Mars Miniatures

Mars Miniatures

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lead Adventure's Ratnik Dwarf Clan Arrive In Moria!

Big post with lots of pics today!  Im very happy to welcome these newly painted dwarf reinforcements into my burgeoning Moria Dwarf colony.  They are Ratnik Miniatures from Lead Adventure.  As most of you know I am a TMP stalwart, yet I have lurked in the Lead Adventure forum for many years.  No more lurking!   I have recently joined their forum as a member, and am proud to be among such an illustrious and talented community of painters and hobbyists.

These figures match in size very well with Reaper and GW dwarves, which you can see for yourself in the comparison shots at the end of the post.  They are pleasantly plump and full of character.  The details are sharp and catch paint with delight.  These 17 new arrivals (3 were lost in the mail, somewhere over the Atlantic!) I have divided into 3 groups: a) the commander and his 8 Household Guard, b) the Wizard and his 2 apprentices, and c) 5 Cave Explorers.

Onwards with pics and text...

 Group shot of the Ratnik clan as they enter Moria, wondering if the first wave of colonists are still around. 
Gorman: "All we know is that there's still no contact with the colony, and that a xenomorph may be involved."
 Here is Grand Ole Axetooth, chieftain of the Ratnik Hills clan, with his trusty mug of ale.

 And here come the Ratnik Cavern Experts, with lanterns, ropes, and other spelunking gear.  Yes, two dwarf womenfolk... they can sniff out which tunnel leads to treasure more easily!

 And here is Balgar Blackwing, dwarven wizard! Along with his support personnel, a librarian and a scribe.
My cousin Balin would give us a Royal welcome~! Roaring fires, malt beer, red meat off the bone.

 Librarian Iolag: "According to this, the living quarters are this way!"
Gombur the Scribe: "Day 2 since entering the Mines, we are lost and there is no sign that the first wave of the Reaper Dwarf clan was ever here.  Repeat, first wave was ineffective.
Capt John Miller: "First wave ineffective. We do not hold the beach, repeat, we do not hold the beach."
 Balgar Blackwing: "Blackbird totem staff say... dwarf brothers are near!"
 Grand Ole Axetooth: "To wake foul beasties or not, we must find our brethren...  sound your horn!"

 Two battle brothers

 Swinging axes all day is thirsty work!

 I smell orc!  Or maybe its just bat droppings.

 There is something or someone up ahead, bring your lantern this way!

 Now if I can just climb this rock...

 I think those are wild cave boar ahead.  I didnt sharpen my trusty meat cleaver for nothing!
Wait, its not cave pig, its our Reaper clan brothers!

 And so the 2 clans were reunited.  Comparison shot, Left to Right: Ratnik, Reaper, Ratnik - Grand Ole Axetooth, Reaper - Baron Hawk, Ratnik

 Another comparison shot, Left to Right: Ratnik - Lantern, Alternative Armies Torch Bearer, Reaper - Lantern

And finally a battle of the hoods - comparison shot, Left to Right:Ratnik, Reaper, Ratnik, Reaper, Ratnik

So there ya go!  17 Ratnik clan dwarves join 30 Reaper clan dwarves and 4 gnomish tunnel fighters.  Im not resting on my laurels though.  I just prepped and based 20 Heartbreaker dwarves, sculpted by Kev Adams.  Busy brushwork from the Mines of Moria!  Until the next post...


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oldhammer First Edition Box Set has Arrived!

  I've owned nearly every edition of Warhammer at some point or another.  But the original White Box 1st edition was the one that never synchronized with my finances, availability, and/or my interest in wargaming (dont you just hate those hobby droughts).  At long last, much like the Dark Crystal, the Great Conjunction is upon me.  Just today, I have received a beautiful copy.  The box is reasonably intact, and all the booklets are in very good condition.  Also, the box contains not only the 3 booklets it should have, but also 3 booklets from the Forces of Fantasy expansion, and another booklet of armies called the Book of Battalions.  Basically everything I could ever need for 1st edition gaming.  I might hunt for some old White Dwarf magazines in the future though. 

  So its official...  this blog is now an Oldhammer blog.  And I am aligning myself to the codes of conduct of an ancient and venerable institution.  The Invisible Fraternity, the Brotherhood of Worldwide Gaming Grognards.  Our manifesto: to grumble a lot, roll dice often and sneer at new fangled rules sets.  So, fellow soldiers of the Old Guard, I have come to say... after many years I am ready for a new campaign to extend, once again, the limits of glory! 

 Whats that mean for this blog?  I will be skewing my purchases towards old lead from the 80s.  Marauder, Citadel, Ral Partha, Grenadier, etc...  These will fill the ranks of lead I already have.  And of course my rules are here, a perfect fit as you will see for my Dwarven Lost Kingdom Reclamation Project.  Highlights as to why Im using 1st edition: Use any figures, rules for fighting in dungeons, dwarf and gnome army lists, scenario driven games, character hero progression for a hybrid blend of rpg/wargaming, and even stats for Balrog (yeah, not a bloodthirster... Balrog, deal with it, Tolkien estate!) Some pics to celebrate and some words to accompany them below.

 Beautiful old school charm, box is in great condition considering it was "made in 1982"
 And look at all the goodies that were in it!
 Booklet 1, the main rulebook
 Simple artwork, simple rules, a lot less of those pesky special rules.

