May 132014
 

I’ve been longing to do science fiction gaming for a long time… a long, long time. However, I haven’t been able to decide on what type of scifi I’m after. I’m equally attracted to Star Wars style swashbuckling, Star Trek-like away team in 60s tv-show action, hard scifi “future modern” warfare, Warhammer 40K space fantasy and Mutant Chronicles mega corporation mercenary fighting. About the only scifi gaming genres I’m not keen on is spaceship combat, really.

The stuff I’m hoping to be painting for the next little while (ie few years). In the bags are a bunch of the earliest Orks (and in the small bag a few Battleclones from Spacelords). It’s a nice mix of old and new.

So, after some introspective soul-searching I came to the conclusion that I want mostly 40K. Mostly. No Dark Eldar, no Necron, no Tau. No “only war” stuff. In the grim darkness of my future, there is some war – but mostly every-day business, wheelings and dealings, schemes and plots. So the main conflict of Emperor vs Chaos must go. Come to think of it, so must the space marines. “WHAT?!” I hear you say. Yeah, no space marine chapters such as they are in 40K. No emperor and no heresy. In fact, no Horus either. Screw all that! I’ll have power armoured elite troopers (ie space marines), some will be organized in chapters (but no Blood Angels, Space Wolves or Ultramarines). I’ll pick a few chapters I think are cool (that means, chapters which colour schemes I like the look of – I don’t know enough background fluff). Those are in, the rest are out. Never existed. Or maybe they did, aeons ago. It’s not really important.

What I’m currently painting.

What I’m aiming for is adventure gaming with the pathetic aesthetics ever present. Main focus will be on 28mm skirmishes using 10-30 miniatures, mainly older sci-fi stuff such as the initial releases for Rogue Trader (up to and including some early 90s stuff), Hobby Products fantastic Space Lords range and Alternative Armies very nice (and old but rechristened) Ion Age range. It has Bob Olley sculpts! I’m not sure what rule system to use here either. Most likely something a bit more accessible than Rogue Trader, such as Savage Worlds Showdown or Pulp Alley.

Here are a few sources of inspiration that I’m drawing heavily from:

Docking Bay 94, Mos Eisley and Tatooine in general. Nice, grubby and lived-in look.

 

Hunters 2 for the iPad and iPhone. Even though you only see a top down view, both troopers and environments are hugely inspiring to me for some reason.

 

Fun 40K! Pic nicked from Jonas’ Death World Adventures. Click the pic to check out his battle report.

 

Firefly, cause it’s a pretty decent space western!

 

2000AD.

 

More 2000AD (I even have a Sam Slade mini ready for paint).

 

Seriously… 2000AD! Almost anything will fit nicely into “my” universe. Strontium dogs, rogue troopers and robo-hunters sound exactly like the type of thing I want. Judges, not so much. It’s too recognizeable (though that could be argued about Johnny Alpha too) and contained within it’s own story. I’ll nab some ideas about mutants, the cursed earth and the dark humour from Dredd though.

 

And here are a few things I’m avoiding completely:

Boring, stupid 40K. This is the image taken from the English wikipedia article on 40K. I shitte thee notte! Marvel at the colourful scenery and well painted miniatures!

 

Dark Eldar

 

Grimdarkonlywaryawn!

 

Squat bikers. Regular space suit and pirate squats, yes! Long haired with bandanas and vests, NO!

 

Arm-flailing retro robots of the 50’s futuuuuure. No thanks. You guys are fun in other contexts.

 

Chaos Space Marines as such. They’re just too big, too bad and too obvious. Not really fun bad-guys. There’s something about this image though… something about the over-the-top daftness is alluring. If I end up using chaos marines, I’ll make sure to not take them seriously! How could anyone take these guys seriously though? Their flamers have “pointy tiff”!

 

Next, something properly painted on this blog – for the first time this year! You jokers in the back muttering “for the first time ever, more like” – don’t think I don’t hear you! Also a more detailed campaign background, to prime my poor uneducated friends who couldn’t tell the difference between a hormagant and a carnifex. Noobs.

