Thursday, December 26, 2013

Moar paint!

Because painted model roll better. Mostly. Well, hell, I feel better just not putting naked plastic on the board, all right? Here's what's been cooking...

Got most of the lenses done. That big searchlight turned out a lot better than I'd expected.

Shaded the gauntlets a bit, to give them a little more depth. 

A spare Catachan sergeant. Just in case I'd like to field the Catachans without Sgt Harker. 

Yay! 3 plasmaguns means plasma Veterans! Something nice and mean to pop in a Chimera...

And of course a team of plasma veterans can't go to battle without their buddies, the melta vets... 

And some snipers, to be part of the Company Command, coz they're going to be way in the backfield, plinking shots away while everyone else is out doing the real scrapping. 

Last but not least, more infantry. Coz this is His Divine Majesty's Imperial Guard!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hellhammerin' a little at a time...

Dabbed a little more paint on the Hellhammer. On further consideration, I also decided to repaint the aquilae white. Looks a lot better, I think:

Of course, that's not really Ceramite White, but Ulthuan Grey. That'll leave me room to highlight later. Also painted in the lens and did a little blacklining with Nuln Oil to deepen the recesses a bit more. And I got round to applying some decals.

I'll be first to confess, I'm not very good at it, but I think the way I use more or less works, though it could use some polish. Here's how I go about it:

1. Matt varnish the area that you're going to put a decal on.
2. Apply said decal. Use tweezers to hold the backing and a small brush to gently nudge the decal onto the right area, then slide out the backing.
3. At this point there should be a little water on and around the decal, so use the brush to poke the decal into exactly the right spot and push out any air bubbles.
4. When the decal is in place, dab away the excess water with a tissue.
5. Now give the whole area a coat of matt varnish again, and that's more or less that!

Of course, you don't have to stop here - you can always paint on the decal after the varnish has dried to clean it up a bit or make it more interesting. Here I've cleaned up the decals a bit (Khornate Red almost perfectly matches Krylon Burgundy!) and highlighted the red lightning bolt in the gauntlet.

At some point, I might want to go a little further and paint the gauntlet in shades of grey, too. Anyway, when I get round to that, there'll be pictures. Until next time, happy wargaming...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ready to unleash 15 barrels of hell!

So, I took a look at the Escalation rules a while ago and quietly watched the great storm of criticism that it kicked up. And I decided to jump in. Of my armies, the least developed is my Imperial Guard, and I figured that was reason enough to give them a nice big push in the form of this:

Nooo, not a Baneblade, as many are wont to exclaim. A Hellhammer; the Baneblade's brutal, close-range cousin. I reasoned that the Baneblade, iconic though it is, is somewhat wasted in 1,750 pt games on a 6' x 4' table. The Baneblade cannon has a range of 72", while its Demolisher cannon has a range of 24". That's a bit mismatched, and suffers the IG big-gun flaw of being a big (10"!!!) template which still lets the opponent have a cover save. Not much use to me. The Hellhammer, however, carries a gun that does what no other big, nasty gun in my army does - it ignores cover. And with a 36" range, that perfectly adequate for wading right into a 6' x 4' battlefield and wreaking all sorts of havoc. So, meet the newest addition to the Red Thunder...

Big daddy has arrived!

Loads of little details on this magnificent machine... 

Now that I look at it again... There's a hell of a lot more to do. Moar paint means better luck with the dice!
For sponsons, I elected to use twin-linked heavy flamer sponsons rather than heavy bolters, reasoning that this is a tank for getting close and personal anyway. So, theoryhammer aside, I picked it up last Sunday and a week later, it's mostly painted up and I just got 2 games in. Read on for a quick overview of how they went...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hobby: Cheapass forests Mk II

I did a post a while back detailing how I made some quick, easy and, most importantly, functional forest terrain for 40k and/or Warmachine. I have since acquired more useful mats and refined the technique somewhat. Instructions follow...

First, get your cheapass rubber mats. This time I've opted for something brown. Also, get some cheap plastic foliage. We're gonna snip that up later.

Brown mats MYR 17.80, fake grass MYR 4.90. Bought from Kaison in Paradigm Mall. Cat is free, picked up off some grubby street somewhere. 

Second, as before, outline the shapes of the desired forests...

Snip, snip, snip...

Don't mind the missus. She's just passing through. 

Next, pull out some suitable forest-y spray paints and cut up the foliage into small patches...

