Tuesday, December 27, 2016

30K, Epic style, Part II : Planning

Epic Battles in the Age of Heresy

So as we saw in the previous post, this project, like many others in this place, is moved by Nostalgia and a sense of unfinished business. But now, let's leave aside feelings and let's look at the concrete side of the project!

There's a lot of layers to this project: first I had to decide what rules to use from the many official and non-official Epic rules available. It's a bit complicated honestly, especially since Epic hasn't been supported by GW for a number of years. Fortunately, the community is very active on the web and on Facebook and the Epic Armageddon crowd has done a great job of creating a complete rule package for Epic 30K, including army lists for all the Heresy Legions. You even have FAQ,s, an "how to build a 30K force" etc. How this hobby was possible before the Internet I have no idea! So, for those interested you can find everything here 

Then there's the actual figures, which I got from Ebay and numerous Facebook groups. While the project is rooted in Nostalgia, the rules have evolved so much that my goal was never to use only Oldhammer Epic figures; I'd say about a third of the force is made-up of the old, original plastics figures from the Space marine boxset, and the rest made-up of newer GW stuff or "forumware" (private sculpts) I managed to acquire through various sources. I might also use some proxies from various Sci-Fi manufacturers who produce some great stuff similar in style to GW.

What is particular for this project in my case is that I haven't painted anything but 28mm since my few attempts at Epic some 25 years ago. No, not even a few 15mm or 40mm, just 25 years of good ol' 28mm. So a leaning curve is to be expected, especially since I've never painted modern vehicles either, in any scale. So do keep up with me if my first few attempts are shit! 

Now of course, the most important question : which Legions (Chapters) to paint? Obviously I need two, at least, a traitor chapter and a loyalist. Let's have a look at the original ones, starting with the Imperials, shall we?

These images were on the side of the Space marine boxset and were actually the only colour images available at the time, the booklet being B&W. Since then other Legions were added to the fluff but for this project I want to use 2 of the "original" 12 Legions. I looked at those images when I was 11 a lot more than it makes sense, really! But I disgress : since the Imperials are for the brother I intend to pick one of his favourite. Gabriel had three favourites : Dark Angels, Ultramarines, and Blood Angels. However I'm the one who does the painting so I settled on a Legion I'm going to enjoy painting! And this is the good, old and reliable XIIIth Legion, the boys in blue, the Ultramarines. I don't fancy painting that much red to be honest (so Blood Angels out) nor black (Dark Angels). Also, to me the Ultramarines are just the perfect Imperials; goody two shoes to the extreme, the "Emperor's finest", and as a bonus my 30K dueling partner Greg just despises them so why not throw some in his face for 3 straight months!

Now, let's have a look at the forces of change, under benevolent Warmaster Horus

Here what's interesting is three Legions (as per the "official" fluff) changed colours since these days; the Death Guards are now white and green, the Sons of Horus are now green and the World Eaters white and blue. Growing up, my favourites were the Death Guards, the Sons of Horus and the Emperor's Children. However Greg has already done the Sons of Horus to death, and I don't feel like dealing with conflictual sources and colours ;-), so the choice becomes an easy one : long live the IIIrd Legion, the Emperor's Children! I've always been a fan of purple and pink (love painting both colours) and these guys are just twisted and evil, which makes them a perfect counterbalance to the Ultramarines! Also, my favourite Legion (or Chapter for that matter) name.

So yeah, I think Purple vs Blue will look pretty good on the battlefield. If I really enjoy painting Epic, I might add smaller contingents of allied Legions later on.

As I usually do, the project is not based on an actual "Order of Battle". I just intend to build enough toys on both sides to be able to mix and match as I see fit. I did made a few tests using the army lists, to have a general idea of what I can get for a set amount of pts, and to create proper, usable formations in terms of quantities.

