Friday, August 28, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 7

This week we hit my third Grey Knight force, first purifiers the second and all Terminators Force. Now an expanded Inquisitional Henchman Force. This army was being put together for the second Standish Standoff (2012). I added some new elements but kept some of the core together to lower my painting requirements. I ended up removing the Jakero due to points, but had finished painting up the models aside from basing them. So I have included them even if they didn't get into the finished list. 

1850 Pts - Grey Knights Roster - Standoff 2012

  • HQ: Castellan Crowe 
  • HQ: Inquisitor Coteaz 
  • Elite: Techmarine
  • Troops: Purifier Squad 2x Daemonhammer, 2x Psycannon 6 Halbred Psybolt Ammo w/ Rhino
  • Troops: Purifier Squad 2x Daemonhammer, 2x Psycannon 6 Halbred Psybolt Ammo w/ Razorback w/ Psybolt Hvy Bolter & Searchlight
  • Troops: Purifier Squad 2x Daemonhammer, 2x Psycannon 6 Halbred Psybolt Ammo w/ Razorback w/ Psybolt Hvy Bolter
  • Troops: Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband 3 Warrior Acolyte
  • Troops: Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband 3 Inquisitorial Servitor w/ Multi-Melta
  • Fast Attack: Stormraven Gunship
  • Heavy Support: Psyfileman Dreadnought
  • Aegis Defence Lines w/ Quad Gun

I wanted to put a couple things on their head when I painted up these models. All my groups guard and most blobs I saw had nothing but the same skin tone across the entire force. For ease of painting I assume, but that also seems to be a fairly standard thing with most forces I have seen. With that in mind I painted my henchmen up as multiple races to present a varied looking force. I also found it helped to dramatically change the appearance of models and allow same/similar sculpted models to look dramatically different. 
In crafting the servitors I wanted to do some multi-meltas but the models came only one to a blister with other servitors. Not wanting to spend a ton on three models I opted to convert a trio of them using landspeeder multi-meltas. I kept to tradition with a good red for the jumpsuit to keep them Mechanicus. A little color offsetting with blue and green wires helped to pop some details on them. I think the models really came out well with not a terrible amount of  work. The break of of materials allowed washes to really shine on them. With both flesh, cloths and metals. 

Next up was the pride of this round of painting, humble Imperial Guard sergeants. I used them as Inquisitional Henchmen as they had the proper gear and traditional stat line to stand in, plus then I could cross use them with my small guard collection when/if I got around to painting them as well. I went all in with the details on these models, and although I didn't edge highlight the armor (still hadn't learned that skill yet) I still got some layered highlighting and a good wash to add depth to the armor. I blinged them out with a grenade pouch and water canteen. I even painted teh finger nails on them. Overall they came out great and even by my more recently painted models they stand up well. Again I changed up the skin pallet as I worked on these models. Something I think came out really well and I will have to use again in the future when I get some line guard troops painted up.

 Last up today are the Jakero I finished painting but didn't base as I didn't end up using them. As they are a single pose metal model not a lot of variation could be done with them so I opted to change up the eye color. One blue one green. Little washing and dry brushing to work the fur and some gem effects on all the jewelry. I applied some layered highlighting to the black of the hands and feet as well as the flesh of the face. The fur was all dry brushing as it comes out really well and a dry dusty look is great for fur.

 Next week we will get to Coteaz, Techmarine, Stormraven and Aegis line.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Game Day - Alpha Legion vs Mechanicum

I had my only local war gaming opponent over for a round of 40k. One of the few games I get to play besides at Crossroad Games (my not so local, lgs) tournaments. We are trying to practice and tune up our lists for the 2015 Standish Standoff. I just need to learn my army (so many new rules) and my opponent needs to tune his list. We played an ATC mission specifically mission 1 as it has both progressive missions as well as end game scoring.

I was playing a modified formation. Basically we made it up. Rather than the crazy try faction mech/skittari/knight formation we built one that uses the Mechanicum and Skittari detachments and grants the Skittari the Canticles of the Omnissiah rule. I figured we would have a more balanced game as I get to learn the same basics in tactics of using the canticles but have no knight, no free wargear and no loosing of gets hot. I took a good smattering of choices. 

