Friday 28 February 2014

Terrain is everything - Hail the Omnissiah a new Print & Play building

As is the tradition on my birthday it's time to give a gift to the community, sorry it's just another terrain template but you could look at it as a gift horse, just don't look it in the mouth! ;) Therefore I give you the tall tower version for my new black 'Print & Play' terrain scheme. If you've made the first building then it's exactly the same footprint with exactly the same options to keep or remove the windows, this time a lovely diamond leaded effect. So the building is the same, but taller with just a different colour for variety on your battlefield.

These would ideally be suited for the foamboard that has the black foam core. I was going to make one but didn't get round to it, sorry. However, that black foam would make these easily playable from the off, without looking too much like a quickly knocked up bit of terrain.

To access the full STC please point your Cogitators here, be fair warned it is 18MB in size [I make no apologies for this, I could probably render it as a .jpg or spend hours trying to reduce the file size, I tweaked it a little bit and got it down so hopefully it's less of an issue now.]:

Meanwhile all the other Print & Play and standard terrain templates are available here:   

"It's just one of those things son" a year on.

No doubt some reading the blog may have only started after February last year. As such they may not know my Dad was knocked down and killed on my birthday 2013. Once again this will be a personal post and not 40k related so if you're not into autobiographical parts of the blog I'd recommend, and understand, should you choose to stop reading this post

It's a year on now and thankfully the court case has finished and the person responsible was found guilty. I won't go into details about the sentencing, the law is a funny thing when it comes down to car accidents, quite often the victims don't really feature in the final tally, it's more to do with your driving ability and lack thereof at the time. Having caused an accident myself where the motorcyclist could have died, but thankfully didn't, I know how the system goes and I appreciate the need for understanding when a momentary lack of concentration or some other inexplicable decision can have tragic results. Unfortunately there is no Undo [Ctrl+Z] in life, much that I wish there was.

Anyway, moving on we've come to terms with our loss, 2013 was pretty crappy all round really so I'd like to recall at least one happy memory I shared with my Dad - probably the only time we ever got drunk together, sad though that seems to admit now. Rest assured there is no real story here, it's just me reminiscing, there's no punchline and it'll ramble on but I wanted to get it down.

For those that don't know [probably most of you] I went to art school [college/university] in Falmouth, Cornwall. It's about 350 miles from where I lived, pretty much the furthest I could possibly get from my home without leaving the country [although some people claim Cornwall is another country, those people are called Cornish people ;)], this was purely intentional. I desperately wanted to 'fly the nest' and did not want a back up plan should I feel homesick. By making sure I was 10 hours away by coach there was no chance I could scurry home with my tail between my legs [and it's such a nice tail too!]. But this distance was problematic a few times a year when I needed to get to or come home from university and the coach really didn't cut it to take all my stuff. For those times I needed my Dad, or once my brother made the journey instead.

This particular time my Dad came to collect me my Mum was supposed to come too. Unfortunately I think she had sciatica - back pain so severe she had to stay in bed with my brother to watch over her. Meanwhile my Dad set off to pick me up and I'd booked him into a B&B about a mile from the town centre on the outskirts. Falmouth is one of those typical harbour towns rows of houses seem to spread back onto a hill and then back down the other side so if you want to get out of town you have quite a climb to get up and then down, I never imagined I'd be escorting my 'slightly worse for wear' father along this route.

Anyway, my Dad arrived in the afternoon and we spent it with the family I was living with and then in the evening went down to the town to get something to eat. We went to the Quayside Inn, which as the name suggests was on the quay side and there are plenty of benches outside, in fact it looks exactly like the following picture [this was the day we handed in all our course work, probably a year after my Dad and I went for a pint]:

My Dad and I sat outside, it was a glorious summer evening and we drank and probably had a 'cheese hand' - a flat oval loaf of bread about 12" by 4" and unsurprisingly covered by cheese and it's all toasted, yum. So we drank and ate and as it was just the two of us on the bench other people asked to sit alongside us. I've no idea who the group was but I was under the impression these middle aged people were lecturers at the art college, although none that I recognised. They proceeded to discuss art and the merits of modern art and eventually fuelled by the local brew my Dad started to enter into the debate they were having. He boisterously started to decry 'modern art' his Liverpool heritage and practical engineering background making him unable to accept any art other than, well y'know - a 'nice picture'! I was both mortified and amused to see him delivering the 'joe public' view of art to these people who were just too cultured to offer an argument to convince him otherwise.

