Thursday, April 17, 2014

Legion Project - Sons of Horus Test Model

A Space Marine from the Sons of Horus Legion
Another small post with a bit more work on my Warhammer "30K" Legion Project - a test model for the Sons of Horus. This is a plain tactical marine, wearing Mark IV power armour and carrying a "Tigrus Pattern" bolter.

I am in love with the embossed shoulder pads...soooo much better than decals

While working on my World Eaters forces, I couldn't wait to work up a test paint job for the Sons of Horus.  As Horus' own legion, they are in many ways the ultimate "bad guys" in the Horus Heresy story and will fill the same role on the table top.

I found the colour of their armour to be a bit of a challenge - some sources speak of a rather plain forest-green, the paint jobs done in the Forge World studio and the pictures in the amazing Horus Heresy rulebooks show a near-seafoam green colour, almost a shade one would expect to see on a bridesmaid dress or something. I like the seafoam-ish green better, particularly mixed with gold highlights.

I practised with some different combinations of the GW colours when painting up the Knight Titan "El Booze", and then applied them to this figure. I thought the greens turned out well, but weathering a darker armour colour is a bit more challenging, so I still have to figure that out a bit. Once again the excellent GW washes - in this case, Nuln Oil and Biel-Tan Green - really came in handy.

One down...many, many more still to go...

I still have at least another 25 World Eater marines to finish painting, so this Son of Horus will be lonely for a while yet, but it will serve as inspiration to stay focused and keep painting on this project.  We have a long weekend ahead, and the NHL playoffs are on - can't wait to settle in for some hockey and some painting.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Legion Project - World Eaters Officer

A loyal servant of the emperor...for now...
 It's taking forever, but I am continuing to make some small progress on my Legion Project (aka "Legional Lunacy").  Here is a Legion officer and a couple more plain old tactical Marines.

At least he didn't forget his helmet at the office

Space Marine Legions are really huge forces - many, many times larger than a Space Marine Chapter of 40k.  This command figure is a "Centurion", although the titles used would vary throughout the different formations depending on their tradition etc.  He is essentially the same as a Captain in game terms, and will represent the overall commander for my World Eaters. He is wearing Mark IV power armour and carrying some manner of big frigging sword.  Some sort of spooky pistol is likely concealed under the cloak.

Who wears a cloak to a shooting war? But I still love it...

As with all of these Legion models from Forge World, the officer is a really, really nice casting. I have a pet peeve with Marine models not wearing their helmets. The Emperor spent a lot of money giving you fancy armour! You're in an intergalactic war zone! Wear your helmet! And who wears a cloak to a battle anyway?
But in this case, I think the sculptor did a great job, and I'm glad to see he is at least carrying his helmet.

The Forge World guys did a great job on this sculpt

I quite like the all-confident, almost overconfident air this figure exudes..."I'm a Space Marine Legion commander, and I have a big scary sword - what, me worry?" He will probably end up taking a direct hit from a battle cannon during one of our games...

"I have a sword - out of my way!"

This officer will be joined by a small command group, including a standard bearer that comes in the set with this officer - they are still in the painting queue, so stay tuned for more on those guys.

12th Legion grunts in Mark IV armour

I have also finished another pair of plain tactical Marines, as I slowly work towards getting the second 10-man tactical squad completed.

The embossed shoulder pads are pricey, but worth it...

So far I have only painted about 18 models out of a force of about 40 models...slow going.  But a long weekend is coming up, and it will still be f*cking snowing here as we continue with the winter-to-end-all-winters (incidentally, f*ck winter in the face with a hammer wrapped in barbed wire).  I won't be outside doing any yard work, so I'm hoping I can jump ahead with some painting progress.

You can see a bit of the weathering powder on the feet & armour joints
Byron's Death Guard are looking awesome, and Dallas has put together some amazing terrain.  Curt and Steve B have also caught the heresy bug - good to see the heresy spreading! I'm hoping we can play our first game before the end of May...we'll see - painting this white armour takes forever...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Terrain Project and GW Roughcoat

In these strange days of multi-hundred dollar plastic building kits, I always find it refreshing (and economical) to make something out of found objects. In this case, some very nice packing material from the LED TV set I bought my wife for Christmas this year.

One of the daunting things about these large terrain projects is how to paint them. Every hobbyist learns early in their career that regular spray pain dissolves foam, but brush painting these huge pieces is time consuming and takes a ton of paint.

