Friday 26 May 2017

Dark Angels - Ravenwing - Hobby nest and basing

Rob from 30kplus40k shared the horrors of his workspace the other day so I also felt the need to reveal just how cluttered the man cave has got in this panoramic shot of over 180°. This is what happens when you get so wrapped up in a project that everything else goes to wrack and ruin. I really can't wait until the Ravenwing are done and I can tidy this place up. Part of me can feel that will power and motivation draining away as I reach the end, to be fair to myself though I have been pulling 12:30 finishes to get them moved forwards so it's understandable that fatigue is starting to be a factor.

My last effort involved basing the six standard bikers. Five of these were mounted on the daemonscape1 bases I bought just over six years ago! The remaining bike was on a Secret Weapon Miniatures base that was most similar to the other five. You may also note the original Dark Vengeance Ravenwing model on the far left that I'm using for reference. The newer bike's highlights are a fraction lighter but otherwise it's a pretty good match I feel. My previous reservations about just how large my palette of colours had got are slightly relieved here as I think they look reasonably narrow in tones, the Knights might be another thing though...

I think there's still a little work I need to do on the headlamps, as well as Bonewhite chippings on the bases. As you can see the OSL on the headlamps is dubious in the least but it does match the original one for the most part, so at least they're consistently bad across the group. Also some of the angles I've base them on are a bit annoying. I wanted them to look slightly dynamic, how the Dark Vengeance bikes are posed but the drilling and pins on these haven't always produced the desired effect. I did do one of the plasma dudes wheelying though so there is definitely one that's cool ;)

This is Brother Adam the 'dandy Huntsman'. We went to see Adam Ant the other week, he's not my bag really, my wife was a childhood fan though and it was a Christmas or Anniversary present I'd got for her. I'd wanted to do some more warpaint on a helmetless model and this seemed like the easiest/most appropriate option. I'm not sure it was the best choice of model as the hood obscures things so it's not immediately obviosu what's going on but doing this justifies me not painting the eyes, so it had to happen. Ultimately it's not rubbish so I'll take it.

You can also see the three red tribal stripes on the stabilising vent on the back pack. Three have these markings, in case I want a unit of three. The other three have markings on their right shin pads. Alternatively I take any upto six with the straight back banner to identify as a unit.

Mounting the seven Black Knights/Command squad next...

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Dark Angels - Ravenwing - Banner Up!

One of the extra elements I have to do for the Ravenwing is their banner. So far I think I've done a half decent job although I'm dubious about my ability to render some of the fine details, particularly that rather scrappy diamond pattern.

The colours are suitably high contrast and vibrant, which is a shame as I like the earthy tones on the shaded scroll work but my own painting style won't allow me to leave it as such.

And so I've added the highlights and pseudo-fabric texture. Not looking forward to rendering text in here, recent efforts have not been what I consider a success.

The rest of my efforts have been directed at bringing the Plasma coils online. Two sets of OSL highlights here.

Yellow is going on next and then white, which seems like I'm adding yet more contrast and colours to the mix.

You can also pick out the green on black effect on the Ravenwing Champions Blade of Caliban. Another element I'm pleased with but question whether I should have chosen a different colour as the palette on these just keeps expanding

As much as I'm happy with the Plasma effects part of me wishes I'd stopped even earlier at the pre-verdigris stage below. The palette was considerably more simple but the addition of the Verdigris, again something that works in itself  has taken it from a limited palette to a riot of colour

And I've since added in the red headlamps and glow which is another level of colours again. I've also managed to match the opacity of the original Ravenwing bikes I painted, y'know the ones I wasn't 100% [probably not even 50%] happy with.

