Saturday, December 24, 2011

HQs of Christmas Past

Merry Christmas!

And Let the Firewood Burn!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 4 Giveaway Finale

Hello again, friends! Well we've come to the end of the "Thanks Plus Giving Plus You" contest with just one more 2.5 oz jar of "The Masters" Brush Cleaner and Preserver left to give out. Before doing so however I would like to say thanks one more time to all of you who have visited diceRolla and found something here worth your while. After spending a lot of time reading other folks' blogs I feel that my own can be, putting it nicely, something of an oddball at times. Therefore I am very grateful to have reached as many people as I have and to have sustained so many regular readers over the past two and a half years. This has always been a personally motivated thing that I enjoy doing, but it certainly has made it much more fun getting to interact with such well informed, interesting, and lively people.

Okay, now that I'm done with the blubbering part let's get on to the exciting conclusion and announce the final winner. So who will be joining GopherDave, The Grim Darkness, and nickthewise in the winners' circle? Why it is none other than...


Congratulations! I encourage everyone so inclined to find out more about Spacejacker's hobby interests by visiting his blogs, Tiny Solitary Soldiers and Nano Solo, as they are chock-full of miniature goodness. I've been a long time fan of painting and gaming with 15mm scale and smaller miniatures, although my experience with them has been mostly in the realm of historical wargaming. Spacejacker however has some of the most incredible small scale sci-fi minis and scenery that I have ever seen. When I first started reading Tiny Solitary Soldiers, I found it so inspiring that I was barely able to restrain myself from buying up as many little spacemen and monsters as I could afford. In fact I still find that quite tempting but have held off from doing so mainly because there are already enough projects clamoring for my attention. Nonetheless I'm sure at some point I'll pick up at least a few 15mm sci-fi minis and... um... just see where it goes from there. ;) When you get a chance, Spacejacker, please email me and let me know where I should mail your jar of Brush Cleaner and Preserver.

Alright, that's about it for this contest so let's wrap it up. Although I was able to give out four prizes this time around, unfortunately that leaves 230 of you going home empty handed so to speak. I'm sorry I couldn't come up with a way to do something nice for each of you. Instead I'll just have to say how grateful I am for all of you who have helped make diceRolla so much more than I ever imagined it would become. THANK YOU!

And until next time, happy painting and gaming!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 3 Giveaway Winner

Hey, hey! It's that time again to announce another winner in the always thrilling, "Thanks Plus Giving Plus You" giveaway extravaganza. Okay, that might be overselling it just a bit. :) But I do have another 2.5 oz jar of "The Masters" Brush Cleaner and Preserver to award to one of my faithful readers chosen randomly from The Esoteric Order of Jason. If you haven't seen anything about this before and want to know what's going on, I welcome you to visit the original post in which I explain the rationale behind this contest.

I'm quickly running out of steam this evening and, due to spending the past week with my in-laws, my patience and cognitive functioning is just about used up. Therefore let's move right on to the fun part. Joining our two previous winners, GopherDave and The Grim Darkness, tonight's lucky winner is...


Congratulations, Nick! 40k players may know nickthewise from his Dark Eldar Blog where he is focused on compiling as much information as possible about those most sinister of space elves. If however you're not already familiar with him, I've copied the following little introduction from one of the other blogs he contributes to regularly, The Dice Abide.

Nick aka nickthewise
Started Playing: 1996
Favorite 40k Army: Tactically I’m really drawn to the new Dark Eldar and the versatility the new Codex offers. Fluff-wise, Eldar has always been my favorite – I can’t wait for their new Codex!
Favorite Fantasy Army: I’m a 40k snob, sorry!
Current Armies: Dark Eldar (8,500), Eldar (6,000), Grey Knights (4,500)
Favorite Aspect of Hobby: I really enjoy the tactical aspect of the hobby, and pitting my wits against my opponents. I’m also a big collector and really enjoy seeing Rouge Trader era models and armies.

With more than 14,000 points of Eldar, of both the Dark and Craftworld varieties, that's some serious dedication. I don't think the Eldar are in any danger of dying off so long as nickthewise is in their corner. It looks like he's also got a significant pile of mon-keigh Grey Knights as well, but I'm pretty sure that's just to make his Eldar feel superior in comparison. (Yes it's true, Eldar even look down their noses at the Grey Knights, despite those humans somehow being better psykers than them.) In case there's still something left to be painted from that huge collection of minis, hopefully this brush cleaner will come in handy.

