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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hurray changing paint scheme for Word Bearers

So to completely break from the norm I wanted to talk briefly about the new paint scheme for the Word Bearer's legion featured in the Betrayal at Calth game. To put it bluntly I'm a big fan of the new paint scheme, it is both more visually interesting and matches the description from the lore better. The odd thing is that historically the Word Bearers' paint scheme has been changing back and forth between two versions for over a decade, which has made figuring out how to paint mine hard until now.

In the lore the Word Bearer's legion colors are described as being the red of dried blood and the fires of damnation. Trim is done with bare metal and black. This has resulted over time in artwork showing a bright crimson red, but in painting guides and EVERY army I could find online the paint scheme has been a dark brownish crimson. Now other armies have undergone evolution paint scheme wise over time, Ultramarines being a excellent example (They used to have a LOT of bright yellow trim), but the Word Bearer's paint scheme has been an oddity for over a decade in that in newer artwork their colors had changed but in painting guides and army books it was stuck in 3rd edition. Here is a run down of how things have evolved over time.

3.5 edition Chaps Space Marine Codex

Until Betrayal at Calth this has been the only non-Forge World release for Word Bearers from GW for 15 years. As you can see the paint scheme is a darker crimson that verges on brown or purple.

This was their established paint scheme for a LONG time.

Dawn of War

For me the most stunning (and only) depiction of Word Bearers models painted on their updated colors prior to Betrayal at Calth was in a DLC for the game Dawn of War 2. As you can see the armor is a bright crimson without any brown and it's visually impressive. It also does NOT make them look like Blood Angels.

This is the color scheme I was trying to emulate with my army. (poorly as I am not a skilled painter)

Word Bearers Novels

If you haven't read these READ THEM!!! They are VERY good books, especially book 3. Both the White Consuls and Word Bearers are so awesome and fleshed out that I found I was rooting for both sides.

These were the other "official" portrayals of Word Bearers from GW art wise for a decade. Their cover arts are each slightly different, but shadows aside the red is a brighter crimson.

Bright in shadow

Modern bright crimson

Again bright crimson

Forge World's Horus Heresy A.K.A. "The big reversal"

So between Dawn of War 2, the Black Library novel covers, and the total lack of Word Bearer releases from GW it seemed for a decade that the paint scheme had in fact changed. Then Forge World decided "nope" and they depicted Word Bearers in their old 3rd edition 'rust brown' Crimson armor.

Ok so apparently we didn't change from the old scheme, which to my eye is less visually interesting and lacks highlights.

The First Heretic

BUT WAIT!!! Then Black Library released "The First Heretic", again an awesome book, and they went BACK to the updated brighter color scheme. Ok, so now the colors have changed then.

The Gal Vorbak on the cover have the brighter crimson consistent with Dawn of War 2 and the other novels. But...

Forge World Word Bearers pt 2

Then Forge World released a second wave of Word Bearers models including these amazing Gal Vorbak models. Models painted in the OLD 3rd edition dark crimson scheme.

So that catches us up to now and the new hopefully final paint scheme.

Betrayal at Calth

So the Betrayal at Calth is the first new Word Bearer release from GW proper since their "daemon bomb" codex entry in the old 3.5 edition codex. I am hoping that it will be the paint scheme they will stick with into the future, as it looks stunning and does not look like Blood Angels to my eye.

What gives me confidence that the manic nature of the Word Bearers color scheme has come to an end is that we now have a new painting guide for them, so hopefully that means this one is here to stay.

Now I just need to buy all those paints...

Friday, November 6, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 091++++ Word Bearers Aspiring Champion

So after a summer of AoS inspired despair turned me away from GW stuff for a while, I've finally completed the grieving process for Warhammer: Fantasy Battles and so I've started working on some projects again.

At the moment I'm in the second week of phase 1 of the Captain's Career Course at Fort Lee, VA, and I brought down supplies to work on some true scale Word Bearers. I'm now up to 11, with 1 Aspiring Champion and a replacement Dark Apostle (who looks amazing).

The problem is that none of the computers I have access to here will let me post on Blogger, and uploading photos via the iPhone app almost never works. But here is a sample, my first Aspiring Champion: Vorgash Nn'uhl.

It's remarkable to me how fast I can produce a single true scale marine now that I've refined my methods and have the press molds for making the armor components. I finished him over the course of two days while working on a batch of 5.

The cloak of the chaos lord from the dark vengeance starter set works very well if you trim it down and helps add movement and dynamism to his commanding pose. The impurity seals add to this effect and were left over from the dark apostle, who will be in the next post.

Here is a comparison shot next to a regular space marine model. These true scales really convey the shear mass of a space marine, I couldn't be happier with the way they are coming.

Oh and you can't see it in this photo, but he is armed with a power first and combi-melta which is chained to his backpack, the bolt pistol is there for epicness purposes.

I'll post more pictures when I have access to a non-government computer.

Monday, October 5, 2015

WIP Interdictor Cruiser pt. 2

So a quick update today.  I've started doing the plasticard work on the Interdictor, here is a picture from the first session or work after about 1 hour of work.  If you were wondering the black stuff is electrical tape, which I have been putting over the edges of the foamcore board both to protect it from glue and to mask divots and air bubbles.  It was an idea I had during the initial mock up and so far its working quite well, the tape takes glue well and is held in place by the plasticard layered over it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WIP Interdictor Class Cruiser

I've promised for a while to start posting some X-wing articles, so here is a quick one about my current big project, I'm building an Interdictor Cruiser for use in Epic play.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Book review: Star Wars: Aftermath

Well now that I've finished it I can attest that Star Wars: Aftermath was pretty much a waste of money. Maybe 1% of the whole book actually mattered for explaining what happened between ep 6 and 7.

The storyline was terrible and challenging to follow. Things which should have been described or explained were glazed over while minutia was explained in painful detail. I now know the behavior patterns of about a dozen animals on different planets, exactly how a lot of alcoholic drinks taste, and details regarding the histories of various worlds.

Yet I learned almost nothing about the overarching story or what happened between movies. Battles were slapstick and poorly described. So many Storm Troopers died and the whole thing felt like a kids show. Overall it was a remarkably disappointing story.

The one strong point was the actual conference of Imperial officials trying to devise a plan for what to do post battle of Endor. It was interesting to see the different elements of the Empire's government all laid out and explained, but it too suffered. Characters were poorly developed and with the exception of Admiral Sloan were petty incompetent caricatures.

There were so many kids in this book, and miraculously they all were great at opposing the Empire, and none of them ever died opposing an organized military. The main story arc revolved completely around a rebel pilot coming home from the war and having challenges rebuilding her relationship with her son. That could have been a good storyline, but again the characters were whiny caricatures instead and was just really annoying and long.

Overall the whole book came off as forced and it was a challenge of endurance to get through it.

Overall rating: 1.5 out of 5 Star Destroyers

*********SPOILER ALERT*********

If you don't want to know any spoilers don't read this part.

As the purpose of reading the book was to explain events between episodes 6 and 7 here are the 2 key take aways from it:

1. The New Republic IS a thing and had just been established. It is also doomed...

The seeds of its collapse are already apparent though and are sadly very believable.

The political leadership (Mon Mothma) has decided that the New Republic needs to disband its military to prevent anyone from viewing them as tyrannical. Note the Empire is still in a state of open war with them and holds at least HALF its total territory and 1/3-2/3 of its military might. The suicide plan for the republic is to keep only a token force to help train local system militaries to be self sufficient. I'm not kidding, this is the plan.

The case against this plan is made very loudly by everyone with a brain in their head, an understanding of history, and a working knowledge of what power vacuums are and why they are bad for maintaining galactic peace. It's actually very eloquently and succinctly put by a general early in the book as the republic military reels from being informed that they will soon all be unemployed because the still ongoing war is over and we won! This was actually the single best chapter in the book, it's the interlude at the end of chapter 9 and I'd honestly advise just reading this part of the book and the epilogue.

