Friday 31 December 2010

Spotted - Eldar Phantom Titan

2 posts in one day? What's going on? Well, I just checked over at GW's website and What's New Today it's all about Forgeworld. More specifically it's about the Badab Wars - Imperial Armour books 9 and 10. There's all sorts of pics about Carcharadons, Minotaurs, Astral Claws and more. What's more interesting is what's in the background of this picture

That's an Eldar Phantom Titan baby! Now this is kind of old news, back in March BoLS led on this story, from pictures from Warseer. However that titan was in the rather unglamorous yellow resin which may be a prototype but as we can see above there is a yellow one and a grey, which kind of looks like the typical resin used in the final production models available from Forgeworld. You can at least see there are separate parts to the feet on the grey than on the yellow, so it may be that the Phantom's are production ready and nearly available...

Eldar advice

As I've said so far my son has a sweat on for Eldar. This is to be his project, his painting, his decisions. I'm not supposed to be helping him but ideally I'd like for him to be able to achieve something half decent despite his inexperience, hence my advice for base colours and washes for instant results.

He did suggest he wanted his Craftworld to be black, but I was under the impression that it's notoriously difficult to paint, line highlighting isn't going to be his strong point until he gets better 'fine motor skills' with a paint brush. So I dissuaded him on this course but am I wrong [to interfere, of course] but I mean about how easy it is to paint?

Looking at the GW Craftworld gallery there are two that he may consider, Iyanden and Nacretineï. If he goes Iyanden I may even get an Army Painter Daemonic Yellow Primer to help him along. I'm also going to pop into the Manchester GW next week, they have an awesome Eldar army with a Pastel/Metallic paint-scheme similar to the Nacretineï. I'm hoping to get some pics [which I'll post here]. I think they're just basecoated, washed and a few highlights

Anyway, I'm looking for advice from anyone about how to paint the Guardians, any cool links to simple techniques. I found this tutorial on Painting Clinic it's really cool, but too advanced for my son. I stumbled on some cool Tyranid websites when we started on the 'nid army but Eldar seem to be evading me, trapped in the Webways no doubt.

Cheers for any help, have a Happy New Year!

Thursday 30 December 2010

Epic Adeptus Titanicus part 4. - War Griffons Reaver

This Reaver titan was painted in my early style with either stippling or sponging to gettlt the mottled carapce colour. The reds used Humbrol Acrylics Red Gloss colour which is really opaque and glossy but I wet highlighted with orange and yellow to get the results you see below.

Below you can see I used some of the transfers on his close combat fist. I had loads of these and the ones specifically for Imperial Guard weere also nice on titans, where appropriate.

Another intersting load-out. I though long and hard about these, well you have to when you're ordering specific weapons instead of going with what came in the blister pack. Here, he's armed with a harpoon missile, power fist and Plasma Blast Gun.

I've still to take photographs of the rest of my mostly unfinished Warlords [around 5] an unfinished Reaver and the incompete Warhound, but I'll drop in some of my Ultramarines next - watch the skies, death from above!

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Epic Adeptus Titanicus part 3. - War Griffons Warhound

I love Warhound Titans. I don't really like them in 40k, especially not the Lucius Pattern but I loved them in Epic. The idea of two loping titans scouting ahead and coming in from the flanks always appealed to me. Quick and dirty, here's one of my War Griffons, I'll photograph his sibling at some other point, he's less finished.

As you can see he's armed with a Plasma Blast gun [am I right?] and a combat saw, just right for darting in to slice up some other titan. I also managed a little Griffon logo and you can just make out a kill mark on the top of the carapace I ca.

Obviously the colour scheme fits the War Griffons but there are accent colours, like the green and blue. His brother is red and yellow accents and had an equally interesting lead out.

Here's a shot where you can see a little more of his urban camouflage Griffon scheme.

Sunday 26 December 2010

'nids part 8. The Tervigon Tutorial part 4.

