Monday, July 25, 2016

Clawed Fiend in one week - part 1

My local GW store has monthly paint competitions and this month's was monsters and mounts. Basically any monster or mounted bike/beast (cavalry?) model, space marine rhino size or smaller. Initially I didn't feel like bothering with it but after going through a few models I found a Finecast Dark Eldar Clawed Friend I had bought a few years back. It doesn't fit into any of my armies but it's such a great model I really wanted to paint it. Unfortunately my current armies always seem to take precedence over fun projects so I forgot about it until I was doing a little cleaning this weekend. In an effort to get more minis painted I figured why not just power through it and get it done for next weekend.

As Finecast goes the model was in pretty good shape, only a handful of small bubbles needed filling and minimal greenstuff work on the arm and leg. I also opted to paint the tail separately, I wanted to use the airbrush as much as possible and I think it would have been in the way a little bit during zenithal highlights.

I built up the base using a single cork and some old GW basing slate then added a layer of Vallejo brown earth to fill gaps and add texture. I finished by sticking a few extra bits of slate into the brown earth to make the base as dynamic as possible. 

I painted the fiend himself using Thunderhawk Blue as a base color, then Incubi Darkness for shadows on the underside and finally Vallejo Light Green Blue for the highlights. The only additional colors were Screamer Pink for the stripes, and Coelia Greenshade over the fur areas of the model.

For his base I painted a foundation of Steel Legion Drab, then a shade of Rhinox Hide on recesses and undersides of rocks, and finally Tau Light Ochre on the top in a mottled pattern, hopefully to keep things looking natural.

Here's the result after day one.

If all goes as planned I'll have a finished model by Friday.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Thunderhawk Gunship Scratchbuild - The Beginning

"A beginning is a very delicate time." - Frank Herbert

After shopping around on the Forge World website I realized I wanted some sort of super heavy to go with my many Imperial Armies. I wanted some big powerful centerpiece and I thought a titan would be awesome but it would have to be at least a Reaver or larger and it's just more than I can rationalize for my hobby budget. I then made the foolish decision to attempt a superheavy scratchbuild project. It was either going to be a titan or a Thunderhawk Gunship, and  after some deep thought and introspection, the latter seemed a lot more of a reasonable prospect for me to actually complete someday.

After digging around in some google searches I stumbled across the infamous Blackadder's Thunderhawk scratchbuild and it really spoke to me. Instead of trying to match Forge World's now somewhat archaic sculpt and dimensions he worked from some very detailed resized digital renderings. These images were much more inline with what I thought the proportions ought to be, and Blackadder is an awe inspiring miniature scale engineer. Having made my decision I dug in and got to work.

I scaled the images down to a size that seemed appropriate to me in terms of overall size. The 3D images I was working from had a much sleeker shape than FW's Thunderhawk with is just too short and stubby for me to be happy with. I think the official model clocks in at 19 inches in length, where mine will measure about 24 inches. The height of the fuselage will probably be a little shorter but it should look less like a shoe box with wings and more of a vaguely plausible flying machine. I had some old foam core floating around the workshop so I used that to build a rough hull matching the dimensions I wanted to go for. In retrospect this created a lot of extra work for me since the foam core I was using was slightly warped. There was a lot of bending and irritating glueing that had to happen to fix this but I've risen above to create a much more fleshed out hull.

My primary source for sheet styrene is from cheap $5 parking signs I purchased from Home Depot, they measure about 20 x 24 inches so you really get a lot for you're money. The only down side being the miscellaneous printing on one side of the sign. I've covered the foam hull with  this budget plasticard and have begun building out some of the structural portions of the hull like the nose, tail, and upper-hull turbolaser mount using only plasticard. It took a little while to collect all the materials I need for this which only cost me about $30 for enough various thickness plasticard to build almost everything but the engines and turbolaser, but now I'm making pretty rapid progress. I'm trying to get the basic hull shape built, then I'll be building the wings and various sub assemblies (engines, landing gear, cockpit, etc) separately and attaching them as I go. I think I'm also going to build the wings to be removable so I'll be able to move this beast around without snapping anything off.

In this last shot you can see how I'm building some of the structural parts of this model. Hopefully I'll have more to post soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

From out of the shadows...the Cult emerges

   I received a copy of Deathwatch Overkill for my birthday from an awesome friend (and blog founder) due to tremendous enthusiasm for GW'S newest release. These models are simply amazing and encapsulate everything I have loved about 40k over the years. So I had to assemble them immediately. Here they are on catwalk style mining world bases.

More progress to come soon...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Getting serious about basing gremlins

Did some work on my Wong crew plus Sammy Lacroix for gremlins. Used a metal bayou base for Sammy and hand snapped popsicle sticks for the others. I used Lightning Blast to quickly adhere plastic to wood and metal and it works like a charm.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Age of Sigmar Comp

               The Warhammer community has been fractured just as much as the Old World and has been flung into the realms of Age of Sigmar. It was quite clear upon its release that AoS felt incomplete and marketed as an entry level tabletop game. The rules were four pages, included a new easy to paint faction, and seemed gutted of tactical game play. This was my initial reaction and I was completely wrong. The synergy and strategy that is incorporated in the warscrolls is very rich and deep. In fact, 8th edition WHFB strategy pales and seems like a gimmick in comparison. The shining key that unlocks this game on a competitive level is a comp/cost system known as Clash Comp or Mo Comp in some areas. You can find it HERE.  I'm also impressed with their companion list building site My hats off to them for an excellent comp system and list building site.  At this point, Clash Comp stands out from the rest and is a great jumping off point for any T.O. I will also be seeking the opinion of this year's Nova Open AoS T.O. and AoS winner of Da Boyz GT in a follow up post. I have a feeling he knows a little bit about AoS(/sarcasm).

            The initial community reaction was as expected, portions of the community feverishly clacked away on their keyboards, exposing the many short comings of AoS. Others in the community saw a system that, by design, was meant to be a frame to expand upon. Instead of poo pooing the clear lack of any army building rules inherent to the system they began creating a comp system of their own to enable list building and competitive play.  I doubt we will see any "advanced rules" from GW in the near future and I'm okay with that. I feel as though a player made "rule set" hearkens back to the golden age of gaming. For many it's our youth. Making your own rules up, changing rules, even designing your own game were all things that a lot of us probably did as a kid. In this respect, all this comp creation is rather exciting for me. But whats that you say? Pick up games are dead, huh? I don't think pick up games were how the majority of the community got games in and even if it is look at comp in Warhammer 40k for example. Players, based on their geographic region usually play a flavor of the game that is supported by the major GT's in their area. For example, west coasters play using the ITC format put out by the Frontline Gaming guys(a lot of people all over the U.S actually play with this format) and east coasters play using the Nova Open format in mind. I'm not saying everyone uses either one or the other. In fact most people play the game how they like to regardless of regional format. I'm just trying to illustrate my point. If major comp systems are prominent in your area then it is quite likely that your pick up game opponent is aware of it. 40k has been undergoing these community comp systems for years now and the sky has not fallen yet. Besides that, GW is a model company... It's best we the players decide exactly how to use our toys anyway!

In a nut shell let's look at some things that Clash Comp addresses in AoS.

-Lack of a points/list building mechanic.

    This is the meat and potatoes of Clash Comp and everyone's main gripe about the AoS rules system. Clash Comp addresses this expertly with a pool choice system. Every unit has a pool cost associated with it. Average unit choices are usually 1, 1.5, or 2 pool choices for a minimum size unit. The most brilliant feature is the list building site It really doesn't get any easier to build your list. In general you select thirty pool choices and deploy twenty of them. 

    -Measuring from the model, "bases don't matter" issues.

    Bases now matter again, you always measure from them and they must be a reasonable size.

    Instead of summoning gone wild you now can opt to deploy less than twenty pool choices and instead summon them onto the table.


       Clash Comp restricts shooting to forty shots allowed on the table per army.                                             
      -Pile in move clarifications

    In a game where close combat is king, it's nice to have clarified pile in rules. 

