Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This Week in Scenery.

I have a job that requires I work on the weekends, so my "weekend" falls on Tuesday and Wednesday. I, unfortunately, did not complete any projects. However, I have some shots of works in progress to share. First up is what I'm referring to as the "Machine Shop". The upcoming Nerd Night campaign will involve factories that we will use to produce resources, so I set out to build a factory. Rather than produce one giant factory, my plan is to create three mid sized pieces that when combined give the feel of a manufacturing area. I also made this piece partially ruined but largely intact so that it could feasibly be still in use while still being highly playable.

This next piece was a total stream of conciousness build. I had two ruined wall barriers that I bought at Adepticon that were still sitting out and waiting to be put away. I started messing around with placing them on a base and nothing seemed to look good at first. Then I started brainstorming on using them for a classic ruined temple design (classic in that GW have made several variations on the ruined temple concept that are all vaguely similar.) Here's my take on it:

That's it for now. More to come!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

People Love City Terrain!

City Terrain won resoundingly in the poll. I should work on City Terrain next. Unless people in my gaming group voted twice by going to other computers, the numbers show that more than the people I roll with want more City Terrain. Though I have nothing brand new to show my gaming group, I'm going to show off some old stuff and I'll complete some new stuff next week.

First up is a piece entirely composed of GW's city terrain plastic sections. I probably won't use these straight out of the box for much. I prefer to make the buildings more unique by combining them with other scratch build sections.

Anyway, this piece was recently updated from its Codex Grey on Chaos Black roots to include some Bleached Bone drybrushing on the skulls, Tin Bitz and Boltgun Metal drybrushing on the chains and exhaust vents, some Dark Angels Green washing on a variety of details, Scorched Brown washing over the skulls, and finally a Bubonic Brown drybrush on the top floor and a Bleached Bone drybrush on the ground floor.

You will also notice the base has sidewalk lines. These, as mentioned in an article last week, were added with a linoleum block cutter.

The above is a road section that I use to add city elements to my badlands board, or to use as an airfield landing strip, or the base for parkland on my city board (more on that next week!) Once again, this is 1/8" plastic card with the cracks cut in with the linoleum block cutter.

It is mutually agreed amongst the gamers in my group that this is a pretty beautiful piece of terrain, but getting your models in and out of there is a complete bastard. At least the models have lots of flat area to stand. They just fall over when your hand hangs up on part of the terrain and you bobble the whole thing. You'll notice a variety of new and old techniques for this building. The structure is classic cut out foam core, cardstock bricks and tiling on the floors and on the chimney stack (I don't know what else to call that section), but a lot of the other details are from misc Hirst Arts molds. Finally plasticard is used for the roofing.

These foam core sections were cut at the same time and will form some sort of companion building in the coming weeks. The sad truth was that these were drawn out possibly as early as 2001? They've been sitting around for that long. The building above was drawn out at the same time and was completed in 2006. I work slower than real building contractors!

This is Ian. Every so often he'll decide that all 48lbs of pitbull need to be on my lap so he can inspect my work and chew it up if he sees fit. You can see glimpses of other works in progress in the background. More on those next week!

Thinking Ahead... UPDATED!

I had planned to play Mechanized Guard in the 40K Championships at Adepticon 08. I didn't get the army to a point that I felt was complete enough to field so I used my Angels of Absolution instead. So here we are, Chicago Games Day is coming up in July, and I really should start figuring out now what army I'm going to bring.

The Angels of Absolution have been fielded in every tournament I've ever been to in all my years of gaming, with the exception of the Team Tournament at Adepticon which has always seen 1000 points of my Imperial Guard.

My Orks really would be my first choice, but I paint insanely slow and there is no way I would be able to complete them in time - maybe they could make it to the Chicago Grand Tournament in the Fall, but definitely not GD in July.

