Posts Tagged ‘Dreadfleet’

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Yesterday was certainly an exciting day for fans of the Specialist Games range as GW announced that some old favourites would be returning to our shelves as boxed games and stand-alone products. I had always hoped that GW might go down this route as it did with recent boxed versions of Space Hulk and Dreadfleet (a clear successor to Man ‘O War) and now we have official confirmation that it will happen although we are not sure when.

However, you don’t need to wait months, or even years, for some Specialist Games content; there is plenty of Specialist Games coverage here on Miniature Miscellany in the archive.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Here are a few of my favourite projects from the old Specialist Games range that I have worked on over the last few years.

My Epic scale orks. I have always loved the old-style orks and these models fit the bill perfectly. They are so characterful despite their tiny size plus the ork range is one of the largest in Epic. The great thing about orks is that they field a collection of rag-tag custom-built vehicles meaning you can easily combine models from different eras and this just adds to the eclectic look of the force. For these guys I went for nice bright colours which help such tiny models stand out on the tabletop.

Epic Bad Moon Orks

Epic Grots

Aeronautica Imperialis Flak Gunz

DSCF2293

I also have a sizable collection of Epic Eldar hailing from the Saim Hann Craftworld. I always intended to paint up an army of their 40K counterparts but the age of many of the Eldar kits put me off and I switched allegiance to their dark kin instead. The Eldar were my first Epic force and I learned a lot about painting such tiny models from these guys.

Epic Aspect Warriors

Epic Farseer and Guardians

DSCF1666 Phantom Titan

Epic Sain Hann Vyper

I also had a real soft-spot for Battlefleet Gothic and this was the one game that I was really disappointed they discontinued. Here is my Imperial Fleet. They represent the Battlefleet Maelstrom defending the Badab region prior to/during the Badab War. If GW ever release some Space Marine ships I intend to add some Astral Claws vessels to the fleet to tie them in more closely with my Space Marine army in 40k.

Imperial Fleet

Imperial Fleet

Firestorm Frigates

Cobra Destroyers

I also have a nascent ork fleet which I painted up this test model for. I went for dirty metallics and red for the orks with bright green as a spot colour on the lights/eyes. I also added a tiny check pattern to add interest and emphasise the size of the ship.

BFG Ork Test Ship

BFG Ork Ship

Finally, Mordheim was one of my favourite of the Specialist Games range and, unlike BFG and Epic which I came to later, I played it extensively when it was first released. Here are some Mordheim characters I painted up a few years ago. Interestingly, this isn’t one of the games mentioned in GW’s press release. Perhaps this is because it is now set in the ‘World-That-Was’ or simply because the models are not radically different the the regular Age of Sigmar range. Maybe it was simply on oversight (I get the impression GW are still undecided on how many or which games will see a come back).

Mordheim Vampire Count

Mordheim Vampire Top

Mordheim Necromancer

Mordheim Mercenary 1

This is just a selection of some of the Specialist Games content on this blog. If this has piqued your interest why not click on some of the tags below for more.

Battlefleet Gothic, Dreadfleet, Epic: Armageddon, Mordheim

1

The Flaming Scimitar is now finished. This was an interesting and enjoyable model to paint. As with many of the Dreadfleet ships, the sails really pushed me out of my comfort zone and developed my painting skills. I opted for a NMM look on the sword, an advanced technique that I haven’t had much practice with. However, using real metallics on a cloth sail just wouldn’t look right and so I painted it with a combination of blue/greys and used the images in White Dwarf for reference as to where to place the highlights. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

2

The sails were primed white and painted Pallid Wych Flesh and shaded with Dheneb Stone. which produced a nice, bright finish which really helps the iconography on the sail stand out.

3

 

For the figurehead I opted for a a blue genie rather than the traditional gold figurehead seen on many renditions of this ship. I wanted to keep the gold on this ship to a minimum so that it didn’t look too ‘blinging’ and over the top. In order to help him stand out against the water on the base, the water around him was glazed with Coelia Greenshade to give it a green tint.

4

 

Overall, I am very happy with the results. As with the other Dreadfleet models it is a nice, detailed kit that really rewards careful painting and attention to detail.

