Yearly Archives: 2014

Too Much To Do, No Time To Do It

Where will you be?

I’m definitely in time-crunch stress mode.

Historicon is in two weeks, NoVA is in eight weeks.  Of those eight weeks, I’m on the road for somewhere between four to six weeks for work (and, ever so briefly, vacation).  Effectively: the lead in I have for Historicon is the same as the lead in I have for NoVA.

For the Historicon painting contest, I’ll just have to enter what I entered in the Capital Palette last year (which was, more or less, the plan).

For the NoVA GT, as with last year, my Khornate Daemons are my shortest-path to having a GT ready army.  I’ve got a few models that I need to paint for it, but it should be (just barely) doable with the time I have.

For the Captial Palette: I think I just need to accept that I can’t enter anything this year.  This is hugely disappointing.

As I look back over what I’ve painted since last August… the past year has been hugely productive in terms of quantity of models painted, but that’s come at the cost of quality: frankly, nothing I’ve done is worth competing.  Doing a Saga warband based on a stupid whim in less than a week, for example, is definitely an accomplishment,  but it’s not going to result in any winners.

The plan had been to work on some models specifically for the competition (which worked out pretty well last time), but I just don’t see when the heck I’d be able to do it.  Sure, I could work on something instead of finishing my army for the GT, but comparing the cost of the GT (already paid) to the cost of the painting competition (not yet paid), the decision is clear.

I might get lucky and find time, but it’s not likely.  Better just make peace with it now than add even more stress trying to do the impossible and then seal it with a heavy coat of disappointment when it’s for naught.

Soul Grinder WIP

Soul Grinder WIP 1

I finished building my third Soul Grinder last night.

Even though I have, like, no time to hobby between now and NoVA, the Imp of the Perverse made me want to do a headswap on it. I’d originally wanted to use a Ghorgon head, but couldn’t bits order the horns anywhere.  A Carnosaur head was my fall-back… and I think it’s worked out for the best.

Soul Grinder WIP 2

The original plan was to smooth out the join as skin and then bulk it out with hair, so he’d fit in with these guys:

38-2013-09-02 15.39.09

Flesh Hound on the left, Blood Render on the right

But the more I look at the model as it is, the more satisfied I am with it.

Soul Grinder WIP 4

The other big thing was the right hand.  The sword hand is boring (I’ve already got two of those), and the claw hand… not right.  I cast around for a bit that would work (the Carnosaur’s hand would be perfect, obviously) but couldn’t find anything that worked well and I could do without buying a pricey model, only intending to saw it’s right hand off.

Finally, I settled on Nethyrmaul, from my mostly-unused Bones tub.  He’s a great model, too, so I’d like to think I’ll paint him, so I ended up casting his hand with Instant Mold and making a couple of casts of it.

The casts turned out rotten, so between cleaning it up and adding the thumb I don’t feel bad at all.  Sadly, where the detail cast best isn’t visible: it’s the back of the hand and wrist shoved into the space of the arm.

Soul Grinder WIP 3

Also, I don’t use my GSI Tentacle Maker enough.  So, there’s a bit of that, too.

Workbench Tuesday

Build mode for NoVA.

Built a Khornate Herald of Slaanesh (“Herald of Mayhem”):

2014-06-30 20.32.12

I’m also working on a third Soul Grinder that’s getting some conversion because why not.  It’s actually coming together pretty well, though:


2014-06-30 20.31.15

Saga Ghost Romans

Ghost Warlord 4

I finally dragged out the lightbox (the great thing about having a lightbox is the vast improvement in quality it brings to your pictures, the terrible thing about having a lightbox is that taking pictures becomes a bit of a production), so I probably should get around to posting the results.  Might as well start with the GHOST ROMANS.

As I’ve said before, one of the goals with these guys was, “Get them done fast,” so even though they’re a lot rougher than what I normally paint, I’m satisfied with them.  Not counting the Warlord, the whole lot took me about 3-4 days to do, which is something of a record.

The specific inspiration comes from Cornwell’s Saxon Stories; one of the novels’ leitmotifs is the idea of England as a post-apocalyptic world.  Artifacts and architecture of the Roman world that came before are scattered throughout the land: dilapidated Roman forts are frequently used for shelter, Uhtred makes his home in London in a Roman villa the fyrd believes to be haunted.  This is also something the most recent season of Vikings touched on, too.

So, I got a bug to get some cheap, plastic Warlord kits, paint them quickly, and run them as the restless, wrathful spirits of Roman legionnaires, bestirred to wreak vengeance and death on the barbari who’ve inherited and wasted their legacy.

