Wednesday, November 13

Painting challenge - three hours to paint a mini

I'm normally pretty fast at painting models (once I get into the mood to do so) and I was in the mood to do so last night.  I have a league Blood Bowl game scheduled against a mate and I discovered that the different team values between our teams meant that I could hire a star player for this game - a goblin chainsaw looney called Nobbla Blackwart.  Thing was, I knew I had the mini somewhere but it was bare metal and I only had three hours to find it and get it ready!

Here's how he looked to start with once I'd dug him out of my lead mountain:

I quickly cleaned up the model and glued him to the base and took him out to the garage to dry whilst I shook up the can of black undercoat.  I gave him a blast with the can and took him back inside the house to dry in the warm while I found the paints I needed (mainly the purples as I rarely use those!)  Undercoating a model in the cold tends to make the black undercoat a grey colour - so I gave him a quick once over with a 50/50 black paint/water mix to get him fully basecoated.

Once that was dry, I painted Orkhide Shade foundation paint onto his skin and Leviathan Purple onto his armour and helmet.  After that, it was good old Goblin Green onto the raised parts of his skin and a 50/50 mix of the purple and Skull White onto the raised parts of his armour.  I pained his boots with a Vallejo Dark Grey and then started on the metal work.  Vallejo Gunmetal was drybrushed over his chainmail and the chainsaw - then highlighted with Mithril Silver.  I mixed up a bit of a bronze colour paint I had with Chaos Black to get it nice and dark and painted parts of his chainsaw motor with that - then painted his armour strapping with Bestial Brown.  That was highlighted with Bleached Bone and I used that on his teeth too.  There was not much left after that - a bit of Mithril Silver and Enchanted Blue for his goggles and a few dabs of Blood Red to give some colour to the chainsaw...

I got him finished well under the three hours I'd given myself - and I even had time before the end of the evening to base him (PVA - sand - wash with Devlan Mud - then more PVA for the flock) and give him a matt varnish.  It was only after I'd varnished him that I noticed I'd forgotten to paint a knuckle duster on his left glove - but I can tidy that up at the weekend.  He's still good enough to get into the action tonight!

Monday, November 11

Krox Blocked

The Cambridge Double Trouble tourney could have been a washout from the start.  My team-mate was ill and unable to drive so I had to post up to the organisers that I wouldn't be able to make it.  Thankfully, Nuffle was watching over me.  One of my other friends spotted my post and said he could pick me as he'd be driving past me anyway.  Fantastic!  Despite some serious traffic issues thanks to a lorry crash that closed the M11, the games got underway by around 11:00.

First up was a chap playing Skaven who was taking part in his first tournament.  His luck was against him and I won 3-0 and caused 2-0 casualties.  Off to lunch which saw more delays!  Finally I got game two under-way against an experienced coach playing Norse.  Things just went brilliantly for me in that game - I won 3-0 again but I'd caused 5-0 casualties.  I was starting to get the tingle of excitement round about now but then I found I was up against one of the tournament pros, again with Norse.  His first block of the game took out my Kroxigor which really was quite rough - but these things happen in Blood Bowl.  I sucked it up and started doing my best - and I managed to make it a 2-1 loss although I did cause 6-2 casualties on him.  Best game of the weekend by far even though I lost.

Sunday was a much more relaxed affair as the same friend drove me and we got there in plenty of time for game four.  I was matched up against Undead for that game and I just couldn't break though and score.  He did a great job against me and I lost 2-0 with equal casualties of 2-2.  Game five was against one of the best stunty team coaches around - he was using Goblins this time.  He had two fanatics (ball and chain which at ST7!) and he used them really well.  I had to be happy with a 1-1 draw but he out casualtied me with a 1-3 result.  In my final game I was playing against an Underworld team.  I thought I'd lose this as his first four turns went perfectly for him - but after that his luck turned on him.  After I'd scored, the kick-off results was a "Throw a Rock" which hit his Warpstone Troll and injured him.  He failed his regeneration roll so used his apothecary - which again was an injury.  So with no troll and being outnumbered, it ended in a 3-0 rout for me and it could have been 4-0 had a go for it worked at the end of the 1st half.  He did more damage to his own team than I did as they all hurt themselves when falling over - so the casualty result was just 1-0.

