Friday, July 18, 2014

Commander Adept Nemo

My first Cygnar warcaster! This model was very enjoyable to paint. Again I tried to focus on a racing-worn look, with utility insignias added in multiple places, especially electricity symbols and the favorite warning sign (exclamation point in a triangle). I feel like the skin and hair on this model worked out pretty well. His hairy eyebrows and mustache made for a nice framing of his face overall.

There was a bit of a problem when I finally went to mount him to the base. Specifically his staff was extended down just a bit too much. I tried to use the texture of the base to create a bit more space for it but in the end I had to have just a bit of a bend to it. Not really going to sweat that though. Details like that are good learning opportunities, but with the goal of getting a playable army on the table, I tend to focus on moving forward rather than fixing things that need non-trivial work.

I have to admit that I haven't given much thought to which caster I'll paint next. Probably Nemo2, but given that I've only played this Nemo a single time, I'm not super anxious to get more options on the table just yet. I'd love to build out his whole tier list before moving on to a second caster.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stormwall

Picture heavy post. Can't help myself. This project was a real delight.

So this marks my first Cygnar warjack, and what a way to fully commit to the faction it was. There's a load of posts out there about how people assembled and painted their Stormwalls, and the whole process therein. So I'm going to skip all that here and focus more on what I particularly enjoyed. Sort of getting back to my roots on a proper project review.

First, yes, the whole kit is amazing. Great articulation ability in the joints so that it can be positioned in many different ways. And on the whole, it was pretty clean. A few mold lines that were a bit ugly, but most of it was fine. Parts that should be metal were metal, and parts that should be resin were resin. Anything that had fiddly join points tended to be hidden away from normal touching. And the joins between parts went together quite well. In short, probably my favorite huge-based kit to put together.

Now there are plenty of places where I didn't gap fill at all. Close inspection will find several of these without too much of a problem, but I opted to skip gap filling in most cases because I felt the gaps didn't particularly detract from the look. They tended to be at places where different elements were coming together and a little gap actually accentuated the flexing of the joints, so I left them.

I did this project in essentially 5 parts: base, legs and hips, torso, and each arm. I worked my way upwards and as I finished parts, I put them together. I found this to make the entire process both relatively easy to manage and motivating which kept me moving forward on the project pretty quickly. The airbush made short work of all the base coating steps. From there it was just a matter of building up on top of the metal layers, finding the right balance of black and red, and then doing all the details.

So when it came down to details and freehand, I wanted to put several insignias on different red plates to really drive home the look of a machine that's maintained more for performance than appearances. It was also a great way to start practicing freehand but on a larger scale model to get more into it and try out some ideas. I feel like most of them worked out pretty well for my first solid attempt. Some of the insignias are not as sharp, but the provided good learning experiences. I actually did a lot of research online for military insignias but didn't find much inspiration. I found that warning signs and reference photos of planes was more valuable. Google image searching continues to be one of my most valuable tools on the internet when it comes to planning projects.

This particular insignia on the one side (SH1-0151) is a reference quote. I haven't been telling people what it is to see if they know, but a resourceful search online will quickly find it. It's just fun to me to see if people recognize it offhandly when I'm at the LGS. Painting this one was actually a good challenge. I needed to space out all the letters properly, keep the height relatively consistent, and work around the already mounted cannon. Despite the challenges, this one worked out well. I did learn a trick here too...

When it comes to freehand, I read a tip long ago (source long forgotten) that basically outlined this process:
  • Use well thinned paint.
  • Put dots of paint to create a "constellation" of the design.
  • Start filling in the details of the design.
  • Use the base color to go back and "erase" overpainting parts or even to create the design itself.
  • This process definitely helped me a lot here.

    Oh yeah, and then there were Stormpods as well. These were quick. I painted simple numbering insignias on them. Nothing particularly fancy. I do however like that I can leave these parked on the Stormwall's base when awaiting launching. With these I had to trim off all of the "broken ground" that is sculpted around their points. They do look a little odd on these bases, but I'm not going to sweat the small stuff here.

    So what could have been better? Well, lots of stuff. Gap filling, better deep shading, more and better insignias, and lots of little blending smoothings. But this was a tabletop quality project. And honestly, i think I cranked this whole thing out in probably a week and a half of evenings, so I'm pretty proud. I would totally consider doing a second one of these, and that's really saying something.

    Aaaannnd... More pictures!

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Battle Report: Nemo1 vs Syntherion

    This is not so much a battle report as just a quick picture to show I played yesterday. Sorry for the false advertising.

    Last night at my LGS, I rolled out my new Cygnar stuff, with a bunch of mercs in tow. I played against my good buddy Lance and his Syntherion army and we had a blast. I have to say that Nemo1's feat is pretty crushing against Convergence. Rather than a battle report, I'm just going to share my first impressions and excitements of playing Cygnar:
  • The Stormwall is awesome, and especially so when loaded with 5 focus.
  • Nemo1 has severe "old man" stats, but he's still a blast to play.
  • Stormsmiths are super fun. Especially with Stormpods out there. And especially when I pull off all 3 types of Storm Calls in a single game.
  • There are a LOT of mercs that work for Cygnar. I had no problem filling out a 50pt list with my existing merc collection.
  • Finn is unfortunately not super effective, but it was a blast to run him right up the field with impunity.

