Thursday, March 29, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Commission work has been keeping me pretty busy, but I managed to squeeze in some time to paint the kings:
Attentive readers will notice the bracers on the one with the raised axe. After the initial conversion, I thought his thin, bony arms and the way the cape bulged out in the back was making the figure look a little portly in the middle. So, I shaved down the cape to give it a more natural hang, and bulked up his arms by sculpting bracers. I also concealed his sides a little more with some knives and pouches taken from the plastic Grave Guard kit. All this helps give him a more heavily armed and armored appearance, and further distinguishes him from the other king.
The red armor uses a formula I had discovered years ago while painting my battle standard– It's basically Scab Red with a (very) little Blood Red and Dwarf Flesh mixed in for the highlights. To keep things from going too pink, I apply a thin glaze of Brown Ink and Scab Red in the recesses.
The Varghulf is proceeding slowly, but surely. I've got the reposing and sculpting of his body finished. The Balrog wings have been suitably tattered, and pinned in place. All that remains is to putty the joins and add some fur on the arms.
As you can see, I'm simultaneously working on some bat swarms. I've never been too keen on the "official" bat swarm models. The bats are too large, and they all have the same, upright pose. I settled on Warmaster Fell Bats to use as swarms. They're small, posable, and separate, so each swarm base can look totally unique.
The bats and Varghulf will all be "airborne," pinned into tombstones to create a scenic base. I picked up the Garden of Moor hoping to cannibalize some posts or statuary, but there really aren't any large, solid pieces that would be good for mounting the Varghulf. After some searching, I came across a set of resin grave markers by Custom Dioramics at my local hobby shop.
Once the Varghulf's sculpting is complete, I'll model all the scenic bases for it and the swarms, and paint them all in one batch. I guess that will be sort of like a unit grind.
'Til next time!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Last week, my buddy Steve Stiefel and I got together for a 2000-point game of Warhammer; his Empire versus my Vampire Counts. Steve supplied the awesome buildings (some of which were assembled by Chris Walton, and painted by Steve). They went nicely with my cratered flagstone table to form an Empire city lying partially in ruin.
The lone bastion of hope in this desolate land– a Sigmarite chapel in the town square. The Legion of the Infernal Skull was on the march to raid its catacombs for artifacts and corpses to reanimate. The Roving Provence of Sigmarheim, led by the Arch Lector Albrecht Hexenjaeger, mustered to stop them.
To add a little variety to what would otherwise be a pitched battle, we came up with some special rules to incorporate the clock tower– The town bookkeeper, mad with panic at the sight of the approaching undead has locked himself in the tower, and is firing at anything that moves in the darkness below! In each player's shooting phase, a D6 is rolled. On an even result the madman fires at the nearest unengaged undead unit. On an odd result, he mistakes an Empire unit for the enemy and fires at the nearest unengaged Empire unit. Shots are worked out with the stats of a Master Engineer armed with a Hochland Long Rifle.
The Legion of the Infernal Skull
Seth Von Koss, Commanding
386 Vampire Lord Seth Von Koss (General, Lv3 Wizard)
Sword of Striking, Heavy Armor, Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Preservation, Aura of Dark Majesty
Spells: Invocation of Nehek, Hellish Vigor, Curse of Years
155 Wight King Oren Koth (Battle Standard Bearer)
Armor of Silvered Steel
170 Necromancer Toht Nhemisis (Lv2 Wizard)
Master of the Dead, Feedback Scroll
Spells: Invocation of Nehek, Wind of Death
235 The Red Guard
36 Skeletons, Full Command, Hand Wp, Shield & Lt Armor,
120 The Nameless Rabble
200 The Shanks
80 The Doom Hounds of Marduk
x2 Units of 5 Dire Wolves
548 The Execution Guard
39 Grave Guard, Full Command, Great Weapons, Heavy Armor,
Banner of the Barrows
105 Corpse Cart
The Roving Province of Sigmarheim
Albrecht Hexenjaeger, Commanding
201 Arch Lector Albrecht Hexenjaeger (General)
Great Weapon, Armor of Meteoric Iron, Holy Relic
118 Warrior Priestess Rya Kiehlstedt
Additional Hand Wp, Heavy Armor, Icon of Magnus
129 Warrior Priest
Additional Hand Wp, Heavy Armor, Von Horstmann’s Speculum
29 men, Full Command, Great Weapons, Full Plate Armor
29 men, Full Command, Hand Wp, Shield & Lt Armor
30 men, Full Command, Halberds, Lt Armor
165 Free Company
29 men, Full Command, Additional Hand Wp
20 men, Prophet of Doom
20 men, Prophet of Doom
10 men, Champion & Musician, Repeater Rifles, Lt Armor
As Steve and I deployed our forces, I was shocked to see no artillery or Steam Tanks. I was expecting to wade through a hail of Helblaster fire and to be praying for successful “Look out Sir!” rolls as cannonballs bounced through my characters. Instead, the opposite side of the table was filled with Imperial infantry, and the enemy outnumbered my forces by about 20 models.
I set my Grave Guard on the right flank, with the necromancer Toht Nhemisis behind them in a unit of zombies. The general’s unit of skeletons went in the center with the Corpse Cart pulling up the rear. Ghouls covered the left flank and the dire wolves were just behind, ready to counter Steve’s Outriders.
I had forgotten that dire wolves are no longer fast cavalry, so rather than maneuvering them around the ghouls and forward, I wasted my Vanguard move reforming them for a better first turn march while Steve’s Outriders pushed up along the edge of the board, doing their best to avoid the craters and any dangerous terrain tests.
The Vampire Counts seized the initiative and moved first. I simply marched everything forward. A dire wolf was lost as the lead unit crossed a crater, and the mad engineer in the tower shot another one.
My casting attempts were all shut down by Steve’s Warrior Priests and the considerable amount of dispel dice they were generating.
In the Empire’s turn, the Outriders shot one of my dire wolf units to pieces. The Warrior Priests blessed their units with Unbending Righteousness, not much of a concern for me, as we were still a turn away from any real combat.