Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Of Vostroyans and Bulgarians, Part I

First of all - Vostroyans are incredibly cool. Even though they are.. you know.. I.G.
Which reminds me that I haven't shared with you one of my failed projects.
Alas.. Here's the story of the..

The Bulgarian Opalchentsi of Shipka
Shortly after the Adepticon Team Tournament of 2010 I really, really needed a break from my Orkz and wanted to start a new army. It had to be something special and it definitely needed to be a long-term commitment, supposed to commemorate and show-off the skills I had learned in my first year of hobbying. 
Now, at that time I already had a few boxes of Space Wolves but they were nothing but a few scattered packs in the deep snows of Fenris. Skarvald the Troll-faced was still a young Blood Claw who had yet to tame his Thunderwolf...

So it had to be Vostroyans. At that time (and even know) I was so impressed by their models! Not only because of their awesome carapace armor and lasguns, though. The fact that they were reminding me of my ancestry was definitely one of the major reasons to pick up their sweet, sweet models. And thus, the idea of an all (well, mostly) infantry army of Vostroyans was born.

An all metal Vostroyan army. Yes, I was out of my frakkin' mind, ladies and gentlemen. But you knew that already.

This one is for the Forgotten
"No weapons are left! What remains is the slaughter!
Each stone is a bomb and each tree-trunk a sword is.
Each object – a blow, and each soul – flame that sears.
From the peak every tree, every stone disappears.
"Grab hold of the bodies!" they hear a voice crying,
At once through the air lifeless corpses are flying,
And over the hordes like black devils they dive
And tumble and roll as if they were alive!
The Turks quake and tremble, not having seen ever
The living and death fight a battle together,
And raise a shrill cry of demoniac rage.
In life and death combat the armies engage.
Our heroes, there standing as steady as boulders,
Meet bayonet steel with steel breasts no less boldly,
And sing as they cast themselves into the fray
When they realize Death shall now snatch them away."
- translated from Ivan Vazov's "The Volunteers at Shipka"
The army was supposed to capture the spirit and essence of  the Bulgarian Resistance volunteer combatants (Opalchentsi) and army from the end of the 19th century - 1870-1880 with special attention to the April Uprising of 1876 and the key battles of Shipka Pass, Sheynovo and battles of Pleven under the command of Russian General Mikhail Dmitrievich Skobelev and during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. It was a war meant to liberate the Bulgarian state from the Ottoman Empire after almost 500 years spent under Turkish yoke.
The most pivotal battles of the Russo-Turkish war fought over the crucial Shipka Pass - a mountain pass through the Balkan Mountains which divide Bulgaria evenly. Four major battles were fought between the Russian Empire aided by the Bulgarian Resistance against the Ottoman Empire with the second and fourth battles being the most important.

The test-models I painted..
The Bulgarian and Russian forces were repelling the better-armed Turkish hordes for days with empty bellies and no ammunition. They were throwing rocks and fallen trees on top of the ascending enemies, then they started to bombard the Turkish hordes with corpses of the fallen, following with bayonet charges (which is what the Bulgarian forces were known for during the Russo-Turkish War, the Balkan Wars and BOTH World Wars, especially at the battle of Dojran lead by Vladimir Vazov - Ivan Vazov's brother).

Bulgarian Opalchentsi making their last stand against the Ottomans..
The idea was to use the Imperial Guard Special Characters - HQ's, Unit Upgrades. All of them.. or at least as many possible. The "Command" aspect of the army if often non-existent in many Imperial Guard armies, especially the ones with tons of vehicles and Vendettas/Valkyries. It's a pretty cool concept and is basically casting tons of psychik powers each turn, except without any Perils of the Warp.. and nothing can stop them. Nothing! Sooo good!
So here are the Heroes I wanted to field.
Prepare yourself for there be History!