  • One of the best things about painting for me is getting to play the stuff that I've recently finished painting.
    And one of the best things about playing is that I get more motivation to paint.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Squire

    My Cygnar Dragon Horde has finally started rolling off the assembly line, and I'm going be rolling out pictures of completed stuff during the next several days. I'm starting with this humble beginning: the Squire. This was sort of a test model to make sure my color scheme for Cygnar would translate well to jacks. It was also a good exercise in how quickly I could crank something out to what I consider tabletop quality. I think this guy took me about 3 hours or less of painting time. It's a pretty simple model but with a lot of metal details. I didn't try to go through and highlight all the metal individually, but rather used simple drybrushing techniques to get it done fast. I find that using "directional drybrushing" does a good job of creating a highlighted brushed metal look with minimal effort.

    Now that my first 15 points of Cygnar is done (with a little extra to spare), I'm going to take it to my LGS for a test drive tonight. More to come!

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #55

    Short round up. Last week was not as productive.

    My Stormsmiths are almost done at this point. Just some touch-ups and basing left. They will round out my first 15pts of Cygnar for the 15pt reveal tournament. These were not my favorite models to paint, but they were definitely not horrible either. Just fiddly to work around and some of the sculpted details are just too small for me to really get in with a brush properly. But then again, I'm painting this army to be tabletop quality and not super pretty. I'm happy with the quality given that these 3 guys were basically just 2 evenings of painting time.

    Nemo1 is all done from last week, and a couple other minor things got done. Unfortunately there's been some collateral chaos in my life that has disrupted my painting muse and it's been hard to focus. I'm hoping this comes to an end relatively soon.

    My desk is now in an in-between state. I need to prime more Cygnar to keep painting on that front, so my other Beast Mistress might actually get some painting time again.

    Wednesday, July 09, 2014

    Battle Report: Lylyth3 vs Baldur2

    Another quick battle report from my (now) weekly game at the LGS last night. My list: Lylyth3, Archangel, Ravagore, Seraph, Shredder, Succubus, Throne, Fyanna, Shepherd
    Joren's list: Baldur2, Megalith, Woldwarden, Guardian, 3 Woldwatchers, 2 Gallows Groves, Druids, Stone Keeper

    We played the scenario with 3 flags and 1 disappears. Whatever it's called. I won the roll and chose to go first. The pictures give a bit of a picture of what happened. Push to the middle, I started trying to work my way around the Woldwatchers and then after taking a brutal round of attacks from the Woldwarden on my Archangel, I shifted into assassination mode. I actually got 2 runs at Baldur, but my dice were just enough against me that I couldn't pull it off. By the end, Baldur had attritioned things down pretty hard and we called the game. Key takaways:
    * Fyanna is fun, but she's got nothin on ARM 24 Woldwatchers. She just doesn't have the juice even with dismember to get anything done.
    * Lylyth3 is still way fun, and the bonus move from Escort makes beast threat vectors even more flexible.
    * I still love my Archangel, but it definitely does better when it has more support behind it. One day I'll try it with Absylonia.
    * eBaldur doesn't seem like such a difficult guy, but his attrition game is really rough. It was satisfying to set him on fire.
    * The Seraph almost always does a good batch of work for me. This game was no different. Putting the Dragon's Fire animus on the Seraph is especially amusing for laying out fire.
    Joren was a great opponent, and playing against his beautifully painted Circle army was a real treat. Perhaps the best part of the evening was talking about painting for half an hour after the game was over. Joren uses very different painting techniques than I do, so I had lots of questions and got some interesting ideas. I'm especially intrigued to try out some of his airbrush tips.

    Monday, July 07, 2014

    From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #54

    A very quick (and late) weekend roundup from this last week.

    This last week was really productive. My cooperative 4 year old would sit at the kitchen table with me, playing games on his iPad and chatting with me while I trimmed and assembled models. Here you can see stuff that is assembled and just finished being washed. This week I trimmed, assembled, and washed the following stuff: 2 Fireflies, 2 Hunters, a 6-man unit of Mechanics, Journeyman Warcaster, Storm Strider, and these extra terrain bits. I probably won't prime it until I've gotten my current paint desk stuff almost completed.

    So what's on my painting desk? The Stormwall, Nemo1, and a Beast Mistress. The Stormwall is nearly done at this point. Nemo is started, but not that far along. The poor Beast Mistress is just not getting much attention still, mostly due to my fanaticism about painting Cygnar. I'm stoked about having the Stormwall almost done. I just need to finish some highlighting and painting on various insignias.

    One note about my Cygnar progress is that I've decided to count the number of rivets on each of the models and tally them up as sort of a total rivet count as I progress. I'm still deciding on how to put that on this blog, but I'll figure that out this week sometime.

    A quick last note: I would have gotten more done (and posted this) last night, but I spent most of yesterday replacing a ceiling fan in a stairwell. It's remarkably more work that I was expecting, and by the end of the day, I was both exhausted and sore. Still though, I love working with my hands so it was a nice project.