woensdag 26 april 2017

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans season 2

The second season of the raw and hard Gundam tale involving child soldiers, which caused quite a stir in it's first season, is back for the conclusion of the story.

After Tekkadan affirmed itself at the end of season 1, we now follow Orga and Mikazuki as they try to find their place in the world.

Now a daughter company of Naze's Teiwas, they live a decent life with honest jobs, until a seemingly small scale conflict gets Abrau involved, and sucks the earth bound department of Tekkadan in.  When later on the Turbines are attacked and almost wiped out, it is revealed that at the bottom of it all is an internal power struggle within Gjallarhorn.
McGillis Fareed, who has thrown his lot in with Tekkadan, wants to bring Gjallarhorn back on the old, united course, and is opposed by a faction led by Rustal Elion.
This leads to a large scale battle between the two factions, and some unexpected reappearances of characters.  But the series ends really unexpected for a Gundam franchise!

A really great series, that might not be on the level of 00 or Wing, whom are seen as the top series in the long running franchise, this was yet another hard string of episodes and a big change from the more light hearted series we had in past years (AGE, Tri-Fighters)...

Make sure to pick up on these two seasons, it`s worth it if your a Gundam lover!

dinsdag 25 april 2017

LEGO easter egg MOC

Well, this was supposed to be joining the easter layout at Brick Mania Wetteren two weeks ago, but well, things took a different turn.

Never the less, this has, as such, become the final Tolkien build I will be doing...

The egg was build with instructions that where send to all participants of BM-W, and I covered mine in a Tolkien-y style, finding use of that (not so) One Ring for it.  A Tolkien tile at the top rounded it all off.

But I did it with a little twist, using a hinge brick and some tiles to make it actually "click" open and reveal that cute little Smeagol inside.

Hope you like it!

zondag 23 april 2017

Starting projects... that happens if you change hobbies

After the first post earlier today of this two part opinion piece, in which I talked of the cancellation of my LEGO builds, it`s time to look to the future and make plans.

My advisor proved very helpful in this...

And that future is to repair, repaint and refield my wargame armies, with the occassional expansion left or right.

The past few days I have spend rummaging through various boxes and inventorising what armies are "more or less" salvagable, as well as 5 year or longer old projects that never will come to pass, and as such will be going straight to the lovely thing called the "bits box" (ancient 28mm Chinese chariots, I don`t even remember where I got those, let alone for what).

Now, I don`t want to put pressure on myself, and the main goal is to have my full Union corps "back on it`s feet" by the end of the 2018, as that are a LOT of figures that need to be (re)painted.  I consider them as such my main project and the true incentive to get back to the old hobby. 

But they aren`t going to be the only things I`ll be patching up.  On a historical note, there are three smaller projects from a bygone age that I will be doing.  Things I *might* get around to playing with, but that I will definitly aim to paint with pleasure.

The first of these is my small Baccus 6mm AWI british.  I always loved those little strips of figures and they just look cool when painted, while taking on a minimum of shelfspace.

The second "little scale" is a New Model Army small force in scale 10mm.  It`s a conflict I always liked and as with the 6mm all the models I gathered years ago are still unpainted in zip lock bags.

Both these forces will be in my selection for / if I can join the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge, something I have been reading about during my holiday in France and looks like a great, if intense, motivation to get some things done.

Another historical project that I`ll be doing is patching up some of my 28mm Dark Age Irish, some hauling back of being in my possession for almost 15 years, from my early days of joining TSA.

On another level, I have been salvaging through the remnants of my Fantasy armies, as I told about earlier this week.  After catching up on all the fluff of the End Times, the rules and backdrop of the new Age of Sigmar, looking through possible forces and what I "have" and with if needed the points values from the General`s Handbook, I settled on making a small themed 1000 points force. 
This will be one of the Druchii forces, or Dark Elves of old.  More specific, I`m going for a small Daughters of Khaine list.  The leather clad chicks are cool of course, there is the whole Cult of Lust thing in their (retconned) background, and I would need a total of only 46 models patched up and painted.
I aim to be able to field that force around july this year.

