Sunday, May 27, 2012

High Elf and Skaven Magical conundrums!

Although I don't have photos to share, I am about half way through a unit of x8 Silver Helms, the final HE unit in the army I am painting up.

As the end to the painting phase is in site, I have started to read through the BRB and HE army book for play insights. As I am not an experienced WFB player, I am struggling with the breadth of magic choices available to the HEs. What banners? What items?
Naturally, I have searched around the web, and there are a ton of options. Most of these however tend to address competitive lists and armies where there appears to be lots of flexibility in the models available and the players are experienced. In other words, a very different context from my own.
With only 1 Mage, I can only imagine that High Magic is the lore to go with, but beyond that I am a bit lost. Any advice?
-"Friendly"games only.
- Beginner level players.
- For the moment, only the units listed below are available.
- Opposing army will be Skaven, but I'd also like to think about a general list rather than a tailored one.

Models: (painted. I have others but only like to use with painted units...)
X1 Mage.
X20 Archers. (with command)
X20 Spearmen. (with command)
X20 Swordmasters. (with command)
X8 Silver Helms. (with command)

Other ideas:
-The mage model is on foot, so I imagine that I should bunker him. Keep him back with the archers and have the Silver Helms loiter to protect their flanks? (and the Bolt Throwers?)

-Focus on items to keep my lone mage up and running? (survivability, not offense)
-Have the archers in 2 units of 10?
-To increase drops, and divide enemy shooting, have x2 units of Swordmasters? (Yeah, these guys are bound to be a big fat bulls eye!)
I hope to get the Silver Helms done tonight. Sad to say that the Battlefield in a Box Elven Tower order I placed with Maelstrom is still listed as "Processing" two weeks after my order. I had hoped to reveal the completed HE army around the tower for my kid's birthday this week, but that won't be possible now. (btw, NOT a complaint about Maelstrom!)
Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Swordmasters of Hoeth - Finished!

Warning: Pic heavy post!

Got these guys finished up at last and ready to join the HE army I am painting up for my kids, "The Purple Sons of Xereus". They took about a week to do. Having 20 of them will give me a pretty hard-hitting core to the army.

Pics below:


Standard Bearer
Difficult to see, but I added edge highlights to the scabbard...
So, with a week to go until I reveal the army I have to hurry on, but I can see myself coming back to these guys. (TBH, you could spend hours more working on the details of the Swordmasters - there is just lots of detail to enjoy!)

Next up, the final unit in my army - x8 Silver Helms. I have a week of evenings to go until the deadline and have never painted cavalry before, so this could be a bit of challenge. In order to try to stay on schedule I spray painted them Skull White today (I'm out of Chaos Black) at the same time I was working on a movement tray for them - its all go!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gem Madness! High Elf Swordmasters Update #1


High Elf Bladelord
Only a week to go until the "big reveal"of this High Elf army to the kids (gulp). Since last posting I have done some ordering, some painting and some movement trays.

Thinking ahead to the unveiling, I ordered the Gale Force 9 Battlefield in a Box Elven Tower to try and have a bit of impressive scenery. 
Gale Force 9 Elven Tower:
The good news is that reviews have been pretty favorable and the price was reasonable. The bad news is it looks as though it hasn't been dispatched yet, so I guess it won't make it in time.

On the painting side of things I spent most evenings this last week working on the Swordmasters. Somebody said they would be easy...
...but I can only guess that they mean in comparison to detailed units like Ellyrian Reavers! 

For example, a unit of x20 Swordmasters is about 80 gems. I think that I have now contracted that rare affliction - "Gem Madness". I actually dreamed about gems last night after finishing these. ("Snot Green, then Dark Angels Green at top, Snot Green/ Skull white at bottom, and a dot of pure Skull White at top...") 
To keep myself sane I went outside my comfort zone and tried to do some red gems for the first time ever (adventurous eh?). I used the technique in the High Elf Army Book and to my surprise they came out OK (pics in the images below.)

After a few nights of work here is where I am now:
x20 ranked Swordmasters
Standard Bearer (Detail)
Bladelord (Detail)
Unit (Detail)
Front rank (Detail)
Swordmasters unit
Red Gems - first ever!
Red Gems - detail.
Bladelord - metal figure
Swordmaster with red gems
Bladelord - green gems
Bladelord - gem detail
Swordmaster command - detail
As they have large areas of scale armour I guess they are quite quick to do, but after the armour I slowed down quite a bit (layers of Warlock Purple on the robes, and aforementioned gems took me a while.) 