May 102014
 

Haven’t been posting in a while, as I have been neither gaming nor painting much. Enough of the apologist crap though, this is mainly a hobby blog and not a “sorry I haven’t been updating” type of blog.

The reason I’ve awakened from my slumber is that Steve (aka Thantsants) over at Somewhere the Tea’s Getting Cold have given me one of those dreadful chain-award things. That said, I do enjoy talking about myself. It’s one of few topics I’m a world leading authority on so it stands to reason I’m pretty into it.

A part of accepting a Liebster is to state eleven truths about one self. Here are mine.

Truth #1
I hate it when people say things like “The proof is in the pudding” or “Without further adieu”. The proof of the pudding is in the EATING, not in the pudding. Dolts.

Truth #2
I dislike club gaming and gaming clubs. I prefer to play games with people I enjoy hanging out with to begin with. If the only mutual interest is the game we play then I’m not interested. I’ve had too many unenjoyable club games with munchkins only interested in winning. That being said, I’ve made some good friends through gaming too – so it’s not all bad.

Truth #3
I love my family more than anything and would not spend a minute with this hobby unless my wife approved. Which she does, begrudgingly, as she knows I would go nuts if I didn’t do it. What she might not know is that I would go even nutser (yes) if I didn’t get to hang around with her and my son on a daily basis.

Truth #4
I thoroghly enjoy a good cigar and have a nice table humidor and a large storage humidor in which I keep my stock of about 200 cigars. Not much by geek standards, but I never went full cigar geek. It is however a very enjoyable past-time, to sit down outside on the patio in the sun for an hour or so to have a good smoke. Preferrably accompanied by a good book.

Truth #5
I trained to be a chef, but after I graduated from school I went right back in and studied informatics (that’s IT stuff) for five years. After that I’ve been working as a test- and automation specialist in software development for nearly 14 years and last year I started Neodev, a joint venture with a few colleagues. We’re a consultancy firm specializing in developing automated test frame works and tools. I’ve been with the same client since the start.

Truth #6
For my cousin’s stag party kidnapping part, I dressed up in a pink morph-suit to portray the evil mastermind Doctor Losernoob.

Truth #7
I used to be a dog person, but have since become a cat kook. Low-maintenance pets with a high yield of affection. I don’t want an animal constantly bugging me for attention. Cats fit the bill well and our cat Vizky is just right for us. I can’t imagine me ever getting a dog again, I’m mostly annoyed by dogs nowadays.

Truth #8
I have a rather hefty CD collection with over 1000 titles. I never listen to them and it saddens me. I love electronic music more than any other type, but hiphop almost as much. Stuff like The KLF, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Nitzer Ebb, The Shamen, The Orb, Underworld make up a sizeable part of my CD collection. More recent discoveries include Glitch Mob, Evil 9 or Dilemn. I’ll leave you with three links to playlists on Spotify, where I’ve put together 100 songs from 100 artists. One genre-less, one hiphop and one with “synth” which would be the Swedish term for anything from 80s new romantic to industrial via hipster electronica.
100 från 100 – Hiphop
100 från 100 – Synth
100 från 100

Truth #9
I’m an avid buyer of comics and recently shifted to digital comics via Marvel’s rather brilliant digital service. I share an account with my cousin and we’ve been buying quite a lot of comics over the past two years. Digital comics are great for discovering new stuff and amongst my favourites over the last year have been the Siege cross-over, Avengers Academy, Moon Knight by Bendis and Hawkeye’s solo book. The greatest disappointments were Avengers vs X-Men and Age of Ultron. No surprises there though, cross-overs are usually rather dull affairs with little to no lasting effect. I’m in the final few issues of Superior Spider-man and have enjoyed it a lot more than I initially expected, given the rather silly premise. I can also report (happily) that the interest for Spider-man and superheroes in general has been inherited by my son.

Truth #10
I’m one of the luddites who still buy  movies on physical media. I can’t say why, but I find the experience superior to watching streamed or downloaded movies. I’m currently setting up a room in our basement to serve as a combined home cinema and play room for the kids, renovating it from ground up. So far, walls and ceiling are done and the rest remains to be finished. Then I can start buying furniture and tech, the fun parts!

