Fleshwalkers of Karr-Keel

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Hi guys, more zombies for you today – I powered through this lot over the week, ready for a game tonight. This time it is the gorgeous Karr-Keel set from Upstream Games House. There is a great backstory on the website for these guys, with the whole set being very narrative driven and a self-confessed ‘vanity project’ for Brian Kirkell’s birthday – an inspirational example to anyone with an idea or two up their sleeves! Furthermore, I believe that there is a second wave in the works for Karr-Keel (Kirkell – geddit?) as well, so hopefully we will see the range expanded. It is well worth checking this set out if you like your zombies quirky – the quality is superb and they are packed full of gorgeous little details, with these being sculpted by none other than Kev ‘not just Goblins’ Adams. Here are my versions – as usual, these are mostly painted with wash directly on to the undercoat:

 

Check this out – the ‘reflection’ is freehand… I’m quite proud of it 🙂

 

I also picked up the lovely Teamsters Cart from the Karr-Keel as well, with the intention of using it as a corpse cart. I changed the bell-ringer’s right hand for a lash and planted a sword in there just to make it tie in with AoS a little better, and I added some extra skullage to the cart itself. Again, this is a really nice mini, great fun to build and paint, and it adds some nice hitting power and zombie-buffs in game:

 

Now, you can’t very well have a shambling plague of zombies without a mind to direct them, so I also finally got around to doing a proper Necromancer for my army. He’s from Diehard miniatures, with the addition of the hourglass in the left hand. With a nod to the late & great George Romero, (father of the modern concept of what a zombie is), may I introduce Gorgo Romero – master of unlife, and high-noctifer of the broken wheel cabal:

 

Here is Gorgo, driving my entire Fleshwalker horde to glory:

I’ve lost count of the sculptors & manufacturers represented in this group, and of the races/species represented. I’m rather pleased with this wonderfully eclectic mix 🙂

 

In other news, I had my first experience of RPG on Thursday night, and had a ton of fun with it. I joined with a local group & ended up playing in a trial run of Star Wars: Force and Destiny. A few of the more experienced RPers on the table were quite scathing about it, and it wasn’t really what I expected to be honest – it was less ‘in your head’ and more map driven. It was also far easier than I expected, (though to be fair, it was the first act in the sequence). That said, I still enjoyed it, and had a good laugh with some very interesting group of people. I think it is fair to say that this is something that I would like to explore further, and I’m hoping to get a more authentic experience next week.

Anyway, that’s it for now folks! I’m going to be knuckling down to my Chapel commitments from here on so this may result in fewer posts overall, but hopefully it all comes together nicely and in time 🙂

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Fleshwalkers of Foundry

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Hi guys, I’m happy to have some painted undead goodness to share with you all today. I picked up quite a lot of undead while I was at Foundry for the BOYL weekender – mostly skeletons, but I also grabbed a couple of packs of zombies while I was there… I felt that I need to focus a bit on the fleshier side of my growing undead horde, so with brush in hand, and Romero’s Living Dead trilogy on in the background, I got stuck in! First up we have a pack of ‘Victorian Zombies’:

These guys took a bit of tidying up, (and I still missed a few casting lines here & there), but were good fun and pretty quick to do with washes applied straight over a white undercoat – this is becoming my go-to method of painting undead it seems. I’m quite pleased with the OSL on the candle guy in his night gown, though I’m curious as to who lit the candle for him!! Surely he’s way too rotten for it to have been lit when he ‘turned’? I think these guys are generic enough to fit in with the general fantasy trope, but could be an interesting starting point for a pulp themed collection as well. Hmmm…. 😉

Next up, a pack of Zombie Dogs:

I initially thought of running these as Dire Wolves, but they aren’t really dire enough imo… I quite like the thought that any corpse with teeth would be useful the enterprising necromancer, so I’m happy to chuck these rotten mutts in with the bulk of my shambling flesh walkers for now. Again, these were pretty easy to do, and are lovely little minis. Just look at this disgusting bit of protruding arse-pipe detail!

