Top Stories

February 26, 2007

Ork Battlefortress, Part 4

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I had a productive weekend. My wife and son were out of town, so I had a lot of time to work on the battle fortress. I got the engine, cab and roller done as well as trimming down the top and putting in the ‘observation deck’.

I was very pleased with how well the engine turned out. The grot rigger is not glued in yet, but that is approximately where he will be. I picked up some #6 lock washers and used them as valves on some of the pipes. It was a quick and easy way to add a little bit of character back there.

I was concerned about the weight of the roller. The PVC fittings look very nice, but are also very heavy, nearly half the weight of the whole project. I didn’t think the arms would be able to hold the roller up with glue alone, so I picked up a 1/4 “ oak dowel. I drilled 2 holes through the cab and ran the rods through them. This kept the arms secure to the cab. Another rod through the center of the roller made sure that it stayed attached to the arms. The bonus is the roller was then free to rotate.

Now that the roller was secured to the cab, I had to make sure the cab wouldn’t get ripped off the front of the battle fortress when it was picked up. This time I predrilled a hole at the top and bottom of the cab into the frame, then took some large threaded wood screws and screwed the cab right into the central plastic box. Very secure.

I put in the supports and walls on the observation deck. I also did my first section of trim here. About half way through I realized that this project is going to take a very long time to detail. And don’t even get me started on gluing on rivets!

All things considered, its looking good…and big. I took a picture of it next to a rhino for comparison. I wouldn’t want to be in the rhino.

Assembling the cab on front, and cutting ½” off the top definitely helps with the “skyscraper on treads” feel it was having earlier. Next step is to assemble the side armor skirts around the tracks and start putting the armor plates on the flat surfaces.

Pre-Heresy Death Guard Assault Squad

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I finally finished these guys up. What we have here is a somewhat unique looking pre-heresy marine squad.

The squad is composed of:
1 Mk:2 Marine (Sergeant)
2 Mk:4 Marines
4 Mk:5 Marines

Their jump packs are from the chaos raptors and are a particular variant that has no chaos iconography and looks fairly plain. Some plastic arms with assault weapons from the metal assault sergeant blister completed the minis, and I rustled up a pair of flamers from my bits box for the special weapons.

Decalwise, they match the rest of my Pre-Heresy army with Legion logos on the left pad and Great Company number on the right. The Sergeant would look silly with my standard infantry squadleader bannerpole and legion banner poking out from the jump pack, so he got a larger legion logo cut in half and placed on the rear of his pack's intakes.

If you want to built up a squad like this these are the partnumbers you need to get from GW:

· 3 Sprue: Space Marine Assault Left Arm 99380101008
· 4 Sprue: Space Marine Assault Right Arm 99380101009
· 1 Marine MK2 Crusade Armour 9947010132203
· 4 Marine MK5 Heresy Armour 9947010132204
· 2 Marine MK4 Maximus Armour 9947010132205
. 7 Chaos Raptor Jump Pack 2 9947010207112

You will still need to grab a couple of plastic flamers or plasma pistols based on your needs as well as whatever you wish to equip your Veteran Sergeant with (I used a powerfist).

And yes, I know... Mortarion rarely used assault squads.... but
a) they just look really cool
b) I promise this will be the only one

-bigred

February 25, 2007

TACTICA: The Art of Taking Wounds on an Inquisitorial Retinue

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As promised, I'm going to discuss taking wounds on an Inquisitorial Retinue. Just like building a retinue, there is an art to taking casualties. I find that if you do it right, you'll preserve the firepower and Victory Points of the unit through a tough, six-turn game.

The rules you're going to want to reference are:
  • Mixed Armour (BGB, p76)
  • Units Partially in Cover (BGB, p25)
  • Creatures with More than One Wound (BGB, p27)

I've talked a bit about Mixed Armour, but it's worth covering again. To get build a quality Inquisitorial Retinue you must understand the Mixed Armour rules. Read them and, if you think you've read them, re-read them.

I reference the Units Partially in Cover rules because players often get this wrong. Cover save are determined by targets that are in cover and could be taken as casualties. So it doesn't help to have the majority in cover unless you can make sure that they can all be taken as casualties.

I also recommend taking a look at the Creatures with More than One Wound section because many players get confused when you take a wound on a multi-wound creature. The section says that if you have multiple creatures with more than one wound, you must take whole models. This doesn't apply when you only have one creature with multiple wounds in a unit.

For the rest of the discussion, I'm going to use a Retinue similar to the one we built in the previous article. The unit looks like this: Inquisitor Lord (W3, 4+Sv), 3 Acolytes (4+Sv), 3 Heavy Bolter Servitors (4+Sv), and 2 Chirurgeons (6+Sv).

