Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shadow War: Armageddon WIP


Well, what a week with regard to Warhammer 40K announcements, eh?  With a new edition of 40K imminent, it seems prudent to take a pause on 40K projects and focus on something else fun...Shadow War!  I love two things about the new Shadow War: Armageddon game:

  1. It uses 40K models and factions we already have.
  2. It uses the same 40K Terrain, and introduces new kits that go REALLY WELL with the existing Cities of Death kits, and all the new stuff like Promethium Relay Pipes, etc.
Just brilliant in my mind.  Necromunda was fun, but it used the gangs which had no other place in 40K, even though they came form the same background, if perhaps a niche portion of it with regard to the Hive worlds. The basement gaming lab overfloweth with random factions thanks to my own enthusiasm and the packaging of various opposing forces, like Harlequins with Deathwatch, Chaos cultists with Assassins, Genestealer cultists with Deathwatch, etc...

After a brief perusal of my collection, I realized I already had the bitz for making seven new kill teams in addition to the two that come with the Shadow War: Armageddon boxed set. With the rules published for download on the GW web site, I have everything I need to run a variety of teams, plus provide teams for friends that want to try the game out.  Lots of new ways to play with out further investment, other than Hobby time of course. They even put up a roster sheet for convenience.

So this week I put together two kill teams and began to look at the new Sector Mechanicus terrain with a particular eye towards incorporating it into my existing Cities of Death terrain.  Here are some early WIP shots of what I accomplished.

First, and dearest to my heart, is a new Death Korps of Krieg kill team!  I'll likely just run them with the Cadian rules, or perhaps Steel Legion, but that;s k.  They will look fantastic once I paint them up. So I return to the blog the Korps for which it was originally inspired!

I built these all from left overs in my bitz box that remain from creating elements of the 262 Siege regiment. Some of it was recast crap I bough by accident off EBay in my frenzy to acquire bitz in the early days.  Some of it was authentic Forge World resin.  You can see the patchwork of parts in the pic above.

Engineer parts added a shotgun to a Guardsman recruit. Pieces from the Grenadier squad kit provided all the veteran bodies and hotshot lasguns to rep the Hot shot laser pack upgrade in Shadow War. A spare Company Commander provided a great Kill Team leader (Veteran Sergeant). Spare weapon arms fashioned a second Guardsman recruit. Salt with flamers and a Plasmagun and there you go!

After a coat of Vallejo Black primer, they look uniform, authentic and ready for a coat of paint.  Time to break out the old recipe here on the blog and see how closely I can match them to my original painting for this regiment.  Stay tuned...

Up next is a quick WIP for my Red Hunters Space Marine Kill Team, built from the scout parts that came with the Shadow War: Armageddon boxed set. I forgot to shoot these guys before I primed them so the scratch building is no longer evident as a WIP.  I upgraded the whole team with Camo cloaks, and wanted to rep that for WYSIWYG, but the Space Marine scout range is pretty limited.  So I set about modifying arms and weapons to fit the five cloaked bodies form the sniper set.

The solo sniper is built stock, the remainder have modifications from the minor to the more severe. For the team leader, I chopped the upper portion of the arms from the pistol and chainsword bitz.  This guy is the most awkwardly posed as a result, but I think it I managed the believable swagger of a Space Marine sergeant presenting a challenge. The two bolter scouts were similarly built by removing the parts of the arm that were already including in the cloaked body so that they attached naturally.  Some creative gluing and liquid greenstuff made sure the arms look like they belong now.

The heavy bolter presented the most challenge.  Simply removing upper arm bits didn't allow the heavy bolter to be held in a natural and convincing manner.  In the end, I used a blob Greenstuff rolled into a small cylinder to form the upper arm to the elbow that forms the right arm holding the weapon grip. A smaller amount of Greenstuff went into attaching the left hand to the arm portion of the cloaked body. I am not a good sculptor of Greenstuff, so what followed then initial attachment was a comedy of errors as I attempted to fashion a simple but believable arm fomr the blob of green putty. The result is a bit bulky, and perhaps ill defined considering the true molded details on the model.  But I like it.  If the paint doesn't call out the awful sculpting too much, I'll be pleased.  Under primer, it looks pretty good, I think!

