Monday, April 27, 2015

SAGA Vikings - Shields up! - WIP

Hey little man so spick and span...

Shields are definitely one the cool things about painting Vikings.  Along with any banners, they are one of the main focal points.  Depending on how many you have, shields can also be a big pain in the ass.  They offer up the chance to add an orgy of different colors and patterns, making a shield wall an impressive sight on the table top.  Still someone has to paint all those buggers.  Decals/transfers have become popular choice to not only speed things up, but really adding to the visuals with colorful complex designs.

Of course the downside of decals are that they are popular, so your army/warband tends to look like everyone else's.  Of course the same can be said for hand painted shields.  They are historicals after all, I mean, doesn't every 1815 French army look the same?...  Well, it doesn't have to be that way.

I'm not going to go down the road of historical accuracy, but will say that there really isn't that much authentic information to go on.  The decals, while very nice looking, seem overly ornate for the most part.  As if each Viking was not only a gifted artist, but had the time and materials to paint up such beautiful shields.  That leaves me with the hand painted option, but even then I wanted to do something unique.

...where were you when the shit hit the fan?

After seeing an impressive Anglo-Danish warband on the Stronghold Terrain website that had only black and white shields, I thought I would give it a try myself.  Using a limited color palette would be more unique, tie the whole force together, and allow the Vikings themselves (colorful in their own right) to stand out a bit more.

At first I was going to go with a combo red, black, and white scheme, but soon decided to try and have blood splatter take the place of the red against a black and white background.  The four models above are my first try, figuring I could always go with a multi-color approach later and just mix them in if it didn't work.  I also need to find my smaller toothbrush so I can better control the "splatter area."  I didn't plan to gore up the weapons, but I supposed having some blood on the axes and swords would only make sense now.

So, what do you think??  Let me know. :-)

UPDATE:  Included second picture of more WIP Vikings.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

SAGA Vikings - Hirdmen group 2 WIP

Hirdmen group 2 front

Same deal as the last post, another four Hirdmen and another point for my Vikings warband.  These guys are pretty fun to paint.  Once you get going on them, you can knock them out pretty quick.  I've got one more group and then some Berserkers.  Although I could paint up four with double handed axes and be able to use them as Angle-Danes as well.

Hirdmen group 2 back

As I mentioned in the last post I've been mostly using Vallejo paints, but the cloak on the mini below gave me a chance to try out one of my Andrea Color paint sets.  Not the best pics to see the gradual build up of highlights, but they should give some idea.  The suggested steps on the Andrea pamphlet seem kind of backwards.  Either way, I was pleased with my first try, especially with a color like black.  I'll probably combine a few steps next time, and look forward to using this set again on my Hospitallers.


Friday, April 24, 2015

SAGA Vikings - Hirdmen group 1 WIP

Hirdmen group 1 front

These Saga posts will be a mix of the past and present.  Most of the work on my Saga Viking warband, etc. was done last Fall, but some of the finishing touches are being done (or re-done) now.  These are my first group of Viking Hirdmen that equal one point of Hearthguard in the game Saga.  They still need their bases finished and the quartemaster hasn't gotten around to issuing them shields, but they are close.

I've noticed most folks use models with leather armor as Bondi, but I've went for the strictly armored or unarmored distinction.   Plus, chain mail was expensive and sometimes hard to come by, so I've thrown in the odd leather armor fig to show not everyone had (or preferred) the best stuff.

Hirdmen group 1 back

Those of you that follow this blog in the past, know that this is my second time around painting Wargames Foundry Vikings, and it was fun seeing them "come to life" once again on my painting table.  My first time painting these guy turned out rather bright, so I've taken extra care to keep them colorful yet muted at the same time.  Paints used were mostly Vallejo.

Vikings prefer blondes :-) so the majority of my minis will be blonde.  That's the plan, and I have many to paint even after this warband is finished (Hint: Hail Caesar).  Although most will have same hair color, I like to paint up each one a bit different.  So if you have your own favorite recipe for painting blonde hair, please share in the comments below.  Thanks!

Photo Bomb!

I've recently purchased a photo box, and you can tell by the pics above (sorry) that I'm still figuring it out.  Not my best effort, and yes, I have the vanity to say they look better in person. ;-)  I unfortunately also decided at the last minute to upgrade to a 20 inch, which doesn't seem to help either.  But hey, whenever I finish that Godzilla model I'll be set!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Total War: Warhammer

Total War: Warhammer was officially announced today as the latest addition to the Total War video game series.  No release date yet, but this game has been in the works for awhile now.  Although it was "leaked" back in January, the original deal with Games Workshop and Sega was announced and posted on this blog way back in December 2012.

The game will include the Men of the Empire, Orcs & Goblins, Dwarfs, Vampire Counts.  This is also the first in a trilogy of standalone titles, so it will be fun to see how this all comes together.  As part of the announcement we also get a nice little cinematic trailer including my boy Emperor Karl Franz. :-)

From the article:

"The valiant Karl Franz marshals the men of the Empire, seeking to unite the fractured elector counts under a banner of strength against their common enemies," reads an official synopsis. "Hungry for the vicious brutality of combat, the Greenskins flock to the tribe of Grimgor Ironhide; Orcs and Goblins alike filled with an insatiable thirst for carnage.

"High King Thorgrim orders the stoic Dwarfs forth from their mountain strongholds, marching to vengefully right the grave injustices dealt to them over the millennia. "Yet the motives of the Vampire Counts under Mannfred von Carstien are shrouded in murderous secrecy, his armies raised from the rotting ranks of the dead.

"And while the Old World becomes torn by betrayal, war and the unleashing of unfathomable power, a greater threat still whispers in the winds from the north. The fabric of reality itself begins to rend and buckle…"

UPDATE:  I thought I'd throw in this interesting little article on the best Warhammer video games over the years.  I really haven't been into video/computer games for awhile now (still think they're neat!), but I remember having hours of fun playing Dark Omen and Final Liberation.


Monday, April 20, 2015

The Mordian Iron Guard - Back Where I Started

The Mordian Iron Guard

Back when I started this blog in 2011, I was working my fledgling Mordian Imperial Guard army.  Things started off well, but they soon got lost in the warp along with other projects, distractions, and real life crap.  During the last couple of years with the comings and goings of Warhammer 40k 6th and 7th Edition they have made brief forays onto the hobby table always being in the mix for that top priority project before being pushed aside again for some new shiny.  With the seemingly perfect storm of me finishing up some projects for Saga and the sudden appearance of a local 40k Escalation League, the brave Mordians grabbed their unis from the dry cleaners and quickly seized the opportunity at hand.

 Mission One: Occupy & Secure Painting Table - ACCOMPLISHED!

Although I've had a couple of other painted 40k armies (Space Wolves & Eldar), the Imperial Guard have always been my favorite with their tanks and tons of good looking but disposable troops.  They always remained a competitive army, but also one I could have fun with and not care about casualties and loses.

I started playing 40k in 1991 and only really lost interest when the IG were forced into static gun-line tactics instead of maneuver.  With 5th Edition Mech IG lists came renewed interest in the game.  Aggressive maneuver and firepower while fielding lost of squishy guardsmen seemed like pure win.  Although I was excited by 5th Ed., what was really going to save my Mordians from the terrors of the warp (eBay) was a color scheme I could truly fall in love with.

As I mentioned in my initial Mordian blog post (The Mordian Iron Guard - First recruits), I've had some these minis for quite a long time.  Once a multi-Regimental force, my IG army has slowly over the years become a purely Mordian one.  I've previously owned miniatures for just about every IG regiment (except Catachans), but the Perry Bros. sculpts inspired by 1870 Prussians have always been my favorite.  However bright uniforms were just not going to cut it (Save those for Napoleonics).

My original Modians were grey, but that really didn't do it for me either and the scheme was overdone by other IG players.  I decided to go for a more natural desert scheme and kept red as an accent color.  A nice subdued feel with a little pop and colors that compliment each other nicely. 

