Tuesday 30 August 2016

Dark Angels - Land Speeder Typhoons gravitic plate

The irony of posting these WiP shots of the gravitic plates underneath the Land Speeders is that the subsequent efforts over the weekend meant I applied the anti-shine varnish on the 28th August, the day of the new Hobby Season! That just goes to show I was dilly-dallying for good reason, any of those days I avoided working on the Speeders could have resulted in a 2015/16 stamp instead of a 2016/17. The fact is it makes no difference either way, borne out by my inability to feel dismayed they weren’t completed last season or happier they’ll ring out the new season in style. The reality is I’m playing the 'To Done' images out in my head and that mental celebration is a win regardless of 24 hours hear or there.

The glow effects were not as straight forward as I'd imagined. Orange was always the first choice, red was considered but with the red lights I thought it'd confuse matters. I must remember to always do the Macharius Solar orange glow though. When thinned it really does add the 'halo' effect, whereas the darker craft acrylic when thinned just sticks to the crevices. You cannot make the glow with it alone, it just defines the shape.

With the varnish dry I was not happy with the anti-shine finish, too many brush strokes were visible. This is a recurring issue on the black, particularly flat surfaces where there is no place to hide. So I cranked out the airbrush and tried to be a little more careful than I was with the Nephilim. In fact I think I had to spray on even more varnish but luckily it didn’t go ‘dusty’ [on initial inspection at least]. The second coat did at least manage to even out the varnish and cover the brush marks. All that remains to do is Tamiya Clear Red X-27 the lights, Tamiya Clear Orange X-26 the targeting lenses and then take the To Done pictures and I can get my first Big Purple Stamp of Approval.

Then what...? I guess I'll have to check the list, I mean it's what it's there for afterall!

Sunday 28 August 2016

To Do List 2016/17

Having covered my achievements over the past season it's now that I look forward to the new Season. Initially I want to crack on with some of the things I couldn't quite finish off in time. They're mainly Dark Angels, they're still my focus despite those Genestealers creeping into the mix at the end there. Anything in bold is a priority, everything else is nice to have
  1. Dark Angel - Land Speeder Typhoons
  2. Imperial Knight - Paladin
  3. Dark Angel - Bastion and Quad Gun
  4. Dark Angel - Deathwing Knights
  5. Dark Angel - Ravenwing Knights
  6. Dark Angel - Ravenwing Bikes
  7. Dark Angel - Drop Pod [this is less of a priority but I want it finished]
  8. Deathwatch marines
The top three are to add to my Armies on Parade board, hence their priority status, although I supposed everything else is also valid. The remaining nid and terrain based items are these:
  1. Project Z?! Still a mystery project ;)
  2. Genestealer Cultists
    • 1st/2nd gen hybrids
    • Aberrants
    • Mining Lasers
    • Magus
    • Primus
    • Patriarch
    • 3rd/4th gen hybrids
    • Familiars
  3. Tyranid Void Shield Generator
  4. Some bits of Imperial terrain I have knocking about
  5. Tyranid Bastion Crater
  6. Tyranid Promethium Relay Pipes [way down the list only here to remind me I want to do it]
As always things will insert themselves into the mix  as and when the muse takes me. For instance the Aegis Defence Lines are also something I want to do I've not included them above as I've no real aspiration for them above my list but should I fell the urge...

On top of all that I want to undertake what I will be referring to as 'The Great Build'. Usually painting is my priority but particularly over the winter months, when priming can be a pain I want to build and prepare as much of my Grey Tide as possible. Ordinarily I don't work this way, but having built some things last season I want to crack on and have stuff prepared so I've fewer 'blank pages' to start with.

Then on top of The Great Build I want to base, prime and paint the bases so everything is ready to pick up and go when I feel the urge. To this end I'll be introducing a couple of extra stamps for myself just to complicate the system I never wanted to be complicated! These stamps allow me to tick off this element and nto feel guitly they didn't go through to completion as that's not their goal at this point. There's no complete list here but they include
  • 4 Tyranid Lictors
  • 3 Tyranid Warriors
  • 3 Tyranid Shrikes
  • Tyranid Trygon
  • Ripper Swarms
  • 5 Dark Angel Assault Marines
  • 5 Dark Angel Veterans/Command Squad
  • 10 Dark Angel Macragge Tactical Squad
  • Space Hulk Genestealers
  • Remaining Deathwing Terminators
  • Sanctum Impearialis

So that's me for 2016/17, I'm not sure it looks particularly impressive but I think we may all be a little surprised further down the line ;) All the best for your own efforts this season.