5

 

2014 has been a busy year for me as I finished my PGCE and embarked upon a new teaching job which has been very demanding. The bulk of my hobby activity recently has been helping to run the G.A.M.E.S. club in my school with friend and fellow teacher Mr Taylor. It has been really rewarding to see the kids enthusiasm at discovering and exploring this great hobby.

In terms of my own hobby, I did manage to get some time to work on my own models. Here’s a quick recap of 2014 on Miniature Miscellany.

January

January saw the completion of what has definitely been the most popular series of posts on Miniature Miscellany, my Astral Claws Centurions. These were great models to paint and I am really pleased with how each one has turned out; they all have such individuality and character.

Astral Claws Centurions

I also converted a captain for my Astral Claws.

Astral Claws Captain

I also continued with my Dreadfleet set, painting up another three ships. This is a fantastic set and has been a real ‘slow burn’ project for me. The models are fantastically detailed and it has been nice to take my time over them. I tend to paint them up occasionally as breaks between other projects which explains why it has taken so long to get through them.

Dreadfleet

February

In February I painted up some dwarves from the Hobbit using quick and easy techniques (silver spray paint, washes  and drybrushing). I’m really pleased with the results of these simple methods. The dwarves from the film have a great design and these are finely detailed sculpts. It’s just a shame that there isn’t more variety to the range, I’d love some armoured dwarves with shields and spears.

Grim Hammers

March

March saw something of a real highlight for me as one of my models was featured in White Dwarf! A boyhood dream come true.

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April

April saw some retro hobby goodness with this classic model from the Gorkamorka range of the late ’90s. I had planned to paint up more orks and do a write up on how to paint ork skin tones but never quite found the time. Perhaps I’ll get round to this in 2015.

Nazgrub

May

In May I painted up these Dead Men of Dunharrow using quick techniques (spray paint and washes).

LotR Army of the Dead

June

The summer saw some reinforcements for my Astral Claws in the form of a venerable dreadnought and a drop pod. The dreadnought was fantastic fun to paint although I had a few initial problems getting the colour scheme right. The drop pod, on the other hand, was a real paint to put together as it had to be assembled in lots of sub-assemblies and painted in sections. I’m pleased with the finished result though.

Venerable Dreadnought

Astral Claws Drop Pod

July

July saw a variety of orcs/orks in the form of some Lord of the Rings uruk hai and my Battlefleet Gothic ork fleet (still a work-in-progress).

Mordor Uruk Hai

Ork Fleet

Perhaps the most ambitious project for me was working on a fully modeled terrain board. In July I finished the first of the board tiles.

Battlefield

August

August saw some more work on Dreadfleet and some Astral Claws.

The Curse of Zandri

Astral Claws WIP

September

September wasn’t a very productive month hobby-wise as I started my new job. I’m pretty sure I did paint something but no blog posts.

October

In October I started work on Shelob.

Shelob

November

Who was finished in November.

Shelob

December

Which brings us up-to-date with some more Lord of the Rings models and Dreadfleet.

Mordor Orcs

The Mouth of Sauron

Flaming Scimitar

Not bad for a year’s work. There have also been other side projects which have not made it onto the blog but which I hope to bring to you soon including the start of a warband for Inq28 (inspired by the Blanchitsu articles in White Dwarf and a number of fellow bloggers) and the start of my Space Hulk set.

2015

So, what does 2015 hold?

I’m not going to make any hobby plans or resolutions for 2015 as I have seen other bloggers out there do. My free time is very precious at the moment and so I tend to paint what ever I am in the mood for when I do get some hobby time rather than trying to discipline myself and be prescriptive. As I don’t really play games at the moment I am not worried about completing armies for painting up certain units to a deadline. However, I do have a few ideas for  projects I would like to work on.

As I write this I have a Space Marine dreadnought and the Witch King of Angmar primed on my desk and awaiting paint. As mentioned above, I purchased the limited edition Space Hulk set and so I definitely want to get some of those models done. The other day I unearthed three Eldar grav tanks airbrushed red which I would like to finish and which might lead to an Eldar army. I will also continued to work on Dreadfleet. Who knows, perhaps 2015 will be the year in which the set is finally finished. I would also like to continue working on making terrain, an often overlooked but very rewarding part of the hobby.

