Saturday, 20 December 2014

Bolt Action: "The Big Red 1" Infantry section 1

I'd like to share with you all my most recent hobby obsession, my US army GI's for Bolt Action. As a 25/28mm system, Bolt Action has been growing in popularity for some time now and is currently well supported with army lists, supplements and fluffy theater books. Even nicer is the sheer choice of models/model companies to select from when piecing together your WW2 army of choice. Sure Warlord Games' model range is very good, but I quite like to spread the love around a bit to keep the variety of sculpts interesting.

Fist up is an infantry section made from Warlord Games' plastic US GI's. I've thrown in some separate heads from Westwind Productions for flavour. I was quite taken by the service record of the US 1st Infantry Division aka "the big red 1" and so I've decided to represent some fictitious units from that division.

 Sgt Walowitz leads from the front, brandishing a Thompson SMG.

 I've used decals from Company B to represent the "Big Red 1"

 A Westwind US Webbed helmet head.
This is my warface!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Games workshop must change! A petition to do just that...

Dear readers,

I must bring this petition to your attention if you've not already seen it. Evan Valdyke has taken the good time to write an excellent petition highlighting what many of us feel to be the fundamental reasons why GW products are no longer fun or worth the purchase. You can read and sign his petition here.

Since I haven't posted for a while though, I thought I might write down a few reasons of my own explaining why I haven't spent a single pound on GW since the release of the Ork codex.

1) The Ork codex was a massive disappointment. Here's some context. I started an Ork army like so many others back with the release of 5th edition 40k (without doubt the best edition) from the AOBR boxset. From my first few games I was completely hooked. Orks were literally perfect for me, they played exactly the way I enjoyed and they were full of modelling and painting potential. Fast forward an MSc and a PhD and I've found myself needing to downsize my armies for the sake of convenience. Of course I decided to keep my beloved Orks!

So with all that in mind, imagine my disappointment when after 6 long weeks of waiting for the codex release, I finally get my hands on a long overdue codex and find it to be utterly below my expectations. For a start all the creativity had been leached out and replaced with obnoxious pictures of GW stock models. Where was the brand new full colour artwork for each unit that previous codexes had received? Where was the hobby section in the middle? Why was only half of the fluff included? Oh yeah I know the answer to that one, GW wanted to sell me another codex for the same price, which begrudgingly I bought because my clan is Goffs. Then I realised that I actually have the power as a consumer to stop this madness! I looked at myself and thought, I have spent £60 on one codex to play a game I barely enjoy. Why have I done this?

2) 40k is no longer fun to play. I don't think it's because of any one thing in particular but rather a death by 1000 cuts. Fundamentally the game is no longer immersive and can actually be quite stressful to play. Let me explain. Obviously, 40k is not real and so common sense can't always be relied upon to set the boundaries of the universe you're fighting over. Historical wargaming doesn't have this problem because armies of that nature actually fought for real and often there is plenty of source material available to inform your environment and army choices. 40k has a long and established base of fluff which I love but the rules do a very poor job of defining the context of the game. Instead they say 'do whatever you want' and as a result you get a complete abstract from the intended context, which completely kills the immersion. For example, I attended a local tournament recently and fought a legal list with nothing but 6 Eldar flyers in it. It was a complete comedy fest as these 6 fliers danced awkwardly around the table, while my guys could do nothing but watch. Yes, yes I get it's a tournament and by its very nature is an aberration of normal games but there was nothing special about the comp. All lists were GW legal and could legitimately be taken in any game. It's the lack of benchmark that makes the situation lose all sense of continuity. How can a context be established if we're not told what that context is?

As a passive result of this lack of context, the game can be quite stressful to play. There used to be a time when I could turn up to club and expect to play someone with army X. I'd say 'fancy a game?' 'Of course' they'd say, 'I've brought my Blood Angels'. Great, I now now what to expect from Blood Angels. I don't know what he's taking and so the elements of mystery and challenge are still there, I've not had an opportunity to see his list and tailor mine accordingly. These days, however, you ask someone for a game and they could bring out a vast number of different codexes and rules supplements and date slates and formations etc....... I have no idea what to expect half the time, which by its very nature is stressful. So now I associate playing 40k with stress and not fun?! That can't be good surely.

