Monday 30 January 2017

Dark Angels - Drop Pod[s], Pod 1 weathering

I'd had the opportunity to get a good few hours concerted effort in resolving the edges on the doors but moreover I was happy with the result. However, the process wasn't without a new issue in overspill from the orange getting on the green outside of the doors, not to worry though as the doors were to receive some weathering that would potentially hide all my sins [until some Interrogator Chaplain tortured them out of me for his little black pearl].

In the mean time I also finished marking out the symbols on the sides, really quite pleased with the results, just Valejo Stonewall Grey, Army Painter Strong Tone [Agrax], Stonewall Grey and white. Obviously the rivets had also been done, I think I counted 165 are on each pod, add in the 150 holes on each door and it really is the repetition that can kill you with a pod. Regardless you'll notice some additional splodges of paint that got caught on the doors. Once again not to worry as the weathering would cover these up.

Sponge and Rhinox Hide as per Duncan's advice. I tried to be a little bit economical with it this time [compared to the damage on my Aquila Lander], only really catching the edges of the door.

I think both the Aquila and Euronymous suffered from too much weathering, Euronymous I fluff-excused the Aquila made a little more sense as it had crashed afterall but both seemed a little busy and had to be salvaged in one way or another to make me happy with it.

Interestingly the Dark Angel Codex features some painted miniatures that are clearly done at a 'tabletop' standard as opposed to the 'Eavy Metal team standard. As much as I approve of them showcasing a standard that's achievable by all in the Codex I was determined to do something better than the weathering on this at the very least.

So here's my first attempt with the sponge and Gun Metal on the left door.

And then I continued round the model, note where I covered up those paint smudges.

I added a subsequent wash of Strong Tone, just to make it less clean and unrealistic. I didn't go as far as I did with the Aquila and add Typhus Corrosion and then Strong Tone to blend it in as I thought the results were OK by themselves.

Here you can see the doors open and how the sepia wash on the door edges blended the oranges together. Compared with the piece of the crashed Aquila you can also see that the orange almost looks like my Ferron Proxima Red Planet Basing, unsurprising given the similar colours and yet unintentional. However, the result is most welcome and once again ties things together.

The fact is the pods, Aquila Lander and Euronymous run a fine line between process, effect and consistency. There have been slight deviations in process - choices in green and weathering that are completely different. The effects and how they’re consistent across the army was always a concern, not helped by the pod being started before I went all Verdigris Bronze on everything. And yet the inconsistencies are still valid as in reality not all materials are made at the same time so there will be differences in colours, some armour will be scuffed and reveal an undercoat, some will reveal bare metal. Some metals will be steel, some will be bronze etc.

I think 100% colour matching is really effective and I’d love to have that but for the most part my nids deliver on this front. As much as I’d be happier for the Dark Angels, who I consider rightly or wrongly, to be the army I put more effort into; they’re also the army I agonise over more intensely so I have to take success where I can find it. There’s little left to do on this, I considered litany markings before the damage but wanted it left without extra paint breaking up the strong green. There are some yellow pipes inside that I also don’t think should be black and yellow striped. They’re so small breaking them up with black would disturb their ‘silhouette’ in the model. There's quite a few more details I could pick out but I need to remind myself this is just a pod, I’ve another one to do and this is pretty much better than I expected anyways. So, it just needs varnishing and some of the dials/radar need Tamiya Clear Orange X-26 and it’s done…

Friday 27 January 2017

Dark Angels - Drop Pod[s], no seriously!

One of the reasons why the drop pod was put to one side involved the doors. The standard is usually to put yellow and black chevrons done the side/inside and although I love a good chevron [yellow and black in particular] this was never what I wanted. Orange was my plan but having put the orange down the side I panicked and tried it inside as well. When I say panicked I mean I had a thought to photograph it and then Photoshop the extra orange on the inside and ask everyone's opinion but when I cam to do a successive coat of orange I just started painting the inside regardless [covering up the blended green I'd painstakingly done already].

But you see this was the inspiration for the orange [although they also did it in BR Green and yellow] so in some respects the original plan of just the side of the door was the right one.

So with the Aberrants out of the way and the Primus and Magus running out of steam it was time to look back at the pods. First step was to take a slightly different Craft Acrylic orange and run it along the bottom of the strip. I thought this would make it shade from bottom to top as my Valejo Fiery Orange was going to be on the edge. Then I carefully filled in all the 150 holes that are for the explosive bolts holding the doors shut.

But the intention was always to show the scorch residue from the bolts and the subsequent 'splotches' just didn't sit right and I was contemplating repainting the orange again [which had taken about 4 coats to get this far] and redoing the holes neatly.

