Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tzeentch Renegades - Helbrute painted

I had a little painting time last night and since going to Adepticon next April is on the table, I got to thinking about what I'd want to take out there for my first entry into a tournament since 3nd edition. While I have a fairly good-sized guard army already painted I don't really relish the thought of trying to travel with them. Time for a stunt army! Painting up the cultist squads a while back has had me thinking about resurrecting the Tzeentch Renegades so I set to on the Helbrute from the dark vengeance set.

I thoroughly enjoy painting this color scheme - it's basically the Red Corsairs scheme done with blue and yellow rather than red and black. The halved/quartered/alternating at random pattern helps keep the models interesting throughout the painting process - each model is a little different from the next, so even batch painting 30-40 of them isn't as tedious as it usually can be...

The skin was worked over in the tone that the pink horrors and screamers will be painted, to help tie the army together. I'm not 100% happy with it however, I think it needs a wash to help blend it together, but I fear a purple wash will darken it far too much. Any suggestion would be appreciated!

I'm still working out how exactly the army will be built, though I have plans to build another unit of screamer-riders (as proxy Bikers or Raptors, not sure which) now that they've come out with plastic Screamers, and a Hell Talon as a proxy Heldrake (just not a fan of the Heldrake model). However it ends up, it's going to be colorful, that's for sure!

Feast of Blades 2012 recap

Before I get started I want to point you over to my friend Dave's blog - he's continued his excellent series of posts on making 3D bases that's chock full of cool pics and great ideas. Check it out!

I went down to Denver to check out the Feast of Blades tournament over this past weekend, and it was a great deal of fun! While I didn't participate in the tourney itself, as an outside observer it was a beautiful spectacle. Unfortunately I didn't get any good pictures of the tourney in progress, I snapped a few, but I didn't want to interfere with the games in progress so none of them really turned out.

Outside the main hall however, they were setting up an immense Apocalypse battlefield that I did get some decent shots of! I was really impressed by the Warlords - they were really well done!

The main reason for going was to meet up with Miniature Tim and throw some dice during the open gaming time following the rounds on Saturday. The idea was to drive the Leviathan across the table in an attempt to get it into his deployment zone, while his job was to stop it. Really though it was all about having a good conversation over a beer and a laugh. Mission success!

Feeling cocky, I suggested we play lengthwise - a foolish decision as I found out shortly. The GK had moral superiority on their side as well, as we all know painted models fight better. Tim's grey knights were beautifully painted, too!

One of the best parts about the Leviathan is the Doomsday Cannon's ability to flatten terrain. The first turn it remained stationary to clear up that pesky ruin in the way, and a few turns later another ruin (as well as some defense line and a slow-moving dreadnought) were also well squashed.

My ability to damage things that weren't static pieces of the environment was a bit more limited. Despite firing battlecannon shots into Draigo and his Terminator squad for the entire game, I don't think they took more than a single casualty. Four ones to wound from a battlecannon?! That was worth a picture...

As I mentioned earlier, playing lengthwise was a bit of a silly thing to do. By the time the Leviathan was destroyed, it had only moved a grand total of 9 inches. The rifleman dreads stripped it of its void shields handily every turn, and an early Drive Damaged result, plus several turns ineffectually attempting to repair meant it didn't get very far before the Vindicare smashed it apart with his Turbo Penetrator rounds. Despite that, the game was an absolute blast and Tim was a hoot to play against - I'm definitely looking forward to attending FoB next year!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ciaphas Cain - Hero of the Imperium!

Taking a little break from the Leviathan to do some painting - gotta let the modelling batteries recharge for a bit! My buddy Dave let me know about a miniatures company called Cadwallon that I hadn't seen before, and lurking in their "Legendarion" section was a rather striking model of the greatest (least), most heroic (stinking coward) Commissar ever to wear the cap and greatcoat - Ciaphas Cain!

Dave had ordered up their model for the Salamanders Primarch Vulkan and was kind enough to add Cain to the order for me as well. The models arrived quickly, though the ordering process was a little convoluted with some odd PayPal redirects that didn't make either of us feel too confident, but all was well in the end.

I was rather pleased with the quality of the cast and the pose was very reminiscent of the cover art from the second Omnibus. I took some cues from the art for the paint scheme but also wanted to match it somewhat to the rest of the dozen-plus Commissars I've painted so far (no, I don't have a good reason for having that many).

I really liked the base that came with the model as well, as Cain has numerous run-ins with the Tyranid menace throughout the series. Definitely enjoyed painting it up, the blue, purple and green added a splash of color to the otherwise somewhat dour color scheme of Cain himself. Now I think I need to come up with a model to represent his personal dogsbody Jurgen, and perhaps a squad of Valhallans for him to lead!

In other news, I'm going to head down to Feast of Blades on Saturday night to have a game with Tim Toolen, owner of the Miniature Tim blog and an extremely talented modeler and painter. I'm fully expecting to be wiped off the table in short order, so just listen for the screams of dying guardsmen and you'll find me! :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Praetorian Project - Leviathan Greenstuffed

...Have you ever gotten towards the end of a project and felt as though you've taken a bad mis-step? I definitely have, and here is that point with the Leviathan. Due to my ham fisted-ness there were numerous areas with gaps that I figured "hey, I'll be able to fix that with a little GS before primering", but it was only once I sat down and started gap filling that I realized that A) there were a lot more gaps than I thought, and B) I really should have been gap filling as I went along rather than waiting until it was all assembled.

I'll be the first to admit that my GS skills are sorely lacking, mostly relegated to gap filling and hair/fur, but the sheer size of the Leviathan introduced an entirely new set of issues. Primarily, how to hold the darn thing while applying the GS, and secondarily not breaking/bending/cracking anything while trying to smooth it all out. There were more than a few ominous creaks and cracks during this process, and to my horror, the rear right rounded tread section broke loose and I was forced to make an emergency repair.

I used a mix of knead-together and liquid greenstuff - the knead together was used to fill in the larger holes, while the liquid was used on the minor areas and to help smooth transitions between the plastic and the kneaded GS areas. Going to have to primer it to see how it actually worked - after which I'll more than likely need to do another pass with the GS to clean up any egregious areas. Oof!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Praetorian Project - Leviathan Banner and side sponsons complete

Managed to squeeze in some hobby time last night and worked on the Leviathan a bit more. I wasn't totally happy with how the side sponsons lined up with the upper superstructure (or more precisely, how they didn't), so I added another layer of detail to the outside cut to better fit the angles as well as to give them a bit more pop - I'm also planning on adding some further brass etch to them, Aquilas on the ourside sponsons and an Opus Machina to the middle one. I also managed to dig up enough lascannons to fit on all the side turrets, and got those cut and mounted.

As you may have noticed, I also added the awesome banner that LuckyNo.5 made for me. He was kind enough to set me up with a version designed to be double sided once it was printed out and wrapped around the banner pole. Turned out just right in my opinion!

I printed it out on some thin cardstock capable of feeding through the printer, set to the highest print quality. After that I carefully cut it out and applied white glue to the inside - while it was drying I set the flag in a bit of a wavy pattern by careful bending around a few plastic tubes I had lying about. After it was set I sprayed it with gloss varnish, then again with matte varnish, which gave it a bit more protection and helped lock the bends in place. Easy peasy!

I still need to do a mess of greenstuffing to take care of the gaps here and there, so for the moment the side sponsons are not yet fixed in place. I'm hoping to find some time to do that over the next week, though I'll admit that XCOM: Enemy Unknown has been getting a fair bit of my attention. Filthy Xenos!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Praetorian Project - Leviathan banner

I recently contacted the exceedingly talented LuckyNo.5 from the Eye of Error blog about commissioning a big ol' banner for the Leviathan. After all, the regimental command vehicle ought to have a suitably impressive banner!

