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!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Rampant Speculation

Artwork © Games Workshop


I was reading the review of the Daughters of Khaine Battletome over on War of Sigmar, and something jumped out at me. It was mentioned that the Aelven gods trapped Slaanesh in between the Realms of Hysh and Ulgu, but Morathi's meddling weakened the binding, pushing it more toward Ulgu. Now, Slaaneshi groups have found some indication of this, and are searching for the exact location of the binding and how to break it.

Now, what else do we know of that's been trapped between Hysh and Ulgu? That's right, the city of Shadespire! That was stuffed in there by Nagash, because he was mad about them storing souls that he thought belonged to him. He was also mad at Slaanesh for stealing so many Aelven souls during the End Times, and is still mad at the Aelven gods who trapped Slaanesh there because they took those souls when they trapped her instead of just releasing them where they would eventually flow to him.

Given all these interconnections, I can't help but start to wonder if we're going to see Slaaneshi Warbands show up in Shadespire, and/or stuff from Shadespire affecting the War of Shadows (Slaaneshi followers vs. Ulgu Aelves) and whatever the wars foreshadowed by the Malign Portents end up being called.

Any other thoughts? Any other connections I've missed? Let me know, and until next time, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February Hobby Challenges Update


February, as usual, has been going slowly, but I have still been making progress. On the Squaduary front, I've actually had to trim down a bit, as the Fiends are just too much of a pain for me to deal with right now. Progress goes well on the Seekers, tho, with the older ones built and just needing some basing work, and the newer ones wanting some gold, a little touch up on the black and purple, and a wash, then some grass powder.

The Seekers are also my entry for Fembruary, as my Escher gang is rather too far along to count, and I don't have anyone else suitable on deck at the moment.

Last, but definitely not least, Azazel's February Hobby Challenge was to finish a Model that had been started at least 6 months ago, and I have decided to finally buckle down and finish up my Keeper of Secrets conversion, for better or for worse. As you can see, I've done the basecoats and a wash already, and since then I've been all nervous about screwing things up while highlighting.

Next week, I will hopefully have all of these done (for "modeling complete" values of done for the Diaz Seekers). Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Squaduary Goal

Having learned from last year's issues, I'm doing something a little different for Squaduary this time around. The big issue that arose is that it's rare to get a day in February where I can spray prime Models. So, while I'm going to be building and painting 3 Fiends and 5 Seekers of Slaanesh, there are actually 16 Models involved, since the ones I'm painting are going to be some I built and primed during the summer, and the ones I'm building probably won't get primed and painted until sometime in March or April. Anyhow, here's the "before" pic:
Because of this, I'm probably going to be getting a bit away from the standard Squaduary schedule, and, depending on how my motivation and inspiration go, may end up finishing the painting before the building. Until next time, y'all have a good one now, y'hear!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Chaos Theology Rant

This is something that has always bothered me about GW's Chaos Pantheon, and reinforced even further by the most recent incarnation of the Chaos Daemon Codex. The particular bit that set me off this time was near the start: "Currently, Khorne is held as the mightiest of all, for the practice of murder and blood sacrifice stretches to the dark beginnings of the universe." Really? Murder predates fear or despair, or hope, or lust?

Murder - not just killing to eat or defend oneself, but intentional murder - requires a certain level of intelligence, to choose to kill for some reason beyond mere survival. Let alone blood sacrifice, which requires a level even beyond that, to conceive of beings beyond the material, who would desire such a thing as a sacrifice.

Fear, on the other hand, is a basic survival trait. Long before anything has evolved to a level of intelligence required to willfully murder, fear is there, protecting whatever is lower down on the food chain, signalling them to flee and survive.  Despair? Certainly even an animal far below the level capable of deliberate murder can know that it is sick or wounded unto death, and give up its will to live, curl up to die quietly alone in some hole.

Hope? Seriously? Anyone who's ever owned a cat or dog knows that animals are more than capable of hope, even before the invention of can openers, and they are certainly incapable of murder or blood sacrifice*. And not just the hope of something, but action taken to change their environment to satisfy that hope. Even something as simple as digging a burrow for warmth or a nest to shelter eggs strives to change the world in hope for the better.

Even lust emerges in species incapable of higher thought. Not just simple animal heat, but yes, actual lust. Not only primates, but also wolves, and even some birds, and more, have been documented engaging in non-reproductive sex. Other excesses too: It takes little intelligence to eat beyond capacity once a creature has experienced starvation. To greedily chase off others from food, even when there is more than enough. Given the chance, the resources to allow for leisure, any creature may fall to laziness and sloth.

Any species that has evolved to the level where its members can choose to murder will certainly have acquired at least some of these feelings long before. They are far more fundamental than murder or sacrifice, and would have imprinted on the empyrean aeons before the first killing that could truly be called a murder or blood sacrifice. Even in a species that has evolved so far, their young will almost always pass through stages where they are capable of some of these before they reach the point where they could murder, or even think of it. Even a baby can fear, or hunger beyond its needs.

But wait, there's more! Killing can power any of the four gods. Even in more evolved species, murder or battle, especially in the forms practiced by the followers and daemons of Khorne, are relatively inefficient ways to kill people. WWII was the deadliest conflict humanity has experienced thus far, killing something on the order of 3% of the world's population at the time, using means far faster than swords and axes, no matter how well imbued with warp power they might be. In comparison, even the lowest estimates of the black plague's toll have it an order of magnitude higher in a comparable period of time, and some estimates range up over 20% of the world's population getting wiped out by it in 7 years or so. Numbers from Slaaneshi causes, such as overdoses, overeating-related diseases like heart disease or diabetes, and so forth, are harder to find comprehensive numbers for, but easily outpace war deaths in the modern era. Even many of the war deaths could have viably fueled Tzeentch or Nurgle, with wars commonly started by the desire for power, or lashing out from unacknowledged, subconscious fear.

Let's take things up another level: GW constantly conflates our relatively minor galaxy with the universe as a whole. All the events and emotions of all the beings in our galaxy aren't even a drop in the ocean compared to those of the universe entire. Changes in the empyrean energy from any one galaxy are going to be nothing more than noise compared to the totals from the trillions of galaxies currently calculated to exist. Even the complete destruction of all life in one or more galaxies that has been theoretically ascribed to the Tyranids is no more than a rounding error. Need to give the GW guys some time in the Total Perspective Vortex.

Sorry about that. Like I said, it's been bugging me for literally years, and I finally just hit the point where I had to complain about it on the internet. Which might, itself, become seen as a fundamental feeling at some point, depending on how the future goes. Next time hopefully I'll have some models to show off or something otherwise less ranty. Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

*This may be arguable in the case of some particular cats, but as a general statement, it holds ^_^

Monday, January 8, 2018

ShadeSpire


My group has gotten really into ShadeSpire recently, and I've been swept up in it myself. Got the set and both expansion Warbands in early December, and just finished painting them all up last weekend, just in time for our Sunday game day. It's been a long time since I got this inspired to paint something, and even tho they're not perfect, I'm happier with them than I've been with anything I've finished in quite some time. The rest of this is basically just a huge pic dump with a bit of commentary, so it's going under a cut.