Friday, 23 July 2021

Dark Angels - Macragge Tactical Squad - TO DONE!

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been #paintingwarhammer Dark Angels Macragge tactical squad. I don't recall how long I've had these for... actually, I have a way to find out [the search function in this very blog!] - October 2013! I bought the Macragge box for £14 so I could have some extra Space Marines and ironically they appear to be the last thing in the box to be painted [I think the fuel cell might still need completing].

8 years on and they're TO DONE! I didn't know it had been that long! I specifically wanted to put these on 32mm bases, just to see what they looked like. 

I'm now looking at my 25mm based marines and they do seem tiny, like those ridiculously small Star Wars Legion bases.

So I'm still debating whether to get 32mm adaptors, but the slate on these bases fill them out really well and add height, which makes the proportions work. 

I'm not sure adding to the diameter of my existing models will work as well, if they're flat to the ground. They'll just come across as Subbuteo players...

On the plus side, I think these bases really help enhance what are thoroughly mundane figures. They're monopose snap-fit. 

I've added some bits and doodads here and there to try and differentiate them a little but I think the basing does most of the hard work - they're taller and more substantial because of it.

But there are some varied characters in there too and I have two heavy weapons guys to choose from to complete the unit. 

I think I have just enough variety to decide how to Combat Squad them - the ones with targetters on their helms and bolter will be the 3 standard marines to join the squad leader [with the banner] and heavy weapons marine.

The rest will join the Flamer and Sergeant. I spent quite a while trying to think what honour badge I'd give this dude - it was just a disk of sprue I stuck on. Then it came to me and it was so obvious - he has the Watchmen honour badge! 🙂

A bayonet attachment, targeting scope and some dangly scrolls help add individual character to repeated poses. Luckily they're such a generic poses it only takes little touches like these to add variety.

I swear I cannot do those knife blades. I was trying to recreate a Japanese Hamon blade pattern, but it looked awful so I just added some more black in the end to cover it up.

Once again I was a little disappointed with the finished pictures, in fact in the heat my phone started to malfunction as I was taking them! Also, I rushed adding my Army Painter Anti-Shine, which was at the end of the bottle. So it went on a bit frothy, which meant that it did dry with frosty bits in recesses, not unlike the AK interactive fiasco. I was understandably disappointed after all this effort, but I'll cover that more in the white pics as I was able to fix most of the problems in the end. Until then, here's the Great Big Granite Stamp of Approval.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Where's my head @?

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been #paintingwarhammer a little bit, but not as much as usual. With my son home from uni things are still adjusting. He's very much a night owl, whereas I'm currently struggling with tiredness. Late nights are beginning to take their toll, and when I say late I mean midnight [which isn;t that late for me]. In fact my sleeping is probably better than ever, I'm getting almost 7 hours sleep a night which is way more than I was pre-lockdown. I think I'm just getting old.

With those situations combined it's a little difficult to fit painting in. However, I have made significant progress with my Macragge Tactical Squad - they're complete even! And, I've progressed with my Ravenwing Talonmaster when I've been working on similar elements - Blessed Verdigris, orange plasma glows etc. Unfortunately I haven't been keeping too much of a record of this progress, hence the lack of updates.

As the Macragge squad is now finished I'll have to take their TO DONE! pics and I'll get WiPs for the Talonmaster at the same time. I've also been fettling with my Ravenwing Attack Bikes a bit. They're still pretty roached 2nd hand ebay finds and I need to clean them up so they can be included in my Big Build TO DONE! I've managed to fit a Rogue Trader era Devastator Multi-Melta onto the sidecar though, as I was one short. It looks pretty cool, more streamlined than the current plastic version. These need priming alongside the Black Knights. I think they're more a 2021/22 Hobby Season project, but if I can get them prepped it'll be a good starting point.

I also need to crack on with building my Armiger Helverins, they need to be ready for Dreadtober and if I'm in a building mood, perhaps get my Genestealer Cult Sentinels ready too. Back to painting I also need to box off:
  • Adeptus Titanicus Reaver Titan
  • Adeptus Titanicus Warhound Titans
  • Imperial Knight Preceptor Weapons
  • Blood Bowl Halfling team
  • Munitorum Containers
  • Quad Gun weapon mount base
  • TT Combat terrain building
Among numerous other projects. How I'm going to fit those in is anyone's guess - given where my head is @.  Luckily, there is no pressure to finish anything. The Preceptor weapons and Quad Gun base might be a priority after/alongside the Talonmaster, then I may do a Halfling or two. Maybe have a crack at the Titans, they are close to finished if I can just get over my issues executing the War Griffons deckled pattern... Another mental challenge to overcome, but the longer they sit there, almost complete, taunting me, the easier it'll be to accept whatever I end up doing. 

So, TO DONE! pics next on the blog and updates as and when I have time to hobby.

Friday, 16 July 2021

NOT a battle report - Middle Earth Battle Companies

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity my mate Otty is heavily into Middle Earth and Battle Companies in particular. 6 years ago he built a shed and it's gone through a number incarnations as storage for camping gear but he's extended it and now co-opted the main space for his hobby room. Total shed envy going on. Anyway, he had arranged a Tuesday afternoon battle with Liam and, as we're all vaccinated, I took the afternoon off to join in. I haven't played battle companies, closest thing to it was back in 2013. Somehow I ended up playing with Otty's company of Rohirrim and Liam had his Warg riders - they're aim to get two of the warband off the board.

A pretty hard task as his riders and wargs are so fast. What I failed to grasp was that Otty was going to continue to evolve his company based on my efforts. 

 Blissfully unaware I had not qualms about needlessly sacrificing characters, compounded my little understanding of the chances of success in any given fight.

This meant that Liam easily overran my forces, picking them off one at a time.

The only success I had in that there were many instances where I need a just 6 to survive or beat Liam in a roll-off of some sort. 

I did secure a disproportionate amount of 6's much to Liam's frustration and everyone else's amusement 😂

It's an interesting game system and relatively quick to play, even if there were a number of dice rolls for who fights first that slowed the game a bit.

Despite my many lucky 6's I couldn't prevent him rounding up each character and killing wounding them.

One by one!

Until the last hero was surrounded.

And savaged by Wargs! The guys then spent a fair bit of time buying upgrades and reconciling damage and wounds to the Rohirrim, where I realised how much I'd let down Otty with my cavalier approach to his warband 😉 

We still had time to fit in a second game, this time one of his wounded characters  was the objective in the centre of the board, but with so many casualties and wounded I was heavily outnumbered.

Initially my only saving grace was you can't charge first turn, and with random board edge deployment most of the Wargs were coming in from other sides.

But the Wargs are much faster so there was nowhere to run to, although  one Rohirrim went to hide behind the buildings.

I did have a mounted Honour Guard though, who I hoped might turn the tide.

Even against overwhelming odds. It wasn't to be. I still got savaged, although despite the loss everyone got a significant haul of experience points because the were so outnumbered. They may have sustained a wound or be out of combat for a mission but Otty wasn't too dismayed at another poor showing.

I also took pics of some more of Otty's heroes. His collection is outstanding with multiple cabinets and shelves filled with armies for many systems. Next time I'll take some pics.

Liam also brought his own Warg.

And it got to play with Otty's

Nice to finally see these guys after so long, we had a lot of fun and laughs. Fingers crossed we get to do it again.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Imperial Knights - House Corvus Preceptor Weapons - Big Build TO DONE!

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been a little delayed in my hobby recently. I picked up my son from university the other week, so that has meant more time with him and less painting. My Dark Angel Macragge Tactical Squad are almost finished though, but I've not really got much to document, which may be a sign of things to come.

Anyway, I had opportunity to meet up with Liam and Otty, more on that in a future post and Liam had a spare Thermal Cannon shield, which I need to complete the Las-Impulsor. Granted. it is not much to glue those two pieces together, but it needed to be magnetised and we all know that can feel like a hassle. The multi-laser also need magnifying, and as I didn't have the mounting bracket I used some sprue to make the little mount.

I hadn't quite realised how big this weapon is. Gamewise is manages to not quite be as good as a Thermal Cannon and not quite as good as a Battle Cannon, but as it can be both that versatility is pretty cool. Not only that but the Preceptor is good value [pointswise] and it buffs the Armigers. I love the idea of having one of these, I just need to get the Helverins built too so he can buff even more.

Anyway, I get Big Build Great Big Granite Base Stamp of Approval for this. As you can see I also Primed it and stippled on some paint, for where I'm going to do chevrons.

