Posts Tagged ‘40k’

Tau of War

Posted: August 11, 2018 in 40k
Tags: , ,

These have been a very, very long time in coming. I got my first Tau models at about the time I was graduating high school. At the time, I tried emulating the color scheme showcased in the first (at the time, only) Tau codex. I loved the way that it looked both colorful and suitably military at the same time. But once I’d got as far in as some Stealth Suits, a unit of Fire Warriors and a Hammerhead Gunship, I’d had enough. The orange-y Vomit Brown proved a massive pain to get suitable coverage with, and each figure had to be blacklined with ink and painstakingly edge-highlighted.

I then embarked on a literally decade-long quest to find a new color scheme, one that would satisfy my three (nearly mutually exclusive) goals: colorful, at least vaguely military, and quick and easy to paint. This journey had uncountable false ends and pauses – I’m honestly not sure exactly how many fire warriors were sacrificed to paint scheme tests. As new products came on the market, I pursued each as a possible solution. Quickshade, new primers, various washes. A couple times I thought to put my foot down and settle for what I had found, in some cases getting as far in as a couple units done, but the question would still gnaw away at the back of my mind.

Until finally, at long last, I saw a great beacon shining out from the shelves of paint. I beheld a can of Zandri Dust spray paint, and it was good.

It is colorful, but still a suitable military camouflage. The bottled paint and the spray match beautifully, making touchups simple. By thinning my usual Strong Tone wash with Lamian Medium, I can shade it effectively. It contrasts well with my favorite Vallejo Burned Red accent color and high-tech, bright blue lenses.

And so, here is the final beginning of my collection of Tau. Even though it may wait in between other projects, even though I may never paint everything I’ve collected, even though I may never play an actual game with it, I know that at last my journey is at an end.

The first coat of paint I put on this Crisis suit was in 2005.

I wanted the edge highlighting to be fairly subtle, so I went back with the Zandri Dust after the wash step. It stands out a bit more IRL, but it’s not as clear in these pictures.

I quite like the pose of the Ethereal, but the hover drone was a bit much. Clipping out letters from the transfer sheet and applying them all to his tabard was a pain, but I’m pleased with the final result.

I’ve always preferred the look of the original metal XV-15 stealthsuits (and I have two units of them – one still bare metal, and one finished long ago in my original scheme) but these were cheap to pick up used. They’ll be accompanied by a gaggle of Marker Drones.

DEATH FRISBEES. If these guys work, why isn’t the whole Tau army just drones? Stop fighting the unspeakable monsters and skull-covered zealots yourself and just send the robots.

Like with the stealthsuits, I prefer the original Broadside. I did, however, swap his ordinary Crisis suit head for the one from the newer Broadside kit (bits trades are awesome!)

Thanks for reading!

-Chris

Advertisements

The Ork Project: High Flyers

Posted: May 22, 2018 in 40k
Tags: , ,

So here’s what started it all. Way back in “the day”, I picked up the Ork Bommer kit just because it looked cool. I had no intention of using the model in a game, no intention of playing orks, or 40k at all for that matter. And now I’m typing this while sitting next to a whole display case of the little green bastards!

Since I went the retrohammer route, I still doubt that I’ll ever have this model on the tabletop, but having finally finished it I’m still super pleased at just how cool it looks. So here is Deth Punk

The kit is so large, it ends up exposing the limits of my improvised photo backdrop (a self-adhesive whiteboard panel I found on clearance at Staples).

This bomb is quite happy to meet you…

While it’s tricky to see under the finished canopy, I love the detail and expressiveness they’ve put into this kit for the grot gunner and his little turret.

The airbrush was quite handy for basecoating here. The stripes were masked and sprayed, but in hindsight doing them freehand with a brush would probably have worked just as well.

A base this big needs some extra bitz. The I-beam posts are plasticard, and the rusted gears are actually parts from an old CD-ROM drive. The barbed wire is from Army Painter. The barrel is a resin cast of my very own entirely proprietary design – perhaps at some point I’ll get around to selling those.

But if you’re already looking up in the sky, you might also spot some more trouble on the horizon. What’s more dangerous than an Ork? An Ork with a jetpack!

I hadn’t planned on having a unit of Stormboyz in my collection, but one of my coworkers was selling some of his stuff including these guys and I picked them up pretty cheap, and already assembled too. This is another kit where I think GW did a great job expressing the crazy ramshackle look. Although I really, really need to pick up some washers to weigh down the bases – the dynamic leaping poses leave these figures quite top-heavy and more than a few have decided to swan dive right off of terrain in the middle of a game.

They’re not a bad as Burnas, but all the little harnesses and jetpack detail definitely mean that they take quite a bit longer to paint than regular boyz.

Gotta love the Mad Bomber Ork!

As always, thanks for reading!

-Chris

Skitarii Combat-Partition Hekate_7

Posted: March 31, 2018 in 40k, Shadow War
Tags: , ,

As I mentioned back in my post about the Sons of Entropy, after Shadow War: Armageddon came out and I discovered that I’d need more than cultists to run a Chaos kill-team, I switched gears and started building Skitarii. I think I made a bit of a mistake in planning, though – I had reasoned that since I needed so few of them, I might as well put extra time and effort into painting them. Unfortunately, while I managed to finish all six that would feature in the starting team, during an SWA campaign I’d almost certainly need to add a few more, and trying to push myself painting these guys just left me feeling burned out. While I’m quite happy with the end result, I’m not sure I’ll actually end up using them in a campaign as I originally intended.

The Skitarii miniatures look really cool, but they’re a bit odd by the standards of GW’s other (perhaps older) multipart kits that I’m used to. Each part is much more specific to each figure and the set is less flexible and posable overall. That may be a necessity given their appearance, with specific legs to go with specific torsos because of their cloaks, etc but it caught me out a bit as I dove in without paying as much attention to the directions as I should have, and then had problems down the line getting parts to match up and align properly.

The cloaks are what ate up most of my painting time and effort – a really cool effect, but a lot of time layering…

Partition Leader Alpha Hekate_7

 

Ranger Int_31, the first of three armed with Galvanic Rifles to form the base of the team’s firepower

 

Ranger Modulo_5

 

Ranger Skaro_27

 

Ranger Cherno_84. His primary directive is to safeguard his Transuranic Arquebus – the weapon is considerably more valuable than its wielder.

 

3_Var, a Fresh-Forged yet to be tested in combat. His Radium Carbine will ensure that he proves himself suitable or will be destroyed in the attempt.

With the blessings of the Glorious Machine, the only logical outcome is the annihilation of our enemies!

Thanks for reading!

The Ork Project: Gunz, Gunz, Gunz

Posted: February 17, 2018 in 40k
Tags: , ,

I’m not even sure if Big Gunz are still a thing in current 40k, or if they’ve been replaced entirely by the much larger (and far newer) Mek Gunz. While there’s nothing wrong with the Mek Gunz kit (aside from the price), I’m a little disappointed that it doesn’t include classics like the good old Zzap Gun. Considering that I play 4th Edition, I found myself a bit caught between the truly ancient Big Gunz models and the too-large and too-pricy Mek Gunz. Easy answer: GET ORKY AND BUILD SOME! Let’s get zzapping!

And here they are in their raw plastic glory, surrounded by the debris of creation. Let’s do this before-and-after style…

The first one I made up – the body of the gun is the remains of a broken LED finger light. I started from there and built outwards. The carriage is mostly plasticard, followed by plenty of bitz.

I liked the idea of a split trail, classic anti-tank gun style. The gun itself is from the Rockgrinder kit (more mileage out of that one!) with a barrel from a Dakkajet supa-shoota and a grot-prod tip on the end for the zzappy bit. The whole thing is actually held together by the wheel axle, which runs all the way through the gun, the sides (square styrene tube) and into the wheels.

Bit more straightforward on the last one. A battlewagon zzap gun, with a gun shield added and mounted on a cruciform base made of plastic I-beams. Extra bits to taste.

But they won’t be doing much killin’ looking all grey and plastic. Time for some Glorious Full Color:

pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew pew

Suitably grunged-up with sponge chipping and washes.

I tried to make the coil at the back look like it’s all glowy and pulsing. It… sort of worked. Good enough!

I really liked the idea of little oscilloscope-looking screens on the side. I can’t imagine the grots manning the thing have any idea what it means, though. Just pull the lever, stupid.

Thanks for reading!

The Ork Project: Biggest and Smallest

Posted: January 16, 2018 in 40k
Tags: , ,

Any proper warboss needs a badass ride to drive to (and into) the enemy. I wavered on spending the money to pick up the Genestealer Cult rockgrinder kit for conversion fodder, but the opportunity to build this is what ended up clinching it. I actually managed to get pretty good mileage out the rockgrinder – you’ll see more of it popping up later. But for now, say hello to Super Beast…

Nothing quite like driving over your enemies in a saw-tipped metal monstrosity named after a Rob Zombie song.

The business end, also featuring an insignia I particularly favor (WITNESS!). I laser-cut it out of fiberboard. I’d like to feature it in more parts of the army, but this is about the smallest that the laser I have access to can accurately cut. I’ve designed a version for casting to fix this problem, but I haven’t got around to finishing it yet.

In order to be truly finished it needs side gunners with two more big shootas, but I’m calling it good enough to use in games for now. I’ve also magnetized the top turret so I can upgrade it further if desired.

But what if your ride breaks down and you need somewhere someone to take cover behind while you bash it back into shape?

In their three games so far, these grots have had a bit of a mixed bag – ranging from being sucked into the warp while standing in front of a malfunctioning Shokk Attack Gun, to being unceremoniously shot to death by Chaos Space Marines, to the heights of glorious triumph when they managed to gun down a single Necron Warrior (also while standing in front of a malfunctioning Shokk Attack Gun).

But when you need bullets caught, there’s none more trustworthy. Wouldn’t you trust this face?

Thanks for reading!