Thursday, December 8, 2011

build: work-in-progress: iron warriors, pt. 9

Got a little work done in the last week...

Polybolos Alpha: vanilla CSM squad

Row 1:: plasma gun, bolter, lascannon
Row 2: bolter, bolter, bolter, bolter
Row 3: bolter, bolter, bolter, bolter

Polybolos Beta: vanilla CSM squad

Row 1:: plasma gun, bolter, lascannon
Row 2: bolter, bolter, bolter, bolter
Row 3: bolter, bolter, bolter, bolter

Putting these together, I was again reminded how much I hate mixing metal and plastic kits. Such a nightmare. Particularly on the lascannon guys, as their left arms don't quite line up with the left hand molded onto the gun anyway. Had to pull out the grey-stuff and make a couple wrists. Because of the legs I used I also ended up chopping off the power cables and adding in some of my own on the gun arm.

I'm a big fan of the mini-chainsword/bayonets on the the bolters. They took some trimming to get to fit right while being held with the array of arms used, but I found a consistent way to trim them (and the bolters) so that they fit without painstakingly dry-fitting every model.

I still need to figure out basing. Trench-work, while appropriate, seems a bit too obvious. It also means I'd have to go in and add mud and stuff to the armour, which I don't particularly want to do. I don't want to dilute the rust effects with grime, if that makes sense. I've considered urban rubble basing, with mostly greys and muted yellows/greens, but that seems like a ton of fabrication work when translated across 48 infantry bases.

Oh yeah, I'm also waiting on a small bitz order to finalize what style of banner I want to use throughout the army - ragged vs. pristine. I'm leaning towards ragged, but don't have 'em on-hand to know for sure. The banners in the pics are all blue-tacked on so it'll be an easy test-fit and swap once I get the bitz in. Other than that, these guys are pretty much done...

Holy. Freakin'. Crap! That means infantry assembly is... DONE! As in, "No more little dudes to put together"! That is a weight off! Here's what the entire Warband looks like as of now...

There's an obvious hole where a Rhino goes. That Rhino will bring me to 1500 points assembled. That same Rhino, two Vindicators, and two magnetized Dreads will bring me to an even 2000. All things that are pretty easy and straight-forward to put together. The end of assembly is now in sight! With one day of good priming weather in January (50-50 chance here in Texas), having the entire lot finished by Adepticon may not be a pipe-dream after all.

To quote Simon Pegg as Montgomery Scott, "Oh! This is exciting!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

build: work-in-progress: iron warriors, pt. 8

Managed to get Breaching Squad Aerugo and Iron Palatine Gibeon put together yesterday.

Breaching Squad Aerugo: counts as Plague Marines w/ Chaos Lord

Iron Palatine Gibeon: Chaos Lord, mark of Tzeentch, daemon weapon

Breaching Squad Aerugo: bolter, plasma, flamer

Breaching Squad Aerugo: bolter, bolter, bolter

The squad, like "Ferrugo" is pretty straight-forward. A bunch of dudes carrying normal weapons and some shields to represent the increased toughness and Feel no Pain of Plague Marines.

The Chaos Lord is less transparent. The backpack is meant to give him status and longevity (it's the backpack from the old Iron Warriors Warsmith model) while the sword and gun combine to represent the Tzeentchian Daemon Weapon. The entire reason I took Mark of Tzeentch with a Daemon Weapon was because I liked the idea of modeling the ranged attack with an exotic gun of some kind. I figured that an Iron Warrior that had served the cause over the course of millennia has probably come across and/or tinkered up a powerful gun or two in that time. I think the gun used, from the ForgeWorld Boarding Assault set, has just enough sense of the exotic to represent that while the big-ass sword is an additional reminder that the Daemon Weapon also serves in close combat.

I know it's a sword from the new Blood Angels kit, but the distinct lack of blood drops make me think I can pull off giving it an Emperor's Children vibe in the painting. It was a gift to Gibeon after a particularly hard-fought compliance during the Great Crusade. Somewhere out there, there's an Emperor's Children commander traipsing around with Gibeon's old master-crafted plasma pistol.