On another note, there are of course these guys...

Legion of Azorgh has been warscrolled, though no points are given, but I don`t care.  I always have been a Hashut follower, I sport his symbol as a tattoo after all.  In the "good old days" I could field about 10k of the guys, and I will be repairing and repainting each and every one of them, wether they are Games Workshop, Forge World or other models I obtained over those years, until the true might of Hashut stands proud again!
I don`t have a deadline for this, as it is more a labour of fanlove then one of need to get to the table asap...

Small things will include the odd skirmish game.  I have taken up the "challenge" by my Nemesis, and backed the Kickstarter for Tombstone, a Wild West skirmish game by Black Scorpion.  The faction I`ll choose?  Why, the 7th Army of course...

And there we have it, the plans are laid down, the figures are slowly being repaired, and I will be doing an "around the last day of the month" post of any painting progress... which in the first two three months won`t be THAT spectacular at all.  Stripping, glueing, undercoating... you know the drill ;-)

Fire up the brushes!

Cancelling projects... that happens if you change hobbies

In the first of a few posts I`ll be doing today, I`m talking about the "end of the line" of my LEGO hobby, though I won`t go in the specifics of what exactly triggered it.

That wouldn`t be very gentlemanly after all, and no need to start a Flame War over it.

While the relevant people know the reasons, let`s just say that I got so disgusted by the things that happened, that I`m actually drawing a line under all of it.  I will keep my Tolkien sets and moc`s that I build for the Middle Earth thing I wanted to do, but that is about all of it, together with some selected sets on display (the Pearl, R2... those kinds of things).

But I won`t be building anything apart from the material I need for demo'ing at a wargame show later this year, in the form of terrain and "forces" needed for that, and a single MOC I`m still working on and will guard, the American Civil War build of Fredericksburg.

I`m tearing down all the other mocs and builds I have done, and have been working on, lately, and as such they have moved to "cancelled" status on the side bar of this little corner of the internet.  I`ll also be liquidating large parts of my bricks in order to start funding any possible future wargame projects, though for now I still have plenty of figures to work with.

That, and sorting, listing, and whatever about 200 kilo`s of LEGO elements isn`t a quick job, and then I still have to go through tubs of minifigures and moving boxes full of sealed sets...

Over the coming weeks, I`ll be working away the back log of LEGO related articles I still had in the pipeline, with a trainload of build reports (I had material to halfway 2019), as well as a huge amount of Inspirational articles (about the same amount).  I`ll also be uploading a few MOC`s that have been finished in the past weeks, like my easter egg for the not attended Brick Mania Wetteren, and a big Harry Potter build I just needed to make pictures off.

But for the rest, the line has been drawn as I lost the love for the plastic brick.

Haul Report 78

Another sunday, so time to look back at whatever we obtained for the hobby this week...

... but with the change back to the old hobby, it`s a "bare essentials" one this week.

While I`ll dedicate a future post to exactly what has caused me to turn away and drive me back in the arms of the Miniature Gaming Mistress, that did mean I needed to stock up on some all day required materials like superglue.

You can`t assemble figures without a good dot of glue, so making use of a local store's promotion, I quickly snatched up the necessary tubes to do the first repair and assembly works.

And that is basically it for this week...

The Expanse season 2

If you love science fiction, this series based on the novels of James SA Corey are the best out there recently.

Numbering 13 episodes, the series has already been renewed for a third, coming early 2018 normally.

The second season focusses on the mysterious proto molecule, of which we learned more in the final episodes of s1, and how it has taken over the complete colony where Miller finally found Julie Mao. 
The team, with the aid of Fred Johnson, try to destroy the Eros colony, but it has developped seemingly intelligent life and steers clear of the torpedo strike and a huge ship send to crash into it, but Earth is saved by the sacrifice of Miller and it crashes on Venus instead.

On Ganymede in the meantime, a plot is discovered that the protomolecules are being used to make the "ultimate weapon" which leads to tensions and almost a war between Mars and Earth.  As Project Caliban is slowly revealed, the crew of the Rocinante set out to Ganymede to find the daughter of a scientist and destroy the protomolecule...

