vrijdag 24 augustus 2012

The Boys in Blue

Hello All,

Time for another update. At our club there is about to start a small league of Warmachine, a fun game by Privateer Press.
For those among you who have absolutely no idea what it is I'm talking about, the game is about battlemages called Warcasters using their powers to control Warjacks, huge steampowered battlerobots with which they smash, crush, blast their opponents from the field of battle. Sounds like fun, isn't it? :-)
There is also a fully compatible variant Hordes where Warlocks control big beasties to do their bidding.

Anyway, the league is based on the Journeyman league concept where people start out with one of the startersets available for each faction and as the league progresses add more models to the army. As I allready had a nice collection of Cygnar models the choice of picking an army wasn't all that difficult. Most of the models weren't/aren't tabletop ready. Some where never finished, others still in the box while some of the older models in the force were halfway a complete revamp. Stripped, primed and one or two color at most. So this league was the perfect opportunity to start finishing these lovely models and make them into an army.

With the league rules demanding that one picks an army and starts out with the starterset, army selection was quite simple. Cygnar, like most other factions only has one starterset, so I could skip army selection completely and start painting right away. The Cygnar Starterset comes with Coleman Stryker as its Warcaster, a Charger light jack, a Lancer light jack and the Ironclad heavy warjack.
The Cygnar Starterset

Commander Coleman Striker
Now the Cygnar army has a reputation for being a rather shooty army. Somehow I don't feel this is represented very well by the units in the starterset. Only one of the light jacks has a ranged weapon. Also the Warcaster, Commander Coleman Striker isn't exactly the most shooty warcaster in the Cygnar army, but in that regard he does fit in with the jacks in the box set. All in all he's a good, versatile caster that can be played in several ways, so he certainly isn't a bad choice to start with. In fact, his generalist approach probably makes him one of the best Cygnar casters during the early stages of the campain as access to the big guns is and will be severly limited during the opening months and I'll need his versatility when facing a wide variety of greatly differing opponents.

He has disruption on both his weapons enabling his to shut down enemy jacks both in melee and, even better, at range. As armies will be very warjack heavy during the first few months, his ability to disrupt may well prove decisive in several of the upcoming battles.


The Charger light jack is the only shooty element in the starter army. I must say I'm impressed with the Mk2 version of the Charger. During Mk1 he was a very unimpressive jack. Too light for melee, and not very effective at shooting. He still sucks in melee but fortunatly his gun has improved quite a bit.
While he has a nice looking hammer, that's mostly for show or against an soft target of opportunity. He shouldn't be using it very often as he just can't stand up against a dedicated melee jack.
Instead he should be shooting from as far away as possible. He is now capable of making 2 fully boosted shots, making him perfect to blast light jacks, careless warcasters and later on light infantry and any solo's that don't keep a respectfull distance.

The next Jack in my starter battlegroup is the Lancer, another light jack. While build on the same chassis as the Charger, this jack has some respectable melee capabilities. His spear allows him to fight at reach distance while his shield increases his durability. Even better is that the shield can be used to destroy an enemy jack's cortex.
However the best thing about the Lancer is that he's one of the best arc nodes in the game.

The last model in my starter battlegroup is the every dependable Ironclad. For a heavy Jack he's quite fast, and his hammer is a very powerfull weapon. He has the ability to knock down enemies near him, making him very dangerous against clusters of enemy troops.
His biggest downside is that while his armor is strong, it's still lower than that of his Khador and Menoth counterparts, so I must make sure he get's to charge in first.

vrijdag 17 augustus 2012

Queen Helga's Double-D Dwarfettes

Hello all,

It's been a while, and I don't think many of you will expect any updates at all. But here I am.
Life has been busy, very busy and working on my carreer has taken up most of my time. And shifting interests has resulted in a whole lot of unfinished projects. I know, not really a good excuse to stop painting, and to leave things lying around my paintstation without giving them the attention, and paint that all of these mini's deserve.
But that is all about to change (let's see how long I keep up this time, shall we ;-) )
Anyway, it's Blood Bowl time. When it came to choosing a team, I've decided to go for Dwarves. They are sturdy, survivable and can hold a line like no other. Hitting a dwarf line is like hitting a brick wall. Dwarves don't have the steep learning curve some of the other teams have, so they seemed perfect for a beginner like me :-)