Friday 26 August 2016

Hobby Season 2015/16 Review

The 2015/16 Hobby Season draws to a close, and how did I do? Well I managed to complete 9 out of 21 items on my list. However, before I even get to that I did say "first and foremost I need to make the transition to my 40k Man Cave". This has been a huge success, inside it's a bit untidy and obviously the mould problem was a bit upsetting but I've resolved that. A dehumidifier [from the wife] and letting fresh air in when I can has meant no problems over the last 5-6 months.

Should I have any further problems I do have some clear anti-mould paint that I can coat the bottom edges of the furniture and the bottom foot or so of the walls. I keep a regular eye on things though so hopefully I won't fall foul again.

I had a further 'upgrade' to the shed, again courtesy of the wife, one of those magnetic fly screens. It's a bit of a pain but the benefits of keeping cats and flies out have made it invaluable. In fact one night I even painted with the door open, moths and insects attracted by the light inside but not able to pass the barrier. On a lovely night it was quite wonderful.

Bottom line though it's helped organise my painting. As much as I wanted to be able to paint when I want, when the muse takes me having these set times when I can has been really helpful and has resulted in far less friction in the house than before. I can't emphasise enough how much this has gone to improve my hobby/life, so a goal well worth achieving! It does mean I'm in there until all hours which is exhausting but at least I'm getting good use out of it.

Moving on to my actual To Do List and first up on things that got 'To DONE!': Old One Eye he was a bit leftfield, he queue-jumped everything to be completed for Blog Wars X when I realised my Dark Angels wouldn't make it. Ultimately I didn't even take him but that effort was not wasted, these things always need to be done and the time away from my other projects meant I came back even more dedicated and 'refreshed' to get them done. Not to mention he was ultimately used, albeit as another Dakkafex in my Throne of Skulls army so definitely time well spent.

And who doesn't remember my Imperial Knight Cerastus Lancer? I make a lot of the fact this took me five months to make and paint but that's not entirely true. I was distracted by Old One Eye and I was working on numerous projects at the same time, so it was probably only a couple of months work all told.

I finished my Dark Vengeance Azrael conversion but also finally finished my Assault on Black Reach [or is that Vedros now?] Company Commander too! Although I had mixed feelings about the end result they both got done, had some bits that were awesome and some bits less so but completed nontheless.

While doing all this I was juggling quite a few projects and out of nowhere queue jumped 13 Termagants in case I wanted to run twin Tervigons + Tax at Throne of Skulls. The fact is I didn't need them, but like OOE - 'effort was not wasted, these things always need to be done'... everything needs to be done! But the big deal about these was that I'd got beat by Ben on the 12th February, the following night I started to crack onto the Gaunts, and they were complete three weeks later. Now that included kitbashing, basing and priming and all the while I was throwing in a bit of work on the 31 Genestealers too. Not sure if it helped or hindered my other projects but it's definitely rewarding to at least have some quantity to go alongside my quality [and mass]. I also realised that I actually need some more Hormagaunts [just after I converted them to Termagants] so I can field the Endless Swarm formation - so that's something to look forward to one day...

Having gone 'off list' it was definitely time to return to the Dark Angels again and the long dormant Dark Vengeance Tactical Squad which has already been in a number of battles unfinished - heresy! I was actually quite focussed on these, only switching to the 31 Stealers when I'd reached my patience with the Power Armour. Ironically I'd imagined completing these and some other items by November last year, I was only 5 months out in getting to 25% of my list [officially]. Still, it's not a race and no one is judging, I've done plenty of stuff and always felt busy [often more than I should] so there's no reason to berate myself, things get done!

