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!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Marks of Chaos, continued



So the last post was a way to really just have a visual representation of the Mark of Chaos you put on a unit.  This can work, until your Champ is taken out.  Where the magnetic head swap really comes in to light is for individual character models... such as a Sorcerer.



So this is the new-ish Chaos Sorcerer in Finecast with a selection of heads from the Fantasy Chaos Chariot sprue to represent the Marks of Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Slaanesh.  The process is the same as last time for placing the magnets.  What differs here is drilling down into the chest to make a space for the necks on the heads.  

Start with a small hole and take your time finding the center of that neck in the chest; I've drawn light pencil lines to cross in middle to start the pilot hole.  Since you're putting in the neck "cup" of a standard Marine torso, take your time and go slow and use gradually bigger drill bits to remove the material.  I used a new Exacto blade to get the starter hole as precise as I could, then an 1/8" drill bit, and a 5/32" after that.  The final drill bit size I used was 3/16" (~5mm), and then only barely.  Finecast is a dream to work with, but so soft it's real easy to over work.


While I was at it, I also decided to magnetize one more head, a Sons of Horus head from Forgeworld, to represent no mark.  So with a character, this technique can help you remember what you put on the guy as well as only having to build one model.  So now I have a versatile model that can play several different ways.  All I need to do now is possibly make another one and entertain the same idea with a Chaos Lord as well.  

As the cost of the hobby keeps going up, it's a way for me to diversify my army without having to invest too heavily (or at all) in acquiring new models.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

(Mostly) Super easy Marks of Chaos

So I have this thing anymore where I need to have 90% of my model WYSIWYG just so I can remember what the unit has.  For some units this is easy, Noise Marines for example, for other units like CSM with a mark and no icon it's a little more tough.  Now there are a few ways to mark a unit visually, paint is the most obvious and the easiest...

Can I do that?

Nope, not me apparently.

However I did think of way to mark a unit as having a specific Mark of Chaos... magnetize the head of the champion.  Since I like collecting fantasy Chaos kits for conversions I end up having a quite a few spare heads laying around.  Well, now they have a purpose.


So what we have here is a Sons of Horus squad leader body from Forgeworld, with four different heads to show the mark for the unit.  The Tzeentch, Nurgle, and Slaanesh heads are from the fantasy Forsaken kit, while the Khorne head is from the Skullcrushers kit.  All this takes is 5 to 6 1/16" rare earth magnets, a 1/16" inch drill bit, superglue, and a permanent marker like a Sharpie.  Then you just follow along like so...

1.) Drill a small hole into the gorget area of the torso first and install your first magnet, you'll probably want something non-magnetic, like brass or plastic rod, to help push the magnet into the hole.  You want it to be flush with the cup of the neck socket/gorget, not buried under it.  These are tiny magnets and you want them to be close to each other to hold the head in place.

2.) Next find the polarity of a new magnet with magnet in the gorget... they'll stick, not push each other apart.  Now mark the surface of the side that connects with the gorget magnet with the permanent marker.  While that dries you can drill out the hole in the neck of the head.  Take your time here, it's probably also a good idea to dry fit the head to get en idea of where you want the magnet in the neck as this will determine the angle/pitch of the head and just like before you want it flush with the plastic, not buried in the neck.  I would also strongly recommend starting a pilot hole in the neck so the drill bit doesn't wander.

3.) Dab a little bit of superglue into the neck, take your marked magnet off the stack and then insert it into the hole... marker side out.  This why you marked it in the first place, so if you drop or fumble the magnet a bit... you will always know which side has the correct polarity.  Use a paper towel to shove the magnet as far into the hole as possible while twisting it to make sure the superglue doesn't stick to the paper towel and bingo... you just magnetized a head.

Repeat steps 1-3 for additional heads... or use slightly bigger magnets for other things like arms, or vehicle swap outs.

I like magnetizing certain units.  Units like Chosen, can be a pain to magnetize because they have so many options.  Same with Havocs.  Special weapons in most CSM unit?  Fine, it's only 2 models.  Same goes for Raptors, and Bikes to a certain extent.  Being able to configure a unit in several different ways really appeals to me, and it uses some of my bits in my bits box up at the same time.

*If anyone wants I can do some more photos of the process and edit this post for better visuals.*