Monday, December 28, 2015

40K: clowning around with Calth

So, like pretty much every wargame nerd bedecked with nostalgia goggles I picked up a copy of the Betrayal at Calth upon release, not so much for to play the game as to get my hands on some awesome retro-looking figures. The kits have not disappointed and they are a strong showing by Grandma.

Rather than go for the Ultra/Word Bearer split, I decided to instead pursue the most intimidating of schemes and do up some World Eaters - the Jeffery Dahmers of the 30kverse. Applying the various weathering techniques I've picked up over the last few years from tanking to marine armor seemed a surefire approach, so into the whites and blues I delved.

The Contemptor is a very impressive model, although the plastic incarnation is a tad stiff in his positioning. I magnetized the arms so I could adjust this, but I think the major failing of the model is in the legs and torso. If I was a more patient man, I might attempt to fix this, but in all honesty its probably easier just to order a resin kit with more points of articulation.

I'm a big fan of the renewed Greco-Roman aesthetic of the heresy range. This is extremely evident in the Cataraprahctti(sp?) Terminators, who really take it to the next level.

Regular pleb

Group shot.

Weirdly enough these photographed somewhat washed out. I'm now pondering if I might be better suited photographing against a blue background.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Epic heresy: Hammer of the Thirteenth Legion

Epic heresy time again. The Iron Warrior project gave me some new techniques and styles to try out in 6mm, but I must admit the drabness of the scheme got fairly boring by the end. I've been having a hankering to do a more colorful, non-realistic style for a while and the Smurfs seemed just the ticket to scratch that itch.

After much airbrushing I've started to wade into pumping out some vehicles, starting with a bevy of super heavies: one Fellblade, one Falchion and one Glaive.

I decided to give the bases a bit more variance and color, just for flavor's sake. I also went with a bit more stark highlighting mixed with my standard weathering for a nice weird mix of contrasts.

Also pumped out a platoon of Predators and started on some vindicators for dat urban fighting. Unfortunately these didnt photograph as nicely given their teeny size.

Next time, I dabble in the Calth box set...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Teutonian Russ Company

After finishing up an entire army's worth of drab Krieg vehicles I decided I needed to try something a tad out of my comfort zone with epic modeling. This round I've gone with a much brighter scheme based off a late war woodland Wehrmacht pattern. Very finicky initially to paint, but I think the contrasts of the weathering show up really nicely, especially when contrast with the urban rubble bases.

 photo SLR4.jpg

The unit is modeled to represent one that has been deployed for a prolonged period, thus accounting for the replacement units with the boxier turrets.

At this stage the plan is to build a Minervan armored legion-style Teutonian force with lots of tanks and a smaller mechanised infantry component.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Krieg Mechanised Infantry Company and Friends

Got around to pumping out an entire company's worth of infantry for the Krieg tank army I'm currently working on. While I was originally intending two company's worth of infantry, I have no desire to repeat this grueling process again, so the new structure will feature two Russ companies supported by these guys.

Although the rules for them are crap, I couldn't resist basing up some of the heavy weapons sets too. Nice little dioramas.

Figures are from Trolls Under the Bridge, as are the Chimeras.

I also got super lucky and came across some scratch built epic Baneblades on a trading forum. These are based off the latest 40k incarnation and the detailing shows.

Sorry about the color balance!

Finally, finished up my second SCUD/Deathstrike. Ballistic missiles definitely seem emblematic of Krieg in my humble view.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Army Tour: 15mm US Army Stryker Platoon force for CoC

Whats this? A finished project? Oh my!

With everyone scrambling to jump into Cold War, here I am still stuck in the mire of the ultramod. Put the final touches on the infantry last night, locking this particular project in. Painting UCP over and over in 15mm is quite.....tedious. Nevertheless, I think the overall effect is quite nice

The idea for this force was to produce a mid-tier US army unit, neither elite, nor rear echelon. Using the CoC concept, I focused on painting a full platoon of infantry and then fleshing it out with additional assets that could be rotated in and out within the various scenarios.

Infantry figures were drawn from numerous ranges. These included Flytrap, Peter Pig, Eureka and Khurasan. Each of these companies has a fairly distinct style and I felt a mix helped to showcase a nice variety of equipment types. FF, for example, have lots of optics, shemaghs and heavier webbing than the PP guys. Although this is not 'historically' accurate, at 15mm once they have the same scheme on them only the snarkiest of rivet counter would be offended.

Basing-wise I wanted to go for something fairly generic and interchangeable. Instead of going for straight desert, I decided to opt for an arid rubble-strewn style of basing that could be encountered pretty much anywhere on the planet. The ambiguity of this set up means these guys could realistically be encountered anywhere from Fallujah to the Crimea.

Weapons, too, were mixed. Of course we have the standard M4 and SAW, but alongside these you can see the Mk46 and M16A4. Again, not entirely accurate from the TOE of a Stryker unit, but variety is always nice.

While I did mix up the infantry itself, I tended to do a lot of headswaps using the FF range. Anton's heads just have more personality in my view and also lack the ubiquitous gaping mouth of the Peter Pig range.

The UCP pallete is actually remarkably simple. After undercoating with a dark gray, I base the model with Vallejo German fieldgrey. Following this I heavily stipple with Vallejo green grey and then lightly stiple with Vallejo light mud. I find the trick is not letting any one color dominate too much and not let large elements build up. Always break up any dominant colors so that the eye cant fixate on one.