Thanks again to everyone for reading my blog, I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner of the last jar of brush soap for this giveaway. And nickthewise, please email me and let me know where I should send your prize. Happy painting and gaming!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 2 Giveaway Winner

Hello and welcome to Day 2 of the "Thanks Plus Giving Plus You" giveaway. In case you've arrived here and don't know what this is about, you can check out yesterday's post for a full explanation. Short version is that, beginning on Thanksgiving and going through this coming Sunday, I'm randomly selecting one person each day from those Following this blog to win a 2.5 oz container of "The Masters" Brush Cleaner and Preserver. It's just meant to be a little way of saying thanks to all you good people who read my blog.

With GopherDave having won the first one, that leaves three more jars left to give out. Therefore today's winner is...

The Grim Darkness

Congratulations! The Grim Darkness is author of the aptly named blog, The Grim Darkness. Well somehow I'd missed out before on signing up for his blog but I took care of that earlier today. I highly recommend for anyone interested to pay him a visit, he's got some fantastic models and scenery that are definitely worth taking a look at. I especially like his Death Guard Chaos Marines and his recent work on an outstanding 28mm Inquisitorial warband. I appreciate his style of painting and am hopeful this brush soap will prove to be helpful with future projects.

Okay, that's it for tonight. The Grim Darkness, if you would please send me an email (you can find the address near the top of my blog's right-hand column) we can work out where you would like me to send your prize. Thanks again for supporting diceRolla! And for everyone else, please check back tomorrow because I'll be choosing another winner. These past several days I've been in New York staying with my in-laws so it will likely once again be later on in the evening before I get a chance to post the next winner.

So until then, happy gaming!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks Plus Giving Plus You

Since today is Thanksgiving for those of us celebrating in the good old U. S. of A, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you kind people who visit this blog. Thank you! I really appreciate all the support I've received over the past few years and have enjoyed immensely hearing from each you. I've had a blast sharing my hobby life with you and I look forward to continuing to do so for a long time to come.

In the spirit of the holiday I am kicking off a little giveaway for all my blogging buddies as a way of expressing how thankful I am for your readership and your participation in the diceRolla experience. Starting now and going through Sunday, each day one member of The Esoteric Order of Jason will be randomly chosen to win a 2.5 oz tub of "The Masters" Brush Cleaner and Preserver. This brush soap works like a charm and will seriously extend the life of your brushes, not to mention getting out all that left over pigment stuck to your bristles.

And so the first winner in our "Thanks Plus Giving Plus You" drawing is...

GopherDave, aka Dave, aka TheDude

Congratulations Dave! For those of you who don't know him, Dave is one of the co-owners of Armored Gopher Games in Urbana, Illinois. As well as being an entrepreneur, Dave is also a philosopher, artist, devoted husband and father, and one hell of a sharp dresser. It was a great honor for me to meet him and to be able to spend some time talking about our favorite games when I stopped by his store on my way to Adepticon earlier this year. I'm therefore pretty psyched that his number came up first for the contest.

Although Dave has won this round, I've got three more jars of Brush Cleaner to give away. Using the trusty random number generator we'll do this all over again tomorrow to select the next winner. So thanks again to everyone for checking out my blog and offering me so much encouragement along the way. Happy painting and gaming... and of course, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Old Bloggers Never Die

Nope, I'm not dead yet. :) Trying my best not to fade away, either. I'd say it's therefore time for a little bit of updating.

After staying busy throughout October, my family and I then hit a rough patch at the start of the current month. Nothing too dire, mind you, but stressful enough to kill most of my hobby and blogging motivation for the past few weeks. Normally painting is a great relief for me but I was in too much of funk to even pick up a brush for a while. Fortunately everything seems to be working out for the best now and I've started to get my hobby-groove back. Yippee!

