How do again world. Having built up a nice head of steam painting Captain Tycho and being within touching distance of finishing my RetroBloodAngels, it makes perfect sense to leave them once again to concentrate on something else.. but as my partner in thrift mentioned, sometimes you just want those little wins, and the idea of a quick and simple project lit a fire under me.
In these days of economic apocalypse where just heating your house seems to require working three jobs (and one of them being a hedge fund manager), the casual wargamer could be forgiven for thinking that the Epic Imperial Guard army he once coveted as a kid would remain out of reach forever…
Some of you have already seen the GrannyGratingImperialGuard force taking shape over the last couple of years (and I certainly can’t take credit for the idea) and as the project as taken on a life of it’s own I’ve started to base it more and more on this force from the “Assault On Barbarius” battle from 2nd Ed Space Marine back in the early 90s. We’ve got the infantry component and a contingent of Rough Riders, plus a Vindicator company (the Guard could take them way back when) and of course the DIY Leviathan. The Assault On Barbarius force also called for (amongst other things) a squadron of Sentinels, and I quickly saw how a bit of granny grating and greenstuff could take care of that. A couple of evenings later – done!
So there we go, another unit added to the Hazzard 1977th – for free! Stay safe and sane, see you soon
We live in strange and confusing times. Fake news, claims and counter-claims.. it seems like everyone has an agenda these days and it’s hard to know who to trust. But here at Skinflint HQ, we strip away the opinions and get straight to the facts, to answer the burning question so many of you want answered.
Just how well do Valiant Miniatures’ “heroic 20mm” WW2 miniatures scale with 40k figures?
I set out to find out – inadvertently ordering a full box rather than the single sprue I had planned to, but not going to argue with the results, 65 figures for £14.95! So maybe that Imperial Guard army you fancied doing isn’t so far out of reach?
I had actually got something slightly different in mind (assuming the results of my experiments were up to par) – we’ve already got the Guard for 40k in 20mm, and just doing the same thing in a slightly different scale seems a bit pointless to me (not to say we won’t do that at some point, but still) – I had actually planned to build a Levy platoon for Firefight, to work through the campaign in the rulebook, probably for a bit of Deadzone too, and I was planning to give them a bit of a “Colonial Marines” kind of vibe to try out another lost system from the 90s… more on that another day!
For my test figure, I based one of the little guys (late WW2 German infantry) on a 25mm round base, and after having drawn inspiration from this thread on TMP, I started to sci-fi him up a bit using card, superglue, granny grating (thanks Dan!) and greenstuff. He got a visor for the helmet (cardboard – this got knocked off during the conversion process and forgotten about, whoops), some body armour over his tunic (cardboard again), a greenstuff facemask – in the grim darkness of the far future, it pays to be COVID-secure – and some granny grating to turn his Mauser rifle into a lasgun/ pulse rifle/ autogun.
Next step was basing – a bit of filler to smooth over the lip where the mini joins the base itself, followed by Ye Olde PVA & Sand mix, then a spray with white primer and a thin Smokey Ink wash. I’m not sure this really has an effect on the shading, but as I get older and my eyes start to go, this is really helpful to outline which bit is where on the miniature.
And the result:
I took my cue from the “Aliens” and “Avatar” films for the paint job, going with a craft tan base coat and a digital (ish) camo pattern using Army Painter Goblin Green, Vallejo Russian Green, Olive Drab and German Grey, all unified with a thin Smokey Ink wash and a very light bone drybrush.
I’m pretty happy with the result, he’ll do well for Firefight once he’s got his mates with him and he’s generically sci-fi enough to work in a variety of settings. And I’ve got 64 friends for him, all for under £15!
As you can see, he looks pretty good – I think he works as a “true scale” human, he’s a bit puny looking compared to the Ork, but that’s kind of how it should be.. he’s taller than the Gretchin but much less imposing than the Marine, and that again is how it should be. So maybe those folks looking for “true scale” Marines are missing the point, the actual way to go is to downsize the humans?
Anyway, that’s it for now, I’ve got a LOT of superglueing to do to build a platoon of these guys! Stay safe and thrifty out there, we’re getting there now….
