All of the Bizaza Kickstarter Models I have painted to date!
It’s high time I took some pics of the Dark Elf Army Progress. The force has been bolstered with the addition of some repeating crossbows and a Dark Elf Hydra.
The Hydra is a Grenadier model (and still available) but as my one had lost it’s tail I sculpted a stubby twin tail to replace it.
It will be fun to add some Witch Elves and more cavalry to this lot along with a sorceress to accompany the Witch Elves.
The masters for the Frolmec heads Doti sculpted painted up to use as a jungle scatter terrain set.
They have simply been mounted on plasticard bases, with some foam card to make a simple step arrangement on a coupe of them. Add texture and then paint.
I am happy with the results, they will provide some much needed cover for my upcoming plans to play some of the new Games Workshop Kill Team.
Recently my pal Cheetor, a long time devotee of Nurgle, had had a recurrence or Nurgle’s Rot what with all the sickeningly gorgeous new Age of Sigmar illustrations of all things Nurglitch.
This naturally led him to be titalated by the nautically themed nurgle elements. In particular the Gutrot Spume special ability seemes to have intrigued him…
The mind wonders who is this Slime Fleet and what does it look like? And once you start looking at this gorgeous Mark Gibbons art you are thematically hooked…
…leading to him wanting to try out Man O’War, by Stillman, Jones and King with a credit for Bryan Ansell in there to boot.
Man O’War is an old favorite of mine, so I jumped on the Man O’War bandwagon immediately.
Man O’War – Raging Sea Battles in The World of Warhammer
The atmosphere for the rules is provided by the wonderful artwork and writing by creative titans of that era.
This one is one of my favorite illustrations with a strong sense of the chaos of these fantastical naval actions. The two factions are humans, Imperials and Bretonnians.
We see a Bretonnian Buccaneer, immobilised with it’s mast presumably shattered by cannonball. Imperial Wolfships stand ready to ram a Bretonnian Galleon as it opens up a rolling broadside. Desperate men crammed into rowing boats with the sharks circling in a feeding frenzy in the maelstrom of battle.
Man O’War – Gameplay in Bullet Points
The game itself is a gem with 2 expansions which introduce Chaos, Sea Monsters and Flyers. The basic game shipped with loads of card templates for ships and counters. They are great for learning the game initially but tend to be costly in terms of table space. Veteran players like us use smaller versions that can be marked with an erasable pen. The visual design is great throughout on the card and counter elements etc.
- It uses an IGOUGO system for movement with players taking it in turns to move a big ship (a Man O’War), or a squadron of small ships
- Each ship takes its go, move, ram, shoot, board
- Each ship has it’s own card to track damage, crew etc. The card has locations with numbers which is what you need on a D6 to hit there. The saving throw is printed on the card. Locations have a damage count. When it tops out you start rolling on criticals which do interesting things like kill crew or stop the ship from shooting for a turn etc.
- Boarding actions are a matter of each player rolling a D6 and adding their crew value, the winner reduces the looser by 1 crew and then you roll again or cut contact, winners choice. Defenders get the benefit of bonuses for grapeshot if they can place a template on your attacking ship
- There are fun random upgrade Man O’War cards which add some spice to the capital ships that can be bought during fleet list creation, but every (non chaotic) admiral gets one for free on their flagship
- Magic is usually low grade in this system, but sometimes it can tip a battle. It’s fun when it works
Simple rules but generating a tactically deep and hilariously fun game that is over in under 2 hours.
The Bretonnians in Man O’War are intended to be more advanced in technology than the Empire, the inverse of the land armies where it’s the Empire leading the way. The Bretonnians have a close affinity with the Sea Elves and so presumably got some tips.
While the Empire models have the box like design of early medieval shipping the Bretonnians have a sleeker look to them like later Tudor vessels, such as used by famous pirate lord Sir Frances Drake aka El Draque (The Dragon). Ironically the English only started building these vessels upon instruction from King Philip II of Spain the last time he visited before it got all weird between England and Spain.
The historical ships the studio model (sculpted by Norman Swales) remind me very much of are these race built galleons from the 16th Century.
Below is a lovely illustration from the rulebook of a Bretonnian Galleon. This is very much the image I wanted to allude to with my flagship for this project.
To build my flagship I have used one of the ships from the boxed Dreadfleet game from Games Workshop. I had this idea to replace the plastic sails with Man O’War paper sails the very first time I saw this model. It’s only now years later that I am getting around to the idea, such is the way with hobby projects. Replacing the masts is important so that I can get the model to gel with the traditional fleet looks I was after.
In addition to changing the masts and sails, I removed a few millimeters of the hull all along the bottom of the model as I wanted to dispense with the bulky stock square base and keep my models free of inhibiting bases so I can easily slide them past each other in the melee of battle. This lets the ship sit at the correct level on the flat sea of a Man O’War table. I plan to do the same thing to the Heldenhammer from Dreadfleet when I come to paint my Imperial ships.
Note that these are not stock Games Workshop Buccaneers. I don’t own any Buccaneer models from the old days so I just created my own Buccaneer design and home cast it.
I don’t like the square sails on the GW Buccaneers so I used the triangular empire ones with some suitable designs.
It makes more sense to me that they would be using more advanced triangular designs whereas the Empire Wargalleys would possibly best use the square sail as seen on the pirate models in the basic game. Rule of Cool means my Empire ships will get triangular sails though ;). In the game the Buccaneer is faster than the Wargalley when the wind is not favorable.
To finish off this fleet I have the task of painting up 6 corsairs over the next 10 days, Oh My!
One last picture for those naysayers who think that the Dreadfleet ships are not suited to Man O’War, even going so far as to claim that there is a consistent scale in the studio models.
Bubbles is a character created and sculpted by Doti as part of our upcoming Kickstarter for Katsina Miniatures. He is a resin master which we recently were sent by Zealot miniatures.
Bubbles is an animal handler, specialising in spiders. He holds a control crystal in his hand. The moss is a magical symbiotic organism I believe.
Bubbles is anatomically and mentally asymmetrical and proud. He has a lot of ritual scarring which is especially a thing with the Bizaza who deal with beasts of burden and slaves.
The quality of casting is excellent as usual from Zealot. I can’t recommend these guys enough.
Bubbles has the standard colour scheme I am using on any of the newer ones I have painted. I like this classic froggy green and have tried to keep it brighter than my usual approach.
I have recently added some light cavalry to the force for some mobility and firepower on the flanks. I prefer lighter cavalry for the Dark Elves as it fits with my vision of their ambush oriented hit and run style tactics.
The models are from Marauder miniatures, except for what I assume is a drow from the D&D range – he is a cool sculpt anyway.
Leading them we have a Lv 10. Witch-Helm riding a Cold One.
The force is shaping up nicely now. A couple of more units and it will be a rounded out fighting force.
Next we need to add some of the infamous Dark Elf Repeating Crossbows to this lot….until next time.
Leading the Dark Elves to war we have this chap, a “Death Dealer”, a medium strength hero.
He is made from a Cold One Rider Champion, sculpted by Aly Morrison. I have stuck him on an Empire horse body with metal Chaos Steed head.
With the same black, red, steel, gold scheme of the Dark Elf Warriors the army is going to look very tight on the table.
I am not using any highlights on the black, rather I am using a gloss acrylic on the black armour bits, a matt varnish on the horse.
The skin and red elements are shaded and highlighted as normal and the steel/gold elements are edge highlighted. The hair is just brightly painted and washed with crimson.
It’s important for this to be a quick effective paint job that I can repeat to get the army done quickly and also look pretty neat on the table.
Dark Elves! Gotta love em. Gotta love em so much I have decided to paint an army of them during this year.
It is intended as a Dragon Rampant force with an eye to use in Warhammer related games. Dragon Rampant units tend to be 12 models strong. I have 20 of these guys which I would need for Warhammer, so I went with painting all of them at once, otherwise I would probably never come back to them.
I got some old plastic Dark Elf warriors from a buddy recently and couldn’t resist using them for the core of this force. They are actually Aly Morrison sculpts. They are chunky nuggets of fun. I expect that this miniature is a Talisman prototype that somehow made it into production as the regiment in the box set above.
I ditched the stock shields immediately in favor of the classic Marauder miniatures shield – probably sculpted by Aly to increase the Alyness of this product to 11. The rounded shape balances out the outrageously pointy shoulder pads.
The colours are very restricted for me. Just Black, silver, gold, red, with a few other colours for hair here and there. This will keep the army looking tight, as I intend to mix in a fair mix of Dark Elf models, or other Elf models that I can shoehorn in there convincingly.
They get a movement tray, which is handy for storage and generally keeping them together both on my shelf defending against my many cats and during massed combat games.
The hex bases I love for these types of projects as they allow you to lock the bases in formation and still look good when standing alone in skirmish games.
The little leaves are from birch tree seeds. They are lovely things to work with. I have enhanced the colours simply by using red, green and brown washes on top of them.
Following on from the last post I have completed another 4 Stormstealers to bring the unit up to 5 models.
They took a wee bit longer to paint than you might think due to the large surface area covered by the models, all those extra arms don’t help one bit either. In hindsight I would paint the jump packs off the model and glue when both the ork and jump pack were painted fully. It’s a bit like painting a unit of cavalry due to the different approach on the two main elements.
I envisioned these guys screaming in like barrage of claws from a blue sky so I figured it apt to base the colour scheme loosely WWII Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers.
I decided to go for lots of weathering on the more armoured and vehicular elements of the models with a fair bit of rusting on the weapons. I don’t see Hyborks as being the most keen on weapon maintenance, more likely they would just fire out the magazine and then hit you with the empty gun I expect.
The boots on these guys are quite fun being designed for landing on panzee ‘Oomanz and the like. They got a bit of stirland mud on them to give the impression of messy landings as they erratically jump their way across the battlefield.
So that’s one more unit down, this battleforce is starting to shape up now. I want to get enough units done now to field a force for The Men Who Would be Kings. I would like to get moving on adding a unit of Wildboyz to this lot along with some Nobz and a Wierdboss Psychic character to lead them.