Sunday, April 6, 2014

Something is stirring...

These were taken shortly before communication was lost with the scouts sent in to investigate rumors of cult activity in a abandoned hab-block.  There were no traces of the team left whatsoever.  One building had sustained damage that was previously unrecorded prior to this incident, and small amounts of blood were found at the scene.  

One thing to especially note is the angle of the pictslates, these were taken from a second story window... so the subjects are rather large.  It is speculated that they are some type of unknown Knight, possibly even a Warhound variant not seen since the Heresy.  The corruption is evident, and any resemblance to the machines of the God-Emperor they had, has long been tainted and twisted into something far worse than the nightmares of man.


Astartes and Inquisitorial support requested


-Priority Alpha-
Seek, assess, and more than likely destroy with extreme prejudice



Friday, February 21, 2014

Knight Madness

I'm a university adjunct professor, and as such my posting is erratic... but damn... you'd have to be dead to not know about the impending gaming Viagra called Imperial Knights.

The best Knight ever.

Ok, sooooooo... Imperial Knights seem to have won over the Internet, and not in a small way either.  This seems to be a kit that GW has nailed for it's collecting AND gaming bases.  A huge kit, loads of detail, what looks like not over the top rules... now lets just see about the Freeblade option.  That's what has me curious.  Can I take the Obsidian Knight, haha GW I see what you did there, and use it for my Black Legion?  Now that, that right there would make me be a happy little warmonger.  There is a catch though...

I don't really like the model personally.  Like a lot of projects I get into, this will be a conversion and it will be extensive.

I love this thing.

So onto the madness.  So yeah, I don't really care for the GW Knight.  Sue me.  What I do like, is Dreamforge's Leviathan.  The 28mm scale version of the Leviathan is 8.5 inches (~22 cm) tall, that puts it at just over a 1/2 inch (~1.25 cm) taller than the official GW Knight.  Usually, the Leviathan goes for $120 US, only $20 less than the GW kit.  HOWEVER, Dreamforge is running a sale until the 28th of February... that $120 Leviathan is now $75... $75... OMG it's ONLY $75 RIGHT NOW!

I'll let that sink in a bit.  

So for $75, plus shipping, you get a Knight sized model that has swappable weapon arms.  Add in a "battle cannon" and you just made a Knight Paladin for $100.  I normally don't do this kind of product placement but that is just to good to pass up.  I'll probably do a review and size comparison when it gets here.

Boom Boom... ya dig?

Now, like all the other conversion projects I have going on, this will eat up bits... this is good, as I have way too many bits just sitting around.  In the picture of the Leviathan there are two small barrels just under the shoulder plates in the front, some barrel extensions and there we have the heavy stubbers.  I have plenty of Chaos icons and banners from both 40k and Fantasy to banner it out proper.  Add some plasticard trim, GS the joints on the trim, and add some points to it... the armor plating is done.  How far to take the head is a good question. Keep it semi meched out or start the famous Chaos organics?  Probably looking at FW Chaos Titans will be helpful to see what they kept and what they mutated from the inferior loyalist version.

Now another  question is how far do I modify the sword?  Do I go extensive and make a chain blade?  Or go REALLY extensive and make it a more organic blade?  That's my problem with models like this, they are so awesome for being just detailed enough to stand on their own but really shine if you put some thought into them.

Hopefully this bad boy will be in my hands around spring break! (fingers crossed)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dark Mechanicus inspired Warpsmith

The previous article dealt with what I had been working on for a while, these next few articles will detail some of projects more in concept and execution.

So, it is an established fact that I love converting.  This is a pretty safe statement.  I think I actually like it more than the painting because it's more of a challenge to me.  If it doesn't look right to begin with, no amount of paint is going to fix it.  Like any other canvas... it needs to be put together well, primed, and then finally painted upon.  Which got me thinking about some of the other choices in the Chaos 'Dex, and how I would go about incorporating them into my own force.

