Saturday, December 31, 2011

Unexpected Contempt

My buddy Gordon sent me this for Xmas. It was a total surprise and wonderful. It is painted up in the colors of his Angles Sanguine. Its story is that it is on loan from the successor Chapter.

Now I need to paint him up something in return.

EDIT: As it turns out, I send him tasty tasty scotch instead of TMM. As far as beverages that go good with painting, scotch is one of the best. Hey, that would make a good post!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the table now - Dead guys and wings

Working on some dead Marine markers. The wing on the right has hard edge Skull White on it the left one does now. Can you tell the difference because one takes 10 times longer to do.

The guy on the far  right is from the 2009 or so Space Hulk release. He is my only version of this model so I want to make sure he is done properly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Found a new primer

Was out and about looking for primer and found that Kylon makes an off white satin paint. I used it to prime some termies and noticed that it is just a touch off of Bleached Bone.

I am planning on painting those SW Termies up for the desert-themed army. Kommando Khaki should go great over that.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Codex "Fixing"

Don't cry, Mr Space Marine.

I dislike that phrase. It implies that there is something broken with the rules and perhaps there are. What really bugs me is the presumption that some gamers have that they know better than the guys now in Nottingham. While the gamers may have been rolling dice for 20+ years, the boys and girls at GW are in the business of making a game (and selling minis). I'd say they know what they are doing. Players may know what they want, but like Dan Carlin says, what you want and what you need are two very different thing.

Having said that, there are some things about the Space Marines that confuse and frustrate me. Below, I've compiled a list of problems and possible solutions. Now, this is not idle and self masturbatory wish-listing as some are want to do but ways to make the rules more directly represent the fluff, make the game more enjoyable to play (for me at least) and revitalize older units or units that do not have a place. I do not offer to have all the answers. Sometimes, I have no answers at all

The good guys dress in red!

On the table now - Just missing wings

4 sang guard, a SG Dante to lead them and the Sanguinor looks on from the rear.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Necron Rules

Merry x-mas, meatbags.

Got my first game in in ages. Dusted off the old Necrons and the one new unit I've managed to paint up. It was a great game against Deathwing against a great opponent. I even pulled off a win.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Fickle Tide

I don't have an outline in my head for this post. It is going to be a stream of consciousness rant about the online 40k community.

There has been buzz about Necron for the last 4 years at least. During this time and especially in the last year, the new of a new metal-zombie release was greeted with enthusiasm and excitement. there was wild speculation and rumormongering. Folks talked about how cool the new army would be and how hard they were going to be to beat.

Then the codex is released and all that changes for some reason.

The tone in the articles (and here I am primarily thinking of the flaccid BOLS) change from that of exuberance to ennui and disappointment. The immediate response is to declare seemingly overpowered units as "broken" (I really dislike that word) and seemingly bland units as worthless. This is before many of them have even played a game.

It seems to me that these people are their own victims. Almost nothing can live up to the hype and expectations that were generated. The sad part is, the same people that write about their disappointment in the finished product, were the same raising the expectations.

I am annoyed by this but mostly it makes me sad. Can't people be happy that this army is getting an update after over a decade. It seems that people should be happy for what they get rather than complaining that it did not meet their unreasonable expectations.

As a bit of a sidebar, there is another annoying trend with new codices and that is the intentional "breaking" by list building. Net lists bug me. Mostly it is the idiotic names they give them (e.g. Razorspan, DoA, Nidzilla, etc). The names are used from site to site with no clear definition of what they mean. Nidzilla might mean "all monstrous creatures" to one person but "at least three Carnifexes" to another and yet they both use the same word. It's poor communication at best and idiocy at worst.

Some people like netlists and they have their reasons. I don't and my reasons are simple. A good general can beat an evenly matches opponent. A great one can pull off a victory when outnumbered and outgunned. assuming that there is a "best possible army" in every codex, the general that wins with that army is not the equal of the general that can win with an inferior list.

Of course actual generals want the best men and equipment they can find and more often than not but they do the best with what they are given. A hero overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve victory while a bully uses overwhelming force against an inferior opponent.

I am not saying that we should seek to handicap ourselves on the table top but I play this game to have fun and not to win all the time. I expect an entertaining game against a challenging and skilled opponent. I would rather play against someone with a beautifully painted army full of life,  background and fluff than a grey or primed army that was taken because it is the "best." At that point you may as well not even buy the minis and play with scraps of paper.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Finished - Catacomb Command Barge: Mine and Their's

Necrons coming along.I am loving this Catacomb Command Barge. It is a great mini and devastating on the battlefield.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On the table now - Lots going on

I've been blogfading and that's not cool, yo. Part of the reason was that my computer tried to blow up but really, I've not had much time for the hobby. I am dating a new and awesome girl (well, new since July) and girls have a habit of taking up your time. That time was hobby time and TMM can't keep you warm at night.

Right now I am working on 5 Sang guard for the blood Angelse and the planned Dante+SG army. That has kind of stalled out and I've lost interest in it. It is still on the table but may go into a baggie soon.

Also on the table are some Necrons. I painted some rusty Necrons up early last year and have about 1500 or so points under the old rules. Under the new rules I have about the same though everything has changed. I know there is an Embargo on, but I bought the Catacomb Command Barge to give me two different HQ options. If I did not do that, my only HQ dould have been the Destroyer Lord and I like choices.

