Thursday, 20 December 2012

Revenge of the staypuffed marshmallow man

I have said before on this blog that i am a hobbyist, i am also a father, fiancee and employee.

Now assuming the world does not indeed end in fire and brimstone tomorrow, we all know xmas will be around the corner. For me this means the imminent arrival of my kids. I only get to have them every other xmas as it's a 'gentlemans agreement' between me and the ex. Alas as some of the UK readers will remember, 2 years ago the country was in white out and pretty much crippled. In the end that meant a heart breaking call to my kids to let them know i wouldn't be able to get them for xmas.

Well fast forward back to this year and in 48 hours that little hoard will be here.
As a parent I'm always looking for a little something different to do my kids at xmas and this year is no different.
So with a wry grin i headed into the kitchen to make some home made marshmallows. Oh you can imagine the chaos.

First off i will share the simple recipe.

Winter Spiced Marshmallows

Sunflower oil for greasing the tin.
Greaseproof paper
3 Tablespoons of Icing Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Corn Flower
24grams Powdered Gelatin (dr.oetker do a pack of 6 sachets and each is 12 grams)
1 Teaspoon of ground ginger
1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
350 grams of granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons Of golden syrup
2 Tablespoons of Black treacle.

Preparation
Line a cake tin with greaseproof paper and then grease with sunflower oil.
In a bowl mix together the icing sugar and corn flower. Use about 3/4 of this to dust the inside of the greased paper tin.
Into a saucepan add the Granulated sugar, golden syrup, treacle and about 150ml of water. Stir and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the temperature and simmer for about 20 minutes. If you are high tech you can use a sugar thermometer to test the temp and your looking for 113 degrees cel.
In another bowl mix the gelatin powder, cinnamon and ginger with 100ml of water, mix and leave to one side.

Once you have allowed the sugar mix to simmer for about 15-20 minutes your ready to start getting messy.
Use an electric mixer...a hand whisk will not work unless you have the muscles of Arnie and stamina of a long distance runner.

Put your gelatin mix into the mixing bowl and set your mixer going on its lowest speed. Take the saucepan of sugar mix and slowly pour it into the mixing bowl with the gelatin mix. Leave this whisking for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has tripled in volume. (if your anything like me you will find the 'marshmallow monster that climbs the whisk rather entertaining)

After about 10 minutes its time to get really messy. That gloop in the bowl, yeah the stuff that is more adhesive than 'no more nails'. Well you have to persuade it to leave the mixing bowl and get into the cake tin you have prepared. Good luck as it will stick to the whisk blades and anything you use to pry it out.

Want a tip?

After much trial and error, a lot of mess and on occasion 2 pairs of hands. I discovered that water was the best 'anti adhesive'. Use a large spoon, dip it into water and use it to coax the mixture into the cake tin. To spread the mixture out more evenly simply dampen your hands and use them to spread the mixture out.
Cover the cake tin with some greaseproof paper and leave to set in a cool dry place (not a fridge...or freezer) for about 2 hours.
Then dust a work surface with the remaining corn flower/icing sugar mix  (you did keep it didn't you?). Empty the marshmallow from the cake tin onto the dusted surface and cut into pieces...or eat whole if you so desire little piggywiggy.

For a giggle, have a go at prying the mixture out without using water...the stuff is like...well like no sticky stuff i have ever known.

If the 'winter spiced' idea doesn't seem your thing, then simply replace the ginger/cinnamon with a flavouring of your choice..say lemon, orange, vanilla etc (you can usually get little pots of flavouring) and don't add the black treacle to the sugar mix.

I hope any of you who give this a try, enjoy the fun, mess and yummy results!.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

An expected unexpected journey.

The Hobbit an unexpected journey.

A film that has come to the cinema with high expectations,
Could Peter Jackson and co deliver another series of masterpiece works?
Would it be a poor mans Lord of the rings.

Yesterday like many of us 'geeks' I headed off to the cinema with mixed feelings, but a deep hope Mr.Jackson would deliver again.

At 12:30 i entered the cinema armed with enough popcorn and pepsi to last the 3 hours of geekgasm heaven....or that's what i hoped.

I had read a few comments, some positive, some not so, some pointing out the 'added in bit' (which was added in as there was no female roles), hence my mixed feelings, but overall i was excited.

Its hard to believe its been 9 years almost to the day since we stormed the cinemas for 'Return of the king'. I am one of the people who was blessed to see all 3 Lotr films at the cinema, including seeing 'The Two Towers' with my fellow staffers at GW Milton Keynes.

I firmly believe that as wargamers and fantasy realm fans we owe a lot of our visions and ideas to the words of Tolkien. No matter which one of the films i see, i always have this unhealthy urge to grab some high elves and head off to the warhammer battlefield. But i am trying to temper that urge as I'm working on a dwarf army.

Anyway back on track.

I will not give any spoilers as i don't want to ruin the film for anyone who hasn't seen it.
Did it live upto my expectations. YES
Did the added in 'extra bit' fit the film. YES, and it blended in seamlessly.
Has Peter Jackson delivered another epic. ABSOLUTELY.

