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Hordes 2 Player Battle Box

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So, because I have a bit of Hobby ADD as I like to call it, and because I really wasn't in a painting mood yesterday but was in a hobby mood (go figure) I decided to start on my Hordes Two Player Battle Box.  I decided in addition to getting started on this, and documenting my misadventures as a newbie hobbiest/hobbier? I would also conduct a bit of a product review along with it.  I figure that this box is intended, at least in part, for new players, and as such, may also include those new to the hobby.  So I'll document start to finish (fair warning, it will be a long time before I get it fully complete) while also providing commentary on the quality, etc.




So, for starters, this is a compliment to the Warmachine game (could also be called the second side of the same coin).  The two games are fully compatible.  The box itself comes with a starting army for the Trollblood and Skorne factions (hence Two Player).  From a pricing standpoint, the value of the box in terms of content is somewhat dependent on whether you are just looking to paint the models, or if you are also looking to get into playing the game.  The box retails for about $90 but you can likely find it cheaper if you look around a bit (I myself got it for about 33% off).  As for the contents, you'll get 28 minis (if my math/memory serves) divided evenly between the two factions.  Additionally, you get various tokens and other bits you can use for playing the game but which are not related to the actual painting side of things.  Fair warning though, those 28 models include 10 models in each faction that are part of the same unit and thus, will be fairly similar.  If you were to buy the models separately though (or rather as they can currently be purchased outside the two player box) you'd pay about $150 retail, so from that standpoint, its a great deal.  Even better is if you have a friend that is looking to get into it as well and you can split the box with them.  I'm a masochist though and actually bought the box for the sake of having some of each faction and for the experience/joy/pain of assembling and painting them.  Anyway, removing the non-model related items from the box leaves you with this:




Huh, how bad could that be right?


Well, I decided to start with the three troll warbeasts which are contained together in one of the plastic bags shown, and when opened, leave you with this:




I seem to remember counting 24 pieces for the three beasts though I only see 22 here.  Its possible there's a couple small pieces hiding, or that I just miscounted (no worries though, I know I'm not missing any pieces).  As I prepped these for assembly, I ran into my first complaint.  The mold lines on these pieces are quite plentiful, rather noticeable, and often times poorly placed (like right down the center of the face).  Fortunately I am not a perfectionist and am willing to say "good enough" but the plastic mold lines do come up easily enough with a hobby knife provided you can get the knife in there.  I got what I could, but didn't go nuts on it.  We'll see how bad it looks when they get primed.


As for assembly, these are actually pretty easy to assemble so far.  The torso pieces can fit into any of the leg pieces and although the three beasts all carry a different armament, its easy to match the arms up with the torsos because of the shape of the pegs.  The downside to this is that there isn't a lot of room for mixing and matching the pieces between the three.  You could probably work the shield onto any of the three if you really wanted, and there's a pauldron that you could likely do the same with, but that's about it.  That said though, assembly was pretty easy which is good for a product targeting new players.




So here are the three beasts mostly assembled.  The remaining pieces will be added later as I paint so as to allow better access to all parts of the models.  From left to right are the Troll Bouncer, Troll Impaler, and Troll Axer who I shall call Dalton, Vlad, and Lizzie respectively. Dalton is currently a bit forward leaning and needs his shield in order to stand still for the picture.  Or maybe he's just drunk, not sure.


Anyway, next step will be priming and then they will probably sit for a few days while I a) work on some other models, b) let the primer cure (I use brush on) and c) go out of town.


As always feel free to add in any questions and C&C (though not much to C&C yet I realize).  :P

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Looking promising!  I personally love the Warmachine/Hordes game and the minis are really beautiful to me.  I too though know all too well about the mold lines.  I am working on a warcaster and the mold lines are in some terrible and very noticeable spots.  I suggest to just do the best you can and paint for advanced table-top.  That's what I am striving for anyway.  I wish I had the skill some do to really detail these things!


