Thursday, December 10, 2009

MODELLING: Khorne Lord on Juggernaut built

I've crossed my first task off my to do list. The Khorne Lord on Juggernaut is built.

I just love the aesthetics of this model - it's a real Jes Goodwin classic. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it! Of course this year I made a New Year resolution not to buy any new models so I knew I'd have to wait until 2010. Lo and behold I open a birthday present from my girlfriend and I'm holding the model in my hand. Result!

The only bad thing about the model is that it is all metal. Having come off the back of putting together the Ork Deff Dread, Killa Kanz and Meganobz I knew what a pain assembling metal models could be. This was no exception!

I think I must invented a dozen or more new swearwords as I tried to get the skulls on spikes stuck to the shoulders of the Jugger.

But why now? Good question.

I think it's because I've been listening to a lot of Warhammer Fantasy Battle podcasts lately (why are there no really good 40k podcasts out there?) and the Games Workshop tournament heats were played recently. I'd really like to return to my Warriors of Chaos army and finish painting the models and add a handful of new ones.

Having said that, I have now learned that WFB 8th edition is due out next summer. It makes sense then to hold off for a few months until the main rulebook is released.

At least I can show it to my girlfriend and she'll know her present was appreciated!

GENERAL: Starters orders

I have a day off work today and with my eBay auctions finished I can now concentrate on hitting my painting points target for the year. Priority is to finish off my Aeronautica Imperialis Imperial Navy wing (two Lightnings and two Marauders). Also on the workbench are dozens and dozens of Grots. If I get bored of painting I might put together my Khorne Lord on Juggernaught.

Expect a flurry of updates and photos throughout the day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

NEW MODEL FUND: Target obliterated!

I'm done and dusted with eBay for the year.

I bunged a load of 2nd edition Ork models up for auction as well as a new Ghazghkull model. Everything exceeded my expectations and brought in far more than I had expected. Altogether I made £83.79.

That means my final NMF for the year stands at £842.98.

I'm over the moon at the final total, which has obliterated my original target of £500. Roll on 2010!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

OPINION: On magnets

I don't magnetise my models.

Many people do, nowadays. There are lots of tutorials on blogs and websites across the 'net showing you how to do it. There is one here on Mini Wargaming and a video here on Way of Saim-Hann. It's reasonably simple to do and doesn't cost much. In fact it saves you money in the long run.

The main reason for magnetising your model is to maximise your investment in the model; you can buy one Predator tank, for example, and fit it with heavy bolter sponsons, but then switch those out for lascannon sponsons without having to buy another tank. This also gives you greater tactical flexibility too, as you can tailor your army to your plan and opposition.

So it's easy to do, saves money and gives you a more competitive army. What's not to like?

The reason I don't magnetise my models is because I care about personality, theme and background.

I don't view models as just playing pieces in the game, but as part of a living breathing army in the 41st millennium. Those armies are defined by their weaknesses as much as their strengths.

A Predator tank in my Blood Angels army is not just a tank, it is Sacrum, a two century old vehicle which has fought in numerous campaigns. It is armed with an autocannon, heavy bolter sponsons and a pintle storm bolter. It earned it's name after it's first engagement against an Ork Waaagh. Leading from the front, it allowed several rhino troop transports to reach the Ork lines and despite being immobilised and drawing heavy fire, it spat a hail of death back into the greenskins. Without the sacrifice of that Predator, the Blood Angels may not have won the battle. Since then then, Sacrum has fought in countless battles, always utilising the same tactics, getting stuck in to the heart of the fighting and somehow surviving to fight another day.

Would it still be Sacrum if I swapped out the sponsons? I don't think so. It's the same with the weapons I choose for characters. Their weapons, wargear and armour become a defining part of them so I couldn't choose any others. It would seem like a betrayal!

I'd rather have the stones to pick the model as is, and try and make the tactics fit my force and the way my models are equipped. That might not be the 'best' choice for a game but at least you keep the background of your force pure and intact. I just think it's the start of a slippery slope switching between magnetised kit options. I don't want to start thinking of my models as just playing pieces. If I really want a certain combination I'll buy and paint a new model.

Besides, you never remember when your Predator with lascannons blows up an enemy vehicle because that's what you expect it to do, but you always remember when your Predator with heavy bolters does the same because the odds are against it. That would earn Sacrum a great honour, perhaps worthy of some extra painting on the model, a purity seal or maybe a write up in a battle report.

Anyway, it's often surprising how often I think I really need a particular combination of weapons only to find that I don't when I start playing the game. If after a few games it's clear I really do need a particular model or weapon then I build a specific model for that purpose. I will write up it's own history and then develop it further as I play some games with it.

I don't hate those who do magnetise their models, in fact I admire their ingenuity, but it's not for me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

GENERAL: Bi-monthly book update

You may notice below that I have rearranged my books wanted list. It was getting so long that I decided to split it into several sub-lists. I was also struggling to remember when to add books to the list; previously I would add then when the book was released but now I'm adding them as I hear about them - even if they are not published yet. This should ensure I don't forget about a book.

I have three books to tell you about.

The first is
The Killing Ground. This is the fourth book in Graham McNeill's Ultramarines series. I'm afraid to say that this book creaks under the weight of the bonkers plot of the previous book.


I praised Dead Sky, Black Sun for it's ambition but I felt it had bitten off more than it could chew.
The Killing Ground is also quite ambitious, dealing with terrorism and ruthless planetary governors. It has a very different feel from many other Black Library books which go for the cardboard cut-out stereotypes and clich├ęd plots. The basic premise of TKG does not allow the characters to have simple black and white moralities - here everyone is compromised to a greater or lesser degree. Like DSBS, I support Graham's aim and ambition but not it's execution.

The Unfleshed sub-plot was absolutely unbelievable - in a bad way.
It was obvious they had to be dealt with somehow as Graham had written himself into a corner with them, but I just didn't buy into their journey. His Space Marine characters are also still too human. The whole book just didn't click or flow for me.

I'm afraid to say I want a more 'back to basics' kick ass Space Marine battle book from Graham next time around. Maybe Courage and Honour will get the Ultramarines back on track?

The second book I eagerly devoured was
Imperial Armour VII: The Siege of Vraks part three. (Un)fortunately it's the same old stuff from Forge World - excellent art (I loved the maps of the Citadel in particular), great models, terrible writing. It's the very definition of a well polished turd.

If Forge World can hire professional artists to illustrate the books why can't they hire a professional writer to write the text? Imagine what Dan Abnett could have done with this source material? It's so frustrating. All the elements of a good story are there but they are frittered away in meaningless detail, or even ignored altogether.

The 'plot' is poor, with the named greater daemons in particular getting very short shrift. The final assault on the citadel had so much potential but was a damp squib.

I'd still buy it again, though. The inclusion of campaign rules, albeit brief, was a very welcome addition. All those lovely maps and models really make me want to develop my own campaign based upon the assault on the citadel. The IA books are an inspiration but they could still be improved upon.

The third book I've finished in time for this update is my Warriors of Chaos army book. I'm not used to reading Warhammer Fantasy battle army books - in fact when I last played the game there was no such thing! I found it had a good background section but it wasn't comprehensive - how could it be given the range and depth of Chaos history that has preceded it?

