Monday 30 December 2013

Dystopian Wars Kingdom of Britannia Fleet

So Christmas has gone by for another year and amongst the new toys beneath the tree I found two wonderful gifts - firstly the Dystopian Wars rule book and secondly a pile of inspiration to start my Kingdom of Britannia fleet (which has been languishing in a box for quite some time now).

Despite the fact I knew I'd not score as many points in the painting challenge as the effort to paint these is worth, I simply couldn't resist and out came the brushes. I was sorely tempted to go with the "standard" dazzle pattern on the hulls but it has been done so many times before I decided to try something different. I've gone with a royal blue and bronze scheme with white highlights. It looks quite striking en masse and is easy to replicate which is a real bonus.

Here are some shots of progress so far...

I've got a couple of aircraft and a dreadnought complete as well but they can't appear hear til Curt has displayed them so stay tuned.

This is likely the last post for 2013 so it only remains to welcome aboard Warlord Pail and wish all our friends and followers a wonderful New Year and fabulous 2014.


Wednesday 25 December 2013

The Emperor's New Toys

SWMBO might disagree that I'm the Emperor of anything but I like to think I have some small amount of imperial power within my four walls. Regardless of whether I do or not, right now I certainly feel like an Emperor having been showered with all manner of goodies this Yuletide. So what did I get?

Firstly, RAIN and lots of it. Most people would say that blows at this time of year. As a volunteer firey it rocks my world as it means I'm at home with the family when it matters most. I'm currently somewhere beneath this lot and the only thing I can do is eat, enjoy the company of family and play with my loot. Awesome!

Let in rain, let it rain, let it rain!

Aside from nature's gifts I also lucked out big time, finally getting my sweaty little grippers on the converter's best friend in a Dremel. Any minute now there'll be heads and limbs flying across the desk, none of them mine! Gone are the days of carefully hacking my own fingers off, now things will be done properly.

Add to this all sorts of other goodness including a stack of books like this little beauty and the Dystopian Wars rulebook, the new Presets album and some miniatures and I'm as happy as a man can be. What more could an Emperor want?

Here's hoping you lucked out as well as I did!


Undead Army of the Cairns Part I

Hi All,

Now that my miniatures have appeared on Curt's Analogue Hobbies blog for 24 hours I can post them here too. This is my first batch of units on my way to painting up Heinrich Kemmler's Undead Army of the Cairns.

You can see from the following army diagram how I'm tracking. Pretty solid progress for week one!

Now on to the miniatures...

First up we have a couple of core units. These are Simulacra, essentially animated statues from barrows and mausoleums. They're the original wight models and some of my favourites from the fantasy range. In total there are 12 figs split into two units of 3 bases each, or I could play them as one big unit if required. They were undercoated black and then dry brushed and inked a number of times to get the desired stony finish.

Next up is another animated statue but this one much larger. This is a Tomb Stalker (one per unit) and is one of the early Chaos Centaur models. He's a special choice in the list. He was painted the same way as the Simulacra but given his size I've spent a bit more time on the basing.

The third set is a pair of Ghosts, one each per unit. The female is a pretty recent banshee sculpt and the other is an old skool ghost miniature. These count as core choices in the list. They were painted the same way as the Simulacra and Tomb Stalker.

Second last is a unit of eight Mummies from the old Khermi range. These are classed as special choices under the list. They were undercoated brown and the dry brushed, inked and then over painted to get the desired result. I've painted these figs three times now over the years and this is the first time I've been properly satisfied with the outcome.

Lastly is the piece of resistance (and didn't he resist!), a Winged Nightmare. This is also a unit of one and counts as a rare choice. When I purchased the model it was in a horrible state. Past owners had attempted to pin the joints numerous times and had damaged him quite badly in the process poor chap. It took 2.5 hours just to pull him apart without further injury. Another 4 hours was spent pinning and rebuilding him, including filing away the saddle behind the head, followed by carving and inserting two more spines to give the right look. He's the 6-million gold piece monster! "My Spikey" was undercoated black and then painted in layers with a bit of dry brushing on the leathery part of his wings. He's very dark (obviously) and has more depth in real life but no amount of Photoshop Foo could bring him up better unfortunately.

