Weekly Updates?

Since blog article topics don’t always come easily to me, I have decided to do some shorter articles in between the lengthier hobby musings. There is always something on my hobby desk, either models in progress from parts to finished, or sitting in the actual paint queue. I am lucky enough to have a second hobby area for terrain builds. Any number of half-painted or incomplete terrain build lurk over there. Both piles of unfinished things mock me, the mountains of projects laughing at my despair.

Some weeks the progress is measured in single wash coats over a set of models. Some weeks I am a hobby machine, churning out whole units of Saga or WFB or 40K miniatures. The past two weeks have been mixed. I did punch out 18 Empire spear men for WFB. I used one of the Games Workshop Contrast paints for the first time. I’ll talk a bit about that in a second. Last week I started and mostly finished a High elf dragon and lord. I also put the contrast paint on another 6 spear men. I feel like I got less done, though the dragon was a fair amount of work.

One coat of Blood Angels Red contrast. Finished dragon.

I still need to paint the reins, shield, sword and head for the lord. The dragon needs a matte varnish, but since its been raining for two days straight here, I am going to hold off spraying the model and potentially ruining all the work so far. The dragon was painted for Monster May(hem) (there ya go Roger!) over at Dead Dick’s Tavern. When an Angry Piper asks for volunteers, well, ya just gotta get to work!

The dragon was languishing in an unbuilt state at the bottom of a pile of boxes of minis. I have had the model for at least 4 years, but the task of painting a dragon seemed beyond my abilities for so long, it sat there. last month I finally attacked a metal wood Elf dragon since metal is so much easier to strip paint from, I figured I couldn’t screw it up too bad. It turned out better than i hoped even though i rushed it a bit.

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Finished Wood Elf dragon.

I apologize again for my pictures. Adding a light box was not enough. I still need more light. And an actual camera. I can’t find one with a decent macro feature for under $300 (the max price as set by the CFO and my limit for such a limited-use object).

Games Workshop came out with a line paints to speed up army painting. Since I primarily paint with Vallejo paints, I paid very little attention.  Lately though, I have seen a few YouTube videos and noticed a few bloggers using the contrast paints. I had a pile of 6th edition WFB plastic spear men for my Empire army that needed paint. I had already decided to paint them in the blue and white of Middenheim to go along with my Middenland themed army. Since white was half the paint, i decided to use a white primer (i typically prime light or dark grey) and give a contrast blue a try. Luckily my FLGS had just opened back up for curbside service and still had the blue i needed in stock. With Talassar Blue in hand, i used the one piece of advice i wish i could attribute correctly. Use the paint carefully, don’t just splash it on.  The pigment load is extremely heavy, and if you let it pool it will create very dark splotches.

One coat did not give me the color i wanted. In fact, i wasn’t sure i liked it initially. It is much brighter than many of the colors i use. Probably because of the white under coat, but also because GW changed the color tones for the Empire some time ago. The duller, darker colors of 7th edition changed for 8th and beyond, becoming much brighter and more vivid. A second coat changed the tone a bit and was more where I wanted to be. I let it sit for a day or two to see if it was something i could live with. Since this unit is to be large (48 modles) and a named unit (The Wolf Guard), i felt that a bright color might work. As an elite unit, the regiment would be mindful of their appearance and use newer cloth and uniforms, maintaining a fresh, bright appearance.  I’ve finished 18 models so far.

18 finished Wolf Guard spears. Two coats of Talassar Blue contrast over white.

I’ll be honest, the two contrast paints i used blew me away. I haven’t inked or highlighted either the blue or red, and i like how they turned out. If you wanted stronger highlights (i don’t care for extreme highlights) those would be easy to add. I will definitely be using blue and green contrast paints on my Lizardmen. I’ll be looking for places i can use other colors in the future as well. The paints are pricey, I think i paid $7.80 a bottle. Being able to one coat a model is completely worth it.

I added another tool to the modeling arsenal in the last month or so.  After wanting one for more than a year, i finally broke down and bought a Proxxon Thermocut hot wire tool.  Jeremy over at Black Magic Craft has been using one as long as i have been watching his channel.  The ability to create blocks, and consistent sizes,  from XPS foam is incredibly useful. I’ve cut blocks and built some terrain, but XPS foam is hard on blades, and a dull blade tears the foam versus cutting. A hot wire zips right through it. Its magic. I’ve sat and just cut and cut, its kinda satisfying in a weird way. I love this tool!

