Thursday 31 October 2019

DreadTober: "Theseus" Ferrum Fortis TO-DONE!!!

Hi folks,

For DreadTober this year I resolved to finish last years unfinished pledge, an Imperial Knight Errant I have named "Theseus" Ferrum Fortis. Ferrum Fortis is Latin for "a strong punch".  Last year I managed to get the torso done, so my time has been spent working on the legs armour pieces, weapons, shoulder armour and base. As with "Perseus" Intrepidus my Imperial Knight Warden , I have added a free-hand symbol on the left shoulder as a unique identifying mark. In this case, it is a minotaur, which Theseus kills in Greek mythology.

Theseus is armed with a thermal cannon; mainly because I think they look cool and wanted him to look like a little Reaver titan!

The shoulder skull and laurel were hastily painted free-hand after I tried to put a decal on there and decided it looked rubbish. This is the same symbol that I painted on Perseus, tying them together nicely.

His left side houses a thunderstrike gauntlet, because picking up Rhino troop carriers and throwing them across the battlefield is great fun. Who doesn't like a gigantic powerfist anyway?!

A stormspear rocket pod and meltagun round out the weapons load, adding some extra high strength anti-armour firepower.

I kept the base simpler this time; not water effects. To make up for this I added a few pieces of slate to break things up a bit, used plenty of laser cut ferns, and sculpted a little snake of green stuff. I modeled it rearing up to bite the knights ankle, as I'm pretty sure having a knight step over a snake would trigger it. I was in a tour bus driving past a snake on Fraser Island, up north in Australia, and it struck out against the tires! I have painted it as a Bandy-bandy snake, to honour a friend over the ditch.

For a bit of fun, I also painted up this Lords of Hellas minotaur as an objective marker. Joel gave it to me out of the blue ages ago, believing that he would never find a use for it. Well, I found a use for it champ.

So, there you have it, another knight for the cabinet (where, I note, there appears to be room for one more...).

See you across the table,


Friday 25 October 2019

Space Hulk: Dark Angels Terminator Captain TO-DONE!!!

Hi folks,

A few nights ago I added the finishing touches to my first project of the 2019/20 hobby season. The plan over the next 12 months is for me to paint the Space Hulk miniatures, as well as an alternative Space Marine team using a mixture of Deathwing models from the Dark Angels range.

The only model that I had assembled at the start of the season was Belial, which Sgt Waz gave me a while ago already beautifully painted. As I have no real intention of playing Dark Angels in 8th Edition,  I felt a real need to get this model some action, so having him command the Dark Angels boarding party would be perfect.

To match the old school paint scheme of the Space Hulk Deathwing figures, I was going to need to apply a coat of white over the original bone colour. I washed this with a mixture of grey and brown to give it that "ashes of my dead ancestors" vibe. The left arm was converted to include a power fist and wrist mounted grenade launcher, improving the pose significantly in the process in my opinion! To reflect Belial as a character I dipped into his background a little, giving him a small shield with the colours of his original company (3rd), and changed the colours of his reliquary to match the scheme of his banner in the 2nd Edition Angels of Death codex. The final touch was to rebase him with a 33 mm sculpted base from GW. These bases are light weight and cheap looking when you pick them up, but you can sure make them look fancy enough if you spend a bit of time on them.

As a Terminator Captain in Space Hulk is also equipped with a power sword (for close encounters...) I had to do a bit of problem solving; either adding a scabbard and sword or finding a sword bearer. Thankfully, the same sprue I am using to construct the Deathwing team also has a sword bearing Watcher in the Dark. Win!

Next on my list of things to do for this project will be a really, really big build: 23 Terminators!

Until then, boo yeah I get a stamp:

See you across the table,


Saturday 19 October 2019

The Hobby Table: October 2019

Hi folks,

I think you can tell a lot about a person by the state of their hobby table. I am a butterfly when it comes to projects at the best of times, fluttering between projects; finishing some, making a start on others, thinking about many more (sometimes for years). When work or family life gets bumpy, the state of my table also deteriorates, either getting cluttered with more (just started) unfinished projects or with unrelated shneed.

At the moment, there are fourteen unfinished projects on my table and damned if I can find a way to even focus on finishing one of them. Three of them are pressing on me pretty hard, my Imperial Knight Errant in particular. This is the second DreadTober in a row that I have been working on this huge thing and I really want to get it finished this time. I just need my painting-brain focused again. At the moment I am working on the small armoured pieces for the legs.

I have also just finished the free-hand snake motifs for my Iron Snakes Centurions, which was a time consuming part of that project. It was time consuming more due to the fact that I focused on it a lot mentally before even picking up a paint brush. I have finished the rest of the work on two of the Centurion bodies, but one still needs a few hours of easy work. Following that I will need to work on the bases.