It reminded me of when I was choosing my A-levels and wanted to take Design and when my Dad questioned the Design teacher about it he said 'can he make any money doing this?' to which my Teacher said 'why yes, he can make around X thousand pounds a year' to which my Dad then questioned his whole life by saying 'well if that's the case why aren't you doing that for a job instead of being a teacher!' My Dad wasn't thoroughly 'Northern' and outspoken but he had a couple of moments like this that stick out which is why I cling to them in equal embarrassment and fondness.

Anyway, with the conversation reaching a stalemate I forget whether we left or the lecturers decided there was no argument that could overcome Northern common sense and made their escape. Eventually it was time to take him the mile back to his B&B, but the journey home with an inebriated person who has rediscovered the Scouser within was fraught with more embarrassment, not least when he struck up a conversation with a couple of Cornish glaziers who were replacing a smashed shop window around 11 or 12. I'm not sure they had a clue what was going on when this bloke, who was clearly not local, just started to chat with them in the middle fixing the pane in place.

I eventually got him to the B&B, and then had to travel half a mile back into town to where I was staying. Of course I could have left him to find his own way and got home earlier but I could see he was in no fit state to navigate by himself and I wanted to ensure he got in safely. So I was quite surprised when I finally got in and found my Landlord or Landlady still up and waiting for me. It turns out that my Dad had not rung home to tell my Mum or brother that he'd arrived safely. To cap it all my Mum's Sciatica had got even worse over the course of the day and my brother was in bits about what to do and had rung my landlady to speak to us but we'd been out all evening having a right old time!

I never quite found out how much trouble he got into for that little escapade, I think I recall a sheepish phone call the next day and us probably spending that 350 mile journey back trying to come up with a series of believable excuses as to why, at the least, he'd not made the courtesy call to say he was safe and why we'd been out boozing when my Mum was ill. To be honest though I'm glad we did, whatever the price. We didn't spend  much time like this, just the two of us and certainly never in the capacity of father and son going for a pint. It's a cherished memory for me, the nuances lost to anyone else but one I have always held dear. Thanks for your indulgence, yet again.

This was my Great Grandfather's World War 1 Memorial plaquette, my Dad was named after him and my Mum recently gave it to me, so I thought it worth including both in memory for my Dad and my Great Grandfather in this anniversary year.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Bluewarp studios: Warlord Battle Titan, Part 5 - Last day on eBay!

10h left on Liam's Warlord Titan, I expect everyone's going to bid in the last few minutes of the auction, just to make him sweat. Of note is the addition of delivery to the UK! So please consider giving it a good home if you've always wanted one and I suspect with the introduciton of the Knight Titans you may well need one of these in your army.

Bluewarp studios: Warlord Battle Titan, Part 5 - Last day on eBay an...: My Warlord is down to the last 24 hours on eBay, it's had 2729 page views in nine days and it's time for some battle shots..... stay...

'nids part 131 - 'The Great Maw' £24 Tervigon pt 3

Time to start the Great Maw in earnest. So much for focusing on one item to ensure it's completion, instead I'll try to straddle two and potential succeed in neither. Anyway, working out how to mount the Tervigon always concerns me as I want something with a 'scenic' base but in so doing quite often means faffing around hot gluing slate, drilling holes and balancing the model. Eventually I did it thanks to putting a plasticard 'Cuban heel' on the left hoof of the Tervigon. However I put loads of PVA on the base and quite a lot of sand and have ended up with quite a chunky if overly small grained to large grained sand on it. Unfortunately most of the medium grains, which give the best effect seem to have been overwhelmed by the fine grain. Fingers crossed the Red Planet Basing still works on it.

The Great Maw gets it's base coats.

