Monday, 29 August 2011

028 - "Never Happen...."

Firstly - apologies for the lack of posting recently. I moved house a few weeks back and I've only just this week gotten my shiny new broadband connection up and running.

Now onto business. A couple of weeks ago I entered the Iron Owl painting competition at Leeds Wargaming Center. I'd been working on something special for a while, and although I didn't win anything (the standard was very very high), I was really happy with how my entry turned out and gave me a great opportunity to develop some basic conversion skills.

One of the more amusing Malifaux abilities is called "Never Happen..." and is found on the Gremlin Hog Whisperer. Basically, it gives all friendly pigs within 12" the ability of Flight. To me this was crying out for a comically customised model, so I decided I was going to give my first Warpig some wings. Here's the final result:

I figured it'd be worthwhile showing everyone how he was made in case other people decide to do something similar.

The hardest part of the conversion was the legs so this was the part I tackled first. The Warpig comes in two halves, and the rear leg on each side is what he usually stands on, with his front legs raised off the ground as though he's charging or pouncing.

I quickly realised that if I was to raise him into a flying pose, the back legs would look totally wrong, as he would still be in a standing position with his feet flat as though they were on solid ground. I therefore decided to cut off the back legs with my trusty hacksaw, and alter their position so as to look like they were hanging down naturally when he was up in the air. I had to take a pretty big chunk out of the back of each side of the model in order to get these legs off, including destroying most of the muscles in the rear end, but I planned to resculpt them back on later. Admittedly I was quite worried after seeing my new model cut into small chunks!

On the pigs left flank, the leg turned and re-attached easily enough in it's new position without needing modification to the leg itself.

Unfortunately the right hind leg is sculpted in a bent position and needed some further work to get it to look natural. I cut into the leg at the knee joint and again at the ankle to split it into three pieces, which were rearranged into a completely new shape. Both legs were pinned back onto the body for extra strength.

The rest of the pig was assembled normally. Regrettably this model is one of those that never fits together very well, and there were loads gaps around the head and tail that needed plenty of green-stuff to fill in.

The crucial addition to my Warpig would be the wings, and I searched for a long time to find the right ones. At one point I was leaning towards the large feathered wings from Micro Art Studio, but they looked heavy and I wasn't sure they would be the right size. I toyed with the idea of stealing the wings from a GW Bretonnian Pegasus Knight, and tried to find these parts on some Bitz websites, but they appeared to be the most popular part of the kit and were always out of stock.

Despairing that my porcine friend would never be able to get airborne, I stopped by my local GW and told a staff member that I wasn't as familiar with the current range as I used to be and did he have any ideas? On their in-shop painting station they had some WIP new Dark Eldar Scourges and I knew right away I'd found my wings! I snapped up a box there and then and luckily, after choosing the right pair of wings for me (I definitely didn't want the bat wings) managed to sell the rest of the models on to Darren at the local club who wanted them for his Dark Eldar army. Win-win!

GW still make the best plastic miniatures around - hands down

The wings had a few cables and mechanical looking parts that needed carefully scraping off with a craft knife, following which I did my best to resculpt some feathers where the damage had been done. All that remained was to drill a hole for a 2mm brass rod in the base of the pig and mount him to a Wyrd Bayou 50mm base insert.

You can see at this point I had the wings in a different position. Thankfully my girlfriend convinced me to raise them up and outstretched which I realise now is a far better pose.

I got a big carried away at this point and forgot to take a picture of the model after I'd re-sculpted the hind leg muscles, but you can see the results in the final photos below.

As one of my first real conversion efforts I'm incredibly pleased with the final result, and I hope I've inspired someone to try something similar with their own pigs.

Until next time... oink oink!


Saturday, 27 August 2011

027 - I am the King of Pinning!

Nuff said...


Friday, 26 August 2011

026 - First game vs Nicodem (The Invincible)

Last week I discovered just how resiliant Nicodem can be.

Although I won the game comfortably (in fact for Turns 5 and 6 it was Nicodem on his own versus my entire Pandora crew) it quickly became apparent that he was never going to die even with every one of my models trying to take him down.

The reason? A horde of Mindless Zombies surrounding him which he could sacrifice in order to negate any attack against him. Fighting through the zombies was impractical, as he would just resummon them in the following turn from the corpse counters they left behind.

I know now that choosing the Assassinate scheme against Nicodem would be a bad idea! It also gives me some incentive to get my Nicodem painted up, as he's been sitting in my figure case for months ever since I picked him up cheap on eBay. He'll make a nice brawl partner for Seamus (whose also noted for being rather tough to kill!)

Other highlights of the game:

Mortimer dying after hitting himself 3 times on the head with his own shovel.
The Dead Rider running away like a little girl then getting clobbered by Coppelius.
Lelu obviously forgetting to sharpen his claws before the game, meaning he failed to cause any damage in 3 activations of strikes, including letting a Mindless Zombie escape unhurt.
Pandora coming worryingly close to getting crushed by a summoned Flesh Construct before a Sorrow came to the rescue with a timely Paralyze.

I've also now given myself a personal scheme for future games of Pandora vs Nicodem. If the chance comes up, my aim is going to be to successfully cast Reanimator with a Sorrow, after Linking it to Nicodem - just for comedy value of course, and to see the look on my opponents face when I turn all his Mindless Zombies into a Flesh Construct or Rogue Necromancy under my own control.... Mwah ha ha ha....

Ok so it needs a 17+ with 2 crows to cast, so the Sorrow needs to cheat in a crow and burn a Soulstone and hope for another, but it'll be worth it when it happens! It didn't work out this game, but there will be plenty more chances to come - a few people at the local club have said they'll be grabbing Nicodem for themselves once the incredibly cool Avatar form is released.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

025 - GenCon broke the Internet!

I've been trying to get onto the Wyrd website since I got up early this morning but it's running at the speed of a crippled snail. A crippled snail carrying several large bags of shopping, who just placed a bet with a sloth that he wouldn't be the first one to get home. More often than not the website just gives up and doesn't even attempt to load the page!

It's now 1pm here in England, so the Americans will be just waking up. I expect that means the problem is going to get even worse for the rest of the day. Very irritating considering that Wyrd will likely ship orders out in the order they were placed, so I'm slipping further down the queue with every hour, translating to potentially weeks of delay getting my hands on the new stuff.

Given the recent announcment regarding the increase to postage costs, my shopping list has gotten much smaller. I figure for the Avatars and Alts I can happily wait a few months til they're released through normal channels. I do however really want to get my hands on the Limited Edition models, so I want to place an order for those as soon as possible.

It surprises and disappoints me that Wyrd didn't anticipate this initial surge and put something in place to increase bandwidth temporarily.