My guilty pleasure has been working on a Dark Angels Terminator Captain for Space Hulk, one of my 2019/20 To-Do list entries. In Space Hullk, a Captain is equipped with a power sword, power fist, storm bolter and a wrist mounted grenade launcher. I think I have figured out how to make all of that happen, by cutting down a Tartarus grenade launcher to fit on the wrist and using the Watcher in the Dark figure from the Deathwing Command kit. The paint scheme is a really classic one, much brighter and cleaner than the usual bone-white colour I would usually employ. I am trying to match more closely the original Deathwing artwork from the boardgame (below):

The model is meant to represent Belial, soon after he was inducted into the Deathwing company. The reliquary on his back has been painted in the 2nd Ed. colours of his banner, which also happen to match the paint scheme of the Fallen Angel team I will be painting. The small shield protecting his left shoulder pad has the symbol of the Dark Angels 3rd Company, from his previous posting.  


Over the next couple of days I am hoping to clear the table up a little and finish at least one of the two smaller projects. I am also aiming to have the legs of my Imperial Knight Errant done, leaving me the rest of October to finish the weapons and base.

See you across the table,


Sunday 6 October 2019

DreadTober: Getting Started (Kinda...)

Hi folks,

Last year for DreadTober I set myself a challenging goal of completing an Imperial Knight Errant during the month of October. As it turned out, it took me the greater part for the month just constructing the thing! After a week of furious painting, I got up to this stage, which I was fairly pleased with:

Last year's efforts

I repainted the lining on the shield to make it a little straighter

 That leaves me with the chest plate, legs and arms still to paint, as well as a scenic base. As with the first of my knights, I am going to feature some simple freehand designs on both of the shoulder pads, which is sure to take up some extra time.

A previously finished Knight; this is what I am aiming for!

Of course, the first step is to prime and undercoat. To do that I use black spray to prime, followed by a Leadbelchers spray, taping off the areas that I want to keep black (or turn white!).

The priming stick

Lead has been belched

Next stage will be layering on the chest plate and lots of washes on the leg pieces (with some blue armoured sections).

That's it for my first week of progress; not much but it's a start!

See you across the table,


Tuesday 1 October 2019

BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat

Hi folks,

If you are serious about getting into BattleTech, the BattleTech: A Game of Armoured Combat box is a great way to start, even more so than the actual Beginners box (in my raging fan-boy opinion). For starters, the rulebook is more detailed and includes heat management. For me, heat is one of the key mechanics in the game, one that makes BattleTech unique and adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of the game.

The added rules complexity is reflected in the record sheets, which include two different configurations of all of the Mechs presented in the box. New art for each Mech is also provided on each record sheet; whilst I am very nostalgic about the 80's art vibe BattleTech often leans on, seeing some fresh designs for the classics is a breath of fresh air.

The set includes 16 MechWarrior cards that would allow you to take special characters for each of the Mechs. These include Delmar Clay of the Gray Death Legion (in a Wolverine, below), who can punch and shoot his AC/5 in the same turn, as well as potentially dodge physical attacks!

There are also some Alpha Strike reference cards for each of the Mech configurations provided and a set of serviceable dice (they feel a bit cheap to me). I find that my lucky set of dice in BattleTech are hopeless. We used the ones from the set for a game and they were more lucky for me by a large margin!

The miniatures in the set are all fantastic; cripes, even the Locust and the Commando (little guys) look fierce. The Battlemaster and Thunderbolt are stunning and the Awesome... well...

This box also has some punch-out card components, which I am unreasonably excited about. I think that has a lot to do with the fun we had with cardboard Mechs back when I started playing. Anyways, they provide you with a cardboard standee for each of the miniatures, which will be great for the kids or if I don't want to transport miniatures around. There is also some interesting additional terrain for the hexmaps, which is of course compatible with other hexmaps, particularly those in the beginner set.

Lastly, the double sided hexmaps themselves are an obvious step up in complexity compared to the beginners set. Wade and I played a game on the green hills map and it was fantastic, providing plenty of cover without stifling the game.

In terms of value for money, BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat is an incredible product. It contains more than enough to cover the price tag. In terms of component quality, it is beautifully presented. I don't think you could expect more unless you were also paying at a much higher price point. The new Mech designs are exciting dammit. They have a small number of mould lines to clean up before painting, but nothing that a scrape with a sharp hobby knife won't fix. Gaming-wise, not much has changed for BattleTech in the past 30 years; it is a solid rule-set that has seen many expansions that you can take or leave as you wish, like the Clan invasion stuff.

For my next BattleTech post I'll be coming up with a cunning plan for my new Inner Sphere company, featuring all of the new models and some extras I just received from Iron Wind Metals. I'll try and fit in a Clan Ghost Bear Star as well, to pay homage to Joel, who would have been sooo excited that BattleTech is experiencing this renaissance.  

It is interesting that neither of the new sets reference the Clans at all...

Hang on to your cooling vest...


See you across the table,