I'm sure they'll look great in the pictures and en masse once complete, an that is one of the rules not to pass judgement until they're complete but I can definitely see an alternate reality of Ravenwing where I stopped sooner, less is more deal. As it stands I've gone for more is more! Still, it's all consistent so we'll see how it turns out, they're nearly done now, here's what's left:
  1. Various targeting lenses
In addition individual models will need:
  • Apothecary - vials, tubes, symbols
  • Banner bearer - banner... oh my lord
And then the 'finishing' bits:
  • finish the bases
    • bonewhite chips
    • Khorne Red/Heavy Red edges
    • Mount the models [some drilling involved here]
  • Matt varnish
  • Tamiya Clear
  • Weathering powders
  • Gloss varnish [where needed]

Thursday 18 May 2017

A freebie - Wound Markers MK-IV - 8th Edition compliant

It would appear that keeping track of wounds is going to be a meaty task in 8th Edition with the likes of Imperial Knights having more than 20 and the large Tyranids a dozen or more. As much as everyone seems to think that's still feasible with dice, who really wants a D20 sat next to their model? I mean at least with D6s in 7th you could purchase some unobtrusive little ones [not that anyone did], D20s are big beggars and it'll just look downright odd.

Of course I immediately saw that my own markers were slightly lacking, insomuch as although they went up to 10 [thank you Doom of Malan'tai, we still miss you], they needed a few more to meet the bounty of wounds set to be given up to our big vehicles and monsters. I'd also seen plenty of folk clamouring for a solution so I thought I better step up and fix that uncertainty so we can think about the rest of the sky that's falling - like GW making massive new marines, 'cos it's not like the community hasn't been crying out for true-scale, how dare they give us what we wanted?!

Anyway, I added in new markers up to 30, or actually it'll be counting down now, which I'll have to get used to, excuse me while I write some long-winded scathing rant to GW about how the fact I'm now forced to count wounds down and how it's ruined my life! I digress. 

I've also done them in a variety of colours, either to match your faction, or to have a range to choose from to attach to different models so they don't get mixed up. So I've got:
  • Red - original and best - ideal for Khorne and Blood Angels
  • Pale Blue - Tzeentch
  • Yellow - Imperial Fists?
  • Green - Nurgle, Necrons or Salamanders
  • Pink - Slaanesh or Emperor's Children
  • Brown - Nurgle, Astra Militarum
  • Yellow and red - More Imperial Fists?
  • Black and Red - Khorne, Black Templars, Ravenwing, Raven Guard
Usual step-by-step to make:
  1. Print
  2. Apply double sided tape to back
  3. Stick to mounting card
  4. Carefully apply sellotape to top if you want them pseudo-laminated
  5. Cut out with craft knife/scalpel
  6. Amaze your friends and enemies with these counters
  7. Tell them to visit for their own free markers.

    So if you want them you can download the .pdf here:

Choose what suits you best. Obviously when 8th hits these may end up being impractical, goodness knows how to store them all so it'll be easy to find the specific number you need. It may well be that laminated datasheets with dry wipe pens used on wound trackers will be the most practical way to keep account of how damaged someone is. But that's still not as easy for your opponent to see how wounded a model is as a marker, yes even a dice, right next to that model. 

I know some have suggested rotating wheels, similar to the old Titan void shields or the discs for X-Wing but they seem too big. Alternatively there are these handy knitting/crochet counters that folk are raving about. Potentially they could be a good idea, again for me it reall depends on size.

Then there's the other option I once saw of putting small elastic bands on the model but again that suffers from 'counting down' issue I'd always railed against and therfore counted up. If we're to count down remaining wounds, as you will HAVE to do in 8th, your Imperial Knight is going to have to begin the game with twenty odd elastic 'looms' festooning it's Adamantium hide like its at Spring Break before the game even starts!

Monday 15 May 2017

Dark Angels - Ravenwing - Verdigris started

The filters on my Camera360 phone app are usually only used to make the images more clearer, except for the cinematic To Done pics that use more aggressive/creative filters to make them look awesome, However, when I took this picture last night I had to use it as my WiP shot. I've finally layed down some Verdigris. This is a big deal, a real milestone that will herald the near completion of this project. [You'll also note the slightly untidy company number :( ]

I was once again concerned the Verdigris would spoil all the metallic efforts so far but once again these fear were unfounded as application enhanced it and I was sensible enough to leave some bits well enough alone. Obviously I decided to finally add the Champions shrin thingy on the back too.

Thhis is really starting to come together, which is a relief as I feel like I've been working on them forever. Now as happy as I was at finally getting the patina started I could only do this one before I felt enough was enough. I started flitting to other elements - the company numbers on all the shoulder pads that are brass - they really needed doing before any Verdigris is added. I also did some bits on the banner and some of the purity seals.

