Thursday, January 26, 2017

Back to Basics

I was very excited to spend the last of my dwindling X-mas money on these bases. A few years ago, I would have been pretty cranky to have spent almost $25 just on bases but now I gladly spend that amount on quality bases. I did custom bases for all my Dreadnoughts in the past and loves the different attitudes and feelings that the bases provide.

It is less so with the Deathwatch army. While it does not give individual models personality, it does give the army and overall feeling of cohesion for the army. My only regret is that I started the army on 25mm bases before the 30mm bases came out. I may go back and replace them but at this point I am too far in to change.

The two bases in the back are for the DW Dreadnought and Venerable Dreadnought. The pipe base on the right comes from Micro Art Studios and the one with the alien eggs on the left comes from Secret Weapon Minis. The difference in quality between the two is noticeable. MAS base was pre-sanded on the bottom where the SW was not and needed to be filed to even make it flat. The SW has a noticeable gap between the best and the slope of the side that needed to be filled and filed while the MAS had good detail and needed no touch ups.

The giant head is from Scibor and is a work of art. I plan to use it for the metal replacement for Be'lakor. I found a great deal on a complete metal Be'lakor and have traded my only model. I don't really miss him as his rules make him a friendship-ender. The model is awesome though and I think I can paint it even better now. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On The Table - Deathwatch

It has been a while since anything Deathwatch has been on the table. I've been painting up a storm on commissions from Vyndica. First Nate's Haemonculus then the current Hellions. I've been farting around a little with my own projects but not making much progress.

The bodies are mostly finished. I am working on the weapons right now. I bough some assembled Infernus Heavy Bolters because they were a steal and I knew that I would want at least 4 in the end. These two will bring me up to 3 and that is plenty for now.

The dream is to land a Drop Pod with 4 of these guys and ruin a squad's day. What to do with them after that is a mystery. They will probably suffer the same fate that the Dreadnought in a Drop Pod suffers.

The other mini is the next in line of the Black Shields. 22 for the Vet, 15 for the Black Shield, 15 for the Power Weapon and 15 for the Grav Pistol makes this single mini a whopping 67 points. This is down by about 20 points from the other Black Shields but it still expensive. He is worth three Vets the way he is kitted out. I can't not give him a Power Weapon given that his only reason for existing is to double his number of Attacks in close combat. No way I am going to let anyone save against them. For the low low cost of 15 points not only do you get a Plasma or Grav-pistol but replacing the Bolter with a pistol gets and additional attack. I am still fuzzy on whether this is base Attacks or total number of attacks. The latter seem more appropriate for the 15 points.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Hellions

My second commission on Vyndica and first real win on that site. A person that goes by the name of Flayed Ewok payed me $120 to paint 5 Dark Eldar Hellions in The Severed color scheme. I had played around with purple minis with the Living Saint and my flailed attempt at a Sisters of Battle army. Since then I used purple extensively on my Space Hulk Genestealers and Lictors. It was in those last minis that I relly feel that I got to understand purple as a color.

Now, we are friends. I can make it do what I want seemingly intuitively. Black wash loves purple. Purple wash loves purple. It mixes will with white to make highlights. It mixes well with black to make shades. It is like the ain't-red. It is so forgiving and easy-going.

I sprayed these minis black and based them Xereus Purple. They got a black wash and a touch up with Xereus Purple again. After that there is a small highlight of Genestealer Purple and the purple areas are finished. I used the same technique on the boards as I did the purple cloth.

The blue-green areas were painted Sotek Green, washed black and touched up. A short highlight of Temple Guard Blue and those areas are finished. If you are thinking that this sounds a lot like the technique that I used on Greg's Cult minis and my Genestealers, then you would be correct. The basic order of the colors of paint is the same but the way they are applied differs.

That is what where a painter's expertise comes into play. The order and type of paint is important but fabric needs to be painted in a different manner than hard surfaces like the boards. Each reflect and absorbs light differently and thus have to be painted in a different manner. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Haemonculus

I put the finishing touches on this bad boy. I had to shoot from the hip for a lot of it. The flesh cape was a learn-as-you-go process. There was a lot of repainting and retouching but I liked how it ended up.

I also had to basically make up a way to paint evil space elf flesh. I wanted to make them look pale, bloodless and bruised. I did that by basing the flesh areas with Rakarth Flesh when washed it with Agrax Earthshade. I touched it up with Rakarth Flesh when painted on purple wash in the recesses and where the flesh areas joined other areas. Another touch up of Rakarth Flesh and a final highlight of Flayed One Flesh (a paint that I picked up just for the project.)

Nate seemed pleased with the results even though it wont fit in with the rest of his army. I am looking forward to painting more minis on Vyndica. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Editorial - Paying The Scalpers

I am normally not a big fan of the limited edition stuff that GW puts out. The limited edition, collectors, three different covers Codex is still just a Codex. I don't see me paying twice or three times as much for that.

What I get even less is paying more to scalpers. If GW produces 100 of something in a limited edition, then there will be 80 people buying them up in the firs few seconds. These people are not fans of the army. They are not collectors. They frankly do not give a damn about this item but they know that you do. They are going to pay $150 knowing that you will pay $200 or more later.

Not everyone can run down to the GW store on Friday morning to get the new releases. Hell, some of us can't be bothered to hit "buy it now" from our phones while we are waiting for the bus to work. And if you are like me, you are about three months behind the new releases. I didn't even know that there were Deathwatch Dice until after they were sold out. I didn't even know that I would want Deathwatch dice until after I had read the Codex, build and painted some minis and played a few games.

So there I was with some extra money from overtime work and was looking through eBay for a deal or to fill some holes in my collection. I saw the Deathwatch dice were going for $25 to $40 each. For the love of the glorious Emperor, that is crazy. They retailed for $20 and someone would pay $40 plus shipping? I threw out some best offers and eventually was lucky to get two sets for $32 each with shipping.

Better believe that I put my GW dice in a PP bag. 
I know that I would have been over-paying even at $20. Chessex will get your custom dice for $1 each and there are places that will do it for less. I could have gotten the precise images that I wanted on the side I wanted. I chose to pay out the nose for all the different Chapters. It would have been really expensive to get all the Chapters of Deathwatch on dice.

In the end, I am very happy with my purchases. The only thing to complain about (aside from the price) is that the icons are on the 1's side. I want a little celebration when I see that Chapter symbol come up not say something like "Ultramarines? Guess I over-heated and died."

Monday, January 9, 2017

Deathwatch RPG - Getting The Band Back Together

So much has happened since I last wrote about the Deathwatch RPG group over 6 months ago. We had a few games together in which the party progressed through the sewers and into the Imperial Mansion. There they found the Lord-Governor, Thornsholt, who was acting like a big baby. He was decked out in golden Power Armor, that was more for form than function, and shooting at stand up target with a practice Bolter.

They then ransacked the Inquisitor's quarters and got another piece of the Xenocult clues, a ring and a  fancy sword.

Returning to the main hall, they were ambushed by Genestealers. This combat ran long and my players needed to get to bed. I had to truncate it considerably but this was a good lesson in not over-building combats. KISS!

The Lord-Governor's armor was ruined but other than that, it was just a few ticks of ammunition. I still don't think that I was doing Genestealers correctly. At least I remember to give them their Armor and Toughness reductions in damage and additional attacks. I know that the Lordsholm Genestealers don't get additional attacks but I needed to make it interesting. Basically, I would only take a max of 2 hits or one if they penetrated the Armor. Regardless, the Deathwatch chewed them up.

The Kill Team met Epirus Pyrrhus (a reversal of the historic Pyrrhus of Epirus) in the Lord-Governor's chambers. I will admit that this entire character was totally improvised from conception to execution. I didn't even know that I was going to have a character like this before I was role-playing him. The Lord-Governor ran to him sobbing like a child whilst Pyrrhus consoles him like a parent.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Vyndica - Haemonculus

I painted only this mini all day. It is amazing how much work that you can get done when you have no (or at least very few) distractions.

I wanted to make the cape the focus of the mini, but I was unable to get the details done to my satisfaction. I tried to use wash to get the different skin tones. I based the cape with Rakarth Flesh then washed it with Agrax Earthshade, Reikland Fleshshade and nothing. The problem is, there was no base color to touch up with. I had to fake it by touching up the areas that were washed with Reikland Fleshshade with Tallaran Flesh or Cadian Fleshtone. The areas that got Agrad Eastshade didnt resemble any paints that I had so either I ignored it or used Bugman's Glow. I didn't touch up ant of these areas and left them looking fairly flat. I tried to shade the areas with Reikland Flesh shade but was met with limited success. I think it is the lightest/brightest part of the model but the lease detailed. I like the irony but not the execution.

I tried to reproduce the effects of the the other painter had done but my skill were either too different or not good enough to reproduce what had come before. I tried to try my best but my style is too different.