That's 27 models complete, round about one model a week at the half way point... Anyway, moving on! I managed to do some Ravenwing, my first completed bikes since my Dark Angel Chaplain and first Ravenwing 'black'. These were on my list, which is always a plus, but I only said a bike squad and technically I did two as there are six bikers! So this was a really big win for me. I'd debated so many issues with my interpretation of the Ravenwing and had setbacks and doubt about techniques and approaches. Eventually the result, although not perfect in some places, surpasses my expectations and delivered group of models I can't wait to build on.

I followed up with the Ravenwing Jetfighter/Dark Talon and I'm really happy with the result pushing me on to want to complete more Ravevnwing...

And yet following on from that I threw all my efforts at my 'remaining Genestealers' which just so happened to total 31. I set aside 56 'sessions' to complete them, based on an initial estimate influenced by just how tedious I find painting Genestealers. As time went on I realised I'd missed off certain tasks with the final estimate being 61 sessions. However, concerted effort and pushing through the tedium I was able to achieve the completed models in just 33 sessions [just over a session per model]. Of course I ruined this achievement by purchasing a shedload of new Space Hulk Genestealers and my Cultists so I have more than double to do all over. That said I've had these Stealers for over two years so completing them is an achievement in itself.

With the end of the hobby season fast approaching I bypassed my Ravenwing Landspeeders yet again to bring another long standing project to a close, my crashed Aquila Lander. I thought a week would get it boxed off and I was under that estimate, once again the result exceeding my expectations, I felt I was on a roll.

One other To Do Item was A fully functioning Dark Angel force [1850pts]? Without the Ravenwing on board I was a bit dubious but now I have them I've real options. My army up until that point had been recognised as sub-optimal of a sub-optimal Codex. Now I have viable options alongside some of the place fillers so although I previously would have asked for everyone's approval to chalk this one up I think now I can do it with confidence.

Another item was my Dark Angel objective markers. The plan was to paint up my Battle for Macragge Force Field Emitters and Teleport Homers for this but I couldn't bring myself to mark them numerically for Maelstrom missions, at least not in a way I was comfortable with. So ultimately I'm going to box this one off too [in a way]. The items have been complete as was intended it's just their end function is not what I'll use them for. They will continue to be used as 'bolstering defences' by my Techmarine. I'd planed to make some extra armour plates but these fulfil that role perfectly. These are complete aside from varnish...

As for objectives for the Dangles, I'll take the opportunity to use my Blog Wars markers, they deserve it afterall. I may well make some bespoke numbered markers one day but for now I can remove it from next season's list and move onto other things without guilt.

On top of these items I made progress on a number of other projects, both on and off the list. I Based all the Genestealer Cultists from Deathwatch Overkill. I thought I was saving time by getting resin bases but I think it was far more laborious than making my own in the end. Still they look cool and I'll try and get some of these done in the new season.

I also made up my Ravenwing Black Knights/Command squad, including some Dark Vengeance conversions I'd had planned for 12-18 months at least. I even picked up a spare bike that got me a 7th knight into the mix. I can't wait to add some more and actually get these painted up.

I also got my Deathwing Knights built, based and primed.

Not to mention added a couple of extra Vortex templates, even more impressive when it was unplanned and took less than an hour to get done.

I also got back to sculpting and made significant in-roads on my Tyranid Void Shield Generator. It's back on hold, sadly, but I'll endeavour to finish off the sculpting at least this next hobby season. It should feature after Armies on Parade while I try and fill out my board with achievable Dark Angels [and friends].

And my Kight Paladin was another regular fixture on the blog. It's not far from completion and I'll prioritise it just because it's taken longer than the Cerastus did and it fits the Dark Angels more than the Lancer and it'll also look cool on my Armies on Parade board.

At the close of the season I put off completing the Land Speeders to get my Deathwatch based and primed. It was an avoidance task but they'll be a nice allied addition on my Armies on Parade board and it looks better if these are partially painted when we play Deathwatch Overkill.

The Land Speeders were easily achievable at the end of the season, after the 31 Genestealers but for reasons unknown I couldn't quite bring myself to push on with them. On the plus side it will mean they should reach fruition early in the next Season - nothing like a quick win to start you off. I've still got a number of debates about some of the additional decorative markings to go on them but I'm sure epiphanies are only a lightbulb's moment of inspiration away. I think it's for this reason why I've been drawn to the Deathwatch - get on with the bases for my mind to reach a moment of clarity on how to move the Speeders forward.

