Friday, August 30, 2013

Yet More Empire

The Halberdiers have been done for a day or two.  
My assembly line approach has skipped a beat.  After finishing the first block of 20 Halberdiers I took a break from infantry to do a cannon.  Then I started on more infantry, this time Spearmen, as I continued working on the cannon.  Today I messed the whole thing up by introducing a wizard.  According to the rotating infantry method, discussed here, the cannon should be finished (from the previous session), the first group of Spearmen should be done, and there should be a second group of something (likely more Spearmen) that had been basecoated and washed.  Instead I have what you see to the left: a finished cannon crew, a mostly finished cannon, some almost finished Spearmen, and an unwashed wizard.  To be fair there are only parts of the wizard, skin and metal, that should be washed as I'll be washing the blues after layering up a bit.  There are two shades of blue that don't really come through in the picture.  The cloak and cuffs are a dark blue, while the inner robes are a lighter grey blue.  The wizard's globe is an unknown at the moment.  I wouldn't mind a starry night crystal ball look but have no idea how I'd pull it off.  Fortunately the internet is awash with painted minis.  While the model is a Celestial wizard, I'm not locked in on a lore just yet.  Heavens does look interesting, but the choice of model was strictly based on what I had primed and ready to paint.  My options were a Light wizard (used as a painting guinea pig here, since stripped back to an incredibly resilient) and the one I picked.  The plan now is to finish everything pictured above next time and get another batch of Spearmen going or maybe do some horses.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Assemble the Empire

Can't hold a candle to De-loused in the Comatorium.  
Just so we're all clear, the title of this post was an excuse to link to the song of the same name by Sparta, the (subjectively) less talented and (objectively) less successful remnant of At the Drive-In (The Mars Volta being the more talented and successful part for those playing at home).

Also note that I wrote the bulk of this post about a week ago.  I indulged in a far too rare proofread so there shouldn't be any linguistic train wrecks, but in case any slipped past the second pass I blame time and monkeys.

Now we can proceed.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

More Empire

Kinda dark.  It happens.  
I fought through a bout of standard malaise yesterday to get in some decent painting progress.  The remaining  (ready to paint) Halberdiers and their standard got the full treatment, while a cannon and crew started their own journey.  I'm debating changing up the reds and/or blues on the cannon.  On the one hand it'd be awfully boring, both to paint and to look at, if all the reds and blues are the same throughout the army.  The other hand says it'd be good to have a cohesive army, especially since the current idea is a professional, organized, homogeneous Altdorf army (with the possibility of a different scheme for the Greatswords and maybe a unit of knights).  I'll probably go with different shades throughout the army while staying uniform within each unit, but it's something to consider.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Building Blocks

Looks nice even if the bases are distracting.  
Despite the lack of updates I've made good progress over the past few days.  My first block of troops is done (except for basing and varnish), which gives me a nice visual treat to look at.  The unit came together quickly thanks to the reasons I mentioned last time, but also because of the approach I took to painting them.  My usual approach is to take a model or group from start to finish before taking up another set.  There's a natural pause in my painting when I (very generously) wash the whole model, which takes a while to dry.  Ideally I'll let the wash dry overnight, but often I take a short break instead so I can push on to the finish line.  This time I decided to embrace the overnight drying time by adding a second group of models.  When I sat down to finish off the first group of six after their wash, I also base coated another group of seven since I already had the colors out on my palette.  When I finished the first six I had also finished base coating the second seven, which I then washed and left to dry overnight.  The process repeated with another new group of seven with a final result of twenty newly (re)painted Halberdiers, which is the size I've tabbed for detachments.  Whether these brave mans of the Empire are complete as a detachment for a larger regiment or are the core of a central block of Halberdiers is still under debate.  Said debate is largely pointless as they can be both, if not at the same time, and I have plenty more bodies waiting to be assembled to fill out the ranks.  There's another three on the painting table now, along with a bannerman, and I put together four more a few days ago.  The three plus banner didn't make it to the wash stage because I wanted to take some extra time with the banner, but also because my brush was suffering from the extending painting time.  If I want to keep this new version of the assembly line I'll either need to rinse my brush, and re-thin my paints, more often or work on smaller groups.  If I stuck to a more standard group of ten I could have five being finished and another five being started, with less brush abuse and more room on the painting table.  Turns out working on fourteen models at once (on pill bottle lids) takes up a lot of real estate.  I'm thinking about rolling into Spearmen after I finish the straggling Halberdiers, though I may take up a cannon instead to break up the long line of infantry.  There's also the bits that didn't quite get finished for the Journeyman league that I should get done.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Something New(ish)

