Monday, 31 August 2009
I popped over to my friend Shaun's flat for a cup of coffee to discover that he had just finished painting the last of his Cadians. This involved eighty infantry in the last week alone. Shaun was conducting a full parade of his Cadian assets on the tabletop.
I could not resist taking a few pics. Apologies for the quality but I only had an internal flash.
Sean swears that his Cadians are now finished and can take their place in the line alongside his Tallerns, Valhallens, Vorsterans and Catechan regiments.
Well, they are almost finished. He still has three boxed Valkyrie kits to make and a hellhound.
More pics below:
Sunday, 30 August 2009
I have finished my Nurgle Blight Drone to show to Ramon at Tunbridge Wells Games Workshop. He has been giving me a painting masterclass.
This is my first attempt at using paint layering instead of the good 'ole wargamers standbye of drybrushing and washing (don't mention the Huron disaster).
I added rust from MIG powders using thinner to stick it on.
I decided to keep the base bland with respect to colour to focus the eye on the model but neverthess convey an image of a battle-churned wasteland.
What do you think?
Saturday, 29 August 2009
I picked up my copy of the third part of the Siege of Vraks Trilogy yesterday. I started buying this trilogy with Part One and was pleased with my purchase even at an eye-watering £38. I decided to collect a Vrak Renegade Army and my regular opponent, Shaun, collected the Death Korps of Krieg.
The book was good value for money with excellent graphics, two new army lists, scenarios, trench warfare, and lots of lovely new models. Shaun and I fought a campaign of very enjoyable battles. The only problem with Part One was the indifferent prose but that was a minor irritation.
Part One gets Four Stars (out of five).
I eagerly bought Siege of Vraks Part Two and was deeply disappointed. There was very little in it that was new and it was a mess. Key rules were missing. The book was padded with repeat data that a buyer would already own. I did not need datasheets for Chaos Land raiders and Rhinos. The Imperial player had only data for Krieg engineers to justify shelling out £40. The Chaos player was little better off with a Khorne variant renegade army list that was a mild reworking of the list from Part One. The worst feature was the truly dreadful prose. I do not know whether it really was much worse than Part One or whether I was losing patience but it stank.
Part Two gets Two Stars (and that’s being generous).
I bought Part Three to complete the set, laying down my £45 more in hope than expectation. My first impression was favourable. Forge World supply a stiff sleeve to take all three volumes. That was a nice touch. The graphics are as good as ever. Forge World have few peers in this area.
There is more new ‘stuff’ in this book. The Imperial player gets rules and data for the Minotaur, Valcador, Inquisitor Lord Hector Rex and a Krieg Armoured Regiment army list.
The Chaos player does well getting info to play Necrosius (a Nurgle sorcerer), Blight Drones and Blood Slaughterers (daemon engines), Gorefeaster and Jibberjaws (monsters), and An’ggrath the Unbound, Scabeiathrax the Bloated, Uraka Az’baramael, Mamon, and Zhufor (various characters).
The new Renegade Army List follows the pattern set in Part Two in being a mildly Nurgalised version of the Part One Vrak Renegade Codex. There is a useful roundup of the various Renegade and Heretic armies that can be used in the Siege of Vraks. The list does not allow the use of the new Blight Drones or Blood Slaughterer models, which is disappointing.
Part Three includes a simple but well thought out Campaign Game system based on area control and a point to point movement system on a map. This is a great idea.
Forge World have included extra Vraks Apocolypse Battle Formation sheets. Some are useful but others are a hoot. I particularly like the Ventarii Reaver Titan Maniple. To field this wonder all you need are three Reaver Titans and three Warhound Titans – on the other hand, you could squander the money on a second-hand car, pay your kid’s university fees, or eat for six months. I cannot see many people fielding thirteen Blight Drones at £40 a pop.
So far so good but now I get to the problematic issue. The prose is still awful to the point that it spoils my enjoyment of what should be a good read. The sentence structure is clunky with over use of sub-clauses in front of the clause, often in multiple combinations. The punctuation and grammar are also shaky. The way paragraph are split is often not helpful for the reader.
I quote below the opening sentences of three paragraphs selected from page 46 to show what I mean.
“Then, as suddenly as it struck, it was over. The damage done, the Traitor Marines had fallen back, and left the field to their summoned allies.”
“So it had come again. The daemonic incursion that the Visions of Seer Malphius had predicted had started with the followers of Nurgle, now Zurphor’s blood legions had managed to open another rift and done likewise. “
“Whilst Zurphor could call upon daemonic aid there was little chance of winning a war of attrition, his reinforcements were effectively endless.”
