Sunday, August 31, 2014

Heresy Era Imperial Army - Geno Five-Two Chiliad

So as I near the finish line for the Thousand Sons (as the Prospero book isn't coming out for quite some time), I've been considering what my next Heresy project is going to be and I'm scheming on building up a small force of Imperial Army based on the forces in the book Legion - The Geno Five-Two Chiliad, and a tiny allied force of Alpha Legion to accompany them. As most of my projects go, the intent is to do a small 2000 point boutique army. It will become a 5000-point monster in due course. Hah!

Starting off with the command squad for the Geno Five-Two portion of the army, which means I needed a unit of female troopers. Victoria Lamb's Arcadians to the rescue!

I'm planning on doing these ladies up as Uxor Honen Mu and her command squad, and building up a few units of the Jokers led by Hurtado Bronzi using the male variants of the Arcadians - though I'm planning on holding off on the order/assembly of them until the book drops so I know exactly how the units are laid out in the heresy army lists.

They are described as wearing capes so I'll be using the VL camo cloaks as well. From the book it sounded like the Geno didn't have much in the way of heavy tanks, but they do mention that they were outfitted with Centaurs, which is a vehicle that I've always wanted to build but never had a good reason to!

In other news, this is post #499 - Going to have to come up with something fun for #500!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Veteran Squad Khalmekt built

Got caught up in a frenzy of building and finished the build for Veteran Squad Khalmekt. I knew I wanted to do one unit with the full set of fancy bits that I've been cherry picking for characters thus far.

I spent a lot of time agonizing over the unit weapon loadout but ended up deciding to keep things simple - it's very easy to load the models down with all sorts of upgrades but it's very easy to end up with a 300+ point unit and for nine dudes in power armour that is just asking for disappointment. So, basic bolter, bolt pistol and close combat weapons for the troops, plus a plasma gun for the specialist and a combi-plasma and lightning claw for the sergeant.

Very happy with how Sergeant Khalmekt turned out, he ended up with a nice sense of motion to him!

I wanted to do a half-and-half split between 'ranged' and 'close combat' looking models. The first four were given a solidly-planted pose, holstered pistols and chainblades.

The other four I went more dynamic pose-wise. Gave them all chainswords (including one from the possessed kit, as though one of them is beginning to succumb to the Flesh Change), and made some slings for the bolters.

Overall I'm very happy with the builds, they're much more animated than their basic tactical squad brethren, and the loincloths and extra bling on the armor (as well as them all having the vaned 'veteran' helmets that I'm using on the various sergeants) makes them rather recognizable as a veterans squad! Really looking forward to getting some paint on 'em!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Seeker Squad Tolbek built

I had to take a little breather from painting the knight, and so I brought out the box of heresy bits to see what i could bang together. I'd picked up a set of the combi-weapons at GenCon, so I knew I wanted to build at least one 5-man Seeker squad:

Pretty straightforward - in keeping with the 'las and plas' theme I've got going with the predators, each of the Seekers got a combi-plasma, and Sergeant Tolbek got a power fist and plasma pistol. Cost effective? No, but it looks cool! As they all have a BS of 5, I figured they should get some more decorative bits to represent their more unique status - I went through the bags of Egyptian-themed shoulder pads and was able to come up with enough with an eyeball motif for all of them, which I thought suitable for the specialist unit. I'm trying to decide whether to buy them a rhino, or perhaps put them in a Proteus with an Explorator Augury Web to more safely deliver them to fire upon their preferred target...

After that I took an inventory of the legs I had remaining (always the limiting factor, it seems) and thought I'd do a ten-man plasma support squad, ditch the third pair of robed legs shown above and do a 9-man veterans squad using the torsos, heads and shoulder pads from the Egyptian-themed bits on all of 'em to really give them a veteran look. That does mean  they'll lose out on the second available special/heavy weapon they'd get as a ten-strong unit, but does fit the fluff (TzeentchThe Primordial Creator smiles on units in multiples of nine), and it means I could attach a character of some sort and pop 'em in a Rhino or Land Raider. That being the case I think I'd build them as an assault-y unit, with a selection of the khopesh-style power blades and forego the heavy weapon entirely. I'll have a plasma gun left over from the support squad (for the one-in-five special weapon), and a combi-plas left over from the seekers (for the sergeant), so I can stay with the theme running through the army!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Adeptus Mechanicus - Knight Castigator painting begins!

Pretty busy this week with Real Life(tm), however I snuck in some paint time Saturday afternoon and got the main colors blocked in on the Castigator, and got the armour plate secured in place:

In keeping with the general heraldic color scheme found on the two Paladins, I alternated blue and yellow panels - the yellow shoulder pad and shin plate will get the quartered red-and-white-striped motif as well.

I'm still coming up with some fluff for him, but I knew that I wanted his nickname to be "The Bastard Baron". As such, he got the house colors as a bar sinister across his upper carapace, and I'm thinking I'll repeat that on the blue shinguard as well. Cleaned up the metal trim, which will be getting a shiny silver drybrush to help it stand out from the more oily steel undercarriage. All the hoses and gold trim need highlights and shading yet, as does the sword. I'm not totally sold on the alternate blue power-weapon color, I may instead go with the green of the miscellaneous power hoses. Thoughts?

