Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dark Angels - Adepticon Army (v1) Painted!

The final push happened last night and the 1850 list I've been working towards has been completed! I still need to take shots of a few of the individual units (assault marines and vindicator), but I did snap a few pics of the army laid out on the (admittedly boring) display board:

So far so good! 16 terminators, 21 marines and 10 scouts, a Vindicator and the Nephilim. Not bad for a month's worth of work...

Here's a couple close-ups - most of these have been seen before, but there are a few newly painted units: the assault squad using the Sanguinary Guard winged jump packs can be seen lurking around the base of the Nephilim and the Vindicator "Gloriam Leo" backs the tactical marines. I'm still considering swapping out one of the scout squads for a Whirlwind, and there's a little part of my mind urging me to put the army up on eBay and start a whole new project between now and April. Must... Resist...


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dark Angels - Belial, and more Deathwing painted

Nearing the finish line on the initial Adepticon army - two more squads of Terminators are ready to deploy! Of course, no Deathwing army is possible without Belial:

Not being a fan of the new finecast version, he's been put together using leftover bits from the Deathwing kit. I have to say I was thoroughly surprised to see how many bits they packed onto those sprues! Took another run at the 'fake reflective' blade, this time in shades of black and grey - Belial's sword is described as being hewn from an onyx-like meteorite so I didn't want to do the standard blue power sword look.

The second 'tactical' squad of terminators got a plasma cannon, and a couple guys with chainfists. I really like the plasma cannon option, with the Deathwing's ability to split fire coupled with the twin-linked fire they get when they deep strike it makes the unit rather flexible.

The squad of assault terminators worked out fairly well. While I love the aesthetics of the Deathwing Knights, they seem a bit underwhelming rules-wise. A 'vanilla' squad of thunder hammer/storm shield bearing terminators led by a sergeant with lightning claws seems a good choice. Both this unit and the one above are a bit of a mish-mash of bits from the Deathwing terminator boxes and spare legs, torsos and occasional arms from the Closet of Doom. When the dust settled, I managed to build 27 terminators out of three of the new kits - quite possible the most points-to-price efficient GW purchase I've made in a long time... Heh.

Next up on the painting desk are the assault marines. So far they're just at the "blocking in the main colors" stage, but I snapped a quick pic anyway. I'm rather pleased with the sanguinary guard jump packs, it definitely ties them in aesthetically with the rest of the army. I'm a little disappointed that the veteran squads can't take jump packs, as I think it would make more sense for these to be a veteran unit, but they'll do just fine as vanilla assault marines too!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dark Angels - Musing on Adepticon lists...

The army marches steadily towards completion! I need to take some pics of the now-finished terminators, but for now here's a quick snap of the army-in-progress from earlier this past weekend that I neglected to post before:

The scout squads are nearly done as well, a few more touch-ups and the detail work on banners and shoulder pads and they'll be good to go:

So far so good! However, now that I'm getting close to getting the models that I've assembled finished, I'm starting to look at various options for army lists and figuring out if I need to build and paint some other models for the army that as yet are still sitting in boxes. I would certainly appreciate any thoughts, comments or criticisms on the two lists I'm pondering at the moment. First up is the list as shown in the picture:

Adepticon List v1

Grandmaster Belial    190

Epistolary Validus    100
Deathwing Squad Rhamiel (5 Terminators)    245
     Assault Cannon, Chainfist   

Deathwing Squad Gideon (5 Terminators)    245
     Plasma Cannon, 2x Chainfist   

Deathwing Squad Charon (5 Terminators)    240
     Lightning Claws, 4x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield   

Tactical Squad Baradiel (10 Tactical Marines)    185
     Plasma Pistol, Plasma Gun, Plasma Cannon   

Scout Squad Temion (5 Scouts)    68
     Heavy Bolter   

Scout Squad Baalakai (5 Scouts)    68
     Heavy Bolter   
Assault Squad Sheol (10 Assault Marines)    185
     Power Sword   

Nephilim Jetfighter    180
Vindicator    135
   Siege Shield   
Total    1841

The intent on this one is to Deathwing Assault Belial and the TH/SS terminators in on turn 1, and "regular deepstrike" the other two terminator squads in turn 2+ to take advantage of his teleport homer. As I'm reading it, in order for them to take advantage of his homer he must have already been on the table at the beginning of the turn, and the Deathwing Assault wording seems to suggest that all of the terminators taking part in the DWA must arrive on the chosen turn (it's not squad-by-squad). This would mean that any other squads that would teleport in turn 1 would not be able to use his homer.