::D: Dalton!!!

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11 minutes ago, Baldur8762 said:


::D: Dalton!!!


Heh, glad someone caught the reference.   :)


As for the model quality, they are still quite beautiful and very detailed.  I just noticed some more prevalent lines in their plastics than I've seen elsewhere.  That said, the standard thought among a lot of players is that the quality of PPs plastics is slowly improving.


Still a lot of other models to work up yet though before I can give a true verdict.

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Yikes!  So, work got hella crazy this month, generally leaving me in no mood to paint by the time I got home (read: I was super tired in the evenings when I would normally paint).  That said, I did manage to get in a little bit of painting recently.  I tried something a bit different (for me) this time around.  I started by dry brushing the metallic portions of the minis.  I started with a layer of Reaper Dragon Bronze, followed by P3 Pig Iron.  The goal was to try to give a bit of a beat up, weathered look to the armor, figuring that these warbeasts as they are known would not be the best care takers of their gear.  It kind of worked but I think I will still need to go back in the end and add in some more specific detailing.  The main goal here though was to also test a method of doing a lot of metal quickly.  As a table top gamer I have a lot of units of minis that have 10 - 12 figures each and a typical game might have several of those units.  As such, I'm looking for a way to crank them out quicker while still having decent results.


Anyway, here are Lizzie, Vlad and Dalton (left to right) after getting their skin done as well.




This is done primarily in the scheme recommended in the booklet that comes with the box set (though I went with a more magenta look to the growths on their skin.  Its not a super job on the skin, but good enough for table top I think.


And here is a close up on Dalton's (the troll bouncer) armor to try to give a better look at the beat up look of the armor:




Have to tidy up a few spots on the skin, and get the nails done, but then I think it will be time to move onto the leathers and start finishing the assembly.


As for the dry brush the metallics first approach:  So far I am a bit mixed on it, but leaning toward positive.  The biggest problem is of course that it leaves some of the more interior spots to paint after the metallics.  Unfortunately I do not yet have good brush control so that may become a problem.  However, it did allow me to churn through the metals quickly without having to worry about brush control too much.  I don't think I would do it for a figure I wanted to paint really well or that I wanted to really stand out, but for doing a bunch at once, I think it works rather well.


As always, C&C is most welcome.  Thanks for taking a look!

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Hooray for more progress!  Slow and steady wins the race right?  Got some more parts assembled as I progressed in the painting and now have most of the base coating done (not quite all obviously) aside from some of the smaller detail bits.  They certainly feel as though they are starting to come together.  Have to do the shadows and highlights on the cloaks still, but after that is done, everything else should fall into place pretty quickly.  One thing I will say is that assembly has been pretty easy.  The mold lines previously mentioned though are certainly noticeable though.  In a weird way I see it as a "good" sign that I am noticing them now as its something that at one point I probably wouldn't have cared about, but I now I do care about it a little more.  Obviously if I were looking to really make these show quality, or to get the best result possible, I would have gone back earlier with a sanding needle or something similar, but for now, with everything else on my to do list, I'll likely just leave them and go with table top quality (which is of course a subjective standard in its own right).  


Pics Spoilered due to numbers:


Dalton  (Troll Bouncer):







Lizzie (Troll Axer): I did note I forgot to drybrush one section of her armor in the back.







Vlad (Troll Impaler -- pay no attention to that random dot of orange on his armor :P)







As I said before I actually do really like all the little details PP puts on their minis (even if they can at times make them a pain to paint).  I am a bit sad though that they changed the sculpt for the impaler as the original impaler sculpt had a couple of chickens (prepared for cooking) hanging off its belt.


As always thanks for looking and C&C are most welcome.  

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IIRC the trolls were some of the first of the PVC plastics out the gate, and were some of the most awkward for moldlines, from what I recall. I'm working through the mk II circle half of the two player starter and that has had some less than ideal lines as well, so I'd like to get a hold of a styrene mini from them to see how it works out. Just gotta have something come our for the factions I collect.


