Monday, August 7, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - Knight Warden painting continues!

Got a fair bit of brush time in over the weekend and Khenti-Amentiu is starting to come together! I knew up front that I didn't want to go with the crimson, gold and bone that I've been doing (to death) on the Thousand Sons and their Mechanicum allies, so decided that whatever happened, there would be no red on the Knight!

After much hemming and hawing I settled on trying my hand at doing a lapis lazuli effect on the armour plating, as that's often associated with Egyptian artistry. I spent a fair bit of time checking out images and did some practicing on a couple pieces of cardstock until I started feeling confident. While it's blown out a little in the pictures, there's actually three different blues and teals sponged on in stripes, then some gold was added as striations. I'm thinking it needs a little more pop, so will likely add in a little white streaking and another pass of a shinier gold here and there. Overall I'm fairly happy with the result but the pictures aren't really doing it justice. Perhaps once it's sealed it'll pop a little more.

As spot colors I decided to go with white and yellow - The blue/yellow combo is always nice and Tzeentch-y, and the white should allow any transfers laid onto it to really pop. Went with the 'sunray' theme on one shoulder pad and tried to go for a charcoal/onyx look on the faceplate. Still a lot of little cleanup and detailing to do - I do like to take a couple pictures towards the end of a project as it helps me really see the various things that remain to be done that oddly can be hard to see in-hand. Nevertheless, it's coming along nicely, and think it'll look pretty sharp once I get the initial sealant pass on and start adding transfers and weathering to it!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - Knight Warden painting begins!

Managed to get the knight warden built and primered over the last couple days and broke out the big brushes to start laying in the metallics on the endoskeleton. All the various parts are separate to facilitate the painting process but reassembled it as much as possible for some photos.

Fairly straightforward recipe - Started by blocking in everything with a very heavy drybrush of boltgun metal, then a medium drybrush of silver on the upper surfaces. Once that was done the whole thing was mopped down with Agrax Earthshade which gives it a nice oily greasy look. The next morning once the wash had thoroughly dried it got a light re-drybrushing of silver to brighten it back up and bring up the edges a bit.

Added in a few more armor plates and it's starting to look pretty cool. It's a little top-heavy without any of the leg plates on, but I'm liking how it's turning out. The next painting stages should start adding in some color - plenty of blues, yellows and golds!

Friday, August 4, 2017

NOVA Open 2017 Charity Army Raffles - Don't Miss Out!

Less than a month to go before the glory that is the NOVA Open 2017! Having only attended for the first time last year, I have to say that it was hands down the best miniature event that I've gone to and I can't wait to throw down with all the excellent folks out there again this year! Once again the fine folks at NOVA are hosting a number of miniature auctions to benefit several worthy causes and time is ticking down to get in on them!

I was honored to be asked to participate in the charity auction army painting again, and my contribution this time around was a pair of Thallax units for the Heresy Mechanicum force. A small in number but high in damage output force, it is definitely a fearsome army!

The other side of the Heresy force on offer is a brilliant Sons of Horus Orbital Assault force, led by the big man himself. Another terrifying army that's designed to get up in their opponents faces and hammer them into pulp!

These are just two of a whole slew of armies and models up for auction, including not only Heresy and 40k stuff, but also Blood Bowl, Flames of War, X-Wing, Guild Ball and more! Tickets range in cost from 2-5 bucks and winners not only don't need to be present to win, but don't even need to be remotely nearby - The winners will have their prizes mailed to them anywhere in the world, and in fact over the past few years there have been prizes sent out to all points of the globe!

I highly recommend checking out the various auctions and pitching in a few bucks on anything that catches your fancy! Check 'em out here!

If you're heading to NOVA this year I'd love to meet you in person and say hello - I'll likely be found down in the Heresy Narrative Events area watching my beloved Thousand Sons be blasted off the tables, but having a great time as always! Stop by and say hi!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - Khenti-Amentiu, Freeblade Knight build continues

Just a quick hit this morning - Managed to get a little more build time in on the Knight, and have been fiddling around with potential posing options. Also put a name to the beast, Khenti-Amentiu, Freeblade Knight and Guardian of the Tombs of Cynopolis on the Forge World of Zhao Arkkad.

Added magnets at the torso and neck, and have been twisting the various pieces this way and that to see what works. I think I'm leaning towards the pose shown above, gazing over the top of the blade in a taciturn guardian look. Still quite a ways to go on the build of course but rather digging the jackal head and khopesh blade add-ons!

Monday, July 31, 2017

40k Objective Markers Complete, and the start of something big!

