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.'


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


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...