Wednesday, June 29, 2016

40k Dark Eldar - Wych Cult painting begins

The escalation league at the local GW shop kicked off last week and I was able to get in a game with a rather nice guy and his beautiful Blood Angels. Like a knob I didn't take a singe pic of the game though. Doh! Suffice it to say that the two 5-man Kabalite Warrior squads didn't really put up much of a showing against a pair of 5-man Marine squads, both armed with flamers. On the other hand, the Archon was absolutely the star of the game, withstanding 4 rounds of close combat (two of which were him vs. the entirety of the opposing force's models). Next time the group meets will be a 500 point match, which means I have some work to do over the next week and a half - finishing off the Warrior's Raider, and the addition of a 10-man (well, mostly woman) squad of Wyches.

I neglected to take a pic of them in their built state, so we'll just dive in with the purples, shall we? The Wyches wear far less armor than their Warrior cousins, so I started off by just picking out the actual armour plates in purple and roughed in the skintones. The initial intent in my mind was "purple armour, yellow cloth" but I hesitated to do all the skinsuits in yellow as well as the various little loincloths and whatnot, fearing they'd end up a bit TOO yellow. A friend suggested going with black skinsuits to amp up the menace a bit, which sounded like a good plan!

Little bit of a sark grey highlight on the black here and there, and laid in the yellow cloth and the initial blued steel. Starting to come together now! Definitely a case where painting the bases will really help 'em pop - I generally wait until towards the end to do so, but may at least get the basic earthtones down just to see how the black skinsuits work out and make the call whether they need to be a different color...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Tartaros Terminator Praetor/Centurion Built

Yesterday the various GW stores across the nation were selling a promotional Forge World model and naturally I had to get my resin addiction fix! Was rather pleased to see that it appears to be the usual Forge World resin recipe and not the Finecast dreck, and was in multiple parts allowing for come conversion potential. I ended up nabbing two of them, so naturally one of them is going to get the Thousand Sons treatment!

Now the blister itself comes with rules to run the model as-is, introducing the Praetor Tribune. Slightly less expensive than his standard Praetor counterpart, he has no ranged weapon, and comes standard with a master-crafted Paragon blade, an Iron Halo, Digital Lasers and Tartaros armour. He may not take any further equipment upgrades however. Since I was going my own way and doing some weapon and head swaps, I figured I'd also give him a combi-bolter and just use him as a normal Praetor or Centurion.

Swapped out the Paragon Blade's, er, blade for one of the big Stygian axeheads from Kromlech, fitted a trimmed-down Achean helmet (leftover from the earlier assault squad), and with a little bit of swearing managed a somewhat convincing combi-bolter hanging from a strap. Fairly pleased with how it all came together - rather looking forward to getting some paint on him!

Friday, June 24, 2016

40k Dark Eldar - Kabalite Warriors done (and a bit of red paint spatter)!

Just a quick hit this evening - Braved the heat of the hobby loft for a few hours this evening and got the Kabalite Warriors up to a good tabletop standard in preparation for the first series of games for the escalation league. As is always the case, it is in the photography stage that all the little things stand out to be fixed, so there will likely be a little more cleanup done here and there on bits I've missed. Doh!

That said, following a little touch up they'll be good enough for government work and get a quick hit of sealant in the morning before getting bundled up for the game(s) at the shop. Also looking forward to getting my mitts on the FW Tartaros Terminator model, he'll make an excellent basis for another Thousand Sons sorcerer!

Speaking of the Thousand Sons, I did manage to lay in the base reds on the pair of Contemptors this evening as well. Nothing glamorous, but it felt good to get a little forward motion on 'em!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

40k Dark Eldar - Kabalite Warriors (and Sslyth) painting continues

Caught another break in the weather yesterday evening and this afternoon and managed to get a little closer to the finish line with the Dark Eldar. Finished up the yellow cloth, and got the silver done and the first couple passes for the gold before being driven from the loft by the heat.

