Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Beastman Cometh... And other musings

Ever have one of those blogs that starts with the best of intentions then slips quietly into obscurity through a complete lack of care and attention? Yep, that's pretty much what happened to Halcyon Daze over the last year.

Anyway, my lack of blogging activity doesn't equate to a lack of hobby activity. Since my last post lots has been happening - I've enjoyed a good few Warhammer sessions with my gaming buddy Geoff,including a one-off game of Dreadfleetlast month which proved to be simple and fun - just what we needed after two games of Warhammer.

So where are we at now? Well, the intention is to make Warhammer Doubles at GWHQ our first foray into the tournament scene, with a combined Ogre kingdoms/Beastmen army. Geoff will be supplying a punchy/snooty ogre force, while my Beasts will hopefully bring the magical support, as well as some fast moving interference units. That's the plan, anyway. Armed with the Quartermaster app we've started throwing together some lists in a bid to supply a competitive (we're not expecting to pick up any accolades from our first trip to Warhammer World, but a respectable,embarrassment-free performance would be nice!).

So, with a time-sensitive goal set, it's time to get my shit together and get some models painted.

First things first, I needed a way to transport an army without having to resort to the usual multitude of tatty cardboard boxes I normally rely on (which also doubled as the permanent home of my models). I checked out a few stackable crate options online, but generally found them to be outside the price range I had in mind. Fortunately, a trip to Wilkinsons has provided a satisfactory solution:

A simple four drawer storage system that's just deep enough to hold the majority of my figs ( though standard bearers have to take a lie down, and I'll need to come up with an alternate solution for big gribblies...). In terms of transporting, I'll either take the whole unit, or I'll just remove the drawers I need. Should do the job. Eventually I'll put magnetic sheets in the bottom of each tray to give my figures a bit of stability. The main advantage of this purchase is that no longer do my minis (new, wip and completed alike) languish in a jumbled mess in an old shoebox! It's he next best thing to having a permanent display space (that's a plan for when I get a house big enough that I can claim a room for "Hobby Space"). For now, it'll do just fine.

Here's my freshly re-homed Beastmen, awaiting time on the painting table:

The rest of the drawers are currently claimed by Chaos Warriors, Night Goblins, and Bits and Bobs.

Finally, a better shot of the Beastman collection:

This is pretty much everything I have available to field(with the exception of a few Chaos Hounds), but the tournament army will only use a fraction of these models, plus one or two conversions and scratch builds. I'm currently nailing the colour scheme on some Ungor Raiders, then I can focus on just painting models that will make the final cut (possible last minute list changes notwithstanding!).

That'll do for now (I've gone on long enough!)- hopefully that's provided a taste of things to come, and heralded a new beginning for Halcyon Daze.

Til next time,


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New Year - Fresh Start!

Well, this blogs been ignored for far too long, and my modelling painting activity is certainly waxing because I've managed to achieve something that I mentioned a good few months ago... I played Warhammer!

It's probably been 10 years since I last got to play a GW game, but I managed to convince an old gaming buddy, Geoff, (who recently moved not-too-far down the road) to get the old dice out and test our tactical mettle with 8th Edition. This was back in November, and though we've only had two sessions so far, we've made them all-day Warhammer dedicated get-togethers and managed to play with a couple of different armies (Dark Elves and Vampire Counts) at various pointages, and most importantly, we're thoroughly enjoying it. Definitely a nostalgic experience, plus it gives us an excuse to get together, have a couple of beers and generally put the world to rights in the way that only uber-geek 30-something's can. :)

So as far as Halcyon Daze goes, as its been a good while since my last post and many models have been sold and purchased in the intervening months, I'm declaring this a clean slate. Ignore everything and anything project-wise that's gone before. Warhammer is now my priority as far collecting/painting/modelling goes, and all my work will be aimed towards the games I can't wait to play in 2011.

Having recently sold my VC's, my army of choice now is Chaos, in both Beastman and Warrior form. Essentially I'll look to build two forces which I'll probably use in an allied fashion until I have enough to call them stand alone armies. Geoff has two armies at his disposal, Dark Elves and Vampire Counts, so these will be the foes I will most often face, although I'll probably not gear my collecting towards trying to beat his armies (where's the fun in that) and just focus on collecting the armies I want to field - if I can then work out how to use them effectively against the Dark Elves and Vampire Counts, even better.

