Thursday 30 May 2019

Painting the Death's Heads


I recently dove into Adeptus Titanicus, quickly assembled a couple of Warhounds and then tackled the Reaver Titan. Then it was time to paint! I'd already decided I was going to run them as Legio Mortis, the Death's Heads, the baddest of the baddies. Partially because I've seen lots of foolish loyalists around, and partially because I just think they look cool.

So here is what we started with. Titans built, weapons magnetised, bases covered in stuff. I opted not to paint the armour plates separately from the main body, as with my Knights, I prefer to see the whole thing together while I'm painting.

First step, spray black. Then on to the metal 'skeleton'. I gave the whole lot a drybrush of gunmetal, and a brass drybrush over select areas like vents and joints, followed by a liberal splash of Nuln Oil. After that had dried, I ran another quick drybrush of metal over the barrels of the guns.

Next, I started painting the trim. There is quite a lot of it! Rather than the standard gold, I went with a slightly more subdued brass, which I later hit with a watered down green wash. I hoped to get the impression of a slightly corroded, decaying gold, just a hint of the corruption that was taking hold in the Legio Mortis during the Heresy.

Blocking in the base colours. I tried to avoid too much colour on these, giving each titan a few bits of red and white along with the majority black. The Reaver did get the red carapace since the plate was pretty bare from details. The main exception is that I made sure they all had white featured prominently on their heads to match their nickname.

More work on the main colours. Several layers of each, of course. I used Vallejo Off White instead of pure white or a bone colour, and their Heavy Red, mixed with a bit of Bloody Red for the last layers, not painted up to the edges. The black was highlighted by mixing with Sombre Grey. The white was washed with slightly watered down Nuln Oil, and the red was rather heavily splashed with Agrax Earthshade. I had a go with masking tape to get some stripes on the Reaver, which worked out ok, but I didn't get the clean edges I'd like, so more practice with that technique probably needed.

And then it was back to the trim. Highlighting with a mix of 50/50 brass and gold, covering most of the outward facing areas, but leaving some of the greenish tint showing under the edges or around the rivets. This took bloody ages, and required a fair amount of touching up of wayward brush work.

Into the home stretch. Transfers in position - I was surprised to find the official minis don't have many on them, so I kept it to two or three per titan. Then bases to paint. I went with heavy, inconsistent drybrushes of Vallejo Earth, Khaki and then lighter Off White. The edges were Earth and I mixed up a dark brownish grey for the road, rocks and other bits. I made sure the drybrushes went up the titan's feet a bit as well.

After those bits, I had fun with the Forgeworld weathering powders. A bit of Orange Rust on some of the metal skeleton, Black Soot heavily stippled onto the end of the gun barrels and over all the various vents and Dark Sand over the feet and onto the bases. Then some fun glowy bits - plasma glows, eye lenses etc. These were all a case of paint the general area in a watered down dark colour, then paint the main area in a lighter version, and finally a white or very light mix to pick out the centre. Plasma coils also had a blue wash. Finally, after all that was dry, I used Army Painter's anti-shine matt varnish spray to seal it all. I'd not normally do this over plastic minis, but it works well to seal in the weathering powders and tone them down, as well as cancelling the very obvious glossiness of the transfers. 

And there you have it. Titans done! There will be pictures of the completed works in a later blog post, but here is a little sneak peak:

Sunday 26 May 2019

Video Battle Report with SorcererDave - Sisters of Battle vs Chaos Space Marines


The other day I took the wife’s glorious and sadly underused Sisters of Battle for a spin against SorcererDave. We played a now slightly old school matched play maelstrom game from the main rulebook, Cleanse and Capture to keep it simple, and now it’s on YouTube. We both took pretty fluffy armies with fun units we wanted to use, rather than because they were good, and it ended up being a very close game right to the end. I will call it a moral victory for myself however because none of the incredibly fragile metal models broke during either transporting them to the battle or during the game itself.