My only gripe was that 1 or 2 of the dwarves appeared 'too' human and not dwarvish enough, now that said my own view of dwarves is more Gimli, hairy, bearded axe wielding victor meldrews with a fetish for head removal.
But in truth even with my own personal little gripe i would happily give 'The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey' full marks out of 10. Peter Jackson has delivered another beautiful film and the 12 month wait for the next one seems far too long to this haggard old wardog. I want it now. Guess i may have to watch the hobbit again, purely for a more informed view of course ;)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Invasion

Yes, i am ever so slightly behind the times.
But i have just discovered 'Warhammer Invasion' by Fantasy Flight Games.

Now my previous experience of card games was rummy, black jack and Magic the Gathering.
I have always loved games like Mtg, but to be honest the sheer outlay in cash for it these days is just stupid. I know not everyone will agree, but the idea of laying out hundreds if not thousands of pounds on cards which are for want of a better word 'invalid' after 18 months is a bit of a dampener. None the less i did flirt with mtg during 7th and 12th edition.

So with that background you can imagine my intrigue when i stumbled on the warhammer invasion core box in a toy store in Norwich,
Before buying it i did a bit of research. The reviews were positive, the idea of all the cards being usable was also a big positive. So it was with a little trepidation i jumped in and got the core box for myself and my fiancee Carol.

And what a great decision it was.
The game play is simple in the basics, whilst allowing lots of fun shenanigans. The resource system works nicely and the game itself seems well balanced.

We have both tried all 4 decks in the box and played a good 20 games which have all been highly enjoyable, with no guaranteed winner in any game.

The cards and wonderfully illustrated, the capital boards and card pieces all have a good quality feel to them.

Overall i have to say i have been highly impressed and delighted by this offering from FFG even if i am a couple of years behind the times. Now the quest begins to get the expansion decks as quickly as possible. Gotta catch em all eh...oh ooops wrong game!

If your an old hat to Trading card/living card games then give this a spin, if your new to the system then this game could be a good starting point as it's not overly complex in the mechanics and easy to learn.
I really cant recommend 'Warhammer Invasion' enough.

So what are you waiting for, cry havoc and let loose the paper cuts of war.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Base-x-of-war Product review

Ok so I will freely admit to having been a tad....quiet on here of late. I can assure you I am still alive and the several dozen hitmen you all sent out have failed.
Work however has dismembered my hobbying time a fair bit.

However today i have something worth blogging and saying (go meeee go meee 'does a little shuffle')

What I'm talking about is the order i very happily received from the guys over at Base-x-of-war.
You can find them here
http://www.base-x-of-war.com/index.html

As a heads up and it's fairly obvious from their name, they do bases. But oh they also do more. Alongside basing materials they also do custom movement trays. Now I'm not talking your typical black blob of plastic, I'm talking moulded custom trays that match up to their basing options.

Yes upon seeing them online, i tracked down the company and drooled muchly.

A bit of leg work provided very little information about the company though. With my rather large network of gaming contacts and loooong existence in wargaming, i had expected to hear about this company. But nope, only 1 other person knew of them and they in truth were full of praise.
So with a little trepidation i placed an order for 20 bases from their fantasy Celtic range, a matching 5x5 model movement tray and a 5x5 Desert kings movement tray for my other half. The company tell you to expect dispatch withing 7 days for normal orders, 14 for larger ones of custom heavy sets (yes they will make trays to your own desires). True to their word 7 days after ordering i have the package here in hand.

So here's the nitty gritty bit.

First impressions.
The products have been very securely packaged meaning no chance of damage from those carefree postal type people.

The Bases
All 20 bases are perfect. On first look i thought there were big problems, but after checking the website and images i realised that rather than it being a base problem, it was actually a problem with my eyes and memory. The Celtic bases and done in such a way to represent moss/grass/rubble on sections of the base. This was what i initially thought to be miscasting. My bad!!! I really must face it...I'm getting old.

A snap of some of the bases


The Movement Trays
Having learnt from my previous mistake i looked over the movement trays and once again they were flawless. Colour me impressed.
I used the 20 bases to check the snugness of the fit within the tray and there is just enough freedom to allow easy removal of models without them sliding all over the place.
All in all a well planned shape and execution.

Detail on the front edge of the Celtic tray. The Desert Kings one is equally as good, alas my photo skills are not lol




Fit/snugness test



Flash
Or lack of it. We are all hobbyists, there cant be a person amongst who enjoys the tedious job of removing flash and mould lines. I'm sure a lot of us have experiences with products like finecast and know how this can be further compounded with resin models.
My one reference on the company had said in his glowing comment 'beautifull detail and no mould lines'. The old wargamer in me found this a bit hard to believe. But i take my hat off to him and the guys at Base-x-of-war. There is zero flash and i failed to find a single mould line on any of the bases or movement trays. Bravo....bravo.

Price
This was one of the areas which i initially found to give me cause for concern. I was told as a kid 'if it looks to good to be true, it probably is'.
I have purchase plenty of bases from plenty of different suppliers.
Usually they go for between £5-7 for 5 standard sci-fi/fantasy bases.
I also expected a 25 model strong movement tray to set me back £8-10.
Nope, considering the reliability and quality of the product i would have to say i am once again surprised and impressed.
5 20x20mm bases cost a mere £2.60p and the movement tray a mere £4.
So realistically you could base and provide movement trays for a full fantasy sized army for a relatively cheap price indeed.

Overall
In final thoughts, i would struggle to find a bad or even mildly negative thing to say regarding the price/quality and service from Base-x-of-war.

I would more than happily and readily recommend them to anyone looking for that little 'extra' for their project.
10/10 Across the board.

