Thursday, July 13, 2017

Some Random Painting Projects

It's been a while since I have posted, so I figured it was time to put up something.  Over the last few weeks I have been working away on a number of completely different painting projects in a couple of completely different styles.  Just trying to learn and improve on some of my painting skills.   Hope you like.

Kingdom Death Dung Beetle Knight

This was a piece I have wanted to paint for a long while but wasn't quiet sure how to go about it.  I wanted it to have an iridescent look like some insects have, but wasn't sure how to do it.  I decided to give the Forge World transparent airbrush paints a shot and am pretty happy with the results.
I painted the whole model silver, then clear coated it and did a pin wash with black oil paint to get all the crevasses black, then wiped up the model with white spirits so that there was no black outside the recesses and clear coated it again.  I then airbrushed on some clear green over the silver and then yellow at the highest points.  I then hit the wings with some purples and greens to give a shimmer to them. 

The "fur" type areas and everything else were done with my normal painting methods as this piece was just to play with that clear metallic look, which I think came out pretty well, especially in person.

Arena Rex Beast Master

This model is another great Arena Rex figure that has so much character.  Not really much new tried here other than some blending to get the transition on the hyena right.  I had a lot of fun with this one though.  Same NMM as on the other Arena Rex gladiator I did previously.

His tartan was fun to do, but not super clean, the lines are not all completely even.  Freehand is something I will have to work on sometime soon as well.

Ultramarine Space Marine

This figure was done to play more with glazes.  He was painted with a black base colour and then zenithal highlighted with grey and white with an airbrush.  Then the blue on him is a single shade of blue glazed over in thin coats, then glazed over again with an off-white mixed in for the highlights.

While I have glazed before, I wanted to do a test piece with the simplest colour to do (blue) to play around with what results I could get.

Since I was spending some time on him, I also decided to do NMM for the shoulder pad and chest, but used normal metallic paint for his shoulder pad trim and the teeth on his sword.

I then weathered him up with chipping and scratches and then attached him to the base.

Looking at him now, I may need to go back and transition the caution stripes to fit the rest of the transitions, but you don't really notice that in person it's only the camera that catches it.

Death Guard Knight

Last up is a piece I have wanted to do for a long time and just never have gotten around to. It was another chance to work even more on my weathering and rust effects, this time adding the cool new AK Oilbrushers product to the mix.
I wasn't really sure how to go about painting or converting this model as ideally I wanted it usable in both my 30k and 40k Death Guard armies.  I decided in the end that since Knights would generally be by house and not legion that I could get away with a lot, so went with a look similar to my 30k force which is old and weathered, since I am going for a look of the guys that followed Garro and had to weather the bombardment of Istavan IV.

I started by painting the whole model black, but leaving all the armour plates off.  I then painted the armour plates in various shades or brown, red, and oranges with the airbrush.  I kept the paint thick and the air pressure super low so that it splattered on in random patches, and kept layering in colours.  Once that was done I put on AK chipping and scratch solutions in various areas, and then painted on the bone and green colours.  Once that was all done the magic begins.  I spray the paint with water and then start brushing it, and it just starts pealing off randomly, revealing the under colour.

Once all the chipping was done, it was time to break our the AK Oilbrushers (pre-thinned oil paints in mascara type bottles) and use them to apply dots of colour to the chips.  I then used white spirits to pull that down into smooth rust and dirt streaks.

The entire mechanical skeletal parts were done black, then shaded up with 3 silver colours, and then treated to the same Oilbrusher treatment.  I put browns, oranges, and even yellows in to get the blends looking like rust.  I may go back and add even more.

Last up was "blueing" the barrels which I did mainly with the Forge World transparent airbrush paints I got for the Dung Beetle Knight from earlier.  I started with doing 1/2 the barrel copper (Vallejo) and then did purple over most of that, then blue over part of the purple, and then black over the very end.  I think it came out ok and looks close to realistic.

Onto other projects now...

So there you have it, 4 recent painting projects with 4 fairly different styles.  I am now moving onto a few new projects including even more different looks.  Currently on the painting table are some heavily converted Death Guard vehicles (with even more spikes, tentacles, pus, and skulls, because I know how Greg loves all that stuff on GW models), some alternate Sisters of Battle figures, another Arena Rex figure or two, and some modern stuff from Spectre. 

OH, and a pile of terrain that I need to paint up as demo pieces now that I am producing that again as well!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

An Old Beakie With A Big Gun

Rogue-Trader era heavy weapon marine with lascannon

We will be playing another game of Warhammer 40k's new 8th edition this week, and my dusty old Crimson Fists will be putting in another appearance on the gaming table.  The setting will shift somewhat, from the familiar nostalgia of Rynn's World and the "Battle At the Farm" to the world of Toxo IV, our sort of go-to setting for general 40k mayhem. I don't recall exactly when our use of this name started - seems to go back to at least 2009 - but we thought the name was kind whacky and did its own bit to convey the warped darkness of GW's far future.

So Toxo IV will be the setting of an encounter between Dallas' foul Chaos renegades, backed by some even fouler Nurgle types, against an Imperial task force that will feature Crimson Fist Space Marines and some Imperial Army types - this is a set-up we have used previously and it has always been fun.  We are going to scale the game up a bit more this week, and bring out some vehicles. 

The studded shoulder pauldron, a classic emblem of old Space Marine figures from Citadel/GW
The presence of tanks, and even worse, Nurgle, means my Marines will need a little bit more punch. A lascannon would sure come in handy...and then I see this guy, who has been sitting, primed, in the pending pile for like four or five years! I rushed him through the painting table late last night, as the weather has finally been nice, and the days in Winnipeg are very, very long right now, and I find myself staying up very late anyway, so it was easy to finish off.

Unique venting system, no backpack on this fellow! Makes it much easier to pose the heavy weapons.
This figure is old school, a pewter Space Marine heavy weapon trooper of the Rogue Trader era.  There is no finer Space Marine figure than the originals with the "beakie" helmets, and metal figures are always the best, so man, was it fun to crank out one of these classic gems. I don't have many of these left in my collection to paint, and they are getting harder to find online, so it was a real treat to relax, put on old music and put the brush to this old, old casting.

You can see the size of the contemporary decals vs. the size of these old castings...looks kind a funny, but I'll take it for now
These old figures had so much character.  One thing that stands out for me with this guy is how he has a unique venting system on his armour, so he does not wear the ubiquitous power armour backpack, leaving more room to swing that big gun around.

Ready for gaming action with his Crimson Fist battle brothers!
I tried to use some decals to mark him out, but of course the scale creep on the decal side has far outgrown the original Rogue Trader era figures - and this is particularly pronounced with Space Marines, as GW's Marine decals have always been too large, even for the later plastic figures (although I suppose they would fit nicely on those hideous Primaris Marines).  I have attempted the odd freehand Crimson Fist symbol, but wasn't up for this time. So I went a bit wacky using the decals, and put the chapter symbol on the leg greaves instead.  He's got a big cannon anyway, so he can do what he wants, right?

Lascannons always come in handy, so hopefully this fellow will be able to blast a renegade tank or Plague Marine with it! 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Silent Sisters Finished

Sisters of Silence, ready to adjust a few attitudes on Propsero

Our gaming group is (mostly) pretty excited about the 8th edition of Warhammer 40k, but my 30k painting continues after a short diversion last week.  Here is another group of figures completed from GW's "Burning of Prospero" box game - this is the "Sisters of Silence" unit, part of the loyalist force contingent in the box game.  I had already painted the Sister Superior a couple of weeks ago, and I  finished the balance of the unit over the recent long weekend.

The cloaks on the figures are very nice, very ornate - and are a pain in the ass to paint!
In the background of the 30k setting the Sisters of Silence are a specialized order of militant anti-psyker witch-hunters, with an innate physical/genetic trait that impairs the use of psyker powers. Obviously the warp-talented troops of the Thousand Sons would hate that! These figures are pretty important for the Space Wolf player in the "Burning of Prospero" game, as the Sisters hold out hope of resistance while the warlocks of the XV Legion rain all manner of terrifying psyker powers down upon your lone infantry squad...

Another view of the cloaks...lots of variety, each one is unique, and the most elaborate one (with the scrolls) belongs, as you might expect, to the Sister Superior
The Sisters can be armed with swords, bolt guns or flamers. I didn't care for the idea of the swords over the whole unit, so I left it with the Sister Superior.  I opted to model them as a small squad, with the Sister Superior wielding the sword, another sister armed with the flamer, and the balance equipped with bolt guns.  The variety will add some flavour for games of "Prospero" as well as 30k. 

I have already mentioned the scale creep on these figures, but otherwise the sculpting of these miniatures is quite incredible, even if the cloaks make them much harder to paint than they otherwise would/should be, with both the back of the leg armour and the inset of the cloaks being close-to-impossible to paint properly.  The armour is very, very ornate and there are a lot of small details that skilled brush-masters out there can go totally nuts with!

Flamer on the left, and one of the bolt-gun-armed Sisters on the right...ready to purge some witches
For my part, I opted for mostly washes dry-brushing to get the job done, with some targeted highlighting here and there.  I think the figures turned out fine, although one challenge I encountered was the softening of the detail on the plastic due to the paint-on primer. I hate priming so, so much...but it also reminds me of how much I miss proper metal figures. Sigh.

The Sisters of Silence can be used in standard 30k and 40k games as well, fielding large squads mounted in Rhino APCs etc.  These figures don't really interest me as a large force - I see them much more as a specialized sort of group for narrative games of 30k and 40k, so that is likely the only use they will find outside of the occasional games of  "Burning of Propsero".

Armour, cloaks and faith in the Emperor...let those who dabble in the forbidden arts tremble! Or at least prepare to pay a really big fine...

"Burning of Prospero" comes with a total of 47 miniatures, and I have now managed to finish 42 of them so far - not bad! I have saved the most challenging ones to paint for last - the Custodian Guard, the Emperor's own bodyguard troops! A unit of Custodians made the trip to Prospero along with the Space Wolves, and while they were relatively few in number they certainly packed quite the punch. The game comes with five Custodian models, more multi-part plastic figures. The figures are extremely ornate and look to be pretty difficult to paint...hope I will be able to share some painted examples soon...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Battle at the Farm - 8th Edition Style

Conscript Keegan in a pensive mood over 8th edition

The Battle at the Farm... a legendary encounter! The first-ever scenario from back in the days of Rogue Trader - pitting Pedro Kantor and the survivors of the Crimson Fist chapter against Thrugg Bullneck, Sergeant Hruk, and their Space Ork warband in a scrap over a ruined farmhouse.

While we had played the scenario a few years ago using the original rules for the 25th anniversary of Rogue Trader, we wanted to try it again for the 30th anniversary and our inaugural battle report with the new 8th edition rules...

So we set up the game with the original terrain layout, but updated armies. On the Ork side, a 55 power level army - from bottom to top in the photo above: a 20-Ork unit of Boyz and Warboss Hruk, a Deff Dread, a unit of five Tankbustas, a unit of ten Stormboyz, a unit of ten Boyz, two Skorchas, and Thrugg himself, a Warboss in Mega-Armour.

On the Space Marine side, also 55 power levels in play: two tactical squads of ten Marines each, a Dreadnought, a unit of five Scouts, an Imperial Space Marine (the awesome "LE02" limited edition model from last year), an Ancient standard bearer, an Apothecary, a Librarian, and Pedro Kantor himself.

(All of the Orks are Rogue-Trader-era metal models and the Crimson Fists tactical squads are all RTB-01 "Beakies", befitting the scenario. The Stormboyz have been kitted out with jump-packs from the newer plastic kit).

The Stormboyz, a Deff Dread, and Thrugg's mob of boyz deployed in cover behind Bultha's ridge. "Hruk, you take da big mob straight for da farm. I'll meet yer at da farmhouse," Thrugg ordered. "Sneaky," he thought to himself. "If Hruk makes it, it's coz he killed all da humies in da way. An' if he don't, then his share of da loot is mine!"

The humie gunline was indeed impressive though. Boltguns remain Rapid Fire in 8th and spit out a considerable weight of fire (2 shots per model up to 12"). Plus now, units can split fire freely, so the squad's missile launcher can shoot at the Deff Dread while the bolters shoot at boyz!

Da big mob advances. Ork gunz are mostly Assault, so Orks can Advance (regular move  +d6") and still shoot, albeit at -1 to hit. As their Ballistic Skill is already 5+ this reduces the expected number of hits by half...

As Thrugg sneaks around the Rise out of shot, the mob crashes into the wall of Marines. Defending an obstacle in 8th does not give much of a bonus, however - it only really means that models within 2" (not 1") of an enemy can fight. Charging models still fight first and that's what the boyz are good at!

Meanwhile one of the Skorchas used its special ability to outflank, and deployed on the Ork right table edge. It flamed out one of the Scouts and then charged into close combat. Yes, vehicles fight in close combat now - and the Skorcha was quite handy with a WS of 3+ and four attacks!

Back in the main fight things were going south for the Fists as Greg was plagued by some bad dice. The Orks were grinding away, assisted by Hruk who was pretty good himself. The Deff Dread acquitted itself well too, dispatching Marines with its mighty Klaw.

Things were looking promising as the Skorcha ground its way through the Scouts and their fey capes (!) while the second Deff Dread stomped over to finish the job. Thrugg and retinue can just be seen in the trees at top.

As noted, Greg's dice were appalling throughout most of the evening - here's the result of some Marines attempting a 2+ saving throw against Ork shooting. (Yes, the power armour save is still 3+ but instead of providing its own cover save, cover now adds 1 to a model's regular save. This is useful as "AP" now merely subtracts from the target's save rather than negates it altogether)

Thrugg can almost taste the loot as he and his retinue approach the farmhouse from the flank. Notably, difficult terrain no longer slows models' regular movement, but does subtract 2" from their Charge move.

After having several Boyz peeled off by Marine shooting the scene is set for the final showdown. Pretty much all that's left of the Fists are their characters and Dreadnought, but there's not many Orks left either. Everybody goes crashing into combat but Thrugg, who rolled snake-eyes on his Charge roll. So he's a spectator in the first round.

Things don't go so well for Team Green and it's up to Thrugg to salvage pride by taking out the hated Captain Kantor...

...which he does not... Kantor's spiffy wargear is too much for Thrugg, who whiffed his attacks. You don't often get a second chance against Space Marines and this time was no exception, Thrugg taking it on the chin.

A pretty bloody battle all around, which is just the way we like it. No survivors on the Ork side and only a handful of Space Marines left to try and relieve the holdout defenders of New Rynn City.

So that's 8th edition! Verdict... we like it. To be precise, big thumbs up for:

  • variable move rates
  • variable weapon damage
  • saving throw modifiers
  • no more universal special rules - everything's on the data card!
Enthusiasm was tempered for:
  • Psychic warfare, which for the Orks (lacking a Weirdboy) was devastating
  • cover saves being neutered
We're not keen at all on:
  • No vehicle facings or weapon arcs. Pretty sure we'll house rule this
  • Keeping track of 10 or more Wounds on models 
Looking forward to another game next week where I expect we'll try some vehicle house rules just as a bit of a tweak. Stay tuned!