+ inload: Luggub's Drop Legion and micro-review of Warlord Games' Ruined Farmhouse +

+ Luggub's Drop Legion +

+ Work progresses on my orks for the Alien Wars. After a jolly fun weekend with the PCRC, I've got everything I need built for the game – four squads of five orks, plus Thrugg. On top of that, I've got the farm buildings built and the trees, hedgrows etc. all sorted. After miscalculating Easter, Bob Hunk and I agreed to a slight delay(!) in order to get everything painted. +

+ On a bit of a whim, I decided to weigh down the boyz with tuppenny bits under the bases. This'll help keep them stable:

'Wot's goin' on, boss?' 'Drop-pod trainin', Grubb. If dey get used to bashing their bonces, dey'll be much better suited to the attack. Orky-know-wotz, see?' 'Dat's ded clever, boss.' '...and don't you ferget it!'

+ Beyond that, there's not much that's particularly exciting or noteworthy in terms of painting. I've got the mob primed, so let's have a look at the new chaps:

Hruk's squad

Wortoof's squad

Splatta's squad

+ Semi-batch painting +

+ While I'll finish each mob off in turn, I wanted to make the most of batch painting to get things to a fairly uniform finish in places. Orks might not be the most attentive to their kit, but the ground's always going to be pretty much the same, and the majority of their fatigues and arms will have been mass-produced by slaves. To reflect this, I'm batch-painting the bases, cloth, armour and weapons; but will give the skin and ornamentation individual attention. +

Bases complete bar the tufts, and the fatigues base-coat in place.
+ This sort of approach works well for semi-modern style armies with a mix of visible skin and armour/cloth, such as guard, tau infantry and orks. It'd be less effective for armies with entirely enclosing plate (marines, various flavours of eldar, tau suits etc.). +

+ When batch-painting, I try to work as quickly as possible for each model, and don't worry about occasional brushmarks in the wrong place. (Apart from anything else, these niggle at me and encourage me to work on so I can go back and fix them at the individual stage!) As a result, I'm able to crash through a significant chunk of the group over the course of an hour or so. However, I am only applying the base coat. When I come to the individual model, or smaller group, I'll work more carefully and build up the highlighting/shading in a more considered way. This strikes the balance for me between boring but quick batch-work and slow but enjoyable 'main painting'. The more I get done at the batch stage, the less rote work later on. +

+ Buildings +

+ You'll also spot the buildings have been based and base-coated in the image above. I was very tempted to build my own, as I've got some foamboard lurking around, but time pressure meant that a pre-constructed one was my go-to. I'm using Warlord Games' Ruined Farmhouse [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], which is pretty much ideal for the Rogue Trader Battle for the Farm scenario, as it contains enough bits to make a small farm building and an outbuilding of approximately the right size. +

Devastator marine included for scale

Devastator marine waiting for you to leave so he can use the outbuilding

+ Quick to build, the construction is fairly intuitive (lucky, as there are no instructions included), though I think it does require a sturdy base as the contact points of the modular design are poor. I've used some off-cuts of mountboard. +

+ As a micro-review of the kit, some aspects of the design seems a bit odd or badly-planned – there's no way to attach the chimney to any of the walls without being able to see at least some of the undetailed back through a window or other hole, for example; and the (presumably) modular design means that the bumpy corners don't align without some trimming and filing. There's nothing that can't be fixed or improved with a little time and the right tools, but overall it's a bit of a near-miss for me. +

+ With that said, it's sturdy high-impact plastic, has better texture and a more realistic finish than an equivalent MDF or card building, and is comparably priced to MDF. For the price, I'm happy with it, but I'd hesitate to recommend it. +


  1. Love the unique Ork nobs. A problem with Orks for me is that they can have so much character from Nob to Nob that they cease to be squad leaders and become mini characters. This works for marines and the like- who can be functionally immortal due to recovery, bionics etc but for hordes like guard and orks I need to see the units as interchangeable basic blocks if I'm going to send them off to be butchered by casual enemy attention.

    I like the idea of individuality in Ork Squadleaders but it would irk me to see them gunned down in casual games to become trophies for some veteran sergeant's belt or a decal on some flyer's nose. Once I start investing headspace into a character I lack the mental separation necessary to use them as a throwaway token and it would break my head-canon narrative for them to die repeatedly at so junior a level and simply be brought back.

    In other words- I'd need a campaign like the Alien Wars to justify this, and its cool to watch you proceed.

    1. Interesting thoughts; and precisely the reason for 'going retro'. The way I'm doing it here – creating models specifically for a pre-existing set of characters – is effectively a mishmash of two approaches:

      The first uses your models to represent unique characters and figures in different games – that is, you write a scenario based around the models you have, and then assign existing models names and roles, as though they are actors in a play. This approach is, I understand, quite common in historical gaming, where your figure would variously be 'Field Marshal so and so' in one game, and 'Colonel Whatshisface' in the next.

      It's different to the approach of following a set character (or characters), such as your army leader/warlord and his lieutenants around, and having them always be the same figure in every game.

      Where am I going with this? Well, musing aloud really. The former scenario-led approach creates a sense of distance from your figures, as they'll be someone else in the next game; which really gets across the idea that 'Whatever happens, you will not be missed...' that I feel is important to 40k. On the downside, it means that you and your friends don't get to see what's interesting or special about a character.

      The second character-led approach seems quite distinct to Warhammer. On the good side, it encourages you to gel with and value 'your' character; but when it goes bad, it gets a bit 'Saturday morning cartoon', with no sense of development or danger.

      Unconsciously, I think I've blended the two approaches in my gaming with the PCRC. For our semi-regular campaigns, I've generally created a character and pursued them through the campaign, then created someone new for the next one, after effectively seeing their arc run through. Some survive, some die, others do something spectacular.

      In contrast, for my own projects – The Court of the Sun King is probably the best example – I've gone very character-driven.

    2. Well put. Nowadays I tend to try character driven stuff with named characters- like Ahriman, as it's very feasible that he was always 9 steps ahead- being removed as a casualty was just the teleporter or warp gate or smokebomb whisking him from imminent capture or death, Saturday morning style.

      I'm less forgiving with my own characters- though two sergeants famously pummeled a Bloodthirster to death in 3rd ed, that didn't prevent one from being crippled and placed in a dreadnought later in his career. Chapter masters and first Captains tend to get a bit more longevity though.

      My Imperial guard officers tend to follow a dynastic line- there have been many 'Julius Harm's, named for the original Colonel who defeated an Iron warriors daemon prince in melee. This allows a sense of continuity with the homeworld and the battles that have happened in the past while keeping the expendable assets theme. Most recently (still years ago now) I've tried branching out to make unique looking junior officers- they still haven't managed to earn names, even if their characters are evident through their conversion.

  2. I think that warp was either temporary or a product of the camera zoom – you can see in the third image from the bottom (the group shot of orks and buildings) that it's flat. Part of the reason I use mountcard is that it's pretty resistant to warping. Either way, painting the reverse is a good idea to help correct it – I'll keep it in mind. Thanks :)


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