Tuesday, December 29, 2015

An Explosive New Year with Algoryn Support!

Hi everyone,

I am back before the new year to wish you all - well - a Happy New Year!  I wont manage to write another post before then due to work, so now is my only chance.

On the last post I was working on my Algoryn AI Assault troops, but I had to stop for a few days.  I had the bright idea to give them a black oil paint wash, but in this cold and humid weather they are taking their fine time to dry.

Therefore I launched myself on another two small units, namely the Algoryn X-Launcher and Mag Light Support units.  They are both support choices in the army lists. They come in blister packs and are made up exclusively of metal except for the bases - like most of Warlord's Sci-fi range.

Like all the Algoryn models that I have worked on till now, they did have issues with flash lines and take some cleaning to be presentable.  Having said that, I did not go into too much trouble as these models are purely for gaming and I don't wont to get bogged down in cleaning.  I just hope they make these in plastic one day.
 

After putting everything together I noticed that I was given a targeter drone instead of a spotter drone with one of the packs.  I admit this kind of pisses me off, since spotter drones are not sold separately and I do need a few for my units!

After putting everything together I started with the basic colours.  I decided to paint up these guys in the colours of the Clan of the White Arm, with only minor differences to denote the field role.  




Basically I just painted their face white and the control unit on their left arm cavalry red like the all the guns in the force.

The last picture is a comparison of how the model starts off with its basic colours, and how it ends up after washes and highlights.  I think it is a good and presentable tabletop standard.  


For the last time this year, farewell and good heath and thank you from the heart for popping by, and taking a look. 

God bless you all!





   NR

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Merry Algoryn Xmas

Hi everyone,

First of all a merry Xmas to one and all.  If you don't celebrate - then all the best just the same.  I am writing this in my work break, so it will be short.

I have just finished my Algoryn Command Unit this morning before I came to work.  Once again it is a very basic and quick paint scheme that I spoke of two posts ago.


I am liking this game more and more, I have to admit, even though it takes a bit to learn.  The more I read, the more convinced I am that it needs revision - even though it has just been released.  I will write about this sometime in the future.

I also had the time this week to start base coating another unit - the Algoryn AI Assault Squad.  These are what pass for heavy infantry with the Algoryn.  These troops remind me of the Sardaukar shock troops from the novel Dune. Therefore I wanted these guys to be feared so I went with a black paint job.  I still left the white arm and breastplate for coherence with the rest of the army and added the red on their D-Spinner (the thing on their back).


Once again merry Xmas, and I hope to meet you before the New Year with another or maybe my last post for the year.

Farewell and good health,





  NR

Friday, December 18, 2015

After Selling Epic - What I bought!

Hi everyone,

I finally have sold off all my Epic 40K models, bar two items, and I finally received all the goodies I bought with the proceeds. The pictures below tell the story better than I ever can!
As you can see from the photograph above, I decided to buy into Beyond the Gates of Antares (BTGOA) and Infinity with the Nomads.  For BTGOA I bought the starter set and an Algoryn Skirmish force from Warlord Games (because they offer free postage world wide with purchases over 70 Stirling) and a few extras.  The same goes for the Concord troops.  I have played two games already and I do have a lot of problems with the game, but I did enjoy it and I am willing to give it a chance. Even though the game is new, I think a 2nd edition will be needed in a year or two in order to streamline the over-complicated rules - but that is for another post.

I have already downloaded the rules for Infinity, and buying the starter set was just too expensive with postage so I just opted for some starter sets.

At first, I wanted to buy into a game similar to Epic 40K - for example Dropzone Commander or Planetfall, but with Epic returning in a year or two with new updated models I decided to hold off for now until Epic comes out again.  Then I will decided into which system best to inject my hard earned cash.

But that is not all I managed to buy!  I also bought stuff for the modelling side of the hobby namely...
Yep, a ton of plastic kits from Star Wars to Gundam, to Macross and dinosaurs; besides several others.  This should keep me entertained for a year or two - probably more!

And that is not all!  I have also bought and put together a 15mm Sci-Fi force from several different ranges which I will be presenting soon.  Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to display them for pics.

So overall, I am quite happy with the amount of stuff I managed to buy after selling all my Epic stuff.  It took me over a year to get rid of nearly everything but the effort was worth it in my opinion.  In fact I find it rather amazing when I look at everything put together.

