Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Tervigon poop

The last of my monstrous creatures for the army list is now painted.  I chose the Tervigon behind door number 2:  Gertie:

Tilly, Gertie and Tubbs.   These 3 lovely ladies promise you a frighteningly good time.  And they'll have your babies.

God knows when I'll get round to re-painting the other two.  I never even finished painting Tubb's first colour scheme.  Tilly (left) was an early conversion.  This was back in the good old days when the Tyranid codex was a converter's wet dream.  Games Workshop very sensibly decided to give the the Tervigon the best rules in the book but not provide you with a model to actually play them with.  This caused some bemusement and consternation amongst Nid players who promptly bought them from 3rd parties. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and lawsuits and sad faces.  Other brave souls decided to go the converter's route, me included.  This was partly because I was buying more models than was strictly healthy for me and I had quite a few spares.  I loved the Trygon model kit so much that I bought 5 of them.  Don't ever tell my wife this or she will retaliate by buying more shoes.  When we moved house recently we had to use a crate to pack all her shoes.  I don't think I've ever seen her wear the same pair twice.

"Get that one will you, Deirdre?"  Bloody Tervigons.  Filling the world up with children they can't afford to bloody feed.

Having bought a stupid amount of Trygons I only actually built one.  The rest were turned into a Mawloc, 2 Tervigons and my red haired step child of a Harpy which I can no longer bear to look at.  Of course, when GW finally got round to creating an official model I had to buy one of those as well.  Hence the motley assemblage above.  I only actually need one for my current army list (although using all  three certainly makes for a fun six hour game).  If I'd known how many termagants I would have to paint in order to give Gertie and Co. enough babies to poop out I might have given up playing Warhammer there and then.

Tyranid anal mucus.  Lovingly modeled with a hot glue gun.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Modelling for Advantage. The Swarmlord.

I stopped dicking around and declared The Swarmlord finished.  Its the only model I have finished painting in my proposed list for Call To Arms.  This is slightly worrying since the tournament is in 6 days.  To be fair, all of the army list is at least 80% done.  The trouble is that the remaining 20% is mostly boring shit like edge highlighting and basing which I really don't want to do.  Swarmy started out life as a Flyrant conversion:

I was going through a particularly bad phase of acid flashbacks when I painted this.

 (Pro Tip:  Never, ever buy a Finecast Hive Tyrant.  Unless you actually enjoy filling in gaps with Liquid Greenstuff or want to model him in a sort of death pose, riddled with Las Cannon holes.  The newer plastic kit however is sublime.)  I still have those wings from the above incarnation of the model which I made out of plasticard and those wierd, overlarge Warrior arms.  In fact I can still model Swarmy as a Flyrant since I magnetised all the arm and head options:

Box-o-Tyrants(TM).  Hurrah for Magnets!

Anyhoo, this is how he has ended up and I'm fairly chuffed:


I haven't even started painting Fido.  Fido is The Swarmlord's faithful sidekick Tyrant Guard, all round bullet soaker and waste of 60 points.  He exists solely to die.  You might as well use a coin or a marker to indicate that Swarmy has an extra 2 ablative wounds.  Ok, strictly speaking Fido has some close combat attacks and rending or something like that but the truth is that he will be dead by Turn 2, waaay before he gets into melee.  It is something of a concern that Swarmy has no ranged attacks either.  The only psychic powers I'm going to be rolling on him are Iron Arm and Endurance.  And in the brave new world of 6th edition this might not be enough to survive the blitzkrieg that is Tau or Eldar shooting.  Or Dark Eldar filthiness.  Grey Knights have a plethora of 'I-Win' buttons.  He was promptly handed his arse in a game last week when two Stormravens dropped 4 mindstrike missiles on him in one turn.  No saves of any kind for Perils of the Warp.  The fact that he stands almost as tall as a Flying Hive Tyrant doesn't do him any favours either.  I should have converted the model curled up into a ball behind a pillar.  He might as well hang a sign round his neck saying, "Real men don't take cover saves" or "D-cannon head-shot plz"

But, by golly, you should see him in close combat.  He is an absolute bastard.  I've seen him kill an Ork Warboss and his entire retinue of Meganobz in one phase of combat. He rips open Land Raiders like tin foil and feasts on the sweet meats inside. Paladins run screaming like girls. (Ok, those nemesis force weapons add a bit of spice to proceedings but we'll gloss over that).

