Friday, March 30, 2012

On the subject of Knights.

New Perry Bros, Plastic Mounted Men at Arms, coming soon in numerous boxes to my house as quickly as possible.. There isn't a release date yet, but when there is- I am all over it.

On the subject of Knights in Warhammer or just general Fantasy armies. One of my complaints in  my last post was criticism of  the new Demi Gryph knights...outside the rules issues brought up in comments and my major beef that every army now exact has same structure of pre determined roles for all its models.. Lets put all that aside and talk about something much more fundamental; Aesthetics, and how they changed in the Knight department.

 Here we have one of my favorite Empire units, my "Knights of the Blazing Sun"  I modeled and painted these guys up in 2008 and the height of my 7th edition fervor. While this kit in 2012 is tired as all hell, as it was released I *think* in early 6th edition. (maybe earlier??)  They are a prime example of the roots of the 15th Century Swiss and German armies that GW based its Empire IP on. While the iconography is its own, its a good mix of historical reality and fantasy. Just the way I like it.  The Bretonnian kits from the same era a cut from the same cloth. These kits obviously have serious staying power, as they are originally modeled in the very roots of core imagery of the game.

The next evolution of Knights comes with Vampire Counts Bloods and Chaos Knights at the tail end of 7th edition.  I found both kits appealing still because the retained a certain aesthetic , while it was clearly drifting in the over embellishment category (I like the Blood Knights more than the Chaos)  I felt they still paid homage to what the Warhammer world defined as the themes of it core setting.

There reason I keep coming back to the Perrys, Is this is what Fantasy Knights (dead or alive, barbarian or civilized)  should be based on. Fireforges Teutonic Knights (below) from 100 or so years earlier are another current great example. Or any of Musketeer Miniatures great Arab or Anglo Saxon Cavalries of various periods. These guys were the real deal, they rode into battle not against Dragons or Undead but against Men- flesh and steel vs flesh and steel, and for the most part their lives were short. They're the reason all this fantasy stuff even exists, They're part the reason we even play wargames, as for many people out there, its not just a hobby its also how we connect with our past.

 IF there is single figure in human history that is quintessential symbol of the human condition its has to be the Knight ( more directly the Questing Knight or Knight Errant via Arthurian legend) So shall we not pay the man the proper respect?

(These Fire Forge models finally come out this month I believe)

( No respect here, just six new Cadillacs. some epic headgear, and sign that says "Fat Bankroll")

Finally with these GW's new Demi Gryph Knights, we've stepped thru the gateway. We now have not only the continuing escalated over embellishments in the fantastical detail department,  but as dictated by a forced rule structure we're now riding Monsters who are kitted out like a steam tank. Now, I know its a Fantasy game..before anyone comments on the obvious, and Yes. I understand its allowed to evolve.  Lets just not overlook that where you take your intellectual property over time is going to dictate your fan base. and sometimes people just aren't going to like it anymore, especially when the Aesthetics are a founding principle in why your attracted to it. (ummm George Lucas anyone???)

 The best of classic fantasy literature mixes the REAL with the SURREAL, where its still fantastical but "it could be possible". Where pockets of our normal existence or our past exist only to be threatened by the abnormal or Supernatural. Crossing the boundaries to where everything is fantastical and nothing is grounded in reality is another mans game, that is not the imagery I put in my own head that attracted me to WFB in the first place. It calls up a completely different set of rules, that are in opposition to other and really boils it down to a black and white choice. Some people can just take it for what it is and have fun with it, I suppose I am burdened with the need for some sort of intellectual rationalization with my miniatures.  Sounds like total bullshit I know, but its true.

(Mad props to the Perry's, Percival would be proud)

Needless to say, I will be decking out a good dozen or so of  these Perry Men at Arms when they finally see the light of day. "Cheeearggge"!!!

Have good weekend folks.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Killing me softly

Well the love affair had to end sometime, I saved you all my complaints about the Games Workshop total ripoff masked as  "painting improvements" by redoing there entire paint line. Adding some base or some white to the core color and repackaging and renaming it as a new color. while this is clear money grab aimed that those who dont know any better..did you really have to change all the paint names?  so now if I need some Bubonic Brown , I have to go find *Zamesi Desert* and add something to it, because its not exactly the same because as you added a shade to the full color step??
More colors doesnt make for a better Paint line, especially at almost 4 dollars an ounce. I personally was quite happy with the Foundation/ Core/ and Wash setup they had going..I remember them dialing back the amount of colors they offered not 2 years ago, and agreeing it was a good idea and now?. Regardless I have barely cracked mega paint set from last year that will last me quite sometime with my mix of Reaper and Vallejo paints I use. Just another thing from GW, I dont need to buy. Ok. -I just lied about saving you my complaints about the paints. Sorry.

The new Empire models, what can I say? other than I hate them. The book cover looks an outtake from something you'd see in Malifaux. all he's missing is the clown makeup. I am see a couple of single figures I might like (if they aren't finecast)  but overall GW has taken this ostentatious, over the top, left turn with their art and modeling since 8th edition. Every single model is so overdone with totally unnecessary crap, over-armored or over embellished, with  graffti-like iconography, Its like a bad ren-fair on acid. I assume I am in the minority here because on our local forums, good folks I know are drooling over these, and I just dont get it. We couldn't even get a new Knight kit, we had to get Demi Gryph knights so they could be on 40 mm bases because every single WFB army now absolutely must have monstrous cavalry. I must also mention how much I am not into two headed griffons or Wizards wielding steam punk style laser guns? WTF?.  How I long for the days and look of early dark and spooky style 7th edition.

Warhammer has totally *jumped the shark* kids, and if you aren't realizing that its because you have so much invested in it, you cant accept that it now looks like tasteless, gaudy, uber-expensive crap and plays like it too, because every army is basically now the same.

I am going to rebuild a Human army that can double as historical or fantasy army out the excellent Perry Bros.  War of the Roses Plastics with select metal figures from various manufacturers. I'll hold on to some select GW figures but I am selling off the majority of my Empire army, Yep, you read that right I am selling if off and done. I dont even need to see the new rules. Hoping that next edition would be any better just isn't realistic. There are too many other good games out there. and what better time to sell off your multiple best appearance winning Warhammer army,  than when a new Army book comes out.?

I am still in Games Workshop hobby for the Lord of the Rings, but really wonder how long it can last. The last releases for LotR were overall, decent, but odds are not in my favor that it can continue. The company has made an obvious change in direction of whom there target customer is and its certainly not people like me.  I am hanging by my fingernails because I've met so many good folks in hobby I'd still like to game with, but Games Workshop seriously makes it hard.

Ahh , The Empire, how did I *use to* love thee?, let me count the ways.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

LPL Season 6, Rnd 4- Art is subjective

Round 4 has begun over the LAF for Lead Painters League season 6  

Above is my 3rd Round entry which lost 369 to 91.  I am somewhat conflicted here, not so much by the loss - but the lopsided score. As someone whose done plenty of paint judging I find both my entry and my opponents  equal in technical skill, although I might give myself a slight edge in the fiddly details where armored knights get a break when your using metallic paints versus say going for well done non-metallic metals. Regardless I got stomped..hence the art is subjective tag.

Here is another shot I didnt submit of my round 3 entry where I felt the lighting was a little more flattering, not sure if that would make a difference or not.

Now we're off to the races in round 4, My entry is entitled "Red Planet"..again the terrain will be familiar to those that follow the blog.  This round admittedly was somewhat a filler entry for me as its 15mm stuff and its hard to push the painting boundaries there against even average 28mm stuff.
needless to say its currently losing 2 to 1 against some average 28mm stuff.  I am not letting frustration take me down next entry is very solid ( worlds of Tolkien bonus round) and I am re-entering my round 2 submission at some point that just got a really tough match up. .Post Adepticon, I am going to try to knock out 3 new entries, and the last round has huge bonuses points for a Maritime theme and diorama..quite convenient for the guy with all the Pirate miniatures...I still think I can finish respectably in this thing when its all said and done. wish me luck and of course go vote!.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

LPL Season 6, Round 3 Ces't la vie

Round 3 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 6

Here is my round 2 Losing entry " The hunt for Rex Eleven" which lost 158 votes to 324. Once again in Round 3 I draw another another great painter against my entry "Just another dungeon" totally kicking myself because I have been second guessing my lighting in my submitted photo as I didnt think it was that flattering, and I just didnt have time to go setting everything back up again to reshoot.  Now, up against an a great entry, I am getting killed around 5 votes to 1. Little details like that can make all the difference that's how stiff this competition can be. I'm probably going to resubmit a couple of these entries late in the competition, which is totally ok to do, its just you dont get the the extra 10 , "newly painted" bonus points.. doing really requires you gambling on whether you think you entry is good enough that you'll get more than 100 votes as that about what 10 points is worth. This is a tough and awesome contest...There is nothing like it out there that I have seen.
So go check it out.

In other news while these weekly contest updates are somewhat fillerish, I do have someother hobby stuff going on. "Real Life" has totally sabotaged Adepticon for me this year and I am only playing in one event, The Lord of the Rings Championships, in which I have at a snails pace been working on redoing a bunch of my current Cirith Ungol army to correspond with the new "Warbands" format.
I need to get some pictures going there and will soon!.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

LPL Season 6, Round 2!!

Round 2 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 6
My round 2 entry ("The hunt for Rex Eleven") will be familar territory for those of you who follow this blog, its 28mm Sci Fi figs on my Hirst "Hulk" Terrain.
Above here is my Round 1 entry. "Wizards Circle" from the Old Grenadier Gold Box AD&D line circa 1980, I still remember buying these guys when I was 13.. These guys won by wide margin in Round with 363 votes to my opponents if you bothered to vote either way thanks!

I could use your input again, I got an insane tough draw this round against one of last year finalists and clearly one of the best painters on the forum and with "Rex Eleven" being one of my best entries, its too bad it's most likely going to lose as it currently being beaten by an over 2 to 1 margin on day one . There are not alot of come from behind victories in this thing as the first days voting usually dictates the initial impression. Win or lose the more votes you get is good for the overall score, so do me a favor and yourself a favor by not missing out on all the awesomeness of LPL6 and go check it out!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Painters Alert!

Lead Painters League Season 6 went live today at the Lead Adventure Forum with 46 participants from all over the hobbysphere. Do yourself a favor and at least check out the entries or better yet sign up and vote!. My Round 1 entry is entitled *Wizards Circle* and features 5 Wizards from the Grenadier AD&D gold box from 1980, they are up against some cool old school dwarf Gyrocopters. While my Wizard's have a comfortable lead, its only day one and voting goes all week, so check it out and vote for whatever you think is best!.  Go Old Lead!


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