Monday, 25 July 2011

Upcoming Hiatus and Greg.

This will be the last post from me for a few weeks you'll be glad/sorry (delete as appropriate) to hear, as I shall be going to France on holidays.  This is mostly for my parents, who have been stressed out with work and Grandma having psychiatric-related problems, and me and my brother are going with them because they're paying.  So, I won't be back until the second week of August, when I will begin searching for employment in earnest.

For now though, I'll give you a few pictures of how my Black Dragon, Greg (yes, I'm sticking with that name) is getting along.

 Slow going, I admit, but only because I haven't painted flesh in yonks.  I'm too used to painting sharp, angular models, like armour-clad elves and marines, give me something with organic limbs and I get lost.

  I also had a change of heart with the colour scheme.  The scheme for my Druchii is to have dark blue as the main colour, with red and gold to balance it.  Essentially, the Night Lords colour scheme.  First, I thought of making it a darker-hued version of my Hydra:

 But me being weak to the lures of adhering to army backgrounds, couldn't quite face the idea of painting a Black Dragon any colour other than black (I know, I'm pathetic) so in the end, I've decided to paint it properly black, with the spines and the wing membranes red, and then the blue will be provided by the Dreadlord and some warpaint/tattoos/markings on the dragon itself.  The gold bits are essentially the same on both Hydra and Dragon of course.

  I was also going to mount him on a grey sand/snow base like the rest of my merry killers, but my brother mentioned that it would be cool if it was 'a rock in the sea' kind of thing, and I was so mindblown by the image that popped into my head that I immediately sculpted the sand I had already laid down with a lot of PVA glue into something resembling cresting waves.

I then laid down several coats of PVA to smooth it out, bombarded the base (strategically) with paints and washes, beginning with Dark Angels Green, moving to blues and Space Wolf Grey, and occasionally drenching it in Thraka Green and Asurmen Blue washes, and then I put the white on.  Then, 'Ardcoat Gloss Varnish.  I put it on the rock as well, to show that the rock would also be drenched in water.  Logically, part of the tail and the dead tree should be drenched as well, but I'm not sure how far up I should go.
      I'm also a little concerned about the base out-doing the model with its shininess.  Almost considering glossing the dragon completely, to achieve a shiny black scale look, but I'd logically have to gloss the Dreadlord as well then, and I think that might be a little bit too much. 

      But those problems are problems for tomorrow.  Hope you all have a fantastic summer wherever you are, happy gaming, painting and modelling. 

Monday, 18 July 2011

Spess Mehreens.

Seeing as how blogs are supposed to be updates of what you have done lately, and seeing as how I haven't gotten round to the most popular wargame of this day and age yet, I thought now would be a good idea to show you the Space Marine Chapter Master kitbash/conversion I assembled when I was supposed to be doing an essay sometime last term and painted when I should have been revising (well, probably).  I might add a few more pics of other Astartes models, depending on how I feel about it a few inches down.  Oh, the suspense!

A brief little fluff explanation for the base/ model.  The White Swords Chapter were nearly annihilated during the closing days of the 41st millennium. During one of the rare ceremonial events that would see the entire Chapter gather as one, almost 60% of the Chapter defected to Chaos.  As the White Swords' Fortress-Monastery, Bladehenge, was built in the middle of a substantial Hive area, the White Swords loyalists had to trap their heretical brethren within Bladehenge and destroy them lest they escape to wreak death upon the innocent (to little avail, as a renegade Chaos force arrived shortly afterwards which was met by an Imperial force and the hive saw war anyway).  Luckily, none of the 1st Company, except their Captain, turned traitor and in hindsight, it was only this fact that allowed the loyalists to win the battle within Bladehenge despite being outnumbered.  Only 189 Marines survived.

This model, therefore, is the Chapter Master, while leading the counter-attack against the traitors within his own Fortress-Monastery.  I used a GW WHBF modular movement tray base as the tiled floor, GW paints to paint, Tamiya clear red for the lovely arterial blood, various bits from my bitz box to decorate, some green stuff somewhere and I think the sand/rocks and the grass were some kind of Hornby product, though I cannot recall precisely.

