Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shifting into maximum overdrive.

And I'm back from my Christmas hiatus with a whole bunch of stuff to show ya'll. First on the itinerary, I have officially started to work on my Dark Eldar, and have built 10 Warriors and 10 Wyches. The new kits are fantastic, full of tons of options. I would show a picture, but in my haste to build all my my models, the sprues are now just that, sprues with nothing on them, picked clean of bits. I have painted a test mini, and have settled on a color scheme of cold blues, greys and steel, with black as a base color on the model, see below:

There is a lot of detail on the models themselves, so they are going to be an exercise in highlights as well as gaming. I'll try to have a painted Wych up later this week.
I picked up one of the new WFB terrain pieces "Dreadstone Blight", basically a huge ruined tower. The kit came in a grand total of maybe 20 pieces, and was very easy to assemble. There is plenty of detail on the tower, though skulls are, as always, very prevalent, for whatever reason.

On a final note, I desided that my next fantasy project after I finsih up my Empire army will be Chaos Dwarfs. I've been looking into thier fluff, and they are arguebably the most origianl race in Warhammer. I really like the mesopatamic influences in thier backkstroy, and with Mantic Games relaeseing a new range of 28mm chaos dwarfs I have set my mind to it. I'll be using the Ravening Hordes CD list from White Dwarf, as well as the American Indy GT CD unofficial army book. I converted one of my Battle for Skull Pass dwarfs into a Chaos Dwarf Lord, using a lot of Green Stuff (for the beard) , as well as bits from the Chas Knights and Marauders kits.

I will likely be going for a bronze and purple paint scheme, though I don't know what color the skin should be. Any suggestions would be appreciated, and comments on welcome.
EDIT: Yes, I am aware that the base isn't great, lava is reeaaallyy hard to do.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I finally managed to watch all of Ultramarines thanks to the /tg/ community and Livestream. My thoughts:

Having caught a glimpse or two of the film beforehand, I was prepared to be underwhelmed by the CGI and animation. Yes, the CG is very, very bad, and the animation tends to be more choppy then not, but I looked past this. I was expecting a strong story, or at least a passable one and lots of marines killing heretics. What I got was, well, let me put it this way. If it hadn't been a 40k movie, I would have passed it off a average. It was OK, the action scenes where somewhat interesting, and the plot was passable.

BUT, this isn't a generic sci-fi film, this is a movie set in the 40k universe. It doesn't ignore the fluff ,it runs it over with a car and sticks it in a blender. Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine a frat boy at a college party in the closet with a drunken freshman girl. Now, Codex Pictures is the frat boy and the girl is 40k fluff. I don't know what Abnett was thinking when he decided to write this, but there where numerous things that where just plain wrong, or didn't make sense. A few of which, without revealing anything, are:
A Shrine World with an important relic, being guarded by an entire company, yes, an entire company of Imperial Fists, is nothing but a huge dessert. No Hive Cities, Soritas, Ecclesiarchy or Inquisition presence, no priests, pilgrims, houses, nothing but a dustball with a chapel. Going into the fluff why always see the Shrines Worlds a covered from pole-to-pole or sea to sea in cities and monuments, not a single ruined cathedral.

A space marine captain, yes, a captain, leader of an entire company of marines, decides to lead the little visit himself, accompanied by a command squad made entirely of novices. Why? Every current SM codex clearly states that the members of a command squad are hardened veterans.

A chaplain shoots a laser field from his crozuis. This is pure and simple, a crozius does not work that way, a crozius is a fancy power maul, thats it.

It goes on and on and on and on. A Thunder hawk the size of a Valkyrie, Space marines dieing from being shot in A heart, with normal bullets, the presence of only what seems to be about twelve marines on a battlebarge. Now, one would think that if the CGI was poor, and that Codex/Abnett blatantly disregard fluff than maybe the overall plot would be good to make up for it right? Wrong.

I say again, it is PASSABLE, in a direct to TV, Sy-Fy channel kind of way. The characters are bland and not very memorable, the story is simple, and the twists are seen coming from a mile away.

The only saving grace(s) are the sound effects and voice work, which are of top notch quality. the voice actors give a good performance and the sounds of battle, from the blast of bolter fire,the roar of chain swords or the thrumming of a Land Speeders grav engines, the sound makes the world come alive in a way the CG cannot.

