Archive for the Pointless ramblings Category

Pieces of Eight

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2020 by krautscientist

What a time to be alive!

What is it with the world lately? Racism and right-wing populism on the rise again, factionalism and nationalism at an all-time high, and now Nurgle’s Rot as an actual real-world-thing…? The mind boggles…

Against this background, spending time on this hobby of ours can seem almost frivolous — and yet, amongst its many rather more frigthening features, the novel Coronavirus weirdly enough provides many of us with ample extra hobby time. What a weird feeling of disonnance…

Then again, I have often found that turning to the hobby as a release can actually keep you sane, and I hope it will do that this time as well. With one marked difference: In years before, it seemed that our lives – at least in the first world – were so rich and peaceful that we could afford to turn to a fictional universe full of hardship and murder as a hobby — and surely, that’s ultimately a good thing, right? These days, however, what does it say about the world that turning to the very same, grimdark galaxy for distraction seems like entering a happy place?

Meanwhile, this blog’s eighth anniversary has quietly passed me by back in late February — yeah, Eternal Hunt is actually eight years old now:

And I don’t even have anything special prepared for the occasion — not a surprise, really, all things considered. All I can offer you are some new World Eaters — but then that seems all to fitting, when this blog was originally started, allll the way back in 2012, to showcase my World Eaters army – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt – taking shape. And here we are, back where we started. If nothing else, there’s a nice sense of symmetry about it all…

So let’s actually turn our minds from the dark thoughts of everyday life to the – grimdark – thoughts of the 41st millennium where, in spite of all the murder and bloodshed, at least things still make sense πŸ˜‰

For starters, we have this gentleman from my previous post:

Feeling enormously fond of the conversion, it was clear to me that I would want to paint him next. As an aside, I even remembered to take pictures of the different painting steps this time around, which I’ll be using for a step-by-step in a future post (I just don’t want to overclutter today’s update, what with the anniversary and all).

Anyway, I was able to get the model to an almost finished state relatively quickly:




After this, it was, once again, mostly a question of adding some finishing touches (and, of course, some blood…) and creating a base.

So here’s the finished axeman:





In a definite case of subverted expectations, this is probably the one model in the squad whose base actually *doesn’t* feature a skull. You can still see his last opponent’s breastplate, though (that head probably flew quite a ways when it was lopped off…):


Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, here’s a scale comparison shot for the model:

The closest thing to a standard Cadian I had was my older conversion for Inquisitor Antrecht, but he’s mostly based on Cadian parts, so it should work. I think the model’s size – while not really true scale – works well enough in setting it apart from a regular human. In addition to its size, the proportions are also pretty sound — for instance. the model features an actual abdomen, something that is often missing on standard-scaled Space Marines πŸ˜‰

It has been pointed out to me that, with its two handed axe, the model would actually work as a Master of Executions. And while it wasn’t originally planned as such, I agree that it could definitely fulfill that role! [As an aside, I’ll have you know that my World Eaters actually had a headsman-type character before that was even a thing, so yeah…]

Anyway, I am actually really happy with the way this model has turned out! Here’s the squad so far:


And if I count my counts-as Huron, those are actually eight finished models, perfectly in keeping with the festivities! Yay! πŸ˜‰

The forced downtime has also given me the opportunity to mess around with some additional models, so let’s take a look at those as well:

There’s my converted icon bearer (also from my previous post), for one. The one that was supposed to channel the look and feel of an older metal icon bearer:

One of my favourite parts about the old model were always the cables and tubes visible underneath the shoulder pad: I loved how those hinted at the inner workings of the armour. While messing around with Greenstuffworld’s excellent tentacle/cable maker (borrowed from my friend Annie), I took a moment to recreate that element on my modern interpretation of the character:

I have also decided to turn the pistol arm downwards, because the composition seems to work a bit better that way. This, in turn, also lead to my replacing the bolt pistol for a different version, because the ammo feed on the previous weapon no longer behaved in tune with gravity πŸ˜‰

Oh, and there is one more WIP I would like to share with you today: Any ideas what this is supposed to be…?

Seeing how my latest World Eaters project is also about creating models that are inspired by seminal artwork or classic sculpts, I have been thinking about a model to represent Lheorvine Ukris, from Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Black Legion novel series, for a while — another model, that is, seeing how I already built a first version a while ago:

“Guest stars” like this are always a bit of an iffy affair, because they don’t really fit into the narrative for a homegrown warband. But I couldn’t help myself, I had to use the excellent new kits to build another version of Lheorvine. So here’s the artwork I used as my main reference, once again:

And here’s the conversion I came up with:

With the exception of the Primaris breastplate (used for the “Imperialis” symbol) and a head from the AoS first edition starter box Blood Warriors (I simply *love* those helmets!), the conversion is mostly based on parts from the new vanilla CSM (with maybe a Havoc bit added in here and there). With the basic conversion out of the way, I then tried to cram in as many elements from the artwork as I could while also not wanting to make the model seem overly busy. Anyway, here’s the finished conversion:

The latest additions include that additional skull above the gun barrel as well as the various pieces of chain dangling from Lheor’s armour. I did consider adding some more spikes to the helmet crest, but ultimately decided against it: That helmet seems ostentatious enough as is.

So yeah, if nothing else, I have been keeping myself busy, as you can see — in fact, you should see some of the stuff I have been building for INQ28. Alas, that is a story for a future update! πŸ˜‰

For now, while this hasn’t been your standard anniversary post, I do hope you’ve still enjoyed the look at some of my current projects, in spite of everything awful going on in the world.

To any and all readers, commenters and my friends throughout the blogosphere: Thank you for reading, commenting, sending bitz or models and for being a vital part of my Eternal Hunt! Please stick around, and please feel free to share any thoughts you might have!

And please, please stay safe and healthy, and look out for those close to you! Khorne demands it — I’m sure of it πŸ˜‰

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The 2019 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1: A look back at my hobby year

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, heroquest, Inq28, Inquisitor, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2020 by krautscientist

Awards

Welcome to the first installment of the 2019 Eternal Hunt Awards! It’s that time of year again, eh? So let’s lean back and, just to switch things up again for this year, start by taking a look at my personal hobby year — I hope I won’t bore you to tears… πŸ˜‰

2019 turned out to be a bit of a grind, from a RL perspective: With multiple bouts of heavy illness striking in my closest family, I was left reeling more than once. Now things are slowly on the mend again, thankfully enough, but I still realise that the year has tired me out pretty badly. At the same time, paradoxically enough, it has also been a fairly successful hobby year — but then, I tend to lean into the hobby during stressful times as a way to keep me sane, so there’s that, too.

