Sunday, March 29, 2009

Schism Tournament Report

The Schism event today was a ton of fun. I brought 3 lists but only ended up playing 2 of them.

Battle 1: My list: Grissel, Blitzer, Mauler, Axer, Impaler, Fell Caller, Gudrun, Krielstones(6), Champs, Stone Scribe Chronicler, and Gobbers. Opponent's list: Testament, Vengers, Cleansers, TFG, Zealots, Seneschals, Redeemer, Paladins (I think he cheated here, but I forgot to double check), and some other stuff. It was a pretty typical ToM infantry swarm list. This was the same guy that played drop-and-pop in the last tournament. I nearly won this battle when he failed to kill Grissel on a charge at her, but unfortunately I rolled poorly and didn't lay out enough damage. He didn't win because he out played me. He won because I got unlucky. It was a lot like the previous tournament. I've decided that If he brings another boring "fanboy" Protectorate list and I have to face him, I'll just forfeit. Not very sportsmanlike I guess but I'm not so interested in playing another boring game.

Battle 2: This game was awesome. My list: eDoomshaper, 2 Maulers, Blitzer, Impaler, Fell Caller, Krielstones(6), Champs, Gobbers and Totem Hunter. Opponent's list: eButcher, Kodiak, Spriggan, Doom Reavers, Fenris, Yuri, Manhunter, Wardog and Great Bears. In all fairness, my opponent had me dead to rights. Despite rolling minimum focus, he got 3 rage tokens and had Fenris in melee with Doomshaper and I only had 2 fury to transfer with. Unfortunately for him he rolled poorly. Then I managed to orchestrate enough to get a Mauler around onto a knocked-down Butcher and paste him in nothing flat. I honestly felt bad for him cause his rolling was terrible. But it did afford me a win.

Battle 3: Same list as above, but I played my buddy Lance. He had Hexeris, Bronzeback, 2 Cannoneers, Krea, Brute, Paingivers, Bone Grinders, Gobbers, Midwinter and 2 Extolers. We ran out of time early, but played out the game anyway for fun. I totally forgot to snap a picture. All I have to say is that eDoomshaper's feat with a Blitzer is hugely amusing cause you can run the blitzers 20" and then fire the slugger. I tried to use Doomshaper's weapon on a Cannoneer, but got very unlucky on dice rolling and failed to damage it three times. I lost that battle shortly thereafter.

In the end, I won the painting award though. Only non-warlock/warcaster character models were eligible. This part was sort of amusing. I had brought Alten to enter (who was in my third list with Grim and Impalers), but the tournament organizer Marco (who totally rocks), came by and saw my Totem Hunter and said "Enter this instead. I think it's way better." Before waiting for my confirmation he wandered off with the Totem Hunter, started the voting, and I totally won by popular vote. It wasn't super stiff competition, but honestly I was quite honored by Marco's comments.

Epic Doomshaper was a blast to play. His feat is outrageous, and combined with Mayhem I was able to do things like a 15" trample up through a smoke cloud and then us the bonded Mauler's fury to buy extra power attacks. His "arc node"-like attack spell is quite amusing as well. I think if I'm going to keep playing more trolls, I'm going to want an Earthborn and a Bouncer to go with him. Fortunately they happen to be very cool models as well.

All in all, another fun tournament experience. I'm looking forward to another SR4 event in 3 weeks that Marco is organizing at the LGS. Until then, it's back to painting.

Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia

I did it! My wife's painting challenge was just what I needed apparently. I'm not sure how many painting hours it was (probably 8 to 10), but it was basically just 2 evenings and some time on a Saturday. I'm sort of amazed that I pulled it off. I'm really looking forward to fielding him today at the Schism tournament. I'll make sure to post about the tournament tonight or tomorrow and include a review of how he performed. Fortunately I've got the DTMX to be his bonded beast as well!

Things that went right:
* The scrolls went fairly well. I started with Thrall Flesh and then worked up through MWB to MWH and a couple of spots of pure white on paper edges. A bit of a wash of Beast Hide helped give more definition to the paper as well.
* His flesh went well. I started with Underbelly Blue and then did a combination of washes and 2BB using layers and combinations of Trollblood Highlight, Trollblood Base, Exile Blue, Sanguine Base and Ryn Flesh.
* The basing went great. More on that below.
* The leathers worked out well despite some failed starts early on. Mostly it was a matter of starting with Bootstrap Leather, washing it heavily with Armor Wash and Battlefield Brown, then working it back up using more Bootstrap Leather, Beast Hide and Rucksack Tan. Man I do love those colors from the P3 range!
* GW's Devlan Mud wash worked out great this time too. I used it in some select spots and now I think I've figured out how to use it effectively. On the cloth on his feat I used Beast Hide, then some rough highlights with MWB, and then washed it with Devlan Mud. The results were quite good despite not doing any further highlights. It's definitely a shortcut, but it does look pretty nice for the amount of time needed. The key was to highlight first, then lay on the wash quite thick.