I'm also finishing 5 DC models. they are just waiting on shoulderpads. then I'll have to paint backpacks and jump packs for all these assholes. I hate it when I have to paint 30 backpacks at a go. Feels like wasting time.

I've also been playing Dawn of War II. As a result of the a fore mentioned computer explosion, I was forced to buy a new graphics card. That upgrade allowed me to run DoWII. It is ok. the random weapon drops and character building are interesting. It is a departure from DOWI, that's for sure.

As far as things I want to write, I want to write more about my Grey Knights. I've gotten lost in the history stuff. While I love doing the reseach and learining about my boys, it is growing out of control into these epic posts that eat up a bunch of time and don't have any real benefit. I may focus on my guys and ignore the history. 

I also want to write about the new hotness before they become the old busted. I want to write about the changes to the rules and fluff regarding the metal zombies. I also want to fucking play with them. I have not had a game sine Tony wiped the board with me. that was months ago. 

I am also gettin ready to start a Deathwatch RPG soon. Likely dice will roll in Jan but there is a lot of prep work to do. I need to type up notes about what it means to play a Space Marine and how that differs from playing a human. I may as well post those notes here. I also want to write a getting started adventure and do some character sketches. that will help me get a grip on the game.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

After over a decade...

Got my Necron codex yesterday. Need to get back in the habit of updating this blog and will when the computer is fixed.
Want to write about the change in attitude when new codexes come out, old vs new Necrons and a painting article on how I paint metal.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Two sides of the same deadly deadly coin: Chaplain and Mephistion in Herohammer

I'm taking a break from writing the Grey Knight Strike and Intercept Squad post. I am having problems taking pictures of my TMM that is worth a damn. This whole series is just holding up production of this blog. I enjoy writing them, but they are getting a little too epic. Thus, it is on hold for now.

We could be big damn heroes if just for one day.

Holding out for a Hero
The days of 2nd Edition 40k was sometimes known as Herohammer because of the habit it had of being full of super-powered leaders that could slay whole armies on their own. The supporting troops became an pitiful footnote in the epic saga of the hero. This style of play was diminished with the reset/restart of 3rd Edition. Flash forward to 2005-2008 and starting with the Eldar Codex and 5th Edition, you started to see these monsters stalk the battlefield once more.

These days, it is the hero that makes your army. some (like almost all the character in the Space Marine Codex) have special abilities that dramatically change the makeup of your army. Many characters relax restrictions on the types of units you can take or allow Elite, Fast Attack or Heavy choices to count as (or be taken as) Troops. Heroes can have abilities that enhance their abilities or enhance the abilities of the unit they are with. In this article, we'll examine two of the leader characters and with contrasting styles.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do you have what it takes to be a Grey Knight?

I'm planning on writing an article on the Creation of a Space Marine. Once that is done I'll have to come back and cross link these two articles. In this post I am going to try to focus on the differences between what it takes to make a Grey Knight and what it takes to make a Space Marine.

The Grey Knights are the chamber militant of the Inquisition and specifically the Daemon Hunters or Ordo Malleus. They cruse around, find the things that go bump in the night and bump right back. They can do this because each and every one them is a psyker. It is the very rare human that is a psyker and ever fewer of them still can muster their powers for anything productive.

The Grey Knights send out their Gatherers across the galaxy to seek out and recruit young mortals to become Grey Knights. The ply the black between all world and no planet of off limits to their scouring. As a sign of deference, other Space Marine Chapters allow the Grey Knights Gatherers ships to take mortals from worlds that are normally for their recruitment only. Some Chapters (most notably the Exorcists and the Silver Skulls) give the Grey Knights psychically talented aspirants of their own volition. Heck, the Gatherers have even been known to swipe psykers off of the Black Ships of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. This shows how much gravatas they have.

Very few mortals have what it takes to be a Space Marine (I can't find exact numbers but they are only looking for the best of the best of the best, sir! With honors), perhaps one in a hundred. Only one in a thousand aspirants can even hope to be a Grey Knight and many of those die in training. For starters they have to by psykers and that eliminates the vast majority of humanity. Once they are spotted and deposited in the Gatherers ships, they then begin their long trek back to the Sol System and Titan, their home for the next few years.

No, no, no, no, no, no, YES! No, no, no, no, no, no, YES!

The aspirants arrive in the Chamber of Trials and with a name like that I'm gonna guess that there is no complementary tea and cookies served. Nowhere is the experience of the aspirant described (I have not read any of the Grey Knight Novels so I can't say for sure. It's just not searchable.), but I wish it was. I think that Graham or Dan could make it an awesome scene. I imagine it is like the scene in Starship Troopers but without the warmth and tenderness. Thousand of scared children and youths (the ideal candidate is below 10 years of age), herded through gates and waiting in long lines while being poked and prodded by unfeeling servitors and acolytes. It's sobering.

But that's what they want. The training and indoctrination for "regular" Space Marines is designed to weed out the non-hackers from the start. For starters Space Marines only take those that have already proven themselves physically and mentally superior to most mortals. Grey Knights are denied this luxury (I suspect) as they have to select those individuals with psychic potential only. Therefor they need to wash out all the weak of body and mind in the training process. I am assuming again that the wash outs that were still living were sent to Terra to either become part of the Astronomicon or fed to the God Emperor.

