Friday, September 25, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 11

Now for something completely different. Not really, this is the Marine side of my 2013 Standish Standoff list. My Marines are blood angel paint scheme but being fairly Codex Astartes generic they are also my vanilla marine army. As such I have some special characters and units that are vanilla marine painted up to match my Blood Angel force. Hence Tiggy here with the Blood Angel shoulders. I really liked how deep blue the armor came out. Makes for a great librarian blue. The red skull on the back really isn't a good choice. Should have gone metallic or bone. Its just to stark against the blue and draws the eye to it rather than complementing army color composition by providing another Blood Angel color tie in.  His eyes are great as well. The blue soft glow effect gives him that unearthly look to really strike home the fact that he is a psyker. I practiced with the list a fair amount before the event and had a pretty good feel for it. However one of my constant practice opponents played 6th Ed Eldar and I had yet to beat him in  game. I had come close but hadn't yet punched his ticket. Turns out as fate would have it he was my round 1 pairing at the Standoff. History it seems was not to be overturned and I lost that game. It was a great match up and we had a fun game. Some early shooting failures though spelled the doom of my list. What should have been able to kill 2.5 wave serpents a round given averages took 3 rounds to kill 1. Unfortunately for my next opponents this meant I hit the bottom tables, and hit them hard. I won my next two games but lost to many points game 1 to get to far in the standings. I did come out in 4th place overall. Not to shabby after a first round loss. It was a great day in the end.

Here is my first painted Marin Tactical squad all painted up. Its also one of the first time I've used decals on my models. They came out pretty good but the yellow ones especially needed a little post application paint assistance to keep the coloring solid. The red hues on these models came out really well. I followed the GW Blood Angel paint scheme for armor only modifying ti a little bit by using null oil wash rather than the crimson wash. I've found that although it can be tough to clean up afterwords as black wash can get streaky on red, it gives really strong color depth and is worth the extra time. 

 Perhaps my favorite painted unit of the whole army. First time I had ever built or used bikes in 40k. Being a command squad for the Blood Angels I felt these bikes needed to be binged up a lot to make them truly veterans of the Blood Angels. I used a number of the Dark Angel bike bits to get wings on the bikes. I removed the Dark Angel icons from those parts but felt the wings on the sides would work really well. Grav had just come out, but the bits where very hard to get a hold of for a reasonable price. I opted to use an alternate gun and paint it up with the green power source of grav. I really liked the way all the details on these models came out. They just look great on the table and great up close. I used the Death Company shoulder pads rather than decals to further "bling" them up. The golden helms came out fairly well. Perhaps a little flat in coloring without the depth of coloring I would like but still fairly decent with the wash.

Last Marine unit was a Thunderfire cannon. As seen from last years standoff list I already have a nice Techmarine painted up. Again I didn't want to drop some $50+ dollars on a fincast Thunderfire cannon. I opted for the Mantic space dwarf model instead. I had some older metal servitors sitting around and modified them to take the gunner seat and removed the dwarf. Nothign like using a third party model to make you realize just how good the GW models are. The details on this where soft and just a pain to paint and bring out. I muddled thru it though and cut a number of corners. Not a centerpiece model to be sure just a tabletop quality paint job. Servicable to be sure, but not the most crisp nor well highlighted.

Friday, September 18, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 10

Welcome back to part 2 of my 2013 Standish Standoff army. As we have already gone over the color choices for the Tau battle suit portion of this army we will do a list breakdown. As my first Riptide I built him in the standard layout. I magnetized the weapons for future options. My list was a pure Farsight list on the Tau side, thus no access to a Buff commander, nor did I do the 'Ovesa star. As with my past armies I opted to do something a little different. I played the army with 2 identical crisis teams both with marker drones. Practically speaking the commander would go in one crisis team to give the drones all BS 5, the other crisis team would get buffed by Tigerius and his divination to give them twin link or by using marker lights as needed. My typical opening would be to twin link the target lock squad so they and the commander would shoot at one unit twin linked, the drones would all shoot at another much tougher unit with BS5 TL marker lights. Then depending on how tough said unit was I would hit it with the broadsides and use up the marker lights, or first the second crisis team that would use the marker lights and then replace them with their own markerlight drones. 

