Tuesday, July 31, 2018

...if Two of Them Are Dead (Jewel of July)

Tell me all of your childhood fears
I live on emotions
I eat your dreams
Nothing's ever what it seems

Nearly two years after I finished the modeling, I have finally finished the painting on my converted Keeper of Secrets. At least for a certain value of "finished". There's definitely touch-up and more highlighting that could be done, but as far as I'm concerned, she is complete.

You better believe me
Every word
Tell me secrets you might have heard
Ugly rumors are all we need
Tales of murder, guilt and greed


Bite your tongue dance and burn
Reality a world of hurt
You may say no but not to me
Silence, silence

Remember, remember this
Remember treachery sealed with a loving kiss

She's on a 150mm oval, like the plastic Bloodthirster and Lord of Change. Technically, that's not the "correct" base size for a Keeper of Secrets at this point, but it fits with most of the other Greater Daemons, and seems like a reasonable prediction for what the eventual plastic Keeper will be on.
This was the best pic I managed of the base. This is one part where I may well go back and add some more detail, but for now,  I'm happy with it.

Truth is lies 
Stand on me
Reality a fairy tale
We do not come to bend the knee

A couple of close-ups of the more detailed areas. Trimming down the Slaanesh CSM shoulder pads for the icons on her helm and breast was incredibly fiddly and time-consuming, but I think it was worth it. You can also really see in these some of the places where the Pallid Wych Flesh highlights ended up being too thick or heavy. I did some touch-up, but I can't really afford to spend more time or energy on that right now.

Finally, thanks to this little blast from the past, she is now known as Danglethrust Sinhammer! Until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Truth is all a children's game
Reality a bitter pill
We do not come to set you free
Silence, silence

Friday, July 27, 2018


A handful of shots from a couple of projects I'm working on. Deliberately taken poorly so as to make them less obvious. Things are coming along really nicely, the building part is entirely done on these two projects, and they should paint up reasonably quickly. Let me know what you think.

Interestingly, this is actually unpainted grey plastic. I'm not sure why my camera made it so red.

Next time, hopefully soon, I should have some completed shots of some of these. Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sector Imperialis Breakdown

Now that clear pics are up for the sprues of the new Sector Imperialis kits, I decided to give them a look, see which ones look like they have the most potential, and which of the kits makes the best deal. Between the various kits, there are six different sprues referred to, some of which have two pictures on the website, but are apparently one sprue.

First off, we have the Ruins sprue. This is one of the two-parters, and is included in all the kits. The Sector Imperialis Ruins kit consists of only this sprue, but unless you're really desperate for more of them, it seems like a bad deal at US$35 for just the one sprue.
Pretty standard stuff, fairly similar to the previous Ruin kits. These can stand on their own, or be added on top of the intact wall sections to make ruined upper levels. Looks like there's a reason they're in every kit.

Next up, we have the Wall Sprue. Another common one, part of every kit other than the Ruins, and two of them are in the Sanctum and Basilicanum kits. These are where the scale differences from the previous GW Ruins really start to be noticeable, being far taller, and making use of that for some fairly impressive arched windows.
It is nice that half of them should be solidly LoS blocking for anything up to the height of a Rhino or so, but you might still want to "board up" some of the larger windows for better LoS blocking, since none of them are completely solid. Also, note that the two round vents in the sections on the left are the right size and heights to match the various pipeline fittings from the Sector Mechanicus range.

The last common sprue is the Floor Sprue. Or rather, the Ruins and Floor Sprue, since half of it is made up of partial wall sections and various fittings. The Administratum and Sanctum each come with one of these, while the Basilicanum has two.
The detail is great, but only getting 4 1/2 floor tiles feels a bit underwhelming. I kind of wish it were just the lower part doubled or something. I'll see how my opinion on that changes once I actually get my hands on them and can get a better feel for the size. I also like that the partial floor tiles are designed to fit together to make a damaged, but functionally intact tile.

The first of the more specific sprues is the Columns/Flying Buttresses/Small Statues Sprue. Available only in the Sanctum, there's some cool stuff on here, and the presence of this along with the extra Wall Sprue makes a good argument for shelling out the extra US$25 over the Administratum's US$50.
As I said, to me, this makes a pretty compelling upgrade over the smaller kit. There are tons of places where flying buttresses make sense to add on, and the statues have all kinds of potential uses. I also really like that the statue on the lower right is cast in two pieces, very cleverly so that they can fit together to build it intact, or look nicely shattered if the two parts are left separate.

