Monday 30 April 2012

'nids part 33 - Tyranid Warrior to Hive Guard conversion pt2.

Here's where I want to make a decent Impaler Cannon. You can do it cheaper, use a Venom Cannon, and add some Flesh Hook spikes to the tips and it's done. No one in their right mind would be needing Venom Cannons so it's simple. Except aside from the talon underneath they are butt ugly and I want something a little meaty, if a little more costly in the real world. So to make my Impaler Cannon you will need the aforementioned Venom Cannon, Warrior Flesh Hooks and also a Carnifex/Hive Tyrant Stranglethorn Cannon.

I think the MC arms of the Stranglethorn Cannon are too big, but you could use this as is too, it's certaily better than a Venom Cannon, so I cut the barrels off both.

Then I turn the Stranglethorn Cannon upside down and glue it to the VC barrel. The spur on top can be sliced flat and this allows the SC pipe to mount semi-flush so you end up with a different looking gun to both the donor weapons. Then by trimming down the smaller flesh hooks, bending them and adding another three trimmed hooks you can get all your Impaler ammunition sprouting from the muzzle. Rinky dink right?

The torso of the Hive guard has now been primed so here are the different views so you can get a feel of it's construction and pose - Right Side

Left Side.

Front and back.

Here's where you have further options, the head. Now I had one of the Genestealer heads with the implant attack. These guys fit the 'blind' Hive guard and I was hoping to secure these for the project and if you have a Genestealer sprue you may well have spare heads regardless of bioform to fulfill this roll.

However, I felt it was actually too small so I looked at the Termagant sprues, the simple posed Macragge ones that I'd ended up with 3 halves minus their leg halves. So a quick slice and I have a slightly more proportionate head to sit on the shoulders.

So what does this look like altogether? Well, here it is blu-tacked for your perusal. I thought it would be easier to paint with the arms unattached so I can get into all the nooks and crannies to do the Turquoise Chitin.

And the other side with the Stranglethorn Cannon 'ammo feeder' arm in place

So that's the construction, no green stuff, all bits I had around and not 100 miles away from the Finecast altrnative, with some advantages:
  • Customisable - heads and poses
  • Cheaper - even if you were to buy all the bitz brand new I worked it out as £9.30 from one bitz store
  • Uses up your own bits store, really who wants a load of Venom Cannons knocking around?
  • It's fun to do, unless you lose a finger cutting - one scalpel blade did shatter in the making
So what do you think?

Up next is painting, and the start of Hive Guard v2.0 with added armour but what do I do with only one Warrior Rending Claw? 

Saturday 28 April 2012

Fall of Arminius - Game 2, Tyranids Vs Grey Knights

Finally, a Red Planet board and suddenly my army looks sweet on it. I think there were five objectives with points for controlling each at the end of each round. This is at the end of my first turn. All my Hormogaunts have barrelled up the right flank into that cover, towards that objective, the Warrior brood following in their wake. The Tervigon spawned to capture the objective in the fuel tank. Meanwhile the Devgaunts advanced into the crashed Aquila cover.

The Tyrant hid behind the building, trying to draw a bead on any transports with the Biovore milling around his feet. One major cock up was that at some point the Devgaunts were not in range of the hive node objective, they were just a couple of inches out, that would come back to haunt me. Additionally it was revealed that any unit would count as scoring to capture an objective, not just troops. So my major advantage on seizing lots of objectives went out the window.

This brood of Stealers spent the entire game camped on the objective, not ideal but someone had to do it. There were a couple of teleport homers, servo skulls or some other weird GK equipment camped out next to the objective but if I got within an inch [or two?] they were destroyed, so at least they did that. 

Hormagaunts were bullteproof within this terrain. The Land Raider Crusader seemed unable to do anything to them it's bolter shells pinging harmlessly of the ruins. Meanwhile the Barbed Strangler may have done some damage to the Grey Knight unit camped in the ruins opposite them. The Biovore may also have been successful and the Hive Tyrants Venom Cannon might have done something but the overall feel from my opponent was a belief that Tyranids are a 'template based shooting army', so I must have done something with them.

