Sunday, September 29, 2013

Iron Hands - Batch painting continues...

Another crazy week, and not a whole lot of time to spend painting. Did manage to get some brush time in this evening, though!

More or less got everything done but some minor clean up and the bases at this point. In the home stretch now! Keeping with the limited palette has been interesting, but I do have to say that I'm looking forward to painting up some Alpha Legion and/or Thousand Sons - something with a little more colour!

I'm a little behind my planned schedule, but I have nothing planned for tomorrow evening (here's hoping it stays that way) so they'll be done just a day or two 'late'. Still feeling confident I can get the heresy-era Iron Hands done by January - I finally got notification that the first order has shipped, and I'm really jazzed about the recent Iron Hands previews coming out of Forge World!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Iron Hands - Firing up the batch painting machine!

The waiting continues, and in the meantime Forge World has released pics of all sorts of cool heresy-era models. Darn it, this second half of the order I had planned is getting more expensive all the time! To pass the time I figured I may as well keep plugging away on the current era Iron Hands. Great practice, at least!

Haven't had as much time to paint as I'd like, work and Real Life(tm) have been eating up the schedul in a huge waye. Nevertheless, the initial black and metal tones went on super quick - shadow grey, boltgun metal, black wash and then walk away for at least an hour while the wash dries. I find it's a good idea to keep a couple reference models nearby to ensure I'm following the same recipe, nothing like realizing (for example) at the end when you're putting them away next to the earlier models that all 20 of the the guardsmen you just painted have fatigues that are a different shade of blue from the rest of the army and will require a repaint. Not that that's ever happened to me. ...On more than occasion.

I got a little free time after work today and laid down another layer of shadow grey on the areas that will eventually be white. Even though there's 25 of 'em going at once, I'm really rather enjoying painting them - will all the bionics and whatnot each model is rather different from the last and that helps keep me on task. The heresy marines will also have more bionics than your run of the mill army, though likely not to the extent of these current-era brethren...

I am pretty pleased with the progress thus far (hoping to have them done by the weekend), it bodes well for my ability to crank out the heresy force before January!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Iron Hands - Land Raider painted

Well, the forge world order has been delayed - Apparently the Iron Hands shoulder pads that I'd included in the order are pre-order only (thought they had already been released) which means the whole shipment is going to be on hold until the 30th. That's a little annoying as it means I have two less weeks to get everything finished than I had thought. On the up side that also means that the second half of the order (which I'd figured on making as soon as the order page comes up for Massacre) will likely arrive at the same time as the first. It's gonna be an avalanche of resin!

So, since I don't have any Iron Hands to work on, I figured I'd work on some Iron Hands. Heh. In order to 'get my eye in' on the paint scheme for the 30k models I figured that I'll just churn along on the 40k ones. I wanted to try out the vehicle scheme, so out came a conversion model that my friend gave me (along with the rest of the 40k Iron Hands as well). Needed a little TLC, but all in all I love the extended assault ramp and the big ol' mechanicus symbol!

Fairly simple scheme - prime black, give the whole thing a drybrush of shadow grey (hitting the upper edges especially), hit all of the metal parts in boltgun metal, then wash it all down with black. The white parts are then picked out in shadow grey followed by ghost grey, with the extreme edges hit with skull white. Ridged cabling in blue, smooth cabling in yellow, pick out lenses and headlamps and done! Of course, that means you end up with a sort of boring black brick. Time to bust out the sponges!

I'm still a novice at weathering, but I feel like I'm starting the get the hang of it. I've always painted my tracks in a dark flesh/earth brown tone, so those colors were then sponged on to the lower half of the tank, trying to mimic the direction the mud would tend to spatter (up and rearward). Then a light sponging of khaki just here and there was applied to push the color a little further.

Finally I went in and daubed some chocolate brown here and there where I wanted to represent places the paint had been worn down to bare metal - Places such as leading edges where it would logically be scraped away, around the sill of the doors where they'd hit the ground. Once that was on, they got picked out in boltgun metal (leaving some of the brown showing) and the extreme edges in shiny silver. I tried my hand at some long scrapes along the top of the tank, but they are less convincing than I'd like. Still, practice makes perfect!

All in all it took about three hours, and turned out looking pretty decent. I'm definitely going to be adding similar weathering to my guard tanks, it really helps break up the monotony of all that black!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heresy Era Iron Hands - Choosing the army

In preparation for the Heresy 30k US events taking place this coming January, I needed to come up with an army list. In general most of my armies are created via the "Buy whatever catches my eye and then try and make a list out of it" method, but this time around I wanted to build the list first, then only buy what was needed. This would help keep costs down (relatively speaking) as I knew it was going to end up being a massive Forge World order.

Armies in 30k vary somewhat from the standard force organization chart, but the most basic "HQ and two troops" minimum requirement still applies. As shown in the previous post, the HQ choice was a no-brainer - a Praetor with the Forge Father upgrade, giving him all sorts of fun extra kit.

For troops choices, the stalwart tactical squad is a favorite. Unlike their modern-day bretheren however, they are capable of being taken in squads of up to 20, though they do lose access to any special or heavy weapons. To balance that out they do get the "Fury of the Legion" special rule which allows them to fire twice in one round, but losing the ability to fire the following round. Potentially up to 80 shots coming out of the unit is rather scary! Forge World does a 30-man bundle for the various armour marks, so I ordered up a set of the Mk.3 variety. That gives me enough for one 20-man squad and one 10-man squad, but that's not quite enough in my opinion, I wanted to do at least 40 tac marines (one 20-man and two 10-man squads).

Knowing that I am going to be kitting the tactical squads out with extra chainswords/close combat weapons I ordered several 5-man Mk.3 despoiler squads and some extra holstered pistols which will allow me to mix and match guys carrying chainswords, bolt pistols and slung bolters throughout the rest of the tactical squads, hopefully giving the units a bit more visual interest than just "a bunch of dudes with bolters". The guys who don't get chainswords will be getting the chainblade attachments on their bolters so it all stays WYSIWYG.

I needed transports capable of delivering the two ten-man tactical squads to whatever objectives they need to capture and weather the storm of fire getting them there, so a pair of land raider proteus tanks should fit the bill nicely. They are not assault vehicles like the more modern style phobos, but the Rule of Cool is definitely in play here; I absolutely love the nod to the original plastic Mk.1 land raider!

Next up was the Elites choices. In 30k you're allowed four elites choices which is nice, but I had an eye on a big ol' 9-strong unit of terminators in cataphractii plate which ate up a huge number of points. At the moment I haven't ordered them as I want to hold out to see the rumoured Gorgon Terminators/Morlocks. If the recent emperor's children terminator honour guard are any indication, they're going to be fantastic!

To carry the terminators (and the forge father who will be accompanying them), only one tank would do. The land raider spartan - another nod to the old school model shown in White Dwarf back when it was awesome. Weighing in at 340 points all kitted out, I was running out of points at an alarming rate, but had a nice solid core of four scoring units that were all hard as nails.

Rounding out the Elites choices was a cheap-as-chips Apothecary to accompany the 20-man footslogging tactical squad, providing them all with FnP. Hard to go wrong there! I had picked up the two-apothecary set a while back, and had given the Mk.4 dude to my buddy Dave for his Heresy-Era Salamanders force, leaving a Mk.3 model to use with the Iron Hands - worked out well!

On the Heavy Support front, I ended up with 5 'leftover' marine models from the mix of tactical and despoiler squads, so they got an autocannon upgrade set to allow me to field a small 5-man heavy support squad. I really dig how the autocannon set looks, and though I realize that 5 guys probably isn't enough, I'm hoping the sight of two land raiders and a spartan bearing down on them will cause my opponents to de-prioritize shooting at this squad!

In addition I definitely wanted to add one of the new Sicaran Battle Tanks, but not knowing points values means I've just pulled a number out of thin air, erring on the high side to give me some adjustment room when the rules finally drop. I love how this tank looks, and cannot wait to get my hands on one!

If I'm doing Iron Hands, i felt it was my duty to include some Mechanicum allies in the form of Calleb Decima and a small unit of Thallax. I think it'll be nice to add a splash of color to the otherwise predominantly black-and-white army. Doesn't hurt that they're already purchased and painted either! When the dust settled I had exactly 100 points left over, which made a defense line and quad gun a no-brainer. I was worried about what I'd do for anti-air, as I expect to see more than a few storm eagles during the heresy weekender!

The final step was to put together the painting chart, which helps me stay organized and figure out what exactly needs to get done. At the moment it's a sea of red, but over the next couple months it'll all be turning green! The first Forge World order has been placed and it's winging its way across the pond to me. I am really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Heresy Era Iron Hands - Iron Father painted

Thoroughly excited about the upcoming Horus Heresy: Massacre book from FW, and I'm happy to report that the army I had planned actually plays to the strengths of the upcoming rules. I'm notorious for jumping the gun and building models that end up being non-viable in the new codex!