The remaining sprues are unique to the Basilicanum kit so far. At least among the individual kits. The first of them, the Columns and Arches Sprue, is also included in the Kill Team starter set. It looks like this is mostly used for finishing off walls that would otherwise end with one of the open portions of the wall sections, and the large arched entryway.
Looks like one that's good to have around, but you probably wouldn't want a bunch of for most projects, so it makes sense to only have it in the one kit. Especially since it is in the starter set as well, which should make it relatively common on the secondary market.

Rounding out both the Basilicanum and the collection of sprues, we have another two-parter, the Large Statue Sprue. These guys look to be about on the same scale as the Space Marine statue from the Honoured Imperium. Or in other words, fucking huge. Definitely another that I don't mind being restricted to just one kit, tho I kind of wonder if they're going to get released on their own at some point.

Tossing in one of the painted pics here as well, since the sprue pic doesn't show the front of them. They look pretty cool, and also like they can improve the LoS blocking of the wall sections significantly, which is very nice.

Breaking it down differently, these are available as four individual kits, plus the Kill Team starter. In increasing order of cost, we have:
  • At US$35, the Ruins set, which as far as I can tell, consists of just one of the Ruins Sprue. Doesn't seem like a very good deal compared to option #2.
  • The Administratum set. US$50, only $15 more than the Ruins, and it also comes with one each of the Wall and Floor Sprues.
  • Stepping up to US$75, we have the Sanctum, adding another Wall Sprue and the Flying Buttress/Small Statue Sprue. Seems like a pretty reasonable upgrade price for the extra content. Basically a 50% price bump for a 67% content bump, and it's the only place to get the Small Statue Sprue.
  • The Basilicanum, the last and largest of the stand-alone sets, swaps the Flying Buttress/Small Statue Sprue for the Columns and Archways Sprue, and adds a second Floor Sprue and the Large Statue Sprue. At US$100, that's another $25 to jump from 5 to 7 (almost 8, because the statues are huge) sprues. Again, seems like a reasonable differential, but it's clearly one you're only going to get if you want the big statues.
  • Finally, at US$130, the KT starter doesn't quite come with an exact match for any particular combination of kits, but is roughly equivalent to one each of the Ruins, Administratum, and Sanctum sets (just with the different Column Sprue), which would be US$160 to pick up separately. Add in the two Units (whether using them or selling them), and that's a pretty good bundle deal.
From what I see, the best way to go for general purposes is a mix of the Administratum and Sanctum sets. I do hope the Archway Sprue gets released as part of another kit at some point here, just to have it available without buying one of the US$100+ options. I don't feel like it's worth getting the Basilicanum for that sprue, that one's only worth the cash if you want the statues.

They did add a couple of different combos of the base sprues to the Sector Mechanicus line a while after the original release (the Promethium Forge and, IIRC, the Ferratonic Incinerator), so I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple more sets show up using just these sprues, and we'll probably also see some completely new add-ons as well, like the Galvanic Servo-Haulers and Promethium Regulators were for Sector Mechanicus.

Until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Rust and Ruin in the Underhive

Just a quick post on how I did the rust and grime on the Necromunda barricades. I have chosen to assume that the paint used on Underhive structures has some serious protective properties, so my starting point was to keep the rust, corrosion, and accumulated grime near the areas where the barricades have been shot up or chopped apart. I also went with the association that there are some seriously nasty corrosives and such just sort of generally around the environment down there, so when that protective paint gets taken off, the resulting effects are pretty extreme.

To this end, I wanted to get some major texture on there, so I started by blobbing on some very heavy dollops of Martian Ironcrust, Ryza Rust, and Stirland Battlemire. I tried to mix them up, so any larger area would have some of each, because rust patterns are rarely super consistent.
This gave some nice texture, but was way too bright, so I ran Typhus Corrosion over all of those splotches. It lets a little of the original colour come through, but tones it down so it's not eye-searing.
But now it's kind of boring. So I went back in with a selection of reds, oranges, and browns, and stippled them all over the rusted areas to bring out the texture and get some more visual interest back in, without going day-glo like the Ryza Rust is on its own.
This shows the progression of colours I used. I started with the Khorne red over on the far right, and then added on some Jokaero Orange, Cadian Fleshtone, Mournfang Brown, and then finished them off with Skrag Brown, which is actually a pretty good rust colour in and of itself if you want something simpler. 

I included the Cadian Fleshtone after reading some stuff by Cavalier over at Frontline Gaming. He pointed out that it's actually a kind of weird pastel orange, and showed it as the final highlight on the red on his Dark Eldar vehicles. I figured I'd give it a try here, and was really happy with how it came out.

