Monday, December 22, 2014

Taking a Break

It's been a little while since I did a hobby update, and it's going to be a little while longer still.

I'm taking some personal time but I'll be back sometime in the new year.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Adepticon Fever!

Registration day is upon us! If you haven't registered already, it's not too late (for some things). The event runs March 19th - March 22nd and is taking place at a brand new venue. I was lucky enough to score a VIG Badge, which I am very excited about (even if I haven't seen concrete evidence of what it includes this year).

I also managed to get in to every event and seminar I wanted. And boy, do I have a PACKED schedule. 

Thursday: Painting Freehand Patterns & Painted Weathering Techniques
Friday: Warhammer 40K Friendly the 13th
Saturday: US Saga Grand Melee (Day 2) & Maximizing your Tournament Appearance Score
Sunday: Introduction to Competitive Painting & Glazing: A Versatile Technique

Who needs to sleep? Or eat? Or... shop? Oh no, did I schedule away all my shopping and demo time? Noooo! Nah, I'm sure I'll find plenty of time to spend all my money.

Is it March yet? I am just STOKED. I was able to book the on-site hotel room, too, so now everything but my flight has been taken care of. I was seriously tempted to buy my plane tickets tonight but I decided to wait a little longer to see if they go down in price a bit.

Unfortunately, this will probably be my last Adepticon for some time, because I won't be able to take time off during tax season for a while after this year. Oh well. I like paying the bills.

Are you going? What events are you playing in?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Still Kicking Around

Hey, where'd October go? Work started picking up in September and now suddenly it's November. I feel like I missed my favorite month of the year. But it was not without a little hobby progress.

Getting there slowly.

I've been working on a Stormwolf and a Logan Grimnar on Stormrider for a commission. Putting Logan together proved to be a little more interesting than I expected. You can take him on foot or mounted, and since they stopped selling him on foot, I expected he would fit into his chariot while mounted on a 40mm base.

Loooool nope.

So after some drilling and clever magnetizing later, I had a magnet in Logan's foot, one on the underside of the chariot floor, and one in the 40mm base. Not ideal, perhaps, but it gets the job done. Personally, I'm thrilled that I have one of the old Logans they used to sell so I don't have to play this game when I buy my own Logan on pimp chariot.

I also participated in a Victorian Horror themed dungeon crawl on Halloween. We used that fabulous Dwarven Forge dungeon terrain for it. Somehow, we ended up with two traitors, and so after some initial niceties in the first few rooms, it quickly descended into a homicidal massacre. I might or might not have been the catalyst in that misadventure.

Despite having accidentally ended the game before we got through the whole dungeon, it was a very fun time. I'm looking forward to doing more games like this in the future.

There are 6 weeks left in my semester, and then I am d. o. n. e. DONE! Which means a lot more hobbying will be happening thereafter. Maybe even some Termies for my Space Wolves. I have a few dozen Wolves to finish before I start on any other projects.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September Kickstarter Project Recommendations

A lot has been going on here lately, so I haven't had much hobby time. My school semester is in full swing and I took my first painting commission last week. So I have been hobbying, just not for myself. But, I do want to take a bit of time to spread the word about two Kickstarter projects I'm backing.

The first you might be familiar with, as I've spoken about them at length, is another Stonehaven project. This time they're doing Half-Orcs along with some other assorted interesting critters.

They have a green up of the paladin already (leftmost in the photo here), with a nice spinning gif so you can see all around him. A new miniature is also being added to the campaign each day.

I can's speak highly enough about the models and the great customer experience. I've backed all of their projects thus far, and I really love the character that their models have. I've painted several, including a troll, gnome, and some dwarves. They are also top-notch in keeping you up to date and informed of the project's progress.

The second project is one you may not of heard of. It's called Carnevale and it's a miniatures skirmish game made by Vesper-on Games, from Spain. The setting is an alternate-timeline of late 18th century Venice. I've been in love with the minis for the game since I figure stumbled upon them about two years ago.

They're adding several new factions and incorporating new and updated rules in a new rulebook. There are also some very nice terrain pieces that are available through the Kickstarter as well, and new minis for existing factions.

They have already unlocked some very nice stretch goals, including a hardback rulebook, a mini rulebook, and base inserts. I'm going to pick up two starter sets so hubs and I can play it. I already have the Black Specter model, I bought him just to paint for fun. It'll be nice to have some friends for him.

I'm really looking forward to receiving both projects, even though I certainly have enough minis to keep me busy at the moment.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Well, That Was a Mistake

 After lamenting that I didn't find any interesting, new figures at the NOVA Open (for no other reason than I wanted something to paint), I thought about just how many unpainted models I already have. At first I thought, well, there's the Malifaux box I picked up at NOVA, then my unfinished Deep Wars and Hell Dorado models. That's only 2 dozen models between them, really nothing. Then I remembered the Lizardmen army I've started.

Then, the Dwarf army I never truly finished.

And then all the Stonehaven Dwarves, Gnomes, Elves, and other assorted critters from their Kickstarters.

And then... this happened.

 For reasons I still can't explain, I thought it would be a good idea to pull out all my unpainted minis to get an idea of just what all I have going on. Stupid, stupid idea. I feel awful that it's gotten this bad. Where did they all come from?

 It turns out, I have (without counting every individual figure) about 500 figures hanging around waiting to be painted. Many are assembled and primed, and many of those are even base coated. But most are still in their boxes or blisters. For shame.

