Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dwarf King's Hold Kickstarter Complete

The Kickstarter Stylus and myself have been cackling to ourselves over has ended today. Never have troll hordes looked like such a probability in the future of the 'Boot, gents. Get painting those flaming weapons now.

It all got me a bit nostalgic for games long since departed from my collection. In joint honour of those games and this future one, here is a questing dwarf, reclaimed from the minion bag.

Dwarven Hero

Wizards' Cup Round 2: Whiffendor & Cravenclaw

It's All-Skype Fight Lunchtime!

It's amazing what you can do when you're on deadline.

Thwarted by poor broadband speed in the previous Quarter Finals, Kraken and I decided to try and cram the remaining two battles into a lunchtime. There was no leeway for overrunning this time, not with childcare and conference calls impending.

"Nuthin' is gonna ever keep you down..."

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Beast of Heaven

Victor von Esel felt good.

He liked horses. He liked their simple, easily-understood minds. He shared their love of speed. They were strong and healthy creatures, a study of muscular action wrapped in sinew and skin. Horses, he could have a conversation with.

Pity they'd eaten them all under the influence of his savage spells.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Dying Fire

It hardly seemed fair, in the end.

Gesper hadn't even arrived by the time the duel was supposed to begin. He'd been moping around the tower even more than usual, sighing into mirrors and making cryptic allusions to the end of all things. He sent Bruno on ahead with apparently deep regret, but then everything he did was mired in such. It was impossible to say how much was showmanship and how much was the kind of chronic depression you got from spending your entire life contemplating death.

Bruno sat on a horse amidst a stern group of his father's knights and waited, wondering what he was supposed to do if his master didn't show. Could he call the duel off?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wizards' Cup Round 1: Snuffitpuff & Shooteryn

It's All-Skype Fight Night!

There were a couple of delays to the kick-off of our Wizard's Cup. The first was some terrible (yet predictable) bank holiday traffic keeping me from my computer; the second was an intermittent broadband signal in Sweden, which can really put paid to a SkypeBoot.

However, in between the dropped calls, redials and saying "Hello?" about a billion times, we managed to play the first two rounds of the Wizard's Cup.

Feel free to add the soundtrack "You're The Best Around"

Sunday, 24 August 2014

EXT: Fencing in the Ruins

Not much to write about the first few photos, really. I'd already got one section of fence, but I decided a few more would be in order. I've got about a foot of fencing now. What else can I say about that?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Mine's A Djinn

Heavens above! For a moment there, I was afraid I wouldn't get all these wizards finished before the fighting started. But this rotund Celestial Wizard puffs in to belatedly join the others, like the chubby kid at the tail-end of cross-country run (ahhh ... school memories).

Dogs' of Way moneylender Sheikh Yadosh, in the style of a Warhammer Empire Celectial Wizard on a flying carpet.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Metal and Light

White - Lore of Light
The machine took up fully four fifths of the warehouse, filling the creaky wooden structure with gleaming pipework, glinting angular crystals on revolving mounts, vents that snorted occasional gouts of icy vapour and a twitching array of needled dials.

"Ready?" asked Schaeffer, his oil-spattered yellow overalls buckled tightly to his lean form.

"Ready," confirmed the wizard known only as The Pharoah. In his full ceremonial splendour, backed by a quintet of acolytes, he certainly had the stage presence of some ancient Arabyan lord. The difficult-to-master powers of Hysh, the Light Wind, were his to command.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Shadow and Life

Jade - Lore of Life
"You're a plague in the town's body, nothing more, Farren!" Arabella Artz called into the empty museum. "It's time to cure the disease!"

Beside her, the captain of the town's soldiers stood alert, sword drawn in one hand, lantern held aloft in the other. His men were scattered through the wings of the museum behind them.

"There's nothing there," he whispered to her. "Just shadows."

Sure enough, the hallways were dark. Darker even than the stormy night outside seemed to warrant. Arabella snorted impatiently and marched forward, forcing the soldiers to keep pace. Her polished boots echoed on the tiled floor. Stuffed animals stared from glass cases, portraits of ancient Teutognans gazed down from the walls. But of the traitorous wizard Xander Farren, there was no sign.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Heavens and Beasts

Amber - Lore of Beasts
"Of the skies!"

"Of the land!"

"I tell you it's of the skies!"


Herr Bleimpf cleared his throat politely. Neither wizard paid him any attention. Nor had they, since beginning their clash in his office.

"It has wings! It is quite clearly an emblem of the skies!"

"It's got the heart of a beast, the mind of a beast and the temper of a wild bloody beast! If you think it's anything but a beast, you're an even greater clod than you look!"

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fire and Death

Amethyst - Lore of Death
"I'm ready," Gesper announced. Bruno, his apprentice, looked up.

"Ready, master?" he asked.

"Yes. Send out the challenge. We shall see who takes up the gauntlet first."

Bruno swallowed. As one of the masters of the Lore of Death, he'd expected Gesper von Sterben to be a morbid sort of man. He'd not been expecting the turn of events his master was putting into action, however.

"Are you certain, master?"

"Death calls to us. The omens are clear," Gesper said, stalking to the window of their decrepit tower room and pressing his wan face against the glass. It overlooked a miasmatic stretch of gloomy swamp. Cypresses wreathed the few hummocks that managed to emerge from the water. Crows hacked and cawed as they circled overhead.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Place Your Bets For The Wizards' Cup

Who will win the Wizards' Cup?