Hopefully some, if not all, of these projects will make it to the blog over the next twelve months. However, you know how it is with Games Workshop. Their release rate at the moment is incredibly prolific and so no doubt there will be something new and shiny released in 2015 that will grab my attention.

What about you, readers? Do you have any hobby plans for 2015?

 

 

Flaming Scimitar

Flaming ScimitarSome progress on the sails of the Flaming Scimitar.

Flaming Scimitar WIP

After the muted and realistic colour palette of Lord of the Rings I decided to change pace and switch to something more vibrant and cartoony. The Dreadfleet modela are great for this and each one is packed with character. Here is my progress so far on the Flaming Scimitar.

More to follow soon.

The Curse of Zandri

As well as working on the Swordfysh, I have also managed to finish what is perhaps the most ‘blinging’ of the Dreadfleet vessels, The Curse of Zandri. The detail on the model is fantastic and it took ages to paint the marble effect on the statues and the dozens of tiny gems along the hull. I’ve painted a few Eldar models in my time but this is without a doubt the most gemstones I have encountered on a single model.
The Curse of Zandri

There is quite a lot of gold detail on the model so I gave the gold areas a wash of Agrax Earthshade to try and keep the gold muted and prevent it from overpowering central pyramid. This was painted in a brighter gold to stand out.

The Curse of Zandri

My only real deviation from the GW colour scheme is That I picked out some of the skulls of the statues in bone. From the sculpt it just seemed to me that some of these would benefit from being painted this way  and it also provides these figures with a bit more of a focal point than if they had been all marble.

The Curse of Zandri

I’ve made quite a bit of progress on my Dreadfleet set now. With the Curse of Zandri complete the undead fleet is almost complete (just the Shadewraith to finish off) and I have a few more models to paint for the Grand Alliance. Click here for some of my other Dreadfleet models.

DSCF4127

A quick nautical update with the Swordfysh from Dreadfleet. The main body of the ship is pretty much done now, just the sails to work on.

 

Dreadfleet

Recently I have turned my attention back to Dreadfleet. I bought this set a couple of years ago when it was first released and the models are simply too nice to sit around in a box unpainted. The models themselves are superb but they are quite fiddly to paint as they often need to be painted in several sub-assemblies before being glued together. However, they are a nice change of pace from more traditional 28mm GW models and I can definitely foresee more of these models on my painting table in the not-too-distant future.

Over the Christmas holidays I made good progress on Grimnir’s Thunder, The Black Kraken and Skabrus. Initially I decided to work on Grimnir’s Thunder alongside my Astral Claws as I was painting lots of metalics anyway. However, I got carried away with the Dreadfleet bug and painted a further two ships.

Grimnir’s Thunder

Grimnir's Thunder

Grimnir’s Thunder followed my usual technique for painting silver. It was basecoated Leadbelcher before being washed with Nuln Oil and then highlighted using Leadbelcher followed by Mithril Silver. For the gold I used the new range of Citadel paints and I must say I was really impressed. I have been using old pots of Shining Gold and Burnished Gold for years and normally I hate painting gold. However, with the new layer paints it was straightforward. The gold was painted Balthasar Gold and highlighted using Ghenna Gold, Golden Griffon and then Golden Griffon with increasing amounts of Mithril silver added all the way up to pure Mithril. the gold was then washed with Agrax Earthshade. The green areas were painted Dark Angels Green and highlighted with Snot Green followed by Goblin Green.

 

Grimnir's Thunder

Grimnir's Thunder

Dirigible

The Black Kraken

The Black Kraken

The Black Kraken was painted with GW’s new black/blue painted. I started with a basecoat of Chaos Black and highlighted it using Dark Reaper, Thunderhawk Blue and Thunderhawk Blue mixed with a little Fortress Grey. The brass areas also used the new paint range. I started with Balthasar Gold washed with Agrax Earthshade and highlighted this using Runelord Brass and Sycorax Bronze.

The Black Kraken

The Black Kraken

Skabrus

Skabrus

And finally one of my favourite ships from the whole set, Skabrus. This is a really characterful and imaginative model (not to mention gross) and, like the other two ships shown here, it makes great use of negative space. This is very much the zombie of the Dreadfleet, an undead sea monster summoned to unlife.