My sole aim in life at the moment is to one-shot a Riptide.  I don't care if he dies horribly in the process, I just want to kill something with 5-6 wounds in one turn.  Its not like other codices don't get the chance.  I wept salt tears the first time I faced Jaws of the World Wolf with my 3 Tervigon list.

The base is symbolic of 'Shadows in the Warp'.   Or Mint Choc-Chip ice cream.  You decide.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Death from below (occasionally)

Sorted out the Mawloc. A bit of an under performer, but I love the model.  Once you explain to your opponents that this subterranean killer can deliberately deep strike underneath the enemy for strength 6 damage, you might see a flicker of anxiety cross their face.  However 66% of the time he will pop up in the middle of nowhere with his arse hanging out in the breeze and no shooting attacks. The one time in three that he actually bursts up from underground where you intended, he'll kill three or four red shirts.  Watch your opponent's frown turn into a smirk.  Oh, I think he slam dunked a rhino once.  Whoop-de-doo.  He also mishaps off the board quite regularly. I'm not a very good player.  I guess whats good about him is the surprise bogeyman element. My opponents nearly always focus fire him when he appears in their midst (which makes him a good distraction unit I suppose).  They don't realise that he only has 3 attacks and crappy weapon skill.  Sure, you can hit and run and then burrow for another 'death from below' but you just wasted a turn with a 170pt model.  Shame really.

The Mawloc was my first conversion.  Sadly, I also think he's my best which means I'm not really getting better at this.  When I was building him I was annoyed that he was looking downward.  I thought that the mouth was his best feature and awesome modelling from GW.  But you couldn't see all it's gory detail on the tabletop.  Plus the tail, whilst nice, wasn't very dynamic.  I wanted him bursting, nay thrusting, up through the ground like in the codex picture and rules.  If you look at Trygon/Mawloc conversions in general on the internet you can see that lots of people had the same idea.  So I started farting around with blu-tac (which is the best kit-bashing tool in the known universe) and re-posing him:

I bought a whole Basilica Administratum just to create the floor tiles (I stole the paper clips from work.  Pro-Tip: Paper clips make awesome steel rebars for modelling. Painting them silver is optional)  This was when I had more money than sense (and a better camera).  Many weeks later, after chopping and sawing more of my fingers than the actual model I came up with this.

 Feeling very pleased with myself I took him to the local wargaming club for an awesome "Terror From The Deep" narrative experience.  He promptly did sweet F.A. for the entire game. My Eldar adversary blew him into steaming chunks of dog food from range, laughing gaily all the time.  Ha ha-ha!  All Eldar/Elves laugh gaily.  Thats why I refuse to play them.  That was 2 years ago and Mr. Mawloc was banished to the naughty shelf, never to be used in competitive play again.  But now he's back, with a shiny new paint scheme (Hive Fleet Nidrot) and he's ready for the new and improved, 6th edition deep strike mishap table:

Watch it baldy

Mawlocs have no sense of direction

Wait until you can see the whites of their eyes!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Well that was worse than I thought it would be.  About 15 hours to paint stripey Termagaunts.  It took me all weekend and most of Monday night.  Granted there were long periods of weeping, hysteria and staring vacantly into space humming to myself.  However, I estimate that I was actually painting for 15 hours.  If only I could channel all that effort into something useful.  Like jewelry making.  I could be making a fortune in polished bead necklaces or friendship bracelets.  I work with a woman who makes doll's house furniture in her spare time and sells it at the local flea market.  She doesn't make much but she makes enough to keep doing it.  I must be mad.  I don't even like Termagants.  Stupid, bloody, guardsmen statline, pistol wielding, tar pitting, bubble wrap, shit eating, cannon fodder.

Having said all that, I was quite pleased with the stripey effect:

Do they look the same as the original paint job?  Was it worth 15 hours?  Huh? Huh?!

Of course, they aren't finished.  I still have to base 20 of them and ruin the eyes and teeth trying to get blobs of paint into crevices that are too small to see with the naked eye.  "Oh sweet sonny Jesus! I just painted half his face orange!"  That's what black washes are for.  Throw copious amounts of Nuln Oil over the top of your fat-fingered-fudge-ups.  Its like sunshine, it makes everything look better.  But it will have to wait until a later date.  I can't bear to look at another gaunt right now.  And the tournament is only 2 weeks away.  I think I'll finish off the Mawloc next since he only needs a bit of touching up.