In about an hour and a half i went from a 24″ x 48″ piece of XPS to a box full of stones or bricks or pieces. A box full of raw material to build with. I can use these to clad foam core buildings and structures, or i can build with the foam blocks. Endless possibilities. I definitely want some of the extra tools Gerard over at Shifting Lands has created. Ripping taller pieces, creating circles and consistent angles are just some of the things the templates and tools let you create out of XPS foam.

New tools and techniques will hopefully allow me to be more productive. Sitting here typing isn’t the productive that gets models done, so off I go!

Connections

After a brief, shining period of group Warhammer 40K gaming in college, much of my gaming and hobby activities have been a solo activity. For various reasons my time and ability to play in a group at a FLGS has been extremely limited. Fortunately, we live in an age of connectivity that lets us interact with people around the globe. Even if your face to face gaming is not at the level you would like it, there is a nearly unlimited amount of game talk, hobby talk, and even virtual gaming at our fingertips.

If you are really lucky, the virtual is supported by a Favorite Local Gaming Store. A place to meet up, play games, buy stuff, and talk shop. I have two shops close enough, and several more a bit further out. I can spend a long time at my FLGS. Our House Games has a constant series of gaming nights, from minis, to card games, board games and of course, DnD. I can never make a quick stop in. Most every time I am there for a paint or model purchase, I stay for a discussion of gaming and modeling and conventions.  The owners are long-time gamers and are always good for fun chats on most any aspect of gaming. I hope your local scene has at least one place you can go to be with “our people”.

My Warhammer 40K gaming experience really only spanned two years. Every Thursday I had my GW figure cases stacked by the door waiting for my wife to come home from work. We did the child hand-off, and I was gone. I was rarely the first person there, and many nights saw 20 people vying for table space. My armies were Catachans, then Space Marines, and eventually Imperial Guard. One case became four, plus a tote for vehicles.

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Image courtesy of Lexicanum

When I started playing there were a pair of guys who hung out all the time. One played Eldar, the other had am OOP Harlequin army. Those guys ate my lunch, and weren’t gentle. They had a lot of special rules and made lots of rerolls. For everything. To hit. To wound. To save. Everything got a reroll. Sometimes more than one. It took me some time, and an Eldar codex purchase to figure it out. They were terrible cheaters. Since I was the new guy, it was “tag, you’re our patsy”. I called the elder player out the next time we played, and he picked up his toys and went home. Never played either one again.

I had discovered the regular 40K game night, though, so it was no loss at all. All you had to do was show up, and people were waiting. Imperial Guard and Space Marines galore. A couple elder players who were pretty dominating without needing to cheat. A Genestealer cult army played alongside a couple tyranid armies. Tau showed up as the new kid in town. At least one player had Dark Eldar. And of course, Chaos Marines and Orks.

The room was cramped. The terrain was a mixed bag of seriously cool, and seriously worn out. The shop stayed open pretty late on game nights for the inevitable dice purchase when your dice failed you one too many times. Or for much needed reinforcements for next week.

Once the gaming ended, the discussions began. It was rare that we headed out before 1am. And pretty common to be hanging around still talking 40K at 3am. Fluff. History. Possibilities. Whatever Black Library books we had most recently read. It didn’t matter. We were among friends and laughing, dreaming, connecting.

Our one-off games turned into mega-games and campaigns. We discovered Battle Fleet Gothic and added fleet games and orbital assaults. Or lance strikes. Those were always fun if they hit their target. We improvised and tweaked and gamed. For over a year it was glorious.

A few players had drifted away. New blood was trickling in, and one of my three armies was always being loaned to a new player. The group was pretty strong and every week was lots of fun.

Unfortunately, the core group came together near the end of the college experience. Five of us all graduated or left at the same time. Poof. The organizers behind all the madness were gone. Thursday night was still 40K, but for a long time it wasn’t the same.

I was off on a training assignment that lasted 5 months. I mail ordered some Warhammer Fantasy models and paints to pass the very little free time. I didn’t have a car though, so weekly gaming or even visits to a game store were out of the question. The group I was training with looked at my hobby like I was a crazy person, and beyond a few random questions, I never talked gaming. Connections lost.

At my first duty station I found the local shop quick as I could. It was small, but had a decent Games Workshop selection, and a fair amount of paints. The game room was even smaller than before. It had maybe three 4’x 6’ tables. I eventually made it on a game night, and was sorely disappointed. In college, nearly every army was painted. Not always well painted, but there was paint on the models. At this shop several players didn’t even see the need to finish building the models to play.