Gross!!! 😛

Anyway, here’s a few shots of all the new additions all together:

So that’s it for now peeps – I have more zombies based, primed, and ready to add to the mix, along with a necromancer and a little surprise unit to bolster their fleshy fighting capability even further. I’m hoping to have them all done in time for a game of AoS on the weekend, and then I really need to crack on with my Chapel warband… the deadline is rapidly approaching, and I still have a lot of painting to do! Also, inspired by a conversation at BOYL, I’m going to try RPG for the very first time tomorrow evening… I’m quite nervous, but looking forward to it!! I’ll let you know how it goes in my next post 🙂

A retrospective of BOYL 2017

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Wow… what a weekend… 3 full days of hobby, with at least 30 hours of gaming & socialising – man, I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the weekend! I got to see hundreds of the loveliest miniatures you will ever see, including some rare beauties from the White Dwarfs of my youth, and some of the coolest OldHammer examples from the interweb, but the best bit was getting to meet virtual friends for the first time, re-meeting folks from last year, and getting to know new people for the very first time – including some very notable names from the misty dawn of our hobby. I played WFB 4th ed for the first time, played Mordheim for the first time, did some jousting, raced a jetbike, played Necromunda, and took part in a big multiplayer game of Rogue Trader. I even squeezed in a little game of AoS on the Sunday evening!! So many cool things… here is the complete run-down, (warning -MANY photos!):

Thursday: Picked up Tytus from Luton airport & headed up to Newark. Stopped at Warhammer World on the way for a quick whistle around the exhibition hall. Out for a burger in Newark & crashed a Steampunk cosplay party before getting an early night.

 

Friday:

 Tytus & me, ready to rock

Spent some time looking at the fantastic ‘mega-boards’ in the main marquee, including the superb Helsreach board, (Curtis & Aiden), and the equally stunning Heldenhofen board, (Geoff, Harry & Chris). Each board was so big that several different games could & did take place simultaneously over the weekend – basically giant gaming sand-boxes. Heldenhofen hosted multiple games of Mordheim, BeirBowl, Squig Hopper racing and Giant Slaying, while Helsreach hosted Grox Hearding, Jetbike races, Necromunda and Rogue Trader… that’s just the games I know about, but I’m sure that more went on! Just take a look at these beauties:

I also made sure I had a catch up with the two Tonys – Mr. Yates and Mr. Ackland. I am a particular fan of Tony A’s work – he’s an absolute legend who has contributed so much of the art in RT, WFB, WFRP and RoC. I deeply regretted not making Tony an offer on some of his work last year, so I summoned up the courage to ask if he would consider selling anything this time around, and was lucky enough to get some of the original pieces from the RT bestiary. I am absolutely delighted about this because this is the section of the book that I spent the most time looking at as a kid:

 Me & Tony Ackland

A quick tour of the display cases revealed these treasures from a bygone age:

 

Then I was lucky enough to be invited to play in a FB/Mordheim campaign to recover the recipe for warpstone infused cheese! The game was created between Davide & Gionathan (from Italy), Tytus (Poland), and Richard from the UK, so I was really just along for the ride. The campaign started with a jousting competition, which my Undead attended while disguised as noble knights (i.e. I don’t have any cavalry & had to borrow some!). Appropriately enough, Gionathan’s gorgeous Bretonian knights took the most honours in the jousting, which brought some benefits to the next game – a 5-way game of WFB 4th edition. Gionathan took one corner of the board with the flower of Bretonian chivalry, while Tytus took another with some good old Empire steel. My undead took up another corner, while Richard’s Sea Elves made a late appearance on the fourth. Davide held the village in the centre with a motley collection of halflings & dwarfs, where each unit of was hoarding some warpstone tainted cheese. The idea was to compete to destroy units & loot them for cheeses. There was also a wizard hidden in the woodlands, (busily messing with the weather), and one half of the recipe for the evil cheese was in the grasp of a hidden halfling cookmaster. There were so many funny moments – the illegal rampage of my zombie dragon, (should’ve run away in the second turn, but we didn’t realise until the fifth or sixth – during which time he devoured a unit of halflings, killed the Empire general & gryphon, ran the Sea Elf sorcerer off the battle field and killed the grey wizard!), the amazing teleporting grey wizard (who stole ALL the cheese before being blasted by the illegal zombie dragon), the cowardly Bretonian general (who ran away, ran back, and then got himself killed in a challenge against a Lich), and the crazy nautical beasts and their handlers on the sea elf side (crabs, lobsters, jellyfish & seahorses instead of dogs!). We ended the game with the Empire clear winners, having used the magic deck to great effect to recover the bulk of the cheese and half of the recipe! Here are some pics:

 Round bases on movement trays!!! Heresy!!!

