Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hobby WIP: Mounted Sons of Korgaan

I picked up a lot of Chaos Knight models back in my Warhammer days. The goal was to eventually paint them up to field them in GIANT-sized games, since they cost a lot of points, and a few larger units would be fun to see charging around the table.

That never uh.. never transpired. The only mega battle I got to play in (End Times themed) I didn’t have enough painted to really use in a grand fashion. But I'm hopeful I'll get in a mega battle for Kings of War sometime. This game scales up far, far better than Warhammer did, so I’m hopeful I can convince some people to play a big game sometime this summer. I’m having seemingly perpetual  troubles nailing down normal games though, so we’ll see what happens.

Anyways, my Varangur project stared out with two regiments of Mounted Sons... but this quickly ballooned into all thirty or so of my Knight minis, spanning untouched plastic, simple repaints, and stripped models. I have been trying to batch paint these, and have been slowly hobbying on them since early March. Thirty knights are a lot to paint up!

Progress! But it has been slow going. 
All my old completed Chaos models were hit the table Marked, and painted appropriately. I decided to largely step away from that for the Varangur, opting for a rather mundane scheme dominated by black metal and brass. Fluff-wise, my Varangur will be aligned with my arctic Herd (a project I hope to return to soon, now that I've got a few things figured out), so the Varangur horses are getting the chilly blue-skinned treatment. It will add a little more color to the unit, and I think will look pretty cool on the table, with our without their Herd buddies.

In the end I plan on ending up with three regiments and two troops. With the horses done, I'm going through all the knight bits now, priming, painting and assembling them by units. We'll see how long it takes to finish these up. They are still in progress.

I did take a few breaks while painting the Mounted Sons, and do have some table-worthy models to show off though. Hopefully by the time I get around to posting those, the Mounted Sons will be finished and ready to show off too.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hobby Update: Varangur Bloodsworn

These are the units that got my nice little 1000 point Varangur project off the rails. For reasons unknown, after I figured out my desired list, and gathered up all those models, I started hobbying on these guys instead. I don't know just what I was thinking.

I seriously don't know what I was thinking. Repaints? Over fresh sprues? Sheesh.
Infantry units in Kings of War tend to have a lot of gradations, and the Varangur are no different. In looking at the army list and my available plastic, I realized that the Bloodsworn and the Sons of Korgaan would probably give me the most trouble, as I didn’t know which unit I would actually want to run, and all I had at my disposal to represent both were Chaos Warriors.

I decided that any Chaos Warriors with big weapons would be the Sons in some form, and anything else (sword-and-board, in this case) would be run as Bloodsworn. Since the Bloodsworn were less numerous than all my halberd-toting Chaos Warriors (and had a cooler name), I decided that they would get a special paint job.

I dabble very casually in Magic: the Gathering, and decided to use a favorite card, Elesh Norn as an inspiration. In my head, the fluff would be that the Bloodsworn are young, aspiring warriors, a step up from the vigorous warbands, but a step down from the blessed Sons. These warriors take a vow of violence, and set off in white armor. When the armor is sufficiently sullied (preferably with the blood of their enemies!), the survivors are reborn in their tribes as Sons of Korgaan.

I started repainting these in January, and finally finished them up in early March. They should stand out nicely from the rest of my army. And yeah… sorry, I’m just getting around to posting about them now. I still have a bit of catching up to do with blogging.

Ready to go crack some skulls.
Despite being unscheduled, and expanding the project more than I intended... These units ended up being nice test units. Multibasing is working nicely for the Varangur so far, and is something I want to continue with. All the bases for this endeavor are pretty much done (just need to add a snow effect and the models), so I think it will turn out nicely.

Additionally, I experimented a bit with two hobbying techniques. The first a different snow technique. My old technique doesn't hold up over time (the glue turns that pallid yellow after about a year and a half). I tried a legit mix of paint, glue and baking soda this time, cut it with a little water, and I gotta say I like how this turned out. I'll continue experimenting as I go, and will likely do up a revised snow-basing post after this is all done.

The second technique was exploring highlights, via the cloaks. A red and a pink paint, and a red shade effect. I don't normally fuss this much, but it turned out pretty nice this time around. I'll have to explore this more.

All in all, this was a good test unit to work on, as it turns out.

As mentioned above, these guys were done in early March, so... I have a ways to go before the blog is up to date. Most of March and April has been spent hobbying on the a bunch (30) Chaos Knights, to be run as Mounted Sons of Korgaan. I've have been trying to batch paint them... which has ended up being a lot of work.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hobby WIP: Varangur Project

Way back in January, I was cleaning and reorganizing my apartment, and got distracted. I ended up inventorying a lot of old Chaos Warriors and related (abandoned) projects. After some number crunching, I decided to start a small 1000 point Varangur contingent, with an eye to using it for possible intro games.

