Monday 28 April 2014

Planning and competing interests

2014 has so far been the most overly double booked and hectic year of my life. Luckily most of that has been fun things trying to all happen at the same time. Out of a busy work & home life a little window is left out for the hobby and after a very slow start, things have picked up nicely.

Friends often ask me how can I get so much stuff done, and I usually give them a little speech about the benefits of exemplary self discipline and not owning a TV, but it has recently come to my attention I actually paint really fast. We've been exchanging emails about models painted in three hours and people hate the clock and approach results as a compromise, while I realize spending more than 3 hours on an infantry model, even to "showcase" standard is rare to me. Or I should say unnecessary. 

Why I might be quite efficient deserves another entry. There are distinct reasons for it. Instead I want to tell you I now have a specific goal to "finish the army" and real reason to worry about getting side tracked.

The Golden Throne Grand Tournament, 2000pts of Warhammer 40K Northern California style is the first weekend of August, and I've got my ticket and plan in place.

Left to do is:
  • build and paint 14 more Skitarii troops
  • build and paint a Skitarii Attack craft (the small SM flyer)
  • build an paint a legion drop pod
  • paint the legion librarian (new arms since you last saw him)
  • detail and paint the Display Board
That's a chunk of stuff by August. But should I pull it off, I would have well in excess of 3000pts of beautiful Legion models to play with and expand for years to come. It will also give me an army that should perform well on the battle field, provide I learn to play this edition first. Those of you who play and or follow the tournament scene are aware of a pretty sad state of "meta" or current trend in army building called "death-stars", where 95% of top armies are made of the most abusing single unit you can build that takes benefit of all the re-rolls available and more often that not, insane battle brother ally benefits.

So hopefully, I get to finish the force, learn to play (ie. at least 3 practise games) and enjoy the tournament: ie. do not get totally smashed, shredded, pinned and instant-deathed by some barely painted death-star.

The reward, or possibly the plan buster, is of course, the Good and final installment in my Inquisitor trilogy. Something I've been working on for a good few months, on an off, in my head, and bits box, slowly putting stuff together and tweaking it. 

There's a good deal of self created pressure. This needs to be as good and better than the first two, really different and an insane ode to Games Workshop's massive leaps in plastic material quantity and quality since starting the original "Shaddes offe Greye" group six or seven years ago. Pretty sure I have the ingredients, but with yet another "big painting idea" on how to do it things can also go very wrong :)


Tuesday 22 April 2014

Skitarii Praetorians

Praetorian Kill Team RSX-317, elite of the Skitari elite, led by Decanus Gore is on the painting table.

  • under moonlight as ever
  • need to fit both Legion and Sentinels of Mars detachments visually
  • need to paint at least 20 of them
  • back to impact, strong shadow and light - where the Knight as such a big object was a challenge
Test trooper done. 

reminder, that they ares up posed to fit this lot nicely:

Sunday 20 April 2014

Raphael Freeblade - Knight Eternal.

Phheeeeeewwww… It took what felt like a small eternity and I still can’t call him finished, but I have pictures to share. 

I feel a great sense of achievement and excitement, despite what was an odd journey of direction changes and experiments. I started with an image of a black skull mask and bone motifs, but wasn’t feeling the faceplate at all. I then painted another helmet and decided I do like the bare head the best. I feel like I failed the heraldic hero look, but got a very bad ass war machine.

I still need to work on the base, the exhausts and little washes here and there for the metallics. But not before I take a brake with the next exciting thing. (picture below the Knight pics)

I really enjoyed the airbrush, oils and my new set up. I learned and fine tuned many new effects here, that I want to apply on tanks and more manageable sized projects in the near future. Being able to add just the right amount of gloss / matt as a final finish is something I’ve dreamt of for a decade. Pledge floor wash mixed with the wanted amount of Tamiya flat medium and airbrushed exactly where needed does the trick perfectly!

Hope you like him! 