 

Saturday:

We continued the campaign over from Friday, this time playing Mordheim on the incredible Heldenhofen board. We were busy searching for Marion Thistlefoot and the other half of the cheesy recipe, and this time Davide joined the search with his Tillian warband. I had one skeleton interrupt a Halfling Hotpot party (?!) & end up frenzied for the rest of the game, while another skelly got murdered during another search. On the plus side, I gained a halfling rat catcher along the way, so that was cool 🙂  The recipe turned up after a few turns, so a bloodbath ensued as we all got stuck in to try and retrieve it. Even the city watch got involved in the mayhem (with the legend that is Garth taking the role of lawman very seriously indeed!). In the end, the undead prevailed, with the high wound count of my general Richter Kreugar, and Gregor the undead ogre keeping them in the game to the bitter end, (though they were both were down to 1 wound each!) Again, many funny moments, with the Bretonians running away lots again, and the Tillians & Empire troops drawing the ire of the city watch on several occasions. Here are a couple of shots, (though I didn’t take as many as I should’ve done):

And here are the fearless generals – me, Tytus, Davide, Richard & Gionathan

 Superb gamers one and all

 

After Morheim, I quickly headed over to Helsreach for a spot of jetbike racing – much hilarity ensued as we crashed & bashed our way around a brutal figure of eight course. My bike failed to cross the finish line after gracefully testing the surface tension of concrete 🙂

I then joined in with a bit of Necromunda but failed to get any good pics. I think the tiredness had really kicked in by this point, and my brain wasn’t really working very well.

 

Sunday:

Sunday was a bit of a wind-down day, and I was lucky enough to enjoy a nice casual game of RT with some OldHammer blogging heroes – Jon, JB, Colin, Aiden and Shane, along with Chris & Tom (who probably also have blogs, but I don’t have the deets). The game was roughly ‘goodies’ vs ‘baddies’, with me & Aiden taking Guard, Jon with a squad of Arbites and Chris with a squad of Eldar, while Shane brought Orks, and the others had various pirates, scum and outlaws. This was a distinctly multinational affair as well, with JB (France), Shane (Australia via Thailand), and Chris & Tom (USA). I was lucky enough to face off opposite the Orks, and so had the honour of playing against two of my favourite things on the internet – Shane’s amazing slaver walker, and his superb version of Governor Kulo from the Book of the Astronomican scenario ‘Wolftime’. Getting one of my tanks and a bunch of troops stomped on by the walker was brilliant, and I was almost sad when a crafty Eldar blew it up with a well-placed lascannon shot from the other end of the table, (after many turns of me & Aiden both trying and failing to kill it!). Governor Kulo managed to escape the wreckage, only to be gunned down by a lucky survivor from the earlier stompy rampage. My corner of the table was eventually secured, albeit at great cost, and Aiden and I had just enough firepower remaining between us to contain the pirate scum that were in danger of sweeping the board. Luckily, they didn’t have too much in the way of anti-tank, because I had precious little left in the way of troops!. This loose and easy game had many funny moments, including the ‘baddies’ shooting down a flyer – only for it to crash in their midst & kill 15 or so scum-bags, using Shane’s walker with Giant rules from WFB and going on a stompy rampage, and Aiden doing some ‘on the job’ training on Conversion Beamers – killing one of his own men, and shooting me in the process 🙂

 Just look at that walker…

 Kulo

 STOMP!!!

 Ooops!

I also got to meet a certain Rick Priestly, the named author of Rogue Trader, and all-round gaming legend. I shamelessly got my copy of RT signed and blagged a photograph, while having a quick chat about how funny it is that vehicle rules seem to have come full circle in 8th ed, (working in basically the same way as they did in RT). There was also an interesting insight regarding the bestiary section of Rogue Trader, with Rick explaining how this was based on existing D&D creatures, and was basically included to boost sales said minis. Apparently, it was way more successful than anticipated, with RT sales outstripping D&D sales at that time. I would have loved to have chatted longer, but we were mid-game by this point and I didn’t want to hold up the table with my fan-boy shenanigans 🙂

 Me & Rick Priestly

(yeah, I see what you’re doing back there Colin!! 🙂

I also got to meet Nigel Stillman very briefly, and said hi to Kev Adams during his now customary face sculpting stint. Here is Nigel, showing off what I assume to be a strategy hat of some sort:

 Nigel Stillman

 

All to soon it was time for an hour of goodbyes, and promises of next year. A huge thank you goes out to the Ansell clan for their superb hospitality and generosity, to the visiting dignitaries and hobby legends who so willingly give their time and energy, and to all the amazing people that were involved in running the event, creating the amazing mega-boards, and in devising and running various games. BOYL really is the highlight of the hobby year as far as I am concerned, and it is all thanks to the amazing people involved:

 

 

 

Footnote:

Tytus crashed at my place on Sunday night, and we squeezed in a quick game of AoS… The Empire troops were unfamiliar with this new fighting style and were defeated in the field, but not before a plucky handgunner managed to take down none other than Richter Kreugar with a cheeky dagger blow… As the battle subsided, the heavily injured handgunner noticed a scroll in among the pile of bones that was Richter, and, without understanding why, he stole it before begining the long, painful crawl back to his own lines and safety…

Later, Richter was brought back to shuddering unlife, as per the curse that was placed on him so many centuries ago. He screamed his rage to the stars as he realised that his half of the warpstone cheese recipe had been stolen. With both halves in the hands of the Empire, the fate of whole worlds stood in the balance…

To be continued 🙂

Last minute BOYL prep

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Hi guys, I have a quick bonus post for you today, just a couple of last minute ‘quick wins’ to share before I head off to BOYL. In my last post I mentioned that I would be having a crack at WFB for the very first time – I’m hoping to be up against an Empire army run by Tytus from Gameoftravel. Now, I might be a total WFB noob, but there is one thing I do know about Fantasy, and that is DRAGONS ROCK!!! I have never painted a Dragon before, but recently acquired a Tom Meier Zombie Dragon from way back in the misty mists of 1986… I got her busted neck repaired, and got her sorted over the weekend ready for painting this week. She was an absolute joy to paint – in fact, she practically painted herself to be honest! This is all done with various washes and a bit of technical paint, but no ‘solid’ base colours at all:

 

She’s quite tricky to photograph, but isn’t she a beauty? I think I may enter her into the BOYL painting competition 🙂

 

But… that’s not all guys – I also quickly turned out a second kill-team for Necromunda/Shadow War, ready to take on the trials of Helsreach! I got these from a recent Kickstarter by Blind Beggar miniatures – loosely modelled on Marvin from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie, their goofy charm was irresistible 🙂

 

I’m running them as alternative Necrons, with the Gold Tops being Immortals (with the Appointed squad leader in the middle):

 

The Black Tops being stealthy Deathmarks:

 

The Silver Top as a Warrior:

 

And this lovely lady being a Praetorian (with her mighty Handbag of Covenant!!)

 

And here is the game-legal 1000 point starting team:

Bloody terrifying, right?! I know they are low on detail and are just a bit of fun really, but I do find them quite sinister… I’ve seen enough Dr. Who to know that cute & helpful robots always turn on you… I reckon my kids are going to love these, and I can see them turning up in all kinds of pulp/sci-fi scenarios, as well as in games of Shadow War.

Anyway, that’s it dudes and dudettes, I’m heading up to Newark tomorrow so I’ll catch you on the flip side with a full run-down of the weekend – I hope I remember to take lots of photos for you!! Peace out 🙂

Operation Desert Storm

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Greetings fellows, I have some painted stuffs to share with you today – I have been busy preparing for BOYL, which is kicking off in just 4 days’ time!! For those not in the know, Bring Out Your Lead is an annual Oldhammer extravaganza, which is generously hosted over a long weekend by the Ansell clan, (including Bryan, one time MD of GW), at the family owned Wargames Foundry in Newark. It is an amazing weekend where all the older versions of the core GW games, (and later specialist games), get a damn good thrashing, along with a feast of gorgeous minis from that era. If you can make it, then I really do encourage you to come along – you won’t regret it.

Last year I had a great time playing Rogue Trader, (that’s 1st ed 40k to the younglings), including an excellently GMed multiplayer game. This year I aim to be getting involved in various games based on a board modelled on Helsreach – a rough frontier town on Logan’s World, as presented in Rogue Trader. There will be a rolling campaign based on the Necromunda ruleset and a bespoke game of Jet bike racing, so I decided to put together a desert themed force to participate. I will actually be playing them as Guard as per the new Shadow Wars reboot of Necromunda, so this gave me an excellent excuse to paint up some of my all-time favourite Guard miniatures – the Tallarn. Here is my starting 1000 cred team:

 

Now, this squad is nowhere near my best work – I was against the clock, so I mostly used inks over a Zandri Dust base coat & kept to a very restricted colour scheme, (apart from the freehand on the shoulder pad – my rogue trader’s personal livery). While it is all a bit rough and ready, I actually kind of like the dusty, weathered look on these guys. The flesh tone is a little darker to suit the theme, and I’m also quite pleased with the OSL glow on the two plasma guys.

