Sunday, 15 March 2020

Bring your daemons to work day

I actually read some alternative sci-fi this month rather than absently pleasuring myself with 40k bolter porn.  Hyperion by Dan Simmons is a good read, isn't it?  I had to stop and think about it in-between sessions rather than just leaving my money on the dresser and disappearing into the night.  I even rewound some bits just to aid with the digestion (Audible has changed my life, the printed word is so.. déclassé). At first, I couldn't get acclimatised and my brain kept tripping over apparent contradictions of the lore.

"Oh that kind of heresy would never be tolerated in such a heavily populated hive city!  So this must be in the Age of Strife or something, because The Emperor is barely mentioned at all!  Wait a minute! Farcaster network?! Teleportation is a costly and often violently catastrophic method of transportation!  What is this 'farcasting' nonsense?"

But eventually I settled in and reminded myself that the 41st millenium isn't the only science fiction/fantasy setting out there, even though it's probably my favourite.

I thought that I might as well do some hobbying while I was at it, but Squaduary had left me burnt out.  I didn't feel like continuing any major projects so I unboxed my last Magos Dominus and decided to use him as a test model for the 4 legged version I made back in January.

A bit of light conversion work wouldn't hurt and I cut off the walking cane to give the impression of his hand pointing at something.  This made him look like an old man trying to read a bus timetable.  So I gave him a book to read.  Which needed a book stand. The sad fate of the C.A.T., rescued from the bowels of the Space Hulk all those years ago, was to wind up in a forgotten laboratory, deep in the bowels of a heretical forgeworld.  Its once-human, almost primitive mind forcibly melded with the semi-sentient cogitation machine embedded into the structure of this defiled place.

Unfortunately that hid his face and the pointing finger.  I resolved to make him taller, reaching for the tentacle maker.  But I didn't have it with me, I'd lent it to Alistair and therefore an excavation of the bits box was in order. I came across a Corpsemaster on the steps of a Mortis Engine.  Damn!  That could actually work!  Time to go down the rabbit hole.

 Since tentacles were off the menu, how to make the mechadendrites more interesting?  This was when I really started to have fun.  I count at least eight acts of treason on the model now.  Contravening all that is most sacred to Ordo Xenos, Malleus and Hereticus.

1. Consorting with daemons.
2. Use of proscribed reading materials.
3. Profaning an Inquisitorial textbook.
4. Possession of and experimentation with alien artefacts.
5. Utilisation of non-standard fire fighting equipment.
6. Possession of Nurgle tainted household tools.
7. Illegal hybridisation of cogitator and servitor core processors.
8. Innappropriate use and mutation of house plants.

If the Inquisition happened across this poor fellow at his workstation, they'd nuke the entire site from orbit.  But he seems happy enough.  Just another day at the office.

My treemap is filling up slowly but surely.  I've signed up for Maelstrom XIII in May which will give me something to tilt at.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Squaduary Stretch Goals

 Batch painting is the pits.  Until you're done and then you're like, "Yeah baby, I'm a lean, mean painting machine!"  Overcome by ADHD I kept being distracted by Evil Dead Ash.  He was such a pleasing conversion, I wanted him to shine.  So I just slowed down and started painting him on his own.  Yeah, it wasted time but it was also good because my paints were ready and I could just carry on with the rest of the squad.  If I paint one rim, I might as well do all 10 while I'm here.  When I got deathly bored with the troops I went back to making Evil Dead Ash look spruce and manly.  It worked out quite well and seemed less of a chore as a result.  In fact, this is the first time I've enjoyed batch painting since, well.. forever.

Listening to the Ravenor trilogy on audio book also helped.  I'd forgotten just how good that series is.  Abnett, Haley and Dembski-Bowden are the holy trinity for me.  I have to be quite circumspect with Black Library these days and have several unfinished, forgotten Horus Heresy books lying around now.

I kept thinking of a comment by Siph in a previous post where he advised me to equip the squads with an Omnispex.  I checked back and it appears I have only built one of these out of all 30.  Time for a bit of creative, lazy-ass thinking.  So I came up with this:

Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up.  See this?  This is my BOOMSTICK!  It's a modified Arkhan pattern Galvanic Rifle with elongated barrel for increased effective range**. S-MARTian's top of the line.  You can find this is in the sporting goods department of select manufactorum outlets. Thats right, this sweet baby was made in Forgeworld Monkeychuka.  It retails for about #109.95.  It's got a walnut stock, adamantium blue steel with polished brass curlicues.