The art and maps were excellent. I personally don't mind black and white paintings and illustrations. They can be very evocative and moody, and I don't automatically think colour is best. The colour painting section is big and very inspirational. There is a big variation in models though - some desperately need updating (eg Dragon Ogres, Ogres, Trolls).

Things rapidly go downhill at this point in the book. The army list dreadful. Woeful. Awful.

It is very limited in tactical options which I hate. You can run up quickly and bash your opponent or you can run up slowly and bash your opponent. There is virtually no shooting in the whole army anyway, then there are no skirmishers or affordable flyers.

That means WoC players can be easily manipulated by opponents with cheap redirecters and other chaff. Magic can help negate this but it means you end up with Wizards of Chaos trying to get off Infernal Gateway. All roads lead to Tzeentch spellcasters on Discs to give you mobility, using spells to give you a shooting phase.

It is not helped by the fact that the character wargear is poor, especially the lack of ward saves. You have to challenge other characters in combat but you will often be beaten by 'weaker' characters with superior wargear. There is absolutely no reason not to buy level four wizard to lead your army.

Ranked infantry is already not great in this edition of the game and elite ranked infantry terrible. I think (and I think Games Workshop thinks) that a fluffy Chaos list includes lots of ranked infantry. However a competitive Chaos list includes cavalry units supported by wizards on discs or dragons.

I'm not happy with the book at all but I will stick with it, as I don't want to get involved with lots of other Warhammer armies. I just hope that 8th edition helps rebalance the rules in 2010.

Books read
  • The Killing Ground
  • Imperial Armour VII: The Siege of Vraks part three
  • Warriors of Chaos army book

Books bought

  • Space Wolves codex

The reading pile

  • Liber Chaotica
  • Imperial Infantryman's Primer (Damocles Gulf edition)
  • Faith and Fire
  • Cardinal Crimson
  • Kill Team
  • Annihilation Squad
  • Space Wolf
  • Ragnar's Claw
  • Grey Hunter
  • Soul Drinker
  • The Bleeding Chalice
  • Crimson Tears
  • Codex: Space Marines
  • Disciples of the Dark Gods, Dark Heresy RPG
  • Courage and Honour
  • Imperial Armour IV: The Anphelion Project

Books wanted
  • Imperial Guard
  • Imperial Guard Omnibus Volume 1 (Fifteen Hours, Death World, Rebel Winter)
  • Desert Raiders
  • Ice Guard
  • Gunheads
  • Redemption Corps
  • Blood Pact
  • Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (For the Emperor, Caves of Ice, The Traitors Hand)
  • Death and Glory
  • Duty Calls
  • Cain's Last Stand
  • Inquisition
  • The Grey Knights Omnibus (Grey Knights, Dark Adeptus, Hammer of Daemons)
  • Warrior Brood
  • Warrior Coven
  • Scourge the Heretic
  • The Inquisition War (Draco, Harlequin, Chaos Child)
  • Innocence Proves Nothing
  • Space Marines
  • Red Fury
  • Black Tide
  • The Chapter's Due
  • Wolfblade
  • Sons of Fenris
  • Wolf's Honour
  • Thunder From Fenris
  • Chapter War
  • Hellforged
  • Heroes of the Space Marines
  • Legends of the Space Marines
  • Crusade for Armageddon
  • Conquest for Armageddon
  • Sons of Dorn
  • Rynn's World
  • Helsreach
  • The Hunt for Voldorius
  • Horus Heresy
  • The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels
  • Prospero Burns
  • A Thousand Sons
  • Raven's Flight
  • Nemesis
  • Others
  • Planetkill
  • Titanicus
  • Rogue Star
  • Star of Damocles
  • Lord of the Night
  • Emperor's Mercy
  • Flesh and Iron
  • Heart of Rage audiobook
  • Dark Disciple
  • Dark Creed
  • Dawn of War (DoW, Ascension, Tempest)
  • Dawn of War 2
  • Shadowpoint
  • Soul Hunter
  • Path of the Warrior
  • RPG
  • Rogue Trader
  • Tattered Fates, Dark Heresy
  • Creatures Anathema, Dark Heresy
  • The Inquisitor's Handbook, Dark Heresy
  • Purge the Unclean, Dark Heresy

Monday, November 30, 2009

SELLING AND PAINTING: Feeling Grotty

I've had a good root through my 40k Ork collection and made some final decisions on what to do with my remaining models. I will keep all of my 1st edition Rogue Trader models, Thrugg's Bullneck Raiders, for nostalgia. One day I will paint them up with matching RTB01 Space Marines just for fun.

I have decided that virtually all of my 2nd edition/early 3rd edition models must go. That includes my Goff slugga boyz, a unit of shoota boyz and some converted tankbustas. They are on eBay now.

The only models I'm going to keep from this period are a handful of metal Orks which need to be stripped, and my Grots. I have seventy or eighty of the little buggers kicking around in various states of completion. They are far from the best models in the world, and I would never use them in my normal 40k army, but they would be great in Apocalypse games where I could field a horde of models. This is where my plan gets so cunning you could stick some pointy ears on it and call it a Grot.

I know I am well behind on my painting points total for the year, but what if I got my Grots up to tabletop standard before the turn of the year? The dinky models wouldn't take long at all to finish - heavy washes all round - and they would contribute massively towards my target.

But first, I need to concentrate on my Imperial Navy Aeronautica Imperialis squadron.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BACKGROUND: Ork Air Waaagh - Kolath Gutbad's Ironkrates

Now that I've finally gotten my Aeronautica Imperialis Ork Air Waaagh painted I thought it was about time to come up with some background stories for my squadron.

Ork Air Waaagh - Kolath Gutbad's Ironkrates

  • Fighta 'Jawz of Doom' pilot Skargrod Nobskab
  • Fighta 'Da Ridgeback' pilot Shakskab Naffrunt
  • Fighta 'Flaming Deff' pilot Wazgul Ugrot
  • Fighta 'Go Fasta' pilot Kolath Gutbad
  • Fighta 'Wingtoof' pilot Snagazod Gobuz
  • Fighta-bommer 'Jagged Deff' pilot Badurty Skarthug
  • Fighta-bommer 'Killa Krate' pilot Duffrunt Duffsnik
  • Fighta-bommer 'Flames of Waaagh' pilot Oggrod Urtygrub
  • Fighta-bommer 'Widda Maker' pilot Grimsnaga Waaarg
  • Bommer 'Big Burd' pilot Urtyuz Naffshak
The Skolarii Sector
Ork activity has increased right across the Skolarii sector at the end of the 41st millennium. This is largely due to the presence of one very influential Ork; Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka. Following the second war for Armageddon, the first Ork invasion, Ghazghkull travelled the galaxy replenishing his forces and rebuilding his strength. The Skolarii Sector was one of his destinations. He has stirred up Ork aggression on a dozen worlds but he did not offer just inspiration. Ghazghkull also brought with him a cadre of Mekboyz, Ork engineers.

