Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The reason for my Nippon mania in Warhammer- 80s Ninja Craze!


As I blogged about here in post here I've been working in my Warband of Nippon in anon again, off again fashion. Currently, its in the on mode, huzzah.

I've just completed a few far eastern/nippon/samuari type major purchases and will be rounding out two units with enough minis to have a sizeable force to play with. I've currently tracking all activity on this particular army over at Dogs of War Online. As you can see I've made substantial progress with the ninja, for those inclined here is a picture from the blog featuring my first unit rounding to form:



I've been having a lot of fun scouring eBay for these guys and I am nearing the end of my quest to have one of one each of the ninjas from back in the 1980s (there were 48 in all).

But, only recently I stepped back and wondered just why? Why the interest in ninjas? No it wasn't the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles either (I missed that by a few years). The roots of my being smack dab in the middle of the 80s Ninja Craze was this awesome great/bad movie, AMERICAN NINJA!


Of course, after watching it on HBO I wanted to be a ninja so of course I then proceeded to make some ninjatō, painted them silver and proceeded to whack the crap out of my friends with them. I also had some ninja stars to fling around too with my main target being the garage drywall. Of one thing I know for sure, I also dressed up as a ninja for Halloween one year too, probably seventh grade. My mom has a picture of it, but I'm not letting that out to become the next internet meme.

So there you go, 80s' Ninja Craze, 3rd Edition Warhammer a few short years later with some vestigial traces (and the let down of no Nippon army from GW*) and then going full-bore later in my life. I guess what was once old is now new again?

As a final thought one does have to deal with a Inverse ninja law...

* Games Workshop teased at Nippon on page 194 of the 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay book, "For the moment we shall pass over these lands, leaving their exploration to others. A complete guide to the lands of Nippon is already under development." Looks like that became never with the move to 4th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle and then "Herohammer".

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Power, Mystery and the Hammer of the Gods

I've written this post in an on again, off again fashion for over two years as it goes off the beaten path of the blog as it were... But I feel compelled to blog about it anyways (Hey, its my blog), hope you enjoy my musings.

"Power, mystery and the Hammer of the Gods" is a reference to an answer Jimmy Page gave to a searching for just the right photograph, of the band and to me (and a lot of others) that sums up the mystique of Led Zeppelin*.

Absolutely true. To me they are THE band. Led Zeppelin is the best band then, the best band now, the best band there every will be. And the kicker? I was 7 when they disbanded. I never got to see them on stage, but I am a huge fan none-the-less.I started as a fan back around 9th grade. I big influence was by buddy Jeff who was and is a big fan back then too.

The band was and is legendary. To say I'm a huge fan is an understatement. The abilities of the four are definitely greater then the whole, and taken as a whole, the whole is greater then the sum of the parts. They complemented each other like no other musicians I can think of. And because of this is why I think they are the best rock and roll band of all time.

Some might think they are dated (I've heard this recently), but to me their music is timeless, as timeless as the Beatles, perhaps more so. In terms of musicianship, Paul McCartney was head and shoulders above the rest of the Beatles. But with Led Zeppelin? The argument can be made that all four were among the very best in their respective areas. I don't know too many people who will argue that Jimmy Page isn't one of the greatest guitarists of all time. That John Bonham isn't one of the greatest drummers of all time. That John Paul Jones wasn't one of the greatest bassists or that Robert Plant wasn't one of the greatest rock n' Roll vocalists of all time. In fact aside from Freddie Mercury or Ronnie James Dio who is a better singer?  The abilities of the four and their ease at a multitude of different styles of music is impressive. Then add Page's monstrous abilities as a producer at a time when it was unheard of for a musician to be his own producer?

With the Beatles, the whole was greater then the parts in my opinion, with Led Zeppelin, both the parts AND the whole are greater, and that's saying something. They were and are greater then anything before or since. I don't know if we will ever see its like again especially in light of the state of music today.

An interesting part to their storied career critics hated them (still due to a degree), were rarely on radio (initially), had no number one hits and yet were still the biggest band of the 1970s. That geriatric rag Rolling Stone still is dismissive too them to this very day. But as Gene Simmons put it so ever so eloquently when speaking of Rolling Stones' dislike of Kiss: "Being accepted by aging hippies is not high on my priority list."