In-game, I use him as Pedro Kantor, a) because the model demands it, b) Pedro's army builds are often overlooked in favour of the cheese that is Vulkan, or Lysander (mostly Vulkan),c) the fluff is quite similar, though I honestly didn't realize it until way in.  Honestly.  I can be slow on the uptake like that.

Right, I can manage one more Astartes for tonight, and then I'll be off.  He's a Devastator Sergeant, who will never, ever use his Bolter (most probably).  Devvy Sergs can forgo their own shooting attack in order to give one of their better-armed fellows a BS5 shot that turn.  A heavy weapon hitting on a 2, or an extra S4 AP5 Rapid Fire attack?  No contest.  He's going to be out of range of what the Lascannons and Plasma Cannons are gonna be firing at anyway, so if the Bolter's going to be essentially an ornament...

.. then lets add one more Bolter he'll never use.

I could upload more, but seeing as there's already an existing gallery of some of my models on the interweb  (here), I shall merely inform you of its existence and bid you au revoir.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

What do you call a lot of magic?

Answer: a Storm of Magic.  Yeah, such a witty entry, I know.

Of this kind.

So, got my Storm of Magic book yesterday and I'm slightly in love.  Not with the game system itself, I haven't had a chance to play a game yet, and likely won't for a while, but the book is stunning, the spells look fantastically fun, and there are all sorts of little details and rules that makes this a truly characterful book.  I do love destruction universally in games, especially of the unplanned kind.  Mages miscasting, land raiders exploding, battleships disappearing in a flash of Sturginium, all these are fantastic, whether they happen to me of my enemy.  Which is why I particularly like the Wrath of Khorne.  While all the other Chaos Gods get a Lore of Magic each, Khorne doesn't because he's the warrior type and really hates wizards.  So, his contribution is to throw giant Brass Skulls (read: stone thrower shots that don't scatter) at wizards who miscast when using a cataclysm spell of one of the other three Gods' Lores.

    The normal eight Lores get some good tricks as well, the Lore of Metal can give an entire unit 2+ ward saves, the Lore of Light can plonk hills on top of units, which should be devastating against Dwarfs incidentally as it gets worse if you fail an Initiative test, and my favorite lore (Shadow) gets to move terrain about- hampering high-risk units, move friendly units about- awesome repositioning, and also gets to reduce an unit's Movement, Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Initiative and Leadrship to 1, as well as preventing that unit from casting any spells.  I could go on for a while about the spells, the insane magic items (there's a sword that hits automatically, wounds automatically, ignores armour saves and causes 2D6 wounds) but this will be a long post, so I'll finish up on the Storm of Magic rant with a little about the monsters.

There's 58 pages of them. From your stock regulars- the Chimeras, Hydras, Manticores and Dragons (of which there are 10 varieties) there are also rules for many of the Forge World monsters like the Chaos War Mammoth and the Spined Beast as well as some comebacks, like the Zoats, the Fimir, the Fenbeast, the Lammasu (also known as the worst model in GW history) as well as many monsters taken from some of the normal Armies.  It all looks very exciting, and I really wish to get a game of Storm of Magic in the near future.

Right now, however, I'd like to show you my new friend.

In conservative circles, this is considered a good start to painting a 'Black' Dragon.
I haz a Dragon, if you'll pardon the lolcat.  A Dreadlord on Black Dragon, which can also be assembled as a Supreme Sorceress on Black Dragon, and that's were the problems begin: choice.  As in: there's so much of it.  I'm almost hesitant to begin assembling my Dreadlord without the safety net of being able to magnetize it all.

Pictured: too much damn choice.
First off, there's two heads for the dragon, one roaring its fury to the battlefield, the other horned and aloof.  I spent a good half an hour pondering before choosing the first.  Then there's two torsos each for the Dreadlord and Sorceress, three Dreadlord heads and two Sorceress heads, three crests for the Dreadlord's helmet, two shields, a lance, like three swords; the Sorceress has a whip, quite a few knife options as well as two ... maces?  Mini-staffs?  I dunno, two different right-hand weapons of some description.  I am so torn for choice, on the one hand, I want the option of a mage on a dragon, but I also fancy the idea of taking one of the female heads and plonking it on the heavy armour to create a female Dreadlord (which technically exist), but I'm also considering taking the surviving female torso and head, bonding them with some corsair legs and creating a kit-bashed Death Hag.  *Sigh*  It was almost easier back in the day when you only had the one metal blister that you had to be happy with.  This won't affect the dragon of course, so I can paint him straight off.  I think I shall name him 'Greg'.

