Thursday, 17 January 2019

Last Chance Open wrap up and painting competition

The Last Chance Open was this weekend and I have to commend Martin, Aceface and all the other folk who chipped in. I can definitely say the event was well run and once the free wi-fi settled down even updating the Best Coast Pairing App was straightforward [although the judges could fill in the details for you!]. I had some really great games and met some really nice people and had a good time. That said I am feeling a disconnect with 40k and how it is played. I absolutely love the idea of running knights but there were so many of them at the event it feels like a cop-out to take them. Losing even one can feel devastating and on the flip-side outgunning your opponent with them is equally disheartening because it's just not fun to take someone apart in that way. Anyway, I'll discuss my feelings in depth at a later date.

Keith Martin-Smith with Astra-Millitarum [tanks and conscripts] was my first match.

Dominik Brundler with Nurgle Chaos Marines was Game 2

Andrew Davies and mixed Chaos Daemons [Nurgle/Tzeentch] Game 3.

Sadly I missed getting a pic with Rick Martin who I faced in Game 4 with his Deathwatch. Last Game was with Robin Neill and he had Iron Hands Space Marines.

The painting competition was of a high standard. Unfortunately I didn't get chance to take pics on day one of the individual categories but I got pics of the Best Army nominations with these Tau

And they're awesome energy shields.

Otty got nominated for best army with his Tyranids and his 'nid Bastion, which won best conversion.

Ad Mech and Knights.

Liam's Renegade Knights were also nominated.

His Warglaives were a new addition to the force.

As was this new dual battle cannon Knight.

Apparently this eyeball took 5 minutes to paint, it's amazing how much you can hate one of your own friends ;)

Unsurprisingly Liam came away with the honours for best army.

Apparently I gave him a challenge though with only a few votes in it, not that I mind.

I did have a quick chat with the Honest Wargamer guys about how they're review of our lists had failed to recognise that not everyone is choosing a list on a competitive basis.

It was really funny when I said to Liam "why did you take the Bloodthirster?" [a question Jon had asked himself on the stream] - "because I like the model" was the answer. When I asked Otty "why did you take the Bastion?" [noted by Jon as the only Fortification brought to the tournament] - "because I never take it!". When I asked Ben about the Eldar Cobra it was also "because I never take it"!

And the final query based on Jon's surprise at seeing me take the Lancer - "Why did I take the Lancer? Because these were the only two Knights I had painted!" So we had a good laugh at our reasons.

Almost a week on I'm still feeling a glow of satisfaction about the tournament. There's a real dichotomy between just how much I enjoyed the event and the people but feel there are continuing flaws in 8th edition. Previously those flaws would be levelled at the Codex but now I think there are things inherently wrong about the game. There are also things very right and I can't quite put my finger on what the flaws are, which is why I need time to dissect what they might be, but I am both looking forward to a break but also going to miss the satisfaction brought on by the efforts of Martin, Aceface and the crew. On top of that they raised £1107.50 for Alder Hey Children's Hospital Charity, which given my circumstances is amazing news. Well done all!

Friday, 11 January 2019

The Last Chance Open 2019

The Last Chance Open is tomorrow in Southport. I believe 96 entrants will be throwing down in the 'Port. It's ITC rules so there is a lot of filth but some of these guys are top ranking players with reputations at stake so it has to be expected. I think they said one guy, with a good result, could go to the Las Vegas Open as the number 1 ranked ITC player in the world!

And then there's Liam, Ben, Otty and myself with cobbled together armies of the weird and wonderful with no tactical nouse whatsoever! All the pairings have been done and I'll be facing Astra Millitarum for my first game against Pask, 8 other Leman Russ, 90 conscripts a psyker and Company Commander! So if I can find a way to punch through the bubble wrap and get to the tanks I might have a chance but that might be a big ask. The Honest Wargamer did a matchup review last night. They were impressed by all our lists for the randomness and unique choices among the other cookie cutter net-lists, but they only thought I would be triumphant out of the four of us in the first game and only because they liked me taking the Lancer.
They'll be live streaming tomorrow on no guarantees on the battles but there will be a roving reporter talking to people and checking out armies so alongside the battles there's a chance of seeing us 4 and other folk and hobby. Check it out if you can.

Imperial Knights - House Corvus Twins in manufactorum pt8. 'primed & grimed'

It's time to prime and I did this in less than optimal conditions, because it was cold I did it in the garage... when the tumble drier was running and it is not a condensing drier!!!

So, if you zoom in you can see areas of grey, particularly in the recesses where the primer just didn't stick. Now I'd be pretty miffed but there are going to be so many washes and texture layers, gloss varnish bases for decals and weathering those unprimed elements should be no bother.