Here we are at part 4 of the Tervigon Tutorial. As you can see a bit of colour goes a long way to understanding the nature of this beast. You can see that the PlastiKote Ice Cream undercoat is very pale indeed [under natural light]. Ultramarine Blue was used on all the 'hard' bits, although I usually do super hard bits black, like claws, hooves and talons [though I did blue feet on this for some reason].

All the fleshy flexible bits, like claw joints, embryo sac, mouth etc. was done in a 'liver' colour. The first Termagants I did were very pale indeed, it was more like a wash, you can see the difference on the Strangleweb Gant. Here, the mix of brown, black, red, blue, and bonewhite got a bit 'chocolatey' shall we say. A bit too thick but it's a nice contrast.

Here, you can see the miracle of life what it's like when a Tervigon sneezes a Termagant out of it's abdominal nasal cavity ;) As you can see the extra height of the slate just made it possible for the gant's feet to rest in the sac aperture. Any lower and it wouldn't have fit in.

Next up, washes...

Friday 24 December 2010

Epic Adeptus Titanicus part 2. - War Griffons Warlords

My first War Griffon Warlord Titan. I have no recollection of why I chose this load out, I must have favoured it for some reason. Anyway I either stippled or used a sponge to get the mottled grey effect on the titan. I also got to play around with yellow [my favorite colour ] and add some battle damage and a small amount of weathering.

The next titan was painted in a similar fashion, only when I had completed the stippling I then used a fine brush and lined out some urban camouflage. Darker sections and white sections were then added to complete the effect. Although no amount of camouflage will hide a 100m tall G.O.D.machine I really liked the effect and aimed to employ it on future titans. Of course there was an upgrade of Cameleoline paint in Adeptus Titanicus [gone in later version of Epic] so it could work.

What you can't see in these pictures is the two rocket thrusters on the titans 'big end' you can just make out the nozzle of one in the picture below. This titan was going to be fitted with a titan jump pack, again an upgrade only available in the original Adeptus Titanicus. Scorched earth base effect was nice too...

Oh, have a nice Christmas tomorrow, hope Father Christmas brings all the plastic little men you dream of.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

40k future container scatter terrain - UPDATE

You may recall while back I made some 40k future container scatter terrain out of Mentos Cube boxes. I promised I'd do an update on the painting so here we go.

As you can see a bit of judicious brown and orange, some silver here and there and these little beauties really come into their own. I'd agonised for ages over these, the washes really took a while to work but using a really big brush to do the dry brushing helped. When I say really big I mean the sort you use when decorating, cutting in on the walls etc.

But I didn't stop there. I wanted to put some markings on the containers so I made some little masks and you can just make out the NUMA markings I added below [I'm a big Clive Cussler fan and the colour was perfect]. Close up they look even more grimy!

Since then I've added another seven containers [what can I say I like gum] I've got some Bioazard waste ones, some OOCL [they'll still be doing containerisation in the 41st millenium] one of the mesh wrapped liquid containers and a reinforced Dark Angels container, which makes a nice objective marker, who knows what or whom is locked up inside, I'll never tell... I'll get some pics up eventually when I grime them up. I really enjoyed playing around with the different colours because I feel most container ports are all different but part of me thinks I should have stuck to the turquoise and pale blue of the first three, hmm

Monday 20 December 2010

Epic Adeptus Titanicus part 1. - War Griffons Insignia

War Griffons were my Titan Legion of choice. I came across a relatively easy way to paint my Titans, whic I'll come to later. Did a couple of Titans that way and then abandoned it for a slightly more laborius but much better solution that was really easy to do, again have patience. Meanwhile here's a promo pice from a White Dwarf older than my adult teeth. Not sure where the rest of the insignia pages got to, or why I never bought Codex Titanicus, the book this plate was from, but we'll just have to enjoy it for what it is.

Yeah right, Land Raiders and Rhinos as supprt vehicles for the Titan Legion! Those were the days. Funnily enough I keep forgetting about Hive Fleet Leviathan. According to the Tyranid Codex Gryphonne IV, the forgeworld home of the War Griffons was destroyed by Hive Fleet Leviathan. Many worlds in the system were evactuated or destroyed as the Hive Fleet approached but they thought the forgeworld would survive with their massed titan legions and Skitarii support. They were wrong. So it's kind of odd that once again I chose a force that later on in my GW history would be diametrically opposed to my son's choice in armies.

