Friday, 24 May 2013

Return of the Reiksguard

A few months ago I was all motivated to paint up a regiment of Reiksguard Knights for my Empire army. Unfortunately my enthusiasm waned as I was reminded for the umpteenth time that painting Knights is not as quick as I seem to think that is should be. I've painted well over a hundred of these guys - you'd think I'd have worked it out by now. Anyway, I burned out when they were only half done, and got distracted by my Ogre unit fillers instead.

The Reiksguard got shoved to the side and were completely ignored up until this week, when their partially painted state finally got to me. Well, the first group of 8 of them are now completed.
My first 8 completed Reiksguard Knights

Monday, 20 May 2013

More Ogre Halberdiers Finished

Last night I was able to sit down and finish painting my second wave of Empire Ogre Halberdiers/unit fillers. As expected they came together reasonably quickly, thanks largely to the lack of detail I put on my models. The benefits of laziness, I guess. Anyway, here they are...
This guy sits in a slightly strange place on his resin base, but that was where his feet sat nicely. Shouldn't be a problem for ranking up.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

More Ogre Halberdiers

Last night I sat down at the painting table and decided to make use of some of those Empire Ogre bits I've started producing en masse. A bit of gluing, filing and cutting later, I found myself with 2 more Ogre Halberdiers!
2 Ogre Halberdiers, ready for some paint.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Lores of Magic: The Lore of High Magic

Well, the High Elf book has been replaced and this includes a substantially different Lore of High Magic. People are likely to see a lot of High Elves in the coming months, so I figure it's a good time to have a look at this new Lore of Magic.

Lores of Magic: The Lore of High Magic
High Magic remains solely in the control of High Elves, despite the fact that Slann have been able to use it in previous editions. Of course, rumours suggest that the next book we will see is Lizardmen, so maybe that's about to change as well...

As a general rule, bear in mind that High Elf Mages who choose High Magic add +1 to their casting rolls. So the spells are slightly easier to cast (and harder to dispel) than they might otherwise be.

A production line with an unknown destination

Over the weekend I managed to sit down a couple of times and make some progress on the various Empire Ogres I've been working on. My efforts have been very unfocused recently, and this has seen me creating moulds for all the components I had on hand, as well as the creation of a few more. Unfortunately I have done a far better job of creating moulds than I have of using them, which means I have plenty of production capability without having a lot of Ogre bits to show for it. Hopefully I can be a bit more disciplined and actually make some Ogres in the near future.
Mess? What mess? All I see is progress! Or the ability to make progress. Or progress toward making progress. OK, maybe it is just a mess...
I did manage to complete one guy last night. He has been on the work bench (and off the work bench, in plastic bags, in drawers, on a shelf, and just about everywhere except where he needed to be to get attention) for the last 18 months or so. Actually, it's almost 2 years. But talking about things in months (and underestimating them) makes me sound less neglectful, right? Anyway, when I started work on this model, it was before I had the idea of using Instant Mold to duplicate components and actually produce a real number of Empire Ogres. He was built up from scratch over a wire armature, and stalled a number of times along the way. You can see how he started out here. Anyway, this is what he looks like now:
An Empire-themed Ogre Halberdier, teaching an Orc some manners (no easy task).
This guy was going nowhere fast and had largely been forgotten, but I had a sudden productive urge and decided it was time to finish him. I ended up hacking through the half-formed torso he was sporting (cutting down to the thick wire in the middle, then twisting and breaking him in half), then using a cloned torso and head. The arms were made just for him, but have of course now been cloned. He also sports a new halberd head, as to this point I only had a single version to work with. I made it with plasticard and a little bit of putty. That's been copied now too...
Not sure if I will feel obliged to alter the Orc's hand. Doesn't really look natural like this.
Originally I wanted the guy to be stabbing the Orc with the weapon, but in the end I settled for this pose as the new torso wasn't really leaning over far enough to make it happen. The Orc is a bit of a mess, as when I gave him a head it was so long ago that I still found green stuff terrifying and so I made it as simple as possible (I only did it at all after grudgingly admitting to myself that I couldn't really cut down a proper plastic Orc head). I think with the addition of sand and stuff, I can make him work without too much modification. His hand also sticks well out over the front of the base, which will mean the Ogre doesn't rank up perfectly. But I think it will be OK.
You can see the Orc's hand really overhangs the edge of the base.
It feels good to know I'm knocking over something that has been sitting on or around the workbench for the last couple of years. This guy also offers more obvious variation than those who use purely cloned components, so I think he'll be a good inclusion. 
These moulds all have Ogre bits in them. I was busy last night.
But what next? I've been trying to set myself up as well as possible to mass produce Ogres, but I am slightly uncertain about where I want to take things next. I have multiple sets of legs that I have not yet used in a completed model, and one of them is wearing full plate armour. All the torsos are armoured, but most of the arms are not. It means I am halfway to making some Ogres to match the more heavily armoured models in my army, such as Ricco's Republican Guard (not that they're painted yet anyway), Teutogen Guard and Greatswords. I also need some arms with chainmail and another head or two, and that would position me to match my Spearmen (Leopold's Leopard Company).
The legs and torsos I've currently got on the bench.
The other thing that holds me back at the moment was the realisation a while ago that the torsos I had been working with (and to some extent the legs as well) were simply too massive. They made for imposing Ogres, but they didn't really match the proper models and were a bit clumsy. I have tried to reshape things a bit on some of them, but I suspect I'll have to take a step back at some point and effectively replace some of my master components and moulds to ensure I'm using bits I'm happy with. Still, there is plenty of room for variety in the army. I have bits, and I am (mostly) not afraid to use them!

I think what we will see next is 2 more Halberdier Ogres, giving me 6 in total. I may hold off painting this latest guy until those 2 are done as well, and paint the 3 together. Technically this will be enough filler for 2 regiments of human Halberdiers, so I may end up having to paint more of those to justify the extra Ogres (having the Ogres done might help with my motivation to make that happen). But it will also mean that with the addition of a couple of command models, I will have a decent-sized unit of themed Ogre Ironguts. Whether the command models will be next, or whether I will move onto something else (more Ogre Swordsmen, or maybe some Ogre Leadbelchers/Empire Cannons) remains to be seen. I don't have any tournament commitments driving my efforts at the moment, so my lack of real focus seems likely to continue. This means I'm free to go wherever my enthusiasm takes me, I guess. There are worse situations to be in...

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Avoiding the bandwagon

Well it's unlikely you would have found this blog without already knowing it, but the 8th edition High Elf army book was released a few days ago. I have already bought a copy, but I am yet to see it – I'm away from home for a few days and my copy will have arrived in the mail in my absence. I will probably get my hands on it tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to reading through it.

The internet is already abuzz with how powerful some of the items and combinations in the new book are, however I have largely ignored what people have to say. I prefer to read the book myself and come to my own conclusions. Nevertheless, it's apparent that High Elf players are pretty excited about the new book and others are starting to worry about what they're going to find themselves up against.

The other thing that seems apparent is that every man and his dog is suddenly going to appear with a High Elf army and start to try out the new rules. It's common for a new army to start popping up all over the place, especially when the immediate response to the book is that it's going to be pretty powerful. However, High Elves are a bit of a special case.