Finally, a pic with the Castigator alongside one of its Paladin squires. So far so good, but lots of work yet to go!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Adeptus Mechanicus - Knight Castigator build complete

Managed to get the Castigator built up to the point that it's ready for primer! I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed building this kit, though there are a couple things I'd do differently next time around knowing what I know from the initial build.

I kept all of the armour plates separate for the time being, which will allow me greater access to the under-chassis of the model and facilitate painting. That means the model is a little skeletal looking at the moment, but once the plates are on it definitely bulks up! The model is currently separate at the waist as well (currently just held in place by a big ol' honkin' pin), though the arms are permanently attached.

Quite pleased with the overall pose, opening up the arms from the body and rotating the torso and head gives it an interesting sense of forward motion - not running as I'd likely do the Lancer (and I am much more inclined to pick one up now), but a solid advance while mowing down infantry with the gatling bolter. I was slightly disappointed that the sword arm is solid at the wrist, so you're pretty much stuck with elbow and shoulder for posing on that side. Nevertheless, I like it as a counterpoint to the reaper chainswords on the Paladins.

Now THAT'S an ammo hopper! In retrospect I would have actually been better off building the left leg bent at the knee and the right leg straight, as I found the more extended rearward placement of the leg interfered somewhat with the available torso rotation options due to the ammo belt hanging so far down. As I'd cocked the gun outwards about 25 degrees I ended up needing to hot-water bend the ammo belt into place to fit the two receiver sockets anyway, so incorporating the leg position wasn't a dealbreaker. With the leg up and out of the way however, I think one could get some really interesting posing out of the gun arm.

Here's a scale shot of the Baron compared to the paladin model - definitely think the two paladins acting as Squires is fitting scale-wise when they're on the table, though I do still contend that either the FW knights are slightly too big, or the GW knights are slightly too small. The Castigator is nearly the height of the 25mm Dreamforge leviathan!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Adeptus Mechanicus - Knight Castigator build begins!

After getting home on Sunday late afternoon, I immediately pulled out all the FW goodies and got 'em into some warm soapy water for an overnight soak. Yesterday morning I got them all scrubbed and laid out to dry and got a jump on assembling the Castigator that will be used as the Baron for my knight household!

I knew from the outset that I wanted to have the model be in as dynamic a pose as I could manage, after being disappointed with the somewhat static leg positioning of the paladin/errant kit I was delighted to see that the FW kit allowed for all sorts of posing options! I started off by building a little damaged pumping station that I could have one foot standing on, then got started posing and pinning until I came up with the stance shown. After that it was a surprisingly simple matter of attaching all the various pistons and cables, most of which went on very easily, though I did need to extent the hip piston on the upraised leg slightly.

On the rear however I found that some of the cabling will require a fair bit of hot water bending to allow them to attach to the extended pose, but that should be fairly painless. The way the instructions for the upper torso and weapons are written seems to indicate that the left-arm gatling cannon has much less of a range of motion available than the right-arm sword, so I kept the left leg straight and out of the way in order to give the ammo feeds as much room as possible. The intent is to have it splayed around to the left a bit and the sword in a sweeping motion up and over the raised right leg. We'll see how that goes, I suppose!

I'm still not entirely sold on the scale differential between the Cerastus pattern knights and the plastic paladin/errant kit but with the Castigator intended to act as the Baron for the household I thought it would be appropriate for him to be a bit more imposing than his squires (represented by the two paladins). Nevertheless, he's gonna be BIG! Hoping to get the torso and weapons built over the next few days - assuming I ever get out of work. Being gone for a week means that I have some drifting piles of email to wade through and work to catch up on. Oof!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back from GenCon 2014!

I return unkilled from the trip to Indy for GenCon 2014! Had a really fun time catching up with some old friends, we played a bunch of Shadowrun games, ate some tremendous food and had more than my fair share of martinis. I had the pleasure of meeting up with Dave Taylor and Tim Toolen for lunch which was an absolute blast (and full of bacon), and though I wasn't able to get any good pics of their submissions to the painting contest I was thrilled to be able to see their work in person! Had some fun encounters over the weekend as well with various people staying in our hotel - Scott Kurtz from PvP was running a game in the lobby one evening, and I had a quick chat with the guys from Shut up and Sit Down as we were packing up to head out on Sunday. Matt Lees hair IS that gravity-defying in person! I did manage to get a good pic of an awesome Imperial Psyker guy who was staying at the Crowne Plaza as well:

I didn't spend a huge amount of time in the dealer's hall this year other than a few surgical strikes to the Fantasy Flight booth to look for any new 40KRPG books and to pick up the new Conquest card game, which appears to be pretty interesting. Had to tear myself away from the Star Wars: Armada game, as I knew if I started picking up boxes of that I wouldn't have any way to get them home in my luggage. Definitely tempting though once it hits general release! Of course, the next stop was the Forge World booth where I did get a few pics of the new Gal Vorbak models. I don't intend to do Word Bearers, but darned if I don't want a unit of these just to paint up!

