2016 – The Year of Skirmish!

Well, its 2016, so like everyone else, I’m looking at the New Year and wondering what my hobby plans should be.  I’m not going to go as far as resolutions, as I suspect I’ll crack like a twig at the sight of new shiny models, but I have a definite approach in mind.

2016 is the year of the skirmish (and board) game for me, I think.  Why?  It’s simple – time to paint, time to play.

With 2 small children, and my regular opponent having a small boy too, big chunks of hobby time just don’t come together often, if at all!  Smaller chunks of time for a quick game, though?  Thats possible!  Painting a  few models here and there?  Doable!  Painting a whole army?  Thats more of a stretch, at least without compromising on quality more than I’d like.  In addition, I am a hobby butterfly – without much time to throw at something, I’ll have lost interest in a bigger force before I finish!

So, what’s on the agenda then!  In terms of 28mm gaming, I think there are 3 main games going to be grabbing my time – Dungeon Saga, Star Wars Imperial Assault and Malifaux.  Bloodbowl, Guildball and Frostgrave are all likely to get a turn too, but probably more painting than play time.

Star Wars Armada and Star Wars X-Wing are definitely going to get play time.  Minimal work is needed to field a force, and the games are easy to set up and fun to play.  I’m hoping to customise a 100pts X-Wing tournament force with a squadron paint job too, but thats a bonus extra.

I’m going to mix it up a bit by painting for some of the charity armies for WAAC – so Lanyssa is being purchased for an upcoming Minions (from Warmahordes) army raffle.  I may be moving this year, so not sure I’ll be able to organise a #WAAC 40K raffle like I did last year though – time will be very difficult!

What are the hobby losers then?

  • Infinity looks like it’s not going to get a look in this year.  I love the models, but I don’t have any local opponents to get into it, and the same sort of Sci-Fi slot is being grabbed by Imperial Assault.
  • Age of Sigmar – well, that’s a blog post in its own right, but Dungeon Saga and Frostgrave fill the skirmish end of the fantasy spectrum already.
  • 40K, surprisingly, isn’t likely to get much of a look in.  Despite being my favourite game for years and years, the length of games, setup times and size of forces make it unlikely that I’ll be able to get to play much.  Add in the ongoing rules update costs, and the continual rules emphasis on new or underselling models to keep changing up forces, and I just can’t keep it up.   I might pick a single army to work on over the year, but can’t see myself doing too much, though I may explore the new “Path to Glory” rules and look at maybe doing a 40K warband.
  • Warmahordes – I love the models, but just don’t have time or local opponents to get really into it.  My Cygnar are likely to go unpainted and unfielded!  Shame, as I love my swans.
  • Dropzone Commander – I absolutely love this game, but just don’t think I’m going to get time to sort out a new system and build techniques for painting a new scale in large numbers.

I don’t plan on axing or reducing my collection unless it becomes necessary, but will be aiming to have a much smaller collection of active games and models.  However, hoping to keep hobby enthusiasm high and participate more in things like Vassal and as part of the Warmongers over on twitter!

2015 in Wargaming – Kipper’s Thoughts

Its been a very interesting year in terms of hobby!  I think the key word for 2015 has to be “change”.

There are 2 major forces for change, I think.  The first is that some major franchises are pushing into the wargaming space.  Aliens vs Predator and Star Wars Imperial Assault hits the 28mm sci-fi skirmish scene, Star Wars X-Wing and Star Trek Attack Wing hit starship dogfighting, and Star Wars Armada and Halo Fleet battle hit strategic fleet battle simulations.  People who wouldn’t dream of playing Warhammer 40K are playing these and getting sucked into the wider hobby.

The 2nd big change has been the demolition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle and its replacement with Age of Sigmar, a much simpler game with a much higher fantasy tone.  Some people love it, others hate it, but it has certainly opened up a lot of eyes to trying new games and systems.  People who never dreamed of buying anything but GW miniatures now happily buy miniatures from all sorts of places to play a wide range of games.  The world of fantasy games in particular is now much more open.

There are other factors as well – Infinity and Malifaux go from strength to strength, and Guildball has been massively popular out of nowhere in the fantasy sports arena.  But people do seem to be really looking at the broader industry to a much greater degree than ever before, and the quality of mixtures and games has skyrocketed.

