Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A Tale of One Gamer...

Another week gone by and I've made some further progress on the Dunecrawler. All the base coating is done and I have begun highlighting the metal on the legs. You can see the difference between the front and right leg compared to the back and left.

There's still a lot to be finished and I'm a little concerned about the amount of time I have left. Unfortunately there wasn't much painting done over the last week as Sam and I had an engagement party, which meant a lot of organisation and a lot of friends visiting and hence hosting of said friends. It did mean we got to get out and enjoyed Wellington a bit more over a long sunny weekend. We also dropped into the Sunday harbourside market and I picked up a Kransky Langos with cheese.

Alright so it's not a burger, but these things are a-ma-zing! Deep fried bread with deep fried kransky all covered in cheese. You can feel your heart slowly stop beating with each bite. They are made by Tom's Chimney Cakes and they have a food truck that travels around the Wellington area. Check out their Facebook page to see if they park up near you and grab yourself some deep fried goodness. You won't regret it :)

Alright that's me for another post, I better get stuck into painting again. I'll leave you with an image of cuteness for the evening. Sam took Van down to David Jones over the weekend for his first photo with Santa. I'll admit, it's a bit strange taking a dog to see Santa, but no less cute for being so.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A Tale of One Gamer...

Another week and some more progress, though still behind unfortunately. I've been throwing some time at the Dunecrawler when I have it to spare and I've managed to catch up a little bit on where I'm supposed to be. The model is glued into it's separate parts ready for base coating and I have managed to get the base coat on the legs as below.

I've got a bit of time at the moment as work is closed off for a day or two. For the benefit of anyone outside of New Zealand we recently had a few more big shakes. The Wellington CBD took a good hit from this one and has been shut down while engineers get around and inspect all the buildings, one of which is the building I work in. So in between helping people with clean up here and there I'm at home doing painting while I wait to get back into work.

I have also managed to get in a bit of gaming over the last month. I organised a 1000 point game with Bryn last Saturday and when I was working through the photos I found some more related to a smaller game I played with Mark several weeks before that. The games didn't go too well for me but it's certainly helping me figure out the myriad of crazy rules these guys use. Here's a brief rundown of both the games:

Mark and I played 500 points and the game was technically unbound in that we just brought whatever models we felt like. I had 1 unit of Rangers with Arquebuses, 1 unit of Vanguard with Plasma Calivers and a Tech Priest Dominus. Mark had a unit of Fire Warriors, a Devilfish, a Sun Shark Bomber (represented by the Stormtalon), a unit of Stealth Suits and a boss in a Crisis Suit.


Sneaky Rangers...

Dirty Tau!

Mark advances; the Fire Warriors blaze away at me while the Bomber poops on me.

On the other flank the Stealth Suits try to shoot me in the back before the Tech Priest jumps in there and takes them apart.

Admittedly I was confused about what to do and how to use my army. I set the Rangers back and tried to whittle down the Fire Warriors at range. With the same range and better fire power however I was fighting an uphill battle. The Vanguard ended up taking on the Bomber on the left flank while they crept up on the Fire Warriors from behind the bunkers. They did OK in that they managed to knock a couple of hull points off the Bomber and they cleaned up what was left of the Fire Warriors but I'm so used to playing Space Marines that I forget how fragile Toughness 3 and a 4+ save is. They in turn got cleaned up by the Crisis Suit and Devilfish.

By the end of the game I had done some damage to Mark's army but I had no units left to claim objectives with. Mark grabbed 3 of the 4 objectives and with other secondary objectives he ended up winning by something like 9-3.

The game with Bryn didn't fare much better. Bryn and I played 1000 points, Bryn brought Marines with two White Scars Attack Bike squads and a normal Bike squad led by a Librarian. He also had a small Dev squad with 4 Lascannons, a Thunderfire Cannon, 2 Scout Land Speeders with 5 Scouts in each and a second Librarian. I had two Vanguard squads; one with Plasma and one with Arc Rifles, a small unit of Rangers with 2 Arquebuses, a Tech Priest, 3 Kataphron Destroyers and 2 Onager Dunecrawlers with Neutron Lasers.

