Wednesday Workbench

I’d be lying if I said I was happy with how these are coming out.  They are not good.  Just need to power through them and then: whatever I might do to put in the CP next weekend will get started and finished this weekend.

Aug 2016 me is very disappointed in how August 2015 me “cleaned” the mold lines on these models.

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenaries Group 2

Ravenscar Mercenaries

I’m banging away at painting for Wrath of Kings at NOVA, and finally wrapped up the first batch of models yesterday: Ravenscar Mercenaries.

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenaries Group 2

These guys are actually one of my favorite WoK sculpts, despite the decision to give them capri pants, which doesn’t exactly strike terror into the hearts of one’s enemies.

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenaries Group 1

WoK - Lord Hob

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenary 4

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenary 3

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenary 2

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenary 1

Now that I’m actually posting them, I think they look not so good. I think I need to make peace with that: they’re kinda-sorta speed painted for me.  I’m pleased with their faces, if little else.

The Sergeant is just about done, but needed a few more details, so he’ll get varnished with the Zeti.

This is the finalized painting list.

Ravenscar Mercenary Infantry 6
Ravenscar Sergeant Leader 1
Lord Hob Leader 1
Zeti War Dancer Infantry 6
Zeti Dancing Master Leader 1
Skorza Skirmisher Infantry 5
Skorza Alpha Leader 1
Scourge Hound Specialist 2
Blood Engine Specialist 1


Lord Hob shouldn’t be in there, but he is, and he’s done.

I’m doing 6 each of the Rank 1 Infantry (so I can make a Zeti/Ravenscar leader and do 6/4/4) and 5 of the Rank 2 Infantry (so I can make a Skorza leader and do 5/5/5/).  My list isn’t in that much flux, but by painting 1-2 extra minis in a batch, I buy myself a lot more flexibility.

I’m working on the Zeti now: I might get pretty close to having them done tonight, which gives me most of the weekend to work on werewolves.

Frostgrave - Cultists Group 1

Frostgrave Cultists

Frostgrave - Cultists Group 2

I painted up a batch of Frostgrave Cultists to use as henchmen last week and was pretty pleased with them.  Pleased enough that I had to do more!

Frostgrave - Cultists 1

This is the original batch of 7.  2 crossbowmen, 2 two-handed weapon guys (infantrymen), 1 scarier two-handed weapon guy (templar), 1 dual-wielding guy (treasure hunter), 1 jackass with a stick with nails in it (thug).

On Thursday, I ran them with some painted Bones wizards as Wizard & Apprentice, which was okay except the scale and style was all wrong.  So: new wizards:

Frostgrave - Cultists Wizards

The Apprentice is just a Cultist model; the staff is brass rod and a Skaven skull. The Wizard is an Empire Battle Wizard (still one of my favorite kits) with a head and staff top swap.  Nothing fancy, but it doesn’t have to be, does it?  The Skaven stuff is incidental: I needed spooky evil looking bits and as it turns out I have a lot of Skaven bits.

I’d planned on making their hoods and mantles purple, to make them stand out from the henchmen, but decided that would make them too cartoonish.  I think the brown is almost as effective without being stupid looking.

Frostgrave - Cultists 2

I’ve built another seven henchmen, but just painted these three with the wizard: a sword-wielding guy (thief), a sword and bowman (marksman or ranger), and a spear and dagger guy (treasure hunter).  I’ve got two archers and two men-at-arms that will have to wait until after the big NOVA push to get painted.

I’ve definitely started to prefer the face’d heads over the hooded heads.  It’s a shame that the models with faces are in that next, tbd batch.

Observation: there are no right-handed dagger hands on any of these Frostgrave kits.  It seems like there’s a strong motivation to take a lot of thieves, but you kind of can’t build them with the kits.  Lots of off-hand daggers, but then even worse left-hand options.

Here’s another group shot.

Frostgrave - Cultists Group 1

NoVA Open 2011 Logo

NOVA Open 2016 Approaching

NoVA Open 2011 Logo

I’ve finally settled on what I’m doing at NOVA this year.