In the past I've used "stone-effect" water-based spray paint to reasonable effect, but when I was in the GW store a couple weeks ago I spotted a can of something called "Roughcoat" in the paint lockup. When I asked Redshirt Mark about it he explained that it was textured spray paint and was supposedly safe for foam. After some Internet investigation ("trust... but verify") I decided to use it for this project.

It worked reasonably well. While the texturing effect was pretty minimal (I'd hoped for a rougher concrete effect) the spray didn't melt the foam, and was easy to use. I count that as a win, but at $20 a can, next time I'll hit Canadian Tire and pick up some stone effect stuff.

I drybrushed the piece with lighter grey using a large brush, and detailed the rather flat walls with some florist's wire sprayed black, painted GW Leadbelcher (dull silver) and treated with Rust Effects, which was also used on the walls. The roll-up door was made from corrugated plasticard with a spare handle from a Forgeworld kit. The large numeral "4" was freehanded and the small one is a decal from the decal folder.

More plasticard was used as floor sections in the upper levels.

Ladders conveniently came from Conscript Byron's shipping container kits.

Here's the other side of the piece, with a 28mm Citadel Spacefarer for scale.

Rhino shows the scale of the piece.

But wait, there's more! The other end of the TV had its own foam piece too. Identical to the first one, but with shallower indents on top. Again, perfect for 28mm figures.

More plasticard flooring and GW comms array. It's not glued down but is there merely for effect.

Both pieces pushed together cover about 4 feet - impressive eh? And just the thing for a massive game on an 8x5 table.

Imperial Bastion to show the scale.

...or an Imperial Knight?

Welcome to Planet Intermodal (28mm Shipping Containers Review)

Conscript Byron is a man of many talents. Ace gamer, talented painter, computer gamer extraordinaire, Ducatista... and as it turns out, a dab hand with a laser cutter as well!

Byron's new business enterprise located at (fairly rolls off the tongue doesn't it??) produces all kinds of fun and funky laser-cut MDF terrain and accessories, as well as acrylic markers for all sorts of games.

As we all know, shipping containers are the kind of thing you can never have enough of. The AT-43 ones are great but now that the game is out of print, they're practically worth their weight in Forgeworld resin. You can get fold-up paper ones but who wants to use paper stuff on their table?

Enter Byron with the solution... laser-cut MDF shipping container kits. I bought some and they're great!

They assemble quickly and easily with just white glue - model clamps can be handy too but not necessary. Each container comes with an optional ladder piece as shown.

As you can see they look much cooler than paper and they're easy on the wallet as well. I undercoated mine with Krylon flat black spray and painted with GW Base paints (Khorne Red and Castellan Green). The branding was obtained via a most-excellent website called Brands of the World that has vectored logos for most world brands (and many fictional ones too, as you can see). I printed out the logos at an appropriate size on my colour printer, cut them out, and applied them with white glue.

The ends of the containers are nicely detailed with simulated doors. The containers are a perfect size for sneaking around too :-)

Great product Byron, and best wishes for your burgeoning business! Check Byron's laser-cut madness out at SG2 Creations.

Legion Project - Death Guard

As you all know by now, Greg got sucked into what he calls Legional Lunacy and is creating a Warhammer 30k army. As he mentioned in his post, insanity likes company, and so raving like a lunatic, I followed his decent into madness and placed a small order for some Forge World 30k marines. 

I say small, but really any Forge World order adds up way to fast, and sucks your wallet dry, so be warned!

My Death Guard force, minus the one painted squad shown below

All the warnings aside, the Warhammer 30,000 universe is amazing rich is history and feel.  Maybe even more importantly the Forge World models are AMAZING!!!!  You pay for that of course, but they are really really nice.  What is even scarier though, is that as expensive as they are, when you figure out the cost of GW plastic figure, the Forge World ones are really not that much more. Which is really scary for the detail difference.

A good example can be taken from the GW Chaos Terminators which are $60 while the resin 30k ones from Forge World come in at around $70 by the time you get them here.  I point this out only because at one point in time Forge World was so expensive compared to regular GW product.  It looks like GW figured that out and closed the gap, thinking if people would pay that much for Forge World they would pay it for GW plastic.  Now that they are so close, it's almost not worth buying the plastic.  Mind you both are priced about double what they should be, but that's a whole other story.

OK, back to the actual Legion Project....

Death Guard Tatical Squad

Since I have a Nurgle Chaos Space Marine army for Warhammer 40k, and really like how they play (even if they are not that competitive given the crazy meta of the tournament scene) I figured I would stick with their original pre-heresy chapter, the Death Guard.

The Death Guard are a staunch force that marches into battle in a direct and unforgiving way.  They ignore losses and march straight ahead having faith in their toughness and determination.  In the Horus Heresy books there is one Captain that loses a leg yet still tries to go ahead in the fight.  Now that's tough. 

