Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Summary

Painting for Points
I had a strong finish to last year and was able to carry that momentum into 2010. This month I finally finished the last three Sternguard I had on my table and they're now happily on the shelf with their two squad-mates. I also painted up The Butcher over a few days last week when I was home sick. That's a start of 4 points for 2010.

I've also joined up for my third go around in the Tale of Painters on Librarium Online. The first time I did 2000 points of Wood Elves over a year, the second time I did 1000 points of Crimson Fists and 500 points of (Mk I) Khador in six months, and now I'm planning 38 points of (Mk II) Khador over six months. I can start painting on February 14th and the first deadline is March 14.

New Model Fund
I wasn't very good at sticking to my budget this month. Warmachine MkII officially came out this month and there was a lot of stuff released. I bought the new rulebook, the Khador faction deck, and No Quarter 28 as part of the release. I also bought some black spray primer and the Great Bears for my Butcher list. In all I spent $104.71 which puts me at -$51.92. Adding in the $50 for February, I'm sitting at -$1.92.

Unfortunately, I know for sure I'll at least be buying the Cygnar army book when it comes out next week and possibly some Cygnar models for an army I'm thinking about.

Finally, since I don't like updating without a photo, here's a WIP shot of what I'm working on right now:

An hour or so to finish the red tonight and I think he's off to a good start.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tutorial - Painting Red

Between my Wood Elves, Crimson Fists, and Khador armies I've painted a lot of red. I've tried many different techniques for painting it but recently I've settled on one that gives good results pretty quickly.

You can click on all of the images to get larger views.

Paints Used

From left to right: GW Thraka Green Wash, GW Blazing Orange, GW Blood Red, GW Merchrite Red Foundation.

Any green wash, two reds, and an orange should be good for this tutorial but those are the ones I've used.

Step 1
Base with Merchrite Red. I chose this color because it's a Foundation paint and it covers black very well. Use multiple, thin layers to get a smooth coat and leave black in any of the recesses that you find.

Step 1 - Merchrite Red

Step 2
Wash with Thraka Green. I usually do two light layers of the wash instead of one heavy layer because it gives me more control. The first layer goes over everything from Step 1 while the second layer is more focused on areas I think would be in shadow. Be sure to let the fist layer dry completely before doing the second layer - walk away, make a cup of coffee, and come back in 20 minutes.

Step 2 - Thraka Green

Step 3
Highlight with Merchrite Red. When doing this step it is important not to cover all of the shading you just did in Step 2. You might aim to cover 80% of the red in this step, leaving that last 20% shaded. Look to leave shading in creases, where two things meet, and on the undersides / bottoms of things.

Step 3 - Merchrite Red

Step 4
Highlight with a mix of Merchrite Red and Blood Red. This mix should be a color halfway between Merchrite Red and Blood Red. Because Merchrite is a Foundation paint a good starting ratio is 1:2 Merchrite to Blood. Be a little less generous with this highlight than you were with the one in Step 3 and still watch out not to paint in the shaded areas.

Step 4 - 1:2 Merchrite Red and Blood Red mix

Step 5
Blood Red edge highlight. Take your time and paint thin lines of Blood Red on all of the hard edges on the model. I like to do this on every hard edge, even the ones that wouldn't actually be hit by the light, because I like the effect. If you don't like the way it looks, just paint the edges that would be naturally hit by light. Take your time here and put less paint on your brush than you think you'll need. If you have too much paint in your brush it is a lot easier to put too much down and ruin your thin lines.

Step 5 - Blood Red

Step 6
Edge highlight with a mix of Blood Red and Blazing Orange. Look to have your mix be in the middle of Blood Red and Blazing Orange, probably close to a 1:1 mix. Be sparing with this step and only use it on prominent edges and places that you want to stand out. Here, I used it on his shoulder pads and hands. Just like in Step 5, take your time and be stingy with the paint in your brush.

Step 6 - Blood Red and Blazing Orange mix

Done! I've included a shot that has the darkest stage, Step 2, side by side with the brightest stage, Step 6, so the difference is more obvious.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Butcher of Khardov

I've been fighting a cold for the past few days, which means I've had a lot of time to paint. Here's what I've been working on:

I'm very happy with this guy - he was fun to paint and had enough details to keep me interested without being overwhelming.