Ok, I get it. You are so excited you want to get stuck in. Glue some legs to bases and Bob’s your uncle. I can deal with that once, or even twice. I went back to see if it was an aberration. Unfortunately, it was not. Five years later there were the same players playing with bare plastic legs for Space Marines.

I never played at that shop. Maybe I could have shamed them into building and painting their models. I don’t know. I was so disappointed in the local scene I just became a lurker. No connections still.

Internet forums were blossoming, and though I can’t give an exact date, I started connecting to gamers in far flung places. A couple of my hard core 40K buddies became disillusioned with GW and walked away from all their products. I met others who were just as deep in the lore and background as I was. This time, they were all around the world.

My interest in WW2 gaming soared during this period, and though there was really no one in the local area, a mere four hours’ drive was the heart of Flames of War gaming in Texas. I made the drive a couple times to play in FoW tourneys, meeting new people and finally having some long-missed hobby chats. This was an entirely new group of people, and I was clearly an outsider, but they were my people. Even the guy in the WW2 Russian hats. Hats because one year it might be a tanker helmet, the next an officer’s dress hat, and so on.

And the diversity of gamers!

No cringey neckbeards dearly in need of a bath. No, the Austin, Texas gaming scene was college kids, and middle aged office types. Contractors and professors. A good mix of long term gamers and 40K players branching out. I exchanged some emails and promised to see them at the next tournament. Connections.

In 2006 I happened into a play by email game called Subs Ahoy. I don’t remember how I lucked into one of the first play test games, but I did. And I played for years. Australians and Kiwis, Icelanders and Brits. Irishmen and Canadians. And a couple blokes from the USA. I was totally connected to a crazy gaming group again. Much of the play was solitary, and in game communication was limited and GM controlled. No cheating! But it was so much fun. A deeper discussion is a topic for another article.

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Around the same time I got into another play by email game. It was based off the board game Mustangs, and the group had some well-established players who knew how to play. I was pretty much a target for those guys and almost never even pulled the trigger. It was fun, but frustrating.

Still, I connected to other gamers. In both groups I met and corresponded with people about scenarios and theaters and games. No models, these were purely pen and paper gamers, but I got to game!

I continued with Subs Ahoy after a transfer took me from Texas to Michigan. Yet again, I searched out the local game store as soon as I could. Definitely before I unpacked, because we lived in a cramped apartment for a year while we tried to sell our house. That shop folded a few years later, and I can’t say I am surprised. The local crowd wasn’t very welcoming save one or two players. And the guy that ran the shop was as unfriendly as they come. He would grunt at you when he rang you up, but never even asked if you needed help. He was too busy painting 40K models, and the cabinets were full of lovely Battlefront and Games Workshop models. Unfortunately, the FOW gaming was on Sundays, and I don’t game on Sundays. No connection.

I found another, bigger shop a bit further away. As far as paints and models went, it was very well stocked. The staff was not much better though. Many of them seemed to be into Magic and other card games and I don’t recall much conversation about gaming or collectioning or painting. No connection.

I still played Subs Ahoy for a few more years. The Mustangs group kind of let my “membership” slip. I sucked, I know. But a lost connection.

When the Four Army Project started I was on several forums and I was very active. Probably more than I am now. I met and chatted and discussed with all sorts from all over. Over the next ten years I met gamers and hobbyists from the Ukraine and Serbia. From France and Italy and Germany. Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Russia, Wales, Scotland all sorts from England. I even reconnected with one of the 40K group from college. Connected all over.

Facebook, the bane and boon of modern life, led to many more groups and endless micro conversations over painting techniques, color choices, and army lists. Even though my gaming continues to be fairly solitary, I talk about the hobby more than ever.

I think it was over at the The Miniatures Page that I first stumbled onto the Carrion Crow and Hos delicious madness of Blackwell. That started a series of connections and conversation with The Carrion Crow himself, and others in his blog circle, that led to this blog.

These new connections led to more conversations of gaming and hobby plans. Discussions of rare or OOP models and books and long forgotten campaigns. Connections that led to gaming acquisitions and divestitures that never would have happened without a legion of friends around the world.

My decision to finally attend a major gaming convention payed off handsomely. The gaming has been spectacular and the inspiration nearly boundless. I’ve had some missteps as I have discussed elsewhere, but on the whole it has been such an incredible experience. Far beyond the games are the people I have met. Too many names, and I don’t want to forget anyone. Craziest part is traveling 8+ hours (488 miles/ 785 km) to meet people who live an hour away!