Thus with the will to paint having been restored I finally got down to business and began working on my Sea Dog for the charity auction Project: Orange Crush (Hunger), part of Foodmachine 2011. (You can see my original post about getting involved here if you like.) I finished painting my pirate this past weekend and I'm really pleased with how he turned out. I had planned on keeping this under wraps until the auction goes live but I'm simply too excited to wait that long. Therefore I'm going to hold off from showing any further photos for the time being, though I cannot resist presenting at least one shot of my contribution to the effort. I'll have plenty to say later on about painting the miniature and the project itself, but until then here's the first look at my Sea Dog:

While painting my pirate I also spent some time thinking about the hobby in general and what I would really like to be doing with it. To help me out I reconvened my war council so as to determine the best use of my hobby time. After some discussion concerning various army projects and the different game systems with which I've been experimenting, it became apparent that I have not adapted to my new environment and instead I have continued on as if I were still living in a hobby wasteland. Despite moving more than six months ago to a much more gamer-friendly city, I have been slow to take full advantage of these new opportunities.

Once again I had allowed side projects to take precedence over my painting time, neglecting what I had initially intended to focus upon after moving to Asheville. While I am still very keen to get deeper into Dystopian Wars, Infinity, Malifaux, and Flames of War, there is just no way these other games can compete locally against 40k with regard to the availability of opponents and the potential to play games on a regular basis. I was starved for gaming in Charleston, yet now it would be no problem at all for me to play a few games of 40k every week should I choose to do so. I have been dissatisfied however with the state of my armies for quite a while and so, in order for me to get back into proper 40k-gaming form, I have decided to rededicate myself to working on my Raptors Space Marines.

Ideally I'd like to have 1500 points worth of Raptors painted by the end of this year. From there I will continue to expand the army with the goal of having significantly more painted in time for the release of 6th Edition. I always feel like I'm caught flat-footed whenever a new edition comes out and so this time around I want to be prepared as much as possible by having an army I'm happy with painted and ready to go as soon as the new rules drop. And in the meantime, if all goes accordingly, I'll have something I can take to the FLGS so as to enjoy these waning days of 5th Edition. That's my plan for now at least and I'm starting off by painting a squad of sniper Scouts.

The last thing I want to mention for this update is that starting tomorrow I will be doing another little giveaway for those of you Following my blog. I'll most likely post the details sometime tomorrow night (November 24th) though I'm not exactly sure when due to it being a holiday and the potential for post-turkey lethargy. At this point I just want to give everyone a heads-up in case you're interested. It's going to be a simple random drawing so all you'll need to do is check in occasionally to find out if you've won.

Okay, that's it for now. I hope everyone is doing really well... happy painting and gaming!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spawn of Halloween

Once again in celebration of Halloween I'm passing the night away painting something scary. Of course few 40k players will find anything at all frightening about a Chaos Spawn. But with rumors now circulating about both Chaos Legions and Chaos Renegades in the works for Sixth Edition, maybe there is cause to hope that Chaos Spawn won't forever be a waste of points. They're a fun unit to paint and very thematic as well, it would be a shame not to make them a viable choice in at least one Chaos book. Is that too much to ask?

Spawn that don't suck, now that's scary. :)

I built this ugly fellow a couple of years ago for the planned revamping of my Chaos Space Marines army. I don't foresee putting much effort into that project until I have a better sense of what the army will be like in the next edition of the game. I'm excited about the early chatter but it still seems too far out to take anything seriously. In the meantime I'm content to wait and only occasionally paint a Chaos Spawn in supplication to the Dark Gods.

May they give us a Codex worthy of them. Ia! Ia!

A heretic can dream, right? Oh well, back to painting... Happy Halloween, everone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Rather Different Necron

Despite all the buzz concerning Beasts of War's stash of leaked Necron pictures, a little piece of the puzzle seems to have been missed in the ensuing excitement. So dig this. It would appear there is one more special Necron HQ coming our way to lead the metal-heads in war.

I've got to say that it strikes me as a peculiar choice in design considering the style of the new miniatures due to be released soon, but of course that's just my opinion. Judge for yourself if you think it lives up to the standard we've seen with the leaked Necron photos.

Behold, the secret Necron Lord!!

Bleep Bloop Bleep, I'm a Necron!

Ay ay ay... sorry about that. :) I've had that picture for more than a year and could no longer resist. It's from a training mission I set up for my then 7 year old nephew who had become interested in "Whammer Hammer" as he refers to 40k. After pushing around his five Necrons against my five Chaos Marines for a few turns, the lad decided we needed to spice up the game with a couple of heavy hitters. Fortunately his supply of toy robots and monsters provided exactly what we were looking for, including the heartless mechanical overlord seen in the above photograph.

And yes, I lost that game too! After setting up the terrain on my nephew's Thomas-the-Train table, we placed three objectives evenly distributed along the centerline of our gameboard. I held the middle and right-hand objectives for most of the game until being driven away from the center of the table by a brutal assault on the final turn. Oh the humanity, I lost 2-1!

Hmmm... next time I go up against my nephew, I'll be sure to slow-play him!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My First Time Stripping

I'm having a go at stripping the paint off a batch of miniatures, a hobby first for me. For this I am using Simple Green and the incessant chanting of the Litanies of Purification. By doing so I hope to salvage a combat squad of Space Marine Devastators for my Raptors army, the models having been terribly fuzzed by priming them when it was too humid. This was at the start of the summer when I still lived in Charleston but right before we moved, and thus it seemed an appropriate note on which to depart the city.

I began soaking my minis a couple of days ago but presumably it is still too early to report on any results. I'll likely let them float around in the Simple Green through the upcoming weekend before I try to remove any of the paint. I don't know if this is going to work as the miniatures were really heavily textured by the primer. I admit that at this point I am skeptical but am eager nonetheless to give it a shot.

Swim my pretties, swim!

After dropping in the Space Marines there was still a lot of room for more miniatures that could be added to the chemical bath. I recently came across a small box of minis that hadn't been touched in ages and which also happened to be in need of cleaning, mostly thanks to some very sloppy priming. In this case however the primer has sat on the models for perhaps twenty or so years. I don't have any plans for these other minis but stripping them seemed like a good challenge for the Simple Green, just to see what the stuff can do. So those minis too went into the sauce...

Squats. Why'd it have to be Squats?

Again I am not sure what effect this stuff will have on these minis, but I'm in the mood to experiment. Maybe they will turn out well or maybe they will melt, who knows? It's not like there is much else I am going to do with some silly little Space Dwarfs. I've considered adapting them for use in an Imperial Guard army but that currently doesn't have much appeal for me. It would be kind of fun to chop up some of them to decorate the bases of my Tyranids. That however might be too cruel even for me as it would be like rubbing salt into the wounded collective conscience of Squat-players. Hmm, then again some 'Nid-themed terrain showing Squats bubbling around in the digestion pools would be a hoot. :)

Well I suppose there's no need for me to worry now over the fate of my Squats. For the time being I'll just let them and the marines hang out in the jar on my desk, like some creepy exhibit in a Mütter Museum for OOP 40k. I hope to start working on the Raptors soon assuming this Simple Green trial is a success. I feel inclined to start using Space Marines again in my games so that has motivated me to focus on them for at least a little while.

Happy painting and gaming!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Charity Painting Opportunity

Hey, I'm back! Sorry about going MIA from the blog the past couple of weeks, I've been really busy with family stuff and all that jazz. No time for gaming, blah blah blah... let's get on with it! :)

A few minutes ago I was flipping through the new issue of No Quarter Magazine and right away noticed mention of the upcoming Foodmachine 2011. The idea behind Foodmachine is to encourage Warmachine and Hordes players to organize a bunch of events between November 1st and January 2nd as a type of food drive, the entry fee to play being canned food for donation to local food banks. Participants in these events are allowed to purchase "Cheats" for use in their games by bringing along more canned goods. The more you donate during the event, ever more powerful cheats become available for use. All the details about this charitable cause, rules packets, and info about the various cheats can be found by clicking the link already provided.

If you're more of a painter than a gamer, however, there is another way to get involved. This year the organizers want to auction off a complete Tier 4 army, to be made up entirely from painted miniatures donated to the cause. Here are the details for this project copied from the main website:

Painting for Charity

We’re also kicking things up this year with a companion event for all the hobbyists out there. Orange is the official color of hunger awareness and so we wanted to combine that aspect of the charity into Foodmachine. Project: Orange Crush (Hunger) gives hobbyists the chance to devote their special talents to the cause.

We've drawn up a Tier 4 Shae army full of pirate models. We’re asking the community to sign up to paint a model from the army in an orange scheme of their choosing. The army will then be auctioned off for charity. Privateer Press' studio painter, Matt DiPietro, will be painting up Captain Phinneus Shae and the Commodore cannon in an orange-based paint scheme. In addition, this year's Formula P3 Grandmaster, Zach Lanier, will be painting up Dirty Meg for the army.