Next came the search for suitable models. I immediatly ruled out GW. Now don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against GW, they invented Blood Bowl, they got me into the hobby, the stuff they produce is of high quality and for that you pay. But I just don't like their Blood Bowl line. The models are quite old and it really shows.  But lucky for me there is a whole host of manufacturers who provide alternative models for Blood Bowl, or Fantasy Football, or Gridiron, or Elfball, or ...

After a while I came across a team of female dwarves, produced by Warlord. Now I knew Warlord from their historical range, but apparently one of their sculptors, Wojtek wanted to do something different and  sculpted these dwarves. The moment I laid eyes on these ladies I knew these were going to be mine.

Queen Helga's Double-D Dwarfettes

The 2 blitzing lady's of the team. Queen Helga likes to play herself, and with the Dwarves disappointing result from last years Blood Bowl league, she decided to take things into her own hands and start up a team of their own.
Obviously, she's the team captain. The busty redhead is Uschi, long time friend of Helga and almost as fanatic about Blood Bowl as the Queen herself.

The teams runners, Jenna and Greta. Black haired Jenna hails from the distant dwarven outpost of Kazad Dorm where she was a courier for the Kazad Guard. She once made it from the outpost to the capital in less than 3 weeks. Impressed with her speed, Helga asked her to join her team. Blond Greta on the other hand has been a professional athlete for many years and has participated in the Sigmar Olympics. Known to many as the Lightening Dwarfette, she's probably the fastest dwarf alive. So asking her to join the team was the obvious choice.

The teams berserkers, Sarah and Freya. These mad ladies asked to join the team for their own reasons. Sarah was dumped by Starplayer Gorvald Ironstar and wants to go to the league to meet hm on the field and get even, while Freja always was a bit wild and crazy and just sees the upcoming league as a fun thing to do.

3 Linemaidens, black haired Tasha, brunette Heidi and showing her best side, blond Angela. All 3 were handmaidens to Queen Helga. One of the prerequisites to becoming a handmaiden for the Queen is that you can hold your own on a Blood Bowl field. So filling out the ranks with her handmaidens didn't pose any problems to the girls as all are quite skilled in the art of Blood Bowl.
Especially Heidi has superb ball handling skills as you can see on the photo.

And the last 3 linemaidens, Ula, Anke and Tanja. Again, all 3 are handmaidens to the Queen.

So that's my team, hope you like it. Now all that remains is to learn how to play and see these girls to victory.

donderdag 25 augustus 2011

And now for something completely different.

Hello friends and followers, all 5 of you :-) It's the end of the month and you all know what that means. It's time for a new entry for A Regiment A Month. Those of you who came here today expecting the next Confederate regiment for my Confederate ACW army will have to wait a little bit longer. My short attention span has made sure that the next batch of the Perry's little fellas will remain on my paint station a little while longer. After seeing Patrick's Khador battlegroup last month I was thinking (yes I actually do that from time to time) "Hey, I've got a Cygnar army somewhere gathering dust.". So I decided on revamping my Cygnar jacks. Not only my old Jacks but also some new additions from eBay. But then Tomsche (him again) came with an idea. He wanted to start taking some pictures for his Gundamiun projects and asked to bring along any Gundams we had ready. Ready you say? Strike Rouge was assembled, and there was some paint on it, well only a layer of grey primer, but primer is also paint, ... anyway, lot's of work to be done.

