Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Finished - Ork Big Gun

No idea why this conversion jumped to the front of the painting line. Maybe it was getting excited about defogging my Battlewagon or maybe it was seeing piece of shit Earthshaker Cannon poking out of my bits box. Perhaps it was because I was too drunk to paint but you are never too drunk to ruin a mini by converting it to Orks.

All I did was glue some magnets to the bottom of the Earthshaker platform that matched where the magnets are on the top of the 'ard Case bit for the Battlewagon. After that, I just glued a bunch of crap to it. There is not really a formula to it. I also put some magnets on the cannon s it locks in either a level or elevated position.

I regret that I didn't magnetize the whole cannon so it was removable. That would have been useful for Weapon Destroyed results but also if I wanted to use this mount for a Liftadroppa or other weapon.

This would make a good proxy for a Kill Kannon if it was not for the fact that the gun is fixed and does not rotate. 

Vyndica - Painting Test Mini

I was contacted by Nate from Vyndica, my preferred trading site, saying that he is starting up a service for painters called, oddly enough, Vyndica Paint. He asked if I would like to test run the service for him but painting a single mini. We settled on a Haemonculus with an open timeline. It didn't seem fair to make him to pay to test out his new service so I offered to do it pro bono as long as I had an open timeline.

He linked me to another commission of Dark Eldar and wanted me to try and copy the style. Immediately I knew I was out of my depth. I could tell that the painter was not using Citadel paints. I don't mix paints if I don't have to because I never quite get the colors perfect. Even if no one else notices, I will always know and it irks me.

Nate was nice enough to ask the other painter what his colors were so I could try and match them. As I foresaw, they were not Citadel paints and his techniques differed from mine greatly. I copped to Nate that I would not be able to match the painter's style. Nate graciously gave me the go ahead to paint the mini in my style but try and match it to the other minis in theme if not in execution.

The black cloth and old metals were going to be easy. I've painted enough black and silver to last me a lifetime. I had done a coat of flesh tones on the Heretical Inquisitor converted from Fabius Bile so I was prepared for that.

I really had to think hard about matching those glowing blue/greens. I settled on Sotek Green washed with Gulliman Blue to get me started. I touched it up with SB and may highlight with Temple Guard Blue.

Something else about this particular mini that is driving me crazy, is how it is impossible to paint it after assembling it and there is no way to use any sub-assembly. Each piece needs to be painted completely before being assembled. It is really frustrating. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Christmas Miracle

Last year, I had problems with clear coating and it fogging my miniatures just at the point of completion. The Tomb Blades and the Battlewagon were the worst affected but the Flash Gitz and a whole Slew of Deathwatch minis also got fogged. I was so upset at this that I listed them for trade.

Since this snafu, We have moved to a new house. In the finnished basement, we have a nice dehumidifier that runs all the time. It is the least humid basement that I have ever been in. While I was clearcoating some other minis inside ("use in a well-ventilated area" my ass), I decided to test out re-clearcoating some of the frosted minis. The test Deathwatch Terminator came out almost perfect. Encouraged, I did a few more. It worked again! I even took out the old Flash Gitz and they were rehabbed as well. Setting my teeth, I did the Battlewagon and it too looked better. Aside from the 40% humidity or less that it is inside and not using that Krylon MAXX garbage, I don't know what I changed to make this Christmas Miracle happen, but I am very happy it did.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

On The Table - More Deathwatch Marines

I am trying to clear the table of projects so I can start on my legit Imperial Knight kit. I will need more Infernus Heavy Bolters to field the number and type of Kill Teams that I want and also because they are awesome Wargear. I wanted to make a lower-points Black Shield with a little more utility than the melee killing-machines that I have already made. This guy will have a Power Sword and Grav Pistol. He come in at 67 points rather than 77/82 points. He is armed with a combination of AP 2/3 weapons so he will not be useless against any types of troops.

At this point in painting, the black has a good start. It is basecoated with 1:1 grey and black, drybrushed grey and washed black. The silver metals are basecoated and washed black with the armor. Tonight, I painted on the base colors for the gold and parchment. I also painted on the red colors on the cloak. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Finished - Corvus Blackstar

I was kind of shocked when I finished the Corvus Blackstar tonight. I just kind of ran out of things to paint.

I started by spray painting the mini on sprue black. I wanted to assemble it in stages to make it easier to paint but I didn't find a good way to do this. The wings join the body in such a way that they need to be shaded while attached. The tail sections and engines could have been painted separately but with little advantage. So I painted it all at once.

Once it was assembled, I undercoated the whole mini with a 1:1 mix of Abaddon Black and Dawnstone. Then the mini got a drybrush of Dawnstone. I painted on my wash of Nuln Oil and then alternate with Agrax Earthshade on areas where I needed extra shading and darkening.

The silver areas were Ironbraker washed black and highlighted with Runfang Steel. It was all pretty standard. The exception was with all the vents. I dry brushed all of them with Abdadon Black, washed them black and then drybrushed with Runfang Steel. This is not precisely how I have done it in the past and it did not turn out great. I think it fits the model because it is so dark that it does not stand out much.

I painted on the red stripes inspired by the Codex. I also saw some stripes on the tail that looked like the stripes just continued. I tried to get mine as straight and as even as possible with each other but I think that worked against me. I should have made the stripes on the tail smaller. Don't ask me why, but it looks wrong the way it is.