So there we have five cloaked scouts for the kill team. The based for both kill teams are meant to represent generic ash/dirt fall out from the epic conflicts that shattered the hives where these teams operate.  I opted away from busy elements and simply went with a heavy coat of Vallejo Black Lava into which I plunged the various kill team members while it was still wet to represent their weight settling into and disturbing the ash and slag.  Once this dried, I popped/pried them off carefully and the glued them down again using super glue.  I debated pinning (which would really have been the thorough way to go), but in the end decided to risk a simple glue job.  The black Lava is somewhat tacky and holds models pressed into it after drying.  but is is no substitute for a stout glue.

Last up is my proof of concept for incorporating the new Sector Mechanicus terrain with my existing Cities of Death other bitz.  I have to say that GW hit it out of the park, esp. by making the new terrain match exactly with the latest releases of promethium Relay Pipes, etc.   I immediately turned to EBay for more rely pipe parts, and Cities of Death ladders.  While in 40K I didn't care too much how models got from one level to another (an so don't have ladders for each level of every building), Shadow War relies of ladders for guiding movement and it looks to be an important element of the game.  But I digress...lets look a the results of merging Cities of Death with Sector Mechanicus.

Shadow War: ArmageddonShadow War: Armageddon

Brilliant! Here, I have started simple by just adding components from the Alcomite Stack set.
Nothing is glued down, and many parts are still not attached so I can continue to play with various arrangements and configurations.  To bring the elements together, I added a couple parts from the Promethium Relay Pipes set.  These simple elements help better fill out the congested look of a Manufactorum better than just the walls (and their few pips and stacks) alone.  This should play well in Shadow War but will be equally fun for a standard Warhammer 40K game. Win!
Shadow War: Armageddon
 Above, a Manufactorum block starts to come together.  I believe that combining these pieces with more Shadow War: Armageddon terrain and the remaining Cities of Death buildings will make a great table to battle over.  Interesting elements, lots of line-of-sight blocking pieces.  Painting it all is going to give me fits, but fortunately, I enjoy painting scenery! The airbrush will help me get things to a reasonable table-top standard quickly too.  The details...well, they will take time.

I am very excited for the addition of the Sector Mechanicus terrain.  It will bring a necessary element to the scenery set I have always wanted to battle over.  Until now, all games were contested over primarily hab blocks and Administratum offices with the occasional bunker. I look forward to varying this with a believable Mechanicus vibe. And when I get bored with that, there is a tabletop full of bunkers, emplacements and trench lines which I will detail in some future article. 
For now, the new addition of 40K approaches, and in the meantime I have kill teams and fabulous terrain ideas to implement. Oh, and of course this will incorporate the Containers and other bitz I've showed recently...and I'll finish those Custodes...and...
For the Emperor!
Cheers and Happy Gaming.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On the Work Bench [April]

Time to share what I've been working on this month.  I've been able to make progress on the Custodes as well as the six containers for my terrain upgrade project. In addition, the spring weather allowed me to get out the spray cans to prime the six Cities of Death builds I built not too long ago and the Void Shield Generator.  Expect to see some progress shots on those soon too if I don't get too carried away with the new Shadow War: Armageddon terrain and models! But that is a post for another time.

Here are the Custodes after the first highlights have been applied to the gold armor.  So far all paint has been from Vallejo with the exception of GM Agrax Earthshade used to shade the models prior to highlighting. As I did with the Deathwatch Squaduary 2017 project, I'll post a final paint recipe once I've completed these models.

First Highlights

And the dreadnought...

Steppign back a bit, a base coat of gold was laid down using the airbrush over black primer.

