Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the Table p.4: The Protectorate of sorts

This is an entirely new direction for me, and I feel no shame in admitting that I have arrived at Warmachine belatedly (maybe some small embarrassment, but I have legitimate excuses).

I am slowly-slowly -slowly warming to the fluff as much as the actual game system, and will confess freely that I was as nervous about one as I was the other. I am not yet "there" with the grand narrative, but Frozen Joe has spent a considerable amount of time and energy illuminating these matters in recent weeks and, well, he convinced me to try my hand at it --that, and a free starter-set from the AdeptiCon swag bag --that, and the fact it is plastic (well played, PP. I am here to tell you that your evil scheme is working. I adore plastic).

Until Saturday, I had only ever made the odd half-hearted “attempt” to drag myself along to the Warmachine table, but that alone marks the primary and seemingly most important distinction from this facet of hobby to my entry into that other game system you have seen across these pages –I never had to try with 40K. It was like an event horizon upon which I was inevitably drawn may years ago. I have since been rewarded with layer after layer of wonder, complexity, and depth, and I could only hope for the same again... and it eluded me initially. I admit. I was skeptical. 

Perhaps the comparison is unfair… but it is also unavoidable. I have invested countless hours in the grim dark future over the years, and this has lent a kind of inertia to the hobby for me. 

So, we shall see. The start is promising. Joe was kind enough to walk Chris and I through a few starter games on Saturday... and they were cracking fun. In fact, I think it fair to say that, in the span of one afternoon, I went from interested in a  purely pedestrian sense of the word, to excited, to enthusiastic, to tremendously chuffed about Warhmachine. Such dramatic apostasy. How appropriate (...more on those games first games in a future post). 

For now, I simply cannot wait to get to grips with the starter set. I was actually given Cryx in my swag, but Chris, whom Joe has also corralled into this grand experiment, had a much stronger feeling for the creepy critters, and so I swapped quite gladly (as I had none in particular at the time). I am told that the Protectorate is teeming with misguided zealotry, so I should not have too much trouble biting into that fluff. So far. So good (see: apostasy). 

I have also marked this occasion to dip an ambitious toe into those Game Color paints that I purchased so long ago and have yet to genuinely meddle. 

I am (perhaps predictably) keen to paint all those hulking monstrosities. After all, I am extremely fond of painting metals; however, this particular individual (Kreoss -whom I do not yet fully understand and whose proscribed colors I only glimpsed on the box, then immediately ignored) was the easiest to assemble and thus earned the privilege of test model. It is  a dubious honor, but I hope not to disappoint.

Having said that, I am disappointed. I do not love what I have done with him. In fact, I was really quite proud (a sure sign of impending disaster), and congratulated myself repeatedly while working for my willingness to dabble new materials, to boldly find new colors, to explore new combination to expand my personal hobby boundaries, etc. Then my eyes caught this old curmudgeon sulking in the corner of my bookshelf next to the Space Hulk gear. 


There are quite a few years between these two models, but there can be no mistaking that I inadvertently brought myself directly back into my own comfort zone ...while making a deliberate effort to avoid doing so. That is bad. The test mini shows it.

Still, I will not be deterred and hope to find bigger and better things with this range as soon as I get my head out... 

He has already started his Soylent Green bath, but never fear; you will be seeing more of him soon enough.  

A final note on PP plastic: so far, I have found it significantly less obedient than that of the GW variety. Joe described it as resiny-plastic, and I have to agree with his assessment... but how is that possible? Moreover, the bigger models (Jacks) are rather delicate in parts and require a bit of modeling finesse despite being rich in vitamin plastic. Is there a trick that I am missing? Come, Internets. Tell me everything. 


Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

I for one really do not like the PP plastic. It is much more difficult and therefor time consuming to trim/clean, it is extremely prone to bending during shipping, and I find it to be a bit more fragile than I am used to. In addition to all of that they offer little to no customization. The infantry I bought came pre-packaged in sealed little bags, and the parts in each bag only fit the model in the bag. This is great for a beginner but a bit of a let down for an experienced gamer.

The cleaning and the bending part are the most frustrating. The plastic was not very responsive to filing so I had to basically cut off any mold lines and flash being extra careful to not gouge out the plastic. In addition several of the warriors in the unit I bought were obviously built for urban fighting as there swords were more than capable of attacking at 90% angles if you get my drift.

Rkik said...

The PP plastic is definitely more like a resin than the plastic GW uses. I actually just assembled the Menoth starter set this last weekend and I had to fix a bent halberd and Kreoss' staff.

To fix the warped stuff, I found that dipping the part in some very hot water (not quite boiling) was enough to soften it up so it could be bent back to normal. Just dip it in for a few seconds, straighten it out and then run it under cold water. Perfectly straight after that.

I definitely prefer the new plastic kits to PP's old metal stuff. I have an old Menoth warjack and there was absolutely zero opportunities for different poses. The new plastic warjacks are much more poseable with the ball joint arms.

As for the colors, I really liked the greeny metal on the Kreoss. Personally I'm going with the standard color scheme, but trying to stay away from the gold.

The Inner Geek said...

My limited experience with the PP Plastic, or P cubed, is that it's not true plastic. I'm pretty sure it's a close cousin to resin and I believe that is the reason they get some of the casts they do out of it. That said it is a hard and un-fun resin. The best resin comes from kit piraters in Hong Kong. If they did Forge World I'd be hard pressed not to buy the knock-offs, not because of price but because the resin would be so much better!

Anyway, good luck on your foray into Warmachine... traitor. I have a small Retribution of Scyrah force... and yes I probably spelled that wrong. Angry Elf literacy is, luckily, not a prerequisite to painting their troops.

Brian said...

@ MM (every store needs one). For as enthusiastic as I was about the idea of working with these plastic models, I have deflated considerably in recent days. I plan on making a post about this soon, but I have come to agree with you, point for point (from customization to filing issues).

@ Rkik. That's a good tip on the warped material. Thanks.

Funnily enough, I have rethought the dominance of these greened metals in favor of a more standard color variety. The green is still there to some extent, just further back... Stay tuned for more.

@ The Inner Geek. The slogan should be "free plastic begets heresy" -excepting that I agree with you. This is much more like resin than anything else. So far, I am torn.

BigPaul1e said...

The PP plastics aren't casting resin, but they're closer to polyvinyl chloride (think PVC pipe) than they are to GW plastics (polystyrene). They do take some getting used to working with, but I think the harder plastic will actually be an advantage in the long run. A friend & I were actually considering trying plumber's PVC cement on some models, but it would leave VERY little room for error...

Von said...

...I inadvertently brought myself directly back into my own comfort zone ...while making a deliberate effort to avoid doing so. That is bad.

Would you mind quantifying that assertion?

You produced a good paintjob. It looked like something you had already done and employed similar techniques. I do not see how this is automatically a Bad Thing.

beat ronin said...

That genestealer magus is a great model, and you gave it a great paintjob I have to say.

I get what you're saying though, it's frustrating when you think you've learned something new and it turns out you haven't. Why not look at it like this: It's not that you've backtracked, it's that you have a personal style when it comes to colour choice. Adding new strings to your bow is all well and good, but in the end it's still your bow.