Friday, May 3, 2013

Every adventure starts with the French

It seems to be a developing trend that whenever I begin a project related to the World Wars that I always start with the French.

When I joined in my buddy Dan's Great War project, it did so by painting up a couple of French demi-sections.  The Sky Blue uniforms caused me quite a few problems, mostly because I was convinced that it would be best for me to attempt to use blue coloured primer and Army Painter dip method.  Well, safe to say, I ended up trading my first attempt at 28mm models for 15mm Finns, completing both sides of my Continuation War project. (Speaking of which, I guess I don't begin all of my WW2 project with the French...)

While rummaging through my rather large box of unpainted lead, I found a clamshell of Warlord Games French infantry.  A squad to be exact.  I have no idea when I purchased them, but after spending a couple of years being very tempted by starting a Second World War project, I was more then happy to discover them.  Being that my ImagiNation project is starting to wind down, this is a nice change of pace.

Any way, I ended up painting a first test model to see if I could get the uniform colour right.  The Warlord games figures are a lot better then I expect.  The prices are pretty good and supply is no issue (I'm looking at you Crusader Miniatures).

Overall, quite pleased with the end result.  I also experimented with how I would base my figures.  In the past, I always used just wood filler, basing sand and static grass.  This time around, I figured I would give Army Painter Grass Green flock and Woodland Scenic clump foliage a spin.  Having three different material, the bases are quite a bit more diverse.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

10,000 View mark and another model finished!

I have, after five years hit the 10,000 view mark for this blog.  That would equate about 2,000 a year, but I have a sinking feeling that nobody read this blog for its first three or so years of existence.  In any case, its a good feeling to hit this small milestone.  I hope to have the updates coming out more regularly and get back to painting with greater frequency.

Now onto the painted model.  Well, I would be lying if I said I had just finished painting it, as again, like most of my stuff right now, it sat mostly completed on my painting table, waiting for some love.  In the case of this particular model, all that was left was to build / paint up the base.  Pretty simple job in the end, just glue a Renedra grave stone onto it, fill openings with woodfiller and paint.

I present "Convict Gunslinger" by Wyrd Miniatures (makers of Malifaux):

To be completely honest, I found this to be one of the more interesting models to paint from this company.  I think it boils down to having the challenge of painting up so much skin.  I tried to add a little more "cartoon" to my painting style in order to make this model really pop.

Hair and beard done in purple in order to fit in with the rest of my Malifaux models, all of which have at least a bit of purple paint on them.

I'm still far off from having a crew ready to play, but I enjoy painting these models one at a time as they are so full of character.

Monday, March 11, 2013

ImagiNation: Small update

First of all, I must apologize for the poor quality of the picture, I've misplaced the battery for my camera, thus have resorted to using my phone.

After the post about building my village, I sat down and finished off a model that has been sitting on the painting desk since before Christmas.  You may recognize the gentleman on the right, this model was painted up as "Il Princippe Giuseppe Martellato", the overall commander of my army.  I had based him on a standard cavalry pill base, but after a few games, I was unhappy with the level of impact such a small base had on the look of my army on the battlefield (yup, I'm that picky / anal about things).

I specifically ordered the second model on this base (the left one) from Front Rank because of how it could interact well with the one used for the Prince.  He represents the Prince's rather poorer half-brother: "Counte Arsenio di Marinato" (Earl Arsenio the Pickled).  The most trustable of the Prince's family, the Earl, while not so drunk that he cannot ride his horse, is a formidable military commander in his own right.

By using a 60mm base, my new command stand should have a better visual impact on the table.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Founding a Village (Terrain WIP)

Ahhh, finally getting around to putting up another post on this now rather neglected blog.  As per my usual standard, I've stuck to my guns and am still a mercurial painter.  After a pretty impressive outburst of painting and modelling from September to November of 2012, I've sunk back into my always oppressive funk and have not really touched any of my wargaming stuff since then.