Finished off the objective markers this past weekend, and got a nice little package from shapeways containing the next batch of bits for the next project. It's Christmas in July (but only just)!

Nothing too crazily different from the last shot, other than some cleanup, the addition of the number markers (the 5 is on the backside of the stasis tank) and some quick color on the bases. Nothing too fancy but they'll stand out nicely on the table during a game! Overall I really enjoyed this set, and am looking forward to giving 'em a whirl.

Next up however is a nice big centerpiece model for the Zhao Arkkad force - A Knight Warden! I came across these poseable knight legs on ebay a while back and rather liked the look of 'em, but they've been sitting in a box waiting for some inspiration. They went together rather well, and allow for a nice range of motion - I was going for a 'striding forward' pose, but the way it ended up the weight of the hips actually settles on the rear leg so it may end up in a braced firing position in the end. We'll see how the upper torso and arms come along I suppose!

Speaking of arms, I intend to give it a gatling cannon and a missile pod, but wanted to do something a little more Egyptian for the close combat weapon - Found a massive chain khopesh on Shapeways that fits the bill nicely! I also picked up a rather neat Anubis/Jackal head but am saving the pic of that until I get it mounted on the torso. Suffice it to say there'll be no doubt that it's a Knight aligned to the Zhao Arkkad Mechanicum and the Thousand Sons! From a color theory standpoint I'm planning on going blue and yellow as a contrast to all the red and white of the rest of the force as well as a nod to the color scheme of the modern era Thousand Sons. Looking forward to getting some more build time in on it!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

40k Objective Markers - With apologies to Mr. Henson...

Why are there so many songs about lasguns 
enforcing the Emperor's might?
Bolters smite chaos, and warp-borne delusions
and flamers set Xenos alight.
So we've been told to take fortifications
charging through battle debris
Someday we'll find them, the rainbow objectives
The Emperor, my sergeant and me...

(to the tune of 'Rainbow Connection')

Little more forward motion on the objective markers - turns out there a TON of detail on 'em, what I thought was going to be a quick job is actually turning out to be rather involved. ...And quite fun I might add! I'm really quite pleased with how they're coming along!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

40k Objective Markers - The Rainbow Connection... Of DOOM!

Quick hit this morning - I was wrestling with whether to press on with the last of the Thousand Sons or work on some other project for a while, and settled on a bit of a compromise. I really want to get the last of the Sons off the plate but before I do so I thought I'd bash out a quick set of the new objective markers as a little palatte cleanser before making the final push.

Most games need somewhere between one and six objectives, and I thought it might be fun to do each one in a different primary color. So far I've just laid in the basic colors, going through the rainbow - Next up will be doing all the little detailing to finish them off! Having a lot of fun with 'em, they have a ton of character already!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Terminators and Storm Eagle complete, and a family photo!

Had a surprising amount of hobby time over the weekend and got quite a bit of work done! Polished off the Terminators, the Storm Eagle, and pulled everything that has been completed so far out for a family portrait. Woo!

I find I have a hard time photographing the shiny red, depending on the light it looks way lighter and darker, shinier and matte in the photos. It's odd! The Cataphractii will likely be hitting the table at NOVA, it's hard to go wrong with a whole mess of chainfists!

That said, I think I do actually prefer the look of the Tartaros terminators, the greater amount of blue on 'em really helps them pop. The five combi-plasmas will mean their opponents will pop too! ...As will at least one of the Tartaros from a plasma gun meltdown.

The Storm Eagle is a contentious piece for me. While it's a great centerpiece for the army, it's an absolute nightmare to build and has consistently under-performed on the table for me (mostly down to poor reserve rolls meaning a good 600 points isn't on the table until late in the game). Coupled with the fact that it takes up a huge amount of room in the travel bag, it ended up getting cut from the NOVA list, which is a bit of a shame. The points and space will be better used elsewhere in the majority of the games I have scheduled out there though...

With those three units done I figured it was high time to pull out everything that's been painted so far and get a group shot. It's about 5000 points as shown here, though a good chunk of that is down to the sorcerous overkill in the HQ slots. Only three more units to go before it's all complete!

Speaking of, it was really encouraging to see the painting chart flip over to almost entirely green at this point. The end is in sight!

This has been a rather fun project, but I'll admit to feeling some army painter's fatigue at this point. I'm struggling to decide whether to make the last push and knock out the last few models, or take a little breather and do something else for a bit. I can rest on my laurels a touch as all of the models intended to go out to NOVA are done, as are quite a few extras to allow for some last minute mix-and-match army build testing. Feels good!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Sekhmet Terminators painting continues!