In terms of fluff, these guys are desert-world mercs – guns for hire, and tough as old boots. This group has been contracted by Rogue Trader Arturo Lamina, (hence the somewhat incongruous use of the Trader’s personal heraldry on the shoulder pads), to go to Helsreach and get stuck in to some potentially profitable shenanigans that the crafty trader has heard about. In my mind, Arturo has forked out on some knocked off Army gear to equip them, and hopefully give them an air of legitimacy that will help them to avoid any ‘imperial interference’. Devana the huntress, from Arturo’s personal retinue has joined the team – ostensibly as a special weapons op, but also to keep the mercs in line on behalf of her boss… any sign of betrayal, and she’ll be behind them to put a bullet in their skulls.

I also have a few more troops prepared to join the squad in future campaigns, (and if the Helsreach game mechanic allows for advancement):

Commissars are also a thing in Shadow War, so I’ve included one of my all-time favourite models to provide a desert-flavoured equivalent, (again, for future games, but also if the Helsreach mechanic allows):

Finally, I wanted a desert themed jet bike to take part in the racing side game, so I did a bit of Toyhammer turned this:

 

In to this:

No… I wouldn’t want to ride it either… :-/

This was great fun to build, and uses some old Hotwheels thing and an old Imperial Guard medic rider as the main components. The rider got a headswap (for thematic reasons, but also because the original was so messed up), and a quick delve in the bits box provided all the doodabs and gubbins, while the saddle is sculpted in Greenstuff. The kids saw it finished and said it looks like something from Star Wars, so I reckon that is a win 🙂

Here’s the whole expedition force together, ready for the drive up to Newark on Thursday:

 

So, that’s it for now dudes – I’ll also be taking my Praetorians with me for a bit of RT action, and I am also planning to play one of the early editions of WFB with my Undead. I may get lynched for my heretical round bases, but I’m really excited to give it a go – WFB wasn’t in my local meta where I grew up and I have never played any of the pre-AoS editions, so this is kind of a bucket-list item for me. With that in mind, I’m having a last-minute push to get something ‘new’ painted up for my undead -specifically for BOYL. It’s a little bit special, so fingers crossed I can do it justice & get it finished in time! I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Board meeting

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Greetings, and happy Monday peoples! I have some cool hobby news to share with y’all today – I spent an awesome day with Mark from Heresyofus over the weekend, working on the Albino Forest board for The Chapel project. We had an awesome day, working out the details of the board, building it & talking about the fluff, our hobby philosophies, ideas, and life in general. I also got to see the excellent buildings that Luke, (aka imperial rebel ork), some gorgeous project artwork from Ahmed Alibrahing, and I got to see Mark’s awesome warband and his denizens of the Chapel first hand. I’ve always loved Mark’s work & painting style, but getting to see his minis first hand was a real treat. Another highlight was seeing the progress on the Chapel board… I’m not going to say any more for fear of spoilers, but trust me – the pictures really don’t do Mark’s work justice… suffice to say that those that answer the call are in for a treat! Anyway, with regards to the forest board, once we had finished up and stuff was mostly dry, we just had to pose a few models for the obligatory photo shoot. Hopefully these hastily snapped pics will give you guys an idea of how the Albino Forest is going to look:

One half textured, the other drybrushed & shaded

Gives you an idea of the look – diseased and grim! 

Some trees added

Mark’s Wych Cult advances through the trees

The big hitters

Corpse cart (yum!!)

Some of IRO’s scenery added

A spooky manifestation

My Eldar cautiously explore the Albino Forest

And meet a rakish Ostium Guide

A rare meeting of Guides

Mark’s cult as they stand today

 

So there we go – pretty damn cool, right? But as cool as all that was, the best bit was meeting Mark face to face – it is always good to meet a likeminded hobby buddy, and working together on a big build/paint is brilliant, but getting to put a face to the name is priceless. It helps when that face belongs to an awesome bloke, who just happens to be a creative power house, and who has a lovely family to boot. So, Mark, thanks for an awesome day mate – it was great to meet you all, and thank you for making me feel so welcome! Looking forward to repeating the experience, and you are welcome to come visit any time.

 

Oh, and speaking of family – big shout out to my Brother-in-Lead Ross, who became a Dad for the first time over the weekend. Congrats to you & Kel dude – wee man is utterly lush, and is surely your best mini yet mate 🙂