 Fighting in dungeons

 Booklet 2 is for magic
 Look at that art!  Look at it!
Those spells sure look a lot like D&D, dont it?
 Booklet 3 is for characters
 Wierd to see how close rpgs and miniature wargaming was back then.  And will be again, for me!
 Encounter tables! Again, its D&D, but Warhammer.
 Booklet 1 of Forces of Fantasy expansion
 And its all about army lists, very open and simple army construction
 Theres a list for my stunted ones...
 And for my gnomes, too!
 Dark Elves, checking in!

 Next booklet is for advanced rules

 Tabletop terrain generator with possible hidden monster lairs
 Booklet 3 of the Forces of Fantasy expansion is magical spells, weapons, treasure
 And monsters!  Here is the dreaded Balrog.
 Rune weapons, and a guide to actually paint them on your  minis. Ooh, lookout, Death Runes!
 Another nice illustration, every bit as evocative as the old school AD&D portfolio
 Finally, the Book of Battalions, which has famous game industry people with their army lists.
 I like the Reality Quotient stat for each army... "For example Bryan Ansell is 100% real - and consequently dangerous."  and yet poor Mr Rick Priestly is a meager 25%,  John Blanche 50% The Perry twins make 11% combined! Mr John Stallard (current head honcho of Warlord Games) is at a respectable 85%.  Richard Halliwell (of Space Hulk fame, for me) is 0%?  Cmon, that man is a legend!

Next post incoming...  painted Lead Adventure Ratnik Dwarves!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gnomish Tunnel Fighters

  I bought some Alternative Armies dwarves on ebay, a box called Tunnel Fighters.  I suppose they are OOP, couldnt find them on their website.  There were 10 of them, but only 4 unique sculpts.  So I will keep 4 and sell the other 6.  They are 25mm, so are smaller than my Reaper dwarves, so in my world they are now gnomes.

 Group shot of all 4 gnomes

In the future I want to make a artsy pic of these guys in a proper dark tunnel with lighting appropriate for torchlight.

  The guy on the left is a firepot thrower.  Naptha bombs! I love the smell of burning goblin in the morning.  And I love that lil guy on the right, with his tongue sticking out, he really loves tunnel fighting.

 Here is a comparison shot with a Reaper dwarf.  Sure he is smaller, but isnt short on character.

Another comparison shot with a Reaper dwarf with a lantern in the center.  I think he will be their boss. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dark Elves Of The Blackroot Abyss

  Hello again, gentle readers.  Im happy to show off the first adversaries to confront my dwarven expedition...  the Dark Elves!  Dark elves are evil hearted elves who live underground, unlike their forest dwelling good natured cousins on the surface.  In Warhammer they are called Druchii, and in D&D they are called Drow.   I have chosen to paint their skin a purple hue to counterpoint their mostly black armor and cloth.

  Below we have some fluff, and of course some lovely pics with more text to accompany.  Enjoy. 

   Emptiness, then the cold stone of his surroundings.  Reality, then hunger, but not his, and then the all too familiar return of distant ghostly wailing voices.  "Feed us!" His cursed sentient sword hungered for fresh souls to harvest.  Alric was disturbed from his meditation, but not by his blade, something else.  His sharp hearing detected two persons approaching his chamber.  By the weight of her footsteps and the swish of her noble robes, he knew one was the Countess Alyza.  The other he knew by the clinking of various vials, even before he smelled the sharp odor of sulfur and other alchemical agents - Grigori, the Master Of Poisons.  Life as a Drow was a constant dance of politics and assassinations, Alric had been taught as a child.  He turned to face the door and with a wave of his hand, he magically opened it.  The two Drow entered, the Countess with head held high and fangs visible in her disarming smile.  The Alchemist was more subservient, with a lowered head to show his respect.  Alric could feel the hunger within the Countess, an unsatiable bloodlust.  But this time, it was palpable... excited even.  But not directed at him, this was no play for power.  He understood this hunger all to well, felt it mirrored by the sword at his side.  Which meant only one thing.  
  "Intruders in our realm," Alric said simply.  Grigori nodded.  
  "Yes, Lord commander, our favorite," the Countess smiled. "Dwarves..."

 The vanguard of the Drow are the Anti-Paladins, a veritable storm of slashing blades.  In the center is their commander, Alric Of The Cursed Blade.  Alric has a cursed sword, which gives him incredible power, but demands a constant sacrifice of souls.  By his side is High Alchemist Grigori, Master of Poisons, who makes certain all the Anti-Paladin weapons are coated with deadly toxins.

 Countess Alyza commands her personal retinue of warrior she-elves, who are rumored to be addicted to drinking the blood of their enemies.  Born of noble blood, she has forsaken her life in court and chosen to accompany the Drow armies to war.  A master of black sorcery, her bloodlust drives her to slay ever more enemies.  She revels in the slaughter, draining captives and corpses of their soul essence, which in turn fuels her magical arts.

The Shadowfire cultists have taken the high ground where they overwatch their Drow brethren below.  With magic and arrows they decimate their enemies from afar.

Here is a group shot of the entire Drow patrol.

A closeup of some Shadowfire cultists.
Even more cultists, with their leader on the right, Magister Ludi

  Next post, I will try to do a battle report, with either of these rule sets:  Knights & Magick by Heritage, or Song Of Blades And Heroes.  Havent decided yet which to read up on.  I used to play Knights & Magick, so that would be easy to brush up on.  I would prefer to do Song, but I would have to wrap my head around a new and unfamiliar ruleset.