Wednesday 29 April 2015

Dark Angels - Dark Vengeance Deathwing

Just a quick update as the alternative is no update. I've actually completed my Interrogator Chaplain Seraphicus but haven't taken any decent pics to showcase. Truth be known I'm a little disappointed with the gloss varnish I've added to his power armour as it's a bit thick in places so it plays merry hell with the sense of scale on the model, but I'll cover that in detail when I take the pics.

Meanwhile, I've got back onto doing the Deathwing and I've managed to go from two models with completed Bonwehite highlights to four. I'm really happy with how they've come along, they're lighter than my original AoBR models but that's down to how I'm highlighting the 'nids. It's slow going though, it takes about 60-90 minutes for me to do just one! Still it's the bulk of the model. I am however less impressed with some other colour choices. The black feathers still don't ring true to me but I'll see what a very fine grey highlight will do to differentiate the feathers. Also some of the reds are getting a bit samey, when I need different shades to represent different materials.

I still have a lot of detaill work to do, the odd skull, studs, helmet lenses and some more highlights on the Crux Terminatus to represent the Ferron stone it's mined from. I'm sure these will add quite a few more hours to the process but I'm getting there. With only one model to highlight I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I've also realised something in that i started to add litanies to the AoBR Tactical squad but did not do any of that on the AoBR Terminators. That's not a problem, I can add them on at any time. I also want to include some of the native American elements as illustrated in the Space Hulk Deathwing supplement. Lame Bear's chevrons look particularly effective. I want a mix of both histories - feudal and native as Ferron Proxima is based firmly in this era of the Dark Angel histories and yet those prospective applicants to the Dark Angels will have been drawn from the Natives then trained in the Feudal ways of Caliban

I'm not so sure I'll include Totemic names but I'll be doing litanies at the least, I just want some opinions on choice of colour -
  1. Black
  2. Dark/rusty brown
  3. Red
  4. Caliban green

There's no right answer on this as I'll no doubt do units with different colours. Red I think is the obvious choice but opinions are most welcome.

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Dark Angels - Asmodai - To Done!

Evidence that I have indeed been active, despite illness and lack of updates. In actuality this model doesn't look like it's had a lot done to it, I'm not sure the pictures capture some of the blending on the cloak and the problem with it being mainly black makes it look like its just undercoated but I assure you significant effort has gone into getting this completed.

However, because of the difficulty in capturing the progress let alone the completed miniature in all it's glory WiP pictures are difficult to record so the blog suffers. Sadly I'm not sure how to get around this at the moment so for the moment I'll be blogging as and when I have something of value to share. I suppose I could always throw in some 'nids to keep things ticking over.

Anyway, I was desperate for Asmodai to be completely black. I can't imagine the most infamous Chaplain to be anything other than ultra hardline legacy Dark Angel, Chaplains wear black anyway but this guy has got the first founding legions colours on show.

I was actually quite pleased with the incense smoke. It's just drybrushing really but from a distance is really effective. I think I started with my Turquoise highlight then added a Devlan Mud equivalent wash, mixed with some dark blue then Turquoise drybrush, then another highlight 50:50 mixed with white and a final white highlight.

The effect came out quite well and I did Seraphicus's smoke at the same time so there's consistency. I didn't add any litanies to this guys clothing, I wasn't so sure he would get things stitched on the cloak and this guy does not need to inscribe his armour with his beliefs because he's a living embodiment of them already! I've actually added a little tuft of yellow flock in the back of the base since this picture.

The bone effects came out really well, but then I've had the practice. It was just something to break up the blackness. As was the green Purity Seals and the Verdigris.

You should also be able to pick out that I gloss varnished the power armour. It's not a 100% what I was after as I think gloss varnish distorts the scale of the model but I was of the opinion this guy has a mirror gloss finish and it would also set the Power Armour apart from the cloth material. I probably should have considered a similar approach to the cloth as I did with Seraphicus's fabric but the cross-hatching/stippling didn't quite present itself as an option as I was painting, I don't know why.

The Power Armour was also highlighted differently, whereas the cloth was highlighted with Turquoise and softer blends then Power Armour used Bahama Blue acrylics and the highlights were sharper, up to white to help enhance the reflective nature that would be then glossed.

It's a small touch but it needed something to differentiate from the matt cloth. It may not be perfect but it's better because of it.

The only other concession colour wise was a green bolt-pistol holster, just to break up the blackness, the standard orange grenades.

