Friday 29 December 2017

A Knight's Tale: Body Complete

Hi folks,

Just a quick update to show the work I have just completed on the body of my Knight. The first plasma weapon is complete and installed; after a bit of deliberation I decided to go with a green glow. I had the option of using a more contrasting colour but I am saving that for something special later on.

The carapace armour itself is mostly Leadbelchers, with a blue stripe running from back to front. I added this to hint at a helmet plume and to continue the colour scheme used on the rest of the body. The bronze parts also got a fair whack of verdigris. 

I am considering now whether the shield and the blue stripe on the back could do with a white decal, to match the colour combinations on the legs. I think it will come down to whether or not I can find a decal that really works in each of those locations. A single white sword going down through the winged skull of the shield and emerging out the bottom could look good.

Apart from that, the next step is the quad Hellfire plasma cannonade to go on the top. I will be taking a lot of care with it, as I imagine it is going to draw a lot of attention.

See you across the table,


Saturday 23 December 2017

Aliens vs Predator: Predalien TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

I picked up a Predalien for Sgt Waz this Christmas. We have played Aliens vs Predator quite a bit this year and, apart from being horrifically difficult most of the time, it has been an absolute blast. As fans of both the Aliens and Predator franchises, it really hits the spot in terms of aesthetic, game-play and themes. The models are a real joy, if you like all things gribbly:

I also got a few "Corpse Field" bases from Micro Art Studios. Sgt Waz chose this one: I assure everyone that any resemblance that the victim has to Santa Claus is purely coincidental...

After taking this shot I added another coat of Tamiya Clear Red to the gore effects. As it wasn't quite red enough yet. To prepare the gore I panted the viscera in Leadbelchers then washed it with Sepia. I find that this gives the best final result. The reflectivity of the Leadbelchers bounces light back up through the Tamiya clear red, accentuating the translucent blood effect. The Sepia prevents the red from looking too metallic; that candy apple red.

Apart from the black/shadow grey of the xenomorph carapace, I also tried to add some of the Predator paint scheme in there as well. I have seen some examples of this being done that went over the top, so I tried to just keep it to the mandibles and chest, with some metallic highlights on the dreadlocks. Hopefully this points back to the primogenitor enough.

With this guy done, I have completed half of my Paint My Present projects. The Yu Jing TAG for KuriboGoomba, and Grey Knights for The Trooper, will have to wait until just after Christmas. Hopefully in time for our next gaming session!

Merry Christmas!


Friday 22 December 2017

A Knight's Tale: Medusa Shield

Hi folks,

I have dabbled a little bit in free-hand art on my 40K projects; mainly symbols and emblems, but it is hardly something I would describe as my forte. The challenge for this morning was to paint a Medusa on my Imperial Knight's Ion Shield. I wanted her to look attractive, but also... venomous. To get into the groove I did a quick sketch and had a go at painting the basic shape to scale. This helped me to practice the shading and brushstrokes that would be required.

After getting the rough shape of the head done, I added the darkest detail of the face, as I have found that this is the easiest way to figure out where to put the lighter shades.

After that I added the whites of the eyes and outlined the snakes.

After blocking in and shading the snakes I added the blue background and got the sense that it just wouldn't work with the rest of the Knight. By itself it was fun but compared to the rest of the piece it is lacking in contrast, distracting with the flesh tones and missing some vita elements.

To give it the best chance possible I added some extra weathering and highlights, deepening some of the deepest shadows and adding more contrast to the face. On the Knight it looks fine, but I have not decided if I am going to keep it yet. I'm going to sleep on it and get some feedback from the 40K community before I decide what to do. The process was great fun, though, and I will keep pushing myself this way I think, so that some day I will feel more comfortable with free-hand designs.

See you across the table,


Wednesday 20 December 2017

A Knight's Tale: Body and Head

Hi folks,

Thank goodness for summer holidays! The past couple of days have been damn hot in Sydney; back-to-back 41 degree days. As a result, my drying retardant medium has been getting a work out. In between working on The Trooper's Grey Knights and making dastardly Dark Angels plans, I have been pottering away at my Imperial Knight Warden. To get my head back in the game, I painted the helmet and chest piece. One of the (kind) criticisms of the original "test head" was the lack of weathering/battle damage, so I made this one a little more battle scarred, with some extra oxidation on the bronze and some ferrous oxide in other places.

