Monday, September 30, 2013

Gentlemen, start your engines!

So here we are October 1! I'm sure we were all waiting up at 11:59 last night just so we could get the most out of our painting time this month. I for one spent the weekend putting together my Chrace 1000 points, and to be honest, I'm pretty happy with the results. 

I'll start by taking you through the Archers. I went for the 3 ranks firing approach. Something I learn't when assembling by big Archer horde was that if you want them all facing the same direction in 3 ranks you need to model them on the extreme edges of their bases. As you can see this allows them to slot together nicely having the back ranks bows fit over the space left where the bodies would have been.
Lion feathers?
I only came across a few issues with these guys, namely being able to add details to appropriately theme them as a Chrace unit. Of course I will be using the colours and the White Lion iconography, however I couldn't really fit any White Lion parts on them that seemed to fit. I settled for using the feathers on their head gear, not to specifically to fit the Chrace theme, but more so to add to the look of the unit on the whole. None the other archers I have painted have any extra details, so considering I want this army to sit on display I went all out with quivers, feathers and all.
One of the other things I had to think about was the look of the unit, considering I never run a Hawkeye in them. I always like the look of full command, even if I don't take the choices in the list. The problem with Archers is the only thing that makes the Hawkeye model different apart from the massive headdress is the fact that his bow goes the other way. This was a no-no considering I wanted the unit to fit together nicely. What I did however was combine some of the details on the Hawkeye with the Standard Bearer, which thematically I justify by assuming he fulfils both roles. I thought I'd taken a pic of this guy, however you can see him at the front of the unit. He in turn created another problem, given the banner made it impossible to fit a shooting archer behind him. My solution was to use some of the left over Hawkeye and Spearman bits to make a lazy elf in the centre. He's refusing to shoot while the rest do the work, he must be some kind of Dark Elf sympathiser!

There's one in every unit!
On the whole I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.
Next I did the Spears. These guys were much more straight forward than the Archers, as it's fairly hard to assemble these guys in a way that they won't rank up. As I've said before, one of my major concerns is my lack of speed when painting so I've tried to take a few short cuts model wise where I can. I figured, given that I plan to expand my unit to 30+ and the fact that I was running low of spearmen parts, I've gone with a unit filler for these guys. I've always loved unit fillers, I think they can add quite a bit of character to units and think they can really change the landscape of units. 
Time saver or amazing mini diorama? 
This guy I think adds some character to the unit. The way I've tried to theme the unit is by using White Lion heads on the command groups. I've also used a spear from the Noble kit on the Sentinel. Again I've gone for the Archer banner because I want to use the Chrace Transfers I got on the banner and this is far more suited for that. I'm going to hold off painting these guys for another few days, as I've ordered WL shoulder pads to go on them which haven't arrived yet, failing that they'll just need to have the Lion heads on their shields.

So this leaves me with the Silver Helms. I was really happy with how these guys turned out. What I did was take all of my spare WL heads and used them instead of the generic Silver Helm heads. The result I think is amazing. It takes the boring old miniatures and really adds an extra dimension.  
I've also bought some of the Chrace Failcast shields, but give I broke 4 just cutting them out of the sprue I didn't want to risk blue tacking them on just for the pics, you'll just have to wait and see! I also managed to sure the WL banner and musician arms for the command, and added to the rest of the unit it really changes the whole look of the Silver Helms and to me really makes them seem like they are from Chrace. I'm sure some of you may be wondering why I haven't put Lion Cloaks on everything (as was a wonderful suggestion given to me by Ben.) I've decided against it because Lion Cloaks are a trial which they go through to join the White Lion units and therefore fluff wise it didn't seem appropriate. The effect I was hoping with the way I've modelled the unit and (spoiler alert) the characters was that this unit was actually setting up before battle, rather than charging forward. I think the Silver Helm minis really lend themselves to this, given the angle of the lance arms and the position of the horses in the kit.

Finally, the guys that I had the most fun on were the characters. According to the primary lists that Greg (henceforth to be referred to as "The Hobby Fiend") and I wrote up we've both gone with cavalry characters. I really enjoyed planning and putting these guys together. A decision I made early on was to not put them on the noble kit horses. There were a couple of reasons for this; mainly because there is a lot of Dragon Iconography on the armour of the Horses (very un Chrace like!), secondly both horses would have been identical, and thirdly the horses are rearing. Ordinarily I think the horses are amazing, but they didn't quite fit with the look I was going for, so I settled on some spare Silver Helm horses, which I think do the job really nicely.

I was really pleased with the BSB, in particular because I managed to successfully magnetise the banner, which is the first time I've managed to magnetise a part of a mini! I've had trouble in the past with both transport and breakage of banners so I figured I'd sort it out early. Here's the result;

Compensating for something?
Finally I've done the Prince. I was super happy with how he turned out. I ended up using a Guardian head from the White Lion kit, plus the pointing arm. I've also used a disproportionately large axe, as I think it adds to the character of the whole army. I really think this guy looks like he is lining up his troops and roaring instructions. 

That's the one the took my lunch money!
I guess you could say he has a point to prove

So overall I'd be Lion if I said I wasn't really pleased with how these guys turned out. I've just found out that my mornings are out next week, so I've got to make up some hours somewhere. Roughly my plan is to start with the archers, as they need the most work, then move on the spears (hopefully after the shoulder pads have arrived) and then the Helms. I'd like to leave a whole week to just the characters, however I'm more concerned with them just looking good, so I'm happy for them to run into November if that means I do a better job. So I guess this has been a long one post, shouldn't you all be getting back to work?!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What have I done?!

So I finally succumbed to the Internet Sensation. No, not Peter Spiller, but blogging.

I've signed up for the 3rd Annual "Duelling Paintbrushes" which is a competition that is run at my own (not so local) Hampton Games Club. The purpose of the competition is to paint a full 1000 point army of any force of your choosing. We have moved the competition, which last year ran in November, to October so that we can use the armies we put together for the upcoming Warhammer World Series, which is happening mid November.

Duelling Paintbrushes really seemed like a good idea at the time, given since the new High Elf book came out, I've been really keen to paint up a Chrace themed army in their national colours. What I didn't really think on, was the fact that I'm a really slow painter. Oh well, the good news is, that if I fail to get everything done in time I already have most of the minis painted for the list that I have put together for the event, they just aren't in the appropriate colours.

The overall plan for this new endeavour of High Elves is to eventually paint up a tournament sized force and beyond that could hopefully be good enough to sit on display. Although I have quite a big collection of painted High Elves already most of those are either not painted by me, are Archers or White Lions, or are very ugly given they are the first models I painted when I first got back into the hobby a few years ago. I've set myself this task as a long term goal to build a collection that is both great to look at and is painted in the colours set out by the Heraldry and Uniform High Elf book. My previous army has been painted in a Blue and White colour scheme, but I think a more eclectic scheme where each unit is painted in their national/unit colours could work really well. So what that means is I plan to paint the Core (apart from Reavers and any Seaguard) and WLs in Chrace colours, and then each other unit according to their place of origin.

I've got my work cut out for me because Hobby Fiend Greg Johnson of Hoodling's Hole fame ( is painting up the Dark Elf force which is going to be opposed to mine. I've always been astounded by both the volume of minis that he gets painted and also the quality that he produces so quickly. I guess part of my motivation for signing up for DP is that I can set some really good habits to get painting to both be more consistent and also better overall.

So my plan for the month of October goes a little something like this;
Due to my work schedule I'm able to start painting at 6am Mondays and Wednesdays and can essentially paint undisturbed until 9:30ish. This gives me 7 hours in addition to weekends to get some work done. I also have rather long lunch breaks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so at a pinch I may be able to get another couple of hours in there, although I don't know how practical it is.

I'm going to start with the core and the Prince and BSB, as I already have (not painted by me) Bolt Throwers, WLs and a Mage in Chrace colours. So any of these that I can get done are a bonus. I would of course post the list for you, but that will have to wait until the new Dark Elf book comes out, because of the nature of Warhammer World Series, we need to ensure the lists balance out.

At this stage I've been assembling whatever I have on hand for the force, which at this stage is my Chrace Cav Prince and some Silver Helms, which I'm using WL heads for. I've been really happy with how they're turned out so far. Hopefully once I work out how to upload photos I can put some up for your perusal. Feedback is always welcome.