Remember back when I said that only one in a thousand can aspire to be a Grey Knight? After reading some more in the Codex, I learned that this is because only1 in a thousand will survive the first of three challenges on the way to becoming a neophyte. There are some strange places with scary sounding names and anyone that wants to be a Grey Knight has to go through them. It is not explicitly stated but it is strongly implied that these trials are not only really really hard but also deadly.

So you're 10 years old and you've just wandered through the Valley of Death and come out the other side. Some man in robes with a metal face tell you that you've won the grand prize and could you please get on the probeulator. That's when the really hard and weird stuff starts. At this point, the aspirant undergoes the physical and psychological alteration necessary to make them a Space Marine and that takes about 8 years. Even this is not without danger as many humans are not physiological able to withstand the implants or go insane from the training.

Here is where we diverge from the "regular" genetically-engeneered super-human killing machine and talk about what makes Grey Knights special. For starters, once you start the training, your mind is wiped, name erased and you are given a number. With this you lose whatever made that person unique, but you also lose anything that might leave them open to corruption.

Also, Grey Knights do not really have a "work as your learn" program, meaning they do not employ Scouts. See, normally when you graduate from your 8 years surgery and indoctrination program, you get so spend some time in shake down as a Scout. Here you get to have light duty, mostly garrisoning places already taken by Marines, forward scouting duty or long range sniping and support. Grey Knights do not truck with that nonsense and that is a huge departure from the Codex Astartes.

In the service of the Grey Knights, when you say you are ready, you had best be ready to put on your boogy shoes and dance. There is no such thing as "light duty" when you are a Grey Knight and you should be ashamed for asking such a stupid question. They are given their power armor and weapons and sent into the fray. It is assumed that after 8 years of super-intense training that you have mastered all of the arts of battle and are ready for duty. This is similar to doctrine of the Black Templars where they mix in their Scouts with Marines. It is a kind of trial by fire and I guess the strategy behind it is to let the more experienced Brothers fill in any gaps in the Neophyte's training and the greenies that can't hack it just f-f-fade away

This post has set long enough as a draft (2 weeks) and is just too damned long. Stay tuned for the second part of this post that will detail my Strike and Intercept squads.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On The Table Now

Primarch, 3x Chaplains, 6x Death Company. Warsmith finished. Repair job to Lemartes. Been really busy! More posts to come. Finished next GK post but waiting on pictures. Mulling over Chaplain vs Mephestion post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grey Knight Overview

I can't put it off any longer. Well, I could but I'm just avoiding writing this at this point and that is holding up the production of this blog. No point is delaying any longer so away we go!

The story of the founding of the Grey Knights is a unique and confusing one. Most Chapters of Space Marines were created by the Emperor in his laboratory on Luna for the Great Crusade to reconquer the galaxy. Each Chapter had a Pirmarch to lead it and the Space Marines of the Chapter were the genetic descendents of that Primatch. Psykers (or Librarians) are uncommon in the Chapter and most Battle Brothers have no psychic ability at all. Most Chapters only recruit their aspirants from a single world, or at most, just a few and those recruits start their service to the Emperor and mankind as Space Marine Scouts. when the Scouts are ready to be promoted to Astartes, they are folded into the chapter structure outlined in the Codex Astartes.

They Grey Knights break all of these rules.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vets approaching completion

Bodies and bases finished. Just have arms to work on.

Getting ready to go on a 8 mile hike up to (but hopefully not into) an active volcano. No time for hobby on the mountain. Next Update in at least 3 days and maybe more.

EDIT: And that update will be actual content rather than these BS "On the Table" posts. While it is important to know what I was working on and when I finish it, I need to generate more content. I have ideas for articles backing up. What I am not doing is sitting down and just writing them. Need to get better about that.

Post que:
1. What is a Conversion?
2. Herohammer - Chaplain and Mephistion: Two sides of the same deadly deadly coin
3. GK Overview
4. SM Vet Sargents

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lots to work on

This is what is waiting on the side table. Stern and a GK Brother-Captain, 5 Long Gunngers for the Cygnar army, bits for the Warsmith conversion, 3 more Vets, 3 GK, 2 Dante conversions, a CSM termie.

Finished the backpacks and still working on the Vet Sargs. You can see the finished Crowe in the background. He turned out stellar.

And I still have the GK post to start.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

On The Table Now

Currently working on 5 Personal Teleporter backpacks, 6 BP/CCW Vet Sargeant, and rehabbing two already painted Vet Sargs.

And the Warsmith still sits in his customary place. Will he ever be finished? Will Martha ever find love? How will the Duke boys get out of this one?

Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Who rules Batertown?

Read my lips, no new TMM.

Man, this is really hard. I've spent too damn much on minis lately and it is hurting the budget. Time to tighten the belt and paint what you got. I know, I've said this before, but this time I am serious.

Here is the plan: Not gonna buy any new stuff. Just not gonna. I will add the things that I want to a wishlist. When the CC are all paid off, I can treat myself to either a small GW direct order or a large War Store Order. $50 for the former and $150 for the latter.

Just to be clear, things that are not included in this list are: Books (including any Codex or book that is less than $35), hobby supplies, video games (as long as they are less than $40), painting commissions (less than $20), emergency bits (must be used immediately to finish current project and must be less than $35). There will be a Battle Foam order placed, but $100 of that is already taken care of. Order not to exceed $50. Those things are still cool.