Let's talk quickly about deployment. You'll want to put this unit into the hardest cover in your deployment area. It's relatively easy to find 4+ area terrain with the new rules so I usually stick them there. I tend to deploy my Retinue so that every model is in cover and all of them are viable targets. Most importantly, I want my Inquisitor to be a valid target so that I can assign wounding hits to him.

You have three major considerations when taking casualties, in order of importance: 1) maintain firepower, 2) maintain scoring unit status, and 3) maintain 4+ majority armor.

We'll step through each wound and, at the end of each section, you will see a figure like this: (7-2). The first number indicates the remaining models with 4+ save and the second indicates models in 6+ armor. The bold, underlined number indicates majority armor type.

Wound 0: Put the first wound each phase on your Inquisitor so that it can be absorbed by your Chirurgeons. Remember you can only do this once per shooting phase. (7-2)

Wound 1: This is your first unabsorbed wound and you have a decision to make (and where the art comes in). Against an opponent with lots of shooting, I will take the first wound on my Lord to discourage him (by this time he's fired two units at my Retinue without making a dent).

Against an opponent with very little long-range shooting, I may take a wound on an Acolyte to preserve Victory Points (wounding the Inquisitor Lord gives up half of his VPs). Both are fine options. In this example, we'll put a wound on our Lord. (7-2)

Wound 2: This is your second unabsorbed wound. Since you have already given up VPs for your Lord, there's no reason not to put a second wound on him. At this point, an opponent unfamiliar with Inquisitors may give up shooting at the retinue all together and move on to a softer target. (7-2)

Wound 3: Acolyte. (6-2)

Wound 4: Acolyte. (5-2)

Wound 5: Acolyte. (4-2)

Wound 6: Time for another decision; now you must decide between taking a Heavy Bolter Servitor or your Inquisitor Lord as a casualty. If you are using Battle Sisters with their wonderful Books of St Lucius for Leadership, you may consider taking the Inquisitor Lord as a casualty. On the other hand, the Chirurgeons will stop working and you may be giving the wound per turn they absorb. Decisions, decisions.

Against an army with lots of long-range shooting, I usually pull the Lord to preserve my firepower. I'll have already used the Chirurgeons and Torrent of Fire will pick off my Servitors in following rounds, so I'll take every shot I can get. Against an army with few limited long-range shooting, I will pull a Servitor to keep the Chirurgeons in play because he's unlikely to cause more wounds than I can absorb.

For this example, let's pull the Lord. (3-2)

Wound 7: Heavy Bolter Servitor. This is the first wound that reduces the firepower of the unit. If you assume the Chirurgeons have soaked 3-4 wounds, then this unit has absorbed 10-11 unsaved wounds before losing a single long-range shot. That's very impressive for a unit with 4+ majority armor.

The unit also loses scoring unit status at this point. Not too shabby. (2-2)

Wound 8: Chirurgeon. (2-1)

Wound 9: Heavy Bolter Servitor (1-1)

Wound 10: Chirurgeon. (1-0)

Wound 11: Heavy Bolter Servitor. (0-0)

As you can see, the unit is very durable (especially when you factor in the 4+ cover save). Most opponents will take a few shots at the unit and decide it's not worth trying to eliminate. If you can provoke that response, you've mastered the art of taking casualties from an Inquisisitorial Retinue.

Next time: All About Assassins...

February 23, 2007

Ork Battlefortress, Part 3

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Just a quick update for today. I built the turrets for the zzap guns, but havn’t glued them down yet. I'm thinking about using a magnetic base so they can be switch out with other weapons (like a kannon). The whole model looked too tall for its length, so I decided to drop the top down about an inch. I left space in the front to put the boys shooting the twin linked rokkits. I've also done 2 more mockups of the cab to make it look a bit beefier. I'm not sure which one looks better.

World Eaters Pre-Heresy Logo Sheet

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Here is number eight in a series of Pre-Heresy Traitor legion logos sheets you can use for your pre-heresy armies. Here is the link to the PDF file for the decal sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

I created the original logo in Adobe Illustrator, then made variations of it for size and color (outline and solid color versions). The sheet is designed for printout on Decal printer paper which is easily available online.

The thing about decal paper is that it is clear by default (instead of white), so the decals need to be applied to a light colored surface to be visible at all. The procedure for applying the "outline only" decals is to apply them to a white surface, and wait till they are fully dried. Then using the outlines as a guide, paint in the darker color around the decal. Its is odd, but gets the job done.

Size wise, the larger decals towards the top are best used for super heavies/terrain, and move down in size to the large array of Marine Shoulderpad towards the bottom. Finally there are large Roman numeral IIs all over the place. I use these to place on the opposite shoulderpad to indicate the Great Company number my forces are a part of. You could do that or use whatever you wanted on the opposite pad.