And lastly, although technically it was firstly in the order of things for this last season there were my efforts to get these two Bastion's painted. They've been on hold for a long time but they'll be done for Armies on Parade as one of my priority projects.

Overall I think I've been amazingly productive this year. Although the figure count may actually suggest otherwise 65 models doesn't sound much but it's the complexity and scale of some of these things. But it has to be noted that it's not just 'facing the grey tide' it's overcoming the little grey cells. Making all those decisions, fighting those periods were mojo is lacking and will is weak it's persevering beyond the witching hour and still getting up the next day to go to work [not that that's desirable but it is an achievement].

I hope you've all been able to succeed in your own endeavours and found the Hobby Season a useful way to record your successes [and add to your own blog posts, it's extra content at the very least ;) ]. I've found it incredibly useful this year and look forward to the 2016/17 Season. I'll just leave this here as a reminder, it struck a chord with me recently and I think it'll be an effective mantra going forward.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Red Planet BASING

In an effortto avoid finishing the Land Speeders I decided to crack on with both the familiar and necessary - my old friend Red Planet BASE! I picked up these bike bases at Double Trouble, they're for my Black Knights and Command squad. Unfortunately they only had one pack of each but I'm hoping that they'll still match thanks to our favourite crimson planet painting technique.

They'll also help differentiate units/squads. Luckily the slate ones match my existing bike bases, of which I have 5, so 1 will make up the 6th. That leaves me with 4 concrete and 3 slate to break up my 7 Command/Black Knights - that's providence! I just need to work out the split - 
3 command/4 Knights or 4 command/3 Knights

The Deathwatch also got a quick first higlight.

And second, there's a lot to do on these bases that's not Red Planet but I'll just concetrate on what I know for now.

It's not Land Speeders but at least I'm doing something :)

Saturday 20 August 2016

Deathwatch Overkill basing [and undercoat]

Motivation and progress is currently at a nadir. My Land Speeders are stalled and the only real thing I've done is base these guys from Deathwatch. This is using my rubble mix and despite the rest of the Deathwatch set [the Cultists] being on resin bases I hope I'm able to match them all up.

I followed up with a black undercoat and then usinga piece of card to cover the model Red Oxide primed the base. This is post Vermilion craft painting, the Red Oxide was really only to catch the edge of the base which is always prone to chipping and it's much easier to do my Heavy Red edging on primed Red Oxide.

I watched Duncan's guide to painting the Deathwatch and I may well try and do very simple edge highlighting, no blending on these [like the Ravenwing]. The Deathwatch could possibly be used alongside my Dark Angels but their primary purpose is for Overkill, thus a different style of painting black wouldn't be a problem. I'll also be deviating from the tutorial and use the same colours I currently do so it should tie in tonally with the rest of my force. I just think they need to be painted quickly and if I do it simply but neat they may turn out quicker than normal. That said I'm really inspired by this picture to add weathering powders on them when they're complete. Not much else has it but it clearly works here.

Overall though I think I've burned out just a little bit from all my previous efforts. The season is coming to a close and although I'm sure my Land Speeders [which should be my priority] could be done in the time remaining I've sort of sabotaged myself a bit. Not sure if I was subconciously doing it deliberately or it's just fatigue, either way time is running out on them and I think they're more likely to be completed very early in the next season than bow out of 2015/16 in style.

Thursday 18 August 2016

The Holy Grail has been found!

The other night while sitting down for tea we had a bit of family drama while the eldest decided to choke on a Yorkshire Pudding [I blame Aunte Bessie, the wife's are usually much better]. Anyway, in the midst of him vomming into the kitchen sink the doorbell rang, which we rightly ignored. Then a minute or two later the house phone rang, which was also ignored. Then my mobile rang and I saw it was my brother, I answered it just to say I'd call back later but inbetween my information he managed to explain he'd left something on my doorstep.

After the situation with my son was thankfully resolved I had chance to look at what it was. It was a concertina folder that mainly contained a couple of old White Dwarf's, a tin full of all the Blood Bowl 2nd edition Star Player cards and a bunch of art prints by the likes of John Blanche and other classic WD artists [I may well scan some in]. But there in the bottom were two figures, one rather unremarkable dwarf the other was the figure that started it all!

