25 January 2020

First Games at the new Man Cave: Stalingrad, Kill Team and Space Hulk

Been a challenging few week on the hobby front, with the move and all.  So I decided to get on the front foot for the week leading up to CanCon and christen the new games room with some games.

First up was games night with Comrade James and some of the lads from the new club.  We tried out the "Academy of Street Fighting" supp for Bolt Action (a free pdf at the Warlords site), which takes the game down to a squad level where individuals are being activated. We played in the rubble of Stalingrad but with a few small tweaks it would be great for Arnhem with my Red Devils, or pitting US and German paras against one another in Carentan, Normandy.
As you would expect it was brutal fighting close up where SMGs and Grenades were king.  The variant rules for multi shot weapons gave great feeling of spraying bullets everywhere.

Later in the week Reilly arrived and we got some great Kill Team in - this time I took my Grey Knights and pulled off a rare (but close) win! I wont get used to that :-)  His AdMech army is really coming along and looking great!

Unpacking is not generally fun and enjoyable - but finding old treasures is, so we got a quick game of Space Hulk in using the classic Cleanse and Burn scenario. We played Coop, but clearly that wasn't sufficient for the Lad, who proceeded to flame the last room...while my Captain was still in it.  I should have seen that coming I guess!

CanCon starts today for the long weekend - always a blast. More to follow.

20 January 2020

AdMech Kill Team

With the house move and new job its been two weeks since I got any painting done - hopefully I'll fix that shortly.  In the meantime The Lad has completed his AdMech Kill Team and made quite a spiffy job if them too I might say!

He then put then directly into action and beat my Chaos Spare Marines to clutch their first glory for the Omnissiah!

10 January 2020

The Man Cave moves...again!

Its that time of the biennial cycle where the Man Cave goes mobile again. The move is now complete and thankfully we have had only a few minor disruptions due to the massive bushfires across the country.
The new games room takes shape

Thanks to all those amazing Rural Fire Service and Emergency response teams that put themselves in harms way for others - you've done a fantastic job and we are proud of you and your families for all your hard work and sustained effort.

Moving is always a little painful but on the bright side I will now get more regular adventures with Comrade James, a new games club crew and new adventures are in train!  I'm also looking forward to having all my stuff available in one location for the first time in some years - though as it was being unboxed I started to have a hobby 'moment of clarity' about how much stuff there is across a lot of genres

Anyway, got to find my brushes now so I can get back to the painting challenge!

02 January 2020

AHPC X - Monolith / Herdstone

Deep in the forbidden forrest, shadowed figures dance and writhe, chant and drum. 
Shadows flicker over an edifice of horror erected to Dark Gods...
The monolith by candlelight!
To close out 2019 and transition the hobby year, my next stop on the AHPC X Challenge Island is Cook's Crevase where "Entries must have a Geology Theme".  And what says Geology more than a giant, creepy stone Monolith!
Side view
This adds to my growing Fantasy terrain collection - the model is the current GW Herdstone model, useful for any large blasphemy or even Pulp era Cthulhu cultists (and its been way too long since I painted anything for that genre).  A relatively expensive plastic kit, it was a real delight to paint and had a myriad of details that I spent waaaay too long on for a Painting Challenge - I'm just not a speed painter at heart, and if detail is there then it needs to be painted!
Rear view - with more skulls and grisly trophies!
I went with a dark granite colour rather than a more typical grey rock appearance, to give it a more sinister appearance.  I also tried some OSL effects from the fire, keeping the bottom half of the monolith a bit darker to make that more effective and also help the lower runestones show up better.  So while the colours looks straight forward, I thought about them in far more detail than I usually would bother!
Details of the fire OSL - fun, but time consuming!
This entry is also my opening salvo for the "Skully McSkullface" side challenge which Barks initiated, and its a skull laden good 'un too:

Fireplace: 11 - yes, I even painted the ones facing the inside
Herdstone: 24, I lost one along the way :-(
Model Base: 9
Total SkullCount: 44!

Points wise this gives me a 55 point boost and completes my second stop on Challenge Island!

Painting notes:
Black Spray Undercoat
Heavy Drybrush - GW Charadon Granite
Medium Drybrush - 50/50 GW Charadon Granite & AP Uniform Grey
Light Drybrush (top only)- GW Dawnstone
Bones/Skulls/Skeletons - AP Skeleton Bone, AP Dark Wash, Val Bone White highlight
Ropes - AP Leather
Runestones - GW Mephiston Red
Flame and Glow effects- Drybrush GW Mephiston Red (medium), Troll Slater Orange (light), GW Averland Sunset (very light), GW Bad Moon Yellow highlights

29 December 2019

2019 Reflections

This is the tenth time I've done this little bit of self indulgence looking back on my hobby year. 
I always enjoy it, even if its just for me.

