Monday, 20 June 2016

Warmachine and Hordes trays from KR Multicase

Note: This was previous hosted on another blogsite and was written earlier in the year, but I'm moving it over to here as I restart using this blog. 
There are a myriad of case and tray manufacturers on the market these days, from the stalwarts like Figures in Comfort or Feldherr, to the more recent but now veteran Battle Foam or KR Multicase and even a few new kids on the block who have found a gap in the market and crowd sourced their funding.
Over the years I have used a few different case options, from the third generation GW cases with their inefficient 4x9 slot trays and unwieldy lunch-box design, blazing the GW brand with its guaranteed demeaning stare attracting ways from joe public, to the Figures in Comfort shoulder case with its unusual Velcro wrap around design that never quite felt it would hold together when full of proper lead soldiers, to my current case of choice KR Multicase.
Full disclosure here, I own a lot of KR Multicases and I know both Daryl Elms (the engineering wizard behind the cases and trays and at least one member of the staff on a personal level). However, before you scream collusion, I was buying KR cases long before I met anyone employed by KR and my recommendations come from personal experience and not bribery. I hope...
One of the things I hear time and again when people are first introduced to KR's tray system is basically "how the hell do you work out what trays you need?". Its true that the range has now grown, with each new game of the month getting its own unique set of trays. Gaming has come a long way since my early days, and with the rise of crowd funding and the reach that the internet has given us, we've never had it better as gamers, but it can all get a bit overwhelming.
A few years ago, Daryl approached Tanelorn, an East London Wargaming club about using our fairly comprehensive collection of Warmachine and Hordes figures to produce a range of trays suited to our bulky models and their full metal ways (oh how I miss those days, but that's for another day).
There is now an ever growing range of WM trays on the KR site, but they are hidden away and somewhat confusing to understand. Therefore, to open this blog up, I decided to put my thoughts and understanding about how the WM trays are best used to (digitital) paper. Hope its of use to some of you new guys and girls out there.
The first thing to understand with the KR system is how the depth relates to the trays. KR cases now come in a few sizes, but the standard KR1 is a fairly average sized gaming tray that holds around 160 "standard" 32mm minis. KR trays will be a variety of depths and sizes, but usually are either half the width of a case, or the full width of a case, and available in 1/4, 1/3 1/2, 2/3 or 3/4 depth depending. There are more options within that, but for our needs today, those are the main sizes we will be looking at.
To fill a case, you just add trays until its full. Simple right? So, if you were planning on putting some 30mm based Mechanithralls in a tray, you could grab the F3H (my most trusted tray) a 1/2 width, 1/3 depth tray with 18 slots that comfortably fits a single 30mm based figure in it.
Three of these trays fits half the capacity of a full case, holding 58 miniatures in their own individual slots. 3 x 1/3 = 1 = the depth of the case.
Anyway, hopefully that gives some idea of how to use the KR system, and as you start to pick up their trays and cases it does become more intuitive. If you are ever at a show where KR exhibit, go talk to them as they will be more than willing to give you a hands on demonstration of the tray system.
We are here to talk WM trays, so lets have a look at the options. Probably the easiest way to view all the WM trays is to go to the KR website and type WM in the search box. This will bring up all the tray designs intended for your Privateer Press miniatures. WM Trays
At the time of writing there are 17 trays in the range (there is no WM15 for some reason, who knows what horrors that would have unleashed on the world had it ever seen the light of day. They are a good mix of specific trays (IE the Colossal ones) and more generic trays that have a couple of uses.
Lets go through each of the trays in turn. The page has a good description of their intended use, but with a bit of imagination, you can find the best fit for your models.
The first few trays were envisioned shortly after the arrival of "Huge Bases", with Colossals, Gargantuans and Battle Engines all sitting on 120mm bases, we'd never seen anything as big as this on the battlefields of Immoren. As such, a range of trays designed to fit them seemed a good idea.
The WM1 and WM4 are designed to fit a Colossal or Gargantuan in fairly comfortably. A KR case is 120mm high, so a Huge Base will fit lying down in these trays.
Both these trays fill half the width of a standard case, and are full depth. As such you can have two per standard case, or treat each of your show-piece miniatures to its own personal transport by putting them in a half width case.
Note that there are optional foam expansions that can be pulled out to match the pose and design of your figure. These trays should work with most, if not all of the Colossal/Gargantuan range, but if you are unsure, give KR a ring or email and they will be happy to help.