These Meks, along with Ghazghkull's fiery oratory, spurred on the scattered Orks of the Skolarii Sector. They were more ambitious in their attacks against the Imperium and other factions, using new vehicles and space ships to co-ordinate their forces.

The rise of Kolath Gutbad

Kolath Gutbad was a lowly Trukk driver in an Evil Sunz warband led by Badskab Gobsnik. Kolath loved nothing more than to drive his Trukk at top speed, firing at his enemies in a hail of poorly aimed shots. His tactics were non existent, in fact he rarely gave a thought to the Boyz clinging on for dear life in the back of his Trukk, but he knew how to squeeze every last ounce of speed out of his vehicle and boy did he know how to drive!

Kolath Gutbad's name would probably have never been heard of by the Imperium had fate not intervened. Badskab, the Evil Sunz warband leader pledged his allegiance to Snagra Bullteef, a mighty Bad Moon warboss. Snagra was an ambitious Ork and had led a massive Waaagh from the sleepy backwater world of Moresp to the Hiveworld of Finschan in the Kandaeon Worlds many years before. Together with a cadre of mysterious off-world Orks Snagra was gathering forces to mount an attack on Garrison 41, a bastion that had consistently repelled wave after wave of Ork assaults in the past.

Garrison 41
Eager to throw his Trukk about on the ash-dunes outside Garrison 41 and riddle it's defenders with bullets, Kolath drove his Trukk out of the back of it's landing craft before it had even touched down. The last thing that went through the mind of Badskab Gobsnik was the exhaust pipe of Kolath's Trukk. He was standing right underneath the Trukk as it slammed to the ground.

Undeterred Kolath drove hell for leather into the teeth of the Imperial Guard forces at Garrison 41. The rest of the bewildered Evil Sunz piled in after Kolath and by the time Snagra Bullteef arrived in battle the Imperial Guardsmen had been overrun. Kolath received the acknowledgement of Snagra as a brave, ruthless warrior and assumed leadership of the Evil Sun warband.

Kolath called his warband the Ironkarts and won great acclaim from Snagra, fighting at the forefront of numerous engagements. His only command was 'go fasta' heard on the wind as he raced out ahead of his warband. The Ironkarts took heavy casualties as Kolath threw them into the opposition regardless of numbers, reinforcements or any other tactics or strategy. Eventually his warband had lost more than nine tenths of it's starting strength and looked like it might be wiped from existence.

A fortuitous meeting

Kolath then had his second stroke of luck. An Ork Mek called Morfug Waalug was thrown out of his warband when a Deff Dread he had helped to build ran amok killing several important Nobz. Kolath almost ran him over in the ash-dunes of Finschan while scavenging for parts for his vehicles.

Morfug had discovered a vast horde of archeotech buried beneath the ash. Kolath offered him a place in the Ironkrates warband if Morfug agreed to repair his vehicles. Morfug had a better idea. Why not use the archeotech to build some really fast and shooty vehicles - planes!

So the Ironkrates were born. Kolath renamed the warband and found many willing volunteers amongst his surviving warband to pilot his new fightas, fighta-bommers and even his big bommer. Kolath himself has never been happier and spends every minute he can in the air above Finschan, flying his fighta Go Fasta, dogfighting with Imperial Navy Thunderbolts and shooting up the planet's hive cities.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

PAINTING: Ork Air Waaagh finished

I finished painting my Ork bommer last night. Like my previous models I slathered it in a heavy Badab Black wash and let it dry overnight. This morning I took some photos of it, along with a photo of my whole Air Waaagh.

The bommer didn't take long to paint, despite it's size compared to the fightas and fighta-bommers. I had already undercoated it black and then drybrushed it Boltgun Metal.

My first job was to paint Mechrite Red over virtually the whole model. Once that had dried I painted Blood Red over the individual armour plates. It was at this point I could have spent a lot of time highlighting each plate and maybe painting some in different colours but I just painted each plate red, leaving the darker red in the gaps.

The next small step was to block in the cockpit glass with Knarloc Green. There was so much glass I used some Dheneb Stone to highlight the upper edges.

I also used Knarloc Green to paint the Ork dropping bombs out the back.

I picked out the details in Dheneb Stone. The checks on the wings are sculpted detail so they were easy to paint. The teef on the nose are also modelled on. I pondered painting on some further markings but decided against it. I figured the model was distinctive enough as it was.

The engines were such a stand out feature I thought they needed an extra bit of attention. I washed the back end of them with Devlan Mud. When that had dried I applied the Badab Black wash over the whole model.

Here is the whole Ork Air Waaagh finished.

I'm fairly pleased with my efforts. It's a classic case of balancing the look of the models against the time it takes to paint them. I could have done a better job but it would have taken far longer, and time is something that is at a premium at the moment.

So, onto the Imperial Navy planes next.

Friday, November 27, 2009

PAINTING: Two more planes roll out of the hangar

With two hours spare on Wednesday night I knuckled down and painted some more Ork planes.

I finished two fighta-bommers. One is armed with Grot bombs, so I also painted up both of my flying Grot bombs.


I used the same techniques on these planes as described in my earlier posts. The first fighta-bommer I decided to go for a big and bold flame effect on the wings and tail. As a result I decided to name this plane Flames of Waaagh.

I was running out of variations of checks, dags and flames by now so I painted solid markings on the wingtips and spine of my last fighta-bommer. The checks on the wings of the Grot bombs are molded on and the model is so tiny there was no space for anything else.

So I have now painted everything in my Ork Air Waaagh except the big Bommer. This will take a good couple of hours on it's own, if not longer, due to the size of the model. I expect to get this done today as I have a day off work.

If I'm feeling really inspired I might push on and start some more Imperial Navy models.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NEW MODEL FUND: Target acquired!

Just over a week ago I listed some of my unwanted models on eBay. The auctions included the Imperial Guard special character Captain Al'rahem, a Tanith Command squad including Corbec, Dorden, Milo, Larkin, and a plasma gunner, a limited edition Inquisitor Gideon Lorr model and a fully painted Goblin Blood Bowl Team including Ripper Bolgrot and three secret weapons.

I hoped these models would pull in about £50. In the event I almost doubled that and received £94.90. Since I won't be buying any more models this year, that means I have now exceeded my revised target of £750 in the New Model Fund by the end of the year!

Flushed with success I decided to immediately list some more models on eBay. I blogged about those auctions on Monday and when they finish on Sunday they will also contribute to my fund this year. I'll then have decided whether I can be bothered to list even more models before Christmas.

I can't wait until 2010 when I'll start spending all this cash!

Monday, November 23, 2009

SELLING: Greenskins

Hot on the heels of my previous auctions, I have another batch of models up for sale.

Most of the new models are 40k Orks. As I go through my collection of Ork models I am deciding which ones to keep and which ones to sell. Although there are a lot to build and paint there are also a lot I want to sell, mostly the older models.

First up though, is the current Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka model fully painted. It might seem strange that I'm selling this given that I'm about to start an Ork army but I fear his existing colour scheme won't fit into my new scheme. I also have a second unpainted version which I'm going to keep.

The rest of the Ork models are old school models from the Gorkamorka period. There is a Trukk, painted to a tabletop standard.


