Friday 28 August 2015

The 2015/16 Hobby Season

"He who stands beside me is my brother."

 Hi folks,

Dave Weston over at Confessions of a 40K Addict starts his new hobby season on the 28th of August each year and has invited other 40K bloggers to join in.  Last year the support I received from other participating bloggers was fantastic and it was great watching other people progress through their To-Do list. I had a pretty slow year when it comes to painting, which I am hoping to make up for over the next 12 months. With that in mind, I wandered into my man-cave, gave my neck-beard a thoughtful stroke and came up with the following list:

Considering the previous year's achievements, it looks... ahhhh... optimistic. But I'm game!

I have added three new units to the Iron Snakes, which I had such a great time painting last year, including a squad of Centurions, a Vindicator with a free-hand design on the dozer blade and this Storm Eagle I converted a while back:

My "Trojan Eagle"

The Dark Angels have dropped the Landraider Crusader in favour of a Dreadnought unit and a Nephilim Jetfighter. The Nids have a carried a lot of stuff over from last year, but I have added a flying Tyrant that I have converted. Considering I am about to finish the Jade Falcon Medium Star of Battlemechs, I have added a lance of elite Draconis Mechs to the mix.

A Jade Falcon Timberwolf displaying my metallic camo scheme. 

The Kadillus Harbour Lighthouse is a terrain project I am keen to get stuck into, but finding the extended amount of time required will be hard. The Japanese Garden themed terrain is actually a gift for a friend, who has recently bought some Ronin miniatures. It is one of those side projects that I have ready to go for when I feel like doing something completely left-field.

The Kadillus Harbour Lighthouse during a particularly vengeful storm ;-)

The final entry on the list covers any model that I have ever been given as a gift. It is fair to say that I could start my own shop with the amount of grey sprues in the garage. I have tried to separate the stuff out that I have been given as gifts, so that I can I finally say to the guys "hey, you know that thing you gave me three years ago... TO-DONE!"
I hope this year is very productive for everyone (especially me!) and we see some fantastic projects being completed. As this happens to be my 100th post, I would also like to thank everyone for visiting Old School Gaming and for the contributions you make to the gaming and modelling community. You make the hobby so much more enjoyable!
See you across the table,

Saturday 22 August 2015

Hobby Season 2014/15 in Review

Hi folks,

This year has been the year of the Iron Snake! Of the 13 projects that I planned for 2014/15, it was the first two that I poured most of my creative energy into. As a result, I haven't finished nearly as many models as I would have liked to, but as so many people have pointed out, sometimes quality trumps quantity. Here is a brief review of the projects and tangents I have pursued over the past 12 months. Hold on to your hats, it has been a busy year...

1) Iron Snakes

First on the list was a squad of Iron Snakes Sternguard equipped with boarding shields. Conceived three years ago during a holiday in Greece, I commenced the project early in the hobby season and it took me 6 months to complete. You can see the finished product or explore the whole journey by hitting the Iron Snakes link in the 'Scrap Code' sidebar.

Shortly after completing the 10 man squad I began work on an Iron Snakes Contemptor Dreadnought. I utilised various conversion pieces from the Forgeworld Minotaurs Chapter range and basing pieces from Scibor. I loved modelling and painting Ancient Nestor and the support I received during the project from online communities (particularly Google+ and other bloggers) was terrific.

The final Iron Snakes project on my list is still in pieces! I have a Master of the Forge with a unique combination of wargear ready to be assembled, which I am really excited about (artistically if not competitively). He will be the first model I work on when their time comes around again.

2) Dark Angels

My Dark Angels have been on my mind the past couple of months, particularly after I picked up the last Codex. I am keen to play some more games in the current Edition, but at the same time I try to maintain a force that can be used with the 2nd Ed. rules as well. I have made progress painting some Devastator Marines and Ravenwing Bikes recently, but I haven't finished either project yet. They will stay on the list for next year. The final Dark Angels project for the year, a Landraider Crusader, will get cut from the list. It is converted and undercoated but will have to wait until more vital units have been finished.