Anyway, I am pretty pleased with 2019 as a hobby year, if nothing else. So let’s take a closer look at the stuff I have worked on – and managed to complete, for the most part – over the past twelve months, shall we?

I. My hobby projects

Twelve months ago, my output for 2018 looked like quite the bit improvement over the previous year. A “whopping” 52 models — not bad, not bad at all! At least for my glacially slow pace when it comes to painting:

However, it is with no small amount of pride that I can tell you that I have managed to paint 100 models in 2019. Still not a huge achievement for some of you painting animals out there, but certainly an unheard-of feat over here, in my little corner of the noosphere.

 

My project of painting an entire HeroQuest set accounts for most of those numbers, with a total of 67 models for everything that came in the box as well as a few extra pieces:

But there’s also the final third of my 2018 output, made up from a combination of my usual main projects, that is my World Eaters, some new INQ28 characters and some new signings for my Orcish Blood Bowl team.

Add some odds and ends and you end up with exactly one hundred models. Yay! πŸ™‚

 

One thing I am really proud of is that 99 of those 100 models were pieces that were already in my posession before — for years, in many cases (and literally for decades in the case of those HeroQuest models). So while I still did buy a few new kits in 2019 (and while many, if not most of those new models, remain unpainted), I did at least manage to make a substantial dent in my backlog.

Once again, thanks must go to all the people who kept me painting: Azazel and his monthly challenges, for one (one a related note, Azazel, dude, where are you?). My friend Annie and our regular painting sessions. And, of course, all the readers and fellow forum users who still hold out and keep commenting on my stuff during these dark days of dying blogs and forums. Anyway, a heartfelt thank you to you all!

 

With that out of the way, here’s a closer look at my 2019 hobby projects in turn:

1. #HeroQuest2019

Definitely my biggest hobby endeavour of 2019, which is why it also deserves prime billing here: Last year, I went back to the very beginning of my life as a hobbyist and made a commitment to finally paint an entire set of HeroQuest, the game I had instantly fallen in love with 30 years ago, due in no small part to an iconic TV ad and, of course, to Les Edward’s bombshell of a cover illustration:

Illustration by Les Edwards

And after several false starts and stops, I finally made this plan a reality during the first half of 2019, painting all of the models from the standard boxed set (furniture included), as well as a few extras here and there, to round things out:

Painting those classic models was, of course, a delightful exercise in nostalgia. At the same time, it was also a breath of fresh air, as going for that bright and iconic retro look was a really enjoyable experience. I also learned a lot, I’d say. And seeing how I knew I was only really going to get one shot at painting those classic models (given the hugely inflated aftermarket prices), I tried to give it my all. And I think it shows!

Thanks to Ye Olde Inn, a forum of dedicated fans of the game. The place made me realise that HeroQuest isn’t simply one more tabletop game, but rather a small hobby unto itself. All the inspiration on the forum and the encouragement from my fellow forumites really did wonders for my productivity! In fact, my browsing through the vast forum was what gave me the idea to actually go and convert some extra models that would serve as some of the special characters that appear in the HeroQuest campaign…

Even better, though, not only did I manage to paint the whole shebang, I also got a game in.

So thirty years after its release, I finally got to play HeroQuest to play the way it was originally intended — and that was quite something.

And even beyond the models required for the set, I did end up painting and converting even more stuff, so I guess we’ll be seeing a bit more HeroQuest here and there in 2020…

For now, head over here to get a better look at my painted HeroQuest set.

 

2. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt

I didn’t originally have anything much planned for my World Eaters at the start of 2019 — well, I did finally manage to finish the display base for my Daemon-Primarch Angron conversion, at least:

Now the Lord of the XII Legion finally has the right killing ground below him — and all before an inevitable official GW model blows my own attempt out of the water!

A closer look at Angron and his finished presentation base can be found here, in case you are interested.

But beyond that, I wasn’t really planning any big additions to my collection, originally: My World Eaters paint scheme seemed rather outdated to me, as did the officially available CSM models, so I really wanted to wait for a bit before working on any more members of the XII legion.

Fate, however, had other plans.

Thanks to a supply drop from my buddy Augustus b’Rass (which we’ll be getting to further down this post) back in February, I felt the itch to finally paint that World Eaters Dreadnought he kindly gave to me when I visited him in Amsterdam. So I finally completed Argus the Brazen:

One model, right? Where’s the hurt in that? It felt good to finally have given the model its due. But then, a bit later, the new CSM models hit, and I have to admit that they managed to light a bit of a fire under me. Before I knew it, I found myself messing around with the new models, turning them into proper World Eaters…

…and then one thing led to another, and I ended up with a test model for a new breed of “KrautScientist World Eaters” on my desktop:

The new painting recipe might still not win any awards, but it’s quite a bit more elaborate than my old approach (which, it must be said, also relied on many paints that are OOP nowadays). It’s also closer to my current painting standard. And it’s actually more fun to paint than my old recipe, if you can believe it.

Anyway, models that had long lain dormant where swept up in the process as well, so I finally got to paint my counts-as World Eaters version of Huron Blackheart, for instance:

And I started to combine some of my “refurbished” conversions and some new models into a project tentatively called “The Hateful Eight”, a possible World Eaters kill team for 40k:

And while I have only really painted four models for the kill team so far, some of the new guys are simply among the favourite World Eaters models I have come up to this day:

So it may be slow work, but I really like the way these guys look together:

And there’s finally some red and brass in my recap post again! Yay! πŸ™‚

 

3. The world of INQ28

The other half of my 40k-related output went into creating yet more 40k characters, and while I didn’t manage to bang out several complete retinues (like I did in 2018), I am pretty pleased nonetheless with the “INQ28 Class of 2019”:

The reason for this is that I have finally managed to complete one of my oldest warband projects, running alllll the way back to 2013, by completing the retinue of Inquisitor Titus Alvar of the Ordo Xenos:

Another model I had wanted to complete for ages was Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, one of the Velsen Sector’s big political movers and shakers:

This is just one guy, but it feels as though finishing the model has really helped me nail down a piece of the background lore that informs these models, and that’s great! In fact, I have been reading up on lots of Inquisition related background lately (via many of the old Inquisitor publications, as well as the very cool Dark Heresy RPG sourcebooks), which has given me all kinds of ideas for the immediate future, so expect to see more INQ28 sooner rather than later!

4. On the Blood Bowl pitch

Ever since Annie succeeded at roping me into creating a Blood Bowl team, working on some new Blood Bowl models has always served as a nice way of exploring a somewhat silly and whimsical side of our hobby — plus it’s always a fun thing to be working on during our joint hobby sessions.

Not only did those final models round out my team roster, I also used their completion as the perfect occasion to give the entire time a once-over, cleaning up the paintjobs here and there, painting on player numbers — that kind of stuff.

And with that the Orkheim Ultraz are now finished. There may be a couple of hangers-on and sideshow models left to add, but the core team (with all the players and tokens I could ever possibly need) is now complete:

Head over here to meet the complete Orkheim Ultraz team.

 

5. Dipping my toe into the new Contrast Paints

Well, figuratively speaking, of course: Actually getting enough of the stuff to be able to really dip my toes into it would, of course, be prohibively expensive…

Err…anyway: The Contrast Paints were the talk of the town for a fair part of 2019, and I was lucky enough to get to test them when they were still brand new at my local Warhammer store. I painted two models using the new paints and found the experience delightfully refreshing:

Exploring those paints a little more will certainly be part of my hobby life this year. And I think I already have a pretty good test model in mind…

 

So that’s my output for 2019. Quite a successful year, I’d say. And lots of formerly unfinished business now neatly tied up. Yay! πŸ™‚

 

II. Other hobby moments of note

I already mentioned this in my last post, but getting a Christmas card from the Wier Brothers – and right in time for Christmas, no less – was such a wonderful surprise!

Speaking of surprises, though, a particularly awesome one was when my buddy Augustus b’Raas suddenly sent me an awesome squad of Khorne Berzerkers right out of the blue last February:

That was so cool! I am also pretty sure it had a major part in getting me back into painting World Eaters this year (so I guess our Auggs is going “Just as planned!” somewhere right now) — if nothing else, it led to my painting the World Eaters Dreadnough he had given me, and that in turn kickstarted everything else, as I have already explained above. Anyway, thanks again, buddy! πŸ™‚

Receiving models from fellow hobbyists also nicely bookended my entire hobby year, as fellow Ye Olde Inn forumite Anderas was nice enough to send me this rather lovely looking Orc as part of the 2019 Ye Olde Inn Christmas Exchange:

Speaking of which, preparing a model of my own for the exchange was a very cool moment for me as well — the fact that Weltenlauefer, whom I sent the model to, was over the moon with it did, of course, sweeten the deal. My little Witch Lord now gets to lord it over Weltenlauefer’s brilliant catacomb terrain:

Kickstarter

After joining Dave Taylor’s campaign for his excellent book “Armies & Legions & Hordes” last year, I am back to checking for cool projects on Kickstarter at least semi-regularly, and I found two really cool things that I wanted to help fund in 2019:

The first one was MOMiniaturas’Β  Mercenary Kickstarter that I fell in love with right at the height of my HeroQuest infatuation:

The Mercenaries themselves have a wonderful “Retro Warhammer Fantasy Empire” look about them, which really sold me on them right away. And I was also able to pick up some really cool extras from MOMiniaturas’ back catalogue along with them for a good price. The whole huge package of about 30 models arrived in late autumn, and while I have yet to paint any of those models, it should be a treat!

I also backed the Tabletop Fantasy Miniatures Kickstarter featuring sculpts by Ana Polanscak:

Ana has long been one of the most original voices in this hobby of ours, participating in a crowdfunding campaign to get my hands on some of her sculpts was really a bit of a no-brainer! The models are a wonderfully quirky and sinister little bunch, and painting them should be quite a lot of fun!

4. Hugs for the Hug Throne!

 

III. Blogging

*Sigh* It would all be peaches and cream, if not for this part of the post. But seriously, let’s get the good stuff out of the way first:

Eternal Hunt turned seven in 2019, which was really cool. I have also managed to keep the posts flowing, more or less, ending up with about 400 posts again.

At the same time, interest in this blog (and, I should add, in blogs in general) seems to be dwindling, with the numbers going down all the time. To wit, this were my stats at the end of 2018:

And this is what things looked like at the end of 2019:

You know what? In my hubris, I always expected that this blog would come to an end when I’d run out of things to say — not when people would stop giving a feth.

This really frustrates me, and I could probably go on about it all day. I’ll force myself not to do that, though. Maybe it’s inevitable that Instagram should supplant all of the old blogs and forums. Maybe that’s what people want. It’s not what I want, however, so I’ll keep fighting the good fight over here — or what I think the good fight is, at least. If you are still with me after all these years, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Please keep reading and commenting! It’s what keeps this blog going, simple as that.

That said, if anyone does want to listen to me ranting about Instagram a little more, why, just look at last year’s post — everything that I said then is still perfectly accurate, even moreso today, in some cases.

 

IV. Plans

Back when I laid out my hobby resolutions for 2019, I made sure to point out that I didn’t want to overpromise and paint myself into a corner, so I only named a few models I wanted to paint. Looking back now, twelve months later, I cannot help noticing that I did not manage to paint a single one of those models — so much for resolutions, I guess… πŸ˜‰

But the good thing about the new year is that you get a new shot, right? And there are a few models I would like to see some paint on. Here they are, provisionally…

 

As part of my rejuvenated interest in building and painting 40k World Eaters, I also created a new version of Lord Captain Lorimar, based on the new Abaddon model released in 2019:

This is one model that I would definitely like to try and paint this year,…

Countess Mandelholtz, of the Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance, just keeps appearing in my new year’s resolutions — but only because I took me so long to get this particular model right that I am now scared of messing it up with a sub-par paintjob…

but there have been some additions to House Mandelholtz last year, not least of all one Mr. Azaleas Vile, the banking house’s prime factor:

So maybe we’ll be seeing more of House Mandelholtz and its agents in 2020…

I might aso finally dip my toes into some Inquisitor 54 (after all, I picked up the original Eisenhorn model a short while ago).