Some Warlords coming up next, showing the two paint schemes.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Terrain is everything - Because you asked for it - 40k outpost, that got bigger Pt 3 'big pictures'

Warhammer39999 asked for some bigger pictures of the '40kOtgB'. Here's some straight from the camera at 2MB each click for the embiggen. Ignore the Trygon, you haven't met him yet, don't worry you will. If you still want the plans for the tower are here.

Thursday 16 December 2010

'nids part 7. Strangleweb conversion [for what it's worth, which ain't much!]

++ Contact 06/45#a ++ Xenos bio-symbiote evidence ++ Web-based non-lethal excretor ++ Threat level - zero ++

I think in the first game my son played with his cousin the flamer and it's template really cam into effect. A huge slew of Termagants were BBQ'd. So when I was looking in the Tyranid Codex I thought I'd found an equivalent in the Strangleweb upgrade, I was wrong, but at the time I didn't see it.

Anyway, I actually think this was the first conversion I completed. I think the Tyranid Prime was started at the same time, but of course this was so easy to do it was completed in minutes, if not seconds. All I really needed was one of the many spare Deathspitters from the original Tyranid Warriors from Advanced Space Crusade.

The arms are already attached and you just need to add a bit of pressure on the joints to bend them a bit into position and hold them in place as the Poly-glue bonds the joints. Lastly you need to ensure the Termagant's head is angled a little bit so it looks like he's actually looking at what he's about to 'gob' on!

Here's the model on it's own, instead of the Inquisitorial vid-feed...


I mean he looks impressive, especially when you're looking down the barrel of that 'thing', but there's two flaws. 1. the balance is quite difficult, he's prone to tipping and 2. The Strangleweb is effectively useless. I don't actually think my son's ever fired it, in anger or other wise.

However this forum thread seems to indicate it odes have it's uses, so long as all the planets are in alignment!

Tuesday 14 December 2010

What's in a blog?

Interesting question, most of you probably realise this ones about 40k and I think I've managed to keep going with this for a good few weeks and I've even got people reading. Of course the pressure is on to keep adding content, which at the moment is every couple of days.

What is in this blog is actually a 'retrospective'. Most of what I've written about and documented is content and gaming I've already done. The terrain and buildings, the Tyranids are all things I've done over the past year. The Epic stuff and Dark Angels are coming from my childhood nearly 20 years ago. Having such an abundance of content makes this blog easier but eventually that content will run out and I'll have to be doing new things and touching on new topics to keep the blog going.

A while back I had the luxury of painting during my lunch breaks, which I can't really do now, so the blog takes up that space but really I'll sometimes need to do actual 'stuff' to discuss as opposed to discussing stuff. Funnily enough I think I used to treat White Dwarf the same. I would think should I be buying White Dwarf to read about the stuff I should actually be buying with that money?

Anyway, the point being that some of my future posts may be less frequent, but if you're on the RSS feed you'll know when they come up. More likely though the content may not be quite as comprehensive. Posts may be individual steps instead of a number of steps making up a part of a whole. We'll see anyway. I always wondered why I started this blog, I always knew it was a time thief and I've actually got a whole lot on my plate at the moment and the addition of a fledgling blog seems rather mistimed. Blogs are 'fluid' anyway, changing and evolving over time so this shouldn't be too bad.

So what we may end up with is the obligatory - 'what's on my project table at the moment' for instance, which in this case is this baby:

I'll no doubt fill you in on the details later, piece by piece, from the initial sketches through to completion. Blogging this way should spread things out nicely and take the pressure off. Oh, and yes that is a Mega Bloks Plasma Hatcher in the background and that will be a Mycetic Spore and I will touch on these in a future post. Most blogs die out and this one may do but if I take it easier, then perhaps there's more life to it, especially with recording my son's Eldar efforts coming up...

