Thursday, March 31, 2011

T-minus who cares?

Ah victory, your taste is sweet.  While I didn't do the non-banner details last night, I knocked them out in short order this morning.  With those taken care of, I was able to spend most of the day on the banner.  I took a combined arms approach to the banner, using very thin paints and washes to build my layers.  The most annoying part was actually doing the back of the banner, which took far too many layers to come to a smooth off-white.  I have a few quibbles with the banner, such as the less-than-desired contrast between the brown background and yellow border, plus the Baal Red wash on the central blood drop not tying the gem together like I'd hoped.  Overall I'm pleased like a thing that's happy.  It doesn't look quite like the studio version, but that's fine because it's my version of the studio scheme.  The Guard turned out better than expected in general, a strong finish to a grueling marathon.  The slog was grueling enough that I don't really have much else to say about it, so a photo dump here before I formally proclaim my success at the B&C.

It's all over.  Except the varnishing...

Lookin good.

T-minus 24(ish) hours

While I have not quite finished today, I should have little problem getting everything done tomorrow.  Decals and two more coats of varnish notwithstanding, the assault squad is finished.  I blutaced on the jump packs for the three marines needing decals and took a final pic of the squad to put up on the B&C.  Again not considering varnish, four Sanguinary Guards are done.  I have a head scroll and base skull to do, which I plan to finish tonight.  I also have two wings left to glue.  And then there's the banner.  I'm not so sure about the washes after further inspection of the box.  I think it will work in places, but I'm not sure it would look right doing the whole thing in that manner.  If things work right tonight, I'll only have the banner to do tomorrow, plus gluing a final wing and varnish.  The finish line, it is in sight.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Late afternoon update

Nearly ready for takeoff.
Work is progressing well.  There are a handful of details left on the Guard, plus gold on the wings, and of course the banner.  Other than that, things are done and ready for varnishing.  This is where I have a problem.  It's been raining since a few minutes after I primed the wings earlier today, and there are no signs of the rain stopping.  What's more, I think the forecast for tonight involves the words "wintry" and "mix," which is not a recipe for good spraying conditions.  This isn't so bad for the Guard, but presents a problem for the assault squad. 

When I put the jump packs on paperclips, I did so by drilling into the recess where the pack attaches to the torso.  I did this because it was an area that wouldn't show on the finished model, and by drilling in a crevice the bit wouldn't skip around on me.  Turns out this was a mistake.  When I took the clip off the test pack, I had to give it a decent bit of elbow grease.  The point where the clip meets the pack is possibly the worst possible place for so an operation as it is nigh-impossible to cut the clip flush enough for the pack to sit tight against the torso.  I rubbed off a decent amount of paint, despite being careful to minimize this as much as possible, while prepping the pack to fit the marine.  I ended up cutting off the nub on the torso and using the plane above said nub to glue to the opposite plane on the pack.  In retrospect I should have drilled into that plane and not the hollow below, but at least I'll know that for next time.  The point of this is that I want to get a coat of varnish on the packs before I take the clips out so I don't rub any paint off.  I forgot about tonight's humid forecast and now am in a bit of a pickle.  Hopefully the weather clears up tomorrow so I can varnish then, otherwise it'll be a tough choice on how to proceed.  If not for this hiccup I think I could finish tonight, but we'll see how it goes anyway.

T-minus two days

Grindstone, meet nose.
Productive morning thus far, so much so that I feel comfortable taking a couple minutes to blog.  I had a disappointing session yesterday.  I had hoped to finish the jump packs and get some work in on another area as well, but instead I didn't even finish the packs.  They weren't as far along as I had thought they were, having just red, black, and white basecoats.  I got the red, black, white, and silver areas done on them yesterday, but still had work left to do, plus finishing the Sanguinary Guard.  As usual, I was beginning to worry about finishing on time.

Jump ahead to today and things are looking much better.  I got a nice, early start on painting as planned.  The first order of business was to finish the jump packs off.  They are done now, writing and all, and just need gluing and varnishing.  I may wait on the decals regardless of how much time I end up so that I have a chance to read up on how to use the Vallejo decal fluids so I get it right the first time.  Three marines need decals, so I can get six others finished today if I discount the decals.  The squad just needs base touch-ups on the painting front, which is trivial, so I'm content to call that squad finished.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Still four days

Return of the group shot intro.
One of the benefits of posting in the early morning hours is that if you come back and do another post, like this one, you still have as many days left as you did in the earlier post, which is good for morale.  While I got less done yesterday than I wanted to, I made up for it by getting in some more painting this afternoon.  I did the greens and glaives on the Guard, bringing them closer still to completion.  The greens went easy as I've got them pretty well figured out by now, while the glaives were a little trickier but a nice change of pace.  From the obvious news department,
getting prominent areas of models finished makes them look closer to completion.  The Guard felt very much in progress yesterday this morning, and the simple addition of three glaives makes them suddenly feel all-but finished. 

T-minus four days

Quick post because it's late.  I didn't get as much done today as I would have liked, but progress made is good in any amount.  I got the silvers, reds, and (most of) the blacks done on the Guard, as well as a basecoat on the glaives. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

T-minus six days

Get it?  Six days left.
Didn't get quite as much done yesterday as I wanted to, but progress is good in any quantity with less than a week to finish.  I got the whites done on the Sanguinary Guard, though I may have missed the odd skull or scroll end.  I'm considering how to do the purity seals, whether I should stick with the green like the assault squad or go with the more traditional red.  Green would keep everything tied together, but I originally started the green because red seals on red armor didn't work out so well.  Red on gold will be just fine though, and if the Guard's seals are a different color it will be another little detail to distinguish them from the rank and file marines.  I'm also pondering pauldrons, specifically what color they'll be.  White and red are under consideration, though I'm leaning towards red.  It will help tie the Guard in with the other troops, plus it will make the little sculpted white circles on the pads stand out more.  Much of the remaining hand-wringing is about these little details, and since the Guard have plenty of little details there's more than enough wringing to be done. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Raining Blood (Angels)

Today's post is about angry red marines falling from the sky.  I made some lists this morning to take advantage of Descent of Angels, the Blood Angel's special rule that makes them scatter d6" instead of 2d6 when deep striking.  This gives me a great excuse to link a Slayer video as reading music.

Another post about metallics

Group shot: Sanguinary Guard version.
A variation on a theme today, with no very little talk of Grey Knights.  Yesterday was very productive in the painting realm.  While I made no progress on the jump packs, I made quite a bit on the Sanguinary Guard, as you can see to the right.  I knew I needed to get in a good day of painting and while I got started a little later than I'd hoped, I still managed to get the armor done.  I wanted to get a test model done, just to make sure that I had the right idea and process, but because time is a factor I decided to jump right in.  As you're no doubt aware, the LPC deadline is a week from today, and while I've been worried about it for better than a month now, it looks like things will work out.  There are plenty of little details on the Sanguinary Guard, but they're all the same sorts of details that I've been doing on the assault squad, so I have my approach down and it should be a straight shot to the finish line.  The glaives and banner could be interesting, since I haven't done either of those before, but I think I'm going to just go with the studio approach to the glaives and I've been looking forward to the banner since I cracked the box open in January.  Another two or three days of good painting and I should be done, all done, done done, completely finished (except those decals), and that's a nice thought.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rampant speculation

Not quite what I meant...
I've been reading most everything that says "Grey Knight" on it lately in hopes of gleaning some idea of how things will work.  The codex doesn't come out until next month, yet somehow lists are popping up all over the place. The "black boxes" are no doubt to blame, and I'm sure I could find a pdf of the codex in the darker corners of these interwebs if I were inclined to look, but I actually enjoy this period of scrounging for information and trying to piece together a feel for the army.  I won't be able to do this in a couple weeks so I want to make the most of it while I can.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Metal mania

These guys want metal too.
Still waiting on my order, while in the background the clock ticks on.  I thought about sending Neal @ the Warstore an email asking him to send on the metallics now and the rest of the order whenever it arrives so that I could get going on the Sanguinary Guard.  Having dug into the backlog orders part of Warstore lately, I see that what's holding my order up is the metal.  So much for that idea.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So very close