Currently on the workbench I've got the remaining 16 models from the Polybolus squads. If I can get them done this weekend, I'm in the home stretch. Just one tricked out Rhino, two magnetized Dreads and two mostly stock Vindicators to go!

Monday, November 28, 2011

build: work-in-progress: iron warriors, pt. 7

Managed to get "Ferrugo" Squad put together over the weekend and snapped a few pics...

Breaching Squad Ferrugo: counts-as Plague Marines

Iron Aspirant Sikhote: Plague Champion, power fist

Breaching Squad Ferrugo: bolter, flamer, plasma gun

Breaching Squad Ferrugo: bolter, bolter, bolter

Ran into a slight problem in that Phobos pattern bolters don't fit well behind the ForgeWorld breaching shields. The clip gets in the way. At a guess, the Umbra Ferrox would probably work while the Umbra would not. The standard plastic bolters (Godwyn?) fit beautifully, but don't match the rest of my bolter dudes. They're [i]all[/i] packing the Phobos. While my solution isn't ideal, I think it works from a practical and "realistic" stand point.

Breaching Squad "Aerugo" is about halfway assembled and will follow the same pattern. My employment hiatus ends tomorrow so I'm not sure when I'll get back to assembly, but I'm still hoping to have the entire list assembled before Christmas. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

paint: iron warriors: test schemes

Spent the last week trying to figure out how to paint up my Iron Warriors. Inspired by a Google search that brought me to the work of Chronophague, Dark Eye Studios, and Stempe, I decided I wanted to tweak the traditional mithril marines with black and yellow chevrons. My mind kept coming back to rust, so I decided to try my hand at rust effects. Not having an airbrush available to try salt-masking, and not being able to get the sponge technique to work at this scale, I muddled my way through several test minis...

It's tough to tell in the small version above, but clicking to the large version shows that each model is slightly different from the others. I tried several new (to me) techniques and many variations of each. None of the above minis called to me as a whole, but there were pieces I liked in just about all of them. I took the bits that worked and blended them to create this...

I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but I think I'm getting there. I want to try a couple more things with this mini and a completely different recipe on my last remaining test model before I call it a day, but it feels like I'm almost there!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

build: work-in-progress: iron warriors, pt. 6

The past couple days have been quite productive. I've started cleaning, converting and assembling a smattering of CSM, SM and ForgeWorld bits into the models needed for this list. Finished assembling my first full unit early this morning after staying up all night working on it. Let me know what you think...

Scoriæ's Slaughterers: Chosen, icon of Khorne

Scoriæ's Slaughterers: triple-threat of paired lighting claws

Scoriæ's Slaughterers: meltas x2 & regular dudes x2

Obviously I've taken some liberties here with WYSIWYG, using the ForgeWorld chain axes as dual lightning claws, but it fits the theme and easily converted lightning claw bits can be a complete bitch to come by. I plan to make any opponents aware of the switch first thing, and to clear it with any tournament organizers if/when I take these guys into real competition.

But that's not all! I finished assembling the "command group" for my trench-line defense not an hour ago...

Ahnighito's Zigouilliers: CSM Havocs

Ahnighito's Zigouilliers: meltagun, champ w/ power weapon + combi-melta, regular dude

Ahnighito's Zigouilliers: heavy bolter, flamer, heavy bolter

The banner was originally intended to be an Icon of Chaos, but I dropped it from the list. Liked the thematic idea of having a banner-bearer in this squad though, so I assembled him with one anyway. Will be banners (full-size or back) in the "subordinate" squads to this one as well.

As always, all the above images are clickable to larger versions and I invite any/all questions, comments, and criticism. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to GW to paint up some more test color-schemes...

Friday, November 11, 2011

paint: star trek: fleet captains

After hearing the review of "Star Trek: Fleet Captains" on episode 88 of The D6G, I knew I had to get it as a Christmas present for one of my oldest, bestest friends. Back in High School we were all huge Star Trek nerds - so much so that two out of the three of us had "1701" as our ATM pin number - and the way the game spans the different [i]Trek[/i] eras while the objectives and cards embody plots throughout the franchise sounded like the perfect match for this guy.