Here’s the whole mess:

Ghost Romans

  • Warlord
  • Hearthguard x12
  • Warriors x16
  • Levies x12

That 3/2/1 Hearthguard/Warriors/Levies is how I always initially think about Saga lists (for good or for ill).

Ghost Roman Warlord WIP

I’m extremely pleased with the Warlord.  He’s a Warlord Imperial Prætorian Guard and a Gripping Beast Dark Age Warrior with some cutting, sculpting, and pinning.

Ghost Warlord 1 Ghost Warlord 2 Ghost Warlord 3

All of the unfortunate Viking dude is held up with that arm, so there was a lot of reinforcement going on.  The sculpting isn’t quite what I’d like it to be, but it holds up okay… especially with the quick and dirty paint job on them.

Ghost Praetorian

The Hearthguard are Warlord’s Imperial Roman Prætorian Guard; the idea is that the helmet crests would make them stand out.  In play, that hasn’t worked as well as I’d like: I got them mixed up with the Warriors more than I’d have liked.

Ghost Legionary

The Warriors are Warlord Imperial Roman Legionaries.  Initially, I’d planned to do them with the Early Imperial Roman Auxiliaries, but thought they looked insufficiently “Roman,” which is kind of stupid, but what kind of hobby is this if one can’t be stupid about it?

Ghost Velite

Finally, the Levies are Agema’s Republican Roman Velites.  I wanted to do a bunch of guys with the wolfskin, because it’s really distinct, but it turns out that it’s 1 wolfskin per 2 models, so I decided not too.  If I ever do another unit, I’ll do them all with wolfskins, so I’ll have one with and one without them.

It’s interesting to note that the Agema guys are way out of scale with the Warlord guys.  I came up painting Citadel minis, so I like the squat, broad, distorted, heroic minis that Warlord does… the Agema guys feel like they’re more realistically proportioned and in a larger scale.

Ghost Roman Comparison

All of these are nominally 28mm.  The Velite is half a head taller than the Legionary and the Prætorian, and he’s hunched over.


Here’s how I painted them:

GW Celestra Grey basecoat
1:1 wash
– GW Drakenhof Nightshade
– GW Biel-Tan Green
GW Celestra Grey heavy drybrush
5:3:1:1 wash
– GW Waywatcher Green
– GW Guilliman Blue
– Water
– Matte Medium
GW Celestra Grey drybrush
P3 Morrow White light drybrush

GW Steel Legion Drab basecoat
GW Tallarn Sand overbrush
GW Ushabti Bone drybrush
Wash 2:2:1:1
– GW Agrax Earthshade
– GW Seraphim Sepia
– Water
– Matte Medium

So, it’s a little more complicated than a quick drybrush, but fundamentally, that’s what’s going on.


I decided to do the warband before knowing what to run them as: Casey suggested I run them as either Irish or Pagan Rus, since both of their boards looked like they played in a way that could be articulated as “spookily.”  Since I’ve already got a bunch of Celtic Warriors, I went with the Pagan Rus.

Pagan Rus are, apparently, very good.  Possibly too good, which means I might need to rethink that, but we’ll see.

Wednesday Workbench

Messy Desk

It’s been a bit, but not quite as long as it feels like.  Things might have been quiet here, but not that quite here, ifyouknowwhatI’msayingandIcan’timaginehowyoucould.

Ghost Romans

Looks like the last time I checked in, I’d gotten the ball rolling on my Ghost Romans.  They’re done, now.  I’ll talk about them more after I’ve gotten them into the lightbox, but suffice to say: they painted quickly.

Those things they’re in is an attempt on my part to get a better feel for both transporting them and getting more use out of the Mantic Battlefoam cases I got from the Deadzone Kickstarter.  You know those plastic VHS-sized clamshells Mantic packages (packaged?) their minis in? The Battlefoam cases are sized to hold two of those next to each other.  Using them to sandwich minis between foam sheets seems… inefficient.  What I’m trying here is using magnetic sheeting from Wargame Accessories, which is pretty strong (stronger than the magnetic business cards I normally use) on one side, setting the minis in as I would with a plastic tray, and then setting foam across the top.

I like keeping minis in plastic trays with magnetic cards because it takes up way less room and is easier to pack/unpack… but if you drop it, you’re screwed.  The thought here is that the magnet sheet is stronger, and the minis don’t have anywhere to go to bounce around and break.  There’s foam above them, and the clamshells go into the case, which also has some padding.  We’ll see.


You can fit kind of a lot of minis in them, if you want.  That’s 6 points of Anglo-Danes, there.