A very happy, very impressed Demented Wargamer signing off.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Up above the streets and houses rainbows flying...ok i'll stop

So today's post is bought to you by the word 'knackered'. Too little sleep, too much work and nowhere near enough play.

But that wont really stop me from continuing on with my dwarves.

Right now though i have the dilemma....and you can guess it's colour related from the rather silly title.

It revolves solely around clan/hold colours for my dwarf warriors. I really cant get my head around which option.
I'm totally drawn between a brighter and more stand out scheme and the more accepted natural colours.

It's a conundrum and one i will eventually solve. Even if it drives me even more insane than i already am.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

What a difference a day makes.

That about sums it up in a nutshell really.

Today the world looks on as Obama take office as US president again. For me the right choice as Mitt the tit just didn't seem 'credible' and was creepy as hell. Much like our own overfiend here in the UK Cameron.

Today as a football (soccer to the Americans out there) fan i look over my club and sing 'we're not bottom of the league' and pray the small step up a place is the first of a climb to safety.

Today as a hobbyist.
Well that's the most important part for me. In the most unusual turn of events i actually woke up feeling enthused and positive about the hobby for the first time a really long time. Praise be the dwarf king eh.

Last night saw me feverishly trying to dismember my thumb as i cleaned up a box of Dwarf Warriors. God only knows how someone who spends his spare time hobbying, works with a meat slice during the day and appears to be mildly accident prone, still has TWO pose able thumbs....eat that kitties!

Amongst all this positiveness there is a glimmer of insanity. It involves ideas of a rather angry and rage filled dwarf king atop his shield bearers. It's an image i just cant shake and may well try to put into action for my lord choice in the dwarven throng...i said THRONG you filthy minded maggots. (yeah i made that mistake a few times too lol)

Today i have set some aims to achieve.
1)- Undercoat and start painting the dwarf warriors.
2)- Watch Prometheus
3)- Play some Borderlands (yeah the 1st one..I'm a little behind the times)
4)- Drink enough tea to sink a battleship.

1 is about to happen. 2 is a plan for this evening. 4 is well underway and 3 depends on me surgically removing the xbox controller from my fiancees hands. She will deny being addicted to the game. Well its been in the house 3 days. I have a single solitary hours game play...by comparison she is into her 13th as we speak...type...eeeer blog. Oh whatever!

On a final note for now. If you enjoy a good comedy, love a few puns and  lot of bad language. I highly recommend watching the movie 'Paul'. I honestly haven't laughed so much in a long time.


That says it all about the movie

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hammers, War and Anvils. With a dose of eight legged freaks

Today i unveil my grand master scheme to recharge my hobby batteries.

As some of you know i have really been suffering from a lack of drive and enthusiasm lately and i struggled to pin down why.
After talking to some people and a bit of soul searching i think simply put. I am 40k'd out. I may be wrong but it's the most logical explanation for the last 2 years of struggle.

How to address this...game change.
I would have loved to explore Flames of war, warmahoardes, dystopian or 1 of the variety of other games out there. Alas the local community is pretty barren. Maybe when i win the lotto and open a wargames store up here in the grim dark of north Norfolk i can change that. But for now my plans to take over the world must wait. (can i hear brain asking 'what are we gonna do tonight pinky?')

So the choice pretty much makes itself. Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
Up until 1996 i was a pretty avid WFB player and had amassed a might host of the sons of ulthuan. 10,000 points to be precise. But i moved house...and a misunderstanding (read- ignorance that lead to the box labelled 'fragile' being placed under all the heaviest items) lead to that 10k of elves being squashed flatter than snotling under the tread of imperator titan.
Time passes, wounds scab over and a brief foray back with the elves never worked out.
More time passes.
Burn out arrives in my hobby mind and here i am today.

There have been stoic moments and crazy gibbering maniac moments. Neither strong enough to win and only one plausible answer.
A return to the old world with 2 armies.
The first in the shape of a few hundred pounds of muscle, wrapped in armour and coated in beard. Yup i will embark on journey of the dwarves. This is to exercise my need for a challenging and tactical force.
The second..which involves a lot and maniacal cackling and a fair dose of arachnophobia...is a goblin army. Mounted on spiders. Yes i mean EVERYTHING.

So thats the plan, in en effort to rejuvenate my flagging 40k levels I'm taking a break from it and working on WFB. This should work well as carol (my better half and fellow wargamer) is currently working on a tomb kings army.

Well here's hoping anyways.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A custom paint rack

Whilst I'm battling with the inner demons of hobby hell, i thought i would take a chance to share with you my custom paint rack.
Complete it looks like this





Now its far from perfect but it serves the purpose well. But I'm not sharing it just to say 'wooo look at what i got'. I thought i would share a bit of a how too in the hope it helps inspire some of you in need.
So here goes.

Material required
Backing board
upvc conduit (look around at home it usually holds the pipes etc. But don't nick that! the Mrs will be annoyed and its readily available from decent diy stores)
Some sort of adhesive. In the end i used an epoxy glue as it was the only thing that worked.
Sandpaper,
Saw
Tape measure.
Screws/drill etc for mounting to the wall.

Now i admit mines basically my MK1 version and i will replace it when time allows but it certainly services the need and holds well over 150 pots of varying sizes.

