Friday, 20 July 2018

Third Anniversary of the birth of the Man Cave

It's the third Anniversary of the birth of the Man Cave. For one reason or another I forgot to celebrate the second anniversary of 40kaddict Towers - the 40k man cave. Some would argue the man cave was a luxury, all in it was £1,200 - £1,400 but that's around the same price as a Warlord Titan and I'm pretty sure I've got more hobby bang for my buck with the man cave. In actual fact it was a necessity as utilising space in the house for hobby became a continuous source of friction between me and my '40kwidow'. Of course the problems still exist but for the most part 'out of sight, out of mind' has meant the friction rarely causes a spark so for this reason the actual value of the shed is priceless.

As you can see from this picture last year it's very cosy, with far too many projects on the go

Since it's completion it has had a small upgrade in the magnetic fly screen over the door - the likes you see on all those infomercials. Absolutely amazing, I've painted a few times in the evening on a hot night with the door open and the winged insects that gets stuck on it can be really spectacular. I've since added some over the window that opens too.

I still have plans to get a solar powered ventilation fan, but that will require cutting a 100mm diammeter hole in the wall, which I'm pretty worried about. But this will mean that I'll get a little more air circulation going, to expel the hot air in summer and help with the humidity and concerns about mould in winter. Thankfully the mould has been kept at bay with my dehumidifier and I occasionally organise all my stuff so I'm making better use of space, even if it's really untidy.

Lastly I hope to completely recoat it with my waterproof paint. I've gone over all the nail holes with filler so they're easier to paint. I might have sealed in some rust that'll no doubt come back to haunt me but I feel like I'm doing something to maintain it's structure at least. I had enough paint left in my tin to paint the two main sides you see and are exposed most to the elements but a new tin is required, although £50+ for 5 litres is a big ask, even though it's top quality protection.It only took 90 minutes so I should remember that for the next time.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

'nids part 261 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.15 - bone To Done!

Grinding this out now, having made the decision to go straight to the final highlight on the bone. I probably put too much of it on, which was my concern about making it too light, even if that is my standard across all my nids now.

I'll tackle that issue later in the post, but for now here are the built pictures. Black claws and talons to do next, pink bits, need to fill in the vents Khorne red before I start doing the toxic plasma glows and then...

...then what? Varnishes and Tamiya Clear Red X-27 and she's done!

And I've still got 39 days left in the Hobby Season! Which means some other tasks might get ticked off too.

I have actually had some opportunity to progress the future containers to sponging stage. Once I finish shading the the Razorback I can do that on both at the same time as a batch.

Cocked the white balance up on this one.


So here's the other step I need to do, some additional shading, going back over the highlights with Soft Tone in areas which would be in shadow. It's really adding extra dimension to the ribs, compare that to the hips on the right.

It's not exactly a difficult task, in fact its really easy but adds so much more depth to the model. I may have one more update showing the glow effect WiPs but then it should be To Done pics!

Friday, 13 July 2018

Battle Reports - Imperial Knights Renegade

For a variety of reasons I got to visit my mate Liam the other day. He lives in Chorley, about 40 minutes away from where I live but when I get the train into work the station is roughly half way there so it makes sense for me to go to him. Invariably it mean he makes my tea, which is always nice but we don't catch up as often as we should. However, the request for a spare Thunderstrike Gauntlet from my Renegades box gave us the opportunity to actually have a crack at the game. The mission we rolled required us to critically damage 4 areas on the legs. Liam used his Khorne Knight, it has two fists but we played it with a fist and a Reaper Chainsword. Whereas I had Euronymous with the Thermal Cannon, Chainsword and we both had Heavy Stubbers

We started the game well apart but it was evident that he would have to come to me, although with my short range I'd have to be very careful not to get too close so I could take advantage of the range from the Thermal Cannon.

By the end of the first turn Liam had managed to get past the Shrine of the Aquila. I think I'd been lucky with a Stubber shot, it had missed its legs but hit the Gauntlet and taken a wound.

