Monday, 11 December 2017

'nids part 230 - Greenstuff Rippers BABY!

So I'm currently painting my Trygon and  Broodlord, but my focus is supposed to be on what I need for GT3 and having not yet decided on what I'm taking, or coverd it on the blog I really thought I should focus on one of the two things I will need - my Rippers, just two bases of them. Now I've had a bag of Rippers for ages that always came as extras in ebay auctions and much like the Trygon no reason to do anything with them all this time, my four current bases have always been sufficient.

I've also wanted to make my own Forgeworld inspired Ripper kitbash using press-molds to bulk out the bases. But for one of the bases I rooted out 4 of the Spinemaw variants, because I won't be using any of them as Spinemaws and quickly made a base up. I won't be taking the biomorph but it doesn't bother me, whereas they would if it was mixed in with a normal group of Rippers.

With the Spinemaw Rippers done it was time to look at the stop-gap solution to my Forgeworld inspired Rippers. I have some Oyumaru 'plastic clay', it's exactly the same as Blue Stuff press mold material. You heat it up in boiling water then squidge it on your item and hey-presto - instant press mold!

Now at first I tried squeezing some plaster into this but it all crumbled while trying to extricate it from the two test molds I used, so resorted to Green Stuff. you can just about see the Ripper heads encased in the mold.

Here they are removed. Obviously they are far from perfect but they really don't need to be as all I'm after are ground bursting Rippers to make the plastic Rippers look more interesting.

You can also make out some little bits of plaster I couldn't get out of the mold, but it should be clean now ;)

Having cleaned the flash off the green stuff I glued them on to the base with the three plastic Rippers. I also threw in a cut down Warrior face/head that is almost Ripper sized and just adds yet more effect to the base.

The other side. Again the Green stuff casts are pretty mushy with detail but I'm hoping it won't be too noticeable when the ground is built up around them.

I then added some plaster/filler to buid the ground up. Little did I realise I've put exact copies of casts directly adjacent to their progenitors - doh!

Sand will be added next and I'll have to find a way to make it look like they're bursting through the ground a bit more than it looks at the moment.

As it stands the debate rages about Rippers - 3 or 4 to a base rages. I love the models, the rules are rubbish but they're cheap troops that can get on an objective, unlike Necron Scarabs which are actually useful as well as eveything the Rippers do. I already have three bases with 4 Rippers on, and one with 3 but thanks to these press molds this base of 3 looks far more interesting, which was exactly what I was after.

The Forgeworld bases, which I adore, actually don't seem worth it considering just how bad the rules are. What I've done makes more sense, but I may consider creating a more dense version, with yet more press molds built up to the scale of the Forgeworld versions. For now, finish the base and get them painted.

Friday, 8 December 2017

'nids part 229 - Trygon & Genestealer Broodlord/Patriarch - Bonewhite & Chitin highlights

Just because it's smaller and more managable I've focused on the Broodlord. I finished the Chitin and both Bonewhite highlights then I highlighted the skulls on the base, I went bleached white so it was a little different to the Bonewhite.

If you zoom in you can once again see my unthinned, almost clumsy, brush strokes. I honestly don't know if it's me [my control or my eyesight], my brush or the paints. On the one hand I'm accepting of the results but on the other I always think it could be better. Nevermind, it'll do.

While the Broodlord was progressing I started in on the Trygon's Chitin. I really wanted to break this stage up, doing just little bits inbetween the stealer, so that when I focused on it after the Broodlord was complete most of the boring work would be done. This is after four sessions, or parts thereof, while painting the Broodlord.

I did one medium talon and the chest piece in one session, the second and the abdomen piece in session two. Session 3 was the two small talons alongside edging all the plates. Session 4 was the two big talons and three out of the four back plates.

Vents and fourth back plate next, maybe a few tail plates too. Then the last of the tail plates and repeat with the second set of highlights - that's when the tedium will hit...

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

2000pts battle report - Tyranids v Astra Militarum

With GT3 only a couple of months away it was about time we get some games in so Ben and I faced off. Him with Astra Militarum, a more Leman Russ-centric Cadian force led by Pask. While I was running two Battalion of my Nids so I could access more Command Points and then hopefully make use of all the new Stratagems as well as re-rolls.

The low down:
  • Big Guns Never Tire
  • Dawn of War deployment
  • Ben chose deployment zone, but deployed last unit [giving me first turn], Ben seized the Initiative!
With a Trygon, Flyrant, 2 Broods of Rippers and 17 Genestealers I forced Ben to keep deploying while I kept them off the battlefield.

Then with and idea of where everything was I could put what remained down.

I'm thinking with hindsight I should have made more use of this hill and woods as LoS blocking cover, but I had the Carnifex shrouded in the miasma from the Malanthrope, so I thought I'd be OK.

Having seized Ben moved the Vendetta, Hellhound and Guard unit up. He opened fire on the Broodlord and he was brought down to 2 wounds. Shooting continued with the Hive Guard being wiped out and two of the Tyranid Warriors. As my right flank started to disappear I started to re-evaluate my plans. 12 Termagants went on my left flank and suddenly I'm re-evaluating again. There's just no way I can go forward in my turn, I'll have to pull back and just try to hold me objectives with the Tervigon and Carnifexes and hope the soon-come reserves will distract/weather enough fire to keep me in the game.

But shooting wasn't over and suddenly my Tervigon is popped, I have all but two Devgaunts left of my big brood and 22[ish] Fleshborer Gaunts left in the mother brood.

Worse still two out of my three Carnifex are smashed to pieces with all the heavy bombardments. At this stage I just have my head in my hands, Ben had wiped out roughly half my army in one turn, with only 300+pts left on the board. I wasn't even sure what I could do, or if it was at all worthwhile carrying on. I had over 600pts left in reserve so it was worth a shot but it was more an exercise in what was salvageable at this stage.

Ultimately I had to play the objectives. Ben had one of them, Linebreaker, First Blood and 2VPs for the Carnifex. If I can hold three of them I might have a chance. So I bring the Stealers and Trygon in on my left flank with the Flyrant. I then huddle the Termagants in the trees for cover, so I can eventually move them back onto the objective in the frozen pond.

The Broodlord I move behind the hill so he can't be seen and eventually move on the objective the other side of the trees.

I charge the Hellhound with the Trygon and make it, the Genestealers also pile in to the fight. The Flyrant is equally quick off the mark getting up close with the Vendetta, but having chosen just Devourers he cannot do anything against it, it's shooting had been ineffective and I think I'd only caused one wound on it with Smite, or Psychic Scream :(

The Trygon was slightly more effective taking most of the wounds off the Hellhound only for it to be torn apart by the Genestealers. I consolidated forward.

Ben's turn 2 and the Vendetta zooms into my DZ. I no longer have the Malanthrope and Carnifex in shot so it looks like they bought the big one. I think the Flyrant took some wounds too [he may even have been killed] and the Trygon may also have been shot to hell and back [again by it's lack of presence in the final picture].

My turn 2 and there's not much I can do. I misjudge how many turns we may have left before the game has to finish [we were playing in the afternoon but I had to be home by 6:30 to take my wife to her Christmas works do]. So I don't put anything on the objectives, including the Rippers. I threw all I could at the Vendetta, burning through CPs. I give the Termagants Scorch Bugs and Pathogenic Slime and shoot at the Vendetta, taking off 6 wounds, then I use Single-Minded Annihilation to shoot again, and my 22 shots are appalling. Another three failed saves, 6 wounds and adding the single Smite damage I caused in my first turn it's still there on 1 wound :(  To make matters worse Ben is back on 7 Command Points thanks to his Kurov's Aquila Relic dice roll regaining CPs when I use a Stratagem.

My Genestealers multi-charge the two guard units. Only 8 Stealers survive the charge and I split the attacks evenly, using Scything Talons on one squad, killing 5 and then switch to Rending Claws for the other squad killing only 3 [purely out of interest in what would be more effective, although I think I already knew the outcome]. Neither of the squads fail their morale. I'd hoped to break them and them consolidate on the objective, I could potentially have secured all 4 if I'd planned and executed it properly.

We called it at this stage, there was no time left and I would be annihilated anyway next turn. A proper timed game I might have put everything I had on the three objectives but Ben had one, Line Breaker, First Blood, Slay the Warlord and 4 Big Guns VPs so he had 10VPs altogether. He also said he would have put a Leman Russ on the objective on the hill by the Broodlord if he'd known it was the last turn, but it's all moot.

Ben came to the conclusion he should abdicate first turn in future, to give me [Liam and Otty] a fighting chance but I'm not convinced taking such a handicap does us any favours. I had thought the cover I had would be more useful but if I'm not in it everything can shoot through the trees with impunity. As Line of Sight Blocking terrain is in short supply I think a fairer approach may be to treat each tree base a LoS blocking.

At GT3 there will be LoS blocking so we need to practice accordingly, game wise it's far less an artificial balancing act, even if the concept appears that way. I'm sure we'll discuss at some point but it's difficult for me to make a judgement on my list given the result...

Monday, 4 December 2017

'nids part 228 - Trygon & Genestealer Broodlord/Patriarch - Chitin highlights

Just a quick one, I've been pottering around with a number of my projects, my movement trays arrived and I've started looking at the Rippers but inbetween I found an hour or two to start some chitin highlights. This was initially on the Broodlord and I was trying to be really careful, which is why it took so long. It did reinforce my view that when it comes to the Trygon I will hate, hate, hate doing the same.

So when I decided to do the next level highlight I thought I'd do the Trygon's head, just to get a bit of progress on it. Again, tidy but not as fine a detail as I'd like. This is as good as I get I just need to live with it. Second highlights went on the Broodlord, I also got some Ryza Rust on the base, which is a little lost on Red Planet BASE! but I'll try and fix that with subsequent layers and metal scratches.

It amazes me how quick this has come together, the Broodlord can be done in a snap, it's practically half complete already. I'm going to break the Trygon down into parts:
  1. Back
  2. Scything Talons
  3. Tail
I may even split those into separate parts, the tail will definitely be 2, if not 3 or 4 sessions. The back probably 2 at the least and the Talons potentially 2 and then repeat them all for second highlight, a total of 16 sessions to get half way! I'll really need to mix things up so I don't go mad painting it.

Friday, 1 December 2017

'nids part 227 - Trygon & Genestealer Broodlord/Patriarch - Washes

The Army Painter Soft Tone wash [sepia] has been applied. I know a lot of folk decry the current Citadel paint pots for their ability to tip over when using a wash/shade, obviously I found my own solution to that problem. I also found out that some of my washes had decided to go a little funky in their pots. I don't know if they got contaminated in some way but you may recall Devlan Mud and the like used to have a pretty ripe smell sometimes and this is the same recipe. Although the wash looked all milky it went on  fine but I have since resorted to just decanting from the Army Painter dropper bottle into the palette and then using what I need. It does however feel like I've gone through an entire bottle on this, but in reality it's about a third.

Something else worth noting on this fella is he doesn't ordinarily come with the 'containment spine mandibles' but I had them spare from my unused plastic Trygon Prime parts. It only took a bit of cutting and to pin them in place. They look a little OTT, but because they're at an angle downwards I think they worked out OK in the end. I'm also kicking myself I didn't photograph it pre-wash [although you can just make out some of it on Wednesday's post]. The orignal base coat is always so rough on my Tyranids. As much as the Lord Duncan recommends two thin coats [*CHANTS* "two thin coats"], this was a single rough pass as even without adding the wash and subsequent highlights I want some of the primer to show through the bone to add even more layers of colour. As it was the recesses in the chest area were pure Red Oxide, the Soft Tone wash probably doesn't even need the second Strong Tone wash, that I'd normally do, in these areas

Some of the Chitin plates will definitely need their Strong Tone wash. It's these plates I know will kill me when it comes to their turquoise highlights. It's been so long since I've done them I haven't the sense to be worried, but I've not forgotten. Even though it was one of the first miniatures I painted I still remember the nightmare chore of it's plastic counterpart's tail. This also has a few more ridges and sculpting to contend with, currently without a plan of approach. I'll get there in the end.

One last pic to show the Strong Tone wash, now for Chitin Highlights.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

'nids part 226 - Trygon & Genestealer Broodlord/Patriarch - Red Planet BASE!

A nice step-by-step Red Planet BASE! for the Trygon and Broodlord here, although there are already a couple of tutorials for how I base my models already in the tutorials tab at the top. At this stage it's just the Red Oxide Primer.

Here's the Strong Tone wash. You may be wondering a little about the basing materials around the 'eruption' area. These are constructed from BBQ wood chips. I have a bag of them but my BBQing is terribly infrequent and my wife isn't fond of me messing about with them, so I just figured they'd make ideal bits of ground burst effect. I could have tried to achieve the same effect with small bits of slate but the natural curves and angular chips seemed ideal so thought I'd give it a go.

It's obviously not a complete ground eruption, more an impact as the Trygon 'sidewinds' across Ferron Proxima. Its far from a scientific recreation but it looks almost representational so I'm quite pleased. Anyway, Vermilion highlight next

Second highlight

Oops, missed a step, second highlight followed by the final Pumpkin Craft Acrylic highlight. Just Bonewhite chips to add, but that will happen during the rest of the painting, but for now it's done.

The Broodlord is the same - Red Oxide.

Strong Tone wash.

Vermilion drybrush.

1st highlight [Vermilion and Pumpkin mix, don't know the ratio]

2nd highlight [moar Pumpkin]

With the broodlord detached.

The final set of Pumpkin highlights.

Both detached.

I'm really impressed with how much detail I was able to get on the drybrush of the untextured base, I'm sure it'll end up scuffed and damaged over time though :(

Anyway, badges! I get another two Big Build badges for completing my bases. OK I know my bases need edging and the bone chips but they get done later in the process, so for me this element is complete. Interestingly in last year's Great Build this was a badge just for priming the model! Then I realised I was thinking of it as 'prime and base' but as I can't base without priming it became pointless to reward the inevitable. Anyway, two badges. Washes on the base colours next and then I need to take a moment to review progress and plans...