While I was painting the red I took a lot of photos so look for a tutorial on how I did it soon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Hobbying

I wasn't able to get in any games this weekend so I sat down and cleaned, assembled, and partially based some of the new Khador models I have.

There is my second Kodiak and a Spriggan on the left, the Great Bears in the back, The Butcher in the front, and Orin Midwinter hiding to the right of The Butcher.

I've come to appreciate the weight of metal models after spending most of my gaming career using GW plastics, but I really can't stand scraping the mold lines!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts on The Butcher of Khardov

Before I started playing with Sorscha I did an overview of her to help me organize my thoughts on her abilities and figure out how I might want to run her. Next weekend I'm planning to start running lists with The Butcher so I'm going to do the same thing with him.

The Butcher - image from Privateer Press

The Butcher is slow and pretty easy to hit for a 'caster. He has very high STR and MAT stats so he hits like a ton of bricks, and his ARM 18 means that he can take a punch. His CMD is a low 7 so he's not the best leader of troops and he has an average FOC stat of 6.

Friendly faction models gain an additional die on attack damage rolls this turn - awesome. This feat doesn't discriminate between ranged or melee attack rolls, doesn't prevent 'jacks from boosting those same attack rolls, and stacks with charge attack rolls. A model with Weapon Master, on the charge, combined with this feat, will be rolling 5 damage dice. Obviously, when using this feat the goal is to maximize the number of models in The Butcher's control range to to get the biggest effect.

Terror - enemy models need to pass a command check when The Butcher is in their melee range. This might be useful against a low leadership unit but The Butcher can probably kill enough models to force the command check anyway.

The Butcher has a POW 12 gun, but if he's in range to shoot he's in range to charge. I know what I'd rather do.

The star of the show is Lola, The Butcher's giant axe. It's Magical, has Reach, Weapon Master, and hits at POW + STR 16; My Kodiak doesn't hit this hard. Anything that gets within 10 inches of Lola is probably dead.

The Butcher - image from Privateer Press

The Butcher's spell list is small at four but it has something for everyone.

A two focus upkeep spell that grants a model / unit +3 STR and -1 DEF. This combines well with his feat do really put the hurt on something. The -1 DEF is annoying but Khador stuff in general is easy to hit, so it isn't a huge deal.

Iron Flesh
Another two focus upkeep spell that will give a warrior model / unit +3 DEF and -1 SPD. In an already slow army the -1 SPD can be a big deal but if you can get this on a unit that doesn't move much (Widowmakers come immediately to mind) or has already moved that turn, the +3 DEF can be a life saver.

Full Throttle
This is the spell I'm most interested in because it allows The Butcher to run 'jack heavy. For three focus all 'jacks starting in The Butcher's control area can run, charge, trample, and slam for free. Also, 'jacks in his control area get free boosted attack rolls. On feat turn, The Butcher's 'jacks can charge for free and have boosted attack and damage rolls - that's a ton of free focus! Throw Fury on one of those 'jacks or dish out some focus for them to buy more attacks and you're looking one a very deadly charge turn.

This spell is expensive at four focus, but it throws out a 4" AOE at POW 15 with a 10" range. I don't see myself using this spell much, but I'm sure a situation will arise where an AOE this powerful would be useful.

The Butcher is a melee monster, so that's where I'm going to try to get him. His spell list is small but versatile, with great support for troops and 'jacks and a workable AOE spell. He is slow and easy to hit, and his medium sized base means he's hard to hide so keeping him safe will be tough.

Here's the 35 point list I'm thinking of running with him:

Great Bears
Kell Bailoch
Orin Midwinter

The three 'jacks and The Butcher are going to be a big armoured threat right down the middle. The Great Bears will either anchor a flank or ride behind the 'jacks. The Widowmakers, Kell, the Manhunter, and Orin are all good options for holding flanks, harassing my opponent's solos and units, being distractions, and causing general mayhem.

The list itself is pretty straightforward to use and should be fun to play.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January Challenge - Done!

These three guys certainly took longer than I thought they would but they're done now and I'm pretty happy with them. There's a much bigger view if you click on them.

