Wednesday 30 January 2019

Parked Under A Lampost

Just a bike parked under a lampost. It's an old metal ork warbike, which was missing a lot of bits. I wanted some more terrain for my Necromunda guys to hide behind, and I think this works as a small wall while looking suitably moody.

Sunday 27 January 2019

Never Get Off The Boat - My First Carnivale Game

Yesterday, I headed down to Southampton to finally give the new version of Carnivale a trial. James F hosted and ran the games, and Chris, Andy, James P and I were the players.

The first games were quick skirmishes to learn the basic rules, using a smaller table and the models and cards from the 2-player starter set. Everything was surprisingly simple to understand, with the exception of the jumping rules, which require models to jump onto a small obstacle to "chain-jump" onto a larger one. I can see why this is encouraged: getting a height advantage is very useful in Carnivale, and the leaping around helps distinguish it from other skirmish games. However, it takes a bit of getting used to.

That said, I tend to find new rulesets hard to grasp at first, and I was surprised how quickly I took to the Carnivale system. Everything seemed to make logical sense. Once we'd all had a go - and Chris had had to go home and had been replaced by Andy - we played a three-way battle on a lavish 3' by 3' board.

The field of "honour", noted for its giant vats of tea

The aim of the mission was to capture boxes of military supplies left around the area. Being in the vicinity of a box gave models an advantage in combat to represent the quality of the looted gear. The Guild (Andy), the Rashaar (James P) and the Patricians (me) approached from different table edges and chaos broke out.

Andy sent a gang of enraged citizens to grab the first box.

"Nick it, lads!"

The Patricians, enraged by drink and the existence of poor people, advanced to meet them.

The sewer comes with them!

Meanwhile, a noble lady and her butler tried to outflank the battle in a gondola.

"Stop singing about Cornettos and row, you horrid little pauper!"

The two human groups met in the centre of the board and shots were exchanged. But they hadn't expected the deadly frog-people. Nobody expects the deadly frog-people.

A clash of classes as a mob of citizens rushes towards the Patricians

Pretty soon all the sides were being thinned down. Highlights included James P's continual attempts to throw everyone into the canal, Andy's Capodecime leaping across the rooftops like a cross between Batman and a kangaroo, and the maid of my noble house wading in armed with a frying pan, which turned out to be the most effective weapon in the game, thanks to its ability to stun opponents (clang!).

James' Rashaar mage takes a swim

At the end of the day, the Patricians won, thanks to some last-minute objective-snatching. The various combatants retired to their lairs to enjoy their stolen consignments of military-specification frying pans.

All in all, I really enjoyed the game and was impressed by the system. All three sides have good solid rules, and subtle aspects that it will take a while for the players to master. Carnivale manages to be both complex and pretty intuitive, and I'm looking forward to doing battle in Venice again (but not in the canal).


- Cards for all factions, not just the Guild and Rashaar
- An expansion dealing with the canals of Birmingham.

Monday 21 January 2019

More Yokels, More Venice!

This week, I finished off a few more yokels for the yokel horde. The man on the far right is called "agitator", and I think the other two are "militia". It's not often that models remind me of real people, but from left to right, they look rather like Yul Brynner, Toby from The West Wing, and the bloke from The Big Lebowski.

Moving forward a few years in miniature sculpting, I painted the Foreign Spy model from the old lead Carnivale miniatures. I did a small conversion, cutting and turning her head so that she was looking the same direction as her gun was pointing. I can see why the original model looks in a different direction (for added shiftiness), but I prefer the current pose. I had to resculpt some of her hair, which wasn't easy, but I'm glad I did it.

And here's the entire crew, ready to do battle. I think they've come out well and I really like the colour scheme. Hmm, now I look closer, I really want to touch up that man's britches, but isn't that always the way?

Sunday 13 January 2019

Sorcerer of Tzeentch

A while back, I won an ebay auction for a load of "broken" Privateer Press miniatures. I don't know much about their stuff, but I was able to build this guy out of one of the models.

This week, I had a go at one of the others. It is, apparently, the body, legs and cloak of a "warpborn alpha", which seems to be a sort of werewolf:

Not painted by me.

I added a pair of arms from a Vampire Counts Crypt Horror (the big ghoul things) and a head from a Lizardmen pteradon. The base was one of those nice Mantic dungeon ones but, because it looked a bit empty, I gave the creature an altar taken from a Warhammer Chaos Warshrine.

It looked a lot like a demon of Tzeentch, so I suppose it's one of Tzeentch's sorcerers. In order to reflect that, I painted the model a lot of bright colours, along with some blending to suggest one aspect turning into another.

