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12th October 2019: Tabletop Trickle

So after a few months off, I've recently managed to find a little time and motivation to continue my tabletop adventures. Firstly, back before my break, I managed to finish painting my two Tyranid Primes. In the last few weeks, I've been working on the second Tyranid Warrior unit, which I've been trying to paint in classic Space Wolf colours of blue-grey and yellow.
I've also undercoated the other Marines I put together, so I can crack on at some point with painting all of those. If all goes well, in a few months all my Nidz and Marines will be finished.

Tyranid Primes done

Tyranid Primes done

Warriors nearly done

Warriors nearly done

Extra Marines ready for paint

Extra Marines ready for paint

Scoob and I managed to squeeze in a game of 40K earlier today, which was actually our first one all year. In order to just try and remember how to play, we picked 1000pts and went at it in a pitched battle, using no warlord traits, stratagems or relics.

The battle became bloody very quickly, with both of us rolling very well for our random amounts of shots. My Devastators and Whirlwind, and Scoob's Mek Gunz and Shokk Attack Guns, all rolled massive numbers and shredded their enemies with long range fire. Despite loads of Orks stomping forward to meet the Assault Marines and Terminators, there was very little close combat. We definitely need some more terrain for fighting battles over at Scoob's or this might be the case in nearly every battle.

After three rounds, Scoob had two Shokk Attack Guns and 21 other Orks left to take on my Whirlwind, Devastator squad, Primaris Lieutenant and Apothecary. He decided to call it there, as the Shokk Attack Guns were now targetable by my missiles.

Marines and Orks square off against each other

Marines and Orks square off against each other

Back in June, we had our second attempt at Game Of Thrones Risk. I thought I'd do a lot better this time, what with actually knowing the rules and victory conditions. However it was not to be. Like the other two players in the game, I started with 5 reinforcements per turn, but Gareth started with a massive 9 reinforcements per turn. I took it upon myself to try and disrupt him before he got too powerful. Unfortunately, for the most part, the other players did not do this, and my war against Gareth's grey armies saw my little black dudes getting melted off the tabletop.

The game saw the reds, commanded by my niece, quietly take enough territory to become the strongest force on the map. Like Scoob did last time, this was mostly due to the conquest in the north. By the time the other players started to fully turn against her, it was too late.

I get smashed at Risk yet again

I get smashed at Risk yet again

19th May 2019: The Tyranid Tinkerer

Some actual nice weather recently has allowed me to spray all my remaining unpainted Tyranids. This did first require me to do a bit of work on some of the models.
Some fishing shot was added to the bases of the Hormagaunts so they no longer fall over so easily. In addition, I finally got around to putting magnets on the guns of the Hive Guard so I can switch out which weapons they can use from game to game.

Adding fishing shot to bases

Adding fishing shot to bases

Adding magnets to some guns

Adding magnets to some guns

Hive Guard weapons ready for action

Hive Guard weapons ready for action

My painting speed has definitely slowed down over the last couple of months, but I'm still managing to get a few things finished here and there. I know I was going to go straight into the Hormagaunt brood, but to be honest they're intimidating me. I really need to knuckle down, as I only have the following units left to complete at this point:

Spraying some dudes

Spraying some dudes

Hive Tyrant done

Hive Tyrant done

Zoanthrope #2 and Rippers done

Zoanthrope #2 and Rippers done

Raveners done

Raveners done

Biovores and Spores done

Biovores and Spores done

23rd March 2019: Way Of The Brush

When it comes to tabletop action, there's not been a whole lot going these last couple of months in terms of variety. Instead, I've just been painting like a mad man in an attempt to get my Tyranids ready.
I continue to try and give each unit a very different look, and I'm pretty happy with the Lictors in particular.
As they are supposed to be sneaky, I chose probably the three most common camouflage colours in brown, grey and green, but then jazzed them up a bit with some very bright claws and teeth.

Like the Warriors from last time, I'm just going to wait until all the models are done and just base them all in one big session.

Working on the last few Termagants

Working on the last few Termagants

Termagants done

Termagants done

Working on the Lictors

Working on the Lictors

Lictors done

Lictors done

Zoanthrope #1 done

Zoanthrope #1 done

Hormagaunts up next...

Hormagaunts up next...

The only thing I've been able to do that has not been slapping paint on has been scrubbing paint off. I'm not really a fan of stripping miniatures as it is always so messy and smelly, but some of those poor models really needed it, especially the Warriors I got from ebay and a couple of Eldar things that were ruined by a very rough spray undercoat.

The paint came off most of the models very easily, even the old beaky Marines, that were covered in several coats. However, the ebay Warriors were trouble. Absolutely no idea what kind of paint their original owner had used on them, but I had to leave them in that tub for nearly a week with several scrub attempts to get them somewhat clean. I even ended up throwing one out, as I just couldn't shift one and a half of its old coats of paint.
Oh well, one less to paint I guess.

Ready for a dip in the pool

Ready for a dip in the pool

The Avatar oversees the initial proceedings

The Avatar oversees the initial proceedings

This is messy as hell

This is messy as hell

Ready for more paint

Ready for more paint

4th February 2019: Small Steps

Got a few things done these last couple of weeks, but have only ended up giving myself more tasks to do.

Up first, I've finally painted the old style Tyranid Warriors. They took way too long, so for the next unit I'm painting, the Termagants, I'm going to keep it as simple as possible, like I did for the Genestealers a few years back.

After many failed attempts, I finally settled for less than perfect for my Dark Eldar Wyches. Most of the casts I tried had imperfections, from small to very obvious. In the end, I've used the best 4 bodies, and will just try and fill the few little cracks and problem areas with either PVA or paint.
Finishing the Wyches was not the main problem I've had, as that honour belongs to the failcast Striking Scorpions that I got around to assembling recently. Holy shit. That material is so bad. GW started using that stuff years ago, meaning they've had a long time now to get it right, but it was a horrible experience getting those models table ready. Without doubt, I will never buy any such models ever again.
There was so much flashing to remove, and in really awkward places. There's also a fair few little bubbles, and 4 of the 5 swords needed heating and bending back into correct position. Shoddy.

It means that, at last, all my newly aquired models are now assembled, to go with all my already-owned models from last time. All I really need to do is magnetize the gun ends for the Hive Guard, and strip the Warriors I got from ebay (more Warriors, sigh).

Tyranid Warriors done at last

Tyranid Warriors done at last

Casting is harder than I thought

Casting is harder than I thought

All my new models

All my new models

Quite a while ago I decided that I would not bother getting any more wargaming terrain, but our forays into 40K late last year started changing my mind. A couple of months back, I came up with an idea to make a new river after my old crappy one went in the bin a couple of years back. I eventually decided against that as there are no rules for rivers in 40K any more. It seems more important to have LOS-blocking terrain, and I recently saw some MDF stuff for a fairly good price so I've chosen to try it. I've no idea what it's like to put together, but I think I'm going to paint it to look like rockcrete rather than metal.

My first ever MDF terrain waits for my attention

My first ever MDF terrain waits for my attention

Outside of wargaming, I've made a little progress on some other things. My original plan for the Gaslands templates was to laminate them, but to save time I first tried just gluing them to some card. I must have put on way too much glue or something, and this ended up with the templates creasing up really bad. So after all that, I had to print them out again and laminate them anyway.
Now I just need to figure out how to put some guns on the vehicles so we can give it a bash.

Over Christmas we finally tried Deep Pockets, and while the game went alright, I was unhappy with a few things. For some weird reason, my printer originally printed the dark blue and purple cards so they looked very similar, so I've made a new purple set. I've also printed and laminated a new set of money cards, as the others were crappy, and I wanted to steal the card sleeves for Marvel Legendary. So all is good now.

Gaslands template fail

Gaslands template fail

Gaslands template success

Gaslands template success

New Deep Pockets cards

New Deep Pockets cards

6th January 2019: Arguing With The Dice Again

Not long back, Scoob and I tried a couple of different little "test" 40K games, playing out the same scenario as our 2011 Winter Wave. The point of these games was to test out how the Stompas work in the new edition, as we had heard that they are very weak.
These games saw my Marines and Scoob's Orks (with a looted Shadowsword) defend against the Stompas. In game one, the Stompas took a crap kicking, and did very little in return. Two of them were destroyed, and the third badly damaged. In the second game however, they did a lot of damage in their first turn, blowing up my Vindicator and the Shadowsword straight away, ridding us of a lot of our vehicle killing power, though still leaving them a lot to do.

It was hard to tell from just a couple of short games, but they definitely seemed a little weak. We ended up writing a new data sheet that we will try out in our future games, and I just hope I've not shot myself in the foot by giving Scoob's Orks too big of a boost.

The Stompas ready to attack

The Stompas ready to attack

The Stompas close in on my Marines

The Stompas close in on my Marines

My work on putting together all my other 40K models is also continuing. I have finally managed to glue together all the models that are made from stuff that was festering in my bits boxes. That's 68 new old models I've now got to paint. I am not the smartest.

All my new old models

All my new old models

I am still however trying to plow through all the new stuff I've bought. I've tried a few times to cast some new bodies for my Dark Eldar Wyches, as I want them all to be female, but they only send 6 such torsos in the box. I'm having varied results so far, but each new effort gets closer to my goal. There's also a few other extra little Tau bits I'm thinking of casting, but I don't know if I need them yet.
After picking up Celestine to boost my small Sisters army, I very quickly decided to convert her and her companions. I just hated how all three models were up in the air and trailing ribbons and shit all over the place. So instead, I've trimmed off all the ribbons and have glued them on to some small ruin bits. It will look a hell of a lot better when they are done in my opinion. I just wish it was possible (or a lot easier) to get rid of Celestine's roses as well, but as it is, I've had to leave them.
I've also tried magnetizing for the first time, as I couldn't decide which jump jets to put on my Tau commander. For a change, that little project seems to have worked first time.