Anyway, here is the video:

Thursday 23 May 2019

Battle Report - Orks vs Imperial Guard


I recently took the Orks out for a spin for the first time in while. (Since January in fact.) I played a classic matched play game of Cleanse and Capture (3 cards a turn, every turn) at 1500 points, against fellow Winters SEO Patron Stig of the dump. Stig kindly hosted, and has a very nice set up with some lovely home made scenery and a portable table he put together the day before! He also took the first two pictures here:

My army was a Battalion and a Spearhead, consisting of:
HQ: Warboss, 2x Weirdboy
Troops: 3x25 Boyz
Elites: 5 Kommandos
Heavy Support: 5 Flash Gitz, 10 Lootas, Gorkanaut

Stig took his beautifully retro Valhallan force:

This comprised of a Brigade (and possibly something else?). I think he had:
HQ: Company Commander, Primaris Psyker, Tank Commander
Troops: 6x Infantry Squad
Elites: 2x 5 Ratlings, Commissar, 2x Platoon Commander, Command Squad
Fast Attack: 3x Sentinel, Hellhound
Heavy Support: Mortar Squad, Autocannon Squad, 2 Leman Russ

From this point onward, sadly, they are my pictures and as such are rubbish.

Deployment. With two big armies and objectives spread evenly across the board, we both lined up all the way along the deployment zones. I put the Gorkanaut on my left flank, along with Lootas nearby for covering fire and with Flash Gitz and a couple of characters centrally. Stig placed his big guns opposite the Gorkanaut. We used the Chapter Approved 2017 roll off, and I went first.

Pretty much just advancing up the board. I picked some decent objectives, including the Ork one that requires you to make 3 charges for a point, or 5 for D3, but I think I only scored one point for holding an objective. The Gorkanaut put some hurt on a couple of infantry squads, while the Lootas targetted the command tank and stripped some wounds off it.

The return fire was brutal. All of my Boyz mobs suffered casualties, but mostly the one on the left flank, reduced down from 25 to about six. The shoota mob placed on the right flank also took a battering from the Hellhound. Heavy weapons across the line slammed into the Gorkanaut, but when the smoke cleared it still stood on a few wounds remaining. I don't think Stig actually scored any points here (though he had a good attempt at behind enemy lines with the sentinel at the bottom not quite making it in with a stratagem use) thanks to my use of 2 CP to keep the purple mob from running away.

My turn 2, and more Orks arrived. The kommandos popped up to deal with some Ratlings and stop them defending an objective, while the Unstoppable Green Tide stratagem was employed to bring on more purple boyz on the far right flank by the Hellhound. Elsewhere the blue sluggas in the middle got into position to charge the lines, while the Flash Gitz blasted one of the poor Ratling squads to little tiny pieces. This gave me area denial for D3 points - and I rolled a 3.

I managed to make charges all across the board, getting 5 successful ones thanks to some above average rolls, and earning myself another 3 points for the objective. Several guardsmen were killed, but the Hellhound somehow survived the combined charge of two Boyz mobs, and the smoking Gorkanaut failed to bring down a Sentinel!

Stig's turn two was a fall back and clear the lines. Somewhat luckily for me my two mobs in combat with the Hellhound were mostly untargetable, outside of the Valhallan's special order to fire into melee. However the blue Boyz in the middle were less fortunate, as the guard squads they were fighting were ordered to "Get back in the fight!"

And no Orks were left in the middle! On the flank, the Hellhound was nearly blown up by a stray shot, but finally was taken down without incident in the fight phase (Stig used a command point to try and get the explosion without any luck.) The Gorkanaut took another battering, and was only just downed by the combined fire of the Leman Russ tanks. Stig did not score highly, but I think he began a defend card again and picked up the behind enemy lines card with the Sentinel.

Turn 3. The two remaining Ork Mobs mobbed up and swarmed the guard on the right, between shooting and melee taking out the autocannons and many infantry. At this point I was way in the lead on points, but I was down to only a few units left, including my somewhat out of position characters. Stig would need to push for objectives, but I didn't have much left to stop him.

Stig again pushed back hard with his gunline. The Lootas were removed, and the big Boyz mob was diminished. The Flash gitz in cover took a lot of fire, and a smite from the psyker, but their armour miraculously held - I rolled something like 7 out of 8 5+ saves against one round of battle cannon shots! Stig also pushed his infantry forward to try and defend an objective in the centre.

In turn 4, the Gitz knew their days were numbered, so strode out of cover to take down the Psyker, and earn me a point for witch hunter! Seems like he was massively out of position, but we both agreed, those Flash Gitz should have been well dead by then!