So - after a rather tricky and stressful Saturday morning it turned into a pretty good weekend.  I won three games, drew one and lost two so no complaints there.  It seems I also had the joint highest number of touchdowns which was a shock.

I enjoyed using the Lizardmen too - quite a tough team and the skinks are so fast!  I'll be using them again at the club BB one-day tournament on the 24th.

Friday, November 8

Double Trouble in Little Cambridge

CBBBL Trophy
This weekend I'm taking part in the Cambridge Double Trouble II Blood Bowl tournament and, after much deliberation, I'm going to be using my new Lizardman team.  It's a true doubles tournament in that you play in pairs as a team - and all the skills given to your players can only be chosen from the doubles skills list.  To add an extra doubles element to it, I and my buddy Luke are going to be using identical Lizardman team rosters.  If nothing else, it will give us a chance to see who can do the best with the same team!  I've never used Lizardmen apart from on the Cyanide PC game so it will be an interesting experience indeed.  If I can win a game or two with them, I'll be happy enough.

I'm two games into the CBBBL season at the club and it's been great fun so far.  My team in the league this year is Chaos Dwafs and so far I've got a draw against Skaven and a win against Orcs.  There's still eight games left of the season - if I can be in the top four teams at the end of it I'll get into the playoffs to see who gets their name inscribed on the trophy.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, October 25

Adventures in Time and Space

It seems like only yesterday...

No - wait.  It was only yesterday - that I had decided I was going to stop getting into new games systems, buying lots of models and then never getting around to painting or playing with them.

Looking back on my year of wargaming, I've bought toys for Star Fleet: A Call to Arms, Judge Dredd Miniatures Game, Urban War, Deepwars, Dystopian Wars and Dreadball.  I've only played a few games of Dystopian Wars and, of course, my beloved Blood Bowl.  This really is getting silly - so it was time to try to be sensible for once and get some focus.

My error was that I'd totally forgotten that my friend Darren was getting me a copy of the Doctor Who Miniatures Game printed rulebook - and I got that today.  A wargames rulebook based around Doctor Who.  Oh dear.  There's goes the cunning plan...

This all being said, this Doctor Who Miniatures Game rulebook (from now on known as DWMG) is something special.  These rules are available as a free PDF on their website but the team decided they would have them professionally printed in a limited run and sold via their Facebook page.  They even signed and numbered them - my copy was 61 out of 100.  The models shown in the book are available from Black Tree Design here : BTD - Doctor Who range

My favourite Doctor was Jon Pertwee.  He was the first Doctor I remember seeing on TV which must have made an impact on me as he stopped playing the role when I was six.  So - the chance to buy models to recreate some of his classic episodes in wargaming format will have to be done - at some point.  I'm not going to jump in feet first like I normally do and go crazy with the credit card.  I'm going to sell some of my old wargaming toys and use that cash towards the project.  I can foresee my Crimson Fists hitting the auction site fairly soon.

Aside from Doctor Who, things are carrying on as normal for me, in as much as I'm in a Blood Bowl mood.  The CBBBL season VI starts at the Bunker next Wednesday and I'm very much looking forward to it.  I've played seven warm up games to try to get myself used to the Chaos Dwarfs I'm using this season - and I've created a micro-blog to chart their progress -

Apart from the club tabletop league, I'm also taking part in the Cambridge Double-Trouble II tournament in early November (although I can't decide which team to take for that), I've arranged a one-day club Blood Bowl tournament at our regular venue the end of November and I've also started using FUMBBL as I want to increase the number of games of Blood Bowl I get to play throughout the year - I've signed up for a couple of online FUMBBL leagues.  All in all, there's quite a big focus on Blood Bowl going on.  I just can't help myself!