 I realized after I took the photo, that I left out my remaining Dwarves and Stormclaw. But highlights in there include a Mumak,  1/2 a Lizardmen army, a drop pod, Calas Typhon, and a pile of Reaper Bones giants.

 It also doesn't count any of the minis I am waiting for, which includes the current Stonehaven Miniatures Kickstarter for Half-Orcs, the Raging Heroes Toughest Girls of the Galaxy, and my Reaper Bones. That puts my number at about 150 higher.

This collection has been accumulated over only 3 years. Shameful. When I started with my Daemon army, that was all I had for over a year, almost 2. I started strong, at least.

Guess I should get off the internet and get painting!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

NOVA Open 2014 Recap

 The NOVA Open has closed on another year. My absolute favorite part was that I enjoyed some really great games. I played all 8 games of the GT and probably three of them were top ten of the best games I've ever played.

Harald Deathwolf there killed a lot of Screamers.

  I went 1-2 the first day, 0-3 the second, and 2-0 on the third. I played 4 games against Space Marines, which I think ended up being a bit of an advantage. Or, at least, I think I learned enough from the first 3 Space Marine games that I was able to win the last one.

 I learned two important things from these games. First- my Imperial Knight is amazing and I don't know why I waited so long to run him. The second is that Centurions are stone cold killers. They were so rough to deal with, and they did some mighty blows to my Knight.

  The missions were very different this year. At the beginning of each game, you got to choose between two primary missions and three secondary missions. For the most part, the difference between the missions was the first was scoring at the end of the game, and the second was scoring cumulatively throughout the game.

 With my drop pods and the giant base of my Imperial Knight, the cumulatively scoring missions made the most sense. I dropped the pods on/near the objectives and just played it out from there. It obviously could have gone better than 3-5 (I was really hoping to do better than last year) but I had a really nice time.

 I did quite a bit less this time around, just the GT. There weren't any seminars that really appealed to me during my free time, so I just played. Although, I did enter my converted Rune Priest into the painting competition. The competition, especially in the single figures, was fierce. There were some truly stunning pieces that were entered.

 Unfortunately, other than the big step up in the painting competition from last year, the rest of the con side was still rather lacking. There were less vendors and a lot less variety of items available. I was looking for some interesting individual pieces to paint, and there really was mostly Games Workshop minis (and a ton of Flames of War stuff).

 I actually ended up coming home with spending money leftover, which I didn't even think would ever happen. I did leave with a Malifaux starter and a handful of cool metal Space Wolves. But I didn't find anything particularly inspirational to paint, which I was really looking forward to.

 I had a great time, but NOVA still really is more focused on the tournament than anything else. And after going to Adepticon, I know that's not what I'm looking for in an event right now. I really want to try new games and get exposed to things I haven't seen before.

 So, I probably won't be playing in the GT next year. Instead, I'm going to GenCon. After all the hype about it this year, and seeing all the events that went on, I am very excited about it. They're only a few weeks apart, so I can't do both. I actually reserved a hotel already and everything. But NOVA is so close that I'll probably show up and do some seminars anyway.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bound for NOVA Open 2014!

 It's that time of the year again, folks! NOVA Open is this weekend!

 I'll be running my Space Wolves in the 40k GT, with a list cobbled together from my old edition models for the new edition rules. It's better than it sounds- all my models got cheaper so I threw a dreadnought into the list just because I could.

 This year it seems there are no seminars that both appeal to me and fit around my schedule, so it's just going to be lots of 40k and hanging out with friends. There worse ways to spend a weekend, for sure.

 I think I might, just might, have a painting competition entry. My super enthusiastic "oh, I'll have 3 entries" from three months ago died when it took me two months to finish my Imperial Knight. Man, that dude was complex. But, I have a little something up my sleeve that I can hopefully finish today.

 If you're in the DC area, and not going to NOVA- what's wrong with you? Convention passes are available for each day, and I highly recommend you come and check things out! There's a vendor hall, as per past years, but new (and very exciting) this year is the demo hall! I hope I get a chance to spend some time there.

Whenever possible (barring terrible internet access), I'll be tweeting and sharing photos from the event which you can follow @LilThunderLiz.

 If you're going, too, I hope to see you there!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Imperial Knight, Complete!

I spent a bit more time than I anticipated working on him, but he's complete! And, more importantly, he's ready two weeks ahead of the NOVA Open.

 He's a Freeblade and he's aligned himself with the Space Wolves, so I have named him The Boot of Russ. So, he's suitably decked out in wolfy bits as well.

 He has several conversions and modifications. I sculpted fur pelts onto his shoulder pads, added trophy racks onto his carapace, added chains to the back of the chainsword, and added the fancy hanging scroll thingy on his back. Additionally, I did a super fancy base for him, where he's stepping over a fallen Daemon Prince.

 That was really enjoyable to make. The best part was it didn't cost me anything- he's made entirely of left over bits from the Daemon Prince I built when that kit first came out (i.e. when wings were too expensive to take). I sculpted on the two legs and one arm to complete the look.

 I had an excessive amount of fun with decals on this guy. He's covered in them, some of which I made myself. Using them and making them turned out to be hilariously easier than I ever imagined. I don't know why I waited so long to try them out.

 I'm really pleased with how he turned out. Since he's a centerpiece model, I wanted him to be special. I think I hit that nail on the head.

 Amazingly, I am now fully painted for the NOVA Open, and it's not the night before. I'm apparently going to get a full night's sleep the day before the tournament. This feels so weird. I didn't even have to paint anything new for the new book in order to make a decent 7th edition list.

