Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Space Marine WIP

No updates on the guard but I started another small project I've been meaning to get cracking on. This guy has been sitting on my desk for a few months and last night I decided to get some paint on him.

Right now I've only got a base coat of Merchrite Red (and that isn't done yet) so he's still very much a WIP but I'm happy with how he's turning out so far. I've never tried black lining like this before, nor have I ever really spent this much time on a model (I'm approaching almost two hours on him already). I'd like to try some sponge weathering on him too, but that's far into the future.

I'm shooting for this scheme, which my girlfriend found in the marine codex:

this is NOT my work, image from the Lexicanum

I'm a little stumped on how to execute the red armour. Right now my plan is to go from Merchrite Red (which is what I'm putting on now) to Blood Red using lots of really thin layers and then some very thin lines of Blazing Orange on the edges. I'm very interested in hearing what other people suggest though.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Imperial Guard Squad Built

After grinding through my drop pod for Games Day and finishing the Tale of Painters I was participating in I need a break from painting blue. I'm not done with the Fists but I need to move on to something else. I was also really inspired by a lot of the models I saw at Games Day, both in the Golden Demon entries and just around on tables.

With that in mind, I'm going to break from my usual painting jam and just paint what I want (instead of limiting myself to a single army). I feel like my painting has stagnated a bit and I think this is going to be a good way to get myself excited about painting again and help me improve.

So, here's the first thing I'll be painting - an IG squad. These guys will eventually be part of a platoon with another infantry squad and a platoon command squad. They've got a vox caster, plasma gun, and autocannon.

full squad


plasma gun

The plasma gun was made using the great tutorial over at 42 Cadian. His look better but I'm pleased with my first attempt. I'm going to do these guys the same way I did this fellow - quick and without much fuss.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Battle Report - Crimson Fists vs. Space Marines (1000 points)

Spoony and I didn't get to play at Games Day (there weren't any tables to play on) but we decided to do our best to get a game in at our hotel room. We set up a 6' x 4' area on the floor and used mugs, bowls, a tissue box, and a basket as terrain.

Spoony's list:
  • Captain in Terminator armour
  • 10 Tactical Marines with missile launcher, flamer, and power fist
  • 5 Tactical Marines in a Razorback
  • Dread with assault cannon
  • Venerable Dread with multi-melta
  • Land Raider

yellow marines!

My list:
  • Captain with jump pack, power weapon, and digital weapons
  • 10 Tactical Marines with multi-melta, melta gun, power fist, and Rhino
  • 10 Tactical Marines with plasma cannon, plasma gun, power sword, and Rhino
  • 5 Scouts
  • 5 Sternguard with 2x combi meltas and Drop Pod
  • 5 Assault Marines with power fist

blue marines!

We rolled Seize Ground with 5 objectives and the table looked like this (the beer bottles are the objectives):

making do with what we had

We got Spearhead deployment, Spoony won the roll to go first, and passed it to me. I decided to combat squad both tactical squads, putting the sergeant, assault weapon, and Rhino in one half and the heavy weapon in the other. My plan was to occupy the mug forest thing with three combat squads and a Rhino and be able to take them at the end of the game, use my plasma gun squad and Rhino and jump pack marines to contest (or possibly claim) a 4th, and use the Sternguard to destroy the Land Raider. Deployment looked like this:

occupying the mug forest - my deployment

Spoony deployed an armoured front and combat squaded the 10 man tactical squad. The missile launcher stayed back on the far objective, the other 5 with power fist and flamer joined the captain in the Land Raider.

lots of armour - Spoony's deployment

Turn 1 - Simon
The plasma gun Rhino, assault squad, and Captain run down my long table edge towards the basket. The other three squads in the mugs stay hidden mostly, although the plasma cannon manages to shake the Venerable Dread. My Drop Pod comes down behind the Land Raider and melta guns it to death!

combi-meltas FTW!

Turn 1 - Spoony
The tanks and Dreads move forward and fan out. The missile launcher fails to kill my plasma squad's Rhino, a flamer template kills one Sternguard, and the Razorback's heavy bolter kills two plasma cannon marines, who fail their leadership test and fall back a few inches. The Captain and combat squad assault my Sternguard, kill 3, and then over run the squad.

Turn 2 - Simon
My scouts arrive near the mug forest and take up a position to claim the top of the three objectives on that side. The Rhino and jump pack marines continue to fly down the long edge and make it into cover behind the basket. No shooting or assault.

scouts arrive

Turn 2 - Spoony
The Dreads and Razorback continue to inch forward for better shooting lanes. The Venerable Dread and missile launcher squad fail to kill anything, but the assault cannon Dread manages to kill off one assault marine.

the Rhino and assault marines that snuck down the flank

At this point in the game I'm feeling pretty good about my chances. I have three objectives pretty well locked down and am in a good position to contest or claim a 4th. However, in looking at the photos thus far you might notice that the amount of beer in the objectives is dropping - this will very shortly lead to the decision that cost me the win.