Souseki prefers a colour that goes with his eyes. 


And with some models to show how it'll look...

Sarge is dead. Captain's dead. Over half the squad's dead. Forest wants to eat us. Just another sunny day in the Imperial Guard... 
Of course, one can always find or make some other model trees to get a more convincingly tall forest. So, that's it from me for now. Stay tuned, more projects await...

Batrep: IG Vs IG & Space Marines, 1,750 pts

It's been a long, long time since I cobbled together a batrep, so here's a quick one. I got a game in against Wong's IG with Ultramarine allies at the exceedingly awesome Wira Games & Hobbies. If you haven't been there yet, do check it out. Anyway, my list is here. I rolled Night Attacker for my Warlord Trait. And here's Wong's list, as I remember it:

Company Command Squad with Astropath, plasmagun and autocannon, in a Chimera
Sly Marbo (my own Sly Marbo will be referred to as O'Bram in this battle, in deference to the seniority of Wong's Marbo)
Veteran squad with 3 plasmaguns in a Chimera
Platoon command squad with Chenkov
Infantry squad with Autocannon
Infantry squad with Autocannon
20 Conscripts with Send in the Next Wave
Vendetta gunship
Vendetta gunship
Imperial Bastion

Chief Librarian Tigurius
10 Scouts with bolt pistols and combat knives, meltabombs for the Sgt
Stormtalon with Typhoon launchers
Land Raider

Warlord Trait: Strategic Genius

This comes to 1,760 pts. At first, Wong wasn't so sure about this list's ability to handle my list's large number of armoured vehicles. These fears, as it turned out, were quite unfounded.

Mission: Crusade - 4 objectives
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. I won the roll off and went first. Night Fighting was not active on the first turn.

Here's how the board looked after deployment. Stupid me, since I had the first turn, I expected to surge forward most aggressively, inflicting much violence and (hopefully) come out on top to claim objectives. I mean, is that an unreasonable expectation with 4 big horrible Leman Russes at one's disposal? That's why I plonked my 2 objectives on Wong's side of the board. Wong took a more conservative approach, keeping his objectives close, with loads of troops to keep a firm hold of them.

At first glance, I was pretty optimistic. To the right were all his vehicles, all clustered and waiting for my Manticore to inflict great and unholy violence on them. In the middle, a bunch of squishy infantry for my armour to maul. On the left, beside the big rock spire, stood Chenkov and his platoon command section, a clear and easy target for O'Bram.

So the plan was simple: Nuke the vehicles on the right ASAP with my pie plates of ludicrous ordnance and death, then inflict the Catachan Devils to severely maul whatever spills out. If those tanks on the right were cracked open, there'd have been little to stop my tanks smashing apart everything else on the board with ordnance, then surge ahead to clean up the pitiful remnants with my Armoured Fist platoon. I wasn't too worried about Wong's aerial assets as I had my own guns in the sky waiting to cause some pain or at least tie up Wong's Flyers. Sounds good, right? Read on for what happened...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My first IG, the Red Thunder

So, at long last, after years and years of prevaricating, I've finally put together a semblance of 1,750 pts of solid, proper Imperial Guard. Here's the list:

Still needs some paint, but it looks mean enough on the table... 

Commissar Lord with carapace armour, power sword and meltabombs
Sly Marbo
Veteran squad with 2 flamers, 1 heavy flamer, Demolitions doctrine and Sgt Harker
Platoon command with 3 flamers, 1 heavy flamer and krak grenades, in a Chimera with heavy flamer
Infantry squad with grenade launcher and krak grenades, in a Chimera with heavy flamer
Infantry squad with grenade launcher and krak grenades, in a Chimera with heavy bolter
2 Vendetta gunships
Squadron of 2 Leman Russ Battletanks with hull-mounted heavy bolters
Squadron of 2 Leman Russ Demolishers with hull-mounted heavy bolters

Nothing subtle here, just a list designed to achieve victory through crushing amounts of firepower. 3 vehicles throwing out S10 pie plates is scary for any army. Supporting that are the 2 plain Leman Russes, placed off to one side to make good use of their superior range. Anything that can hide from all that most certainly can't hide from Marbo, who'll make a fine nuisance of himself. The armoured fist platoon is typical of any army I have played thus far, keeping the whole army mobile, because mobility means more options. The Vendettas are there for aerial superiority and miscellaneous troubleshooting. And last but not least, the mighty Catachan Devils (oh, but I do have a soft spot for them) ride in one of the Vendettas, waiting to pop out and maul a troublesome unit when the time is right.

