Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Friday, November 5, 2021

Re-routing - Preparing the Walnut for Assembly!

Once the various stringers had been laminated together, the next step would be to rout channels in the wood to add the sheets of maple plywood which would make up the structure of the sides, doors, back, and eventually the playing surface as well. How well the whole table went together would depend on getting these steps right, so a lot of planning went into how we'd not only put the channels into the walnut stringers but what tools would be needed. In the photo below you can see not only some of the components of the build, but a finish tester we're using to try and decide on what sort of final finish we're going to use on the project (as it never hurts to look ahead!).

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Custom Gaming Table - Part 2 - Marathon Lamination

Once the legs had been built, it was time to start working on the structural members of the table itself. Each of the sides would require a top and bottom rail to simultaneously enclose the plywood side and serve as a platform for additional internal structures (oooh - foreshadowing). The table also needed four primary beams to span the length of the table forming the top and bottom of the back and the top and bottom rails of the sliding doors. As all of these would need to be relatively thick, we decided rather than trying to get walnut in the right thickness (which would be both expensive and susceptible to warping) we would laminate thinner boards together to provide not only additional strength, but lessen the tendency of the long boards to warp with changes in temperature and moisture.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Getting a Leg Up - First Steps Toward a Gaming Table

With the decision made to go ahead and try to build my own version of the Geek Chic Spartan Table, step one was to reverse engineer the plans and layout of the original as much as possible. The Geek Chic site was down (and has since been taken over by malware cyber-squatters - don't go there!), but some versions of the PDF brochures could still be found along with a few photos and videos posted by the lucky few to actually receive a table. The first decision I made was not to do an exact copy of the Spartan, but rather to make a couple of modifications I thought would make the table more user-friendly. In the original Spartan design, there was a shelf which covered the entire bottom of the table (and essentially served as a key structural piece). This means that no one could sit next to the table itself in a chair as they would either be resting their feet on the maple (bad idea) or would simply have to be back from the table at all times. This would be okay if the rail system was in use 100% of the time with attachments, but as I figured that would most likely not be the case, I decided to push back that cross member to be even with the doors (and the back plate on the opposite side).

Monday, October 11, 2021

Bespoke Gaming Tables - or - What Have I Gotten Myself Into!?!!??

As a card-carrying member of Gen X, I was on the leading edge of roleplaying games and large-scale organized wargames. While miniature wargaming had been around for decades, the genre saw a dramatic increase in popularity during the 1980s and 1990s with the release of Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. As a student in both graduate and undergraduate school, you tended to play your games where ever you could find space: kitchen tables, card (AKA "poker") tables, pretty much anything with an open flat surface was fair game. If you were really lucky you made it to the occasional tournament with modular tables and terrain. Fast forward several years, and gaming as an industry has taken off. Those starving Gen X college students are now often professionals with far more disposable income. So in addition to more games being available, new places to actually play your games started to make it to market.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Random Update and Plans

I'm not dead! No really!

It has been a (long) while since I've posted as there has been quite a bit going on in my life. I transitioned to a new job for the first time in over 20 years earlier this year. The interview process and transition took up a fair amount of my time, which limited time for working on hobbies. My Necron army was also just not holding my attention like I'd hoped, and while I loved the paint jobs on my Skinks, the basing left a lot to be desired in my book. So I've effectively deprioritized both of those armies for the time being. I'm making progress on some additional basing elements for both armies that I think will help eventually move them forward, but on the Necrons I also need to find a way to improve throughput on energy blades.

I've also been indulging in another hobby, which is building effects pedals for my guitar - I have even recently set up a separate blog showing off some of the recent ones I've put together. Given most of the U.S. is still effectively locked down, actually playing 40K or AoS remains an elusive concept, but new effects pedals I can put to immediate use in chasing the sound of some of my guitar heroes.

I'd thought about trying to update my Armies on Parade entry from last year with some of the newer Cult miniatures I'd worked on earlier in the year, but the format is "online" once again this year. Last year's "competition" sort of left a bad taste in my mouth. I'd tried to enter both my son and myself, and I'm not even sure if my entry was accepted even after hundreds of hours of work. Very few of the thousands of entries got a shout out, and there was no Youngblood category. So, I decided to just skip it this year and save my sanity.

That being said I do have a few miniatures projects that are making their way back onto the table. I have several Cult miniatures that I'm hoping to finish up before the end of the year, and I have a new army that I believe I'm going to get to come out visually the way I want it. It will likely be several weeks before they're ready to post, but they will make an appearance here first!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Necron Gandalf - or Kamoteph the Crooked

For this year's Store Anniversary miniatures, Games Workshop had one new Necron for Warhammer 40K and a Stormcast Eternal for Age of Sigmar. I'd thought about picking up one of the Stormcast's for my son, but he seemed ambivalent about it, so I ended up just getting one of the Necrons for my new Necron force. Kamoteph the Crooked is just a vanilla Cryptek with no special rules, which is sort of nice because he will always slot nicely into any Necron army and won't become a "legend" - losing all official support. I really liked the look of the miniature - he's absolutely ancient even by Necron standards and has that whole "get off my lawn" vibe about him.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Genestealer Cult Su-76 Salamander - Done With Only Two Caveats!

I just put the finishing touches on my Chimera Su-76 conversion and I'm extremely happy with how it turned out. The only thing missing at this point is the crew and the radio antenna. I wasn't able to finish up the crew because I'm missing a couple of arms that I need, and I wasn't able to finish up the radio antenna because I can't find my piano wire (and I'm not sacrificing any guitar strings at this point!). So without further ado, on to the photos!

