Thursday, 18 January 2018

The trickle that becomes the flood

   I said on the last post that there was a massive risk of distraction and here it is, Gangs of Rome has started to deliver. This is a game that from the moment Footsore Miniatures announced it in September/October(?) I was hocked on the idea. As always, I went as basic as I could to allow me to play and get a feel for the rules, so two gangs, a mob and rules fitted the bill.
   As it turned out my mob arrived before my gangs, which has given me at least a couple of days of grace to get some of the mob (30 figures) painted before I get distracted from them by the gang fighters themselves as these are going to be the big job. I am planning on painting the mob in the same way as my Dark Age projects a base at a time in the same vague colour palette and then mix them up when I actually play. This means I have 6 lots of mob to paint, 2 lots of gangs which is do-able within a couple of weeks of painting, although I plan to keep moving Sons of Horus across my desk too.

gangs of rome mob base painted

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Sons of Horus Tactical Squad 2

   As planned I have focused on making sure my second tactical squad for my Sons of Horus 30K project has been finished before I got too excited painting anything else. This now means I have 2 of my 3 big squads finished*, so any distractions** now won't kill this project entirely.

*I have been painting the odd man from other
squads in the same batches, so actually the
next squad or two should be finished fairly
**Gangs of Rome is starting 
to deliver . . 

   As with my last big squad, I am trying to make sure I am mixing different marks of armour into the squads early on, especially into any of the positions, as this way I can add anything to this army and individual units without the new thing looking out of place. So in this case I have added a MKV as the squads vexillia and there are other marks mixed in, in the ranks.
   I have also been mixing armour types on the same model for similar reasons, these men are supposed to be in the depth of the heresy where resources were hard to come by. That forgeworld supplying you might now be in the rear view mirror and hard to get to, or have fallen to your enemy.

   The first Deimos Rhino for the army, while it isn't for this squad it was too good a kit not to get painted early on and was a nice break from infantry. I kept the colour scheme simple to match the troops, however, I broke the big flat areas up with gang markings*.

30k sons of horus rhino horus heresy forgeworld deimos rhino

   At this point I think it is impossible for me to go more than a week or so without getting the itch to paint a Viking and these were the last few I needed to finish another unit off. Hopefully, this will tie me over for a while.

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sons of Horus Destroyers & Chaplain

   A small post this week due to work interfering with my hobby time in a big way over the weekend. My desk is currently full of models to keep me from ever running out stuff to paint and I have strategically made sure it is all figures from the big projects I plan to finish this year.
   The first unit to be finished since my last post is a 5 man squad of Sons of Horus destroyers. Destroyers were one of those units that I knew my 30k army had to include, whether they were good or not. A squad carrying radioactive grenades, so brutal that a few legions banned their use, the emperor officially condemned them and they eventually killed their users, if ever there was a quintessential 30k unit, this was it and with the Sons of Horus' brute force and ignorance motto, they fit into the theme perfectly.

   The second model finished for this post is the Chaplain that comes with the Betrayal at Calth box. I had no plans to include a chaplain in my army but as my current captains are heavily converted to fit into the theme this army was going to be (Ravenguard) and, much as they aren't useful existing without armies to lead, I am loathe to strip them down and re-do them, so I need to convert up a dedicated Sons of Horus captain, in the meantime I have this model.
   The basic model is pretty uninspiring, so I needed to do something to make it fit the theme of my army, so a shoulder pad change and a head swap later and it feels less generic to me. This will give me the HQ needed to play some games while I work on my planned captain model.

   I want to get my second tactical squad done next so I have a solid fire base of 30 marines to expand any lists from and I have my minimum choices to play a game, then I can start looking at fun stuff again; maybe a dreadnought, a vehicle, or a squad to support my destroyers, or even something from one of my other big projects just to break up painting this green?

Thanks for reading

Friday, 5 January 2018

First models of the year

   As my last post was me planning my hobby year out loud, it only made sense to try and follow it up with an actual hobby post as soon as humanly possible, which I have just about done. As I, also, said in my last post, the chances of me staying focused are next to 0 but as long as I go in the correct direction, the meanderings can just be called flavour.
   Bearing that in mind, my hobby over the new year weekend and the first days has been, mostly, on target. I have started my Sons of Horus 30k project with aims to get my first games in at the end of February and be playing properly in the months afterwards - this is going to be a big project if I see it to completion so I want to get it started asap.

   The first models of this project to see the painting table are the members of the first tactical squad, all 15 of them. When it comes to motivation it is the big squads that are where it is easiest to falter, sitting down on an evening and seeing a 5 man squad that needs doing is something you can usually get yourself to start, but a massive block of infantry leaves you doing anything but paint. So I always try to start my new projects with them to try and get them out of the way, but I actually paint them in blocks of 5, aiming to finish each 5 either in a single evening or over a couple of evenings. Then rewarding myself with a more interesting choice after each unit is finished. The results are then that the bulk of your infantry is done while you are still motivated, so when you are suffering from a lack of enthusiasm you only have small bits lefts to do, or at least that is the plan.
   As these are Sons of Horus, I have tried to include more than just legion badges and the colour scheme to make them feel like the legion in question, in this case it is a couple of top knots mixed into the unit in the style of the legion leadership - see Horus or Abbadon for examples. These are either bare heads with top knots taken from the chaos marines sprue and either used as is, or cut and stuck to the 30k helmets.