However, I've still also got my Empire models ready for a lick of paint, so it'd be a shame to ignore them when I can get them set up as an "alternate" army to play whenever I fancy a change of pace.

So that's pretty much the plan for Halcyon Daze 2011 - expect to see beastmen, Chaos warriors (and some mutants!) and a bit of Empire thrown in along the way.

Happy New Year all!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Creative malaise and The Siege of Vraks

I've hit one of those impasses at the moment where my enthusiasm for the projects I've outlined so far has waned somewhat. Nothings been abandoned mind, I'm just not feeling excited about any of the stuff thats on my painting table at the moment. Now, this isn't an unfamiliar feeling for me - it was exactly this sort of thing that I mentioned in this blogs inaugural post. So I'm not worried by any means as I know at some point in the future I'll feel drawn back to one of my many ongoing projects and things will start running smoothly again.

But what do I do until then?

Well, I have no intention of buying anything new at the moment, so it's time to consider a little recycling. A dig through my bits box unearthed many and various almost-forgotten miniature treasures, but what really caught my attention was two Forgeworld Renegade Militia torsos which I think I aquired a while back in a trade. I love a lot of the Forgeworld stuff - I think their resin bits and bobs are fantastically sculpted (I've never owned any of their multipart kits, so issues with warped resin and miscasts are not something I'm qualified to espouse an opinion on at this stage - maybe that'll change in the future...) and are extremely evocative of the 40k universe.

But the thing that really makes FW shine is the background that goes into their minis. With the two Renegade torsos in mind, I dug out Imperial Armour 5 - The Siege of Vraks (part 1) and started rereading. Its been a while since I last leafed through this mighty tome, so it feels a bit like reading it for the first time, which is never a bad thing. And it's brilliant! The detail laid out in the description of Vraks' fall into the hands of the power-mad Cardinal Xaphan and the response of the Imperium to this wolf in their midst is staggering. Practically every paragraph of the historical narrative carries an insight into life in the Imperium, or a cool character or event. This is how source books and campaigns should be written. This is how conflict in the 40k universe should play out - treachery, bloodshed, the balletic dance of massed units of infantry and armour, uplifting victories, crushing defeats, hope and despair. And possibly the biggest bonus to the modeller/wargamer has to be the descriptions of the historic battles, complete with detailed army lists of the forces involved. No need to spend hours deliberating over how best to equip your troops before daring to apply glue to plastic/resin - it's all there, right down to heavy weapons choices and special wargear!

No prizes for guessing where this post is going. ;)

A quick trawl through the bits box has revealed a fair number of cadian bits (including many, many heavy weapons), a squad of traitor marines (well, almost - 8 out of 10 ain't bad!) begging to be repainted as Alpha Legion, plus my two Renegade torsos. Certainly enough to get a couple of squads together for a paint test. Beyond this, I've got my Red Scorpions (they turn up in part 2 or 3 of the Siege I believe), and a Death Korps tank commander (hardly a regiment but from the smallest acorns...) should I ever decide to tackle the forces of the Imperium in this little theatre.

However, one major plus point for starting a Vraksian project is that my Ecclisiarchy army needn't be ignored. All they need is a change of allegiance (except the Sisters ofcourse, who still have their own place in the Vraks incident) and I have a solid basis for the troops of Cardinal Xaphan. Even my Redemptionists will have a place, appearing as the elite and fanatical Disciples of Xaphan.

And, paint test going well, perhaps my two lone Renegades will find themselves joined by a few more ForgeWorld reinforcements sometime soon. :)

So perhaps this isn't a new project so much as a reimagining of an old one?

Thanks for reading, any and all comments gratefully received.


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Wolfenburg Reclamation Force Part 1

My modelling (and ebaying) habits have taken on a decidedly fantasy flavour recently, with the various 40K projects spending a little time in the cupboard and my painting table rapidly filling with Empire troops instead.

