Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Friday 29 August 2014

DKK Vehicle Fleet progress 2014.

It's the w/e of 16/17 Aug and Mrs Z has had a wisdom tooth out; so whilst she is recuperating, I've got a few hours in the garage. 

You can see here the camouflage, decals and luggage on a representative Salamander.

The whole fleet out for a pin wash and mud on the tracks.  This is what thirty nine LR and Chimerae chassis' looks like; there are still six hedgehog pattern Hydrae, one thunderer and two lynx to add.  The ones that look as if they are a different colours are still wet.

The DKK riposte to the King Russ, including pin wash.  I'll pin the tracks out flat and weather them and then add them to the model.  And do a bit of work on the commander as well.  Along with the rest of the fleet, there will be some spot rust flicked on with a toothbrush*. And some sponged on chipping.

The two Thunderer conversions.  The sooting on the extractor fans is deliberate, but the last time you saw these, they were just grey plastic, I think.  Now they are up to the same stage as the rest of the fleet.

A couple of the chimerae.  Some of the stowage got knocked off during the process and will get stuck back on.  My plan includes treating all of the spare road wheels at once; any adjustments to the fleet will be done like that for homogeneity.  Now, I won't pretend that any of these are going to win me a Golden Demon, but the whole lot them together, with their weathering, stowage & mud being similar across the collection will, I hope, make the whole thing pleasing to the eye.

These photos were largely illuminated by the camera flash, the contrast between the camouflage, detailing and so on is not so harsh as it looks in the photos, however, I thought it gave a good impression of the state of the DKK fleet at the minute. 

They all need pintle weapons and the crew/hatches fixing in place.  We'll see how Mrs Z feels next weekend ! Update: Bank Holiday weekend and I've found time to do a little more titillation; Boltgun metal and then Mig rust on the road wheels that are part of the stowage on the Chimerae, gluing back on all the stowage that was knocked off last weekend, more oil stains around the LR fuel caps, rust on the Panther exhausts, rust on the Crassus exhaust and a little more oil staining on the non-aligned hellhounds. Thunderer exhausts are weathered and I've started collecting together the Heavy Stubbers for this little lot. Also cogitating about smoke dischargers and searchlights on the Chimerae - I think they'll pass muster as they are, I suspect that putting more on them might just leave them looking overcrowded and messy. er. 

* It should be a teethbrush.  It would only be a toothbrush if it was for a whale.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

And some more progress

This is General Commandant Welbahn's Forward HQ wagon.  The basic ASL camo is done but I'm not happy that the seam around the cab is so prominent.  I may have to sand, fill and sand it.

The Crassus is a fab model, the interior is full modelled and would look great, you could assemble this and magnetise the roof if you wanted.  And, after listening to PVP and Karitas, the instructions for this are actually useful (although for a FW model it goes together like a kinder surprise).

The high level exhaust will show off the rusting and sooting quite nicely.

I got some hex masks from the Anarchy stencils kickstarter.  This is me trying them out on the back quarter of the Industrial Mechanica Warthog. You can clearly see where there was a lack of adhesion at the edges, but these arn't flat surfaces, so it's a 'not bad' result.

The question is "Will this paint effect in two or more colours look ok over the whole vehicle ?"  I'm interested if you have a view.  At the minute I'm thinking that due to the fluting and irregular surfaces, a more normal splinter pattern using thin tamiya masking tape would produce a better result.

And these are the Hedge-hog pattern Hydrae that Admiral Drax put together.  A nice kit which goes together well.  I'm looking forward to getting some paint on these.

Friday 22 August 2014

Even more progress....

This is the T-bolt that Karitas built, just because.  Well, not 'just because' but to give you a point of reference for the following photos:

The T65 Yavin Interceptor now has a simple camo pattern and a couple of decals.  I find myself wishing that GW did a proper decal sheet for flyers with 'no step' and ejector seat type markings.  But that's not their market so it's not going to happen.

I'm quite please with this, although the photos might not show it too well, the weathering on the engines worked fairly well.

The Starwars Vendetta conversions.  I've decided to modify the engines, and so need the engine like fans probably from Vange industries.  Anyway, I went to over paint the jagged desert pattern with a proper Devos IV grey over-spray.  However, during the how-ever long it has been since I last airbrushed, a lot of the pigment has obviously settled.

So what I got was a wash something akin to the dirty water from a bucket of floor wash.  The effect is interesting, yes, but not what I had planned.  Fortunately, it's not the end of the world, just another layer.

So the las cannon kits have all been gathered in, ready for the conversion, but I really want to change those dodgy magic engines for something a little more Imperial.