These look pretty cool, I really like the dirty metal effect and you've done very good there. I'm looking forward to seeing the cloth/leather done to see the overall look.

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On 6/2/2017 at 5:23 AM, Scorpionfish said:

IIRC the trolls were some of the first of the PVC plastics out the gate, and were some of the most awkward for moldlines, from what I recall. I'm working through the mk II circle half of the two player starter and that has had some less than ideal lines as well, so I'd like to get a hold of a styrene mini from them to see how it works out. Just gotta have something come our for the factions I collect.


These look pretty cool, I really like the dirty metal effect and you've done very good there. I'm looking forward to seeing the cloth/leather done to see the overall look.


Thanks, I appreciate the compliment.  Yeah the placement of the mold lines is the problematic thing for me as I don't feel confident enough in my skill at removing them to be able to remove them from say the face without also losing the detail.  Others I noticed later and might have been able to get with a sanding needle or something similar.  Which reminds me, I need to invest in sanding needles.  :P  I will say most of the other PP plastics I've done previously did not have nearly the same amount of trouble with mold lines, but I am also still pretty new with plenty of plastics to go through yet.


As for the cloth (officially I think its leather, but I wanted to avoid the traditional brown, so treating it more like cloth) hopefully I don't disappoint.  First round of shades/highlights has me less than enthused, but its all part of the learning curve.  Watched a few vids again and will give it another go and see if I can get it to come out better.  Its also pretty much my first time painting orange in a situation where it needs shades/highlights so that is also part of the learning curve.  All in all, I just need to keep practicing!

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Some more work done on the Bouncer.  I think I am almost done with him except for basing.  The big question I am wrestling with is how much, if at all, to highlight the metal.  I'm going for a dirty look to it, and as you can see below, have even added some rust effects.  My fear is that highlighting will diminish that effect if I go with it.  I may try just edge highlighting though and see how that looks.  I can always go back over it that way if need be. 


I wasn't real pleased with how the orange cloak came out, but I think it is good enough (at least for table top anyway).  Any suggestions or tips though would be greatly appreciated (base coated in HD Fireball Orange btw).  I do see now with the camera a couple of stitches that need touched up too.  Grrrr!  :p

As always, and C&C is most welcome and thanks again for taking a peek!













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Dalton is pretty much finished now, just need to tidy up the base and finish the flocking around the rock, but waiting on a delivery for that.




Gotta say that I am really liking the cork, first time I've used it (or done anything other than a little Greenstuff for a base).  I think there's room for some more coloration in the stone here, but I'm also afraid of over doing it.  I may also try to touch up the toe nails a bit as they look a lot messier on camera than on the table. 


Lizzie also went hunting last night and got her axe a bit messy:




She's also almost ready for her base.  I might try to touch up the blood effect a little more.  Was hoping to get a bit of a spatter effect with it but unfortunately, none of my brushes were stiff enough to work and instead I just wound up with messy fingers.  Oh well, live and learn. 


As always, thanks for looking and C&C are most appreciated, especially with respect to the base on Dalton as its my first time attempting this so I am very open to suggestions.  I do plan to lay down some sand around the rock and then add some grass to complete the look, but always open to ideas!


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This weekend was a bit of a mish mash of projects for me as I started to prepare other minis for future paint jobs as well as worked on these guys and a couple of others.  Still waiting on my basing materials to arrive to fully finish these guys, but the Troll Axer is pretty much done but for going over again and looking at the fine details:






Also got most of the the work done on the Impaler (Vlad).  Still need to highlight the stitching on his cloak, attach his quiver, and then base him as well:




I really like how the cloak turned out on this one, I think I did a better job with the shading on it.  I'm still not real good at getting the highlights to blend though and as you can see they are particularly sharp where it goes from highlight to base.  Any tips that you all have found useful?  I've tried 2BB, and am still attempting it on a number of minis, but on minis with a lot of contours like the cloak here, my 2BB technique seems to make a mess of things.  Of course, practice is the ultimate technique here, but just curious if there are any other ideas out there.  For these guys I did a layering technique as described in the Bones LTPK2 kit followed up with several glaze layers at the end to smooth the transitions.  Always seems to work better for shades though than highlights for some reason.  


