Friday, April 29, 2011

Desert & Diamondplate Basing - How To

For my Dark Eldar army, I was faced with a challenge.  Wyches had to be on slot bases since the connection point of the foot was way too weak to connect with any specialty resin bases.  I also wanted to have a base that could both work on a desert "arena" area as well as on board a raider or my pleasure ship (out of Return of the Jedi) that I'll eventually have.

I picked up a bunch of diamond plate plastic from Plastruct product code: 91682.  I started by cutting out various shapes and gluing them down to the base. I then added one layer of sand, not overlapping any of the plastic.

At this point, I wanted to make sure the sand looked like it was blowing over the edges of the decking.  I layered on a second portion of sand over the edges of the decking and raised other areas of the sand to give it depth.

I then primed the models and started with the decking first.  
- Based Tin Bitz
- Heavy drybrush of Dwarf Bronze
- Drybrush of Chainmail
- Washed with Devlan Mud

Now I let the ink dry for awhile and could start on the sand.
- First I drybrushed very lightly another coat of Chainmail to pick up the raised part of the decking
- Heavy coat of Khemri Brown on the sand
- Drybrush heavy Desert Sand
- Drybrush Bleached Bone
- Painted the lip of the base black (personal preference).

I'm happy with how they turned out.  Simple but effective.  I'll spend some time next stepping how I did the flesh tones.  This weekend will be a lot of work around the house but I'm going to try and build some of my beastman Wrack substitutes so the Wyches have something to fight in the arena!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ork skin care products?

I was out doing a little shopping with the wife and we drove through a parking lot of the local strip mall.  My wife started laughing and pointed to the sign. Although she has no intentions of ever coming to the dark side of her hobby, she at least picks up on the humor.

I couldn't resist taking a picture. 

I'll be traveling to Toronto and Minneapolis this week so I won't be able to get any painting in until the weekend.  I'm going crazy with all the cool options the Dark Eldar have.  I think it's going to come down to playing a bunch of games to see how they all work together.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Completed Raider & Wych

I had a blast painting the raider and the test wych model.  I didn't add any of the extra crew on the raider yet since I wanted to make sure that they'll fit in the new battlefoam trays I have coming.  I went with a different metal color for the exhaust, which helps break up all the silver.  Additionally I downloaded a bunch of Japanese Kanji translations... since my Kabaal is the "Kabaal of the Death Rune" the word on the side is "Death Dream" and I put "Poison" up in a couple places.  Figure it'd make it more fun.

For the wych, I kept with my desert / diamondplate basing scheme.  I'll post a how-to on that as soon as I'm able to prime my next set of miniatures (pouring rain here).  Here's how I did the skin tone - I wanted to keep it easy.

- Base Dneb Stone
- Heavy wash of Leviathan Purple
- Paint raised areas Dneb Stone
- 2/3 water & 1/3 Asurman Blue wash
- Raised areas 1/2 Dneb Stone 1/2 White

I'm pretty happy.  For the hair it was:

- Base Mechrite Red
- Paint Blood Red
- Wash Leviathan Purple
- Highlight Blazing Orange

I just got the first season of Sparticus Blood on the Sand, looking forward to getting some inspiration for making my abhuman wrack gladiators.  This has been some of the most fun I've had on a project yet.

DE Wrack Conversion - Ideas

I really want to put together wracks for the Dark Eldar, but I think I'm going to go a different path when it comes to conversion.  I've heard we may get new models in the summer timeframe but that's not stopping me from coming up with some neat ideas.

I really like the idea of having a gladiator arena in my display board and with that it would be cool to have different beasts and subhumans fighting it out with the wytches.  What better to be a good adversary to get butchered up in the arena then a counts-as wrack?  My first thought was to go with some sort of catachan base and add spikes, armor, and cruel weapons.  I just never really liked the models so I figured I'd scrap that. 

There are some awesome pre-made gladiators from Dark Art Miniatures but most tournaments require mostly GW based minis.  That throws out the easy method of just doing premade miniatures.

I then scanned the GW website for some suitable plastic replacements (plastic is so much easier to work and game with).  Two kits I think might be a great baseline for gladiators are the Beastmen Gor Herd and the Maurauders of Chaos.  Both of these have a dark look about them.  I'm torn on which would be the better kit.  Maybe ultimately I do a mixture of both?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Deathstars/Hammers value in Dark Eldar?

Part of the fun of trying new armies is learning new play styles and approaching 40k from different angles.  One list building habit I always get into is building a hammer/deathstar unit.  Call it a unit of terminators in a land raider, nob biker unit, thunderwolves, etc. It's the unit you can hammer into the opponent and cause a lot of damage.  Plus it's a force that intimidates.

When building out my Dark Eldar, I have thought about the same thing.  Nasty characters with big incubi units, bloodbrides with Lelith, beast squads, and other things that can dish out a bunch of attacks.  With the fragile delivery system of DE, maybe I'm going about this the wrong way.  This codex is all about the "death of a thousand cuts".  I think maybe my goal is to really take advantage of the mid range firepower and speed of the DE instead of throwing a haymaker.

