Salute Swag Review part 1 – TT Combat Vallejo paint rack

Well it’s been a while since I posted here, but let’s not dwell…

On to the content!

Last weekend I attended Salute at Excel in sunny London town. I travelled down with a few chaps from our local gaming club. Much swag was amassed and everyone had a jolly good time. While there I picked up a number of interesting bits and pieces and thought what better to do than write some reviews.

 As you’ll be able to figure out from my somewhat “sporadic” blogging history I’m not the most reliable, so no promises will be made beyond this post, but hopefully I’ll be able to get some more regular content on the go.

The first thing I will be looking at is a paint rack I picked up from the lovely folks at TT Combat. This one, as it says on the front, is designed to hold 100 Vallejo (dropper pot) style paints.


This rack is made from laser cut HDF and comes with some handy instructions. Although not the most comprehensive I’ve ever seen, it’s no Billy bookcase and construction looks like it should be simple enough.As with a lot of laser cut products a little cutting will be necessary to separate the pieces.

One thing I would note before proceeding, is in relation to the central strut. The orientation is important, if the rack is built with the strut upside down it won’t go together properly. While it is shown on the diagram I felt it wasn’t the clearest it could be. Make sure the thick end is at the top and the skinny end is at the bottom.

With that sorted all you need to insert the arms onto the central strut, I’ve taped them in place as I’m doing a dry run before gluing. Then insert the ends into the side struts and hook together. The trickiest bit was getting the arms lined up correctly to go into the side struts.

Once deconstructed and rebuilt, with glue this time, the rack is very sturdy. It does seem a little light and potentially prone to being knocked over but I’ve not fully loaded it with paint yet so that may change.

A nice touch is the way the bottles go into the rack, resting on their neck at a slight angle, which prevents them from coming loose but also makes it very easy to remove the pots with little fuss.

While I have not got chance to extensively use the rack yet, overall it looks like a great product. I paid £10 which was reduced by 25% from it’s original price, for Salute, which should work out at about £13.50 retail. From a cursory glance however, it doesn’t look like TT Combat have the rack on their web store yet. Hopefully it appears there soon as it is cracking value and I’m tempted to pick up some more.

Now that’s done hopefully more content will be incoming. I picked up some terrain pieces from TT Combat and some bits from Bendy Boards to name but a couple of my purchases, so watch this space, not for too long though…

Back in the game…

So this is awkward…

My last blog post was nearly 18 months ago, how time flies…

I could dwell on why (I had a post written, but it seemed awfully mopey) however I will just say this, I’m back.

Having not played a game of Warmachine or Hordes in nearly 18 months I have got the bug back. I have continued to Press Gang at events and after a great time at Smogcon earlier this year I have resolved to start playing again. This has tied in quite well with a few guys at my local club wanting to start too. As such I have just started a Journeyman league with 9 players registered!

I have plans for a few posts in the works so fingers crossed I can get back into the swing of this blogging thing…

Until next time!

2014! The Blogging Continues

Here I am, with my first blog post of 2014!

In my last post I gave some details about Smogcon. Part of this will be the Bushido Grand Master Tournament taking place on the Sunday. I entered this tournament as one of my first choices for the weekend.

At the point that event registration went live however there was one small issue. At that time I had only played a couple of demo games. To rectify this I turned to my good friend, sometime “New Game Guinea Pig” and all around trusty side-kick – Steve!

Looking at the models that I already own the two factions that would give us the most options were The Prefecture of Ryu and The Cult of Yurei. As I intend to play the Prefecture that left Steve with the Cult. So far we have managed to play two games and are slowly getting to grips with the rules. We have also signed up for a local tournament towards the end of January. Although I have plenty of experience playing in tournaments, through Warmachine and Hordes, my aspirations for this are limited and I only hope not to get completely anihalated in every game…

Hobby wise not too much has happened since I last posted but there has been a little action to report. First up is progress on Hanso. I posted a picture of the base I had painted for Hanso many moons ago. Since that time I have painted a little here and a little there and he was coming to a point where he was nearly done. At this point i decided it would be a good idea to give painting his eyes a shot. The results were not good! in the end the eye sockets became a claggy mess of white and black paint. I tried to scrape it out but it was to no avail. Accordingly I resigned myself to the fact that he would be taking a trip to a jam jar full of thinners. This is where I stumbled upon an idea!