This all started with the Warpsmith.  It has spread to other types of models as well.  I remember the War Smiths for Iron Warriors and the Dark Apostles for Word Bearers and their rules to their respective factions.  Fast forward to today.  Now I get the design ideal that Chaos is moving toward, or has moved toward, mixed units/cults per warband.  I just don't agree with them(GW) too much in regards to some of the characters... like the Warpsmith and Dark Apostle.  These, I feel, should have been left for an appropriate Supplement/Dataslate and not shoe horned into the main book.  But here they are!  So how do I make them fit into my force?  Why convert them of course!

To be very honest I really love the idea of the Warpsmith.  Who doesn't love BS 5 on ANY gun, or the Eye of Night from the Black Legion supplement, no one that's who!  I just hate the model, and not because of it's design but because of its material.  I'd rather jam a hot poker someplace than try and work with that stuff again.  I don't like the springy nature of Finecast, the mix has sometimes been to brittle so finer pieces has snapped as well... just from cleaning before assembly.  I've had enough negative experiences to outweigh the good ones.  So there were some things that had to be in place before starting my Warpsmith...

1. Needs to be plastic.  Just because it's such a nice material to work with, it's durable, temperature resistant, did I mention it's nice to work with?  ;-)

2. How about NOT a marine?  I have seen some very cool Warpsmith conversions using several different types of Chaos Marines, but then this little memory came bubbling to the surface.  The Dark Mechanicus.  Now if you think there are a lot of Warpsmith conversion, which there are, try Googling "dark mechanicus conversions".  There is some wicked stuff out there, and people using all sorts of bits from all sorts of kits.  The community, as always, has been very inspirational.

3. Since it wasn't going to be a marine, it was sorta scary.  It was a big jump for me to go from the bulky, 2-3 ton killing machines to something more foreign.  Not only in design, but in construction as well.

So there was a lot of sitting there, picking up bits and holding them in place, with some "oh no way.." or "yes, that's it!"  It took 3-4 hours to build.  As always, lately, it was from the bits box with some plastic tubing and guitar string for hoses.  But as I get older, I did just turn 41, I need to have the standard gear on the model.  It is WYSIWYG but for me that's a necessity so I can remember what the damn thing does!  So you can see the meltagun nozzle, the flamer tip, the power axe, the tentacles for the mechatendrils as well.  The only thing not directly modeled is the bolt pistol.  Now, it does stand a little on the tall side as it's *almost* as tall as a stock Demon Prince.  It is also on a 40mm base, since there was no way is was going to sit on a 25mm base.  So it's a bigger target, with 2+... ok, I'll deal because of the rule of cool.  Which, seems to be driving force behind most of my conversions or armies for that matter.

Anyway, that is my Warpsmith.  This will continue with the Dark Apostle, Cypher, Be'lakor, the rest of the CSM super friends ... Typhus, Ahriman, Lucius, Fabius, Huron, and Kharn will all get the same type of treatment eventually.

The Dark Apostle will be an interesting challenge as well, I want to try and make it like the Discords from the Word Bearer Ominbus from Anthony Reynolds.  When I say "make it like", I mean inspired by to a certain extent.  A floating speaker grille with tentacles is the base.  The tricky part is in the crozius and bolt pistol, how to put them into the overall design of the model and make it look like that's how it's supposed to be.

Anyway, that will be up soon, and I'll also post the failure for the first try.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Busy, busy, busy...

So, it's been awhile since the last post.  That's ok, it's been a busy school year.  A freshman design class and a beginning glass survey class can keep you on your toes.  But enough of that, right now I'm vacation... it started on the 13 of December and goes until the 13th of January.  About a full month off and it's consisted of doing some glass work, assisting in the hot shop, and some model/game time.  A fair amount of model time actually.  Since we last talked there have been quite a few projects that have come up.  Some of them even finished or at least closer to being finished.

So without further ado, here's a quick list of things that I have been up to.  This list is by no means exhaustive.  I may have forgotten something here or there but this is the gist of my hobby work for about the past 3 months or so.