For "Christmas" my order of buildings from Pegasus Hobbies finally arrived at my FLGS.  Now if you look back a couple posts ago, I had received a box of two buildings back in October and quickly set about building and painting them.  The rest of my rather large order arrived and again, I quickly built them.  Only problem now is I need to finish shingling on all the building, which is going to be a long task.

As my longtime gaming buddy and best friend Mike put it "I think it's no longer a village, closer to a town.  If you add an Ikea, it could be considered a city."

According to our running gag, in Canada only a settlement with an Ikea store can be considered a city.  Anything else is a large town.

Anyway, next part of my scheme is to cut MDF bases and shingle the roofs.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

X-Wing Kessel Run, or how I won myself a Slave.... One....

Yes!  I am still alive!  Life had caught up to me a little bit over the last months I haven't really painted a whole lot since my last post.  A couple of orders arrived over this time, some more ImagiNation stuff from Front Rank, a godless amount of buildings from Pegasus Hobbies to start fleshing out my planned ImagiNation village and finally my Kickstarter pledge (Bushido) from waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy back in February 2012.

Anyway, during that time I have been able to keep myself happy in regards to wargaming with Fantasy Flight Game's X-Wing Miniatures Game products.  A long time ago I purchased the starter box which yielded everything needed to start gaming for up to three players.  Along with all sorts of templates and cards and dice, the box contained two TIE fighters and one X-Wing.  I played a few games with Mike Hoyt and then we kinda left the game off to the side.  He eventually purchased his own box, doubling the number of fighters we had between the two of us.  Along with the box, he got a TIE Advanced (Darth Vader's TIE from A New Hope) and another X-Wing.  Again, I left the game on the wayside after another match.

Back in December while perusing the fine wears of my FLGS the owner Mike (go figure, another one) notified Mike H and I that he had managed to secure a copy of the Kessel Run Tournament Kit and would be running the tournament in the new year.

With that in mind, Mike H and I tested a couple of games before Christmas and while he had yet to decide upon what composition he would use for his 100 point squadron, I was convinced that my 98 point squadron of 2 TIE Advanced and 4 TIE fighters would be a winning combination.  I kept it relatively simple with my fighters in terms of possible abilities and pilot level settling on Storm Squadron pilots for the TIE Advanced and Obsidian Squadron for the TIEs.  My choice of not using the last 2 points to bring my force up to 100 was to prevent a Rebel player from only using 99 points and gaining the initiative (The Imperial player always has initiative if the two players have the same point total).

Why choosing to use the level 2 pilots for each kind of fighter you might ask?  Well a very popular build in the Meta of the Kessel Run has been to run 8 bog standard TIEs, using pure number to overwhelm your opponent.  By choosing to upgrade one level, I would have the advantage in moving second and shooting first, thus having the possibility to reduce my opponents firepower before he could even shoot back.  TIEs are rather brittle, only taking 3 damage before becoming 1980s special effects.

The advantage for the TIE Advanced was its shields.  While 2 shield points is pretty pitiful in comparison to any (now including A-Wing) Rebel fighter, it was advantageous in when facing other Imperial players while giving staying power when facing Rebels.

Anyway, I borrowed / picked up another TIE so that I could field my full squadron and the Friday before the event I played a couple of test matches against Mike H and another local gamer, Greg.  Mike H was running a rather unorthodox Rebel build, with his squadron being comprised of four, yes four, Y-Wings.  I quite like the idea behind this squadron and was fairly confident I could deal with Y-Wings  during the actual tournament.  Y-Wings are tanks, they take a million (3) shield hits and even more (5) hull hits.  Safe to say, you need to pummel each individually with most of your TIEs to take it out.

Thankfully our generous hosts and tournament organizers set up the area before the horde of GW players arrived to take up all the remaining space.

For our rather small non-Games Workshop wargaming community, we had a very impressive showing of 8 competitors for the tournament.  We would have to play three matches of swiss pairings to pile up points and the top two players would get into the Top 2 and play with pre-built lists.  The #1 seed would get the choice of using either the Slave 1 and two TIE Interceptors or the Millennium Falcon and two A-Wings.  None of these products have actually been released yet, as the idea of the Kessel Run tournament was to drum up hype.