In any case, enjoy and I wish you the best in using this set for your forces.

-bigred

February 21, 2007

TACTICA: Building Witch Hunters Inquistorial Retinues

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As a Witch Hunters player one of the most common questions I get is about building an Inquisitorial Retinue. It's an easy task to mess up and the difference between a strong Inquisitor and a weak one can dramatically affect an army's performance.

Here are a few things to avoid when building an Inquisitorial Retinue:

1. Don't take an Inquisitor unless you also intend to take Assassins. There are better ways to get BS4 Heavy Bolters in a Witch Hunters army.

2. Don't take an Inquisitor Lord unless you are planning on taking three units of Assassins. The Elite Inquisitor is just as good and is a lot cheaper.

3. Don't try to make your Inquisitor a close combat fighter. It's tempting, I know, but it will never work.

4. Don't go overboard on the unit. I try to keep the unit under 140 points for an Elite choice and 180 points for an HQ choice. If you are approaching 200 points, you've gone terribly wrong.

5. Don't add Henchmen that you don't need. Some of them are interesting and cool, but they end up watering down your majority army and weakening the squad.

6. Don't forget about the Mixed Armor rules (BGB, p76). It's the key to building a successful Retinue. No, really. Read it again.

Here is my typical Inquisitorial Retinue:

"Shooty" Elite Inquisitor
Elite Inquisitor (Boltgun)
Retinue: 3 Heavy Bolter Gun Servitors, 1 Acolyte (Carapace Armor, Boltgun), 2 Chirurgeons
136pts

This squad can deal out a lot of damage for 136pts and take a reasonable amount of shooting in return. Against a standard MEq army, I generally retain 100% of my Victory Points and pour out nine BS4 Heavy Bolter shots per turn for six turns. In the last year, I've only lost this squad to a Torrent of Fire army (Damn Eldar Scatterlasers!).

The HQ version has the same build, but I'll add another Acolyte (in Carapace Armor) or two. Don't be tempted to use the Plasma Cannon + Sage combo -- leave this to the Daemonhunter Inquisitors.

Things to consider:

1. I buy Boltguns for my Inquisitor and Acolytes because I like them (and I usually get a couple of shots with them if my opponent closes). The squad would perform just as well if you left them with LasPistols and CCWs.

2. A Liber Heresius is a decent piece of wargear, particularly if you build your own board (or your club doesn't build mirrored boards). Being able to select the board edge 83% (or 92%) of the time can be very handy.

3. An Inquistor Lord with a Psychic Hood can also be worth the points. I rarely use one, but with the new Eldar Codex I've been tempted. Don't bother spending the points unless you are taking an Inquisitor Lord.

4. The Bolter-Stake Crossbow can be devastating in a very specific situations. When facing a Hive Tyrant, for example, it's the best 10pts you can spend.
Things to remember:

1. Chirurgeons require you to put a wound on the Inquisitor to work. They don't work like Apothecaries or Medics. If you can't put a wound on the Inquisitor (due to Mixed Armor or due to the fact that he's not a viable target), then the Chirurgeon won't work. Yes, that means you have to pay 5pts to downgrade the Inquisitor Lord's armor to Carapace Armor. He needs to be in majority armor type.

2. Acolytes require you to put a wound on the Inquisitor to work as well.

3. Both the Chirurgeon and Acolyte special abilities work only once per turn.

4. Gun Servitors have Targeters. That means you can pre-measure your 36" Heavy Bolter. Always use this early in your shooting as it will help you range in your army's other weapons. Very handy.

5. Gun Servitors also have Frag Grenades and Krak Grenades. I have yet to use them, but it's nice to know they are there.

6. Inquisitors are psykers, even if they don't have psyhic powers. This is rarely a benefit, but something to keep in mind.

Next Time: The Art of Taking Wounds on an Inquisitorial Retinue.

Ork Battlefortress, Part 2

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Well, I was able to get a good start on the main bulk of the battle fortress. I had an old army tank toy, left over from another conversion project, and stuck the treads (with supporting wheels) form the tank under the plastic box. I then cut out the main support frame from hardboard and glued them on either side of the box. This should make it strong enough to withstand some abuse.

Taking the wheels off of one of my son’s toys (one he doesn’t play with anymore, I’m not that cruel) and a few other bits, I made the wheels for the treads to travel on. I mentioned before that I made some killa kans. The main hull for the cans was made out of a sprinkler system part called a button dripper. Each kan only needed 3, so I have many left over. Anyways, these button drippers made great small wheels for the treads.

I cut 4 1” spacers for each side; the armor skirt will sit on these. I also placed a few other bits on the sides to make it interesting.

I took an image of the battle fortress at this stage and did a design mockup. I think the cab looks a little small. Let me know what you think.