How do, Dan here and yes, I’ve been at the granny grating again (sorry Legion4, I know this is hard for you 😉 ). Once again, I’m not going to try and claim any particular credit for this idea, the entire thing was nicked whole from the BattleCraft YouTube channel. Watch, learn, fall in love with it… they’re just so freaking cute.
And of course, cheap to the point of being practically free.
So, I began by cutting out my basic “horse and rider” shape, as per the video. Next up, I cut a length of granny grating and trimmed it to look like a pole. I superglued these on to my horses at a roughly 45 degree angle (apart from one where I cocked up a bit – see if you can spot him in the pics) – this is the deadly explosive lance that gives the Riders their punch against armour and cavalry. I’m not sure how that might work in reality – surely a shaped charge big enough to take out a Land Raider would probably take the arm off the rider at the very least, but hey, it’s 40K! DRIVE MY TANK CLOSER SO I CAN HIT THEM WITH MY SWORD!!!
I hot glued these onto 20mm x 20mm single corrugated card (cut from a wine box in this instance) – two riders per base.
Then it was out to the shed for a burst of black spray primer, base coat with Wilkinson’s “Granite Dust” house paint from a tester pot (£1 or so? And it’s kept me going for 3 years so far..)
Follow that with a coat of tan craft paint, dot in the body armour with Vallejo German grey, wash with thin black ink.
Next – horses. Vallejo Filthy Brown washed with brown ink – I would have gone for more variety but I was really psyched to get these done, so apologies for lack of diversity..
Then it was flesh for the faces and hands, wash with thin Vallejo Skin Wash.. I did the lances the same way as the horses, finished with a dab of Vallejo Mithril Silver washed down with black for the lance tips.
Basing was the same as the rest of the lads so far – paint the base dark brown, then PVA, a dunk in the flock pot and a drizzle of Garage Floor Dust (TM) and boom, done.
I’m really chuffed with these little guys and I do plan to expand them out to a full company at some point, but I’ve started to get a focus on what my Guard army should look like. I’m taking my inspiration from these guys here: The Assault On Barbarius Prime Epic battle report from way back in the 90s.
As you can see, this force featured a Tactical Company (check) a Heavy Company (almost check – stay tuned), an Artillery Company (hmm) and two companies of superheavies as well as support detachments. Now, here’s the thing – I’m pretty certain I can build all that lot with foamcore, card, granny grating and straws. It’s going to take a while, but I don’t see any of it as impossible. I look at an Epic Shadowsword and I think “foamboard sides and base, lay cardboard armour over the top, drinking straw cannon and granny grating heavy bolters”.
Will this pan out? Or will it be a massive act of hubris that ends with me having superglued my hands to my feet and desperately trying to type a blog entry with my nose?
Let us see.
In the meantime, stay safe out there, look out for each other and stay thrifty 🙂
Right, that’s it, Seven weeks into lockdown and every single surface in my house and garden has now been painted. I’m now allowed to down paintbrush and have some hobby time. So what’s a Dan do now he’s at a loose end?
I know, I’ll paint something.
I wound up with custody of our DIY Epic Imperial Guard contingent when lockdown hit and for a while I was wondering what to do about the infantry contingent – I mean you can’t have the Guard without Guardsmen, right? Massed ranks of lasguns just battering the enemy into submission through sheer force of numbers? I checked out Onslaught, Vanguard, Brigade, Ground Zero Games.. some lovely stuff out there, light years removed from the old 90s GW stuff (which you can still find on eBay, but truth be told, you’re better off hiring a for-real mercenary company for the prices they go for).
And, forgive me, but I fell in love. For those who can’t/ won’t click the link, this is an utterly brilliant concept called Granny Grating Armies – basically, you cut little shapes from plastic mesh to represent different types of soldier, and you rely on the paint job to carry the illusion. It’s incredibly ingenious, and incredibly cheap, and I absolutely love it. Links to some other projects:
So, I came, I saw, I fell hard. As luck would have it, I still have most of a sheet of granny grating in the store cupboard (Find some here for those of you who have no idea what this stuff is or where to get it). Following the instructions in the YouTube video, I cut out what is basically a cross shape with an extra horizontal layer at the bottom (watch the video, this is som much easier shown than described) and hot glued them to a 20mm x 20mm square of cardstock cut from the back of a notepad (this stuff is called chipboard by our transatlantic cousins.. hello, Wyloch!). A Guard infantry company in 2nd Ed Space Marine has three platoons of ten stands each, plus a command section of two stands and a Rhino – yes, we had Rhinos back then. At five guardsmen to a stand, that’s 160 granny grating soldiers…
…Barely even touched the sides. With more than ¾ of my A4 sheet of granny grating still intact, I chopped out a couple of poles and glued them to the command stands to represent battle standards, and then out to the shed for a quick coat of black primer – no special reason for black other than that’s all I’ve got at the moment.
