Since I quite enjoyed the Beastman and Greatsword diorama, I decided to take a stab at another. While I have a few lying around, I haven’t really painted to completion any Warmachine or Hordes models. So, I decided to get a couple out and give them life on a little scenic diorama.
I chose Lady Aiyana and Master Holt. It is important to realise from the outset, I have no idea who these two are. But they were in the same blister, and looked like interesting models in their own rights. Also, they aren’t in battle poses, so I could create more of an atmospheric piece. Above is where the diorama is currently at. Let us explore how we got to this point.
The rocky outcrop is made using building insulation polystyrene. I liberated a small offcut from a building site down the road at the start of the year. The polystyrene was cut roughly into shape and glued to a 40mm circular base. I then glued smaller pieces to it to create the ledges and outcrops. A couple of these, where a portion of a miniature would stand, I reinforced with a piece of brass rod. Also, much like the previous diorama, I added a dried branch to add a bit of height.
Once the polystyrene was dry I filled in any gaps with wood filler. After this had dried I coated all the polystyrene areas with a layer of PVA glue, to prevent damage to the shape when I undercoated the piece.
Next I added a couple of sizes of small terrain covering to the tops of the outcrops. I didn’t want to cover the entire thing, as the sides would be the solid rock, while on top would be loose dirt and gravel. While I was at it, I added a rat to one of the ledges on the back.
Lets take a second to look under the base. I drilled a hole through the centre of the base, and when gluing on the polystyrene I also glued in this bolt. It is a little crooked, but I gave it a quick test and I still get the result I want. What result, you ask? You will have to wait until the end to see.
With the terrain scatter dried I sprayed the base white. Then, I gave all the rock outcrop section a basecoat of grey, while giving the tree a watered down bone layer. I then painted brown onto the ground covering, also applying a watered down layer of the brown to the tree. The ground cover was then drybrushed in random sections with an ochre red, black and white. This was to create an irregular look, rather than have all the ground covering unifom.
The rocky outcrop I mottled on white, black and a lighter grey, and then stippled water over the colours while they were still a little wet.
When the base was dry I used PVA glue to stick static grass and model railway bushes randomly about the outcrop. While doing this I placed the miniatures onto the base, so that I didn’t place any of the details in a position that would make adding in the miniatures awkward.
As for the models themselves, they were very straight forward. Lady Aiyana is a single piece, and required only the most minimal cleaning. Master Holt comes in three pieces, his two forearms with hands and weapons, and his body. These had a ball join on the end of the forearms that inserted into a cup on the body. I decided to slice off the ball join and insert pins instead. Once this was dry I used greenstuff to fill the minor gaps that were left.
As with the base, I undercoated both figures white. This was followed by a watered down layer of bone, to provide the foundation for the rest of the colours.
I am happy with how this new diorama is progressing, and can hopefully get back to it quite soon.
The idea of a long weekend is always so attractive. Until it actually happens, and there are places you have to go, people you have to see. And spending money on gifts! Even chocolate eggs. Aargh!
Most of my weekend was spend firmly entrenched in these things. Much to me ire. Not that I don’t like my family, but time to spend painting can be so hard to find.
I did trek into the city on Sunday, though, and team up with Brad in a Warmachine tournament. It was a veterans and noobs tournament, so I was the noob to Brad’s veteran. This gave me a chance to try out my new Cryx and see how they perform on the tabletop. My counterpart decided to go with Khador.
We didn’t do too badly, coming out with a loss, a win and a draw. I’m starting to get the hang of what I am supposed to be doing, even if I am not completely across how to do it. Like Warhammer it is a game about manoeuvering. Not of your troops though, but of your abilities and attacks. Like I said, I can see what the game is asking of me, I just have yet to understand how to deliver what it wants.
Slowly but surely the Rat Ogre comes together. I worked a bit on the pilot today, just getting the basic forms for the area in.
First of all, I took an old Epic 40k plastic Rhino and sliced it in half. The front half, with the slanted front, became the bottom section of the cockpit. I then attached a strip of plasticard on top, covering the protrusion and the Killa Kans body.
On the rear, above the engine, I glued a cut down brazier from the Bretonnian Men-at-arms box. When I paint the model, this will be done as a chunk of warpstone, most likely the power source for the engine.
Then I cut some long, thin strips of plasticard and glued them around the top of the plasticard rectangle from earlier. These will (hopefully) help to create a sense of depth with the cockpit, and make the skaven look like he is sitting in something.
The seat back presented more of a problem. I went though my bits box and picked out some likely candidates for the job, but none seemed right. Using some lateral thinking, I went back through my bits and looked for pieces that had a shape that would suit a chair back, rather than being an actual moulded part of something. In the end I chose a cleaver from a Hero Quest Orc. It was wide and thin, and had a nice curve on one edge. Perfect.
After this was decided, I chose a multi-part Clanrat body and head, and cut the bottom of the torso down so it would fit flush with the platicard. The plan is to make the arms holding the controls from the hand-blade/punch dagger arms in the new Clanrat box.
Next I worked on the magnets. The milliput had dried overnight, so I could add the rest of the milliput and smooth it off. It is still a little uneven, but I think once it is dry a rub with sandpaper will sort this out.
While the milliput was drying I started to think about how they will attach to the arms. Doing a quick search on the internet for crane magnets helped me sort out what I was going to do. Real world industrial magnets seem to have a series of plates that they attach too. I have created something similar by using old undead plastic shields. The mechanical arms will attach to the centre of the shields, and I can add in wires and connections after that.
While I was at it, I also finished undercoating my Cryx. Hopefully I can start getting some paint onto them in the next few days.
Because I am stellar at my job I have a couple of days off. So I decided to pop down to Gamers Guild and pick up a couple of thing. These things being the new Orc Killa Kan box and the Cryx starter box. The plan is to turn the Killa Kans into Rat Ogres. That is the plan, anyway.
I decided to stat with the Cryx, though, as they are a lot less work. No conversions, I plan to use the Warmachine models I buy ‘straight from the box’. I don’t want converting whole forces for two game systems taking over my life. One total conversion project is bad enough.
Deneghra was easy enough to put together. Her head glued on, then her back thing. The Bonejacks were a little tougher. I had to file down the faces of the tabs that go into the bases, because the writing moulded onto there was preventing them from slotting in. After this the next challenge was to get the legs to glue at the right angle. It was a little annoying, but I have glued enough stuff together in my time to know the usual pitfalls to watch out for.
The Helljack took a little longer. There is a strange and noticable absence of any instructions in the box, so I had to muddle through a dry run to get a feel for how it was supposed to go together. In the end I glued the head to the body, and the forearms to the shoulders. After these had dried I glued the arms to the body and then glued the hood over the head. Once this was all stable I glued the legs on. I did the legs last because I wanted to make sure I got this kind of lunging pose on the Helljack.
When I glued all the models to their bases I left a couple of millimetres between the bases and the feet. Since the Warmachine warbands are going to be markedly smaller than the Warhammer armies, I can spend a little time on making sure they don’t suffer from that ‘sinking’ appearance. I will need to go pick up some fine basing sand some time.
Overall the started kit was fairly easy to figure out. Like I said, the lack of instructions is annoying, but bearable. Some of the joins are a bit fiddly, but nothing years of experience can’t get around. The legs on the Helljack were the worst part of the whole experience, though. It took a lot of forward planning and careful craftsmanship to get them to attach in the right way.
I am looking forward to getting something onto the bases, so then I can get a paint scheme going.
No, I jest. This title is here to briefly worry Brad.
So Brad, along with a Privateer Press affiliate Terry, ran a demonstration game of Warmachine down at Gamers Guild today. I hopped a ride with the two and thought I would finally try and get in on the Warmachine action.
Three demonstration games were run simultaneously, all using starter packs. I landed the Cryx, while my opponent was Terry with Khador.
Obviously there wasn’t much to the game, as it was mostly me going through the different phases and special rules and getting a feel for how the whole thing worked.
This is how the field looked at the end of our demo game. I managed to destroy Terry’s main Warjack, but using Sorscha’s feat he managed to whisk her around my force and land some hefty blows on my Warcaster. But it was still good fun, and I hadn’t expected to win. The battle was about learning the system, not fully kicking someones arse.
I am not to sure if it is because there in a new version out, but I not only enjoyed the game but also feel like I got a really good grasp of it. It might just be that I have played enough games now (three) that it has finally sunk in. Who knows.
And here are the other two demonstration games that were going on at the same time.
The guy playing the other Cryx for here, Drew, is one of the owners of the store. It looks like Gamers Guild will be holding a Warmachine tournament for noobs some time soon, so I will try and get into that action. Go splash out on a Cryx starter box and see if I can fail badly at two tournament game systems.
Around these parts we had a long weekend. Three days off, should be good for getting some Warhammer in. Evidently not.
I finished the Plague Monk unit filler and glued it together. With this done, I went on to base the Plague Monks and Slaves. This took me three days. I kept doing little bits, and then having to go do something, come back, do some more. I’m sure you all know how it is. On some level, its frustrating.
Yesterday I hopped onto the train and went into the city, where I spent four or five hours playing some Warmachine. Fear not! I am not abandoning Warhammer. But it is good to play other systems and see what is out there. Actually, I quite enjoyed it. Where Warhammer is all movement, careful planning and battle tactics Warmachine seems to be largely skill management and all-or-nothing plays.
The forces don’t have to be too big to play a decent game, so I think investing in a medium size army isn’t out of the question. I suppose the only real downside is that the Warmachine community is a lot smaller, and travelling into the city to get games will be the norm for quite a while. But I can live with that.