Hobby Hack #4 – Cutting the Costs


We are all aware of the cost of our hobby (well, except our partners, who we usually fudge the prices of our purchases to). 
Let’s face it, our hobby isn’t cheap. Between model/ miniature costs, the cost of accessories, paint and glue, costs rake up pretty quickly. As such, we are usually on the look out for ways to either cut our costs or to get a good deal on our purchases.
Some times this is buying on the secondary market, other times it’s finding alternative products, and it’s the latter (alternative products), we’re going to delve into today.

The first item we’re going to look at is ‘Primers’. For those of you who are uninitiated, a ‘Primer’, is basically the first step in painting a miniature or model. It’s basically a base coat of paint you apply to your model, so that your other paints can grip to, and not flake/ rub off. Although the most common colours to be used in priming a model are black and white, you can use nearly any colour, it just basically depends on your paint scheme.
There are a number of different ‘Primers’ available on the market from companies such as Games Workshop and Army Painter, just to name a few. Generally they are applied either via an Airbrush or a rattle can. I use the rattle can variety (as I don’t own an airbrush), the price of a can of ‘Primer’ can vary depending on where you get them, but usually a can of ‘Primer’ will cost between €10 to €15 per can, and if your painting an army of miniatures for games such as Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, Warmachine/ Hordes, Dropfleet Commander, or Infinity as an example your going to need multiple cans.

Today we are having a look at a cheaper alternative to the big boys.

Today we are looking at Halfords Plastic Primer (grey colour). I’ve been previously told about this product but haven’t had a chance to test it till now. Now that I have tried it, I don’t think I’ll be using anything else going forward.

So how much does it cost?

At a cost of less than €8 for a 300 ml can, and less than €10 for a 500 ml, price wise you can’t go wrong.
What’s the coverage like?

To me, the spray seemed to be finer than say Games Workshop or Army Painter ‘Primer’ sprays. It didn’t clump or collect in recessed areas either, like I have happened with the previously mentioned sprays. I was impressed in the colour coverage, the spray even reached those hard to reach places (you know the ones I’m talking about, like between the legs, and in recessed tight corners).

So how did the ‘Primed’ model turn out?

I was interested to see how a ‘primed’ model would turn out, so I tested the spray on a number of different models. I would a this point take a moment to point out that although I did ‘prime’, for the most part I didn’t remove mold lines and flash from the models.


First up I primed a couple of containers from Puppetwars.eu, the containers are made of a resin-foam material. In a few places it appears the spray ate into the model but I believe this is more to do with the resin-foam than the spray.


Next up I tried a Fusilier model from the game Infinity.


I then did the Librarian from Games Workshops Dark Vengeance box set (I swear it has nothing to do with 8th edition 🤔). The grey is nearly an exact colour match for the Colour of GW plastic. The spray actually got in between the sections near the shoulders and back pack.


Next up I primed my fleet of UCM spaceships (8 frigates and 5 cruisers) from Hawk Wargames, Dropfleet Commander.


Finally I primed the web store exclusive Saratoga class cruiser from Dropfleet Commander.

The Halfords sprays come in a variety of colours so if grey isn’t your preference, you have a range to choose from.
If you haven’t tried the Halfords Plastic Primers before, based on my experience with them I can’t recommend them enough. 
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

On the road to the WTC 2016 Part 2 – The All Ireland Championship Round 1, Game 1

On the 6th of October, approximately 7:30pm, I started my first game of round 1 in the All Ireland Championship. My opponent, was Brian Leonard, aka Lenny.

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Stupid shakey hands and camera, ruining all my lovely pictures…..

We exchanged lists and rolled for scenario. We rolled the scenario ‘Two Fronts’. The ‘Two Fronts’ scenario consists of 2 rectangle zones (12″ long by 6″ wide) with an objective in each zone. The scenario has a rule known as Killbox (basically if your Warcaster/ Warlock isnt a certain amount of distance from the table edge your opponent is awarded 2 Control Points).

Lenny had opted to play Cygnar, and brought with him lists for Haley 1 and Stryker 2. For my Warcasters I opted for Lucant and Iron Mother Directrix from Convergence of Cryiss.