(As always clicking the image brings up the full size version so you can read the text in the image)

  • HQ tech priest Dominus
  • Troops 1 unit of 3 destroyers with grab and flamers.
  • 1 unit of 3 Breaches with torsion cannons and arc claws

  • 10 Vanguard with 3 plasma 
  • 10 Vanguard with 3 arc rifles
  • 5 Infiltrators with taser goads and flasher bladters
  • 5 Rustalkers with chirdclaws and transonic razors
  • 3 Dune Crawlers with neutron lasers
  • 1 unit Kastelan Robots with 2x hvy phosphor blasters

My opponent brought along a chaos space marine force containing 

  • Abaddon
  • 2 units of chaos terminators one 3 and one 4 man. Both with combo weapons 
  • Cipher with 2 units of chosen kitted out with plasma and melta
  • And Obliterator
  • And 2x Vindicare Assassins. 
  • A Chaos Marine squad
I set up a pretty busy, but balanced table. I've found a good mission with a packed table can really help a game become more balanced. I like to have a mix of ruins/forests and los terrain. Keeps fire lanes down and movement up.

I deployed first and set up pretty much across the table. I had a unit to infiltrate with my opponent had several infiltrators. I knew with progressive objectives I needed to pick one wing and hit it hard before abandon and the terminators arrived so I could get out ahead and hopefully hold it. I chose my table right as he had only 1 chosen squad near that progressive objective. Once infiltration and scout moves are resolved I had infiltrators threatening his Vindicare Assassins on my table left and Rustalkers moving in at cipher and his chosen on table right. My dune crawlers moved to table center to get best line of sight for shooting and to hold the middle come end game. They have proven very durable for me in the past.

My Destroyers and Breachers fanned out to left and right paired with a vanguard squad each to back up and support the Infiltrators and Rustalkers. The robot maniple with the tech priest held center to back up the crawlers. First round shooting saw one Vindicare dead some chosen dead and a marine. Fairly low end for this shooty army. Especially as I used the re-roll shooting attacks and +1 bs canticles and skittari power.

My opponent moved up cipher and company to shoot then assault the rustalkers. The vindicare number two put a wound on a infiltrators and pinned them. The marines put another wound on them. The chosen board center popped out and shot a lot of melta into the crawlers and immobilized 1 but the 4++ kept the unit mostly whole although I lost one crawler so if be at a 5++ after this round. The assault phase however flipped things on me. The crawlers took several more hits but weathered the worst thanks again to the invul save. The Rustalkers however folded like a paper sack killing only a single chosen before all dying. He moved them forward toward the Vanguard squad ready to repeat. Havering been jumped hard in assault I opted for the canticle granting my units essentially 3 free strength 4 hits per model in assault each round. I moved all my squads towards the two chosen. Planning to overwhelm them in are 4 hits. On Cipher and company I got two squads in, both the Vanguard and the Breachers and buried them under 39 Str 4 hits, wiping that unit. I failed all my charges at the squad locked in combat with my crawlers. However some poor saves on his part saw me kill 3 of the 4 chosen, and the broke but not before his meltabomb took out a second crawler. Meanwhile the Infiltrators sprayed useless fire while pinned and got ready for the following turn.

His terminators dropped in and sunk all the melta into my destroyers. And failed so badly they only put out a single wound. The return grav and Vanguard plasma volley wiped Abandon and friends from the table and we called the game at that point. 

Although my opponent started off in great position a few key moments went against him and with so few models that spelled the end. First Cipher killed the Rustalkers in a single round of combat leaving them open to to much counter fire and counter charges. Had the Rustalkers not fallen over so easily but died the next round he could have dictated the flow of combat. Secondly the poor melta performance from all the terminators left them in the open for grav retaliation. He should have killed two with the amount of melta he threw forcing a leadership test on a poor leadership squad. (Or allowing the vindicare to finish them off) I was surprised at how quickly a single melta bomb equipped squad took out crawlers in hand to hand. Best keep those boys in the back.

After the game we pondered ways to help his list be more killy (technical term I swear) but still feel elite and chaos marine not cultist or daemon heavy. We hit on a few good ideas and should see them soon.

Friday, August 21, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 6

My next addition to my painted forces included some Grey Knight Terminators. In the Spring we have another hobby centered event that has evolved over the years. These days its a narrative event but int he first year it was a baby Standoff called the April Assault. At only 1500 points it was much smaller force. I wanted to try something different and went for an all terminator force. No Paladins just the regular Grey Knight terminators. I felt they where underrated and again wanted to go against the grain with the 5th ed Grey Knight codex. To avoid "easy mode." My opponents may disagree with calling it easy mode. 
Not having to many Terminators of my own already I painted up 10 of them and was able to purchase another 20 already painted up fairly well. I matched painting styles and color choices and picked out some details or washed the purchased terminators to bring them in line. As I didn't paint these completely I am not showing them here, instead I will show only the ones I did. 

