Retribution!

So, I’ve neglected this blog a for a while now. Life is a bit crushing at times; especially adult life. Work and stuff just kinda takes away a lot of hobby time, but I suppose one must carry on.

That is to say, I have been working on stuff, just not as much as I’d like. I’ve also been buying stuff as well (which I should probably cut back on!)

Let’s update this in chronological order then, shall we?

So from my starter box, I had finished my squad(s) of Liberators. I was quite happy with the Romanesque colour scheme; it fit well with the shields and overall look. My next task was doing the Retributors.

These are the heavy shock troops of the Stormcast army. Hulking brutes wielding giant smoosh-your-face-in hammers and clad in armour that would crush a normal human. These were also known as the Paladins (along with the Decimators and Protectors) in the army. With such a different role to play, I thought they should get a different colour scheme.

I thought a nice subtle green colour would be suitable for them. A more solemn colour, with an air of authority. Plus, Guan Yu looks badass.

It worked out quite well I think. Primed with black, I based the model mostly with Caliban Green and Retributor Armour, then shaded with Nuln Oil. I went very mild with the highlight in Warpstone Glow and Auric Armour Gold. I might go back over them just to highlight some bits a bit more now that I think of it.

These photos were taken a while back. Since then, I’ve also added a nice lightning effect to the hammer of the Retributor Prime which looks quite nice. I still haven’t gotten around to adding their ornamental back-piece yet, but that can wait.

I’ve already taken them into my first couple of skirmish matches and they are quite decent. They really pack a punch and definitely worth taking into battle with you. So much so that…

More smash

… another squad of them is warranted.

Prepare for a skirmish

So, the biggest new thing for Age of Sigmar is the new “Skirmish” game, which came out just this Saturday. Having had a bit of time to read through it, it looks like it will be a fun way to play Warhammer, especially since I have a relatively smaller force at the moment.

The rules are quite a bit different from standard play. Instead of controlling small tactical units of men, you control separate individual troops. This opens up a bit more freedom of movement, as you aren’t hindered by having to move an entire unit to engage. It also allows a bit more focus on your models and kind of build a backstory up for them (if you wanted to).

Units are recruited to your squad via a point-based “Renown” system. You and your opponent will start off with a set amount of renown with which to start building up your party. At first the amount of men you have in your group will be very small (depending on how many points you are playing with), but with each battle your renown will grow, allowing you to pick up more troops for the next chapter of your adventure.

Not only does completing a fight earn you renown, it also depends on how the battle resulted. A major victory will earn you more renown as your leader gains more reputation, but even in defeat you will earn some points to bolster your forces for future battles. Along with this, after a fight both players will roll to see what kind of rewards they will earn for the fight (extra renown being one of the rewards available), the victor having a bit more flexibility in what they reap.

To build up a skirmish army, you first need a leader amongst your men; a true hero. They will get special benefits such as artefacts and relics along the way. They are also the basis for your battle-shock rolls, so it is best to choose a leader with a bit of bravery. Once you have chosen your commander, you won’t be able to change your mind later, so make a good choice for your play style, as a lot of things kind of depend on your leader. There are many heroes to choose from for each faction, so the ability to change up each time you play through the skirmish campaign keeps things fresh.

The rest of your retinue will be composed of your regular troops that you can bring in, including other heroes, though you won’t be able to label them as your leader. The only limits to what you can bring with you would be that they should stay within the same Grand Alliances (Order, Chaos, Destruction, Death), so you could potentially have a very mixed tag-rag group of characters fighting together.

The campaign itself is split up into six skirmishes, each fight progressing through the story line. If you can achieve a major victory, you get a special bonus reward as well according to the mission. Winning a skirmish will not only give you benefits in the rewards roll, but also will provide a small boon for you in the upcoming fight.

Overall, I think this will be a fun way to play Age of Sigmar, especially if you don’t always have time for a full scale battle. My local Games Workshop will be holding skirmish battles each week with multiple people, so it will be fun to finally blood my warriors. Next week is when the first skirmish map will start, so I have a bit more time to prepare my troops for the upcoming campaign. Hopefully to bring back some sweet victories!