Just a quick hit this morning - Been fiercely hot of late, so it's mostly by early morning paint sessions that I've been able to do much work up in the hobby loft. That said, I have pressed onward with the Sekhmet!

Both squads are being done in parallel, and the recent work has been laying in the bone and leather colors, and while I was about it I laid down the basecoat for the bases. It's always interesting to me how doing so always helps bring the models to life and 'pop' a bit more.

Of course it's not one of my projects without the use of some good ol' blue power cables/weapons/etc.! The Tartaros models definitely have a lot more blue on 'em than the Cataphractii, which I rather like. In comparison their Cataphractii brethren are starting to look a little bit drab - will have to see what I can do to address that situation.

Got some free time this coming weekend, so hopefully I can get them polished off and move on to the last two units remaining for the force. A family photo is probably in order soon too!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Sekhmet Terminators begin!

A quick hit this afternoon, managed to sneak in a decent amount of hobby time over the weekend! Not too many Thousand Sons units await the attentions of the painting servitor at this point, next up on deck are the two 5-man Sekhmet Terminator units.

I decided I'd do one set in Tartaros armor armed with combi-plasma guns and power fists, using a combination of the heresy Tartaros kit, the new 40k thousand sons plastics, and some shoulder pads from Pop Goes The Monkey on shapeways.

The second unit wears Cataphractii suits and are armed with combi-bolters with Asphyx shells and chainfists (my favorite melee weapon for terminators). Again a mix of bits and kits, with the leftover thousand sons combi-bolters from the tartaros set, resin torsos and loincloths from Wargames Exclusive, the heresy Cataphractii legs and arms and further shoulder pads from PGtM.

Doing all ten concurrently, and thus far it's just the white and gold trim on 'em, but that comprises the most tedious portion by far. Still quite a ways to go, but pretty happy with how they're coming along so far!

Friday, July 14, 2017

40k Blood Ravens - Test model painted

A quick hit today after a long, long week at work. I needed a little break from all the crimson and gold and bone I've been doing on all the Thousand Sons and figured I'd work on one of the new primaris marine models I'd picked up on a lark last weekend, so I settled in to paint some crimson... and... gold... and... dammit.

I knew that if I was going to drink the Kool-aid and do some (erstwhile) loyalist 40k marines there was only one chapter that I could really do - The Blood Ravens, of course! With their ties to the Thousand Sons how could I not? Overall I really rather dig the model and enjoyed painting it quite a bit! I don't have any other primaris marines in the hopper as I'm not super thrilled by the push fit models in the 8th ed. box, so I'm more or less in a holding pattern until such time as the multi-pose models are released. So, just a one-off speed-painting exercise before diving back into their primogenitor legion once again!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - Zhao Arkkad Cybernetica force complete!

With NOVA bearing down on me, I had to take stock of what remains to be done - As I'd been working on the Castellax recently (who are pulling double duty in both the Thousand Sons and Mechanicum forces) I figured I ought to pull out the rest of the Zhao Arkkad force and get all the waterslides, glossy faceplates and so forth complete. Once that was done it turns out the whole Cybernetica contingent is ready to go!

1500 points doesn't go very far in a Cybernetica force! This army will form half of the team game force, and will take the field alongside 1500 points of Thousand Sons. Should be good times! They're currently hanging out on a very cool gaming tray made by the inestimable Zab over at Almost Perftec.

I wanted to do something a little different for the Archmagos Dominus, and dug up an old "Telepathica Emancipator" model from the Tempus Fugitives days. I kind of like the "canopic jar" look, I'm envisioning the Magos as being a mummified husk inside (or perhaps it's just sacs of organs)...

Quite happy with how the Castellax Achea turned out - the transfer sheets from Forge World included a couple rather cool banners, and I really dug this one in particular. Added a little touch of the wyrdlight green to help tie them in to the rest of the Thousand Sons force, as they are controlled via a psychic link.

Nothing really new with the Thallax, they were pretty much done already and just needed their faceplates given a going-over with the brush-on gloss varnish.

Similarly the Vorax just got the shiny eye treatment, and the addition of a small Thousand Sons nova in white. Helps to tie them in with the rest of the force, all of whom have the white nova on one shoulder or another. Still my favorite of the new robot re-imaginings from FW, I adore these models (fiddly though they are to assemble)!

The big guy got a similar large transfer on his shoulder as a callback to the imagery on the Castellax banner, and the shiny faceplate treatment. They're all ready to be packed up for transit to the event!