Truth #11
I have never in my life owned a fully painted Warhammer army of any kind. I even struggle finishing Blood Bowl teams (16 players). I should really try to lower my bar for when a model is finished and good to go for gaming. In an attempt to do that, I try to finish the basing before I’m done with a mini. That way, I can say “Enough!” earlier as the base helps to lift the general appearance of the miniature.

 

After the truths, it is now time to answer the eleven questions Thantsants asked:

Q: What’s your favourite Warhammer (or other) rules set and why?
A: It’s a bit of a tie, really. As far as Warhammer go, I’d have to say 4th edition. This on the merit that it’s the only edition I have ever really played. I’m probably one of the least ‘hammery chaps on the Oldhammer forum. Instead, my favourite rule set have to be Song of Blades & Heroes. It’s a waning love though, I’m looking to replace it and by the look of things it will most likely be Pulp Alley. My favourite GW game is Blood Bowl, with Space Hulk coming in a close second.

Q: What provisions have you made for your lead pile in your will (if any)?
A: None. I do hope my son would be ready and able to continue the tradition, but if he has zero interest I might arrange for something. I’ll leave my Hagar Sheol to Thantsants though. ;)

Q: What’s your greatest wargaming bargain/trade/acquisition?
A: That’s a tough one. The one that springs to mind was when I found a pile of old Swedish RPG books in an antiques shop, selling for 15SEK (about £1.50). I bought them and sold them on, for a total of around £150. The most satisfying acquisition was probably when Michael Immig recently gave me a limited edition Guard of the Citadel (rare Metal Magic piece) as a sweetener in a trade where I also secured a few other hard-to-find Metal Magic models. I had never expected to own them. Especially not the Guard of the Citadel. Being given it essentially for free, by one of the guys who sculpted some of the models I’m collecting, that’s a Pretty Nice Thing ™!

Q: What’s your best war story – on or off the gaming table?
A: I really dislike gaming stories. They’re always of the “I guess you had to be there” caliber. It reminds me of Rimmer in the Red Dwarf episode when he’s telling Kryten and Lister “amusing stories” from his Risk nights. However, I will humor you. A story that springs to mind is when I played in the Swedish championship of Star Wars CCG. The guy I was facing in one of the rounds had brought an EBO-deck. It relied to 100% on the card “Echo Base Operations” – hence the name. After we had played our first game, he realized he had forgotten to put that card in. Poor chap! Aaaand point proven. Gaming anecdotes are usually boring for everybody but the ones involved.

Q: LARPING – is it right?
A: Lightningbolt! ‘Nuff said. I was to one LARP in my youth. Caught in the middle between “Dost thou farth thee well ye olde shoppe forsooth?!” crowd and “Hi, I’m Conan the Barbarian and so is my mate. Lol!”. The outdoorsy parts were fun, the drunken debauchery in the evenings was fun. The rest, not so much.

Q: What attracted you to the hobby in the first place?
Blood Bowl. I had used miniatures for roleplaying games prior to Blood Bowl, and I tried painting them from time to time – but most definitely 2nd edition Blood Bowl. Ofcourse, as a kid I was constantly building dioramas and playsets for my Britains figures, my smurfs or my Star Wars figures. Pretty sure that have had an impact for my unhealthy fascination with little lead men.

Q: What keeps you in the hobby now?
Good question. I think it’s the active online community, really. It provides fuel for the fire. Without that inspiration and encouragment, the hobby would take a back seat in my life. I’d still play games with miniatures every now and then, but wouldn’t collect and paint as much as I do now.

Q: If money/time/skill was no object, what setting/story/movie/etc would you most like to game?
A: Something big, with a huge table and lots of miniatures taking ages to play. Warhammer 3rd edition, maybe. Or maybe a big-ass Star Wars massed battle, such as the battle for Hoth.

Q: Is everything better with Dinosaurs?
A: I have a very un-geeky disposition towards dinosaurs. I don’t think I have ever been excited about dinosaurs. As such, I don’t care much. I doubt porn would be improved by dinosaurs, for example.