Sunday 12 December 2010

'nids part 6. The Tervigon Tutorial part 3.

This bad mother hubbard is taking shape now. The second pair of scything talons have been glued in place. They're in the Codex picture and it makes a lot of sense to add them in a gaming purpose, re-roll misses - awesome. They really help sell the idea the Tervigon is using the extra limbs to support the weight of all those embryos. Alternatively the Tyranid Warrior rending claw arms might have been used. I would have put them in the middle limb sockets and had them gripping the birthing sacs.

The middle limbs were pva-ed onto rocks, so it looks like they're resting. It's a simple protection feature because those talons are easily broken as evidenced by the fixed left front talon. I used poly-glue but a straight break like that is never going to bond properly, the first attempt had already snapped. So I tried again but also added a masking tape support around it. It's not indestructible but it should survive with a bit of care.

You'll also note the middle picture has had and adrenal gland added. It's inverted because it made sense that these biomorphs, when taken, are passed onto the Tervigons progeny. Attaching it to the join between the carapace and the birthing sac biologically works. What doesn't make sense is the rule that these biomorphs are passed onto ANY Termagants within 6". How does that happen? Anyway, a few more veins from the base of the glands and some PVA blend it all together. Actually you can see the PVA has just been applied. I think it's a great material but it's easy to get complacent, this was too much, the glue shrinks but it's not magic!

You can see here that the extra slate, and some volcanic lava stones are lifting the Tervigon up a bit. This would help with the pose of the birthing gribbly [you can see where he's going to be in the slightly cross hatched area].

Painting our Hive Fleet
So I haven't really given a step by step guide of how to paint our Hive Fleet, until now. As the modelling is finished all the future parts of the Tervigon tutorial are painting guides.

Usually I would undercoat the figures white and then all the pale bits start with a Bonewhite base coat. However this became a bit laborious so I got a satin 'Ice Cream' Plastikote spray paint for that. It was about £6 and doesn't have quite the coverage of a dedicated undercoat but it served a purpose of undercoat and basecoat in one. No more need for individually bonewhiting all the 'nids. A couple of sprays and the a whole lot of time was saved. I think the last picture illustrates my undercoat best. It's not quite as dark as Bonewhite but the future washes fix that and as far as I can tell the washes could probably do the same job without any basecoat.

Part 4. coming up wherein this mother gets a bit more colour...

Friday 10 December 2010

'nids part 5. What's the point in Rippers?

Taking a little hiatus from the Tervigon tutorial I ask the above question, just what is the point in Rippers? Don't get me wrong, I love them, I love the fluff [as they say] I like the fact you can put 4 on a base, or 3 if you're cheeky, the fact they come as part of  the Termagant, Hormagaunt and Warrior sprues, and you can have them winged or tunneling for deep strike shenanigans. But why take them when two Hormagaunts in their place would do a better job for a few points more and not take up another troops slot?

I mean I've had some good results, a brood of three killed a terminator once and another time they deep striked [using tunneling] and secured an objective, until I got home and read that the GW store manager was wrong - swarms can't capture objectives [but Hormagaunts can, another +1 for them].

Please, someone give me a solid reason to have them. My son's got 3 bases so far and I've another 2 to add but seriously the only reason they'll be on the battlefield is if he chooses them in a list or we've run out of Hormagaunts, which isn't likely.

P.S. did I not mention they have a WS of 2?!

Wednesday 8 December 2010

'nids part 4. The Tervigon Tutorial part 2.

Here's part 2 of 'how to get some use out of that old Carnifex' 'how to build a new Tervigon'. Here you can see what happens when you take a strip of 1ply tissue paper, coat it in PVA glue and wrap it over the tin foil embryos, using a wooden stirrer to poke it into all the crevices. Then I pulled out the old string to add some veins to the sac. Separating out all the threads, coating them with PVA and what do you know they looked really cool!