(I also realized I had been posting to twitter much more frequently than anywhere else, and that's another reason that I've been slow to post here.  If however you can't wait for blog posts, and you have a twitter account, then search for 40kChris and that's me.)

One thing I will do is break this down into smaller posts of content.  So an additional 8-10 posts in the future!  It's much easier for me to post several smaller things, and manage all those resources... like photos, color recipes, etc... than an epic post that no one finished because TL;DR.

1. A Dark Mechnicus inspired Warp Smith for my Black Legion.  Turned out way better than I had thought.

2. A failed attempt at a Discord based Dark apostle for my Black Legion.  I think I might have it figured out though, so I need to try this again.

3. Purchased the Be'lakor Dataslate... wow... need to get a plastic demon prince and convert one up with the Manticore wings I have.  He'll be a proper size and have different wings to mark him out on the battlefield.

4. The rebuilding of a hand-me-down Land Raider for Abaddon.  A buddy of mine has several Land Raiders.  He was discarding one, so I snagged it.  It was the all around heavy flamer chassis, some Simple Green soaking and reconstruction later (I didn't have LR doors so I had to beef up some Rhino doors to fit) and it's done!

5. Purchase of Escalation and Stronghold... and flipping out a little, but in a good way.  Gods I want to get a Stormlord to have 20 frothing Berzerkers assault out of that... but I get the Lord of Skulls for CSMs and Demons.  Yay.  I'll think about it, but that Slaanesh Demon Lord from Forgeworld is looking REALLY tempting.

6. Completion of Abby's Chosen and primed black.  I'll start on these guys once the blocks of Demons I have now are done... which is really soon actually. (See  no.s 9 & 10)

7. Purchased Kill Team rules and have decided to make a Chaos Cultist Command, based off of one elites choice from the Inquisition Codex.  i.e. Jokero as a demon machine, Chaos knight as a crusader, etc.  It will be the perfect little modeling project to take a break from the other stuff... like life.  I'm also treating this as a bits box challenge, in that I'm not buying anything else beyond what I already own to do this project.  So there will be some recognizable bits but a lot is going to be on the crazy side.

8. Purchased the Cypher Dataslate... woah... need to rummage through my bits box and build him.  Yes, my Chosen with Hit and Run, Infiltrate, and Know no Fear?  Yes, please!

9. Primed a 10 strong unit of Demonettes, 10 Bloodletters, 10 Plaguebearers, 3 Nurgling bases, 3 flamers, and a Lord of Change in white and used washes and glazes extensively for coloration.  Something I really don't do... ever, I always primed with black pretty much up until now.  This was really fun and challenging in that it was like working on my watercolors all over again.  It does have a delicate sensibility of color that priming with black just doesn't have.  I won't use it for everything, like my Black Legion, but I'll use it for my Spawn (10), Beasts of Nurgle (2 with 2 more to build), Seekers (5 with 5 more to build),and Exalted Seeker Chariots (1 with 1 more to build) as well.  Basically I'll be using a white primer for anything even remotely close to skin in anyway, shape, or form.  It's been much easier to work with, and the color ends up being more vibrant as well.

10.  Being able to complete 10 Plaguebearers, 3 Nurgling bases, 10 Bloodletters, and 9 Demonettes, all within a weeks time to a better than tabletop quality.  It's rough, but I can do it.  So now I know I can paint a unit within a short amount of time... so no more excuses. :-)  This also allowed me to finalize color recipes for all my Demons based off of their respective god, since the recipe is recorded I can go back to it anytime and repeat the same colors for a consistent effect across the army regardless of new unit acquisition.

Or is it?

In the midst of this there was some discussion of where the game (of 40k) as whole is going, and how it was impacting our local games.  I'm not going to get into what needs to stay and what needs to go, there are enough of those articles out there already.  Both positive and negative, which leads to the next thing.