Sunday, 14 July 2013


I don't play Starcraft. Actually, I do fire up the game every now and again and push buttons, but any self respecting Starcraft gamer would not call this 'playing'.  So this post isn't named particularly well.  I do have nice horde of gribblies shaping up though:

Where's Wally?
The carapaces are all basecoated and ready for their stripey bits.  They look pretty good when they are all painted the same way.  There's something about serried ranks of toy soldiers all uniformly painted which appeals to the inner geek.  I think its why wargamers muck around with armies from the Napoleonic or American Civil wars rather than just playing chess.  All those brightly coloured tunics and banners lined up in rank and file, closely packed and eagerly awaiting the grape shot from enemy cannon.  Its probably more rewarding and fun than painting and playing with guerrilla warfare soldiers but I reckon it goes deeper than that.  If you give a boy a box of Lego he'll build a wall or a house. If you give him a load of matchbox toy cars he'll usually line them all up. Then mix them all up making 'brumm, brumm' noises and line them up again.  I know adult gamers who display this sort of behaviour, making 'shooshing' noises when their flyers come in from reserve. We probably have an innate need to impose order on the world around us coupled with a need to pretend that we drive fast vehicles.  40k satisfies this need quite well.  Anyhoo, I better get back to it.  Those gaunts won't paint themselves you know.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Pointless Goals

Well I thought I only set unrealistic and/or pointless goals at work, but it seems to be a worrying trait in other areas now.  Having decided to repaint all my termagants, I clumped them all together and took a picture:

We Represent The Lullaby League

This was to convey the sheer scale of my task and impress upon the reader how much effort I would have to put in to get through this marathon of a job.

In truth, it doesn't look all that bad.  I've already finished the skin and the guns only need a wash.  I mainly just need to repaint the carapaces.  But looking at the picture, there isn't much wrong with the current carapaces and I'm basically painting them the same colour (red/vomit brown stripes).  From a distance the casual observer won't be able to tell the difference.  And it doesn't look like a lot of models anyway in the photo.  It doesn't look like 72 at any rate (did I lose some?  I can't bring myself to count)  And they suffer 90% casualties in the first turn of a game anyway, what with all the shitey template weapons out there.  I try to keep them in a line and spaced out but they always end up clumping.  I blame the Instinctive Behaviour rule.  I remember one of those Furioso dreadnoughts liquidising an entire 20 strong brood a turn  once with those food blender thingies on the end of its hands.  An incredibly exciting and enjoyable 10 minutes of my life spent moving/running/charging up to the slaughter.  Maybe I should play WFB.  You get movement trays then.  You can model flowers and bits of scenery on them.  Its ace.

Anyway, this is pretty much why I'm writing this Godawful blog.  If 'painters block' wasn't such a lame term I'd use it (I guess I just did).  Regardless, I can't be arsed finishing them.  So I drill holes in other models and void my inane thoughts out into the aether via the wonderful medium of the internet.

I should just stop whinging really and get on with it, shouldn't I?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Head Transplant Complete

Pro-Tip: When you buy a Dremel rotary tool you should totally destroy all your carefully painted models with it. You know you have spare heads.

Despite being upgraded to a Swarmlord, the Tyrant was still mostly armless.

The Spore Chimney didn't fare so well but bollocks to it, a lick of paint and it'll be right as ninepence.

I could try to pass it off as snow effects I suppose

 The gargoyles were an unqualified success. Fortunately I didn't start hacking away at the models and just drilled holes in the bases for magnets. Gargoyles are the spawn of Satan when it comes to transportation, or storage or even just picking them up. The little feckers actually seem to intertwine with each other when you aren't looking. You have to disentangle a clump of them when you open the box, all clinging to each other with their stupid, bloody little claws. Well, no longer friends, because I magnetised the bastards to a metal tray:

Or maybe I just turned the camera on its side

At some point I'll stop pissing about and actually paint everything in time for Call-To-Arms.  Its a bad day when you'd rather destroy a perfectly good Hive Tyrant head or update a failed blog than paint 72 termagants.  Actually, that's fairly appropriate behaviour.  I swore faithfully to myself a year ago that I would never paint another Termagant again.  And I'm not just painting them, I'm re-painting them.  That's masochism that is.