So that leaves the Imperial Guard I was trying to have ready for the Championships. I'd have some set backs from what I've accomplished. I was painting all Autocannon and Twin Linked Heavy Bolter turrets, and I'd want to replace the Autocannon turrets with Multi-laser Turrets, and I would have to radically alter my Heavy Support choices as I was taking all Forge World vehicles, and though my Manticore can quite reasonably "count as" a Basilisk, the 2 Thunderers would really only be able to "count as" Demolishers - and those frankly eat up way too many points.

I'd be down but not out. I should have plenty of time to finish what I have left to assemble and paint.

Another bit of thinking ahead...

All signs seem to indicate that in July when 5th Edition comes out that S5 weapons will shift from defensive to primary. This means all 6 of my Chimeras will no longer be able to shoot both weapons on the move. The often ignored Pintle Mounted Heavy Stubber at its rather burly 12 points was never that attractive to me before but seem to gain a whole lot of usefulness in 5th Edition. I think I'll be modeling some removable hatches with Pintle Mounts and trying them out. July is just around the corner!

Update: I realize that anyone reading the blog who isn't part of my gaming group probably had no insight into what my models look like or how I work. I paint very slowly, but I've speed up considerably in the last year. I cut corners I never would have before. Here's a collection of tank sections that were being prepared for Adepticon. This is effectively a portion of 2 months worth of work. Each of these stage by stage shots is actually a separate vehicle in a different stage of production.

I find that when I work on a large model I often lose interest before I complete it. Instead I like to work in manageable bites. For these Chimeras I clipped and cleaned the parts that I needed and painted them all individually. My work area currently looks like this:

Each of the above bits was cleaned, primed white, hit with a coat of Blood Red Spray, and then given a 2-3 watered down coats of Blood Red to "de-orange-ify" the tone of the spray and make it so that the model takes inks more easily. (Note: I am not an "airbrush guy" but for what I use Blood Red and Bleached Bone sprays for, I simply cannot wait for the Hand Flamer Sprayer. It will speed up the above process and that's something to be stoked about!)

The above photo I titled "The Five Stages of Redemption." Side armour #1 is basecoated Blood Red as described above. #2 You can faintly see has a Blazing Orange highlight on all off the edges and rivets. #3 depicts the Fiery Orange highlight which only goes on side and upper edges, as well as on the rivets. On #4 I have gone back and carefully hit each rivet and plate separation with watered down brown ink. Finally, #4 I've gone back with Fiery Orange and cleaned up any highlights that got muddied up by the inking and hit each of the rivets another 1-2 times with Fiery Orange (the ink usually really darkens these).

Once I have enough sections fully highlighted to assemble the center of the vehicle, I assemble it. I "glass" the viewport at the front at this point, when its easy to hold the model and not get fingerprints on the paint because I can hold the bare plastic sides.

The outer side is placed on now. As you can see, I don't bother priming the spacing wheels. I only note it because my Adepticon Team Mate, Mike Nogle, said to me, "Oh, you don't prime those?" I think he figured I was so anal that I would.

Here I've added the top section, tracks, and the Heavy Bolter. I was on another blog and they were going over their technique for tracks and they pushed them all down really flush with the spacing wheels and meticulously cut one of the "1" Tracks down to half the size. I actually did this on one or two of the vehicles I worked on, but I recently tried just going with a "loose fit". I didn't shove anything down tight, I just rested them on the wheels and found that it was possible to get the tracks to fit without any trimming of bits by merely letting the tracks "float" more. The tanks will sometimes rock a little because the tracks balloon out a little but they look more natural. Next time I do tracks I'll try and step by step it.

Lasguns are painted separately and then added. As you can see all of the viewports are glassed with the standard "gem" effect. I could go back and wash or 'Ard Coat them for additional effect, but the truth is, this army is never going to win any awards anyway, its just to a high gaming standard and I have to keep that in mind.