A Wartrakk with twin-linked big shoota.


And everyone's favourite: Warbikers.

Last, but definitely not least, we have a couple of lovely Goblin cheerleaders.

I'm hoping my two batches of eBay sales will take me to that magic £750 target.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PAINTING: Red ones go fasta!

Another day, another plane painted.

I'm really getting into my stride with my Ork Air Waaagh now. This plane, which I have christened Jagged Deff, only took an hour to paint.

That's all of the fightas finished now, so I have two fighta-bommers, a bommer and two grot bombs left to paint. If I keep up at this pace I should be finished my Ork squadron by the weekend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PAINTING: AI Ork reinforcements

I had a couple of spare hours last night and although I really couldn't be bothered I forced myself to my painting desk to work on my Aeronautica Imperialis models. Given my mood I decided it would be best to paint my Ork planes - if I made a mess of them I could get away with it more easily!

Just like exercising, I found I enjoyed myself once I got started. Just two hours later I had two finished planes. Result!

I painted up one fighta and one fighta-bommer. I hoped that painting two different models would stave off boredom and keep me at the painting station.

I decided to take some close-ups of the models. I'm not sure I'm doing myself any favours by showing them at this level of detail!

You can see in both photographs above another problem I've had with my Ork models in particular. The big shootas in the wings are so fragile that many of them have snapped off. I considered replacing them with some brass rod but the wings are so thin I'm not sure I'll be able to drill a hole to stick it in. I think I'll wait until I've painted all the planes before I make my decision.

OPINION: Ideas to shake up your 40k games

Back in 2008 I was feeling a bit jaded with 40k and gaming in general. Gary, my regular opponent, and I had gotten into the routine of playing 1500 point games with missions straight from the rulebook week after week. In order to try and spice things up a bit I came up with a few ideas for unusual games.

As it happens we never did actually play any of these games but that shouldn't stop you from trying them out. Perfectly balanced tournament scenarios aren't the only way to play the game!

Tank battle
For a long time I preferred to paint and model infantry rather than vehicles but I then went through a phase of mechanising my armies, adding tanks and transports to them all. Gary was always more pragmatic and included vehicles in many of his armies. Between us we had about ten different factions with three to four vehicles each. So I got to thinking - wouldn't it be great if I could use all of those vehicles, across all the different factions, in one big game?

My plan was to put together the biggest table we could find, maybe even use the floor, and fight a gigantic tank battle. We would split the armies into the forces of order and disorder and then have at it. Points values be damned!

Any vehicles, including Dreadnoughts and walkers, could be used and no other models. We would play until one side had no mobile vehicles.

Seven Samurai
I think there is a scenario similar to this in the 6th edition Warhammer Fantasy battle rulebook. One person picks his 1500 point army as normal, without using too many vehicles, special characters or too many funky rules. The other person must spend his entire 1500 points on up to seven HQ choices. The 'normal' army has to wipe out the seven samurai by the end of the game otherwise they lose.

This game would probably be very quick to play, so you play two games in one night, with each player coming up with their own version of the seven samurai.

Arena of Death
Gary and I have large model collections including numerous special characters, greater daemons and sundry HQ choices. My idea was to gather them all together and plonk them on the table together. Each player rolls a die with the winner picking a character to activate. They get a full turn to move, shoot and assault with that character and then the other player chooses a different model. The players alternate characters until every model has had a turn and then the players dice off again.

The last model standing is the winner. That should help answer those annoying questions such as 'who is harder, Abaddon or Ghazghkull?' At least for a while.

40k League
My last idea was based on our Blood Bowl leagues. We would write up 500 point fixed lists for each of our armies - probably around 10 or so factions. These would be kept the same for the duration of the league. Each army would play every one of the others once. That would mean playing a lot of games! Now you understand why the armies are kept at just 500 points. Small games means you could play four games a night if you wanted to.

Each army would get 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss. Whichever army had the most points at the end of the league is the winner.

Anyway, that's all for now. This already feels like one of those rambling Standard Bearer articles by Jervis Johnson so I'll shut up.

GENERAL: Just sayin'

A few days ago I posted up my first Aeronautica Imperialis battle report.

What I really wanted to do was familiarise myself with the game rules, but rather than dryly run through them I decided to actually play through a game. I came up with some basic solo rules with half of my painted forces; two Thunderbolts versus three Fightas.

Check it out on my battle reports blog here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

SELLING: eBay model auctions

On Sunday I listed some more models on eBay. This is part of my final push to hit that magic £750 total for the New Model Fund by Christmas.

You can check out the auctions here.

I'm selling the Imperial Guard special character Captain Al'rahem, a Tanith Command squad including Corbec, Dorden, Milo, Larkin, and a plasma gunner, a limited edition Inquisitor Gideon Lorr model and a fully painted Goblin Blood Bowl Team including Ripper Bolgrot and three secret weapons.

I'm hoping to pull in something like £50 from these auctions, which would leave me about £35 short of my target. That would mean one more set of sales before Christmas and I'd be done.

Here's hoping.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

PAINTING: Blood Bowl Morg 'N Thorg

While I was hunting through my model collection looking for stuff to put up on eBay I came across my old Morg 'N Thorg model. He was painted up years ago in very basic fashion - everything in one flat layer - to get him onto the field as quickly as possible.

I thought it might be fun to highlight those original colours and slap some washes on him to bring him up to scratch. It's been ages since I painted a model just for the hell of it so I thought why not? He'll contribute two more points to my painting pledge total if nothing else.


I first painted this model was so long ago that the skin was apparently Bronzed Flesh; at least that was the closest match I could find now. I highlighted all of the skin and the boots, touched up the metallics and highlighted the white stripes on the 'skirt.' After that I used the new washes extensively. I used Ogryn Flesh on the, er, flesh, Badab Black on the metallics, and Devlan Mud on the leather.

Just looking at the photographs now I can see some areas where the wash is a bit too heavy but hey, what do you want for an hours work?

Morg is painted in the colours of my Human Blood Bowl team, the Wolfenburg Shadows. Wolfenburg is in the North East of the Old World and is part of Ostland. Ostland's colours are black and white, just like my football team Newcastle United, which is in the North East of England. See what I did there?

So, after that brief diversion, back to my Aeronautica Imperialis planes...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

PAINTING: Thunderbolts ready for action

After some umming and ahhing I've decided to call my AI planes done and move on to painting the rest.

I've been in this position before with other models and usually I push on, adding more paint then wishing I hadn't. Why add more when I'm happy with the way they are?

As you can see in the photograph I have added some identification markings to the tail fins. They come from an old Imperial Guard decal sheet I had, dating back to 1994. I'm not totally familiar with how Imperial Navy wings are organised but for my purposes the Thunderbolts are led by plane C and then are numbered 1, 2, 3, etc.

I will use more decals later, once the planes have seen some action.

So, I have now added the nine points to my painting point total for the year, bringing it up to seventy points. I have two Fightas, three Fighta-bommers, a Bommer, two Grot bombs two Lightnings, and two Marauder bombers left to paint. I'm going to count the Bomber and Marauders as two models each because of their size so the remaining models will add fourteen points to my total. That will bring me up to eighty four points for the year.

Will I get the other sixteen points painted to take me up to the magic hundred I'm aiming for? It looks unlikely at the moment, but watch this space.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

PAINTING: Take two squadrons into the air? I just wash and go!

I did this painting a few days ago but I have only just got round to photographing the results.

I washed the metallic parts of the Thunderbolts with Badab Black and then slapped some Devlan Mud on the red tails and darker camo stripes.

I'm dithering over the highlight stage now. My normal process after the basecoats and washes would be a highlight layer but I actually quite like the muted, matte finish on the planes at the moment. I'm considering just adding some identification markings and calling them done.

I also washed my Ork planes heavily with Badab Black. This went over the whole model, red and metallics. Again, I think it's given the models a more subdued, gritty look which I'm digging, but I feel guilty for not completing the process.

When do you know how to stop painting a model anyway?

Comments and criticism are welcome!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

GENERAL: New Year resolutions update third quarter

It's a whole ten months since I made my 2009 New Year resolutions, so I thought I'd revisit them for the last time this year and see where I'm at.

Finish 2000 points of Blood Angels Space Marines
Done!

Paint 1000 points of my Ork army

I have built all the models but haven't painted a single one. It now looks extremely unlikely that I'll even start painting the Orks this year.

Paint a total of 100 points of models over the year (the formula is in this blog entry)
I've now fallen behind schedule with this as I'm on 61 points. If I paint all of my Aeronautica Imperialis planes in the coming weeks that will add 19 points and leave me on 80 points. In theory some Orks would push me on to the magic 100 points but I'm not sure I'll achieve this.

Completely finish publishing my old battle reports
Done!

Finish my Blood Bowl league
Still on hold, it's looking unlikely I'll get around to this.

Finish my trench board and accompanying terrain
This has been delayed while I built my 40k Ork army and started painting my AI squadrons, but I still have high hopes of finishing by the end of the year.

Restart my News and Rumour posts
I've not kept up with this in the last few weeks, largely because I've been busy with other things and I've not been keeping up with the news and rumours. Also, Games Workshop have really clamped down on leaks so there just don't seem to be the rumours out there to report back on.

Switch domains
I had forgotten about this. I'm still skint so the incentive is there for me to do this.

Buy no more Games Workshop novels
I still haven't bought any novels but I've won a total of three across the year in competitions! My reading pile has reduced, though, so I'll keep to this resolution for the time being.

Review every Games Workshop book I read and review a broader range of Games Workshop products
This isn't going to happen in 2009. My reviews will have to wait until 2010.

Spend nothing at all on models
I buckled on this resolution when I bought some models for my Ork army. I have a lot of money in my New Model Fund, though, so I'm not too upset with myself. I think I'll loosen the purse strings a bit next year and start spending some of that cash.

Have £500 in the New Model Fund by the end of year
I've done so well in this regard that I've increased my target to £750. It will mean another blitz of stuff on eBay in the coming weeks but I've already got a selection of models ready to go and I'm confident that they'll pull in that last £80 or so.

I'm happy that I've already achieved some of my big resolutions, such as finishing my Blood Angels and converting my battle reports, and that I've largely kept to my spending resolutions.

There are some that I'm just not going to be able to keep though, such as painting my Orks. This isn't due to laziness on my part - the thing I've learned is that my goals will change over the year depending on my mood, Games Workshop releasing new games and models and even how busy I am at work.

It helps to have targets to push you on but you don't want so many targets that it puts you off even starting. I think I've felt a bit overwhelmed at times in the last few months so it's something to bear in mind when it comes to making more resolutions in 2010.

Anyway, I'll be back in late December or early January with the final recap of my resolutions.

PS - It's Remembrance Sunday today so I observed my two minute silence at 11.00am. I know that the idea is you remember those who gave their lives in the first world war, but I personally gave a thought to all of the pilots who gave their lives in the second world war.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

PAINTING: Dogfight!

I had a day off work today so I knuckled down and got some significant painting done on my Aeronautica Imperialis models.

This is bad news for my Warseer Tale of 40k painting pledge. I promised to paint 1500 points of Orks in a year but I skipped the first two months while I put the army together. If I miss another month I'll be thrown off the tale. The deadline is in two days time, so today I should have done the minimum I could get away with and slapped some paint on a Deff Dread.

Instead I painted my AI models. This is taking longer than I expected because the models are quite detailed and I want to do a decent job on them. When I finish both my Navy and Ork squadrons I will still have my Planetstrike terrain to start.

My current plan is now to drop the Warseer pledge but still paint the Orks, albeit after my other projects, probably after Christmas. That gives me about eight weeks to paint my AI squadrons, and build and paint my Planetstrike terrain.

Anyway, onto the aircraft!

I began with my Thunderbolts, adding some Calthan Brown camo stripes over the basecoat. I mixed in some Bleached Bone for the second coat. I also painted the tails Mechrite Red, then added Blood Red on the top.

After I took this photo I washed both the camo and tails with Devlan Brown wash. I also washed the metallic bits with Badab Black.

While the Thunderbolts dried I moved onto my Orks. I drybrushed the lot with Boltgun Metal and then went over the top with Mechrite Red, followed by Blood Red. You can see the basecoats in the photo below.

And the photo below this is with the Blood Red coat.

Once I'd painted all of the planes red I moved on to the markings. I used dags, checks and flames in different locations on each plane to individualise them. I used thinned down Dheneb Stone which gave good coverage over the red.

The checks were the hardest to do but because the pattern is on an Ork plane I figured I could leave it a little rough.

I painted the cockpits Gretchin Green. It had to be green really, given that they're Orks.

Since taking that photo I've washed all of the planes liberally with Badab Black wash.

So that pretty much completes my first two batches of aircraft and once the wash is dry I can start to actually play out some dogfights.

ARMY BUILDING: AI initial squadron lists

I started painting my four Imperial Navy Thunderbolts first as I imagined them to be the core planes of my Navy wing. I had originally planned to paint my whole IN wing together but then I realised it would be better to paint up a handful of Ork planes next, and then when they were done I could try the models out in some small games while I got the rest of the planes finished.

So I drew up some basic squadron lists from Tactica Imperialis for my IN and Ork air Waaagh.

Imperial Navy
Thunderbolt, additional weapons load
Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt
84 points

Ork air Waaagh
Fighta, additional weapons load
Fighta, additional weapons load
Fighta
Fighta
Fighta-Bommer, additional weapons load
82 points

The Ork aircraft are cheaper than the Imperial aircraft so have five planes to four, have more additional weapon loads and come in two points cheaper overall.

I have no idea how effective any of the wings will be until I get them on the tabletop.

Righto, back to the painting...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

PAINTING: Thunderbolt assembly line

I spent a couple of hours painting my AI Navy squadron last night.

As soon as I began I realised that this was going to be a big job, not the twenty hour blast I had previously assumed. The problem is that the kits are heavily detailed despite their small size and I couldn't bring myself to just slap the paint on and call them done. I want to do the best paint job on these models as I can.

