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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The first Iron Empire Mecha strides into action!

 I'm back from an extended vacation with the family.  It was a blast, and I even got to play a lot of games, but I've been itching to get back to painting so... here we go!

Before I took off I'd almost finished the first of three Iron Empire Mecha.  Its shown here with I.E. Army standard Vera Kreabbenhoft for scale.  She's wasn't stable on her base so has been weighted with a metal washer.... nothing bothers her now!  But it does make her base slightly taller than usual.

 I use these for Necrontyr (precursors to the Necron) in my own little pocket universe... although I hope to one day use them for actual Iron Empire when Raging Heroes gets the game ready.

I continued the Purple and Cream color scheme here and most of the army will be in a similar scheme... with the exception of cyber zombies and maybe some shock troops/assault specialists.

The other two mecha are also pretty far along so I expect to have them up soon.  These models are completely ball joint in construction which gives a very wide range of posing options... but makes them just a tiny bit tricky to assemble!  I wouldn't have it any other way of course and I learned a lot about assembly from this lead model.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Iron Empire Mecha WiP and some Carneval in action

I have some family visiting which has slowed down the painting... quite a lot!  But, on the flip side, I've been able to get in an initial game of Carnevale... so that's a bonus!

Here you see the Mecha in the Iron Empire Cream and Purple colors... at least that's the colors of Iron Empire in the Swelterverse!

 I've been painting the bits seperately as the final posing will make a lot of areas practically impossible to reach... the range of viable poses is quite large with these kits.

A lot of Secret weapon washes helping out with the weapon glows and so forth... note the Mummy Pilot and the Egyptian Death Mask!  Scary!

 On to Carnevale!  Our first game pits the classic foes .. Vatican vs Strigoi.  Were still fumbling around with the rules but the game seems very evocative and fun...

Some thoughts so far:

The rules are a little hard to follow and a little confusing in places like... its not always completely clear if an AP (Action Point) cost is a replacement for another AP cost or an additional AP cost.

I'm also unclear why the final health box has a penalty listed when it appears that checking the final box should take a model out of action... odd to have a -2 penalty to action performed while dead... not undead... just dead.

*Update*  We figured out that we were reading the health chart wrong...DOH!  There is no postmortem penalty !

 It is interesting that a lot of abilities are available to any faction but really are tuned to a specific faction.  A lot of choices are available... even if many of them are silly.  I think like that... and once I understand the synergies it might make more sense why some choices, which currently appear to be silly, might be fun or effective to make.

 I am a little concerned about the Inquisitor in the Vatican faction, who looks a lot like Marilyn Manson, seems to be a vampire without the undead trait... or maybe a demonic entity... he certainly doesn't appear to be human 1.0.

I do like all the focus on theatrical maneuvers and water stuff... like how to drown ... accidentally or... on purpose... how to hold the head underwater until the bubbles stop.... not sure how it works precisely but it's very detailed!

More on that... after we play a few more rounds!

*Update*  After finishing the first game we think the Vatican is a strongly designed faction... The Cross Bearing Deacon in particular is very powerful and makes the faction largely immune to morale effects.  The Inquisitor and Executioner are also pretty spectacular in their effects and the whole force has an intuitive synergy that is really significant.

The Strigoi are less intuitive, although they have strong signature special effects, the synergies of the faction are less obvious and require more tactical forethought that the Vatican does. 

We got a lot of basic stuff wrong but, by the time we finished we had most of that sorted and things began making a lot more sense.  A couple of more practice games will tell the tale... and I'm really looking forward to playing some of the other factions...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Take a seat on the Throne of Judgement!

 I see you are unrepentant!

It matters not!

Xenos loving scum have turned from the Emperor's light and so shall be cast into the flames!

Dreadtober roars on!
 This model is heavy... whew... and not many good places to grab it in terms of pushing it around the tabletop... not to mention those torches are gonna take some hits!

I suspect it will be one of those models perennially in need of repair... but it does look kinda cool in a stomp, stomp, BURN!  kind of way.

I'll be curious to see how the Raging Heroes War Throne looks with it.

The servitors were done with Reaper Vampiric Flesh triad and the Priest Himself with Vallejo Sunny Flesh and a P3 Flesh Wash... the P3 flesh wash is actually kind of purple and, sitting on the Sunny Flesh, makes the priest almost ruddy.  I wanted to emphasize that he is alive while the servitors are, more or less, undead!
 Anyway... my Sisters of Battle are nominally an Order of the Ebon Chalice or spin off... so have more red and white than black in their scheme... that's all speculative though as non of the actual Sisters are painted up!  To date I have this Throne of Judgement and a Monastery Keep that I've been working on from time to time for several years.

With the first Dreadtober project wrapped up I'll move on the the Iron Empire Mecha... it'll be in keeping with Dreadtober and is even spookier than the Throne of Judgement!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Seeing the red in Dreadtober and a special package from Raging Heroes arrives

 Scurrying along through reds and yellow metals... it's finally starting to look like something!

 The throne is the only real sub-assembly... everything else hangs off this more or less directly so once the inner, hard to reach, bits are finished it'll be time to put it together.
This will be a battle worn throne... not pristine but still very proud... and very JUDGY!

 I see you XENOS SCUM and I meet you with the fire of intolerance and the closed mind of the fanatic!


What do we do with the guilty?


For the Emperor!

Whew! It's kind of a workout to be a nutjob!  But it does set the mood for the paint scheme!

And then a package arrived from Raging Heroes!  I'm always happy to see these and this one was kind of special!

 I think this finishes out the TGG1 except for the Art Book.  It contains the rest of the Jailbirds, an extra trike for each faction, an additional Nepharya (in metal), the larger (nominally 54mm) miniatures, and the Connoisseur box of hand poured resins. Also the super cool drink coasters!  I get a lot of comments on these and have to keep a close eye on them when company is about!

 I'm using the cool drink coasters for a scale indicator... DoH beer abuse!

Anyway these are not 54mm... this is the 28mm Kiki the Bulldozer, Human Biological Experiment Survivor...  She's really enormous!

 The 54mm mascots.  They'll be great to paint at this scale and look good in a cabinet!  Of course they'll also be right at home as objective markers! 
 And then there was this... the Connoisseur Box!

Bubbles and security tape....
 Shiny black box.....
 Oh... interesting inside!  Some certificates of authenticity, very cool looking!
 Individual paper sleeves for the girls.  Each with their name and faction affiliation.
A box of chocolate?  How sweet!

Er... ack!

That's Nepharya in there!

I really like that they boxed her although a coffin shaped box would have been totally awesome for the Necro Priestess ;) !

The Connoisseur box was only partly about the miniatures for me.  It does have one of each of the Heroines from the Toughest Girls in the Galaxy Kickstarter in High Quality hand poured resin.  That is cool as far as it goes... but it also came bundled with two video conferences and these turned out to be amazing!

The two online sessions with the Benoit and Mireillle learning about the design process, art direction in general, some really nice zbrush instruction, and, the real gem, the ability to chat with the team and ask questions about the direction and scope of their plans for the universe... pester them to make vehicles... tell them what kind of vehicles and suggest some styles for the different factions  These session went a lot longer than originally planned (probably 6 to 8... or more hours each session) so we ended up having many hours of time together.  It was exciting and I felt a strong, and very personal, connection to this project and to the amazing little company that is Raging Heroes!

The funny part is that without the box of miniatures.... I might not have done the video sessions and would have missed out on the really great experience.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dreadtober progress

 Progress on the Dreadtober Project!

The Throne of Judgement is being worked up from a black base... big surprise yo!

I got to thinking about being representative of my style of painting... and realized I hadn't really thought of that in a while.  I think, in the main, I'm a texture and process painter with a lot of layers of build up.. sometimes pretty heavy... and thence the texture... 
Typically starting with black and brushing everything with a dark grey so I could make out the details.

 After the grey the areas that would end up weathered or red got a brush up of scrofulous brown... love that color!

The model got a weathering pass of Rustungs Farbe... a bright white metal color.. and then all the scrofulous and metal brushed areas got a Secret Weapon Flesh Wash.

Bases got the pale brown over black, brushed over with tan earth and washed with Army Painter Strong Tone ink then re-brushed with Tan Earth... wood got the standard wood treatment. 

 Then on to scrolls bones and robes... for some reason these guys persist in viewing themselves as "The Good Guys" in spite of all evidence to the contrary.... so I thought yar!  white rube for the judgy Priest!... I'll trim it in red... vanity is a thing even for judgy priest types!

Anyway Jack Bone, Menoth White, Menoth White Highlight.

 Going forward... will be reds and then gold trim and actual black areas.

I've done this a bit inside out... where some of the raised detail was done before the recessed detail... almost always a recipe for failure but in this case a lot of sub color texture was done so Ithink it'll work out.... well see soon enough!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dreadtober WiP and Tabletop World Townhouse 2


The Dreadtober project kicks off with a theme... Something old and something new!

 For the "Old" I decided to dig into the backlog of GW minis that I seem to have neglected lately... but still build something with relevance to my current projects...  Behold the Throne of Judgement!

Construction is well underway so expect some unhappy heretics soon!