This is the second year I’ve hit this point: Register early, Knowing that I’ll want to go but not really knowing what I’ll want to do there. Months pass as I enjoy gaming… just not games that happen at NOVA.  The convention approaches and I realize I’ve got nothing to do there.

I’m registered for a couple of seminars, most on Thursday, one on Saturday. I’ve signed up for the Capital Palette, of course, but this year I might not enter anything: the change in format (something I’m less than enthused about but remain open to) adds a layer of stress over the whole thing, and stress is not something I need more of in 2016.

I have one model that I might enter, if I can finish it in the next three weeks, which might or might not happen.

40K is still not something I want to go anywhere near.  30K’s not an option (somewhat more than a partially assembled copy of Betrayal at Calth is likely required).  Age of Sigmar is not for me. Most of the round-lip skirmish games are not for me.  I’m so offended by the Infinity painting expectations that I can’t bring myself to play it.

Now that they’ve posted some non-build-and-play events, though, I think I can get behind giving Wrath of Kings a run.  I like the game okay, they’re single-day events, and I think I can get things painted in time for it.

(Yes, it’s not lost on me that, offended as I am about Infinity and painting, I can expect to see some unpainted minis playing Wrath of Kings.  I could elaborate on why it’s less of a problem for me with Wrath of Kings, but it’d mostly be bitching about the Infinity approach to painting, and that’d be less than fully constructive.)

WoK to Paint

I think I can paint this up well enough in the 25 days or so until the tournament.  25 models.  I’d rather play Hadross, but I know I can paint people faster than I can trippy fishmen, so Goritsi it is.

There’s a Skirmish tournament on Friday and a Battle tournament on Saturday.  I have no illusions about being able to be fully painted for the Battle tournament.  My plan is to do the Skirmish tournament on Friday and decide: is it a non-event? Are people even there? If people are there, how painted are they? If the Friday Skirmish tournament goes okay, and if there’s a lot of bare PVC, I might do the Saturday Battle tournament.  Otherwise, I’ll sleep in and show up in time to learn how to paint sheer fabric.

This is my last year, I think, of registering for NOVA in January. It costs too much to have to find something to do.  In 2017, I’ll have to think about it and decide over the summer.

Frostgrave - Cultists 1

Green! – Frostgrave Cultists, Veer-myn

I’ve been painting the Deadzone starter Strike Teams; I’m most of the way through the Veer-myn models.

DZ - Veer-myn - Group

I was very excited when Mantic first announced these things, and ended up getting a box of them around the time the first Deadzone started shipping.  Restic, though, so they’ve sat around in the hobby closet ever since, however.

As I’ve noted, a lot of the Mantic hard plastic sprues are enough to make one yearn for the good ol’ days of restic.  The Veer-myn sprues are a good example of this: not great contact points, with weirdly balanced models that are kind of a pain to glue to the base, and so-so detail.  I haven’t been super-impressed.  (I’ll have a couple of them done by the end of the week, I hope.)

DZ - Veer-myn - Nightstalkers

The restic Veer-myn, though: swing the other way in terms to detail: a lot, probably too much, detail for what should be a rank-and-file model. Also, the ones with Pistols? Blech. Whoever decided to make the arms metal but the pistol + hand and the arm itself as separate pieces is someone with exceedingly poor judgement: I can’t see how it adds anything beyond a super convenient place to have your model break.

DZ - Veer-myn - Broodmother

The Broodmother is a sufficiently impressive model.  It’s big enough that I ended up screwing around with oils on it a bit.  Not very well, mind you, but a bit. I like it… but the detail around the head is not very good

Frostgrave Cultists

I scheduled a game of Frostgrave for later this week, which is funny because I was just fussing at Shades about how Frostgrave was DOA at Huzzah.  Because I’ve been happy painting this green, and because I’ve sort of Needed to shut myself in the basement for a day over the weekend, I went ahead and painted up a bunch of the Frostgrave Cultist models for the game.

I blew through them over the weekend. I’m very happy with them; I’m not sure how well the faces (the few you can see) show up in the photo, but I’m extremely pleased with them.