The 30k incarnation of my World Eaters has fallen by the wayside a bit, ironically pushed aside by my 40k World Eaters again — but in light of the rumours of GW wanting to turn the Horus Heresy into a proper mainline setting, I guess there’ll still be a chance to work on those models in the future. If nothing else, I would really like to finish my “Argel Tal duology”, if only to pre-empt a possible Argel Tal model by Forgeworld…


Oh, and I tried failed during the summer to finally paint my second Armiger Warglaive …erm, sorry, that’s “War Dog” now, for The Bolter & Chainsword’s ETL event, but that’s really a shame because I am still very fond of the model:


So you can probably expect the Huntress and her ride to be finished at some point in 2020 as well.

Oh, and lest I forget, now that the new plastic Sisters have finally been announced in multi-part form, I really need to get my hands on a squad of them…


You know, just to have a bit of fun with the kit…

 

All of these are rather loose targets, however. If there is one thing I really want to do is to contribute to/participate in LarsonicMiniaturesOndroma event:

The talent on display is truly staggering. It has to be said that, up to now, I have actually been ridiculously neglectful when it comes to the event, but I fully intend to change that! Scout’s honour! πŸ™‚

 

So yeah, that’s it for today — if anything, this post has already gone on far too long anyway. Let me finish by thanking all of my readers and by encouraging you to keep visiting this place for the next twelve months. And please do speak up every once in a while, just so, you know, I get the feeling every now and then that I am not just screaming into the void…

And please feel free to let me hear any thoughts you might have on my 2019 output or my varios hobby plans!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: A Christmas Carol…of Undead Sorcery

Posted in Conversions, heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, so here is my Christmas post for this year, and right in time for the festivities, no less. And I have prepared something for you that is at least a little heartwarming, as is only right and proper for this season.

Furthermore, one of my first hobby activities this year has been to return to the very beginnings of my life as a hobbyist and paint some old HeroQuest models, so it seems only fitting that one of the year’s last posts should also deal with the very same game — so what is this about?

Speaking of HeroQuest, you may have seen how my biggest ongoing hobby project this year was to paint an entire HeroQuest set, and for once I actually managed to go through with it. Ye Olde Inn, a forum dedicated to all things HeroQuest, became an indispensable part of this project, so when the forum ran its annual “Ye Olde Inn Christmas Exchange”, it was clear to me that I really wanted to participate, both as a small way of giving something back to the community, but also because I like events like this, where everyone builds a model and sends it off to somebody else.

So I really wanted to do something cool for the exchange! And this ambition doubled when I learned that my model would go to fellow hobbyist Weltenlaeufer whom I was happy to advise on painting his own HeroQuest models throughout the year. Now he had told me multiple times that he really liked my models, and flattery will, of course, get you anywhere with me πŸ˜‰

But on a more serious note, this meant that there was a fairly good chance that he would like having a model built and painted by me in his collection — but I really wanted to give it my all and not just paint any old standard model (although “standard models” can be rather lovely when painted really well, as we will see later in this post).

Anyway, I reflected for a bit on what kind of model would be cool enough for this endeavour, and I settled on the closest thing the basic HeroQuest game system has to an arch-villain: The Witch Lord, as seen here painted by the great Les Edwards.

Illustration by Les Edwards

As I have already outlined before, I instantly fell in love with that illustration when I first saw it — enough so, in fact, that I used it as an inspiration when I finally built my own version of the Witch Lord earlier this year:

“So yeah, how about sending Weltenlaeufer a Witch Lord? That would certainly be cool!” But how would I go about building another one?

Fortunately enough, as outlined in my original Witch Lord post, I had come up with a plan for a plastic Witch Lord conversion as my original approach before later using an old Citadel metal model for the actual conversion. But I still felt that this recipe could work really well for the task I was facing now. The approach would look similar in nature to this renegade psyker I built a few years ago:

The basic combination of bitz at the heart of this approach – combining the legs of an Empire flagellant with a Skaven Stormvermin torso – makes for a slightly stooped and subtly sinister body that works for all kinds of villainous sorcerer types, Witch Lords included. But even though the basic idea was sound, it still took me a rather long while before I finally came up with a basic setup that worked:

Taking Les Edward’s illustration as my main point of reference once again, I tried to go for a model that would hit enough of the artwork’s visual cues to read as the Witch Lord, even if it didn’t reproduce every element from the artwork. I still tried to make it a rather close fit, though, and bitz from about ten different kits went into making the model look right, including a Skeleton warrior head, a ghoul hand, some Empire Knight feet and a Bloodletter mandible. By lucky chance, I tried the horns I got as a leftover piece from when I shaved horns off the new vanilla CSM helmets to replace them with Khornate helmet crests a while backΒ , and they really made the helmet work so much better.

Here’s the model just a bit later, glued together and with the necessary tweaks in place:





Up to this point, however, I still wasn’t entirely sure whether or not I was on to something. That changed after undercoating, though, when all the disparate parts really turned into something that looked reasonably closely like a HeroQuest model:




When painting my new Witch Lord conversion, I tried to basically recreate my earlier paintjob, with just a few minor tweaks here and there, and went for the classic triad of basecoats,…



…washes,…



…and higlights.

I spent quite a bit of time on that last part, obviously, to make sure the model would really work as a centre piece character.

So here’s my finished plastic Witch Lord:







I was really very happy with the outcome, as this felt like a worthy contribution to the Christmas exchange. And I do think the model holds up when placed next to my original Witch Lord model. Take a look:


I would be hard-pressed to decide which of these I like better. True, my original model is quite a bit flashier, on account of using a different base model, but the new version is actually much closer to the kind of model you would actually find in a HeroQuest set from back in the day (it is also, it has to be said, much easier to recreate for someone who wants to build their own Witch Lord, which is useful).