I can't say I was expecting this to be a triple A project but all in all I can only say that I am very disappointed. Furthermore, I will not being purchasing this movie. It isn't worth my $40 and isn't worth yours. I can't recommend this to a die hard 40k fan, but maybe, just maybe, a curious new player or fan of sci-fi action may get some enjoyment out of this, but I still wouldn't suggest buying it at its current price tag. It just isn't ultra enough.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dose O' Hobby 12/13/10

The army is coming along much more quickly than I had anticipated, which has freed my up to do some conversion work. First on the list is my Steam Tank, which I have replaced the main gun with an old metal Helblaster Volleygun barrel:

The main body of the Steam Tank was done with a drybrush of Chainmail, the gold/bronze engravings and designs wheredone with a mis of Inca Gold (from FolkArt) and Dwarf Bronze. The shields where painted in various provinces' colors, namely the colors of Altdorf, Nuln, the Ostermark and Talabecland. I filed down the top and bottom parts of the gun barrel to allow it to fit in the slot for the cannon, then used Green Stuff to hold it in place, and covering any places where the Green Stuff was visible with ribbons from the Brettonia Knights of the Realm kit, and painted the wax seals Hawk turquiose. When I finally get the entire army done, he color tieing it all together will be turquise, as the various state troops units are all from different provinces, and have different color schemes, namely the purple and yellow of the Ostermark swordsmen unit, my recently finished unit of Halberdiers, which are painted in red and yellow, the colors of Talabecland, and my another unit of Halberdiers, which are blue and grey, from Middenland., see below:

And finally, I've added a Warrior Priest of Ulric to the army, replacing one of the Sigmarite priests. He still "counts as" a WP of Sigmar, but I felt that he would help explain why a body of troops form the Ulric-worshiping Middenland be in a mainly Sigamrite army. I based him in white, then painted the armor in two layers, first Darf Bronze and then Chainmail. The hair is Sunburst yellow, which was then brushed over with Calthan brown and then brushed over again with Sunburst Yellow, and his skin is Tallarn Flesh. The Fur cloak is white, which was then layered over with Astonomicon Grey, then White again.

*As as side note, every unit in the army has been washed using Miniwax Red Oak wood finish, which I am using to speed up the painting of the army, as it really brings out detail without too much work. Normally I would stick to washing and highlighting, but I have had to use dip on this army just to get it finished in the short amount of time I have.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Empire army fully half done.

The army is coming along nicely, and after some quick changes to the list, adding a few mortars, a cannon, a tank, and I have an army I can manage to paint in time. I have, fully painted and based, 30 Swordsmen, 15 Halberdiers, 30 Flaggelants, my war Altar, the Steam Tank "Sigismund", and two artillery pieces, as well as both Warrior Priests and the Arch Lector. This leaves me with the task of painting: 3 Artillery Pieces, 45 Halberdiers, a wizard and my battle standard bearer. Here is an overview of the amry, cut into several pictures, as, even though it is only at 2500 Points, the model count is absurd.I couldn't get a super clear shot as my camera is still on the fritz, but on the plus side, I got a sandwich. Tasty too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Road to Korbsliebe, part 2, plus War Altar complete

The party runs through the forest, into a thick patch of brush and bramble, and they see a clearing in the distance. The ogre bellows in fury as it chases them, smashing aside the brush, trees and small animals in his way. Rankar, in a fit of berserker rage, smashes a tree aside and burst into the clearing, as Ozark, showing impressive acrobatic skill for a dwarf, leaps over the smashed remains of the tress and follows after Rankar. However, both Delila and Illiaster(sic) fail their AG checks and fall, but they manage to run into the clearing as the Ogre nears them. Looking behind them, the see the Ogre dash into the open only to be overtaken and dragged away, screaming, into the darkness of the forest by giant spiders.

Taking a look around, they realize they stand in a clearing, which is marked by a ruined Sigmarite Chapel at a crossroads in the center, with the roads winding into the darkness of the woods. Apraoching it, Illiaster and Ozark engage in a lively debate as to whether the Chapel is haunted. Unable to contain his anger any longer, Rankar attempts to smash the door, but fails, his flail bouncing off the wood. Delila, following Rankar's example, trys to pry the door open, only to also fail. Being the only rational person in the party, Illiaster (btw, this is the Elf guy) knocks, and a gruff voice replys, asking whether or not they are friendly. After a quick chat, the door is open, and everyone immediately ready their weapons in case of attack. Delila slowly pushed the door open, revealing a merchant, a old woman, a child and a huge, bear-like logger sitting around a fire, a corpse several feet away.