Another area I am curious about is with this guy's pouches.  He has three of them (or I suppose technically one pouch and two bags).  I was going for a brown and a green/brown look to them because I didn't want them to detract too much from the rest of the mini, but I'm afraid that they might end up just blending in too much.  Here's a close up:




I know for the bag on the right in this photo I need to add some contrast on the clasps and straps still, and that might help, but not sure if these are still going to be too dark given the overall appearance of the rest of the mini.  Thoughts?


One thing I have learned from this project so far is that my biggest weaknesses are brush control and a lack of patience.  


For the first, I've noticed that I am using the side of the brush too much I think, so I am working on using just the tip more often.  Of course, this is harder to accomplish in certain tight areas than in others, but that's all part of practice.


As for the second, what I have found is that as I get the bulk of the mini done, and am down to largely just the fine details or small parts of a mini, I get anxious to just finish and have a tendency to say "Good Enough!"  Obviously I need to work on that, at least for those pieces that I want to have a more refined look as opposed to just a "quick" table top approach for units and such.  Anyone else run into this?  What was your solution?


As always, thanks for looking and thoughts, comments, criticisms, advice, etc. are much appreciated.  

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So I think I am calling Dalton, Vlad and Lizzie done.  They are far from perfect but I think they are good enough all things considered.  There were also a few firsts on these too, so I am pretty happy overall.  First time using cork, first time using the Woodland Scenics Turf, and really, the first time using a lot of these colors.  I think I may have been a bit stingy on the turf effect on the Bouncer (the guy on the left) but he was the first one to get the effect and I am more trying to keep from drawing too much attention away from the troll while adding a bit of color.  Obviously this turf comes out as more of a lichen than actual grass at this scale.  Thoughts though on whether or not to add any more?  I'll eventually put these into a Show Off but didn't want to flood the thread with extra photos of a finished product when there will be plenty more ahead.


Up next, the Warlock that controls these guys:  Ragnor Skysplitter!






As always, thanks for looking and any and all C&C are most welcome, particularly those dealing with areas that I can improve on. 

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So got Ragnor mostly assembled, just have his hammer to attach to the underside of his right hand.  Going to wait on that until I'm done painting that side of Ragnor as the hammer kind of gets in the way.




Now we get the good news/bad news.  The good news is that by and large, the mold lines on Ragnor were not too bad . . . especially since I have now acquired sanding needles.  I won't say I've gotten them all, or certainly that they are now perfect, but they certainly were not as bad on first blush as they were on the warbeasts.


Now for the bad news.  Although the mold lines were not too bad . . .




Holy Massive Gap Batman!  This is, easily, the best fit I was able to achieve over dozens of attempts, looking at photos online, etc.  In fact, this was the only fit that really offered any decent hope of even getting that kilt attached given its contours.  I'm hoping I got a really bad miscast, but I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't considering some of the gaps I noticed in other battle box figures that came out at the same time.  Even attaching the missing piece doesn't really help:




I guess there is a silver lining here though.  This will give me an opportunity to do some serious gap filling and perhaps even a minor bit of sculpting.  This isn't really something I have had to worry about too much so far.  Ultimately, doing convesions/mods is something that I may want to do, so getting some practice now isn't a huge deal per se.  My bigger issue is that again, this is designed to be a product for new players and as such, potentially people who are new to the hobby.  Having a difficult to assemble model in that package just seems like poor Quality Control.


Regardless, I'll get to try something new!

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