Sunday 31 July 2011

Italeri 1:72nd scale French Foreign Legion

A while ago I picked up an Italeri reissuse of the old esci French foreign legion but like many others they have sat gathering dust, but I've finally been inspired to paint a few.  The box contains 50, but I've only managed to paint 16 so far.  Its a really good set, the detailing is superb and they really capture the feel of the troops.

Two excellent command figures, on the left an officer and on the right an adjutant.  The set only includes one of each, which I feel is a shame.

A firesection

A few more legionaires

The set contains roughly half the troops wearing the blue coats featured on the figures above and the rest in this white uniform.  I much prefer the look of the ones with the coats, but have painted up a few of these guys as well

 And finally the group all together

Friday 29 July 2011

Warhammer Storm of Magic - A Book Review

After much dithering I finally decided to go out and buy the new warhammer supplement 'Storm of Magic'

The book is hardback and full colour throughout (like the new big rulebook and army books).  This is something I approve of even if it does increase the price, I like to keep my books a long time and treasure them, I like the added durabilty of hardback a lot.  The hardcover actually goes all the way round the book as well which is a bit odd, but I think works, the cover is held tight by magnets embedded in the book

The front cover opens out to reveal a magic spinner, which is a lot higher quality than I expected and if you're careful it should last a long time.  The back page has the ever useful reference sheet including stats for all the new monsters.  Throughout the book is the usual lavish artwork you would expect, I was particulary impressed with the two-page spread of the artwork form the 'Caledor' novel.

The book describes all the rules needed to play a storm of magic battle, when the winds of magic surge more powerfully than normal and mighty monsters come from the mountains to join the fray.  It resolves around the control of 'fulcrums' that are both the objective of the game and give wizards the ability to cast new awesomely powerful spells.

The book starts off with a nice background section describing a storm a magic and fitting them into the established background.  It then moves into the rules for the storm of magic scenario including fulcrums, magical flux (the spinner thingy) and the new cataclysm spells (every race gets at least one) and dwarf ancestor runes.  Next is a selection of frankly ridiculous magic items, including a floating watchtower and the dodecahedron of continental drift that allows you to swap over two modules on a modular gaming board, fun but nuts.  Next we get a few pages of pictures of painted wizards and then two other scenarios using the rules in the book.  Next is some rules for different types of sorcerous terrain just in case you wanted a bit more randomness.  And finally the last half of the book is taken up with the monster section.  This contains all the rules you need to add over 45 types of monster to any army and includes dragons and manticores as you'd expect, but also pack of chaos hounds, forgeworld mammoths and giants, and what I really like is they've bought back some older denzins such as great taurus, truthsayers, and even Zoats and Fimirs.  It also allows you to make pacts with undead or daemons and add them into a storm of chaos army.

Theres actually an awful lot of content in this book, and I think the inventive scenario desiger could make a lot out of this without having to go for a full on 'storm of magic' battle.  As for storm of magic itself, it looks a lot of fun, but I wonder how balanced it's is going be and I'm sure that with all the new options there are going to be some broken combinations.  I like the return of unridden monsters and I'm a big fan of objective based battles rather than just trying to wipe out your opponent.  I think its a high quality product with a lot of content.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

From The Painting Table 6

Another collection of random painted models that I've finished over the last week or so, oddly this time out of the 4 things featured I only have a gaming use for the last one.

To start with a Guild Mechanical Assistant from Malifaux, I know nothing about Malifaux, but just love the Victorian Sci-Fi imagery this brings up and had to buy and paint him.

This is the French Minelaying Cruiser Pluton, it came in the same pack as the Emile Bertain and Jeanne D'Arc which are in my Free French Fleet, the Pluton didn't serve with the Free French however and actually doesn't have any rules in Victory at Sea, but I decided to paint it up anyway, it may get a use in a scenario at some point.

The second mini from the Dragon Quest board game I've painted, this is some sort of knight with a giant mace, he's OK, but not as good as the druid guy I painted earlier.  He has some weird puffy shoulder pads.

And finally the second lot of mantic Wraiths from the boxed set (see full thoughts on them here)

Friday 22 July 2011

Mantic Journal 4

A bit of a suprise yesterday when Mantic Journal 4 landed on my doormat.  Obviously I knew I'd taken out a one year sub (to get the dwarf driller model, see my painted version here), but to be honest I'd kind of forgotten about it, especially as the first 3 hadn't been very exciting.  I am glad to report however that issuse 4 is a giant leap forward and actually has a bunch of real content.