I know my hobby patterns have been shaken up massively this year.  I’ve got into Malifaux a little, and got into Star Wars X-Wing and Armada a LOT!  The death of Warhammer Fantasy has paradoxically got me very excited about fantasy models again, and  I’ve been enthused for lots of new games, like Kings of War, Frostgrave, Of Gods and Mortals, classic 3rd edition and 6th edition warhammer.   Dark Elves have been resurrected, and Dungeon Saga has opened me up to new model lines – a mantic undead army is tempting in 2016!

40K isn’t getting me excited like it used to.  Some individual models being released are magnificent, but the general trend is leaving me a bit cold.  I’m not sure why – I think its the new scale of battles.  It feels like replicating the old epic stuff in 28mm – I don’t really want to play with loads of fliers and titans (though I may have and Eldar Titan to paint up in 2016!!!) and superheavy tanks.  I really enjoyed 5th edition with infantry on the ground.  I’m still enjoying painting models, like my tyranids, but it’d take some pretty amazing offers or superb models for me to buy much.  Of course, I suspect a cracking novel or a good game or two will change that up entirely! 😀

I’ve also broadened my paint selection quite a lot! I’ve moved from GW only through Army Painter, and now into Vallejo, particularly model air and airbrushing!   I’m now very keen on finding the best paint for the job regardless of brand…. though I do prefer dropper pots!

I’ve seen a big move to gaming online between physical events, with x-wing, armada, malifaux and guildhall all having strong presence and support on Vassal. Infinity relies a little more on 3d and line of sight, but there are infinity modules too.  It helps encourage people to know the rules and play, and really strengthens the community around the games.


Although I haven’t been able to game as much as I’d like taking part in events like #WAAC charity raffles have been tremendous fun and very rewarding!  In more ways than one, having won a force of Malifaux Ressurectionists!  I hope I’ll get more games in, and more painting time next year, but most of all I hope its just as much fun!

Projects Revisited – Airbrush Time!

OK!  Time to revisit my outstanding project list, which is currently making the labours of Hercules look like a slackers lunch break in comparison!  Bear in mind I have 2 tiny children, so hobby time is horrendously limited already!

Star Wars – Armada

Well, Armada is made a little easier by the fact that the capital ships are painted!  However, the individual starfighters are all nothing but grey plastic.  Adding some basic squadron colours and a wash will make a big difference!

I’d love to tweak the capital ships, but that will wait until I’ve actually played enough to pick a regular fleet!

For these, grey primer and my army painter main colours will do just fine!


TIE Fighters from core box

Imperial Fighters set


X-Wings from core box

Rebel Fighters set

(Planned – héros and villains set!)

Star Wars – Xwing

Well, X-Wing is entirely prepainted, so I don’t have to do anything!  I am tempted to look at customising a 100pt force for tournaments though!  Time is so limited that I think I’m going to hold off doing extra painting here unless anything particularly irritates me!  Though the “Green Squadron” look for the campaign pack does seem amazing…. Onyx Squadron?  Nova Squadron?  Argent squadron?



Well, having a decent number of Cygnar models, I really should see about getting them painted!  I’m going to hold off on this for now, though – I’m going to enter the WAAC Warmachine raffle, and will go with Macmillan Green should I win, otherwise I’ll go with a traditional Cygnar blue.  I’m hoping to enter the Tale of More Gamers group where we build this every month starting next year, so that’d be motivating and fun!  Grey primer works fantastically well on these, but I’ve already undercoated a couple in white – some vallejo white primer may be needed to make sure they all match.



I have a reasonable PanO force with the earlier starter set and the Operation Icestorm set.  I intend to start with the earlier starter set as a tester for colours before moving ahead with other PanO.  I do like the default blue and ceramic white colours here, so may give them a go.  The basic grey primer and the model air blue will be my starting point, before my army painter main paints.  Possibly invest in a model colour version of a matching blue triad?


I have enormous numbers of Nomads lurking unassembled!  Like the Pan-O, I think I’m going to use the less nice models in the earlier starter set as a tester here.  I’m unsure on colours – the traditional overall nomad colours are red and black which are very striking, and would overlap with work on my blood angels.  On the flip side, the Reverend Moiras are often seen in a really unusual purple, which is gorgeous.  Not sure of paints until/unless I make a decision!

I may need to buy some more minis here – some great new releases, and I haven’t got any TAGs as yet – massive robots needed 🙂


Bloodbowl – an ancient game, so why am I looking at it?  Well, I picked up a selection of Shadowforge teams, which are amazing!  I really want to get them painted up for display more than play. In addition, I accidentally lost some blood bowl teams that weren’t mine, too.  I felt I should look at replacing them for my brother!


