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!!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Rogue Trader: The Pirate Queen

The following is said to be a partial transcript of a conversation with Mad Meg, Space Pirate Captain of the Wailing Reach...

"The Voldraddi don't like you to do things.  They want you to simmer down and do nothing.  In return for doing nothing, they give you a little something.  Just enough to keep your soul in your skin, see?  And you'd better be happy with that.  Hunker down and be happy and don't make any fuss.  Be happy doing nothing.  People who do something...make their own clothes, grow their own veggies, paint their own pictures...well, they tend to get shot at a lot by the P.D.F.   You don't want that, so you do nothing.

It's like...if you've got something they didn't give you, they figure you must have stolen it from them, somehow, and they want it back.  They want it back even though it were never theirs to begin with, and they didn't know or care anything about it before they saw you had it. They'll kill you for that.  Stealing from them.  That's the one thing they'll kill you for every time.  So you don't do things and you don't make don't ever try to make anything better.  But I always knew there was something good about doing things.  Had to be, or the Voldraddi wouldn't be doing them.  They have all the nice things.  And busy, busy all the time, doing things.  I used to sit on the roof at night with my brothers and we'd watch the little silver ships jump up into the sky from the Voldraddi palaces, and watch them coming down again, all the lights and the sounds from them palaces.  And I'd think, what a lot of somethings them big dogs know how to do!  And I'd say to me brothers, "If only I could, I'd do so MANY things!"  And they'd laugh at me, of course, why wouldn't they?
But I never would have done anything if it hadn't been for The Clown...oh he's a nasty old fucker...I ain't saying he ain't.  But he was one as knew how to do things.  We had an old show box that somebody got...must have been from one of the Clown's boys.  Oh, it was quick death for you if the P.D.F.s ever caught you with that.  But we didn't get caught.  You'd keep it in a safe place, and just watch and wait...sometimes you'd have to wait a long time...but if you waited long enough...(why wouldn't you wait?  What else did you have to do?)... the box would light up and the Clown would be on there.   And he'd talk and talk about doing all kinds of things...All the THINGS he could do!  And he'd tell you how!  He'd say go here and wait for this, or take that and put it with this and now you've got a...whatever!  Didn't matter what it was, at first, it was just the doing that was grand!
And he never got caught!  Vols and P.D.F.'s used to hunt up and down the neighborhoods day and night, lights and guns...they'd shoot a bunch of folks just to let 'em know they were mad The Clown was out there doing things.  "Sons of this and that, you'd hear 'em screaming!  Wait til we get our hands on ya!"  Ha ha ha!  But they never did.  He's still out there...doing things.
Me?  Oh, know...just watching the clown on the box I learned a lot about how to do things.  I was coming of age around then and learning what boys like, too.  I guess that's how it started, ha ha!  Glad it's not like that now, I can tell you, but that's how it started.  I'd do a thing for them they liked and they'd do some things for me.  Pretty soon, I had a lot of things kept secret, that they'd all got for me, and after that I didn't have to give it up no more.  I traded things for other things.  I had boys running all over the neighborhoods doing things for me.  That was one of the first things I learned from the clown.  Best way to do lots of things is, don't do your own things, get others to do your things for you, you just sit there and plan it all out in your head.  If the P.D.F.s had ever got their hands on me they'd have put my lights out slow and screamy. They didn't.  Clown found me, though.  That started a whole lot of things happening, like when you kick one piece outten an old wall an the whole thing comes down?  Yeah, like that.
I worked for The Clown for a long time, and did I ever learn!  Nasty old bastard, but he treated me pretty good.  Fancied me, I know that.  Yuck.  Ha ha!  But I got quick and smart runnin' n' gunnin' for him.  'Fore you'd know it, I was running things over a pretty big spread of neighborhoods!  I had boys doing things for me, I'd never even met 'em face to face!  When Spider Ricta got clipped by the Dead Men, Clown asked me to take over one of his little ships making trips back and forth to Geminion Prime and around the moons and that!  Well, you can guess how quick I jumped at that!  Ha ha!
"Fancy me, I'd say to the Clown, half a little speck of nothing from the land where they shoot you for trying to do things, and here I'm in a silver ship, swimming up in the stars just like them rich Voldraddi ladies do, doing so many things, runnin' guns and juice and gettin' scrappy way up there where you look back and Geminion Secundus is just a little green cat's eye, like the little green balls they'd give the kids to play with way back when, when we were so little and didn't know nothing about how to do things!"
And the old clown would laugh through them brown broken teeth of his and scratch his gross old self.
"Din't have to sittle fer they little green balls now, do ye, girl?  he'd say.  You kin hilp yerself ta all they got!!  Just reach out there in it's all rite inder yer glove.  Take it, girl!  Take it!"
"Oh, and I took some, I'll have you know...but you know that, don't ye?  That's why yer're here.  Once I got up here where I never had to look at Secundus 'cept as a little green ball behind glass, well, I never wanted to come down.  I wanted a ship of my own, so I went and got one.  This sleek little runner, fine thing, ain't she?  Took her in ambush one day, she was full of rich ladies and gents from the white palaces on Prime, up here for a cruise, they got sleepy and sluggy and we were on 'em fore they knew it.  Took her in a twinkling, I did, and I didn't lose one of my boys.
Talked to some of 'em, those Voldraddi big dogs, before I did the big thing.  Or I tried to.  I wanted 'em to know...know about me...know that I was there, I guess.  That I had always been there, that I had been a little girl once, taking their little balls and bags of nothing, letting 'em cut me heart out in exchange, letting 'em kill me 'fore I was even dead.  That it was me, Meg, talking to 'em, see? And that they had to listen and to know me, and to learn.  I guess that's what I wanted.  But they couldn't understand me, and I couldn't understand them.  It wasn't the words; we had a lot of the same words, it was that the things in their heads are different.  All the things we knew how to do were different.  I guess, to them,  I might as well have been some Ork or something.

So I did the big thing!  I flushed 'em all out the airlock into space.  Watched their faces as they tumbled out.  Thought I'd feel good.  I didn't.  I mean I did feel good, but not about flushing 'em.  All the good I felt come from the knowin' that I had this sleek little racer under my boots.  I had my own ship now, and damn the clown.  Oh, I still get on with him all right.  But I won't work for him no more.  I'll work with him, but I won't work for him...
...I do all my own things now.