Monday, December 5, 2016

On The Table - Corvus Blackstar

Well drunk-me tried to do some detail painting and sober-me is just now finding out about. Wisely, drunk-me decided to paint the bottom of the Corvus and not on the top or front. Good move, drunk-me.

Surprisingly, when sober-me tried to take over painting, I had a harder time replicating the fine lines that drunk-me did. It might have something to do with me having to add some water to the pot of grey paint that I was using and maybe that made it harder to get clean lines.

Drunk-me also tried to wash the red areas to try and make them darker. Unfortunately drunk-me can't tell when enough is enough (in more ways than one way). The red areas became a muddy mess and had to be repainted from scratch.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On The Table - Deathwatch Black Shield

In between working on the Corvus Blackstar I have been doing a little work on my second Black Shield. My initial thought was to give the Black Shield a pair of Specialist Weapons like LC, CF or TH, LC.The purpose of this was to give versatility of choosing between S 8 and reroll to wound and still getting the extra attack. For a mini whose only special rule is to double their base Attacks, I thought that tooling them up for close combat would be wise.
After my first (and to this point only) game with Deathwatch, I think that Black Shields with a lot of Wargear might be over-rated. For an 88 point model that only uses its special rule against very specific enemies, it is a pricey gambit. I am starting to think that just a Power Weapon would be a better option. Maybe on my next Black Shield.
In the meantime, I am going to stick to the "three Terminator" worth of points version of the Black Shield. As of right now, I have only one bit to make a Black Shield left in my collection. the bits run for about $4 on eBay but maybe I could swap for one or two on Bartertown.

Monday, November 28, 2016

On The Table - Corvis Blackstar

Things are going better with painting the Corvus Blackstar. Since the last update, I painted on the silver areas and washed them black. I also painted on black wash in selected areas rather than dipping the whole mini.
I was not able to get the recesses as dark as I would have liked. I briefly contemplated stippling on pure black on the areas that needed shading but decided against it. I traced on some black lines on some of the deep recesses and it mostly worked. I also tried alternating between Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil to try and get a deeper black.
It is kind of working but it is going to take some tinkering and experimentation to get this mini finished but I am more sanguine than in the last post. I think that this mini is going to turn out well.
The plan is to finish this as the prototype model and experiment a little more on the next one. The third and final Corvus Blackstar will be the "command" mini with a lot of conversions and modifications. What those are I have no idea but I am sure that awesome things will come to me after I google "Corvus Blackstar conversions.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

On The Table - Mistakes

Compare this picture to the last in progress picture and it looks improved. I hate it though. I think that after the wash it is going to look awful and I am bracing myself for it.
Anyone that says they can paint anything any color is a dirty liar. At this point I am pretty much an expert in painting black, red and white but only in my styles. I can't do the green/black or purple/black that is popular with Necrons and Dark Eldar. I can't paint the red highlighted with tan like the 'eavy Metal nerds do with Blood Angels (though I could fake it if I needed to). I can't do the corrupted white like you see on pre-Heresy Death Guard or grey/white.
I can do red on small scale like Power Armor but that is completely different from painting red on vehicles. I am finding out that my prowess with black on Power Armor does not translate to the large scale of this flipping flyer or, emperor forbid, the Drop Pod of the future. Things are just not the same.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

On The Table - Corvus Blackstar

I did some work on the Blackstar. I finished all the sanding and joining. I basecoated it 1:1 black and grey like I do with my Marines, but I am starting to second guess that at this point. the painting style that I use on my marines relied on a total black wash to homogenize and shade the model. I've learned that trying to shade the whole model on a vehicle is usually a bad idea. It is impossible to get an even coat an the whole model and there are always large and visible mistakes. I think I am going to try and do a lighter drybrushing and paint on my wash rather than dipping.
I was very nervous about doing the red lines like the Codex models has. I've painted a few lines on my Tau models and it is hard to get the big ones right. I used painters tape to get the lines straight but really just eyeballed it.
The next step will be dry brushing grey on and then painting the silver areas.
I decided against all the gold on the Codex model. I am just going to all the large areas silver with gold skulls.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

On The Table Now - Corvis Blackstar

This is a beastly kit and very complex. There is a Land Raider's worth of surface area and twice the detail. I would not be surprised if this took 40 hours or more to complete.
I've already magnetized the primary weapons and accessories. Even with a black, silver and red color scheme, this will take forever to get done.
I regret buying three of these models at this point as I will likely never field three of them. I like the formation but outside of Apocalypse games, three of these will never see the table top.
The much more likely transport will be a Land Raider rather than Blackstar.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

On The Table - Ultramarine Terminator Shoulder Guard

Just got some Forge World shoulder guards in for the Deathwatch Terminators. Blood Angels and Ultramarines are over-represented in my Deathwatch army. The former because they are my largest army and the latter because they are over-represented in Space Marines in general, both on the table top and in the fluff. In Deathwatch RPG, Ultramarines make awesome leaders. They make Awesome everything really. For that last reason, I have made an effort to include an Ultramarine in every type of unit I have in the Deathwatch Army.
That and blue is easy as hell to paint.
The shoulder guard in the picture(call em "pads" if you want but my Marines wear armor and not pads) is not finished but is pretty close. There is a little more work to do on the Purity Seals but it is close to done.
I am going to use 1 or 2 more shoulder guards and try to trade the rest. I think that the passion for the new shiny that is Deathwatch, but I think there will still be some people on Bartertown looking for interesting Terminator pauldrons.

