Friday, October 3, 2014

Ork Thoughts for 7th Edition

So tomorrow is Brawl in the Fall and I'm going to be taking my bike list I mentioned last post.  I'm hoping to grab some points but I don't really have super high expectations.  I don't feel like I've gotten enough practice and I could see easily dropping an early game.  Either way it is going to be a good time!

I have been thinking about what to play next year a bit now as I don't have much left on my agenda for this year.  Sure I might still play the marines once more at LVO in Feb so I can wrap up the ITC series and see if I can pop out near the top Space Marine list and hopefully top 10 overall.

However next year I think I'll play a... less crowded Codex.  At first I was thinking Dark Angels with my yellow marines.  Dark Angels is certainly less crowded and if I just played enough events I might be able to snag that overall.  However... maybe not!  It isn't a great list I have though it can probably win 1/2 the games.  Also it is boring as hell to play.  I might bring it out a bit just to get it out of my system.

The other army I have been wanting to bring out more is my Orks.  I've only really played a game or two with the new book and the games were fun though I think I lost them.  I've been tweaking a couple of different builds using self ally as well as the Ghaz ally.  This is a bit of the line up I'm thinking about trying out a bit.

Big Mek, KFF, Bike, Cybork, Bosspole, Da Finkn Kap, Grot Oiler, Warlord
Warboss in Mega Armor, Bosspole, Da Lucky Stick
11 Tankbustas, 1 Boss Nob, Bosspole, Trukk w Ram
4 Meganobz, Battlewagon w Big Shoota, Ram, Grot Riggers
29 Boyz, Nob, Bosspole, PK
10 Gretchin, Herder
9 Lootas
9 Lootas
5 Lobbas, 2 Ammor Runts

Painboy, Grot Orderly
18 Ard Boyz, Nob, PK, Bosspole
Battlewagon w Big Shoota, Ram, Grot Riggers

This is one way of trying this list out but you can do several differnent things with the same models roughly.  You could make the warboss the warlord and dump the Mek as the ally HQ.  You could get the points to get the 4++ KFF.  That might be the better choice, the ability to get two Strategic warlod traits might just be a trap.

So after this weekend I'll see if I can get some practice with this list.  I pretty much have this but my trukks are the old little things, as are my gretching the terrible old fixed pose.  Those will do for some test games before I buy them and make the list tourny ready as it may just be terrible.

I did/do have some other bits to work on for this in the mean time.  I already have 6 orks with rokkits.  So I decided to finish up some other rokkit orks I have for tank bustas and kit bash a nob together.

These came out fine and the good news is after lord knows how long since I painted orks they match up pretty darn will with the existing guys that I painted years ago.

I also decided to kit back the Mek and a warbike.  I had done a warboss/Nob years ago too using these old 3rd ed bikes I have.  He's a little small for a Big Mek but he'll do in a pinch.

It isn't much to look at now but I'll get it some paint and see how it comes together.

I was going to buy a little KFF bit as they have them on ebay from the 'Nauts and the Meganobz pack but they are $10.  I'm not sure how this is going to work so I decided to just kit bash it entirely.

Overall I think it's a neat little kit bash.  It has been awhile since I got to do something like this so it was a nice change of pace.

Of to Clovis tomorrow, hopefully for some really fun games!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Small Hobby This and Thats

Been really busy with work and getting ready for the new baby who finally arrived yesterday.  Hooray!  So now we're just hanging out in the hotel hospital room as we can't go home until tomorrow.  So with time to kill I might as well update this blog with what's been going on lately.

I did get out to Celesticon again this year, and like past years had a great time.  I took my drop pods out for 1500 which is not my favorite point level but for a one day 3 game event this was mostly just for fun.  In some ways I regret not taking some other fun list out (Orks), but since it was an ITC event I still was hoping to grab some nice points!

Command Squad, 5 Meltas, Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta, MM, Combi Plasma, Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta, MM, Combi Plasma, Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta, MM, Combi Plasma, Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta, MM, Combi Plasma, Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta, MM, Combi Plasma, Pod
5 Assault Marines, 2 Flamers, Melta Bomb, Pod

It is pretty much a no nonsense list that relies on a hard hitting drop and lots of OBSEC units to take objectives.

My first round I played a Bike/Rhino white scar list with Coteaz.  Funny enough the one practice game I ended up losing leading up to this was Frankie running my bikes!  I ended up not deploying great thanks to coteaz mucking about with his bikes, and he made every cover save turn one.  DRAT!  So I was working uphill all game.  I managed to tie the primary and lose the secondary so ended up with a loss.