Anyway, my first game of the day was against a similar TIE swarm.  I ended up winning a narrow victory (thus only gaining 3 points instead of 5) by blowing up his Darth Vader piloted TIE Advanced after loosing on of my own TIE Advanced.  In the end, choosing cheaper ships gave me a very small 6 point victory.  Rounds were 60 minutes long and for my grindy squadron build, I needed every second possible.

GAH! TIE swarm!

Game two was a full 5 point victory for myself, facing down a second TIE swarm, this time without a Sith Lord leading them.  Instead it was 5 Ace pilots and 1 Level 1 pilot.  In the end, I pulled his fighters into an asteroid field by sandbagging and always evading.  With 3 minutes left I had a narrow victory, but if I could pull of one more point by killing another fighter, I could gain the full five, so elected to play it out.  In the end I lost another TIE Advance to durdle dice rolling, but on the crack-back, I blew away all but his rookie pilot, taking out 34 points in difference of his force and giving me the 5 point victory.   (You need to get a point difference of 33 to get a full victory)

The final match of the swiss rounds was against Mike H.  Equipped with Ion cannons, Mike H and his Y-Wings tabled his first two opponents before facing down my TIE squadron and getting tabled himself.  Our match was mostly irrelevant as we had both accumulated enough points to finish in the Top 2, thus getting the chance to play in the Top 2 and securing a very nice prize.  I was slightly worried throughout the match as another game was going on that would possibly mean that only one of us would move to the Top 2, but in the end, I feared for not as I would finish on top of the group with 13 points and Mike would finish second with 10.

During testing we had both come to the conclusion that we wanted different prizes and if we faced each other down in the final match, we would just Intentionally Draw and then play the match out to get a feel and test the new fighters before any one else in the area.  Safe to say, after five hours of gaming my mind was slightly fried and I did not realllyyyy take the final match all that seriously.  In the end, I found out that the A-Wing can do really special things and you should never run a TIE Interceptor straight at the Millennium Falcon to "test its firepower".

As you can see, I am quite excited with the prize...
So, after six hours of gaming I walked away with my favourite ship in the entire Star Wars universe, Boba Fett's Slave 1.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

ImagiNation: Finished Wine Guard

I've finally gotten around to finishing off the basing on these eight figures.  I had put off getting some more wood filler for way to long.  It took a trip to the local hardware store to buy a wine decanter (fitting reason I guess), I finally picked up a new bottle and got back to work.

Overall, I am happy with how these turned out, considering it was bodged together with the leftovers of other units.

Up next is a small order from Front Rank, finally completing my first of three cavalry regiments, the overall commander stand and some more (and much needed for a flavour standpoint) "Notables" to be used in conjunction with the ruleset Maurice.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

ImagiNation: Secret Project #2

Finally I can reveal the completed model:  "Arch Bishop Ambroise de Chabichou du Poitou".  The newest member of the Grand Duchy of Gourmandie.  This bad-boy "Most Holy" will be used in Maurice for the Cleric national traits.  I plan on adding my own, but that has to be ordered from The Assault Group and can only be had with a certain amount of pounds purchased.  Lucky for me, my entire second army for my ImagiNation project will be sourced from this fine company.

I tried to match the colours used in the different uniforms of the Grand Duchy of Gourmandie when painting this one up.  Dave and I tend to "compete" with each other when it comes to including various narrative elements to our armies and I feel that this one will fit in well.  He may have gained the upper hand with both the carriage that accompanies his Duke into battle and now this Bishop versus my single wine cart.

This model is HUGE!  Most certainly a 30-32mm one.  It has massive "pitchers mound" syndrome going on.  I was going to dremel down the bottom of the figure, but was a bit unsure with my nerves to do so.  Oh well, I guess Dave can just play it off as being a giant of a man.

I had to resort to basing him on a 30mm base vs the usual 25mm... Yea, its that big...