Sunday, April 6, 2014

League Winners

Overall League Winner:
Second Place Overall & Best General (aside from the league winner)
 Second Place General
First Place Painting
Second Place Painting
 Stephen (me)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend painting and new goodies

So this weekend I got in a decent amount of time and polished off a couple of things for my Skaven army.  First up were the gutter runners I've been painting for a long time (close to a year probably) but they kept getting shelved in favor of other projects or commission work.  Hating to see something half painted I decided to push them up on the priority list and here they are...

After that I decided to finish another half painted model, though I at least just started it at the beginning of February to use in the warhammer league at the local games store.  It's the plague priest from the screaming bell/plague furnace kit that I mounted on foot to use since when I put together the screaming bell he was left over.  Certainly cool enough to go on foot, and waste not, want not.

Lastly, every year the wife and I set aside a bit of money from our tax return to spend on ourselves as a little reward.  So  from my half of the money I bought two paint pots I've needed and this...

It's good to be me today.  Even if the dark elves kicked my sorry dwarf arse between my shoulders this afternoon.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Iron Lords Commission Finished

My Iron Lords Commission finished.  I painted everything aside from the droppod and the predator tank, those were thrown in by the owner of the army.  It took a little more than 4 months of painting in my spare time, but the army looks fantastic if I do say so myself. 
You can see how I painted the marines in the tutorial here. 
From what I remember, the final count was:
1 Space Marine Captain
1 Space Marine Chaplain
5 Sternguard
5 Assualt Marines with jump packs
5 Assualt Marines without jump packs
30 Tactical Marines with 4 Sergeants
11 Devastator Marines
3 Dreadnoughts with full all alternative arms painted
If you are interested in having something painted on commission please email me here.  I can't promise a fast turn around or master level painting, but I enjoy the process and can get you a decent tabletop paintjob.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Warhammer Fantasy League Round 6

So over the last 6 weeks we had seen some pretty fierce match ups, lucky rolls, close calls, and incredible heroics from our armies.  Round six continued that action with 2,250 points to cap off the six round league.  

Here Martin and his vampire counts face off against Chris and his high elves.

For the final game Chris decided to bring a dragon to face the undead horde.

Peter with his chaos warriors face the might of the forest as Joel summons forth treemen, tree kin, and dryads to attack the watchtower of the warriors with his wood elves.  

Calvin's Lizardmen are a bit out of their element in the frozen wastes as they seek after James and the dwarfs.

Katie's dark elf host battles Ian's dark elves for control if a remote mountain pass.

Daniel and his dark elves sought battle with Stephen and his skaven in another battle for the pass.

Early on the doomwheel shoots forward only to be laid low by the dark elves before inflicting any wounds.

On the opposite side the hell pit abomination came into its own destroying a hydra, both thrower, and a manticore and it's lord rider.

I will be posting the results of the league once thy have been tallied and rewards will be handed out at a date to be determined.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Skaven Plague Furnace Part 1: Pre-paint, priming, assembly

I've put together most of the cool models for my Skaven army.  The screaming bell, hell pit abomination, doomwheel, and a warp lightning cannon.  Well there are still two models that remain, the plague furnace and the plague claw catapult.  Since I'm running a strongly themed plague army, I need to get these last two put together and start using them, so I'm starting with the plague furnace.

To start with, I block all the holes and tennons where the parts come together with white tack before I take the model out to prime. I prime almost everything brown as the base for the wood, and just work at adding bits and colors from there. May seem strange but it works for me. So here was the work I got done last night prior to spraying on the brown.  Also note that I've assembled the stone parts and put the front piece on the bottom frame prior to any priming.
So after I got all the prep work done I did a majority of the priming on the sprues so that I could get both sides(aside from what you see in the picture above). Afterward, I clipped everything off and cleaned up some mold lines and did a quick dry fit, and then another quick priming to touch up the areas that were affected either by the clipping or the mold lines. What I had left was pretty much this:
So in order to paint the insides as thoroughly as the outsides without getting frustrated and pulling my beard out, I pull everything apart back to it's original pre-assembly pieces (with a few exceptions, such as I've already glued the stones together, etc.). You can see where I've still got bare plastic at the assembly points so I can use plastic cement for a nice, strong bond.
Something I also like to do is put a long piece of sprue onto the bottom of rats that will need painting. Again not that I've pretty much assembled the plague monks and the plague priest as they will go on the model, but will be painting them off the model for ease.
I also leave the wheels on the sprue until I've painted all the wood and such inside, I find they take a lot less damage in between painting sessions just from being knocked around, and are much less likely to get lost when they are bunched up.
I'll be happy to answer any questions you have about the process. I don't claim to be a pro painter, and I'm not looking for gold daemon level results, I don't have the skill or patience for that, but I do have a knack for getting big stuff (or even little stuff) painted and on the table top in quick order, so I hope to share some of my methods so these large center-piece models don't seem as intimidating the paint.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Iron Lords paint tutorial

I recently finished a pretty large commission to paint a friends Iron Hands chapter, and as promised I am doing a tutorial so that if he decides so paint more infantry in the future and I am otherwise busy, he has a go to in order to learn what I did to get some decent results in a relatively quick time per miniature. 
Step 1.  After priming the model black, I went to work starting with putting down a base of Khorne Red on the weapons and legs.  I use a fairly large brush for this part because I find it helps me get a nice smooth finish while working rather quickly.
Step 2.  I use the same large brush to put down a base layer of Eshin Grey on the gravel of the base.  I just glue down sand from the beach using Tacky craft glue for the basing.  Simple, yet decent looking when finished.
Step 3.  I paint iron breaker over all the metal parts of the miniature.  In this case, since it's an assault marine it includes the vents on the jump pack, the grill over the mouth, the metal on the weapons, the hands, the accordian parts on the knees, elbows, shoulder, and hips, and the raised edge of the shoulder pads.  This step usually takes the longest and I make sure to clean by brush between each model in the batch when I'm on this stage.
Step 4.  Next a base coate of XV-88 is applied to all the areas that will eventually be painted gold or the ribbon part of any purity seals, or raised scrollwork.  So in this case it's the eagle on the chest, and the insignias on the jump pack for the most part.
Step 5.  For the canister on the flamer I used a base of Averland Sunset.  For the shroud over the tip of the flamer I used Sycorax Bronze.  The sycorax bronze takes a few coats to get a nice even coverage without plugging up the bloody holes.
Step 6.  Before I start doing the "clean-up" painting I drybrush celestra grey on the base.  That way if I happen to hit a boot while drybrushing it's not a big deal, I'll be going over the black again anyway.
Step 7.  Next I paint the ribbon part of the purity seal or any raised scrolls with Screaming Skull.  If you are doing this over the red, try and be neat, but if it's over black like below, just try and get as close to the details as you can with the paint, and don't worry about getting a little over because it's a lot easier to clean up the edges when you do the black clean-up.
Step 8.  Next is painting Auric Armour Gold over the XV-88 from earlier.  The base of brown makes the thin gold color go on a lot easier and look a lot nicer.
Step 9.  In this step I go through and paint the eyes with a base of Khorne red and a slash toward the top of the eye with Wazdakka Red.  That way I don't have to be as careful when painting the eyes because I'm about to do the black clean-up, but it still pays to be as careful as possible so you don't have to try and get too close to the eye to clean it up.
Step 10.  Cleaning up the black with Abaddon Black is a fairly quick task, with the nice addition that as you clean up the black you are automatically cleaning up all the other colors at the same time so to speak.  After the black is cleaned up, I do a high-light of Wazdakka red to the upper portions of the legs, weapons, knees, etc.  Not real heavy but enough to reflect where the light would naturally make the armor look a tad lighter.
Step 11.  Here is where I edge highlight using Eshin Grey to define the edges on the model, as well as hitting the upper portion of the shoulder pad with a light highlight.
Step 12.  The easy step that can be hard.  This is where I apply a wash of Nuln Oil over the entire miniature except the base.  The wash should be applied heavy enough to give depth to the paint by getting into all the cracks and crevices, but should also not be so heavy it drowns out the paint.  It's a fine line that is easy to cross. 
I lost the pictures for the final stages, but they are pretty easy.  I go back through and touch up the high spots of the Iron Breaker with Runefang Steel, and also do a tad bit of edge highlighting on the gold with the Runefang Steel as well.  This gives the upper edges some shine and makes the gold look more reflective.  I finish the eyes with a tiny dot of white in each back corner and a larger dot of Wazdakka Red for a "pupil" so to speak.
Lastly I paint an insignia on the shoulder pad, which I won't get into here, but save that for a discussion on how I do free hand, or try to anyway.

Warhammer Fantasy League Round 5

At 2000 points per game the battles are becoming longer and bloodier.  Only one more week to go, and I hope that everyone in the league is enjoying their games.

Daniel and his dark elves have invaded the forest of Joel and his wood elves, though it looks like the wood elves have forgotten to bring many trees.  Though there is an intense battle of hydra versus tree man in the center of the battlefield.

Calvin and his lizardmen face the evil of Martin and his undead horde of vampire counts, vying for magical supremacy.

Peter and Ian were just getting set up, so they will work out their differences dark elf to chaos warrior to see who rules supreme on the field of blood.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Warhammer Fantasy League Round 4

We had 3 of the games scheduled for 1750 battles happen on Wednesday with plenty of bloody conflict to go around.  

Stephen and Joel had a heated and bloody battle with nearly every unit from both armies engaging in brutal hand to hand combat at some point.  In the end many rats and elves died, and there was plenty of learning about the rules as strange and unusual situations came up.  In the end, the brave giant rats were killed, but not before slaying plenty of war dancers!

Katie and Martin dueled out with their dark elves and vampire counts respectively in another brutal battle.

Calvin and Daniel fought lizardmen to dark elf in what looked to be a violent contest.

James and the dwarfs face Ian and the dark elves in a battle for glory!  

A contest of might, the hydra versus the dwarf lord and his unit of hammerers.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Space Marine Power Axe

I find that the power axe on space marines isn't as easy to paint as I had hoped.  Still, this latest one turned out nice and looks better than my most recent attempt at a power sword which failed miserably.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Introduction to Warhammer Fantasy Battle

I thought about titling this post "So you want to play Warhammer?" since I thought I would give a basic rundown of what is involved in getting set up for the game.  While starting an army and learning to play without first having a demonstration is possible, one of the things I would first recommend is going out and getting started  with a demonstration game at a local game store or with someone in the local gaming community.  If you are convinced that this is something you want to pursue after a demo game, then read on.

One of the first hurdles you will be faced with is deciding what army you want to play.  Often the army you play will be a lot more satisifying if it matches your play style from other games.  If you are a very aggressive player, then perhaps Orks and Goblins, Ogre Kingdoms, or Warriors of Chaos are a good choice.  If you are a player who likes the idea of supporting units and artillery, then Empire, Dwarfs, or High Elves are more your style.  If you love the idea of playing a lot of large units marching across the board, there are Vampire Counts, Skaven, or Tomb Kings.  Do you prefer good versus evil?  Chaotic versus orderly?  Elite warriors versus blocks of basic troopers?  All these things can be considered, but also don't neglect the look of the models themselves, because that is a large component of the game.  Would you rather have units of orderly knights with their pagentry such as Bretonnians, or the graceful, natural look of the Wood Elves? 

I used to say that you could get started playing Warhammer Fantasy with as little as $250 to get going at 1,000 points.  Realistically with the price increases over the years the cost to get started has probably climbed to $350 to $400.  If you are really careful with your purchases, as I describe here, you might be able to start with as little as $300.

Once you've chosen the army you wish to play, then there comes the decision of how to go about building the army to something playable.  If you have chosen High Elves or Skaven you are in luck because you can easily get started with about 700 points of ready made army in the Island of Blood box set.  You can sell or trade the models you don't want, and in addition you will get a set of dice, all the necessary templates, and a miniature version of the rulebook that includes all the rules.  You will still need to augment the army some and buy your army specific rule book, which will run $50.

If you aren't going to play either of those armies, you will still need to start with the army book for the chosen army you wish to play, so count on that as an initial expense.  After that, the best deal for the money for anyone starting an army is generally the boxed army battalion deal.  This will usually give a good start for a core selection or two, along with a choice of a special unit that will begin a core to your army.  The battalion box sets usually retail for between $100 and $120, with most of the newer armies going for the $120.  It won't get you enough to play, but you'll be getting closer.

Lords & Heros
Depending on what army you are playing you will want to have a good solid choice for your intial characters.  Most models can double as either a lord or hero easy enough, so generally a generically armed model on foot will be best to start with.  If you want your general to also be your primary magic user then invest in a mage/warlock/etc. model.  A lord level character will start off around 120 to 150 points before wargear and magic items and mounts, so depending on how you kit them out, having a lord and a hero added to your force will give you easily 25% of a playable 1000-1500 point army for a minimum investment.  Additionally, a battle standard bearer, which is a hero slot, will always be a good investment, especially for lower leadership armies such as empire, skaven, or warriors of chaos.

The core component of any army you make must always be a minimum of 25% of your army composition, so it's always a good idea to invest in a strong core component of your army.  Core troops are generally a bit cheaper, both point cost and actual dollar per model, so they are a good initial investment to help bridge the gap between the battalion box and a playable force.  If you invest heavily in core troops to begin with, up to 500 points worth, that will also mean you can be more choosy in the special and rare units you buy later down the road to build up to a 2,000 point game. 

Special units are generally going to be what are the more elite, more expensive, yet primary elements of your army.  Most armys can be designed with the special units almost as a core since they can take up to 50% of the army composition.  While special units tend to be harder hitting, they will still need the support of character models for leadership, and also need core troops to help cover flanks and absorb some of the losses if possible.  This is also where you will probably invest a majority of your money, or at least half of your money to get a solid unit put together will generally cost upward of $100 to $150.

These are going to be your designated hitters.  A lot of rare units are single purpose, hit hard, and draw a lot of attention from your opponent.  Some rare choices are no brainers, and will be strong enough to threaten a flank.  Some rare units are better than others, and before investing in a rare, which will cost a decent amount of money, I would suggest doing some research on the internet to find what rare units are more commonly taken by seasoned players.  High elves, for instance, would be remiss to not take the bolt thrower as a rare choice.  It's inexpensive points wise, but lays down a lot of punishment against an opposing army.  You wouldn't want to center your army around rare choices, since they only take a maximum of 25% of your force, but they are good for a hard hitting punch in any army.  Rares will vary in cost, and may cost up to $85 for some of the mosterous beasts, but generally you will only need to buy one at a time and at $50 to $75 that same rare will get into most games between 1,000 and 2,000 points, so playability per dollar is usually pretty good.

That about sums up my thoughts on starting an army and getting ready to play, I'm always intersted in any suggestions or questions so please leave a comment!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Warhammer Fantasy League Round 3

So you may be wondering what happened to round 2?  Well....I forgot to take pictures, and a few of the games were delayed due to scheduling conflicts, so there probably won't be any pictures.

On to round 3!  Once again hosted by Olde World Games in Elk Grove, league players met this time with 1500 point armies, which is the 3 of the 6 game series.  Below we have Calvin and Peter facing off with Lizardment and Warriors of Chaos respectively,dueling for what looks to be king of the hill.

Daniel and James face off in a Dark Elves versus Dwarfs battle, the stunties doing their best to repell the invading slavers.

Chris with his High Elves faces against Katie and her Dark Elf force for a true battle of elven supremecy!

Joel uses his Wood Elves to face Ian's Dark Elves, and it appears to be a battle for some remote pass, so both armies are likely feeling a tad out of place.

Martin and I faced off with his Vampire Counts army giving my Skaven a good thrashing!  Congrats to Martin for killing my general and taking my battle standard bearer which made a huge difference at the end of the game.