Sunday, April 30, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Drop Pods built!

In concert with the Storm Eagle, the rest of the Khamasiin's infantry will be dropping into battle via jump pack or drop pod. That means I needed to build some drop pods - three of 'em in fact! Now while it's not the most difficult model to assemble, good lord is it tedious. Almost every piece is repeated five times and building three of 'em at once meant fifteen repetitions at a time. The horror... the horror...

That said, with some perseverance (and not a little bit of swearing), the three pods have rolled off the assembly line!

To facilitate painting, the models were built in three sub assemblies. The bottom 'starfish' was built first, then the stabilizer fins and engine were assembled using the starfish as a placement guide but leaving the fins unglued at the bottom. The fit is tight enough that they stay clipped on quite well, but will be glued in place once they're painted up. The center console was left separate as well, I'm not a big fan of the restraint harnesses (a little too busy for the interior) so they're being left out for now.

While the top and bottom sections are removable, it's also a truism that they really only fit well in the position they were built. Rotating them to an alternate position works to an extent but in certain cases they don't line up well. To avoid that I marked a single fin and made a matching mark on the starfish (single, double and triple hash marks respectively) so I know which top goes with which bottom and in what orientation. A little pre-planning goes a long way to prevent future problems!

Another quick tip that I found helpful when building the bottom section - The ramps sometimes stick or are prevented from closing easily by the design of the center section. I find that if you shave down the hard corner on the hinge connections, the doors open and close much smoother.

All in all not the most exciting bit of construction for the force, but feels good to get them out of the way! At this point there's enough assembled to start doing some test games, and a fair bit more to add to the painting queue!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Storm Eagle 'Quas' painting underway!

After the waves of infantry I figured it was time to work on a vehicle for a change! As part of the orbital assault rite of war all of the models must either be able to deep strike or be transported in a vehicle capable of doing so. In addition to a trio of drop pods (pics to follow), the Khamasiin will have a Storm Eagle ferrying tactical squad Hesyre, and due to its size it'll also be a centerpiece model for the army.

Basically just roughing in the base colors so far, earthtones for the areas that will be done up in bone and blacking in the areas that will end up in steel (and areas that will just be black). It was actually a bit of an adjustment switching over from the little minis to this somewhat unwieldy flyer!

The army progress tracker is getting colorful now! More or less everything is assembled at this point, and a fair chunk of it is on the way to being finished - Soon it'll be time to try actually getting them on the table to get a feel for how they play...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Assault squads built!

Up to this point I haven't had a viable army assembled, so this weekend I finished up the pair of assault squads - Gets me up to three valid compulsory troops choices and opens up the option of running the Orbital Assault or Drop Assault Vanguard rites of war for the Khamasiin Warhost!

I wanted to continue on with the nods to older versions of the force, but also update them somewhat so assault squad Besenmut's sergeant will be getting the ethereal wing treatment similar to what I'd done last go-around. This time however I decided that rather than using the sanguinary guard wings I'd go with the feathered Scourge wings from the Dark Eldar line. Continues the theme, but also helps show the slide into darkness that the force is undergoing!

I'd thought to do one big 20-man assault squad, but as I was able to dredge an extra sets of wings out of the Closet of Doom, two 10-man squads it is. Sergeant Mekhata also got the wing treatment, but I wanted to vary the pose a bit so they weren't both carbon copies. All of the models got the Achean upgrade kits, and some tabards to help drive home the Thousand Sons look.

Rather happy with how they've turned out, and I look forward to getting some paint on 'em!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Veterans and Tactical Squads complete, and Plasma Cannons ahoy!

The weather turned nice enough earlier in the week that I was able to get a mess of models spray sealed, which means I finally have models suitable to hit the table for some test games!

The bedrock of every iteration of my Thousand Sons is Tactical Squad Hesyre, it's hard to go wrong with the good ol' legion tactical squad of 20 marines with extra close combat weapons. Given they will be transported in a Storm Eagle this go-around, they're essentially an assault squad this time!

Veteran Squad Khalmekt is a returning unit, they performed admirably in the previous incarnation of the force so are armed identically with a pair of melta guns. The addition of them getting Brotherhood of Sorcerers with the new rules makes them all the more delicious!

Where one veteran squad was good, a second one is twice as good right? Introducing Veteran Squad Apophis. Nothing too unusual here, more anti-tank goodness to be delivered by drop pod as part of the Khamasiin configuration alongside their other veteran brethren.

Another new addition to the force is Heavy Support Squad Khalid, armed with plasma cannons - The new Thousand Sons rules grant them the option to upgrade them to Aether-fire cannons which grants them Soul Blaze. Foom! Finished these off today, but the weather has subsequently turned so they're still awaiting sealant.

Updated the painting chart, felt good to start turning some boxes green! Started painting the Storm Eagle, as well as the sky chariots, but felt I deserved a little reward for all the painting and started building the assault squads. Nothing worth taking pics of yet, but soon...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - NOCF Charity Army 2017 kickoff!

It's very much early days yet, but the Nova Open Charitable Foundation raffle projects are getting rolling, and I was honored to be allowed to participate again this year! Among the various other items that will be going up for auction over the next six months are a couple Horus Heresy armies including a Sons of Horus force, and a Mechanicum cohort which are being painted up by some phenomenally talented artists. ...And me. Hah!

Naturally I volunteered for team Mechanicum, and will be painting up a couple units of Thallax. They're a little fiddly to assemble but I've started to get the hang of it, and you really can get some cool poses out of them!

Didn't want to just repeat the "get over here" pose with the second claw hand, so decided to go a bit more brutal and have him holding a damaged helmet. I'm planning on painting it up using the Sons of Horus recipe for the opposing army project, which should be fun!

...Of course, if I end up enjoying the sea green scheme I will undoubtedly be tempted to do a Sons of Horus army of my own. Nooooooo, my wallet!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Veteran Squads in progress, part two...

Chipping away at the veteran squads, laid in the boltgun metal, the various blues and the first earth-tone base coat for all the bits that will end up being bone and leather. Getting the initial base coat on the bases really helps the models pop!

Trying to keep a little distinction between the blue tones, with the cloaks and stoles being more of a turquoise blue (as a nod to where their color scheme is heading in the near future) while the power cables and weapons being my signature blue. I'm attempting to envision how they'll look with jade scarabs as a secondary spot color, or whether they ought to just be done in the white to match the opposing shoulder. Thoughts?

Interestingly, I think they have a bit more visual interest from the rear at the moment, which suits me okay as that's the side I'll most often be looking at. Hah! Nearing the finish line in any case, hoping to polish them off by the end of the upcoming weekend...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Veteran Squads continue...

Quick hit this evening - Not a huge amount of hobby time this weekend, only able to get one color done on the Veterans but the every step counts in the long run!

Amazing how adding in the white really helps sell the Thousand Sons vibe. Didn't take nearly as long as laying in all the gold trim, but still had to be very careful about the application so as not to splash over onto the red so it's still a pretty exacting process. So far, so good!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Something old, something new!

Busy week out in Real Life(tm), but I did get a package in the mail containing a blast from the past!

Back in the Tempus Fugitives era when I first got into the Heresy, my first iteration of the Thousand Sons force included my favorite of the superheavy tanks - The Falchion Eye of Magnus. Custom built by the inestimable Tom McBride (of Blood and Skulls) and somewhat hamfistedly painted by me, it was one of my biggest source of sellers remorse that I'd let it go. Turns out the guy that it was sold to was planning on selling off his force, so I jumped at the chance to buy it back! It's a little the worse for wear (it was built and sold back in 2012) so I had to do a bit of repair work, and plan on updating the paint scheme a little to match up with the current forces. ...Which means among other things I've got about 8,000 rivets to paint. Oof!

On the other side of the coin ,over the last several evenings I have squeezed in a few abbreviated painting sessions and finally this evening got the gold trim laid in on all of the veterans. This was a long, tedious process but now that it's done the rest of the scheme should zoom right along!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - Thanatar and Vorax almost complete!

I was going through the pictures I've taken over the last couple weeks and realized I'd never posted the shots of the Thanatar and Vorax fresh off the paint line! They were spray sealed before I left for Adepticon and are awaiting the addition of some waterslide transfers and weathering, but are table ready otherwise!

Rather happy with how the Thanatar turned out, the red ended up a little mottled but in the end I sort of like it! Carried on with the black weapon housings and the usual electric blue gives it some nice spot color.

The Vorax are by far my favorite of the robot range, they just exude menace. Haven't glossed up the eyes yet (or the faceplate on the Thanatar), as they'll be getting another matte pass following the addition of the transfers and weathering.

FW recently put up another preview of the Achean Castellax and the Osiron dreadnought, and the force will be getting at least three of each weapon loadout! Going to be an expensive day once those go up for pre-order...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Tactical Squad Hesyre painting continues!

Managed to get a few good hours of brush time in today and made great strides with squad Hesyre! Back in the zone with the batch painting, and some recently-released Eisenhorn audiobooks to keep me distracted - The Eisenhorn/Ravenor trilogies are some of my favorite 40k fiction, and I am really digging the narrated versions so far!

Next up for the squad was a bit of steel and blue - The various vents on the backpack, the teeth on the chainswords and so on all got a boltgun metal and dark tone wash, and I picked out the eyes and power cables in the usual electric blue. The blue on the trim of Hesyre's cloak matches the blues that I'd used on Sethep-Khet's robes, but they're a little blown out in this pic.

Next up was a whole mess of earthtones. Anything that was going to be leather or bone got a basecoat of Tierra Earth, which also included the bases. I rather like the step when the bases get the first color - It really makes the models pop and it's always a good sign that the finish line is near!

Picked out all the bone color on the weapon housings, wanted to try something a little different with the bone and gold weapons this go-around. I think I like it!

Next up I switched over to the nasty basing brushes and applied the bone and white to the sandstone parts of the bases, then the bone, the leather, the dirt and the sandstone all got a strong tone wash. Liquid talent to the rescue! Blacked the rims just to clean them up, and at that point they were as done as I could do for the day - they'll be left to dry overnight and I'll re-engage with the final touch-ups and flock tomorrow. Supposed to snow but be gorgeous subsequently so hopefully I'll be able to get 'em sealed in the next few days!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Tactical Squad Hesyre painting begins!

It's been a while since I fired up the ol' batch painting servitor and after a few false starts it started cranking out the models again. Definitely felt good to be getting back to my favorite Legion!

When I'd left off the models were more or less done with the red stage, so I went in and added a bit more shading here and there in the recesses, and painted all the elbow, hip and knee ribbing in black. Started one model's gold before I caught myself and snapped a quick pic!

All the gold trim laid in and washed, definitely the most painstaking part as I definitely didn't want to spill onto the red, as I'm more or less unable to 're-paint' the red (one downside to the airbrush portion that I've run across for sure).

Finally for the day's session was the basic light grey that will undercoat all the white areas. Definitely helps the models suddenly snap into focus and start to look like Thousand Sons! Tomorrow I intend to get the whites finished up, and lay into the various khaki, leather and bone colors. Moving right along!