Tuesday 28 April 2015

Salute 2015, and 70,000+ views!

Amazingly I have now logged 70,867 views as of this morning on my Blog! Thank you to everyone who has viewed my Blog and taken an interest in it's contents. :)

On Saturday I popped up to London to attend Salute 2015, the biggest Wargames Show in the UK. I met up with my old friend Justin (of the Masterworkguild blog), and we wandered around loooking at the various stalls, companies, and demonstration games.
We also met up and chatted with several people from the 'Oldhammer Community', including Paul/Golfag1 (once someone from a stall stopped waving a flag behind his head!), Steve Casey, and chatted to Kev Adams about sculpting. I think I saw Rick Priestly too, but there were a lot of people in the way.

It was a great and fun day, and I am surprised that I spend so little (about £80)  resisting the temptation suddenly start something new, buy a 28mm  town, or come home with random stuff. What I did buy and why is further down this update.

What I did learn from Salute 2015 was:
  • how much I miss Napoleonic history and would like to start collecting an army soon
  • How many small companies are starting up. It's great to see so many little companies prodcuing miniatures.
  • a lot of small companies produce in resin, and can produce very excellent detailing. However, some of their miniatures seemed a little too exaggerated in design, and in their pricing. I am aware of the start up costs, but a lot of companies seem to be at the £7 per 28mm (many look 35mm) model. I've noticed this with several of the smaller rules systems, following a GW and Warmachine pricing apporach, meaning a small skirmish force for a game could be easily £100+. 
  • There were a lot of the 'old companies' still going. I knew this already, but it was nice to see Essex Miniatures, Osprey, Newline Designs, Old Glory, Steve Barber, Foundry, Dixon, and Front Rank. 
  • So many lovely demonstration games. My favourite had to be the 6mm Waterloo game. 
  • There seemed to be a lot more fantasy and Sci fi games and compaines than before. Whilst I enjoy both, I hope the the historical element of gaming is'nt squeezed out in the future.
  • I like Forgeworld, but I was both amused and depressed by the huge queue for whatever thing they were releasing there. I hope that those in the queue bothered to look at the rest of the show, and did'nt just go to queue! 

Anyway, here are a few pictures :)

World of Twilight Miniatures.
They are sort of Goblin/Lizardmen looking, and look excellent. 
No Vampires in this Twilight :)
World of Twilight demonstration game.
 Warploque Miniatures.
These are from their Albionnican range, some of which I bought. They also do Halflings, Orc/Goblins, Undead, and monsters.
  Big Undead looking Whale.
 The people at Warploque Miniatures, posing for a photograph.
World War Two demonstration game in Winter.
 I think this was a demo game of the Battle of Bersheeba in the First War World War.
They look like ANZAC Cavalry.
French fighting Germans in 1914.
Waterloo in 6mm!
This demo game was one of my favourites, and had the entire battle, including Bluchers force advancing in  on the flank.
 Close up of the action around Mont St.Jean Farm.
Close up of the French.
 Medieval army. 
Samurai wargaming.
Battle of Ligny.
 Part of a lovely looking scratch build spaceship. 
There were too many people in the way to get a clear photograph.
World War Two Allied Paratroopers vs Germans.
 A Great Northern War demo game, Sweden vs Saxony. 
Apparently the table was made a Swedish person who built the table and painted the models to teach his children about Swedish history. I was informed that the snow board is how the snow looks in that particular area.
 Zeppelin being attacked by Bi-Planes.
 Sci fi city.
 Eye level view of World War Two 20mm Germans in action in 1940 Blitzkrieg game.
 Post apocalyptic Zombie killing game.
 14th Century ship.
 3rd Edition books! 
There was a 3rd Edition demo game there. 
Most of the models were much later modern models, although there were a few 1980's Citadel, and some Grenadier Barbarians. 
The few photos I took were a little too blurred.
 Heresy Dragon.
 Wicker man!
I have seen a real one of these burnt at the Beltaine celebration at Butser ancient farm.
The game was a SAGA demo game by Gripping Beast Miniatures, the Wicker Man was made by Anisty Castings. 
  18th Century ship as part of an American War of Independence demo game.
 Americans attacking a British fort.
 The British defending the Fort.
Skirmishing outside the fort.
Another of the excellent ships from the game.
 Lovely and huge Hydra, made by Mierce Miniatures.
A Cthulhu-equse creature which looked pretty cool.
Warmonger Miniatures.
 Some of Kev Adam's Beastmen sculpts.
Goblin Jester cavalry.
Napoleonic Rifleman re-enactor. 

I did buy a few odd and ends at Salute 2015.
Here is some of the more interesting stuff. :)
 Couple of pieces of scenery for the Slann
The Pyramid was from a random stall, the Monolith from Fenris games (who now produce the Monolith Designs products).
 Something else for the Slann, a pair of Sabre Toothed Tigers; Smilodons from 'Steve Barber Models. At £4.50 each not too bad.
 Warploque Miniatures Albionnican miniatures. 
I am quite taken with these. They are a mix of Napoleonic and fantasy. I was looking to do an 18th Century alternative history British army anyway,  armed with Halberds, Longbows, etc, using converted Wargames Foundry models. However I might do a smaller army using these, and convert up a few longbows as well.
They could be used as an alternative Empire army.
...and yes, the Halberdier on the right is smoking a cigar!
 The Crossbowmen.
They orginally came on 30mm lipped round bases, but I put them on 20mm square to use in 3rd Edition Warhammers.
Warploque Miniatures does have it's own (free to download) games system. 
Metal Officer and resin Ogre. 
The resin is durable and not like GW rubbish.
Price wise the Ogre was £12, the metal line troopers are 4 for £12 blister, and the personalites are about £5. 
I bought the Starter Set, Ogre, and special edition Standard Bearer. I still have a couple of the others to base up. I will do an update on this range in the near future. By the way, I have no links to the company, I just quite like the models! 