First up reserves, the Spore Pod deep strikes, next to an objective, the Doom gets out and sucks the life from some of the squad in the ruins next to it. The Ymgarls surge forth from the ruins of the crashed Aquila Lander. Sky Slashers dop in next to the Crusader [no I don't know why either]. Adrenal Stealers come on at the back there on the right. Devgaunts move into cover, 1st turn spawned Termagants move to capture hive node objective and 2nd turn spawned Termagants secure the Fuel Tank. Hormagaunts capture their objective but remain mostly in cover ;) and the Warriors don't move much through cover.

Shooting takes place but I'm not sure if much happened but you can see the Prime suffered a couple of wounds at some point :(

The Hive Tyrant has suffered one wound, his Heavy Venom Cannon penetrated a couple of times but even with the -1 [or is it -2?] to the damage chart I was rolling 1s and 2s anyway so didn't do any damage.

The Ymgarls mutate to slashing claws, meaning they slice through this squad like butter, they may have been stuck in combat but eventually they consolidate. Next turn I was left with a mutation decision. There was a squad that had disembarked I think I was on tentacles +1A so I would be mutating for slashing claws +1S which I would need to take out the Dreadnought. If I took out the squad I'd then be unlikely to penetrate on the next combat on tentacles so I was forced into tackling the Dreadnought which blew up. Afterwards I was told the squad was worth more points and would have handed me a better result but at the time the mutation was dictating what I should do.

No more pictures I'm afraid so I'm hazy about the remainder of the battle. At some point the Doom got killed, that Toughness 4 is awful for getting insta-killed. Who cares if he's got 10 wounds even one failed saving throw and he's mush. But I deliberately took him to draw fire and his leeching ability worked well so that was a bonus.

I'm not entirely sure about Gargoyles or the Trygon Prime. They must have come on, the Hive Tyrant's Hive Commander bonus is a G.O.D.send for anything coming from reserves. Ultimately though the game was a draw, snatched from my victory. I'd dominated for most of the game, had secured most of the objective but in the last turn the Grey Knights had a unit teleport in next to the Toxin Stealers and beat them off their objective. I was pretty miffed so they may have been slaughtered, so spending the entire game camping made them fat and lazy and no good in combat!

I think I definitely had 2 objectives, the GKs must have had 2 also and the last must have been contested. The GK's had at least 3 Take and Hold points, so that gave them 2pts from the Secondary Objective and if I had 5 more T&H points than him then I got 4 Secondary Objective points, however due to him capturing that last objective he gained that third T&H point which game him the 2pts and denied me 4 as I had 7 T&H altogether. Then to cap it all the Kill Points tot up showed he'd actually killed about 50pts more than me! So if the Ymgarls and charged the squad instead of the Dread I may well have tipped that balance.

So I was pleased in how I'd done but gutted not to have secured a victory at the end. By this time I was knackered, my legs were exhausted and I still had another game to go.

Thursday 26 April 2012

'nids part 32 - Tyranid Warrior to Hive Guard conversion pt1.

A quick Google search will bring up plenty of examples of Tyranid Warrior/Hive Guard Conversion. When a box of 3 warriors costs £25 and 1 Hive Guard is £15.50 straight from GW you can see why this conversion is appealing. Take into account you can get them cheaper from independent stockists and bitz suppliers for the components you need and you can make those Warriors deliver more than the basic 1 Hive Guard per box of 3 which is still a saving.