Led Zeppelin's albums and their live shows made them. It would only be after they disbanded that they reached a near mythic status. That and the fact that for the next 25 years every band tried to be them and to sound just like them. Try turning on the radio and not hearing Stairway to Heaven at least once a day from 1980 to 2000, or even now. 

In the end it, was perhaps fitting that they called it quits after the death of John Bonham, they had given us 12 years of dominance and never really faltered to any great degree. Like Henry V's short reign as King of England in the early 1400s, Zeppelin burned bright across they sky, like a comet. They didn't have any time to be bad.

And I leave you with what might be their greatest song in terms of range (hard to argue with Stairway, but...)





As Zeppelin famously said in a great song: "Then as it was, then again it will be".

Postscript: In the time I took to write this blog-post, a new band has come along that echoes Zeppelin, Greta Van Fleet. While not exactly Zeppelin there are a lot of influences and aren't direct copies like Kingdom Come (Kingdom Clone). I like them a lot and look forward to seeing what they come up with. Their 4-song EP is excellent and highly recommend it.

* I'll add that while I'm tolerant of free speech to a large degree, I'm not entertaining trolls about Led Zeppelin. If you want to rant about lawsuits and plagiarism? Do it elsewhere. Want to discuss why you don't like them, fine, hurling the crap of plagiarism? The web is a wide-open place. I'm sure you can  find other places to do so.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Part VI- Repainting the Wood Elf Force- The Dragon Rider

Back after a ton of summer activities with the kids. While all those activities were going on I wasn't complacent in terms of painting. In fact for summertime painting I got quite a bit done.

This next guy, the ever cool Dragon Master from the Citadel range (notes here). Like the rest of the Wood Elf force this particular model was purchased not for a Wood Elves per say, but yes, you guessed it: an ally for my Empire force in 3rd edition. This purchase represented the start of my High Elf force  which in years would number 14,000 pts. I quickly painted the model up and his debut was against Jeff and Dave's forces (Orc and Goblins/Skaven respectively) during the Ice Storm of 1991 at Dave's house. Since it was just me on the other side I played a combined Empire, Wood Elf and High Elf force. I don't remember too much other than we setup the board on the front living room floor as the power was still out, nor who won. I do recall however they were conspiring to knock him out early, as in like round 1. So against all odds I won initiative and charged across the board and got him into hand-to-hand combat. Don't remember what happened after that, but pretty sure I spoiled their casting of Windblast or Hurricane.

After that Jeff more or less stopped playing so Dave and I played a lot more. This particular dragon would end up as a general for my High Elf force, joined by another Dragon Master model as the army standard bearer and 4 more dragons. The cool thing about the High Elf force in 3rd edition is you could field a force made entirely of dragons which I did a few times. The downside was at 315 points the +4 Shock Elite Dragonkin riders only had 1 Wound...

After moving to 4th and 5th the model sat for a bit until I stripped it of paint and redid it into the form you see now. I made the butterfly wings from regular painting canvas that I cut out to the right shapes and stiffened with successive coats of a watery glue. A small wire forms the leading wing edge to give it additional support. The odd thing was that I modeled a saddle and plunked a 4th edition Empire Rieksguard knight on it  Not sure if the mini ever saw combat in that form.

Since getting back to Oldhammer I've been reassigning models to their proper place in the army lists and it just didn't really fit with the Empire, but I didn't want to trash the dragon. So I touched up the paint job and put the original elf warrior and saddle back on. Upgraded the base to a 50mm base and Bam, done. Moral of the story? Never throw anything away!

So with all that he really wouldn't fit into my High Elf force either with its blue and white paint jobs. What better place to assign then my reborn Wood Elves? Adding fall foliage and once again ties it all back in. 

Next up? I'm still looking for 9 more wood elves from the plastic Warhammer Regiments set for two more archer units (I have 31 now, so two units of 20 is the goal). I did pick up 2 more 4th edition Glade Guard models which I'm using for my Kinband Warriors. I don;t know why but I like these models a lot. They might very well be next as I now have 2 archer units, 1 wardancer unit, a wizard, general, treeman and now dragon rider painted. the force continues to be reborn!

Adding to all of this I'm also working on my reborn 3rd edition Dark elf force and have just finishes a unit of 10 Dark Elf Dark riders. (and yes, you can see some "under the brush" Cold One Knights in the background).

So stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Part V- Repainting the Wood Elf Force- The General

Thanks PhotoBucket.

Like a lot of hobbyists I imagine, I have spent the last week and half migrating everything off of PhotoBucket due to their new Terms and Conditions. So that means not much time for actual hobby work. In my case I had most everything backed up, but the Mac that had the photos got damaged in a flood due to an errant sump pump malfunction. So in a few short months it was: lose the local copies of the photos and then the online ones (in a sense). Fortunately, for the Wood Elf thread I chose to place it online here at Blogger (until this too closes- many years from now, right google?)

Anyways, onto the thread: since the Wood Elf host has been growing in size I figured it was time to pause in the rank and file units and give them a leader. For my general I utilized the Ashen Peacemaker miniature that I had procured years ago sans horse and then proceeded to cut apart for a ill-advised attempt at a conversion. What possessed me to do that I have no idea. Fortunately I cut him apart at the points where he was easy to reassemble.


Like the rest of the army he is on a brown base (not the sides obviously) with fall foliage and with the rest of the army I went for a more subdued color scheme. To me this makes sense the Wood Elves are not High Elves; they are not about flash and style, but more rustic and "natural" in their finery.

The horse is actually from another 3rd Edition mini from the Elf6 Cavalry range. The general model it came with is (so far) assigned to the Elven Lord unit im assmebling (see below), but remains to be seen if that is where he stays. I think the crown throws the whole look off for a Wood Elf army to be honest.

As far as my general (I still need to think up a name) there is still a bit of touch up to go on the base and a few other spots. Why is I only notice these after I take photos and prepare the blog post???

I still have not decided whether he will accompany a unit of (so far) 6 Elven Lords or if he will be independent. Of course a lot of this is predicated on what happens with the battle standard bearer of which I'll have mounted as well.

Next up to blog about is my mounted wizard "Milambar Ice Blade". I actually took photos of him too, but noticed that I still need to paint the "ramage" (he has a saddle bag with scrolls). Also the Dragomaster (DRAG7) which I converted years ago with his remounted rider is almost complete too. If that were not enough I have another unmodified dragon that is stripped of its old paint job and primed. As to which army it will go I'm not sure yet, perhaps it will be painted in a high elf scheme...

And further: I still have another mounted elf wizard and a unicorn in need of a mounted female elf wizard.... an elf kin warrior band, two more 20 strong elf archer units, another Treeman, another war dancer troupe, and a scratch built chariot... So plenty of stuff to do with this army to say the least.

I'm still tinkering with the light box (I know, I know, I've been saying this for a while) but have come up with a few good ideas while I get some more lights this week. These photos are a bit better than as of late. I also have been re-reading about it in the web. Seems like that information I knew at one point, but I must have purged from my memory over the last few years.


In any event let me know what you think of the paint job or any other questions or comments. 
 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Warhammer 3rd edition, back to the best edition- Part II

As I outlined here I've really returned to my roots as it were in regards to Warhammer. Unlike the ass-hats of the OSR movement on the D&D side however I bear no malice or ill-will towards anyone who plays a different version of Warhammer than I do. I find their "your fun is wrong" statements amusing if nothing else. And with the demise of the traditional rule-set of Warhammer Fantasy Battle this is more pronounced with folks going either the Age of Sigmar route, 9th Age or Return of Kings.

For me its why bother? Yes its cumbersome, but with the good olde' orange rule book and Warhammer Armies you have all you need to play a great game.

Talk about value on this thing: It has 11 of the 12 armies contained within (Norse appeared in White Dwarf #107). In addition there are new rules for war machines, and great rules in my opinion for allies and mercenaries which Warhammer always seemed to struggle with to find a good balance for.

So with that in my mind here is where I stand for each of the armies and potential future plans:

Dark Elves- When complete they will total around 4,000-5,000 points. Details on the progress of the army can be found here. For the most part I largely have all the minis needed and just need to round out a few here and there to fill up certain units rank and file. They also have 25 hobgoblins as allies which I'm looking forward to painting (see below).

Wood Elves- As I've been outlining here on the blog they will come in around 4,000 points when complete. Like Dark Elves these pointy ears are a repaint of my existing models. As I also noted, they originally served as allies for my Empire force, but over the years I collected enough to field a force in their own right.