Accompanying these two trays, the WM2, WM3, WM5 and WM6 all fit one of the various battle engines in, with some spare space to put accompanying figures, solos or whatever else makes sense for the extra space. KR do a good job of maximising space use in their trays.
Again, these are designed to fill half of your standard case.

The next set of trays was a fantastic addition. I affectionately refer to this tray as the "Gator Tray" as at the time I got my hands on them, I was working on some Blindwater miniatures. These days the trays pull service holding my Banes when I take them away for events.
The WM7, WM8 and WM9 are a 1/3, 1,2 and 2,3 depth half width tray that hold 12 30mm or 40mm based figures. I favour the 1/2 depth WM8, but as ever it comes down to your needs. Two WM8s is half a case and that lets me carry a full Bane Knight unit and a full Bane Thrall unit including its Unit Attachment, with space left for two solos, or perhaps for a Bane Knight UA if one ever appears.

The WM10 and WM11 are again 1/2 width trays (I started using full width trays, but found they were both a little inflexible in terms of options, while being a little too flexible in terms of rigidity, when filled with 40 lead figures, they sagged more than I would like). KR's move to the 1/2 width tray as default was a good one, and almost all of my cases are filled with these as a result.
The WM10 is 1/2 a case in depth for your shorter models, with the WM11 being 2/3 depth for those taller warjacks.
These two trays are good for 50mm based figures, with Cavalry and Heavy Warjacks being the most obvious choice. Again, there are expansion slots on both sides for those pesky lances and held weapons. Fitting eight models to a tray, two of these should meet most of your needs when taking a list or two to events.

The WM12 is not a tray I am familiar with, but it would hold some of your oversized 50mm bases, such as the extreme sculpts well. Its unusual as it fills 1/4 of a tray layer, so you could fit four of these trays to a case layer by the looks of things. I can't think of many KR trays that match this configuration, so I would be a little wary of using this. At the very least, you will need two of them to work alongside the standard tray load-outs.
The WM 13 will hold your 40mm based infantry, warjacks and casters who bring polearms and spears to the table. Man O War are the most obvious beneficiary of the tray, but there are plenty of miniatures in the range that will find a good home here.
The WM14 holds 50mm miniatures in a slightly different configuration to the WM10/11. I am not such a fan of metal figures lying on their sides in trays as it can damage delicate parts, but for the newer PVC and styrene kits, this tray will be absolutely serviceable.
It only holds six models, but again it has the expansion slots for customisation and you can stack two in 1/2 a case, so that gives you room for 12 heavies, enough to make Mortenebra proud.
The WM16 and WM17 are again trays I am not familiar with so I cannot make much in the way of recommendation. They have a good range of slot options, so if you are holding an assorted range of larger figures, this could be worth exploring.
They are 1/3 and 1/2 depth, so you can fit them in with many of the staple trays to give the exact combination of trays you require.

The final tray for today is the newest kid on the block. The WM18 was conceived as the "Press Ganger tray" from what I was told, and is a great tray for holding your battle boxes and smaller "Mangled Metal" style lists. One of these will hold most combinations of two Battle Boxes, so if you are a PG, or like to throw demos for friends, loved ones or random strangers in the streets, this could be the tray for you.
Two of these will fill a 1/2 case, or you could explore the recent range of smaller cases KR put out. Its a great tray that has found its way into my collection as it offers a good amount of flexibility when I need to carry out my PG duties.
So, that's a brief run down of the WM range of trays from KR to date. Hopefully it is of use to some of you. I know dipping your toes into the KR range can be a little daunting, so when in doubt, ask the team at KR.
If you want to drop me a question you can tweet me @J0nW3bb or send a message to my painting studio via Facebook at Sinister Squid Studios.
Thanks for reading, and I will leave you with a short gallery of some of the trays in use, holding my Cryx.

