Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Viking Project Complete!

The great Viking project is complete! I actually finished everything on Sunday night, 12/23. But with all the holiday festivities I haven't had a chance to set up all the units and take the "final picture" until today. This army is ready to hit the table at any time.... painted, magnetized, "movement tray-ed", and flocked.

This army proved to be far more of a challenge than I thought it would be. As I've mentioned before, I've tried to make these Vikings look like a group of individual warriors grouped with various leaders. This is meant the typical assembly line production was not possible. I did come up with a procedure for doing one rank at a time. By the end I was moving quickly through the process. Essentially, I did everyone's flesh and boots together.... these wouldn't be different (or didn't need to be different) from model to model. Then I did one rank at a time, all the pants, then all the undershirts, then all the outer tunics, then vests, then cloaks. After they got dressed, I did hair, details and weapons, and finally metal parts. Throughout, I just used a variety of paints to make everything different.

Well, I think I've fairly well documented the progress in this blog. My biggest surprises of the whole project was how long it took me to get them modeled. Making their spears, drilling out their hands and all that jazz took longer than I thought it would. My biggest lesson was to never publicly announce how long I think it will take to do something. Gee.... I think I planned to have these ready for September.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Viking Project Update: Almost Done!

So the mighty Viking army is very nearly complete! I've finished painting the two units of 28 Hirdmen. Above is a shot of the Jarl's unit (the king) and a detailed shot of the battle standard bearer (BSB). The king is the guy with the bright red beard and white fur cloak. I thought that would make him stand out. The other Hirdmen unit is behind this one. You can just see the top of the red banner for that unit. I figured by now you realize they all look about the same and I didn't photograph that unit.

For some of the banners, and the BSB in particular, I had to make my own. The Viking command set comes with plenty of musicians but not enough banners. I was dreading doing this, as I'm terrible with conversions. But I had a brainstorm to use the veteran sergeant Space Marine banners from my 40K Ultramarines! They worked perfectly, even if the fit is a little clunky when viewed from the rear. I really didn't want to do paper banners for these, and I hate working with green stuff (mostly because I don't know how to use it, probably).

I think the BSB came out very nicely. I copied the Raven Banner as it was depicted in one of my reference books (one of the Osprey ones -- great series of books). I then copied some rune stone inscriptions to make the borders designs. Viking runes are pretty easy, mostly straight lines, and went on pretty good.

I tried to avoid using pure black in my color schemes. I also avoided pure white. I didn't want anything too intense or pure...since this is an historical army, I wanted it to look more realistic. I think the BSB looks faded and battle worn, and not like it was just purchased at Wal-Mart.

Now all that remains is to paint my 13 Bondi archers and then finish the bases of all the models. When this is done I'll set up the whole army for a group shot and post up the final results. I'm looking forward to completing these guys. Then all I have to do is actually play a game of WAB, which I haven't done since July!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Viking Project Update: Hirdmen Unit Painted

Here's just a short update to demonstrated that I'm still working on the Vikings. This is the first unit of Hirdmen to be painted. I gave them fancier shield designs to reflect their "professional" soldier status. Otherwise, they're pretty much like all the others. I've got two more units of 28 each to paint and then 13 Bondi archers.

WHFB Turkey Bowl 2007

This year my son and I started what we hope will become a new tradition: The Warhammer Turkey Bowl! The night before Thanksgiving I set up a small 4x4 table in my garage and pitted Dwarfs against their hated foes Orcs and Goblins. My son, Albert, is 10 years old and this was his first "big game" of warhammer at 2000 points. I set everything up for him, including deploying his troops in a massive castle formation on a strategically situated hill. I wasn't going to throw the game for him.... but I was going to give him a massive advantage.

The game lasted over three hours and we had an incredible blast playing it. Here I'll give a few shots of the game and then a little battle report after it.

First, here is the table and the set up. Looks like those Orcs have a massive killing field to cross! Then there's me and Albert admiring the scene before us. After that you have a few shots of the Orc line and then some of the Dwarf castle on the (unpainted) hill. Finally, there's Dad measuring off his first turn one move!

Basically here's how the battle went. The O&G went first and the Wolfriders went up the flank to threaten the organ gun. The rest of the line lurched forward with animosity playing its role in staggering the link. The Giant hid one turn in the forest, afraid of all that shorty shooting stuff.

In short, when the giant came out he caught one cannon ball and two bolt thrower shafts and died. At least he didn't fall on anyone. The 10 Wolfriders evaporated also to the Organ Gun and massed Thunderers on the hill. The rest of the Boyz ambled forward supported by their own Spearchukkas and a Doom Diver. They finally made the Dwarf line and what happened next shocked me.

The Dwarf Thane general engaged my BSB and his block of 25 Orcs and my Big 'Uns and Warboss crashed into the center line and hit the Longbeards. The battle churned like crazy there, and the Big 'Uns broke the Longbeards and crashed into the soft parts of the Dwarf castle. The BSB, despite losing every combat, kept making his roles to stay in combat. He went three rounds until there was nothing left, even making an insane courage roll to stay in the battle.

The Big 'Uns tore up the artillery behind the lines. The Quarrelers were the only defense back there, and 16 of them put up a good fight. My Night Goblin Fanatics were pretty good too. But the Night Goblin units themselves had been devastated by Dwarf artillery and got too far from the Warboss to effectively rally. At the end of the battle, it was essentially a draw. But the Orcs, if they had one more turn, probably would've crushed the Dwarfs.

I had expected to be shot to bits before getting the the Dwarfs. Also, I was surprised at how fast the Dwarf line crumbled. In one turn of combat it was pretty much decided that the Orcs were going to dictate the fight for the rest of the game. I will say, that the Thunders and Cannon crew staying calmly in place and blowing away the Night Goblin units that would've swamped the lines was quite impressive. They really kept their comrades in the fight.