All the bikes have obviously had their second highlights done. I was convinced they were too light, I might still be right in that view but wasn't convinced knocking them back a bit with some sort of glaze was worth the effort. As you can see this group look pretty cool as they are.

And the other six, hanging out. With the Champion taken to the next level I'm hoping the remaining 12 can be patina'd up at least three at a time. That's a daunting thought, four nights of just getting that done maybe I'll be able to kick things up a gear and finish it in three?

Then it'll be all the fine details. They are fun to do, feel disproportionately time consuming but really do add a lot to the models so ultimately worth doing - I certainly wouldn't have them any other way.

I know this is dragging on, I'm getting closer every day though

Friday 12 May 2017

Dark Angels - Ravenwing - Shade to black

Quick one, I'm currently shading again. All the less than stellar initial black highlights and Dark Reaper secondary highlights need to shaded to tone them down. It's taking between 15 and 25 minutes per bike but I'm committing to getting four done a night [3 nights work]. Surprisingly it's not an unpleasant process as it's not fine detail so feels more relaxed, less confined. it also helps that by adding black I'm creating smoother transitions and making the black more dominant instead of the lighter highlights. Here you can see the 'before', in particular note the staged highlights on the shoulder pad, elbow pads and wheel arches.

Here's the 'after shot. Immediately the shoulder pad looks almost black but I assure you some of the highlights are still there and a final line highlight will be added so it will still look OK. You can also see the elbow and wheel arches highlights are much more defined, perhaps too much but again I think the final highlight will mitigate this, not to mention the additional tribal markings and litany scripts to break up the flat areas.

I'm progressing now though and although there is that significant task list to complete these 13 Ravenwing, I actually think there's sufficient momentum to get these done. The only obstacle is an upcoming family holiday at the end of the month but I'm confident they'll either be completed by then or so close to completion that the hiatus won't stall their finish upon my return. Either way they've turned a corner and although not on the final straight, the final lap may be imminent.

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Dark Angels - Ravenwing - Stat in black

The inertia of the black highlights has been overcome [for the moment at least], although it might be difficult to tell in these pics. The purpose of this post was really to document how long these took, my thinking being if I understand the timescales involved it'll be less intimidating in the future. Unfortunately I'm not sure if I've remembered it correctly but a rough outline should do. I initially thought I'd first highlighted three in one evening but it turned out I'd only done 2. So I believe the progress for each session was thus for first highlights:
  1. 2 bikes
  2. 3 bikes
  3. 2 bikes
  4. 1 bike
  5. 3 bikes
  6. 2 bikes
Essentially an average of 2 bikes a night, although I may well have misremembered days 2 and 3 and actually done 5 in one night thanks to a concerted effort, surely not?!

With that first hurdle out of the way I started to apply the 2nd highlight - Dark Reaper and you can see these 3 bikes have been highlighted. Adding in the Ravenwing Champion that means 4/13 are done. With 9 left I'm estimating another 3 per night if I can be consistent.

