Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mixed Bag 14: Singles, WIPs and Gaming!

Trying to continue with the weekly update... I've done it twice now, so I'm totally gonna keep it up all year, right? Ha! We shall see. Most of my painting this week has been one-off figures and prep work, so not super exciting.


I finished up two single figs this week. First was a High Elf Dragon Prince. I needed a commander model for an upcoming game of Kings of War and this guy had been languishing on my painting desk for a while. I figured he'd make a good Elf King to game with. He also acts as a test scheme for a full unit of these guys - a project I should get cracking on.

Later in the week, I cranked out a quick Aethermic Navigator hero for my Kharadron Overlords. This was the last model I needed to bring me to a 2000 point army. I ended up having to mail order him directly from Games Workshop, as no local stores or Amazon dealers carried him in stock. So much for giving the FLGS the business if they can't get what I want. Ugh. In any case, I should take some nice beauty shots of the whole army at some point, because I think I'm done painting Sky Dorfs for a little while.


I also worked on a few more High Elf archers and, you guessed it - started ANOTHER Tactical Squad for the Horus Heresy. This is the last one for a long, long time; I swear!

Finally, I wrapped the week up with some gaming. I managed to get in a small game of Kings of War to kick the tires on the system. Its fine. I like the simplicity of the game and it goes quickly, but I think we really need play it with larger forces. At 1000pts, everything dies just a little too fast. Until I can expand my army for the game, I think its hard to judge the game's merits.

My High Elves stand ready to defend a small settlement.
A rampaging horde of Gobbos advance from the hinterlands to crush the Elves.

Later, we played a big game of Age of Sigmar. I got to use my Kharadron Overlords against an immaculately painted Beastmen force. We had to control bits of falling stars that randomly arrived on the table. I decimated the Beastmen in a hail of bullets, but ended up chasing my own tail so much that I got blitzed when it came to scenario points. It was a ton of fun though, with a lot of back-and-forth. 

Those minotaurs go down hard. Don't let anyone tell you different.

After killing the shit out of a Minotaur Lord, my commander fell to the fury of a very upset Bestigor herd. I guess that's why they are the best...igor.
A unit of Gors and a Beastman Chariot totally crushed a unit of Arkanauts. Unfortunately, one poor dumb bastard survived so I couldn't shoot at these units with the rest of my army.

Every time I play Age of Sigmar, I like it more. And I already liked it a lot. Its just a nice fun and intuitive game - even if it does use way too many die rolls. I've been on a bit of tear with it lately - a few weeks ago I got in a game against an amazingly painted Daughters of Khaine army. I managed to squeak out a victory with my Overlords on that one. 

I was very worried about the amount Witch Elves on the other side of the board, but some judicious application of hot lead saw many of them off to meet Khaine in the afterlife.
These girls are hot. No really. That's magma.
Morathi is a beast. Literally. Look at that tail. But like any rabid beast, a gun will solve that problem.

More gaming and less painting lately, I guess. It'll probably flip back to normal soon. 


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Meet the Sky Fleet

Gunhaulers guard a mighty Frigate as they go to war!

With the advent of the New Year, I'm going to try and make a real effort to keep this blog updated each week. Sometimes that seems pointless since I share a lot of WIP shots via Facebook or Twitter (@cwalton73 on Twitter), but I think its a worthwhile exercise to collect what I've done each week here. Lately, I've been making headway in getting my Kharadron Overlords to 2000 points by adding another Gunhauler. 

Two of these will add some real firepower and help the survivability of my
I genuinely think these things take longer to build to than
to paint.

I still need one more model to bring the force to 2k - an Aethermic Navigator. Despite my best efforts, it seems I can only get this model directly from Games Workshop. So now begins the painful waiting for it to ship. Ugh! In the meantime, I will console myself by building more Heresy marines. 


Sunday, December 30, 2018

End of the Year Total and Thoughts on Army Painting

As 2018 comes to a close its time to look at how many models I finished this year. My current count is 300, which falls short of the goal I set for myself of 365. Still, I'm pretty proud of my effort. I'll probably set the same number again for next year - I think its an achievable number and even falling short is laudable.


This week I finished up some more Heresy Era Imperial Fists.
I added three more Skywardens to this unit to bring me up to a six man unit.
A heroic Endrinmaster to add some nice repair options to my
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the processes I use to get armies painted. I've always considered myself more of an army painter than a miniature painter. Bear with me, because in my head there is a difference. While I can spend a lot of time on a single model, its always done in relation to a collection or a force for a game. I've come to enjoy the techniques and planning that is needed to complete an army and I thought I'd share some of the things I always try to keep in mind to get a painted force onto the board in a reasonable amount of time. These are the things that work for me, and maybe they'll work for you or give you a place to start.