The RH TGG interest of the past couple of years was sparked initially by a desire to have cool new minis to use for Sisters of Battle... that will still very likely happen but using the Space Nuns from the TGG 2 Light and Darkness... in the meantime
 I've done a lot of work on three new codices for including the TGG 1 as playable factions in our version of the Grimdark.

HERESY! you say? 


I'm thinking about having the Witch Hunters/ Sisters of Battle invade my little section of the verse and vent their righteous fury on the Iron Empire... which I've been spinning up as a Necrontyr remnant kingdom in hiding... shhh!  They're mostly hiding from the Necrons!  


I'll be building three Iron Empire Mechas as part of Dreadtober!  Of course... I mean to say that I'll be attempting to build three of them!  The construction process has not turned out to be very intuitive but I think I've... mostly... got it sorted... although there is the pesky issue of four very small parts that I can't seem to figure out the use of....

Here you see the four kits drying after the obligatory pre cleaning scrub.

More on those later in the week!

But wait!  To digress I popped out a Tabletop World Townhouse 2 that I'd primer-ed up before the big move.

You see a Reaper Mage standing in for scale.

 The second floor gallery/porch is very cool but is an example of base restrictions.  Bases have gotten a bit larger over the past few years and the 20mm square base for standard humans seems to have largely gone by the wayside (except for those great guys over at Mantic!)
 Which makes the porch unusable by most new minis... fortunately I have a lot of fantasy stuff based on 20s but not much new getting added.  I wonder if TTW will adjust scaling to accommodate the larger footprint of the new style bases in future?  That wouldn't be terribly incongruous if we consider that older houses have smaller footprints... and these are mostly a bit dilapidated...

 The expanded view of all the levels of the Townhouse.  This one is done a little more moldy than usual...

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Claptrap, Dreadtober, and the Avatar of Vengeance.


You may be here to see the INCREDIBLY handsome CL4PTRP but I'm here to help spread the word about DREADTOBER!

Its this very cool event where Bloggers around the verse build a Dreadnought in October!  

Sounds like a lot of fun and we get to see a lot of folks building and modding, and distressing big model war-machines.

 So if you are a Dread Head then head on over to Greggles Tabletop at Feed Your Nerd
and get in on ....


 While not really a Dreadnought class model... these little dreadfuls are clearing the path!  I'll be working on some kind of Dread class thing starting next week.

 Looka me I'm dancin' I'm dancin'!

These guys came from Armorcast and are pretty rough casts.  Fortunately the Claptrap is a pretty rough character anyway!  They capture the essence of the manic little bot that everyone loves to hate.

  Here are the little guys alongside some Reaper minis that I'm using as Solar Marines in a Sci Fi adventure setting.

And harassing Punky!  Better watch that robot! The Jailbirds won't put up with your shenanigans!

Actually I think I'll work these little bots into my Jailbird Army list... They have a junkyard scavenger tech thing going so it should fit right in.
... and some green-stuff work on the base for Kirai Avatar of Vengeance.  This is a 1e mini and metal... given the nature of the kit the hard plastic version is probably a huge improvement!

Kirai will be sprawled across the carpet as the Avatar of Vengeance rises out of her.

Spooky stuff!

Ok...  off to find a Dreadnought to build!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Carnevale French Vatican Guard

 I finished the Big Unpack yesterday... finished is of course a relative statement and there are a few odds and ends that will slowly ease into their new spots.... but the main work of unpacking is done!

That means today I got to spend some time working IN the studio instead of ON the studio.  I decided to pick up where I'd left off on Carnevale and start prepping some Raging Heroes.  I also found the Foldio II which lead to more goofing off with pictures than painting miniatures.

Anyway I did manage to finish up a couple of French Vatican Guard and a Deacon.  I really love that after the catastrophic opening of the Rift in the Sky,  and the ensuing destruction of Rome, the Vatican moved to Avignon, France... seat of the Anti-Popes, or the Black Popes of the Schism... way back when...
 I decided to do the Guard in a French Impressionist style which turned out to be a lot of fun to paint.  They look good from tabletop range and really interesting when picked up for a closer look.

The expressions and poses of the miniatures are very good as you can see... here the Deacon is  admonishing the Guard for their sloppy appearance...
And a little closer look reveals... just how little the Guards think of the Deacon's tongue lashing.

I've also made the uniforms recognizably French rather than a special pattern for the Vatican Guard.  The Guard are meant to be a symbol of the ascendance of the French State as they are a protective force for the Church.  No mistaking who these guys really work for!

This week I have more Carnevale, some Raging Heroes, and some Tabletop World in the queue.

See ya soon!