Hail, Theoden King!

This figure was painted late last year, for another charity auction at work. Much the same as the original Savage Orc from the first few posts, in fact. This time, instead of forgetting to take a few nice photos of the finished product, I forgot to take WIP pictures until almost the end of the process, so there was little point in showing them here.

For this charity figure, I chose Theoden on foot from the Citadel Lord of the Rings range. I chose Theoden for a couple of reasons – those being that he’s a very nice model, has a nice pose, is a somewhat recognisable character, and because I’d ended up with a spare of the figure (which always helps!) This figure is of course, a metal version, and from before they bundled it together with a non-matching sculpt.

When I started preparing the figure, I found that the truescale nature of it was just going to be far too small for an item in a charity auction. A 25mm round base is fine for gaming, but not quite as exciting for a model purely destined for display. As I don’t have any of those huge and imposing Scibor bases, and didn’t want the base to overwhelm the tiny figure anyway, I went for something a bit larger than the figure, but not big enough to distract.

I chose a 40mm “slate” base from Back-to-Base-IX and added some static grass clumps and flowers from Army Painter’s range. I know my mate Cash loves the clumps, referring to them as “sea urchins” and while I can somewhat see where he’s coming from, I like them for larger bases as they give a bit more depth than regular static grass (or indeed, a Reaper “broccoli” base).

I only found these photos on my camera yesterday. I’d actually thought they were already up here on the Blog, but when I did a search for “Theoden”, nada turned up. I suppose I painted the figure around the time I was getting prepared and packed up to move, so after getting the model done it was back to work and packing and such at the time.

Anyway, done now and months ago sold and given to it’s new owner. Painting the figure was quite the enjoyable process, made moreso by the fact that it only took a few days from start to finish and that the money was going to a good cause. I hadn’t painted a truescale model for some time, either, and the detail on Theoden was surprisingly fine after being to used to predominantly working on the much broader detailed Heroic Scaled figures for so long.

Kromlech: Orc Juggernaut Mecha-Armour Squad – Polish Resin #4

A few weeks ago I saw some previews of some new items from Kromlech, a polish outfit who do resin conversion parts that happen to fit popular heroic 32mm Orcs and Armoured Space Warriors. I’ve gotten stuff from them on occaision, but when I saw these, I knew I had to order them right away, as I knew they would fit outstandingly into my Ork army. No pics of the painted elements of that army unfortunately, as they got attacked by a dragon from the warp a couple of years ago (or possibly a cat) and there was critical falling damage and then some foot-crushing damage when I next entered that particular room. Then I had to move. Twice. So they’re still “in the shop” until I get properly set up here.

Anyway, when I saw these, I had to own them. So I made that happen. By sending them money.

The casts, as you can see are absolutely brilliant. No flash. No bubbles. Every bit of detail is crisp and visible. The resin is not the type that makes you itchy. They’re literally a pleasure to look at and handle. I haven’t been this impressed by a new figure in quite some time. Why? The details and the casting. You can really tell the thought and care that went into these models by looking at all of the little things.  The scavenged weapons bolted onto the arms are filled with detail, right down to the wires and tiny hydraulics that are jury-rigged up to pull their triggers.

The set also comes with 5 heads so you’ve got a fair bit of choice for the three, or if you purchase more for a bigger unit, it’s that much easier to individualise them. I also got a set of their Orc Gas Mask heads that I may or may not use on these – or perhaps on some infantry.

They’re also huge. Stacking up as bigger than Ghazkull in mega-armour and pretty solidly to Killer Kans. Regular Mega-Armoured Nobs won’t stand a chance. So they’re also completely suitable for use as a Warboss. I also included a Terminator and a power-armoured marine, who both just look weedy in comparison.

Enough talk. Time for the pictures – they’re all clickable for larger versions:

Orky Size Comparison. Note the Kromlech Base is slightly shorter than the GW ones.

Size – Compared to Marines.

Overall Size Comparisons

Armoured heads on top. Gas Mask heads below (purchased seperately).

Torso Left

Torso Front.

Torso Right

Legs Front.

Legs Rear.

Right Arm Outer.

Right Arm Inner.

Left Arm Outer.

Left Arm Innner.

So basically, I was impressed by how they looked online, and having them in hand, I’m even more impressed, and a little surprised at how good they are (a lot of the little details just aren’t visible in the preview photos I saw) and how well they’re cast. I should point out that I’ve got no affiliation with Kromlech and I bought these for full price from their eBay store.

