Thursday, 27 April 2017

Salute 2017: 3rd time's the charm!

Hello beloved readers! My apologies for not posting very often recently, but to be honest I've been quite busy at the new job and most of my free time has been spent being exhausted and/or painting. Have a lot less free time to blog than I used to, but should have been posting a bit more. I've been playing a balance of Guildball and Malifaux lately but haven't had a ton of gaming time either, especially events-wise. Though I did win the one Guildball event I've been to this year, so that was cool. I do have quite a few more events coming up in the next month as well :D

Anyway, this past weekend I went to Salute for the third year in a row. It's only about 75 min to get there from my flat so seems silly NOT to go. This year I went in with less of a plan on what to buy than in previous years (like last year where I knew I wanted one of the lovely bendyboards terrain deals). I knew I was going to pick up the new steamforged/muse on minis Guildball tokens for my Fishermen and Union and some more basing supplies (grass tufts flowers etc), but mostly just wanted to do some shopping.

Showed up around 1130 AM as wanted to miss the rush so we walked right in. Didn't seem like it was as busy as previous years, but that could be just my mind. The free miniature was much better than two years ago (didn't see last years) and the fact that it was Russian revolution themed was cool as that is definitely my area of interest.

First off we went straight to steamforged and had to wait in line for about 10-15 min to get my stuff as it was still quite busy. Picked up the tokens and Philippa and I each got a chibi pin of our captains. Chibi salt is adorable. Also took some pictures of the really well painted farmers models.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Eggs to be hauled

Last minute change of plans left me with a spare Saturday to find some trouble, thankfully with a fully booked tournament calendar I could grab a ticket and head North to join the fun a Haul of eggs.

Finally my ongoing car issues were sorted so Saturday morning I hopped in the car, picked up Claire (partly out of the kindness of my heart and partly as we were heading so far from the safety of the M25 it was in case I needed someone to throw to the reavers)

Image result for were otterA smooth run up the M1 and we were at Battlefield Hobbies. A great venue that you'll remember from my Nationals write up. (Yeah like anyone suffers reading this twice)
Best way to describe BH is it's a warehouse with unlimited tea. (In truth the place could be full of rabid wereotters and I'd be happy spend the day there as long as my mug was full).

Usual registration fun, plenty of chat, a bit of well meaning abuse, and a chance to top up my tea.

Image result for malifaux dark carnival artGame one. A Cooper off! Extraction versus Stef. A mirror match always has the potential to be a bit of a grind but we both took different set ups and schemes. We both got an early kill with Purple Coops blessed killing my Envy and the Red Coops Emissary killing the blessed. Shockingly neither of these scored for frame. After that the game changed gear and become more about dropping markers and weathering the storm around the extraction marker.
Last turn my Coop and Lola were paralysed and I had (thought I did) the markers down I needed so the mannequin took a pointless swing at a performer... Scoring a point for Purple Coop in frame. My idiot move was countered by an unlucky one from Stef leaving a marker just out to score end of game. The game ended in a well earned draw.

Image result for malifaux nicodem artGame two. This time we had Guard the Stash. Cooper was back in the case as I'd decide to run a different Master each game. This time it was Raspi. I was up against Andy with Nico.
Because the deployment was flank I was lucky enough to secure a good position early to really unleash the filth of Raspi. Frozen heart was a life saver this game as the scary models Nico sent forward had terrifying as their main defence. One of the few times a pair hanged aren't scary is when they're sitting in the open ten inches from Raspi.
The game ended in a solid win for me (everyone was in almost as much shock as me)

Lunch. Food was provided by the venue a nice buffet the while tasty wouldn't have looked out of place at a great aunts funeral.
Painting was put out for judgement. There was two painting competitions, best three minions which have a huge amount of entries. And best painted egg, which has fewer than hoped but all of them were amazing.
I entered both and had a good nose at the other more impressive entries.

A quick walk in the sunshine to stretch my legs (I know who knew there there was sun up t'north)

Image result for malifaux luciusOn to game three, now I was sitting precariously high on a draw and a win, so I was likely in for a tough match to finish the day.
I got this in the form of fellow Dark Sphere player, captain of the fauxmads, and Angeleye's only fan. Marcus.
It had been ages since we'd played so it was cool to see how we'd both progressed. The game was recon Lucius v Marcus and considering neither of us were playing ressers the was a shocking amount of undead on the table. (Most of my available beasts are from my time playing ressers).

As expected the game was controlled by Marcus from the start but I did manage to put a few speed bumps in the road making good use of a charging emissary and a super quick Marcus.
The game ended in a win for Marcus but left me for I think the first time ever on a positive VP diff to finish a tournament, +1 is a lot better than the previous weeks -18.

As always people won things and there was clapping and raffles and all that fun. Check the rankings if you want to see the standings and things by this point in the day my brain has shut down so I just join in when other people clap. I did win some chocolate eggs and a trans Daw crew which was a pleasant surprise.

One last cuppa, a fair bit of hand shaking and working who'll be a what event next then it was back in the car, remembering to get Claire (no reavers so far but better to be safe).

All in all a great day. Lots of chat, almost enough tea, and I didn't embarrass myself (on the table anyway). Big thanks to my opponents, and to Mr Brown for running things.

Thanks for reading next up for me should be Spring Showdown (tickets still available I believe)
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Monday, 17 April 2017

Seamus and friends visit Croydon

So I have been testing a new Resser master finally. And it is the fearsome Seamus. And I figured what better way to test him out than to take him to an event. Prior to this event I had managed three games with him, so figured this would be a good chance to see how he held up.

Connor and the Too Much Infaux guys were running April Faux and that was perfect. Grant turned up to collect me nice and early. We arrived at the venue way before kick off and had breakfast next door with Connor.

Then off to the venue, the Croydon Conference centre. This is a great venue with plenty of space, a load of good quality terrain (many of it supplied by the TMI gang) and a bar.

We were due to discover the S&S as the games were to kick off so not too much I could prepare for...

Monday, 10 April 2017

No joke its April Fauxs Day

Don your Croy, for April Fauxs Day

Last week I got my shots, invoked the various rituals of protection, and updated my will before heading of to Croydon for a days gaming.

Car, tube, tube, train, walk saw me arrive at the Croydon conference centre for April Fauxs Day. A four round, 50ss event. First things first the venue was a pleasant surprise. A bar, decent loos, and praise Almighty December air con. There were two events on, Faux in one half of the room and AOS in the other side. Worries I had that it would be hideously loud soon passed as no one seemed in the mood to shout.
Also it was cool to see a few people I used to play fantasy against in my brief pre-Faux era.

Usual pre tournament routine of registration, get tea, and talk shit I can't back up on the table went well and soon it was time to kick off.

Image result for malifaux som'er teeth jonesRound one I was up against Dom and his gremlin horde. It was squatters and I took claim jump and inspection. It didn't take long to realise I was out matched so I decided to just throw everything towards Somer and hope I could do enough damage early on to give me an edge. It didn't quite work, Dom weathered the storm then ran off to score VP while I left my crew stranded in the middle of the table. It was a really fun game despite my lack of points. I lost game one but had high hopes for game two.

The game did have one interruption which was TO Conor coming around taking drinks orders. This went on all day and it's safe to say that anyone who brings me that much tea automatically gets add to my list of favourite people.

Image result for malifaux opheliaGame two was a bit of deja vu I faced off against Jay using Ophelia in extraction I once again run Raspi. Which was the exact set up in round two of my last event when I also faced Jay. It was a great game we both went on the offensive early despite frame being in the pool. Jay won the early smack down taking out a few of my key minions while I only put a few dents in his, but Ophelia did take a few shots a my acolyte killing her to score me frame.
After that it became a bit of a brawl around the extraction marker while a model from each crew tried to score claim jump.
The game ended in a slight win for me but mainly down to a few lucky flips on my side and it could have easily gone to the green skins had the luck turned.

Image result for croydon burger and beerLunch! I popped my crew out for best painted which was judges choice today. As usual I didn't hope to win but I always enter to see how I stack up against better painters and there were a few great ones on show.
Down stairs from the venue was a slightly hipster burger place, which I highly recommend to any heading that way as the food was great and in truth I ate enough that I probably should have had a nap instead of heading back to the event.

Image result for malifaux revaRound three. Interference against Reva. I played Toby who I always bump into but never get to play. Turn one I tried to be clever and take a few pot shots at Reva with an over keen December acolyte, Reva shrugged it off and then squished the acolyte in return and that pretty much sums up the game. The left side of the table was a bundle with Lola and a mannequin not really doing much other than being swamped in models and fluffing hits, the right side of the table was my crew dying while Cooper ran and hid repeatedly. The MVP for me was a raptor dropping to deny claim jump the flying off again next turn... until it got squished too.
Game ended  with a well deserved win for Toby and the Pony rider, another fun game, another crushing defeat.

Image result for malifaux viktorias
Game four. I was facing off against the second best member of High Fauxdelity at that table (for those that haven't heard it High Fauxdelity is a podcast which stars Ritch, puts up with me and let's a couple of other fellas on to do the heavy lifting) We were playing reckoning and it was Raspi vs the Viks. Carnage doesn't even begin to cover it. I pushed forward early looking to start throwing ice around, the Viks charged an insanely long way and started whirl winding everything in range. Snowstorm exploded with enough force to kill a vik and end of turn two I had two minions left neither of us had a master and I had run out of tea. It was a dark time. The game continued in this chaotic style until the end when Ritch scored all the points and I gave his snipers dirty looks. Solid win for Ritch and a great game to end the day on.

Cup of tea while things we finished up, people won things as always check the rankings page as I don't remember stuff like that but congratulations to those that left with shiny things.

I then took the long lonely train ride home while trying to work out how to lessen the many mistakes I made. (which, I got a chance to do the following Saturday and I'll write up next)

Big thanks to all my opponents, next time I'll try and give you more of a challenge. Thanks and well done to Conor for running a fun and smooth event.

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Friday, 31 March 2017

Bust out the paints

So anyone who follows me on any type of social media, or even anyone I passed in the street will probably know what I've been working on lately, but for the couple of you that don't I thought I'd give you a quick run down on my current project / obsession.

Inspired by all the amazing work I'd seen on various sites along with reading Figure Painter Magazine (well worth checking out for painting type stuff). I've been itching to paint a bust for a while, and I must of made this clear as my amazing and long suffering wife surprised me with a a couple for my birthday recently.

Image may contain: 2 peopleThe two I got were both from Model Display Products and produced by War Griffon Miniatures. Now as I know nothing about busts she couldn't ask me for advice so instead just chose sculpts that she liked (always the best way to choose).

The busts I got were the "evil warrior" and "flower princess" both looked really fun to paint and amazing quality so they jumped straight to the top of my painting queue.

Minimal clean up was needed out side of a quick wash and brush, then they were primed and ready to go.

I started with the warrior as he seemed the simpler of the two and being around 30mm high he was closer to what I'd normally paint. The first thing that struck me was that despite be small for a bust the amount of space I had to work with was amazing compared to the miniatures that I'm used to. While I was planning out what I wanted to with him I put a thin wash of red over the flesh and black over the armour, this was just to help pick out the detail and help me decide what to do.

Image may contain: 1 personI decided to keep him simple when it came to colours and try to focus more on my light and shade to add character. Starting on the skin I tried to work from very dark in low left up to light in high right. I tried to take my time and really map out how I wanted the shades as I wanted a clear transition between the sides of his face as the light would fall.
The plan was to have four or five shades of the skin with the darkest being to left shadow, the lightest colour from the left would then be the darkest from the right and up to lightest for right highlights.

This process to a fair amount of trial and error to make it look natural but I'm please with the final result. I found it helpful to refer back to a photo of the bust right next to my light to help me see how the shadows sat.

Image may contain: 1 personNext step was the armour. I'd be practising NMM for a while and while I can get it passable on a small area larger surfaces need a lot more thought to get right. As with the skin I tried to uses four or five shades of one colour to get the effect. The blending on the armour should be neater and also some clearer highlight would have help define areas more but I'm happy that I think it looks like metal enough to work.

Overall I have to say that my first trial at painting a bust was really fun and it's defiantly something that will become a regular part of my hobby time (Wyrd if you want to start selling Malifaux busts so I can combined my hobby project that would be appreciated). I learnt loads about painting faces from having so much detail to work with and would recommend to everyone to give it a try.

The finish work is now sitting on my bookshelf looking cross with all who pass.
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I've also started the Flower princess, wife and sprog have "helped" me decide on a colour scheme for her and she's coming along well I'll do a follow up post in a few years when the hair is finally finished...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Out of commission? Definitely not!

So I've been "gently" reminded by the others that I'm like....contractually obliged to write blog posts or something something eternal damnation playing against Pandora.....I forget the fine print. As it's been a bit quiet on the gaming front for me recently (I went to Snowdown, it was fun and I didn't get the spoon!) I thought I'd share with you guys what I've been doing instead of playing games.

You may or may not be aware of this but I only really started hobbying about 3 years ago at the relatively late age of <mumble mumble>. While I definitely enjoy many different aspects of the hobby, by far and away my favourite part of the hobby is painting. I love seeing a model come together via paint job, trying new things and seeing improvements in the things I paint. It does lead to the problem that my painting pile is getting a *little* excessive, however this doesn't stop me from painting things for other people! I actually really enjoy this, I get to paint models that I otherwise might not be able to and other people tend to pay me for doing it. Usually payment takes the form of shiny toys, thus making everyone happy.

So here is a short roundup of some of the commission projects that I've been doing for other people.

1 - Miscellaneous Ressers, Outcasts & 10 Thunders for Chris

One of our teammates, BadLuck&Blood, has had his hobby time reduced recently due to various circumstances. So I offered to help out by painting a bunch of random models that needed some paint. There was a nice mixture of Outcasts, Ressurectionists and a few 10 Thunders models. There's a long standing joke in our group that Chris is a big fan of pink - so I tried to include that in some of the models where it worked. I also got to try a new technique of making stringy gore using Uhu glue and Tamiya Clear Red paint. This was a bit tricky but I think the end result looked cool. These have been handed back to Chris and I'm looking forward to seeing how he gets on with them.

2. Teeny Fairies for Tim

Something a bit different this time - a fellow blogger, Tim (find his blog at as a trade for some Bretonnian transfers I needed for a future project he sent me some teeny tiny fairies to make a couple of little dioramas. This was definitely a first, the figures were smaller than any I've painted so far and so getting detail on some of them proved to be a huge challenge. Also, it was the first time I'd had a proper go at basing multiple figures on one base, definitely a unique challenge that was a lot of fun!

3. Batman Miniatures for Pete

My friend Pete is a big fan of the Batman Miniatures Game for Knight Models. While I've got a fairly sizable Penguin crew and a smaller Ivy crew, it's not something I've had much of a chance to play (plus I also have a bunch of Avengers for the sadly now-defunct Marvel version of this game), I do like the figures a lot. So Pete has been sending batches of Batman miniatures down to me quite regularly for a while now, to the point where I've actually lost count of how many versions of Batman I've painted. Part of me wishes he'd play villain crews, at least it'd be a change from black and very dark grey palette choices!

The latest batch have included the Sons of Batmen, a second version of Batfleck and Aaron Cash with his quick response team. Probably my favourite of this bunch to paint though was the armoured Batman from Batman vs Superman, just a really nice mini to paint. Kind of hoping that Wonder Woman from the same set might get sent down here at some point <puppy dog eyes>

 4. Malifaux Titania Crew for Graeme

I think out of all the projects I've done recently, I think this is the one I was most pleased with the results. When the artwork for the Titania crew came out from Wyrd last year I was really taken with the models - they looked so cool. But they're Neverborn and I really couldn't justify buying a crew that I knew there was a high chance I wouldn't play. After a chat with Graeme after an event at Wayland we agreed that I'd paint the crew for him and then we could work out some sort of compensation we were both happy with.

The theme for Titania is that she is the Autumn Queen with 3 Knights and a Henchman - 1 for each of the seasons and most of the amazing paint jobs I'd seen on the crew tended to reflect that. However, Graeme and I did a bit of brainstorming and came up with something that, while still keeping the theme, was a little different. While each model was clearly representing it's own season, the colours all tied into an overall autumnal theme - no light greens for spring as an example. For her totem, a fairly massive snake, I suggested to Graeme that I take some inspiration from Disney and paint him like Jafar's snake form from Aladdin (please no sue Mickey!). It was half in jest, but as things turned out, Graeme is a big fan of Disney and loved the idea!

The Gorar
I finally got to hand the crew back to Graeme at the last Warzone event and I was quite pleased to see when I put it on the table along with the best painted entries (I didn't enter it but we decided to have a bit of a joke with Graeme) that it didn't look totally out of place from the lovely entries.


Upcoming projects!

Currently on my painting table I have a Kaeris crew for Ben "Panzer" Harris, which is going to involve me making a wet palette to have a proper go at blending the colour for the flame effects. This is something I've not tried before but have been keen to have a go at for a while so we'll see how it goes.


From there it's a bit less certain what I'll be given to paint in the future - I can imagine there'll be more Batman minis from Pete and there was a tentative discussion about me painting a bunch of the upcoming Harry Potter miniatures from Knight Models, which totally hasn't made me squeak with excitement.

If you'd like to keep up with my painting adventures then you can follow me on Twitter (@Elessarion30) as that's where the majority of my work in progress pictures - and don't be afraid to ask me about taking on a small commission, I'm usually happy to help! Although I don't paint Space Marines ;)