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Posts from the ‘War Gaming’ Category

13
Nov

Quarrelers, surly maybe but not quarrelsome.

Drummer

The drummer’s roll calls the regiment of Ironwatch to battle.

Hasslefree Miniatures’ dwarf hero Gromli had been sitting in my collection for quite a while now. As is often the case, I had liked him from first glance and picked him up with a random assortment during one of the company’s sales. I knew he would find a home in my collection one day and his stalwart stare and solid pose marked him as a dwarf possessing serious leadership skills.

 

Hasslefree Miniatures Gromli

Hasslefree Miniatures Gromli

 

Once I began thinking about building my regiment of crossbow armed Ironwatch I knew I wanted him to lead them, Gromli’s Gang. That he is armed with a great weapon and carrying a shield on his back rather than a crossbow seemed minor issues especially as Hasslefree has a great selection of bits and pieces for converting and personalizing miniatures. I’m still considering how I might best use the lovely sets of helmet wings they tossed into one of my orders last year. I try to add a couple crossbow armed dwarfs and some extra weapons packs to every order so have developed quite a little “bits box” of Hasslefree pieces as well as enough troopers to build another Kings of War regiment (twenty soldiers strong in the rules). It took little to no effort to shave down the nub on Gromli’s back, used for attaching the shield, and cover the spot with a crossbow and quiver of bolts.

 

LeaderPrime1

Looking frosty

LeaderPrime2

Can’t even tell he was supposed to have a shield.

 

The standard bearer was a pretty straight forward conversion being a weapon swap (for the banner pole) and removal of another shield nub from his left arm. That was just a matter of drilling out the hand when I drilled the wrist for a connector pin and gluing a griffin headed top on the pole. After he was finished and primed I realized the banner pole was way too tall to fit into the foam tray I already set aside for storing the unit so had to remove it from the hand, cut it down, and reattach it. That done, he was ready, again, for paint. The banner I drew onto a nice piece of 100% cotton paper then painted. After it and the bearer were dry and sealed I cut it out and attached the flag to the pole.

 

StBrr1

Shortened banner pole.

StBrr2

Better start designing the banner.

 

The drummer was a slightly more involved conversion job but very basic in the skills and problem solving employed. The drum is part of a set of instruments I ordered from Reaper Miniatures online store and glued to his front . You can even order individual sprues from the set in the Boneyard section (thanks again, Necron99, for spotting that resource!). I cut the weapon from a right hand before drilling out both hands to hold drum sticks which I made from the discarded spear butts I had cut off to make my longer spears hafts. With a little cutting down they turned out to be perfect for the job at hand, so to speak. Again, a coat of white primer and he was almost ready to start the long roll.

 

Drummer3

The spear hafts make great drum sticks.

Drummer2

Might be a little long but I like them.

Drummer1

Ready for paint

 

While I was getting the command squad sorted out I was also working on the base. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that standards and musicians no longer serve any purpose other than aesthetic in Kings of War but I think units look much better, more complete, when they are included so will continue to do so in my constructions. Maybe it’s my Oldhammer roots showing, I don’t know, but it is too deeply ingrained for me to change now. So, as before, I used an old, plastic movement tray as the foundation of the unit and combined layers of cork with Scibor Miniatures bases and sculptural details from the same line as my previous units and characters. This helps tie all the units in my force together visually, despite being of mixed manufacture, and adds to the back story of my force patrolling the borders of a shattered dwarf realm.  I built up the back half of the base as I pictured the rear ranks aiming over the heads of the front.

 

Assembly1

Brought in a recently finished dwarf to check the size of the different parts.

Assembly2

Such nice details on the Scibor bases.

Assembly3

Made sure there was no overhang on the right side so I can set another regiment against it to create a horde.

Spackle1

Spackle in place and ready for texture.

 

After the glue had plenty of time to dry I began coating the surface with Light Weight Wall Spackle. This smooths out rough areas and hides the joins between parts. I also use it to cover details I don’t need, like a lot of the skulls that are scattered around the bases of the statues. Once I start my Abyssal Dwarf units I’m sure I’ll want more of them showing but prefer to keep them to a minimum with my traditional dwarfs. While the spackling was still wet I pressed in ground charcoal I harvest from water filters. It makes for great surface texture and when combined with the spackle creates a solid surface for painting and gluing to. Once everything has dried for twenty four hours I spray primed it white and began applying color.

 

Paint2

Back view waiting for stain.

Paint1

Stain will really bring out the details on the various statues

 

I am finding that these bases are less about painting and more about weathering, using washes and stains, rather than dry brushing and stippling. I did try to match the tiles and mosaics to what I have already completed but other than that go with my gut reactions for the rest of it. When it was done I flocked the base with an earth tone mix I make before spray sealing it. The plants and grasses would be added after the figures were glued down.