The logger calls himself Hans Buemer (this is a temp. character for a new player) and tells the party that he and his acquaintances have been trapped in the chapel for days under Goblin attack, the priest of the Shrine, Father Traugott, was killed defending it. After negotiating, the party agrees to escort Hans and the other people through the forest, in exchange for Hans finding a path back to town. the merchant promises gold in exchange for safe passage.

Walking through the wood, Hans guides the party to a clearing by a creak, and the party makes camp. Delila uses her knowledge of herbalism to create a potion for Illiaster, who drinks it, however, the innate magic of the ingredients cause a minor chaos manifestation, and a chill wind blows into a nearby cave, awakening whatever lay within. They set up camp near a large rock and arrange a night watch, which consists of Illiaster and Rankar. In the night, Goblins burst from the cave, and catch the elf and man unawares, however, the dumb beasts are no match for them, and they easily block the Goblins' attacks. Illiaster attempts to climb upon the stone for a better few of the combat, but trips, and spending a Fate point, avoids bashing his head on the rocks. Ozark leaps across the creak in a running jump as Delila attempts to charge over the large stone, however she fails her AG to climb, and spends a Fate point to avoid snapping her ankle. Hans charges from across the creak, but is caught by the current and is trapped beneath the water.In the second round of the combat, Rankar crushes a goblin's skull with his flail and knocks another out, while Ozark chops down a tree with a swing of his blade, in an attempt to block off any goblin escape route, however, the tree falls away from the fighting, and crashed into the side of the cave entrance instead.Illiaster breaks away from combat to ready his bow, and unleashes a fusillade of arrows, all which miss their targets, but one manages to strike Delila threw the chest, causing her to become unconscious, and have a 2/10 chance of instant death (per round) until medical attention is given. Hans breaks free from the current and the Goblin mob tramples one of their own underfoot, as the battle continues....

This session had a lot of really cool things that went horribly wrong due to poor dice rolls, but what can you do? I may have another update by next week, maybe.

In other news, my War Altar is up and ready for the Tabletop, and I plan to revisit it after Coastal for several touch ups and highlitghts. Here is how it came out:

Sorry if they are a bit blurry or out of focus, something is up with my camera, and I have yet to figure out what is wrong.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dose O' Hobby 11/5/10 (War Altar Conversion)

Only two months till Coastal Assault and I am hitting crunch time to get my army done. With that in mind, I decided to do a time consuming and costly conversion, because painting 100+ models is not anywhere near enough work for. I've based it off of the Screaming Bell kit. Here is a work in progress, I have the thing in three parts so far:

I used a base of Krylon's plastic primer (Brown) on most of the thing, followed by washing the wood in Miniwax wood stain (Red Oak 215). The metal bits are the usual Dwarf Bronze, with the exception of the spiky metal halo around the bell, which is FolkArt Shining Gold. The Arches are based with Astronomicon Grey and the ropes are American Buttermilk. The Griffin is FolkArt Shinning Gold. I'm planning to finish up the first layer of paint on the whole thing, then do highlights an detailing after the tournament. I shaved off all the Skaven iconography by first cutting layers of plastic off, then filing the surface smooth. U cut off some of the spikes, but kept others, the reasons for doing so being A) I didn't want to waste three hours filing off all the spikes, and B) I think it makes sense that there are spikes , to prevent anyone climbing up on the thing (the damn thing has cut me like three times so far, those plastic spikes are really sharp.)

I've also done some modeling on the poor bloody infantry, making my Battle Standard Bearer from bits from the Flaggelant, Outrider, Greatswords, and Zombies kits. Having realized I am basically running a Witch Hunter themed Empire army, the BSB is a crazed preacher, holding up a pole with a strung up heretic (also, he has a gun):

I've green stuff some tatters of what was once a banner, and I plan to paint over it with the phase "Somit gen ketzer", which translates into "Thus unto heretics", apparently, as my German 2 skills have left me and I had to use a translator.

I've also worked on some more unit filler to try and get the most use out of the smallest amount of models. Here we see a Goblin and a Man wrestling in a tree.

This is going into my halberdiers unit.

