28 June 2011

WIP: Malifaux Terrain and… Blood Angels?!

It's been a slow week on the painting front as I have spent any spare time getting the next stage of my Malifaux terrain complete.

I have however managed a little time to put the next few colours onto the Sanguinary Priest that was featured oh so long ago on this blog. His shoulders and left arm had been painted codex grey already so I spent some time laying down the white. I do intend to go back and add a little codex grey to add some shading but it's pretty solid at the moment. I also got the eagle feathers on his chest painted though this too needs a wash of yellow to add some depth. Hope to get him finished in the next few weeks so he can earn his keep on Ebay.

As for the Malifaux terrain, last post there was just the basic shell of my Guild HQ building. First job was to fill the gap by the front door with Polyfilla. I took the pieces cut out of the windows, stuck them together in twos and squared them off. I then cut out a curve (I drew around a plastic base for the shape) and used these pieces as supports for the floors. I do need to add a small arched wall on the ground floor but apart from that we're up to the decorating. I plan to design and build a basic window frame that I can cast up in resin (don't fancy scratch building 32 of them!). I will build the doors and door frames individually, then there is the decor on the outside, ladders, stairs.

I'm still contemplating a colour scheme at this point and am torn between doing something quite straightforward or going for a gritty "dead of night" feel and only add sparse highlights with an airbrush as if lit purely by streetlamps. We will see.

I could also do with creating some "easy win" buildings that aren't the mammoth construction project that this is turning out to be!

I am away in the North of England for the rest of the week doing DIY for my Mum and catching up with friends. I hope to get a game or two of Malifaux in so there may be a post later at the weekend. Aside from that it's going to be a slow week on the blog and I'll be back on Monday.

22 June 2011

Blood Angel exodus begins…

I've been threatening it for a while and now it's happened – the first round of my Blood Angel auctions have hit Ebay.

This week it's vehicles, so now's your chance to get hold of the vehicles you saw being built and painted on this blog (or not in the case of the Drop Pod!).

The auctions finish on the 2nd July and can all be found here.

19 June 2011

The Executioner

Finally got the next model in my crew complete – well almost – can anyone spot the deliberate mistake?
Now we just have to see how he performs in-game!

18 June 2011

All hands on deck…

I was having a look over the blog's stats last night and discovered that in the space of 48 hours this site has gone from averaging 400 hits a day to …12!

Ha, ha – I can only assume that my recent foray into Malifaux terrain has hit a bit of a bum note with the viewing public. I did notice (and fully expected) a drop in audience figures when I moved away from 40k several months ago – which is cool – however, at the moment the site's pulling in less viewers than when I had a hiatus for 6 months and didn't update the site at all, lol.

To my few remaining visitors I say a big thank you and there will be more eye candy soon as I'm close to completing my Executioner for Malifaux and will have a battle report or two in a couple of weeks after a visit north – I'm expecting Nicodem as my opponent which will be an eye-opener. Beyond that we have the ongoing Malifaux terrain (which should get more interesting from here on in) and more painted figures as I expand my Guild resources.

We also have the sale of my doomed Blood Angels later this week, so there will be more photos then. This will include the completed Rhino with Forgeworld doors as well as two Dreadnoughts – the Dred from the starter box set and a regular Dred with Lascannons. I also intend to finish the Sanguinary High Priest before he hits Ebay. More details when they go up.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks!

16 June 2011

Malifaux Terrain: part 2

Read part 1 here

Having done lots of research and sketches it was time to get real and get building.

Of all the building images I've collected I decided to use this one as the guide for my first piece of Malifaux terrain. The photograph is of a jewelers shop in Preston and whilst I like the overall shape and design, I will not be following it exactly.

 The piece I want to build is a very tall office or residential block – maybe Guild headquarters/library or at least a building of some significance. Given that it will take up a whole quarter section of the available board space it needs to be impressive. It will have three floors plus the roof, with a lower roof section, outside ladders and large internal areas. I'm also contemplating building a small tower to go on the roof to make it even taller, but that will come much later.

Later down the line I want to adopt the bridge idea from the Bridge of Sighs image seen in part 1 of this series, make it as a separate piece that can be attached to a first or second storey window section and span across the street to an adjacent building. I'm really like the idea of high walkways as a shortcut (if somewhat risky) around the gaming board.

The first step was to finalise the design of my first building and get some viable measurements from which to work. The set of buildings, once complete, will have a smiliar look to them and be based upon the same grid. I jumped onto the computer and put some measurements in based upon the space available in a corner section of my Malifaux board, which roughly equated to a large triangle.

Having already cut out my triangular shaped base board I sketched out the footprint as a glue guide, and then went hunting for foamboard. I spent an evening measuring and drawing up my building design, making sure that measurements were as accurate as I could make them. Something always gives in the final build so the more accurate I could be now the easier life would be later down the line.

Once drawn up the initial pieces were cut out and stuck into position with PVA and some masking tape for stability. 24 hours later, once I could be sure the glue was dry I stuck down the two side pieces that I had drawn up and cut out in the meantime.

That was two days ago and as you can see we're looking in good shape. I have to choose my next step carefully as I don't want to enclose anything I will need to access later to paint, etc. I have my two models Nino and Austringer out there for scale comparisons.

You may have noticed the gap to the right of the front door. This was due to (1) a wonky 45 degree scalpel cut where I was concentrating more on the tv than the job in hand (not clever!) and (2) some mild warping of the foamboard which had been stored badly. I'm not overly concerned as I can fill this at a later stage.

…to be continued.

Read part 3 here

14 June 2011

Aspiring Champion: Tale Of A Tournament Gamer part 2

Aspiring Champion: Tale Of A Tournament Gamer part 1

Putting the second part of the article into context this was the heyday of the Chaos codex, where you could custom build your Lord and turn him into a Daemon Prince. These were also the days before online FAQs and Errata were commonplace (or in some cases known to exist at all).

Day1: Saturday 6th March 2004

In the first game you always have a random opponent, and I had drawn Mark Coultas and his Black Templar. Great I thought, a combat army with very little shooting ability, on a table with decent terrain. And so it proved. My Bezerkers were in close combat on turn 1, and despite some heavy resistance, and the loss of my possessed Champion (sparking the premature appearance of the Bloodthirster), the result was a runaway 20 points to nil. A good start, but it gets more difficult from here on in.

In game two I had been drawn against Nick Simmerson and his Necrons (seen in White Dwarf 291), on a table with virtually no terrain. However, my initial reservations about this game were about to get a whole lot worse when Pete Haines approached me.

Whilst checking my army list he had noticed that my Daemon Prince had overspent by 25pts on Daemonic upgrades. It seems that Gifts of Khorne are classed as Daemonic upgrades not just wargear. I hasten to add that it doesn’t mention this anywhere in the codex (I’m quite the perfectionist, and check for things like this over and over). It is however mentioned in a random errata somewhere on the GW website, which I obviously hadn’t read, but the fact remained that I had an illegal Daemon Prince. The punishment was two-fold, and quite severe.

I had to remove the 25 points of Daemonic upgrades from my Lord (no big deal, and this was done with no real impact on his effectiveness – ironically the offending items had only been added to use up the points), but I also lost the 20 generalship points from my massacre in Game 1, the scores being reversed, leaving me with a score of zero. This also meant I had to fight my remaining games (ie. 5 out of 6) with a 1475 point army.

To say I was devastated is an understatement. I was absolutely distraught. I was embarrassed beyond belief, illegal armies should be unheard of at veteran level, and the effort and sacrifice ploughed into getting my army tournament-ready seemed to have been a complete waste. My head was all over the place, and the last thing I wanted to do was play 40k against a Necron army on a terrain-less table. But it’s in hopeless situations that heroes are born and little did I know how the story would conclude – silver linings seemed a million miles away.

In the past, having my back against the wall in a situation like this would have been enough to make me bail, be it literally pack up and go home, or mentally throw in the towel and gift the game to my opponent. This time things were as bad as they could be, or so it seemed. I thought about the coaching my fellow team members Sean, Lee and George had given me in the run up to this tournament and the fact it’s never over till it’s over – if the main objectives are out of reach, set yourself new goals. I decided to take out my frustration on the field of play – smack these Necrons about. However, the thing with Bezerker armies is that in Turns 1 through 3, you’re the one taking all the punishment while you try and get into combat, and so it was this time.

I had guys out on foot in no time getting shot to pieces. But when you’ve got a Bloodthirster with wings and a Daemon Prince who can charge 12 inches, things can soon change in Turns 4 to 6! Before I knew it the Necrons were running away, not enough for a big win, but a 13-7 score was a big mental victory for me.

The end of Saturday saw Game 3, and possibly the most enjoyable game of the weekend. My opponent was Tim Cerullo and his Black Templar. He just wanted a relaxed game, so we played at ease and had a great battle with many a story-worthy incident. My Predators had been exchanging fire with his hull-down Destructor, to little effect. He had two units of troops hiding behind it, but I charged a unit in, immobilising their transport on the way. The unit hit the rear of a Whirlwind, whilst the Champion attacked the side of the pesky Predator. The damage was limited on the Whirlwind, but the Destructor exploded in fine style, killing 7 out of the 10 Templar assault troops stood behind it - fantastic!

A massive fight ensued as the remnants of several units from both sides kicked-off where the tank had been. Little else was happening on the table, but the assault rumbled on, Templar power fists desperately trying to kill my Daemon Prince, and Bezerkers desperately trying to thin the Templar numbers. Eventually the Lord dropped, only to be replaced by the Bloodthirster. He dropped a couple of turns later, but by then my Bezerkers had mopped up. The last word was left for Tim however, as he managed (under Night Fighting conditions) to obliterate (penetrating 6) a Rhino full of Bezerkers with his Vindicator - ouch! It was enough to avoid a massacre, and my boys ran out 17-3 winners.

…to be continued.

13 June 2011

Malifaux Terrain: part 1

It's been a month or so now since my mobile Malifaux board was built. Bull and I have had half a dozen games on it and it has proven itself invaluable.

So far we've been using a random collection of former 40k terrain – primarily two ruined buildings and a wrecked warehouse, accompanied by lots of bits and barricades. I have to say it's worked well so far, but we're both starting to feel the need to add something more interesting and appropriate.

Necromunda was the game of choice for a long time here, not least because of the three-dimensional aspect of the game – racing to get the best vantage spot for your snipers, using bridges for shortcuts across the board, hiding underneath platforms ready to ambush. For the most part, so far, our games of Malifaux have been largely 2-D – partly to simplify and aid our learning process / partly due to the terrain.

With all this in mind, I've been doing heaps of research, measuring and sketching to try and come up with something that remains modular and portable but fits in with the new board and makes the game truly 3-D (and if it looks absolutely stunning I wouldn't be too upset either!).

As well as plenty of Victorian architecture to take on board, I found a couple of photos of buildings in Oxford – the Bridge of Sighs and the Radcliffe Camera – both of which looked ideal candidates for translation into Malifaux.

Next stage is the first draft scamps and marking up the foamboard.

To be continued…

Read part 2 here

12 June 2011

Aspiring Champion: Tale Of A Tournament Gamer part 1

To put his into context, this diary article was written by myself a good few years ago after my experiences at the 2004 40k GT Final at Warhammer World in Nottingham. I was probably at the peak of my tournament frothing days, where every game I played had to be won and new awesome army builds had to be discovered. Aside from reasonable individual and massive team successes at the Mayhem Tournaments in London, this was about as good as it got for me – before tournament burnout, the break up of our 'Jedi Council' team and the steady decline of my interest and support of all things GW. These were great days, so I thought it worthy of posting.

So what does it feel like preparing for, and participating in the Games Workshop 40k Grand Tournament Final in Nottingham, with the prospect of competing against 149 other hardcore gamers, all of whom had to qualify at the heat stage just to be there?
No pressure then.

Lions, Tigers, Bears, Oh My!
…DT takes his Bezerker Beastmen to war!

I do it every time! It seems no matter how many armies I have, or how little time till match day, I always feel the need to build a new army come tournament time. It doesn’t seem to matter which tournament either - local or national. This invariably results in a series of “x weeks to go” reminders in my diary, sleepless nights, and heaps of stress.

So it’s 29th September 2003, my 31st birthday and the Monday after the GT Heat 1. My Iron Warriors got me through to the final, in a respectable 33rd place. However, they just don’t seem as enjoyable in tournaments as they once were, so I decide a change is in order for the Final. Hey, I’ve got over five months till they’ll be needed, which leaves plenty of time to construct and paint a brand new army, maybe even give George (Dellapina) a run for his money in the Best Army competition.

By Christmas 2003, I have played many games with my proposed army list, but on the construction front there is nothing to be seen. However, there’s still a couple of months which should be sufficient, especially since during the holidays I build two units of Bezerkers, and the Lord model has had all of his converting done.

About a week after New Year I decide to go pure Khorne, and get my free aspiring champions. This now involves more construction as a third Bezerker unit is hastily thrown together. I still have a Bloodthirster, three Rhinos and three Predators to build.

Mid-January my freelance work has gone nuclear and I’m almost working full-time again, restricting the painting time considerably. I have undercoated all the Bezerkers and the Lord, and have begun the tedious task of painting marine armour. By the beginning of February, with a month to go, things are looking bad. Six tanks and a Bloodthirster to build and a whole lot of painting. It is about now that I take the executive decision to take time off work to complete my mammoth task - there is no way I’m bailing out on this one.

The second half of February saw a build and paint frenzy of heroic stature, but with a week and a half to go I still had six tanks to build, a Bloodthirster to paint, plus details to be painted on everything else. Not good, but I ploughed on regardless, ignoring the possibility that I wouldn’t finish in time.

We were leaving for Nottingham on the Friday morning, and I was staying at a friend's place on Thursday night, in addition to working on the Monday, so that meant I only had two and a half days during my final week. The Bezerkers were complete, and the Daemon Prince almost, things were looking up except for my six vehicles, which were built but not even undercoated. I managed to paint the Bloodthirster in a single dedicated day, which left two days for the tanks.

