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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Secret Weapon Rapid Assault Vehicle joins the Jailbirds


 Today the Jailbirds get some support from Secret Weapon in the form of their 6x6 wheeled Rapid Assault Vehicle (RAV).

This will fulfill the primary "Tank" role for the Jailbirds in keeping with the plan to field them as a Light/Medium weight force with a largely wheeled vehicle fleet.

The RAV is shown in all the variant weapon configurations.  There are 7 main weapon choices and 2 hull mounted secondary weapon choices.  For the Play list I'll write these up based around the Chimera hull with some "Expeditionary" (lighter) variations on the Lehman Russ main weapons and a reduced transport capacity (4 or 6) to compensate for the focus on the primary "Tank" role as well as using them to replace the Hellhound and its variations.  Basically I want to take advantage of all the weapon options the kit offers.

I've used and Anarchy symbol as the squadron badge here and will likely add one more of these next time I make a Secret Weapon restock.

 These are weathered with Secret Weapon Washes and Forge World Powders.  The powders make a good dirt/mud treatment.

I still visualize the Jailbirds as an ad-hoc force with very informal organization so the vehicles tend to be named rather than numbered.

The RAV has a nice angled profile and is very textured so it doesn't really require a lot of flat art.
 I experimented with the idea that these are aluminum based alloy, or similar, so weathering was more shiny than corroded, except for the exhaust system.


Prepping regular Jailbird troopers now ... zoom zoom!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tarja and Shashenka: Kurganova Yagas

 So.. here I was painting up Tarja and Shashenka, two of the Kurganova Yagas,  when I was inspired (probably by the very personality driven sculpts) to write up a bit of background fluff to guide me on my themes!  So.. here are Tarja and Shashenka and a close encounter with One Shot Blondie.









One Shot Blondie stopped short and held up a fist.  The pack of children known affectionately as "The Lulus" stopped instantly and in complete silence.  Blondie had been their guardian and commander since before the evacuation.  She wasn't effusive, and rarely spoke other than to tell one of the kids..."its gonna be all right sweetie"  The Lulus loved Blondie and hung on every word, every gesture, so  it was no surprise when the typically precocious gaggle of children froze like statues at Blondie's signal.  Blondie scanned the woods with a sniper's critical eye and whispered to the only other adult in the group..."Yagas... Bernie keep them here."  Nurse Bernadette nodded in silence.  She'd keep The Lulus here for five minutes and then fall back to the rally point.  In these haunted woods rally points were frequently noted and she'd likely run into Mimi the Radio on that interval.  If Blondie wasn't back in five they'd need some help.





Trusting the Lulus to "Mad" Nurse Bernadette Blondie ghosted forward.  In spite of the pink Minnie Mouse ears that she referred to as "Neko Mimi"  and the loud colors that she wore to cheer up the Lulus, Blondie practically vanished from sight when on the hunt.  It was one of the tricks that she was teaching the Lulus, and one that they derived endless pleasure from, Bernadette put a rubber gloved finger to her lips, stifling the collective gasp of amazement that Blondie's vanishing act was certain to provoke, then chopped her hand quickly downward.  The Lulus performed their own vanishing act.  It wasn't as instantaneous or dramatic as the one their mentor was famed for... but it was fast, quiet and thorough.  Fifteen seconds later the only person visible to the casual glance was Nurse Bernadette.  She was sitting on a fallen tree as the focus and bait to complete the Lulus' camouflage... this was the sort of thing that had earned her the title "Mad" and the very sort of thing madness that was required to earn the trust Blondie placed in her.  The Lulus would be safe until Blondie returned or Bernadette wouldn't have to worry about answering for it.




Some of the other Jailbirds whispered that Blondie was a Psyker with a chameleon ability.  The Jailbirds had no real psykers of their own and the idea that Blondie might be augmenting her famous skills with some witchcraft was quietly popular among the outcast Jailbirds.  Fortunately for the Jailbirds the gossip held a grain of truth.  Blondie had mad skills... really good trade-craft... and she was a null.  Being a null made her odd and off putting.  She didn't mix with the unit she supported other than with the Lulus and Bernadette.  She just felt wrong.  Most people chalked that feeling up to the immense body count that the notorious "One-Shot Blondie" had racked up.  No one was that efficient a killer without paying a price.  The upside to being a null was that real psykers could not sense her.  She was invisible to Witch Sight, and many psykers relied almost exclusively on Witch Sight in the field, while conversely Blondie could 'feel' the presence of psykers herself.  She'd honed this ability over time and could track her prey with precision.


