Monday, December 31, 2012

Imperial Guard - Vanquisher Squadron Command Tank

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Hope that 2012 was a good one, and 2013 will be just as good, if not better!

I've been doing a mess of painting recently and felt it was time to reward myself with some build time. Still on the guard kick, it was only natural that I add another tank to the collection, which could only mean one thing - another Vanquisher, hands down my favorite Leman Russ variant. The intent is to have a trio eventually, and with one built and painted so far it was time to make the command tank for the squadron.

Naturally that calls for a model to represent Knight Commander Pask. BS4 with the Crack Shot rule on my beloved Vanquisher cannon? Yes please!

My version of Pask was built from a mix of bits from the Leman Russ tank commander, and the Cadian command squad sprues. I'm a big fan of banners and flags, so why not have him waving an unfeasibly large flag from the command cupola? If anything, there will be no confusion about which tank is Pask's!

I spent a little bit of time magnetizing the side sponsons so I can run the tank with or without them (points permitting). Fairly simple, a bit of sprue cut to fit with a hole drilled to accept the magnet, and a matching magnet on the inside of the track housing. Of course, my first try had the sprues flush with the inside of the sponsons, which meant it interfered with the detail and gribblies on the sides of the tank. I ended up having to knock the sprues loose and push them back into the sponsons slightly so they would sit flush with the tank. Lesson learned: Measure twice, cut once, screw it up anyway and have to re-do it. :)

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year! My plan is to have a nice glass of scotch and be asleep by about 9:00pm. I'm an animal, I know. Hah!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dark Angels - Deathwing Terminators painted

Hope everyone has had a great holiday!

Had a few days off and got some hobby time in over the long weekend. I was starting to feel army painter's fatigue coming on with the guard (having painted quite a few of late), and was casting about for something to paint when my eye fell on the Dark Angels that came with the Dark Vengeance set. With the release of the new rumor pics out there, my interest was piqued - not enough to want to kick off a whole new army, but enough to prompt me to try my hand at a marine chapter I've never painted before using minis I happened to already have on-hand...

Of course I had to start off with the Deathwing terminators! I was impressed with the models from the DV set (though I think the Blood Angel terminators from the Space Hulk set are superior), and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the upcoming Knights and terminator command squads. From what I understand there's supposed to be a plasma cannon option in the upcoming codex, which I rather like the sound of!

My buddy Dave got me a new camera for Christmas (the old digital camera I'd been using was shockingly mediocre by today's standards, thanks Dave!) so I decided to give the macro settings a go and shot some individual pics of each of the models. I'm not totally sold on the aesthetics of the terminator sergeant, but it's growing on me...

Only one model with my favorite terminator upgrade, the terrifying chainfist. I like all the fine details on the models, but I'd hoped they would have pushed the native american-esqe vibe a bit more than they did.

I really do like this model's pose. It's a nice change from the "blasting away" poses most of the multi-pose kits are restricted to unless you do some serious re-modeling.

There were two of the same pose, so I just snipped off the pegs and altered the angle of the storm bolters which changes the silhouette enough that they're not clones on the tabletop. So far so good! The plan is not to do a full-blown Dark Angels army, but rather just do a compact little allied force to complement the guard (we'll see how that works out). I'm thinking I might even try a plasma-themed Mordian 7th/Dark Angel army at Adepticon!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Imperial Guard - Thargadd's Thumpers collaboration project, part III

Thargadd's Thumpers are complete! I have to say that doing this collaborative project with Colonel Scipio has been a joy - it was a really fun project to work on and has inspired me to do a whole series of fluff posts for the various units in the army (kind of a Codex: Mordian 7th). So, here goes:

Thargadd's Thumpers - Mercenary Ogryns

The Ogryn Mercenary unit known as "Thargadd's Thumpers" has been instrumental in a number of the Mordian 7th battle plans, and boasted an impressive kill tally far in excess of commonly held expectations. It is suggested that the large number of abhumans fielded by the Mordian 7th regiment and the surprising successes they enjoyed may point to the benefits of including them in wider numbers throughout the guard, but many Imperial commanders still feel that the use of abhumans is somehow distasteful and look down on commanders who use them. At the conclusion of the Flotis campaign, Thargadd and his surviving followers were posted to the 122/7th (Pioneer) Company, Second Battalion of the Palladian Guard under somewhat mysterious circumstances.

