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Now hang on a sec   1 comment



Enter the Trollbloods   3 comments

Looks like the Warmachine Tale of Gamers is well underway and I’m already seeing some Hordes discrimination.  Yes, Hordes is the the ugly younger brother of shiny well established Warmachine.

I’ve played a good amount of WM with my Khador army, so Hordes is a new thing for me.  Just before taking a trip to Vancouver, I picked up the Hordes Mk2 rules and gave them a good read on the plane.

The real difference I’ve found so far is that Hordes is more of a pay as you go system rather than a pay up front system.

So here are a couple of challenges I’m tackling with the Trollbloods:

  1. Trolls are pretty low priority for me (below Orks, High Elves, Khador & Tomb Kings)
  2. I find the color scheme of the Troll clothing pretty bland
  3. The Trolls are very detailed models and deserve a lot of attention to get them right.

All three of these challenges really lead to just one thing…

How do you paint models you don’t really want to paint?

It’s a question that everyone in the hobby eventually has to deal with.  Sometimes there’s a unit that’s essential to your army that you’re just not fond of the look of.  Sometimes your group wants to play something different from what you want to paint…and other times the models just look too daunting that you don’t want to take up that mountain of work.

Yes, I guess you could just play with primed models or bare metal, but here’s a couple of tricks i’ve used to get the tough jobs done.

Paint flesh first

Miniatures painting is all about bringing a tiny sculpture to life and the fastest way to get that life going is to paint the flesh first.  So the first color that went down on the Trollbloods was a base blue for their skin.  Sometimes just that first color is enough to get a miniature going.

Ignore Details

Most miniatures have 3-5 large areas of color.  By ignoring things like eyes, jewelery, belts, runes, etc. you can kickstart a miniature and get them on the table faster.  Modern paints are such high quality that you can easily go back and add details without overpainting.  Just be sure to keep your coats thin.  For the trolls, I used blue for flesh, leather for clothing and metal for armor.  I also painted the base green and black.

15 Minutes Only

Getting to the point where miniatures look great takes a lot of time.  A single miniature probably takes about 6 hours.  Some of this time is saved by painting like an assembly line, but the amount of work is still heavy at best.  To trick your mind into thinking it’s a shorter time, what i like to do is start by painting in 15 minute sessions.  By sitting only for 15 minutes, I generally have an appetite for more painting rather than being burned out by a long session.  Also, 15 mins per day for week adds up to almost 2 hrs!

Read the Lore

By reading the story behind the miniatures and understanding the personality of them, you get additional inspiration to paint em.  Reading lore is a fast way to increase that emotional drive behind painting.  From what I gather, the Trolls are a fading race, much like the Wood elves or the High Elves.  They are slowly being forced off their lands and are having to band together to survive.  After my game against the Menoth, I can see why…

Play more!

By far, the most effective way to get rid of the painting blahs is to play a game with them.  After my recent clobbering by Azmzero’s Menoth i cannot think of anything except getting these blueskins painted and back on the table.

Give a couple of these tips a try and let me know what works for you.


Tabula Rasa   2 comments

Let’s say that you had to start miniature gaming from scratch. Let’s say that you didn’t have the mountain of lead and the cluttered workstation. Let’s say that you could choose from any of the games out there. What would you do?

So, I asked myself this question last week. For me, it’s as much about optimizing my gaming time and experience as well as cleaning out some the stuff I won’t be touching for a while.

Here’s some assumptions I made:

  1. I only want 1 years worth of miniatures. That means that if i’m not going to use it in a year, I don’t want it.
  2. A large army game (WHFB, 40K, DBM, WM/H, Heavy Gear) needs about 3 months of painting and playing time to really appreciate them.
  3. A small army game (Mercs, Dark Age, Helldorado, Infinity) needs about 1 month of painting and playing time to really appreciate them.
  4. Just because i want to own fewer miniatures, doesn’t mean that i’ll never play another system. I still want to demo new games and do some ToG projects.

