Sunday, January 24, 2016

Heresy Era Heroes of the Imperium - Master of Mankind painting (almost) done

Well, sometimes a hobby session just doesn't go the way you want it to. Set about working on the Emperor model a bit more and got all the way up to the end and then flubbed the face. Not super noticable until I took pictures of it but man, the eyes just didn't come out right! Nothing like a cross-eyed Emperor.

So, that'll need a little work to fix I think. Other than that I'm pretty happy with how the model turned out, though I think once I get the face re-done it'll go up on the auction block - I'd like to take another crack at the model, but utilizing one of the Primarch heads instead. I think if I could get my hands on a Rowboat Girlyman or Ferrus Manus head it might look a little better.

After that bit of frustration I was excited to come to grips with the Gothic KV-2 tanks that (finally!) arrived from MaxMini. Got 'em all washed and was in the process of getting things clipped off the casting blocks that it came to light that two of the kits were missing tracks. Highly irritating after I'd waited just shy of two months for them to arrive. Sent a note out to 'em to see what could be done. So that was a bust, I figured that I'd pull out the armored Proteus Land Raiders I'd uncovered for use with the upcoming Thousand Sons.

Throne of Terra! Missing a set of tracks for these kits too?! Even more annoying than the KV-2's, I'd ordered these kits back in March of 2015 prior to the FW site rebuild, and the order details that these came from have been deleted from their site. I was able to dig up the PayPal invoiced from the order but they don't have any line-item details. I sent off an email to Forge World but don't really hold out much hope that they'll be willing to send replacement tracks after such a delay. Guess we'll see how it goes.

All in all a rather frustrating bit of hobbying this weekend. On the up side I did manage to get in my first game of Infinity and had quite a lot of fun playing it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Heresy Era Heroes of the Imperium - The Master of Mankind painting begins

Been pretty quiet on the hobby front this past week, but I got a little time in to start laying down the gold on the Emperor. I'm rubbish at the NMM technique, and figured this is not a model to experiment on so the ordinary metallic methods it will be!

Started off my laying in a basecoat of Brassy Brass. Generally speaking I find most gold paint to be rather translucent, and laying a gold in directly over a black basecoat tends to make for a dull lifeless color. The brass is a bit more opaque so covers over the black well, and will 'shine through' the gold making for a richer, more vibrant color.

Glorious Gold was liberally drybrushed over the brass, leaving the deepest crevices to show the brass coloration.

Next up the upper surfaces were given a light drybrush of Polished Gold, making sure to only draw the brush down the model from overhead, leaving the under surfaces in the previous gold color.

Once that was done, the model was given an initial wash of Reikland Fleshshade. This helps add a rich reddish-gold tone, and helps define a lot of the details. At this point the model must be left alone for a good hour or so to properly dry (you can see it's still wet in this photograph), so further steps will have to wait until a later day. Next up comes the more painstaking part, going back in and with a fine detail brush start selectively highlighting the various details and scrollwork to brighten it back up again and help it 'pop', followed by a further selective pin washing. As far the model itself goes, still feeling the head is a little small, but overall I'm quite happy with the sculpt. Lots of neat little details that I'm catching now that I'm really looking at it up close!

In other news I'm finally getting the Rogue Trader campaign I've been working on off the ground starting in a couple weeks, so there's a good chance there may be some more 40-themed RPG minis crossing the painting desk in the near future. The Geno Five-Two are down to the last handful of colors as well, holding off on pics until I can finish 'em up and lay out pics of the whole infantry group, though!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Infinity - Morat Aggression Force (mostly) Painted

Another long week attending a training class so not much in the way of hobby time, but my plans fell through for Saturday morning so suddenly there was a flurry of painting! More or less finished up the Morat Aggression Force, though as is always the case it is when manipulating and cropping the pictures for posting that I notice all sorts of little things on the models that I've missed or forgotten. This is especially true on these models, having never worked with them before it's only in retrospect that I realize "oh, that's a pouch/ammo clip/whatnot" or more distressingly "oh, that's actually a piece of flash". In any case, on with the pictures!

Kornak Gazarot, Superior Warrior-Officer - One of the better leader choices for the MAF, Kornak provides some extra leadership/order bonuses, and is a surprisingly effective combatant on the table. In many armies it behooves the player to 'hide' his army commander as there are penalties for losing the Lieutenant, but the MAF's special rules essentially allow them to ignore that. Pathetic cowardly humans, it is true and right that the officers should lead proudly by example!

Med-Tech Obsidon Medchanoid - Otherwise known as "Dr. Worm". The one non-Morat unit in the force, Dr. Worm and his attendant drones were must-have models just for the aesthetic, in my opinion.

Morat Vanguard Infantry - The backbone of the MAF, the Morat Vanguard are the most basic troopers, primarily there to provide Orders to the force. Treitak Anyat is a character that can join up with the Vanguard models to form a surprisingly flexible fireteam.

Morat Vanguard Specialists - The Vanguard have a wide array of equipment options, including a number of various heavy weapons as well as a functional but somewhat uninspiring hacker (not something the MAF excels at).

Raktorak, Morat Sergeant Major - The Raktorak are described as being the second-in-command/bodyguards to the MAF officers, though in-game they lack any rules that allow them to effectively do so, so unfortunately while they're some of my favorite models in the range, will likely never actually take the field.

Yaogat Strike Infantry - The Yaogat are the medium infantry of the MAF, with far heavier armour and better stats than the Vanguard. Quite a bit more expensive and lacking the heavy weapon and specialist options, they're nonetheless handy to have due to their multispectral visors which allows them to see through smoke and chaff which are common on the Infinity battlefields.

