Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Space Hulk - Filthy Xenos completed!

Snuck in a couple more hours of brush time over the last few days and finished off the Space Hulk Genestealers!

Overall I'm pretty happy with them. The sculpts were a little odd once I got a closer look at them, lots of areas on the undersides which are just sort of blobs of plastic. Most of that sort of thing is hidden from the eye and I tried to de-emphasize it during the painting process. That said, they are definitely cool models, tons of personality to 'em!

Really dig the Broodlord model - far better than the old 'shouting at the sky' model they did for 40k. Next up, the Terminators!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Space Hulk - Genestealers painting in progress

Another long week of work and whatnot so it's been a little quiet on the hobby front. In the interim I've been asked to help out a buddy of mine by painting up a set of Space Hulk minis for him while he deals with some health problems. He's done the majority of the work on the Terminators which will just need some detail work, but the Genestealers were just at the assembly stage. Time to crank up the batch painting machine (again)!

Following the Tale of Painters tutorial to crank through 'em - got the blue and purple in place, just the little details to go now!

After doing some painting I got the urge to build something - With the recent release of the FW Solar Auxilia lasrifle sections, it appears that I needed to build a Vox and Vexilla model for each of the units of Spireguard. ...So I did! Still waiting for news on how the command squads will work, so for now I'm holding off on building any more Spireguard. Rumors suggest the next book should hit in the next month or two and then we'll find out!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Feast of Blades retrospective

Over the past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Feast of Blades 2014 in Denver, with the intention of participating in the Heresy tournament being put on. Got down there nice and early on Sunday (and totally not because I misunderstood the start time), and poked around a bit and chatted with some other earlybirds about how the weekend was going. Everyone really seemed to be having a good time!

Last year I went down to FoB to play in the huge apocalypse narrative event, and this year they really stepped up the game with a whole huge 'Floorhammer'-style cityscape for titans to really duke it out. Sadly the Heresy tournament very nearly didn't happen due to a couple of the players that were intending to participate ended up using their armies in the regular 40k tournament and did well enough to move on to the finals on Sunday. That being the case the guy that was running the tournament shared out his immense Iron Hands and World Eater armies to a couple people who were interested in learning more about 30k, which I thought was very cool of him. Since several of the players had never tried 30k before we all decided to just do a round-robin style series of games and just play for the fun of it (which was fine by me)!

My first game was against the Iron Hands and a fellow who was just making the switch from 40k to 30k so he was using a fair bit of unpainted and/or proxy models which was a bummer, nevertheless he was a very nice guy and we had a really fun time of it. Both me and my opponent were beset by truly abysmal dice rolling - I think we rolled a hundred ones between us! I didn't end up taking as many pictures as I should have, and I'd forgotten to turn off the macro settings on my camera so most were blurry messes. Doh! Final result, loss to the Thousand Sons by 3VP (pretty close for the fact that I was darn near tabled).

My second game was against a very cool Dusk Raiders army, was really jazzed to see someone go deep in the fluff and rock a full on pre-heresy army!

The mission and table setup meant that for the most part our armies were out of range of each other for 3/4th of the game. Both of our infantry more or less hunkered down (the VPs were based on killing infantry units), but the Dusk Raider contemptors and terminators sallied out and were met by the Thousand Sons predators and terminators, and engaged in an orgy of mutual destruction. When the dust cleared the Dusk Raiders pulled off a win by 3 VP (starting to become a trend). Another very fun game, we were laughing our butts off all through the game.

Finally another game against one of the Iron Hands armies that the organizer had shared out, and it was a hard core army, couple units of vets in Rhinos, a Sicaran with Castrmen Orth (one of the most lethal combos in the Heresy) and a Volkite squad in a bunker. This game was a major back-and-forth, with the predators annihilating the rhinos and vets, only to be hammered into scrap by the Sicaran. Another massive Terminator combat ensued in this game as well, which swung to the Iron Hands rather decisively, then an outflanking Javelin detonated the bunker in a single round of fire doing massive damage to the Volkite squad and Master of Signals. Once the game drew to a close we totted up the results and the Thousand Sons lost by... You guessed it, 3 VP. Another fun game though, this one was a real nail-biter.

Throughout the day, there was opportunity to earn Purity Seals (by accomplishing certain tertiary objectives), and I picked up a couple. Some of the organizers were wandering around handing out discretionary prize awards and drawings, and apparently the Thousand Sons were a big hit - I scored a fair bit of additional prizes throughout the day which was very surprising!