Skabrus

The fleshy areas were basecoated using a 50/50 mix of Tallarn Flesh and Space Wolf Grey. It was washed with Ogryn Flesh and highlighted using the original mix with increasing amounts of Space Wolf Grey added. Areas were then glazed red and purple and mottling was applied to the skin using dots of Ogryn Flesh and Bloodletter.

Skabrus

Skabrus

Just a quick update to share my progress on the next ship in the Dreadfleet line-up: the Curse of Zandri. I’m pleased with how this is shaping up. It’s been something of an experiment for me as I’ve used the model to try out some more of the new Citadel Paints and to try my hand at painting a marble effect on the magical statues which you can see in more detail in the photo below.

Over the weekend I managed to get a couple games of Dreadfleet against Nick and thought I’d share my thoughts on the game. The rules are straightforward and fairly easy to pick up. Our first turn took a while to complete but after that we quickly got used to the turn sequence and order of play. Initially the way in which the winds works was confusing (I’m not sure if it is explained properly in the book or whether we just missed it) but in the end we decided that the rules intended it to blow from the marker on the edge of the seascape towards the centre of the board.

Our set-up for the game

We played through the first scenario in the book, ‘Corpse Reef’, which pits Jaego Wroth and The Heldenhammer against Count Noctilus and The Bloody Reaver. The objective of the scenario is to place 8 damage cards on your opponent’s warship. We set up the terrain following the example to represent the reef of bone that separates the Galleons’ Graveyard from the rest of the ocean.

The games we played were great fun. One of the things I like about Dreadfleet is the fact that the games uses an alternate activation sequence (much like Epic) where one player activates a ship and performs actions and then the other player does the same until every ship has moved. I’ve already written about how I think this style of play is much more fun and challenging than the you-go-I-go turn sequence of other GW games as both players are involved all the time.

In the first game I took charge of the Bloody Reaver and Nick played as the Heldenhammer. As this was the first game we were still getting used to maneuvering the ships and avoiding running aground against the many obstacles that litter Corpse Reef. An early Fate Card resulted in a Ghastly Fog engulfing the board and limiting visibility drastically, meaning that there would not be much shooting in the game. The Heldenhammer managed to trap the Bloody Reaver in the reef and I had no choice but to engage Nick head on. Noctilus managed to kill Wroth in a duel but, despite putting up a good fight (and Wroth’s crew being distracted by sirens), the Bloody Reaver was no match for the Heldenhammer‘s deadly figurehead and was smashed to pieces resulting in a victory for Nick.

Having learned it's lesson in the first game, the Bloody Reaver avoids a head on confrontation with the Heldenhammer

For the second game we swapped sides and I took command of the Empire’s flagship while Nick took the part of the dastardly count. This game was much quicker and smoother than the first as we had a much firmer grasp of the rules. While the first game was dominated by the boarding action that resulted in the destruction of the Bloody Reaver, this game was much more focused on shooting and the early stages saw a lot of maneuvering as we both tried to line up the perfect broadside. This tactical maneuvering is a great element of the game and made things very tense as we each tried to bring our cannons to bear. I managed to pull up alongside the Bloody Reaver but as Nick had issued the ‘Fire as She Bears’ order he got to shoot first claiming first blood. The Heldenhammer‘s magazine store caught fire, seriously damaging the ship. The fires continued to burn and next turn the magazine store exploded, destroying the ship. We decided to ignore this result and played for a few more turns (we didn’t want to end the game so early on). The Bloody Reaver initiated a  boarding action against the Heldenhammer and, with the aid of a Bone Hydra summoned to Noctilus’s aid, managed to overwhelm the crew and claim another victory for Nick.

The Heldenhammer is attacked by one of the many undead denizens of the Galleons' Graveyard

Overall this is a fun, fast-paced game and we managed to get through two battles in an afternoon. The only downside to the game was that some of the Damage Cards are too destructive, particularly in a game where there is only one ship on each side. In the second game the Heldenhammer was destroyed by the effects of a single damage card (which inflicted D3 damage on the ship each turn). For small games in particular I would recommend removing the more destructive cards from the deck. After all, you don’t want the game to be over after a single broadside. Other than this though, we had two very enjoyable games of Dreadfleet and I’m currently working on the Curse of Zandri in preparation for scenario two.

All the best,

Andy.