Almost all the models are 3rd edition ones with a few 4th edition ones mixed in like the Glade Guard serving as Kin Band warriors. 
One of my most heavily converted dragons, circa 2006

High Elves- This will be tougher. Not because I don't have minis but because I have a force of at least 10,000 points of High Elves painted and another 4,000 points unpainted... But they are a 5th edition force in composition and models. This isn't a problem per say, but I'm not going to convert them back to 3rd, but rather leave them as is. Easy enough to play 3rd edition games with them, but unlikely to get a lot of the 3rd edition/4th edition range save for two: one being that ever elusive Elven Attack Chariot (for me).

The Empire- Actually my second army in 3rd Edition (more on that in a bit). Like my High Elves these guys are more configured for 4th-7th than 3rd edition. The good news its easy enough to use them in 3rd edition which I did in a battle around December.

Bretonnia- When I first played 3rd Edition I played my initial force as a Bretonnian force... Now I I can't stand Bretonnia due certain posters on a website that promotes them (you know the one). Ever wonder why the Word of Hashut #10 is the way it is? There you go. Right now I have a mixed force that is probably around 1,000 points. I don't really see my doing anything with them anytime soon.

I will be finishing up a Bretonnian canon however as it was one of my first mini purchases ever. Maybe even a small scenic base too. 

Chaos- My chaos force is largely done. it dates back to 1991 and sports a lot of original paint jobs from that time. As of late I've been splitting out the 5th/6th edition minis from the earlier ones. One "new" unit is a repaint of chaos warriors on foot. Right now I have 16 and have been scoping out the remaining 4. Highly unlikely to field 20 at once as the point cost would be over 1,000 points, but they will look cool none-the-less.

A unit of 25 Beastmen with some gors from 5th/6th and Talisman plastic Beastmen is also "under the brush", but back burner right now. 

Skaven- As my buddy Dave collected them way back when he got all of them from the joint plastic regiment boxes. As a result of this over they years they never had much appeal. I'd say I have 10-20 plastic ones. I could see a unit or two for allies, but I'm highly unlikely to gather a full force especially when one considers the amount of minis needed to field a Skaven force.

Orcs- From my Chaos Dwarfs force I've got more than enough to field a Orc and Goblin force but not too many in the way of 3rd edition minis. If I did I'd be looking for the orc and goblin war-machines to round it out. Hell I might just get them anyways as the minis are so cool.

Dwarfs- Like the Wood Elves the Dwarfs are an outgrowth of needing allies for my Empire force in larger battles (as I was the only one playing the "good armies".) The Dwarfs are the force I've changed the least over the years. What I have done is add more minis to them. The leftover from the Battle for Skull Pass box set have also made their way to the army. Right now I have four units to go with the 6,000 points of painted minis I already have. They were also the first force I thought of painting in a coherent scheme rather than individuals except for one unit where I purposely painted each mini different. As a result the unit is a miss mash of colors but the army is predominately green and yellow. All in all the force works.

Slann- Ahhh Slann. I have zero Slann minis unfortunately and I think I only ever actually saw a few in person painted (Dave had some). For some reason they were fairly hard to come by in the States in the late 80s and to try and collect them now? $$$

Undead- This will be a bit easier. Due to summoning spells in 3rd edition WFB everyone had a Undead plastic box set. Because of this I have one unit of cavalry, one unit of infantry and some extras. Coupled with the zombie plastic box set from 6th means I have the nucleus of a small force but needs some touching up on the first two. At some point I envision a small force along the lines of the ones presented around White Dwarf #142ish.

"Extras"
Norse- Only appeared in White Dwarf #107 and I have to say it let me with a meh feeling for the army. I have a few scattered Norse minis, but don't see myself undertaking this task for another human army largely composed of  infantry. Don't get me wrong the minis are cool, but where are the Norse riding war mammoths???

Nippon- My attempts at Nippon have been on again and off again as the mood strikes me. Now not a 3rd edition force the army list for 2nd could be modified to work with 3rd. I have a sizable force but its going to take a lot more time and a lot more lead. I do have almost every ninja model from the range which is kinda cool!

I think if I could get 1-4 of those damn Temple Dogs it would help!

