Friday, 21 February 2014

Hobby Progress Challenge 2014: March Commitment

So we had a nice downpour here in Brisbane last night, never thought I'd be happy about rain, which meant that the humidity finally broke. So I ran into the shed and sprayed everything I could get my hands on, including these fellows who will be my March commitment for the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge.

Five Space Marine Scouts equipped for getting up close and personal. I won these on eBay, along with another which I want to paint up in Ultramarine colours. I prefer them to the plastic kit which suffers from incredibly ridiculous faces. Following the advice of Atomic42 on the forums I've added these to my Zone Mortalis commitment as they should do well in rubble and broken buildings. 

This Week in the Hobby 21/02/2014

Another slow week. Having spent most of it down on the Gold Coast engaged in work, I lacked the opportunity to get much done. I did however, manage to finish off my High Exemplar Kreoss for Warmachine, all he needs now is a little basing to finish him off. Quite happy with the paint job I have achieved, but I find these "restic" miniatures a little strange to paint. I've tried using a roughly Menoth palette, but still allowed them a wide enough berth for the figures to cameo in 40k games as Mechanicum or Ecclesiarchy forces if I want them to.

I am going to get started on some Warjacks for the Protectorate of Menoth next, try and get through those so that I can start learning the game with some human aid, as I am finding it hard to absorb the rules ex libro quite difficult. It isn't so much that the rules are unclear or even that complicated, but frankly, I am reading rules that I haven't had a chance to apply in a situation, it lacks tangibility.

Brother Crixus, ready for action.

The Dark Pact isn't forgotten! I also got another 30k Ultramarine done, Brother Crixus who will join Sergeant Demetrios of Orpheus to take the fight to Horus's lapdogs. Next up on the Ultramarine queue is Demetrios Poliorketes, who will be revealed once ready for the camera. And apologies for the poor quality of the above photos, I took them at the painting desk with my iPad camera. Once the last of the three "Demetrioi" is complete I'll do some better shots of them. Here are some more pictures of Crixus.

For those who don't keep track of such things or simply aren't aware of them, do yourselves a favour and have a look at the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge forum. I am currently engaged in the HPC as a means of getting my Dark Angels done, but the real pleasure is the community spirit and seeing other people work and reach their goals. Furthermore, there is some exceptional talent on the forums, and it is inspiring. For my next trick, I will be painting up three more Tactical Marines who will join Squad Raphael. The box of three arrived at Irresistible Force this week, and I picked them up this morning. Hopefully by Sunday night they will be complete.

Believe it or not but Games Workshop make a little box of three Space Marine. The sprue inside looks like this and provides one with a little boost to increase numbers, which I need since I foolishly did three tester marines from the Dark Vengeance set. What a clown. 

Not much by way of customisability but they'll do the trick to get my squad up to ten men. The scouts I won on eBay also arrived this week, there are six in close combat configuration. I am planning on doing a squad of five for the HPC which I may add to as it progresses. Furthermore, I also bought some things off a chap on the forum, which he sent out today, I expect they will get here mid next week. I got a Command Squad, Tactical Squad and 15 Ultramarine shoulder pads for $65 Australian, so around £30, including postage. What a deal! So the Dark Angels are starting to shape up nicely. 

It is just too hot to paint today. The humidity is simply killing us all, so the pool is the only safe place left to us. Hoopefully I can basecoat tonight when it is cooler. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

This Week in the Hobby 15/02/2014

Another week has rolled by and I haven't got as much done as I'd have liked. I've spent the week working down on the Gold Coast and staying there, so my models were far from me. In any event, I got back Thursday night and finished my Veteran Sergeant. All he needed doing was his Plasma Coil painting, as did all my Plasma weapons. So Friday morning, which also happened to be Valentine's day, I headed up to Mt Gravatt, to check out the Games Workshop store there, pick up some flowers for H, and then stopped in at Irresistible Force to pick up the paints I needed and some static grass. 

Games Workshop Mt. Gravatt is massive. The floorspace is huge and spacious and they have a whole room dedicated to tables, which is totally unlike all the Games Workshop stores I have visited in the UK, excepting Warhammer World of course. The chap at the till, Alastair is a friendly fellow and I had a nice chat with him about an order I had asked to be delivered to the store. I have ordered some Dark Angels shoulder pads and a Dark Angel upgrade sprue for the Hobby Progress Challenge. I spent a while there before heading back down to Tana Merah and getting the paints I needed with the nifty discount Gavin offers at his store, sorry GW, not this time!

The good news is that with the colours I needed and some static grass in hand I was able to finish my HPC commitment for February, Squad Raphael. Here are the pictures...

Not happy with the pictures I took today, I had to make do with taking them outside in the glorious Queensland sunshine. Focus isn't right, and I didn't have a good surface to take them on. Oh well. 
I've been keeping the HPC thread bouncing on the IC forums, and getting some really useful help from the guys there. Especially as regards how to buy things on the cheap here in Australia. eBay has been a lucky hit as I managed to pick up six metal scouts for $14 which I was chuffed with, they should arrive today or Monday. I must admit, gaming on a budget is something I haven't done in a long while. 