Sergeant Ogryn Thargadd served with considerable distinction in the Flotis campaign, destroying an Ork Dreadnought single-handed in close combat during the Battle of Blood Hill. It is said that Commissar Arden designed their banner personally in recognition of this valor. With Ogryns not being known for their fastidious nature, the banner has taken a beating during the campaign but Thargadd takes pride in it nonetheless.

The Twins, Horkk and Harkk enjoy a bit of sibling rivalry as brothers and keep a constant running tally of "enemies smooshed" in an effort to outdo one another. The fact that they have difficulty counting past six doesn't seem to dull their enthusiasm however.

Grogg and Narkk round out the unit. Grogg is the units "Keeper of tha Booze" and is entrusted with the rotgut the Ogryns are given as part of their pay. Woe betide the person who gets between Grogg and his booze. Narkk is the sharpshooter of the unit, having actually hit what he has aimed at slightly more than half of the time, and he likes to boast about his prowess.


Quartermaster Antius was bored. He'd been checking and rechecking manifests for days, following a foul-up by the Munitorum. It appeared that dozens of transport containers has been mis-routed on the muster world they'd recently left, and it was only now, while they were in transit through the Warp, that the scope of the problem was being discovered. He resignedly moved down the row of containers to where he had left off the previous shift.

Narkk was bored. They'd been cooped up in this transport container for longer than usual, and while they were pleased to find pallet upon pallet of rations (most of which had been enthusiastically consumed) after three days even the Ogryns thought it was getting a bit whiffy. Horkk and Harkk were bickering over who had cultivated the biggest lice and Grogg was grumbling irritably about his booze ration running low.  "Hey boss, when ya think they's gonna let us get back ter fightin'?" he asked. Sergeant Thargadd pondered this, idly picking his teeth with the point of an eldar shuriken the medicae had dug out of his chest in an earlier action. "Dunno. It's been good ter have a bit of a layabout but it's time to thump some skulls..." He went back to rapping his knuckles on the bulkhead door.

"Container M7 157/182514. Great, another one that's not ours. At least it's flagged as being rations." Antius deftly unlocked the container and lugged the door open, suddenly gagging at the noxious stench that was released. "Throne, these rations have definitely gone bad..." He gasped as a shadow loomed out of the container at him. Suddenly finding himself lifted from his feet by the front of his tunic he gazed into the largest, ugliest face he'd ever seen. A half-metal skull with a green bionic eye glared balefully at him and a blast of rancid breath from behind slabs of crooked yellowed teeth made him gag."Where's our booze ration? Yer think we can just sit in the dark and eat with nuthin ter wash it down with? It's been three days an' yer better see to it or my boys an I are gonna get reeeal ugly!"

It looked like it wasn't going to be a boring shift after all...


Thanks for reading - I hope you all have a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Imperial Guard - Thargadd's Thumpers collaboration project, part II

It's been just crazy at work this past week, over 70 hours in the last 7 days. Oof. As a way to unwind after the loooong days I've been working on the new version of Thargadd's Thumpers that I'm painting up for Colonel Scipio of Palladian Guard fame! He recently posted some pictures of the build of the Palladian veterans that he's building and painting for me, and I am absolutely blown away with how cool they are looking. Check 'em out!

Obviously there's still quite a bit left to do, but the main colors have all been blocked in and the highlighting and shading has begun! I'm really enjoying working on these new Ogryns, they really have a ton of personality. I'm giving some serious thought to getting another set to replace the current unit Ogryns that I have had for ages, though it seems like a bit of a disservice to replace the 'original' Thargadd's Thumpers who have served so well over the years...

In any case, I'm hoping I can get these guys finished up over the upcoming weekend, as it's supposed to be warm enough to get them sealed. We're in the midst of a Colorado winter here which means alternating days of snow and bitter cold followed by sunshiny, warm days. It keeps us on our toes, that's for sure!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Imperial Guard - Thargadd's Thumpers redux/collaboration project

Greetings all! Just a quick post to kick off the first collaboration project that I've participated in. Colonel Scipio of the rather excellent Palladian Guard blog recently posted about doing collaborative projects with other bloggers, and it definitely captured my interest. The idea is to do a miniature exchange project wherein we would each paint a unit in our personal army's colors and second them to the other person's army. We emailed back and forth a bit to discuss some ideas and we settled on Colonel Scipio painting a unit of Palladian Veterans that had been left behind/seconded to the Mordian 7th following a combined action, and me painting up a unit of Thargadd's Thumpers, the mercenary Ogryn unit that is a mainstay of the glorious 7th - not to mention that it would be amusing for the models coming from the Yank to be a unit of loud, obnoxious, violent cretins! :)

Since we're on opposite sides of the pond, we decided it would make the most sense if we sourced the models locally. I've wanted to paint up a unit of the new Ogryns for a long time, so this was a perfect opportunity for me! Sadly part of the plan was to incorporate the Nork Deddog model into the unit, but to my surprise the new Ogryns are noticeably larger than the old ones, and the Nork model looked rather weedy in comparison.

I wanted to add a bit more character to the unit, seeing as they are a bunch of mercenaries I thought a few extra trophies, gear and weapons wouldn't go amiss. Sergeant Thargadd was given a back banner during his time with the Mordian 7th regiment, and I thought it would be amusing to have it be naught but a tattered rag after the period of hard campaigning.

We're supposed to be getting snow and cold weather for an extended period starting tomorrow, but as it's supposed to be relatively warm today I'm really hoping I can get these guys primered!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Imperial Guard - Charybdis Assault Launchers (proxy Griffon/Hydra)

Pressing onward with the guard vehicles for the glorious 7th brings us to the Charybdis Assault Launchers, which I've used alternately as proxy Griffons or Hydras as the situation calls for. Made from the older Chimeras, some bits from the vehicle upgrade sprue and the launcher and top hatch from a space marine Whirlwind, they fit together surprisingly easily!

I continued on with the "mid-launch sequence" on one of the launchers, I like the dynamic look it gives the model, though it'll invariably come loose or snap off in due course...

On the rear section I added a hatch, and have plans to be able to run these as Salamander scout tanks with the enclosed crew compartment upgrade, though I'll need to build a set of autocannon or heavy flamer turrets to take the place of the launcher. Should be fairly easy to do, and make them even more multi-purpose!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Imperial Guard - Vendetta painted

Hope everyone on this side of the pond had a great Thanksgiving - The holiday was a whirlwind of food and travel for me, the few days of vacation were much appreciated however! Still slowly chipping away at the guard, so I thought I'd snap a few pics of the recently-completed Vendetta!

I did a few minor modifications to the build - reversing the wings and leaving out the rear tail section. I think it gives it a bit more of a predatory look!

I wanted to keep the paint scheme fairly simple - mostly black, with a few red panels here and there. I'm planning on using the crew models for another nefarious purpose at some point in the future, so the cockpits were just painted in.

The small bits of yellow spot color here and there pop nicely against the red and black, and help tie it in to the rest of the army.

I took a crack at doing a 'slate skies' color on the bottom, helps break up the outline a bit and give it something than just more black. Overall I'm pretty pleased with how it came out - time to take it out tank hunting!

Next up, the Charybdis Assault Launchers...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Road to Adepticon - Army Pics and List v3

It's been crazy at work of late so not a whole lot of hobby time - a little bit of fooling around with army lists, but only one model actually got painted:

Eye of Error over at Eye of Error made a couple banners for me, so I scaled one down to use as the Regimental banner. Fairly simple bit of work, I clipped the plastic banner and pole off and inserted a bit of brass rod cut to fit, and used one of the banner toppers that comes with the command squad sprues to cap it off. I'm rather pleased with how the banner itself turned out as well - definitely more suited to the army than the rather cadian-esque one that comes with the plastic kit.

I've done a bit of messing about with the army list I'm intending to take to Adepticon and ended up with a compromise between building the most efficient group of killers I could, and my desire to include a number of units that fit the fluff of the Mordian 7th Regiment. The 7th are known for their heavy use of abhumans, and while I haven't found a really good fit for my Beastmen (in friendly games I use them as Penitents that always use the Knife Fighters option but lose their lasguns), I did want to include Thargadd's Thumpers (ogryns) and Dunno's Deadeyes (ratling snipers). I also drew out the shape for the carrying tray just to see if I could actually FIT all the models, which just barely worked. That's a whole lotta infantry!

As far as it goes, there's not a lot that still needs to be painted for this version of the list - A Vendetta, the proxy Hydra and the Aegis Defense Line, all of which have at least a little paint on 'em so far. Hopefully with the upcoming holiday weekend I can actually get 'em finished off!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Imperial Guard - A whole mess of infantry painted!

With Adepticon bearing down on us, I really needed to get in gear and paint up the multiple squads of infantry that have been neglected for so long. Thirty of 'em were going to be needed for my planned 1850 list so there was no getting around the fact that I was in for some assembly line painting. Not my favorite way to paint, but it's efficient for those times when you just have a horde of troops to do.

On the up side, I'd already painted up the heavy weapons teams so there ended up being 24 of 'em on deck. I didn't document this stage too much, just snapped a quick picture about halfway through. The scheme is fairly quick and painless, so it only took about 5-6 hours to get them up to tabletop standard.

...Almost to the finish line! I still need to paint on the unit insignia and "winged 7" on the shoulder pads, but I wanted to get a first pass of sealant on them before I did so. I find that helps when it comes time to draw on tiny numbers and symbols - the sealant smooths out the surface somewhat so the paint flows really nicely onto the shoulder pads.

Couple closeups of the various squads - I don't tend to go overboard on detail for the troops - especially true in the case of the guard, as these guys get pulled off the table in double handfuls due to casualties anyway! The grenade launcher/missile launcher combo gives the squads the ability to deal with both hordes and light vehicles/elite infantry, alternately there's 3 lascannons that I can swap in for those times I know I'll be facing heavier mechanized opponents.

While I was about it, I brought the old unit of ratlings up to speed, touching up their fatigues, re-painting the weapon housings, and re-basing them. Luckily my old urban rubble theme is essentially the same physical form as my current method - just a re-paint from grey to brown, and the addition of some static grass is all that is required.

I'm in the queue to have the extraordinarily talented Ron over at FTW build me a new commander model for the army, but needed something for a stand in in the short term. Recently I've been using the rules for Ursakar Creed for my army commander Evin Eldro, which meant that the old model I was using wasn't armed appropriately and the real Creed model, while cool, just doesn't fit my vision. Twin hot-shot laspistols and a power sword? Turns out I have a model armed that way... Kal Jerico! A quick repaint of the coat and base and job's a good 'un. I'm hoping to have Ron do a similar model that includes a carapace breastplate and an officer's head - while the base Kal Jerico model is really dynamic, it needs some work to really make it blend in with a guard army. For now though, this'll do!

It felt really good to be able to swap the last of the big Troop units over to green on the painting chart. I also took a little time in Excel and got it to reference the point values of the army list and was surprised to find out exactly how many points of guard there actually are lurking in the Closet of Doom. I really can't think of much that I want to add to the army at this point - possibly another couple Leman Russ variants, maybe a Stormblade for grins, but unless GW comes out with a storm trooper kit that I can't live without, I can't think of any further infantry that I really need. Could it be that the project is finally reaching conclusion?

...Nah, probably not. Hah!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Road to Adepticon 2013 - test game, sort of...

Well over the past weekend I got together with my buddy Dave from Ex Fide Vivo with the intent to try out the guard army list I'd cobbled together for use at Adepticon next year. Unfortunately the weather was quite poor on Saturday and it started to snow and sleet fairly heavily, so we didn't get much past turn 2 before calling the game for weather. Nevertheless I did take a few pictures that I thought I'd share, as well as point you over to Dave's blog where he did a rather more in-depth write up of the game (as much of it as we got done, that is.

Setup - We ended up playing the Scouring with the diagonal setup. I liked the idea of the randomized objective values, though the placement that I chose for the ones on my side of the line came back to bite me...

Two of the three objectives on my side of the table ended up being "Sabotaged", and the forest in which the one on the left flank the located was also full of brainleaf fronds. Suffice it to say the squad in there fled for their lives! The potential for explosions drove my guard from cover in the middle of the table as well, which definitely hampered my plans.

I started to swing to the right flank to take that objective, and the rough riders showed up on that flank as well - I was feeling pretty confident... Until a full assault squad DS'ed right in the middle of 'em!

The vindicator had been stunned such that it couldn't fire its gun, so it attempted a tank shock into the Rough Riders. They danced out of the way rather deftly, only to be annihilated by the Baal Predator immediately thereafter.

I was unable to materially weaken the rampaging assault squads, who butchered their way through my line, and managed to surround and cut down the company command squad. At this point we ended up calling the game due to snow, but in all honesty it was pretty much all over but the shouting at this point anyway.

We spent some time discussing tactics and listbuilding and I've come up with a tweaked version of the list that cuts out some of the Chimeras, adds a defense line and quad-gun, and so forth. We're hoping to have a re-match soon!