While I'm told there is to be a Cataphractii-armoured Forge Father character released some time in the near future, I wanted to finally get around to painting a model that has been lurking on the painting shelf for nearly a decade - the old limited edition Iron Hands Forge Father!

I'm not totally sold on the power axe, it feels a little flat. I was worried that blue blades may be too overpowering, but this may be too understated. Much like the earlier models, I went with a blue spot color, with just a couple little touch of yellow bits here and there. There was plenty of pipes and cables to pick out!

In game, this will be the army's praetor, armed with a master-crafted bolt pistol, a paragon blade (S5 AP2, Instant Death on to-wound rolls of 6) and a servo-arm. rounded off with artificer armour, an iron halo and a cyber-familiar, giving him a 2+/3++ save. He'll be trundling along with 9 Gorgon Terminators in a Spartan. Should be a scary unit!

Got the first half of the army ordered (all of the infantry, and a pair of Land Raider Phobos) and just waiting final shipping confirmation. Really looking forward to getting stuck in on 'em!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Heresy Era Iron Hands - Back to the original plan, I guess

So it has been an absolute rain-soaked mess here in CO recently, it has been raining more or less non stop for five days which has caused widespread flooding, roads washing away, and lots of damage to buildings and infrastructure in the area. I live on the second floor so I escaped the worst of the flood damage (though I've been without viable running water for three days), but my buddy Dave over at Ex Fide Vivo was not so lucky. 6+ inches of water in his basement - major bummer. Spent a bunch of time helping him and others  clean up the mess over the weekend, and while we were pulling up carpet and foam and generally sloshing around in disgusting muddy water we had a chance to chat about our plans for the Heresy 30k event we're going to be attending in January.

I did manage to spend a little hobby time trying out a number of different paint schemes for the Heresy-Era Alpha Legion, and while almost all of them were total failures, I did find one that worked out pretty well. The downside? Each marine would take upwards of an hour to paint, and with the January deadline rapidly approaching there's just no way I could do justice to the models in the time allotted. Since there's just no way I want to risk ruining a bunch of FW resin with a slapdash/hurried paintjob, I'm opting to fall back on my original idea of doing Iron Hands and as such gave some 'current era' marines a go to see how that scheme would work out.

Relatively pleased, it's certainly quick and it's going to give me the opportunity to try out some new techniques as well - going to give weathering powders a try, since I think they'll show up well against the black armour! Been perusing the Secret Weapon site for likely options and will be placing an order for some various flavors this week. There's also going to be a massive FW order placed this week - the army list I have planned is broadly similar to what I had listed for the Alpha Legion earlier and honestly I think the heavy armoured assault army is better suited to the Iron Hands anyway. As an additional upside, FW recently released a number of Iron Hands bits and kits, with more on the horizon with the upcoming release of Massacre, should be a fun army to build and paint!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Heresy Era Alpha Legion - Recon Marines built

All right - there's a whole mess of Alpha Legion coming, and I gotta start somewhere, right? My buddy Dave over at Ex Fide Vivo was good enough to give me a unit of recon marines, so Squad Effrit has now been built - the army is now 5% assembled. Heh. He's in the process of building an army of Heresy-Era Salamanders for the same event that I'm building this Alpha Legion army, should be fun to watch the two armies come together over the next couple months! I really dig these sculpts - They are chock full of character and have all sorts of neat details. I'm planning on having all of the characters in the army be un-helmeted and bald, as they strive to look like their Primarch(s) and look alike amongst themselves. "Why yes, I am Alpharius." Hah!

Before I dive in to the army though, I'm planning on doing a couple test minis to try out a couple different paint options so I banged together a couple marines to use as test subjects before committing to anything in resin. Going to try one with a basic blue with hard green edging/washes, one with a blue primer with a green zenithal primer/wash like Ron over at FTW did, and then one using the guide so helpfully provided by the very talented Zab with a bright metal basecoat and blue/green wash method. Should be fun, no idea which one's going to work out the best!

Of course, it's been bucketing down rain for days here, so I can't even primer anything. Hopefully we'll get a break in the weather soon!

