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Monday, May 24, 2010

Azdrubael and Bloodcrushers

Its going to be a busy week so I may not post for a few days.

Work Proceeds on Azdrubael Vect and the Bloodcrushers. I started painting Azrudbael like the rest of the Dark Eldar army but then realized that this army, while striking on the tabletop, was painted primarily as a speed painting exercise. The bulk of the army was completed in about two weeks to meet a deadline for a game. Since then I've beefed up the air wing and added some sniper squads. That update was also speed painted over a two week period. Looking at the massive army center piece model that is Azdrubael Vect I thought I'd go ahead and update it a bit. I'll likely end up spending as much time on this model as I have on the entirety of the army! It will still look like it belongs in the army but should stand closer scrutiny. At the moment I'm just wrapping up the base coats and have started the first highlights on the crew.

The Bloodcrushers are making progress as well. I'd have finished them by now if I hadn't jumped so hard into Azrubael but its proving to be worth it. Interestingly the two projects are informing each other as I progress. For example there is a nice pattern developing on the banner of the Bloodcrushers that I'll recycle for the cloaks of the Incubi guards for Azdrubael.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

WWII, Azdrubael Vect and Bloodcrushers

A little variety on the bench today. I finished up some Flames of War Germans. I'd had these halftracks sitting around since my last painting binge in February. All that remained was identification numbers. This set is from the 10th company of Der Fuhrer regiment of 2 SS Panzer in 1944.

Next on the bench was the initial work on Azrubael Vect. My Dark Eldar Kabal uses the fractal red to white pattern here throughout its vehicles its a bold, simple, pattern and looks very distinctive on the table top. The bright pattern draws the eye away from the very simple scheme that is applied to the rest of the model. The throne is worked up from orange and yellow for a look of old pleat upholstery. The Dark Eldar are typically... well... dark! I took a little bit different look at them. They do have a good deal of actual black which contributes to the feel of darkness but there are also a lot of vivid colors, along the lines of Craftworld Eldar, to keep the force visually entertaining.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Juggers Assemble

Lots of stuff today. After smoothing out the claws a bit I got the Juggernauts assembled. Work on the bases proceeds and I'm starting on the riders. Having long ago cannibalized the riders for these guys I'm going to chop up some of the new plastic Bloodletters to use in their stead. Clean up on those starts today.

The Sisters of Battle Fortress got some additions with three of the interior floors installed. There is one more large floor to go and then an insert for the ground level. That will make five usable levels. I'll need two ground level floors. One to match the cut away for storage and display and one to expand and mark the footprint of the spire so the thing can be used in more tabletop settings.

I finished the repair/update on the mystery dragon... for the moment. I think I may go back and detail the eyes when I'm doing the gems etc for Azdrubal Vect. Azdrubal got the basic flash and mold line clean up and is ready for the wash, dry, and prime.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jugger mania

Filling out more on the Bloodcrushers. Claws and spikes in progress... metals in progress. If all goes well I should get to assembly and clean up by the end of the week. The metal is taking quite a while just because there is so much of it. I'm starting to refine the finishes at this point. The early applications were very textured. For table top stuff the coarser textures are more visible but this unit will get picked up and looked at from time to time so will need smoother finishes. The claw areas show this particularly well. The coarse lines look great at range but are too chunky up close. I'll refine those a bit farther in the next day or so. I applied a thin Clear Glaze to these. This will keep the red looking wet and protect the whole thing from handling wear while I work. My Daemon armies are finished with a clear glaze so they look wet and otherworldly... the shine becomes part of the effect. All the other armies are finished flat.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sisters Decided!

I finally decided on the Order of the Ebon Chalice for my sisters. I really like the color scheme and what background I've been able to locate. I started laying in the roughs for the large floor heraldry inside the fortress and cut some component stencils for the larger elements. On the Bloodcrusher front; the base coats of the Juggernauts' metallic areas is underway and the brass and bone areas are getting their initial coats. Nothing terribly fancy but long and tedious. Picture with the next update.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Juggers again

Got more work done on the Juggers. Most of the deep symbols are painted in using reds and oranges over the red back drop and then applying several layers of red glaze to bury the symbols. Trimming started for the gold/brass and steel areas. I've got to start prepping the riders. I don't seem to have the original riders for this set of figures so I'll be converting some of the new Bloodletters for the role. This will allow me to field the unit in 40k or FB and I'll be basing them on square bases to aid with the crossover.

The mystery dragon got some attention as well and most of the base coats have been applied. It's probably been 20 years since I last did anything on this piece and it shows.

