Tuesday, 14 February 2017

What's in the Box?

A little while back I picked up a storage unit in order to better organise my ongoing projects. The idea being part painted projects could be stored until finished, at which point they would go on a display shelf or in an army case for gaming etc. It was only going to be for projects I was actively working on... so my 3k guard penal legion that is little more than a list and a handful of models, that is so far on the back burner that it hasn't made the stack yet, it is tucked away in cardboard boxes under my bed. My Nagash that was going to be the centrepiece of an End Times Fantasy army... yeah, that too doesn't make the stack. Partly for the back burner reason, also because the bugger is too big to fit into the drawers. So with such restrictions, that it has to be a project I am actively working on, surely I must have plenty of space within those drawers, yes?

After all, there are quite a few of them.

Alas, no. The unit is currently full. There is one drawer I should probably move to the back burner in a box under the bed department, but I haven't got around to it yet.

So just how much stuff do I have crammed in there? Well let's take a closer look...

First up, my Orktober Revolution counts as Imperial Guard grot army. This force is two infantry platoons, 5 squads per platoon, a couple commissars, commissar lord and a counts as Yarrick. All backed up by a trio of Manticores and a trio of Deathstrike launchers.

In this project I blitzed my way through the infantry, and their support weapons. I built the manticores (converted to look like Katyusha rocket trucks) and built the first of three Tupov style ICBM vehicles. But then the project stalled... the ICBM vehicles required deodorant cans, and it took quite a while for me to use the deodorant up to continue the project. Also, I made the first one from 3mm thick plasticard... In all projects since I have used 2mm thick plasticard. The difference may not seem like much but let me tell you that 1mm is a hell of a difference to the ease of working.

I have since cut the components to build a second Tupov, then quit exhausted. At some point I shall cut the components to make the third, quite exhausted once again, then build the remaining two. Painting should be easy enough for all six vehicles, as I plan a very basic colour scheme in line with the theme of the army. My target is to complete all of this in time for THIS Orktober, and just fudge the details on when my Orktober revolution actually started...

In drawer number three we have the first phase of my CATCH challenge, all painted, awaiting brothers in arms. Once the full 2k is done I shall put them elsewhere, but for now they can stay together here, where they will be frequently taken out as reference for other models in the same project.

Next up (or down technically) we have my freebootaz project, with kaptin badruk, some pirate grots, and oh yes 20 flashgitz. I also picked up a small plane from kromlech, I assume it's a counts as deffkopta but as it will merely be scenery for me this is largely academic. Of course that gave me the tricky task of creating landing gear for the sucker, but I managed to make something I am reasonably happy with.

Next I have a drawer that really should be returned to underbed storage...these were my "pop-pods" counts as drop pods, the flesh tearers contingent to my skitarii force, until GW faq'd the idea out of existence. I can't complain as from a fluff perspective I hated the tagalong in other peoples transports and the shenanigans that ensued, it was just a little irritating that the first time I tried to use one of those loopholes, for a fluff effect no less (my skitarii were the garrison force of an ork occupied refinery world and they were going to be doing guerrilla warfare against my bad moons, taking advantage of the chaos sowed by the grots during their orktober revolution) and it swiftly closes on me.

There was formerly two drawers of skitarii with these, but I sold them on to Ken to bolster his CATCH forces when I came to the reluctant conclusion that in the year since the FAQ screwed my previous ideas, I had lost my enthusiasm for the project and hadn't come up with another way to actually complete it in a way I liked... so waste not...

In this drawer we have a few bits and bobs that I really should finish for my deffskulls army, namely a stolen goliath and a squad of boyz. My Grand Loot plan of only using vehicles after I've played someone and could feasibly have nicked one is currently waiting on me to actually play someone with GSC, which has not yet happened. Given how close I am to calling that army finished (barring GW releasing new vehicle kits for me to "salvage") I should probably ignore my rule and just paint the bloody thing, if only to get a project onto that barely occupied pedestal of "practically finished"

In the penultimate drawer I have the warboss and meganobz I plan to paint for this months CATCH, along with a few extra deffkoptas for my freebootaz force... I have something in mind for those guys...

In the final drawer I have a bunch of boyz and some stormboyz, for future CATCH phases.

Naturally there are then some things that just won't fit in the bloody drawers, like my truks and battlewagon for my steelrock tribe...

And my battlewagons and truck for my freebootaz...

Plus that prototype TUPOV launcher...

And of course, Nagash, the penal legion guard, the contents of Dreadfleet, Execution Force, Betrayal at Calth, Space Hulk, Overkill, a forge world flyer, about a dozen IG tanks just to match the others, the packed away into storage Empire army that I'll probably never finish but haven't the heart to get rid of, my long planned GW army chess sets, my long term plan to acquire replacement figures for all my old Talisman characters, the Battlefields worth of scenery for my Ork world, the several battlefields worth of scenery for my club, the starters sets for flames of war and DZC (again for the club) and of course a desire to do a shiny army of deathwath, a tzeentch force NOT lead by bigbird (the new model is an improvement but I'm still not a fan of how the creature looks at all, whereas I love the lesser daemons of that god) and now rumours about flashgitz on a collision course with Catachan, my first 40k army...

Suffice to say, I should probably concentrate on the grot revolution and the deffskulls last bits, in order to clear some drawer space for whatever next snatches my attention away from what I arguably should be working on...

Saturday, 11 February 2017

CATCH 11: Scores from Phase 1, and a general update

Ok, so the late deadline for phase 1 of CATCH is tonight, and the scores I have are assuming that Jason hasn't managed to finish his other squad, if he texts me to let me know otherwise I shall of course modify the score.

So, current standings are...

Ginge 25
Ken 10
Rob 10
Jason 5
Jamie 3

Now the reason I have such a commanding lead is that I have done extra stuff, ten points worth, that can only be done once in the entire challenge, so my counterparts can make those points back any time they choose. Ken didn't manage to get the painting done, but his game and narrative served him well. Rob got the painting done and gamed, but no narrative. Jason merely gamed, and Jamie painted but late... his decision to put a knight in his first 500 points somewhat "painting" him into a corner when it came to getting a phase one game in.

For phase two I shall be doing two units of meganobz in truks, plus Warboss Fred. Jamie is going for an inquisitor, datasmith and two kastellan robots (doubling his model count from last time, maybe next phase he'll double it again and do a whole squad!) Ken is going for two units of kataphrons, i'm not sure on loadout and numbers but I'm sure it works.

I haven't yet heard back on Rob and Jasons plans, but I will update that once I know them.

Whilst waiting for phase 2 to start, I have managed to get some sticking and glueing done...

My battlewagon for phase 3 is complete, and as the rest of that phase is a mass of boyz I had already assembled, that means that lot is ready to go.
I also put together half the squad of stormboyz - I wanted to test this concept to see if it could work and I like how it looks, so have picked up another box of gargoyles and will do the other ten soon. That just leaves a Shock Attack Gun and ten warbuggies to make and my entire Steelrock Tribe is at least assembled.

I have also been working on a side project, and have stuck together all required models for that little naval endeavour, although the big centrepiece still has some work to do yet. And of course, I still have to paint it all.

Finally, I picked up a couple more pieces to add to my bloodbowl backroom staff, namely a better apothecary. Still not the one I really wanted but I'll be buggered if I can track that model down, I think it was a (very) limited run and I can't find it for love nor money. I also got my first game in, against chaos chosen, and it was something of a midfield slugfest that I narrowly won with a late sprint, scoring a touchdown in the final turn to win 1-0. I didn't suffer any casualties and managed to cause 1, so not a bad day, although nowhere near as good a day as some of the other teams had in their opening fixtures (several TDs, a 3-2 win for one player, many casualties...) I have my second game lined up for next week, hopefully against a squishier target (humans) I can rack up a few more injuries...

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

I'm Tired of Ork Armies...

So I have a side project, to give me a change of pace.

An Ork Navy!

Basically, I have a couple of small tournaments coming up in the summer. A doubles 800 point event and a doubles (random pairing) 750 point event. So I plan to take broadly the same theme force to both.

A friend got me a box of flashgitz a while back and I had been planning to add them to my deffskulls army, but then a couple of other ideas struck me. You see that friend and I had wanted to do a pirates vs ninjas doubles project years ago, but it had fallen through after the tournament host modified the tournament pack from the year before, throwing our plans into disarray. With GC now offering Cult Ambush and Retreat to the Shadows, it now seemed the perfect time to revisit the idea. No one represents the ninja way than GC surely? As for the pirates, well I did have some flashgitz knocking around...

I was thinking of going all out for the pirate theme, but I did end up exploring that once before with Dark Eldar, so I decided this would be a modern pirate navy, with frigates and such. So the model pictured is actually a counts as Battlewagon, it's almost finished I do intend to have a deffkopta on the aft flight deck to complete the frigate look of it.

You can probably just about make out that it is on tracks, so we'll call it amphibious. I still have to come up with something to represent a truk, which will obviously have to look somewhat less lumbering than this... I was thinking of taking inspiration from Top Gear and making an orky Toybota (Clarkson is clearly a human Big Mek if ever I saw one) but that doesn't quite fit my naval theme so will probably create something that looks like a minesweeper/patrol vessel. On wheels.

Boyz boyz boyz!

My basic plan for the two lists is the 800 (which needs a troop and HQ) will have grots, a truk for them, kaptin badruk, and two units of flashgitz riding ded tran battlewagons with boomguns. I shall take as many flashgitz as points allow.

As for the 750, that I can take a formation, so I was planning to take badruks one which is him and two units of flashgitz. The only drawback is they have to be full strength units, meaning I can only afford one battlewagon... the other squad will have to steal the grots truk.

Which means 20 flashgitz, badruk, 10 grots and a runtherd, two battlewagons and a truk and both those armies navies are sorted! I even picked up some pirate grots, so apart from converting a truk and building flashgitz, I have all I need...


Somehow I don't think the project will end there...

Perhaps inspired a little by following this project I have decided I will go beyond the force ever so slightly, by making a super heavy for the force. I doubt I'll ever play it it'll probably just make for a cool display board piece hopefully as a backdrop to my doubles force for bonus points in the best army judging, but I picked up this...

So I plan to make some sort of deffkopta carrier... I don't expect it to be anywhere near as good as the one in the link, but it is going to be bigger, and that appeals to the ork in me...

To give a sense of scale, here it is with a rhino...

Anyway, I have been shopping around for various bitz and pieces for this project, and I am fairly happy that everything I need is either here or in the post, so I shall be doing this alongside my CATCH challenge. I've built the grots, badruk, 5 flashgitz and the 2 battlewagons (barring the deffkoptas, my box of which I have just found, finally) next up is the truk. I plan to do bitz and bobz on the karrier as time progresses as it is not strictly necessary for my force, but I would like to have it their, despite it being totally useless in game terms :P

Saturday, 4 February 2017

CATCH 10: The Sky Warriors Return

Whilst observing Fred establishing his dominance (from a much safer distance it has to be said) the revelries were interrupted by a sonic boom, the unmistakeable sound of craft entering orbit. We are supposed to be the only imperial presence in the area, so at first we were a little worried, albeit confused over why anyone would show interest in such a backwater, but then our concerns were answered as the unmistakable hue of the blood angels soared across the sky. A great cheer erupted from the orks to see such mighty red machines moving so quickly, and as the craft went in various directions looking for clear landing sites, the orks charged off in pursuit.

We followed as best we could, and had camped in some trees as Barney and mob Betty spotted a couple of patrolling rhinos

As they advanced on the marines, issuing threats, insults and challenges, we hid in some woods to watch events unfold. The marines started to disembark and react to the threat, when they were joined by a third rhino... a suspiciously slow moving rhino... whose engine didn't so much growl as go "BRUM BRUM"
Well met, broth... wait a minute...
The confusion didn't last long, as a couple of stray bullets killed the leading edge of the "tank" and the ruse was seen through, and the marines assaulted the unexpected enemy. Whilst the other squad tried to get some flame weapons into play to thin the ork numbers down, Barney and his mob were faced with a choice... charge some marines who were stood watching them, or charge into a mass brawl that seemed to have broken out between two different squads of marines. No contest really, the mass brawl beckoned.

Unable to use their guns for fear of killing their allies in the confusion (and there seemed to be a lot more allies than they set out with) the other squad of marines pitch in to the fight.

Even the weakest members of the group threw themselves into the thick of the fighting for lack of anything better to do.

Thankfully, the marines got the better of the fight, and we made our presence known to them. This had the added benefit of allowing the severely beaten Orks to make good their withdrawal before the marines could issue the coup de grace. Whilst we don't want to see humanitys finest warriors brought low, we also don't wish to see the subjects of our documentary exterminated over a misunderstanding.

Speaking to the sergeant, it became clear that we were the reason the Blood Angels were there. They had no record of ever having been to this planet before, and could not explain the events we had heard of. They would not have given it any credit at all, were it not for the fact that we had pictures of the ID tag that fell from the vehicle that disappeared. The vehicle in question was there in front of me, and had rolled off an STC production line a mere couple of weeks before. I inspected the vehicle and apart from the tribes relic being clearly well aged, they were a match. What strange occurrences can explain this? For now, we just don't know...

Monday, 30 January 2017

Nothing Better To Do?

So something came to my attention today...


So I decided to write to GW. Below is the email I sent. If anyone else wishes to copy and send it, you are more than welcome to, I shall update the blog once I get a response.

Dear GW,

I have just seen something doing the rounds on fb, and have no idea if this is true, but it seems to be of a level of stupidity that you could not make it up, therefore I am inclined to believe it - apparently PETA have asked you to stop creating models that wear fur.

Now their argument goes that these models are supposed to represent great warriors, and there is no skill in wearing fur. And true, in today's world, there isn't much skill. But last I checked, Leman Russ was not wearing the pelt of a rabbit, but something a tad more challenging. I might also point out that applying 21st century western morality to a dystopian future society that regularly burns witches, let's say there are probably bigger concerns than animal welfare.

Anyway, I wanted to write for fear that if the only voices heard on this issue are the misguided bleatings of PETA members, it could, a long shot, be heard and acted on, however unlikely. Please do not follow their request. It makes little to no difference to me if a model wears fur or not, I just don't want a precedent set. Otherwise the floodgates will open, and the final book in the Horus heresy series will be somewhat anti-climatic "the emperor and Horus engage in a dual because the CND and Greenpeace objected to our original storylines treatment of planet earth. Oh, and sanguinius survives the heresy... Thanks RSPB!"

In summary, please treat the letter from peta with the respect and seriousness it deserves... Actually no that's a little cruel. Just bin the letter, let your staff use Andrex.

Ian Connolly

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Catch 9: Preparing Phase Two

So over the past week I've not done much in the way of painting, as Phase One of Catch is complete, however I have made preparations for Phase Two by making the models I plan to paint. Whilst I was in a converting mood though, I also converted the Battlewagon I plan to paint in phase three... as the most impressive of the lot, I shall start with him.

Meet Deffrolla. That's the name of the beastie that pulls the wagon. He also counts as a deffrolla. I don't normally bother to put those on battlewagons any more, but I felt referring to this bad boy as a mere ram just didn't quite cut it...

Here are the accelerator and the brake... in essence, poke it to make it go faster, and if you want deffrolla to stop, pull hard on the chain that is connected to his more tea vicar?

I picked up an ork driver online, I plan to put him at the back with absolutely no connection between him and deffrolla whatsoever... he will steer on faith, the way most ork tek works...

I then have two truks... I plan to paint these in different lizard skin colours, but one will have a reddish hue, and therefore be faster.

I hadn't planned the points to give them wreckin balls, but they could certainly have them if I wanted to, even in a wysiwyg environment.

I also made my meganobz with killsaws. I didn't want power klaws as I avoided anything going into my army that had the word "power" in the title. The killsaws, despite basically being the same thing, aren't called power killsaws... therefore I can get away with this. I tried to make the weapons look like massive old fashioned lumberjack saws to a certain degree.

I won't be showing off Fred just yet, but suffice to say I have modelled him with a comically huge axe that would look ridiculous even in a normal ork army (orks normally allowing a greater degree of comic flexibility, but even then there are limits) however given what he'll be surrounded by, I think he'll be fine. But I want to paint him before he makes his entrance.

Finally, tiring of doing an ork army, I have started to do an ork navy... I have put together Kaptin Badruk and some pirate theme grots I found, as I plan to go to a doubles event with a friend this summer. He is going to be doing a ninja style force using the cult ambush rules from genestealer cult (the rule mechanic fits ninjas tremendously) whilst I shall be using badruk and flashgitz to make an orky pirate force. I have been assembling pieces and conversion material for this, but haven't made a proper start yet, but soon ebay and various suppliers shall deliver and I can make a stat on this side project. Wanting to get more use out of this small force, I have also entered Double Trouble run by Alex of From the Fang. My friend isn't yet sure if he can make that event too, they are only a week apart and real life does intrude (personally I'm taking two weeks off work and using it to add interest to my holiday!) but as the format of that event means there'd no guarantee we'd face each other and it'd be one game at most anyway, well I guess it doesn't matter too much. I skipped Double Trouble last year as I didn't want to make a small force and then barely see my buddy... now however I am merely getting a second use out of a force I'm building anyway, so I've talked myself into attending. Alex did such a good job with blogwars over the years I want to make sure his new venture takes off, even if it isn't exactly how I'd want to run it, it's still an interesting concept.

So, plenty to keep me busy over the weeks ahead...

Friday, 20 January 2017

CATCH 8: Finished Phase 1, plans for Phase two, and an introduction...

So, first off I have finished all of the models required for this months CATCH. I finished the 30 strong squad of boyz last night, and squad Betty is ready to rock!

They have a very quick and simple colour scheme, and while it is a little flat it will be lost in the completed army anyway, as I have bigger better conversions to come... the basic troopers will be lost in the haze anyway, so why spend too much effort and agony on them?

I mean, they aren't bad, they're just a basic tabletop standard. These boyz will join the Big Mek and grots...

And of course the commandos...

So, what does phase 2 have in store? I have decided for phase 2 I shall bring in the other named character of this phase, my Warboss Fred. As I had already divided my force into 500 point blocks, that means that next phase I shall be painting the following...

Warboss Fred, cybork body, Bosspole, Headwhoppas Killchoppa - 90

3 Meganoz, all armed with killsaws, 1 bosspole - 155
ded tran truk, boarding plank, rokkit - 50

3 Meganoz, all armed with killsaws, 1 bosspole - 155
ded tran truk, boarding plank, rokkit - 50

And that's phase 2. A total of 2 vehicles and 7 infantry. Should be somewhat easier than phase 1. I have converted warboss Fred and have beside me all the boxes and bits I need to convert the rest, which should keep me busy for the rest of January.

And finally, a quick broadcast from the iic...

With a growing tribe around him and frequent co-operation with the sky warriors tribe, the ork presence around Barney has been growing, but we were still no closer to finding Fred, despite all our attempts to locate him. Could he have fallen victim to some foul creature, or freak accident? We dearly hoped not. The entire production team had always adored Fred, although there are of course risks to raising wild animals in captivity. For instance, the rudimentary communication skills of orks, which includes the legendary "Waagh" Fred has never learned, for he grew up with humans. When challenging his brother for dominance he would utter his own form of gibberish. We had hoped that dropping him into an ork society he would learn from them.

However, we dropped them into young societies so they wouldn't get eaten alive, and would have a chance to rise to dominance. This dominant position did not factor into our thinking when we considered who would learn a language from who.

As such, we heard a trembling through the trees. It sounded like great beasts were approaching. Then our camera equipment all started getting intolerable interference, we couldn't film anything... thus we have no footage, as two lumbering beasts entered the clearing, carrying some of the biggest orks I have seen, wearing rudimentary suits of armour. Amongst them stood Fred, carrying what has to be the biggest axe I have ever seen in my life. I don't know where he got it from, but from the ringing in my ears it is clearly not of this world, and is probably what is playing merry hell with our technical equipment. Around him, the tribes stood in rapt wonder, as Fred announced his presence, and confirmed his dominance. He held his axe aloft, and to the stars, issued his warcry. The jungle vibrated to the sound, as several tribes of orks took voice, and joined in with the chant. We slipped away to a safe distance, as the hills echoed to the sound of "YABBA DABBA DOOOOO!"