There is a small amount of green on his left shoulder pad but I didn't even bother highlighting that in the end it was hardly visible amongst the patinated bronze.

As you can see that thin strip of green just above the two Purity Seals is so small it just didn't warrant highlighting.

I Tried a little bit of lighting on the eyes, it certainly looks like he's staring into your soul. I added a little dab of gloss varnish so it'll catch highlights naturally, that's if light can reach under his cowl!

I contemplated some Tamiya Clear Red X-27 to further enhance the lenses but didn't think it was necessary. I actually think these just look like demonic eyes as opposed to helmet lenses which suits me fine, almost like when the Scarecrow dons his mask in Batman, sure it's a mask but when you've got the fear from him it becomes the stuff of nightmares.

So whatever reservations I have of this model as a whole there are some elements that I'm really pleased with and it's a Dark Angel to boot!

And, here's the Red Stamp of Approval! This model is technically on my To Do List, although it only states 'Dark Angel Chaplain'. Of course I still have Seraphicus to do but he's almost complete too.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

NEcron Nom Nom!

Things have been a bit disrupted this weekend [I know it's now Wednesday but fallout still surrounds me]. On Friday I thought I had a game with Ben but it transpired I'd not actually confirmed so he'd got Otty to fill in. Kindly he said I could pop along and watch so I arrived to witness potentially one of the most painful games ever. As you can see from Otty's deployment he was tooled up, with a Barbed Heirodule, two Fleshborer Hived Tyrannofex, two Tervigons and 30 Termagants [28 Devourers and 2 Spike Rifles] with 5 Dev Warriors and a few Zoanthropes to boot. Essentially he had a ton of firepower.

He lined up against Ben's Decurion detachment with Flayed Ones, a couple of units of Wraiths and Spyders and Scarabs. None of his usual Annihilation Barge shenanigans but instead what do we get 4+ Reanimation Protocols

Essentially Otty threw everything he could at these robots and just couldn't kill them. 5 would die and then 5 would reanimate, admittedly that's beating the odds but there were so many dice being rolled just none of it was ultimately productive.

Even playing the Maelstrom missions became pointless because he became bogged down with the highly mobile elements of the Necron force. It some became apparent that there was not a single element of Ben's army that wasn't useful and also durable, zero fat! Wraiths with their speed, invul saves and killing power, not to mention that gun they have that was only prevented from insta-killing Otty's MCs by some handy Paroxysm rolls stopping them shooting straight!

Even the Heirodule was a little ineffective, although that was more from deploying first and Ben then leaving it slightly out of position to actually making any meaningful effect on proceedings.

His 12 high strength low AP shots were still useless in the face of Reanimation protocol.

This was never going to end well, although it did take a few turns for the inevitable.

And I think it's even clearer where this was going

I found myself wondering if I could have done any different and I'm not sure I could. You can't hide from them, they're more mobile - they'll hunt you down. I haven't got as much firepower as Otty has and it aided him nought. Air superiority is an option but you lose out on securing objectives when you're swooping. You can't assault because you get overwatched and even then there are assault units that can be even more devastating than the Tyranids very own 'premiere assault unit'!

I was literally stunned by the one-sided nature of the whole thing. That's not to say Otty was tabled, far from it, it was just that he loads of stuff that worked really hard for no visible gain. Ultimately the game came to a close at 12:30am and I returned home with a bit of a head ache - lat night I thought. I then spent the entire weekend bed-ridden - nauseous, head aches, joint aches and a variety of other symptoms less appealing to discuss. I was dreaming/hallucinating flashes from the game and also Ingress it was truly horrible. Even today my head is still befuddled and stomach is upset. I had to cancel a short notice game with Ben tonight because I can't manage to stay up passed 10:30 without feeling exhausted. I don't know what it was, whether it was an uber migraine or some viral thing but sadly it's stopped me from any hobby progress. Hopefully there'll be something to follow, although my plan for the month is pretty much out the window - I'll be pleased with just completing the Deathwing or even just one of the characters!

Anyway, hope things return to normal soon, till then if you've faced a Decurion then share your pain. If you haven't you can always share the pain for your most recent illness ;)

Thursday 9 April 2015

Dark Angels progress, honest!

