More on the Guard, Coming Soon!

This is my goal for this week, before the 4th of July weekend. Base and undercoat all of my Guard…and also all of my Eldar (Oh, the hobbyist’s primary weakness – distraction). Already completed: I’ve undercoated all of the Guard vehicles and tonight I hope to finish basing those who still need it.
Working!
My basing method is simple. On a clean base, I put some white glue on and spread it around with a toothpick. Then I dip the model in sand, let it sit a few moments with the entire base covered, then pull it off and knock off the extra sand. Let it dry, tap off anything loose, then on to painting. Undercoated black, the bases for my Guard are simply two coats of Goblin Green. Special characters have added debris (rocks, tank tracks, etc.) but by and large, I am pursuing simple bases for a largely simple army.

Shadow Stalkers of the Kabal of the Twilight Wraith

Presenting: the personal raiding force of the High Lord Archon Khira’lyth.

If you ever need a description of why the Dark Eldar aren’t really “that evil,” just talk to Joel. If you ever want to see a well-painted Dark Eldar force, see him for that, too.
2000 Points
His army is situated around a few Warrior Squads backed up by more warriors entering from Webway Portals – just at the right moment to jump into your gunline. Dark Eldar His other units include some Warp Beasts, some Wyches, and a hard-hitting Reaver Jetbike squad led by a fierce Dracon.
Dark Eldar Warp Beasts
Dark Eldar Wyches Dark Eldar Dracon on Reaver Jetbike
Generally at 2000 points, Joel runs the character on the jetbike as a Dracon, and his on-foot leader as an Archon. The high number of raiders, alongside the jetbikes and webway portal, assures that this army list is extremely fast and hard-hitting. The HQ unit he runs is the Archon (High Lord Archon Khira’lyth, wouldn’t you know) backed up by wicked Incubi. Anti-armor firepower is provided by a Ravager with Dark Lances. Dark Eldar Incubi
Dark Eldar Archon
Dark Eldar Ravager
Joel starts with an undercoat of sprayed-on black, then he does touch ups with Chaos Black. The basic blue is Regal Blue; this is followed by a half-and-half Regal Blue-Ultramarines Blue, then Ultramarines Blue, then Ultramarines Blue-Skull White for the final Highlight. The eyes are Sunburst Yellow, and the metallics are Boltgun Metal highlighted with Mithril Silver.
Dark Eldar Raider
Dark Eldar Wyches (2)
Dark Eldar Beastmaster
Dark Eldar Jetbike Dracon

Joel’s Army List is exactly 2000 points:
+Archon Khira’lyth with Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Shadowfield, Combat Drugs, Plasma Grenades
+Retinue of 5 Incubi
+Raider with Horrorfex
+9 Wyches with Wych Weapons, Blaster, Shredder, led by a Succubus with an Agoniser and Splinter Pistol
+Raider with Horrorfex
+5 Warp Beasts led by a Beastmaster
+2 Webway Portal Squads, each with 16 Warriors, 2 Splinter Cannons and a Blaster, Sybarite with Poison Blades, Splinter Pistol and Portal
+3 Raider Squads, each with 10 Warriors, a Splinter Cannon and a Blaster, Sybarite with Poison Blades and a Splinter Pistol, and a Raider with Horrorfex
+7 Reaver Jetbikes with 2 Blasters, led by a Succubus with a Power weapon and Tormentor Helm
+2 Ravagers, each with 2 Disentegrators and a Dark Lance

Ready for Phase 2

My workspace The first stripped model

After a long weekend of serious work, I have stripped all the models I deemed in need of paint removal, remodeled those that needed it, and reorganized my army list.  I also built two more troopers using spare Guardsmen bits and extra bases.  I am especially proud of one trooper, a shotgun-wielding Sergeant with intent in his motions.

Shotgun-toting This is what I\'m proud of

I was using Chameleon brand model paint remover for most of the work, and on all but my oldest and most difficult models it worked well.  I based my decision on which models to strip and which not to based on how worried I was about losing or obscuring any detail during phase 2: spray painting a new undercoat on the entire army.  With this in mind, I did not strip models with only a light undercoat, nor did I strip any vehicles.  I did, however, perform considerable maintenance on the armored sections of the army.  Part of the forceOn my Leman Russ Exterminator I replaced the old storm bolter with a new heavy stubber, and the old dozer blade with the new one.  I ripped the sponson heavy flamers off another Leman Russ, and gave it smoke launchers.  I modified one of the Chimeras to boast a heavy stubber, and changed a fast attack vehicle – based on a wooden car I made in shop class in middle school – to have different armament.  