The backing board
For this you can use whatever is handy, mine was off the back of an old cabinet. You need something sturdy enough to resist warping and yet light enough to not require a crane to hold up.
Once you have acquired/scavenged said backing board, you need to rough up the surface to provide a bonding surface. Remember to dust off the wood dust.
Next measure the width of the board and make a note of it  (this is to measure the 'shelves)
The next bit is a personal choice.
Measure the paint pots you intend to use and then add a centimetre or 2 (the extra is to allow room for pot removal). On your board make a number of marks this distance apart all the way down both sides. Then draw lines between them. These lines will provide a guide to where the bottom of your upvc racking will sit.

You should end up with something like this


Next up is the fun and naturally...the messy bit



UPVC shelving
The conduit i got was about 24mm deep. The best way of making sure it's suitable for your needs is to take a pot of paint with you and test fit it. I wanted a snug fit so my paints were held securely.



Now take that earlier width measurement of your board and along each section of the conduit mark out that measurement. Then take a hack saw and if you have one a mitre block and get hacking that conduit into conveniently sized pieces.
You should end up with a pile of plastic strips like this (feet are optional). I should probably mention here that the conduit comes in 2 pieces. A small upper cover and the main trunk piece. Its the main trunk piece you need. The cover can be used for scenery projects, reinforcing the back of the board or giant whippy stick fights with your fiancee if you so desire. You can guess which i used it for.


Now each of those sections will be very rough at the ends and you need to sand them smooth again. It will help with the bonding later and also help avoid any nasty accidents as it can be sharp. It also avoids any accidental mess after you have been a good hobbyist and tidied up late.


The next thing to do is adhere the shelves


Adhesives
Now i suggest taking a lesson learnt. Upvc and wood do not like each other and getting the right glue is a must. I suspect a hot glue gun would work but i don't own one. I probably could have afforded one with money wasted on adhesives but hey like i said...trial and error and MK1 shelving.
Substances i can guarantee wont work.
PVA
Super glue
No more nails...it DOES NOT glue anything to anything with surety...even after 24 hours bonding time.



What did work. 2 part epoxy glue.
Now this stuff is dangerous so please take care with it. It has a very short working time so you have to mix just enough for a single shelf at a time.
Don't get it anywhere you don't want it or you will never remove the stuff.


When attaching the shelves to the wood make sure to line up the bottom of the conduit shelves to the drawn lines. This will help to avoid any mishaps resulting in small spaces....nope didnt make any of the here *innocent whistle*
Once again stripey footed fiancee is optional though desirable if only to help hold pieces.





After a good amount of glue, struggle, swearing and general diy stropping you should end up with something like this. I allowed about 24 hours drying time for the adhesive.


Here its mounted to the wall using the normal rule plug, screw, drill type of set up. I hope i don't have to describe that to you. The little squares of plastic were used as the board was thin and the screws would have ripped straight through.
As you can see there is a small amount of sag in the shelves. This is something i hope to address in MK2 version when i finally tackle it. But it doesn't prevent the rack doing its job.


Mine is currently mounted in the space behind my hobby room door. Its perfect really as its a blind spot in the room unless the door is closed.
All that remains is to fill it up with paint and enjoy



As can be seen mine will hold everything from standard current gw pots through to older citadel pots, vallejo paints, tamiya and anything in between.

I hope this does indeed help and inspire some of you and if it does...its a job well done.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

and the world is woe

Oh look it's a post...yup been a tad on the slow side on the blog.....ok ok...there has been more life in the recently deceased.

But today's post is more of a rant slash whine. Or simply put...the woes of a wargamer.

I have been at this hobby for over 25 years. Owned just about every army gw have produced, and tried a few other games along the way. But over the last couple of years i have found myself slowly sliding down a slope of despair.
It all started when i took up Malifaux. I took the game up as the card mechanic was 'new' and the models screamed 'best painting level'. For a long while it provided a refreshing challenge. But it came a cost, i couldn't paint a normal army as i couldn't escape the 'best painting level' mentality. This in turn frustrated the living hell out of me. Trust when i say i have a room full of 'bit armies'. Projects that i started with the best intention and then lost interest in when i couldn't reach the painting level i wanted.

Eventually and after many hours of struggle i broke the habit and can say I'm fairly happy to set an 'army' standard and character standard for my painting.
There is of course a but....
BUT

Somewhere along the way i seem to have become something of a 'jaded wargamer'. By this i mean enthusiasm and interest has waned.  I personally don't know why, whats caused it or how to address it.
I have tried to think of the cause to no avail. No matter how much the start of a project may enthral me, it never goes further than a few weeks at best.

Despair is upon me and i turn to you my fellow gamers and ask your thoughts and advice.

The option to diversify into other games extends only to my fiancee and fellow gamer. The rest of the local community of 40k only.

My commitment to the hobby is something that wont wane even though my project interest does. As for the hobby seriousness.

My lair

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Shock and awe....and a large does of OMFG

So as mentioned in the last post, i have swapped my guard over to Death Korps of Krieg. Rather naively i thought they may even work out cheaper due to artillery pieces. How wrong could i be.

But first let me share the idea and the list.
I wanted the list to represent a small section of a siege battlefront. The infantry fighting through the trenches whilst artillery pounds away at the distant city walls.
So that's the nutshell fluff reason.

Anyways here's the list for the 476th Thunder Devils.

