I want to paint it black ... Black Legion Progress

Warhammer 40,000 – The hits keep on coming for this Black Legion commission. This round has me working on a squad of bikes, Terminator Sorcerer, Hell Brute and a Hell Drake. Painting follows the same recipe I've used on the rest of the models I've done for this force so you can read more here or see more here.

The Hell Drake is probably one of my least favorite models to paint. Assembly isn't to terrible but painting it is just a chore. The amount of trim on this model is just insane. ( I blame 3D sculpting for making it too easy to add this level of detail) I considered painting the whole think gold to start and them going back in to fill out the panels but because of the way it's set up there's just as many panels as there is trim. As with any difficult task it's best to just suck it up and keep forward momentum. 

The bikers are pretty straight forward. I used a flesh with reikland flesh shade on the seats to get a fresh flayed flesh look. I think this helps to make them pop out against the dark color of the bike and armor. I did a basic OSL technique coming off the monitors on the bikes. My client for this project really liked what I did with the Kingdom Death Survivors and wanted to have that same effect in his force if I could find a place it made sense. 

On the painting table ... Havocs

Warhammer 40,000 – When I'm painting my own models often what motivates me to get something done is an upcoming event. It gives you a solid goal to work toward and keeps the focus on only the models you need for the list you're using in the event. A couple of marathon paint sessions and it's easy to get an army at least table top ready in a short period of time. 

As a commission painter I often get clients who need to have models painted in time for an event. As a player I completely understand making last minute changes to your list. These can be because of changes to the meta you expect to face or often because the list requirements are some confusing local preference rather than the standard game. Either way you wind up with a unit that you need to get some paint on quick.

Earlier this week my Black Legion client dropped off some autocannon havocs that he needed painted up for an event next week. I do have a full plate at the moment but I always do what I can to accommodate rush needs. Usually for a small rush fee. 

We're all Mad Here ... Mansions of Madness WIP

Board Games – Fantasy Flight certainly knows how to fill a box with cool little extras that add a ton to a game. Case in point Mansions of Madness could function just fine with paper cut outs, or wooden meeples but going the extra mile and doing 3D sculpts of every monster and character really takes it to the next level.

My regular board game client recently dropped of the core game and what looks to be all the expansions. There's something like 75 pieces to this batch that need to painted to a tabletop quality. 

With a big batch of models like this I start by separating them into models that will share similar colors. For example Cthulu and most of the deep ones are green, the cultists are red etc. This lets me assembly line the base coats and shading quickly so I can get to the detail stage which takes a little while with board game minis as they don't have the level of detail that pops out after a wash that traditional tabletop models do. Which means I need to work a little harder to bring out what's there.

 

Battle Report: Genstealer Cult vs. Tau and Deathwatch

Warhammer 40,000 – Weeknights i try to keep games to 1500 points a side. it makes it possible to finish a game within the few hours, This week three of us got together to play 1500 points of Genestealer Cult vs 750 points each of Deathwatch/Inquisition and Tau. 

We played the football field deployment, maelstrom mission with the reducing objectives. The city set-up had plenty of blocked lines of site so it wouldn't be a shooting gallery.

I stuck with the same list I've been playing. I don't think it's optimized but it was the most cost effective choice with the two Deathwatch: Overkill boxes I acquired. Each game I get a little better and have an easier time remembering all the special rules and interactions. Repetition is the best way to learn right?

My opponents had a Deathwatch squad in a drop pod, two inquisitors in chimeras with henchmen squads. The Tau had a few suits, fire warriors and pathfinders. No 100% of the complete list breakdown but that should be pretty accurate.

They won the roll to set up and go first, I got some really good rolls on the Cult Ambush chart, including a "6" with my first curse massive formation. Throwing caution to the wind I place them very aggressively and hope to seize the initiative. Sadly that roll doesn't go my way so my super aggressive deployment meant heavy casualties. The few that did survive made it into combat and tore through everything unfortunately leaving them open for another round of shooting.

On the opposite side of the table the Deathwatch very thematically faced off against a horde of Neophytes and Acolytes. The chimeras were the star of the show on that end of the table and I really need to start them on the table every time I play. Outflanking never seems to pay off for me as well as trucking across the board drawing fire.

At the end of the game I had 9 points to their 6, but lost my last model on the top of turn five. It was by far the closest game I've had so far. Part of it was lucky rolls on the Score D3 cards that put me ahead on points. If I could have managed keeping something alive I would have got my first win.

Genestealer Cult is a tricky army to play, on paper it feels like it wants to get up in your face and win in the assault phase. In practice there's only a few units that you really want to get into combat: Genestealers and Mutants are amazing when they can get into an assault. The small units of neophytes and acolytes are better used to grab and hold objectives, I think. In practice when I get aggressive with them, five man units die to easily in the shooting phase. Being able to Return to Shadow and bring back friends should be really good, but I've yet to master the art of using it effectively. 

Lord of the Night ... Chaos Marine Test Model

Warhammer 40,000 – I started work on my Night Lords. I went through my bins of models and was able to find almost all the parts I need to build a 1500 point list.  The chaos portion of the Dark Vengeance box has most of the cultists I need with my Necromunda gangs making up the balance. 

