Being a narrative player the world building portion of the game is my favorite, and nothing builds a story better than creating an interesting environment for your battles.
Over the years I’ve acquired a lot of Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy battles scenery. I’ve painted a few pieces but never got around to painting the vasst majority. Completing my cityscape got the painting bug back in me and I decided to start doing the rest. It’s no small task but even the small progress I’ve made makes a huge difference!
Craters, earthshaker cannon craters, a crashed Aquila Lander, a Citadel Hill, two Citadel woods, fantasy walls and fences, Magewrath Throne, Eternity Stair, Temple of Skulls, Firestorm Redoubt, some quad guns and Icarus Lascannons, a Wall of Martyrs Bunker, a Haemotrope Reactor, and some Promethium Relay pipes.
A lot of the craters and the hill I hand painted with what was left over from my Realm of Battle board. Everything was spray painted with GW or Army Painter sprays. Mournfang Brown, Desert Yellow, and Khorne Red making of the majority with some Fang spray on the Wall of Martyrs details.
Here you can see more Wall of Martyrs defensive lines, a Plasma Obliterator, a Balewind Vortex, the Honored Imperium set, and two Bastions.
The Skyshield landing pad, Fortress of Redemption, armored shipping containers (behind the towers) Witchfate Tor, Dreadstone Blight, The Garden of Morr, a watch tower and chapel from the fortified manor set (where my walls and fences came from too), Arcane Ruins, and the Dreadfire Portal.
Here’s the lot!
My Basilica Adminstratum, Manufactorum, Shrine of the Aquila, And Sanctum Imperialis ses are actually primered too, but they didn’t fit on my table!
Here’s hoping in the next few weeks I can provide updates on the progress of these sets too. Getting all of this done will be a major accomplishment for me!
While trying to re-learn the intricacies of Warhammer 40k again I remembered what a pain it is to show a vehicle as being “wrecked.” Many makers, including Citadel/Games Workshop, make “wrecked” markers, but none of these ever seem to have the gravitas necessary to show the drama of an exploded tank or burning transport.
While re-learning the game I found myself watching a lot of battle reports on YouTube. By far the best have been by StrikingScorpion82 whose games are both narrative and competitive. They are also filled with great personalities and cinematic moments. Scorpion also has a number of reviews and “how to” videos, my favorite being how he makes his wrecked vehicle markers. His are durable, well-built works of art. You can see his technique here:
After seeing this I wanted to make some of my own, but wanted to add a bit of effect and admittedly wanted to spend twenty dollars or less… They aren’t as dynamic as his but are MUCH better than turning a tank of its side! here’s what I did:
I started with some red flickering LED tea lights. I got mine from Amazon for $8.59:
I went for red to give it the internal smoldering look I wanted. They come in packs of twelve to give you plenty to work with.
I added some bent paper clips, which won’t be anywhere near as durable as the copper wire Scorpion uses but I had them on hand. I used Gorilla Glue white to attach them to the candles. I used two different version; one bent in half the other bent to stand all the way up with a folded hook at the top. The latter proved to be FAR easier to work with:
I masked off the bottoms of the candles (where the batteries, electronics, and switches are) and prepped the “smoke” portion.
Scorpion started with cotton wool, but I only had access to polyfill, which I got at Walmart for around $4. I used copious amounts of PVA glue on the sides of the candles and shaped some polyfill around the base. I then took various portions of the polyfill and shaped different “smoke” shapes around and on the paperclip bases:
I followed the instructions on the tutorial and spray based them all gray.
Then added the black spray around the lower portions of each marker.
So it finally happened. Over the weekend I took two days and completed the Sector Imperialis Realm of Battle board I started 2+ years ago!
Again following on from our lord and savior, Duncan Rhodes, I used the techniques he detailed to complete the painting!
Using pre-printed gaming mats is easy and fast, but for drama and detail it’s hard to beat this board. Tt’s flexibility (six tiles that can arranged in various ways) and aesthetic are hard to beat.
You can see the tiny bit of Nurgle’s Rot I added to the open sewers for effect.
In Rhodes’ terrific tutorial he suggested using washes of varying colors to add character to the road. This worked VERY well. Here you can see the colors he recommended, Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade, and Athonian Camoshade with Dawnstone drybrushed over it. You can also see the gutters. They have also been washed with all three and finished with some Typhus Corrosion. A bit of Typhus Corrosion was also added to the detritus in the gutters to unify the look.
Other than Skavenblight Dinge, which was used for all the road and stone sections, my Leadbelcher stock took a big hit. All this metal… Here the metal floows and mechanical components are displayed. All were washed in Nuln and drybrushed with Necron Compound.
These bronze sections are some of my favorite pieces. They were based in Balthasar Gold, washed in Nuln Oil, drybrushed with Necron Compound, and detailed with Nihilakh Oxide.
One of the crypt sections and one of the eagles I wanted a marble effect. They were based in Ceramite White, washed in Drakenhof Nightshade, and drybrushed with Prixati White.
If you’re thinking of painting one of these beware…you’ll get through some paint, this handful got me through about half of it:
This was a great project and one I may be detailing and changing periodically as I use it. It’s a great central piece and if you have one a fun project!
This past month Games Workshop tore down the Old World and built in its place the Age of Sigmar. The venerable old fantasy game as we all knew and loved died, replaced by something a bit different and a bit less complex.
During the End Times range lots of fans got excited about the fresh content and the progress of the world. Let’s face it the old world had terrific lore and amazing depth but was based in the typical world of fantasy dwarfs, elves, ogres environment. Which isn’t bad, it’s classic for a reason, and certainly the old world took it to new places, but clearly the market was speaking against fantasy.
To start with I never intended to get involved with fantasy, but I ended up loving it. All the complex movement reminded me of Napoleonic warfare, with wheeling and marching. The battle resolution took some time to get used to but made for some close fights and satisfying combat even when on the losing end. But in a world where 40k rules the table, fantasy has a heavy bar of entrance. Especially when the number of models used to play it is factored in compared to GW’s sci-fi flagship.
So GW tore it down. And replaced it with Age of Sigmar a new game built on the remnants of the old world but infused with new rules and a new, faster, more simplistic game play style. I’ll start by saying I haven’t played an AoS game, just watched them being played. And then viewed the rabid hate from fans on forums and comments. And I have to say…I really don’t get it.
Before EndTimes what I saw the most on fantasy comments was a desire for updated rules. Even from Tomb King and High Elf players. Hell I started with Skaven and Beastmen, we’re still in softcover books with the Bretonnians! I saw a lot of complaints about balance, how it was broken, some factions were useless, some were absurdly overpowered. The convoluted systems and complex special rules. So many people begging for a revamp of the game. So GW completely revamps everything about the game and the comments are worse than ever before. It’s a game for kids, the new special rules have proven how stupid it is, it’s far too simple and far too dumbed down…
Age of Sigmar is a HUGE gamble. I’m currently building and painting Ultramarines so I can’t invest in the new factions…but here’s the thing… If I wanted to play AoS with my Skaven or Beastmen or Ogres I could. For free. All the army books have rules. The basic rules are posted. All on the site. All in PDF. All free. Strangely I’ve heard very little positive about that (maybe I’m visiting the wrong sites…) but there they are. I’ve already dl’d every ruleset I might ever want (and Queek is there!) in case I want to bust into the game at any time. But it’s accessible. That in itself is a big change for GW who has recently been pretty litigious about it’s IPs, which probably has more than a little to do with the world/faction reset in general.
At it’s heart I have a feeling that those who hate GW do so because it’s popular to do so. Like all those people who announced they were boycotting Modern Warfare 2 then turned around and pre-ordered it, a lot of fans just like to complain. A company could give an individual everything they asked for and a part of the population will claim the company is pandering. I have no love for, nor feel the need to defend a multi-million dollar company. It’s more a desire for fans to act like fans and less like entitled kids. Especially when, in my experience, the GW company has been pretty good to work with. When my subscriptions had problems a simple email contact got new issues FEDEXED to me overnight. And they still sent the back issues they missed after the fact. When one of my kits (Marneus Calgar and Honour Guard, purchased at an independent retailer no less) was missing a part, they sent a replacement, and let me keep the duplicate parts (which included the champion figure); and when an accidental duplicate Sgt Harker was sent instead of Castellan Creed they Fed Exed the right figure and let me keep the dupe. Yes one could say that that’s actually three mistakes the company has made over the past 6 years of Warhammering, but I’d assert that is WAY more cooperation I’ve ever gotten from Microsoft, Sony, and god help me Comcast and I’ve had way more problems with them over that same timeframe.
Furthermore this is a game company. That makes a series of rules for fighting tiny battles with toy soldiers. Reading the goofier AoS rules I can’t help but feel a spirit of fun is being injected into Warhammer. Like a lot of board games, they are incorporating fully optional systems that allow a player to made a fool of themselves, give their mates a chuckle, and get a couple of bonuses if they act out, or dare I say role play, some of their characters. That’s NOT a bad thing. If players think it is that may be taking their toy soldiering a bit too seriously.
More than anything I’m the kind who doesn’t want to hate change because it’s change. The rules may be simpler and the battles smaller, but the biggest complaints about fantasy have been they cost barrier to entry and the difficult rules. It also seems these rules permit a scaling up, if you want to bigger battles. AND most importantly, no one from Nottingham came around to all our houses and took out WFB 8th edition books away. That’s right, you can still play your favorite version to your hearts content.
Once I have some cash I’d like to invest in AoS just to see the new factions. The models look like a bridge between 40k and fantasy, probably to lure the die hard sci-fi gamers who think fantasy is too la-dee-da for them. The factions are interesting to say the least (ogres “ogors” with orcs or “orrucks” whatever, yes please) and the new system is different from anything I’ve played so far.
So once again I think it works to appeal for calm and maybe focus more on the positives. Less game snobbery the better (let’s face it, we’re model wargamers…it’s a stretch to say that a slightly different kind of model wargame is “beneath” us). More inclusiveness the better. If you like the system, good for you enjoy. If you don’t, fine enjoy the games you do like. But let’s see where this goes, maybe it’ll be like New Coke and will result in an amazing return of the old world. Maybe it’ll supplant 40k in popularity (I doubt it but it is possible). Let’s not fear change, and let’s not hate those who adapt to it faster than we do. We’re gamers so I say we game. Tabletop games are special this way, as once you have them you can play them forever. Remember: no one can kill the games you love except for you!
Realm of Battle Sector Imperialis Work In Progress
This year I got myself the coolest birthday present I’ve ever gotten myself.
The day I moved in to my new place I decided to spring for the new Stormclaw Warhammer 40k set. I found a trusted seller on eBay was selling it as a rate and ordered it from them. The week it came out I received a message saying they didn’t get as much stock as expected and wouldn’t be able to send it. I could get a refund or use that money to buy something else. While cruising their page I found they were selling the new city scape, Sector Imperialis, at a reduced rate as well. So I applied my Stormclaw money to it and got a 330 table top scenery set for $158 dollars. It was great.
It has been a nice project and one I’ve been looking forward to. A large-scale painting project that can be easily customized and personalized.
I wasn’t quite sure where to start so I watched these videos and soldiered on:
I followed most of these recommendations the letter. I changed the ground color to Mournfang Brown and ran out of Skavenblight Dinge (go for four pots, I have used three there’s enough in the bottom of them for touchups and nothing else) so I used Stormvermin Fur around the Aquila sections.
I’m going to mix Nuln Oil and Drakenhof Nightshade instead of Athonian Camoshade to give it a dirty blue color instead of earthy green.
I’ve still got the bronze colors and touch ups to do on the basing of this painting but believe it or not this much work only took about 4 hours. It goes fast. I’m looking forward to finishing basing and I’m very eager to start detailing and working on the colors to see what happens. I’m going to take Duncan’s recommendation and try Nurgle’s Rot some of the sewers, and maybe some water effect in some of the other sewers.
I’ll post more of them as I go. It’ll start to match my NEW Imperial Guard army, which I’m starting in the next week!
In other news…check out the site in the next few weeks as there will be some new merchandise (Finally) I’ll post once the designs are done!
As a Warhammer fan living in Tennessee I’ve always been relatively lucky. My orders ship very quickly, shops are usually well-stocked, and there are a lot of hobbyists to create a pretty good community. Part of this is because the Games Workshop North American Headquarters was located in my state; Memphis to be exact.
I live a fair drive from Memphis but not too far. Not so far that it’s excusable that I’d never before visited the Memphis HQ and gaming site “World of Battle” over the last couple of years. I was suddenly motivated to do so when they broke the news on their Facebook page they would be effected by the Games Workshop restructuring (they are centralizing their operations back in Nottingham rather than maintaining multi-employee shops and several international HQs) and would be converting the epic World of Battle gaming hall into a single-person store on the day this post goes out, March 26th 2014. With that news I knew I’d be heading to Memphis before that occurred so I could see the World of Battle while still in its epic-scale format.
A couple of non-Warhammer folks came along for the ride, and even they were impressed and became interested in the hobby just being in the environment.
The outside of the building itself was impressive, the huge imperial eagle and the wicked space marine statue standing guard.
The full-sized Blood Angel still stands in the shop and he’s just as intimidating as a 7-foot tall bloke in red armor would be. Especially since he carried a gun the size of my torso.
There’s a nice case with Eldar Striking Scorpion gear in it. It is stylized to look like it’s been collected and tagged by an Ordo Xenos agent.
Loved this Ork Waaagh-Bannah!
This city table was amazing. We kept wandering around it looking at all the details.
This fantasy castle was equally incredible.
One of my favorite sections was the back hall that contained “historical artifacts” from Games Workshop’s history. And a GREAT Dark Angels banner.
I’m not a Games Workshop hater. They are a publicly traded company, they are beholden to make a profit for their shareholders, they do things for business reasons certainly, etc. They have also create a GREAT gaming system, painting systems, and as I said in my Kharn post, one of the best “worlds” I’ve seen in fiction. Some of their decisions, however, I can’t see as being positive. I had a ton of fun in the Woodfield Mall store while I was in Chicago. I went two nights in five days and just swapped war stories (“The Little Commissar who Could” one of the clerks told me was terrific) the same was true for World of Battle. I got a chance to chat with Price there about Imperial Knights tactics, the benefits of the new Crimson Slaughter Supplement, and creative use of bits to make unique terrain. He never tried to sell me anything. Just discussed it. I just wanted to BUY everything.
Even my two friends came away interested, just being in the environment and watching the massive Last Stand battle going on.
I think this is the kind of place GW needs to retain. It brings people in. Gets them started. Just being in the presence of this kind of World of Battle sparks fascination in everyone, Warhammer fanatics, neophytes, and outsiders.
I’m hopeful that as Games Workshop completes its restructuring and rebuilds itself as in a modern economic environment World of Battle will rise from the ashes and opens its epic gaming hall tables for North American Hobbyists.