Monday, April 30, 2012

Orin Midwinter, Olgunholt Week 2

Ready to persecute your spell casters.
This is a quick one before hockey starts up.  Keeping up the mojo from the Manhunter, I painted up Orin Midwinter today.  Keeping a limited palette meant he was quick to finish, while still keeping an acceptable quality.  I think I may be getting the hang of painting at a decent speed with decent results.  Orin was another 3ish hours with a couple of breaks for drying and the like.  Over the weekend I diagnosed part of my recent struggles to playing with unprimed, and in some cases not fully assembled, models, so I based up a batch of silver troops last night and primed them this morning.  Orin got the nod towards the table mostly because I wanted to paint his robe.  I'm not sure his arc markings are accurate, despite using the same template I always use, and I had no idea what the thing on his chest is supposed to be so I just fudged it with some red and bronze.  The white/cream/bone/whatever parts were a bit of a test run for the upcoming Menites, mostly via a Bleached Bone base and a Gryphonne Sepia wash.  The results were encouraging, though not quite as white as hoped for.  Perhaps next time I'll use a white base instead of bone.

Olgunholt this week was ugly.  Ugly ugly ugly.  I went 0-3.  The highlights included Killboxing myself, getting Beast 09 thrown on top of eSorscha, and moving my War Dog off an objective via Counter-Charge/Return to give my opponent an uncontested scenario win.  Not my proudest moments.  Unsurprisingly there are no pictures.  This week I plan to put up a fight, play for scenario instead of caster kill, and (most importantly) not Killbox myself.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Most Dangerous Prey

I've been on a combined losing/apathy streak lately, as witnessed by the browser window that's been open (unloved) for hours that I'm just now typing in.  The course of action I decided on earlier today is to get back to basics: play conservatively, increase blog frequency, paint more.  The former is a work in progress (that has yet to begin, but I haven't played any Warmahordes today) that may get a post at some point (don't hold your breath), the latter got going today, and the we're both in the middle now. 

Sorry (again) for fuzzy pictures.
 Instead of banging my head against the Legion infantry scheme wall once again, this morning I resolved to at least make a good dent in something Khadoran.  I wanted to go chronological and finish something that's been waiting for the brush for too long, but the main options there (MoW Kovnik, pSorscha) weren't getting the juices flowing.  Instead I went with my dominant instinct: Manhunter.  Since I'd already painted a Manhuntress the scheme wouldn't require any consideration.  I often think of painting minis at doing a 3d paint-by-numbers, and in this case it was truer than usual.  This time around I took a different approach, one that I always mean to use but never do.  Base coats were followed by washes, then a reapplication of base colors on lighted surfaces, then a highlight or two.  The results were more or less what I hoped for, that being a decent model that will look good on the table and didn't take too long to finish.  Time investment was about 3.5 hours including 30-45 minutes of drying time for the wash and the base.  Taking a model from start to finish in a single session is still a novelty, but I don't see why it can't become the standard with some (more) practice.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Olgunholt League Week 1

The second seasonal league of the year, Olgunholt, got started this week.  It is at least partially to blame for the lack of posts around here recently.  I managed to get my three games for the week in, though they were spread across three days.  Combine with playoff hockey and things get interesting, so interesting that I don't have many pictures.  Let's not dwell on unpleasantness though, there's some texting to do.

Monday, April 16, 2012

eLylyth WIP # 1

The model isn't half this dark.
The painting table got a new resident today in eLylyth.  I've been having some issues adapting my Legion scheme from beasts to infantry.  The beasts have an easy logic to them: blue/white skin, orange chitin, creamy undercarriage, purple transitions.  Infantry can follow the same sort of approach: skin is skin, chitin is just a beast's armor, cloth is like the undercarriage, and infantry always has little spots of detail begging for a different color (purple).  The problem lies in materials that beasts don't have: leather, wood, metal.  Mostly the problem is leather.  My initial thought was to make it purple and keep my palette small, but the vast swathes would (I think) take away the impact gained from keeping the bits of bright purple tiny.  While pondering these problems and looking at eLylyth's model, I had a bit of an epiphany and a scheme for her clicked into place.  Leather bits will be brown, and for now the bow will be wooden and therefore brown as well (though I'm considering making it creamy/bony).  I didn't do much work with the model, just basecoating and the usual Devlan Mud wash, but I have a direction in mind now.  With any luck it'll spark a similar breakthrough with the Shepherds and Swordsmen that have been mocking me for a month or two now.

Gaming could be interesting this week.  The Caps play at home tonight and Thursday, on the road in the middle of the day Saturday, then potentially home again on Sunday at a yet-to-be-determined time.  With Olgunholt starting this week, and the NFL-style league (that needs a better name) also rolling, scheduling is a bit challenging at the moment.  Hopefully I can get in my Olgunholt games for this week as well as the NFL league, but odds are long on that at the moment.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tournament Mode Redux

Path to improvement or plotting my own downfall?  
If you've read this blog over the last week or two it will be no surprise that today was my first trip to a non-local tournament.  (By non-local I mean not at my FLGS, even though the trip today was only about 30 minutes.)  I made the trip up the Beltway and into Purgatory Maryland, ending up at Dream Wizards for a 35 point Steam Roller.  While trawling the events forum on the PP site I see Dream Wizards come up a lot, so it was good to finally make the trip out to get a fix on where it is.  Turns out it's really not that much further than Huzzah Hobbies, though much of that is traffic-dependent.  Plus Huzzah isn't in Maryland.

