Monday, May 30, 2016

Cowering in Terror, and Other Commissariat-Disapproved Tactics

I got a MaulerFiend second-hand, already built, and felt like I needed to do something to make it stand out from the stock Model, but I didn't really want to mess with the built Model itself, so the next best thing was to give it an eye-catching scenic base.

What we've got here is an outer wall around the remains of a Fortified Manor or something. The Chaos attack has been coming in from the other direction, so the inside part (formerly a lawn with a path. It'll show up better once it's painted and flocked) has been all torn up and such, including the rest of this Guardsman's Unit, while he's fled to the as-yet undamaged sidewalk outside in a futile attempt to hide from the monstrosity.

Faith and bold use of Krak Grenades could have saved this Trooper, but he chose the path of cowardice, and forfeited not only his life, but also his honour and his soul. Learn from his error and stand strong against the abominable constructs of the Renegade and the Heretek!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fire in the Sky, Nowhere to Run

I got my StormHawk built up, and even tho it was still unpainted, took it over to a buddy's place for a Game. We wanted to give the DftS Rules a solid go, so I also brought along a Wing of two StormTalons, and he had the Dark Eldar Formation.

I've seen people talking about the Dogfight Rules as just a d3 Rolloff, but I think Rock/Paper/Scissors is the better comparison. I won both Dogfights handily, despite the RazorWings outclassing my StormHawk in the relevant stats, because there are differences in the options that influence which you'll go for. They're very minor, so it's more about figuring out how deeply your Opponent is thinking about it than any kind of decision-making that actually makes sense from an aerial combat point of view, but they are there. I wish they'd gone a bit more in depth, even tho that sort of analysis is actually something I'm pretty good at. But it's not just random.

The Attack Patterns certainly do buff all of the Flyers in their area of competency, but that doesn't change the fact that they've all been nerfed pretty hard outside of their area of competency. Fighters got off easiest, but they're fairly rare (and even more so in terms of what actually gets used), and the most common Flyers are all Attack Flyers, that lost the ability to have Skyfire, meaning that almost all Factions now have substantially worse access to it, and some have none at all. Further, a lot of the Flyers that were seen were kind of borderline in their inclusion, and are now likely to show up a lot less.

Honestly, as far as I can tell, this only really buffs one strategy: Massive Alpha Strike+Flyers. For pretty much everyone else, the better option is usually to not take Flyers at all. If you're up against an Alpha Strike Army without Flyers, do the Reserves thing. Up against an Army with Flyers, but not a big Alpha Strike, just start everything on the table, so you don't care about the Reserves Manipulation. If you do run into an Alpha Strike+Flyers list, hope you brought a VSG.

OK, that got longer than I'd planned. Gonna keep this next part quick. Or at least try to :P

The StormHawk, for all the failings of the Supplement it appears in, is a pretty great kit, and a good Flyer on the table.
It's clearly related to the StormTalon, but it's also its own thing, significantly more of a difference than, say, a Razorback and a Predator. Some cool changes on the bottom, too, to show its lack of Hover capability and greater thrust:
I've got it set up so I can swap in every possible option. Didn't even need magnets. All the joins are in places where it's ridiculously easy to stick a tiny bit of blu-tac in there, and it's completely unnoticeable. They actually nearly all pressure-fit, even without the blu-tac.

That said, if you do want to bust out the magnets, I'd wager you could set this up so that everything but the cockpit could come off and swap for other parts to make it also work as a StormTalon. Those wings and engines are all one block that would easily swap out for the engine pods on the Talon. You'd need magnets in the sides for those, in the weapons pods, and in the nose for front gun/Assault Cannon turret. The Engine/Wing/Assault Cannon parts are all different for the two builds, so you don't have to worry about getting those to switch. A couple more magnetization points if you care about the view from the bottom, and maybe one more for the Halo Launcher/Sensors, but I probably wouldn't bother with those. The sticker, really, is the cockpit. That's chunked right in the middle there, and I don't see anything even approaching an easy way to make it swappable.

Great kit, tho, I'm definitely going to be picking up another so I can run the Formation with two of them and two Talons. I'll probably try to magnetize that one, and toss some pics up here. Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Dude. Want.

Damn, those Domitar-Ferrum Automata look great. I really can not afford to go on a FW binge and pick up a Mechanicum Army right now, but holy shit are they making it steadily harder to resist.

I've got a bunch of stuff at boring halfway stages right now. But it's all getting pushed back because my StormHawk just showed up this afternoon, and I can't wait to get building on that. Hopefully some pics and a bit of an after-action report on it Sunday evening or Monday. Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Crimson Thunder StormTalon and IronClad

Death from the Skies has got me motivated to finally get around to adding on the Nephilim wings I got to my StormTalons. They're kind of halfassed right now, because I was hoping to use them in a Game today, but had to bail on that because debilitating headache. Oh, well, it meant that once I went back to bed for another 5 hours, I could take pics.

This dude is kind of pushing the limits of my cheapo lightbox. The other one looks basically the same, so I just took a pic of the one. I'm kind of tempted to try to break off the Missile Pods and remount them under the engines. I've seen some converted that way, and I really like the look, but I'm not sure I like it enough to justify the effort to do it retroactively.

I also got my IronClad, well, not done, but good enough to put on the table.
The mold lines on that Seismic Hammer are just hideous. I thought I'd got them, but apparently not.