2nd Company, Volyak 21, with attachments

The new organization comes to 3407 points total, and was based primarily on the models I had available to me.  The doctrines I selected are: Priests, Storm Trooper Squads, Special Weapon Squads, Iron Discipline, Sharpshooters.  The infantry are of 2nd Company, Volyak XXI Rifles and the armor from the Volyak XVII Armored.  Perhaps in another post I will go into the history and more in depth organization of the force.

So where does that leave me modeling wise?  In the previous image, you can see the sketch book where I have drawn uniform plans for the armor.  Here is a better picture:

Uniform styles .

Hopefully before long I will be able to start spray-painting this horde.  I have the black spray paint ready.  After that, I will have to start purchasing paints to start the long, serious painting.  Please comment with any questions, suggestions, etc.

Starting the Big Project

Today I have started work on the big project for the summer: stripping, remodeling, and repainting my 3500 point Imperial Guard Army.  I started collecting this army – my first Games Workshop modeling – when I was in 5th grade, and continued collecting them for maybe six years, alongside a smaller Space Marine force.  I have a smattering of different uniform themes – primarily Valhallan, Cadian (new and old), and Mordian – have till now followed a rather disgusting white, black, orange and grey color scheme (“winter urban camouflage” I imagined) that needs an update.  I’ve settled on a color scheme and worked some patterns for it, and I think it will turn out nicely.  Because of the differing uniform styles, it is critical to have a matching, consistent palette.  

Obviously, some of my army was never undercoated – thankfully including fully half of the vehicles in the force.  That’s the easiest part.  Stripping the white undercoated guardsmen should be all right, and it should be easy enough to get the painted ones as well.  I am most worried about the models I varnished – “the original 11” – but I am hopeful about it.

After stripping it all: remodeling some, then flocking, then undercoating.

Help has arrived!

Everything currently painted.

Wow, somebody check my temperature, two actual updates in one week? Shocking! Ian and I have been talking about what we’re going to do for future updates, and things look promising. Ian is going to be stripping and re-painting 3500 points of Imperial Guard, (yowza!) and I’ll be making some bunkers from scratch. Look for those in the next few weeks. But for today, we’re going to look at what I’ve been neglecting to put up here for the past few months.

So I’ll start with the sniper. Look for him in the group photo, see him? No? That’s because he’s hiding. (Or that I forgot to put him out for that one. Whoops.) He has a very simple color scheme: Dark Angels Green, Camo Green, Chaos Black and Tin Bitz for the body, Bronzed and Elf flesh for the face, and bits of Blood Red, Sunburst Yellow, and Snot Green to highlight his goggles and gun. Sadly, he’s the lone sniper, as I’ve not put the others together yet. That’ll change.

Eventually.

My personal favorites of the group, the Death Company and the Chaplain. This picture really doesn’t do them justice. The marines were simple, Chaos Black, drybrush with Fortress Gray, (Really, really light on that drybrushing too, just enough to break up the black and highlight the edges.) Tin Bitz for the metal parts like the jump pack straps and vents, and Skull White for the helmets. Oh, and Blood Red for the eyes.

The Chappy was a bit more indepth, though it’s the same basic scheme. More Shining Gold and Mithril Silver on the metal parts, Liche Purple highlighted with Ice Blue for his cloth piece, and Blood Red on the Purity seals. Heavier on the Fortress Grey than on the DC because, hey, he’s been around. That armor is going to get scuffed, right?

And finally, the Beakies and the Chapter Master. The Master was done like the other marine. I painted his armor to show wear. He doesn’t lead from the rear, no sir, not my guy. His cape was done as the Chaplains. It truly is a great combination, and if you are thinking of adding purple to your models, I highly recommend it. You won’t regret it. The Beakies I got off of eBay and, despite their age, are some of my favorites. They’ve proved to be more difficult to paint than I thought, however. They didn’t take the stripping as well as I’d hoped. No matter, they are tabletop condition, and will likely lead the way against enemy forces.

I should note here that all the guns I’ve been doing lately have been done in Mithril Silver, with a heavy blank ink over the top. These pictures don’t show it well, but it really is a pleasant effect. Don’t dilute the ink, and don’t be shy. The silver will shine through.

And that’s it for now! Oh, I had a question about attempting to resurrect old paint. If it looks like mud, you can add a little bit of water and stir it up with a toothpick, that’s how I kept some of mine alive. If it’s completely hardened, you can go to the local GW store, and pay $3 or $4 for a new pot – that sucker probably isn’t going to come back in usable condition. Hope that answers your question.

As always, leave comments, I love ’em, Ian loves ’em, everyone loves ’em. And don’t forget: I’ll post photos of your army if you want them up here. Leave a comment with an honest email address and I’ll get back to you. Cheers all!

-Andy

They’re Coming!!

“Hold fast, brothers, fear not the alien scum… oh… uh… Fight on, Brothers! I’ll… go get backup. Yeah…. that’s it.”

Hive Tyrant Pre-base

In related news, there really is backup on the way. I had the lack of willpower to purchase a Space Marine Battleforce, which, along with what I already have puts me about equal with the GF in terms of money spent, and game points. Now we can all look forward to bigger games!

I apologize for the lack of Space Marine pictures, but they are coming – I just need to touch up the MotC, finish the base of the D-nought, and perhaps get a few assault marines put together, but expect pictures soon. It’s my hope that it won’t be another 25 days until my next post, but I make no promises.

As always, if you’d like me to put up pictures of your army, leave a comment and I’ll email you at the address you provide. Thanks for reading!

P.S. I talked to some Gothic players today… things look good for gaming in the next month or so. Stay tuned.

The 500 pt. Space Marines Army

So I promised I’d post my 500 pt. army, and try to explain why I have what I have. So, here it is:

HQ – 90 pts – Captain with Plasma Pistol and Power Weapon (Store Link)

This was the piece I was least sure about. You would think that since it is so important I’d be sure this is what I wanted, but there were just so many choices. So I kept him simple, not wanting to put too much into him in case I get rid of him later. Still, he is able to hold his own, which is always important.

Troops – 2 groups of 9 Space Marines (151 pts./Squad – 302 pts. total) (Store Link)

While I was considering specializing the core of the army, it just seemed like I’d be better off with a bit of flexibility. Again, keeping it simple, it’s just 18 Space Marines, each squad having a flamer and a launcher. The Sergeants have the basic pistol and close combat weapon. The hardest part of this was figuring how mobile I wanted these squads to be. Right now we’ve spent 392 pts on the army, leaving 108. 108 pts will get you two Rhino transports. Mobility is usually good. But, instead, as we’ve seen in previous post, I went with…

Dreadnought with Smoke Launchers – 108 pts. (Store Link)

More than mobility, the army needed a centerpiece. Let’s face it, when there is a large piece on the board, people want it gone, and fast. Is the Dreadnought more deadly than the others? Well, yeah. However, the others used together can be devastating, and if they aren’t hurt by enemy fire, they can do more than the Dreadnought can by itself. (Mobility, again.)

So there it is. Is it simple? Yes. It’s supposed to be. Is there some grand strategy that’s going to enable this to win every time? No. Is there any obvious strength to it? No. Is there any glaring weakness to it? No. So all in all, I’d call this a successful core to an army. I won’t actually know until I test it, and test it again, but that’s how things work.

Leave a comment, and let me know what you think.

The fun stuff

Now last post I explained the “pre-color” or “pre brush work. Now we get dirty. (Kind of.) Here is where we left off:

Chaos Black primed Dreadnoght.

Now, this piece is a giant hunk of metal, so the first color we have to put down is a metallic silver.  We’re going to drybrush it on, with some heavy parts on the flat surfaces. This is so that when we paint it red, the metal will show through a bit. It also helps us choose what should be metallic later or not. This step shouldn’t take long, two quick passes should be perfect. If done correctly, by the time you get to the end of the piece, it’s ready for it’s next color. (Kids, that means start at the top and work your way down, then do it that way the entire time.) So once we have our plan, we coat with Mithril Silver, and it looks like this:

bigdsilvered.jpg

Like I said, quick. But it helps you visualize what the final piece will look like. I see that I definitly want the wires and such to be metalic, and that the piece is going to look (expletive deleted) cool when it’s done. Notice the heavier metallics on the “leg shields” and the left chest panel. This will make the red that is going to be on top come out brighter. Now, if I really wanted to make this look clean, I’d probably do the entire piece in silver, but clean isn’t the style I’m going for.

