Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013: The Year In Review

It's that time again where we look back at the year past, and take stock, before making plans for the year ahead.

This year has most definitely been the year of Dystopian Legions for me. I have painted a little over half of the minis I have for the game, and all the rest have at least a basecoat on.

Models that I have completed include:

1 Lieutenant
1 Section of 6 Line Infantry, (+Sgt, Musician & Specialist)
1 Section of 6 KRRC (+Sgt & Musician)
1 Section of 6 91st Infantry
2 HMGs (1 and 2)
2 Basset Tankettes
1 Bertie
The crew for the Armstrong Gun

I have a bunch more to finish off, but they'll have to wait for next year now. I also have an APC I got as a pressie, and have ordered the Light Dragoons to round out my force.

What's more, I have played a whopping 6 games of DL this year. I take pictures of each one, with the intention of writing up battle reports, but that has just not happened. In summary though, my first couple of games were wash-outs. My Britannians are very soft and squishy in melee, and my Hussars take a little getting used to. Once the games started going up above 100 point (Starter Box size) they came more into their own, being able to use their superior firepower at range to lay down enough fire to do some damage before getting trapped in melee.

I'm doing alright against the Prussians, I really love my Terrier and my Field Gun. The Lethal Ability is just wonderful against models with multiple wounds. Against the Empire of the Blazing Sun (Japanese) I'm still struggling to find the best combination of forces.  There are a couple of local players who own FSA armies, but they have yet to throw down against my mighty Britannians.

Anyway, here are some shots of my last game against EotBS.
Facing off
Line Infantry, ready for the push forward
You can't hide...
In other goals, I have tried hard to keep up with the Colore Ton Monde challenges this tear, and have done okay. I dropped the ball in January and October, but managed to get the rest done in time. 

I have tried to update my Gallery, but I seem to have reached the limit if 20 pages. Who knew the interwebs had page limits? I'll have to find a way around that.

For 2014:

First off, I want to finish my Britannians that are more than half painted, as well as the APC (a New Years gift) and Dragoons. (ordered, but not yet arrived)  I was initially tempted to buy into the Antarticans when they come out, but I'm going to hold off on that. One army for a game I don't play regularly enough is more than enough for now.

Other games that I am interested in playing in the coming year include Saga, Muskets and Tomahawks, and The Hobbit. Yes, the Hobbit!. I have just watched the second film, and I am very keen to give the game a try. If only I can find a way to do so without giving GW full Price for their minis. Maybe I'll get some of the first wave of minis in some sales over xmas. I do have some Rohirrim for the LoTR battle game I can paint up (they also double as vikings for SAGA, so win win!).

This is, of course, alongside the games of Warmahordes and WFB (at 500 points) should be more than enough to be getting on with.

Happy New Year to you all, and Happy gaming!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Colore ton Monde: December II

As I mentioned in my last post for this month's challenge, finding minis to paint in a winter theme is not an issue, anfterall I have two warmahordes armies that fit the bill. So here we have some pics of my painted Blackfrost Shard figure. Well, one of the three brothers to start.

The cape came out much better than I expected. I was left wondering how to complete the runes round the cloak edge, but a simple dab or two of Mithril Silver over the runes, then a dark blue wash and they look fine.

The other two members of the unit better jump up to the front of the paint queue before I forget how I did this guy!

Going to have to go back and finish the face, it's looking really crude and unfinished there.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Painting Challenge

My regular gaming group, the Oldies, is running a painting swap for over the Christmas holidays.

It was somewhat of a challenge to come up with a miniature I wanted someone else to paint. Not because I am under any delusions that my painting is of superior quality, quite the opposite in fact. It was more to do with having a mini that could be painted up in any scheme that the other guy wanted (we didn't put in a request as to what we wanted done with the mini, so it is fully at the discretion of the other guy).

For my part, I settled on Madelyn Corbeau. A mini that I have never put on the table and therefore is rather far down on my list of what to do next. However, it is a mini that I like the look of, so she will see play some time I'm sure. What's more, as a courtesan, she can be done in any colour scheme imaginable, and still fit the bill. Decision made!