Here you can see a view from the back. I'm amazed how the PVA made the tissue paper transparent. I'm sure there is some way to egt the best out of all those lovely tin foil colours but you'll see late on in the blog it wasn't to be. You could also have stuck a Termagant head in there somewhere pressing against the sac. It would have been really cool but I forgot.

The other side view, you can see how the termie was being spawned. Not sure what the black line on the sac was for, perhaps it was when I draped the tissue over the back I then drew on it so i had a rough template of how much I'd need. You really don't want a mansize PVA-ed tissue draped over this thing if you can help it.

Lastly, the spawning sphincter in it's STOMACH! That's right, you think otherwise if you wish. Some string formed the orifice, more tissue paper blended into the rest of the sac. Now the positioning in the above picture may have looked perfect but there were some issues that became apparent so I was going to have to emply my old friend 'some slate' to get the pose correct. Essentially though all that was left at this point was a few tweaks, fix his scything talon and add on his others and the conversion was done. 

Get ready for part 3...

Monday 6 December 2010

'nids part 3. The Tervigon Tutorial part 1.

Chronologically speaking the Tervigon was one of the last elements to join my son's hive fleet, did we ever decide it was Hive Fleet Gorgon? Only the Hive Tyrant and the still WiP Mycetic Spores spawned after it. As the 'without numbers rule' had been dropped a Tervigon was really the only way to give that same effect of continually adding to your battleforce throughout the game. Now for the same price as a Tervigon you can probably get a whole lot more Termagants than they spawn but I thought I'd give it a go.

Initially I was deeply impressed by this Tervigon on BoLs and they also had a competition that rendered up quite a lot of cool looking homebrews. So I think it became apparent that a Carnifex would make the standard chassis to build the Tervigon out of. Ideally it can use a Trygon body to represent the bigger size to store all those embryonic gribblies in but I couldn't invest in that kind of shenanigans. As it was I was still thinking of versatility and if I used a Carnifex that looked like a Tervigon, in certain circumstances my son could perhaps still play it as a Carnifex, if he wanted to.

So a conversion that was just enough to pass muster was the call of the day and as this would be my first large scale conversion then it would be 'just enough'. Firstly I needed a donor Carnifex and thankfully ebay supplied. I wasn't even trying to get one really, it was a Sunday evening, we'd had tea and I was supposed to be doing the dishes. I checked on ebay and there was a Carnifex auction finishing in the next few minutes. I think no one had bid, or if they had I snatched it for the next highest amount of £7 or £8. Of course then the sweat gets on as the timer ticks down and suddenly I had a semi-painted/built Carnifex with box, spare sprue components and only a broken scything talon for around £11 including P&P. You gotta love the way those Carnifex nidzilla armies were destroyed by the new Codex...

My idea was to follow similar examples on the net. Silver foil balls were to be the Termagant embryos, with PVA coated tissue paper for the sac and a sphincter opening in the chest/stomach area for a Termagant to be expunged from.

First things first was a base. I wanted one of the oval ones from GW but the guy in my local shop just told me to make one as he didn't have any in stock. So it was back to the old hardboard from my son's old bed that I'd used to base most of our ruins on. It's kind of a nightmare to use a craft knife on 4mm thick hardboard, especially on curves, but it's possible.

A Termagant was then hacked, tail 'docked', bent in the middle and all it's limbs repositioned. Simple chops taken out of them to make them bend better and any gaps filled with poly glue and sprue shavings which when placed with care can form replacement plastic as if it had always been there [though a bit weaker].

Throughout all of this I was using the Carnifex as guide to how the Termagant would fit in. The 'fex had it's plain front carapace plate removed, the hardest part of the conversion, and replaced with the spine carapace for the Tervigons cluster spines [or whatever]. I'd then bent the right leg outwards, so much it broke off. Some more poly glue and shavings extended the joint in the groin area. This gave me much more room for the tin foil embryos. These were all added using my hot melt glue gun and a space in the front was made for the exit sphincter.

