Sunday, May 31, 2009

Da Brain Boyz, stage 2 - Still time to operate!

I had a couple hours this morning to paint, so I decided to tackle the smallest of the three remaining characters - the Painboy.

I've always enjoyed the rather haphazard and experimental methods the Orks use in virtually every facet of their everyday lives - medicine and surgery as much as anything, and I think this particular sculpt captures that feel brilliantly. It is by far my favorite painboy sculpt of all the editions.

I had to include the two gretchin assistants in his retinue - in the old books, Painboys would vie with one another for casualties on the battlefield as grist for their experiments as much as they did for more benevolent purposes. They would send gretchin with marker flags out on to the battlefield to assess the wounded - The occasional firefight would break out between rival gretchin assistants over the particularly useful specimens, naturally.

Just the two Big Meks left at this point - One with the ever-popular Shokk Attack Gun, and one with a Kustom Force Field. I'm seriously itching to get back to the Guard, but I really needed to get these Orks finished to free up some shelf space!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Da Brain Boyz, stage 1 - The Herald of Mork (or Gork)

A bit more progress this morning - brought the four character figs up to an equivalent completion level with the yellow/green/metal all more or less finished. At this point I plan to paint them to completion individually, since they're all radically different miniatures. I decided I'd polish off the Weirdboy first:

I went with the old codex idea of the copper staff and chains which the Warboss uses to keep the Weirdboy 'grounded' when he's not in combat. I really like this sculpt, the various grot minders being tossed about while desperately hanging on to the chains are quite amusing. As usual, once I take it out to seal it, I notice one or more details I've missed - in this case I need to go back and put some black flames along the back of his cloak, but other than that he's complete.

One (more or less) down, three to go!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Celsius 233" just doesn't have the same ring to it...

I had a couple free hours last night (for a change) so I was able to finish up the Burna Boyz mob and the Grot assistants. The Burna Boyz are a terrifying unit, 11 flamer templates and the Kustom Mega Blasta made short work of the Tyranids I've faced, and the power weapon option of "da kuttin' nozzle" proved to be a nasty surprise for the Marines, who thought they'd be simple to destroy in H2H combat.

While I never fielded Grots as a unit of their own, I do love the Grot assistant figs and most of "da bosses" were accompanied by at least two or three ammo runts, oiler grots and so forth. The minis are just too amusing to skip!

So very close to the end - only four more to go, and they're all characters which should be fun to paint...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fighting fire with fire...

Managed to get a decent amount of work done on the penultimate group of Orks over the memorial day weekend. Whenever possible I try to use the 'assembly line' method when working on horde armies. It's not nearly as satisfying as painting a small group to quick completion, but it gets the job done. It also helps to ensure a uniform look to larger units, or in this case, across multiple units. I do try to mix it up a bit to keep my enthusiasm up, so I've been alternating between Burna Boyz and Grots. I'm down to the final detailing step with this group, which I hope to finish off by next weekend. After that, there's three character figs and I can say that I'm done with the Orks! That will actually be a nice feeling - having an army finished for a change...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No worries, boss - we'll make it Orky.

I've managed to get the Ork flesh done on the burna boyz and the grots, hopefully I can knock them both out this coming weekend. As I haven't anything exciting and new to take pictures of however, I thought I'd post a few more pictures from good ol' Waaagh Nazdakka.

When I'd originally started the army, the first wave of new Orks had just hit the shelves, and I'd been trawling the 'tubes for Orky ideas when I stumbled upon the Ruzzbot conversions others have done. Acting as a proxy looted wagon, the basis for the conversion was a Leman Russ kit plus a few bits from a Defiler I had laying around.

The main body is simply the Russ hull flipped forward 90 degrees. The head is made up from the Leman Russ turret sawn in half (with the two pieces stacked on top of one another) with a searchlight, a vent and some plasticard making the eyes and a strip of spiky bits from the Trukk sprue form the teeth. The right arm is made from one of the Russ side sponsons and a pair of big shootas I had left over from the innumerable Ork sprues. The left arm is made from a Defiler claw; in-game I used it as a proxy wrecking ball/grabbin' claw combo.

This was primarily a 'proof of concept' model - the nice thing about Ork conversions is you can really just jump in and kitbash to your heart's content without too much regard for whether the parts match up exactly. Bung on some armor plates and some rivets to cover any gaps and they generally turn out looking as ramshackle and prone to malfunction as one would expect an Ork vehicle to be. Nevertheless there are a number of things I'd do differently if I was to build another one - double-width tracks for certain, and I'd do more to bulk out the rear of the Ruzzbot and give it a more interesting-looking engine. All in all though, quite a fun conversion project.

Of course, I just couldn't leave well enough alone and had to build a proxy battlewagon version out of a land raider, dubbed the 'Raidabot'. The thing ended up being quite massive, just like Warboss Nazdakka ordered!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We's da biggest, an' da strongest!

A nice lazy Sunday afternoon allowed me time to finish up the Warboss and Nobs in Mega Armor. I always like the Gyrostabilized Monowheel from the old Ork editions, so I whipped up a version using parts from the new Warbikers set and the Ghazghkull model.

Not too much in the way of conversions on the Meganobs themselves, I just tried to mix and match the arms so they were as different as possible from one another.

I'm going to try and knock out the Burna Boyz over the next week - the sooner I can get these Orks finished, the sooner I can get back to the glorious 7th...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Up in the skies! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's an... Ork?

Managed to finish off the Deffkoptas last night, and I decided to go with a Deffskulls theme mostly so I could call the unit, you guessed it, Bloo Thunda...