Naturally the military is being ignored because politicians always know best. Honestly it makes me think of the early Iraq War when the U.S. Government decided to disband the Iraqi army because it had been a tool of oppression and we wanted to start things over with a fresh slate. Of course without any force maintaining order all the simmering discontent boiled over and the different factions in the country started killing each other, as always happens when a power vacuum occurs and no one faction is strong enough to take power.

2. The Empire is crumbling from its own corruption and ineptness. It also may just happen to have a certain dude with blue skin and a white uniform to build something new from the ashes...

This is really well shown through the Imperial Council on Akeeva. The different factions don't agree of get along at all, and most of the top brass have either surrendered to the republic, stolen money and run, or are only thinking of how to use the chaos to advance their own positions. There are a few people who actually are trying to put things back together but they are in the minority.

By the end of the book though most of the chafe is culled by either being killed by the "give a damn" crowd or being allowed to be captured by the republic. So in the end it does seem that the Empire will pick itself back up, particularly because the republic is determined to give them the space and time necessary to do so. It will just be a changed and reformed version of the Empire that emerges from the ashes.

Cool news, the Empire still has 1 super star destroyer left, The Ravager, and it is under the command of a brilliant ADMIRAL who we never get the name of, but who shows an interest in musical ARTS, has spent a seemingly very long time out in the outer rim, and knows exactly what both his allies and enemies will do way in advance. You learn this in the epilogue, and honestly it was the most exciting bit dropped on the book. They don't give you the Admiral's name, but there are so many hints that it's Grand Admiral Thrawn that despite how disappointing this book was I'd be willing to buy the sequel just to see him in it.

Thrawn is a crowd favorite and it would be really cool to see him get a second chance at rebuilding the Empire, and if he makes a film debut I'd be giddy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Europe trip pt 1 and why I haven't been posting anything

It's been a while since I've posted. Bunch of stuff has happened, I had my summer training with the National Guard, had to do a lot of stuff to prepare for my first semester of grad school, and got hired to work for a really top end personal training service closer to where I live with better pay then my current job. I'm currently in France with my girlfriend for a romantic excursion and to attend a wedding for her French friend.

Here are some pictures from the trip so far:

Me and Caitlin.

Found a Game Shop by accident in Paris, but it was closed (Damn you 35 hour work week!).

I really love Gothic architecture, so I'm enjoying all the ancient churches here. Very cool stuff.

All of this stuff has contributed do the long radio silence here, but there is one real reason I've not posted anything for a while. Can you guess what it is?

This summer Age of Sigmar came in and shat on my dreams. I've been playing 40k for 23 years, and as that game's quality (rules wise) started to decline mid-fifth edition I migrated back to Fantasy at the beginning of 8th edition. I'd tried fantasy before back in 5/6th edition and found it to be an infuriating game of "gotcha" (One player does something the opponent just has to suffer through and says "Gotcha!" Only fun for one player, kind of like 6th & 7th edition 40k...). 8th edition changed that entirely and while there were a number of minor flaws the game itself was great, fun, and both players had a good chance to win most games.