I chose to go with a bone type colour with green should pads and
bronze trim, but other than that, they are very plain.

The Death Guard also do not believe in ornamentation and kept their armour almost entirely plain ceramite.  There are several different paint schemes out there for them that describe and show this.  They range from essentially white to grey to bone colour.  Some have only green trim around the shoulder pads, some have steel, some have brass.  Some show the shoulder pads white, some green. 

Besides the fact the Death Guard are not ornate, I also wanted to show the grittiness of the Horus period.  This is in fact shown for almost all of the Horus era stuff from Forge World in all of their paint schemes, which is awesome.  This was a period of war.  Marines went into battle and were stuck there for weeks at a time, the armour was not shiny and new, it was gouged, scratched, chipped, rusted, and worse.  This is completely counter to the normal shiny and new GW look of Space Marines in the 40k universe.
Lots of dust, rust, chipping, and scratching on the armour

That's all I have done so far, is a single 10 man Tactical squad, but I have more in the works as shown above.  I have a squad of Terminators, Typhus, some command figures, a second 10 man Tactical squad, and two 5 man Tactical support squads one with 4 plasma guns and the other with 4 melta guns.

As for Greg's comment and madness liking company, I fully support this idea and would like to help my infecting other members of the group with this lunacy.  If it helps, we fully plan on NOT using the currently very broken 40k rule set, and instead using the excellent Chain of Command rule set.  So, jump on in everyone, that water is fine!

In fact, I already have one convert.... my friend Steve Brown has joined in and has placed a small order for some leaders and a breacher squad.  He has also already completed one test model using some older looking plastic pieces, just to see how his colours work.  I am damn impressed!

So.... who else is going to jump in?

The Lingering Winter - 15mm Winter WW2 Infantry

15mm late WW2 German winter troops
While continuing to work on my Legion project (it is taking forever, I know - you would think I am growing them from the gene seeds - more on this in later posts) I came across a small pile of primed individually-based WW2 figures.  They were winter troops, part of a 15mm winter WW2 effort I started late last year.  Since the soul-crushing winter from hell of 2013-14 refuses to let go (we had 10cm of f*cking snow on the weekend), I thought it would be appropriate to knock them off quickly in a little break from painting Space Marines.

From left, an STG 44, rifle, panzerfaust, and rifle

These figures are not a coherent force in themselves - just odds and ends I wanted to round out a late war winter German platoon, with a couple of surplus Russians done for good measure.

I split the MG team up - I found the three-man base too large, and the rifle/spotter on the right is easily removed as a casualty
The German figures are from Battlefront, wearing a variety of winter garb. There are 10 figures all together - three riflemen, one rifleman carrying a panzerfaust, and one soldier carrying an STG 44. Two more guys are based as NCOs (square bases) carrying SMGs.  Another one is based as a senior officer (hex base) carrying an STG 44.  Last but not least there is a two-man team with an MG 42 mounted on a tripod.

Senior officer on the hex base, NCOs on the square base

Dallas and Curt are always very helpful with my endless questions about German WW2 uniforms (and just uniforms in general :) and I had seen among the references they have provided me a kind of reversible jacket and pants combo that had winter white on one side and more general grey-green or camo patterns on the other.  I tried to mimic this on one of the NCOs and one of the grenadiers.

Fellow on the left made the mistake of believing in "spring" - there is no such thing

My theory is the guys wearing the non-winter sides had been duped by a forecasts of melting snow - something I can relate to.

Battlefront castings

I really enjoy these particular Battlefront castings.  As I noted with the earlier batch, they seem to have a hopeless feeling etched into their faces - knowing they are about to face another offensive in the winter - that would feel pretty hopeless. Nice to see that on these castings.

Three lonely Russians defend the Motherland!
The three Russian figures are leftovers to enhance a winter Russian platoon I had already painted.  There is another senior officer (on the hex base) and two regular soldiers carrying SMGs.  These are Peter Pig castings, and every time I come back to a Peter Pig casting I am very impressed by the incredible quality.  They remain the number one 15mm figure maker in my books!

Peter Pig - still the best for 15mm infantry

I still have a few other primed but unpainted bits for this collection sitting nearby on the pending pile, but I'm not about to dive back into mass 15mm WW2 painting any time soon. This was a fun little diversion, a clearing of the baffles on the painting table - and also to keep in practice, so I don't forget my various paint combos for the winter. I want to keep plowing ahead with my Legion Project as I am looking forward to some Horus Heresy games soon - maybe by the end of the month, if I'm lucky! Stay tuned for details...

