Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fiddling with Fantasy: Vikings and Grotesque Chaos Knights

So far I've only played one game of Warhammer Fantasy, but that's the same number of 40k games I've played in the last few months.  Inspiration has been lacking, but I'm leaning towards a pure Tzeench force using the brown/sepia paint scheme from my last post.

Using a Sanguinary Guard grotesque-helm from 40k to enhance a clean style.

I hate GW's marauders.  They're as bad as the Catachans.  I thought my army would lack Marauders for this reason, until I saw the historical plastics coming out from various companies.  Gripping Beast became my source for these depraved humans, and they're actually human size, unlike the massive Marauders!  Comparisons show they are about the same size as Empire troops, with slightly smaller weapons.  Here I've added a few Marauder Cavalry bits to the models (which are excellent btw), but the majority went together unmodified.

The only addition here is a Warriors of Chaos banner.

Head swap.

Shield swap.  Marauder shields are actually smaller than the ones in the vikings box.
Another head swap.

I think these guys will take the wash color scheme nicely.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Painting Chaos Warriors test models

I haven't been playing 40k for a few months and each project I start seems tiring.  But fear not gentle reader, this is not a complaining blog entry, but a start of something new: square bases.  Some friends of mine recently started Warhammer Fantasy (aka stupid square bases) and it looked like something new, something refreshing.  The latest edition took away much of what I disliked about the game and so I started looking.  Some research and number crunching later I settled on Warriors of Chaos (no surprise there) rather than Vampire Counts because frankly, I want something easy to paint and a hoard army does not fit the bill, even if they are mere skeletons.

Funny enough this article on Bell of Lost Souls talks about just my predicament.  I hope that painting Warriors of Chaos and starting something new will get the ball rolling again and all those languishing projects will once again hope to see the light of day.

I truly am living up to my blog name at this point and so, without further adieu, I give you test scheme A and test scheme B.  Please vote for your favorite on the side bar.

I tried to keep it as simple as I could.  Scheme A recipe: prime grey, block in gold, red, silver and bone, douse in Devlan Mud.
Scheme A
Scheme B recipe:  Prime White, wash armor with Gryphonne Sepia followed by Devlan mud, wash shoulder-spike, horn caps and axe blade with Badab Black, wash cloak, horns and axe handle with Gryphonne Sepia, wash boots, axe-haft and gloves with Devlan Mud.  No paints here!
Scheme B
Scheme A.

Scheme B
Scheme A
Scheme B

Monday, August 16, 2010

Finished Krieg Hellhound painted with Masterclass techniques.

I had fun painting this model up, which makes me think I should do more like it.  I remember a few years ago when I couldn't wait to paint, but it became a chore to paint everything.  After all this hobby is about collecting, sometimes playing, and painting.  In that order.  :)

I had to use natural light to show the subtle details, but the sun was setting so it threw some pretty harsh shadows.  Even still, the dirt weathering pigment is easy to see in the recesses in this one.  It's also worth noting that the tank commander was painted entirely with washes, barring a few touch-ups.

The oil-paint rust streaks merge nicely with the dirt-pigment on the side of the tank.

Two colors of rust colored pigment, heavily reduced (I think I used water to pull pigment off those pipes 3 or 4 times.  Less really is more.)  I'm pretty happy with the oily fuel drums, the effect was simply built up using layers of Gryphonne Sepia, Ogryn Flesh and Devlan Mud.
  On the plate with the Imperial eagle I'm fond of the sponged paint chipping on the left edge turned out.  The dusting of dirt and rust on its right side also looks nice.

Tracks painted with umber, drybrushed with darkened boltgun and then dabbed with weathering pigment dirt.  They didn't pop until I went pack and blackened each rubber pad.  All the metallics were a mix of Boltgun and black to keep a worn, military feel.  I used blue and purple washes over the barrel of the flamethrower to show heat discoloration.  Then I added a little black pigment at the end for soot, followed by white pigment for ash.

I love the rust spots and streaks created by flicking the oil-paint.  I still have a bit to learn about the pigments, but they are surprisingly easy to use.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Secret Project, Masterclass weathering, Blood Pact N-20 wheels

In this episode of PaDA! I waffle on about trying to write a novel, post pictures as I attempt a Forgeworld Masterclass weathering technique and show off wheels for my Blood Pact vehicles that I made and a friend cast for me.  Read on, and take a tour of the three wings of my hobby mansion.  Please enjoy your stay, and do not feed the residents.

Now that the deadline for Black Library has passed, I will reveal that in most of my recent spare time I was working on a submission for a 40k novel.  I think my submission was around 16,000 words altogether and with the help of my wonderful wife, we managed to get in three reviews/edits in before it was sent off.  I'm pretty happy with the end result, and surprised that it seemed to take on a life of its own.  Now I'm curious what happens next in my own story!  Of course I know how it ends, but I want to read all those little details, I want to write all those little details.  It was also strange to read it after I sent it, if was like I wasn't reading my own work.  What was it about, you ask?  Well here is my pitch line:

"A calloused veteran of 10,000 years of war transforms two criminal youths into power armored Astartes and forces them to confront their inner darkness during his endless crusade against the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable." 

I'm excited to say that just last night I tried out  the Forgeworld Masterclass technique of oil-paint weathering.  Not only is it very simple, the results are amazing.  It boils down to this:
  1. Paint your vehicle and add minor wear like paint chips and pin wash.
  2. Spray it with a couple good coats of gloss varnish.
  3. Flick burnt sienna oil paint on randomly.
  4. After the thinner ("spirits" for our friends across the pond) evaporates, take a wide brush and drag the oil spots down.
What this technique does is mimic the subtle streaks of dust and dirt on a vehicle, as well as create a few areas of rust which have likewise streaked vertically.  Oil paint is a pain due to its very long drying time, use of thinner (spirits) and the need to glosscoat the model first.  This is balanced by the ease of applying the technique and the amazing, subtle effect it produces.  I will be using this in the future.

Here you can see two rust spots on the front hull, as well as a few subtle streaks on the turret and upper right hull.

Some excellent subtlety in the streaks in this one.

I went heavy on the rear because it would lower to touch the ground, and thus chip more.

Opposite side.  Some tiny rust spots towards the aft, more subtle streaks towards the front.  The lower left corner of the rusted panel was painted on before hand but the oils covered the boltgun metal with grime and matched the foundation brown paint well.

I'm also very happy to announce that Mal over at is learning to cast custom pieces and as a result, my Blood Pact got some resin wheels for their N-20 halftrack.  He also made some molds for the bogies and road-wheels from the old tank kits, which are out of print now.

Very nice, very blurry, but very nice indeed.

They're the perfect size and knobbly-ness for 40k.

Here you can see the inside of the cast tire, revealing that it was but a humble drop-mold.

Monday, July 19, 2010

ForgeWorld Masterclass techniques

While I was at Warhammer World I picked up a few things from forgeword, or rather ordered them to be delivered back home.  One of these was the Masterclass Volume 1 and it is a beauty.  I highly recommend picking it up for the wealth of simple and effective tips within.  (Not to mention all the complex and effective tips also jammed in there!)

Here the masking process starts.  The model was first primed with Army Painter's Uniform Grey.  Remember to press down on the sides of the tape with a pencil tip to make sure the tape conforms to rivets and smaller details.

As I got home and looked at all my conversion and scratchbuild projects I began to yearn for simpler days.  A bog standard army, straight out of the box began to appeal.  I considered selling all my armies and starting over, but I've had that feeling before and I knew it would pass.  To scratch the simple-build itch, I assembled a Hellhound that's been sitting in its box since my last birthday.  It's a great kit, I just hadn't gotten around to it and wasn't sure how to make it fit in with the Blood Pact.  Let me put this in perspective for you: sometime's I'll spend hours, days even, just building and converting a tank or a handful of infantry, so when I built this hellhound in less than an hour I was amazed.  Well done GW, your new kits are better and better.

Here it is after the masking tape is off.  The stripes were sprayed with Montana Steel Grey.  While Montana brand makes excellent paints with low pressure nozzles, be careful to stay close to the model or some "dusting" can occur.

With a simple build under my belt I thought I'd try some Masterclass techniques and as everyone who's looked at the book knows, the only way to do that is with some Death Korps of Krieg.  Luckily I had a spare commander or two laying around and tossed one in the turret.  The following pictures are my first attempt at masking camouflage and pin washing.  (Pin washing is a fancy sounding technique wherein you don't wash the entire model, just the rivets and the panel lines.)  This gives heightened contrast and actually lets you see all those tiny details from across the room.  Simple to do, with great results.  With the pin wash picture, it's worth clicking the link for the full size as the effect is pretty subtle.

 Before pin washing.

After pin washing with third parts Gryphonne Sepia, Ogryn Flesh and water.

Next up will be the sponge-weathering you may have seen on my Blood Pact tank previously.  Then it's a gloss coat and I'll try out some oil paints on a model for the first time.  Exciting!
The rest of the process:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Blood Pact N20 halftrack breakthrough!

Well after my last blog entry went over like a lead balloon, and I am on holiday in London right now, I will keep this short.

I haven't been playing with the Blood Pact army I want to have because I couldn't come up with something to replace chimeras.  I wanted to use either the N20 halftrack, depicted in Dan Abnett's books as close support flame-spouting vehicles, or the STeG-4, depicted as a 6 wheeled armored car, but what models to use?  I considered using the six wheeled IFV for the Oni faction of AT 43.  (Pictures here, towards the bottom)  Scratch building was another option, but it would have to be simple so as to not drive me insane, the Pact already has enough modding and converting.

Enter paper models.  I saw a post on warseer and set upon the idea.  Some searching of the Tubes and I discovered several free paper models for WW2.  They looked complicated.  I was all set to order some of the 6 wheeled destroyers from AT 43, even had the order screen up, when I thought "Well, I should at least try one out."  Less than an hour later we have this:

Paper test model, paper pattern, plasticard pattern.

Huh, look at that.  Those tonka toy tires I found a while back are the perfect size.  Thanks again Shawn!

Looks good so far.

Not in scale for a WW2 halftrack, but perfect for a 40k chimera.

12 Pacters could easily fit in there.

The curved section by the door was the most difficult part, the rest is right angles.

Oh yes.  It needs a bit of putty in the gaps but it was super simple to make, will be easy to detail, easy to repeat, and I can fit 3 patterns on a $5 sheet of plasticard.

Oh yes.

I return from Blighty on the 21st, normal service will return after.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"What draws me to an Army?", Night Lord Rhino weathering, questionable Dreadnought.

What draws me to an Army?
(Pictures current of models below the text for those not interested.)

I've been having so much fun painting this Night Lords rhino that I'm posting a second time in one week!  Some backstory; the Night Lords were the first 40k army I finished.  I had 1850 points and took them to one or two Seattle Grand Tournaments around the year 2000.  They were my return to the hobby and my painting style was bright and clean, as was portrayed in White Dwarf at the time.  Old, old pictures can be found here, and funny enough over at Bell of Lost Souls.  It seems someone over there picked up my army, or who knows, they may have been the person I sold it to all those years ago.

The point being that something has always drawn me to these brutal killers.  Their paint scheme is striking, and adheres to Bsmoove's excellent hypothesis on color palette choice, but that isn't all of it.  I am drawn to the theme of a force and for several editions their theme seemed to waver, but the use of fear and unconventional tactics remained constant.  It is this manipulative nature that brings me back to them.  Like Bsmoove and myself, the Night Lords are a D4.  They seek weakness and strike where they will do the most damage.  They do not play by the rules, they seek to change the rules and so change the conflict.

This actually reminds me of myself while playing in one tournament I realized a friend of mine's morale would crumble whenever his favorite unit was destroyed, so I changed my battle plan to do everything in my power to obliterate that unit.  I told him exactly what I did afterward, and he tells me he still remembers that game and how it helped him enjoy playing the game rather than winning.  I like to call that using my d4viousness for Awesome.

I also enjoy stories about tragic heroes.  All space marines exemplify that to some extent, but the Dark Angels and Night Lords are aware of what they have lost and they give it willingly because the goal is worth it.  The poor Dark Angels have given up their honor in an attempt to keep their pride, while the Night Lords gave up their humanity to become the monsters that keep humanity safe.  The Night Lords, VIII legion never really took part in the Great Crusade like their brothers did.  Instead they followed in the wake and put down revolts and insurgencies, much as their Primarch ended crime on his home world.  They did this with fear and terror just as their Primarch did, safe in the knowledge that they sacrificed the few to insure cohesion and manifest destiny of greater humanity.  Through this devious deception called fear the VIII legion brought worlds back into compliance with much less destruction or loss of life than an assault would cause.

 Theme and appearance are of primary concern for me when playing or choosing an army.  The reason I have played every army in 40k at least once (besides Daemons and Tyranids)?  I find either a theme or an appearance I like and try to create something out of it, but over the course of play or building the army I find things I dislike.  For example, I love the way the Tau look but their play style and story (which are related to my mind) are not entertaining for me.

I hope this has been as useful for all of you as it has been for me.  I'm not sure it will stop my tendency to collect multiple armies, but it certainly helped me to identify my own tendencies and what I like in collecting.  On to the pictures!

Here is my freehand lightning bolt, required for every Night Lord vehicle.  Not the paint chipping and rusting.  In particular the smoke launchers have been painted using the rust technique on A Gentleman's Ones here.  Washes should bring the paint chipping together and I'll experiment with some weathering powders as well.

Patina wash went on a little too thick on this side, I'll be pushing it back with Devlan Mud washes and building the Brass back up.

This is the product of the same rust wash I used on my Blood Pact tank here.  It is basically a weathering powder suspended in alcohol and sells under the name RustAll.

Again, the patina wash got away from me a little around the vision ports.  I'm looking forward to seeing how powders can tone it down and how they will change the appearance of the rhino in general.

Rust, patina and tons of chips!  Fuel cylinders to receive copious washes.

What do you think?  Obviously the spikes' rails will be trimmed back in the final product.  Is it too much, or does it bring it more in line with a traitor legion?

And again.

Bonus image for loyal viewers!  Not related to 40k, but it made me laugh today when I was checking to see if my phone would work while I am in London.  Verison geography fail.