The first batch is below, ready to be painted. More will be added, but I'll try to finish this first! Yes, I know that's a lot of super heavies; really I just got them all in one score so I figured I'd paint them all! You can see the original Land Raiders and Rhinos in the front, and in the middle the still very Old School plastic Dreadnoughts.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Vustix Moritus & Puzar Tuphus, Nurgle Champions

Flesh is fleeting, rot is eternal

I figured I'd get my first submission in the Analogue Painting Challenge fast, as I find getting on the board early, even if for just a few points, is a big psychological boost! So I spent the last two evenings furiously working on two Chaos Champions. Yes, 2 figures in two days is a furious pace for me!

So what we have here are two classic Nurgle Champions from the old Citadel Realm of Chaos range, both released in 1990 to accompany the magnificent Realm of Chaos The Lost & the Damned. I've mentioned a few times how in my humble opinion this is apex of Warhammer Fantasy, and the style and composition of those Chaos Champions figures is unrivaled to this day. Of course, it does help they are surrounded by a healthy dose of Nostalgia awesomeness, and that every time I paint one of those Old School wonders I go back in time to the late 80s!

First up we have Vustix Moritus, Chosen of Nurgle, one of my all-time favourite Nurgle Champion. I went with a yellow ochre palette on the armour and I'm so glad I did! Nurgle is often painted in muted greens and browns, but some yellow just gives him a dash of colour while still keeping a sickly look! I loved painting him, there's no other way to say it.

And second we have Puzar Tuphus, Champion of Nurgle. I gave him a more classic brown look. He's a fun model but I'll admit he's far from being my favourite Nurgle Champion; he's a bit more subdued than what the Citadel gang of the time accustomed us to. But he did paint much faster than good ol' Vustix above, who has more details than a French Grenadier! 

My plan is to one day have a complete Nurgle unit made-up of Champions, like I did with my Khorne regiment, but it might take a while as I intend to paint each one individually. They deserve as much, poor bastards waiting for almost 30 years for someone to give them a proper paint job!

So a good 10 pts in the challenge and I'm on the board! Yeah!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

30K, Epic style, Part I : Nostalgia

Brothers against Brothers

The first wargame *battle* I played was the original Space Marine. Me and my brother got the boxset I believe for Christmas. We already had Warhammer but other than a few skirmishes (we were poor and building armies took forever when you could afford two blisters a month!) never played a big game. This bothered my father and he went to the Valet d'Coeur (in those days the only gaming store of Montreal, and what a store it was) and asked the guys for something "we could play straight out of the box". What we got was Space Marine, a massive box with LOTS of figures and tanks, and buildings, and even better you could easily assemble the infantry and play even if nothing was painted. Le Valet d'Coeur even provided a "in house" French translation at no charge! Those two weeks of Christmas break were freakin' awesome!

A Wargame in a box!
We played a lot of games in our basement; me and Gabriel always completed each other very well. He's but a year younger than me, so we used to like the same stuff (we still mostly do), but we never argued over the factions. He loved the Joes, I was a Cobra guy, I liked the Decepticons, he was into the Autobots, etc. (yes, he was something of a goodie two shoes). And so, naturally, after reading the rulebook, Gabriel picked the side of the Emperor and I gladly accepted the role of the "traitors". In those days we knew very little about the fluff, and nothing about the Chaos taint of the traitor. I just saw Horus as a classic power hungry warrior who rebelled against his (weak) leader and mentor. You know, "make the Imperium great again". And the traitors had way cooler names and colours! So we had a lot of fun trash talking each others; I never played the loyalist trash, and he never played the rebel scum. While we painted very little of it, a few tanks, a couple of infantry stands, we played a lot! Sadly we lost most of our Epic stuff maybe two years later, after a small fire in our basement (caused by the other brother, the much younger one) and never played again.