Conversion Corner - The Cult Gets an Su-76-ish! Part 3 - Bringing it All Together

In this third installment of the series covering the Genstealer Cult Su-76, I've essentially gotten most of the vehicle together (sans a couple of the track guards) and it's ready to paint. There's not a lot new on the construction, but I'll point out where I ended up snagging many of the details I used on the kit from. Overall I'm extremely happy with how it came out, and I can't wait to see it painted up!

Conversion Corner - The Cult Gets an Su-76-ish! Part 2 - Fighting Compartment and Gun

In the first installment of this series I detailed assembly of the track units and lower hull of my Chimera Su-76 conversion. In this installment we throw caution to the wind and start building up the fighting compartment. I then move on to the gun which was another entertaining exercise. Since on of the clear defining features of the actual Su-76 is its prominent fenders, I decided to go with the track guards from the Astra Militarum Tank Accessories sprue. The fit on these isn't perfect, and I ended up needing two sets to do what I really wanted to do with the tracks. I ended up sawing off one to create a double row of rivets on both sides.

Plan view of an early Su-76

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Conversion Corner - The Cult Gets an Su-76-ish! Part 1 - Track Units and Hull

If you've been following my growing Genestealer Cult army, you'll be aware that a lot of its background is very much inspired by Soviet Russia in terms of its vehicles, uniforms, and iconography. My local Warhammer store, Warhammer Hillsboro, is having a store Anniversary Conversion Contest. Not being one to pass up an opportunity to stretch my model-building skills, I decided to go through with an idea that I'd had in the back of my mind for a while - convert a Chimera into the Warhammer 40K equivalent of a Second World War Soviet Su-76 self-propelled gun. Although it is now a legend, I figured I could just use the stats for the Salamander Scout Tank with its autocannon main armament and actually field it on the tabletop (along with my old Imperial Armour Salamander once I actually get it done!).

Su-76 on display in Nizhny-Novgorod, Russia

Sunday, March 28, 2021

New Year - New Army Part II - Seraphon!

I'd played a little Warhammer Fantasy Battle back in the day, but never really got a full force painted and eventually all of the miniatures found their way to ebay or other resale organizations. For several years I'd toyed with the idea of revisiting the system, but it wasn't until our visit to Warhammer World in 2019, that I was truly inspired. In the exhibition, the full painted Seraphon range for Warhammer - Age of Sigmar was on display in all its glory. I was drawn to the Seraphon because, well, dinosaurs! Last year I ended up buying a few miniatures (the two "Start Collecting" boxes), but I never made any significant progress on getting them together or painted. Fast forward to Christmas 2020, and my son gets a box of Stormcast Eternals (the Easy to Build Sequitors) as a present and is jazzed enough to start painting them. I had a box of Liberators I'd picked up for another project (watch this space) that I contributed to the cause, so he's now well on his way to creating a small Stormcast army. With him taking the plunge, I figured it was time to get my own army and all of its reptilian goodness going!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

50 Shades of (not Soviet) Green - or - A Tale of Two Necron Overlords

If you've followed my Genestealer Cult army progress, you'll be aware of my joke regarding "50 shades of Soviet green" referring to the various shades of green used by Soviet and later Russian armed forces for their military vehicles from World War II through to the present. Now that I'm working on Necrons, the "shades of green" reference takes on a whole new meaning! If you read my first "New Year, New Army" post back in January, you know I'm working a Szarekhan Dynasty force largely because I really loved the new paints and color schemes. At that time I'd only really finished painting up one warrior, and he wasn't based. I also concluded the entry with these words:
"So that's the next challenge - to start learning how to do those glazes and edge highlighting well enough to generate some decent energy blades... Provided I'm not crying in a corner in the fetal position after that, I should have the basic paint schemes down for the whole force." 

So, guess what I've been fighting with for the past several weeks? However, it's a fight I think I'm finally starting to get the upper hand in!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Converted Genestealer Cult Armies in Warhammer 40K - How Far Down the Rabbit Hole?

Warhammer 40K has always been a creative hobby. While Warhammer 40K is a game, it is a game where the player has to at least build the playing pieces on their own. Most people paint the playing pieces as well (and this step is generally required for major tournaments). However, some players don't stop there, they heavily convert or even scratch-build forces to create a truly unique army. I've frequently posted my converted Astra Militarum forces that I run alongside my Genestealer Cult as a separate Brood Brothers detachment, but why stop at just Astra Militarum?

Sunday, January 3, 2021

New Year, New Army... Necrons!

It's the time of the year when all of the various gaming companies are hoping you'll pick up something new rather than moving on to another hobby or company. Games Workshop is, of course, no exception with their New Year, New Army story where many of the employees from their studio highlight what their plans and projects are for the new year. In my own New Year's post, I indicated that one of my projects for the this year would be necrons, but honestly it is an army I've had a love/hate relationship with for years. In this first "new army" article, I'll go through the army's history, why I haven't done an army until now, my first mostly completed warrior, and where I'm hoping to go from here.

First painted Indomitus Necron - we'll call him "Bob"

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year - Let's Hope This One is Better!

Happy New Year everyone! With 2020 now finally receding into the rear-view mirror I can truly say I'm looking forward to the new year. To say that 2020 did not go to plan and did not live up to my hopes and expectations is an understatement of epic proportions. This has truly been a trying year for everyone. The pandemic has impacted us in ways both large and small. Very little good has come out of it with pain, difficulty, tragedy, and heartbreak being far more common. Above and beyond the pandemic, the United States especially is also suffering from an intense partisan divide which shows no signs of abating any time soon. My greatest hope is that we're able to begin to regain a sense of normalcy as the vaccines roll out and people can begin to resume their normal lives, but we have a long way to go.