Next side armour with tactical markings is added, as well as the side hatch. At this moment this vehicle belongs to the 5th Armoured Fist Company and is the 1st vehicle of the 1st platoon, though part of me is considering it being the 7th vehicle and putting the company number elsewhere. We'll see how I feel when I detail those other side armour pieces above.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thank You Warphammer!

Yesterday Warphammer added this site to their blog role. I am deeply honored! My blog has only been up for a week and people are checking out. Thank you.

Take a minute to go check if you haven't already.

The Marienburgers Defend Their Goods!

The Marienburg Merchant Guard entered the Vale of Woe. They sent a small party ahead to meet up with guides for hire that they had arranged for several weeks previous. These guides were to lead them to the point along the river where the hermit boatman supposedly lives.

The two meeting parties approached one another and something seemed dramatically wrong. The approaching guides were larger than expected. They weren't men either, but Ogres -and there were over a dozen of them.

Ogres do roam the streets of Marienburg and their sight would not have been cause for immediate distress. However, it was the fact that they were barreling towards them, bawling, and brandishing iron clad fists and other weapons.

The Merchant Guard braced for the inevitable impact and steeled themselves for victory or death. Spears were readied, black powder and shot were packed into handguns and pistols, and the militia fanned out.

Quick thinking on the part of several merchants even resulted in a Mortar - meant to be a gift to the Merchants of Ind - being brought to ready and fired at the closing Ogres. Luckily they had been trained in its use so they could demonstrate it, but their lack of proficiency was obvious.

Two groups of Pistoliers attempted to flank the Ogres, but as soon as the wild eyed gaze of hunger lust fell upon horses the steeds panicked! No amount of training between the rider and mount could calm them.

The Spearmen fought bravely - holding their ground and battling back. The biggest bruiser was ultimately dragged down, but the battle didn't end there. The Ogres that had driven off the Pistoliers came to his defense, allowing him to crawl away. The regimented training of the Merchant Guard and heroic leader ship of their proud Captain allowed them to face all comers and run them down. The disorganization of the Ogres being their downfall.

It was a hard fought battle. This was my first game against the Ogres and they are a burly lot. Previous experience in the game had taught me that big blocks of troops and out casting him would win the day, and it surely did. I went for a 6x5 block of 30 spearmen (6 being the frontage) and coupled with a tooled up captain and tooled up wizards. It was a fun game. Things looked bleak when my two units of pistoliers fled the table in the face of separate Ogre charges, but it still all worked out. Those failed charges took 2 Ogre units out of position and resulted in all of the Ogre charges in the center of the battlefield to go on unsupported against my superior numbers. In all it was good game.

My apologies to Chad for no longer knowing the game backwards and forwards. It was a long night of looking up rules, but still fun and rewarding.

My apologies as well to any reader who read an earlier draft of the above this morning. It was an ugly first draft. Ugly!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wisdom of the Ancients?

I got into GW games around 1995. The game store I co-owned expanded to include Warhammer with all the surplus Magic:TG cash we had, and all of the owners started armies to learn the game. I selected Undead, and this was in the days previous to the splitting of Undead into Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings. It doesn't seem that long ago, but I've been playing for almost 14 years.

Anyway, Magic:TG was a cash cow in those days, so we had even more surplus cash - and we decided to carry 40K as well. Once again we all selected armies and though I was torn between Orks and Dark Angels, I opted for the DA's successor chapter - Angels of Absolution.

Back in those days I remember playing Warhammer against a kid named Mike Mattlock. He played Empire and I don't think he ever won a game. He tried so hard. On at least one occasion I got a first turn win on him. We spent 45 minutes setting up. I got the first turn and I rolled for all 3 of my Screaming Skull Catapults and they all hit their mark. Units panicked in droves and this caused chain panic in the other units. I cleared almost an entire army off the board with 3 well guess shots, and Matt failing countless leadership tests. It was frustrating for both of us because we put so much into getting the game set up, and it was over inside of 10 minutes after deployment.