With the uniforms settled, the next step was the vehicles.  I wanted a scheme that was complimentary, but not exactly the same as the infantry.  I wanted to figure out something between fresh from the factory and battle damaged and dirty.  I needed my tanks to look taken care of and a little ornate, but still weathered and dusty from the field.  All this, and I needed a process that would keep thing consistent as well as being quick and simple.  You can find out all the details here:  Front Line Assembly - Nailing down the process.

The initial results.

Very quickly, I thought I'd mention a few more previous posts that might be interesting and relevant at this time.  First off, messing around with creating different skin tones for the troops can be found here:  The Mordian Iron Guard - Different Skin Tones.  Thoughts and plans on some of my commanders and characters:  The Mordian Iron Guard - Character Development.  Although is will be updated and tweaked a bit, the initial army list for my planned IG force can be found here:  The best laid plans...

I'll probably revisit my planned army list in a future post, but I'll still start off with Veteran Squad heavy mechanized list.  There will be some tweaking in regards to fielding a Primaris Psyker or not, and the ultimate number of Vet squads, Vendettas, and Valkyries.  The biggest challenge in painting this army is the infantry, so that's what I'll try to tackle first.  After that the vehicles should be treat to paint with maybe the gunships posing any problems.  I also plan to try an knock out some desert terrain as part of this project, but more on that later.

Getting back to the Escalation League, for those who didn't check out the link above, here are the basics.  Paint 250 points a month for 6 months ending up with a 1500 point army.  The league includes 18 players that have signed up to put fun, narrative gaming, and hobby first.  What we should end up with is a solid group to play 40k with that all have painted armies.  Pretty sweet huh!  Well, that's the plan anyways.

First blood was drawn last Wednesday when I played my first game of 40k in forever against Nick Fenske.  We ended up playing at Phoenix Games to make it more convenient schedule-wise.  Always fun seeing the owner Neal again and playing on some of the old boards we built back in the day was a unique treat.  Also the gamer community there seemed super nice.

The scenario for game one was "Silence the Guns" and each side was equipped with Melta bombs for free to help out.  Not much to see in the pics or really say about such a small battle, but the game and my opponent turned out to be tons of fun.  Nick had 10 Word Bearer Chaos Space marines and a Hell Brute, while I fielded a Command Squad and 2 Veteran Squad (One with Melta guns the other with Grenade launchers).

As far as highlights (or lowlights) go, Nick proceeded to march across the table, destroy both objectives, and kick my ass in victory points.  My personal objectives for this battle was hoping that some of my guardsmen actually survived and managed to kill something.  Not only did I manage both, but I had Nick down to only one lonely Chaos Marine by the end of the game.

Probably the lone cinematic moment of the game was when my "outflanking" melta Vet squad came in on turn 3 blazing away at the Hell Brute.  This only managed to attract its attention and anger at the squad as everyone missed.  After displaying the same inept skill with its multi-melta, the Brute came charging in.  The squad closed its eyes and fired again.  One melta hit home and the Brute exploded spectacularly, taking half the squad with it.  With the threat totally annihilated the rest of the noble guardsmen ran.  Good times.  :-)

Nick setting the table for...  DESTRUCTION!!

"Just keep firing dammit!"

Outflankers:  "Surprise!"  Pew! Pew! Pew!

"Take it down!"...  What could possibly go wrong?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Corporal Duncan trusted in two things, his Emperor and his sergeant.  What he did not trust in was his melta-gun...  the thing had been on the fritz all day.  Catching his breath after a mad dash down yet another alleyway, he could barely make out the large shape looming within the smoke ahead before the sergeant yelled out "FIRE!!"

Nothing.  Not even a whimper out of his melta, but whatever laid beyond the smoke now let out a pants shitting roar.  Duncan stabilized himself as he realized the ground had started to shake.  Then he saw it.

What seemed to take up all 180 degrees of his field of vision was a Chaos Hell Brute charging right for them.  "BRING IT DOWN!!" came the command and all Corporal Duncan could do was smash his fist against the weapon again, and again, and again...

White.  That's all Corporal Duncan saw before he was blinded and then vaporized.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Fun - Hassling with the Hoff

"Can you hear me now?  Good."