 

Fluffy lore

As many people are aware, Games Workshop has some pretty cool lore (or fluff as some refer to it). If you are familiar with Warhammer 40k, you know how ridiculous some of the reading materials can be. Age of Sigmar isn’t too much different, but instead of space awesomeness you have medieval-ish awesomeness.

Age of Sigmar is doesn’t have many books out yet, but I’m sure Games Workshop are working on it. So those of you who are lore hungry will probably have to wait while their monkeys on type writers are furiously pounding away.

However, you can check out one of the books now (and for free I might add). The Gates of Azyr (Realmgate Wars Book 1) is actually available on amazon for free (on Kindle). I’ve downloaded it and so far it is an alright read. The style is quite similar to the 40k books in my mind, so if you like that kind of stuff, this might be right up your alley.

Free Kindle Book on Amazon

It basically details the first ‘launch’ of the Stormcast pitting them against the Goretide army as they battle it out around the realm gates. Basically it is a narrative of the Age of Sigmar Starter Box. So if you picked up the starter kit you can play out the book basically, which is kinda neat I think. Regardless, it is a free book and who can argue with that price?

Happy reading!

Malleus Fulminata, assemble!

I finally finished painting the Liberator Prime for my units and now have 2 full units painted and ready to field!

I attempted to make a ‘marbled’ pattern on the primes; and inspiration I got from pinterest. Unfortunately I’m not nearly good enough to get that level of detail, but I feel satisfied with the effect nonetheless.

I feel that as I continue I will need to work on getting full paint coverage of my minis. It seems like there are a lot of small crevices which I miss when painting. I can’t really see it in real life, but the photos when enlarged reveal all the defects and missing bits and it is quite disappointing overall.

But, this hobby is kind of a learning process and I am learning. Hopefully I’ll be more competent at it before I get to the more difficult/demanding models. Especially the ones I want to look super nice.

Pardon the blur, don’t have a camera stand with me, nor a professional photo set up. I’m a poor hobbyist!

Prime Time!

So, start of the week. Time to quick prime this weeks projects:

Starting in black we have the Bloodsecrator and my three retributors:

 

And in white we have my two Liberator Primes:

 

Unfortunately, I was a bit too trigger happy on my Liberators and there is a bit of pooling on their tabard things. Not the best result, but a learning process none the less. It’ll probably mess up my painting a bit, but the shield might be able to cover ’em a bit.

As for why I am doing them in white: I saw a cool look on Pinterest the other day and I’m gonna attempt to emulate it with my one week of experience. Wish me luck!

Let’s get Chaotic, but not Chaos Black

So my Liberator units are almost done, just gotta paint up the Liberator Prime (their unit leader) and they’ll be ready to die for my glory.

But before I move on to painting those guys, I felt the need to try out the other half of the starter box. Not only that, but they’d be good test subjects for my newest buy: Spray paint.

As mentioned in the previous blog, hand priming everything is a fairly tedious process. Especially when trying to get it sufficiently even and coated. I thus opted to get a can of spray paint. While I’m sure a lot of people would go with the Games Workshop Chaos Black (which is nice I’m sure), I looked on the internet for cheaper options. Rustoleum seemingly had some decent reviews.

SpraysI’m not entirely sure if there is a difference between this and the Chaos black, but I tested it on the ‘Lord of Khorne’s doggy and got similar results to the one that got primed with in-store primer. They are cheaper for sure, meaning I can spend more money on actual colour paints than the undercoats.

One thing to keep in mind is to spray the miniatures in light coats or you risk losing some details as the paint pools into areas. Unfortunately I think I may have been overzealous for one of mine. But we press on.

As a warning to users: please use all spray paints in well ventilated areas. I did it in my apartment at the window (I have a cardboard box-corner set up) and just let them kind of aerate for a bit. Turning on a fan or ventilation system also helps to alleviate the smell.

Anyways, spray priming minis is far faster and convenient than hand painting. If done correctly, they come out very evenly coated and without a single visible brush stroke!

