Thursday, April 28, 2011

Orc Warriors update

Just a quick note about my Orc Warriors so you all don't think i'm ignoring you. I have gotten the base green orc flesh color done. I consists of a dark green base (VGC 72028), sick green mid-tome highlight (VGC 72029), followed by Thraka Green citadel wash, and then a highlight of goblin green (VGC 72030). The next phase will be the brown base coat for the wood, skull and leather bits. There is a lot of area that needs to be covered and at the advice of a friend I am using a #2 brush but it is still very slow going! Once I get past the base coat the next few colors go really quick but the base coats are agonizingly slow!!! Just a couple sample pictures...

Can't really see much at this point as there is still a lot of black but they look pretty good in person!
There you can get a better idea of what they look like.

As a final note I have entered a friendly painting challenge. It was started by two of my buddies back in Portland, OR on a local gaming forum, called Roberts Guild. It starts on May 1st and ends of May 31st. We have to give weekly updates and the whole miniature right down to the flocking on the base must be completed by the deadline. There is nothing on the line (at least for me) as it is a friendly (complete with trash talking :D) competition. There were some side bets made last month about who would not complete this that or the other thing so this month I decided to throw my hat in the ring. Here is my entry which I will start on the 1st. This won't take me to long and then I will be right back to finishing my Orc Warriors, or at least that's the theory anyway.

The Orc General on Wyvern is my Roberts Guild May Paint Challenge Entry. The Malifaux figure is there only for scale purposes and will not be tackled until later.

Monday, April 18, 2011

5th Corp Campaign Game Board: D-Day - Omaha Beach, Dog Red Sector Part One

So here we begin the journey that my Dad and I started down a few months back to build a WWII themed game board. I have let my father make many of the decisions on this project as it was originally his idea and he is mostly doing it to spend time with me and my hobby. He is not a gamer but loves history so my job is to assist him as much as possible while considering the gaming aspects of the board and help him make decisions that make the board playable while still reflecting history as much as is possible.

As I mentioned in the last post on this topic we will be following 5th Corp on Omaha Beach up the D-3 Exit in Dog Red Sector up to St. Laurent-Sur-Mer (passing Les Moulins). Some progress has been made on the table itself but I will cover that a bit later. Right now I want to talk about the table design. Like I said before there is a lot of conflicting information regarding what was were, not only in regards to units but the defenses as well. When I designed the map we will be using I tried to incorporate as many as the elements of the defense as possible without over crowding the table (mostly I am talking about the bigger elements like bunkers). There is still a lot going on to the table though. Here is the map that inspired my own...

The map from the German perspective. The legend is in French and not all the elements could be identified but it gives you an idea of what a daunting task taking the beach was for 5th Corp.

And my version from the American perspective. You can see that there is significantly less to the Resistance Nests here.
We have already started on creating the bluffs on the table getting the basic shapes and elevations worked out so now its about shaping the edges making them cleaner and working on the roads and pathways that run inland from the beach. The hill on the right in my drawing is WN68 which was positioned on a very steep bluff while the other bluff was more manageable. Apparently the fire from the defenders was so intense the Americans were forced to assault the position at WN66 (on the left) directly up the hill. Finally on to the part you have all been waiting for... the pictures!!!

The beach area is on the bottom right and will rise up at to a shale embankment where the seawall will be located. In the background you can see the first section of the bluffs. In all the elevation will raise from sea level up to 40m.
The bluff are nearly complete rising up from 10m to 40m in all. Each elevation change is 10 meters and will be represented by a section of 2" foam. Things are starting to take shape now!

Damn this is going to look sweet when its finished!

A daunting task awaits the American invaders! [pic taken from beach level]
The road to St. Laurent shall be costly for 5th Corp. At least it looks that way from this vantage point.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Army 5th Corp in Europe

Company E, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division disembark from an LCVP assaulting Omaha Beach Easy Red Sector on the morning of June 6, 1944. Photograph by Robert F. Sargent.
 So in a previous post I mentioned that my Father and I wanted to build a WWII series of game boards that took the Allies in Europe from Normandy all the way to the invasion of Germany. The plan is to follow the exploits of the American Army 5th Corp in Europe. What battles and actions we are going to cover remains to be seen but there are a number of options including actions of the 1st Infantry Division, 29th Infantry Division, 2nd Armored Division, 82nd Airborne Division which were all assigned to 5th Corp.