For the armour I used:
  • Chainmail 
  • Badab Black (wash)
  • Mithril Silver (dry brush)
I still have to do highlights on the details, bases, layers on the skin, and eyes, but I reckon I should then be clear to start on one final unit for the army.

Yesterday I also finished painting up and flocking x5 movement trays. 

These are all by Gale Force 9 and came with my original HE order from eBay. They are wood and well put together. The only think I am not so keen on is that they are very "square"- I'd prefer them to have more rounded edges. After texturing and flocking I think they came out OK, but next time I will carve or sand/ file the edges first so they don't look quite so regular. When I have a bit more time I may add some ruins or other bits and pieces to add some atmosphere.

(For the texturing I used textured grey spray paint for the first time. Available at garden centers and used to add a concrete-like texture to smooth surfaces, this has fine sand in it. It did add some texture, but it was too fine. Next time I may do several layers to thicken it up. To achieve the same thing here I used PVA glue and modelling sand.)

Hopefully the next update will see me with the Swordmasters finished and the Silver Helms underway.

Hope you are all having a good week/ weekend!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

High Elf Army Update Photos


With a busy work week and travel I haven't posted much this last week. However, before hitting the road I managed to take a few photos of the growing (but still small!) High Elf army that I am painting as a birthday surprise. As the kids were out, I threw down my GW battlemat and got out my camera.

This is the first time that I have put the units I have painted so far together to see how they look.

Photos below - with a few more comments later...

High Elf Spearmen
High Elf Spearmen
High Elf Spearmen Command
High Elf Archers (Forgot to do the eyes!)
High Elf Archers (Gems)
High Elf Archers
High Elf Mage (Front)
High Elf Mage (Cloak detail)
High Elf Repeater Bolt Throwers
High Elf Army (Eagle's eye view?)
High Elf Army (Battleline view?)
High Elf Army 
High Elf Mage
I only have a couple of weeks total painting time left, and even that means just a couple of hours per night, so I am going to have to motor on through to finish a reasonably sized army. To do that, I reckon I need to do at least 2 more units - High Helms (5-8?) and Swordmasters (minimum 10, but 20 if I can!)

Hope I can make it!

Thanks for visiting,

Monday, May 7, 2012

On Cookies, Content and Command...


...and now for something completely different.

On Cookies...

Not the edible kind... instead, we are talking about the "Evil Cookie" kind.

-The kind that websites like to leave with you at home after visiting so they can track your behavior.
- The kind that most responsible browsers warn you about.
- The kind that tells you must be installed, or you can't access anything on their website!

Wait, what, huh?
So, on my regular visit to GW's homepage this week, I was surprised to be stopped in my tracks at the door by a new message on my screen (Click to enlarge):
Click to enlarge.
At first I didn't read it properly, and was surprised when I clicked "Enter Site" and nothing happened. It took a second or two to realize that unless I accepted the cookie by checking the agreement box then I wouldn't be able to browse the site at all!
Now, I'm no stranger to accepting cookies, tracking, or anything else - they are part of the day-to-day for most of us when browsing the web. In general, I find them rather useful as they save my options etc...
...but I don't think I have come across too many sites where I can't actually access anything on the site without accepting a cookie first, especially a website that contains a catalogue of items for sale, run by a company that is trying to make money.
To be fair, clicking on the link provided in the message tells you all about what those cookies are for so well done for being up front about that GW.

What do you think? Usual? Unusual? Unnecessary?

Content... short, back it up. 
HA! We all know that right? 
But I never backed-up The Chattering Horde blog until today. In fact, I didn't even know you could back-up a blog on Blogger (or any blog service) or just how easy it is.
With 157 posts and 527 comments published to date, it would be a shame if it all disappeared tomorrow! Although Blogger is a Google service, who knows if or when a big company will shut down a free service!?
To find out how to backup your Blogger blog, click here.

...and Command.

Specifically, a quick update on my first High Elf Hero, a Mage. Not finished yet, but I put in some time last night. (Sorry about the poorly lit photos - I will be asking for light box kit for my birthday I think!)

That is it for today - normal service will resume shortly!


p.s. another Blogger tip - don't mess with any photo albums in Picasa on your PC if you have them synced online with an album that has photos you have linked to for your existing posts. I had to delete and reattach about 50 photos across 10 posts tonight after stupidly reorganizing my photos...
...which caused all the links to break and photos to disappear from my posts!
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