I will be going through and touching up the rest of the army in the meantime, just fixing guys that got broken* or chipped over the course of the last year. Nothing major, nothing stressful, and nothing that can't be left at the last minute if I run out of time.

*It's sad to say, but the minute that I took my Knight out for a game yesterday, he fell over and broke in several places. I managed to fix him well enough, but I'm now dubious of his chances of surviving NOVA in one piece.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Converted Rune Priest, Alfric Icefang

In less time than I thought, Alfric is all painted and ready for action! This model painted up fairly quickly, although I did spend the majority of my Saturday working on him.

 This project was a lot of fun. As I mentioned in my WIP Alfric post, he is comprised of Inquisitor Coteaz, Njal Stormcaller, some Grey Hunter bits, and green stuff. Games Workshop isn't always the best at keeping their minis to their own scale, so even though Coteaz is a wimpy human, when standing next to a Space Marine, you actually can't tell the difference.

 I especially enjoyed working on his cloak. It took me longer to do than anything else on him. I'm still rubbish at painting brown fur, though. I really don't know what it is about brown fur, my grey fur turns out fine. I have a good technique down for the wolf tail talismans, but somehow it doesn't translate over to pelts very well. Someday I'll figure it out.

 He has his cool cyber raven, but sadly, when the new Space Wolf codex came out, it dashed all my Chooser of the Slain ideas (as that is no more) so I didn't bother with finishing his Chooser marker. So now he has a raven friend just for fun.

Here he is before:
And after:

 He'll see his first real action this coming weekend at a local tournament. Then it's basically time for the NOVA Open. I'm really glad I can test out my new 7th edition list in a tournament setting before the big event. I won't be able to get too many games in with it, but a few is better than none. Hopefully the first list I made works out, because I really only have time to test one sufficiently.

 My last, but very much not least, project remaining for NOVA is my Imperial Knight. I just have to finish one arm and he's all set. I even started getting his fancy base together over the weekend. I have this week off from school (yay, summer vacation) so if all goes well he'll be fully finished in time for Sunday's event.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

7th Ed Space Wolf Codex Review

 Rumor no more, it's finally here!! By Russ and the Allfather, I thought this day would never come. I was lucky enough to pick up my copy early in the day yesterday, so I've had a good bit of time with it. I have to say, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, it's a lovely book. I'm completely smitten with the cover art.

 While it shares the basic layout as the other recently released codexes, it's just dripping with Space Wolf flavor. There are so many great little details, from the bloody footprints under the page numbers in the fluff section, to the fanged skulls on the data sheets, to the really cool stylized corners of the pages. A lot of care and detail went into making it specially wolfy, and I really appreciate it.

Unfortunately, the fluff leaves a bit desired. It's largely all the same fluff we've seen previously in a new arrangement, as was the Tyranid book, so I am not surprised. I do like the Companies of the Fang part, but I think I'm just a mark for the Grand Annulus. They did a fun thing with some of the photos, too, using an orange glow from one side to make it look like the sun is rising over the battle. It's neat.

 Now onto the meat of the book, army building. I'm going to tackle this mostly in order, as presented in the new book. But I'd like to point out first that Logan Grimnar is no longer an HQ choice, he is only available as a Lord of War, either on foot or in his wolf-drawn chariot of wolfishness. Sort of replacing him is Harald Deathwolf, a very impressive-looking fellow on a Thunderwolf. So the number of available HQ choices didn't change.

 As previously rumored, Sagas are now Warlord traits. Some, like Ragnar Blackmane, come with a specific Warlord trait on the profile (Sage of the Warrior Born, in his case) which he automatically receives as your Warlord, whereas a generic Wolf Lord would roll for one on the chart. I am... less than excited by that particular change.

 But I was pleased to see that the basic Acute Senses, And They Shall Know No Fear, and Counter Attack did not change, nearly everything in the book has them still. I've rarely had to use Acute Senses, but I'd rather have it than not. Much to my shock and dismay, however, Mark of the Wulfen is no more. This is devastating to me. I loved it, and it's what made my Lone Wolf such an unrelenting badass. One of the Relics of the Fang (an option available to certain models) is The Wulfen Stone, which fluff-wise is similar, but rules-wise is entirely different.

 Also gone are the Wolf Tail Talisman and the Wolftooth Necklace. I will deeply miss the Wolftooth Necklace on my Wolf Lord. Also gone is Chooser of the Slain (SONOFA!!!!). Guess I don't need to paint that Chooser of the Slain marker I made for my converted Rune Priest. I feel like they took a lot of the customizations away. There is still the Belt of Russ and Wolf Amulet (that for some stupid reason both give a +4 invuln but have different names) but you cannot give them to anyone for some points. Either they have it included on their profile, or they can't have it at all.

The only custom items you can give models are their weapons, or Special Issue Wargear and Relics of the Fang, if they have the option for those. A few models (like Rune Priests) have one special optional thing listed on their profile (Runic Armor), but that's it. It's disappointing to have less options.

That makes me sound really down on the book, and I'm really not. Why's that? Rune Priests, baby! They dropped FORTY points, and are base equipped *exactly* the same. Upgrade to Psyker Mastery 2 is only 25 points as well. So, between the two priests I run in my list, I just found 80 points to spend on new goodies. Also, Jaws of the World Wolf is back! Just as I had hoped. Oh, and I am now entirely vindicated in my hatred of the 7th ed FAQ for runic weapons now, because they gave Rune Priests the option to take Psychic Hood for 10 points.