I love this series for the "hard" sci-fi it uses, no flashy spaceship dodging and weaving, bullet driven cannons intead of beam weapons, and the three faction politics.  When an unknown factor is brought in with the protomolecule, the balance shifts all over the place as lines are redrawn, and the crew of Rocinante being caught right in the middle.

Lovely series!

zaterdag 22 april 2017

Build Report: 241502 Flamy the Fox

A small build report today, as we tackle one of the foil packs that came with the Elves magazine.

Flamy the Fox is a small 12 part set featured around the little fox pet from the range.

The build begins on 2 plates of 2x3 in Tan.

A slope and some magenta elements are then added.

A bottle and some details are then added to the little nest for the little fox.

All that is then left to do is add Flamy and his brush to the build and we are all done.

It is a nice little foil pack, as the Elves pets, which are fantasy style models of the Friends range, are pretty nice and cute.

woensdag 19 april 2017

Reading up and Picking forces

Well, I have been doing two things the past few days in order to start painting again, and that has been reading and making some choices.

As I said before, my main goal is to repair / patch up / repaint my Union corps again, but in the meantime, I`m plannng on refurbishing a small warhammer force and get some dice rolling at least.

As I opened the boxes of my old armies, well, it was to say as good as nothing survived without at least some paint chips or small things that broke off, like feathers.  And those where the guys in GOOD condition, so you can imagine the havoc wrought in tossing figures on a pile, stuff in bags and put away in shoeboxes.

Now, before me I have my Union, both in sealed boxes and in trashed piles, but it was the big box labelled Fantasy that I was ruffling through first, to see what I could mash together in a small 1000 point force.

I have been reading all the Age of Sigmar books, websites, lore (aka fluff) and such to see what has changed, and it seems quite a few forces are redistributed.  Warscroll battalions, armies (my Empire for example) torn over various factions, those sorts of things.

While my Chaos Dwarfs are doing once again what they are very good at, namely disappearing from the radar entirely, my other two forces are basically split in two each.  My Wood Elves, back then about 3000 points, are now a force of elves, and one of forest spirits (led by an awesome Allarielle model to boot).  My 10k Empire army, including even one of the old metal steam tanks, is split over the Freeguild and a war machine force mixed with Dwarves.

And then I dug up an oddity... a plastic bag containing an old Cauldron of Blood and 20 Witch Elves of various sorts, including some non GW characters.  For the love of Sigmar, I can`t exactly recall why I ever bought this, vaguely remembering it was a lot of some sorts and I wanted to use the female figures for an additional War Dancer unit.  Or at least, that`s about the only thing I can imagine I would ever have gotten those for.

So I went to the GW site to look at what happened to them (yup, split up as well of course), and saw the plastic Witch Elves they have in their range at the moment.  Those are some damn fine models!

After doing some "studies" I think I`m going to use this as a good starting point to build a small 1000 point Vanguard of Daughters of Khaine.  It wouldn`t require that many models, and the "nakedness and black leather" of the models makes it so that they will paint up relatively quickly (faster at least then all the plumes and ribbons of the classic metal Empire figs). 

A first draft would get me the Cauldron (it`s the old lawnmower style thing), a unit of 20 old metal Witch Elves, a unit of 10 of the new Witch Elves, 10 Sisters of Slaughter (no idea who that are), and a unit of 5 Doomfire Warlocks (seems like Outriders with wizard abilities).  Not much of a figure investment to do there, with about three small boxes.

Okay, and the fact they are half-naked is a visual bonus ;-)

Now, on the reading part I found out the Dark Elves are now part of the "good guys", not bad for what used to be (in my time) a sort of covert Slaanesh worshippers force.

Which leaves me with one thing I can`t seem to find back in the new lore, and what must have happened during my hyatus.  New realms, based on the classic 8 winds of magic, after the sundering of the world that was (aka, the old Warhammer world).  That far I can follow.  Sigmar tries to free the people from the Forces of Chaos, that won that big war it seems.  Awright, I`m following...

