Thursday, August 29, 2013

Improvised Weapons in Syria

In Syria civil war is going on as anyone with an eye and a news page knows. I'm not sure I understand all of the aspects of this war but I know determination when I see it. These pictures depict the improvised weapons of the Free Men of Syria Army and you can say what you want but as far as "improvised" goes...this is some determine and professional looking improvisation.
This is an improvised rocket launcher and you have to commend the work that was done here to establish this piece of equipment. Agreed it is not up to modern military standards but you are going to see some effective use from this weapon I would bet.
This lathe operator is putting serious work into his armaments. These photos really spoke to me. Right or wrong the men in these photographs are putting determined effort into producing effective and professional arms. They are an army, not a rag tag group using stolen weapons.

This blog doesn't really hit on anything serious for good reason. It is a blog about hobby, scifi, and fantasy but ultimately I can't always be blind on here. There is a serious global event taking place and it needed noted by me.

This link will also help you understand the Syrian civil war as it helped me. If you are even vaguely interested I encourage you to read it.

One day we might be playing war games of this event.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bring Out Your Dead...Again!

So a long time ago, and by long time ago I mean years ago, I purchased two corpse carts off Ebay for a song and they were effectively NIB. I set about assembling them and then painted one. I completely assembled them first which I knew would make them harder to paint but I had no idea how much harder; kind of a dumb choice. Anyway I painted one completely with the launch of my Vampire Counts army. The second one (this one) got about 30% painted then pushed off the board for other projects that didn't make me want to kill people for real.
So the second cart actually found its way into storage only half painted and I resolutely pulled it out and placed it on the paint board. I've made a monolithic effort to clear the board of partial projects and I'm making considerable progress. This cart is painted similar but differently than the other which will do good to set it apart.
Top down view just looked kinda cool. All those partial zombies reaching up.
 I usually paint zombies or other undead in pale skin colors but both my corpse carts have fleshy zombies in the carts. In my thoughts the bodies in the cart are more recently slain and not worth putting into the field as troops because they are missing too much to be effecting, but can do well to draw upon dark powers so they go in the cart.
The Corpsemaster on both of them are whipping the zombies pulling it just because I find that to be common sense for something so absurd. I accidentally went the RvB route with them although a very dirty RvB and I purposefully assembled them with different upgrades. I think the lodestone/balefire combo will be fun to play with and just having two carts on the battlefield at the same time should look suitably epic.

Speaking again of the paint board sitting on it right now is my first finished Republic Romans unit. I will be posting them in the next few days. Also the board is going to be cleared of a unit of 35 Bretonnian men-at-arms, a group of servitors, and a piece of terrain from the old BFSP box. After those though, after those, I think i'm going to jump into a full on Roman army project. I am looking to build it to meet Neil Thomas rules so it will be 8 units and I think it might be sweet to get that done nicely.

But we'll see...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Grenadier Classics

So these are the last of the many figures my friend Adrian gave me to paint for him. Three boxes later I am finally done. He got into a spree of ordering old miniatures from ebay and he doesn't paint so he traded me a box full of Reaper paints to paint them. It's been a process as I don't tend to stick to any one project for too long. My Skaven I did earlier this year was the most focus I've ever had.

These came from the Grenadier Fighting Men small box, number 2005 in this link. Needless to say as you look at these pictures this was not a correctly stocked box ;)
First up we see a wizard with a sword and shield and what I take to be either two thieves or two "adventurers" these old figures often have so little detail but the back of the guy on the right was festooned with exploration gear. I gotta ask, why does the wizard have a sword and shield?
A good array of fighters and all from the original box. These old Grenadiers are not the best quality but their elan is so great I just love them. An entire army composed of such figures would be fantastic!
Again, obviously not from the original box but I guess you could classify them as fighters since they are all armed with weapons and ready to fight. The middle is a classic bug bear and I am pretty sure the others are goblins. I thought it would be a good idea to give them a bit of uniform coloration. I love the bug bear's shield, very Cthulhu.
...and finally we have two figures that are not old 1980 Grenadiers. I am not sure who the manufacturer is but the fighting in full plate on the right with the sweet feather in his metal hat!

I like painting what I consider "adventuring figures" as it lets me break away from uniformity for a bit. I still try to theme their colors though, just habit probably.

Coming soon is a corpse cart and some Romans :) I am wanting to focus on some historical figures, lets see if I can do it!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ender's Game (spoilers maybe)

So a while ago my wife bought Ender's Game for my sons to read. One read it, then she read it, then she said I had to read it. I've been on a kick lately that can only be summed up as "reading science fiction books that I haven't read but are reported to be very important to the genre".