But you can see even the extra spray of black on the edges of the shoulder pads didn't cover up those bits - that'll learn me. Next year I should just build over the winter, maybe I should make it a hobby goal...?

Vermilion craft acrylic for my texture - one thick coat!

I sponged it on for extra texture, I could have done to do a second pass for even more but too late now. Ready for Warplock Bronze...

But before all of that some weathering on the base. I desperately wanted yellow pipework but much more weathered and rusty than my Genestealer Cult Sentinels. If you look back at the first image you can see they were initially brown, with texture and then Ryza Rust and a Strong Tone wash.

But I wanted most of that weathering to show through but still have the yellow. Rather than salt weathering or hair spray I inverted the weathering process and sponged the yellow paint onto the brown/rust base.

Some additional rusty orange streaks and Rhinox Hide drybrushes helped blend it together with a few minimal gunmetal scuffs to give a greasy feel.

The supports need a bit more weathering, they're supposed to be different but they still need rusting up.

Might as well use this seeing as I done it!


Today was the end of the first week [out of six] of Radiotherapy at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre for my hero. He's found it challenging, some nausea and funny tastes in his mouth which both have reduced his appetite.We had some transport issues yesterday and today because we took advantage of the medical transport offered. This allowed me to come into work, instead of working from home. Unfortunately drivers were late/misinformed about collection times and both days were stressful for my wife, moreso as I wasn't there.
We'd not really considered using the service but we were advised it was one less thing to worry about, when in actual fact it just became a series of different things to worry about. I'll be back driving them mostly next week but more importantly he's 1/6th the way through his treatment. We think we've got his anti-sickness tablet regime organised better so although the second week has been looming [they estimate hair loss and fatigue kicks in around this time] we might be on top of the more disruptive symptoms. Can't wait to say 1/3rd done.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Terrain is Everything - Brian the Sewer Vent 2.0

I had to share this. Over on the Brian the Sewer Vent Facebook page I received a couple of posts from fans Dominik and Alexander drawing my attention to the new Urban Conquest set available for pre-orders this weekend. Aside from the Battle for Macragge energy fences there was something very special in the terrain pieces...

 That's right Dominik and Alexander had spotted something very similar to Brian the Sewer Vent, but in a slightly smaller form factor.

Obviously I couldn't let it go and had to ask on the official 40k page and the Warhammer Community team were their usual awesome selves, joining in with the fun and alluding to a direct lineage to my favorite terrain piece. 

And then I had it proper confirmed from Nick Bayton [who kindly engineered my meeting with Brian in June] that Brian's Father - Dave Andrews had spawned a second sewer vent specifically because of  my love of this terrain piece!

I'm not sure how to process that to be honest exceptto be absolutely over thre moon with delight that my persistence has brought this mini version to the hobby community. I can only hope the next thing on Dave's hobby table is a replica scale version that will connect with all the industrial terrain sets ;) I'm like Andy Dufresne in Shawsank...

Friday, 4 January 2019

Imperial Knights - House Corvus Twins in manufactorum pt7. 'big builded'

Hard to keep track of all this now but I took some pics at the time so I would have some record of my WiPs.

I had some fun with the base adding in my urban debris mix.

Quality greenstuff skills as usual. It doesn't bother me, although this pipework is significantly more prominent than the molded plastic I only ever do them slightly highlighted black so they're very much a background element and hopefully the sculpting will go unnoticed.

Love the pale blue bits I get out of an old tumble dryer ball.

Large bore shell warheads [OK, they really should be expended shell casings but nevermind] and where I've pulled them off the ball I get that perforated twisted metal effect.

More greenstuff.

And around the toe joints.

Scruffy but functional.

Again, they hardly feature once painted so as long as I made some attempt it was enough

Not that I'll be really keeping track this year but why not...

Yesterday we took the boy for his preparation session at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre as we couldn't be in the treatment room with him we can only go by the radiologists assessment that he did brilliantly and how positive and mature he was when he'd finished. Obviously that's without any treatment and his response over the next 6 weeks will change the longer he has it. There are so many unknowns at this stage it's very hard to draw conclusions on what's about to unfold, we'll just have to see how it goes and react as and when things happen. 

Aside from being clamped to the machine and in a room on his own, it appears such a simple procedure - less than 20 minutes, no pain, possibly no sensation of anything taking place but fundamentally altering his body at a cellular level in the most destructive way and changing his future [both good and bad]. It seems so innocuous and as we sit outside in the plush waiting room [the children all get to use the 'private patients' linear accelerator instead of the NHS ones] it's very hard to take in the enormity of what is taking place. The only thing to help is to acknowledge it HAS to take place, there is no choice and whatever the result it will be surely better than the alternative. So, Monday - EXTERMINATUS begins!