Finally, I mentioned INFINITY last post somewhere.  Well, the sudden arrival of Greg will almost certainly send them back a bit, but here are some pictures of three basecoated soldiers of the Japanese Sectorial Army, part of the Yu Jing faction.

Keisotsu Butai

Keisotsu Butai #1 (Mustachio)

Keisotsu Butai #2 (The Girl)

Keisotsu Butai #3 (Baldy)
Very basic first coat, much more work will happen to these fellas before I'm done with them, as Infinity is a skirmish game, and will rarely (if ever) have more than 10 models in a force.  A little bit of the fluff for these units first, and then we'll be done.  The game is set about 200 years in the future, where humanity has spread into 11 known inhabited systems and have fractured into several factions.  One of these is Yu-Jing, which was essentially China before it expanded and now dominates the entire far east.  The Japanese, therefore, are secondary rate citizens, and the low classes have a very poor standard of living.  The only way to advance their social statues for many is join the army.  These troops are often thrown into the most dangerous of war theaters, and their survival rate is incredibly low.  Those who do survive however, are justly rewarded.  My aim when painting them is to generally make them look quite poor and shabby, to conform with their background.

    That's all folks.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Durin the Deathless.

Considering the hobby we share, it might not come as a surprise to anyone when I tell you that I was a bit of a Lord of the Rings fanboy in my early teens (i.e. directly after the movies came out) and after a spate of reading the books over and over and over, the Hobbit once (not epic enough) and the Silmarillion three times (most people find once an impossible task), I discovered the wargaming bit, through the Battle Games in Middle Earth magazine.  Needless to say, I could not fund a subscription at so young an age, the parents had trepidations about investing in a new interest that might not last (oh, how wrong they were) and it would be some time before I returned to painting little plastic men.  Or Dwarves, as it happened.  They weren't the first models for me to rediscover, but they are still my favorite LotR army.  I can't tell why I like them, and to be honest, I'd likely be collecting WHBF Dwarves by now if it weren't for the blackpowder weapons and the caricature-styled models they have.
    But I digress, it was mere days ago that I finished painting Durin, King of Khazad-Dum at the height of its power, before his reign was cut short by the awakening of the Balrog.  And I'm slightly proud of him.



Over the Shoulder
Took me a while to get the files because they were taken in MPO format (look it up if you're that interested), but this is my painted Durin. He comes as part of a pair, with his bodyguard, Mardin, whom I hope to paint at some point in the intermediate future, but for now, I shall divert my attention to some INFINITY models. I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't heard of this game system, but I bought some models simply for their fantastic quality and anime-ish look.  'Till next time.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Dark Elves!!!

Righty-ho, so while I did manage to finish painting Durin the Deathless, Lord and Master of Khazad-Dum, he was too short shy to be transferred from the camera to the laptop and therefore will not be making an appearance.  Instead, I decided to upload Dark Elves!  Also known as Druchii, hence the blog title, and obviously more fitting to be the first proper post. 

What I've uploaded are a few of my Dark Elf character models, of which I have too many for a 2500 point force, so I've been playing Mordheim with some of them instead.
Cynik of the Blades and Hothgar Eaglebolt

 These two models are Dark Elves I converted entirely to use in Mordheim, though I have no doubt I'll find uses for them in WHFB as well.  Both are kit-bashes, with Cynik requiring more green stuff and inventive thinking.  I tend to equip Cynik with Blood Armour, which makes his armour save better the more he kills, and Hothgar with the magical crossbow that Dark Elves have, shoots 3 strength 4 armour piercing hits that always, always hits on a 2+.  Yummy.

