Monday, 9 March 2020

So, where to now?

This is just a bit of a general hobby update. I don't post as many of these as I used to, even when I am actually getting some hobby work done. I'll see if I can get more into the habit again.

First, a bit of catching up to do. My mad sprint to try to get ready for Cancon was only modestly successful. As you might have seen in the tournament photos, both the flying wolves and the halflings got to the point where they were usable, but not finished. The halflings in particular didn't really get close, but were hiding in amongst finished ones, which helped to distract from my shame.

I haven't taken any really decent specific shots of either the wolves or the halflings in their incomplete state, but this will give some idea...
Not the best shot, but there is some very black hair in there, and a severe lack of detail if you look at them up close.
The wolfybirbs actually got nearly finished. More finished than in this pic actually, given the bases were finished. This was to show a friend where I got to on the wings, which in the end were about the only incomplete detail. I had to call it given I was out of time, and decided unfinished wings were something I could get away with.

See, the base got finished. They looked done enough to be flapping around on the field, anyway.

I'd love to tell you I came back from Cancon and immediately set about finishing these models, but in actual fact once I came back I was somewhat consumed in my foolish Lego Hogwarts project and getting ready for an overly elaborate birthday party (the two things were related). That party was just over a week ago, and by that point any thought of finishing these models had been forgotten. I do intend to go back and do it, but right now it's not my focus.

One of the things that struck me at Cancon was the push for people to start using Mantic models in their armies. It's not like anyone was being forced to do so, but it was certainly encouraged, and there were specific prizes for best Mantic army and the like. I think this is a good way to push it, and I can obviously see why there is a need for people to use the company's products to play their game. If everyone just uses models from other companies, Mantic makes no money and the whole thing kind of falls apart.

My position in this discussion is a bit of a difficult one, given that I have such an excessive number of Warhammer models, either ready to go or waiting for some love and attention. This makes it very hard to justify turning around and say, "Oh, I do need a new army." I really don't. But I do want to try to support Mantic in their efforts, so I've kind of adopted a partially helpful approach. I bought a second-hand pile of Basileans...
In total I think there are something like 60 Men-at-arms, 20 Paladin knights, 20 Paladins on foot, 20 angry flail sisters, 10 on pussy cats, a chariot (also pulled by pussy cats) and 6 Elohi.

Now I say I'm being partially helpful, because there are a lot of factors here. Obviously by buying these second-hand, I'm not actually sending any money Mantic's way. But then, this is not a whole army. It's a solid building block, but it's certainly not enough for my needs. So there will be more to buy, and that's where the money will start heading to Mantic.

Unfortunately, some of these models are less than perfect. They're from some of the earlier releases for Kings of War, and they're not things I would ever have likely bought new off the shelf. The knights are underwhelming. The men-at-arms have a fairly justified reputation online for being a weird scale and not entirely handsome. There are things I don't like about the sisters. There are many things that bother be about the Elohi, but I'm still struggling to put my finger on all the specifics.

Some of these models have newer, much nicer equivalents that were released for Vanguard. The newer men-at-arms are a straight up improvement, but the others tend to have challenges of their own. For example, the newer paladins on foot are superior models, but there is really only one pose for them. The same goes for the newer, unridden pussy cats, the ogres are limited, etc...
I quite like these newer models, but really... I feel they need at least a couple of distinct poses.

So what does all this mean, then? Realistically it means I'm eyeing off all these models I have just acquired, and working out how I can modify to suit my own tastes. At their core they will still be the proper Mantic models, but they will likely be customised to some extent. It does make the whole project more involved than just buying and painting models, however. I figure if I can get up some momentum in converting and painting this starting pile of second-hand Basileans, then I will start looking at what I need to purchase in order to flesh the army out. So watch this space.

The other issue is that I've generally avoided working on stuff that works exclusively for Kings of War, and not for Warhammer. These Basileans sit pretty firmly in that space. It just tends to help my motivation when I feel like I might be able to use something, no matter which game I'm playing. I think for these guys I'll just have to get over it.

Whilst I ponder these difficult things and try to come up with a clear approach, I am distracting myself with something simple. Empire swordsmen, who have been floating on or around my workbench for years now. Poor guys. It's their turn for some love. 
12 down, something approaching 30 still to go. I don't know what I'm going to put on the banner yet, but I don't think I'm going to leave it blank as I so often have. I'll think about it as I work through the rest of the unit.

Part of the Empire motivation is coming from this Kickstarter that I'm backing. Norba make some stuff that's a pretty clear knock-off of GW models, but when GW explodes the universe, removes the model ranges and in the case of War Wagons, hasn't made them for decades, I don't really feel inclined to point fingers. I just like that they're making things possible for me. I've wanted War Wagons for a long time. Now it's becoming an affordable reality.

I won't get my War Wagons for maybe 6 months, but I can't wait!


  1. On the subject of footy paladins (who wear footy Pyjamas and play AFL), the old ones are pretty single pose too. I built a bunch as Tzeentch warriors of Chaos, and if it had not been for my natural inclination to convert any chaos-y things, they would have all looked very similar and a bit narrow in the head.
    On the subject fo war wagons, I am overwhelmed with joy. Although if you really want some sooner I am sure I can build some. Maybe in the form of a mammoth - remeber we planned a Kislev mammoth at one point?

    1. Yeah, the old paladins have similar pose limitations to the new ones, except they're not as pretty to boot. I will ponder all this...

      And yes, I know you could knock up something magical with your plasticard sorcery. But getting the whole thing right in terms of the vibe with the crew etc has proven too much effort to try. This will be much easier!

  2. Seeing as you mentioned the old world explosion kerfuffle, figured I should bring up GW are doing something with the old world. Current opinion seems to be that it'll be somehting similar to Horus Heresy, but for Fantasy, so there's that.

  3. Beware with Norba, they are not too professionals with customers,there's a bunch of articles on the internet about. Mostly of those in spanish I asume.

    1. I've ordered from them a couple of times. One time had a little bit of a run around, but it wasn't too bad. Worth it for the value of the models, I felt.