My second round I played a rhino CSM/min noise marines + Nurgle Spawm list.  This game was the relic which usually I do great with pods.  The reason is I can deploy very in the face in front of the Relic with most of my army and then one small unit can grab the relic turn one.  The rest of the game I can do a bit of a fighting retreat with my main line and keep the relic squad pretty safe.  This is what happened this game as well, though had the game gone on longer he just might have caught up to me with those fast moving spawn!

Game 3 was against a CSM/Daemon list that had a Bastion.  I don't recall the mission but this is one of those games where things mostly just went my way.  I was downing FMCs and getting those last wounds on when I needed.  Meanwhile his reserves showed up piecemeal and just generally couldn't get over the first drop down if I recall.  I think this ended up being a full 10 points for me.

So I went 2-1 and placed 11th in battle points out of 38.  All of my opponents were new guys I'd never played and were lots of fun.  I'd like to know how my paint score was but knew I wouldn't have won as soon as Master Painter Israel showed up with his Tau!

That currently cracks me into 5th place overall in the ITC standings.  Of course you only get your top 4 scores, and currently there are only a handful of us that have all 4 events complete.  As more of the leaderboard with 3 events cracks their 4th score I'm sure it is going to be awfully tight in the top 10.  I've got some decent scores at the 4 events I have but nothing game changing either.  I've got 2 ITC events on the docket to attend still that hopefully I can increase that score a bit with a huge win (or at least a really good showing)!  Even still if I crack 300 I'd be pretty happy, but I am not sure that will be quite enough to hold on to a top 10 spot.  It's still fun to just mess with, but I wonder if next year I'll just pick Orks or Dark Angels and go for a 'Best of' Top Spot that is less crowded than Space Marines.

On the hobby side of things I've been doing lots of this or that; no big projects so to speak.  The main thing I've been doing is updating some of my buddy, Dave's, Tyranids.  Sadly I don't have any before pictures but once I get through the last of them I'll so post some pictures.  It is mostly some cleanups and added layers just to kick the painting up a bit.

I also previous to Celesticon had finished the insides of all my drop pods.  I had only gotten two done for the BAO and now I can say that 1850 army is completely done!

I was also looking to just mix in some modeling one of the last weekends while watching some Sunday football.  So I brought down my Carnosaur kit that I've had in the closet but just never had a need to put together.  I'm not sure if I'll ever really use him but he does look cool!

I'm excited to see the changes coming around in Fantasy.  I hope it gets a bit more popular as it is fun to mix in to the gaming rotation. 

I've also had on my to do list updating Anthony's Coteaz.  I wish I had some before pictures because it was a pretty terrible ebay paint job.  I debated stripping the metal model but decided I would just overpaint and see how it worked.

I used the same Gold techniques I used on Helbrect on Coteaz and it came out great again.  I was also really happy with the cloak, as I think I've got a good red plan going on now (which I've been using on Dave's bugs) that gives off a really nice bright red and some rich darks too.  I tried a technique on the fur I had tested years ago on a Tau model that I never put into production but it makes a cool blue/white effect on the fur.  I also really like his head, which probably happened more by happy accident than anything else.  I was trying to get some different flesh tones in there to make the big bald head be more interesting and I think it came out wonderfully!

The only part I'm a little disapointed with is the eagle.  This is the main area that stripping the paint probably would have helped as some of the head and body just had too thick paint to give nice quick highlights to them.  I spent some more time trying to get those details in there and it is ok, but still I think it is the one sore spot on a nice paint job.  Still he's 1000x better than the 'barely basecoated' model off ebay.

So next on the calendar I have Brawl in the Fall down in Clovis.  This is a 1750 2 day event using the BAO missions and rules in early October.  I've been wanting to get the bikes back on the table for awhile now and since there isn't any soft score factor going in here the toss up between pods and bikes is about the same.  They are both solid armies and fun to play, but the pods look several notches better than the bikes.  So I think I'll bring them out more when there is some overall scoring that goes on in some of the smaller events.  For Brawl being another ITC event I'd like to have a fun time and of course improve my overall standing if I can!  So I've had a few White Scars practice games and am going through more list revisions.

Given some of those games I've had, and now that I'm still holding on to this Coteaz model and seeing him in my earlier opponents White Scar list I'm thinking of running the following.