Lenny chose his Haley 1 list to play and i chose my Lucant list.

My Lucant list was:

Lucant
Corollary
Cipher
Diffuser
Optifex Directive
Obstructors
Min Reductors + UA
Perforators + UA
Enigma Foundry
2 x Clockwork Angels
2 x Reflex Servitors
Elimination Servitors

Lenny’s Haley 1 list for our game was (as best as i remember):

Haley 1
Stormwall (a Colossal)
Squire
The Black 13th Gun Mage character unit
Gun Mages + UA
Eiryss 2, Angel of the Retribution
Rangers
Tempest Blazers
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt

I won the dice roll and chose sides. We then deployed our forces…

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First turn was basically everybody runs and gets a good position for turn 2. Lucant advanced, cast ‘Watcher’, ‘Deceleration’ and pop’d his Feat. This was important as due to all of Lenny’s ranged attacks from the Stormwall, Gun Mages and Tempest Blazers i would have otherwise lost alot of my army (+2 defense and +6 armour from ‘Deceleration + Feat is great vs a ranged army).

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Second turn, Lenny cast Haley 1’s spell ‘Temporal Barrier’ which prevents models in her Control Range performing Charges/ Runs and lowers their defense by 2. Moved up his Rangers for a further defense debuff. Put down some Covering Fire templates from his Stormwall. Took some shots. All in all, i only lost 2 models i believe.

My turn 2, I Assaulted his Objective, killed it, and gained 1 Control Point. Due to ‘Temporal Barrier’ i could only then advance further up the board. Lucant recast ‘Deceleration’ and advanced. My Cipher took 2 pot shots at his Gun Mages. I moved 2 Clockwork Angels up to engage his Stormwall and a Ranger. Another lone Angel moved up to engage Eiryss and keep her out of the fight.

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Turn 3, the wheels came off the bus… Lenny repositioned Haley 1, Recast ‘Temporal Barrier’, then pop’d her Feat (Haley’s Feat basically allows her army to make an extra attack). Aiyanna put ‘Harm’ (a damage buff) on my Perforators and Holt let them eat hot lead. The Black 13th finally managed to clear off the Angels that were jamming up his Stormwall. Only after all the Gun Mages missed their shots. His Stormwall advanced and destroyed my Objective claiming Lenny 1 CP. His advance triggered Lucants ‘Watcher’ spell. I repositioned my Cipher. He then dropped a Lightning Pod and disrupted the Cipher. His Tempest Blazers tore thru my Obstructors with Electro Leap shots. Eiryss was still jammed up though.

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My turn 3… To be honest i felt my options were limited. Due to 2 things. Lucants position, i had blocked him in :'(, and Haleys Feat. Haleys Feat had decimated my forces. I moved my Obstructors up to engage the Black 13th, a swing and a miss. I managed to kill one of the Black 13th with my Reductors. I was left with a hard decision on what to do with Lucant and his Battle Group (all my Vectors or Jacks, as they are known in other factions).

I saw 3 options:

A. Go in on the Stormwall and hope for hot dice.
B.Upleep ‘Watcher’ and Run away. Make a run for the opposite zone but that would leave me exposed to a charging Stormwall.
C. Upkeep ‘Watcher’, full camp my remaining Focus and run at Haley.

I went with option A. My disrupted Cipher advanced up to the Stormwall and took its inital attacks. Lucant advanced, cast ‘Positive Charge’ (an attack + damage buff) on the Cipher and started swinging away at the Stormwall. My hope was to do enough damage to take out its Cortex, so that it couldnt boost to Hit or Damage Lucant. Although i destroyed the Stormwalls right side and did good damage to its left, it wasnt to be.

Lenny loaded the Stormwall with 3 Focus and smashed Lucant to tiny clockwork pieces. So game 1 ended in an assassination of my Warcaster.

Hind sight is a great thing. Looking back over the game there is things i could/ should have done better but living is learning.

The funniest part of the game was when Lenny was trying to clear off a lone Clockwork Angel from his Stormwall and it turned into a maths nightmare…

Defence 14 of Angel + 2 defence vs ranged + 2 defence and armour from Deceleration + 4 defense from being engaged – 2 defense from Haleys Temporal Barrier = ?