I do think they might have made a mistake (or dumb choice), which is that Runic Armor costs 25 points for a Rune Priest or Wolf Guard, but only 20 for a Wolf Priest and a Wolf Lord. That's stupid, pick one point cost for gear and stick with it.

Wolf Lords got 5 points more expensive, but have all the same stuff, except for the addition of a Belt of Russ, which confers a 4+ invuln (and which used to cost 25 points). Totally worth 5 additional points, except now the model I have doesn't need a storm shield anymore, making him even cheaper (although I do have to break it off and do something else...). Putting him on a Thunderwolf costs an additional 5 points as well, but the frost axe I have on him got 5 points cheaper so that's a wash.

 Ragnar dropped 45 points, for about the same thing. Canis, too, costs the same, for about the same (although no Wolftooth Necklace or Tailsman). For 5 more points, though, you can take Harald who has an extra wound and higher leadership, and Outflank. Depending on the points, I may rune my old Wolf Lord as Harald, since he comes with a storm shield (so no breaking anybody necessary) and a Frost axe and that's just how my Wolf Lord is equipped.

 Njal Stormcaller? 65 points cheaper! And he's a Level 3 Psyker, with +1 to his BS, and an extra wound. Oh, and just for fun, he comes with a Psychic Hood, has Adamantium Will (+1 to Deny the Witch) AND every turn he can reroll a failed Deny the Witch. It's almost criminal how awesome he is now (and he was great before, just expensive). Yes, I DO rue cutting him up two weeks ago and turning him into a Rune Priest.

Although, I think he's pretty cool.
 The Wolf Priests got 10 points more expensive, but they still have all the same goodies they had previously. Not a grievous change. Ulrick the Slayer, though, dropped by 35 points and gained a 3rd wound. He also gained the Crozius arcanum (+2 St, AP2, concussive) and now also has Fear. Not bad.

 Wolf Guard Leaders are similar, but 20 points cheaper. Bjorn, well, oh my. He's 50 points cheaper, gives you a +1 to your Seize the Initiative roll, has a 5+ invuln, and his ridiculous Trueclaw is St 10, AP 2 with Master-Crafted and Shred. Plus he's still Venerable and you can stick him in a Drop Pod.

 Everything is sunshine and rainbows up to this point, all my HQ got cheaper. I would have been thrilled just with that alone, but we still have the whole rest of the book to consider. And guess what? It. Gets. Better. There is much love for the Sons of Russ.

 Blood Claws are 3 pts cheaper each at 12, and are pretty much exactly the same. Lukas the Trickster dropped by 60 points for basically the same thing, too. At this point, just from the HQ points drop, I could afford a whole unit of these guys, and Lukas, too. My unit options have increased dramatically.

 And now we come to the Grey Hunters. They, for exactly what you had before, cost 1 point more per model. It could be so much worse for the best Troops in the game. Their base cost is now 14 points a model, but they lost their close combat weapon. For 2 points per model, you can give it back to them. Wolf Standards are now 25 points, but now confer +1 attack to any unit within 6" of the bearer. Sold!

 On to the Elites! I'm not sure I'll take one, but for 55 points an Iron Priest is an attractive guy. Repairing a Hull Point on a model on a 5+ is very nice. Plus he can take up to 4 Cyberwolves and he can be put with up to 5 Servitors. It's certainly interesting.

Scouts got 1 point cheaper, but lost their close combat weapon. But I think that's fine, since they're best used for shooting anyway. For free, they can trade their boltgun for a Space Marine Shotgun or a close combat weapon. For 1 point a model, they can replace that boltgun with a Sniper Rifle.

 Now comes to the saddest part of the book: the Lone Wolf. I have been a huge Lone Wolf defender for the last two years. But, without Mark of the Wulfen, I'm not sure he's worth taking anymore. He also lost Beastslayer. He still has Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain, but without those Rending Wulfen attacks, I think he's dramatically less effective, even if plopped in Terminator armor.

 Can't have everything, I suppose. But he was my Silent Killer, people didn't really worry about him with all my Thunderwolves running around and Drop Pods flying in, so he snuck up and killed all sorts of goodies. He will be missed.

 Your basic Dreadnought dropped 10 points, Venerable is now an upgrade (as opposed to a separate unit) which is 45 points cheaper. Very nice. Either way, it comes with a Multi-Melta and a Power Fist with built-in storm bolter. The Ven can trade that in for the Fenrisian Great Axe and the Blizzard Shield for 25 points.

 Then, there's Murderfang. I really don't know what I could possibly say about him other than, I love him. He's 135 points, has Furious charge, It Will Not Die, Rage, Rampage and a pair of special lightening claws called Murderclaws. Murderclaws. They are St 7, AP 2 with Master-crafted, Shred, and Specialist Weapon. And for 35 points you can still throw any one of these Dread babies into a Drop Pod.

 Wolf Guard got a little interesting, in that they split them into two Datasheets- one for power armor and one for Termie armor. Makes it a lot cleaner, I think. They're both exactly the same, power armor still cost 18 points a piece, Termies are 33. Arjac also received his own Datasheet, and he's lovely. He now costs 115 points (instead of 188) and his Foehammer is both a melee and a ranged weapon. I am sad I sold my Arjac model now.