So yeah, remember, don't be afraid to try out new stuff and experiment with no fixed destination, and until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Monday, June 25, 2018


So, fucking finally, I actually finished something. Actually, they still want a little more gloss on the water, and maybe some little clumps of static grass, but I took them to a Tournament and got 2nd in Best Painted, so I think I can call them done. Which makes Magore's Fiends my first completed project so far this year, and in time to count for Azazel's June-Unit Challenge, making them also the first hobby challenge I've completed so far this year. Anyhow, on to the shinies!
Magore himself! I played around a bit with using some different inks on the Daemon and Orruk skulls

I also decided to add some freehand, since that's a substantial part of the painting rubric for these events. Not 100% happy with the Mark of Khorne there, but I am very happy with the tiger stripes
Puppy! Riptooth is so great. One of my favourite Fighters in Shadespire, fast and deadly. He looks brighter here than in person, something about the way Blood for the Blood God interacts with the flash, I think.
I use BftBG as the main colour on all my Khorne Daemons, with the idea being that they're outright made of blood and brass. I tried to get the Mark of Khorne branded on his shoulder to look like clotted blood, but had trouble getting it to stand out.
A look at the basing. One more layer of that gloss brown ink will really give the muddy water a nice sheen.
Ghartok Flayskull. I converted him to have a helmet, but it may have been a poor decision, since now I really have trouble telling him apart from Zharkus

And here's Zharkus the Bloodsighted. He and Ghartok are almost, but not quite, identical rules-wise, which doesn't help when trying to keep them sorted out
The whole Warband together. I'm very happy with how these guys came out, even if I do see a bunch of stuff that wants touch up now that I'm looking at the zoomed in pics
Overall, they were pretty fun to paint, especially since I managed to learn from my mistakes with some of the other Warbands, and didn't glue them to their bases until I was more or less done. Made it much easier to get all the detail sculpted on the bases painted up.

They're really fun to play, too, and very effective. The only games I've lost with them were in a mirror match where my Opponent had a better-tuned Objective deck. As well as their hitting power, their Faction-specific Objective cards really help push them up toward the top, with 5 "Score Immediately" cards, almost as many as any two other Factions put together. None of them are particularly hard to accomplish, either, and a couple are almost trivial in a lot of matchups. I plan to do a bit more of a write-up on deck building for them at some point, but wanted to keep this focused on the painting.

Until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Moon Base Klaisus and Sector Mechanicus

I've been meaning to post this for a bit now. I picked up the Moon Base Klaisus set with a gift certificate my brother gave me for Christmas, and it's pretty groovy, even tho it has some flaws for my specific needs.
Specifically, I don't have a big enough table to support a (roughly*) 4x6 cardboard foldout, and not enough room around my table to allow for actual play if I put a 4x6 chunk of plywood or something on top of it. Here it's folded down to an approximate 4x4 for a 1250 point Game. It looks good from a distance, but if you zoom in, you'll notice that there are four areas, most noticeably the one in the lower left, that don't fit in. That's because the remaining panels that I'm not using had to get folded up on top of the section I did want, which kind of messes with the layout, and keeps it from being flat. I'm trying to decide if I just want to deal like this in hope that I'll eventually have a place big enough for a 4x6, or just cut off the extra panels and make it a dedicated 4x4.

Speaking of the layout, I really like that the street grid is set up at an angle to the sides. It makes for more interesting games when the Terrain is at angles to the Deployment Zones, and it's easier to avoid stuff just getting blown away as the streets provide open fields of fire in the directions that everyone needs to go.

I had thought we were going to have to rule that the Stanchions on the Sector Mechanicus stuff blocked LoS, but it turns out that when it's at odd angles and all mixed together like this, it actually blocks LoS pretty well. My Sector Mechanicus stuff, as you can see, is in a variety of different stages of completion. Most notably, I don't have any of the railings done, so we just played that all the walkways provided cover to anyone standing on them. The walls that came with the Moon Base mix really well with the rest of it, and even line up perfectly with the pipelines. My opponent was amazed that a bunch of it was just clipped together. It was solid enough while his Drukhari were swarming across it that he'd assumed it was all glued.

The one real negative to the set is that you have to be super careful when re-folding it. It's really easy to get a finger inside of the fold, which causes the cardboard to start tearing and delaminating.

Fluff-wise, my idea with this layout was that there had originally been some sort of nondescript installation here. Hab blocks, Admin buildings, stuff like that. Then someone attacked and blew it all up. That's the ruined walls that came with the Moon Base set. Then, quite some time later, the Adeptus Mechanicus found promethium deposits or something like that, and set up a facility to extract and process it. Recently, all contact with that facility was lost, resulting in the Jade Serpents Space Marine Chapter being sent to investigate, and clashing inconclusively with a Drukhari raiding force.

*The dimensions of the board are kind of odd. As near as I can tell, they're based on being folded down into A4-size stacks, minus a bit so you can get a finger in between the boards and the edge of the box and actually pull them out rather than having to dump them out.

Monday, May 14, 2018

WiP...All Is WiP

OK, it's clearly been way too long since I've posted here. Frankly, it's been because I haven't actually finished anything so far this year. I finally decided I just needed to do something, so here's a pile of what I've been working on over the last few months:

First up, Shadespire! I also have Magore's Fiends built, but they're currently primed black, so nearly impossible to photograph well.

I don't like un-armoured Dwarves, so these guys have been getting some serious work done. It's been taking forever, but it's the most ambitious sculpting project I've ever attempted, so that seems reasonable.

The Skaven are close to done. They're certainly usable, but there's more I want to do with the metal and their skin and fur, plus touching up around the bases.
The Farstriders have all been converted with heads from Statuesque Miniatures, and some trimming on their armour. The heads look a little small, but it's just because the regular helmets have so much bling on them. The actual heads are about the same size.
I'm taking a mixed CSM/Daemon Slaanesh Army to the Ordo Fanaticus Club Challenge this August. I have essentially none of it done, so I really need to get my butt in gear. Some of the stuff for it is getting pretty involved, like this Noise Marine Dread (with groupie):
The pose is supposed to be doing the Steve Harris foot-up-on-the-amp-playing-out-to-the-crowd thing, but Castaferrum Dreads don't really have the joints necessary to make that actually work. I still like it.

The Twin BlastMaster was made from a couple of Plasma Cannon, along with some heavily modified 90s searchlight bits
The Big Bad. I started working on this because I was getting nowhere trying to make myself finish some painting before I started another Modeling project. It's also going to be in my OFCC list, and part of the reason for doing it is that it cut my Model count by like a third, and it's easier for me to do one big project like this than another 20 Daemonettes and dozen Noise Marines.
I always go overboard when I do anything even remotely scenic with a large base. There's going to be so much more cork and talus and sand and stuff when I'm done.

Very loosely inspired by the general idea of the old Epic Hellscourge Chaos Knight. In particular, that had a Castigator Cannon, and when FW did the Knight Castigator, that turned out to be a dual gatling gun-type thing, so this ended up with dual Avengers

Slaaneshi stuff is supposed to be more agile and maneuverable. It's hard to get a good pic of it, but in person, the motion works out pretty well.
Also in the Chaos Folder, I got some Plague Toads a while ago, and finally got them put together. Took me a while because they were just terrible casts. So much gap-filling needed. Going to use them as extra Beasts of Nurgle.
The one with the greenstuff on the base is going to have the whole thing be a giant lilypad that it's sitting on.
Necromunda! Still haven't managed to play, but I've got several gangs in various stages of progress. Hopefully going to get to try it with my brother next week. Not pictured here are The Violet Hellcats (Escher, because they're shuffled away somewhere and I didn't feel like digging them out), and The Children of the Emperor's Embrace (Stealer Cult. Like Magore's Fiends, they're newly primed and impossible to photograph).
The Reds. Basically done, I'm keeping these guys simple because I'm not really into the Goliaths, but I want to have as many options as possible for other people using my gangs. Also going to use them as Iron Warriors Chaos Culties, which is why they're on 25mm Bases.
The Rustbucket Crew. Heavy overbrush to help me see the detail while I'm working on them, and I find it kind of pulls the whole lot together. Did the same for The Reds with Leadbelcher. They were also the first Gang I built after realizing how much of a pain it is to paint the Sector Mechanicus bases with dudes on them.

As with the Farstriders, some of the Orloks have also been converted with Statuesque Miniatures heads. I like having more variety than GW tends to provide.
Last, but not least, the stuff I was supposed to have finished back in fucking February for various challenges:
I mentioned Statuesque Miniatures a couple of times in there. I found out about them from Azazel, as I recall, and was really happy when I finally got around to picking some up. The heads used here are from the Heroic Scale Narrow line, which I think worked out pretty well, tho I'd like to get some of the regular Heroic Scale ones as well at some point. The Orloks' gear is heavy enough that they actually work pretty well with just the head swap, and no other conversion work. If you're looking for conversion bits for female Models, I highly recommend them.

Hopefully I will soon have something actually finished to share, and until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!