When stripping paint I use Cellulose thinners. This stuff is NASTY! It strips paint so quickly and depending how a model is primed, paint litterally falls off without the need of the scrubbing associated with other cleaners. So the plan was to take a small amount of thinners on a cotton bud and remove the paint from the face. As luck would have it it worked! So I now have a model who for the majority is painted but has a silver face…

Other than this I have been  building, mainly, Cult models for Steve to use.

I hope to get a bit of painting done on a couple of models over next couple of weeks though. So fingers crossed I may get some pictures up in the post… Maybe.

Thanks for reading folks.

I’m back… again

So, blogging, that’s a thing right?

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve written a post but I think now is as good a time as any to give it another whirl…

First up I aim to keep this post fairly short and sweet. That said it might get a bit rambley (if that’s even a word.) I will apologise now for what may be some low quality writing!

So, what have I been up to since I last posted something? I hear you all ask! I am now a member of the Press Gang, Privateer Press’ official volunteering team. This means that I will become more involved in running some of the events that make UK Hordes and Warmachine the thriving scene that it is. Further to this it may also actually inspire me to start running some more events myself! Who know’s we may even see the return of the Pre-Masters Mash Up…

Towards the start of the year I was able to attend a few events, but that dropped off as the year went on. Since then I have been doing a little bit of painting, more on that later, but all in all I haven’t been up to too much.

Well I guess I should really get on to the meat of this post then.

One of the more noteworthy events I took part in was Smogcon in February. Smogcon is the first American style event to be held this side of the pond. It is a weekend of gaming, both casual and competitive, as well as some painting seminars and the Golden Thrall painting competition. The event started in 2012, being held at Firestorm Games in Cardiff. I didn’t get chance to attend the first time round but after having been once I will make sure that I do all I can to attend each year.

2014 promises to be bigger and better than ever. The location has changed and will now be taking place primarily in the Mandolay Hotel, Guilford. Demand however has exceeded the capacity of the original venue and now part of the con will take place in an adjacent hotel! Originally Smogcon was purely Warmachine and Hordes, this year though it is branching out to contain Malifaux, Bushido & Dropzone Commander as main systems aswell as several other smaller board and card games.

I will be attending again next year and will hopefully get a few models into the Golden Thrall. On the gaming side I have entered into a Warmachine and a Bushido tournament and aim to get in some casual gaming in both systems.

I will hopefully find some time between playing some games, building and painting models to write a post or two with an update on my progress, however I’m not promising anything!

Thanks for taking a look…

50 Shades of Red – The Beginning

Here is another article from my good friend Steve, charting the progress of his foray into Khador. I’d just like to point out however that this post is a little late in being published as I suck!

I hope you enjoy it none the less. – Khadorred

Hi again!

I’d like to start off by praising The Wargame Store for getting my first couple bits to me promptly, and well packaged!

I have decided, while day dreaming on my way back from a friend’s house, to call my painting shenanigans ’50 Shades of Red’. So while I feel witty for the next few hours and before I wake up and debate if it wasn’t the best name I could of came out with to let the show roll on regardless!

After a few hours of fiddling with a couple Doom Reaver Fellblades and the unnecessary decorative skulls that go on eButcher’s axe ‘Lola’ (curse their tiny eye sockets), I finally managed to glue them, and myself a few times, together and get them primed.

Here are the results…

The Butcher and his pals.

The Halfords red primer was actually quite nice, its a more appealing canvas to work on than black, which I find a little intimidating to be honest.

One thing is stopping me from ordering proper paints however, and its something I feel we all (those of us who are indecisive like myself) tend to agonize over when starting a new faction: paint scheme. My current thoughts are with either…

  • White armour and red cloth for the infantry & red Warjacks with white as a secondary colour
  • Black armour and red cloth for the infantry & red Warjacks with black as a secondary colour

Having seen an image of pSorcha with black armour and red cloth, she looks very smart, which may be swaying my thoughts.

Paint wise, I’ve decided to expand my pallete from exclusively Privateer Press’ P3, to both P3 and Vallejo Model Colours. I’ve read that Model Colour is a little more muted (think WW2 historicals), so I’m not 100% whether I should use the more cartoony Game Colours, again from Vallejo, but thats just minor details in the long run and nothing a good wash can’t fix. Right?!? I think which brand I use will be important though. I need to figure out who makes the better light colours, and who makes the better dark colours. Having worked with Menoth White Highlight (P3), I’d assume Morrow White (P3) would also be exemplary when it comes to coverage, but from past experience paints can be a little funny even with slightly different variations in hue.

Let me know your thoughts though. Have you had any experience with schemes similar to those above? Is there a particular paint line you can recommend?

Thats all for now.


Help me paint more!