As to the mini I was given to paint, I got a Feralgeist. Again, as a minion model, he does not have to fit in with the scheme of the army he plays with. I have my own one of these, and I have been thinking what do do with him, and had thought to use him as a test model for some Testors fluorescent paints I have. i may have to paint up my own first, rather than spoil someone else's mini with paint I don't know how to use, so that's this holiday's painting schedule booked up!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Colore ton Monde: December

I'm a little delayed in posting this month's challenge, but here we are. First off, here are the results of last month's challenge to paint a sub-commander, some great paint jobs as always. My entry has it's own post here, although the pictures don't do him justice, he seems very red when compared to other pics on the Club Chaos site. Still, I can't be an expert in everything!

Moving on to this month, the theme for December is quite an obvious one,

Petite neige féérique, ou maudite marde blanche

Décembre est officiellement le début de l'hiver. Cette année, nous avons eu de la neige tôt, et contrairement à l'habitude pour les bordées hâtives, elle a l'air d'y être pour rester. Pour le mois de décembre, on vous invite à peindre un modèle principalement en blanc, ou avec un thème hivernal.

Pretty fairy dust, or Cursed white sh*t.

December is the official start to winter. This year we had the snow early, and unlike usual early snow-falls, it looks like it's here to stay.For the month of December, we invite you to paint a model in mainly white, or with a winter theme.
Thankfully for me, I have a whole winter themed army (two in fact) in my Legion of Everblight, just waiting to be painted (with Khador being the second).  I have the Blackfrost Shard ready and waiting to go (already started now, after all, it's the 10th already). These are really nice minis, and they're painting up well. Pictures will be posted shortly.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Kingdom of Britannia: KRRC Sergeant

For this month's Colore ton Monde, the challenge is to paint a secondary leader. Not the big boss, but someone in authority none the less. This, matched with an inspiring game of Dystopian Legions last week (my first win, and the first outing for the Terrier Ironclad) led me back to this guy. The Sergeant from this box, who has been painted up to lead the King's Royal Rifle Corps, who now number 8 figures including the drummer (which leaves me with three troopers to complete their number, or 1 more and some specialists).

I'm quite happy with the way he turned out, although the rusty barbed wire on his base needs a little something to make it more realistic

I had this guy earmarked for this unit as it was the one I had just finished when I bought him. There was some swithering as to whether he would be repurposed for the 91st once I started them, as the army I fielded last week was essentially Scottish in theme, but he has been commisioned to his original unit. I'll have to find my Scots Sergeant elsewhere.

Now to get back to the Ironclad.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Terrier Ironclad WIP

I started painting the Terrier Ironclad the other night. I went with the same blue scheme as I used for the Bassets. I am finding it more of an issue to paint such a large vehicle. I undercoated with gesso, and there was my first issue. In my rush to get the model assembled, I took it right out of the box and put it together, without giving it a wash before hand. As I had previously noted with my Bassets, if you do this to such large pieces of resin, you have an issue with left over release agent. This led to some parts of the model rejecting the undercoat. Worse, once I started with the base coat of a thin wash of blue and black, I noticed some of the undercoat peeling off, and other larger areas hidden between the tracks and the main body of the Ironclad where I had missed completely with the undercoat. My laziness/eagerness at the start of the project is going to cost me time in reparations before I continue, still, at least she won't be plain resin for her first outing on the table next week.

Yesterday evening I filled in some gaps and gave the blue a wash with Nuln Oil, giving her the first of many layers that will be required to get her table ready.

Royal Scots Cap Badge
Going with my current trend of basing my DL sections on real units, I decided my ironclads would be driven by members of the 2nd Dragoons,  Royal Scots Greys Regiment, who were in real life given tanks after their invention. This means I am currently tracking down some flags to stick on this beauty, to make it more of a centrepiece. It also gives me options for various insignia which I can use to liven things up.

