Sunday, January 30, 2011

Terrain Project - Hills and Toxic Pools

It's a running joke that games at my place invariably are set in urban environments, so a woodworking friend of mine made a set of hills and sludge pits for my tables to change things up a bit.

There's enough to comfortably cover a full 4x8 table (this shot is it all condensed in to a 4x4 space), and they definitely will come in handy to give my battlefields a little more flavor. They're all made from very sturdy plywood, sanded and finished to withstand some serious gaming. I particularly like the sludge pools - he used a couple different techniques on the water effects and they turned out looking really toxic.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Anathema Assault Tank, Part 3 - Initial basecoats

As I'd mentioned in my last post, I decided to paint the Anathema and the Myrmidon simultaneously. I'm going with the basic metal and red scheme on both of vehicles, and as such started off with a heavy drybrush of Boltgun Metal followed by a Badab Black wash. Eventually I'll hit some of the higher edges with another pass of Boltgun Metal and a light pass of Chainmail, although that hasn't happened as yet.

I decided to trim down the roller pins to recover the caps which I then glued in place on the wheels. Still a little disappointed in that aspect of the kit, but overall I think it turned out fairly well. It ends up looking suitably heavy yet slightly ramshackle.

There's definitely more red armor plate space on the Anathema than there is on the Myrmidon. After I'd gotten the red undercoat on this tank, I reconsidered how spare the red was on the walker. This is just the Dark Flesh step - the models will both get a coat of Red Gore followed by highlights of Blood Red and Blazing Orange on the extreme edges. Once that's done I'll be going back through and adding the white cog-wheel edging on certain areas.

All in all I think it's going to be a fun project to finish up - it's just such an absurd vehicle!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Myrmidon Assault Engine Mk.II, - Part 2

A little hobby time brought me to the conclusion that I ought to paint the Myrmidon and the Anathema simultaneously, and as such I spent a little more time de-chaosifying the model before taking advantage of a nice day to primer them both. After that, I got stuck in:

At the moment I've just got the initial metal and red undercoats down. I realized shortly after I started that my tank brush was nearly ruined, and the drybrushing didn't go as well as I'd liked. I'll be going back through and touching it up once I pick up a new brush.

I decided for a complete new cover over the leg and neck armor rather than try and cut the dozens of little triangles and spikes off. The new plates are thin card that was then soaked in superglue which forms a fairly serviceable plasticard when it dries.

This arm suffered from spotty drybrushing, but I'm planning on blocking in more of the arm and weapon with red to give it a bit more color. Next up, pictures of the Anathema in progress...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hobby Retrospective - Tzeentch Renegades, Part 3

Time for another weekend hobby retrospective! Up today are the fast attack choices from the Tzeentch Renegade army.

The wings that come with the Possessed models made for excellent proxy jump packs for the unit of Raptors. I tried to carry through the secondary blue-and-pink-horror theme for the various mutations and daemon models, which tied the whole force together nicely.

For the Bikers I immediately knew I wanted to do riders on Disks of Tzeentch, but the old school disks that I had were really too small. Instead I went with the models riding Screamers (as at the time they weren't used in 40k). As above, the daemonic creatures got the pink and blue treatment, which stands out nicely from the blue and yellow of the marines.

My interest in flyers carried through into this army as well - the Forge World Hellblade model is just fantastic in my opinion. Of course all this looking back on old projects has gotten me thinking about working up a small-ish Heresy-era Thousand Sons army... Argh!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Kabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 8 - Court of the Archon actually complete

I was rooting around in the hobby loft and finally found the Lhamaean model I'd misplaced and finished painting her. She was my test model for the skin tone I'm planning on using for the Dark Eldar, based on the excellent tips from Dave Taylor. The Dheneb Stone/Leviathan Purple combo really gives the skin a nice pallid look.

I was trying to do violet eyes on her, but they ended up looking a bit too similar to the purple undertone of the skin. I may go back in and give her pupils a darker color at some point before I seal the models. With the weather around here being what it is, that may be some time away yet...

While I was at it, I tried to get some better pictures of the rest of the Court of the Archon and the Crimson King. I really like the look of the unit all assembled, with the built in 'tiering' in size it makes me want to make a little diorama base for them. All in all finishing this unit has really got me excited to paint the rest of the army - I'm sure that'll wear off somewhere in the process of painting 30-some Wyches and Warriors!

These pictures show the various reds a little better than previous shots of the Crimson King. The intent was to make his cloak, hair and armor all slightly different shades of crimson. I do still need to add static grass to the bases on the Archon and several members of the Court. but the weather has been so chilly I'm afraid of frosting...

For those times I want to run the Court on foot, I built the maximum 5 Ur-Ghuls. Two of the models ended up being a bit too similar, so I usually pull one of the 'twins' out when the Crimson King joins the unit and I need to keep the unit size to 10 to fit in a Raider.

The last couple pictures of the Sslyth have been a bit out of focus, which was the main reason I ended up re-shooting all of the models in the Court. I plan on making one more Sslyth in the future (to bring unit up to its max of 3), as I've been rather pleased with their battlefield performance. The fact that they aren't classified as Bulky is nice when it comes to transporting the unit.

