Thursday, August 9, 2018

Projects, Ahoy

While I haven't really finished any painting projects in the past month or so, I have been prepping a few, so that I can jump right into them when I get the hobby mood in full swing again. This works well for me, as time and again I get tired of a project after the initial prepping, assembling and priming and then can't stand to look at it anymore. I figure that if I do the prep work for future projects that I don't intend to do right now, I won't have that stigma and will happily jump into them at some unknown, later date.

Makes sense? Not to me either, but hell, as long as I'm doing SOMEthing hobby-related I figure it's better than sitting on my hands, playing hours of Fallout 4 or whatever.

This is my madness, don't question it.

1. Arena Of Blood

So a little while ago, I dug up my copy of Arena of Blood that was published in White Dwarf number 229. For those that don't know, it's a game of arena combat involving six different Dark Eldar Wyches (Drukhari, to you young'uns), played on a hex board. Each combatant has their own mode of combat and weapons (splinter pistol and CCW, shardnet and impaler, etc. Yes, there is also a beastmaster and warpbeast, and a Hellion on their skyboard!). A fun, simple gladiator combat game that improves with the more players that join in.

Some people (namely Dr. Mathias) have the drive to actually make a freaking 3D board for the game. Follow the link for how he built the lovely thing.

Well, I used to have a Dark Eldar army back around '99 or '00, but ended up selling it when the newest models came out, as they just blew the old one completely away. Of course, I never actually did buy any of the new ones, and so that project went poof. I'm still amazed that I had a buyer for the old army - probably because it was actually mostly painted.

Now coincidentally enough I had quite a few extra Wyches that the buyer didn't want, and have been laying in wait for me to rediscover the AoB rules and fan the spark to get this project going. I easily had enough to cover one of each combatant type (except for the Hellion), as well as a few extra. Well, I reasoned, if I need to buy a Hellion off eBay I might as well buy enough of the others to fill out another group of Wyches - a second team, if you will. This got the idea in my head to see if the game will work if I have two Wych teams fighting each other, instead of a bunch of individuals. (But really, it was just an excuse to buy more miniatures.)

As you might have guessed, I'm using the circa 1999 metal miniatures. The new-ish plastics do look nice, but I'll admit that I'm pretty fond of the chunky old devils; plus, the new minis look kind of  generic compared to the old over-the-top ones. So now I have assembled and primed my Wyches, and will be painting them sometime this year - I'm actually looking forward to it.

Hellions aren't ready, though. Also, note the even boy-to-girl ratio.

I did need to re-purpose two Succubi to avoid repeats on the two teams. The one with the whip-shaped agoniser will function as a Beastmaster, while the second has been lightly converted to carry a razor snare and falchion. I have an extra female with hydra knives - maybe she'll be a referee or something ;)

I also discovered that I have an old copy of Lelith Hesperax and Kruellagh as well. I may make up rules for them at some point, to give a whole team something to be slaughtered by.

2. The Black Prince's Chariot of Fear (Ral Partha).

Bit of a cheat here - I started this one last year, but school got in the way and I never picked it back up. Well now I'm interested in at least finishing the prep work now.

I got this set back in the '80s, but was way too intimidated by it back then (as well as the terrifying Throne of Bone, which I may work on, some day). So about this time last year, I got to thinking about it and decided that my skill level was easily a match to complete the silly thing. Cleaning an assembly was going well, and then I ran into a point where gap-filling would be a must, as well as light sculpting. Ugh - that put the brakes on the project right quick. 

It's a tiny dude riding a chariot made up of a Balrog, which is in turn being pulled by two Balrogs. What's not to love?

At the beginning of the year, I did indeed do some green stuff work on the two Balrogs pulling the chariot - and then stalled out again. I'm now getting more and more determined to get this one finished off (and the sculpting ended up looking pretty good, if I say so), so I'll probably end up dragging this old chestnut out again this month to finish the prep work, and hopefully not be too sick of it to paint it. I even have the paint scheme figured out too - no bright red demons for me, I'm going to stick closer to the whole "shadow and flame" description (see the paint job on GWs LotR Balrog).

All the lovely parts.

Mock-up. You can tell this is an old pic, as my BB Rat Ogre is still unfinished in the background.

Sculpted flames under the wings. Give the demon a high-five!

3. Death Giant of the Undead Legion (Grenadier)

Not much to say about this one, as I just got a partly-painted one off eBay (for relatively cheap!) Big-assed giant skeleton sculpted in 1986 by Andrew Chernak, who sculpted some of the best damn skeletons I've ever seen, and this one is no different. I've wanted this model for a long, long time, but was never able to get it. Recently, I saw a partially painted one for sale for $40, and it came with a number of other old metal miniatures (including a frost giant). Yes indeed, I snapped it up. No pics of mine - he's currently soaking in Simple Green, awaiting cleaning and a slow assembly. I probably won't seriously get to working on this guy until the end of the year, but it's project that I'm excited to be working on.

This guy. As bad-ass as they come.

Getting him means I have three of the six "Masterpiece Editions" undead sets. I just need the dragon, mastodon with catapult and the always awesome rhinoceros captive transport. Fortunately, Mirliton still makes them so I'll be able to get them at my leisure.

Now, I just need to step away from Fallout :)