Plans are firming up for the Heresy event in January, which will be using the Betrayal event rules that were used over in the UK recently. That means I need to buy, build and paint an entire 3000 point army over the course of the next three months. Gulp! I've got the army planned out and put together a painting chart to track the progress. It's a sea of red!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Adeptus Mechanicus - Thallax Cohort painted

Before diving into a bout of mercenary painting, I wanted to do something for the Ad-Mech as it was the popular choice on the poll - the Thallax Cohort fit the bill nicely!

While I absolutely love the brass scheme that Dave Taylor did, I wanted to tie them in with the rest of my Ad-Mech army which meant they got a predominantly red treatment. I did add in a touch of the brass on the lightning guns, the various pistons and the jump jet nozzles, and with a bit of blue as a spot color here and there, they were good to go!

On the right shoulder I added in some roman numerals, while the left shoulder got a cog-tooth motif - which is pretty much requisite for the Ad-mech! I'm definitely looking forward to the upcoming FW Heresy books as they expand the army list options, expect to see more of the cog-boys in the future!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Giveaway results! ...And a sudden shift in direction.

Howdy folks! My personal cogitator has been having some sporadic issues with my noospheric connection, but after lighting a sufficient amount of incense and providing numerous offerings to the machine spirits all seems to be in working order once again.

First off, I dusted off the polyhedral random numeric generation devices to determine the outcome of the post 400 giveaway and the winner is...


Congrats mate - if you want to drop me an email with your address, I'll get the bikes on their transport through the warp to the Devos IV warzone!

In other hobby news, it has come to light that a group of heresy-era fans are attempting to set up a series of Heresy Weekends here in the states in mid-January, with locations in Richmond VA, Memphis TN and Rancho Cucamonga CA, with the potential for other locations as well depending on the level of interest out there. If you have any interest in Heresy gaming stateside, I highly recommend checking out the Heresy 30k Forums run by Loken of Apocalypse 40k/The Big Game fame - he's a great guy who is passionate about hosting fun events!

My buddy Dave over at Ex Fide Vivo and I are huge fans of the Heresy, and took a trip across the pond to participate in the Tempus Fugitives narrative campaign weekend a while back. He's subsequently been gathering models for a Salamanders army while I've been biding my time knowing that the Prospero supplement that will contain my beloved Thousand Sons is still years away. However the thought of doing another Heresy weekend and not having to cross an ocean to do it got me thinking...

I didn't really want to do another Thousand Sons army just yet, and the Iron Hands I started working on are just too modern to work as a Heresy-era army, so I had a chat with Dave about other options. Since he's doing a loyalist legion I figured it was appropriate that I do a traitor legion, and I ended up settling on the Alpha Legion. Granted, their book isn't due out until the end of the year, but Betrayal does have the basic Legion army list - enough at least to put the core of an army together and leave a little room for whatever Alpha Legion goodies may be in store with the release of Extermination.

What this does mean however is that I'm theoretically on the hook to buy, build and paint a whole mess of FW stuff over the next three-ish months. That means that in the short term, I need to concentrate on finishing off a bunch of little project remnants and get some stuff up on the auction block to help fund the army. Unfortunately that means that the poll results are going to be put on hold until I get on the other side of the Alpha Legion - though I do have some Ad-Mech and Iron Hands stuff I've finished up to show in the next day or so - here's a quick in process shot taken earlier this weekend:

Cheers everyone!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Iron Hands - Taking stock of the situation

Hey there folks! When I last checked the poll, the Iron Hands were surprisingly in the lead, so I spend some time pulling everything out and cataloging what all there was to work with. As of this writing, the Ad-Mech have pulled ahead so expect to see some Thallax Cohort soon (got them assembled and primered over the weekend)!

In the meantime though, it was a wall of black as I laid out 35 marines in preparation for a couple sessions of batch painting. Turns out that there were enough marines to come up with two tactical squads and a devastator squad, as well as a Land Raider and several characters. Coupled with the bike squad I'd painted up a while back, that's the seed of a pretty decent army. Of course we'll have to see if the codex invalidates any of the builds. Heh.

Started off with the very basic shaded dark grey/black, followed by picking out all the metal bits. Once that's done the whole model got a black wash. I'm planning on doing a fair bit of mud spatter and weathering on these guys, as their basic black armor and white weapon housing color scheme is otherwise going to end up looking pretty drab.

On the up side however, the heavy lifting is pretty much done at this point and it's all detailing from here! With the Ad-Mech and the Iron Hands more or less tied in the polls, expect to see me bounce back and forth between the two armies. It actually makes sense, as the Iron Hands have such close ties with the priests of Mars!