Let's look at the checklist:

  • How to deal with hordes? PIE PLATES! And lotsa flaming death. 
  • How to deal with high AV vehicles? PIE PLATES! And Vendettas. 
  • How to deal with Monstrous Creatures? PIE PLATES! And Vendettas.
  • How to deal with Death Stars? PIE PLATES! And high volume of wound output from the flamers.
  • How to deal with Flyers? Vendettas!
  • Scoring? 3 units in Chimeras, one zooming about in a Vendetta. 

Yeah, I love solving problems with pie plates. Having engaged the Imperial Guard before, I'd learnt to fear the occasional lucky pie plate, so I figured I'd go a little further and use paired Leman Russes and Demolishers, significantly increasing my chances of inflicting serious damage with them. Besides, I don't really put much faith in BS3, so lots of templates for everyone!

This isn't theoryhammer, mind you. I just had the opportunity to inflict this list against an Ork horde and it performed magnificently. Vehicles were shattered by my tanks, Marbo did his thing, chucking a big bomb into the midst of some Lootas, and oh, man, the Manticore got to work, annihilating a squad of Flash Gitz, exposing the big, stompy Warboss to the tender mercies of a pair of Demolisher cannons. The Catachan Devils got to work, slaying 13 Slugga Boyz in their first salvo, then battling their way to the enemy objective. And the Lord Commissar even survived!

A large one had S7, T7, W8, I8 and up to 11 Attacks. Ah, those were the days... 
I was pleased with the performance. As such, this is a list I'll be inflicting a few more times before I consider any tweaks.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tank treads for lazy gamers

 This is just a quick guide for those of you out there who, like myself, are too lazy to paint to the exacting standards of 'Eavy Metal but still want your army to look good on the battlefield. Here I'll just be focusing on one of those little touches that makes your tanks look a bit neater without much effort - the treads.

The first time I constructed a tank, I rather foolishly glued the treads in, then sprayed the whole thing black, then started working from there. This was a bad idea, as I found myself wasting quite a bit of time and effort trying not to get paint on the tracks when I was painting the body, and vice versa. So, here's the easy way for all you lazy treadheads. Note that this works best for tanks with clearly exposed treads, like the Chimera or Leman Russ variants.

First, construct your tank and paint it, leaving out the treads, of course. At this point you'd best paint on any squadron markings or anything else that would be made more difficult by the presence of treads. Like so:

Second, clip out your tank treads and mount them with Blu-tack on a suitable surface, like this here box from a Warmachine heavy jack. Since they're gonna be half-embedded in the tank anyway, there's no need to file off any mould lines. Just clip as close as you can with your flush cutters and that should do the job.

Lord Commissar: In consummate rows. By the Emprah, I said CONSUMMATE!
Next, spray thoroughly. I'm using Krylon Flat Black here. Take care to get all the edges.

After that, the fun bit! Drybrush the treads with whatever metal suits you. Here I'm using Leadbelcher. If you're not particularly experienced with the brush, this is a good time to practice getting a good, consistent drybrush, since you can respray and try again if you make an error without any significant loss of detail.

Lord Commissar: Why is this bit so SHINY?! By the Emprah - f*** it, it's going on the bottom of the tank anyway... 
That's the lazy man's way to paint treads. If you're up for it, here's a more realistic (read: TEDIOUS) method from an old GW painting guide:

You can use Warplock Bronze for Tin Bitz, Leadbelcher for Boltgun Metal and Reikland Fleshshade for Vermin Brown. I think. 

Almost there. All we have to do now is glue on the treads. Protip: Start from the top, work your way round, and save the biggest piece (usually the bottom) for last. This prevents any fiddly moments with those tiny pieces with the single tread. I use Tamiya Plastic Cement for this.

And that's that. Hope this helps. Now to continue with the miles and miles of bloody blacklining...

Monday, December 2, 2013

4 years of grimdark - HQ showcase!

It's been quite a while since I started 40k, and I just felt like looking back to my earlier forays into the grimdark. I always knew that I wouldn't have the discipline to paint every miniature in my armies to the very best of my abilities, but that said, I would most certainly lavish a bit more love on the HQ units. This post is a collection of the minis which have led my armies to glory or defeat since I got into the hobby.