Khan, Moondraken
Command Squad, 5 Metlas, Melta Bomb, Pod
5 Bikes, 2x Melta, Combi Melta, Melta Bomb
5 Bikes, 2x Melta, Combi Melta, Melta Bomb
5 Bikes, 2x Grav, Combi Grav
5 Bikes, 2x Grav, Combi Grav
5 Bikes, 2x Grav, Combi Grav
5 Bikes, 2x Grav, Combi Grav
Storm Talon, Skyhammers
Storm Talon, Skyhammers

So this list is a bit different than previous lists I've run.  I think it hits like a ton of bricks and has even more bikes than I've ever brought to the table!  However it does give up some of the resiliency I've had in the past.  The first most noticeable absence is the lack of the super stud Chapter Master from hell.  His 2+/3++ eterernal warrior used to just soak up the bullets.  However I've had a number of games where with the new jink and even night fight the whole army potentially can have a 2+ cover save!  Not so helpful for wave serpants though so I'll be needed to make clutch 3+ armor saves.  It also takes out a bit of my assault punch as well which can indeed be useful.  Technically I lose the threat of the Orbital strike, but that was really a red herring anyway that never did crap.  Most opponents are already spreading out because of the TFCs anyway.

Also of note there are no attack bikes in this list.  Back when I started playing bikes I had tons of attack bikes both in the troops as well as the fast slot!  Of course these days I need the air support the Storm Talons bring.  However losing that attack bike in the troop units means no 6th wound on the squad, and occasionally I get to do shenanigans of taking two wounds but not having to take a break test.  However with marines this usually is not that crippling.

The other thing I'm worried about is super heavy vehicles and Knights.  While the MM attack bikes are great the big thing is just getting as many Meltas you can in range.  This is where the pods excel but the bikes have been lacking with my traditionally heavy Grav builds.  So out come the attack bikes, more bodies have been added to the list and two dedicated bike melta units are out for heavy tank hunting.  The attack bikes are just a bit pricey for what I'm getting I think.

I've also added a command squad back in the list which I haven't used with White Scars since Feast last year.  Originally I was going to do more bikes as I have in the past, but I'm actually out of bikers!  I do have a pod and marines for this army that I used to use as Sterngaurd (back at BAO 2013).  A couple of melta guns later and now I've brought some of the hitting power of my pod army into my bike list.

Lastly is Coats McGoats of course in the list who I have yet to actually use to see if this makes sense.  Of course as anybody knows he brings a lot to any list.  The chance to get first turn increases, the lvl 2 psy, some extra psy dice protection, the 'if all I get is prescience then great' for his powers.  The one thing I'm not sure I'll get much mileage out of is the 'I've been expecting you' super interceptor power unless I'm playing a heavy drop army where I can then put him with a grav bike unit.  That kinda ruined my whole plan at Celesticon!  I don't really have the long range fire that makes that such an amazing ability in many other Imperial lists.

I think most of the time he probably stands in the back with a Thunderfire Cannon and gives out powers as he can.  Of course I have the option of putting him in that Command Squad drop pod and really trying to kick in the teeth of a Knight or Baneblade turn one.  If he's already gotten me turn one then hell, I'm either going to really make my bed that turn or fail miserably.  Him standing in the back watching that super heavy obliterate my army isn't going to turn the tides later in the game!

So we'll see how it goes!  I have to turn in a list in the next few days so I'll probably be going in with this regardless.  Hopefully I'll still get a chance to give it a game or two to see how it comes together!

With a brand new baby that might be tough to do!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Helbrecht Painted

Sometimes you just want to mix it up a little.  This last week I was thinking about how to run some Black Templar.  I think the last time I played them was the first day of 6th edition.  Despite the fact that I've turned all the pods into Black Dragons I still have a pretty good BT force.  So I started to muck around with it and thought about using High Marshall Helbrect.
I've had this model for a long time but had never had a need or real desire to paint it.  After all the Black Dragons I thought this would be a fun small project to knock out in a few days.
Overall I'm pretty happy with him.  Given most of my Templar were painted several years ago I think my painting has come along way.  I certainly would like to do a few things better of course but overall I think he looks good.  He has the classic gold armor but I was happy that it was not crazy overpowering.

Once I got into the model I appreciated the sculpt a lot more.  I finally got around to pinning the sword because it has broken numerous times.  Hopefully it is on there for good now.