LuckyNo.5 is responsible for the blog banner proudly splashed across the top of this page, and also made the spectacular banners for my Heresy-era Thousand Sons that can be seen scattered throughout the force. He's also made numerous blog banners for other folks, and is currently involved with the rather excellent Dark Eldar forum The Dark City as well as the Standard Template Construct blog.

We discussed some ideas about what the banner should look like, and he sent me a couple examples he worked up. I have to say, he knocked it out of the park on the first try! The 'patron saint' of the Mordian 7th Regiment is Mahagon Jhume, the martyred leader of the Night Rippers hive gang from which the vast majority of the regiment was drawn, and his name has pride of place across the top scroll. The various little text boxes include the declaration raising the regiment, which is a great touch - Unfortunately they're going to be too small to read when shrunk down to the final banner size, but will look great nonetheless. The red and black dags around the perimeter hearkens back to the serrated knife blade that is the unofficial emblem of the regiment. All around, I couldn't be happier!

He also went one step further and worked up a battle damaged/bloodied version of the banner that I will be using for the glorious 7th's Regimental Command Squad. Absolutely brilliant stuff! In fact the super high res version of the above banner is now my desktop background (at 3000x2100 pixels, it's huge)!

If you're looking for a new blog banner, or some frankly awesome banners for your army, LuckyNo.5 is your man. I heartily recommend his work, and I am constantly amazed at his amazing talents at converting, painting and being an all-around great guy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Praetorian Project - Leviathan side sponsons built

Finally got a set of side sponson towers that I like sorted out, and snapped a few pics. This was the last bit that really needed to be made before it really looks like a Leviathan!

They're not quite perfect fits, but they're by far the closest I've been able to manage thus far. Close enough to be able to fill the gaps, at least. I was determined to utilize the small turrets that I picked up from Blood and Skulls Industry, and that required a somewhat complicated shape full of compound angles.

I haven't attached them yet, as I still need to go in and do a bunch of gap filling along the bottom of the upper superstructure. Just picked up a whole new tube of green stuff for the purpose. I have a feeling I'll be putting a good sized dent in it by the time I'm done!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Praetorian Project - Leviathan rebuild continues

Had a free day yesterday and spent some time gluing up the upper superstructure for the Leviathan, and added some further embellishments. It's really starting to take shape now!

The longer barrel for the Doomsday Cannon definitely works well, (thanks for the feedback, folks) and I'm quite happy with the upper turret too. Now that it's back together, I wanted to add another tank for scale, though my black background and black tank didn't work well together. The track sections are roughly three times the length of the hull of the Leman Russ, and almost as wide!

My order from Forge World arrived bearing multiple brass etch icons (amongst other goodies to be revealed at a later date), some of which have made it on to the main structure - I'll likely add some more to the side turret towers as well. The towers are proving to be a bit challenging as they are a rather complex shape - wide at the bottom, narrowing towards the top and slanted inwards to match the slope of the sides of the upper structure. Let's just say I've figured out a half dozen shapes that DON'T work... Argh.

Still, this has been a really fun project so far, and I'm looking forward to finishing it up!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Adeptus Mechanicus - Sagittarii built

A little breather while I wait for more parts for the Leviathan to arrive allowed some time to work on the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Skitarii march to war with a number of bizarre and esoteric weapon systems not commonly found within the armies of the Imperium, and amongst these are the Sagittarii who bear a bewildering array of heavy support weapons in support of the Hypaspist maniples.

The Sagittarii are describes as consisting of a Ballisterai controller and a quadrupedal servitor/robot that carries the heavy weapon. In keeping with the general spider-y aesthetic the army has thus far, I'd ordered up some of the spiderbots from Blight Wheel Miniatures to act as the weapon carrier. Six legs are better than four, right? The weapon is the heavy tesla cannon from MaxMini, and will act as a Photon Thruster in game (72", S6, AP D6, Blast). The Ballisterai are built similar to the Hypaspists I'd shown earlier, with their controller device fashioned from a bit off the space marine hunter killer missile, and the aerial that was trimmed of the voxcaster that makes up their backpack. Easy peasy!