zondag 23 april 2017

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...

maandag 17 april 2017

Review: White Dwarf April 2017

Okay, so this must have been the first White Dwarf I bought in like what, 7, 8 years?

I even learned in the meantime that it apparently went out of print for a while, and only recently was printed again... yes, I have skipped quite a few things...

Now, as I was in Antwerp center last friday with the GF as we had an appointment at the piercer, I walked by the Games Workshop and decided to go inside to have a look and pick up a magazine.  Thatw ay, I could do some reading and catching up on what all that Age of Sigmar thing is about as I`m restoring my old Fantasy battle armies.

The main theme of the issue is the newest faction for that game, the Kharadron Overlords.  now, fully armoured Dwarves with lots of guns and flying machines... I couldn`t help but thing that the Squats have made their return at last, but in another game system.

Now, the magazine still follows the traditional structure with the new releases, with a heap of fluff, paint guides, that sort of thing, as well as the traditional battle report... which I was pretty amazed about as they got totally wiped of the board.

On the sci-fi side of things, new rules for gangs in Shadow War and a battle report is featured, but 40k has never been my "thing" so I glanced over those sections actually.

There is a tale of 4 warlords though, in which 4 studio members have to start and build and army, and albeit 40k those are things I love to read (aaaah, the good old Tale of 4 Wargamers from 15 years ago... I still love that series).

Further features included rules for gaming in Lake Town in the The Hobbit game, Blanchitsu art and models, an episode of Blood Bowl's Spike! and of course the necessary publicity features.  And a need little duel playing cards driven game.

All in all, it was an enjoyable thing to read after so many years, and I`ll probably pick up some WD's in the future, albeit not every month. 

And at 8 euro, it doesn`t cost and arm and a leg anyways.

Inspirational Lego 118

Another episode of Inspirational today, as I`m keeping up to share all the eye catchers I`ve seen over the years.

And we start this episode with a Skryim inspired build.



I love how Isaac's shop has an open backside with some great detailing in it, as well as the stoneworks on the exterior.

Take a bit of RnR in this lovely spa!

This scene from Super Mario 3D looks like it came straight of your console screen!

A cactus in full bloom.  The use of the olive stems for needles gives the green a lovely contrast.

The Dawn space probe by NASA is looking in our galactic backyard.

A mighty dwarf runemaster stands at the ready in his full battle regalia.

Maybe he is planning on duelling this amazing oriental Fox Warrior?

Ightwarril Treehouse gives a lovely gloomy effect as an elven outpost in some foreboding dark forest.

The Chima wolf masks are greatly incorporated in this Lupo hideout.

Finally, this episode ends with it's last ride...

That`s it for this episode, until soon for the next instalment!