Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Reaver Titan, Buildings and The Warmaster Himself for Adeptus Titanicus/Epic

Some more additions for "Adeptus Titanicus" and Epic 30k
I have continued to work on building up forces for GW's new-edition "Adeptus Titanicus", and those efforts have produced an assortment of items share - a new Reaver Titan, a few of the new buildings from the new box game and, last but not least, a very special character, the Warmaster himself, Horus Lupercal, in 6mm!

Reaver Titan

A Reaver titan for the Loyalists...doomed to be destroyed opposing the Warmaster.  How sad. 
This is one of the new multi-part plastic Reaver Titan kits from GW, painted in the colours of Legio Gryphonicus, the "War Griffons".  As so-called "loyalists", this poor God-engine will fight in the doomed cause of the false "Emperor".

If you have paid any attention to prior postings over the years on this blog, you will see I'm no whiz with plastic models, even very straightforward ones, and this was no exception.  I have difficulty posing the legs on these new Reaver Titan models, even when I believe that I am trying something relatively straightforward.  In this case, you can see I managed to over-pose the Titan's right leg and foot.  This prevented the leg "greaves" from attaching in a clean, proper way.

Oops. That leg doesn't look right.  That's what you get with "loyalist" Mechanicum, right? 
I din't realize this problem until I had already glued all the supporting pistons in place, and couldn't fix it without having to pull a bunch of really radical and risky modelling stunts - stunts which risked breaking the whole kit (and wasting too much $$). So I had to bodge it. The "solution" was that the leg "greaves" were attached in a slightly off-kilter manner.  I mean, this is a loyalist machine, so it only makes sense that it would have some sort of defect.  The crews were probably too busy obsessing over a so-called "Emperor" who doesn't even exist to notice!

These models cost a frigging fortune, but they are very nice.

I love the absurd "gatling cannon" - I mean...just nuts. 
This Reaver is sporting the trusty "apocalypse launcher" on top, a power fist for punching foes on its left arm, and the trusty "gatling cannon" on its right arm.  This armament will be mostly for knocking down void shields, and moving in for the kill with the power fist.  Or, in theory, at least, those are the proposed tactics.  In practice, this Reaver will encounter the hallowed God-engines fighting in the name of the benevolent and unstoppable Warmaster, and thus will see its void shields evaporated and plasma reactor melted down before it could ever even attempt the blasphemy of returning fire...but it will be fun to have on the table nonetheless :)

The Buildings

One of the new building kits from the "Adeptus Titanicus" box set.
The new "Adeptus Titanicus" re-boot comes with a nice set of new plastic buildings.  It is rare that I paint terrain, and I am already fortunate to have a large collection of the old-school card-and-plastic buildings from the original versions of "Space Marine", but these new buildings are quite nice to look at, so I thought I would paint some of them up.

Another view of the first building. 
The new buildings are modular, and the design is very clever, in that once you figure out how the components mix and match, you can really go to town and create structures which are at once very evocative of the pseudo-baroque gothic look of 30k/40k, but which are mercifully free of "skullz", and so are applicable to really any generic sci-fi environment (in 6mm).

I will say, however, that assembly is tricky.  And I don't mean by the "Greg is useless and impatient at model assembly" standard of tricky - they really are tricky to put together, a necessary condition of their modular nature.  But they are worth your time, and will give you some nice pieces of real-estate to fight over (and blow up in the process).

A nice, small, generic building - great for Epic 30k gaming. 
Two of these buildings have fairly generic sand-ish colours to match the desert terrain settings where I like to set my Epic 30k gaming.  But I thought I would have a bit of fun, and try something a bit different and more specific.  The green building will serve as a Consulate building for the Warmaster.  I used the same greens on the building as I did for my Sons of Horus marines, and I threw some decals on the roof.

A Consulate facility for the XVI Legion. 
Given the stature and importance of Horus Lupercal in the galaxy, I thought he would likely have these sorts of office facilities at different points across the Imperium.  At these locations, members of his staff, together with designated representatives from the XVI Legion, plot the destruction of the  of those who oppose them oversee various charitable causes such as free skills training and low-rent housing for those impacted by pro-Imperial terrorism.

But I think it will make for a fun objective in a game - and it shows how nice the building models are. The paint jobs here were very, very quick-and-dirty. But there is a lot to go to town on if you want to take the time, and much more skilled terrain painters than I (i.e. nearly everyone out there) will find it worth their efforts.

The Warmaster

The Warmaster himself, inspecting one of his facilities...