3) Tyranids

My beloved gribblies hardly got a mention this year, not the ones on the list anyway.... I have both a Swarmlord and a unit of Hive Guard assembled and ready for the first coat of paint. On my table at the moment I have a unit of unique Tyrant Guard built using 3rd Ed. Ravenor pieces, which may be completed before the deadline. We'll see what I can do this week, otherwise they will be the first Nids off the block in the next season.

4) Battletech

I have been playing a lot of Battletech this year but I haven't done much painting. Considering I had a grand total of 22 Mechs on my 2014/15 To-do list, that's not helpful! Out of the 12 Draconis Combine Mechs on my list, I managed to finish 4 (below). I speed paint these guys so I should be able to knock them over pretty efficiently when I bend my mind to that purpose.

I also managed to complete a test miniature for the Ghost Bears star of Mechs I have planned as a gift for KuriboGoomba. They take a long time to paint, but I am trying to get them finished by Christmas this year.

The Jade Falcon Mechs on the list are sitting on my table at the moment and are excruciatingly close to being finished. Keep an eye out for them in the next couple of days!

5) Kallidus Lighthouse

Ummmm, not even a little bit.

6) Random Things that Wasted my Precious Time

Well, I can't complain too much. All of the side projects I have done this year have been great fun and well worth doing, especially the Jurassic World themed scenario pieces I posted a few weeks ago. Some serious modelling and painting sessions have gone into painting two models in particular, a converted Deathleaper and a Callidus Assassin apprentice I used to represent a roleplaying character.


One of the biggest time sinks for me has been the X-wing miniatures game. I got into it at Christmas and since then my fleet has grown considerably:

I have also spent a considerable amount of time introducing my kids to the wonderful world of Lego. Playing spaceships with my daughter has been heart-warming to say the least.

That was my hobby year in review! I am looking forward to the next instalment of hobby madness, with the 2015/16 season kicking off at the end of the month. Even as I try to squeeze in a final couple of finished projects, my mind is already starting to ponder what new things can be achieved (...and how long it will be before I am painting verdigris again).

See you across the table,


Tuesday 11 August 2015

Tukkayid Campaign: Smoke Jaguars Part 1

Hi folks,

Battletech Tuesday is back! A couple of days ago Heinz, KuriboGoomba, Wade and I spent the night popping the lid on a new campaign: Tukayyid. Goomba and I played through parts of this book way back in highschool (mid-late 90's), particularly the Jade Falcon and Ghost Bear missions. Considering we seem to have hit on a nice groove with our Battletech campaign play, I figured this would be a good time to revisit this juggernaut of a conflict.

Each session we will play a scenario from a different Clan and cycle through them (there are about 4 scenarios per Clan). To accommodate individual player's preference for certain Clans, each of us will alternate between playing the Clan and Comstar forces. This week I was teamed up with Heinz to represent the Smoke Jaguars as they attempt to secure a drop site, whilst Goomba and Wade would control a defending Lance of heavy Comstar Mechs.

Heinz rolled for our Mechs and came up with a Stormcrow C, a Timberwolf A and a Summoner A. This would give us a nice selection of pulse lasers and "head-cappers", just perfect for dueling, which is lucky as this scenario enforces the strictest level of Clan dueling rules. Wade and Joel selected a Hunchback, Archer (represented by a Catapult figure; hurry up new sculpts!), Marauder (represented by a Dragon) and an Awesome; a classic selection of hard-hitting Innersphere Mechs.

The game started with the Clan Mechs hot-dropping into ruined urban terrain (all buildings above level 5 on the map counted as rubble). With an inauspicious crunch, the Stormcrow failed its piloting skill roll and sustained heavy damage. The Timberwolf challenged the Awesome and immediately fired upon it with its PPC's, taking no damage in return. The Summoner challenged the Archer in and slammed home a gauss rifle slug and a large pulse laser volley. The next turn the Stormcrow was back on its feet challenging the Marauder, which took one turn of fire before withdrawing to focus fire on the Timberwolf.