The community has been galvanized like crazy, and at worst it will be an interesting ride.  One thing I personally find amusing is that for a long time the 40k community clamored for options.  Choices.  More flexibility.  Now that GW is rolling out Codices faster than a puppy mill, and more options have been built in with Forgeworld, Escalation, Stronghold, and Dataslate characters/formations... we are so spoiled for choices right now it's ALMOST disgusting.  Now I say "almost" with some trepidation.  The game of 40k is, ultimately, what WE make of it.  We have the power to play how we want and with what we like.  I think I have to agree that this is almost a Golden Age of 40k upon us.  There are simply too many ways to play any more that you may never know what you're going to face at all.  I know for sure the Be'lakor and Cypher Dataslate are making me look at my CSM/Demons differently.

I guess the point is that I think we can make it so casuals and tourney goers can live together peacefully by making sure to follow "The Most Important Rule" and respect what that means for others.  With Codices coming out at such a high rate, the "meta" seems to flop back and forth, roll around, hit itself, and finally settle on the newest book being broken as all get out.  Yesterday it was Farsight Bombs, today it's Revenant Titans, tomorrow it will probably be some Tyranid gribbly that "breaks the game" for being too ├╝ber.

Can't we all just get along... in 40k?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

So... Eldar

This past weekend I played Black Legion against my buddies Iyanden Eldar.  I had 9 Cultists alive at the end of turn 5.  It was sort of an eye opening experience as it was the first real 6th edition codex I was playing against.  My opponent's first love is Space Wolves.  I can understand that, that was my first real attempt at collecting an army... well actualy that was 13th Co., but I digress.  Points was set at about 1860, if you're a couple over or under it doesn't really matter to us.  For myself, it was a lot of firsts for me in this game...

First time using a named character - Abaddon
First time using a Land Raider
First time running Chosen, and more than one unit
First time using a bare bones Cultist squad
First time not running my AC Havocs
First time using a supplement

and... it was the second time for me running Obliterators.

My buddy was using a 10 strong unit of WG with Axes/Shields, 5 WG with D-guns, 2 WLs, a WK (also the Warlord), 10 Rangers with sniper rifles, 2 x 3 Jet Bikes with a Shuriken Cannon, 1 Crimson Hunter Exarch, and three Spirit Seers.

I got blasted and torn asunder.  It was great and humbling at the same time and I found out first hand Eldar are little nuts.

Now my friend was making fun of me a little as he said " Thats the smallest list I've seen you make...".  Well he was right about that.  Abby, Lvl 3 Sorc with Last Memory, 6 Chosen with 5 Plasma Pistols; a Power Sword and a Meltagun... in a Land Raider.  6 Chosen with 4 Plasma Guns in a Rhino, Heldrake with Bale, and 3 Oblits with MoN.  Ally in a Slaanesh Lord with Spinshiver Blade and jump pack, 10 Cultists, and 5 MoS Raptors.  So there was some decent CC and they had a good ride to get them there, some quality shots with all the plasma, a backfield unit to cower in fear, a dragon, some lumbering guns, and a fast slicing unit.

It was too slow, and lacked bodies.  Which, I knew was going to happen because a Black Legion army is going to be expensive.  But it was fun to try out.  

I was surprised by the Toughness values of some of those Eldar constructs, and the Strength of the weapons.  I don't buy all the codices anymore because I don't have the money to, so I had a few surprises to deal with.  Truth is, I was just outclassed.  Now, I can be like every other CSM whiner and jump ship to the new hotness of the Space Marine 'dex.  To be honest I would use the maligned Black Templar rules... JUST to get at their challenge mechanics.  Gods, that seems like such a simple solution to Chaos' Champion rule... some tools to make your unit Champions stand a chance?  Yes please!  But this isn't going down that particular rabbit hole. (The entire state of Chaos Hate is starting to get out of control, it's pretty telling when they have a stickied thread over on B&C for just that, so the rest of the Chaos Ascendant forum isn't getting clogged with hate posts.) No, Chaos is for me thanks... I've loved the fluff and rules since I've read them so long ago.  No, this is about going back to some basics for the rematch for this coming Saturday, the 9/21/2013. Sorry to report that the rematch didn't happen, I got a cold from school or my child brought it home.  I know that doesn't sound bad, but my buddy has an auto-immune disease AND his girlfriends mother is visiting until the end of the month.  How about we not play Papa Nurgle, or one of his chosen?