I painted the chest piece to continue the colouration of the helmet and extend it through to the rest of the body. I am not sure how I would paint a name on there, given my choice of colour. I am happy to leave it blank at them moment.

I then spent a bit of time working on the back and side detail of the knight with sepia and ogryn flesh glazes. I was looking for a warm, oily, appearance to contrast with the cool blue of the carapace armour.

I added a nice set of green eye lenses to the head, even though it is one of those details that people will never really see. At least I (and now you!) know they are there.

Here are some picks of the side and neck details with a helmet test-fit.

Early this morning I finished the armoured cowl, allowing me to assemble the head properly. Here is how it is all looking at the moment.

The next job will be the plasma blaster to the left of the torso and the shield on the right. I am going to try and paint a Medusa on the shield, which I am a bit nervous about. Wish me luck ;-)

See you across the table,


Monday 18 December 2017

Azrael: a 40K journey

Hi folks,

Do you have a Warhammer 40K character that particularly resonates with you? Perhaps there is a character that you have used more than any other, or one that has a particularly interesting background story. Maybe they allow you to use your favourite army in a certain way, which improves the whole gaming experience for you.

When I first laid eyes on the Angels of Death Codex, Supreme Grand Masters Azrael immediately caught my interest. His stats were average for his rank (lots of 7s for those who know what I am talking about), which put him behind the likes of Dante and Mephiston, who were also in the book. He had a higher strategy rating, which meant a higher chance of getting the first turn. He had the Sword of Secrets, which could take heads pretty well, and a combi-plasma which could put out a fairly high volume of shots. He also came with a nifty little helmet bearer, which provided a protective bubble of invulnerable saves. Rules-wise, pretty solid. But more than this... his sword was also a key. The helmet bearer wasn't human. The helmet wasn't his.

For the sake of that first game, I made a cardboard cut-out to represent Azrael. I took on a squad of Wolf Guard Terminators and Ragnar Blackmane, which I picked off with my Devastators under the cover of the Lion Helm. When I started running out of bodies, I ran Azrael up the field and gutted the Wolf Guard in close combat. We ended the game after many, many, turns of Azrael and Blackmane trading blows and making saves. As far as Lion and the Wolf games go, it was an epic first encounter.

40K had sunk its' hooks into me.

I couldn't afford any 40K miniatures for a long time after my first game, so I made a bunch of these folded card proxies. I couldn't afford a codex either, so I painstakingly hand copied the Dark Angels army list to use. That kept me going in the game for about a year! At some stage I started getting some pocket money, which a spent on 3rd edition Magic: The Gathering cards. I had a great time playing MtG with my mates and won a heap of cards playing ante. When it got stale, I sold them off* and bought my first 40K figures. When Legion of the Damned didn't work out for me ("too cheesy", cried my soulless** friends). I turned to my first love: Dark Angels. I did end up getting an Azrael figure; KuriboGoomba threatened to eat my helmet bearer after one fateful game, but I painted it pretty badly.

Fast forward 20 years, and I sent Sgt Waz off with an Azrael proxy that I had converted (me and Azrael proxies go way back). He returned with this beauty.

I will call him "chip"

To ensure that he fit in with the rest of my army, I replaced some of the red and white of the tabard with brown, bronze and gold. I also dry-brushed some extra white over the helmet bearer, to match my other robes, and re-based both figures. I don't think any of the changes constitute an improvement over the original, but up against the rest of my models, he now fits in very nicely.

So, it feels very much like I have come full circle. Today I picked up my copy of the new Dark Angels Codex and I have a spiffy Azrael proxy to use. Now all I need is some Wolf Guard to gut :-)

See you across the table,


* I bought my old MtG cards back online for my Birthday this year. Gah! The nostalgia!

** Seriously, the Animus Malorum wargear card used to drain the souls of enemy models and use them to resurrect Legion of the Damned Marines. I had great fun with that one... perhaps too much fun.

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Paint My Present: Grand Master Voldus TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

I am working on a couple of Grey Knight figures for The Trooper at the moment and Voldus is the first to reach completion. That is despite an overwhelming amount of detail! The Trooper had requested for me not to add too much gold to the scheme, so I was able to cut a few corners this time. If I got some for myself though I can see them taking me months to paint.

One of my jobs was to drill out the barrels, which I always find a nerve-wracking job, particularly with stormbolters. When there are two holes that you need to drill in relation to each other it is easier to see mistakes, but I haven't done these two too badly. I drilled small pilot holes for these ones using a hobby knife, followed by a smaller drill piece, before using the bolter barrel sized drill piece.