I've always owned at least a few Empire models at any given time, and themed Empire forces are another of those things that swim around in my imagination but rarely get realised, mainly because there's so much you can do with an Empire force that it's been tricky to pin down one idea long enough to make something of it before something else comes along to displace it. Previous still-born Empire projects have included:
1) Army of Bogenhafen - inspired very much by the Enemy Within Campaign from WFRP V1, I had visions of units tied to the main merchant houses (basically militia whose upkeep was maintained by their patron house, with the quality of their weapons and armour informed by the relative prosperity of their patrons), along with state troops and led by a burgomeister.

2) Averland Garrison - a small force representing those troops stationed at a fort in Blackfire Pass.

3) Battle of Hel Fenn - my most ambitious idea, and one that I'd still like to do (especially as I have a good 1.5k points of Vampire Counts tucked away awaiting their moment in the sun), this project involves building forces to represent the forces of Elector Count Martin of Stirland and Count Mannfred von Carstein that clashed at Hel Fenn. Witch hunters, Stirland Black Guard, halflings, stake and garlic string toting ogre mercenaries and foul Baba Yaga-style swamp hag complete with chicken-legged hovel (counts as Abyssal Terror) are all on the list for inclusion.

4) Hochland Great Hunt - another small force representing the estate of a Hochland Baron or Count accompanying the Baron's son as he goes on a coming-of-age hunt in the forest.

Anyway, what I've eventually settled on is a Storm of Chaos era Ostland/Hochland force.

The premise:

As the forces of Archaon fell upon Ostland, Elector Count Valmir von Raukov finds himself faced with a difficult decision - to withdraw all available troops and close Wolfenburgs gates, aiming to meet the forces of Chaos with as strong a defence as possible, but sentencing those outside the city to death or worse at the hands of the invaders, or to split his forces, sending aid to the provinces beseiged towns, potentially weakening the Wolfenburg contingent whilst taking the war to the enemy on other fronts.

With typical Ostland bull-headedness, von Raukov chose against hiding his men behind the city's walls and awaiting the inevitable siege, despatching those forces he could to take the fight to Archaon, thier aim to slow the hordes advance, releiving the towns and villages where they could, and ultimately buying time for the preparation of Wolfenburg's defences.

It wasn't enough. Wolfenburg fell, it's sons and daughters butchered within its walls, forced to flee the siege, or caught in the conflicts that waged across the Province.

One such force, sent by Raukov to stimmie Archaon's advance, was led by Gerhardt Vollker, the Grand Master of the Order of the Bloodied Bull, a knightly order whose chapterhouse stood within Wolfenburgs walls. Returning to Wolfenburg too late to aid in it's defense and recognising the folly of sending his remaining, battle weary troops into further conflict with the victorious horde, Vollker made the decision to withdraw. Swearing that he would return to wrest Wolfenburg from the vile claws of those that now claimed the once-great city, Vollker led his men west, hoping to build his forces from the various disparate troops and refugees that now abound throughout the devestated north-eastern Provinces of the Empire. One day soon, he'll lead the sons and daughters of Wolfenburg home.

So the force represents Vollkers growing army as he wanders the land. Vollker will be accompanied by inner circle knights of the Bloodied Bull, along with the battle hardened survivors of his original Ostland force. Since returning to Wolfenburg and making his vow, his force has swollen as he has crossed paths with refugees and soldiers cut off from their commanders, these survivors eagerly pledging to join his banner. Having crossed the border into Hochland, Vollker has also managed to gain the support of a Hochland forest patrol, arriving just in time to sway the tide of battle between a tribe of beastmen and the vastly outnumbered Hochlanders.

So thats the plan. No pictures to show at the moment, but in the queue for painting and assembly are:

35 Hochland halberdiers (10 are half painted, so I'll get a photo up soon)
10 Hochland handgunners (detachment)
10 Hochland swordsmen (detachment)
5 Hochland outriders
Hochland mortar and crew

Gerhardt Vollker
20 Ostland swordsmen
12 Ostland crossbows
10 Wolfenburg Twice-Bold (Greatswords)
10 Flagellants (refugees from the city, these guys will ultimately be part of a large unit pushing a counts-as war altar in the form of the ruined great bell salvaged from the rubble of Wolfenburg's Sigmarite temple)
5 Ostland pistoliers
2 Battle Wizards (Bright, Amethyst and mounted Grey)
2 Mercenary ogres

Future acquisitions will include: knights of the Bloodied Bull, Hochland huntsmen, flagellants and war altar, more Ostland state troops and some militia refugees.