Interestingly, I noticed one front wheel mud guard edge had not had a first highlight and I just went straight in with the Dark Reaper and I think it looked pretty cool. I may well go down this route with the Deathwatch - higher contrast highlight, with no intermediate making the overall base lighter [and the process quicker]. Which leaves me with these remaining elements [those crossed out have since been completed between writing and publishing this post, yay. Bold items are elements that are big milestone hurdles - potential momentum killers, boo!]:
  1. 2nd highlight - Dark Reaper [3 days estimate - indeed it was 3 days]
  2. 3rd highlight - pale blue spot highlights [2 days?, actually 3 days, 3,4, and 5 bikes but I think I did them wrong as the highlight looks too pale, so I may need to do some remedial glazing to fix]
  3. Black shading - to make them black again and smooth out the 1st and 2nd highlights [3 days, potentially as I managed to shade 4 in one session, around 75-90 minutes, leaving 8 remaining.]
  4. Handlebar screens and buttons [<1 day="" span="">
  5. Grenades
  6. Leathergoods [1 day]
  7. Eye lenses [1 day]
  8. Ravenwing symbols - white [1 day]
  9. Final highlight - bonewhite cloaks [included inbetween other elements 0.5 day?]
  10. Verdigris [4 days - day 1 - 1 bike, day 2 - 5 bikes, day 3 - 5 bikes, day 4 - 2 bikes ]
  11. Plasma [and we know how fun that can be... 3 days]
  12. Red rivets [1 day]
  13. Tribal markings - red stripes [<1 br="" day="">
  14. Purity Seals [<1 day="" span="">
  15. Litany scripts [<1 day="" span="">
  16. Company markings - numbers [2 days?]
  17. Various targeting lenses
In addition individual models will need:
  • Apothecary - vials, tubes, symbols
  • Champion - power sword
  • Sergeant - power sword and face!
  • Banner bearer - banner... oh my lord
And then the 'finishing' bits:
  • finish the bases
    • bonewhite chips
    • Khorne Red/Heavy Red edges
    • Mount the models [some drilling involved here]
  • Matt varnish
  • Tamiya Clear
  • Weathering powders
  • Gloss varnish [where needed]
To Done! As you can see it kind of explains why I felt this was a big deal [and that was before I'd even got this far] but it is 13 bikes all at once, more than double what I did the first time which was in fact double what I'd intended to do initially. I had the first list as standard bullets but switched it to numbers so I can see how many tasks remaining which gives me a rough timescale, 22 sessions at least, not including the unique guys and finishing them off. Maybe structure and ticking stuff off is what I need as previously timescale estimates have always prompted me to beat them and with a holiday in May I'll still be doing these in June at this rate, yawn!
But for now I have structure and I have a visualisation in my head of the process involved. With this clarity I have renewed confidence and even if it takes longer I can't imagine this project will see me into July which should leave with 2-3 months to complete something else [Assault squad? Deathwatch] at least before the end of the season.

Monday 8 May 2017

1500pts battle report - Tyranids v Daemons [Tzeentch/Nurgle] - game 3

Round 3 and Matthew was up next with the unholy alliance of Tzeentch and Nurgle. He had Fateweaver so was blessed with more psychic powers than he knew what to do with - his choice of cards looked like a deck of playing cards! He also had another Daemon Prince [on foot] some Plaguebearers, a couple of discs, 3 Screamers, Pink Horrors and some Rotflies [?]

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQTervigon CC TRBroodlordZoanthrope
DominionDominionDominionWarp Blast
OnslaughtWarp BlastThe HorrorPsychic Scream

The low down:
  • Eternal War mission - Emperor's Will 2 objectives
  • Dawn of War
  • Matthew deployed and went first, I failed to seize the initiative
  • Warlord Trait - Move through cover/Stealth in Ruins
  • Not sure about night fighting.
Matthew put his objective on top of the stone tower, mine went under the Skyshield and I just holed up daring him to come get it. Which he duly attempted, including summoning some Nurglings in front of the Skyshield. His Screamers went to the top of the tower and circled their objective like hungry sharks.

Having surged forward I advanced in return. I managed to kill two of the Botflies and the Tfex and a Carnifex killed the Nurglings getting me First Blood. My Genestealers failed their charge on the Chariot leaving them exposed and likely to die next turn, which they did. Fateweaver swooped in close he managed to Peril on his roll, got a 1 but passed his leadership. Shadows in the Warp reducing his Ld by -3 but Tzeentch conferring a +3 bonus! He also re-summoned two of the Botflies next to the Skyshield.

Not quite sure what took out the disc chariot and the lone Rotfly but I think the Tfex did that with his Torrent Flamer, getting a 6 on a penetrating hit and blowing it up! That was a nifty piece of luck. Fateweaver summoned some Flamers and the Daemon Prince perilled, rolled a 1 and subsequently passed his Leadership on snake eyes! Two chances to be sucked into the warp gone begging :(

The Tfex and gang managed to wreck the other Disc of Tzeentch, while the Flyrant killed a load of Pink Horrors only for them to come back as more Blue Horrors.

With time running out the tournament organisers seemed to be spending most of their time watching our game. My Tyrannocyte arrived, sort of deviated off the board by an inch but Matthew said to keep it on. It was at this point the organiser pointed out I'd already technically won. 

