Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Swamp Game Mat

One of the earlier game mats that I purchased was the Swamp mat from Deep Cut Studio.

The image below shows the mat in all its glory.



What is really interesting about the mat - artistically - is how the overall effect tends to blend in to the background, and yet the the level of detail in the mat itself is actually very high indeed.

If you click to open the image, and zoom in, you will be greeted by a huge and surprising level of detail that include individual tree roots that meander across the swamp's floor; foliage from individual trees; different colours of swamp foliage and plant life in the underlying background; several different species of plant life; and more besides.

The only thing missing is an over abundance of mosquitoes to be perfectly honest. But I will leave the flies to some Nurgle armies for the moment.

Overall, I am very impressed with this purchase. The mouse mat backing of the game mat means that it won't be slipping any time soon and the fall of die on the surface will not cause a huge clattering noise. The surface is wipe-able with a damp cloth, and anything spilt on it can be mopped up quickly with a minimum of fuss (well, maybe not red wine stains: I'm not at that level of consumer testing to be honest! ....Yet). A full 5 stars from me on this mat :)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Astromancer

Although not a new release, the Lair of the Astromancer will always hold a place in my imagination. When it first came out in its modern (ish) form, it was a set that I had wanted to get, despite my focus on 40k and 30k. However when I finally got together the money to make the purchase, (and remembered about it too, to be totally fair), it had pretty much sold out locally. And then it was no longer available online. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that the Lair of the Astromancer was probably one of those scenery items that I could live without.

But now, the temptation is back. Re-branded as the Warscryer Citadel, the new Lair of the Astromancer contains all of the old appeal, including the telescope dome at the top (but seriously: no astronomer extends their telescope *outside* the dome as pictures, the dome protects not only against rain, but wind buffeting as well folks! What, its run by an Astromancer? Well, I stand corrected), and the background fluff that it has been built atop a crashed comet that has been hurled from the heavens by Sigmar himself.

It is certainly a big scenery piece, and a central one at that. Yet I remain unconvinced that I would get much use out of it for the attached price tag. Such a shame, as should I win the lottery, it might be on the list of things to get!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Warhammer World: Tzeentchian Cabinet

Deep in Warhammer World, I snapped this image of a set of Tzeentch daemons that caught my eye. I have a series of these kinds of snaps from some of the cabinets. Taking these images is tough due to the high reflectivity and the lights that are shining in multiple directions.


The thing that caught my eye about this set up is not particularly the miniature themselves - although they are interesting given the square base, of course, these days, but rather the paint scheme itself. The blue colour that has been used here is a much darker and sombre tone than I am used to seeing (or even painting myself -- I usually go for something a bit more in the ultramarine blue range for these miniatures). I think it has worked well as the flames on the flamers themselves are muted too. Although there are yellows and oranges in there, the reds are not as hot as I've seen some painted and I was taken as well by the little flames flickering at the bases. The black arms as well help the flames stand out more and that is something that I think I will be personally taking away from the colour scheme for critters like this.

The one on the left hand side stands out even further as his (her?) (its?) flames are in a totally different palette to the others. The head of the flamer is a Genestealer purple colour. This contrasts with the almost ghostly, ethereal green colour that is spewing out of the creature's mouth (orifices?) at the upper end, with a trail to white at the tips. I like this one as it appeals to the magical nature of these creatures. 

Meanwhile the scribes at the back are resplendent for their own authentic colour scheme that is in total keeping with expectations and the miniatures around them. Again, I might have opted for a tone lighter myself, but I really love what I saw in the cabinet here. 

My only genuine criticism is that the bases are not much. Maybe in this day and age one expects a little more on the bases, or a little more attention being paid to them. Its one of those things that has increased in the hobby over the years I guess. Apart from that, I really like this cabinet a lot. More daemons from it at a later date!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Alpharius and the Lernaeans

So much goodness coming forth from Nottingham this weekend. Ranging from the Siege of Terra news through to Necromunda miniatures and new ranges. News of the Scouring that will follows the Emperor on the Golden Throne through the Angelus being split up and Malevolence being next with Blood Angels, White Scars, Daemons, and bonus rules for the Alpha Legion and Space Wolves amongst others. I am sad that the Dark Angels will be last to get their full rules and Primarch in action - make no mistake - I am very much a fan of the First.

From my perspective though, there are two really amazing sets of miniatures that were on display at the seminars that the Warhammer Community have now posted ... well, all of them are pretty amazing to be totally fair, but I'm biased and these two are really what I have been waiting to see for literally years. 

Alpharius.

Lernaean Terminators.


The Alpharius model appears to be very true to the drawings in Extermination in regards of his armour, and his preferred weapon. The pose is clearly dynamic, looking like he is stabbing someone at his feet. I can't help but wonder who is actually at his feet. I would seriously love it to turn out that it was another Alpha Legion marine. Just because. 

I can also imagine that there will be a lot of people in the community who will be wanting at least two Alpharius miniatures. One for Omegon and one for Alpharius himself. I don't yet know if I am in that category. I could imagine doing that though: one paint scheme in traditional colours for Alpharius and a black armour set for Omegon. I wonder if there are any pose options? Or whether some conversion possibilities have been built in at all?

The Lernaean terminators are more or less what I imagined them to be. The iconography of the Alpha Legion is everywhere and they certainly look the part as well. However, this is only one terminator. I am left wondering if they will release the armaments for these in one or two different sets given that they could be set up with conversion beamers and so on. 

I must admit, I wonder if Alpharius is about the same size as his Lernaean terminators as well? Will he be able to fit in? Will the Alpharius parts be exchangeable with his body guards at all to create something more blended (e.g. the head being on a reasonably similar scale might be very interesting indeed).

Will there be a naked head for Alpharius included? Or is he just the most sensible Primarch that you ever did see and always goes in to battle with his helm on? Because, you know, it would be stupid to have the armour level of a tank with an unprotected head and all. Just saying. 

I am left with questions.
What will the full model of Alpharius look like? I need to see more! Neeeeeeddd!
What will the other squad members of the Lerneaens be armed with?
When will I be able to order them? (And will the pre-orders sell out in 2 hours flat? I hope not...!). I really want these. 
Please Forge World, let me have them! 
Love jabberjabber xx (!)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Dorn's Dawn

The past few days have seen a rush of announcements of various types coming out of Games Workshop and its associated branches. One of them in particular grabbed my attention, and that of plenty of other Heresy fans: the imminent release of a finished Rogal Dorn model for 30k.


The accompanying video that went alongside the announcement on the Warhammer Community webpage captured the real essence of this model for me. In the video, the designers talk about Dorn effectively being the new Warmaster -- the Imperial Loyalist Warmaster -- following the fall of Horus Lupercal to chaos and sedition. This is ultimately the essence of what I also see in Rogal Dorn as well.

The pose of the model is in contrast to Horus though. Where Horus is depicted as the conquered of worlds, atop a marble staircase with his weapons at the ready to do some damage, the pose of Dorn here is that of a true master surveying the battlefield before him. To me, it looks like the battle is already over and that the outcome (should it have ever been doubted) was in Dorn's favour. At his feet lie the dead sons of the Night Haunter. I'm not sure what battle this is supposed to be in the background detail, but it certainly feels like an epic scene and aftermath. I could easily imagine that the rest of the battlefield is filled with the dead corpses of Dorn's enemies, whilst his loyal sons are helping their own recover dropped bolt guns from the field and escort wounded brothers to the medical bays. Hence, this pose is not dynamic, so much as inspecting, and even introspective, of the scene. What is Dorn thinking here? Is he pleased? Or is he feeling terrible at having to carve out the traitors that he once called loyal and numbered at brothers?

Other aspects that I like about this are the breeze catching the cape as it gusts uncaringly across the battlefield and the incidental details on the scenic base. Whilst I might have thought that Dorn's miniature would be a dynamic affair, I am actually pleased with how it has turned out ultimately. Not every Primarch needs to be captured in the moment of battle. This one of Dorn has the feel of a chess piece King. Check mate.

[Image sourced from, and copyright by, Warhammer Community.]

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nurgly New Year

Hi Folks: We're back after a longer than expected break due to various things happening in real life.

The new year on the hobby front appears to have kicked off with a very solid start with the plethora of new Nurgle models available. The one that caught my eye the most is the new Great Unclean One. And the main reason that it caught my eye was that it seems to harken back to the older Realms of Chaos era.


The image above shows one such example of the Realms of Chaos era Great Unclean One. This is a metal monster, standing a bit taller than a modern space marine (or Primaris marine). There are a number of salient features that this model has and is shared with the newer, larger plastic one. These include the belly tear and the possibility of that tear being turned in to a maw for chomping on nearby Nurglings (or others) that was featured in a different metal model. The snake like tongue is also an interesting feature.

However, the more things stay the same, the more that they change as well.

The biggest change (pun not intended) is the sheer scale of the new plastic Great Unclean One. It is literally huge and towers over the older, metal versions of the model. The model retains the weapons (swords, etc.) that are not seen in the Realms of Chaos version. I think this is a good thing as it gives the threat level a big increase visually over the older metal ones which just seems to be pointing and gesticulating in an unfriendly (or maybe even friendly?) manner across the gaming board.

Also retained are the Nurgling additions. These have almost always been an addition included in many of the sets over the years and can be used to decorate the bases and various critical nodes of the Great Unclean Ones (and more besides).

I wrote a while ago that I was concerned that the Death Guard was increasingly looking more like cartoon villains. This is not the case with the Great Unclean One, but I do worry it seems to be the case with the new Plague Bearer heralds. These seem to be continuing along the line of comical. I will freely admits that Nurgle does have some jovial interpretations. However, there's a difference between a gruesome figure looking jovial, to what should be a gruesome figure appearing a bit too comical in nature. So for me, the Great Unclean On is sheer win and I might even purchase it. But not so much the Plague Bearers that have been released.

More ramblings soon (probably Dorn related!).

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