NOTE: Images taken from the KR site and used without permission. No ownership or copyright claim of these images intended. 

Saturday, 6 July 2013

[Personal Work] Cyriss Reflex Servitors

The next models in the army I chose to work on were the Reflex Servitors. These little guys have some interesting rules, with advance deployment, counter charge, pathfinder and dig in, they lurk at the fore of your army and blow themselves up on contact with the enemy.

The models themselves are pretty easy (one part models, something I miss greatly from the MKI days), with little major clean up. There are a few things to bear in mind when building these (and all other servitors, as well as anything else that PP may chose to put on their new flight stands in the future). 

Firstly, much like with GW's stands, the socket designed to accommodate the tip of the stand is not really fit for purpose. You will not get a decent connection and your models will keep breaking off the stand if you don't take some steps. Grab a large drill bit (I use one from an electric drill I use to build my scenery and tables). Use this to bore out a large, deep socket that fully encloses the top of the flight stand. This should lightly grip the model to make sure your connection is tight.

The next thing to bear in mind is that the flight stand is designed to fit in to the standard bases, which have an off center slot. If you look at the tab on the flight stand, you will notice that it does not cit central to the piece. Make sure you get it glued in the right way round to keep the stand central, or else your servitors will be flying very off centre.

The final issue I had was that the flight stands are made of a fairly "greasy" plastic which does not really take to superglue very well at all. I ended up using a combination of the depth of the sockets I drilled, and a small blob of blu tac (green stuff would be better but I didn't have any mixed and the blu tac was by my light). This will react oddly with the super glue and cause it to go off slightly and set faster. I do not advise doing this on most minis (though some swear by the trick) as it gives a weaker bond, but for a piece like this it helps set the glue slightly, allowing you to leave it to one side to properly bond while you work on other things.

You can see on the finished assembly, I pre based the model, as well as undercoated it as a whole, meaning the flight stand is not clear. Ultimately I am not too bothered about see through parts, and this army will not be a display/comp piece, so I want to make it as quick and painless as possible.  Again, for a comp piece, I would have a very different method, but I want these guys on the table and painted ASAP.

In terms of painting, I chose to stick to the studio scheme. I don't tend to do this, and had visions of a khaki/weathered army. Ultimately, speed over ruled creativity, and I can drybrush metal when I have to.

The full six were painted from undercoat to finished in one sitting (I broke for lunch in the middle) and I think they took about three hours total. So thirty mins per ball, which isn't  too bad. I have plenty more models to paint and really can't make this a major endevour . Overall I think they look fine on the table and the quicker I can get these done, the more time I can spend on the more important parts like the casters and the Prime Axiom.

I used the paint guide in the Cyriss book, but used washing and layering with some drybrushing to keep it quick and dirty. I will be blending on the casters as they will be the focus of the army, but for the rank and file I don't think they need it.

Hopefully there is some useful information that you can use in building and painting your Cyriss. Next up will some Angels I think.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

[Event report] Lock and Load photodump 1

I didn't take as many photos as I had hoped at the event, and my attempts to get the cabinets are terrible (and others got photos elsewhere, so I am sure you have seen it all by now).

Here is the first of two photodumps of the 2013 Lock and Load, mainly focussing on terrain ideas I want to steal.

[Personal Work] Convergence of Cyriss - Light Vectors

I thought I would start out my chronicle of the building and painting of my Convergence with some of the jacks. The main draw of this force (for me at least) is the chance to run far more jack heavy than I would in my usual warmachine games.

I started with the light vectors as there would be no magnetising needed. Due to the way PP sell their light kits, you don't end up with multiple weapons configurations per box, so there would be no need to make any combi-jacks.

Opening up the five kits I had aquired, I was faced with a mess of parts (only three of the kits are shown here).

