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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dark Eldar Razowing

 This is the first aircraft I've done in forever.

I really like the look and think it will fit in with my current Kabal even though the paint scheme is a slight variation of my old Dark Eldar theme.  I think I'll use this for the new models and stick with the older scheme for any legacy kits I might still have kicking around.

There were a lot of 'lessons learned' with this kit.  The first, and most important, was that I should have looked at Ron Saikowski's really excellent post on line highlighting.  You can find it here:

 Basics; Line Highlighting

The most important bit for me was the part about making sure to use a color near the line that could be 'invisibly corrected'.  That's pretty basic and i plain forgot it.  the result was that I used a black spray that I did not have an exact color match to correct with... doh!  I'll fix that on the rest of the vehicles in this series!

Another lesson was that I should not automatically paint stuff on the sprue.  I have done it for years and its still a valid approach for models with a ton of parts that all obscure each other.  For this kit the design is so clean that I'd have had an easier time if I had popped the main elements off the sprue for cleaning and prep and gone from there. 

Another was... make sure to repeat the test fit before hitting it with glue.... DOH!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Convertable Lobbas for Squiggy!

I got to thinking about how often Squiggy would be appearing in an actual game and decided that it would be cool to have these excellent Big Lobbas from Forgeworld available in normal sized games.  Good thing I have a pile of magnets handy so can have my Lobbas and eat them too!

Now I just need to make a call on actual Ork Crew.  I'm thinking I'll leave it open for actual transported models although I'm still waffling on adding Orks to the sponsons

 The Big Lobbas have been built and painted.   On top is the same Big Lobba that you see on the rear of the Gargantuan Squiggoth (on left, and below).

The gun-shield on this Lobba was weathered with a stippling technique that was not used on the rest of the model(s).  I don't think its too out of place and I'll be using a lot more of the effect on future Ork projects.

The forward Big Lobba (to the right, and at bottom) and thew two of them configured for use in a Big Gunz battery.  Magnets are awesome!

I really liked the look of these Lobbas so I'm going to try my hand at scratch building the rest of the battery based on this design. I'm thinking of doing 7 scratch builds to fill out the chart.  Now to dig up some cool Gretchin crew!

On a Dark Eldar note I discovered some wracks that I'll be slipping in while I'm waiting for paint to dry on the Razorwing.  I'd done a quick brush up on them for use at Geekfest and then forgot about them in all the Chaos since then... now that I've located them I just can't let them sit!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dark Eldar Archon

 A quick Dark Eldar Archon.  I'm experimenting with some styles and wanted to get them on a mini so I have a point of reference.

He's basically brown, which came out surprisingly well.  I wanted to limit the palette and be evil but not necessarily black.  The basic troops in the Kabal are actually sort of a mustard yellow and all of the specialist troops are in their archetype color scheme (i.e Incubi are black with bone details, and Wyches are red, etc...) so he should stand out from the rest of the pile.
 The base is green stuff with some Citadel water effects to give the feel of the model being precariously balanced over some glowy green slime!  This is a terrain type we featured during the Campaign and makes for a good snapshot.
This Archon is sporting both the Kabal symbol (on right) and Campaign Badge from The Chaos Gate Campaign.  I'm not entirely happy with the campaign badge but its still evolving.  I think this version is a little too large and the black half is obscured but the dark red.  I will probably return to this at some point and lighten the red near the badge to get some contrast going.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Black Scorpion Goblin Pirates

From time to time I like to look around and see whats out there.  In part its to remind me that GW must compete for my hobby dollars and in part I just like the diversity.

These Goblin Pirates (Labeled Goblin Pirates 2 and selling for around $11.50 for a pack of 5) from Black Scorpion Miniatures are metal and seem to be really old school with a high lead content which makes them heave and cleanable without the use of power tools.  The had a lof of flash to clean but the mold lines were pretty well thought out which is a big plus.  They are a little rough round the edges but make a good fit with my GW Grot/Gobs and the price is unbeatable.

These will become the basis of a Flash Grot mob for Zoggit's Cash Gits which will be an all gretchin force for use in 40k scenarios.  They should be a lot of fun!

I have been doing a lot of big projects in over the past couple of years.  I'm enjoying them but I'm really an army painter at heart and love cranking out a pile of cool guys at good quality in a short time.  I've missed that.

As a result I've decided to make an effort to work some 'Bolter Joe' stuff into my schedule.  I'm still tackling the big projects and working on improving the quality of my single figures but I'm going to recover the joy of crankin' out some dudes!  That will allow me to explore more cool things along the way.

