Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 10 update

No painting done Sunday, but the 12 models (4 archers, 8 pikeorcs) got spray sealed (it was sunny and 65ºF). It's our Labyrinth Lord Lesserton game tonight, so I doubt I'll paint much (maybe I can start on some more spear boyz while I'm waiting for people to arrive).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pic from Day 8

I love the "beak" helms. They look like old Space Marines. =)

Today's pretty nice out. Maybe I can spray varnish these plus the other ones that are waiting.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 8: 16/32

Four more polearm orcs complete! Pic to follow soonish. I'll be happy to be done with these guys. The weapon shaft against the torso makes painting that area a pain. Sword and shield will be a nice change of pace.

Speed painting means sometimes deciding that No, you don't need to get every little part painted super-carefully, but still trying to be fairly neat.

Frustrating moment of the day: trying to glue static grass onto a base whose mini was still damp in a spot or two from the ink wash, then having to pick the grass off the wet parts. Haste makes waste.

Played another round of SoBH with my 7yo daughter. She played a purple worm and three orc warriors, trashing my elf hero and 2 elf archers. =)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Battle Report: Undead vs. Greenskins

As mentioned earlier, I test-drove the Song of Blades and Heroes rules last night with a quickie solo-skirmish. 300 points of undead vs. the same of orcs, etc. The battle took place on a 3'x 3' section of my gaming table and took about an hour. It would have been faster if I had been more familiar with the rules.

The rosters:


6 x Skeleton Warriors
Q: 3+ C: 2

4 x Skeleton Archers
Q: 3+ C:1
Undead, Shooter (M)

9 x Zombies
Q: 6+ C: 4
Undead, Short Move, Slow


2 x Ogre Warriors
Q: 4+ C: 4
Long Move, Big

3 x Orc Warriors
Q: 4+ C: 3

4 x Goblin Archers
Q: 4+ C: 2
Shooter (M)

1 x Goblin Wolf Rider
Q: 4+ C: 3
Mounted, Long Move

Like I had said, the undead swarmed the boyz under. I won't get into a blow-by-blow of the whole battle, but suffice it to say it was a nearer thing than I expected, and the outcome was iffy pretty much down to the wire. I probably messed up once or twice (I should have had the orcs check morale when their losses started piling up). Overall it went fairly quick. The most amusing part of the game was when the goblin rider took out a zombie with a gruesome kill and 5 of the 6 remaining zombies failed morale and crumbled to dust. That gave the orcs some hope for a turn or so before the last archer went down, leaving the wolf rider all alone to deal with three skeletons. It was close, but when the first skeleton knocked him down and the the undead kept the initiative, it was pretty clear that the boneyard boys were going to get a killing blow in before the gobbo could get to his feet (paws).

A few observations:
  • Rolling for each model seemed slow at first, but as I got used to the sequence, it went faster.
  • Keeping track of each model's turn got confusing, but I think if I were only tracking one roster instead of two, it wouldn't be so bad.
  • Zombies are Slooooow.
  • My archers spent more time in hand to hand combat than some melee models (both sides).
  • Tracking the bonuses and penalties got a little confusing sometimes, but not insurmountably so. Again, increased familiarity with the rules will probably help.
  • Moving adjacent to an archer, then having your melee attack knock it back so that it shoots your model next turn is a definite "Gah!" moment.

All in all, good times!

Day 7: One week down, 3 to go!

I finished the first of the pike-orcs last PM. Go me!

12/36 total count, completed/to-go. That is exactly on target. Sunday after next (the 6th) is my painting club meeting, which should give me several uninterrupted hours to push on with this. Maybe even get ahead of schedule!

I'm not 100% about some of the details on these. In a few places, it wasn't clear (to me) whether they should be leather or metal. BUT, painted they are and merely awaiting a decent day for spray varnishing.

I also tried out a test-skirmish using Song of Blades and Heroes last PM. 300 points, Greenskins (Orcs, Goblins, and Ogres) v. Undead. The undead won by sheer weight of numbers (like they do), but it was a near thing. More details may follow later.

