Thursday, November 30, 2017

Messing around with Tree Making again

One item of scenery that I keep on returning to time and time again are trees. They seem to be a very ubiquitous item of scenery that every modeller from train enthusiasts through to fantasy and far flung future table top gamers seem to want to make - and often in bulk as well.

This effort is simply an experiment. It follows the same prescription for the wire mesh frame that I have used extensively in the past to create the trunk and root system. Several wires of florist wire are bunched together, twisted, folded and twisted again to make this kind of frame. On top of the twisting, I then apply several layers of filler, allowing each layer to dry off before the next one is applied.

The main difference for this tree is that I have added a bit of plastic fish bowl decoration to the top of the wire mesh frame. These items are relatively cheap and can be seen in the background of previous posts I've made here. Just a dab of superglue and its done.

I've mounted the tree on top of a 32mm base - this can be used to infer the scale. Its taller than a Primaris marine but rather stick thin in the middle. 

I think I need to do a bit more experiments on this - including painting up the trunk of this particular tree to see how it looks. My first step will be to expand the girth of the trunk as I cannot quite make my mind up if a thin trunk looks correct with such a bushy upper foliage or not. I think it could go both ways really, but I'd like to at least entertain what a difference a bigger trunk might make to the tree - and to line of sight blocking at minimum. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Promethian Forge

Very much a work in progress, but today I have commenced assembling the Promethian Forge from the Sector Mechanicus range. This will fit snugly -- and more importantly: modularly -- alongside my other Sector Mechanicus range. 

The image shows just the first section of the gantry or ledge that I'm working on. One of the main problems with this piece is how to make it modular. There are just so many permutations to select between that it is often hard to know what to do.

However, I have decided that the best way forward here is to cater to my wants for this scenery. Hence I have decided to keep it at one level only, meaning I'm not going to stack multiple levels in a vertical direction. This is for a number of reasons, but one of the main ones is that I want some horizontal spread of scenery before I think about the vertical direction. One level up should be enough for the kind of board that I have in mind at the moment. 

More importantly, thinking about the horizontal spread, I also wanted to make sure that this piece was not compact like the picture on the front of the box. Instead, I want is to cover as much horizontal distance as possible. This dictated the need to have the support struts in the places that I've glued them in to in the image. Ultimately, I want to be able to make a long walking gantry for the miniatures to be able to fight along and provide interesting lines of sights in a number of locations. I think this arrangement will ultimately achieve that, but its still early days on this particular project. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Warhammer World: Nostalgic Bridges

Some of the remaining photographs that I have from Warhammer World don't fit snugly in to any single category. Instead, the kind of span the bridge (literal and figuratively) between Warhammer Fantasy, Role-play, advertising, and Board games.

These two images are prime examples. The first is an undead scene (close up) of a charge across a polluted moat in to a castle like fort by undead. The second, is more of a board game style image that really appealed to me. I remember the former appearing in White Dwarf (if memory serves) way back in the day. The second is relatively new to me, but I think has its origins in Hero Quest and similar games. Can anyone comment what the second one is actually from please? I failed to jot it down, embarrassingly...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Warhammer World: Age of Sigmar Diorama

Some photographs from Age of Sigmar today that I have been meaning to process for a while now and get on the blog. However, some internet connectivity issues in the past week have forced me offline for a little while, so I hope these uploads make it! I like a number of features of this diorama. In particular, the thing that really shines for me is the floating rock in the middle of it. There is something very chaotic about it (Tzeentchian almost), yet it retains something of its former glory of the time that once was arguably. Very appealing overall.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Garden of Morr Statue

A small scenery item in focus today -- the statue of Morr himself taken from the Garden of Morr set sold by Games Workshop.

This piece is very easy to put together and features a high level of detailing around it. Perhaps a surprisingly high level of detailing in a number of parts in fact. The things that strike me about the statue is the roses and leaves on the front of the column upon which the statue stands, coupled with the plethora of small skulls and other ornamentation around the base. 

The statue himself is less impressive to some extent. The cloaked figure holding a shield and a sword is a standard motif, but at least there is an over-sized egg-timer at his feet as well to indicate the passage of time and death itself. 