I'm really pleased with a few things on them, namely the red and blue. More than a year of experimenting with these two colors has netted me two very good recipes that I can duplicate easily and produce great results.

I don't know what will be next on the table for my Crimson Fists, but I do know that I'll be getting a start on The Butcher of Khardov in the next few days.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Challenge For (What's Left of) January - Sternguard WIP IV

I was not prepared for the amount of stuff that popped up last week, but I finally got to sit down today for a few hours and do some painting on the Sternguard.

Just a few details, touch ups, and the bases left to do.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Greylord Escort

I know I'm supposed to be working on my Sternguard but I haven't been able to touch a paintbrush since Tuesday. While I try to find time to paint I thought I'd talk about one of the new Khador models coming out soon, the Greylord Escort Unit Attachment for Doom Reavers.

image from Privateer Press

"Only the most courageous of Greylords are chosen to accompany the barbarous Doom Reavers into battle. These escorts are invariably experts in the field of Orgoth studies as well as formidable arcanists. Moving amidst the Doom Reavers like a handler of vicious beasts, the Greylord carries a staff of Orgoth origin. His will is exerted through this dark artifact, restraining the Doomreavers from murdering one another when they rip into the enemy. He channels that rage to provide a necromantic imperviousness to the effects of injuries. Gaping wounds close of their own accord as the Orgoth weapons chatter obscenely amongst themselves."

Speculation on the PP forums based on the above text has a lot of people thinking this guy will give the Doom Reavers Silence (so they don't kill each other) and Tough (making them last longer). Since he's a Greylord he'll probably also have some spells to cast, although the text doesn't give much indication as to what they might be.

Assuming these speculations are correct, what does this mean? Being able to give the Doom Reavers Silence without taking an expensive Fenris model would be pretty great. Fenris is a powerful model but he's a 5 point investment, compared to the 2 or 3 points this UA will be.

I'm a little more mixed on Tough. A model that passes its Tough check survives but is knocked down, which means next turn it has to stand up and waste its movement or action. Doom Reavers aren't very durable and can't afford to be slowed down waiting for their friends to get up.

Spells would be interesting as well, except that a model can't cast spells and run in the same turn. Doom Reavers are always running until they can charge, so unless there is some special rule allowing this Greylord to run and cast spells he probably won't be using much magic.

Again though, this is all speculative until PP releases the cards or we get a preview. Here's the model:

image from Privateer Press

The staff is pretty cool looking, and I'm glad they toned down the size of the cape after the Koldun Lord. The pose is pretty bland and the face looks a little weird, but maybe it will look better with paint.

Of all the Khador models previewed thus far I think that this guy is probably the one I'm probably most excited about, and is making my decision over what my next infantry unit will be easier.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Challenge For (What's Left of) January - Sternguard WIP III

I'm enjoying painting these guys but I keep glancing over at the pile of Warmachine models I have and finding ways to distract myself from finishing. After the success of my Challenge For (What's Left of) July, in which I finished off a unit of Greatswords, I'm going to designate these three Sternguard as my Challenge for (What's Left of) January.

Finishing three half done models in two weeks isn't much of a challenge really, but I work well towards goals and I'd these fellows done and on the display shelf.

Here they are after tonight, with blue and red done.

Anyone else need a little motivation? Feel free to join in!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Holiday Models

Christmas was good to me this year in terms of models.

Before the holidays I emptied out my coin jar and found almost $150 in coins. I decided to treat myself to some Christmas presents, and turned some of those coins into pButcher, pIrusk, Zerkova, a Drakhun, a second Kodiak, a Spriggan, and Orin Midwinter. All very nice looking models and I'm excited to paint them.

Spoony bought me Jeremiah Kraye for Christmas. Kraye is one of my favorite models, although I don't know if Spoony knew this when he bought him. Once I get through some of my new Khador stuff I'm going to spend a good chunk of time doing him up very well. Thanks Spoon! You can expect something cool for your Cygnar army once Kraye is done.

Captain Jeremiah Kraye - image from Privateer Press

I also bought myself the Great Bears, because they're awesome. The models are HUGE for small bases and look intimidating, although their axes are oddly small.

