Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What the hell was I thinking? A tour of the Basement of Heaped Miniatures

 Hi Kids,  Since film is no longer an expense I can just go nuts taking pictures.  I was taking a few shots of assorted figs and decided to go ahead and capture some images of the Basement of Heaped Miniatures.  The room is only about 10 or 12 feet wide so I couldn't get far enough away to get the entire bookcases/shelves in the frame, but I'm sure you get the idea.  Obviously the craters on the lower left and the plastic toy dinosaurs just above them are painted, but just about everything else you see is still awaiting its turn on the paint bench. About 15 years ago I started buying plastic tupperware-ish containers to store figs, usually by army or type.  Some are labeled: Warzone Bauhaus, GW Imperial Army (remember before they changed the name to Imperial Guard), Southern Militia & Northern forces for RAFM Heavy Gear, Reaper, Kryomek, 25mm Nappies, Tau, Adeptes Astartes, Void,  Dystopia Wars...  Yeah, I've got my work cut out for me.
 Here we have one of the other units, this one is packed with everything from dice and rulers to rulebooks. The black box lower right is 90% Rackham figs, but there are also swarms of Flames of War Italians, Brits, USA, Russians, and Germans.  Since you can't just do WW2 in one scale there are also a couple hundred bucks worth of 25mm WW2 figs, along with a pile of Company B, Westwind, Chieftain & Battlefront (the 25mm kind) vehicles.  There are also entire armies of 25mm Macedonians, Carthaginians, Starship Troopers....    nothing is painted.
These two pictures show less than 50% of the lead shielding down in the bunker. The other shelves are blocked by the pool table.  Which is for sale, by the way.  Anyone want a Brunswick Windsor VIP table?
 The first 40K army I ever had: The Eighth Imperial Shock Assault Legion.  Nicknamed the Imperial Dicks.  Back in the days when you had to make up your own army list.  There are a few more dreadnoughts still in the boxes of course.  More beakies too.  Not pictured (to the left of the speeders) are the world famous skyboard riding assault marines, an idea stolen from Judge Dredd comics.   Down in front are the Chainsaw Warriors in green camo.  All the back banners are hand painted.
 A few of the Space Orks.  Yes, that one banner is the 10SS Drop Legion. Got your RT book handy?  Yep, they're in there someplace.
 Some more of the unwashed masses. Shock Attack guns, grots, even a Super Cybork.  Those funky things on the left are what I use for Mad Doc's cyborg bodyguards, RAFM space orks in heavy armor. I gave these units what I thought were catchy names; 10/3 Heavy Mob, 1040th IRS, 13th Ju-ju Warriors, 427th Chevy...
 Some of the orc mechanized troops; meckanics, buggies, bikes, off-brand dreadnoughts....

The Heavy Support of the 251st Iron Stompers, three Gobsmashas.  At least that's what I think they are called.  Old Armorcast vehicles, back when resin stunk to high heaven.  It was recommended to use a blowdrier on them to stop the stink.
 Two orc vehicles for scale, and a RAFM Heavy Gear Assault Mammoth.  I really dig those old heavy gears, I wish the game had caught on around here. I own about 4 editions so far.  Why yes, that is the world famous 13th DBLE triple grey and black camo scheme.
 The Heavy Support of the other side, three Armorcast Shadowswords.  I like Armorcast since these things only had about 10-15 parts.  The 13th DBLE one I painted, the others were from Ebay or Bartertown.
 The only Land Raider I ever built and painted, in the livery of the 8th ISAL.  Got another one floating around here someplace.  Afterall, they came two to a box for about US$20.00
 My first kitbash, a 8th ISAL dropship.  It started out life as a plastic Gundam heavy lifter kit.  Had to stick a lot more weapons on it of course!

 Mr. Peabody, set the wayback machine for 1985!  Its a Citadel Miniatures Hobgoblin Rocket Team. 
 Sometimes my rule of not fielding a mini until its painted bites me on the ass.  I still own three of these things, never got to use them.  I think they were written out of the rules about 5 editions ago.  Yeah, that is the price tag.  UK Pounds 6.50. That was about US$9.00.  This thing would probably retail for US$50 nowadays.  God only knows about Ebay.  I cry for the children.
 This is one of the ugliest figs I've ever owned.  When I opened the box I was horrified how two dimensional it appeared.  Chances of being painted.....    ZERO.  The Fighting Uruk-hai I bought at the same time have been in thousands of battles.