My final criticism is a matter of taste. I find the writing style overblown and portentous. This approach may be acceptable for a few lines of italicised fluff in a codex or White Dwarf but it gets wearisome over one hundred pages.
I give Siege of Vraks Part Three - Three Stars.
Friday, 28 August 2009
"Guys, this was a 21st Century Toys 1/16th scale Tiger 1 that a friend asked me to update. You can see the work in progress and the final model. I forget what panzer battalion this was but the markings are accurate. I applied zimmermet and painted and detailed it. My brother Stephen, who was also in my unit, did the decals. Taking it apart to rebuild was almost as much work as building from a kit.
I've done 3 of these so far: a Panther, this Tiger and an M48A5 - converted from a M48A3."
I've done 3 of these so far: a Panther, this Tiger and an M48A5 - converted from a M48A3."
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
I recently had a birthday and my loving family presented me with a whole raft of new Forge World toys.
I have decided to work on the Nurgle Blight Drone first.
This is a lovely kit. Eveything fits together well and all major joints are socketed for strength. The only tricky bit are the hoses. To fit these glue one end first and then dribbled boiling water on the resin. The hose can then be easily bent into shape using a pair of tweezers and the other end glued.
I decided to mount it on a copper rod for rigidity. I used a carpenters power tool to drill out the socket taking utmost care. It is recommended to do this outside as resin dust is nasty stuff.
I used epoxy resin (Araldite fast) rather than superglue as I am super-glue allergic. Resin is slow and tricky but it does give very strong joints as it flows into gaps forming a solid structure. It is also less brittle than superglue.
I will be back in a month or so with the paint job. This is such a good model that it is worth taking a little extra trouble,
Monday, 24 August 2009
I have added som 'bomber' pinup nose-art to my Old Crow Valkyries.
These are from Archer. They are laser-printed on white paper, cut out and stuck on with a thin layer of PVA glue.
One could easily make these but one avoids copyright issues by buying from a reputable supplier. They can be made on ink-jet printers but the ink must be stabalised with artists varnish or similar as it is water soluble.
All sorts of clip art is available or you can use your own designs. I doubt GW would care about scanning GW art to make transfers for use on your personal Citadel models.
I may try making my own dry and wet transfers next. The paper can be obtained over the web from Crafty Computer Paper.
Sunday, 23 August 2009
I seem to be doing a lot of weeping lately.
Have a look at these pics posted on the ID Works site:
How does one compete with that?
ID sell very nice resin bases. They only have a small range at the moment but no doubt it will grow.
Saturday, 22 August 2009
I try to complete one unit a week at least for my new IG regiment of light infantry.
And this is what I did this weekend.
The bases are from the Dark Art Miniatures urban range. Dark Art supply excellent bases in a variety of sizes and ranges at a reasonable price. There is a decent variety within each range.
I am trying out the Nikon image compressor on these pics so be prepared for a mess.
Friday, 21 August 2009
I picked up a model of Huron, the Tyrant of Bedab off eBay and stripped it. Incidentally, my stripping method is to immerse the model in commercial paint stripper in a ceramic bowl and leave overnight. Remaining debris can then usually be removed with a toothbrush and Cif Cleaner (kitchen degreaser). This also destroys the glue, taking the model right back to basics. The only downside is if you have plastic bits on the model. They will dissolve.
Anyway, I trolled over to GW Maidstone to get a painting lesson from Ramon, the manager. Ramon made the cut in a continental Golden Demon so he is very, very, good. I wanted to learn layering. I then went away and painted up Huron over three days. I was ecstatic with the results. They wouldn't win a Golden Demon but it was the best paint job I had ever done.
Without thinking, I gave the model a quick burst of Citadel satin varnish spray. Over the next two hours the varnish comprehensively detroyed my work, bit by bit, minute by minute. I could have wept.
I have done a quick recovery job to get a playing model, as you can see above, but its not a patch on my original paint job. Needless to say, my Citadel varnish is going in the bin.
Does anyone know of a varnish that will not destroy ones efforts at layering?
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
The Conqueror was designed at the end of WWII to counter the Soviet JS IS-3. It was the last heavy tank designed for the British Army when the Tiger was still in the Royal Tank Regiment's collective memory. It was the first British tank to mount a 120mm gun.
The tank was heavily armoured and heavy with overstressed mechanicals so it was unreliable. It was suprisingly manouvrable in the field. It mounted a rotatabe target selecting cupula for the commander, a feature not seen again on western tanks until the Abrams and Challenger II.
The army lost interest in the Conqueror when it was clear that the contemperary Centurion was endlessly upgradable.