Saturday 31 August 2013

'nids part 102 - Kitbashed Tyranid Warrior to Tyrant Guard part 1

This is another of those embryonic ideas that just sits in box/tub for months [read: years] until you can bring yourself to move it forwards. You may recall April last year I won a couple of bits auctions. With those bits I was able to round out my objectives to a decent number, certainly enough to meet the needs of 6th Edition - Prescience there I think [and that was before we knew what Prescience was]! Additionally I made my Warrior to Hive Guard conversions, some more Termagants, a new Warrior with Deathspitter and enough Genestealers to start my Ymgarls. Essentially these paid for themselves many times over and I've still got bits to use and a couple of 'foundations' for a complete kitbash - this is one of them - Warrior to Tyrant Guard.

This has always been challenging as the bits will not fit on a standard 40mm base. I trimmed the tail off in the same way I did the Hive Guard and with all those Crushing Claw arms left that were spare after making the crests for the Hive Guard they were ideal for the bulky fore-limbs for the Tyrant Guard

The final pose is very much like the 'gatekeeper' and 'keymaster' hounds from Ghostbusters.

Next up was to bulk them out a bit, try and make them more armored. I achieved this with the use of the two spare chest pieces from the Trygon/Mawloc kit. Luckily I'd used the Adrenal Gland chest plate on my Trygon so the two spare ones are plain and slightly spiky. A quick trim with the scalpel and the spikes were gone and each were shortened to fit over the arms.

Now the really big issue is the 'really big issue' With the size of those feet the Tyrant Guard doesn't fit on a 40mm base. I do have 50mm bases, which he's on in these pictures but the real problem is that if I add Lash Whips so that he can bring down the Initiative of their opponents he's suddenly got a bigger base to get into B2B contact. The alternative is a 40mm base with a big piece of slate but so far his feet don't sit flat on it. The other option is to just go Scything Talons, which I have lots spare and wouldn't require any modelling skills.

This is the side where the spikes were trimmed off the Trygon plate on the shoulder.

Not sure where to go next on this. I've trimmed down a Warriors head which should work, taking the crest bits of the back of the head but something needs to be done to the shoulders to make it work right. I'll probably take another 6 month breather on this so, like this time, when I return to it I will have new ideas from a fresh perspective.

Friday 30 August 2013

WAAAGH TIME at the Scythe and Teacup

The Scythe and Teacup is a gamers cafe in Liverpool. Mark, my local gaming club car share buddy from round the corner works there and has put on regular tournaments for 40k. Up until now I haven't been able to fit it into family life, they finish late on Sundays and usually that's family time. Anyway PeteB was going and at £7.50 for three 1850pt games in 2hrs 45mins I thought - why not? To round it out I also took the nipper who played with PeteB's nipper all day - not bad considering it was 10am to 11pm nearly.

Anyway the tournament was 18 people and it was not random pairings but you went up against folk who had been as successful as yourself. Thanks to some success I managed to achieve second place overal and came away with this rustic but still dinky trophy.

But also £20 in store credit! Wow, real world winnings! At this rate I think I'm going to need to add an awards section to the blog ;) Anyway, I may use this to pay for the next tournament in October, or perhaps hold out until November and if the new Tyranid Codex comes out then this could cover the lions [or chould that be Lictors] share of the cost.

Not only that there was a painting competition, however the rules were that only Infantry from your list could be entered. So I took my Ymgarls in my list, mainly for that reason but also so I could have yet another thing come from reserve alongside the Doom, Devgaunts in a pod, Mawloc, a second deep striking Flyrant and with my Warlord Flyrant having Hive Commander an outflanking Tervigon! Beta strike shenanigans!

Anyway, there was a bit of a mix up when it came to the time to enter my Ymgarls and I was told it was not Infantry but troops, so instead I handed in my 10 'adrenal' gaunts.

It was a 3 vote system where your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice got 3, 2 and 1 votes respectively and I managed to win best painted figures too! There was a nice Dark Eldar unit and some very clean Wraithguard so I was quite surprised to win. The prize was my choice of 8 paints from their 'Miniature Paints' range by Gamecraft, which looks to be a local hobby company. PeteB said they're not bad paints, if a bit glossy so I picked my 8:
  1. Black [you can never have enough]
  2. White [you can never have enough]
  3. Black primer [why not, it could be handy]
  4. Aquamarine [not to far from my turquoise, and that's not goign to last forever]
  5. Light turquoise [not too far from my light turquoise, ditto]
  6. Coffee [just took my fancy]
  7. Gloss varnish [you can never have enough]
  8. Matt varnish [you can never have enough]
Anyway, battle reports to follow.

Thursday 29 August 2013

MOAR from my mate Liam - Nurgle Heldrake / Helfly, Fly 2 and Land Raider

Liam sent me more pics of his Nurgle Heldrake - the Helfly as he's calling it. This is the first one all painted up, as seen in our little Throne of Skulls mini-tournament

A thing of unnatural beauty.

And here's the Helfly 2, 'Like father, like son'. Slightly different this one but no less worrying as it buzzes the battlefield. I'm hoping that my Dark Angels might be able to employ a Spotlight which would force it to repeatedly headbutt whatever vehicle it's mounted on until it's knocked senseless - that should be a new rules errata!

Here's the step-by-step process for those interested.

You can begin to see the components and where Liam has kitbashed bits and scratchbuilt others.

Plasticard edging and 'greystuff' sculpting for added 'chaos'.

That's a big ammo-feed belt.

Undercoats ready to be painted as it's daddy.

Side view.

Lastly here's the Nurgle Land Raider, the current kit remodeleld to look like a Proteus, I think Liam sculpted and cast his own tracks for this.

Adding Nurgelesque fleshy growth and fibres here and there to tie it in with the Obliterators.

Lets hope that Spotlight doesn't attract the Helfies, could be an interesting 'own goal' if GW were to follow up my rules errata.

And the other side.

No doubt Liam or one of my other buds will have some more of their efforts to share in the futures but any questions, comments or praise just leave them below.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

To Do List 2013/14

Another year and another broken list of promises ;) I've completed/nearly completed around 8 of my 20 items from 2012/13 but I've made serious in-roads into the Bloodbowl Elves, AoBR Tactical Squad and Dreadnought and prepared the 6th Edition stuff. But amongst all of that I did this:

  • Winged Hive Tyrant, built and painted
  • Magnetised and in progress my original Hive Tyrant to be 2nd Flyrant or Swarmlord
  • Inquisitorial Vault template started and in-progress
  • Armies on Parade board
  • Sculpted a second set of Tyranid Defence lines that need to be finished off
  • Continued to add more gaming aids/markers
  • Lord of the Rings Moria Goblins - built and painted
  • Oh, and made a Tyranid Bastion...

All alongside keeping the blog going, and continuing to game one way or another. These additional 8 tasks can make up for the 'failures' and are a perfect lesson for 'going with the flow'. The 'To Do List' is a guide a focus for when the hobby deserts us, like when I was awaiting the Dark Angel Codex [so no point painting them] I cracked on with the Bloodbowl teams. I ran short of completing the Elves but they'll be waiting for next time. More importantly those achievements above were all items that I was motivated to get done and that fuels the hobby. There's no point forcing yourself to do a task if your hearts not in it, you'll just baulk at it and where's the fun in that. Of course there are times to push on through the hobby funk but not if there's an easier/alternative option.

So what have we for 2013/14. No great promises this time, just the missing elements as standby
  1. Bloodbowl Elves
  2. AoBR Tactical Squad
  3. AoBR Dreadnought
  4. Dark Angel Drop Pod
  5. Ravenwing bike squad
  6. STC Vent tower
  7. STC Athena plateau
  8. Create Epic building templates
  9. 60mm Dreadnought crater
  10. Complete pot pourri vegetation [and blog posts for that matter!]
 But with these new ones added/expanded
  1. Dark Angel - Devastators
  2. Dark Angel - Dark Vengeance Tactical Squad
  3. Dark Angel - Chaplain
  4. Dark Angel - Librarian
  5. Dark Angel - Azrael
  6. Tyranid Defence Line
  7. Tyranid Capillary Towers
  8. Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists
  9. STC Inquisitorial Vault
  10. 'Hobby Matrix' blogpost
That should keep me busy, with the 10 new items being the priorities. I need the Dark Angels at a fighting force so I can have an alternative. The 'nids are becoming a bit repetitive in games at the moment so I need variety. Admittedly I'm spicing things up with some new lists thanks to the Tyrant, Bastion and Spore Pods but that will only go so far. That is of course until the new Codex arrives, supposedly in November, when my attitude/focus/task list could change dramatically!

Blog wise I need to update my Battle Reports page. I feel forced into doing less of them, they take a long time and stop me doing painting and modelling. I'm loathe to cut them down as I like having records, particularly when cool things happen and not that I keep score but it would be nice to know my win/loss ratio should I feel inclined to throw away my principles ;) So, the least I can do is make sure my Battle Report page is current, as I think it's predominantly 5th edition battles!

If there's anything you the faithful few would like to see more of, let me know in the comments and I'll try and accommodate that too.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Armies on Parade board - Ferron Proxima in full 3D...pt2

You can see the extra rocks/stones/gravel have been added to the 'cliff edge' I probably could have blended that in a bit better but I'm on a roll now so I may be cutting a few corners in my eagerness to get it done but once again it's the figures that's more important for me in this not the base.