... but what actually blew up the world?  Where / what should I read to get to that story?

Build Report: 8396 Soldier's Arsenal

Today's build report is a small boxed set from the 2009 Pirates II line, and one I bought rather a lot of to boost my Imperial force.

While at 12 parts and a minifigure, this would be a polybag nowadays, shortly under a decade ago they came in small little boxes.

Opening it we get the instructions leaflet and the bag of elements.

The minifigure is one of the "redcoats" as they are known in pirate midsts, with a goatee and hoisting a pistol.

The arsenal is actually a sort of shelf with weapons, and this begins on a 2x4 brown plate with two cones for supporting the level above.

Those levels are basically a 1x4 plate and some modified bricks with clips to hold the rest of the gear.

Topping this off with another 1x4 and a jumper, all we need to do is add the weapons and backpack, and the set is completed.

In this little box, you actually get some nice extra equipment pieces:

And the full set completed:

A cheap and effective army and gear builder set, this is one that can still be picked up cheaply on platforms as Brick Link, and definitly worth the few euros.

dinsdag 18 april 2017

First of Many: Stormcast Eternal

Okay, that title might be misleading, as I won`t be starting a Stormcast army.  But the model came with a magazine I bought last week, and as such was a great "test bench" to get the brush skills back in motion.

Now, I`ll probably over time end up with a small unit of them for a Grand Alliance Order force or so, but they aren`t high on the list at all.  I`m not even a fan of the model truth to be told.

These medival looking Space Marines aren`t just my "thing" but I wanted to experiment and see what I still knew about painting.  After all, it's been over 5 years since I did a fantasy figure...

Now, for the future and mostly my gaming armies, I`m no longer going for the 3 - 4 tone style for figures who will spend most of their time dying and spending time being handled with greasy fingers.  I`m going to aim with a base colour and a highlight, which will make them look okay for playing with.

So here we go then, after assembling the figure I went for the traditional black undercoat on the model.

Next, the metallics where done, the iron coloured elements getting an Ink Wash Armour, while I used brass for the main armour... which is about the whole figure.

The base colours for the other parts where then painted on. 

Next, I did a highlight on all the parts of the figure, making the gold "shiny" and adding depth to areas like the blues.  Now, I needed to do the base, and while I originally would go for the usual goblin green + flock, I decided to go for the lava look I have been using on my Chaos Dwarfs.  The main reason is that in the new Warhammer world, you play around various planes of excistence instead of the usual green hills... though tabletop wise you would probably end up on those anyways.

The benefit though is that it makes the models stand out, AND it saves me the need to vacuum the living room after every flocking session as the stuff tends to fly everywhere.

All that was needed to be done then was to apply a coat of gloss varnish, and the first figure of many in the future was painted!

I`m rather okay with how he turned out.  Like I said, that army isn`t my thing, but I`m glad I haven`t glued my fingers together (I did varnish my beard... don`t ask), and still see well enough to pick out details.

I guess I`m officially back in painting action ;-)

Getting Started with Warhammer Age of Sigmar

I picked up this special magazine last week together with the White Dwarf I brabbled about yesterday.

Now, from the outlook, it looks like one of those DeAgostini magazines, where GW had a partnership with ages ago and came with a Lord of the Rings figure every time.

The magazine is centered around Age of Sigmar, and gives a few bits of background information (though I still got to read through the full story, this is a sort of an oversight memo), the necessary commercials for the (then) newgame, and things like a simple battle report, paining guides and the likes.

But it also features the new rules, whose core system is now only like 4 pages long (and downloadable from the GW site to boot) and as such shouldn`t take to much time to learn.  All the various warscrolls for all the units... that`s another matter...

It also came with a single figure, one of teh Stormcast Eternals (no idea who they are, they weren`t around back in the days but look like a Space Marine with a hammer).

First impression of the magazine was "okay", it seems the rules are playable and from what I learned through YouTube and the likes it now a sort of "easy basics, deep tactics" kind of thing, so we`ll see once we get to the point of actually playing...