DZ - Enforcers

Deadzone Strike Teams

Deadzone 2 shipped a little while back, and I’m finally getting around to wanting to play it.

I played the first edition a handful of times, and it was okay.  A little baroque in places, a little broke in other places.  Ultimately a game that wasn’t great, though, and probably deserved more work before publication. It saw a little action when it shipped and then nothing.

I’m hoping the second edition, which seems less messy, might be better. I won’t know until I actually give it a few spins, though, so I’m seeing if I can find enough interest at Huzzah for some exploratory game.

Sigmar only knows how much of this stuff I have, so it’d be nice if it were worth playing.

In anticipation of this, I hit the different Mantic Blog  posts with starting Strike Teams and packed each of the models needed for them (assembling a few where needed). Now, because the idea of painting more 1:72 is killing my soul, I’m painting up those models.   As you can imagine, it’s going fast: with a low model count and sculpts that are… serviceable, it’s easy to make speedy headway.

Below are some photos of what I knocked out last week.  (Apologies for them: I’m still trying to find a good replacement for the Picasa Desktop app.  I clearly over-relied on “I’m Feeling Lucky”.  Worse yet, I literally cannot figure out why this next photo insists on being rotated. )


Despite having painted all of the Rebs from the first wave, I still needed one more Yndij to use as a Leader. So: the Yndij Mercenary, Eddak P’mera.

DZ - Forgefathers (2)

These Steel Militia guys are the most obnoxious, fiddly, stupid goddamn models I’ve put together in a long, long time.  I’m all for flexibility, but these models should have had half as many pieces as they did.

That said: I’m pretty pleased with them. I like the way they look once they’re together, and I like the paint scheme I came up with for them.

DZ - Forgefathers (1)

The Hammerfall guys or whatever they’re called go together more easily than the Militia, but don’t look as good.  There are also some weird things to the sculpt. Not thrilled at the idea of painting more of them.

The Brokkr, on the other hand, I really like, but I as nice as the orange jumpsuits look in the studio scheme, I regret imitating them.  It’s a pain in the ass to work with those orange paints.

DZ - Enforcers

The Enforcer hard plastic kit is utter garbage. The Enforcer Pathfinder kit is… not perfect, but is light years better. They’re really coming a long way. Worth noting: there are clearly (once painted) torsos and arms that are female and torsos and arms that are male.  This is expressed by musculature and tone: there are no gigantic armored boobs where, and I applaud that.

You kind of need to be looking for it, though, because otherwise you end up with a female torso and swole as hell Arnold arms (like I did).

I’m very pleased with how the black came out here. It looks black, without being black. Going to have to make sure I hang onto my notes for these.

Next up, I’m wrapping up some Veer-myn (about which I have Thoughts), and then I’ll probably stop procrastinating and work on something useful. With the Veer-myn done, I’ll have all the starting strike teams painted save for the dumb-looking Enforcers, Marauders, and Asterians.

Pennyburn Mill (8)

Historicon 2016

Historicon happened, as you probably already knew.  I am still sore from it.

Thanks to the new job, I wasn’t able to get down Thursday to check in/check out the vendor hall (which I did last year and strongly recommend).  Instead, I went down early-early Friday, stuck around through Saturday, and headed back Saturday night. I’d say it was something like 24 hours of standing on concrete and leaning over tables. It’s possible I’m too old for this.

Painting Competition

In the interests of not further burying the lede, the painting competition was very, very kind to me.  Four entries, four awards plus Best of Show.

I’d entered Tercio Creativo’s Zurraigo.  I love this mini and how it came out.

Historicon 2016 Painting Contest (4)

I also entered my A7Vs into the Flames of War platoon category.  I’m extremely pleased with how these came out, and I’m looking forward to continuing to apply these techniques.

Historicon 2016 Painting Contest (3)

I entered a different set of Maquis than the set I entered into the Capital Palette last year. This batch (in fact, every Partisan model I painted after that batch) benefited from the seminars I took at NOVA.