In the middle one of the Weirdboyz carrying my relic, Brog's Buzzbomb aka the jar of bees, got close enough to use it. The guardsmen defending the objective were completely swarmed by angry buzzer squigs and killed to a man! In the fight phase the last remaining Boyz swarmed the Valhallan characters (after taking down one of the Platoon commanders with a Tankbusta bomb to the face) and tried to drag down the warlord, but the brave Commander held on with one wound. Thanks to the Boyz shooting a diminished squad and the commander, plus the Psyker going down to the Gitz, I picked up overwhelming firepower for D3 points, and of course I rolled a 3 again!

After my turn 4, I think the score was something like 13-4 in my favour. We played out Stig's turn, though a concession was hovering on the horizon. The Flash Gitz were finally obliterated, and though the Company Commander was calling in Mortar bombardments on his head, the Boyz were not removed and they finally killed him in melee. We reasoned that it was unlikely Stig would be able to catch up, and with my remaining characters being able to hide out of sight, probably wouldn't get another chance to table me. So a win for Da Orks! WAAAGH!

This was an awesome game! It's always nice to have a fun game with a new opponent, especially one on an excellent board and against a cool army. Obviously we weren't playing a full on competitive game (Stig is still relatively newly reintroduced to the game anyway), but as always, Guard gunlines can be brutal. I could only stay in the game by pressing forward and claiming objectives, which luckily, came up for me at the right times. Stig's cards were largely rubbish, and my dice were also on form. Plenty of Dakka Dakka Dakka rolls and Snakebite 'feel no pain' saves throughout. I got lucky, but I gave myself the opportunity to be lucky by playing the classic aggressive Orky way. As it should be.

An excellent game and a great opponent. I'll definitely be back for more. I think we are planning to throw my Tyranids against his Primaris marines next time!

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Adeptus Titanicus - Building the Reaver


As you may be aware, I recently got sucked in to Adeptus Titanicus, and I'm pleased to inform you that my enthusiasm has not waned. Working my way up, I have now built the Reaver titan!

I decided I wanted to go for a striding forward pose, ideally in mid swing of the power fist, although as with the Warhounds I have used 10mm magnets to allow for interchangeability and future additions.

First step (ha!) was to build the legs and feet. Turns out this was the trickiest part, with many small components to fit and requiring a lot of attention to the instructions. I initially fitted the central lower leg components the wrong way around, and was confused as to why the armour plates didn't fit on. I had to tear the legs apart to correct this, which was frustrating. I only later found out that I had the feet the wrong way around as well (the sloping armour on the front toes is supposed to be angled slightly inwards instead of outwards) but by then it was too late. Hopefully it's not too obvious.

For the base I again put a bit of extra detail on there in the form of a winding old road between the legs. I think I'm going to go for a desert/ash wastes theme for the bases, so that road is going to look damaged and worn away, rather than a nice neat urban highway.

After the legs, I built the rest of the sections, including adding the magnets. I decided to go with the right handed power fist, clenched, plus the turbo laser on the left arm. The gatling blaster became an alternative right arm option. Sadly if using the shoulder sockets for the magnets, the weapons are limited to being for one side or the other. I plan on getting another Reaver at some point and making it's weapons fit the opposite arms, so I can run them with doubled up weapons or any other combination.

The magnets for the missile launcher were easy enough to fit - the 10mm ones slot perfectly into place. For the arms it was easy enough to drop the magnets into the shoulder joints on a blob of greenstuff, but the arms themselves required a bit of care. To make the magnets fit I had to remove a good chunk of the ball joints, which meant I had to make sure to cut at an angle so the arms wouldn't just hang down and look awkward.

After that, it was time to stick the components together. I glued the body on at an angle to add to the impression of a big forward stride, and to look like it was swinging the fist with the momentum of the whole titan. The head then got stuck on at a slight angle, looking forward in line with the front toe, which I hoped would add to that feeling of movement. I think it did the trick of making what could have been a very static model look quite dynamic.

Here we are with the alternative weapon loadout. Given that the pose was primarily designed for the fist, I think the double guns still works quite well. It looks like it's aiming the turbo laser while swinging the gatling blaster into position.

The rear shot. Again, I think the pose looks fairly convincing.

And finally, the maniple all together. I'm pretty pleased with them, and excited to get some paint on them. My plan is to get these three finished up before I move on to the rather intimidating Warlord titan.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Video Battle Report with SorcererDave - Chaos Marines vs Space Marines


Been to see SorcererDave for another battle report. This one was a bit... different. This time I took the Alpha Legion of the Fractured Truth, and teamed up with another SorcererDave regular, known appropriately as Alpharius and his Hydra’s Reach warband, to fight the Imperial forces of the Revenants chapter. But as always with the XX legion, things are not exactly as they seem, and it soon got... complicated.