Casting adventure part 1

Casting adventure part 1

Casting adventure part 2

Casting adventure part 2

Ridding the ribbons

Ridding the ribbons

Now I can attach my commander to my fridge

Now I can attach my commander to my fridge

Up until yesterday, I had never played a game of Risk in my life. But that changed when five of us got around the table to play the Game Of Thrones version, using the skirmish rules. I didn't really have any idea what was going on, or get any of the references that I heard (I still haven't watched any of the show - I'm going to binge watch the whole lot when it's all done).
It seemed like I had a good position at the start of the game, and was receiving the most reinforcements for the first couple of turns. But, as in any game where dice are involved, I rolled atrociously, and got slammed throughout the entire game. In fact, I was only successful in two of the attacks I tried, meaning I couldn't get any reinforcements from cards as my territories dwindled.
The images here show the start and end of the game, and the final scores. I was orange, while the greens, led by the mighty Scoob, took control of the north to win the game.
At least I now know how to play, and what the victory conditions are, so I'll be a bit more ready in the future. Now I just need to get some loaded dice...

The war for Westeros commences

The war for Westeros commences

The final scores are tallied

The final scores are tallied

29th November 2018: Contenders Assemble

After all those purchases I made a few weeks back, I've really had my hands full putting a lot of models together. It's not helped that I decided to go through my (now pretty hefty) bits boxes and recruit many more reinforcements from the old or previously unassembled models found within it.

In quite a stupid move, I decided that all my spare Space Marine models and parts should be put to use. This meant stripping a few 90s metal Grey Hunters, as well as bringing some Rogue Trader era plastic "beakies" out of mothballs. What this means is I've now got around 30 more Marines to paint. Bugger.

Not had to use a stripping pot for a long while

Not had to use a stripping pot for a long while

Old Marines reappear

Old Marines reappear

Putting together new Marines

Putting together new Marines

Also into the stripping pot went some old Tyranid parts, including a Biovore I got from ebay, and some old Imperial Guardsmen. I've not actually had to do a lot with my Nids this past month, other than stick 2 old Warriors together and tidy up some things I got from ebay, but the Guard have had a lot more work.
I've been using all the tricks in the book to try and get as many models table-worthy as possible, including chopping the torsos off of some old tank commander models, as I had plenty of legs but no bodies to go with them. They look a bit weird having Cadian bodies with Catachan legs and arms, but like all of my armies, my Guard have never exactly been uniform. Not at all.

Have I really got to paint two more of these things?

Have I really got to paint two more of these things?

New meat for the grinder

New meat for the grinder

Getting some bodies for all those legs

Getting some bodies for all those legs

I got a bit nostalgic the other day when I focused in on one of my bits boxes, which is an old Epic Battle Group box. That was one of the first things I ever bought for Epic Space Marine back in 92 or 93 I think. It got me thinking of that old game, and remembering that this year was supposed to be the year I brought it back to the tabletop. However, I've just not had the time to take on such a huge task of re-writing all those rules again. Someday soon though, I'm gonna make it happen. I miss that game too damn much.

If I remember right it only cost £12, and there was so much stuff in it. A year or two later, GW broke that box down into its 4 component parts, and sold them individually for £6 each, effectively doubling their money. That was basically the first time I realised GW were money hungry assholes.

Old Epic Battle Group box

Old Epic Battle Group box

We have managed another 40K game, which took place this past weekend. Stepping it up to 1000pts, Scoob was able to use his Orks for the first time this edition after their new Codex came out.
It did not go well for me from the start, with the first attack of the game killing 8 of my 9 man Devastator squad, leaving me with drastically reduced firepower with which to try and thin the advancing Ork horde. I also rolled pathetically, and my poor Marines fell left and right to overwhelming Ork firepower. Even though I'd taken flamers and storm bolters, I barely killed anything, and after Scoob's 3rd turn, I only had 4 Terminators left on the board, and we called it there.

I remember back in 5th Marines had trouble dealing with lots of cheap troops, but now horde armies seem to be so prevalent in 8th edition, it's no wonder that Marines seem to be struggling a lot. I need my other armies ready for the tabletop, and pretty damn sharpish it seems.

Orks swarm all over the surviving Space Marines

Orks swarm all over the surviving Space Marines

As if I haven't got enough games to play, rules to work on, and painting to do, I recently came across a new game called Gaslands which looks like a lot of fun. In this game, you use Hot Wheels or Matchbox type cars and vehicles to race and attack each other in a post apocalyptic, Mad Max-ish kind of future.
I had actually bought some cheap Formula One looking cars a few years back as I had always planned to make a racing game with templates and dice, but this thing seems to do what I want, and adds in guns, oil slicks and other dirty tricks as well.
So over the last few weeks I've managed to pick up a few cheap vehicles to use. They are however going to need guns, and paint. Hmph. Nothing's ever easy is it?

Picking up some stuff for Gaslands

Picking up some stuff for Gaslands

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