My earliest experiences with 40K were no different. A Virus Outbreak strategy card could clear a Guard Army before the game began. Was it Karandaras with Combat Drugs who got the first turn charge almost guaranteed and most likely tear the heart out of your army? (Note: armies were much smaller then.) Entire Wolfguard units could be equipped with Assault Cannons and Cyclone Missile Launchers. Vortex Grenades. Vortex Grenades! The list of insanely broken elements to the game goes on and on.

We eventually created additional limitations for both games like "no magic items over 50 points" and removing Virus Outbreak from the deck or Strategy Cards and denying Vortex Grenades as an option. That, and I outright refused to play the 12 year olds in my store with their Space Wolf Wolfguard.

I eventually went to work for GW when they opened a store in Buffalo, NY and I left the store I co-owner for a job with a paycheck. Before I was promoted to manager, I was rewarded for my commitment to the store by being sent to both the US and Canadian staff tournaments.

At the Canadian staff tournament, a guy named Sean Murphey deployed his enire army in 1 building. His opponent elected to shoot at the building instead of at any of his units. He blew up that building and Sean Murphy's army perished in its entirety on turn 1! They created something that day called the Murphy's Luck Award and whoever came in last at a staff tournament got a new boxed army of a different force than what they played with in the hope that they could do better with it.

People on the internet are always screaming bloody murder whenever GW does anything - its always the "wrong thing". The latest whining is about the impending 5th Edition that is "ruining 40K" before its even been released. Its also being endlessly asserted on the internet these days that GW have thrown game balance out the window.

Every edition of both games has gotten better. I haven't seen an army tabled in either game on the 1st turn since the late mid 90's. 5th Edition Fantasy and 3rd Edition 40K both made changes that prevented these sorts of things from happening.

Yes, your army is going to play differently.

Yes, you're likely going to have to convert or buy new models to adjust to the changes.

Yes, you're going to have to spend the next 5 years adjusting to the new ruleset just to have them tweak it again.

Embrace these things. Change is good. The game would get stale otherwise.

And as for game balance - there are too many variables with that many races. Perfectly balanced army lists is a myth. Its a concept that does not exist and it never will. Maybe if they cut both games down to 4 races each it would be possible, but then we'd lose all the character and variety that make the game so engaging.

Finally, if you can't adapt - get out! Seriously. I'm astounded how many GW haters still post on forums and comment on blogs. If you don't like the models, you don't like the prices, and you don't like the rules, then why are you here? Do all of us that are actually excited about the hobby a favor and take your crybaby bullshit elsewhere and rain on somebody else's parade. Personally I suggest politics where maybe you can focus all of that negative energy into something positive.

This is not a plea, its a demand. Sell your models and get out!

It Begins with a Journey...

I think narrative is a huge part of the hobby. If there isn't a story to why we are fighting then we might as well be playing chess or Risk instead of games with a dozen or more factions with unique character and goals.

40K, with Warp technology, makes it pretty easy to explain away most pairings of hostile armies.

Warhammer Fantasy though, with the slow speed at which armies travel and there spacing across the known world - at makes explaining why 2 armies are fighting more difficult. Empire, as an example, at war with Vampire Counts, Orcs, Chaos, Bretonnia, or other portions of the Empire all make perfect sense. Empire at war with anyone else requires a great journey.

So tonight my Marienburg Empire force is doing battle with Chad's Ogre Kingdoms. We're separated by most of a continent and some of the most dangerous lands in the Warhammer World. He didn't envision his Ogres as mercenaries, which would have been the easy explanation, so instead my newly dubbed Marienburg Merchant Guard are attempting an overland journey to Ind. I detailed the jouney and gave Chad the option of choosing the point of attack that worked best with how he envisioned his army, and the start of the narrative was established. Here are the initial bits of narrative we each wrote:

"Here is your itinerary for your journey to Ind. You will set sail from Marienburg along the River Reik as soon as the winter breaks. You will head eastward until you reach the mouth of the Talabec - this will take you to Kislev. Be ever vigilant once you pass the mouth of the Urskoy, dark creatures lurk everywhere that far north!

At Kislev you may give your men 3 days rest, the hardest part of the journey will be ahead. You will continue north east along the Upper Talabec until you can travel no further. You will then follow the track to Peak Pass - this will be your path across the World's Edge Mountains. I would suggest acquiring a guide from either Kislev or Ostermark to assist you in your travels into the mountains.

The journey across the mountains will be arduous, but your travels will get more dangerous still when you enter the Dark Lands. It goes without saying, but once you leave the confines of the Empire you should only travel by day and each night keep your light minimal so as not to attract the wicked and barbarous.

Continue to follow the track through the Dark Lands due east. You will come to a river. Rumor tells of a shack and a hermit who sells boats but these cannot be validated nor do they seem likely. I will be providing you with the necessary tools and a couple of craftsmen to help you cobble some barges to take you down this river. Follow it to its mouth and you will reach the exotic and civilized land of Ind.

You will be transporting some of our finest goods. Protect them with your life, trade them judiciously, and then return to Marienburg. If you succeed you will be rich beyond measure and your men and their families will live comfortably for many years.

There is much to prepare for, winter will break within the month and you will need men and supplies. Inside of 6 months we will all be much wealthier - Sigmar be with you.

-Fredrik von Hedlerberg"


Gregor Mountaineater of the Iron Storm tribe sat and brooded, idly picking the remains of a Gnoblar from his teeth. Climbing Mount Skabrand was no simple feat, yet what was his reward? To sit here, waiting to meet a trade caravan that Tyrant Nazlar had agreed to escort through the Vale of Woe. No fighting, no looting, no meat fresh from a clubbing... This was no life for an Ogre.

Gregor's brother, Denor Maw Bitten, approached. "The man-things approach. Better to be eating them than watching them, damn Nazlar's teeth. Me thinks he's lost his teeth and his gut, been eating too much gold."

"Aye, was just thinking the same," replied Gregor. "But what can we do? He's the Tyrant, we's the followers. We've got our little band of bashers here, he's got the rest."

"But we've the Maw on our side," growled Denor. There was blood on his face, and a strange light in his eyes. Gregor sighed inwardly. "You's been snacking on Chaos Dwarves again Denor? They's no good for you, and you know it."

Denor roared, shaking a blood covered cleaver to the sky and casually decapitating a nearby Gnoblar. "The Maw speaks, and I listen! Eat, the Maw says! Gorge, kill, crush, eat! Meat, that's what we want, meat and glory for the Iron Storm, not gold, not this trade Nazlar makes. The Maw says we kill him, eat him, and then..."

As his brother trailed off, Gregor considered. Nazlar had been looking a little weak and gaunt lately, his gut plate getting a little loose. And anyway, a nice little pit fight and snack after would be more interesting than following orders all day. "All rights, you talk sense. But what then? and what now? How's do we start this?"

Denor grinned, showing his blood and marrow stained teeth. "After Nazlar, we takes the tribe and we obey the Maw. We kill, we eat, and we do it again. And to start..." Denor pointed the cleaver at an approaching caravan, barely visible in the distance. "We feast on the weak ones, the man things, in the name of the Maw."

Ogre text by Chad McMann

The only wrench in the plan is that my 1000 point list for tonight includes a Mortar - a weapon not really suited for protecting merchants on the go. Could it be a trade good that we were forced to use out of desperation? This could be. If destroyed in the battle it will be left to rot and rust in the Vale of Woe. If it survives, it will persist with us, even when inconvenient because frankly, we've lugged it all the way through the Empire, across the World's Edge Mountains, and across the Dark Lands - we are not discarding it now!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Random Bits

People will see this on Warseer or Bell of Lost Souls long before they see it here, but I'm excited so I'm posting it anyway - from GD France:

Also, there is a really lively debate on improving tournament play on Bell of Lost Souls. Some people are being really hostile to Mkerr and he's responding with never ending logic and diplomancy (and math!). I think he's right, tournament play needs some revision. His suggested fix is not my #1 choice, but it wouldn't disuade me from a tournament either by any means. To see what the fuss is about go here:
So tomorrow is Nerd Night, and as people are still reclaiming their lives after Adepticon, tomorrow will be a 1000 point Warhammer game between my Empire and Chad's recently acquired Ogre Kingdoms army. I've only played a couple of games in the current edition and I don't think I've won a single one with my Empire, but I feel more ready for this game than any of the ones I had in the Fall. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thoughts on Campaigns and Scenarios.

Scenarios and campaign gaming are a huge part of why I love the GW hobby. Maybe its my role-playing roots at work, but I love telling a story and developing it over time. My Angels of Absolution did most of their fighting in the Biletrus system from 1995-1998 (mostly against Eldar and fractious Sisters of Battle under the sway of a Radical Inquistor gone too far) and had been fighting in the Tyrgon system from 1999-2006, mostly against the very dishonest and untrustworthy Tau. Their true, most secretive calling is the hunt for a Fallen battle brother named Hortikar who continues to flee deeper into the Eastern Fringe. All of these details add depth to my army that tournament play can never give.

Shortly after I joined the Nerd Night crew I ran a slow escalation campaign set on Tyrgon V revolving primarily around Imperial forces, the Tau, and Snakebite Orks. The storyline didn't really get fully fleshed out until the campaign was nearing its end (and some of the superfluous armies dropped by the wayside - like the Necrons), and for me, that's when we finally had something in place worth fighting about.

In the coming months we'll be starting a new campaign involving the Black Ships and the hunt for psychers run by Scott from Citizen Nick Hobby Center and I'm looking forward to it. However, since we have a few weeks in between, I want to revisit Tyrgon V and play out a few of the sub plots I envisioned, as well as the grand conclusion that we wrote about but never played out.

Below is a scenario I brainstormed last night and this morning and that I'd like to play on Tuesday. It pits the Varrian 10th Imperial Guard, the battered heroes of Tyrgon V, against the barbaric Snakebites marauding through the ruined city of Andelon. Lt Tonius has a crippling wound and is separated from his regiment. His microbead has gone dead and he's alone in the ruins. His only option, a signal flare he found in a wrecked Chimera he managed to drag himself into. He hopes it will draw his brothers in arms and he fully knows it will also draw his Ork pursuers. His only hope, launch the flare and then crawl into the cover of one of the nearby buildings and pray to the Emperor the Varrian 10th find him before the Snakebites do.


An Imperial Officer, Lt Tonius, is wounded and down behind enemy lines. His microbead is malfunctioning so his only option was to shoot a signal flare and go into hiding until help arrived. You have tracked the signal flare to this sector of Andelon and must sweep the buildings until you’ve found your downed officer - if he’s still alive! Ork Boyz have also seen the flare and are in pursuit as well.

Primary: Find Our Man!
The wounded officer is hiding in one of the buildings, but neither side knows which one. At the beginning of each player turn make a standard Reserve Roll. If the Officer appears pick a building and roll a scatter die. On a hit he deploys in the building you have chosen. Otherwise the sighting was unconfirmed and he stays in hiding. Continue to roll as a Reserve unit at the start of each player turn until he appears. The objective is claimed by holding the building he is in. The player with a unit occupying this building at the end of the game is the winner. If neither side has any units occupying the building at the end of the game, the primary objective is a draw. 4 points for a win, 2 points each for a draw.

Secondary: Plant the Flag. Both forces are seeking to clear the enemy from this sector. This is achieved through occupying city ruins. When a city ruin is occupied, the unit doing so ‘plants a flag’ in that city ruin, and may move off to do so in more city ruins. The ‘flag’ remains until an enemy Scoring Unit occupies the ruin, at which point it plants its own flag instead. The player with the most flags planted at the end of the game wins the secondary objective. 3 points for a win, 1 point each for a draw.

