Friday, 21 October 2016

'nids part 202 - Acid spray and weapon options

As I'm planning to run a Tyrannofex with Acid Spray at Caledonian I thought it worthwhile finishing up this little conversion. With the Tervigon's birthing sac glued in place the normal feed cannot reach around it's gravid womb so I needed to extend the tubes. Perhaps I should have taken some earlier pics but I'm not in a 'posterity' mood at the moment. What I did do was split the ammo feeds and then use floral arrangement wire to extend the pipes. Getting the wires to fit was extremely fiddly and then bulking them out was equally frustrating. I tried rolls of Milliput but it's just not elastic or adhesive enough and the more you roll it into tubes the more it wants to crumble apart. I managed to do two of the feeder pipes and then pulled the remainder off in preference of Green Stuff.

This is in fact the first Green Stuff I've ever bought/used and I must admit it did a much better job of bulking out the wire to look like tubes but my sculpting was slapdash at best so I tried to cover up my difficiencies with my old standby - PVA coated string to create veins. It wasn't too bad although the fibres in the string were far more apparent than I'd hoped. A few coats of liquid greenstuff later and I think I made a much better finish to it. I mean my Green Stuff sculpting is woeful, but this effort is sufficient. With that in mind I undercoated the weapon, gave it a spray of Bonewhite Army Painter where needed and then picked out all the fleshy red bits.

I then painted the chitin plates ready for the first sepia wash.

Two birds with one stone - these crushing claws are a hangover from my last Carnifex and I've never found the time to get them finished. As soon as the Acid Spray progress aligns with these I'll be tagging them on to painting so they can be completed.

This is actually a nice little 'between projects' job - an amuse-bouche to cleanse the palate and stimulate excitement for the next big job. The only problem with doing these is they don't feel like something worthy of completion. They're not on my list for a start and they're not a complete figure either. However, each claw is similar in scale to a Termagant and the Acid Spray is equivalent to a Lictor at least. I'll get my head round it eventually, it's only a week or two of work afterall and then I can see what's next...

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

What's on my palette?

Bless me readers for I have sinned, it's been just over a month since my last confession and with the completion of my Armies on Parade goals I need to take stock again.

Right now I'm feeling really pleased at my current progress. It feels great having already completed 3 out of the 14 [20 if you include the sub-bullets of the Genestealer Cultists]. However, despite those three goals being 'major projects' [not that I qualify them that way] they'd all been siginificantly progressed before the new season, not to mention 3 out of 20 in 6 weeks is only slightly ahead of schedule over the course of the season.

So a dose of reality with my unicorns and rainbows. And as AsaltoRabioso Lleida commented about the bastions 'you sure work hard' and if I'm honest I sure feel like it as well. completing the Bastions and the Imperial Knight has left me exhausted and although I took a few nights off during the effort I feel I really needed it. I'm not sure if it's the coming of Winter but the darker nights and thought of trooping down the garden in grim weather fills me with dread. It's one of the reasons I thought the 'Great Build' would work - no targets to finish something just build what I've got.

Project wise I do have plans to tackle three things of which I'll let you in on two, I have my Acid Spray conversion for my Tyrannofex. Because it's a magnetised Tervigon I needed to extend the tubes to go round it's birthing sack [that bit isn't magnetised]. That needs to be done and painted by Caledonian - 19th/20th November. The second item is my Tyranid VSG - I fancy finishing the sculpting on that. The third, well it's painting but I don't want to spook it just yet so I'll leave it unsaid.

Overall I want to take things a little slower at the moment. The AoP deadline was powerful in helping projects through to completion but at my own expense. I feel I need to relax a bit which may knock on the blog a bit but we've been there before when content was less forthcoming so I know everyone's all right with that. Ultimately I needed a plan and to see 'where my head is @'. So now you know nearly as much as me.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Armies on Parade 2016

You asked to be kept up-to-date on my entry into Armies on Parade, there's not much to tell really. If you'd seen my post on the 40k addict facebook group you'd see that there was no medal for me. However, I did get the nifty little pin badge. I wouldn't be human if I wasn't a little disappointed but by now everyone should be aware that although I like to win it's not all about the winning.

For some reason it reminded me of what Matt Damon said about winning an Oscar so young, and how it would feel if that's all you aspire to achieve.

OK I'm not Matt Damon and AoP isn't an Oscar but having won the gold and a silver already there are only a couple of incentives I have - taking part and hopefully getting a bronze medal so I can complete the set. I even finally reconciled 'winning' four years ago. To have failed to achieve anything the last two years it made me question what I'd done the first time around as there was no competition but I realised I did something no one else did - made an effort. The reward was first prize and the piece of mind never to have to 'win at all costs', to be in a position to just enjoy showcasing my armies. And I got that throughout the day - seeing all the AoP boards appear all over Facebook. It was great to feel part of that, I suppose being in store might have made it even more fun but I probably would have felt uncomfortable about the 'competition' side of it.

