Moments of Inertia by Rachel Crawford

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Bloodreavers

Following on from the three Blood Warriors, I’ve painted up five of the Khorne Bloodbound’s speedy, scrappy horde unit. (Everything in this army is called a blood-something.) They’re a huge step up in quality from Garrek’s Reavers, the first Khorne models I painted, both in terms of quality and in terms of how happy I am with the colour scheme.

I went through them one at a time, giving myself space to practice painting skin in three different colours. Painting the muscles, scars and such on these guys was an absolute blast and I’m much more confident about painting skin now. I chose the vibrant red and bone trim scheme I debuted on the Blood Warriors and I’m mostly pleased with how it turned out, but I need to improve how I paint the bone sections, which can be quite unsatisfying. After painting the first model (second on the left) I added two new paints to my collection: Screaming Bell and Gehenna’s Gold. Together these create a beautiful, vibrant brass I decided to use for the bronze sections of the weapons and armour. My taste is very much about saturated colours and high contrast, so the Balthasar Gold/Sycorax Bronze combo I was using previously just doesn’t cut it for me. For the bases, I really wanted to put some skulls down – perhaps I should create a little box of pre-painted skulls ready to add to bases.

These are horde units, so I’m going to have to learn to paint them faster and smarter if I’m ever going to get through the big group of them that are in the main AoS starter box.

Now that I’ve finished all the models from the Storm of Sigmar starter set, it’s time to move on. I’m not sure what’s next. I’m gonna paint a quick and easy Frostgrave dog while I make up my mind.

Blood Warriors

These three fellows have been my most recent hobby project. I really like how they’ve come out.

I decided to paint their armour in strong red after painting Garrek’s Reavers, my first Khorne models, which I feel came out way too dark and desaturated. After swithering for a bit I went with the bone-coloured trim for the same reason – I didn’t think I’d be able to produce a bronze that contrasted enough with the red. As a painter I definitely prefer my colours to be bright and bold, and for there to be plenty of contrast on a miniature, so I’m glad that my chosen colour scheme satisfies both of my itches. They have a tonne of little details to pick out and sections that are difficult to paint quickly. Getting the base coats down took a long time, but it paid off the moment I finished basing and began shading.

This was also my first time using Daler Rowney’s Simply Gold Taklon Brushes, which I can recommend.

I have a soft spot for Khorne mortal models1, which are always suitably threatening, rabid-looking and have plenty of interesting shapes, as well as lots of nice little details to find. Despite all that stuff being present, my favourite part of these models is probably just the chainmail, parts of which hang down in messy strips. It’s easy to paint, and once finished adds a bit of flash and bulks out gaps in the shape of the mini.

This trio are from the Storm of Sigmar mini-starter set, which contains a small subset of the models from the big old Age of Sigmar starter set. I picked up Storm of Sigmar in a local shop because I fancied painting a handful of Stormcast and Khorne models, and shortly afterward got a good deal on the big set from a friend who was having a clear-out. Once I’ve finished all the models from Storm of Sigmar2 I’ll begin working my way through the big box. In other words: I’ll be painting Blood Warriors and sculpts like them for a few months yet. It’s a good thing I like painting them! (Although I really do need to figure out a way to make putting the base colours down faster.)

Hobbying is taking up quite a lot (read: most) of my free time these days and as a result I haven’t had much time to write about all the things I want to write about on here. Little hobby progress updates like this one feel like low-hanging blog fruit, so I might do a few more.

  1. The soft spot is hardened by the absolute absence of any women in the army. Probably my number one thing I wish GW would do is release female versions of Blood Warriors, Bloodreavers, etc. I have my fingers crossed for the rumoured Darkoath army, if it ever exists, containing some cool barbarian ladies after the style of the Warqueen

  2. I’ve done all the Stormcast, you can see them here

Emperor of the Eight Islands

Imagine a more magical Game of Thrones set in a kind of medieval faux-Japan: you’ve got your tengu, your fickle forest spirits, your sorcerors and witches, but that stuff is just supersition and faith to the noble families who vie for power and the samurai who protect and serve them. This is the world of Emperor of the Eight Islands, which is the first book in a series I’m itching to continue with. It’s pleasantly compact and quick-to-read, at about 250 pages of flowing prose. I’m not looking for volume in my reading diet these days, so more bite-size books are much more preferable to 600-page endurance-fests.

I won’t go into specifics about the story other than to say that while it certainly sets up its sequel, there’s enough meat on the bones to be worth reading on its own. The book just presented me with a very engaging place to be and characters to be with, so I thought I’d give it a recommendation. It’s succeeded in making me interested in checking out some of its source material – Japanese folk tales and old novels – where games and anime and that sort of thing haven’t quite. So who knows – maybe I’ll be reading The Tale of the Heike at some point down the line. If you happen to know of similar novels/comics/whatevers that might scratch the same itch, please let me know!

Depak Ine

There’s something really special about John Talabot’s 2012 debut album, Fin. Could it be the dreamlike vocals? Could it be the feeling of being transported into a different world through its dark melodies and beats? Could it be how the intoxicating density of each track forms a juicy new layer of flavour, as if it were part of a rich musical chocolate gateau?

Maybe it’s just that it begins like this:

You’re in the jungle. Not a jungle. The jungle. It is a place of immense sacred significance. Fingers of mist curl themselves around enormous tree trunks. The canopy above buzzes with a symphony of life. You brush through the shady undergrowth, stepping softly in sodden leaf litter and murky pools. You are searching for something here, something lost and ruined. You have been trekking for days. It is never light here. Each day begins and ends warm, wet and dark. Finally you catch your first glimpse of it through the trees, its lithic bulk almost obscured by verdant vines, leaves of gold and calm green grass: the ancient temple.

I’ll see you there.

Frostgrave

Tabletop wargaming can be a lot of fun, but it’s a different kind of fun from what you’ll usually find in a videogame. It’s fuzzy. While in a videogame nearly every move you make, every interaction with the other players, can be unambiguous and clear-cut, the same just isn’t true when you’re measuring inches and moving oddly-shaped minis over the surface of a table. The minis fall over, and when they get back up they’ve slid an extra few millimetres. Even the buildings your soldiers weave between and climb on top of aren’t very solid - they jitter slightly from turn to turn as they are accidentally nudged by the players.

Some designers attempt to tame the madness. To create viable competitive games, they must stamp out any ambiguity about rules. The fuzz must be shaved away to leave a wargame that is slick and streamlined, or so fractally complex that it requires computer-like memory and processing power to execute the rules, and a puritanical attitude between players who police each other’s play and punish every infraction.

Other designers aren’t trying to make a competitive game. Players who are more interested in the simpler pleasures of miniature wargaming – the storytelling, the social contact, the consensual back-and-forth, the trust – will be best served by games that embrace fuzz. Games like Frostgrave.

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