My goals for the week ahead are to get three more tactical marines painted to make my February commitment "street legal", and the bring the squad up to ten. I've ordered the three marine box from Gavin at Irresistible Force, and he'll drop me a text message when they arrive. Now that is customer service! Additionally, I am going to try and get some more of my Warmachine stuff done, I am going to finish my Menoth Caster and my 'Jacks so that I can play small games and start learning. However, with this lovely sunshine, it will be a challenge staying indoor. Well, that is all gentle readers, until next week.


+ The Emperor Protects +

Friday, 7 February 2014

This Week in the Hobby 07/02/14

Another week has passed, and some hobby has occurred. I am still working on my Hobby Progress Challenge for 2014 and as of this evening I have completed four Tactical Marines. Now I only have three more Dark Vengeance bods to go, a chap with a plasma gun, one with a plasma cannon and a veteran sergeant. I hope to have these finished by the end of the weekend. Here are some pictures:

I am quite happy with how they have turned out, just some static grass and base edges to go now. For the HPC I need to get the squad up to ten, but I have already painted three marines who won't count towards the challenge, so I will have to find three more marines. Once I have some more disposable income I will get these along with the static grass I need. If I can these extra three done by the end of February, great, but certainly my March commitment will be Deathwing terminators. 

In other news, I am still working my way through the Warmachine rulebook, and painting my Menoth caster, who I hope to finish by the end of the weekend as well. I also began assembling my Khador warjacks. One observation is that the restic that they are cast out of is pretty naff to work with, not a massive fan. Mantic used the same type of plastic for some of their Kickstarter stuff, and it just isn't good enough.

On the reading front I am now well into Mechanicum and am enjoying exploring the Martian priesthood more thoroughly. I think that where Battle for the Abyss really expanded the naval element of the 30k/40k universe, and introduced the Saturnine fleet, which was really cool, Mechanicum does the same for its namesake, and already I see my Warmachine warjacks as Mechanicum knights.

Well, gentle readers, that is all for now. Carry on.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Starting out in Warmachine

In my last post I mentioned that I was thinking about a new skirmish game, I had thought to try either Malifaux or Warmachine. Well, on Saturday morning I head over to Irresistible Force to pick up a few more paints, I needed some more metals. While I was there I asked Gavin, the owner, about Warmachine. I am by no means new to wargaming, but the whole Privateer Press sensation passed me by, it must have been kicking off during my lengthy hiatus. It seems that it is the game of choice for competitive play, the rules being super tight. Furthermore, the community likes it as a tournament ruleset, and apparently there are tournament specific variations on the generic ruleset. Another interesting thing is that it is fully compatible with the "fantasy" counterpart Hordes, which only expands playability.

Back to my tale, I spent about an hour chatting to Gavin, having a look around and eyeballing the lovely figures on offer before stumbling across the starter set for Warmachine and Hordes. I stood there for around five minutes, thinking, erring, before committing, I will play this game. So I picked up the awesome looking boxed set with great steam powered machines. Additionally, the store has a very active Warmachine scene, so I can get a game which is a bonus. Of course I need to learn to play first.

I got home with my shiny new box and eagerly opened it up. Booklets, rulebook and bags of figures (which appear to be restic) all awaited my eager hands. My box has two factions, Khador and the Protectorate of Menoth, and I decided to paint up the casters from both sides first, to set the tone for the forces. I decided to paint both sides with a red colour in the mix so that I could field them together in 40k if I wanted to as, Guard, Mechanicum or Ecclesiarchy forces.

I really like the aesthetics of the figures, I don't know how I feel about the Iron Kingdoms fluff yet as I don't really know all that much about it, and it doesn't really figure as prominently as the background of the "Galaxy in Flames" of 40k, but I can catch up with that later. The steampunk style of the machines has a Mechanicum feel to it, and certainly the Khador infantry would look awesome fighting for the Emperor of Mankind. 

This chap could quite easily be an Ecclesiarchy Cardinal, or perhaps a Martian Techpriest.
I have been reading the little rulebook as and when I could, but I always find the best way to learn a new game is simply to play it. Once I have painted up some more stuff I will try and arrange a game with someone at Irresistible Force. I have an aversion to playing with bare figures. One of the major problems I have had so far is that Warmachine doesn't lead with its fluff like Warhammer and 40k do, so I don't really know which faction I want to play from a fluff perspective. I also struggled to find a good beginners guide, but then stumbled across the unfortunately title "Vomkrieg" blog who does a really good series of blog posts on starting Warmachine, you can see it here. I think I need to do some more reading when I am not totally shattered from working a twelve hour day, and things might be a little more "in focus".

So there we have it, a new game with a low model count committed to. Hopefully I will find the game enjoyable, if not my Imperial 40k Collection has just gained some more bodies anyway.