New technique, new thumbnail size.
Monkey wrenches do abound lately, especially in my painting plans.  My still-absent Warstore order tops the list, though I have myself to blame for that one.  Apparently some of the stuff I ordered was out of stock, which is holding up the whole thing.  I have exactly two weeks to finish my LPC pledge, which you'll recall is the amount of time I wanted to have, at minimum, to do the Sanguinary Guard squad.  If my order doesn't show tomorrow, and I have no reason to think that it will, I'm looking at Monday at best and likely later into the week.  So I'll have maybe a week to do the squad, which is less than ideal.  I took a look at the models the other day to see if I could get a start on them, but no such luck.  The vast majority of the models will be gold, even more than the regular marines are red, so at best I could get the eyes done, and there aren't really eyes to speak of.  While this is unfortunate for getting a head-start, it does mean that once I get the gold down they should go fairly quick.  I'm considering doing the wings now, since I can at least do the "feathers," but I have other fish to fry at the moment.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Short update from yesterday

Le shot du group.
I didn't quite finish off the last of the assault marines yesterday, but I came pretty close.  I still have to do the writing and basing, plus armor highlights.  Since I've been on the fence about doing this at all, I'll consider it while I'm between painting sessions.  I'm sure I'll end up doing the highlights, if only because the rest of the squad is highlighted, but I'll consider all the same.  I'm pleased with this last batch overall, both in terms of quality and time.  Speed has improved with each group, and I see no reason it can't get a little faster still.  I'll plateau eventually, but every new refinement of paint order makes things better.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A painting hat trick

You know it, you love it: the group shot.
Three days in a row of painting is a pretty nice thing.  I got more done today than I thought I would.  I did the helmets, blacks, and whites finished, plus the armor up to the highlighting.  While highlighting the weapons it occurred to me that I should have done them like I did the chapter badges, meaning a grey base and Devlan Mud washes.  I want the squad to all look the same though, so the weapons got the usual treatment.  Even if I didn't use the idea this time, it'll be something to try on the next batch.  The painting has definitely been going quicker this round, though I am still uncertain if it's because of practice or feeling the time crunch.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Got some painting in

Group shot: day one.
I found a little time over the past two days to get some painting in.  Despite my earlier resolve to paint inside to outside, I have basecoated most of the models to allow me to do one big wash on the entire mini.  I'm not sure if this will save time or not, but this batch already looks further along than the others have after a similar amount of time (~2.5 hours).  I'll have more time tomorrow and hope to make plenty of progress.  Finishing them is probably too much to hope for, but if I can go back to inside-out and get through the armor done I think I'll be satisfied.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Good intentions, bad timing

Clearly my attempt to post every day hasn't worked out quite as planned.  I've had barely a moment to sit over the past week.  This is the first time I've turned my computer on since my last post, so you can imagine what hobby time has been available.  This is troubling as the LPC deadline of the end of March gets closer with each passing day, but there isn't much I can do about it just now.  I'm looking to add a couple metallics to my collection in the hopes that I'll be able to finish the assault squad and Sanguinary Guard in time, but we'll see how that goes. 

Regardless of my current time crunch, I'm not going anywhere.  Updates may be sporadic for a while, but that's happened before in this space.  Consider this an announcement of a future triumphant return to wargame blogging.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I love Devastators, part three

Not this kind of Predator.
The final popular Devestator alternative is the Predator.  The so-called "dakka" Predator is cheap, bristling with guns, and has better armor and mobility than the Rifleman.  A baseline vanilla Marine Predator is a mere 60 points and comes with an autocannon turret as the default.  The dakka Predator uses the 25 point Heavy Bolter sponson option, resulting in an 85 point vehicle that can crank out up to eight shots per turn.  I went through my thoughts on the autocannon versus the missile launcher yesterday, and considering that the Heavy Bolter shares all the shortcomings of the autocannon, but suffers them more acutely than the AC, you can probably infer what I think about the dakka Predator as a viable alternative to missile Devastators.