Last year Greg, a fellow Canadian from the blog Fawcett Avenue Conscripts  started an Epic 30K project. I spent the whole tournament drooling over his stuff and by the end of the three months the itch had become a full blown scratch and in between flashes of 1991 Nostalgia I knew I had to start a project of my own (I find one of the great thing about the Challenge is the inspirations it gives you to start new project, although both my wallet and the girlfriend would strongly disagree with this statement). So I contacted Greg, and he gave me some very good pointers and I started collecting what I needed to get the ball rolling. My plan was always to start the project with this year's Challenge, and here we are...I also have a ulterior motive for this project; my brother Gabriel now lives in Japan but he' supposed to come back to Canada late next year. I intend to surprise him with a complete, painted, Epic game. Imperials vs Traitors, brothers vs brothers, just like the good ol' days.

Next post, we look at rules, figures and of course the most important question : which Legions to paint! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Ruins are the Cathedrals of time

So last Fall I'm minding my own business when I see on Facebook an add for a Halfling kickstarter. The company who produces the range is called StoneHaven Miniatures (never heard of them). The concept art is quite fun, and I do like my Halflings (play one in our Warhammer RPG campaign). So I I push the "Follow" button. And as the campaign advances they keep coming up with more awesome concepts, it tickles my nostalgia D&D button and...yeah you know where this is going...I cave in, lost my mind and went for the "Completionist" reward. Yep, the whole range. Some 50 Halflings + a few mounted ones. It was at the time my first real big Kickstarter pledge. So as is often the case in my case, I now have figures, and I need to find a game to play with them!

Just an example of the concept art, figures now in possesion

The figures were all individuals and in my eyes didn't fit at all in a big battle "Warhammer" type game. Fortunately, I've been looking at doing some fantasy skirmishes for a while; projects that are faster to paint, and easier to play on a whim with a friend or two. I figured the Halflings would provide the first side, the "good guys".

After hearing about it for months and months I figured FrostGrave would be a good pick. The Halfling Kickstarter came with all sorts of mages, archers, etc. so it would fit well. But I also got Songs of Blades & Heroes, just in case.

Now from my reading I do like FrostGrave rules, but I'm not really a fan of the setting; mostly because I'm a lazy fuck and I don't feel like creating a whole winter theme terrain collection. Also, I don't like to base my figures for a particular game, and so the winter basing style didn't appeal either. Now of course nothing stops me from using the rules to another setting, which is exactly what I'm going to do. So what kind of terrain I have a lot of? Woodlands, that's what (I play French and Indian Wars). So LeafGrave, the abandonned ruined city in the middle of an old forest, was thus born.

You might remember in my last post I found the perfect terrain kickstarter for it...

Now, as usual, I don't like to create exact forces in advance, but rather to paint enough troops to allow me to pick and choose later on. Which is what I'm going to do with my halflings. So I'd like to paint at least 20 figures to start, with a few mages available, as well as fighters, archers, etc. And if I end up prefering Songs of Blade & Heroes, I can still use the same setting of course.

In the coming months, for the Challenge, I will concentrate on the halflings, but I will also need a second warband to face my little men. I'm thinking Goblins...although I'm open to suggestions. Anyone?

Halflings getting prep up for LeafGrave

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, Part VII - The Reckoning

A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace

Yes, the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is back for it's 7th year (I know, time flies). Better and bigger than ever, with 100 participants!

And this time, I'm ready! No house move, no health issues, nothing to stop me from reaching my goal of having my best challenge to date. My target is 550pts, which is basically my record, but I really hope I can break that glass ceiling! And I'm paint starved, really, having spent most of the last few months working on the house and such.

I've always been a bit lazy in the Challenge preparation, doing some but never enough and preferring to keep painting like a dumbass while the Challenge start date loomed large. But this year I've really step up my prep game.

In the coming three months, on the Fantasy and Sc-Fi side of things, I've identified three main projects I want to work on.

1 - Finish my second 28mm Sci-fi outfit; it's a small project, around 13 figures so I can play some skirmish Sci-Fi games. I'd like to start with this and get it out of the way fast. I just finished gluing them and they are in the priming room. I'll show the complete force at the same time, and I'm not telling!