Q: What was your worst gaming/painting/modelling disaster?
A: Don’t have any real tales of woe. I varnish-misted a minotaur a bit once, but it sorted itself. Biggest disaster was probably me selling off my old Orcs & Goblins army (mostly 3rd edt stuff) back when I was a stupid.

Q: What is best in life?
A: A full day of gaming with good friends is high on my list. That, or just idly reading books on a tropical beach far, far away. Or just stay in, watching movies a whole day. That doesn’t happen often.

 

Now, to nominate another eleven blogs. I’m trying to promote good blogs with (undeservedly) few followers and (too) little activity in the comments section, or well-known blogs that I’m (fairly) sure haven’t posted any Liebster stuff.

Jonas‘ for having so much Spacelords on display: http://deathworldadventures.blogspot.com/
Martin and Claus for having too few followers for such a great blog: http://shamutantis.wordpress.com/
Cheetor’s for the offer of being the Nick-Nack to my Scaramanga: http://sho3box.wordpress.com
24cigarettes‘ for promoting an healthy and active lifestyle: http://fullashtraygaming.blogspot.com/
Antipixi’s cause he (much like me) needs a boot in the ass to blog more: http://antipixi.blogspot.com/
Axiom’s for being a top bloke: http://www.magpieandoldlead.blogspot.com/
Veronakid’s for mammoth productivity posts: http://cleanpalettedirtywater.blogspot.com
Vyper‘s fledgling blog with some great chaos models: http://www.lead-rising.com/
Timbor‘s quite varied and content filled blog: http://mylifeinmm.blogspot.com/
Steve‘s fantastic peek into the Bryan Ansell collection: http://eldritchepistles.blogspot.com/
Area23‘s for creative use of “alternative” ranges: http://area-23.blogspot.com/

 

Finally, my 11 questions for the above nominees to answer if they pick up the challenge. I urge everybody to supplement the answers with illustrative pictures and links!
1. Which currently unfinished piece (model or terrain) in your collection have remained a work in progress the longest?
2. What’s your biggest, most guilty of musical pleasures?
3. What do you cook for a friend or date in an effort to really wow them?
4. Presented with the choice of three large cookies or five small cookies, what would be your choice and why? The total mass of cookie is identical, as are the cookies.
5. If you were allowed to use only one web-forum for the rest of your life, which forum would that be and why?
6. Do you really expect to be able to paint all that stuff in your lifetime?
7. What’s your favourite go-to board game for a spot of recreational gaming fun with non-gamer friends?
8. Do you have an irreplaceable pot of paint that you dread the day it runs out?
9. Pets?
10. In 10 years time, what do you expect or hope being up to hobby-wise?
11. Which currently available miniatures range is your favourite?

Guess that’s it. Thanks a bunch Steve!

Feb 102014
 

Hi gang! Not much going on here lately, and I’m sorry to report that it’s still the case. Only thing I’ve got to contribute with is this little shill post. I’ll try to be brief. In the future, I’ll post nothing but painted toy soldiers. Honest.

This christmas, I re-evaluated my hobby endeavours a bit and decided to axe as much as I could of my collection and stalled projects. For instance, I’m cleaning out all my 15mm stuff. Painting the minis are almost as much work as 28mm, so instead I’m looking at 10mm for elements based mass combat gaming.

In particular, I’m looking at this Indiegogo campaign:

Click image to visit the IGG campaign!

 

I think the level of detail and character put into these little guys is extraordinary and can only recommend that you pledge! In particular, I like the look of the mounted “chaos warriors” in this pic:

With 14 days to go, the funding is at two thirds. I would love to see these in production asap, so figured I’d pimp the campaign a bit. I’m in for €28 (7 packs of miniatures) but I’m considering doubling that or at least getting a few extras. To top it off we get a free digital copy of Mayhem too – a rule system I’ve heard nothing but good about.

So, if you haven’t already – head over to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/evil-men-fantasy-10mm-miniatures/x/6157684

As for what I’m currently working on, I’ve got this half-assed WIP picture to share. I hope to have them painted up in a not too distant future. They’re EM4 orcs that will serve as hobgoblins in my monopose plastic WHFB project. Yeah, those are bows, swords and polearms mixed… I’m not too fuzzed with WYSIWYG gaming.