With that in mind i started to do some calculating and fantasizing. I came to the realization that I can really only support 4 large armies and 2 skirmish armies. Even four armies is a full schedule of gaming throughout the year. With these numbers in mind, I listed the possible candidates and came down to the following choices:

  • WHFB High Elves
  • 4ok Orks
  • WHFB Tomb Kings
  • 40k Ultramarines
  • Warmachine Khador
  • Hordes Trollbloods

I look at the list above and realize that even half of those armies would be a ton of work. The above has to be the upper limit for me, at least while I’m still employed full-time.

So now the selection is done, let’s get down to optimizing. To me, optimizing includes:

  • Finding great opponents and playing them as much as possible
  • Fielding beautifully fully painted armies
  • Being so well versed in the rules i only have to peek a few times into the rules
  • Finding that third or fourth layer of strategy and depth in the play of an army

40k Orks

This army was the first I ever started and will probably be the last one I hold at the Apocalypse. Currently I’m playing in a GREAT campaign league and having a ball. I own all the models I want for now. The only thing is that the painting is a bit of a slog. Orks are one of the easiest armies to paint, but at the same time the most difficult. You can get away with a rough slapped on paint job, but if you really want to do them nicely you realize that orks have multiple levels of painting complexity. Painting worn, dirty clothing, rusty metal trucks, battle damage and haphazard primative glyphs require a lot of work to get right…and believeable.



As for play commitment, this one’s a bit softer than the Orks. I’m definitely sure that the ToG on this one will go a few posts, but I’m worried that it will lose steam. On the bright side, we’re only doing starters so we probably won’t be broken by the sheer weight of the models we have to paint. I’ve got four trolls, nicely assembled by azmzero, that need painting.


WHFB High Elves / Tomb Kings

Here’s where things get muddy. Fantasy, while beloved by our group, is mostly a series of pick up and play games at random points values. I find that the inspiration to paint comes a lot from the anticipation of throwing down your force in front of another. That’s why my Orks, though difficult to paint, are so far along. The added difficulty is that i’m not sure which army to pick up and paint up first. The High Elves are newer, so the experience is fresh. Their elegance is also a nice sharp contrast from the feral quality of the Orks and the Trolls. Tomb Kings are an older army of mine. They are kinda all over the place, both physically and in their state of repair. Still, aesthetically I find them among the most interesting armies in minis gaming.

WH Khador

Most of these guys are done and ready to go. I’d love to throw them into the ToG, but Justin has claimed the Khador hat. So, i get the feeling my Winter Guard will be waiting in the drawer for the rest of the winter…

40k Space Marines

Last and least. I don’t own any of these so they are more an idea than a reality. They are on this list because they are iconic and have so much variety. Who knows, maybe in a few months I’ll replace this selection with a Historical Japanese Samurai Field of Glory army. Or a Mercs squad. Or a Dust Tactics Axis force. Or a Lord of the Rings Skirmish starter. Or a…well you get the picture.





Posted December 4, 2012 by coffeedream in Uncategorized

Immortals Wave 1   Leave a comment

Just a quick update on what’s been occupying my table for a bit.

I’ve finished up my first wave of Helldorado Immortals.  Basically this set includes 6 models.


Here’s the peasants.  A great melee group that deal impressive damage at a low cost.  Being peasants, they were a fairly easy paint job.  I kept them drab and dirty.  I also kept the brushstrokes visible to give them rough look.


The Lemures were again an easy job, mostly because they are tiny.  Still each of them keep their quirky character.


The real meat of the job was the leader, Li Tsu Tsin.  She’s very detailed and extremely tiny.  Basically I spent a great deal of time squinting througha  magnifying glass with a 00 brush.  If i do any more of her, i’ll have to upgrade to a big dazer.

I found that the effect was not as good as the effort.  Her robes are just a simple shade of red.  Looking at her now, she looks as though there are few fine details.  Even the blue jewels that i painted on her don’t show at all.  Oh well.

Next up…ORKS???

Posted August 15, 2012 by coffeedream in Hell Dorado, Workbench

  1 comment







Posted August 3, 2012 by coffeedream in Uncategorized

HelldoDarkaBushiHammer!!!   Leave a comment

Just a quick update post that gives an idea of how things are progressing on my table.


