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Friday, 31 October 2014

OrKtober- Full Moons on Halloween...

A month ago I pulled this little pile of soon-to-be-greenskins out of a box:


Nice little project, RT Ork army in a month. And now it's the end of Orc(k)tober so it's all finished. Errrrr.... no. But then, as someone rightly said on the forum, what self-respecting Ork has a calendar?

So what did I get done?

As you can see, most of what was assembled in the picture above is at least underway. There are loads of boyz still on sprues and I haven't got to the bikes or wagons yet but I think it's not bad progress for what little of the month I had free to spend time on them!

Sticking with the Bucky O' Hare theme these two toads... er, Orks!... have been painted up as Air Marshalls. Actually it was these miniatures painted by someone on the forum (I forget who, sorry) that first put me on to the idea of a toad/Ork army. I was going to Toadborg-up the old SM dread but since the Nobs were in that scheme I decide to pain him as another Komplex-to-go to kompliment the warboss. There are also 12 more Boyz in this lot which I did last week.

I'm currently painting Gretchin, which will be done tonight but since the light was going about 5 I had to snap some shots before it got dark. The Goff Rokkers probably won't get finished tonight, they're among my favourite models ever and I want to pay proper time and attention to them. It seemed fitting to start them on Halloween though, listening my way through the entire works on The Mission (in preparation for going dancing to some good ol' Batcave classics tonight, hooray!).

In addition to painting I ACTUALLY PLAYED TWO GAMES (!) with these guys on Monday night. Using 7th Ed rules but nevertheless, I have never played as Orks before and it was a refreshing change from my much-abused Guard force. Yes they got pummelled, but gloriously and appropriately for Orks. The Nobz held off and butchered two squads of Khorne Berzerkers and a squad of Chaos Space Marine Bikes before they were brought down and the hopeless carnage of the second game was only because of a Stormraven Gunship....

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Lost in the Oakbound woods... making display scenery part 1

Back in January I needed some nice scenery to photograph the Marsh Demons against. Of course I had used my back garden for my army shots:

And borrowed Bristol Vanguard's marsh board for these shots of Oakbound's Marsh Demons:

But with the (then) forthcoming Kickstarter in mind I wanted something which better represented the world of The Woods that these characters inhabit. At the same time my lovely partner and I were spending quite a lot of time walking through the beautiful misty mornings of Vassal's park, Bristol:

With its steep, wooded slopes, winding stone steps and river this was exactly the English countryside feel I wanted for the range. It reminded me of holidays to Dartmoor when I was younger, scenery which almost certainly influenced my love of the work of Brian Froud who bases much of his work on the rugged and bleak beauty of that area. I snapped a lot of photos and began to plan out how the scenery would work.

I wanted something that would provide a background, so having height was important. I also wanted scenery that could be put together in different ways and photographed from different angles to give an idea of how vast the wood is. Of course, I also wanted to b able to use the scenery for games, but more as a border for a board, or perhaps as two sides of a valley running along board edges from which an ambush is sprung. With this in mind I designed and built four levels of modules- two tall modules, a choice of four medium modules that would sit in front, four low modules that would complete the slope and a selection of square flat modules that could have river sections built onto them. The medium and low modules would be deep to allow for miniatures to be placed on paths winding through them, the tall modules would be largely to provide backdrops.

The frames with their Styrofoam cladding were finished in February. I was hoping to have the scenery ready for the UK Games Expo in June. The modules were cut so that the silhouette of each end would butt evenly up against the next. I also designed a large corner module so I could make L-Shaped setups. Then I got busy with the Tripods! release, designing and releasing The Woods, painting up the Marsh Demon masters, sculpting for the kickstarter.... then June came.

As you can see, a rather hastily constructed piece of terrain! As it happens there wasn't space for much else so this worked fine, but I was determined to have better ready for the full range should the Kickstarter complete.
After sitting in a box under my workbench since February (the terrain, not me!) the scenery finally came out again last week. I used a hotwire to carve the slopes, steps and features I wanted into the Styrofoam.


The great thing about the hotwire (apart from the cyanide output and lack of poly dust) is that the cut edges already have that rocky texture. Nevertheless, today's task was to glue pieces of real rock on for those nice overhanging boulders, use a ballpoint to draw on the bits of stone wall that would pop up from time to time, stick in bits of real twig for trees and texture with polyfiller. The result:


The trees at Vassal's are beech trees- straight and slim with fine bark so I haven't gone all sStillmania on them (though I will do some more gnarly ones later). All the same, I have built in roots with Milliput and will be using paper clips stuck into the trunks to build branches onto. Much of the foliage is high above the levels of the banks, so I probably won't give them full canopies, just a smattering of leaves. The next step was to give everything a base coat of dark, earthy/rocky colour. I chose to mix black and brown on the surface to give a blending of different shades. Much of the scenery will be covered in 'earth' and 'leaf litter' in any case so it was only really important to get the rocks about the right colour:


 The gloss on the picture is just because it wasn't dry, although I probably will use a gloss varnish in places to indicate damp, mossy surfaces. There'll also be some water on some of the modules. So here are some shots of the setup as it currently looks. Hopefully next week I'll get onto the first layers of drybrushing, adding the earth, leaf litter, lichen etc. and making tree branches.

