Sunday, September 2, 2018

The God Engines Walk!

With the release of Adeptus Titanicus, and my impulsive decision to buy it, I guess it deserves a big blog post.  I'm half way through painting the Grand Master edition and I'm at a place where I can show off the Traitor forces, a paint step-by-step and the board I'll be gaming on.

Warlord Titan Mors Destinarat of the Legio Mortis supported by a
banner of Knights from House Malinax.

First up was painting one of the two Warlord Titans that come in the set. I opted for a paint scheme of the Legio Mortis. Initially my plan was to just build a Traitor force, but my love for the War Griffons and having two forces has won out - I'll be painting the other model in the colors of the Legio Griffonicus. This plan to build two Titan maniples is completely deranged; but in for a penny, in for a pound I guess. Nobody ever played these games because they were economical.

The Warlord is a stunning kit, equally on par with the 40K Knight kit in terms of
complexity and articulation. 
Its almost TOO much detail. The kit takes quite a while to build and I wonder afterwards if it wasn't
just a clever ploy to get me used to the idea of assembling a 28mm scale Warlord from Forge World.
The whole thing is very well engineered, however; and I was able to pose it how I wanted
with zero conversion work.
The level of detail is NUTS. They even got the railing on the platform for entering the Titan.
A banner of Knights supports each Warlord in this set. These guys are absolute BONKERS. 21 pieces each. For a model smaller than a Primaris Marine. While I appreciate the dedication, I think these cats were a little too complex for wargaming figures.

Once the Titan and Knights were done, I turned my attention to the buildings. These kits were a little frustrating - I feel like I've been spoiled by the absolutely fantastic 28mm scenery that Games Workshop has been putting out recently. While highly modular, the Adeptus Titanicus city models were fiddly and tedious to assemble. They forgo some of the more clever locking mechanisms of modern models and take time to get right.
I decided to keep the scheme on the buildings relatively simple. I want terrain to act as a backdrop for the models and
not compete visually when laid out.
My current 4'x4' board. I plan on trying to pick up some N scale bridges and maybe a refinery set to add to the city.
A closer look at some more of the buildings.
A veritable nest for the Knights to hide in.

Finally, I also managed to take step-by-step photos of painting the Warlord as I went. Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook has seen these, but I'm collecting them here with some notes for anyone who wants it.

STEP 1. The Warlord is assembled. I left off 95% of the armor panelling - that
would be painted on the sprue and left the under skeleton easy to access. The head
was also left separate, but its Blue-Tack'ed into place in this photo. The gun
arms and rocket pods were also magnetized at this point. GW left recesses
5mm wide by 1mm deep so you can swap the weapons out with future weapon
STEP 2. Everything was undercoated using Rustoleum Aged Bronze.
Once dry, this was all drybrushed with GW Runefang Steel.
STEP 3. I began picking out the gold details and trim using GW
Retributor Armor. This was then washed with GW Reikland Flesh shade
and high-lighted with a drybrushing ofGW Runefang Steel.
The dark panels were painted with P3 Coal Black and washed with
Army Painter Dark Tone Ink once dry.
The head was base coated with GW Administratum Grey and then
high-lighted in several layers using White mixed with Administratum
Grey in successively greater amounts.
STEP 4. A continuation of Step 3, more and more detail was picked
out across the model. The heat stress on the barrels of the Volcano cannons
was added by heavily washing the fronts with GW Druchii Violet shade.
At this point, once I was happy with the under skeleton, it was time to start
adding armor plates.
STEP 5. I undercoated the armor plates while they were still attached
to the frame. The side of the armor facing inwards, towards the skeleton, got
a coat of Rustoleum Aged Bronze. The outward facing side then was sprayed with
GW Retributor Armor Spray. This saved me a ton of time - it was easier to neaten things
up after the spray (which I would have to do anyway after clipping them off the frame)
than pick out all the trim. The gold side was washed with GW Reikland Flesh shade and once that was dry,a quick drybrushing of GW Runefang Steel brought out the detail and highlights.

TOP TIP! - Rather than painting a panel and then picking out trim, its almost always
easier to paint the trim first and then fill in the broad surfaces with color. Its quicker
and more forgiving than doing it the other way. Trust me. Try it. You won't regret it.
The broad areas of the panels were painted P3 Coal Black and washed with Army Painter
Dark Tone ink for the black plates. The red plates were painted with Vallejo Dark Flesh and then
highlighted by adding progressively more Vallejo Red to Dark Flesh in several layers.
Finally, the striping was painted in over the red plates using the same Coal Black/
Dark Tone technique as the armor plates.
STEP 6. Decals were added and then weathering was applied by
using a small bit of sponge to dab random spots of GW Dryad Bark
around the plates. Once dry, a few thin lines of highlight red were added
around the spots. Then P3 Brown Ink was used to add streaks of wear and
rainwater damage across the hull. The feet were given a drybrush of
Vallejo Beasty Brown.
Craters were added to the base by using rings of modeling putty covered with sand.
Finally, the base was painted with GW Agrellan Earth. Once dry and cracked, the base
was coated with P3 Greatcoat Grey and then washed with Army Painter Dark Tone ink.
Then two layers of drybrush were added - first with GW Adminsitratum Grey and then
GW Ushabti Bone.
Lastly, the rim of the base was painted with Vallejo Black. 
Whew! I should actually get to play the game soon against a buddy with a painted force. Then its onto the Legio Gryphonicus.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Terrain Blitz!

