Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Terminator Librarian

A few quick pics of the terminator librarian for my Crimson Fists force.

Went with the force axe (taken from one of Calgar's honor guard) over the stave purely for the AP2.
Playing with the force stave had the advantage of the high strength, something I thought would synergise with the thunder hammers in the unit he runs with (5 assault terminators).  Instead it left him wounding easily but unable to punch through the armour of the threats he'd be up against and the promise of consussing a foe at I5 is just too unlikely, so best make what few attacks he has count at AP2 and trust in the 2+/3++.

Painting wise, pretty straight forward with very basic techniques used throughout.  The eyes an hood were an attempt at lighting effects but end up looking a bit messy and like he's wearing eye liner.  As I was listening to Adam and the Ants while painting, this seems appropriate though.

Thoughts always welcome.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sedition Wars - Vanguard

Sedition Wars - Arriving with an intimidating number of miniatures from the kickstarter project there are ample to practice and experiment techniques on.  Good job to as the hard plastic, laden with detail presents a different kind of model to what I'm used to working with.  The features are much more subtle and suited to washes than others I'm used to.  As such this is the first in a series of experiments to find the ideal technique.  I'd love to say that is the technique that looks the best but if I plan to ever play a game of SW:BA with a fully painted complement of strain and vanguard, time is going to be a major factor.

Fig 1
Starting with a vanguard basic (female) model I based it white with a spray gun and then applied a medium wash of Drakenhof Nightshade (fig 1).

Fig 2.  Half painted white against the base+wash
Watering down white scar to about 75:25 paint to water I focused on the plates, repainting the edges after dry to form a basic highlight.  Mistakes are a pain but can be corrected with a modeling knife and tissue if caught quickly (fig 2).

Fig 3. Hair built up with sepia and a yellow highlight.
Building this up quickly painted the armor.  The head and hair was a wash of Reikland Fleshshade before watered ungor flesh and Eldar flesh.  The eyes (over done but ok from a distance) are nuln oil with a dot of white and then blue, a very light (25:75) wash of eldar flesh brought the colours slightly back into the skin again so they don't stand out as starkly (fig 3).

Finally the gun.  Not fully finished here as needs a little tidying it was edge highlighted with ulthuan grey.  some of the larger blocks will be filled with ulthuan and then edged with white in the final.

Total time... 25 minutes and a good tabletop standard as long as you don't get too close.

Comments or shared pics of your SW:BA models appreciated.

Sky Ray

Wow it's been a while.

Not only since I last posted but since I last saw (or bothered reading) the entry for a skyray.  The current train wreck that is the skyray is still a damn beautiful model and a joy to assemble and paint.

Tau vehicles have enormous open spaces with sweeping lines and graceful curves.  The open spaces can be intimidating but benefit from crisp lines and an even paint job.   I've often struggled in the past to create a paint scheme that looked believable given the size of the vehicle.  Taking a technique from my recently painted tyranids I decided on a more organic camouflaged appearance, this is how it was achieved.

Base - Celestra Grey - applied across the whole model and then washed with nuln oil.
The wash created strong tide marks as it was heavily applied.
The technique is Stippling to create the mottled effect.

The GW stippling brush I find to be too hard for a good effect, I use a dry brush cut back to about 3mm and then a fine brush cut back to about 4mm.  Collect a light amount of paint on the brush and dab it (twisting slightly) randomly across the surface. Start with a base layer and then progress through the shades to the highlight shades (as you progress the finer brush).  My progression was celestra grey - ulthuan grey - skull white.

Dry brush - Praxeti white heavily stippled along raised edges and edges formed a highlight (rather than a solid edge highlight to avoid the tron effect.

The block colors continued the highlights along the lines but with a more solid highlight.  The surface orbs were painted as gems to create contrast.  Once done return and wash directly into the gaps and crevices.  A few other techniques across the model but this was the main one, used in the same way as on the tyranid carapace from earlier posts but to produce a similar organic and muted effect, ideal for a tank trying to lose itself in the snow.

