Sunday, 31 May 2015

Reflection, adaptation and focus realignment.

It is that time of week again and I have had a week where some plans have had to be changed and some focus has had to be adjusted.

What do I mean? Well... when it comes to army building you have to have an idea of what you are aiming for. Sometimes it will be 'building an army and seeing where it goes' and other times it will be 'here's the list, I need to build my army to fit into it'.

Initially, I started my Squat army with a loose idea that it should fit into the Imperial Guard codex. Bearing in mind that I don't have a copy of the latest 'Astra Militarum' codex, it was always going to be a struggle building an army to that list... and this has led to a little bit of adaptation (explained a bit later) in order to fit in.

Don't get me wrong, I have every other edition of the Imperial Guard codex so I know roughly what is required... but they are in the loft and I have been building units from memory (which for me, is always a bad idea!).

Yesterday, I managed to get my eyes on a Codex Astra Militarum and have a good old scan through. This has led to the discovery that I have equipped one of my command squads incorrectly (bolt pistols for the troops). Me being me, there was no way I could leave things like that so I have had to make some changes; namely replacing bolt pistols with las pistols on the troops (here's a before and after):

Click the Pix!

The problem I had was that I have used Khorn Berserker bolt pistols which were attached to their massive hands so I had to choose some las pistols with a bit more bulk than the old Rogue Trader ones. Fortunately, I had some Catachan las pistols and they seem to fit nicely. I can explain the change in pistol design by saying that the pistols are from the command armoury rather than the troop armoury so are a bit different. My other command squads will have Cadian las pistols... because that is what I have in my bits box!

So now I've seen the new Codex, I have been thinking about bringing everything into line. That has meant that I needed to get some Comms equipment for my troops. Recently I have been looking all over the place to find suitable items, in enough quantity, for a relatively cheap price and to be honest, I was beginning to think that I would have to make my own. Fortunately, I noticed a post on one of the forums I visit and it pointed me towards Mad Robot Miniatures and this pack of COMMS SETS. Not only are these little comms sets available cheaply and in sets of 5 but they also have little telephone handsets and that means that I don't have to add any headsets to my troops; I just need to add the packs. That saves me a lot of effort so I am really pleased. Now all I have to do is wait for them to arrive and glue them on.

Steering away from the codex for now, I have been busy working on the next platoon and here is where I am with it, at the moment:

Click the Pic!

All of them have had neckerchiefs and beards added and the top squad has had its rifles shortened and attached. I have also started to add putty to the wire arms so I am well on the way to getting this platoon finished.

Steering back towards the codex and I have been thinking a lot about what the army should include and I am dead set on this (from the Astra Militarum Codex - this does not include the units I have from the Space Marine Codex - Exo Squad units):
  1. Army Command Squad: (Commander and 4 Troops)
  2. Infantry platoon: (Command Squad, 2x Infantry Squad, 1x Heavy Weapon Squad)
  3. Infantry platoon: (Command Squad, 2x Infantry Squad, 1x Heavy Weapon Squad)
  4. Sentinel Squadron: (3x Sentinel. Attached to a platoon for support)
  5. Sentinel Squadron: (3x Sentinel. Attached to a platoon for support)
  6. Engineseer: (Engineseer + Servitors)
As you are aware, I also plan to add a third platoon and it is this platoon that is causing me to think about what I plan to do.

Having looked through the codex, I have noticed that Ministorum Priests are pretty cool. How about treating a Ministorum Priest as a Squat Berserker? More or less dressed the same as a standard Squat but with a fiery mohawk and a bit of specialist equipment that marks him out as something special. I am still in the thinking phase at the moment but there are a lot of options open to me (attaching a priest to a standard infantry squad OR maybe a specialist squad with demolition charges?). Obviously, I would have the priest as a permanent fixture to a particular squad so that they can all get the mohawk treatment... 

I still have a lot to think about.

So... always be prepared to alter things if you start out without a clear view of what you want to acheive.

See you from the vortex!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The sabatical is nearly over.

Hello again and welcome to this weeks blog update. As you may have guessed from the title, my three weeks away from work are nearly at an end so what better way to enjoy the last couple of days than to recap on what I have managed to get done while I have been on holiday (with hobby stuff in mind).

Initially I finished off the infantry platoon that I brought back from the Falklands by adding back packs to the loaders and the little gun tractors to the infantry squads.

Then... I went to Salute and came back with a pair of Prodos Games Vulkan Battlesuits that were going to be my proxy Sentinels and a Clockwork Goblin Grizzly Walker that was going to be my Dreadnought.

While I was thinking about what to do with the Sentinels (and waiting for a third one to arrive from EBay), I started to assemble some more basic infantry but also put together a unit of Exo Armour made from Mantic Games Forge Guard.

Finally, I built the Sentinels and partially built the dreadnought and suddenly realised that I had no army commander... so I made one in Exo Armour.

Well... I may have originally planned to finish the second platoon while on my leave but I think that 3 finished Sentinels, an Exo Squad with Exo commander and a really good start on the first squad for the second platoon was pretty good.

So, I guess it's time for some pix. Here is the finished Sentinel Squadron (3 armoured Sentinels with Heavy Bolter and Close Combat Attachment):

Click the Pic!

Here is the finished Exo Squad with the commander to lead it (count as Space Marine Terminators):

Click the Pic!

And finally, here is the army as it currently stands (only complete miniatures, ready for paint):

Click the Pic!

So far I have finished:

1x Exo Commander
1x Exo Squad (5 troops)
1x Infantry Platoon (25 troops)
1x Engineseer with Servitors (3 troops)
1x Sentinel Squadron (3 Sentinels)
3x Misc Troops (including dog handler)

All I really need is to finish the second platoon (and find a place for the three stragglers at the front) and I will have quite a nice little army.

What I plan to add in the short term will be:

The second infantry platoon.
A third platoon (in caps rather than helmets).
A second Sentinel Squadron.
Veterans in berets (I don't know what unit size to do these... I am not sure if I can have a platoon or whether it is in squads only).

Then long term:


So I guess this has been another all Squat post but you know how my muse works... next week it could be something completely different! Who knows?

See you from the bridge of the leviathan!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Another week of travels.

Hello again. It's that time of the week where I post some news and it would appear that this week, I have been travelling again.

Before I went away to the Falklands, I made a deal with my wife that when I got back, we would go to Paris for a week... and that is what we did so this week has been one spent in Paris from Monday to Friday.

The week was one of sightseeing, enjoying the nightlife and generally relaxing after the last few month's trials. We had a great time, unwound and had a proper opportunity to chat and make a few decisions along the way. What did we visit? The usual things... the Arce de Triumph, Eifel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Damme... and we passed by a few popular places including the Moulin Rouge (which was in the sex district of Paris... I don't need to say any more!).

Looking back... I suddenly realised that this was the first foreign holiday that I'd ever had. Normally my foreign trips are for 'Queen and Country' and it really did make a difference being somewhere foreign where I could decide what I wanted to do.

Anyway... we got back on Friday and that means that there hasn't really been much opportunity for me to get much hobby stuff done.

But that doesn't mean that I have done nothing.

On the Squat platoon side of things, the troops now have moustaches and have all had the wire added to them so that arms can be sculpted on later. The next part of the process will be to shorten all the lasguns and prepare the other weapons for the conversions. The specialist will be assembled first (with his Spacemarine arms and plasmagun) and then the rest will get their weapons pinned on ready for positioning the arm-wire in the correct poses. I am taking pictures as I go so that I can put together a How To (because I have been asked to) so once I have finished the first squad for the platoon, I will put the guide together and show pics at that point.

On a different note... I have been working on the Sentinels and just have the heads to finish. I have ordered a third Vulkan Battlesuit so that I can add it to the squadron but I have to wait for that to arrive before I can work on it. In the meantime, here is where I am at with the squadron:

Click the Pic!

As you can see, I have kept the Sentinels fairly simple and have just added runes and the heads. The heads are still WIP but I will wait until I have the last Sentinel at the same standard before I work on all the heads at once.

So... that's about it for now. 

Oh... in case you were wondering why there are no pics of Paris, they are on my laptop and I haven't fired it up yet so they will have to be for another day.

See you from Le Grand Arbre!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Squat overload.

This week has been one of finding my feet and getting a bit of hobby stuff done. I have been at home alone most of the week so have had plenty of opportunity to get used to being at home again and also to start getting some hobby time in.

So... what have I been up to? Well... first of all, I finished off the first unit of Exo Armour for my Squat army:

Click the Pic!

As I mentioned last week, these are based on Mantic Game's miniatures (LINK). All I did to them was clip the crest off the top of their helmets and then just added details. The head and crotch area were re-shaped and then a few runes were added here and there. To finish, they were glued to 30mm plastic bases. I still have another unit to do but I want to get other things done before I start the next batch.

With regards to other things, I have assembled the bodies for the next infantry squad. The squad will form part of the second platoon of helmet wearing troopers. So far, thethe heads have been glued to the bodies, the bodies glued to their bases and then I have sculpted neckerchiefs and beards. Next step is to add moustaches to the beards and then it will be on to drilling and pinning. I haven't got any pix of the troopers because I want to put together another guide... which will be posted once the unit is complete. In the meantime, I have assembled the first of the Sentinels (I had to do something while the beards dried!):

Click the Pic!

It is a Bauhaus Vulkan from Prodos Games (LINK) and is the perfect size for what I want. I have two of them but should have bought three (DOH!) so I will be getting another one at some point. So far, I have added the start of the enclosed cockpit and filled in some of the shoulder detail (yes, the head is part of a jumping bean) but it is early days yet:

Click the Pic!

Just for the sake of it, here are the parts for the miniature:

Click the Pic!

I have chosen the weapon options that I think best suit an armoured sentinel with a close combat weapon (heavy bolter and close combat weapon). Hopefully, it will look OK when it is finished.

What else... at some point, I am disappearing for a few days to Paris... so I hope they are ready for me.

See you from the other side of the line!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

A consolidation post.

Welcome to the latest traveller to arrive in Inso's World; Asslessman. I hope you enjoy your stay here and feel free to comment as you see fit.

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy; arriving back from a 4 month detachment, getting the heads-up that I am to be promoted (don't know when/where yet... but I've got it), my wife putting her notice in at her place of work (and going to a new job), my son passing his interview to join the RAF, Salute... the list goes on...

... As a result, I am having to do a lot of thinking and trying to decide on the correct course of action. The biggest one is 'do I accept promotion, take what comes to me and continue in the RAF OR do I leave and follow a different path?' It's a biggy and one I thought I had in the bag until I was offered promotion... I guess timing is everything. So... as you can imagine, I have been a little distracted (and this is likely to continue until I know what is on offer with the promotion).

That said, I have a few things to post up. First up, I forgot to post a pic of the Pengie that was given to me when I left the Falklands... so here it is:

Click the Pic!

It represents me and my 'merry men'; the platoon I was in charge of whilst out there. The bottle is a port bottle... I like port. I love it and it proudly sits on the bookshelf next to my other Pengie that I got from a previous detachment to the Falklands.

Next up, I have been busy converting a Mantic Forge-Guard miniature (from the review I posted earlier this week) and have finished it. I have decided not to go too mad with it because I have twelve of them to do and I don't want to spend too much time faffing around with them when I could be doing other things. Here is the finished product, with a WIP of the next one:

Click the Pic!

All I have done is lower the crotch to make him look less lanky, smoothed his head/chest area so that there is a more obvious face and added a few runes here and there. The WIP one will be very similar but will have different runes. The pictue shows them on a temporary base that will be replaced with a 30mm plastic one at a later date (when I go into the loft and dig out some of my hobby stuff that has been packed away for the last four months).

I will plod along with these until I decide I have the enthusiasm to start on the next standard Squat platoon.

Well... that's about it for today. 

See you from the depths of concentration!