Base coat applied

After that, the gold was shaded using GW Agrax Earthshade.

Shaded with Agrax Earthshade

I was pleased how the new gold highlights brought the shine back while still leaving rich shading to add definition to the models.  By this time, I'm probably the last one painting gold armor like it is a new thing, but its still new to me!  Look for a separate post as I tuck in to the other base colors and get on with detailing these awesome models.

Next up is the container project.  All of the containers have been shaded and highlighted.  The red container with an open door had previously been detailed inside, but this month the blue container got similar treatment. 
Blue with highlights

With Shadow War: Armageddon in mind, I'm planning to leave both doors open on the Blue container to provide a tunnel through cover. I really enjoyed painting the interiors.

Blue with interior detail

Next up the red containers...

Red with highlights

And last the yellow containers

Yellow with highlights

The highlights are probably washed out a bit here, but hopefully clicking through the the larger images will reveal the work there. I've already started painting details on the red containers.  So a follow up article will be in order soon to show the progress there.  

That's what has been keeping me busy so far this month. I expect to have built a Astra Militarum kill team for Shadow War: Armageddon before the end as well...maybe the Space Marine Scout team too?  Definitely using the opportunity to make progress on my Red Hunters by painting up the Space Marine Scout Team in their colors. As a codex chapter, I'll use the Ultramarines rules for games of Shadow War. :)

Shadow war is going to be an excellent opportunity to build Harlequins, Gene Stealer Cult, Tau and perhaps even Chaos Cultist kill teams as well.  While not wanting to invest in those armies for 40K, I have the models already from recent boxed sets and other sources and it should be good fun to pain small forces of the Xenos and Chaos scum!  

Until next post...

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Adeptus Custodes WIP


What force of the Imperium could be complete without the Emperor's chosen warriors?  With the release Codices for the Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence, I opened a bonus project for my 2017 project to-do list: two 5 man Custodian Guard squads and a Custodes Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought.  Below are one of the Guard squads and the dreadnought.

Adeptus Custodes WIP

All ready for priming, we have the first squad armed with sentinel blades and storm shields, accompanied by a Custodes Vexilla. Looming in the rear of the photo is the Venerable dreadnought.  The dreadnought I easily picked up on eBay, originally from Betrayal at Calth boxed set and also sold separately now. As far as I could tell, the new box containing the Custodes Venerable Dreadnought is the same dread with new packaging; it even still includes a Horus Heresy transfer sheet containing nothing for the Legio Custodes - odd that.

I added scrolls to the armor to give a sense of movement, a crest from the Space Marine Captain sprue, a Crux Terminus on the the left shoulder guard, and lastly a shield crest also on the left shoulder.  Once painted up, these little extra details will hopefully bring the mostly static model to life and sell the venerable status, marking this dreadnought out as a veteran of the Custodes Guard.

The Guard themselves are built stock.  The second squad will feature all halberds to give me a mix of weapon choices and to display the full variant of weapons wielded by the Custodes Guardian squads. These are fantastic models with loads of detail.  The shields are off for painting and omitted from the picture above.  Ultimately, they will be pinned on after painting is complete.   As fan of small batch Bourbon, I have saved up a range of stoppers which I am using for painting.  This approach allows me the manipulate the models while painting without accidentally rubbing off any details, breaking fragile bits or coating areas of the miniature in the natural oils on the hands.

Last up is a shot of the custom bases.  I really enjoy making my own bases.  They are of a very simple design using cork and various grades of scenic rocks and gravel from model railroad suppliers.  I use quality carpenters wood glue to mount everything to the original GW plastic bases. I find that wood glue is easier to work with that simple white glue due to is extra thickness and good drying time.  I believe it holds better as well.  I choose not thin it with water, but instead apply it directly to the bases in all its gloppy goodness.  I use the GW nylon spade tool from the sculpting tool set to spread it about and apply it where I want it when adding specific features like skulls.

Once applied, it is a simple matter to add a rock or tow, a skull, or any other details before ultimately dunking it in a mix of various gravel types.  I have had the same big batch of gravel for years and it is featured on many bases in my collection.  I've gone pretty minimalist here initially, not wanting to detract from the details of the Custodes themselves that will be mounted on the bases.  Prior to priming, I may attach a rogue bit or two to add character and tell some story about the battles fought by such fine warriors...

Custom Adeptus Custodes Bases WIP

On the Dreadnought base, I left the area when the feet attach clear of gravel to convey a sense of weight.  Once attached, the dreadnought should appear to have slightly sunk into the earth. I may similarly clear some gravel for the Custodes Guard as well.  All models will be pinned to the bases using the same brass wire currently attaching them to the bottle stoppers.  For this I use superglue instead of wood glue.  I drill holes through the bases and allow the wire to penetrate all the way through the plastic bases when glued down.  I often drop a bead of superglue over the end of the wire under the base to provide a sort of stopper to make it even harder for the wire to pull free in the future.  

In the coming week I will get these guys primed, and also move on with the container scenery project. The containers have been washed with GW Nuln Oil thinned by Vallejo Matte Medium.  I'll get some photos up in a future post.  Next steps will be to add highlights and weathering damage. I need to work fast...the Shadow War looms on the horizon and there is no way I'm going to be able to avoid the new scenery!!

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Munitorum Armoured Containers WIP

Two sets primed and based

Writing up the March workbench post prompted me to continue with the containers now that I had six primed models and few excuses.  So it was that I fired up the compressor and took the air brush out to set some base colors down.  First off, I decided to try modifying the primer with a top-down zenith highlight of grey. This approach is was hopefully going to add some interest to the base coat in terms of darker shading on the underside and lowest parts of the containers and the brightest shades on the top.

Container Primed with Zenith Highlight - Top

The zenith highlight here is laid down using Army Painter Uniform Gray. The top is covered entirely in the gray, while the sides are spray roughly halfway down.  I had not art or science here, just went on instinct based on some articles I've read from others in the past. I have absolutely no art/color theory background what-so-ever so these sorts of projects are always a chance to learn something new, hands-on.

Container Primed with Zenith Highlight - Side

Confident nothing was ruined so far, I set about applying the zenith priming to all of the containers.  Below is a set up shot of three of the contains after additional primer has been applied.  I used an Iwata Eclipse airbrush and a portable spray booth for the painting. In my basement hobby space, I was able to cut a hole in the hose for a typical "dryer vent" which I attached the spray booth to, so everything vents outside.  Not something every hobbiest is going the be able to do, esp. if you don't own the house you are hobbying in.

Three Containers Primed with Zenith Highlights

Now the colors...after much deliberation, I decided I wanted a mixed set of colors when I was done so the set wouldn't appear too uniform what stacked all together.  I was likely influenced by GW's own art here, I confess.  For me set, I chose red, yellow, and blue, with red being chosen for the majority.  The final result is spoiled in the opening pic above.  Here are close ups of each scheme.

Red Container

Three containers are based with Vallejo Model Color 70.947 Red.

Dark Yellow Container

Two containers were based with Vallejo Model Air 71.025 Dark Yellow.

Royal Blue Container

One container was based with Vallejo Model Color 70.809 Royal Blue.

Not sure how the primed zenith highlights will play in the long run.  But I can't see that any looks wrong or went wrong during painting either, so that's all for the good. The extreme lighting of the photo booth artificially lighten the container tops int he pics so I can't say you are seeing the true effect in these shots. One of the red crates also opens and has been fully painted in its interior.  So that leaves me four closed and two opened containers.

Lots of variety and color for the set.  I look forward to how things turn out. At some point, I'll tackle the drums and crates as well.  For now they sit primed but unloved...