I described this guy originally here and more recently on Michael Corr's Better Know a Blogger feature. This is the first figure I ever bought!

And concurrently the first figure I ever painted, I think I've improved a little bit. As you can see Humbrol enamels do a great job of covering up all the details.

Clearly the sculptor was a little inspired by the Mighty Thor and possibly Hulk Hogan, I find his oversized head just a little amusing though. Interestingly I checked underneath to see the manufacturer but there was nothing aside from a barely visible number 3 so I don't know the manufacturer or anything.

I will definitely be stripping him down to repaint at some point. He deserves that at least but for the time being I'll revel in all his original glory. Anyway, I'm over the moon at finding this, or more accurately, having it materialise out of thin air. I'm sure you can all see the importance in it regardless of it's physical properties. This made me very happy indeed.


I just asked on the 'eavier metal facebook page if anyone recognised it and a guy called Jean-Baptiste Garidel had this to say:
Asgard miniatures, still available from Alternative armies and Vikking forge. Oh and it was sculpted by no other than Jes Goodwin.
 He then shared this link: www.alternative-armies.com/products/bp3-beasthelm

And you can also get him here: www.thevikingforge.net/BP-03.html

So, he's called Beasthelm [actually that's a mistake in the reissue name, he is in fact Kern the Reaver], still available and is a Jes Goodwin model, that's amazing! Also note I put that notch in his axe myself - I was modifying even my first miniature!


Tuesday 16 August 2016

1500pts battle report - Dark Angels/Knight v Tau

Liam and I haven't had a battle since Throne of Skulls, we never even finished that properly thanks to the early closing at Warhammer World. It's odd really as he lives only about 20 minutes away from the train station I get to work so as I'm half way there anyway I just take my stuff and go straight from work, he even made me tea - spaghetti and meatballs which was pretty awesome.

The low down:
  • One of the Maelstrom missions - 3 cards per turn cannot discard numbered objectives, opponent can 'steal' them from you.
  • Dawn of War
  • Warlord Trait - +1 to Seize the Initiative, re-roll reserves
  • Liam got a Maelstrom Warlord Trait that allowed him to discard even the numbered objectives
  • I lost deployment and set up second but seized the initiative without need to use my Warlord Trait!
  • No night fighting.
Initial deployment

Liam came unstuck, as battlescribe no longer gave him an option to take his Skyshield, of course a big ruined tower works exactly the same, near enough although my Dark Angels were the focus of a lot of scorn when they used cover ;) .

Like my Bastion, 'hiding' behind the ruins.

Having stolen the initiative Liam was convinced he was already doomed, banking on a first turn where he destroyed my Lancer. But for me it was all about the objectives and my Ravenwing managed to get objective 2 while my Tactical squad [not shown] next to the Bastion secured objective 3.

The Lancer got within range of the Stormsurge and I got 3 hull points on it. The Ravenwing went for the Tetra's

I managed to kill one Tetra and I think another was damaged. Liam's turn, despite his worst fears turned out really well. The bikes by the ruined tower got reduced to one and fled. He had the mission to get D3 VPs for holding three objectives, he also had to claim objective 2, which his ObSec Fire Warriors took with ease out from under the nose of my Ravenwing. They also shot them with everything they had but their Ravenwing Jink re-roll meant only one fell to the Xenos weapons [much to Liam's dismay]. With three objectives he got the full 3 VPs on his D3 roll, plus objective 2 so ended the turn 2:4 in the lead.

I rolled for reserves but rerolled a passed Deathwing to keep them off the board, hoping they'd be better off if I'd got an objective to capture in Liam's board half, which I didn't currently have in my hand. The Dark Talon Zoomed on though! Interceptor fire took 2 Hull Points off it, I didn't Jink to keep the Rift Cannon in play. Shooting-wise I think it shot the Tetras to pieces with Hurricane Bolters, the Rift Cannon doing very little. This won me First Blood and a VP for killing a unit in the shooting phase. More importantly it took out all but one of his Marker Lights which meant his Stormsurge would struggle to fire it's D-weapon missiles!

