Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adeptus Mechanicus Army review

I recently played a game with my Dark Eldar against SirBiscuit's Grey Knights. The game was great fun, but we didn't attempt to document an actual battle report. Following the game I threw down the gauntlet for a rematch. I, as many of you know, am primarily a hobby gamer whereas SirBiscuit is definitely a tournament player. That being the case I suggested a "WAAC Powergamer vs. Fluff Weenie" match at some point in the future. As an avowed Fluff Weenie, I offered to play my Adeptus Mechanicus, and figured that I'd pull the models out of their various boxes and shelves and see exactly where things stand.

It turns out there's a touch over 3500 points assembled and in various states of painting. There's still quite a bit lurking in pieces in the Closet of Doom, but I was pleased to note that of what there is assembled, there's really not all that much remaining to be painted. While I was at it I realized there were several units that I've never actually taken pictures of. Time to remedy that!

In addition to the previously-completed Archmagos Veneratus and Archmagos Prime and his Tech Magos Cabal, I have a fair number of other techpriest models that I've collected over the years. Enough in fact for another Archmagos Secundus and Cabal.. You can't really have TOO many Tech Priests after all!

The final HQ choice is a Skitarii Consul and his unit of Protectors. The Consul is made from the body of the Thunderfire Techpriest (whose arms and servo harness were rendered down for bits), and the Protectors are a mix of Iron Hands and other bits. Each of them is heavily bionic, and I'm considering painting them up as Iron Souls from the Rusted comics.

The Explorator force is heavily influenced by the Legio Cybernetica, and includes two maniples of Robots. The first unit, Maniple Psi Phi has been painted for quite some time. The second maniple includes one each of the five original Robots, which I've dubbed Maniple Chi Xi.

I've had the Luminen unit painted for quite some time, though they still need to be based. For a small 6-man unit, the Electro Priests are a rather scary assault unit.

While I was at it I did a little more work on the Myrmidon - Finished up the reds and started blocking in the cog patterns on the leg armor plates. I'm still deciding where else on the model I'm going to add the cogs - I'm thinking along the top 'neck' armor would be appropriate.

There's only about 40 models remaining to be painted, and I'd like to be able to field an entirely painted army for the incipient battle report, so I'm gearing up to batch paint all the remaining infantry. Oof.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mordian 7th Regiment, the rebirth!

I know this may come as a shock, but I actually did some work on my guard! I'll pause briefly while you recover from this stunning development.

To recap my history with the Mordian 7th Regiment - Ever since the Rogue Trader era, I've been enamored with the Imperial Guard, and my very first guard army was an attempt to recreate the army listed in the 40k Compendium. Since then the mighty 7th has held a special place in my heart, though I've never quite managed to complete the list in its entirety. The last version came very, very close however, though it was beleaguered by small hobby missteps that eventually culminated in my selling off the majority of it - It got to the point where I felt it would be more fun to rebuild than to repaint!

Chief among these is the fact that I didn't give them the correct paint scheme. Early on in the painting process I was (still) working on the Adeptus Mechanicus, and I cunningly decided that I could use the guard as Skitarii if I went with red and grey. According to the Compendium however the Mordian 7th's livery consisted of black fatigues trimmed in red to represent their hive ganger origins and their company motto "In the dark, blood will flow").

So I assembled a new Commander Evin Eldro and his command squad and set about trying out the 'correct' paint scheme. So far I'm pleased with how they're coming along. The dark blue/black fatigues with the red piping is reminiscent of the dress blues worn by the majority of the Mordian Iron Guard, and gives the impression of what they would look like if they donned standard guard flak armor. The breastplates on the Commander and the Standard Bearer are from the Empire Greatswords kit, and were chosen in an attempt to mimic the Rogue Trader-era guard command miniatures. I think I'm going to paint the medic's flak armor white to help distinguish him as the medic a bit better than he is now.

The tanks will be painted in a black and red scheme as well, as shown by the Bane Wold I'd painted a while back, and I think I'm going to keep the tank crews in red.. All in all I'm actually looking forward to dive back in to the guard!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anathema Assault Tank, Part 4 - Painted!

A bit more forward progress on the Anathema recently. Nothing too exciting, just finished up the red on the hull and started picking out some of the details.

I'm still trying to decide what other details I can add - the model doesn't really have a lot of large open spaces for unit markings.I think that somewhere on the model I want to add some white cog patterns to really tie it in to the Adeptus Mechanicus theme.

It really ends up looking fairly imposing, it is quite a large model in comparison to the 'standard' tanks. All in all it will be a suitable stand in for the Malcador Defender that it will be proxying.

All-in-all, I'd say that I'm 90% pleased with it as-is, but I'm still scratching my head as to what else it needs. Any suggestions, folks?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Inquisitorial Storm Raven, Complete!

Now that the lion's share of the Dark Eldar are done, I wanted to switch gears and paint something else for a bit. The closest model to the painting desk at the time was the Storm Raven, so I figured I'd knock it out:

Nothing too special about it really, just your basic black and red scheme with gold details here and there. Some Boltgun metal on the engines and weapons, a quick bit of blue on the Plasma Cannons and cockpit, and white-tipped rockets and I called it good.

Unfortunately I had a bit of an issue with the sealant (for the first time in a long while). No frosting, thank the Emperor, but there was a bit of a 'crinkle' effect here and there on the fuselage. It's not super noticable in the picture, but just above the red flap on the wing you can sort of see it. A friend has suggested that a little wet sanding may be able to remove it, and even if it removes the paint it should be relatively simple to repaint the black area. Ah well.

In any case, my Inquisitors now have a new ride that is much more robust than the Aquila lander they used to use!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Kabal of the Crimson Woe, Part 10 - Assembly line painting complete!

After a couple weeks worth of slogging through the Assembly Line painting, not one, not two, but FIVE Dark Eldar units are finally completed! I suppose I could have staggered out the pictures over several days worth of blog posts, but I figured 'hey, I painted them all at once, I ought to post them all at once'!

To lead off with, the first of the two requisite troops choices for the army - a unit of Warriors. Nothing much to say about them, other than they're the unit that defined the colors for the army as a whole - red armor with brass/gold trim and blue tabards and eyes. The Sybarite's Agonizer got the green treatment to really make his weapon stand out.

The Wyches were a bit of a stumbling block initially. There are two other colors that go into their paint scheme - the pallid flesh tone (as all the Warriors are fully enclosed in their army and had no skin showing), and the leather bodysuits they wear. I didn't want to go with black leather, and had experimented with (but was ultimately dissatisfied by) brown leather on the Medusae, so I decided to try a dirty white color instead. The pictures don't show it off particularly well, but the purple-ish skin tone is distinguishable from the white leathers where the two meet. I carried the blue spot color through into their hair and the green into the specialist weapons and the Agonizer. From a modeling perspective I used bits from two boxes to ensure that all of the Wyches were female.

While I was halfway through the painting process I remembered that there were a few other infantry models that I'd built but hadn't included in the batch painting line-up. I quickly brought them up to speed and inserted them into the assembly line, in this instance the two Wyches with Shardnets (should I wish to swap them out for the Hydra Gauntlets), and Lileath Hesperax which I plan on just using as a Succubus in most games.

Next up is the five-man Trueborn unit, armed with Blasters. They'll cruise around in a Venom, while the Wyches and Warriors each have their own Raider. I really like how these models turned out, the mirrored helmets really give them a sense of menace and distinguish them from the Warriors. As they are the nobles of the Kabal, their armor received more gold plates to indicate their status.

 Another unit I decided to add to the assembly line were the Incubi. I'd initially considered going with the 'standard' black armor and white helmets, but settled on carrying through the army colors instead. As they are significantly higher on the totem pole in the Kabal, I decided to carry the 'more gold than red' theme to its natural conclusion. The blue tabards and green specialist weapons tie them to the army paint scheme as well.  Overall I'm pleased with how they turned out.

The final three models that were added to the queue were a trio of Privateer Press 'Cephalyx Overlord' models that I'm using for Haemonculi. They each hover over their bases on a small piece of steel wire and were almost ideal right out of the box, with the surgical apparatus sprouting from their shoulders. I added a Husk Blade from the Archon model to one of them to indicate it is the Haemonculus Ancient. They give off the twisted surgeon vibe quite nicely in my opinion. While I really love the new Urien Rackarth model and am quite looking forward to seeing what GW does for a new 'standard' Haemonculi, I really don't care for the current old-style models, and feel these suit the army quite well.

So, 36 models done in one fell swoop! Well, a two-week swoop. ...More of a casual float really. On the up side getting them finished dramatically updated the painting chart, which is always heartening. I've managed to stick to my guns about not building any more Dark Eldar until what I have assembled is completed, which means that at the moment all that remains assembled and awaiting paint are four Raiders, a Venom and five Reavers. Should be a snap after painting all that infantry! Once they're done I can crack open the Ravagers and the Hellions, which I'm really looking forward to building!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Heresy-Era Thousand Sons - Dreadclaw Drop Pod Conversion, Part 1

I know that I want to include at least one Drop Pod in the Heresy-Era Thousand Sons army I'm slowly building, with the intent that it would carry Azhek Ahriman and his Red Sorcerer Coven into combat. Ideally I wanted to go with a Dreadclaw, but the one available from Forge World is a bit too Chaos-y for my purposes. That said, Old School Terminator over at Dark Future Games converted his own version using the standard plastic Drop Pod model and it works a treat!

I essentially followed his instructions and the whole model went together as though it was designed to be built this way. In fact, it was actually EASIER to build it like this than the 'real' way to do it! I was a bit premature in priming it, in retrospect I should have added a bit more decoration than I did. No fear though, a couple extra bits and another quick hit of primer and we'll be in business!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hobby Retrospective - Necromunda, Spyre Hunters

As many folks are contributing to the "Old Stuff Day" theme, I figured it would be a good time for another Hobby Retrospective (that, and I haven't got much done that's picture-worthy recently), this time around is a look at the last of my Necromunda gangs - The Spyre Hunters. Necromunda is arguably the cheapest way to game in the 40k tabletop universe, and no gang is more economical than the Spyre Hunters. Where most gangs consist of 8-12 models at initial creation, Spyre Hunters are commonly found hunting in groups of 4-5 (or even fewer)!

These are some of the oldest, and most-repainted models I still own. Over the years these four models have been stripped and repainted three times, and were purchased new when they were first released back in 1996-ish. I usually run a team with one each of the 4 Spire Houses - (from left to right) Jakara, Yeld, Orrus, and Malcadon. Unlike any other gang, any points not spent purchasing models is spent on additional starting experience, so usually I could rely on each of the Spyrers to begin their careers with an upgrade or two.

Of course, it wasn't uncommon to have a hunt team of ONE just for the opportunity to roll up an absolute monster for a one-off game. A fully tuned up Jakara or Malcadon can be pretty scary!