I started with the four Thunderbolts. I am painting them in a desert theme to match the desert terrain I will probably play most of my games on. I thinned down some Iyanden Darksun foundation paint to use as the initial base layer, going on over the black undercoat. Next I mixed in some Bleached Bone and went over the planes again, this time concentrating on the raised areas. The Thunderbolt front left is at this stage while the others are one stage behind.

Once I'd added the Bleached Bone/Iyanden Darksun mix to all the Thunderbolts I washed them all with good old Devlan Wash. It did exactly what I wanted it to do, turning the parchment yellow basecoat into a deeper, warmer yellow-brown. It has also picked out all of the lines between the plating.

I had originally thought I'd go back over the planes again to tidy up the edges but I'm loathe to start mucking about with wash as I really like the finish it has given. I might start working on the other colours first while I'm pondering my options.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

SPACE HULK: Space Hulk unboxed

It's a wet and windy day up here in North East England, so much so that a ridge tile blew off the roof and hit the windscreen of my car earlier. Once I'd moved the car - the windscreen was miraculously unmarked - and took a look at the weather I decided I'd spend the rest of the day indoors, earning brownie points with my girlfriend by not hiding out in my games room painting my AI models (I plan to paint them on Tuesday night and possibly take a day off work next week). We curled up on the sofa and watch some telly but it wasn't long before I felt the urge to scratch my gaming itch. But what to do?

I sneaked off to my games room and brought Space Hulk back into the living room. For an hour or two while I watched Life and In Treatment I clipped the models from their sprues and popped the card components out.

The game is every bit as impressive as I've heard. The card corridors and rooms are the thickest I've ever seen in a board game and the graphics are superb and very atmospheric. The models are excellent, dripping with detail. I'd heard a few complaints that some of the Genestealer models were fragile and broke easily when removed from their sprue so I was extra careful. They all came free in one piece.

I timed my egg timer to check how close it was to three minutes. It came out at 2:47 which puts a bit more pressure on the Marines!

I plan to paint all of the models for Space Hulk at some point in the future - the Terminators slotting into my Blood Angels army and the Tyranids into a Cities of Death themed 40k force. I'll have to check out other blogs and forum message boards to see if anyone has successfully managed to incorporate the non standard bases onto 40k sized ones.

So I'll pack Space Hulk away for now and watch a bit more telly, perhaps leafing through a copy of the latest White Dwarf magazine.

Lazy Sunday afternoon indeed...

Friday, October 30, 2009

GENERAL: Tracking my progress

If you scroll down the blog a bit you'll notice I've added another widget to the right column. It's called my unfinished project list and it is a visual representation of where I'm at with my various painting and modelling projects.

I've felt a bit overwhelmed in the past few weeks with the number of different projects I've been juggling so I hope that this will help me a) see what plates I have spinning at any one time, and b) let me see I'm making progress, however slowly.

I've just put the most obvious projects on there at the moment but I plan to add to the list over time as I rediscover my various plans and schemes. Of course other projects will drop off the list as I complete them.

MODELLING: Ork air Waaagh

It's taken me six hours today to put together my Ork air Waaagh for Aeronautica Imperialis. Some of the models went together just fine but others were badly cast and/or twisted and bent. I had to soak many pieces in hot water to straighten them up. I'm not convinced I've got everything perfect but hey, they are Orks so I think I'll get away with it.

I have six fightas, three with rokkits or bombs, four fighta-bommers, two with bombs and one with grot bombs, and a big bommer.

I also put together two flying grot bombs. They were the most frustrating models to construct because they were so fragile; they just couldn't stand up to cleaning up the flash and mould lines. I threw two in the bin and have shelved the broken bits of others in my bits box.

I've just undercoated both my Imperial Navy wing and the Orks with Chaos Black spray and I'll be painting up my Orks first.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MODELLING: Take to the skies!

As any of you who follow my Twitter feed already know, I decided to put together my Aeronautica Imperialis models rather than my Planetstrike terrain. I'm hoping to build and paint both my Imperial Navy and Ork wings within one week.

The first models I put together were my Navy Lightnings. This was because they had the least number of parts and I thought they would be a 'quick win.'

Wrong!

The models were very poorly cast and took an age to complete. I had similar problems with the Marauder Destroyer which looked like the mould hadn't filled with resin fully and thus had jagged mismatched lines a good millimetre or so proud around the fuselage.

And bloody hell are those under wing missiles/bombs difficult to attach!

I eventually glued eight to the Marauder and then had two spare which I stuck on a Thunderbolt. They will count as Skystrikes,Hellstrikes or bombs depending on my mood.

Here is a photo of my Navy wing assembled:


I reckon I have about twenty hours spare this week to dedicate to this project and so far I have spent six hours constructing my IN wing. I hope the Ork planes will go together a bit quicker, now that I've had some practice playing with resin, and I can then spend the remaining time painting the models.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

GENERAL: Plans and schemes

My seven year old nephew came by today to have a look at his uncle's models and terrain. He was absolutely blown away by the stuff I now take for granted, and some of his boyish enthusiasm rubbed off on me. Going through my drawers of finished models and terrain, some of which I haven't looked at for years, made me itch to get stuck back into this fabulous hobby with gusto.

Fortunately my new resolve coincides with a window of opportunity. My better half is out on Monday, Tuesday and Friday night, while I also have a day off work on Friday. That means I can probably throw about 18 to 20 hours at my various projects this week versus the 5 or 6 I usually have. But which projects to concentrate upon?

With my Ork army built, the obvious choice is my Planetstrike terrain. I'd like to build all of the plastic kits I have first, just so that I can see it all together in one place. I'm sure that would inspire me to paint everything too.

The other wildcard option I have is Aeronautica Imperialis. I have an Imperial Navy wing and an Ork wing unbuilt at the moment and just seeing my desert terrain earlier today made me want to use it as an AI battlefield. I think the Navy planes would look so cool with a desert theme and I could potentially complete the building and painting of all of the models in the time I have available this week. The Orks would be easy too, and by the end of the week I could have a new games system to play!

Whichever I choose I also plan to paint some Orks for my Warseer Tale of 40k Painting pledge. I've jokered the first two months already so technically I only have a week to paint 150 points of models or I'll be thrown out of the tale. With the deadline tight I think I'll paint the Killa Kans or Deff Dread rather than a twenty Ork mob.

So what do you think? Should I start my Planetstrike terrain or should I finish my Aeronautica Imperialis wings?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NEW MODEL FUND: Stick AND carrot

Just a quick update today.

I counted up some coins from my penny jar and managed to rustle up £10 toward my New Model Fund.

Of course, I should be selling some more stuff on eBay; indeed I have a handful of stuff ready and waiting to be listed but I just don't seem to be getting around to it. I need to knuckle down in the next few weeks if I want to hit my revised target of £750 by the end of the year.

I got a few comments reminding me that my NMF is there to allow me to buy new models and not to make me accumulate the maximum amount of money. This is true, but it was easy for me to forget as I am skint most of the time and in theory models should be low on my list of priorities. What I have to remember is that this is essentially free money, to be spent as I please, goddammit!

So thank you to Rogue Pom, Col. Corbane, Chris and Gamers World.