I went on to finish the doggy with some Khorne Red, Bugman’s glow, and Ceramite White for the face. I wanted to get a skull-white/pulled back flesh look for him, which was successful to a degree. I washed the figure with Reikland Flesh-shade and highlighted areas with Evil Sunz Scarlet. I used a bit of dry brushing technique on the bumpy-scales on it’s back, which gives it a nice bit of variation on colour. Overall, pretty happy with how he came out and how the primer has worked. The start of my Chaos army has begun!

Malleus Fulminata!

So with one miniature of experience behind me, I now move on to paint an army!

Keeping with a similar theme, I begin the task of priming the models. However, as I am not in the store and do not have everything available to me (such as Chaos Black spray paint) I must therefore prime the models by hand with Imperial Primer black.

Tis but a scratch!

I quickly realise that priming by brush is a lot more effort than by spray paint. Getting all the areas done and evenly without clumping up the paint proves harder than first thought. I will remind my future self to invest in a can of spray paint. I leave the shield hand off so that I can paint the ‘hidden’ areas a bit easier.

Starting similar to the last time, I go with a silver and red scheme. On the first two models I do though, I try for a gold trim on the shield. However, seeing the end result makes me revert back to the original plan. Once the base layers are all done, I glue the shield arm back.

While I like the results of the Nuln Oil shade, I have found that a liberal dosing of it darkens the colours far too much for my liking. My red shields and shoulder pads turn into a dark burgundy which seemed far too “Khorne-y” for my tastes. I had to put on several more layers of Mephiston Red to correct my colour. So for future reference, I think I’ll just apply the shade to areas where I need the darkening such as the silver bits.

After shading and re-colouring some of the base layers, I go on to do a bit of highlighting. For this part, I had to go buy a few more colours, namely: Runefang Steel, Evil Sunz Scarlet and Auric Armour Gold. These colours really help to bring out some of the features on the minis. I added a gold bead on the tassels on the waist-straps, which gives it a nice bit of pop. I kinda wanted to repeat that on all the ‘rivets’ on the armour but that would have been a bit too tedious for me.

One thing that I need to complain about the starter paint set though is the paint brush. After doing these two units, I’ve noticed the starter brush has begun starting to fray. While I can still twist the bristles into a fine point, they quickly separate into two-three prongs. Makes things difficult at times, especially with finer details. I’ll likely buy a replacement brush in the near future.

If you got any critiques or comments, feel free to let me know!

First dip into the paint pots!

So after plopping down a fair amount of money into plastic bits, the big question was: how do I make these dull grey plastic bits into an epic looking standing army?

My experience with painting in life has been spotty at best. I painted as a child in school (poorly), I attempted to get into watercolour (sucked at it), and I thought pastels would be an interesting medium to work in (messy and I was terrible with it). I think my greatest painting achievement was painting Gundam models as a teen, but even then they were sub par from my point of view.

I think one of the biggest issues was that I never learned the proper steps to painting, how to put layers of paint on, what order, how to blend colours, how to bring out colours, etc. So jumping into Warhammer painting was a more of a leap of faith.

Luckily, the guy at the local Games Workshop was very kind and seeing that I was a complete newb at this hobby gave me a quick tutorial at the store about it. I wish I had the foresight to take pictures of it at the time, but I’ll describe it as best I can and show you what I ended up with.

The first step is priming the model with a quick spray of black (Chaos Black in this case). This apparently provides a suitable layer of paint for you to add onto; it helps other layers of paint adhere to the model. Other colours would probably help as the base coat depending on what you are trying to do, but it seems that black is a pretty universal starting point (white/grey if you are going for an overall lighter theme).

Next up is the base coat of paint, the meat of the model really (in some cases literally). What the majority colour of the model will be is what you should paint first and at this point, you want to start with the ‘inner’ colours first as well. In my case, I wanted a very ‘Romanesque’ colour scheme, so silver (Leadbelcher) and red (Khorne Red) were my main colours. Thus far pretty straight forward.

Now this is where things kinda go into unknown territory: we add shading. In my mind, shading is something you do with extensive amounts of work, adding dark tones onto areas of shadow, adjusting to where the light source comes from, mixing paints to get the right colour, etc. Games Workshop have thankfully come up with an interesting kind of product aptly named shade paints. The starter paint set I bought has something called ‘Reikland Fleshshade’, but since my base colour wasn’t gold, the shop owner advised me to use ‘Nuln Oil’ as a shade instead. Basically taking a bit of this stuff and dipping into the recesses and nooks and crannies of the models. The shade will settle in lower areas (thanks gravity) and darken those areas accordingly, saving us a lot of time and effort!

The shade takes some time to dry, but afterwards we go onto the highlighting bits. Some parts of the model will be darkened quite a bit by the shade, so you may need to re-apply some base paint colours to brighten them back up to what you want, but the main point is that the shadowed areas will remain dark; just be gentle with the application of more paint.

Continuing on with the Roman army theme, I gave a lot of the accent/embellishment areas a nice coating of gold. With that I had my very first painted Warhammer miniature: a Stormcast Eternal Liberator!

Liberator - First

The first of his kind

 

Age of Sigmar Starter Box + Paints

So considering how new I am to the whole tabletop experience, I thought (and the store owner suggested) that the starter set for Age of Sigmar would be a good starting point (who would’ve thought?). Usually I’m a bit wary of such products, as most ‘starter sets’ contain a lot of content that you don’t need/want. However if you look at the price of things I think it was quite worth it. It comes with two separate opposing armies (Stormcast and Chaos/Goreblade).

The Stormcast side get quite a few number of miniatures/units. The other starter box available at the store (the Start Collecting! series) offers something similar but lacks one of the units and the entire Chaos army as well. In all honesty, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t buy the starter kit over the other option; if there is a difference please let me know!

I’d list off what you get with the box set but the Games Workshop website or the magic of Google can tell you that.

The box set is quite nicely packaged the first thing that caught my attention was the book included which gave some details about the game, the miniatures and the lore behind it all as well (I enjoy fantasy lore quite a bit!). I may pick up more books just to get more into the story-bits but that’ll come at a later time.

Now, aside from the story elements, I really want to get into the building/painting aspect of the hobby. As such, I also bought the starting paint set (Citadel Essentials) that more or less coincides with the AoS starter box. Basically gives you all the basic colors that you need to paint the two sides. Very conveniently and tactically packaged together I’m sure, well played GW. Also comes with plastic modelling glue and a pair of clippers as well.

My only concern is that if you want to deviate away from the ‘recommended’ paint jobs for your armies, you may be left a little disappointed. I enjoy Roman history quite a bit and the Stormcast army I’ve decided to paint is gonna have a very Romanesque theme to it. Unfortunately, the only red that the box provides is Khorne Red, which is very Chaos-y for my Stormcast army. I am glad however, that they decided to name the paints tray, otherwise I’d forget what color was what pretty quickly.

Regardless, the two purchases are my first step into Warhammer and already I’m itching to get my army on the ground!

Entering the World of War…hammer.

I’ve only recently moved to the UK for work and so far have found it quite nice. The town is small but quaint and I live in a relatively alright area near shops and such (unfortunately also across from some clubs; sleep is poor on the weekends). Overall though, there isn’t much to do in town. I basically go to work, go to the gym, sleep and repeat. There aren’t even any good local restaurants.

On one of my random ramblings through the town I explored down an unfamiliar path. A fruit stand an antique store at the entrance of this gallery-mall type passage but I decided to explore down the way since I had time and nothing better to do. That’s how I found the local Games Workshop (funny how these things end up in random places).

A gleeful feeling came over me when I entered. Beautiful miniatures on display, loads of colorful designs and epic set ups. The clear cabinet beside me showcased many fine examples of artistry and I felt like a kid again.

There were a handful of people busily working away at their craft at the table near the back. Painting away at their army of choice while talking about random things. The owner however, greeted me and introduced himself right away. Really nice guy and passionate about the game(s). No pressure to buy but he got me up to speed on the Warhammer universe. Apparently Age of Sigmar is the thing now and old Warhammer Fantasy has ended. Not that it matters to me really.

I didn’t begin right then and there, but the seed had been planted. My high school self felt invigorated by the prospect; my career was finally heading in the right direction, I was financially stable, and life in general was going well. I came back to the store a few more times, even joining a local gaming group. In the end I made the leap and stepped forth into the world of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.