2 - The Halfling bonanza. In a fit of crazyness, I funded two Halfling projets this year! The Westfalia Halfmen army and Stonehaven's Halfling Adventurers Miniatures . I received Stonehaven offering first and most of them are reading for painting. I, ahem, bought the whole freakin' range, so that's a lot of little guys! Not sure I'll paint them all in the Challenge but I'd like to have enough of them to play some skirmish games. Should I have enough time (I doubt it very much) I'll start the Westfalia ones.

The first twenty odd StoneHaven Halflings; clean, glue sand, prime, repeat

3 - The 30K Epic project (and accompanying duel). Last year Greg from Fawcett  Avenue Conscripts used the challenge to start an Epic 30K project (and it was epic), and influenced me big time. I've been wanting to do Epic for quite a while and finally took the plunge and amass enough figures to keep me painting for a few months (I think). This should be my main project for the next three months. To keep things even more interesting, I entered into a 30K side Duel with four of the maniacs from the Challenge asylum;

Rules: Most points of painted miniatures in any scale 
Prize: A painted single 28mm 30k or small formation of 6mm 30k figures from the defeated participants

All the vehicles are primed, glued, based and ready to be painted.

Do I have a chance to win? No, I don't think so! But it's going to be a lot of fun nonetheless. Greg is a 30K freak as are the other guys, and it should be fun to see what they all come up with.

4 - There's a 4...kinda. I'm leaving room to add a few Oldhammer pieces to break things up. Probably some Chaos Knights and Nurgle Champions who've been sitting on my painting table for way too long.

And of course, I intend to participate in at least a few of the Bonus theme rounds...

January 8th - Armour
January 22nd - East
February 5th - Terrain: 'Home'
February 19th - West
March 5th - Character(s) and/or Scene from a Movie, TV program, Book or piece of Music

In the coming weeks I'll discuss my 30K and my "LeafGrave" projects in more depth. And then we are off to the races!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Kickstarter galore

Bob loses saving throw vs. shiny with a penalty of -5. Bob takes 2d8 damage to the credit card

My credit card has been mostly immune to the Kickstarter craze which has has gone crazier in the last year, it seems, at least in the RPG/miniatures/boardgame world. Now I'm not saying I'm better than any of you (in fact I'm a weak, weak man), but rather that the purchase of a house and it's accompanying fees made me unable to partake in the great 2015-2016 Kickstarter Orgy! Well, almost, if not for a project...or two. 

But this september...this september? Damn, shit is getting real! Indeed, it seems everyone wants my hard earned money this Fall. I'm contemplating joining in 4 projects, which is probaly too much...right? Right? Anyways, all are funded, so this post is not about convincing you to join me into further debts, but rather just to share should any of you see something you like. 

  • The first is Giants Adventurers by StoneHaven miniatures. Stonehaven is a small outfit I knew nothing about not long ago but which managed to convince me to join their Halfling kickstarter last Fall. I went completely bonkers for their fun concept art and went with a completionnist pledge, basically buying sight unseen the whole range, a little over 50 of them small little barefooted fellows. Their style is very old school D&D adventurers, and has a nostalgic charm to it. I received the figures a few weeks back and they are just awesome. I'm in love with the range, really! (more to follow on my plans for them). I was also very impressed with the customer service, updates, etc. of Stonehaven. Now, I do like to reward competency so...they are working on a range of big (huge) giants. It looks quite promising, and the contrast of going from painting Halflings to painting Giants from one year to the next weirdly appeals to me... 