War Altar of Stromfels

Finally, the Imp of the Perverse drove me to dig up this half-done conversion and do some more work on it: this is my War Altar of Stromfels, one of the reasons my Empire army stalled (when I got the inspiration to do this, I no longer wanted to do a Nordland/Cult of Manaan-themed Empire army, I wanted to do a heretical Cult of Stromfels army).  More travel’s on the horizon, so I doubt I’ll finish it any time soon.

Wednesday Workbench

Wednesday Workbench 20140423


These guys will (probably) be run as Pagan Rus in Saga. I’m super-pumped about the Warlord I’ve converted who’ll be choking some poor Viking bastard to death.

Kinda goofy, kinda cool, and it’s painting up extremely fast.  I was deeply tempted to go a different angle: head-swap in some skulls, make the armor realistic looking and weather the balls out of it… but really, this needs to just be painted as fast as I really can.  A goofy, cheapish side-project I can bang out and move on from.

Still waiting on the Agema Velites that have been slow-boating it (5 weeks, augh!) that’ll be Levies, but this is me painting 29 models at the same time. To distract me from the overwhelming heap of other stuff that needs to be done. If you’re not playing Saga, you really should be.

Workbench Wednesday

Workbench Wednesday 20140409


Varnish is on the Chovar Psychic, which means I’m pretty much done with Deadzone for now.  All of the Plague, Rebs, and Mercs I have are painted.  Marauders are going to sit untouched for now.  Enforcers didn’t really show up.  Terrain is going to wait for Wave 2, I think.

Not exactly sure what I’ll start working on next, but it’ll come from here: MacReady, wrapping up the Valkyrie, progress on Saga Anglo-Danes, finishing up my Muskets & Tomahawks conversions.   Somethin’.

Wednesday Workbench

Wednesday Workbench 20140326


Wrapped up a couple of Deadzone Mercs over the weekend that I should probably photograph.

Now I’m working Wrath and Freya, which will leave just the Chovar to do, as far as Deadzone Mercs are concerned (Recon is an Enforcer).

I also need to finish the Reaper Valkyrie that I started as a priming with gesso test.  She’s actually looking pretty good, and needs just a little more work before she’s done.

Then I’ve got the Hasslefree MacReady.  Hells to the yeah.

Finally, I’ve got a test model.  I’ve mumbled about what I’ll be doing with it on Twitter a bit, but I think I’ll wait a bit longer (at least until the rest of the models show up, Customs) before I talk about it here.

Converting D&D Stat Blocks to WFRP 2E

D&D stat blocks run along these lines:

OrcHD 1; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 by weapon, usually spear (1d6) or scimitar (1d8); Move 9; Save 17; AL C;CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

and I need them to look more like:

Ork Stat Block - WFRP 2E

Well; sorta.  A lot of the stuff in that target (WFRP) statblock just doesn’t matter; if it did, it’s significant enough that we wouldn’t be using a quick conversion to get it, or it’d be inferrable from the context the source (OSR) statline is presented in.

Do we really care that Orcs have Ride or Swim, Scale Sheer Surface, etc.?  Maybe… but if we did, we’d probably already know that.

WS, BS, S, T, Ag, Int, WP, Fel – Is this NPC poor/average/above average?  If their HD is < 5, use 20/25/30, set one stat to 40.  If their HD is >= 5, use 20/30/40, set one stat to 50.

A – Calculate W, divide by 10, rounding down.

W – If their is HD < 5, use ((HD-1) *4) + 12 If their HD is >=5, use ((HD-5)*6) + 30.

SB, TB – Derived from S, T.

M – Divide the listed Move by 3, rounding up.

Mag – 0 if not a spellcaster.  Fruity spell-like abilities or whatever don’t count for this; just let that stuff go off.  If they’re an honest-to-Chaos spellcaster: divide their HD by 3, rounding up, capped at 4.

IP, FP – Not relevant.

Skills – Most will be irrelevant or inferrable.  If they’re sneaky, they should have Concealment & Silent Move, for example.  If they’re fighty, they should probably have Dodge Blow (every WFRP NPC certainly seems to).  I wouldn’t even bother writing it down.

Talents – These are all irrelevant or inferable.

Armor Points – (AC-12)/2 for LotFP, rounding up.  (10-AC)/2 for S&W descending, rounding down.  Use your instincts about locations; some locations might have fewer Armor Points than this.

Weapons – Melee , Thrown Weapons: damage is SB + (# dice rolled -1).  Other Ranged Weapons: damage is # dice rolled + (die type/3), rounding down.  Infer whether or not the attack should be Impact (and maybe Tiring or Slow), Fast (and maybe Precise), Shrapnel, or Snare.

This is fuzziest, sloppiest part, honestly.  Use your gut.

Obviously, this isn’t perfect.

Comparing the results of the WFRP 2E Orc statblock to what I get when I convert the S&W statblock gets me:

     WS  BS  S   T   Ag  Int WP  Fel
WFRP 35  35  35  45  25  25  30  20  
S&W  30  20  30  40  20  20  30  20 
     A   W   SB  TB  M   Mag IP  FP
WFRP 1   12  3   4   4   0   0   0
S&W  1   12  3   3   3   0   -   -

WFRP Head 1, Arms 1, Body 3, Legs 0
S&W  All 2

WFRP Choppa (+4 Round 1, +3 after)
S&W  Scimitar (+3, Impact)

The Orc is dumber, slower, weaker, clumsier, less tough and a lot worse at shooting (because, come on, Warhammer Orcs & Orks are bad shots).  The converted Choppa probably does a smidge more damage in the first round.  But that’s okay; If I cared that much about it, I’d build the NPC from the ground up.  All I’m trying to do here is convert one set of stats to another with a minimum amount of effort.

Not perfect, but good enough.

Another example:

Hill GiantHD 8+2; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 weapon (2d8); Move 12; Save 8; AL C; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Throw boulders.

     WS  BS  S   T   Ag  Int WP  Fel
WFRP 33  25  69  59  18  14  24  14  
S&W  40  30  50  40  20  20  30  20 
     A   W   SB  TB  M   Mag IP  FP
WFRP 5   48  6   5   6   0   0   0
S&W  4   48  5   4   4   0   -   -

WFRP Head 0, Arms 0, Body 1, Legs 1
S&W  All 3

WFRP Hand Weapon (+6, Impact)
S&W  Hand Weapon (+6, Impact), Throw Boulders (SB+4, Impact, Shrapnel)

I’m comparing a Warhammmer Giant to a Hill Giant.  The differences here are somewhat greater: but not by too much.  The only real problematic (>10%) differences here are in Strength and Toughness… but even then, they’re mitigated by damage and armor; the numbers work out the same.

Also, although I’m primarily coming at this from an OSR-y point of view (I’ve got some Lamentations & Swords & Wizardry modules I’d like to run and maybe I’d like to run them with WFRP 2E), I think it’d hold well enough for other versions of D&D.  Things probably get a little wobbly with the 3.x stack, but I think it’d hold up okay enough (using Level instead of HD, etc).

I don’t have the time on hand to do this properly, but I feel like I have to at least post a half-assed JsFiddle link that does the calculations for you: here’s the page and here’s the fiddle.

Thoughts?  Comments?

Deadzone – Rebs Booster

Rebs Booster

I wrapped up the Rebs booster at the same time as the Starter (the last two models I painted were the Teraton and Kraaw).

As I said earlier, I’m pretty ignorant of what these aliens are supposed to look like, but that didn’t stop me.

I’m pretty happy with the Judawan. It looks like a Tau, so it got painted like one.  I kinda wish I could pain my Tau with skin like this, but since their armor’s already turquoise, it’d be a mess.

Judawan Medic 1

Judawan Medic 2


I’m very unhappy with the way the Kraaw came out.  For some reason, I decided, “I’m going to paint this like a blue jay!”  No idea why: it’s clearly a more reptilian sort of thing than a bird sort of thing.  And, even then, I didn’t really commit to it: just giving it white under its eyes and white under its wings.

This is a bad paintjob, but I wanted to be done with the project and the mini.

Kraaw 1

Kraaw 2


I’m half and half on this one.  Hell if I can remember what the sharkperson’s species is, but I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.  The human didn’t turn out quite as well, and I had to reach to get the spot of red on her (it’s a panel on the other side of her missile launcher).

This is a really fun unit in the game, though, for sure.

Weapon Team


The Zee turned out okay.


And that’s a second Deadzone faction painted and done.  The first one to be fully painted (starter & booster).

I passed on the Plague booster during Wave 1 (which I’m correcting in Wave 2), my Enforcers are in a state (Booster got delayed, and the starter didn’t ship! All I have are the shoddy Warpath ones), and the Marauders are leaving me cold (why, when I love GW Ork sculpts so much, would I used these guys?).  I think I’m going to try to wrap up the Mercenaries at some point near-term, and then be done with Deadzone until after Wave 2 turns up.  (Though I probably need to figure out what I’m doing with, and then paint, the terrain.)