Saturday, 25 June 2011

So that's why my order was three weeks late...

So Wayland Games have come out and declared they won't be stocking Finecast because of its quality issues, all the while presenting themselves as the heroes of the hobby.


Some of the "issues" they declared were absolutely laughable, a stray air bubble here or there, some of the "issues" appear to actually be part of the sculpt themselves - jagged armour plate on an Orc and some of the "issues" were just plain ridiculous. I don't care how you present it, a stray hair in the packaging is not a fault nor is it grounds to drop the range.

I'm sure those who were kept waiting three weeks for their orders while Wayland pissed about taking pictures of miscellaneous man hair are absolutely delighted for the reason for the delays. And no doubt they were equally delighted when it took days for any reply to our enquiries was made and that several items were dropped from orders without explanation, all of which had nothing to do with Finecast.
Perhaps Wayland before you criticise other companies practices you should get your own house in order.

As for their supposed status as "Hobby heroes", again bullcrap. This was nothing but a publicity stunt to save face when GW stops supplying them after their public flaunting of GW's new international sales policy.

So drop whatever you want Wayland Games, criticise whatever company you want, but i certainly will be recommending to my friends and fellow gamers to stay clear of ordering from you, because of your shoddy dispatch times and your absolutely terrible levels of customer service.

Duuh Duuh duh-duh-duh

Time to purge the Heretics! For Menoth!
Flee puny Morrowan! I am Supreme! I am Iron Man!
For the Emprah!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

And now for something completely different Part 3: Completely Different with a Vengeance.

And look what's come in the post courtesy of Maelstrom Games. I hadn't expected it to arrive yet as i chose the free delivery but here it is less than a week later (thats how you do it Wayland). I've settled upon Menoth as my first focused attempt at a Warmachine army, although Cygnar and Scyrah will probably be added to here and there solely because i like their mini's too.
I must have been heavily influenced in my formative years by 40k, as i've gone for a force of religious fanatics once more to sit side by side with my various armies. You get a Revenger, a Repenter, a Crusader and Grand Exemplar Kreoss in the box, all in plastic.
Everything comes in its own little bag, with a set of quickstart rules (fortunate for me as my Prime MkII rulebook still hasn't arrived)

Along with a card for each of the units contained within, again useful for me as the metal Revenger i bought from Ebay came with a MkI card.
Also Warmachine wise i have finished converting the plastic charger into a more dynamic pose.
The nature of the kit made this extremely simple. The hammer arm came in two pieces so it was solely a case of assembling it outstretched rather than bent.
And then it was simply a case of glueing the gun arm further forward and cutting the tab off the left leg and glueing it on angled backwards, to get a running pose. I'm quite happy with my charging Charger and it certainly looks a bit more dynamic than the average 'Jack i've seen.

So next on the list is waiting for my rulebook to arrive, a box of Menoth Flameguard to come in the post and to decide on a colour scheme for my menoth.
I've been scouring the web looking for inspiration but nothings grabbed me so far. At the moment i'm considering having a go at NMM again, with white as primary colour and NMM Gold as the secondary colour. But i'd also like to take advantage of the large open spaces on the 'jacks and try a bit of freehand.
I'll get some pictures up once i've made up my mind (this could take some time as anyone who knows me wil attest)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different Part 2: Completely Different Harder

As mentioned before, i've recently begun to delve into the products of Privateer Press. Not out of any dislike of Games Workshop, whom i will keep buying from until they either collapse or the stars go out, but more because after 16 years of exclusivity i feel the need to stretch my hobby wings.
Now the only thing i've not really liked about Warmachine is the warjacks as i've also said before, with Cygnar being about the only ones i had any real like of. This annoyingly contrasts with the army i prefer from its fluff- Menoth. So i think i'll be making some Menothian purchases in the not too distant future and figure out a way of making their 'Jacks more appealing (see i'm already picking up the lingo). In the meantime a plastic light 'jack arrived, of the Cygnar charger variety.
Opening it up the pieces come in a little plastic bag, off any sprues:
Naturally this saves time in preparation, but from some of the marks on the model i think i could have done a better job getting it off the sprue, some filing will be necessary.