I spent a few minutes pondering the paint scheme and was suddenly hit by a brainwave – I’ve still got those little tester pots of Wilkinsons’ emulsion that I use for terrain, and amidst them was a very light grey called “Granite Dust”which would serve as a base coat. Splodge on with a big brush all over all the lads, followed by a tan coat with craft paint, Vallejo German Grey dotted on over the chest to represent flak armour, silver on the upper horizontal to represent the lasgun, and a thin black wash. Then a dab of flesh tone on the “faces” and “hands”, with a light wash of Vallejo Skin Wash, and a dab of either red, blue or yellow craft paint to the helmet to mark out which platoon was which, and that’s pretty much it.
For basing, I painted burnt umber craft paint over the black primer, and when dry, a coat of PVA. Drizzle a little flock over it, followed by just a pinch of Garage Floor Dust (TM) and we’re done. All told, about three evenings, an hour or so a time – result, one full strength Imperial Guard Infantry company, cost £0. THAT’s how you keep to a budget.
Epic experts will know there’s still the Rhinos to build, but that’s basically the same as how we did the Vindicators last year, plus every Guard company also comes with a Commissar (and his own Rhino) to keep the lads in order, but they’re coming….
I love these little buggers. Are they a patch on any of the outrageously beautiful and detailed 6mm masterpieces makers like Onslaught or Vanguard offer? Hell no. They’re not even close to the old GW stuff. But from 2 feet away, who cares? They scale well, and you can make hundreds of them for about £5 in materials! Jim, you’re going to love these… and oh, yeah, that’s the third paintjob on the vehicles, that same Granite Dust with first a green, then a brown, and finally a black wash with just a little drybrushing. Never let it be said I’m indecisive.
Granny Grating Armies is a real thing, check out some links here and here – even if you don’t want to make the models, you’ve got to love the ingenuity.. and it’s surprising how you start seeing the world in grid patterns after you’ve been doing this for a while! Up next, Commissars, a Heavy Company and some Rough Riders! Till then, stay safe, stay thrifty, see you soon.
EDIT – I began this post before Christmas, but life kind of got in the way.. hope you enjoy this belated post!
Two sleeps til Christmas – but amidst the festive lunacy, we’ve still found time to complete a project! These lads are one of the first steps to having the Epic Imperial Guard Army I always wanted but could never (and still can’t afford)..
Anyone interested in the build process should check here first, a this post is going to be all about the paintjob and finishing off the last steps of this project. Now, I’d struggled with a camo pattern for these lads for a while, and regular visitors to the blog might notice some changes since their last appearance.. So I’d hummed and hawwed about how to paint them and eventually decided on an 80’s BAOR/ NATO inspired three tone camo. A few simple steps:
Basecoat with Vallejo Russian Green.
Stipple With Vallejo German Grey.
Detail with Vallejo US Olive Drab
Wash with thinned Vallejo Black Ink
Drybrush with bone craft paint
Metallics with Vallejo Silver
Pin wash with Vallejo black ink, and wash the metallics.
Tactical symbols freehand with bone craft paint
Drybrush mud with GW Bestial Brown or craft paint equivalent.
And the results?
These lads got a lashing over on Dakkadakka, but TMP members seemed to dig them, and personally I’m quite pleased – they’re a bit darker and more indistinct than I intended, but it’s a relatively “believable” colour scheme and the tactical symbols (which I copied from Google Image search for “FV432 camouflage”) give them a bit of life. They’re sure as hell not perfect, but from two feet away they look pretty good, and I’m looking forward to getting them on the table!
Meantime, Happy Christmas to one and all out there in the blogosphere, here’s wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year!
I always had a thing for the Imperial Guard as a wee youngling, and it often occurred to me that it was very wrong the way they were portrayed as almost a “fringe” army in 40k – after all, it was the teeming trillions of plain old GI Joes and Janes that held the line against the countless horrors of the 41st millenium, amirite?
But it was always the Space Marines who got included in the boxes…
I always fancied having a Guard army for Epic- the idea of massed tank and infantry suited the Guard absolutely perfectly! But then the cost – GW ain’t, never has been, and most likely never will be, cheap.
So, if I was going to make this idea happen, I was clearly going to have to MAKE it happen, if you catch my drift.
Yup, scratchbuild time again.
Normally I’d go in all all guns blazing and try and build something like a company of Stormhammer super heavy tanks out of cardboard, Blu-Tack and straws with nothing but blind faith in the God Emperor guiding my hand, but we’ve done that sort of thing before and this time I had an idea I wanted to try. I started with the idea of a Vindicator company – back in the early 90s, the Guard could take them, and Predators – and although the model itself got a bit of stick for looking blocky and cartoonish, it was those very properties that appealed to me for ease of building. If the original model looked like it had been carved out of foamboard and cardboard by a cretin, it should be easy for a cretin to build one out of foamboard and cardboard!
Let us begin:
Next up, painting – and that’s still a WIP so right now you’ll have to make do with this for now 🙂 Stay thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon!
Anyhoo, recently he’s been putting up some battle reports using the system formerly known as 1page40k – Grimdark Future. This is billed as a fast playing, easy to use, quick and dirty version of the 40k we all know and sort-of-love, sort-of-loathe. Rules and army lists are free to download from the One Page Rules website here. And seeing as we are drawn to free stuff like a moth to the flame of a slow burning crack pipe, we were all over this.
We set up terrain with a ruined village to the east and a disused plasma generator station to the west, set objectives (one of the generators, central hill, ruined church and a ruined shop)…and GAME ON!
Human Defence Force won the roll off and force the Orcs to deploy first:
And battle was joined!
End result, 2 objectives to the HDF (plasma generator and central hill) one to the Orc Marauders (ruined church, held by the transport)
Casualties – HDF lost a weapons team and some of the infantry squad, plus wounded Captain… the Orcs were pretty much down to the transport and their Power Armour elites, and even they were pretty beaten up.
So a pretty decisive victory!
Thoughts on the game? A LOT of fun. Grimdark Future is simple, fast playing and intuitive, absolutely brilliant for a quick throw down kickabout. We did wonder about the balance of point values given the pounding the Orcs took, but Jim did point out the he might just’ve sucked at playing the game.
So, a new system, and props to OPR designer Gaetano Ferrara for the effort he’s put into creating a fun and fast game that really benefits from not being supported by a major model company (more thoughts on that another day). We had a blast and next up on the list is OPR’s “Age Of Fantasy- Regiments” – we’ll let you know!
(Side note – free rules and army lists, 1/72 miniatures, scratchbuilt terrian and vehicles… could this be the cheapest wargame ever played?)
Now, as some of you may recall, we screwed the maths up a little last time out, so we were determined that this time we were going to get things right, so army cards were checked, double checked and checked again for good measure – this time before the beers came out. For WAAAGH-BOZZHOG, Dan was able to bring out all three of his painted up Ork clans, plus the mighty Slasher that had wrought so much carnage last time out:
We rolled up a health mix of terrain, including several towns – too many, in fact for the buildings we had supplied in the box so we broke out some of the home made sci-fi terrain we made earlier on in the year (which never made the blog- might have to remedy that) to fill in the gaps. This worked out quite nicely – the Orks would be rushing to loot the vast giga-storehouses of Hazzard’s finest export moonshine, certainly a mission which would require the Redeemer’s immediate attention!
For what seems like the first time in living memory, Dan won the deployment roll off and opted for the southern table edge with a greater concentration of objectives, leaving the Redeemers slightly on the back foot – but not to worry, the Emperor’s finest would save the day and ensure that Imperial liquor cabinets would not run dry on this most festive of occasions! First to 50 Victory Points would be the winner…
Imperial Deployment & Plan
Bugger, I wanted that side! Right, never mind, a Marine is nothing if not adaptable.. looking at the terrain and bearing in mind the experience of the previous game, my rough plan was to get the Leviathan, Devastators, Warlord and Whirlwinds into position and firing as quickly as possible to whittle down the Ork numbers and counterattack with the Veterans and Terminators when the time was right. Scouts would sit on the backfield objective and protect the Whirlwinds while the Land Raiders would act as a fire brigade.
To this end, I placed the armour and the Leviathan covering the open ground on the right flank, Devastators would advance to capture objectives 2 and 3 and plaster fire into the oncoming hordes. I debated what to do with my Veterans and Terminators and eventually decided on something audacious – Veterans would charge forward onto Objective 6 and use that either to springboard an assault or pull back in a fighting retreat onto the Devastator’s guns, while the Terminators would ambush any unwary stragglers. With this rough plan in mind, the Redeemers and the PDF crew of the Leviathan finished their final weapons checks and turned to face the enemy..
Ork Deployment & Plan:
Haha, for once the dice gods favour me! Right, my basic strategy with this army was three pronged – Evil Sunz would loop around and charge in, pinning the main enemy unit in close combat, before pulling out and leaving the central column of heavier but slower moving Goffs to finish them off. Meanwhile the Bad Moons and the Slasher wold provide covering fire and if any close combat targets of opportunity presented themselves, the Slasher would take care of them. Following this, Bad Moons deployed onto the hill with orders to advance onto objective 7 and 5, while the Goffs would charge “hey diddle diddle, straight up the middle” with the intent of pulverising any Imperial unit foolish enough to stand in our way, and the Evil Sunz would secure Objectives 2 and 3. From there – we’d see what happened..
The Imperials won the initiative and forced the Orks to move first. This was somewhat intimdating as the Bad Moons and Slasher grabbed three objectives on the Ork right, while the Evil Sunz floored their throttles and hurtled toward the towering peaks of Objective 3, and the Goffs bellowed a mighty WAAAAAAGH, charging through the buildings in the centre towards the hated humiez!
The turn began with a mighty WAAAAGH and the roar of greenskin V8s as the Orks won the initiative and opted to move first. A wave of red and green engulfed the Devastators on the commanding heights of Objective 3 – hunkered down on First Fire orders, the Marines grimly zeroed their sights, waiting until they saw reds of their enemies’ eyes..
The initiative stayed with the Orks for this one, who opted to move first. The Evil Sunz assault had been a costly failure, but with unexpected good fortune on the other flank – wiping out an entire company of valuable Redeemer veterans – would we be able to refocus and redeploy to take advantage?
With the Warlord down, the Imperial left flank was reduced to a few stands of Terminators, but equally the Ork left had crumbled and the Bad Moons had taken heavy casualties to the point where they were perilously close to breaking – even at this stage, it was anyone’s game!
The Orks won the initiative and opted for a bold, aggressive strategy..
The Imperial side won the initiative and opted to go first – with the remaining Orks running wild, only an equally aggressive strategy could pull things back!
What a game! Right until the end it could have gone either way, especially after the Warlord disintegrated (as he seems wont to do every game).. and the ballsy charge of the Goffs and the Slasher almost swung it. Had the Evil Sunz assault gone better it would have been all over for the Marines, but Dan admitted to getting to unfocused, trying to capture Objective 2 as well as carry the assault. A bit more concentration of force would have enveloped the Devastators and most likely annihilated them. And what the hell was I thinking putting my entire Veteran company in the warehouse?? I may as well have left them at home!
The Goffs are a weird bunch, clumping infantry and tanks together means something very hard hitting but at the same time hard to position right, and it was only really Turn 4 when they were in position to do something significant – and by then they’d suffered enough casualties to have broken. Dan’s going to try mounting them in Battlewagons next time… ulp.
Most Valued Player for Dan was undoubtedly the Slasher, 600 pts but chewed it’s way through 1850 pts of Marines and Titan – nearly half my force! For me, I was impressed by the Leviathan, it’s long range cannon let me put the hurt on the Bad Moons from the opposite end of the table, and in the end that helped push us over the line.
So while we mourn our Veteran brethren and Warlord (and Scouts.. and Whirlwinds.. and Dan managed to kill a stand of Terminators to break them too..) the Leviathan leads a battered taskforce of Land Raiders and Devastators to secure the remaining precious stocks of Luna Luceat liquor. The Imperial Festive Season must go on!