Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July Painting Challenge Update: Devout

Devout is all done...which means I'm all done with my July painting challenge! 3 Long Riders, Grissel, a Heirophant and a Devout with 9 days to spare. I'll accept my medal now. I used P3 mixing medium for the first time on this model and pigment me impressed. I need to get some more experience with it to really take full advantage but I can see that it is going to be a tool I use often. I highly reccomend you go pick up a bottle. Without further ado, the Devout.

Friday, July 17, 2009

July Painting Challenge Update: Long Riders

I finished my unit of 3 Long Riders this morning and now I can't wait to field them and Grissel.

I only have a Devout left to finish for my July Painting Challenge, which I should be able to finish up next week. That gives me one week left in July to paint something extra and I think I'll be pushing towards a fully painted 35 point PoM army. My problem is I keep switching my list around so it's hard to meet a goal that keeps changing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

July Painting Challenge Update: Grissel and Vassal

I finished up Grissel last night and I still had some more energy left so I was going to tackle the heirophant. I missed some areas when I was priming him so I was going to do some touch up with black paint when I realized that my black paint pot was bone dry. So I looked for an equivalent model to paint and found a properly primed Vassal within arm's reach. Not my best work, but hey I got him done in one sitting so I'll take it.The painting vows aren't technically locked in until the 11th so it's not too late to swap out a vassal in place of the heirophant. Also, I decided that since I'm pretty much only playing PoM until Hordes MKII I should probably drop the Mauler in place of a Devout.

So far I have finished 1 Long Rider, Grissel and the Vassal. Left to finish by 11:59 PM July 31st: 2 Long Riders and a Devout. Will I make it in time? Will I ever get more black paint? Only time will tell....the suspense is almost too much to handle.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beginner's Corner: Overcoming your Fears

You've been prowling around the lgs for weeks now, you know you want to take the plunge, but something is holding you back...Fear.

Fear of Rejection: “If word ever gets out that I play with toy soldiers I’m ruined!”

While it’s certainly understandable to be hesitant about sharing your new hobby with normal people, from my experience there is really nothing to hide. When I share information about my hobby with non-gamers they are generally politely interested and often impressed when I show them a miniature I have painted. This hobby rewards patience, developed skills and attention to detail and I think most people can appreciate that just like they would respect those who are interested in woodworking, basket weaving, fly fishing or any number of hobbies. You might get a little friendly ribbing but that’s fine, if you can’t admit that this hobby is a just a teensy bit geeky then you’re taking yourself too seriously. Plus, seeing as how most normal people watch sports, reality TV or gameshows you have plenty of ammunition to fire back with.

Fear of Painting: “But they’re so tiny! And there are so many of them!”

The thought of taking a couple pieces of bare metal out of a blister and turning it into a dynamically painted model is a daunting task for any neophyte such as yourself. “But I’ve never even seen a brush small enough to paint that!” Well, trust me there are plenty of them, in fact there are more tools, tricks, paints and tutorials out there than you could ever imagine. You will be surprised and proud of how good your first painted miniature can look, and how much easier it is than you imagine. I will cover your first paint job in a later article, but for now calm those fears. You can paint, you can do it well, and hopefully you’ll find that you enjoy it.

Fear of Spending: “$30 for one hunk of metal, are you kidding me!?”

Ok yes, the price tag on models can be a bit steep (some more than others). Trust me you aren’t getting ripped off. A box of infantry or a warjack will run you about $30, you will spend at least 5 hours assembling and painting (depending on the complexity of the model, your painting prowess etc) and then countless hours actually fielding the model/unit in your list. On top of that you will have a beautiful model to show for your time and effort. Compared to other ways to spend your money $30 for a model or unit is pretty reasonable.

For example, going to a movie probably costs you $10 (given gas, snacks etc), for $30 you can see 3 movies which is probably about 6 hours of entertainment (assuming the movie doesn’t suck). So for about the same amount of money you can get 5-6 hours of entertainment, either from watching 3 movies, or modeling/painting your warjack/unit. With your model you also have all those fantastic games ahead of you, plus more than a ticket stub to show for your time. I’m not trying to tell you not to go see movies, or that wargaming is the most cost effective way to have fun, just that dropping $30 on a model isn’t as painful as it feels at first.

Fear of Horrifying Mutation:”I walked past the Sci-Fi section in a bookstore once…it wasn’t pretty.”

Yes there are those who live up to every stereotype of a geek, and when you encounter them in the wild just remember that they are far more terrified of you than you are of them. There are also those of us who live very normal, productive lives in spite of our darker urges. I am a fairly normal person in my mid 20s. I’m married to a fairly normal person, have a normal job, I’m able to carry on conversations with males as well as females without social awkwardness, I don’t live in a basement and I have personal hygiene standards well within the acceptable range. I also happen to enjoy wargaming as a hobby, I don’t think it’s something I need to be ashamed of, or grow out of. For further reading on normal people and gaming consider (Did I just ruin my normal guy cred by linking to a web comic?)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July Painting Challenge Update: 1st Long Rider

This morning I finished off my first model for the July painting challenge, a test for my Long Riders. The fur color doesn't quite match up with Highland Cattle as much as I'd like it to, but I have two more to paint so maybe I'll get it right on one of those. Plus, fur color varies a certain amount between any given animals so I figure this will give the unit a little more variety.

Left on the docket: Long Riders x2, Grissel, a Dire Troll Mauler and a Heirophant.

In other news, we are now officially members of the Iron Agenda Blogging Network. I am very excited, and a little daunted, to be a part of this great community and I hope we don't flood the feed with too much trivial crap.

Monday, July 6, 2009

McThralls Set 1

So I managed to crank out all of the rest of my Mcthralls after finishing that test model last week. Thanks to the test model, I found that I needed to do a black ink wash on the metals first, because they just didn't look right with the dip being the only shading it had. Regardless, I'm loving how fast and relatively easy it was to crank out 10 Mcthralls. Surprisingly, I don't think I spent more than 2 hours per model if you count the time stripping the paint, filing, and repainting/dipping them. Granted, there are still things that need to be done (ie the base)...but basing is one of my least favorite things. Roh wellz, I'll try and drybrush the base up and then paint the outer ring all black like, but that shouldn't add more than 20 minutes per model. Definitely my fastest painting yet :). Without further ado... the start of the zombie horde.

Apologies for the poor lighting, but I was in a hurry.

Next up, Necrosurgeon and Stitch Thralls. (then maybe finishing all those bane knights)


Picking a Faction: Don't...go for the Uber B0rked

Granted it’s a lot more fun to win than to lose. However, approaching this game looking for the faction that will net you the most victories or has the cheesiest lists is a recipe for disappointment. (Cheeze is a term used to describe a list or tactic that is seen as so overpowered or cheap that it sucks all the fun out of the game for your opponent). There are several reasons why I would discourage a new player from picking a faction based on which is perceived as the most “powerful”

1. Your fun won’t last long

Most Uber B0rked combos rely on a very specific army list and very specific tactics (m0r3 Bane Knights!!! Vlad, Seraph Spam). When all you are doing is trolling forums looking for instructions on how to win at WM/Hordes you’ll find that the actual time spent playing the game isn’t very fun. The point of the game is to match wits with your opponent and try to get the most out of your units, when you are just following a set of instructions you are missing out on a huge component of the hobby. More so, following someone else’s directions and using the same list over and over again will not only get boring, but your opponents will get wise and bring lists tailored specifically to beat yours. Speaking of opponents…

2. You will run out of opponents

I have heard stories of people starting a pick-up game at their local gaming store (lgs) who upon seeing their opponent plop down 30 Bane Knights, say “No thanks” and promptly pack up and walk out the door. People play this game to have fun. Competition adds to the fun, but if you let it take the wheel you will find yourself getting stressed out instead of relaxing and enjoying your time playing. Playing an opponent whose only goal is to absolutely crush you is a bit off-putting but if that player also runs a list that isn’t balanced or breaks the spirit of the game then you’re looking at a pretty miserable time. If you are playing that kind of person you will most likely lose and have to suffer the exultant whoops of your opponent and congratulate him on being such a canny follower of directions. In the event that you win you will most likely have to deal with a sore loser armed with a couple pounds of pewter whose whole world just came crashing down because he followed the recipe for instant win exactly but the interwebz lied to him. No one wants to play that person, please don’t be that person.

3. You won’t be able to stick with one faction

For the most part WARMACHINE/HORDES factions are remarkably well balanced. In any given year there will be armies or casters that are seen as the uber powerful end all be all of the game. As the meta-game evolves and the community finds effective counters to these tactics that particular army/caster will wane in popularity and a new uber b0rked army will rise from the ashes. For example, the Skorne faction was viewed as seriously underpowered through Primal and Evolution. However, with the release of the most recent expansion, Metamorphosis, Skorne got some very powerful models which suddenly have people taking the faction seriously, and by seriously I mean crying their little eyes out about how overpowered and unfair Skorne is. Now if you asked someone 6 months ago which WM/Hordes faction was the most powerful Skorne would have ranked at the bottom of the list. Ask that question now and Skorne is at least in the running for most competitive HORDES faction (‘cuz like umm…OMG they can shoot thro wallz!). In another 6 months people will have learned how to play against Skorne (a relatively new phenomenon) and order will be restored to the universe. (Well with any luck in 6 months the HORDES MkII Field Test will be running and everything will be shaken up). It is impossible to keep up with the trends of the “most powerful” unless you have a ton of cash to dump into a new army every 6 months. In my opinion it is much more rewarding to choose a faction (or two…or three) and stick with them. You develop a sense of loyalty, get to experience all the faction has to offer, and actually have time to paint your models. When your faction has its 6 months of glory then rejoice, look down on all the people hopping on the bandwagon and wait for them to lose interest so you can get back to painting your scattergunners. I guess I could put it this way, do you want to be a Lakers fan or a Cubs fan?

So to summarize, I believe that choosing an army based on a perceived amount of win will limit your amount of fun, limit your number of opponents, and limit the amount of time you can devote to one faction.

Beginner's Corner

Hello Noobs,

I've decided to start a new series of articles titled Beginner's Corner. These articles are intended to help those brand spankin' new to WARMACHINE/HORDES or tabletop wargaming in general. Some topics I intend to cover:

Getting Started in Wargaming
Overcoming your Fears
Choosing your Faction: Do's and Don'ts
Your First Models
Where do I go from here?

We'll see how much of this I actually cover, but I hope that new players will find some of the information presented here helpful.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Painting Update

In addition to my eDenny conversion, I've got some other painting going on while the pins/GS dries, etc. Pretty much, Micah has inspired me to work harder on getting a fully painted army. To help with that, I bought the Army Painter QuickShade Strongtone to try and dip my MechThralls. I've never tried a dip before, but I figure everything is worth a try. I had to strip my mcthralls with simple green/water before I reprimed and painted them, and found that you can hide mold lines with tons of primer and paint. So after stripping them, I had to file a bunch of things down, plus try to get all the paint out of the details... needless to say, I didn't do a perfect job. On the other hand, I do have a test model. So here are the pics, pre and post dipping.
Basecoated, Predip
Notes on dipping: Read instructions first. I tried painting on the dip, and the worked ok, but it doesn't catch very well in all the grooves (probably due to my not cleaning it well enough). So then I just dipped the whole model in and used a brush to clean it up. Not a big deal till I realized that the brush needs to be cleaned with Turpentine or Mineral Spirits... neither of which I have. Hopefully I haven't ruined one of my better brushes, but only time will tell. So remember to use a crappy brush if you don't have paint thinner to clean this stuff up. I also need to put some matte sealer on this guy cause he's waaay too shiny... the work is never done.

Here's a quick pic of my progress on eDenny. She's all assembled and the joints are GS'ed. Now I just need to prime her and slap on some paint. The question is, prime in white or black? The white might make the ghostly part of her bottom half easier, but armor not as good, etc. I'm leaning towards white at the moment.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July Painting Challenge!

I signed myself up for the July Painting Challenge over on the PP Modeling and Painting forums. It's something I've always wanted to do but I never remember at the start of the month and usually let the winds of painting inspiration guide me rather than sticking to a plan or deadlines.

Here is what I have vowed to paint by the end of July:

Long Riders x3

Their state as of 11:00am July 2nd

I went a little easy on myself since it's my first challenge. Also I've done a bit of conversion work on the Long Riders and I don't want to waste all that effort by doing a rushed paint job. Plus I've also got a Warlock in there, and while Grissel's sculpt isn't my favorite, she is a 'lock and so she deserves some extra attention.

I'm trying to punch up the Scottish theme for my Trollbloods and I thought it would be pretty neat to have my Long Riders on highland cattle instead of buffalo. So I added more fur the the face and hindquarters and threw in a couple Balmoral hats while I was at it. I'm not satisfied with the cattle's fur color at this point so I'm going to have to put some work into that. Anyway, here's a picture of my Long Rider when I started on it today, and another after a couple hours work.

I've got to finish the base, paint up the kilt, figure out what I'm going to do with that fur, add more highlights and do all the details (mini keg, amulets etc). I'll be taking a break until monday though but hopefully I'll be able to finish it up early next week and tackle the other 2.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Troll Goal

I am a big fan of WARMACHINE MK2 and I can’t wait for HORDES to get the same treatment. Rumor has it that the HORDES field test will appear some time in January, soon after mk2 is officially released. With that in mind I’ve set myself a goal, to paint all of my Trollblood models by January 2010. I’ve got a pretty good start on these guys so I think I can pull it off. I currently have 14 models painted and 19 left to go (yikes!) But a lot of the models that are unpainted are more run of the mill infantry that I don’t need to lavish with detail. Here’s a rundown of what I have finished and what I still need to work on.

Fully Painted
Hoarluk Doomshaper
Chief Madrak Ironhide
Grim Angus
Troll Axer
Troll Impaler (2)
Dire Troll Blitzer
Trollkin Champions (5)
Fell Caller

Trollkin Long Riders (3)
Pyre Troll
Dire Troll Mauler

Grissel Bloodsong
Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes (6)
Stone Scribe Elder

Trollkin Scattergunners (6)

Wraithwitch Deneghra Conversion

This is my first real conversion, so I have to admit that it's not entirely my own idea. Heck, it's not even partly my idea. I never liked the eDenny model, so I never really considered buying her when I had other fun casters that I enjoyed playing with... until i saw this post.

I liked his conversion so much that I had to try it myself. After proxying eDenny in 15pt MM this weekend, it motivated me to start putting her together...or cutting her apart, whatever the case may be.

Here are all the pieces, followed by the cutting and splicing. I had a few problems with eDenny's Witch Barbs being very fragile. The middle one broke off, and the other two are close to following. They're a little to thin to pin with paperclips, so I might resort to staples as a pin or just GS'ing them on.

While I aspire to painting like Scrollmaster, I doubt I'll be able to pull that off on this model. As it is, this is definitely going to be one of my better models, so I'll be taking my time on it.