The Riptide was my anti air support. With re-rolling 1's and 12 shots when overcharged it would take down most flyers in a single volley. I opted for the fusion blaster to give me something I could kill the odd landraider with if needed. The tactical squad was a backfield objective holder with a lascannon so they could contribute downfield with something. Granted a single lascannon shot isn't much but it gave me a second weapon that could hurt heavier armor. The long range meant they could stay out of range of most threats. Next I have the Thunderfire cannon to help me against larger armies. Being an elite force with only 38 models I would struggle with being overwhelmed by large blocks of weak troops. It also let me pick off lawn chair units my opponents used. Lastly I had a fast utility unit in the command squad. Having very little low AP weapons I wanted an option to take out a terminator block or similar elite deathstar like unit. 

Primary Detachment: Farsight Enclave (1184 for detachment) 1749 for total army.
  • HQ - Crisis Suit Commander - 85 (177 total), Drone Controller - 8, Target Lock - 5,  2x Missle Pod - 30, Talisman of Arthas Molock - 25, 2x Marker Light Drone - 24
  • Elite - Riptide - 180 (235 total), Velocity Tracker - 20, Early Warning Override - 5, Earthcaste Pilot Array - 30, TL Fusion Blaster - 0, Heavy Burst Cannon - 0
  • Troop - Kroot Squad (82 total), 11x Kroot w/ Sniper rounds - 77, Kroot Hound - 5
  • Troop - Crisis Team x 3 - 66 (210 total)  6x Missile Pod - 90  3x, Target Lock - 15  3x Marker Light Drone - 36  3x Bonding Knife Ritual - 3
  • Troop - Crisis Team x 3 - 66 (210 total)  6x Missile Pod - 90  3x, Early Warning Override - 15  3x Marker Light Drone - 36  3x Bonding, Knife Ritual - 3
  • Heavy - Broadside Team x 3 - 195 (270 total)  6x Missle Drone - 72  3x, Bonding Knife Ritual - 3  3x TL High Yield Missle Pod - 0  3x TL Smart, Missle System - 0

Allied Force -Space Marines (Ultramarine Chapter Tactics) (565 for detachment)
  • HQ - Chief Librarian Tigerius - 165 (375 total)  
  • HQ - Command Squad - 100, Bikes - 35  5x Grav Guns - 75
  • Troop - Tactical Squad x 5 - 70 (90 total)  Lascannon - 20
  • Heavy Thunderfire Cannon - 100 (100 total)

To help tie the Tau and Blood Angel Marines portions of the army together I decided to paint the Kroot unit shoulder pads the same as my Blood Angels. This would help to tie the army elements together along with the basing. Being organic models I kept the painting simple. No bright coloring or edge highlights here. I stuck to my tried and true methods of base coat, drybrush, wash and lighten. It works great with anything fleshy/organic. This unit served as outflankers to grab far off objectives while the suits cleared the area of threats to them. They are soft but cheap and mobile. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 9

I wasn't able to attend the mid-year Fratris event in 2013, so we move forward an entire year now as my 2013 Standish Standoff army comes together. As you can see each year I try and build a new army then change it up adding in new units for each Standoff. It is the deadline to force me to complete projects by. This year I took a major shift and changed up armies completely. Originally I wanted to do a nice winter camo style theme for the army. I wanted to use a Space wolf grey type grey/blue coloring for the armor. The new Badger gaming line of airbrush paint had just come out when I started the project and I promptly ordered several bottles of "Werewolf Grey" thinking this would be their version of Space Wolf grey. Boy was it not. It turned out to be more of a robin’s egg blue or UN blue than anything else. It was a nightmare to apply via airbrush requiring several (read 6-7) thin coats to get a good solid color down. It’s not all the colors in the range, in fact I find most of them to work wonderfully. Just this color is so thin and light it takes tons of coats to go down. 

So after spraying down a number of models and not seeing a great way to change them up quickly I decided instead to run with it. Most everything I had painted up until now was dark. I used a lot of washing to help shade models and this inherently darkens the models. So I set myself some painting goals for this army. After seeing Steve's Daemon army and how bright it was I wanted to paint much brighter. Also as bemoaned several times in the previous articles, I needed to learn how to edge highlight my models (thanks Tony). So I set forth with those two goals in mind for this army. Something I will rue (the very hard to base blue) as I go to add models to the army in the future, but for now I wanted to improve my painting skills. 

Today we are going to go over the first half of the Tau Force and the painting formula and techniques I used. These days I prime basically everything a nice mid tone grey. Since I airbrush on my base coat after that I wanted something that I could get even coverage with most every color. My base coat for these models is Minitaire werewolf blue. Once this was laid down nice and smooth across the model. I start inking the recesses in the model black. I used a mix of black paint, black ink and thinner at pretty much a 1:1:1 ratio. This gave me a deep dark black that ran along the recesses. I found that if I first traced out the recess with water in the brush I could get the ink/paint mix to flow along the recess without coming out. This is how I got all the black lines along the model. Then I edge highlighted using a mix of Snow Shadow and Pure White from the reaper master series. This gives a nice cool white paint that matches nicely with the blue base. 