HQ
Company command squad
Senior officer power weapon + plasma pistol
Vox
T/L Heavy Stubber Team
Plasma Gun
Master of Ordnance regimental advisor

Death Korps of Krieg Quartermaster
3 Medicae Servitors

ELITES
2 Heavy Mortars
2 Thudd Guns

TROOPS

1st Platoon
Platoon Command Squad
Officer with Power weapon and las pistol
Vox
Grenade Launcher
Plasma Gun

Squad 1
Watchmaster with las pistol and ccw
Vox
Grenade Launcher

Squad 2
Watchmaster with las pistol and ccw
Vox
Flamer

Heavy Weapon Squad
3 Lascannons


2nd Platoon
Platoon Command Squad
Officer with Power weapon and las pistol
Vox
Grenade Launcher
Plasma Gun

Squad 1
Watchmaster with las pistol and ccw
Vox
Grenade Launcher

Squad 2
Watchmaster with las pistol and ccw
Vox
Flamer

Heavy Weapon Squad
3 Heavy Bolters


3rd Platoon
Platoon Command Squad
Officer with Power weapon and las pistol
Vox
Grenade Launcher
Plasma Gun

Squad 1
Watchmaster with las pistol and ccw
Vox
Grenade Launcher

Squad 2
Watchmaster with las pistol and ccw
Vox
Flamer

Heavy Weapon Squad
3 Autocannons


Engineers Squad
Mole Mortar
Vox
Hades Breaching Drill


FAST ATTACK 

Death Rider squadron
Ride Master Power weapon and las pistol
4 Death Riders


HEAVY SUPPORT

Ordnance Battery
2 Medusa Siege Guns with Bastion Breacher Shells


And that sums it up. Exactly £1001 in cost + the cost of a master of ordnance. I admit i nearly cried at that cost. The first squad has been ordered, though at some point i will need to order an equipment set for the vox's. With that ordered and the heavy stubber team i already own...that's a whole £55 done.
So £55 down only £946 to go lol.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The best laid plans of mouse and men.

Well i should have seen it coming but i didn't. That's life eh.
 I sit here writing this post at 1:18am and thinking its decided. 3 attempts in my hobby life have been made to create a suitable airborne army and 3 attempts have met with failure. This leads me to believe the project is to coin a phrase 'cursed'.
To sum up simply...i just didn't get on with the elysian models and losing an arm didn't help. This is by no means forge worlds fault. Sometimes things just don't go according to plan and all we can do is step back, breath and move on.

Back at the beginning of #forgeworldonly i had to choose between Krieg and Elysia. My desire to do an airborne army took me to elysia when my instincts said Krieg.
Due to the failure I'm falling onto my instincts and switching projects to Death Korps of Krieg. Visually i love the models and have painted a Heavy Stubber team which will be the basis for my first painted model, the colour scheme and my basing style for the army. Lists, fluff etc will follow as i get to grips with the change in direction.

But for now enjoy the Single painted model for my Krieg army.

Building the base up

From the outset i wanted my Krieg to be 'in theatre' in the trenches and getting down to the business of putting xenos and heretics to death. With this in mind i want the heavy weapon team to appear more 'dug in'. So i set about building the base up.

Here you can see the parts needed. The base has been 'muddied up' using wall filler/Spackle and i have made some milliput sand bags to build the position up. Alongside it you can see the bits of the weapon team






Here it is dry fitted together to get the lay out





Bringing it to life

I didn't want a new of the production line look for the krieg. I'm an utter newb to weathering so this should be an interesting challenge.
I started of by painting the base up, i had made some 'tracks' from the weapon being rolled into place (these are barely visible in the above pics).





I then set about painting the crew and weapon and then attacked the whole thing with a tamiya mud weathering stick.
Here in all its glory is the 'almost' finished project. I need to tidy up the base edges and hit it with some varnish. But aside from that its pretty much done.





It is by no means gold demon standard, but overall I'm happy with the look and feel of the team. Feel free to offer praise/critique either here or over on twitter via @ghostwalker0299

Thursday, 18 October 2012

From the ground up.

Yep another day...another bad pun to open the post.

So i have been quiet for a couple of days. That by no means indicates a fall in enthusiasm. More a case of waiting for a delivery from forge world...yet to arrive, plotting ideas, gathering supplies and generally letting the whole idea sweep over me.

So whats today's post all about. Bases. No not those hulking great fortification of the imperium, nor the dodgy pallet with a flag type thing you get at paintball. Not even the respawn area in your latest halo adventure.

I'm talking about that little dis of plastic that your beautifully painted model will eventually stand on and declare as his or her own little piece of the 40k universe.
To be frank i have always been a slacker on bases, i have an industrial sized bag of what i refer to as magic mix and that does it. Jobs a good un.

But taking on this #forgeworldonly project got me thinking about these little bits of plastic that so many of us regard as an annoying after thought. I mean aside from stopping our models from falling over what purpose do they serve. The answer is 'they tell a story'.
No matter what game it is, no matter what period in time. All our wargames take place somewhere and that's what our bases tell us. It can be anything from the tumbled down streets of a hive world, to the snowy tundras of the eastern front. From medieval fields to Victorian steam punk worlds and our bases give us that small part of the story.

The most basic of bases can tell us this, a bit of green flock, a quick lick of grey paint. Each gives a snap shot of the environment of war.
But when your spending a serious amount on a army project, entering a competition, or just being a little mad...a little more detail can go a long way.

