Sunday, July 30, 2017

Imperial Fists: Part 3: Five Fingers of Death!

For The Emperor! For Dorn! For the Imperial Fists!
My Imperial Fists are rapidly approaching a playable size and I've almost completed all the models that come in the Dark Imperium starter set. This week, I managed to grind through the Hellblaster squad, the second Primaris Lieutenant, and my Captain in Gravus Armor. All that remains for me to do are the jump-pack equipped Inceptors and I'll be ready to play!

Ready to blast some hell! I'm looking forward to using these cats after playing against them.
Primaris Lieutenant reporting for duty!
I really dig the Forge World transfers.
I enjoyed painting the white and red stripes on the helmets.
My Captain in Gravus Armor - this guy painted up super quick.
This model has just the right balance of detail and open surfaces. A real joy to paint.

Additionally, I took the plunge and tried designing my own transfers for the squad markings on the regular Marine's right shoulder pads. I got the transfer paper reasonably cheap on Amazon so I figured it was worth trying. I was amazed at the results. Now I don't have any excuse to not properly mark any units in the future. But its kind of the Space Marine army I've wanted since I was a kid!

Yep. Blinggasm. Quite a name. But only about $10.
I then designed the squad markings in Photoshop and printed them
out on my inkjet printer. Once dry, I gave it three separate
coats of spray gloss varnish and we were good to go!
Then it was simply a matter of applying the transfers like I would usually.
Gloss coat on the pad, soak in water, apply with Microsol.
Then it was a simple matter of applying them to whole army!

Hopefully, over the course of this week I can finish up the Inceptors and then I'll have enough Primaris Imperial Fists to play a decent game!


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Imperial Fists: Part 2: Up To My Elbows

I'm up to two squads of Intercessors and two characters.

My Imperial Fists project is chugging along reliably. I finished up another squad of Intercessors and a Primaris Ancient (the guy with the banner) and its all starting to feel like a real force now. I have a nice, somewhat simple, recipe for yellow and have mastered the use of Microsol on the Forgeworld transfers I'm using (Protip - always use a layer of Gloss varnish or 'Ard Coat on the area you're going to put the transfer on FIRST. Trust me.) so things are kind of skating along.

Primaris Ancient with the 5th Company Standard.

I really enjoyed working on the Ancient and the standard was just a ton of fun to do. Anyone following me on Twitter or Facebook would have seen an in-progress shot where I used a smaller fist transfer at first. I was really unhappy with it, but the larger decal was just a little too big to fit. I decided to tackle it again when I saw a friend had cut out just the fist for the banner of his Crimson Fists. I kicked myself for not doing something so obvious the first time, and a trimmed decal and a white field gave me exactly what I was looking for.

Another unit of Intercessors. I really, really like the new armor design for MK X armor but it will be fun
to do something new in a bit.
Additionally, I've been working on some scenic stuff. First up was a couple of tractors from the Galvanic Servohaulers set. These are just awesome little kits and they had been sitting on the sidelines due to my Imperial Fists, but it was a nice break from painting yellow. I've still got to tackle the crane, hopefully soon.

Toot! Toot! I went with a nice farm red as it is also reminiscent of the Ad Mech's color scheme.

Sunny weather and summer in Seattle (for the very short time it lasts) also means that its time for some more battle boards. Last weekend, I did some priming and added sand to a couple of boards for my ash waste set; and this weekend I finished them off. I've tried to bring in some more color to the boards by adding ferrus-tainted river section. The banks of the river can also be removed and used as a hill section. Now I've 10' of this board to use (including 4' of Chaos hells cape) so I think I can ease off this project for a long while.

Now things pop a little more and the "river" can be bridged with some of the industrial terrain.

Just a cool shot.

