Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hobby Retrospective - Tzeentch Renegades, Part 2

Seasons greetings everyone! With the holidays approaching I didn't have much time for the hobby, however I have a week's vacation coming and I'm hoping to get a bit of brush time and perhaps a game or two in.

Today however I thought I'd continue the weekend hobby retrospective and take a look at the HQ and Elites choices from the Tzeentch Renegades army. Obviously one has to start with Ahzek Ahriman - I absolutely love this sculpt, it is in my opinion one of the all time greats.

I was enamored of the new Terminator-clad Sorcerer and Chaos Terminator sculpts when they were released, and the models also performed well on the tabletop. Suffice it to say Terminators with the Mark of Tzeentch's enhanced invulnerable save are remarkably resilient!

Rounding out the lords and heroes, a further Chaos Sorcerer would accompany the army's unit of Possessed. This kit was the biggest pleasant surprise for me out of the new range. The options for customization provided on the Possessed sprues are seemingly endless!

Have a great holiday season!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Cabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 5 - The Court of the Crimson King Primed

When it comes to painting the Dark Eldar, I decided that I'd start from the top - the Court of the Crimson King and the King himself. Of course, there aren't any official models for any of the Court of the Archon options so I ended up converting up some of my own!

The Court as it will take to the tabletop consists of 5 Ur-Ghuls (made from fantasy Ghouls and a little greenstuff), two Medusae and a pair of Sslyth Bodyguards for a total of nine models. This allows them to join the Crimson King aboard his personal Raider. The unit is rather frightening, capable of handing out 30+ S5 attacks on the charge!

The Sslyth are made from the bodies and arms from the Warmaster Greater Daemon of Slaanesh, some Kabalite Warrior arms and weapons and a fair bit of trimming and filing. Unfortunately the lower torso comes molded to a large rectangular metal base which needed to be clipped off and several Chaos/Slaanesh icons filed off before I could mount them to the 40mm bases. I plan on painting them a sort of blue-green color so they don't look quite so Slaaneshi as well.

The Medusae are described as floating brains which attach themselves to unwary travelers of the Webway, so I used a couple Tyranid upgrade bits and some guitar wire to fashion them. I tried to give their victims a zombie-like pose, and used the mirrored helmet heads from the Wych set to represent the masks that cover their faces prior to using their Eyeburst attacks.

There is a final option included in the retinue list, the Lhaeamean courtesan/poisoner. Her special ability increases the toxicity of any poisoned weapons the Archon bears, but as his Agonizer isn't a poisoned weapon she's somewhat redundant and will rarely be fielded, I expect. I've actually started painting the unit since the time I took these pictures, so expect to see the finished unit soon!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hobby Retrospective - Tzeentch Renegades, Part 1

Rooting around in my picture folders I found some decent pictures of the last Tzeentch-themed Chaos Marine army I'd done, and thought I'd share 'em. When the 'new' CSM codex came out I thought I'd do an army, and as is usually the case it got out of hand rather quickly. Today I'll focus on the Troops choices:

I really liked the Red Corsairs scheme presented in the codex, the semi-random application of red and black gave the models both a sense of cohesion and individuality. Changing the colors to Tzeentch's blue and yellow worked rather well but I found painting the scheme exhausting, as the heraldry on each marine needed to be as different as possible.

One can't do a Tzeentch themed army without including at least one unit of Thousand Sons, of course - I absolutely love these models. I have been resisting the desire to do a Pre-Heresy army of the Sons, the most recent Horus Heresy novels haven't helped in that regard! This army was also the first time I ever used resin cast bases, and I was surprised at how much character they added to the models.

Rounding out the Troops choices was a unit of Lesser Daemons. I was somewhat disappointed to find that the Daemonic choices in the CSM book was organized the way it was, but I settled on a motley unit of Horrors and Flamers to represent them. I have to say I fancy the design on these Horrors as being far superior to the new plastics. The new sculpts are simply nowhere near as dynamic or chaotic. Of course these older models were a pain in the fundament to assemble!

Alas, the whole army was sold long ago - It's interesting to go back and take a critical look at past efforts, noting things that I'd do differently today. Of course pondering that sort of thing does tend to set off that little itch to do another army -"Go on, just a small one would okay." Must... Resist...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Cabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 4 - Webway Portal and Raiders Primed

The army build continues apace, and an unseasonably warm day Sunday allowed me to get a fair number of miniatures primered, which was rather nice! I snapped a couple pictures as well - the infantry ended up being essentially uninteresting looking blobs of black, but there the vehicles and suchlike show enough detail to warrant a post...

I wasn't overly excited about GW's webway portal - I was really hoping for an actual scenery piece, rather than a repainted vortex template. That being the case, I banged out a quick version of my own using several remainder raider rudders (say that five times fast!). My intent is to mount a translucent globe of some sort in the middle to represent the portal itself 'hovering' in midair, but as yet I haven't found anything ideal to use... Perhaps a large marble of some kind?

