Monday 20 May 2013

Apocalypse Now! (Well Two Weeks Ago...) Part 2

OK, so I've set the scene. I arrive and find Adam has been extremely busy building an impressive gaming table. So how did the actual gaming go? Let's see...

As I said in the previous post we played "Song of Blades and Heroes: Fear and Faith". The gaming system that was meant to be really fast so we though we could get quite a few different games game took 6 hours.....I think we were playing it wrong. We still had lots of fun mind you and that's all that counts right?!

Let me furnish you with a little back story to the game we played....

"A group of survivors have been trailing through the wasted dessert for months. No living thing can be seen for miles around. Food, water and supplies are running dangerously low and the group are still carrying some wounded after the last encounter with the wastes denizens. On the horizon the forward spotter sees the hazy outline of some city ruins. Seeking shelter from the elements, other remnants of civilisation and food the beleaguered group make there way closer to the desolate looking city.

Months in the waste have not been kind to the survivors however and the groups most able bodied decide that they will clear the outskirts of the city of any threats before bringing there women, children and wounded any closer. Although seemingly quiet the trip could be fraught with danger, especially if the group never make it out of the city. The rest of the survivors would die in the wastes without any protection, yet without supplies it is only a matter of time till the elements take them one by one. This is their last chance...."

OK, so there you go. I chose to play the survivors and Adam chose to play the inhabitants of the city outskirts. Lets see how it turned out...

 The Survivors move into the City Outskirts via the Southern Road.

They Promptly take cover behind the barricades to survey the road ahead.

Calamity struck as a horde of zombies spawn to the back and sides of the group!

The group take up firing positions and begin to pin down the horde, blowing great swathes of flesh from their emaciated frames. Only a couple fail to get back up again, trailing their destroyed limbs behind them.

Eventually the unrelenting horde catch up with the survivors and tear one of the stragglers limb from limb.

As the group reel from the horrific death of their comrade a monster of a man, carrying a huge meat cleaver and  wearing a pig skin mask leaps from the wreck age and cleaves two more of the survivors in two.

In terror the remaining survivors make for the warehouse, hoping to create a fortified defence line amid the palates and rusting machinery. They manage a unified and ordered retreat, killing swathes of zombies as they arrive.

A single member of the group opts to stay back and hold the horde at bay while the rest of his brothers escape. He later managed to join back up with them in the warehouse after killing a couple of shambling corpses with his machine gun.

 The group survey the inside of the warehouse with unease. Whatever is inside couldn't possibly be worse than what was chasing them. Could it?

 After hearing a pounding coming from the back door the leader of the group investigates. The door bursts in and a horde of zombies pour into the back of the warehouse. Before he could even react the leader was torn asunder. His guardian, toting a huge assault rifle, turned round and blew them into nothing but chunks, all the while screaming his rage and loss to the heavens!

 Things had gone from bad to worse in the warehouse, and now the psycho was eyeing up his next victim; The devastating assault rifle survivor...

 The psycho charges the assault rifle survivor, dodging a hale of bullets and is promptly beaten to death with the stock of the survivors rifle. The survivor spits on the huge foes corpse and takes aim at the zombies pouring into the front of the warehouse.

 Despite their horrific losses the survivors continue to hold the warehouse. Piles of zombie corpses litter the steps leading into the front and the back rooms are choked in body parts.

 As he blows more and more zombies apart he neglects to pay attention to a zombie creeping in behind him and he eventually succumbs to the horde. 

 After the loss of their most valiant protector the remaining survivors lose their nerve and flee from the city outskirts. They rejoined the rest of their women, children and wounded in defeat. Maybe it won't be too long until they find another settlement....

 And there you have it! That's what happened. Looking at the photo's the game seems really one sided but for long portions of the game all I was doing was blowing zombies to pieces. Adam took a lot of models off the board but they were incredibly hard to kill (again?)! Right until the very end we had no idea who was going to win and the agony of it is os that Adam only had two zombies left by the end which I would have easily killed if my remaining survivors hadn't failed their fear test. Oh well, as is life I suppose.....

The entire game was amazing though. Really nail biting. I would heartily recommend the rules to anyone looking for a really tightly driven, narrative based game system. Lots of fun!

I hope you enjoyed my mini battle report anyway (and my artistically edited photos ;P)!



Saturday 18 May 2013

Apocalypse Now! (Well, Two Weeks Ago....)

Hello Followers!