5th Corps Shoulder Patch
So like I was saying many, many of options. Some of these campaigns and operations I am unfamiliar with so that in itself will require some research on my part. Personally I am up for the challenge and if anyone has some suggested reading I would appreciate it. Needless to say the obvious first choice is Omaha Beach which we have already started to plan out. The area we want to cover is the Dog Red Sector D-3 draw up the beach from Les Moulins to St. Laurent-Sur-Mer. At the moment we are planning to do this with the Crossfire rules although there are a number of issues that would need to be addressed in my opinion so that is not set in stone yet. Just for the record there is a lot, and I mean a lot of conflicting information about which units where were on Omaha Beach so unless someone has a definitive guide they could recommend most of the decisions made will be chosen around what will be easier to model/field. Stay tuned for further updates over the next few days as work has already started on the boards.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Update to the To Do List

So in a previous post I mentioned that I had a few things on my To Do List that week I wanted to get accomplished. For ease I have added that  list here...

1. Build Light Box (inspired by The Strobist's Blog)
2. Base and paint the Warmaster units bases (9 bases altogether)
3. Pick out next Warmaster Unit and prime
4. Clean other minis that were in storage

I have finished the first three items. Hurrah! So, I think it is time to update the list. Also, for the record I will be relating the Macro Light Box adventure in a forthcoming post. So now the question is what to add. I known item four will need to be kept as I feel it is important even if it is not of the highest priority. I want to make sure I get at least one painting activity on there so naturally adding the three units of Warmaster Orc Warriors seems wise. Ah, I need to resolve my storage issue and I have some ideas already so I'll add that to the list as well. Finally I have some units of Warmaster Orcs that I am stripping paint from so I'll use them to flush out my list. Here it is...

1. Paint Warmaster Orc Warriors (3 Units)
2. Warmaster storage solution
3. Strip WM Orc paint
4. Clean other minis that were in storage

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Adding the Orc Warriors to my WAAAGH!!!

Next to hit my painting table are three units of Orc Warriors. I am definitely using a green wash on these guys to speed up the painting. Incidentally, I have noticed my painting speed has increased and so am not so intimidated by the fact I will be painting 18 strips this time.

I have applied some primer to these models already in preparation to starting my brush-fu. I noticed when I was spraying the primer that it appeared watered down despite my shaking the can for well over two minutes. It did not seem to get the same coverage and looks more like a wash than anything else. My only thought was that perhaps it is getting old, or despite the amount of shaking I did it did not work or possibly it was to cold. I think it was something like in the low 30's down in the basement where I sprayed.

Luckily for me I had just picked up some Liquitex Black Colored Gesso from my local craft store. I first heard about this on Santa Clarita Wargamer. I am going to use it to finish off the priming on this new project so I can get to painting tomorrow!

Also, a very special birthday wish for my good friend Lance! Happy birthday. I wish I was there to take you to dinner and top it off with some good brews and some fast kung-fu action. I guess i'll just have to owe you one buddy!

Taking Ground Part Two

So in my previous post (Taking Ground Part One) I covered the decisions I made about how I wanted my bases to turn out, applied the basing material and I rather impatiently let them dry overnight. It actually took me several days to build up the porridge to the coverage level I wanted. The next step which I will cover here is painting the bases.

For my colors I choose to use Cermacoat Craft Paints which are available at most craft stores for about $1.29 each. I wanted to have a base coat, mid-tone and a highlight. Here is the color list:

Base Coat - Dark Brown 02053
Mid-Tone - Autumn Brown 02055
Highlight - Trail Tan 02435

When I applied the base coat I made a wash out of it. I did this mostly because I wanted a lot of coverage and I knew the basing material was going to soak it up. I applied it liberally and was quite happy with the result. Occasionally some would wash over a small part of the models and I would just use a clean wet brush to remove the offending paint, this works pretty well if you do it quickly after it happens.

