Sunday 29 April 2018

Hive Fleet Numereji: Malanthrope Progress Part 2

Hi folks,

Well... that is looking a little more sinister now. I worked through a number of increasingly lighter shades of green to get the effect on the toxin sacs. It was freakish to see hands and faces appear when the highlights started to bring out the detail; I hadn't realised they were there!

Spot the hand...

The green was applied using dry-brushing, which I added very carefully to avoid that weird chalky look you sometimes get.

I added some Tamiya Clear Red to the front claws, feeding tendrils and a few odd places near the chest/mouth/hole thingy. I decided not to add any more to the tendril around the body, as I thought that would be a bit OTT.

That leaves just the base to go, which is a bit of a pain actually. Usually I like textured bases, but my nids have there own style that doesn't suit this one too well. I'll have to see if I can change its appearance to fit the light coloured shells the rest of them have. On the whole, though, I am pretty chuffed with the progress.

See you across the table,


P.S. I am REALLY missing my lightbox.

Saturday 28 April 2018

Hive Fleet Numereji: Malanthrope Progress

Hi folks,

With the big move happening next month, I only have a few projects left unpacked to work on. One of them is a Tyranid Malanthrope, which I am planning to have baby-sit some heavy support. Priming this guy a few days ago gave me a chance to use a neat painting hack I saw on social media; using a straw to cover the clear flying stand whilst I sprayed.

The project has reached that tipping point that I have spoken about before. A lot of the preparation work has been done but it looks like rubbish. The next steps will be adding the details that make the project work; shading, highlights, OSL and gore effects.

The upper carapace needs a lot of shading to give it depth. The Leadbelchers is very flat so I usually shade it heavily with black washes.

I am planning some gore effects on the feeder tendrils and fore-arms. I want him to look like he is elbow deep in no good.

The green sacs and eyes are going to get a subtle green/yellow OSL treatment. I may add some gore effects to the little tendrils running down the body as well, though I am feeling that this is a case where less will be more. After that, it will be all about the base.

See you across the table,


Wednesday 25 April 2018

Aliens vs Predator: Rescue Mission

Hi folks,

Our latest scenario was a rescue mission, with the marine player trying to recover a number of survivors from around the board and return them to operations. Sgt Waz chose to field the marines ("Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the Corps!"). The Predator player, The Trooper, was tasked with collecting six trophies. This usually wouldn't be too hard, but with only one Predator he would have to be extra sneaky. I was running a mix of Alien Stalkers, Infants, Warriors and Facehuggers in an attempt to feed and defend the hive. I would need to kill a number of the enemy AND destroy two out of three objective corridors, all situated just outside the marine deployment zone.

The marines moved through the centre of the board, maintaining overlapping arcs of fire and setting up fire support on the flanks. The lone Predator ghosted away from my stalking blips and sniped at a marine ("turn around"), taking him down with a plasma caster shot.

Revenge was swift, though, with Sgt Waz sending his smart-gunner down the flank to open fire on the predator. With three shots he managed to roll two critical hits, going straight through the Predators armour and leaving it very vulnerable ("if it bleeds we can kill it"). 

Low rolls are better in AvP; 1's are crits.

The return attack killed the Smart-gun operator. With the Predator wounded and the numbers of Marines thinning, it was the perfect time to attack with my swarm. There were just enough miniatures left on the board for me to win the game, as long as I took out the Predator first (so that it couldn't steal any kills!). 

I attacked the Predator with an Alien Infant, but failed to cause any damage. The Predator punched the life out of my Alien with its wristblades, but I managed to roll under 5, causing acid blood to spray everything in the tile. The Predator was killed!

Sgt Waz worked hard to control the centre of the board with strategy cards like suppressive fire. This created a kill zone that I could not move into except at huge cost of models. I worked the angles, getting some Facehuggers in position to attack, but they were destroyed with some precision combat knife work.

With the centre of the board unassailable, I rushed a flank in an attempt to reach the objective corridors and destroy them.

The marine playing back-stop was killed by acid, spat by one of my Alien Warriors, clearing a path for me to attack the corridors beyond. The Marine in the centre of the board pushed deeper into the hive to rescue the survivors, whilst the marine with the flamer fell back to defend the escape route.

In the centre of the board the marine really started cutting loose, taking out my Aliens with every roll of the dice. I finally managed to overwhelm him, causing Sgt Waz to change tactics. With his clearest method of rescuing the survivors gone and the objective corridors under attack, he now fell back at full speed to try and get a clean wipe of the board.