Turn 2 - So far I have managed to kill one Attack Bike and a couple of Devastators.

Attack Bikes in combat and re-rollable cover saves meant I wasn't doing much damage.

My Onagers managed about three kills the whole game I think.

Finally got my Kataphron Destroyers in range. Managed one round of shooting before they were gone.

At the end of turn 5 I had been tabled and I had managed only to destroy the Bike squad, a unit of Scouts and their Speeder. I at least managed to figure out some of my flaws from this game which I can hopefully implement to better effect in the next game. It doesn't feel like you get a lot for your points with Ad Mech as they are so frail they disappear very quickly, but I've picked up a few ideas about how I can work the army better next time so we'll just keep throwing mud at the wall and hope something sticks.

In the meantime I've got more painting to do so I better get back into it. Thanks for stopping in for a read and check back again later for more news on the Ad Mech...hopefully better news this time.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

A Tale of One Gamer...

Well last Monday, with only a couple of hours to spare, I completed my November challenge for the Tale of One Gamer. It's been a long month with a lot going on in between which has meant finding time to paint has been difficult. That being said though, the threat of having to sell of my precious toys has been enough to spur me on and get things finished in time.

And so I present the 32nd Vanguard of the Mechanicus Expeditionary Force Pi.

I've started to come up with a story line to build a narrative behind the models I'm painting which is why I've given the unit a name. I'll write up more of this background later as I flesh it out, but simply put I'm basing my Mechanicus force around an exploration force sent to terraform a new world for the Mechanicus of Mars.

To say I'm happier with these models than I was with the last batch I finished would be an incredible understatement. While I still struggled to get a whole unit painted within a month due to all the sub assemblies involved, I did manage to deliver a group of models that I am happy to put on the gaming table. I'm stoked with how the metal has come out in a dirty, dull tarnish to contrast with the bright red of their great coats. I'm also thrilled about how the green has come together. While I am still adhering to the Martian red of the GW paint scheme I wanted to steer away from the blue glow they used. I think the blue makes the models look too clean and I really wanted something more sickly to highlight the unhealthy radiation seeping out of their weapons and equipment. I'm much happier with the green and I feel it gives the models a much darker, grittier look more suited to the narrative of 40k.

Despite all this I'm not completely without frustration. This whole process is becoming a bit of an experiment into the unknown where I test out new techniques and new products. One technique I decided to try towards the end of painting these guys is Object Source Lighting (OSL) from all of the green light sources. The model in the back row with the Arc rifle is the one I used as a test subject, you can see a little OSL on his rifle and the light on his backpack. I really like how it's turned out, but seeing as it was an impulsive, last minute action I will have to return to finish off the rest of the models at the end of this project which is a little annoying. In future however I will be applying this to all further models. On the other hand one thing I'm not happy with is the snow on the bases. I bought some of the new Valhallan Blizzard texture paint to have a play with and I can tell you that I am far from impressed. This is what it is supposed to look like according to GW:

This is what it actually looks like:

Some might like this effect but the look I'm going for is a rocky mountainous terrain capped with patches of receding snow. I've tried to improve the look by mixing the Valhallan Blizzard in with some PVA and water to get the right effect but it still looks pretty naff. I'm confident I'll get it right with a bit more tidy up work but at the moment I just feel whole-heartedly disappointed with it.

I've also been looking at weathering effects and I'm pretty sure this is something I'm going to add in to the next step of this project. That's another step that will need to be revisited on all the models I've already painted at the end of the project. More re-work sucks but I really want to push my limits and explore as a painter with this project so it'll be worth the effort.

Speaking of the next step in this project I should probably lay out my goal for November. The original plan was to paint a vehicle for month three, so my next model on the painting table is a second Onager Dunecrawler
At the moment I'm clipping and cleaning the parts out of the sprues and gluing them together. I'm hoping to have the whole model glued and undercoated by the end of the weekend so I can begin base colours on Monday. Once again I'm a bit behind where I should be and I'm quickly running out of time, so I better sign off here and get back to modelling. As always thanks for stopping in to read and I hope you're finding these updates interesting or inspiring. Check in next weekend for another update and hopefully a quick post about some other random topic in between.