There is a secondary motive for painting a full set of Empire wizards (the first motive being my obsessive completionism). Now that I'm able to access the full set of Battle Magic cards, it got me thinking: which Lore is the best one?

There's only one way to find out...

Over the next couple of SkypeBoots, Kraken and myself will be pitting the Colleges of Magic against each other in a winner-takes-all knockout.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

EXT: Woeful Tree

More custom scenery! With another commission about to hit my paint tray, followed by endless resin minis in October, I wanted to get this out of my imagination and into the games cupboard as swiftly as I could before it became another procrastinated daydream.

All that Arthurian business the other day got me reading bits of Mallory again. There's a fairly well-known bit where Lancelot squares off against some traitor knight who's spent his days bashing up other, more respectable, round tablers and hanging their shields on the tree outside his castle. He's got forty or so on the branches (ring the gong to take a shot at the champion!) when Lance turns up and breaks his streak.

Whosoever pulleth this brass sword from the permafrost is in for a world of hurt.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Tell Me Istari

The Lore of Life is next to be painted, and the model I used completes my trio of miscoloured Lord of the Rings Istari: Saruman the White Grey; Gandalf the Grey White Amber and now, Radagast the Brown Jade.

The Istari: Gandalf, Saruman and Radagast
"So do we all get horses?"
"Yeah, horses... yours is over there. In that hutch."

Whereas the other two miniatures were easy enough to pick up, I had to be patient until I got one at a decent price (about a quarter of GW's original retail). It's out of production now, as it was only an 'extended universe' design by the Perry Brothers, having since been replaced by the 'as seen in the movie' one from The Hobbit.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Light Relief

I should really be painting Jade Wizards or Celestial Wizards right now, but these two have been languishing in my leadpile for many years, and when they heard I was painting spellcasters, they demanded attention.

Light College Acolytes
We can see the light!

They're a couple of Light College Acolytes, cast in metal and going back to 4th Edition Warhammer. They had a peculiar rule where your Light Wizard could have five of these deployed behind him ranks of two and three, to form a triangle with the wizard at the apex.

The Greatest Monarch

Courtesy of General Stylus, I received shipment of various goods over the last months. Chief amongst them?A proper bit of heyday Lost and the Damned kit - a lead palanquin of Nurgle. No rider, though, just the bearers and the board.

Supplied unpainted, of course, but I forgot to take pictures at that stage.

There was also some rather fine resin bases, which was good. I'd run out of 50x50mm ones, which a palanquin requires. So I glued two cavalry sized ones together and then glued the nurgling lines across them at right angles for extra strength.

It's a great sculpt, very lively. Slightly let down by the fact that the two clumps of bearers are identical, though, which is why I mixed their colours up a bit. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Dungeon Saga: A Quest Fit For Heroes

My search for a simple out-of-the-box dungeon-bash board game is well-documented, and after a few missteps (always check for traps!) I think I've settled on one...

Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King's Quest
Behold your quest!

Entitled Dungeon Saga: The Dwarf King's Quest, it's envisioned by those plucky underdogs at Mantic. A spiritual successor to HeroQuest, it's being touted as a game simple enough to play with the kids (after all, who ever heard of a six-year-old playing Warhammer?), but with enough scope for advanced play. There will be expansion sets, no doubt, but you get everything to play in the box: heroes, villains, cards, boards and dice (and it's so hard to find dice).

Friday, 8 August 2014

Amber Wizard, Red Rum

I continue to lay down the lore, and today it's the Amber College of Magic.

There's an interesting decision to be made when picking a Beast Wizard: put him on a horse, and he'll get +1 for casting anything on himself (there are three likely spells), due to the Lore Attribute. However if you want the super-dragon transformation spell, he needs to be on foot.

In the end, I went with a mounted wizard: I expect he'll see most action in cavalry-heavy lists; I found a model I really liked; and I also don't have any model resembling a manticore, hydra, chimera or dragon (*drafts painting list for monsters*).

 Lord of the Rings' Gandalf on Shadowfax, painted in the style of a Warhammer Empire Amber Wizard.
Giddy up.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

It Is A Silly Place

You know you're near the bottom of your painting barrel when you turn to rubber miniatures.

This is Sir Galahad, the game's Yellow Knight. If the shield wasn't premoulded with a design, I'd have done a chicken.

These lovelies are from Days of Wonder's excellent Shadows Over Camelot game, which I'd recommend highly if you don't know it already. But they were never high on my painting list.

The jolly pure Sire Perceval (white), here depicted in full epic windswept-and-interesting mode. He's presenting his profile because there's a rotten great mould join down the middle of his face, which rather spoils the moody posing.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Mr. Grey Will See You Now

I already have a few hireling wizards in my Dogs of Empire army (Bright, Amethyst and Light). More than enough to do the job (if by 'do the job' you mean miscast spectacularly or get caught in the open and overrun for a massive loss of points).

And after a bit of recategorization, when I realised my mad scientist conversion was a better fit for an alchemist than an engineer, I could also count a Metal wizard.

So that gives me four of eight colleges. But as you know, I'm not the kind of obsessive-compulsive who would need to collect a representative from every lore of magic, just because I was halfway there.

Yeah, so here's the Lore of Shadow.

Saruman in the style of a Warhammer Empire Grey Wizard
Lover of the Russian queen.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Tau Infinity. And Beyond!

No more ochre for me. Only the fact that it's a reasonable replacement for my dear departed Snakebite Leather is preventing me from slinging the damn pot in the bin.

Apocalypse Tau

Tauberry Shortcake

Tau Many Broken Hearts in the World