Monday, November 14, 2016

On The Table - Watch Master

This bad little monkey came together very fast. It helped that I had today off and didn't work on anything else. I am really happy that I painted then assembled this mini as there area important areas that would have been impossible to paint properly when the mini is fully assembled like most of the left arm, most of the legs and all of the inside of the cape. This is a good thing to remember when Deathwatch is no longer the new shiny and second hand minis become more available. As much as I would like to convert a second one, an assembled version of this mini would not be worth very much aside from using it as bits.
I am still looking for a head for this mini. I want to do a head swap and give him a Chapter right pauldron. I have not picked out either. I am considering a noble face with Ultramarines, a stoic face with Crimson Fists, or maybe something exotic like a hooded Dark Angel or a robotic Iron Hands. Regardless of what I choose, I'll need a fancy Forge World shoulder guard.

Friday, November 11, 2016

On The Table - Watch Master

I am very excited to get started painting the sexy beast that is the Watch Master. On the surface, the rules are a bit confusing. He has the stat line of the Watch Captain with one extra Attack, one more Wound and a base 2+ save for almost double the cost. He also comes standard with a Clavis and a Guardian Spear (an Adeptus Custodes weapon) standard. I am not sure that given his beefy points costs that the ability to change your Mission Tactics an extra time is even worth it.
What is puzzling is what you can't give him. He only has access to Special Issue Wargear and Relics of the Vigilant which means you can't put him on a Bike, you can't give him a Jump Pack, you can't put him on a Bike. He is pretty much a special character without a name given the limited options.
I dislike this highly. The standard Wargear (especially the incongruous Guardian Spear), does not really make sense. The lack of options is frustrating as well as the lack of conversion options. It seems overtly purpose-built to sell a single kit as you can't really field this choice without this particular model. Then, even if you do, you can only field him an particular ways.
I miss the days of the "build-you-own-hero" days of 4th and 5th Edition where you could customize your commander as you saw fit. Want an Assault based leader? How about a Jump Pack, Relic Blade, Digital Weapons, and a Master-Crafted Grav-pistol. That doesn't suit you? Take your pick of the other options. With this Watch Master, WYSIWYG with very few exception.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Finished - Three More Deathwatch Marines

While these three bad boys are not completely finished (they are missing some pauldrons, back packs and some details), they are mostly finished. I am very pleased with how they turned out. I used some old pauldrons that I painted near the end of the last time I painted Deathwatch. The White Scar is metal and not painted very well. I did some touch ups on it before gluing it in place.
I like how the heads turned out. The White Scar head looks awesome. The waste on the older Mk 8 torso on the DW legs looks abnormally skinny. I don't like my Marines to have an hourglass figure. The Black Templar has a great pose. I like how you can hide much of helmet you can hide on the DW kits. I love the Salamander and his big hammer.
I put a magnet in the Salamander so he can double as an Assault Marine.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

On the Table Now - White Scars Face

The Deathwatch Vets box is awesome. I love all the heads (though some are problematic), but there are no good White Scar ones. I like the classic top knot, I like the mongol-style beards. The head from Overkill is good but it is attached to the body. The face above is clearly meant to be a Space Wolf. With the addition of a CSM top knot and some creative painting of the chin as beard, as we have a first class White Scar head.
I've tried to up my face painting game recently. There was a time where I would do a basecoat of a mid-range flesh tone, wash it flesh, touch it up and call it good. I experimented with extra highlighting but the faces turned out looking more corpse-like that I wanted.
On a whim, I picked up Bugman's Glow thinking that I could use it to highlight leather in an interesting way. While, I never really integrated it into my leather paining, I did start using it to shade the deep wrinkles on faces. I still undercoat with Tallaran Flesh and basecoat with Cadian Fleshtone, but then I paint on the Bugman's Glow into all the places that need more depth. There is a little touch up of Cadian Fleshtone and only then do I wash it with Reikland Fleshshade. A little touch up and it is done.
Integrated into that mess, I have also started putting a little purple wash around and under the eyes. It started off on a fluke but this technique has really started to pay dividends.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

On The Table - Deathwatch Marines

On the table now are three more Deathwatch members. This time they will be a White Scars Vet with Power Weapon and Bolter, a Black Templar Vet with a Combi-melta and CCW and a Salamander with Heavy Thunder Hammer, from left to right. I think that I may want to magnetize the Salamander so he can be a Vanguard Marine. That will save me from having to make duplicate models even though Vanguard can't have Heavy Thunderhammers.

To which I ask, "Why?" 

Why restrict the Heavy Thunder Hammers to just Veterans? It seems that Terminators, Vanguard, Watch Captains or Bikes could use them as options. Even if there were not bits available, they would make interesting conversion opportunities. To just not have them available seems odd. 

The Heavy Thunder Hammer (HTH) is a bit of a rules anomaly too. It is the same cost as a regular Thunder Hammer (30 points). For this you lose the ability to equip another weapon (because of two-handed), S 10, and gain the Insta-death rule on 6s to wound. Seems fishy as most things are already insta-killed by S 10 anyway and the few things that are S 6 and higher are not really worth bringing special Wargear for. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Finished - Deathwatch Scouts

Ok so they are not completely finished. In the picture, I forgot to do the grey hard-edge highlighting on the hands but other than that they are finished. 

I had some difficulty fitting the heads on the bodies. I really wanted the vox mask for the Salamander Scout but it would not fit in the very small space facing the way the gun was pointed. I had a similar problem with the sexy goggles on the Blood Angel. In the end, I ended up liking it as it adds variety to which direction the model is facing. 

I did a little conversion to the Ultramarine "leader" by giving him two scopes. The big scope is an Ork scope with the Orky bits filed off and the smaller scope is a SM scope. I accidentally mounted it backwards with the angled part mounted forward but I don't think it maters. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ok The Table Now - Headless Scouts

I am making good progress on the Deathwatch Scouts/Snipers. All the bases are finished and the finished bodies are mounted. I just have to finish guns, pick out heads and they are finished. 

As it stands, I have picked out the following Chapters for the Scouts reading from left to right and skipping Rufus. Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Ultramarines, Space Wolves and Salamanders. The repeat of the Wolves has to do with fluff and bits. In the fluff, Space Wolves do not use the Scouts as in-field training but rather as exile-in-combat for their problem kids. As a result, they have WS 4 and BS 4 Scouts when most updated (all at the time of writing this) have WS 3 and BS 3 Scouts. Ignoring the behavioral problems of having a Space Wolf (let alone a problem child Space Wolf) on a Kill Team, this would make them prime recruiting for Deathwatch. I included a plethora of Wolves in the sniper section of Deathwatch, because I have many left of heads for SW Scouts. 

So, counting Rufus, I'll have 3 Space Wolf Scout/Snipers and (so far) 6 in the army. Over-represented? Maybe, but Wolves have always been awesome and over-represented given that there are 12,000 of them max in the 40k Universe. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On The Table - Deathwatch Scouts

The project for my one day off this week was DW Scouts. I made the choice to use them rather than normal Marines with Stalker pattern Bolters for a few reasons. 

One, they add variety to the "all Power Armor" army. There are rules for Deathwatch Scouts in two of the RPG books. I am still unsure why GW did not give Stalker pattern Bolters to Scouts only in the Codex. It would have sold more of those old Scout kits.

Two, there is only one Stalker pattern Bolter in the Deathwatch box. That is insane when it could have been a bit that clips onto the Bolter rather than a whole gun. It is even more insane when there are already Sniper Rifles in the Scout box. I wanted 5 of these and I am not going to buy 5 kits. 

Finished - Chapter of Deathwatch

From left to right: Silver Skulls (Ultramarines successor), Black Shield, Blood Angel, OG Dark Angel, Raven Guard (Tactical), Iron Hands, Space Wolves.

I love the variety of colors in the pauldrons but they take forever to paint due to the constant color switching. I like how the BA and SW pauldrons stand out and think that from now on, I will paint only colorful pauldrons rather black or dark ones. Hello Imperial Fists!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Finished - Deathwatch Specialists

From left to right, Shotgun and Storm Shield, Infernus Heavy Bolter and Power Fist/Lightning Claw Marines. 

Swapping the Bolter for a Shotgun is free and the Storm Shield only costs 10 points. I really like the look of the Breacher Marines from Forge World and want to make my own with these sexy tower shields. I like the idea of a Marine that wants to get up close to use the Shotgun but also is smart enough to not want to die first. 

I want as many of the Infernus Heavy Bolters as I can get. They are move-and-shoot Heavy Bolters and Heavy Flamers. Best of all, the Heavy Bolters shoot at full range rather than the 18" of previous editions and the Heavy Flamers are not one-shot like I thought they would be. You can also add in Hellfire shells for 5 points if you want to be able to take down those high Toughness creatures like the Carnifex and the Wraithlord. This is my new favorite weapon perhaps of all time. 

Up last if my favorite combination of weapons if it is possible to take them. Because of the way the Speacilist Weapon rule is phrased, other weapons with that rule add an addition Attack even if they are not the same weapon. Using Power Fist and Lightning Claw give you versatility depending on what you are facing. I knew that I wanted to do this on my Black Shield as his special rule only work in Close Combat to double the number of attacks in special circumstances. It would have been more useful if it also worked at range too. Since it does not, I am absolutely kitting them out for close combat. I forget how splitting Attacks works in this edition, but at least I have the option of attacking at Initiative or last with S 8. My plan for the other Black Shield is for Thunder Hammer and Lightning Claw for the same purposes, but I'll likely proxy it with a Power Weapon for aesthetic reasons.

I just need to finish Chapter pauldrons for these Marines.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Finished - Genestealer Cult Aberrants

I feel like these Genestealer Cult Aberrants have been on the table forever. In reality, it has only been about a tich over 3 months. I stalled out on them because I did not like how they were turning out. I thought that I had made a good plan with my first mini, but as it turns out, I lacked direction. I did not like how the skin was turning out. I did not look closely at inspirational pictures of similar minis. Had I waited until the Genestealer Cult Codex, I could have gotten some better inspiration and direction. 

Specificaly, I messed up where to paint the mini blue and where to paint them purple. I should have stuck to painting all the hands, feet and faces purple and only the bodies blue. I confused this on my test mini. I also chose to not paint all the obviously Genestealer-looking parts in Xeno colors. I wanted to highlight that these are humans corrupted by Xenos and not wholly alien creatures. I feel like this backfired as the minis look uneven and inconsistent. I think that I am going to change all these mistakes going forward. After all, these are aberrant. 

I like some of the experiments that I took with painting skin. To get my basecoats down, I painted the minis brown, flesh base and then a flesh tone by drybrushing in quick succession. The flesh areas got a wash of flesh. I washes selected areas purple then touched up with flesh again. After that, I washed certain areas again with purple and then touched up with flesh. the idea here was to give the look on unhealthy tissue, the war between human and Xeno played out in purple bruises. I think that it was of limited success. I wish I had just painted the Xeno areas in Xeno colors but the experience of using purples in flesh was interesting. 

The bases are just plain bases painted silver and washed black. I am not going to do custom bases for a horde army like this. 

I am going to continue to use the "Tyranid" tag for the Genestealet Cult minis as I plan on never starting a large Tryanid force. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Damn I Am Good

Sometimes I impress even myself. 

Not to sound conceited or arrogant, but I did a really good job on this tower-style Storm Shield. I love this bit so much. It is a shame that there are only two in each Deathwatch box. I have one already on this Terminator and I think the next one will be used on a breacher Marine with a Shotgun and a Storm Shield. I am really looking forward to this conversion. 

I took some inspiration for the colors from the Deathwatch Codex. If I had not seen those then I might have just painted it all silver looking. I really like the black and red that the Codex colors added. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

On The Table - More Deathwatch

I know that the Aberrants are not done but I started a new project. I can't contain myself! 

The Xenophase blade is too cool not to use so I had to make one of those. I dislike the packs of amp and pouches on the front of the Deathwatch armor so I green stuffed over that with limited success. I was tempted to give this Wargear to the Black Shield of the group but, as you can only give the Xenophase blade to the "Sargent" of the group and a different Marine can be upgraded to the Black Shield, that makes it impossible. If I knew more about militarily structure and promotions I would make some crack about BS glass ceilings and officers. Vanguard Vets, Terminators, Bikes, etc also do not have access to the Xenophase blade. It is kind of insane. 

I also saw the Terminators with the "tower shield" style Storm Shields and immediately thought, "It comes in pints? I'm getting one!" Right after I got my boxes of the new Deathwatch toys, I cut a Storm Shield out and put it aside for this conversion. My gut says that that this guy should be an Ultramarine but I lack any sexy shoulder guards for them. I can't find any on eBay and Bartertown is always a disappointment. I may try and get some Chinese knockoffs. 

The other two Marines were from a trade and put together with plastic glue, the bane of my existence! I was able to rip off the bases, arms and Jump Packs but the torsos will not come off. I have lots of Vanguard Marines so they will not likely see action that way. I have decided to make them shotgun Marines. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Finished - Brother Art E Miss

I love how this mini turned out. 

In the fluff, Brother Artemis is a member of the Mortifactors Chapter, a fairly morbid successor Chapter of the Ultramarines. I could have painted him as a Blood Angel as theya re my chosen Chapter, but I wanted to stick to the fluff, you know like you do. 

Everything else is pretty standard regarding the color scheme. I did incorporate the red stripes to denote squad number on the right knee, a new addition to the Deathwatch heraldry. I also had to use a vehicle transfer for the skull emblem on the right shoulder guard. 

I tried to do a dumbed-down version of the Grey Knight-style Power Weapon but I think it got lost in the dry brushing. I intentionally skipped the white hard-edge highlighting that I normally do on Power Weapons didn't think it would look quite as good on a mini of this scale. The buled metal seemed like enough. 

This mini is out of print and goes for an average of $55 on eBay. I feel like I spent about that worth in time on this mini and value the paint job at $55. The custom base is worth about $2. Total replacement cost is valued at $111. 

Up next are more Deathwatch minis but before that I need to finish the Aberrants that have languished on the painting table.

Monday, September 26, 2016

On The Table - Brother Artemis

This bad little monkey is coming along well. Now, I don,t play Inquisitor and likely never will but this model is awesome. My friend Matthias gave this to me and I almost broke my legs trying to get him home and get some paint on him. 

Painting it is a different story than 32mm Heroic scale minis. For starters shading is a lot harder. I had to wash and touch up this mini twice as much. The blacks do not look as black as his small brothers. I will say that highlighting is a dream. I feel like I have such fine control on this size of a mini. Even my worst detail brushes feel like lasers on a mini of this size. 

I ended up using vehicle transfers on this mini for the Chapter symbol and the "I" on the knee. It has been a long time coming for this mini that will never see a second of table time but he is almost done.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Finished - Cypher of Deathwatch

Finally finished my dual-pistol, Cypher for Deathwatch and I am rather proud of how it turned out. 
For starters this is a completely illegal model at least the way that I plan to field it. As I have already discussed, you can't give Veterans two pistols. I could have given him a Jump Pack and it would have been completely legal to swap the CCW for a Plasma Pistol, but that was too far outside of the fluff for this mini. Cypher is not a Descent of Angels Jump Pack Marine. He is a bad ass, up in your face, foot slogging, two gun killing machine. I feel that this deference to the fluff makes up for the mild rule breaking that this model does. 

Base cost is 22 points per mini for a Deathwatch Veteran which is steep given the downward trend we have seen in 40 points over the past 10 years. For that you get a Veteran stat line compete with two Attacks and Leadership 9. Other than that, they die like Marines. The Plasma Pistol runs you 15 points weather you are Veteran, Vanguard or Watch Commander. That seems a little strange as the application of each is uneven. It just seems lazy.

That makes this mini 37 points but for that you get a Special Ammunition shot and a Plasma Pistol shot on the charge and 3 Attacks base (4 on the charge). That is pretty nasty as that is potentially 2 or 3 dead minis from this one guy or more dead given best circumstances. 

I made the choice to paint him in Pre-Heresy Dark Angel colors as Cypher would not deign to adopt the colors of the Heretics. It makes him overall very black in tone but the robe helps. I added the Dark Angel wings and some detail to the face to finish off the model.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lights, Camera, Back To Work

The shelf is installed and the lights are hung. It's time to play the music; it's time time to paint the minis. I had to buy some extension cords and get creative with how I am supplying my computers, lights, Dremel, paint shaker and other accessories. It makes me nervous as I have power strips plugged into extension cords at this point but at least the computers are just plugged into a single power strips.the light is great though. 

I went to Lowe's the other day and one of my least favorite kinds of people were there. You all know this person. She is bossy and a know it all but most of all she is an idiot. Her confidence is wildly out of wack with her confidence. She is a genuine moron, but think she is next in line for the Nobel Prize. I was asking for natural light bulbs and she says that she knows where they were. She takes me to to the light bulb isle (where I just was) and shows me flood lights. No no no, crazy pants, I need normal-sized lights. I feel like that was implied. Rather than acknowledging that she had no idea what she was talking about, she conveniently wandered off to help someone else. This is the Dunning-Kruger effect in practice.

/end rant about awful people

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Den Takes Shape

The move is complete and the unpacking begins. My new Den is also in the basement but this one is finished! I ha e the same desk and computer set up but now have this fucking post to work around. I decided to make the best of it and use fit to make a shelf over the desk to mount my lights. Since the shelf is so big, I can also store my bits on it. Due to a measuring error, I am unable to stack the smaller bins that store my paint. No big deal as I can replace them with larger bins later. The boxes in the background hold books, painted minis and a legion of bits. I don't know that I will have my workshop set up before the weekend is out but the goal is to get back to painting soon. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

I Have Way Too Much Stuff

We are packing and moving for what is the third time in 6 years and hopefully the last. The picture is just the hobby stuff and painted minis. It is unbelievable. I have spent about $1,000 a year since 2004 and have rarely sol or traded anything. I could probably paint every day for 8 hours like it was a job and have months of project ahead of me. I've shipped and moved this mess twice and hated every second of it. 

So much of the collection has no dedicated storage. I really need to get some foam to put them in. As much as I hate Battlefoam because of their atrocious customer service, their product is really great. I am going to get some for the new Deathwatch army as it rolls out. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Deathwatch Army Grows

I worked a extra shift rather than taking a three day weekend and used the funds to buy the new shiny for Deathwatch. I needed that DW Captain in a bad way. I always wanted that new plastic Blood Angel Terminator Librarian and now with it bundled with the Deathwatch shoulder guards, it became too good to pass up. How can I not get Corvis Blackstars? That was a no-brainer. 

I need the new bits from the Deathwatch book for conversions and bulking out my force. The spectrum of Chapter shoulder guards is astounding and much easier than trying to hunt down other shoulder guards in trades. I shoudl be able to make 10 Marines out of a box made for 5. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Finished (Mostly) - Deathwatch Terminators

While not 100% complete, these are as finished as they are going to get until i get some bits that come through. I have quite a deep bits box but only for armies that I play and while I pay quite a few armies, I do not play all Chapters of Space Marines. Shocking, I know. What I do have is money to buy bits and friends that play other armies. They hooked me up with some Dark Angel Lightning Claws and Black Templar Terminator pauldrons. That will complete these bad boys.

It is good to have friends. At some point I am going to have to get them back.

This leaves the DW Terminator squad at one Power Fist/Melta/Heavy Flamer, two Power Fist/Storm Bolter, and one bad ass Power Weapon (sword)/Storm Bolter. That is pretty solid. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

On The Table Now - Deathwatch Terminators, Bases

The Deathwatch army is the only army that I am using entirely custom bases. I started doing this because Deathwatch was never supposed to be more than 10 models. It started as the old White Dwarf formation from a thousand years ago. The army expanded a little when Deathwatch RPG picks up and I get excited and want to make another mini. With the release of the Deathwatch Codex and the Overkill box, this handfull of minis is going to expand to a full army. As it expands, I decided to carry forth the custom bases that look like deck plating or alien stuff. 

I think the bases in the picture are from Secret Weapon Minis from the Tau Ceti range and from and Steel Invasion. 

I made the choice to continue using 25 mm bases rather than the new 30 mm bases for consistency sake. I am old school and the new larger bases just look silly to me. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

On The Table - 4 Deathwatch Terminators

Oh what a difference a day makes. I spent a few hours figuring out what Deathwatch Terminators I want to make from the bits that I have on hand. I had some left over Space Hulk Blood Angel Terminators that were never going to get used for anything else. May as well induct them into Deathwatch. I also needed to use up the BA Termie arms that are covered with BA iconography. 

The Deathwatch rules don't really allow for much variation in Terminator load outs. You are restricted to Powerfist/Storm Bolter, Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield, dual Lightning Claws or a heavy weapon. The meat and potatoes of Terminator squads are going to be the PF/SB so I don't mind having some redundancies. It is not like these minis are ever going to be used for anything else. 

Thanks to the Overkill box, I already have an awesome Salamander with a Heavy Flamer and the sexy new PF/Meltagun. I know that I want a Dark Angel because I have some awesome bits that are laying around. I am going to try and use up the shoulder guards by magnetizing the model. I threw some magnets in the tops of random models for later adding some Missile Launchers but I don't have those bits spare. 

I digressed a little there. 

The last mini is a Black Templar. I had some Forge World Cataphractii Terminators that are now obsolete by the plastic ones. I wanted something that looked more knightly than the other bits that I had available. I used a Grey Knight head and legs and paired them with a Grey Knight sword and a Dark Angel Storm Bolter. I think the mini is going to come out really well. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Deathwatch Codex

I just got the Deathwatch Codex and it was worth the decade-long wait. Certain websites that shall remain nameless have had this Codex on their "next 8-12 months" for almost that entire decade. Rumors are such garbage. 

It took GW more than a few tried to get Daemonhunters/Grey Knights/Ordo Malleus right and some could say that they still are not a well-rounded army. They have never done justice to Sisters of Battle with numerous chances and it almost seems misogynistically intentional at this point. While I can't say that this is a "home run on the first try" situation that we have here but is a darn good for a first try. 

Deathwatch is going to suffer from what every Astartes army suffers from and that is being out numbered, except Deathwatch (like Grey Knights) runs the risk of being out numbered by Astartes. All of these armies lack a cheep troops choice. There were several things that I was shocked to see didn't make it into this book that were part of 40k cannon, but I was really shocked to see Scouts missing. GW seems to have a problem moving that dated box set. They would not even have to release anything new to include them though a Deathwatch Scout arm like the one I made would be pretty awesome. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Finished - Deathwatch: Overkill Marines And More

At long last, the Marines of Deathwatch: Overkill are finished. Not only are they done, but I also finished three Vanguard Marines to round out the Assault Squad. Not only that, but three of the Marines are magnetized to have Jump Packs. 

I am super pleased with how they all came out. Each Marine gave me an opportunity to try different techniques in the small scale. I did not have to replicate anythign but the black armor and metal left arm on every mini. This freedom to experiment let me really run wild. 

I feel like I have talked these minis to death on each of their posts.I like how the minis each turned out with their own personalty and yet they look like a unit when they are together. I don't think there there is much that I don't like about the minis as a whole. There are some small mistakes that I feel like I made but in general I am pleased. 

The Deathwatch: Overkill box retails for $160 not including shipping. The Deathwatch half goes on eBay for $60-$100 and each Marine goes for $5-$12 also not including shipping. The bases cost me between $1 and $4 each for a total cost of $20. The three metal Vanguard Marines go for $5 and $15 each based on completed eBay listing for a value $30. There are also smaller costs for the magnets and jump packs that are about $20 to replace them. I value the painting at over $100 given the time and detail involved for a total replacement cost of $250. I would not sell or trade them for less and probably not at all. I love these minis, the Overkill game and my new Deathwatch Codex.

It took me almost 5 weeks to paint 14 Marines. No telling how long it is going to take me to paint the Genestealer Cult half. MY heart is not in it to paint them and there are so many of them. I am going to wait to start on more Deathwatch minis until after the Codex drops so I can have a better understanding of the rules. I don't want to repeat the mistakes with my Space Wolf Terminators where I made beautiful minis that are technically not field-able with the rules even before they changed. 

Finished - Deathwatch Terminator and Bike

These Deathwatch minis are following a similar path to the previous ones in that the work up front seems to take forever. then, at the end, they fly together. I think I am spending a lot of time trying to get the black just right. Once the tone is correct, it really only requires very little hard edge highlighting with grey and it is done. The rest of the details kind of float on that black background which is just what I am going for. 

I think that I have talked about most of the details on these minis. I don't know that I have every talked about the interference paint that I used on Vulkan, the Salamander pelt and the Horrors. I find that a little bit goes a long way. It is supposed to mimic the iridescent look of a beetle shell. I painted it on the Salamander hide on a whim to give it a different look. I did it on the Vulkan mini to just try something different and loved how it made the hide look so I kept using it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

On The Table - Deathwatch Terminator And Fire

I am very disappointing with how the fire came out. It is fine for table top but I have done better in the past. I don't understand what I am doing wrong so it makes it hard to fix it. I drybrushed on the black parts and I think that may be part of the problem. I also painted on the black and perhaps the hard lines are ruining the effect.

To the right is my Vulkan. I think that the flames were more successful there because I only dry brushed on the black and there is less of it. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

On The Table - Deathwatch Terminator and Bike

I thought that I had made a post about these two but was mistaken. At this point, they are coming along great. There is just so much area and detail to paint. 

I am struggling with how to paint the white on the White Scar biker. I am trying to avoid painting white as much as possible. The painted models on the GW site have white on the front wheel cowling but I think that is too garish. I replaced that with silver. So far white is just on the shoulder pad. 

I am using resin bases like I am for all my Deathwatch Marines. 

Finished - Deathwatch Imperial Fist And Jump Packs

I finished the last of the normal Deathwatch Marines and the Jump Packs.

I am very pleased with how they came out. I tried to give each of the jump packs some character to the Marine who will be using it rather than making them generic and interchangeable. Each has a color that is part of the Chapter the Marine came from (Blood Ravens, Dark Angels and Ultramarines respectively). This is also necessary as I was not paying attention and some of the polarity in the magnets are reversed from what I normally do.

The Devastator Marine turned out well too. I had to shoot from the hip on how to do the yellow as that is not a color that I am very experienced with. I was concerned that I may have made the yellow too bright. Seeing the Imperial Fists next to the more muted tones of the Space Wolf makes me think that my concerns are valid. That yellow is bright! I ended up trying to mute it a little with some Gryphonne Sepia wash. I am not very happy with the result but it did mute the color. II am going to try and limit the amount of yellow that I use in Deathwatch Marines in the future.

We are closing on a house right now or at least in the process. There is a 11 day waiting period that kicks in as soon as everyone presses the go button and we are still waiting for that to start. Since I could finish quite a few minis in 11 days, I am going to start on the Deathwatch Bike and Terminator. I won't have time to finish the other 2 Bikes and 4 Terminators to complete the squads though. This might be a good thing as I may want to wait for the Deathwatch Codex to come out to make any choices for wargear. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Finished - Deathwatch Cassius

I am super pleased with how Cassius came out. I think that mostly because I did not expect this mini to be better than the old metal Cassius but it is.

I don't understand why GW chose to include Cassius as a Chaplain as it is a little confusing given his cannon. There is no indication that he was ever part of Deathwatch in the current time in 40k which is 997 M41 (40,997 in out normal dating system). as far as I can tell. Cassius was supposed to have distinguished himself in the First Tyrannic Wars which was in 745 M41 (40,745) which was over 250 years ago. Even though Cassius was to have devoted himself solely to the Tyranid threat around that time, he does not have any accessories on the Deathwatch mini that might reflect this.

I find a lot of this confusing. It just seems strange to shoehorn Deathwatch service into Cassius' past when they could establish a new character. I get that they want to tie the board game into 40k and that there are few names Chaplains that would fit into Deathwatch better than Cassius. It just all seems forces and hamfisted.

The current era Cassius does seem like he would be a good fit for Deathwatch. He is one of very few characters that carries a Combi-weapon. His Preferred Enemy: Tyranids makes him and the unit he is attached to devastating against bugs by rerolling all 1s in shooting and close combat.

He has also clearly seem some serious action. He is very old even for an Astartes and his body is beaten up. The flayed flesh on his skull is just the tip of the iceberg. The fluff says he has extensive cybernetics and the rules give him T 6 and Feel No Pain because of that. He is beastly.

Monday, August 1, 2016

On The Table - Deathwatch Imperial Fist And Cassius

I did a lot of work on these two and most of it was details. I brightened the colors of the Chapter shoulder guards. Right now, I just have to do some minor details and they will be finished. 

I also just learned that there will be a Deathwatch Codex coming out soon from The Grimdark Podcast. I am very excited as I have a great starter army from the Overkill box and my previous projects. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

On The Table Now - Deathwatch Cassius and Imperial Fist

Just started work on the last two of the regular Power Armor Marines. The only ones left after this will be the Terminator and Bike projects and that is just too much to bit off before moving. 

The basic colors are done and I have a a good plan on how to finish these minis. The stock minis from the game show Cassius with gold trim on his armor and I picked silver. This was for simplicity sake as my gold get washed Gryphone sepia and my silvers get washed black with the armor. 

Aside from painting the guns red rather than black, these minis are right out of the pictures for Overkill. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Finished - Deathwatch Librarian and Dark Angel

These minis came together really quickly at the end. There is a still a little detail work to do on them but for the most part they are finished. 

I magnetized both of the backpacks with the intention of being able to swap them for Jump Packs later. I already have a static Librarian for Deathwatch and wanted the ability to put a Jump Pack on him. The Dark Angel can be used to bulk out Assault Squad numbers if needed. 

I also planned to magnetize Chaplain Cassius. Just like with the Librarian, I already have a Cassius model with a standard back pack. 

I did a subtle conversion to the Librarian where a filed his feet to make it look like he is leaning forward. It is not really evident when next to the Dark angel but I like it. I may have over done it. I think I would have been happier with 5 degrees more vertical.

Up next are the Imperial Fist Devastator and Chaplain Cassius. Those are the last of the standard Power Armor Marines in the Deathwatch: Overkill box. I'll still need to flesh out a Devastator squad just for my own piece of mind. It is also a great excuse to buy the new Devastator box. The Deathwatch Terminator and Bike projects are going to have to wait until after we move. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

On The Table - Deathwatch Librarian and Dark Angel

A little more detail work on the Deathwatch Librarian and Dark Angel. They are almost finished. 

I decided to shade the robe with Agrax Earthshade then touch it up with Rakarth Flesh. After that I washed the whole thing with Gryphonne Sepia but was careful not to let it discolor the large areas or pool. I knew that I only wanted to touch up the highlights once more. Rakarth Flesh was the final color that I wanted to use to make the robe different from the purity seals.