Friday, June 29, 2012

Drawing for Alien War Miniatures

Just a quick heads-up... this week's drawing in the Black Crusade 2012 charity project is a set of UAMC Marines and alien bugs from Defiance Games. Contribute to the project (link at left) and you will be entered into all these weekly drawings, as well as the big army giveaway in early August.

I haven't played Alien War, but the miniatures look like great fun. The beta rules are freely downloadable on their site.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Dice Catch Up To Feora

Warmachine happy fun lunch time mini battle report!

Khador was feeling low. Gorman di Wulfe had almost single-handedly thwarted their strike force, first by lobbing an acid grenade that killed most of an Iron Fang Pikemen unit, then by repeatedly blinding The Butcher's only warjack, a Juggernaut. Feora kept lurking Kayazy assassins at bay with her wall of flame until she could get close enough to feat nearly all of them to ashes.

Finally it was just The Butcher, the Kayazy boss, a Repenter, Reckoner, choir, Gorman and Feora. Things were looking good for the Protectorate. The Reckoner had just trashed the Juggernaut, and was in turn reduced to scrap by the Butcher on his feat turn. Gorman stepped up and acid bombed the Kayazy boss, but the grenade fell a little short and caught both of them, killing Gorman and his target. The Repenter, no longer blocked by the Kayazy boss, used his charge lane to charge the Butcher, doing about 1/3 damage. The Butcher returned the favor by scapping the Repenter. Lola is not to be trifled with.

It came down to this. The Butcher, buffed with Iron Flesh for an impressive 17 DEF and enough focus on him to have equivalent 21 ARM stood alone against Feora and the choir. The choir charged, hoping to score a lucky damage point or two. Needed 12 to hit, none did. Feora powered up with Engine of Destruction and charged. With her MAT buff, she needed 7 to hit. If she could pull off 11 more damage, the Butcher would be dead.

The charge roll: MISS
Second initial attack: MISS
Focus for a third attack: MISS
Focus for a fourth attack: MISS
Focus for a fifth attack: HIT ... damage roll of 7 for a total of 3 damage.
Focus for a sixth attack: HIT ... damage roll of 6 for a total of 2 damage.

The onslaught subsided, the Butcher hefted Lola and in two swings ended Feora.

40k: BFF Matrix

Just a few thoughts on the allies chart that is making the blog rounds... The chart breaks down who will fight with whom at what level of cooperation. I do not know if there are specific rules yet for each level of alliance.

Nids don't play well with others. We get it. Rarrr, we eat you.

Who would have guessed that Tau were so friendly? They are battle brothers with Eldar and Space Marines and allies of convenience with just about everyone else. They'll even fight with Chaos Daemons, Dark Eldar and SoB in a pinch. Time for a 30" S5 gunline / Khorne Berzerker army.

Grey Knights aren't as uptight as they seem at first glance either. Sure, they won't fight alongside Chaos... that's sort of their thing... but they are cool with everyone else, including (but grudgingly) Orks and Dark Eldar.) But not nids. Rarrr, we eat you.

Eldar will not ally with any chaos (makes sense) or Necrons (nobody likes to be out-anciented) but they are buddies with Tau. Maybe Tau are easy to manipulate.

Maybe I'm not up on Dark Eldar fluff, but the idea of a Slaaneshi Daemon list with Dark Eldar seems odd. (Or is it? Aren't they a little miffed about "The Fall" as well?)

Imperial Guard are cool with every Space Marine variety, but only work with SoB or GK about as well as they work with Orks, Tau or any Chaos. Adjusting for the Terra-Fan-Club effect they are almost as friendly as Tau.

A little additional reading indicates that there is some new fluff that suggests that Tau are the only race unable to succumb to the taint of chaos. Everybody loves fish-heads now. Why do I think this will lead to a new Tau book in the fairly near future? We need S5 gunlines now! Sell them to us! Let us use both marker-lights and "guide" on them!

And to anyone who converted a corrupted Tau army or something, too bad for you.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Day Paint Job: Paladin of the Wall

As much as I've held off on this guy hoping to really do the sculpt justice, in the end he was relegated to the One Day Paint Job experiment. He is also the last solo from Warmachine: Prime that needed painting. (I have an alt sculpt Paladin, so I suppose you could say I have one to go...)

He can sacrifice his movement or action to
assume the "thick paint" stance.

