Friday, December 30, 2011

Change of Pace

A little vacation from the Motherland.
After yesterday's musings about Orks, today I grabbed a handful and got to painting.  It's not often that I can start and finish a mini in a single day, let alone a group of them, but that's more or less what happened here.  I drop that qualifier in because the batch had been started already, but keeping with my usual style I re-painted just about every bit.  While I know that Orks are a motley bunch and having them be different colors would be thematic, I still like having a consistent shade through bunches, if not the whole army.  Speaking of coherency the Evil Sunz portion of the army isn't speaking to me at the moment, despite what I painted today.  Somehow having the single color (blue) on the Deathskull part works for me more than the dual color (red/yellow) of the Sunz.  My concept for the army would work just fine as a strictly Deathskull force and if I didn't already have most of a squad of Evil Sunz done (not to mention other partially painted bits) then I'd probably switch over to just blue.  Perhaps pulling all the boyz out as a group will make the different colors more appealing.  If I've lost you in this reminiscing, do check the tag cloud on the right sidebar.  I've covered this Orky speculation before, but it's been quite a while.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year in Review

The year what was.
First things first, I've picked up a couple new followers recently, so howdy to the new folks.  Hope you enjoy the ride.

With the new year on the horizon, and since I see them popping up across the interwebs, I thought I'd take a look at what I've done this year.  Starting with models built would be appropriate, but I'm not entirely sure what was done this year and what was done in years past, so let's just skip ahead to painting.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bombs away

Gogo Ice Axe.
Quick one here before hockey.  Finished up the latest batch today.  It took longer than I expected, but in the end all the little rivets and tiny highlights pay off.  Of course forgetting details like the Ice Axe and the Bombardiers leader's head until the very end didn't help on the time front, but they're done now which is what matters.  The axe in particular was a bit of an experiment.  I wanted to get a sort of blue glow effect, so once I realized I had forgotten it I went back over the regular silver color with the light blue (not sure what it is, akin to GW Ice Blue) and started filling in at the "base" of the axe with the idea that the "glow," and the ice itself, was coming from the center of the axe and would get fainter as it got closer to the edges.  Straight blue went in the middle with progressively more VGC Silver mixed in as I moved out.  It didn't turn out quite like I wanted, but it doesn't look half bad either.  Next time I might try a blue base and put the silver on top of it, or perhaps use a blue wash over a silver base.  Because time is an issue, have a photo dump for the finish.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A hint of things to come

Family portrait.
I've let the battle reports pile up to the point that there are no less than four waiting for some love.  Some will be shorter than others, but it's a troubling collection no matter how long they turn out to be.  I'll start chipping away at the stack and hopefully get caught up by the new year. 

In the meantime, I have a little nugget here from one of the upcoming reports.  I played against...Steve? (horrible with names) a couple weeks ago at the FLGS.  It was his first game under mk 2, and first in a couple years.  It was also my first mirror match against a fellow Khador player.  The exact goings-on will have to wait for the actual report, but one of the things that came up during the game (Steve was very nice and chatty) was a Black Ivan comparison.  He did a so-called "Full Metal Ivan" conversion, using the old metal Destroyer as the base.  I've seen a couple of these across the interwebs, but this was the first I'd seen in person.  The plastic jacks are bigger than the old metal ones in my experience, and I expected the same results in this comparison.  Imagine my surprise when the two Ivans were more or less the same size.  My plastic Ivan is wider due to how I posed him, but height-wise there isn't much difference.  Plastic Ivan is a shade taller, but you'd have to do some looking to notice the difference and I don't think you'd be able to tell if they weren't sitting right next to each other.

In other teaser notes I had my first game of Hordes today facing off against EV's Skorne.  I thought it would take some time to get used to how Fury works, but turns out it was pretty natural.  Looks like Hordes is, or at least can be, exactly what I hoped it would be: a game of beasts with some infantry support.  Looks like this week won't work for gaming at the FLGS, but next week I'll be faced with a tough decision: fight for the Motherland or spread Everblight's influence? 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Painting and developments

Quick pictures are bad pictures.
A belated painting update.  On Friday I got the reds done and touched up the areas that will be black and little metal bits, which is all that now remains.  Aside from basing of course.  This time around I tried to be more liberal with the shading on the red, which was challenging since I wanted these models to fit in with the rest of the army that has less-shaded reds.  I've been wanting to do a darker red for a while now, but I'm basically locked-in to the bright red for the Motherland (not to mention my Blood Angels).  With Paint the Target due on Wednesday, and a game with EV tomorrow, it looks like Wednesday morning will be "get the Juggy done ASAP" time.  I don't anticipate any problems finishing on time, but stuff has a way of cropping up when you don't expect it.

In other news, my not-quite local FLGS had a Legion deck when I stopped by today (along with eVayl), so the Legion train is ready to hit the table.  Color schemes are still giving me fits though.  I think I want to go with blue and orange, but I'm faltering on how to put them together.  Blue skin with orange armor/scales?  Considering I want to do a very pale blue, more of a white shaded with blue than an actual blue, I'm not sold on orange working.  Going monochrome is an option, using orange as a spot color, but that seems like it would get monotonous with little delay.  Hopefully inspiration strikes at some point or I may be doing speculative paint jobs on some poor Shredders.

In other other news, no luck on little winter trees at Micheal's today.  I think I may have been early as it looked like they were just starting to set up the Christmas clearance stuff.  Perhaps a return will prove more fruitful.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Green machine

Marching onward.
 Got some good painting in yesterday.  Though I didn't think I had much time, I sat down at the table to get in some work and ended up finishing off the green.  This is an obvious coup since  the models are mostly green, putting them into one or two more sessions and done category.  For good measure I even got in a coat of red, though I think I'll be going back and doing the plates on top of the Bombardier's hands in red as well.  In an unexpected turn, the Bombardiers were easier/more fun to paint than the Juggernaut was.  Lots of large, flat planes aren't so engaging as it turns out.  Freehand might be a game-time decision, so to speak, depending on how long I have after finishing the model and before the Paint the Target deadline.  I'm not worried about finishing on time, but if I start throwing extra decoration in there then deadlines will be more of a factor.  Considering that this Juggernaut is likely to end up as a placeholder/ringer for extreme builds I won't feel bad if it doesn't get all the extra nifty touches.

Edge highlighting action shot!
In unexpected Christmas news, I got a whole rack of stuff from EV this morning.  In addition to actual Christmas no less!  I got a Totem Hunter and Swamp Gobbers from EV (I got him Primal mk 2 and Archduke Runewood).  The extra bits are Legion.  A lot of Legion.  pLylyth, pThagrosh, a pair of Carniveans, a Seraph, eight Shredders, two Forsaken, and full (or almost full) units of Swordsmen and Archers.  All assembled and primed, though some have taken dings in storage and transport and will require minor repairs.  Quite the solid base to start from.  EV wanted a pair of Venoms in return, which I'm more than happy to provide.  Now I'm trying to keep myself from heading off to the FLGS to get a Legion deck, under the ruse of going to get lunch of course, then going over the Hordes rules again ahead of trying out the new beasties tonight.  It would be far more prudent to put in a Warstore order for the Venoms and add on the deck and some other bits (UAs for the units, any extra models to bring them up to full, Absylonia, solos for taste), but where's the fun in that?  The biggest hurdle I see thus far, aside from painting and learning a new faction (plus deciding on a scheme), is storage.  The Seraph is too spread out to fit in the big Battlefoam slots, and I imagine there are plenty of others that will be in the same boat.  Battlefoam makes a Legion beast tray, which is one solution, though I'd hate to start getting alternate trays for a bag that isn't even a month old yet.  There's also the pistol case I got about a year ago that doesn't have a role yet.  That would be more of a stop-gap, but it should hold plenty of infantry and the pluck foam, if thick enough, would accommodate enough beasts to do the job for a while.  The problem then is either I'm carrying a case and a bag, or I lose all the extra storage of the Battlefoam bag and have to carry the case plus another, different bag.  Life is tough sometimes, but I'll persevere.  Now for lunch.  And maybe cards.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Back to the painting table

A good start.
As the title says, today I got back to painting.  Despite my plans to get some Greylords painted I stuck (more or less) with what I had already pulled out of my bag.  After a bit of a marathon session I got base colors down on the Bombardiers and Juggernaut, plus a healthy dose of Tamiya Smoke and Devlan Mud slathered around.  The jack swap happened for a pair of reason.  No Destroyer has hit the table since I got Black Ivan, who is well worth the extra point over a base Destroyer, but I want to give the Ivan/Destroyer/Harkevich setup that I brought to the tournament, even if I never used it.  Of course I'd also like to use the Bombardiers in that list, but I can take them out with less disruption than losing the Destroyer.  The Juggy sees plenty of table time, so I'd like to get it painted sooner than later, especially when the alternative is painting the Destroyer with its noted-above lack of play time.  The Bombardiers took a lot longer than I was expecting, but hopefully things will go quicker now that I have the foundation established.  The green is going to be murder on them though.  Ideally I'll get the Juggy finished for Paint the Target, though I suppose I can fall back on the wreck markers if need be.  There should be a decent amount of painting time available this week, and once I get the green finished things should wrap up quick. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tournament Mode: the Debut

Tournament time.
A cluster of eager combatants. Pedestrian tables turned into exact playing surfaces with themed terrain. Handouts: a sheet for game results and army lists, another for event feedback. Packets of rules and scenarios. The gentle rumble of conversation and laughter. Trays of (somewhat) painted minis. The appraising looks drawn by the assembled armies. The atmosphere when I arrived to my first Warmahordes tournament was everything I thought it would be.

As I alluded to in my last post, I went in a new direction with my lists the night before the tournament.  I had settled into a single jack, infantry heavy, Iron Flesh caster approach, but following a successful game with Strakhov on Thursday night I went with a list very similar to the one I used that night:

Friday, December 16, 2011

The night before

Not the best pic ever, but better than nothing.
Today was a fairly productive day in hobby terms.  I managed to get the wreck markers done, start to finish with a coat of varnish at the end.  It feels a little odd to have finished painting more wreck markers (2) than jacks (1).  Hopefully they don't see the table, but should the worst happen then at least I'll leave a good looking corpse behind.

Work was sloooooooooooooooow tonight which is bad for business but good for hammering out lists.  Irusk lost an arm last night as I was taking him out of my bag, what should have been a harmless trip that reinforced the benefits of pinning.  I've cooled on pIrusk over the last couple days, for no discernible reason, so tonight's explosion of lists isn't so surprising.  Nor is the fact that the lists I'm most taken with at this moment feature casters I'm not so familiar with (not that I'm well versed with pIrusk).  While I may be setting myself up for failure, I hope I'm also lining up a good time for tomorrow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lack of Forward Progress

In direct contrast to conventional wisdom, hobby progress has ground to a halt in this last week or two before this Saturday's tournament.  Judging by every hobby blog ever, I should be knee deep in painting as I race to finish my list in time to get it to the table.  Instead I haven't done any painting since finishing Irusk and the Winter Guard attachments last week.  I've settled on options to paint if the mood strikes today or tomorrow (Destroyer, Bombardiers), but the real problem here is that the stuff I want to paint (Greylords, War Dog, Juggernaut) are all likely to find spots in my tournament lists, and I'm not going to put all that time and effort in to a model only to rub it off over the course of a day.  It's a bit of a Mexican stand-off.  The good news is I'll be able to dig in to these options next week.  The bad news is I won't be getting at them when I'd like to (now) because I can't finish them by Saturday, and thus I'll be fielding a less than fully painted force.  While I'm used to putting down a bunch of grey primered minis, it was something I had hoped to avoid, or at least minimize.  Perhaps for next time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ahoy IABN. Also, podcasts.

Can an iPod be retro?
The Iron Agenda Blogging Network feed is live, so a hearty "Come on in, the water's fine" to all the traffic that (hopefully) finds it way here from there. 

The Iron Agenda wasn't the first Warmahordes podcast I listened to, but it was the first one that got added to my regular rotation.  It hit all the things I wanted: general news, tactics, combos. and it did all of that with good sound quality and engaging hosts.  Sadly the show stopped about a year ago and I have yet to find a suitable replacement.  The Iron Agenda is still the standard I measure Warmahordes podcasts by, and they've all come up short thus far.  Despite constant disappointment I'm still on the hunt, and I can try and save you some time and effort by sharing my (admittedly biased) thoughts on a great swathe of the Warmahordes podcasts that are going at the moment.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


A finished group.
 At long last, it's been a good 24 hours in my neck of the woods.  First up, the IABN machinery should be running.  Again, this will be a shot across the bow type thing.  I have a podcast post in mind for when I'm sure everything is working.

Next up, you can already see my handiwork from yesterday.  The current, though I should now say past, batch is finished (except varnishing and snow).  I got out of bed determined to get a good day of painting in and ended up getting the whole thing done, which was a pleasant surprise.  Once I sat down to do it, there wasn't really much left.  Leather, rivets/medals/doohickeys, touch-ups, basing, and it was over before I knew it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Open works, insert wrench.
Motivation has been a problem around here lately.  Despite intending to finish up (at least some of) the current batch of painting these past two days, no paint brushes have been raised.  Hopefully tomorrow is the day all that changes.  All has not been lost in hobby land though.  The Black Friday arrivals got pushed through the machine yesterday so I could get them primed today, then hit all the spots that got missed tomorrow, all so they'd be good and dry for Thursday.  Of course I didn't take weather into account, so when I got up this morning and checked the humidity (98%...) plans got scrapped in a hurry.  And of course the forecast for tomorrow is the same.  The silver lining here is that I have a bunch of minis ready for priming whenever the weather breaks, but the obvious downside is that either I won't be getting to try out the Kayazys this week or I'll have to put my "prime before table time" maxim on hold for a couple days.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Actual Progress

Le group.
While it wasn't much, I did get some painting done today.  It's been about a week and a half since I last held a brush so I wanted to get back into the habit.  Turns out you can get real rusty with even this short of a break.  I did some poor work on the black, but at least it's done, plus I got a wash on the leather and did some hair.  I also black lined the anvil on the flag which helps just as much as it did on Ivan.  It's not my best work ever, and I managed to mess up some of the red while I was doing it, but the results were worth the effort.  Black lining has been pushed by every good painter since before I got started in the hobby, but now that I'm finally trying it I see what they've been going on about.  The only issue is that it's a fiddly thing to do, and I'm not always the steadiest hand at the painting table.  Plus it takes a while.  The sacrifices we make for our hobbies...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas in November

That's a lot of box.
Looks like it's been almost a week since my last post.  That's no good.  In my defense I've been cultivating a chest-bursting alien life form since the weekend, but I think my diligent schedule of removing said alien squirt by thick yellow squirt through my nose is finally paying off.  I lost a beautiful weekend here that would have been perfect for varnishing, and there has been no painting done of any sort in more than a week.  Hobby progress has ground to a full stop.  I did (finally) make a banner for the site though, and spread my spore into further corners of the interwebs, so my convalescence hasn't been a total loss.  [In vital, if unrelated, news, my infirmity was not serious enough to keep away from Verizon center to see Dale Hunter's return to the Caps, this time as the head coach.  Since I'm not down any limbs I'll also be there tonight to (hopefully) see the Caps get their first win for Hunter against the hated Penguins tonight.  But this is a gaming blog...]  Fate has conspired against me getting any games in today, either against EV or at the FLGS, but Fate didn't give me a complete shafting.