Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Some Very, VERY Big Orcs...

Those of you who've ambled through my sub pages may have seen a little information about the Russian manufacturer Technolog.  They produce a handful of 28mm scaled plastic miniatures, some of which might be of interest to gamers were they available widely.  Most of their figures however are in the 54mm scale beloved of children more than serious gamers.

Within this scale they produce an interesting and unusual range of figures, outside of the usual WWII and Hollywood Knights themes most toys lean towards.  Technolog rather opted for Napoleonics, Medieval Russians, Ancients and Fantasy models.

But as I said, here in the UK at least they are pretty much unheard of.  So when we found them at Essen a couple of us became very interested; all the more so when by the last day they were available at better than half price.  A plan came to me to make use of them regardless of scale, as they did for Matt as well, so I picked up a pack of Orcs and an extra model for a total of IIRC €2.50.

 First let it be said, that the company has tried, very hard, to make the models look good on the box, by giving them a very nice paint job.  Secondly, of all the sets in this scale the Orcs are possibly the worst!  By a fair margin.  But they were the only ones that would fit with my plan.  The raw models were cleaned up and based in groups of three to 120mm x 40mm stands.

In all their shiny glory
 Produced in a solid hard plastic that might be brittle were the parts not so substantial, the models come in a deep glossy green that thankfully took acrylic paint well.  I gave them a pretty standard paint job to blend them in with my Orcs and Goblins army; and hey presto:

Really Big Un's!
 And so from this fairly basic material, and on the cheap, I knocked together two regiments of Troll-sized Orcs, or Trorcs, as they shell hereafter be known.

I envisage the Trorc as a form of Savage Orc, so isolated from society and moreover its' foes that it has taken to foul interbreeding with Forest Trolls, and a degree of longevity and robustness has resulted that has allowed them to grow to staggering proportions.  However not smart or cunning enough to lead they are reduced to the level of expendable shock troops.

For scale, here is the Trorc who thinks he is a bowman, next to one of his more typically sized cousins:
I suddenly feel inadequate...
These two bases are specifically intended for Kings of War, and I'm more than happy with the results.
As for Matt, he plans to use some of his purchases to make scenery - statues - and hopes to use the others as Wights in an Undead army.  I hope he doesn't mind me poaching this photo from another source...

Frankly, much nicer models than the Orcs!
Technolog infrequently appear on ebay, but you may well have more joy searching indirectly for them on European marketplaces.  I kinda wish you could get them readily in English-speaking markets, but I'm not sure they'd sell all that well.

Still in context they were a bargain, and a handy addition to my growing horde of greenskins...


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Red Skulls of Anger Avenue...

I've managed to produce another three cars in preparation for playing Road Wolf in the near(ish) future.  I aim to get enough models for four players, so this adds in effect a second gang to the game.  The notorious Red Skulls:

Off to the Shops...

And coming back...

The Red Skulls favour classic muscle cars, preferably 'Murican Mustle.  The paint job is always red, as 'Red ones go faster' (where have I heard that before?), and skull and crossbones feature on the doors for simple identification.  That said, rust and dust are always an issue on Highway 666 so all the cars tend to have a rather beaten-down appearance.

The beauty of models in this style is they take barely any time to paint.  Other than a black under coat it was all dry-brushing (see my article on weathering vehicles for guidance on how I did it) until the Skulls appeared.   All three were finished in about ninety minutes.

Enough for two players at least...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Kings of War - A base for future operations

If you have GW Orcs in a fantasy army, and they were made in the last 15 years or so, they do not rank up, it's basically a fact.  Many things made playing Warhammer frustrating, and ranking up my Orcs just so every game I could have the sods fall down all the time, or pop out of movement trays due to the slightest jostling, build up of pressure or cambered deployment was a constant aggravation.
Goblins were a little better but then of course WFB being what it was you were taking them out of the box one by one to put on the table the same, taking them of in a piecemeal fashion and then putting the whole lot away again, one at a blooming time.

Even with some being on 3-figure bases, it was an enormous pain, and often led to me choosing the easier to handle Dogs of War army instead.

Kings of War offers an alternative.  In a game with no casualty removal and standard unit sizes it is perfectly possible to use unit bases, or at least large contingent bases, instead.

Realising I really could do with painting some of the huge pile of waiting Orcs and Goblins I had backed up to make my O&G army more Kings of War friendly, I decided to bite the bullet and start using Unit bases instead of individuals.  I see no reason why not to do this, given I don't play any fantasy skirmish games presently (and if I did there are many alternatives to my GW Orcs around TML towers for such activities) it would really just save time and hassle by basing my Orcs and goblins in groups of ten rather than individually.  As a result I've made a start with some models from the pile.

Converted 6th ed. Bowmen
 The templates are 3mm MDF, and because I wanted the models to be secure, and to keep life relatively easy the bases were simply trimmed down with a good craft knife and glued on with Evostik.  Life's too short to go into careful levels of detail for this lot.  I have thirty more of these guys, but as you may guess looking at the overhang on that base, ranking them up could be a challenge; as it was the only way I could get them to work here was to cram six in the front row and four behind.
7th ed. Goblins
 The painting is a simple 'flat colours finished with a glazed varnish' job.  Again, meditated to get the most models done in the least time possible.  That said I still like to vary up the clothing of my Orcs and Goblins; anything that smacked of a uniform would be too much, though similar tones are fine.

4th/5th ed. bows with a converted 6th ed. leader
I also did some single based models, mainly as they can also be used as character models.  Firstly I found two chariots, to make a unit, or three leaders!

 Then I kitbashed some bits into an Orc Wardrum.

In Soviet Russia Drums Beat You.
Pretty much the whole Wardrum is from a Russian kit of which we'll hear more soon, the crew were a couple of battered spares who were glad of a job!

Anyway, if this proves satisfactory on the table, and I can't see why it wouldn't, I will start the slow process of switching the old models over to new bases.  Not an activity and gamer relishes, but sometimes you just have to take on the unpleasant tasks for the rewards that come later.

And with that, back to writing MSc assignments on a Saturday afternoon....

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Austrian Cavalry Masses

Well, for the last couple of weeks I've been pretty quiet.  Not much to say really, and since restarting the Blog I've not felt it needs to be a chore to produce - hence if there's nothing I want to write about, I can take the time away.  But I have been painting and modelling still, alongside other things, and this has included the final part of the initial Austrian Army project.

Firstly to finish my initial commitment I painted up a unit of Insurrection Hussars:

 I was really pleased with how these came out, a lovely bright blue breaks up the white so prevalent in the army.  However this unit did take a bit longer than the average to produce.

So this gave me the four regiments of foot, two of cavalry and battery of artillery I committed at the start of the summer.  But a couple of weeks after these - before the camera came out - I added another couple of units of cavalry attached to the command of Fresnel:

4th Vincent Chevauxleger

5th Klenau Chevauxleger
 So this gave me slightly more than projected, which is only a good thing.  There's plenty left to paint up as time passes, but this is enough to get games in.  Time for a parade of the progress over the last few months.

The full assembly to date
The core of the line infantry
The right flank and some artillery
The left and the rest of the artillery
These have been the output of a trying time for me; but you have to look to the positives, and here at least is something of a silver lining to recent clouds...


Wednesday, November 11, 2015



Night on the cold plain,
invisible sands lift,
peripheral shadows stir,

space between light and dark
shrouding secrets;
old trades draped grey.

Here too poppies fall,
petals blown on broken ground,
seeds scattered on stone

and this bright bloom,
newly cropped,
leaves pale remains,

fresh lines cut;
the old sickle wind
sharp as yesterday.

John Hawkhead