We arrived in Nottingham at George’s house at 3pm on Friday. He had kindly set up his painting table for me as I still had details to finish on my tanks, a minor miracle under the circumstances.

The best part of a tournament by far, in my humble opinion, is not the gaming during the day (no, that can be damned hard work sometimes, even unenjoyable on occasion). The best part of a gaming weekend is the times in between playing, when you’re chatting, joking, having a laugh with your mates, old and new. It’s the drinking beer on Saturday night and playing X-Box till 3am, knowing you’ve got a tough Day 2 ahead. Then, so long as you didn’t get slaughtered in the gaming, and you get home in one piece without crashing the car, you can look back over your weekend with a sense of satisfaction that it was worthwhile and you had a great time.

So did that happen for me this time?

Yes, but not for the reasons I expected…

Tale of a Tournament Gamer part 2

10 June 2011

DIY Malifaux bases

Like many Malifaux players, I've become quite obsessed with the bases upon which my crew are placed. Having used cobblestones from Fenris for my Lady Justice crew I felt in need of something entirely different for Perdita and the Ortegas, who are basically cowboys.

I couldn't find anything that really grabbed my attention. The bases available were either very plain or way too over the top, and none seemed particularly suitable for cowboys.

So I decided to make my own.

Not only that, I thought I'd make them for everyone else too.

I appreciate that resin base companies are a dime a dozen, with designs and production quality to match. My intention is simply this – as I make bespoke bases for my own Malifaux exploits I'll cast up extras for the rest of the community. I don't have some extensive business plan or projections, it's just a way to contribute to the worldwide gaming community and make a little extra cash on the side to pay for the next project. The idea will hopefully expand into gaming terrain, just bits and pieces that I want to build for myself and will make available to others.

So the first project has been 30mm cowboy bases, based upon the typical boardwalk in a wild west town. The boards are heavily weathered, giving the impression of decay or just downright poor craftsmanship of the locals. I decided upon 5 different designs giving a range of options – the plain boards could even be used for pirate miniatures on a decrepit old ship.

I have just completed my first set of test pieces – to see how the whole resin casting thing works. There's bubbles in them and some casts were all over the place, but it has been a fantastic learning experience. I have a meeting later in the month with the guys at Critical Mass Games who have their own resin facility, to pick their brains and get some advice, before getting quailty casts done to put up on Ebay.

I'll keep you all updated in future posts for anyone interested.

Malcontent is the name I've given to this project.

Why Malcontent?

Two reasons:

First of all the word malcontent means 'a person who is dissatisfied' and I wasn't very happy with the terrain options available out there for playing Malifaux. Nothing very interesting or exciting – I would have to make it all myself.

Secondly, it sums up the whole point of the project
– Content for Mal(ifaux) !

Want to read more about this project?

08 June 2011


As a makeshift part 2 to yesterday's image heavy post of Lady Justice and her crew – and also in response to Andy's comment about pics of different angles – I have some more shots of the finished models… including the leaping Death Marshal's face!

There isn't much to see at the back of The Judge so his extra shot was from the side.

And finally …

As you can see the face is nothing to shout about – I didn't spend too much time on it due to the fact that you can only see it if you lie the model on its back!

07 June 2011

Post 100: Lady Justice & Her Crew

I finally got my head down to some painting last week (in preparation for a game!) and whilst I didn't complete my crew I did break the back of it – for now.

As promised I've taken some pics of the completed models. I've stuck to the same brown recipe for the overcoats throughout for coherency. I also used the same denim mix for the two principle characters, whilst the Death Marshals get to wear black jeans.

Lady J's totem – The Scales of Justice – didn't get to wear jeans of any kind, ending up with rather grubby canvas pants.

As mentioned the crew got to travel up to Tunbridge Wells this last weekend and face off against Bull's Viktoria Outcasts. As you can see below the opposition had grown since our last game…

…but so had my Guild crew, with the addition of The Executioner! You wouldn't believe that I had put down approximately 20 watery thin layers of paint on his skin prior to the game, but the effect was so subtle you couldn't see it in normal daylight – back to the drawing board with that one.

Needless to say we had a couple of great games – Bull won the first game 6-0 without making a Strike of any kind and I got so frustrated with the lack of action I charged out in the final turn just to get a wound off Sword Vikki.

The second game involved me defending a Wagon (or rather a large Merc Warjack) on its journey to the centre of the board. There was never going to be a repeat of game one, with plenty of action and Lady J turning the game midway, only for Gun Vikki to destroy the Wagon with her final Action Point and deny me full points: 2-0 win for The Guild.

As you would expect, lots of movie magic moments during both games – not least the photo below. Post your captions in the comments section!

Next Post: A bit of an announcement…