007 – Special Weapon reinforcements

Meet the latest recruits to the ranks of the Praetorian guard.

3 more Melta-guns and 4 more Grenade Launchers should give me more punch in the shooting phase and more versatility in how I kit out my squads. I’ve also completed the first test case Plasma Gun guy and I think he came out ok. Loosely based on the conversion by Col. Gravis, he makes a good case for the theory that it’s possible to make up for a lack of any modelling skill whatsoever by applying plenty of Green Stuff, painting it silver, and retiring to a safe distance.

I’ll post a step-by-step of how I got this guy out of a regular lasgunner at some point, when I get round to throwing together a few more.

Mike

PS. Did you notice the better quality photos this time around? I have no fancy kit as yet, but a sheet of paper made a decent background and I’m happy with the results, even if the flash did cause a few shadows.

006 – November Hobby Update

Here we are only 1 month after starting the much needed “hobby neutrality” system and I’m already re-writing the rulebook! Actually I’d feel better if we agreed to just call it… massaging the rules, aka changing the rules slightly to make me feel less guilty for overspending.

It’s all the fault of Arabianknight over at The Year of Frugal Gaming, who posted some time ago about buying the card and plastic buildings from the old board game Dark World at a games convention for some cheap scenery. Fond memories of childhood afternoons spent playing this very game and others were stirred up, which led me to eBay where I ended up buying, of all things, my very own copy of that timeless classic HeroQuest.

Not content with one unplanned purchase, a few days later I noticed another HeroQuest auction which had not only the main game, but also the first 2 expansion sets, Kellars Keep and Return of the Witch Lord, and as a bonus the auction wasn’t so badly described that it wasn’t clear that the expansions were included without closely studying the photo. Smelling a better bargain, I foolishly bid on this one too, the end result being that I now have 2 copies of the same game.  My thinking was that I will be able to paint one of the basic sets to a good standard and then re-sell it for profit (I didn’t see anyone offering pro-painted sets on eBay, but I reckon there may be demand for one), and I think that will happen, but now I have the problem of fitting in the painting of a bunch more models when I should really be focussing on Guard.

Income

Carryover from last Month – £31.40

Total £31.40

Outgo

Heroquest boxed game- £30.07

Heroquest boxed game + expansions – £37.98

Total – £68.05

This means my net cashflow is loss of £36.65. I’m sure to recoup this in the new year once I re-sell one of the boxed games, and I have a few other bits ready to go on eBay after Christmas, so regaining neutrality again shouldn’t be too difficult.

I’m now officially banning myself from eBay though, for the rest of December at least. That place is unsafe!

Mike

005 – Distracted by Assassins Creed

On the painting side,  I’ve been spending some of my valuable, and already scarce, painting time doing “other things” in the last couple of weeks (I know!….. alright!…. don’t judge me!) which has meant that I’ve only completed 3 more models since the last update. On the bright side, these models are 2 more Grenade Launchers and a converted Plasma Gun, so my special weapon options are finally beginning to fill out. Lined up to paint next are 3 Melta Guns, 2 more Grenade Launchers, and parts to build 3 more Plasma Guns. I think I should set myself a short term goal of getting 5 of these models finished, along with completing the first track for the Leman Russ, by the end of the month. There, I did it! No backing out now!

The only obstacle to this target will be those pesky “other things”, which at the moment takes the form of the new Assassins Creed: Brotherhood on PS3. For those not in the know, the game casts you as an Assassin name Ezio Auditore and picks up from the end of Assassins Creed 2 however, instead of being set in Florence and Venice, this time Renaissance era Rome is your playground. I’ve always found the environments in the Assassins Creed series to be the most impressive part of the package. The cities are accurately reconstructed in the game as they would have been in the period, from the Forum and Colosseum (already in ruins) to the market squares, churches and slums. I’ve been to both Venice and Rome in the last couple of years, and it adds an extra level of enjoyment to be able to say “There’s a cafe on that corner these days” and “Oooh! I’ve seen this place in real life (although from ground level)”. The cities also feel bustling and alive, even more so than, say, Grand Theft Auto, and there’s always something happening nearby to the point where even sitting on a bench and people watching can be entertaining for a while

Spot the Difference

The single player story sees Ezio wielding the usual assassin’s toolkit, including swords, daggers, poison, and smoke, to bring down the corrupt Borgia family who rule over Rome with an iron fist. Missions range from simple (and some not so simple) assassinations and rescue missions, to sabotage and espionage and beyond. I’m about half way through the storyline now and it’s a pretty good one so far, better than AC2. I’ll let you know if that opinion changes by the end.

