Monday, January 23, 2017

Warhammer Ancients Chariot Wars: Syrian Maryannu Chariotry

Over the last few months I've found myself having less and less success at the painting table.  Hobby time seems hard to come by, and when I have some, I'm usually too tired to do much but stare at my rows of little people and monsters.  I've hardly even checked my blog list for a good long while, and shame on me.  Short winter days and long hours at work are probably partly to blame for this fatigue. Then there's my son, who is rapidly approaching his second birthday, and whose tiny form now contains more energy, curiosity and ferocity than that ordinarily possessed by a troop of baboons.  Probably a contributing factor.  I think the baboons would be easier to manage, truth be told.  Well.  Perfect time to take on a new mega project, eh?  Let's get stuck in!  I'm going to try to finish one unit a month for the rest of the year, and then see where I'm at.
First up are these Ral Partha Syrian chariots.  I had four of these pretty little kits but one had parts of the chariot cab missing so I'm not sure what to do with it other than to break up the kit for spares.
 These Syrian gents are petty nobles whose city-states have been conquered by the Hittites and who now lead contingents of levies in support of their overlords.
I considered painting the chariot cabs in a zulu shield type cowhide pattern.  That probably would have been more historically accurate, but in the end I went with solid colors. 
These guys are just the tip of the Syrian levy iceberg.  I have a ton of archers and spear men waiting in line, as well as an Arab/Hyksos contingent.
 Even though they didn't come out quite as nice as I'd like, I still had fun working on these and in trying to get a feel for the period.  And they don't look bad for the first attempt....
 Chariots are impressive models anyway, and in big hordes they look downright sexy.  I look forward to seeing big units swarming around on my tabletop.

The first of many swarms of chariots!  

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rogue Trader: More Space Ork Boys and Happy New Year!

Normal people go to parties and stuff on New Year's eve.  This year I stayed home, drank beer, watched Astro Zombies, and painted Space Orks.  Exciting, huh?  Well, I ain't the hellraisin' kid I used to be.

Two squads armed with plasma gun and heavy plasma gun.  The theory is that one plasma weapon fires while the other holds fire so it can shoot in the next round while the first weapon cools off.  The reality, of course, is that the Orks blaze away cheerfully with both weapons as fast as ever they can.  Fire discipline be damned.
 I vastly prefer the ancient Orks cast as single pieces.  I don't hate the Orks that came later, with the clan backgrounds and the plastic arms and such, but I don't love 'em either.  Something, some splash of color or character got lost in the transition from the original Orks to the later plastic armed, clanny Orks.
 1st Squad...
and 2nd Squad...
 I'm actually making pretty good progress on my Rogue trader Orks!  Usually my chronic scatterbrainedness keeps me from being able to stick to a project for any amount of time, but I'm doing good with my greenskins, here!  The horde so far:  Three 10 Ork plasma gun squads, (whom I refer to fondly as my Blasta Boys, one squad of 10 'Flame boys' armed with flamer and heavy flamer and mounted in a battle wagon as per Afrikorkorps regs, wartrakk, five warbikes and command team.  More to come soon, methinks...
"Oy!  'Appy New Year!"

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Flames of War German Grenadier Company 300 pt upgrade: Stug Platoon and 88s

At last!  Some big guns for my tiny Huns! 
 8.8 cm Flak battery...
 I had no idea of what the hell I was doing with these...just winged it with the camo scheme...
 Nice models, though , and fun to work on.  An extremely effective counter to enemy air support in the game, and also good for picking off tanks, of course!
The Battlefront boxed kit has lots of nice peripherals, including extra crew stands, shown here...
...and prime movers for the guns, even a staff car for the command team.  Also included were a set of trailers for the trucks.  I didn't paint those, since you don't really need them for the game, I'd lost some of the pieces and anyway my patience with modeling non-essentials has its limits...sometimes.

Stug Platoon!  Over the last two or three years the Stug III  has become one of my all time favorite AFVs.  Not as glamorous as say, the Tiger or the Pershing, but a tremendously versatile and survivable fighting machine... of a very few German AFV's produced from the very beginning of the war to the very end.  The Germans built more Stug IIIs than any other tank-type vehicle. 
One of my Flames of War pet peeves is that Battlefront does not provide stands for most of their vehicle minis like they do for most of their infantry and artillery models.  In 28mm this might not be a big deal, but with 15s it means that your infantry tower over their tank support in a galling sort of way.  In real life, tanks are big and scary, and I feel that they should get the same bases everybody else so they can look appropriately intimidating, so I add bases to all my tanks. 