To participate, follow the link (here) and sign up to paint one of the models. Glue the model to a normal base but do not add any flocking. After you have finished painting it up, mail the model to Matt at Privateer Press:

Project Orange Crush
c/o Matt DiPietro
Privateer Press
13434 NE 16th St STE 120
Bellevue WA 98005

Privateer Press will be basing all the models and the photographing them in preparation for their eBay auction. Your model must be at Privateer Press by December 2nd, 2011.


Pretty cool, right? I dig that our gaming community embraces these charitable causes and so I've signed up to paint a model for the army's unit of Sea Dogs. Pictured below is the smart-looking fellow that I'll be working on to help CRUSH HUNGER... um, pirate style of course:

Along with painting my own miniature, if possible I'd like to recruit some additional painters to work on the rest of the Sea Dogs that I have. Therefore if you are interested in painting a pirate for charity, but do not have any of the requisite minis that are being sought for this project, I'll gladly send you one of my own scurvy bastards by express mail. Just be sure that you can have him painted and shipped out in time for your mini to arrive in Washington by the December 2nd deadline. If that sounds good to you, go to the website's google document and sign up to paint one of the remaining Sea Dogs. Then send me an email or leave a comment indicating which of the following minis you want to work on for Orange Crush (Hunger).

Sea Dog Crew Leader

Sea Dog #2

Sea Dog #3

Sea Dog #4

Sea Dog #5

Alright, that's it for now. If anyone is interested in painting one of these dudes for a good cause, please let me know as soon as you can. So until next time... Aargh! ;)

EDIT: I will update this post as I hear from interested painters, making note of which models have been selected and which are still available. The ones chosen so far are: Sea Dog Crew Leader, Sea Dog #2, Sea Dog #3, Sea Dog #4 and Sea Dog #5. That leaves the following still available to anyone who would like to contribute some of their time to this charitable effort...

Nothing's left!
All the miniatures now have painters!

Thank you again to everyone who has gotten involved, I really appreciate it!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Follow Your Blisstonia

After a few more setbacks over the last week concerning my nascent Chaos Daemons army, I've decided to put that 40k project aside for now and return to more familiar ground. For whatever reason I couldn't get my Slaaneshi mojo working so instead I have switched back to the Blisstonian 9th, my Simpsons-inspired Imperial Guard regiment. Also at this point I would much rather spend my time painting than building another army. I still want to do the Daemon thing but that can wait as it is not something I want to rush or do half-heartedly. Thus onto my beloved Blisstonia...

When I was last working on these guys I had become bogged down with the very first penal squad of the army. I may have to rethink their color scheme or at least change my approach to painting it as I remember those Guardsmen not being very much fun. In the meantime however I am going to begin by painting Techpriest Smithers and his squad of servitors, the Drones of Sector 7G. This seems appropriate too in that they were the first unit I included when developing the theme for this army. I'd also always planned on painting them in a different set of colors from the rest of the army, so that way I can work on them without knowing exactly how I will proceed with the main portion of the Blisstonian 9th.

As evidenced by the extremely early WIP photo seen above, I only sat down to begin painting these servitors a few minutes ago. Therefore I am eager to get back to it while I still have time this evening. Hopefully I can get more done on my Blisstonians than I did with the Slaaneshi daemons before I once again change directions. Despite how fickle I can be, that still shouldn't be too hard considering how little progress I actually made on the Chaos Dameons. Hmm, maybe Tzeentch would have better suited my hobby temperament after all.

Happy painting and gaming!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pericles Class Fleet Carrier WIP

I'm still magnetizing the turrets for my Covenant of Antarctica ships, now having placed 20 magnets of 40 total, but I feel I need a break from dropping magnets and swearing. Therefore I have also started painting my first big ship for Dystopian Wars, the CoA Pericles Class Fleet Carrier. It is a lovely model with lots of neat little details to discover as you paint. So far I've had a lot of fun working on my Dystopian Wars stuff and this one is no exception. In fact I suspect these larger ships will be even more enjoyable to paint than the little guys. It's off to a good start at least. :)

The hulls are washed and dry so I'm ready to begin picking out all the details. Due to the funky design of this vessel I plan on painting almost everything before assembling the launch ramps and command bridge. I can't imagine trying to paint the interior of the ship if it were already glued together. Yikes!

Okay, back to painting....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tiny Magnet Blues

Oh, joy... little magnets. Lots and lots of little magnets. Yippie.

Okay, so I'm not too thrilled about working with these tiny little magnets (N52, 1/16" x 1/32") and neither are my apparently oafish fingers. Therefore it's been sort of a slow, frustrating evening at my hobby desk as I plod through magnetizing all of the turrets for my Covenant of Antarctica fleet. At this point in the project I have in place 14 magnets out of the 40 total that I will use on the battleship, the three cruisers, and the fleet carrier. This is certainly not one of my favorite hobby activities but I suppose it's worth doing this now rather than risk losing turrets every time I play. Even just them falling off the ships throughout the course of a game would quickly become annoying so avoiding that at least motivates me to keep going.

It was not all magnetic tedium however as I also managed today to clean and prime the Pericles Class Fleet Carrier for my CoA naval group. The two-tone priming turned out better this time than on the last set of minis, but still not as well as I had done on the original test batch. Again I do not think I was conservative enough when spraying the blue primer over the initial bone-color paint, but with this color scheme it doesn't really matter as variation among models is fine and in fact desirable. I just hadn't originally intended them to be quite so blue overall, but regardless I like the results so I'm sticking with it. If I can find the time I hope to start painting the fleet carrier tomorrow.

Alright, that's all I have to report for now. I'm going to do a little bit more with the magnets before calling it quits for the night. Happy gaming and painting!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kazak Assembly Line

After much dithering over how to do the bases for my first 300 point Infinity army, I've finally decided to just set that question aside for the moment and begin work on the miniatures. My favorite line of models from Corvus Belli for this game are the Kazaks of Ariadna, so tonight I am starting off with them, having put together an army list based on an all-Kazak theme. I've not yet found any local Infinity players so in order to learn the game and hopefully introduce it to others I plan on painting an opposing 300 point army soon after finishing this one. Therefore once I'm actually playing and understand the game better, I will then start to think about how to tweak and expand my initial selection of miniatures or perhaps even look into additional factions.

Here though is my jumping off point into Infinity:

Ariadna "Kazak Heavy Patrol"
GROUP 1 (Regulars:10, Irregulars:0)

Line Kazak - Combi-rifle / Pistol, Knife (0 SWC/9C)
Line Kazak - Combi-rifle / Pistol, Knife (0 SWC/9C)
Line Kazak - Combi-rifle / Pistol, Knife (0 SWC/9C)
Line Kazak - AP HMG / Pistol, Knife (1 SWC/29C)
Line Kazak - Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife (1 SWC/28C)
Tankhunter - AP HMG, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife (1.5 SWC/40C)
Tankhunter - Autocannon, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife (1.5 SWC/40C)
Veteran Kazak Lieutenant - AP HMG, Light Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW (1 SWC/61C)
Veteran Kazak - T2 Rifle, Light Flamethrower / Pistol, CCW (0 SWC/49C)
Scout - Ojotnik, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife (0 SWC/26C)

300 points, 6 SWC

As a total newcomer to the game I have no idea if this would at all be an effective army or not to use. I'm not worried about that too much as my only interest at this point is to have some painted minis that I like so that I can begin the learning process. While working on my Kazaks I will sort out what I want to do for the other 300 point army from a second faction. I really like the aliens of the Shasvastii Expeditionary Force but haven't been able to come up with any lists that also have a lot of appeal for me. Also I get the feeling they might be sort of a funky choice as a learner's army, thus I'm still looking around at the other options. Pan Oceania or Yu Jing, maybe? I am keen on painting some aliens though so perhaps I could stick with the Combined Army and focus on the Morat instead of the Shasvastii.

No matter whom I end up choosing to work on next to be enemies of my Kazaks, it is certainly a fun dilemma to have. Although Ariadna is my favorite aesthetically and fluff-wise so far, all of the factions look great to me. I'll likely just continue experimenting with army lists until I find one that really interests me and that seems like an enjoyable matchup for my first army. I am of course open to suggestion as well.

Happy painting and gaming!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Witchling Stalkers WIP #2

I'm right now waiting for some things to dry so I'd like to do a quick painting update. I am back to work on those Witchling Stalkers for my Guild crew and so far tonight I've mainly focused on the greenish glow coming from the creatures' eyes. My recent experience painting the flyers for my Covenant of Antarctica fleet was apparently good practice for this and helped me sort out how I prefer to build up the blend of colors. This time though I took the green mix to an almost pure yellow to try to make the colors glow even brighter. I'm not positive but I think this was also my first intentional, albeit crude, attempt at OSL painting... yikes!