I've begun to believe the event suffers because of the competition. I saw a few people on facebook disappointed about being beaten by store managers or cliques block voting. However, without the competition I doubt folk would put in the extremes of effort they do, so it's a double edged [power] sword.

I'm not sure what I'll be displaying next year, regardless of the result I'm the only person to have displayed for the last four years and I want to continue that run. I strongly believe in the event is we'll just have to see what I complete between now and then.

I took a few pictures when I picked my board up. This was the eventual winner, Chris won two years ago and came third last year.

The Bastion was really nice, I was a bit envious actually.

Loved the scouts and their camo cloaks.

This was second place

With a sneaky Tau hiding in plain sight.

Unfortunately third place had gone by the time I got there but pictures of all the entries are in the facebook link above if you're interested.

On another side note I did receive a facebook friend request later in the day from someone at GW worth more than any medal, so I'm doing something right :)

Friday, 14 October 2016

Armies on Parade board 2016

I have in my 18 draft blog posts one article about Armies on Parade that has been completed for nearly a year and I still can't decide if I want to post it. But I have decided that I may feel differently about the situation after tomorrow, so instead I thought I'd share my test layout for my board.

As you can see it's pretty much all my completed Dark Angels and their Knightly allies, I even included the crashed Aquila Lander.

The two bastions are a bit OTT, it perhaps might look better as a scene with just the one and the two knights in each corner but I can't bring myself to drop them now.

I'll be popping along tonight to set up as tomorrow I can only go later on in the day, presumably when all the voting has taken place.

I did see a post on GW Bolton's Facebook page that showed their winners trophies, AND entrant pin-badges! Which I think is a really nice touch for those that are taking part. Fingers crossed they're happening everywhere.

Part of me is really excited, I hope it can be a good day and exorcise the event for me and it to be an enjoyable experience. Any aspiration other than that is just the elusive bronze medal but I know I've done a grand job this time.

Everything on the board is new to AoP, the only hangover from previous years is the backdrop, the board itself is one of my Realm of Battle tiles [though I doubt folk would notice the difference].

I even included the old skool assault marines I rebased for Battle Brothers, why not?

Round about here I remembered to add the Techmarine!

So there we go, if you're parading tomorrow I hope you have a good one, all the best.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Flufftastic - The fall of the House of Corvus

Ferron Proxima has always had a strong presence by the cult Mechanicus. Since it's earliest discovery the lure of a red planet so far away but yet so similar to the Ad Mech homeworld has become almost a pilgrimage to those who worship the machine spirit. And thus Ferron Proxima brought forth it's own Titan Legion. With so many Tech-Adepts, coupled with the naturally rich mineral deposits the Legio Titanicus was forged from the very bedrock of this red planet.

Of course the rich and powerful families building dynasties on this world of resources could see the influence and power that was being manufactured in the forges of the Ad Mech compounds. They could see that as their God Machines were being built it would be there that the true control of Ferron Proxima would reside, not to mention the sheer profits available in transporting the goods and machines produced within those compounds. And so alliances were made and First Born son's were offered up as squires to pilot the lesser Titan Engines of the Imperial Knights - stepping stones to greater things.

What the ruling houses were not prepared for though was the fierce competition from the extant Knightly houses. Although none were originally in existence on Ferron Proxima the wealth of resources the planet had to offer had drawn the attention of various branches of the Mechanicum, one of those being a small but ambitious branch of the House Raven order of knights – House Corvus. House Corvus had fought under the House Raven banner for millennia and having heard of Ferron Proxima had sought out the red planet in hopes to forge their own future. With ruthless efficiency and their many contacts within the mechanicum they managed to monopolise access to the best Knight support. Their plan of control went further in a series of tournaments that slowly whittled away the new-found Ferron orders, proving their own supremacy.

Part of these tournaments involved archaic wagers that would further cement Corvus upon the planet and ‘breed-out’ the competition. Those Knights that were beaten in combat were forever denied the ability to man their own Knight. Such a blow was seen as a terrible loss for the ruling houses and they sought to retain face in any way possible. Desperate to hold some ties with the Mechanicum at whatever the cost, because the prime goal for them was trade and access to resources, they insisted that the House Corvus victor would also take a wife from among the daughters of the ruling family.
The ruling families were convinced this would be a win-win for them. Should they be the victor they would have the spoils, should they lose they would be forever bonded through family ties and still have the profit from off-world shipping. It would not be the first born sons that would expand their empires but their daughters, but the son's had had their chance and failure was not good for business so their loss would lead to being disowned by the families. What they didn’t realise was that for House Corvus money was no object, still with the backing of House Raven they could do what they wanted. But bringing glory to the family name of Corvus and becoming the preeminent Knightly order was the ultimate goal. An accord was reached - although the prospect of marriage was not a concern of House Corvus, having no Knightly orders of another name on Ferron Proxima was. Once they had reached dominance on Ferron Proxima Corvus would be able to achieve it’s true ambition, to openly separate from House Raven and forge their own future.