With all this thinking about Blood Bowl, I really should try to get some more of my teams painted.  I have ten painted teams and fifteen unpainted - it would be nice to have them all completed.  So I will either pull my finger out and paint them myself or give them to mates who run painting services when I get the cash to do so.

Next week, I'm on holiday for the whole week so I'm going to try to get some painting done.  In my weak-willed hobby butterfly capacity, I bought a Dreadball set and a Z'zor team - so I may try to get the Z'zor painted as I'm supposed to be taking part in a Dreadball league that's being run at the club simultaneously with.the Blood Bowl league.  I've never played a game of it yet but apparently it's supposed to be quite good.  I must admit to having made a point of avoiding it as, well, it's just not cricket Blood Bowl!

Either way, there's a lot of gaming to be done so I'd best get on with it...

Thursday, September 26

Blood Bowl Lizardman Team

Most wargamers have what we affectionately refer to as a lead mountain - those models that we had to buy but haven't had a chance or motivation to get around to painting...  My own particular lead mountain has a lot of Blood bowl models in it.  Quite a lot, in fact.  Of the twenty-one teams in the Blood Bowl rule book, I own at least one full team of each (for some teams I have more than one!) but I have less than half of that number painted and usable.

My mate Rid has recently started a painting service called Fanplastic Little Men.  Rid is probably the fastest painter I've ever met - every army he's owned has been huge and fully painted within a couple of weeks.  So - with so many of my teams unpainted, it was about time I gave him the Lizardman team and let him go at it.  We decided on the colours of red and yellow (being the classic colours of my Howling Griffons space marines!)  I think they came out great and I now have another team painted!  If you want him to paint anything for you, please give him a try - he's very well priced and fast!


Tuesday, September 24

Puggy Baconbreath - TFF Legacy Team 2013 entry

The most popular forum in the UK for discussing Blood Bowl is Talk Fantasy Football : and I've been a member of it for nearly ten years now (albeit a fairly inactive one).  Each year, someone organises for a group of the membership to donate and paint a model for a legacy team - when they've collected all the models, all the people who entered a model have their names put into a hat the the lucky winner is given the whole team to keep.  I've entered a few models into these previously - but I knew I had to take part this year as the chosen team was my beloved Halflings.

I offered to donate a Puggy Baconbreath model as he's my absolute favourite star player - and I was fairly sure I still had a couple of spare models of him lurking around in my lead mountain.  With the deadline for entering the model coming up, I dug out the Puggy model today and over the course of a few hours, he's completed.  The colour scheme is the one chosen for the team: light blue and white with orange highlights.  I'm pleased with how he came out although it did take me two attempts to paint the star on his shoulder pad with any form of accuracy.  All I need to do now is mail him to the team organiser and hope for the best when the draw is made!

Thursday, September 5

Bringing Out The Big Hats

With the new season of Blood Bowl fast approaching at the Chelmsford Bunker, I thought I'd dig out a team that I've had painted for years but never used in either a league or tournament - Chaos Dwarfs.

Over ten years ago, I read a Chaos Dwarf playbook in Blood Bowl Magazine Issue 7 (back in those days, Chaos Dwarfs could take trolls as well as minotaurs!) and decided then an there that I wanted to have a team of them.  I started buying them in bits and pieces off eBay - it took me a couple of years to get them all but I think I spent around £20 on the whole team in the end and that was including having a pile of hobgoblins.  The only model I bought direct from GW was a hobgoblin sneaky git that I used as the star player Rashnak Backstabber.

After I'd got all the models, they needed painting and, as I was deep in the middle of a host of 40K related projects at the time (a 1000 point Blood Angels army if I recall correctly...), I turned over the brush duties to a mate.  He did a great job on them, especially the minotaur which I was really pleased with.  After that though, I never had much of a chance to use them in a league and the few test games I had with them didn't go particularly well.  They are one of those teams that you need to practice with before they are effective... So they got stored away and they've been unused ever since.  With CBBBL VI starting at the end of October, I wanted to use a team I'd not tried before and it was time to dig out the Chaos Dwarfs and try to knuckle down and learn how to use them.

