Sunday, 16 July 2017

Some classic gaming monsters

Like a lot of gamers I bounce back and forth between systems and genres fairly frequently but I think its safe to say that right now I'm on a nostalgia kick.  I've painted newer models and I've painted older models but it seems by and large everything is somehow a throwback to my earlier days of gaming.

Today's additions are living at opposite ends of the spectrum in that one model was just released a few months ago while the other has been living (unpainted and unloved) in the bottom of a box for nearly 30 years.  But the thing they both have in common is that they are creatures I was introduced to in my first few years in the hobby many, many moons ago.

First up; the Displacer Beast!


This is a new model by WizKids from their unpainted Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures line and I've got to say not only did I like it but it is (in my opinion) a huge improvement over the metal figure that came out with the Chainmail line years ago.  A lot of hobbyists don't like soft plastic or vinyl because it has a tendency to have softer details but this is a great example of where the material is an improvement.  The musculature of the creature is fairly pronounced so there aren't many shallow or narrow cuts and in addition the problem with my older pewter Displacer Beast was always that the tendrils on the back would bend and then the paint would chip.  I REALLY hope WizKids does a bunch more of the medium sized monsters in their next wave of models.

Next up; the Ambull!


The Ambull is an old 40k (Rogue Trader era) monster that hasn't appeared in anything since 2nd edition.  This model is in fact so old that it's lead rather than pewter.  The Ambull has a funny place in my heart because although it is/was a sci-fi monster for a game set in the far future my first exposure to it was as a final encounter in an old Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay scenario from White Dwarf #108.
I have no immediate plans for this guy but I really wanted to finally paint him.  At this point I may use him as an Umber Hulk-like creature for D&D or he may just sit on shelf alongside my Dungeon Master figure waiting for his time.

That's it for today.  I'm off to the depths of the internet to look for more old-school D&D miniatures!

-Jay

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Sly Marbo - one man army

Its been a few weeks since I last rolled dice in anger but at that time the game I was playing was Shadow War Armageddon.  My Arbites didn't do particularly well (curse you Space Orks!) but one of the other 'forces' I had wanted to try was one of the one-man-army options.

Basically in Shadow War there are a number of special operatives who can go it alone against an entire kill-team of enemies.  Each race has one or more options but a dig into the way-back machine brought me to the year 2000 and a character I had always imagined using to great effect in 40K even though it never quite worked out that way, Sly Marbo.


As I've mentioned before when talking about a lot of different games I enjoy a bit of humour in my games and a tongue-in-cheek character like Sly is perfect for me.  Any action movie fan of my generation would recognise the art and background of the character as being Rambo 38,000 years in the future, while also looking at the figure and immediately being able to hear Arnie yelling "GET TO DA CHOPPA!"
That's just glorious.

I'm not sure when Sly will see his first game, but win or lose I'm 100% sure he'll draw first blood.....

-Jay

Friday, 23 June 2017

THRUD! THE BARBARIAN!

Usually when I personally talk about gaming nostalgia it's around role-playing rather than miniature games.  The truth is over the years because casting technology and materials have improved so much and most 'popular' items have never truly gone away they just get re-done there hasn't been much in miniature gaming for me to get nostalgic about.  But every rule has its exceptions...

Back in the 80s when I was new to hobby gaming Games Workshop didn't take their IP nearly as seriously as they do today.  It was the time that produced snotlings, and Fighting Fantasy and Blood Bowl and all kinds of fantasy an sci-fi silliness and to be honest I really liked it that way.  On the note when I first started reading White Dwarf there was a comic in it called 'Thrud The Barbarian' which featured a typically meat-headed barbarian character who was cartoonishly out of proportion with the other characters in the story.  Thrud was super fun but I hadn't given him much thought over the past couple of decades.  My affection for plastic RPG miniatures got me into the Zombicide range and low and behold one of the special guest artist packs was by Carl Critchlow and featured Thrud!  I had to have it!


Being a mostly classic fantasy barbarian Thrud is somewhat reminiscent of a variety of Warhammer Quest figures and some Khorne figures I already own, but his helmet is distinctly Thrud and I just had to add him to my collection.


One of the ways in which Thrud stands out from my other barbarian figures is that even by fantasy barbarian miniature standards he is HUGE.  In the picture below he is standing next to a 28mm Chainmail model on a 25mm slotta-base.  You can see how much bigger than normal man-sized he is.  In fact I'm fairly certain that he's roughly the same size as a current Games Workshop ogre.


It was fun to do something new that still scratches that nostalgia itch.  I've got another one-off coming up that's another older GW character but nowhere near as old as Thrud.

-Jay

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

For The Watch!

I took a break from the Lannisters to get a couple more Nights Watch figures done from Darksword's Game Of Thrones line.

These are two of their "tribute" sculpts, which is basically Darksword putting their sculptors into the world of Game Of Thrones (which I think is an awesome idea).


The smaller guy in the mail shirt with a sword and dagger is their Kev tribute while the bigger dude with the axe if their Tre tribute.
I can picture tons of uses for these two figures.  Side-by-side they give off a very Fafhrd & Grey Mouser feel.  I also like the fact that the Tre figure has a loaded backpack and bedroll as one of the things I personally find lacking in a lot of RPG 'adventurer' figures is their actual gear and stowage.  I'm hoping to actually use the Tre figure as my own character model in an upcoming game.
Night Watch figs are also great for Frostgrave as they are all typically attired in warmer clothes with heavier gloves and boots.

....now I just need to paint something that photographs a bit better than guys in 3 different shades of black...

-Jay

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Happy Father's Day!

Happy father's day from one of fantasy fiction's most infamous fathers; Tywin Lannister!


Tywin is the Lannister family patriarch in Game Of Thrones and definitely steers his family down their respective paths through the first half of the series.

In addition to Jaime and Cersi, Tywin is also father to Tyrion Lannister, known colloquially as "The Imp".


I've got to admit that even though he's not a character you're supposed to like I really enjoyed Tywin and in particular Charles Dance's portrayal of him on the show.  In spite of the fact that you know he's a bad guy there are moments where you can't help but respect him.

And look at it it this way; at least he's not Denethor.

-Jay

Friday, 16 June 2017

Shoggoth.....or maybe something else.....or maybe lots of other things.....

Awhile back I picked up a Reaper Shoggoth model intending to use it in my Ravenloft game as a similar but slightly less Cthulhu-y monster for a pre-amble to Curse Of Strahd.


I had been playing online on Roll20 but since that game concluded I've been thinking about running a game around an actual table top (like real people!) and for that I'm going to need to get some models done.  I can easily see myself using this model for a ton of different RPGs and miniature games so even though I don't need it right away I'm sure it will get used a lot in the future.

One of the things this has gotten me thinking about is trying to build up my collection of  'monsters' for D&D.  I have a lot of humanoid creatures (orcs, gnolls, goblins, etc) but I could use more of the larger monsters (Hook Horrors, Umber Hulks, etc), after all every mid-level encounter I run can't always be Owlbears.  Hopefully there's some more creatures in my near future.

-Jay

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Four more members for Kilo Squad

In advance of my first game of Shadow War Armageddon tomorrow I have (I think) completed my initial force of Arbites.  I actually need to math it up and make sure I'm done but I feel good about what I have so far.

My basic troopers will be armed with shotguns but if I try different rules down the road a bit I may swap out a couple for bolters.


I've also decided that the basing you see here will be how I base the new models I paint for my 40K sized Arbites army....nothing says 8th edition like 1st edition figures :)

-Jay