Thursday, July 31, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - King Russ scale shots

Pressed on with the tanks a bit more yesterday - got up early in the morning and got the reds all finished, which involved a thorough wash that I'd left to dry while I was at work. When I got home it was cool enough in the hobby loft to get the boltgun metal sections painted and washed as well:

I also dragged out some of the Mordian 7th's tanks to take some scale shots. It's quite a bit bigger than a Leman Russ:


...But significantly smaller than a Macharius:


While it's not as long as a Malcador, it's a bit wider and taller. That one actually surprised me when I laid them out next to each other. In my mind the Malcador was quite a bit bigger than the King Russ.


So far, so good! The heavy lifting phase is out of the way, now it's time to start the detailing. ...And the rivets.

Oh god, the rivets...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - King Russ painting begins!

Got the tanks all kitted out last night, and since It was a beautiful day out while I was home over lunch yesterday I got the Vanquishers primed. After work I got the very first red basecoat on as well! ...There is also now red basecoat all over my hands, the desk and what has suddenly become exclusively a painting shirt (covered in liiiiiitle red spots). Whoops!

Easy peasy, Vallejo Dark Flesh scrumbled on with a gnarly old tank brush. Next up will be the red gore/blood red highlighting and wash stages, which I'm sure are also going to prove to be very, very messy procedures!

I wanted to go with a somewhat whimsical tank commander for such a squadron of solid, destructive machinery, so I used some arms and head from the Victoria Miniatures heavy weapons team set. Going to be interesting to paint, that zippo is TINY!

The squadron weighs in at 552 points using the current Astra Militarum ruleset (or 622 if I'm feeling dirty and field them as Pask and an HQ squadron). To justify this heavy variant of the vehicle I'm calling it 'mandatory' that they take Extra Armour (of course) and pay the points for the Dozer Blade upgrade (re-roll difficult terrain) to represent their sheer weight smashing through the battlefield rubble. Even leaving off the side sponsons, once I add on the hull Lascannon and the hunter killer missile (because I love 'em), the 'base' King Russ is 200 points (a bit more for the commander's Augur array and some searchlights). Seems about right, I think. I need to snap a scale shot, let's just say I won't be accused of modeling for advantage when it comes to declaring cover saves!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Prospero Spireguard King Russ Vanquishers Assembly begins!

After a good couple hours with a Dremel sanding down all the casting gates and resin blocks, creating drifting piles of resin dust and undoubtedly reducing my life expectancy by a good few months (a respirator is a must for this sort of work), it was finally time to set to work building them! These tanks have always been a bit of a bear to assemble, as is generally the case with garage-quality kits, but with the purchase of an electric kettle a while back this time around it was (reasonably) simple to get everything straightened and bent into shape!

The front track guards ended up a little wonky on two of them, but all in all I'm reasonably happy with 'em. Now it's just a matter of rooting through the Closet of Doom for all the appropriate detail bits, hatches and whatnot to finish them off! In game they will be treated as Leman Russ Vanquishers, with extra armour (natch) and the Massive custom rule - due to their size they re-roll failed difficult terrain checks (essentially paying the points for a dozer blade, though they don't have one modeled). I'm planning on building a tank commander to match the rest of the Spireguard aesthetic for one of them - I'm really looking forward to getting some paint on 'em soon!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Adeptus Mechanicus - House Krast Knight Paladins Painted

Pressed on over the weekend and got the waterslide transfers and some weathering onto the two Knight Paladins!

I envisioned the two paladins as being a pair of trusted retainers for the Baron (for which I intend to use one of FW's upcoming Knight Castigator). I rooted around through the big box o' transfers and found a few old Epic Titan Legion and Brettonian sheets that had some useful icons, and paired those with some of the transfers from the Knight kit itself. Once those were on I started sponging in the battle damage here and there, though I tried to keep it relatively light overall.

No battle damage on the rear of the Knights though - they always face their foes! Overall I'm quite pleased with the kit, though I wish it had a bit more native posability out of the box like the Eldar Wraithknight did. Nevertheless, I think the two of them have a sufficient difference in their posing to make them seem individualized.

In other news I busted out the Dremel and the respirator and set to sanding off all the huge casting gates from the King Russ tanks, as I feel I've painted enough stuff of late to warrant rewarding myself with some build time! Once all the parts are sanded, they go back for another soak and rinse and after they dry it'l be time to start the assembly process - woo hoo!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Adeptus Mechanicus - Knight Paladins livery painting

I've been feeling a little burned out on painting Thousand Sons recently and have been frittering around on various models trying to find something to 'cleanse the palate' as it were - I picked up and put down a number of units over the last week but nothing was holding my interest. Eventually my eyes fell upon a couple monsters lurking at the back of the painting shelves and I thought they might be just the thing!

I'd put the knights on hold a few months back as the boxes of resin crack from Forge World had arrived, but now that I've more or less cranked through all of that, I wanted to get some of the livery started on the Paladins. The old color scheme for House Krast included some red and white striped panels along with some cruciform icons. Pretty pleased with how they pop against the blue and yellow!

Still a long way to go before they're done! I need to sort out some further waterslide transfers as well as some weathering. The more I look at them the less happy I am with the edging as well - Trying to decide whether I need to go in and thin the light blue lines out by blocking in more dark blue, or add another even lighter blue as an extreme edge highlight at the corners of the plates. In any case, it's a welcome change from the swathes of crimson and gold I've been working on of late!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Terminator Squad Phosis painted

Pressed on with the Terminators this weekend and managed to get them finished off!