As for the promised Battle Report, I don't have one. The first play test of my tournament army was against a dedicated Dwarf gunline, using the Battle for the Pass scenario. Suffice it to say I never got across the board.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dark Eldar and State Troops

I've received the a modest shipment of DE kits to begin my army which I probably won't actually paint or game with for a while, as I am going into maximum overdrive to get my fantasy army done. Here, have a picture:

Taking stock, I have, in my possession, one Kabalite Warrior kit, one Wych Kit, one Raider, a three pack of Reavers, and the metal Archon Blister.

On to Fantasy, here is part one of my Empire troop choices, starting with State Troops:
SPEARMEN: The ubiquitous spearmen. If you want to get fluffy, than these guys are for you. Sadly, they really do not preform in game as well as in the fluff. First, lets look at their statline
M4 WS3 BS3 STR3 T3 W1 I3 A1 LD7
With a modest profile, like most State Troops, they need to be used in numbers to be effective. Their spears allow them to fight in one additional rank, but, with only WS3 S3 T3 I3, they will likely go last in a combat, and will have to be taken in excess of units of 40, for 3 reasons, A: They die in droves B: They will not hit or wound half of the time and C: To take advantage of their extra rank attacks, then you are more or less forced to field them in a horde, a very costly horde, that will have to be very large because, as said before, they die A LOT.

SWORDSMEN: "Dashing figures on the battlefield/Expert blade masters". They share the same stat line as all State Troops with the exception of their weapon skill, which is a 4. Along with their shields, giving them a +5 Armor Save and a +6 Parry save, they are the most durable state troops with the exception of Greatswords. WS4 means that they will hit slightly more often, and the +5 save gives us some insurance against STR4 attacks form Halberds.With STR3 they will still struggle against tougher models, but Swordsmen excel as a defensive block. 30 Swordsmen Five wide and Six deep will hold out a fair while, assuming you have a BSB/General/Priest nearby/in the unit. However, they are one point more expensive, which CAN add up if the unit is too big.

Arguably the best choice out of the three Core State Troops CC choices, Halberdiers give up the extra fighting potential of Spearrmen or the extra armor of Swordsmen for a +1 to Strenght. Is it worth it, I would say yes. While they do have the rather modest Weapon Skill of 3, a STR4 wound will remove the Armor save form lightly armored troops (Elves, Skaven, Gobos) and weaken the armor of heavy infantry (WoC, Dwarfs), and the STR4 hit will wound fragile models (again, Elves, Skaven, Gobos, and even other State Troops and Brettonians) while making it easier to wound tough fighters (again, Dwarfs, WoC, and Saurus, Orcs, etc). These guys work well in most any number. 15-25 man detachments to lend some punch to Swordsmen and Spearmen or in huge 40-50 man hordes and battlebuses to really hurt your opponent.

With the same staline of a Spearman/Halberdier and no armor, you may wonder as to why someone would take these guys. The reason? Two attacks. These guys, if they survive to hit back, can unleash a torrent of Str3 attacks. I see them as the poor man's flaggelants.These guys in a horde with a Warrior Priest get 40 hits with re-rolls, and will be cheaper than Swordsmen if fielded in a 30 man throw away horde (this really only fits into larger games however) Augmented with some magic (Flesh to Stone, Mind Razor, Speed of Light, etc) they will cut throw a lot of models.

With a respectable BS3, and their hard hitting STR4 AP handguns, the Empire's finest riflemen can pack a punch against both light and heavy infantry. Move or fire combined with a 24" range means that positioning will be important, but if they get a good view of the field they can really hurt your opponent, as well as providing ranged punch to CC units as detachments, and giving the unit marksmen a Long Rifle can put the fear of Sigmar into your opponents Champions and Characters.

Giving up the hitting power of handguns for greater range, crossbowmen excel at massed supporting fire. Multiple units of ten spread throughout the table will be able to rain a hail of bolts on anything in sight.

Being Skirmishers, they can;t hold up in CC like Handgunners and Corssbowmen can, but being able to roam the battlefield raining arrows in massed volleys can prove to be useful, and Huntsmen allow for a very annoying, very effective hassling force.

Heavily armed and armored, with Stubborn and Ld8, massed Greatswords form an excellent anvil and when supported by other troops can be a deadly hammer. However, they have a rather poor weapon skill for a "elite" infantry at WS4, and their Great Weapons, while adding a devastating +2 Str, make them ASL, so they can be killed before they get to hit back. However, if supported by detachments of swordsmen or halberdiers, as well as handgunners or maybe archers, Greatswords can cut through the toughest foe.