I've also completed a couple of extra "fluff miniatures" for my 40K Angeilicus Mechanicus army...

And that's it for completed stuff to report on. I've got a unit of skellies painted but unbased as yet, plus plenty more stuff lined up on the desk so stay tuned.

Finally, a quick and festive welcome to Legion Games who has joined us as a follower.


Merry Christmas from everyone at C&G!

It's that time of year again which can only mean one thing... That's right, it's the Ogre of Europe with his well know dislike of all things festive!

Unlike the great man however, we fully believe in the magic of great mates and good times. So from Millsy, Evan, Nug, Cory, Russ, Bob, Graeme, Adam and all the hangers on,  Merry Christmas!

Everyone at C&G

Sunday 15 December 2013

Kicking off the Painting Challenge

Right. Here we go. Three months of brush wielding mayhem, banter and absolute rollicking nerdy fun. Curt's 4th Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge starts tonight!

I've set myself a personal target of 1250 points, plus the side challenges of finishing an entire army and taking on Tamsin and Samuli who have similar points totals. Clearly there's NO time for slacking.

I've also worked out most of my stretch goals. These aren't compulsory but they ARE a source of quick points...

December 22: Non Combatant(s)
Warhammer 40K Adeptus Mechanicus acolytes / henchmen

January 5: Villain(s)
Warhammer Heinrich Kemmler

January 19: Vehicle
Warhammer 40K SM Razorback OR Warhammer Wight King Chariot

February 2: Hero or Heroic Group
Mounted Marechal Michel Ney

February 16: Casualty / Casualties

March 2: Favourite Character
Warhammer 40K Techmarine

March 16: Last Stand
Something from Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow

And just quickly... warm welcomes to Wiatrog, Lee Hadley, Neil Andrews and Geoff K.


Wednesday 11 December 2013

Heinrich Kemmler's Undead Army of the Cairns

I'm still up to my armpits in prep for Curt's Painting Challenge which starts this weekend. I'm much closer to being ready now though and quite chuffed about things as they stand. Here's what's going on by way of a teaser...

Until it was declared I was operating under the assumption that The Challenge would be historical figs again this year and was planning accordingly. When it was announced that both fantasy and sci-fi were allowed this time round I immediately revised my plan. I'll still do plenty of historicals but I can now get into an Oldhammer project I've been collecting figs for since late last year - Heinrich Kemmler's Undead Army of the Cairns (hereafter UAotC).

The UAotC appeared as a "fluff army" in White Dwarf issues 309-311 and when I read about it I was instantly hooked - it's packed with character, a relatively low model count and satisfies a hankering I've had for some time - to paint some undead for Warhammer that aren't Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings (which are the standard lists).

Here's my list as it stands. Click for a larger version...

By way of explanation...

Kemmler - original character model
Barrow King - original wight model mounted on a chaos chariot
Krell - original character model
Shadow Druid - original dark emissary model with head swap
Simulacra - original wight models on 40mm bases
Skeletons - original models
Ghosts - original banshee and ghost models
Embalmed Ones - original khermi mummy models
Unquiet Horsemen - original black knight models with mounted wight champion
Winged Nightmare - original model with rider/saddle removed

It's a tad over 2,000 points and I've got all the miniatures I need, the original ones rather than the latest versions. I've mostly stayed faithful to the actual miniatures in the articles and where I've deviated I've gone with the suggested options. I reckon I can paint the whole army as part of the challenge. What mods I wanted to make to the miniatures are now complete, especially tarting up the Winged Nightmare and adding some more spikes in place of the saddle plus bulking him up along the shoulders and joints.

So I'm ready to go, at least in this department of The Challenge. Stay tuned for more UAotC...


Sunday 17 November 2013

Basing, a Prince's New Coat and a Warning from the UN

Hello all. Something of a mixed bag to finish the weekend...

First up, I've finished the last couple of odd Necromunda figs I was working on and based the lot up. Remember to click for larger versions of the image.

Secondly, Grand Prince Dmitry IV Dmitrovich of Velikye Byelgorodniya has a new coat! Click away to read all about it.

