Monday 20 June 2016

Cheap Zone Mortalis

I've been looking at FW's Zone Mortalis rules and terrain for a long time, wishing I could afford to pick it up and give it a go. Sadly being a uni student and then an unemployed graduate has meant that Zone Mortalis has stayed firmly outside of my price range. I've had the vague plan to possibly make my own board, but I've never really given it any serious thought.

Until now that is. I was mooching through YouTube the other day and came across a video on WW40K's channel on how to build a cheap Zone Mortalis board out of Megablocks (the video's here if you're interested: )

Conveniently, a local charity shop had a bin bag of Megablocks going for a fiver, so I grabbed it and set to work.

Obviously the first step was to make a wall and glue it together:

Next I sprayed it black, so I could see what I was working with a little easier:

 The guy on WW40K either glued some plastic over the top or sawed the 'nobbles' off, but he mostly did that for speed and ease of building, due to the fact that he was making ten boards worth of wall sections. Considering I'm only making one board, I wanted add more detailing to mine. Luckily I have a box of 'junk' which I keep for terrain building, so I got that and set to work. Ten minutes later,I had this:

Nowhere near done yet and still a lot to do, but I'm liking how it's looking already. I'm planning to make enough of these to fill a 4x4 board, so another dozen sections like these should do the trick. After that, I'll be making some interior details like generators, shipping crates and cogitator consoles. At some point I'll also be ordering a spaceship-themed gaming mat to place them on. I think for the doors I'll just order the proper ones from FW, unless I'm feeling particularly ambitious when it gets to that point

I'll post more soon.

Sunday 19 June 2016

The joys of lighting - updated Thousand Sons

Given how many painting updates I post, you'd think I'd already own a daylight bulb for painting, right? You'd be wrong.

 I've never quite gotten around to getting one. There's always been new models or paints to buy, so a proper painting bulb has never been very high on my shopping list. I feel a little foolish now. I finally picked one up today and I'm already amazed at the difference it makes.



I never realised before just how yellow/orange all my pictures I took under my normal lamp looked, until I saw the two pictures of the same models side by side. I really should have tbh, having worked in media and the visual arts for nearly half my life, but I've never really applied that training to my hobby photography before. I think part of it is because I indulge in my hobby when I want to switch my brain off to everything else, so the lighting and colour correction which I do without thinking when I'm editing video never really occurs to me.

Now I realise what an idiot I've been though, I'll obviously be applying this to all the hobby photography I'll be doing from now on. I'm also thinking about playing around with using photoshop to enhance my hobby pics, now I've got a gaming mat and I'm working on some terrain to go with. More on that soon though!

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Thousand Sons Demi-Squad

Bouyed up by the generosity of the hobby community, I've decided to plunge into finally getting my Thousand Sons done. It's been nearly five years since I came up with the idea of the army after reading A Thousand Sons, so it's really about time I got it done!

Given the amount of time I've been working on them, it's a little embarassing that I don't even have single squad to show for it. Every time I work on them, I get frustrated that I can't get the shade of red on their armour exactly right and soon abandon them.

Now I finally feel I've got a formula that works, I might actually make some progress. I managed to knock these up over the course of last night:

Still a long way to go on them, but I'm feeling really postive this time. This is going to end up being a fifteen man Tactical Squad with attached Apothecary, so a nice and simple start to the force. After that are going to be some Breachers and Terminators, then a trio of Contemptors, so there'll be plenty to keep me going.

Monday 13 June 2016

Huzzah for Gamers!

The gaming community really is amazing.

Remember last night where I was was saying about how the bit I need for my Thousand Sons has gone out of production? Well, I put a post up about it on a Facebook group before I went to bed, mostly just to vent my annoyance and to discuss what other bits people were mourning about losing access to. I didn't think too much about it tbh. Well to my surprise, I woke up this morning to find that no less than 6 people had messaged me, all offering to send me their spare crests - about a hundred altogether!