Tuesday 14 May 2019

Nerding outside - Fools and Heroes LARP


Something a bit different this time. Though most of us 40k players typically prefer to avoid nasty things like 'running around' and 'the sun', it is sometimes nice to go outside to the woods and be a nerd there instead of just at the table top. Live Action Role Play, or LARP, is one such way of doing that.

Last September I started playing in Fools and Heroes - one of the UK-wide LARP systems, mainly at my wife's repeated insistence that I would like it. And, as is usually the case, she was right. It has quickly become a big part of my life, once I was able to properly get into the mindset. I wouldn't say it's for everyone, but I would definitely recommend it to people who like TTRPGs like D&D and want something a bit more physical and involved. In this post I'm going to run through some of the things that initially put me off and my newbie tips on how I overcame those things.

This is me! I play a Halfling Alchemist called Basil Goodbread, which is quite fun for me because it allows me to interact with the community during down time (by making and selling potions) and also excuses me from being a scrub at fighting. As many of you may know, I do love Halflings, so I'm enjoying playing into this by bringing a pouch full of flapjacks and talking like The Wurzels (well maybe not quite like that). I think choosing/creating the right character really helped me get into the hobby, but we'll get to that later.

The first thing that put me off was really the cost of getting involved. I think my kit looks pretty good now, but it's not trivially cheap to get all that stuff. It is however, also not as expensive as you might think. I'd liken it to the expense of a 40k army, in that you can indeed spend loads on it, but you don't need to put that much in to begin with and there are usually plenty of people who are willing to help you out by lending you stuff to get you started. I pinched plenty of things that the wife wasn't using, and she also helped out by making me some awesome hairy feet.

So like many hobbies, you can easily start out with very little and build up your collection over time, once you are sure you like it and when you have a better idea of what you want to do. Then you can go crazy! As you can see, there are some colourful characters around.

The next stumbling block for me was system mastery - or rather, getting over the fact that starting out I would both not know how the system works and not being very good at it. Like most games, there are rules, and learning those rules is best done in play. In addition, there is the physical skills of fighting with latex weapons and having awareness of your surroundings, as well as the improv skills required to act in character most of the time. In short, it was a bit overwhelming. 

Here again, the key was to build up to it. Learning the system by playing from the back of the party and running away from danger, slowly gathering knowledge to better understand what was going on. Again, there was and is a lot of support from the other players. Getting a call wrong (e.g. "I Resist that Spell" vs "No Effect!") is common and understood, and everyone seems happy to explain.

You also get to learn what to do when it's all kicking off pretty quickly. Even playing a largely non-combat based character, I've started to pick up skills through 'monstering' - playing the bad guys (Fools and Heroes splits the players into characters and monsters at the start of each session, then you swap roles at the mid point), which I can now use to put up a bit more of a fight for the good side. This has made me more confident, which has in turn improved my ability to play my character and interact with the others.

This links to the final issue I had to really get into the game - how to play my character. For the first few months I struggled to really make an impact and make the character feel memorable or charismatic. But what I hadn't realised is that in turning up and playing, in meeting people and handing out flapjacks to them, I had been building up a network of friends and allies that I could interact with. I was becoming part of the awesome community. That's what really helped me over the last hurdle and got me hooked.

So now I'm addicted to this hobby, and I can't wait to see what adventures Basil Goodbread gets up to in the future. Hopefully this post was enjoyable and maybe even informative. If you like the sound of it and want to get involved, I can recommend F&H for UK people, just find a branch near you and get in contact!

Special thanks to Bailey Erikson and Izzi Wade who took these photos, and to all those who attended Leeds branch and agreed to let me use their pictures. 

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Genestealer Cult completed!


Updates to the Genestealer Cult have now been completed, so I had to get the whole lot out for some photos! I've now got enough for a little over 2000 points of pure GSC, if I include the Genestealers and both Broodlord/Patriarchs. In practice they might well find themselves being allies to Hive Fleet Goliath as much as being used on their own, and with this in mind there is a reasonable amount of fire support and cheap objective holding troops to support Tyranid monsters, rather than focusing on the elite killing machines like Aberrants. Anyway, here they are: