Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Kabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 2

I picked up the first batch of new miniatures for the Dark Eldar over the weekend, and sat down to figure out exactly what I wanted to build before I went about attacking the pile of boxes.

I have a common problem with my 40k armies, I tend to go all out and build thousands of points worth of models and then get discouraged when it comes time to paint "that huge pile of miniatures". To help alleviate this and to practice a little self-discipline I'm going to restrict myself to only building a few units, and then only build new units once I've managed to paint all the existing built units first. Of course, since I want to playtest the army I'll need to start off by building the compulsory HQ and two Troops choices, plus a smattering of other units to make a reasonable 1000-1500 point army. The remaining 2000+ points will remain in the boxes until I get that first batch done. That being the case I got out the ol' painting chart and made some decisions on how I'd start off.

A warrior squad, a squad of Wyches, a handful of Incubi and Reavers, and the various HQ models I'd picked up should give me a nice rounded starter army with which to run some test games. I took a little time to paint up a test model to get a feel for the color scheme I'd chosen and was reasonably pleased with the results. Not the best picture in the world, nor was it the best first test model I've ever done, but with a little refinement it should work out pretty well, I think!

I need to work on getting thinner lines around the edging, but that's mostly down to picking up some new finer-tipped brushes, and a steady hand. For the main armor plates I started off with a Dark Flesh liner, with a Red Gore and Blood Red highlight on the upper edges. After that I hit all the armor with a Baal Red wash which toned down the highlights and gave the black sections of the armor a slight reddish tint which worked out quite well (though it's a bit blown out with the while background). The flayed skin is Vomit Brown with an Ogryn Flesh wash, then highlighted back up a bit with more Vomit Brown, and the various weapons and details were picked out in Shining Gold and Boltgun Metal, then given a wash to knock down the shine a little. I also finally replaced the aeons-old bottle of MicroSol that I had and picked up a bottle of MicroSet while I was at it and used one of the transfers from the Raider kit on his back banner. I'm going to go back and re-do the stone on the base a little, I'm not 100% pleased with how it turned out. Other than adding a little static grass however, it's pretty much complete.

I think the Dark Eldar are going to be interesting to paint, as the style and methods I'll be using vary quite a bit from how I do my Guard (or the Orks for that matter). It's always good to try new things, and I'm eagerly trying to apply some of the lessons that Ron is providing over at FTW!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A whole mess o' yellow...

Knowing that I'm going to have one too many armies in short order (once I get the DE built), so I've decided that the Orks are going to be going up on the auction block. Of course, before I can do that I have to finish painting them! My plan is to finish up the Bad Moons side of my Orks first, as it's essentially a self-contained 2000 point army. That means it was time to break out the tank brush and the yellow paint!

The vast majority of it ended up on the Battlewagon. A quick drybrush of Boltgun Metal to pick out the edges and the standard yellow-over-orange method and it's pretty much a matter of picking out the details, at this point.

The Bad Moons army is built around the idea of a Big Mek's Dreddmob, and his cronies. I'd finished of the Deff Dredd a while back, so I turned my attention to the trio of Killa Kans, and got the base colors on them as well.

Of course, if you're going to have a Dreddmob, you gotta have a Mega Dredd! I really like this model, both for the model itself as well as how it performs on the table. I have never, EVER, hit anything with the Killkannon, but the way I see it the Orks are more interested in the sound and the fury than they are in the accuracy of the targeting systems, so it all works out in the end... Heh.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Kabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 1

As promised, some initial build shots of the inevitable Dark Eldar army. I've long been a fan of the Dark Eldar as a concept, but the previous renditions of the models just didn't inspire me. I'd built a handful of the old warriors and a Haemonculous for use with my Rogue Trader campaign, but that was the extent of it. Suffice it to say I've been rather looking forward to the new release based on the pictures that have been floating around the net, and now that I've had a chance to actually put some of them together I have to say they do not disappoint!

A few weeks back I'd placed an order to Dragon Forge for a fair number of their 'Ancient Ruins' bases, as the ruined Eldar theme seemed appropriate. Once those were washed and cleaned up, I started the army build with the box of Reavers, hands down my favorite of the new kits. The bits that make up the bike were pretty fiddly in places and I had to be extra careful trimming them from the sprues but I managed without any major casualties. The handlebars were the worst part, a couple of them came very near to breaking - eek. I used the power weapon from the Warriors kit to help distinguish the arena champion from the others. I've decided that I'm going to use the mirror-helmeted heads on all of the Reavers with the exception of the Champion - I'm rather pleased at how many variant heads and other bits they give you on the DE sprues!

