Thursday 30 July 2015

Joker claimed!

This is not likely to be among my most thrilling posts.

But following on from yesterday, I have painted the French mortar, and so have completed the army!

It's ok if the understated beauty of this picture makes you cry a little bit.

The medium howitzer I posted about doesn't count, because shut up.

Since this completes the project, I get a new joker available for use. Which is nice, but I in no way need to buy more models at the moment, so I won't be using it, at least for now.

At some point there may well be a picture of the whole force, when I have time to set up and take one without toddlers becoming involved.

So here are some updated stats...

For 2015 so far:
Painted: 73
Bought: 47

And for the Challenge:
Painted: 16
Jokers Used: 1
Jokers Earned: 1

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Starting something new at last!

If I just bluster in here and start writing as if nothing has happened, hopefully no one will notice that it's been two weeks since my inexplicably popular post dismantling the background for Age of Sigmar and I don't have to admit having failed one of the requirements of the 6 Month Challenge. So I'm going to do that.

Having finished the infantry bits for my Bolt Action French, I was forced to put that project on hold until I went to the loft to retrieve a big enough base for the mortar team - meaning that it's agonisingly close to being complete but doesn't quite make it yet. I've since acquired said base and assembled the mortar, but I haven't actually painted it yet, so I'm still just on the cusp of finishing the project and claiming the coveted extra joker (which I don't currently have a use for, but whatever).

Haven't taken a photo of it yet either, so this'll have to do.
It's one of the tiny number of non-Batman-related images you get
if you search for "joker card" on Google Image Search.

While I forced to stop painting French things, I started assembly of my Shaltari force for Dropzone Commander (a game that seems to have almost dropped off the group radar now, but I'm hoping that's temporary). Not had time to do more than that (he says despite having suddenly restarted Fallout New Vegas and spending many hours on that) but here's what's done so far:


With the fiddly exception of the Haven Terragates, these are all nice easy models to put together, which is nice. Experimental painting of those to start soon!

I've also received this beauty in the post:

Random German for scale. It's a big gun.

It's the medium howitzer I ordered for Mad Bob Miniatures a while ago. It's a nice model, but the casting isn't perfect, it needed a touch of trimming and there are parts that haven't quite come out properly. I think it'll all come out when it's painted though, and no one else seems to make one! At some point I'll need to find some crew, and a base big enough for this thing!

On the gaming front, we're supposed to have our first game of Frostgrave on Saturday. This looks interesting, we'll have to see if it's compelling enough to draw us all in for more than a few games. I'll keep you posted, I'm sure you're all enthralled!

Tuesday 14 July 2015

The Age of Sigmar explained

"The World Before Time is gone. Shattered. Consigned to an oblivion no-one thought possible. The metallic core of that ill-fated world was hurled through the cosmos, the God-King Sigmar clinging desperately to its sigmarite surface. Aeons passed, until the core caught the attention of the great drake Dracothion; it was he who rescued Sigmar, and taught him the secrets of the Mortal Realms - connected by Realmgates and peacefully populated for many years.

"But even in this utopia, Chaos would find a way to corrupt and distort everything. The Age Of Chaos gradually turned life in the realms into hell. Embracing wisdom instead of strength, Sigmar retreated to the Celestial Realm and began assembling the greatest mortal warriors, steeping them in the magic of the stars and instilling them with absolute divinity.

"The Stormcast Eternals are ready. Sigmar’s storm is lined up to unleash its fury on the forces of chaos. The realms will tremble and the skies will scorch as the legions of the Dark Gods feel the blistering rage of the Stormhosts!"

Having thus summed up his presentation, the speaker took his seat, and looked at his audience, clearly pleased with himself. Seated opposite were three figures, each bearded, and wearing a flowing robe, woven with sigils and fastened with a clasp bearing the crest of the celestial college of magic. 

The central figure cleared his throat to speak.

"Alright, let me be sure that I understand you" he said, in a tone dripping with weariness. It was clear that this was not the first such meeting he had endured that day. "You were asked to demonstrate the creation of a bottled universe, is that not so?"

"Yes, master", the younger man confirmed. His own beard was patchy, and he wore the simple, unadorned robe of a college acolyte. 

"And you chose to create a world that, you would say, follows on from our own?"

"That's right, master," said the acolyte, a trace of doubt creeping into his voice.

There was a short silence in the room. It was broken by the snoring of the eldest wizard, seated at the end of the table, prompting the lead tutor to resume his enquiries. 

"And in this world, which you have on the desk beside you there, your interpretation of Sigmar himself has taken the shattered remains of our very planet and produced these realms, which are connected only by gates?"

"The Realmgates, yes. Sigmar's Stormcast Eternals use these to travel to the other Realms, there to engage in climactic battle..."

"Right, right, you've covered that bit," the tutor interrupted. He stared at the acolyte, and the glowing bottle on the desk beside him. Stars and comets could be seen twinkling within, but to the older wizard's eyes it seemed gaudy. He had seen many such artifacts before in his years at the colleges of magic, but preferred to see them display a little more imagination from their creators.

The third wizard, a portly fellow with the remains of a disappointing lunch caught in his beard, chose this moment to throw his own question at the student.

"Why don't they have faces?" he demanded grumpily.

The acolyte shuffled uncomfortably.

"Well, sir, figures like this can be somewhat fiddly..." he trailed off, and was almost relieved when the lead tutor took over once more.

"And when they fall in battle, these 'Eternals' are returned to life in their home realm? The same applies to their foes as well, I believe?"

"That's correct, master. They are returned to take the field once more at Sigmar's side!" came the answer.

"I see. So, one could say, this state of affairs is likely to continue indefinitely? Your mighty warriors clash forever, again and again, and ultimately achieve nothing at all, since neither side can actually be killed?"


"You did understand the requirements of this examination? We were expecting to see a universe able to grow and develop. Your creation, such as it is, doesn't seem to be able to go anywhere."

"I've included representations of all the greatest warriors of the history of the world!" the acolyte blurted out, mainly to have something to say at this point.

"Indeed you have. This makes as little sense as the rest of it as far as I'm concerned. If our world has been destroyed in this universe, how did these great fighters make it there? Weren't they destroyed too?"

"Well, I..." the acolyte started, before he was silenced by a look from the portly wizard.

"I think we've seen enough," the lead tutor said. "Thank you for showing us your work. We'll confer, and your results will be given to you when they are ready. Of course, most students in your position use clairvoyancy to find out how they've done straight away. How are your scores in clairvoyancy?" 

He glanced at his notes. "Oh, I see. Well, at least that means we don't have to worry about the end of the world, as you've described it, being particularly likely. You're excused. Please send in the next candidate."

The young man slumped, and picked up his bottle. He knew he should have spent more time on it, but he also knew that he was one of the poorer students in his class, and it was likely that he just didn't have the talent to impress the older academics. 

He muttered a thank you, and trudged from the room. He knew he'd failed the exam and would have to repeat the year. Again. 

He wandered out of the college and onto the streets of Altdorf. The imperial capital was as busy as ever. Men, elves, dwarfs and halflings could all be seen going about their business. Market traders plied their wares from various stalls - spices from Cathay, cured meats from Tilea, Bretonnian wines, all were available in this street alone. The smell of the sea wafted from the nearby harbour, where a dwarf vessel, propelled by some arcane machinery, was slowly coming into dock.

The acolyte trudged into the first tavern he came to, and dumped his bottled universe into the midden. His "Age of Sigmar" came to an unenviable end, as life in the Old World carried on around him...

I think the above proves, if nothing else, that I can't write fiction. But, judging from what I've heard about the Age of Sigmar, I'm not the only one.

Anyway, the above is what I'm substituting in for this whole "End Times" nonsense which GW decided to remove the Warhammer World with. I like the Warhammer World. It's going nowhere.

Of course, it sounds like we'll be using Kings of War for our games in that world from now on...

French Reconnaissance Begins!

Probably they should have done this first, but my French Bolt Action forces now have the ability to carry out reconnaissance!

Yep, in a move that will surprise no one at all, I've painted more French stuff, specifically this Panhard 178 armoured car:

In the game, it functions like a less-good version of the Puma I already use with my Partisans - it has a machine gun and light anti-tank gun, and can run away when it gets shot at, but it doesn't have dual-direction steering (so isn't as good at running away) and it has thinner armour (so when it runs away less effectively, it's in more danger).

Looks nice though, dunnit?

So, outstanding things to paint for the French now are the mortar (can't do that until I go into the loft) and the medium howitzer (hasn't arrived yet).

I'm so nearly done!

So, let's have another look at the scores...

For 2015 so far:
Painted: 72
Bought: 47

And for the Challenge:
Painted: 15
Jokers Used: 1

Friday 10 July 2015

French Infantry are done!

I've done it! The last 7 infantry models for my French Bolt Action force are now painted!

This means the army is very nearly done - all I have left is a Panhard 178 armoured car, a medium howitzer (which has yet to arrive from Mad Bob Miniatures) and the mortar.

Not having the mortar painted yet is a bit weird as I have done these guys:

I'm pretty sure we've forgotten something...

Unfortunately though the mortar is much easier to stick together if I also attach it to the base, and I somehow managed to leave all appropriately sized bases in the loft, so that'll need to wait until I go up there and get one.

But I have done two riflemen, one of them with a VB launcher:

By this point I have very little left to say about French riflemen.

And of course the LMG team:


So now I have four 10-man squads painted - that's a pretty solid core for a Bolt Action force.
Unfortunately the French squads can be up to 12 men, so I'm sorely tempted to get 8 more at some point and bulk the squads up further... but not for now!

So what has this done to my scores? Let's have a look.

For 2015 so far I'm on:
Painted: 71
Bought: 47

And for the Challenge, it looks like:
Painted: 14
Jokers Used: 1

Friday 3 July 2015

Zut Alors! Last of the French Infantry WIP

I'm really entering the endgame now with my Bolt Action French force (cue chorus of cheers from anyone that's read this blog with any regularity for the past six months).

This is the current state of the last 7 infantry models in the army:

I'll still need to put together and paint the mortar, and, when it arrives, the medium howitzer (which at some point probably wants its own crew but we'll gloss over that). Those should both be quick paint jobs though.

I'm also expecting the Panhard armoured car to be speedy model to paint, especially as I couldn't get a crewman to fit nicely in the turret so I've had to leave the hatch shut.

Once those are done, I'll be able to - whisper it - start painting something other than French...