  • Second project, Greenskin Wars, is pure Oldhammer goodness, from Kickstarter veteran, Oldhammerer and sculptor extraordinaire Diego Serrate. Those of you on Facebook Oldhammer pages probably know Diego, who's very active and has created all kinds of Oldhammer inspired range from Space Orks to Realm of Chaos warriors. Diego is on a personnal mission to cause financial ruin to all Oldhammerers, and now runs what is I believe his 4th Kickstarter this year alone! This time, and it does hit me right in the feels, he's briging a range of Oldhammer inspired goblins sculpted by the legend Kev Adam. Part of these were previously available from Crooked Claws miniatures, but a lot is new. Including my own favourite, the Feral Goblins (I'm a sucker for Forest goblins). 
  • Then, Ancien Ruins, a nice resin terrain offering from Worldsmith Industries. Normally I avoid buying unpainted terrain, because I'm lazy and I prefer to spend my time painting miniatures than terrain. However this particular set appeals to me because a) I like the asthetic of ruined ancient greek terrains, and b) it fits perfectly in an upcoming project of mine; LeafGrave (i.e. Frostgrave but set in an ancient city in the forest instead).

  • and finally, Kev White does Matt Dixon, a kickstarter by well known manufacturer Hasslefree Miniatures. The project is a range of often scandily clad women warriors, imagined by Matt Dixon and sculpted by Kev White. Actually every figure is offered in 3 options; naked, pin-up and winter dressed. I'm attracted by the aesthetic of the range, especially the very 60s-70s "exploitation" look of the pin-up, and some of the figures come with awesome beasts like a triceratop and sabertooth tigers. Definitely not SJW friendly!

So 4 awesome projects, almost running simultaneously...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Another hobby this summer...

A garden is a sanctuary

Been quite busy this summer working on the new house (I moved late May). The house contains both a painting room and a gaming room for yours truly in the basement (yes, I'm very lucky Laurie loves me...and is afraid of spiders, thus abandonning the basement to me!) and I've been working on both. Being a completionnist I'm not showing pics of the house...yet, as there is still much to do. 

But I did start a new hobby; gardening! My previous townhouse had but a small patch of land, which allowed me to learn the trade with few consequences, but this place has a big backyard! The previous owners did a truly great job with the garden, so I just improved on it. It was a lot of fun and, dare I say so myself, it looks freaking spectacular! If you had told me just 10 years ago I'd spend many week-ends gardening...

So yeah, I'm showing off!

Probably heresy to my american friends, but not a patch of grass to be seen!
Blue Hibiscus
Our Cherry tree

Pink roses in full bloom

Very little painting done this summer, although I did spend the little free time I had on prepping miniatures. I should be ready for the Analogue challenge and the cold, bleak, garden-less Canadian winter!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Beast of Nurgle (my take)

Sometimes you just do a little window-shopping on the web and you stumble on something unexpected...that's what happened with this piece. I was looking at Fantization Miniature website and I saw this Hell Dorado range I knew nothing about, and this particular piece spoke to me. It was grotesque, disgusting, wormy and, quite frankly, perfectly Nurgle-esque. I was never the biggest fan of the Beast of Nurgle models, even the first one. Always thought it could/should be more disgusting. So this piece would make a fine replacement! I mean, it's a pile of worms, how could it not?!

The figure, however, while nicely sculpted with loads of character, was very fiddly to put together and parts didn't fit very well. If you want to piss me off about a range, that's the way to go! Having said that, the final result is still pretty cool. I went with a vomit yellowish colour, as the orginial white worm colour scheme I tried didn't look very good.

The base is made as if the Beast just rose from a puddle of goo. It still follows my army's basing scheme colour, so win-win.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Effigy Corporation

The question you should ask yourself is not whether we will get the job done, but whether you can afford us.  

Dannon Trace,  Effigy Corporation CEO

These are dangerous times. Ruined husks of starships litter the solar systems and renegade pirates fight for whatever precious resources can be found on the savage surfaces of the inner planets. Powerful corporations wage constant industrial wars for control of the galaxy's resources and have learned to now heavily rely on hired guns and professionals to do their dirty work. The Effigy Corporation is one of those professionals and is widely considered to be one of the best mercenary outfits money can buy. The Corporation specializes in space travel protection, search and rescue operations, industrial espionage and sabotage.

Effigy's famous Havoc Squads, small teams of highly trained ex-military soldiers and specialists, are equipped with the finest equipment and weaponry currently available in the galaxy. Supported by droids and small specialist teams, the Squads have an extremely high success rate.