February 20, 2007

Death Guard Techmarine with Servitors

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Yay!!!

I finished up my servitors. Here is a quick shot of the Techmarine you've seen before with his 4 man entourage of 3 Heavy Bolter servitors and 1 Repair servitor.

I hope this squad adds a litle oomph in the shooting department to my Loyalist Pre-Heresy army and can help keep my dreadnought and predator slugging it out a little longer than usual with some lucky repair rolls.

-enjoy

Ork Battlefortress, Part 1

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Every once in a while, the BigMek in me wants to build something. In the past I have gotten by with building killa kans and a fightabomba. But I think it is time for something big. I want to build a Battle fortress. Like any true mekboy, it needs to be built from scratch. Not that the forgeworld ones aren’t good, they are. But it just wouldn't be proper and orky to buy one.

So, I spent the weekend looking at the forgeworld model and contemplating what pieces I would have to gather to make my own. I think I have come down with a design. There seems to be 6 main parts: the hull, the guns, the engine, the tracks, the cab and the krusher (roller).

I needed something boxy yet sturdy to support all the other pieces. I figure a 3"x 3"x 7" box would work. The container store had just the thing. For $2 I picked up a red plastic container that was almost exactly perfect.

The zzap gun turrets are a hard match. Back when city Fight came out, there was a rule that let you take up to 6 sewer entrances to reserve in from. I used a plumbing part from Home depot called a Plastic Insulating Bushing. It looks like a screw on end cap for a PVC pipe with a large hole in the middle. 2 of these, placed on top of each other, with a left over IG auto cannon should make a good base for the zzapgun turrets.

The engine will be a no-brainer. I had a left over engine from a model car that could be salvaged. Some extra tubing and model gas cans, and the engine was accounted for.

Several years ago I was wandering around Home Depot (do you see a theme here?) and came across something called a Caterpillar Spacer. They are used by electricians to support loose fitting electrical outlets. These 4 inch strips are very bendy and have large plates with knobs on them. They are perfect for a section of ork treads.

The crusher was easy. In the plumbing section, I found a PVC piece that took a 2" pipe and allowed a 1" to fit into it. Basically a 2" cylinder with a large hole on one end and small one on the other. Two of these, placed end to end should give a good basis for the krusher.

Finding the parts for the cab was hard. I'll have to make most of it out of board and a few spare bits for the lights and grill. This is the part that is most up in the air right now.

For all the miscellaneous plates and decks, I picked up a "For Sale" sign. Not as rigid or easy to works with as polystyrene, but much less expensive when working on a large project. They are pretty flimsy, so I'll have to make sure they are supported well.

Now that I have all the parts, all I need to do is assemble them. I'll let you know how that goes.

February 19, 2007

Terrain Workshop: Ork Village

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Who doesn't love the orks?
By far, the largest army I have is the orks, and I decided they needed a good place to play. An ork village is an easy way to add a lot of good looking terrain with a little bit of effort and cash.

I based the ork village off the old epic ork buildings; adobe with random ork patterns.

I made the walls and roof out of foam core. It is available at most craft stores inexpensively. Foam core is a thin sheet (1/4" to 1/2") of foam with paper backing on each side. It is lightweight, but sturdy.

The thing to remember with making ork buildings (and any other ork construct) is to not be consistent. So I made each ork building somewhere between 3" and 3.5" tall. For each one, I cut out the 4 walls and a roof section. One of the tricks to cutting foam rubber is to use an electric kitchen knife. My hobby knife kept getting dull and ripping the paper on the foam core, so I decided to try the foam rubber trick. It worked very well and gave good, straight lines. I cut a door into one of the walls because it was easier to do it here rather than wait until it was assembled.

Years ago, I made a set of city fight buildings out of foam core. After a while, the paper started pealing away from the foam and made a big mess. A strip of masking tape over all the edges on the ork builds should prevent this from happening.


Once I had all the walls cut and taped, it was time to assemble. The roof needed to have enough support to hold a metal dreadnaught, so I glued small plastic blocks under each corner. Not only did this keep the roof fixed in place, it also kept the walls straight. To keep with the adobe house look, I made sure the roof was about 1/2" below the top of the walls. This drop gave a low wall around the roof of the house (and good cover for the orks up there).

Elmer's wood filler is a great for texturing and a bucket only costs a few dollars at home depot. I put a coat of this over the entire outside of the building. It dried to a nice shade of yellow, perfect for an adobe look.

Another good terrain tip is that anything wooden can be made out of popsicle sticks. For the doors and windows, I took popsicle sticks and cut them down the middle. These are for orks, so they didn't need to be perfectly symmetrical. I then used these pieces to build doors and windows. A brown wash and they were good to go.

