Sunday, 15 April 2018

Dungeon building

Finally I'm back on with some Kings of War while juggling all the other side projects. I've tried more and more detail on multibasing that I've been using but the units are now split into two very separate groups:
  • Those to keep on 20/25mm bases to use for other games
  • Those to go all-out and will only be used for KoW
This has lead to some really rewarding projects. Starting off with just some wastelands of the abyss looking back I like the height difference but I think it's really lacking detail. I need a unit of fleshlings to provide an unlock and some chaff so despite them being one of the lowest point units in the army I've raided my bits box and built a temple/dungeon kind of base which I plan to fill with a range of barbarians who have thrown their lot in with the abyss.

Buoyed by the sheer number of manufacturers for the base I thought I'd follow suit with the minis. Current bits for the base are:
  • Dark Ops - laser cut MDF base with snazzy wound counters
  • Games Workshop - mordheim corner stones
  • B&Q - filler
  • Monlith - Mythic battles columns
  • Peco - Railway walling for cobbbles
  • Greenstuff World - coarse cork
  • Mantic - Warhammer (just for the irony)
This is followed up with the Minis
  • Citadel
  • Heresy
  • Copplestone
  • Grenadier
  • MB Games
  • CMON
  • Midlam Minatures

Here's a set of WIP pictures

Raw Components and And keying the plastic walling to give it more grab to the MDF. I used superglue and it bonded fine. MDF tends to absorb glue but the thicker style glue I use doesn't seem to have any issues. It's force of habit keying surfaces and I'm not 100% sure it's needed for superglue.

Using the plasticard and wall corners. The columns where trimmed as they were too tall. Having them the same height as the wall should also make the models less vulnerable to transport. The Cork is used to add variety and the filler on the walls, both then sealed with thinned PVA.

The base is sprayed black using Halford's Primer. I find it's just as good as the expensive stuff and covers fine for scenery. A heavy grey dry brush with progressively lighter colours. The door is filled in taking care to leave the metal black as it gives a better base coat for the steel colour

Lighter brushing in patches breaks up the colours and gives more variety .Almost white in someplaces. Adding browns into the debris gives some contrast. The walls and rubble are then all washed with Agrax Earthshade for some depth and more variety.

Finally all the details such as the hinges, skulls and warhammer are picked out and highlighted. After the washing, the stone and floor are given a final couple of dry brushes ending in white. Now the challenge of fitting all the figure so the base. I've really enjoyed a first stab at "proper" multibasing and have other plans lined up for the next set of units.

Friday, 30 March 2018

More Distractions!

Another day, another report of slow progress on armies but more shiny things to work on.

Most Exciting is the chance to paint some Circus of Corruption resins from Old School Mini's upcoming Kickstarter. I'll be cracking on with them next week with a hope of incorporating them into my Kings of War Army as maybe fleshlings.


In the post I've also got the great fan sculpted Squat Berserker. I have no idea what colour scheme I'll do but I'm torn between the traditional Orange hair and something a bit different like White. We'll see how it goes. Amazing work by Jason and The Marcocosm casters to get this turned around in a few days from green to metal. It's a nice crisp figure. 

I've finally got my Titan stripped and ready to go. Now to decide on a House. No actual use for him in a game at the moment but I love the old chap as it's one of my first ever minis.

On the plus side I have painted something chaotic as It's for my monopose challenge and it's killing multiple birds with one Beastman as it'll be used in my KoW army and fill out my WHQ Bestiary.

Sunday, 25 March 2018


The fish are in the freezer for a bit. I've got horribly distracted by other stuff. Namely:

The need to finish my KoW league (Cok17) and tournament (Cok18) lists for my abyssals. With the changes to molochs and formations I'm hastily painting up a wingless archfiend and some chums (old GW Chaos Ogres) to accompany them. I'll finally then be able to take some group shots. With the points cost of Abyssal Heroes it gets pretty easy to get the total army points cost so I think I'm running at about 5k of options, just not all painted. Thankfully yet another challenge is helping out on this the Monster March.

Next up is a stowaway gnome that came with my Abyssal Dwarf Cannon from Old School Miniatures. Couldn't say no to a quick paint and it's fun to paint something that isn't a daemon or a fish. The Cannon is on the list along with the second one I have to form part of my Abyssal Dwarf Allies/Force. Which leads onto....

Monopose Challenge. Having dug out some old plastics and seeing how great terrible the paint job was on them I thought it'd be fun to collect and paint up a set. This lead to finally getting round to paining a big hat, big beard abyssal. I'm still short a couple and never had a few of them all those years ago but it's fun trying to figure out what bit of the sculpt is what.  Follow more on this distraction here.

Then we have the Middlehammer Legacy Challenge. Something I missed out on last year and I'm hoping to get my act together this year. I'll be raiding the bits box and it may be an ogre based mess of a spawn but we'll see. Knowing me it'll be a rush last minute job. 

I have no idea if I'll manage it but I hope I can as it's the possible as it's one of the first ever miniatures I owned. The Oldhammer Facebook groups' March of the Titans. A great example of the Work here. I'll be working yet another recovery from the old boxes.

The final bit of painting is a spot of board game stuff for a friend. Blokes on bikes is about as far removed as I can get from horned fire bolt shooting daemons but again it's nice to break up the pattern. They're nearly done now though so It'll give me a chance to get back to work.

General KoW fashion seems to be post spreadsheets of units and their progress. Maybe I should use it to spur me on to finish the fishmen. We'll see. 

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Army Unboxing - Naiads

Both the regular army and mega army come with a shoal of Naiads to contend with. In both cases they are provided as part of the large cardboard boxed sets and within this are individual bagged on sprues of 5. Interestingly the sprues contain the arms, legs heads command bits and weapons. The bodies themselves (and a mysterious extra part to be explained later) all come lose and pre clipped from their frames. There is one exception to this being a leg and torso combo that comes in two parts. This made me feel a little uneasy as it reminded me of days gone by where I would twist (!) models from sprues before I learnt of clippers. However they have managed it though, Mantic have ensured that there is enough material left not to impact the sculpts. 

There are more than enough heads to go round but as with the other mantic hard plastics I’ve seen the arm combos are exactly the number you need. I have no idea what I’ll do with all the extra heads but I’m sure I’ll figure something out. The hard plastic is well made and apart from a couple of annoyances the gates onto the miniatures are in sensible places to clip away. There is a good level of detail and I’m more than happy with them. The real joy when I came to start assembling. Mould lines are minimal and didn't take much prep. The requisite numbers of 20mm square bases were also int he box. I don’t intend to use Heartpiercers much so I concentrated on the Ensnarers.

There is so much dynamism in the combinations of arms on these figures. I thought that I’d be limited to poses and left/right arm selections. For the first time in any minis I’ve ever had there was the option to have weapons in left or right hands. There are enough to make all five up with nets or harpoon guns and if you need there is a shield, conch horn and standard. One of the weapons is a sword and its in the same hand as the shield so it does feel a bit odd as this is traditionally the weapon of choice traditionally for the unit champion. The torsos range from standing to twisted ready to strike and running. There is the odd area on the arms where, when painting i wasn’t sure if it was meant to be skin or armour but they are limited. 

As has been the trend over the years miniature companies are putting little goodies into the sprues as extras. My lower abyssal and succubi got imps. The Naiads get toads, otters and the strange extra body bagged up with the others.  While i could use the little creatures as base decoration I’ll likely use them as swarms as I have more than enough of them. The extra bit in the bag turns out to be a netted Basilean to use with one of the arms on the main sprue. It’s a nice idea and I’ll probably include a couple but the assembled mini is a bit big and it could look a little repetitive. I has tempted me to look at converting some to be bagged up dwarves or other races. We’ll see. 


I love these sculpts. They are dynamic and the assembly options are endless. The detail is crisp and there aren’t too many places were it is ambiguous. I’ll be interspersing painting batches of these with the other units just to keep my attention span. Next up, the infantry who look like a Theme Hospital ailment, the Thuul.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Unboxing Elementals and first steps

Now everything’s arrived I can slightly belated end start talking about what all the goodies look like. I’ll take each box in turn and give my unasked for opinion on first impressions, quality etc. It’s my first really
foray into Mantic produced minis so I was intrigued by the packaging they arrived in. Being used to small blisters and boxes of sprues or polystyrene separated metal parts I was met with cardboard boxes, bags of metal and what appeared to be large DVD cases. Undaunted I pressed on. 

I’ll start with one of the first boxes that turned up, the water elementals. They came in one of the plastic boxes and inside were bagged up in zip lock bags with some thin foam padding and 50mm MDF bases. The bases are pretty straight forward and I’ll be putting them aside as I plan to multibase everything I can so I won’t bother assessing them in depth. They’re squares. I prized open the seals and tipped out the contents of the elementals. 

The first thing i noticed was a strange chalky film on the pieces I guess this is the release agent used and after a quick wash of the pieces they began to feel normal again. I’m used to washing resins and plastics but these are the first metals I’ve ever had to do this with. All of the pieces were present and when offered up there wasn’t any bending or alignment to attend to. This is to be as expected as they are big old lumps. 

The casting quality I would say is OK. Some of the thinner areas are a little bendy and there are a couple of joints that needed filling with a bit of green stuff. One thing I think was very useful was the addition of dimples and raised areas in the mating surfaces to make sure firstly the right piece went in the right place; but also that they aligned correctly. 


I like the overall feel of the figures and they feel dynamic enough to be mountains of crushing water enveloping the enemy. As I wanted the models to fit in with the darker olive green I decided to paint them in the same fashion, arguing that they were a tumultuous churn of foreboding deep rather than the Bournemouth beach blue on the box. I tied in the fish and octopus colours with my plans for the Thuul and naiads. I’m trying to work with a limited palette for both coherence and speed and when my bases turn up I’ll get the horde of 6 assembled. Hopefully with some extra detailing in the water to add some interest. 

Two test pieces down and I’ll be interspersing the rest of the figures with the monotony of batch painting a Naiad horde, just to break things up. 


I like the models and the sculptor has done a good job but they do lack some of the crisp finesse I’m used to with other metal minis. They’re still really fun and I’m looking forward to some surge shenanigans Next up I’ll be talking through and tackling the paint jobs on Naiads...

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

A journey swimming with the fish men

I always like a challenge involving good modelling opportunities, not having a straight forward army and the chance to do something not quite the norm. When i got my first fantasy army in the early 90s it was a greenskin one. I loved the mass horde style and the constant unpredictable risk simmering under the surface. Would there be a failed animosity test? Would that bunch of goblins with terrible leadership run away again? Elite armies were not for me. This did have the issue that it meant painting a lot of miniatures. Speed painting with unthinned paints leads to pretty terrible consequences when coverage is key no matter how thick the gloop is applied. Life got in the way of wargaming in the 00’s and all the old boyz got packed up in boxes.

Fast forward 15 years and through a network of board gamers and attempts to sell off all my old minis i realised there was still a spark of interest and that i really did still enjoy painting toy soldiers and rolling dice. Through a couple of purchases of some new units i wished I’d had when I was younger, i stumbled across gaming clubs in pub basements and village halls. A whole world that i never knew about having grown up with a GW doctrine firmly embedded in me. I dug out all my old human infantry, added a few bits and started painting them up to be used as the kingdoms of men. A few games of Kings of War in and I was finding it ok but not really liking the play style. I’d not really liked the fluff of the orcs and goblins in KoW so i dusted off some old tzeentch conversions and half finished units and threw my lot in with the abyss. 

Abyssals are about as removed from a 4th ed Warhammer greenskin army as you can get. Elite, flying, dependable in combat. In the 6/7 months I’ve been playing KoW they’ve held their own and I’m now tantalisingly close to having a fully painted 2k force with options to swap in. I liked the challenge of playing a different “elite” style. With everything so expensive you have to really maximise your choices and i often found myself stripping all artefacts off just to get the drop and unit strength up. 2018 turned up with the news i could get a big old discount on some KoW units through ebay so having wanted to do a full mantic army and knowing i could get great value i made my decision. 

If limiting myself to Mantic, greenskins, abyssal (chaos) dwarves and undead were out as i already had loads. The greenskin in me could never bring myself to play lves and I’ve never got on with Dwarves. Ogres were another elite army so they were out. This left Basilea or Trident Realms. Salamanders didn’t have the model count and Forces of Nature i figured i could hodge podge together with a load of other stuff i had. Trident Realms are like nothing I’ve ever played before and the freshness appealed. Another human army I could do with out. Fishmen it was. 

Originally i had intentions of a red poisonous toad theme but a bit of skimming the internet and i dug up the old stingray aqua men who are a nice shade of olive green. This appealed far more than the washed out blue/pearl combination on the box art. It also meant slipping back into old habits and using similar palettes of cream, green and brown as i use on my orcs and goblins. Plus sides for this were also that I’m well versed in the shading and highlighting of these colours, and that I’d be applying the same wash over the whole mini. These points meant knocking out hordes of Naiads would be achievable in my lifetime. 

Along with the Mantic only army i decided i wanted to go for maximum model count if at all possible. As the base of my infantry will be naiads and i have both the mega and regular armies from Mantic i should easily manage this. Big monsters, placoderms and depth horrors are out so i’ll be basing my army around big infantry blocks with staying power accompanied by harassing skirmishers and some wyrm riders and water elementals for punch. My abyssal blocks of infantry are often top performers outlasting and outscoring the big nasties so with a better regen and ensnare I’m hoping my Naiads do the same. 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Boxes. Lots of boxes

I've been struck down with the flu and it's put a massive damper on hobby stuff. I do pretty much have all the figs I needed and between the Mega Force regular Army, 2 boxes of wyrm riders, a box of elementals and a box of thull i can now muster the following Mantic Models:

6 Wyrm Riders
20 Thull
100 Naiads
1 Thull Mythican
1 Leviathan's Bane
20 Riverguard
6 Water Elementals
1 Centrurian/Envoy
3 Gigas
1 Riverguard Capt

There are also a load of cool bits on the Naiad sprues like an otter and frog. It's great that they are paying that attention to detail and there's potential to use them as a Tidal Swarm as I have 20 of each now. 

In addition I've got a reaper minis model for an extra mythican and some board game minis from mythic battles for some knuckers.

All of this gives me plenty to play with for a 2k force and has a good enough backbone to be competitive. I'm lacking some bigger monsters hence the knuckers but I'll plan to add a Kraken when Mantic release it later this year for some clout. The only miniature I may not use is the riverguard captain. I love the model and the thought of him but he's just not worth the points in my option and if I have enough units to chose from, he'll cut the chop.

I'll take each box over the next few days and have a delve inside to show what they contain and my views on the quality of casting etc.