 

Mar 092013
 

Vintage Citadel models of the 80s are often costly and it can be hard to find the particular models you need to finish a regiment or special project. A wonderful thing then, that many then-contemporary miniatures from other companies are still in production – and often quite cheap!

Several of the old Citadel sculptors did work for other companies around the same time and they are usually highly compatible with the corresponding ranges from Citadel. Some of these ranges are still in production today, and I decided to do a list of what can be had and where. So, let’s have at it. It’s loosely based on my list of cheap metal miniatures over on Lead Adventure Forums. but I’ve organized the lists by sculptor.

First out is Bob Olley. One of my favourites, but not as dear to others. He has been very prolific during the years, and this is not a full coverage of what he have done or even what’s available now. That being said, I did spend the better part of a saturday putting this together!

Mega Miniatures
This is probably my favourite lead vendor of today. Unfortunately they’ve sold off their fantastic Julie Guthrie Grenadier range (beautiful minis, albeit a tad small) but they’ve kept the best part: close to  a complete Metal Magic/Hobby Products Fantasy range as it was when they closed shop in the mid 90s. Most of the range is sculpted by Josef Ochmann, with some models by Michael Immig (of White Dwarf fame). While none of them have a connection to Citadel, the models work perfectly scale wise with 80s Citadel and the style is close to Aly Morrison or Perry’s early Empire fighters.

For the discerning Citadel affecionado the item of interest here is a dwarf range by Bob Olley (originally by Metal Magic). They match the Iron Claw dwarves both in size and style.

Metal Magic dwarves. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures

It also includes a few war machines, but those molds were sold by Mega a year or two ago. More on that further down the list. The price per dwarf is $2, and a package deal is offered with all 24 different sculpts for the very decent asking price of $40! Add to that the fact Mega charges a flat rate of $7 for shipping, regardless of order size or destination in the world. In addition they’re both fast and friendly; and in my experience the casts are excellent quality!

In addition to the dwarves, there are a few centaurs also by Olley. Nowhere near as nice as the dwarves, but still pretty neat models and it’s hard to find cheaper metal centaurs that look as good. I’ve bought a few to use as chaos centaurs.

Centaurs. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures

Finally we have two variants of beastmen; one based on boars and the other on rams. I don’t own any of these myself yet so can’t comment on how well they compare to the 80s beastmen Olley did.

Beastmen. Images courtesy of Mega Miniatures.

 

SHQ Miniatures
Let’s look at SHQ. They’re stocking a few models from Folio Works old Fantasy Warlord game (Gary Chalk’s attempt at doing a Warhammer clone).

The models listed as Large Ogres and Hill Orcs are different combinations of the Ogre and Uruk codes from Folio. Interestingly, some Uruk are sold at £4 for one, while some Ogres are sold at £4 for two.

Ogre Necromancer. Image courtesy of SHQ Miniatures

Apart from Olley’s ogres and orcs, there are various other intersting tidbits. Some rather bland looking elves and dwarves, but also a few highly attractive hooded cultists at £7 for a set of 5 different sculpts. No idea who sculpted those though!

Ral Partha Europe
A plethora! And I’m not kidding either. Bob did chaos marauders, dwarves, goblins (very nice too!), plenty of ogres and trolls. He also did some harpies that would mix very well with his trio of Citadel harpies but unfortunately they seem to be long OOP. As with Reaper, they are a bit expensive but when buying packs the price is about £1.50 – £2.50 for an infantry model. Some of the trolls are rather cheap with some costing less than £3, and the goblin chariot is priced just right at £13 for a chariot drawn by two wolves and sporting four rather spiffing crew.

Troll. Image courtesy of Ral Partha Europe

 

Reaper
Reaper have a lot of Olley sculpts, but as with most of Reapers models they’re more RPG minis than unit filling wargaming models of a uniform cut. There are a few lovely beasties and demons though, and also dirt cheap orcs in Bones plastic. As always with Olley, there’s also a good selection of dwarves. Some rather imperial looking dwarves, and some miners. Unfortunately, Reaper aren’t exactly cheap.

Vulture demon. Image courtesy of Reaper Miniatures.

 

Armorcast
Armorcast purchased some of the old Metal Magic molds from Mega Miniatures a few years ago. I’ve ordered from them and must say I wasn’t impressed with the casts compared to those I got from Mega. Still, they have some key models in the Chaotic Dwarf range as well as the two artillery pieces Bob did for Metal Magic.

Dwarf bombard. Image courtesy of Armorcast.

 

Olley have done a lot more work, of course – but nothing that I felt was worth covering in detail here. In particular give his work for Essex a miss. Bobblehead-a-bonanza! For a rather comprehensive catalogue of his work, go check out the Collecting Olley wiki.

That’s it for now. Next time, I’ll do something a bit shorter. Like a double feature on Mark Copplestone and Jes Goodwin. After that I’ll tackle the insanely productive (and itchy footed) Kev Adams. Let me know if there’s any other sculptor who did work on the side similar to what they did for Citadel.

On the painting front I can say things are moving forward, albeit slowly. I’ve finished the four chaos warriors for my vanilla chaos Blood Bowl team. Currently working on three beastmen. So that’s six finished models so far in 2013.

Feb 122013
 

I had a plan for 2012 and I sort of stuck to it. It really helped to motivate me from time to time, and as I’m not in the habit of making new year resolutions I can do my share of hollow promises here instead. My main focus will be cleaning up old backlogs. Seeing how the hobby time so far have been very scarce, I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish as many models this year as last.

In order for me to not over-plan, I’ll settle for the top five projects. Here they are, listed in order of priority.

Painting for others
I’ve got two dwarfs to paint for Adam (binmann) in exchange for models, and one angel to paint as a birthday present to someone before easter.
Models to do: 3.

Finishing the Doom Forgers
Two halflings and a werewolf are primed. Once they are done, I’ll never again paint a 2nd edition metal Blood Bowl dwarf. I’ll have the Blood Axes commissioned or something. I’ll do a few of the Dungeon Bowl plastics though, to flesh out the Doom Forgers with dwarf linemen thus being able to use the team as a pure dwarf team.
Models to do: 5+

Stillburg FINISHED?
Yes, you read that right. I’ll get all minis currently scheduled for the Stillburg campaign finished during the year. I’m a bit bummed out that we didn’t manage to play a single game this last year, so will need some encouragment. Should be near impossible to NOT finish it considering how little there’s actually left to do.
Models to do: 14.

Cleaning up the wolves
There are four more Blue Moon wolves to do, just waiting for me all primed and good to go. I’ll try to speed paint them in an evening. Let’s see how that works out for me. Heh…
Models to do: 4

A chaos team for Blood Bowl
I’ve got the better part of a Chaos team primed and ready to paint. With a simple paint job it should be a quick affair to paint them up. Probably the one project I actually need to play games with (as I don’t really fancy my old plastic orcs).
Models to do: 11+.

 

That’s 37 in total. Should be plenty of wiggle room for whims and comissions. My over-all goal is still to paint at least one model per week. I’m definitely lagging behind on that one!

In addition to all these, I have in no special order: HOTT Dwarves army, another Dungeon Bowl team, an LPL entry that fizzled last year, Dungeon Decor, Olley vs Olley goblins and animals, bases of snotlings, bases of bats, that damned Fighting Fantasy ogre/giant, and finally a gazillion Reaper Bones models. Crap. And that’s not taking into account all the stuff I want to do but haven’t really scheduled or planned. For instance, I would love to finish the Nightmare Legion I have half done by doing Stillburg. Also, it would be really cool to paint up a small tribe of orcs from my rather vast collection of orcs. Not to mention all the terrain I could use, most importantly river sections but also more obstacles and small ruins.

One more thing – I won’t do a tally like I did last year. It’s a bit pointless with all the Bones coming in March and I’ve grown tired of seeing all my “This week I mostly have been getting…” posts. I’ll just sum up models when they’re painted and done.