Finally got to see the Vulkan model in person and I have to say it is very, very cool. I really liked the coal grey skin effect they achieved!

I scored their last pack of combi-weapons and a trio of event-only models - a Davinite priest, the DKoK commissar and another Navigator for my buddy Dave who was unfortunately unable to attend this year.

I was running low on Mk.II armor for the Thousand Sons, and I still have a few planned infantry units to go. Luckily they still had two sets of Mk.II Despoilers left, which I'll be using to mix-and-match up some more dynamic-looking units of Seekers and Veterans.

After seeing the awesome work that Eye of Error and Dave Taylor have put into their Thanatars, I went in to the booth knowing it was going to be a must-buy assuming they had any left (I wasn't able to hit the dealer hall until Friday afternoon), and was able to grab one. Definitely looking forward to adding it to the force!

...Then Forge World knocked me down and ran off with my wallet. I mentioned to the fellow who was pulling out all the resin goodies for me that I'd planned to use the upcoming Knight Castigator as a Baron for my knight household but figured I'd be safe as it's still a few weeks/months from release. With an evil gleam in his eye he pulled out a box from under the counter:

One sudden sharp stabbing sensation in the wallet later I realized I needed to flee the dealer hall immediately or I'd end up in the poorhouse. The weekend went by in a flash and I'm back to work tomorrow morning. Can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

GenCon Bound!

Heading out for the airport in a bit - off to GenCon 2014! It's a little bittersweet as my buddy Dave (who has gone out there with me for the last ten years) is missing the con this year for health reasons. He's been doing great with his recovery though, and we're going to celebrate his return to the geekfest next year!

There's generally not a whole lot of 40k going on at GenCon these days, so the group that I go out there to meet up with will be diving in to a weekend of playing the somewhat-newly-released Shadowrun. Means the amount of gaming gear I have to worry about transporting is fairly minimal, which is nice!

I'll be sure to take some pics at the con, if it's anything like last year (above) it's going to be packed. My one major concern is that Forge World will be in attendance again this year, much to the chagrin of my wallet - we'll see how that goes!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - King Russ Vanquishers complete!

Snuck in a little brush time over the weekend and got some unit markings and the weathering onto the trio of King Russ Vanquishers for the Spireguard!

I realized once I laid 'em all out that I don't really have a photo area large enough for them all at once! Sneaky servitor in the back checking out the unsanctioned variant for possible techno-heresy, perhaps?

The addition of the bone-colored side doors really helped break up the expanse of red on the tanks, and provided a nice place to add in the regimental numbers and unit identifier. I stuck with the quasi-runic lettering, as it helps tie them out to the rest of the army - Once again, they don't really mean anything specific, I just went with some pleasing looking shapes.

The weathering still is a bit of a challenge for me - Constantly trying to refine the technique, understanding the appropriate colors to use and amount to apply. For the Thousand Sons vehicles I'm going with a scorched brown sponged on in various areas, followed by a further sponging of boltgun metal. These areas were given a little black wash and finally the extreme edges were hit with silver. I find that it's best to start out pretty reserved, it's always easier to add more later than it is to clean things up due to overzealous application!

The command tank has the reversed colors on the side panels which seemed to work out pretty well. Overall I'm quite pleased with how the squadron turned out!

"Unit's done, smoke if you got 'em!" ...Somewhat ironic as I quit smoking right around the time I started building this unit. So far so good!

Next up on the painting deck is a mess of Ad-mech who have been blurting angry binary at me for quite some time. On the upside it'll be a nice change from painting all the red and white and oh wait... Heh.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Remembrancers Complete

Definitely a fun little diversionary project, the four remembrancers for the Thousand Sons are now complete!

First up is probably the most drab of the four miniatures, Lemuel Gaumon. I wanted to keep his robes very muted, as though they were the lowest level of aspirant robes provided to him when he began his tutelage under Ahriman. The fez? ...Fezzes are cool.

Next up is Kallista Eris (fnord) who ended up looking fairly tomb-raider-esque which I suppose is befitting her role in the book. The greatcoat in Spireguard colors worked out pretty well as well!

Camille Shivani's mini ended up being one of my favorites, if only because I got a chance to use some colors far removed from the recent palette!

Finally an old sage model to represent Mahavastu Kallimakus. I wanted to keep him looking fairly monochrome and washed out (with the exception of the power cables for the scrivener harness) as he's described as being more or less hollowed-out by his service to Magnus.

All in all I'm well pleased with how they turned out, and really feel like my painting mojo has been recharged by the quick diversion. One interesting thing that stands out to me is how much a well-sculpted face helps a model. The difference in detail to work with between the Reaper, Privateer Press and GW miniatures is significant - say what you will about GW's minis, their sculptors do amazingly detailed work!

...In other news, this is post #490! Only ten more to go to the big 500, going to have to come up with some fun giveaways to celebrate that milestone!