Byron's Mad Plan - Final Update

A while back I published a listing of my Mad Plan, and then my Mad Plan - Update 1 for the Curt's 4th Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Well, since the challenge is now over, I felt I should give one final update on how it all went before moving onto other things.

 Before going into specific pieces, here is an image of everything that I got painted for the Challenge.

That's a whole lot of figures! I think it is probably more than I have ever done in 3 months before!

Total count was:
  • 171 28mm figures
  • 2 28mm tanks
  • 1 28mm demon prince
  • 9 tiny ships
  • 80 15mm infantry
  • 21 15mm vehicles and guns

 The first goal I had was to get 8 infantry sections of Canadians and 3 infantry sections of Germans and 2 HMG's done for my WW1 force for Through the Mud and the Blood.  We'll on a pure number basis, that didn't happen, but I had mixed thoughts on if I would get them done entirely anyway as gamer ADHD sets in to quickly to stay on target for that many figures.

I did however get 6 Canadian Sections done, 3 German sections, and 1 HMG.

Even though I fell short by 2 Canadian infantry sections and a German HMG, I count the goal complete as I managed to get a game in with them, so it was all good. More pictures of the game can be found here: WW1 Take the Farm.

My second goal was to get at least one unit of 28mm French Napolionic figures done, so that I can actually contribute (in a VERY small way) to Napolionic games that Curt brings our way.

I left these way to late in the challenge and had a hard time with them, not knowing the period in detail enough to get specifics correct without bugging Curt and Greg a lot. I did however get them done, just in the nic of time, a complete unit of 30 infantry with a mounted commander.

While not perfect, and I see flaws on individual models, as a whole group they look pretty damn impressive! Even if I do say so myself.  Greg and Curt have been supportive of this saying in this kind of game with mass infantry it is about the overall impression not having each individual absolutely perfect.  Coming from 40k I have issues with that, or maybe its my OCD, but I do have to agree when looking at the whole unit from table distance they are impressive.  I guess I have to try to get over the little things..... not very likely, but oh well.

My third stated goal was to clean up a lot of the stuff sitting around gathering dust. I started out OK with this but then kept adding more to my collection.  Greg especially was a bad influence with a venture into the 30k universe (more on that in a blog update later today).

I did however get a bunch of Zombicide figures painted in grey scale (picture in the fourth goal area below) and a complete Chain of Command Canadian WWII force done in 15mm, so I feel good about cleaning some things up at least.

My fourth and final goal was to submit at least 5 entries out of the 7 possible for the different bonus rounds.  I did even better by managing to complete a perfect 7/7.  This netted me a total 350 bonus points and really helped my overall score.  Even more importantly, it let me try different things and break our individual miniatures that I may not have gotten to otherwise.
  • December 22: Non Combatant(s) – Old Woman 
  • January 5: Villain(s) - Nurgle Demon Prince
  • January 19: Vehicle – Some brand new and shiny Rivet Wars tanks
  • February 2: Hero or Heroic Group - Dark Angels Space Marine Hero
  • February 16: Casualty / Casualties - WW1 Canadian Casualties 
  • March 2: Favourite Character - James Richardson - Piper for the 16th Battalion
  • March 16: Last Stand - Zombicide in Grey Scale

When the challenge started out, I initially wanted to complete 750 points worth of figures.  A 28mm standard trooper counts for 5 points.  This meant that I would have to paint roughly 150 figures in about 3 months, a lofty goal.  Then Curt added the fortnight challenge goals, each of which could add 50 points, so I upped my goal to 1000 points, with the thought that just maybe I could hit it.

By the end, I hit 1643 points and placed 10th out of 61 for pure quantity of work completed.  Overall, I am pretty damn happy with that!  Sure I could probably have painted more, but not while keeping to a table top quality for gaming that I would be happy with.

Again to Curt, a big thank you for running the event, it was a lot of fun and got me painting more than I have in probably forever!  I can barely wait for next year, already formulating a even madder plan for my second run through.  I am not sure if I will attempt to up my points goal, as I would rather go for more quality than quantity and keep the painting to a level I feel is worthy of seeing a tabletop, rather than just paint on a figure for points sake, especially since this is only for fun, there is no real winner or loser.

So I wrap this up with a comment to all the other Conscripts, especially those that did not enter this year:  Get Ready!  It was a lot of fun and something that should not be missed, make sure you plan ahead and let's see what we can get done as a club for next year.

You can find all my entries with this link: ByronM Entries for the 4th Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.