I have a rule that if something doesn't look right then it usually isn't and as much as I wanted to show scorching what I had created was just 'untidy', like I'd tried to be neat but failed abysmally. You can also see the 'darker' orange didn't look darker, but more a hue shift so I was becoming frustrated and very early in the process of trying to finish this for good.

One last hope was to apply some silve to the edges, just to try and convince the viewer the scorch was intentional. Realism potentially out of the window, how do you get exposed metal and soot damage at the same time [you probably can but it didn't seem right in my head]? 

But the result was pretty OK and I thought it was good enough to save me from resetting the edges, both bad for progress and morale.

I also added some washes to the edge, not as apparent in the pics as it's ended up. Sepia all over and some Nuln Oil on all the holes to try and blend that 'soot'. Grunging it up saved it completely and you'll see how good it's become, blending the two orange hues together.

So I'm now really pleased with the result, it may not be the crisp clean orange of the Aston but the end result is something so much more and much mor ein keeping with what I've done in the army already. With this hurdle over it was full steam ahead and it looks like it's almost the home straight.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

'nids part 208 - Genestealer cult - Aberrants et al progress - skintone 2

It would seem the Genestealer Cult has applied it's insidious nature into my painting schedule, much as they do in the Imperium. it would seem they're my priority, despite having no urgency or relevance with what I need painting at the moment. In fact the Drop Pods could be used in my Birthday Bash list so really should move back to the fore. Anyway, I decided to work on the blue Aberrant, it's not really apparent in the pic but there is a subtle difference between his skintone and the Chitin spines, hopefully some red washes between the joins will make it stand out more.

I also did the spines and plates on the 4th Aberrant and some other bits.

The reason I didn't progress much further was because I had started doing the blue on the robes of the Magus, then did all the blue bits on these 3rd/4th gen hybrids. I also broke them down into groups so I could get a mix of diversity in skintone. It really just gives me the opportunity to play and try different things. With duplicates of the same pose it also helps them look a little different between the groups.

I then followed up with the rest of the Chitin highlights on the Patriarch. If I'm honest I thought this was a bit of a mess, not up to my usual standard.

Maybe it needs a little bit of extra highlights, or it could be just the image enhancement but the striations don't stand out, I may add a third extreme highlight in places.

The only other casualty of this enterprise is the tidiness of the man cave, when you're doing so many different  aspects paint pots get scattered everywhere, still 'progress is progress' as the Free Radical Collective espouse.

Monday 23 January 2017

SPORTS FANS - It's Wednesday Night Blood Bowl

First game of the year and it's actually first game of the season and my first ever game of new edition Blood Bowl. I say 'new edition', anything past 2nd edition is new to me. So here's some good old ES Posthumous to start the ball rolling.

PeteB and I began by trying to figure out the rules, which involved me saying 'an Action' a LOT of times. So we just set up the board, he was Orcs, I was the Humans.

Worth remembering when you play Blood Bowl - bring a ball! I was forced to use a Space Wolf 'severed' head as a proxy. Still, probably better use of it than as an army! ooh, the kick goes wide.

The Orcs bundle over to the side and is recovered by a lineman. Meanwhile in the centre of the field Blockers are failing to put down even a human catcher who just dances out of the way putting the Orc on the floor. In response one of the Marauder Blitzers puts an Orc in the hospital - that's painted miniature for you. Te rest of the team seeks to cover the left wing and the ball is fumbled. It scatters through the pack and ends up the Orc Thrower's hands.

Usain Bolt like footwork gets me a Catcher in the end zone. Logan the Linebacker blitzes the Orc Thrower with the ball falling loose diagonally right behind him.

One of my Throwers scoops up the ball and I was convinced you can't pick up a ball, move and pass in one turn. Pete was insistent it should be feasible, even to the point where we played out what would happen - perfect pass, catch and score. But I said it wasn't we reset and my Thrower got sacked.

The ball continued to bounce around the Orcs and I tried to pick it up but with so many Tackle Zones my Catcher just couldn't do it.

With only two turns left in the half Pete tried a long pass from downfield, his Blitzer ready to make an uncontested break for my end zone. But the Thrower fumbled, dropping the ball behind him!

Some surgical blocks and blitzes managed to put down any Orc interference allowing my Thrower to pick up the ball safely. We'd now found out you can move, pick up and throw! With my catcher flat out on the floor it was up to Logan the Linebacker to head for the end zone.

Luckily I got a reroll on my throw, thanks to skillz and it came in on target. Then Logan went to catch, failed but another re-roll made it a perfect catch to secure the game.

We had a great time, my most painted/decorated Blitzer got injured, alongside another player. Another Orc got Knocked Out by fans having been bundled into touch. There were some elements we weren't 100% happy with, it seems really difficult to put people down sometimes, thanks to Dodge and Orc Blockers not having the Block skill?! But we had fun and Pete is looking to repurpose some Khorne daemons and warriors as a team.