Painting for this piece was basic and straight forward as I wanted to capture the idea of this piece being very old, perhaps somewhat neglected as well. Hence following a black undercoat, the base coat was applied in an even grey tone. I gave several washes to the grey base coat to give a suggestion of ageing -- especially around the base and the flagstones. For the upper parts of the miniature that have been exposed to (assumed) sunlight, I applied some subtle green tones and even overt greens to give a suggestion of foliage having developed and grown on the upper reaches. Highlights were conducted in a steadily increasingly light grey colour, with attention paid to the skulls to give them a slightly different tone to the flagstones. 

The roses were a slight issue as I wanted them to feel like a recent growth or addition to the monument, rather than some random part of stone work themselves (which they certainly could be painted as). Hence I went for a somewhat striking red colour that contrasts highly with the grey and dull stonework and the green verdigris that is growing elsewhere. A few washes and highlights later, and the roses stand out very well from the rest of the structure. 

Taken together, this is both a scenery item that is striking for its new growth foliage, yet retains the dullness that suggests it has been hanging around for a very long time. I regard it as suitable for using in both fantasy and 40k board games equally well overall. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Ferratonic Incinerator

I am a real sucker for scenery and terrain on the table top. So much so that when the Forge World (as in the planet type) scenery became available, I knew that I wanted to mess around with some of the kits to see what kinds of things could be made and how modular they could be.

One of the first kits that I purchased was the Ferratonic Incinerator kit. This consists of a cylindrical element (the incinerator part), and a standard set of walkways to attach to the ends of the top of the incinerator (the octagonal lid element). 

In the first image below, I show the final product that I made from the kit. 

The kit was easy to put together and required less than an hour of gluing and clipping out from the sprues overall. I did not use all of the pieces though. And this is probably one of my major complaints. I followed the instructions for the kit almost to the letter with the main deviation being that I assembled it in a T-shape (rather than an X-shape) as I wanted the incinerator element at one end of the piece. 

In doing so, it became clear that some of the under hanging elements (e.g., cables, cords, skull like pulley systems) can get in the way of attaching some of the walk way elements (the barriers seen on the edges of the upper platform to prevent falls). I have several of these components left over that I don't quite want to glue in place in other locations, but would have used on the edges had I realised before assembling that the underslung elements would be getting in the way so much. Hence this is a sort of warning to others to dry fit the elements, regardless of what the instructions say you should be doing. The issue can be seen with a top down view, below:

Some of the underneath elements can be seen going over the edge of the platform. Its just poor planning on my part coupled with strong adherence with the instructions.

I also wanted to try to keep my assembly somewhat modular. Hence I have not glued the sub-elements together. Explicitly, the walkways are only held together by the tabs underneath -- I have not glued them together in to the T-shape. This is so I can potentially re-arrange in to an X-shape, L-shape or even just one long continual linear shape. I have another one of these kits (a different one in fact) that I would ultimately like to be able to mesh together with this one. Hence I would very much like to keep it all modular.

The ladders are also worth a little note here. It is essential that they are pushed in hard in to the underside of the walkways and upper platforms. Doing so means that they will be flush with the pillars that enable the platforms to stand on their own. On one of my ladders, it is fractionally below the height of the pillars and caused a little imbalance. I have corrected this by shaving off a little bit of the ladder to give greater stability and less wobbly model syndrome.

It is also worth noting that the kit can be assembled in a number of ways, including not only the overall configuration, but also the sub-elements. Here, the door or hatch to the incinerator has been left open (and glued in to place in this open configuration) at the behest of my daughter. This is actually a good idea in some ways as the door then provides additional cover for miniatures on the table top and effectively extends the surface area of the kit on the table top by almost an inch. The risk is, of course, that the open door stands more of a chance of being snapped off in transportation. But I think that's a price worth paying for it looking better in my opinion. Other bits and pieces enable the modeller to cover up some of the other exposed pipes, but in general I have avoided using them. Got to find some time to paint this one up now and build the other kit!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Kraken Mats: Desert Warzone City

I have bought Kraken mats before from their online retailer, FantasyWelt and been really pleased with the high quality of the product. Today is a quick review of my second purchase from the same company: the Desert Warzone City map.

This mat is of the exact same high standard that I have come to expect from Kraken. It really is high quality, durable and with a rubberized backing to make die rolls muted and the table surface non slip during any gaming activity.

The colours of the map itself are incredible. This was the thing that really stood out to me when I was considering a purchase. I didn't want to get just another city or city-scape map -- I wanted something a little bit edgier and unique. That was what the Desert map encompassed for me.

The production of these maps feature high quality photographs of real gaming board that have been custom built by Kraken. This is what sets their maps apart from a number of competitors. For Kraken, there is no subtle background that can be found elsewhere with these maps: they are real. Well, they're more than real. They're obviously enhanced digitally later on after the principle photography is complete.

The mat features a number of ruined buildings on the terrain, replete with debris inside them, as well as a road feature snaking through. One aspect that I had not fully realized is that these maps are symmetric. Hence if I bought another one, it would tessellate with this map perfectly to create a huge gaming board. This is such a lovely touch, and not an idea I've seen much of in 6x4ft gaming mats before.

To say I'm pleased with this purchase would be an understatement. These mats are fab!

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Lion

Rumour mongers ahoy. There are plentiful rumours circulating on the internet at the moment about the return of Lion El'Johnson to the Warhammer 40,000 timeline.

This is one case that is strongly supported by the background materials as well. The Lion has reportedly been sleeping at the centre of the Dark Angel's Rock for a long while. Possible beside Luther (or maybe not). The last we saw of the Lion was when he descended for his battle with Luther on the (then) surface of Caliban. Following its destruction, the Lion was nowhere to be seen. Luther whimpered something about the Watchers in the Dark having taken him.

Hence, there is no contradiction in the background materials about him coming back. I'm far more at ease with the Lion coming back than I was about Guilliman re-materializing after healing in a stasis field. Heck, I'd also be fine with the re-emergence of at least:

The Khan,
Leman Russ,
Vulkan (because, you know, he's immortal and all),
Alpharius (or Omegon) (or someone being Alpharius at any rate),
and any Daemon Primarch in general (because why aren't they attacking the rotten heart of the Imperium already?).

Can Alpharius Omegon please turn out to be loyal? You know, just to wrap up that story line. Pretty please? And the only person he told was someone else who went missing at a similar time? I don't know where I'm going with this really.

Bottom line, I feel re-invigorated by the new fluff that seems to be coming out recently. And I'm feeling very positive about the future of the hobby in the near and medium term! Long may it last!

Friday, November 3, 2017

HH Rules Delayed due to QA

The news came through this morning for me. The new Horus Heresy rules book has been delayed. The reason given for this is Quality Assurance. In other words, it did not meet the standards deemed worthy of publication by Forge World.

These kinds of issues can and do happen from time to time. To be perfectly honest, I would much sooner have a rule book that was deemed to be of the correct standard than a rule book that was sub-par and not worthy of publication of worthy of living up to the previously high standards that the entire Horus Heresy series has been setting for all of theses years. Hence whilst I'm someone sad that there will be a delay on the pre-orders, I'm actually not all that bothered.

Santa can wait :)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Melta Bombs in Horus Heresy

Following on from the previous digest of thoughts relating to the new edition of the rules set for Horus Heresy, I wanted to briefly touch on one of the most outstanding corrections to the rules we have seen. Namely: Melta Bombs.

To explain the context for this one: Melta bombs have long been an upgrade item that a squad can take to battle. More specifically, it is an upgrade that certain units can take one of for every single member of the squad. Legion outrider squads spring to mind, amongst others.

Many players (including myself, I must admit) were very used to playing that every single model armed with a melta bomb could try to land it on their enemy in close combat (the fight phase) if they chose to.

The Frequently Asked Questions for 7th edition put an end to this. Those clarifications mandated that only one grenade could be used per phase of a turn per squad. This outraged many people in the community who felt that this was the wrong call. In turn, there were others who pointed to the fact that this was simply just "rules as written" and was therefore simply reinforcing how grenades should have been played all along.

With the introduction of the modified 7th edition rules set for Horus Heresy, this situation has been reversed. Now every model armed with a melta bomb appears as if they will be able to try to land their bomb on top of a target. Of course, this will make the players happy who spend a (not inconsiderable) number of points on upgrading their units to take melta bombs on every single model.  Why would the army lists allow this, after all, if only one model were to take an attack with a melta bomb in a single given phase.

I am personally very glad to see the return to the rules as they were being played before the FAQ was released for 7th edition. It all makes a bit more sense this way to my mind!
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