Looks like it makes the most sense to run the weapons as power axes, it'll make them unwieldy but the 18 (27 on the charge) S5 AP2 attacks is nice. Not bad at 305 points for the 9 of 'em, too! I am thinking that I'll add a few grass tufts to the bases, they need just a liiiiitle extra something I think...

Went spelunking in the Closet of Doom for something from the mists of history. The plan for the Prosperine Spireguard side of the army is to include a number of heavy tanks, such as a trio of King Russ pattern Vanquishers. Time to break out the Dremel!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Terminator Squad Phosis painting begins

It has just been murderously hot in the hobby loft over the last week but I've been sneaking some hobby time up there in the early mornings and managed to get a start on the terminators - base reds, steel and golds are on!

I'll be the first to admit they're not going to be the most fearsome unit of terminators ever, as they're all armed with power weapons and combi-bolters, but comparatively speaking they are a cheap unit. They'll be used solely to fight infantry and take and hold objectives. I'm thinking that the way the weapons are modeled I can convincingly run them as power axes (or maybe even power lances). Will have to experiment with that I suppose!

I'd gotten a couple emails about the "evil runic script" I'm using, so thought I'd post up the guide I'm working off of. Essentially it's Daedric from the Elder Scrolls games, upside down. Figured some of you may find it handy!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - First game in 7th edition

Hope all us yanks had a safe and fun holiday! ...and for everyone else at least it was Friday, right?

My buddy Dave and I got together for our yearly 4th of July game yesterday and we decided to give 7th edition a try with his Heresy-era Salamanders against my Thousand Sons. Since we were learning the rules (again, argh) I didn't really do a full blown battle report, but wanted to share a few pics and a few thoughts on the new edition:

Army Selection - Playing in the Heresy we both chose from the FOCs from the FW books, which I took to incorporate the detachment rules from 7th (everyone is scoring, troops get objective secured), but that may have been incorrect in retrospect. Nevertheless, it played well and that's what's important, right? I went with a fairly maneuverable force of Predators and Javelins backed up by an assault squad and the requisite big blob o' tac marines. Dave arrived with an equally mobile force of ten man tac squads in rhinos and a melta support squad, and assault terminators in a Land Raider, which was a worry as I realized I didn't have much in the way of melta to deal with it - I would be relying on the 'death of a thousand cuts' with the lascannons on the preds and speeders hopefully hull pointing it to death!

Tactical Objectives - We played the "Spoils of War" mission to give the new tactical objectives cards a go, and we both remarked that they really seemed to keep the ebb and flow of the battlefield going, as each turn we each claimed VPs and new objectives were revealed. I really felt that it gave the game a needed shot of activity, rather than the interminable last turn objective rush. It meant that we both made some mad rushes across the table to accomplish the various tasks revealed each turn, the Thousand Sons assault marines agility served them well in this regard, and the Salamander Rhinos' move through over meant they were high-tailing it worry free across the rubble and crater-strewn warzone.

Psychic Phase - Both of us had psykers so we were able to give the new psychic phase a go. To be honest, I quite liked it! I'll be interested to see what sorts of boosts the Thousand Sons will get when their book is eventually released, at the moment the Heresy librarians are (with a couple exceptions) restricted to being level 2 so we had a fairly even playing field. The Salamanders went Pyromancy (naturally) and the Thousand Sons went Divination - Choosing all the powers from the same discipline giving you the primaris power for free was a nice little bonus. Oddly the psychic hood apparently hasn't been invented in the Heresy books yet (heh), so while Dave wasn't able to deny any of the Thousand Sons blessings (and I had no offensive spells), I had passable success avoiding the Salamanders psychic attacks on my units (When it hits, Molten Beam is very nasty).

Shooting Phase - Not a lot of changes that stood out in the shooting phase, though I do like the change to the shooting order of operations. Resolving all the weapons of one type before moving on to the next definitely made things smooth and clear, avoided the whole "okay, these two blue dice are S7 AP2, these ten reds are S4 and the white one is the sergeant's precision shot, wait what's this green one again?" thing. I had planned a two pronged assault on the unit of marines holed up in one of the buildings, but the predator had two Gets Hot malfunctions and the assault marines failed their charge distance (the reroll was actually worse than the original failed distance).

The Salamanders took advantage of the mis-step and swung the Land Raider around to allow the Terminators to charge and destroy one of the Javelins, while their tac marines used their Fury of the Legion rule to obliterate the Thousand Sons assault squad who were caught out in the open. Nevertheless, the two remaining marines pressed their attack in the assault phase, with the sergeant challenging (and subsequently being squashed by) the Salamanders Praetor who I didn't realize was even in the building. Why? Well, I had a tactical objective that granted me VPs for initiating a challenge. ...Didn't say I had to win the challenge! :)

In retaliation, the 20-strong Thousand sons tac squad unleashed their Fury of the Legion on the melta support squad and the Salamander Librarian that was with them. After the unit was washed away, the Librarian had to make 18 saves on his artificer armour. He didn't make it.

However, the Salamanders were about to retaliate for the retaliation! I remembered the Land Raider had heavy flamers in the hull mount (eep!) and all I had to counter it was a single power fist. The flamers wiped out a quarter of the unit and the sergeant managed to take a single hull point. Luckily for the Thousand Sons, that was the bottom of turn 5 and it was getting too hot in the hobby loft to play further. We totted up the VPs and the Salamanders pulled off a win 11-9!

All in all I really enjoyed my first game of 7th edition! Really felt as though the system had a bit of fresh air pumped into it, and I'm quite looking forward to getting some more games in!