Huzzah!  I find these hilarious 🙂  I’m thinking a white primer for clear whites and flesh colours, with black habits and grey highlights added by hand.

Female Elf

I’m missing a set of Elf catchers for this team, so its low on my priority list to paint until I get the missing models.  I was thinking of going with the old school red and blue Galadrieth Gladiators colours.

Female Human

Not sure what to do with these.  I think I’ll probably go either old school Reikland Reavers colours, or maybe go with modern day New Orlean Saints colours, as they are Saint Aidan’s favourite team.


Its often thought that the New Orleans Saints were actually the Lowdown Rats in Bloodbowl, and these were always a classic team.  I’d need to get the minis, but its tempting to pick these up to replace the 2nd edition set that was lost. 🙁  Fun to paint too!

Female Dark Elf

I loved the Darkside Cowboys, so a female Dark Elf team in the blue and yellow of the 2nd edition originals would absolutely rock and match the female league I seem to be setting up!  Again, I’d need to get the minis, but if I enjoy the first few current teams, I think this will have to be done!!!

Warhammer 40K

Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels!  I’ve had this army for around 10 years now, and never even primed them!  This has to change.  Its not an army I see myself collecting avidly and expanding, so its a project I feel I can tackle and say “closed”.    I plan to spray using the Vallejo Gloss Primer, and then dust with the vallejo metallic black effect as a base across the force.  Red insignia

Most of this force are built, but I’ll add in the Dark Angels from the Dark Vengeance box set for the hell of it (swapping out the plasma cannon marine, I think), and need to build a old school metal dreadnaught – the Angel of Blades!

Crimson Fists

Awesome old school for the win!  I have a complete force of RTB01 era marines, together with the 25th anniversary beakie!  I intend to paint these up as crimson fists once my airbrushing is good enough to do a solid job on basecoating.  Classic models that will hopefully match the look of the original Rogue Trader Cover.

Priming with Grey, then basecoating hands with red and main body with navy blue is the way forward here!  Not in a rush here, though – want to do these right, not fast.

Silver Skulls

My Silver Skulls are probably my main Astartes force in progress at the moment.  I have a wide range of sprayed silver vehicles on sprue that I want to assemble with magnetised options, including insignia to share with my sisters of battle and grey knights.  The three armies will all fit in my KR trunk and be my Imperial main stay.

I have 30 basecoated marines in silver waiting for some basic details to add to my overall force.  Happy with progress here.

Imperial Fists

My Imperial Fists have rather fallen by the way side.  I have a storm talon basecoated, and a fair few troops in need of details and washing.  I need to push forward a bit here, and get a “finished” army done with a standard number of points.


Loads of Eldar to do!!!  I have a fair few thousand points of painted Eldar, so this is really not high on the priority list.  Finishing more wraithguard and a wraith knight would round off the troops, and I’d like to do the phoenix lords!  Basic Dire Avengers (About 6 squads) might be good practice for spraying blues!


Loads of Tau to do too.  I’m not terribly excited by the new models except that awesome Ghostkeel, but I do have a riptide and a few units of tanks to paint.  I’d also like to do a unit of tau jump troops with custom weapons as proxies for the alien vespids – I really want a tau only looking force.

My Tau are a simple green with green ink washed for shiny, red lens and unit specific markings, so shouldn’t be too involved if the basecoating is done.

I would like to go back with a micro hex stencil and go over the force for a cool futuristic effect. Rock!


Orksies!  Thousands of Orksies!  I have got lots and lots of Orks, in roughly 3 eras of collection.  Rogue Trader era works as a counterpart to the Crimson Fists, Gorkamorka stuff, and modern Orks.  I really want to find an effective, fast way of getting these battlefield ready.  Toying with some basic sprays and painting with just washes, as thats achieved fast great results for others.

The RT era I think prime grey and spray red, going for an evil sun vibe.

Dark Eldar

Well, I have close on 2 full Dark Eldar armies in terms of numbers – a male and female army!  I could just mix them up, but I quite like the thought of having a kick ass group of ladies, especially as Sisters of Battle are getting a bit dated.

Thinking I might go purple, dust with pink, lightly dust with light pink for the lady army for a glowing pink look.

For the other army, I am thinking corrupt craft world, and will go with colours matching aspect warrior units and the like – so kaballites as Dire Avengers, Wyches as banshees, incubi as striking scorpions, and so on.

