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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Part V- Repainting the Wood Elf Force- The General

Thanks PhotoBucket.

Like a lot of hobbyists I imagine, I have spent the last week and half migrating everything off of PhotoBucket due to their new Terms and Conditions. So that means not much time for actual hobby work. In my case I had most everything backed up, but the Mac that had the photos got damaged in a flood due to an errant sump pump malfunction. So in a few short months it was: lose the local copies of the photos and then the online ones (in a sense). Fortunately, for the Wood Elf thread I chose to place it online here at Blogger (until this too closes- many years from now, right google?)

Anyways, onto the thread: since the Wood Elf host has been growing in size I figured it was time to pause in the rank and file units and give them a leader. For my general I utilized the Ashen Peacemaker miniature that I had procured years ago sans horse and then proceeded to cut apart for a ill-advised attempt at a conversion. What possessed me to do that I have no idea. Fortunately I cut him apart at the points where he was easy to reassemble.

Like the rest of the army he is on a brown base (not the sides obviously) with fall foliage and with the rest of the army I went for a more subdued color scheme. To me this makes sense the Wood Elves are not High Elves; they are not about flash and style, but more rustic and "natural" in their finery.

The horse is actually from another 3rd Edition mini from the Elf6 Cavalry range. The general model it came with is (so far) assigned to the Elven Lord unit im assmebling (see below), but remains to be seen if that is where he stays. I think the crown throws the whole look off for a Wood Elf army to be honest.

As far as my general (I still need to think up a name) there is still a bit of touch up to go on the base and a few other spots. Why is I only notice these after I take photos and prepare the blog post???

I still have not decided whether he will accompany a unit of (so far) 6 Elven Lords or if he will be independent. Of course a lot of this is predicated on what happens with the battle standard bearer of which I'll have mounted as well.

Next up to blog about is my mounted wizard "Milambar Ice Blade". I actually took photos of him too, but noticed that I still need to paint the "ramage" (he has a saddle bag with scrolls). Also the Dragomaster (DRAG7) which I converted years ago with his remounted rider is almost complete too. If that were not enough I have another unmodified dragon that is stripped of its old paint job and primed. As to which army it will go I'm not sure yet, perhaps it will be painted in a high elf scheme...

And further: I still have another mounted elf wizard and a unicorn in need of a mounted female elf wizard.... an elf kin warrior band, two more 20 strong elf archer units, another Treeman, another war dancer troupe, and a scratch built chariot... So plenty of stuff to do with this army to say the least.

I'm still tinkering with the light box (I know, I know, I've been saying this for a while) but have come up with a few good ideas while I get some more lights this week. These photos are a bit better than as of late. I also have been re-reading about it in the web. Seems like that information I knew at one point, but I must have purged from my memory over the last few years.

In any event let me know what you think of the paint job or any other questions or comments. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Warhammer 3rd edition, back to the best edition- Part II

As I outlined here I've really returned to my roots as it were in regards to Warhammer. Unlike the ass-hats of the OSR movement on the D&D side however I bear no malice or ill-will towards anyone who plays a different version of Warhammer than I do. I find their "your fun is wrong" statements amusing if nothing else. And with the demise of the traditional rule-set of Warhammer Fantasy Battle this is more pronounced with folks going either the Age of Sigmar route, 9th Age or Return of Kings.

For me its why bother? Yes its cumbersome, but with the good olde' orange rule book and Warhammer Armies you have all you need to play a great game.

Talk about value on this thing: It has 11 of the 12 armies contained within (Norse appeared in White Dwarf #107). In addition there are new rules for war machines, and great rules in my opinion for allies and mercenaries which Warhammer always seemed to struggle with to find a good balance for.

So with that in my mind here is where I stand for each of the armies and potential future plans:

Dark Elves- When complete they will total around 4,000-5,000 points. Details on the progress of the army can be found here. For the most part I largely have all the minis needed and just need to round out a few here and there to fill up certain units rank and file. They also have 25 hobgoblins as allies which I'm looking forward to painting (see below).

Wood Elves- As I've been outlining here on the blog they will come in around 4,000 points when complete. Like Dark Elves these pointy ears are a repaint of my existing models. As I also noted, they originally served as allies for my Empire force, but over the years I collected enough to field a force in their own right.