PS. Next comes my take on the new Storm Trooper Kit. I've always struggled with all thing Mechanicus looking too lobotomized. It fits servitors well, but not the breadth and depth of great fluff and many facets of the organization that is fast becoming it's own detachment in the project. I really enjoyed reading the HH series book about Mechanicus civil war, with Knights, techno-assassins and aspects of the organization I want to play with. 

When I first saw the new models, I instantly thought they'd make a wicked Mechanicus unit. Imagine the best trained and equipped, fully augmented, Skitari shock troop. These are counts as Imperial fist scouts. I'm building a detachment of "Sentinels of Mars" to round out the army to 2000pts and the Golden Throne Grand Tournament in August. I want the army to look good, but also work very well.

5/20 pictured: Notice the solid shell bolt carbines, more advanced comms on the leader and shoulder targeting systems actually tracking the warriors sights. 

Monday 14 April 2014

Mechanicus Storm Troopers

So I settled on what to do with these distractions. The first impulse I had had upon seeing pictures of the rumored release was to think they would make great Mechanicus troops. The Legion was always going to be about themes within themes, a philosophy that has held true from the very fist models and units. The little Mechanicus Continent has grown to be one of my favorites and offers a great space to explore. Count as allied space marines, it already contains the Cyclops dread automaton and Skitari Centurions.

I've always been annoyed by the disparity between rich Mechanicus fluff, intelligent tech assassins, elite military squads and operators and then all things Mechanicus in miniature form coming across a bit lobotomized. While it fist servitors perfectly, not the shock troops of Horus Heresy books or my own imagination. 
Mechanicus being an esoteric organization that doesn't fully understand yet alone reproduce the technology it has makes for a beautiful back drop for the imagery in the grim darkness of far future!

I am going to create a unit that fits what I think would be the Warhammer 40K outcome of a technologically superior organization creating it's Speznats, bionic warrior adepts on an industrial scale. 

PS. after this assembly detour, I was back painting the Knight last knight, and will do my very best to finish it first.

Friday 11 April 2014

Imperial Distractions arrive!

Took a night off from building the Knight. Could not help myself. Imperial Distractions first batch arrived. 4 sets of Storm Troopers, their Codex, a Baneblade and and a Tauros.

I have to let you in on a secret. I've been slowly building two very very detailed and lovingly crafter Inquisitorial Retinues. One is the "Good" finale for the +I+ trilogy (albeit your mileage on good may vary) and the second one is Rosethorn Redux, return of Inquisitor Eisenhorn and friends. Legion friend included.

I love working on stuff that I have such a passion, but slowly over a long time, collecting each part carefully and having enough time to contemplate and tweak. The overcoat from the new Storm trooper kit was the final missing piece for the big man himself.

Speaking of the new storm troopers, stunning work Games Workshop!!

Monday 7 April 2014

Titanic undertaking - Knightly progress report.

I've been working on the Knight every night for an hour or few and it's going to brake all records about the amount of time I've ever spent on a single model.

That's not to say I am not whole heartedly enjoying it - just feel the pressure a bit with the new Imperial Guard units (mainly the storm troopers) in transit. The Knight has been a great platform to move to more evolved airbrushing and to learn about oil paint weathering. Oil paints definitely make me excited to build some guard tanks soon, and I have 4 more on the list.  Everything else I've learned these past years, is going to be put on display herewith the aim to create a real showcase piece for the Legion project.

Last night I spent 2 hours on the decals alone. I am now roughly at the half point mark and should be able to put all of him together in a few days. That's when the real weathering and "Freeblade" narrative work begins.

Attached is a quick pic of the pale green scheme after carefully "massaging" the first layer of weathering in with oils. I should post another one after decals, the top carapace looks very cool now.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Painting the Imperial Knight

...and expect it to be quite the undertaking as I am trying many new things and it's a massive thing with a ton of detail. It is also the very first model ever that I paint in parts and subassemblies.

I am getting very excited about the upcoming Imperial Guard release. This army to me won't feel a real army until I have several squads of guardsmen lined up to make the rest of the units look like the esoteric bunch of special operatives that they are.