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!