Saturday, September 23, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - Justaerin Terminators built!

The first Box o' Joy arrived from Forgeworld yesterday afternoon, and was waiting for me when I got home - It's Christmas in September!

This order included a whole mess of infantry upgrade kits, a unit of Reavers, a unit of Justaerin and a Contemptor dreadnought. All the big tanks will be arriving in a second order that will be arriving in a few weeks (as apparently several of the models on that order are on a 10-day delay).

After work I cracked open all the blisters and got everything washed, soaked and scrubbed and laid out to dry. A fiddly business, but important to do when working with resin models!

Later in the evening once the models had sufficiently dried off, I couldn't wait to get cracking on some infantry and decided to start at the top and build the Justaerin Terminators! Kitted this unit out for vehicular destruction with a pair of Multimeltas and a generous mix of power- and chain-fists. This does mean they miss out on the Merciless Fighters rule (as that only applies if the models haven't already fought at initiative step 1), but I plan on doing a couple squads of 'vanilla' cataphractii with lightning claws to take advantage!

While I was about it I finished the builds on the Plasmacutioners, adding the dozer blades, headlamps and a radar dish and searchlight to give 'em a little more visual interest!

Lastly I cracked open the army list again and did some wishlisting and updating of point values to see where things stand - Naturally it bloomed to a 5000 point force almost immediately! At this point the meat of the army has either arrived or has been ordered and on the way, with one more order to go including Horus and a Damocles on the HQ side, and a couple more fast attack choices with a Xiphon for some air cover and a unit of Outriders mostly because I've never built or painted them before. As good a reason as any, right? Gotta say I'm really excited for this project,  the green/black scheme of the Sons of Horus are going to be a welcome change of pace from all the red and gold of late!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Heresy Era Sons of Horus - Project planning, and first models!

As I have alluded to recently, the next Horus Heresy project in the hopper is a Sons of Horus force. I place the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of Dave Taylor, who shared his SoH paint recipe for the recent NOVA Charitable Foundation raffle army and after painting up a helmet in that scheme being held by one of the Thallax models I'd done, and subsequently a test model, I was hooked!

Whenever I start a new project I pencil together a quick painting chart to get a feel for what the army structure may look like and figure out what I have on-hand and what needs to be ordered. In this case I thought I'd do an Armoured Spearhead force as a counterpoint to the recent Orbital Assault Thousand Sons list. The RoW requires all infantry models to be mounted in a dedicated transport, and gives the option for any unit that could take a Rhino to instead be deployed in a Land Raider. As the Sons of Horus are known for their brutal assaults, I knew that I needed to run the Phobos variants to take advantage of the assault ramps, and while the Mk.IIb Land Raider from Forge World has a little Heresy flavor, what really sealed the deal was the unveiling of a new set of track kits from Blood and Skulls industries, providing wrap-around track sections akin to my beloved Proteus models!

I have a trio of these kits winging their way to me as we speak, and picked up a pair of the Mk.IIb Land Raider kits from the FW booth at NOVA a few weeks back, can't wait to get 'em combined! I'd placed a FW order a week or so ago for the majority of the infantry bits and kits that I'll need to get rolling (and have gottend a shipping notification that they're on the way, woo!), and will have to place one more order in the upcoming weeks to pick up the last of the requisite models including the big man himself, the Abbadon/Loken set, a Spartan and the third Mk.IIb raider. Not a lot of models, but it's going to be a pricey order!

The force is also going to have a strong plasma element to it - I'm envisioning using a hot red/orange on the plasma coils to set off against the cooler seafoam green of the armor, and as such I dug out a couple tanks that have been lurking in the Closet of Doom for years. A pair of Predator Plasma Executioners! I'd run a pair of them in one of the earlier iterations of the Thousand Sons and they were pretty fierce - I'd picked up a few more intending to use them on the recent Thousand Sons force but when I switched gears to go Orbital Assault with 'em they ended up languishing in a box instead. Happy to have a chance to use them in the new SoH force! Still gotta get the tracks on them, but other than that they went together like a dream - only had to break out the heat gun for one side panel, everything else lined up really well. Hoping to get the builds finished over the next few evenings and get 'em primered over the weekend. Maybe get some paint on 'em too!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

40k Blood Ravens - Characters painted, more or less...

Rather than spam the blog with every single step I figured I'd push ahead and post up the (more or less) completed models, and keep the recipe pics for my own reference. So without further ado, a whole mess o' character pics!

First up is the commander in Gravis armour - I really dig this sculpt, he's heavy and brutal, and the wrist-mounted bolter with the ammo feed is a nice design touch.

Really dig the Primaris Chaplain sculpt as well, another brutalist re-imagining of an iconic model. I particularly like the Iron Halo!

The Librarian I'm of two minds about - I enjoyed painting it, but felt that it's the least epic of the new character models. Nothing particularly remarkable in the design, though it is solid and reads as a Librarian straight away. Went back to the well with the ethereal green weapons and cabling, which sets off nicely against the blue and red.

Ah the new Apothecary - I absolutely LOVE this new sculpt and think it may be one of the best Apothecaries they've done. Really enjoyed painting him up although from what I understand they lost a little utility on the 8th edition battlefields.

The Ancient is a fairly unremarkable sculpt comparatively speaking, but as I've always been a big fan of banners on the 40k battlefields, I really did enjoy building and painting him. Picked up a sheet of totally-not-blood-raven-transfers (wink!) from Fallout Hobbies at NOVA and was well pleased with how it turned out!

Finally, the four Lieutenant models - Fairly basic marine sergeant type figs, but pretty happy with how they turned out. Had to use my usual bright blue color scheme somewhere in the projects after all, and the power swords fit the bill nicely!

Now for the downsides - Overall I'd say when the dust settled I'm only about 75% pleased with how they turned out. It was a bit of a speed painting exercise after a long stretch of no real hobby activity, and they feel a little rough. I know that I can do better than this, and looking back over them there are some pretty jaggy blending and shading issues here and there. Part of that I think comes from painting-red-fatigue and in retrospect I think I may have been better served choosing some other chapter than the Blood Ravens. I'm committed now however, so we'll press on regardless.

That said, I just got a shipping notification for the next batch of Sons of Horus bits, so sometime in the next week or so I should be getting a nice big box o' joy from Forge World, which includes enough bits and kits to actually get started on the next Heresy force. I'm really looking forward to getting cracking on with the sea-foam green scheme, and will be taking some lessons learned from this current project to heart when it comes time to bring brush to model on the SoH!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

40k Blood Ravens - Character painting continues!

Got a little brush time in over the last couple days and have been plugging away at the characters. I figured I would document each step so I'll have a reference to check as I work through the rest of the force and ensure they're all following the same steps.

After laying in the reds on the armour, next up was to hit everything intended to be leather, bone or parchment in Vallejo Tierra (Earth).

The bone and parchment areas were then picked out in Bleached Bone, while the leather got a second pass to brighten it up. The chest eagles and the ravens on the shoulder pads were re-blacked in at this point as well to clean 'em up a bit.

Next all the bone, parchment and leather were given an Army Painter Strong Tone wash to bring them down a little and give a touch more depth.

All the bone and parchment areas were then re-highlighted in Bleached Bone followed by a pass of Pale Sand on the uppermost surfaces.

Finally I went in and re-blacked the shoulder pad rims which cleans up a fair bit of slop and sharpens 'em up a bit! Next up will be highlighting the black on the rims and chest eagles, then on to the metallics. So far so good!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

40k Blood Ravens - Character painting begins!

The last month has been almost bereft of painting and building models, which has really been a bummer. While there's been a lot of games and fun had at various conventions I've really missed clipping out bits, gluing my fingers together and putting paint to models. Time to dust off the ol' painting servitor and get cracking! While there's some Sons of Horus looming on the horizon, it's going to be another month or so before I have all the models and whatnot to really get started. So it's time to dip my toes into 8th edition for a bit and see how it goes. I've been wanting to get to grips with the new Primaris marines and figured that some Blood Ravens would be a nice way to go (what with them theoretically being a Thousand Sons successor chapter)...

Naturally the project began with creating a massive grey plastic mountain of models, and I rather enjoyed building them. Took an afternoon to primer everything and pulled out a first chunk of models to get started with - when in doubt, start with a bunch of characters, right? So far it's mostly been just laying in the base armour colors - I really dig the Gravis armoured captain, and the ancient is rather cool as well. Tons of cool detail to pick out, and while they're a little sloppy so far I think they're going to turn out looking pretty sharp!

The trio of Chaplain, Apothecary and Librarian offers up the opportunity to work in some other colors, though the robes and tabards in the Blood Raven red should help tie them all together. Again, rather messy so far but they're starting to come into focus!

Just to round things out are four Lieutenant models, which are probably too many. I'm actually considering using them as sergeants for the tactical squads instead. The one thing I'm less enthused about with the nuMarines are the mostly-monopose nature of them - With these four I was able to do a little mix-n-match to make them all a little different, but as we'll see in future posts, many of the 'normal' marines end up fairly same-y which is a bit of a bummer. Still, overall I'm rather digging the models, and there's nefarious plans bubbling away in the back of my mind to use them as the basis of some 'true-scale' heresy era marines... Madness!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back from NOVA!

Made it back from NOVA last weekend and barring some shenanigans on the part of United on the return flight (imagine that), the whole trip was an absolute blast!

The charity auctions went over like gangbusters, and as of Saturday night they were well on their way to smashing previous year's records.

I managed to beat last year's win/loss record of 0-7 by going 2-1-5 instead. It was a miracle! Granted on the 5 that I did lose I was tabled by turn 4 on four of them, but every game was nonetheless an absolute blast. A couple highlights:

Facing down Todd Sherman's absolutely gorgeous Raven Guard was a particular highlight of the weekend for me. Staring down the barrels of the superheavy probably wasn't the best tactical use of my terminators, however!

One of several grudge match games vs. a friend's Custodes. Tabled once and nearly again the second time. The boys in gold are dynamite!

A rather fun doubles match with my Thousand Sons and Zhao-Arkkad Mechanicum vs. a spectactular Imperial Fists and Loyalist Mechanicum force.

Quite possibly the most savage whooping that I've taken - Faced of against a beautifully painted Ultramarines army that just took my army apart. Was nearly tabled by the bottom of turn two - Just couldn't make a saving throw, or a morale check. Apparently Tzeentch deemed it was crucial that they lost that game!

As usual, my photos were all pretty poor, but if you want to check out the gallery here's the ones that weren't totally worthless! You're better off however checking out Todd's Galleries at SincaiN40k and Greg's Galleries over at Feed Your Nerd instead - better shots of all the stuff!

I also took a couple classes from Roman over at Massive Voodoo which absolutely blew my mind (gotta do more classes at events like these), and picked up a fair bit of stuff at the Forge World booth for the upcoming Sons of Horus project. Been itching to get started on 'em!

Speaking of, as is always the case my current army goes up on the auction block to help fund the next army, so if you're interested in a Thousand Sons Orbital Assault Force, the Khamasiin is currently up on ebay!

Friday, August 25, 2017

GenCon! NOVA! Hobby updates! Well, only two of those three things...

Rumors of my demise are highly exaggerated! Though with the galloping Con Crud that I contracted following GenCon, it wasn't too far off target... Apologies for the radio silence of late, but between a massive work project eating up virtually all of my brain then haring off to Indianapolis for a week for the 50th anniversary of GenCon I haven't made any hobby progress of note - there's been some desultory build time on some NuMarines but bare plastic doesn't make for thrilling photography.

GenCon 2017 was a hoot - It's all pen'n'paper rpg gaming for me though, so no fun pictures of miniatures. It being the 50th anniversary of the con, it had sold out and meant there were nearly 70,000 people in attendance (the picture above was fairly indicative of the crowds). That did really strain the capacity of the city, and in certain cases meant some frustrations and absurdly long wait times, but the group I was with took it all in stride and we had an absolute blast.

Hot on the heels of last week's vacation is another week's vacation (and believe me, I'm getting some stick from my co-workers about skiving off again next week), with the NOVA Open 2017 kicking off next Thursday. Heading out there with the Thousand Sons in tow to participate in the always-awesome 30k narrative campaign weekend - Really looking forward to that! It's only a half joke that part of my excitement for NOVA is just to be able to come back and auction off the Thousand Sons. They've been done for a month and a half now, and I'm getting antsy to start the next project which I can't justify financially until I sell the current army!

Speaking of, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that the fine folks at NOVA are hosting a number of miniature auctions to benefit several worthy causes and time is ticking down to get in on them!

I was honored to be asked to participate in the charity auction army painting again, and my contribution this time around was a pair of Thallax units for the Heresy Mechanicum force. A small in number but high in damage output force, it is definitely a fearsome army!

The other side of the Heresy force on offer is a brilliant Sons of Horus Orbital Assault force, led by the big man himself. Another terrifying army that's designed to get up in their opponents faces and hammer them into pulp!

These are just two of a whole slew of armies and models up for auction, including not only Heresy and 40k stuff, but also Blood Bowl, Flames of War, X-Wing, Guild Ball and more! Tickets range in cost from 2-5 bucks and winners not only don't need to be present to win, but don't even need to be remotely nearby - The winners will have their prizes mailed to them anywhere in the world, and in fact over the past few years there have been prizes sent out to all points of the globe!

I highly recommend checking out the various auctions and pitching in a few bucks on anything that catches your fancy! Check 'em out here!

If you're heading to NOVA this year, stop by and say hi! I'll be the guy watching his Thousand Sons get murdered, even though they actually have real legion rules, finally! Hah!