Thankfully my 'lucky dip' ebay bitz bag supplied me with nearly everything I needed to make two Hive Guard. Add in my existing stock of bitz and with a few more Warrior bodies and weapons I'm pretty sure I can field 4 Hive Guard for probably less than one brand new Finecast specimen. So first up you'll need a Monstrous Creature [Carnifex] Crushing Claw, left or right, doesn't matter. I know this doesn't come in your Warrior box but bitz places are selling these for around a pound each but if you have a Carnifex you probably didn't use these anyway. They look cool but their benefits [+1D3 attacks] aren't worth the price.

Cut the tip of the claw off. This is tough to do I use a lot of blu-tack to hold the claw steady as I do the cutting. You'll need the claw tip.

The arm bit is redundant but I'm sure they could be used elsewhere, perhaps as front limbs for Warrior/Tyrant Guard conversions? [now there's an idea...]

So with your claw tip remove the inside tapered section. Score across the ridge first then it's much easier to cut through tiny bits at a time with a scalpel than try and cut along the whole ridge. My scalpel had a snapped/squared off tip which was so much easier to cut with as the broken end gouged a bigger cut than the point would have. Again blu-tack is essential to keep this thing steady or you'll lose a finger. I also suggest some eye protection too, bits fly off occassionally.

You then need to cut a channel in the base of the larger of the two pieces. This will mount on the warrior body. The inner piece is redundant but I'm sure it may be useful at some point.

Mount the claw on the Warrior torso. For the inside of the claw I used some of 'Anita's 3D textured' paint to draw ridges on it to try and blend it into the shoulder socket.

Here's the channelled join of the claw to the torso. I also trimmed the bottom ridge down a bit so the 'crest' wasn't as tall, something I forgot on the second model. This help to make the figure shorter than a standard Warrior.

The lower torso had it's tailed snipped off and sanded smooth. It's position was more horizontal than the standard upright Warrior stance and the upper torso was tipped forward too. The head mount nob was removed and a rending claw was glued in in place.

So far so good? If you've managed that the worst is over, I think. The impaler cannon is up next and some choices on the head, depending what's in your bitz box, hope you likes it.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

"I see beautiful things."

It was my brother's 40th Birthday on the 21st and it just so happened to coincide with the return of the Floral Hall Rock Night. We'd been looking forward to this since January. The Floral Hall Rock Nights were my first taste of debauchery when I was 16, grunge was just hitting and my first night I was involved in a three tier human pyramid to Slayer - what price such memories? Well the Floral Hall is a little more upmarket now but they started letting us old rockers back a year or two ago and this was our first 'reunion' [they were called Old Ba$tard Reunions back then]. I'd booked a hotel for the wife back in Jan and so I got it 'cheap' and it was kind of an anniversary present too.

But my back's gone, so no dancing and the drugs I'm on? No drinking and I was awoken on Saturday morning at 5:20 am to the dawn chorus of the wife vomiting her guts up! I had some irrational fear of pregnancy for a split second - that ain't happening but the culprit was decided as sweetcorn - sodding Jolly Green Giant. So she was not going anywhere and to top it all the mother-in-law was sick on some new tablets for a kidney infection. We're a right family of infection! So even if the wife got better we weren't going to ask her to look after the kids overnight. So I gifted the hotel room to my bro and his new girlfriend, it seems generous but in reality if the wife was well he was just getting the entrance fee to the rock night!

If you recall the post about my 'gaming crew' you may remember this picture of the guys, but they were also my Rock Club buddies, from our local venue in Ormskirk, to The Floral and Manhattans in Southport.

And here are some of the same folk back on home turf 20 years later! It was a great night, even sober and my back was fine until late on, I guess standing up was good for exercising the muscles in a non-impact way.