Tertiary: Demonstrate Superiority. Beat your opponent by 251 Victory points or more to win the Tertiary Objective. 2 points for a win, 1 point if neither side achieves this objective.

Gama: Cityfighting Stratagems, Dusk and Dawn, Victory Points.

1 Divide the table into four quarters. Both players roll a dice, the player with the highest score picks which quarter to deploy in. The other player’s deployment zone is the opposite quarter.
2 Declare the use of stratagems, as detailed in the Cityfighting Stratagems chapter.
3 Starting with the player that scored the lowest, the players take it in turns, deploying a unit at a time until both armies are fully deployed. Units are deployed in the following order: Troops, Heavy Support, Elites, HQ, Fast Attack. No unit can be deployed withing 18" of the enemy or within 12" of the center of the table at the start of the game.
4 Roll a D6. The player with the highest score may choose whether to go first or second.

GAME LENGTH: The game lasts 6 turns.

Note: Those familiar with the scenarios at Adepticon will quickly note I ripped off their 3 Objective system. I really like the way this system forces you to concentrate on multiple goals at once - it really adds depth to the scenario. The points are such that if you've dominated the terrain and you've done serious damage to the opposing army you can still be victorious even if the other side has secured Lt Tonius. His rescue or capture will do little good if you need rescuing yourself.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Terrain Piece of the Week

Okay, so over the last couple of days I've been working on terrain. Here's a mostly finished piece. It utilizes the standard plastic building sections made by GW. Here was my starting point:

As you can see I used a bit of plastic card for the roof, with a plastic I-beam to form the peak.

The gable is thin cereal packet (Amy's Toaster Pop packet to be precise - Apple if you were wondering). I added a shadowboxed skull from the inside of a Cities of Death building piece. Be careful removing these. They are rather thick and I managed to stab a chisel shaped X-Acto blade straight into the palm of my hand.

The base is made of some sort of plastic used in sign making. I was pretty sure the Nerd Night founder, Anton, called in Cintra or Sintra. I tried looking it up online but couldn't find it under that name. Regardless, its like 1/8" plasticard and its fairly soft. I actually use a linoleum block cutting tool to put my sidewalk lines in:

Seeing as its a pretty simple piece we'll jump right to the painting:

The entire model was sprayed with GW Rough Coat and then again with Chaos Black. The entire model with the exception of the roof was drybrushed Codex Grey and then again with Codex Grey mixed with Bleached Bone.. A third dry brush of mostly Bleached Bone was applied to all of the skulls. I went back over the skulls with a wash of heavily watered down Scorched Brown and the chains and exhaust pipes were washed with Dark Angels Green.

So what is it? Its probably representative of a grounds shed or a free standing mechanical room. You'll often see these sorts of very small buildings near rail tracks or electrical lines.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Lost My Focus Already!

I talked yesterday about the desire to stay focused on my Imperial Guard tanks. I spent a few minutes on some side hatches and I selected which models were so barely started that they should be tucked back away. I then promptly dragged out a bunch of terrain supplies and began working on some city terrain instead.

In my defense, I was jonesing to work on some terrain 3 weeks ago and managed to stay the course and ignore my urges through Adepticon. With no urgency left, I just wandered to wherever the gods willed me in a manner of speaking,

So I worked on a number of terrain projects, none of which are completed at this precise moment. However, in order to make this blog semi useful and not just a way to feel okay about talking to myself here's a terrain tip:

I hate waste. I wish I could find a way to use every last sprue clipping, every bit of packaging... If it goes in the trash as a result of my hobby, I'm going to yearn to find a use for it. Now everyone knows about "sprue rubble" at this point. You clip up your sprues and use them to represent bricks or beams. Well today I cracked out my razor saw and made window sills. Its nothing fancy but here's a pic none the less:

While I'm at it, here's a pic of the stage previous:

And that's it for today. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Adepticon is Over. What's Next?

As is tradition, we all mutually agreed to skip the Nerd Night that falls directly after Adepticon. After the mad rush to complete army lists, models, and display boards followed by 3 days of frantic convention activity everyone needs some breathing room. So a couple of days have passed and now I'm looking at my painting table and my display case with ponderings of "What's Next?"

Unlike some of my compatriots, I did not finish my Adepticon army. In fact, I've never strolled into a tournament confidently with a fully painted army. I always fall short. This year, I fell so far short of my goal that not only was my Team Tournament army not finished, but I decided my 40K Championship army was so far from completion that I'd be embarrassed to take it out of the case and elected to crack out the Angels of Absolution that I have taken to every tournament I've been in since my first tournament in 1998.

Former GW staffer, Jason Buyaki asked me this past weekend, "So are those Angels finished yet?" Laughing, I said "No." The last time I talked to Jason was in 2003. Its been 5 years since our last encounter and he's been busting my balls about it since 1999 or 2000. Its so sad its comical. Its been the running joke for 10 years basically (I started painting the Angels of Absolution in 1995.)

I think this week is going to be spent completing a number of tanks that were used in my Redemptors of Golinar army this past weekend that are so far along that it would be stupid for me to hide them back away. I should be thinking ahead to the next big tournament in July as well as preparing my Orks for the upcoming Nerd Night campaign. So many projects, so little time. Maybe this blog will help keep me focused.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nerd Night - The Blog

Every Monday night for the last 2 years I've been playing 40K with roughly the same group of guys. People have come and people have gone - but the diehards remain. For the 3rd year in a row I attended Adepticon here in Chicago and for the 3rd year in a row some of our numbers have been there. We all love the GW hobby and we all love going to gatherings and seeing what other people are doing. This year we came to some new realizations...

Flash back to 1994-2001:

In 1994 I was part owner of a gaming store in Buffalo, NY called Adventures Unleashed. We carried D+D stuff and CCG's. MagicTG had just broken out and we paid off our initial investment inside of 3 months of opening (thank you Legends "God Boxes" with 4 rares instead of 3 uncommon cards and a rare!) We had money burning a hole in our pockets to reinvest in the store and we decided to carry Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. Little did I realize my life would change forever.

I went from being completely disinterested in the GW universe, to collecting an Undead army but still wholeheartedly swearing I'd never be interested in the background. Before I knew it I was playing Undead in Warhammer, Angels of Absolution in 40K, and Cawdor in Necromunda, and running detailed campaigns in the store. I was building terrain like a fiend and getting so upset that I couldn't paint like a master that I once threw a model across the store. When I came in the next day it was still where it landed on the floor. I picked it up and looked at it and realized it was actually pretty damn good - aside from the big chip I gave it.

I eventually moved onto working at the newly opened Buffalo, NY GW store in Nov/Dec of 1997 and that's when my friends and I got really hardcore about the hobby - pushing the limits of our abilities. We felt like masters - at the top of the hobby elite in Buffalo. I'd travel to other GW stores and be disappointed at the models in their figure cases and be unimpressed by their scenery. We were hobby snobs to the extreme.

Today I am still a full blown hobby snob - without a doubt. The difference is, the hobby world has stepped up its game and left me behind. Here I was at Adepticon with one of my fellow GW Buffalo staff members and all the guys from my current gaming group here in Chicago and I was blown away by many of the armies, displays, and team commitment. Many people traveled with their gaming groups, sporting their t-shirts or bowling shirts, and they frequently had mind blowing armies with great themes and amazing supplemental works. There was a team that had a full color army list with beautiful photos of every unit in the army. We talked a lot about stepping up our game and feeling inadequate. This blog will be a diary of our hobby exploits as we strive for excellence. Combined with our private msg board we will hopefully push the limits of what we are capable off.

Watch this space!