Speaking of loot, I'd snapped a quick pic while I was home for lunch today. Came away from the event with a staggering haul! I'd opted for the swag bag for the weekend, which had all sorts of stuff in it, including a Shaltari starter army for Dropzone Commander, a Malifaux box and all sorts of templates, dice, counters and some cool secret weapon testers. I scored some more Dropzone stuff (including a full rule box set and a set of both Scourge and UCM plastic starter armies) from wandering organizers, and on a lark I'd picked up a few raffle tickets as there was some really cool stuff up for giveaway at the end of the weekend. I ended up winning the raffle for a HUGE pile of Malifaux stuff, with the rulebook, cards and six boxes of gangs(? not sure of the terminology). No idea what I'm going to do with all of it though, wasn't really looking to get into a whole new game system (let alone two), but with most of it just dropping in my lap essentially free it's worth a try! I'll admit I've had my eye on Dropzone Commander since my early gaming history included a LOT of Epic way back in the day. The Malifaux models look to be pretty cool, though I've heard they're quite a bit bigger than warhammer stuff so their viability as conversion fodder are limited. Looks to be fun stuff to paint though! I know next nothing about the setting or the game system for either of these, going to read through the rulebooks and see how they grab me, I guess...

During the awards ceremony I was absolutely floored when they called me out for a best painted/best theme for the Heresy events - had no idea that they were doing such a thing. I was very honoured though - this marks my very first award for painting/modeling in my life! Overall the weekend was a complete blast!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Spireguard batch painting complete!

Managed to finish off the Spireguard on Saturday, but didn't get a chance to snap any pics until this afternoon.

Time to work on the metallics! Started off by blocking in all of the boltgun metal on the weapons thereby covering up all the slop from the gloves.

Next up are a dark tone wash to give them a bit of depth (though the pics washed out the shading a bit).

Finally, a little gold on the shakos to give them a little detail and draw the eye to the head of the model.

The gold was hit with a little Reikland Fleshshade to provide shading. The above four steps took another half an hour for application since they were all little tiny areas. Infantry models done!

The bases were all given a basecoat of Khaki, which is where I left off for the day on Saturday. Another hour's worth of work, and some very messy fingers!

On Sunday following the fun times at Feast of Blades (pics to come soon), I knocked out the last of the base painting, with a quick drybrush of Bonewhite and Ghost Grey on the stonework, and a Strong Tone wash on the ground. Once that dried, the rims were given a hit of Dark Flesh.

After a shot of matte sealant, I pulled out all the previously-painted riflemen and got a final pic. Total time from beginning to end was just shy of 9 hours spread out in chunks over the better part of 10 days - I'll be the first to admit that it wasn't necessarily the most exciting of 9 hours (indeed, batch painting can definitely get tedious), but it really feels good at the end when there's a whole pile of finished miniatures ready to take to the field!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - You guessed it, more batch painting...

I'm on call pretty much 24/7 and unfortunately I got a call from work at 1am this morning that the systems went down and I needed up having to do some remote support. While waiting for some servers to cycle and reboot I figured I may as well do some painting and got the Strong Tone wash on the webbing and coats. Annoying to be woken up in the middle of the night, but figured I may as well make the best of it!

It adds a much needed shading and gives the models quite a bit more depth. The nice thing is you don't have to be super careful about the application. A little overspill at the edges just tends to help line the color separations.

All told, it only took about 20 minutes to do the lot, now it's just the metallics (and the pupils, gotta remember to do the pupils) and the bases! Hoping to get them finished today in between the usual Saturday chores. Attending the Feast of Blades Heresy Tournament tomorrow, really looking forward to that!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Batch painting continues

Snuck in a little more brush time last night and got the next two colors onto the Spireguard. All of the straps, harness and pouches got a layer of Vallejo's (Graveyard) Earth, while the interior of the coats, the cuffs and collars all got a layer of (Kommando) Khaki. All the little fiddly bits ended up taking a surprising amount of time due to having to be very careful not to slop over onto previously-painted areas, so these two colors ended up adding another hour and a half to the clock.

Getting very near the finish line now! Both the Earth and Khaki areas will get a Strong Tone wash to help give them a bit more definition, then it's just a matter of getting the metallics done, and then the bases! There's rumors floating around that the next FW Heresy book may drop next month, fingers crossed!

A couple folks asked for some closeups of the Adsecularis builds, but unfortunately I'd primered them (and black primed models don't photograph well) since I'd last photographed the models. However I was able to re-edit the original photo and get a decent zoom on a selection of the models in the build stage. Definitely looking forward to getting some paint on 'em soon!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Adeptus Mechanicus - Adsecularis Covenant built

The packages from Anvil Industries and Ramshackle Games arrived over the weekend, and after getting all the resin goodness washed and trimmed I spent a little time getting everything assembled!

Quite happy with how the bits all fit together. I'd heard that the Anvil Industries stuff tends to be on the 'chunky' side as far as their Marine-scaled bits are concerned, so I made sure to go with their Guard-scaled bits instead - hard to tell from pics on a website, but when I had them in-hand I have to say they're scaled perfectly! The 'lens screen' heads from Ramshackle games worked a treat as well, and definitely ties the models in with the Thallax models - I'm envisioning these poor tech thralls as being just a few steps away from Thallax implantation...