And thanks to my Facebook poll the Mawloc Pincer tail was chosen to go on the end. It seems massive, ordinarily the tail wound stick out no further than where the blue is but it curls back on itself. 
The extra gaunt chitin plate didn't quite work. I tried to flatten it down and thought it would make a better disguise for the join, not that it really needed it but unfortunately that left hand side seems a little dodgy in that first shot. Underneath came out really well, the join is hardly noticeable.


The extra plate isn't too bad from the side. I have to say it does look very different when compared to the standard tail so regardless I think it's a win. I really just wanted a different looking Tervigon to the one I had and it's a limited model for posing, without extensive effort so the small things have to deliver, and thankfully I think this does.

I'm also prepping the arms. I had to mount a second set of magnets on the body and mould some Milliput into the surrounding area so they could sit a little more proud of the body, it's still not ideal but it helps. I'd already started the Scything Talons on my first Tervigon, so at least I'm ahead on that, unfortunately my light Turquoise highlights and liver colours - now just Mechrite Red may make them look a little different when attached but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Meanwhile I had a wonderful idea that seeing as it's magnetised I could add the Fleshborer Hives so I could make a Tyrranofex. My mate Otty is still loving them and he pointed out the Fleshborer Hives got a 6" increase to their range in the new Codex making them quite deadly in his games. Unfortunately I only went and mounted the magnets on the right hand side of the Tervigon oppositely to what I did on both my Hive Tyrants. They work fine with the Close Combat weapons, just the Fleshborer Hives.

I do have a solution though - I can magnetise my Carnifex, take of it's Fleshborer Hives/Brainleech Devourers. Make sure the magnets are poled correctly and then I have the option again. I can also look at adding more weapons to the Carnifex, although right now I still have that annoying frustration rattling around in the back of my head that I cocked up because if I'd got it right I'd have those options already, sodding hindsight!

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Warhammer 40k, Fantasy, Wargames & Miniatures News: Bell of Lost Souls: Brent: How Diverse is Your Terrain?

Brent likes the STCs on the blog, hooray! Keep an eye out this Friday for more!

Warhammer 40k, Fantasy, Wargames & Miniatures News: Bell of Lost Souls: Brent: How Diverse is Your Terrain?: I've been reading about the Las Vegas Open and one comment kept coming up over and over before it really sunk in - about TERRAIN!

Monday 24 February 2014

'nids part 130 - PROJECT Y Scratchbuilt Tyranid Skyshield Landing Pad pt9.

I'm struggling a little bit to juggle the projects I have with how to blog them, mainly because I'm trying to multi-task. I appreciate as a man that's impossible but we should all have aspirational goals, wot! So this is the small but significant progress on the walls to the Skyshield. Significant in that the construction of the core was a mental [as well as physical] stumbling block preventing progress. For some reason building this was a massive mental milestone to get past so I could continue the project. So I managed with a concerted evenings effort, then would go on to add the clear plastic walls.

To finally get them in place, although I think it may have warped the plastic a little bit because they seem to sit even less flush with the landing pad than before, hopefully I can disguise it a little bit with the sculpting on top.

As you can see I made some spikes  for the centres, trying to match the spikes on the Capillary Towers but really making something more akin to baby sweetcorn. 

These were made with Milliput and I forgot smoothing them with water would just smear it over the clear plastic. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or bad thing, as time goes on I'm thinking I just need to cover the clear plastic completely. It's the easiest solution, especially to get my head around and time is running out so I may just have to suck it up and do it.

One last thing of note is I became quite weary of the Milliput. Spending 5 minutes mixing the stuff, having it fall apart as you roll out tubes and struggling to shape it, as it's not quite as maleable as DAS clay, it really became a bind. So I may just take a gamble and go with DAS on the walls. The fact is it probably won't stick at all, the plastic is too shiny and despite my plan to cover it I probably won't scuff it beforehand either. However, I may just be able to get it to work and if it goes wrong I'm thinking it won't be too difficult to break off and start again with Milliput. But if it does work the benefits would outweigh the gamble - it'd speed up the process and be less frustrating, which would keep me motivated.