To give the buildings a bit of dimension, I put a very light wash of brown around the bottoms of the buildings and around the edges on the inside of the roof. A few ork glyphs, some dags around the top and a shrub or two on the outside, and the buildings were ready for the tabletop.

By making the buildings various sizes, I was able to stack smaller ones on top of larger ones to make multiple levels.

Bigred has been asking me to make about 10 or 12 more so we can play a "Blackhawk down" scenario, but I've been busy with other projects. More on that later....

February 18, 2007

Let's Talk Dark Angels

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I play Witch Hunters almost exclusively, but my first love (and my first real army) was the Dark Angels. There is something captivating and sinister about their tireless quest for absolution.

Over the years, even while building my other armies (including my well-known WH+IG monstrocity), I've added a piece here-and-there to my Dark Angels. As the new Codex: Dark Angel approaches, it seems an appropriate time time to unpack the army and try a few games.

Here's my first new Dark Angel army list. I'll go over each of the sections of the army and cover some of the new rules (and tactics).

Belial, Master of the Deathwing
- Twin Lightning Claws
- Rites of Battle, Fearless
(Note: Belial can be upgraded from MC Power Weapon and Storm Bolter to Twin Lightning Claws or Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield for free. Very nice option, but I suspect you'll only see him with TLCs.)
130pts

Librarian (Terminator Armor)
- Storm Bolter, Force Weapon, Psychic Hood
- Force Barrier, Hellfire
(Note: Only the LD9 Librarian is an option for Dark Angels, besides Ezekial. But he comes with both psychic powers built-in. This makes psychic powers a lot more dangerous and psychic hoods a lot less effective.)
145pts

Deathwing Terminator Squad (5 Terminators)
- 3 Twin Lightning Claws
- Sergeant w/ Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield (Standard Bearer)
- Assault Cannon (Apothecary)
(Note: The Sergeant can be upgraded with Twin Lighting Claws or Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield for free. Also thanks to Belial any Terminator may be upgraded to a Standard Bearer or Apothecary, so I've upgraded my Assault Cannon Terminator and Sergeant.)
300pts

Notes: This single Terminator squad soaks up 575 points. That's a lot and would normally leave a Space Marine army with too few scoring unit to be competitive, but thanks to Combat Squads I'll manage a total of 13 scoring units. This unit has a lot of the new options that I want to try out, including:
- Deathwing Assault (half of your Deathwing Terminator squads, rounded UP!, deep strike on your first turn);
- The new Librarian psychic powers Force Barrier (acts as passing an Invulnerable save if the Librarian passes a psychic test) and Hellfire (a S2d6-2, APd6 template);
- Terminator Standard Bearer (gives all models in a unit +1A) and Terminator Apothecary.

Tactical Squad (10 Marines)
- Sergeant w/ Power Fist
- Lascannon, Plasma Gun
- Rhino
260pts
Note: I've made a few changes to the list. I've changed these squads to Plasma Cannon and Meltagun after playing a few games. I find the combination more effective.

Tactical Squad (10 Marines)
- Sgt w/ Power Fist
- Lascannon, Plasma Gun
- Rhino
260pts

Devastator Squad (10 Marines)
- 4 Missile Launchers
245pts

Devastator Squad (10 Marines)
- 2 Heavy Bolters
- 2 Plasma Cannons
245pts

Notes: Using the Combat Squads rule, each of these squads will break into two 5-man squads. The Tactical squads break into Sergeant, Plasma Gun, and 3 Marines transported in the Rhino while the Lascannon and 4 Marines deploy in a firing position. Similarly, the Devastators break into 5-man squads so their special weapons can target different enemy units. Each of these units is considered a separate scoring unit worth half of the original unit cost.

Predator Destructor
- Autocannon, HB Sponsons
95pts
Note: I'm going back and forth on the Predator. I find it a real bargain for 95pts, but it usually dies almost immediately. In my last few games, I've exchanged it for an expensive Landspeeder Tornado. I'm still going back and forth (mainly due to the new increased cost of the Speeder), but in my last few games I've been very happy with it.

Ravenwing Attack Squadron (6 Bikes)
- Sgt w/ Power Fist
- 2 Meltaguns
- Attack Bike (Multimelta)
315pts
Note: I've also changed this squad. I exchanged the Meltaguns for Plasma Guns. I know that at first glance this seems a terrible move (losing a Bike to an overheat is very costly), but the Ravenwing Combat squad with the two Plasma Guns is within 6" of my Terminator Apothecary on the turn they arrive. This allows me to ignore the first overheat. It's a very effective combination.

Notes: The 6 Ravenwing Bikes and the Attack Bike have the ability to divide into three scoring units (two units of 3 bikes and the Attack Bike). Each of them has a free Teleport Homer - which I plan to put to good use with my Terminators. This gives me a lot of flexibility when I deploy the Attack Squadron.

Tactics: I plan to use a classic Refused Flank stategy with the army. The static pieces (Devastator squads and Heavy Weapon Combat Squads) deploy centrally in areas of terrain for a wide field of fire. My opponent places his army in response to mine. The Ravenwing Attack Squadron deploys last to create my flank.

The Ravenwing Attack Squadron then makes free move (Scouts rule) to extend the flank using terrain to limit return fire. Then on my first turn, I Deep Strike my Terminators thanks to Deathwing Assault six inches in front of the lead bike. With care, this will lead to a Turn 2 assault.

I concentrate my Heavy Weapons on transports and fast vehicles to limit my opponent's ability to react to my flanking maneuver. My Attack Squadron and Terminator push the flank with by shooting and, if possible, an assault with my Bikes. This has the beneficial side effect of blocking line of sight to my Terminators. Then on my next turn the Assault Terminators join the assault.

At least that's the plan. If you have any thoughts or questions, please leave them as comments on this post.

February 17, 2007

Pre-Heresy Death Guard Techmarine

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Dear Lord!!!

Ok, remember a few days ago when I said "Hey I got this Techmarine and it's Cool..."

Well, I'm an idiot. Holy Crap if that was not the most mind-numbing painting experience in a long while. That little 9-piece bastard is pretty much a mini-defiler as far as painting detail goes. The miniature is crazy 3-dimensional with the full servo harness and just dripping with deep recess detail on every conceivable surface.

Painting my Space Marine Master was child's play compared with the Techmarine. I love him, and he get extra coolness points for being in his pre-heresy paintscheme. I did him in Legion colors with only a Mechanicus shoulderpad instead of the other way around, because... well because Mortarion said so. The Death Guard are tough suckers, so soldier first, tech second. That means "I'm glad you're back from Mars, get into that that white uniform soldier...NOW!"

He's done and gets honorary entry into the "I'll never paint another one of those as long as I live" club alongside Swooping Hawks & Defilers. Its a special club reserved for those little suckers just so dripping with detail, it breaks your mind, eyesight, and soul to paint up more than a few.

Still though, I'm glad I have him, now onto his servitors...

-bigred

February 14, 2007

Word Bearers Pre-Heresy Logo Sheet

3 comments

Here is number seven in a series of Pre-Heresy Traitor legion logos sheets you can use for your pre-heresy armies. Here is the link to the PDF file for the decal sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

I created the original logo in Adobe Illustrator, then made variations of it for size and color (outline and solid color versions). The sheet is designed for printout on Decal printer paper which is easily available online.

The thing about decal paper is that it is clear by default (instead of white), so the decals need to be applied to a light colored surface to be visible at all. The procedure for applying the "outline only" decals is to apply them to a white surface, and wait till they are fully dried. Then using the outlines as a guide, paint in the darker color around the decal. Its is odd, but gets the job done.

Size wise, the larger decals towards the top are best used for super heavies/terrain, and move down in size to the large array of Marine Shoulderpad towards the bottom. Finally there are large Roman numeral IIIs all over the place. I use these to place on the opposite shoulderpad to indicate the Great Company number my forces are a part of. You could do that or use whatever you wanted on the opposite pad.

In any case, enjoy and I wish you the best in using this set for your forces.

-bigred

February 13, 2007

Project: Loyalist Death Guard upgrades

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I have been a busy beaver for the last couple of days.

I ordered a decent set of bits from GW to fill out my new updated Death Guard Loyalist armylist described below, and have been busy filing, assembling, glueing, and painting my new toys.

Here is a snapshot of where I am now,

First up on the far left is a 7-man assault squad of mixed Mk 2,4,5 assault marines, using the one Raptor-jetpack that is "techno" (with no screaming faces or any other chaos iconography). These guys have had 2 coats of Tamiya XF-2 Flat White and just got their "dingy brown" wash.

In the middle is the mail-order only helmetless techmarine with servo-harness. It turns out that with the doctrine: Flesh Over Steel, my shooting is really getting hampered. A techmarine with a Heavy Bolter servitor squad goes a long way towards aleviating that problem. He has been based white, got his dingy brown wash, and has 2 layers of drybrushed white back over it. This is the basic technique I have used for my entire Death Guard army (traitor and loyalist). I will be posting more pics as these squads move along so others can see how I build up these white legionaires step by step.

Did someone say servitors? On the far right is the squad of 3 HB servitors and a single tech servitor. This squad should spit out decent anti-horde shooting, and give me a 5+ with a reroll to repair any vehicle I put the Techmarine next to.