The first HQ unit I painted was this Blood Angel Captain. I bought and assembled him based more on how cool he looks as a model rather than how much pain he can dish out on the battlefield. I really hadn't played that many games at the time, mind you. The thing was, by the time I'd gotten the rest of the army to a reasonable standard, I realized how bloody useless he was compared to the Reclusiarch and Librarian, so this is one mini which has never been fielded in combat...

I got the Lemartes model and decided against ever using him as Lemartes, simply because Death Company with jump packs is ludicrously expensive. With all the Blood Angel iconography on him, though, he made an ideal Reclusiarch, and as such has led my Death Company into absurdly violent and destructive charges.

While a Reclusiarch or Chaplain truly shines when he leads the Death Company, Librarians have far greater utility, especially now in 6th edition, with access to the Divination psychic powers. Even back in 5th, the Unleash Rage power worked just as well as Prescience (at least in close combat) and my Librarians often found themselves leading Assault Terminators into battle. Now he finds himself going to war alongside my Sternguard, lending his plasma pistol to their devastating salvos.

Here's another Librarian I painted up, for the sake of WYSIWYG when I don't have the points to have him toting a plasma pistol. That staff took bloody ages...

I made a half-hearted foray into Grey Knights, once upon a time. The things that stopped me from getting into them more seriously were the Dreadknight (one of the most stupid-looking models I've ever seen, in my opinion) and the simple fact that after painting up a few Grey Knight Terminators, I couldn't really be bothered to make it happen. This guy's my take on the Brotherhood Champion. I figured one long Nemesis Force Sword didn't quite feel like it could pull off such cool abilities as Blade Shield and Sword Storm, so I snipped up some falchions and came up with this guy. I'm pretty pleased with the result, and every so often I still toy with the idea of a Grey Knight allied contingent.

A throwback from 5th edition, my Librarian with a jump pack led my Descent of Angels army. In 5th, there was much to be said for null deployment, coupled with the Blood Angels jump infantry's unparalleled reliability in Deep Striking. These days, not so much, and 6th is really not kind at all to squads of jump infantry having to get across the board the old-fashioned way, even with their jump packs. Maybe I'll cobble something together again sometime and give it a whirl...

Ah, the Crimson King... Master of the most consistent of my armies. Since I got my hands on a pair of Necron fliers, the Crimson King has rarely known defeat. Mind you, it took a few defeats in the early days of the Necron codex before I learnt how to properly wield the 20 Warriors who walk with him, the Crimson Guard. I love his pose. Body upright, strong and proud, in contrast to his hunched Warriors. One arm bearing his custom-built Warscythe, commanding his legions onward, the other clutching his precious Resurrection Orb close to him, and his head very slightly tilted back in utter contempt for his foes.

My nameless and cursed Chaos Lord onna Bike. To be sure, he has performed spectacular feats of martial prowess, killing monstrous creatures, battlesuits, Terminators, Obliterators and Leman Russes with the reckless abandon that Khornate champions are wont to display. The thing is, he has never, EVER ascended to Daemonhood. Turned into a Spawn twice and got gunned down shortly after, though. His quest continues...

Belial, Master of the Deathwing, leader of what is by far the most stressful of all my armies. Deathwing is what I field when I want to travel light and have a radically different experience of 40k. I don't know about the rest of you, but in 6th edition, this army strikes me as playing in Hard mode. The simple reason is 6th edition is the edition of the gun. As they say, everything counts in large amounts, and in this edition, I feel we're seeing more models on the board, more guns and certainly more anti-infantry firepower. Not good news for Terminators and man, it stings when every little casualty counts.

"Glory for the first man to die!" In an age of gene-enhanced super-soldiers, fearsome aliens and traitors in league with unspeakable horrors, there's a special kind of charm to the humble human in all his frailty. I decided I needed a right hardass to lead the army of Men to glory, and nothing was quite as fitting in my eyes as a Lord Commissar. I'd been reading a bit too much of Gaunt's Ghosts, I think. Given my general loathing of metal and resin, I used the little officer dude that came with the Baneblade kit, seeing as he had a nice big commissar-esque hat. No, I don't have a Baneblade (yet), I just picked this guy up separately off eBay.

So, that's it from me for now. Next up, a closer look at my lovely Imperial Guard army, the Red Thunder!