I can't really say my heart was in it today. I spent a good deal of time on Lucius for Black Crusade, and painting this guy felt more like work than play. All the same, he's done and can be fielded in lunch battles. As much as I roll my eyes when people claim their model looks better in person than in a photo, this pic really washes out all the contrast in both the red and white. Oh well! My prediction is that he will have the perfect charge lane to the enemy warcaster, make a beautiful charge that is almost exactly his threat range, then completely whiff the attack roll. When your model's entire usefulness comes down to one roll, I routinely miss that roll. (Of course in the last game v. Brian, I did not miss once the entire game. The Law of Averages was loving me that day.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Black Crusade 2012 Lucius WIP 2

I am motivated to get as much done as possible on Lucius before the unit of Noise Marines I will be painting arrives, so here is more WIP.
The faces are my beloved Tallarn Flesh (sniff) with my new favorite highlight mixer VMC Ivory, shaded with 50/50 Tallarn/dark flesh. One surprising realization lately is that my bottle of VGC black is glossy (or at least satin.) Trying to paint black details under strong light is nearly impossible, since the black reflects the light back at me. I need to put the bottle in the shaker for a minute or two to make sure it hasn't just settled funny, but I have a bottle of VMC black to try as well, since VMC has both a black and a glossy black. Here's hoping the non-glossy black is actually flat.

Black Crusade 2012 Contribution WIP 1

I am contributing to this year's charity army build, a link to which is located in the left column currently. Contributing something early gives you chances at lots of weekly swag drawings.

Here is the first night progress on Lucius the Eternal. I decided to go with something a little more flesh-like than the clown face of the GW studio model. This is elf flesh highlighted up with VMC ivory and dark flesh for the (what are they, scratches? scars?) and mixed in for shading.
Once again, photography excels at showing every flaw. I might need to get out the magnifying headset to get some real precision.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Finecast Eldrad ... or is he?

I acquired my first Finecast model recently, Eldar farseer Eldrad. I painted a metal Eldrad previously for a commission, and figured I'd like one for my own (completely unpainted, practically unassembled) Eldar army. Of course, after reading the many stories of "Failcast" I gave him a careful inspection upon arrival.

Let's take a look, shall we?

Overall, not bad at all. The flaws indicated are mostly just small bubbles that can be easily filled. Some are on edges, so a bit more cunning will be required to make them smooth. The wrist issue is an incomplete bracelet that might be little tricky to correct, especially since the mold seems to have been slight off there. The sword will be the biggest problem. There is a lot more resin there than there should be, and figuring out exactly what to remove will be difficult. The right foot also has some extra resin chunk on it that will require me to cut it back down to foot shape. Easy enough.

On the back, he fared quite a bit better. The little horn on the sword is more evident on the back, which will allow me to recreate the correct shape. There is also some bending to some of the components, but nothing I haven't seen in forgeworld products and that can't be corrected by a little hot water.

So my verdict: NOT FAIL!

Glory Days of the Size 1 W&N

I've been having trouble doing detail work with anything bigger than a 000 lately. I found it odd that I just couldn't get the paint control out of anything larger anymore. Then, perusing a prior post on my blog, I came across this picture:

Hold the phone...
Let's take a close look there, shall we?

Hello, beautiful!
There it is, my W&N Series 7 size 1 brush, in all its new glory. I loved that brush. There was nothing it couldn't do.

Fast forward to now, and I look at that same brush again.

The thrill is gone, baby.
What happened to my poor brush?! What sort of abuse have I visited upon that brush to bring it to such a sorry state. These brushes are supposed to last for years, and I maybe got two years out of this one. I thought I had cleaned it often and adequately, so maybe this is just the natural decay over time.

Looks like someone needs to buy a new brush.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Glory to the Protectorate! Also, doodles.

The beautifully painted Protectorate of Menoth was victorious today against the merely primed aggressors from Cygar. Without realizing it, Brian and I had both chosen armies completely from Warmachine: Prime.

Sit, children, as the tale unfolds.

Fearless, the two adversaries charged across the battlefield. "Weren't there only two buildings and a nondescript lake/woods placeholder in prior weeks?" one choir member asked. His unit commander glared harshly. The terrain quality was not to be discussed.