Complementing this is the all-new Multiplayer mode which is, quite frankly, one of the most enjoyable multiplayers I’ve ever tried my hand to. Eschewing the traditional gung-ho “frag as many targets as possible in the time limit” format, Brotherhood multiplayer instead plays more true to type. After picking a civilian character, you’re placed in an area with 7 other players, one of whom is your assassination target, and one or more of which will be hunting you down as their own target. The area is also populated with a few hundred NPC civillians going about their business. To make things interesting there are only about 10 different character models available, and both players and NPCs share the models. You generally know what your target looks like, but there are hordes of NPC doppelgangers out there, and the only way to identify the player among them is to follow your compass (which will get you within 30 yards or so), and then look out for any unusual behaviour from the people around you. Is one person running when everyone else is walking? Is he taking an unpredictable route? Does he have a guilty look on his face? All the while, you have to try and blend into the crowds yourself, because your stalker is out there trying to pick you out from the crowds too. Anyone you pass in the street can be (and often is) the guy that plunges a knife into your ribs as you get close! He could be behind you right now, so should you start running, or would that just give you away? As you can imagine this makes for incredibly tense and paranoid games of cat and mouse, but where everyone is some sort of mouse/cat/assassin hybrid with knives and I think this analogy is getting away from me….

Anyway, I can’t recommend this game enough. You should all go play it forthwith, just don’t complain to me if it stops you getting any painting done!

Mike

004 – October Hobby Update

There’s been precious little activity on my painting table this week. Attending a Halloween party at the weekend took up most of my weekend (went as Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas, accompanied by my girlfriend who painted herself blue and made a very convincing Sally!), and work commitments took up too many evenings.  All I’ve managed to get done is half a Leman Russ track. Hoping this week will be more productive!

A great idea that I’ve seen on other blogs and that I intend to shamelessly rip-off, is of trying to keep all hobby purchases “financially neutral”. That is, before spending any money on more models or paints, I will aim to have offset that spend by selling something hobby related on eBay. While it would be nice to be swimming in cash right now, the reality is that I wouldn’t say I have enough to particularly dip my toe in, and so this could be just what I need to restrain my more… impulsive purchases (read “oooh Super Heavies, Titans, other shiny things, gief!”). At the very least it’ll hopefully mean I don’t accumulate more unpainted models than I have already!

Here’s the cashflow situation for October:

Income

Old Empire Steam Tank – £17

Bretonnian Archers Regiment – £8

Halfling Archers Regiment – £27

Total £52.00

Outgo

Grenade Launcher + 3 Lasgunners – £8

3 Melta Gunners – £13.60

Total – £21.60

This means my net cashflow is an income of £31.40. The fun part is now deciding what to spend that on!😀

Mike

003 – Blog To-do list

I’m quite new to this blogging lark, so I’m having to slowly feel my way around the WordPress interface. I think I have the hang of publishing posts now, but I realise the site could do with a bit of a jazzing up.

Things to sort out:

Header Banner, Blogroll, Something else to fill out the left column

Does WordPress allow me to have an RSS feed of recent posts, like Blogger does?

What else does a good blog need?

Mike

002 – Praetorian Guard – A Starting Point

As a starting point, I thought I’d share with you the state of the Praetorian army so far, and show off a few pictures.

Unfortunately I had to resort to taking these shots on my phone, as my camera has gone temporarily missing. They’re not the highest quality, so I’m going to replace them with better shots soon, but you can get the gist of my force as it currently stands.

The models have so far been chosen just because I like them, with no motivation as to whether they are good on the tabletop or not. I don’t (yet) own the Imperial Guard codex, so I don’t know how these troops should best be organised into a playable army, or even whether I will need some extra models before it is a “legal” force. Any advice you, the gentle reader, can offer would be appreciated.

Guardsmen

I have 39 guardsmen with lasguns (another 10 or so are unpainted). I believe this is enough to make up 6 full squads, once I add in heavy and special weapons. I’ve made sure to take time over painting even these most basic troops, since they will form the majority of my army so set the standard for the rest.