The "Effigy Corporation" is to be the first outfit for a Sci-Fi skirmish project I just started.

I found these figures by accident on the website of a friend who used to distribute the range in North America (sadly the range is not available anymore). I just got them on impulse and figured one day I'd find a use for them. And now is that day...

The range, started through a Kickstarter, was very small  and unfortunately only a few figures were made; 5 squad members, two civilians and 3 specialists, along with some recon robots which I do not own. But since I intend on building factions of between 10 and 30 figures, it's not really a problem, although some heavy support soldiers would've been fun!

I find the figures would fit equally well in some Space Pulp, Cyberpunk or distant future Sci-Fi setting and that suits my plans very well. The sculpts were lovely although I found the very realistic proportions were a little bit challenging after all that time working on Oldhammer models!

The outfit is made up of 2 Havoc Squads, Blue Squad and Green Squad, as well as a Yellow Squad (specialists), the CEO Dannon Trace and a demolition droid. I'm missing a droid and another civilian, in boxes somewhere, but other than that this bunch is complete.

Havoc Green Squad

The first figures I painted for the project. The photography doesn't do justice to the dark green however. I love the presence of a couple of female soldiers in the squads (some seriously awesome figures) and that First Sargent pose is perfect. He screams Alpha Male ;-)

Havoc Blue Squad 

After the dark green I went with a brighter colour for the blue squad and I'm very happy with the result. It's exactly the style I wanted to give to the force.

Yellow Squad, "The Techno Girls"

I quite like the middle one, a lovely figure.

Havoc-TT-4, Demolition Droid 

This droid figure is not part of the original range, and was sculpted by Drew Williams from the Oldhammer Facebook page, and he graciously made it available for a limited time to the whole group. Obviously I couldn't resist! The figure was actually based of a drawing in the original Rogue Trader rulebook! Also an impulse buy from a couple of months ago and I was looking for a way to use him.

Dannon Trace,  Effigy Corporation CEO

Doesn't he look like the perfect Corporate CEO?! You can just smell the 1%!

So yeah, my first painted Sci-Fi force since 1993!

Thursday, January 21, 2016


I hinted at doing just that recently, and yes it's happening. My plan was to start the project next year, but circumstances have changed that. It so happens that my (meagre) Sci-Fi collection has not found it's way to boxes yet, and so I figured it was as good a time as any to start this.

I start this project not knowing what ruleset I will use, nor in exactly which galaxy I will play on any given gameday! In fact, even the style of Sci-Fi is subject to debate. I got the urge to start some Sci-Fi last spring, after buying, on impulse, the Battle System Sci-Fi terrain (so no, people, it's not because of Star Wars!).

I just thought it was so cool, and the gaming possibilities just screamed to me. Playing Sci-Fi skirmishes in abandonned vessels or space stations just strikes my fancy a lot more than W40K tank battles! I need to build and play in this thing!

While I haven't gamed the genre in a long time, I do like my Sci-Fi. A lot. My favourite novel is Dune and Aliens has to be top 5 of my favourite movies. I also like many styles, from the dark Aliens to Space Opera to Cyberpunk to everything in the middle. So I'm not limiting myself in style, but rather in size. My initial plan is to build many small 15 to 30 figures forces and just go with the flow. In that I was a bit influenced by the way JB (from the Leadplague blog) does thing.

Now some will mix, some will not. And while not all of them will be Oldhammer, be assured there will be some love for the nostalgic fans among you!

I'd probably like to try some Rogue Traders game, after more than 20 years since my last game, but I'm also intrigued by the Osprey Sci-Fi game coming up in the Fall :

But when it comes to rules, my logic is simple; build the forces you want, and make the ruleset adapt. Not the other way around.

So yeah, it's my new small project for this year. I'm usually more of a big army type guy, but building small forces will create nice diversions in between unit painting. I expect it will be an ongoing project for years to come.