What stunned me most is that I managed to make at least 4 times the amount I bought my collection for, and still, my prices were still way cheaper than those of most of the Epic stuff that was selling on Ebay.   I think I managed to sell the stuff at the right time.  If I had left it longer, I might not have managed to sell everything, and certainly not at the prices I did before the news broke of a new Epic game!

That is all for this week.  Stay tuned next week for some more Algoryn troops.

Farewell and good health as always,





    NR

Saturday, December 12, 2015

1st Algoryn AI Squad - Clan of the White Arm

Hi everyone,

So, with the EU Summit over, CHOGM concluded and the Queen gone, I finally have a small slot to breath before Xmas puts work back into 5th gear.

Due to the high demands of work, all my projects fell into a sort of limbo, and I don't want to start them just to abandon them again before the season starts.  So I decided to paint up something simple and something that I will use.

Lately, I have played some quick games of Beyond the Gates of Antares (BTGOA) with a friend of mine, and I have to admit it is a great game.  I am a fan of Bolt Action's dice-in-the-bag and orders mechanic - so BTGOA was a real treat.  So much so, that with the profits I made from selling my Epic 40K stuff, I decided to buy into BTGOA and bought myself a stater set and an Algoryn skirmish force.

The first miniatures I decided to paint up were the Algoryn, because I think they are cool, and because my only opponent for now has a Concord force.

The box set is the Algoryn AI Squad.  These are the back bone of any Algoryn force.  The box set has 5 miniatures which according to the army lists can be increased to 8.  So, I also bought 2 single AI troopers to increase the squad to 7.  Now Warlord Games are selling the squad with 7 miniatures!  What a bummer!

As for the painting, I wanted a simple and quick scheme that would require the minimum amount of time according to current skill level.  At first I was going to go with an all red force, but it just seemed a bit too bland for such nice minis.  So I opted for a white arm and white shoulder and breast plates. Hence I named them the Clan of the White Arm.


The paint job still remained simple, a simple base coat of red, grey-white and black-grey, then and an enamel brown wash, after which a few highlights and details. I have not based the minis as yet.  When they are all ready, I will base them all in one go.  This way they will be more uniform.

The result is what you see in the pictures. Simple, quick and effective. Ideal for tabletop gaming. Altogether, I spent four 1/1.5 hour sessions over a period of 1 week.

I have also started the AI Command Squad, as you can see below. It is currently in the basic colours, and awaiting a wash.

Well that is all for now.  I hope to get in 1 or 2 more posts this month before holiday madness begins.

Farewell and good health to one and all!





    NR

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Community Spirit - At Work!

Hi everyone,

I know it has been sometime since my last post, but I was kicked out of my stupor after finding out that one of my favourite miniature companies was under severe financial duress.  I am talking about Heresy Miniatures.



I have bought from Heresy Miniatures several times during the years, mostly the barbarians and fantasy football stuff, and I cannot claim to be a regular customer, but yesterday I decided to make another order after reading Andy's blog entry.

I have always dreamed of making a living by opening up my own miniatures company - something small like Heresy,  but I never had the courage to take that leap.  So it saddens me to no end to hear that someone who has tried,  is now in financial troubles after 10 years of business and excellent service.

To make matters worse, Andy posted an entry on his blog about how difficult his situation is.  I will not even try to explain, since I have never been in his financial position, so I will let the chap speak for himself.


Constant, permanent begging.


What I hate most about my situation is the begging. I’ve just put in another 87 hour week, on top of two identical weeks before that and yet this is my situation:
Today is Tuesday, the 3rd of November. Sunday night’s dinner was egg and chips. Last night’s dinner was just chips cos we ran out of eggs. Tonight is our 14th wedding/21st together anniversary. We’re having chips again. Tomorrow we’ll probably have rice because we’ll have run out of potatoes. Basically I have zero money. Zero. Nothing. nada. no hyperbole, literally can’t buy food. September and October have been utterly dire in terms of orders, for various reasons, all of which I’m well aware of. One bad month is enough to end a business by itself, but two in a row is disastrous. I have to find £1500 in the next 3 weeks or HSBC are going to stop my overdraft facility and send the bailiffs round or something, presumably. I haven’t paid myself for the last two months because of bills that needed paying. This does not do good things to your bank account.
There are 1593 of you on my Facebook ‘friends’ list. If just 100 of them/you spent £30, I can pay the rent, pay Dan his wages that I owe him and buy some groceries. Much as I’m humbled by your ‘keep going, you do good stuff’ messages, and I truly am, what I need more than thoughts and prayers, is money.
If just one of you could spend £10, I’ll buy some sausages on the way home.