So what's this got to do with the price of fish? Well some of the guys still game, Ben [second from right] lives just down the road from my sister-in-law Otty [front and blurred] has even been to my local friendly neighbourhood gaming club as Rob the chairman teaches his kids at school. And of course who can forget Liam, he of the scratch built Warhound and Warlord [front and center]? So a lot of catching up and great fun, but...

as my bro was otherwise engaged that evening he asked me to drop his card off at my parents home the next day. So after chatting about this and that to my folks I finally did what I've been wanting to do since I started gaming again and that was to have another root in the loft. I did it many moons back but purely for bits to sell on ebay, this time I was after a few things:
  • The Blood Bowl box with two thirds of the Astrogranite™ pitch
  • Advanced Space Crusade
  • Any original Tyranid torsos, legs etc. from the above
  • Any of the Blood Bowl elves or treeman
The loft was where I spent many of my formative years painting figures, I've shared a lot of them here already. It's now a dumping ground [as most lofts are] there are at least 3 TV aerials up there, only one functioning, 6 or 7 suitcases, a crib, a full size workbench [no I've no idea how it got up there] an old empty water tank. Obviously these were not the things I was after and the treasures I did find may not have been all of what I was after but I think I may have found so much more and so I was reminded of Tutanhamun's Tomb, which we saw recreation of in Manchester

"I see beautiful things." Howard Carter on opening the tomb.
I have such treasure to share with you, on top of all the progress so far during my recuperation I wanted so much to take a picture of the haul but I'm having to bring it piecemeal into the house so as not to arouse suspicions of the good lady. As a taster though I found a stack of old White Dwarfs, I've checked out just six so far ranging from issue 139 to 157 and I've been able to date when I went to Golden Demon and when I went to Games Day from these alone. More importantly I actually have photographic evidence of the original inspiration for my battlefield Mars or Ferron Proxima as we now call it. There's a picture of
'The forces of Khorne and Slaanesh fight over the blasted Chaos terrain for the control of skull castle' 
and if you can get past the shell suits and greasy haired youths a'gaming you can appreciate why it still inspires me to this day.

So plenty to look forward to and considering I was up until 3:20 last night why am I writing this at 12:50am when I could be writing it any time when it's flippin' daylight, so much for these drugs making me drowsy!

Sunday 22 April 2012

'nids part 31 - Broodlord 2 electric boogaloo

The latest edition to the Hive Fleet, a second Broodlord. This comes from my nieghbour and car share buddy Mark. This was his 'Christmas Tree' Broodlord and it just goes to show how a simple colour scheme can still be very effective. I felt quite sad to repaint it.

Also of note is a Citadel resin base. These are very odd as they ar bigger than the 40mm base. I'm sure I've read that somewhere else but it's still a surprise. It's very nice and I'll not be rebasing him but it's still odd.

A las-gun on the base and those green arm spikes make him look like Ozzy Osbourne in his tassle shirts ;)


... and after.

Looks a bit bland now :(

Friday 20 April 2012

Blood Bowl - Referee

Not much here but something that amuses me and he deserves his time in the sun. This is my Blood Bowl Referee. I don't know where I picked him up but to quote the song "this deaf, short sighted dwarf sure plays a mean Blood Bowl" and a pink rinse too on his beard!

I love the fact he has no feet either, his robe is so long it just covers his tootsies.

"the Referee's a what...?"

To be honest I'm not sure why I'm not parking this post for a future date so I can get some cooler stuff to you now but I may as well use it anyway As this post is a bit 'feature light', I'll fill you in on a few things. My back gave out at the weekend, that's the third weekend in a row. The first weekend wasn't too bad, I was getting some old clothes out of the back of the car to take to a charity shop. It was better by the Wednesday. Then Easter weekend I was keeping an eye on the microwave when the pain came back, gently at first but by the evening I was in agony and didn't return back to work until Thursday. Then this weekend it just went again  and I could hardly stand. The end result is two weeks off work, to keep moving but not exert myself.

So I'll definitely be trying to catch up on a lot of the stuff that's been on hiatus because things are getting done and I've reached a part in Dawn of War that's just a bit tedious. Like I mentioned in one of my comments I  based 50 miniatures the other day, red planet painted and once all the final touch ups are done it's the Mechrite Red, I've ordered a new can of Purity Seal to protect them and even finished my Deathwing, or should that be Porkwing as pigs must be flying tonight!