Next time, back onto the ground.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

More Progress

Sunday am, Admiral Drax flew south for what remained of the summer.  Like a swallow or swift, but different.  So whilst waiting for the 'event shelter' to dry (yes, these things really are good enough to just keep mentioning) Kartias and I sat in the garden and spoke for a short while about airbrushes.

You can take and educator out of the school, but you can't take the teacher out of the education professional.  A miss quote (mash quote) but allow me to elucidate; without a shred of 'I thought we went over this three years ago', my dear friend proceeded to dismantle and clean my airbrush, reminding me of all of those things that I had, over time, allowed to slide.

So now, aside from a slightly sticky airvalve (just press it again and it stops), my airbrush has returned to its former glory.  (the paints all need anti-centrifuging, but that can be done...)

On to the progress !

Previously weathered hell hound, now with added grime.  Pin wash, plus extra oily marks where you'd want the extra oily marks to be.

Another view.  Tracks next. This quite deliberately has no markings.  Making it eligible for service with whichever side has the points to spare.

The Vostroyan command AT-AT, rebuilt, painted, decal'd and wevva'd.  I hadn't meant it to look quite as grimy and battered as it does, but meh, there's a war on, y'know ?

Incidentaly, I sized the normal GW flying base against the Knight base and the Knight base is bigger and I'm gonna get one to mount this bugger on to stop if falling over again.  After this latest rebuild, it's a teeny bit wonkier than it used to be.

Now, you would be forgiven for saying "That's cute Zzzzz, but following your own rule about accurate fluff and no bollox engineering, we've spotted the weakness here, which is access and egress, There appears to be no way or out for the lil' men.  So waddaya say ?"

And my reply would be quite right; it is supposed to be a command chimera, so the extra space here is taken with the gubbins needed to make this baby walk (and it is a baby one..) and there are panels on the side which could be airtight doors.  And they would have to abseil out and rope ladder back up.  But ultimately this only passes the Zzzzz contact with reality test by adhering to the most important rule.

I think it's kool.

Just the end caps for the smoke dischargers, lenses & auto cannons to go and she's ready.

Friday 15 August 2014

Some progress.

After the three way in the garden we sat down to tidy up a few outstanding bits from the plastic crack mountain.

Karitas, possibly overcome with charity, embarked upon the assembly of a FW Thunderbolt.  Sort of like the 'village spitfire'.  The picture shows some of the big gaps which doubtless Kartias might mention on excommunicate tratoris.  Along with the instructions.

Basing - the chosen, valhallans, bulkytroopers (swapped with Admiral Drax for some tempestus scions).  I made tea as well.

And Admiral Drax built a couple of hydrae for me as well.  More on them later.

And some of you might be interested in learning that I was in contact with Col Scipio recently.  He hasn't forgotten wargaming at all and is collecting ideas for when he returns.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Three way in the garden. Sounds like fun eh ?

Now, where was I ?  Ah yes, doubtless you'll have seen Karitas' four way in the garden, to which I added my view here.

So we come now to a three way in the garden.  Admiral Drax's annual foray north to civilised lands where there is bacon and tea at the same time.  Karitas quite wonderfully brought down his 'event shelter', and a good job too as it happens.  I can see this ending up on every gamer's Christmas list - whilst the garage is dry and provides shelter from gusting winds that steal army lists and blow over large unstable models, the 'event shelter' has light.  Not electric light, but as long it's day time, you can see what you are doing.  Which is not always the case in the garage.

Anyway, Unteroffizer Z of the Death Korps of Kreig is leading a small patrol into the ruins of some emperor forsaken town somewhere else; to investigate the presence of Orks, which has been reliably reported by someone who probably shouldn't be trusted.

Admurul Drak and 'is boyz are holed up in the intact Administratum building, waiting for something.

Corsair Prince Karitas is looking down on the whole thing and decides that the orks and DKK offend his sensibilities so much that his going down the planet (he will have to get new shoes afterwards) and going to tidy up.

DKK Hvy Wpns cover the downtown area.

So what we have here is three armies at 525 points (exactly) each.  And no vehicles.

The shootin' starts.  Guardsmen have enormous cover saves, but orky shootin' is rubbish anyway.  But at this stage of the game the orky shootin' is still enormous in volume, so Unteroffizer Z is loosing Hvy Wpn teams at an unsustainable rate, whereas the orks are just soaking up the hits.

Hurrah for the brave Landsers.  Most of what you can see in this picture are bout to be obliterated by the Corsair Prince's Orbital Strike.  Thus begins the slow heamorage of VPs as my little army is chomped through by the baddies (hey, if they're not on my side, they're baddies).

"Orks, orks, orks, orks... Which way to da whaaagh ?"  Boyz jus' chillaxin' (see what I did there ?)

Corsair Prince and ablative blades, calling down the orbital strike on the DKK.

Gee-gees moving up into a different (but ultimately no better) position.

Deep striking corsairs.  They wipe out my remaining infantry squad.

But are then eaten by Death Korps Horses...  true.

Ooooh, jus' out of charge range, lucky for me.

Killer Klowns forgetting that they ignore terrain and thus failing to assault the orks in the building this go.

Furious melee.  Ends with all waffenritters chop suey and only the Nob left.

The ones the Harlequins should have got if we'd have read the codex properly.  Sneaky orks.

Sticky out bottom lip.  How apt, yet gauche at the same time.

Yeah !  Jet packs !

The last Nob.  Except the warboss, who was the only boss left at the end, the gallant Unteroffizer and the Corsair Prince both ending up deaded.

I ended up with just Unteroffizer Z and the standard bearer left.  At this point, in a not particularly DKK fashion, I tried to run away and was gunned down by shootaboyz.  Oh well.  

An excellent game - on an open board, I'd have gunned them all down.  On this board, the orkz reigned supreme due to Admurul Drak deploying more or less in the middle.  There'll be a next time.  Anyway, we cleared this all away and had a swipe at the plastic crack mountain.  But generally agreed that for fun and spectacle, Epic 28 is great, but that smaller battles like this are the way to go for multi-side matches.

Friday 8 August 2014

One man's view

Rain lashed down on the shattered town, thunder and lightning hid the sounds of nasty little firefights punctuating the night.

Rifle Soldaty first class Stonnovich hunched into his overcoat as rain slowly dripped off his bearskin; the depth of fur ensuring that the rain kept out of his collar and off his face.  His great great grandfather’s Achle-wood furnished las-rifle cradled in one arm, he watched out on the night with the precious NVG, turning the focus every so often as he scanned his set arc of responsibility.

Stonnovich and his fellow sentry, Gramnov, were perched in the fourth floor remains of an old adminsitratum block.  They had walls on two sides, but the rain drove in through the windows which now just gaping holes in the fabric of the building.   Gramnov had spent a part of their shift lugging old ammunition boxes up to make a small kitchen-cum-shelter.  The wood-alcohol burner and pot of recaf making strong odours that assaulted Stonnovich’s senses in equal measure whenever the wind gusted and the rain temporarily stopped, as if it had been sucked back out of their eyrie but the breath of some vast creature.

Gramnov was snuggled down in both of their bedrolls, tucked into a corner, lined with wooden box panels as the rain continued to plink off of the smaller metal boxes that formed the outside wall.   Stonnovich was not entirely unhappy (of course he complained a lot – too much marching, too little good weather, the food hadn’t been brilliant lately, too many officers and commissars around here, not a nice warm, dry billet like Randstad had been etc etc), the war torn town was not too dissimilar to the ruins on Vostroya where he had begun his training.  And the advantage of guarding a Divisional HQ were that you got fed and were less likely to be too close to the enemy. 

The rain gusted in again, taking the strong scent of the recaf and the acrid tang of the wood alcohol burner away and leaving Stonnovich in the cold.  He glanced down at the HQ complex below; lightproof tents on the ground floor of the building and the vast shape of the General Commandant’s Crassus command vehicle looming in the darkness.  Stonnovich had genuinely believed that all of the officers knocked off and went to bed after their evening meal; they did in his regiment, the 158th First Born.  He had been mildly intrigued by the late night workings of 902 Divisional HQ.

The fact that place buzzed all day and all night without ever shutting down had surprised him; even whilst moving, one site remained operational whilst the next was being set up; even when co-located, the Ad Mech would be servicing and blessing the non-working equipment.  The signallers, security detail and other ranks on the staff, all of which he would have previously described as REMFs, were always busy unless they were asleep.  And the staff officers and command staff were obviously working for as long as they could physically manage.  But above all, Rifle Soldaty Stonnovich was in awe of the General Commandant.  The man from Armageddon walked calmly and quietly about the place; officers, men and servitors (most of whom were just those damned flyin’ skulls) swarming around him.  A word here and an earnestly delivered order there and they would move away as he continued to cruise past the desks that Stonnovich now knew represented the different staff branches and the offices of the plenipotentiates.

Also he had learned to read the mood of the HQ as it worked; the levels of excitement, anguish and frustration were now all clear to him as an observer.  A cold meal instead of a scheduled hot one was a sure sign of an impending move, whereas the collapsing of a vox antenna could easily be moving it a few meters to get a better signal.  His fingers were now feeling the chill, he flexed them in his thick leathern gauntlets and shifted his great great grandfather’s rifle to his other arm and shuffled his feet about.

Only three more hours before they were relieved.  He prodded Gramnov with his foot, it was about time they changed places. 

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Another Progress Report.

OK, So I've re-ordered this so that the most done things are at the top and the least progress things are at the bottom. This is 2014 so far, well over 400 iggies and a load of other stuff.

DKK Infantry - Done
DKK Fd Arty (in a box)  Done
DKK Cavalry (in a bigger box) Done
Void Dragons - Done
Half a dozen Inquisitorial Warbands (Mostly done, half delivered)
Corbanian 2nd Regt - Done
Two Imperial Knights Done
Additional Officers (Imperial - sent away) Done 
Devos IV "Fen Guard" unit Done and on their way.  Delivers soon. 
Small AT AT command vehicle (needs rebuilding and Vostroyan paint scheme)Smashed again !  Needs rebuilding.  Rebuilt a second time. 
T-Hawk.  Just needs paint. Now WIP but no progress for ages. Gonna call this done. 
DKK Salamanders - need finishing off. Slow extra steps taken + more !
Additional Heavy Weapons - need paint Mortars, Las Cannons and Carriage guns done.  Only HBs outstanding. 
DKK Engr Chimera - needs assembly (needs Chimera !  hahahahha) Chimera purchased.  Assembled.
Valhallans (need paint) Done !  Need a major basing event, though. Based. 
3rd Thunderer Conversion.  (Then all three would be ready for paint) No Progress Two under and base coated.
Additional Officers (Not Imperial - just a pile of parts at the mo') Now assembled.
"Word Bearers" er, um, tbc. 
Leviathan Mortis' - need construction, conversion and paint. No Progress
DKK Grenadiers (lost children of another army....you guessed it, in a box.) No Progress
Full Size ATAT fleet (need assembly, conversion and painting) No Progress
DKK Hydrae (Always keep six spare Chimerae kits waiting; need assembly and painting) Admiral Drax popped by and assembled two of them for me.
Thunderbolts - Jeager Gruppe 52 decals purchased. Karitas popped by and assembled one and has taken the other away to assemble.
Clone wars Vendetta conversions  Vendetta Kits purchased
World Eaters Land Raider
Meridian Infantry
TGG Kickstarter girls
And then a trawl of what's left in the boxes. - A Whole load of Black Templars cobbled together and sent for painting. 
Other KS stuff that's due to arrive

I am doing pretty well with the not spending any 'new' money.  By which I mean that items purchased (apart from the accidental acquisition of an Elysian army), has meant only buying more plastic crack in order to finish existing project-y things left lying about - which I think is two razorhairyfatbacks and an empire flag or two from bitzbox for the Waffenritters.   So this year's expenditure has mostly been under control.

Imperial Knights don't count because they are giant robots, not sensible army thingies.

Getting out of the habit of spending more money is probably a good thing any way.  When it's all done I could probably scrape 30,000 points of 'guard* together if I had to and there's not much space left in the garage without making it into a proper gaming den instead of a garage where I have other live-in-a-normal-persons-garage-type-things, oh and some boxes with toy tanks and soldiers in.

So even when this is all done there could well be as much as two years of kitbashing and so on left in 'the boxes'.  So I'm struggling on with this.  We'll see how far I get by the end of this year.

*includes Titans.

Friday 1 August 2014

Saturday Knight Fever

Just in case you were wondering.  Here is the Dreamforge 15mm Titan Chas (the pair of them are Chas and Dave) next to the GW Knight Killi, to give you a comparison.  Killi's counterpart is of course, Filli.  They are named after hampsters, but that's another story.

The rear view; you can see that Chas, the Dreamforge 15mm titan (this one is a resin one from before the kickstarter) does not have (does not need) a base.  So the models are roughly the same size and of a similar bulk.  Which is nice, when it comes to fielding them. 

Face to face in front of Belligera Rex.  Their weapon systems are on a similar scale and the Dreamforge ones also have Heavy Stubbers more or less in their armpit.

It is obvious that in conjunction with a warhound, a pair of knights would be a multiplier.  And that in opposition, the warhound will eat the knights, possibly in the same 'round.  Indeed, looking at titans and superheavies, the only reason I can see for the Rapid Fire battle cannon to be a D weapon would be something like DU ammunition.  Those Volcano cannons are a clear centimeter longer than a GW knight is tall. Whereas that battle cannon, Rapid Fire not withstanding, is not significantly larger than the Leman Russ one.

And from the looks of it, it could hold no more than a few rounds.  For a rapid fire weapon, it doesn't have an adequate magazine.  Unless they meant that it is loaded by an auto loader, which is a possibility.  But if you look at the size of a Leman Russ turret, then that is obviously either equipped with an auto loader or is muzzle loaded.  ahem.   I love this game, but shit engineering and bollocks instead of concise background do vex me so...