Monday, 26 January 2015

"Has anyone got wood? I need wood!"

Although my eldest son may have abandoned all 40k pretencions we do enjoy watching the always entertaining Wil Wheaton on tabletop and in so doing he has started to show an interest in other games. We recently went into a Waterstones book store and noticed they stocked a range of board games and I think the fact you were buying them from a book shop and not a 'hobby store' changed his view on them. We weren't sure which one to get and to be honest hadn't watched the original Catan on Tabletop, just the Star Trek version [mmm 7 of 9!]. Anyway, we went back again and I had a Waterstones voucher that had been burning a hole in my wallet for a year now but I was desperate for the Scarfolk book which I found and it was half price and amazingly it was a £20 voucher not £10 so I cajoled him a little bit into getting it with his recent birthday money [he had enough to practically buy my car for what I paid for it as a repaired insurance right off] and I contributed the remainder so now we have this.

As a family our gaming habits are usually the Sherlock addition of Cluedo [Clue for the American readers], Game of Life or Pop & hop [generic Frustration]. So despite the excitement I really had doubts this would ever get played but somehow the second night we had a go. I was the white, my eldest orange and my wife and youngest formed a coalition team to begin with in the blue. We stumbled through the rules and by the time we called a halt due to impending bed times I was in the lead things to an aggressive road building strategy.

A couple of nights later we attempted to pick up where we left off, it was handy that I took a picture just in case the board got knocked but we didn't take into account the youngest deciding to 'tidy the board' and so doing redistributed all our specific resource cards back into their respective piles. There was obviously recrimination, tears, frustration an attempt to soothe things over [we really don't play well together, fingers crossed this will help rectify that issue] and ultimately we were back on track. We had a lot of fun and with a sportsmanlike suggestion to my wife if she continued her road north from tile 10 instead of encircling it she could attempt to build more than then 10 road links as she would be on 9. She then managed to use up all her road pieces before me and snatch the 2 VPs from my grasp. The eldest also managed to play the most knights and I couldn't catch up. The end result was the blue coalition winning with the eldest on 9 and me trailing on 8. If the wife had failed to build her last settlement my son would have won and I'd have still been short of developing a Palace to secure 9VPs

Aside from the board hijinks, a misunderstanding with maritime trade and a last minute confusion regarding a burgling spree by the robber this was so much fun. I really hope this becomes a regular event. We think the youngest gets the gist so even if the wife decides not to play the boys and I could still give it a shot. A few more games under our belt and this will definitely be worth it, even if it's not 40k related. However it's been surprising how many people have commented on it on my Facebook timeline. I know it's treated as a 'modern classic' but I didn't realise so many people would be aware of it, but there you go!

Friday, 23 January 2015

'nids part 161 - And yet Moar Genestealers

These were the final 5 Genestealer to be based. I was looking to make scenic bases with barrels but in the end just went with slate as I had it to hand and it would cost me nothing. But it was here that I realised just why these old models work so well. This is mainly because they come in two body poses with separate arms to give the vatiety. When I was kitbashing the others I tried to distribute the two poses evenly but somehow ended up with 4 leaping poses and one standing pose in this brood of 5.

And this is where the pose came alive. Once you attach these to stones you can shift the position and the result is a really dynamic leaping pose. The main reason for this is that it's leaping off the back foot whereas the current model has the front foot being the point of contact. There's just something in the back foot pose that implies there is far more momentum at play. Even when you look at the Spawn of Cryptus he's stood on the front foot.

That's not to say you couldn't reposition the new ones leaping off the back foot it's just they're naturally sculpted with the front foot attached to the 'slotta' slot. When they're all finished I'll line them up so we can compare and contrast. For now I just need to add some sand to these bases and another 5 from Deathstorm.

Then it's undercoat and put away as some of the other items need some attention, whether it's my Realm of Battle Board, Dark Angels or other secret squirrel projects I need to crack on with them instead of 30 genestealers which will ultimately drive me insane!

As there was only 3 pics I thought I'd just throw in the primed pictures and ended up taking considerably more and I could have eeked this out into another post!

Of course red oxide primed models don't show up too great on a my red planet realm of battle board but you can catch the gist until the finished models get photographed.

Toxin stealers, once again primarily used for unit identification. The majority have two pairs of toxin sacs, but I stumbled across an odd non-Macragge, on the left, and he has some of the Carnifex sacs for a more organic 'riddled with poison' effect. If I ever get any more I'll kitbash them the same so I have 5 at regular intervals and 5 poisoned all over the shop.

Some straightforward carapace armour biomorph.

Original Space Hulk stealers with extra carapace and scy-tals. I also noticed some of these have tails that look like worms, segemented with a 'head' you can use your imagination for what I'm describing it's a common image. However some of them are the same but have more of a 'cap' like pointy toadstool.  So it's interesting again to see the variety in this model.