In Fast Attack, I still don't see the appeal of bikers, but Swiftclaws dropped 5 pts. You can trade the Bolt Pistol for a Chainsword for free, though. Rhinos and Drop Pods are the same, Razorbacks went up 15 points but can trade its heavy bolters for heavy flamers for free.

The Stormwolf is Fast Attack, 12 armor all around, and has the helfrost cannon. Then there's the Skyclaws. I'm not a fan, but they're 3 points cheaper to take at 15, and everything else is the same. Landspeeders are the same, although some weapon upgrades got cheaper.

Now it gets fun. Thunderwolf Cav dropped ten points a model but they're leadership 9 now instead of 8. Excuse me while I laugh maniacally for a moment. Muhahaha!! Fenrisian Wolves are the same, but the Cyberwolf upgrade is 2 points more expensive and he went down to T4.

And, last but not least, Heavy. The Stormfang is 12 armor all around, with the Helfrost destructor. At 220 it's a little pricey, but it has some strong fire power.

 Longfangs, my dear Longfangs, are just as solid as before except that Split Fire kind of sucks now. But I now get a Longfang Ancient in the unit, and he has an extra attack which is nice. Some of their Heavy weapon options got more expensive, some got cheaper.

 Vindicators are an extra 5 points, similar gear, Whirlwinds are 20 points cheaper, Predators 15 points more expensive, and all the Land Raiders are basically the same.

The Relics of the Fang are interesting options. Several of the HQ choices can choose to take one. There are 6 of them, and each one can only be taken once per army. They range from 10 to 40 points and are:
  • The Armour of Russ (2+/4+invuln, and -5 to enemy's initiative in challenges)
  • The Bite of Fenris,  (bolter with duel profile of ice and flame rounds)
  • Black Death (Frost axe +2str, AP2 and Whirlwind of Death)
  • Helm of Durfast (re-rolls failed to Hits, all shooting attacks have Ignores Cover)
  • Fangsword of the Ice Wolf (sword with +1St AP3, and Helfrost, Rending)
  • The Wulfen Stone (the bearer has Rage, plus he and his unit gain Furious Charge) 

 All very interesting. That just leaves one more thing: the psychic powers. Wolves can take from Biomancy, Daemonology, Divination, Telekinesis, and their book powers, Tempestas. The Tempestas powers are Living Lightening (Primaris, witchfire), Storm Caller (blessing), Tempests Wrath (malediction), Thunderclap (nova), Murderous Hurricane (witchfire), Fury of the Wolf Spirits (witchfire), and Jaws of the World Wolf (focused witchfire).

 So, that's the nitty gritty of it all. I am incredibly pleased with the new book. Lots and lots of things got cheaper and nothing too critical was lost (though I mourn for Mark of the Wulfen). The Tempestas powers are all useful, and the Primaris is solid. I couldn't ask for a better book. I'm a little disappointed that Logan is only a Lord of War now, but I have ten HQ options so I'll live.

 I'm looking forward to reworking my list to adapt to these changes, although I don't think I will be making a great many changes just yet. The NOVA Open is in 3 weeks, so I don't have a lot of time to build and paint too many new things. Just based on the cheaper Rune Priests and Thunderwolf Cavalry, I easily have another 150 points to work with. I'll try to make the most of it.

Friday, August 1, 2014

LOTR Moria & Angmar Army

Another one of my overdue posts includes my Lord of the Rings army that I took to Adepticon. They've been done for months now, but I only just got around to photographing most of them. I posted some bits of the army here and there as I finished them, but now I've got the whole bunch together.

One big happy goblin family.
 I had a really nice time painting these guys. The goblins themselves took quite a bit of time, but all the other guys were quick and enjoyable. With all the fun characters as part of the army, it was more interesting than painting 50 or so marines.

Lots and lots of goblins. The goblin king was a last-minute addition but he was worth it. I really love the pose of the model, on the fallen column.

The Barrow Wights were among the first models I finished after the goblins. I painted the pair up in a day. I was really happy with how they turned out, considering I didn't spend as much time on them as I usually would. I might be getting a little speedier at painting.

Baby Balrog of course.
 My Dweller in the Dark got a whole post of his own, but he was way too much fun not to include along with everyone else.

I finished the foot Tainted ages and ages ago, but only got around to the mounted recently. I was skeptical of my ability to paint horses, but after all those Saga horses, one more was like nothing at all. I did go back and touch of the Tainted on foot, because it had been over a year since I painted him.

 Of all of them, the Dead Marsh Spectres are definitely my favorite. They were so, so fun to work on and I think they turned out the best of everyone. I got the inspiration for their paint job from a Golden Daemon entry photo in one of the Warhammer Visions magazines. The one in the middle is the one I like best.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

GW Financials Freak Out

You've probably heard that Games Workshop released their annual financial report today. When I got up, Twitter looked like this:


The panic, the vitriol, the calls to play other games- it continues to amaze me.

But the truth is, almost none of us should care. Do you regularly read the financials for other companies whose products your enjoy? How'd Coke do last quarter? How about GM? Proctor & Gamble? Unless you're an investor or a financial nerd (like myself) you probably have no clue about the financial health of the companies whose products you use every day.

Why is Games Workshop any different? Can you still go buy your Space Wolves, your Chaos Daemons? Of course you can. The systems are being strongly supported. They're putting out new products at an almost blistering pace. Nearly every single week a new product (or two) is being released.