 Some Call of Cthulhu figs from Grenadier.  Cold Ones, Mi-Go...  not sure who made the flying snake.  Back in the days when I didn't paint the bases... afterall, what would you do if your figs move from outside to inside a house?  You would have to repaint the bases.....  The ignorance of Youth. Gotta love it.
 One of my Marauder monstrous spider riders.  Back in W$ 3rd Ed this was the only way to break a dwarf unit, since they caused fear.  If you lost a combat to fear causing opponents you broke automatically. No check required.  Yessiree, back then we had to make our own bases out of balsa wood.  You even had to measure them.  This one is 40mm.  You kids have it so easy now.
This is the fig that started it all. This is the first one I ever bought.  A Ral Partha Sea Elf with Two Handed Sword in true 25mm. It is about as big as a single 40K Terminator arm.  I bought this thing on vacation at Fantasy and Strategy World (or is that Strategy and Fantasy World?) in Boston back in the late 1970's/early 80's.  I think it cost about US$0.90.  It is painted with Testors Enamels just like all my plastic model airplanes.  The square bottles were all you could get at hobby stores around here.  Well, I figure I've bored everyone to tears by now.  Only two questions remain: "What the hell was I thinking when I bought all this crap?"  and "Who's up for a painting party?"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Titans! Digital Aperture Adventures! Strange figs from long ago!

 Hi Kids, I've decided to do something about the massively out of focus pictures I take with my digital SLR.  My Sony Alpha camera is a lot smarter than I am and yet still the vast majority of my pictures are dreadfully out of focus.  I realized this was due to the depth of field aspect of photography and set out to correct it.  Instead of a narrow depth of field (where only one rank of figures are in focus) I found the instruction manual (oh happy day!) and figured out how to add a much wider focus depth by adjusting the aperture setting.    I was hanging out in the Basement and just tried out a few snaps.  These pictures are the results.  First off are the gang of 40K Titans; a Reaper (unnamed), two Warhounds (the white one is Stronium Dog, the black one Titanium Duke), and an Eldar Knight (also unnamed).  If anyone has any name suggestions I'm willing to accept recommendations.  I have another 3 titans packed away someplace but they are unpainted. Painting these things is a major bitch and takes huge amounts of time, so naturally I never got around to it.  To be honest I only painted Titanium Duke, the others were bought already painted.  Can you see how both titans are in focus?  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............................
 With all the internet buzz about Warzone's 6th rebirth, I thought I'd snap some pics of their fantasy figs called Chronopia; these are some topless amazon types, along with some standard dark elves. I use all these figs in my Dark Elf army. Except I don't play fantasy anymore.  Oh well.
 That central block are Chronopia Elf Axemen, I bought 16 of their "Leader" figure cause he is so incredibly cool.  I tend to do that a lot; find a cool fig, buy a pile, toss 'em in the basement.  These guys were all lucky to make it to the painting table. On the left are some Void Winged Demonette types, in back some Marauder Dark Elf Skirmishers, and even some Irregular lady dark elves on the right, behind the Minifigs "World of Greyhawk" guys. Those triangular standard bearers are Grenadier.  Yep, those are some 2nd ed plastic Dark Elf Crossbowmen from the original "Regiments" boxed set on the right.  Maybe someday I'll make a spreadsheet with all this stuff.  Uh-huh. Sure I will.
 Ahhhh, the beauty of aperture settings!  So many figs, all in focus.  Once again with the Cybertronic Chausseurs!
 Maybe I need to check out that "Macro" setting.  It's intended for tiny objects....
Woefully out of focus.  Never again!  Can't wait to try out a battle report with my new knowledge!

