Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Last of the Skorne (For Now...)

As I mentioned in my last post, I've finished up the remainder of my Skorne collection, or at least that which was needed to bring my available forces up to a 50-point list. In conjunction with getting some new terrain tiles finished (more on that in another post, I'm sure), it looks like I'm set to start playing Warmachine/Hordes on a more regular basis very soon!

But first up, the units!

I took a four-model unit of Farrow Bone Grinders, both because they provide some nice synergies for my caster and because the models are absolutely awesome and I will hear no words against that position.

Goal for 2015: work on sharpening my lighting and photography skills a bit.
Next is a six-figure unit of Nihilators. Did I say the Bone Grinders were badass models? Well, they've got nothing on these guys. The two-handed khopesh-style swords, the massive metal plates shoved through their flesh to serve as armor... If these guys perform half as good as they look, I'm thinking we'll be seeing lotsa carnage on the field.

Clearly these guys are big Cannibal Corpse fans...

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Miscellaneous Wrap-Up to the Painting Challenge

[This was my twelfth entry for the Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, reposted here for folks not following that blog.]

For this, my final entry in the Challenge, I present a miscellany of figures that, quite coincidentally, touch on some of my very first entries...

First up, we have what will be my third (and hopefully final) version of Malifaux's Taelor. Way back when I posted my "Hired Guns" crew, I talked about how dissatisfied I was with the "official" versions of this character - neither the plastic nor metal sculpts did much for me. I found a suitable substitute in MicroArt's "Alice Tinkerly" but...I still wasn't completely satisfied. Her laid-back pose didn't match Taelor's fearsome combat abilities.

Then I spotted this excellent figure, part of a special edition boxed set from Bombshell Miniatures. The animation of the pose combined with the ludicrously huge industrial wrench told me at once that I'd found my version of Taelor:

The crazy eyes were a bit of a happy accident...

One of Taelor's signature moves is "Weclome to Malifaux!" Indeed.

This next piece is one that I don't plan on seeing featured in many games, but it was too cool not to pick up when I placed an order for my Ikko-Ikki from Kingsford: a giant taiko drum and a horagai player blowing on his conch shell.

This painted up in an evening and will make a fine centerpiece on display with my Ronin factions.

Lastly, we have the final figures for my 35-point Skorne army for Hordes. More Titans! First, the fearsome Bronzeback Titan. (And since the Challenge ended last Thursday, I've  completed the units required for my 50-point list; they'll be making their debut shortly.)

In keeping with his name, I gave his central ridge of spiky hair a greenish cast, evoking a verdigris patina on bronze.

I believe this is the largest model for this base size in the whole WarmaHordes line. I could be wrong, but all I know is: you wouldn't want to see this guy bearing down on you in the middle of a battle!

"I heard they shaved a gorilla."
And here's another Titan, a Defender, to act as bodyguard for my caster.

Although not as large as the Bronzeback, he is at least as equally impressive, with his ornate armor and shield.

As before, I've left his back banner blank pending a decision on what sort of custom sigil to put on it.

Finally, we have the reason why everybody loves to hate the Skorne: the Agonizer. Not only are these guys a pain for any Skorne opponent mechanically, they're the living embodiment of the true depths of Skorne evil. It's a baby Titan (read: baby elephant!) kept in a state of perpetual pain and agony, which in turn is used to fuel the magic of nearby warcasters.

This is my second Agonizer in the list, and painting them never gets any easier. It's kind of funny to feel so ambivalent about one's own army. Everyone has to play the bad guy from time to time, I suppose...

All those hooks! Poor baby...

Inspired by a co-worker who was out sick last week with conjunctivitis, I gave this Agonizer infected eyes oozing with pus. Ewww!

The trio together.
With this entry, I hit my target "points goal" for the Challenge. My display cabinet, which before the Challenge featured mostly unpainted figures, is now top-to-bottom featuring painted miniatures, and it's a thing of beauty.

The Challenge really was surprisingly effective in motivating me to get painting and to maintain that pace over time (something I've always struggled with in the past). I heartily recommend it for anyone with a "lead mountain" of unpainted figures.

The one caveat is that, in following the Challenge, you see a metric tonne of other really cool projects being churned out by other participants, and you start to get that itch to jump on the bandwagon... 

Thanks to the Challenge, I'm now getting back into 28mm WWII skirmish, I'm dipping my toe once more into the grimdark world of 40K, and I'm even considering starting up a 15mm American Civil War collection. I intend to keep working away at the new projects over the course of the year, but I'd be surprised if I'm done with all of them by the time the next Challenge rolls around. It's been a wild ride and I can't wait to do it again. I'll just have to see about buying a new display cabinet between now and then...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Epic Orks: Complete! (Mostly...)

[This was my eleventh entry for the Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, reposted here for folks not following that blog.]

And with this entry, my Epic40K Orks (and, by extension, by Epic40K project) is more or less finished. I say "more or less" because I've still got a unit of Freebooterz and a squadron of Fighta-Bommas to do, but the order for those figures is taking forever to arrive, and I'm not sure I'll be able to get them done in time for the conclusion of the Challenge. So we'll call this good enough for rock 'n' roll!

The final clan in my army is a "Wildboyz Horde". This is a clan similar to the Snakebites, but even more primitive - no guns whatsoever in the basic clan army! Purely melee, which suits my preferences just fine. At the very least, they'll prove an effective meat shield for the other two clans...