   On the other hand, because I am incapable of sticking to a plan, I found myself painting some more Vikings on new year's eve. I only have a handful of Vikings left to paint and, while they aren't on my list of projects for this year, it seems daft to ignore them, so every time I have an interesting colour scheme I want to try out, I will do another couple of them. In this case the interesting colour scheme was a Sons of Horus style green (purposely not the exact same) and orange.
   The models are a mix of Gripping Beast and Shieldwall Miniatures, like the rest of the project.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

2018 the key projects

   This post is as much me planning 2018 as it is making sure I am accountable for my proposed plans. As the name of my blog suggests, I am a hobby butterfly, to steal someone else's phrase, and find it hard to see a project to conclusion without another one becoming the new shiny. So my plan for this year was to list the big projects I would like to focus on in 2018 to motivate myself to get them done and so I can't just brush them under the carpet and see them as next year's problem again.

1. Napoleonic British army for Sharp Practise;
   It took me a good couple of years to paint my French force, doing a couple of units every 6 months, which is a speed I can't continue at if I ever want to get these armies onto the table. I doubt I will be able to paint all 40 odd British redcoats in one long chain of blog posts but it would be good to see them done within the next 6 months rather than a few every 6 months.

2. 15mm Roman + Germanic armies for Sword & Spear;
   My 15mm armies were bought a good couple of years ago as part of a Kickstarter at a heavily discounted price, but the thing that has held me up the most is what base size to use for my blocks as every historical game uses different ones. I know I want to build these armies for Sword and Spear but I still need to work out what sizes are best for my models.

3. Sons of Horus for 30k;
   As mentioned in my end of year post, this is an army that I would like to see a lot of use out of this year, but as it isn't painted my personal gaming rules mean it won't see the tabletop until it is, which means I need to get a move on. I have found a painting tutorial on youtube that I like the look of, so it is just a case of getting started,

4. 5th company Aurora Knights for 40k;
   An army that I doubt with see much table time, especially with another space marine project on the same list, but it is an army that I have been working on in fits and starts for so long I just want to see the core part of it finished, so I can add units at my leisure.

5. WW2 Hungarians for Bolt Action;
   I have entered my Hungarians into my next Bolt Action tournamant in March, so I have done the important thing and given myself a solid deadline, plus I would like to get some practice games in with them too.

6. Last few Saga armies:
   Yeah, last few . . . But as Saga uses relatively small model counts and I haven't gone anywhere near as heavy on these as my Saxon/Viking forces they should be do-able in a couple of weeks each if my hobby time allows.

   Actually, it has to be said, that list is scarier than I initially thought it would be, with Gangs of Rome coming in January/February, even if each project is finished within a month I am still looking at having my painting desk full until the end of July and I doubt most of these are that short an amount of painting, however, if I can stay focused it should lead to a good year in terms of lowering my lead mountain, getting to play some rule sets I have wanted to try for ages and stopping spending on the next distraction.

Normal blogging will resume next time. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

That end of year post - 2017 edition

   So here we are again, another year over, another about to begin and another chance to look back and work out what went to plan and what didn't. So, it make sense to start with my resolutions from last year;

This year I'm keeping my gaming aims small:
  1. I'd like to try some more rulesets out this year too. The average gamer can only play a limited amount of games in a year and I would like to try out as many as I can so I can settle down onto those few that I enjoy the most. In this list are: Age of Sigmar, Sharp Practice 2, Chain of Command and Dux Britanniarum, all games I have heard great things about. - I managed to play 2/4, Age of Sigmar (much better than I expected) and Chain of Command (as good as I expected).
  2. I also want to play a game of 40K Apocalypse. I've been playing skirmish or platoon sized games for the last 2-3 years and have a real urge to play a properly massive game. - This was in the planning and then 8th edition hit and killed the plan.
  3. Carry on my aim of playing the equivalent of a game a week - only just managed that this year due to a few weekends where I played multiple games on a single day. - 105 games this year, with most due to being part of a few gaming groups - extra thanks to Neil here for inviting me round his house every month for a catch-up and a game or few and really expanding what I was playing.
   2017 ended up being a great year but probably the busiest of my life (I lost count of the amount of times I had to say no to a planned game as I was already doing something that day) with 6 new countries visited (including two Viking ship museums I never thought I would ever get to), 2 new jobs, D&D becoming more regular and expanding my normal gaming opponents. 