Make a Plan 

Having a rough idea of what and how much you need to paint is an essential step in painting armies. I'm not saying you need to get all Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia with the intricacy, but having a roadmap generally helps me. If I'm painting a force for a particular game, I will try to make a small army list of what I'd like to paint and what will get me playing games at the most basic level. I'll certainly expand eventually, but its important to break a project down into multiple chunks. This will let you feel like you're accomplishing things and lets you get excited for the future. If I don't have a game that will help me organize a force, or I'm just collecting some models because I like the range; I'll still try to break it down into smaller goals - for example collecting an painting all the infantry before I start on vehicles. What's important is that I'm not setting out to own it all and have it painted at once. Its just too overwhelming.

Consistent Techniques

A while back when I was working on my Kharadron Overlord army, I was showing off some work in progress shots on Twitter. Someone (I forget who because I'm a monster) encouraged me to add some Cassandora Yellow glaze to my golds because they thought it looked awesome when they had done it and I should experiment some. While I'm sure it gives a nice result, there was no way I was going to change the recipe I had used for the gold armor for 75% of an army at this stage. Maintaining a consistent look and color palette is essential for army painting.

This isn't to say you shouldn't ever experiment - by all means do so when you're working on a one-off model or a trying to nail down a test model for an upcoming army - but once you've started painting a force, its time to make sure that you're approaching your paint application consistently. This consistency unifies the overall look of an army. It also saves you a huge amount of time if you aren't approaching every new model for the force like its a blank canvas.

Even armies that are painted neatly with no shading or highlighting will look unified and cohesive if you use the same colors across the whole force. Far too often, I see armies where its obvious that new techniques were learned or tried half-way through the process. The force looks disjointed and messy because some models are simply painted while others have more advanced paint jobs. Aim to have everything on a similar level. If you're going to change techniques you need to go back and spruce up the older models in your collection.

Maintain a Consistent Painting Schedule 

I was gonna start this section with a list of reasons why people don't paint, but in the end those reasons don't matter. What does matter is that if you want a fully painted army, really want one, you'll make it happen. We all make time for the things that we enjoy or are important to us. Or we should. Completing armies is a commitment I make to myself and in many ways is a form of self-care. I want  something to be proud of at the end of a lot of effort and I make time to paint.

Maintaining a consistent painting schedule is an essential part to how I complete war-games armies. It helps with sticking to a plan by not changing my army's composition because I haven't painted in a while. It helps with maintaining consistent techniques because I'm not having to remind myself how I painted something several weeks or months ago. Momentum builds and its easy to stall out and get distracted or start new projects if I'm not doing a little bit every chance I can squeeze in.

I'm lucky that I enjoy painting. That its a form of relaxation for me. I get it if it isn't for you - and if its not, you should not spend your precious free time doing something you don't enjoy. But, if you really want a fully painted group of toy soldiers you have to commit to doing a little as often as you can. Thirty minutes a day. Once a week. Whatever you can schedule, because you need to maintain that momentum.

In Conclusion

There's a lot of other stuff to cover, but I think these three main points are the best advice I can give to anyone painting an army. The rest is mostly technique and color theory, and that requires patience and practice.

Happy New Year to all, may your brushes keep their points and your dice roll sixes!


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Stormeagle and Heresy!

Whew! I've been neglecting my little corner of the inter webs for quite a while lately! While I've been busy with some travel and a personal life, I have still managed to paint and even *gasp!* play a game! Waaaay back in May I treated myself to a Forgeworld model for my Heresy Era Imperial Fists - the stalwart Stormeagle Gunship. In preparation for a big game against a friend who already had a flyer, I lit the fire under my ass to get the big craft done.

This thing is MASSIVE. I was seriously intimidated by this thing and the reputation for it being difficult to build.
I put off working on it for so long due that rep. In the end, it was no more or less difficult than any other resin kit
I've ever built. I just went slow and steady and didn't rush the process.
I replaced the regular Techmarine head with a MKIII helmet to fit with the rest of my Imperial Fist army.
I'm super happy with how this all turned out - its an awesome model in-game and a stunning centerpiece to my force.
I think I pulled out every trick I know for weathering, decals and freehand on this cat.
I even broke out my airbrush to basecoat and pre-shade this mutha!
It took me about a week and a half to assemble and paint - and I finished up just in time to square off against the forces of the traitorous Emperor's Children! For this game, we broke out all the toys and decided to play a Blitz mission where the Imperial Fists would be trying to crack the defenses of the Emperor's Children. The game was a lot of fun and resulted in massed carnage!

Initial deployments. The Emperor's Children are deeply fortified ready to fight in depth. 
The Imperial Fists prepare to launch an all out assault on the front lines!
Uh-oh! The enemy has a flyer of their own! A Fireraptor Gunship ready to bring the pain!
Massed Traitor forces stand ready to repel the attackers!
The bombardment commences! The Imperial Fists begin their inexorable advance!
The Stormeagle screams forward, ready to disgorge a wave of assault units.
Sword Brethren and the Command Squad launch an attack after the Stormeagle is blown out of the sky! I got one turn out of it!! Thankfully, the mission allowed me to recycle destroyed units, so I wasn't too salty. (OK, I was PRETTY salty!)
The Fireraptor ploughed into the Fists' line, living up to it fearsome reputation. A withering hail of lascannons and a stray Demolisher shell soon sent it crashing into the ground!
Eventually, the Imperial Fists over-ran the first line of defenses. Digging in, they were nearly impossible to move!
The Emperor's Children held on to their final redoubt, but it wasn't quite enough to ensure victory. The Loyalist forces carried the day, but just barely!

This was the game of Horus Heresy/40k that I've wanted for a while - it looked amazing and there were some real back-and-forth moments (as displayed by how uptight two guys "playing for fun" were sometimes getting!). Its given me a bit of a passion for more Heresy stuff. We are already planning our next game and badgering away on more forces. 

I'm so close to finishing a third Tactical Squad to bulk out my forces.

Welp, I'm gonna try and be better at updating here - wish me luck! 


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Titans of the Legio Mortis

I haven't updated in a little bit, but thought I'd share the finished models for my other Adeptus Titanicus force - an Axiom maniple of the Legio Mortis.

The Legio Mortis brings death to the enemies of the Warmaster!

I actually managed to get in a small game the other day. It was a simple meeting engagement between two scout forces and saw both sides' Warhound Titans taking a beating. The game ended with one of my Warhounds rushing a Reaver Titan just in time for its reactor to overload. The Warhound exploded for maximum damage and blew the unhurt Reaver apart as it died.

The entire maniple ready to do battle.
The Warhound Lupus Venandi. These kits are a dream to paint up. 
And Warhound Lupus Umbra. Both kits are magnetized so I can
swap out the weapons into multiple configurations. 
Next time should be some hot Horus Heresy action. Stay tuned!


Monday, November 5, 2018

The Legio Gryphonicus Walks

The Warhound Titan Lupus Rex leads the way into battle!
This past week I finally put the final touches on the Warhounds and Knights of my Legio Gryphonicus force for Adeptus Titanicus. This means that I've completely painted the Grand Master Edition of Adeptus Titanicus and that I only have a pair of Warhounds for the Legio Mortis left to paint! The excitement is palpable.

A complete Axiom Maniple of the Legio Gryphonicus walks! Let the enemies of the Omnisiah tremble with fear!

First on deck were the new Warhound Titan kits. These are absolutely fabulous kits - just the right level of detail and complexity. A total dream to build and paint - my favorite kind of model!

Warhound Canis Dente ready to hunt. As with the other kits, every
weapon option is fully magnetized.
These models have a great sense of motion while still maintaining
a feeling of weight appropriate to a multi-story engine of war.
Warhound Lupus Rex armed with a Plasma Blastgun and an Inferno Cannon. 
The glow of plasma coils is always fun to paint!
I really dig the sculpted on scroll-work. 
Once the pair of Warhounds was done, all that was left was the Knight Banner. Ever since painting a trio for the Legio Mortis force, I've been absolutely dreading assembling and painting these models. I committed to get it done with a quick, neutral paint scheme that would put them on the table fast and not clash with the War Griffons. I settled on a grey and white scheme and just got them D-O-N-E. It was a relief to have them finished.

A Banner of House Kurg Knights ready for battle!

I also made some time to expand my scenery collection by downloading some paper craft buildings for the game Dropzone Commander that are available here for free. I scaled them down by about 20% and printed each on cardstock. I like the addition of these buildings because their high will let me use the cover rules more and means that every game won't devolve into two forces just pummeling each other at range. 

Each building prints out as a 8.5 x 11 sheet.
I think they fit reasonably well with the plastic terrain and I really couldn't beat the price (basically just the cost of a pack of cardstock!)
The great height of the buildings means even a Warlord might claim some cover.
I think the next step is to make some highways with black construction paper. That should really tie the whole room together, man.
Next steps are to complete my Legio Mortis force and then play some more games of Adeptus Titanicus.