While I was about it I updated the Thousand Sons painting chart. Very close to the finish line now! Trying very hard to stay focused on this project so I don't have to worry about models for NOVA, but have been entertaining thoughts of which project to pick up next - Both the Genestealer Cult and Dark Eldar/Harlequins appeal as a way to dip my toes into 8th edition (which I still haven't had a chance to play), but on the other hand I do really want to start that Sons of Horus army... Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Castellax Achea painting begins!

Happy 4th of July to our stateside readers, and I suppose a happy Tuesday to everyone else! Just a quick hit between BBQ and relaxation on the day off - I managed to squeeze in a fair bit of work on the unit of Castellax Achea this morning:

Basic gold, red and blues laid in so far, but heck, that's more than halfway to the finish line, right? Pretty happy with how they're turning out so far, hope to have them done by the end of the week!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Javelin Attack Speeders and Hyskos Sky Chariots complete!

Managed to get quite a bit of work done over the long weekend and polished off another couple units for the Thousand Sons - Gotten acclimated to the summer morning painting schedule and have managed to get a good hour or so in before work, and had a couple good sessions over the weekend as well. Feels good to be back in the zone!

The Javelins were very nearly complete as of last post, just the additional golds, bone and the ubiquitous blue! Once that was done, they got a hit of spray sealant, then the waterslide transfers go on. With the help of some Micro-Set and Micro-Sol, of course!

I had some cool cartouche transfers from Fallout Hobbies that work well on the smaller of the two black panels. Gives 'em a bit of flair, I think.

While I was about it, I also polished of the Hyskos Sky Chariots, which will act as a counts-as Jetbike squadron. Pretty bare-bones, just the heavy bolters...

...And a mess of melta bombs! I am definitely worried about anti-tank with the force, as the Javelins are quite fragile, so I'm trying to spread around the melta love across a few units as well as a backup plan!

Next up, the Castellax-Achea for the Mechanicum side of the force!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron Ka-Tet begins!

Another trio of models were set in front of the painting servitor, ignoring its plaintive blurt of binaric. It's Javelin Attack Speeders this go-around, one of my favorite models in the Heresy range, with an upgrade to armour, and several impressive weapon options over their more pedestrian Land Speeder cousins. As an orbital assault force, the Khamasiin is somewhat lacking in ranged anti-tank weaponry so squadron Ka-Tet is armed with twin-linked lascannons and multi-meltas. That's the ticket!

I'd left the crew separate to facilitate painting, so started off by laying in the basic colors on them, and worked up the shading on the speeders a bit.

Once the crew were ready to go, the black and bone panels were laid in on the speeders and then the gold trim - Coming together nicely!

Far too hot today to paint after work (nearly 100F), so other than a furtive burst of installing the crew and starting the steel on the first model I was driven from the loft, but not before snapping a couple quick pictures.

So far so good!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Drop Pods complete!

Or more accurately, I'm done with them! When all is said and done I am really rather happy with them, but not keen to do more drop pods anytime soon. The upcoming Sons of Horus will emphatically not be a drop force!

Once the bone and gold were laid in they definitely started to feel a bit more Thousand Sons-y. Some hieroglyphs and the nova legion symbol helps drive it home!

Of course, nearly all that legion goodness will be obscured when they're actually in play. On the other hand, a couple more spot colors do give them a bit more visual interest.

Leaving the two sections separate for painting really paid off in the final stages. Getting the hazard stripes and control pylons done would have been a nightmare otherwise!

Ended up taking a crack at making a little stencil to help with the hazard stripes, which worked fairly well, though even with the lower section loose it was still challenging to get the stencil in place. Blu-tack to the rescue!

At this point I'm closing in on the last of the models earmarked for NOVA later on this year - All that remains are a trio of Javelin Land Speeders and the Storm Eagle. Then more test games, discover my army list is rubbish, and then some frantic painting to get some unplanned new stuff finished!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Drop Pods continue...

Pressing onward with the drop pods, and they're coming along nicely so far! I had laid in some initial color patterns on the Storm Eagle earlier, and tried to fill in similar areas on the pods.

Just blocking in the various areas, starting with a graveyard earth as a basecoat for the areas that will end up bone colored. I'm a little worried about the wash step that I use when it comes to the big flat areas like the fins, so extra care will  need to be taken. On the up side, a multitude of sins can be fixed with judicious weathering, which the pods will be getting.

The black on the bottoms of the doors will get some gold or white hieroglyphics, while the white nova legion symbol will adorn one or more of the red doors (depending on how many I can scrape together in the appropriate size). Once the bone and black are done, they'll get some detailing picked out in gold, after which attention will be given to the interiors. So far so good!

I will say that painting them has been more fun than building them was, but that's not saying too much.