The large assault units are not only heavy in the points but put a lot of hope in the staying power long term of the unit - which DE do not have like most other hammer units. If I were to eliminate the thought of a hammer assault unit, is this the best path?  Yes and no.  I still need something to take on my opponent's nastiness.  That's where I feel bloodbrides with shardnets come in. 

Instead of barreling down the flank or middle with raiders filled with wyches, I think I'll take a couple and use them as a counter punch when the pain comes to my area by leaving them back or even in reserve.  The shardnets can do a good job neutralizing the combat characters, and the 4+ invulnerable save (combined with feel no pain if I start with a haemonculus) should tarpit up a unit for awhile. 

We'll see if this strategy pays off.  At least I can try a new strategy out!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Display Cases Needed

Now that Adepticon is done, it's time to "pimp my basement".  It's really sad, most of my armies are collecting dust in foam cases.  I tend to shelve armies almost immediately after the initial tournament use; I'm a weird individual that likes the creation process almost more then the finished product.

I now have these two huge finished rooms in the basement just dying for some decoration.  I like to keep all of my "geek" stuff in the basement, so I think it's time to spend some money and show it off.  First off, I need to find some good display cases.  I'd love to get any ideas that you might have, right now I'm leaning to this one above from Ikea for about $60.  Any other suggestions?

Next step this summer will be the creation of a couple of gaming boards.  I'm thinking I'll go with the ultra portable and either get some mats from Zuzzy or even maybe use a combination of the GW gaming table with some of my own custom tiles. 

Dark Eldar are making some major progress.  I'm traveling to Toronto & Minneapolis over the next few weeks for work and the first round of the NHL playoffs start (Go Blackhawks!) so that will be a bit of a distraction.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dark Eldar Test Model Done

Finished up my test model, I ended up going with the middle silver - the slightly bluish tint.  After working through the first few plates, I realized how small of an area I was working with.  Nothing like space marine armor with the large surface area!  So the thought of doing gold detailing throughout is nixed.  Instead I put a few gold designs throughout.  I think I'll do some random plates in gold too to bring out the chaotic look. 

Overall, I'm pretty happy.  The deckplate didn't come out as planned, next round I will start with that so I can get a good drybrush in then move on to the sand.  I think I need to line in some black again to create more separation the the plates as well.  The next step is to come up with the army logo / kabaal name.  I think purple and green ended up being neat accent colors. 

The raider will leave me a lot more space for freehand runes.  I'm really looking forward to the big plates and sails. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Adepticon Army Spotlight: Team Artik Powah

I wanted to share a little more on my favorite army of the weekend, the team from Canada Artik Powah.  Do yourself a favor and check out the link on their stunning pictures of their army.  Very inspirational conversions and paint scheme. 

They added some close up shots of the models that are worth looking at. 

I'm going to try and put some paint on the dark eldar test model tonight.  I'm really torn between the three silvers that I posted yesterday.  The GW one on the left is my default... boltgun metal is a great start.  I think the blues of the middle and right would mesh well with purple (less contrast) but I'm not sure how well it will look overall.  Maybe I'll throw some gold paint on each section and see what that looks like since most of the silver will be covered in gold inlay. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dark Eldar - new project paint scheme thoughts

Now that Adepticon is done, I can start working on my next project; Dark Eldar.  I absolutely love the new warrior models, they're beautiful.  Before I tackle any new project I try and think really hard about the paint scheme.  The extra planning early pays off in the end.  Part of my inspiration for this round is trying a new method, gold inlay.  When you see old suits of armor, some of the nicer suits had intricate designs.

I'd like to bring this style into the dark eldar plates.  Now the big challenge will be the small surface area I'm dealing with.  I'll get a lot more help on the vehicles, but for infantry it will be tight.

I'm a big proponent of sticking with a limited color pallet.  In this case, my primary color is going to be a dark silver metallic with accents of purple (cloth) and mettalic gold (inlay).  Certain straps and casings will be in black, and there will be a small amount of lighting effects (eyes, etc.) in bright green.  I'll probably incorporate that green into whatever symbol I paint on the sails of the raiders.  Flesh tones and the skin tabbards will be in a very grey/cool based skin tone (probably using dneb stone as a base).

I'm looking at three options for my main silver metallic tone.  I base coated an armor plate and worked on the triad.  The first is the standard GW silver, and the 2nd and 3rd are reaper triads.  What are your thoughts?