           The T.O.'s at the Da Boyz GT took Clash Comp and altered it with some of their own house rules, Things like:
    • Armies may consist of units from the same faction(IE: order,chaos,destruction, and death). 
    • Use of quirky "flavor" rules. 
    • Percentile hero/monster selection. 
    Beautiful Venue at Da Boyz GT

    You can find the Da Boyz GT comp HERE.

    Fresh from Da Boyz  I can tell you that AoS is one of my favorite games now. Each game I played at the GT I understood more and more about the immense strategy of the game and by round five I was hooked. My next post I'll be talking Comp again and I hope you all give scroll builder and clash comp a try in the meantime.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Gearing up for AoS and Da Boyz GT

    "You may execute me here today but you will not stop..the Blood Pact. The vilest war hosts have combined in a fetid alliance, Goretide Bloodbound and the Plauge Father's festering horde. They march on the realms, intent on destroying the realmgates and denying Sigmar his glorious Stormhost. They have defiled entire realms and their armies swell to unimaginable numbers. Nothing will stop them. You...will all die."
    -Bajan, Azyrian heretic

                    It's been quite some time since my last post but rest assured the signal goes on. With the change of Fantasy to Age of Sigmar I have been busy reading warscrolls and painting up my army. Got some Nurgle war hounds done recently. I'm ordering some round bases for the whole army so I just painted the bases in the meantime. 

    And here's a blood monkey from a Gorebeast chariot I've been working on. 

         Outside of AoS I've been prepping my army for Da Boyz GT. I'm choosing to take Astra Militarum only because one army per list seems encouraged in the Highlander format. My initial reactions to highlander were varied. I liked the idea of it but was not thrilled with how rigid the 0-1 restriction was, especially playing an army that relied on repetition of units. Scratching my head about how I was going to make them work in Highlander, I realized that they still are able to spam troops and vehicles. The horde list cometh. My currently drafted list has me at 78 infantry models, 5 vehicles, 1 fortification, and 1 flyer. I've been to a few grand tournaments but never with a fully painted army with a display board. That's my goal for Da Boyz and lucky for me most of the infantry models are painted and only a few vehicles remain. I have a feeling this blog is about to get requisitioned by the Guard...

    Friday, September 18, 2015

    My new army: D-99 Elysian Drop Troops

    I recently got a pretty good deal on about 25 Forge World Elysian infantry models and 4 Tauros so I've decided to go all in with an elysian army. I played IG through most of 5th edition 40k and dabbled here and there in 6th edition, but mostly moved on to Grey Knights and Space Marines for 6th and 7th edition. I've had the itch to get back to IG/Astra Militarum for a while but I don't love horde style armies so I've had a little trouble picking how I'd want to play them.

    With my recent Elysian windfall, I've got a great start to an elite fast IG force that plays in a way that will be exciting for me. I've got 2 Valkyries from my existing IG force that are painted to a pretty nice standard, and I think I'll pick up another 2. In addition I've recently placed and order for a Forge World Vulture armed with Punisher cannons and I'm in the process of converting 3 sentinels to look a little more Elysian in design. Overall I'll probably spend a fair bit of cash on the army but I'm excited to try out the D-99 rules and get an Inquisitorial IG force on the board.

    Here's the spread I picked up on the cheap(ish)...

    I did quite a bit of blog and forum scouring to find paint schemes I like that also match my Valkyries and here are my 3 test paints I came up with...

    The model on the far right is just too dark for me, there's not enough contrast between the armor and the fatigues and it's not an interesting enough scheme to work. The model in the middle is the color I wanted to work (Vallejo Sand yellow or something like that), but it just looked way too yellow once I saw a model fully painted. The model on the left is my final decision, it's just enough contrast to look interesting to me but not to heavy handed with the yellow color. Now just the small matter of painting about 40 of these guys. I'll need to purchase about 25 more to have all the special weapons I need. I'm just gonna crank through this project at a fevered pace and try to get them done and really make an effort to not overdo the details on these models. I want to get an army done so I'll be airbrushing base colors and using washes for depth. Let's hope it comes together the way I have it organized in my head...who am I kidding it never does.