The Lancer had to make a decision though, take out the Storm Surge or assault the Fire Warriors. I was reluctant to do the latter as I thought I'd be tarpitted with hindsight I should have done that and hoped to remain locked in my turn [by not stomping at the least] and then win in Liam's releasing me to assault in my next go. Instead I went for the Storm Surge, it seemed the biggest threat but thanks to his saves I think only 1 or 2 more hull points went on him.

The remaining Ravenwing on my left flank shot at the fire Warriors, killing just one, the Bastion also took another. I was hoping to thin the numbers for assault and as I was only 1" away at the beginning of the turn didn't think it was risky. Then I assaulted and overwatch by them AND the Riptide lurking behind the ruin meant I needed a 10" charge roll through cover... Yep these guys did it, hence the Evel Knievel pose as they jumped to the first floor!

I won the combat by 2, the Tau broke and I over-ran them consolidating towards the centre of the board. I also claimed objective 4 for another VP

The XV-109 arrived, flying into position directly behind the Lancer. With no shield to protect his rear armour he got plasma-flamed to oblivion [everything else, including the Storm Surge missiles missing by miles]. 

The resulting explosion did no further damage to anyone else.
 This gave Liam D3 VPs for taking down a big walker, he got 2 VPs on the roll. He also gained a VP for holding objective 1.

The Riptide focused on the Ravenwing, I think he won, making the score at the end of turn 2 5:7 in Liam's favour.

Turn 3 and Deathwing arrive. I need yo kill their leader for D3 points to get me back in the game, it's at this point I'm regretting the Lancer not assaulting those Fire Warriors he's joined to.

I throw everything at them but a Warrior and the Leader survive to thwart my attempts. I do however score 2 VPs for gaining objectives 5 and 4, we've drawn even again.

The Deathwing assault at some point [presumably the turn after they arrive] with only three left, one being the sergeant with powers sword, another the Apothecary with Narthecium and the last being my 'big gun' with power fist I do little damage thanks to some upgrade that prevents me getting the extra attack on the charge. The Riptide would subsequently crush the three of them and controlling objective 1 elsewhere would take Liam into the lead by 1 VP.

My next turn saw the Dark Talon hover, so I can get a shooting attack on the Warlord and hope the Rift Cannon will double and take out the Storm Surge too. Unfortunately the cannon misses, deviates wildly and no doubles :( The Warlord survives the Hurricane Bolter by heroically throwing his bodyguard into the blessed bolter shells. Thanks to hovering I couldn't release the Stasis Bomb, so the mission and Slay the Warlord goes begging I get nothing this turn still 7:8

With the flyer vulnerable in hover mode the Storm Surge brought all it's weapons to bear.

Which were significant, with obvious results.

The Riptide roasts the Techmarine getting Slay the Warlord.

The other Riptide smashes the Bastion to pieces [has it ever survived?] Liam gets Line Breaker, completes another mission of being in my DZ, claims objective 3 AND gets D3 VPs for having twice as many objectives as I do. You guessed it Liam gets 3 VPs on the roll. So the maximum  5 VPs from all his Maelstrom cards, plus the 2 VPs for Slay the Warlord and Line Breaker resulted in a final score of 7:15. It was 12:30am so I called it there.

Before I look at any of my actions Liam was adamant that the battle report made something very clear - his dice rolling was appalling. Mine was ridiculously lucky but his was atrocious in his eyes and wanted everyone to know how bad it was. That said let look at how he beat me 7 VPs to 15!!! ;)

Bottom line I screwed up with the Lancer, I should have charged the Fire Warriors. Hindsight is always 20:20 and to be fair I did not realise the XV-109 could be so devastating, or in fact remember it was coming on!. Rergardless that exposed back is quite the weakness for the Lancer so I must remember that in future.

I was also impressed by the bikes and I'm looking forward to adding some more, they'd have definitely been more effective than the Deathwing. Another 8 bike would have been more shooty, more board control and more target saturation. I need to get more bikes done. I never imagined my Dark Angels being Ravenwing heavy but they are seriously effective [as has been observed by many] and playing with them I can see the appeal and if I can get to grips with how to use them I think I could really enjoy the fast hitting nature of bikes.

Anyway, it was a great game, one I casually threw away but I still see these as learning experiences so I'll try to be more aggressive next time with what I have at my disposal.