And finally, the UN met recently and have added a new item to their list of prohibited terror weapons. Henceforth it will be illegal under the Geneva Convention to allow small children to roll dice on behalf of grown men. You have been warned.


It's ON again!

Huzzah! It's November and that can only mean one thing - Curt from Analogue Hobbies is back with his Annual Painting Challenge. If you want to get on board be quick as places are limited and go like hot cakes!

Last year was my first time round and very lucky I was to get in as the last entrant, thanks very much to Curt's generosity. I hope I was able to repay his kindness, putting in a solid effort to finish in the top 10 overall and submitting this as my entry fee...

Now last year I had no idea what I would be able to deliver being a complete noob. I went for 500 points as my painting par and was way off, eventually finishing with more than double that on 1168, made up of 393 miniatures at various scales over the three months. Surely this year I can better that? I'm thinking 1250 will be a good place to start.

So wish me luck and stay tuned to see what I can pump out. Hopefully the quality will be maintained along with the quantity!


Monday 11 November 2013

More Necromunda on the workbench

It's raining! Hurrah! At last, after all the hot dry weather and bushfires it is RAINING and RAINING HARD. The direct result of that, however, is that I can't varnish anything. And the direct result of that is the only other thing to do is keep painting.

Consequently I've been doing something I very rarely do - painting for the sole pleasure of painting itself. Normally I bash away at stuff at high speed, driven my desire to see things complete and on the table.
With the Necro figs I'm working on at the moment though I have settled into a steady rhythm and am really enjoying them. So what's been done???

Firstly, a couple of official Necromunda bounty hunters, a spare plastic 40K dude and a random fig I can't for the life of me identify. The first three are all yours to name Evman. Number four I've already taken care of...

TBA, TBA, TBA and No Way Jose aka "The Remonstrator"

Rear view of the above

Next is a couple of 40K Imperial guardsmen and a pair of proper Necromunda gangers. Numbers one and three have both had their heads gleefully hacked from their shoulders and replaced with something less akin to their true nature. Hopefully that disguises them a little. If not, who cares anyway? Name away Evman...

Head-swapped Valhallan, Valhallan, head-swapped Cawdor heavy and Orlock

Rear view of the above

I've got one more 40K Catachan and an old-skool plastic gretchin to go. There are also a couple of Mordian Guard with special weapons left over which I can't decide what to do with. Trade? Paint anyway?

Lastly, before my manners desert me the heartiest of welcomes to Neil Andrews, Geoff K and Danisnotatree who take the follower count to 137.


Saturday 2 November 2013

Workbench update

Still preoccupied with Necromunda I've been painting some of the Hired Guns from the original game,
in this instance the Underhive Scum. These guys are now ready for varnishing and basing. In the background you can see a couple of Bounty Hunters, a random fig from another system and a 40K Imperial Guard fig I somehow acquired. They may as well get painted and used as extra Hired Guns if required.

Hired guns. Names anyone? The guy on the left is definitely a "Fabio"...

I've also been reading back through the rules and a pile of the old PDFs and supplemental stuff that was released in various magazines. Unfortunately all that enthusiasm has led to me looking over my existing paint jobs and decide they are simply not good enough. Consequently my Delaque have already been stripped and my Pit Slaves (below) are also going in the Simple Green soon.

Pit slaves. A hole mess of em...

And that's it for now, except to welcome aboard Conrad Kinch and Legatus Hedlius!


Wednesday 30 October 2013

A to Z Blogger Book Survey

Here's another blogger survey doing the rounds at present - the "A to Z Blogger Book Survey".

Steve from Steve's Random Musings, Vladdd309 from Too Much Free Time, Legatus from Legatus' Wargames Armies and Laughing Ferret from Laughing Ferret Lab have all had a go. I don't always get on board with these but my inner librarian can't let this one pass (yes, I have a real qualified librarian locked away who has never been allowed out to play).

So here we go...

Author you've read the most books from:
Hard to say for sure. It would be one of three - Raymond E. Feist (Riftwar series), Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe's Rifles series) or Peter F. Hamilton (pretty much everything he ever wrote). All three I go back to on occasion and I am just finishing the entire Riftwar series for the third time.

