Wednesday 31 August 2011

Sitting doing nothing

So, the wife is on a night shift and I've had to fore go kendo. Last night I had a thoroughly dissatisfying brawl with some space elves on Dark Crusade so I feel I should not get back on that horse tonight but I have zero enthusiasm for painting. This is all procrastination mind... I've even got some Milliput so I could finally crack on with the Mycetic Spore and Helion Rain to listen to whilst sculpting/painting.

I've experienced this lethargy many times before. In the creative world this sensation often crops up like a willpower sucking swamp and the only thing to do is wade through it. Even if its only a tiny bit of progress its a little bit further on. And experience tells me that often the other side of it is all downhill. Or I could sit on my ass and do nothing like the guy above ;)

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Deathwing progress

You may have spotted these guys in the recent battle report. Blink though and you'd miss them as they were torn asunder by a hungry Trygon. Pretty much all the bonewhite elements have been done and they're ready for the next set, 50:50 bonewhite and white.

Also some thin chaos black has been added where appropriate.

First bit of extra colour, the Crux Terminatus has been made Mechrite Red as per my idea on fluff. This ties the Deathwing into Ferron Proxima as a recruitment world. Obviously the knightly aspect of Caliban doesn't sit too well with the old Red Indian theme of the Deathwing but this is where I can say it's specifically a place where those Native American Indian types came from because the landscape is very Monument Valley - red, flat with sudden up-cropping hills and mounds. It's all coming together, I just wish I had more time and enthusiasm to paint. The wife hasn't done any night shifts for a while and my late nights of TV watching and gaming are not conducive to another night of painting, which is why I've been painting a bit here and there when I have 5 or 10 minutes. The desire is there, it's just the willingness to do it is reduced because there's significantly more to do on 5 Terminators than a dozen Termagants

Sunday 28 August 2011

To Do List 2011/12

I really should get a list of things to do so I know just the scale of the projects still ongoing, so here goes:
  • AoBR Tactical Squad
  • AoBR Dreadnought
  • AoBR Terminators
  • Scout Squad
  • Ravenwing bike squad
  • Dark Angel Drop Pod
  • Purity Seal all of my son's Tyranids
  • Gloss Varnish all of my son's Tyranids
  • Tyranid Prime
  • Mycetic Spore
  • Paint Vent Tower
  • Paint defence platforms x4
  • Complete pot pourri vegetation
  • Complete future containers
  • Complete 40k Cathedral tower
  • STC Single story ruin
  • STC Hex Defence platforms
  • STC Targus Assault Blockade
  • STC Vent tower
  • STC Athena plateau
  • STC Mercury plateau
  • STC 40k Cathedral tower
  • 60mm Dreadnought crater
Not sure if this includes everything 'on my plate' at the moment but it certainly seems like the bulk of it. Of course I've got a few Rhinos and a Land Raider and any number of marines but these are the target items, although I haven't set a date for any of this to be done by, so don't get your hopes up just yet.

The fact is we are getting a new kitchen in October, which on the plus side may mean we can get a bigger dining table that may support a 6'x4' gaming table but on the down side it'll mean at least two weeks of upheaval which won't allow much chance for hobby stuff. Regardless at least I now have a direction and something I can tick off and you all know what I'll be aiming for and hoping to receive in the form of STCs

Friday 26 August 2011

Old Skool Samurai

So it would seem back in the day, before Nippon was excised from the Warhammer world Citadel had a passion for representing famous Japanese swordsmen in miniature. And although this doesn't match up with any of the figures on solegends it's clearly from the same era, before the slotta base no less.

I really like this pose, and the overabundance of Humbrol and an undercoat respray hasn't done him any favours a Dettol bath should fix that, I look forward to getting a second chance at this fella.

When I last mentioned ninjas in the blog I suggested that they may have been painted 'a la stars and stripes' in reference to the film American Ninja although it would seem he doesn't wear such an outfit and I'm not even sure I watched the film. That was when home videos were like gold and 'the man' used to come round with them to rent in the back of his estate and we got all sorts of rubbish ninja films and more high-brow classics like Hawk the Slayer and Sword and the Sorceror. Anyway, I digress, I'm sure you didn't actually believe I performed such a heinous crime but unfortunately I did not dispose of all the evidence and lo I put to you proof of my crimes. In actual fact though I do believe there was an altogether simpler reason for this bizarre choice. As you can see there is a ninja on the left with 'Tiger Claws' for scaling walls. Missing an arm, obviously, I was clearly big on the amputation of my figures at that stage but also you will notice the shoulder pad. So I concur that around this time I was in fact reappropriating these ninjas as an all Nippon BloodBowl team decked out in the flag of the United States... no I don't know why either.