With that in mind I'm sure I'll be adding to my Orks when I get round to painting them...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MODELLING: Orks ready for painting

As you can see in the above photograph, I have finished the assembly of my Ork horde. Top right we have the big man himself, Ghaz, with three of his Meganobs in tow. One has a kombi-scorcha and two have kombi-rokkits. To their left we have a large mob of Nobz. Some of them will need additional powerklaws and/or kombi-weapons which I plan to add from an additional Nobz plastic box set next year. A painted Painboy is next, then there are two big shoota boys which are so far unallocated to units.

The bulk of the army is on the cutting mat. Front left are the Deff Dread with two big shootas, and three Killa Kans - two have rokkit launchas and the third has a big shoota. Cheap and cheerful.

Behind them are 10 'Ard boyz with a Nob and rokkit launcha. 20 Shoota boyz are lurking behind them with another Nob and two big shootas. I have enough parts to turn some of the Shoota boyz into 'Ard boyz if I want to at a later date.

My Assault on Black Reach Warboss is standing next to the walkers with two large Slugga boy units to his left. One is 20 strong with a Nob and two rokkit launchas, while the second is 16 strong with a Nob and big shoota. Again, I may play about with the exact size of these units later on.

The Deff Koptas are lined up far right. I've left them armed with rokkit launchas.

Finally, my Stormboyz are at the front right, partly undercoated. Ideally I'd like to increase the size of this unit and add a Nob so I may well buy a new plastic box of Stormboyz at some point.

The obvious next step is to base the army. With all of the army built I can do it all in one go, which should save a lot of time.

Then, finally, I'll be able to break out my paintbrush again...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

PAINTING: Mighty Empires pretty much done

With most of my Orks constructed I switched my focus back to my Mighty Empire tiles. I was tantalisingly close to finishing them but I just didn't feel like painting at all so I kept putting it off. This weekend I knuckled down and a few hours later I was done.


The main thing I did was tidy up the raised edges with Adeptus Battlegrey. I then painted some basic details on the city, mine and fortress pieces. I washed the Dheneb Stone rooftops with a Gryphonne Sepia wash and called them done. I had also planned to tidy up the flags, many of which I had previously washed too heavily, but decided against it, largely because I couldn't be bothered!


I have a hazy idea about adding numbers to each flag using decals and the dark wash will help the white numbers to stand out. Besides, the flags achieve their purpose which is to make it obvious which tiles belong to which faction.

Although the painting is done on my tiles I can't say this project is totally finished just yet. First up I could do with varnishing the tiles so that they will stand up to being slung into a box and then heavily handled. Once that is done I plan to add some snow flock to the tiles. I want to experiment with hairspray - a technique I read about in Imperial Armour: Model Masterclass vol I. I'll need a fair old block of time to practice and then apply the snow to the tiles, so it might be a week or two before I get such a window in my schedule.

In the meantime, I have another Meganob to construct and the extra pieces have arrived for my Killa Kans and Deff Dread.

Friday, October 9, 2009

NEW MODEL FUND: Broken promises

Well, I've broken one of my New Year resolutions.

My plan was to go the whole calendar year without buying a single miniature. I had already partially broken that promise by buying Space Hulk which contains 30+ models, but hey that's a game not models as such so I was okay. Then I mail ordered some Ork stuff.

Once I had assembled my existing Ork models it became clear that I'd need to add to them to make some units legal and others viable. I therefore bought a third Meganob, with kombi shoota-scorcha, and the 'Ard boy armour pack. I plan to convert some of my existing shoota boyz to 'Ard boyz to beef up the squad.

The main reason I used mail order was to acquire the large 60mm bases I needed to complete my Deff Dread and Killa Kans. If I was going to order them why not order some other bits and pieces for my Orks?

So my NMF has reduced by £20.05, I have broken a resolution and I'm now well short of my revised £750 target for the year. I may have to eBay some more stuff in penance!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

ARMY BUILDING: Ork Waaagh

My Ork Waaagh is building in the Skolarii Sector. Stirred up by Ghazghkull Thraka himself, mobs of Goff Orks are beginning a frenzied bout of activity and are testing the Imperium's defences. Will the armies of the Emperor be ready?

I've put enough of my Ork models together to write out a basic army list for my Ork horde.
  • Ghazghkull Thraka
  • Warboss, Power klaw, twin-linked shoota, bosspole, 'eavy armour
  • 2 Meganobz
  • 10 'Ard boyz, rokkit launcha, Nob with bosspole
  • 21 Shoota boyz, 2 big shootas, Nob with bosspole
  • 21 Slugga boyz, 2 rokkit launchas, Nob with power klaw and bosspole
  • 16 Slugga boyz, big shoota, Nob with bosspole
  • 10 Nobz, Waaagh! banner, 2 bosspoles, 'eavy armour
  • 2 Deff Koptas, twin-linked rokkit launcha
  • Deff Kopta, twin-linked rokkit launcha
  • 8 Stormboyz
  • Deff Dread, 2 big shootas
  • 3 Killa Kans, kustom mega-blastas
That little lot comes in at 1739 points, and I still have a couple of big shootas and a painboy left over. The army is missing some needed upgrades, such as power klaws on the Nobz in the boyz mobs and in the Nobz mob itself. I also need to add another model to the Meganobz unit to make it legal.

Still, it's a very good core to the army.

PS - I just did a spellcheck on this blog entry and pretty much the whole page turned yellow!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

OPINION: On wargear and weapons options



As I build my armies, I tend to skimp on equipment. I will give squads the minimum amount of equipment that I think they will need, and never a bit more. Examples? My suicidal take one for the team imperial guard squads don't get squat. My Tactical space marine squads in rhinos get a melta. My Eldar Fire Dragons don't get an exarch. Why? I have always saved those points to buy another squad. I like to field as many units as I can, and this usually means I drop equipment to near baseline status.


Now I know from experience that many people are exactly the opposite. Every squad has the maximum amount of special/heavy weapon/upgrades that it can take. The idea being to make each squad the best they can be, no matter what might pop up. I have seen squads on the table that are paying almost 100% more for upgrades and wargear, and I often wonder if sometimes these extra points don't seriously put some armies at a disadvantage.

Now surely, there are pro's and con's to both of these situations. What do you guys think?

This was my answer:

I'm one for being minimalist, trying to scrimp by on the least amount of equipment necessary for the squad to do what I want it to do. My main opponent, Gary, is the opposite, and he thinks nothing of dropping hundreds of points on extra gear.

A good example is our approach to Chaos Terminators. My idea was three man squads with combi-plasmas/meltas at 105 points per unit.

His idea was a five man squad with icon of Khorne, lightning claws and Terminator champion coming in at 250 points.

Which is better? There's only one way to find out - FIGHT! ;~)

I've always liked the idea of playing a Space Marine horde army, with lots and lots of basic troopers and just one cheap and cheerful HQ choice. In fact I did come up with a list under the previous Marine codex which allowed me to field the entire Blood Angels 3rd Company for just 2000 points. Of course it meant not overly tooling up the squads, but who wouldn't want to bring six Tactical squads, two Assault squads and two Devastator squads to one 2000 point battle?