Regarding my use of Tamiya white for basecoating, I often use multiple layers or painting, washes, and drybrushing before the model is done. Often about 6-7 on my Death Guard. I HAVE to use a paint with maximum opacity and thinness so I will still get a nice smooth finish that does not obscure detail. While I use GW for everything else, for basecoating white, I haven't found a better paint than Tamiya XF-2 Flat White. It goes on smoothly, is VERY opaque, and dries to a very thin smooth finish with no grit, even after drybrushing!

-enjoy

February 9, 2007

Terrain Workshop: Building a Ziggurat

2 comments

Bigred asked me to write a series on building terrain pieces, so I thought I'd start out with an easy one.

Ziggurats are basically giant stepped pyramids. They make great terrain pieces because they are big enough to hide behind, and the tiers allow you to stand several models on them with good line of sight at the top.


For my ziggurat, I started out with 1/2" insulation foam (the pink or blue sheets can be bought at Home depot). With a good knife, I cut three squares that are 12" x 12". These formed the first tier. For the 2nd tier, I did three 9" x 9" and the top one was three 6" x 6". If you make your own, the layout is totally up to you. Just remember, the bigger you make it, the harder it will be to transport (and more likely to get knocked around).


For the staircases, I cut a 2" wide slot the 2nd and 3rd sheets for each tier. the 2nd sheet was 1/2" deep, and the 3rd was 1". If you stay consistent on your step locations, your staircase should match all the way up. I then took my knife and cut the stone shapes into the edges and top of the sheets. I found that just a little pressure was enough to get the knife in about 1/16" deep, then wiggle it back and forth to widen the cut. It didn't take too many attempts to get it looking right. After the blocks are cut in, I used Elmer's to glue it all together.

Once the glue had dried overnight, it was time to weather it. To get the appearance of worn and crumbling stones, I made dents in the foam with the rounded end of a paperclip (you'd be surprised how many ordinary objects become great terrain making tools). This took a little practice. Too many dents and it stopped looking like a stone, and too few made it look like someone poked it with the blunt end of a paperclip. This was also the most time consuming part of the whole project. Don't be afraid if you chip the edge of one of the blocks; it adds realism.


Painting was pretty straight forward. I used a dark gray spray over the entire surface, followed by a black wash and a very light grey dry brushing. I then took old model train foliage and glued it in some nooks to give it a bit of life.


The large ziggurat in the middle of the table looked great, but it needed a little extra to help tie it in with the surrounding terrain. I took some leftover foam scraps and made walls out of them. I took a 1/2" wide and 6" long strip, cut the blocks and weathered it the same as the ziggurat. Then took another piece that was about 1/2" shorter and glued it on top and painted it the same. I then sat it on the table and watched the ceiling fans blow my walls across the board. Crap. It was easy enough to fix though. I cut the piece on the bottom in two, right along the line between 2 blocks. I then stuck a nail into each piece and glued them back together. The nails on the bottom piece added enough weight to keep the walls in place and upright.


One day I'd like to go back and add another large piece to go with the set. Maybe a tower or small platforms. Maybe some Mayan architecture will inspire me.

February 7, 2007

Practice makes perfect....

2 comments


I am gearing up for gamenight this week and hope to get in a couple of games. I plan to test out my new updated Loyalist Death Guard list.

My old list was just not doing the trick, and either lost big or won big. It basicly came down to my huge expensive command squad in a LandRaider. Either it made it to the enemy and I won, or it died on the way and I lost.

As I strive to achive predictability above all, I've retooled the list a bit and will try out an updated list with some additional assault and firesupport elements to support my infantry core.

The list so far is:

2000pts

HQ

Captain
Bolt pistol, power weapon, auspex

Elite

Terminator squad (5) Deep Strike
Heavy Flamer

Venerable Dreadnought, Tank Hunter
Linked Las-cannon, Missile launcher, Extra armour, Smoke

Veteran Squad (7) Infiltrate
5x boltpistol/ccw, 1xboltpistol/powerfist
Vet. Serg: boltpistol/powerfist, teleport homer

Troops

Scouts (7) Infiltrate
6xsniper rifle, 1xheavy bolter

Tac Squad (7) TrueGrit/Countercharge
4xbolter/ccw, 2xplasma rifle
Vet. Serg: bolter/powerfist, auspex

Tac Squad (7) TrueGrit/Countercharge
4xbolter/ccw, 2xplasma rifle
Vet. Serg: bolter/powerfist, auspex

Heavy Support

Dev Squad (7)
4x multi-melta
3x bolter

Dev Squad (7)
4x multi-melta
3x bolter

Predator Destructor
Linked Autocannon, 2x Lascannon sponsons
Extra Armour, smoke

Fast Attack

Land Speeder
Multi-melta, Heavy flamer

Land Speeder
Multi-melta, Heavy flamer

Assault Squad (7) Deep Strike
4x boltpistol/ccw, 2x flamer
Vet. Serg: Boltpistol/powerfist, auspex, meltabombs, teleport homer

That gives me 59 models, 12 scoring units, a ton of infantry supported by decent support fire from the Predator and Dread, and a decent assault element to take some heat off the main body of the army in the form of the Assault squad (they move fast), Veteran squad (they infiltrate), and the Terminators (who teleport near one of the other 2 squads who both have homers). That should keep an enemy offbalance long enough for the main army to get in position to melta/flamer them into oblivion. The Captain sits back with the firebase and give them Ld:9, and can help in assault in a pinch.