I'm just awed at the generosity of our community. I know they aren't the rarest of bits, but six different people saw my problem and decided to help out a fellow gamer. Not one of them even asked me to cover postage! 

This is really what I love about the gaming community. They're such a great group of people, always happy to help out a fellow gamer. This, more than anything else is what keeps me in this hobby.

Thank you to everyone who messaged me!

Damn you GW! Rethinking plans for Thousand Sons

It's my own fault really for being so slow with my projects, but GW have managed to annoy me for the second time in a week.

As you'll probably know, I've been (very) slowly working on my Thousand Sons for the last four years. Part of the standard conversion I do for the helmets for them is to take Chaos Warriors head and stick a crest from the High Elf archer kits above the visor, like this:

This works great for me, especially as I'm not a fan of the FW heads for them. The crests have been easy enough to source until now, as you get loads in a kit and mst bits websites have had loads laying around which they struggle to sell. The problem is, I've just gone to restock on the crests after using the last of my supply on a Tactical Squad (I'll show you this soon, but the pic above is a preview) to find that GW have discontinued the Archer kit as part of their streamlining process as they roll out their Age of Sigmar range.

On the one hand, it's fair enough. The kit was very old and clunky. If anything from the HE range was going to go, it was going to be them. On the other hand, this leaves me in a rather sticky situation with my Thousand Sons.

I'm not the kind of person to just shrug and have  two different styles of helmet crests in my force, so at this point I really have two options: I can either try and find the last remaining supplies of the crests online, then stockpile them like crazy, or I can rethink my design plans.

Personally I'm leaning towards the stockpile option, possibly coupled with some casting. It's just annoying that at the exact moment where I'm finally ready to steam ahead with my XVth Legion, yet another hurdle has been thrown in my path.

I think I'd best start hording the Chaos Warrior heads too, just in case!

Friday 10 June 2016

Ridiculous FAQ

It's not often I post about rules issues. Although rules are what let me play the games I love, I prefer to focus on painting, modelling and fluff. This latest issue has gotten me riled up though, mostly due to the stupidity of the whole thing. 

In case you haven't heard, GW released their latest wave of draft FAQ's the other day, this one covering Space Marines. Nothing major in there on the whole, just general clarifications. Nothing major that is, until you reach the section on drop pods.

Basically, GW have made the insane decision to rule that the hatches on a Drop Pod are now counted as part of the model. This has the following implications.

1. Disembarking models can now use them to measure their disembarkation move from.

2. Friendly models can't climb on the doors, even the unit getting out.

3. Enemy models can't go within an inch of the doors unless they're charging, basically locking down a massive section of the battlefield, potentially removing the ability to get to multiple objectives at once with careful placement. Bearing in mind this is a 35 pt model, this is silly.

4. Drop Pods now basically never scatter, due to the massive footprint and the high likelihood of hitting surrounding terrain. Inertial Guidance will simply negate the scatter. Even if you do scatter a little, it doesn't matter, as the massive doors allow you to disembark where you were aiming anyway.

5. Say goodbye to sticking a drop pod in your opponents deployment zone. If one of the hatches hangs off the board when they open, it's a mishap.

6. This completely invalidates the models of anyone who's glued the doors shut on their pods. This could be construed as modelling for advantage.

7. There are formations which let you field a LOT of Pods for free. Someone I know has already worked out a 1750 point list with 22 pods squeezed in. With the right placement, you can just surround the enemy force and stop them being able to move turn 1

Considering that these are literally the only vehicles in the game where the hatches count as part of the model, I consider this sheer insanity. Call me a cynic, but I'm guessing sales of Drop Pods were down a little, so someone decided to spice things up.

I'm hoping this will be fixed when the final FAQ comes out. Considering the stir this has caused already, I can't imagine they'll keep it this way. In the meantime, my own gaming group has already unanimously agreed to ignore these rules and keep the older, more sensible ruling instead.

What do you think? Is this as terrible as it seems? Are you following the ruling?