Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More Halflings Than an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet! Two Halfling Blood Bowl Teams from Willy Miniatures

Who rang the dinner bell?
Because today we're flooded with a horde of halflings!

Willy Miniatures, who produces some amazing Blood Bowl sculpts, such as the awesome Beastmen I'm working on for my Psychedelic Furs for the Chaos Cup, launched not one stunning Halfling Blood Bowl team, but two!

Halflings are a fun odd team in Blood Bowl... Halflings are weak, easily hurt, don't move very fast... though they can dodge!  And they have friends... they nearly always have 2 Treemen and often have a 3rd, the mighty star Deeproot Strongbranch.  It's a team for coaches that are in the game for fun & laughs.. and the huge bragging rights that come from a Treeman throwing a halfling that's clutched the ball, landing and running for a touchdown before the opposing team can do anything about it!

So you have not one, but two teams to chose from (or pick both!)

The Ultimate Halflings!

See this campaign here:  Ultimate Halflings.

This one has taken off faster than the other... so if you want one of the early-bird deals, saving 5 euro, then act fast!  The team has 14 unique halfling sculpts, with a coach, chef & tree star as stretch goals.

The Imperial Halflings!

See this campaign here: Imperial Halflings. 

This team also has 14 unique halfling sculpts.  The team deal has the same treemen as the other team, with the same coach, chef & star tree as stretch goals too.

The costs and packages for both teams are identical, so it's just a matter of which style you prefer: 'professional sports' or 'landschnect'.

For those who don't trust their steady painting hand, the Imperial team has numbers sculpted on.

They both have some great poses.

I do wonder if it was wise to launch them both at the same time, but if one had come half a year after the other it might have suffered from those in the market for a halfling team already having bought one. This way the choice is right up front.

Me personally, I opted for the ultimate team: I like the look of some of the smooth curving armor.. should be fun to paint.  I have a team name and theme all picked out already.  Though I will probably pick up a couple of these Imperial halflings that I like a lot too.

So if you have ever been interested in a halfling team, and really.. why wouldn't you be? then go check these campaigns out!

Which do you like most? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Two Beastmen : Psychedelic Furs Blood Bowl Line-up Introductions pt.3

Since I showed you the first two sets of 2 players on The Psychedelic Furs, all beast Chaos Team, it seems only right to have the next two on the next Tuesday. There should be enough Tuesdays left between now and the event to show the whole team and still show the final painted team before they head to Chicago for the 2013 Chaos Cup. Which reminds me.. last update I think I said they had to be finished by October? Not sure where I settled on that bit of mis-information.. I have until early September... oh Minotaur Droppings!

Here are the next two (I'm going in order of how i photo'd them, which was random, not by roster number):

#12: Xtc and  #13: Yaz

Both of these have been converted to show the mutation 'Claw', although it also works for 'Big Hand'

Both of those mutations would be very useful on a Chaos team: Claw is great for ripping through armor, and Big Hand makes picking the ball up easy.. which is something a Chaos team can have problems with.

Xtc's arms supported the large hands just fine, but the arms of the other were too thin and not in a suitable pose, so this miniature needed new arms as well.  The plastic arms came from Khorne Bloodletters and the hands came from Genestealers.

In the tournament, both of these players will be regular, unskilled beastmen.  However, the tournament allows you to give any two 'linemen' players without additional skills a mutation each for the last game.
So for the last game, these two will get mutations.. and if I'm facing a team of armor 8 or more it's likely I'll take a pair of claws for some last-game brutality!

In other team news, the resin bases arrived and the team have been transferred to their bases (more on that later) and primed.. they await a window for painting.

The company that produced these Beastmen, Willy Miniatures, is finally ready to start their Indiegogo campaign for their next team: Halflings. These Halflings sculpts by Ramos are amazing and I'll definitely be backing this team. No link yet, but I'll edit with the link when it goes up, on the 31st of July.
Check out more pictures of them here: Ramos Halflings

Until next Tuesday, these #12 & #13 will leave you with their theme songs...


Monday, July 29, 2013

Ropmogs : 'Wardogs' for Muppet Saga, War of Ashes & Goblin Horde

Sometimes you find some minis you like so much you'd like to use them in any project you can squeeze them into. Such is the case for the excellent little Bushwhoolies from Thunderbolt Mountain. I was reminded of these little creatures several months back when Anne painted some, and thought "I really should find an excuse to get some of those."  Then I thought of an excuse.. and another.. and another. Perfect!