2019 saw me back at sea for my day job and also away on some travel holidays too. Between the two I have had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Greece and Italy.  It was wonderful to see so many places and my friends there, and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunities.  My hobby output was commensurately curtailed, but you cant have everything.  What I did though, I thoroughly enjoyed - and thats the most important bit!
My AHPC IX tally - a new PB!
AHPC IX saw me post a new PB, get 2 runners up in the bonus rounds, and amongst my entries I finished a bunch of projects including 15mm DAK, my Orci Invicti fantasy army and my Dark Ages Irish for SAGA.  I had a ball with the great AHPC community and was pleased to help out the SnowLord as the Duels Wallah.  AHPC X is now in full swing and I have again foolishly volunteered for Minion duties -good luck to all the participants!

Some other non AHPC highlights from this year's painting bench:
FIW/SYW Grenadiers

My Templar warband and Desert Hut (The Saracens are Alan's)

Camel Caravan - my opening salvo for AHPC X

Veggie patch - useful for anything
Appeal to the gods!
Home made battle mat

Every family has its black sheep...

What games were new this year? Mostly Mortal Gods and Kill Team which Reilly has really taken to so we have unearthed and rediscovered a bunch of 40k figs that were way in the back of the garage.  I also enjoyed discovering Crusade gaming with Outremer and can see more of that in the future also. Otherwise I have been buying up some more FIW figs to expand my British force.

Some of my fav gaming moments from the year:

French attack column advances in Sharpe's Practice
The Illiad - in almost 1:1 scale!

8 player Dragon Rampant: The Slaughter at Clapgate Common
Reilly and I rediscover an old Favourite: Blood Bowl!
Convention wise we got to both CanCon and MOAB which was fun and many bring and buy treasures were procured.  The Race for Africa participation game at MOAB  run by Frank and Sven was a huge hit and Comrade James, Reilly and I really had a great day at it.

On a related note, I also completed another Goodreads challenge to make it 7 in a row with 49 books completed this year (some 13,000 pages in total) - mostly Historical Fiction.

What does 2020 hold in store? Well, I'm looking forward to the release of Mortal Gods Mythic and the 2nd editions of both Muskets & Tomahawks and Frostgrave. But my big change will be working interstate during the week.  Challenging, but an opportunity to hang out with a new gaming group in Canberra, with old friends and new, and that will be fun too.  With new game systems to explore and invest in too, inevitably!

I hope your 2019 Hobby year was great and may 2020 bring you more smiles than ever.

27 December 2019

AHPC X - Camel Caravan

One week into the challenge! My first entry for this year comprises my first ever Ships of the Desert! I've painted them up to be a scenario objective or baggage elements for Crusades era gaming, though they would also work with some Beau Geste type French Foreign Legion
Abdulla musters his Caravan and prepares to leave home (Terrain from my Outremer collection and not in this submission)
These doughty chaps are also my first step onto Challenge Island: I hope the harbour master is content with them!

The lovely Camel Caravan are from Castaway Arts in Northern Queensland - this makes them Australian Camels!  Did you know that Australia has approximately half a million feral camels?  Introduced in the 19th Century to support exploratory expeditions, species of Bactrian Camels and Dromedaries now roam the Outback. Indeed, Australia now (ironically) has a thriving live export business selling stock back to the Middle East.

Anyway, you can find Castaway here, and Gerry is a thoroughly nice chap who offers great service: http://www.castawayarts.com.au/

I kept the Camels colours rather sedate so that I could then bring the set together with bright and patterned luggage.  The colours will also look good on what will typically be a rather bland desert table. I'm really pleased with how well the contrasting patterns came out, and wonder why I haven't tried this earlier.

Painting notes: Camels were undercoated with Army Painter Desert Sand, washed with AP Soft Tone and wash and then highlighted.  Bases are Warlord Pill bases, wall grout filler with sand pressed into it, basecoated with Tamiya Sail, AP Soft Tone Wash, and drybrushed with Val Dark Sand.

So that is 70 points logged and posted to get me going in AHPC Season X

I enjoyed being in the top 10 while it fleetingly lasted! 
I'm moving house now so it will be a quiet 2 weeks on the Hobby Front

Submission post is here: