Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Iron Snakes: Centurion Squaduary Progress

Hi folks,

Progress is progress, as they say. It has been pretty difficult just to get through the days this week, so I wasn't expecting much in terms of creativity. I have managed to undercoat all of my Iron Snakes Centurions in Leadbelchers and Corax White, two of the three main colours of the scheme. On the weekend I will be laying down the bronze, in preparation for some verdigris weathering. This will give me two weeks to paint all of the detail if I am to get these guys done for Squaduary.

I have left the right shoulder off, as they were undercoated white, separately. I am going to paint the Iron Snakes symbol on those pretty early on in the process, as free-style painting is probably the hardest part of my scheme: best to get it out of the way.

For the bases, I am going to use my usual mixture of flock and static grass with some laser cut ferns, to match the base on my Contemptor.  I have been eying off the new Custodians Contemptor and imagining it all verdigris-ed up... I may have to make that happen.

Another bit of detail that I will try to knock over early is the faces. I have been improving my eye an skin techniques, especially since I started painting Infinity figures, so I shouldn't have too many problems (probably just wishful thinking...). If I get any more Centurions I think I will scrounge some more crested helms off the community.

I am really happy with how the first plasma cannon linked up with the power plant on the Centurions back. It was a lucky coincidence, as I have had to model an emergency heat-sink to connect the other one to. You can't really tell from the front, but if you turn the model around you can see the cannon is attached to a device on the base with vents made out of meltagun barrels (surely they can withstand some excess heat). I am looking forward to painting the cannon with some overheating effects.

In other news, I have started writing some articles for The Golden D6 Online Wargaming Magazine. This year I have been trying a few different ways to give back to the community that I love, such as commissioning work and parts from various up-and-coming artists, editing articles to help out some new bloggers and participating in as many community events as I can. I love the idea of dedicated gamers recapturing the good old days of hobby magazines, so I have decided to offer GD6 my support. They have been kind enough to post my profile on their website as a contributor; most of you know me well enough already, but if you want to know a bit more, go check it out. I'll be posting some extra insights into my Iron Snakes projects as well as some tutorials. If that interests you, consider checking the magazine out and supporting a great community initiative. Even better, consider writing an article or two yourself!

Finally, I wanted to thank everyone for your support last week. My family is still in shock, but the care shown to us by so many people has carried us through the worst of it. I'll be working on a special project to honour my little shadow, which I'll post here in commemoration.

See you across the table,


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A Black Dog Day

Hi folks,

Last night my dog Gypsy passed away, after 7 wonderful years of fun and companionship. Her health had rapidly deteriorated over 48 hours, completely stumping our vet. It turns out she had diabetes, which didn't really cause her any trouble, until the night it took her away from us.

She was beautiful, intelligent, sassy and fiercely loyal. She was my little shadow.

Right now, I'm at a complete loss. I don't really want to do anything, which I know is a natural response to grief; God knows I have experienced my fair share of it before. I deeply appreciate the great online community we have, so if I am a little quiet for a while, please don't take it personally. I am going to take a little time to love my family and guide my kids through this experience. If you have a dog, let it sleep on the bed tonight; I wish I could.

See you across the table,


Friday, 3 February 2017

Iron Snakes: Centurion Squad Build Complete

Hi folks,

Squaduary is a hobby challenge being held this February, organised by Rory from Stepping Between Games. The idea is to construct and paint a squad of Infantry for your army, that has perhaps been waiting a little to long for some love. Well... I have plenty of squads that would fit that bill, but my Iron Snakes Centurions are at the top of the list. I had a bit of a head start with Kryto, the sergeant pictured above, because I wanted to see if the concept was worth pursuing. Last night, feeling confident but exhausted from my first week back at work, I converted the final two Centurions to be armed with plasma cannons.

"You did what now?" I hear the internet howl. I conceived of these Centurions being up-scaled versions of my Sterguard, which are equipped with combi-plasma weapons. Of course there is no Codex entry for this but MOAR PLASMA.

The first Centurion is my favourite. If you have built Centurions before you will know that the pieces aren't easily interchangeable between poses; you have to be very careful following the instructions for each arm position. Everything interlocks and the design elements are layered in such a way that modifying one piece effects the positioning of many pieces.  Despite that, this guy came together perfectly, with the power supply of the plasma cannon bending all the way up to attach on the power plant. He also has a very "come at me bro" look to him.

There's nothing like miniature photography to highlight the flash that you forgot to remove the night before...

The other Centurion was the polar opposite; everything was more difficult. Primarily, the power supply of the plasma cannon had no way of connecting to the power plant without changing its look completely. I had a long look at the pose after dry fitting it and came up with a bit of a story for this guy, that will play out as I base him and with the paint scheme.

I am going to paint the plasma cannon as if it has been fired and is overheating. The power coupling will be attached to an emergency heat sink on the base behind the figure. It looked to me as if this guy was grimacing while he unloads with the heavy bolter, plasma cannon held aloft as it recharges and cools down.  This mini-diorama that tells a story seems to me like a better idea than forcing the conversion any further. Let me know what you think ;-)

See you across the table,


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Tyranids: Aliens Themed Warrior Brood

They mostly come out at night... mostly...

Hi folks,

I recently purchased an iBook copy of the Kill Team rules, with the aim of easing myself back into 40K gaming. I liked the idea of a Tyranid Warrior team, especially considering that I have a Warrior Brood on my To-Do list. I also seemed to remember a set of Aliens inspired resin heads that I had floating around... somewhere...

With the construction of a Kill Team in mind, I opted for a mix of weapon load-outs. The first model I assembled is a ranged specialist, equipped with a venom cannon and scything talons. The targeter can be used to represent the Eagle Eye special rule (+50% range), increasing the range of the cannon and making this guy a dedicated sniper.


I also assembled a close combat specialist, equipped with a deathspitter, bone sword and lash whip. I love this guy's jaunty pose. Killer Instinct should help this guy (always wounds non-vehicles on 2+).

To add some more bodies to the squad, I made two warriors with scything talons and deathspitters. One of these guys will be used as the leader of my Kill Team. The other guy will be left on the side-lines most games, in favor of a Hive Guard with Infiltrate (or whatever else I find works well).

Feeling creative, I also threw together a Tyranid Prime armed with The Miasma Cannon and rending claws. Not the most spectacular combination of weapons for a Prime, but thoroughly enjoyable all the same.

Have I mentioned that I am a big fan of Aliens :D

See you across the table,