Ben has been on my case about the Dark Angels, so I've challenged myself to complete the foot troops from Dark Vengeance this month. Completing the Tac squad may be a bit beyond my capabilities, I'll get somewhere with them, just maybe not finished. But I currently have the five Deathwing Terminators on my painting table [pile of junk]. It's slow going because I keep flitting from one thing to another, having to backtrack on bits I've missed and changing my mind on things but so far two Terminators have reached the final Bonewhite highlights stages and for them it's just all the little bits that make it special left to do.

As you can see this guy sports a Cyclone Missile Launcher, it's from a Land Speeder Storm. I've still to neaten up the stripes and there's some more verdigris to add to the extra brass/bronze elements I added, not to mention the eye lenses, but I think I'll do all the lenses on the five together so they're consistent.

The other 'completed' terminator is the sergeant, still to do his sword, tweak the Raven feathers and some read highlights.

I'm not 100% happy on the Raven feathers. I did a quick drybrush with a purple, then added some reflective stripes with a little blue and then added in some turquoise for the highlight. I may add some very fine white reflections but these areas are going to be gloss varnished anyway.

You can see the colours a little clearer here. I've added black wash twice to tone down the colours. I think I've achieved what i wanted I'm just not sure it fits the model. I'll persevere with it until it's done, I can always chicken out later and redo them.

I'm also doing a number of character models alongside the Terminators, they're on my list, sort of, so that's OK. This is DV Interrogator Chaplain Seraphicus [maybe that's the new chaplain we're rumoured to be getting, would make economical sense GW]. He's really starting to come along now, the helmet in particular is far beyond my expectations. I'll probably be going with red lenses on these - scarier!

You can't see much of the highlights on the clock but I did them very rough and pointilised, to try and evoke a textile texture.

It's a bit more evident here, it's another 50:50 choice that I think 'wow I really like that effect and it's more fun to do than trying to get smooth blends'. Then I look at it and go 'that's rough as a anything, you should be ashamed'. Still I'll wait until it's done before I pass final judgement...

And Asmodai... another contentious decision, with the only DA green on his pistol holster. Originally I'd done the purity seals red too but thought it was too much. I'd ummed and ahhed over cloak colours and then decided this guy should be old skool all black. I'm hoping to reference the original colour scheme and that of the Consecrators, who got all the good, black, relic gear. I reckon Asmodai would be wearing some of the original archaic stuff, and super militant about the first Legions heritage, so he's going to be black and red throughout.

With obvious bone highlights. However it does stand out a bit compared with Seraphicus, again wait until I've added some highlights and see what it's like with Verdigris in place. Ultimately I chose Dark Angels many moons ago so I could represent Green Wing, Deathwing and Ravenwing. Having that variety to paint different coloured models, I shouldn't balk at the idea he looks different now.

And my Azrael kitbash. I finally sussed his colours, he's managing to show off all the wings. A Deathwing undercoat, with an original first Legion tabbard and then a DA green cloak over DA green armour.

I did the rough highlights again, this time managing to get a little bit of hatching going on to pick up the weave in the cloth. Here you can also see the Raven feathers pre-shade wash, again another colour may have helped them stand out a bit more but I'm sick of this idea that all these feathers should be white.

Anyway, apologies about the pictures but I'm just snapping progress. I'd rather have some record and some evidence I'm painting/progressing/alive than be put off posting for want of studio photography. Maybe when I get my man cave I can have a little setup in the corner for progress shots...

Monday 6 April 2015

henry South's 4gotowar charity raffle

If you've never seen Henry South's blog, or even his models featured in White Dwarf then you really need to get over to straight away. It's not often you get to see the amazing skills of both an Oscar and Bafta award winner applied to your favourite hobby models.

Anyway, when the great Terry Pratchett passed away last month Henry went a little further than an obituary post on his blog, he set up a justgiving page and offered up a raffle of his very own Adeptus Mechanicus models that featured in John Blanche's Blanchjitsu in WD Visions issue 8.

Anyone who donates will be entered into the raffle, which will close on the 28th April. But it didn't end there as a number of other Blanchjitsu alumni offered up their models for the raffle too

But for me it was the fact that Henry is donating the proceeds to the Alzheimer's Society, the cruel disease that Terry suffered from. It's also what my own Dad was diagnosed with early signs. I still can't reconcile whether the fact he was taken from us before this disease robbed him of the dignity he was so proud of, was a hidden blessing. He was dreading the thought of what it would do to him and although his death was sudden and tragic it's difficult to imagine how he would have suffered. Terry himself did a documentary on assisted suicide no doubt thinking about how Alzheimer's would affect him as it progressed. Not for one minute do I wish my Dad wasn't here but I'm just glad he doesn't have to suffer his worst fears.