This guy is about to get eaten. Finally.

 I managed to destroy one of the corridors before the flamer marine cooked my attacking Aliens. Sgt Waz then worked back through the corridors, with me throwing everything I could at the remaining two marines, but I just couldn't take them down. Fittingly, the last Alien fell to some more deft knife work (of all things!?). With a very effective flamer backing up the attack, my chances were always slim at that point anyway.

With all of the Aliens wiped off the board, the objective was automatically achieved by Sgt Waz and he won the game. I was really pleased with how the Aliens went in this game, I am starting to get a hang of coordinating my attacks to make sure that I am hitting each target with enough bodies to make an impact. I came within a few lucky rolls of winning the scenario, which gives me a lot of hope for the next game!

See you across the table,


Saturday 21 April 2018

Dark Angels: Army List Writing

Hi folks,

I have been twisting myself in knots the past couple of days trying to write a 2000 pt Dark Angels army list that will help me to focus my painting efforts. For a long time I have been completely engrossed with painting models that interest me, at the expense of the gaming aspects of model selection, but that is gradually changing.

One of the issues is that I have been one or two model releases behind in my collection since about 4th Edition. My army lists were quite competitive in 2nd Ed and 3rd Ed., I even used to attend tournaments fairly regularly. As the newer units started rolling out, however, financially my focus was being shifted to more mundane things, like buying a house and raising children!  Recently I picked up some Black Knights and Deathwing Knights, but looking at the Dark Angels meta in my area, it is clear that Primaris are dominating in terms of unit choices.

I am not about to jump on the Primaris band-wagon. When I see a Dark Angels list loaded up with them it feels too much like a vanilla army. I need more Dark Angels flavour. The problem I am having is that in trying to secure as many command points as possible, I hamstringing the list in various ways. The list I have at the moment has some potency to it, but will have trouble holding objectives.

Battalion Detachment


Techmarine (boltgun, lightning claw, servo-arm, Shroud of Heroes)


Scout Squad (4 x sniper rifles, heavy bolder)
Tactical Squad (4 x boltguns, lascannon)
Tactical Squad (4 x boltguns, lascannon)


Deathwing Apothecary (stormbolter)
Deathwing Knights (5)

Heavy Support

Landraider Crusader (multi-tmelta, storm bolter, twin assault cannon, 2 x hurricane bolted)
Predator (2 x lascannons, twin-linked lascannons)

Outrider Detachment


Samuel on Corvex


Ravenwing Ancient

Fast Attack

Ravenwing Attack Bike (multi-melta)
Ravenwing Black Knights (5)
Ravenwing Landspeeder (multi-melta)

I am really happy to have the Ravenwing Black Knights and the Deathwing Knights in there, but the rest of the list is in constant flux as I try to maximise buffs and re-rolls. It is driving me quite mad. Right now I am thinking of collapsing the Outrider Detachment, at the loss of 1 CP, so that I don't have to sink points into the attack bike, land speeder and techmarine. That would buy me some space to upgrade the Deathwing Apothecary to an Ancient and perhaps some more shenanigans. Honestly, though, I am at a bit of a loss. If you have any advice, please let me know!

See you across the table,

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Dark Angels: Grand Master of Chaplains Sapphon TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

I have been experiencing some insomnia for the past couple of weeks, so I have decided to do something constructive with the extra time. The first project to get the midnight treatment was this one. When GW released this model they called it Asmodai, but I'm calling shenanigans on that. In the Angels of Death Codex the Grand Master of Chaplains, Sapphon, was equipped with a powersword. I used to use him all the time, because you had the freedom to choose his wargear cards. That meant that you could give him a jump pack and combat drugs (or the less risky Frenzon) and really wreck face. This guy, to me, has always been Sapphon, not Asmodai. I bought the miniature just before 3rd Edition dropped and he has been shifted from bitz box to bitz box ever since. Not any more!

I considered giving him a jump pack but decided he would be better off supporting my Deathwing Knights on foot. I have plans to do a Lieutenant with a jump pack to support my Ravenwing Knights, so need the spare jump pack anyway. I chose to paint his powersword red to match the swords that the angels hold on the Dark Angels' banners. The crozius also reflects this. The robes were undercoated in Ushbati Bone, washed with sepia then dry brushed very carefully with white. I was really working hard to not leave that chalky look you can get from dry brushing. After that I did a selective wash with Kommando Khaki to knock back the sepia. The black highlights were also drybrushed on in about 5 seconds flat; no hard lining at 2 am! After 2 hours I was done and starting to nod off. Primary and secondary objectives complete!

I'll leave you with the description of Sapphon from the Angels of Death Codex, for those of you who weren't around in those days:

Sapphon is the High Interrogator and Grand Master of Chaplains of the Dark Angels Chapter of Space Marines. Also known as the "Finder of Secrets," Master Sapphon did not receive his esteemed rank of Grand Master due to age or ability as an Interrogator-Chaplain (Master Asmodai is superior in both), but because of his ability as an inspirational leader of men. Even brave and indomitable warriors such as the Dark Angels are inspired by Sapphon's presence when he is amongst them on the battlefield. His presence often leads them to carry out feats of extraordinary valour. 

See you across the table,


Sunday 8 April 2018

Joel Chapman: In Memoriam

Hi folks,

Two weeks ago my dear friend, Joel, passed away in hospital. On the blog I have always referred to him as KuriboGoomba, to provide him with a bit of anonymity. A Goomba is one of those little mushroom guys from Super Mario Brothers (and Kuribo is the japanese word for the same guys).

Kuribo. Goomba.

Joel and I met on the first day of high school 24 years ago. I had brought a Lone Wolf book to school as a bit of a safety blanket, and our shared interest in gaming brought us together very quickly. He introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons, which neither of us took very seriously. We played many, many roleplaying campaigns together, mostly as a strange pairing of Solamnic Knight and Kender Thief: Simoen Swiftblade and Crazy Chester the Dancing Jester. He also introduced me to Battletech; my first love in table-top gaming:

You know the game is serious when Joel is climbing on the table.

We must have played hundreds of games against each other in the past 24 years, often with him representing his beloved Ghost Bears, or delving deep into the underhanded tactics of the Inner Sphere.

Some Ghost Bear Mechs I painted for Joel last Christmas.

I can clearly remember the first game of Magic: The Gathering we ever played. We took his brother's 60 card starter deck and split it in two, so that we could both have a go. We amassed a ton of cards from that day onwards and played almost every day. Some of my fondest memories are of playing MtG with Joel at the local library, waiting to be picked up to go to his place for the weekend. It was that sense of starting an awesome weekend early. I had said to him before he went into hospital that, when he gets out, I was going to get us some of the new MtG set so that we could relive old times.

Joel played quite a bit of 40K back in 2nd Edition, gravitating towards Imperial Guard. We could never afford all of the tanks that he needed, so I bought him some $2 army tanks and painted them up in his regimental scheme (The "Wolfenstein 3rd", if I remember correctly).

Check out the bootleg $2 tanks! With Ork meat shield!

He never was much of a painter, his hands and fingers were... utterly massive. He was an amazing martial artist and piano player, but just couldn't paint the detail on a Citadel minature. Whenever he botched an eye he would turn it into an eye-patch, which left the majority of his army looking like pirates. When 3rd Edition hit the shelves he gave up 40K, but always appreciated the fact that I kept going, even if he didn't enjoy it himself. A few years ago he came over and spent the whole day creating a new paint scheme for my Nids (see the photo at the top of the post). We settled on an Aliens xenomorphy/Fierce Snake scheme which I still use to this day.

Joel and I shared so many other interests/gaming experiences that became pieces of who we were: the Alien movies, Red Dwarf, The Young Ones, Macross, Cowboy Bebop, UFO Enemy Unknown/XCOM, Doom, MechWarrior, Halo, Mass Effect, Morrowind, X-Files, Millenium (which we called "The Bishop Show"), and too many more. He could always be guaranteed to win a board game at the last moment, when everybody thinks it is impossible.

Joel winning at the last moment when Heinz and The Trooper thought it was impossible. Sgt Waz hangs his head in victory/shame.

I think all of us thought he was going to pull the same trick again when we saw him in hospital. In a way, he did score a breathtaking last moment victory. He saved six people through organ donation, including a young child.

Having grown up with Joel so closely, I know there are parts of my character that come from him and our shared experiences. He touched the lives of so many people. Our little gaming group has pulled together just a little tighter, trying to support each other through the shock of losing our chieftain.

I'll see you across the table again one day, my brother.