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.