Sunday, August 30, 2009

TOEMP #3 - The Mordian 7th Regimental Command, part 2

Not a whole lot of hobby time this weekend I'm sorry to say, though I did manage to finish the eyes and skin, and lay down the undercoats for the main color scheme for the various models in the Regimental Command squad. Some of the faces turned out rather amusing (and I hope to get good close-up shots of the individuals as I finish them off), I slipped a bit while painting the Master of the Ordnance, and he ended up being severely cross-eyed. It being the guy who calls down the always-inaccurate artillery however, I decided to keep him that way. Similarly, the bodyguard not currently in the "getting shot" position ended up with a wild eyed, shell-shocked look.

As the regimental command squad is composed primarily of veteran guardsmen, I'm going with the reverse color scheme (grey fatigues, red armor) as I did for the Hardened Veterans. A couple notable exceptions - the medic wears white fatigues, and the astropath wears the standard green of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. The Officer of the fleet is in the standard blue tunic and white trousers and shirt, and the commissar is in basic black.

I'm hoping to get this squad polished off over the next few days, which will hopefully then give me time to finish off the Valkyrie I have half painted so far:

All of the Imperial Navy craft in the army will be painted in the brown/grey livery similar to the Thunderbolt I've painted in the past, I think that will give the aerial corps a sense of continuity.

I did paint the interior of the Valkyrie before I assembled and painted it, though the Vendetta I have planned will likely be sealed shut - I really did not enjoy builting the Valkyrie and I have to say I'm not looking forward to building another one. At least I figured out all the WRONG ways to put the kit together when I built this one, so perhaps the second go-round won't be quite so frustrating...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

TOEMP #3 - The Mordian 7th Regimental Command, part 1

The third stage of the Tale of Even More Painters competition has begun - the challenge this time is to choose or create a special character for the army. In my case that will be the Mordian 7th Regimental Command: Commander Evin Eldro and Lord Commissar Fidel Arden, along with their command staff. At the moment all the figs assembled and primered and I've started on the skin tones and eyes:

I'd kicked around the idea of proxy-ing either Creed or Straken, but neither really suit how I envision Commander Eldro, so I'll likely just stick with a 'vanilla' HQ choice as far as rules and such go. I might add a simple command special ability, perhaps a strategem from Planetstrike or something along those lines for an appropriate points cost.

I'm rather looking forward to painting this unit - it ended up being 11 strong, but every fig is unique which makes it a lot more entertaining to do, I find.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Playing catch-up on TOEMP Challenge #1, part 2

I was able to finish up the six Hardened Veterans last night, bringing me up to speed for the Tale of Even More Painters competition. Two meltagunners, three basic lasgun-armed troopers and the proxy Sergeant Harker, who in my army's fluff will be called Sergeant Janos. It seems to me that Harker is an analog of "Blain" from Predator, so I figured using Jesse Ventura's true last name would be an appropriate homage.

I have to say, being able to just focus on a handful of miniatures definitely made the whole process go much faster and kept my enthusiasm up. The trouble with painting horde armies is the sheer number of infantry, which I usually attack in large blocks of 30+ models at a time. While it certainly helps to get large swaths of troops done at once, it's awful boring painting the same thing over and over and over and over...

Here's a shot of the newly-armed veterans squad as an entire unit - I have another five painted veterans armed with various heavy and special weapons that I'll be using for the seeds of the next two veteran squads. One will be armed with plasma guns, and the other with grenade launchers and a missile launcher.

Lastly, I was asked to provide a comparison shot of the 'basic' infantry to show the regular paint scheme vs. the reversed scheme on the Vets. This is the 1st platoon/1st squad in the standard red fatigues and grey armor.

Overall, the vets are one of my favorite units - even though they die like dogs in every game they take part in!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Playing catch-up on TOEMP Challenge #1, part 1

As I was out of state over the week that the first Tale of Even More Painters event took place, I was unable to participate. However, after I finished up the Deathstrike launcher I dove in to try and catch up. The first challenge was to paint up 75 points worth of troops and as such I intended to finish off the second half of my Hardened Veterans squad, since I'd re-built the squad following the release of the new codex. Five veterans (including two melta-gunners) and a proxy Gunnery Sergeant Harker were assembled and primered:

Since I had my camera right by my painting table, I figured I'd document the painting process from the primered to finished states. I start off all my infantry with Vermin Brown on any exposed skin as the basis for the flesh tones.

After the Vermin Brown is on, I paint any exposed eyes white with a thin line of black for the pupils - In this case, only the proxy Harker fig has exposed eyes, the rest of the unit has FW helmets with respirators, so I decided to wait on the lenses until later in the process. Once the eyes are done I use bronzed flesh followed by elf flesh to pick out any extreme highlights. After that I got started on the main colors - My veteran squads have a reversed paint scheme from my standard infantry, with grey fatigues and red armor. I started off with a Shadow Grey undercoat on the fatigues, and Dark Flesh for the armor.

Once the base colors were on, I used a light drybrush of Fortress Grey on the raised areas of the fatigues, and a heavy drybrush of Blood Red on the armor. I find painting bright red over a black undercoat ends up looking very muted and streaky, so I usually start with a reddish brown undercoat. The reds tend to 'pop' much better that way.

At that point, the majority of the colors were done and it was time to delve into the detail work. I used Enchanted Blue for the weapon housings as well as the lenses on the helmets, then I went in with Boltgun Metal on the barrels and whatnot for the weapons, as well as the respirator masks. I picked out the meltagun barrels and the Aquilas on the breastplates and helmets with Shining Gold, but at that point I ran out of painting time and had to call it a night.

Not too much remains - I still need to do the backpacks, gloves, and webbing in leather, pick out any grenades and such in their appropriate colors and paint up the bases. No painting time for me tonight, but I'm hoping I'll be able to knock them out tomorrow evening, just in time for the 2nd challenge deadline!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

For when you care enough to send the very best, part 3

Success! I was able to finish up the Deathstrike launcher for the Tale of Even More Painters contest today, and it was nice enough outside to get it sealed as well:

The missile itself is magnetized to keep it in place in both the transport and launch positions. It is my intent is to use this as a proxy for the unit in the Guard codex, and as such I went with a weapon servitor armed with a heavy bolter rather than a hull-mounted version as is the case on the Chimera chassis.

I felt that the Deathstrike should be tended by tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and as such I rooted around in the Closet of Doom for some servitors and such. I was able to find a spare Skulls-era tech-priest and a tech-servitor to man the command deck.

All in all it was a fun model to build, and I think it's large enough to really warrant the destructive power of the Deathstrike missile. Though it will rarely be used in regular games, my local gaming group is planning an apocalypse game soon, and the crawler will be taking the field to help thin out the enemy ranks!

I was asked to post a picture of the undercarriage of the launcher, and I'll be the first to admit that I didn't spend much time on modeling the underside. The basis of the crawler was two ork battlewagons glued together back to back, with some of various flat panels and some plasticard to hold it together. Pretty simple, and rather bland, but for the most part no one will see the undercarriage I suppose...

Friday, August 21, 2009

For when you care enough to send the very best, part 2

Some forward motion on the Deathstrike for the Tale of Even More Painters contest today, started adding some detail work - doors, control panels and a blast shield. I also finished building and primering the missile and launch pylon:

My intent is to have three main sections to the crawler - the driver's compartment up front, a control section amidships (which will be crewed by a tech priest and a servitor), and the rear section will be the actual launch pad. On the first turn the missile will be in the 'travel' position as shown above, and in subsequent turns while the countdown is, well, counting down, the missile will stands in the 'launch' position on the rear deck:

It's a truly huge piece, at the moment I'm trying to decide if I want to make a whole diorama out of it, adding camo-netting, sandbags and such. I still need to clean up some gaps, add the Heavy Bolter, some stowage and a good-sized antenna array, but other than that it's getting close to being ready for primer! I'm hoping to polish the build off over the weekend and get started on the painting process...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For when you care enough to send the very best, part 1

No updates recently, I've been out of state for the last week attending GenCon out in Indy - five days of high-octane geekery, far too many cocktails and sleep deprivation. It was glorious!

Now that I'm back however, it's time to get cracking on Challenge #2 for the Tale of Even More Painters! This go-around we've been asked to complete 125 points in Elites or Heavy support. That being the case, I've decided to focus on finishing up the Deathstrike Missile Carrier that I've (barely) started. At the moment it's in two main sections - the crawler, which I've decided to represent with what was originally going to be an Adeptus Mechanicus vehicle, and the missile itself, which is comprised of an old V-2 model kit plus some extra bits and bobs to make it not quite so obviously a V-2:

Since I last fiddled around with the crawler, GW has released the Planetstrike terrain, which has provided me with a number of interesting new bits to use in its construction. Over the next week or so I need to finish the build, and get it primered and painted. My intention is to include a number of tech-priests and servitors tending to the missile which will allow me to use it in both my guard army (whose paint scheme the vehicle will ultimately wear) and the eventual Ad-Mech army as well. Of course to finish it will require some deep delves into the Closet of Doom. I've made mention of it in the past, and I figured I'd snap a couple pictures to give an idea of why I call it the CoD:

Every one of those boxes on the shelves is full of bits of one type or another, collected over 20 years of hobbying. Frighteningly enough, there's even more boxes on the shelves below and above what's shown, the camera wasn't able to catch the full extent of it. It makes for good conversion fodder for sure, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that the bits are particularly organized. It's really a bit of a crap shoot whether I'm able to really find the bits I'm looking for! On the other hand, I'll usually run across something I wasn't looking for but would end up working just as well, if not better!

Ah, what a terrible space-gobbling addiction miniature gaming can be!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

State of the Army and a new challenge!

I've decided to take part in the Unforgiven Angels "A Tale of Even More Painters" competition as a means to finally finish off the remaining guard for the Mordian 7th regiment. However, as I'm going to be attending GenCon Indy this coming week, I'll likely be unable to participate in the 1st challenge. Nevertheless, I did pull out the army to see where things actually stand - I tend to store all the models in Sabol trays on shelves in the Closet of Doom, so I rarely see all the models set out at once. I'm actually pleasantly surprised that a fair majority of the army is painted, and realized that I'm just a few units shy of my goal for recreating the original Mordian 7th as well!

As it stands right now, the army is a bit over 6500 points, including the models in boxes in the background. There are a few units that still need to be built, hence the empty bases for placeholders. All I have left to build to complete the intended recreation of the original Mordian 7th are 1 more Lascannon team, 1 more Beastman Attack Squad, and 1 more Hardened Veteran squad! So close!

While my intention is to recreate the original Mordian 7th regiment, I'm also expanding on it - I am a big fan of the Imperial Guard tanks so the heavy support options for the army have been expanded significantly, including a Stormlord, a Macharius and 10 Leman Russ tanks of various designs. I also have four Chimeras in boxes for further conversion work.

The mainstay of any guard army is of course its infantry, and the Mordian 7th includes 4 Tactical Squads, 2 Hardened Veteran Squads, a Stormtroopers Squad, and 2 Beastmen Attack Squads. In addition, the army also has a squad of Ratling Snipers, a squad of Ogryns, a Psyker Battle Squad, and 3 command squads (the regimental HQ and 2 platoon HQs). A pair of Tech Priests and their servitors serve to keep all of the regiments armored units functioning. In the background is the artillery detachment, including a Medusa emplacement, a proxy Griffon, a Thudd Gun and a Rapier Laser Destroyer.

On the Fast Attack front, there are two squads of Rough Riders on Hornet motorcycles, a Hellhound, two Sentinels, and a Scylla light tank (proxy armored sentinel), as well as a Valkyrie (built and half painted), a Vendetta (with the FW upgrade kit, still in the box/bags), and a FW Vulture armed with the new Punisher Cannons (still in the box). In addition, the Imperial Navy has provided a Thunderbolt fighter for air superiority. In the far corner you can see the beginnings of my Deathstrike Missile carrier - Once I'd built the missile, I realized it was a bit too large to be convincingly carried on a Chimera chassis, and decided to use the crawler I'd originally started working on for my Adeptus Mechanicus army.

While I have plans for several other large projects to accompany the army (the Leviathan command carrier and a Warlord Battle Titan), those are still in the planning stages and I don't expect to work on them any time soon.

Overall I'm hoping to use the painting competition to challenge me to finish this army - I'm realizing that it's been in process for the better part of 3 years now... Yikes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Heavy Hitters of the Traitor Guard

I was able to spend some time this past weekend finishing up the last of the half-done Traitor Guard models. Finally!

I started off with the Renegade Ogryns that have been awaiting the last color or two for the better part of eight months. I'd intended to run it as two units of three, as I had the standard Ogryn Champion and the limited edition Games Day Champion as well. Amusing anecdote - I wasn't paying as much attention to the ebay listing for the limited edition champion and ended up bidding 40 pounds rather than the intended 40 dollars. Ah well, that's what I get for not double-checking the listing!

Next up was a Leman Russ Demolisher armed with a hull-mounted Lascannon and sponson-mounted Multi-meltas. I went with a simple black and scab red paint scheme to match the Blood Pact troops.

Lastly was a Traitor Baneblade. I'd always wanted to make one, but up until GW released a plastic version, I was loath to carve into a $300+ Forge World resin model. This was a fairly straightforward upgrade using bits from the Chaos Vehicle Upgrade sprues, a few parts from a Defiler, and a couple skulls from the Arcane Ruins set.

These have all gone up on the auction block as well, to help extend the entertainment budget for GenCon this year - just a little more than a week to go before heading out to Indy!