To be honest, I am going to try and squeeze some things trough the door of reasonable doubt but you can't let me. Absolutely no Forge world orders of any kind. No Bartertown at all. Don't even look at it. No eBay.

Hopefully by the end of Winter, I'll have my stuff straight and be able to place my order. Maybe this will let me get some things finished.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Organizing thoughts for epic Grey Knights post

I'm blog fading and I know it. Lots of things to do, little time, a new lady. all that means that posting rate is going to drop. It is not intentional. It is not you TMM Blog. It is me. It is my fault.

In my posting silence, I have been formulating how I want to write about the Grey Knights. Up until now, I have only written about single models or specific units. I have not tackled something as big as a whole army. I'll admit, I have bit off more than I can chew in this regard, but you know what they say about how to eat an elephant?

Start one bite at a time.

Ok so, no one says that, but I just did. Consider yourself coined Mr Phrase.

My plan for detailing the GK is to chop them up into manageable bites. I want to start with an overview to talk about the origin, history, basic structure and current mission. After that I want to talk about parts of the GK history and structure while at the same time detailing specific units. I want to go through the army and Codex on the same progression as an aspirant would from Initiate to Grand Master. Weird I know. This is getting complicated. Time to make a list.

1. Overview - origin, history, basic organization,
2. Strike Squads and Intercept Squads - aspirant selection, training
3. Purgation Squads - Weaponry
4. Purifier squads - Wargear
5. Terminator/Paladins - What's the difference?
6. Champion/Crowe
7. Brother Captain/Grand Master
8. Special characters

This is just a preliminary list. Reality is likely not to resemble this at all, but it is a start. Now to write that damn overview. To do that I'll have to read the 40k Wiki and Lexicanium as well as the codex. that is a lot of reading and mental digesting. I hope to get it done over the coming long weekend.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just finished Fulgrim

Over last weekend I finished Fulgrim and just have to write about it. The book is the 5th book in the Horus Heresy series and is written by the Scottish wonder Graham McNeil. It contains many different plots that tackle the evolution (or devolution) of The III Legion into Chaos Marines in the service of Slaanesh. There is the slow (very slow at times) twisting of the ideals of The Emperor's Children Legion (III) from seeking perfection to excess. Lucius's arrogance and price turns him in a corrupted reflection of himself. Fabius Bile begins modifying Space Marine's biological implants to make them more perfect. There is also the corruption of the Legion played out in the Remembrancers art work which culminates in Bequa Kynska's (with the light blue hair) Maraviglia performance.

Fulgrim and Ferrus in their final battle.
I liked the book but then again Graham could write the phone book and I would be enraptured. There were times when him A and C plots would go faster than his B plot and things would appear to stall out. For example, he frequently revisits the Remembrancers and their interactions with the Marines of the Legion. There were parts when the narrative flashes to one of the artists and they register horror at the excess that the Legions seems to be slipping into. then 50 pages later, he does it again. I get what he was trying to do but it moved a little slow at times.

One of my favorite parts was the brotherhood that Fulgrim had with Ferrus Manus his brother Primarch. It was just as touching to see the depth of their friendship as it was heartbreaking to see Fulgrim's betrayal.I would have liked to see more of this and earlier on in the book. Perhaps Ferrus and Fulgrim fighting a common foe in the first few chapters.

I really enjoyed seeing the events of Isstvan III from a slightly different perspective. In one of the other books (It might have been Galaxy in Flames), you saw the battle and betrayal from the perspective of the Death Guard Legion. In Fulgrim, you see it from the side of the betrayed Emperor's Children. Lucius' betrayal was also really well done and worthy of a movie. Visceral.

I would have liked to see more from the destruction of the Salamanders, Raven Guard and Iron hands on Isstvan V, but I don't know how that could have been possible without getting boring. I want to see and feel more of the horror and betrayal when the Traitor Legions turn on their brothers. I am sure that this pivotal moment in the Heresy will be revisited in the future.

Next up is Descent of Angels in the Horus Heresy series and, judging by the title, we are going to see some action from the two-faced Dark Angels. I can't wait to start it but I promised myself that I would intersperse 40k reading with other reading. I have picked out Death from the Skies by the Bad Astronomer Phil Plait. It should be light and fun reading and I should be off the 40k reading wagon in a few weeks.

Friday, August 12, 2011

On the table now - Crowe, GK, 1k Sons and Warsmith

"Grey" Knights are finished except for shoulderpads and backpacks. They turned out so good, I went out and got another box of them.

Also did some work on the Warsmith and got his backpack done.

Finished some firing effects for the already complete 1k Sons.

Currently working on some Death Cult Assassins et al

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Officio Assassinorum

It seems that the only thing that I do slower than painting lately is post. I made a phone post , but that is only good for half credit. You deserve an actual epic post, and that is just what you are going to get.

They call him "Smiles" and he just wants to hug you.

The founding of the Officio Assassinorum dates back to time of the Great Crusade before the events of the Horus Heresy. The person primarily responsible for this fun group of girls and boys is none other than Malcador the Sigillite (from the makes of Grey Knights, saving the Emperor, and probably a bunch of other awesome stuff). He gathered the leaders of the six Director Primus's of the Assassin Clades to hunt down the enemies of the Emperor. The Officio Assassinorum works closely with the Inquisition (with the branch Ordo Sicarius charged with watching the assassins) but is a separate entity.