Here they are with an Elvorix at the right.  
They paint up fast and are a lot of fun to paint.  I decided I'd give these a variety of colors, just for fun. 
They're 98% done: just need some gloss on tongue & eyes. 

I think they're a good stylistic fit for the Elvorix & the Vidaar for Zombiesmith's War of Ashes.
My Elvorix army has 2 types of skirmishers: Wildbucks & Savagebucks.  The later, elite, are not very numerous. I think I could use these as the Elvorix version of 'wardogs' and fit the Savagebuck nicely.

They could also be useful for Muppet Saga! 
Muppet Saga is my idea of using the War of Ashes minis for a 'Dark Ages muppet theme' with the Saga rules. Muppets must have had a history too after all...

I have my Elvorix set for the Welsh warband, but maybe the Vidaar, who will be the Vikings, would like to use them? Or maybe an Irish warband list with these for the wardogs?

I have a lot left over, so they'll also find homes with Brokentooth's Goblin Tribe.

My plan for the regiments of goblins is to have a lot of extra stuff on the element bases: broken fences, barrels, tree stumps, and critters that cling to the goblins.  I have some GW Squigs, Black Hat Haggis, Russian Rotten Tomatoes and now some Bushwhoolies!  I'm sure the goblins will like them!

So what's with the 'Ropmog' name?

I remember seeing a cartoon when I was little that used an old song 'Rag Mop' where the chorus spelled out "R-A-G-G-M-O-P-P... Ragg Mopp" (music pumps in: doo-do-dooo-do):repeat.  Of course, being the dyslexic kid I was I had the lyrics down as "R-O-P-P-M-O-G-G" and that's how it stuck for me, so they'll be Ropmogs

Oh, don't forget the Zombiesmith sale ends soon!  Check out code: summer  for 15% off.

I found a Muppet Show episode with the song, so enjoy!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Brokentooth's Mustering of Goblins pt1.

Continuing on from Brokentooth's Guide to Goblin Greatness, it's time to muster some troops!

Where to begin?

Planning a large army is a bit different than a skirmish force or Blood Bowl team, which admittedly I have a lot more experience with in the last half decade than vast army building. But large scale armies are what I started with and I've planned and made quite a few in the past, so no worries.

Here's my approach in short form:

1.  Think about the army. 

What motivates you to build it?  What is it about it that you like?

It is very important to have a clear idea of what you like because you don't want to get distracted away from it.  I'm not sure how often I've run across people who have built and play an army they say they like for one reason, but aren't pursuing it.. maybe they say how much they love the basic troops, for their stoic determination getting stuck in, but they play a gun line because it is more game-winning.  Know what you like about the concept and pursue that, not something else or you'll lose interest or not enjoy the results.

2.  Plan the result and add 20% 

If you're planning an army of Xpts, pad it out.  You will want some extra things: putting a different monster in, or a different character.. taking a tank out of your army and replacing with anti-tank infantry, etc. It doesn't usually take a lot of extras to get a lot more flexible miles out of a project.  You'll probably add more along the way, but it's a good idea to have in mind what those additions will be.

3.  Decide if, or what parts, will be double-duty.

It is often nice to get two or more projects out of one.  What other uses will the minis of your project have for other projects? What will you need to do to make them work with other projects, such as base size & style?  Are the requirements for double-duty worth whatever limitations it may have for the primary project?

4. Paint Scheme Test

Before starting to paint, finish a test piece to make sure you like the paint scheme and learn any shortcuts.

5. Stock up on motivation.

A large project takes a lot more effort, and therefore motivation, than a small project.  Update your progress on a blog, a forum.  Perhaps have an end date goal, such as a tournament, or milestone goals like a unit finished for a game night.

Reward yourself with the 'fun parts': Don't paint all the fun stuff first. if you love painting Big monsters or tanks most, don't do them all at once- reward them like desert to yourself in stages of completion of the items you don't enjoy working on as much.

So what are these for my project?