With us both holding objectives and Linebreaker but with me having First Blood Matthew couldn't really do anything in this last turn to score a VP [probably regretting letting me get that pod on for Line Breaker!]. So I wanted to make that a moot point by killing the screamers on his objective. The Tervigon managed to put a few wounds on with his Miasmic spit, the Tfex also torrented them with Acid spray. Brainleech from Devourers on the Carnifex and Flyrant managed to kill the remainder leaving it 5:1 to me.

Unfortunately Matthew realised after packing up the Screamers could have Jinked in the towers giving them a much better save but he was a good sport about it, especially as I found out at the end this was his first tournament!

So two loses and one win, I think I came 10th out of 13, ha, ha! The ever-competitive 'nids. I had a great time, organisation-wise it was a bit haphazard with an hour late starting but I think it's been a while since they did one so they're forgiven, we did all get a free drink as an apology.

13 grown men [3 hidden in the background, 3 in the car] waiting for an hour to play toy soldiers! ;)
Winners got £30 GW vouchers and there were lower prizes for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even some smaller Scythe vouchers for other lower placings. That's pretty cool for just a £5 entry. Obviously I didn't make the cut but they did have a lone pot of Miniature Paints Aquamarine - the new replacement to Anita's Turquoise on my nids so I picked that up. Oh and this...

I got X-Wing at Christmas and although I've only had one game and don't foresee it as a regular activity the Scum & Villainy side is definitely my favourite faction as the ships are so diverse and interesting. It would have been rude not to pick it up for that price. In fact they had two and I was tempted to get them both.

As it turned out folk usually only ever have the one in their games so a second would have been redundant, although I suppose I could have sold it on ebay... Anyway, good times.

Friday 5 May 2017

1500pts battle report - Tyranids v Orks - game 2

Round 2 and Aidan was my next opponent. It turns out it was his 4th game of 40k and given some of the lists that had been brought the guys running the event had advised him to take a Stompa just to stop him being mauled completely. Of course for Purge the Alien that does me no favours whatsoever but given his newbie status I was more than happy to go through this like it was a friendly game. Although with hindsight, due to the time constraints, I probably didn't spend as much time helping him learn the game as I would have liked.

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQTervigon CC TRBroodlordZoanthrope
DominionDominionDominionWarp Blast
ParoxysmParoxysmThe HorrorOnslaught
Warp Blast

The low down:
  • Eternal War mission - Purge the Alien
  • Vanguard Strike
  • I went second whatever happened with deployment and whoever went first.
  • Warlord Trait - + Seize the Initiative and +1 to my reserve roll
  • Not sure about night fighting.
Probably due to his inexperience Aidan set the Stompa up in the far right which gave me the opportunity to set up on the far left and hope I could avoid the Super-heavy for as long as possible. Interesting note - this was a resin Realm of Battle board!

Luckily I had a lot of cover to keep my safe [potentially]. First turn I lost a few Gaunts due to poor Skyshield saves. More importantly I lost my Zoanthrope.

In return I pushed forwards and managed to kill up but 1 of the Tankbusters on the hill behind the statues. Couldn't quite get that kill point. Probably about here I realised that the Zoanthrope in a pod behind the Stompa might have got me a Lancing hit on him and forced him to kill the Zoie leaving the rest of my force unmolested. But with time short avoidance was still probably the better tactic.

Clearly at turn 3, I'd been using cover and the Venomtrhope to keep my MCs alive as long as possible.

The Stompa was having none of it though and redoubled his efforts to kill what he could.

Luckily for me the MCs survived, unluckily the Venomtrhope did not so now they were all exposed. i did take out the lone tankbuster.

I also took out another mob so I was up on 2VPs. The Tyrannocyte arrived and my Devgaunts let rip but only amounted to 1 wound on the mega-nobs :( They were going to die.

Aidan blasted the Flyrant to pieces with tons of inaccurate fire he just couldn't avoid

Final score was 7:4 to Aidan. He scored 4 kills, First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Line Breaker. I managed to kill 3 [not sure what the third was] and Linebreaker.

I hope Aidan had a good game, sure a Stompa was a bad match up for me and the organisers were apologetic for suggesting he take it but these things happen. Like I say I wish I'd been able to help him a bit more in learning the game but I suspect in a few months it'll be moot anyway. Ha!

Wednesday 3 May 2017

1500pts battle report - Tyranids v Ynarri/Aeldari/Eldar/DarkEldar/Space Pixies/Evil Space Pixies - game 1

It's been over four years since I last went to the Scythe and Teacup but they announced on Facebook a 1500pt, 3 game tournament for only £5, what's not to like? Limitation were only one flyer or LoW and a CAD must be taken before Formations or other shenanigans, apparently to keep the cheese down [not so sure it was successful ;) ]. More of a concern was the 2 hour time limit for each game! You know me and how long I take, couple that with the event starting an hour late and things were less auspicious than I'd hoped. Now pictures are less than usual because of the time factor so I'll do my best to try and remember what went on, bear with.

However, when I was there last I picked up the Miniature Paints Aquamarine that I'm now using as my Anita's Turquoise substitute and I hoped to find some more. I've found it on ebay but when you add postage on too it's like £4 a pot which just seems a bit annoying.

Anyway Round 1 and Ryan with his new Aeldari alliance, wonder if they'll get a new name in 8th. He had some Venoms, a Raider full of Incubi and Harlequin Solitaire, a couple of Farseers on Jetbikes, Warp Spiders and the Yncarne...

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQTervigon CC TRBroodlordZoanthrope
DominionDominionDominionWarp Blast
The HorrorPsychic ScreamThe HorrorParoxysm

The low down:
  • Eternal War mission - Crusade [5 objectives]
  • Vanguard Strike
  • I went second whatever happened with deployment and whoever went first.
  • Warlord Trait - 3 Enemy units pinning check [useless against these]
  • Not sure about night fighting.
You can see 3 of the objectives, top left between the bunker, debris and hill. One below my Genestealers and one in the middle on the hill next to the Honoured Imperium Statue.

The other two are on the hill and in the Shrine. Ryan focused on the Genestealers taking them all out and leaving the Broodlord with one wound! Serves me right for not putting them within range of the Venomthrope!

My turn and the Flyrant managed to destroy a Venom getting me First Blood, the Broodlord retreated to gain cover from the Venomthrope and the Carnifex moved up with the Tervigon, who spawned Gaunts to secure the centre objective on the hill.

As the Venom, or one of it's occupants died the Yncarne was born [reborn? reincarnated?], bother!

My Tfex had done a little damage on the Warp Spiders with his torrent weapon but that Raider moved up

It disgorged it's Incubi and the Solitaire then was made Invisible and everyone decided to shoot the Tfex.

Which couldn't stand the Firepower of the Raider and Warp Spiders. The Incubi charge the blob of Gaunts, cutting through a third of them without any opportunity for me to hit back.

I spawned Gaunts to throw into the melee but really these would be suicidal sacrifices if they got into combat next turn.

I think the Flyrant downed another Venom but I think it was just wrecked leaving the occupants safe in their disembarkation.

Ryan's turn and both the spawned gaunts in the centre and the Carnifex were dispatched with ease.

Additionally the second brood of gaunts were shot to one left and was subsequently killed alongside what was left of the big blob by the Incubi.

My Tyrrannocyte arrived and I managed to put a wound on the Yncarne and kill of the Dark Eldar next to the Venom leaving a bigger gap around the objective. Unfortunately the Yncarne did his best Fenella the Witch impression and popped up where the Dark Eldar once stood. So much for securing that flank. The rest of the Dev Gaunt and Flyrant shooting did significantly less than I'd hoped, probably killed the other Warriors though.

Last of the Warp Spiders arrived to steal another of the objectives, alongside some turbo-charged Farseers.

I think the final score was 10:4. Ryan had three objectives amd Linebreaker, I just had one and First Blood. I think at some point I realised I may well not have been out-gunned but definitely out-classed. Certainly seems odd that a faction/factions that have so many benefits were given a new way to play with equally good benefits. With the Soulburst actions allowing movements and shooting in my turn it was a tough ask of the nids. That said Ryan was an awesome player and he went on to the final and think may have won the entire tournament, so there's no shame in my efforts.

So, reinstated my habit of losing first game, what's up next.