Edward Henry Weston, my Dad.

So, if you can share any donation to help combat this soul destroying disease please visit Henry's just giving page:

Saturday 4 April 2015

Red Planet BASE! Facebook Group

With Mechanicum armies a thing now there may be a fair few people wanting to bring forth the armies of the Red Planet. In which case you should head on over to the freshly forged, Omnissiah approved Red Planet BASE! Facebook group. As a big fan of Red Planet basing there's my own tips and tutorials but I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else gets their martian homeworld effect.

So if you have a Red Planet Based army you want to share examples of or are contemplating creating one and need some advice on how to get this seasons hottest colour, then check it out:

Alternatively [or additionally] you can still join the 40k addicts Facebook group in case you want to get your 40k fix via social media:

Friday 3 April 2015

1500pt battle report - nids vs Otty's Eldar

This is the first time I've ever had chance to game with Otty, outside of our own mini tournament events. As a paramedic with four kids and recently moving house he's got plenty on his plate so it's always been difficult to fit in around all the other commitments. However, that all changed the other night and it was a glorious game.

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant WWinged Tyrant Tervigon Plain TrSpawn of Cryptus
Psychic ScreamPsychic ScreamWarp BlastThe Horror
CatalystThe HorrorDominionDominion

The low down:
  • Contact lost - Dawn of War
  • Warlord Trait - Warlord and three units have Infiltrate!
  • Night fighting first turn, lost deployment, went second and failed to steal the initiative etc. 
First of all Otty set up his modular board, there are some pictures at the end but this is really cool. He spent ages making this and a few months after GW came out with the Realm of Battle boards but it's still nice to give it a go.

Anyway, setup meant going second wasn't too bad, what with my Warlord trait allowing me to infiltrate, however there wasn't many options and those three Wave Serpents were going to ignore most of the advantages my newly minted Malanthrope, cover from the crater and Night Fighting was going to give me. I contemplated deep striking the Flyrants but thought target saturation might keep me alive so bundled everything in the middle.

As you can see it worked, after a fashion. My Warlord Flyrant took 3 wounds. Where's a Bastion to hide behind when you need one? Well luckily for me at home as Otty had drawn destroy a Fortification as his objective, but with none available he threw all his Wave Serpent shots at the Flyrant but he managed to survive.

Meanwhile his Warp Hunter fired on the Tervigon, he survived the blast thanks to the Malanthrope and tree line but the second Flyrant took a wound. The swirling cloud from the Malanthrope must have affected the Wrathknight, he couldn't even hit them, let alone wound them, with both it's cannons.

My turn 1 and already running into 9:10pm! I spawn 12 gaunts, move everything up [obviously] but I'm looking to assault the Jet Bikes at the bottom, hoping to slingshot my entire Termagant conga line into Otty's back field. I'll lose an objective but I'm thinking the manoeuvre  will pay up in speed. 

 I've drawn the objective to score D3 VPs for killing Otty's Warlord so I target the Wave Serpent with the Seer inside, I unleash everything I have managing to wreck the tank gaining First Blood, but I've nothing left to get the occupants with. My Hive Guard whiff, and other Flyrant manages to break the Jet Bikes on the right flank. I've been slightly more successful than Otty but my Termagants need a 6" charge to get the Jet Bikes but can only manage 5" and fail to assault.

The Dire Avengers disembark from their transport and take cover, even in the tops of the trees nearby, securing another objective, Now Otty has to issue a challenge, something he can only really do with the Spawn of Cryptus or the Flyrants, who aren't going to get down on the ground to assault!

The FireDragons also disembark, I think there was some shooting on the Warlord Flyrant by the Wave Serpents but he managed to live through it. Jetbikes rallied on the far right and the other Jetbikes swooped over the heads of my thwarted gaunts to gain another objective.

Fire Dragons and Wraith Guard target the Carnifex Brood killing one and wounding the other.

His last two wounds were taken so I was a bit disappointed my 300pts of dakkafex had gone in two turns. Still serves, me right for not supporting them with the Malanthrope, will learn next time. This gets Otty a VP for destroying a unit in the shooting phase. The Wraithknight trys to kill something and misses, again!