Anyone out there who knows where to get good flags, please let me know, as I've never bought any pre-made before

The name of this tank will have to be H.M.I. Ewart. (H.M.I. standing for Her Majesties Ironclad, and Ewart after the famous Royal Scots Grey Ensign, Charles Ewart).

I'm now off on the hunt for flags and cavalry pennants to use for this, and to put on my Bassets too.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Colore Ton Monde November

As I predicted, I didn't have the time to find and paint a mini on scheme for the month of October, due to being in the UK for half of it, with the other half preparing to go, and getting over the trip. But if you do want to see some of the excellent figures that were submitted to the challenge, go here.

For the month of November, the challenge is as follows:

P'tit boss de bécosse

Ce weekend, on vote pour les élections municipales au Québec. Malgré toute l'importance de ces postes, ils sont souvent considérés secondaires par rapport aux élus provinciaux et nationaux. Pour le mois de novembre, on vous invite à peindre un p'tit boss: un sergent d'unité, un personnage de deuxième classe, un héro wannabe/hasbeen: à vous d’interpréter le thème à votre manière.

Lil boss of the shit-house*

This weekend we vote in the Quebec municipal elections. No matter the importance of these positions, they are often considered secondary to politicians elected to positions at the provincial and federal levels. For the month of November we invite you to paint a  lil boss: a unit sergeant, a second class character, a wannabe/has-been hero: it's for you to interpret the theme in your own way.

So that should be easy enough. I have a stack of sergeant and unit leader minis to finish off for current games. Indeed, the unit leader for my Bretonnian bowmen wears full plate armour, what indeed could be easier (if not a little bland)? I think I'll paint him up with his command group to make things a little more colourful.

*One of the reasons I have put off posting this for about a week is that my English is failing me. I know for a fact there is a similar saying in English for this type of person/position, but I cannot for the life of me find the best phrase. I guess there goes my job in translation!
If you can think of a saying that works, please put it in the comments!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Warhammer Fantasy, Some Thoughts

After a gap of about 20 years, I played a game of Warhammer fantasy battle last week.

There has been talk of playing 500 point games, as they fit perfectly within the time available to us on a Tuesday evening, and of course do not need many figures, although most of the palyers have many more points than that available to them as we are players of a certain age who grew up with GW products. I do of course have a similar amount of figures, just not at my immediate disposal, and a recent trip to the old country didn't leave me with enough free time in my parents attic to fill a suitcase with WFB armies. This is one of the reasons I picked Bretonnians. It meant I could collect an army from what I found in the bits box at the store (started off with the big bag o' archers I found a while ago), combined with some Perry War of the Roses infantry and some nice Reaper minis.

At the risk of becoming a battle report without pictures (I didn't plan to write a report, so I didn't take any pics), I write for your enjoyment of my thoughts on the battle, and why it seemed to go so badly for me. It also may become a comparison betweeen the current edition of WFB (what is it,6th, 8th?), and my hazy recollections of 3rd Ed.

The basis of the game has of course not changed, and this is of course intentional on the part of GW. They have kept essentially the same stat line, and basic rules of Hit, Wound and Save. There are of course changes to the minutiae, and maybe even some of the larger parts of the game that I have forgotten from 3rd ed, or did not come up in our game. The magic system is one place that seems to have changed the most, and seems more streamlined from 3rd ed. I do indeed recall one of the reasons I dropped WFB with the advent of 4th ed was the changes to the magic system (and I lost interest in the minis that were released with that edition), but that does not mean the system was perfect before. I do recall there being the exceedingly broken Vortex of Chaos, and even worse Vorpal Hurricane of Chaos, which, if unleashed would rip an army in two. Of course this was magnified by the exceedingly cheap points cost of Goblin mages, increasing their chances to have it by spamming mages, still, I digress.
In the game last week, I lost badly. The main problem I seem to have had was my army selection. It seems Bretonnians suffer particularly badly at the 500pts level due to their required picks of a paladin and a banner (which we dropped), and having to have knights as the base unit. This plus a mage of level 2 only left me with enough points to field a basic unit of archers and pikemen. At the 500 point level you really need bodies on the table, and I didn't have those. My opponent took High elves, and his only character was a mage attached to a unit of spearmen, this meant his base troops were more than enough to deal with my peasant horde, and my Paladin is but one man to stem the tide.
The last issue I had was underestimating the charge distance of the High Elf Infantry.  I thought I was safe and well placed to charge him next turn, but no, random charge distances of 2D6 plus Move was more than enough to plug the gap. I think this was more of an issue of me thinking in Warmachine distances rather than 3rd ed, as I have no recollection of how charges were handled there.