I want whatever is growing on those hills for my lawn

First blood! As the forces neared, Eiryss ran to get in a good position to disrupt some 'jacks. Fearing the havoc she could cause and unable to hit her directly, Severius cast Ashes to Ashes on the Charger positioned near her. Eiryss was consumed in the boosted secondary fire damage. Haley responded by arcing chain lightning through the Repenter into Herne, Jonne and a choir member. Herne succumbed to the jolt entirely, while Jonne easily weathered the abuse. The choir member vanished in a puff of black dust. The Charger popped another choir member, bringing their number to two. The remaining choir, panicked by their high mortality rate, looked to Severius for courage. (I rolled a 9 for the command check, one more than the choir leader's CMD but matching Sevvy's CMD. Good thing all warcasters have the commander advantage!)

apparently, mercs die first

 The Cygnaran battle group had placed themselves in poor position, opening charge lanes for the Protectorate 'jacks. The choir sang their battle hymn, and the Eye of Menoth shown on the Repenter and Crusader as they charged the Lancer, scrapping it. The Revenger, ignoring the Charger on the hill, charged the Ironclad hiding behind the oil drums. The Ironclad was seriously damaged, but still intact. Severius stepped forward and invoked his Divine Might feat, so that Haley would receive no focus the next turn.

After dealing with Khador armor, damaging
Cygnar 'jacks is like stepping on puppies.

In an attempt to recover from this serious disadvantage, Haley stepped up, popped her feat and took two shots at Severius. The lack of focus hindered her greatly and both shots missed. The Charger shot twice and managed to knock Severius down to 5 of his 16 health. Slightly better rolls and Cygnar would have won the day.

Severius almost lost in the classic fashion... putting
himself too close to the action. Hang back, old man.
The Crusader stepped over to finish off the Ironclad, freeing the Revenger to advance and attack Haley. Two halberd attacks ended the Cygnar warcaster. Victory!

By The Decree of HR

Today's gem of wisdom comes from a sign posted on the wall within the HR building here. The medium is laser print toner on 8.5"x11" copy paper. The font is Arial.

I wonder if this is indicative of how they feel about the employees.


Bonus Content! Gas Station Correction!

Waaay back in the day, I was a bit exasperated about this little gem at a nearby establishment:

I went back recently and discovered the instructions had been changed for the better.

The only obvious conclusion is that someone in their corporate office reads this blog and has reacted accordingly.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ma.K "Gustav" 1/35 ... Kill the Shine!

Getting close to being done on the Maschinen Krieger fighting suit "Gustav" on a little decorative base. I'm pretty much just looking for errors to fix before I display it at The Model Cave. I tried putting the canopy on, and the shine is driving me nuts. I'll have to ask the local hobby store owner if that can be removed. My searches yield lots of people trying to make the canopy glossy, but not how to remove the shine. I find it distracting. I painted a targeting reticle to the inside of the canopy, which was easier than expected. I began by painting the basic shape of the reticle with VGC livery green, then took a piece of sprue cut to a point to scrape the lines down very thin. The sprue scraping the canopy did not leave scratches, but removed the paint nicely.

The base is cork and rocky sand, with photo etched brass barbed wire and maple leaves. I painted the leaves on the sprue, then cut and applied them to the base before touching up the cut points (which shine like crazy.) Photographing this thing turned out much more difficult than expected. At least for these first attempts, nothing seemed to work well.

One Day Paint Job: Herne and Jonne

I should probably start a series of posts on this. Way back when, I'd give my warcasters a punitive one day paint job when they lost a game. Feora and The High Reclaimer each got one (and HR isn't that bad.) Now that I have resolved to not field any unpainted models at lunch battles, I find myself using typical tabletop techniques to get models painted as efficiently as possible so I can field them.

Like these two. I painted Jonne's (the big guy) face and arms a few days ago. Everything else on him, and everything on Herne, was done yesterday.
the Green Pants Syndicate
This was mostly an exercise in "color in the lines" along with some washes and a small bit of dry-brushing. They definitely have that "good from afar, but far from good" vibe going on. I did have a little fun with lenses though. Yes, I know the reflection angles are wonky.

This completes the mercenaries that will work for the Protectorate from Warmachine: Prime. Now I just need to work on those units...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Busy Shelf Update

Another snapshot of the busy hobby shelf, littered with old and new projects.
Front and center is a Maschinen Krieger (Ma.K) "Gustav" fighting suit, 1/35 scale. That's about 54mm scale to our kind. I still need to weather the arms and shoulders, but it's coming along nicely. The decidedly forward lean is because he's on a pin and not in final glued position. There's a clear canopy that goes on as well, but I'm debating whether to use that or not. I'm rather fond of the base, which uses photo etched brass maple leaves and barbed wire.