This idea spiraled out of control quickly, expanding from a simple 1000 points to an amorphous project of possibly considering repainting all my old Warrior models. I didn't hobby regularly, nor did I make much progress on much. This, compounded by a lack of games, meant I didn't really have much to post about.

The last month or so though, I tried to rein in the scope of the project, focus my efforts, and make some real hobby progress, finish up a few odds and ends (like the General and the Militia), and try to get back in the habit of posting semi-regularly.

Lots of bases!
Above are all the bases for this Varangur project. It's down to about 2000 points. So, double the original idea, but way, way down from where it could have been. Most of the units will be Mounted Sons (Chaos Knights) and Warbands (Marauders), which will give me some flexibility in intro-level (1000 point) lists, and be a good jumping off point if I want to get more into repainting old Chaos units, or mix in some of the more distinctive Varangur units, like the Fallen, Magus Conclaves, or any monsters.

Will have some updates and WIP posts up soon! The blog is almost current!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hobby Update: Militia Troops

As I mentioned in the last post, my hobbying has been all over the place this year. I am still trying to claw my way back on top of my various projects and get them documented. Here’s a step in that direction, though I intended to have this up weeks ago...

The Militia have been in process for many months now. They were essentially all painted up mid-November. I am quite happy to call these guys ready for the table.

This is everyone, in a somewhat disorganized pic. I think you can get the feel for the unit without pics of every troop.
The models are a mix of leftover Romans from Warlord Games and some Fireforge Games Men-at-Arms. I wanted the unit to have a kind of “hastily-levied” look emphasized by an assortment of armor and weapons. The Regnum is pressing anything they can get into filling these “chaff” units. The mix of models seem to accomplish this visual goal well enough. The shields tie the troops together as a unit despite the various weapons and outfits. The shields also tie the Militia to the rest of my army with the purple and white coloring.

Basing these guys was a pain though. I again used some Vallejo paste, and tried out two main avenues of application:

  • Glue the model to the base and then pasting around it.
  • Paste the stands of the model, then glue it to the base.

In both approaches, I painted the paste once everything was set. Unfortunately, I wasn’t disciplined in my approaches, and this mostly ended up a big bad mess, exemplified in the example below.

You can totally tell where the stands of these models are... bad basing. Fortunately, it got fixed!
It took another layer of paste (and more painting), but these are looking better. I still need to nail down a surefire technique for basing these models with stands… I still have a ton of infantry (100+ models) waiting in the wings for the Regnum. In the future, I think I’ll do a more tedious approach:

  • Paste the models individually.
  • Glue two models at a time to the base.
  • Add paste only between the models.
  • Repeat until finished.
  • Paint the sand.

It’ll be a lot of back and forth, but this approach should give each unit a good flush foundation to be glued to the base, and make applying the paste between models as easy as it can be. I struggled a bit to navigate between all the legs with the paste. We’ll see how future units go I suppose.

While they could probably use a touchup here or there, I’m calling the Militia done and ready for action. I had a few prospective games fall apart on me recently, but I am hopeful these guys will see the table soon!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hobby Update: General on a Winged Beast

So, I've been on a bit of a hiatus from the blog.

The holidays derailed the little momentum my nerd group had going for Kings of War, and we have yet to really get any of it back. Most of my opponents have become new fathers over the last year or so, so dialing the nerd time back a bit is to be expected. Hopefully I'll get in some more games soon!

Since games drive my hobbying, my painting was also derailed for a while. But, bit by bit, I am starting to get back to it. I will hopefully be finishing up and sharing more of my projects in the weeks to come, but to kick off a return to semi-regular blogging, here is my General on a Winged Beast!

Here he is, all finished, to kick things off.

Months and months and months ago, I decided I wanted "in" on these flying shenanigans for Kings of War, and picked up a suitable beast from Reaper Mini. Unfortunately, even in plastic, the guy is a little top and front heavy, and even with repeated cold shocks, the mount was falling over.

Fortunately, my elf opponent has a 3d printer, and gave me an unwanted print that had come off center during the whole process. A few breaks and cuts later, and I had the remains of a dungeon wall to prop the griffon up with.

I (badly) greenstuffed a saddle and straps to the griffon, and added a suitable general for my army for about $15, and soon set about painting him up.

He was a little too eager to get into the saddle, and the sculpt suffered...
Unfortunately, my poof green stuff skills came into play, and the saddle didn't quite work out. I later added a shield and big bow to hide it.

The bow seems a bit big, but it works.
I don't expect much from this guy. I am under no illusion that he will perform anywhere near as well as the dragons of the Elves or the Undead. I'd be lucky if he performed even half as well as those aerial menaces.

Firstly, those dragons have innate breath attacks, which as a generic "winged beast," I lack. Secondly, I have about half their normal attacks, and none of their special rules. Thirdly, I have a lower Nerve than they do. All in all, I will not be able to waltz up and absolutely wreck a unit like they have been consistently doing.