Best sequel ever:
The Demon Lord by Peter Moorwood. One of my favourite all time fantasy novels. It even says it's that good on the cover! If you have never read the Clan Wars series I thoroughly recommend them all. In fact I think I might just read them again...

Currently reading:
A Bastard of a Place by Peter Brune. Only just started but it looks very good and has great reviews. I haven't read much on Aussies in the Pacific so when I was given this I was quite chuffed.

Drink of choice whilst reading:
Tea, always tea. Beer is for football and parties.

E-reader or physical book:
Both. I am slowly divesting myself of my paperback novel collection and turning to eBooks for those. My history and wargaming collection will remain in paper for a variety of reasons. eBooks are great for text only and never running short of reading on the train BUT they aren't much chop for maps and images, nor do they smell right.

Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school:
Goldberry. I wouldn't have had a snowball's chance to be honest. Tom Bombadill would have kicked my ass for starters. Still...

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Kitchener's Last Volunteer. A truly amazing story. I don't often lose my well hard manly exterior but I teared up a couple of times reading this.

Hidden book gem:
The Seashell on the Mountaintop by Alan Cutler. I loved it and apparently so did Simon Winchester.

Important moment in your book life:
The day I came across Don Featherstone's War Game Campaigns. I found it by chance in our local public library when I was about 12 years old. I'd never read anything on wargaming at all beforehand, not even a magazine article. 31 years later and I've got a massive pool of amazing mates (in the flesh and online), a wonderful miniatures collection and a hobby I'll be doing to the day I fail my last saving throw.

Just finished:
Tobruk 1941: The Desert Siege by Timothy Hall. I have far too many books on Tobruk and have no plans to stop collecting them...

Kind of book you won't read:
Self-help, how-to-be-a-better-xxx, trash fiction or pretty much anything a LOT of people tell me I SIMPLY MUST READ. To this day I've not read any Harry Potter, Dan Brown or sparkly vampire crud and I seriously doubt I ever will.

Longest book you've read:
War and Peace. Glad I made the effort but not something I'll be going back to.

Major book hangover because of disappointing endings:
Amtrak Wars series. I have no idea what Patrick Tilley was thinking but there was a distinct "um... and then I woke up" feel about it. His editor should have kicked his ass.

Number of bookcases you own:
Ten(ish). A couple are only half full. I've been cutting down my paperback collection of late so it could easily be more. Doubtless it will be again once I get past the large pile I'm currently working through.

One book you've read multiple times:
The Demon Lord by Peter Moorwood. See above.

Preferred place to read:
In bed, or in a beanbag in the sun by my back windows on a Saturday morning. Bliss.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
None in particular. I tend to take a general feeling from books more than individual quotes. For instance, every reading of Don Featherstone reinforces my desire to enjoy my gaming and ensure by fellow gamers do too.

Reading regret:
Game of Thrones. Great books, great story. HOWEVER, George R.R. Martin is one of history's great procrastinators. I've now reached the point where I refuse to buy his books any more. The gaps between were for so long far past reasonable and his excuses for not writing whilst happily doing all sorts of other stuff just annoyed me*. I'm simply going to watch the TV shows now and buy author's other books instead.

* Don't get me wrong, I'm not some crazed reader who demands author's finish works because I bought a book and there is now some massive obligation owed. But still...

Series you started and need to finish:
None I can think of, given my comments about Game of Thrones above. I'm a serial finisher thankfully.

Three of your all-time favorite books:

Demon Lord (see above)
Comfort food in book form!
Cracking stuff!
Unapologetic fanboy for:
Basic D&D. I love it. So sue me...

Very excited for this release:
Anything at all by Peter F. Hamilton or William Gibson.

Worst bookish habit:
Reading at least three books at once. Usually that's fiction for the train, non-fiction for bed/weekends and gaming stuff whenever I can fit it in.

X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:
Crikey! Which bookshelf? I went with the closest to where I am right now.

Your latest book purchase:
About to start this...

Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up waaay too late:)
The Death of Achilles. Akunin writes top-notch historical fiction. If you've not read any of the Fandorin books get into em ASAP.

And that's me done...

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