zondag 1 januari 2017

A year in review, and a half-decade as well.

Well, another year has passed, and with that this blog is now, today, five whole years old!

Let's start with the traditional year in review. How productive has the past year been?
I've painted 40 miniatures, less than last year, but still, for me, a pretty decent year. I haven't been as focussed as the year before, as these 40 miniatures have been spread across several games/projects whereas my 2015 production has been almost entirely on the Dungeoneering Project. The past year I've painted, for example, some giant frogs, a converted Appleseed Landmate, a pair of Japanese priests/wizards for an RPG, 3 Escher gangers (after which painting stalled, sadly :( I'd like to finish the gang. ), I've cranked out a BFG Eldar fleet, I've made a good push on my Man O'War Dwarf fleet and painted the first half of my fantasy urban militia.
All in all, this year has seen an ebb and flow of both Mojo/inspiration and various subjects.

Scenery-wise, 2016 has been a pretty decent year, with me seeing 26 items of scenery completed. Admittedly, a far few of these were the tiny islands from the Dreadfleet boxed set, but they also include terrain for a friends as well as the Warhammer Quest display diorama, which was a lot of work!
Hopefully I can keep up productivity on the scenery area the coming year as well, as I really like doing it, but have neglected it for years. Plenty of plans and ideas, but I need the time, room and materials to make them reality.

Today also marks the exact date of this blog's fifth birthday! I know it's somewhat of a tradition to hold competitions and giveaways on such milestone blog-anniversaries, but honestly, the excess stuff I have is minimal and made up mostly of errors of purchasing judgement that I wouldn't want to foist on anyone! Plus I'm a near-broke and stingy Dutchman who can barely afford his own hobby/hobbies... I hope you will all forgive me! 😜
So, what is there to say about these past five years? Well, that my Space Hulk 3D project will turn 10 years old this year, and will still less than 20% completed... And that my interests and output have changed, as well as my approach to the hobby. I've moved more and more towards narrative and or skirmish gaming. I've also found I'm gaming less and less over the years, so maybe I should really rebrand myself as a wargaming collector and modeller rather than a "true" wargamer. I still model and build with the intent to game, though and I really miss having a stable group of fellow gamers that meet up frequently. Basically, I miss having a gaming "club" of sorts to bounce ideas and enthusiasm off, and to engage in joint projects with. The two local gaming communities aren't a great option for me, as they're both store-allied and thus limited to their product selection, and I like going on weird tangents...
 I've blogged at a fairly consistent 45-50 posts a year. Which I find both surprising and reassuring as I started this blog with a "we'll see where it goes and how long it lasts". It also reminds of how important this blog has become for my hobby. In a way, as much as my hobby keeps this blog going, in turn having this blog keeps my hobby going... You folks reading this are, in a way, my substitute game club, that I get to show off my weird little projects to. And I am truly grateful for your interest and readership, thank you all very much.

And now, let's look to the future:
What are my plans and desires for the coming year(s)?
 -The first, and most prominent is of course the Badab War Retro-Campaign. It's a joined project with a group of Belgian wargamers I met (funnily enough, through intervention of this very blog) last year. We will all be building/expanding armies for the Badab War a "historical"Warhammer 40K conflict. For me it means assembling and painting an entire Howling Griffons Space Marine army. Luckily, we will be gaming it in the Warhammer 40K 2nd edition rules. Which I still remember very fondly, but also featured smaller armies than today's edition. Since it ties into my Space Hulk project, hopefully some mojo will spill over into that, leading to some more finished corridor sections. Especially as Space Hulk: Deathwing is also feeding that particular reservoir... I'm really looking forward to this one, but I'm also dreading the amount of effort and painting in a, for me, short amount of time.
-Gaming: The past years, with the exception of 2015, by grace of Frostgrave, have been mostly barren of gaming. Not just wargaming with "serious gamers" but boardgames with friends as well. The past years have seen me turn more and more into a sort of hermit and I hope to break that pattern the coming year. Chronic non-alignment of calendars among friends will keep being a problem on that point, sadly, which means more effort expended. Nevertheless, the dice must roll.
-Fantasy: I hope to keep going on the fantasy project, even if off and on. I really need to settle on a set of rules and start having games, get people interested and returning for this. Also, there is still that planned dungeon to build.
-Games Workshop: Games Workshop seems to be making a comeback and redeeming themselves in the eyes of many long time fans/disgruntled veterans (two categories with a fascinating, but disturbing overlap). As a result their products have regained some of their shine for me as well, combined with a good dose of (near) middle-age nostalgia for me. I hope to finish that Escher gang and get something of Necromunda going again. =I=Munda is still holding fascinations, from both modelling and narrative gaming standpoint.
-RPGs: As always there will be the monthly games of IKRPG, great fun and a regular meeting with friends that is very, very dear to me. I will also try to keep GM-ing my DnD Japan campaign, despite it's regular scheduling gaps and issues, as this also means meeting up with people dear to me, that I don't see nearly often enough. Another friend has recently returned to our area and has invited me to a free-form rules-light narrative rpg campaign. So, maybe, just maybe, the coming year this crazy old hermit will finally crawl out of his cave? I sure hope so.
-Other stuff: As always, I reserve the right to go off on some weird tangent at the drop of hat. I've come to accept that this is how my mind works, and it is useless to fight it. Also, Johan seems determined to teach me the Battlegroup rules and get me gaming them as well. As I still have a stockpile of 20mm DAK and with the North Africa expansion coming out this year, I see little problems or reasons to resist on that point. :D