Monday, February 18, 2013

After Six Months in the Wilderness: WarHordes AAR

 Hi Kids, Its been at least six months since we dusted off the steam lads, my pal Bryan convinced me to play a South Dakota Grudge Match using Warmachine and Hordes.  Play like you've got a pair! I set the internal whine-o-meter to 11 and got the lads to the field of battle.  Here we have the strong-limbed showroom-fresh clean-living forces of all that is Good and Right in the world, Khador!  Two Juggernauts, a Destroyer, a Devastator, 3 Men of War, a Khovnik, and faithful dog Fido all lead into battle by Keysor Soze.  I've called the Butcher "Keysor Soze" ever since that classic line in "The Usual Suspects" referring to him as "some kind of butcher." I'm sure Del Toro would be proud!
 Here we have the other side, representing all things natural including but not limited to snakes and snails and puppy dog's tails, the unwashed masses of The Circle. Two devil dogs, two warpwolves, a hydraulic ram, three super dogs and 10 skirmishers chicks all lead by Caster Chick.  Unfortunately I don't own or know anything about Hordes, so you'll have to take my nomenclature with a grain of salt.  Maybe a fistful.
 Girls Gone Wild: at the end of the first contact, the Skirmisher Girls have javelined the three Men at war to bits! Weapon masters all, The Skirmisher Girls give the highly polished Khador lads a rough start!
Lead by the Devastator firing off a "Rain of Death" blast, the Khador heavies move in and swing for the fences against the skirmishers, dropping all but two in the scrum.
The battle develops!  Out on the Khador right flank, two hell hounds and the remaining Skirmisher Girls fight it out while the rest of the Circle swings around for a flank attack from the left.  Khador backs up to concentrate on the right. The three SuperDogs in left foreground get beat up by magic and bombard shots.

 When Warpwolves go bad!  Spot the warpwolf blows its fury roll and attacks its own warcaster! Luckily we remembered Horde types can transfer damage to other models or she'd be in real trouble!
 The Last of the Skirmisher Girls scores a double 6 result and puts the Khovnik down!
 The PowerRam goes down hard after being shelled by the Destroyer and pummelled by the Devastator! The first of the warpwolves attacks one of the Juggs!  At this point I thought I had the game in the bag; 4 Khador heavies vs. two mangy dogs.
 But not so fast!  The warpwolves go into overdrive and rip two heavies asunder! Warcaster Girl goes into smitedown mode and launches repeated magic attacks at Keysor, but for the first time in the game (well, except for that Fury check) the dice turn away and she rolls nothing but misses! We're back to even odds; two creatures on each side, backed by the warcasters. In this shot Keysor Soze has just charged into melee to kills off an enemy heavy.
The end of the game:  While the warpwolf tears into another Jugg Keysor  sneaks up on Warcaster Chick and real subtle-like beats her down!  Although it was touch and go there for awhile Khador emerges triumphant!  Fido wags his tail, which is pretty much the only thing he accomplished the entire game.

Eagle-eyed viewers might notice that unlike 99% of my pictures more than one mini is in focus!  This is due to me finding the instructions to my digital camera and reading how to increase the depth of field.  I am overjoyed.  Yes, I readily admit my camera is much smarter than I am.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gnoblar Trappers WIP

Progress continues on my Ogre Kingdom warhammer army. I have been collecting models since the Ogre Kingdom army was first released. In the previous ogre kingdom army book the Gnoblar trappers were a separate unit from regular Gnoblar and had a 0-1 restriction unless you fielded a Hunter. At one time my plan for the army was to field a hunter and use the two gnoblar trapper units as cheap core choices. I bought enough gnoblar trapper blisters to build two minimum sized units but never opened the blisters.
Around 2008 I opened the blisters up and they were mispacked. I only had the bottom piece of the gnoblar in a trap and was missing four of the top trap jaws. I called up GW and they sent me a replacement pack that had one complete gnoblar in a big trap.

The gnoblar in a big trap complete.

A comparison from the gnoblar trappers missing the pieces and the completed one. The new Ogre Kingdom army book has the trappers as a unit upgrade but I still need a bunch to show them in several units of Gnoblars. to make a few more to play with I came up with a plan.

Plan A. I took one of the extra bottom trap jaws I had and pinned it to the gnoblars hands

Next, I took a couple pieces of styrene strip drilled.Then I ran a piece of brass wire through the holes to be the hinge. Finally I glued the styrene strip to both jaws.

Then I added some green stuff to cover the styrene strips and thicken up the back of the upper jaw.

Last I added a couple pieces of sprue to be the bolts holding the hinges together. After finishing this first one I decided that I needed another plan to complete the other three with missing parts.

Plan B. I raided my styrene supply and came up with a new plan. I cut several sections of the strips.Then I drilled holes in each end. I bent the strip and ran a brass wire through the predrilled holes and bent the wire to hold the bend in place. Then I cut several strips from a smaller sized styrene and glued it on the outside of the jaw. i let it cure for a while so the everything would be solid for the next step.