Daturazi Witch Soldiers - The Daturazi are the scary close combat units of the MAF, with a predilection for charging their opponents and carving them into little chunks. The MAF utilizes a range of different types of close combat weapons (AP, Shock, etc), so I tried to color-code them throughout the force to allow me to tell at a glance what type of weapon is cleaving into the opponent's forces.

Suryat Assault Heavy Infantry - The Suryats are the smallest of the power-armored units in the MAF, generally toting special or heavy weapons and being generally burly. Sadly there's just the one model available currently, but there's nothing wrong with a couple heavy machine guns! Generally these two will be backup up Kornak as he rampages around the table.

Sogarat Tempest Regiment - The heaviest power armour suits in the Morat Aggression Forge prior to the massive TAG suits, the Sogarat are extremely nasty. Mounted on 40mm bases and carrying heavy weapons similar to the Suryat, they are also capable of wielding scary close combat weapons as well. Very expensive however, so it is rare that I'd field all three at one time.

There's a few little details and things to clean up that have become apparent looking at the pics, but overall I'm reasonably pleased with them. It was quite interesting painting non-GW models for a chance, the aesthetic of the models provided a number of interesting challenges (not all of which I feel I was really able to rise to).

Now it's time to delve back into the Heresy! Bits have begun arriving for the upcoming Thousand Sons force and I'm itching to finish off the Geno Five-Two...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Heresy Era Heroes of the Imperium - The Emperor of Mankind, part one

Got frustrated trying to batch paint line highlights (madness!), so as a respite I returned briefly to the grim darkness! Another box arrived on my doorstep yesterday, a small package that I'd ordered from Kabuki Miniatures back in late November and had almost forgotten about. Just a small package...

In point of fact it was disconcerting how small the package was - that box is about 5" on a side. I hadn't purchased a Kabuki model in something like five years, as the 'Angron' model I'd purchased ended up being barely space marine sized, let alone suitable as a primarch stand-in and I was supremely disappointed in it. The measurements on the website suggested these models should be more appropriately scaled so I figured I'd roll the dice (and take advantage of a sale they were running). With some trepidation I cracked open the box and was relieved to find that the models were sized far more appropriately and so bustled everything in for a soak and scrub.

The models were virtually free of flash, though were several different colors of resin which isn't a dealbreaker but does give off that 'garage kit' vibe and makes me worry somewhat about quality control. That said, everything appeared to be crisply cast and there were almost no bubbles to worry about filling in. I'm somewhat ambivalent about the Custodes sculpts (they're neat but I'm holding out for the Forge World models which ought to be spectacular), but as it's been mentioned a few times that FW doesn't intend to do models or rules for the Emperor any time in the foreseeable future, I thought the Kabuki version of the model would be a fun little art project, and give me a large-scale model to try and really lavish some attention on.

The model comes with a two-headed cyber-eagle that I'm saving for another project, which allowed me to alter the pose somewhat. I don't have a primarch model on hand to compare sizes with, but he does seem to stand about a head taller than the ones that I've done in the past. Large enough to warrant a 60mm base at the very least, and towering over the alpha legionnaire!

I'm going to have to do a lot of research on painting gold before I ever put a brush to this model. Definitely want to do it justice, and really push myself to get beyond the "decent tabletop quality" I usually accomplish. Should be fun!

Monday, January 4, 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different - Infinity Morat Aggression Force painting begins

Happy new year everyone! Had a good time over the holiday, saw Star Wars and spent some time with some old friends visiting Colorado over the past week. Finally getting back to the painting desk after a break and I thought I'd give something else a try for a bit as a little breather. Brace yourselves for HERESY.

...Well, not Heresy, but you know what I mean. Hah!

At the urging of a couple friends I've taken another look at Infinity, not as a replacement for 40k/30k, but rather as an interesting skirmish level game akin to my much beloved Necromunda. As I'd alluded to previously the anime aesthetic of the models when the game first came out didn't really wow me, but in the intervening years they've come out with a several interesting new factions including several alien races - the opportunity to paint up some filthy xenos had some appeal after all the humans I've been painting of late. The crimson-faced murder apes of the Morat Aggression Forces caught my eye, so I picked up a number of boxes for a screaming deal from a fellow hobbyist, waited for a warm day and got to primering!

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing, so I ended up with way more miniatures than will ever hit the tabletop at one time. Does give me a number of options for force composition though! Started off by laying out all the models, getting the basic skin and hair colors laid in and really getting a chance to give the figures a good once-over to decide what needed to be painted what colors. At that point I figured "what the heck, may as well just batch paint the whole group, right"?

I decided to stick fairly close to the 'stock' color scheme, with the armor plating being a grey-ish hue and basic tan cloth. A number of the models are in powered armour and many models have exposed cabling, which got the electric blue treatment, which sets off nicely against the red skin tones so far. Tons and tons of line highlighting awaits, need to re-hone my fine detail brush skills - not a lot of hard edges to drybrush on these models. Definitely a different aesthetic from the angular 40k stuff I've been working on of late!

These models are what initially caught my eye in the Combined Army miniature line. Turns out this creepy fellow is the chief doctor for the force. "Dammit doc, not every medical procedure calls for 'a thorough probing'! Get away from me with whatever that is!"

So far so good - Was very interesting working with metal models again for the first time in years. Once these guys are done, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled Heresy - almost done with the remaining Geno Five-Two infantry as well, but they're in that middle stage of "these look TERRIBLE" where only the base colors have been blocked in and no detailing or highlighting has been done. Definitely not picture-worthy in their current state!