I let this first coat dry for about two hours then went back and did a heavier dry brush of the mid-tone and finished off about an hour later with a light dry brush of the highlight color. The following day I  watered down some PVA glue and applied it in random patterns over the base and dipped the whole base in some flock. I must say I am quite happy with how these turned out. All that remains to be done at this point is paint the sides of the bases and use some dull coat to protect all this hard work.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Taking Ground Part One

It may have seem that I have been ignoring my blog over the last week and in a sense I have been. I actually have quite a bit I want to post about but most of it is in the final stages of completion or requires another project to be completed before I can share it. However, I am ready to start posting about how things went basing my Warmaster miniatures I have recently completed painting.

I have been told by numerous people that miniatures aren't really done until they are based. I didn't buy into this at first but now that I am done they do look better and significantly so. So, five units of Warmaster were on the block to be completed and I had anticipated it taking me a week. Well, it actually took me eight days so not too bad. I know as I do this more and more the process will speed up and I'l feel good about my accomplishments. Yay!

After an aborted first attempt I knew I wanted to do something more than just slap some watered down PVA glue on to the bases and cover it with ballast and sand. But, I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do so I asked around. It was Ed that gave me the crucial advice I needed to get it done. My first attempt was to just glue ballast/sand on with watered down PVA It didn't look good, or secure in my opinion. So, Ed's advice was to make a paste of sand/ballast/glue/water and then brushed the paste on. I did that for the first unit... the Trolls but decided to add some watered down paint to the mix on the next batch. Hopefully this would eliminate the first step of painting and make this a bit quicker, which didn't really work. It did color the mixture but I obviously did not put enough craft paint in as it did not alter the color as much as I had hoped. Stay tuned for Part Two tomorrow.

My first attempt. It just looks meh.
The mix which I fondly refer to as porridge and has about the same consistency.
Here is the second attempt and it's starting to look better.
The Trolls with the porridge mix. Eventually I would go back and cover the actual metal base at their feet.
This mixture is slightly altered from the first batch having a greater sand to ballast ratio than previously. It also has quite a bit of craft paint mixed in.
Here is a shot of the completely covered Troll base.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Warmaster Battle Report: 2000 pt Orcs vs Daemons

Today my buddy Ed stopped in to help get my new table bloody and carnage did ensue! Ed played his marvelous Cthulhu themed Daemon army which is mostly non-GW miniatures as well as a few of his own conversions and sculpts. He is a talented guy. While he fielded an impressive looking army of daemons I mustered up my ravening horde of greenskins. Mine don't look as good of course but thats because most of my personal stuff is unpainted (those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning should not be surprised by this). I also had to hot glue some strips to bases as I did not quite have enough. But, combine my units with Ed's own orc units and I was spread all over! Mwah ha ha!

We used the Warmaster Scenario Generator (provided by my good friend Aron) and I can't recommend this little gem enough. If you don't have a copy get one. I believe it was printed in one of the Fanatic magazine issues, although I am not sure which one. So, Ed rolled to determine the engagement type which was Assault. One of us was going to have to attack a prepared enemy position. Ouch! We rolled on the Objective chart and came up with Advance. Hmm, interesting... so one of use had to advance off the defenders table edge and doing so would earn that player VP equal to the unit value. Finally we rolled to see if there were any Special Circumstances. This is where both players roll a die. If the result is doubles there is a Major Effect and if the result adds up to seven then there is a Minor Effect. We ended up with the minor effect of Motivation, the result of a motivation speech. This would allow one of the players to automatically pass the first order given to each unit on his first turn. After some discussion we decided that the attacker assaulting the fixed position would get the advance objective and the motivation effect. Ed would attack with his daemons and I would defend. I invite you to watch as the story unfolds...