I have no idea why there's a dragon on his shoulder either.
My first and main Dreadlord, Malek Blighteye.  Gave him a yellow right eye by mistake then decided to run with it.  When I lose, he's usually the last one of my army to remain on the field, since I give him a 1+ armour save, a ward save that gets better the higher the attack's strength, and an item that means he always takes leadership tests on his Leadership value of 10.  Love the model as well, certainly prefer it over its variant with hand weapon and shield.
Not this one.
'Twas indeed the Malus Darkblade books by Mike Lee, adapted from the graphic novels by Dan Abnett, that inspired me to collect the Dark Kin of Naggaroth.  The only way you can field Malus is on the back of his Cold One, however, I was more interested in the Malus-on-foot model, which was a limited edition back in 2001 or something.  So I got one off eBay, from Israel, believe it or not.  I painted Malus vaguely the same colour scheme as the rest (blue armour, red cloth, gold trimmings), but tried to tone them down enough to imply that he is of a position above the need for uniform markings, but left made sure he still looked part of the force.

Invus the Damned
Here's my Sorcerer.  I know, I know, Dark Elves are only supposed to have female magickers, but I really didn't like any of the Sorceress models available (until the plastic one released with Storm of Magic, but by then it was too late), so amended the background of my army to include that Malek Blighteye gained his cursed eye due to a disagreement with a Sorceress, and that his sons, Cynik and Hothgar, were also thrust upon him by a different Sorceress (he killed both Sorceresses) and so he really doesn't like using Sorceresses of the Dark Convent, and instead occasionally employs the services of this illegal Shadow Wizard.  I'm gonna probably buy that new Sorceress model though, and I hate inconsistencies between background and army composition, so I'm gonna have to invent some way of fielding Sorceresses in the same army as an outlaw mage and a dreadlord who really hates Sorceresses.  Ah well.
    Incidentally, that's a Mordheim Elf mage model, probably meant for the High variety, but I made him better.  Tried to conform with existing paint scheme while making his clothes look a bit shabby, since he is renegade.

Anyways, that's all for now folks!  Durin to come soon(ish) and I'll try and upload some kind of current project up for you to follow or something.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Well, this will be interesting...

So.  The first blog post.  How to proceed I wonder?
     Some kind of introduction would be in order I suppose.  I begin this blog mostly on a whim, having recently graduated from University and joined the growing ranks of The Unemployed, I have a lot of time on my hands.  Sure, time that probably would be better spent job-hunting, but I'll get to that when I get to that.  This will mainly be a Wargaming blog, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the hobby... go wiki it.  Shoo.  Rudeness aside, I began my hobby years in an environment with very little wargaming opponents within reach, so it should be stated now, that I indulge in this hobby first and foremost to paint.  I truly enjoy painting some of the fantastic models that are available, from all kinds of genres.  Second reasons for the hobby is the background aspects.  This is pretty much where I'll need to point out the games systems I'm interested in at the moment, in order of how interesting I think their fictional backgrounds are (and which I own models for): Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40k, Infinity the Game, Dystopian Wars and Warmachine.  Only thirdly I'm in it for the gaming.  Which is lucky, because now I'm back home and without a decent wargaming circuit.  So... this will probably a painting blog more than anything else.  Some Dark Elves (clearly), Marines, Eldar, Orks, Empire, Chaos Marines and such as well as some LotR Dwarves, Gondorians, Orcs and a few other plonkers.  My collection's truly all over the place, the only half-coherent army I possess are my beloved Dark Elves.

       So.... that's a bit about me I suppose.  I'll try and keep some kind of consistent update schedule, which should in turn motivate me to get through the mound of unpainted models I have.  It's not like I have anything better to do, but every time I pass the lounge, my PS3 calls out to me in a thin reedy voice;  "Come, come!  There's only five months before Skyrim is released!  If you don't finish Oblivion by then, it will be too late!  Either that my laptop begging me to finish watching the Seven Samurai.  Ah well.  I've almost finished painting a Durin model I bought a while ago for my Khazad-Dum army, he'll probably be my first upload.  If not,  I'll show you some existing pictures of other models. Muahahahahaaaa.