetized in case I fancied another attachment someday. Not entirely sure where he fits in these days. Sloth still luvz him though. 

For my Oldhammer bros here's how he sits next to one of the original metal Jes Goodwin 2nd generation hybrids. I love that the new plastics have kept and expanded on the original aesthetic of the cult with the mining suits and a more industrial than military feel. At this stage I have more cult minis than a man could ever want, and still I await the hybrid gunslinger and ultra-aberrant with bated breath. 

Mr Saturday luvz cult.

Wayland Games

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