I'm very impressed with what GW has been able to do detail-wise on the Black Reach box set. The sculpts are comparable in every way with the 'real' box sets in my opinion, definitely a HUGE step up in quality from previous starter sets. The Deffkoptas in particular have all sorts of great details.

All in all, a fun little unit to paint. Next up on the bench, the Meganobs!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A breath of (not so) fresh air

I have way too many projects and not enough shelf space, which means I need to either finish some project or build more shelves... There's a shelf of Orks behind my painting desk that have been waiting for a brush for six months, and I think that before I start painting up the new guard models I ought to finish them off. There's not a lot left, and several units are well underway:

A modified mega-armored boss on a Kustom Gyrostabilized Monowheel and his pack of mega nobs are about 75% complete, and the ork flesh and metal on the Deffkoptas has been done.

On the other hand, there's a 12-strong Burna Boyz Mob and 10 grot assistants that haven't made it past the primer stage. The grots should be fun to paint though - they're all different models, and some of them are downright amusing.

Lastly are a pair of Big Meks and a Weirdboy. I definitely like these particular ork sculpts - they're a great homage to the slightly off-kilter orks of editions past but still have that sense of mass and aggression that typifies GWs current direction for the Ork fluff.

Shouldn't be too bad, I expect to get some decent painting time this coming weekend (for a change) to work on them. After all, once they're done and out the door, it will free up the shelf space for more of the glorious 7th!

Monday, May 11, 2009

After Action Report - 2000 points vs. Blood Angels

This past Saturday I gave the new codex a spin, pitting 2000 points of the Mordian 7th Regiment against a friend's Blood Angels. This won't be a blow-by-blow battle report, we didn't document the game quite that thoroughly. I figured I'd be slowing the game down enough constantly referencing the new rules, statlines, etc. that I'd just take pictures of the highlights.

I went with the army list from the previous post, and that morning pulled out all the figs - I have to say, it's always edifying when the first words out of one's opponent's mouth are "Holy crap".

My particular terrain setup runs exclusively to the urban persuasion, and generally I try to set it up with a mix of density to portray the outskirts of a ruined city. For this game however, I thought it would be fun to do a table representing a more inner-city feel.

My friend brought his heavily assault-themed Blood Angels army, which has savaged my guardsmen on a number of occasions. The usual pre-battle smack talk ensued - I had taunted him earlier in the week that "He'd better bring the big guns to deal with all the tanks". Little did I realize he'd follow through with his counter-threat to build a Terminus Ultra. The name of the tank is a matter of some debate. He favored "Godhammer", whereas I was pretty sure "Le Tanque Du Fromage" had a nice ring to it...

We ended up playing the Dawn of War scenario, which had some odd repercussions on each of our lists - it forced his usual deep-striking HQ unit onto the table up front, invalidated my infiltrators, and posed an interesting question regarding the ordinarily-immobile Medusa Siege gun. We decided to go for it anyway, and see how things panned out. I set up first, and in turn 1 most of the army moved onto the board. The Medusa was towed into position by a chimera and spent the rest of the turn unlimbering to cover the road down the middle of the town.

The Blood Angels entered the fray, and the Terminus Ultra moved onto the table. The guardsmen decided that discretion was the greater part of valor, and fell back into cover. The Land Raider effortlessly destroyed the Leman Russ Executioner, which exploded quite spectacularly in turn two.

On the left flank, the hardened veteran squad sped towards the Land Raider, hoping to make it close enough to utilize their melta bombs. However, the first assault squad pounced on their Chimera - rolling forty-some-odd attacks, and tearing the turret from its collar. Only by virtue of the tank's speed the previous turn did it avoid utter destruction. To the marine's consternation, Thargadd's Thumpers managed to move within striking distance. With a roar, the Ogryns charged into combat as the chimera continued towards the Terminus Ultra, albeit slightly on fire.

I use the Ogryns as a "Tar Pit" unit against my opponents heavy close combat troops. In this instance, Thargadd and the lads held an entire Assault Squad led by a Chaplain with a power fist for three turns. When the dust settled, they had accounted for seven of the assault marines, and had prevented them from slaughtering the company command in the nearby building. 150 points well spent, I found.

After Thargadd took his last wound, the nearby infantry made short work of the remaining Assault marines via the judicious use of "First rank, FIRE! Second rank, FIRE!". The Chaplain ended up chasing a couple vehicles around for the rest of the game.

On the opposite flank things didn't go quite so smoothly. While the guardsmen managed to disable several of the Blood Angel landspeeders, they were assaulted and completely butchered by a second Assault squad. Several units were slaughtered to a man before they even had a chance to strike back.

We ended up calling the game at the end of turn four due to time constraints, though it looked to be a fearsome conflict brewing in the center of town.

We tallied up the losses, and he'd managed to destroy about half the Guard by the end of turn four, losing about a third of his points in return. Nevertheless, that's significantly better than the guard has fared in the past! The Assault squad was set to roll my flank in turn 5, though the HQ likely could have withstood a turn or two before collapsing. The ratling snipers spend the game running around the table rather than shooting from cover, so I didn't really get a feel for how they played. I enjoyed the Psyker Battle Squad, and will likely take them again - their leadership modifying capabilities in concert with ordnance barrage and pinning weapons could prove to be very effective. The terrain and mission worked to our disadvantage in certain ways on both sides of the table, though it was an entertaining scenario overall.

This coming week I hope to polish off the last of the orks as a brief change of pace before I dive into paining the next batch of guardsmen...