If you’re interested in checking out more by Kromlech, look up the Kromlech.EU Facebook Page or these figures can be bought directly from the Kromlech eBay Store.

Basically, if you play Orks in Warhammer 40k, are looking for an impressive and imposing model for your games of Deathwatch or Rogue Trader RPG, or just want a big cool model to paint up, I can easily give these my highest recommendation.

Kickstarter Experiences Part 4

First up I guess is the Trollforged Assimilation Alien Host, by Ed Fortae. Basically, Ed is the guy behind Trollforged the company and Trollcast, which is being touted by many as a new all-singing, all-dancing material for miniatures. I went in for $200 which gives me a shitload of gribblies, which will hopefully arrive sometime this year.  The estimated Date is May, so Ed has another 5 months to deliver. There’s apparently going to be a campaign manager at some stage, as well as a while complex system of trades and exchanges. Some guys on Dakka worked out a way to turn it into a feasable counts-as Tyranis army, so I’ll probably do something along those lines. But try and do so in a way that still gets me at least one of each of the cool insectoid figures. I can see use for these in 40k roleplay as well. Not much has been updated since the end of the campaign, but my understanding is that Ed keeps regular updates on his Facebook or his blog or some shit like that. I’d prefer real updates via Kickstarter’s email system, but this one is so far out right now that I’m not too concerned.

Then there’s the Almost-Rans. Campaigns I wanted to back but didn’t for one reason or another.

Relic Knights, by CMON and Soda Pop Miniatures. I was originally in for an early bird pledge, but a combination of poor communication from the creators, especially over the GenCon weekend, not showing the sculpts and a large financial drain (I bought a house and had some massive bills) nixed this one. They also went a bit too far down the “add $10 for THIS” road for my liking. I really like the look of two of the factions (Black Diamond and Noh), not too interested in the rest. – But it was just too expensive. In the end I wasn’t able to up my $1 pledge as I decided to prioritise other things in their stead. I was interested in getting the SDE stuff, but it wasn’t laid out clearly how to get just those, so I left it. Maybe I’ll pick up some of their figures from Miniature Market in the future.

Kingdom Death: Monster by Adam Poots. Apparently Kingdom Death miniatures are the most popular thing in the history of the universe. I was originally in for this, but the combination of being very expensive, the game itself being a bit MMO-lite and unappealing to me, the figures being out of scale to the rest of my collection, and being very expensive eventually got me to drop it. There are some fantastic looking models, but I simply couldn’t justify the amount it would have cost me to buy the stuff I was interested in and then wait a year for it to arrive, especially as it got more and more all about the $15 or $40 add-ons. I put the money towards a new fridge instead.

AE-WWII by Blackball Games. I was interested in this one purely for some of the models, to use with Sot3R/Dust/Incursion. I wasn’t interested in paying for yet another Weird-WW2 ruleset. I wanted to get a couple of their figure sets in a deal without the rulebook (PDF it, if you must, but I don’t want the hardcover). I pledged a buck so I could politely suggest it in the comments. Almost all of the models in this KS are ones already in their range, so it should have been easy enough. They ignored the suggestion/decided not to do it, so I left my pledge at a buck. They made $10,663 of their $10,000 goal – so perhaps they should have taken more suggestions on board? /shrug

Imbrian Arts by Jody Siegel. This one, like Kingdom Death features some beautiful sculpts, many of which are very evocative of the Rackham style. Basically, I just found this one a bit expensive for what it is/was. Unless you wanted an entire themed set, the individual figures were $12 a pop (ie – may as well buy them at retail for less, or an equally-nicely sculpted Avatars of War figure). The themed sets offered better value, but only if you wanted all of those figures anyway. A friend suggested that the $300 pledge level offered insane value. Sure, but only if you actually want and would buy every one of those figures anyway.. or most of them, at least. I’d have happily gone in for a “choose 10 figures” type thing, similar to what Bombshell Babes also did (and they started off as quite expensive for the base level as well). But they didn’t, so I left it at a buck.  I figure that if I’m giving you money 3 or 6 months in advance, I’d like a reasonable price break, rather than pay pretty much the same price I could buy them from at retail down the road. meh.

He made a killing on it, so good luck to him!

Now:

Updates!

I’m a little more generous when it comes to no new updates in general at this time of year – for the campaigns that bothered to keep us up to date, anyway.

 

Kings of War: Nothing new shown or heard. I assume they’re still on track for their delivery since Ronnie is a machine when it comes to this sort of thing by all accounts.

 

Sedition Wars: Apparently my first shipment has been sent. It’s in transit. Comparisons showed that it was sent out a full week later than some other people who are also in Australia. I wonder if my critical posting here and/or on Dakka had anything to do with that? 😉 (nah, I don’t think they give two shits, TBH.)

 

Avatars of War: Got an update (!) a couple of weeks ago. Felix has finished a couple of dwarf units and a couple of characters. This week he showed off a bunch of concepts for nice, moustachioed human warriors. Hopefully he finishes the dwarfs before getting distracted by the new shiny and sculpting the humans instead. I’m sure the standard will be the last one to be sculpted..

 

Reaper: No new news. Last I heard, everything was running to the modified plan of everything being sent at once in March or May or whatever the fuck it is.

 

Stonehaven: I lost the little box of dwarves on my desk and only found it again today. I still need to look at them properly. They just started a new Kickstarter for gnomes which I’ll discuss in a forthcoming post.

 

Pirate Goblins: Well… no word from Bruno since the last email, nor updates or anything. Last update was around the 15th of December with Bruno saying that they’d be sent out between the 17th-20th of December. After that, nothing. He was pretty active on Facebook though, until/including New Years’ Eve Until people started grousing in the comments a couple of days ago, including posting links to his facebook account and the Indiegogo fraudulent campaigns page. Then this appeared.

================

Just a quick update to let everybody know what’s happening.
I’m just back from the hospital where I did spent the most of the 3 last weeks with no internet access.
I’m discovering all the fuss about the goblins and I feel very sorry for everybody.
Just to let you know the sending of the miniatures was given to a Help Center for mentally inadequate center the week before Christmas as I was taking some holidays with my kids and wanted to be sure that the miniatures would have been sent, I will check with them on monday what happens and why they didn’t seem to have sent the miniatures.
I’m really sorry for all this and will try to do my best to reply to everyone and be sure that every body will get what he paid for !
Please accept my sincere apology for all this…

================

UH-HUH. This all seems above board, right? Right? “I’ll send them out next week”.. then silence… then “I gave them to people with intellectual disabilities to send out right before Christmas.” A bit of an easy scapegoat for his own lack of responsibility, if you ask me.

I posted the following:

azazelx said 28 minutes ago
I work with people with intellectual disabilities, and to be frank, I certainly wouldn’t be giving a help centre something as extraordinarily complicated as a IGG/KS fulfillment to do.

141 Backers, many variances in their orders, international addresses, the need to PAY for the actual postage. That’s no simple task for individuals with an ID.

No, this is clearly BS.

Then Bruno sent me a message shortly afterwards:

================

“Hi, You really do think that I’m sitting on 13kg of goblins miniatures and 1300 dice just for the fun ? I didn’t post anything on facebook since the 30th of december as I was in hospital with no Internet Access for [redacted], I might have been seen connected as the computer at home was still turned on as it always is. I will go tomorrow to take back the miniatures and will send them by myself. I’m really sorry for all this.”

================

Bruno is now claiming that he’s going to start to send them out himself. We’ll see what happens. There certainly appears to have been more than a little bullshit involved. Ah, my first true Kickstarter Drama. I imagine that if I do get my miniatures in the end I won’t be getting that extra goblin I was wanting, after all.. :p

He’s certainly managed to kill off his chances of getting the Pirate Dwarves funded with his actions regarding the Pirate Goblins. (Which were barely funded.)

 

Red Box Games: Tre’ has been pretty good with regular updates, but he’s also spent the last couple of months saying that everything would be done “in a few days” or “next week” to a point where it’s become meaningless (remember, it was originally an October 2012 delivery date, and we’re about to hit February 2013).. He’s also been starting his second Kickstarter “tomorrow” for the last three weeks, and it finally went up yesterday. A few days ago we finally got a proper breakdown of the status of everything. With this, it pretty much confirms that there’s fuck-all chance of my KS1 stuff arriving before his KS2 finishes.

In fairness, here’s his post:

Hey Everybody. I am really sorry for the long delay in my latest update and for the continued delay in fullfillment. I wanted to post a generla update lettign everyone knwo what teh exact current status is on the KS fulfillment.

I have in hand and approved castings of: (lots of stuff cut for brevity)

 I now await the delivery of:

 Guarthagust, Ulbrecht, Yrsa, Fenris ( needed an adjustment for the sake of efficient casting ), Conradt Warp, Horsemen, Horses

 I must approve the castings of Yrsa and Conradt Warp and the horse. The production moulds are made and Ed is confident with them but I need to actually see the results of these production moulds before approving Ed and Brian to go ahead with casting 100’s of copies.

  Every delay in the fulfillment thus far has been strictly for the sake of your final satisfaction. I did not want to settle for anything less than the most perfect model I could deliver so when we had castings with visible shrinkage I asked that those molds be remade. That took a while and then casting the 100’s of required minis took even longer.

 The horses have been a real trick unto themselves. Neither Ed nor I have ever made horse models and this turned out to be a bit more difficult than either of us expected. I am especially particular about the Yrsa figure as it is by far the most complicated and delicate figure I have ever released and it is the replacement figure for the most popular figure I have ever produced. It MUST be perfect.

   In the end I was too optimistic in my expectations of delivery, AND I was remiss in never pushing the expected delivery date backward as the work load expected by that date grew exponentially. It is a mistake I will not repeat. I am ready and waiting for the delivery of these last items to begin shipping the rest of the KS rewards but until those figures are in hand and approved I can do little more than wait. 

  I do expect to have the last of the expected casting within the next week or two. Ed has informed me that the test samples of Yrsa, COnradt, and Horse #1 were shipped to me on friday last which means I SHOULD receive them for approval tomorrow. At which time I will inspect the castings and call Ed with the yay or nay. Upon my approval Ed will finish the last three horse molds and Brian ( if he is back in from being Ill…. get well Brian! 😀 ) will begin casting the rest of the Yrsa, and Conradt Models. 

  There are still 100’s of copies of each mini left to be cast BUT I will be taking shipments of these figures in batches as they are cast to allow to me to begin filling orders as quickly as possible.

  I had intended to have ALL commitments from this first campaign fulfilled before running a second campaign but the realities of development did not allow for this. The difference in this second campaign is that all planned models are already sculpted and mastered ( with the exception of the Goblin footmen ) so the actual production overhead is cut in half. Ed already has the masters and they are ready for the production of production molds. All that is needed is for me to be able to finance the slot in Ed’s work schedule to have those molds made and have castings run. 

  The expected delivery date for the second kickstarter products is set for August of 2013. This is the nearest  date that Ed and I both fell confident in to deliver all planned products, however I will be creating a module in my regular webstore in which you will be able to pay for ” batch shipment ” of any figures involved in this campaign. Figures will be produced in the order in which they are funded and will be available for shipment in specifically timed batches. When ever a batch is ready to ship I will post an update letting all of the backers know. At which point they will be able to ” purchase ” the shipping cost for that batch and have it shipped to them then rather than having to wait until the final pieces are produced and in hand.

   Again, My deepest apology for the delays thus far and my most sincere appreciation for your patience with me in this.

  Cheers,

   Tre’

So while I still trust and like Tre’, I won’t be going in for the second Kickstarter. He’s made a bunch of mistakes and some poor choices along the way, but I trust him to eventually come through. I doubt I’ll go in for the second KS, but that’s because I need to see Trollcast in my hands before dropping more money on it. Like every other material out there, it’s got a bunch of people who swear by it, but until I see it for myself I ain’t spending another $100-150 on it for figures I don’t have any use for just to support a guy’s small business. Very different rationale to not trusting him to come through, though. Instead I’ll be using that money on stuff from other small outfits like Puppestwar, Victoria Miniatures and so on..

In the comments of the new Red Box Games Kickstarter, there’s some slightly disturbing portents regarding the new prices. Remember, Trollcast is supposed to be making miniatures cheaper to produce.

RiTides about 22 hours ago

….
I’m a little bit bummed that bonebacks are about $3 apiece, even at Kickstarter price, which is more than I paid for the metals! But I think I’ll be over the sticker shock soon.

….

Bonebacks were some of the few figures I was potentially tempted to pick up if I did go in for this one, as I’m not otherwise fond of the RBG goblins aesthetic. I think I’ll probably have to leave it out. Apparently Tre is going to start sending out the stuff that’s been sitting around. It’ll cost him a fair bit in postage, but I think he sees how important it will be to fulfill KA1 before KS2 finishes. For my part, he’ll have to send out about 3 late figures at a cost of about $4 including the baggie. On one hand, I can see how it adds up, OTOH, it’s only a tiny fraction of the $150+ I sent him with the initial promise of October fulfilment. Since we’re almost 4 months late now, I don’t actually feel bad about this..

 

Studio Miniatures Zombies: Well, they didn’t go into the post the next day just before Christmas as Stuart suggested. Someone got in contact with me 3 weeks ago (early in the new year) to confirm my address, but then no-one replied to the email I sent then asking for confirmation or the one I sent almost 2 weeks ago…  (Stuff from the UK is usually 5-10 days). I finally had a parcel arrive on the 25th of Jan with my missing stuff – it was sent on the 8th of Jan. A week after I got back to them, and 3 weeks after they initially said they’d resend them by…

All in all, I wasn’t impressed by their fulfilment. Would I go in on another campaign my Studio Miniatures? Maybe. But only for a small amount.

 

Dreamforge Games Leviathans:  Had mostly gone quiet after the holidays, with the shipment due to hit the US shortly. The latest is that the cargo container hit LA and the figures are on their way to Utah and WGF to be sent out around the world.

 

Mantic’s Dreadball: Again nothing new shown or heard. I again assume they’re still on track for their delivery of the second wave.

 

Bombshell Babes: Had another nice update showing progress a couple of days ago, including a couple of very nicely painted models. Apparently all here is on-track.

 

Mongoose’s Judge Dredd: Got some more stuff 2 weeks ago – Two lots of Rifle Judge+Giant/Fergee/Space+Citi-Def. Got another small package this last week as well, with one of the Justice Dept II sets and a few others. (No sign of the same for my wife’s pledge.) According to Matt from Mongoose, the figures that were already sculpted and in their existing JD line that were repackaged for the KS are now also in transit. Not sure where that leaves the Specialist Judges set.

Kickstarter Experiences. Part 3

OK. Part three.

Since the last update, I moved house, finished up all the craziness at work at the end of the year (at the same time) and have been unpacking while Christmas and the New Year all happened.

Dreamforge Games, AKA Mark Mondragon‘s project to create some Leviathan Crusader giant mecha to go with his game world that also features Eisenkarn (aka WW2-inspired Space Germans) and some other forthcoming stuff. The mechs of course come in two scales – 15mm, so you can use them in your Flames of War games (?) – or they just happen to work as excellent Dreadknights. Similarly, the 28mm ones would just happen to work as Imperial Knights, though a lot of people plan to use them as Proxy Warhound Titans. As the Kickstarter continued to do gangbusters business, the scope expanded into variant mecha, infantry (light, heavy and female) and Hanomag/251-inspired APCs. I also went in for some of the heavy infantry and the girls, as they were the best bang/buck as I didn’t have much money left after going in for 4 of the big mechs and 4 of the smaller ones, plus extra weapons….

The first wave of these kits (including the aforementioned Leviathan Crusaders) were of course due to be in backers’ hands during October, and, well, you should be used to this by now.

The latest update forecasts it being in Wargames Factory’s (Mark’s production partner) at the end of January, so if I’m lucky, I might see my toys at the end of February! Only 4 months overdue! Yay!

The difference between this campaign and some others in that regard is that Mark has kept his backers updated regularly with information and pictures – rather than disappearing into the ether for a month or more at a time.

So, am I happy? Well, Not as such. But I’m not bent out of shape either. Honestly, when the campaign finished in Mid-September, I knew there was no way they were going to arrive in October (WTF was Mark thinking there?) but I did hope they might arrive for Christmas.

Dreadball, by Mantic Games. I have to admit that I was quite pissed off when this one was first announced. I felt that Mantic should have finished delivering on their Kings of War Kickstarter before starting a second one and going back to the till. I was also a harsh critic of the start of their Kickstarter, with essentially “suuuuure they weren’t going to make the ref plastic” and the like, as it was all-but-guaranteed with a “goal” of $20k, and while I do still retain many of those beliefs about the early stretches, and still hold that things like making the Hex bases a paid-for add-on, and the short-numbered teams of 8 players (to sell more add-ons) I do have to also give Mantic a lot of credit for actually setting a date and then going balls-out to make that date.

Apparently they got fucked over by the same Chinese printer that screwed McVey’s Sedition Wars project (took the money and did a runner), so the story goes that they sourced another printer, and got the stuff on a boat in time to meet their deadlines anyway. On top of that, apparently the games were supposed to come pre-boxed (which was why they changed their “all rulebooks will be signed” offer to a shitty signed pamphlet). Then when the stuff arrived from China, the boxes weren’t assembled or packed, so they closed down the Mantic Warehouse for a week and had all their staff making Dreadball boxes. While I felt that they should have gone back to the signed rulebooks (because that’s just a lot cooler than a pamphlet that half of us are guaranteed to lose), it’s a minor niggle.

In the end, they got out the first wave of stuff out to backers in time for Christmas. On top of that, they delayed the shipment by a few days and also managed to include the first wave of MVPs in the shipment, and also got out the January wave of Dreadball boxed games. They also sent orders out in a way to help guarantee that everyone in the world would get their by Christmas, so stuff to Australia et al went out first, and UK stuff (with fast local delivery) went out last. That’s the way to show all your customers that they’re valued – Kinda like a fuck you to CMON.

Oh, they also sent stuff into the UK retail supply chain as soon as they got them, with the result that some UK retailers and shops running demos had their toys a few days before backers in the UK, sans all of the extras, of course. This of course sent bits of the internet into apoplectic fits. But really, the campaign said December. You got your shit in December. Man the fuck up and shut the fuck up.

Through all of this, they also managed to continue giving updates for both DB and KoW, including some much nicer sculpts than you’d expect from Mantic’s earlier stuff…

(ignore the “donate” part of the banner!)

Bombshell Babes, by Bombshell Miniatures, aka Patrick Keith. Another campaign I wasn’t impressed with at first, since the basic level to buy in came to $15 for one figure, which is frankly ridiculous, even with shipping included. Once you got up to $150 or so, the value scaled up reasonably, and the ability to choose exactly which figures you want was also a bonus, rather than being stuck with the figures in a pre-defined set.

This one’s due …this month actually. It appears that it’s on schedule, and Patrick has been keeping his backers up to date with regular updates and greens and so forth. This being Kickstarter, the figures will probably begin to be mailed out on Jan 26th, and overseas backers will be sent last. 😉

Taking that and International shipping times into consideration, I’ll expect to see these sometime in Feb, hopefully.

Mongoose Publishing’s Judge Dredd Kickstarter. I’ve been a fan of Dredd for a hell of a long time, and so I went in on this one despite not really wanting to do anymore Kickstarters in 2012. This one leveraged a lot of their existing model boxed sets as rewards in order to get money to put together a bunch of new sculpts. Mark from Mongoose listened to feedback, and allowed people to pick and choose which of the 10 boxed sets we got, rather than one of each of the existing ones. With that in mind, I got a whole bunch of Judges and only a few perps. All of the existing boxes have already arrived, and so I’m waiting on the repack boxes (other pre-existing Justice Dept single models repackaged into boxed sets) and of course the new sculpts.

This one was due in November, though that doesn’t count the stretch goals or the repack boxes. I actually received all of the stuff that was promised in November in 3 separate boxes from Mongoose on the 1st, 7th and 15th of December. Which is not too shabby, especially considering that Mongoose’s production facility is in the US – so things got messed up a little by Superstorm Sandy in getting product over to the UK in a timely manner.

There has been a reasonable number of updates showing off new sculpts and such, so as long as they keep up on this, and keep the figures coming (repacks soon, I hope!) then I’ll continue to be happy.

Now, Updates:

Kings of War: More sculpts shown up to Christmas, as noted in my half-update. Their new stuff is using a lot of Remy, who used to sculpt for Rackham. I’m one of the many people who are surprised at the sudden turn to high quality sculpts that Mantic have taken. This is only a good thing.

Sedition Wars: A snarky “non-update update” just after Christmas shows that CMON still lead the stakes in customer service. I’m glad I skipped their Guilds of Cadwallon Mini-Kickstarter. Some new sculpts shown by McVey that look pretty shit-hot. Still probably going to come in Feb. Hopefully.

Avatars of War: Felix has put out one or two of the units. Characters (including the standard bearer) are set to be done last. People are starting to hope out loud that he can manage to concentrate on the Dwarfs long enough to get them all out and not get distracted by new shiny to sculpt. I’ll no doubt buy some when they hit in-stock retail – for the same price as his KS offered…

Reaper: They’ve been quiet for a little while, though they showed a great big fuck-off dragon a few weeks ago. The proportions of it looked a bit wonky, but when they ship that stuff it’s going to have to come in a fucking big box. In fact, due to Australia Post’s regulations, it’s probably going to have to come in 2-3 boxes. So they should just ship me my paints now! 😉

Stonehaven: The little white box of figures arrived a week or so ago, right when I was in the midst of moving. I still haven’t had a chance to look at them. October date, figures arrived in December. From a little startup outfit just getting into the game, who also bothered to keep up updated, I’m alright with that!

Pirate Goblins: Well, I finally got in contact with Bruno, who has said that he’ll fix me up with that extra Goblin I was after. Due October, it’s now January. Last update was around the 15th of December with Bruno saying that they’d be sent out between the 17th-20th of December. I guess I should expect to see them in a week or two?

Red Box Games: Apparently there were issues with the casting screwing up some of the figures, so stuff was sent back and forth between Tre and the casters – Trollforged. Some people have their stuff, there are potential issues with the round shields. Not sure what Tre’ has back or how much more he’s waiting for, but I’m pretty sure my stuff hasn’t been sent out yet, so again, I’ll hope to get this October KS in hand by Feb. At least the delays forced Tre to give up on his cockamamie plan to start another KS in Mid-November…

Studio Miniatures Zombies: Well, they did arrive. Unfortunately in what I presume was a rush, Stuart completely missed our chain of back and forth emails stating which survivors I was after and “no problem” on getting German Zombies as well and additional payment doubling my pledge order. He was apologetic when I emailed him with my “um, I think you sent me someone else’s order, because this one is really wrong” and has promised to send the stuff out to make it right. Since all this happened just before Christmas, I’ll expect it in a couple of weeks.

Next time: Trollforged Assimilation Alien Host and some commentary on Kickstarters I was initially in for, but backed off to $1 pledges. Probably not worth writing for a couple of weeks so we can see how some more of these pan out…

Half a Kickstarter Update…

So the third part of my Kickstarter commentaries/bitching/ranting has been somewhat late. Work commitments have been fairly hefty in the last few weeks with the lead-up to Christmas, and I’ve also moved house, while also moving to another area at work. So moving boxes is my life at the moment, while writing in-depth posts is not.

So, half an update, and hopefully something better in a few days when I have my PC set up and don’t have to use a laptop…

Mantic/Kings of War have shown a bunch of newish sculpts – alternately for this game and for Dreadball. (aka Breadbowl).

McVey/CMON’s Sedition Wars looks more and more like a February arrival.

Nothing new from Avatars of War (or maybe there is – but they don’t bother to inform their backers, so…)

Reaper showed a WIP of a huge Dracoliche (undead dragon) that looks somewhat out of proportion. US and Canadian backers have started getting toys. ROWers can still STFU and wait for the combined shipment.

Stonehaven’s Dwarves arrived a few days ago. I have the little box on my desk. Haven’t had a chance to look at them yet.

Tre’ Manor’s Red Box Games continue to have production problems with Trollcast. Looks like they’ll be shipping in January now. Mid-Jan? Depends how long the Trollforge guys and Tre’ take off for Christmas and New Year’s…

Studio Miniatures‘ Zombies. Well, apparently they were to have the last ones sent out by 10th December, before Stuart’s wedding. I got an email yesterday saying the last ones have been shipped. I understand they arrived at my mailing address today, so I haven’t had a chance to look at them and make sure it’s all there and proper with the right mix of civvies and Nazis.

Relic Knights by Soda Pop and CMON have shown a mix of nice and rubbish sculpts/renders. Still deciding what to do with the Pledge Manager there. Get the SDE stuff? Maybe?

Mantic’s Dreadball and Mongoose’s Judge Dredd have both had a fair whack of stuff show up – actually on time! More detail next time!

Painting & Modelling Blog: Eureka Miniatures USMC part 1 – Proxie Models bases, Vallejo Acrylic-Polyurethane Primer, Vallejo Sandy Paste

Since I’m quite excited about these new Modern USMC figures from Eureka, I’ve decided to start painting them already – typically figures sit in my “to do” pile for anywhere between months and forever (don’t ask me how many unpainted Space Marines from the 1990’s I still have). Moderns though – I’ve always wanted to get hold of moderns, but until very recently they have always been in 20mm, or quite frankly – not good enough models for me to be willing to spend money on. I guess I’m a bit of a snob in that sense, but I grew up with Games Workshop sculpts by Jes Goodwin, the Perry Twins, Kev Adams, Mark Copplestone et al, and later on, figures by the Rackham crew, so seeing figures that looked mostly-smushed or not much better than what I could sculpt myself never did it for me.

As well as a follow-up order with Eureka, I’m also planning to pick up pretty much the entire Modern (Western) range from Empress Miniatures very soon – US Forces and Brits. Again, they look very nice, and should add some additional variety to my modern forces.

I started by basing them on 25mm rounds from Proxie Models. A couple of months ago I ordered a ton of bases ($70 worth) from Ken after some recommendations on Dakka, and they are both dirt cheap and excellent quality. I’m tempted to order more just to have a healthy stockpile for the future.

One of the new things I’ve decided to try with these was the coloured primers I picked up a couple of months ago from Vallejo. These are the new Acrylic-Polyurethane primers. I picked up the full range of 10 colours in the 200ml bottles, in the hope that I’ll never need to buy the stuff again.

I’ve heard people talk about how they’re wonderful for plastics but not so great for metals. Well, they applied very nicely and smoothly to my Marines using a 3/16 flat brush, and once dry, the paint has indeed “shrunk” into the detail, leaving them unobscured.

I have to say, using coloured primer has been a little hard to get my head around – after more than a decade of using a spray can, using a brush to apply coloured paint just seemed wrong in some way – like I’ve started basecoating without undercoating. The Vallejo primer was very smooth in it’s application, and feels quite nice on the models. I used a 2:1 mixture of RAL8000 German Green Brown with White, as I figured if I’m going to use coloured primer I may as well lighten it to be a bit closer to what will be my main base colour.

In all, it turned out well. After drying I’ve spotted a few places on a number of the figures that I’ll need to touch up. After that, basecoats!

The one thing I’m not sure about is the basing of the sniper. He’s too big for a 40mm round, which leaves me with a choice of the two 40k cavalry bases. The WFB square one leaves his rifle overhanging, which means I could more easily position him as shooting out of a window etc, but the round one will better protect the rifle from damage in storage, transport and play. I can also do a little more on the base by adding some rocks and such, though not to the extent of making a mini-diorama, as I feel they detract from models when used as gaming pieces. I also prefer round(ed) bases. A 60mm round would be overkill, I feel. I’m using another figure as a spotter, but I prefer to have 2-man teams based separately as it offers more flexibility on the tabletop and in storage.

In the end, I went for the rounded base for the extra protection. Since with these figures I’ve decided that I want to try a bunch of new materials and techniques, I found the Vallejo Sandy Paste that I purchased awhile back, and decided to ladle it onto their bases. I haven’t used this kind of material for basing before, and have only used non-textured acrylic pastes for adding bulk, such as on my FoW DAK, and then going over the top with regular fine sand. Since the Proxie bases have a slight indent and the Eureka figures have an integral metal base, I used the paste to level out the tops of the bases, using a sculpting tool to apply it, and the same brush as I used for the primer to wipe it off when I got too much on their boots.

Verdict – the paste is way too fiddly to use on something like a 40k army or a full historical army, but should be fine on a smaller skirmish force like these ones. Finally, I added some kitty litter to the bases to add some texture as rocks. I’m going for a more rural Afghan-style base, rather than simply sand. I added a couple of the larger stones to the front of the sniper, to make it look like he’s found a spot that affords him a little bit of visual cover, while still keeping him in theme with the rest of the figures (so no bricks or ruins).

Now I just need to touch up the primer where it got rubbed off during the basing, and the actual painting can begin!

Chronopia – Sons of Kronos (and MIB update)

While working on some assignments the other week, I needed some way to ease my stress. While taking breaks, rather than playing videogames, watching TV or reading (more reading – ha!) I decided to pull a part-painted figure out of one of my cases and try to finish it. In this case, a Barbarian Son of Kronos (I think) who had been based and simply had some unshaded fleshtone applied. I finished him the same day. I then started on the figure next to him in the case, a Chronopia Sons of Kronos Blade Maiden, who also had simply been based and has some of her flesh basecoated. I finished her the next day.

Painting models – I found it to be a great stress relief and also great to motivate me to do my work – since I made myself do more reading/writing in-between paint breaks – which was much more rewarding than the assignments!

Chronopia Sons of Kronos

Chronopia Sons of Kronos (back)

The tartan looks a bit better in person, what with the figures being about an inch tall. Looks much more messy when blown up like this. The markings on the guy are meant to be woad warpaint, though I wanted to avoid the “Braveheart Lite” look, as well as overly-intricate patterns. I was initially going to put some on her as well, but she’s already quite busy with a lot going on so decided against it.

As for Chronopia itself, I bought the rules and a few semi-random figures when the game came out, but my group never got around to playing it. The figures therefore won’t be painted as proper forces, more likely a few nice display models and perhaps a few will be drafted into 40k-ish or LoTR forces. Much the same as the majority of my WHFB stuff.

Warzone Corporation Men In Black

Also a small update to the MIB figures from a few posts ago. I wasn’t satisfied with the sunglasses or the whatever-it-is on the bottom of that one guy’s pistol, so I touched them up. The gloss varnish on the glasses hasn’t come out in the photo, and the thing on the guy’s pistol has been painted as a tac light, though it’s a little out of focus in this photo. Win!