The head was really fun to paint, with lots of interesting parts, i.e. the cap, hose, eyes and beard. I have never painted a bearded marine before, I think next time I will paint the head before I assemble the model.

Looking at this photo I think I will need to touch up the purity seal on the shoulder pad: the joys of miniature photography! There is also a spot of red that shouldn't be there, I'll give you a biscuit if you can see it :-)

I am pretty happy with how the robes turned out, even though I didn't spend all that much time on them. I also had a bit of a giggle giving this guy a Big Black Book. I'm sure Voldus can rules-lawyer some daemons into oblivion :-)

So, apart from a few little touch-ups, I'm calling this guy done. Next up I have 5 Grey Knights and a Predalien (!) to paint, as well as some fun stuff for my Nids. I am also hanging out for the release of the Dark Angels Codex!!

See you across the table,


Thursday 7 December 2017

Clan Ghost Bear: Second Line Star TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

My mate KuriboGoomba came over a few days ago and was searching through out Facebook messages to see when it was that we agreed on this paint scheme. To my chagrin, it was over four years ago! That is a long time to sit on the shelves unloved. Ahhh well, apart from some decals, I'm finally calling them done.

For those of you who do not plat Battletech, here is a quick rundown of what you see:

1) Incubus

Armed with a suite of pulse lasers and a very powerful engine, this little guy runs circles around just about every other Mech and fires highly accurate shots.

2) Horned Owl (conversion from Shadow Hawk IIC stock)

A bit slower than the Incubus, but with extensive jumping capability it doesn't need to run circles around anything. It just jumps behind you and cores you out with its pulse lasers.

3) Grizzly

A tad slower than most Mechs its size, but more resilient, the Grizzly continues the theme of delivering highly accurate pulse laser fire. In addition to this close range punch, it can also snipe with its gauss rifle and LRM 10 launcher.

4) Stone Rhino

With two gauss rifles, this beast is a head-capping nightmare. Taking it out is extremely difficult, as it is massively armoured.

5) Kodiak

Sheer brutality in Mech form. Eight extended range medium lasers are enough to destroy just about anything in the game with a few volleys. Add to that an ER Large Laser for sniping, two Streak SRM 6's for punching holes in vital bits and an Ultra AC 20 autocannon for DELETING things, and you have yourself one hell of a totem Mech.

Now for my next trick: Grey Knights!

See you across the table,


Saturday 2 December 2017

Hivefleet Numereji: Tyrannocyte Proxy

Hi folks,

Today I took a trip to my favourite hobby shop: Combat Company. I was on the prowl for a Christmas present for Sgt Waz (more about that later) and some curios. All things considered, it ended up being a very fruitful visit.

Combat Company is one of those shops that I could pitch a tent in and stay for the weekend. They supply a whole bunch of different miniatures games and loads of conversion parts, terrain, bases and playing aids to go with them. They also sell paints, brushes, hobby tools and rare earth magnets. As someone who really loves kitbashing and conversions, I go a little bit crazy. So many possibilities!

Being no great fan of the Tyrranocyte spores, and aiming for a Jormungandr feel, these "Hive Lurkers" from Micro Art Studios caught my attention. They are about the right size, they are borrowing nicely, have armour plates that fit the Nid aesthetic and for $23 AUD for two... well, I couldn't say no.

I think those eyes will look great with the glowing green effect I use on my Tyranid figures. The material is a light plastic foam, so I am not game to spray undercoat it. Just to give you an idea of scale, here is one next to a termagant:

They have double the footprint than the Tyrannocyte, which may cause some troubles with placement at times, but I think that is a small price to pay for something so characterful. Obviously I won't be rocking up to GW with these.

I also picked up a couple of Aliens themed objective markers from Secret Weapon, to go with the Tyranid Warriors I am working on.

Finally, I picked up some simple, industrial-themed bases, for a squad of Deathwing Terminators that I will be adding to my Space Hulk collection at some point. With new rules coming out for Genestealer Cults in Space Hulk I am really looking forward to playing a few more games. It'll be a good excuse to pick up some Hybrids as well!

When I haven't been buying stuff, I have been working hard on the "Paint My Present" projects I blogged about a few days ago. I am getting close to finishing one of them, which I am hoping to post about tomorrow.

See you across the table,