For lenses I did your typical gem effect using greens and reds. For a nice detail contrasting color I ended up settling on a pumpkin orange. I really felt this helped the model to PoP! It also helped fall into the brightness color style I wanted to do with these models. So I picked out all the missles for the missle pods with orange, as well as some sensor nodes and details across the army. Of all the choices I made this orange really helped to bring the army to the next level and just give it some flair and style. As you can see on the Commander I also painted up a set of Flamers for him to swap out with, I didn’t end up using them at this point with the army but they would be used later when I would run a buff commander version of him rather than a Farsight enclave Commander.

When building my crisis teams I gave each unit of three a different shoulder mounted wargear option bit. This was to help mark units, they would all have the same bit. This helped in case I got them all into a large mixed melee bash or clustered together on the table. Join us next week for a list break down and the second third of the models, Riptide, Broadsides and Kroot. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sable System Narrative Campaign

Ultima Segmentum, Sable System

Astopathic distress beacon received. Civil unrest across system. PDF unable to suppress rising tide of civilian violence. Source unknown. System Governor requesting Astra Militarum support.

Inquisitional Addendum,

Astropathic message tainted with strong psychic spore. Vanus Temple agent assignes Primus level Chaotic cult, or incursion, as the source of increasing violence. Inquisitional Agents report people vanishing in the midst of night. Cult abductions or victims of the rising random violence? Imperial Tithe met at 95% last cycle. Projected disastrous decrease in Tithe levels for next cycle.

Overt support, grant Militarum aid to system Governor. Additionally, subversively task Inquisitional agents to locate Chaos cult activity. Activate Adeptus Astartes forces to eliminate threats discovered. 

Vanus agent assigned to monitor situation and provide updates.

Sable System Narrative Campaign:
Starting soon a narrative bi-weekly campaign to take place at Crossroads games run for you by me. As I am unable to attend the events I won’t be partaking but GM’ing the campaign to provide new missions each game turn as well as individual and faction bonuses or deficiencies based on previous turns. As a GM’d narrative campaign not all missions/games will be balanced. Please understand that the goal is to have fun with your opponent not at the expense of your opponent, and overall the missions will be balanced over the course of the campaign.
I am going to need someone else on site to help promote and bring players into the campaign as I’m just too far away to do that. That said I am happy to help GM the campaign and provide the narrative and missions for it. So anyone that would like to help out by being a face in the store to help organize “day of” and to point people at the missions and information would be great. If this gets rolling and people are heavily participating so “it is known” then that will be fine to.
That said players do not need to be organized into teams. Preferably same factions will not play each other, nor imperial on imperial but I’d rather people get in good games than hold anyone to this. As such we won’t be doing any formal teams but rather I will be tracking each player’s progress along with their faction. Thus each faction will be tracked as a whole as will the Imperium as a whole and these things will be forged into the narratives of each successive stage of the campaign. Some factions may get bonuses, some players may. It will be tailored each stage based on the results of your individual games and as a whole.
I’m initially thinking stages will be every couple weeks to allow people to easily get a game in for the campaign but still be able to play other games as well. If the group wants a faster or slower pace just come to a decision on Wednesday and let me know. I’ll adapt as needed.

Army build rules:
Standard to Crossroad games for most missions, but for your participation in the campaign I request that you please play the same primary faction through the campaign.  All 40k factions are allowed and will be provided more narratives once the composition of factions is known.
Game Reporting:
Please provide game results, and details as requested with each mission to the Crossroad forum

Campaign Stage 1:
Army size for this game is up the players for each game. I would recommend something in the 1700-200 range as the mission is going to force you together and casualties will be high.

Players should mutually agree or roll off to determine who the defender is and who the assaulter for this mission.

Place 4 objectives, one in each corner of the defenders deployment zone.
Defender deploys first within an area that is 18” from both table sides and 18” of the opponent’s table side. Defender is allowed one free Fortification. Choose one including upgrades up to a point cost of 100 points. You may also choose a fortification worth more than 100 points but any weapons are non-functional, if it has no weapon then the building AV value is reduced by 1. Defender may reserve as normal.