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Scatter terrain and Objective Markers

Earlier this year I painted up some terrain pieces assembled on normal bases using barrels and crates from the Munitorum Armoured Container set with a few other bitz tossed on.  I had forgotten to share those so here they are!  I got the idea to use a couple large bases to organize items as a weapons cache, fuel stores, or just simply improvised cover.

Improvised Cover - Front

This is the largest piece and is set on a large oval base. Here I added elements form the bitz box to flesh out the scene of random Imperial Guard stores. This could serve as an objective, or simple cover. While I will add similar elements to my new Imperial buildings, I thought this was a great way to introduce additional cover that could be placed differently for each game rather than remain static with the builds.

Improvised Cover - Back

Another shot from the other side.  I forget the exact colors used here, but it was done primarily with Vallejo colors and GW Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade washes, then suitably high lighted. My style generally favors muted, dirty colors so my highlighting is not so extreme.  I am always reluctant to use bright highlights for fear of things looking garish or cartoon-y.

Munitions Stores

The pieces above complete the set with random piles of war gear.  I had fun with the skull in guard knife adding interest to the promethium barrels in the foreground. For the ground cover, I used a mix of fine and coarse gravel from some model railroad mix I bought years ago.  To that I add a few larger stones also from a model railroad scenic source. 

Everything is glued down using a quality wood glue (I find it sets with more staying power than a plain white/PVA glue).  Once dry, I usually paint over then wash and dry brush.  Here, I skipped the paint step and simply washed the mix heavily.  I pooled wash here and there for interest, esp. under the spigot of the promethium barrels.  For the larger rocks, I colored them in similar but different colors so that everything didn't seem unnaturally uniform, even picking out a few of the larger "coarse gravel" bits in different grays or browns.  A final wash over all set things up right.

A simple but very satisfying terrain project that I threw in just before Squaduary 2017 got started. IN my next post, I'll show more progress son the the armored containers.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

On the work bench [March]

Following Squaduary 2017, I chose a couple build projects as a short break from painting.  First up is the plastic Void Shield Generator.  I picked this up primarily as themed battlefield terrain to compliment the rest of the GW plastic terrain kits I own.  The Void Shield generator is certainly a useful piece to field as part of an army as well, but I don't expect to use it this way much except in themed games where an active void shield over a portion of a war-torn city fits.  The piece should also look grand simply as a burnt out, but not yet destroyed, reminder of the glorious mysteries of the Empire of Man.

Warhammer 40K Terrain - Void Shield Generator WIP
 Should be a fun and challenging piece to paint in detail. I plan to start with a table-top ready mix of base colors and dry brushing then with more time I'll move on to filling in cool details and adding any necessary weathering. Up next are Munitorum containers and associated ammo boxes and fuel drums.

I picked up a second set of containers for six in total along with the extra bits that come with. The first batch of drums and crates I made into based terrain pieces to act as battle field debris or objectives.  As I write this, it occurs to me that I never posted that small, satisfying, project. Look for something soon on that.

I'm not sure what I'll do with this second batch.  Perhaps I will add a couple more based pieces, or perhaps I'll make a themed stand-alone terrain piece with a container or two.  I haven't decided fully whether to leave the containers and "free pieces", or combine them with existing building pieces. As free pieces they could be arranging in infinite ways for various battles.  Built into fixed terrain pieces they would add character and theme in a more static arrangement.

This is all largely a theoretical exercise, as I'm unlikely to play many games with them regardless of how I paint them up for use!  I think I like the process of modelling and painting terrain pieces over leaving them as free models on their own.   I'll probably experiment a bit to see what works with the buildings I've already assembled.

The new set primed (except for the storm bolters).  As I did with the first set, I plan to paint one container so it can be open showing the interior detail. Below is a shot with the first set of containers, also primed.  The doors on one are closed bit fun-tak putty so the exterior can be sprayed without effecting the painted interior.