Carnifex armour plates, scy-tals and urban bases left over from the 2nd gen Space Hulk bases that were too big for 25mm bases, if only we knew of 32mm back then...

More scytals and armour and I had one feeder tendril head left. I recently did a trade in which I swapped 3 Feeder heads for 2 pairs of Fleshborer Hives but I was sad I'd got rid of all the Feeder heads only to discover this guy amongst his mates.

And some tilt-shift shots with a bit of post production messing about.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

That little matter of varnishing

My Realm of Battle board has been languishing in the garage for a couple of months now. Although I repaired the damage wrought by the Polyvine varnish I had not finished adding shading and painted the skulls. More alarmingly the garage is where we keep the tumble dryer so it's been regularly exposed to warm, moist, fabric dust! I've covered it up but I'm well aware I'm not doing any favours to its future prospects. So I need to tackly the varnish issue. To that end I prepared this 6" strip of MDF and painted it up.

As you can see it follows my standard Red Planet Basing and I can test out a suitable varnish instead of doing it on the boards and ruining it and having to start again. Although the grain is more pronounced than my boards I'm confident that if I can seal this neatly it'll be more than OK for the smoother RoB board.

Now PeteB, Liam and Ben think I'm overly paranoid about protection*, Liam and Ben haven't varnished their boards but this 'ultra tough' floor varnish seems to be ideal.

However, the milky/creamy consistency was worrying and there is a mention of it leaving a white finish on the tin which brings us back to Polyvine territory.

So I applied the varnish, foolishly to two thirds of the piece instead of half and I think you can see it's not acceptable. Granted this was still wet but the varnish managed to 'rehydrate' [not sure if that's the correct term] the top layer of the craft acrylic and mix with the varnish. This meant the varnish took on a slight orange tint and together with it's thickness has obscured much of the deepest shaded recesses.

I was going to be much happier with a brush on varnish but at this stage I'm contemplating a spray lacquer, of course I now only have a small amount of my test strip to try it out on. The question is which brand do I go for. There are some cheap clear varnish sprays available and I know 'cheap' should have alarm bells ringing but I recently saw some forum posts saying they were very good. I've actually even got some from a purchase at a £1 shop a while back.

I wont' be touching Purity Seal but there is Plastikote and there is even a supply of Rustoleum, which usually is only available in America.

I'll hopefully pick up a Plastikote, test it and my £1 shop version if the results don't stand up I'll have to accept this isn't going to be sealed. Meanwhile I might make another test piece just in case!

* Update, this is the reason I believe I need to varnish the boards:

These are just two of the five or six paint chips I discoverd on my Realm of Battle board which hasn't even been used for gaming! It's been sat in the garage, covered in bubble wrap for a weeks

I may have caught them bringing them into the house but that questions the durability of the paint a great deal. Anyway, I've got a Matt Plastikote Varnish Spray so I'll give it a go, on the test piece first.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Moar of Otty's Inquisition force

Otty has been at it again, adding to his Inquisition forc. More berobed maniacs carrying bolt weaponry.

Once again I think that's a Lord of the Rings Ring Wraith in the middle with the Power Mace.

Here they are with 3three of the previously seen standard bearer.

And some Heavy Bolters, nice to see those Dark Angel hooded heads getting use.

But surely those legs are heresy! Filthy Orks by the look of them.

And here's the muscle. The awesomeness of the Island of Blood Rat Ogre, used this time for some heavy duty henchman.

This back view shows the slightly more extensive kit bashing that took place to make it less fantasy and more Grimdark, although all those newly released Rat Ogres are doing a damn good job of that on their own

And kudos for repurposing that Warlord Titan head as a 'man in the Iron Mask' type helm. I love the eyes just visible through the eye slits. I couldn't do that.

Amazing work as always from Otty.

Friday, 16 January 2015

'nids part 160 - TO DONE! The Spawn of Cryptus

Thanks to how easy this guy is to paint I finished in a bit of a flurry because although it was fun I still couldn't get 'its just a big Genestealer' out of my head and really wanted to move on.

In fact I'm probably more excited for the 30 remaining stealers, which is saying a lot as I've stated I don't like painting them AND they're only supposed to done to primer level!

As per all my other Capillary Towers the fleshy bits are painted red, gloass varnished and then additional Tamiya Clear Red X-27 adds the gore.

And you should have seen the size of the one that got away!

Personally I think a more vertical tower would have suited better. It would allow it to fit on a 40mm round base and made it taller too.

Stripey pants.


That glossy sheen really works on the fleshy bits of Capillary Tower.

Can't say I'm a big fan of the sculpt of the face but I hope it doesn't come across as immodest when I say I did a good job of it. I'm certaainly happier with it than I thought the sculpt would produce [althought the highlight on the crest is a bit iffy, though I do see it as a skin stretched across a bony protruberance].

And some close-ups of the base, in case you're interested.

And here's the Red Stamp of Approval, now to get something done from the actual list!