First up I did an Inquisitor in Terminator armor. I also used the Inquisitor from the last post in the force giving me two sources of extra psychic might. Again on this guy you can see I do the black armor but no edge highlighting. So although the details are crisp and neat the model looks flat and bland. Originally I was going to use the same paint scheme for all my Grey Knights but after doing this model I opted to make him an Inquisitor and paint the rest the more traditional coloring. Opting to make the black armor an Inquisitor and Purifier style rather than chapter wide. I think the Bloodletter head came out very well. When I go back to add edge highlights to these guys I will need to gloss varnish the blood to give it that wet look as well. Also add some wet blood into the snow below it as well.  

Next up is my first set of 5 guys, to help tie the army as a whole together I opted to do the same white helm style as the purifiers to mark out my Justicar's (read squad sergeants.) I also wanted to upgrade my Power Weapon painting method. The style used in my Purifier force just came out looking to bland/simple. I looked up a great method online using a glaze and turquoise paint to help smooth out the transitions and give the whole blade and energized look. Frankly I forgot how well these came out. Power Weapons are one of those things I still struggle with mostly because I just haven't done them enough. I'll need to go back to this method for some current models and re learn it before I improve on it. 

As you can see in my set of ten are two Justicar models. That's because I opted to swap them out for some models in another squad having gotten the painting style to look very similar to one of my purchased squads. I fell in love with the Halberds with my purifiers. Going at Initiative 6 instead of 4 with power weapon was just amazing and won more fights for me than any other wargear. Hence the plethora of them. The Justicars get swords as while in hand to hand they get +1 invul and this even worked when saving vs perils. Worth it to try and keep them alive a little longer worse come to worse. 


Friday, August 14, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 5

Welcome to part 5, because no one expects the Inquisition. The last part of my Standish Standoff 2011 army consisted of Castelle Crowe an Inquisitor and his henchfolk. Nothing like a few crazy guys with swords and shields in a sci-if setting to really crank things along. Now as of when this list existed Crowe was pretty much a tax and army liability, see free kill point. He allowed my core unit to become a troop and thus I could take more than 3 and better yet the could score. On his own he was rather a let down. A character on foot with only 2 wounds but he couldn't join a unit not be joined. Furthermore my opponent got bonuses for charging him. Oh and no power weapon? Yay what a dream HQ. So as a tax he is what he is. Getting him to do anything worthwhile in games was always a treat and I would just assume he would die, as he usually would.
The real leader for my force then took the form of a generic inquisitor. Tricked him out with psychic powers and power armor. No psych-broke grenades for him. Just in as a nice utility piece, also his friends are pretty good to. More importantly he could buff his henchmen allowing them to get +1 strength allowing them to better wound marines, and provide his unit stubborn leadership of 10. The rest of the army was fearless so making sure these guys staid stuck in was the trick.

I opted to go for a more greytine armor on him to match up with the crusaders. Keep the inquisition all forces all of a similar paint scheme. I liked this model as being metal it had the actual equipment I wanted on him, force sword and bolt pistol. The book version is also pretty slick. Nothing to special with the crusaders although I did do some freehand work on the tabard to draw in a sword. Something to this day I'm still no good at. Likely to be my next step in growing my painting skills.

Accompanying him are a cluster of death cult assassins. Wait you say, I've seen those models before on this blog? Yes you have. I repurposed some confrontation models. The griffin executioners are excellent assassin models. The masks help them look more the part to me than the bondage girls of the GW model. Also the GW model was perpetually sold out and about 5 times the cost. Easy win for me to take these instead. Little customization to add in axes along with the sword and they are good to go. The strong artistic similarity between the Confrontation Griffin faction and Grey Knights is what put me on them to begin with.

So here we have the army to head to the big event. I did very well for the day. I took 6th overall, and won Best General that year. Considering my last two, and first two, monthly tournaments ended with me being visually trounced for three games straight, coming out on top game wise was a huge step up for me. I got some lucky draws for match ups. Facing orcs in my last two games. I'd never played them before and had little concept how effective my list would perform against them. I took one other thing away from that event though. I got to see some of the most amazing models I had yet to see in person. I thought what I had done was pretty top notch and slick. Oh how wrong I was. Yes I climbed the peak after a long 7 months only to discover I had only made it to the base camp. Yay more climbing to go!