I'm going to leave this riiiight here...  Have a great weekend!!  :-)

David Hasselhoff - True Survivor


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Times with Ragnar & the Horn Resounding

 "Odin approved"

Since last May it really has been the "Year of Saga" around here.  What began with a few isolated players here and there, grew through the Fall and Winter to culminate with a national event at Adepticon in Chicago.  Although personally I've worked on a Viking warband and some related terrain, I have not been very active on the gaming front, unfortunately.  Regardless, I thought that the following might be interesting to all you Saga fans out there.

In future "catching up" posts I will feature my Vikings along with WIP stages, and my plans to make a dual purpose force for both Hail Caesar and Saga.  I'll do the same for the terrain, and my first few games.  (I did share a few pics previously on my Google+ and Twitter @DerFeldmarschal accounts.)

 Teaser pics

To get a better feel for the local Saga experience, Eric Hagan's Google+ account is a great place to start.  I've featured some of Eric's initial Saga terrain on HERE before.  Monty Luhmann's blog Twin Cities Gamer is another excellent source of Saga action.

"And there was much rejoicing... Hooray!"

Things really started to take off after we had a "Saga Storm" meet and greet event here last September.  Over 20 players showed up during the day for a just for fun/play as many games as you want event.  There was 10+ tables set up with specific scenarios, you just grabbed someone to play and picked a table.  The day also included "Saga Storm" t-shirts and dice that were preordered, and ended with a big multi-player Feast of Crows battle between two sides.  This also spawned a (Locals only) Facebook group that's been very nice for coordinating games.  Monty's coverage can be found HERE, and Eric's post HERE.

Another Saga event, another t-shirt.

Shortly after the highly successful Saga Storm, Eric was asked to be one of the tournament organizers of the very first Saga Grand Melee tournament in the US.  This included making tons and tons of Saga terrain as every effort was made to make this a very high quality event.  Locally, we'll no doubt reap the benefits of this terrain stockpile.  I continue to make my own terrain and look forward to painting up the lovely Dark Age buildings I got from Stronghold Terrain.  More on that later...

I am still greatly disappointed that I wasn't able to attend Adepticon this year and be part of the Grand Melee fun.  Still, between the new terrain and growing base of great players with fully painted warbands, Saga is in a really good place locally right now.  Eric again supplied some great coverage of the event HERE and Adepticon in general HERE.

Had enough?

Some of this might be old news to some, but be sure to visit the various links as there are tons of pics of great looking warbands and terrain.  A virtual treasure trove of Saga inspiration. :-)

My next post will be switching gears for a bit as I get back to work on my Mordian Imperial Guard and participating in a 40k Escalation League (See previous post).

To get things moving along, this is my second post today.  So in case you missed it you can catch up on my musings over returning to the blogosphere here:  Better Late Than Never


Better Late Than Never

Here comes the cavalry...  Finally!

I've unintentionally put off the my return to the sphere-o-blog for far too long now, and with things ramping up hobby-wise, it's time to dust off ye olde Der Feldmarschall blog in order to once again share my hobby adventures with all you wonderful chaps out there.

A bit has changed with perhaps more to come.  One of the delaying factors in returning has been mulling giving the blog a facelift both in title and appearance.  True inspiration has yet to strike as I have yet to think of something better than the current format.  Other than that there has been some minor tweaking and some things gone all together.

One thing completely gone is the old Military History posts.  This is not only to make the blog more hobby centric, but also the belief in doing something right or not at all.  If the weekly/daily Military History posts ever do return, all 365 would be done ahead of time so the daily posts would never skip a beat and/or they would be given a blog of their own.

Other weekly features that I tried out last year may or may not return depending greatly on time available for blogging without sacrificing true hobby-time.  So perhaps not a weekly occurrence anymore, but when inspiration, interesting content, and spare time all conveniently collide.

A lot of blog-worthy things have happened since last July, but to keep this post from rambling on too long I'll start the process of catching up in the next post.  For now I'll just say that much of it was related to the game Saga.  Currently however we've started up a local 40k Escalation League (See HERE).  Looks like a great opprotunity to build a base of fun players and painted armies to game with, and another chance to get my Mordian Imperial Guard Army going again (Yeah those guys I actually started the blog with :-) )

Thanks for tuning back in,