Tuesday, August 30, 2016

40k Deathwatch - Corvus Blackstar built!

While I did have a little hobby time after work over the last couple days, I wasn't feeling the call of the paintbrush and thought I'd have a little fun putting together the Corvus Blackstar that I'd picked up a little while ago. I really liked the look of it compared to the recent questionable design decisions I thought the GW design team have made with most of their other marine flyers (the Nephilim is pretty sweet but the rest just don't resonate with me). This new addition however, oh my yes!

I will eventually do a second Corvus with lascannons, but for this one I wanted to go with a ground-attack pattern look - Airbrakes deployed and hammering away with the assault cannons! The kit went together like a dream, but once I had it all together I was a honestly little surprised by the size of the airframe. I was expecting something Valkyrie-sized and it's significantly smaller (Sergeant Crull for scale) - Not really a complaint, it still feels pretty beefy and it'll be easier to paint and store comparatively speaking!

I wanted to go extra shooty with this one and knew I wanted to add the optional Hurricane Bolters, but I love the big ol' Inquisition symbol on the roof and didn't care for how the weapon pods covered it up. That said, it turns out there's a pair of rivets on the underside that line them up just about perfect for mounting the two weapon pods under the wings, and I think they're a bit more realistically positioned for ground attack like this. I also popped a magnet into the roof so that the various launcher and sensor options could be easily swapped out but also stay put during gameplay.

Overall I really enjoyed building this kit and am rather looking forward to painting it up (assuming I can wade my way through the eight tons of bling on the troops)!

Off to Nova in just a few short days which means time is running out to get in on the rather excellent raffles for some beautiful armies that are up for grabs. The money goes to a good cause, and you need not be present to win - the armies and other models will happily be shipped anywhere in the world! Check 'em out - a couple bucks could win you some truly epic prizes!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

40k Deathwatch - Painting Deathwatch the wrong way.

I'll admit, going into the project I was feelign confident that it would be a snap to batch paint the Deathwatch, and it was - at least up to the point that I finished the line highlighting and the silver arms. Then I started all the little fiddly details, and let me tell you it is no longer the right way to be doing it. I can't begin to count how many times I've had to go back and touch up another part I missed each time I changed colors - since the models are so individualized, there's no real rhythm or routine to rely on. "Oh, there's another bit of gold filigree I missed." Cap paint, wash brush, touch up with previous color, repeat. 23 models is way too many, so following the efforts over this past weekend I'm going to be finishing them off in smaller groups where the models are all broadly the same type (all the jump troops, the tactical guys, the characters, etc.) to hopefully cut down on the back and forth. That said, a fair bit of progress!

The addition of the gold and boltgun metallics really helps the models start to pop. I also took some time working on the faces for the various helmetless models though as mentioned above, these pics point out I missed a skintone step on one of the vanguard vets. Gah!

Time to consider how to finish them off. On the left is Watch Force Artemis (plus a Librarian in terminator plate), and on the right Kill Team Cassius. I think I'll knock out the seven jump troops from the two kill teams as a group next, followed by the ten tac marines, and finally the six characters individually (including the biker and terminator in that as they don't have similarly styled compatriots in the force). On the whole I am really digging this project - while the painting up front was admittedly rather tedious, the amount of detail on them has really been fun to paint and I'm really digging how they're coming together!

Off to Nova midweek for a couple days chock full of heresy goodness which means there still a few days left to get in on the rather excellent raffles for some beautiful armies. The money goes to a good cause, and you need not be present to win - the armies and other models will happily be shipped anywhere in the world! Check 'em out - a couple bucks could win you some truly epic prizes!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

40k Deathwatch - Kill Teams Artemis and Cassius continue...

Snuck in a little painting time in the evenings over the last couple days as we got a break in the punishing summer heat. Phew! Continued cranking away on the Deathwatch models, and actually have started having fun with 'em.

Gave all the models a few extreme highlights with fortress grey which hopefully wasn't a step too far. Interestingly they do seem a bit more stark in the pics than they do in real life. Went with a slightly toned-down blued steel from the prior recipe which I'm much happier with - still has the blue tinge but it's not quite as prominent as on the test models.

At that point I switched gears a little and went full-on polychromatic! Started laying in the various marine chapter insignia and color schemes which was fairly enjoyable. Still some cleanup to do on them but it was a breath of fresh air after the hours and hours of monochromatic line highlights!

So far, so good!

Monday, August 22, 2016

40k Deathwatch - Patience is a virtue...

So I'll admit that when I picked up Overkill it was predominantly for the Genestealer Cult models and the Deathwatch chaps were pillaged for parts to use with the Thousand Sons (as there were several tasty older-mark armor sets in there). I was rather impressed with the models however, and ended up trading away the painted Cult for a new-in-box set of Overkill that was tucked away into the Closet of Doom for a rainy day. With the release of Death Masque it started to cloud over and I picked up the box with the rationale that I could use the Harlequins for the pointy-eared gits army. The kill team sprues really caught my eye though - while the Overkill models are gorgeous, I do prefer multi-pose kits in general and they are simply grand. So, they all got built and based and I got stuck in.

As I'd mentioned before I had built a trio of Space Wolf terminators as test models and to sort of get my eye in a bit and try out a couple recipe ideas. If they didn't end up perfect, well they're just Space Wolves. Hah! I felt that the Black/Shadow Grey/Fortress Grey was a little too stark on these which I tried to address below. The blued steel is perhaps a bit TOO blued as well, I think a bit more deliberate silver over-painting is in order. Overall though I got these far enough along to establish where I wanted to go with the scheme, so they were set aside.

After getting the two kill teams built and primered, they were all then given a coat of painted-on vallejo black to ensure that any later cleanup on the black will match the overall color - the primer I use has a different level of tone and shine so it ends up being rather noticeable painting black atop it! Then I mixed up a bottle of 50/50 black and shadow grey, and gave all of the models a reasonably light drybrushing to catch all of the various hard edges, trusting that I'll be able to back in and clean up any egregious over-spatter later.

Next up the models were given a more selective line highlight with shadow grey, concentrating primarily on the hard edges of the models upper surfaces. This step took approximately one million hours, or at least that's what it felt like! This technique is definitely challenging me to take my time and paint as fine a line as I can and really think about where to place them, as opposed to my usual speedpainting techniques which mostly rely on gratuitous drybrushing and liquid talent. I wouldn't exactly say that it's been fun, but it has been instructional and it's always good to try and get out of your comfort zone now and again! I think I'm going to go one step lighter on a few selected extreme highlights, then clean up all the black panels as best I can. At that point we'll see how they look - I'm thinking they'll likely benefit from a black wash at the end to blend and tone all the highlights back down a touch.

As a bit of a reward for all the tedious line highlighting I thought I'd treat myself to a little build time - I knew straight away that the other model in the command tanks box from Warhammer World would end up being a Deathwatch tank (it's just far too modern and encrusted with Aquilas to work in the Heresy), and I am really happy with how it turned out - looking forward to painting it up!

I particularly like the tank commander model, as well as the eagle weapon shroud on the heavy bolters, definitely blings it up to the ostentatious level of the Deathwatch marines!

I loved the look of the Corvus, and the Watch Master with the Guardian Spear is just awesome, I ordered up the Strategium Command bundle which includes a full 10-man veteran squad as well so I could build a kill team to my own spec rather than relying on the formations laid out in Overkill and Death Masque. I also knew that I wanted to bang out a couple squads of terminators using the various leftover bits from all the heresy terminator kitbashes I've done over the years, and figured I ought to tot up the points and see what I had in mind for this supposedly nice little boutique project. ...3500 points. While at first I was shocked, at this point I've come to think that's almost perfect - surprisingly high for the model count I have planned, but that's just about the ideal army size for one of my projects and in comparison to the massive numbers of broadly anonymous heresy warriors it'll be nice to just focus on a few models that all have a ton of personality. This will very likely be an army that never actually fires a shot in anger I think, just a fun project to while away the time before Forge World finally releases Inferno later in the year and my beloved Thousand Sons actually get some rules!

We're just 10 days out from the Nova Open, and I though I'd continue to flog the rather excellent raffles going on this year, which include several fantastic armies as well as some truly stunning single pieces. You need not be present to win, and the armies will be shipped anywhere worldwide! Absolutely worth checking out, it's for a great cause!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Armies ready for the NOVA Open!

I've been in a mild panic mode about the army for the upcoming Nova Open, and behind the scenes have been writing list after list trying to find the right balance of minis and points and effectiveness and worries about air travel and so on. It's all finally crystallized however and I'm now officially done and ready to go to the show! I'm participating in two of the Horus Heresy events while I'm out there, the Asymmetrical Warfare campaign on Friday and the Escalation campaign on Saturday, both of which require multiple army lists at varying point values. The idea however was to use as many of the same models in each version of the force to cut down on what I had to paint, as well as what I'd have to pack and travel with.

The Asymmetrical Warfare campaign starts off with a tiny 500 point force, using the Zone Mortalis combatant force org. That's a tough point level for Heresy armies I find, so I went with a basic tactical squad for the requisite Troops choice, a fairly low-calorie Centurion as the HQ and a unit of Terminators for the Elites slot.

The second tier of the campaign bumps the armies up to 750, which provides enough points to add an assault squad for a much needed 2nd Troops choice and a rhino for the tac squad to hopefully get them up to the objective markers.

Finally is the 1000 point army which fulfills both the largest of the Asymmetrical Warfare and smallest of the Escalation campaign the following day. The further 250 points allows for a much-needed psyker for the force both strategically and fluff-wise. I find a pair of Consuls at lower point values to be far too eggs-in-one-basket-y, but until we get the Prospero book later in the year I'm only allowed to take a librarian/sorceror as a secondary or tertiary HQ choice. Boo! The Terminator squad gets a couple more marines to bulk up the unit as well, and provide the Centurion and the Sorcerer a bit more of a bodyguard.

Now we're talking! The second stage of the Escalation campaign makes a big jump up to 1850 points, giving the army a significant boost to its lethality - A unit of veterans joins the force to act as bodyguards for the Praetor (same model as the centurion before, but with better stats and an equipment boost) and the Sorcerer, and who are also joined by an Apothecary to hopefully keep 'em alive. Their own personal Land Raider transport doesn't hurt either. The Terminators drop back down to a 5-man squad, but theyalso get a Land Raider to ferry 'em upfield, so that's not a bad tradeoff. Finally, the ever-popular twin-Kheres Contemptor Mortis provides some anti-air cover for the force.

Finally, the Escalation campaign tops out at 2150 points, which adds the Damocles command rhino, the Techmarine and his creepy automata to the force. Th Damocles provides a little extra fun with the lance strike, better deep strike capability and reserve rolls, and makes for an unusual centerpiece for the army. I'm rather excited to get out there and play in the campaigns, and though I don't expect to do particularly well from a win/loss standpoint I'm sure I'll have a heck of a good time getting crushed!

It's been quite a while since I updated the painting chart and was quite pleased with how many boxes I got to tick over to green! It's become apparent I may have built just a few too many HQ choices...

Last but most assuredly not least, I want to point out the rather excellent raffles going on at the NOVA Open this year, which include several fantastic armies (including a Bad Moons Ork Army that I was honored to contribute to) and the money for which goes to an excellent cause. You need not be present to win, and the armies will be shipped anywhere worldwide! Absolutely worth checking out!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Techmarine Thothmes and Servo-automaton nearly complete!

Just a quick hit today - getting down to the wire on finishing off the army for the Nova Open coming up at the beginning of September so I'm in a mild panic mode. Always good for the painting output!

Nothing too fancy here, but got all the basic colors laid in and the bases mostly finished on Techmarine Thothmes and his creepy Servo-automata. Still some little things to do (screens on the various scanners, eye lenses in the helmet and so forth) but he's rather near the finish line!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Damocles Command Rhino off the showroom floor, and dabbling with Deathwatch.

Not a huge amount of hobby time over the last week, though I did manage to get the Damocles painted up to the initial sealant stage prior to the application of waterslides and weathering. Almost to the finish line!

Tried to downplay the aquilas a little as broadly speaking they were vary rarely worn during the heresy, but I figured on the command tank it's not totally out of place. Tons of little rivets of course - I shudder to think how many rivets I've painted for this army already and weep to think how many more remain to be done!

In what is an entirely different kind of heresy, I picked up the new Death Masque box set and the Deathwatch codex. Before tearing into the new models I wanted to do a few test models, so I built up a trio of Space Wolf terminators (as I intend 3 5-man terminator squads) - if I muff the paint scheme it'll be okay, it's just some Space Wolves. Haha!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Damocles Command Rhino and Techmarine, and some GenCon goodies!

Apologies for the radio silence of late, but I've been on vacation for the last week out in Indiana attending GenCon! A fantastic time was had, and there's a few pics below. First up however are some pics of a few models I'd been working on here and there over the days leading up to the trip and a little bit today.

AS is usually the case I keep fiddling with army lists for NOVA and had a thought to include a Damocles Command Rhino to the force, which would allow for more deep strike accuracy for the assault squads, and the occasions where I can pull off the roll on the Warlord Traits table where I can designate the terminators with deep strike. I knew I wanted to use the Warhammer World exclusive command rhino, and spent a little time cutting up a Deimos rhino kit from Forge World to give it that Heresy vibe.

As a unit to pop in the Damocles, I put together a Techmarine and a unit of Servo-Automata, pretty straightforward headswap for this guy, though I'm scheming on a more ornate Forge Lord for the near future!

While I was out at GenCon we mostly spent our time playing Shadowrun and enjoying delicious meals and probably a few too many cocktails. I was able to swing by the Forge World booth though, and to the great relief of my wallet there wasn't really much that I needed to buy to supplement the Thousand Sons - With the book's release imminent I'm sort of holding off on buying new kits until I can see the army list and new models. That said, I did pick up a couple of the Event Only models - The Traitor Terminator Librarian, and the Cataphractii Terminator Praetor with a Thunder Hammer and Combi-Volkite. The Librarian is a bit too World-Eater-y to use for the Thousand Sons, but he'll be squirreled away for a rainy day!