Here is a quick run down of the problems 8th had:
• 3 of the initial magic lores were truly game breaking. All of the army book lores were fine to underpowered, and the actual magic rules worked great.
• Improbable charge redirection shenanigans where a lone model would hold up dozens of enemies and force them to lose turns of movement or run away from the battle. Some armies could do this ridiculously well, looking at you Ogre Kingdoms, and it was infuriating and broken when combine with the fact that these armies had lots of potent shooting.
• Holy shit were most monstrous cavalry ever overpowered, again looking at you Ogre Kingdoms
• Several army books were just bad, namely Orcs and Goblins and Beastmen and according to many tomb kings (mostly because tomb kings had more "bad match ups" then most other armies)
• Heavy Cavalry was VERY weak in 8th edition, such that it was rare to see it outside of some ETC builds.
• Incredible if uneven power creep. Ogre Kingdoms broke the game's back unless you comped them hard. Any book that has a two paragraph apology from the author in the FAQ for doing a poor job considering how the rules could be abused is a bad book.
• Everything in the Orge Kingdoms book. They are the most powerful shooting army in the game with the most advanced weapons in the game. Everything in that sentence should be wrong, but it's not.
• Monster Characters should not be allowed to challenge. It's broken game mechanic wise, counterintuitive, and it's anti-cinematic for a big monster to make people stand in a long line to get killed. 40k's current challenge system works much better, although in 40k it usually doesn't impact the game at all.
• The last major one was how there seemed to be absolutely no common system for points costing units across armies. Chaos Mauraders were freakishly expensive for what they did, basic crap infantry for 10-12 points with upgrades. My Empire Great Cannons cost the same as Khorne Cannon Chariot things. All monsters the same size as a giant have the same points cost despite being wildly different. Seriously these choices were made at random and each book had to be written in total isolation.

So yeah, those were the main flaws to the game. All of those would be easily fixed, instead we have this pile of shit that is AoS. The new game actually has some good points to it, notably it's that while every army is quite bland with most units being largely identical now across the various armies units DO fill the roles they were designed for (kind of at least) and the fact that they had to redesign everything at the same time actually helped to level the playing field a lot. That's really it though, despite its tiny rulebook the new game really isn't simplified, it's actually more complicated.

They have eliminated the concept of USRs and standardized wargear for AoS. Sure every unit's rules are on its free to download sheet, but in the "whatever-The-Empire-is-called-now" there are at least 4 different explanations of how shields work. The item is called "shield" for every unit which has them by they have different rules for most of them. What?!? This means that I have almost no chance of actually understanding what my opponent's (or my) units do or how they work just by looking at the model.

You have to move every model, charge with every model, and consolidate every model each turn you move. Good luck with that horde of models (For anyone who claims that the game isn't meant to be played with large units anymore if refer you to the "whatever-The-Empire-is-called-now" book where many units have special rules which only work if they have 20-50 models!). People complained that the 8th edition movement rules were complicated and took too much time. Really? A unit of 40 models moved 1 time a turn all at once in a movement tray. Sure it had annoying counterintuitive moments, but it took far less time then the new system.

I actually didn't intend for this to be just a rant about the AoS release. Aside from it having in MANY people's views a very inferior rules system (random turn order only works in alternating activation systems...) it's release was a big kick in the nuts surprise from GW. After a year of support for fantasy and a lot of inferring that the game would have a new edition which would improve it a lot our game suddenly was destroyed. It's like taking a toy from a little kid, breaking it right in front of him, and then giving it back and demanding that he say thank you.

Needless to say I'm more than a little pissed off at GW at the moment. I've stomached the abuse and neglect for over 2 decades because I've loved their products and enjoyed playing their games. I largely stopped actually having fun playing 40k about 4 years ago, though 7th can be fun with the right opponent. Fantasy is gone forever, so unless Kings of War actually takes its place locally I've now got a few hundred models taking up space. I haven't been able to bring myself to work on any 40k stuff since AoS came out, and that's the reason there have been no posts here.

I hadn't realized just how much money I spend on bits. Seriously I've actually saved quick a bit of money over the last few months from now spending money on new models. Instead I've been playing a ton of X-wing, the rules are tight and the game is very fun to play. Tournaments and cons abound and FFG actually wants you to play their games. The only thing it's missing is model projects.

I've converted one or two ships but I've mostly been working on terrain. I've got a big space station mostly built, though I need to take it back almost to the drawing board sadly.

Most recently I've started building a to scale Interdictor Cruiser, here is an early shot of it.

I'll get back to posting thugs once knew back from France, though I can't say how long it will be before I can touch my GW stuff again.

At this point I earnestly expect that 40k will receive the exact same treatment fantasy has within the next 2 years. The reasons people say it won't happen are pretty much the exact same ones we said in defense of fantasy and the same people are at the head of the company. That means the same decision making matrix is in place, so expecting a different outcome would be rather foolish. My one hope is that they finally give up writing rules entirely and license FFG to do it for them. They've already done this a lot and FFG's reliably turned out great 40k products.

If that doesn't happen it's only downhill from here. And on top of it all Forgeworld is becoming more "integrated" into GW's larger business model. It's only a matter of time until FW loses its creative license and freedom and loses its quality.

Again sorry for being so down on GW in this post. I honestly love the games and their story lines. The mythos is amazing, the models are amazing, and the games USED to be amazing. I'm 30 and its taken playing X-wing for me to rediscover the feeling I had when I was playing 3rd edition 40k as a teenager. I WANT to be able to feel that way about 40k again, Fantasy too. I just can't fake it anymore, the games have lost something and don't feel like we're building a mutual story anymore when I play. Honestly I'm not sure exactly when this change happened, but I need a break from the game until it improves.

Monday, July 20, 2015

So it's been a while

I think it's been about a month actually since my last post. I've been pretty uninspired recently. I picked up dragon age inquisition and it rocks, it's so funny hearing the inquisition referenced as a source of hope and peace!

I've tried writing up an article about my feelings about AoS, but it's too depressing. Here is a quick explanation of my view. So many 40k players have been demeaning those of us who have played fantasy avidly for years. How dare we be shocked and disgusted when GW makes a desperate gamble and tears up that game universe while providing us a watered down piece of garbage and a new system that effectively turned chess into tic tac toe. I've played 40k since I was 7 and I've stayed around despite GWs horrible mismanagement of their product lines and IP over the years. Their mismanagement was what had "killed" fantasy. If GW was to ever attempt what they have just done with fantasy with 40k there would be rioting in the streets. So when players express their disappointment, mostly in our just being handed a pretty crappy game, please ask yourself how you would react if GW decided to ever AoS 40k before deriding us.

So with that said, I've done mostly x-wing related stuff lately. I took first in the standard tournament at CaptainCon in Mass over the weekend with a 4 A-Wing list, lots of fun.

I'll get back to 40k soon, we're trying to launch a campaign at the local shop here in RI, it's tough as there are only a few of us who are interested so far. I'll post the system I designed for it next post.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 090++++ Castellax Battle-Automata Maniples WIP 1.0

So a lot of things have been going on over the last few weeks, hence the slow rate of posts.  I've been playing a lot of X-wing, there was the regional championship tournament for New England (I came in 46th) as well as at least 5 other tournaments I've attended in the last month, so that took up most of my hobby time.  I also spent some time painting my Chaos Renegades, batch painting 200+ infantry is a chore but its progressing.

Work has picked up nicely of late as well, which helps relieve financial stresses, and I have my annual training exercise starting tomorrow for the Army National Guard that I've had to prepare for.  On top of all of that yesterday I received my acceptance letter for Grad School, which is extremely exciting.  I actually had a hard time sleeping last night as my mind was alight, so I decided to finish assembling the Castellax Battle-Automata kits I picked up a few months ago.

Here are the 5 normal Castellax I've built.  There are a lot of minor touch ups to fix casting errors and to mark them out as Dark Mechanicum engines, but they are pretty much done otherwise.  This is a very interesting kit to work with, and very challenging as well to pose well.  You can do great dynamic poses, but it takes a lot of work to do.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 089++++ Void Shield Generator completed

Apologies for the lack of posts of late, I've been busy outside of the world of hobbies and one of my friends got me back into even online as well, so not much has been done in the last week or so.