Just to his right is a newly painted Gutter Runner for my Skaven Blood Bowl team. To his left is the recently completed Slayer for the Dwarf team. Behind the Gutter Runner is the perennially incomplete stained glass Avatar of Menoth, making me sad. Now that I've decided to paint the models in book order, he's got a ways to go.

Also seen, a Rackham something or other, a Skull Pass Lord/Thane (primed), a very old Skaven (possibly HeroQuest) missing his weapon and a sheep that one of my daughters made from Sculpey.

Not pictured, Herne and Jonne. They are somewhere right of the Avatar and now partially painted.

TL;DR Bonus Content: I am contributing to Black Crusade 2012, the charity army build done by the same folks who brought you Storm Wardens and Heroes of Armageddon. I have a special character and a specialized unit to paint. Contribute now to maximize your chances of winning the drawings held along the way. My Malifaux crew is based with swag I won from Secret Weapon miniatures in one of those drawings.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Some Original Lead

Much like today, 2/3 remain unpainted
 Back when I was a lad into D&D and what-not, miniatures held a fascination for me. For the life of me, I don't remember where I used to buy them though. The local drug store (!) sold D&D and gaming stuff, so I suppose I could have picked these up at Uber's Drugs in Brighton, MI. Take that, search engines.

The leftmost fellow is a Ral Partha 01-099 "Armoured Giant mounted on War Elephant" from 1979. Oddly, most of the references I see for this one are catalogs from 1983 or so. The middle guy is Citadel's FTT4 "Troll in Chainmail with Scimitar." He is carrying a bound woman over his left shoulder. Looking at all the models in that sub-range, someone clearly had to sculpt a lot of troll wang. The base of the troll has this mysterious lower case 'a' on it. The top of the troll's base clearly reads "Citadel" and then something that might be "ATM". It was sculpted by Tom Meier, so I suppose that makes sense.

Troll and Giant's bases

top of Troll's base... "Citadel ATM"?

The rightmost fellow is a bit of a mystery. The top of his base is sculpted like a stone floor. The bottom has only "MP" inscribed. Something deep in my brain wants to call him an ogre. Anyone recognize him?

Blood Bowl Slayers

That's it. Team is now has maximum Slayers.
Here are the Slayers for my rapidly expanding Dwarf Blood Bowl team. For a camera snapshot edited in picasaweb, the photo isn't half bad. There's still some shine on the left one that Dullcote didn't take care of. I may need to brush on some matte later. Also, I pretty much hate the right one's foot on the ground. I should have filed away some to fix the fact that his little toe and big toe are about the same size.

These fellows were both eBay rehabilitations.

Battle for Skull Pass Slayer Lord

2006 Games Day Daemon Slayer

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blood Bowl Slayer WIP 2

This fellow got some work tonight. The skintone is interesting. I used Vallejo Game Color heavy skintone from their extra opaque line, basically their answer to GW foundation paints (just in time for GW to change absolutely everything, thank you very much.) The color is different than the color I thought they would be emulating, Tallarn Flesh, and is quite a bit colder in tone. I mixed VMC ivory in for highlights, so still pretty cold. Hey at least it wasn't white.

He's mighty pleased about something.
The team colors are blue and yellow. The figure has so much gold on it that adding yellow anywhere would seem redundant. Instead, I went for blue trousers and a blue stripe in the hair, both based on VGC extra opaque heavy blue. It's very much like Mordian Blue. The gold jewelry is currently basecoated VGC scrofulous brown. Gold metallics look so much better over a similar solid base color. I mixed a tiny bit of black into the s.brown to hit the channels in the medallions. I don't typically use black to shade (and neither should you!) but it seemed like a good choice at the time.

Once this guy is complete I will have 4 models painted and another 4 based and primed. The Skaven team all have flesh color basecoated, but only one model has a full paint job. I watch eBay for Dwarf or Skaven Blood Bowl figs, and I'm really shocked at how much they go for, especially the older Skaven. I'd love to get one of those old throwers holding the ball low and pointing, but all the lots with a fig like that have gone for $75 or so. Granted there were 10-15 figs per lot, but that's the one I really have my eye on. Deathrollers seem to be in high demand as well. I'll probably just scratch build one since that sounds like a fun project.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Warmachine: Completing Prime After 10 Years?

