Thursday, 28 April 2016

Completed Zombies, and New Basing

The ten zombies are now finished.  They were all sprayed with antishine/dullcoat then a few highlights touched up and blue eyes added.  I may add some blood at a later date (but couldn't find my Tamiya clear red).  I'm not a fan of splashing blood all over minis, either real or paint, but small touches might look good.  The flesh eating zombie's lunch could do with some, and there a a couple of places where I want to cover up mistakes.

The sample zombies; front view

back view

All ten zombies, though some seem a little camera shy

The bases are a new departure for me.  I have made my own flagstone bases for some time now, or painted onto plastic bases.  The clear basing has been discussed on several forums and I like it, it allows me to use the minis in many different games, which is a big thing for me now.  How much use can I get out of what I paint?  If it will work in several games it is more likely to get painted and used than if it only works in one (this might be why most of my Dreadball teams are still unpainted, and doesn't bode well for The Walking Dead, hmm).

Here are some comparisons with one of my earlier Bones skeletons.

Dungeon Saga floor plans.  The artwork is impressive, with much detail, lost if the original bases are used.  I think I first saw clear bases suggested in relation to DS's forerunner, Dwarf King's Hold.   

Dungeons and Dragons.  Here the artwork on one of Heroic Maps' sets really stands out for the zombie.  The skeleton looks O.K, but you certainly notice the base.

Frostgrave.  This is my Frostgrave mat, well it will be when I add some more texture.  Still, the zombie looks to be walking through the muddy snow.

I think the overall result is well worth it, but I'm not sure how many figures I will actually base like this.  Certainly my Kings of War armies will stay on their unit bases, and the 15mm Dragon Rampant stuff will also stay as is.
The basing requires careful removal of the original base; Next time I will try removing the base before painting, as some damage was inevitable.  The Bones are just glued on with superglue; I think if I were doing this with metal I would like to pin as well.
The bases are easily available on eBay, I got mine from Fluxlaserstudio, but there are other sellers 

Please leave comments about the new bases (and anything else for that matter).

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

More Zombies

More progress on yesterday's zombies.  I got them all quickshaded, and I liked them so much I found another five to go with them.

The quickshade certainly adds definition.  This is fine for the run of the mill monsters like zombies, but I like to do a bit more on character figures, heros and special monsters.

Here are three of the original Bones zombies.  They are less detailed, but will pad out the encounter well.

This is an old Mage Knight or similar figure, a flesh eating zombie.  The original paint job was not to my liking - bright green flesh and scarlet blood all over the place.  A quick repaint and a dip will have him looking just the part.

I have also been working on some Bones skeletons while waiting for the quickshade to dry.  The three skeletons form the original Bones, plus some armoured skeletons (wights?).  These will accompany the nine I painted a while back (here), all adding up to some nice Undead action.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Odds And Ends April

Looking back on April I suppose the closest to a theme is 'odds and ends'.  I have completed several projects, and dabbled with a few more.
The Dragon Rampant orcs are done for now.  I will certainly revisit them and add another unit or two, but they are a playable force, which is all that matters for now.
I have completed some terrain projects for my D&D campaign, mostly Heroic Maps 2.5D stuff. The players seem to really appreciate these, and they will come in again for a future adventure in the campaign.
Last night's session saw them facing off against (amongst other nasties) several zombies.  I seem to have misplaced all my D&D pre-paints, so I grabbed the five Bones zombies from Bones 2, unpainted, but they did the job.
After an evening of 'white walker' remarks I decided to get some paint on them as soon as possible.  I also wanted to try out Sorastro's zombie painting guide.  When The Walking Dead kickstarter gets here I will have a lot of undead to paint.  He uses a similar method to mine, but I'm always open to trying stuff, you never know what you might learn.
Anyway, here's the base coats done;

Three of the Bones 2 zombies.  VGC Dead Flesh and Glacier Blue for skin tones.

VGC Earth, Heavy Grey, Sombre Grey and Stonewall Grey for the clothing.

More VGC Dead Flesh skin tones.

The (rather modern) dress is Magic Blue.  I'm sure she will look great in a game of The Walking Dead.

The base coats are a bit rough, but these are only zombies after all, and the next stage will cover up many mistakes.
Next stage is the quickshade, hopefully later today.

A quick note on the figures, I like the poses, and when looking at them and deciding what colours to use I thought they could do nicely as modern zombies, in fact in some ways they look better if painted in suits etc.  However, by choosing a general colour scheme I think they will do for both fantasy and modern.  I am also testing the Bonesium claim that primer is not necessary.  In this case it wasn't, but the paint is fairly thick, more so than I would like.  Watered down paint just doesn't stick to the plastic, but once a base coat is on it should be OK.  All the paints are Vallejo as I realised my Citadel paints are running out and I want to break my GW dependency.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Lots of Painting

I've managed to do a lot of painting this past week.

Unfortunately its all been interior walls rather than miniature figures.  Still, it needs doing, and its one more job ticked off the list.

I have also been experimenting with a new way of basing minis for skirmish and roleplaying games.  More on that later.

I also need to sort out that pile of painted ratmen.  There's a Dragon Rampant force hiding amongst them I'm sure, it's just a case of sorting out what to use.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Trying Dragon Rampant

As I mentioned yesterday I have finally tried Dragon Rampant.  I got the book a while ago and have read it through a few times.  I thought I would like it, but you can never really tell until you try.