But I did finish the void shield generators I was commissioned to build for a local player.  I primered it to allow the details to be visible.  I decided to add the drop pod doors to the build as I thought they would look cool, hopefully when he paints it they will have a cool energy glow effect but as he didn't pay me to paint it who knows.  Otherwise the build is just an expanded version of what was seen last post.  Much of the components come from molds I made of details from the Triaros Armored Conveyor kit from Forge World.

This was a fun project and probably only took me about 6 hours of work to have done.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 088++++ Void Shield Generator WIP 1.0

Just a quick update today as I'm at drill this weekend. This week I mostly worked on a commission to build a void shield generator. Many of the components come from a Triaros Armored Conveyor, the rest are from a drop pod, some random plumbing pipes, and a massage ball.

These pictures are from the early layout phase of the project, it's almost finished now I'll upload more pictures on Monday when I have it completed.

Friday, May 8, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 087++++ Samech Pattern Rapier Laser Destroyer WIP 1.0

 Sometimes its can take several tries to successfully realise a conversion or scratch build project from the mental image in your head to an actual good looking miniature on a table.  This was one such project. 

For reference here is the amazingly crappy version of a rapier I had worked on a few months ago from my Chaos Renegades army.  It was terrible and I couldn't bring myself to use it.

In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future there are only giant killer vacuum clearners!

And now here is attempt number 2.

Samech Pattern Mk II Rapier Laser Destroyer
Samech is a fallen forgeworld, anyone who has played Deathwatch will likely recall it vaguely.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 086++++ Adeptus Mechanicus Land Raider WIP 1.0

I've been busy of late, and playing too many computer games as well, hence the dearth of posts.  But I have been working on some projects, most notably this.

In the first Horus Heresy book there are not many options available to the Adeptus Mechanicus, but one of them is an Adeptus Mechanicus Land Raider.  A quick glance will show that this is not the heavy assault transport we are all used to, but more a heavily armored exploratory vehicle for traversing hostile environments.  Its stock armament is only a pair of Lascannons and a single Heavy Bolter, and it lacks the Assault Vehicle rule so it does not have the iconic front assault ramp.  To make up for this you are getting it at a great discount at 195 points.

It also has a crazy amount of options, so you can customize it to your heart's content.

I decided to go with a relatively inexpensive but very potent anti personnel build with a Volkite Culverine and a pair of Quad Heavy Bolters.  I also plan to take an Exploratory Augury Web, Flare Shield, and an Auxiliary drive.

As you can see this is a pretty comprehensive rebuild of the basic Land Raider Chassis.  I picked up an old Land Raider a friend and I had tried to convert a while back and removed the front ramp and turret well.  Instead of having the standard offset front sponson I centered it, which means that the vehicle is driven by sensors (no driver's vision port).  I added the sensor pod from the Land Raider Helios to represent the augery web and rebuilt the front using a piece from a Land Raider Achilles.  Then a bunch of plasticard went into creating a new front sponson well, I wanted to use a layered armor plate approach to make it look like the standard Land Raider chassis had been reinforced considerably.

The Volkites and most of the other bits come from a Triaros Armored Conveyor.  I built the front sponson from some defiler and land raider parts, and the 4 gun volkite array just looks cool, its a great feeling when an idea starts to fit together right.  The tracks also were copied from the Triaros, I need to do more work to fix the gaps and casting errors in them but it was worth the effort to visually tie into other Admech vehicles more.

The side hatch was made from the Triaros.  The instant mold material is great for doing quick one off molds for cool parts like this hatch, I cast up at least a dozen for future use as well.  The side sponson is complex; first I started by casting copies of the Hunter turret well (an awesome bit as it can go on top of any vehicle).  Then I sawed off part of the waist to a Khorne Lord of Skulls (Very cool bit, I found a bunch online cheap.) to create a smaller turret well.  Then I took a rhino hatch, shaved the antennae off and inserted it.  After that I used the ball turret part from the volkites I chopped up to make the front sponson and used part of a Forgefiend's plasma cannon to attach it to the sponson.  This all attaches to the Quad Heavy Bolters which were made from recasts of the twin linked Mauler Bolt Cannon from the Triaros.

