Blood Bowl Orcs, Progress Report One

There's been some good progress made on my first three Blood Bowl Orcs. I painted the skin with Reaper colors, with a wash of old GW Thrakka Green in the process. I'm not sure if I like the result or not. It's hard to tell until the model is complete. The nice thing with Orcs is that I can have different green recipes for different models and it won't be a problem.

After the skin, I applied Screamer Pink to the armor plates:
blood bowl orc thrower

blood bowl orc blocker

blood bowl orc lineman
Then I covered the armor with Pink Horror. At first I tried leaving some Screamer Pink showing in the recesses like I used to do with my Ultramarines, but it looked like crap on such uneven plates. So, I covered over the whole basecoat and will have to go back and use a shading wash.
blood bowl orc lineman

blood bowl orc thrower

blood bowl orc blocker
I am not sure what would be a good wash for pink. My first thought was a red, but right now I only own purple (old GW Leviathan Purple). I think I'll thin that out with some medium and see how it pans out. After that, I'll touch up with Pink Horror. Then I have to decide if I should edge highlight or drybrush the final layer of Emperor's Children. The Warhammer TV method is to drybrush the final color, though they used red and not pink. I've never really drybrushed armor before, and am not sure if I'll like it. I think if I drybrush, I'll want to add some sponged armor chipping to edges to give some definition to the edges. If I edge highlight instead, I'll likely skip the chipping.
I have no real idea what to do. Any suggestions?
No progress has been made on the Harlequins yet. I simply haven't decided on a paint scheme yet. Do I do a preexisting Masque from the codex, or something of my own design? I feel like the diamond patterns on the GW studio models really make Harlies stand out, but I'm also really interested in trying a gradient fade using progressive glazes. Maybe I should do a halved or quartered scheme that uses both?
I'm adding a single Rhino to my Raven Guard, and have the thing mostly assembled. I need to add magnets in the side doors in case I ever want to use it as a Predator. I don't have a top turret, but I have scads of sponsons kicking around. I'm also trying to fiddle some magnets into the bottom to hold an IG dozer blade. The IG dozers look downright mean on a Rhino chassis, but they're tough to fit in place without extending the profile of the Rhino by a couple inches. I don't like extending the profile that much because it causes issues with model placement, measuring, and movement. Anyone ever gotten one of these dozers onto a Rhino while keeping the blade relatively tight to the front of the hull?
I'll try to get some pics of the dilemma for my next post.


Let the 2017 Projects Begin!

Now that the holidays are over, I'm back to my regular winter day schedule. That means I'll get my half hour of hobby time in each weekday morning. The long holiday break prevented me from getting very much done, as it's hard to hobby with a kid running around with new XMas toys.

The first thing I've done is assemble and begin basing for some of my Blood Bowl Orc models. I selected three random models from the box: a thrower and a couple linemen or blockers. I glued them into their slotted bases, and started playing with basing. Here's the first shot of them:
blood bowl orcs
You can just see the small amount of texture I applied to the bases. It's the clearish, goopy stuff. Here's a close up: 
blood bowl orcs
It's a product called "resin sand" that is made by various art supply companies. I used Liquitex brand, as that's what I had. From what I understand, painters and artists add this stuff to their paints to infuse texture into paintings and projects. I used it a long time ago when making rusty terrain for a Mars board at the FLGS. It dries quite hard and is pretty durable. 
resin sand for basing
After the resin sand was applied, I glued down some basic craft sand on the bases. The result is unimpressive so far, as can be seen below, but I think once it's painted and I've glued on some static grass, it'll look better. 
blood bowl orcs
Since I had the basing materials out, I decided to jump in and start working on bases for my Harlequins as well. These guys are a little weird with the integrated wraithbone chunks, and I wasn't sure exactly which direction I wanted to go in. I decided to use straight glue on the bases, sprinkle some medium and large pebbles on, and then coat the remainder in fine sand. These are the same materials I'm using for my Raven Guard, but applied over the whole base instead of just small spots as on the Marines.

These models will be primed white, and the bases will end up a light tan for a desert feel. Once they're painted, I'll be adding some dead grass and scrubby vegetation to them.
On the Marine front, I finished my Deathstorm Drop Pod, but am working on taking pictures. My photo area is only so large, and I'm tinkering with ways to take pics of such a tall model.
I wasn't sure what the next Marine unit I wanted to paint was, so I took a few spare hours the other day and did a full inventory of all my kits and bits. I came to a surprising realization. Between my bits bins and a huge Rubbermaid tote of sprues and kits, I can only build the following:
  • 10 Terminators
  • 8 Scout Bikes (half of which are old, metal models)
  • 1 Rhino (with an optional Whirlwind turret or a range of Razorback turrets)
  • 1 Land Raider (with weapons for all three variants)
  • 6 Servitors
  • 1 Third Edition Techmarine
  • and SIX power armored models of any type.
I was really shocked by the fact I can only build a half-dozen PA models. I have a significant number of PA sprues and bits, but the thing holding me back are torso backs. I have completely run out, outside of the six I have, and even those are preassembled to fronts from an auction lot I got years ago. I had plans for a lot of PA models for a Demi Company in the near future, but now I need to go bits shopping!
In fact, I can build a bunch more models with a minimum of bits purchasing. Five Terminator torso fronts can net me five more full Terminators, while a single Rhino rear door would get me another full Rhino chassis. Three basic bike chassis (without riders) would add another three Scout Bikes to my options. But the big one is torsos. I can build another 19 models just by buying torso backs (though no one sells just backs). Oh, and I can build three full Landspeeders if I get some more of the magnetized flying stands I use from Back to Base-ix.
I've got a few things listed on eBay right now in order to raise some funds for said bits, but in the meantime I'm starting assembly of a Rhino. I think my lone Sternguard Squad or my small tactical Squad would benefit from a transport or two.
I've got a lot of irons in the fire now with Blood Bowl, Harlies, and Raven Guard. We've got a Blood Bowl league starting up soon that I'm going to really have to work to participate in, and the FLGS monthly 40K tourney coming up in a couple weeks. Lots to do!


Bomb Pod!

I've been taking my time painting now that the Standish  Standoff is over. I've not really been working on improving or anything, just slowly picking away at models for fun. Right now, I'm applying paint to a Forgeworld Deathstorm Drop Pod.

I originally bought this model for my Ultramarines, but never got around to painting it despite having magnetized and assembled it into subgroups. As of this morning, it looks like this:

deathstorm drop pod

It's a pretty simple model. You replace the complicated harnesses with the missiles racks, which is a HUGE chunk of solid resin once assembled. Unfortunately, shortly after snapping this pic, I snapped off one of the little power feed cables you can see down near the base of the doors. I've broken it twice before, once while removing the sprue gates and once while painting. I couldn't find the piece on the carpet, but I don't think anyone will ever notice. If I do stumble across it later, it should be easy enough to slot into place and glue.

The next steps are the hazard stripes on the doors, and then the main black color. I plan to have it done for the monthly tourney at the FLGS on Saturday. It'll be a 2000 point day, so I'm just running my Standoff list (1750), plus this thing and a few other models. In game terms, the pod is impressive. When it lands, it hits every unit within 12" with d3 Whirlwind shots, each. After that, it functions like a regular Whirlwind, one shot per turn. Slap this bugger down in the middle of a gunline and BOOM.

Last Saturday I managed to get in my first ever game of Blood Bowl. I played Orcs against Humans and had a lot of fun. I'm planning to get the Orc models cleaned of mold lines, assembled, based, and primed soon. Painting will wait until after Christmas, as my wife wanted some small things to get me as gifts, and the pink paints I needed were a perfect option. I've already got various greens for their skin, but have never owned pink paint.

The Blood Bowl Orcs shouldn't take too long to paint, and after they're done I have more Raven Guard or some Harlequins to paint. Not sure which I'll go for. I'm struggling with basing ideas for the Harlies, so I'll have to take some shots and see if you folks can help me decide.


Raven Guard, Tactical Squad Ouvai

After painting my ass off for a couple weeks straight, I have another squad and a drop pod completed. You all know what a standard drop pod looks like, so I'm not bothering to share that. Plus, I cut some corners to get it done in time for the Standoff, so it's not my favorite.

Anyhow, here is Tactical Squad Ouvai. They're led by Sergeant Yasson Ouvai (YAH-sohn Ooh-VUY). It's just a 5-man squad right now, armed with a combiplasma and a plasma cannon.

Here are the bolter Marines. Suitably boring, though I'm trying to break up the wall of black paint with things like pouches and grenades. I've finally gotten a brown leather recipe I like for pouches. It's a basecoat of Reaper Ruddy Leather, a wash of Devlan Mud/Agrax Earthshade, and then an edge highlight of Reaper Leather Brown. Simple and effective.

Raven Guard tactical Squad bolters

Raven Guard tactical Squad bolters

Raven Guard tactical Squad bolters

Raven Guard tactical Squad bolters

Then we have Sergeant Ouvai and the plasma cannoneer.
Raven Guard tactical sergeant plasma cannon

Raven Guard tactical sergeant plasma cannon

Raven Guard tactical sergeant plasma cannon

Raven Guard tactical sergeant plasma cannon
I really like the plasma cannoneer model for some reason. As I looked at him over and over waiting to be 100% done, I started to become very enamored with his posing and the line of his eyes/helmet toward the target. It's an old, metal cannon from ye olden dayes. Normally I hate the metal heavies, but this one seems to work.
raven guard plasma cannon
Sergeant Ouvai isn't all that interesting, as all he's got is a combiplasma. No fancy wargear to paint or dynamic pose, but that's ok. the big thing I did with him is determine how I was going to mark him out as a sergeant. For my old Ultras, it was easy. Red helmet. But a red helmet on a Raven Guard model would look awful. I didn't want a white helmet, because I reserve white for veterans. I could say he's a Veteran Sergeant, but he's not. I racked my brain until I came up with this:
raven guard tactical sergeant arrow

It's a red, horizontal Tactical arrow from the Dark Angels section of the standard Space Marine transfer sheet. Red for sergeant, and a squad number. I was originally going to trim one point off it and turn it vertically, but I really liked the result. The only thing I was hesitant about was that I kept seeing an Eye of Horus symbol when I looked very quickly at it. I got over it, and I think I'll be using red squad markings for all my Sergeants in the future.

I played this squad at the Standoff, and it did jack in all three games. The plasma cannon fired maybe three times total across all three games. My guess is that that was the result of not having a transport and my attempts to use them to sit on hidden objectives. It's tough to get a good line of fire for the cannon, and if you need to move to adjust, you can't fire it anyways.
These guys were supposed to be a foray into a trio of Tac squads so I could run either the Pinion Demi or Battle Demi formation, but I'm reconsidering. I either need to paint up some Rhinos or move on. Tac squads just bore me to death with their options and slowness.


Standish Standoff 2016, After Action Report

Last Saturday (November 19th) was the sixth annual Standish Standoff tournament at the FLGS. It's our community's annual "big" tournament. This year it was 1750 points.

I ran my Raven Guard, with 100% Raven Guard painted models. The last few months and test games saw me using some stand-in Ultramarines models from my old army. I painted and painted to get all RG models on the table for the event.

My list was as follows:

Shadow Force
Captain, Raven's Fury jump pack, power fist, relic blade, artificer armor
Vanguard Vets, 5x, powerfist + pistol, dual lightning claws, grav + bolt pistols x2, sergeant with relic blade and storm shield, meltabombs on the claws and pistoliers
Sternguard Vets, 5x, 2x combigrav, meltabombs on sergeant
Landspeeder, Typhoon Launchers and Multimelta

Techmarine with servo harness
Servitors, 4x, two heavy bolters
Scout Squad, 5x, camo, pistol and CCWs, one shotgun, vet sergeant with power sword and meltabombs
Scout Squad, 5x, camo, bolters, heavy bolter with Hellfire
Tac Squad, 5x, plasma cannon, sergeant with combiplas
Assault Squad, 6x, two flamers, vet sergeant w/ lightning claw and meltabombs
Drop Pod (fast attack slot)
Dreadnought, twin-las and missile launcher
Devastator Squad, 5x, two lascannons
Leviathan Dreadnought, claw/drill, armored ceramite, three hunter-killer missiles

Fun, if inefficient. I'm looking squarely at you, Techmarine and Servitors.

My first game was against Warren and his Space Wolf list. I played against it in the first round of a tournament last month as well. The list was 95% units in Drop Pods, led by Ragnar. Everythign arrives turn one and gets Fearless and FNP (6+) until their second turn.
As usual, the game was a Maelstrom mission (as was every mission on the day). Warren placed a trio of objectives in a tight triangle near my deployment zone, so I knew he was going to focus his pods there. So, I used my infiltrators and scout moves to congest the area, and then lucked out and seized the initiative to drop my one pod right in the middle of the mess. This was key to the game being as close as it was, as I didn't have to clear a lot of Fearless Space Wolves off of objectives. Funnily enough, neither of us really drew many numbered objective cards in the game.
Warren took a narrow victory on the back of an early lead.

Game Two was against Thor from Creative Twilight. We seem to play against one another at least every other tourney. I'll just point you at his tourney report for the event for general details of our game. A narrow victory for him after I'd taken the early lead.

The final game of the day was against a very unconventional Tau list. Lots of Fire Warrior and Breacher squads on foot, two or three Ethereals packed into a Devilfish, a trio of flyers, and a metric ton of various Drone squads in a formation.
This one was a solid win for me, as my opponent was very rusty on Maelstrom missions in general. Not a lot of killing in this one, as I didn't really want to throw my jump troops into the massed infantry with Supporting Fire. That rule, along with markerlights, is my bugaboo for Tau. So frustrating. I just camped objectives and used my mobility to rack up points. It was nice to see a Tau list with actual infantry and no suits, and not just because I won. Of course, after the new FAQ, the list is neutered because the Ethereals can't use their command powers from inside that Devilfish.

I ended the day in the middle of the pack, 10th place of 22 on overall points. 13th in just battle points. 7th on soft points.
The only thing I did "well" with was the pub quiz, getting 7 of 10 questions right, if I remember correctly.

The event also featured some painting competitions, but I didn't enter any models this year. I had a few reasons for that.
Firstly, I didn't paint anything specifically for the competition. I painted purely to get models into games, and I don't enter models unless I feel they are showcase quality. My Raven Guard look nice, but they don't have much in the way of character. Flat black models don't tend to win painting awards.
Secondly, I've won a good number of the categories in past Standoffs. I've got a drawer full of purity seals from my Ultramarine models. I kind of feel guilty winning awards and just shoving them in a drawer. It sort of feels disrespectful to the competition. I know that's an odd sentiment, but it's how I feel. Finally, I've lost with models I worked super hard on in the past. The painting judges work super hard at a tough job, but I have some lingering feelings of being robbed. Petty? Probably.
All that added up to a simple lack of desire to enter models. It is what it is. I'll try next year with some Harlequin models or something.

I did have an enjoyable day. Three good games and a day out of the house was nice. There's a different energy to an annual event when compared to a standard monthly tourney.

Now that the event is over, I'm back to slowly painting instead of a flurry of activity. I'm picking away at a Forgeworld Deathstorm Drop Pod that I bought and assembled ages ago for my Ultramarines, but never finished. Once that is done, I'm not sure where I'll go. I've got a preorder in for Blood Bowl next weekend, and am looking forward to painting those models. I'm trying to avoid spending any cash on new Marine kits until I've exhausted some of my existing collection, but the lure of a big kit like a Stormraven or a Knight is strong.


Dreadtober Update #4: Work Complete!

This is my final Dreadtober update, because I successfully finished the model!

Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought

Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought

Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought

Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought
Firstly, I fixed the sepia tone of my images. I covered the table with white paper to prevent the brown color from reflecting up onto the model. I also discovered that the shrouds I put over my front lights actually had small burns on them from the lightbulb heat. I changed those and it may have helped. Of course, fixing the white balance in GIMP also helps.
I replaced the model's right shin plate with one from the Ravenwing upgrade sprue. Many thanks to Berman from A Painted Life for the new plate. I like the bit of asymmetry it creates against the left plate. I really like the brass ribbed pipes. They break up the silver nicely. I didn't go with colored cables like I did on my Leviathan, mostly because the one power cable I'd apply color to is hard to reach on the lascannon. It crosses over that brass cable awkwardly.
The decals on the sarcophagus came out nicely. The XIX numerals came from an IG vehicle sprue, while the icons came from the Forgeworld Raven Guard sheet. I went with a grey-white for this model, and did edge highlights in pure white. You can't really see it in the pictures, but you can in person. I like the effect a lot, and it should stand out even better on infantry models that have more edges.
I played three games with this model last weekend before he was 100% complete. He's pretty ineffective with this armament. He just doesn't have the rate of fire needed to be a true anti-tank threat. After the Standish Standoff, I'll probably give him a new set of arms. Maybe multimelta and Dreadnought close combat weapon.
Next up is my 5-man Tactical squad packing plasma weaponry. I've already base coated the black and am at the edge highlight stage.


Dreadtober Progress Reports #2 and 3: Basic Colors and The Base

This week I have two Dreadtober updates to share in one post. I was out of town last week, so I missed the update on blocking in colors on the model.

Here's the current painting progress on the Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought:
Raven Guard Venerable Dreadnought

He's nearly done. You can see that I left his shins off for painting. You can also spot a small dot of silver on his left thigh area that needs cleaned up. I used Runelord Brass on small details like bolt heads and ribbed cables, washed it with Devlan Mud, and then touched it again with Ironbreaker because it looked too flat. It breaks up the monotony of silver nicely.

I'm supposed to use this model in a is weekend, so I'll probably concentrate on decals and final details like lenses and targeters next week.

In order to get him table-ready, I also started work on his base. I use a flagstone style base scheme for my Raven Guard, and I covered the process I used to make the first bases HERE.

The first step for the Dreadnought base was to slather the whole thing in plastic glue and start slapping down carved squares and scraps.
40K Flagstone Basing

The scraps are left over from building my original 32mm bases and the base for my Leviathan Siege Dreadnought. All the overhangs are very intentional in order to get a more random placement of the center flagstone on the base. The overhangs go away when I turn the base over a couple days later and use an Xacto knife to trace around the top edge. This scores the plastic and allows me to snap the overhanging parts off. Those scraps go in a bag for later use. The result is here:
 40K Flagstone Basing
After snapping the overhangs off, you angle your knife and carve the flagstone texture into the edges. You can see some of the little curls of plastic produced by this process in the picture above.
 40K Flagstone Basing
The final step is to add bits, rocks, and sand. I have a bin full of random offcuts from which I pulled that skull-arch thing (I believe it came from a 40K scenery scrap), and obscured by the glare in the upper left are two resin skulls from Secret Weapon's "Sack 'O Skulls". Those are top-notch quality, and I highly recommend them.
The bits get stuck on with superglue, and then I use PVA glue top make little puddles where I want rocks and sand. I randomly drop small rocks into the puddles, and then cover the remainder in sand. Both materials came from the springtime washdown at the end of my driveway. That's the little piles of sand and dirt left in the drive by the melting snow.
I try to focus on wonky areas of the base for rocks and sand, like the corners of the center flagstone. I got lazy and didn't carve it up enough, and so it looked too sharp and geometric. The rubble obscures that and solves the problem.
The base is now sitting in my garage, waiting for the primer to dry. I'll paint it tonight during the Bruins game.