Next turn and I gambled instead of moving to Snap Fire and Standard fire. I thought two rounds of shooting, even one wildly inaccurate, might be better than him chasing me round the table. The Snap Fire did some damage but the Standard Fire missed completely

I had tried to get out of base contact range but then found out that in Renegade all melee weapons have a range. The Chainsword is 6" and the Gauntlet 4" so he was able to smash one hip to pieces - they autohit and do 3 damage. He then took another leg hard point to all but 1 wound left.

It was clear I was trapped now, with the damage I'd already sustained my movement was done by 1". All I could do was snap shot and standard shot again. I managed even the score about, Liam's Knight was on roughly the same sort of damage. I'd wiped out leg plate with the Thermal Cannon and mostly damaged another leg. I'd also put another wound on his gauntlet.

But there was nothing I could do as the Gauntlet and Chainsword autohit again.

Taking my legs out from under me.

Khorne had prevailed, Eurnoymous truly was a fallen knight!

As the game had been relatively quick we had a nother go, this time I took Liam's loyalist House Terryn Gallant and he took the Nurgle Paladin. We were playing a mission where I just had to escape the top of the board, it was Liam's job to stop me.

I moved into cover of the Shrine and rotated my Ion Shield for a better save.

Unfortunately the Fecund of Filth couldn't hit the side of a barn, let alone Sir Diddymous of House Terryn.

Next turn I moved further out, again rotating Ion Shields

The Nurgle Knight moved to cover my escape but it was running out of space.

Sire Diddymous pondered whether to fulfill the mission.

He could not stomach the though of this monstrosity left.

So he charged. A smash to the face destroyed the head and rendered the demon engine dumbstruck, reducing it's options in the following turns

A subsequent swipe removed its Reaper Broadsword, leaving it with no melee weapons whatsoever.. it was clear at this point there was no stopping Sir Diddymous, he had all the advantages, could escape at his leisure and he was toying with the Renegade, we called it for the Imperium.

I'm not sur emany people buy Imperial Kights Renegade for the game and so it's flaws perhaps aren't too much of a worry. It's clear shooting is far from effective, more accurately melee is too effective. The auto-hit is just too powerful and there is no stopping those weapons as they're AP just cuts through a 5+ armour save.

Also the combined critical damage could do with broadening. Only the weapons are destroyed after two hardpoints are critical, it'd be nice for legs to be crippled more/risk toppling over like the old Adeptus Titanicus rules. We may develop some house rules for this, see if it's possible for multiple Knights and create rules for the Warglaives... Still as a quick game goes it's fine, I just think there's more potential in it to make it more compelling and it's clear if you go melee you will win the game.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

'nids part 260 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.14 - Flesh and bone

The Chitin highlights are all done, but rather than post another 'save point' progress shot I;ve just cracked on with a first set of Vermilion highlights on the fleshy bits.

There are still some pink bits to do on the tongue and pipework on the torso. It looks a bit garish at the moment but gloss varnish and Tamiya Clear Red X-27 will change all that.

As stated the chitin highlights got completed.

It was a hard slog in the end but the Hobby Season deadline is just 46 days away now and I'm itching to see this complete so I can tackle that last of my Big 3.

With the fleshy bits done I moved on to the bone highlights. I'd gone with Army Painter Skeleton Bone first time around and as Valejo Bonewhite is lighter I did the next set of highlights with that but honestly I'm seeing very little difference. I'm not sure if this approach is worth the effort

You can see here that the right hand side has had a Bonewhite highlight and the left hasn't. It's almost impossible to tell the difference and I think I'm just covering up a lot of what I did anyway, making the fine lines thicker.

But I also applied the 'third highlights' in places - ends of ribs and the first two striation to the front of each rib. Even that is difficult to tell, so I'm just going to continue to use this second highlight colour instead of the Bonewhite across the entire model. Hopefully the increased contrast between my highlight mix and the Skeleton Bone will help.

I'm also going to add some shading under the ribs, unsurprisingly in the shadow areas. Hopefully it'll add a bit more definition as it's looking a little one dimensional [although technically with width and height it's two dimensional]. Half the ribcage in 45 minutes though was good going. Hopefully I can be happy with that finish the body and then crack on with the legs.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Principles or toy soldiers?

This month the staff recognition scheme thought our team deserved the reward. Previously I hadn't engaged with the process as it's built on staff recognising each others efforts which smacks of 'fishing for likes' and having an employee of the month based on that can be open for abuse. I'd much prefer the powers that be were directly aware of what we do instead of crowd sourcing nominations so they can remain arms-length.

However, I know what all our team members nationwide did last month and as there's 20+ of us that means the reward is shared between us and isn't one person pocketing the lot. It's a far more equitable recognition than I'd previously observed.

The key fact is that the reward can be taken in Amazon vouchers which means when I add it to the birthday and Christmas gifts already accrued I could blow it all on the Renegade box set, because who doesn't want another two Imperial Knights - they're all the rage! Not to mention the terrain too...

It does mean my grey tide has suddenly become somewhat of a tsunami again and will require a re-think of next season's To Do List but that's the hobby right? So, when someone asks what price your principles?, you know my answer is "screw principles Heretic - for the Emperor!"

Friday, 6 July 2018

'nids part 259 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.13 - Chitin highlights 2

I'm cracking on with this beast now, made just a little bit tougher by the silly heatwave. On the plus side I added a new fly-screen to my window in the shed so I can have it open at night and not be swamped by flying bugs [wanting to meet their Hive Queen no doubt!]. Unfortunately it can still be 26°C in the evening, mainly because it's topping out 32°C during the day. That temp is really uncomfortable and the paint is drying on the palette. I'm sure Marcellis has no sympathy for me ;)

Anyway, the highlighting continues and I have finished the legs. What is pleasing is that these took about 9 sessions to highlight first time around and I managed it in 5. So my 75% time saving estimate was particularly conservative. 

I think you can just about see both sets of highlights on the striations. I honestly think there is a much finer touch on this than my recent Trygon.

The brush strokes are a bit bolder on the shins for instance but I think overall I'm achieving the best I can. I still wish the striations could be finer but I see an improvement and subtlety in places so at least I'm doing my best and not rushing it.

Bio-cannons also got done which meant I was on to the back carapace.

When I did the head and carapace sections last time I got really despondent afterwards. There was something that made it feel like an enormous task ahead but this time round I felt great. Also interesting was the fact I am highlighting the spots as I go, whereas I think I did them all in one or two sessions first time round.

That means I'll save time at the end too. I've two big plates to do next and their vents. The vents can be quite tedious, I did consider doing them separately and just focusing on the plates. However, like the spots its just something I can do as I go along.  

The dots in particular are handy as with all the fine control of the striations and the paint becoming sticky in the heat it's always easy to blob in a dot. I don't get hand cramps but it's much harder to do those lines than dots, it breaks up the monotony. Again that's important because despite the good feeling I had after the last session I was once again wracked by doubts before doing these plates, but feel much better now they're done.

Here's a close up of my highlights so you can really see the detail in the brush strokes. It amplifies everything so you can see they're much chunkier than I would like but c'est la vie.

And the head itself, you may have spotted earlier I've painted the eye orange, you can't see it here. That's the base for the rest of the yellow, it'll be pretty cool to get that done. I'm also looking forward to highlighting the fleshy bits eventually.

I have three big plates to do next and then it's just lots of progressively smaller/easier tail plates. I'm really anxious to see this done, there's actually still a lot left do though. All the second bone highlights [and maybe third!] fleshy bits and green glows on the vents, not to mention the claws/talons. But my hobby season is drawing to a close and I'm thinking about next year's To Do List already visualising those projects boxed off and complete. First things first though...