Oh, and see that hammer wielding guy second from left on the bottom row, I had that figure, the guy next to him with the sword and shield, the ninja on the end and the archer above him. You forget so much of the junk you bought!

And lastly some of the earliest figures in my collection as these were in fact my brothers that he bout from the independent games shop in Liverpool at the time, cleverly called Game. I took my first trip to Liverpool to just go there once. Got on the train and this wedge shaped building with the door at the thin end. You had to go into the basement down this thin stair case. All the figures were in glass fronted wall cases one figure deep and the counter had a rack of tiny draws behind were after choosing your miniature they would find them in the drawer. I bought my first mini, a bearded, norse-like barbarian  for about 60p and went home. The train fare cost more than that! 

UPDATE: here's where Game was, today -


Wednesday 24 August 2011

Terrain is everything - Vent Tower pt 6. COLOURISATION

The Vent Tower, finally with a bit of colour - Red Oxide Car Primer spraying at an angle can help generate some shadows but as I'm going to be adding more paint it's not essential.

Next up is my old Vermilion art acrylic to highlight, then some black poster paint shading washes to try to tone down the glossy finish to the red highlights. Then perhaps a little paler drybrushing to bring out all the edges. Plenty to do on the arch as it's going to have the same Ver-di-gris effect as my Honored Imperium statue. I had intended for the railings to be a scuffed yellow but I'm reluctant to introduce another colour so I'll see how things go.

Overall I'm amazed to finally get to this point when I think back to all the trials and teeth gnashing over the roof. The first Vent Tower post was in February but as you know most of my blog posts are written long before their posting date so it's a labour that has been long in development. The only things I think it lacks are a couple of dangly lights on it's corners and copper lightning rod strips going down the spires. Oh and how about some more height...?

Monday 22 August 2011

WFB - Empire General on Pegasus

My recollection on this is a bit hazy I'm afraid. I've no idea on why I thought orange and green would be a suitable colour scheme for the pegasus but it was fun to do and suitably 'fantastical' to warrant doing and I think it still holds up today. The general himself with his red-metalled armour was also quite innovative for me at the time. Mixing new metallics up to get the effect I wanted. Not so sure about his magenta and yellow clashing with his mount but it's not like he was accessorizing was he?

So one of the questions I can't answer myself is the removal of his saddle and saddle back. It was quite an ornate piece of work which I've replaced with a piece of Milliput pricked within an inch of it's life to show some seating arrangement that look more like chainmail or a Rastafarian's hat [?]. The fact is I still have the seat and I had started to paint it a bit so what was I planning to use it for?

Just a couple of full length shots for your delectation.

Saturday 20 August 2011

WFB - Elf

Totally random I know but this fella was one of the WFB 4th Edition High Elf Archers. I painted him along with the rest of the Heroquest guys, just to play around and if we did play Heroquest there was another Hero to include.

Elves with blue hair, whatever next?

Friday 19 August 2011

++ Contact 07/89#d ++ Xenos Incursion ++ Tyranid turn 2

First up the spore mine drifted around but was still nowhere near the Tac squad observing it from their vantage points on the containers. The Tyranid Warriors advanced around the bindweed and the Biovore moved out of the building towards his objective, which he'd foolishly abandoned.

The Trygon suddenly became enraged with hunger and reverted to it's instinctual behaviour seeking out the nearest man-meat to feed on. Smashing through the ruins it slithered towards the Deathwing. Meanwhile the Genestealers under the withering gaze of their Broodlord had bigger fish to fry and went looking for the Dreadnought.

The barbed strangler finally paid dividends removing the Missile Launcher marine from his position in the containers. He'd been more than useless. I'd taken advantage of the Krak missiles to try and take out the Warriors in most turns. What with his high BS it was more likely to hit and kill a warrior than multiple frag hits that only have a 1 in 3 chance of being on target. He didn't hit once!

Meanwhile the Biovore targetted the Deathwing only for it to deviate and blow up next to the Dreadnought, but it was unable to dent it's Adamantium hide!

The Genestealers stormed the Dreadnought, possibly unfair to get that difficult terrain modifier, what do you think? Brother Cask pulped a Genestealer with his CCW.

The Trygon had run and charged, barrelling into the Deathwing

Back with the Stealers the Broodlord visited all sorts of damage and so too did it's smaller kin. A couple of stuns, an immobilised and ultimately a massive explosion ripped through the dreadnought incinerating one of the Genestealers as it exploded, I really must make a 60mm crater for his carcass.

Back with the Deathwing, Belial struck out with his claws making two bloody slashes across the monstrous creatures worm like hide. The sergeant was next to face the beast...

With one swipe of his power sword he added another searing wound to the beast, it's blood coating everyone. The rest of the squad braced themselves as they tried to bring their power fists to bear but the Trygon, wounded and blind with hunger slashed manically with it's sycthing talons, pinning the marines one by one and devouring them whole. The only one safe from it's predations was the Terminator Sergeant and Belial, who still suffered a glancing wound thanks to his heroic efforts to bring down the beast.

 Sadly, time was called at this point and again thanks to objectives I was winning at this point. We may set this back up to finish the battle off, I don't know. I'd be hopefuly that the Deathwing could avenge their brothers in the next round and hopefully the Tac squad could finish the Genestealers with Bolter fire and cleansing flame but there's still the full squad of warriors to take down and I think they'd maul the squad into submission. Perhaps by that stage the Biovore would recapture it's objective, mine may be lost but Belial and the Sergeant would be either moving to contest or hot footed it back to the container facility to help wipe the Xenos out, maybe we'll never know, warp storms have cut off all comms links into Ferron Proxima...

What did I learn? Those containers are cool but more than one marine on each causes wobbly model syndrome. Adjusting them so you don't have figures falling over isn't helpful when your sentry gun with a fixed 90° fire arc suddenly can't target something it did last turn 'cos you moved it! Belial's a beast but how much better if the squad had a banner: +1 Attacks and an Apothecary: Feel no Pain! Of course they were all deaded cos of Power fist Initiative one. I think a full lighning claw squad would be cool... 

Thursday 18 August 2011

++ Contact 07/89#d ++ Xenos Incursion ++ Space Marine turn 2

So this is where it all kicks off! Brother Cask advanced down the hill and just made into the difficult terrain of the smashed Aquila. The Deathwing squad also surged forwards toward the Gargoyles, the embryo of a plan was forming although I'm not sure whether it was genius or madness that was bringing life to it. Meanwhile the Tactical Squad stayed where it was.

Five rounds of Storm Bolter fire, added to Brother Casks Storm Bolter and Assault Cannon whittled away the Gargoyles to three. The Tarantula may also have had some effect on that. Conveniently the ruined building had completely obscured the Trygon, no mean feat in itself so it was saved any attention.

The Deathwing charged forward and thankfully the Initiative 1 power fists didn't really become an issue. Belial slaughtered them with his lightening claws.

This left the squad to consolidate and I was hoping to make cover in the ruin to the bottom left. Thereby making the Initiative equal against any marauding Genestealers on the next turn. Sadly the Deathwing were pooped [despite Belial doing all the work] and just moved an inch back. Eek, here comes the pain...

Wednesday 17 August 2011

++ Contact 07/89#d ++ Xenos Incursion ++ Tyranid turn 1

My son didn't do too much this turn. The Trygon passed it's Instinctive Behaviour test and scuttled across the back field, not sure hwere he was going but as long as it wasn't forwards it was a relief. The Gargoyle swarm flapped forwards and the Genestealers taking advantage of their fleet rule got as far into the Ferron Bindweed as possible, after running. A few Fleshborer shots were fired but the Terminator armour shrugged off the nasty little grubs without effect.

The Biovore targetted the flamer marine in front of the fence only for the spore mine to deviate. After BS reductions it sat happily between the two combat squads but was not within 2 inches to detonate, those crates came in handy. The Barbed Strangler also fired but deviated wildly without effect.

On to turn two...

Tuesday 16 August 2011

++ Contact 07/89#d ++ Xenos Incursion ++ Space Marine turn 1

Movement phase, and the Terminators and Dreadnought moved out onto the Vulcan Plateau. Not entirely sure what the plan was here so we should move on.

One of the combat squads, with the flamer and sergeant moved up to the fence line. Hopefully this would at least be an impediment to any 'nids charging through the fence and the squad might survive long enough to take a few of them down.

The Tarantula had a pretty good field of fire. Can't recall which target it fired at first but I don't think it was successful. I also forgot it's supposed to aim for the nearest visible target, which should have probably been the Gargoyles. If it did any damage I don't recall, although one Genestealer was removed, so it was either pulped by the Tarantula or the Terminator squad.

Meanwhile I think the Dreanought let rip with the Assault Cannon and storm bolters and managed to take one wound off the Trygon, only five more to go! I think the Terminators peppered the ruins with Storm Bolter fire but were unable to do too much damage after cover saves, not helped by two of the squad standing behind Brother Cask so were unable to draw line of sight to the stealers.

And that was it for my turn.

Monday 15 August 2011

++ Contact 07/89#d ++ Xenos Incursion ++ Dark Angel Interception ++ Threat level - six ++

Thanks to DoW: Dark Crusade my Son has renewed interest in GW. He's been painting his Eldar, is doing jobs round the house to earn money to buy more figures and the other day uttered the immortal words "can we have a game of 40k?" So on Saturday we dusted off Ferron Proxima and it's associated scenery and positioned them next to the new bits. It was only a 'small' force of 650ish points each, but of course that gets me little :
Belial and Terminator Squad
10 man tactical squad with missile launcher and flamer
A dreadnought
Heavy bolter Tarantula sentry gun
(18 figures - 18 wounds)

and he ended up with lots:
Tyranid Prime [LW+BS & Death Spitter] 
3xTyranid Warriors - 2xDeathspitters + Barbed Strangler
5xGenestealers with Toxin Sacs
1xBroodlord, Toxin Sacs and Scything Talons
(22 figures - 41 wounds)

Whenever I see these lists I can't imagine any outcome where the Emperor's finest are not left in puddle of goo before being turned into gribblies. Unlike last time where I blogged the battle live I decided to just take pics and upload the results afterwards. Games take too long as it is for us I didn't want another thing to slow it down. Stupidly I didn't take notes so I'll try to engage my mental cogitator to describe what's going on, but some bits may be hazy although the highlights will no doubt be burned into my optical augmetics for eternity. I won't be posting these every other day as it'll get tedious but equally all the posts in one go would be too much so each turn will be posted each day for the remainder of the battle, oh lucky you!

Anyway here's the setup for my Son, Warriors on the left flank, Biovore in the defence tower, Gargoyles in the centre, Genestealers occupying the ruins and the Trygon on the right flank. Of course the eagle-eyed of you will have spotted the [literally] school-boy error - Synapse, but we'll get to that.

The Dark Angel Tac Squad and sentry gun on the other hand had occupied the Eduardo Stobarto Distributorum Container facility. With the Terminators, Belial and Brother Cask taking up position on the Vulcan Plateau, in the shadow of the venerated Hero of the Imperium - Matt Black.

It was at this point we remembered to roll for which type of battle. There's no point to roll for type of deployment with this size of table but if there's objectives involved then I have a chance of competing, if it's annihilation I'm up the creek. Anyway, it was capture and control and my Son used his Hive Node as his strategic asset whereas I chose the Biohazard container beneath my Tarantula Sentry gun. Did I hear a cry of 'foul' there for not choosing Matt Black, Hero of the Imperium? Well lets be realistic, the Tyranids don't want a manky old statue they're much more interested in a container full of rich bio-med waste to create funky new gribblies!

We rolled for who goes first and both got 6s, this could be good! Then rolled again and I won and didn't lose the initiative, let battle commence.

PS note how the Honored Imperium Statue fits the tower socket square on the Vulcan Plateau - skillz that is!