 The added height won't do my Stugs and Shermans any favors when people are shooting at them on the tabletop but what do I care?  I don't play in tournaments or anything like that anyway.
Grrrr....belching fire and metal, farting blue fumes..the Stugs crawl forward in support of the grenadiers...
The horde so far...Company HQ with anti tank section, 3 Grenadier platoons, Pak 40 platoon, mortar platoon, 88s and Stugs...900 points...almost finished with my company! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Realm of Chaos: The Legion of Blood Part 1; Flesh Hounds

With wails that curdle the blood and quell even the most valiant heart, the Flesh Hounds thunder through the chaos wastes...
Unstoppable engines of destruction, spirits of wrath encased in sculptures of flesh and bone by the hand of mighty Khorne, they are the vanguard of the awesome Legion of Blood, detailed by Khorne to hunt The Rapturous Legion of Slaanesh throughout eternity.
The Rapturous Legion hides itself in weird corners of the waste, intent on the pursuit of twisted pleasures, but sooner or later the Legion of Blood always finds them...
The howls of the Flesh Hounds announce the arrival of The Legion at the pits of pleasure and the two hosts hurl themselves upon each other in an orgy of ecstatic slaughter...
For a day and a night the legions rend one another asunder.  By the coming of the second dawn nearly all will have been slain...but all, living and dead, champion and demon alike, will be consumed, their essences dispersed, their shades drift away with the morning mists... be clothed, once more in robes of meat and ichor by the hands of Slaanesh and Khorne...
...the Rapturous Legion will be spirited away, rebuilt and set down in some new secluded place of perverted pulchritude...
...And the wolves of Khorne will be set upon their trail once more! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Rogue Trader: Der Afrikorkorps: Kaptin Rummel's Motor Boyz Part 2 of 2

 Orks on motorcycles.  A great idea on the part of Games Workshop.  Sadly, the concept wasn't as well realized as it could have been.  When I think of Orks on bikes I think of all those goofy, cheesy 60s biker movies that you used to see on Mystery science Theater 3,000.  I think of the doped up rabbit biker sequence from Fritz the Cat. That's the kind of spirit I'd like to see captured in Ork bikers models; crazy, anarchic, violent, stupid, and everybody probably high as kites on God knows what. 
That's what should have been, but the old Rogue Trader biker models didn't really deliver on that, not for me anyway, so I swapped some parts around and puttied and glued until I had something I liked better.  I always hated the Ork bikes with the big cannons on the sides...not really believable at all, and you wouldn't really need 'em to have a scary Orky bike anyway.  In my twisted imagination, I saw Ork Nobs driving one-handed though the smoke and dust of battle,  hurling armfuls of stikk bombs and blazing away with kustom bolters fitted with shoulder stocks to help the Nobs' aim when shooting on the move.  Maybe one would have a grenade launcher he could use to lay smoke to cover the mob's assault.  The WW2 German regalia favored by some of the bikers in these old movies would provide a visual link to the Afrika Korps concept I had already laid down with the other models.  That's what I figured, anyway.
My conversion skills fit neatly into the lame category. So I just did the best I could with my nobz here. 
There wasn't much I could find to add in the way of WW2 German paraphernalia, so they don't fit into Der Afrikorkorps as smoothly as I'd like, but I have plans to add a motorcycle-sidecar combo to the squad as well as a boss nob who will look more the part.  That will help my bikers fit in better. 
Some of the original riders did fit in, but they were much too puny, as was the case with all vehicle crew figures made at that time, so I'm trying to think of other things I can do with them.


If I can ever get the bike combination and the Biker Boss Nob done, that'll be it for the Afrikorkorps, I think.  I haven't even laid hands on the models I'll need to make them, so they're still pretty far off in the future.  I want to move on to other Orky stuff now.
"Awright, Boys!  Let's git round 'em!"

Monday, October 31, 2016

Rogue Trader: Der Afrikorkorps; Kaptin Rummel's Motorboyz Part 1 of 2

I'm a bit disappointed.  I was hoping to finish the entire 'Afrikorkorps' for my Orctober post.  Alas, what with life and everything, I only got some of it done.  Command Team, Battle Wagon, Panzorkgrenadiers and a Wartrak.  Some of them still need some finishing up and to top it off my regular lighting lamp broke so the lighting and focus in this post kind of suck, but had to get something up for Orktober, so for what it's worth, here it is. 

Anyway, meet Kaptin Rummel and some of his boys as they take a break from the carnage somewhere in the Wailing Reach.   Da Kaptin, shown lower left, with his personal standard bearer and driver is known throughout the region for his skill at long range mounted reconnaissance and especially for his trademark daring flanking maneuvers, which he calls 'Get 'Round 'ems".

To the right and below you'll notice a colorful squad of Panzorkgrenadiers led by Senior Sargeant Stahlkopf, Kaptin Rummel's best mate and a close comrade since the old days in the trenches of...well a whole bunch of wars...
...nobody really remembers which ones.
 'Ere's da panzorkgrenadiers' Battlewagon.  Sargeant Stahlkopf is pretty proud of his ride...
The model is the old armorcast resin knock off of the original citadel plastic kit.  I like the nice heft that it has, but when I added a lot of the plastic bits I soon found that the plastic didn't bond well with the resin, so I pegged some things and reinforced all the joins with little scraps of wire and painted them to look like rope.  I think they add a little something to the model, a little endearing rattiness...
 Lootnant S'neering is charge of the Afrikorkorps' anti tank Wartrakk. 
 Over the years he has racked up a formidable number of vehicles destroyed.
Kaptin Rummel and Lootnant S'neering might get on with each other about as well as cats and dogs, but there's no denying that they make a formidable team on the rare occasions when they aren't trying to kill each other.
Next...Da Biker Boys!!