Onwards and upwards, the race continues

Saturday 22 February 2014

'nids part 129 - 'The Great Maw' £24 Tervigon pt 2

The 'Great Maw' continues apace, well the head at least. I'm still stuck in limbo for the rest of the body. I decided on the Mawloc pincer tail, I may live to regret it but we'll see how seamlessly I can join the pincer onto the tail. 

The Tervigon's head was painted mostly during periods of frustration/weariness with the extra Termagants. I need to add some extra turquoise highlights, do the mouth highlights and some extra bonewhite bits. I'm unsure about adding some spots on the axe-head blade, it seems more menacing without but it could do with just a little something to break up the expanse. If I add some dots I'll be quite frugal with them. 

This side of the jaw is slightly more obvious where the Mawloc mandibles join. I'm sure some green stuff in some form could have smoothed the transition, hopefully I can disguise it a bit with some paint, although at the moment it's the paint that's revealing it's addition.

I'm not sure what to do down his gullet, I want it to be dark but that doesn't really reflect the Toxic spit that's going to come out of it. I also need to disguise the joins on some of the plastic too. I may add the mottled poisonous effect I accidentally achieved on my other Tervigon's tongue, fingers crossed I can achieve it again.

The race continues apace, can I complete this Tervigon and my Skyshield by March 21st? And I have to fit it in with all the other things I have to do, you know real life stuff! We'll have to see.

Friday 21 February 2014

Flufftastic - Hive Fleet Gorgon - Ferron Splinter Fleet - Scourge of Oktavia

The Scourge of Oktavia is a Xenos abomination that has only recently begun to terrorize the good citizens of Ferron Proxima. The Scourge is a bioform of the Hive Tyrant [Tyranicus Praefactor] genus but it has evolved with the ability of flight due to its leathery wings.

Alongside the winged biomorph it has also adapted two oversized Devourer weapons. These horrific mutations allow the beast to lay down heavy fire that can decimate small vehicles as well as the brave people of Ferron Proxima.

The Scourge has taken to roosting in the abandoned Edvard Henri Memorial Cathedral Tower in the coastal hive city of Oktavia Profundis. Despite sharp shooters from the local militia and planetary defence force they have been unable to remove it from it's nesting area and the Winged Tyrant continues to plague the populace killing with abandon. This has led to widespread evacuation of the city, which has had a detrimental impact on the production capacity of the ports. Indeed this reduction has even been noted by the missed quotas to Imperial Tithe

Because of this a call for support has been despatched. Ferron Proxima is a recruitment world for the Dark Angels and their Successor chapters and it is to the First Legion that the people of Ferron Proxima look for salvation. The Tyrant may have the skies for the moment but in time it will have to face the might of the Adeptus Astartes as they return to ruthlessly defend one of their 'homeworlds'.

Whilst we await their arrival further reports suggest the Scourge may not be the only winged behemoth haunting the sulphorous skies of Ferron Proxima. Time will tell if this abomination has an as yet unidentified twin, the situation is already dire, the Emperor only knows what the result would be should the two beasts join forces...

Wednesday 19 February 2014

'nids part 128 - Spawning yet more Termagants

More fun at the Gaunt fayre - 10 more Termagants are on the go. The good thing was I started them while I was completing the first set of 10. This meant they were all base coated and ready to go alongside the six Spore Mines after I did the Red Planet Basing.


 I find the positioning of the Adrenal Glands quite amusing. It's like a cat that's got something stuck on it's tail - they don't know what it is and can't see it but they know something is behind them and it just sends them running hell for leather in the opposite direction. I've also positioned the glands so that five are pointing forwards and five are pointing backwards. It's a small distinction but it might be sufficient to keep track of the units should I spawn small numbers.

As much as I like the Red Planet Basing, the finishing touch - the Bonewhite chips are always a little frustrating. Finding the right bit of sand to paint can be annoying, especially if I've screwed up the sand mix and there really aren't enough medium sized stones to pick out individually. It's quiet a laborious task that on the face of it doesn't result in a lot of painting which in turn feels like a waste but the end result can often take a poorly executed Red Planet Base and make it decent. It has to be done, I just don't relish doing it.

The six spore mines include two metal ones, thankfully they're a bit more upright than the Macragge versions so add a little more variety to the cluster. I'm starting to really love them, not in a gaming sense [although they seem effective in some cases] just the pictures of them in the Codex. I quite like the idea of scratchbuilding some Meiotic Spores too. The rules are bit dated but I'm there's some scope with the way the new Spore Mines work for them to be effective.

And aside from the varnishes I managed to finish these guys up. I'd estimated 8-10 nights work, given how I operate but  I think I halved that with a concerted effort.

The previous 10 had Mechrite Red edges but the finish wasn't quite right, one of my legacy pots has a bit of a satin finish so I went back to my Army Painter Heavy Red.

Army painter Heavy red isn't quite as opaque as the old Citadel Foundation and requires two coats but it does give the required finish and colour. However, the Army Painter Anti-Shine may be the dodgy culprit so I'll be a little more wary when I seal these, starting with the Spore Mines.

You may also notice in the back of that shot my Dark Vengeance Deathwing. I've got those based and base coated too. As and when I do a specific colour on the Termagants and I felt I had the time and wherewithal I added that colour to the Deathwing so a little bit more was done. It means I get a head start on them for when I commit in earnest and it also breaks up the monotony of the Gaunts. Additionally out of shot is the 'Great Maw' head for the currently untouched £24 Tervigon. With the Gaunts finished I will be focusing on this and the Skyshield Walls next.

Meanwhile I prepped a new travel box. Once again a £1.59 craft box is covered in laminate flooring underlay. I can get 18 gaunts in here, shame it's not an even 20 but aside from the hour or so to make, it seems like a bargain. I'd been looking at getting a KR Multicase or Tyrant Army Figure Case, there didn't seem much in it but when I looked at Battlefoam noticed they do trays in a cardboard box.

So I actually went in search of archive storage boxes that would fit the other foam trays which are considerably cheaper than Battlefoam. I actually found two options that would have been ideally sized for the cheaper Tyant foam trays but as you can see from this link I'd have to spend £24 [not including postage] and I'd end up with 10 boxes! The other option was around £13 and a ba better fit but postage for orders under £100 was £7.99 so just as uneconomical! Sadly this is a non-standard box size  so there were few other option and I only need 1 or 2 at the most.

Now admittedly that makes the boxes £2.40 each and I could fit 7-8 trays in it at £4.50 each. I did think I could perhaps sell the remaining boxes on ebay for other gamers to do the same. I even thought about making a quick spray mask and 40k addict 'branding' them. Then I realised I couldn't be bothered so I may as well continue on with the craft boxes ;) They're a little bulkier but considerably more durable and can't be beaten on the price.

But hopefully I've given some extra ideas to folk,should they find themselves in a position where a group of mates can bulk purchase the boxes for the trays, which I'm not in a position to do, feel free borrow the idea.

Monday 17 February 2014

Ebay sales you won't regret* - a Frakkin 40k Warlord Titan!!! Holy Omnissiah!

* When I say you won't regret buying my mate Liam's scratchbuilt Warlord Titan, you may do when you're otherwise mild mannered hobby widow see's it turn - up there is no hiding this 3 foot tall behemoth, as evidenced in the pictures from our Apocalypse WOW battle: Prelude | Turn 1 | Turn 2 | Turn 3Turns 4, 5 and 6 |

There have been quite a few legendary scratchbuilds of the Warlord Titan but I think this is one of the most Epic I've ever seen. In some respects it's actually bigger than a Warlord should be, scale wise, and approaches Imperator scale! Anyone who's ever wanted one and has the finances needs to check it out right now. Starting price is £300 but that is less than a Warhound Titan including it's arms and considerably less than a Reaver Titan [body only] and this thing is HUGE, check it out next to Liam's son! Not to mention his scratchbuilt Warhound, which is I believe actually a little bit bigger than the Forgeworld version!

