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.