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!


Monday, June 12, 2017

More Shadow War Terrain!

I don't know that this was what I'd call a "slow" week for me hobby-wise, but I feel like I didn't get much done - mostly because painting terrain usually doesn't involve a lot of fine detail work, I guess. I did manage to get two more of Game Workshop's new Shadow War kits painted up for my buddy Marky, and the whole set together looks pretty crackin', if I might say myself.

The whole kit and kaboodle all ready to go.
I'm pretty happy with how the whole thing ties together.
Spider Skull Cranes make everything better.
These kits really give you the opportunity to put those hazard striping skills to good use. Yay, art school!
I tried keeping a bunch of the elements separate so that we can mix and match our
The Void Shield Generator adds a nice snap of color.
Even elements on the sprue I didn't "use" can still make nice scatter terrain like these hatches and vents.

I'm really loving these kits in a way I didn't expect. They are really so versatile and just look amazing when done. I'm already planning to pick a few more.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mixed Bag 7 - More Orks and a Void Shield Generator

In my excitement for the upcoming 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000 I've been spending a lot of time with 40k and I'm still kinda amazed at that. I've already shelled out my dosh for a pre-order of the new game and I'm eagerly awaiting it on the 17th of this month. In the meantime, I'm adding some more Boyz to my mobz and another Nob to the Nobz Mob.

Just 10 more Slugga boyz to either add to an existing unit or form a new one. I'll have to see the rules
before I decide.
Anuvva Nob fer da mob! I love Power Klaws. Luv 'em!

I also assembled and painted up a Void Shield Generator as part of a scenery deal for my buddy Marky. This thing was a LOT of work to assemble and was absolutely crawling with detail. Nuts. But I'm happy with the end result.

The finished Generator. This thing has so many detail on it that I really don't
envy the Eavy Metal painter that had to do the studio version.
Just a 3/4 shot. I think the green is a little more intense than I intended, but I can
live with it.

There are even a pair of poor dumb servitors built into this thing to keep it functioning.
Big Red Button of the AdMech. 
Even moar skullz!
And the Great Seal of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Don't
cross the Seal.
Or the streams.
Good advice in general.

And yes, I managed to build the kit so that the gears can still rotate.


Monday, May 29, 2017


Back in April I made this post about painting up a set of AD&D Grenadier models that I had once owned in my youth. I got about half way through the box and stalled a little, but this past weekend I made the time to sit down and finish the entire group. That probably sounds more impressive than it is - the whole thing was only nine models!

Anyway, without further ado; here is the completed set of Grenadier model's set #2004 Hirelings from 1981:

A few stout arms and strong backs to carry out the loot from a successful dungeon exploration!
A halfling torch-bearer, a lantern-bearer and a "potion tester" according to the box insert. "Potion Tester" sounds like
the shittest job in D&D. I had to buy the lantern-bearer twice as the first one I found suffered from horrendous lead-rot and just couldn't be salvaged. 
Casualty-bearer, a generic guy with a backpack, and another gent ready to spike a door closed. As a kid, I had no idea what that third figure was doing - I just kinda assumed the hammer and spike were a ray-gun or something. 

And that's it - a little bit of my childhood reclaimed. Not enough to make me a normal person, I'm sure; but it was a fun little project and I'm glad I did it. Now if I can get a copy of Ral Lord of the Balrogs that might help me a little more.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Test of Honor Samurai

Clan Madu Uppu.

A little while back my friend Marky introduced me to Warlord Games' new samurai skirmish game called "Test of Honor". It was a fun little game and requires less than 20 models per side, so I was game to paint a force. I dug into my backlog and found several boxes of Wargames Factory's plastic samurai kit. I had picked them up on the cheap when Wargames Factory was going out business and had somehow gotten it in my head that I was going to play a samurai mass battle game.

The samurai leader of the warband. I wanted a color to contrast with
the greens of the rest of the group.

I had a hard time deciding on a color scheme. In the end I opted for creating my own and letting history be damned.

Unfortunately the kits are super frustrating in my opinion. The standard infantry model is 9 pieces and the parts are very fine and brittle. If I were to paint another force for the game, I'd probably look at picking up some metal castings from a company like the Perry Brothers. I ended up giving away most the models that I'd bought - mostly because I was having so little fun assembling the models for the resulting final product.

The shooting contingent. Guns are slow in the game, but they are cool, so I included them.
The samurai's personal standard bearer bolster's the courage of his troops.
As a game. I liked the simplicity of Test of Honor's rules. It plays quickly and is a lot of fun. The only downside in my opinion is that as a game its a little token and card heavy. Propriety dice don't help too much either. But again, if a game requires under 20 models to play you can probably get me to paint up a force.