Lord Castellan Creed as....
General Skobelev on the Horse (1883)
Mikhail "White General" Skobelev of the Russian Empire. Participated in the Russo-Turkish War leading the Caucasian Cossack Brigade and 7 Bulgarian regiments. His greatest feat was crossing the Balkan mountains during a snowstorm and then defeating the Ottoman Elite (and thus securing a victory in the war) in the Battle of Sheynovo near Shipka. British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery wrote that Skobelev was the world's "ablest single commander" between 1870 and 1914 and called him a "skilful and inspiring" leader. Coming from Britain's highest ranked military dude it's like calling General Skobelev some kind of a.. TACTICAL GENIUS! While modelling him on top of a white horse would be pretty sweet (especially running him with some Rough Riders) I really can't legally do it. The model that I'd totally use for him would be the Imperial Guard Valhallan Officer with Power Sword.

Colour Sargent Kell as....
Nikola Korchev, Standard Bearer of the 3rd Opalchentsi Batallion's Samara Flag. But first, what the heck is a Samara Flag? It's this. "Sewed by local nuns and given to the Bulgarian volunteers by the citizens of the Russian city of Samara on 18 May 1877, it became famous when it was heroically prevented from being captured by the Ottoman forces in the Battle of Stara Zagora, with many soldiers perishing while protecting it from the enemy. The flag, a tricolour 1.85 × 1.90 m in size, was sewed from thin silk cloth and has the pan-Slavic colours (red, white, blue). Icons of the Holy Mother of God and Cyril and Methodius were drawn on it in a golden cross by the Saint Petersburg artist Nikolay Simakov. It has a silver point designed by Graf Rochefort."
The Samara Flag
During the battles in the city of Stara Zagora on July 31, 1877 the Samara Flag kept on changing its color-bearers who were sacrificing their lives to protect it from Ottoman hands. First it was Private Simov and then the Batallion's Lieutenant-colonel Kalitin died while carrying it away from the enemy. Three others were hurt while carrying it! As the Turkish forces advanced and surrounded the batallion, it was Nikola Korchev's insane bravery and perhaps brave insanity that saved the Samara flag. With bullets flying from both directions, he ripped the flag from its pole and hid it under his shirt, thus becoming a primary target. But the brave Korchev survived to tell the tale! Guess which model I'd be using for him?

Captain Al'Rahem as..
Vasil Levski
Vasil Levski (born Vasil Ivanov Kunchev), the Deacon Ignatius, the Lion, the Apostle of Freedom! Every country has one and in Bulgaria's case, Vasil Levski is THE National Hero. Known under a hundred names, he was the man who dedicated himself to God but later resigned from his life as a monk and devoted everything he had to his country. A monk, a spy, a teacher, a politician, a master of disguise, an inspirational leader, a tactician, in 1868/69 Levski started his tour around the country informing people of the necessity of a revolution. His simple and sincere way of talking moved people deeply, convincing them that "Bulgaria must win her own freedom and shape her own future." One of his slogans was "Even God helps the resolute". For seven years Levski traveled around the country dividing it into regional centers, building a net of committees on each place, collecting donations for the April Uprising.

Levski in a First Bulgarian Legion uniform
More than a capable fighter, Levski joined numerous secret organizations, even Bulgaria's First Legion and many armed groups known as "cheti". However, Levski realized that hit and run tactics would not save the country and that the entire country must be involved in one grand event if freedom was to be achieved. Like Robin Hood he stole from the rich and the corrupt for a higher cause and recorded every coin gathered for Bulgaria's Freedom in a little notebook. Later in his life he created the Internal Revolutionary Organization, whose committees purchased armaments and organized detachments of volunteers.
The Apostle of Freedom was captured by the Ottoman police and later sentenced to death by hanging. Even in his final moments he refused to reveal any locations or names, he denied the existence of IRO and based all of his action on Christian beliefs.
Even though he died years before the execution of the April Uprising, even though the rebellion was a failure it was his efforts that began the true Desire of Freedom, it was his words that started the fire and the will to fight for freedom despite all odds. A true National Hero.