I'm sure this summer will see me building some more scenery - I'm just not sure what, yet. In the meantime, I've got another Lieutenant and a squad of Hellblasters to work on for the Imperial Fists.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Imperial Fists: Part 1: The Fistening Begins

We are the Sons of Dorn! NO! Not Michael Dorn. Rogal Dorn!!!
After getting the new Dark Imperium box set, I started sticking together the newest incarnations of the Space Marines; the Primaris Marines. They were great kits to put together, and I like a lot of the design beats that went into them. They manage to feel like classic Space Marines while also moving the story of the Space Marine and Warhammer 40,000 forward. The only thing I was a little surprised by was that the shoulder pads on these kits were moulded directly on - I had assumed that the they would be separate so that Forge World or current Marine shoulder pads would fit on. I'm guessing we'll still see that in a future "basic" kit for the Primaris, so I can wait.

When trying to decide on a color scheme, I knew I wanted something I haven't really done or done a lot of in the past - blacks, blues, greens were all out for me. I had considered doing the Imperial Fists - yellow can be such a striking scheme, but has a reputation as such a pain in the ass to do. Unfortunately, I shared the idea of doing Imperial Fists with some friends who then proceeded to shame me into doing them! So here we are.

I tested out my color scheme and process on one of the Primaris Lieutenant models first. My thought was that if I screwed him up, I had another that came in the set. In the end, I was really happy with my yellow method and decided to try it out on a squad.

I decided on a black and yellow scheme. It had a lot of buzz around it.
Cue trombone...
My recipe was simple. Prime White. Then spray with
Krylon Sun Yellow. I much prefer spray paints to using an
 airbrush - mostly because I don't have the personal discipline to keep
an airbrush clean the way it should be.
The whole model is washed with thinned down GW Trollslayer
After the orange dries, wash the whole model with
Army Painter Strong Tone Ink.

The broader areas are then worked back up using GW Yriel Yellow.
Final highlights are a 50/50 mix of Yriel Yellow and
Ushabti Bone.
Grime and nicks are then added with Vallejo Beasty Brown (
the grime) and Vallejo Dark Flesh (the nicks).
All in all, a pretty easy system. Waiting for the washes to dry is
the longest part.
The Primaris Intercessors were first on deck for tackling a squad. These are pretty dope models - they really exemplify the Marine archetype for me. I also decided to go slightly nuts on the bases - creating some cracked stone out of cork for each one. The cork bases are pretty easy to do, in fact I think it took longer for me to buy some cork from Staples than it did to actually build them.

"Where should we Intercede, Brother Sergeant?" "Uhhhh… THAT WAY!"

Next, I'll probably do the standard bearer guy from Dark Imperium as a "treat yoself" model. I find breaking projects up this way makes me more motivated and able to keep up a decent velocity.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

In the Grim Darkness of a New Edition

So I've finally managed to start getting in some games of Warhammer 40,000 8th edition. Two whole games in fact! Both were relatively modest-sized games at the 50 Power Level size, and I got creamed both times but had a lot of fun doing it. My first game was against my buddy Stuart and his Necron force.  We played the Eternal War scenario as neither of us had taken the game out for a spin yet and we wanted to keep it simple.

Game 1 on a 4'x4' board vs the Necron dynasty.
Basic Necron warriors come in distressingly large units in this edition.
I REALLY really really really wanted my Deff Dredd to make the acquaintance of Stu's Necron Lord.
Unfortunately, the 20 warriors on the gantry had something to say about that...

He slaughtered me to a man, and it took me most of the game to get to grips with his forces but when I did - oh, boy! it was on. I managed to kill his Lord and wipe a unit of warriors off the board, so the loss didn't sting too much even though I felt behind the 8-ball from the start. But that's a pretty common Ork player feeling.

I really like the streamlining of the new rules system. There are some things I think they kept for purely meeting older player expectations that could be ditched - I still find the Strength vs Toughness system slightly tedious as opposed to the speed of Age of Sigmar's fixed wound rolls but I know that most players seem to regard this as quintessentially part of GW's games so I don't really fault them for keeping it. Especially not with their big money maker IP. All told, the game feels easier to pick up and plays super quick which solves most of my major complaints about the previous editions. I'm also loving the use of Power Levels instead of Points Values - army construction is much quicker, and its only conceding an expectation of some level of balance rather than promising a totally balanced game (which no-one ever really pulls off anyway).

My second game saw me squaring off against the Adeptus Militarum, ably led by my friend Marky. This was my first time experiencing heavy tanks in the new edition, and while they seemed scary at first I don't think they were crazy over-powering in the game. In fact, his ability to make his troops move quicker or fire twice seemed much more deadly to me. Again, I was slaughtered to a man and really only managed to damage some tanks and kill a squad.

I broke out the full 4'x6' for this game against Marky's Imperial Gu- ahem - Adeptus Militarum.
The Stormboyz assaulting the refinery LOOKED awesome.
But a turn of firing and a Morale check wiped them off the board.
In the end, a unit of Shootaz took the objective, but again were wiped out by the fury of the Guard.
Not Pictured - the Killa Kans who assaulted the Hellhound. Because they were dead by the time of the photo.
A very aptly named Leman Russ Punisher variant held the center of the entire game.
I feel like I'm missing something tactically with my Ork army. Units of less than 30 Boyz seem to be a total waste and I'm having trouble even getting larger units to connect with anything due to the sheer weight of firepower that I've faced so far. There still obviously a lot for me to tinker with in the army - I'm not so much interested in winning games as I am in giving as good as I'm getting. After only 2 games I'm not going to moan about the army - there is obviously something I'm doing wrong. And part of the fun of a new edition is figuring that out and turning things around! If you have any Orky Know-Whats to drop in the comments - please do. In the meantime, I'll keep playing and seeing what I can learn from each defeat.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Celebrating the 4th - Nerd Style!

Whew. Its been a couple weeks since I posted anything on this blog. I wish it was because I was busy with lots of models I was working on, but I was just a little burnt out and enjoying the start of the summer here in Seattle (which needs to be enjoyed before it vanishes!). I've ended up with a nice long weekend to celebrate the 4th of July (US Independence Day for my non-US readers) and I decided to do EVERYTHING nerdy apparently.

On Saturday, I played 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons for the first time. I don't think I've actually played in, and not ran, a game of D&D since I was in grade school. My buddy Josh ran us through the first in what I hope is a series of adventures in his own setting and I don't think I've laughed and had such a good time in a long while. It was great fun to play and solve problems (or create them) and let a story evolve rather than plan and run a game. I'm playing a Dwarf Fighter, Ulf Rolfsson - who I'm vaguely patterning off Sean Connery's character in "The Untouchables." The bad impression is a lot of fun to do in game.

"Just like a goblin, brings a knife to a crossbow fight!"
Sunday, I set up a Napoleonics game and three friends came over to fight a critical made-up battle for supply depots during the War of the 5th Coalition. We managed to complete the game in about 3 hours and had a great time. Somehow, the Austrian Army managed to brutally savage the forces of the French Empire despite losing the initiative for 7 out of 9 turns.

I broke out the full 12'x4' set up for this battle.
French starting positions.
The Guard advances! Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough to carry the day.

After battling it out over the rolling fields of Bavaria, we switched gears and travelled to the far future of Warhammer 40,000. This was my first test drive of 8th edition. My Orks faced off against Necrons and got stomped pretty hard. I learned a ton about army organization and missions in this edition from just one game. I liked that it played pretty cleanly; and while my Orks had an uphill battle all game,  I felt like that was more about my own poor tactics rather than just having a bad set of army rules. I'm looking forward to playing some more games of 8th ed - and I'll share my thoughts on that at some point.

My Waaagh! advances across a desolate refinery world against the newly awakened Necron horde.
Even at 50 PL, its a lot of Orks!
Its also a LOT of Gauss weapons… 

These are my buddy Stuart's lovely models. 
Ohhhhhh! I so wanted this showdown to happen - unfortunately the 20 Warriors on the gantry had other ideas.
Paint-wise, I finished up a unit of 3 Killa Kans which brings my Ork army over 100 Power Level-things. I also finished up some more Shadow War scenery and I'm already eyeing up getting a little more. Because I am crazy, apparently. But for now, I am fully satiated on gaming after this weekend and my feet are sore from standing at gaming tables because I'm a million years old I guess!

Huey, Dewey and Louie are ready to rumble!

I had such a great time this holiday weekend and I'm really lucky to know such awesome people to game with!