 

Painted1

Front view just waiting for some dwarfs.

Painted2

Back view shows lots of space for plants as well.

 

Breaking with my usual habit of only painting a couple figures from any project at once, I worked on six to eight crossbow armed dwarfs at a time as I was excited to get the unit assembled. Besides, my games of Kings of War so far had shown I needed more ranged attack regiments to deal with the hordes of cavalry and pike that Ryan usually fields. This had the side effect of really speeding up my painting through repetition. Now I can churn through four of the quarreler dwarfs in about two hours. That’s going to be helpful as I have a second regiment’s base ready for priming.

 

RtSideClose

The color scheme came out well and paints quickly.

 

Each miniature has the plug on their feet clipped off during prep, a hole is drilled in one of the heels, a wire is glued in place, and the entire thing is attached to an old plastic base with white glue. This holds the figure in place during painting yet comes right off before I attach them to the unit base. Much easier than trying to paint everything already attached to begin with. It was at the stage of gluing soldiers down that I realized I needed to paint two to three more to fill in some gaps. The unit just looked a little under manned, so to speak. I’ve got several minis on the table almost finished that I plan to attach as soon as they are done.

 

IronWatchclose1

Varied texture and plant life help with a natural look.

ReadyAim1

The assembled unit.

IronWatchReg2

Gromli is perched on a fallen statue keeping an eye on the lads.

IronWatchReg1

Woe to anyone they take aim at.

Got space for a couple more in the back.

Got space for a couple more in the back.

Right side

Right side of the unit

Left side of the unit

Left side of the unit

 

In addition to finishing up a few more troops to fill in some gaps I’m going to keep painting them for the second regiment so I can choose to combine them into a horde.  I’ve also started a regiment size base for a unit of berserkers I’ve had in mind for a while.  Then there are the brock riders I just primed oh and the Warsmiths.  Good thing my Abyssal army is still on a boat heading to the US because I have no idea when I would paint them.

 

Leader1

We’ll be ready for those devils once they are painted, Lad. We’ll be ready.

 

 

 

22
Oct

Dwarf Artillery Pieces

CrewClose5

Ready…Aim…

 

Since they are such a good price I had picked up two of Mantic Games’ Dwarf artillery pieces, planning to assemble one of each the Organ Gun and Cannon.  Once my friends and I started playing Kings of War I knew I needed to base them as complete units, besides, the Undead catapults had been so much fun to make and paint.  I started with the same wooden discs I had picked up for the Balefire bases I had made previously and the assembled miniatures to draw the outline of the siege works I wanted my dwarfs to be entrenched in.  I tried to plan for some of the extra bits like powder boxes and beer tankards.  I decided this project was the perfect opportunity to paint and use the ancient flame cannon and crew I’d been saving for years so added them to the queue.

 

Drawing2

The whole team fits with room for fortifications.

Drawing1

Love the extra bits and details Mantic include on the sprue.

Fitting

Been looking for an excuse to paint this team for decades now. Good thing they are a perfect fit.

FlamePainted2

Look even better painted.

FlamePainted

Drawing the outline of the siege works

 

While the machines and crews were being painted it was time to start building defensive positions.  Back in the day, dwarf armies had engineers that could build fortifications so I’ve always liked the idea of hiding my fragile artillery behind defensive works. Yet another project for using up the scraps and clutter on my desk is always a good thing.  I assembled the walls first out of bits of wood and glued planking down where the war machine would be seated.  When the walls were dry, I attached them to the base using cork to help hold them in place. This would also be the foundation for the piled up dirt.

 

Assembly2

Cork holds up the walls while it all dries.

Assembly1

Trying to keep the planking from looking too neat and even

GlueDrying

Double checking that the wheels fit on the boards.

 

Once the glue had all dried I applied light weight spackling to fill in gaps and add texture.  Then the extra details were glued into place before priming everything white.

 

TextureAndDetails4

Thought the boots with leg bones would work well with the flame cannon considering how many times mine had exploded in the Warhammer days.

TextureAndDetails3

Got great hammers ready for trouble.

TextureAndDetails2

Lots of room for crewmen.

TextureAndDetails1

Cannon balls are the heads of straight pins pushed into the base

 

Then I painted them up and textured the bases with mixed flocking.  It was while they were drying a thought began forming in the back of my mind.