I played 105 games using 30 rulesets with my most played games of this year being;
  1. Thunderbirds - 16
  2. BFG - 14
  3. Bolt Action (Last year's winner) - 12
  4. Imperial Assault - 6
  5. (Joint) Dead Man's Hand, Bloodbowl, Thunder Road & Here, Kitty Kitty - 5
   Interestingly, this means that of my top 8 played games, 5 are technically board games, with only 3 being full wargames and all of my top played games have low figure counts, with Bolt Action being the one with the highest number of figures required - usually somewhere in the 30's/40's for most armies.

Carrying on tradition, here are some gaming highlights from this year;

2017 was the year I really discovered board games 

Chain of Command demo - thanks to Chris 

 Poseidon's Warriors - thanks to Neil

 Battlefleet Gothic

Dead Man's Hand Down Under - had to be done after seeing the real armour in Melbourne Library  

One of the best show games of the year 

Also the year I got back into Blood Bowl 

Baby footsteps into Flames of War 

Napoleonic naval warfare - thanks to Neil again 

One of two Bolt Action tournaments I lost at. 

Imperial Assault 

Star Trek Attack Wing - my most played game for two years running then gathering dust for nearly the whole of the next 2

So this year I want to focus on some key resolutions:
  1. Keep my 52 games a year target - as I now work from home making sure I get out of the house at least one day a week is extra important.
  2. Paint more than I buy - I managed this, this year and would like to keep getting my lead pile down, either by painting it, or by selling it off.
  3. Finish some key projects; 15mm armies for Sword and Spear, Napoleonic British for Sharp Practice, Sons of Horus 30k and my 5th company of Space Marines.
  4. Start far far less new armies. Not sure how to quantify this as a pass or fail but if I don't own any models for an army already, I don't want to get carried away with it and keep disrupting my painting queue.
I am also excited to try and play a few key games this year, some of whom tie into painting projects in the list above:
  1. LotR Battle Companies - I picked this book up a couple of weeks ago and it looks to be everything I remember from the White Dwarf version released a good 13-14 years ago. Pure nostalgia and I just can't wait to get it onto the table (plus no painting required as I have the troops).
  2. Sword and Spear - I got the rules for my birthday but I have been coveting them for a lot longer than that, but lacking the (painted) armies it has been on the back burner.
  3. Sharp Practise - this is on the verge of being a sore point. Having started painting the French troops long before the book's release, I am now (finally) the proud owner of a painted French army, however, the same cannot be said of the British army I have sitting on my shelf and in bags next to my desk.
  4. 30K - this is a theme that I have dipped into regularly ever since Black Library started releasing the novels just before I went to uni in 2006. The books are just so well written (on the whole) that it is hard not to be inspired and I have started building an army a few times before getting distracted by one thing or another (mostly price to be honest!). However, 2018 marks the year that both my normal gaming mate, and I, turn 30, so it feels appropriate to get the project finished before then. I own nearly all the models I need for the planned project, so what is stopping me?
  5. Saga 2 - while I still stand by my opinion that Lion Rampant is a far superior game to Saga, my normal gaming group are strongly in the mind set that a set of rules without official figures can't be a good game, so Saga has become the main Dark Ages ruleset. As I have said before, the Dark Ages are my favourite period in history and Saga scratched that itch, while being a low enough model count that you can dip in and out of armies without too big an expense in either time or money and I look forward to trying out it's new edition in the new year.
  6. Lords of Waterdeep - 2017 was very much the year of the boardgame for me and I doubt 2018 will see them go away. One game I got given for Christmas that I am very excited to try out is Lords of Waterdeep, the premise of which is that instead of playing as an adventurer in the D&D world, you are one of the guilds hiring them to do the jobs. Like LotR Battle Companies, this is a game that I own and don't need to paint anything for, so I hope to see it on the table early this year.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great 2018.

Friday, 29 December 2017

The Fearsome Women's Institute

   As we are near the end of 2017 we are again at that point where we look over the year and plan what we want to do better next year, this post, however, is not about that, but is about one of the things I wanted to make sure was done and out of the way before 2018 reared it's head*.

*Plus I didn't want my last
painting post of 2017 to be
about movement trays

   When I painted up my Women's Federation Toxophilite Club it was my attempt to get a unit to represent what happens when 'ladies who organise'** get involved in conflict, in this case, instead of organising a knitting circle to knit socks for the boys on the front line, they take up arms and show them how it is done. So when Footsore Miniatures released an armed WI unit, it was pretty much a must buy.

**Thinking Sybil Vimes here
of Discworld fame.

Footsore Miniatures VBCW armed women operation sea lion sealion

   I picked up the command pack and 2 packs of regular rifles as this gave me the full 10 woman squad right from go, with no leftovers or scrabbling online to fill in that last spot of two which a lot of packs give and, obviously, the banner was a must have. I painted them to include details like the white rose of York (in their hats) and the odd purple detail to make sure they looked Albertine.
   Next step for this unit has to be some kind of personal transport, I see the leader as the sort of battle axe who could scare up anything she needed, even in a time of low resources.

Thanks for reading