Unfortunately I still am not really happy with any list I can think of running.  I was toying with trying them out at 1500 Celesticon.  I ended up trying two 1850 games this last weekend.  Tau Tripple Riptide just murdered me in two turns.  I managed a lucky draw against bugs because the game ended on 5, otherwise I was likely tabled.

The problem is if you try to take advantage of the BT strengths you are really neglecting most of what makes regular Marine TAC lists very good.
1) Tactical squads are flexible, Crusader squads have to either be large or small.
2) Spamming LRC in the troop slot sounds cool but since they always die having them obsec is not often going to matter.
3) The named characters while being nice army multipliers are pushovers to building a super Chapter Master.
4) Most list styles can be better with any other chapter tactics.  Playing bikes, play White Scars.  Playing drop pods/rhinos play Salamanders or UM.  Playing heavy tank list play Iron Hands?

So how do you make a good Templar list that feels like a Templar list and can be taking advantage of the BT Chapter Tactics.

I've yet to figure out that riddle...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BAO 2014 Complete!

This last weekend was the Bay Area Open 2014 and man did I have a great time.  I played 6 people I've never played before, played some army types I've never faced, and really had 6 great games.

I took f%&k all for pictures so sadly I've got nothing pretty to put up to show for it.

Here is a real quick rundown of my games.

Game 1: Orks!  The army centerpiece was a Stompa and there was a WB biker with several nob bikers.  That sucked almost all the points up in his list minus a big unit of Lootas and some burnas w meks in the Stompa.  The Stompa didn't have a KFF anywhere to save it.

So not surprisingly with drop pod marines this went really well for me.  The command squad alone did 10 HP on the drop, and the next tac squad blew it up on the next rolls.  Thankfully the blast didn't scatter so I did lose some marines, but still had plenty left to deal with the rest of his army.  It didn't really matter what the mission was because it was very lobsided after that.  We lol'd a lot and he was great to play but it was certainly a good start for me.

Game 2: GK w/ Marines.  The list itself was a super grav star (5 dev cents, GK libby, Tiggy, Coteaz), 2 Dreadnights, a scout unit, and 4 psybacks with cheapo scoring units that each had a psycher.  In and objective based game I'm not too worried about it but with killpoints... he's got 10 easy points, 2 harder points, and the unkillable death unit.  I have 19 not so hard to kill units if I don't combat squad!

He also won the rolloff to go first and invised the grav star.  On the drop I was able to use LOS blocking terrain to avoid coteaz blasting a unit, but I only managed to get one DK down to 1 W!  The rest of the game he was blasting units off the board and I was chasing down his easy kill points while trying to pick up secondaries.  Unfortunately he had just better secondary rolls than I did late in the game to surpass me even though I was well up early.

On my bottom of 5 had I been able to kill his last Knight that only had 1 W with 2 drop pods I would have tied the primary and been up on the secondary.  Not surprisingly he did not die, and over the next two turns he pulled farther ahead of me.

It was a tough game I that I felt I was going uphill all game but still really fun.  He went on to win best GK player.

Game 3: White scars with SWs!  This was a cool blend of units that I've thought about trying to do a bit of before too.  Khan, 5 command bikes with lots of upgrades, 2x rhinos w tacs, 5 scouts, 2x stalkers, thunderfire, wolf lord on bike, Grey hunters in rhino.

Unfortunately this was the relic and I was going first so it didn't really go well.  He decided to outflank and reserve the rhinos and the scouts and did his best to protect the rest.  On the drop I killed one stalker and most of his command squad.  Though he was able to dish out damage over the course of the game I was able to keep putting in pods where I needed and just controlled the relic the whole game.  I think we called it on 4 when we new there was no real coming back for him.  Another game we had to chuckle a few times but another big win to end the day.

Game 4: 1ksons!  I was pretty sure I would be playing this army overnight based on battle scores and indeed I did.  Ahriman,  9 Tz Termies w Upgrades, 2x10 1ksons, 2x 3 Tz oblits, Crimson Slaughter lvl 3 sorc and a unit of cultists.  My buddy had just played him game 3, and having thought about what to do with my own 1ksons I know what the main gist of it is.  Get Invis, get Prescience, infiltrate mega unit up close and proceed to smash face.

Surprisingly (and to my benefit) his 6 rolls on the Telepathy chart yielded no Invis.  Obviously he didn't get prescience, and though he could infiltrate 3 units he decided to cluster up and protect his termies.

