Mag Bellum

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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? I wanted to get a quick post out today to show you some of the exciting work that my friend Mark at www.heresyofus.com has been working on in his Manufactorium. He has developed an ingenious terrain system called ‘Mag Bellum’ that uses magnetised 6×6” hard tiles, so it’s great for adding texture and easy to scale up & store. Some of the tile options also contain removable plates that allow you to model terrain features ‘into’ the board, (rather than plonking stuff onto the board), while still letting you swap the plates out for ones with other terrain pieces modelled in. He kindly invited me and my Brother-in-Lead Ross over to a gaming get-together last Sunday, and we got to see his latest set-up in person:

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All the buildings, objectives, trees etc. are completely swappable, giving an incredibly versatile system that really is very smart and perfectly scaled for modern skirmish games. I urge you to go and check it out if you’re considering a new terrain project, could do with a new underhive to battle over, need some scenery for your blog pics, or whatever. I picked a couple of sets up while I was over there, so I’ll be working on them in and around my Wolf Time project – watch this space!

In other news, during our game on Sunday, (using cut-down Rogue Trader rules), Ross and I were getting pissed off with the melee aspect of the system, and generally moaning about how GW systems don’t quite seem to hit the sweet spot for either of us when it comes to hand-to-hand combat… it’s always either too slow, too complex, or too simplistic depending on the system. Ross and I play a lot of Frostgrave, and we find this to be a much better rule set for skirmish than anything GW have ever produced. I know that is heresy of the highest order, but there it is. Anyway, long story short, we wondered how easy it would be to port Rogue Trader/40K gear & troop types into the Frostgrave rule set. As a result, project ‘Frost Trader’ is go, and I’ll be working on a 40K hack for the game over the next few months, doing some play testing etc. I’ll keep you all posted, but hope to have something worthwhile to show for it 🙂

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Skumbo Number 5!

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Greetings Terrans! Ok, so dodgy post title, but I wanted to share some progress on my Scumbos for the Wolf Time campaign and it just kinda popped into my head… the ‘5’ in the title is misleading – there are way more than 5 of the buggers! As a reminder from last time, Skumbos are the generic name for the 30 cannon-fodder Orks that inhabit the top floor of Gov’ner Kulo’s fortress in the final scenario of the campaign. They are armed with bolt pistols & swords, and are described as being ‘low-caste’. I decided to use fantasy Orcs for the majority of my Skumbos – partly to get across the whole low-caste thing, but also because there are only a handful of actual bolt pistol & sword Space Ork minis of that era. So far, so simple, right?

Weeellll… turns out that chopping up 23ish Orcs and sculpting in all the pistols, swords and/or scabbards, plus the pouches and various other doo-dahs needed to hide cuts & make good is quite a lengthy process… My respect for professional sculptors has risen steadily throughout this project, but it bloody sky-rocketed during this phase! I’m just glad I had a few actual Space Orks to hand and didn’t have to convert the full 30… 23 was quite enough! But hey, I’m done with all the conversion work now, and we’re all based & ready for undercoating. I just thought I’d share a few pics of the work so far – before the paint goes on:

 

So there we have it – all those brown bits are done by yours truly! I don’t think any pro sculptors out there need to worry just yet, but I reckon these guys will do me just fine. I definitely feel that my technique improved as I went along – some of the early efforts are noticeably rougher than later attempts for example, and I found my speed improved significantly as well. The guns were the trickiest part, but I think they read as bolt pistols well enough… They may be a bit rough around the edges, but these Orks feel more ‘mine’ than any mini I have yet converted, and I’m super excited to get painting! At the end of the day, I reckon that’s about as good as it gets.

Until next time dudes! 🙂

Teknishun Skwad 2

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Greetings Terrans, how are we all? Following on from the 1st Teknishun Swad last week, we logically follow on with Skwad 2 🙂  As I mentioned last time, the 2nd Tech squad show up in scenario 2, and these guys are packing some serious heat… Plasma guns, Conversion Fields, Bolt Pistols and Swords to be exact! Dat’s some seriously snazzy guns, so I went with a suitably snazzy colour for these wannabe flash gitz:

 *edit – spotted that I had missed the teeth as soon as I had posted! I’ll get that sorted out 🙂

 

Ok, so I know some of these minis are actually packing flamers, and I know that I’m supposed to be doing this project with as much accuracy as possible, but the foot is going down and I’m reinterpreting the minis & calling them plasma… Because Orks… So there.

Speaking of minis, how funny is it that the actual plasma boys appear to be resting their chins on the plasma coils? Clearly they were sculpted in the days before plasma ‘got hot’ and tried to fuck you over far more frequently than the one-in-six frequency that the laws of statistics demand… In fact, keeping in mind that Space Orks have the same ballistic skill as Space Marines in Rogue Trader, this squad is going to be a real handful…

Here’s another angle showing off their swords & pistols:

 

While I was painting these guys, I realised that I got the base rims wrong for my first Teknishun skwad, so I quickly fished them out of the display case and corrected that oversight… Seemed a shame not to take advantage of the situation and do a quick group shot of the whole Techy crew together:

 

This little lot represents a bit of a milestone in the whole project so far, in that I’m around half way through the Orks. I’m also done with all the boys that I had built and undercoated, so it’s going to be a bit of a building phase for the next few weeks I’m afraid… I have the power armoured Guards to work through, and I also have a whole bunch of ‘Skumbos’ to get sorted out… Now, I like converting minis, so this bit is going to be great fun for me, but it might be pretty boring for you guys! I hope you can all bear with me though, because I think this is going to be the really interesting bit of the project.

The Skumbos should be particularly good fun. In the fluff, the poor old Skumbos are described as being ‘lower caste’ Orcs, and they are lightly armed with Bolt Pistols & Swords… Unsurprisingly, there aren’t too many pistol/sword minis of that era, so I knew I needed to think outside of the box for this little lot! I decided to play on the whole ‘lower caste’ thing, and picked up a few fantasy Orc Archers of the correct vintage. After a bit of chopping & some putty work, I ended up with these:

 

Whaddaya think? They aren’t finished yet, but hopefully you get the idea… I’m planning four of these per unit, plus a legit pistol/sword Space Ork to represent the unit leader, (who, bizarrely, gets Mesh armour). I need six such units, so maths tells me that I now need to finish these four, add another twenty, and round up six proper Space Orks to lead them… should keep me busy for a while! 🙂

Until next time dudes, be awesome out there!

Teknishun Skwad 1

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Greetings Terrans, I trust this post finds you well. I have (yet) another new Wolf Time squad to share with you today – as the title suggests, this is one of the two Technician squads needed to run the campaign… The technician squads are actually a bit of an oddity in the campaign – one squad is modestly armed with Bolt Pistols and Swords, and only appears in game 1, while the other is fully tooled up with Plasma guns, Conversion Fields, Bolt Pistols and Swords!! Thankfully, (for the Marines), the Plasma-toting hombres only appear in game 2!

Anyhow, today, we’re only looking at the first squad. I deliberately picked out some of my more weird & wonderful minis, most of which have some technical vibe to them. Also, all the models in this unit are converted to some degree:

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I went with a predominantly grey scheme for these guys, (because technicians), and I used blue as the squad colour. Also, they all have some small sample of the desert camouflage that I have used throughout the main body of the force so far, just to unify the army a little.

In other news, I have had a semi-productive week with the putty last week, and got 4 new power armour conversions underway. I’ve switched to Brown-stuff (rather than green), and invested in some clay shaping tools thanks to good advice from Jon ‘Axiom’, so the whole experience was way better than my first attempt. I even got a bit fancy with the stuff I was sculpting!

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Still very much WIP, and waiting for Chainswords from my pal Mark @ heresyofus, but hopefully these give you an idea of where we are headed 🙂

That’s all for now folks – more Teknishuns to follow!

Armoured Thrugg Bullneck

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Greetings Terrans, sorry it has been a while, but I was away with business the week before last – jet lag has combined with a busy week to reduce my output a bit, but I do have one last bit of Wolf Time progress to share before Orktober is done. Do you remember these guys?

For those that don’t know, these are all the named leaders of the RTB02 boxed set of ‘Space Orcs’ (sic) from back in the day. Thrugg Bullneck is da boss in the middle, and he’s very special to me, because this boxed set was my first Citadel miniatures purchase. I used to pitch my 18 or so Space Orcs against my mate’s 30-plus RTB01 Beakies, and I regularly got my ass handed to me… The Orcs were tougher, and could shoot just as good as Marines back then, but they really suffered for lack of armour and I was too skint to do much about it… I think I’ve carried a resentment ever since, so when I realised that I needed to do some power armoured orks with chainswords for the Wolf Time campaign, I pulled out a duplicate Thrugg and did this:

This was a few weeks back, but I’ve been too busy painting skwads since then to do much else with him. I didn’t have enough time to get deeply into anything this week, but when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, and so I used the few hours I did have to finish Armoured Thrugg. Here’s the result:

I must say, I am really chuffed with him – he’s the most ambitious bit of sculpting I have ever taken on, and, while a bit rough around the edges, he’s certainly fit for purpose. He has a Bolter, a converted hand flamer, sculpted power armour & chainsword, so he’s correctly equipped to lead one of Governor Kulo’s guard squads. More than that, he’s a gift to 16 year old me – a proper well-‘ard Thrugg, ready to boot some beakies right inna fork!

I’m away hiking with my youngest this week so I’ll be away from paints, but my success with this guy has got me motivated to try more sculpting. I’ve chopped up a few spare Orks and packed some putty & tools for a spot of evening putty-pushing while I’m away… if they come out half as good as Thrugg then I’ll be a happy chap 🙂

Da state of da Waaagh!

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Greetings Terrans – a second post in one week! You lucky buggers 🙂

It’s just a quickie today – I had another Wolf Time Ork Skwad close to being done, so I had a wee push to get them over the finish line last night. This is actually the last ‘combat unit’ required for the campaign, but is a bit different to all the other combat units & only appears in scenario 3… Firstly, the unit has Bolters and Bolt Pistols, second the leader has a hand flamer, and thirdly the unit has no Heavy Bolter…  The sharp eyed and knowledgeable among you will have spotted the Heavy B Ork, but no, that actual Heavy Bolter won’t be played as one – to be fair, it is pretty tiny, and I didn’t realise it was a Heavy B until it was too late… Fuck it… it’ll have to count as a snazzy regular Bolter 🙂

I trawled my paint draw for a spot colour, and ended up with this bluey-green Dark Eldar colour… Thus we have ‘da Real Teal Skwad!’:

While I was feelin’ Orky, I revisited the 4 ‘Combat units’ that I painted on my hols & just quickly added some green glaze to the flesh tones… Then I thought I might as well dig out the three ‘Warrior Units’ as well, and take a few pics of the whole lot together:

 

And here’s ‘da leadership team’

 

So, that’s it for now – three months in to the project, and we’re 40 down, 60ish to go… It starts to get more complicated from her on in, with almost everything needing to be converted (heavily in some cases). I’m also away from my paints quite a bit in October so my output will be a bit patchy for the next few weeks, but fear not – the Waaagh must go on!