Turn 3 - Simon
My assault squad attempts to rush the Rhino and kill it with a power fist but fall short and are stuck in the open. I tried to minimize the coming damage by shooting the Razorback
with the plasma gun from the Rhino hatch but it misses.

out of position - snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Turn 3 - Spoony
Shooting from most of Spoony's army manages to kill a single assault marine. The tactical squad disembarks from the Razorback and assaults my assault squad. Each squad kills two from the other and combat is drawn.

this could have gone so much better

Turn 4 - Simon
I move the Rhino squad in the mugs into position to claim objectives next turn and everyone else stays put. The plasma gun shakes the Razorback and my remaining assault marine gets cut down.

Turn 4 - Spoony
The Razorback moves to contest the middle objective and the remaining members of that tactical squad move closer to it was well. The Venerable Dread stuns
my plasma gun Rhino and the other Dread shakes it.


Turn 5 - Simon
The scouts and tactical squads in the mug forest move to claim the three objectives near me. My plasma gun squad disembarks from the Rhino (the plan is to shoot at the Razorback's back armour) and the Captain jumps towards the three man tactical squad (to hopefully kill them and secure this middle objective). The plasma gun manages to stun the Rhino and the Captain kills one marine before eating a power fist to the face.

epic fail in progress

Turn 5 - Spoony
His tactical squads claim the two objectives on his side. The Venerable dread kills one of my plasma gun marines, then assaults the squad and kills another. The Razorback shoots and kills one marine in the plasma cannon squad, reducing them to two models. The remaining Razorback squad (including the power fist) assaults my two-man plasma cannon squad, killing one and forcing the plasma cannon to run away.

At this point I control two objectives and Spoony controls three (he chased me off the middle one). We roll and go to turn 6.

Turn 6 - Simon
The melta gun Rhino and moves towards the middle objective, as does the plasma gun Rhino. The multi-melta squad misses the Razorback but the marines in assault with the Venerable dread manage to stun it.

Turn 6 - Spoony
The Razorback moves to contest another of my objectives while the power fist squad claims the middle one. The plasma gun Rhino gets blown up by the assault cannon dread.

The beer is gone, my once solid plan is in shambles, and Spoony has three objectives to my one. We roll for turn 7 and get it.

Turn 7 - Simon
The multi-melta squad kill off the two marines who claimed the middle objective while the melta gun squad assault and kill the Razorback.

We each control two objectives at the end of my turn and there is no way for Spoony to alter this - we call the game a draw.

What did I learn?
  • I need to learn to judge distances better - had I not made that charge attempt I would have been in much better shape to stop the Razorback and kill the squad inside. As it was, I lost the initiative there and Spoony stole a draw (and almost the win).
  • I made a good plan that played to the mission objectives and mostly stuck to it. My squads in the mugs controled the objectives on my side and the Rhino and assault marines threatened the 4th objective - had I not blown it with the assault marines I would have won.
  • I might need some more firepower. The plasma cannon is the only gun in my list with a range over 24 inches. Aside from blowing up the Land Raider in the first turn my guns were quiet for most of the game.
  • Sterguard are pretty awesome. That 170 point squad blew up 250 points of Land Raider, caused Spoony to spend time killing it next turn, and hamstrung his mobility.
This draw puts my record with the Crimson Fists at 0 - 3- 1.

Games Day Baltimore - Recap and Photos

Games Day was a blast. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I wanted to and since this was my first one I didn't manage my time very well but overall it was a great way to spend a day.

The first thing we did, after deciding that the Forge World line was already a lost cause, was play in a demo game of Battlefleet Gothic. It was a good time (even though Spoony beat me) and while the demo mechanics and models were fun, I don't think this is something I'm going to be able to get into.

Spoony's green Imperials starting to gun down my red Orks

After the demo we walked around for a while looking at the club tables and again decided to pass on the Forge World line. We signed up for one of the speed demon painting competitions and were given Gaunts to paint. I've never painted a Tyranid model before so that was a challenge on top of the 45 minute limitation. I did a base and wash on the skin parts and several layers of red to orange highlights on the carpace. I thought it turned out pretty well for a 45 minute effort but the winner and runner up were pretty phenomenal. Both entries managed to blend the highlights on their carpaces and produce really great looking models.

my Speed Demon entry

After rejecting the Forge World line for a third time Spoony and I took a walk through the Golden Demon entries. There were some really incredible paint jobs on display here and I was so impressed that I forgot to take any pictures. I think that next year I'm going to enter a model or two to see how I stack up.

I was a little dissapointed to see that there was only one new model on display, the White Scars character Kor'sarro Khan.