Attacker deploys no units and automatically goes first. All units are placed in deep strike reserve. Even units that normally cannot or are required to deploy by some other method. You may choose to either have the unit deploy turn 1, or be rolled for as normal starting turn 2. This is decided by not deep striking the unit on turn 1. Units that normally can deep strike will only scatter 1d6 instead of the normal 2d6. Also any units arriving turn 1 that mishap, automatically go into ongoing reserve rather than rolling on the mishap table.

Primary Objective:
+3 points per objective marker held at the end of the game.

Secondary Objective:
+1 Point: Slay the Warlord

Attacker gains +1 point per unit in defenders deployment zone at end of game. (Unit in this case is defined the same as for kill points below, thus a squad with an IC in the zone is worth two points.)

Defender gains +1 point per kill point earned game end. Attacker units that have not been deployed are counted as lost.

Missions Special Rules:
Variable Game Length, Night Fight turn 1. Modified Reserves (see deployment)

Mission Wrap up:
Please provide player names and factions played. Along with scores and role as Attacker/Defender. Also any notes about moments of notes during the game and acts of great heroics by characters from either side. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

4 years of 40k painting in review, Part 8

Welcome to the last few models for my Standish Standoff 2012 list. Also the last of my Grey Knights up until the writing of this article at least. I added "The Man" of the Inquisition, Coteaz. He is a heck of a deal for 100 points and brings a lot of function to a list. You all know this its been said before. So on to the important things. PAINTING! I opted to go with White armor. I wanted him to meld in with my purifiers but I felt the black armor was to flat and wanted to do something different. Turns out it gave me a cool grey/black/white color differential between my three inquisitors (see previous articles for the other two). The armor isn't the best to be sure it has some highlighting to it but not enough color depth to really do it justice. Still hadn't gotten into the whole idea that you need to start grey or dark grey to do white, but was starting with a very light grey base coat and going up from that. The washing helped to bring out the details and edgers in the armor so it at least worked somewhat. As stated some number of articles ago, I primarily use the reaper master series of paints. I like that they come in color trios, a shadow, a mid tone and a highlight. Helps to keep coloring the same across an army as your not mixing paint and for an amateur like me encourages me to actually do several layers of coloring. 

What did work however is his red cloak. I think the depth of color on that really came out well and even photographs well. I've always licked this trio and worked it a lot with confrontation models. The blood angel coloring is a brighter red than this but I think this just comes out as a deep regal red. I used my traditional shortcuts for painting gold, painted everything a chestnut gold first as a base then put on the antique gold followed by a black wash. I do this so the gold goes on in one thin coat, the chestnut takes maybe one or two thin coats to cover even black. Its a yellowed brown so higher darker pigment count that covers well. I recommend this to anyone painting gold. Its a great shortcut and perhaps more attainable than using alcohol metallics. Used some basic dry brushing and washing to do the fur and feathers I find for organic materials these rough and ready painting styles work best as they introduce some flaws that all natural things have. 

Next addition to the force was a Techmarine. I didn't have a specific role for this guy other than to get him to man the quad gun with his higher ballistic skill or provide a little support to a unit that needs it. I opted for a deeper red than even the cloak on Coteaz. I felt the martian red would be a deeper brick like red rather than a blood red that GW likes to use all the time. Once more edge highlighting would really transform this model, and when I paint up the other 2 I have I likely will go back to this model to touch it up then. I opted to use a lot of blue for counter coloring in picking out details. This helps him blend in with the Purifiers who have similar coloring on the Psi-cannons. I didn't do much with the servo harness. I ran out of inspiration as well as time and just needed to wrap him up for the event. Picked a few details out in gold and brass but mostly just bolter with a black wash. I think with the next ones I'll use some green with wiring as well and do more brass and copper int he harness to separate details. Also using a brown wash like agrax earth shade on different parts to put a machine oil texture to the model. 

 Alright last model for the week my Storm Raven. The paint scheme is somewhat generic and no grey knight bling is on this model as I planned to use it with my Blood angel force as well. I should have added the details would have helped me to break up the model. Once again we can see my struggle to paint large flat surfaces. I just don;t know how to give them color depth like with the cloak. Edge highlighting isn't a tool in my bag yet nor is using an airbrush for anything more than putting a single color down across the whole model. These days I like to use pre-shading along joints and edges before dropping that base coat down with a little surface blending to bring the color up (more on that in future articles). Then I go back and edge highlight. However that is now and this is still 3 years ago. I will say however that the canopy came out great. I did something like 12-13 colors blended across it and it just came out great. Super stoked with the end result. Helps to draw the eyes away from the crappy hull paint job and focus you on something bright and blue and actually painted well.