That done, I turned my attentions to the Raiders. I really like the new model and I'm well pleased with the amount of options and extras GW has included. I decided that the relative worth and wealth of the Dark Eldar would be reflected in their transports. The low-born Warriors for example would have a raider almost devoid of decoration:

The Wyches Raider would have a bit more decoration, as well as some WYSIWYG wargear for them - Chainsnares and Grisly Trophies. This also helps remind me to actually use those rules on the tabletop!

The last two Raiders would belong to the pair of Archons in the army - The second-in-command, Duke Harkanet leads a unit of Incubi and I decided that their Raider would have Enhanced Aethersails, and used both of the different sails from the Raider kit to represent it. I was rather pleased with the end result, it gives it just a bit more piratical flair!

Last up is the personal transport of the leader of the Crimson Woe, the Crimson King himself. His Raider needed to be a suitably more ostentatious vessel than even that of Duke Harkanet, and so I dug into the Ravager frames for a Shock Ram, two altogether different paired sails and the thornbar spikes. I also used some bits from the Fantasy Skeletons kit to represent some different Grisly Trophies from those on the previous two Raiders.

I'm quite looking forward to painting these, though I'm debating exactly how. I'm afraid that the techniques I'm trying on the infantry may not scale up to vehicles well, but I guess I'll just have to give it a go and see how it turns out!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hobby Retrospective - Imperial Assassins

The weekend hobby retrospective returns - this time around, it's the agents of the Officio Assassinorum. In larger games (3000+) I like to include an Inquisitor and an Assassin to my guard force. They all have their uses, but I figure I'd address them in my ascending order of use.

On paper the Eversor is a solid choice as a close combat monster, but when it comes time to actually make the army list I find I prefer the other three options for the special abilities they bring to the table. I don't believe I've ever actually fielded the Eversor, now that I think about it...

The Culexus Assassin is awesome against foes with multiple psykers such as the Eldar, or vs. Psyker Battle Squads in the Guard, but as nearly every opponent I have plays Marines, he rarely takes the field. Love the model though!

Coming in at number 2, the Callidus Assassin is assuredly the most disruptive - forcing enemy unit repositioning and appearing unerringly in the backfield with a Neural Shredder and C'tan Phase Sword, she definitely causes my opponents consternation!

...And my favorite, the Vindicare Assassin. He is my go-to model, the specialist ammo and his ability to pick out ICs have caused tremendous damage over the years. To be fair he rarely survives the encounters - the last time I ran him, my opponent dedicated a Baal Predator to hunting him! The Turbo-Penetrator round let me down that day...

I'm finding it interesting to go back and look at these models again to see which of my painting methods have changed. For example, you'll undoubtedly note they are all pretty shiny. For the longest time I resisted the use of a matte varnish. I'm thinking I'll touch them up a bit and re-seal them with the new varnish, if only it wasn't 20F out at the moment!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Kabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 3 - Venom and Trueborn

I decided that I wanted to include a small unit of Kabalite Trueborn to the army, and rather than building yet another Raider, I thought I'd take a crack at kitbashing a Venom for them. I was inspired by the recent Venom build challenge on BoLS/Spikybits and particularly impressed with the Venom Conversion guide on TooMuchMetal here. I dug out the appropriate bits and got stuck in:

So far it's just the basic structure, as it's going to be the transport for the more noble Kabalite Trueborn I'm planning on adding a fair bit of decorative bits - spikes and chains, banners, etc.

The whole thing went together surprisingly quickly and I'm thinking I might go ahead and make another one!

Of course, I need some Trueborn to go in the Venom, and a nasty little unit it would be - A Dracon with the ever-popular Blast Pistol/Agonizer combo and 4 Trueborn with Blasters. In order to differentiate them from the standard Kabalite Warriors, I went with the mirrored helmets from the Reavers. I think it gives them a rather distinct look.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hobby Retrospective - Vostroyan Firstborn

Seeing as I've not had much time to put towards new modeling or painting, and rather than let my blog gather dust between current projects, I thought I'd at least try to do a once-a-week post looking back at some of the hobby work I've done prior to when I started this whole blog thing...

Today, the Vostroyan Firstborn:

I've dabbled in other guard regiments other than the Mordian 7th, and when GW first unveiled the Vostroyan line I picked up a mess of infantry, planning on having them serve double-duty as Skitarii for the Ad-Mech.

Obviously the urban basing technique on these were carried across into the 7th, I just love the idea of making little dioramas on the 60mm bases.

I only made a few minor conversions, the bog-standard melta-from-a-flamer, and the addition of a Bolter to the Company Commander. The sniper on the right is hands-down the best sculpt in the range in my opinion, I absolutely love that model.

I was rather pleased with how the units turned out, though by the end of the process I was pretty tired of red and brass - I'd assembly-line painted all 50 models in the two infantry platoons. Boring and agonizing to do, but it does ensure all the models are uniform.

Alas, these models have long ago been sold, and is one of my greatest moments of sellers remorse. In retrospect these are probably my favorite guard models. Don't get me wrong, the Cadians are fantastic for my current purposes, but the Vostroyans just have so much more interesting models.

God-Emperor save me if they ever did Valhallan/Vostroyan plastics. Save my bank account, at least - I'd be doomed. Doomed, I say!