At the same time, I did my best to create a subtle connection between both models: They both use an identical palette and the weird avian skull on their respective staffs is also just the same. And they both – hopefully – match the piece of artwork that inspired them to begin with:

The new Witch Lord also looks pretty convincing next to some actual HeroQuest models, if you ask me:

So that was my model for Weltenlaeufer’s HeroQuest conversion done and dusted, right? Not quite, because I wasn’t finished yet:

I also wanted to make sure the packaging matched the style of the model, and seeing how the Witch Lord emerges his tomb, as represented by the little sarcophagus that comes in the HeroQuest set,…

I thought it would be really cool to incorporate this element in my package as well, so I used “Keramin”, a plaster like material that dries really fast and hard, in order to make a quick copy of the lid:


Talk about happy accidents: The casting process was actually not quite perfect, leading to some bubbles that marred the face of the reclining figure. But they actually ended up making the face look even more gaunt and undead, which was of course ideal in this case:


So I painted the copied lid up in suitably stony colours…


…and used it to add that certain je-ne-sais-quoi to Weltenlaeufer’s package, so upon opening it, he would find this:


A recreation of the Witch Lord’s tomb, to be opened by an intrepid (or foolish) adventurer to unleash an ancient horror upon the Old World…


Mission accomplished, at long last! So I packed it all up and sent it off to Poland towards the end of November, then spent a frantic week or so wondering whether the postal service would somehow manage to mess this up. They didn’t, however, so not only did my little Witch Lord arrive in time, but Weltenlaeufer also ended up really liking the model, by the looks of it:

Yay! πŸ™‚

Even better, actually: As if on cue, Weltenlaeufer had recently picked up a brand new set of brilliant tabletop catacombs from Dwarven Forge.

Here’s my, pardon his plastic Witch Lord surveying his new domain:




By the way, you can check out more of Weltenlaeufer’s very cool ongoing HeroQuest related work on his thread here.

So all’s well that ends well, right? Hah, we’re still not at the end! Because not only did I send off a model, I also received one in return: Last week, I received a package from fellow forumite Anderas, and out came this gnarly little gentleman here:


A wonderfully painted Orc — far neater than anything I have ever painted myself! This goes to show how my aversion to “standard models” was entirely misguided. The delightful little git has also managed to get his hands on a chaos warrior sword, it seems, and seems to be handling it very delicately, given that one protective glove πŸ˜‰

What’s probably the nicest bit here, however, is that the model also features some rather lovely painted on cobblestones:

Anyway, thanks a lot Anderas, and indeed all the fellow forumites from Ye Olde Inn, who have made this little event such a heartwarming affair! I urge you to check out the rest of the contributions — some very creative riffs on HeroQuest models can be found in the event thread.

And, of course, thank you to my readers and commenters! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you’ll be having a great holiday season!

I’ll be back later this month – if all goes well – with this year’s installment of the Eternal Hunt Awards, whatever that may look like. Until then, I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 51/2019: Bald heads and shady dealings

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2019 by krautscientist

With Christmas fast approaching, I at least want to make time for another update in between all of the daily chaos, even if there’s nothing spectacular to show you right now. Which means you’ll have to content yourselves with some rough sketches and conversion shenanigans. And with some bald heads — and no, I am not referring to myself with that last point. Anyway, what is this about?

I. Delaque Deliberations

A while ago, I picked up a box of the new Necromunda Delaque gangers, to be primarily used as conversion fodder for INQ28 related projects.

I would argue that the Delaque are probably the best re-design in modern Necromunda, mostly because with their older incarnation, there was such a vast gulf between the rather cool concept for the gang and the very lacklustre miniatures. But even beyond Necromunda proper, these guys really seemed like an invaluable source for conversion material from the get go:

You see, the world of shadowy inquisitorial dealings has great need for suitably shadowy, robed figures, yet outside of the trusty Empire flagellants, proper robed figures have been in short supply across GW’s catalogue — and there’s also the fact that the flagellants have such a ragged and frayed-around-the-edges look that they just don’t work for every project. The new Delaques seem like the perfect fix for that issue. So I already had a couple of plans going into this latest kitbashing session, and I would love to share some of my results with you:

The first thing I had wanted to do for a while was to use one of the Delaque gangers to convert a Tech-Priest. In fact, I even took the time to quickly sketch out one of my ideas during an idle half hour at the doctor’s office:

Granted, the proportions are completely dodgy — good thing, then, that the resulting model ended up looking much cooler:


Official GW Tech-Priests are all twisted and insectile these days — which I love, make no mistake! But I like a little variety in my collection, so I thought a tall, upright tech-priest with an air of haughty arrogance might work well. Plus I think Tech-Priests should really be all shapes and sizes, so they look even more crazy when assembled as a collection — it takes all sortss to make a (Forge-)world, so to speak πŸ˜‰


As you can see, it’s a fairly simple kitbash that mostly consists of adding some AdMech bitz to one of the Delaque gangers — I think the pose really sells the model, though, while the tech-y gubbinz give him just the right silhouette (and amount of clutter) for a Tech-Priest.

One thing that gave me pause for a bit was the model’s left hand: I did have several Sicaran Ruststalker/Infiltrator hands holding guns that would have worked, but that just seemed like the wrong way to go with the character. I used some kind of auspex/scanner in my character sketch above, directly inspired by the auspex array that comes with the Skitarii Vanguard/Rangers — but when the time came to put the model together, that just seemed a bit too pedestrian, too.

It felt like an open hand (preferredly with some calipered fingers) would work best for the model, so I whipped something up:



The hand was spliced together from a Sicarian Ruststalker thumb and the creepy fingers of the surgical servitor that’s part of the 40k battlefield objectives. I am really happy with the finished model and think it should make for a pretty cool addition to my collection of AdMech models!

Looking at the stooped pose of another Delaque ganger gave me the idea for putting together an Imperial Scribe /Inquisitorial Savant type character:



Now the model still needed a fair bit of work at this point, but the outline was already there: With hands unrolling a bandage (from the Cadian Command squad) repurposed as hands carrying some kind of scroll and his pose, the guy already seemed like the kind of figure you would regularly see in the back row of illustrations depicting the Inquisition, or in the corners of 40k Codex books in the olden days, so I knew I was on to something.

The most important addition here was some kind of augmetic cowl (similar to the designs you see on some of the Forgeworld AdMech models) with some cables and head implants feeding into it (as well as some cables dangling from it). This element breaks up the characteristic Delaque silhouette a bit and also hints at the kind of augmetics a scribe would need for their work in the 41st millennium.

At the same time, I also included a leather document satchel and an additional scroll – complete with skull, of course – so as not to make him look too hi-tech and bring him back into the gothic madness that is 40k. The satchel is an older WFB plastic part (from the Dwarf Miners, I believe), while the skull and scroll bit came from the Empire Flagellants — no surprise there! πŸ˜‰




This model turned into such a sweet surprise, because the idea really took ages to get off the ground, but after the basic mockup was finished, I had such fun tweaking the model! I am still thinking about adding a lantern and another bit or two of gear, and then the scribe/savant will be ready to explore some sunken Imperial archives — after getting painted, of course πŸ˜‰

II. Thorn Wishes Talon

But wait, I have yet more bald heads to share with you! Because I have treated myself to a small, premature Christmas present:

The original 54mm Inquisitor Eisenhorn: I have wanted to own this model for a long time, yet was never smart enough to pick it up while it was still freely available. Now the model you see above is missing some bits and bobs, but I did get it for a pretty good price, and I am confident I’ll be able to sort most of it out with the leftover INQ54 bits I already have. In fact, Eisenhorn should make a swell companion for my salvaged Delphan Gruss/Nagash mashup from back in January:


It also really is a lovely sculpt, even after all these years!