So Ender's Game seemed to fit the widget in this case.

I knew of Ender's Game for a long time, since childhood and I know some when I started reading it and put it down. I am pretty sure I didn't read that far into it during that event. I read through it pretty quickly for me, under two weeks, and I enjoyed it pretty much all the way through. While written in the 80's it definitely had that old school 60's/70's scifi feel to it for me.

I can't really review the book. It was a good read, go read it if you like scifi and don't read it if you don't, but I can say I don't like the idea of sequels to the book. That sounds crazy doesn't it as there are in fact sequels to the book and off shoots too if I remember my wikireadia correctly but it just seemed Ender had been through enough by the end of the book.

If I had to pick an indicator of a good body of writing I would certainly classify the fact that Card was able to make me care enough about the fictional character Andrew Wiggin that when I learned there were sequels that it annoyed me that he didn't get to rest. I know that he is only 12 at end of the book but considering that in about six years he burns through what appears to be sixty and then commits a very VERY (did I say very?) complete form of genocide almost by accident it just didn't seem fair for Card to put him through any other tragedy.

Let the poor boy rest.

As for the movie on its way out, well, it is not going to impress me. Ben Kingsley will sure and the special effects will be great but there is no way they are going to evoke what the text did. Movies are never as good as the book with me...well almost never (Fight Club was an exception)...but they can be just fine.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Auspicious Indeed!

Okay, so, Games Workshop is doing this thing where when new releases come out they have nice tidy "one-click bundles" where you can buy the entire release all at once. Also they have other bundles that provide sets or whole armies. They are cool to look at but not a deal, they don't discount you any for buying a large bundle. With the release of Apocalypse they have formations you can buy and some of these are quite costly. I don't really consider these viable purchasing options for the most part. Sure the release bundle yeah, I mean if you are really into an army and they have a new release and you want all in the release and have the money why not? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

But, that in mind... this...
...the "Auspicious Phalanx"... Woooooow! Now that is how one assembles a one-click bundle. This is got to be someplace around 4,000 points (sans upgrades). More than you would normally play and really just a massive project even if you were both rich enough and crazy enough to drop sixteen hundred bucks on it. My personal (ahem and classic) Lizardmen collection covers about 25% of this and it is plenty to play with. I never field all of it and I can field 3,000 point armies when you figure in magic items and such forth. But to be honest it is one of the coolest advertisements I have seen in a while. Someone at GW realized that while probably only 1 or 2 will buy this collection everyone is going to look at it and it is going to put the idea in their head of how cool their army will look if it was larger or has some seriously fat units in it.

I remember reading an old White Dwarf article about having large units that even then I thought was pretty cool and at the same time too costly for me. Now at the time I had both far less financial capability and personal ability to enact a unit of 50 models but today I could do that without much hassel, honestly my Lizardmen have their 40 model horde, my Vampire Counts have two of them, I'm working through a 35 men-at-arms unit for the Bretonnians. The general idea of a nice thick unit of infantry to hold the center is pretty easy to consider.

But this guy? 330 models is more than a collection it is the Lizardman section of a local hobby shop!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ask Not for Whom the Wheel Tolls!

EDIT (8/10/13): I neglected to make a statement here. It should be noted that this fine vehicle of mutual destruction is not actually titled to me. While I own the model in regards to repairs and maintenance and use in war I am not the legal owner of this model. My sweet gracious wife, in a spirit of conquest, when shown the model immediately lay claim to it much like the Empress she is. It is now hers :)

That is all...

It tolls for whomever is on the other side of the table from it...generally...after all this is Skaven "technology" and it isn't all that reliable is it?

Behold my loyal viewers!

In this picture you can see apprentice engineer Squkit pumping the bellows furiously on the open platform at the rear.
This view shows warlock engineer Haxxor piloting his doom wheel.
This is actually the third doom wheel model I've painted having done the first two for a friend. This one is all mine though and I look forward to seeing it trundle and bounce across the battle field smashing into my enemies! I can see why Skaven players get into their armies so much, there is just so much wonderful destruction to be brought about.

A while ago I got a bundle of Skaven in trade so I plan to add to the army a little at a time. Next I'll probably paint up a unit of plague monks with a plague priest I have although I am tempted to go storm vermin, or add the couple more rat ogres I have as well as swell my giant rat swarm to huge numbers (like 20!).

Also I want to paint some Ultramarines, and some Dark Angels! It is too much!

Anyway, astute observers will see there is a corpse cart in the background underway. I am trying to get it finished with just a rough table top paint job so it doesn't sit around half finished anymore. I'm hoping to put two into my next game with Greg just for the cool effect!