Guardsmen

 

Command & Special Weapons

I think this is the section of my army that is currently lacking. I have 4 sergeants, one musician, 3 flamers, 1 grenade launcher and 1 melta-gun. I have a couple more grenade launchers still to paint, but no plasma-guns at all since no models were ever made for the Praetorian range. I intend to try and convert a few of these soon so I have all equipment options covered. Does anyone know which type of special weapons should I be focussing on most?

Command and Special Weapons

  

Heavy Weapons

I have 6 teams of 2-man heavy weapons, 3 Heavy Bolters, 2 Missile Launchers and 1 Lascannon. I also have a bunch more to paint, including a couple of Autocannons, 3 Mortars, and a couple more Lascannons. Should painting more of these be a priority?

Heavy Weapons teams

  

Storm Troopers

I have used the Cadian Kasrkin models since they’re much nicer than the standard troopers. I’m quite pleased with the way I’ve integrated their paint job with the standard Praetorian colour scheme.

Storm Troopers

 

Ogryns

I finished painting these models only last week, and I’m really proud of how they’ve turned out. They are mostly the old style Ogryn models, with some Ogre Kingdoms parts and even a converted Blood Bowl star player in there. I’ve sculpted the Praetorian helmets with green stuff (as my first ever real sculpting attempt) and I think they turned out excellently. I think they’re going to need a sergeant at some point, perhaps one of the newer models, and I’ll try to remember to show a step by step guide to the sculpting when I get around to him.

Ogryns

Sentinels

These were the first models I completed for the army, several years ago before I took a long break from the hobby. The paint job isn’t that amazing so I’m feeling the urge to re-touch them at some point, but I think that urge has to take a back seat to expanding the force for the time being. There are 2 multi lasers and 1 flamer armament , but my gut tells me that mixing the guns on a unit is a bad idea?

Sentinels

Vehicles

Currently completed I have a Basilisk and a Chimera. Also on the workbench is another Chimera and two Leman Russ tanks. I’ve got my eye on a Hellhound too, because they sound uber-cool. I’ve kept the paintjob on my vehicles “factory-fresh”, because my army concept (more on that later) is of a newly raised regiment being sent off-world for the first time. All my vehicles are therefore meant to be brand new off the production line and have no weathering or battle damage effects, just a shiny red paint job. This colour will also make them go faster. There’s no actual evidence for that… but it is scientific fact!

Chimera

Basilisk

Missionary

I’d like to include this guy in my army if there’s any way to squeeze him in as a “counts as” or similar. He’s the old Uriah Jacobus model from the original Sisters of Battle range many years ago, and I love the model. Not only that but I believe his paintjob is among the best I’ve ever done. This photo definitely doesn’t give him justice.  Is there any room for a shotgun armed Missionary in an Imperial Guard army, maybe in a command unit?

Imperial Missionary

Next steps…

So there you have the army so far. I really don’t like to play with unpainted models or proxies if possible, everything has to be painted, so I’m working hard to my target of having a full playable army by the new year, perhaps 1000 points or so.

Stuff I have unpainted to possibly add:

Lieutenant/Captain type character, 2 Leman Russ, 1 Chimera, Tech Priest + 2 Servitors, 6 More Heavy Weapons, 2 More Special Weapons, about 10 more lasgun armed Guardsmen

Stuff I think I’ll probably treat myself to in the next couple of months:

Ogryn sergeant, Hellhound, Plasma Gunners

Does anyone have any advice about what I should tackle next? Do I already own a useable force with what I have painted so far? Any opinions/comments would be much appreciated.

Mike

001 – Welcome to my world

Greetings fellow internet user!

Taking inspiration from a number of blogs I’ve been reading recently (mostly when I should be hard at work, it should be said – oops!) I’ve decided to begin to chronicle my own exploits for your reading pleasure, so that you can all, in a similar way, dodge doing your job by reading the musings of a stranger instead.

My main aims in starting this site will be:

   a) To record the growth of a burgeoning Praetorian Imperial Guard army,  and perhaps other projects in the future.

    b) To motivate the growth of said army, by allowing me to set public targets on painting and modelling.

    c) To serve as a space for me to throw down my thoughts and opinions on films/games/tv that I’ve been watching/playing and maybe provoke some discussion.

Posts will be, I hope, at least weekly, but more realistically they will come as and when time allows and when I have something to say.

So, thanks for visiting! I know there’s not much to see yet, but look out for a post after the weekend with some pictures of my IG army as it stands so far.

Mike

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