A nice touch though is how each part can actually interlock with specifically shaped holes. While it's not that useful to those of us who have been assembling plastic kits since we could walk, for newcomers such touches are very helpful indeed and should avoid some of the mistakes i've seen from new modellers in the past.
I've bluetacked it together to give an idea of its bog standard pose. Which brings me to the other thing i dislike about the 'jacks, they are just so static. After working with GW stuff it's a bit unappealing. So i'll be taking the knife to it to try to get some movement out of the model and make it a tad more dynamic. I expect to do the same with future non-metal 'jacks.

Overall a nice little kit. The plastic seems a tad more brittle than GW stuff, i'll see when the converting starts just how much of a difference this makes. Certainly impressive for a company that has worked almost exclusively in metal for the better part of 10 years.

So i've got this and Dreadstone Blight to work on, let the paintfest commence!

That New Mini Smell

This morning my package from Mayland Mames finally arrived, several weeks late of course. Inside was a kit i've had my eye on for quite some time, having decided to boost my terrain collection - Dreadstone Blight.
I started the hobby over 16 years ago, and those of you old enough to remember such ancient times will know that the best we had to look forward to was the occasional cardboard scenery being released with campaign packs like 'Tears of Isha' or 'Idol of Gork'. Fast forward the better part of two decades and now we have plastic kits that ensure that those of us without engineering and electronics degrees can still have impressive gaming tables.
Sliding open the box greets you with a heap of plastic bagged goodies. I had expected it to be on a sprue but after five seconds thought i should have realised that the curvature of the walls would have made it a nightmare to box up if they'd left it attached.

You get two bags of stuff plus the base of the ruined tower. As you can see the tower interior is fantastically detailed, with lots of warhammery touches - no one is going to confuse this with another game setting (except maybe those rip-off artists Mantic).
A whole heap of flooring sections and ruined wall bits. Whats nifty about this kit is the way they have designed the ruined floor to interlock, enabling you to decide just how much should be broken away - its entirely possible to have a complete floor if you wish.
The outer wall sections. Each piece interlocks allowing you a great deal of variety when deciding which bit should be where, and should ensure that no two Dreadstones need look alike.
The interior of the walls are just as detailed as the exterior. A nice touch is the walled up Tzeentchian door, perfect for my Daemons.
A closer look at the exterior doorway, with a nicely modelled grill guarding its entrance and of course that staple of Warhammer design, oodles of skulls.

All together a really nice piece of terrain and one that certainly has me dying to get it painted. Some work in progress shots will be incoming in future blog posts.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

And now for something completely different...

As i've mentioned half a dozen times already, i went to 's retail store and picked up a few bits, amongst which was a Retribution of Scyrah mini to add to my teeny tiny existing collection of Warmachine mini's.
I've had my eyes on Warmachine for a while, the main thing deterring me was the fact i had no-one to play against and nowhere to play it. Both of which you will agree are fairly major drawbacks when considering a new wargame.
But i really do like their models (apart, annoyingly, from the Warjacks) so in the end i gave in an bought the rulebook, a few more Cygnar mini's and a selection of Menoth guys. I'm undecided which faction i will eventually focus on so i've been buying a few from each to get a feel for the paint jobs and mini style.
Cygnar has the only Warjacks that i don't think look like arse, while Scyrah has some fantastic character sculpts and i really like the bulky armour style crossed with the traditional slender elf look. When the Menoth bits arrive i'll have a good look at them too.
In the meantime i'm headed back to The Wargame Store on July 9th as they've got a Pressganger coming in so i'll be trying out Warmachine for the first time hopefully. After that i need to find someone to actually play against, so if any Merseysidites are reading this and interested, drop me an email.

Also today i've painted up one of the black cat bases. I'm still undecided which of my 40k armies will be mounted on these. At the moment my Blingwing are in the lead, mainly because i am considering selling my Grey Knights again and the dark scheme of the base wouldn't really contrast with my Dark Angels.

Anyhow thats it for now, hopefully i should get some nice big packages of hobby goodness in the mail tomorrow.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Why did they have to make bases that look like little white chocolates?

As i said in the last post i picked up a pack of resin bases to give my 40k armies a little bit of extra oomph, mostly inspired by seeing the efforts of an Eldar player at the Liverpool GW store on Thursday who'd customised his models with wraithbone looking plasticard.

So when i stumbled upon The Wargame Store today i made the most of their extensive range and grabbed a pack of Black Cat Bases, specifically their ruined buildings set. At only £5 for a pack of 15* i figured they were a bargain.

Quality wise, well there is room for improvement. Theres a fair few airbubbles, but given the ruined nature of the walls etc. it should be fairly easy to remove without spoiling the look. Theres also a couple of slightly mishapen bases, with one side lower than the other. Again the scenic nature of the bases should negate this a little bit - they are all still round and all still 25mm so not too bad. Other than that the resin is nice and solid, a tad more brittle than most but still of gaming quality.

And frankly at such a low price its still worth a buy and i'll certainly be keeping an eye out for more of Black Cats range.

*I do have to say however that the pack only had 14 bases in it rather than the advertised 15. A bit annoying.

Pleasant Suprises and Disappointing Retailers

On a trip out to visit my mothers horses at the distant field they are kept it, she suggested we stop by a place called Brimstage Hall because she was sure she had seen some of those "warhammer things" amongst the various craft shops and pensioner feeding establishments.
Whilst dubious i agreed and we took a detour to stop off at the place. At first it looked like it would be a waste of time until i spotted the familiar and always welcome sight of Ghal Maraz next to a flight of stairs.
Heading up i emerged into a veritable Aladdins cave of creamy hobby goodness. A store stocked to bursting with Games Workshop, Privateer Press, Flames of War, Malifaux and even some of Mantics crap. Turns out that this was the retail outlet of an online Hobby supplier,

After having a quick browse i picked up a few bits and bobs, including a Warmachine Retribution of Scyrah warcaster, some resin bases and a Beastman shaman. All of which, i must add, were below RRP.

Even better i'll be headed back there on the 9th of July to try a bit of Warmachine, a game i've had my eye on for a while, depending on whether an order i placed is actually fulfilled by then.
Which leads us onto the second half of this posts title.

I placed an order more than two weeks ago with a well known online store, whose name rhymes with Mayland Mames, online to be left completely in the dark as to when it would actually be fulfilled. Now i know they received a large influx of orders when GW's new policy was announced but really there is no excuse for A) not informing customers of the delay, B) not keeping customers up to date as to when it'll be dispatched and C) Asking customers not to bother complaining because it's more work for them to do.

Back in my days of retail i would never dream of treating a customer that way, so i'm not going to accept said treatment just because they are online. Suffice to say i'll be seeking a full refund if the items aren't dispatched by the end of this week and i certainly won't be using that particular company again if they aren't.

Anyway enough negativity. I'm aiming to get a review up of these resin bases i bought in the next day or so as well as a few more pictures of my hobby activity this week.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Dust and sand

Blimey the new version of Tomb Kings are nasty.
I managed to sneak off to the Vet's night at GW Liverpool for the first time in bloomin' ages, taking my Daemons with me to double my chances of a game - they are based so they can be used in both 40k and Fantasy - and ended up facing a Tomb Kings force led by the legendary Ste.

It was a 1750 point game, so i wasn't expecting to face anything too big but nope, out popped a warsphinx with a crispy Tomb King on it's back. But no worries i thought, my horde of Bloodletters should take care of it no problem. Yeah right.

Everything went well, i managed to blast a few units of Skellies and chariots away with my Flamers and magic, giving me a pretty big head start returning the bone heads to their graves. My Bloodletters however managed to get bogged down against the warsphinx and a unit of skellies, while my Daemonettes tore up the flanks.
What i found surprising is how resilient the basic troops of Tomb Kings are. They may have lousy stats but they linger around like a bad smell, and with spells also bumping units up it can get hard to get rid of them.

In the end it was the spells that did me in. The Tomb King spent the first five turns of the game doing bugger all in combat, thanks to some iffy rolls but in the last turns he turned it around. First he finally rolled to hit and finished off the Bloodletters that had bogged him down, then a lucky roll with a spell restored the Warsphinx from 1 wound back up to its full allowance (!"&*) which then proceeded to wipe out my Horrors on the last turn, nabbing Ste a win.

But as long as i don't get tabled without killing anything i'm happy enough. And next time i'll be breaking out my Daemonprince to teach that stone cat a lesson. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable game against a great opponent. And it's motivated me to get working on my Daemons, with a couple of purchases yesterday adding some resin Flamers and another ten Bloodletters to the force.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Finecast or Failcast?

As i've mentioned in a previous update i was fairly dubious about GW's move from metal to resin, given my complete lack of experience with the latter material.