 

III. Painting some stuff — only differently this time

And there’s one last look at some ongoing stuff for you: I’ve been slowly trying to get back into drawing of late, and finally getting the chance to pick up the classic Eisenhorn model was enough to inspire me to make a small attempt at digitally drawing ,y version of a piece of art from the Inquisitor rulebook:

It’s a pretty clunky piece with all kinds of problems, admittedly, but I am really still finding my feet here. Here’s a quick coloured sketch of my Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor, Tiberias Orlant,Β  to round things out:

It’s like using a muscle that hasn’t been exercised for years — because that’s precisely what’s happening. I haven’t been drawing for ages. But then again, I had all but given up hope for ever returning to it, so this is actually pretty cool. This whole digital art thing is definitely something I can see myself picking up next year — also, be glad I didn’t show you the slightly tacky “Joy of Painting”-inspired landscapes I’ve been painting on the side πŸ˜‰

 

So yeah, that’s no less than four bald heads and lots of shadowy, shady stuff for you! I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts you might have! I’ll be back with a – slightly – heartwarming Christmas tale early next week, to get you all in the mood for the festivities πŸ˜‰ Until then, please let me hear your comments and, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2019 by krautscientist

At the risk of boring you all to tears – those of you who still bother reading this, anyway – I am still hard at work on my Ordo Xenos warband, and it feels like I am on a bit of a roll with these guys. Don’t worry, though: There’s an end in sight. To wit, here’s where we left off last time: The remaining unpainted members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:

Given the fun I recently had painting Professor Abelard Marbray, I thought his planned research assistant would be a good next model to take on:


This entire model basically began with the realisation that Marbray would totally be the type for bringing along some kind of assistant, and I wanted to create a model that both looked like a researcher while also seeming at least reasonably able to look after itself. The conversion is pretty simple, actually, mostly combining WFB Empire bitz and parts from different Cadian sprues.

During the painting process, the research assistant turned out to be one of the models that end up looking awfully bland once the main colours have been blocked in:


Fortunately enough, things started to look up pretty quickly after the washing stage. So I now have another finished model. Meet Researcher Tancred, everyone:



The objective here was to have him match the Professor himself, as they are (or were) both members of the Bastold Imperial Akademy, so I used a similar palette: At the same time, I also wanted to subtly hint at a bit of a possible military past, hence the subtle IG elements.


All in all, I think I have managed to create a pretty workmanlike, slightly downtrodden look that I think really works for the character: He’s definitely the guy for the odd jobs, not yet having climbed to quite the same lofty academic heights as the professor himself, but Tancred’s still nobody’s fool, and he knows how to pull his weight.


I also wanted to include a couple of characterful little touches. For instance, Tancred is busy looking at some kind of map, so I decided to carefully draw on some kind of floor plan (possibly of an ancient ruin or something):


I think Researcher Tancred and Professor Marbray work pretty well together. Take a look:


At this point, I felt I had earned myself a little fun, and there are few things as entertaining as working on a creepy Adeptus Mechanicus character, so I chose the Magos Xenobiologis as the next model to work on.

This character began in two different places: He seemed like an interesting counterpoint to Professor Marbray, for one, looking at the same subject matter (Xenos) from a different angle. The idea also provided me with the perfect excuse to work on a brilliantly creepy model I have had in my collection for quite a while now:

The Magos Xenobiologis is a subtly converted Forgeworld model (originally a Tech-Servitor that comes with Inquisitor Solomon Lok). I only really made one change to the stock model, replacing the tangle of cables and dataspikes emerging from his left sleeve with a pretty creepy metallic claw — this guy just loves to take apart Xenos and find out what makes ’em tick πŸ˜‰ The fact that his robes recall both a lab coat as well as a butcher’s apron really support that impression…

Another, fairly recent, addition was a servo-skull that started as a fairly spontaneous little converting exercise, yet seemed like a pretty fitting addition to this model:


When it came to painting the model, I stuck to the classic approach and went for red robes, silver and bronze metallics and pallid skin. That said, I tried to achieve a somewhat grungy look to support the already pretty creepy sculpt — the Magos is often at work in the field, and I wanted the paintjob to reflect that.

So here’s Magos Xenobiologis Harland Leitz, on permanent secondment to Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:



the different angle reveals the servo-skulls pretty disturbing syringe…



I am actually really happy with this model: He’s a creepy bugger, and the paintjob really supports that impression, if you ask me:


So there we are: Two more members for Inquisitor Alvar’s little club. The Inquisition dropship must be getting a little crowded just about now πŸ˜‰

That being said, I love the idea of Inquisitors having a rather large team of retainers and choosing a suitable “away team” from this talent pool whenever the need arises.

So, looking at the picture at the top of this post, that leaves only the squat engineer and female hive ganger — so let’s see when I’ll be able to get those finished…

Oh, and seeing how today’s models were actually finished this last weekend, I hope Azazel won’t mind my handing them in as yet another contribution to his Squaddie September ’19 challenge.

In addition, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts on the models, so please leave a comment!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, time for another update: I still have to spent way too much time on hospital visits, but I nevertheless thank you guys for all the well-wishes! It really means a lot!

If nothing else, I have managed to be a bit more productive in hobby terms, mostly thanks to another painting session at my friend Annie’s place.

So what do I have for you today? — More finished members for my Ordo Xenos warband, as it happens.

And that’s a good thing, really, because this particular retinue is one of my oldest INQ28-related hobby projects, and it’s always a great feeling to be able to cross some long-neglected models off my list of unpainted stuff!

Inquisitor Alvar’s warband was actually originally started in 2013, with several of the models also first conceived back then.