Monday, August 10, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 4

Welcome back to part 4 as we go into the painting challenges of painting up my first vehicles for my army. I had a total of three dreadnoughts but only fully completed 1 of them in time for the event. The other two where base coated and underway to get detailed. As I never used all three again I never finished them up. Something to do when I go back to edge highlight this army in the future. This was my first time using any forgeworld item, having purchased some direct from forgeworld since then I am pretty sure I got recasts off ebay but they worked and I could afford them so I guess good enough. I wanted to stick with the same color scheme as the purifiers for these vehicles, first mistake. Looking back on these some two years later I really should have done the standard color scheme with the vehicles. Metallic would have looked much better than flat black everywhere. that said the details did come out well. I think edge highlighting the models and applying a thinned out gloss coat to create the enameled effect may int he end greatly improve them.

I hated painting these to be honest all the large flat areas where a nightmare to paint with brushes without leaving brush strokes on the model. To combat this I used a lot of color primers with masking tape to try and avoid it. The white and red seen on the rhinos for example was done using some krylon white and red paint with some blue tape masking. the color is a more varnished/shinney than I really wanted but hand brushing over them gave me bad streaks. (I had yet to discover the wonderful GW basecoat red paint). I picked out all the details I could but in the end I was and am not real happy with these vehicles.

On the plus side being so disheartened with the results did drive me to a future hobby painting tool, my airbrush, and goaded me on to learn to use it beyond just making my own cheap color primers. 

A large difference from this event over our local monthlies is the scoring and various awards. Instead of simply having a best general and best sport as is our norm for the monthly, the Standish Standoff had instead 4 core trophies for the tournament along with an individual painting competition occurring simultaneously with the tournament. Scoring for the tournament itself consisted of game points (roughly 30% the points), army paint score (25%), and sportsman score (50%ish) and a pub quiz (about 5%). A much larger focus on hobby. With 6 painting categories to enter in, most the awards had nothing to do with game performance. We had a Best Overall, Best General, Best Painted Army, and Best Sport along with the painting competition for individual entries. 

Unlike any other previous organized game event I had participated in up to this point I pretty much played the exact same army to the event points for around 6 months prior to the event. I understood my army inside and out and really got to focus on playing better with this force rather than constantly rolling thru different forces on a bi-weekly to monthly bases like I did with Malifaux, and to a lesser extent Confrontation and AT-43 before that. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 3

Welcome back to 40k flash back as we continue to look back at 4 years of miniature painting. After playing my Tyanids for awhile I was still just not getting my head around the 40k rules. Yeah I know my own fault for picking Tyranids in the end days of 5th Edition, but I didn't know any better. So my next step was to pick up a Space Marine army and better understand the rules of the game. Having come from playing a lot of Confrontation Griffin as my favorite army, I choose Grey Knights. They had the overtly religious feel coupled with knightly appearance that really appealed to me. My local game scene had several Draigo star players. Not wanting to play the same as everyone else, I picked up a lot of the power armor Grey Knights. Having never played or painted up a power armor marine before I didn't feel the need to go all terminator with my Grey Knights. I opted for a Purifier Army with Crowe to allow them as troops. So I needed a lot of them, 30. Lastly to help them be visually more interesting to me at least. I went for black armor rather than metallic. 

A lot of detail work is picked out on these models, however I had yet to learn what "edge highlighting" is and did not have that tool in my box yet. I did want to use a diluted gloss varnish over the metal plates to create a sort of varnished, enameled look to them but ran out of time to get it done in time for our brand new Annual Hobby/tournament event the Standish Standoff during the first week of November. I did a lot of reaper tri color highlighting as I understood it at this time. Unfortunately the color depth on any of the larger flatter items just isn't present. However I did do my first free hand painting with these models putting both names on ever model as well as free hand flame icon to mark squads on the shoulder. You will see white flames on red, red flames on white and white flames with red inside, and red flames with white inside to mark the 4 squads. 

One handy painting tip I learned from painting all the gold on these models. Rather than using a base coating gold first or many many thin coats of gold (hard to get a metallic thin), I painted the base down with essentially an ochre color. This I could apply a couple thin coats of to get a good base down. With this down a single coat of the antique gold would go on and look great once washed. Considering the heavily religious feel of the army I wanted to use a dull antique looking gold to emphasize that the armor is baroque and ancient.

Another new technique I used was partially assembling the models. The arms and head where left off the model as I painted them. Allowing me to get into all the nooks and crannies of the model as I painted. I also had fun applying the names of many of my friends and family to the models along with the handful of known Grey Knight names. This made for some fun as I would take wounds on models named after my opponents first allowing them the "joy" of shooting themselves to death.

Next week Vehicles!