That said, I've also been toying around with an alternate build that drops one of the 5-man squads of terminators and one of the scout squads, consolidates the remaining terminators into a 'deathstar' unit, and changes out some of the troops and heavy support slots as listed below:

Adepticon List v2

Grandmaster Belial: 190

Codicer Validus: 65
Deathwing Squad Rhamiel (10 Terminators): 500
     Assault Cannon, Plasma Cannon, Chainfist, 4x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield   
Tactical Squad Baradiel (10 Tactical Marines): 195
     Veteran Sergeant, Plasma Pistol, Plasma Gun, Plasma Cannon   
Scout Squad Temion (6 Scouts): 80
     Heavy Bolter   
Assault Squad Sheol (10 Assault Marines): 195
     Veteran Sergeant, Power Sword   
Nephilim Jetfighter: 180
Vindicator: 135
     Siege Shield   
Whirlwind: 70
     Storm Bolter   
Devastator Squad Leviathan (10 Devastators): 240
     4x Missile Launcher, 4x Flakk Missiles   
Total: 1850

In this case, Belial and the big unit of Terminators would Deathwing Assault on turn 2, once the opponent has begun his maneuvering and the Terminators can be placed to effect maximum carnage. This army list also has a bit more anti-air/light vehicle capability with the Devastators and some further anti-horde with the Whirlwind (which at 70 points is a steal), but forgoes the mass of Troops choices that the first list has. It will mean I need to build and paint another couple units (the Devastators and the Whirlwind), but with as quickly as the army is coming together I don't foresee that getting them done in time would be a problem.

Thoughts and Comments would be most appreciated!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster arrives!

Darn it, I had things to do this week. Guess they won't be getting done any time soon! Heh.

In reality I'm going to be setting this aside until I get the Dark Angels done for Adepticon. I did crack it open and give everything a once-over and thus far I'm relatively pleased. The plastic used on the miniatures feels a little bit sub-par compared to what I'm used to from GW but that's to be expected. I'll do a more in depth review of the game contents at some point in the future - I am excited to start building the models, but there's just too much else to do first!

I did flip through the rule book and the game concept seems to be pretty interesting. The tiles that come with the game are also going to be doing double duty in our sci-fi RPG campaigns! Definitely some cool maps.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dark Angels - Nephilim Fighter painted

Got quite a bit of hobby time in over the weekend, and dived in to the Dark Angels - still sorting out the army list for Adepticon, and it seems as thought I ended up painting several things that I'm not going to be taking out there with me after all... Argh!

The Nephilim fighter is a case in point. I knew as soon as I saw the model that I had to build and paint one, it was just too cool not to! However, it turns out the rules and points for it are a little underwhelming - the armament is a little too light to effectively deal with opposing flyers (other than the single twin-linked lascannon), and at 180 points it's pretty darn expensive.

Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun to build and paint. It really reminds me of the Thunderbolt fighter (my favorite of the Imperial Navy flyers), and it is far and away a better looking model than the previously-released Storm Talon.

I did try something new on the canopy, and went for a 'reflected horizon' look. It's not the best rendition ever done I'll admit, but for a first try I'm reasonably pleased with how it turned out. Definitely will be attempting this again in the future!

When all is said and done however, the Nephilim was pulled out of the Adepticon army list, in favor of an allied guard contingent and the access to the hardier, better armed, and less expensive Vendetta!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dark Angels - Army Planning for Adepticon and a mass build

My very favorite part of the hobby is building the models - I've been pretty good about painting the stuff I already have built recently and not adding to the pile of unpainted minis (much). Of course that all changed over this past weekend! I've often thought it would be fun to do a Dark Angels army over the years but I'd never taken the plunge - with the new release of the codex though, I jumped right in! As usual, I started off by saying "It'll just be a little boutique army, I'll keep it reasonable and relatively inexpensive."


After the dust cleared, and I started tallying up the units I'd bought it turns out that it's going to be another 3500 point monster. Argh. So the next step was to narrow it down to what I'd theoretically be taking to Adepticon and just focus on working on those models for now (mostly).

1850 points doesn't go nearly as far with the Dark Angels as it did with the guard, but that means I'm no longer on the hook to transport 100+ infantry and a half dozen vehicles. The first draft of the new list was centered around a Deathwing detachment, backed up by a few 'vanilla' Dark Angels squads and one of the Nephilim fighters for light air cover.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the finecast Belial released alongside the DA, so I figured I'd build one of my own using bits from the Deathwing terminators kit and some miscellaneous bits from the Closet of Doom. All in all a simple little kitbash and I'm rather happy with it. It should stand out enough with the back banner that there is no confusion about who he's supposed to represent.