Next up will be the rest of the gold highlights, as well as the leather and gems. Should be able to get them done in time for the event (though I will likely be frantically painting Saturday morning)!

I'd started the trio of Sslyth for the Court of the Archon a little while ago, and figured I'd go ahead and bring them up to speed with the Warriors while I was doing the colors. Really dig these guys, and really feel that GW ought to do more one-off Xenos species models like these - bring back Ambulls!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

40k Dark Eldar - Kabalite Warriors painting begins

There's an escalation league starting at the newly-opened GW store in Boulder and despite my general reservations about whether my schedule will allow me to participate in the long run, I figured it would be a fun way to motivate to work on the Dark Eldar. The league isn't "painted only" which is a discouraging factor for me, but I understand the shop's desire not to exclude anyone while they establish a player base. That said, I'm going to try and do a personal challenge of not fielding anything that isn't painted - the first round is 250 points, which when following a CAD doesn't mean many models. In my case, it'll be the Archon (already painted) and two 5-man Warrior squads. The downside is the 10-man squad I've built doesn't quite break down into two legal 5-man squads (no Dark Lance unless there's 10 warriors in the squad), but I figure most folks shouldn't have a problem with me saying "Okay, so this Dark Lance is just a splinter rifle for this first set of games, cool?"

Of course, since I'm a bit of a masochist I figured I'd paint up the unit's planned Raider transport at the same time, this one is rather boring and unadorned (as I feel befits the low-caste Warriors) but I have several others in increasing levels of bling planned!

We had a brief respite from the punishing heat yesterday and I managed to lay in the purples and the very initial color for the yellow cloth on the warriors in the relative cool of the evening. I realized when editing the photo however that I apparently neglected to add the hairpiece on one of the helmets. Argh! Nevertheless, so far so good - supposed to be another relatively cool day tomorrow so hopefully I can knock out a few more colors after work...

In other news, my good friend Adeptus Michael (aka Captain Maxissimo Erasmus Domocletian Heronomius Carscallen in our ongoing Rogue Trader campaign) has started up a new blog called The Glory Days of the Underhive in order to share and document his Necromunda and other 40k goodness. As an old tabletop adversary of his before he moved to Italy, I can say I am really looking forward to seeing his fever-maddened creations come together again (albeit from the other side of the planet)! Definitely worth checking out!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

40k Dark Eldar - Archon and Ur-Ghuls complete!

It has been stupendously hot of late so after work the hobby loft just isn't comfortable to work in for more than brief stretches - sadly that means my usual frenetic pace has slowed dramatically over the last couple weeks. However, I have done a wee bit of painting and finished off the Archon and the first models from the Court, a trio of Ur-Ghuls!

First up, Archon Zaergarn Kul of the Kabal of the Splintered Talon. Not a lot of changes from the earlier pics, finished up the face and cleaned up a few bits, flocked and sealed. Easy peasy!

Next are the trio of Ur-Ghuls that will be part of the Court of the Archon. Fairly straightforward scheme, went with a light grey followed by a violet wash (to keep the purple theme going), and a couple successive drybrush passes to bring it back up to a greyish skintone. Honestly not a huge fan of the models (as there's only one pose and it's less than dynamic) and in retrospect I probably should have gone with some plastic vampire counts Ghouls and a little greenstuff instead.

Finally, a squad of Kabalite Warriors - I always try to get the troops done early in the project so I can move on to the "fun stuff". Not much to say about 'em, basic Blaster and Dark Lance loadout. Hoping to get some paint on 'em this coming weekend when I can do some work in the cool of the morning!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

40k Dark Eldar - Archon in progress

In other gaming news, I'm in the midst of running a Rogue Trader campaign for a group of friends which currently has them caught in the Dark Eldar's evil clutches. I've been vacillating between Craftworld or Dark Eldar as the counterpoint force for the Harlequins and ended up coming down on the side of the denizens of Commoragh. This is, in part, because I have a significant amount of leftover Dark Eldar bits and kits from the last go around a few years back, and I felt it was better for the pocketbook to finally utilize those models rather than buy a whole new army from scratch. For fun I thought I'd lead off with the head honcho and picked up one of the new plastic Archon models.

I wasn't a big fan of the default "both weapons crossed over his chest" pose, so did some rooting around for alternate arms and with a little cutting was able to come up with something a little more open and at least a little more dynamic, with the sword and head following the flow of the cape and chains.

Got him more or less finished off over the last few days, just a few more little details to pick out/clean up, then he'll be ready for static grass and sealant. Going with purple armor plates this go-around, with a jade green as the spot color - that will be a bit more predominant on larger armor plates and so forth on upcoming models. Had fun with the flayed cloak, tried to get a couple different skin tones in there to give it a patchwork feel. He's rather creepy!

Next up for the Dark Eldar are the Court of the Archon and his Raider, though they're sitting unassembled in a box at the moment. Next up on the painting desk however are more of my beloved Thousand Sons - set the batch painting machine for "A whole mess (likely literally) of red!"

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Plasma Contemptor built!

The flurry of building continued this weekend - it's been hot as all getout which means the hobby loft is proving challenging to work in for long periods of time so it's been surgical strikes of construction rather than long painting sessions. Today I turned my attention to the second Contemptor Dreadnought - this is a 'rule of cool' build for me, I love plasma weaponry and thought I'd put together a plasma dread - Plasma cannon on one arm and a plasma blaster built into the power claw? How could I resist?

As it's not a full-bore close-combat dread, I didn't want to go with a super action running pose, but rather went for a 'steadily advancing' look, reaching out as though he's going to throttle someone with his power claw. It was nice enough this afternoon to primer all the recently-built models, so I have a good chunk of models to paint now!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Assault Squad Mekhata built!

Got a little bit of build time in today and managed to get Assault Squad Mekhata put together and prepped for primer. At the moment assault squads are ruinously expensive points-wise but there are pretty solid indications that we're going to see a points drop in the upcoming release of the heresy legions 'red book'. That said, for the first 10 models of the squad I decided to keep 'em as cheap as possible - depending on how the points drop goes I may add a further 10 and include some power weapons in the mix.

Definitely dig the Achean upgrade kit, these heads are what I have been wanting for the army - the MaxMini Steam Knight heads I've used on the tac marines work well, but these are just better. The next challenge was how to denote that Sergeant Mekhata is wearing artificer armour and help him stand out from the rest of the unit (besides a fancy helmet). Hard to go wrong with wings, right?

FLASH! Aaaah Aaaah! Let's be honest, I'm going to sing that in my head every time I pick this model up. Found a box of Sanguinary Guard lurking in the Closet of Doom and pinched a set of wings from there, as they're perfectly suited to this style of jump pack. Not sure if I'm going to try to paint them up as mechanical additions to the pack, or as a psychic manifestation in ghostly blue/green. Thoughts?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Reinforcements Arrive!

A box o' joy arrived from Forge World yesterday evening containing a number of new goodies for the ever-changing Thousand Sons! I got everything into a soapy soak overnight and got it rinsed off and laid out to dry this afternoon. Everything was present and accounted for, and I once again have to note how much more professional the packing and quality checks have been in the last few orders. Excellent stuff.

The loot includes a 10-man assault squad with the Achean upgrade kit, a mk.IV character set for conversion fodder, and a pair of the rather excellent new Thousand Sons Contemptors because how could I not? Of course, I couldn't help but jump right in and build something!

The plan at the moment is only to take one of the Contemptors to NOVA so that one gets built first - my personal favorite, a Contemptor Mortis with a pair of Kheres Assault Cannons. This will provide a modicum of anti-air support and is always good at mowing down squads of marines. I always love how much dynamism one can get out of the FW Contemptor kit, and while I do have plans for the ol' "Charging into melee" pose for the second one I thought a more solidly-planted pose would be suitable for the gunslinger. Rather pleased with how the pose turned out and I'm really looking forward to painting him up!