If I am being honest, the first time I attended Fall In was pretty terrifying. It’s a bit overwhelming at first. So much to take in and so many people. I was lucky that my best mate and gaming buddy attended with me, but we were a little lost that first day. By the end we had met fellow gamers and Game Masters who were just like us. Looking for a good gaming experience, a fun event, and making some new friends.

Year after year I look for some of the same GMs and games. Partly because I know a quality game will be hosted, mostly it is hoping I will sit side by side with gamers I have connected with and share this passion. And to help ease any new players into the craziness that some of the games bring. Exploding cows? First boom card every game? Battle of Hastings gone wrong?  All phrases that lead to howls of laughter with the right group due to strong connections.

Diving into X-Wing and Star wars Armada led to more connections on a whole new set of forums. X-Wing also allowed me to really connect to several of the young men in our church youth group. I was the youth pastor at the time and brought all my X-wing ships in for game nights and campaign Saturdays. A couple of them loved X-Wing and bought their own ships. After that we had long chats about tactics and fleet builds and upcoming releases. One teen ended up introducing it to his younger brother. His dad told me about all the money his son had spent on ships and I started to apologize. Our hobby isn’t cheap. Dad stopped me with “No, I don’t mind at all. They are spending more time together now playing X-Wing than they ever have before.” Connected.

My experience at Fall In led to more gaming conventions. And more connections. Playing a game with one of the major play testers for a well received rule set is pretty much fanboy heaven. That I have email corresponded with him beyond that still geeks me out.

I also took the jump into Comic Cons and attended the Indianapolis Comic Con a couple years ago. I took my whole family and we all connected over our love of comic heroes, superhero movies, costumes, harry Potter, Lord of the Rings an host of other things. Meeting James and Oliver Phelps at that con was both a highlight, and a connection. As famous as they are, they were super cool and the nicest guys. I can imagine playing a board game or table top game with them and having a great time.

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Comic Con led to Star Wars Celebration 2019 and more connections. Meeting one of my favorite YouTube content creators and having him explain the rules for a new game was super cool. Finally meeting a fellow who hosts a podcast i was a special guest on once was even better. We played a couple FFG games together and share a love of Outer Rim now. That weekend led to me being more involved in the Credible Nerds podcast, even co-hosting a couple episodes.

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Our shared interests allow us to connect across national boundaries and language barriers. My circle of friends rings the globe. How has your hobby journey progressed? What connections have you made that make your hobby better? I’d love to hear about them!

For me, these connections have led to 2nd Golden Age. And it is shining brightly!

 

 

 

A Descent into Madness

Have you ever started a project that spirals out of control, becomes all consuming, and sends you into an abyss of EBay and forum purchases in an elusive hunt for everything? If you haven’t, are you really a miniatures gamer?

That is a joke, of course, because many gamers build solid project plans and stick to them. Some are quite minimalist. Others have no claimed end, and enjoy the journey. This is yet another great thing about the hobby we all enjoy, there is a place for all of us and all of our interests. What gets your creativity going may do nothing for me. And that is ok. If we all followed the same drummer we wouldn’t have the cool toys we have. How many of the smaller miniatures companies are because someone couldn’t find what they wanted among the piles of lead and plastic already produced? Not to dig at Games Workshop, but how many companies have formed as a direct result of a GW success or failure? More than a few in both instances.

My last article reflected on my era interests and how or why I got there. This is about one particular game and where the madness is going. This article is sort of a Part 2 to A Tale of Four, No, Five Armies. Which needs a title changed to Six Armies: And Counting.

Over the last couple months I have continued my EBay, Barter Town, and now Face Book groups, used model browsing/buying. I’ve gotten lucky and found a few good deals. Mostly for Vampire Counts, which weren’t even part of the original project. Small boxes and packages have trickled in, each one concealing hidden treasures of modeling history.

One of the units I have been hunting for (at least at a reasonable cost) has been the older Wood Elf Glade Guard. You remember, the spear-armed ones from the 1990s. I remember seeing them in White Dwarf and the army books I flipped through on the shelves of my gaming haunt. While I really wanted to collect Wood Elves and Empire back then, my college finances limited me to just one game, and 40K won out.

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As I have been on this mad Warhammer Fantasy Battle journey I have made no preference for old or new models. I have ended up with far more newer plastics only because that is what GW stocked. And because some of the older models are seemingly made of gold. They must be, for the prices they command on EBay.