1. I like Goblins in all their variety: unruly masses, wolfriders, trolls, goblins with wonky machines. I also like monsters, so some variety of big things is needed too.  In game-play my favorite type of unit is light cavalry.  I love hit & run attacks, softening up the enemy from relative safety before committing.

I want a lot of variety for this project. So while I do have a lot of goblins from the Kickstarter, I have to make sure I have plenty of other concept stuff to mix in. In my mind goblins are not overly uniform.

2.  A lot of the planning was done for me, as the kickstarter gave me a lot of the army already, and the heaps of extras provides plenty for addition and variety.  In fact, adding in other things I want I have far more than I need.  the kickstarter made this different than most projects since it gives so much upfront without needing to decide what I'd get.  I'll initially be aiming at:

2 hordes of archers, 1 horde of spear, 3 regiments of rabble - I may be able to pad this out to get an additional regiment of spear, and maybe a 3rd horde of archers.

2 regiments of spear wolf riders, 3 troops of bow wolf riders, pack of mawbeasts

I have 18 from the kickstarter. I'll base them individually so I can run them in 1's, 3's or 6's.

2 catapults, 3 war trombones, 4 bolt throwers. I'm making it possible that the catapults & bolt throwers can be used by goblins or dwarves, to save on money (double duty)

1 giant, 1 jabberwock. I'm really tempted by the GW arachnarok spider.. it just looks very fun. I'm also considering converting a paleolithic mammal toy.

So many characterful options out there.  I'll have 3-4 wizards & big heroes, and a couple banners.

3. Double Duty:
As mentioned, some of the warmachines will be from my dwarf army. The monsters could also be useful in any number of projects. Characters will be usable in skirmish games, but most of the army will be element based and for this project only.  The advantages to this project outweigh the disadvantages that creates in general.

4. Painting to come.

5. Motivation started by updating on the project.

So, let's see some of the minis!

Here are a few characters (L-R): Flag-git, Big-git, Wiz.
The Goblin Wiz is a Gamezone mini, the other two are GW.
A minor conversion for the flag-git: snip the weapon, add an Ungor spear and some resin banner pieces from the bits horde.

Base size is important for units in Kings of War, but Characters, esp those you hope to avoid combat, seems a bit less important.  So I based mine on 25mm instead of 20mm. 5mm isn't much, but it makes all the difference when wanting to give a character some elbow room.

Here are some characters I'm considering picking up to add to the army:

From Avatars of War, this Goblin might make a very nice King Brokentooth! 

A Big-git on fleabag? I stumbled on Olde World Miniatures Kickstarter recently. They have several fun characterful minis, and this one is tempting for the Goblin Army.

What do you think? What are your favorite goblins?

More Mayhem to Follow... 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rally Your Wallet: Zombiesmith Sale!

The July Sale at Zombiesmith is coming to a close soon.
It may extend past the end of the month, it might not.  Don't risk it.

Time to Rally the Wallet!
Sale code is : summer
That gets you 15% off.

Zombiesmith is one of my favorite of the Independent.. Boutique.. whatever your preferred term is.
They're great. Lots of unique & creative miniatures with a ton of character.

Just click on the Taxonomy tag at left for Quar and War of Ashes. Empire of the Dead too for the voyages of the Starship Wombat crew are mostly aliens from Zombiesmith.

This time around I couldn't resist picking up a bit more Quar, including:
Mechanic                                                                Farmer

They also have the new Fidwog :

And the Gwynt : 
(Not on their site yet, see the forum link at the bottom on how to get these)

The War of Ashes game & range are getting fleshed out too. Lots of options and more on the way. 

Four factions currently, with at least one more in development. 
The book is gorgeous. Lots of great art with amusing characters you'd expect from Zombiesmith. 
But I'd say this is probably their nicest book to date.  The background history is original and irreverent:
worth a read on it's own. 
It also appears to be a well thought out game.  Hoping to play in the near future! 

The game is unit based, but units are chosen by selecting a number of 'banners' from the list in the book. 
A banner might be 10 spear & 10 sword and shield, or 20 sword and shield with an elite warrior, or a town watch of a handful of several types, etc. So no points values to worry about.  

I picked up some more to add to my Elvorix and some Vidaar to be an 'opposing faction' for Muppet Saga !

These dark ages 'muppet-like' creatures seem ideal for use with Saga.  And the price is right...