Since I love Epic 30k, and since I have collections of troops from the Warmaster's own Legion, and now, even a consulate for him, well, how about the Warmaster himself?  This is a privately sculpted 6mm-scaled figure of Horus Lupercal, Warmaster and Commander of the XVI Legion, humanity's last hope! The figure is a faithful rendition of the Forge World 28mm figure.

Suitably dramatic cloak. 
Obviously, I would not just pop Horus himself into any old scenario. But if he was to make an appearance in a game, I think a game of Epic would make more sense, where he can be accompanied by a full company of Legion marines, whole squadrons of armoured vehicles, and several Titans.

Some pelts, of course - the Space Wolves might think they are original, but they are just copying Horus of course...
Whether he is personally leading a critical assault, or perhaps looking to evade some manner of craven, low-brow terrorism perpetrated by delusional "loyalist" forces, Horus in Epic should help to set up some particularly fun scenarios for "Adeptus Titanicus" or Epic 30k.

For a small figure, still a really impressive sculpt. 
And of course, you may wonder, how about a figure for "The Emperor"? That way, they could fight it out on the table! Well, that might be interesting, but remember, there is no "Emperor"! :)

Thanks for stopping by at the Blog today - I hope you have a great day.  I'm off now for a quick visit to...Helsinki! The Winnipeg Jets are playing a couple of games as part of an NHL effort to promote their league in Europe.  If you know of a good hobby shop in Helsinki, by all means, share it in the comments! Happy painting to all.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Infinity Project Phase II: the Japanese Secessionist Army

(Click on the pictures to embiggen.)

Last March, while Jen and I were out of town on a mini-vacation, playing board games with Conscript Byron and his lovely wife Kim, news dropped about the release of a new(ish) faction for Infinity: The Game. Formerly a sub-faction of the powerhouse Yu Jing, the Japanese Sectorial Army morphed and changed into its present form, the Japanese Secessionist Army (JSA).  The folks of Japanese descent were tired of being oppressed, and rebelled against their Chinese masters, forming their own political entity. This necessitated some changes in the background and play style of the JSA, while keeping their core flavour of being basically sci-fi Bushi/Space Samurai.

This, of course, also meant that Corvus Belli released some new rules and figures, namely a JSA themed Infinity Uprising book and a JSA Army Box set, both of which I pre-ordered directly from Spain. The rules give some neat background and scenarios. The army box contains 10 figures, more scenarios, cardboard terrain, templates, dice, and a paper map (I had the similar Operation: Red Veil map dry-mounted on particle board at a framing store - see TERRAIN below). With the early-bird purchase, I got the three extra figures noted on the website, too.


The new figures are some of the best gaming miniatures I have ever seen. The figures continue Corvus Belli's new engineering practices, with very positive location points and pegs for the assembly of the multi-part 32mm scale models.  They are very much LESS fragile than their Yu Jing counterparts that I painted up last year.

I received all this stuff in early April, and assembled 9 of the models right away. However, with various work and personal commitments, I only finished the first 7 models over my recent vacation, at the end of September.

I finished painting 7 JSA figures: 6 infantry of various classes, and a non-combatant High Value Target. This is enough to play small, 150-point games of Infinity Recon+ or RECON 2.0, small firefight versions of the basic game, based on 2'x3' maps, instead of the tournament standard 4'x4' playing area. The mounted paper map is of such a smaller size, which makes for fast games, and an easily transportable setup for demos at conventions.

I attended a fantastic painting seminar put on  by Sergio Calvo Rubio back in May of this year.  Based somewhat on that experience, I approached the painting of these figures a little differently than I have in the past. The putative light source is now above, and sightly in front of the forehead of each figure; I hoped that this would provide a more dramatic look to the overall impact of the figure. Also, I was more concerned with the basic shapes of the figure - analyzing the cones, cylinders, cubes, etc. that are part and parcel of the figure's shape. I was less concerned with painting every detail. Also, I tried to highlight and shadow according to the texture of what each figure wore - sharp, point highlights for hard/shiny areas like armour and weapons, and softer edges for cloth, and to bring out interesting shapes of major areas.

As usual for my Infinity figures, all my bases are resin cast, from Dragon Forge Design. Secret Weapon and Vallejo washes, plus some oils, weathered the bases.