Below you can see a rear/side view and how the sacs were positioned. I chose the armoured tail, it seemed to bulk it out a little more in keeping with the scale of the beast. You can also see his broken talon. I'd tried re-gluing it but it had snapped off again, the poly glue joins aren't always as strong as the carapace  join was. At this stage the second pair of scything talons were not in place to aid access and because they would be mounted to the base to add more support for the model and represent it supporting it's own bulk as well as reducing their chance of snapping off.

In this front view you should be able to make out the sphincter and how the Termagant  pose fits into the Tervigon. I'd debated about the central row of vents depicted in the Codex. Although I wished to add them I didn't for a number of reasons, I didn't think my modelling skills would do them justice, it would firmly indicate it was a Tervigon and reduce it's versatility to be fielded as a Carnifex and the easier the conversion the greater chance I'd actually get it done and into battle.

Part 2 coming up...

Saturday 4 December 2010

'nids part 2. The Tyranid Prime

With all the nids and the Codex that my son initially got there was no HQ model and at the time there was really only one model I could consider - a Tyranid Prime, but if I converted one of his three warriors I'd be one short of a brood, what could I do?

Luckily I had a near complete 1st Generation plastic Tyranid Warrior from Advanced Space Crusade. I don't know how I got the game, I'm pretty sure it was bought off one of my mates but at the time I think it was primarily for the scouts. My plan at the time was to have a load of Space Marine scouts with power shields and bolt pistols. They were relatively cheap points wise and those home made power shields looked really cool [I'll post one of them up when I get chance]. Now they're redundant but those 'nid warriors suddenly gained a new value...

I had plenty of pieces, some broken, torsos, claws, deathspitters and bone swords. However, when it came to legs I was a little lacking. I had one near complete warrior but it had a right leg attached and only another right leg. So I had to chop the right leg a bit, I built a joint to pin the leg and where the joint was on the other side I 'mauled' it a bit to look like the 'skin' texture'. I also had to split the knee cap, bend and cover in poly-glue and sprue shavings to adjust the pose, this also meant shorten the tendons. Even then the pose wasn't quite right so a handy bit of slate helped balance the model, give it a bit of weight on the base and make the pose more dynamic. Picture 3 shows where most of the second right leg was adapted to be a left leg.

The second part of the conversion wa sthe head. I wanted it to fit in with the other warriors so I took a spare tri-crested head from the warrior sprue. I carved out the mounting point, anywhere behind where the face is glued on [sorry for not having any picures of this]. I carved and carved till it fit roughly on the 'nid head. Any gaps were covered up with spare Termagant toxin sacs as extra Synapse emitters or toxin sacs. A further piece of Termagant armour was added at the back for even more 'cresty' goodness. You can see a lot of this on the close-up in picture 6.

Lastly I got some of the Warrior armour plates and put these on the shoulders to bulk him out a bit more, he is a bit too much insectoid so that adrenal gland on his abdomen also helped [I think a bit of cutting was needed to get a decent fit]. And to finish him off I managed to glue one of the 'implant' tongues. I hadn't wanted to use it because I'm convinced it'll snap off but so far it's done OK.

Overall I was really pleased with this conversion. It was one of my first since falling of fthe wagon and it reused some old and previously useless figures. The conversion bits brought it in line with the current range and most of all the sheer size of the beast when you compare it to it's bretheren really shows it as something a bit special. There's no disputing it's the PRIME! What do you think?

Meanwhile on the battlefield he's had mixed results. He's great in bringing up the WS and BS of the rest of the brood. I'd kitted them out with deathspitters and a Barbed Strangler. Without his influence their aim isn't so good, with it those deathspitters are lethal! Now I know a lot of people run warriors purely in close combat, and I may have made a mistake not doing that but I didn't want my son to have an army which didn't have anything to shoot in the shooting phase. With the Prime in tow these guys have always done alright, in fact I've wished the Primes rending claws and twin boneswords were the swords and a deathspitter. If they're getting up the field without any run moves so they can fire he's effectively doing nothing until he gets in combat [even then he hasn't performed as I'd have expected, he failed to take Abaddon's last wound once].
I could still convert the deathspitter in place of the claws... and I've a few more bits of old Tyranids left over for another conversion...