 Shout-out to William Shakespeare for his Complete Works helping to bump the backdrop up a couple of inches so I could get more light in there. In the first couple of shots, the legs were completely invisible.
Trying a new technique on my black. I drybrushed the whole thing with Leadbelcher, more heavily from the top, and then ran several coats of Nuln Oil over it. A few of the bits need another coat or two, and it got a bit funky on the top where it was able to pool, but for the most part, I'm really happy with it. I believe I first saw the technique from Rob, but I've modified it a bit here, simplified it a little.

Gonna finish it off for today with some more shots of the basing. This is the first Model I've taken to (more or less) completion with my newer, more complex basing. I sorta feel like it still needs a little something else, but it's definitely a step up from my previous standard.

I think part of the issue here is that I ended up putting his feet in places that blocked some of the more interesting bits. I'm definitely liking the varied heights, tho.

Y'all have a good one now, y'hear!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Changing Sides

Still trying to work up the motivation to really get into fixing the Kytan. But I wanted to take some pics because I just got enough room cleared off to set up my new Light Box. It's a cheapo plastic one held together with velcro, theoretically collapsible, but looking at the creases in the plastic, I'm really not sure how many setups and takedowns it'll last, so I'm just leaving it up for now. As I've seen a couple of people note with others, the fact that there are only LEDs on the top creates kind of harsh lighting. I tried to use my swing-arm lamp to mitigate that, but I think I need to move it closer. I still like the results better than what I was getting just on the table tho.

I made a Land Speeder Storm, and took all the dudes who are normally hanging off the side and made them into a Scout Squad, filling them out with a conversion based on an old metal Heavy Bolter scout who was missing his weapon.

That's the dude who's normally loading his Bolter on the back seat. I swapped him up to Gunner on the Speeder because I wanted to use the normal Gunner on a base, where his cool kneeling pose would be more noticeable.

The Squad as a whole, and a rear shot of the Sarge, showing off his Combi-Grav. The one dude got some walls on his base because I needed something to justify his super-crouched pose. I chose to keep them on 25mm Bases both since GW hasn't actually switched Scouts over, last I checked, and because it magnifies the size difference between them and the full Marines in Power Armour.

A few more shots of my favorite one, converted from the Speeder's Gunner. Didn't come out great because I moved in closer to get a better position for a single Model, but didn't have anything there to brace my hands on.
And these guys were sitting around, so I tossed them in as well. Gue'vesa Kroot Counts-As for my Tau Army, converted from some Catachans I got for a song and Kroot Rifles I picked up at a bitz swap. I'm not really a huge fan of the Fire Warrior and Kroot Models, so I'm doing Human Auxiliaries for those Roles instead. Got some Cadians converted up to count as Fire Warriors too, but they're already primed, so they won't photograph well until I get them painted.

Hopefully either progress on the Kytan or something painted next time. Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!

Sunday, May 8, 2016


I primed my Kytan on Friday, and then this morning, went out on the balcony to bring it in (I tend to leave things out there for a while, so the primer completely cures and stops smelling bad before I bring it in. It's covered and all, so stuff won't get rained on or have branches fall on it or anything.), hoping to quickly slap a couple of colours on it to use it in a Game this afternoon. I found this:

Apparently, between the strong west facing and the reflection off the glass door to the balcony, it got hot enough to soften FW resin, and the weight was enough to bring the whole thing down. I've got a couple of ideas about how to go about fixing it, but I'm not sure which I want to go with.

It's also a bummer because I'd been getting some pretty good momentum up on my 40K hobbying, and this, not exactly killed, but at least took a big chunk out of my motivation and energy for that. I even ended up bailing on the Game today, just couldn't deal right then. I'm just gonna leave it for the moment, sleep on it and see how I feel about dealing with it in the morning.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Kytan Build Complete plus Half-Painted House Phantos Imperial Knight

Got the Kytan built. Had to get kinda creative in a couple of places, since I was working from the feet up, with fixed positioning on them due to the basing, and ended up a bit beyond the limits of the posing FW intended, largely thanks to screwing up the angle of one of the ankles. Still looks pretty good overall, if I do say so myself:
Blood Claw to display futile bravery. Also scale.
This is pretty pic heavy, so I'm putting the rest below a cut. Click for more:

Monday, May 2, 2016

Kytan Rising and other WiP

Some recent posts by Rob and Thor have inspired me to start kicking my basing up a notch or two, and the biggest beneficiary has been the Kytan Daemon Engine that I got a little while back. That said, it's also been slowing down building the thing considerably, because I couldn't just build it flat and then put it on the base later. Also, this is another place where I get sort of frustrated by FW. There are so many parts to the legs on this thing, and having to use super glue instead of plastic cement means that I have way less working time, so I'm having to do them in stages, checking the remaining bits with blu-tac as I do each one, to make sure that they'll actually both meet up at the hips when I'm done.

You can also see an Ironclad, some old Chaos Hounds that I'm rebasing to use as Flesh Hounds, and my attempt at getting something decent out of the awful Champion pose from the Wulfen boxed set. The Ironclad and Kytan have had cork used to build up some areas of the base, and then all of them had extra variation added by pouring/spreading on various consistencies of fine sand/Mod Podge (thanks for introducing me to that stuff btw, Thor!) slurry, since I hate working with spackling paste, which is the other cheap and easily available option I know of. Then I added coarser sand to parts, trying to break up the different areas of slurry, and once they're painted, they'll get either snow or grass powder and static grass added to break it up further. I'm also going to try to do a little stream across the middle of the Kytan's base.