On top of that I came away with a name for my Ork team - da Pitch Shiftaz! Now I'm enthused, oh yeah!

Friday 20 January 2017

'nids part 207 - Genestealer cult - Aberrants et al progress - skintone 1

Probably because there are elements that are comfortably familiar the Aberrants continue to receive my attention. I thought perhaps the Bonewhite highlights would be sufficient effort for me to switch to another project but I think I may have reached a tipping point of focus whereby I believe the work remaining is sufficient that a concerted effort would finish them off 'tout de suite'. I mean I'm wrong, there's loads to do on them but it feels like the home straight.

The Familiars are almost done, they need some detail on their loin cloths and faces, claws and detritus on the base but they're pretty close

Aberrant and Primus have the Bonewhite, you can see in the background the Magus has had some basecoats applied to try to catch up and have the Broodcoven complete as a whole. You can also see I've picked out some the areas that will be black but most of the claws still to do.

The following night I had every intention of not painting but I had to nip out and put some veg in the compost bin behind the shed and next minute I was painting the skin of these two. Now I'm not sure why I did this, I could have gone the easy route and done one of the other two but all these skin tones and Chitin plates took me an hour or two. Whatever, it was midnight by the time I was happy.

Now this isn't quite as pale a skintone as I can go, it started out as Vallejo Bronzed flesh, was washed with Army painter Soft and Strong Tone. Highlighted with Bronzed Flesh and a Pale Flesh I picked up. I think I'll do the Primus and Magus in Pale Flesh. These are quite jaundiced looking, which is cool, yet more skintones but I need to do some anaemic looking cultists too. I like how these have come out, particularly the red and purple elements help make the skin a little 'raw' looking and mark the join between human and xenos. I also highlighted the orange kilt[?] but tried to keep the bits on the bottom still quite grungy looking.

I added some very watered down spots of Khorne red on the head for skin blemishes. They look OK and help differentiate the skin from the Bonewhite a little.

The paint strokes are really quite messy in places but I'm happy with that, the faces could do with more definition and I might add some more shadow around the eyes so I can pick out a yellow eyeball or two. I'll probably be adding some Tamiya Clear Red X-27 to the mouth as well - I want the idea that even if they're not hammering you with their mining equipment they'll just rip you to pieces with their teeth.

Progress - because I managed to get 90% of the skin tone on these two done, but slow progress. It's amazing how much I enjoyed this but feel it's such a limited part of the process that manages to take up such an inordinate amount of time. Anyway, I still have the other two skintones to do, then it's extra metallics on the weapons and their powerfields - I was originally thinking red but now pushing towards blue, like the ones in my crashed Aquila Lander. Then I need to pick out the mining armour plates and any other details, like chips on the base, teeth, tongues etc.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

1500pts [not a] battle report - Tyranids v Khorne Daemonkin

Before Caledonian Highlander PeteB and I got in a practice game in his man cave. I promptly lost the score sheet and it's so long ago now I can hardly remember what happened but I took the pictures and thought I'd just post it up as a couple of standout moments do need to be recorded for posterity.

Looks like it was Hammer and Anvil I think Night Fighting was in as my shooting was at a massive disadvantage for cover saves.

Pete had his Forgefiend safely ensconced in a Watchtower while the other flank was anchored by the Soul Grinder

I bunkered down in my Skyshield, as usual.

Pete has a Chaos Lord on a bike with an Axe of Ruin [?] he wants the biker to die so it can release a Greater Daemon of Khorne. Well I wasn't falling for that. Given the Tyrrannofex and Carnifex opposite I did not assault after whittling him and his Juggernaut buddies down. I hoped overwatch would remove the last wound and then his Daemon would be stuck out in the open for me to fire and shoot at in my own turn.

He did split his unit [thanks to the Lord being an Independent Character] in a very unexpected way though, which put me on the back foot again.

However, the biker did not survive.

And was promptly replaced by a bigger baddie. Somehow he survived the resultant fusilade. He even survived the assault, wiping out the Carnifex, the Malanthrope and I think the Tyrranofex as well. He subsequently killed my Tervigon on the Skyshield, wreaking havoc across my entire deployment zone... 

except for the fact the remaining Termagants, ravaged by the death of their brood mother killed it with two wounding Fleshborer shots!

I'd just like to share that point again because I know Pete was going to tell his son about it the next day.

The remaining Termagants killed the Greater Daemon of Khorne with Fleshborer shots.

I think I ultimately won the game on Eternal War and Maelstrom objectives, despite pretty much everything else of significance being wiped from the board [an immoral victory for Khorne?], not that it really matters as

the remaining Termagants killed the Greater Daemon of Khorne with Fleshborer shots.

I probably went into Caledonian with a much higher opinion of my abilities because of this, hence my poor result, ha, ha! These are the reasons we game.