It’s a good thing we werent playing on a clock. Heres to doing better in game 2.

– from The Man Cave

On the road to the WTC 2016 Part 1 – The pre-ramble

The World Team Championships for Warmachine and Hordes 2015 has come and gone… Now the build up for 2016 has begun. The WTC 2016 is to be held in the Netherlands, with a preliminary date of September 24th to the 25th. It’s to be held at Center Parcs De Eemhof, a mediterranean themed family vacation parc in the south-east tip of the province of Flevoland next to the Eemmeer.

The process of assembling players for Ireland’s 2 teams Team Ceol and Team Craic has begun and just like last year I’ve stuck my name in the hat. Just like last year I’ll be playing Convergence of Cyriss or CoC as my faction is commonly known as… (god, I love my CoC). Two new captains for the teams have been selected, Pete Croft and Daniel Porter.

Part of the selection process is, of course playing as many games as you can. Attending as many of competitive events up to and including the Irish Masters.

Kicking off the year is The All Ireland Championships. A draw was held at the WTC for the first round of games.

**Disclaimer** The Following video contains alcohol, bad language, and drunk people. So… Probably not suitable for work or people under 18 years of age.

My first game is vs Brian Leonard aka Lenny. Lenny plays Cygnar, Retribution of Scyrah and Minions. As I don’t know what faction Lenny will be playing, I’ll be playing my tried and tested Lucant list.

Lucant
Corollary
Cipher
Diffuser
Optifex Directive
2 x Clockwork Angels
2 x Reflex Servitors
Elimination Servitors
Obstructors
Min Reductors + UA
Perforators + UA
Enigma Foundry

As to my second list, I can’t seem to decide at the moment. I’m on the fence between an Aurora infantry list I’ve been playing and an Iron Mother Directrix Tier 4 list.

I have my first game vs Lenny this Tuesday so wish me well.

– from The Man Cave

The World Team Championship of Warmachine and Hordes 2015

On the 18th of September 2015 to the 20th of September 2015 the World Team Championship Warmachine and Hordes 2015 was held at the INEC Killarney.

50 teams of 5 people each, attended the team event (and that’s not including the Solo Masters event), from all across the globe. Games where played, games were won/ lost but in the end 1 winner emerged….

Congrats to Team Finland Blue for beating off opponents from around the globe and being crowned winners of the WTC 2015.

A great in depth break down of games can be found here

– from The Man Cave

Why we do, what we do…

This one has been sitting in my draft folder for months. Part of the reason is I didnt think i could do it justice or put it properly into words. I still don’t but i’m sick of looking at it in my draft folder. It’s going to be a long one, so here we go…

This time round its going to be part tutorial, part testimony and part question about why we do, what we do.

A bit of back story to set the post. Christmas just gone 2 things happened that was the basis for this post.

The first was my meta ran a Secret Santa where you got a name of a player from the meta and then spent up to €15 on a model that you would assemble and paint for that player. The second thing was I had a conversation with my older brother about what i do (about my tabletop games) and about how i’ld assemble and paint models. It got me thinking about why we (as tabletop wargamers) do, what we do.

In the Secret Santa i got the name of a Cygnar player. As he was only starting to build his army i chose to get him a Junior Warcaster (or a Junior as they’re normally known as). As he had the ‘normal’ one I got him the new character ‘Junior’ that was created for Privateer Press’s Kickstarter video game.

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Lt. Allison Jakes is the name of the character. There was actually 2 versions of the model. The first was a Kickstarter backer esclusive and then a general release version. Personally I’m more of a fan for the general release version.

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Once i got the model, I assembled the tools of the trade. I have my files, my superglue, a modelling tool, my green stuff and the plastic inside roll of a till roll (i use this for ‘rolling’ out green stuff).

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The first step is to take the model out and double check all its parts are included in the blister. Next up i take up my files to remove any mold and flash lines from the model.

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Next up i’ll use the superglue to assemble and attach the model to its base. I then prepare the green stuff.

Green stuff is an epoxy resin used in modeling, it comes in 2 parts. A yellow part + blue part. You mix the 2 parts together using your fingers with some luke warm water and it turns green (hence the name). I’ll then use it to fill in any cracks or gaps in the model before i move on to using greenstuff on the base.