Love them or hate them, Games Workshop is the cornerstone of our hobby. They're not going to disappear tomorrow. You might disagree with some of their decisions (I certainly do), but they're still making a profit, investing, and putting out great miniatures. They're not danger of going under.

So stop freaking out and go enjoy your Space Marines.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Blister Bashed Rune Priest: Alfric Icefang

Since 7th edition came out, I've been running two Rune Priests instead of just one. I have the regular GW Rune Priest, but didn't want to use two of the same model. I really like the Njal Stormcaller model, but he's in termie armor (and, you know, is also Njal) so he didn't really work. Njal's a bit too expensive to take as himself.

So I decided to do a "blister bash"- it's not exactly a kit bash since they're just small, single figures. Njal was the obvious choice for the pieces I wanted from him, but I wasn't sure what other model made sense to go with him. I scrolled through a lot of pictures and suddenly the option was clear: Inquisitor Coteaz.

He was perfect. Really awesome armor, that nice big pelt, and best of all- a perch for Njal's Cyber Raven! I was so stoked for the project at this point (more on what happened after in a bit). After all was said and done, I ended up with this:

I have dubbed him Alfric Icefang, Chooser of the Slain. I took Njal's staff, Cyber Raven, wolf head, and pelt paws to add to Coteaz. From Coteaz, I subtracted his hour glass, his 47 Inquisitorial "I"s, his belt buckle, purity seal, the eagle, and his hammer. I also added a belt piece and wolf tail from the Wolf Pack box for a little bit more wolfy flair.

I did a very rough test fit (thank you, blue tack) with everything to make sure it looked the way I wanted. I debated between two different belts, and asked Twitter for some help. Twitter responded overwhelmingly in favor of the belt I ultimately chose. It really does look nicer with this belt, thank you for your opinions.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Historicon 2014, The Big 3-0

I had quite the busy weekend. Historicon 30 took place and I was fortunate enough to be able to go. Although, it didn't work out quite as originally planned. We were going to spend the whole weekend there, starting Friday morning.

Super cool terrain piece. Not exactly historic, though.
It's my busy season at work, so I couldn't actually take off on Friday morning and go down with Casey. Unfortunately, this meant that I missed the Saga tournament, and I'm disappointed by that. I went down Friday night instead, so I didn't miss everything.

There was some kind of madness with registration on Saturday, I spent about an hour in line just to get in for Saturday (and it lasted for a few hours after I got in, too). Because I wasn't sure if I could take off work, I didn't preregister for the weekend. Huge mistake. I ended up missing out on something I wanted to do while waiting in line, and two other events I wanted to do were full by the time I was able to get through the line.

I did get to do a demo for All Quiet on the Martian Front, and wow that was a lot of fun. I was incredibly skeptical at first because it's 15mm. But the game couldn't work any other way. It takes place during the "second Martian war" shortly after the one in HG Wells' War of the Worlds.

What's not to love?
Giant tripod martians? Little tiny, but spunky humans? Yup, this is for me. The starter set is priced at $100, but it comes with a good deal of stuff. It includes a small rulebook, dice, templates, 3 Martian Tripods and an equally pointed set of humans and tanks. I very nearly bought it, but due to money constraints decided to wait a bit (I did just drop $125 on Stormclaw).

There was a really huge game that went on later in the day. There were about 10 people on either side, humans and Martians. It looked like a ton of fun, although I didn't participate.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Welcome, All-Father

A simply delightful surprise arrived in my mailbox this week- my Odin miniature from Oathsworn Miniatures. I don't even know where to begin with it- just look at it.

Taking decent photos of unpainted minis is harder than I thought.
The All-Father, in all his one-eyed glory, across the back of his trusty steed Sleipnir.

Sleipnir's body came in halves, and I've already put them together. I also attached Odin's spear arm. The rest is just held on there with gravity and blue stuff for effect. I want to paint the mount and rider separately, and they still have some mold lines to be filed off.

The details are incredibly crisp, all the way from his hair, to the shield, to the ties on his boots. Odin himself fits together wonderfully. I'm especially fond of how the hand and shield go together- it makes him look as if he's really holding it, instead of it just being stuck to his fist. Little things like that go a long way to making something good into something great.

The halves of Sleipnir did need a little help fitting together smoothly, I had to file him down a good bit before they were mostly flush. Then I put a little rope of green stuff all along the edge of one half before I put them together to cover up the seam. Worked like a charm.

I might, before I put Odin on him, add a saddle of some sort. He looks fine on there without one, but I imagine that the All Father would prefer to ride his magical, flying horse in style. I have a little more clean up to do, mold lines and such, before I get started with that, though.

This miniature was part of a Kickstarter that successfully funded in May. Oathsworn is launching another Kickstarter on Monday (July 21st) for a very fun set of dwarves called Clan McFiggin. Hopefully not long after that they will launch the one featuring Freyja. Frejya is Odin's bad-ass goddess counterpart who receives half of the dead (the other half go with Odin to Valhalla). The mini is already sculpted, like Odin she is mounted, riding her boar Hildisvíni.

I'm really looking forward to finding some time to paint him soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Saga Bretons

I've been meaning to post some photos of these guys for ages and ages. They were finished back in March, I took them to Adepticon in April and then... I forgot to photograph them until now. I'm pleased with how my Bretons turned out, although they did take a lot of work (well, mostly the bridles).

They are a very cavalry-heavy army, so lots and lots of horses! I have 25 mounted guys, so it was really like painting 50 figures, plus all my levies.

My Breton Warriors.
All these figures are the ones made by Gripping Beast (not a great website). I got their 4 point starter set and a couple blisters to expand them out to 6 points. Sadly, these models are all metal. I spent an inordinate amount of time taking the horse's bridles and splitting them down the center to separate the bridles because it would look better.

Before and after on the bridles.
 It does look better, it really does, but wow it added about 30 hours to the assembly and prep stage of getting these guys done. I drilled several holes in the middle of the part I wanted to remove, used my clippers to cut the majority of it out, and then used metal files to shape them properly.

Close up on the Warroirs.
 The banner came from Little Big Men Studios, as part of the Breton shield transfer sheet. If you ever need transfers for something like this, I highly recommend them. They were wicked easy to use and they all look stunning. They have ones for all kinds of different systems and factions. I also used the round ones on my Warriors, although those were Saxon shields and didn't quite fit (too small). I got them because they were in the store, at the moment I wanted them, so no regrets.

Hearthguard and their Warlord.
I had a really fun time playing in the Saga tournament at Adepticon, although you wouldn't know it since it took me until now to write about it. But all my games were really enjoyable. The scenarios we did were very fun, too. My favorite one had both Warlords locked in combat in the center of the table, and the rest of the battle fought on around them. 

My Warlord on his dapple grey horse.
His shield was the only one I painted myself, partly out of necessity. The transfer sheet only had enough kite shields for my 8 Hearthguard. I wanted to make it fancier, but I couldn't come up with a design I liked.

These are my Battle Levies. They're no joke.
These Levies are not some wormy peasants, but battle-hardened men who back down to no one. Normally, Levies aren't great. But these guys have single-handedly killed several units of Hearthguard, Warriors, and very nearly killed a Warlord. They needed a little help from the Hearthguard to finish off that Warlord, but they did survive the encounter (well, a few of them).

At the moment, I don't have plans to start another Saga army. I have too many things going on. But I am looking forward to their newest supplement release, The Crescent & the Cross, which will feature Crusaders and Saracens and four additional factions as well as some new scenarios. Last I heard its release was imminent, but hopefully soon.

Monday, July 14, 2014

NOVA Open Space Wolf List

 I've played a lot more in the last month than I have so far in this year. This is very exciting for me. I partially credit the release of 7th edition for my renewed enthusiasm. But the NOVA Open is also quickly approaching and I need to get some practice in.

Thunderous footfalls.
 Next weekend, one of my local stores is running their monthly tournament and I think I've come up with a solid list to take. I've been running something similar, tweaking it here and there as I go along.

1850 pts NOVA Open Test List
  • Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf, w/ Frost Axe and Storm Shield, a Fenrisian Wolf, and Saga of the Beast Slayer
  • Rune Priest, level 2 w/ Runic Armor and Melta Bombs
  • Rune Priest, level 2 w/ Runic Armor and Chooser of the Slain
  • Lone Wolf w/ Mark of the Wulfen, Melta Bombs, and a Fenrisian Wolf 
  • 9 Grey Hunters in Drop Pod w/ a melta gun
  • 9 Grey Hunters in Drop Pod w/ a plasma gun
  • 10 Grey Hunters in Drop Pod w/ 2 melta guns
  • 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry, 1 w/ Storm Shield, 1 w/ Thunderhammer, 1 w/ metla bombs
  • 5 Long Fangs w/ missile launchers and squad leader w/ melta bomb
  • Imperial Knight, Errant

The big changes from the list I ran at NOVA last year are: adding a second Rune Priest, dropping the 4th squad of Grey Hunters, dropping the Aegis Defense line, and adding the Imperial Knight.

 As with last year, I've been dropping one Rune Priest into each of the Grey Hunter squads of 9. I'm pretty aggressive with where I land the drop pods, so they get right into the thick of the action as soon as they land. Sometimes this is more effective than others. I am reconsidering making my Wolf Lord my Warlord again, as he's a little bit tougher. I considered swapping his storm shield for runic armor, but he's modeled with the storm shield so I'm going to stick with it as-is for now.

The addition of the Imperial Knight has been really great, he gives a lot of heavy fire power that the army otherwise lacks. He also is a good distraction, if people are shooting at him, they aren't shooting at my Thunderwolves.

I'm looking forward to trying it out next weekend. 

The only downside is that the models that I ordered for my second rune priest have yet to arrive. I've been using a proxy. I was trying to do a conversion project with him, but neither of the models I want to kit bash together have arrived. This is Really Annoying. They're part of the "web exclusive" nonsense but I couldn't get them from GW's site because they were out of stock. Only one of the two was readily available on eBay, and it hasn't arrived yet either. 

Conversely, the upside is that he and my Imperial Knight are my only converting and painting projects leading up to NOVA. So I will be able to take it nice and easy with both of them, assuming I can get the models in the next week or so. Although, the painting on the Knight is 85% finished, so there won't be any rush on him.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Aroooo!! Stormclaw Box Set!

There's a voice on the wind, long howls in the distance. Is it a new Space Wolf codex? Well, no, not yet. But Games Workshop did put out a really cool new box set called Stormclaw. It's Space Wolves and Orks in a bloody, epic campaign battle. I, of course, ordered it immediately.

It's a little steep at $125 dollars, but it includes a nice bit of stuff. The two most attractive bits to me are the new special characters and the paperback rulebook. But first the new hotness:

Krom Dragongaze!
And, for you filthy Ork traitors players:

Grukk Face Rippa
Very, very nice! You can never have enough fun, crazy special characters in my book. I'm looking forward to putting Krom in my Space Wolf list, hopefully in time for the NOVA Open at the end of August.

The second super exciting part is that the set includes a paperback version of the rulebook. We need a second rulebook in my house, but I wasn't about to buy the whole rulebook set again just so Casey and I can each have a rulebook at tournaments. This is the *perfect* solution to that problem.

They round out the package with a campaign supplement book, 10 Grey Hunters, 5 Wolf Guard Terminators, 5 Ork Nobz, 3 Killa Kans, and 10 Gretchin. For the price, it's a pretty good deal, too. If you added it all up, just for the guys they already sell, you're looking at $175. If you then factor in the two new characters, the campaign book, and the rulebook, you end up somewhere in the $250-300 range. So, of course, it's a limited-time only thing.

I hope that they later sell Krom and Grukk separately in their own blisters because they're both really cool. I'd also like to see them sell that paperback rulebook separately, but I'm not delusional. I think it's safe to hope for a new Wolf codex soon. In the next 2-3 weeks would be perfect (then I could use it at NOVA) but I'll just be happy to get it at all.

The included campaign book is designed around all the minis that come in the box, so I think it'll be really fun to paint everyone up and play some small games. There are some new Datasheets and Formations included as well, and I'm interested to see what they're all about.

Assuming it arrives in a timely fashion, I will do an unboxing post next week when it arrives.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Stomps! Legs of a Knight

I've made some nice progress on my Imperial Knight! This has been a really fun project so far, and I have tried my hand at several new things.
First, I sculpted some fur onto his shoulder pads. I've never done any real sculpting before, and I'm very happy with how they've turned out so far. They're finished but the torso they attach to still has some work to go.

I thought it would be fun to do one brown and one grey. The more I paint brown fur, the more I think I am getting the hang of it. Just took a little longer to figure out than the grey. I might go back and touch up some of my brown wolves now, since they're a little sad.

Happily, I have made some good strides with the rest of him. His legs are entirely finished. I glued down the armor plates and his tabard last night. He went from being in about 16 pieces to being in 7. I went a little crazy with the decals, perhaps. I wanted him to look fancy enough to denote his stature, though.

One of the more fun parts was learning to make my own decals. Most of the decals shown are either from the Knight kit or from those that came with my Space Wolf boxes. But the wolf heads on the red part of his shin guards are ones I printed out myself, using Testors decal paper. I'll definitely talk about that more later, but as you can see, I think they turned out pretty swanky.

His left knee, though, is free handed. Again, another new thing. I've done minimal freehand to this point. I think it turned out ok for my first attempt. It looks good from here, but not so nice upon up close scrutiny.

I am enjoying working on him. Even though he was pretty pricey, I have already gotten more hobby time out of him than a box of Grey Hunters. He's approximately 1/3 complete, so the price per hobby hour is about the same. I am going to field him for the 4th time tomorrow and I'm quite looking forward to it.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beginings of an Imperial Knight

A couple weeks back, I went to a swap meet at my FLGS to unload some minis I'll never get around to painting. The hope was I'd sell enough stuff to be able to buy and Imperial Knight, and I did just that! He only cost $40 out of pocket. Quite a nice deal, I'd say.

What is that? Can I kill heretics with it?
  I tried to plan out how many pieces I wanted him to be in for painting- turned out to be a lot. He has a lot of parts to him, and I want to make the painting process as easy as possible. I left all his armor plates off, and kept his arms, his legs, and his torso separate. I have blue stuffed him together several times, for test fitting but also for my very first game of 7th!

Stomp, stomp, stomp!
 Despite having no arms, he did very nicely for himself. I think he brings a lot to my Space Wolf army that it really needed. I'm a little disappointed he can't just reach up and swat fliers out of the sky, but you can't have everything :-) .

Trying to position his arms was tricky.
Eventually he did get his arms. I opted for the Knight Errant version. I really, really like that giant melta gun. The points of articulation on him are awesome, it makes customizing his pose a breeze. But it was a little involved trying to get him to look just the way I wanted while trying to hold 6 places still. I got there eventually.

I wanted to make him proper wolfy-looking to theme up with my Wolves. So he got some pelts added. First, I took his hanging tabard, clipped off the fringe at the bottom and added fur to the back of it. Then I started wolfing up his shoulder pads and eventually came up with this:

 It might look familiar- there's a variant Space Wolf shoulder pad that looks just like this. That's what gave me the idea. For my first attempt really sculpting anything from scratch, I am very pleased with how it turned out.

I am going to paint some runes along his armor as well, but as far as conversion work goes, that's about the end of it. I didn't want to over power him with all kinds of crazy stuff. But I did dig through my bits box and come up with a few choice pieces to add to him for a little more character.

Originally, I was thinking of painting him mostly white with bronze accents, but I am wavering on that now. It was going to be difficult to paint and I was looking forward to the challenge, but now I'm not convinced that it will really look all that good on the table.

I've envisioned him as a Freeblade, so I've really run a little wild with his history. He's aligned himself with the Wolves, so his heraldry would reflect that. I'm thinking of calling him The Boot of Russ.

I am thinking of a heraldry consisting of a dexter wolf head and a sinister Imperial Eagle. I was going to have the wolf black with red background and the Eagle black with a yellow background. Red and yellow are the accent colors on my Wolves, so he'd tie in with them. Not sure on any of the colors now, as I am rethinking his whole scheme.
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