MBF-02 Strike Rouge

The Strike Rouge is a mobile suit using spare parts from the GAT-X105 Strike that was in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and its sequel Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Its primary pilot is the Princess of Orb Cagalli Yula Athha. After the first Strike was destroyed outside the territory of the Orb Union, a different Strike model was built, using spare parts of the originial suit. This Strike variant, called the Strike Rouge, was built on the Kusanagi during the last days of the first Bloody Valentine War and piloted by Cagalli, who used the suit for a short time during the Second Battle of Jachin Due. Among her actions was the rescue of Athrun Zala, who detonated his suit inside GENESIS to prevent it from firing on Earth.

Weapons wise, the Strike Rouge features the exact same weaponry as the original GAT-X105 Strike. This includes the two head-mounted CIWS guns, two combat knifes and a beam rifle.
Like the Strike, the Strike Rouge was always equipped with a Striker Pack. The most commonly used was the Aile Striker, which added additional two beam sabers to the armament. Besides the Aile Striker, the suit also was known to be equipped with the Integrated Weapons Striker Pack, or IWSP. This pack combined the best aspects of the Aile, Launcher and Sword packs from the original Strike. It included a large number of additional weaponry to the suit's armament, including railguns, cannons, anti-ship swords and a combined shield, mounting a gatling gun and a beam boomerang.
Like the Strike, the Strike Rouge was equipped with Phase Shift armor, although the active colours were red and pink (due to minor improvements in the efficiency of the Phase Shift armor system, which would later developed into Variable Phase Shift although some say this is because the makers simply wanted a girly pink suit for a female pilot, the Princess of Orb no less) rather than the blue, red and white of the first Strike. The suit also features a "power extender" system to increase battery life, as well as a Natural-OS and a pilot-assisting AI computer system.

The Strike Rouge remained operational until mid CE 74, and was used as Cagalli's personal mobile suit after she and the crew of the Archangel left Orb. She launched in her suit several times to convince the Orb forces not to fight against the Minerva, although with little success. When the Archangel returned to Orb Kira launched into space with the Strike Rouge and used it briefly to protect the Eternal. Those who watched the series may have noticed that Strike Rouge at this point no longer sported the red/pink armor it had while Cagali was it's pilot but rather the original red/blue/white armor. According to the makers of the show this was because prior to launch Kira adjusted the settings for the Phaseshift Armor to his own preferred specifications. We can't have our hero flying around in a girly pink Gundam, now could we :-) The Strike Rouge however was no match against ZAFT's newer and more powerful mobile suits and was heavily damaged in this battle. Aboard the Eternal Kira switched to piloting the new Strike Freedom while on Earth Cagaly was now flying the ORB-01 Akatsuki. With both of its pilots equipped with newer and more powerful mobile suits, the Strike Rouge did not see battle again and it remains questionable if it was ever repaired or simply decommissioned.

Cagali Yula Athha's shield devise : The Lion of Orb

Rear view of the Strike Rouge with IWSP. Fans of the series may notice the  colors of the IWSP  are different. I've opted to use red to match the colors of the original Aiel Striker Pack rather than the grey/white of the IWSP.

Strike Rouge with IWSP, beam rifle and combined gatling-shield. The "wing" sticking out of the shield is the rear end of the Beam Boomerang

Strike Rouge with beam rifle and normal shield. As I didn't glue the joints, the model is still capable of many different poses. For this reason I have also opted not to give it a base for now.
Strike Rouge with IWSP, beam rifle and gatling-shield
Strike Rouge with IWSP and dual anti-ship swords

Another pic of Strike Rouge with rifle and original shield
Strike Rouge with IWSP, gatling-shield and dual anti-ship swords

One last thing about the IWSP. Nowhere during GUNDAM SEED and GUNDAM SEED Destiny does Cagali fly her Gundam equiped with the IWSP. While the IWSP was designed by Morgenroete Inc, to increase the capabilities of the Strike design by combining the other Striker packs into one multi-role pack, the advanced weapons controls proved too complicated for Cagali to master in the short time between the packs completion and the end of the war, so she never used the IWSP in an actual combat even though it was made for her Strike Rouge. During the next war, Orb provided the IWSP to Phantom Pain. They equiped it on Waid Rabby Nadaga's Slaughterdagger and later on the Strike-E, also known as Strike Noir.

zondag 24 juli 2011

Bring out the big guns

Hello all,

July is almost over, so it's time to present my next regiment. For this month I have chosen to paint up some artillery. The models are, like all the models for my CSA army, provided by the Perry Brothers. As a single artillery piece would be a bit meager, I opted to paint 2 pieces. I also planned on including the commanding officer but due to time issues, he won't be ready until next month.