Should keep me entertained for a while. :)

Once I get the first few units sorted, say 500pts with a suitable Captain, I'm going to take my burgeoning force down to my local GW and demand a game of Warhammer! It'd be my first actual game (of any system) for nigh on ten years, and I reckon it's about time I got over my self-imposed stigma and actually played something.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Red Scorpions Part 1

Managed to treat myself to some painting time tonight after a hard days bathroom de-tiling, so with a couple of painting-in-progress shots to showcase, I reckon nows as good a time as any to introduce the second of my ongoing projects - Red Scorpions!

Why the Red Scorpions?

Well, it's been ages since I did anything with Astartes (my last attempt was a half-hearted treatment of pre-Heresy Thousand Sons, but painting so much red proved to be surprisingly dull...) and while I've been aware of a little voice somewhere in my head urging me to throw together a few of humanity's finest, I've struggled to find a chapter that's caught my imagination sufficiently to make me go for it. Then, a couple of weeks ago I was flicking through Imperial Armour 4: The Anphelion Project and found myself spending an uncommonly long time on the colour pics of the Scorps. Coupled with the fact that I knew someone at The Great Crusade had a fare few Forge World Scorpion pads available at a reasonable price, and a skim through the Forge World site to check out the rest of the available range, and I was sold!

Their appeal for me is a combination of things. The colour scheme is good, particulary when the grey and yellow are combined with the white veterans helmets - often a factor in chapter choice for anyone, I'm sure. They are very much a Codex chapter, but with a slightly rough edge: nothing too wild about them, but at the same time not quite as straight-laced as the Fists or Ultramarines. Their puritanical hatred of the enemies of mankind has obvious parallels with the Witch Hunters and Ministorum (so they mesh well with some of my other projects), whilst at the same time considering themselves vastly superior to many of their would-be allies, and therefore often nwilling to lower themselves to work with lowly Guard regiments and the like. They consider themselves to be strictly Codex as they see it, giving them a slightly contradictory character - they've effectively read the Astartes' bible and then proceeded to translate it in terms that are appropriate to their own ethos. They disdain camouflage (which should prove interesting if I have to paint any scout cloaks), and are proud of their own genetic purity (whilst at the same time being rather secretive about any genetic testing results that the chapter undergoes...). And for 300 years they effectively dropped out of the galaxy, and no-one knows what they did during this time.

So, Red Scorpions it is, and the first model to get more than a slap of grey paint is a commander conversion I picked up that uses Kantor's head. Initial work on the grey armour is done (with plenty still to be done) but the main aim of tonights brush session was to see if I can paint white to a decent standard. I'll let the results speak for themselves, and if anyone has any constructive crit to offer, I'm all ears! I should point out that the white areas are the only bits close to finished - the rest (laurels, eyes etc.) are still to be done. Seeing the pics has also shown me a spot of red near the right eye that needs sorting, and the camera flash has made the grey area across his forehead look rediculously stark, when in reality I think you'd struggle to even spot it, but them's the joys of digicam pics! Personally I'm really very happy with how its come out, and while he should probably have a yellow stripe running across his head, I'm inclined to leave this guy with a plain white helmet.



Until next time.


Friday, 13 November 2009

Army of the Ecclesiarchy Part 1

With the mandatory intro post out of the way, I reckon it's time for some WIPs!

First up, my Ministorum-themed army-in-progress. Inspired completely by the various ministorum-themed drawings and paintings that have cropped up over the years (primarily, but not exclusively, in the Sisters of Battle and Witch Hunters army books), its an army that will celebrate all things weird and wonderful about the Imperial Faith.

Codex-wise, my current thinking is to model it on a Witch Hunters army with Imperial guard allies, but the on-table legalities are very much a second runner to devising some suitably, fanatically, flavourful units and characters ready to take the good word to the Emperor.

So, here's where I am today with this project (click the pics to see the whole image):



What we have there (roughly speaking, front to back) are:
- 16 Redemptionist footsoldiers
- 2 x Sister of Battle squads (10 Sisters each)
- Cannonness and Imperial Missionary (Jacobus )
- Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor with retinue
- 8 Sisters Repentia accompanied by Mistress
- Confessor Kyrinov (in blister)
- 2 Seraphim


A closer shot of the Inquisitor and Retinue. Some of these may not make the final cut, while others (the Missionary for example) may be moved into the standard Priest role, but overall I've ended up with a good selection of the more Hereticus-themed henchmen with flames and piousness a-plenty throughout the unit.

