Even in the wake of Age of Sigmar throwing the tabletop world into chaos (and being fun, more on that later) how can you not be excited for the new installment of the Total War series. I'm having major nerd flashbacks to playing Shadow of the Horned Rat and Dark Omen!
While out shopping a bit ago I spotted a 7" wooden round in the craft aisle. I decided to grab it on a whim, thinking vaguely about building some sort of diorama. As I've painted up the servos skulls this last weekend I've been thinking more and more about what that diorama might comprise.
I started with the broken sprinkler line and the insulation foam, placing them here and there on the base before I decided how they would best fit. Once decided I traced the locations, made final cuts, and then used hot glue to secure the pieces to the base. Next, working around and up, I started cutting and placing pieces of pine bark.
After all the pine bark was in place the next step was to mark out where the miniatures will fit in the picture. I used thin card strips to build forms around the marked locations, and with the entire piece covered with a piece of grocery bag I used Sculpy to build up the areas around the voids. After the Sculpy was baked and cooled I secured it using superglue. The next step was to level up the voids for the minis using more thin card.
After setting the card I used 1/8th inch thick cork to create a bit of broken concrete here and there especially around where the minis will be placed. The final step was to add sand all over. Once the PVA for the sand dries I'll give the entire thing a coat of 2:1:1 water-black craft paint-PVA glue to seal everything, and then a coat of 1:1 water-craft paint to make sure everything is coated black.
Hey ladies and gentlemen out there in the blogosphere! How was your 4th? Happy 239th, America!
Okay then, Age of Sigmar is here. We've all been analyzing the teasers and photos from WD and holy shit have I heard no end of hate on SPESS MERHEENS in fantasy... along with every other opinion positive or negative on the new game. I decided I'd glance at the rules and do a write up too.
And then I realized the glaring problem with this approach was that I haven't played a game of WFB since late 2010... so I really have no idea what I'm talking about in trying to make a comparison.
Thankfully the guys who do play have made their observations. Here are the musings from blogs I follow that I enjoyed reading.
The thing I've had resonate with me the most is the destruction of the Old World (all of it). I mean, I was a solid Empire player; artillery and infantry masses supported by rumbling, clanking death machines and hulking knights... but that was still only a very small part of the overall experience. I really loved the idea of the world, from the Wastes of Chaos to the temples of Lustria to the mysterious, savage lands of Cathay. The Lustria and Storm of Chaos campaigns especially were epic. I ate up those issues of WD. The first issue I ever picked up featured a battle report with Empire vs Skaven on an amazing battle field. The look of the world coupled with the fluff... Hell the heart of the Empire was a place that Man dared not tread fore the beasts and the forest itself would eat their greatest armies whole.
There were a couple books by James Wallis, Mark of Damnation and Mark of Heresy that really sucked me into the whole grimdark fantasy. The last Empire army I had (and the one I want to rebuild, regardless of state of game) was inspired by the events of those novels. Peasants and flagellants lead by Luthor Huss and Empire (militia :D ) Captian Karl Hoche. It was a ragtag mess of models when taken individually, but still kinda effective. They had a story, though! And it was just a small prequel of the events leading into Storm of Chaos it was still excellent. Gave me a good reason to get to take Valten every so often, too :D
And then Mordheim! The greatest city in the realm of man for adventure and riches; nevermind opportunities for modelling and converting your warband and terrain to wage battles in the shadows over. I built three warbands at least, and quite a few pieces of terrain to add to the card offerings that came with the base game. The awesome people over Cianty Games put together an amazing fan supplement to take the game out of the City of the Damned and into the wilds of the East.
Another thing that painted the world so vividly for me was the Warhammer Roleplaying game. The books had so much flavor.about life in the Old World...
I guess that is where the real problem with Age of Sigmar is to me, is that I don't want a new flavor of Warhammer. I liked the flavor it had. I understand that everything had stagnated completely. Everything was getting incremental upgrades and richer backstories. In 40k this works because you can expand that amazing universe laterally literally infinitely across the galaxy and the 10000 years the game universe covers. So I get why it was done. It just kinda sucks. What happens to Gotrek and Felix now? What is their place in the new era?
Star Wars did this shit too, now that I'm sitting here writing this up I can feel that bitterness creeping in. And I'm not talking about the prequels, here. This is Disney reaffirming that everything since Alan Dean Foster wrote Splinter of the Minds Eye and then the explosion of the EU following Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy has been retconned right out. That's everything. Rogue Squadron, all the great and shitty games, Shadows of the Empire! Gah. Lucas said before it's not canon but still... I'm just not as interested in the rebooted Star Wars franchise. And I'm equally not interested in the rebooted Warhammer.
Privateer Press launched Warmachine started with a free B size colour poster of rules and sixteen models across four box sets. I've never played so I won't compare rules but I will point out that similarity. It is also a skirmish game.
I said I was going to dig into the pile of unfinished projects over the weekend, and I have. These fences were featured in my fifth blog post, and seem to be the oldest unfinished project I have that isn't in deep freeze. The pieces needed sand added to them before they'll be ready for paint. They've been waiting for some time for this last step to be done... about time then.
Since there are eight of these segments to get painted, I decided that I wanted to paint the bases one step at a time. The above photos depict the each stage of the operation. They were based with black craft paint, then given a layer of Blue Slate Grey. Drybrush layers of Graveyard Earth and Seal Grey followed, then a wash of Devlan Mud. Drybrush layers followed again, Seal Grey then Bleached Bone. Finally, the edge was given a layer of Seal Grey.
I learned after painting the bases and taking on the metallics of the fence itself that I had done my work backward. Trying to keep black wash from flowing down and ruin the base was a pain in the ass, and one I don't want to repeat.
The good commissar was there at the beginning so I thought it fitting he be here for the scale shot at the end.
There is no good reason for pieces to go unfinished for over two years, especially considering all the free time I find myself burning doing nothing productive (it seems). This sort of thing still happens, though. I remember once I cleaned off my hobby area and found a whole box of Space Marines... Shit gets away from you sometimes. Therefore I pledge to have fewer unfinished projects just laying about for no reason... I'm looking at you, Mek Workshop.
Cleaning up the desk and I found a small bit of hardboard I had cut for something or other so I decided to whip something up. A ruined corner was quickly assembled. I added a pile of jerry cans from the Tamiya kit I get my oil drums from, and a Mad Robot grenade launcher. I think it needs some graffiti as well...
I painted the piece to match the base style I'm using on the Abhumans and my Inq28 models. Over the weekend I plan to complete some other pieces I've had languishing in the land of half finished projects. Stay tuned to see what comes of this new motivation.
And now for something completely different...
Ronnie Gamble, the gentleman who runs the excellent Eye of Error, is running a Kickstarter for custom decals. I'm instantly hooked just on the bitchin' posters that come of a 35$ pledge. That's a no-brainer for this hobbyist; two sheets of custom decals for my guard army and the aforementioned posters. Two sheets is enough for two platoons of unit markings, maybe three, and a sheet for vehicle patterns or whatever else I decide on.
bitchin' Kickstarter rewards
And finally, when I posted lamenting my many distractions (poor me, right? pfft) I forgot the most distracting of them all...
My girlfriend got a cat to call her own, Harry Potter Dresden Houdini... you can guess which of those I added. He's a fuzzy little shit, and I'm constantly surprised the other cats haven't ended him yet. Snow is infinitely patient with the playful kitten, and Deacon keeps him at bay with carefully applied swats. And hisses.
That's it for tonight. I'll have more terrain finished over the weekend.