Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sin City Dispatch #15: Asphyxious has a little head!

Hey everyone and welcome to the latest and greatest issue of the Dispatch!

In this issue, we will start things out with a little bit of a flashback in Incoming!!! as we look at the striders for the Cogs. That's right, back to my roots with some AT-43 though there is a little bit of Warmachine thrown in to keep things current as well. Next we will head to the Workbench as I try a little bit of proxy modification as well as a look at what I did to make the man of the hour get an ego boost. Also from the Workbench, we will take a look at a proxy that has actually turned into more of a conversion, and we aren't talking about Menoth here. So sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

A Look at Upcoming Releases for AT-43 and Warmachine

Last year, the first pictures of the Cogs came out and though the sculpt of the minis was not bad, the paint job left a lot to be desired. Does anyone else remember the cybernetic construction crew of doom?

Since then, Rackham appeared to reconsider this incredibly bizarre paint scheme and went with a more traditional red for the regular troops while it looked like the leaders would be in black. Recently I found these images of what the Cog striders will look like and just had to share my thoughts.

The smaller strider honestly looks like something right off of a loading dock while the larger one seems to have some kind of a bizarre looking cape kind of thing going on. And they are orange. Grrrr!!! While I admit that I haven't played AT-43 in months now, it is really disappointing to see that this is the direction that Rackham decided to stagger off in. With the release of the Cogs, they really had a chance to create something different for the sci-fi genre but this is just a major disappointment in my opinion.

On the Warmachine front, the big news is the first pictures of the upcoming plastics! First out the door will be the Exemplar Bastions for the Protectorate of Menoth. Here is a picture of one next to a Temple Flamguard to give you an idea of the size.

As you can see, these guys are big! No idea what the are like in the game but the miniature looks pretty sweet, especially considering these will be PP's first real foray into the world of plasic minis (not counting their CMG Monsterpocalypse). I have seen some criticism of the price since these are currently listed as being $44.99 retail for five of them but when you compare to the other medium base mini boxed sets they really aren't that bad. The Trollblood Champions are the same price while the Khador Shocktroopers are $49.99 just for three!

Overall, I think that this will be a good move by Privateer since plastics are easier to work with from a modeling point of view and they have said that they should be able to avoid the price increases that have been plaguing the metal minis lately. Only time will tell, but I have to give credit to PP for breaking out of their heavy metal obsession to keep the game more affordable.

From the Workbench
The Lich Lord says... "I have a little head!",
The Mauler says... "Growl! err..."

This issue we will be looking at two different mini modifications that I have done for Warmachine and Hordes. The first of the two is an easy one but I just don't understand why I had to do it. I recently bought Lich Lord Asphysious for my Cryx army in Warmachine and the first thing that I notice is that his head is ridiculously small. Comparing it to a regular Mechanithrall, the Lich's head was about 2/3 the width! I instantly thought, "This just won't do!" and set to work to fix the problem. Taking the previously mentioned Mechanithrall, I was able to chop off all but the jaw bone of his skull and attach it to the Iron Lich's hood, while the Lich's original head went right onto the Mechnithrall. A nameless steam powered zombie can have a little head, but the Iron Lich? I don't think so.

The other project was a little bit more ambitious. I have some Trollblood minis but not enough to field a full 500 points worth. I wanted to bloster their ranks a little but as I am playing in the League with my Cryx, I decided to see what I could do with proxies instead. I already have Boomhowler and Company (giving me a good Scattergunner proxy) but I really wanted to field something to represent the Dire Troll Mauler. I could just use another heavy mini and call it good but then inspiration struck!

Before his days at Privateer Press, Matt Wilson worked on a sci-fi miniature game called Vor. One of the alien races, the Growlers, actually bear a striking resemblance to the Trolls and I happen to have two of Bull Growlers laying about. I showed them to the guys at Battlezone and I got the impression that they thought I was crazy. If you don't know what miniature I am talking about, here is a picture of one next to a Khador Juggernaut for scale.

As you can see, there are some similarities between the Troll and Growler but there are enough differences to tell the two apart. Still, basic size and build of the figure was pretty close IMO (not to mention the pose; just look at the cover of Hordes Primal), so I decided to convert one of them so that it resembles a Dire Troll a little bit more.

One of the big differences between the two is the row of spikes starting on the forehead of the Growler and running down its back. The one on the head is an easy fix; cut it off. A few seconds with a saw and off it comes. The ones on the back are a little more problematic. When you look at the picture of the Mauler, there is what looks like a spiky mane of hair that runs over its head but I am not sure how far down its back it runs. To make my life easier, I decided to just go ahead and take it right down it's back so that I could cover the spikes on the Growler. At first I had thought about trying to use epoxy to sculpt the hair over them but I quickly decided to just add the hair to it instead, one piece at a time. Crazy, yes, but I really like how it turned out.

The Mauler is also wearing a loincloth while you could say that the Growler is feeling a little bit more free. Some more putty work and BAM! Instant loincloth, complete with a rope tied around his waist.

Next, I took a look at the teeth. The Dire Troll has some very distictive tusks that jut out of his lower jaw while the Growler just has a mouth full of spiky teeth. I had thought about just lengthening a couple of the teeth but the Troll's teeth actually seem to flip down like tusks so I decided that it was time to break out the Dremel. I cut out two of his teeth, drilled a couple of holes where they had been and tried to insert a couple of brass rods to make a solid frame for the tusks to go onto. This didn't quite work out so I decided to just build them up using putty instead and I have to say that I like the result.

And there you have it! While there are still some definite differences, I think that overall this conversion is pretty close and it will definitely work as a stand in Mauler. I'll still be buying the real thing in the future but at least this way I can start giving this beastie a try instead of having to wait until I buy it. After all, you don't have to be afraid of proxying in friendly game. How do you think Privateer playtests their new rules in the first place?

The Parting Shot...

Well, that about wraps up another issue of the Dispatch. In our next issue, I will be taking a look at my latest army for Warmachine/Hordes, the Trollbloods! By then I should have a couple more games under my belt with them, so I figure that I might as well take a look at how they stack up compared to my Cyrx army. Man, talk about night and day... Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

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