Also hopefully by the time I'm done some master casts will have arrived to photograph in front of it!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

What's this? A non-wargaming post?!!! The advent of the seasonal music shelf

Last weekend my parents came to visit my boat. Yes, boat. I live on one. A narrow one. A narrowboat in fact. I keep meaning to post a video tour- but am always deciding to wait until I've got it that much more how I'd like it... it may never happen!

Anyhow, I digress.

They brought with them four large boxes of cd cases, the empty shells of the albums which reside in four large, but not equally large, cd wallets. I have been collecting music for a long time now but over the last few years due to broken cd players and a lack of time I haven't been listening to it much. This must change! I have decided that if the albums are in cases on a shelf rather than in a wallet in a drawer I will be more likely to pick one up. More importantly, I will be more likely to spot something I haven't heard in a while rather than fall back on the same few albums as has been the recent trend. Obviously, all my albums are never going to fit on the shelving I have available so I have hit upon an idea to make sure I have an even more varied listening experience.

Other people have seasonal wardrobes. I don't, most of my clothing I black or other dark colours and apart from an occasional day when it's definitely kilt weather I wear the same thing winter and summer, just with less layers if its hot and the big coats for when it gets cold. BUT I definitely have seasonal music moods. For instance, at this time of year I am usually inclined towards some 80s Batcave and Goth Rock; the dying of the year, dark evenings and all that. So, I thought, what if I have a seasonal music shelf? I'll pick the albums that feel suited to the season, plus some I just haven't heard for a while and fancy picking up again, and limit my choice to that until it feels time for a shift in season. At this point some may stay, some may drift off to be replaced by others and with any luck I'll get a rounded listening experience that changes as the seasons in our beautiful country.

So here's the starting point, the autumn collection if you will. Some of them will be obvious choices, some may be surprising. This season I shall mostly be listening to:

Nosferatu: Rise, The Prophecy, Prince of Darkness, Legend, Lord of the Flies
Fates Warning: Still Life
Subway to Sally: Nord Nord Ost
Communic: Waves of Visual Decay
Evanescence: Fallen
Amorphis: Am Universum
I: Between two worlds
Lacuna Coil: Karmacode
Guns n’ Roses: Appetite for Destruction
Creed: Weathered, Human Clay
Therion: Deggial
Rasmus: Dead Letters
Blind Guardian: Somewhere Far Beyond
Nightwish: Dark Passion Play, Century Child
My Dying Bride: Light at the End of the World
Lacrimosa: Satura
Sex Gang Children: Demonstration
Grave Digger: Heavy Metal Breakdown
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
Dream Theatre: Images and Words
Sinergy: Beware the Heavens
Paradise Lost: Host, Reflection, Icon
Kerrang: Master of Puppets Remastered
Steve Vai: Alien Love Secrets
Mastodon: Blood Mountain
Soundgarden: Superunknown
Moon Doc
Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds
Mortiis: the Grudge
Machine Head: Burn My Eyes
Fredrick Klingwall: Works of Woe, Chronicles in Decay
Pearl Jam: Vitalogy
Without Face: Astronomicon
Killswitch Engage: End of Heartache
Led Zeppelin: Early Days
Fleetwood Mac: Greatest Hits
Ghostland: Interview with the Angel
Celtic Frost: Parched With Thirst Am I and Dying
Empyria: Behind Closed Doors
The Wicker Man soundtrack
The Crow: Album and soundtrack
The Mission: Carved In Sand, God’s Own Medicine, Children, The First Chapter
Fields Of The Nephilim: Morning Sun, The Nephilim, Dawnrazor
All About Eve: Touched by Jesus
The Tiger Lillies: Circus Songs
Type O Negative: October Rust
Vince Ray: Sound Effect of Sex and Horror
Sisters of Mercy: Floodland, Vision Thing
Warlock: Rare Diamonds
HIM: Dark Light
Marilyn Manson: Eat Me, Drink Me, Mechanical Animals
Depeche Mode: Ultra, Violator
Echo and the Bunnymen: Heaven Up Here
Leaves’ eyes: Lovelorn
Novembre: Materia
Gene Loves Jezebel: Kiss of Life
Nine Inch Nails: Broken, The Downward Spiral
Opeth: Still Life, Blackwater Park
Cruxshadows: Ethernaut
Misfits: Cuts From the Crypt, Famous Monsters
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads
Tom Waits: Rain Dogs
Muse: Absolution
Love: Forever Changes
Placebo: Once More With Feeling
Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction
Return to the Forbidden Planet
Lawrence Juber: The Collection
Yearning: Plaintive Scenes
The Beautiful South: Quench
The Divine Comedy: Fin de Siecle
Midnight Oil: Blue Sky Mining, Diesel and Dust
Testament: Days of Darkness
The Zutons: Who Killed?
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Take Them On
Apocalytipca: Worlds Collide
Sonata Arctica: Reckoning Night
Kamelot: Ghost Opera
Cradle of Filth: Nymphetamine
My Chemical Romance: Black Parade
Moonsorrow: Verisakeet
Jesus and Mary Chain: Barbed Wire Kisses
Rosetta Stone: The Tyranny of Inaction
The Smiths: Singles
Necropolis: Necrosphere
Nirvana: In Utero
Usherhouse: Molting
For Love Not Lisa: Merge
Babylon Zoo: Spaceman
Donnie Darko soundtrack
Front 242: 05:22:09:12
Clan of Xymox
Spahn Ranch: Beat Noir
Machines of Loving Grace: Concentration
Alien Sex Fiend: All Our Yesterdays
Fair Sex: Fine We Are Alive
Diablo Swing Orchestra: Pandora’s Pinata
Joy Division: Substance
Groves In Mist: Mood Diary
Sigue Sigue Sputnik: Century Boys
Blue Oyster Cult: Best of
Octavia Sperati: Winter Enclosure
Gregorian: The Dark Side
The Church: Magician Among the Spirits
Dimmu Borgir: In Sortie Diaboli, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
Serenity: Then Came Silence
Dead Can Dance: Spirit Chaser
Vespres a Montserrat
Switchblade Symphony: Serpentine Gallery
New Model Army: Thunder and Conformity
Theatre Des Vampires: Bloody Lunatic Asylum