Here's the website:

Next update should be either stuff I have painted or back to my review/anaylsis of 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies lists. 

Thursday 16 April 2015

Slann Cold One Riders, Spawn Bands, and tinkering.

Over the last few weeks I have been steadily painting my way through the Slann army, but still have lots to do.
I decided to get some Cold One Riders painted up. In all the years of gaming and fielding a Slann army I had never really painted any, and only ever painted five Cold One Riders and only used them once in a game back in the 1980's. For the first unit (for I have several) I decided to paint one of two 'Cotec' regiments. In the Slann background Cotec is the Slann capital city, and so when I was assembling the army, thought it would be good to have one or two regiments which could be the Bull Slann garrison troops from the Capitol city.
For this I chose the 'Quinenz' miniature, which is the miniature featured in the artwork for the Bull Slann, and because in mounted ranks he looks good. Both units are the same, but I am painting each with different coloured helmet plumes and giving them different standards. Perhaps they could be from different parts of town? Both unit leaders and standard bearers are conversion of broken miniatures.

In addition to the Bull Slann Cold One Riders I have been painting other things. I have managed to paint up another 20 strong Spawn Band, the basic troops of the Slann army. These are a mix of all the model I never needed to use for the other units and so are a mix of miniatures. As a consequence they all have their own individual paint schemes, and take a little longer to paint.

Apart from the Spawn Bands I have been tinkering with one of the Venom Tribe units which I didn't like the colour of, and one of the Slann Mages. In addition I revisited the paintwork for my Ambulls which had become chipped over the years since I painted them. I plan to use the Ambulls, not only in their capacity of 40k monsters, but also in the fantasy battle Slann army as stand-in giant Scorpions. It's not that I don't want to use actual giant Scorpions, I have a some for use with the Animal Handlers, it's that I like the idea of a Slann Mage opening some sort of Space-Time rift in his binding magic, rather than going into the jungle and going "here kitty-kitty Giant Scorpion-Giant Scorpion"!

I also had some Reaper Miniatures Scarab Swarms, which I was never really going to use with my Khemri army. So I clipped them to fit a round 50mm base, and made a 3rd Edition Swarm. I shall use them a 'Flying Insects' swarm, as they look like flying beetles just on the ground!

Enjoy :) 

 10 Bull Slann Cold One Riders. 
+2 Shock Elite Slann.
All of the riders are the 'Quinenz' miniature. 
Side view. 
I plan to use them in two ranks of four to gain a +1 rank bonus, with two 'spare' riders to make up for casualties.
 Side views. I plan to add a shield design at a later date.
Standard Bearer and unit leader.
The Second of the Cotec cavalry.
The Bull Slann riders artwork from the 3rd Edition Warhammer Armies book. 
Note the artwork looking like the  'Quinenz' miniature.
More Slann Bull Slann Riders on the workbench.
Unlike the Cotec Regiments, these are going to be a mixture of different Slann miniatures. I will also be painting the Cold One Green.
More WIP.
I have 10 of the 'Nanuazin' miniatures, with added 'Aztec' shields, to mount onto 10 of the limited release Rogue Trader Space Marine Riding Lizards. I was never going to use them for 40k, so thought they would make interesting alternative Cold Ones.
20 Spawn Bands.
Standard Bearer made from a converted 'Allda' miniature. 
On the right the unit leader is a 'Lieutenant' miniature from the Magnificent Sven Scenario range. I could decide what colour to paint him, so opted for albino.
'Itzadodyl' on the left, and solid based 'Palace Guard Officer' on the right.
'Toltec' on the left, and 'Naxlatl' on the right.
Three solid based 'Warrior' miniatures, in a variety of colours.
'Hacienda', and another 'Itzadodyl'.
'Potzalco' and a Slann 'Unlisted with club'.
3 regiments of 20 strong Spawn Bands.
4 Ambulls.
Close up!
10 Venom Tribes armed with Blowpipes.
I already have 2 units of 10 Venom Tribes painted in the background skin colour of  "vivid red and black patterning", similar to the Strawberry poisoned Dart Frogs.
 For a change I painted these Slann just orange skinned, but did'nt like the overall look, and so a couple of days ago I added black spotted marking and paler under-throat, reminiscent of the the Orange 'Strawberry' posioned Dart Frogs.
Closer up.
I also did the same thing to the all-orange Slann Mage.
Flying Insect Swarm mounted on 50mm base.
Top view, with Slann for scale.

Next week will be the fourth of my analyses into the army lists in the Warhammer Armies book: The High Elves.
I will also be continuing to paint Slann, and hopefully heading north to London for Salute 2015.