Thursday, February 4, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Test terminators built

Still in the bits-gathering phase for the upcoming Thousand Sons, but following some rummaging around in the Closet of Doom I came up with a few bits from the previous incarnation of them and hacked together a test terminator using the new Betrayal at Calth Cataphractii bits.

Pretty happy with how the resin head, torso and tabard work with the plastic bits, think the unit will look pretty slick! Last go around I'd done the terminators up with power weapons and combi-bolters to keep the points down and utilize the khopesh-style blades, but they just were completely ineffective on the tabletop. This time I'm going to be using power- and chain-fists, with lightning claws for the unit sergeants.

While I was about it I pulled out one of the several terminator captain models to make a Centurion - nothing too fancy, swapped out the chainfist for a lightning claw (mostly just to see if I could), and broke out the greenstuff to take a whack at some scarabs on the belt and shoulders, and fill in the palm where the chainfist had been cut away. Pretty crude work but okay for a first try I suppose. Going to let them dry overnight, then attempt to add some legs and the little dot for a head, hopefully that'll help them look a little better.

...Or possibly worse, in which case I still have two more of the terminator captain on sprues to try again!

In other news, I've pulled the trigger on tickets to the NOVA Open at the beginning of September, and will be taking part in the "Asymmetrical Warfare" and "Escalation Campaign" events, and have been penciling together the forces to see what I'll need to purchase and paint between now and then. It's still about seven months out, but with the challenges I've had getting the bits together, I might need that much time!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Heresy Era Imperial Army - Geno Five-Two Chilliad complete!

We had 14" of snow dumped on us overnight, so I'm working from home today. That allowed me a little time over lunch to get the flock on the remaining members of the Geno Five-Two, and get 'em all laid out for a family photo before they get boxed up and in the mail!

The models here represent the remnants of the Dancers company following their mauling at Tel Utan in the novel Legion. I'd designed it as a basic allied force, with a few extra HQ choices for variety and narrative reasons.

Uxor Rukhsana Saiid is joined by her support staff, and the unit's marksmen who form a sniper team. They served with distinction in the games that I've played with 'em!

Hetman Peto Soneka is similarly joined by his command squad, as well as Genewhip Boone and his prods.

Bashaws Lon and Shah lead a 20-man squad each, providing the backbone of the force. The Gene-Bred regimental upgrade means they prove to be tough to shift of any objectives they take!

Lastly, the army is backed by a heavy weapons squad, bringing some light anti-tank punch to the party. Overall a rather enjoyable project to work on - it was really fun to kitbash up the models like I envisioned them in my head while reading the novel!

Sort of in between projects at this point, still in the bits-and-kits gathering phase for the KSons and there's a couple projects on the horizon but nothing concrete. May be time to do a few more Inq28 models to keep the mojo workin'!

Monday, February 1, 2016

And now for something completely different - Arcadia Quest monsters

Not dead, though missing in action may be a fair assessment. The recent issues with models and painting really took the wind out of my sails hobby-wise and I needed something to rekindle my enthusiasm. A friend at work asked if I'd be willing to take on a small commission job and paint up some of the villains and monsters from a board game he's been playing called Arcadia Quest. Something completely outside the norm sounded like an amusing painting exercise and he handed over a small tray of critters which I bashed out over the past weekend.

11 models in total so they went pretty quickly. Each of the models has an associated card with some matching art, and I tried to stick close to the color schemes shown on the cards, for a sense of continuity. Some liberties were taken here and there to help jazz 'em up a bit (lots of black robes and tabards which would have made them a bit too dark against the requested black bases). Chibi vampires and hulking fantasy monsters, definitely a 180 from the recent projects!

I rather enjoyed painting up the beastmen, minotaurs and ogre, the varying skin tones were fun to do - not a lot of monster-y tones (or exposed skin and hair at all, for that matter) in the recent marine-centric Heresy projects!

All in all a fun little diversion and enough to restart the ol' hobby mojo. Finished off the painting stage of the remaining Geno Five-Two this evening (only had four color passes left when I hit the wall on 'em earlier), and following an overnight "let the darn wash dry thoroughly" step they'll get flocked and photographed over the next day or two. Pics to follow!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Heresy Era Heroes of the Imperium - Master of Mankind painting (almost) done

Well, sometimes a hobby session just doesn't go the way you want it to. Set about working on the Emperor model a bit more and got all the way up to the end and then flubbed the face. Not super noticable until I took pictures of it but man, the eyes just didn't come out right! Nothing like a cross-eyed Emperor.

So, that'll need a little work to fix I think. Other than that I'm pretty happy with how the model turned out, though I think once I get the face re-done it'll go up on the auction block - I'd like to take another crack at the model, but utilizing one of the Primarch heads instead. I think if I could get my hands on a Rowboat Girlyman or Ferrus Manus head it might look a little better.

After that bit of frustration I was excited to come to grips with the Gothic KV-2 tanks that (finally!) arrived from MaxMini. Got 'em all washed and was in the process of getting things clipped off the casting blocks that it came to light that two of the kits were missing tracks. Highly irritating after I'd waited just shy of two months for them to arrive. Sent a note out to 'em to see what could be done. So that was a bust, I figured that I'd pull out the armored Proteus Land Raiders I'd uncovered for use with the upcoming Thousand Sons.

Throne of Terra! Missing a set of tracks for these kits too?! Even more annoying than the KV-2's, I'd ordered these kits back in March of 2015 prior to the FW site rebuild, and the order details that these came from have been deleted from their site. I was able to dig up the PayPal invoiced from the order but they don't have any line-item details. I sent off an email to Forge World but don't really hold out much hope that they'll be willing to send replacement tracks after such a delay. Guess we'll see how it goes.

All in all a rather frustrating bit of hobbying this weekend. On the up side I did manage to get in my first game of Infinity and had quite a lot of fun playing it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Heresy Era Heroes of the Imperium - The Master of Mankind painting begins

Been pretty quiet on the hobby front this past week, but I got a little time in to start laying down the gold on the Emperor. I'm rubbish at the NMM technique, and figured this is not a model to experiment on so the ordinary metallic methods it will be!

Started off my laying in a basecoat of Brassy Brass. Generally speaking I find most gold paint to be rather translucent, and laying a gold in directly over a black basecoat tends to make for a dull lifeless color. The brass is a bit more opaque so covers over the black well, and will 'shine through' the gold making for a richer, more vibrant color.

Glorious Gold was liberally drybrushed over the brass, leaving the deepest crevices to show the brass coloration.

Next up the upper surfaces were given a light drybrush of Polished Gold, making sure to only draw the brush down the model from overhead, leaving the under surfaces in the previous gold color.

Once that was done, the model was given an initial wash of Reikland Fleshshade. This helps add a rich reddish-gold tone, and helps define a lot of the details. At this point the model must be left alone for a good hour or so to properly dry (you can see it's still wet in this photograph), so further steps will have to wait until a later day. Next up comes the more painstaking part, going back in and with a fine detail brush start selectively highlighting the various details and scrollwork to brighten it back up again and help it 'pop', followed by a further selective pin washing. As far the model itself goes, still feeling the head is a little small, but overall I'm quite happy with the sculpt. Lots of neat little details that I'm catching now that I'm really looking at it up close!

In other news I'm finally getting the Rogue Trader campaign I've been working on off the ground starting in a couple weeks, so there's a good chance there may be some more 40-themed RPG minis crossing the painting desk in the near future. The Geno Five-Two are down to the last handful of colors as well, holding off on pics until I can finish 'em up and lay out pics of the whole infantry group, though!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Infinity - Morat Aggression Force (mostly) Painted

Another long week attending a training class so not much in the way of hobby time, but my plans fell through for Saturday morning so suddenly there was a flurry of painting! More or less finished up the Morat Aggression Force, though as is always the case it is when manipulating and cropping the pictures for posting that I notice all sorts of little things on the models that I've missed or forgotten. This is especially true on these models, having never worked with them before it's only in retrospect that I realize "oh, that's a pouch/ammo clip/whatnot" or more distressingly "oh, that's actually a piece of flash". In any case, on with the pictures!

Kornak Gazarot, Superior Warrior-Officer - One of the better leader choices for the MAF, Kornak provides some extra leadership/order bonuses, and is a surprisingly effective combatant on the table. In many armies it behooves the player to 'hide' his army commander as there are penalties for losing the Lieutenant, but the MAF's special rules essentially allow them to ignore that. Pathetic cowardly humans, it is true and right that the officers should lead proudly by example!

Med-Tech Obsidon Medchanoid - Otherwise known as "Dr. Worm". The one non-Morat unit in the force, Dr. Worm and his attendant drones were must-have models just for the aesthetic, in my opinion.

Morat Vanguard Infantry - The backbone of the MAF, the Morat Vanguard are the most basic troopers, primarily there to provide Orders to the force. Treitak Anyat is a character that can join up with the Vanguard models to form a surprisingly flexible fireteam.

Morat Vanguard Specialists - The Vanguard have a wide array of equipment options, including a number of various heavy weapons as well as a functional but somewhat uninspiring hacker (not something the MAF excels at).

Raktorak, Morat Sergeant Major - The Raktorak are described as being the second-in-command/bodyguards to the MAF officers, though in-game they lack any rules that allow them to effectively do so, so unfortunately while they're some of my favorite models in the range, will likely never actually take the field.

Yaogat Strike Infantry - The Yaogat are the medium infantry of the MAF, with far heavier armour and better stats than the Vanguard. Quite a bit more expensive and lacking the heavy weapon and specialist options, they're nonetheless handy to have due to their multispectral visors which allows them to see through smoke and chaff which are common on the Infinity battlefields.

Daturazi Witch Soldiers - The Daturazi are the scary close combat units of the MAF, with a predilection for charging their opponents and carving them into little chunks. The MAF utilizes a range of different types of close combat weapons (AP, Shock, etc), so I tried to color-code them throughout the force to allow me to tell at a glance what type of weapon is cleaving into the opponent's forces.

Suryat Assault Heavy Infantry - The Suryats are the smallest of the power-armored units in the MAF, generally toting special or heavy weapons and being generally burly. Sadly there's just the one model available currently, but there's nothing wrong with a couple heavy machine guns! Generally these two will be backup up Kornak as he rampages around the table.

Sogarat Tempest Regiment - The heaviest power armour suits in the Morat Aggression Forge prior to the massive TAG suits, the Sogarat are extremely nasty. Mounted on 40mm bases and carrying heavy weapons similar to the Suryat, they are also capable of wielding scary close combat weapons as well. Very expensive however, so it is rare that I'd field all three at one time.

There's a few little details and things to clean up that have become apparent looking at the pics, but overall I'm reasonably pleased with them. It was quite interesting painting non-GW models for a chance, the aesthetic of the models provided a number of interesting challenges (not all of which I feel I was really able to rise to).

Now it's time to delve back into the Heresy! Bits have begun arriving for the upcoming Thousand Sons force and I'm itching to finish off the Geno Five-Two...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Heresy Era Heroes of the Imperium - The Emperor of Mankind, part one

Got frustrated trying to batch paint line highlights (madness!), so as a respite I returned briefly to the grim darkness! Another box arrived on my doorstep yesterday, a small package that I'd ordered from Kabuki Miniatures back in late November and had almost forgotten about. Just a small package...

In point of fact it was disconcerting how small the package was - that box is about 5" on a side. I hadn't purchased a Kabuki model in something like five years, as the 'Angron' model I'd purchased ended up being barely space marine sized, let alone suitable as a primarch stand-in and I was supremely disappointed in it. The measurements on the website suggested these models should be more appropriately scaled so I figured I'd roll the dice (and take advantage of a sale they were running). With some trepidation I cracked open the box and was relieved to find that the models were sized far more appropriately and so bustled everything in for a soak and scrub.

The models were virtually free of flash, though were several different colors of resin which isn't a dealbreaker but does give off that 'garage kit' vibe and makes me worry somewhat about quality control. That said, everything appeared to be crisply cast and there were almost no bubbles to worry about filling in. I'm somewhat ambivalent about the Custodes sculpts (they're neat but I'm holding out for the Forge World models which ought to be spectacular), but as it's been mentioned a few times that FW doesn't intend to do models or rules for the Emperor any time in the foreseeable future, I thought the Kabuki version of the model would be a fun little art project, and give me a large-scale model to try and really lavish some attention on.

The model comes with a two-headed cyber-eagle that I'm saving for another project, which allowed me to alter the pose somewhat. I don't have a primarch model on hand to compare sizes with, but he does seem to stand about a head taller than the ones that I've done in the past. Large enough to warrant a 60mm base at the very least, and towering over the alpha legionnaire!

I'm going to have to do a lot of research on painting gold before I ever put a brush to this model. Definitely want to do it justice, and really push myself to get beyond the "decent tabletop quality" I usually accomplish. Should be fun!