Friday, August 5, 2011

On The Table Now - "Grey" Knights

Computer is down but I wanted to make a test e-mail post. This is my GK Sargent and his boys. They are the new plastic kit and they are amazing. Real post about them to follow.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

On The Table Now - Something Old, Something New

Lots of things On the Table just now and not many of the finished.

I just finished 3 Assassins that had been sitting around for ages. I'll write them up in a separate epic post later.

Also sitting on the table, are the old Warsmith. I am still having a hard time getting my head around how I want to do his servo harness. I have his backpack down. I trimmed the little antenna on top and replaced it with, what I feel is, a fitting Chaos icon. You'll see it later when it is finished but it is the skull with the half mechanical side. I am going to use servo arms in some form, but I am having problems hanging my hat on any one configuration.Ultimately, it does not matter as it is just going to represent a daemon weapon, but I still want to get it just right and that is causing me to fret.

The painted terminator that is missing an arm is waiting to be magnetized so he can cary a heavy flamer or a autocannon. Since I am only going to have a few termies, I want to be able to swap the weapons out without having to buy, paint and store extra dudes. I have the bits. I am just waiting for the muse to strike and to be in the mood to paint IW terminators.

I was crazy for magnetizing stuff years ago thinking it would save me money. Turns out, I pretty much used everything in one configuration and the magnets were pointless. All they did was to add time to my set up as I had to dig for the right arm and fit it to the right guy 30 times before I could play. It suited me at the time but no longer.

There is also the less tangible hindrance it gives to the emotional bond between me and my TMM. you lose the personality that a TMM has when ou can just rip his arm off and make him what you want. He stops being the avatar of a Space Marine and starts being a representation of the rules. I like it when I am forced to remove a dead guy and it is a tough choice between two models. Not because of differences in wargear but because I like them both and "people."


Tucked under the shelf is a rhino that I need to bang out at some point. It too has been sitting on the table for too damned long.

Also on the bench for what seems like forever, is that headless assault marine. He has been in progress for a year and on the bench for 6 months or so. I should have just banged him out when I was doing the Grey Knights (more on them next), but didn't. I don't know why he is so often overlooked. I need to buckle down and get him done. I have some Sargents in the process of stripping (that might make a good article down the road) so he will likely get done with them.

Cheah, and pigs might fly out of my butt.

Grey Knights. I promised your GK next and, darn it, I deliver. I started Grey Knights 3 or 4 years ago back when they were Daemonhunters just for a lark and to challenge my painting skills. I painted up 8 termies or so, a dozen power armored GK and lots of special weapons. Even though it was about 30 models, when I count my Blood Angel vehicles, it ended up being about 2,000 points.

With the advent of the new codex, there came new models and this time they are plastic! The new plastic kit comes with loads of options and just like with the Warsmith, with too many options I go into total brainlock. I magnetized the backpacks so they can be a Strike or Intercept Squad by changing one bit. The next choices is what to equip them with. I want to try the new option taht I don't have like the nemesis daemon hammer, nemesis warding staff and the psylincer. Magnets may be involved.

Off in the wings is a Dark Angel Captain that I picked up for cheep and painted red. It's just an interesting side project.

Front and center are some old school Iron Warriors that I got for cheep off of Bartertown for cheep. It was $20 for 12 of them or so. There are some classic models in there. I am particularly excited about the Las Cannon guy. These guy will get a write up when they are finished (which should be soon).

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Next Best Thing to Having Tiny Metal Men... being one!

I picked this book up at Borders on a trip to Portland last year after hearing the d6 Generation reviewed it. It sounded great! I had been waiting for "Space Marine the RPG" since I got into 40k. This book was like a dream come true. I read the crap out of but never sat down and rolled dice due to lack of folk that are interested.

I'd do a review but the kids at Bolter and Chainsword covered it better than anyone could. Also, there is a video from the Fantasy Flight kids that covers all the bases:

What makes this game great? First, Space Marines. Nuff said. They are the last work in furious armored death and it is nevermore apparent than it is in this game. Next to a Dark Heresy character, a Space Marine is almost ridiculously unstoppable like Superman next to an ant. The down side is that a Space Marine is going to be outnumbered regularly. when they are outclassed, it is by orders of magnitude.

What else does this game have going for it? Not much. It is a pretty standard system using d10s. There are traits, skills and perks. It is fairly complex and allows for detailed character creation without getting to bogged down in the minutiae of rolling on 12 tables to get a background. That being said, I think they boiled down the Chapters to cliches.

I posted an ad for a gaming group (it only stays up for a few weeks so I doubt it will still be up when you read this) and am going to check out an established Deathwatch game that runs Saturdays at a FLGS.

I can't wait to play!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Huron Blackheart - The Tyrant of Badab

Have you ever had a really bad day? You know the kind of day where you can't seem to do anything right and you seem to get in trouble for making what you thought were good decisions.

So there you are, doing your job and minding your own business. You're a soldier and your charge is to protect humanity for the infinite scourges that would see it killed, defiled and corrupted (and if they are very very lucky, in that order). You're on your patrol when you look down and see some bureaucrat collecting tones of money from the populous that you're supposed to protect and giving it to the far away, faceless and uncaring government. You think to yourself, "Huron, if we had that money, we could use it to resupply our poorly equipped troops and defend the people better. We're just looking out for their best interests, right? I mean they would want us to have the best equipment, right?" Then your self says, "Aww shucks, but to do that we would need to be running this place and... Saaaaay."