More work still needs to be done on the sponsons but the basic concept works.

The engine parts are again directly copied from the Trairos, I circled the particular parts below.  It was surprisingly easy to make the molds as the tracks come in separate pieces.
  I haven't completely decided yet what to do for the sides of the engines, this is just a test fit so far.  


From above you can see how the roof has been redesigned to accomodate the sensor turret, more detail work remains to be done.  The exposed machine parts on the back are something I am debating over.  They look cool, but it would require the rest of the roof to be redesigned further.  I'll let it sit for a bit and see what jumps out to me to help join all the parts together.

For the rear I'm debating on whether or not to try and use the big gears from the Triaros.  Alternatively I'll have a number of large exhausts coming off the sides.  I'm leaning more towards the exhausts, again this is just a test fit at the moment.

So that is where this project stands as of this afternoon.  Its coming out as well as I'd hoped, its actually the first time I've built a Land Raider in at least 8 years and its fun working with the kit again.

Coming up soon I'll take a break from my Admech posts to show off an Ork Dread mob I built to sell.  My goal is to build up some interest so that when I put the stuff up on ebay it actually gets a good price.

As always let me know if you have any recommendations on ways I can make this tank look better.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 085++++ Sicarian Infiltrator/Ruststalker WIP 1.0

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, I've been busy cleaning out my apartment to make room for more stuff and with several new computer games.  I'd recommend Dungeon of the Endless to anyone who has a spare day and enjoys falling into rabbit holes.

That said I have had some recent hobby progress, notably my conversions of Sicarian Infiltrators to make them look more like IG-88 from Star Wars.  My original idea was to use Imperial Guard Mortar Shells for the basis of the head, this was a terrible idea as they are way too small for it.  Sometimes you need to actually have the models in hand to realize that an idea sucks.

But in the process of getting the mortar rounds out of my bitz box an ancient special weapons sprue from Necromunda fell out of the box (literally) before me and I had the perfect bit.  Its the macehead to the power maul from the Redemptionists gang.  After trimming down some spikes to make them into eye lenses and lopping off the handle it was ready to get mounted.

See the resemblance? 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 084++++ Skitarii Vanguard WIP 1.5

So I finally had the chance to crack open my two boxes of Sicarian Infiltrators and man is there a lot bits wise in this kit! The first thing which I decided to use it for was to upgrade my earlier Skitarii Hypaspists. I didn't wind up quite liking how that first attempt came out, so here is try number two which I mentioned yesterday.

Monday, April 13, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 083++++ Sicaran Ruststalkers/Infiltrators

Just a quick announcement, I have picked up two of these kits and I want to convert them so badly that I am considering ducking out from work early.  Stupid work....

I'm planning to use the heads from the Ruststalkers and the Flachette pistols to revamp my Skitarii Hypaspists.  I wasn't satisfied with how these guys looked before, they were too "good guy" esk in appearance.  So here is a proof of concept for what I intend to do to fix that problem.  I'm excited to make this work.  Obviously the pistol needs to be upscaled into a rifle, but really that shouldn't be too hard at all.

Ok now back to work.

Friday, April 10, 2015

++++INLOADING DATAFILE 082++++ Another X-Wing Tournament

Edit: I updated this with better pictures, that's the problem with posting from your phone.

Alright so over the last two months I have gotten more into x-wing, honestly I play it more than 40k at the moment, and I've gotten quite better at it. Last night was another local tournament and I came in Second. It had a disappointing turnout of 4 players, but on the plus side that meant I got to play against all the lists being flown.

Here is a quick run down of my list:


The basic strategy is to restrict my opponent's movement options through asteroid placement and then rush in and pop the proton rockets into the enemy's biggest ship to take it down fast. From that point the A-wings fly circles around people and do a lot of damage without taking return fire. Tycho can fly around on his own well enough without needing any help, while Kyle's and Jake's abilities are an obvious combo.