As usual I over-thought my lists in the days preceding the tournament and ended up making some changes about 10 minutes before the first round.  Three lists were under consideration: pButcher tier 4 for armor-spamming zone-holding goodness, pIrusk for high DEF spam and general attrition grind, and eVlad for crazy assassinations and general entertainment.  The pButcher list was very appealing, but in the end I convinced myself I needed to be prepared for Incorporeal/only hurt by magic targets, and having just Lola to deal with those situations wasn't going to cut it.  The two lists I ran were:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The virtues of taking one to the face

"Learning opportunity" 
There has been a troubling trend around here lately: I've been winning too much.  Sounds like a good problem to have, no?  The downside of this trend is overconfidence.  I've been settling in, getting comfortable in my game, feeling a little invulnerable at times.  This is obviously a Bad Thing, and it's been even worse because I've been aware of it but powerless to do anything about it.  Fortunately for me I got the worst beating I've had in a long time on Thursday. How can this possibly be a good thing?  No one likes losing, much less being tabled, but I'm a firm advocate of learning by taking shots to the face.  No lesson is remembered as well as the one that stings for days afterwards, and despite what I've been thinking lately I still have plenty to learn about Warmahordes. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Widowmakers finished, Khadorgasm

First things first, legendary/double epic/Vlad3 hit the PP front page today.  There was much rejoicing.  Also appearing is Conquest, which gets a hearty "meh" from this quarter.  I'm willing to be convinced, but right now I don't care for the colossals.  In Legion news the Succubus hit in the last hour or so, which makes all my warlocks happy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Widowmakers WIP # 3

Less visible primer means success is close.
I'm starting to feel bad about all these smallish painting updates, but it's my blog and I'll spam all over it if I want to.  What I should probably feel bad about is the inevitable rambling at the end of the posts, but more on that later.  I got in some unexpected painting today, which let me finish off the greens and base coat the reds.  I took a couple stabs at blending the coats, but the results were less than expected.  The paint was probably too thick on reflection.  I'll keep tinkering with the technique and see if I can't find some path forward with it.  For tomorrow I hope to get the reds done, which shouldn't be hard, and also the browns, which will be more taxing.  Despite using two different shades of brown the various areas have all started to blend together, helped along by the liberal dosing of Devlan Mud they all got.  With all the abutting leathers I'll have plenty of opportunity to reclaim the various shades I intended.  After the leather this batch will be down to metals and details.  I also need to decide what I'm going to do with the armored bills on the back two grunt's hoods.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Widowmakers WIP # 2

Taking shape slowly, but coming along nicely. 
My usual Saturday plans tripped over the starting line today which, while unfortunate, allowed me to get in some more brush time.  I got a little too zoned-in while painting the skin so I didn't get a lot done, but what I did finish I'm very happy with.  While I'd like to say I got the heads done, I came up short of that.  Instead I finished the soft tissue parts of the heads, meaning skin and eyes, plus did some work on the black areas.  After another session of fumbling about trying to paint black I think I'm going to have to seek out a tutorial or something similar.

Friday, April 6, 2012

War Dog finished, Widowmakers started

Another model finished.  I could get used to this. 
The paint has been flowing well over the last week or two and I've been eager to take advantage of the situation.  Last time I talked a bit about how long the War Dog had been underway, which was good timing since I finished it yesterday and ruined my opportunity to point out that I'd been "working" on it for far too long.  As I implied in that post I took my standards down a notch in the name of getting it finished, but that's worked out for the best.  The photo-realistic recreation of my friend's dog was, in retrospect, an unattainable goal.  While I'm sure there are some paint jockeys who can pull off such a feat, I am not one of them, and clinging to that unrealistic expectation would only have guaranteed that the War Dog would remain forever in-progress.  Instead I took a good swing at reproducing the stinky, currently-shedding-all-over-everything dog in armor-plated miniature.  The result is a model that may not be the pinnacle of verisimilitude, but is a passable homage and, above all else, is finished with a coat of varnish drying even now.  My biggest regret about the model now has nothing to do with the paint but is instead the base.  I was trying out the small slate chips from GW's 40k basing kit and they look very different from the otherwise standard ballast/sand on the rest of the bases.  Hopefully once the snow goes down it will blend in, and I doubt it will be noticeable to anyone else, but it will surely cause a tiny twinge of regret every time I look at it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

War Dog WIP #1

I know I've posted this before, but can't find it now. 
The title of this post is a little misleading.  This is my third crack at the War Dog now, so while this is the first WIP pic I'm presenting (I think), I've been "painting" this model for a couple years now.  The big problem has been my inspiration.  Sir No Longer Appearing In This Blog (NGF if you're good with acronyms) has a English bulldog with a unique coloring, a penchant for rubbing her ass all over everyone she meets, and a vicious stink emanating from all orifices.  She's adorable once you make peace with her many shortcomings.  Since the War Dog looks a lot like her (despite the model being male) I committed to painting the model to match the dog.

This was a mistake.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dark Prince Rising

A dark picture for a dark prince. 
Today I "finished" pVlad.  The search for something to put on his cloak continues so he's not entirely done, but with everything else painted and varnishing scheduled for the morning he's done enough.  As you can see I went with some gold trim on the armor, but kept it a little sparser than the studio model.  I also added some extra shading to the cloak, which will show whenever I figure out what I want to do with all that space.

If the picture looks a little different it's because I'm trying a new lighting setup.  Normally I flip one (or both) of my water containers over, put my model on top of said container(s), rearrange my painting lamp to shine on said model, then snap away.  While looking through pictures from the previously mentioned Meg Maples painting class over at Anything But a One, particularly the first picture, I spotted the same lamp.  Then while reading a fellow FLGS patron's blog/thread, particularly this post, I saw the same lamp again, this time used as a backdrop for taking pictures.  This seemed like a far more elegant solution than what I do, so I gave it a whirl.  The results were less than hoped for, so I'll have to pick the innovator's brain the next time our paths cross.