Sunday 14 August 2011

Terrain is everything - a solution to an age old problem part 4

Apologies once again about the 'washed out' nature of these pics. I'm trying to find a quick solution to editing my phone pics, instead of using my digital camera then editing in Photoshop and trying to use the Blogger picture uploader, which sucks on IE6 [don't ask, we're saddled with the browser at work]. So far I tried Photoshop Express and Image Shrink Lite but a new App called PicSay allows me to import any image at 640x480 edit the colours quicker than P'shop Express and upload straightaway, so they should be better in future.

Anyhoo, here's the Vulcan Plateau with a bit of colour. Red Oxide Car Primer then I got some silver paint, mixed some black in for home-made Bolt-gun silver and drybrushed the meshed bits. Doing it this way shows a bit of the Red Oxide off underneath, a hint of rust, no less!

Next up is my old Vermilion art acrylic to highlight, then some black poster paint shading washes to try to tone down the glossy finish to the red highlights. Then perhaps a little paler drybrushing to bring out all the edges. Although, if I was in a situation where I needed a lot of terrain painted and ready, like if I was running a gaming club, I'd actually be happy with these as they are. So if you are in that sort of situation I'd heartily recommend stopping at this point.

Friday 12 August 2011

Terrain is everything - Hail the Omnissiah a new STC is found!

The Techno-archaeologist Avro Vulcan has unearthed a new and complete Standard Template Construct. Standard Template Construct (STC) systems were advanced computers created during the Dark Age of Technology, which are said to have contained the sum total of human technological knowledge. An STC system was possessed by every group of human colonists before the Age of Strife, allowing them to build all of the equipment necessary for survival on an untamed colony planet. It enabled the colonists to build efficient shelters, generators and transports without any technical knowledge and using almost any locally available materials. The user simply asked how to build a house or a tractor and the computer supplied all the necessary plans.

Surprisingly STCs have been found for more mundane purposes and Vulcan's discovery falls into this particular realm. although not without historical ramifications for Ferron Proxima. Vulcan has discovered the STC for a 'raised plateau', in effect a man-made hill. On paper this may seem a rather underwhelming find, why would hills need to be made? It has since been revealed that 73.4% [factor a 2.6% differential] of all of the strategic high ground, or hills, on Ferron Proxima originated as an STC. It would seem the planet was unnaturally flat and the first settlers in need of increased visibility set about building higher ground so their settlements could be protected better.

Due to the high ferrous content of the rockcrete base of these mounds, over millenia the sharp and angular cast constructions weathered and rusted leaving the more organic shaped but iconic steep sided flat topped hills that can be found all over Ferron Proxima. Further investigation has shown that the STC's function often went beyond additional height. Storage facilities and underground habitation, amongst other things were built into the structure. This news marks all potential hills an undiscovered relic from before the Age of Strife. Who knows what may rest in a long forgotten mound?

To access the full STC for the first 'Vulcan Plateau' point your cogitators here:

To see the collection of current STC's go here:

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Terrain is everything - a solution to an age old problem part 3

Hey folks, here's a little update on my man-made hill. This is mainly fixing on all the details, the mounting card edges, Granny Grating, DoW strategic asset and modular socket. As you can see below the top was sectioned off with some strips of mounting card. I just did 5mm strips and cut them with scissors over the template to get the exact angles for them to butt up neatly.

I decided a DoW strategic asset might be nice. Originally my son had a Spider-Man Comic freebie toy that had these little yellow 'web-shooter' discs that I was going to use but couldn't find them. Obviously they've since resurfaced since this picture and typically they're too big to replace my orange card disc. A Robinson's Fruit Shoot cap will make the structure for the asset. It's not 100% what I want but it'll do.

The granny grating was put at an angle, which is a less efficient use of the material but it looked better. Seeing as I didn't do the angled wire fences the least I could do I make the effort here.

Here's where the modular aspect evolved by adding in a Vent Tower socket I can use the same plugs to create variety with the same hill. Either with just the rooftop:

Or with the rooftop and extension. The socket will be closed off with some sliding doors for when it's not a modular structure. I appreciate there isn't a door in the extension to get to the roof. I thought about putting one in the back, beside the steps but it would too complex at the moment. So let's just suspend our disbelief for a minute, like we have to do with plenty of other aspects of 40k and just get on with it! Folk can get to the roof and that's that.