After I closed in on the Archer with my Summoner, to maximise the effect of minimum range on the LRM 20's, Wade brought the Hunchback into play to cover for it. I was now stuck between staying close and weathering the AC 20, or moving out of range and exposing myself to long range missile fire. I grit my teeth for one turn to put some extra fire into the Archer before withdrawing; taking 20 damage to a single location repeatedly did not appeal to me.

Meanwhile, Heinz engaged the Awesome at close range to bring his medium pulse lasers into play. It lost an arm and eventually a leg in the exchange, but dealt horrendous amounts of damage in return. The Marauder maneuvered to support the Awesome, whilst carefully staying out of sight of my Stormcrow.

After losing two jump jets to critical hits, as well as two head hits, the Summoner jumped towards the centre of the board where there was more support. The unengaged Hunchback moved to pursue and I challenged it with my Stormcrow; he had nothing else to shoot at and I needed to take pressure off the Summoner. That means that the Stormcrow was now challenging two Mechs simultaneously. Needless to say, I hoped to take out the Hunchback quickly. I managed to hit it twice in the head, once with an LB 10X AC sub-munition and again with a large pulse laser shot, but failed to cause any critical hits. In the next turn the Hunchback destroyed the Summoner with another head hit, and I immediately returned the favour by touching off a ton of AC 20 ammo with one of my Stormcrow's medium pulse lasers.

On the other side of the board, the Awesome combined with the Marauder to disable the Timberwolf, by destroying multiple leg actuators and hitting the gyro. It was simply too hard for Heinz's pilot to stand the Mech up, though he tried several times, sustaining hilarious amounts of falling damage. The Timberwolf was eventually destroyed by the Marauder's kick, which completely destroyed the center torso.

With the Hunchback down and the Archer now unengaged, the Stormcrow challenged it and jammed it into a corner. With the Awesome floundering on the ground and the Marauder busy shooting up Heinz's Timberwolf, nobody was going rescue it. I kept pouring fire into it until it went down.

With that we called an end to the game; it was getting late and at this age we are afraid we will turn into pumpkins. Wade and Goomba had pulled every underhanded freebirth tactic in the book during the game, using the strict Clan engagement rules to their advantage. We were constantly being fired upon by Mechs involved in other challenges, so that we could not return fire. Ultimately, we were saved from a more painful defeat by Heinz's heroics with the Timberwolf (holding up an Awesome and a Marauder for the entire game, only one of which he could fire upon), as well as the effective fire of the Stormcrow taking down two Comstar Mechs. I am sure both the Stormcrow and the Marauder will return in future games to haunt each other...

See you across the table,


Friday 7 August 2015

Ravenwing: Painting Eye Lenses

Hi folks,

After a particularly grueling day at work this week I decided to blow off some steam by painting all of my Ravenwing biker's eye lenses. In hindsight, that was a ridiculous idea :-)

The four bikers took me about an hour to paint using the following Citadel paints below. Some of the pots are getting a little long in the tooth, but it goes to show how long these things can last if you treat them with love (and drying retarder medium...).

I usually start with a layer of Mephiston Red, followed by Blood Red. I then add a thin stripe of 1:1 Blood Red/Macharius Solar Orange, followed by an even thinner stripe of 1:1 Blood Red/Golden Yellow. I then mix a touch of Bleached Bone into the last colour on my pallet to add a finishing highlight. I use Badab Black in the back corner of the eye followed by a tiny dot of Skull White to give the impression of some reflection off the lens.

The last guy that I worked on was balls hard because I had already completely posed him and one of the lenses was hard to get to. This one requires a lot of work before it is done, only the eye lenses are finished at this stage, but you get a good idea of some of the conversion work I have done with the raven:

I was inspired by the artwork below from previous Dark Angel codexes. Interestingly, I am pretty sure there is an older version of this picture where the biker is a normal Ravenwing marine, not a Black Knight. Hopefully I get some more time to work on these guys before the end of the 2015 hobby season, I would love to use them in some games.

See you across the table,