3) Value, value, value. I will always spend money on wargames, the industry know this about me (and you too!). It's a hobby I take great pleasure in and human beings do love their hobbies. Having said that, I'm still a consumer and there is a threshold that when reached means that I start asking awkward questions like 'do I actually need this?' Nothing could be more fatal to a hobby company! The simple truth is GW no longer offers value to its customers through the products it sells. It constantly pushes 'super models' on us and expects that we'll buy them. Take Nagash for example, GW expects me to buy a Nagash model because its massive and cool and highly detailed and as a modeler and painter I'm meant to cream my pants and immediately buy one! I haven't because I have no interest in the undead and the model is too expensive for a curiosity purchase. Lets look at a model I would buy, the Ork mek gun kit. It's a nice model with some fun options and plenty of conversion potential, exactly the sort of thing I want in a model. Did I buy one? No of course I didn't! You need at least 3 for the unit to be worth taking and they're £28 each! Let me put it another way, that's £84 for 3 plastic kits which come to around 120pts in the game! Where is the value in this? For the same price I could buy a box of killa kanz, which comes in a box of 3! I am just simply not prepared to spend that amount of money regardless of my love for Orks and their models.

I'll be posting up images of my latest obsession, my US GI's for bolt action very soon but they highlight my decision to stop purchasing GW products very nicely. For less that the price of the aforementioned mek big gunz, I got a 1000pt army! That's roughly 50 infantry, 1 tank, 1 transport, 1 mortar, 1 .50cal and command. That, GW, is value! Guess what? I spent a further £100 on extras!

So to wrap up, I have seen a lot of people say they're quitting GW over the years and I've always thought to myself 'yeah, yeah, whatever, you'll be back.' But inadvertently, I have also stopped purchasing GW products for reasons which I made as a consumer almost naturally. Now I realise this I wonder what it will take to get me buying GW products again? Perhaps the changes outlined in the petition above, if enacted, will do the trick? We shall see. In the meantime I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on the petition and your recent experiences with GW purchases.

All the best!    

Monday, 4 August 2014

Waaagh Grull Grokk

Ahh now uz wont to 'ear about Grull Grokk ehh? Well wun fing you shud know 'bout Grull Grokk iz he az a dead gud sense of ooma for a Goff. Best fing iz hiz jokes are dead funnee evun wen dey izn't. Der wuz dis wun time wen Grimbash got a nu trukk un Grull Grokk fort it wud be a rite larf to rig it up wiz a load ov tank minez.....hurhh hurhh hurhhhhh. You shud av seen iz face wen he turned da key!

Alwayz rememba dat lad, Grull Grokkz jokez iz alwayz funny. So don't forget to laff!

Boss Nob Skargrob lecturing the new recruits to Waaagh! Grull Grokk

Ok so after a disappointing start to the Orks (God that codex was a waste of money!) I have at least been reminded of how much I love to paint! Which is excellent considering the amount of Orks I have left to paint! Anyway, kicking off the Waaagh is Boss Grull Grokk himself.

Warboss Grull Grokk is a notorious copier and there's no one more copy worthy in the whole universe than Ghazghkull Thraka. Grull Grokk will do anything to copy his hero, he even went as far as to commission a suit of 'replica' mega armour so he can look like the prophet of the waaagh himself! By far his most prized possession, however, is his boss pole, which was genuinely worn by Ghazghkull himself! At least that's what the grinning Badmoon boss said right before he did the burney dance. Unfortunately, he can never truly look like Ghazghkull due to the arm he lost, but Grull Grokk likes to remind everyone that his custom spear is even shinier than anything Ghazghkull has. is his favourite joke after all! 

I built Grull Grokk out of the left over parts of the absolutely epic Ghazghkull model, which I had lying around. His power klaw had been used on my Biker Boss so that was replaced with a spare killa kan pneumatic spear. I also wanted to take advantage of the fact that a warboss can now take a combi-flamer with mega armour so I converted one up fairly simply. Finally, I finished him off with a nice tall rocky outcrop to menace over. I'm pretty happy with him, lets see how his Waaagh pans out on the table! 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Wartrakk-tor!!

I woke up this Sunday with a hankering for kit bashing and this is the result! Huzzar, the wartrakk-tor complete with an extra skorchy skorcha! Perfect for clearing away those fields and of course pest control.