Funny story, just this month I have been told to pound sand by two different forum sellers trying to sell older models. I don’t need anything, so what I am willing to pay has a limit. When both of these chaps told me to make them an offer, they really didn’t like my offer. I’ll pay a little more for metal, but for assembled plastic, $1.50-$2.00 a model is my max. Trying to unscrew assembled models and clean mold lines is not something I enjoy doing, so they better be cheap. I got ignored and told off, respectively, on my two offers. Oh well, there are more offers every day.

Conversely, I scored some excellent deals on on-the-sprue models, and even 2-4 solid units of well painted and converted models.


Blood Knight conversions and dire wolves I scored.

Of course I’ve been steadily chipping away at the Boxes of shame, or The Lead Mountain. To be honest, the last six months are probably in the negative, new models in versus painted models out. I just don’t paint as fast as I buy. It would help if I stayed off the sales sites, but let’s be honest, that isn’t going to happen!

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One rainy night with nothing better to do, I fell down a hole reading up on WFB editions, rules, and army books. If you are interested, here is a decent Wiki article. Though, some of the dates seem off, they don’t match the actual books I have. So who knows?

All of the army books I have had were for 7th Edition WFB. The ones with the red border around the front. That was the current edition when I started the project, so those were the army books I bought. If you recall, the project started with Empire, High Elves, Wood Elves and Bretonnia. I added in Lizardmen after a trade. So five books, and four partially painted armies.

8th Edition showed up sometime. New hardcover (meaning extra pricey) army books followed. I stuck with 7th Ed. (That Age of Sigmar came and wiped out The World That Was is a mere footnote now that The Old World has been announced). I did realize at some point that all five armies were basically The Good Guys. While they gleefully antagonized and fought each other at times, they in the whole aligned as forces of light. I didn’t have any bad guys. So a picked up the Orcs & Goblins and Vampire Counts army books. Both are the classic bad guys in fantasy. And I have almost no interest in Chaos. And then Skaven. And Dwarves somehow.

With a pile of army books on hand, and too much time looking at the other editions and generations of army books, I started wondering. What were those older books like? What units and characters had come and gone? How had models and painting changed through the years?

Never one to wonder too long, I started ordering books off Amazon and EBay, and even Etsy. Whenever I found a book at a decent price I bought it. I had made a chart showing 4th through 8th edition, and when each army book was released, to help keep track. I dug out my original 5th edition rule books, the General’s Compendium and Warhammer Skirmish from 6th Edition. I checked off books and quickly got all the books for all nine armies I already had 7th edition books for, in 4th and 5th Editions. I spent a fair chunk of change, so I have taken a break before I hunt down the 6th Edition books I am still missing.

Now I need 4th Edition and 6th Edition rule books, too. Just to ponder and flip through.

The verdict? The ‘Eavy Metal painters really, REALLY liked red paint back in 4th/5th Editions. Really liked. I had no idea the Knights of the White Wolf were painted red back then. Mine in blue and silver are way off. Everything had a preponderance of red. Skaven. Lizardmen. Bretonnia. High Elves. Even Wood Elves had red bows. Red. Bows.

It’s cool to look at all the old models in their glorious paint. But the red. So. Much. Red.

The battle reports in the early army books are pretty cool. Very evocative. More than a scenario, they are narrative games, my favorite type. Army A doesn’t line up across from Army B just because. GW got it back then, and did a great job telling stories and gearing up the players to name their own heroes and create narratives and regions and towns to fight over. Marshall Halsted leading the combined armies of Reikland and Middenland against the undead forces of the vampire count Lord Van Shoenwall in defense of the High Pass is a much more colorful retelling of the battle. And fits very well in my narrative approach to my own gaming.

With books in hand, spanning more than a decade of editions, I started reading. Mostly I looked at pretty pictures, but I looked over the army lists and units also. That was the reason I started down this crazy path.

Undead probably sees the most change. Back in the earliest army book, the army was a mix of all the horror creatures. Wraiths, wights, mummies, ghosts, banshees and more. A trip into the DnD Monster Manual. The usual skeletons and zombies, and of course, vampires were there. Along with the wolves and bats that were still in the 7th edition list.

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Clearly the cavalry evolved. The earliest models are naked skellies riding naked horses. There are options to add barding and armor, I guess that was a scratch build project, or maybe there were other models available. The oldest skeleton cavalry models I have are distinctly naked. The most recent box of Black Knights, as they are called today, has armor and barding on the models. The army list gives them heavy armor and an option to add the barding, but no option to run light, no armor knights.