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Mechrite Red RIP

"The old paints are dead, long live the new paints!" We all saw the '145' new paints [not to be confused with the '456' from Torchwood] and we're all confused but interested in what's possible with these new colours and textures. Personally it doesn't affect me too much, I use mainly Vallejo paints but of course one Foundation paint in particular is essential to my scheme - Mechrite Red.

I had my Mechrite Red epiphany when I first struggled with Red Planet Basing. In fact the very picture I used to illustrate how cool it was [the Rippers below] is pertinent to the situation I now find myself in.

My immediate concern was Mechrite's replacement. I've still all my Dark Angels and my Son's Eldar to base and I need that colour on the base edges or we're stuffed. I checked on the BoLS forum for a conversion chart and I was duly shown the one from this month's White Dwarf [incidentally my mate Liam, he of the scratch built Warhound and Warlord fame has his Dark Eldar featured in the Bolton GW review at the back]. It stated that the 'base' replacement for my Mechrite is Mephiston Red. Well folks here is Mephiston Red:

Having had the opportunity to nip to GW the other weekend I gave Mephiston a shot. I took both kids with me and me and the youngest [6] painted his first ever marine [I'll share pictures eventually] and we used Mephiston on the Bolter and I can tell you Mechrite it isn't. For those out there after a vibrant red your prayers have been answered. This is very reminiscent of my Vermilion Craft Acrylic you can see on the Ripper base above, just a denser colour - more like paint than say margerine. However for my bases it's not going to work.

I read someone comment that trying to buy up the last of your favourite colour was delaying the inevitable but I managed to nip up to my local independent GW stockist* and got one pot before the '145' was released and when I found out the entire old range had gone back to GW central I packed the wife off to get me another pot, the very last in the shop. Now I think I've managed to base all the 'nids with one pot so I don't think I'll have to face my inevitable end to Mechrite Red for a very long time, but there is a glimmer of hope, something I'll have the leisure to find out whether there is in fact a replacement in the '145' [although there may be another manufacturer who has a Mechrite equivalent] - Khorne Red. I look at the pot and I've seen the examples in White Dwarf and by far this looks like a more accurate replication of Mechrite Red. Did GW get confused or were they just so happy they managed to pull off a vibrant red with 'base' properties they'd rather trumpet the 'new' instead of match the 'old'.

Hopefully I'll get chance to pop back to my local GW and they'll have a pot for me to test out so I can be relieved that my Ferron Proxima bases will always match up, fingers crossed.

* I also picked up another Gryphonne Sepia and the last Badab Black. The Badab Black replacement, Nuln Oil, I tested had a very matt finish so I was happy to delay the inevitable just a while longer.

Monday 16 April 2012

'nids part 30 - Devilgaunts

My neighbour and carsharing gaming buddy Mark was getting rid of some 'nids so I decided to pick up these ten Devourer Termagants. I hope you recall that 'To Do List' indeed these aren't on it, neither's the Broodlord I picked up or the two Blood Bowl teams I'm painting.

I may well be adding to my figures despite not finishing what I've already got but if the new figures I get are completed "tout de suite" then all things are forgiven. It's also particularly useful to have something to re-ignite the painting passion. Call these a catalyst if you will to getting into painting so I can tackle those Dark Angels anew.

And here we are with the base coat of 'Cappucino' art acrylic [bonewhite substitute] and Ultramarine blue. Notice the Toxin sacs on their backs. These will be useful in differentiating squads of ten at least. 20 in a Mycetic Spore would be fun 60 shots! but two separate units could be handy too or even just as another to gants to be spawned, just pretend their Fleshborers, not that I've ever run out of spawned Termagants, yet.

Next up is the liver colouring on the Devourers, muzzles, pipes and Toxin Sacs, then washes.