Nobody move … I’ve dropped my brain!

It is hard to avoid the pirate theme running through Games Workshop at the moment and love it or loathe it, Dreadfleet is out and making waves (oh yes, I so did that pun). Despite the best efforts of a few malcontents who seem to have a personal axe to grind against anything GW produces, for whatever reason, I really like the game and having purchased it on a bit of a whim have really fallen for the character in the miniatures and the production values of the box contents overall. So count me at least as one happy customer.

Before I start droning on about it though, I thought it would be better to make an apology for the sudden drought of posts the past month or so and take a few moments to bring things up to date with what I have been up to (or not) in the hobby during the past several weeks.

During my last post I talked about revisiting my ‘Epic’ roots for a bit and that is exactly what I did, assembling an alarmingly increasing number of Orks from the Bad Moons clan as a way of easing myself back into painting 6mm scale.

The last time I painted anything for Epic, with the exception of a few War Engines was several years ago now. Since then I have been working on either Lord of the Rings miniatures or Forgeworld kits, both which predominately suit a more ‘rustic’ appearance which was where my own painting style has been gravitating towards anyway the past few seasons. I was keen to use the Orks as a bit of an experiment to see whether or not a similar approach would work on something that small, something I dabbled with when I first painted the Goff clan vehicles but only as far as applying a bone white dry brush over the finished miniature to ‘dull’ them down. Never with weathering powders, filters or chipping on the agenda from the offset.

If you read my post on the Mega Gargant you would have seen what I meant, however that was an awful lot larger than an Ork Gun Trukk so I knew it would work there. On the vehicles you see from the cabinet above, not so much.

Overall I was not displeased with the finish as it definitely has a look of neglect and wear about it even despite the miniatures diminutive scale. Adding the marking and decals very early on prior to the weathering layers and washes helps further reinforce the colour depth which hopefully is easier to see on the closer photos below. The cabinet shot above was just to prove I haven’t been totally idle (more on that later), but as it required flash the colours are a bit flat.

In total I painted up 11 Gun Trukks to give a decent sized Blitz Brigade, leaving the 12th slot open for a Flakwagon. All are a mix of Titan Legion era plastics, 1st Edition white metal or a hybrid of the two. One of the nice things about Ork armies is “everything goes” no matter how old, in fact the more random the better.

The infantry fell just short of the maximum sized warband prior to any additional upgrades and to give them some much needed mobility and added firepower (well they are Bad Moons after all), several Battle Wagons, a Battle Fortress and Gun Fortress were added.

To finally round off the first wave I also chucked in a Mekboy Big Gunz mob as an excuse to dig out a few more mixed models. Technically these probably should be based singly, however I have a large number of them and really liked the battery look you get from basing them in pairs with a few crew models and a little cover terrain. In particular I was quite pleased with the Pulsa Rokkit battery which has the rocket launching off the rail. This was incredibly easy to do and was just a length of brass rod for the underpinning structure and very small pieces of Woodland Scenics clumping. I already have plans to do similar for the Stormboyz units to have them propelling themselves in all directions.

Again this is just a selection of the units in the mob just to give an idea of the overall look. Like all the other units they still need ground clutter added to finish off the bases and a few detail highlights on the crew to help them ‘pop’. If you are wondering about the card, those of you with a long history in Epic may recognise it as one of the 2nd Edition force selection cards. I unearthed a box whilst searching for some old Stompa models and struck gold as it contained what appeared to be pretty much all the ‘company’ and ‘upgrade’ cards for all of the 2nd edition armies. Although they serve no practical function now in Epic: Armageddon, I thought they would be great as a way of grouping up formations to paint inspiration wise. In other words using the cards as a ‘theme’ to construct a formation around for painting. In this instance a Mekboy Big Gunz mob.

No prizes for guessing the other formations:

I have a few more units to finish off yet including a previously mentioned Ork Landa (no card for that sadly), but that hopefully brings things up to date with where I got to at the start of my Epic re-boot.

Personal Break

If you have been following my twitter feed, you will know a lot of the orks above were completed more or less back in early September, so why so long before posting them? To be perfectly honest it was nothing more sinister than real life getting in the way. Lots of work to do inside and outside the house that naturally had to take priority, ongoing medical issues with pets (well, one pet actually, a cat but the amount he has wrong with him you would think it was several by the vets bills) and unfortunately a family bereavement all totalled up to a pretty torrid month. I don’t want to dwell on any of the above as that is not why I write this blog, but hopefully it will go some way to help explain the sudden secession of updates.

So, getting back onto a more even keel again (another nautical pun sorry) it hasn’t all been tiny Orks, I have been bouncing around several ongoing projects including painting Sam and Frodo in Mordor Orc armour for Lord of the Rings strategy battle game. I cannot praise these sculpts highly enough, they are a pair of miniatures I have wanted to do for a very long time , their deceptively simple poses literally ooze character and emotion. To me these are a textbook example of how less is more and a great example of the effort that was put into the Lord of the Rings range, something I sometimes think it not always fully appreciated. Part of my decision to paint these two now was down to having picked up some cracked earth and rock bases from Fat Spider Casting which I though would be perfect for this. Part of me wanted to add more grey to the bases as it was supposed to be the plains of Gorgoroth, however I felt it wouldn’t contrast as well as the ochre does.

I can’t finish up without a mention for Games Workshop’s biggest event of the calendar; UK Games Day.

I haven’t attended a Games Day in more years than I care to remember having taken a bit of a sabbatical from all things GW for a couple of years, but thought I would this year for a change. As a way of re-charging hobby mojo it is second only to tournaments and the life-sized Drop Pod parked right outside the LG Arena helped get things off to the right start. Yes, I know this has been reported and shown many times since the event, but the blog is called “Drop-Pod” so indulge me. Plus it is in Ultramarine colours so it is vaguely appropriate and lets be honest, what’s not cool about a life sized Drop Pod?

Anyway, back to the topic in hand. I am not going to ramble on about what was at Games Day, or the merits/value or lack thereof of the event as a whole, there are plenty of other blogs that cover that in far more detail. Instead I am going to talk about the resurgence of ‘retro’ and my Ultramarines which are still plodding along. As you will have seen from previous updates I have been pretty enthusiastic about the Heresy era armour and weapon sets that Forgeworld has been pumping out of late. I am guessing these have been a popular range for them and am not surprised in the least as I have been preaching this for literally years how GW are missing a trick not exploring the Horus Heresy era more miniature wise. Well, it looks like Forgeworld have got the idea that there is a latent market for this and seem to be running with it to great success I have to say so far.

In addition to the “Contemptor” Dreadnought, two of the latest additions are the ‘retro’ style inspired Land Raider ‘Proteus’ and ‘Deimos’ Rhino conversion kit.

I have to confess I was initially unsure what I thought of these as there is an element of “but they are just re-makes of the original circa 80’s kits”. Having picked up one of each at Games Day and had a chance to look at them closer I have to confess I couldn’t have been more wrong. The “Proteus” is a great kit, which although lacking a little in interior detail due to its closed nature manages to weave the style of the current Land Raider into its DNA yet still look remarkably close to the original. It also has a noticeable solidity to it, not just in looks but physically as both side sections of the hull which the tracks travel around are single cast solid pieces with through space for the side doors.

The ‘Deimos’ also has a lot of nice touches that the photos do not do justice to, such as the split side doors which could very easily be hinged so they actually function and the interior hatches to the bolters to allow the magazines to be changed from inside the Rhino. Little touches and attention to detail like that does not go unappreciated. Suffice to say both are firmly getting added to my growing Ultramarine 2nd Company along with the “Contemptor”, some more Heresy era heavy weapons, Gothic automated sentry guns and some great retro style jump-packs from Max Mini.

If that lot wasn’t enough to keep me fully occupied in my workshop, I come back to the recently released Dreadfleet and the incredibly detailed but fragile ship miniatures. I have only just started sub-assembling the Heldenhammer and Bloody Reaver for painting, however I have managed to get the first couple of miniatures painted in the meantime, namely the ships wheel and movement ruler. It may sound a little dull, but I have to admit actually having the gaming aids in the box as additional pieces to paint has really appealed to me and I decided to actually put some effort into painting them properly. Both have had a coat of ‘Klear’ to protect them and I haven’t had the opportunity to take the shine off with a coat of Testor’s as the weather here has unsurprisingly suddenly taken a turn for the wetter and windier.

So that pretty much brings things right back up to date with where things are with the hobby and me in general. Basically a juggling act between Epic, 40K Ultramarines, Lord of the Rings and Pirate ships. So all in all, pretty normal then.

PS: Extra points for anyone who got the pirate reference in the title.

Have a great week, whatever you are doing.

Carl

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