Sunday, March 1, 2015

Real quick Dreadclaw update... come fly with me...

Yesterday ended up being a really good day for hobby time as I was able to pretty much finish the Dreadclaw minus some bling.

As you can see there's a lot more plasticard from last time.  Basically it was really simple to trim a piece down to fit where the pods retro-thrusters would normally go.  I just traced the outline of the bottom on to the plastic, and then cut it a little big at first after measuring how much to trim off.  Then trim and check, trim and check, yadda, yadda.  The door for the bottom is from the old-old Rhino kits before the current version.  I also sawed out some replacement fins for the top out of some really thick plasticard, and the template I made earlier worked like a charm.  Add some tubes, stick some claws and tentacles in a few of those tubes for the Demonic Possession rule, some teeth-like protrusions... and presto.  One, mostly, finished Dreadclaw!

But then there was the whole thing about getting it onto a flying stand...

If you do a lot of modeling and don't have one of these, I really recommend that you get one.  This one was a little bit more expensive.  It's variable speed which came in handy, but the thing to remember is as long as you can change out bits you'll be fine.  This made cutting the hole for the flying stand go so much easier and faster.  By faster I mean about 40 minutes or so.  Doing it before hand, you know... before finishing the model, probably would've been better.  If I make another, now I know.

I ended up using the flying stand from my Heldrake to pencil out where I wanted to start cutting/drilling/modifying.  I had a 1/8" wide, ball cutting bit chucked into the Dremel and used short stokes to work the entire "cross".  One thing I should mention. I did use both halves of the door for the finished model, as I wanted something sturdy and more rigid.  This actually helps with the flying stand since you have more material to actually rest the pod on the stand with.  I had gone through the first layer of the door, taking my time, and checking the top of the stand to the hole often to see where it was and where it wasn't lining up.  Put the pod on the stand, and it was way too tippy as the area the stand rested in was just too shallow.  Only about 1/4" in depth.  So it was a simple matter of going through the inner part of the door, just like before.  Once both halves of the door were cut in, I switched bits to a 1/8" cylinder cutting bit.  This allowed me to really shave off just a little bit of plastic at a time on both halves of the door at the same time.  Again going slow, and not pushing really hard either.

There you have it, now my Dreadclaw can go into flying mode...

Or hover mode!

Now if I could just get a flying stand ordered, most places... including GW... seem to be out at the moment!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

IA:13 continues to inspire

Image from Forgeworld 

Well, what about those Dreadclaws?!  Seriously, an assault craft that is a dedicated transport for CSM or Chosen?  Sign.  Me.  Up.  This little baby gives me some flexibility on the battlefield while not competing for those all important Fast Attack slots... if those are really even a thing anymore.  Anyway... liking the rules, loving the concept, and not to happy with the FW pricing.  At 57 Pounds Sterling, that's ~$88 before the shipping.  Now I do love FW, I did get the collectors edition of IA:13, but thats a lot for something slightly larger than a normal stock GW Drop Pod.  So... I go looking for "dreadclaw conversion" and find this nifty article over at Dark Future Games that pretty much summed up what I wanted.  Exactly.  Their tutorial is spot on, and a fantastic start.  For my own Dreadclaw I pretty much followed it to the letter, but then I started looking at the all the other conversions as well.  They were all pretty much the same.  Make the pod, flip the fins.  Except I don't like how the fins look after they get flipped.  The fins look to splayed out, like they buckled a bit when they made impact and thats why they look a little "splayed".  Well, how could I change that and make a bunch of extra work in the process?  Simple!  Try and find the correct angle to flip the tips inward to look more like the Dreadclaw.  I think I got it to work out pretty well, let me know what you think.

Basically follow Dark Future Gaming's tut for the main hull assembly, and where to clip the fins initially.  After that, you're done.  Prime and paint!  It doesn't look bad at all really.  However, if you want to spice it up a bit... then please continue on.

So what it really comes down to is two cuts, sawing actually, and some spacing material.  Old sprue could do it as well, I just happen to have some plasticard from ancient days around to chop up.  Start with the yellow line first in the photo above.  Use the orange area of the stabilizer tip to find the approximate length you will need to for the end of the second cut.  Finally follow the blue line to make the second cut.  You may want to trim some of the servo arms for the fin off to make sawing easier.  Repeat x 5.

Then all you have to do is flip the stabilizer tip and glue.  Again, if you wanted to, you could stop right here and call it a day.  I added some spacing to help raise the whole pod a bit, and I even added tips from the "dozer" blade on the CSM Vehicle Sprue to jack it up a little more.  I wanted infantry models to be able to fit underneath it, so I needed it to be taller.

Fins at dry fit.

So there we have it.  This, to me, feels more like a Dreadclaw and I'm waiting on some bits to come to finish it up.  There's only a few more things to get planned out.  Adding some more stabilizer fins back to the top, and how to do the flying stand for it as well.

So here's the Photoshop mock up, and then the actual template for the construction of the top stabilizer fins.  

All in all, this has been a fun project and I *might* do another one.  My personal philosophy is that one might be good but a pair is better, but that's not always the case.  One of the best unit analysis posts for the Dreadclaw is here.  It's especially malisteen's post, #16, that really lays it out to not think of the Dreadclaw as a drop pod but more like a stripped down Storm Raven.  Great post.

That's it for now until those bits get here and I have a chance to wrap this project up and put it on the very large "to paint" shelf.

Friday, November 28, 2014

What IA:13 has done to me

Well then, unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months... and I know I almost have been... then this lovely tome came out.  I am referring to Imperial Armor 13, War Machines of the Lost and the Damned.  I'm not going to review this, since a lot of folks have put stock into several of the units in the book already.  Adam over at The Dice Abide has some thoughtful analysis of the book and I agree with most of it, plus... I don't really have time for actual reviews as much.  He also has some tactical articles as well, he really has done an exhaustive overview so if you haven't gotten the book yet then I suggest you check out his thoughts on it.  This post, like all of them really, focuses on how does this book "effect me/my army?".  Which, truth be told, I think that thought process goes for a lot of the gamers out there when something new comes out.  I can tell you this much, with the Renegades and Heretics(R&H) army list inside this book.  I will never use Cultists from the Chaos Space Marine(CSM) Codex again.  Why?  Because it's too much fun, that's why.  That alone has been the biggest addition to my army... Battle Brother Traitor Guard are back since they were taken away with the new Ally Matrix in 7th.  They really are the rabble and refuse of the Imperium and super cheap points wise for everything you get.  I mean, it almost feels dirty they have so many options.

So I did, of course, make one major purchase and it was the Cadian Defense Force for ~$160 at my FLGS The Guardtower here in Columbus.  Now please keep in mind, I already have 2 squads of 30 Cultists with auto-guns, and another 20 with auto-pistols and close combat weapon(CCW).  So I just added a whole lot of bodies, a few tanks, and a Heavy Weapons Team(HWT) and super bulked out my R&H options.  (Incidentally I also found out with this purchase of The Guardtower's lifetime discount plan... this purchase put me over spending $1,000 at their lovely establishment and as such I now receive 10% off all my purchases store wide.  Pretty cool AND terrifying at the same time.)  So now that I have all these bodies to choose from, and with the bodies I already have, what kind of unwashed horde do I want to build?  Why, a witch coven of course!  When going through R&H one of the first things to jump out at me was the Primaris Rogue-Witch for an HQ.  That unit can be upgraded to Psychic Mastery 2 and take Malefic, it also unlocks the Rogue Psyker Coven as an Elites Choice when they are normally an HQ choice.  Such a great place to start, a witch coven and all those they hold sway over... I'm really excited for this long term project, I've also resigned myself that all my projects are long term.  I just really need to put in more painting days than modeling days to balance it all out.