I'll be creating a mini-blog site for them to record their progress when the league starts but, until then, here's some pics of them.  I still need to paint numbers on their bases - best I get that done soon I guess...

Obligatory team picture
Bull Centaurs
Chaos Dwarf Blockers
Chaos Dwarf Blockers
Hthark the Unstoppable
Rashnak Backstabber
Zzharg Madeye

Friday, July 26

Quick update

Bunker crew at Broadside 2013
It's been a while since I posted on here so I thought I'd give a quick update just to prove I'm still around, albeit without much hobby related activity!

First up is that I never did make it to the Star Fleet tournament at Mongoose HQ.  Work interfered with my hobby plans by sending me to New York for a project - so I could hardly complain!  Even so, I haven't done much to the Federation models since I got back and probably won't until September once the holiday season is out of the way and the huge work project is finished..  My paint station is still filled with Federation ships though and they will be my priority once I get a chance.

I did attend the Broadside show in Sittingbourne on 9th June though and had a very good day demoing Dystopian Wars with the guys from my club.  We even took some video so you can see us not taking things very seriously at all... While I was there, I bought a Gorn fleet box for Star Fleet from the guys at Mongoose Publishing so I really do need to get cracking painting spaceships!  The Gorn fleet is fantastic - the models are just lovely.

Talking of Mongoose, I've recently bought some miniatures for the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game (soon to be republished and released by Warlord Games...) as I got the Dredd 3D movie for Father's Day and I couldn't help myself...  I've also very recently just bought the rulebook and a starter set for Deepwars by Antimatter Games.  The models look fantastic and I like the idea of  playing games set underwater - I've bought the Fortune Hunters and my mate Rid is going for the Dark Mariners.  More on those soon when the models arrive.

Finally, I can report that Blood Bowl season will be starting at the Bunker in October when the next CBBBL league will start (CBBBL VI to be exact).  I've opted to bring out my Chaos Dwarf team which I had painted for me years ago by one of my gaming buddies.  I've never used them in a league or tournament before so it's high time indeed they got an outing.  I'll take some pictures of them soon as all they need is to be numbered on the bases.  I've also signed up to play in the Cambridge Double Trouble tournament (Cam-Dub II as it's less formally known) - this is a doubles tournament where you play with a mate as a team and the only skills your players are allowed are doubles skills.  Luke and I are taking a dangerous mix of my Halflings and his Goblins for some stunty shenanigans.

Sunday, May 19

USS Directorate - Federation-class Dreadnought

With the Dreadball project out of the way, I've got back to painting Federation models for the Star Fleet game.  I had planned to paint all the models in my fleet from the smallest to the largest upwards but I need to get some different ships painted so I can start playing with them at the club.  With that in mind, I started working on a couple of Heavy Cruisers, two Fast Cruisers, a Command Cruiser (essentially a Heavy Cruiser with added hull sections) and a Dreadnought.  The hard part of painting these ships is getting the panel lines done - my way of doing it is spraying the models white, painting the panel lines in with grey and then carefully paint each panel white again.  It's fairly time consuming as it takes a few coats to the the white to build back up over the grey.  I ended up concentrating on the Dreadnought in an effort to get something finished - so here she is, the USS Directorate.

Wednesday, May 15

Dreadball Diversion

I've had a slight diversion from painting my Star Fleet models - this is a Dreadball Corporation team that I've painted for use at my gaming club.  Mantic Games were kind enough to give out starter Dreadball sets to GCN registered gaming clubs - so the Chelmsford Bunker had a team of Corporation players that needed daubing.  I stepped up to the plate and painted these in a rough approximation of the Trontek 29'ers away kit (as seen in the Dreadball rulebook).  I also painted the Refbot and the balls - one of my buddies painted the Orx team.  Anyway - here they are.  I can get back to painting starships now!
Trontek 29'ers

Saturday, May 11

Big Cats and Big Ships

I've treated myself to a Kzinti Squadron Box for A Call To Arms: Star Fleet.  Kzinti are 8ft tall tiger-like humanoids and are one of the main protagonists in the Star Fleet Universe outside of the three famous races of the Federation, Klingons and Romulans (along with Gorn, Hydrans and Lyrans).