Currently I'm working on the Dark Eldar Razowing fighter, the Big Lobbas for the Gargantuan Squiggoth (Yay they got here!), a Dark Eldar Archon, and have started the prep work on Dorothy and the Gang (Human Survivors) from Studio Miniatures.  There is other stuff kicking around of course but that is whats on the bench this second! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Da Squiggoth iz just waiting for da big gunz to arrive!

After making contact with the Gnome King and having him search the  basement for signs of the Squiggoth driver I discovered him here in my Ork army case of all places!  Who knew?  I swear I looked there 5 times before calling the Gnome!

I got the Howdah basically finished and added the shoota assortment (as well as the errant driver!).  They are magnetized so can be arranged differently every time! 
 The kit came with some sprues of Orks But I'm thinking I'll just leave them off and have it transport the actual models its carrying during a game... I mean when do you ever see that?  I may put a couple of guys in the sponsons for grins but I'm not suree yet Basically I want to see what it looks like with the Big Lobbas and their crews before make that call. 

I've also left off the steering chains for now.  At the moment the Howdah is removable from the main body of the squiggoth and is likely to remain so for moving purposes.  I'm thinking I could so the chains with magnets but otherwise am out of ideas for them.

I think I'll mount the Big Lobbas with magnets as well just so I can clear the decks to put a big load of boyz on them from time to time or for weapon swaps if I ever feel the need.

More work got done on the Dark Eldar flier. Mostly working on the back section of red and doing another coat on the fractal pattern.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Travel board and more...

 Today I painted up the Battlefoam X-board travel display.  Its a good size for a regular game with most armies.  I painted this one up in neutral browns to minimize conflicts with different basing schemes.  I was a little disappointed in the clips that hold the side boards on.  They are hard to assemble and require special attention to avoid damage to the clips which have a tendency to splay wide causing one of the three prongs to miss the clip and splay even wider.  It does come with a great carry bag and the 1520 XL army bag features side pockets specifically to carry this item in the same bag your army is traveling in ... handy!  I think I'll make metal name plates for the armies and put some magnets on that slot.  Its either that or velcro and use my name tag.. which has its merits!

 Here you see some Dark Angels on three different themes of base.  One is pretty close to the board finish but the others are not and I think they display pretty well. 
 The driving section of the howdah for the Gargantuan Squiggoth is coming along.  detail painting is about 50% then weathering to match the rest of the Howdah and its epoxy time!

I've painted up the big shoota assortment for the critter and popped some magnets around the Howdah to mount them.  I figure the guns will just get broken off in moving if I affix them permanently so magnets FTW! Now I'm just waiting on the main armaments to arrive from Forgeworld.
I've decided to go ahead with a variant paint scheme for the dark Eldar Razorwing.  It will still sit well with the army as most of the elements of the variation appear in the main scheme.  I've been working on the red fade section but they were not complete when i called it a night.  I'm considering adding the red to the area at the front of the model covering the area from the base of the broken up white pattern to just past the cockpit and including the engine intakes.  The rest of the model would remain black with some highlighting and some picked out detail.

I also need to tighten up the cockpit and pilot as they are just a little blotchy looking at the moment.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dark Eldar Razorwing

 While waiting for supplies for the Squiggoth I worked a bit on updating my Dark Eldar Kabal of the Blood Rain.  Here you see the Razorwing.  This is a beautiful model and is not terribly complicated to assemble... or so it seems. 

I'm painting this one on the sprue as usual although it probably doesn't benefit from that technique quite as much as some of the more fiddly kits.

I'm continuing on my old Dark Eldar color scheme so the white spots will be colored in a red/orange/yellow/bone/white descent but I really kind of like it just bone colored as it currently sits.  Perhaps I can leave the tips this way and work out the signature color pattern another way... like maybe on the engine intakes...  hmmm... probably not!

I also got the driving compartment for Squiggy built.  Now I just need to attack it with the green stuff and wait for the paint to get here!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Narrative Campaigns and Unit Lore

Narrative Campaigns and Unit Lore
Narrative campaigns are great fun to run and to play.  One of the best things that they can accomplish is the generation of very detailed and unique unit lore/histories.  Unfortunately many campaigns generate this cool stuff and then it goes to waste as it is not recorded or organized in a useful fashion.  One of the troubles is that, if the details are not immediately recorded, they fade and soon it becomes very difficult to remember all the particulars of the encounter.