Plus!! This week, on special offer, is the Mark II Slaaneshi Omnisex Headset.  Providing 360 degree tactical battlefield data via remote view hololith projection.  Comes with multi-target painting runes and thrice blessed IFF indicators as standard.

Fully detachable, retractable and rechargeable for when you absolutely need to look bad-ass with your hood up.  Yours for only #99.99.

But that's not all!  For a limited time only, the Mark I Omnisex is just #49.99!  Great value with only mild side effects.  Hurry while stocks last!

Shop smart.  Shop S-MARTian! ***  Ya got that?  Now I swear, the next one of you primates, even touches me... eeurgggh!! Failed Ld test! Damn! I knew I should have bought the data tether.

** - requires Tech Priest Manipulus noosphere connection.

*** - Terms and conditions apply.  Your sanity is at risk if you do not make proper obesiance and warding incantations on all Sado-MARTian (TM) apparatus.  Product contains nuts.

All 30.  Done.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Squaduary - week 3

Starting to feel the burn now.  I am definitely over Skitarii.  Got to keep reminding myself that this is the last batch and then I've finished all 30.  I've just been doing an hour, maybe two, a day after dinner.

I've blocked out all the main colours and it's just down to finishing the detailing, highlighting and bases on the models.  The backpacks are detached and still only primed.  On target and confident I will get these done in a week.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Squaduary - Week 2?

'Finally Finished'.  You see that expression all the time on forums and social media.  "Hey guys, I finally finished my <<insert latest project here>>!".  I try to avoid using it, because somehow it implies that I wasn't going to finish or that I didn't really want to.  Or that it took so goddamn long to finish that I secretly wish I hadn't started.  But in this case it's appropriate.  I finally finished my second batch of Skitarii!

Except I haven't really finished because there's a 3rd batch to go.  I have to admit it's a bit of a chore now.  I thought about making the Squaduary pledge to keep the momentum going but I'd started this project in January so it was more or less cheating.  However, Thousand Eyes from Stepping Between Games was kind enough to let me join in and the final 10 Skitarii were not even built until last week so they definitely count.  Most other people who have pledged a squad are still in the early stages of  painting (apart from DAM who appears to be nearly finished, dam him) so that puts my troops at about the same level.  It should be good and having a deadline will help me get across the line before the dreaded hobby ennui kicks in.

I converted 3 Transonic Aruquebus rifles for this batch, taking the total up to 6.  I didn't want to waste time and money with a faithful re-creation so they were cobbled together almost entirely using spare parts from the box.  The stock, receiver and muzzle/sights are made from Radium Carbines. I've got lots of these spare since I didn't build any Vanguard.  The main barrel is from a Galvanic Rifle and the monopod stands are taser goads.  I used bolt pistol magazines for the ammunition clips.

My spreadsheet has been audited by the Holy Inquisition and is telling the stark truth again.  But I feel motivated to finally finish!  The troops, at any rate.

So week 3 is fine detailing.  With Contrast Paint.  Marvellous!

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Echoes from the Warp

The warpstorm in my garage had abated; receding into the unreality from whence it came.  Like a storm swell which had run its course, the tides of the immaterium ebbed, leaving long forgotten detritus in their wake.  One of these items glinted in the dust-bunny darkness beneath the fridge. Beached treasure waiting to be discovered.  It was the Iron Halo of Captain Precarius, commander of my Red Scorpions detachment, missing presumed lost over a year ago now.

This revelation occurred whilst I was inflicting some mild heresy on one of my Skitarii Rangers.  I was about to perform cranial surgery on a hapless Alpha when his head pinged off the sprue under the pressure of the clippers.  I was quick enough to see it skitter across the concrete floor towards the refrigerator. When I bent to retrieve it, there was the Iron Halo, in plain view.  I was completely flummoxed.  It can't have been there before.

I remember searching the garage meticulously all those months ago.  Surely I would have seen it?  The only explanation was the supernatural.  Of course it was warp tainted now.  The Skitarii Ranger wanted to try it on and since no agent of the Imperium would ever want to touch the corrupted thing, I let him.  It lent him a certain Electropriest air but he didn't like it much. However he was wearing a despoiled holy relic of the Astartes now and he had ideas above his station.  "Got anything more... spiky?" he asked.

I sighed and sifted through the bits box until I came across some whip handles from a Witch Aelf set.  "Will these do?", I suggested.  "01000111 01110010 01101111 01101111 01110110 01111001!!" he said, in his best Bruce Campbell voice.  I decided to leave the purity seals on.  He doesn't know he's Dark Mechanicum.  He still believes in the Omnissiah, bless him.  Besides, removing 70 plus purity seals from 30+ models sounds a bit too puritanical for me.