So when i had a few quid spare today i decided a trip to GW Liverpool was in order to see what the finecast fuss was about. I had a browse amongst the new blisters before settling on a Nurgle Daemon prince for my Daemon army. I'd wanted this mini for quite some time, but the fact it was a metal kit put me off in the past. From the very beginnings of my hobbying 16 long years ago i have hated metal kits, i won't lie. They have been a pain in the backside to clean ready for painting, a pain to assemble, break apart as soon as anyone does more than breathe on them. And along with Gary Morley they ruined my 12th birthday.

So with trepidation i left the store and opened up the box. I've heard a fair bit of griping about miscasts and excess flash etc. when it comes to the finecast kits, but my kit had absolutely no flaws at all. The flash was significantly less in fact than the plastic Aquila shrine i picked up at the same time. All the detail is present and correct and startingly crisp.
I looked at at least half a dozen blisters in store and only one had any flaw that i could see - a Lilith Hesperax had half her face missing, truly a crime against such a beautiful sculpt. I'm not denying that there are miscasts out there, but GW Liverpool seems to have escaped the worst of them thankfully.

And then the assembly, oh the assembly. It took about a minute to glue together with superglue, no pinning, no waiting around for glue to set only for an arm to fall off five seconds after you let go. It truly was a joy to assemble after so many years labouring with metal kits.

After sampling the product i have to say GW has me converted to their new casting method. Sure the price may have gone up (again *sigh*) but with mini's of this quality now available i'm willing to pay a few quid extra.

Of course a sensible blogger would provide pictures to illustrate everything i just typed. However i realised after assembling the kit i should have taken pictures on the sprue, went to grab my camera and at least provide a few images of it half assembled only to realise my housemate has taken it with them to a horse show. So i will add pictures to this post just as soon as they are done photographing equine shenanigans.

=][= Edited to add images =][=

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Winter is coming

As promised in a previous blog update, i've uploaded a few pictures of my hobby progress during my online absence. First up is a picture of the current state of my work desk.
As you can see there are bits and bobs from half a dozen different armies currently decorating my living room and awaiting being finished. Alas my status as a hobby butterfly means that i rarely focus on one thing at a time resulting in it taking fething ages to get things finished.

Next up is a picture of a possible future Warhammer army for myself and the reason for this posts title. I bought a box of beastmen Gors several months ago and have been slowly, very slowly, working on them. They are an army i've not collected before so that was the main source of their appeal, combined with the brilliant portrayal of Beastmen in Robert Earl's Broken Honour (well worth reading).
I've also become a tad obsessed with basing my models with a winter theme, Beastmen included, so if i do go ahead with the full army it'll be winter based complete with dead trees etc.

The other newish army i've been working on are some Orks. I had an Ork army a few years ago and had to sell it because of real life financial reasons, much to my dismay. So i've been slowly starting again with my greenskins, using a new technique for their skin- I don't use any green paint at all.

No you arent colour blind, they are green but through repeated application of washes over grey. I highlight the grey before the wash which provides the skin highlights whilst giving them a slightly translucent look.

With all this talk of Beastmen and Orks you would be forgiven for thinking i've forgotten the Dark Eldar i was raving about not to long ago. Well that is and isnt true.

Whilst i love the miniatures themselves i've certainly struggled to give them a paint scheme and paint job that shows them at their best. I believe other bloggers predicted this when the range was released last year and i have to say i'm beginning to agree. This failure to find a decent scheme has meant that my Dark Eldar purchases have been somewhat limited, i've still only got 10 Hellions and 10 wyches, neither of which are finished.
I did however splash out on an Urien Rakarth model before giving up and got him mostly painted.

I've tried to give the impression that all his clothing and equipment has been fashioned from unfortunate victims, although the picture is a bit poor so thats not really clear (still experimenting with my camera alas). I like to think that Rakarths managed to keep his unwitting clothing alive and in agony.

Whether or not the Dark Eldar or Beastmen become a full army depends on whether i can resist the temptation to splash out on a bunch of Tomb Kings in the next week or so. The new statuary side of the army has really caught my eye and it's probably the first fantasy army to do so since i first started my Chaos Dwarfs sixteen years ago.
Speaking of which i've been drooling over the new Forgeworld chaos stunties, and they would almost certainly be my next purchase. But i'm having a hard time justifying to myself the £36 price tag for just 10 miniatures. They may look brilliant but at £88 for a regiment of 20 plus command the cost is just a bit too steep at the moment.

Thats all for now, i should have some more pictures uploaded in the not too distant future barring any cat related mishaps.