In hindsight, the warband almost seems like a primitive precursor to the colourful group of adventurers that would end up in the Blackstone Fortress boxed se:

— overtaken by GW’s own release schedule, now that is one for the news πŸ˜‰

But anyway, all the more reason to finally show this project some love! So I’ve managed to add two more finished members to the warband, and I have also taken some new photos of all the characters so far, so let’s start by going through the members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:

First up, the Inquisitor himself: Titus Alvar of the Ordo Xenos Velsen — Inquisitor, socialite, adventurer:


There’s an as-of-yet unnamed sanctioned psyker who is also a member of Alvar’s warband. My vague backstory for him is that Alvar picked him up while he was under Inquisitorial audit for some psionic “friendly fire” caused by the presence of a Xenos artifact.



Next up,Β  Zekariah “Foreman” Lunn, Inquisitorial operative and veteran of the Eisenberg Factory Guard:



And T’L’Kess, Kroot tracker and scout, and possibly the last survivor of his kindred:


So much for the members of Alvar’s retinue so far, but what about the new blood? Well, let’s take a look!

First up is Inquisitor Alvar’s interrogator, Mamzel Millerna Acheron:

Now this is actually not a GW model, but actually Reaper Miniatures’ “Sasha Dubois, Time Chaser”, from the Chronoscope line of models. I will say, however, that it almost looks like a missing GW sculpt from the late 90s or early aughts, with maybe a dash of Chris Fitzpatrick, especially in the face. Anyway, I mostly picked up this model a couple of years ago because I liked the sculpt so much — but I quickly realised that she would go really well with the rest of Alvar’s warband, and she even mirrors some of the visual cues that appear on the Inquisitor. To wit, one of the most popular paintjobs of the model to be found online even uses a colour palette that is somewhat similar to my recipe for Alvar:

In any case, this was defnitely one of the paintjobs I kept putting off for years for fear of messing up. At the same time, I didn’t want the model to perfectly match Alvar’s look, but rather to complement it. Here’s what I came up with:

Seeing how several details appear on both Alvar and Millerna (such as the epaulettes, coat, the goggles on the forehead,…), turning the models of echoes of each other to a degree, I thought I could get away with a blue-ish/turquoise coat. I also see Millerna as the scion of a voidfaring family, so a slightly naval look did seem appropriate (and worked well with the golden elements on her coat as well).

I also took the liberty to not paint her with a bare-midriff, as that seemed a bit too gratuitous and risquΓ© for a professional Inquisitorial operative. Instead, I tried to achive the look of combat fatigues or an armoured bodyglove, which I think is a far better match for a character like this. I am really very happy with the finished model, if I do say so myself!

Here’s a group picture of Inquisitor Alvar and his interrogator, and I’d say they work very well together:

With one tough challenge behind me, I was feeling cocky enough to start painting one of the first conversions created for the retinue, and a rather involved one at that. Professor Abelard Marbray, renowned Xeno-archeologist of the Bastold Imperial Akademy:


To quote myself from back when I originally came up with the character:

“It also stands to reason that an Inquisitor exploring Xenos ruins would have need of a specialist in the field of archaeology. And indeed, while painting the model for Inquisitor Alvar, inspiration struck and made me want to convert one of the most underappreciated WFB plastic characters, the Empire Master Engineer β€” at least, it’s the only model that’s ALWAYS available at the FLGS and never sells out. And to be honest, it used to be the one model I couldn’t see myself using for anything. But it just seemed perfect for this:”

Using the – now OOP, ironically enough – Empire Master Engineer did make for a somewhat quirky model, but that was really just the look I wanted, even back then: Equal parts nutty professor and mad scientist, and also the look of an old gentleman academic going on a grand adventure in what he considers his best possible gear for the great outdoors.

It’s also a rather cluttered and busy model with lots and lots of detail to paint, so to finish the professor did take a while. But here he is, ready to travel out into the sea of stars — FOR SCIENCE!


That bulky, voxcaster-based thing on his back is supposed to be some kind of portable cogitator, by the way, allowing him to file and cross-reference his findings even while working in the field. I imagine it even makes an old-fashioned “ding” sound when finishing with a calculation πŸ˜‰



I built the professor to be contemplating a rusty, dirty Necron skull, as you can see, unsure whether this is an artifact of a Xenos culture or actual part of an alien. There’s even a patch of bright silver where his fingers have wiped away some of the dust and grime of the ages (although you probably have to take a close look to see it):


This was another paintjob that I had been putting off for a long time — and to finally have completed these two characters really does feel like quite an achievement — silly, I know πŸ˜‰

In any case, this brings Inquisitor Alvar’s merry band of rogues and adventurers quite a bit closer to its completion. Here’s the entire retinue so far:

As for future additions, there are actually four more possible members for the warband. Take a look:

From left to right, there’s a Magos Xenobiologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus, now on permanent secondment to the Ordos, Professor Marbray’s research assistant, a Squat/Demiurg (or whatever you want to call them — I thought it would be a fun model to throw in) and Shiv Korlund, a female hive ganger, represented by one of Jes Goodwin’s vintage Escher models.

Looking at the retinue now that it’s starting to come together for good, I realise that the warband definitely owes a debt of inspiration to the Inquisitorial retinue fellow hobbyist Lamby is currently working on (and, to be exact, has been for a while). This wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part, but I cannot help feeling some of my models echo the design cues you can see in Lamby’s work, and there are subtle similarities here and there that must be due to my following his warband taking place over a similar number of years. So cheers, mate! And great to see you working on your stuff again!

I am also happy to finally be able to contribute something to one of Azazel’s community challenges again, as my attempts to finally finish Inquisitor Alvar’s warband should definitely qualify as a part of his Squaddie September ’19 challenge.

As is usually the case, I would love to hear your thoughts on the models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: Game on!

Posted in Battle report, Conversions, heroquest, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2019 by krautscientist

My quest to completely assemble and paint my vintage HeroQuest set has taken over much of my hobby time this year, as some of you may have noticed, but last week, the time had finally come to give the finished game set an actual spin.

Now for those of you who are not that much into HeroQuest – or who don’t even remember the days of yore when the game was first released – this may all seem a bit eggheaded and not all that interesting, for which I apologise. It has to be said, however, in terms of my personal hobby voyage, for lack of a better word, that this has really been a moment thirty years in the making, and that to be able to play a game of HeroQuest (with the full rules, no less) with a fully painted set that I have managed to complete myself does feel like a rather huge achievement.