To combat this in the long distance campaign that will run between the annual Geekfests I’ll make a standard format for a booklet about each individual force.  I’ll bring these to Geekfest as finished products that can be expanded, if desirable, at the leisure of the individuals or email them to the long distance players that are not actually attending Geekfest.  It’s also possible that I’ll continue to update them annually but the goal is to give everyone a good framework so they can add what they think is important.  I think that, initially I’ll generate an email version of what I have and give some comments on what I think would be cool to include.  Hopefully this will get me some information that I can use to move the file from its current rough state to something that folks can carry around with them as they play their regular games.  Wouldn’t that be cool!

To get started here is a rough format of the thing I have in mind.

Title:  The name of the Unit being recorded in the vernacular that the player finds most evocative (ex. Secrets of the Dark Angels Third Company, The Codex Unwritten, Life and Times of the Tertholen 307th Regiment H co Special Infantry (AH), or simply Waaagh! Snotfinga!)

Unit History:  A history of the force including cool fluffy bits (if any) and a timeline.  This section can include information about particular battles but there is a space later on for most of that.

Personnel:  A “Who’s who?” of the unit.  List all of the named things in the army including commanders, sergeants, colorful troopers, squad names,  vehicle names, ship names etc… basically any unit that you have permanent information about.  Note that this is also a great place to include members who have left the unit either through death, MIA, or abandonment/betrayal.  It’s surprising how much depth these personalities can create.

Battle Honors: This is the place to list and add as much detail as desired to specific battles and campaigns.  It could include notable action of individual and any honors, medals, heraldry, or promotions that came of it.  It’s also a good spot to add unit citations and campaign/battle badges.
(ex. In the battle of Sweltering Amber the ratlings of the Thertholen Sniper squads singlehandedly saved the collapsing Imperial right flank at enormous cost.  The Squads receive a unit citation for valorous conduct and the addition of “Fireproof” to their unit guidon.  Survivors of the action are granted an order of merit and extra rations.)  This should yield all kinds of cool painting/modeling detail as well as the cool background color.

Engagements:  Here at the end is a list of battles the unit fought in as much detail as the player cares to include.  It can be as simple as. “Fought the Tau on Oedipus IV and got thrashed.”  to a full up battle honor citation.  Having this list at the end should make it easier to keep a running update.  Other sections can then be updated at a later time if the battle was particularly significant as long as you get the info down before it’s forgotten.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Squiggy Driver's Cockpit

 The cockpit box is roughed out now.  I'll still have to add plate lines, reinforced strips  and rivets but that should be pretty straight forward.  I'll add those bits and get it primed tomorrow looking towards a finish Thursday.

I used some old luggage tags for the boards as they are a little thicker than green stuff and can be notched and bent for more stability in some of the angles... and I misplaced my stash of plastic board ... >.>

The Cockpit is not yet attatched to the driver's seat for ease of paint/prime.

That'll leave crew... once I rescue the driver from the gnome house in Boston.... oops! and then on to Dark Eldar next week... 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gargantuan Squiggoth on the rampage!

 Taking a break from all things Thunderhawk, indeed all things Dark Angel, and from unpacking my house from the big move, I dragged out the Gargantuan Squiggoth that I started at Geekfest just prior to Gamesday Chicago.

Its hard to believe that I only have about 8 total hours in this one so far.  Its a testament to just how clean the beastie was right out of the box and the HUGE difference that having less than 10 total parts makes! (crew and guns omitted since I don't have the guns yet and the crew is still on the sprue, except for the driver...)

I ran into a spot of trouble as this model was acquired in 2001 (on the same trip that I came across the Thunderhawk) and it is caught between production models.  It seems that most of it is from the new production casting format but that the howdah appears to be from the original design.  I contacted Forgeworld to see if I could get a replacement for what I thought was a missing part.  They went above and beyond to replace the driver's section of the howdah, which is utterly amazing for a model purchased 10 years ago!

 Unfortunately the replacement part was identical to what I already had on hand as I had miss guessed which bit had been modified in the redo.  I'll proceed from here by reconstructing the bit from plasticard and greenstuff. It looks to be a relatively simple fix and I anticipate finishing up the project over the weekend.

I tried to pick up some big (supa?) Lobbas for it at Gamesday but came just a tad late to the counter so they'll be in the mail sometime in the near future.  While I was ordering the guns I failed my reality check and ordered a couple of the Big Squiggoths so I can field the silly Apocalypse formation.

My Ork Waaagh! is primarily composed of Evil Sunz so the Squiggoth herd will really stand out of the crowd with its Snakebite motifs.