Now onto the artillery. Usually I look for a specific regiment that appeals to me because of background, history and looks. But unlike infantry regiments, artillery regiments pretty much looked all the same, or all different, depending on how you look at it. Most regiments were provided with the standard grey uniforms trimmed with scarlet, the traditional color for artillery. So grey uniforms with red trimmings could be found pretty much in every regiment. However most artillery regiments did little in the way of uniformity and clothing differed greatly within a regiment on an individual basis. Forage caps were mixed with slouch hats, the old pre-war light blue trousers and blue overcoats could be seen being worn frequently and as supply issues started out butternut showed up among the artillery crews.

Another reason why I choose not look for a specific regiment comes from a practical gaming point of view. The Perry's were kind enough to provide each of the artillery pieces with 3 different barrels to represent different kind of guns. This leaves me free to swap the barrels and have my batteries represent different batteries on a battle to battle basis.

Both artillery pieces are equiped with their 12 pdr Napoleon barrels. The spare barrels are 12 pdr Howitzer barrels and light 6 pdr barrels.

zondag 26 juni 2011

A Regiment A Month Part 2

Hello all,

It's almost the end of the month, so it's time for the next regiment in the "A Regiment A Month" series.
As my second regiment for my Confederate Army, I picked the Alexandria Riflemen. Ok, they weren't a regiment as such, more like a company in the much bigger 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment but let's not get picky.
Despite having so much time at the beginning of the month, due to unexpected events at work I actually had to rush to get them finished in time. Not willing to go just half way, I decided to make this regiment a bit smaller than I had in mind, just to have enough time to get them finished without delivering sub-par models. All that needs to be done is give them a coat of varnish to protect them from handling. They are after all gaming models.

Now the first thing you may notice about them is that they are green. Aren't Confederate troops supposed to be grey? Well most of them where, at least most of them where supposed to be grey late war. Early war most regiments used their old uniforms. Some Unionist troops had grey uniforms while some Confederate troops wore blue, then there were the colourfull Zouaves, some dark green sharpshooter regiments and some other odd combinations. After some very bloody friendly fire incidents and overruns because commanders had mistaken an approaching enemy regiment for reinforcements, both sides tried to supply all their troops with the same uniforms. However due to supply issues, or stubborn pride, not all of them got to change their uniforms. The Alexandria Riflemen were one of those regiments. Throughout the war they stuck to their dark green uniforms.

The Alexandria Riflemen were organized on March 10, 1856. Originally choosing the name "Alexandria Sharp Shooters", they quickly reconvened their meeting when some realized how the initials would look painted on the back of their knapsacks. The change of name to "Alexandria Riflemen" was unanimous. They were organized, with the Mount Vernon Guard, into a volunteer battalion under the command of Major Turner Wade Ashby.
The Alexandria Riflemen were one of 10 companies that made up the 17th Virginia Infantry. They took part in :
Bull Run, Va. (Blackburn's Ford),Williamsburg, Va.,Seven Pines, Va,Gaines' Mill, Va.,Frazier's Farm, Va,Second Manassas, Va., Boonsboro, Md. (South Mountain), Fredericksburg, Va, Cold Harbor, Va., the defense of Petersburg, Va., Five Forks,Va., Sayler's Creek, Va., and surrendered at Appomattox. 

vrijdag 10 juni 2011

You've got mail.