This is it for Part I. I still need to figure out what I'm basing the other special Characters on, but there will  be Marbo, Straken, etc. etc.. You shall see.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Silensurz Kommando #8: Deffgrin Gargleblasta

Carrying not one but TWO big shootas is Deffgrin Gargleblasta: Da 'eavy Wepunz Boy.
Deffgrin got the idea for his shoulder-mounted big shootas at the battle for Juglans Regia, after he witnessed more than fifty orks recklessly charging an Imperial bunker get annihilated by a pair of automated machine guns. Fortunately for him he was carrying a big shoota and was out of the turrets' range and with some persistence and luck he managed to destroy both weapons, allowing the rest of the Ork Horde to advance forward and to pillage the entire hive city. After the successful conquering of the planet Deffgrin traded all of his loot to a Big Mek for two shoulder-mounted big shootas that would lock on with the help of his bionik eye. A simple trigger device is enough to unleash a torrent of dakka at his foes from afar, turning Deffgrin into a moving heavy weapons platform, which is essentially what he does for the Silensurz. Able to effectively use his big shootas without the need for line of sight, Deffgrin Gargleblasta can just hide behind obstacles and let his guns do the hard work. 

The Big Shootas MOVE!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Silensurz Kommando #7: Psyklopz

What some accomplish through marksmanship, fire volume or brutality, Psyklopz achieves with the size of his gun. Fortunately for him, jokes about overcompensating for things are lost to the Ork "civilization" and the fact that Psyklopz carries around a big shoota bigger than a Nob is seen as a feat of strength.

When a lucky lasgun shot nailed the Silensur in the eye in the battle for Punica Granatum, the ork refused to get a bionik replacement, instead preferring to spend all of his teef on a bigger, better shoota. Psyklopz' philosophy was that if his gun is da best, he'd be able to kill all of his enemies before they get to respond to his dakka. The ork's gun is easy detachable and carrying it around is pretty easy, as is putting it back together or clobbering people to death with the huge chunk of metal that it is. The one-eyed Silesur prefers to advance slowly but surely, thus out-ranging most of his foes.

Silensurz Kommando #6: Grimjaw

The tale of Grimjaw is always spoken in hushed tones..
With Waaaagh! Gorfist's premature end*, Grimjaw and his clan of Orkz found themselves "advancing in the opposite direction", eager to fight whatever it was, as long as was willin' to put up a good fight. Da boyz didn't have to wait long. Weeks into its voyage, Grimjaw's krooza was hit fast and hard by dozens of Dark Eldar raiders. Their superior weaponry quickly went through the primite Ork defenses, disintegrating entire sections of the spaceship with their dark lances. The orkz fought well, but so did the denizens of Commoragh who were systematically eliminating any resistance with precise strikes, ambushes and assaults. Despite their numbers, the Ork crew was getting slaugthered and its numbers were dwindling.

The final battle was in the krooza's "kontrol room". Grimjaw, his Warboss and a handful of other boyz and Nobz were fending off the Dark Eldar, but the cruel blades of the space elves and their poisonous aresenal proved too much for the crew. When the Archon of the Cabal chargd towards Warboss Gorfist, it was Grimjaw who tried to stop him only to find the end of an Agoniser protruding from his back. As the sadistic nature of the blade worked its magic and every nerve in Grimjaw's body spasmed in burning agony he couldn't look away from the sight of the Archon and his Warboss fighting the final battle.
Although Gorfist was three times the size of the Dark Eldar and his skin was absorbing many of the brutal nicks and cuts it was the Archon's speed that ended it all. Swiftly dodging a deadly power klaw blow, the Archon stabbed the Warboss in the throat and drove the blade towards the Ork's brain.
But when the remaining Orkz were squabbling and trying to flee the battle scene, Grimjaw did not falter. His body was numb and his limbs were limp from the pain, but in that time of need Gork (or possibly Mork) smiled upon the paralyzed ork with a sudden burst of energy. Finally able to stand up, Grimjaw's agility surprised even the Archon when his left hand grabbed his thin, pale throat. The ork could have extinguished the Dark Elf's life there and then, but he opted for something else! He stabbed with his big shoota, bayonet first, between the Archon's legs impaling him until Grimjaw's trigger finger ended in his stomach. He then pointed the dark panzee's head towards his retinue and pressed the trigger. The deadly salvo crushed the Archon's head like a ripe melon, sending grey matter across the room and the brain-soaked bullets mowed down the shocked Dark Eldar in the room, sending the rest of them fleeing for their lives.

 With the mutilated Dark Eldar body still around his arm, Grimjaw blacked out. When the brave Ork finally woke up weeks later, he realized that all of the nerves in his body were forever gone. He could move and act as normal, but his senses and all traces of pain were non-existent. This also stopped his growth, which was what prevented him from becoming a Warboss after his heroic feat.