A few examples of basics using the written world.
An eldar guardian advances along a flat grey path Well it tells us there is some sort of stone and that's about it.
But add in a few bits and pieces and
An eldar guardian advances along a ruined street littered with rubble and the detritus of war. Suddenly that guardian is more alive, he/she is moving from cover to cover as he scans for the enemy.
Putting it into a visual ideal is just as simple. Take that simple grey plastic disk, add a quick road marking, a few loose stones and some broken up sprue. Go a step further, build up a curb or add in a street light and suddenly its a snap shot of a moment in that guardians life.

It's with these thoughts i headed out to add to my bag of magic mix. All i knew was my Elysians were advancing across an agri world. My normal magic mix would give a hint of this but not enough. I wanted more...shrubs, bushes, tall grass, fences, barbed wire. Ideas flooded as i wandered the local hobbycraft...well local is 25 miles away..but in Norfolk terms that's just around the corner for a wargamer.

The bug had truly bitten and ideas spooled out faster than i cold think until....it hit me. Each squad would tell its own section of the story.
Infantry advancing across the fields of an early autumnal world. There advanced elements moving over boundary fences and barbed wire entanglements. Snipers finding dells and shrubs to make their hides in, heavy weapon squads making use of cover as they advance, mortar teams digging in their emplacements to sight their mortars, the occasion one sat making a brew (kudos to Nigel on that one).

It sounds a little mad i know, but it all ties into the idea of my Elysians being on campaign, i want to give them burgens (backpacks) full of kit, have camo nets and kit strapped unused to vehicles. This is all to tie into the idea that the force has been dropped into enemy territory and tasked with advancing to scout the enemy and secure a forward drop zone for the war ahead.

So how was i going to go about this. Well i have already mentioned the magic mix and i guess i should explain what this is.
It's my own flock mix which is made up of 2 shades of flock, 1 bag of normal static grass and the contents of about 15 tea bags, all shaken to within an inch of its life.

The general effect can be seen on these Tyranids painted by my fiancee Carol @gamesmistress21



This works fine and it's a tried and tested method, but as i mentioned i wanted more. Hell if this proves to be the army for the rest of my life i want to go to town on it and the basics are costing me over £800.

So i set about taking it up a notch. Visited hobbycraft and picked up their 'basic diorama' kit. It had a variety of bits including 2 shades of green flock that were different to my current ones, a yellow 'flowers' flock, some golden tall grass, shrubbery and a variety of bits that were not really useful due to scale. In the normal demented fashion i took the 3 flocks and mixed them into one bag. I don't know why i do this...i think it's the more random effect they give. Then i sat down and stared blankly at the bases.

I stared for a while...whilst in the background 'Band of Brothers' played away on dvd...good inspiration when needed.
Then in a random and pretty much normal approach i started throwing glue and magic mix at the bases, followed by shrubbery and then the second flock mix. This was all finished off with some tall grass and some 'grass tufts' i had acquired from gw. Once dry i re-edged the the bases in black to tidy them up.

This is the end result. I hope it achieves the impression of a fertile agri-world.



Thoughts are welcome as it's a big step up on the most basic of model components.

Friday, 12 October 2012

to coin a phrase

Pun most definitely intended.....

So for me my involvement in this #forgeworldonly project begins at an awkward time as its 1 week in from payday and 3 weeks until my next one. I only get part time hours so what little went into the bank was soon gobbled up on bills and the impending visit to my youngest daughter in London...shouldn't be too painful unless you know the truth...she wants to go to hamleys. Oh my wallet just died a little more.

Why should i mention this first...well as can be gathered...like most people at this time of year..trying to place a forge world order would at first be met with much merriment and then laughter before a final sarcastic 'declined' from the bank. So something needed doing....sell models, plausible. Sell children...an interesting option. Sell fiancee....oh s**t she's reading this lol. Nope my approach..get very enthusiastic and frustrated.

It was at this point my *not for sale* fellow wargamer and fiancee asked how much i wanted to get started on the army. Now this would normally send shivers of terror down the spine of even the most stalwart and dependable of men and it did in me....what was she scheming... thoughts of washing up mountains, diy, even more amorous and adult favours started to play through my deluded mind.....some were interesting...but we wont go there.

But nope none of these were her concern. She just wanted the rather warped and twisted individual who was driving her nuts to stfu. Fair point i suppose.

And it is here my fellow wargamers that my pain and suffering for my hobby began again.

Innocently...if any female can ever be accused of doing anything 'innocently' she pointed out the rainy day fund. (now the rainy day fund is a coffee tin that we put any loose change in ranging from 1p to 20p pieces). My initial reaction was to dismiss the idea...after all it cant be that much can it. But she persisted and after a while i gave in and agreed to heft the tin and count it.
Heft it you ask....this is no ordinary coffee tin. Its the canteen sized one that holds about 750grams of coffee and is the size of a small bucket.
This mere act nearly gave me a hernia, iiiiiinnnnteresting there maybe plausibility in the idea.
The tin was upended and an avalanche capable of burying a small child began.....and carried on and on.
About here i wondered at the sanity of the idea...a sea of copper and silver pooled in front of me. But with resignation i began to count, still dubious of the required target of £40.
Much counting, some giggling and a far bit of ouching about being slumped over the floor like some deranged 'Jacob Marley' followed until

Euuuuureka.

The sum total of coins stood like some madman inspired Aztec maze.
It was here the awful truth dawned.....we had no money bags and in the early morning a small child could easily strike and ruin the aforementioned madmans city.