So... no self respecting cult wouldn't be gunned down without a charismatic/terrifying leader shoving them forward or promising to feed them to the demons if they don't go.  So here is the WIP of my Rogue-Witch HQ.  He's based off of the Warhammer Fantasy Chaos Sorcerer Lord.  Awesome model, it has the Carin Wraith and Nurgle Chaos Lord potential of being versatile enough for a lot of different projects.  However, it needed some sprucing up to feel right.  It started with scraping out the gorget to be able to fit a different head in and replacing the arms.  This head is from the Cadian Command sprue, and the arms are from the Empire Flagellant box.  The clawed hand is from a Ghoul and really sets off the whole "Imma sumOnen DEE-MUNZZ!!1!" vibe.  It also makes him appear a little warp touched but not completely mutated.  Sprinkle on some assorted gubbins of Wrack(LOVELY kit!) vanes, and vials and some pouches and he's mostly finished.  I'm still thinking about the positioning of the right arm, and haven't found the right weapon yet.

So when the plastic Wracks came out, I bought 2 boxes.  It has so many little bits and bobs it is easily on of my favorite kits.  To be honest this was the first unit I built and this unit helped set the tone for the Rogue-Witch above.  I wanted the idea of these guys to be that they were barely in control of the Warp surging through them, or that something very nasty had been bound to them.  That it had wasted their bodies away while giving them an unnatural vigor.  So these guys started out as Wracks with the torsos carefully clipped and then Ghoul torsos put on.  For the heads I used the left over masks from the Carin Wraith sprue.  All that was needed was some green stuff to fill some gaps and round out the heads.  Possibly add some eyes.  Add some vials, vanes, and that little light from the Scion backpacks that I had clip off to make them look like the escaped lab animals I was envisioning.  They came out horrific and perfect.  The only thing I'm still trying to figure out for them is a way to mark them when they become possessed.  Currently I'm thinking of some type of peg or token that goes into the base to mark them as having ascended their mortal coil.

Now, every leader needs some thugs to make sure everyone stays "in line", so enter the Enforcer Cadre.  Think Commissar but having no qualms about executions at all, or dosing the masses with combat drugs to whip them into a frenzy before the charge.  I've seen a lot of people use the Scion kit to great effect and I figured for my Enforcers it would be perfect.  These conversions were really simple.  Defile/remove the Imperial iconography, head swaps, and nick/gouge to taste.  The heads come from Maximini, which have a number of conversion bits available.  I'll be using these heads for the members of the Command Squad as well to help mark them out on the field.

So I also got an Ageis Line as well and have started to Chaosify it with any spare time that has popped up.  This helps feed my auto-cannon fetish that Havoc Squads have started.  I DO love me some auto-cannons.

I did have a chance to play a 750 point game a few weeks ago.  For that amount of points you can bring 50 bodies, a plasmacutioner, an auto-cannon HWT, 5 rogue psychers, and a few Enforcers.  That my friends is gross.  I can see the appeal of massed bodies with massive firepower now.  Something that bog standard CSMs could sort of do, but not as well.  Rogue Psykers are pretty good, they have a Invul Save, but their powers are really something.  Creeping Terror is great, sure it reduces Initiative to 1... which is nothing to sneeze at... but the great part is making effected units only able to Snap Shot.  I shut down my buddies Sicaran for that game, yes he did bring a Sicaran to a 750 pt game, and that was great.  Now the only real downside to the Rogue Psker powers is the range.  They're all at the 12" range.  So yeah, it's risky, but no risk... no reward.

Since starting this I have ordered some bits.  This will help convert my Ogryns, there was a box on clearance form a different shop in town so that was an immediate purchase.  Make another auto-cannon HWT since I already had the actual auto-cannons from a previous bits order.  Shoulder pads from Chaos Marauders and Dreamforge Stormtroopers to mark units on the field since they can be so large.  All in all, I just made a lot more work for myself... thanks Forgeworld for making an irresistible book with all sorts of goodies!  No, that wasn't sarcastic.  Much.

Monday, July 14, 2014

One down, 11 more to go

So I did manage to get at least one Giant Chaos Spawn finished yesterday, and the other one isn't that far behind.  To finish the other one I need to base coat all the spikes/teeth, and start highlighting the mouth, spikes, and gashes.  Pick out the pustules with Sunburst Yellow, yes... I still have it and it's thick but still good, and then dot them with white.  Then finally paint the base Steel Legion Drab with a Bleached Bone dry brush.  Not a whole lot left for that guy really.

It's not easy being greenish.

Now the smaller guys I ran into a slight problem... I changed the color recipe I normally use for my Nurgle paint schemes.  I adde some Reikland Fleshshade to the wash mix, and didn't realize how strong of a color it is.  As a result, it gave a definite brown tone to the smaller Spawn.  Which kinda derailed me working on them at first, but the more I look at them the more I'm ok with it.  Since Spawn are supposed to be failed human champions of Chaos the color shift actually makes more sense to me.  So for these guys the process is a little more involved since they're still at the beginning of their paint job.  They still need Bloodletter Glaze around some of the more radical pseudopodia, then Lamenter Yellow glaze on and around the red.  Basecoat the two mechanical arms in Boltgun, wash them with Agrax, and start rusting them out.  I'll also use some of the Nurgle's Rot technical paint where the metal and flesh meet for a more infected look.

But, without further ado... the star of the show...

I apologize for the current angle of the camera, I need to remake my photo setup to get some better pictures, this is the best I can do at them moment.  One thing I really enjoyed about this model was using Blood for the Bloodgod.  For realistic blood effects, it worked great.  I also found if you thin it a little and put it in a deeper crevasse, or pockmark, and then lightly drag your brush downward you can get a great "weeping sore" effect from it.  Now I'm wondering if I add some Typhus Corrosion if I can get more of a "gore" effect on weapons, since the greenish tint of the Corrosion should neutralize the red of the Blood a bit and make it darker.  I'll just have to try it at some point.

See, I can paint stuff too... not just build model after model.  ;-)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tide of filth

So when the Chaos codex first dropped people were raving about Nurgle Spawn and how tough they are, and I have to agree with that.  Shortly after I was able to secure some eBay deals to boost my one Spwan, a hold over from the days when they were followers (i.e. equipment), to 10.  They are an excellent tar pit unit, and can actually kill things sometimes.  Since I let my buddy use his Forgeworld all the time, I started thinking about using some Chaos units after I got the new Imperial Armor Apocalypse book, and the first thing that jumped out at me was the Giant Chaos Spawn.  

I was able to use one of these creatures my last game, and it is a beast.  S6, T6, and a 4+ save make it pretty durable and it has the chance of getting a 2+ Feel No Pain to add to it's survivability.  It also has D6+2 Attacks with Rage.  Which means that on the charge this thing can put out 11 S6 at AP2 since it's a Monstrous Creature (...or maybe only 10, I believe that now with 7th no stat can go beyond 10 but I need to double check).  It also has the ability to give a S6, AP -, hit to models in base to base at Initiative step 10.  It can also reduce the Initiative of models in base to base by -2.  What makes this thing not crazy over-powered is that the powers it has access to (the FNP; the I10 hit; and the -2 I) are all rolled for on a D3 once the creature is in close combat, furthermore, unlike normal Spawn it is not a Beast so it lumbers around like normal Infantry.  Still... that is a awesome set of abilities!

Normally I don't buy that much Forgeworld at all, but when they were running free shipping last holiday season that actually made these cheaper than a plastic Slaughterbrute or Hellpit Abomination.  Both of which I have seen used a proxies for a Giant Chaos Spawn.  So I got two.  I slightly converted one, I gave it more tongues so i could tell the two apart on the battlefield.  Yesterday I was able to finish attaching limbs to all the little ones, do a double check to make sure all the mold lines were gone, counterweight them to make them less tippy, and finally prime all those gribblies.

Last night, and this morning, I was able to get the first colors down.  Since they are fleshy and not power armor, I decided to prime them white and mostly use washes to paint them.  I'll be using a variant of my Nurgle recipe since that's the mark I always give them.  Khorne doesn't give them anything extra since they already have Rage.  Slaanesh makes them I4, so meh.  Tzeentch gives them a 6++ which isn't that great, but I guess it's better than nothing?

Anyway I'm excited to get these guys going, and should have them done hopefully by early next week given work and all.  During which I hope to get the Sorc from last post primed black along with my Dark Mechanicus Warpsmith AND...

This awesome Bloodslaughterer of Khorne!!