Kor'sarro Khan and Vulcan He'stan

Ironclad Dread

plastic Greatswords and some archers

more plastic Greatswords, plastic Steam Tank, and an Elector Count(?)

Spoony and I also got in a demo game of Lord of the Rings. We played through the Balin's Tomb scenario - I won because I apparently had 1000 points of the Fellowship and he had around 200 points of goblins. This was also a really good time and after browsing through some of the models in the store I'm giving some thought to starting a small LotR army.

We kind of ran out of things to do at this point. In hindsight we should have planned our day better but we didn't really know what the day was going to be like. There was a 500 point 40k tournament going on that would have been fun to get in and I missed out on picking up some Forge World stuff because I didn't get in line right away. Oh well, things to know for next year.

The only disappointment was that there wasn't anywhere that Spoony and I could play a game. We brought our armies to the show because I had been told there would be tables for us to play and it ended up that there weren't. We ended up playing a game that night on our hotel room floor - hopefully the photos came out and I'll get a battle report up soon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Drop Pod!

This was quite an adventure but I've finally finished (sort of, there will be some more work done later) the drop pod! I followed the BoLS tutorial on drop pod assembly but I'd like to offer some of my own advice from the experience - I'll highlight some major sticking points in bold.

I built the major pieces of this model (harness system, doors, engine) and painted everything separately. This was a huge pain and I didn't enjoy it at all but I can't think of a better method to paint it. This alone may deter me from doing another one of these.

all of the painted pieces

In the above picture you can see that the harness structure has been glued to the base already - this is the first step in the assembly process. Do your best to push the little tabs on the bottom of the harnesses fully into the slots on the base. I ran into some problems with the structure being about a millimeter too high later on when I tried to attach the fins.

The next step is to glue the previous piece to the bottom piece with the doors in the correct slots between them (don't glue the doors!).

Two things to note here:
  1. Shave off the mold lines on the bottom of the doors. This is mentioned in the BoLS article but I want to stress it again. See the red arrows for their locations.
  2. When gluing the top and bottom pieces together, make sure to use glue sparingly. If you use too much the glue can leak onto the hinges and your doors could get glued in place. See the green arrows.
This is the end of the easy parts. From now on you should be dry fitting pieces at least twice before gluing anything. Grab a fin and dry fit the engine block to the top. Take this piece and put the fin on the base, making sure that the hose fits into the appropriate slot on the fin. Grab a second fin and put it into one of the two adjacent spots. Remember, we haven't glued anything yet. Make sure you can raise and lower the door that is between the two fins. If everything seems to be good, take it apart, and try it again - once you've put some glue down you won't have much time to adjust or move pieces around so it's worth making sure you know how everything fits together.

three fins are done here but you get the idea

If you're confident, glue the engine block to a fin, the fin to the base, and the second fin to the block and base. Use the three doors that surround these fins to help stabilize them while the glue dries.

Attach the last few fins to the base and engine block and you're done!

Once I get back from Games Day I'd like to try adding hazard stripes to the inside of the doors and do a little weathering to the outside of the pod.

Next stop - Games Day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Models on a Plane - How Does it Work?

On Friday I will be boarding a plane to head down to Baltimore for Games Day. Currently I'm planning to take my Sabol Army Transport as my carry on but as it gets closer to Friday I'm starting to have doubts.

I'm sure there are plenty of folks out in the blogosphere who have traveled with their armies on planes to tournaments and whatnot and I'd like to hear about your experiences. Have you had really good experiences, really bad ones? Are there any tips or tricks to flying with minis? Is there anything I should know?

I'd really appreciate any kind of advice that anyone has to share.

Thanks in advance!

Friday, May 1, 2009

April Summary and Drop Pod Progress

My flight to Baltimore leaves in seven days and until two nights ago I hadn't made any progress on my drop pod. Since I'm dead set on using it against Spoony when we play, and it isn't a model that I can assemble and paint later, I've started to work on it.

It isn't much to look at right now but I think this is the most complex piece. Most of the other stuff (bottom, doors, and fins) is made of large, flat pieces that shouldn't be too hard to paint quickly. I'd like to have the floor done this weekend and then get cracking on the doors and fins next week.

New Model Fund
April began with $50.88 and I quickly used it to buy my new drop pod and some Sternguard for $51.98. This puts my fund at -$1.10 + $50.00 = $48.90 for May. Games Day preparations necessitated me buying an army transport for $62.99 so I'm already clean through money for this month. However, I'll probably end up buying some Forge World goodies at Games Day because, well, they're just awesome models. My short wishlist includes the Cadian Upgrade pack and an Executioner turret.

image from Forge World

Painting for Points
This was a very slow month for me - the only model I've painted was my Guard test figure. One point added to my yearly total brings me to 42 points in 2009.