Inquistorial Force

Inquistorial Henchmen!  Funky custom inquisitors!  Unique stuff!  Stormtroopers!  Lots of possibilities here, including a slew of Warmachine figures I want to use as Inquisitors and Henchmen – Daughters of the Flame will make amazing Death Cult models to use with Inquisitors and sisters of battle.  I have a fairly large number of SWAT team members from a modern gang game (Street Violence) that I’d like to do as arbites.   I have a slew of hfminis.co.uk models to use as floating psykers and reaper minis to use as crusaders, as well as some Ax Faction minis I want to convert as inquisitors.

All of this is the odd custom stuff, but is fun.  While not actively planned, these are bits I’ll do to rejuvenate hobby mojo as bonus extras.

Am toying with panzerjaegers as female stormtroopers under this category too 🙂

Sisters of Battle

Well, unless sisters are actually re-released, I’m pretty happy with my force.  There are a few individuals I need to finish off (like a order dialogus and a seraphim with bolt pistols to take a squad up to 10, but not many.  Like the inquisitors – these are projects but side pieces.

Space Wolves

Well, the Stormclaw campaign set is mine!  Not only does this contain Orks, see above, it also contains a reasonable force of Space Wolves.  Add a Space Wolf captain won on eBay by Swiv3D, and the original leman russ model (used as the basis of the current Ragnar Blackmane), and its not an insignificant force.

Assembling and painting it is low not he  priority list, except I’d definitely go grey and yellow with a classic look, not baby blue!!!

Blood Angels

Between Space Hulk Terminators, a range of special characters and a few boxes of death company, sanguinary guard and tactical squads, I have a decent selection of Blood Angels to paint!  They are quite low on my list too … though I do have the Deathstorm set with even more terminators!   Although I have enough marines that BA aren’t top priority, I would like to get at least the Space Hulk terminators done so I can play the game prettily!


See above for the death storm set and space hulk!  lots to add to my core force, much of which is unpainted.  I have a fast colour scheme for these though, and most are at least base coated, so I want to finish these off quickly and effectively.

Ochre base coat.  Heavy red ink wash over fleshy parts, and a heavy red drybrush over the ochre armour plates leaves a striking colour scheme.  A few white/bone touches on claws and teeth, and maybe green eyes, and its all done!

Grey Knights

My grey knights are mostly done!  There are a few older models I need to assemble and finish off, and I’d like to find time to unify the bases.  I do have a dread knight to build and paint too!  Standard stuff here – basecoat silvery, and gold details, force weapon effects and a wash, and pretty much done!

Imperial Guard


The valhallans are a bit battered with a range of paint schemes.  I’m thinking I might unify them with the cadians – desert yellow or khaki base colour, black and white came dots on the cloaks.  Main work is also rebasing the have weapons teams.


Largely unpainted, the heavy weapons teams also need rebasing.  The ones that are painted are cool, and they are pretty tank heavy.  Valkyrie and chimera need assembling and painting, and one leman russ needs a turret rebuild.

desert yellow or khaki base colour, black and white camo dots on the cloaks, a few brown swishes to break it up.  Simple and effective.  add flesh, gun and a wash, all sorted!

Thousand Sons

Not mine!  I have loads of unassembled chaos troops, and it’d be nice to build and paint some for my brother as a pressies if I get time.  Totally unassembled, so can spray the parts prior to assembly to make it faster!

Crimson Slaughter

My Khorne Beserkers here need patching up to standard and detail adding to finish these off.  Close to completion here, and don’t think there’s much I can do with an airbrush here!  reds and gold the old fashioned way!

Fantasy Stuff

Dark Elves

I’ve recently dug my old “Sea Elves” out of storage, and added a selection of similar era models from a friend online (@Thee_other_matt).  I’ve got a decent size force now despite some casualties over the years.  I really like these models, and am looking at adding to them with a “Witch Elves through the Eras” – with 14 witch elves from the 90s from a third party manufacturer, about 20 GW original witch elves, 14 late 90’s GW witch elves and 30 Avatars of War witch elves.  Add in maybe some Raging Heroes witch elves and some modern GW witch elves, and it’d be a cracking display piece!

I really need to paint the whole army up to at least an OK standard even if it was just to sell on though.  Basic spray of silver, flesh, dark robes and a spot colour would get me there quite quickly!

High Elves

With two boxes of Island of Blood, and an old Mordheim force of Shadow Elves as scouts, I could actually field a not insignificant force of High Elves.  With 8th Edition allowing Elven alliances, this would be quite a cool allied contingent – I’d paint them matching the Dark Elves but with white robes instead of black.


One of the last few editions had a small army of dwarves in the starter set, which is lurking unassembled.  It might be quite cool to do a simple paint job and these to have them as a skirmish force for Age of Sigmar, or for a last alliance type army with Empire and High Elves.  Very low on the priority list though.


Much like the dwarves, I have a starter Empire army for one of the sets lurking mostly unassembled.  These are really cool models, and it’d be really nice to do a decent job of an Empire force on these!  Very low on the priority list too though.

Orcs and Goblins


Matching the Empire and Dwarves were Orcs and Goblins.  These are cracking models, and its tempting to get the green spray out and get them up to a basic standard for random skirmish stuff, enemies for D&D and Dungeon Saga and so on.  Very low on the priority list.


Like the High Elves, a double dose of Island of Blood is a good start here!  Saint Aidan used to love Skaven, so if he’s interested, I think a simple paint job with the airbrush may well be on the cards, and let us play a few fantasy battle games!


Frostgrave is my excitement of the moment.  I just love the mechanics of this game, and am looking at loads of different possible starter armies.  Currently I am favouring a small wood elf force, with a Wizard, Apprentice, two wolf animal companions, and 6 archers.  Rock!  I’d paint these up to match the high and sea elves, going with the same spot colour but green rather than white or black robes.  Though dwarf or human options using the small starter armies may be the way forward here!  I dunno!  Feeling very enthusiastic though 🙂

Of Gods and Mortals

Of Gods and Mortals is a really interesting take on the skirmish game.  Pick a god, some heroes, and some mortals.  Kill the god before the mortals, and their belief will restore him.  Focus on the mortals, and the heroes and gods might be ripping you a new one.  Really interesting concept, and made better by rules for creating your own pantheons as well as a fairly decent range of existing ones.

I’m tempted to look at Pallas Athene with Roman legionnaires!  Or maybe Athena with a force of Amazons.  Or even go legendary with elves and use 54mm elves as gods from fiction.  Or Viking up with Thor!  Lots of options!

Dungeon Saga

My monster Dungeon Saga pledge should arrive some time soon, and I am really looking forward to it.  It looks like a really fun game, with some solo play options for a time challenged Dad.  Loads to paint though, and should be really useful for D&D scenery and monsters too.  Good stuff!



I have a Lady Justice crew languishing half assembled.  I’ve been struggling to get exited to finish these off, partially because they are pretty damn fiddly, but also because I can’t get a paint scheme in mind – doing it as the Twilight Sparkle crew has been the best I’ve come up with so far.  I suspect these might wait until I actually get a game or two of malifaux in, and then I’ll get very excited to finish them.


However, the brewmaster drunken Moonshinobi crew?  Brilliant! Absolutely love these, and they are high on my list.  I loved movies with drunken master kung-fu, so take that and add it to Gremlin insanity and you have a winner!  High on my list, if I can face assembling the notoriously fiddly malifaux plastics!!!


I have no guildball models at all, but it looks like terrific fun and is really, really taking off. I am tempted to look at picking up a team!  Sooooo tempted.

Dropzone Commander


I got DzC as an unexpected gift, and it is absolutely amazing as a starter set.  Full rules, scenery, two decent starter armies – it has the lot.  The UCM is a cracking look, really reminiscent in style of the recent Halo games and the Aliens movie.  I love them, and I think the small scale should make it easy to churn them put with a reasonable look!


Not as taken by the Scourge to play, but they are cracking looking baddies.  Should be fun and quick to paint up too – if anything, gloss black spray, metallic effect black dusting and maybe some gunmetal dry brush should look pretty awesome.


Terrain, sir, loads of it!  I have 2 resin Forgeworld squares to paint up to add to my battle board!  I have the altar of skulls to do, plus two fantasy towers (the complete and ruined ones).  Plus about a complete ruined city worth of 40k terrain to assemble, spray and unify.  And I keep thinking of homemade terrain bits too (and eying up the gorgeous and cheap Almera plastics line)!  Not to mention a fair bit of terrain from the LotR range as well!  Hoping to churn these out pretty quick with some basic airbrushing and a big pot of army painter dip!!!

I may have a problem!