Saturday 27 August 2016

2016/17 To-Do List

Hi folks,

What to do, what to do? Here is my To-Do list for the next hobby season:

It contains some projects that I have carried over from the last year, such as my Iron Snakes Master of the Forge, Ravenwing Attack Squadron and Kadillus Lighthouse. I am focusing on the Iron Snakes to begin with, as I missed them a bit last season. I am also keen to finish my Imperial Knight Warden.

The list also has some new stuff, as I knocked over all of my Tyranid projects last season. Scattered through the list are a few mystery projects, partially because I don't know what they are myself yet! For example, I'm not quite sure which Dark Angels characters I will be painting, or exactly how big a throng of genestealers is ( could be quite big). "Paint my present" returns for another year, encompassing all of the things people give me as gifts, or figures I paint for other people. I don't know which objective markers I'll do, but who doesn't like cool objective markers? And secret project X is secret.

Let the season begin!


Hobby Season 2015/16 in Review

 Hi folks,

This year I am celebrating my 20th year of tabletop wargaming. What started with a few cardboard cut-outs  and styrofoam cups back in highschool, has become much more than a hobby for me. In particular, I have greatly appreciated the opportunities for artistic expression and fun with friends it has provided. This year has been a very busy year, with many projects gracing my painting table. Many of them have been gifts for friends, as I wanted to dedicate some time to giving back to the people who have been so generous to me over the years (...and I'm not done yet). Let's take a stroll down memory lane, revisiting the projects that I managed to tick off the list, as well as those that snuck up on me, unexpected-like.

1) Quoth the raven "Eversor"

This model was a gift from Sgt Waz that I painted for Halloween. The main inspiration for it was a poem published in a White Dwarf back when I was a kid.

2) Dreadtober

Next up I painted some Dark Angels Dreadnoughts to form a complete unit of three. Each has its own story, extending right back to the earliest days of my 40K collection :o)

3) Salamanders Chaplain

I painted this guy for Sgt Waz, because he is always painting stuff for me! We had discussed the idea of me painting a Salamander for a while and this guy turned out quite nicely, even if I did cheat by painting him mostly black...

4) Japanese Garden Themed Terrain

I knocked this piece together for Wade, to add to his Ronin collection. It took me two attempts to get this piece finished, but I gained a lot of experience in water effects (especially what not to do). I just realised that Wade is the only person I don't refer to by a cypher on my blog! From now on, he will be referred to as The Trooper. Up the Irons!

5) Biovores

In the spirit of Hobby Bingo, I speed painted these guys just for giggles.

6) Van Diemen's World Devils

I converted and coupled a few of these ANZAC themed figures for The Trooper. They'll feature in next year's list as well, in some form or another.

7) Dawn of War Thermoplasma Generator

It was around this time that I completed my Thermoplasma Generator project for Dave Weston's AdSense competition. I was lucky enough to win the comp, scoring an Imperial Knight Warden in the process! You'll definitely be seeing that painted during the next year.

8) Ravenwing Progress

I made some nice progress on my Ravenwing Squadron during the year, but fell short of completing them due to illness. I was on some medication that made my hands shake for a couple of months and I didn't want to risk botching the hard-lines. These guys will be on the list next year.

9) Hive Fleet Numereji

The rest of the year belonged to my Nids. With a simple paint scheme that didn't require too much brush control, it was simple for me to finish projects, shaking hands or not!

10) Where are the Iron Snakes?

Yeah, yeah, I hear you. Iron Snakes were conspicuously missing from my efforts this year, as much as it pained me. I needed a bit of a break after last year and ran out of time in the end. Next year: the year of the Snake.

A huge, heartfelt, thanks goes out to the online 40K painting and gaming community, especially the other 40K addicts who take part in Dave Weston's To-Do list shenanigans. It is always a happy sight for me to see the regular faces pop up in my comments and Google+ feed; love you folks.

See you across the table,


Friday 26 August 2016

Hive Fleet Numereji: Hive Guard TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

These are the last speed-painted Nids for the 2015/16 hobby season! Considering that the season comes to a close for me tomorrow, they will also be my last project before the next To-Do list comes out.

I actually finished these guys off while I was waiting for the glazes to dry on my flying Hive Tyrant. So I painted them in 10 minute bursts over a couple of nights.

Having no eyes, the Impaler Cannon was the obvious place to put the green spot colour. I also bloodied the muzzle with some Tamiya Clear Red.  I assume that when the barb retracts from its target it created quite a mess, it even looks a bit like a mouth when you look at it front-on...

More than any other Nid model, these guys remind me of the Xenomorph in Aliens (the 3rd Ed. Hive Tyrant comes awful close to an Alien Queen as well). The lack of eyes, the shape of the mouth and the head armour all tick the right boxes.

Depending on how they perform on the table-top, I may end up getting some more of the blighters. I like the idea of sitting behind cover and ripping off some strength 8 shots, but getting enough to hit is going to be a challenge.

So for that last time this year, it is time for the big green stamp:

See you across the table,


X-wing: Star Wars Rebels Scenario

Hi folks,

A ton of stuff has happened over the past couple of weeks (mostly good), but I haven't had any time to blog. This has created a major bottleneck in my head, so I'll be trying to offload a few posts this weekend. First cab off the ranks: Wade's Birthday X-wing shenanigans.

I teamed up with the guys to test out Wade's new Gozanti-Class Cruiser, which looks like an absolute beast. I knocked together a Star Wars: Rebels themed scenario for us to play that I thought others may like to try.

Mission: Rebel Intelligence 

A rebel intelligence agent is being extracted from a critical mission aboard the Ghost, when they are ambushed by an Imperial Fleet. The intelligence agent must escape if the fledgling Rebellion is to survive. With its hyperdrive system disabled, the Ghost maneuvers into an asteroid field in an attempt to lose its pursuers. 

Mission Setup

Rebel: 150 Squad Points.
Kanan Jarrus VCX-100 (Ion Cannon Turret, Fire-Control System, Recon Specialist, Ghost)
"Zeb" Orrelios Attack Shuttle (Intelligence Agent, Phantom)
Ten Numb B-wing (Stay on Target, "Mangler" Cannon, B-wing/E2, Hera Syndulla)
Green Squadron Pilot A-wing (Push the Limit, Chardaan Refit, A-wing Test Pilot, Juke)
Green Squadron Pilot A-wing (Push the Limit, Chardaan Refit, A-wing Test Pilot, Juke)

Imperial: 150 Squad Points.
Gozanti-Class Cruiser (Ion Cannon Battery)
The Inquisitor TIE Adv. Prototype (Juke, XX-23 S-Thread Tracers, TIE/v1)
Academy Pilot TIE Fighter
Academy Pilot TIE Fighter
Academy Pilot TIE Fighter
Academy Pilot TIE Fighter
Captain Kagi Lambda-class Shuttle

The Rebel player places eight asteroid tokens into the play area. They cannot be placed within Range 1 of any board-edge.

The Rebel player places his/her ships within Range 1 of their board-edge. Then the Imperial player places his/her ships within Range 1 of their board-edge. The Imperial player has initiative.

Special Rules

This scenario introduces two new actions: Disabling Shot and Boarding Action.
  • Disabling Shot: follow the same procedure for acquiring a Target Lock. Use the standard Target Lock tokens with an Ion Token stacked on the red target lock token. If the targeted ship is destroyed this turn, you may spend the Target Lock to restore it to one hull point. Roll a single attack dice, resolving any hits caused. Transfer the ion token to the targeted ship. This ion token remains on the targeted ship until the end of the game.
  • Boarding Action (Large or Epic ships only): Large or Epic sized ships, that maneuver within Range 1 of another ship that has an ion token, may attempt a boarding action by rolling an attack dice. The player in control of the ship being boarded may roll a defense dice to oppose the action. If the action is successful, transfer one crew upgrade card from the boarded ship (or a ship docked to the boarded ship) to the Large/Epic sized ship. 


Rebel Victory: Destroy Captain Kagi and The Inquisitor. The Intelligence Agent must be in your control.

Imperial Victory: Escape with the Intelligence Agent crew upgrade card in a Large or Epic sized ship you control, by exiting the play area via your own board edge.

In our game I maneuvered the Ghost away from the Lambda-class shuttle in an effort to take out the Inquisitor early. The A-wings sped towards the Shuttle to weaken it, with only a few attack dice, I wanted to put them where it counts.

The Gozanti began working the Ghost over with its Ion Battery, while The Inquisitor outmaneuvered the B-wing, engaging the A-wings and take some heat off the Lambda-class Shuttle. With the aid of some freshly deployed TIE Fighters, both A-wings were destroyed in rapid succession. The Gozanti made an attempt to board the Ghost, but failed. Some more launched TIE's took out the B-wing at Range 1 with a blistering volley.

With both of the big Imperial ships committed to chasing the Ghost, I launched the Phantom in the opposite direction! The Gozanti tried to hit it with its Ion Battery but missed, giving the Ghost a chance to maneuver (at last). It pounded one of the TIE's, then K-turned and pounded it again, taking it out. The Gozanti continued trying to pin down the Attack Shuttle with Ion shots, but couldn't hit the little blighter. With the Ghost steaming in behind and doing some serious damage to Captain Kagi, a bit of desperation seemed to leak into the Imperial game-plan.

Wade tried to slow down the Attack Shuttle with a flurry of Disabling Shots. If successful, we predicted that he would have 3 turns to board and capture the agent before it drifted off the board; he would be cutting it close. The last TIE fighter managed to destroy the Attack Shuttle, spending its Disabling Shot token in an attempt to save the Intelligence Agent. Wade rolled a critical hit on the attack dice (!) and the hopes of both the Imperials and the Rebels were blown to dust. Somehow, I don't think the Inquisitor will be pleased...