One day the Ork in agony was simply gone and as per usual, his name was quickly forgotten due to often head traumas. Left is the legend of the ork who impaled and shot his big shoota inside an Archon's body.
Some say that he is currently part of a Blood Axe clan and is earning his food as a silent but deadly mercenary. And who knows? They could be right..


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Something Warjacked This Way Comes!

Just ordered my first Warmachine product lured by Privateer Press' 10th Anniversary Sale! What did I get?
Oh.. nothing. JUST A FRIGGIN' KHADOR BATTLEGROUP!!! That's right. I chose to answer to the Motherland! With a Warcaster sharing my first name and a character almost sharing my last name HOW could I resist?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Silensurz Kommando #5: Da Ledbelcha and Corki

What Zodrukk da Gitfinda accomplishes through his unorky aim, Da Ledbelcha accomplishes through sheer amount of dakka. It was during a mission deep in the jungles of the Exenos death world that this Silensurz member got his nickname. Famous for carrying nothing but extra ammunition and his grot servant Corki, Da Ledbelcha didn't plan on the mission lasting several months or on all the vegetation and wildlife in the area to be extremely, extremely poisonous.. even for an Ork. Stuck without any food for his entire stay on Exenos he eventually had to start eating his own precious bullets... which somehow managed to help him avoid starvation. Thus the nickname.

On the battlefield Da Ledbelcha brings the definition of "dakka" to a whole new level. Through a practiced rotation of reloading he is able to shoot constantly with almost no downtime. One arm holds his big shoota as the other constantly reloads the weapon with ammo clips handed to him by Corki who is in charge of reloading the clips themselves.  

Silensurz Kommando #4: Daggur Bludsnagga

Wearing a fancy gas mask outfitted with the latest Ork tekknology, Daggur is just one of the many hard core Kommadoz. Like many of the Silensurz, Daggur literally has the words "kommando" and "low cunnin'" written on his DNA and because of that he always makes sure to look and behave like a true Blood Axe. Other than that he's really not known for much. Because you just can't see him most of the time. He's a Kommando, you see?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Silensurz Kommando #3: Zodrukk da Gitfinda


Zodrukk was born almost deaf and years spent surrounded by noisy dakka completely punctured his eardrums. Many Painboyz offered the young Ork various bioniks that wound fix his hearing and "den some mor", but Zodrukk never agreed to any "surgeries". The loss of the ability to hear was probably what improved his vision and therefore - his aim. Eventually Zodrukk realized that he could shoot far better than any of the other boyz, even the Flash Gitz!
When da Silensurz heard of a boy who could actually shoot the wide side of a barn with his big shoota they traveled across the galaxy, landed on his little backwater planet and offered him a place among their ranks. At first Zodrukk was mighty suspicious of the Silensurz, especially because he enjoyed the vibration his dakka made. When the intricacies behind the name of the Blood Axe clan was explained (very, very slowly and carefully, mind you) and he realized that the more noise - the merrier, Zodrukk agreed to join the crew.

He specializes in Surprise Suppressing Fire and always carries a big shoota around.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Silensurz Kommando #2: Skumfang da Abombination

Recruited from a Tankbusta squad shortly after its entire Bomb Squig herd became a mile-wide crater, Skumfang is the "wild card" of da Silensurz. Too unstable to wield a rokkit launcha he was given the simple duty of lookin' after the Squigs, simply because he smells just like them and loves to bite. Also he has crazy eyes. You never give explosives to someone with the crazy eyes..  Unless you need an expendable guy.. which is what Skumfang is for the Silensurz. Often behaving just like a Bomb Squig, Skumfang will bite into a stikkbomb and just charge forward, throwing grenades and various explosives at his enemies without thinking about his safety. The noise and clouds of dust and smoke that his little act of insanity create are the perfect distraction that his ladz need. You could say that he is the ork giving cover to the orks who are giving cover. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Silensurz Kommando #1: Killface

Before joining Da Silensurz, Killface was a dead killy Stormboy with many battles behind his scarred back, but It wasn't until his entire mob of boyz, his Warboss and every other ork besides him got wiped out of their planet by the hammer of the Inquisition that Killface decided to play it cool and think for once. Sneakin' around like a grot he hid underneath an Inquisitorial Chimera using a magnetized tankbusta bomb and waited patiently until the vehicle returned to the ship. There Killface lurked in the shadows, killing and eating unfortunate passengers until the day Mork (or possibly Gork) smiled upon him and sent an Ork Krooza straight into the hull of the ship. Long story short, Killface managed to reunite with the invading Orkz and after revenge was served he decided that some thinking and patience were pretty cool as long as they led to some blood on his bladez. Silent - even when not on a mission, Killface always wears his Stormboy bandana around his mouth and nose unless he's eating or drinking and even then he stays away from others. Da Silensurz were the first Blood Axes that he stumbled upon after his "imprisonment" and despite their noisy big shoota raids, Killface enjoys the company of the other Kommandos. They are a nice distraction, allowing him to move and strike unnoticed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Reinforcements Arrive: Kromlech's "Ork War 2" Goodness!

Just a quick reminder: Only a week left until the Wolves for the Wolf God Giveaway. You can still join the fun for a shot at some awesome Forge Wold goodness. For FREE! 

Today is a good day for my lungs as some more precious resin found its way to my doorstep. With the "MYSTERY" conversion set I got from Forge World I decided to also invest in some other variations, this time from the glorious Kromlech Conversion Bits and Accessories website. According to the website "Kromlech is a small company located in Warsaw, Poland." Hey, I've been in Warsaw! On a connection flight... for 2 hours.. 

Kromlech Blister Pack
I ordered the Kromlech bitz a few days before the Forge World purchase, but it makes sense. It's an independent company and I bet everything is made on demand. Everything I ordered came in a nice, fancy blister pack that had my entire order in it. It was sturdy and more importantly - incredibly easy to open. That's a huge plus, especially if you're opening a pack of resin bitz!

From Kromlech Bits and Minis' eBay store I ordered: 
- A set of Kromlech OW2 Large Backpacks (Orc War 2, ork, post-apo) for $9.29
- A set of Kromlech Orc "Running" Legs (Orc War 2, ork, post-apo) for $7.90

Kromlech: The Opening
Above is the picture of all the things that came in the package: the legs, the backpacks (you get x2 of each kind) and... waidaminute.. Wut's dat, Boss? There an 'ead and a cyborky hand in it. We didn't pay for 'em! How nice of Kromlech to include some related products to show off their line of resin models! Definitely a nice deed, Kromlech! I got one of the klaw bitz from Kromlech's Kromlech Mechanical Crushers and an officer 'ead from their Kromlech Orc Officer Head. The head is trully awesome, but I'll have to think how to include the power klaw in my army. When I was cleaning the little flash it had one of the fingers became too wobbly (I'm afraid it's the actual design of the klaw itself..) but nothing some green stuff cannot fix! Hey, I'm not complainin'. When life gives you power klaws, make WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHmonade.

"Karpe Diem, ye git!" - Kommando Offisur Killahand

Da Legz:
Dey see us WAAAAAGH!-in', dey'z runnin'..
Each "running" set of legs is unique, allowing for different poses, which is pretty cool. The Kromlech legs definitely match the 40k Ork design, but also have a touch of Polish innovation and creativity in them as well.

They came with barely any flash or mold lines and had a very plastic feel to them. Easy easy to clean, no traces of mold release agent whatsoever.

Da Packz:
Dun forget to pack yer lunch!
The backpacks come with plenty of grenades, stikkbombz and are very bulky and very orky! Had more mold lines that the legs, but it is understandable. With great detail comes great responsibility... or something. You can even see the release rings on the grenades. These should add some variety to the items from the "MYSTERY Forge World conversion kit" I already own for my "MYSTERY Killzone Army".

You know, the ones soaking in the "MYSTERY CLEANING SOLUTION"? Hurr, hurr, hurr..

Also, the Kromlech pieces are heavier than the Forge World ones and the majority of them sunk on the bottom of the cleaning solution. Just in case there is any mold release agent on them.

But yeah. Definitely happy with Kromlech's items and would love to buy from them again. Also, what are the chances that the day I order stuff for my Kommandos they release these?
After few orc headswaps releases for Orc War 2 Free Germany now we have something for Brits.
Orc Commando Heads in woolen caps.
Sculpted by Michał Sosnowski.
Painted by Edwin Smolinski.

Volunteer Orcs form Unit 53 serve as infiltrators in North Africa and Middle East. There are few Orc serving in British Army but these from Unit 53 are most loyal and worthy allies.

Guess the MYSTERY FW resin kit and MYSTERY Cleaning Solution!

The title says it all, dear readers. Yours truly got a hold of his first Forge World order barely SEVEN days after the order was made. Wow... and to think that some people have to wait months for theirs. It was a fast shipment but without a few "oopsies" on behalf of Forge World which I have e-mailed them about.

So.. what's up with the guessing thing, you may ask.. Well, I dunked them all in soapy water and scrubbed them with a brush to get rid of the shiny crap that was stuck on them but there still are some remnants of the sliminess.
It was time to try something.. more epic. What's the resin kit and what mystery solution that I'm using, lads? Lets see if you can guess. First to get both answers right gets a shout out and a cookie!

And here's the image:
*Jeopardy theme music*

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two weeks left until the Wolves for the Wolf God Giveaway!

That's right, fellow gamers. Pretty much less than two weeks are left until one of you lucky followers gets a delicious Renegade Militia Conversion set for free! How and Why - clicky here and all will be revealed. It's such an easy contest that it would be a shame to miss it... and you get to subscribe to my awesome little blog to boot!

Here I'd like to thank all of you who are already subscribe to Wolves for the Wolf God. Soo... thank you! Every new follower inspires me to write better, more often and to attempt bigger hobby challenges so I can share them with you. I really appreciate all the comments and support that many of you have given me and let me tell you - Wolves for the Wolf God is going to keep on delivering in the following months, so keep on stopping by from time to time. You (hopefully) won't regret it!

And before I sign off for the day I need to do a shout out to Miniature Tim: Hobby Warfare, Painting & Modeling - the reincarnation of Tim's previous blog. After a year of hiatus Tim has decided to give blogging another shot, which made me happy because when I started Wolves for the Wolf God his was one of the first blogs that I followed and commented on and it saddened me when he stopped updating it. But now he's back and I'm sure his mind is buzzing with 40,000 and one ideas to amaze us with. So there you go - a cool new blog to follow. Lets support Tim by following his progress, guys - hopefully we'll give his hobby a boost with some inspiration and helpful commentaries.

Building the Killzone "Booster Pack" Tables: Part II.5

Today was a very long day which was mostly spent driving from Games Plus to Hobby Lobby for useful materials for our "Booster Pack" tables. I had ran out of most of my balsa and basswood sticks and needed a fresh supply for the rest of my trenches, so I got a handful - probably more than I'll need? Then, at Games Plus I stumbled upon a product that I had been ogling online just a couple of hours before we left on our shopping spree. I didn't have to pay for shipping. Score! What was the item, you might ask?

Masterclass Scenics: Mud & Water Bundle - $20.00
from Secret Weapon Miniatures

Come on! With all of the trenches, piles of mud and mine fields I've got going on I just couldn't say no to a kit that makes such cool-lookin' mud AND has a bunch of "water effect" that does not suck. There's a brilliant tutorial on the website to boot.. I'm pretty excited, actually. I just can't wait to be able to throw some mud on my 2'x2', you know?

This is not the first time I've invested in SWM. If you remember, I bought a Rahael 8404 Kolinsky Red Sable brush which I have been using non-stop and have been loving every single.... er.... stroke (Shame on you!!!) with it?

Also purchased a cheap-O set of small resin barrels and crates, because why the heck not? Other than that, I managed to mix more spackling and planks on the side of the smaller and bigger trench and started a small wooden bridge! Joe also worked on his bridge and bought a few things for his tables as well. Nothing too crazy or deserving fancy pictures yet, I'm afraid.

However, we're are already discussing the crazy shenanigans we'll be attempting at Adepticon 2012, and boy is it going to be phatasmagorian! Let's just say that it is time for the orkz to be more kunnin' than brutal.