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For the base i simply covered it in ‘green stuff’ and then using my modelling tool i cut channels into it to simulate street pavement.

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Next up comes the painting of the model. I’m not going to go into the detail of what colours I used and what techniques but rather a general overview of what was done. You can find hundreds of video’s on YouTube for miniature painting. The model was painted to fit in with the recipients army.

First up the model is ‘base coated’ with a primer colour. Then I apply the primary and secondary colours before applying a ‘wash’ to the model. A ‘wash’ is used for both to shade and to add some definition to the details of the model. Next up I touch up the model with some ‘highlights’ and try to do some ‘wet blending’ on her skirt.

I’m not a great miniatures painter. I’ld class myself as a decent tabletop painter. The results of my painting are below.

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so now we get to the hard part of the post ‘Why we do, what we do’.

For me it’s part escape, part challenge, part love of the game and not forgetting the social aspect.

There’s something to be said about ‘the escape’. for that 1 hour plus, you cease to be your everyday self. All your daily live trapping melt away and your just a player. Theres just you, your opponent and the game to be played.

Theres the challenge, do i have it within me to do this. For some its the challenge of assembling and painting a miniature to the best of their ability and beyond. For others its the challenge of competition. Can I out perform others, do i have what it takes to be number 1?

And finally but not least theres the love of the game. Perhaps its the artwork, or the models, or the fluff (the background story), or the rules of a game that draws you in.

There’s something to be said about any game that draws you into a made up world or universe. For myself with Privateer Press’s game Warmachine it was the model design and rules. The idea that a giant steam powered robot has the ability to pick up a model and throw it at something else or having the ability to headbut and knock another model down is appealling to me and that these abilities are reflected in-game is great.

I feel a big part of any game is the social aspect of the game. I’ve been playing games for most of my life and i’ve found time and time again that gamers (of tabletop, board game and card games) are some of the most socially inclusive groups you’ll encounter.

** Disclaimer**
One exception might be if you interupt someone while they are in the middle of their winning master plan.

To be able to sit down with either friends or complete strangers and have fun, shoot the breeze, regardless of backgrounds, occupations or beliefs is something rare and to be treasured.

My brother asked me ‘why i do it’, tabletop wargames wise? I gave him all the reasons i just gave you. Reading back over this post i think i left out a simple but important thing. In the words of a friend ‘Witness Me!!!’.

In tabletop wargames, being able to put a fully assembled, fully painted army on the table is a statement in itself. ‘Witness Me’, I constructed this army list. I built it, I painted it and now I’m here to play it. This army is a part of me, regardless how good a player I am.

Maybe I’ve been able to communicate my thoughts, I hope so.

– from The Man Cave

On the road to the WTC 2015 Part 8 – Hobocon 4… It’s a thing now

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HoboCon 4... Its a thing now

I’ve been going to HoboCon since the first one. As a matter of fact HoboCon was the first Con I went to when I first started playing Warmachine/ Hordes. Back at the first one, the Warmachine/ Hordes tournament was only 5 tables, in a small room. Ohh how we’ve grown.

HoboCon 4 ran from May 30th to June 1st at The Teachers Club on Parnell Square, Dublin.

So if your looking at the dates you’ll notice I’m running behind on this one (and a few others to be honest)…

For HoboCon 4 there was 3 Warmachine/ Hordes events running over the course of the Con. On saturday there was a WTC style team event, on sunday there was a 50 point Masters event and on the monday they held a 25 point begineers event. Unfortunately I could only make it to the team event on saturday.

For the Team Event we had 6 Teams of 5 people. The team tournament was based on the World Team Championship format. I was on Team Dublin, which consisted of Ciaran Bolger (playing Skorne), Stuart Gorman (playing Khador), John Foster (playing Trolls), ‘Lovely’ Mike (playing Protectorate of Menoth) and myself (playing Convergence).