The battlefields is set. Orcs will defend the Hangman's Hills and the Woods of Lost Hope and try to prevent a Daemon Horde breakthrough. Off in the distance you can see the Curlsore Canyons. Today blood will flow!
A view from the Curlsore Canyon side. The Orc General can be seen on his chariot on the Orc left flank leading the cavalry. The Daemons had time to scout out the Orc positions and so have  set their cavalry (as such) on the Orc right flank. The Orc general plans to be aggressive with his cavalry.
Daemon cavalry advances and makes it quite far thanks to the Great Cthulhu's motivational speech before the battle... It probably went something like,"Kill them all, or I'll eat you." I know that would work on me. In the foreground you can see the Rock Lobber on the hill ranging in on the enemy cavalry.
Daemon fliers take to the canyons while the enemy infantry swarm over the first hill. These Daemons are thirsty for Orc blood today! I think I will have my work cut out for me.
A view from the Orc center. There is a large bear between the woods and hill on the left which a model from BotFA that is being used as a giant. I personally have three of them but they are at the moment not assembled. In the background you can see Great Cthulhu himself and in the center one of his Star Vampire minions (a sorcerer) and on the right side I believe a Formless Spawn (all eyes and teeth).
As I said... aggressive and perhaps to much so. The enemy lines are charged!
A well placed rock from the Rock Lobber breaks up the enemies cavalry brigade... Squish!!! That card on the back unit indicates that it is confused which is something that happened alot in this game. Things are looking good so far.
In the Orc center a hero commands the Giant to advance. Oh No!!! Wild giant!!! Upset about the Trolls stealing all the grubs from his seven day old porridge the Giant sets upon them slapping them around a bit. No real damage done but it scared the heck out of me and the trolls learned to never assemble behind a Giant (probably has something to do with the stench as well). 
Oh no! Disaster! The Goblin Wolf Riders are surrounded!
The Battle of Noose Hill! It does not look good for our goblins and the Orc Hero on the Wyvern. :(
Disaster indeed. Not only are my Wolf Rider units surrounded and destroyed but enemy cavalry runs amok just to my left flank. Only the Wolf Chariots remain but they are not in a position to help at the moment.
 The Wolf Riders assaulting Noose Hill dished out the punishment but there were just to many enemies and they were overwhelmed... including the Hero on the Wyvern! A lone stand of Wolf Riders is all that remains to deny the Daemons sole possession of Noose Hill. Ed's sorcerers used the summon daemon spell to great effect as it save a number of his units from destruction. Well played my old foe, well played indeed!
Wha!?! A gigantic rock soars over Great Cthulhu's head and lands on the Daemonic infantry behind him.! I am personally becoming a big fan of the Rock Lobbers ability to drive back the enemy which is especially nice when it can do so while ignoring armor saves!
On the left, you can see the Wolf Chariots have finally found the room to swing around and just in time too as a blundered command roll sees the brigade of Daemon infantry consumed with blood lust charge the cavalry line! On the right, a unit of Daemon cavalry charges the Giant. I think this battle shall be interesting... 15 dice for the Daemon chariots and 8 dice for the Giant.
Black Orcs stream off the hill but it is the Daemon heavy cavalry that gets to charge. Ouch! Hmm... its seems the Orc General is making some poor decisions. It would have been better to stay on the fill in a defended position.
You might make out amongst the swarm of Daemons on Noose Hill that the lone stand of Wolf Riders is still fighting for its life. Regrettably this will be their final stand.
On the right, the Giant is badly injured but has hammered the enemy chariots. There were two rounds of combat and each time I got 6 hits out of 8 dice. Unfortunately Ed saved half of them each time so I was unable to destroy the unit and lumber into the flank of the other unit of heavy cavalry to the Giants front. On the left, the Wolf Chariots and Daemons have fought to a stand still, but the Chariots are in good order and prepare to slam into the enemy again!
Ah! Enemy fliers threaten my precious Rock Lobber! As you can see one of the Black Orc units has been annihilated and the other stands behind a few units in the center that have refused to move the entire battle. Grrr...
Although the Wolf Chariots put the hurt on the Daemon infantry the Goblin Shaman was not able to cast his Gotcha spell. At this point the Orc General felt it better to withdrawal from the field then let his troops be over run (Ed had to get going). But, the game was a blast and I look forward to our next one.