Nice to paint something bright for once!

I even attempted a bit of blending on his cloak, which remains much harder than it looks.

After all that excitement, I might go back to something more normal!

Tuesday 8 January 2019

Jabberwocky and Castle Design

As promised, I've been repairing an old Warhammer tower I bought about 15 years ago. It's called Deathknell Watch, which is not to be confused with Deadskull Mance, Dreadskull Tor or Deathydeathyskullskull Boulevard (or indeed anywhere else I just made up). But more of that in a moment.

As I was looking at Empire buildings online, I realised what it is that Warhammer towns remind me of: not just the paintings of Hieroymous Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, but the less refined art of Terry Gilliam's 1978 film, Jabberwocky.

Jabberwocky is not a classic. Indeed, sometimes I wonder what induced me to watch this film and its stark naked princess. It's pretty wonky, the pacing is all over the place and a lot of it just doesn't work despite all the fart jokes, like watching a stand up routine by Geoffrey Chaucer. However, it looks sort-of-right for the Empire and spot on for Brettonia, by virtue of being really, deeply sordid.

The picture below, for instance, might as well be sold as a perfume called L'Essence de Warhammer. A crazed preacher leads some men with banners while a half-naked zealot runs about in front of a giant cog. What more do you need, except a skull the size of Berkshire?

I mean, just look at the horns on these two:

And this rat-seller is Mordheim personified. Except that he's smiling.

Anyway, back to business.

I got this Deathknell Watch thing ages ago. This is how it's supposed to look:

As you can see, there's some really nice sculpting and design there, and some dumb massive skulls (and some marginally less dumb little skulls). I dug this thing out and decided to have a go at de-skulling it, with the help of plasticard, green stuff, a hacksaw and the local A&E.

Halfway through, I decided to add an entirely new bit sticking out the side. Why not? I think that's how people in Warhammer build houses, after all.

Having constructed this rickety thing, I painted it and tried to make some sort of sense of it.

Dwarf to scale, as much as they ever are.

It is ridiculous and unfeasible, but it looks right in the company of my other ridiculous and unfeasible buildings. Which makes me think that I really ought to make the Jabberwock. I've got an old conversion somewhere. Perhaps it's time for a re-paint...

Friday 4 January 2019

Ruined Buildings for Mordheim and Frostgrave

I Since my last post here, my internet browser (Firefox) went mental and I had to start using another one (Chrome). For no clear reason, Chrome won't let me post comments on other people's blogs, which is a shame as there's some excellent stuff going on out there. Hats off in particular to the insane business going on HERE, which is pretty much exactly what I got into wargaming for.

Anyway. I've always liked twiddly gothic architecture, probably ever since I read the Gormenghast books (which, I suspect, were a major influence on early GW designs). Back in 8th edition Warhammer, GW made some amazing Empire-themed buildings, including this weirdness:

I find the design choices and the elements that make a building part of the Empire, the Skaven or whatever very interesting. I decided to make a couple of ruined houses for my Frostgrave terrain. You can read more about this topic by someone competent HERE.

The starting point was a set of papier-mache treasure chests I found in a local art shop. I suppose they're meant for children to customise - well, sod that because they're becoming ruined shells in a fantasy apocalypse. Ruthlessly shoving infants aside, I snatched the last boxes from a sobbing urchin and strode back to my lair to build them (I exaggerate: the shop was empty).

This is actually for a Necromunda house, but you get the idea.

I hacked the walls open and used some of the hacked-off bits to build the walls up to make wrecked upper storeys. On the barn, I used little card squares to make roof-tiles and just stuck them on in rows, very slowly. Upper floors and ledges were added with the help of coffee stirrers kindly provided by Costa. I'm sure I looked entirely normal, stuffing handfuls of them into my coat.

The buildings were sprayed white, painted bone and washed with brown and darker bone shades. The larger house received a floor made from some very thin plywood I got at the art shop, presumably for dolls' houses. Dirt and trash was added at the edges of the buildings with grit washed black and highlighted grey-brown. It would have been realistic to heap refuse in the centre, but I only added a few bits so that models could move around.

When making buildings, it seems that detailing is key. The more time you've got, the better. I added a dodgy resin barrel and a wonky wooden loft to the barn, and a nice Mantic door to the house. I think I might go back later and add some more bits and pieces.

The next terrain project will be to do up an old stone tower I've got lying around. It's going to be quite a task - the thing is covered in tacky skulls. But I've got plans, and a huge number of coffee stirrers...