Wow, it feels like it's been ages since I posted something! In fact it's been ages since I have done anything hobby related. You see, I've been away with work for 3 whole weeks which has left me with some serious hobby withdrawal! (As well as missing my GF I suppose ;P) 

There was however one hobby port in the storm of regular life and that was a visit to Adam from ilikepaintinglead. I utilised one of my weekends off to make the long, arduous trek (about 35 minutes) to Reading for a weekend of gaming, beer and free pizza (expenses FTW). So what did we play I hear you ask? We played a war band based skirmish game called "A Song of Blades and Heroes: Fear and Faith" and it was awesome! The system for the game is super easy, quick to pick up but still has a lot of tactical depth. Anyone fancying something slightly different should definitely give this a go.

Before I get on to the pictures of a short battle report I want to take the time to thank Adam for the huge effort he put into the preparation of this game. Just look at what he built for us to play on...

The City Outskirts in all it's glory!


Warehouse District

Trailer Park

Residential District

Ferocious local Wildlife (AKA Gill)

Walking Dead

 The Bitter End

How damn cool is that?!!! He totally didn't tell me he'd done it either! I just arrived and it was just waiting for me like some mythic Nerdvanna that you never think actually exists outside of conventions. So once again, thanks so much dude. If you guys are interested about how he made it or just to look at how awesomely he paints then pop over to his blog via this helpful little link.

For now I'll just leave it at that but I'm going to post up a battle report in the next couple of days so if you want to see me pop some zombies in the head then I'll see you soon!



Thursday 18 April 2013

Let's Get Those Synapses Firing!

Here's the next update in the saga of my (as of yet un-named) tendril of the Great Devourer.

I have actually finally managed to get some sort of leadership painted up and finished so the ravening swarms aren't wandering around aimlessly. Not an HQ yet but the awesome Tyranid Warriors themselves. So at least when I play I'll have some synapse coverage. Granted all of my models will be bunched together to take advantage of it but whatever.

Here's a few pics first off...

These guys were really interesting to do for a few reasons. Firstly I had to think in gaming terms how I would use them. This led me to thinking of multiple weapon variations and battlefield roles. So, with a can do attitude, some clippers and green stuff I set about magnetising the bodies and arms of the 3 warriors. Let me tell you, this was no easy task and it wasn't till the last one that I really got it nailed. Plus my magnets are too big.....not to worry, I found ways around it. Let me just say that liquid green stuff is my new best friend! :D

If anyone was interested I'll do a post about it. I may anyway just to actually remind myself how I did it for future broods!

The second reason was that they were a challenge. I had only tried my paint scheme out on smaller 'nids and wasn't sure how it would translate to a slightly bigger one. I think it worked all right but I quickly learned that I need a bigger dry brush. The one I have is great for 28mm models but anything bigger and you can really see the individual brush strokes. More expense it seems but it'll be worth it in the long run.

I also really enjoyed adding a few more spot colours on these guys. A little feedback would be useful though; As far as the Devourers go do you guys think I should paint the ribs on the barrel of the guns in the same green colour as the tubing or leave as is (an irritated flesh look)? I couldn't decide so went the easier route but I'm willing to take suggestions.

Almost forgot as well, This was the first time I've used cork on a models base. Bloody love it! I think it just adds that little bit of extra detail that makes bigger models look more dynamic. If anyone hasn't tried this out before, do it! You totally won't regret it.

All in all a success and a push to try an even bigger nid next. He has actually already arrived and is waiting on my workbench as we speak. This one is going to be a lot of fun. I'd say it's probably the biggest conversion job I've taken on yet. Wish me luck!

I'll leave you with a few more pics of the swarm. 31 beasties and counting...

As always, thanks for looking.


Tuesday 9 April 2013

Rend! Maim! KILL!


So the swarm grows. Hot on the heels of the rippers I did earlier in the week I've managed to finish up a brood of Genestealers. Before I talk about the painting of them I'll let you take a look at some group shots...

These guys were weird to paint. I had quite a few changes of emotion toward how they were going. At first it seemed that everything I did just wasn't going right; the spots didn't look right on the carapace, the red was too dark, the back plates of the carapace looked weird etc etc. However as the whole thing came to together everything just kind of clicked. I think that's how you know a paint scheme is working when it just doesn't look right until all the components come together at the end.

One of the toughest parts was deciding what to do with the entire carapace. Due to the nature of the plates on Genestealers I couldn't do the same pattern I've used on my other units so far so I settled on a combination of the skin and plate design. I painted stripes on the spine and spots on the carapace but then darkened it with a wash of Agrax Earthshade / Carroburg Crimson. I think the final effect really works, especially the really bright spinal column down their backs.

The spot colour of green returns with these guys which adds that little bit of 'alien' to my natural colour scheme.

So the swarm stands at 28 models now (more if you count individual rippers but that would be ridiculous...). 28 models in less than a month for me is very speedy, especially since I was away for two weeks of them! Here's the whole lot...

I'm also still really enjoying the models. They're so different from anything I've painted before and my favourite type of painting is fast with solid results at the end which, I hope you'll agree, I think I'm actually managing :) Here's some more 'arty' shots of the swarm in my ruins display board...

So I've been painting grunts quite a lot at the minute. I think it's about time I got some of my Synapse Creatures up and painted, don't you ?! ;)

Cheers for looking!


Wednesday 3 April 2013

Devour! Harvest! FEED!

My apologies for the longer than usual break between posts. I've been away with work for the last couple of weeks and have been chomping at the bit to get on with my Tyranid swarm the whole time. Another case of real life getting in the way I'm afraid. I have however managed to add an integral part to the old devourer and that is a swarm of Rippers!

Here they are...

As you can see the colour scheme is exactly the same as the scheme I started with the hormagaunts. I want to keep the entire swarm looking very uniform and add points of interest with the bigger monsters. I have to admit, I'm still in the process of gearing myself up to tackle some of the bigger ones....intimidating much?!

I managed to get 24 of the little beasties off of eBay for a measly £7. I realise you get them free on most of the Tyranid sprues but I figure I'll use those as decoration for the bases on the bigger beasts. 

I split them up so that there are 3 rippers on each base. I chose 3 for a few reasons; Firstly I wanted as many bases as I could scramble together. In gaming terms 8 of these thing s are super cheap and could really bog a unit down for a decent length of time. Secondly the bases have 3 wounds. 3 wounds = 3 rippers in my book ;). And lastly the extra space I gained allowed me to build slightly more scenic bases...

I wanted the bases on these guys to look quite swamp like. It's actually really tough to see in the pics but the lowest regions of the base are coated in a gloss varnish that pools in the recesses which makes the rocks look like they are rising out of a swamp! I've also added little bits of tank pieces, marine helmets, shoulder pads etc to break up the brown a little.

Here are some pics of the swarm as it stands...

I've got some Genestealers arriving today (again from eBay, again stupidly cheap) so I should have those done by the end of the week with any luck. I plan on doing them a little lighter in tone, I'm not sure yet...

So what do you think of the rippers? I know they aren't an incredibly interesting little unit but in the fluff surrounding tyranids the little blighters are essential!

Cheers for looking!

Tuesday 19 March 2013

"Come on you apes! You want to live forever?!"

Right, time for another project me thinks!

I haven't got a great track record of actually getting projects finished I have to say but I'm going to take this one slow. I'm going to be building, over the next few months a Tyranid Horde. I've wanted to start playing 40k again for some time now and I figure that I have to start out with an army right? I wanted something that I could paint relatively quickly and easily but that would also have an impact on the table. It's all well and good painting something easy but you've got to have fun with it too! Tyranids just seemed to fit the bill in every regard. I suppose the only difference is that I chose a horde army.....lot's of models......they'll look cool though, right?!

The first thing I had to decide on was a paint scheme. My first inkling was to go for a corrupted look. Almost as if the hive world had been infected by a Nurgle plague. This would have given me the opportunity to right some interesting fluff too. However I did away with this idea once I saw these guys...

I loved the way this guy used inks to get a very 'raw' look to the exposed areas and the mouths. As well as his use of nature inspired camo schemes for the carapace. As luck had it he also posted up a tutorial. I didn't have the same colours so I used his tutorial as a basis and this is what I came up with...

I wanted a darker, contrasting carapace than the Necro Tales Nids. I used the age old 3 highlight feather which actually turned out OK. It;s a little less convincing up close but as a unit it looks wicked.

I added some subtle variation to the tan skin tone using Carroburg Crimson, severely watered down. Multiple layers allowed me to blend this in with the main skin tone pretty effectively.

I decided to use a really bright spot colour for them as well. bright green will allow me to do some quite cool OSL effects down the line and also adds a little more of an 'alien' feel to a paint scheme that is quite grounded in nature for the most part.

I used Agrax Earthshade to add dots on the skin to make it a little more interesting. It also helped mask any areas where the red shading didn't properly blend. I love little tricks that hide the fact that I can't  actually paint that neatly!

Allin all these guys probably took about 8 hours or so. Which for me is super fast for 12 models. If I could keep up that pace for the entire army I would be happy!

So how did I do. Is this paint scheme a keeper? I suppose I'll have to do some of the bigger models in the same vein to get a proper representation but if I'm honest, I'm really happy with how the y turned out. Some Genestealers next I think....


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