For now, all attention and effort will be going towards the Badab War Retro-Campaign. It's been a campaign that has had my interest for the longest time, and it also means meeting and gaming with a new group of people. So I'm positively chuffed that this is now a thing! There will/must be occasional sidesteps to prevent me from running out of steam and drive. Plus there is real life to contend with.

Which brings me to another point: Woodworking. This will also be seriously competing with my wargaming time and budget. I really like doing it and in a way need to do it. Hopefully, in time I can find a way, as well as the skill and experience, to do this (near) full time or at the very least make a side-income or self-funding hobby out of it. I've found that, despite doing it for more than a decade, I am really not cut out to live at a desk for the rest of my working life. Making things out of wood is, to me, an essential antidote to a life in a deskchair and the evils that works on me. I need to make things with my hands to keep my mind and body working properly. I can no longer deny or postpone this.
For now, I will be focussing mainly on acquiring the skills, tools and resources (wood! more wood!) needed to do this, and to find out what it is within woodworking that I like the best and am good at. Again I am very lucky to have friends who share this interest. I've already got a few shared projects lined up, including plans to build a gaming table. Which then feeds back into the desire to play more games, as I would dread building a gaming table and then not use it. "Build it and they will come" ;P
I've been thinking for a while what to do with this, if I should start a separate blog for my woodworking, or find another channel to share this with a wider audience, or even to share it at all, since it feels like boasting about baby steps? In the end, I decided it will be part of this blog for the foreseeable future. I've intended from the start for this blog to be an online documentation of my creative endeavours, and have shown non-wargaming things on here in the past as well. It just so happens that wargaming is my main and oldest hobby and thus forms the vast majority of my bloggings. This blog has always been, and will be, my digital archive of "Things-that-keep-Modhail-from-going-(more)-insane" and from now on, this will also include stuff made from wood.

I hope you will all keep reading my ramblings in the coming year(s) and wish you the best, both inside and outside of our weird little hobbies.

Geez, what a wall of text! Here, have a picture as a reward: :D

A happy new year, and see you next time!

zondag 18 december 2016

Sunday painting

Just a quick spot of painting today. I've had these marines stood in assembled state for years now... Thanks to the Badab War project, they're finally seeing the paint table
And while I do love my Howling Griffons, and think they look great once finished, I seem to have forgotten how much of a chore it is to basecoat the little Battenberg Bastards... ;)
Hopefully I can steal away a few hours on the Christmas weekend to basecoat the red as well.

See you next time!

zaterdag 17 december 2016

Howling Griffons, a slow expansion.

Hello again,

Well the planning and scheming for the Badab War Campaign is in full swing, the Belgian wargamers I originally discussed the idea with have gotten their club involved, and a friend from Delft has also dived in. So we're suddenly looking at a full-blown campaign with 9-10 armies! Yay! :D

As a result, my Hobby Mojo has been bubbling again and I'm currently looking very enthusiastically at my little stockpile of Griffons. I have less than I would like, but enough to get a serviceable 2nd edition army out of. Just need to expand a few things. Oh, and paint all those quartered scheme marines....