See you across the table,


Saturday 13 August 2016

Hive Fleet Numereji: Flying Tyrant TO-DONE!

The Marine snapped his boltgun up to fire on the approaching cultist, but something inserted itself between the synapses of his arm and bid his trigger finger to be still. The rest of his body shook with the exertion of resistance, as if the terrific musculature of his legs and back could somehow force that fatal millimetre.

The cultist spoke with a voice that was not entirely his own; ill-fitting, tonally splitting at the seams of perception.

“If you will not create forms that are suitable for The End-War, then we must take them from you and begin anew.”


The echoes of his cry were drowned out by the thunderous crack of pinions as The Tyrant landed, coiling its bladed tail around the cultist almost protectively. It dwarfed the Marine in every way, as it spoke directly into him. It flooded him with The Truth, until it ran in torrents from his eye-sockets. 

“Not this war.” 

Hi folks,

After adding a 7th glaze of Leviathan Purple to the Flying Tyrants wings, followed by a layer of 'Ardcoat, I was finally ready to assemble the beast. Even though I have been planning this project for over a year, I had no idea of how it would look put together; Blu-tack just isn't that strong! After gluing the last set of wings (the lower ones) I just sat there for a bit looking at it in my light box...

It's big. The wings are fairly heavy so I have done a lot to counterbalance the base, with weights and the Genestealer Magus figure. I like the way the tail looks like it is coiling around him; it begs the question "who's controlling who?"

Like most of my Nids, the Magus was speed-painted on Friday night, using washes and glazes for the most part. I added some Tamiya Clear Red to the bottom of his robes; whether it belongs to his enemies or his fellow cultists is debatable! I love the little genestealer at the top of the staff.

As mentioned previously the head of the Tyrant is a conversion using parts from the 3rd Ed. Red Terror figure (lower jaw), Hive Guard (head armour and boneswords for horns) and 3rd Ed. Monstrous Creature sprue (head armour). The twin twin-linked Brainleech Devourers are Devourer guns filed flat and glued to form a single cone.

I spent about an hour last night brightening up the Tyrants eyes and hard-lining black around the eye-ball itself. All I can say is that I am glad I drank less tea yesterday, it was hard enough to keep my lines precise without the added caffeine load.

The wings were the most time consuming parts of the project. Initially I laid down 5 thin glazes of Leviathan Purple before adding two layers of detail with Nuln Oil. A final glaze of Leviathan Purple brought it all back together again and the 'Ardcoat gives it a shiny, almost iridescent, look. I can live with that ;-)

Photography was all kinds of tricky because the model casts shadows all over itself. In some shots I was able to get a small light in underneath it to light different parts up, but I couldn't do that in the wide shots without showing the light source!

In terms of presence on the board, this guy is going to blow away all of my other Nids, Swarm Lord included. Hopefully, flying Hive Tyrants stay in style for another couple of years. Regardless, he was a blast to convert and to paint; well deserving of a big green stamp:

See you across the table,


Saturday 6 August 2016

Hive Fleet Numereji: Flying Tyrant Progress

Hi folks,

Last night I had a krak at finishing off some more Tyranids. First gribbly on my mind was the flying Tyrant I constructed ages ago, which is a homage to the dragon Cloudjumper from the kids film How to Train your Dragon 2. My daughter is a big fan of the show, so I get to watch it more frequently than is probably healthy.


I have started washing the wings with Leviathan Purple, which is going to be a long process. I have used the same technique to give a metallic sheen to the wings of my Gargoyles, but the larger surface area of the Tyrant wings, as well as the curved surface, complicates the process no end.

Leadbelchers with a Leviathan Purple wash to give a metallic purple finish. A coat of 'Ardcoat seals the deal.

Up-sizing. Big time.

I also worked on the upper torso and head. As the Tyrant will have four wings, I have had to model the twin-linked Brainleech Devourers to the torso.

The head was converted using parts from the Tyrant Guard kit (boneswords for the black horns) and the lower jaw of the old Red Terror figure.

The Devourers were cut in half and glued together to form single cones, then sculpted into holes that I had cut with the addition of some green stuff gristle.

I think I'll brighten the eyes up a bit. That's tomorrow Marc's problem :o)

It has felt good to get some painting done, as Netflix has seriously killed my hobby mojo. I have been watching Stranger Things with the wifey every night and it has been to awesome to miss. If you haven't watched it yet, do yourself a favour. It does for flickering lights what Aliens did for air-ducts and Stephen King's IT did for storm-drains.

Next I'll be working on the lower legs and something special for the base. Hopefully I can get this guy finished before the curtains close on the 2016 hobby season!

See you across the table,