My biggest mistake was probalby trying to kill a few termies.  I managed to kill two on the drop, but I killed a 1ksons squad down to 1 guy.  I probably should have put everything into the 1 squad to make sure I got first blood.  This game was back and forth.  It was Scouring primary and I obviously had a lot more units.  But Ahriman was just pummeling me.  He'd be pychic shrieking a whole unit dead, then they'd shoot a unit and charge two units and just be clearing me off the board.

Eventually things started thinning out for him.  When his Termies died he joined up his last oblits and I sent vulcan in to deal with Ahriman's last wound.  I managed to kill him and even survived a round of oblit power fists, but the top of 5 came to see vulcan die so we traded warlord.  When the dust settled I had the primary with a handfull of tiny units, he had secondary and only had the last oblit unit alive.  He had scored warlord and first blood due to my tactical error, but I had line breaker.  6-5 in my favor, but it doesn't get much closer than that.

Another great game and we were giving each other hi fives everything something hilarious happened.  It was probably the most fun game for being so challenging.

Game 5: Eldar with Tau.  Farseer on a bike, warlock on foot, 3x3 jetbikes, Fire Dragons w/ exarch in a WS, Dire Avengers in a WS, Wraithknight HQ, and some Eldar artillery x3, Buffmander, 15 kroot + hound, 2x missilesides with assorted drones.

The game is big guns and I rue not getting to play a heavy tank army.  :)  I do get to choose to go second and he gets the infiltrate warlord trait and puts his broadsides midfield into a huge LOS blocking building.

On the drop I put the first pod down to try to go for the WS tucked in the back and it scatters off the board for my only mishap all tourny.  Thankfully it goes into ongoing reserve.  I do land two more back there but they only strip a few hull points.  I drop two combat squads down midfield to put some pressure on the broadsides as they can't kill all 4 5 man units and I'm hoping to tie them up in combat rather than being shot to death.

He basically sends his WK up to start helping the Broadsides and his jet bikes come in and he starts killing 5 man squads.  Thankfully on my turn 2 I've got one whole 5 man squad that is able to assault his artillery and I keep adding small units over the course of the game to tie them up.  With the rest of my drops I'm cleaning up his jetbikes and hopping on objectives to get secondary points.  It takes awhile to down the WS but they didn't really kill much either but they were mobile and scoring.  I keep sending wave after wave of 5 man squad into the WK to keep it in the center of the board.  I never did make it to assualt the Broadsides.  The good news is they didn't have much LOS to thing on my side of the board, and the action they could see in his deployment was largely in combat.

In the end I had control of 3 primary objectives to his 1, had more secondaries, and line breaker.  He did manage first blood, and both our warlords lived to tell the tale!

Game 6: Marines w/ AM.  This was another Grav bike list but with 3 troop squads and khan, 1 command squad with meltas in a pod, 2 5 man tac squads in pods, a Sicarin Battle tank, and the IG were a cheap command squad, 2 vet squads with melta and chimeras, and a squad of 2 Wyverns. 

He put his 3 shooty tanks on the board and bubble wrapped them with two vet squads.  He then put Khan and one bike squad tucked into some central ruins.  On the drop I put two assault squads down on to his bubble wrap, killing one unit (or mostly killing and they ran off).  I then put three tac squads down to try to kill off the bikes.  Sadly one scattered too far, but the other two killed off the squad and did 1 W to Khan.  Had I had the third pod do better I am pretty sure I could have snagged warlord.

He was pretty lucky and got most of his army in turn 2.  He started cleaning up most of my small squads.  Essentially the rest of the game was a back and forth of who had a great turn followed by who had a bad turn, and us handing 'the lead' back and forth.  Annoying for me was my LotD and Vulcan assualt squad did not come in until turn 4, so I had to make some hard choices in the end.  A few of my squad were just too far away from objectives because I had had to deal with his long range tanks.  He had gotten a pod and 5 marines down in my rear objective late in the game.  So I sent the LotD toward the farthest objective, vulcan and pod down on the closest and hoped they could go off to deal with that pod.  On the central most ojective I had a few dying 5 man squad dealing with Khan, 1 command squad guy and one bike.

In the end it really came down to could 4-5 pods kill one marine on an objective.  He ended up making 5 marine saves to keep him on the objective.  He held that one and the central objective, and vulcan could not reach his squad on by the bottom of 5.  So he ends up winning primary and line breaker.  I had him on secondary points handily, have first blood and line breaker, but both warlords again live to fight another day.

This was a hard fought, and honestly a bit stressful game.  We clearly both wanted to win and sometimes it got mired down in rules discussion and the like.  I tried to let some little things go and have fun but I really wanted to win.  Sadly as turn 5 rolled in with 10 minutes to go I realized I was likely not going to win without a turn 6.  I still had good chances on those last dice rolls but it came up for him.  It was still fun, but probably the most stressful game of the weekend!

Overall I went 4-1-1 as did my opponent.  I ended up 12th and he snagged 11th by stength of schedule.  I'm certainly very happy with how I did, as the past two BAOs I have gone 3-4 each time.  Had I gone 3-3 it would have been an improvement certainly.

Most importantly it was a great time and I'm looking forward to the next events in the fall!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Painting Black Dragons Like Mad!

Another long break but I've been mad, MAD I say trying to paint these Black Dragons for the BAO this weekend.  After several games of 7th edition I really like how this army plays and decided to go all in and commit to getting this army Tournament ready.  But that means painting 1-2 hours every day which is not easy to do with my crazy life.

The good news is I'm almost there now.

On a whole if I show up with where I'm at now this weekend I'm pretty pleased.  I want to get skulls on the shoulders and more of the insides done of the other 7 pods but we'll see how much I actually get done.

A little closer, terrible camera phone pics.

A bit closer on my Vulcan model.  I'm still terrible at freehand and the banner is not complex, but the 'Faith or Death' turned out better than I hoped so I have to be a little pleased there.

A terrible picture again but I've added a unit of LotD to the army for 1850.  Back when I redesigned the army in 6th I had thought to just add a librarian for some utility.  In 7th I'm just not sold on the solo libby.  It was suggested I add a Thunderfire to the list and that certainly has merit in a pod list.  If I didn't already have 9 pods that might be great, but as the list is designed the 3 assault squads do pretty good anti infantry work (plus lots of bolters).  The LotD came up and I have used them a few games now.  They really help get rid of that one skimmer or MC in cover that you need to take out that you don't want to waste a bunch of single shots from the tac squads.  They've been killing venomthropes and taking down Wave Serpents.  I had to give up my army wide Melta Bombs but they've been probably more useful across all games.

The army now looks like this at 1850.

Command Squad, 5 Meltas, Drop Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod, Locator Beacon
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod
10 Tacticals, Melta/MM/Combi Plasma Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines, 2x Flamer, Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines, 2x Flamer, Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines, 2x Flamer, Drop Pod 
5 LotD, Melta, MM, Combi Melta

The combi Plasmas are master crafted and I MC the CC weapon on the assault sergeant.  The Locator Beacon is essentially the last 10 points but usually the pod is ignored and it gives me some choice drops turn 2.

I've had some great close games with the pods and done really well.  A few games I've nearly been tabled but still pull the win thanks to a silly pod being on an objective.

So we'll see how BAO goes.  I'm trying to keep my expectations low and hope to go 3-3 but it is of course easy to get hungry for wins.  I'll be going in for a good time first and foremost and hope to have 6 really fun games!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Painting Black Dragons: The Process

So having finally gotten the entire army assembled I have finally been able to start the painting process and establish a fully painted test model.  This entry is as much to help anybody else who wants to paint a black model as it is for me to remember what I did!

So first up it is primer time.  I still love the GW black and have not found a better more consistent black primer.   If you are planning on staying with black I can't imagine using another primer based on my experiences.

So we've got everyone set up and ready to go.  This process can take some time if you want to do it right.  I basically did about 4 light passes per guy.  First I did a front and back spray of the whole army and let it dry.  Then I laid them all down on the back and did a spray to get a bit 'under' them, the after drying did the same with them laying on their front.  Then I got out the plastic gloves and picked each guy up and did whatever nook and crany area's I still needed to get to cover evenly.  The trick is these have to be light coats from about a foot away.  This used almost 3 cans of primer as there is a lot of waste but you don't want to get the primer on too heavy.

So great now they are all pretty black.  I added one of the guys that I had tested into the mix here as he needed to be updated.

The next step was a thinned mix of Administratum Grey in the Airbrush.  From my earlier test I was going for a nice heavy coat but really directionally point down as much as I could.  I can't really airbrush straight down but it was probably thereabouts a 45 degree angle.  That way the undersides would be staying much darker.

The shade in that picture doesn't help as much, but here is a better close up of that.

I wonder now if I didn't want to use the grey or the airbrush if I had just used more white primer how this effect would have worked.  They would obviously be brighter in the end but that might have been even better.

Anyway the next step was airbrushing on straight/uncut Badab black wash.  The real trick here was to try to get and even coat that also wasn't too heavy.  I found it hard to get that consistent across 80 marines! Here is a series of pictures from the final outcome of my day of airbrushing.

So at this point I'm feeling nice and excited and I cant wait to get in to do some painting.  I wanted to get pics of each step, but I was so excited to get done I missed a few steps.  I've spent the last few months thinking about how I was going to do this so I had pretty much ironed out the basic flow of how I was going to do these guys.

First up here we see my now dry airbrushed model.  He's a bit darker than some of the other guys but I figured a non discript tactical marine was a good place to start.  So first up was doing a layer of Leadbelcher.  I hit the rims of the shoulder pads the vents of the backpack, and the joints.  I should and will do the bits on the helmet going forward but forgot about it in my excitement.

Here we can see that step done (including the skull which I decided against).  Next up I wanted to do the Base Ceramite White.  I love this white but it dries out quickly, but it covers so well when it is good in the pot.  This is for the chest iconography as well as the dragon on the shoulder. 

Next step is Chardon Granite which I cover the entire rocky outcrop that he is standing on the base.  The outcrops were the one area that still had a few blips that didn't get fully primed because the cork is so jagged.

Here I missed a picture of that step but it is basically just dark and consistent on the base.  I thin painted a light wash of Badab Black all over the model.

Ok so here we are well washed.  The guy has enough depth in the black and no extreme highlights.  He's a little dark but overall I'm feeling pretty good.  Time to get to the highlights and details.  First up I move to Ironbreaker to highlight the previous metal sections and also to pick out some piping in the backpack, helmet and on the foot.

I missed another picture in here but after the Ironbreaker I also drybrushed a bit of this grey paint I have on the rock.  This pops it out a bit, stays in the color palette but is also a slightly different color.

I also do a final Runefang steel highlight on all the silver bits.  I also pick out all the rivets on the backpack.

Again a little overeager and I've already done the White Scar white to lightly highlight the white chest iconography and the dragon.  Next I do a layer of Ushabti bone then Screaming Skull for the horn.  For the guys with bigger horns and blades I may do a brown Base first but I skipped it on this guy with the tiny horn.

Mostly done and it's time for the color!  I had decided the only real color I wanted to be on the models was from the eyes and the lava base.  First up is the eyes with Caliban Breen base, and Warpstone Glow.  I used a bit of white with the Warpstone for the final bit of the eyes as well, and used thinner to make sure my glow was pretty light on the helmet.

Amazingly I'm happy with the eyes on the first pass.  Maybe I did learn enough from doing the eyes on my 1ksons!   Next up is the lava base which I've never done before.  I start with these 4 paints in the order they are placed.  I end up adding in some orange.  I end up redoing it several times.  I use the colors to drybrush bits of the rock.  Then I repaint the rock.  Then I try again.  I'm still not entirely sold on the lava I have done.

I also a day later decided to grab some thinned Administratum Grey to do a few highlight lines, but I try to be as light as possible.

When I finally am reasonably happy with it I Dullcoate the model. 

Then I brush on some glossy 'Ardcoate for the Lava and paint the rim of the base black.

I'm pretty pleased with the way this looks.  I think the one knee is a bit too highlighted.  I think I didn't really need the line on the right shoulder as I still plan to do the skull decal (in theory).

You can see here I thought about doing some color highlights on the base but it looked terrible.  I've decided the rock highlights are enough.  I used some thinned black to cover it up but clearly a bit shows through.  On this guy it is fine as nobody will really notice, but that will obviously be ommited going forward.

Finally a shot of the backpack where you can see the vents, rivets, and joints.

Not to sit too still I have also been working on the drop pods.  First I finished up the outside of the two new drop pods paint jobs.  I also added some new details across all 9 (pipes and tubes).

I've been doing lots of testing with printed decals to get the icons right for the doors.

I also finished up two of the insides of the drop pods.  One had a whole center console that I could pull out, another one was glued in place so these were the two 'tough' pods to do.

A bit of a close up of the inside.  I admit the doors are a bit lazy just being all metal.  I might go back later to add hazard stripes to the doors and some 'glow' from the center console blues.  For now this will certainly do!