Almost all the models are 3rd edition ones with a few 4th edition ones mixed in like the Glade Guard serving as Kin Band warriors. 
One of my most heavily converted dragons, circa 2006

High Elves- This will be tougher. Not because I don't have minis but because I have a force of at least 10,000 points of High Elves painted and another 4,000 points unpainted... But they are a 5th edition force in composition and models. This isn't a problem per say, but I'm not going to convert them back to 3rd, but rather leave them as is. Easy enough to play 3rd edition games with them, but unlikely to get a lot of the 3rd edition/4th edition range save for two: one being that ever elusive Elven Attack Chariot (for me).

The Empire- Actually my second army in 3rd Edition (more on that in a bit). Like my High Elves these guys are more configured for 4th-7th than 3rd edition. The good news its easy enough to use them in 3rd edition which I did in a battle around December.

Bretonnia- When I first played 3rd Edition I played my initial force as a Bretonnian force... Now I I can't stand Bretonnia due certain posters on a website that promotes them (you know the one). Ever wonder why the Word of Hashut #10 is the way it is? There you go. Right now I have a mixed force that is probably around 1,000 points. I don't really see my doing anything with them anytime soon.

I will be finishing up a Bretonnian canon however as it was one of my first mini purchases ever. Maybe even a small scenic base too. 

Chaos- My chaos force is largely done. it dates back to 1991 and sports a lot of original paint jobs from that time. As of late I've been splitting out the 5th/6th edition minis from the earlier ones. One "new" unit is a repaint of chaos warriors on foot. Right now I have 16 and have been scoping out the remaining 4. Highly unlikely to field 20 at once as the point cost would be over 1,000 points, but they will look cool none-the-less.

A unit of 25 Beastmen with some gors from 5th/6th and Talisman plastic Beastmen is also "under the brush", but back burner right now. 

Skaven- As my buddy Dave collected them way back when he got all of them from the joint plastic regiment boxes. As a result of this over they years they never had much appeal. I'd say I have 10-20 plastic ones. I could see a unit or two for allies, but I'm highly unlikely to gather a full force especially when one considers the amount of minis needed to field a Skaven force.

Orcs- From my Chaos Dwarfs force I've got more than enough to field a Orc and Goblin force but not too many in the way of 3rd edition minis. If I did I'd be looking for the orc and goblin war-machines to round it out. Hell I might just get them anyways as the minis are so cool.

Dwarfs- Like the Wood Elves the Dwarfs are an outgrowth of needing allies for my Empire force in larger battles (as I was the only one playing the "good armies".) The Dwarfs are the force I've changed the least over the years. What I have done is add more minis to them. The leftover from the Battle for Skull Pass box set have also made their way to the army. Right now I have four units to go with the 6,000 points of painted minis I already have. They were also the first force I thought of painting in a coherent scheme rather than individuals except for one unit where I purposely painted each mini different. As a result the unit is a miss mash of colors but the army is predominately green and yellow. All in all the force works.

Slann- Ahhh Slann. I have zero Slann minis unfortunately and I think I only ever actually saw a few in person painted (Dave had some). For some reason they were fairly hard to come by in the States in the late 80s and to try and collect them now? $$$

Undead- This will be a bit easier. Due to summoning spells in 3rd edition WFB everyone had a Undead plastic box set. Because of this I have one unit of cavalry, one unit of infantry and some extras. Coupled with the zombie plastic box set from 6th means I have the nucleus of a small force but needs some touching up on the first two. At some point I envision a small force along the lines of the ones presented around White Dwarf #142ish.

Norse- Only appeared in White Dwarf #107 and I have to say it let me with a meh feeling for the army. I have a few scattered Norse minis, but don't see myself undertaking this task for another human army largely composed of  infantry. Don't get me wrong the minis are cool, but where are the Norse riding war mammoths???

Nippon- My attempts at Nippon have been on again and off again as the mood strikes me. Now not a 3rd edition force the army list for 2nd could be modified to work with 3rd. I have a sizable force but its going to take a lot more time and a lot more lead. I do have almost every ninja model from the range which is kinda cool!