Calculation is a great choice for an economical attack boosting pilot skill. I highly recommend it for ships with 1 or 2 attack dice, as you will average 1 hit and 1 focus on two dice. Autothrusters are simply must have for A-wings, the automatic evade die gives you an average of 2 evades on three dice, add an evade token and you will reliably dodge at least 3 hits, which frustrates the hell out of a YT-1300. Push the limit is also a must I've found for A-wings, as they kick ass as long as they have an evade token and a focus token. It also helps guarantee that you will get into range 1 with a focus for your proton rockets as you can boost and then focus. Jake can even focus, boost/barrel roll, and target lock all in the same turn with PTL.

Kyle's build may seem weird. I've found that HWK-290s are terrible at avoiding enemy fighters with their bus like manyever dial, so I added the Autoblaster turret to turn him into a porcupine at short range. It also helps save up focus and is a cheap upgrade. Moldy crow is pretty obvious, but saboteur and expiramental interface was an odd choice. I planned to have the HWK fly behind the A-wings and thus be close to whatever they damaged as they flew past the previous turn. It did not work very well, mostly because Kyle couldnt get into position often enough. It did help kill a tie bomber though, so great combination just not for this ship.

One quick gripe about the HWK-290, it's the rebel's reconnaissance ship but it can't take a sensor upgrade. How does that make any sense?

Alright here is a quick rundown of what I fought from memory:

Round 1: Scum list

This opponent was new to his list and overconfident regarding its durability. The Viper ended up flying way off away from the fight and he mismanuevered (just because you are stressed does not always mean it's the best idea to do a green manyever). He also played very aggressively with the Aggressor putting it up right in front of my A-wings. Jake fly right up and bumped him, but then barrel rolled off with a focus token from Kyle. Both he and Tycho then pumped their proton rockets into the Aggressor killing it in one round. From that point the A-wings out flew his fighters and killed them, he tried everything but once either Jake or Tycho are on your tail they pretty much stay there.

So I won with no losses.

Round 2: Tie Bomber Squadron

This list was quite intimidating at range. My opponent deployed the pilot skill 2 pilot on one side and his other two ships opposite of it as a lure. His plan was to fly that bomber back to his 'backup' and torpedo me as I have chase, which would have worked fine in I was flying anything other than A-wings. On turn one Jake moved 9 forwards and was turned to face the rear of the fleeing bomber. That is almost 1.5 feet of total movement, he can do it by moving 5 straight, boosting to one side, and then barrel rolling the other way for extra forward movement.

Two turns later and Jake was at range one behind the bomber and killed it with his rockets.

Tycho was deployed as my own lure opposite of the defender and other bomber. They ran forwards to target lock him and shoot him at long range, but then he did a three bank and boost to get out of their range. From that point he turned and got behind the secon bomber (which did a K-turn). He and Kyle killed the bomber and my opponent conceded.

This was the only time that I got to use saboteur, and even then it was just because the Bomber had already taken a damage during it's K-turn from flying over an asteroid. So not a good enough expenditure of 5 points.

Another win with no losses, each of these games was over quite quickly as well.

Round 3: Stereotypical Han and Friends

This kind of list is always a challenge as Han I so hard to kill. I ended up losing it due mostly to misjudging my movement with the A-wings and so not getting shots most turns. Next time I face this sort of list I will just joust the falcon with both A-wings and put ten dunce into it with the rockets. Han is just too powerful if he lives long.

I also messed up with maneuvering the HWK-290 and wound of stranding him in a corner for a few rounds, lesson learned on how not to fly it.

So yeah overall it was a great tournament. I plan to use the same list in the next tournament in two weeks, the only change I intend will be to swap out experimental interface and saboteur on the HWK for a recon specialist and to swap out calculation on Tycho for Expert Handling or Daredevil for more movement shenanigans.