I think this is pretty good as hey it is some nice details for the inside of a vehicle.  Thankfully the rest of the inside bits are all in pieces so I can paint them outside the drop pod then do the assembly in the inside.

6 of the storm bolters are finished but I seem to be missing my 7th.  So I'll work on these a bit in between all the guys.

So there you have it!  I have 81 more guys to go, 70 to get done for 1750.  There are 7 weeks basically until BAO is supposed to happen, but I have to be gone two of those weeks.  I am not sure if I want to push out 14 guys a week.  It isn't impossible but I don't want to rush.

Plus I would like to finish up the last of Anthony's Necrons.  Orks will also be out soon, so maybe I'll do a quick update of a few models and that could be an alternative options for BAO as well.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kublacon & Painting Projects

Another long hiatus on the blog, but I have been busy!  Let's start with some recent news.

So this last holiday weekend was Kublacon which I have been to I think 4 times the last five years.  I've always had a great time at this event even though there have been some wacky surprises a few years.  This was going to be the last 6th edition tournament for me, so I decided to break out the Taudar from the LVO raffle for what is likely their only appearance at a tournament.

Ethereal- warlord
Commander- Vectored Thrusters, Onager Gauntlet, C&C Node, Puretide Chip, MSSS, Iridium
Riptide- SMS, Ion Accelerator, Skyfire/Interceptor
Riptide- SMS, Heavy Burst Cannon, Skyfire/Interceptor
9 Firewarriors
9 Firewarriors
9 Pathfinders
3 MissileSides, 6 Missile Drones, 2 Interceptor, 1 Split Fire
Farseer- Jetbike, Runes of Warding, Singing Spear
3 Jetbikes
3 Jetbikes
Aegis, Quadgun

I wasn't sure I had enough troops but I thought with the BAO missions I'd have a chance.

I played Sisters, GravStar Marines, and Mech Eldar.  The Sisters player has whooped me at least once (possibly twice if I recall) at other events.  The other two players I had seen around event but never played.  They were all great guys and all three games were close well fought games.

I did manage to win all 3 games.  Out of 10 points each round I scored 6 against sister, 9 against the Grav Star, then 6 again against the Mech Eldar.

I few notes from the games:
-I reserved my troops most games as I wanted to keep them alive and most of these lists had some range on them.
-My first two games had LOS blocking terrain which really helped me actually.  In particular my second game it helped me keep my MCs circling out of LOS of the mega GravStar.
-Only the eldar player had a flyer (Crimson Hunter)
-I nova charged a lot and failed probalby over half!

So the games were fun and I did go 3-0.  Of course there were a number of other guys who went 3-0, including Team Zero Comp team mates Reece, Grant, and Jason. The surprise of the day for me was I was given 0 hobby points because I didn't paint my army.  Now I'm all for not getting a painting prize but I was surprised to see a 0.  After all there were a number of players there that played with armies that either were not their own or were pro painted.  Had I got my actual hobby score I would have gone 3rd overall I think.

The only thing I was really worried about was how it would affect the ITC.  However Reece told me they only count the Victory/Battle Points and wins, not the soft scores.  So what anger I had immediately felt dissipated quickly.  It was still a great time and a fun event.

Beyond that I have been working on many projects!  The first and largest this last month is Anthony's Necrons.

He had a lot of warriors already, so I took the best looking of them and gave them a quick update.

The guy on the right was how they were.  I essentially just brightened them up and added some highlights to the green glow.  Since this picture I also decided to change the cabling to orange to help give them a bit more pop.

After getting the first half of the warriors done we decided we would keep the same basing for now, but that green ring had to go.  So I did a couple of tests for Anthony to see.

In the end we went for one of the mid-dark ones.  And I tried to recreate the basing on the one new wraith Anthony had given me.

So I was pretty happy with that.  Anthony had come over and we had spent an afternoon airbrushing and washing all the vehicles.  Now a few weeks later I've done up all the details.

So I think these are looking pretty darn good for trying to get done reasonably quickly.  I'm working on mass Wraith assembly now and hopefully will spend the weekend airbrushing and next week finishing them up as well.  I'd like to get them done so I can move on to my Black Dragon's in earnest.

A small side project I decided to finish up were a few Lizardmen I had mostly done.  Hey Fantasy models on the painting table!

Nothing too fancy and I didn't really add the extra bits to the bases but good enough for now.

I have been doing some work on my Black Dragons as well, but this post is already plenty long.  It will give me something else to post about in a few days!