How can I fix this? Well, I don't have to take the peasant force that I did. For 500 points, we don't need to take 2 units of Core forces, just 25% of the total, so my unit of Knights alone cover this. What would I then take? Well, with the compulsory Paladin, and tactically compulsory mage, I really don't have too many options. I could fill the field with archers, stand behind the stakes and shoot the hell out of the opponent. Kind of boring, but it may be the only way.

So, in the end, I was stuck with a list that was uncompetitive in two ways, one because of the choices I made, and two because the Bretonnian list seems to be limited in the choices it can make much more at this level than it may be at higher points games. There was also the theory that since the army book for Bretonnians was older than the rest, it was not as balanced as the newer books, or at least not in balance with the newer force books. This is one of the main issues I have with GW, and their games, and what has put me off from playing their games in the last 20 years (that along with their prices and business practices, but you may note, GW have not profited directly from my purchases).

Still, I would like to try again, and may do so this week. Afterall, who really gives up on their first love?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

DIY Tank Crew

I have been playing mini games for many a long year by now, and yet I can count on 1 hand the number of vehicles I have bought and played with. I think this is mainly due to my predisposition to 28mm, fantasy/historical gaming. Now, I have many big robots, mostly for Warmachine, as well as a couple for Void/Urban War (I still have a soft spot for my VASA mechs), but I have never been into tank battles as such (no Flames of War for me). In fact, I think the only previous tank I bought was a VASA TAV MkIII, with optional turrets, however, I never played a game with one, never mind painted it.

For Dystopian legions of course, I have already bought into the vehicles, albeit with the smaller one-man Bassett tankettes, but they don't really count in my mind as proper tanks. The Terrier Ironclad however, certainly does.

To my mind, paying out a chunk of money for a substantial amount of resin, means this model deserves to be a centrepiece model for my army, so I am currently looking for ways to convert and personalise it.

The easiest thing to do in this regard is to open the hatch doors and stick a crewman on top. The hatch doors are in fact built for just such a purpose (as is the case for the Bassetts).
After a long time searching for a suitable mini to act as a crewman, I decided just to make one to fit. He is constructed of the following pieces:Victoria miniatures pith helmet head; GW Imperial Guard body and left arm; the right arm I found in my bits box and I couldn't swear to its origin; the right hand is a green stuff copy of the Black Watch Sergeant's hand and pistol; cross-belt, cuff and epaulets are all greenstuff. He'll be held in place by a magnet, and will therefore be removable from the tank.

He will be painted to look like the image at the top of the post. I decided to not go for the gas mask, as even though I have the bits, the pack at the front of the mini, which I assume is part of the mask, was a bit clunky with his positioning in the hatch, and made him a bit front heavy.

Final stages
And then, in-situ.

I think I'll have to put a flag on the tank too. Maybe even two. One Britannian flag, as on all the Spartan logos, and the other for the Scot's Greys, who I have decided that this guy and maybe even the Bassets belong to.  My freehand drawing skills leave much to be desired, so I haven't decided how I'm going to proceed with the flags yet. More on that once I do.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Second World War in 7 Minutes

I'm not a huge fan of World War II gaming, but that doesn't preclude me, as a history enthusiast, from enjoying this little video. A great video, that shows, per day, how the borders of Europe changed during the war.

Taken from here. Thanks to Yaum for the heads up.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Colore ton monde; October

September's results of the Colore ton Monde challenge are up, and mine can be found here. As you can see, I was not the only one to think that Pendrake fit the bill perfectly!

October's theme is as follows:


En octobre, c'est Halloween avec ses bonbons, mais aussi le temps des pommes, des citrouilles, des cannages: on se bourre la face ! Pour le mois d'octobre, nous vous invitons à peindre un modèle glouton, aimant la bonne chère. Mais vous pouvez aussi étendre glouton au terme de glouton en point, qui vaut cher et prend un grosse partie de votre armée. À vous d'interpréter  le thème à votre façon.


In October, it's Halloween, with all it's sweeties, but also the time of year for apples, and pumpkins, canning food for the winter: we fill our faces! For the month of October, we invite you to paint a greedy model,  loving good food. But we can also mean a glutton in terms of a points hog, who takes up a large art of your army. It's for you to interpret the theme in your own way.

Unfortunately, I'll be out of town for two weeks of October as I and he family are heading back to the old country for a couple of weddings, and the week before (i.e. next week) will be too busy with getting everything ready for the trip. So I don't think I'll have much time for painting. Still, I'll go have a rummage in the lead pile to see if there's anything to fit. Especially something half done..

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dystopian Legions, Kingdom of Britannia: Terrier Ironclad

I've been awaiting this mini for a while now, but I have finally received my Terrier Ironclad. From now on, my Kingdom of Britannia army can be fielded with full Ironclad support (theoretically, full Ironclad support would be two of these, but let's not get carried away here).

This is a heavy box, full of great chunks of resin, and my first kit like this, so let's see what we get in the box.

Here's all the parts laid out, as they came out of the packaging. For ease of casting, the two sets of treads are identical,  and therefore interchangeable. There are two metal parts, which plug the gap in the back of the treads, which are presumably a fix for the issue we had with the Bassets, where there was a large chunk of metal to deal with where the treads were joined to the casting sprue.

The rest of the parts are pretty self explanatory and well cast. I had to run a craft knife over various bits to get rid of some flash, but there were no problem parts to deal with. 
As well as the tank parts, the box included 3 game cards. 1 specific to the Terrier, and 2 generic to all KoB Ironclads. There is also the compulsory activation card. There is no base included in the pack. Indeed, I am unsure as to what size such a base would be, and indeed if it is necessary.

When it comes to putting this beast together, all the parts go where you would think, and there are no bits leaving you scratching your head as to their placement. The only thing you need to watch for is the orientation of the crew compartment and the headlamps, but a quick glance at the picture on the box will tell you which way round they go.

There is one issue with the Terrier tank, that has been mentioned on previous reviews, and on the forums, and that is the way the treads connect to the main body of the tank. They don't.

Well, that's maybe a little harsh, the point of contact of the treads to the main body of the tank leaves no issues with their placement lengthwise, as there are little nubs on the side of the tank body that place into holes in the treads, and there is likewise a small shelf on the treads for the bottom of the tank body to sit on. This all works out rather nicely, but then there is no support for the top of the treads, and they then sit badly, leaning towards the top of the tank, and making the treads splay awkwardly at an angle. (The individual parts of the tank, and how they interact are better shown here. I was too keen to build the tank, rather than take more pictures). 

This can be remedied with a pin from the back of the tank tread, to the main body, and some putty to fill the gap between the tread and the tank body, but it is still rather unimpressive from a kit that otherwise fits really well together.

When put all together, this is a rather impressive tank, and I look forward to getting him fully assembled and onto the table.

One other niggle I have is with the pricing for Spartan tanks. The Terrier is not the most expensive of the 4 currently released ironclads, that honour goes to the Ke-Ho, but it is still more expensive than either the Prussian or FSA Ironclads (by about $20CAN), whilst still looking to be the same number of parts. I'm sure there's a technical reason for that.

Yes, the hatch has been glued open. More on that soon...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dystopian Legions, Kingdom of Britannia, Black Watch Sergeant and Specialist.

Thankfully, the sergeant and specialist for the Black Watch come in the same box, unlike the specialist for the normal line section, which comes in a box with another line Infantryman (alright I suppose, as it's a pose not available in the Section box), or the Sergeant who comes with the Lieutenant box set, which is a little more useless, as you'll want to field more Sergeants than Lieutenants, especially for KoB, where normal Line Infantry Sergeants are the same price as infantrymen.

But I digress, this is a good match of minis, as a Black Watch section can contain one Sergeant and one specialist.

On to the minis, they are of the usual Spartan style, in that the box shows the computer renders of the minis, so you know pretty much what you're getting. The minis thenselves have the usua low amount of flash and some mould lines,  but nothing major. Each mini is in two parts. The Sergeant coming with a separate sword scabbard, and the barrel of the Specialist's gun, and the attached arm is separate from the main body of the mini

I was a little disappointed with the standard of the sculpts in other ways. The basket of the Sergeant's sword on my mini, was miscast. Nothing that you would notice from afar, or when painted, so I don't think I'll be asking for a better casting, but a little annoying none-the-less.

The second thing that bugs me is that the arm and gun barrel don't quite fit with the rest of the mini. I've bent and pushed the parts, but haven't yet figured the best way to connect them. They are not a complicated fit, but they just don't seem to want to go. I had the same issue with the Black Watch Infantryman in the running pose, in that one of the sets of arms fitted well, but the second one I had did not. In the end this was not a great problem, as I converted one of them to a knife-man, but it seems to be an issue Spartan are having. Maybe these arms are being a little twisted coming off the sprues in a way that makes them a less than perfect fit.

Overall, a great little addition to the Black Watch section, two characterful sculpts, with minimal flash or mould lines,  but with other casting issues.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Victor Pendrake, Adventuring Scholar

The painting challenge for September was to paint something relating to the return to school. I was really struggling, as I had thought to do a mage for my Bretonnian army, and I have even undercoated and based the mini, but I was not able to find the inspiration to actually get on and paint her. Then, whilst clearing out another tray of minis, I found this guy languishing with a mere base coat, and lo, it was decided. What better mini for the challenge than good old Professor Pendrake?

There are a few little bits and pieces I'd like to go back over, but he's ready for the table.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

O'Leary's Giveaway

It's not often I do a post soley for the reason of pimping another blog, but this one seems to be a little ifferent. Over on her Blog, Anne O'Leary is doing what she calls a Double Triple Secret Give-away. Although, after all the pimpage that has passes on other blogs, I think the name cold be shortened to just Give away!

What is different however is this:

"This give away is being sponsored in part by author Patrick Hatt. You can find Mr. Hatt's Amazon Writers Page at"

Of course, I've put my hat in the ring, as there are some fun prizes up for grabs, and surely Ray can't win 'em all!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Black Watch Conversions

I love that all the sculpts in a box of Spartan minis are different. I love a little less that I require 2 boxes to run a full unit. I trid to lessen this by doing a couple of conversions to the minis. The first was to make the piper mini. The second came as a follow on from this, as I had the 2 arms of the piper that I was now not using. This, mixed with one of the guns being a mis-cast, meant I did a little light chopping to the gun-less mini to give him new arms.

I am not a huge fan of the knife weilding look of one of the sculpts, but I figured this was a simple way to have a completed unit before waiting for a new gun part to be sent.  The only thing missing then from this figure, was a gun. The other knife weilding maniac has his slung across his back.  Again, luckily, there is another figure in the set who comes with a separate gun, with only a hand to be removed to make it a feasible conversion piece. Step in trust Insta-Mold, and new green-stuff gun, here we come. What's more, this mold will be useful for converting other non-Spartan minis into KoB troops, or even just as scenery for bases.

Stick it on the back of the converted mini, and hey-presto, he's ready to join the ranks.