The leadership changed considerably as well. The Undead book from 1994 lists a Necromancer Lord, Vampire Lord or Liche as lord options. The heroes include Vampire Count, Mummy Tomb King, and Wight Lord. Necromancers have Master Necromancer, Necromancer Champion and Necromancer as choices. A third set of options are Wraith and Wight Champions.

In 1999 the character section starts with Vampire Lord and Vampire Count as the General. Vampire Count and Vampire Thrall fall under the heading Vampires. Necromancers still warrant their own heading, and include Necromancer Lord, Master Necromancer, Necromancer Champion and Necromancer. Undead Champions lists Wraith, Wight Lord and Skeleton Champion.

In 2001 the headings change to Lords: Vampire Lord, Vampire Count, Master Necromancer; and Heroes: Vampire Thrall, Wight Lord, Wraith, and Necromancer.
The 2008 army book has Lords and Heroes again. This edition includes the special, named characters in the main list instead of as separate sections. The generic Lord is simply a Vampire Lord. In the heroes section there are Necromancer, Vampire, and Wight King.

From 11 choices in 1994 to 4 in 2008. The Undead were split into Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings for 5th Edition. The 6th Edition army book has Lord choices of Tomb King and Liche High Priest, while the Heroes has Tomb Prince, Icon Bearer and Liche Priest.

All the armies follow similar paths. Maybe I’ll do a series on the changes from edition to edition if enough people care to learn more.
Another cool thing is that early army books had a catalog section at the back of the book. Many, or maybe all, of the models for that army are displayed in black and white, unpainted and unassembled. As the ranges grew this was clearly not an option for later books, though it would have been cool. I keep seeing references online to the Citadel Catalog, so this must have been available at some time. I will not even look, as that is NOT something I need to obsess over or add to the pile of books.

Of course, seeing many older models has led to much pondering on how many of them I want to hunt for. I’ve honestly stopped caring about how big the WFB armies are. Or even trying to keep them even points between them. Now I just try for cool models or units to add to the growing list of units.

Bretonnians are a pain to round up models for. And expensive. I’ve recently seen some models that might work as stand-ins from Norba and Fireforge. Some units are currently available from GW, and I occasionally grab a box of plastic. I did score 10 of the newest knight models last week. About $30 shipped, which is just right for mold-line covered, poorly painted plastic. Rare or not.

The High Elves have some units still available, though the core spearmen and archers are only available on the secondary market. There are other plastic kits available, but I don’t feel like they mesh well with the models I have. Several kits only have rules in 8th Edition, so no to those also. Used or nothing!
Wood Elves had a pile of new kits released for Age of Space Marine- err Sigmar. The new models are gorgeous sculpts. Several are forest spirits, also only from 8th Ed. Others, like the Wildwood Rangers are specific for 8th Ed, but I think they proxy well for Eternal Guard. The newest Eternal Guard are pretty, but in 8th Ed they have shields. I wat more of the older metal, but listings are very rare lately.

I don’t even have a good inventory for the Lizardmen. I do remember buying two largish blocks of Saurus warriors after the initial trade. I only need an army standard bearer. Oh, and more temple guard. Both are available from GW still.

Vampire Counts are barely started. Apart from 16 Blood knights, 5 unarmored skeleton knights (light cavalry to me) and 16 dire wolves, everything else is unassembled. And few in numbers. What is an undead army without hordes of skeletons and zombies? I did have a moment of weakness. In the 1999 Vampire Counts army book is a painted model. The Red Duke. A Blood Dragon vampire hero/lord. I had never seen that model before. And I had to have it. Searching EBay found several for sale. From the UK. For much more than I have ever paid for a single model, mounted or not. One had pretty cheap shipping. I couldn’t resist. It is now winging its way across the Pond to take command of a growing horde of restless dead.

My pride and joy is my Empire army. Hailing from Middenland, the Boys in Blue (and white) are probably my largest army. I’m always on the hunt for more models. The newest Oathmark models from North Star and classic Foundry models will fill in for models too expensive or unavailable elsewhere. I’d really love a couple more boxes of archers and militia, though both are nearly impossible to find. And Reiksguard foot or knights. Or complete knight kits. Lots of wants.

And that doesn’t even count the other “bad guys” I wouldn’t mind having.

There you have it. A late-night wander through wiki pages and various blog and forum posts and I was off on the hunt. Two army books, two rule books, and Ravening Hordes (just because) to go.
Descent indeed.

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The Stack as it currently stands. 10.25 inches of Warhammer