To get started again, over the past two weekends I've been finishing the two Howling Griffon Terminators that have been on my workbench for far too long. Here they are:

Brothers Darvin and Ahlrig, of the First Company. (Sorry about the glare, the light is a bit crappy today.)

And the view that no enemy shall get of them while they live:
Brother Darvin carries his record of oaths fulfilled with him, as well as the bones of a fallen Battle Brother.
Brother Ahlrig shows his devotion and purity through the brass Eagle and purity seals on his armour:

woensdag 14 december 2016

Helloooo, nurse!

I'm working a late shift tonight (which sadly means I won't get to play Space Hulk: Deathwing on release day, I'll have to wait to tomorrow night). Which means I have some hours of daylight today to take advantage of!

So, I'd like to present a WIP of my Howling Griffons Master of the Apothecarion and Apothecary to the first company:
Naturally, more bling and Griffonisms will be added to the good brother. I would like to show off his personal heraldry though, which I finished sculpting today:
The Griffon's Chapter Icon, the griffon rampant, but grasping the Prime Helix, to display his sacred duty in safeguarding and defending the geneseed of the Chapter.

See you next time!

zaterdag 3 december 2016


A quick Saturday evening conversion, I present to you Brother-Apothecary Arvun:
Shortly after the release of Burning of Prospero, I chanced on a cheap squad of MkIII marines, thanks to a tip from Gunbird. I intend to use them as extra bits to convert my Howling Griffons. This is the first attempt at such, by combining the MkIII armour with the Apothecary bits from the Space Marine Command Squad. I still need to add the purity seals and other tchotckes that will root him firmly in the 41st millennium.

Brother Arvun is my Howling Griffons 5th Company Apothecary, honoured to wear one of the few MkIII suits the chapter still cherishes. As Arvun is often found in the thick of things aiding and saving fellow Griffons, the extra protection of the venerable suits thick plates is more than welcome!

I really like these MkIII "Iron" armours. And it gave me an idea; while I can't go full Heresy Era with my Griffons (not being a founding legion and all), I might decide to go "historical" with them; Modelling them not to represent a M41 army, but rather an M34-M37 or so army. So with a few more ancient armours still seeing regular use, rather than being hid away in the armoury as relics of a bygone age. It also gives me an excuse to use every single bit of MkVI kit I come across, as those would also see much more heavy use in that era, and they are my favorite armour mark.
I'm kind of liking the idea, but need to mill it over a bit more. It would mean playing and building my Griffons without the weight of the Badab War and the feud with Periclitor behind them. And while the feud with Periclitor isn't my favorite piece of Howling Griffons backstory, I do love the Badab War dearly...
Another thing to consider, should the Time of Ending that 40K is currently entering turn out to be as big a clusterfuck as the Warhammer Fantasy End Times were, I have another excuse to completely ignore it! 
I'm loath to give up the Badab War though, I may just keep my army M41 and use the older marks to really show off the age and pedigree of my Griffons. Luckily I can ponder this at my leisure, as I have absolutely no deadline for this army. :D

zondag 27 november 2016

We are the Angels of Death!

Over the past few weekends, I painted the Terminator Squad from the Dark Vengeance set.
I started them quite a while ago, working on them as my son painted his first Space Marine. Seeing that the Space Hulk:Deathwing PC game is nearing it's release date, I thought it a good opportunity to finish these Terminators. Plus, they served as an excuse to keep doing some hobby stuff as I adjust to a new job and changed daily rythm.
They aren't part of any of my main projects (though they can serve well in Space Hulk games), so if I messed them up or abandoned them, it wouldn't be a major distaster.
As a side effect of this, I've been painting them less for excellence, and more for to just get them finished and to simply enjoy the activity of putting paint on figures. Additionally, I discovered I'm a bit out of shape, painting wise. This means they're a bit rougher and less neat here and there than my usual painting style, but I'm still contented with them.
Anyway, enough waffle, on to the pictures:

And in action, cleansing a Space Hulk:

Oh, anf for those that are interested in such things: The Space Hulk Deathwing game is in beta for pre-orders this weekend and I've been playing it a bit. It is (hopefully) shaping up to be quite nice.  There are a few niggles and things that can be improved, especially on connection stability for online co-op, but graphically and with regards to look and feel, it's spot on! It's got me thinking about working on my own Space Hulk terrain again... They just need to squash those last bugs and it will be a marvellous game, I think.