So that is when you and your elite soldiers assume control over the system, keep the Imperial Tithe, and use it resupply and reequip your troop. Then for all your efforts to do the right thing, your brothers roll into the system and shake their finger at you. They say that you can't do that. You have to play within the rules.

Then you start a fight.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How Liquid Tallent Is Hurting The Hobby

No talent needed.
Let's say that there was something you had to do that required a great degree of skill but it was difficult and time consuming. Let us further say that rather than doing it the difficult but challenging way, you had an Easy Button. Given the choice between the two, would you use it and what would that mean for you in the long run?

In the world of Tiny Metal Men, we use lots of products to aid us in producing good looking minis. There are lots of washes out there but one called Devlan Mud is so good that many use it as the only tool in their box. I call that using Liquid Talent and that's not a good thing. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On The Table Now - IW Icon Bearer and Special Weapons

It's been too long since an update and I aim to keep this blog current. However work and life intercede to prevent epic post like the 1k Sons one (I really enjoyed that and look forward to doing my other cult troops up in a similar fashion). At least once a week is a good schedule even if it little State of the Hobby things like this.

I what I am working on right now are 5 Iron Warrior marines. I already have a bunch done (20 or so) but lack specialists like melta, flamers and icon bearers. I have one of each of those all but done. All that I am waiting on is the backpacks. Also, there is the sole terminator icon bearer I'll ever need. I'll detail the conversion when I finish it and get some pictures.

Also, still on the table are Huron and that damned Warsmith. I have not done a thing to them since I started this blog. I have one other thing that I want to finish before I start on them and those are the weapons for my Storm Raven. Once those are done I'll knock those two models out.

The thing that holds me up on the Warsmith is that I want to do a servo harness conversion and am having trouble deciding how to do it. I have three servo harnesses (one metal normal one, one metal thunderfire cannon one and resin regular one) and I can't figure out just how I want it to look. The main body of the model is finished. I just need to do the accessory parts and figure out what it is going to count as.

Also, I took the CSM out for a game last weekend and lost against Chaos Daemons. I doubt that I'll do a Battle Report on it as I lack pictures and a turn by turn summary, but I'll do one in the future. I want a rematch against that list with my CSM only with a different list. I'll compare and contrast those two missions.

Also on the growing list of things to do for this blog, is an article about what a conversion is and what it isn't and defining some terms. I made a post on another message board about this topic for insight, but have not fully processed it yet. I wish I had gotten a better response.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond!

So this happened.

I took a short break from the CSM to do a side project for a friend. See, this guy loves Toy Story and saw this picture and though of me. Ok so he though that if he an I had a kid, this is what they would be into. Perhaps he is right, but we'll never know.

This was my first time painting purple and I did a really half-assed job about it. I just did Liche Purple down at the FLGS but that looked too dark. I don't own any purple paints and I had already left the store. I did some hard edge highlighting with Mithril Silver on some parts then washed it with some Lerviathan Purple that I forgot I had. The effect is far from satisfactory.

The white is just Astronomican Grey with a wash of Badab Black then highlighted with a 2:1 mix of Skull White and  Astronomican Grey just on the hard edges.

I also phoned in the green. It's just Snot Green, Babad Black wash then more Goblin Green. I usually take greens a little more seriously, but didn't see the need for it here.

I hand painted on the firing button on his right arm and the green things on his hands. I tried to paint the buttons on his chest but they did not turn out very well.

The face and metal are my typical skin and metal. I'll detail these later.

The base is ArmorCast, I think. It's metal and I got a bunch of them back in the day for my Deathwatch Kill Team. I wish the marks on the diamond plate stood out better.

I posted the mini over at CMON just for fun. This is not really a good test of my painting and photography skills but it is neat and a little cool. Also, it'll be fun to see how it stacks up against my other stuff.

I did a quick Google search and found some people that take this more serious that I ever will. There are some amazing drawings and minis out there.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rate This Mini 1-10

It is an Emperor's Children aspiring champion that I've yet to post about here. It is pretty representative of my work. It's my typical black, gold and silver. It's my first shot at pink and the green on the sword in kind of phoned in. It's about average quality for me. It's an interesting conversion what with me mixing parts from 3 kits, but only an average paint job (for me).

Currently it has a rating of 5.7 which I think is a little low. Their rating system says that a 5 is "tabletop quality." Maybe there are a lot of people out there that over rate their skills and call what is a mediocre paint job "table top" quality. It's a term that gets tossed around a lot along with "Pro-painted." Those have become red flags for crappy paint jobs in my book.

I feel that it is worth a solid 6. I feel that I paint to a higher than table top quality. Every color on there is shaded and highlighted at least once. It wasn't dipped or hastily painted. Ok, so the basing leaves a little to be desired (just paint, sand then grass) but it is an intentional laziness.

I try not to take this as a slight on my painting skills. Anyone that sees my minis in person can't shut up about them. I'm surely an above average painter (and don't call you Shirley). I feel more that it is a function of my neophyte photographing skills. The model look more orange than it is, there is detail missing, it is grainy, it is cropped poorly, etc. 

In looking at other people's pictures, I'm noticing that the less you show, the better you get rated. There are some crappy paint jobs where the pictures are not cropped and the model is a tiny speck in the background. These, I feel, get rated better than they are. Also pictures that are of a group tend to get rated higher. 

I'm going to work on the photography skills and use this model (and hopefully others) as test subjects. My plan is to use the same model  and try to get better photographs and thus higher rating. In my next photo, I'll try to get colors that better reflect my paint job, change the cropping and make the picture a little less awkward to view. I'll see what that does to the rating. After that, I'll see what mixing the champion with the rest of his squad does.

EDIT: After some thought, I think I am mostly OK with the 5.7 rating. I think I did a damn good job on the mini but that is a damn good job only compared to the local kids and most of the pics out there. Next to some of the work on CMON, it is mediocre but not as bad as it looks in that picture. I think it'll jump up to a 6.5 or more if I can get some better pics.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

On The Table Now - IW Aspiring Champions

After finishing the Thousand Sons minis and that epic write up, I banged out three Aspiring Champions for the Iron Warriors.

That handsome fellow on the left (the one that is not the Iron Father and closest to the bristles of the brush), was finished long ago. The other three were the ones that I finished today. I mixed bits from the CSM box, Possessed, Iron Hands legs, Forgeworld Mk III armor, and WFB Chaos horsemen. Each of my Aspiring Champs have the GW Iron Warrior metal shoulder pads rather than the transfers.

I admit, I went a little crazy with the backpacks. I wanted something that would set them apart from their brethren, but it might be a bit much. I am happy with them for the most part, but they are a pain to fit in the GW case. Also, they are deadly if you step on them in the dark. OUCH!

There are two model with power weapons and two with power fists. One of each of those has a plasma pistol. I doubt that I'll often field a PF/PP combo as that makes for a pretty expensive model (15 +15 +15 + 25 = 70), but it is nice for variety.

I'll detail these guys later when I finish the CSM section and break out the photo studio again. I have a lot to go before I start that. At least I have all the Aspiring Champions I'll ever need.

Still on the table are Huron and that Warsmith.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thousand Sons... Like Thousands of Them.

I just finished painting and sealing my last 6 Thousand Sons. It took me about 5 days to finish them but for two of those days, I was unable to paint. I am a notoriously slow painter but my goal is a Marine a day. These guys just flew together. This is likely due to how little detail there is to paint and the simple techniques I used.


The Thousand Sons have a sorted history. Their Legion had a proportionately high level of psykers compared to the other Legions. They relied heavily on arcane knowledge and psychic powers that were forbidden at the Council of Nikae. This greatly hampered the Legion and angered the Magnus the Red, their Primarch.

With their increased ability to use the powers of the Warp, comes the increase in mutation. Thousand Son Marines were almost certainly to die at either the hands of the enemies of the Emperor or by the twisting and crippling mutations.

I'm not quite to the part that the Thousand Sons played in the Horus Heresy, so I'm going to skip this bit. What I do know at this point is that Magnus sent a psychic to the Emperor to warn him of Horus' treachery. This was against the emperor's edict at Nikaea and the force of the message shattered the shield on the Palace of Terra. The Thousand Sons were branded heretics and the Space Wolves Legion was sent to destroy them.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ancient Rylanor Has Been Deployed!

A perfect book.
Last night I was reading in Fulgrim and as I was drifting off to sleep I gaized longingly at the cover. On said cover, is are a few Heresy-era Marines and the towering visage of a Dreadnought. Games Workshop has never made a plastic metal or even a resin version of these Dreads. They think that this is a Dreadnought.

"Even in death, I still serve."

GW has produced other plastic and metal versions of this box on legs, but they have all been variations on this theme. Short, squat and out of scale for the Space Marines that surround them. There are articles about making both Space Marines and Dreads in a more accurate scale, but that is an awful lot of work.

This morning there wan a newsletter from Forge World. The first article was about the new release of the Contemptor pattern Dread. It was like x-mas, my birthday and the second coming of jebus all at once.

This resin model, though pricy, towers over Space Marine and walking-box Dread alike. It is a beautiful sculpt and it looks fairly poseable. The FW guys were super smart and the close-combat arm and the lascannon arm good for left or right so they only need one SKU and one bit for each. They even came up with some freaky rules for this new model.

It has a similar stat line to most Dreads with a few variations. For starters it is S7 not S6 like most. that does not really matter as it come equipped with Dreadnought CCW that double its basic Strength to a max of 10. The bonus Strength only crops up when both of its arms are destroyed and by that time, the unit is a write off anyway.

It has a WS of 5 and a Front AV of 13, traits combined from the Ironclad and Venerable Dreads. Only the Blood Angel's have something similar with the Furioso. This means that it is going to hit most things on a 3+ in close combat and that there is very little that is going to be able to stop it in hand to hand.

The Contemptor also comes with a shield that provides it with a 5+/6+ invulnerable save in shooting/close combat respectively. There are very few instances of a vehicle or a Dread having an invulnerable save. While it is nothing to be relied on, the save combined with its very high armor value should give it more than adequate survivability.

The options are all pretty standard, but the blacked out "Forbidden" lines hint at some new options to come. I hope I can hold off finishing the model long enough for Forge World to get more rules or even a new Imperial Armor book out. There are also hints that the CSM will see their own version and perhaps model in the future.

I can't wait to get one of these. Literally. I'm going down to the TMM store as soon as it opens and putting in my order. The only downside is that it is only up for pre-order now and won't be ready until the end of July. Hopefully I'll have it in 6 weeks and that's just sad.

My only other problem is how to equip it. These Dreads are always pictured with a CCW and a long range weapon, usually a lascannon. As I'll likely be using this in my Blood Angel army, I'll pick up two CCW like the Dread in the picture above.

I plan to use it as a deal closer for units that lack the heavy hitting punch. This thing in a Storm Raven accompanying a  few Assault marines, Vanguard or Death Company would be fierce. Alternatively, with its high AV, it could serve as a good distraction as it walks towards the enemy. Though, this thing belongs in close combat so that might not be such a great idea.

Order placed. It ended up being about $80 after money conversion and sales tax. I get free shipping though but have to wait a long time. I chose two CCW. I'll have to come up with a nifty way of modeling flamers in those arms. I chose this option because, the lascannon/CCW idea, thought looking great, does not excite me much and is not very Blood Angelic. I think I'll have more fun posing it with two fists anyway.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Painting before you assemble

I promised you more on how I paint and I aims to please.

I'm a little unusual in terms of miniature wargamers and perhaps a bit of an abomination. See, I prime before I assemble. I know, I know. Freakish. I prime my sprues after a light washing. I then paint each piece (head, body, legs, arms, weapons, should pads, backpack, accessory, etc) separately. After each piece if fully painted, it is then assembled.

This bites me in the butt at times. I lack the ability to pre-pose the models before the final assembly. Also, the super glue I use can sometime fog the models and mess up the paint. I work around this by using very little glue and always setting the modle in a well-ventelated area. Speaking of super glue, when painting before assembling, you have to scrape off the paint of each surface before you glue.

Despite all this, ALL THIS, I still choose to paint then assemble. Why, you might ask? Because it lets me paint every surface as easily as the front of the model. That might seem like a small thing, but it is important to me. I've had people tell me that they do not care if the inside of a bolter is unpainted but that aint my bag. It drives me nuts to try to paint under something or around corners. Having any primer showing in out of the way areas makes me feel like I'm phoning it in.

Another minor advantage (that some might not see as an advantage) is that I can assembly line and stockpile certain bits like shoulder pads, heads and arms. At any moment, I can assemble 2-5 models of almost any army with very little effort.

I'm on pins and needles
Here you can see some of the 1k Sons I mentioned in the previous post. This photo is pre-studio. I only used a bent piece of paper and the normal lights/flash to take this picture.

The legs, torso, arms and weapons are all finished and assembled after painting. I am working on the heads now and you can see my technique. I use my pin vice to drill a small hole in the bit. Then I use lineman's pliers to insert a sewing needs into the hole after applying a little super glue. I have to be careful at how hard I push as, the needle can sometimes come out the other side if I drilled too deep or press to hard.

If I have to do something that leaves the paint wet like washing or working with slow-drying metallic paints, I stick the needle in yellow tac to keep it from falling down.

Yellow tac is also useful for attaching shoulder pads to tiny sticks (de-fuzzed q-tips work well) for easy painting.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The first TMM post


This is the first in what I hope is a long series of posts all about your friends and mine, the Tiny Metal Men. In these first few posts, I hope to give a brief history of The Hobby, a summary of what I am working on right now and my plans for the future. As things go on, I plan for this blog to be both an account of my Hobby and a learning resource for others.

There is no real good way to start this so my plan is to start from the present and work my way backwards and forwards. There is 6+ years worth  of history to catch up on and it is growing all the time.

I've been involved in the Hobby since 2004 or so. Briefly, I collect Tau, Blood Angles, CSM, Grey Knights, Tyranids, and Orks. I have also started a Cygnar army. My largest army by far is Blood Angles at roughly 6k points.

My current project is a CSM army with lots of cult troops. I've recently finished standard bearers for each type.

Hail, hail, the gang is all here.

The current project is 6 1k sons that will finish that particular cult troop (or at least the bit I have for them).  Over the weekend, I managed to get the legs, arms and torsos done. I tend to paint (more on How I Paint later). Left to do are the shoulder pads, heads and backpacks. I plan to add some muzzle flashes to some of the guys for variety but that can be done at any time.

In the interest of getting better pictures for this blog (specifically not taken with the phone), tonight I bought a portable TMM photography studio on Amazon.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

BACKDATED POST - 2010 Yearbook post

2010 was a pretty good year.
I'm not going to detail anything. Just a list.

This year I finished:
DC and regular Tyco
Sang Priest with LC x2, SP with power weapon, SP with termie armor
10 Deathcompany with jump packs
10 Devistators, 2 Heavy bolters, 2 Las cannons, 2 Plasma cannons, 2 missile launchers with firing effects from Armorcast
9 Assault marines
DC Dread
Two Rhinos with Razorback turrets and HK missiles
Fellblade with extra sponsons

Lord in termie armor
14 Iron Warrors
7 Noise marines
5 Thousand Sons
6 Termies

Necrons (not pictured):
Destroyer Lord
30 Warrors
12 Scarab Swarms
6 Immortals
4 Destroyers
1 Heavy Destroyer

On the table now:
10 Iron Hands
1 Dread
Master of the Forge
5 Scouts
10 Bezerkers with Forge World conversions
10 Plague Marines with Forge World conversions
1 Blood Angel Rhino
Ruined Drop Pod terrain piece