Next up are more polearm orcses.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

SBH: All printed up

OK, I admit it. I was mostly having fun with the iMac's camera and the Photo Booth app on my lunch break, but I thought all the docs looked pretty nice all together in the binder.

Next post I promise I'll have something to say about those pike-orcs I'm need to finish!

Moria Orcs (with some em4s)

A closer look at the minis I used for an old Moria skirmish (using Savage Worlds' Showdown rules). The captains (with eye shields), drummer, and the archers are em4s, the grunts are HeroQuest, the troll is Reaper.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cheap orcs

I just thought I'd post this link:
Playing with Plastic Orcs

em4 makes some incredibly affordable plastic minis that are actually pretty decent sculpts.

I have several of their dwarf and orc minis (you can see some of the archers and a couple sword-orcs in the Day 4 post).

I spent my gaming allowance for this paycheck on those skirmish pdfs, but after the LOTR orcs are done (and a couple other projects on the burners), I may pick up a pack o' 50 orcs (only £7.70!!) and try converting the bejeebus out of them.

Day 5 (reprise)

I did manage to get started on the pikemen. Flesh, wood, leather, and cloth were basecoated. It still need to do the metal, faces, and hair. Then it's wash and base. Maybe tonight, probably tomorrow PM though.

re: Song of Blade and Heroes. I ended up grabbing a couple of the other pdfs (I wish I'd known, or I might have bought the Bundle!)

I got Song of Deeds and Glory extended campaign book, Song of Gold and Darkness dungeon rules, and Song of Wind and Water wilderness rules. I mainly grabbed them for the expanded troop options and abilities, but a skirmish campaign sounds like a lot of fun. Not to mention the weather rules in SWW.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 5 and $5 well spent

We had a light coating of ice and snow here in DC (< 1" in my neighorhood). I was virtuous and didn't take "liberal leave" from my Fed job and try to paint more during the day. I will steal an hour or two tonight to work on the 4 waiting pike-orcs.

Desert Scribe had commented in an earlier post that I should take a look at Songs of Blades and Heroes from Ganesha Games for some cheap and fun skirmish rules. Well, long story short, I picked up the $5 pdf (English language version) at last night and printed it out (35 pages).

This game looks like a lot of fun. I haven't had a chance to actually play it yet, but you can pretty much stick any kind of model in there. The basic book give stats for most classic fantasy types (orcs, skeletons, wizards, etc.) and there are free online tools for designing your own units. There is also a Yahoo group for the game with lots of good info.

In addition to the basic rules, there are supplements for other genres as well. For example, "Song of Drums and Shakos" gives you Napoleonic skirmish rules (this won Best Historical Miniature Rules Award at Origins 2009).

The rules are dead easy, and just uses d6 for rolling. There are only a couple numbers to keep track of for each troop. the most complex parts looks like knowing what your models' special abilities (if any) do, and for those you only need to know the ones you are using.

The default size of a warband looks to be approx. 6-12 models, but scaling up seems simple enough.

Anyway, thanks for the tip, DS! I look forward to pitting some orcs against some skeletons in the near future!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 4

No painting done (yet) though I may try to start on the pike-orcs before gaming tonight. I thought I'd post my current orc horde. It's a combination of Reapers, WFB, HeroQuest, and others.

Some of these are among my earlier painting efforts from years ago and it shows, but they're still good to go for tabletop. There's something along the lines of 70 minis there. I also found some more HeroQuest orcs and em4s that might get painted up in the near future too.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 3

The last 4 archers are complete! There were 8 total. One of them had a broken bow (front left in pics), so I replaced it with a Reaper weapons pack bit. It's a little longer than the others but it was plain enough that it doesn't stand out. Unfortunately mounting it cracked his hand, but a little super glue and it's not too bad (a seam on his glove).

The weather was too cool for varnishing, but the basing and everything else got finished. Here are the pics though.

I'm starting to get the pattern down on the rack paint sequence. I'm not sure how long it took for these 4, I had to stop and start a lot (children rampaging about, etc.). They all went from bare primer to fully painted in one afternoon, though.

Next up are some of the polearm fellas.