I will find out how decent it is tomorrow.

-bigred

February 6, 2007

Luna Wolves Pre-Heresy Logo Sheet

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Here is number six in a series of Pre-Heresy Traitor legion logos sheets you can use for your pre-heresy armies. Here is the link to the PDF file for the decal sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

I created the original logo in Adobe Illustrator, then made variations of it for size and color (outline and solid color versions). The sheet is designed for printout on Decal printer paper which is easily available online.

The thing about decal paper is that it is clear by default (instead of white), so the decals need to be applied to a light colored surface to be visible at all. The procedure for applying the "outline only" decals is to apply them to a white surface, and wait till they are fully dried. Then using the outlines as a guide, paint in the darker color around the decal. Its is odd, but gets the job done.

Size wise, the larger decals towards the top are best used for super heavies/terrain, and move down in size to the large array of Marine Shoulderpad towards the bottom. Finally there are large Roman numeral IIs all over the place. I use these to place on the opposite shoulderpad to indicate the Great Company number my forces are a part of. You could do that or use whatever you wanted on the opposite pad.

In any case, enjoy and I wish you the best in using this set for your forces.

-bigred

February 4, 2007

Loyalist Pre-Heresy Death Guard Landspeeders

0 comments

Its time to go back to my Loyalist Death Guard for a bit.

This is a pair of Heresy-era Landspeeders I dug up from ebay and painted up in the Loyalist Death Guard colors. I went with the heavyflamer-multimelta comba as it is fluffier for the era (where assault cannons are "fuzzy" at best), and it meshes with the army's multi-melta theme.

Game-wise I usually deploy these guys dead last well away fromt he main body of my forces. They move 24" to get into a flanking position to either
a) destroy concentrations of Infantry (usually in heavy cover) with twin Heavy flamers
b) go after long range vehicles or barrage vehicles who are otherwise out of reach of my infantry.

They have an exceptionally low survival rate in my games, but usually get the job done.
With the newest Games Workshop FAQ regarding deepstriking landspeeders (they count as moving over 12"), I've dropped that deepstriking altogether, unless I'm holding them back to capture objectives late-game, and don't intend to use the speeders for combat duties.

-bigred

February 3, 2007

Project: Autarch Part 2

1 comments



Here is where I'm at so far. I've got all of the basic work done, and have decals applied.

The Autarch is shaping up to be a mean looking customer.

Things I like are the undermounted Reaper Launcher that I think turned out nice ans spiffy, and the general underside "eldar detail" that came together from the various odds and ends I had lying around.

Things I'm iffy about are the head in general. There is nothing wrong with it specifically except general blandness, and I'm thinking about a headswap with a Dire Avenger Exarch head with the huge extended plume and chin-piece.

There is still a to-do list of final gem details and highlights, and touchups of minor errors. There is also the horrible alignment issues with the two banners that I need to address, and I'm undecided on how to finish up the bannerpole. It just seems a bit plain, and I'm trying to scratch my way through to a good solution for the entire thing.

-bigred

February 2, 2007

Thousand Sons Pre-Heresy Logo Sheet

0 comments

Here is number five in a series of Pre-Heresy Traitor legion logos sheets you can use for your pre-heresy armies. Here is the link to the PDF file for the decal sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

I created the original logo in Adobe Illustrator, then made variations of it for size and color (outline and solid color versions). The sheet is designed for printout on Decal printer paper which is easily available online.

The thing about decal paper is that it is clear by default (instead of white), so the decals need to be applied to a light colored surface to be visible at all. The procedure for applying the "outline only" decals is to apply them to a white surface, and wait till they are fully dried. Then using the outlines as a guide, paint in the darker color around the decal. Its is odd, but gets the job done.

Size wise, the larger decals towards the top are best used for super heavies/terrain, and move down in size to the large array of Marine Shoulderpad towards the bottom. Finally there are large Roman numeral IXs (hint,hint...) all over the place. I use these to place on the opposite shoulderpad to indicate the Great Company number my forces are a part of. You could do that or use whatever you wanted on the opposite pad.

In any case, enjoy and I wish you the best in using this set for your forces.

-bigred
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