Friday, July 29, 2011

Closing in on the finish line

Dark pictures aside, they're pretty close.
For once my painting plans went as intended.  I had a pretty good afternoon at the table and finished the day where I wanted to: (hopefully) a single session away from finishing the Winter Guard.  I got the metals done, washed the flesh, and put in work on the browns and black.  I'm on the fence about the browns.  They look good enough to leave alone, but as always there's room for improvement.  I started by giving all the brown areas a Devlan Mud wash, then went in with Snakebite Leather on the leather areas.  Wood and leather are distinct now, which was my intention, but the wood areas are just base coated with a wash, though I'd like to add some graining.  The leather looks better, but could still use a highlight or perhaps another wash.  Then there are the interminable buttons and clasps on the bandoliers that want some attention, to say nothing of buckles.  Since this is a unit that's as much about boots on the ground as it is about quality of troops, I'm trying to not get hung up on shading and highlighting each beard hair in the name of getting the squad done.

Better lighting would show the different browns.
The black is in a similar situation.  I base coated all the areas, but haven't done any highlighting and doubt that I'll be doing any.  The problem with the black areas is that they're mostly fiddly detail: the Khadoran anvil on the shoulder, the stripe at the bottom of the coat, and the bottom edge/corner of the shoulders.  These areas have hard edges, which means edge highlighting, but are also sculpted in such a way that edge highlighting would be a pain at best.  I think the anvil would really benefit from some highlights though, so we'll see how that goes.  I used BoltGunmetal thinned with Umber Shade to base coat the metal areas, notably all the big rivets at the bottom of the coats and shoulders.  These weren't too bad to do, but the detail brush I was using is past its prime so there was a fair bit of painting outside the lines, so I'll be going back for touch-ups before everything is finished.  It's during this touch-up phase that I'll consider highlighting.  The metals got a Devlan Mud wash at the same time the browns did.  I followed the wash up with (Mithril) Silver as a highlight/accent on the silver areas and used Brassy Brass to break up the gun barrels.  The brass in particular looks good, though highlighting metal produced the same mediocre results it always has.  All that remains now are the fur collars, flesh, and hair, plus the touch-ups.  Of note are the various little armor plates on the boots and gloves that I missed in the first pass.  These will be red like the rest of the armor, and I'll get the anvils on the hats at the same time.  Then basing, varnish, done!  That looks like a lot listed out, but it should be easy enough to finish when I have the chance, which is probably Monday.

Looks a lot like the last one, but it's different.  Subtly.
An unexpected development occurred yesterday while visiting NGF (Non-Gaming Friend).  I've been somewhat patiently awaiting the release of Kill Team, which came out last week on the 360 and was supposed to release this week on the PS3.  I got a taste on Monday at EV's place and my suspicions were confirmed: this is a game that I'll enjoy.  I was fairly sure NGF would also enjoy it, so I encouraged him to have it ready to go when I arrived yesterday.  Unfortunately the PS3 release has been pushed back, so I'll be waiting as I have a PS3 but no 360.  Fortunately NGF has both and disregarded my suggestion that we wait for the PS3 release.  While we cleared a bloody swathe NGF peppered me with questions about the 40k universe and even asked, in a very roundabout manner, about the game itself.  I'm heading back there tomorrow and I'll have the big 3rd edition rulebook and Let the Galaxy Burn in tow.  Under normal circumstances I'd bring the 5th edition book and maybe the vanilla Marine codex, but considering there's a newly hatched kid in the house I'm none too eager to have my books suffer beneath curious fingers and gums.  Also the only 5th edition rule book I have is the pocket sized one from Assault on Black Reach which is great if you want the rules, but piss-poor if you want the background and a general introduction.  Let the Galaxy Burn may not be the best fluff ever written and might not be the ideal entry point, but I have it on hand and am less worried about it than I am about my vanilla Marine book, plus there are some decent enough stories in it.  I've been pursuing a low pressure sales pitch with NGF for a couple years now, butt his latest development is the best sign I've had thus far.  If he's asking after fluff then it's a short throw to getting models and brushes in hand, and then it's all over.  I've been trying to extoll the virtues of gaming when you have a family to him, especially the parts where you get the hell out of the house to game elsewhere or flood the house with other gamers while driving non-gamers out in a panic.  Perhaps the benefits of these activities are starting to dawn on him.  In any case a door is opening wider than it has before, and with any luck the gaming population will grow.


  1. Looking good so far. I can't wait to blast them off the table!

    Good luck getting NGF into the wargaming hobby. I have a gamer friend with a kid who barely gets a game in these days, let alone gets any painting done. I don't know how busy NGF's schedule is, though, so maybe he'll be able to get some quality painting time in. My apartment is open for an intro game if he can make it out this way, otherwise I can loan you my 3'x3' board and a smattering of terrain to take out his way. Since it'd be an intro game, the dimensions of the board aren't important.

    I'm hoping to hear good news about NGF in the future, as even I would enjoy a new opponent (thus why my board is modular). Though, I don't know where you could put up a full 6'x4' board in his house...

    Any way, I'm getting way ahead of myself. First you need to get him to pick up that first Tactical Squad.

  2. I may have gotten a bit ahead of myself on the NGF front. Time will tell. The past has shown that he's up for a random game at a random time as long as you have all the working pieces and will show him how it all works. The problem is getting that to stick from day to day, to say nothing of the hobby side of things. Books in hand should mean that the hooks start to sink in. I know I can't pick up a page of marine schemes and not want to paint a company of each, but everyone works differently. Like I saw, we'll see how it turns out.

    Re: Thursday, I might want to tinker with it. How does Tuesday/Wednesday look for you?

  3. Tuesday would be best, but I think I can work Wednesday as well.