I think if I could get 1-4 of those damn Temple Dogs it would help!

Mercenaries and Allies- based on having so many armies I can usually field any allies needed. In terms of the mercs? I have the following:
  • Chaos Allies- both chaos dwarf war machines, a mortar and multiple bazukas!
  • Old Worlder Ally contingent- toyed with the idea of converting my Bret force to this contingent.
  • Halflings- Got a fair amount of these for a small ally force. 
  • Giants- Two giants, one old school.
  • Ogres- Unit of 8 detailed here.
  • Half-Orcs- this is going to be a quest. I want the 2nd edition range which goes for $$$ on eBay. 
  • Hogoblins- 25 old school hobgoblins including Baron Brightgore on the painting table!
That about rounds out where I stand in Oldhammer, a lot done, quite a bit to go by that's the fun of it. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What's on the painting bench?

Like a lot of wargamers/painters I've got a dirty secret. What is that you ask? Far more lead and plastic to paint than time. Just take a look at what is on the painting desk sitting in the "bull pen" area as it were. Show of hands who is just like me? Its said that 50% of gamer/painters admit to having way more minis to paint than time to paint them all. The other 50% is lying.

An even dirtier secret? This picture doesn't include all of my dark elves that are being repainted.And a dirtier secertx2? This doesn't include about 2-3,000 unpainted 4th through 6th edition High Elves, or terrain that is fully created but not yet painted! Arrrghhhh.

In away this post touches on one of the most ironic things about the hobby. When I was younger I had more time than money for miniatures (still did pretty well). Now that I'm older I have less time, but more money (comparatively speaking) for the hobby. Now the prices have of course gone up! Some days you're the bug, other days the windshield.

Included in the photo are (some highlights)
  • 2 Dragonmasters (one is mostly painted- an old butterfly wing conversion. Only the rider needs to be redone- He'll most like go to my 3rd Edition in progress Wood Elf Host). 
  • 16 chaos warriors on foot
  • 20 3rd edition hobgoblin warriors (including Baron Brightgore)
  • 4 dwarf units 
  • 18 (at the moment) Glade Guards to be utilized as Warrior Kinbands.
To close  I'd like so say I'm doing well shifting through my mountain of lead and plastic but who knows? I'm having fun, that's the main part, but I'd like to make some "progress". Yeah I know, Denial is just a river in Egypt either...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Part IV of the Repainting of my 3rd Edition Wood Elf Force- The 1st Treeman

This post will be a bit shorter, but the subject matter isn't, not by a long shot. A mighty Treeman! For those not in the known, Treemen are fearsome in 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. An opponent who doesn't do their best to take these guys out early in a game is foolish.

Why is that? With stat-lines like these, these guys are (wait for it) monsters! WS of 8, S of 6, W of 6 and 4 Attacks? A Treeman is right up there with giants in terms of sheer hitting power in 3rd Edition Warhammer.

Image thanks to Goblin Lee's blog
I won't go into every detail as it has been covered depth and with an excellent analysis of the whole Wood Elf army by Goblin Lee here. I will say that I'm interested to see for myself how they perform in my revamped force. In the past the Wood Elf host wasn't so much an independent force as it was an ally contingent for my Empire army (as I noted previously).

The Treeman model in question was painted fairly well before I stripped off the paint a few months back; should have taken a pre-photo. The main issue with it was for some reason I used gloss coat to seal it rather than matte finish, don't ask me why. I purchased it in the mid 1990s when my forces were transitioning to 4th and 5th. I've always liked the look of this one compared to the classic range of Treeman in the 1980s. So with that in mind future ones I purchase will be of the same era miniature-wise.

The repaint went very fast and I'm pleased with the results. As you can see because I use black to undercoat the colors come out darker and "moodier" if you will. I do this on purpose as I've never been able to reconcile my painting style with white undercoating; don't know why.

The only real issue I struggled with was whether or not to add fall foliage to the Treeman itself rather than just the base as I have been doing with the rest of the Wood Elf host. In the end I didn't like how it looked so I just went with the base to tie it in with the rest of the force. A active Treeman pounding the snot out of his foes shouldn't be red, orange and yellow for leaves denoting the upcoming hibernation season for trees. Plus I want to avoid comparisons to the 7th Edition Wood Elf forces that are based on seasonal color schemes.