In other news Feast of Blades is coming up this weekend, really looking forward to going down and getting some Heresy games in with the Thousand Sons. If you happen to be attending, stop by and say hello on Sunday!

In other, other news I cleaned out the bookshelves a bit and put a mess of older 40k books up on eBay. Bunch of auctions starting at 99 cents just to clear out some room...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Firing up the batch painting machine (again)

With the upcoming Heresy book "Conquest" on the horizon bringing with it all sorts of Imperial Army goodness, I've been poring over all the pre-release pictures and trying to absorb as much info as I can about how the units will be outfitted and so forth. Recent shots have shown a new 20-man transport vehicle, as well as a 20-man "Lasrifle Section", which thematically makes sense alongside the Astartes lists with their larger squad sizes and generally homogenous armaments and leads me to believe that the Imperial Army will be rolling in blocks of 20 at a minimum. That being the case, the two 10-man Prospero Spireguard squads I'd finished a while back are likely incorrectly numbered and armed (no sign of special/heavy weapons in the pre-release pics). So, that means I needed to build out a whole BUNCH of lasrifle-toting infantry, which of course means it was time to fire up the ol' batch painting machine! Figured I'd try and document the process as I went along:

First thing that I do is pull out the colors that I intend to work on in a given section, and get the models organized. When I'm batch painting I'll usually just aim to do 3-4 colors in a sitting before taking a break and doing something (anything!) else for a bit. I had a bunch of laundry and other chores to do on Sunday, so I figured I'd knock out the reds then take a breather and take care of some housework.

In general I like to paint "from the inside out" meaning that I'll do all the innermost parts of a model (skin and inner clothing) then work outwards (outerwear and equipment), cleaning up any slop as I go. However, in the case of these models, I knew I wanted to get all the reds out of the way first as they tend to be the messiest what with the washes and drybrushing. I led off with Dark Flesh as a basecoat on everything that was going to end up red (the stormcoat and helmet), and though I tired to stay reasonably "within the lines" I wasn't too fussed about slop as it'll all get cleaned up in later stages. Took about half an hour to rock through the group - you'll note I pulled out one of the previously-painted models so I could check my work and match up with how I'd painted the infantry previously.


Next up was Gory Red, applied in a heavy drybrush leaving just a little bit of the Dark Flesh showing in the recesses. Figured I'd start taking some shots on individual models to zoom in a bit on what they look like at each stage.


After that it was time to really brighten them up with a medium drybrush of Blood Red. For the most part I just focused on the uppermost and most exposed portions, leaving more of the Gory Red in the recesses and undersides.


Final step in the red was an all-over wash of Carroburg Crimson, which gives the models a bit more depth and blends all the reds together a bit. At this point I took a break, partially because painting 30 models at a time is a bit of a slog even for me but mostly because I needed to give the models a good hour or so for the wash to completely dry before I fiddled with 'em any further. Elapsed time at this point was about 2 hours. Not bad!


Once the wash had dried, and I'd vacuumed and started a load of laundry, I figured I'd knock out the skin tones. For rank-and-file infantry I don't go out of my way to make each one perfect, and I'll be the first to admit that the Perry Miniatures heads are lacking somewhat in detail compared to the usual GW counterparts, so the end results are a little underwhelming. Since they'll undoubtedly be removed from the table by the double handful once the bolt rounds start flying though, I'm not too concerned. I started out with a thinned down Leather Brown basecoat, followed by Ghost Grey in the eye sockets. Finally, Bronzed Flesh was applied to the nose/cheekbones/chin and cleaned up any slop from the Ghost Grey in the eyes. It occurs to me now that I skipped a step on the eyes and fogot to pen in the pupils (using a micron pen), will have to rectify that later on!


There was so little skin showing on these models that the whole face process only took 30 minutes, so I figured I'd press on with the whites. To get a nice cool white color I started off with a basecoat of Electric Blue on the pants, gloves and epaulettes, taking care this time to cover up any slop from the earlier red stages, as well as making sure not to slop the blue out onto the areas that are supposed to be red! By the same token I wasn't too fussed if the blue got onto the rifle or boots, as I'll be cleaning up those colors in later stages.


The last step for the day's painting was to start pushing the whites onto the model. As I've mentioned in the past, one of the best bits of advice I've ever gotten was "never paint using pure white" and as such I use Ghost Grey instead. When comparing it to the other colors on the model it ends up looking white, and it has the benefit of being able to be further highlighted (on the most extreme edges) with pure white if needed. At this point I decided to call it a day as far as painting goes - these two colors added about another hour to the tally, so all told we're looking at about 3 1/2 hours worth of work, and the models are well on their way to being complete! Next up will be the leather colors for the webbing/collars/cuffs, the metallics on the helmet and weapons, and the bases. Figure another 3-4 hours and, when combined with the previous models I'd painted earlier, I'll have two twenty man lasrifle sections and a three-strong unit of Lascannons fully complete and ready to go!