Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dust Warfare Allies Update #1


What's up? Been a while since I posted due to work and things, but I managed to get a bit of work done on the Dust Tactics Revised Core set I picked up the other week.

I got some base colours down on a unit of Hell Boys and Death Dealers, and also a (heavy) wash of GW Devlan Mud on the latter. The Hell Boys have Codex Grey body armour, and the Death Dealers Knarloc Green. Weapons were simply Boltgun Metal and leather was of course Snakebite Leather. Skin is Tallarn Flesh with an Ogryn Flesh wash.

Compare washed (right) and un-washed (left)clothing

Death Dealers.
Even with just some simple base coats & washes these look quite playable!
Hell Boys.
Next steps will probably be highlights and getting some colour onto the bases. I also think that I will do the Hell Boys helmets in the same Codex Grey as their body armour.

Overall, the painting process is very easy. Colours go onto the pre-assembled and pre-primed models very well and this undoubtedly makes the process pretty quick and hassle-free. As noted in my Dust Tactics unboxing video many of the weapons were bent, but some hot water allowed me to make them straighter, although they still aren't perfect.

In the Dust Tactics Revised Core set you get: 

15 Green Allied Plastic Miniatures

  • > 1 Blackhawk Walker
  •  1 “Rhino” Hero
  •  5 “Hell Boys” Soldiers
  •  5 “Death Dealers” Soldiers
  •  3 “The Hammers” Soldiers

13 Gray Axis Plastic Miniatures

  •  1 “Hans” Walker
  •  1 “Lara” Hero
  •  5 “Sturmpioniere” Soldiers
  •  3 “Heavy Laser Grenadiers” Soldiers
  •  3 “Heavy Flak Grenadiers” Soldiers
I also ordered some additional models to try to make both the Allies and Axis forces slightly bigger and more appropriate for Dust Warfare, and these have started to arrive:

Sturmgrenadiere Command Squad:

The "Boss": Ranger Command Squad:
Hotdog/ Pounder Medium Assault Walker:
Medium Panzer Walker: Luther:
Only the Allied Medium Walker hasn't yet arrived, but I'm looking forward to having a closer look at the units above and possibly adding some more unboxing videos too.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Dust Tactics Unboxed - Video


Hi everyone!

As mentioned in my previous post, I received the copy of Dust Tactics; Revised Core Set I ordered from Amazon the other day. I waited until today to open it ("Happy Father's Day to me!") and had a look inside.

As it was a pretty hectic day, I haven't had a chance to sit down and read through everything yet, so I can't give you my first impression of the rules or anything like that, but I did take a few minutes to record my impressions of the content of the set.

So, without further ado, I present my first ever gaming related video, the epic:

Unboxing Dust Tactics Revised Core Set

Tomorrow, I am actually looking forward to my commute to work on the Tokyo subway because I purchased the digital edition of the Dust Warfare rules and have copied it over to my tablet. That should make the time fly!

I also quickly threw my basing stuff on the table tonight and continued magnetizing the High Elves. This is getting pretty fast now, so in a short while I had based two units of x10 Swordmasters and x8 Silverhelms, added metal sheet to their movement trays, and trimmed excess magnetic sheet from around the edges of each model.

Looking through my Skaven army, my nextmagnetizing session will have to be x50 Gobbo slaves - a rather more time consuming project...

Hope you all had a good weekend.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Circles and Squares?


Circles? Squares?

Let me explain further...

Circles in this case refers to circles in Google+, which this week has really helped my wargaming.

If you aren't familiar with Google+, then the easy way to describe it is as a social networking service (SNS) like Facebook. The different thing about it (and the best feature) is that it offers you much finer control of who you interact with and what you see. This is achieved through "Circles". A circle is a group of people you specify. When you post something in your "stream" you can choose who you share it with:
  • The whole world ("Public")
  • A specific circle of your own
  • An individual
  • Or all off the above!

You can also control what you see in your stream. It could be just content from people in your circles, or everything.
Let me give you an example.
  • In Google+ I do a search for "Tabletop Wargaming". This pulls in all the posts related to this search and I can then look through them at my leisure. (I can also save this search so I can easily explore it later.)
  • When looking through these posts, if I find content by a particular user that is really interesting, I could "add them to a circle" that I create to group people with the same interests together. E.g. I have a circle called "Wargamers". (They don't know the name of my circle)
  • Now, if I post something I could post it only to the people in my "Wargamers" circle, because I know it is relevant only to them. This stops their stream being cluttered up with meaningless stuff.
Remember, you create circles so they can be about anything!
"Warhammer", "High Elves players", "Skaven", "Saturday Gaming Club Members"

You can learn more here:
or from this video:

Anyway, from G+ this week I got two great things...

Number 1. A great link to some very high quality FREE paper scenery that works for any fantasy setting. With my printer, some card and some glue I made my first ever paper scenery, a Tavern. Check it out! 

The printed parts, added to card and ready to assemble
The front of the tavern, with Spearmen for scale
The back of the Tavern, with Silver Helms
Now, I didn't do this very well, but I think it was fun to make and it will do the job! In total I would guess it took a couple of hours of printing, gluing to card, cutting, scoring and then gluing again.
This is a pretty big building by Warhammer standards, but I guess it has two stories and a damn big bar...
You can find the original (and very helpful) post on the excellent battlereporter blog.

Number 2.

Information on G+ about Dust Warfare, a miniatures system based on Dust Tactics, an alternative universe WWII combat game. I had never really heard too much about it, but from G+ I spent some time looking into it...

  1. "Weird WW2"?
  2. Allied and Axis mechs?
  3. Miniatures that come already primed?
  4. x2 small starter armies included in the box?

...and so my Dust Tactics core set arrived yesterday (which nets me two starter armies) and I downloaded the Dust Warfare rules. (An online purchase from Fantasy Flight games).

The box cost about 80 $US from Amazon Japan (currently around 6,500 Yen for 2 small starter armies infantry and a Mech each and the Dust Tactics rules. Details here.) I then paid 20 $US for the Dust Warfare manual (digital download, currently on a special deal (usually 39.95)

Now, don't think that for me 100$ is small change. It isn't! However for the sake of comparison you get x1 box of Clanrats and x1 Warpgrinder in Japan for the same price (6,500 Yen).

Looking forward to reading all this and cracking open the box tomorrow! (Father's Day in Japan!)

And the "Squares"? What about the squares?

Above I talked about a social network. The squares I was referring to are much more "analogue"...

Yes, I decided to get started on magnetizing all the High Elves completed to date so that I can transport them more easily, and that means lots and LOTS of 20x20mm magnetic squares! 

I'm using almost the same system as before, with the exception that I have learned my lesson and am now using flexible metal sheet in the movement tray, rather than another magnet sheet.

This makes it much easier to drop the model into the tray and line everything up (with a magnet sheet in the tray AND on the base of the model, the polarities make things shift around and hard to rank up properly - yeah, I know, basic science...)

Dead easy, dead cheap and seems to work fine!

Roll on Dust Warfare tomorrow!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Tower of Xereus


"Now, unbeknownst to many of the peoples of Ulthuan,The Purple Sons of Xereus have a tower of their own. Although not as famous a tower as the great Tower of Hoeth in Saphery, and despite a dwindling population, the citizens of the land around the famed monument of Xereus still heed the call of the resident mage in times of peril."

At the suggestion of Elessehta of Yvresse over on, (an excellent site for all things High Elven) and seconded by Talifan, tonight I went ahead and gave the Battlefield in a Box Elven Tower a make over to match my High Elf army colours. (Naturally, work started after consulting with the leaders of The Purple Sons of Xereus - my two kids - and getting their permission!)

Results below!

The Tower of Xereus.
The Tower in its original Battlefield in a Box colours
Base of tower (Door and gem detail)
Base of Tower (gem detail)
Balcony and upper tower (detail)

The whole makeover took around a couple of hours. It included:
1.) Changing each gem (window?) from red to green. (To be exact, Snot Green with Dark Angels Green at top, Skull White/ Snot Green mix at bottom, and a dot of Skull White) 

2.) Changing the entire roof to my purple army colours. (Liche Purple, Devlan Mud wash, 2-3 drybrushes with progressively lighter shades of Warlock Purple.)

3.) Detailing the gem (window?) edges with Shining Gold.

4.) Edge highlights on door frames, handles etc. (Mithril Silver)

I think it was worth it though!

Thanks again to Elessehta of Yvresse for the idea!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

High Elf Battle Standard Bearer - done!


An army battle standard needs to be big. Really big.
Hey everyone, been working on adding a High Elf Battle Standard Bearer to The Purple Sons. I think he is ready to join up so here are a couple of pictures. (Not good ones. These were taken at night and then I messed around with them in Picasa.)

It took a few nights to finish this BSB. As you can imagine, there were two things that took a long time.

1. Skull White layers.

I have nearly finished my pot of Skull White, so it looks as though I will be coming into the new Ceramite White soon (if my wife is reading this, it is Father's Day in Japan this coming weekend hint, hint). Sadly, that won't be in time to help reduce the time it took to do these layers of white (don't ask me how many I did. I lost count midway through the process!)

2. Banner details and highlights.

Having collected mainly Skaven I have never had a BSB where the army heraldry was moulded into the standard before. 
On the one hand, it is a really nice design (credit to the scuptor - sorry I don't know their name), on the other, it is pretty complicated to paint AND it is different from the rest of my army.
Now of course, with a bit of work I could replace this banner with a generic one without a design, so I am just being lazy.

It is a shame the colours in the photos suck, because the eagle at the top of the banner actually turned out much brighter than this. I used a Calthan Brown/ Shining Gold mix as the base and a Devlan Mud wash, followed by pure Shining Gold highlights.

A Noble with Battle Standard - that's another 110 points added to The Purple Sons right there!



Saturday, June 9, 2012

Finished High Elf Army with Pics!


The Purple Sons of Xereus are ready to rock and roll! 

At about 1.00am this morning I put the finishing touches to the High Elf Silver Helms that I had been working on as a present for the kids. My first post about High Elves was on March 16th of this year, so it has taken me about 3 months to get this army done (nights only after the kids had gone to bed). As I was already late in giving the army to my kids as a surprise present (the Battlefield in a Box Elven Tower that was to complete the army hadn't arrived until this week) I decided that today, Saturday, would be the hand over.

So, before heading off to bed, I finished off the final details (scabbards), set out the army in the living room so the kids would see it, and added a quick hand-made card...

When I woke up, the kids had already had a look, and fortunately seemed quite happy! I was ALSO pretty happy (relieved!) to hear that yes, purple was still their favorite colour. I don't know how I would have felt if that had changed! 

Here are some pictures:
The assembled Purple Sons of Xereus
Mage and Elven Tower
Silver Helms
Silver Helms
Swordmasters of Hoeth, Bladelord, Musician and Banner
Spearmen, Sentinel, musician and banner.
Swordmasters of Hoeth (second unit of x10)
Swordmasters of Hoeth.
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Archers with Hawkeye, musician and banner

Silver Helms

As a dad, I was very happy to see them looking through all the models, picking them up and playing with them. (Of course, being kids, they immediately noticed that some of the Silver Helm mounts had lost their tails...)
It also looks as this is something that we can share going forward too. My oldest, (10) and I sat down, and she was happy to hear about the different troops and was quite excited about the prospect of playing a game! She likes maths, so she had a go totaling up the points cost of each unit and we put it at about 1300 (before magic items etc.)

Here is the army as it stands now. I have lots more models to work on, but I am calling it "finished" at this point because it is playable (I think) and this is the state that I handed it over to the kids.

x1 Mage (Commander)
x10 Swordmasters of Hoeth.
x10 Swordmasters of Hoeth.
x8 Silverhelms.
x10 Archers.
x10 Archers.
x20 Spearmen.
x2 Repeater Bolt Throwers and crew.

I have a Battle Standard Bearer primed, so that will probably be the next model, and then there are lots more things I could add.

It has been quite a busy 3 months on these, but I feel it was definitely worth it. I think it is really important to try to find something that gives you something to talk about with your kids. Ultimately, I don't want to force my kids into my hobby. If they aren't interested, then no harm done - it remains my hobby. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

High Elf Silver Helms Update #1


Just a super-quick update on the High Elf Silver Helms as I have to go to work in a few minutes!

Over the past couple of weeks (I had a business trip in the middle) I managed to get basecoats done, then washes, and over the last night or two some highlights. I got the Snot Green down on the gems last night. With the Elven Tower on its way and arriving in the next few days I will probably hand the completed army over to my kids this weekend, if I manage to get these gems, final highlights, details, shields and banner done this week!!

Pics below...

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