Tuesday 30 August 2022

The time of the Orc has come!

Well, the time to do five more of them anyway.

These are Oathmark Goblins (not Orcs, they're much bigger) which I have painted to add to my burgeoning forces of Mordor/Angmar for Lord of the Rings.

One of the problems of the old plastic LotR minis are the limited range of monopose sculpts. This is more of a problem for the Orcs than for the more uniform troops like Uruk-Hai or Easterlings.

Therefore I picked up a sprue of Oathmark Goblins to add a bit of variation, and as you can see, they scale pretty well.

The sprue has five models and a range of hand weapons, spears, shields and bows just like the Dwarf sprue. There is a head and large axe suitable to denoting a champion (which I haven't used) and unlike the Dwarves, there's a banner pole that I've decided to take advantage of.

The poses are a little bit samey, and so I wouldn't want to use too many of them alongside the more dynamically posed LotR Orcs, but a handful amongst the throng looks fine.

Having said that, these are also £25 for 30 and so do come out as a cheaper alternative to the official models.

I used the same simplistic approach to painting as when I painted the GW Orcs: base coats, drybrushing and washes over a black base, which works well enough and demostrates that these are more than detailed enough.

I'm not sure about the banner (I never am when I do freehand) and so it's not attached yet, and won't be until I'm certain I can't improve it. The saving grace is that Orc banners can cope with being rubbish as they're made by Orcs.

I feel like I'm finally building up a head of steam again and making some progress through the backlog.

It's a shame I've actually got to go back to work again on Thursday.

Acquired: 120
Painted: 127

Monday 29 August 2022

A Short Break

Having run out of Space Marines and also out of superglue, my attention turned to what other plastic miniatures I had knocking round that I could be getting on with.

My attention settled on these little fellas.

These are Oathmark Dwarves which I picked up a while ago with the express intent of using them in the 7TV feature pack 'Orsa The Fearless'.

Having now painted them I think I've pretty much got everything I need to play through the campaign.

The five Dwarves are the contents of a single sprue, which come with options for hand weapons, spears, bows, shields and a couple of character elements like the ornate helm and axe above.

They are simple and effective miniatures which took me back to the way GW fantasy kits used to be - open to interpretation and flexible.

I particularly like the faces, which are packed with character and take both contrast paint and washes well. I think there are 10 or 11 head options, meaning that a unit certainly wouldn't look monotonous.

There are obviously limitations with the kit, areas of less detail or awkward mould lines, but given that these have an rrp of £25 for 30, I would easily be able to forgive those things if I was building an army.

When it can to painting, I kept things simple, using contrast paints for faces and beards, and then washes overcbase coats for the rest of the model.

I'm waiting on a delivery that includes some paint and superglue, so expect a few more plastic meanderings in the coming posts.

In other news, I'm finally back in the black!

Acquired: 120
Painted: 122

Saturday 27 August 2022

Big Red One

After a short break to go on holiday it's back to that big red grindstone that is my Blood Angels Horus Heresy army.

And actually thr biggest and reddest bit so far.

This is a Leviathan Siege Dreadnought and is essentially a big stompy robot of doom. In fact, it's one of the biggest models I've ever painted (I think Treebeard and a couple of my Soviet tanks are recognisably larger).

Here's a picture to give a sense of scale.

I really enjoy putting together these larger GW plastic kits as they are so well engineered that it's like doing a 3d jigsaw, although I'm not sure how successful I've been at trying to give him a dynamic pose.

My only gripe with the kit was the lack of any real weapon options. As he's geared for close combat, I've kept him cheap with Flamers as his support weapons which means there will be no reason not to just barrel him forwards.

I'm terms of painting I kept things simple and went back to how I did my original Blood Angels.

I spray undercoated it silver and did a base coat of Mephiston Red on all the armour plate before giving the whole thing a wash of Nuln Oil.

After this I went over the red again but left the shading in the panel lines. This left just details and tidying up to do.

A few transfers and basing and the big fella was done.

In terms of transfers, I made the decision not to bother ordering the new Horus Heresy transfer sheet for three reasons.

Firstly, I have a load of Blood Angels transfers and the differences are purely cosmetic. Secondly, the transfers are sold out all over the place and I'm impatient. Thirdly, the new transfer sheets are REALLY expensive and I could get another unit for the same price.

Having made my judgement call about the transfers, I also got all of my Tactical Marines done at the same time, meaning that barring the chainswords on my second squad, I now have a 1500 point army.

I'm now out of Horus Heresy miniatures to paint and so whilst I wait for more little red men, I'm going to get back to a couple of other projects.

Acquired: 117
Painted: 120

Thursday 11 August 2022

A Vexing Process

In a turn of events that will surprise nobody, I've painted more Blood Angels.

Ten of them.

That makes for a second compulsory squad of 'line' troops and makes the army I've assembled for Horus Heresy so far game legal.

I still need to add transfers and I think I want to give this squad chainswords, but they are certainly useable.

However, for a number of reasons I found the process of getting through these troublesome.

Firstly, the whole sub-assembly thing, although beneficial for painting is actually slowing the process down quite significantly.

Secondly, the way I'm painting the armour is also time consuming. Painting over the base coat of Flesh Tearer's Red contrast paint is working for the shading but takes a lot of time when doing a unit of ten.

Additionally, having made the desicion to paint the studs on the shoulder pads separately and also do thin lines on the 'underarmour' joints is also adding to the process.

Thirdly, despite carefully lining up the arms to the guns each time I build a marine, I seem to get a couple of marines in each batch which are wrongly positioned by the time I come to put the guns on.