A pack of 10 warriors is $18, command pack of 6 is $12  ...and with the sale even less! 

Not bad for metal minis!  Sure they're simpler than the baroque tendency a lot of minis have lately, but then, these aren't $12 each either. They have a lot of character and the right amount of detail to get the point across.  Very fun to paint too! This is one I did awhile back:

So this fellow will do double-duty as a Linebuck in the Elvorix army and as a 'Welsh-muppet' Warrior in Saga!   Actually very excited to get two playable 'Muppet Saga' warbands finished. 

Here are some other fun minis in their line: 

Look at this odd guy! That's fun. 

Also, if you visit the forum and check out this thread HERE you can get a link & explanation to the items they had at Kublacon that aren't on the site yet! 

The End

Friday, July 26, 2013

Brokentooth's Guide to Goblin Greatness: Thoughts & Plans for Kings of War

You! No, not're hopelessly stupid. 'mind me to feed ya to trolls later. No, You! Yes You, scrappy half-wit! You've got potential, eh? I bet you sneak your siblings' food when they're distracted and blame yer momma.. haha!  I thought as much! Good, good! We need more crafty goblins around here.  Listen to ol' Brokentooth and might learn something.  Maybe you'll wear the brass crown someday eh? When I'm gone.. when I'm good and ready mind you, don't get any ideas, I'm watching you.  Might have broken teeth but my eyes are still sharp! 

Yes, listen to Brokentooth and I'll tell you how it all began. When I first gathered goblins and trolls to my banner.  When later the great mountain troll and jabberwock were captured.  When I set the crafters to making the mighty engines of war and carved out this empire for the goblins! 

There was a time when the larger folk pushed us around.  Never let yerself think yer small size is a disadvantage. It isn't! It's a blessing from the Great Goblin. Helps us sneak and get what we want! Our smarts are closer to the ground... wisdom in the ground, power in the ground.. not like the big folks with their heads in the clouds, groundless. "Pick on someone yer own size" some say.  Yes! Because those big folk are no match for the likes of us! 

Now sit, and get yer finger out yer nose and listen close, and I'll tell you how it began.. years ago...


So about a year ago I jumped into temptation on Mantic's Kickstarter. 
Now that the second shipment arrived awhile back it seems a good time to take a look at this project. 

The Decision: 

I selected goblins for the kickstarter, because 1. I like goblins and 2. I always thought they'd make a fun army: scrappy underdogs with plenty of odd monsters & warmachines. 

A year ago I was having a tough time deciding what i'd use the goblin miniatures for...would I like Mantic's game?  Would I make them for the new version of Warhammer?  Would I keep options for both? 

One thing I knew: no Orcs.  Hey, I love Orcs, but Goblins deserve their independence and own land.  
While it does sound like the new Warhammer has some aspects that remind me of what was possible back in the Warhammer I started with: 3rd edition...things like goblin units with a front rank of goblin heroes with greatswords.. I still remember when Bill surprised me with that! The fact is there are just too many things that don't appeal to me about Warhammer now:

* Magic is too powerful.  Gandalf threw some augmented firebrands at wolves and had invisble contests of will with Nazgul, he didn't blast out giant swirling purple vorteci with tentacles dragging down whole units at a time. And I prefer magic more Gandalf-esque than high budget Industrial Light & Magic. 

*Characters of Herohammer.  Kind of hard to stand up to the Lords of other races with mere goblins.  Sure, goblins should have a challenge and run more often, and need numbers to make up for shortcomings, but in Warhammer, Goblins are designed to be a supporting role to the Orcs.

* Arms race of big stuff.  Monstrous Infantry... then Monstrous Cavalry.  I'm a fan of the grunts.  Sure I like big things like trolls, but I want basic infantry blocks to be worth something more than a speedbump or tarpit. 

The Game:

Kings of War fixes all those problems for me. 

Magic is a simple system.  A nice perk, a touch of flavor, but not game winning on it's own. If you don't want to use magic even, no problem!  Unlike Warhammer, you don't have to devote a portion of your army to magic defense.  Don't try that in Warhammer. 

Characters are more powerful than average guys of course, but they're not likely to swing battles all by themselves.  Also, Characters aren't added to units like in Warhammer. They fight alongside units, not inside units. 

Goblins are viable.  
The way the army lists are designed and because of how combat works, everything is unit-based and that makes all the difference. 

For example:
In Warhammer, a unit of 3 trolls has the facing of a unit of 6 Dwarf warriors.  
6 Dwarf warriors have 6 attacks and 6 wounds: one for each dwarf. 
If the Trolls have 3 attacks and 3 wounds each, that is 9 attacks and 9 wounds..
  well you'd expect trolls to be tougher, so no problem. 
Well, the potential problem is for each wound the dwarves take, they'll be losing one attack, but the trolls don't lose any attacks until they've lost 3 wounds: they can attack as long as they're still alive.  
This makes balancing by a points system very difficult. 

Also, infantry units carry a lot of 'dead weight' when they have ranks of soldiers who may do nothing but add a rank bonus if their friends at the front don't die. Another balance issue: are the points for infantryman number 15-25 worth as much as number 5-14? It depends what happens in the battle. 

In Kings of War you purchase units by size, typically troops, regiments and hordes.  They have set points value with set number of attacks, defense and morale break points. 

As an added bonus, this means that all units are using the same system of fight at full strength until you waver and fight on until removed, regardless if it's a Giant or a pack of Trolls or ranks of Infantry or a Character. 
The stats are different but the system is the same.  
Easier to balance and it shows in the product. 

The Rulebook with Army Lists reminds me in a lot of ways of Warhammer 3rd edition: the lists are all together, they mostly have the same spells and access to the same magic items.  

Army construction is also very relaxed: 

Some units are 'solid' units: they're a backbone of the army. 
For every solid unit you are permitted to have 1 warmachine and either 1 character or 1 monster. 

So easy! 

And there are a lot of solid units to chose from.  In a Goblin army these could be goblin archers, goblin rabble, goblin spears, goblin cavalry (spear or archers). 

I heard on one of the warhammer podcasts not long ago, one of the hosts lament a proposed spell-strategy as unrealistic because he 'almost never sees an orc army with more than 1 orc unit" I was appalled. Really? 

That's a huge problem with Warhammer.  Some units, often ones that conceptually should be representative just aren't used because they're not as good as other units.  But in Kings of War, since all units use the same system of construction and balance, deciding to take a monster or a unit might be more about visual flavor, or minor game effects like unit frontage, slight increase in speed at the expense of some attacks, etc. 
Size doesn't matter so much: it's your stats and what you do with them that counts.

What you're left with is a game with simpler rules, a narrower tier of power between different army races as well as units within those armies and so a heavier focus on tactics. 

The rules are a free download at Mantic.  Can't get a better price than free, so check it out here

The Way Forward:

So I decided I want Goblins.  I decided I like the Kings of War rules and don't have any interest in pursuing goblins as a Warhammer/Kings of War hybrid army. If I decide in the future to pursue Warhammer again, maybe I'd be more likely to use my Dwarves as a hybrid game force or finish my Bayou Elves, but all-goblins in Warhammer just looks to be something I wouldn't enjoy as much as Kings of War.

And if I ever do play Warhammer with the Goblins it'd be under extremely casual and friendly circumstances where the opponent would have no problem estimating and fudging for the element bases. So no problem. 

This means I am completely free to do element basing! 

Old Fogey at Hobby Horse had a good suggestion on how to make units with smaller element pieces so they could be used for both, but honestly, the large single piece elements are much more appealing to me. 

I'll be basing goblin regiments on single element bases 100mm x 80mm.  
A good thing about this is: no movement trays! Just move the unit as a single playing piece!
But the best thing is it frees up the goblins to be rabble-mobs! Unruly masses, not clean neat orderly ranks!
Dwarves or Elves look nice in that Napoeonic aesthetic, but it isn't right for goblins! 

I'll also get away with using fewer goblins: as long as the footprint of the unit is correct, then it really doesn't matter how many are on the base.. though it might look odd to see 3 little goblins standing in a field! 

Since the rules are favorable for units, I'll end up with a goblin army that looks like a goblin army. 

Speaking of how it looks, the monsters are up to interpretation, so I have some varied creatures planned! 

