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Hamsta’s Path of Conquest, The Spires

Hamsta’s Path of Conquest, The Spires

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Project Blog by supahamsta Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

The path calls, but the pathhasmany roads, leading to many destinations (well 4 at this point). This project is my foray in the game of Conquest, following the Path of Conquest. I plan to have 3 such projects running along side (it was so hard to decide). This particular project will follow my journey with the Spires.

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Entry 4 - Quick Update

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 2
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Entry 4 - Quick Update
Entry 4 - Quick Update

Sadly I have been having issues with my pc, so sorry the updates have been slow.

I’ve managed to finish painting  all of the Drones from the core set (I do need to base and glue on the shields), and the Brutes are about 90% done too.

 

From the photos, you can see I made some magnetic batch painting strips, so contrasts on big units were a breeze.

So I’ve managed to get Stage 1 of the Path built and painted.

 

Sadly, my chemo has messed up my hands (the shakes are real), and I have to avoid pointy things, so I have to put my projects on hold for now.

These are NOT dead. I have the models ready, I have the desire, I just currently lack the ability…

The Spire shall continue to rise.

Entry 3 - First Paint Applied

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 2
1 Comment

After a week of being awake in about 20 min spurts followed by 2hrs of sleeping (chemo does suck), the docs adjusted my meds, and I had only 2 hrs sleep over the next 36 hours!

So at 3am, whilst the rest of the house was asleep, and I’d redecorated  the house 3 times, chosen and then rejected a new car, planned, replanted and cancelled a summer holiday (all in my mind of course), I decided to get up and slap some paint on the larger beasties of the Spires.

chemo meds are typically in flux for the first few weeks (so I’m told), so my sleep patterns and energy levels will also be all over the shop for a while, so progress is going to be… staggered, for a while at least.

So here is where I am at this point.

The objectives will be painted to tie in with the troops, so not much to say there, I just need to lock in a colour scheme for the army as a whole.

 

My original plan; was pinkish, red for the fleshy parts, and purple for robes and wraps, but I’m now thinking it’ll clash too much.

The bone is copious amounts of GW Skeleton Horde Contrast paint. Once dried, I applied a 2nd coat over the areas I wanted a little darker (outer most bone layer and gauntlets on the Brutes mostly).

My plan is for weapons is to go darker, so I’m thinking a thinned coat of Greu contrast over the top of the bone.

I don’t get to paint in purple very often, so I’m still keen to use it, so I may move the purple to the “skin” areas, but that still leaves me with the wrap colour to work out. My 100 Kingdoms uniforms will be a white/green heraldry, so I don’t want to use those. When I get a chance to crack on with my Nords, I’m thinking a lot of black (or VERY dark brown) fur (got to avoid the pitfall of brown, leather, brown and brown), so black is also out for the wraps.

Thoughts very appreciated from you, the community.

 

Thanks for reading. Speak again soon.

Entry 2 - Primed

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 6
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Primed and ready for paintPrimed and ready for paint

Nothing much to say. All Spires models (to date) assembled and primed with Halfords White Primer. It’s a bit cheaper than “hobby primers”, WAY cheaper than GW Contract primers, and takes contrast paints perfectly well.

With the larger, more complex models mounted on their own handles, or on the edges of the wooden sticks I use, I am able to spray “up skirt” if you will to get the underside covered, and can then spray the rest of the model as normal.

The quivers and shields were done in 2 passes. I first stick (to the masking tape) all of them face DOWN, and spray the backs. I then leave this overnight until the paint is properly cured, and then turn them over and spray the fronts. If you turn them over too soon (i.e. when the paint is only touch dry), there is enough grip on the tape to pull the paint off, so be patient.

They are now all ready to begin painting, but there will be a minor delay in this (see my 100 Kingdoms project to more detail).

 

NOTE – The 3 objective pieces for the 100 Kingdoms will be primed with those models. I’m not sure yet it these will be primed white or grey, so I left them out for now.

Entry 1 - Assembly of the 2 Player Starter Set (Spires)

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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Ok, so I decided to get cracking on the Spires first. Of the 3 factions I am putting together for the Path of Conquest (yes, I’m mad).

I still love them, but the Spires are my 4th tier faction… (see “and so it begins for more), so they were the obvious choice for me to start working on first. This would give me a chance to get used to the nature of the plastic (which is good). Every company uses a slightly different recipe, so every companies “hard plastic” behaves slightly differently.

 

I started with the 3D objective markers. I started with the 3D objective markers.

I was least worried about screwing these up, so they were the obvious first thing to build.

I took a few notches out of the side of the bases during clean up as i got used to the “bite point” of the plastic, but this was kind of the plan, so i wasn’t too fussed.

Next up was the 3 Clone Brutes. Next up was the 3 Clone Brutes.

These were far and away the models from the entire range that I was least excited about, and once I got the in my hand, BOY WAS I WRONG. I love these guys now, there is are so many little details tucked away, the multiple head options, the pose-ability of the arms/weapons, the “banners” across the shoulders. In short, I’m going to be adding more Brutes to my force as the Path continues.

NOTE – The middle of the 3 will actually be turned about 30 degrees clockwise in game so his right hand is “cocked” to throw a big punch, whilst his left is up for defence. But the blades are so big, that it hid all the detail for the photo. This is why he’s not looking where he’s going.

The Drones and Pheromancer came next.The Drones and Pheromancer came next.

My only disappointment with the 2 player set (which I was aware of before I bought it), was that it does not come with any command models. From my brief flicks through the rules thus far, I think that pretty much every close combat unit would benefit from a standard bearer and a leader. Clones can’t have the later, but they needed a banner. Banners are far and away the easiest rank and file conversions you can do.

So I removed a spear above and below the “hand”, drilled it out until I could slip a length of brass rod into the hand. I started with a 1mm hole and added about 0.5mm to the size of drill bit each time until I got to a brass rod that wasn’t too thin, but still left some meat on the hand to look like it was actually holding something. I then cut a cross piece from the same rod, and used a needle file to create socket for the 2 parts to site part way into each other (this greatly increases the contact point, and allows the superglue to do it’s thing).

I figured that, like everything else, the banners of the Spires would be grown, not made, so I used a file to scuff up the brass rod, but it wasn’t enough, so I then dabbed on some GW Stirland Mud onto the rod. I left it thin in places, and blobbed it up in others to give a non uniform appearance.

I wasn’t 100% sure what I would add to the pole to make it an actual standard (a flag didn’t feel right to me), but I’d come back to that.

I also added a small cork “rock” to the base, just to bring the standard bearer up to more of a focal point for the unit.

 

The drones them selves are pretty straight forward to build. I stuck the bodies to the centre of the round bases, figuring this would give me plenty of room to find suitable poses, etc. I then added the spear arms to the body, before added the spears themselves (once the poly cement had had a chance to stiffen up a bit).

NOTE – some of the spears are held in the hand pointy side down. This is for the raised arms to make them look like they are either about to chuck them, or are striking over the shields.

I did all 24 at once, so once I got the 24th one done at each stage, the 1st was ready for the next.

I left these over night, and then set to work on the shield arms. After dry fitting a few different shields, to a few different arms, to few different bodies, I could tell that as long as the forearm was horizontal then any of the shields would fit correctly, and be raised of the base by about 1mm (perfect), so I just cranked out all of the shield arms.

I left the shields off, as i will paint these separately and add after with a small dab of superglue. This allows better access to the drones themselves, and the back of the shield.

Finally, I added the heads, looking  across the shields, or down the spear to give the impression they almost know how to fight.

The last photo in this post shows the drone with arms and heads.

The Marksmen Clones were nextThe Marksmen Clones were next

I don’t think I’m going to need these until Step 2 of the path, but I was on a roll, and I had just learnt that as part of my Chemo-therapy, but blood platelet level was likely to drop. Given how prone I am to stabbing myself with a modelling knife, brass rod and or pin vice/drill, I thought best to get as much assembly done as possible before I started the treatment, so on with the clones.

The detail level on these is MUCH higher than on the Drones, who are not much more than bone encased sacks of meat. The Clones have muscle definition, fascial features, clothing, armour, quivers, etc. So the clean up on these was a little more involved, but there is only 12 of them, so…

Being a ranged unit, I didn’t intend to charge with these guys very often, so adding a banner seemed a waste of points, but the leaders reroll works just as well for shooting as it does for stabbing, so he was a must (plus the headdress and held bow are awesome details).