Special weapons teams were a particular treat to do. The 240 was actually hacked off a Khurasan guy and attached to the Peter Pig team, while the Javelin gunner is straight Khurasan. The SR-25 team is actually a re-purposed ADF unit from Eureka with appropriate headswaps and a plasticard silencer added on.

Strykers were drawn from Khurasan with some additional bits from Eureka and Battlefront tacked on. While I have four of these, in terms of CoC gameplay 2 is going to be more than enough. The completionist in me says I really should finish the platoon, however.

Abrams are also Khurasan: the as-of-yet unreleased TUSK kits.

And of course where would any US force be without the ever-present, ever-vulnerable Hummer?

So thats it, a nice tidy little force ready to go for a system I have no real opportunity to play for the foreseeable future. The appeal of a CoC-style unit is that it sets a goal that is achievable for my current lifestyle/work balance and produces something coherent and potentially useful. For future endeavors I intend to make similar efforts with ultra modern Russians, Saudis, Germans and ISIS. Of course, these are very 'iffy' at this stage, but I do have the miniatures square away to work with.

Until next post

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Salat - Corrupted Reaver Titan

The corruption of Legio Serpentus was not homogenous in its outcomes. Although the legion turned from the Imperial cause in unison, the motivations of it's princeps - and their individual preclusion towards the anarchic influence of the warp - varied. As was common throughout the traitor chapters and their allies, the warping effect of the Chaos gods was dependent as much upon an internal willingness on the part of the agent as it was upon the harsh radiation of the ether. 

Rather than embracing the edicts of bedlam, many in Legio Serpentus saw the heresy as an opportunity to break away from the crushing totalitarianism of the resurgent Imperium. The legion had maintained an ardent independent streak and had only submitted to the Emperor when it became apparent the only other option was annihilation. This streak of libertarianism had been suppressed during the immense mobilisation of the Great Crusade, but never fully eliminated. Thus, when Horus and his legions arose in rejection of the Imperial yolk, the War Hydras were quick to answer the call on principle, while many still eschewing commitment to the dark entities of the warp. 

Not all were able to maintain such a fine balance, however and prolonged exposure to corruption, combined with flaws in the characters of many princeps', often led to seepages. While Titans such as the Buzou managed to retain much of their former resistance to Chaotic influence, others, such as the Salat, became consumed by it. 

As the heresy dragged on, the crew and captain of this immense war machine became increasingly detached and reclusive, until finally they ceased exiting their titan at all. At the same time, the titan's mighty adamantite hull began to subtly warp, its heroic iconography reshaping itself to runes of dark portent and blasphemy. While it never became clear precisely which entity had overseen this malfeasance - the titan and its crew now transformed into single, conscious organism -  the Salat's corruption became undeniable fact.  

Despite this, however, the beast remained among the ranks of the Legio Serpentus, a tense 'live and let live' philosophy prevailing amongst the leadership. While individual titans may submit to the call of the dark gods, their appeared little attempt at prostylization and as long as the legion continued to heed the calls of the eight pointed banners during times of need, it was allowed to retain its independence from outright absorption.

Another non-commercial model this week - a Chaos Reaver! My approach this time around was to make the scheme much more subdued than his Imperial counterparts. I envisage the War Hydras as a kind of sensible, no-nonsense bunch who have little time for heraldry and resting on their laurels. Rather, they are committed to an underlying philosophy of independence and view war as an instrumental means to this end. This stands in contrast to loyalist legions, such as Legio Anphelion, who view war and the celebration of conflict as the end in itself.

I used a scheme of modulation, similar to that I've used on WW2 US armor, with an olive drab scheme walled in by dull brass piping. Just to add a bit more flair I also painted the cockpit a dull gray-bone pattern just for a bit of variation and used some hazard striping on one of the knee pauldrons with chaos runs from the Calth box set (hey, even the most dour of titans needs a bit of bling).

Metals were primarilly draw from Vallejo air range. I've found these in general are quick nice to use with a brush and still retain their consistency, even in a watered down state. Again, I went for a more subdued scheme, rather than the bright golds of the Imperials.

This particular fellow is a tad more ruddy than the Buzou, as I decided to employ a light rusty wash/filter to add a bit more grit to the overall appearance. This works well with the brass coloring and ties the model together more effectively I think.

Effect is most evident here. Once again, a super nice kit and very fun to build and paint. Like the Imperials I intend to add two more warhounds to this legion before I call it a day and move on to the next project.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Exclusive sneak peak: new Flytrap Factory USMC

So, the mysterious Baron Von Flytrap sent me some new 15mm units to expand the Warfighter range that should be out somewhere in the relatively near future. Theres little else to say but they look absolutely excellent, and the FF sculpting quality is going from strength to strength.

Weapons are highly detailed and the figures themselves are suitably weighted down with webbing and gear. Models are a little skinnier and less heroically scaled than the previous USMC generation by FF, but the differences when seen next to each other are negligible and easily put down to the varying morphology of the human form.

My one teeny concern is that the flip side of the rifles appear to have very little detailing on them, but I suspect this will be unnoticeable once they are painted up.

All in all, these are some excellent additions and retain FF's usual dynamic character. I am really looking forward to seeing what the entire platoon will look like. Its a good time to be a 15mm moderns enthusiast.