I bashed it together from a load of spare Trukk parts I had left over from my nob bikers and some tracks from old robogear models. There a few bits from other kits like the dakka jet but they're mainly for detail. I've almost got enough parts to make two more, but I'm running low on exhausts and engines. Perhaps I can scratch something up!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Where have all the Orks gone?

It's been a while since I used this blog to rant and rave but with the recent lack of incentive from GW to actually release the Ork codex I felt it was about time I vented.

So where the hell is the Ork codex? I've been dying to actually play a game of 7th edition 40k and get back into the game after a couple of years of stagnation but I thought it best to wait until the Ork codex was released since Orks are my only current army. To be honest, I think the Ork codex has stood the test of time very well and I have loved all the years of gaming I've gotten from that codex and my army, but it is time for a change and the new codex represents that change. I don't know what it will be, I don't know how the new rules will shape my future Ork army builds and importantly, I don't yet know how much I'm going to enjoy playing the game with my beloved Orks. But for God's sake GW release the damn book! Where's the point in releasing all these new models if I can't actually use them? Do you honestly think I'm going to go out and buy a load of models that I don't even know how to use? In fact a load of models I can't use because they're not in the current codex! It's maddening!

I would love to go out and buy a couple of new shiny things for my Ork army once I've decided on a theme but I need to know what I'm going to buy first. I appreciate that GW make the best miniatures in the world and I understand that they may feel the models speak for themselves with their quality. However, I am not the only consumer who's wise to impulse buying, especially when it comes to non-essential hobbies. In fact, while I'm thinking about consumerism, why on Earth are those Mek Gunz £28 each?! Are you insane? Any Ork player worth their salt will scratch build their own or source from another company like Kromlech (who already do a lovely kannon) rather than pay almost 30 quid for one! It's especially insulting when you compare it to the Killa Kan box, which is the same price but comes with 3 models. So it's fair to say I will not be buying any of those, I'm sorry, especially as they're really nice models. We both lose there.

Back to the first rant, if you're listening GW, release the damn codex before I get bored completely! I should have been spending this time pouring  over the codex making up my mind on what I'm going to buy and field. Instead I'm writing this tirade in frustration!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Scratch Built Adepta Sororitas! Now with Paint!

Hello all,

It has been a while I must confess but work is as work does. I have been crawling along with my sisters of battle at a leisurely pace and now I can confidently claim...with evidence, that I have finished painting all the sisters I currently have converted. That's 5 :p

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Sisters of Battle flamer and Canoness conversions!

Progress on this project has not been slow but I must admit that progress updates have been! Never fear, I have the solution right here in the form of......a progress update!

Battle Sister flamer

I now have 4 fully painted sisters with one more to go. Then I'll need to convert and paint 4 more so that I can have my full squad of 9 (I'll be adding a priest into the mix too and mounting them all in a repressor). Come the end of April, this project will seriously pick up pace!

The Canoness

Converting and sculpting the Canoness has been a lot of fun! I began by butchering a warmachine caster for the flowing cloak and the 'armoured high heels' and an official Canoness model. The rest of the model came together naturally from various DE bits and a mountain of greenstuff! She's armed modestly, with a plasma pistol, chainsword, rosarius and the mantle of Ophelia. Still.....I'm pleased :)

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Scratch Built Sisters group shot!

Hello all!

Here's a monthly update on my sisters of battle project. I now have three of five sisters painted and once my order of sanctuary bases from dragonforge arrives they will truly be complete! Anyway, here are a few snaps. I'm sorry for the poor lighting, the colours are much nicer in life I promise.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Work Begins on the Sister Superior

Well, well, Christmas is over and we've finished ushering in another New Year so lets cut to the chase and get on with it shall we?

Sister Superior:

I've gotten to work on making the sister superior for the squad. When I was thinking about how to define her from the regular sisters I came up with the idea that veteran sisters would have longer hair because they are forbidden from cutting it once they reach a certain rank. This opens up all sorts of crazy hair styles with bows, bands and bobbles for added decoration! For instance, see if you can spot the bows keeping my superior's ponytail in place.

The combi-plasma was built by shortening a normal space marine plasma pistol and adding it to the underside of the umbra pattern bolter.....simple as that!