Two sessions worth, which is a couple hours.  
We're going way out of order, not that you'll notice the difference, but the iron is hot so I'm pounding it.  Halberdiers are the new hotness around here and I'm having a hard time with them.  Not in the usual manner where I don't want to paint them, can't figure up a scheme I like, or can't implement the scheme once I decide on it.  Instead the "hard time" revolves around trying to maintain a reasonable pace and not binge on painting gobs of the blighters.  Hopefully this way I can keep up the painting steam to plow through the models without overheating and ruining the boiler.  I have about 25 models assembled (more or less, details to come), primed, and in various stages of existing paint that are ready to go.  Starting yesterday I've finished 6 and have another 7 base coated and washed.  That's a very fast pace for me even taking my recent speed boost into consideration.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Journeyman Painting Log 14

I painted Sorscha, so it only seems fair to do Beast 09 too.  
Another day, another finished model.  Today we have Beast 09, a model that rivals Gorman for having the best reputation that I get the least work out of.  I can see where some of the hype comes from since Beast's imprint will let you absolutely murder any living model, Reach is a rare treat for Khador jacks, and Thresher isn't bad either (especially with Reach).  Free runs are nice, as is Hyper Aggressive, but when you strip out the neat shiny bits Beast is just a Juggernaut that costs an extra 4 points.  That's a bit simplistic but still true.  As for the actual model, I assembled it in this static and boring pose for ease of use.  There's nothing worse than having to accommodate multiple models that hang over their bases, as many PP models do, so I had Beast 09 pull his arms in tight to make room for victims.  I went with the studio scheme (more or less) since Beast 09 is a character jack with a reason for being white, and this way no one will mistake it for a regular Juggernaut.  As usual I spotted a missed spot while putting the picture together (knee rings), but considering I started and finished the whole thing today I'm happy with the results.  Not my best work, but not embarrassing either.  I'm targeting the Spriggan as a "take your time and do it right" piece, though I'm still not sure what I'll do with the shield.

Speaking of the Spriggan, I took advantage of a break in the recent humidity to spray a bunch of stuff.  The Spriggan and IFP got primed, the latter taking quite a while and almost a full can of paint as I gave each one the royal treatment (holding the model and rotating it to get all the nooks instead of lining them all up on a box top).  I also varnished the Drakhun, Yuri, and the Mechanics so they'll be ready to go for Wednesday.  Hopefully I can varnish Beast 09 in time for gaming as well.  I think I can crank out another finished model and field it, but I doubt I'll have time for more.  The cross hairs are on eEryiss for this as she's got a decent start, is only one model, and would be nice to get back into the fold.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Journeyman Painting Log 13

These slackers can finally get to work.  
Hot on the heels of yesterday's painting triumph comes an even bigger victory today.  Both the Mechanics and the Drakhun were already under way when I sat down to paint today, but the whole point of laying a foundation for future success is reaping that reward when the time comes.  The Mechanics were close to finished yesterday, so it didn't take much pushing to get them done.  This unit is particularly satisfying since they've only been a full unit for about a week.  When I got them way back when I only got four bases in the blister, so whenever I ran the full unit I would use some of my extra Sorschas as stand-ins because I never got around to digging out my extra bases.  When I pulled all the unpainted stuff out of my bag last week I rode that wave of good feelings straight to my modelling bag and got the other two based and ready to go.  Now the whole unit is together, painted, and with any luck will be varnished in time to make it to the table for the Journeyman league.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Journeyman Painting Log 12

Who loves pelts and handing out Treewalker?  Yuri does.  
After a reasonable break from painting I dove back in today.  The result was a finished Yuri and a (now max) unit of Mechanics approaching completion.  Yuri got bumped to the top of the queue because I figured he would be quick and easy to paint, which he was thanks to all the leather and furs.  I took some time with the fur cloak to add some different shading to the different pelts and still got him finished quickly.  I'll be glad to get him back on the table as well since for this final week of the Journeyman league we're stepping up to 75 pointers.  I've never played a game over 50, so it'll be interesting to have all that extra elbow room.  While I like the full Manhunter suite (Yuri and a pair of Manhunters), 7 points for three models is often too steep a price to pay.  With an extra 25 points to fill I'll have less reservations about shelling out for the fur crew.  Yuri is potent enough on his own, but he really earns his points when he has a posse to run with.  Treewalker lets me use some of my Legion tricks with Khador, and running a mini "unit" means I can put a credible threat on a flank instead of a lone Manhunter looking to tie up an arc node or draw attention away from my main force.  Maybe Yuri will even manage to survive a game for once.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Construction Ahead