First I'm going to focus on the Lost and Damned Formation before moving on to the Raptors which I'm more excited to start work on. I figure this will help to motivate me to get the Cultists done quicker.

The test model is one of the Chosen from the Dark Vengeance box. I started with this one as it has most of the elements that are going to show up across the range of models. 

The base is a blue spray from Montana Gold, with an over brush of Calador Blue followed by a wash of Drakenhof Blue wash. I then went in an picked out the bone elements, silver cables and copper trim, these all received a wash of Agrax Earthshade. For the power weapons I'm using a purple to contrast the blue armor and will work on the detail to make it look like the claws are crackling with lighting. For the flesh I used an elf flesh base with a wash of Reikland Fleshshade. I'm not sure I'm happy with that look for flayed skin so I might come back to it and give it either a bruised or leathery look.

The list I'm working toward at the moment is:
The Lost and the Damned: 4 units of ten Cultists, 1 Dark Apostle
Lord of the Black Crusade: Sorcerer on Bike
Raptor Talon: Lord, 4 units of six Raptors

I also had a chance to put some paint on the chosen, cultists and few of the Necromunda models I'm using to fill in the ranks of cultists for some variety. I really hope they rerelease the gangs in plastic when Necromunda gets its own box set. I mean with how well Bloodbowl seems to be doing that has to be in the works to bring it back right? I hope the mix of models makes my army feel a bit different than the typical force I've seen on the table. 

This won't be a Night Lords proper list at the moment because I think it like Mark of Slaanesh and the Feel No Pain banner on these units to hit harder. I also want to be able to thematically add a 500 point Slaanesh Daemon list to make use of other models that have been shelved since I sold off my other chaos forces.

On the painting table: King's Man

On the painting table: King's Man

Kingdom Death – The next model in the core set is the King's Man. This particular creature is incredibly annoying to fight based on my groups experience. Of course the same could be said for any of the monsters in this game. After fighting this beast we decided it might make sense to start over and focus on building weapons instead of building every settlement extra right off the bat.

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On the painting table ... A Touch of Evil

On the painting table ... A Touch of Evil

Boardgames – It's always a bit odd for me when I get a painting job and I know very little about the game system the models are used for. Lately that's been happening quite a bit with board game miniatures. My primary focus has always been on table wargames so many of the cool board games fall off my radar. 

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On the painting table ... More Black Legion

On the painting table ... More Black Legion

Warhammer 40,000 – The next phase of this Black Legion CSM project is three more squads of raptors, a rhino and ten standard chaos space marines. As I work my way through these I'm beginning to think I should charge a premium for the amount of trim on these models. It looks amazing once it's done but getting there is a journey. It's most noticeable on the raptors as the trim forms lightning bolts all along the greaves and other surfaces that are typically flat which means a bit more brush time. I don't mind though. Most chaos armies that cross my table consist of so many cultists that i forget how nice the rest of the line looks.

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I got wood in my stocking ... it's so great!

I got wood in my stocking ... it's so great!

Modern Tabletop – I love amazon wishlist. As a gamer it's very difficult for my friends and family to understand the things I like. To avoid getting another shirt I may or may not fit into or wear I started using amazon wish list a few years ago.  Now I keep one for myself and the kids, if someone is looking for a gift idea I send them a link of they can search amazon to find it themself. For the kids it's help to keep their gifts age appropriate, within their interests and most importantly not duplicated so I don't have to return stuff.

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On the painting table ... Wolves

On the painting table ... Wolves

Warhammer 40,000 – What do you do when you have two models of the same character from different eras? Well I suppose you commission someone to paint it up as a unique model to represent a different loadout. One of my regular clients came across a full complement of Space Wolf character models in a bargin bin and sent them over to get painted like the rest of his force. 

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On the painting table ... Warriors of Faith

Dungeons and Dragons – So a cleric and a paladin walk into a bar... This week on my painting table are two character models from Reaper Miniatures. These are the traditional metal figures rather than the new bones material. Both materials have their own benefits but for one off models I think I still prefer the metal.

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On the painting table ... More Mice and Mystics

Boardgames – My painting table was recently grace by these two nifty little models. These are from the Mice & Mystics: Heart of Gloorm Expansion. I've never played the game but my client seems to really enjoy it so I might need to check it out. 

The two models are both sorcerer/wizard types one being a lighting bug and the other a shaman type character. For these I've been asked to paint them to tabletop standard with a little extra glow on the lighting bug. 

Browns, grays and tans are the order of the day for these matching or coming close to the box/card art pretty much dictates my color choice, so the only thing I needed to think about is the final execution. 

Boxes - Building what's in them to free up space

Boxes - Building what's in them to free up space

Warhammer 40K – If you're anything like me you have boxes of unassembled miniatures all over your game area/hobby room. My drug of choice for models on sprue is Space Marines mostly. It's one of those ubiquitous things that I always have on my wish list for Christmas just because there's always another variation to build, another squad load out to try, or just a cool idea to kit base and covert a unique pose.

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