Also, the game allows for Allies. 
Neutral armies can ally with neutral and either good or evil (not both) and Evil can ally with other evil or neutral and Good can ally with other good or neutral.  Feel free to take any unit you want, and if you have a solid unit you can muster a warmachine and a character or monster from the allied army as well. 

This is a counts-as paradise!    

This would break Warhammer something fierce.  To cherry pick allied units and then use your army's special magic, items, characters & unique units to combo-effect them? But in Kings of War it's not a problem because there are more subtle differences between units. The downside is that might not appeal to everyone. Some may want a full range of power and oddities, balanced or not.  But for me, I see this as a huge bonus.  There is enough variety for interest & choice, but the game looks more balanced and the wide variety is there for the visual aspect, which satisfies me fine. 

My miniatures so far: 

I'll be using Mantic, Games-Workshop, Reaper, Gamezone, and who knows what else! 

Yikes, this has gone on long!  So I'll save w.i.p. shots of minis for another time. 

Who is Brokentooth? :

A couple weeks ago, a few days after I got my Mantic shipment, while eating dinner I broke a tooth! 
A lower molar lost a cusp.  So disturbing. My upper molar always had a longer sharp cusp that would hit the lower tooth, and I tend to clamp my jaw when not noticing or when sleeping- related to stress no doubt. 
And it gave way. 

So 'I broke my tooth' became 'I'm brokentooth' and that seemed like a great name for an aspiring Goblin Lord! 

So the Brokentooth Tribe is born! 

More Mayhem to Follow!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Evolve Past the Playground Please: On that Satirotypical Wargame Mocking UK article

Not living in the United Kingdom, I doubt that I would have ever heard about an article written to be a political poke that used the apparently laughable mock-worthy hobby of wargaming as the vector for criticism. 
The article is anything but groundbreaking: just the same old tropes paraded out for expediency.

But it has generated some interesting discussion, such as over at Porky's Expanse (always good for a dip in the cerebral pool) and Big Lee has a lot of interesting things to say about it too. And the topic is making the rounds.

I started leaving a comment at Big Lee's when I realized it was going to get long. and involved.
I tend to get very anthropological when I consider society.  It's just one of the major lenses I look at things with.  But it's not a quick way to explain society: I can't just leave things at 'it's good' or 'that'll do some damage, I can't approve' or other similar fast sum-ups. So of course this is less about the article that spawned the discussion and more about the implications it makes about human society in general.

So I thought I'd better just give it the room and get it out of my system.

Regarding the article and all such examples of group-think chest thumping, this is an example of the weakest form of conformity: the author is appealing to a wider group for approval and acceptance by denigrating a smaller group perceived to have less social standing. It's the equivalent of a jerk at a party chiming into a serious conversation with "it's like women drivers, am I right?"  .. well,'re just a jerk. 

As a pack-species, humanity has a strong desire to be part of a group. Unfortunately, one of the easiest ways to draw the lines of that group is by pointing out those who are not desired in the group.  It is beneath a sentient, thinking-individual to let those instincts trample over reason and marginalize other people.  

Millions of years of evolution thrown aside for the quick security blanket of the bully. 

The fact that this kind of mentality also stifles free expression, creativity and individuality is another shame, since those are some of the greatest attributes of our species.  

Every subculture group can find examples of individuals that fit the negative stereotypes associated with their group but that doesn't validate the stereotype. Also troubling is the idea that a derogatory stereotype is being supported by people within the hobby being stereotyped. As if joining an outside group in mocking the 'stereotypical' members of their own hobby-group somehow protects them and establishes them to the larger society as 'one of the good ones'.  Plenty of examples in history of the dangers of that type of thinking.  No one is going to appreciate all hobbies, but to appeal to mockery for social acceptance is just sad and should be beneath someone's dignity. 

When you get down to it, the very notion that one hobby or another, one subcultural past-time or another, is 'cool' or not, socially acceptable or not, is just silly.

It is all pretend really. That's what makes me laugh about how serious some people take stereotypes and society's approval over what is 'cool' or not. It's a playground-level of stupidity.

It is all just random and made up!  It's like fashion. Someone decides they like something, some others like it too, and if they have enough social pressure and 'authority' behind their opinion then they plant their flag of coolness on it and declare victory.  