Each vector has the same core chassis, three legs, a lower and upper chassis and enough knee pads to cover their modesty. The slight difference comes with the Mitigator and Diffuser, which use the small round plug to attach the arms, and the Galvinizer which instead has those arms plug into its head unit.

I had decided to abandon my plans of clever colour schemes and top end painting as I want to get the army on the table as quickly as possible. As such I have resigned myself to the studio scheme (something I rarely do) and am not doing as thorough a clean up job as I normally would (just as well as restic/hard plastic/spruless plastic continues to be a pain to properly clean up).

Just as well as I found all five of the kits had suffered the same miscast on the lower chassis. Each one has three engine block details , and one of these had been blown out in molding in each case.

In terms of building, there is nothing too drastic to worry about with the kit. The only issue I had was that there are two leg designs with the kit, one of which is extended straighter. I found that upon assembling the mini, I was left with a very lopsided jack, with one longer leg, leaving the other two feet floating.

I decided to mitigate this by matching up identical legs where possible (on of the benefits of buying on masse I suppose), which left me four jacks standing properly, and one that will need a small rock to prop up his one smaller leg.

Having messed around with the heavies, I found similar issues, and this may well have been dealt with by heating up the legs and reposing. Certainly this was necessary with the heavy I have assembled so far.  Its not the end of the world, but something to keep in mind when building your vectors.

As previously mentioned, the Galvinizer, with his buzz saw arm, assembles slightly differently to his fellows, with his arms in his head, and the connection points at his waist cleverly serving double duty as "glowy bits".

I pinned the guns of the other two jacks onto the chassis for extra stablity. The connection point is fairly small, and I get impatient waiting for superglue to dry, so a quick pin (drilling into plastic is as easy as it gets), saved my patience and let me crack on.

The only other thing to pay close attention to is that there are two different knee pads to match the two leg designs. The only difference is in the connection socket on the back of the part, so pay close attention. I shaved all the plugs down anyway to get the parts as tight to the leg as possible, but if you are going for a stock assembly its worth keeping in mind.

I will return to update this post with the final jacks once I get some decent pics.

Till next time, where we look at some servitors.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

[Commission] Viktoria Avatar.

The Convergence construction marathon has begun, and Restic (or sprue-less plastic, or utter crap as I like to call it) is still a thing.

In the interim, I finished up a commission that I started before I left for the states.

These are the Viktoria avatars from Wyrd's Malifaux range. Good fun to paint and having two similar models in the same scheme (one is sort of the evil deamon twin of the other) made for fun.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

[Personal Work] A convergence is coming.

Yup, I bought in to the shiny new faction. Though what I am planning is not so shiny (not using metals as the main colours I think).

I'm going to try to do some step by step stuff for this as damn these kits are pretty hectic, so hopefully the blog will become a resource of more than just ego stroking for a while (but don't worry, that will still take place too ;) )

First up, the group shot.

I picked up everything that was available at the event, ending up with the following:

2x Battlebox (for the lights)
2x Heavy Kit (for magnetising)
Prime Axiom
3x Angels
2x all four servitors
2x Token Set

So a pretty decent starting point for the faction (though I would have preferred a few more infantry to get us going, as good as the Axiom is).

Hopefully I can get things glued together over the next few days. This is going to be a gaming army not a display army so don't expect too much from it.

First up I think we shall tackle the light jacks.

[Personal Work] P3 results are in.

Its been a while since I posted as I was working on something for the 2013 P3 competition at Lock and Load. This ended up taking up a lot of time and I didn't paint much else.

In the end I managed to secure a silver for the model (as well as a silver for my Revenant cannon which is on the blog if you want to check it out). I'd hoped to progress to a gold, but was just off the mark. I got a lot of good feedback from Meg and Matt and  have lots of stuff to focus on this year in hope that I can return to the States in 2014 to try again.

If nothing else this model is much brighter and more contrasty than anything I have painted, so that's progress.

It almost makes me think about painting a Troll army... almost.

So, here he is, Krump of the Hunters Grim.