All in all there is just about a table legal army there, which is a pleasing place to be able to start from as I can focus on putting together a few thematic special units and models to swell the horde. On the cards are arco-flagellants (possibly converted from some VC ghouls I've got lying around), more Redemptionists (including a special character representing Archdeacon Ludmilla, Matriarch of the Red Redemption from the Dark Heresy background), penitent engines, at least one Preacher-sentinel, some very special Celestine bodyguards for the Cannonness and, all things going well, some sort of big tank centre piece using the massive plague censor from the new Skaven Screaming Bell/Plague Furnace kit.

So for now, watch this space. And stay faithful.

- Anodyr

Friday, 6 November 2009

Welcome to Halcyon Daze!

So, I've got me a blog... now, what to do with it?

Well, this is going to be a painting and modelling and general-idea-thrashing blog for things Warhammer and 40K related. No overarching theme in particular (though my initial thoughts are certainly more Imperium-based than anyting else), just a place for me to throw WIPs and ideas up as and when they come to me.

Having been into the hobby for more years than I care to remember, and with the wonder that is the Internet introducing me to sites such as Warseer and The Great Crusade over the last few years, blogging my projects isn't a completely alien experience for me, and I've lost count of the number of failed painting and modelling logs I've initiated over the years and ultimately abandoned.

So what went wrong, and why will starting a new blog help?

There are in my mind two sorts of hobbyist. Those with a singular clear vision of what they want to achieve and the self discipline to achieve it, and those who get flashes of great ideas, throw themselves into them, but quickly get distracted as soon as a new idea bounces into their heads.

I'm definitely one of the latter.

With previous hobby blogs, I think my problem has stemmed from the fact that in creating a log on, for example, Warseer, I immediately restrict what I can post there. As soon as a new idea comes along, a new blog is necessary due to it not fitting neatly into my previously created blogs, and before you know it you've got four or five different blogs begging to be updated with no time to focus on any one project, let alone all of them.

Cue blog-death.

So my thinking is that with Halcyon Daze, I can create one, all-encompassing place for me to pursue multiple projects, posting progress as and when appropriate, without feeling that I'm neglecting a particular model/army/blog effort by throwing up something completely random and unrelated, or something that's been sat on a shelf for a while and caught my eye again.

My other hope for Halcyon Daze is that it'll give me somewhere to explore and wonder aloud about all the crazy little ideas that come to me from time to time and usually fester until I give in to the urge to abandon my current work and start investing in new models (before ultimately getting distracted again...). Perhaps by excorcising some of these demons on "paper", I can stymie the urge to drop everything and start heading down a different track. Perhaps.

So, what can be expected for the immediate, and not-so-immediate, future of Halcyon Daze?

As I already mentioned, my modelling efforts at the moment are distinctly Imperium-flavoured , and with a few different ideas knocking around, rather than choosing one particular theme or army, I'll bite the bullet and attempt to do all of them!

That being the case, coming soon to Halcyon Daze:
  • The Ecclesiarchy goes to war! A Ministorum-themed army, featuring Sisters, the Ordo Hereticus, priests, Redemptionists and as many other manic churchy-types as I can fit in.

  • Imperial Guard. I've got a small force of Vossies who are in dire need of some quality time with a paint brush, and as I'm never going to be able to bring myself to sell them, I might as well paint them!

  • Red Scorpions. I haven't done anything Marine flavoured for ages, and with a few choice bits acquisitions under my belt, I'll be breaking out the grey paint and throwing together a few of these guys.

  • Rogue Trader. I'm a big fan of the Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader rpgs, and with lots of funky artwork and background to refer to, plus a few as-yet-unrealised modelling ideas that have been stewing for absolutely years, I'll be looking to throw together a small force to represent a Rogue Trader and his crew.

So, four different projects to get me going. Should keep me busy for a while I think. Hopefully there'll be a few people out there that find this blog interesting enough to put up with my occasional self-indulgent musings and find something that they like here, and for those that do, I'm looking forward to having you along for the journey!

So, until next time,