There's not much that hasn't already been said about how rubbish Finecast can be. I've had mixed fortunes over the last couple of years and Calgar and his Honour Guard fit into the 'rather dodgy' category of Finecast fail with a few holes, badly formed parts and inexplicably melty bits. Oh well, at least GW are extremely good with their plastics now. So the brief news is simply that I got everyone based and glued together, with green stuff and superglue filling all (hopefully) the holes. Let's get some paint on these guys tomorrow and let the fun begin.
Friday, 7 March 2014
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Here is first update of my UltraMarch Ultramarines project. As you can see I've constructed and based Tactical Squad Manorian, coupling their bolt pistols with shields to style them in line with their less formal name as 'the Shield Bearers'. I like to imagine that they are mid-combat and mid-campagin - their bolt pistols are drawn as they plunge into combat, with small shields attached to designate their identities in the midst of a drawn-out campaign in hostile territory.
The next steps will be to clean up the models and apply a white under coat followed by blue base coat - I've not chosen this yet as I've been away from my paints in Oxford, but at the moment I think I'll go for a lighter blue that can be shaded in interesting ways, with blues and greens and perhaps even some orange.
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
I just came across a rather nice dictionary of wargaming hobby terms on the blog Wargaming Tradecraft - a gamers' grimoire if you will! It would be very useful for those new to the hobby and there's plenty there for the more experienced hobbyist to explore.
Here's the link: Wargaming Tradecraft: Wargaming Hobby Dictionary: Below is an alphabetical list of various terms you'll come across while hobbying, brief descriptions of them and links to articles ...
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
I do like the standard Imperial Guard Sentinel models but I wanted to do something different for the Genestealer Cult: after all, we should always remember that the 40k universe is huge and composed of millions of planets and cultures - so why stick to a slim range of technologies? I also jumped at the chance to buy some more of the Dystopian Legions models, in this case a couple of the Basset Tankettes.
Here they are as WIPs. I've armed them with heavy flamers because I want them to play a flanking anti-infantry role and I reason that they won't take much fire in early phases due to their short range. These weapons also fitted the best and I think they look cool - as good a reason as any!
I think these models make good proxies because even though they obviously don't have the hight of the regular Sentinels they do have a reasonable bulk on the base. Also, I never play with anyone who would even remotely have a problem with using sensible proxies - gaming life is too short for that!
Saturday, 1 March 2014
Ok, I admit it. I've not painted a single Imperial Space Marine during the last 25 years. My last dalliance with these enhanced warriors was back in days of Rogue Trader, when I was but a boy and the fascist undertones of the Imperium of Man were sown more clearly through the satirical weave of the 40k universe. As a father with increasingly diminishing funds, these days I'm on the look for small, contained and satisfying projects to get my hobby fix*. And so UltraMarch was born.
I picked up Marneus Calgar and his Honour Guard on eBay about six months ago for the princely sum of £15 - yes, well under half-price. I think I reasoned with myself that I would convert them somehow, although that never happened and they sat quietly at the back of a draw until today (I did add an additional metal guard to them via a secondhand store).The Tactical Squad has been muddled together through spares and some basic marines I'd gained over the last year or so.
And now the plan: pretty basic really, I'm simply going to focus on the Ultramarines during March and try to get as far along as possible with the project as I can. Obviously Ultramarines are rather by-the-book - literally codex-as-written. This means very little latitude for conversions etc. However, looking through the fluff I found the details of Tactical Squad Manorian 'The Shield Bearers' in Second Company.
Building on this fluff I'm going to build my Tactical Squad with these colours and with their hands holding bolters and bolt pistols, as if they're just about to engage in close combat. I'm using their informal name to justify giving them small shields (pinched from the Empire Swordsmen) on their bolt pistol hands. It will all make sense once I put them together...
Anyway, this should be really enjoyable. I know plenty of people think Ultramarines are dull and - worse - they they have been fanboyed to death by Matt Ward. Others still call them Space Smurfs. None of this really needs to bother me, of course. I'm sure I can do something interesting with them, make them nice and dirty and arty. It will be fun finding out.
* I'm always really alarmed when I see blog posts or eBay sales that are framed with the whole "I'm a new dad and I have to get rid of my toys" business. Believe me when I say: I have two kids and the hobby fits perfectly into my life. It's the ideal 'me' time that everybody needs in their life when they have a family. I cannot dispense blanket advice for all hobbyists and gamers, but I do not think there is ever a reason when having a regular family to drop your hobby. And age should never be a factor either!
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
One thing that's deep in the old fluff for Genestealer Cults is Limos. As an idea they really encapsulate the Oldhammer style of these armies. I held out for what seems like ages for good models that capture that ethos but can also practically play the part of a Chimera-stand-in. And here they are, played by the Patriot Armoured Carrier from the Dystopian Legions range, in WIP state.
This set of models sent me wild the first time I saw them previewed around a year or so ago. I'm very pleased with the two that I've picked up - the resin detailing is fantastic and they fit together really nicely. As you might have noticed, I've made a couple of changes to bring them into the 40K universe; namely, the addition of heavy bolters on the turret and at the front. A simple change that brings them squarely into the role of Chimera proxies (they are roughly the same size, albeit slightly narrower). All this detail is a joy to paint too. I should also mention that these actually work out as marginally cheaper than the GW models. A nice little bonus.
Monday, 24 February 2014
Things have been a little quiet recently but that doesn't mean that I've not been busy. Mostly, I've been beavering away on the mech for my Genestealer cult in my little attic room in Oxford. As I'm back in Cardiff for a few days, I thought I'd do a quick series of photo updates. In this first one you can see my original Leman Russ now has a friend.
The other noticeable thing is that I've just got around to adding a contrast colour to this scheme - the brilliant Flame Red ink from Daler Rowney. I've enjoyed exploring my painting style through these and I'm looking forward to getting them finished sometime soon and getting some good shots of them to show off the punky painterliness that's becoming my signature. More tread-head goodness tomorrow.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
This Great Design Sketch Of An Imperial Knight Is As Close As I'll Get To Owning One For Quite A While
Monday, 17 February 2014
|A 3D printed action figure - from ToyArk|
There's an interesting article in the Guardian today about 3D printing and toys. I repost it here in full because I think it hints at some interesting ramifications for the wargaming community. Principally this could be a way that the market leaders - e.g. GW, PP - choose to go, although I imagine plenty of resistance from a company that still depends on a high street and shopping mall presence. Also I wonder how it would influence the future of crowd funded projects - it would certainly cut out the manufacturing and shipping times, so maybe we'd see more adventurous or diverse projects (allowing of course for the limitations of home printing).
From the Guardian, 17th Feb 2014:
The prospect of children printing their own Transformers and My Little Pony toys is a step closer, after toy firm Hasbro revealed a partnership with 3D printing company 3D Systems.
The two companies are working together to “co-develop and commercialise innovative play printers and platforms later this year” according to their announcement, which refers to the “entirety of Hasbro’s world-renowned brands” without mentioning specific details for the latter.
“We believe 3D printing offers endless potential to bring incredible new play experiences for kids and we’re excited to work with 3D Systems, a recognised industry leader in this space,” said Hasbro’s president and chief executive Brian Goldner.
It’s the latest high-profile partnership for 3D Systems, which sells a range of 3D printers and related services. In January, the company announced that it was working with The Hershey Company to explore the potential of 3D-printed chocolate, while also appointing musician Will.i.am as its “chief creative officer”.
The new partnership is part of a wider interest in the potential for 3D printing and toys. Disney has developed software to turn animated characters into 3D-printed mechanical toys, for example, while British charity Kids Company worked with agency AMV BBDO and 3D printing firm Ultimaker on a pop-up shop in London printing toys for vulnerable children when visitors made a donation.
British startup MakieLab has been making waves in the toy industry with its Makies dolls, which children design themselves using its website or app, before their parent orders the physical versions.
“There will be plenty of emerging-tech types in toy companies saying this is part of the future, but as a big company it takes a long time to change course,” chief executive Alice Taylor told The Guardian in March 2013.
Some large toy companies have since talked publicly about the challenges of adopting 3D printing. That June, Mattel told the Wall Street Journal that while its engineers used the technology to create prototype toys for brands including Barbie and Hot Wheels, it was steering clear of letting consumers print out their own toys for safety reasons.
Lego press officer Roar Rude Trangbæk expressed similar sentiments inan interview with trade website 3D Printing Industry in December 2013. “Currently we do not see 3D printing as a viable replacement for the moulded LEGO elements of today due to the fact that we have very strict demands for the quality, durability and safety of our products,” said Trangbæk “3D printing does not currently live up to these requirements. In addition there is a high production cost involved, which currently does not make it commercially viable for us – except for prototyping purposes.”
3D printing technology is changing fast though, including the cost and quality of consumer printers. Hasbro’s partnership with 3D Systems – and the public commitment to release products later this year – indicates that it has taken a more optimistic view of the technology’s potential.
Saturday, 15 February 2014
My goodness me, this big chap will be hard to resist. What a marvelous addition this will be to my year of mech and monsters - a mechy monster! I know plenty of people will think this is just a money grab by GW - and let's be under no illusion, it IS (primary detachment of SIX of these anyone?) - but for a modeller/painter such as me, this is a great opportunity because it's the first big kit that actually fits into one of my playable armies. The only thing that might hold me back for a while will be the price tag... Roll on March.
Monday, 3 February 2014
Some miniatures in an advanced work-in-progress state. As usual of course, plenty of tinkering is still likely here, as I never really finish painting anything - I just abandon and return to things on an ad hoc basis.
Well, that's only partly true now as I aim to finish the year with two completely painted forces: my Genestealer Cult and my Realm of Chaos Slaanesh army. It is tempting to augment the Cult with more Tyranids given the ability to put together what I believe is called a 'Nidzilla' list of big nasties.
Maybe I'll do that. 2014 is certainly turning into the year of 'mech and monsters'. I have another Leman Russ in front of me right now and a couple of other tanks that are looking rather cool as Cult Limos. Pictures and details on the weekend.
Friday, 31 January 2014
Sunday, 26 January 2014
Take a look at this short video from the guys at Creature Caster. It shows the launch models from their upcoming Kickstarter in comparison to some miniatures from GW and some other manufacturers. And don't they look great? It's impressive how they've managed to get these mega-villans to fit snugly on playable-sized bases.
With only a week left to go until this launches I'm going to forecast that this project will get full funding within a matter of hours. It's also worth noting that on their facebook feed they've told people that there a further as-yet-unrevealed models that will be added as stretch goals if the funding goes high enough. Exciting.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Take a look at these mini monster dolls that were created by an artist called Santani, a 'deviant artist' from Russia. I've often wondered about the possibility of doing something in 3D art myself and I find these really inspiring. Perhaps if I'm ever able to wean myself off the plastic crack...
Discovered at The Meta Picture.
Monday, 20 January 2014
- Increase the number of miniatures available in each box as a way of reducing prices across the whole range. This would include multiple unit boxes and by-on-mass deals.
- Employ real writers who would develop the narrative of the universe (both 40k and fantasy) and feed this into the development of the range [this idea was discussed recently with Andy Bartlett, who should take some credit]. This would make everything 'click', make it a true hobby once more, and bring gaming and collecting to the fore... as opposed to simply trying to sell bigger armies for bigger profit.
- Change the retail side of things so that the shops sell miniatures from other manufacturers, possibly (I'd say definitely) even other game systems. This would mean taking the big step to not being total dicks about the reality of other game systems and models existing out there!
Well, there are just a few ideas jotted down during a lecture on cyber security, just because these things were on my mind today. Any thoughts? What might be more realistic?