Honestly, if it was just the game that appealed I'd likely have passed, opting for something less expensive. However, the ability to give it some extra zing, and a personal touch, by painting up the ships sung to me. It's too good an opportunity to pass up.

NOTE: In the interest of full disclosure, I ordered the game from Amazon and the first shipment came with several of the cards busted out of their wrapping and scattered throughout the box, with three ships snapped off their Clix stands. They're pretty easily fixable with some super-glue, but I also noted some of the nacelles on various ships were put on haphazardly, not lining up, etc. I went ahead and filed a return with Amazon and they next-day shipped me a second box. The second box had the same problem with the cards, but only one ship had snapped clean off its base. Between the two boxes I was able to pick-and-choose to get the best looking fleets I possibly could. I'm not sure how much of the breakage is WizKids fault, and how much is Amazon's fault for only padding the box on one side, but I hear WizKids' replacement policy is pretty good re: broken ships. If I had had the time to wait for replacements, I'd have tested that route out. /NOTE

I started painting Nov. 6 with base-coats and washes, and finished painting the last detail on the 24th ship on Nov. 10. There's a few things I'll do differently if I get another chance, (some color choices and order of techniques) but I'm pretty happy with the results. Oh, you want to see them? Coming right up! (All clickable to larger versions.)

Federation Fleet

Federation: Old School

Federation: Next School

Federation: New School

Row 1: Defiant, Enterprise-A, Enterprise-E
Row 2: Equinox, Excelsior, Prometheus
Row 3: Reliant, Sutherland, Venture
Row 4: Voyager, Yeager, Yosemite

Klingon Fleet

Klingon: Old School

Klingon: Less Old School

Klingon Fleet: New School

Row 1: Bortas, Ch'Tang, Gr'oth
Row 2: Klothos. Korinar, Kronos One
Row 3: Maht-h'a, Negh'Var, Rotarran
Row 4: Somraw, T'Ong, Qhondoq

The Federation ships were a pain-in-the-ass to paint. Not because of any fault of the models, but because I was trying to make sure they resembled their on-screen counterparts. When I started the Klingon ships I stopped looking at reference pictures and just did whatever I felt like. Subsequently, I had far more fun with them. The lighting conditions for the Klingon pics doesn't work as well as it did for the Federation, but I think clicking to the larger images give a pretty good idea of the patterns and detailing used.

I had an absolute blast painting these up, and I think they'll look great on the table with the rest of the game's paraphernalia. I enjoyed it so much I'm actively wanting my own set to paint up (as well as the inevitable Romulan expansion), but that'll wait for another day. Right now, I need to pack these up so they can go to their new owner...

"I have been, and always shall be, your friend."

The recipient lives out of town and his flight out leaves just a few hours after he'll get the game, so squeezing a play in is highly unlikely. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is. I can only hope he brings it back next year when he comes to visit!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

play: army list: iron warriors, 2000 pts

When I first started looking to take my Iron Warriors past 400 points, I kitted them out all the way to 2500 points with designs on using a significant amount of ForgeWorld to make it happen. However, due to recent developments 'round the house I've had to take a closer look at hobby expenditures and expectations. We all understand expenditures, but expectations may not be something you struggle with. I do. While a 2500 point army sounds great, I've got a proven track record of stalling out on large hobby projects. It pains me to write the following statement, but it's true and bears noting: "I have never finished a tabletop ready 40K army."

I've started several. I built 10 tanks and 2 ancillary vehicles for my "Armorked Krumpany," but stalled out when it came time to chip and paint them. I built the "Sons of the Forge" 5th Company, a DIY Iron Hands successor chapter, but they sit in my hobby room having never seen a drop of primer. I came really close to completing 400 points of "emORKgency!" for Adepticon 2011's Combat Patrol, but I didn't get the last coat of white on 'em before the tournament and couldn't muster enough "give a shit" when I got back from Chicago.

With that in mind, I've spent a good chunk of the two weeks back at the proverbial drawing board - really a red folder containing plain white paper, a Codex, and a pencil - trying to work up a list that minimizes expenditure, controls model count, and allows enough fluff and modeling challenge that I stay jazzed on the concept 'till completion. Reading Graham McNeill's Storm of Iron while I sorted this out helped make some tough decisions. Without further ado, the list:

Iron Warband of Warsmith Thokcha

Iron Palatine Gibeon's Breaching Squad Aerugo (358 pts)
. . . Chaos Lord
. . . . . . mark of Tzeentch
. . . . . . daemon weapon
. . . Plague Marines x6
. . . . . . plasma gun
. . . . . . flamer
. . . Chaos Rhino - "Chelonian III"
. . . . . . dozer blade
. . . . . . havoc launcher

Iron Ascendant Scoriæ's Slaughterers (291 pts)
. . . Chosen x6
. . . . . . icon of Khorne
. . . . . . meltagun x2
. . . . . . paired lightning claws x2
. . . Aspiring Champion
. . . . . . paired lightning claws
. . . Chaos Rhino - "Fornax"
. . . . . . dozer blade
. . . . . . twin-linked bolter

Iron Aspirant Sikhote's Breaching Squad Ferrugo (276 pts)
. . . Plague Marines x6
. . . . . . plasma gun
. . . . . . flamer
. . . Plague Champion
. . . . . . power fist
. . . Chaos Rhino - "Scutum IX"
. . . . . . dozer blade
. . . . . . havoc launcher

Captain Ahnighito's Zigouilleurs (175 pts)
. . . Chaos Havocs x5
. . . . . . heavy bolter x2
. . . . . . melta gun
. . . . . . flamer
. . . Aspiring Champion
. . . . . . power weapon
. . . . . . combi-melta

Polybolos Alpha (200 pts)
. . . Chaos Space Marines x11
. . . . . . plasma gun
. . . . . . lascannon

Polybolos Beta (200 pts)
. . . Chaos Space Marines x11
. . . . . . plasma gun
. . . . . . lascannon

Sturm (120 pts)
. . . Chaos Dreadnought
. . . . . . additional CCW
. . . . . . extra armor
. . . . . . heavy flamer

Drang (120 pts)
. . . Chaos Dreadnought
. . . . . . additional CCW
. . . . . . extra armor
. . . . . . heavy flamer

Von Steyr (130 pts)
. . . Chaos Vindicator
. . . . . . twin-linked bolter

Dulle Griet (130 pts)
. . . Chaos Vindicator
. . . . . . twin-linked bolter

Total Roster Cost: 2000 points

All told, I shaved off 500 points and about $150 of extra expenditure. I started with the goal of getting an infantry-heavy core of 1250-1500 points, and I think I've accomplished that well enough. If you remove the Auxiliary section it comes to 1500 points exactly. I think the list looks pretty adaptable to for games from 750 points all the way up 2000.

You may have noticed that I named a Warsmith for the army, but that he's nowhere to be found. Well, just like the Chapter Master may not be at every battle a Space Marine chapter fights, the Warsmith may not be either. In point of fact, the Warsmith is barely in Storm of Iron, letting his subordinates follow his commands from afar and showing up only when he needs to. And when he shows up, he shows up in style!

The plan is to have Warsmith Thokcha be no different. Once the list above is completed - built, painted, and played - I am then allowed to, when funds allow, craft Warsmith Thokcha and retinue. I'm thinkin' a Terminator Lord and his posse in Tactical Dreadnought armour rollin' 'round in a tricked-out Land Raider. I haven't pointed them up yet, and I've no idea how I'll fit him in the list, but he's my reward for a job done. Well or otherwise.

As you may be able to tell from all the links above, I spent quite some time crafting names and stories for this Warband. I'll try to include some of that in as I finish building/painting each unit.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

build: work-in-progress: iron warriors, pt. 5

Been awhile since I updated this here thread. I could blather on about work, medical problems, potty training two-year-olds and all kinds of other crap, but you don't care. You're just here for the pictures. ;)

So, without further ado... (all clickable for zoomed in versions)

Chelonian I: Rhino transport of squad Aerugo

Fornax and Chelonian III

I've got one more "Chelonian III" style Rhino to build for the second "Plague Marine" squad. The original plan was to have a second "Fornax" style Rhino as well, but I'm scaling back my list quite a bit. I'm currently thinking that if I expand the list later it'll probably be with a Warsmith in a Land Raider.

Was fortunate enough to be able to spend a chunk of yesterday hanging out at the local Games Workshop mucking about with a test model. It's not bad for a first try, but I've got a few other ideas I need to try before I finalize the theme and buckle down to start painting troops en masse.

Iron Warrior: paint test 1

The pic's a little dark, but you can see the jist of what I was going for. I'll try to get better lighting for the next test model and re-snap this one at the same time.

As I write all this, I realize I've been remiss in posting my updated plans Iron Warriors. Suffice it to say, they've grown beyond the meager 400 points of Combat Patrol to a full-fledged list. It grew to 2500 points, but I'm in the midst of scaling it back down to a more manageable, and less costly, 1500-1750 list. As soon as I finalize it, I'll be sure to post it up so you can see where this is going.

As always, questions, comments and criticism welcome.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

build: work-in-progress: iron warriors, pt. 4

I think I'm done with the breaching squad's Rhino. I've enjoyed the challenge of fleshing it out, but I'm not looking forward to making another when I expand the list beyond Combat Patrol levels. Though it may not be so bad. I spent more time on plasticard work that ended up discarded for new ideas than I did on the stuff that stuck. As has become the norm, pics are clickable for larger versions.

Breaching Rhino: daemonic possession, dozer blade, extra twin-linked bolter

Breaching Rhino: detail close-ups

Breaching Rhino: without dozer blade

Still have a little green-stuff work to do on the marine's respirator attachment, but for all intents and purposes it's done. Now I need to figure out what the regular CSM's Rhino will look like. I've got some IG dozer blades lyin' 'round here somewhere...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

build: work-in-progress: iron warriors, pt. 3

Again, it's been a rough week for making progress. Kicking around Space Marine multiplayer in my Iron Warriors skin seems to have sparked my imagination on the Rhino though, and I was able to get a little more headway. (once again, all images are clickable for larger version)

The dozer blade is magnetized. Still need to trick out the doors, shave the IW logo down a bit, add the IW stickin' out the top, and then get down to detail work. I've got some spikes and barbed wire lying around that I'd like to use if I can make it look good...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

build: work-in-progress: iron warriors, pt. 2

Did some work this weekend, a good chunk of which was fruitless. Got a set of these tracks off eBay thinking they'd look pretty cool on an IW Rhino. After a couple hours cleaning up the considerable flash and another couple hours trying to get 'em to fit, I scrapped the idea. I got 'em to fit, mostly, but not well enough to look manufactured. Add in that the track system of a Rhino is mostly covered, keeping visual impact of the new treads to a minimum, and it quickly ceases to be worth the 4-5 hours effort needed to fiddle the tracks into working order. Particularly when my expanded list looks to have at least 6 Rhino chassis. At this moment, I'm very glad to have had the foresight to purchase only one test set.

The Breaching Squad's Rhino is nowhere near complete, but it's on its way. Here's a teaser...

All I'll say is this: the front plate takes queues from the IW Rhino Doors kit and I have a rapidly growing knowledge-base concerning InstantMold...

I also pulled out some Blue-Tac and fit the squad together partially to test the fit, and partially to get some better shots of what the squad will look like. All of the following pics are clickable to a double-sized version.

Breaching Squad 01: aspiring champion

Breaching Squad 01: plasma team

Breaching Squad 01: fire team

Breaching Squad 01: mop-up

Mk.III Pauldron: (l) stock, (c) legion, (r) miscellaneous

I mentioned in the first post that I had to modify the Mk. III shoulder pads quite a bit, so I went ahead and got some pics of that too. With three horned-helm exceptions, two of which were necessary due to positioning, the "Legion" pad above goes on a Marine's right shoulder. Two figures have FW pads on both shoulders. I'm mixing and matching as I go, trying to steer clear of any 8-pointed stars. These guys aren't intended to be pre-Heresy, but I want them to be Iron Warriors first, Chaos Space Marines second.

As always, questions, comments, criticism both welcomed and encouraged.