Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ruin's Ruin

As I was working on Ruin, with an eye on posting up a review after I got the model together, a few things came up that threw me off a bit:

1) I managed to catch a bit of a summer flu, which has the lingering effect of making me a bit loopy, and had the more immediate effect of knocking me out for a few days. And,

2) I had some unfortunate issues with the model I received.

The first issue was a surprising, but thankfully easily fixed one - the left leg (a metal piece) snapped at the ankle. This is a kind of break I've run into before; either their was an issue with the molding, or the piece has been stressed, and the metal just kinda gave out. The good news is that it broke in such a way that made it very easy to glue back together (the two pieces fit pretty much perfectly back together, and almost stuck without glue). 

The second issue was also surprising, but unfortunately not so easily fixed. I'm chalking this up to the fever, but for whatever reason I didn't notice until I was almost finished assembling Ruin that I didn't have his right shoulder/arm bit. I was hoping that I could hack together something using pieces from another Khador plastic heavy kit I have (don't ask me why I have a spare heavy kit floating around), but Ruin has apparently been taking plenty of vitamins because it's arms are way, way bigger than any of other plastic kit arms. So, now I'm awaiting a replacement part from PP. The good news is that it's already processing, and I know from past experiences that it shouldn't take too long to get the replacement.

Which leaves my Ruin model in this state:

Not quite finished, but good enough to get on the table if I need 'im.

Despite these setbacks (and recognizing that they're almost totally random happenstance) I still feel confident in saying that Ruin is one of the absolute best model kits I've ever worked with from PP. And this is coming not too long after having assembled my own Transfinite Emergence Projector (a stunningly well made model) so that is well earned praise.

Much of what makes Ruin such a good kit comes down to smart modeling decisions. Many of the pieces are cut and arranged in such a way that they go together very easily and naturally, while also allowing for a lot of flexibility in being able to assemble as much or as little as you want as part of painting. Ruin comes in enough discrete pieces that you can break it down almost as much as you want to prior to painting; or you could just slap the whole thing together and paint it that way (my original plan, possibly revised as I await the arm).

One detail I thought was interesting is that warpwolf pelt is almost totally optional: Ruin has a fully featured shoulder underneath there, so the only thing you'd have to do if you wanted to leave off that particular item is come up with a replacement idea for the missing spike. It's a nice option for anyone that would rather do without that particular grisly trophy, though after years of Circle induced gaming trauma I actually wish I had a second warpwolf to glue on it.

Ruin is roughly evenly split between plastic and metal pieces, and thankfully they are distributed intelligently: the lower body is almost all metal, and the remaining metal parts are used for highly detailed items on the upper body, or weapons. All of the pieces have an excellent level of detail, and everything looks pretty much as I'd expected it to. 

Clean up on the model was about average for a model with this many pieces. The resin pieces took the longest to clean on account of each of them having some tabs that had to be clipped and flash to be trimmed, but thankfully it is much easier/more pleasant to work with than the old PP warjack "plastics" and thus isn't as time consuming. None of the metal pieces had any major incidents of mold lines or flash, though the face-shield-thing did require a good "once around" cleaning that was a little tedious due to the shape of it. Overall though, not at all bad in terms of clean up or assembly.

Bottom line: Ruin is an absolutely fantastic model, and if this is what we can expect of future metal/resin hybrid kits from PP, I'll be very excited to see them continue to come down the pike. This is easily the best produced heavy warnoun kit I've bought from the company, and I've bought more than a few. 

Now I just need a right arm, and I'll be set! Can't wait to actually start painting it. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mercenary Painting Log: Magister Knights

My mercenary painting efforts are, finally, nearing the end. I was recently able to put the finishing touches on the last major group of Pan-O models, a set of Magister Knights. Now just a few odds-and-ends models remain, which I'm hoping to be able to punch out in relatively short order. Join me after the break for a shot of the finished Magister Knights and their associated painting notes.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Summer Break

In the spirit of the season, I'm taking a week off to rest and recharge. I'll have plenty to write about in the coming weeks with Warmachine: Reckoning, so a bit of calm before the storm will help to ensure that I'm not burnt out by the time spoilers start dropping.

Catch you all in a week or so!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Obavnik Kommander Zerkova and Reaver Guards

Privateer Press's most recent front page update gave us all some awesome new models to check out. Some players will be excited because of the specific models, but some of the previews should be exciting for everyone, based on what they generally represent.

Most important to me, as a crusty 'ol Khador player, is the reveal of Zerkova2's full name and painted models:

I love these models. Zerkova in particular is pretty great; her model avoids a lot of the "standard" WM model poses but still manages to convey plenty of character (aided in no small part by her baller coat). All three models look to have great details that I will appreciate at a glance but hate painting, which is usually a sign that someone did something right.

I have a lot more to say about Zerkova2 and the models that joined her on the front page that day, but I'll save those thoughts for after the break.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sorscha2 vs. Madrak2 - Meat Grinder

After lamenting about how May would probably be light on Warmachine practice games, I managed to almost immediately set up a game. Neat, eh? Join me after the break for the inaugural run of my revised Sorscha2 list.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Warmachine: Reckoning - What We Know

We are fast approaching my favorite time of year as a wargamer: a new book release! Rarely is the game as exciting or interesting as the week or so before, during, and after a new book release. Speculations run wild, then are confirmed or shot down horribly. Spoilers start to flood out, only to be updated, confirmed, denied, revised, and decried as the apocalypse (either due to power or terribleness), usually all in the same forum thread. And no other time is as rich in creativity and discussion as when all of us average-joes get our first look at new models for our faction(s).

The next big book release for Warmachine/Hordes - Warmachine: Reckoning - is scheduled to arrive on retail store shelves on June 17, 2015 (based on various online retailer pre-order lists). However, there is a big event happening right before that: Privateer Press's annual Lock & Load convention, scheduled to take place June 5-7. Not only is that the biggest Privateer Press event of the year, but it's also an event that commonly gives us some nice pre-releases of upcoming things.

Considering the fact that the retail release of Warmachine: Reckoning is only 10 days away from the end of Lock & Load, I think it's very reasonable to assume that copies of that book will be available for purchase at the convention (this may have been confirmed already; my finger is not on the pulse of the forums at the moment). That means we're at best only a month away from knowing all of the details for the next big Warmachine book; a month and a week or so at worst.

With that in mind, lets go over what we know/suspect will be in the next book for each faction. Lists after the break.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mortal Kombat X - Story and Gameplay

Although I had a lot to say the last time I posted about Mortal Kombat X, I actually left a couple of topics on the chopping block. Specifically: the quality of the story and general gameplay of MKX, how both represent significant strides forward in maturity (relatively speaking) and thoughtfulness on the part of NetherRealm Studios (NRS), and how that bodes well for the franchise as a whole.

As I can't quite get these ideas out of my head, another torrent of words and thoughts awaits after the break. Hopefully it won't be quite so long as last time, but I can't promise anything. Best get a snack to be on the safe side.