Any of that lot in your current collection? Or suggestions for essential autumnal listening? All welcome in Fimm McCool's jukebox!

Monday, 13 October 2014

OrKtober: Kaptin Komplex and the Borgaaarghz.

Next offering for OrKtober, the Boss of my Klan, Kaptin Komplex (in blue) and his trio of Mega-Armoured Nobs, the Borgaaarghz.

In keeping with the Bucky Toad Empire theme, Kaptin Komplex is based on Kompex-to-go and the other three on Toadborg. Still not sure whether to keep their backpacks purple or add some yellow in. The cartoon quality of these are making me smile.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

OrKtober: Da Deff Kommandos- Maim! Mangle! Masticate!

First 20 Bad Moons done... well, done for now! I'll probably go back and refine them later but for now I'm happy to consider these guys ready for basing. Not bad for a day's painting.

I was surprised how well the Space Crusade Orks fit with the RT plastics once painted up. There are many, many more RT Orks to do so the SC models will be even more diluted across the squads. Really enjoyed doing the two metal Orks as the unit leaders as well, great Orkish models.


The colour scheme, as I mentioned in my previous post, is based on the Toads from Larry Hama's Bucky O' Hare comic (and subsequent tv series). Earlier this year Continuity offered me a license to produce a range of Bucky models and ruleset but a bit of market research suggested there wasn't enough of a market for them. I may still do a couple of sculpts just for myself as a big fan of the comic and cartoon series. I've gone with a halfway comics/tv colour scheme for the Orks, limiting the purple to the eyes and goggles and keeping the guns blue. The organic quality of the RT Ork weapons works really well here, although I need to do some more drybrushing and inking on them. I have gone for a dark blue rather than black for the base uniform though as it's a)easier to shade/highlight and b)more in keeping with the Bad Moon clan I think.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Orctober: Nay, ORKtober! The Bad Moons rise.

I've been waiting along time for Erny to bring back Orctober.

Last year I managed to acquire, amongst a lot of other bits, a complete, mint, one sprue set of RT orks. Naturally they aren't staying there! :) Let me present the small horde I intend to work through during Orctober:

That's over 100 Orks and Gretchin, so they may not all get done, but I'm determined to have a good bash. The RT plastics are joined by RT metals, Space Crusade plastics, Bad Moon Nobs, Goff Rokkers and other bits and pieces. Plus, of course, the iconic RT War Wagon. :) Glad I didn't part with that...

I've chosen Bad Moons as my clan. Why? Well because of the Nobs, because I can see the imagery working well with the SC Orks and because I have something special planned for the band. But not just Bad Moons, oh no. Bad Moons based on these guys:

Yup, Bucky O Hare's toad stormtroopers. :) Love the comics and cartoon as a kid and very much want to use this colour scheme for the RT orks with their organic-looking weapons and padded jackets. And I have a good idea for this guy:

Ambitious if nothing else... stay tuned for developments!

Fimm McCool's

Fimm McCool's