I have taken the liberty to post this from the Heresy Blog, and I apologize for not asking permission, but I did it for one purpose and only one.

To urge the gaming and miniature modelling community to help one of our own! 

So if you have some cash to spare go to Heresy Miniatures and buy something small or buy a lot.  Let us help keep this company afloat. If you want a tip, take a look at Heresy's ghouls - they are little gems!



That is all for now.  I hope you find it in your hearts and pockets to help Andy and his great little company out.

Until then farewell and good health - to you especially Andy!





    NR

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Wolf King is Coming - About time

Hi everyone,

Finally, after several years of waiting, the Space Wolves get another novel in the Horus Heresy series.  Now this fills me up with joy and dread at the same time.

If any of you have ever read my post about Prospero Burns, you will know that I have very mixed feelings about the book. I consider the book a lost opportunity. You can read my review HERE.


Now I don't want to stir up another hornet's nest with this.  The topic of Prospero Burns created a lot of heated debate, especially on the Bolter and Chainsword forums. Suffice to say that the book should have been called the Adventures of Kasper Hawser!

Also, for a book about the Space Wolves of the 30K, there is very little about Leman Russ himself.  He only appears for a very short time.  In fact, we learn more about Russ from other books than we learn from Prospero Burns!

I honestly hope this is an opportunity to bring out and flesh out Leman Russ' character in a more three dimensional way.  All the other Primarch's characters have been delved into, even Corax has had more written about him than Leman Russ - this has to change.

So I am hoping the guys at Black Library don't screw this one up!  The Space Wolves deserve better and they deserve more.

I only hope the book is written by Chris Wright.  I find that he does a good job of capturing the nature of the Wolves. His past books have been good especially the novel Battle of the Fang. and he is currently one of the best writers they have.

So we will have to wait and see, hope and pray and wish for the best.

Farewell and good health.





   NR

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mantic KOW Kickstarter

Hi everyone,

I have just come back from my holiday in the Italian Dolomites, and guess what I find in the post box? - My first Kickstarter!  This is the new 2nd edition of one of my favorite fantasy battle systems - KINGS OF WAR.

Those who have followed this blog in the past know that I am a big fan of this game and I enjoy playing this with 10mm and 15mm scaled miniatures.   I have also posted an article about how to adapt the game to these smaller scales.

Now that I have the book in hand I will update the article in a new post in the future.  For now I just want to show off what arrived.  As you can see I only opted for the basic entry level, because I only needed the book.  The rest was extra. Also, I am not interested in building another 28mm army, so I kept it simple and cheap.
Overall, I am very happy with the quality and presentation of the books.  To be honest, I am not interested much in the background of Mantica world, but I find the army lists down to earth and utilitarian.  So much so, that they can be adapted to many different game systems and worlds.
I really like the Gamer's edition of the book.  I will be using this the most and I will leave the hardbound volume on the shelf.  I also got a card of the hard bound volume, but no map!  I will have to contact them about this.

The counters are simple but nice and very useful.  I would have preferred if they were acrylic, simply because I prefer the feel of acrylic, but plastic is OK as well.




My favorite piece has to be the Ronaldo the Bard.  This is another freebie from this popular and successful Kickstarter. I honestly do not know what to use him for - maybe a diorama - but for now he will be stored until inspiration strikes.
The Tyrant King Blaine on Gramakh will be arriving separately later on.  I will post up some pictures when it arrives.  This is by far the best freebie from this Kickstarter.

Now that I am back, I hope to start posting regularly again, especially  since the weather is cooling down. So until next time farewell and good health from your friendly neighborhood modeler - Nightrunner.





    NR

Monday, August 31, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 4

Hi everyone,

So August has come and gone - and thank God for that!  I swear that with all the heat and humidity, I did not do anything hobby-wise, nor did I have the energy to do so. I was simply living in a lethargy bubble; oblivious off everything and everyone. 

Now that the heatwave has subsided I have started to regain my initiative and the will to create is slowly coming back!

Well, it is always good to start with small steps, so today I will just do a simple review of a product I bought for my Merkava diorama. 

I bought some products from Model-Miniature, a french company that sells 1/72 scale products that are mostly in resin.

The first product I bought were some 1/72 Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers.  Since this project is a diorama, it needs the human element to imbue it with life and scope.

The figures themselves are slightly on the larger side of 1/72, and are not chronologically accurate, but they are the best I could find.  The figures are made from resin and are well cast.  The arms need to be attached and care must be taken when cutting them from the sprue.  I especially like the dog - I admit that the canine sealed the deal when the time came to choose.
The other product I bought were some 'Hamas' propaganda posters at the same scale.  I intended to attach them to the buildings to add that sense of danger and realism to the scene.
Overall, I was not that impressed with this purchase.  They are simply scaled down printouts on normal paper.  The quality of the printouts are not that high either.  There are two identical copies of each printout, but there are only two.  What annoyed me the most was that the printouts were cut with a pair of scissors which makes the product seem very amateurish. 
You also get an A4 explanation of the product in french, which to be honest is not that helpful or needed. Nonetheless I will still use them, since I did fork out the money for them.
Well, that is all for today.  I will be back after the 10th of September.  I am going to the Veneto region in Italy for a walking holiday over the Dolomites! Yeah!  So things will still be slow around here for a while until I come back.

Until I come back, farewell and good health.





   NR

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Merkava Diorama - Part 3

Hi everyone,

Just came back from my break, and believe it or not, I feel even more tired than before - especially with this heat wave we're living through.

Despite the sweltering heat and the unbearable humidity, I have managed to overcome my lethargy and sit down and paint. I had left the Merkava tank off at the highlights.  It was now time to continue with adding some interest to the model.

So the next step was to add the washes and filters followed by the panel lining.  I will quickly explain the difference between a wash and a filter for those of you that do not know.  Basically a filter and a wash are the same thing, except for the concentration of pigment.  A filter usually contains 5% to 10% pigment and a wash has 15% to 25% pigment.  These values may differ according to brand or user.

I use filters and washes to add chromatic diversity and richness to a more or less monotone and boring colour scheme. This is done by adding the washes and filters to different panels on the tank, thus altering the colour slightly.

When the washes have dried properly, I use a dark brown enamel wash to panel-line the tank. Capillary action does most of the work for you, but if some of the paint slips, then just use a cotton swab with some enamel spirits to clean it up.
The next step is to add the decals.  I wont go into detail on this, as there are thousands of tutorials on the subject, but I strong recommend using decal setting fluid.


All the decals went on without a problem, but the decals of the turret were a bit tricky and required a heavy dose of patience. When the decals have dried, give them a coat of gloss varnish followed by a coat of matt varnish to blend them in.

After the decals where ready, I continued to add more chromatic diversity by oil-paint staining.  In this technique, one basically adds dots of oil paint over areas of the model then gently wipes it away with mineral spirits until a see-through patina is left.  I recommend leaving the oil paint on some cardboard in order to absorb the oil.  I used mostly white, burnt and natural sienna and burnt sienna.


The last step was portraying the wear and tear and the adding of pigments. This is by far the most entertaining part, but also the step that can make or break the model.  I admit my enthusiasm brought me close to ruining the model.  For now I only worked on the hull of the tank.

After adding the scatches, using a very light shade and hull red, I applied first some pigments on the tracks.  To add volume to this, I mixed the pigments with some plaster of paris.

I then went ahead and added different pigments to different areas of the body, in order to maximize on the chromatic diversity pigments offer. A unique aspect of the Merkava is the engine grills and exhausts on the sides.  I used black pigment to stimulate the effect of exhaust. I over did it a bit on the side panels, but I will fix this latter on with the use of some water and mineral spirits.



A new technique that I tried out today was that of oil and engine spills. I used a product from the Mig series called Engine and Oil Stains. I used the paint in 3 stages.  In the first stage, I thinned the paint down by adding a large amount of thinner and laid down a foundation.  I subsequently added another layer with less thinner and the final layer straight out of the bottle. The effect are very pleasurable and help to diversify the monotone colour scheme of the Merkava.
One again, that is all for today.  Until next time farewell and good health.






    NR

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