Most of the journal is taken up with (a suprisingly interesting) background and army lists for both Orcs and Abyssal Dwarfs in Kings of War.  The army lists are avaliable online anyway, but it makes sense to include them after the background section.  It also includes rules and a brief backgroud to the new Wraiths boxed set (see my thoughts on them here) and a Kings of War scenario pitting the Orcs against the Abyssal Dwarfs.

Hidden in amongst all this are the two best bits; firstly part 2 of alessio cavatore's designers notes for KoW, and I always like designers notes articles in wargaming magazines, and finally tucked away at the end is a new sceanrio for Dwarf Kings Hold: Dead Rising which is a game I like an awful lot (see my thoughts on the contents and gameplay), I've not had a chance to try it yet but am looking forward to it.

Overall the Mantic Journal is finally starting to show some promise.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Free French Naval Forces - Part 2

I've just put the finishing touches to my second batch of WW2 Free French Naval forces in 1:3000 scale today, which means the fleet is nearly complete, I think I'm missing the Battleship Lorraine, the cruiser Duguay Trouin and two Bourrasque class destroyers, all of which I will add to my fleet in a couple of weeks when I put my next order in.

I've also posted a 'page' today with my list of which French ships I'm allowing myself to use in my Free French fleet for Victory at Sea.  It's a work in progress and currently just lists the ships in each class that joined the Free French (mainly according to wikipedia, if anyone with more knowlege than me spots an error please drop me a comment), hopefully over time it will expand to include a brief history of what each ship did in the war and the dates which each ship served with the Free French.  A link to this will remain in the sidebar.

The old battleships Courbet & Paris

The Duquesne class cruisers Duquesne & Tourville

The Fantasque class destroyers Fantasque, Malin, Terrible & Triomphant

The Charcal class destroyers Tigre & Leopard with 4 Diane class submarines

And finally a shot of my whole Free French Fleet.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Mantic Plastic-Resin Wraiths

I've purchased a box of Mantic Games Wraiths to expand my warhammer vampire counts army, these are the first models I've bought that are made out of Mantics plastic-resin material.

They come in the slim Mantic hard plastic case, which I'm a big fan of they're really useful storage boxes.  I actually prefer the slimmer 'small' boxes as they take the models better.

Inside the box you get two bags of 5 wraiths, two pieces of foam (which I PVA to the box to make up the storage solution) 10 square bases and a Mantic point.  Each bag of 5 wraiths includes 3 one piece models, 2 armed with swords and one with a scythe.  The other two in each bag have a couple of arm options, including another scythe, a flail and a mace.

Here is a picture of 5 of the wraiths aseembled, the box contains two each of these.

I like them, they appear floating and ghostlike, I like the variety of weapons, but I would have liked another scythe option as it is the seminal weapon associated with this troop type.  Another thing is that they are very much tied into the Kings of War range with scuplting links to the Revenants in particular.  The plastic-resin material that the models are made from is odd and wasn't what I was expecting.  It is a hard resin very different to the new Citadel Finecast, and it doesn't have the same sharpness nor the flexibilty.  Having said that I think this resin is designed for making troops not single extremly high quality characters as Mantic are still releasing such models in metal.  It needs superglue to stick together and took the glue well, and like finecast will take dropping a lot better than a metal model.

Here are the first 5 painted:

And now moving on to the comparison bit......

For comparision here is my unit of GW Wraiths painitng in a similar scheme.  Which ones are better? I think its really close, but I come down slightly on the side of the GW ones, I think its the cowled heads.  That is until you look at the price, the retail price of the box of 10 Mantic wraiths is £14, GW ones cost £7.20 each which means 10 would cost you a whopping £72!!! that means the GW ones cost nearly 5 times as much, I'm aware that they're made from metal which will inevitably increase the price, but still.  And I do prefer the new resins coming out as a material than metal, I game with my models and the do get dropped, so being more resiliant to this is a massive plus in my book.

Overall another great product from Mantic at a great price, Highly recommended.

Friday 15 July 2011

Free French Naval Forces - Part 1

As I mentioned in my last post the bulk of my latest Navwar order was made up of ships to represent the forces of the Free French Naval Forces (mainly late war).  This is my second fleet after the Royal Navy.  I decided on the Free French as it's small enough that getting every major ship is a completly attainable goal (something I wouldn't even contemplate with the WW2 Royal Navy) and it could serve as allies to my Royal Navy in a campaign or even fight them as a lot of the ship classes also fought with Vichy France.  Researching what ships the Free French had hasn't been easy, wikipedia has a nice list of the ships of the German Kriegsmarine that my freind has used to collect his German fleet, but I've been unable to find a similar list (On wikipedia or elsewhere) that contains all the major ships of the fleet (there is a list on wikipedia, but it is woefully incomplete).  Still I think I've got there in the end and I've seem to have only missed a couple of large ships and I've finished painting the first half of my order:

Here we have the battleship Richelieu and the heavy cruiser Suffren

 The aircraft carrier Bearn and the submarine Surcouf.  The surcouf is a very interesting vessel, classed as an 'underwater cruiser' it even carried a spotting aircraft.