Mercenaries and Allies- based on having so many armies I can usually field any allies needed. In terms of the mercs? I have the following:
  • Chaos Allies- both chaos dwarf war machines, a mortar and multiple bazukas!
  • Old Worlder Ally contingent- toyed with the idea of converting my Bret force to this contingent.
  • Halflings- Got a fair amount of these for a small ally force. 
  • Giants- Two giants, one old school.
  • Ogres- Unit of 8 detailed here.
  • Half-Orcs- this is going to be a quest. I want the 2nd edition range which goes for $$$ on eBay. 
  • Hogoblins- 25 old school hobgoblins including Baron Brightgore on the painting table!
That about rounds out where I stand in Oldhammer, a lot done, quite a bit to go by that's the fun of it. 


Saturday, June 17, 2017

What's on the painting bench?

Like a lot of wargamers/painters I've got a dirty secret. What is that you ask? Far more lead and plastic to paint than time. Just take a look at what is on the painting desk sitting in the "bull pen" area as it were. Show of hands who is just like me? Its said that 50% of gamer/painters admit to having way more minis to paint than time to paint them all. The other 50% is lying.

An even dirtier secret? This picture doesn't include all of my dark elves that are being repainted.And a dirtier secertx2? This doesn't include about 2-3,000 unpainted 4th through 6th edition High Elves, or terrain that is fully created but not yet painted! Arrrghhhh.



In away this post touches on one of the most ironic things about the hobby. When I was younger I had more time than money for miniatures (still did pretty well). Now that I'm older I have less time, but more money (comparatively speaking) for the hobby. Now the prices have of course gone up! Some days you're the bug, other days the windshield.

Included in the photo are (some highlights)
  • 2 Dragonmasters (one is mostly painted- an old butterfly wing conversion. Only the rider needs to be redone- He'll most like go to my 3rd Edition in progress Wood Elf Host). 
  • 16 chaos warriors on foot
  • 20 3rd edition hobgoblin warriors (including Baron Brightgore)
  • 4 dwarf units 
  • 18 (at the moment) Glade Guards to be utilized as Warrior Kinbands.
To close  I'd like so say I'm doing well shifting through my mountain of lead and plastic but who knows? I'm having fun, that's the main part, but I'd like to make some "progress". Yeah I know, Denial is just a river in Egypt either...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Part IV of the Repainting of my 3rd Edition Wood Elf Force- The 1st Treeman

This post will be a bit shorter, but the subject matter isn't, not by a long shot. A mighty Treeman! For those not in the known, Treemen are fearsome in 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. An opponent who doesn't do their best to take these guys out early in a game is foolish.

Why is that? With stat-lines like these, these guys are (wait for it) monsters! WS of 8, S of 6, W of 6 and 4 Attacks? A Treeman is right up there with giants in terms of sheer hitting power in 3rd Edition Warhammer.

Image thanks to Goblin Lee's blog
I won't go into every detail as it has been covered depth and with an excellent analysis of the whole Wood Elf army by Goblin Lee here. I will say that I'm interested to see for myself how they perform in my revamped force. In the past the Wood Elf host wasn't so much an independent force as it was an ally contingent for my Empire army (as I noted previously).

The Treeman model in question was painted fairly well before I stripped off the paint a few months back; should have taken a pre-photo. The main issue with it was for some reason I used gloss coat to seal it rather than matte finish, don't ask me why. I purchased it in the mid 1990s when my forces were transitioning to 4th and 5th. I've always liked the look of this one compared to the classic range of Treeman in the 1980s. So with that in mind future ones I purchase will be of the same era miniature-wise.

The repaint went very fast and I'm pleased with the results. As you can see because I use black to undercoat the colors come out darker and "moodier" if you will. I do this on purpose as I've never been able to reconcile my painting style with white undercoating; don't know why.

The only real issue I struggled with was whether or not to add fall foliage to the Treeman itself rather than just the base as I have been doing with the rest of the Wood Elf host. In the end I didn't like how it looked so I just went with the base to tie it in with the rest of the force. A active Treeman pounding the snot out of his foes shouldn't be red, orange and yellow for leaves denoting the upcoming hibernation season for trees. Plus I want to avoid comparisons to the 7th Edition Wood Elf forces that are based on seasonal color schemes.

And so here he is. Finally got a natural light bulb for the painting desk again, but the grays on the bark are coming out a bit muted. In actuality those parts are a bit lighter on the higher points.



The next post, Part V will most likely focus on the painting of my general and mounted wizard of my bludgeoning force.