I brought my Father Lucant + Aurora lists. My lists were:

Father Lucant
Corolary
Diffuser
Cipher
Optifex Directive
Reflex Servitors x 2
Elmination Servitors
Clockwork Angels x 2
Obstructors
Minimum Reductors + UA
Perforators + UA
Enigma Foundry

Aurora
Mitigator x 2
Reflex Servitors x 2
Elmination Servitors
Obstructors
Reciprocators
Minimun Reductors + UA
Perforators + UA
Clockwork Angels x 2
Enigma Foundry
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex

While doing a Google search looking for some pic’s for this post using ‘HoboCon’ as the search word, the below image was one of the first to pop up…

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Not a totally inaccurate representation of the day…

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There was a great turnout on the day. Orginally there was supposed to be enough for 8 Teams of 5 but with any Con, some times there is drop outs due to life and work (work being the reason for me not attending the other 2 events).

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The Team Tournament was for 3 rounds with every member of a team playing one game every round using ‘Deathclock’.

My first game of round 1 was against a Cygnar player playing P.Caine, I played my Father Lucant list.

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Thru the use of Father Lucants spell ‘Deceleration’ (which grants +2 defense and +2 armour vs ranged attacks) and Lucants Feat (which grants +4 armour) I lost very little during the course of the game.

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The game ended with a win by Assassination for me by a ‘Positive Charge’d’ Lucant.

In Round 2 I was up verses a Skorne player who was playing the Warlock Xerxis theme list ‘Fists of Halaak’.

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Unfortunately for me I’ve had little table time verses Skorne or this list (which happens to be a main list for many Skorne players).

‘Deceleration’ again helped in this match up but with my opponents list having access to 3″ AOE’s that have the continous fire effect, i lost alot of models. I ‘clocked’ myself in this game but not before I killed his Titan Gladiator Heavy Warbeast. So that was a loss for me but good game.

My third game was against a Khador player playing Butcher3 as his warcaster. Yet again the battery on my phone died, so no photo’s for this round 😥

My Elmination Servitors did some work this round killing off his Iron Fang Pikemen. My Perforators managed to hold a zone basically all by themselves vs a unit of Pikemen and a Colossal. During the game we had to call a judge to help us work out what happens when Lucant shield guarded a Crit Devistation from my opponents Colossal. The game ended when i baited my opponent into using his Feat + Focus stack into killing my entire unit of Obstructors.

He used ‘Flashing Blade’, ‘Energized’, ‘ ‘Flashing Blade’ then charged, Feated and finished off the unit. It really was impressive but I then sent a ‘Positive Charge’d’ Lucant in to seal the deal. So a win by assassination for me.

The day ended with 2 wins and a loss for myself. Whats more Team Dublin ended up in second place… Woo Hoo!!! Team Dublin even managed to place better than one of the Irish WTC teams.

A great day was had by all and I cant wait till HoboCon 5.

– from The Man Cave

I’m a bad Daddy…

As a wargamer i’m always on the look out for terrain for my games.

Harking back to the days when i played Warhammer 40K, i would scratch build terrain for games from what i could find Lego, coffee stirers, foam board or old toys. It was all game.

Every friday i give my kids their pocket money. The youngest one goes ape for Kinder Eggs. In case you’ve never seen them Kinder Eggs have a chocolate shell with a toy in the center.
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I dont know how true the above is but i know E129 is banned (which is in alot of sweets this side of the pond).

Note to self, dont eat anything containing E129, or you could be arrested for smuggling…

A while back they released a new version.
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Which comes with a bigger toy. This time it was a spinning top.
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Early in the year Privateer Press released their Steamroller organized play document for Warmachine and Hordes.

In Steamroller 2015 during list creation your required to choose an objective to include in your army. The obectives all share the same stat’s but vary in their abilities. One takes less damage at range, one when within a certain distance allows your Jacks/ Beasts run/ charge for free, another one makes you immune to blast damage for example.

The one i have been including in my Lucant list is called Arcane Wonder. It has a spell casting benefit and a defensive ability.

When i saw my daughters Kinder Egg toy i knew i wanted it. image

After all doesnt it look nicer as an objective for my wargames. All it needs now is a lick of paint and we’re good to go.

I guess i’ll have to buy her a new one, to make it up to her… I wonder what toy she’ll get this time…

– from The Man Cave