Welcome to Khador.  Have a lance and shield.  
The painting mojo didn't make an appearance today.  Taking its place was the elusive building mojo.  This is a rare beast, so I like to lasso it whenever it appears and ride it for all its worth.  Today it was worth a Spriggan and, at long last, the completion of the Iron Fangs.  I've gone on about IFP previously, and Black Dragons in particular, but I'll take a bit of space here to dig into the Spriggan a bit.  Much as many proud sons and daughters of the Motherland might wish otherwise, Khador is primarily a single jack faction.  There's no real jack support beyond the Koldun Lord, which is dubious "support" when compared with the options available to the other factions, and the majority of casters don't do anything past handing out Focus (which they'd rather keep) and maybe Boundless Charge.  Khadoran jacks aren't really compelling on their own, especially when compared to Khadoran infantry and the support available for the footmans.  You're more or less locked into taking a jack (if only to use the bonus points), so it makes sense to make your one jack a good choice.  The Spriggan is that good choice.  It's the only non-character jack with Reach (not counting Conquest, which is a fine choice as the lone jack but not yet available to me), has Bulldoze, is ARM 21 (via a shield, so it could go down to 19), has Powerful Charge, sports a pair of grenade launchers, and can fire off a flare to counter Stealth.  At 10 points it's the most expensive non-character jack in the faction, and on the expensive end for non-character warnouns in Warmahordes overall, but it's has so many tools that you can get value out of it on every turn (outside the running turn) and in all situations.  Last night I encountered Satyxis Raiders with Occultation, which is a real pain to deal with.  I ended up sending Sorscha way too far forward to get in range to (try to) Freezing Grip them, which led to a messy death for her.  If I had a Spriggan I could have fired off a flare to reveal a Raider so I could have targeted them from a more reasonable range.  Plus it looks awesome and has two big open spaces (forehead and shield) that are just begging for a nice 5th Border Legion icon and something else.  There are already a ton of Khadoran anvils on the model and I don't want to double up on 5th Border Legion so I'll have to consider what to do with all that prime real estate.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Something Other Than Finished Painting

Everything in my bag that isn't painted.  
Still about painting, just not finished minis.  After the informal listing of unpainted minis in my last post I decided to dig out the models and get a look at them as a group.  The results were better than expected and pictured to the left.  It's worth noting that this is only what was in my bag (except the mortar) so it doesn't include what was on the painting table at the time (eEryiss, Beast 09, eButcher) nor does it include the stuff that isn't completely built yet (the other two mechanics, IFP, all the horsemans, Spriggan, Conquest).  Despite those caveats, I'm basically down to three units (Great Bears, Mechanics, Mortar [which still needs the telescope]), three large bases (Drago, Drakhun, Beast 09), two medium bases (dismounted Drakhun, eButch), and two small bases (Yuri, eEryiss).  This is not much to finish and while it's not reasonable to think I can get them all done (and played) before the Journeyman league ends next Sunday (maybe Saturday) it's more reasonable to think that I could get all that painted by the end of the year.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Journeyman Painting Log 11

My MoW unit collection is now complete.  
My most recent painting success, the Demo Corps, were a rude awakening.  Speedy success with solos/pairs gave me a false sense of security.  After a marathon session today to finish the Demo Corps my illusions have been shattered.  I had expected to get this unit done quickly since they're mostly green armor, but I was unwilling to skip large amounts of detail this time around and my lap times suffered as a result.  To be fair this was a medium based unit, as opposed to a handful of small base solos, and I did the vast majority of the work in a single day.  Cranking out this many large(ish) models in that time frame is still a fine result, and the Demo Corps look better than the Eliminators.  I wanted to do a blend/glow thing on the ice mauls but had run out of steam well before I got to them so they just got the electric blue treatment for now.  Resizing this pic also showed me that I forgot the rivets on the gloves.  I took three shots of the group, which is the standard approach, but none of them showed the face inside the leader's helmet.  I kinda like the headless horseman vibe in the picture though.