 

Ready for habitation

Ready for habitation

CannonClose2

Ready for the base

CannonClose1

Still needing crew

 

The units had been through the regular painting process and were waiting to take up residence in their new homes.  The flame cannon crew had been finished before I even started their base as I was so excited to have a reason to work on them.  I had cut the disc bases off of the feet of the miniatures so they could be glued directly to the base.

 

First the cannon and crew

 

Move it into place, Lads.

Move it into place, Lads.

CannonDone1

Time for drills

CannonDone3

Looks pretty good

CannonDone2

Mashed the tops of the posts to make them look hammered into the ground

OGDone5

Ready to shoot enemies

 

Then the Organ Gun and crew were ready to take their posts

 

Our turn, Boys.

Our turn, Boys.

OGDone1

Like it was custom made

OGDone4

I think they deserve to count as in cover

OGDone3

Taking a range reading

OGDone2

Now…Fire!

 

First unit painted and the last base finished but finally it was time for the Flame Cannon crew to move their advanced weaponry into place, preferably without any explosions.

 

Carefully, carefully! That's volatile stuff.

Carefully, carefully! That ammo’s volatile stuff.

FlameDone4

Those boots are what’s left of a clumsier crewman.

FlameDone3

The barrel looks suitably singed

FlameDone2A

Can’t be too careful with these engineer guild contraptions

FlameDone1

Looking forward to seeing what this does on the field

 

Now that I had one of each of the artillery pieces available to my army (the Driller and Behemoth are both Monsters) the earlier thought came to the front of my mind.  What about all the war machines I had already painted? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a couple of empty emplacements for pieces from my finished collection? So I built a couple more siege works with beer steins and weapons handy for any crewman I temporarily assign duty there.

 

We need to bring in the veteran crews.

We need to bring in the veteran crews.

Extra2C

Accidentally used slightly larger circles but that makes them more versatile.

Extra2B

Beer tankards handy because it is thirsty work.

Extra1A

Even room for figure bases.

Extra2A

Left space open in front as some of my old cannons are low to the ground

Extra1C

More cannon balls

Extra1B

Hmmmm, about the right size for a bombard now that I think about it

 

So once I saw the power of Indirect Fire used against me by the Kingdoms of Men I knew I was going to need some dwarf bombards of my own and rather than make more bases I think these two will be drafted into use.  Of course that means I have to get and paint some Mantic Jarrun Bombards.  I’m sure I will end up making more of these especially as Kings of War Second Edition recommends 50mm square bases for war machines.  Then again, my attention is already shifting toward Berserkers and Hordes of Bulwarkers so it might not be right away.

 

Nothing to see over here...

Nothing to see over here, not even sure whose boots those are…

Now go and paint some Bombards, Lad.

Now go and paint some Bombards, Lad.

18
Oct

Going a Little Mental Over Elementals

Elementalfrt

Reaper Bones bare plastic after a good scrubbing and being attached to a base.

Elementalbk

Looks sort of like a Snow Elemental right now.

 

Now that I’ve seen what Duane, my Greater Earth Elemental, can do in Kings of War it is clear I need another of these guys.  Heck, I need a Horde of Lesser Earth Elementals but am still seeking the right minis. Until then Duane and the guy above will have to hold their own.  I am really pleased with these castings and it just reinforces my belief that big things with shallow details is what Bones plastic is best at.  Even though they tower over the rest of the army (not hard as they are dwarfs) they are light weight.  Add their low cost and they are the perfect choice to add some punch to my dwarf army.

 

EarthEl1

Duane the Earth Elemental

EarthEl3

Despite being made of rock the miniature has nice movement.

EarthEl2

Tried to mix up the earth tones of the figure while blending them with the base.

EarthEl4

That’s some serious reach on the guy.

ErElClose

I love the fossil embedded in the stone of his shoulder.

 

Duane was a fun one to paint and fairly easy to prep not to mention very fast paint job.  As with other Bones figures I find it easiest to shave along mold lines with a brand new x-acto blade.  The rocky surface made it easy to see most of the imperfections. The new guy on the other hand is all textures and shapes.  Of course that also made him quite the enjoyable undertaking.  Too bad I don’t have any 25mm squirrels to add on to him.

 

NatureEle1

No name yet but he’s ready to go

NatureEle5

Those big fists are going to bring the smack down.

NatureEle3

Like Duane, this fellow is covered in tiny details and natural textures.

NatureEle4

Like the forest floor just got up and started walking.

NatureEle2

I’ll need more Stone Priests to help them shamble faster.

NatureElTop

I added some Army Painter grass tufts and flowers

NatureEleClose

Be seeing you on the battle field.

14
Oct

The Battle at the Travelers’ Inn or The Beer is Mine!

Bugman's Ranger Advance

It’s OUR Beer and we ain’t been paid yet!

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