As you may or may not know I am one of the regular hosts of  Elite Cadre, the Hordes & Warmachine podcast that doesn’t take itself too seiously! (TM). We record every other Monday night and I normally use this as an opportunity to get a good 2 or 3 hours of painting done. Earlier this week however, when we recorded, I was somewhat lacking for motivation. I must have picked up a good three or four miniatures, all part painted,  but I was completely void of any desire to put some paint down.

I’m not sure if this is because they are part painted and as such are less inspiring than the blank canvas aspect of an untouched mini. Alternatively it could be because I haven’t painted for a while, about two weeks! I would say “I can’t figure out why this is” or make excuses like “I’ve been really busy lately and am a bit tired” both of these would be valid things to say but aren’t wholly true. While yes I have been busy I have been choosing to unwind by sitting in front of the TV, quite often falling asleep on the sofa waking up at 3:00 am then getting in bed and waking up at 7:00 am for work, which I can attest is not a good sleep pattern! Skype is a great asset when painting, being able to chat to like minded people is an awesome way to spur you on to do more. But seemingly this isn’t always enough of a motivator to get me off my ass and in front of my desk.

Another thing that I looked at was the monthly challenge that Lost Hemisphere runs, affectionately called Paint the Target, this month the challenge is to paint a model with an elemental attack, with added bonus points for painting a model with a cold attack, magic spell, damage type or immunity. As you may have seen from my last post I have a Celestial Fulcrum built and ready to be painted. Not only does this model have an elemental attack (3 in fact; Fire, Cold & Electrical) it also has an immunity to all three of those attack types! There may be a plan formulating…

My question is this though, how do you get your painting motivation? Additionally what can you recommend to drag me out of my current “funk”?

Leave comments bellow or reply via Twitter!

Thanks for reading.

Starting a new faction, a study

Hi there guys & girls

As promised here is the first in, hopefully, a long line of article by a close friend of mine.

Please find the ramblings of a certain Mr Steven Knowles…

Well to start off, its important to note that, based on observations of my past games, I tend to be rather mindlessly aggressive sometimes, which violates the fact that the game itself is not just aggressive, but shrewd in tactical and strategic judgement. Not to mention a list of other reasons that I won’t go into because I’m not here to make excuses on why I tried to tough it out with the wrong army for 8 months and sold the solution that was the 2nd one.

Going from nimble Cryx helljacks and soft infantry to the slow, hard hitting Skorne warbeasts was a lovely change of pace that I immediately fell in love with: preferring to hit and be able to take a few hits in return rather than launching something from the other table on the other side of the room at the enemy line (all the speed in the world won’t help you hit harder, or avoid an impromptu lucky hit trashing your weapon/s before they have time to connect with something). When it came to choosing a new faction these factors affected my choice in a big way.

After an extended theory-affair with Legion of Everblight it took some help to clear my mind in order for me to see clearly, but I eventually landed on Khador. The main reasons for this decision are as follows.

  • The blatant Soviet Russia theme (my desire for this being exacerbated by playing C&C Red Alert 3: Uprising)
  • The strength of its infantry
  • Warjacks with excessive ARM and a high damage box count
  • Uncomplicated approach

Protectorate put up fierce competition, but I struggled with how critical the likes of the choir were to making the Protectorate warjack catalog not-so-pillow-fisted. Additionally only a couple warcasters appealed to me, despite how much I freaking love the Judicator model.

Now as I said before, my playstyle is rather aggressive, without the subtle nuancies of planning 4 turns ahead, so I may choke a little on old witch or zerkova, but Karchev and both Butchers are straight-forward enough, and respond well to an aggressive approach. Further more Karchev brings so many damage boxes that the enemy is often drawn into attrition. An approach that is much more tolerant of errors and is satisfying to sit there and take the best punches without dropping.

Certain warcasters adhere to certain playstles. We’ve all got a favourite that we’ll run for the heck of it (hit & run, attrition, assassination, board control, etc), I don’t know what style I like, but the best results are likely found in combining 2-3 different elements into one (have some board control & attrition, or hit n’ run & steamrolling). A wise sage (Neal barton) once told me that ‘movement shenanigans are king’. When you think about it, this rings very true: feats and spells that grant extra movement are often ones that can throw the enemy plan into disarray as the unit they were about to charge dances away or worse charges the intended response unit!

What to buy first?

Keeping all the above in mind and after much chewing, I’ve concluded my approach (after the obligatory tokens, new dice, templates, primer) will involve everybodies’ favourite murderous tramp: Kommander Orsus Zoktavir (lovingly known a eButcher). eButcher himself is such an aggressive warcaster that when paired with Doomreavers might make it look like I’m actually playing properly rather than barreling into the enemy line at break neck speeds or fannying about waiting for the enemy to walk into my charge range.

Any well balanced list starts with at least one warjack (Ed – what’s the point in wasting those free points?) afterwards solos and unit’s can be added to taste. It will also do one well to buy with other warcasters in mind when purchasing your first half-dozen models. In other words, can you see yourself using the Behemoth with just Karchev or Butcher? In short no, you will get use of the Behemoth with most ‘casters, Harkevich the Old Witch and eSorscha being prime examples.

The same question must be asked about infantry. How many warcasters like a fat unit of Winterguard? The answer is probably ‘most’, making Winterguard a very good option when starting out. Ironfang Pikemen are less popular, and don’t work with some warcasters as well as Winterguard do, so it also does one good to pay attention to what you want the unit to do and whether they can do it or not an army. Karchev may want a Demolisher but would be unlikely to want a max unit of Winterguard or Kayzay Assassins. pIrusk on the other hand will love that full unit of Winterguard, will get some use out of that Demolisher too. Of course eSorcha may well not want a Demolisher, she’d probably rather use a Devastator and again will love the full unit of Winterguard. You could go on forever!

Looking at theme forces, eButcher’s for example, monetarily speaking, is not very cost effective. I’m of the opinion that any theme force that requires you take more than the normal FA of something is not cost effective (unless you play that list a metric ton load). As a minimum of 3 units of Doomreavers is generally a given in an eButcher theme force, when they’re FA 2 normally, each extra unit will only ever come out to play when that tier list is played. Only 1 warcaster will have those specific tier requirement/bonuses, so its money spent on a single list with no room for cross-warcaster use.

Therefore it would be more logical for me personally, to go something like this:

Kommander Orsus Zoktavir +6
War dog


Doom Reavers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Winter Guard Infantry Officer & Standard

Alternatively I’d swap the Winterguard and War Dog for min Ironfang Pikemen with the Black Dragon unit attachment for security from my own fear.

I like the Kodiak, so can expect a lot of use out of it, the Spriggan is very popular for good reason, I like doom reavers and thus can be expected to field them semi-often as my army composition allows. Winterguard are at home in most lists and the War Dog is an auto-include for most of the Khador ‘casters. What is important is that this sort of set-up doesn’t limit me to one ‘caster. After all I can always pick up the more specialized options for an eButcher theme force at a later date when I have an established army.

Hold on, Isn’t the battlebox the best place to start?

You’re right, it is. Sometimes. You have to consider if you will actually use the battlebox to start and going forwards if you expect to get use out of what the battlebox gives. Whether you’ll use it or not is very subjective, and thats alright, because I may still get it as an excuse to say I have pSorcha, and the juggernaut is always there for when I need a cheap heavy. The destroyer strangely enough doesn’t grab me like the decimator though, smart players spread out to mitigate AoE shots. Stealth would not like the doomreaver train crashing into them.

Thats all for now…

Hello out there…

Well hello!

It has again been too long since my last post. Hopefully though it won’t stay that way for too long!

There are plans afoot for an ongoing series of posts by one of my club mates who is going through the process of starting a new faction. This should give some insight into choices that have to be made in the process of building a new army from scratch. All the way from which faction to play to what will actually be played in that faction.

I will try and match his content with posts of my own and if things go to plan there should be at least 2 posts a week going forwards.

Thats pretty much it for now but I’ll leave you with some photo’s that chronicle my recent hobby activity…

Missed target…

You may recall that in a previous post I had set myself the aim to have one of my lists fully painted in time for the UK Masters, that hasn’t quite worked out…

With the ETC rearing it’s head (6th to 8th July) in just over 6 weeks time my plan is to try and make some regular posts which will hopefully motivate me to get a move on with my painting.

Here are a few pic’s of what I have done so far.


Shifting Stones

The first in my unit of “Under Water Gatormen”

WIP on a Warpwolf Stalker

With all that I need to now complete

The rest of the Stalker
A Feral Warpwolf
Another Woldwarden
A unit of Druids
The rest of the first Gatorman unit
Another max unit of Gatormen
A Gallows Grove


Breaking news – Vlad 3 seen in resin!

So on one of my many rambles through the world wide web I came across this picture of every bodies favourite mounted Khador ‘caster.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

From this picture it looks like Vlad3 will be hitting stores in resin!

Of course this may just be a master model and when released he will be metal. Who knows…