The first Deathwing terminator Squad built from the new plastics was a relatively straightforward 'tactical' squad armed with Power/Chain fists and Storm Bolters. I did want to build out the squad with a Plasma Cannon in lieu of the standard Assault Cannon, which will help distinguish them from the terminators that came with the Dark Vengeance kit. I'm thinking I may swap out one of the SB/PF terminators from this squad with one of the 'repeats' from the DV squad so each model in both units are unique.

The second Deathwing terminator Squad was built as an 'assault' squad, armed with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields for the base troopers and a sergeant with Lightning Claws. I did have to use one Thunder Hammer from a 'vanilla' terminator as I only had 3 of the DA hammers that came with the Deathwing terminator boxes. There were plenty of Storm Shields though, so they all got the fancy DA versions!

I'm not entirely sold on the Deathwing Knights - love the aesthetic but the rules are somewhat underwhelming. If there are to be any major changes to the army list for Adepticon, it will be the removal of this unit in favor of something else, maybe another Tac squad, or some scouts and another tank. Plenty of possibilities!

The Nephilim Fighter is getting some derision heaped upon it on the blogs and forums it seems, but for me it's a must-have based solely on the Rule of Cool. I love how it looks, so it goes in the army! There are times when it is better to LOOK marvelous than to actually BE marvelous... Hah!

To give the army a little tank-y goodness, the ever popular Vindicator is the choice du jour. I dug up some old Dark Angel upgrade frames I had lying around and spent some time playing "Pimp My Rhino Variant". The siege shield is magnetized for easy modification (and painting).

I had enough leftover bits from the Deathwing boxes to make a number of other models, though I needed to do a bit of a delve in the Closet of Doom to come up with sufficient legs and rear torsos. This Deathwing Librarian is a mish-mash of Grey Knights, Deathwing, and 'vanilla' terminator bits, plus some books and purity seals. Not totally sold on the use of the GK head, I'm thinking I may replace it with a more traditional terminator helmet.

Another unit built in the frenzy that isn't intended for use in the Adepticon list is a Deathwing Terminator Command Squad. Again, this unit is built with the leftovers from the build of the three squads of Terminators shown above, plus a mish-mash of other bits from the CoD. 22 Terminators built from 3 boxes of the new Deathwing kit - not too shabby!

I'm waiting for a few bits to arrive in the mail intended for the Assault squad, but other than that I just need to get a break in the cold weather so I can get these units primed and painted. I have 3 months from today to get the army finished. Should be doable, but it does mean I need to get in gear and start cranking through 'em!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Imperial Guard - Leman Russ Executioner Painted

Got a lot of hobby stuff done over this past weekend, with the the build-out of a whole mess of Dark Angels goodies making up the Lion's share (hah!) of the effort. However, before I jump onto the DA bandwagon with both feet, I wanted to finish up and get a few pics taken of the Leman Russ Executioner that has been sitting on the painting desk in a half painted state for far too long!

In order to distinguish this tank from the Leman Russ Vanquisher squadron, I reversed the red and black on the sides of the tank and the turret. This brightens up the tank overall, and coupled with the yellow spot colors on the weapon housings, it's almost festive! ...In a unstoppable, plasma-spewing juggernaut sort of way. I tried my hand at doing a sort of "plasma pulse" look on the executioner cannon with mixed success. I'm not totally sold on it, but I'm unsure how to better convey the look.

I added a bit of decoration in the form of unit numbering and waterside transfers, and have just about got all the tanks done up to the point where I can begin the weathering process - I've been waiting to get them all done before I do that, in order to keep the weathering looking 'uniform' across all of the vehicles. They definitely need a little something extra, while the black and red is fairly striking, getting some dirt, grime and paint scraped back to bare metal should help to give them all a little more personality.

In other news, the army I'm scheming on for Adepticon was built over the weekend, expect to see a mess of Dark Angel posts over the next month or two. Get on that bandwagon and ride! Woo!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dark Angels - DV Characters painted, and some scouts

With the Dark Angels release almost upon us, I've been working on getting the last of the Dark vengeance models sorted out. Bandwagon, ho!

First up is the Captain - I quite enjoyed painting this model, though it is a bit static pose-wise. Tried something new with the power sword, with a blended opposing gradient on either side of the blade. In retrospect, adding one more 'band' to the color on each side may have looked better (light-dark-light and vice versa), but overall I'm fairly pleased with how it looks!

Next is the Librarian. Now that I have some high-res pics of it, there are definitely a few places I need to go back and touch up some sloppy painting - The left pauldron in particular. This is my favorite of the trio, it's just a very cool model, still a bit static, but it has a very brooding feel to it.

Thirdly is the Chaplain that came in the limited edition version. Also an extremely cool model, I love the smoke effect from the vents in the backpack and all the little onyx skulls, referring to the chaplain's redeeming of the Fallen. Again, the photos betray a little sloppiness around the helmet, and the fact that I apparently totally missed painting the hoses on the sides of it. Argh!

Last up are a couple units of scouts that I knocked together after a rummage around the Closet of Doom. The first of the two is the basic scout squad with the addition of a few bits from the DA upgrade frame. The second squad are built from the land speeder storm kit, which I've dubbed 'the lazy squad'. Three of them are sitting or reclining on various bits of battlefield detritus, while one is in the process of being shot. The sergeant was given a pair of wings to help tie them in thematically with the rest of the army. So far so good!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dark Angels - DV Tactical Squad painted

A little more forward motion on the Dark Angels from the Dark Vengeance set - the Tactical squad is now complete! Still working out the particulars of taking pictures with the new camera and lights, but it's starting to all come together. I think I may need to spring for a 'real' lightbox with light diffusers, either that or try a DIY solution and take a whack at building one.

Still a bit too much harsh shadowing from the lamps as you can see on the right-hand side of the picture. More experimentation is needed! Overall however I'm pleased with how the unit turned out. Nothing too special about the models really, just the basic Dark Angels scheme.

I am quite pleased with how the sergeant turned out - the gradients on the face and tabard worked out better than I'd hoped! With the imminent release of the new DA plastics, I'm thinking I might just jump on the bandwagon and bang out an 1850 point army for Adepticon rather than the originally-planned guard list. Far fewer models to travel with, and should something go wrong and they are lost or damaged during the trip it wouldn't be quite as catastrophic. I have to wait to get my hands on the codex of course, but I am tentatively planning on taking this unit, a few Deathwing terminator squads, an Assault squad (using the BA Sanguinary Guard winged jump packs), one of the cool new Nephilim flyers, and perhaps a couple tanks if I can squeeze the points. I'm loving the rumor of a plasma predator being included in the list, so perhaps an order from Forge World is on the horizon as well...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Adeptus Mechanicus - Skullz Tech Priest set, once again

Howdy folks, finally getting around to assembling some of the minis I got for Christmas - this time it's some further additions to the burgeoning Adeptus Mechanicus army that is slowly growing in the Closet of Doom. We're in the midst of the colder part of winter here so there hasn't been any time to primer anything, so for now it's just shots of bare metal.

First up is a set of miniatures that I have now purchased on four separate occasions - the Skullz Tech Priest set. I absolutely adore this set of miniatures - An Archmagos, four Tech Priests, a Magos Biologis and a pair of servitors, sculpted by Alan and Michael Perry back in the mid-90's and available as part of the Skullz limited promotion series.Very happy to have these again, as I sold my last set several years back as part of an Ad-Mech army and I've been kicking myself ever since.

I also managed to get my hands on the White-Dwarf-in-40k miniature that was available a few years back as a reward for ordering a subscription to WD. It's one of those that I've always wanted but never was able to find for a reasonable price. This one showed up for a song and I nabbed it straight away!

I'm hoping we'll get a break in the cold weather so I can get some primer on these and get stuck in!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First game of 2013!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Years! It was quite nice to have a day off yesterday, and my friend Dave and I got in a game of 40k. I didn't do a full battle report, but did snap a few pics here and there throughout the game. I wanted to try out a new 1850 variant I'm considering for Adepticon, and Dave ran his ever-frightening Blood Angel assault list.

As a break from my usual heavy downtown urban themed table I went with a small starport sort of thing. I'd picked up a spaceship-looking kitbash model off of eBay recently and wanted to put it on the table to see if it would work. It's a little large and blocked a bit too much of the line of sight across the table, so it'll probably get regulated to Necromunda terrain.

We ended up playing lengthwise across the table, which theoretically sounds good for my gunline guard, but as usual the marines were in their faces almost immediately.

The Blood Angel's Stormraven and the Mordian 7th's Vendetta circled the table (and each other) merrily gunning down the troops and tanks below.

The game itself was thoroughly bloody. By the end of turn three most of the guard and most of the blood angels had been removed as casualties. Tanks exploding left and right, surprising see-sawing of control of the backfield, and some surprisingly deadly dangerous terrain made for quite the entertaining game.

The Stormraven's lascannon and multi-melta armament put paid to a number of the Leman Russ variants. The Executioner (now just a smoking crater in the above pic) did a surprising amount of damage to the Blood Angels over the course of the game. Then it exploded.

The Blood Angels went through the guardsmen like a buzzsaw through butter, but the fleeing remnants managed a last-ditch rally and wiped out all but two of the rampaging assault marines.

We called it at the end of turn 5, when all was said and done the guard had four models on the table, and the Blood Angels were similarly mauled. All in all it was a rather fun game, and a good way to ring in 2013!