Expect follow on articles as I finally put paint to the containers.  I'm been delaying for some time now due to indecision on the best paint scheme.  I originally wanted to paint these with a Dark Angels theme.  But I think in the end I'll settle for something with contrast to the rest of my terrain project (heavily gray, dirty, and dusty) and generic enough to fit in with any battle field conflict. I want to avoid the base munitorum army green I have used for much of the rest of my bunker-based terrain. I'm guessing a mars Mechanicm red will be the final choice, but there is still time left to change my mind on this!

In addition to terrain, I primed the Deathwatch Corvus Blackstar while I had the airbrush filled with Vallejo Surface Primer Black (73.602). Great primer for the airbrush, I must say!

So that's what's on the work bench for March.  I hope to present an "on the Workbench" article each month, projects permitting.  Stay tuned for more.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Deathwatch Paint Recipe

As promised, here is the recipe I worked out over the process of Squaduary 2017.  I employed a mix of vendors' paints for this project.  I really like the Vallejo line, but have have a few Army Painter colors that have been staples.  I can't articulate why it is I have hung on certain colors other than to say it's what has worked for me in my style of amateur brushwork.

It should be noted that I did not capture the recipe for the chapter colors found on the right shoulder pads. I guess I thought that would be obvious when it came to repeating them on other similar brothers as the Deathwatch project progresses.

So without further adieu...

My Deathwatch Paint Recipe

Black Power Armor
  • Base - GW Abaddon Black
  • 1st Highlight - Vallejo Grey Blue (70.943)
  • 2nd Highlight - Vallejo Game Color Wolf Grey (72.047)

Steel Arm
  • Base - Vallejo Steel (71.065)
  • Wash - GW Nuln Oil
  • 1st Highlight - Vallejo Steel (71.065)
  • 2nd Highlight - Vallejo Silver (71.063)
  • Glaze - 1 part Vallejo Dark Blue (70.930) to 5 parts GW Lahmian Medium

Skulls and other Gold details
  • Base - Vallejo Old Gold (70.878)
  • Wash - GW Agrax Earthshade
  • 1st Highlight - Vallejo Old Gold (70.878)
  • 2nd Highlight - Vallejo Silver (71.063)

Weapons & Equipment (Iron parts)
  • Base - Army Painter Gun Metal
  • Wash - GW Nuln Oil
  • Highlight - Army Painter Shining Silver

Weapons (gun casings)
  • Base - Vallejo Game Color Bloody Red (72.010)
  • Wash - GW Nuln Oil
  • Highlight - Vallejo Game Color Hot Orange (72.009)

Weapons (ammo shells)
  • Base - Army Painter Weapons Bronze
  • Wash - GW Agrax Earthshade
  • Highlight - Vallejo Old Gold (70.878)
  • 2nd Highlight - Vallejo Silver (71.063)

  • Base (linings) - P3 Menoth White Base
  • Highlight (linings) - P3 Menoth White Highlight
  • Base (Outer) - Vallejo Game Color Bloody Red (72.010)
  • Wash (Outer) - GW Reikland Flesh Shade
  • Highlight (Outer) - Vallejo Game Color Hot Orange (72.009)

Ammo Pouches
  • Base - Master Series Paint Harvest Brown (09200)
  • Wash - GW Agrax Earthshade
  • Highlight - Master Series Paint Orange Brown (09201)
  • Buttons - Vallejo Old Gold (70.878)

  • Base (wax seals) – Army Painter Dragon Red
  • Base - P3 Menoth White Base
  • Wash – Agrax Earthshade
  • Highlight (wax seals)  – Vallejo model air Red (71.003)
  • Highlight – P3 Menoth White Highlight
  • Text – Vallejo Burnt Umber (71.040)

  • Base – Vallejo Dark Earth (71.029)
  • 1st Highlight – Vallejo Khaki Brown (71.024)
  • 2nd Highlight – Vallejo Light Brown (71.027)
  • Wash – GW Agrax Earthshade
  • Wash – spots of GW Athonian Camoshade

As Always, Cheers and Happy Gaming!