Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Harbinger of Menoth assembly and painting part 1. Pinning and putty.

Hey everyone,

So I spent my first free weekend in about 5 months (two jobs kept me working 7 days a week) in part at the gym, in part doing fun stuff with my wife and in part assembling my new Harbinger of Menoth Model.

The Harbinger is a teenage girl who has been filled with the power of menoth and now is a warcaster (central leader figure) for the Protectorate of Menoth faction in Warmachine. Thanks to this power she doesn't touch the 'unclean' ground and floats about under tether from loyal acolytes.

What this means in model terms is that she is a really intricate and challenging model to assemble.

Here you can see the parts of the model. The only assembly in this picture is that her upper torso and lower torso/robes have been glued together. Essentially the model will have to be made in four stages once painted. Torso and robe swirls glued to base, Acolytes glued to base, chains glued between acolytes and Harbinger, spear/flag glued to Harbinger.
For the base, I'm planning on using Procreate putty to model on some flagstones or the like. This will give it a good look but also let me add an extra binding agent to the small glue points that hold this tall, narrow model down. This will be my first time making a scenic base.
The model is also my first time in pinning a model that really needs it. I've done one set of pinning for a Ramshackle resin model but that was mostly so I didn't have to hold it while the epoxy set. This model will really need it to stay stable and not break on the tabletop.

So this picture shows the pinning I've done so far. The torso pieces have a pin, glue and some procreate in them to cover up the bond. I have drilled two holes in the Harbinger's robe base but only one has a pin in so far. She also has a pin in each hip to hold the small pieces at the top of her swirling robes and each robe has a pin at the bottom to attach to the base. The spear has a length of rod added but more on that later.

This is what she looks like propped up now. I'll have to hold her here while I mark out the position of the acolytes so I can drill the holes for them in the base and plan out where the putty work will go. You can see already that the base is pretty crowded. I kinda wish Warmachine used 60mm bases for models like this.

So here is the flag/spear. This will join to the model by her wrist and by a small nubbin the back of the shaft that pressed into a dip on the back of her hood. In itself it is a very inventive way to secure the piece but the thin, flat shaft is far too flimsy in my view to hold up the weight. I drilled a hole in the base of the flag and glued brass rod from there down the shaft. Near her hand, I bent the rod so that it went up and over, like a handguard, and glued it down. To clean it all up, I used some procreate putty to smooth things out. Hopefully with some filing if need be and good painting it won't be noticeable. I would strongly reccomend doing this or reinforcing some other way because of the weight and small contact points for this part.

Well that's as far as I've got for now. Next on the list is to mock up the acolytes so I can drill out the base ready for their pins. I'll also mark out everything on the base so that I can start puttying up things to look a bit more exciting. Once I glue them in with their pins going through, I'm planning to block off the entire underside of the base with procreate so that the pins are well and truly locked in place and won't break off.

Painting will have to be done in parts so after a wash and some priming we'll be on the way.

Stay tuned...


Monday, April 26, 2010

Getting your money's worth - using miniatures for multiple game systems. Pt1: Privateer Press

Hey everybody,

This post is something of a placeholder. I have just started a more detailed project than any of my previous ones since buying the Harbinger of Menoth model seen in my last post (and the end of this one). I will be doing a thorough discussion of that as it involves my first forays into model pinning, painting before assembly and trying to fit really detailed models into a tiny amount of base space ;-) I'll also be doing a review of the Warmachine Prime Mk2rulebook that I got at the same time.

So in coversation about cool warmachine models with Asmo at Boisterous Exhuberance we discussed how a number of the models there could be used for 40k models with little or no change. This got me to thinking about how to save money on the hobby that can rapidly become expensive for most of us. It struck me that simply by using models for two games, you can essentially save yourself half of what you might otherwise spend (some caveats of course).

So this is part 1 and will be looking at Privateer press. I figured that I may as well start with the next biggest fantasy-type manufacturer.

Lich Lord Terminus
Well if you're going to start off with a model, why not make it something that looks truly badass in all the best ways. I have a secret desire to play Cryx in Warmachine and to start a Nurgle Chaos Marine army with lots of goopy, rotten, scary figures. This model with just a little procreate/greenstuff additions would work so well as a winged Daemon prince in addition to being a winged Lich Lord.

So, Terminus retail = $49.99, GW Nurgle Daemon price retail = $35, wings for GW prince = $7-20 depending on the parts from GW bitz. We'll say $10 for the wings.
Our saving is now $45 from retail by using Terminus for both games. But The Warstore has Terminus on sale for $38.99 so now we're down by $56 from retail. Not bad!


Iron Lich Asphyxious
Next up is the Iron Lich 'Gaspy' (think about it). He is a pretty sweet model and is a dead ringer for a necron lord methinks. I'd love to get some necrons but I don't have the time or money. Still, one day.

So taking a retail of $15 for a necron lord and $14 (Warstore discount) for gaspy, we just saved another $15 by combining these models.

NB: There are two different versions of Asphyxious and there is a few dollars between them. In some ways I like the older (cheaper) model better but the one shown here is a little more 'Necrony'

Karchev the Terrible
Stay away from this one if you don't like complex assembly! I've seen the diagram and it's a challenging set of parts to fit together. using this one for 40k is a little more involved. I think that with some nifty magnetising you could have the head and face armour magnetised so you could replace Karchev's head with Kartoof the ork warboss' head. Maybe a magnetised shoota and you have a much much more badass Mega armoured warboss than anything GW makes. Ghazghkull move aside!

So Karchev retails at $49.99 ($38.99 at the warstore), a Mega armoured Nob is $16 and Ghazghkull is $35. I think we have to use the latter GW model as a Nob is too weedy compared to Ghazzy and Karchev. $35 back in our pocket.

Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane
I think 'Siege' will stand in nicely for a thunder hammer equipped Inquisitor. Now I know that not many people play Daemonhunters but he would be a neat model to use if you did.

$9.99 from the warstore and a GW inquisitor is $15. Quick and easy saving.

Kommandant Irusk
Used with a Russian-themed Imperial Guard force and you have yourself a bad*ss commissar model.

$7.99 at the warstore. A GW commissar is $13-15 depending on the model.

Testament of Menoth
Now this is a model that probably fits into Fantasy a little more than 40k. Still I'd love to run him as a radical inquisitor in 40k.

$14.99 from the warstore saving $15 for a GW inquisitor


The Harbinger of Menoth
Ah, my sweet, sexy new model that will probably make me pull my hair out when it comes to final assembly. This young lady is filled with the power of the god Menoth and floats around generally kicking ass. More detail is coming on the model later today. I have to say that I would definitely choose to field her instead of GW's relatively boring model of the Living saint with its little winged cherubs. She just screams badass divine power to me :-)

So she weighs in at $37.99 retail ($28.99 at the warstore) and saves you $20 from buying the GW living saint model.


Whew, all finished. Totalling up my maths gives me a saving of $158 dollars if you bought all of the above models compared to all of their GW equivalents. Now, it would be unlikely that most of us play Khador, Cygnar, Cryx, Menoth, Nurgle Chaos Marines, Necrons, Orks, Daemonhunters, Imperial Guard, Daemonhunters again and Witch-hunters all combined but still.

Being able to find alternative uses for models can really add character to your forces even if only played for fun. I would probably never take Saint Celestine in a regular battle but for a fun game, I'd love to use the Harbinger of Menoth and kick some butt with divine power. Since I bought the model for warmachine I feel like I'm getting a bonus to play it in 40k at all.

Please drop some comments on this and tell me what you think? Have you tried using models in multiple game systems with success? Any other good Privateer Press models that I've missed out on?

All the best,


Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm still alive and I've just bought myself some Warmachine

Much like Old Shatter Hands over at the Tau of War, I have been very busy recently with little or no time for blogging/wargaming stuff. Me and my wife just moved into our new apartment in Frederick, Md and have been busy getting used to life. Of course, we had no sooner got settled than we went back to Bethesda to dogsit for our old neighbours for a bit of extra cash. Now that I've finished at Starbucks (7 day working weeks were too much after 6 months) I have a lot more free time coming up so hopefully there will be more bloggage and more gaming going on.

Now my position in the sales team for clear channel (5 radio stations: Hot 99.5, DC101, 97.1 Wash FM, 98.7 WMZQ and BIG 100.3) is a tough job at times as there are many many thousands of dollars moving around at all times and I have a team of seven salespeople to manage. It's a lot of fun though and I get to meet with some celebrities at times. So far:

- Three Day's Grace
- Shinedown
- Silversun Pickups
- Kellie Pickler
- Sarah Buxton
- Cage The Elephant
- Charice Pempengco
- Vita Chambers

Some of these are big groups, some of them are up and coming but it's all good fun. In any event, I've been lucky to get a little boost in my sales position through the wonder of commission. I'm a salaried employee but a few chances have come up to make some small extra cash on commission for certain voucher sales (http://dcdd.halfoffdeals.com/). I don't make a lot but for the month of march it was nearly $100 on top of my regular pay, yay.

So I bought myself some warmachine...

Since OSH gave me some trollbloods already I didn't buy a lot in the way of models (just one) but I picked up the rulebook Prime Mk2. I'm excited because it's supposed to be a great book as well as having the rules for nearly all of the models in the different Warmachine Factions (excepting a few that came out after the book). Imagine if GW released the 6th edition 40k rulebook with a full colour page on each model/unit for half of the game factions? That would be cool***

So the model I bought is not for playing really but is just for the sheer beauty and joy of painting.

May I present the Harbinger of Menoth

That is some sweet looking model right there. Also, if I never play the Menoth faction in Warmachine, I think it looks far better than the GW model for the Living saint so we might have some Holy-God-Emperor's-Power-Channeling flying saint action as well as Holy-God-of-the-Menites'-Power-Channeling flying warcaster.

All in all I'm pretty happy. Especially because I ordered it this afternoon and the UPS email suggests it might be delivered tomorrow. How's that for service?

Go Warstore :-)

***PS: I should be fair to GW here and say that I'm very impressed with their unit stat summary in the back of AOBR rulebook but it skips over a lot of the special rules.

PPS: Dhinata over at Run'Al is officially the man for helping me out on something that I will blog about if it works. Thankyou good sir.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Forgot one more troll.

Hey all,

I just realised that one more troll I like and would definitely find cool to play with is the one and only: Mulg the Ancient.

He's really old, has a rune-carved mountain on his back and carries a tree as a club. I've read a few battle reports and it seems like he is quite the beatstick as well. Battlecollege describes his melee abilities thus "Mulg is a premier beatstick. His damage output is insane, if you send Mulg to kill something it will die, guaranteed."

Sounds good to me.

Unfortunately this all comes at a price. While he costs a lot of points, I'm more worried about his cost in dollars. $59.99 retail and $44.99 even with the Warstore's discount is a hefty chunk of change. I will definitely consider it but let's see if that job application goes anywhere first.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Warmachine/Hordes, how well can a 'fun' army play it?

Good day to all of you at the beginning of another week. So this weekend was very busy for me as I moved into a new apartment with my wife. We'll now be in Frederick, Md, so a little further in the commute but a lot cheaper on rent and a great town to live in. I need to find a good gaming group there now and when I've got a bit more money, the harcore Frederick Fight club Mixed Martial Arts gymn is calling me.

Thanks go to Old Shatter Hands for pitching in and not only helping us load up the van with furniture, but then driving up in his car with more furniture, helping us unload (including a sofa bed that weighed as much as a real space marine!) and then getting back in time to have a birthday celebration with his wife. You sir are the man and I owe you big time.

In addition, he was good enough to give me a Trollbloods Warpack he had lying around and didn't want.
Trollblood's warpack. Privateer Press' picture

So my future plan is to get into HORDES (and WARMACHINE) and see what I can do to build up a small army. Now I don't have the latest rules yet and I've never played so I am mostly free from the lure of the most powerful or popular units. I've also read than in the transition to Mk2, Privateer Press made sure to tone down the more powerful units from the 1st edition and to add utility to the weaker ones so that no model will ever be completely useless on the table (GW could try doing this with the Tau's own Aun'Va...). So my plan is to just collect the models I think are coolest looking or most fun and see if I can make a good army out of them. Some people say that WarmaHordes is all about power playing so we'll see if I can work around that just with fun and good tactical choices.

So my army starts with the warpack above. That gives me the tragic hero Madrak Ironhide, an albino warlock who took up a cursed axe in order to save his people, a troll axer who gets to smash faces and cut down infantry and two troll impalers who throw ten-foot long spears at anyone who gets in their way. What's next?

Borka Kegslayer is a priest of Dhunia (the troll earth goddess) who likes drinking, fighting and sex. He carries a big club called Trauma that causes brain damage, his special feat is a barroom blitz, he's followed by a pygmy troll with a keg and has a spell called Mosh Pit. If that isn't just too cool for school, I don't know what is :-)

The Dire Troll Blitzer is a massive beast with a WW1-pilot-goggle-wearing pig on its back that is manning a machine gun. Nuff said.

The earthborn dire troll is so adaptive that his fists can take on the power of the enemy's weapons. Flying fist to the face with the strength of your super axe Mr. Butcher of Khadov...yes please!

These Runeshapers are so cool that they can make rocks come swirling up out of the ground. Loving the models and loving the vibe.

Now these Kriel Warriors are pretty neat, not the coolest troll models I've ever seen but they are solid. More importantly they let me take....

A CABER THROWER WHO CHUCKS A CABER MADE OUT OF GRANITE!!! Can't really say more than that. It's just a shame he can only do it once per game.

Speaking of big stones, why not carry a rune-carved magic one into battle that will make your buddies a lot tougher? Works for me :-)

Last of all, let's bring out some tough, hard-fighting champions led by a meanie with a pirate eye-patch.

So that rounds me up to:

- Madrak Ironhide/Borka Kegslayer (not sure on the rules for multiple warlocks)
- 2 Troll Impalers
- Troll Axer
- Dire Troll Blitzer
- Earthborn Dire Troll
- Runeshapers
- Kriel Warriors with a caber tosser.
- Krielstone bearers
- Trollkin champions

I have no idea if this a legal army or whether it is balanced/good/effective but who cares? I will slowly move towards this in my collection of Trollbloods and put up posts as and when I get time to collect, paint and play.

All the best,