Now how many of us have those little plastic freezer bags in the house? Because they were our saviour.

Much bagging ensued and with the aid of google to remind us of how much went into a money bag, we set to task and then ran out of freezer bags....why life whhhhhy do you bring so much despair unto me......whhhhy cough cough.

Depositing the remainder (about £15) back into the tin we set about going McScrooge and counting the bags up......£60....yeah you read that right....sixty frickin quid in change. Oh My giddy good god.
It was about here i made some silly tweets late last night and went to bed with thoughts of drop troopers in my head.

A quick dash to the bank for money bags after work followed on and then....pain.
£60 in loose change apparently has a bit of weight to it. Carrying that weight for a twenty minute walk apparently isn't conducive to good back care. I know this now it seems. Ce la vie.

The money went into the bank much to the disgust of the poor clerk and forgeworld are processing my order and here's the proof



I bid you all goodnight and beware...the elysians have begun marching to war

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Insanity...probably

So far i have randomly mused over the inspiration and list of my army and bored you silly with a little intro.

So i thought i would keep this post relatively short and share with you the look I'm going to try and achieve with my Elysian models....Minus the disgusting red beret of course.





Basing ideas are currently up in the air and the biggest question will be. Can this scheme be pulled off on a drop troop model. The answer will be found when i finally get my hands on some.
Opinions on both the viability and basing ideas are more than welcome.


The inspiration

For today's blog post (can you tell I'm killing time until i can actually order some shinies) I want to tell you about the inspiration for me taking up the guardsmens duty.

Like a good number of wargamers out there, i have some military service and it has influenced my life and my view of a lot of things. I spent 6 years with the British Army as a Royal Green Jacket (now a part of 'The Rifles') and spent my time doing everything from a general footslogger through to sharpshooter and mortarman. Trust me mortars were the best bit....but then that's noticeable from their inclusion in the army list.
My regimental or is that mental history is whats pushed me towards guard on so many occasions, but i must confess to having always had a bit of a history soft spot for the second world war. I was that kid that would peer skyward as a spitfire passed over London en-route to a display and get goosebumps. I also had this amazing uncle who was a modeller of all things WW2.

And that's where the inspirations began.

**fuzzy wavy type of flashback animation**

July 6th 1944. D-day Europe.
Cramped into gliders members of the Ox and Bucks regiment silently made their approach for a much overlooked d-day mission.
That mission was for what would become known as Pegasus Bridge. Their mission briefing was simple, take and hold the bridges over the river Orne and Caen canal. It was what was described as a 'coupe de main' operation. Made hours before the d-day landings the troops knew they would be unsupported for long hours and the simplest statement was made to them 'hold until relieved'.
Why was the mission so important?. The bridges were the only crossings that would allow German Panzer reserves a quick route to the landing beaches. If they made it over the bridges they would be free to move onto the beaches and well....history would have been very different.

 **fuzzy wavy type of flashback animation**

But history tells us that they never made it. The mission was a complete success and today it still stands as the finest example of a 'coupe de main' operation. The bridges were taken and held.

That by and large sums up the moment of inspiration for me. If your interested in knowing more theres lots of information out there but the best sources are 'Pegasus Bridge' by Stephen Ambrose (author of band of brothers) or for a more visual and only movie account 'The Longest Day'. 

Combined with that historical image and my own experiences I sat down to write the army list. The basic premise to be of an airborne infantry force that has been deployed and moved in force to take and hold an objective with limited support from air cover. 

An Explanation of choices.

Platoons with 3 infantry sections
This choice harks back to my own service. My rifle platoon was made up of 3 sections. A section in the army is a group of 8 men divided into 2 4 man fire teams. 

Mortar teams
I know in 40k mortars are viewed with some disdain as being useless. This is definitely a place where my choice is for rule of cool over rule of effectiveness. I was a mortarman and i want mortars!

Heavy bolter Fire support teams
Most regiments have access to fire support in the form of General Purpose Machine Guns or GPMG's and the heavy bolter is about as close as you get. They also double up well as 'bren guns' for the WW2 flavour.

Anti Tank Missile Teams

Personally i got to try the 'Milan' missile system and as an anti tank weapon it rocked. This is where the missile teams come in. They also double up as the WW2 piat, a short ranged anti tank weapon that wasn't exactly effective and with my ability to make MISSile launchers miss....nuff said!

Scout vehicles
The Tauros, Venator and sentinels. The Elysian list doesn't allow for any 'armour' per se and for that reason i included these choices. Their real life inspiration, the British Scimitar light tank. 

Vulture Gunships
I needed some sort of heavy firepower and  put a lot of thought into the choice for this. After much ifing and butting i went for the Vultures simply because they had a  two fold appeal, Apache/a10 gunships making strafing runs and also Spitfires!....please forgive me for making silly noises when using these. 

I could easily have gone with the krieg list from Forge World and i must admit to being tempted by the look, but the feel was most definitely more WW1 than current/WW2

So that's the if/but/why of my choices and the general inspiration for the army. Fluff wise I'm writing it but in short it will mostly be derived from the aforementioned Pegasus Bridge episode.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

#forgeworldonly Army List

2 Posts in one day woooooo nelly. I wouldn't expect it to keep up at this rate though!

So i have finished my Elysian list. It's styled around a recon force that advances into enemy territory on foot with limited scouting/air support. There will be fluff reasons behind this as i believe more in theme than effectiveness. Though i do hope that it wont be a 'terminal lose' list.