Once again the colours are all over the place but I added on a black wash. A 'satin' acrylic emulsion paint was used. I've had this tub for 12+ years, since our back bedroom was my 'office' and it was painted yellow with black skirting boards. Funnily enough the tub wasn't sealed properly and it's now the consistency of tar with a tiny bit of mold growing on it. Still, two or three dips of the paint brush, some water and a blob of PVA and it made a nice wash. I probably could have done with more PVA in the mix, in both this and the original red colouring. The scatter sawdust is extremely hard and rough and a thicker coating of PVA might have made it more 'plasticy'.

As you can see I added in some pseudo cracks and shading. I'll be adding some highlights so I'll be able to paint on some more texture effects for variety. This was about another half an hour of effort.

I wanted to see what the Bastion looked like on the red as is. I really liked the colour [although I appreciate what shade it actually is hasn't been conveyed in these pictures] part of me didn't want to add any further highlights [like when you do a wash on a figure and it looks pretty good, but you know highlights would make it awesome but you still don't want to commit to it] but this test made it clear Red Planet Basing didn't match up to the current finish - it needed the highlights.

So I put some Vermillion into a tub and went at it with a big brush being very careful with the drybrush trying not to get streaks. There's quite a big blob 'error' in one spot. But I then mixed in my Pumpkin craft acrylic and accentuated some on the areas/edges/cracks etc. just to get a bit more random texture going on. And I'm pretty darn chuffed and glad I didn't stop at the black wash.

Of course it is not Ferron Proxima without the Bonewhite Wraithbone shards littering the surface. Now I wasn't about to manually pick out individual stones as I normally do so I mixed some water with the paint and flicked spots on. If I'm honest I needed more practice before committing to the final board. I think I loaded too much paint and had it too thin. There's also 'directionality' to the spatter, as CSI would say although I'm sure I can convey the same sentiment if I say there is 'a direction to the spatter'. I can rationalise that too as maybe it's come from the direction of the source of the Wraithbone!?

Ultimately I realised the size and amount of spots isn't an issue in this case as there will be a lot of figures on the board and that will cover up a significant amount of those 'shards'. If I were to do proper gaming boards I may well be more careful with my spatter.

And that as we say is that! Another hour of painting and 2.5hours total time so far and I'm pretty much finished. I may add some yellow flock in places and I'm considering a backdrop to 'frame the board' but the job's 99% complete. I did a quick test fit with the Bastion, Spore pods, some Warriors, Aegis and Genestealers and the board matches their bases beautifully. Before the Armies on Parade Day I'll spend some time considering how best to position everything and take some pics so I know how to set it up on the day and I'll share them here but right now I'm super chuffed and excited.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Armies on Parade board - The beginnings of Ferron Proxima

About half an hour in at this stage. The hill shape is nearly exactly the same as given to me by my brother, just sanded and cut square at the back. I did have a nice offcut that could have fit in the bottom rightt corner making a channel for the gaunts to run out of but it would have made the panel less versatile to do so. The foam was stuck to the MDF using 'coving adhesive'. It's specifically formulated for sticking polystyrene coving to your ceiling so thought it would be good. Instant grab and constant pressure made it work perfectly and any gaps - it works as a filler too!

Now for the painting/surfacing - PVA glue, plaster, Vermillion and Burnt Umber craft acrylic and two colourrs of scatter [aka fine sawdust]

And here it is all mixed up. Amazingly just enough to cover the full 2'x2' board. Not sure the volume used but that is a 2l lemonade bottle and you can still see the blow-molded bumps on the base so I guess you could easily run some water in the bottom of one to roughly the same depth and then measure it and multiply by 6 to cover a full 6'x4' board

And another half hour in and we have this.

A lot of detail, surprisingly, from the scatter!

I left it outside to dry, it was a warm and blowy day so thought I'd get better pics in daylight to accurately get the colour... probably not.

Just out of shot on the right of the hill I left it quite a vertical edge as I intended to add some stones and gravel here for a bit of variety.

An hour down so far.

Saturday 24 August 2013

Terrain is everything - Crystal 40k objective markers, or cool stuff what's on Google+

I saw these Crystal objectives on the Warhammer 40k group on Google+ the other week. They were done by Sebastian Bajer and he was more than happy to let me put them on the blog. I'm pretty sure you can all see how they were done - sprue!

But I think Sebastian has managed to elevate such a simple material with the excellent paint job and the other base materials that compliment the green crystals.

Not only that they all match his terrain, which means that although they're on 25mm slotta-bases from a distance they all blend in practically seamlessly. Such a simple idea, no doubt seen before but such an easy thing to do to add some more terrain to your boards should you feel inclined to follow Sebastian's lead.