I fought two battles against Merlin, my gaming pal from North Yorkshire.  The first battle ended with a narrow victory for his barbarians, all down to glory points and some last minute fluffed courage tests on my part.

As battle commences the orcs advance towards the barbarians

Goblin scouts and orc bellicose foot sneak through the woods to try to outflank the humans
The barbarians chariots prepare to charge the orc line, but can they avoid the orcs on their flank?
Bodvoc's Last Stand; it comes down to the plucky barbarian lord; he held out against everything the orcs could throw at him

The second game was a more convincing victory for Merlin, this time using his beastmen.  We took less photos this time, but here are some of the troops involved.

Beastmen foot

The beastman wizard with bodyguard.  Behind them the beastman leader looks on

Beastman elite foot

So what did I think of the game?  I loved it.  It might not be for everyone, one major point is the activation roll.  It is quite possible to fail the first roll of your turn and end up doing nothing.  This happened to both of us, especially to Merlin in the first game, in fact his barbarian foot were notable for not moving throughout the first half of the battle.  Of course it all evens out over the course of a game, and adds a tactical dimension when you decide what to try first.  I am particularly impressed with the flexibility of the army building;  just about anything can be covered.  The game plays quickly as well.  We got two 24 point battles in and neither lasted more than two hours.

the game has lots of 'old school ' touches and some fun characterisation.  For instance each player rolls a trait for the leader before the battle commences.  These are not always good!  Bodvoc, Merlin's barbarian lord, rolled weak, meaning he rolled less dice in melee.  In the second game my orc lord rolled goader, meaning one unit close to him automatically passed a movement activation test.  There are alos boasts which give you extra glory points if you achieve them by the end of the game.

I think my only real complaint is the lack of  'race identification'.  Orc light foot works exactly the same as human or elf light foot (I had the same issue long ago with Hordes of the Things).  There are lots of ways to personalise units with special rules and options however, so it's not too bad. Ultimately, it's down to what you want your army to look like that is the thing.  As an example Merlin's beastmen are a very elite force.  Very few units (four) and lots of upgrades.  It would be quite possible to have a beastman force with lots of weaker units, it just depends on how you imagine beastmen to fight.

A quick note on scale.  The rules are written using inches on a 4x6ft table.  Sicne we were using 15mm figures we simply halved everything and used two of my Citadel Realm of Battle tiles (2x4ft) and it worked fine.

Thanks to Merlin for some of the pics, and for getting me into the game (though the 15mm was, I believe, my idea).

Orcs Done!

At last, I have (nearly) finished* my Dragon Rampant orcs.  They are done enough for me to have a test game of the rules anyway, more on that later.  First, here's the gang.

The whole orc force.  24 points worth in Dragon Rampant terms.
Back (L to R); Light Foot, Offensive Heavy Foot (leader), Scouts, Heavy Riders.
Front (L to R); Scouts, Bellicose Foot, Light Foot.

Some of the Bellicose Foot, Magister Militum orcs of various kinds.

The Heavy Riders, more Magister Militum.

Some of the Light Foot, various manufacturers.

Goblin scouts, Magister Militum again

I enjoyed putting this lot together.  The project started as a way to build a force for a new rule set will little outlay, as I already had quite a bit of 15mm from earlier projects.  Inevitably I ended up 'having' to add to it, but I think the newer miniatures do look good.

I have deliberately gone for a 'rag tag' look, with different manufacturers and different skin tones.  I think I prefer the pale grey and olive or tan skins over the traditional GW green orcs.

When I got round to finishing them off I realised I could have saved a step by using dip rather than shading with sepia, then gloss varnish, then matt anti-shine.  Next time I will do this, and there will be a next time.  I have a better Leader unit ready to paint, and some ballistae that will make lovely Heavy Missiles that just need crew and basing.  Then in my unpainted pile I have enough orcs for another couple of units at least.

I have also been looking through my old ratmen (as seen playing Warband) and with a bit of rebasing I think I could have another force up and ready very soon.

*In as much as a wargames army is ever finished.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Quick Update

Just so you all know I'm still here.

It's been a busy few weeks, with a lovely relaxing holiday at Easter as well.  I have been plodding on with my various projects, and I have (more or less) managed to keep to the themed month idea.

So, February was Terrain month, well March kind of went that way as well.  I built a lot of card terrain for the current D&D adventure, which is based around an ocean voyage, so I built a ship (or three).
I also printed off some card minis for the adventure, and even played around with a bit of altering them to make a pirate crew!

I'll get pics up as and when, I'm sure you'd all like to see them.

The most recent project is to finish off (hurrah) the 15mm orcs I painted up for Dragon Rampant. They kind of got put to one side when the game I had planned over Christmas got postponed.  Well it looks like I will get to play next week, so all on to get them finished (I guess I work to deadlines?). All that needs doing is the bases texturing, then they are all set to play.  The only problem is I probably won't get to play Dragon Rampant again until the summer, so the orcs risk being put away again; therefore I must finish them this time.  I also have a 15mm medieval human force ready to paint which would give me an opposing force, always a good idea to introduce new players.  Maybe I should paint them next?

One thing I will be doing over the next few weeks is planning and preparing to run 'A Time To Harvest'.

This is the first of Chaosium's Organised Play Call of Cthulhu adventures and is timed to showcase the release of 7th edition Call of Cthulhu.  I will be running this at my FLGS* so I want to make sure it goes well, and I am looking to see what I can add in the way of extra props etc.

*Friendly local Games Store; in my case IQ Gaming Centre in Huddersfield.