So to sum it up here's the plan so far:

armor: silver with gold inlay
clothing: deep purple
pouches/belts/gun casings: black
skin: dneb stone base (with washes tbd)
lighting sources: scorpion green

I think the next most important thing after choosing the color pallet is basing.  Basing really should make the miniature pop and set the tone.  I'm going to go with a pretty elaborate display base based around Jabba's pleasure barge in Return of the Jedi.  I don't want it to just be deck plating though since that would wash out with the armor plates, so I'm going to go with deck plating mostly covered in sand - almost like sand was blowing over areas.  The desert sand color should be a nice contrast with the armor.  Here's my first take on how this will be prepared.

I haven't decided if I'm going to try and add another new teqnique in, source lighting... that might be biting off more then I can chew.  Please let me know what you think of the main silver color!

Adepticon - more pretty pictures

One of my favorite thing about Adepticon is going around and looking at the beautifully done armies.  I thought I'd take some time to post up some of my favorite shots, and hope they'd inspire you.

First off, I want to tip my hat to A Gentleman's Ones on their beautifully done killzone tables.  Brian did a great job running these gorgeous tables.  I wish I would have had the time to play!  I encourage you to go to his site and check out the pictures.

As usual, there were a ton of armies that were inspirational.  In no particular order, here comes the pics!

... and Adepticon comes to a close!  All the wives can breath a huge sigh of relief as we come back to "normal" life.  I'm already thinking through my next year's projects.  My resolution is to have a bit more focus!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adepticon Day 3 Recap - Gladiator

I'm still recovering from 11 games of 40k in 3 days, but I have to say I'm super excited about next year.  As we always think at this time "If I would only prepare a little earlier!" Let's see if I can make that happen.  I had the chance to play with my orks and had a lot of fun throwing vehicles around with the lifta droppa.  Here's a shot of the force, tightly packed on the movement board.

My first game was against a chaos marine khorne list.  The first round was not night fight and the Stompa had a great time throwing a land raider into a brass scorpion... causing the scorpion to be immobilized!  I did a little cheer inside as I thought I wouldn't have to worry about it charging the stompa.  Sadly enough on turn two it rolled a 5+ to fix the drives and came charging into the Stompa, quickly dispatching it.  Night fights on turn 2-4 caused a lot of pain as I rolled terrible for visibility, never getting many shots off. 

I made a mistake early by misreading the rules (we'll blame this on a lack of sleep) and turbo boosted my ork nobz forward to contest his quarter... then coming to realize their suicide mission was wasted since I only gained points after turn 2 (not at the start of turn 2).  Ah well, in the end I tied the game due to a lucky scatter of the vortex grenade... it scattered over the top of my opponent's rhino wiping them off the board and allowing me to hold an objective. 

WARNING... no my pictures at this point, I was tired and didn't get around to taking out the camera.  Ranting and raving below as the lack of sleep and exhaustion caught up to me!

The second game was against an all infantry imperial fists army.  My opponent showed up 10 minutes late into the round, one of my big pet peeves.  It went downhill from there.  Being a little flustered I wanted to get things moving since I struggled to get 4 turns in the last game.  He started out by trying to disqualify me stating that I couldn't have anything with 4 structure points.  Looking around at the 5 other stompas on the field, I thought there was no way I screwed that rule up.  Another 10 minutes went by and after finally talking to the head judge we got it clarified.  I knew all along it was to keep Reavers off the field...

Rant on... It only got worse.  I started setting up, and explained what my stompa did so there wasn't any confusion.  That wasn't good enough, and I was repeatedly asked "Show me where it is in the book".  Maybe I'm just used to being taken for my word since I'm an honest guy, but constantly being interrupted to take a few minutes to show him each and every rule was getting rude.  I handed him the book right away but that wasn't good enough.  Sadly the forgeworld rules are all over the book (I didn't scan them since the photocopies didn't turn out right).  This wasted another 10+ minutes and caused a ton of frustration.  I would have been happy to walk him through it once I was done setting up.  ...Rant off!

That was probably the one and only game I ever got close to raising my voice in a game and had to restrain myself from stepping up to the guy.  As the game progressed, we both cooled down and chalked it up to a lack of sleep and exhaustion. 

Since we wasted 45+ plus setting up, we only got three turns in.  Had I had more time, it probably would have been a landslide since nothing in his army was able to do any damage to the stompa.  In the end I got a solid win, but only 3/4 the points I could have.  I did give him a kill point because my 40 point grotz in reserve didn't come on the table!

Game three was much better, and laid back.  I played a blood angels player and wanting to get my full game in, reserved my whole army.  He had a warhound titan with twin lasers of doom so I didn't want it ko'ing the poor stompa before it got to fire.  Luckily on the reserve roll for turn 2, the only thing that came out was my stompa.  It proceeded to lifta drop the storm raven and randomly throw it 24" back towards the warhound in the opposing corner.  Good times!  The rest of the turns were a good back and forth as the warhound eventually killed off the stompa in a salvo of pew-pew lasers.  In the end it was a pretty even draw in points as we both took objective markers. 

Next year I think I'm going to hang up my hat on the Gladiator and try my hand at the team tournament for Warhammer Fantasy. 

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