Friday, October 2, 2009

GENERAL: 23 down but 35 to go!

I'm done for the day and my tally stands at 16 Slugga Boyz, four Stormboyz, a Nob and two big shootas I found but hadn't mentioned this morning.

That means my constructed Ork army looks like this at the moment:
  • Ghazghkull Thraka
  • 2 Meganobz
  • 13 Nobz
  • 5 Big shootas
  • 3 Rokkits
  • 31 Slugga boyz
  • 4 Stormboyz
I have also partially constructed the other four Stormboyz, three Killa Kanz and 16 Shoota boyz. I still have a Warboss, 3 Deffkoptas, 8 'Ard boyz and a Deff Dread to put together from scratch.

Once I've got that little lot done I'll go digging in the rest of my lead pile to see if there are any more usable Ork models for this army. The ones I can't recycle I plan to sell on eBay; models like the second edition mono-pose Goff Orks and Grots.

While I'm doing that I need to write up a 1500 point army list and see which gaps I need to fill by buying extra models. At the moment likely candidates are at least one more meganob to give me a legal unit, a box of plastic Nobz to give me lots more weapon options - my existing Nobz are virtually all slugga and choppa wielding - and a box of plastic Stormboyz to pad out my current models. Ideally I'd also like to add some vehicles like the Trukk and Battlewaggon to help the army in the game but I may find that I can't squeeze them into 1500 points.

I'd also like to include some models for aesthetic reasons like Kaptin Badrukk and some Kommandos but again this may not be possible due to time, points or money.

I'll just have to wait and see, I guess.

GENERAL: Orks mob up!

I have a precious day off work today and I can use a lot of it for gaming stuff. My plans are to put together as many of my Orks as possible; I have 16 Shoota Boyz, 16 Slugga Boyz, 8 'Ard Boyz, 8 Stormboyz, 3 Deffkoptas a Nob and a Warboss left to do.

While I'm scraping off mould lines and waiting for glue to dry I'll be listening to podcasts. They will include Podhammer, the D6 Generation, World's End Radio and maybe listen to Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode reviewing films on Radio 5 from 3.00pm.

If I get bored of that I may take an hour out to read the Siege of Vraks part VII which I have started but stalled on finishing.

Finally, if I get the time I may start preparatory work on my Sekrit Projekt which will start in the New Year.

Okay, here I go...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

GENERAL: Job done...for now

I've had a good clean up of my games room to try and help me get a handle on all my projects.

It might not seem that much tidier on first glance but it really is. Look at my desk for example, I've moved my cutting mat onto my paint station and taken all of the Ork models with it. The idea is that I can tuck the paint station away on my central table and then just move the whole thing over to my desk when I need to. I wouldn't normally have an entire 1500 point army on there, of course!

You can see the Orks right at the back of the photo above. The rest of the island table is cluttered with stuff but virtually all of it is with current projects.

In the front are my Planetstrike goodies. I've tucked the craters and some other loose bits and pieces away in a box and stacked it all together.

Behind them are my Planetary Empires boxes, and you can just see my half finished Mighty Empires tiles laid out behind them. Once my Ork army is built I'll finish the tiles, which will be a quick win, and then I'll hide the boxes away. I'll return to Planetary Empires after my Planetstrike terrain is completed.

I feel a bit better having tackled the worst of the mess and things will only improved further as I finish each task.

Righto, those Orks won't build themselves...

Monday, September 28, 2009

NEWS AND RUMOURS: Gamesday UK 2009

As I'm sure you're aware Gamesday UK 2009 was held yesterday. I followed the event via Twitter, Facebook and Warseer throughout the day so I thought I'd bring you a condensed news and rumours blog entry now.

Tyranids
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the Tyranid codex was confirmed for a January 2010 release. It was reconfirmed on the Games Workshop website today here. We are almost certain to see the Trygon which was seen in the Apocalypse book, and this will take up one of the three new plastic kits. There will also be three new metal kits.

White Dwarf...in space
On the link above you can also view the new White Dwarf magazine subscriber model which is a 40k version of Grombrindal.

Space Wolves
There were no Space Wolf codexes at Gamesday, much to the consternation of many. There were lots of the new models, though.

Daemons
There were pre-production resin versions of the long-awaited plastic Daemon Prince model and Daemonettes riding Seekers. Still no release date revealed for either.

Necrons and Dark Eldar
Forge World confirmed that they want to do a Necron book but because GW have not locked down the Necron background yet they can't. This means that a Necron codex is a long way off - probably after 2010. They also have to wait until the Dark Eldar are out of the way which has led some to speculate that the pointy-eared gits will arrive in the next twelve months.

Imperial Guard
Trainee sculpter Giorgio Bassani's Tallarns were spotted but will probably never be produced. Most of the juicy stuff came from Forge World, though.

Forge World
The new Lord of Change resin model was finally unveiled, replete with huge wings. FW are currently working on Elysian models for IA8 and we saw a six wheeled all terrain vehicle with roll cage. Rumour has it that a modified Valkyrie will be able to carry it into battle. Speaking of the Valkyrie, FW has also sculpted a row of resin Elysian passengers to sit inside.

The Space Marines got some love in the form of a prototype skimmer assault vehicle which can reportedly transport between ten and fifteen marines.

A fully painted version of the Chaos Reaver was present too.

Black Library
Copies of Blood Pact were on sale, but apparently in limited numbers. Richard Williamshas confimred he is working on a Pretorian Imperial Guard novel for black library, another Caphias Cain book is on the way and Gav Thorpe is working on an Angels of Darkness prequel.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

GENERAL: How clean is your games room?

Today will be a day when I get things done.

I've been suffering from a little post-holiday ennui regarding my gaming activities, largely because I have so many projects rumbling along simultaneously. This is also in part due to a six day working week I just finished last night. Hey ho, at least I got back in time to see Newcastle United slot four past a hapless Ipswich team. We are top of the league, say we are top of the league!

Ahem.

I've taken a few pictures of my games room so you can appreciate my plight. I bought all of my Planetstrike terrain, bought Planetary Empires, I got a tonne of stuff out for my selling splurge on eBay, then the remainder of that got Mighty Empires tiles piled up on it while I painted them, then Space Hulk arrived with some Planetary Empires tiles, then I bought two IA books, then I got all my Orks out to build my next 40k army then I came back from holiday and dumped all my stuff on top of all that.

This is the result:

I need a major tidy up.

The main focus of my efforts will be on the 'island' tabletop surface in the middle of the room. This is formed by two long Ikea cabinets where all of my models live. It also forms the surface where I can place my gaming table and play games.

You can see my table in the photo above, in 4 foot by 2 foot sections, on end wrapped in bubble wrap just to the left of my painting desk. They have never been unwrapped since we had the conversion done on our house two years ago. The island table has never been clear in all that time.

Today that will change.

I hope that by having a good clear out I'll feel more like I have my projects under control.

I plan to blog again later in the day with my progress, and also with some news from UK Gamesday which is taking place today. Early reports say that the Tyranid codex is confirmed for January 2010 and is to be written by Robin Cruddace.

Okay, I have stuff to do.