So what does that mean exactly?  More shots!  I had some high quality shots, but lacked the volume of fire to systematically destroy (or at the very least cripple) a unit per Shooting Phase effectively.  When the Chaos 'dex first hit I was using 5 AC Havocs with a pair of AC/ML Helbrutes that would shuffle around the Havocs to extend the range here and there from a central fire base.  14 strength 7 shots with 2 more at strength 8 and all at BS 4.  Now put that behind an aegis and there's my fire base... shooty, durable, and setting up some lane denial.

I still think that the Abby/Sorc/Chosen in LR is good, but it needs tweaked.  By that I mean the Chosen need MoK and the Icon of Wrath.  Weight of attacks, for the Chosen that's 2,+1 for kit, + 2 for the charge off the MoK, at STR 5... make it a 7 strong unit and that's 35 attacks just from the Chosen, to force more armor saves.  More saves = higher chance of failure.  Then add a Demon Weapon, hell... add 2, swap out the Sorc with a Khorne Lord with AoBF or Kharn, and you have yourself a very choppy unit with 3 characters to challenge as you wish.  With re-rolling the Charge out of a Land Raider, it will be a fire magnet unit, but what to support it with?  Now top that off with a 10 man Cultist unit and there's the primary detachment.  It's an expensive detachment as well as all that is 1150 points, or just 1025 if I don't make this a Black Legion primary.

Now what else to take?  Either a BL or Demons secondary could do it to at least try and get some synergy with some units.  I have also seen some great ideas out in the blogosphere using Orks as mutants and it sort of rekindles that Lost and the Damned vibe from the Eye of Terror 'dex.  Lots of real cheap bodies cloggin' yuz gunz, and all tying up your untis and what not.  Decisions, decsions... damn ally matrix.  Anyway.  Really, it's just a matter of what do I want to take...  20 Horrors with a Lvl 3 Herald, loci, and Portal Glyph?  3 Exalted Seeker Chariots for a single Heavy slot?  A Nurgle Soulgrinder?  A flying DP with Eternal Warrior and Spineshiver Blade?  A unit of Nurgle Oblits?  The blessing, and curse, of allies... makes it hard to choose!

I think if I was going for speed it would be a Slaanesh Herald on a Seeker with Loci of Grace and Portal Glyph, maybe Grimoire.  10 Seekers to accompany the Herald, 10 Plaguebearers (maybe Horrors for the shooting), and a Seeker Cavalcade made out of Exalted Seeker Chariots.  The chariots alone are scary at 4 HP each with rending HoW attacks, never mind the Move through Cover cavalry with +6 inches on the run move.

A flying DP with Eternal Warrior... ah, the good 'ol days.  Maybe MoK and a Spineshiver Blade to trick him out.  A fast moving monster, shoot that or the LR...  hmmmmm.  Maybe a unit of Bikes, or Spawn, or a Heldrake, any of those would do really.  Maybe even run a DP with a Spawn shield?  Lvl 3 Sorc with jumpack (or bike), spell familiar, Last Memeory and the Hand of Darkness?  Either another unit of AC Havocs... more than likely... or a unit of Nurgle marked Oblits.  Oh, and either ally list can take a Decimator as it is an elites choice for either CSM or Demons.  *Fun Fact -  Since Abby is an IC and is considered to have all 4 marks, you can buy the Decimator any mark you want.*  A MoK, Rampaging death machine?... ummm, yeah.  Or MoN to give it It Will Not Die, to make it REALLY annoying.

As you can see I have a lot ideas of how to finish this list off.  The problem is trying to fit what I think would work together in a 2000 point list.  That will be the next game size (I think) and will allow me to crank some things around and get a feel for it.  I have the core pretty much thought out, now what about the details?