Anyway, without further preamble, let’s get into the meat of this post: Annie and T. were awesome enough to join me for this special game night (cheers for that, guys!), and we decided to play a one-off game (at least for now), using the first quest from the second edition Quest book called “The Trial”

The quest is actually not entirely unproblematic as a starting point, because it’s much tougher than “The Labyrinth”, the beginners’ quest from the 1st edition of the quest book. While “The Labyrinth” features nothing tougher than a bunch of greenskins, “The Trial” pulls out all the stops and features just about every monster within the HeroQuest box, the dreaded Gargoyle included. However, this also makes it the perfect showcase game for HeroQuest, as it uses all of the monsters (and of the furniture) — what better way to make the most of my completely painted set, eh?

So I made some very small tweaks to the quest (including a house rule for searching rooms and added wandering monsters) and we were off: Annie and T. chose to play two heroes each, with Annie taking control of Tonriel Silkspinner (the Elf) and Braband the Fierce (The Barbarian), whereas T. would play Thorin (the Dwarf, obviously πŸ˜‰ ) and Garo von Stein (the Wizard).

These four brave adventurers would boldly enter the catacombs of Verag the Gargoyle, slaying vile creatures and discovering priceless treasures along the way…

But we are getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s start at the beginning: Our journey started, as every journey does, with a first step:

The plot quickly thickened, however, as the heroes ventured out from their starting room, encountering the dungeon’s first denizens:

And they kept getting in more trouble by opening additional doors — just as planned πŸ˜‰

Even at this early point, a streak of bad dice rolls already reared its ugly head, so the fights against the first couple of greenskins turned out to be more troublesome than expected. Little did the heroes know, however, of the monstrous legions arrayed against them:

For now, both the exploration and the fighting continued — and the first treasure chest was uncovered!


Braband the Fierce added another bead to his string of disappointments, however, when he discovered the chest he had fought so hard to reach turned out to be empty.

Thorin, on the other hand, needed some alone time and took a walk around the centre room of the dungeon.

…before coming to Tonriel’s assistance, since the elf had managed to disturb some more denizens of the dungeon.

Exploration moved to the upper left corner of the board — very much the home of a couple of undead horrors and of one of the quest’s “minibosses”, as it were.

Our heroes yet remained oblivious to this fact, but they were at least smart enough to team up before advancing further (and Braband even got in a second, more successful, attempt at emptying a treasure chest of its contents):

There was a collective intake of breath around the table as the fell guardian of Fellmarg’s tomb arose from his long slumber…

…only to be instantly KO’ed by a well-placed Genie spell:

Strangely fitting for a mummy champion to be knocked out by a Genie, come to think of it… Anyway, it may have been a short guest appearance, but the creation of a custom model was still totally worth it πŸ˜‰

Shortly afterwards, Braband and Tonriel were hard at work running into yet more trouble a couple of rooms further down. And thanks to a spectacularly unfortunate dice results, the lowly Orc pictured below turned out to be much more resilient than he should have been — once again, that is…

Here’s a look at my fortress of evil as seen from the players’ perspective…

And here’s a look at Annie’s side of the table: Her experience with RPG groups and deck-building games is clearly evident in the efficient way she organised her materials… (just compare it to the utter chaos behind my GM viewscreen…):

In any case, the heroes had learned their lesson, electing to form a neat conga line for their further exploration of the environment.

Returning to the centre of the catacombs for what seemed like this quest’s inevitable showdown…

But wait, had our heroes managed to overlook a room towards the bottom of the board? “Come hither, Braband!”, called Tonriel, “’tis probably just more greenskin vermin in this room!”

“Oh sh….!”

The two chaos warriors and Fimir were vanquished, but not without taking a toll on the heroes’ HP: In fact, things were looking pretty dire at this point, with all heroes down to their last couple of HP and all healing spells and potions already used up.

So it was at the worst possible moment that the foul Verag’s lair was revealed:

But our heroes were nothing if not unconventional in their problem solving: Garo von Stein jumped right into the fray, as you would expect from someone with only one defense dice and only three more hitpoints to his name.

His audacity paid off, however, as Verag was instantly slain by a well placed Ball of Flame — while some of the heroes actions were slightly eccentric (bordering on idiotic), I have to admit they really made the best possible use of their offensive spells against dangerous targets!

Unfortunately, his advance had put the Wizard into a bit of a fix:

But he managed to dodge a full round of attacks, right in time for Braband and Tonriel to show up as backup and provide him with a clear route for a strategic escape.

It was a close call, but in the end, our heroes prevailed:

In fact, Thorin the Dwarf even chose to celebrate the occasion by dancing on the table — a bit rich, really, considering his less than stellar combat performance…

But in spite of everything, the heroes were victorious! They did manage to win by the skin of their teeth, though: One more round of combat could have produced the first hero casualties. For this reason, the heroes didn’t perform any further searching in the rooms that were left, but chose to end the quest then and there.

In all fairness, however, they did manage to vanquish quite a few monsters along the way:

So yeah, that was my first HeroQuest game in a long time — and definitely the first game using a fully painted set. So how does it hold up?

We actually had a blast, but then we’ve all grown up with HeroQuest, seeing the game as a bit of a gateway drug into the hobby. So there’s at least some nostalgia involved. There were many legitimately great moments, though: the surgical obliteration of the quest’s two most dangerous creatures by magic, for instance. Or Thorin’s inability to score a single hit on a consecutive five or six rounds: T. just didn’t roll a single skull, to his mounting frustration. On the other hand, the same skill also made him defend lots of damage when it really counted, keeping him alive longer than should have been possible:

“If you are defending, that’s an excellent result. If you are trying to kill something, not so much…”

But the fact remains that the game worked really, really well, in spite of being 30 years old. Granted, it was ever so slightly clunky in places and lacked some of the quality of life features we are all used to from more modern games — both of these problems were ameliorated by the fact that we were still (re)learning the ropes while playing, however, and so we were happy enough to be able to grasp the rules in a speedy fashion: They are really straightforward and robust enough to let you dive right into the game!

Thanks must also go to Annie and T. for indulging me in this venture. We had great fun, and to be able to serve as the evil dungeon master using my own toys again was a lovely, nostalgic moment — one that I hope we’ll be able to repeat sooner rather than later.

But that is a story for another time! For now, everything goes back into the box:

Before we tune out for today, however, let me say that I would love to hear any thoughts, feedback – or, indeed, old HeroQuest war stories – that you may have! Please feel free to leave me a comment below!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!