My turn 2 and I manage to charge the Seer. The Spawn challenges but whiffs badly. The remaining Stealers also attack but not all get into range, I think I managed to wound once which Otty would subsequently heal in a psychic phase. The melee ends in a stalemate somehow - 5 Stealers and a Broodlord against a Seer!

The Hive Guard move up to secure objective one, my new Tactical Objective card. The Tervigon heads to the Wraithknight, the Miasma cannon missing for the second time in the game. Out of shot on the right Flyrant manages to kill just one Jetbike with it's 12 Brainleach shots whereas the Termagants are far more effective with 9 Fleshborers in range on my left flank and kill two jetbikes!

In Otty's subsequent turn the Wraithguard manage to instakill it with their D weapons. Just before this I realise I didn't spawn any gaunts, which is usually the bad omen that the Tervigon's demise is imminent.

The resulting backlash kills all but four of the spawned gaunts who are no longer in synapse and bolt for the board edge. The big blob of gaunts only suffer 4 or 5 casualties but remain firm under the baleful gaze of the Malanthrope.

The Fire Dragons focus on the Warlord Flyrant, he is wounded 4 times by their melta fire. Luckily Jink manages to dodge three of them and I'd managed to cast Catalyst in my turn and this was the resulting FnP roll :) Otty was nearly chewing on the board at this stage, my Flyrant was nigh unstoppable.

With the Malathrope proving to be a pain in the a$$ it was targeted and suffered two wounds, which he'd later regenerate one.

Sweet justice the Seer falls to the overwhelming numbers of Genestealers, I get Slay the Warlord and 3 three VPs for having the Kingslayer objective. This puts me on 6 VPs to Otty's 2. There was however a point where Otty had objective two cards, one was D3 VPs if you control at least two objective and at least twice as many as I did. He also had D3+3 if he controlled every objective. I pointed out it was possible for him to get all 6, he just needs to kill the Hive Guard, unfortunately he can only kill one of them, but he manages to have twice as many as I do and gets 4 VPs in one turn taking us to 6 all.

The Stealers assault the Wraithguard but bad luck loses the Spawn of Cryptus, I'm not sure if it was overwatch but he was instakilled. However, the stealers tear through the Wraithguard and look for more of their tasty wraith constucts...

The Malanthrope charges through the crater, to engage the Wraithknight, it overwatches and hits, but I make my cover save from the crater. This allows the stealers to charge through the crater and attack the knight first because it's already engaged. I do my maths wrong and roll 24 dice to hit [instead of 32], eventually causing 4 wounds. With the Malanthrope still to assault the knight squishes it flat instakilling it as S10. we remain locked in combat.

I manage to get on over to objective four killing the last of the jetbikes. If I land next turn I can get a VP from it. However the last remaining Wave Serpent would contest  The other flyrant swoops on the back field for Line Breaker

The stealers making their second attack doing 24 attacks, scytals make the difference, if only I could have had toxins on these too! The Wraithknight gets slaughtered but it's too little too late. The Wave Serpent on the objective with my Flyrant means I cant score. I've failed to do more than 1 Hull Point with my Devourers, electroshock could give me one, or I could Vector Strike for 1 but the remaining two might be jinked. Even then I'll be either on the ground in front of it at AV12 so I can have the objective or swooping over it, lose the objective but get AV10 rear shots. Either way I can't get it. 

It's 1:10 am, the remaining bike on my right flank has got Line Breaker [I knew at the beginning I should have got them but it wasn't for want of trying] with that extra VP Otty is on 8 to my 7 and I can't see a solution so I call it, we're on my turn 5 and I'm happier to call it than struggle on until the wee hours. I still have to pack up and drive home. This was so much fun though, we had a right laugh, the game pitched on it's head and we both had some dodgy dice rolls and seriously under-performing units which added to the fun. Stand out points were
  • the Malanthrope did a good job keeping people alive
  • The Warlord Flyrant survivng the entire game on just 1 wound left
  • The Children of Cryptus eating anything made of Wraithbone
I was seriously lacking in options due to not controlling objectives, I played far more aggressively, the exact opposite of my last lessons learned, and although I was a bit disappointed [I'm looking at you Carnifices] I had a lot of fun with it. Can't wait for our next game.

Here's the promised shots of Ottys table without models on.

Each board piece is 20" square with sections that are 4", either plain or as roads and you can position them how you wish to make varied layouts.

Here's a T junction

It was nice to play on such an interesting boars, although wobbly model syndrome was prevalent.

Hope you enjoyed the pics.