Stalking her prey Blondie moved silently, but at speed, fixing on her targets.  "Yeah" she thought "targets..."  One Yaga was bad... two was a nightmare...  and these two felt familiar.  Yagas were the Kurganova house psykers.  They tended to manifest elemental powers within the family.  Earth, Air, Fire, Water.  The current slate was full with four masters led by the immortal Baba Yaga who could use any elemental power and aslo manifested Death Magic.  If core Yagas were here, instead of lesser 'trash' witches, Blondie needed to know it.

Coming to a halt she saw a unit of Kurganova Storm Troopers setting up tents for the night.  Through her scope she searched the camp for sign of the Yagas.  It didn't take long to find them.


"They are close!"  shouted Shashenka, punctuating her ire with a burst of flame that seemingly leapt from her yellow eyes.  Shasenka was the famously hot tempered, Pure Blood, Kurganova Household Firestarter... a psyker and Master of Flame.
"...and they will still be close in the morning sister." came the measured, icy, response of Tarja the Water Witch. Tarja was the elder sister and was tired of Shashenka's displays.  "We will rest tonight... we will rest here... and we will rest now." she hissed then spun on her heel and stalked toward her tent.



One-Shot Blondie sat completely motionless.  She decided that taking down Tarja would be the best option.  Shashenka was impulsive and would descend into a blind rage and pursue Blondie...  allowing  Blondie to kill her in short order.  Having determined a course of action Blondie lined up a shot on the Water Witch... then the Howling began...

Blondie froze... as did everyone in the Kurganova camp... That was a hunting howl...  one of the Kurganova Werewolves was on the hunt... three more howls voiced together... shit!  it was a pack!

Blondie moved with fluid grace and trained speed.  The hunting pack would keep the Yagas contained for the night but the Lulus were the likely target of the pack.  Blondie would make sure that the wolves had other things to worry about and trust Bernie to find Mimi and call in the cavalry.

It was gonna be a long night.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tabletop World Building of the Week: Cottage


 The cottage is really the basic building that you'd have on the outskirts of town.  I imagine the townhouses to occupy the area clustered around the Marktplatz.

So here is another one to tour with today's scale guide "Wilhelm". The 20mm bases on these Mordhiem models really works well with the TTW proportions.

As usual there is a profusion of Secret Weapon washes and some flowers from Army Painter.
 I've been getting better at these buildings and repetition has lead me to experiment with improvements and new techniques while trying to remain thematically consistent with the earlier buildings.

I tried a variation on roof color to indicate a more run down condition.  The gray stone is also a different color build that resulted in a more cartoony, and slightly brighter, look.  Insofar as the working name for this little burg is "Greystone Quay" the slight variation of stone coloring might be ill advised!

The roof is in the same tradition established with the other cottage... not too colorful.  The first cottage was a weathered brown while this one is more unfinished color-wise.   It turns out that the contrast between the roofing tiles and the sub-roof is not as pronounced in this scheme.  After I let it sit in with the rest of the houses I'll decide if I like the look.  This roof would be easy to re tint to a higher contrast color if I decide I want to go that route.

One area of real improvement is the "Warm Glow" windows.  I've been improving this over time and its become a lot less random.  I like this rendition of it pretty well.  The interior blue glass treatment is also improving but has a little bit farther to go before I'm happy with it.

As always comments are welcome!

Build it!
Paint it!
Play it!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Raging Heroes Jailbird Snipers and a Secret Weapon Rapid Assault Vehicle







 The first of the second wave Jailbird troops is the three model 'monoblock' sniper unit.

Some of the stances are quite wide which made for a challenge in basing.  It was fun though and worked out pretty well.

Sniper 1 had the widest stance and is really a bit too wide for a 25mm round... digging around though I came up with a basing strategy I liked.



Lookout!
 I used more subdued colors for the sniper team... (other than hair!) as they have obviously made some attempt at camouflage in the sculpt itself.  The regular troopers will likely be a bit less concerned with the whole 'concealment thang'
 Sniper three also had a very marked stance that I interpreted as 'kinda sitting' so a box was dug up to act as a stabilizing seat!  Making the resin bases work for ya!  I believe these first two bases are Secret Weapon.
 The models in full camo get up were just a bit drab... colorwise... compared to the personalities in wave one so they got some brightly colored hair to help them fit in.

 Sniper two is on the move and has a less extreme stance.  I fitted her on a GW basing kit round.
 The reflective glasses are also just to help these not look like little brown blobs at the three foot range... points of color to focus things a bit.
 I have second section of these in process because... SNIPERS!  I'll have to vary the basing a bit but not by a lot.

 These were worked up using Secret Weapon washes over Flames of War base coats.
 Here are the snipers deploying from the (WiP)  Secret Weapon Rapid Assault Vehicle.  It appears to have firing ports so will have a small unit (4) (like a sniper section+1) transport capacity in addition to its role as primary armored combatant in Jailbird service.
 The sniper poses really work round the vehicle!

 .... and.... I promised Greg that I'd do a size comparison for the Secret Weapon Kit...

... before I discovered that I haven't actually unpacked any comparable vehicles since the big move 6 months ago... and.... I'm probably moving again in less than six months so.... I'm probably not going to unpack anything more at the moment!  Ooops!  Sorry Greg... I thought I had some proper chimeras and rhinos to compare them with.

 What I did manage to find.... a Nurgle-fied Land Raider Crusader from the Contagion Salvage Project I did last year.... although the rhinos from that same project  are apparently still packed in a different box... and a Forgeworld Grot Mega-Tank (or "GROTZILLA" as we refer to it) that was painted up in a couple of hours for "Geekfest" a few years ago.

Because OF COURSE everyon knows the dimensions of GROTZILLA!

Seriously though... I promise to dig up some relevant vehicles for ya ... soon! 


Monday, January 12, 2015

Spirit Host and a Secret Weapon WIP


Continuing the excursion into hard plastics with a Spirit Host from Games Workshop.

These, like many of the newer plastics, are fanciful and very ambitious models that take full advantage of the great properties of hard plastic.  They are also a really fast paint project when decompressing from a set of more demanding models!

I love the way the spirits rise from the skeletons!

I've used Secret Weapon Green wash over a white primer and highlighted with Reaper Maggot White... which has kind of a glow in the dark feel to it.  A dark red ring or dot for eyes.  Its not intended to be a glowing eye... just a hollow pit.

Army painter provided the wildflowers/weeds, GW technical paint Agrellan Earth provided the cracked earth basis for the drybrush, and GW technical paint Nurgle's Rot for the pool of goo.

Here is a peek at peek at the future light armored vehicle for the Jailbirds project as it moves through the production line.

Jailbirds have selected the Rapid Assault Vehicle from Secret Weapon as their main armored support vehicle.

Here is a shot of the magnets.. and my very high tech Chopstick Magnet Applicator!

These vehicles come with 7 main weapon options and 2 hull mounted secondary weapon options... pre-sized for magnetization!  They weapons have large tabs that fit into very deep sockets in the turret and on the hull so no drilling was required... two 1/8" depth magnets fit precisely between the back of the tab and the base of the main weapon.  The hull mounts do not required magnets but could take them easily. 

Build it!
Paint it!
Play it!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Raging Heroes Jailbirds: Punky


 Today three iterations of Punky rally the Jailbirds!


The refugee army theme continues with Punky sporting the Bloody Red banners of revolution!

Each unit has a different emblem on a blood red field.

 As usual these are not really uniformed but are a collection of uniforms using similar element colors in different combinations.
 The theme of the day is Fight Like a Girl! and pink favors tie them together.   I think I'll carry on the pink ribbons in the troops as well.

The green goo is Nurgle's Rot Technical paint. most of the washes are Secret Weapon. 
 The back of the flags are clear but ready for Battle Honors.
 This Punky sports some warpaint and a lower back tattoo.

The pants are worked up from Vallejo Scrofulous Brown as an alternative color to Prison Orange.  A large number of Jailbirds, being liberated political prisoners, wear parts of the prison uniforms as a badge of honor.
 The bases are Iron Halo and I've experimented with powders to get some mud.  The powders texture like mud but I've got a way to go to make the effect convincing at this scale.
The three Punkys together.  Looks like I' short on Blue Hair! 

Each banner pole has had some minor adjustment with the center banner, the one retaining the imperial style wings, being intended as the Formation Command banner and the others as unit/squad banners.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Raging Heroes Jailbird: Cruz, Heavy Gunner


 Getting back to the TGG Kickstarter backlog with a couple of iterations of Cruz... one for each weapon option as per usual.

Cruz is from wave one... I've got Punky in progress and then will have to slip some wave two goodness into the queue.


 Cruz is taking the refugee army theme up a notch in the direction of Tank Girl... I luvs me sum Tank Girl!

 I played around with some light tattooing.  I did arms this time even though the Mohawk makes an ideal space for it on the head itself!
 I elected to take these models in metal which makes the ammo belt a bit more sturdy.  I took most of the models in resin but I had a few metals based on how I thought they would stand up to actual game use.
 I really need to get round to putting some images on t-shirts.  For this model they both went white because its an easy contrast but I'll have to play with some other colors in the squads.
 Being huge hunks of metal... these are on their slotta bases with some green stuff work up to match the resins.  Also featuring Mountain Dew Green soda can debris.
A black heart tattoo.  I used Reaper Nightmare Black, which is really a very blue black, for the tattoos  made for convincing ink.