But here it is in all its 1750pts glory...well 1749 but that's splitting hairs.

Elysian 6th 1750PTS

HQ   
                        
Company CommandPlatoon
Officer with CCW/Bolt Pistol
Vox Caster
Missile Launcher
Plasma Gun
                           

TROOPS

1st Platoon Command squad                      
Officer with CCW/Bolt istol
Grenade Launcher
Vox Caster                       

1st Platoon 1st section                   
Sergeant with Auxiliary Grenade Launcher
Grenade Launcher
Demo Charge
Vox Caster

1st Platoon 2nd section                 
Sergeant with Auxiliary Grenade Launcher
Grenade Launcher
Demo Charge
Vox Caster

1st Platoon 2nd section                   
Sergeant with Auxiliary Grenade Launcher
Grenade Launcher
Demo Charge
Vox Caster

1ST Platoon Mortar Section               
3 Mortar Teams

1st Platoon Fire Support Section           
3 Heavy Bolter Teams

1st Platoon Sniper Team                   
3 Sniper Teams

1st Platoon Drop Sentinel                   
Heavy Bolter, HK Missile   

           

2nd Platoon Command Squad
Officer with CCW/Bolt Pistol
Grenade Launcher
Vox Caster                       


2nd Platoon 1st Section                   
Sergeant with Auxiliary Grenade Launcher
Grenade Launcher
Demo Charge
Vox Caster

2nd Platoon 2nd Section                   
Sergeant with Auxilary Grenade Launcher
Grenade Launcher
Demo Charge
Vox Caster

2nd Platoon 3rd Section                  
Sergeant with Auxilary Grenade Launcher
Grenade Launcher
Demo Charge
Vox Caster

2nd Platoon Mortar Section               
3 Mortar Teams

2nd Platoon Anti tank Section               
3 Missile Launcher Teams

2nd Platoon Sniper Team                   
3 Sniper Teams                       

2nd Platoon Drop Sentinel                  
Heavy Bolter, HK Missile

FAST ATTACK

1st Recon Section                   
2 Tauros with Grenade Launchers

2nd Recon Section                   
2 Venators


HEAVY SUPPORT

Vulture Gunship                       
T/L Punisher cannons

Vulture Gunship                       
T/L Punisher cannons


It's a list built with a diversity of opponents in mind. Against hoard armies it has a lot of fire power to thin them out quickly, against MEQ armies it has weight of fire to rattle up kills. I know it will struggle against heavy armour but for the mean time thats a risk i will take. Though with a view to flexibility in future list builds, all weapons on vehicles will be magnetised.

Fluff will follow along with an explanation of the inspiration as well. But for now alas....work beckons. Yukk but somethings got to pay for this project.

A new beginning

Oh so where to start...
Hopefully the blog name tells you i really don't take myself seriously. But i guess i should go back to the beginning.
There was a mummy and a daddy and they... well yeah you probably know that bit already.

Well the basics. About 25 years ago i wandered into Games Workshop Shepherd Bush and my fate was sealed. I became a hobbyist. In those years i have had a lot of highs and lows within the hobby and life. I wont bore you with the life stuff because lets face it....oi wake up and stop yawning... <<that happens.

But hobby-wise i have played everything from 40k - malifaux - flames of war. Loved some games, hated others and seen a lot fall by the wayside and this blog will be about bits and pieces of those game, but mostly it will be about my #forgeworldonly project.
Over the years i have been an avid Space Wolf player, i have flitted with guard, eldar, nids, orks...ah sod it...just about every race known to the imperium. My biggest achievement? The entire 1st company of the Dark angels. Yup all 100 terminators, characters, 10 dreads, raiders and even a thunderhawk.
I think the Wolf inside got a bit miffed as those girls in skirts got exiled to e-bay.
I guess the easiest thing to bring to the table though is why?
Well it all started over the weekend. I was happily browsing the Chaos codex and had paid a visit to twitter to gauge reactions. That was my first mistake. Noticing the hash tag #forgeworldonly was my second. My biggest failing. Giving into temptation and getting involved.
 Now I'm a self confessed hobby butterfly (i flit from project to project and never settle) i also suffer ADOS (attention deficit oh shiny) syndrome (this i blame entirely on her majesties armed services and my 6 years as a Royal Green Jacket light infantryman). So why get involved.

In truth it was the idea to create something different and unique. An army made entirely of Forge world models with nothing from other sources (unless FW don't make it).
The cost...well that's a big ouch as to be expected from ForgeWorld, but this is where one of the 'tweaks' of the project come on.
You can only purchase one unit at a time, it has to be fully painted and based before you can purchase another. This little nugget makes the idea manageable for those non-lotto winners amongst us.
It also addresses a problem that's surfaced in my hobby life of late.
A couple of years back i got into Malifaux (a real painters wargame) and stepped my painting up to make everything as good as it could be. That's fine over 5 or 6 model crews, but it doesn't work on an army wide basis. It's taken me a year and a lot of failed projects to get that into my Demented Wargame mind. But at last it's sunk in. There is a happy medium and i plan to exploit that on this army.

So that's the basics of what this blog will be about. The ramblings, musings, trials and successes of an ageing wargamer trying to make ends meet whilst developing a good looking and functional army.





Oh...what army i hear you ask.
Well that's easy. Elysian drop troopers. Details will follow.