Next, I used a file to make notches in the jaw and then sanded the edges down a bit. Then I glued the upper jaw to the back of the bottom jaw.

After the glued had dried, I reinforced the join with some greenstuff and then glued on a couple sprue off cuts to be the bolts for the hinge. Last, I added some green stuff from the gnoblars wrists to the upper jaw.

 I added some more detail to the Gnoblar Trapper hands and called them almost good enough. I still need to add a couple more greenstuff touches but once I get them painted, i think they will fit in well with the gnoblar hordes.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Warzone: Another edition in the works!

 Hi Kids, Brace yourselves!! All the buzz on Lead Adventure Forum is about some lads in the UK buying the rights to one of the best sci-fi mini games of all time:   Warzone!!!!!  I figured I'd piggyback some pictures of my olde Warzone figs while everybody is freaking out. I personally am all revved up to play some Warzone, I still haven't figured out why everyone around here gave up playing the game everytime the assorted companies went under; after all, we have the rules, we have the minis, why stop now?   First off are some of my fav figs of all time, 1st ed Cybertronic Chasseurs; aka "Baldies." These Schwartzenegger clones were all cyborg-enhanced dudes in 1st ed, later kicked to the curb in 2nd ed as worthless militia known as "People's Volunteers."  I still tear up thinking about how they were wronged...  Local lads might remember that these guys have been proxying as 40K Imperial Army troops for the last decade or so.  They are just too cool to leave on the shelf.  Eagle eyed viewers might spot the Battletechs on the left, a Rifleman and a Warhammer. (Can we say "Warhammer" now?  Will GW sue?)  IIRC they are plastic kits.
 Lined up behind all the plastic 1st ed 40K Imperial Guard are some Bauhaus Hussar cavalry.  I prefered these guys to the GW Rough Riders.  I painted them to match the Cybertronic and Imperial Guard troops.  Its (drumroll please)  the world famous 13 Demi-Brigade Legion Estranger!!!  One big happy family!
 Here we have some Capitol troops on the left.  Capitol was well known for its huge collection of Special Forces types; Desert Scorpions, Sea Lions, etc.  On the right are some 2nd ed Cybertronic Chasseurs. Walkers in back are a Kryomek and two Cybertronic Killer Eggs.  They had some funny name like "Eradicator Deathdroid" or something like that.  Come to think of it, there were quite a few bizarre names in Warzone.  "Gomorrian Emasculator" was always a fav! It was a cyborg minotaur with chainguns built into its shoulders.  I have one around here someplace...
 Another batch of Capitol Special Forces!  Paint scheme looks familiar, right?  Left is a Thudd Gun and in back some Barbarians from some outfit I've forgotten.  Grenadier maybe?
 Blasting out of retirement are some Dark Legion Razides.  Basically a demon with a huge gun and a really bad attitude.  I think Razide basic training lasts about 60 years, so yeah, you might not want to mess with these guys.  Can't remember who the guy on the left of the line might be.  Yes, those are some 40K Squats on the right, and a Void standard bearer in the middle.
 Shelfjumping again, here we have some more Cybertronic figs.  I can't remember who they all are, but on the extreme right are the 1st ed Cuirassiers, Mirrormen, Robots, and a character or two. In the middle are 2nd ed Stormtroopers.  Down in front out of focus are some Cyclos from Kryomek.
Buddying up to some GW Tau are a line of Void robot troops.  Yet another incarnation of Warzone, Void had possibilities.  I used them as Tau Stealth Suits.  I own a lot of Void figs, most are still in the boxes.  Well, that's about it for this walk down memory lane.  But just think of it, a new edition will be coming out soon with all sorts of new minis!  I urge everyone to head on over to the Lead Adventure Forum to check out the thread, I think its up to about 14 pages, a lot of them posts of sneak peeks of the new minis!

This is causing all kinds of ruckus around the painting table.  I've been working on Wargods of Egyptus Heru, WW2 French and Germans; have some Warmachine and 1:600 Russo-Japanese naval all on the backburner.  Am I going to get so overcome with excitment I start painting Warzone again?!?!?!  And if I dig out all these figs will there be any opponents?  Are there any gamers within 100 miles of here who will pick up the gauntlet?  Is there a Man among you who will step up to the table to see what a real sci-fi mini game can be?  Of course, the chances of getting a note from your Mom explaining to GW that you were temporarily out of your mind might not get much traction with them...