The finished Sky Ray for Tau

Saturday, 3 March 2012


Finally finished the Trygon (first of two) in time for ToS and fairly happy with the look.  Wasn't sure for a long time about the central rib cage but I increasingly like it as it adds to armoured feel for the monster.  Being the tallest thing in my Nid collection (the Tyrannofex not yet built) it is a real stand out monster and as such has had some attention lavished on it.

Painted more or less as a whole model (all attached except for 4 of the 6 arms which remained detached to allow access to the ribs) it was fairly enjoyable with lots of little stages that could be completed independant of each other, not like a tank which sometimes feel like a single solid mass of colour.  Main bits I'm happy with are the white edgings of the containment spines, my first attempt at an internal light source and it gives a nice effect, though not as stark as it needs to be to be effective. 

The tail also has the toxin sacs (something the creature is unlikley to be equipped with again after rereading the rules on these) are scorpion green washed thraka green, highlighted sorpion and washed white on the highlight edges before a final thraka wash at the recesses. 

thats about it for the model.  The bone effect was tausept ochre, drybresh (heavy) deneb stone, washed ogre flesh, light drybrush of deneb stone, edge highlight of kommando khaki and final extreme highlight of skull white.

Let me know thoughts comments and oppinions before I start the second.

In other news.  The games website is pretty much up and running now with all the games available online.  Enjoy

Monday, 6 February 2012

Termagants and their uses

As I'm spending so many hours painting them I thought I'd indulge in a post about the uses of the humble Termagant.  That said this isn't a codex review or full review of the unit and their options (there are many fine ones about such as here) but rather a discussion piece on how I use them and their role in my force.

Termagants are cheap, at 5 points a model a sizeable unit can weigh in at around 100pts.  That said they are also one of the worst units in the game (in their basic form).  No real armour, a stat line that defines the average (in an imperial guard barracks anyway) and a bolt pistol.  Thrown in their lacklustre leadership and special rule that means they'll sit and drool unless watched over by a synapse and they really aren't anything to write home about.

The key there though is 'watched over by a synapse'.  Once within 12" they gain fearless and their main role in my force comes out.  They are an excellent charge blocker, able to soak up a good 8 wounds before having to worry and sure they aren't likely to cause much damage back (more on this later) but they'll stick around and hold the opponent in close combat for a devastating counter charge.  As units locked in close combat don't gain benefits of cover when subsequently assaulted this can be a useful way of shielding a valuable unit and then 'revealing it' as the termagants start to die ready for a counter charge.

But who says termagants can't cause damage?  The real strength of the termagants is their ability to allow a tervigon to slip into the troop choice.  Suddenly all of a termagants drawbacks melt away whilst this MC sits within 6".  With counterattack and toxin sacs the termagant can suddenly hope to not only tar pit but cause some damage to an assaulting unit, just make sure its within 6" AFTER combat moves.

To guarantee this deploy the termagant blob (about 12-15 models) where you want them.  Then form a conga coherency line back and even behind the tervigon.  If the unit is assaulted and pulled forward 6" then the rear elements of the line should still be within the crucial 6" to confer the goodies to the tervigon.  Looks like the tervigon might go down this shooting phase?  If possible remove the conga line and cut the 6" link to save some models for when it finally bites it.

Able to generate troops choices and sit happily outside of combat feeding I5, Str4 poisoned termagants into an ongoing fight makes the termagant/tervigon relationship one of the standout features of the current Nids dex.  It won't suit every force and due to the points cost will define a great deal about how the army will function but for the commander after a scuttling swarm Nids army, its perfect. 

That said a danger is relying too heavily on the trick.  Termagants and tervigons are ways of turning a poor unit into a mediocre unit but one highly dependent on a model that can be brought down in a single turn of focused fire.  More of a good thing is not necessarily better.  100 rubbish troops on the field isn't going to get you much further than 60 rubbish troops and their role as a delay and block doesn't work if you have nothing hard hitting to take advantage of the gap.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Termagants - the never ending

Haven't posted in a while so going to ease back in gently with a vague update of what I'm up to at the moment.  It can pretty much be summed up in one word, Termagants.  Anyone who has ever collected (and actually tried to paint) a swarm force will recognise the sense of for boding and weary inevitability the idea of painting core troops brings. 

I've always loved the idea of a scuttling swarm taking up most of the tabletop, with individual units outnumbering some armies.  Without Number in the previous edition didn't quite cut it as the swarm generally arrived in dribs and drabs and only when some other element of the swarm had been wholly eliminated.  With tervigons (but still no tervigon models GW) the Tyranid player can finally get the feeling of unleashing an endless tide onto the opponent (until they role a double at least). 

the problem with unleashing the endless tide though means you first have to unleash it onto your painting table and that means many long hours painting virtually identical models. 

Progress has been good as you can see from the picture.  I'm aiming for 80ish termagants (40 taken as troops the rest possible tervigon reinforcements) and have lined them up in rows of 8 so you get a better idea of percentage progress.

Tricks and tips for painting massed termagants?  I've found a production line approach is a bit dissatisfying.  you get the payoff of completing 12 termagants in one go but have to wait a few days to reach that point.  and when you paint the same feature (a tongue say) for the 12th time its inevitably going to be sloppy.  I've found basing, washing and doing the block colours in batches of 10, then block highlights in batches of 5 before doing all the fine details and highlights on just one until its finished much better.  you get the instant payoff as you finish a full model and don't get bored of painting the same thing 12 times in a row.

Beyond that there isn't much else to it.  BBC iplayer (especially the radio plays) are amazing and can be found here if you can access them

At about 40% of the way through I think it'll be late Feb before the termagants are ready for the tabletop but that at least gives plenty of time for ToS.  Lists and thoughts to follow in next few days (whenever I'm sick off the sight of termagants!)

Sunday, 30 October 2011


As promised, more pics of the Tervigon with a quick description of how I modeled it.

Main body is a carnifex with the spine banks carapace option.  The fore limbs are the large cything talons from the monstrous creature frame.  These go straight into the arm slots and just need to be trimmed so they can angle downwards.  I aimed to have the tervigon supported by about 2 of these fore limbs and proped it up on dice as the limbs dried in place.

The rear limbs were a little harder.  As there isn't a slot for them I used green stuff to build up a small lump around the middle leg.  Then pushed the smaller of the monstrous creature talons into the green stuff (I used the talons on the wrong side they appear to face backwards).  I then withdrew the talon and let it all dry.  A good tip with green stuff is giving it about 30 minute from when you first mix to when you start sculpting and using as much water as possible on your modeling tool.  then when set I glued the talon into the ocket and added a tiny amount more green stuff to smoth the join.

The underside was green stuff again applied thickly.  I kept it below the ribcage but actually when I do this again I might fill the whole lower half.  Pay especial attention where the tail meets the body as this is a good site to build up and add bulk.  Then I just pressed some cut up rippers into the stuff and added a small wodden bead as an egg.  When it had dried another thin layer created strands the rippers are fighting through and layers resembling sacs.

I knew I wanted the model to be imposing and a centre piece so I elected to use a large oval base.  There isn't an official miniature yet so this is probably fine but if unsure run it by the events team at your competition first.  A few cut up termagants and another ripper completed the base (as well as static grass, my new obsession).

I've explained my painting before in a previous post if interested.  Only other thing was to place on the base, I had a talon coming off to give it a sense of menace as it advances and cut some of the talons 1) to create a stronger join to the base and 2) so it appears to be sinking into the ground (I'd love to see this thing walk through mud).  When flocking the base its a good oportunity to add extra strength to the joins.  its a big model for just 3 or 4 points of contact so build up PVA or hobby tack around the limb to add a little extra strength.

Hope you enjoy and this has given you some ideas!