Below, I primed the figures with spray can GW Chaos Black, and I added zenithal highlighting with my new Iwata airbrush and compressor combo (blowing at ~17 psi; equal parts water, thinner, and pigment):

Below, faces done in Vallejo acrylics; ready for over-painting in tube artists' oils (to soften transitions, and punch up highlights and shadow):

Below, an in-progress photo:

Below, the completed High Value Target (HVT), a Kuge Delegate, a commercial agent representing the elite of a free Japan. She is armed only with a briefcase (full of counter-revolutionary secrets, no doubt), and a small cat. Using lots of thin glazes of GW Thrakka Green over the zenithal highlighting, I tried to emphasize the outline of her body beneath her traditional dress.

Below, a female Keisotsu Butai; a line infantry figure. Her face is really striking, so I used more contrast than my usual to bring out her expression. I also like how her cotton hakama (split pants) came out.

Below, a female Ryuken Unit-9. Able to infiltrate, armed to the teeth, and equipped with an optical disruptor, these individuals are tough, light infantry. This model looks a LOT like the anime character Major Matoko Kusanagi. from the Ghost in the Shell franchise. I again used a lot of contrast for her face. She is looking downward, so I left out the whites of her eyes. Just a few glazes of GW Nuln Oil brought out her musculature beneath her grey cat suit. The purple hair is pure Major Matoko. (This figure is also seen in medias res in the header picture above.)

Below, a Kempeitai - a type of political officer, who can immediately take over if the unit's officer gets killed. I painted it kind of like a character in Assassin's Creed, which his coat reminded of. His features are very craggy, which made for easy painting. 

Below, I used the limited edition Kaizoku Spec Ops figure as another Keisotsu. With his extra gear on his helmet and backpack, he is usable as a Keisotsu Forward Observer or Medic. I like how the figure is drawing a handgun; this adds to the strength of the physical connection between the (separate) arm and the torso.

Below, an Oniwaban master assassin. Kept it simple, using Panzer Grey for the zenithal highlighting, instead of white. The figure is basically black and grey, with appropriate highlighting for armoured or cloth areas. The pose is very dramatic.

Below, a Daiyokai Dengekitai. Not subtle at all, this is basically a model of a 7-foot tall guy wearing Samurai-inspired armour. The figure stands on a 40mm diameter base. I painted it with various GW greens (Drakenhof Nightshade, Kabalite Green, Sybarite Green) to give shape to the interesting armour and banner contours. I used lots of point highlights on the armour. The undersuit, as for all my JSA figures wearing green/teal armour, was in tones of dark blue and indigo. The large (~3 scale feet tall) brass crest was painted using NMM techniques; the new light source makes for a striking point of focus for the figure, whose features are mostly hidden by his posture and the high-tech jingasa-style helmet.


Getting a burst of energy at the end of my vacation, I completed 13 terrain elements - Japanese and sci-fi buildings, lanterns, and a large Torii gate. These were all pre-painted, laser-cut MDF items from Bandua Wargames. I just needed to use white glue and clamps to get them together.

The sci-fi buildings are two different sets of their Q-Building, which can stack or be used separately. The Q-Building Beta better hides the edge seams associated with pre-painted structures.

The Torii gate, lanterns, and Japanese buildings are parts of Bandua's Edo District table bundle of building kits, that my dear wife Jen got me for my birthday. The Edo District components are usable for both historical Japanese skirmishes as well as sci-fi.

Coupled with some pre-existing holo-advertisements, cars, planters, etc., I placed most of the new terrain on the mounted Operation: Red Veil map to create the setup seen below. I think it gives a very Blade Runner type feel. 


Below, a Yu Jing light infantry figure stands beside a Tourou lantern.

Below, several JSA figures in mid-game action. The Daiyokai is huge!

Below, the Oniwaban surprises a Yu Jing heavy infantryman, while an Imperial Judge stands unaware in the distance.

Below, a Kuge Delegate is protected by a Keisotsu.

All in all, I am pleased with the progress of Phase II. I now have two painted factions, so I can always have a game of Infinity even if my opponent is new to the game. I think that I only need to paint 4 more figures (mostly heavy infantry) to make a full, 300-point ITS-Tournament-legal force for the JSA.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Death of a Baneblade - 40k 8th Edition Battle Report

Imperial Baneblade 6813 contemplates its final moments amid 40k action ...
Do you have any figures that you must actually dust off before you use them on the table? Last night I had the chance to do just that as Conscript Byron popped over for a game of 40k 8th Edition.

Earlier in the week I had dug out and dusted off my collection of Imperial Guard "Praetorians".  The original plan was for them to face off against Dallas' Ork hordes, but unfortunately Dallas was unable to join us this week. A substitute "Xenos threat" was therefore required. To address this need I went even further into the "old-stuff-I-don't-have-room-to-display-but-can't-find-the-will-to-dispose-of" pile in my basement and pulled out my long-dormant Tau collection...

Starting disposition - the Imperial infantry have secured the staging site of an old mine facility,  while the Baneblade (accompanied by a Chimera APC with a mounted squad aboard); the Tau ambush would come at the right side of the photo. 
How old is some of this stuff? Well, the Praetorians have been part of my collection probably since...around 2009 or 2010. I do not recall the last time they saw action on the tabletop...it may be on the blog here somewhere, but it would have been quite a while ago, back before Dallas moved to his current address.

Praetorian troops take up firing positions.

Praetorian auto cannon support squad ready for action. 
As for the Tau, well, they are even older - you can tell from the photos.  I painted these when the Tau were first released by GW, so this would have been somewhere around 2001-02, something like that.  It was fitting that Byron was able to stop by last night, as we were chuckling at how I had painted these very Tau models to be ready for one of the "WarCon" tournaments he used to run - and that was a long time ago!

Imperial mechanized troops dismount as the ambush begins.
Tau Pathfinders deploy markerlights to ease the targeting of their fellow troops - while Kroot mercenaries cover them up front. 
So - one old collection to face off against another old collection.  I wanted to spice it up a bit...and I thought..."Baneblade!"  Back in January of 2011 I completed one of the (at the time) new plastic Baneblade tank kits.  But it had never once seen action on the tabletop, not once, since that time.  So I thought it would be fun to haul it out and see how it performed in the 8th Edition of Warhammer 40k.

The Tau ambush takes shape...the plastic targeting markers were used to indicate markerlight "hits".
I set up a 6' x 6' table, and made the Baneblade central to the scenario.  The Imperial Force would represent some column advancing toward an objective on a sparsely-populated Imperial mining colony.  The Tau interlopers, while indifferent to the Imperial infantry, were alarmed at the Baneblade, and sent a strike force to eliminate it.  The Tau would have six turns to destroy the Baneblade.

The Kroot decide to eliminate the Chimera with a close assault...would tie up the tank and render it useless for the game...
Byron took command of the Tau, while I played the Baneblade and its covering force of Praetorian infantry.  Both sides were at 70 "Power Levels" in terms of size.

Byron's Tau commander opted for an aggressive strategy, with his XV8 Crisis teams arriving in a drop from their Manta gunship high above the table, and hoping to get a kill with an all-out assault in that first round of shooting. We laughed at how this plan might have been received by the other Crisis Suit pilots..."like, right in front the enemy objective...are we SURE about that?"

Surprise! The Tau Commander, accompanied by two XV8 Crisis Suit teams, drops in to make the kill!

Baneblade commander notes the presence of Xenos power suits...

Meanwhile, Fire Warriors engage the supporting Praetorian infantry at long range. 
It almost worked like that. Byron's drop was dramatic, and did damage the Baneblade pretty badly, but it still survived for a bit. The air filled with firing from exotic Tau weapons, met with shattering return volleys of Imperial Guard heavy weapons and the arsenal of the mighty Baneblade tank. It took four turns, but the Baneblade was eventually put out of action, with the coup-de-grace delivered by the lethal railgun of the Tau Hammerhead tank.

The Company Commander watches developments from his improvised command post. 

More Fire Warriors move into position...

Imperial mortars try and eliminate enemy infantry...
It was a costly victory, in that the Tau lost both of their XV8 Crisis teams in the huge volleys of return fire. The Tau Commander himself was nearly clipped, losing his two shield drones (lucky for him they came along!).  On the other hand, no Crisis Suit pilots would be around to question the Commander's strategy...the losses were regrettable, but I suspect this counted as a "greater good" overall outcome for this Tau Commander...

The end is near for the Baneblade...Tau Devilfish APCs attempt to kill steal...and they would almost manage it!
KaBOOM! The Baneblade is "out of action"!

Tau Hammerhead taking in the spectacle of its kill shot...
"Where did those other Crisis suits go? Oh well...it's for the greater good, after all."
It was a lot of fun to get these models out on to the table, so a big thanks to Byron for stopping by. 40k's 8th Edition has many, many warts, but the setting is still awesome, and the game is still a ton of fun when you play with fun players.  It is great that these dusty old figures can still get some time on the gaming tables. Hope to see folks again next week!