Now for the red. I have three major tips for this stage of the painting.

Tip 1: Save yourself time. Use a large brush.

Tip 2: Don’t worry if you get red where you didn’t want any. It can be fixed.

Tip 3: It’ll take a few coats to get it right. Make sure the previous coat is dry before you add another.

That’s really about it. Just go over the parts you’re going to want red. After three or so coats, it looks like this:

bigdred.jpg

Now we detail. We do bits here, bits there, different colors, whatever you like. For this one, I added a white “racing stripe” to the left chest panel by masking off the painting lane with tape. (Clear scotch tape at that.) Now, because of the bumps in the details it didn’t come out perfect. That’s okay with me. With that done, the piece now looks like this:

bigdpre-arms.jpg

Though it’s hard to see, I used Skull White, Mithril Silver, Fortress Grey, Bleached Bone, Boltgun Metal, and Shining Gold. Once this phase was done, I did the arms the same way. Then I had to dirty it up.

Now, this part is difficult to explain. The short story is, I had some 4 year old paints that had dried up a bit. I slowly added some water to reconstitute the paint. It’s kind of a sludge really. Then I just slop Tin Bitz on where I think the dirt should go, and it gives you a good dirty effect. Like so:

dnaughtpainted.jpg

Now all that’s left is the fine, nitpicky detailing. I haven’t actually done this yet, but it’s simply cleaning up his medals, and perhaps a quick ink wash. But as you can see, it’s not bad as is. That’s all I have for now, but I’ll have another post soon detailing my 500 pt. army.

Priming of a Dreadnought

So I had hoped to have a step by step painting tutorial on how I painted my Dreadnought. It turns out, I really don’t have that kind of patience this week, but I did manage some pictures, which I’m going to split into two posts. I use this same process for all my models, with a few added tips and tricks here and there. I’ll add them in later, but unless otherwise noted, this is my standard method of painting.

 This post is going to focus on the pre-color work.

Step 1: Assemble the Model

Not everyone would agree with this. I suppose if my Dreadnought was going to be scrutinized as a work of art, I would paint each piece seperately. It’s not. I didn’t. So, I found a pose that worked, and glued everything in place. (Except the base, which I will cover later.) Why do I prefer this? I don’t want to do a ton of detailing. I normally don’t have a lot of time, so if I can shave a few minutes here and there, this is good.

At this point, this is what it looks like:

Dreadnought Front No Arms

Step 2: Tape off any parts that you don’t want painted.

This is very important. No matter how good you think you are, TAPE OFF ANY PARTS YOU DON’T WANT PAINTED. I can’t count the times where I say to myself, “I just won’t paint that, and glue it later.” Then I go and paint it. Then I have to file the paint off, usually compromising some part of the model I wanted to keep whole. Any kind of tape works. Really. Save yourself the headache.

Step 3: Prime the Model

Okay. I’m not going to be a stickler for the paints sold at the GW Store. If you don’t want to use Citadel Colors, that’s fine. (I do, but you’re not me.) However, use thier primers. They don’t melt the plastic pieces. They stick to the pewter pieces. I’ve had these problems with other primers, and you may think your saving a few bucks, but when you have to clean the pieces, then go and get the Citadel Primers, you really haven’t. Take my word for it, they’re the best.

Now, as for the actual priming. There are three rules for priming any piece.

Rule 1: Multiple thin coats of primer are better than one thick coat.

Rule 2: There is no coat that is “too thin.”

Rule 3: Once satisfied, let the primer cure for 24 hours.

These are very important to follow. Rule 1 keeps you from losing detail in the piece, while rule 2 keeps you from spraying too close to the piece and wrecking Rule 1. Rule 3, however, saves you pain later in the painting. IF you paint the piece BEFORE the primer is dried THEN you will ruin your brushes and paintjob. Primer doesn’t come off as easily as the other paints. I’ve had a few conversations (read: arguments) with people as to how long is safe. I had one tell me an hour, one 45 minutes. I, in turn, told them I waited a full day. They looked like I had said something bad about thier mothers. I thought about doing so, then decided I had shocked them enough. But I do. Waiting 24 hours means that I have time to look at the piece and finalize how I want to paint it, and that I know the primer is completely dry. Wait a day. Think about how cool your piece(s) is(are) going to look. After 24 hours, just before painting, the Dreadnought looked like this:

Chaos Black primed Dreadnoght.

Next Post: Initial Coloring