Lastly, the Medusae. I added a little blue wash around the edges of their mirror helms which give it a nice look, and tried to model them such as to suggest they are limp husks being dragged along by their Medusae parasites. These models exemplify my issues with the red-to-black transition I'd originally intended. Instead I'm going with red and black armor plates on the rest of the army, the red plates being similar to the armor on the Crimson King, and occasional black plates edged in grey. I decided to keep the Medusae's armor as-is however, to help distinguish them from the Wych models of which they are primarily made - though I suppose the floating brains and zombie poses probably suffice for that!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Da Soopa Grotz - Ork Killa Kans

Not a lot of hobby time this weekend, but I did manage to finish up the three Killa Kans I've dubbed "Da Soopa Grotz". I absolutely love the new Killa Kan models, they provide for some excellent conversion material, as well as just being a fun kit to assemble as intended!

I knew I wanted to model them stomping around, that was a given! I also wanted to advantage of the Gretchin pilot's staggering BS3 and armed them all with Rokkits. Originally I was going to run another trio called "Da Doopa Grotz", but instead rendered the kit down for bits for other nefarious projects...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anathema Assault Tank, Part 2 - Build in progress

In what is the longest follow-up to an earlier post for this blog (so far), I finally sat down and built the Anathema Assault Tank that I purchased last January. I was tired of painting and felt I needed to build something - rather than more Dark Eldar, I took my life into my own hands and rummaged around in the Closet of Doom (ominous horns)

The Anathema Assault Tank is a relatively obscure Superheavy Tank known for its unorthodox 'tricycle' design. It is notoriously prone to "throwing a shoe' as the tank's Cataphracti crew humorously dub the problem - the bolts holding the traction plates in place tend to shear at speed, pitching the 100kg metal plates a surprising distance. There is an unsanctioned betting ring among the operators of the Anathema Assault Tanks regarding successfully hitting an enemy with the flying plates.

...And that's how I'm going to justify the fact that one of the treads is seriously out of true, now that I've looked at the picture. I attempted to remove it to no avail, fearing that I'd end up shattering the pieces. In game terms the Anathema will be used as a proxy Malcador Defender. It technically has the same weapons loadout, although their distribution is slightly different.

The kit was quite seriously out-of-true and even getting it to this state of build was a serious challenge. The resin is very brittle, and there were several occasions where I broke pieces attempting to trim or sand them. Most of these errors are hidden, but a perfect example are the holes in the tread plates designed to accept resin-cast axles provided with the kit. In an attempt to clear the flash from the holes, I broke two of them before deciding another tack was called for. Instead I'm going to use small bb's or beads to represent the lugs.

There's still a bit of gap-filling and minor detailing to do of course, but all in all it's brutish and slightly ridiculous, which perfectly encapsulates the Adeptus Mechanicus to me!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Kabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 7 - Raider and Venom paint test

As I'd mentioned previously, my initial idea for the paint scheme for the Kabal of the Crimson Woe was predominantly black, fading to a crimson/red at the edges. However, when I actually started trying to paint the scheme, I found that the transition from black to red just looked too abrupt, especially on the larger plates on the various skimmers. Instead I've decided that the base color would be red, and I'd build up to a brighter red edging. So, below are the two test vehicles using the new scheme - first up, one of the Archon's Raiders:

Obviously, all I've done so far is just the red sections, all of the detail work still remains to be done. I'm still a little sloppy on the edge work, but practice makes perfect as they say! The plates are undercoated in Dark Flesh, followed by a Red Gore and Blood Red edging. Once that's done, I washed the plates with Baal Red which darkened them up a bit and smoothed out some of the more jagged edging fumbles. I then applied the same technique to the Venom:

Again, a little rough on the edging, I need to work on smoothing out that part of the process. Overall however I'm pleased with the resulting color - it's a nice dark crimson, which works well for a group called the Kabal of the Crimson Woe!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Kabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 6 - The Court of the Crimson King Painted

A bit more forward progress with the Dark Eldar this past week - I managed to get 10/11ths of the Court of the Crimson King painted. It was pointed out that I misplaced the Lhaemean when I was cleaning up the hobby area. At this moment, I have no idea where it ended up in the crowds of miniatures up on the shelves. Whoops!

The Crimson King himself was painted in several different shades of red, although not much of the cape is visible in the picture. I was pleased how the cool tones of the base contrasts with the warm tones of the model.

The Ur-Ghuls were made by adding a little bit of greenstuff to the heads, covering the eyes and adding a number of extra nostrils. I tried to mimic the Ur-Ghul skulls on the back-splines on the Wyches sprue. I tried a different skin tone than what I have planned for the actual Dark Eldar - a much more pasty and greenish skin than the cool porcelain of their Eldar masters.

For the Sslyth I wanted to avoid the pink/purple Slaaneshi scheme and went for a light green and a blue wash to make a cool, reptilian skin tone. I was somewhat disappointed in the fact that I couldn't really mount them on the same resin bases that the remainder of the army are on, but I tried to carry through on the paint scheme at least.

The Medusae were fun little conversions, I really liked the idea of 'floating brain-slug zombies'. On the table they lay down a pair of templates at AP d6, which gives the unit a nice bit of crowd control. 

Lastly I finished the Webway Portal and tracked down an appropriately-sized marble to represent the portal itself. Quite a simple little conversion, but I was quite pleased - It has a bit more personality than the 'repainted vortex template' in my opinion.

Still experimenting with the paint scheme a bit - initially I was planning on red-lined black armor, but I've subsequently decided that I'd go with a dark red undercoat rather than black. The transitions between the black and red on the test models just turned out too abrupt, and starting with a dark red instead should allow for much smoother transitions...