I left the quivers off for now for much the same reason I left the shields off the drones. Plus, I am not yet sure where they will be mounted. I do like the waist mounted quivers (it’s how I learned to shoot my bow), but since these quivers are so long (I think the clones have a draw length of around 4 feet!!!), I’m not sure yet, but I’m on no rush, so I have time to wait.

Not using the standard pieces left me some spares, so I turned my attention back to the Drones standard I was converting.

The banner the Clones have is a bit to complex for the drones IMHO, since it uses fabric, decoration, etc. The Drones are more of a simple is best kind of group. But the web style decoration piece does look grown, so that made the cut.

I then read that the Drone standards actually give off pheromones/spores, so I wanted to go with some sort of census type thing. Two of the spare heads from the Brutes were about the right size, and I figured the Biomancers would be ok with a little recycling, so a couple of dismembered Brute head were attached. I used more Stirland Mud to rough up the back of the heads (where they glue to the Brute bodies) and also cover the joints between the new plastic parts and the banner poles. I plan to use some cushion stuffing, or something similar, to create a whispy smoke-like cloud of pheromones/spores coming from the eye sockets, but this will come post painting. I think I have some of the fungus ball parts from the GW Goblin fanatics kicking around, so these might get used instead, but we’ll see, For now, he’s done too.

I then set to work on the Abomination.

This was done at around 3am, after I couldn’t sleep (did I mention I’m on a lot of meds), so no pics. The PDF assembly instructions on the Para Bellum website are clear enough, so I just dry fitted pieces to check, and then built a few sub-assemblies before bringing them all together.

For those new to the hobby, sub-assemblies in this case meant I built the lower body, the torso, the head, the upper legs, the lower legs, and all the feet separately.

I then dry fitted the torso to the lower body to work out the angle the body needed to be to get the torso where I wanted it (I did NOT glue it yet as the extra weight would mess up the next step). Then glued 1 of the upper legs in place with poly cement, as this allows me to move it around a little until I am happy. I then used SUPERGLUE to attach the next upper leg (diagonally opposite from the first), and added a tiny drop of superglue into the socket of the 1st leg. a quick shot of activator (I’m quite impatiant at 3 am), and I had a model that only needed 1 hand to hold in the rough position I wanted.

I then went back to my poly cemmet for the 3rd and 4th upper legs. Again, once I was happy, a tiny drop of superglue into the socket and he/she/it could “stand”.

I then played around with the lower legs until I was happy. I figured it the ankles joints were all at roughly the same height, I could sort out any minor differences using the various feet options the kit includes (It comes with something like 12 or 16 different feet options).

I was going to use the gripping front feet to have it climbing over a wall, but could make the angles work (next time), so went with the option standing up on it’s toes. I don’t recall which back feet I used, sorry.

I did however change the angle of the front left leg. I brushed on some more poly cement into the joint, then remelting it, and bent the leg forward, raising the ankle and placing the out stretched foot to look like it taking a step. I then glued the other 3 feet to the base. This gives every joint of the legs 2 contact points, which makes the overall piece much stronger and less prone to sagging whilst the cement goes off.

I glued the torso and head on next. There isn’t a huge amount of movement in these pieces, so your options are limited. The “horns” on the side of the head stick out a fair way too, and you need to know where they are.

Finally I added the arms. The shoulder pads and the head horns limit your options hear (hence why you need to have the head in place). I wanted a swiping look to the hands, so just played around until I found a look I was happy with.

Sorry, no pictures of the Abomination being built (as I said, VERY late, tired, dark, didn’t think to come back in the morning, etc).

Finally I added a few rocks to the base, just to break up the big flat area. This is real rock I keep for just such uses, and was simply superglued to look like the Abomination is stepping over them.

 

All assembled and ready to for primerAll assembled and ready to for primer

As you can see, the entire force was then mounted to scrap wood via masking tape. I turn it sticky side up, and use a few scraps on the ends to stick it down. If I need to , I may add a few smaller pieces part way along for added stability.

The abomination is mounted on 3 old Tamiya paint pots via bluetac (postertac I think it’s called in the Colonies). The pots are then held together with a couple of elastic bands. These glass pots give some real weight, making holding larger models easier (I’ll likely mount the Brutes each to a single pot once primed).