Friday, 9 July 2021

Dark Angels - Macragge Tactical Squad - Chapter Symbol

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been #paintingwarhammer Dark Angels Macragge tactical squad. Chapter symbols up next. It'll come as no surprise that I considered decals for this. However, my Assault on Black Reach figures are freehand symbols, Dark Vengeance are sculpted on. Decals would be a nice experiment but #freehanding is a skill that requires practice. So, I'm taking that opportunity as it presents.

This is how I start them off with a central line of VGC Stonewall Grey

Then I flesh out the sword. I create a small triangle on the top left of the blade [the left of the handle]. I then do a longer triangle, weighted to the bottom, for the left of the blade. Then I repeat that on the right had side. I do a perpendicular line between the two diamond shapes, as the crossguard. Then two perpendicualr guard ends

Here you can see 8 of the wingless swords ready to go. I had some reservations about how hard this would be before starting[it's been a while]. I'd definitely recommend that this is a great 'save point' if your patience and concentration levels start to slip. Breaking things down into chunks is a great way to help overcome what might feel insurmountable.

The wings are next and the key here is the ends of the crossguard, as they both form a shape to curve the wing down and then follow the blade. It should stop parallel to the widest part of the blade, but you'll see I've gone longer in places. Two reasons for this - I hadn't paid too much attention to the actual symbols so hadn't spotted the end point. Also, they can look a little stumpy, so on occassion I did just extend them a bit to make the shape make sense. I then try to do the top most feather. This should be horizontal, parallel to the bottom of the shoulder pad. But you will notice that mine will angle up. Again, this is because I didn't pay attention to the actual symbol and also because it is quite difficult. So long as they match on either side it doesn't really matter.

You then have to fill in the two middle feathers. I rotate the figure in my hand a bit inbetween them, to ensure the angles are different. You do not want parallel line in this situation, they rotate perpendicular to the arc of the wing that goes round the crossguard ends.

Alterntavely I've seen people paint the wings like two solid fan shapes and then cut into it twice with Caliban Green [here it is for Deathwing and Brush and Boltgun have a great video that explains this approach. There's a clear advantage to this - you only have to cut in with those three green lines and the outer edge of the feathers will be smooth, whereas min all look a little sketchy.

As you can see the results are 'chunky', not perfect but I am happy with them. Despite that variety in them and some of the sketchiness I like them.

I don't know why they appeal to me. My brain is telling me they're not perfect, in some respects not even close to what the symbol should be but I'd describe them as having an earnestness about their execution - unapologetic. They're genuine and it just goes to show you shouldn't be afraid to freehand.

You don't have to be perfect, just take your time, take as much care as you can and the results will exceed your expectations because you know you tried. Anyway, these are getting close now. Some highlights on these next, pick out some more highlights elsewhere. The eye lenses are mostly done, just need the white dot highlights. Blessed verdigris needs to be applied. Should be done in a week or so [although by the time you read this they could be complete...], although my son is back from uni now so a little less hobby time than previously.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Dark Angels - Macragge Tactical Squad - Squad Arrows

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been #paintingwarhammer Dark Angels Macragge tactical squad. I've actually done a bit more than just the squad arrows, there's some additional shading gone on over the green.

But it was something that obviously needed doing. Freehanding an arrow isn't the hardest thing in the world but you have to be reasonably consistent. I'll let you be the judge on my success but overall they're not too bad. Even some of the taller and squishier ones seem OK, because they retain the overall shape and angle of the arrow head.

Some might expect 100% uniformity in their squad, well that's just wishful thinking for me. I do the best I can and part of me feels that each Space marine paints his own armour. I know that's not lore, although it might be for some chapters. But it's a nice idea that they're sat there decorating their own armour. I now there are serfs and artisans to do that, but even so I think it could happen.


Here's the process of how I did the arrows, the pics a re a little softened somehow, but you should be able to follow the process. So I start with a blank shoulder pad.

A 'bindi' dot for the tip of the arrow head. Centre of the pad, about a third or quarter down from the top.

I draw a line diagonally out from the dot.

And try to mirror it on the other side.

A horizontal line in from the edge of the arrow and then a vertical line down.

Repeat on the mirror side.

And fill in.

Obviously, it's far from perfect. Even the potato camera pics can't hide some of the imperfections. But, there are highlights and shading to come and you can neaten up the arrow edges with Caliban Green. I know there are highlights there that Caliban Green will just cut through and you might think it needs to match the highlights, but it really doesn't. The darker green will act like a little outline and help the red stand out. So don't worry about perfection you can tidy all of this up and it's great practice for the next step - the freehand Chapter symbol!