Historicon 2016 Painting Contest (2)

I’d brought these in, not because I thought they’d all that well (there are more half-assed things about them than I can count), but because they were a breakthrough for me. I’d also planned to enter them into the Historical Unit category, not realizing that it was 1 entry/category (I got my wires crossed with the Capital Palette) , so I dumped them into the Open category.  I can only presume there was no fourth entry into the category.

Historicon 2016 Painting Contest (1)

In front of us in the mini pickup line was a young girl: probably in her early-mid teens.  They handed her her figure and a plaque for 1st Place, Youth Category (I think?) , and she literally  just started screaming “YES! YES! WOO! YES!” and literally ran off, holding her mini and award over her head.  I know how she felt: I might be a miserable, crabass, and this might not be The Crystal Brush, but it’s immensely encouraging and thrilling and an honor to win one of these, nevermind Best of Show.


I really sucked about taking pictures.

I’d been really looking forward to The League of Augsburg‘s Battle of Pennyburn Mill game for quite some time.  I had no idea Clarence was not only in the US, but is (relatively) just down the road.

Pennyburn Mill (8)

Pennyburn Mill (7)

Pennyburn Mill (6)

Pennyburn Mill (1)

Pennyburn Mill (5)

Pennyburn Mill (10)

Pennyburn Mill (9)


It was a lot of fun; strongly recommended.  I hope they run another game next year; I’ll make sure it’s on my schedule.

I cruised by the Bolt Action tournament: I was disappointed that one wasn’t being run on Saturday… I’d have been all over it.  With my game scheduled for Friday, I couldn’t commit to playing in the Friday BA tournament.

I did grab a photo of this amazing Home Guard army:


I watched some of John E’s Strange Aeons game, which I really need to make time to play:

Strange Aeons

I’d signed up to run my Amien, 1918 game; the only TGS game in attendance. It went less than smoothly: only one person who’d signed up showed up, though I was able to dragoon someone who’d been chatting with me about it into playing as well.

The scenario… might not be a great one for a con game.  For the Germans, the first 1-2 turns are just about waiting.  The Brits show up, they shoot, they kill next to nobody; repeat.  The Germans… sit there. There’s not a lot of agency at the beginning.  I could tell it was frustrating the kid playing them.  Once the rolling barrage has moved on, that totally changes: the Germans have just as much control over what’s happening as the Brits, and are (potentially) in a stronger position (since they’re entrenched)… but that’s after.  Nobody wants to wait to play a game after, they want to start playing the game, you know?

Also: it’s worth noting that it was kind of a huge hassle. Not only did running a game prevent me from participating in the BA tournament, it imposed a lack of flexibility over my Friday evening. In terms of saving $25 on the GM Badge: I don’t think was worth it.  Heck, I took a day off from work, my first week, because I’d been committed to running a game on Friday. At that point, I’d assert that it definitely wasn’t worth it.  If I’d had participation in the game, I might feel differently, but I’m not sure I’m going to run a game again next year.

Saturday, most of my day was spent in the By Fire & Sword tournament. I came in last. This is entirely because 1) I don’t play the game enough and 2) need to build the rest of my models.

The game can kind of be a little incoherent: the layout doesn’t put rules where I expect them, and between the core rulebook, The Deluge, and the revised rulebook the inconsistencies can be maddening.  I’d love for a native English-speaker with time (so: not me) to literally just rewrite the rules in a more straightforward format.  There was noise about a revised rules-only book coming out: maybe that’ll be it.  Anyway: it’s not like BA or even 40K where you can not play for a year but just pick it up and go.

By limiting myself to the models I have assembled/painted, I’m pretty cramped in what I can run, and that doesn’t do me any favors.

I’m sure they’ll do one next year: if I’m going to play in it, I’ll have to better prep for it.


I was pretty good this year.  I picked up a bunch of stuff for WWII Flames of War: got a lot of good deals at the swap meet.

Importantly, I’m still at the “I have painted more than I’ve bought this year” level, though I’d kind of expected it to be the other way.  What’s really encouraging is that last year, I was good up until Historicon and on contact with the vendor room everything went up in smoke.  This year, I’m still on point with tracking purchased/painted/sold data.