Last night I had a chance to play my third game of Helldorado.  The scenario was Ambush! and my opponent was azmzero fielding the Lost.

Much like my game with mborges, this “ambush” quickly turned into a mosh pit of combat.  We were fielding much larger warbands this time.  Each of us took about 148 points of figures.  That pushed my forces up to 5 peasants, 2 bucket carriers and finally Li Tsu Tsin.

Li is quickly becoming my preferred leader.  She is lean on points, runs like Usain Bolt and has an absolutely demoralizing ability to steal one model away from my opponent.

The peasants managed to deal copious amounts of damage while the bucket bearers were able to spread the damage around and keep them on the table.  Having two bucket bearers made my damage redirection very effective.

I guess the important thing is that my crew seems to be working well together.  I’ll probably add 1 or 2 more figures for variety and color, but that will take me to a good solid force that i should be able to enjoy for a while.

As for build state, all the models are built and have their primary blocked in colors.  A bit of detail has been added to the peasants, but still they are pretty rough.

Dark Age

I haven’t had an opportunity to play this one this past week.  I do find it’s a much easier game to get into, so I’m quite eager to table it again.

I’ve assembled and painted on the first colors.  I’ve started detailing in earnest the Buzz Blades.  I’m not sure why they are named that by the way…they don’t look very “buzz” to me.  The skin tones are done so the metal and cloth goes next.  I’ll try to post some pics in the next few days.


I picked this game up on a whim.  ProtectHorate of Ryu starter is now built and primed.  I’ve been using them as extra Peasants for my HD band…I find they are a bit large for HD even though their bases are the same size.


Well, all these little skirmish titles have slowed down my main wood elf repaint.  I’ve got the second block of glade guard on the table and their pants are about halfway done.

So an all text update from me…i’ll post an all image update in a few days.



Posted August 2, 2012 by coffeedream in Hell Dorado, Wood Elves, Workbench

Return to Athel Loren   Leave a comment

A Warhammer Interlude

I know there a lot of WFB going on, but that isn’t really been represented in the blog. So hopefully, this will kick off some more activity about what’s being played.

There’s something really wonderful about going back to an old army that’s sitting on the shelf and finding new things about that long forgotten force. The wood elves have been probably forgotten by everyone by now. They have one of the oldest army books in the game. The army hardlly gets any mention in White Dwarf. I don’t think there’s been a release for them in years.

I did see a spark of what is to come for them in the Storm of Magic expansion, but other than that, it’s been a long haul waiting for a refreshing new take on the guardians of Loren.

So, I’ve decided to take things into my hands and give my army something to revive it’s spirit…a new coat of paint.

Just a quick background on my Wood Elf force.

I started this army back when I started to play a lot of Warcraft 3. I loved the idea and theme of the night elves. So much of the color schemes i used were from the same palatte as the night elves. Flesh was a mix of Tentacle Pink and Liche Purple. Hair was a base of Hawk Turquoise and a highlight of Ice blue. The cloaks were a deep regal blue. The effect looked great!

But when i started to paint the Wood elf garb, things started to go wrong.

You see, the Warhammer wood elves wear light armor and robes that gives the impression that they are wearing foliage and leather. The night elves of Warcraft are mostly wearing a bikini. Without a painting reference for the clothing, I opted to use theme to resolve the color scheme. Big mistake.

To make a long story short, I used the darkest blue and browns to finish off the Wood elf armor. They were after all supposed to be nocturnal sharpshooters lurking under the moonlight. Here’s the result:


Yes, they could probably hide well in the evening, but on the game table they just look like a black hole.

So this new paint scheme is mostly to brighten the entire army and to get it more in line with the Warhammer lore, rather than the Night Elf stealth theme.

I’ll also be moving toward the green and grey colors and away from the dark blue denim and ebony colors.

Here’s a prototype:


The other thing i’m most interested in is trying out the new Citadel line of paints. I’ll have to say how impressed I am with the recent releases by GW in their paint line. Both their foundations line and their ink shades were spectacular products. I’m particularly interested in how good their new Layer series is.