Children are the most feral and instinctual of human beings. Not many of them think, and not very often. 
They run on their instincts.  They create social groups around the most trivial of things. 
'If your shoes have three stripes you're a loser, cool kids have a crescent' or 'your sunglasses have oval lenses so you are lame, you need round lenses'.. etc. But kids are instinctual animals just driven by their pack-animal DNA, can't really blame them.  

But how many adults ever grow out of it?  Not enough apparently: "your hobby is for dorks, our hobby means we're cool so we make fun of you" or "your god is false, our god is the real god, so we can kill you"... some wide ranging affects there but the root of it is the same: random, imaginary social guidelines grounded in nothing more than personal whim and the comfort in collecting others of like minds to make those of different taste miserable. Do we really all need to be the same to be accepted? 

It really doesn't matter what people enjoy doing as long as it isn't harming anyone else.  It can all appear pretty ridiculous when you pull back from it.  Is pushing little painted miniatures around a miniature landscape playing out a battle any odder than sitting on a couch, yelling in excitement or anger while watching grown men run around a field with a ball? Is spending time creating miniature soldiers any odder than time spent knitting, or restoring antique cars, or gardening, or collecting spoons?  

We're an odd & varied species.  Our hobbies and interests are bound to reflect that. 
We should embrace it.  It will make life better for all of us. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Too Funny Not To Repeat : Star Wars vs Game of Thrones

Funny stuff:

Link to the picture in one strip: here.

Have a better day than Theon!

Beastmen of the Psychedelic Furs w.i.p. Intro Lineup pt.2

Time flies...

It's been three weeks since I showed the first couple players of The Psychedelic Furs, the Slanneshi Beastmen Blood Bowl team headed to Chicago. Only a bit more than two months to go.

If you missed their intro, check that out HERE.

The team has a long way to go still... I've done *zero* work on them since the last update. 
No time... too much other stuff. 

But I did order some bases- I changed my mind on how I'll be doing the bases for the team, and would rather paint them on their bases, so waiting for those to arrive absolves me of the sin of procrastination. 

So let's meet two more of the Furs...

This is #2 Ber Lin on the left, and #3 Adam Ant on the right.

Both my players with wrestle have a tentacle mutation, so it is easy to identify.
  --Easy to Identify means no, I won't put a fluffy ring around the miniature.  ;)

Adam Ant is one of my players with Guard.
  With that pose, the wicked looking horns and that threatening tail he does look like he'd ben serious about guarding something!

Worth noting that these two are the same miniature.
The Willy Miniatures team comes with 8 distinct Beastmen poses, which is great, but I still needed more since I planned on the all beast team. So i ordered 4 extra with the Kickstarter, picking 4 of my favorite poses that were not too distinct for my extras.  Simple matter of shuffling those extra heads and converting: one got the intended arm, the other got a tentacle, and the arm mini got a tail added, and now they're looking different enough they won't have an ego-clash on the pitch... goats can be stubborn.

Though the team is 'The Psychedelic Furs' I'm sure you've noticed the wider net cast to find names for the players, so in their honor I'll leave you with a song each below.

I did say goats are stubborn... I better give the last two members their songs too, or there might be trouble.

Wish me luck on finding the time to finish the team before kick off in October!
With all of the commissions and other projects vying for attention it could be a close call.


The first two beastmen, repeated from the first introduction update:
#10 Squeeze on the left with Wrestle, and #5 Echo on the right with Guard.

Twice the Music on a Tuesday.. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Middle Earth Nature Walk: Rangers & Woses

I recently completed a bit of Mithril Miniatures for a client's extensive Mithril collection.

I do love Mithril Miniatures. They have such smooth elegant lines and realistic, not excessive, detail.

I once had a Wood Elf army for Warhammer that was about 2/3 Mithril minis.
Never should have sold those.

So this set was Rangers & Woses: two different approaches to living in the wild.

The challenge here was to match the colors & styles of the previous painter, who had painted a lot of these, so that the new additions would match.

It can be a very interesting process to duplicate someone else's style, it gets you analyzing and thinking about the process more than proceeding on your own.
And matching colors, finding the right blends to match is fun.
For a few years in university I worked as a picture framer, where you deal a lot with color theory, but never more than when someone brought in a scratched frame and you'd mix paints and inks to cover the damage.
Trying to match a color is one of the best ways to really understand the make up of the color.