It's been 10 years since Warmachine: Prime was released. I started playing about 2005, shortly after the  release of Apotheosis. In honor of this auspicious decade of aggressive page 5ers beating my head in, I will audit just how well I've done at getting a set of Prime models for my faction, including any mercenaries who will work for them.

a portion of the army I keep at work for lunch battles... it's grown since this picture was taken

The High Reclaimer - fully painted!
High Exemplar Kreoss - fully painted!
Grand Scrutator Severius - fully painted!

Redeemer - fully painted!
Repenter - fully painted! 
Revenger - fully painted!
Crusader - fully painted!
Vanquisher - assembled

Choir of Menoth - 4 model squad fully painted!
Deliverers - 10 model squad primed
Holy Zealots - 10 model squad primed
Knights Exemplar - 6 model squad primed
Temple Flameguard - 6 model squad primed

Paladin of the Wall - partially painted

Herne & Jonne - purchased
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios - fully painted!

So, I at least own everything from Prime, and have assembled almost all of it. I have even painted all the casters and most of the jacks. Where I fall behind seems to be the infantry units. Considering we are playing mostly 15 point lunch hour games, that's not terribly surprising.

...and just because it will make me feel better, let's do Escalation too.

Feora, Priestess of the Flame - fully painted!
Guardian - assembled, brass rod conversion for stupid bendy banner poles
Deliverer Sunburst Crew - 2 crews assembled, primed
Exemplar Seneshal - fully painted!
Monolith Bearer - primed
Flameguard Cleansers - 10 model squad primed
The Wrack - 3 models primed
Devout - primed
Reckoner - fully painted!

Captain Sam MacHorne and the Devil Dogs - not purchased
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist - fully painted!
Rupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - partially painted

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dwarf Scale Issues?

I received my Games Day Slayer to add to my Blood Bowl team. Putting him next to the models I already have, he looks ... large. Very large.
Looks like someone remembered to eat his Wheaties
I don't know if he's just a large model to begin with or if the Dungeon Bowl Dwarfs and the Skull Pass Slayer are just small. I figured he'd make a pretty cool Blood Bowl Slayer, especially in contrast to the other Slayer's berserk pose. Looking at the two of them together, the contrast is more than I expected. I'll finish painting him up and see how I feel then. Maybe I just need to convert up a comically large Deathroller to make everything else on the field seem tiny.

Friday, June 08, 2012

New NAF Dice!

I got my very first NAF dice today! They are very cool!

....except they are invisible unless they are under strong light. So I painted them!

Ahhh. Much easier on the eyes. Well, my eyes anyway. I tried blood red for the bam's, but it was still too low contrast. Orange Fire was nicely visible, as was the bright yellow.

Friday, June 01, 2012

First Blood Bowl / Dungeon Bowl Dwarfs

I started painting the Dungeon Bowl Dwarfs. To strip the old paint job off I soaked them in Simple Green for a couple days then took an old toothbrush to them. The paint remained quite stubborn, so I tried some Vallejo airbrush cleaner. Wow, what a difference. I'll have to try that stuff on a dry painted model just to see how it works, but it was dramatically better than the Simple Green soak. I only used a couple of teaspoons of it, just enough to wet the toothbrush and scrub.

Here is my current test model as he thinks fondly back to games of yore, painted in the official Dungeon Bowl Dwarf scheme. My painting on the padding is kind of clumsy, so I might have to develop a better technique for that. The yellow is a royal pain. Maybe I'll airbrush them, but the airbrush is a royal pain too.

He dreams of oranger days.

In anticipation of getting the Dwarf team I acquired a Slayer Lord from the old Skull Pass starter box and converted him to a Blood Bowl Slayer.

He's just here for the Slaying

I'm pretty happy with how he is turning out. Since this photo I've painted the ground as grass. I like the splash of color the green gives. I've got another Slayer on the way, a Games Day Demon Slayer with a very pleased look, which should make a fun Blood Bowl mini.

So despite the fact that I have zero idea with whom I will play this game, I am getting two teams and a pitch together. I need to scrape up an 8 sided die too, I guess.


On the work battle front, Brian and I have resumed lunch Warmachine. So far I'm running about 50% wins, which is far better than I've done in the past. Arc node blasting works well for me, and this last game I used Feora's "Engine of Destruction" extra movement to surprise the Butcher and cut him down in a flurry of P+S 17 attacks. The big disappoint for that battle was that Rorsch got killed before Brine took even one swing at an enemy. 9 points, and all they did combined was finish off a man-o-war demo squad member.