However, having somewhat lackluster combat stats is pretty common for Kingdoms of Men, so this guy will fit right in! My guy is nowhere near as potent as those guys, but my cost is significantly less. This guy will give me nice flyer-based options (long charges and such) without eating up too much of my list. I think once I learn how to use him, he will be providing my lists with solid support. I'm excited to get him out on the table!

I have a good number of other projects in the work, and have been making slow progress since January.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Hobby Update: Skeleton Archers

While the Warriors only had a few models with stands, the Archers were going to be the opposite. I figured working on them would be a nice intermediate step before tackling the basing of the Militia, who have nothing but stands.

I built/converted some Games Workshop Tomb King skeletons into archers (I didn't have quite enough bits), and picked up multiple packs of skeleton archers from Reaper Mini to fill up my ranks.

With so many repeated models (the ones from Reaper), I wanted to try to break the monotany a bit, and added straps and quivers all over to give the illusion of difference. For the base, since it's goofy to have the same rocks over and over, I added some "rocks" using green stuff. In retrospect, I should have used actual rocks or spent more time sculpting. The blobs don't quite work...

About half the models from reaper..
As before, models with stands were glued to the MDF base. I omitted the milliput this time, and just added the Vallejo paste, to play with the process a bit. Then everything was primed white, and then painted.
Mid priming.

These were pretty easy to paint up. Skeletons don't take much work, and with so much repetition, I cranked these out over a weekend.

...and now, worthy of the table top!
They turned out well enough! Might do a few touch ups down the line, but for now, these guys are done. They made an appearance as a horde in Battle 8, as my opponent did not have his models ready, and I figured why proxy if we don't have to? I don't plan on running these guys too often myself, but having them on hand to loan out for big games or as part of a small force to introduce Kings of War to folks is going to be great.

Basing wise, the green stuff rocks fell a bit short, and just the paste wasn't that great on its own for working with the models with stands. I've used the paste a lot for the Regnum, but I think Milliput will need to play a bigger role in basing the Militia...

Anyways, this Undead hobbying tangent is shambling towards completion!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hobby Update: Skeleton Regiments

Alright! I’ve actually made a ton of progress on my Undead! As mentioned before, this little side project had two main goals:
  1. Figuring out how to do some basing for minis with stands (to help finish my Militia)
  2. Get a nice little side army (which could be loaned out, or used for introductory or huge games)

One of my purchases for this project was a regimental box of Mantic Skeletons. The models have stands, and I could experiment with the basing, and then glue some already painted Games Workshop skeletons down to fill up the unit. I figured that would be a good way to ease into working with stands.

Step 2, and Step 1. You can see some of the hand-weapon sculpts here.
Step 1: Glue the assembled model to the base.

My bases are MDF bases from Ironheart Artisans. I've placed two orders with them now, and have been really happy with, well... everything. Speedy shipping, good prices and great quality. Haven't had a single one warp yet, and I've tried sloshing paint, paste and putty on them. If you are in need of bases... definitely check them out.

Step 2: Add some Milliput around the stand itself, and smooth it out. The aim is to create a slightly elevated area around it that works with and incorporates the existing stand, so that it looks like the model is just on a little tiny slope or hill or something.

Step 3: Add some Vallejo paste for some texture to the base. For this project, I decided to use the paste but paint it gray to create a rocky effect, and have the flat parts of the base be more dirt or mud.
Step 4: Prime! I went with a white primer for these, since that’s what I primed my GW Skeletons with.

...and we're up to Step 5 in this pic.
Step 5: Paint the base! Since everything needed to be painted up, I used some big brushes, and started with the base. Slopping around paint and not caring too much if anything got onto the model itself, as eventually, it would be painted over.

Step 6: Paint the mini! With the imprecise painting of the base done, I moved on to the model. I started with haphaardly applying the bone base color to the unit, and then working my way to the metals, leather straps, cloth, etc, finishing with the most precise parts last.

Step 7: Shading and washing the mini. I applied a hefty coat of brown wash to the minis, which got the bones to stand out a lot, and everything else looking pretty dirty.

This might be the end if every model had a stand. Since my models are all mixed up, Step 8 was gluing the other stand-less models onto the base. I used a plain, thin super glue picked up from the grocery store. After some futzing and a few fingers glued together accidentally, the units look like this:

The Regiment is pretty solid. I may add a shield for the standard bearer, and some varied browns to the skeleton feet to try and sell the muddy effect, but the unit is ready for the table.

The Troops are pretty good too. For better or for worse, the Games Workshop Skeletons are really hard to rank up (they are all leaning in weird directions), and I ended up with a few spares when I couldn't fit them in.

So there you have it. Some skeletons! Working with the stands was pretty easy actually, and this was a nice trial run.

Next up are four troops of Skeleton Archers, where I try to explore basing with stands in closer quarters, as most of those models have stands. Stay tuned!