So, to the Mithril:


The example one didn't have a spear, so I got to paint the wood staves in my favorite method. 
The leader's decorative paint was inspired by Magwa. Couldn't resist. 

Apparently, they do a lot of walking! 


I do love how Mithril Miniatures handles cloaks! 

I like how these two interact...

Woman, "Why, that's no way to hold a child!
Man, "huh..what?"
Woman, "dear Iluvatar, but that is an ugly child..."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Jovian Leviathans : The Galaxy's Most Fearsome Monsters: Also a Tyranid BFG Fleet

When dinosuars walked the earth the ground shook under their weight and mammals hid in fear.

When man braved the seas their sturdiest ships were broken by the backs of the great cetaceans.

As the intelligent races of the small rocky worlds escaped their homes' gravity wells feeling themselves to be undisputed masters, winners of evolution's race, they found they were once again insignificant.

For the Jovian Worlds hold true terrors: Leviathans.

Leviathans, often called 'living space ships' since they rival the largest vessels ever built, are native to the gas oceans of worlds which dwarf the rocky inner planets of the countless stars.  Some say they are no more than very large cattle, but others believe they have a long and ancient intelligence which has spanned the galaxy, inhabiting nearly every gas giant. To make matters more dangerous, they can travel within the vacuum of space, and are fiercely territorial.


For a very long time I've wanted to convert up a fleet of 'living ships' for general space ship gaming or to use as a Tyranid fleet in Battlefleet Gothic. The minis that GW made were alright, but it's a lot more fun to make my own. Besides, I wanted to have a lot more variety. Different species, some more abstract, and others more recognizable as a 'creature' to a human eye. 

I always liked the idea of Moya from Farscape:

Though Moya is a 'living ship' that's been genetically engineered to function as a ship for small terrestrial beings like us.  What I was after was something a bit more natural and primal.

I used the Tyranid BFG fleet construction rules as a guide, in case I ever want to use them in that game, but in a more general sense I also wanted to have Small, Average, Bigger & Big to count as Class I, II, III & IV for War Rocket.

I've written my own fleet rules for 'Jovian Leviathans' to be compatible with the War Rocket rules, because I think they'd be very fun in that genre. One of my favorite things in MOOII (Masters of Orion II) was the space dragons & space eels that guard good planets. So why not?  Seems just as appropriate in the fun flash & pulp of War Rocket as it does for the Doom & Dark of BFG.

I'll share the fleet rules in another update soon.

I've worked on this fleet on & off for while, and it's nearly finished. But I didn't want to wait any longer for painting before I showed them ;)

Hive Ships

So you saw the preview Leviathan in the last two updates and the first picture here.  This is a 'Hive Ship' for BFG or a Class IV (actually it will be a larger 'Class V' in War Rocket) or just a very big battleship in any other system.

I also built a very different species but also a Hive Ship or Class IV:

This species is more of a 'Torpedo' shooter and a slicer, while the first one, Miloam, relies on claws and hail of shooting shots. I took inspiration for this one from the Shadow vessels of Babylon 5. 


The next class down: BFG Cruisers or War Rocket Class III:

I built two of this species. The Tiger of the Jovian Seas.  A decent far striker and a deadly dorsal slicer, to rip open the ever more massive jellyfish-like floaters. 

Another cruiser.  A stalker: short range lance-like weapons and heavy jaw-claws to crush prey. 

The last of the Cruisers / Class III species. In BFG a torpedo vessel. All of the Cruisers / Class III species have a dorsal slicer as a common trait. 


Kraken with battery fire in BFG or Class II in War Rocket

Kraken (Maybe Vanguard Drone?) with Feeder Tendrils / Class II

Watch out! Coming to get you!

Kraken with Lance-type weapons / Class II

Escort Drone with Lance-type weapons / Class I

Escort Drone with battery-fire / Class I

Some more green-stuff work & bit of filing to be done still, and need to make fighter & assault craft still.

But for the most part the fleet is done.  More than enough for some good games of War Rocket, 1500 pts or more in BFG and lots of options for whatever other system I might use. 

I'll probably have to paint them before mounting on flight stands, since I'll probably use clear acrylic stands with hex bases, so I could use them easily on battlefields in both space and over alien worlds. 

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