Terrain, unlike hardcore bands, only has to look the part, it does not matter that when you look at it in great detail it’s clearly plasticine hollow. However, like all of the bands you covet you want them to retain some integrity and a not fall apart after a few outings.
With the the general theme of this blog being the music we love and my particular interest in terrain (or as I like to see it, world building), I thought My first piece should be a review a new and indeed very metal looking (although it’s clearly plastic) addition to my collection, the Games Workshop Arcane Ruins.
War. War never changes.
Or at least that’s what Ron Perlman’s told me on multiple occasions. Whether it’s a long time ago in a galaxy far away or the Grim Darkness of the far future it’s not a pretty thing. It’s not subtle, unforgiving and damn straight it’s messy as hell.
For my money there’s only one Fantasy race that so completely encapsulates the chaotic, wanton destruction and essence of battle to warrant pouring hours of my meagre existence into painting up a block of troops. We don’t need technology, fancy weapons or showy magic spells (yes I’m looking at you Teclis). An innate will to ruin everyone’s day; a solid wall of Primal Fury and Chaos tainted nature rampaging in it’s bestial form. It’s time to shirk the life of man, release the Beast within, muster the Bray Herd and return humanity to it’s rightful place as food. Continue reading
Part two of my Hellbound article, and I’ll begin by saying it all went horribly wrong, very quickly.
I have a certain way of painting purple troops, as Emperors Children are one of my 40k armies, there’s a triple base of VERY watery Lyche Purple, giving a really solid almost glowing effect. This is followed by thinned highlights of the Lyche Purple/Genestealer Purple mix, then Stealer Purple, and on character models I’ve started thinning down the dry colour Lucius Purple for extreme edge highlights.
I had a really smooth purple base on the Hell Brute, and thought hey why don’t i use some ink here to bring out the detail. Smashed the lot with Druichii Purple, let it dry, then realised I’d potentially ruined the whole thing.
Initially I wasn’t going to get involved with A Tale Of Gamers, I’m a procrastinator, I have too many Grey Knights to paint as it is and I hate having unpainted models lying around, it just deflates my interest and I’ll never get anything finished. But then one evening at the end of April I decided to have a look on the GW website to see how the armies I used to see and read about in White Dwarf during the early/mid 90’s have evolved and if I were to field 500 points, what would I choose purely for aesthetic reasons?
While I appreciate that none of us have much time for post-Out Come The Wolves Rancid, the fact is that the first three records are nigh-on untouchable. And besides, everyone else was naming their Tale Of Gamers articles after bands, I didn’t want to be left out.
Here is a fun fact for you. As of about 6 years ago, Tim Armstrong had been sober for years. A band who had done some touring with them in the past told me and my bandmates that a few hours before they started, he would start acting drunk to ‘get in to character’. I guess thats what happens when you’re a millionaire dressed as a punk. Anyway… Continue reading
‘The closer you get to gods, the further you have to fall’
Lets get this out of the way early because it’d be ignorant to talk of Strange Places without mentioning their impressive pedigree. Up until recently vocalist Max Bienkowski fronted the thinking mans un-mosh band Wayfarer, whilst guitarists Fisher and Duncan along with drummer Crabb broke teenage hearts and made middle aged men weep with their 90’s grunge-punk battle re-enactment Basement.
Musically this sits a little closer to the metal of Wayfarer than the Seaweed/Samiam tip that Basement were on. And make no bones about it this is VERY fucking metal. There’s definite nods to early Life Of Agony and Master Of Puppets era Metallica in terms of pace, mosh parts and riffing and I can hear some CFH Pantera influence in the promethean face melters that writhe across these three songs like molten lead.
Lyrically SP are not a million miles away from vocalist Max’s previous exploits in Wayfarer, though this time he’s drawing influence from the myth of Hyperborea and the hollow earth rather than the poetic eddas. References to hidden kingdoms ,lost worlds and astral voyaging will doubtless please listeners of an esoteric persuasion like myself, particularly when it’s informed with a genuine scholars knowledge rather than being used to create some cheap veneer of ‘weird. I hate that.
Plaudits aside, this debut release for the band is far from seamless. There’s a couple of clunky transitions here and there and Max’s singing voice is a little rough around the edges in places. That said, If anything it’s these burrs that keep Strange Places on the ride side of the punk/metal barrier and I’ll take raw attitude over a polished ‘product’ any day of the week. There’s more than enough hooks, breakdowns and anthems to incite mosh rage in punks and long hairs alike.
All that and a sweet painting of a Balrog on the front cover too, if you like what you hear pick one up quick from the CTW link on the sidebar because it’s a legit limited run (as in very few copies were manufactured) not ‘limited edition’ of ten thousand like Dark Vengeance. If this is what Strange Places are capable of on their demo then the next release really should be something to behold. Outstanding.
Whilst ruminating in my private reflection chamber/loft, upon which race I was going to throw my lot in with for this project, it was clear to me from the start that I was playing purely for fluff. I’ve no tactical agenda dictating my allegiances, I’m just not that type of guy. My decisions were based upon which army appealed to me most aesthetically and reflected my personal tastes in terms of character and motivation. Initially I was drawn to Wood Elves. I’ve always appreciated the reverence for nature and ecological themes that define the Asrai and form the foundations for their fluff. The obvious influences of celtic paganism, horned gods etc along with fond memories of owning the Scarlocs Wood Elves Regiment of Renown as a youngster made for an obvious choice so I purchased the Wood Elves batallion box, popped on some Fauna and set about getting busy.
This idea came to me after me and a mate were talking about the new Hell Brute models, which in case you’re not a 40k player, are essentially chaos dreadnoughts, with a different name, for some reason only known to the high lords of Terra.
Anyway, there is currently only one sculpt of the Hell Brute, and it comes with the Dark Vengeance boxed set, and what a model. Full of movement, chunky, looks like it has some serious weight to it once painted. Really amazing sculpt all told, especially as its plastic! We decided to paint ours up to see exactly how different we could make them look, given he plays Nurgle/Deathguard and i play Emperors Children, two very different aesthetics. Clearly his would be worn down, dirty, rusty, and pretty sickly looking, whereas mine should be pretty bright, clean lines, lots of gold and purple and the like, even with the warp spawned mutations. We also took different takes on what was skin and what was armour, him adding flesh to some of the model where he thought skin should be, almost like a warped plague marine. I am planning a much more mechanical look, as in a dreadnought that has been twisted up by the warp with minimal biological elements bar said mutations and the pilots head.
For our first sequence of ongoing articles we imaginatively elected to go with that stalwart of gaming blogs and White Dwarf when it was sweet, The Tale Of Gamers. I’m sure you’re already familiar with the very simple premise, but for the greenshoots and morbidly curious voyeurs amongst you, the plan is to chronicle and mock the (lack of) progress of a handful of traditionally WH40K players from the Corehammer mailing list taking the tentative steps back towards the grim world of Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
For the purposes of this blog we opted for small 500 point armies purely for the feasibility of actually completing the project without sucking too much cash, time & effort away from our 40K priorities. The ultimate goal for this project is to have the armies ready by August, head down to Warhammer World in Nottingham for a meet up and blast a round robin tournament. With the victor not just reveling in the scornful adulation of his peers but also getting his curry paid for after. These things are important. Now, I realise that 500 points might not sound like much of an effort for some of you big cheese players out there, but I am only too painfully aware of my own limitations when it comes to finishing the job and with a smaller amount of models there’s far less chance of me tossing it off or getting distracted by something else, dig?
Over the course of the next few months you’ll begin to see posts gradually popping up on here from all the chaps involved, introducing themselves and documenting their developing armies. Fortune and glory (or at the very least, a begrudging curry) awaits!
The third article on this tale revolves around Durthu. While not legal for anything below something like 1200 points due to the weird restrictions WFB puts on HQ, I had him, he was free, and looked like good fun to paint, so I had a crack.