Wednesday, 29 June 2011


To prove I have other forces my Crimson Fists took to the field against Orks tonight with a 2/1 loss on objectives.  Still like the force and think differences in how I used them could have made a difference, but fun to play as at least with lots of options and maneuverability.

HQ - Kantor
Troops - 2 x 10 man tac squads with razorbacks, melta and missile + sarge with power fist
Elites - sternguard squad in a razorback acting as Pedro's squad
6 man terminator assault squad with thunder hammers and storm shields (might swap a couple to lightning claws)
1 dread with assault and missile launcher
Fast - 10 man assault squad with power fist
2 x landspeeders with multimeltas and heavy flamers.

Fast force with no long range hitting power but lots up close.  Kantor turns even standard marines into a close combat choice by giving everyone within 12 an additional attack so assault terminators, sternguard and assault marines are pretty hard hitting with his motivational presence.  The land speeders run interference and snipe targets whilst the terminators advance on the largest threat and soak fire.  Seems to work OK though some weaknesses and gaps, still nice fast force that can deliver fire where its needed and assault when it isn't enough (even took a few Orks out in assault phase).

Biggest weakness?  'bunker' squads designed to soak wounds can really stall this army as aside from the hammers there isn't anything to reliably overcome feel no pain and multiple wounds but at least it has the speed to avoid these if needed.  And with a loss to the army's record how can anyone doubt their efficiency?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Broadside and Tau

A while back I converted a plastic rail gun from a few fire warrior and crisis suit weapons.  I also said I wasn't going to be carrying on with Tau force but I'd forgotten why I wanted to start in the first place, because I actually want to paint some Tau models.  So here it is, a little late for Miniature Monday but still, my finished Broadside and Fire warrior.

The colour scheme is Cathan Brown with Khemri brown and Komando Khaki highlights.  Main things I'm pleased with is the dirty and weathered look, the chips and marks on the armour add to that.  Start with the lowest base (recess) colour and apply to the edges where wear will occur.  I used Boltgun metal on the edge and outwards but leaving some of the darker paint work exposed.  Finally highlight with mithril silver to bring out the edge and highlight the chip.  To blend it into the model a bit more and prevent it looking too fresh I then washed it with devlan mud (a wash used in other areas of the model) and lightly dry brushed the medium coat (Khemri Brown) back over it.  Effect looks good and you can alter how recent the damage appears by how much of the lighter silver you use and how much you drybrush it back into the other colours.

Only other attempt is at directional lighting with the power cells on the rail gun and pulse rifle  doesn't look right and not blended enough into the model.  Mainly tried mixing the base coat with the base blue and washing it around the light source then mixing the base highlight with the blue highlight and highlighting in areas around the light.  Not bad for a rough and ready way to do it but leaves an uneven look that's patchy, something light falling on an object isn't.  More practice but enjoyed these two and eyeing up other Tau units now.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Smoke Plumes and Wrecked Vehicles

I've been wanting for a while to make terrain that adds character and story to a battlefield, something that gives the feeling of a battle in motion.  Burning fires and the smoke from exploding ordanance or mines stick in my mind as something I'd like to try representing.  The smoke plume from a burnt out vehicle especially as all to often a tank is destoryed and removed with little or no evidence it was even on the field to begin with.

There are two types of feature i'm interested in then, small scale plumes from a single explosion or 'burst' and longer, ongoing fire effects.

Starting with the former I used tree foliage flock (I used autum folliage of reds and orrange so the red could show through), several strips of wire, a small coin (a penny) and a round base.  the wire strips were cut to around 20cm in length.  Double the strips back on each other and wrap them round eachother to make a shape about 10cm in height.  One end coil into a stand and glue onto the coin using supper glue or hobby tack (I used PVA which works too).  Glue the coin onto the round base and leave to set dry.  for more stability you can lump modelling putty over the top of it all to set the wire in.  Top tip is to absolutley make sure its all set before moving on, if it somes off the base its a pain to reattach latter.

Liberally spread PVA along the entangled wire and attach small clumps of folliage.  A good technique is to take a strip of folliage and wrap it arround the wire, working your way up untill the whole thing is covered.  Keep pressing it all tight against the wire and add more to any sections showing.

Once dry use black spray paint and aim downwards, not hoping to cover it all but covering the top and side surfaces leaving the underside (reds) free to show through.

The second kind of plume is an ongoing fire like that from a burning vehicle.  I found a guide online suggesting using LED tealights and pillow stuffing.  Both are available at hobbycraft in the UK for about £2 each.

To build takes less than a minute but does need a glue gun.  Run the glue around the sides and tip of the tealight.  Grab a handfull of the stuffing and shape into a column or plume.  Force the plume into the glue and add glue to compress or shape it till yo have a natural, near vertile plume of smoke.  Again, spray with black plaint from verticle focussing on the top of the plume leaving the base more white and clear.  Once dry simply place on the wreched vehicle and turn the light on.

Bloodied but unbowed the Crimson Fists 1st company continue to advance
The Razorbacks explode under focused fire from mortar and artillery
1st Company Veteran strides through the remains of his transport shrugging of ordanance as he advances
By making larger or smaller blumes you can represent wrecked sponsons or add a collection directly onto the field to show a dangerous terrain minefield or just burning wreckage from earlier in the battle.  Makes a good scenic backdrop and will have to see how it works in game

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Its been a While

Its been a good while since I've had time to paint or model anything for any of my hobbies due to work and other pressures.  A lot has happened to the hobby in that time with reams of comment written on forums and fan sites but I think the best summarising of it all I've found so far is this open letter to Games Workshop.  I agree with pretty much all the points and would love to see a company that produces a product I love and has done for many years change some of the mistakes that are driving people away from the brand and towards other games. 

Speaking of other games...  With the Tau on hiatus due to financial constraints and the Crimson Fists fully painted for Throne of Skulls in July its time to return my attention to painting Warmachine.  The new target will be to have a model completed each week (and since my force has 4 models in it shouldn't be too hard) starting with Jack.  Pictures to follow.