I may give the eye glow one more highlight with a little spot of white added in to try to make the color really shine, but otherwise that area should be finished. Along with working on the eyes, tonight I'm also doing some initial shading on the Witchling Stalkers' tattered rags and robes. I am therefore still not very far along with these weirdos but nonetheless I hope to finish them off in the next couple of days.

Okay, it looks like everything is dry enough now so it's back to painting these miniatures. Phew! After a day of toddler-based insanity it feels nice to relax and chill out with my paints and brushes for a little while. :) Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finecast First - Cockatrice

I went to the LGS today to pick up a copy of the new Ogre Kingdoms book, but while there I decided it was also time to buy my first bit of Citadel Finecast, a Warhammer Cockatrice from this summer's Storm of Magic wave of product releases. After hearing so many stories of disappointment from gamers about their own Finecast purchases, I had not been in a rush to buy any myself. The Cockatrice however looked cool to me and seemed like it should be fun to paint, plus I have some homebrew ideas in mind inspired by Storm of Magic for which this model would come in handy. Still though I was rather anxious about buying the Cockatrice since it comes in a fully enclosed box, thus concealing the condition of the miniature and any potential defects it might have.

I was therefore initially quite relieved once I had opened the box as there was no obvious damage that I could see right away. Everything looked pretty good but then as I worked on the pieces more and more the little imperfections became noticeable. Most troublesome of these was the fit of the wings to the body which required a fair amount of trimming and even now feels like a fragile and insecure bond. Despite all the hype about how easy Finecast is to assemble, I think pinning the wings onto the body might have been an appropriate precaution.

Along with a somewhat wonky fit for the wings, the other problems were of the sort that most folks have probably come to expect from Finecast. There are a few areas that have been affected by air bubbles, mainly on the sides of the tail where many of the tips of the scales are damaged in such a way. I also found some voids on the monster's back and the little spines at the base of his tail all look instead like dripping pipes. The final problem I found was that the tip of the biggest claw on the Cockatrice's tail had broken off while still attached to the sprue. I may try to fix that by cutting down to the right size the end of Tyranid Scything Talon, but I probably wouldn't mind just leaving it the way it is now.

Despite these flaws overall I am more impressed with my first Finecast miniature than I had thought I would be, though this might have something to do with my expectations being so low. Even with the wings not fitting quite right it still seemed like it was an easy model to assemble. Requiring only minimal clean up and other preparatory work, building the Cockatrice did not take very much time at all to do which was really nice. The other thing that surprises me is that I am ultimately not bothered by the relative light weight of the model, having believed it would feel overly fragile and delicate. Perhaps most importantly, the level of detail on the miniature looks quite good and especially so on the wings and mane.

Therefore as my first experience with a Citadel Finecast miniature, I think the Cockatrice is, while not without its share of flaws, nonetheless a good addition to my collection and I am in general happy with my purchase. Had the marketing people at GW not completely oversold the virtues of Finecast upon its introduction, I would likely be more accepting of those casting mistakes that I did find on my mini. As it stands I find them mildly irritating but otherwise I am relieved that there was nothing worse, and certainly nothing so bad as to make me consider returning my toy monster. Hooray for low expectations! ;)

Happy painting and gaming!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Laborious Day

Well I hope everyone had either a great Labor Day, or else a great Monday, depending on whether or not this was a holiday for you. I'm more or less taking the night off from the blog in honor of the occasion, although I have kept myself busy today cleaning and organizing my hobby space for the first time since moving into the new house. In the process I'm finding some neat things that I haven't seen in a while, such as my old set of Gorkamorka toys.

The big box has been opened but everything is there and still on the sprue, while the two boxes of Ork Boyz remain unopened. Hmm... I wonder if I could track down some more of the vehicles from that era and start a Gorkamorka campaign. Then again maybe I should just sell the stuff and be done with it. It's not like I've gotten much use out of them in the previous fourteen or so years, and I imagine there are still people who would have a blast with this game. Whether I keep the Gorkamorka gear or sell it off, this was nonetheless a nice find for the day. Groovy.