Meanwhile, back in the land of the living, I have still not painted the second batch of Rangers.  It's giving me hives.  I did update my spreadsheet.  But I started cheating and ticking things off as done when they're not finished.  That's the other thing about statistics.  When those in charge don't like them, they just fix the underlying data.

This is my boomstick!

Friday, 7 February 2020

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

It's true that you can make statistics say pretty much whatever you want.  Take the chart below for example which seems to indicate that I have painted half an army.  In reality, I have painted 15 models out of 39 which is more than a third but definitely not half. 

38% being a fairly depressing statistic, I decided to split the total by points cost rather than model count.  A Knight Warden is much larger and harder to paint than a Skitarii Ranger right?  So its got to be worth more in real terms.  Interestingly, the relative sizes suggest that the Onager Dunecrawlers look a bit undercosted in painting effort.  Maybe in gaming terms too? Should I spam them?  I've gone for 6 snipers which doubles the number in the kits I bought (more conversions. Nice.). That's perfectly acceptable cheese so why not add more Onager redundancy?  No!  No more purchases until this is done!

Anyway, I'm still dicking about and haven't finished the next squad.  The Techpriest Enginseer was lumped in with this painting batch.  The more I painted it, the more I realised what an interesting sculpt it is.  His legs are massively armoured and wide and I imagine his gait would be slow and ponderous.  His axe is actually a giant monkey wrench.  Just think of the cyclopean sized sinks he could unblock with that thing!

I decided to give him a bit more love than the standard troops.  He is an HQ after all.  So I put more spot colours in and was careful to stay in the lines (mostly).  Did a bit of recess shading, painted more details and used more washes.  I'm quite pleased with him although the maxillofacial dendrites look like a jumbled mess.  I was going for that look but could have used less tentacles.  I've got to curb my tentacle addiction.

With the Enginseer looking all nice and buff, I thought I'd give a little more love to the Alphas as well.  They're still painted in the same colours but with more detail than the job lot of Rangers.  Which are still not done!  At least I'm not muttering to myself, twitching and complaining loudly to nobody at all that edge highlighting was invented by the Devil.  So that's got to be good.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Inception level sidetracked

The trouble with plans is that they go awry.  I was already bored painting Skitarii and decided to change the recipe to make it more efficient.  Hagen mentioned using contrast paint over layer paint rather than the base coat and I thought I'd try it out on Vallejo silver.

It looks pretty good although I still had to highlight the brass and silver edging.   So not much time saved but I was on a roll and decided to try Cygor Brown on the rifle instead of the 2 step Skeleton Horde and Rhinox Hide.  Finally, I changed up the spot colour, using Warlock Purple and Pink horror instead of red.  I threw a Reikland Fleshshade glaze over the top and put a coat of it over one of the finished bases to make it match the more reddish brown marble effect on my vehicles more consistently.  Not bad, not bad at all.  I was now ready to paint the next 10 Skitarii with my new and improved recipe.

Then the LVO reveals came out on the Warhammer Community page.  Batplanes, Cowboy Skitarii and Flying Monkeys!  Very excited!  My wallet started to weep uncontrollably in my pocket.  I ignored its plaintiff cries and began fantasising about what heresy I could achieve with the new models.

This got me in a converting mood, so I went back to the Spider Onager and started thinking about weaponising it.   I built the various options from the original Onager and decided I liked the Icarus Array the best.  A couple of spare autocannon thingies from the Lord Discordant kit will do nicely.  But then I got bored and nothing about it seemed as exciting as flying monkeys.

I felt the need to destroy something, so I chopped up the legs from my second Armiger kit and messed around with different poses.  Nothing seemed right and a short spell on YouTube watching films about sprinting ostriches seemed like a good idea.

This got the creative juices flowing and I've now got the basic shape and idea for my Nurgle themed Armiger Warglaive.

The pose I want will be quite difficult to achieve since the whole model has to be balanced on the toes of one foot.  I'm going to have to run a shitload of brass rods through that leg to make it work.  A solid base was needed to work from so I cut up some more scenery and created a bit of scaffolding to hold up the torso while I work on the leg.  The scaffold slots into a hole in the base.

Then I realised I had made an unholy mess.  Distraction upon distraction upon distraction and nothing finished.  My paint station looked like a medieval torture chamber.  I need to calm down and take stock.

But sometimes when the ideas come you've just go to go with the flow.  Discipline is for the servants of the False Emperor!