Yes indeed. The postman had something for me today. A package from Hongkong.
A few weeks ago, the (in)famous Tomsche had yet another one of his great ideas. As if "A Regiment A Month" didn't put enough pressure on us and our precious and limited painting time, he just had to introduce something new. And so Gundanium was born. It is supposed to be an quick and easy to learn, fast playing game involving everyones favourite Japanese robot warriors, the Gundams. It was decided to work with the High Grade 1/144 scale Bandai models as these models are easy to find (just type 1/144 gundam on eBay and see), easy to construct, have a nice level of detail  and are quite cheap as opposed to the huge, expensive and complicated 1/60 scale Perfect Grade models.

The next big question was, what gundam should I go for? I decided to go for one of the less seen Gundams, ruling out the usual suspects such as Wing Zero, Freedom and Impulse. As I don't like the way the solar furnace sticks to the back of the gundam, any of the de OO gundams were removed from the list as well. As I think Seed and especially Seed Destiny are the best gundam series so far I narrowed my list further down to gundams from those series. And so I came along the princess of Orb, Cagali and her gundam Strike Rouge. Ok, she may not be as hot as Lunamaria Hawke, and she lacks Lacus Clyne's distinguished style, but the temperamental blonde tomboy certainly has something special making her one of my favourite gundam characters. So I decided to go for Strike Rouge.
The kit contains Strike Rouge and the additional IWSP system
Much to my surprise the box contained several multi-color sprues, allowing the kit to be finished without painting, should you choose to do so.  However as I believe painting is a very important part of the hobby, I intend to paint Strike Rouge. After all, Cagali deserves the best for her gundam :-)

As for my other projects, here's a small update.
I had to restart my work on Mary from scratch after a rather disasterous crash. An unpleasant contact with the floor chipped some paint off, leaving me with no other choice than to strip the paint off and start all over again. At the moment she has been reassemble, primed, given basecolors and I have started shading and carefull highlighting.
Also the work on my next ACW regiment for "A Regiment A Month" is going great. I have decided tomake them the Alexandria Rifflemen, a company of the 17th Virginia Infantry. The models are assembled, primed and given their basecolors. So I'm pretty sure they'll be ready by the end of the month, even with the extra workload provided by Tomsche's great idea's :-)

That's it for now. As soon as I have some more progress to report, you'll be the first to hear about it.

Happy painting and  happy gaming to all!

maandag 30 mei 2011

Here comes the cavalry!

Due to some personal problems, I didn't have all that much time to paint. At times I even doubted I could finish my first regiment by the end of the month. But I made it, even with a full day to spare. So without further delay I proudly present my first regiment in the A Regiment A Month series. The 1st Virginia Cavalry. Why the 1st Virginia you ask? Well, my favorite WW2 tank is definatly the M3 Stuart. From there on I started looking into the backgound of the man who gave his name to this lovely little tank. After a bit of research on James Ewel Brown Stuart, I came across the 1st Virginia and I was immediatly drawn to their history.

The 1st Virginia Cavalry began the war as a group of independent companies from the Shenandoah Valley, organized into a regiment by J.E.B. Stuart, who later became a Major General.  It consisted initially of 12 companies, and completed organization July 16, 1861
One of the most famous Confederate cavalry regiments, the 1st Virginia was led by such intrepid leaders as J.E.B. Stuart, "Fitz" Lee, and "Grumble" Jones.
The 1st distinguished itself in in many actions, the regiment fought in over two hundred battles and skirmishes. Despite heavy casualties, the 1st maintained its high morale and elan to the bitter end.  Escaping at Appomattox Court House, the regiment marched on to Lynchburg before disbanding on April 11, 1865.

Stuart's horsemen wore chiefly homespun clothing of plain gray or butternut with black facings, or "Hussar's Bars" sewn onto the front of the jackets.  The short jackets early in the war were similar to the Richmond Depot Type I shell jacket design, which had epaulets, sleeve trim, and belt loops.  Although the traditional trim color for cavalry was yellow, the 1st Virginia wore black-trimmed uniforms instead, including a broad-brimmed black hat, often with a black plume.

Now onto the next regiment. For june I'm gonna paint some Infantry, still not sure what regiment but I'm sure I'll come across a regiment with an appealing look and history.