Seriously this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get an amazing model and with the way GW is going we'll be seeing a 40k scale version of Adeptus Titanicus any week now, rules in White Dwarf ;) If you want to see more pictures and the Work in Progress shots head over to Liam's Blog at Blue Warp Studios for more. Even if you're not interested in the Titan yourself, and have a blog please share it or re-blog it on your own blog or forums that you frequent, there are only 9 days left in the auction. This is an amazing piece, deserves a good home and we want to see Liam get a decent price for all the effort, blood, sweat and tears so please let as many folk know as you can. Whatever he gets will be invested back into the hobby so whatever final price it is rest assured there will be all kinds of crazy cool awesomness coming out of Blue Warp Studios thanks to the lucky winners contribution to Liam's hobby fund. Incidentally I believe he'll be getting rid of his Fortress or Redemption too, so keep your eyes peeled to his ebay listing should the Warlord be too rich for your blood.

Saturday 15 February 2014

Mycetic Spores - In Memorium

As we bask in the afterglow of our wonderful new Codex I thought we should hold a minutes vigil for arguably the greatest casualty to the Tyranid arsenal - the Mycetic Spore. I'm not sure we can accurately know why we no longer have access to this little beauty. I think it's probably a financial one ahead of any other mooted reasons. The cost of making the molds and the potential market given how folk made their own or found alternatives is probably the real reason. There's no point GW investing money in something that won't sell, which makes sense but I can't help feel the true hobbyist is being penalised for their creativity. Well, I would say that given that's what I did with my 'Pong Pong Pot Pourri Pod'.

And then again with my two [oft-maligned] Plasma Hatcher conversions. I never quite understood the dislike these created, sure they're not perfect in their standard version but they were pretty much the right size, very nid-like and on occasion extremely cheap [until folk realised they could sell for lots to those that wanted to make Spore Pods]. Luckily my conversion continues to make them viable as an alien Vengeance Weapon Battery, which I may well have some fun with in the future.

But I'm not the only one to suffer, Otty had this beast of a Spore Pod. I'm not sure if it'll work as another form of Fortification. It's Bastion sized but extremely difficult to use as something with Battlements

And what makes it worse is he'd just finished another pod of more sensible proportions before the 'extinction event' happened. He'd built this out of a toy heart or other internal organ. He may be able to get a Weapon Battery out of it but it's still a disappointment no doubt. There'll be more pictures at the end of this post.

Of course the major impact is the loss of our ability to get nids all over the battlefield. Situations like this 2nd turn 'beta-strike' will never happen now. The funny thing is given the FAQ that gave us a 6" disembarkation showed renewed love for the Pod it feels like a double kick in the plums that it was removed completely. Obviously that made the Doom even more effective. Deviations meant very little when you could still get out and move to leech as many units as possible. Even though I was a little weary of my nids at the end of the old Codex it was the ability to switch things around, deep striking or foot slogging it was the extra Spore Pods that gave me the versatility to keep playing them interesting. It also allowed me to be competitive in different ways, learning how to get that 'beta-strike' in place but even then you were reliant on the dice, it certainly wasn't over-powered.

Here we have probably the last great thing my Spore Pods did, Smashing a Triarch Stalker to pieces in assault!

Getting the Doom exactly where it needed to be, the number 1 reason to take a Mycetic Spore. Even if he died he was usually a turn of people shooting at it instead of the rest of the gribblies.

Here's a Spore Pod Tervigon Sandwich.

And I had some fun with the rumours before the Codex hit.

And then the actual reality of what the rumours turned out to be.

But we can still not forget then iniquity whereby Tyranid Primes were not allowed in a pod with their Warrior brethren unlike practically every other Independent Character specifically being able to join a unit in their transports. Presumably this was more to do with Primes joining Carnifex in a Pod to make them more durable but that was an easy fix but they went for the hard one instead.

Anyway, here are more pics of Otty's insane last hurrah for the Spore Pod. See if you can identify all the bits ;) Let us hope one day they return to the Tyranid arsenal. I don't hold out much hope for these Data Slates, they promise much but deliver so little but they still feature Spore Pods in the artwork so maybe one day... we can but hope.