Saturday, 21 January 2017

Infinity: XCOM Marauder TO-DONE!

"Won’t even know what hit ‘em."

Hi folks,

I snapped the drill bit of my pin vice this afternoon, so most of the work I was doing has been put on hold. Curses!

To make myself feel better, I completed a test miniature for the Marauder models in my XCOM themed USAriadna army. If you don't know what XCOM is, then I don't know if we can be friends anymore...

Seriously though, UFO: Enemy Unknown was my favourite game as a teenager and that is a BIG call. We were all playing Doom, TIE Fighter and Mechwarrior around the same time, but the unique combination of alien mythology, turn-based strategy, real-time strategy, character progression, economics, exploration, base construction and resource management made this game an absolute killer. It was one of those games that left you with stories to tell at school the next day. Thankfully, the recent reboot did the game justice, all the way down to the soldiers who can't hit the side of a barn with a fist full of grain.

When I was introduced to Infinity for the first time, I thought about XCOM straight away. It was probably all the reaction shots I was soaking up! When Sgt Waz deposited a big box of USAriadna on me, my fate was sealed. I'll be creating a special homage to my favourite game by painting my Infinity figures as members of XCOM. Here's a pic I found on the net that gives you a good (cute?) idea of the various components of the paint scheme:

The Marauders are in between Grunts and Minutemen in the Ariadna list, when it comes to infantry. It made sense to paint them as if they were in Personal Armour. I will be painting my Grunts as Rookies and my Minutemen as Power Suits. The last scheme (Flying Suits) will be reserved for special occasions. I also have a few Traktor MULs to represent the robotic tanks you used to get and a Devil Dog team, because nothing screams XCOM like dubious alliances with aliens ("X-rays").


"Check your position. Rocket off course."

Next job: buy a new drill bit for my pin vice! I have so many 40K projects rolling at the moment, that all involve conversion work. This, however, has been a fun interlude :-)

See you across the table,


Monday, 9 January 2017

Van Diemen's World Devils: Battlewagon Progress

Hi folks,

The weather isn't being kind to painters in Sydney at the moment. I attempted to use a spray primer yesterday and the paint was drying in the air between the can and the model! I have still managed to get some work done on my final Van Diemen's World project, the re-looted Battlewagon.

I started by priming it black, followed by an undercoat of Leadbelchers. Over that I painted a layer of Khaki from the Tamiya range. The camo was achieved using Devlin Mud, Thraka (Biel-Tan) Green and Seraohim Sepia washes, with some panels left Khaki. I then went a picked out some further details in Warplock Bronze and Abbadon Black. I still need to do some Leadbelchers touch-ups and a major black wash, followed by highlights. After that will come some weathering of the tracks and attachment/weathering of the wheels. There is also heaps of detail I need to pick out with spot colours, particularly in the rear tray: computer screens and lamps everywhere!

Thanks to the sequence of undercoats, I have already been able to scratch in some some bullet holes around the wagon. I need to add some darker streaks next to the cluster on the left, but overall I am happy with how they are turning out.

Hopefully the weather cools down enough next week for me to finish this monster off. It is a little bit late for Christmas but painting takes as long as it takes :-)

See you across the table,


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

X-wing: B-wing "Blade Wing" Repaint

Hi folks,

If you are a fan of Star Wars you may be familiar with the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. Like Rogue One, it bridges the gap between the Clone Wars (Ep. 1-3) and the Galactic Civil War (Ep. 4-6). It follows the adventures of the first Rebels as they battle the Galactic Empire, introducing some fantastic new characters to the Star Wars universe. In particular, I have a soft spot for the Twi'lek Hera Syndulla, pilot of the Ghost (VCX-100).

At some point, she pilots a prototype B-wing with a Deathstar-like cannon and a red paint job that is just to die for. Having an even softer spot for B-wings, as well as no great love for the Rebel Aces B-wing, a re-paint was definitely on the cards.

The Prototype B6 "Blade Wing" B-wing was undercoated with Mephiston Red (Citadel paints) after I masked the white circles on the S-foils. I washed this with Thraka Green wash, then added some highlights with Mephiston Red, Blood Red and a 1:1 Macharius Solar Orange/Mephiston Red. This gives it a slightly darker finish than the reference images but depth to the red that I am pleased with. The drive assembly was painted in Dawnstone and washed heavily with Nuln Oil, then highlighted with a 1:1 White Scar/Dawnstone mix. Details were then picked out in White Scar, including where the yellow stripes would go. These were added after the white dried using Golden Yellow. The weapons were picked out using Abaddon Black and the cockpit was finished with a Shadow Grey wet-blend and gloss varnish.

I also added a pink glow to the engines just for giggles, using a mixture of Lich Purple, Mephiston Red and White Scar.

In the series, Hera becomes the commander of Phoenix Squadron, which includes a bunch of A-wings, Correlian Corvette and the Ghost. I have put together a 150 point Phoenix Squadron Fleet, which can be made even larger with the addition of the Tantive. Obviously, that is a lot of points for such a small fleet of ships! In the scenarios we have played it has been fun to play and caused a lot of damage, but against a genuinely competitive Imperial Fleet it gets shot to pieces.

Being a game based on character and upgrade cards, I did a search through the community forums to see if there were any home-brew rules for this ship. Below is Hera Syndulla's card and the weapon mounted on the B6:

I'm looking forward to giving the home-brew rules a go, particularly against some of the bigger ships. It will be interesting to see how that laser works; I may try a few different rules for it. If you have any ideas, leave them in the comments section below!

See you across the table,


Thursday, 29 December 2016

Iron Snakes: Centurion Sergeant Build Complete

Hi folks,

To recover from all the detail painting I did in the lead up to Christmas, I have been converting my Iron Snakes Centurions: Squad Aegis. It would have been very easy to arm them all with Grav cannons and be done with it, that's what the internet would have me do. Instead, I have decided to mirror the wargear of the Sternguard, by giving them combi-weapons of a sought. Two will be equipped with heavy plasma cannons and heavy bolters to match the combi-plasmas of the Sternguard. I know asymmetrical heavy weapons choices aren't in the Codex, but I stopped paying attention to the Codex a few editions ago. At the moment it is all about the "rule of cool". So plasma cannons are in! Storm shields too, apparently:

The storm shields are from a modeller who has just started a small business 3D printing custom shield designs. Rob over at 30Kplus40K showcased Mario's custom shields on his blog a while ago and kindly got in touch with him for me. After some messages on Facebook and design changes, Mario printed these fat babies for me. I'm looking forward to painting a prototype and sending him a photo.  The resolution on the shields is quite good, though you can still see some graininess. It will be interesting to see how much that effects the finish when it is painted.

Kryto, the sergeant, is armed with a sword that you may recognise. I ummmed and ahhhhed about sawing the two blades apart to removed the center piece, but I figured I could paint some neat lightning effects in there between the blades.

The next step will be a coat of Leadbelchers spray, which will probably have to wait until the weekend. It was 41 degrees Celsius today (105 degrees Fahrenheit) and we are heading for 37 degrees tomorrow: not good weather for undercoating miniatures!

See you across the table,