Figures are from MicroWorld's 6mm Fantasy range. A set of their "Orc Command" worked perfectly for the Wildboyz Nobs.

And here's the horde itself:

All set to hack, slash, and get gunned down...
Supplementing the horde are a trio of Squiggoths, massive hairy behemoths outfitted with armored howdahs bristling with smoothbore cannons and...mechanized extendo-grabby claws? Because those giant horns aren't scary enough, I guess...

And, of course, it couldn't be a "primitive" Ork horde without some Boarboyz. Obviously, these fellows have been outfitted with their own assault rifles courtesy of Da Blue Baron and are ready to cause some trouble.

My original Epic40K Ork army had some of these Boarboyz and they almost always proved surprisingly effective. Can't wait to see what sort of trouble they get up to in forthcoming games.

Little piggy snouts!
For the remainder of the Challenge, I'm planning on hitting a few odds and ends sufficient to get me up over my points goal. Getting my Epic forces complete was my primary goal for this Challenge, and it's still sinking in that I got there!

And because I've gotten a few requests, I'll leave off with some shots of the Ork Waagh! as it currently stands - an almost 6,000-point NetEpic army!

That's a Zuzzy "Wounded City" mat, which is scaled for 28mm but does the job well enough for now for Epic scale.

I threw in a classic Space Marine-era cardstock building to provide a sense of scale.

The whole lot (sans the two missing units...).

Monday, March 09, 2015

Epic Orks: "Special Forces" and Gargants

[This was my tenth entry for the Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, reposted here for folks not following that blog.]

My Epic40K project rolls on...

The Epic 40K Ork project cannot be stopped! Waaagh!

First up, the support units for my Blood Axes clan. As befits the clan's much more organized, militarized ethos, these are primarily what you might call the "special forces" of the Orky military: Stormboyz and Kommandos.

Stormboyz are essentially Ork copies of Assault Marines:

Of course, being Orks, the jetpacks have to be ludicrously oversized. But hey, that's part of the charm, right?

(After posting this entry on the Painting Challenge blog, Challenge organizer Curt gave me the idea of having some or all of these guys launching off their stands, complete with little cottony puffs of dust! Totally going to do that one of these days...)

Can't even see the actual figures from behind...
Kommandos are, as the name suggests, troops specializing in infiltration and, well, commando operations. Accordingly, I painted them up in stealthy colors that will hopefully still pop on the tabletop.

Although the thought of somehow "losing" my Kommandos on the tabletop does make me chuckle.
Lastly, a "free" unit for the Blood Axes; there are certain units in the Ork lists that cost no points because they constitute just as much a liability as they do an asset. And these fellas have "liability" written all over them: Madboyz.

I just had to take these guys because their capacity for causing unmitigated mayhem is unmatched by probably any other unit I've ever seen in any system. I'll never forget the game where my Madboyz, literally in the middle of the field, started up a Weirdboy chant despite the fact that I had no Weirdboyz in my army. The resulting buildup of psychic energy, having nowhere to safely disperse, finally exploded in a massive conflagration that left a huge gaping hole in the center of both armies. My opponent and I had to call a draw because we didn't have enough units left to effectively fight each other!

I decided to give these Madboyz "prison fatigues" - I figure they're a bunch of hardened, bloodthirsty desperadoes who were busted out of their cells on an Imperial prison planet by Da Blue Baron, who gave them a bunch of guns and now hopes for the best. (No doubt he's regretting his decision a bit these days...)

There's still one more support unit for the Blood Axes, but it's currently in transit from the seller and I'm not sure if we'll see it before the Challenge ends. But as for now, it's on to what is undoubtedly the centerpiece of my army: the Gargant Mob!

Gargants are, of course, the Ork version of Titans, and are giant, ramshackle monstrosities. They actually remind me quite a bit of Hiyao Miyazaki's vision of Howl's Moving Castle, imagery that didn't exist back when I first painted these guys 25 years ago.

Yes, these are the only "vintage" sculpts in my whole collection. I purchased them during my first venture into Epic, and held onto them even when I sold off everything else. They were painted in Bad Moon colors, though, so into the Dip they went! They are now Death Skulls Gargants, thank you very much.

That's two Slasha Gargants and one Great Gargant. I followed color schemes similar to the Stompas I submitted last week.

The Mekboy in the little crow's nest on the Great Gargant gives some sense of their scale. The Slashas are about 50mm tall (not counting the base) and the Great Gargant is over 60mm!

The Great Gargant is easily one of my favorite Epic models ever. The amount of small details on this thing were a real joy to discover and paint. All those little cannons poking out of hatches...

The casting was a bit spotty in places, and I had to take my Dremel (thanks Seth!) to some stubborn mold lines that I hadn't caught as a young lad too impatient to deal with such matters.

The Great Gargant's "back end" has some of my favorite bits, including a random little wooden shack built out from the beast's back. The Mekboy's tool shed, maybe? It even has it's own little stovepipe chimney...

Next to the Great Gargant, the Slashas lose a bit of their luster, but they're still great models in their own right.

Like the Great Gargant, they've got fantastic detailing on their backs.

I'm really happy with the "used up" aesthetic I've been hitting with these vehicles and mechs: the chipped paint, the rust, the soot, the grime.

Finally, some size comparisons to last week's entries:

Next week I'll be finishing up the Ork horde (and my Epic40K project overall) with my Wildboyz mob and a couple random sundries (assuming they get here in time...), and I'll be sure to include a big group shot of the whole Waagh!
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