I doubt I'll be able to keep this pace after the holiday weekend. I have an RPG session (Labyrinth Lord) tomorrow PM, so I'm not sure if I'll get any painting done Monday. I'll try to get through the next four Tuesday or Wednesday so I can have a round dozen complete before week 1 is out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 2 Status

3 more archers complete! The weather held and I was able to spray varnish them as well.

Total done/left: 4/44

Pics forthcoming. (I'll try to post pics as I go along inasmuch as possible)

EDIT: Here are the archers so far: The day one orc is the guy on the left rear.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why 48 orcs?

I had purchased a box of Mordor Orcs a few years ago, with the idea of using them in a Middle Earth RPG campaign. 24 came in the box. A few months ago, my brother picked up a ROTK box set in a thrift store for a few $ with Minas Tirith soldiers and more Mordor Orcs. He doesn't paint, so he left the box with me, and there it sat, taunting me. My original Mordor troops were assembled but not based and had sat gathering dust all this time.

So rather than trying to get EVERYTHING ready to paint (I have oodles of primed and unpainted minis as is), I thought 4 dozen matching orcs was a nice, distinct, chunk of painting. So, since the forecast said the 18th (today) was to be a nice warm day (for a change), I spent the last couple evenings scraping flash lines and super-gluing the orcs from the new box. As of slightly after 11PM Thursday (2/17), I had 48 orcs cleaned, assembled and based with PVA-glued gravel.

Today (Friday) was sunny and nearly 70º F here in the DC area as promised, so they whole lot got spray primed and are shovel-ready (not an entirely fair analogy for my painting skills).

Now that the color scheme is more or less set, I'm hoping to get through them a little faster. I changed the leather, the hair, and the cloth colors multiple times on archer #1 before being content with the look.

Why 28 days?
4 weeks seemed long enough to be possible, but short enough to make me push myself to stay on target. It allows for very little procrastination, but I shouldn't need to pull all-nighters to make my goal. Like I mentioned previously, these are for tabletop, not display. I want them presentable, but not slapdash. My normal tabletop mini for something like a PC takes me about 1-2 hours. My usual orc monster might only take 45 minutes. If I can cut that down to 30 minutes per orc, doing 3-4 each time, I'll be able to make my goal with 2 hours of painting per night, 3 times a week.

The main wild card is the weather. I went ahead and spray-varnished the first one with a layer of gloss followed (when dry) with a layer of matte, but I won't be able to do that for the other if I don't have some 60ºF+ days. I'm giving myself a pass on varnishing. It may be a week or two after the deadline before all of them are sealed.

Hm. Maybe I'd better paint that bridge when I get to it.

The Challenge!

Greetings to whomever may read this blog besides me. Its purpose? To track my progress on a miniatures painting project I'm undertaking. The challenge? To paint 48 Games Workshop Mordor Orcs in 28 days to tabletop quality. Starting today (Feb. 18, 2011) and finishing by March 18, 2011.

2/18: Status? All 48 orcs are assembled, based, and primed (Citadel spray Chaos Black).

The models are a combination of weapon+shield, two-handed weapons, polearms, and archers:

One orc is complete! I started with the archers (as they are the fewest). This one took a little longer because I was testing out my color scheme. I want to keep it fairly straightforward, but not TOO crude.

Color Scheme
Skin: 2 parts Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Cold Grey, 1 part VGC Goblin Green
Hair: Chaos Black (primer) with Citadel (GW) Mordian Blue highlights
Cloth: Privateer Press Paints (P3) Sanguine Base
Leather: P3 Bootstrap Leather
Wood: GW Scorched Brown with VGC Beasty Brown highlights
Fur: VGC Cold Grey with VGC Wolf Grey highlights/drybrushing
Metal: VGC Gunmetal with Chainmail highlights
Teeth/Bone: GW Bleached Bone
Eyes: (Yes, I'm painting the eyes) VGC Orange Fire

Blacks and Greys are washed with Kel's Magic Sauce black ink wash, browns and reds are washed with GW Devlan Mud.

The base is GW Scorched Brown with VGC Scrofulous Brown drybrushing and Woodland Scenics harvest gold static flock. The base's edge is black.

And heeeeeere's orc #1! Only 47 to go!: