Friday, 26 July 2013

A Throne of Games!

ZOMGZ! Another update?! The end is nigh! Repent! REPENT!

Ok, so many not that extreme. I've just been busy the past few days building Westerosi Warbands for SAGA. For those of you penguins unfamiliar with SAGA, it is a Viking age Skirmish game produced by Gripping Beast that makes use of randomly generated abilities. Each faction has a unique "Battle Board." If you fancy getting into Historical stuff but don't like the prospect of buying a huge army, as is needed for a lot of Historical games (I'm looking at you Hail Caesar!) then SAGA is well worth having a look at. It is easily one of my favourite games.

And Game of Thrones is one of my favourite series of books/TV show.

So imagine how excited I was when I found out that someone had created SAGA Battle Boards for the Starks and Lannisters?

That's right. I just about peed myself with excitement, bouncing up and down on my chair!

I've wanted to do Stark and Lannister armies for a while now, but I've not had a solid basis to work from, and I've found that if I build an army without a list (or at least a vague idea of a list) then it tends to get abandoned and will sit, half finished in boxes.

To that end, I am building what I've been calling "Starter armies" for SAGA. In the SAGA rulebook there is a suggested list (12 Elites, 16 Warriors, and 12 Levies) and I've found it's a really good list for learning and showing other people how to play, which is my end goal. When more people at my local club play Saga, I'll start building bigger, more competitive lists.

So I should probably start posting some pictures. Let's start with the Starks, just because they're awesome.

And who better to begin the Starks with than the Lord of Winterfell, Eddard Stark!

Wolf fur trimmed cloaks for everyone! Ok, maybe just for the Lords

The Valyrian steel greatsword, Ice, heirloom of House Stark

Converting Eddard (Or Ned) was fairly straightforward. The body, head and cloak are from the Fireforge Games Teutonic infantry box. The sword is from an old Bretonnian model from GW. I had to completely destroy it to get the left arm (the right arm and sword were already separate.) LOTS of clipping, filing, sawing, cutting and more filing. It took a while, but eventually it was freed and well worth the effort.

For each faction I'm also doing three different Warlords. One mounted, and two on foot, one of which will have a great weapon. To that end, here are the two Warlords on foot.

Harrion Karstark

Greatjon Umber
The mounted Warlord (who is probably going to be a Bolton... maybe) is still in bits on the sprue. Aka, I haven't built him yet.

So that's the Warlords. Now onto the Elites.

Knights of House Stark
These guys are still WIP, but they are close to being done. I need do their bases and hit their shields with a matte varnish so they're not super shiny. I use gloss varnish when using transfers to hide the transfer film and to fix them in place. Again, these guys are from Fireforge Games. I absolutely love Great Helms, hence the decision to give them to my Stark Knights.

Moving on, we have the first eight Stark Men-at-Arms (Warriors)

These guys are more WIP than the Knights. I need to tidy up the metal work, add a few more colours, hit them with a wash, then add the Stark sigil to their shields.

Next on the build list is the other 8 Men-at-arms, then the 12 cabbage eating, longbow-totting peasant levies, and finally 4 mounted knights. Then I just need to paint them.

So, that's the Starks done for now. I suppose we should move on to the Lannisters. And let's start in the same way we started withe the Starks. With Lord Tywin Lannister

Like Eddard, this conversion was pretty straight forward, but intricate at the same time. His hand needed to be replaced, as I don't think Tywin is crude enough to use a hammer. The horse's harness needed to be filed down some to fit the armour and the head.... The head is from the Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors box, with all the hair flied off. 'Cos, ya know.... THAT's easy to do on a head that's smaller than your fingernail.... The hair then needed to be sculpted on with Green Stuff. I'm not the world's best sculptor, far from it, but I think I did a pretty good job.

Yes, he IS sitting on a blob of blu-tak

I chose this horse for Tywin because I don't see him riding into battle like Jamie might. Tywin is more likely to sit at the back directing his troops, and only drawing steel when he needs to.

But of course, Lord Tywin, being the head of the most powerful house in Westeros is going to have pleanty of other lords to call on to lead armies in his name. Which brings us to the other Warlords for the Lannisters.

As I've said before, three Warlords; One mounted, and two on foot.

This guy was a bit tricky. He's the Warrick "Kingmaker" miniature from Perry Miniatures with a few minor conversions on him. The head swap was from an earlier project (One of those ones without a list) and the barding was added recently, as was the shield. You can see where I've had to cut the barding to fit his foot and leg. It took me an hour or so, taking my time in cutting and filing. It's not perfect and I need to fix it with some green stuff, but it turned out better than I hoped.

Lannister Warlord with Great Weapon

Lannister Warlord (Perry Miniatures Warrick on foot) I love the pose of this guy

That's the Warlords done, now onto the Lannister Knights!

Apologies for the poor picture here. These guys are from Perry Miniatures and easily some of my favourite models of all time. If I had to choose a favourite helmet, it would be the Great Helm, but if I had to choose a favourite armour style, it would be 15th Century Gothic plate, and I think that style fits the Lannisters wonderfully. So, naturally, there's going to be a lot of full plate and visored sallets in my Lannister Warband.

The poll-axe is also one of my favourite medieval weapons, and didn't appear until the latter part of the medieval period. It's basically a giant, two handed tin-opener! So it seemed fitting that it would be carried by Lannister knights. I also think these are some of the Perry's best miniatures. They're stunningly gorgeous.

Right, last pic, I promise. Lannister Men-at-arms.

Again, from Perry Miniatures (Oh how much I love their stuff!) but this time Pavesiers from their Agincourt range. The shields are from the Fireforge games foot Sergeants.

I still need to build four more mounted knights of teh Lannisters, four more Men-at-Arms and 12 longbowmen. So as it stands, both Warbands are pretty even. Hopefully I'll get them both done in the next 2 weeks.

Phew! I think I'm done. If you're still reading and haven't got bored yet, then congratulations! Give yourself a cookie and/or a pat on the back.

I'm pretty on board with this project, so I doubt I'm going to leave it alone any time soon. But then again, I do have an apocalypse game on the 17th of August, so I might have to spend some time repairing/adding to my Chaos forces. We shall see...

Oh! And before I forget, here's the links to the Westeros SAGA Battle Boards

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Knight After Knight...

So, I know I said I was going to make this post about my Fallen Mortifactors for 40k, but in true Hobby Butterfly style, I have fluttered over to other projects instead. Two to be precise... well, three... four technically.... ok FIVE! But four of them are for the same game! So that only counts as two, right? Right??

*Sighs* Okay...

So, firstly, I've been building a Bretonnian warband for Mordheim. There's talk of doing Mordheim at my local club and it was an excuse to build some Bretonnians without building an army, and throw in some cool conversions too. Feast your eyes on the pretties!

500 Gold for a Bretonnian Warband will buy you a Questing Knight, his squire, five Men-at-arms, three archers and enough equipment to let them kill things and keep from dying themselves. The Questing Knight and the Squire (The two at the front) have since been updated, the knight with a new mini and the Squire with different arms. All the minis are from Fireforge Games, mostly from the Foot Sergeants box, but the Squire and this version of the Knight are from the Dismounted Teutonic Knights box.

Ah-ha! There he is, my updated Questing knight. This guy is from the Dismounted Templar Knight box, again from Fireforge games (Their stuff is brillant for Bretonnians, as you will see) I really love the pose I've given this guy. Even though he's armed with a Greatsword, as is fitting for a Questing Knight, the pose is similar to a Plough guard used when fighting with a German longsword. My favourite guard of my favourite style of swordplay. The cloak and hood also make him look suitably heroic!

Hmm, yes. Much Epic Heroism here.

I should probably show you the rest of the Warband, right? Ok, here you go:

Sergeant and Halberdiers



So there you have it. One Bretonnian Warband, ready to smite evil in the name of the Lady of the Lake!

Yup, that's it. Nothing left to see here. Nope. Not at all.

Oh, the OTHER projects? You wanted to see them as well? I suppose that's ok.

Four factions for the same game. Saga! Two of the factions are Vikings and Anglo-Saxons/Anglo-Danes, which have been pretty much finished for a while. I've just been repairing  and paint-stripping them. The other two factions are Stark and Lannister for a Game of Thrones version of Saga. The rules are the same, just these two factions are different. Unfortunately in a mad rush to get the Stark warband finished and my camera (phone) dying, I don't have very many pics right now. However, the bits I need for my Lannister Warband turned up today, so I'll try to get some shots of them as I build them.

Here's the question though... do you like a blog with lots of pics or more typing or a nice balance of the two? 

I think I'll finish here today and add some more pics tomorrow... maybe.... It depends if I flutterby to another project. I doubt I will, but you never know. Until then, fellow humans (and cabbage-eating penguins!)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here!

Greetings fellow wargamers, modelers, painters and dice throwers!

Welcome to my blog. This is my first forays into the world of blogging, and hopefully I'll be able to keep the ball rolling. But first, a little background.

I've been wargaming for about 11 years now, mostly with the GW games (Warhammer Fantasy, 40k and LotR.) I even worked for them for about a year and a half, but since leaving, I have started expanding into other gaming systems, such as Dystopian Wars, and Firestorm Armada from Spartan Games, as well as various historical games like SAGA, Hail Caesar, WAB and War & Conquest.

I'm not the best painter and my sculpting skills are something to be desired, but I'd like to think I am a better than average converter. Very rarely will a miniature (that isn't a spod trooper) pass through my hands without some measure of conversion. Sometimes, it may just be a simple weapon or head swap, sometimes I will go all out, completely changing the appearance of the original model. (My Dark Eldar Archon is a good example of this)

I also do several table top RPGs, so I have great fun turning my hand to converting miniatures for my characters.

At any one time, I am likely to have three or four projects on the go at once (hence me being a Hobby Butterfly.) At the moment I am working on my Chaos Marine army themed around the Four Horsemen (likely to be my next post,) Chinese Federation and Kingdom of Britannia fleets for Dystopian Wars, a Bretonnian Mordheim warband, and some Game of Thrones themed SAGA warbands, mostly because I found Stark and Lannister battle boards. I'm also (very slowly) working on an Arthurian army based on Bernard Cornwell's fantastic Warlord Chronicles. Easily my favourite books, without a doubt.

I think that's enough typing for now, and seeing as I've typed a lot, here's a picture of my cat sat in a box of wool.