I noticed after I put the camera away that the banner (for the Drones) had been left upstairs, so he also got mounted a spare pot, and was primed at the same time.

I then realized I’d totally forgot the Drones shields and the Clones quivers, so off I went again to get more scrap wood and tape.

And so it begins...

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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I have been keeping half an eye on Conquest for about 3 years now, casually observing online articles and casting half an eye on the latest models at the UKGE each year, but about the time GW destroyed the Old World, I decided I was done with army scale games, and moved my time to skirmish games for my hobby time, and boardgames for my gaming time.

My local board game group collapsed a few years ago, freeing up my time to get back into building and painting miniatures on a larger scale, but the old WHFB scar was still sore,so i just painted more skirmish stuff. With a few gentle nudges from friends, recent forays into Age of Sigmar, Flames of War and even the new 40k, started to pick at that old wound, but didn’t quite scratch the itch, or maybe I was looking for something somewhere between skirmish and army scale.

This brings us to the early summer of 2020. Whilst much of that year should only be spoken of in hush tones around campfires, or used as a warning to scare children into eating their sprouts and brushing their teeth, 2 stars did, for me at least, began to align in the bleak night skies.

A dark, ominous, BLACK star ,which we shall name Cancer, and a bright, gleaming, Golden star, we shall name the Path of Conquest.

Suffice to say, between throwing up, sleeping, and medical appointments (chemo and surgery), I have found myself with a relatively open, work free, 6+ months ahead of me. All this at just the time when the Path of Conquest began. I am not a religious man, but that does not mean I am blind to the workings of the unknown. Call it Fate, call it The Force, call it Kharma, call it what you will, regardless, I shall answer the call.

Step 1, was obviously the single most important step… choosing a faction. This is always a tedious process, which forces me to ignore the heart felt pleas of my progeny (Daddy, will you play a game with me? Daddy, can you help we with my homework? Daddy, its been 3 days, can we have something to eat please?)  and spend my time dribbling over picture of models, reading expertly crafted background lore, and watching a backlog of OTT videos on faction lore, playstyle and gameplay.

The Dweghom it is then… yes, the Dweghom is the one faction… i will NOT be collecting. All those flames and stocky armour… no no, not for me.

I must admit, from the teaser art and cavalry model silhouette shown so far, it is the Orcs that call to me the most. Noble savages, finding their feet in a harsh and unforgiving world. But alas they are not yet out, so they shall have to wait.

Next up would be the Nords. I have long had a vision of a band of savage Northsmen, charging into battle, waving banners bearing a strong resemblance to ManOWar album covers. But not being part of the 2p set, would mean a full army of these would cost WAY more than I was prepared to spend at this point.

Now the 100 Kingdoms has a certain appeal, giving off more than a little vibe of my old WHFB Bretonnians than I can ignore, combined with the absolute steal that is the 2 player starter set, my choice was made. So it seems the Noble House of Picard shall ride to war once more.

Then things got complicated.

Upon receiving my 2P starter box and bonus units (thanks OTT Store for your awesome service as ever), I was impressed with the model quality of not only the 100k, but also that of The Spires. The pics don’t, in my opinion, do the Spire models justice. They seem a lot flatter, and lacking character when compared to the other factions, but holding them in my hands changed this opinion. So I tweaked my plan and decided to build both the Spires and The 100 Kingdoms for the Paths event.

The Spires should lend themselves well to contrast, dry brushing and wash techniques, so i can crank them out fairly quickly, allowing me to spend more time on the 100k.

 

Then things got REALLY complicated.

Having now read even more of the background, spent even more time dribbling over photos and watching even more videos… the voices in my head continued to whisper of the Northlands, oft the coming storm, the wrongs done to these noble barbarians of generations past, and the harsh vengeance they would reap. So whilst casually placing an order for some minor additions to my 100k and Spires (too allow me to legally field the 2 bonus units I got with the starter (more on these in Step 2 no doubt), I ACCIDENTALLY added £250 worth of Nords to the basket and didn’t notice until I hit the buy button. I’m on a lot of medication you understand.

So now I will have 3 Paths to follow;

The 100 Kingdoms as planned.

The Spires, just because.

And The Nords, because who doesnt love that Jotnar!?!

 

And so it begins…