Saturday, 31 December 2011

Praetorian Test Trooper from Victoria Lamb's Miniature Shop - Part 1

Cadian Legs with pockets shaved off Right
Cadian Legs with pockets shaved off Left

So this morning my small packet of test parts arrived from Victoria Miniatures. I only got 3 torsos, a set of pith helmet heads and 3 of the rifle arms. I am pretty sure I am going to use Victoria's miniatures as the basis for 90% of my Army but I thought I had better check them out first hand before putting in a massive order and I'm also waiting for the victorian legs, which she said will be available soon. Therefore this model uses Cadian troopers legs where as you can see I have shaved off the leg pouches, but I'm not entirely happy with them as a solution.

Completed Praetorian Rear
Completed Praetorian Front

But here is the finished trooper. I had never used green stuff before and there was some quite big gaps where the arms were to fix the torso but they were quite easy to fill in. Its a victorian guard torso, rifle arms A and a pith head. I haven't added any pouches or extras as just intend to use him for test painting. Really like the miniatures and the credit card sits ready for that big order once the victorain legs are available. Think I will get enough for about 40 models for a good start to the army as have something else in mind for my Command Squad.

Controversially to all other Praetorian lovers out there the reason I like her miniatures so much? No epaulettes! I'm sorry, I fell in love with Praetorians but the standard trooper should not have epaulettes, only Officers certain characters and Command Squad models will have them in my Army!

Next stop undercoat and lets test out the colours.

Friday, 30 December 2011

So I have been doing some reading and its a bit depressing before the big painting push...

While I wait for models, paints and all else that this hobby entails to negotiate the holiday post I have been reading the Imperial Guard Codex and some good accompanying reviews of troop types (the best I have found is here but please feel free to correct me). It made me realise that while I have been picturing in my head almost entirely aesthetically the Army I want to create, I hadn't really thought of it in terms of its real purpose, fighting battles. The unfortunate realisation that reading the Codex and peoples thoughts on it has brought me too though is a bit saddening. While no document can be perfect and no system perfectly balanced, it does strike me that some of the options in both troop and vehicle choices and in extra wargear have not been totally well thought through or playtested. I am sure I am covering old ground for many but the real kicker here is there are some great units that, when you do the maths, just aren't worth taking. Call me a bluff old traditionalist but miniature modelling should be about models and tactics, not the best mathematical way to field the Army with the best percentage chance to beat the average enemy. So my excitement about converting Praetorian Ogryns and Storm Troopers has been somewhat diminished as both these troops seem too expensive for what they can actually do. While I don't really want Psykers but it seems foolish not to take a squad. What makes me most angry though is the fact that GW have made the Valkyrie a no brainer choice so you go out and buy 1 or 3. Don't get me wrong its a nice model and I probably will get at least one but it does stink of the corporate GW running the wargaming side of GW which just seems against the spirit of the hobby. Especially when some of the old favourites could perhaps do with a bit of thought and Codex TLC.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A disappointing Christmas and the Games Workshop economic depression

No not bah humbug to Christmas, although as an adult with no kids but a good handful of nieces and nephew the time brings more stress than joy! Why I was actually looking forward to Christmas, after my new found desire to construct a Praetorian Imperial Guard Army, was to get in the attic and find my old box of models. The disappointment is due to the fact that when I did there was a distinct lack of Imperial Guard miniatures as it became apparent to me that I must have sold or got rid of them before boxing the rest up and putting them in deep storage. All that was left was my small Dark Angels Space Marines Army, a Basilisk and a squad of Ratlings (that I don't want!). Why am I that bothered you may be wondering? Well that means what I got rid of ten years ago, for almost certainly next to nothing, was 2 Squads of Praetorians and a Command Squad, 5 Tallarn Rough Riders and a squad of ten (including metal Sergeant, Special and Autocannon) of the old bereted storm troopers. A quick tot up on eBay is enough to make me cry!
On the money making me cry front, ten years away from Games Workshop has made me frankly astounded at some of the prices, Blister packs of two metal troops for example don't seem to be £4 any more. So I have been kitting myself out via eBay, 8 fine detail brushes £6, 10 Modelling files £6, 12 piece steel sculpting set £7, 12 inches of green stuff £4 and many more bargains. Stuff that quite frankly makes the jokingly named "Hobby Starter Set" look totally ridiculous. I wanted Citadel paints though, but made the mistake of buying citadel paints from GW, before I found some independents selling at 20% less.
Anyway if like me your starting out, either again, or for the first time, shop around. There is a lot of sensibly priced good stuff out there on eBay, Amazon and at independents.

Taking the plunge!

So here it is. Hastily erected during the midnight hours in between admiring peoples miniatures, trolling eBay and searching for bitz. Hello to all.
I have been reading and viewing peoples blogs on here for a few weeks and have finally decided that maybe doing my own will hope me focus as I start out from scratch on my first 40k Army for ten or so years, and it had to be Praetorians.
I have always loved the Guard, poor down trodden bastards in a universe full of well armoured killing machines, and ever since reading that fateful Last Stand at Glazer's Creek in White Dwarf 222, no guardsman would cut it for me, as a true Englishman, unless he had that scarlet coat on.
So as I slowly add to this, hopefully a few kind soles will take pity and give me some tips while not mocking my painting and green stuff sculpting skills too much. I am in awe of Colonel GravisColonel Winterborne and Colonel Ackland, to name but a few, and their devotion to a great little Guard Army, when Games Workshop have thrown it on the scrapheap, is a real source of knowledge and inspiration for someone who has been out of touch with the world of 40k as long as me.