I have a rigid system of enduring that the guns are kept with the correct marine throughout painting, so I'm not sure what's going on.

On a different note, I made the decision to not have the sergeant's crest match the vexilla of the squad as not only did a yellow crest look weird, but colour coding the squads came off as proper dorky.

The vexilla combined almost all of these issues and needed recovering as a green vexilla looked weird. On top of this, for some reason I just couldn't get it to glue to the pack.

I don't know whether it was the temperature or the glue has 'gone off' but I ended up taking the connecting parts off the banner pole and pack and making a new pole section (which glued just fine) and using superglue to connect it all.

All in all, this squad has been frustrating. However, they are now done and I don't need to paint any more batches of infantry for now. I do sense a mob of assault troops on my future when GW get round to releasing them, but I have nothing larger than squads of five on the agenda for the forseable.

I'm almost back on an even keel in terms of painting numbers and in other news I took part in the chat of a livestream done by a group of content creators surrounding the announcement of the new Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game starter set. They eaven responded to one of my comments on the stresm at one points and so I feel fully justified in ticking off another box on the Hobby Bingo card.

Acquired: 120
Painted: 116

Thursday 4 August 2022

Terminator 2: Salvation

I'll be back at the Tactical Marines in no time, but I fancied a bit of a break.

Not that much of a break, obviously, it's still red space marines.

Following the game on Monday, it became apparent that as bullet magnets extraordinaire, my Indomitus Terminators (that's what this type of armour is called in the Horus Heresy) might need a few extra bodies.

Three factors came together to help this happen:

1) Pete kindly gave me a Terminator he had got on the front of White Dwarf years ago that is the same as the ones my squad.

2) He also generously gave me two lightning claws to enable me to make use of the body that has been sitting in my bits box for a similar amount of time.

3) I shall get my maths right and not leave out a sixth Terminator and only take five.

As mentioned before, my Terminator squad are built with the models from the Assault on Black Reach box (5th edition?) plus a few promo models from White Dwarf.

I've not painted these exactly the same way, I've done Flesh Tearer's Red contrast as a base coat rather than doing a Nuln Oil was over Mephiston Red, but they fit in quite well.

The lightning claws guy is a bit of an anomaly as I don't think I can use him in a regular Terminator squad in 40k, so he will be Horus Heresy only.

As such, I think I'm going to give him a vexilla at some point (when I get my hands on a spare), as that's also a Heresy only element.

Here's the squad together.

They are still outmatched by Pete's Cataphractii Terminators, but I'm hoping that the new additions might mean more than two of them make it into combat next time.

Still chipping away at that deficit, but at least I've gone a couple of days without buying any models. I also had to tear a knackered Rohan horse off it's base (and chucked it into the bin) to complete these two, so I'm attacking the tally from both ends.

Acquired: 120
Painted: 106

P.S. I know the title is wrong, I'm just trying to trigger Matt.

Tuesday 2 August 2022

The Humble Tactical Marine

Let's see what we have here...

...oh look! More tactical marines.

You might need to get used to this.

I've finished off my first squad by adding five more marines, including a sergeant and a nucio-vox operator (radio guy).

All done in exactly the same way as in the last post.

The sergeant is armed with a plasma pistol and a power fist for close up action.

I don't think he's actually destined to stay with this squad as I think they are more likely to end up as objective holders and he needs to be punching people as much as possible.

The nuncio-vox operator is basically able to call in barrages and drop troops more accurately and so works a bit like an observer in Bolt Action.

However, I don't currently have anything in my army that benefits from him, so he's more future-proofing my force rather than being necessary right now.

This is one of the models I painted last week but I've added a vexilla (banner) to him to help with combat resolution.

I think my next sergeant is going to have a crest that matches this banner and the next vexilla will be green to match the power fist sergeant.

Here's the whole squad together.

I've also played my first 1000 point of Horus Heresy game against Pete's Alpha Legion. I didn't take loads of pictures due to the fact that Pete is starting from scratch with his army and so much of it is unpainted. However, here's a taste of what he's working on.

My army was as follows:

Cataphractii Praetor
Chaplain Consul
10 Tactical Marines
10 Tactical Marines (40k proxies)
5 Indomitus Terminators
Castra Ferrum Dreadnought
Baal Predator

Pete is working from the Age of Darkness box so his army was:

10 Tactical Marines 
10 Tactical Marines 
7 Cataphractii Terminators
Contemptor Dreadnought

His army was smaller than mine but he had quality over quantity.

We played the Shatter Strike mission, which requires getting units into your opponent's deployment zone and had the vanguard strike (diagonal) deployment.

Pete immediately pulled Alpha Legion shenanigans and redeployed with a refused flank. However, my plan was to hold him up in the centre whilst my tactical squads (which were scoring units) tried to get round the flanks.

Things went badly in the centre, as first my dreadnought, then my predator and my terminators fell to Pete's massed combined fire.

I wasn't helped by failing several charges and I was significantly outgunned by his contemptor.

However, despite heavy losses, my plan almost worked. I succeeded in preventing all but Pete's terminators crossing the board, got one tactical squad through his lines and almost snuck another in.

If I'd realised that 'stay the warlord' wasn't a thing in this scenario I might have actually made it.

The score was 2-2, with me getting a scoring unit through (2 points) and Pete getting a denial unit (1 point) and the attrition bonus (1 point) for killing more units.

We both enjoyed the game and I learned a few things that will help in future.

So I've closed the gap a little but gaining another two miniatures made progress even slower.

I've found painting marines more time consuming than I'd thought, even though I'm enjoying the process.

Acquired: 121
Painted: 104