See you next time!

zondag 30 oktober 2016

The Void Crows re-emerge

Well, I have the first day of the new job under my belt. It's still just in-house training, and will be for the next couple of weeks, but so far I'm liking it.

But that's not what you're here for, this is (mainly) a wargaming blog after all...
In the days between knowing I got the job and actually starting it, I decided to break out the brushes again. I didn't quite get the minis finished, but hey, that's what weekends are for.
So, what did I paint?
Those who have been following this blog for a longer time, or saw them back when =I=Munda first hit the stage on Dakkadakka, know that I've built a small salvage crew for it, and have been slowly working on expanding it.
Today I finished the last three additions:
Like the rest of crew, they don't have fixed names (yet), but I've been referring to them as "Sassy Girl", "Old Savant" and "Big Brute". If you look closely, you can nicely see the difference in sizes I managed to build into these models; Sassy Girl is just a bit smaller and more slender that the rest of the crew (done by shaving down the waist and shoulders, as well as the arms by a tiny bit), Old Savant is of standard unmodified size, where Big Brute is just a smidge bigger in all directions, thanks to .5mm shims in strategic places. It's not really noticeable on the table, but it does help in giving them the appearance and character I want them to have.
Here's a few more views:
As you can see in the pictures, these three are somewhat less combat-oriented than the original group, with Sassy Girl mainly being armed with a Boarding Gaff and a lumen-wand, with only a pair of throwing knives as a back-up. She's the youngest in the crew, and a bit of a mascot because of that. Her main task is to assist the Old Savant and haul cargo, but she has a fiery temper and a nose for trouble...
Old Savant wears a stubpistol because the rest of the crew forces him to. But being an information addict due to a meme-virus he contacted as a child, for the rest he just carries as much information with him as he can, as well as his favorite auto-quill. As he is an old man, and not of a physical bent, his void-suit has been retrofitted with a brass augmetic frame the crew salvaged a while back. Before he had it, he would need two of the crew to carry him around and prop him up somewhere to oversee salvage operations. His suit is also fitted with a shoulder-mounted Lux-caster. The crew couldn't do without the crotchety old man and his uncanny knack for finding the best pieces of loot.
Big Brute is most heavily armed of this group, carrying a stubpistol, large combat knife as well as his trusty huge crowbar... Like Sassy Girl, he will mainly be hauling salvage, as well as making sure that anything the crew needs loose or open gets that way very quickly!
Except for the Old Savant, they're wearing a lighter pattern of void suit than the rest of the crew as well. The reason is that these figures will be part of the "second wave" of salvagers, coming in after the clearing crew to select and haul the items and parts of the ships to be salvaged. They shouldn't be engaged in front-line combat, but you can never, ever, consider any derelict ship to be "safe".

Here's the crew exploring a derelict ship, with Old Savant pointing out a data-alcove that may still be functional:

And finally a proper look at the crew as it stands now:

What's still in store for this crew? I've got a few extra crewmembers planned or in progress; There will be a duo of lux-servoskulls, to help light their way, a servitor that can be equipped to either assist in hauling cargo or to cut open doors and locks with a plasmacutter. These are all primered and ready for paint. (But they've been in that state for ages, so don't expect this means you'll see them soon!)
I'm also building a small grav-sled to haul larger pieces of loot with.
And finally there are the last three members of the crew: 2 cargo haulers, that are also equipped with slab-shields. They will do dual duty hauling and securing cargo on their slab-shields or pushing forward to clear rooms where there's a bit more opposition... And the captain of the crew (the crewboss with shotcaster and chainsword is in charge of boarding operations, but occasionally the big boss himself will join the crew, if there are especially rich pickings to be found). He will be wearing a more luxury and flamboyant style of void suit.
I'm still not entirely decided on how I want to handle the slab-shields. I want them to be utilitarian, equally useful as a shield and as a sled or gurney to haul cargo on, and disposable, as they will also be used to quickly seal any inadvertent hull breaches the crew encounters, so they also need to look cheap and easily replaced.

There's also a void-suited itinerant Preacher in the works, but he isn't part of the crew proper.
If the new job and the new hobby/passion (woodworking) will leave enough time and energy, I'd really like to keep going on my small 40K narrative warbands, maybe even make an attempt at continuing my Space Hulk terrain. I got a real kick out of seeing all of it in the table again, especially now that enough time has passed that I can look at them with fresh eyes, without remembering the building process and the flaws I knew were there.

See you next time!