After the Reavers were put together I took a crack at the Warriors kit. I'd sat down ant figured out how I was going to arm the various Warrior and Trueborn squads beforehand, so it was a simple matter to clip and build. They are about as fiddly as Eldar Guardians to put together, but overall they all went together smooth and easy. Again there were a couple bits that were attached to the sprue in what I thought were bad positions as far as being able to cut them free without marring the detail, but nothing too egregious.

The Raider went together surprisingly smoothly, on this kit I was expecting trouble but I have to doff my cap to the designers. My intention is to have a half dozen raiders in the army, in various levels of decoration and extravagance to show the increasing importance and wealth of the transported models. The Warrior's Raiders are more or less bereft of decoration other than a few spikes and spines. The Wych's Raider will have chains and skulls, the Trueborn's Raider will be much more baroque with spiky bits and chains and skulls, and the Incubi and Archon's Raiders will be dripping with decorations. I've left the central sail section, the gunner and pilot loose for painting purposes, at the moment they're just slotted in place for the picture. Once I get a couple more boxes of Warrior and Wyches I'll start assembling the hangers-on as well. There's a fair bit of customization available in the kit, but I really want each of them to be unique.

Finally I started working on the Court of the Crimson King in the form of the 5 Ur-Ghuls that will be part of the retinue. Pretty straightforward - Ghoul models, a bit of greenstuff over the eyes and forehead, poke a series of holes for scent-pits, and they're pretty much good to go.

Now that I've got this first batch put together I'm really itching to get my hands on the other kits!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time flies whether you're having fun or not...

Hello again, after an extended absence! I can't believe that it's been several months since my last update - I would like to say "during the time away I haven't been idle", but as far as 40k-related hobby work goes that would be a fabrication. Other than a couple models I've put together and painted for the Rogue Trader campaign I've been running, I've not managed to do much on the hobby front. Real Life(tm) has been rearing its ugly head, with long hours at work during the day and the band eating up a lot more of my hobby time.

However, those dirty underhanded folks over at GW have managed to reinvigorate the Dark Eldar line in a rather impressive fashion, with gorgeous models and a rather interesting new codex. As such I got that old familiar itch to make a new army - because obviously the three other half-done armies in the Closet of Doom aren't enough. You'd think I'd learn my lesson! I've sold off a few models to help fund the new project, and my FLGS owner allowed me to purchase the codex and a few boxes of models early as I placed a substantial order from him. After reading through the codex a few times, I decided that I'd go with a predominantly "Warriors and Wyches" army, and leave the Haemonculus Cult aspect aside for the time being.

The intention is to be able to use these models as antagonists in my Rogue Trader game as well, so I decided I'd paint them up as "The Cabal of the Crimson Woe", the Dark Eldar pirates that ply the void in the Koronus Expanse. Coupled with the fact that I was listening to some old prog rock at the time, the Archon and his retinue ended up being called "The Court of the Crimson King". Har! I decided that I'd pick up a pair of Archon models so I could arm them differently - The Crimson King will be carrying a Blast Pistol and Agonizer, coupled with the Lhamaean in the retinue means in HtH he'll be dealing out 6-7 power weapon attacks that wound on a 2+, using his WS of 7. Terrifying! The retinue will all have to be custom made as there aren't currently models for the various options. The Lhamaean will be represented by a (what else?) Lhamaean vampire from the fantasy range, with a little GS work to Dark Eldar her up a bit. Some pointy-er ears, and a splinter pistol should do the trick.

The Ur-Ghuls will be made from Ghouls (also not much of a shock), with a little GS work to cover their eyes and add a number of new nostrils. The Medusae will be made from a spare DE warrior, one of the visor-ed helmets from the Reaver sprues, and a couple of the brain-looking bio-morphs from the Tyranid upgrade sprue. Finally, the Sslyth warriors will be based on the Greater Daemon of Slaanesh model from the Warmaster line - I'll be replacing the arms and adding some armor to the torso, but the head and snake body seem just about perfect as-is!

The second Archon, Duke Harkanet will be armed with the standard Soultrap and Huskblade provided in the blister, and will be accompanied by the 9-strong Incubi unit. Other than that, it's going to be a fairly straightforward mass of Raider-embarked Kabalite Trueborn, Kabalite Warriors and Wyches, several 6-man units of Reavers, a big block of Hellions, and a pair of Ravagers. I was surprised at how expensive points wise the army is - the above list clocks in at over 3500 points, given a fairly generous set of wargear choices. I'll likely trim that down a bit once I get a couple games under my belt and figure out what works for me.

I've assembled the few models I was able to pre-purchase over the weekend, and have done a test paint scheme on the Sybarite for the Warrior squad - more pictures to follow!

...And I'm talking about in the next day or so, as opposed to next month. Hah!