The cruisers Emile Bertain and Jeanne D'Arc

The three La Galissonnière class cruisers Montcalm, Gloire and Georges Leygues.

Thats it for now, on the painting table I also have another couple of cruisers, 2 obsolete battleships, 6 destroyers and few subs, and I need to order another cruiser and the battleship Lorraine, and as far as I can tell that will be about it for my Free French fleet.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

The Sixth Wave & A Pair of Giants

I've bought a load more WW2 ships from Navwar this week, the majority of the order is made up of French ships to form a late war Free  French fleet, but I've put them to one side for now and have painted the new additions to my Royal Navy fleet and the couple of other ships I bought first.

Here we have the Revenge class battleship HMS Royal Soveriegn and the escort carrier HMS Ameer.

These are the two Merchant Aircraft Carriers MAC Empire Macmahon and MAC Empire Mackay.

Now we come to the first (and largest) of the giants refered to in the post title, this is RMS Queen Mary an ocean liner that served in WW2 as a troop transport, she was one of the largest lin ers in the world at the time and is the largest ship in my 1/3000 sclae collection.  I've painted her in her WW2 grey scheme and not her more colourful civillian scheme (for obvious reasons).

And finally the Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever built. I don't currently have any plans to collect a Japanese fleet, I just wanted to add this awesome vessel to my collection.

Monday 11 July 2011

My Menagerie

With all the beasties in Storm of Magic that can now be feilded in any army I've had a bit of a rumage and seen what I can come up with from my collection that I can bind to my armies, which turns out to be quite a bit, although some of them are very old and the paint jobs are frankly embarrassing.  I think we're going to play a 'Monster Mash' next week which will just be armies of monsters against each other. 

A lone Dragon Ogre, the Dragon Ogres are some of my favorite models in the range and I should really getting round to getting another couple to complete the unit.

A unit of the classic Harpies, I finished painting these just before the current Warriors of Chaos book came out and I couldn't use them any more, which was annoying to say the least.

Two Choas Spawn, painted for the two halves of my Warriors of Chaos army (Slannesh & Khorne).

Two units of Chaos Warhounds

A unit of Mixed Trolls, on the left we have a classice metal River Troll, in the middle is a Zombie Giant from an old board game called village of fear that I use as a troll, and on the right is the plastic troll from the Assault on Black Reach boxed set.

An old warhawk that gets used as a war eagle for my high elf and wood elf armies

This is where the painting quality starts to decrease, this is a classic dogs of war regiment the Giants of Albion

A Gigantic Spider from my small Forest Goblin army.

And finally a Dark Pegasus conversion I did as a kid, it's basically a horse with wings from the Heroquest gargoyle stuck on it, its amazing what I find in my games room sometimes, and that I once thought that this was good.

I've shown the following two before but have included them for completness' shake.

 Lava Dragon


Saturday 9 July 2011

Taaishi Camelry & The Start of Yet Another Army

HaT have finally anounced that their Dervish infantry will be released in their next wave of releases (still upto six months away, but at least they're on the horizon) and this has inspried me to paint up the rest if my box of Taaishi Camelry.  I painted half of the box a while ago (see here) to act as native scouts for my British army, and as I planned then the remaining 8 have finally been painted, and are the first unit for my new Dervish army.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

The Brotherhood of Ecthalion

Yesterday I finished a small project that I started a year ago or so.  A unit for my Vengence Templars Space Marine army called the Brotherhood of Ecthalion.  They're based on the Dark Angel veterans boxed set and in particlar the hooded headed and cloaked bodies, which I just thought were so cool I just had to add to my army even if I didn't play Dark Angels.  I decided to build them as an assault squad without jump packs that would deploy from a drop pod, I equiped them with 2 flamers and gave the sergeant a power weapon.  Then I had to come up with a reason why they looked different to the rest of my (pretty standard) force.  In the background of my chapter they represent the personal strike force of the chapter master who deploy independantly of battlefeild command and are on their own mysterious mission.  Currently I'm planning on adding some Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard next, painted silver and ruleswise counting as Vanguard Veterans, suppose I'll have to come up with a dodgy backstory for them too.

The origanal five lead by the sergeant

The five I've just finished

The complete Brotherhood

The Brotherhood deploying from their drop pod.

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