Planning .... I need to get serious about the floors of the fortress and address the interior walls. I'll clean and prep Azdrubal Vect at the same time I work on the Bloodletter riders. That should position me to work on some Tyranid monsters. Once I'm back in the swing of monsters I'll consider working on the Gargantuan Squiggoth. If I'm still a bit hesitant to take on the Squiggoth I'll probably do a Battlewagon to get in the proper ork mood.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ork Trukk and Khorne Juggers

I've been out of town for a bit so have a lot of catching up to do. Today I finished off the current Ork Trukk (The pic is actually just prior to the last round of touch ups). I'm going to have to retrofit names to these things just for ease of use when playing! This time I added a magnetic mounting to the Big Shoota/wrecking ball so I can run without it but, really, so that its easier to store the vehicle. Works great and looks typically Orky. I didn't make any attempt to hide the magnets other than just slapping some Tin Bitz (Citadel) over them so they look like big ole washers. I've got a pile of legacy trukks that look way out of scale with the new ones. The painted ones I'll keep and use as buggies while the unpainted ones will get cannibalized and built into models with a similar footprint to the new kits. Oddly enough the beds of the different generation of trukk are essentially the same so it should be fairly simple to beef up the older versions. The Juggers are getting a deep writing effect I'm painting in symbols in a non contrasting color scheme that I'll be able to bury in layers of glaze and wash. I'm going for the look of patterns and images appearing below the surface. I'll finish the Juggers with gloss coat that will intensify the effect.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Building Themed Armies

As a painter I'm often more concerned with the look of an army than with its performance. Don't get me wrong... I like to win as much as the next guy but the visual element and impact of my force on the table is just as important. I've build quite a few 40k and FB armies and they are all based in the background fluff. For example My Dark Eldar are a light raiding force that retains similarities with Craftworld Eldar armies by sporting a Kabal color scheme for the warriors and vehicles and supplementing that with elite specific colors similar to the way Aspect warriors are represented in the Craftworld armies. In the photo you can see the vehicle scheme, the ochre yellow and black of the basic Kabal uniform (upper left) the red garbed Wytches and the tattered Grotesques of the the close combat sections as well as the black and white hard carapace of the Scourges (a scheme shared by the Incubi and bike riders). This yields a colorful army that hangs together and looks like it belongs on the same battleground. A lot of the cohesion is derived from similarities of palette. The reds get the same workup throughout the army instead of unique applications. Same for the yellows and whites. Basing is also a huge deal. The base if a figure often is the largest item in terms of surface area and many details of how the army is intended to be employed can be incorporated into the base. This army is an "all in" army with very few stand off elements. Its not really designed to fight against professional militaries but rather to harass and capture slaves in relatively undefended areas and to be away before a real defense can be mounted. All the elements are fast moving with few if any dismounted troops. I'm working on building a slave barge as a center piece and scenario objective.

In my Ork army the same approach is taken. The army is themed around a specific clan. In my case Evil Sunz because I love the Iconography. I sometimes run them as a Kult of Speed but often just as a vehicle heavy tribe. Other clans are represented but in small ways that support the primary Thundering Horde aspect. I run this as a horde army and very few of the Boyz have anything beyond their basic kit. The vehicles all have the red paint job on some level just for coherency. The army is based with a desert scrub because for the "Rat Patrol" or "Mad Max" effect. I dabbled with Gorka Morka for a time and liked the desert flats feel of the game.

In fantasy Battle I Run a Goblin heavy army built around the idea of a mad tinker and it includes as many different wind up toys as I can manage. Not for efficiency but for the motley carnival look. Wind up toys can be overwhelming if pushed to the max. For example maximum Pump Wagons, Or maximum Spider Riders. I tend to go for the largest variety of odd troops so the whole "Ohhhh look at that!" effect of a traveling roadshow is maintained. Its not efficient at all but it looks great and is hilarious to play. This army is based with paper mache painted in greens for a grasslands effect appropriate to the employment of the Wind up toys.

For my Sisters of Battle I'm aiming for a force that is specifically intended for urban warfare and, even more specifically, pacification and consolidation ops. This means a crowd control element for less-lethal indoctrination of already conquered areas and for rebellious imperial worlds more often than alien conflict. In this regard I use Repressors more often than the more martial Rhino and make maximum use of the symbols of Imperial authority and divinity like the Exorcist. Its all about the pageantry of the Empire when winning hearts and minds. These troops are based with rubble and urban detritus to reinforce the feeling of riot police/SWAT. Heretical symbols and imperial symbols also figure strongly as the sisters are mostly concerned with correcting wayward thought.

One of the great things about running themed armies is that they can evolve naturally over their career. I like to stick to established lists and find the unique thread in the list that suits me instead of cherry picking the best bits from several lists as is so often seen when homegrown organizations are used.