This level of ambition did not go unnoticed though. During the Horus Heresy Ferron Proxima was beset by unexpected warp storms, under this tempestuous isolation House Corvus was targeted by those wishing to manipulate them for the benefit of the traitors. It fell to the masters of deception and infiltration – the Alpha Legion to bring about this scheme. The XX Legion had already secured a secret foothold on the planet, setting designs in place to help destabilise a known Dark Angel recruitment world. By offering support and advice to House Corvus they sought to turn the house to the side of the Warmaster, easily done due to their competitive nature and desire to rise out from under the shadow of Raven. Securing a Knightly house was no insignificant prize for the Alpha Legion, but with them on side they hoped to then gain the Titan Legions and subsequently the planet. Denying the Dark Angels their recruitment world was just the icing on the cake. Even if the plan failed it would draw the attention of the Dark Angels and keep them occupied instead of rallying to the defence of Terra.

With the support of the Alpha Legion coupled with House Corvus’s own ambition the first part of the deception succeeded – House Corvus was able to subdue all the other Knightly houses. The rout was not overnight though, the Alpha Legion was cautious and overall patient, to ensure the ploy did not fall back on them, that Corvus believed their actions were right and just and not realise how they had turned traitor. What they did not count on was this turning did not go completely unnoticed and by outside forces the Alpha Legion could never have factored into their plans.

Euronymous the 'Fallen Knight' had observed the Knight battles taking place in the Desert Gardens of the Weeping Fears. He had gone into seclusion within the gardens, following the fall of Caliban when the Shard upon which he’d survived had materialised from the warp on Ferron Proxima. So it was that he returned to the Shard and sought out an ancient relic Knight within.

Girding himself to do battle against House Corvus, he went on the hunt as he had when on Caliban against the many beasts of the forest. He took the fight to them, forcing the best and brightest to bow down before him, because despite their turning, honour and the rules of the Knightly order were too strong. The Alpha Legion could promise them glory, dominion and all kinds of ambition but they could never shake the code of the tourney.

It would come to pass that, by this time, Ferron Proxima resumed contact with the Dark Angels. House Corvus were fortunate that contact was at first made by the newly formed successor chapter the Angels of Absolution. Another chapter, or the former legion itself may well have looked on the House’s betrayal with sterner eyes but the Angels had already absolved their own guilt of the sins of the Fallen and together with Euronymous’s testimony would task the house with bringing about their own absolution. Although no ties of fealty to the Dark Angels were asked of House Corvus they were compelled to reaffirm their ties with House Raven and all attempts to build their own empire was quashed.

Euronymous himself refused to rejoin the ranks of the Dark Angels, he could not bring himself to assuage his guilt even with the urging of Actonis, the new Chapter Master of the Angels of Absolution. He had been there on Caliban, he had seen his brothers turn on each other and then seen those traitors flee the Shard upon it’s arrival on Ferron Proxima. His actions against House Corvus had proven to Actonis his loyalty to the legion and so if he would not rejoin their ranks he was tasked to stand guard and ensure that Corvus would fall and Raven be reborn. Should ever he sense the taint of rebellion once again amongst their numbers he must mount his own battle-worn knight and remind them of their oaths, to which he remains sworn to do to this day.

Meanwhile the Alpha Legion watches and waits…

[Rememberancer's note: original idea for the fall of the House of Corvus]

Monday, 10 October 2016

Dark Angels - Bastions

If there's one undeniable truth I've learned in design, it's that big numbers always look cool. It was always the plan to put some on the Bastion, I just never figured out how I was going to do it as the shape pretty much precluded that possibility. A lot of the time spent on the quad guns was a stalling tactic trying to help resolve how I was going to put the big numbers on. In the end I just measured two panels and then put a number in it with the stencil text leaving a hand join between the two. I then cut them out but given how it was a font that was used in Word it meant I was beholden to the stencil gap - if I'd done this in Illsutrator [which would have taken about 5 minutes] I could ahve then turned it to outlines and then split the two parts and given a better gap to work with. However, the stencil was put in place and a coffee stirrer placed on the insideof the corner to act as a 'paint shield'. This gave me a sharp enough edge and a consistent gutter between the two halves.

Bastions 4 and 9, I then added some paint drips and started to apply weathering similar to the Aquila Lander/Imperial Knight.

The westhering was sponged Rhinox Hide followed by sponged Valejo Heavy Red.

The Quad Gun also progressed and I picked out all those circular doodads as orange for no real reason.

The other side of the bastions. Number 9 had some Gun metal applied, similar to the Lander but immediately I regretted it as weathering of this sort is not exposed metal, it's just dirt and rust. I added some Typhus Corrosion to try and cover it up.

Gilbert approves of this remedial action, it;s still nto right and I'll try some orange rust on it too but it's progressing.

I just have to bring number 4 up to the same point then there are a lot of small details to do, which won't make much progress shots but will take significant effort. Verdigris will be one of those but it may be a little different this time around...