Sorscha, Great Bear, Sternguard

It should be a very red winter!

Also, here's a quick update on the Sternguard I'm working on.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holiday Gaming

Even though there was tons of snow in Boston over the holidays I still managed to do a fair amount of gaming with Spoony, who was visiting for a few weeks.

He had recently bought Space Hulk and we took turns playing the first mission. I lost pretty quickly playing the marines first and then lost again playing the Tyranids. I did manage to win on my second attempt with the marines using Spoony's own strategy against him, although it was a very close run affair.

We wanted to play through the whole game but family, snow, and time conspired against us and it didn't work out. The game overall was a lot of fun. It has a palpable level of stress for the marine player with the timer and seeing the blips everywhere. Hopefully we'll get a chance to play again.

While I was visiting my family for a few days in New Jersey Spoony got bored and found himself buying some Warmachine models after listening to me go on about the game. When I got back he really wanted to play, so over two days we squeezed in five games.

Spoony was playing a Cygnar army made up of Siege, the Thunderhead, and a Defender.

I was playing with pSorscha, a Kodiak, a Destroyer, and Widowmakers. I didn't want to take the Widowmakers but because the Thunderhead costs so much I had to come up with 4 points somewhere.

He beat me in our first game. Siege feated and the Thunderhead did 18 damage to Sorscha with a Lightning Coil shot. I thought I was safe because Sorscha was sitting on DEF 18 but Spoony rolled a 12 on three dice and that was that.

The next three games all went my way. Each time I managed to get Sorscha into range for a Wind Rush + feat + charge that left Siege dead. The games were all quite different up to that point but the end was the same. In one, the Thunderhead totaled my Kodiak on Siege's feat turn by doing 18 damage in one hit. In another, the defender took out my Destroyer's cortex with three hits of its hammer in melee.

In our last game I pulled the same stunt on Siege but rolled poorly and left him with two health boxes. He and the Thuderhead squished Sorscha next turn.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Updated Khador Army

Just before the New Year I finished painting my Khador army. My plan for this weekend was to get some games in with it but it's been snowing for two days straight here in Boston so that didn't happen. I took advantage of my indoor time to get some updated photos of the whole thing.

My favorites, the 'jacks. From left to right is a Juggernaut, Kodiak, and Destroyer. The Juggernaut doesn't see play time in the army but I felt bad excluding him.

Widowmakers (the bang bang).

Greylords (the pew pew).

Man-O-War Demo Corps (the muscle). The two in the front row on the left and right are the newest additions to the army.

A Koldun Lord, Manhunter, and Kell (a little extra pew pew, muscle, and bang bang, respectively).

And finally, the big boss lady herself, Sorscha. She still holds up as one of the better models I've painted and she looks great on the table.

I've got a ton of Khador models coming to me in the mail but before I get to them I've promised myself that I'd finish the three Sternguard on my desk. Look for them soon.

Friday, January 1, 2010

December and 2009 Summary

New Model Fund
December started with only $13.44 and I wanted to try to limit my spending. I was pretty successful, only buying $7.86 worth of paint. I'm going to start off 2010 with $52.79 in the fund.

This was a pretty successful method of curtailing my spending. I've made some headway through the piles of unpainted models on my shelf because I wasn't buying nearly as much, and I seriously cut down on my spending without cutting out any of my fun.

Painting For Points
I had a productive December, painting Kell Bailoch, a Manhunter, and 2 Man-O-War Demo Corps. I finished the year out with 78 points of painted models - not bad! I painted 43 models for Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasty, and Warmachine over at least 7 different armies.

So, what are my plans for 2010?

I'd like to keep playing Warmachine and try to enter a few more tournaments (and maybe even place in one).

I'd like to continue to improve my painting.

I'd like to continue the success of Painting for Points and the New Model Fund. I'm thinking another 75+ points and the same budget would be perfect.

I'd like to start getting rid of some of the models I'll never paint. I'm looking at getting rid of my Tau, and the Imperial Guard in particular, but I have some miscellaneous boxes and blisters that should probably go as well.

I'd like to start another Warmachine or Hordes army, although I don't know which one or when I'd do this.

Thanks to everyone who's commented this year or follows this blog - it's been a good year.