I've been pretty quiet on this blog for the last few weeks, but I haven't been idle. Mostly it seems like I've been assembling and painting a couple of terrain kits for Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000. So with out further ado, here we go!

When the second edition of Age of Sigmar was released, I picked up a set of the new battlefield objects that was produced. The kit comes with seven objective markers with a lot of character. I've based and painted up six, I've still got one to do but its a big floating thing and I still haven't figured out how I'm gonna base it. These were nice kits, and allow me to get some characterful markers on the board with no fuss.

Each sculpt is really characterful and assembles quickly.
Well, except this weapon pile. This went together weird and took a
few passesof dry fitting to get right. 
I'm not sure why a wizard left his spell book/jar trunk here, but
its a lot of fun.
The interior of the sarcophagus is also well detailed.
Then its a jump over to the 41st millennium to work on some terrain. Games Workshop has re-issued some of their older terrain and I jumped on getting a few that I'd missed out on - the Skyshield Landing Pad and Honored Imperium. These kits were the polar opposite of one another, but in the end I'm happy with both.

This kit was a nightmare to assemble. Its super flimsy and tries to be clever with its engineering rather
than being robust. I'm happy to have it as a nice narrative objective for my games, but man was I happy
when this thing was done. Total pig of a model.
The blast shields raise and lower. Why? Why not! I guess!
Honored Imperium, on the other hand, was quick to assemble and a lot of fun to paint. 

I also made a decision my wallet will regret for years to come by picking up a copy of the new Adeptus Titanicus. I've already begun assembling a Warlord Titan, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks. I plan on working on this slowly, so I can savor the priceyness and keep pace with what I'm suspecting will be a glacial release schedule.

A game of Titanic Prices in the Age of Austerity. 


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Mixed Bag 13: Bits and Bobs

After a big project like my Nurgle Knight, I have a tendency to slow down a bit for a week or two hobby-wise and pick off small projects and this time was no exception. I first returned to my High Elf army and knocked out a couple of extra Lothern Sea Guard models and a Sword Master that I had laying around. These models will just add to the existing units to bulk them out a bit. I actually played a game of 6th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle against my buddy's gorgeous Goblin army, but sadly forgot to take any decent pictures.

The addition of these cats will really help out their units. In our game, my regiments felt
painfully small.

Then it was a quick trip to Age of Sigmar Land to finish off a character from my Kharadron Overlord collection. This time it was an Aether Khemist, a very useful character model that can buff ranged attacks for nearby units. I have a feeling he and my Grundstok Thunderers will be the very best of friends. 

I was literally going for quick and dirty with the paint job on this fella.
I managed to crank him out in about 2 hours.
This guy has a ton of details, but I just wanted to keep him simple. I think it
helps him feel cohesive with the rest of the army.

Afterwards, I made an about face and headed back to more Elf-y goodness and completed a second unit of armored Archers and another Bolt Thrower. I think this firepower will really help the army in the long-run. 

This should help me dominate the shooting phase and make Orlando Bloom happy. 
I reversed the color placement from the scheme I used on the original unit. This way, each unit feels slightly distinct while still maintaining the feel of the army by using the same colors.

Finally, I also swung into the world of DIY paper miniatures for my D&D group's latest adventure. We play a super stream-lined version based on the original D&D rules that takes a more narrative "theater of the mind" approach and normally eschews the need for miniatures and maps. This adventure was the culmination of a year-long story arc and would be pretty complex. The characters were attempting to get a hold of a magic hammer and destroy a cursed gem in the midst of a battle between Cthulhu-esque Cultists and undead Dwarves. It was also a lot of fun to quietly do this and pull it all out for the final encounter. Everyone enjoyed it a lot and I was really glad I made the effort. 

The intrepid adventures prepare their plan to run the gauntlet and claim the Hammer of Creation from the Temple of Arra.
All the standees were designed to folded into place.
Also pictured: My tubby mug explaining something. 
The hammer was floating over an altar between two massive statues. It was a simple effect to pull off and really sold the
The evil High Priest and his army of cultists and Deep One allies nearly managed to thwart the
players' efforts, but the forces of Good won out in the end.
I really enjoyed making these paper-craft items. There is a certain simple charm in them when they are done. 

My next "big" project that I'm gearing up for is building a Storm Eagle gunship for my Imperial Fists. Its a lot of work with resin and I feel like I need to mentally prepare for it before jumping in. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Renegade Knight of Nurgle Complete!

The finished Knight. Corrupted and ready to spread the love and decay of the Plague Lord!

Welp, after about two weeks worth of work I've put the final touches on my Renegade Knight of Nurgle. It was a lot of work, but really worth the effort in the end. I do think I've satiated my appetite for conversions for a while, though. 

The head was a third-party piece from Shapeways. And the Mona Lisa is just a nice
touch of weird.
This project finally justified that purchase of the GW skull kit!
The mega melta may not be the optimal build, but damn if it isn't the coolest
looking one.
The banner was made by drawing the design out in Photoshop and then printing it
on custom transfer paper.
The plague censor will count as a power fist style close combat weapon.
The little nurgling is having the time of his unlife!
The billowing smoke really adds to the motion of the model and I'm super glad I did it.
I kept the back pretty simple.
My fingers were numb after cleaning and cutting all these skulls.
I've covered the basic build of the Knight a little bit here. Additionally, I sculpted some billowing filth for the smokestacks using expanding foam on wire armatures. I also made several of the boils and organic bits on the Knight using the same process. Expanding foam is a great tool for doing organic stuff. The trick is to squeeze some out onto some newspaper and then use a wire or some other tool to place the foam on the model. Just don't squirt the foam directly onto the model or you'll be sorely disappointed. 

A basic armature was madly twisting floral wire into shape.
I used some masking tape to fill in the gaps and give the foam a
surface to attach to.
Then foam was added to the frames. The foam expands
as it dries, so keep that in mind as you apply it.

One of the big things people have asked about as I've posted WIP shots on Twitter, is the image of the Mona Lisa on the Knight's rondel shield. I wanted to make the knight feel really Baroque and over-wrought, and adding the Renaissance image really helped tie it together. It was also a call back to some classic John Blanche paintings that have the image. I knew that there was no way I was going to take the time to try and paint it by hand, so I settled on a simpler way - I made a decal.

I grabbed a reasonably high rez image from the

I used Photoshop to scale the image and then printed it out on decal paper. One of the keys to making sure this worked was prepping the surface of the shield and painting it a nice clean white. This was done because any color the decal was placed on would show through. The white mimics the white of the decal sheet and ensured that it would look correct when finally applied. 

I'm super happy with the final result, and I can't wait for my Knight to stride into battle alongside my Death Guard and spread the joy of Papa Nurgle.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Mixed Bag 12: Revisiting the Death Guard

I knocked off a few projects this week and started a big one as well. A lot of my painting was focused on revisiting my Death Guard army for 40K. I had purchased a second unit of Tox Troopers from Anvil Industries to use as cultists as while back and it was high time that I got them done. These are great little sculpts and are a lot fun to paint up.

This gives me two units of 10 in the army and should form a nice speed bump for blunting assaults.

I also did some quick scenery work on some 3D printed crystals that I picked up off eBay a few months ago. I gave them coat of teal spray paint and then dry-brushed the up to white along the edges. I should probably pick up a second set, as I had intended them to be used as objective markers in Age of Sigmar - but the kit only comes with 5 models and I need six. Regardless, they will add a nice pop of color on my grey Hell-scape board. 

The build lines are pretty atrocious, but I can accept them for crystals and for the fact that they retail for about $12.

The vast majority of my week was taken up with building a Nurgle-esque Renegade Knight as an ally for my Death Guard. I've added a lot of bits and some putty work to him, and I think its gonna be a model I can really be proud of when all is said and done. 

I covered one shoulder pad with a ton of skulls from GW's Skull kit. It was a lot of work, but the
effect was really worth it in the end.
I've replaced the close combat arm with Skaven Plague Engine censor generously given to me
by my buddy Rob. I think it really set the tone for the model for me and damn if the spikes on all
those chains don't really hurt to handle!
The head is a 3rd party piece from Shapeways. I added the horn on it so it was a little more
Plague Bearer-y in its appearance.
I mounted the missile launcher on part of an Empire Celestial Hurricanum platform to give the
Knight more of an imposing and Gothic feel. I plan to create some billowing smoke clouds coming
from the engine stacks and this should be a nice visual counter-balance to the pulpit.
I managed to paint up the lower half of the Knight this weekend. I'm really happy with how its all heading.
The tumors on the knight were made by applying expanding insulation foam. After they dried, I smoothed them a bit with some green stuff and sealed them with a coat of white glue before priming. Protip: if you do something like this, put a little foam on some newspaper and use bit of wire to transfer it to the model. DON"T just squirt it onto your kit or it will
end in tears.

This week will probably see me focusing a lot on the Knight, but I think it'll be a while before he's finished up.