Okay, that's it for now. Tomorrow I'll get back to my usual blogging nonsense. Happy gaming and painting!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

CoA Flyers Finished

Okay, they're not completely 100% finished yet. I still need to spray them with varnish but otherwise I've now painted the Ptolemy Class Bombers and the Tiny Flyer tokens that come in the Covenant of Antarctica naval box. The bombers look a lot like they did the last time I showed them on the blog, having only added highlights to the metal areas, the orange canopies and windows, and the glowing green rotor blades. It's all pretty subtle though so the changes might not be noticeable in these pictures. I love these models and am quite happy with how they tuned out.

Ptolemy Class Bomber Squadron

The giggle-inducing CoA Tiny Flyer tokens however look fairly different from how they did last night. I took some good advice and pressed on with my plan, painting through my momentary hobby panic. I am thankful that I did as these Tiny Flyers ended up looking nicer than I had expected, likely better than they would have had I not botched my original color scheme. As for the glowing coil that makes up each drone's midsection, I opted in favor of expedience and decided not to repaint anything, instead leaving them as a mix of colors to denote what type of tokens they represent.

I have to say that the green ones are still my favorites of the bunch. I agree that having them all the same glowing green color would help to visually tie together everything in my fleet, but for now I am willing to forego that level of consistency in appearance. I may want to paint all my future drones with green coils but I can accept this first batch as they are. Also this way it might be easier for me to keep straight the different types of flyers as I learn the game. Nonetheless at this point I think having all of them with green coils and squadron markings on the wings or wingtips would look the best. I'll save that however for another day as I would rather continue on to the next part of this project.

Fighter Plane Squadrons

Dive Bomber Squadron

Recon Plane Squadron

I was going to work longer on the bases of these tokens but then ultimately chose to keep them very simple and plain. At first I wanted to try to blend and stipple over the top of the bases several various shades of grey to hopefully mimic a cloudy, overcast sky. While I think that could have looked really cool, there's also a good chance I would have just made an awful mess. Therefore I wanted to make the bases seem as unobtrusive and neutral as possible.

So moving right along I hope to finish painting the three squadrons of Diogenes Class Frigates either tonight or else early tomorrow. I may try to magnetize the turrets for the rest of my ships but I currently don't have enough magnets for anything other than the Pericles Class Fleet Carrier. I'm having a lot of fun working on my Covenant of Antarctica miniatures and overall feel good about the color scheme for this fleet. It could be premature but I am also starting to think about what I would like to collect as a second, rival fleet to go up against my South Pole scientists. It will be tough to choose as I like just about equally each of the four other major powers in Dystopian Wars. If anyone is particularly partial to one of them, I would love to hear the reasons why.

For now though I suppose I should just keep on painting. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

CoA Tiny Flyers WIP

I've hit a couple of snags tonight while working on the Tiny Flyer tokens for my CoA fleet. Due to an early mistake I had to change my plans for these little buggers and I'm not as thrilled with the revised color scheme. Nonetheless I will continue on with it and perhaps plan on picking up a 30-pack of flyer tokens once they're released which I can paint as I had originally envisioned. Initially I had wanted to the flyers to be based on the same blue scheme as the rest of the fleet but have instead opted to paint them in a mostly metallic set of colors.

The Tiny Flyers deployed by the Covenant of Antarctica are quite different from those of the other major powers in Dystopian Wars as they are in fact remotely operated drones. They thus have several notable differences in how they function in the game. Further the CoA cannot make use of any Torpedo Bombers so that all of their drones are classified as either Fighter Planes, Recon Planes, and Dive Bombers. I am using the color of the central coil as a means to distinguish each of these types of tokens.

Fighter Plane

Dive Bomber

Recon Plane

The ten Tiny Flyer tokens that I get to include for free with my fleet I have chosen to organize into the following squadrons: two squadrons of three Fighter Planes each, one squadron of three Dive Bombers, and lastly a single Recon Plane that is its own squadron. I primarily chose that arrangement of flyers however so that I would have at least one example of each type of token to paint.

I'm a little anxious about how this batch of flyer tokens will turn out but fortunately they don't represent too large of an investment in either time or money, especially as I would have wanted to buy a pack of flyer tokens anyway just to get their stat card. I do still hope that I can salvage these ones as I could then use the differently painted tokens as a way of further distinguishing my squadrons. Plus I have a feeling I'll like the revised color scheme more once I am further along with the tokens. That in turn is good motivation for me to return to painting them right away. Goodnight!