Kzinti ships have a very different look to the other races as they have a very large command module and the rest of the ship is comprised of a long hull with side wings.  I think they're very cool and I'm planning to buy more of these for sure.
Kzinti Dreadnought - resin body with metal tail.  The resin body is pretty well cast with few blemishes.
Kzinti Heavy Battlecruiser - all metal and looking like it needs a fair amout of clean up work.
Kzinti Light Cruiser
Kzinti Medium Cruiser
Kzinti War Destroyer

As well as these lovely Kzinti models, I also had a delivery of the biggest Federation model in their fleet - the four-engined Mars-class Battleship.  It's a beast!  I really can't wait to build this and get it painted...
Federation Battleship
I've also been busy with some side projects for the game.  I have been printing out some custom made base labels onto laser sticker labels and I've used a compass cutter to cut them out.  I've also bought some of the Mongoose Publishing ship cards used for charting damage and weapon usage during a game - I've printed these out two to an A4 sheet, cut them and then had them laminated.  It should make things far easier when playing the game.

Making base labels
Federation Ship Cards
 One other  bit of Star Fleet related news is that I've signed up for the ACTA:SF tournament at Mongoose HQ in Swindon on 15th June.  This is going to be amusing as I've not even played one game so far!  I am planning to have a month of playing the game at the Chelmsford Bunker to help me learn the rules and to try to get some others interested in the system.  Thankfully, no-one else at the club needs to do anything other than just join in as I've bought more than enough ships and fleets for everyone just to use my stuff.

Monday, April 29

USS Jellico - Burke-Class Frigate

The first painted ship is completed - a small frigate but one of my favourite miniatures in the Federation range.  I painted this so I could get to grips with the process for painting the panel lines and working out which colours to use.  I also applied some decals from the Federation sheet sold by Mongoose Publishing.  The decals were particularly tricky to apply, even though there are only six on the whole model.  They are just so small and fiddly!  I still need to varnish and matt coat the model but I should get that done soon - I have ordered some Testors Dullcote spray which I have used before and had good results with.

Anyway - here's the USS Jellico.

Friday, April 26

Federation Shipyards

As you can see from the picture below, I've been busy and I've built all the Federation ships in my A Call To Arms: Star Fleet force - apart from the Mars Class Battleship which I'm still waiting to be restocked and delivered.

Next step is to undercoat them all white and crack on with painting them all.  I'm going to try to paint them in a factory-line process to speed things up although I'll probably paint a test model completely just to work out how I'm going to do the panelling on the saucer sections.


I've undercoated all the models now - they look a lot more like Federation ships now they are white!

Saturday, April 20

The Enterprise Indident

So - time to post up the pictures of my Romulan Star Empire models from the fleet box set.  Where they have them, I've taken pictures of the underside of the ships to show off the etched bird of prey outlines.

Romulan Fleet Box
Snipe Battle Frigates
Battle Hawks
SkyHawk Destroyers
War Eagle Cruisers
King Eagle Cruiser
King Eagle Cruiser underside
KF5R Destroyer (same model as Klingon D5 Frigate)
KR Heavy Cruiser (same model as Klingon D6 Heavy Cruiser)
FireHawk Heavy Cruiser
FireHawk Heavy Cruiser underside
FastHawk Heavy Cruiser
FastHawk Heavy Cruiser underside
SparrowHawk Light Cruiser
SparrowHawk Light Cruiser underside
Condor Dreadnought
Condor Dreadnought underside
So - there we have it.  Some very nice models with some very nicely etched bird of prey markings underneath.  The only issues I saw was that the wings of the ships do get a little bent when they were in the box, especially since they were posted.  Nothing a bit of gentle tweaking won't sort out, I'm sure.  The resin Condor looks pretty clean - not a miscast in sight.