Friday, January 29, 2016

Darkness Beckons

I'm trucking along.

With the help of a blizzard trapping my wife and me in our apartment, lots of daemons have been ripped off their old bases, trimmed to size (removing tabs and cutting down old bases), and glued to their new round and roundish bases. I've also started sanding (by which I mean gluing sand to) some of them.

Yep, those are the old "Diaz Daemonettes". I know they're worth a fortune, but I want them for myself. Even more so those Seekers. They were out for what seemed to be only a couple of minutes, and I own some. Go me! Rebasing the Bloodletters was sort of an issue. I ended up having to chop the base up rather than cut their feet off, which ended up making them look... interesting. Hopefully some clever work with sand will fix that.

Down toward the front are some gnoblars I'm raiding my bits box to make Horrors out of. A few snips here, the gluing of random bits there, and when I'm done I should have what look like impish creatures mocking reality. Once again I had to cut sections of base off before gluing them down to their new rounds.

Another classic oddity comes in the form of this Lord of Change. He's from back when I first started playing 40k, which if you know this model as well dates us both. His base is a GW 50mm from the Centurion kits. I just bought them off of eBay loose. Also, I added the smoke billowing from the Hell Pit Abomination's mace hand in front of the Lord. I'm going to paint it up as some form of blue energy flowing forth to form one of his spells.

Speaking of loose bits from eBay, I went ahead and picked up some High Elf chariots and Steeds of Slaanesh loose as well. All in all, once I added two Daemonettes and some of the old metal wheels from the old Chaos Chariot kit, I was able to build each chariot for around $9 a pop. Not too shabby.

The next mini is a Nurgle Chaos Lord I did a quick head swap to in order to make a Herald. I've always thought that this was a great mini, so I used this project as an excuse to buy him. His new head was cut from the Dark Eldar Venom jetbike trophy racks.

That's it for now. According to UPS I should be getting Ninja All-Stars today, so I'll be taking a quick break from Daemons to try the game out, but after that it's straight back to work!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Stirring in the Warp... Again...

It's been too long since I've been here. I haven't not been gaming. I've rather been playing X-Wing.

A lot.

Still poorly, but a lot.

Since the only real hobby time I've really gotten out of that particular game is painting the engines on the Millennium Falcon, and a pretty poor repaint of Poe's X-Wing, I haven't had a reason to post.

Recently, however, some things have changed in my life, and I have time to fiddle around with toy soldiers again.

Be warned, a mini rant lies ahead.

Long ago, perhaps before you were born, dear reader, I started reading the "Redwall" series of books. I was never really a devout reader of anything, but this world called to me. There were only the first two books at the time, but both Redwall and Mossflower resonated with me in a way no book ever had. I was instantly hooked. I would go on to spend hours pouring through the 22 books in the ever expanding saga, reading about heroes like Matthias, Martin the Warrior, Bella, Mattimeo, and so many, many more.

...But no character ever stood out to me like Cluny the Scourge. The savage, sadistic, and at times outright insane pirate rat captain from Redwall. His brutality, ingenuity, and callous disregard for the lives of his enemies as well as his crew cemented him as one of my all time favorite villains.

I looked for a picture to post here that might do him justice, but none seem to exist that do him justice as described in the books. Also, please don't go watching the awful animated series. I have seen parts of it, and let's just say that it's.... Unfortunate.

A few years later, I wandered into a Games Workshop store (the one located in Fair City Mall- either the first or second store in the States) looking for Battletech miniatures and books. They had lots of miniatures, but no battlemechs. Obviously, this store sucked. After I chatted with the store staff member on duty for a second, I told him I was in a bit of a hurry and had to run (no sense in staying if they didn't have what I wanted). He asked me to hold on for just one bit, and he ran to the display of back issues of White Dwarf on the back wall. He grabbed one of the older issues, and handed it to me saying "here, take this with you and read up a bit on us". I said I would, and headed home.

Later that night I pulled out the magazine, and started leafing through it. There were a fair few sci-fi minis, but meh. They couldn't stand up to the coolness of a battlemech, and the universe just didn'the look nearly as well fleshed out. There were some other articles, none of which stick with me to this day. Finally, as I neared the end of the magazine, I came upon the battle report.

I stopped turning pages right there.

There, laid out before me, was an army of rats. Just like in Redwall! This was the greatest thing ever.

The story goes on from there, but basically I started playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle a bit later, and always loved my skittering, chittering, Skaven. I have some of the very first miniatures sitting in the figure cases and display case right behind me as I type this. I have three of the pins GW was giving out during the End Times when I snatched up the remaining few minis I needed for my collection right before...

Before they destroyed the game I loved. Don'the get me wrong, 8th edition was no masterpiece of game design by any stretch. I think that is what led to its downfall. If you have a game that is that broken, and requires literally hundreds of very expensive miniatures to play, it will just fall flat. That is what that edition of the game did.

Then, Age of Sigmar leaked. The horrible rumors were true. A four page ruleset, no more "rank & flank", and worst of all, no points values. The rules actually called for players to just grab whatever they had lying around toss them down across the table from each other, and go at it. No semblance of balance whatsoever.

I was out. Done with it. No more GW for me. It had been nearly a year since my last game of 40k, and there was Kings of War to fill the void. I could even use my Skaven with one of their platesting lists.

Cut to last month. I was strolling through the forums over at Dakka Dakka, and I came across a link to the PPC project. Lots of the people on the thread were commenting about the system making the game rather balanced. Plus, since the system was being worked on by a worldwide internet community rather that a few guys in England, issues could be addressed and balanced as needed.

...And so, with a sigh, I said "why the hell not?" And went about considering my choices to try the new system out with. It turned out to be a pretty easy choice. The only army I had with no recent rulebook had by far the most broken book in the ruleset I did have that I could use them in. My Daemons.

Into the dip they went. I was going to have to make them uniform across the whole army, so every last bit of paint would have to come off.

More astute viewers of the image above may note that what is in that container is not Simple Green.

It's actually a product you in the States can find over at Dollar Tree called "LA's Totally Awesome!". It runs $1 per bottle, and it took 2 bottles to fill the container pictured. There are two advantages to it over Simple Green. First, it's cheap. Much more so than the alternative. Second, it's faster. This stuff devours most paint in two days. Be warned, wash your hands super well after using this stuff. I missed some under my wedding band, and the results are not too pretty. Once soaked and scrubbed with a toothbrush, most of your minis will look out of the blister new. It seems to have problems getting paint off of plastic though, so stick with Simple Green for that.

One thing to keep in mind- Totally Awesome eats superglue as well, so a lot of your joins will fail. Check all of them before repainting any mini. A lot of my daemonette arms are loose, but because I pinned them in place, you wouldn't know without checking them.

...Well, more than likely you wouldn'the know until it's too late.

As you can see, my Daemons are off their old square bases, and ready to be put onto a new round one. Those are in the mail, and should arrive by tomorrow. Just in time for the blizzard (that may or may not happen, shucks it could be rain). At least if something does indeed happen snow-wise, and I'm stranded indoors, I have something to do while my wife watches Fushigi Yugi. Yes, I bought both seasons for her for Christmas, but I have no interest in watching a single episode.

With any luck, I'll be getting a new toy to play with while refurbishing this army as well, but only time will tell.