Nobody move … I’ve dropped my brain!

//, Epic/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

By | 2017-09-13T13:52:12+00:00 October 5th, 2011|Dreadfleet, Epic|13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Simulated Knave October 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Glad to see a post! 🙂 That’s a lovely drop pod. I think the weathering’s worked pretty well on those Orks.

    • Carl Woodrow October 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm - Reply

      Thank you. Yes, I am rather pleased it wasn’t me who had to paint the Drop Pod. Even with my airbrush it would have taken a while.

  2. Andrew King October 6, 2011 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I know what you mean about GW’s detractors. Some people just seem to have a grudge against the company and will complain about anything (even without seeing the models in question first). That’s why I like the fact that your blog takes such a positive approach to the hobby.

    The weathering techniques have worked surprisingly well on such small models. The Gun Trucks look excellent. I also really like your Frodo and Sam, such characterful models.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with Dreadfleet. I’ve ordered my copy and I’m really looking forward to painting the models.

    • Carl Woodrow October 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Andrew, I’m sure you will be pleased with the miniatures in Dreadfleet, they really are characterful. One word of warning though, the sails in particular are amazingly thin and fragile, so care is needed clipping them out.
      I am in the process of painting both the Heldenhammer and Reaver as they are the two ships used in the introduction scenario. I don’t intend to do a blow by blow painting guide on them as there is an excellent one in this months White Dwarf which covers all the ships and box contents.

      However I will try to mention any tips on the blog as I encounter them as the miniatures definitely merit from a bit of forward planning to get the best out of them.

      • Andrew King October 9, 2011 at 1:12 am - Reply

        Hi Carl,

        My copy of Dreadfleet arrived the other day. I certainly am impressed by the quality of the models and the amount of thought that has gone into designing the kits. Expect more of my thoughts on the game on my blog soon. I’ve started painting the scenery and gubbinz that go with the game and, like you, I intend to paint the ships following the scenarios in the rule book.

  3. Terry Nolt October 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    I have two questions you can answer. First did you ever get more of your 3D Space Hulk Completed? And two how did you set up the Magnets for it? ( how did you attach them?)

    Get work on the Epic Stuff. I just recently got mine out of mothballs in my shed. I am currently finishing my Imperial Fists Space Marine Army Mini’s. I will send you pics if you wish.

    And I love the Johnny Dep Reference.

    Keep up the great work.

    Terry Nolt
    Texas USA

    • Carl Woodrow October 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      Thanks Terry, good job on the Johnny Depp reference, funniest line ever with perhaps the exception of “I’ve got a jar of dirt!”. I have done more on the 3D Space Hulk, but being a dreadful hobby ‘butterfly’ it is far from a finished project currently. I will return to it no doubt and do a few more sections as the interest takes me, so it will make a return on the blog at some stage, fear not. In fact I have a set of Mike McVey’s superb Sedition Wars resin “Strain” minis which could also make use of it.

      To answer your question about the magnets, they are actually cast into the components themselves. I created a mold which is designed to hold the spacer magnets and the main pull cylinder magnets in position whilst the piece is cast. It produces several pieces at a time with a 50/50 split of both poles (in other words left and right corners). This makes creating the right pieces very easy as the hard work is done by the mold. It is then just a case of making sure you use the right left/right corner section on the next corridor piece. As the previous piece repels it if wrong its nigh on impossible to mess up once you have the first section done as that becomes your template.

      Great to hear you pulled the Epic out of mothball. Having finished the first wave of Bad Moons I am now mulling over which to do next in addition to the Landa. More Orks no doubt for now, but which I haven’t decided yet.

      For this week however it is Dreadfleet, as you can probably tell from the twitter feed.

      Thanks again,
      Carl

  4. Curis October 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Welcome back. Lovely job on the Orks. Love the Studio Titans just bumming around the back of the shot.

    For the infatnry, don’t you find the Ork Boy model perhaps the worst in the Epic range? It was such a step down over the original plastic Boy and its variants (Mad Boyz, Wild Boyz…).

    • Carl Woodrow October 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm - Reply

      Studio Titans never “bum around” … they lurk 😉

      I don’t know I would call them the worst in the range, the original 1st edition Space Marines were pretty dire. But yeah, the Orks probably more so than others were a big victim of the detail abstraction in Epic 40,000 and lost a heap of characterful models. I do have a fair number of the original frames left and treat them like a fine spice, mixing select Mad Boyz, Runt Herders and Big Shootas in with the regulars for some variety. Some weren’t a big loss to be fair though as the plastic Buggies from the ‘Stompers’ box set were replaced by much better detailed metal buggy and Wartrak varieties.

      It is still nice to find more unusual ones though, I just dug out a few of the old plastic Dreads to mix in with the current metal variety.

      • CyberShadow October 14, 2011 at 12:14 pm - Reply

        I think that the original IG infantry minis are pretty dodgy.. someone, somewhere is compensating! :~) I am also not a fan of the Chaos Trolls and Minotaurs for the Epic range.

        • Carl Woodrow October 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm - Reply

          Iain how can you not like the original ‘Necromundan’ Guardsmen? The Guards on Bikes and Guards with Jump-packs were great. Who could not want Beastmen in their Guards regiments?
          Ok, maybe not Beastmen, but I know what you mean about the basic Guards frame, the basic troopers were a bit dubious with that enormous rifle held out in front of them like that.

          That said though there was a phenomenal amount of variety on the frame and you got a ‘lot’ of troopers for your money, one hundred and fifty if I recall.

          With you on the Trolls and Minotaurs though, they were pretty dire.

  5. Robin February 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Some inspiration there in the form of those epic orks. A very nice yellow theme. It is a shame you don’t integrate your blog into the dropship .co.uk pages, those are such an excellent resource and if you ran the site together it would be one of finer epic sites on the web. It already is an excellent read and great photos – I visit often 🙂

    • Carl Woodrow February 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Thanks Robin. To be honest merging the blog and the old site into just one is very much my goal. It will probably be the other way around though in that I am looking to migrate the legacy Dropship content into WordPress in the form of ‘pages’.

      I started this process last year but quickly realised an awful lot of the original images were of a poor quality and desperately needed re-photographing. This is not a small task and is what has stalled the process. Well, that and general apathy on my part and a preference to spend the time painting instead where possible.

      If and when I ever get off my butt and do it, the end goal will be to point the Dropship.org.uk URL to here and just have a single source of both articles and blog.

      That is assuming you did mean the old Dropship site and not something else altogether?

      Carl

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