Saturday, 15 January 2022

Warhammer Empire - Averland Army

Continuing the army showcases, today we have my old Empire army. This force has come together in quite interesting ways, as Empire models are now incredibly expensive to get hold of, so I had to be a bit cunning about waht to buy. Some models are still available from Games Workshop as they have been amalgamated into Age of Sigmar's free cities, so the Helblaster was easy to find, but most other things took a bit of effort. Handily, I was given a load of old Battlemasters models. I hadn't actually heard of Battlemasters before last year's forray into old fantasy. Essentially it's an old board game made with GW intellectual property that featured a range of pretty good plastic sculpts. In this army, the halberdiers, kinghts and crossbowmen are all Battlemasters sculpts.

I remember when the first pikes came out for Dogs of War when I was younger and how exciting it was to have a new weapon in the game. If you're not familiar with old fantasy, it would probably seem strange to think that at the time there were about a dozen weapons in the game shared between all armies (two hand weapons, hand weapons, double handed weapons, spears, halberds), so something new was really exciting. The pike regiment are Landsknechts by Warlord Games. I'm really impresed with the models, and I've been using them as an allied in regiment in games using the dogs of war rules. Pikes are mean too - fighting with 4 ranks is brutal when it's not uncommon for a unit to attack with only one rank. Actually, the pikes do have an interesting thing in there - my first paper bnner in a very long time! It turns out that the secret is to varnish the paper a few times before you start painting to stop it from curling up. 

The crossbows from the Battlemasters set are pretty good, but their bows have very triangular ends, so I shaved down the bow part to make them look better. Their faces are a bit lacking in detail too, but they do the job, and I like the feathers.

Handguns (below) are from the 6th edition box set. I'm not really a fan of the more modern plastics as I think the proportions for these guys are better. Handguns are a real mixed bag in old fantasy, as they only fire every other turn. With 2 ranks, you can fire them every turn by slowly rolling them forward, so a rank shoot each turn. In theory, I still think they're pretty shite, but being as they decimated a whole unit of Orcs in their first game, I can't complain too much. 

There are a few metal characters in the force - with a Knights Panther Grandmaster model being used as my general, metal wizard (below) and a Reiksguard captain leading the halberdiers. I was happy with the patterning on the Wizard's barding. I've done some patterning and stripes throughout the force and have been quite happy with the results. It's a lot of work though as I'm painting the yellow over a black undercoat. My one tip is that Balor Brown makes a good base for yellow as there's nothing brown about it and it's basically Averland Sunset, but is easier to apply!

I think the army is at about 1200 points so far, but 1500 is pretty close, as my planned list involves adding a great cannon and Outriders, all of which are built and 2 outriders are already finished. There's also a Steam Tank in the works. 


Monday, 10 January 2022

Fantasy Orc Army - first 500 points complete!

As promised, I'm back with some proper photos this time around. If you missed my last post, I did a head count on my progress from the last year and found that I'd painted 387 models. Getting them all on the table was a challenge in itself, and there was no way to get nice army shots, so today I'm back with a focus on the small new orc contingent I've been working on. You might ask, where are the Goblins (there is one hiding up the back), but the focus is on Orcs so they can ally with my brother's night goblin force. 

Overall, I'm really happy with this army. I've never really found a greenskin recipe that I liked until now, and the oldskool reds and blues set them off nicely. There's a mix of models here, with plastics from 5th Edition mixed in with Battlemasters orcs and a classic metal command for the big 'uns. I got a plastic troll for my birthday a few weeks ago too, originally from one of the starter sets. I'd love to source a few old metal stone trolls, but they're like gold dust! 

Classic plastic archers (below). Single pose sculpts have really grown on me. They look great when properly painted and they really take me back.

Savage orcs (below) are mostly Harelequin Models Barbarian Orcs, which are available now through Black Tree Designs. They were a bit of a Christmas present for myself. If you're looking at them and thinking it's hard to tell them apart from the GW ones, it's because they were also sculpted by Kev Adams in the 90s who worked on a lot of the older metal GW orcs. Speaking  of Kev Adams, the warlord model at the top of the page now known as Oglud Bonebeater is an old Heartbreaker Miniatures models also sculpted by the guy. It turns out he's basically single handedly responsible for filling the world with the joy of grinning derpy orcs - just how I like them! 

The Big Uns - I'm planning to split my orcs as the army grows so that the 5th Edition plastics (ones without helmets, and slightly smaller) will form a unit of regular orcs while the armoured battle masters orcs will be the more elite Big Uns. 

You'll notice a few spare models in the background that will be rolled into later units, they were out for the full head count!

The scenery in these photos is all stuff I've been working on too and us scratch built as a set to match the army. Speaking of, I hand made the mushrooms on their bases too with some regular milliput. It turns out that it's not hard to do, and seems to be a pretty good thing to do with leftover putty! 

Thursday, 6 January 2022

2021 in review - I painted 387 models!

Despite a distinct lack of posting on the Blog, it's actually been an incredibly productive year for me. More than any year I can remember, I could completely track my progress as I finished my first oldhammer Bretonnian Knight on 4th January 2021. Throughout the year, I made a huge comeback to Warhamer Fantasy with multiple armies in the works and models both old and new on the painting table. What you see is the result of all this effort - with several sizeable forces at good levels of completion. 

I got everything together on one table for photos and I have to say, I honestly don't know if I should be proud or scared. One thing I will say, is that 2021 was the year I completely mastered batch painting - often producing full 20 man units over a few days. It was also a year with a lot of time on lock down, although as I work in an essential role, I was still working full time through the whole pandemic. Despite that, I still struggled to get everything in shot. I did take individual army photos, so I'll post the armies properly later, but here's some shots: 

I also built and painted all of the terrain too!

I actually wasn't sure what the final numbers would be like as it was easy to lose track. If I was guessing, I would have said 200 models, not 387. That's including dragons, chariots and anything sharing a single base as one model, so there was no fiddling the figures! 

To break things down in the count, here's the list, with a rough idea of the points value in 5th Edition Fantasy (without magic items):

Skaven: 95 models complete - around 1500 - 2000 points depending on characters included.

Empire: 57 models complete, about 1250 points

Vampire Counts: 80 models, around 1250 points complete

Bretonnia: 17 models

Lizardmen: 37 models, Over 800 points complete

Orcs and Goblins: 31 models, 600 points complete with some extra models. 

Dark Elves: 25 models, 500 points complete plus Black Dragon 

Nippon: 23 models, 500 point army complete

Beastmen (still work in progress): 12 models

Total: 377 models complete in 2021! 

Oh, and aside from Warhammer, I painted Megumin from Konosuba by Klukva miniatures which makes the actual total 378...