And so here he is. Finally got a natural light bulb for the painting desk again, but the grays on the bark are coming out a bit muted. In actuality those parts are a bit lighter on the higher points.

The next post, Part V will most likely focus on the painting of my general and mounted wizard of my bludgeoning force.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The one that got away, a Tale of eBay Woes

I'm fairly certain we've all been there before, that one time when you scored something on eBay only to get it lost in the post? In my case the only time I've ever had something not show up was a miniature.

My tale of heartbreak goes back about 10 years and the kicker was getting something for $20 that is now in the $150-200 range (bangs head).

To which mini do I refer? This one... the Elven Attack Chariot (sigh)

As best as I've been able to uncover, the delivery service dropped it off at the wrong address. My old address was 58 Frostholm Dr, I figure that they dropped it off on the next street over at 58 Fairholm Dr... The delivery service said it was delivered (I think it was UPS) but the home owners did not receive it.

So like a fisherman, this is my tale, the one that got away. But in this case it really happened...honest.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Branching out, Miniatures-wise

While my first love for miniatures is and remains Citadel/Games Workshop (despite my love/hate stance with the company) I have been recently been looking at other lines. One that caught my eye a few months back was Otherworld Miniatures. Currently, I'm in the middle of working on multiple armies and terrain for Warhammer; enough to keep me busy for years. But while looking for art  male half-orc assassin artwork for D&D I came across the guy below. I finally decided to take the plunge and have since purchased they mini below and I am waiting on its delivery: DAD10 – Male Half-orc Assassin

Not my paint job but I like the look of it.
Really looking forward to this guy and getting some paint on him. Perhaps my next character in an AD&D game? I really like the look of the example above too.

As and aside I also like the look of Dragonrune Miniatures from the early 2000s which have a strong Warhammer influence. I found them around 2001 as far as I can recall.  I've been seeing more of them popping up on eBay lately. The ogres are especially appealing. The company didn't last all too long but can now apparently be procured from Armorcast. Perhaps a topic for a different day as I really like the look of the ogres.

UPDATE (6-22-17): After a bit of an adventure he finally arrived from the UK.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Getting the drop on the opposition in AD&D, a visual.

After playing RPGs and war-games since 1982 I've come across tons of art; some good, some bad and some in between. Of the old school artists from the early days of TSR are Tramp and Bill Willingham; 2nd Edition artists like Elmore are OK, but I'm neither pro or con for the most part. I've also played a ton of Warhammer (especially 3rd edition) so I'm also partial to art from Games Workshop stalwarts like John Blanche.

But this post isn't about that. This post is about something so over the top gonzo. So over the top that it's epic bad/good. So cool that it is hard to quantify. So of course its something from 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeon and Dragons. I should also note that despite 2nd Edition being my favorite version of Dungeons and Dragons and how I run it (see here) I'm not a particularly huge fan of the Forgotten Realms.

So with that said this nothing short of pure awesomeness.

At first I never paid this much attention back in the day: I don't currently have or need the book. But the more I look at it I've come to realize just how gob smacking cool this is! All too often over the years I've seen knights fighting hordes of bad guys ad nauseaum, orcs, thieves climbing demon idols, menacing beholders and mighty dragons on the wing and everything in between.

But getting the drop on some town guard flunky in such an unorthodox way? That's the stuff that legends are made of! And to do it with a loaf of ciabatta bread, left-handed? You don't get much more pimp than this move. Imagine the consternation of said city watchman heading back to the guard tower:

Master at Arms at the Tower: "So, William, did you bring the outlaw scum at the Sleepy Dragon Inn?"

William: (sheepishly) "No, I... uhhhhh... couldn't find him."
Master at Arms at the Tower: "Why is your face and neck covered with bread crumbs?"

I mean really who's going to own up to the fact that some dude in a tavern got the drop on you with his freaking DINNER! A plate maybe, a hunk of bread????

You might loathe 2nd Edition AD&D, you might not like the art (I've certainly seen better) you might not like the subject matter. But when is the last time you got the drop on someone in the game with one of your characters utilizing a loaf of bread? I'm guessing never.