Things that could have been better:
* The tartan didn't go so great. I often struggle with them, but this one was so wavy and folded that it made it quite hard to paint effective lines. It also just sticks out in small places, making it harder to keep a coherent look to it. But, in the end, I'm not completely unhappy with it.
* The rune stones aren't great. The runes on them don't really jump out so well. Next time I think I'll need to hold off on the washes and stick to proper highlighting.
* Having no sprue tab was a pain. I had to work from a paperclip stuck through a cork, which is rather small for my hands. It doesn't afford the same stability that an empty mattcoat can affords. Next time I should look for a way to mount the paperclip-cork combo to the can.
* Mounting to base didn't go very smoothly. I should have better fit him down. His left foot is floating just a tiny bit above the stone slab of the base. Oh well, too late now.

One last note before I head out to the tournament: The base was an amusing departure for me. I wanted to make a base that was at least somewhat epic for Hoarluk so I figured I'd create a rune-carved slab on a pile of stones like a small altar. You can sort of see it in the picture. I too one of the prominent runes from his armor and from the artwork and carved it into the face of the top stone. It wasn't too hard to do actually. The base is made from Super Sculpy which hardens well enough for basing, but is still easy to carve into with cutters and a knife. He's standing directly on the run though so it makes it hard to see properly without having it up close to look at.

Anyway, off to breakfast, and then to play!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

From the Desk: Doomshaper day 3

No picture. Hoarluk is done other than sealing him. The last terrain work on the base is drying right now and then I'll seal him later tonight and snap pictures in the morning.

Something interesting about this model was the lack of a mounting tab on the bottom. This is why I had it on a pin for painting instead of on a typical empty dullcoat can. I'm wondering if it's part of their metal-saving techniques that they are enhancing.

Well, the tournament is tomorrow, and I probably should finalize my third list before it gets too much later. I'll post pictures tomorrow assuming I get up early enough to snap the pics and post before the tournament.

From the desk: Doomshaper day 2

Late last night (around midnight) I snapped a quick picture before heading to sleep. I made some significant progress. At least enough to get to the point where I don't feel like the paint job is going nowhere. It helped to get the flesh painted I think. I spent a decent amount of time on the base actually, roughing up the sides of the stones and carving a rune into the top rock face.

I'm going to try a much more light skin tone for Hoarluk this time around. I'd never been a fan of the albino look before, but this model has a lot of leather on him, so I needed a lighter and cooler color to balance out the overall look. So far it's working out pretty well.

Anyway, it's a new day and just 27 hours until the Schism tournament so it's time for me to get crackin and paint like I have a pair!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

From the desk: Doomshaper day 1-ish

There's a point, when I'm painting a miniature, particularly when using black primer, where I think to myself "This is never going to look good." Eventually I make enough progress to get past that point and it starts to look good. However, I'm right in that zone right now. However, I figured I'd snap a quick picture.

I'm not going for any special departure from the studio scheme. Tan tartan, brown leathers, bronze scrolls. I made a slight alteration to the angle of his head from the normal sculpt. Otherwise he's pretty much stock. I decided to make a slightly more epic base for him as well, which you can see pictured here in its initial stage while the green stuff hardens.

Well, it's late, and I'm still sick with the flu and have to go to work tomorrow, so I'm going to sign off now instead of punishing myself with another late night of painting. Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Funny Story...

So I get home from a late night run to my LGS after picking up the latest NQ issue along with more white paint, epic Thagrosh, and epic Doomshaper. And... wait... let me back up...

This weekend is the Hordes Schism tournament at my LGS. I decided it would be fun to play epic Doomshaper at the tournament, so I figured I'd pick him up today so that I can get him assembled for the tournament. So an evening run was in order. Ok, back to now...

So I get home and my wife says to me "How much did you buy?" And... wait... let me back up again...

My wife and I have an agreement. We have a "magic jar". Into this jar I put receipts from when I buy anything relating to this miniatures hobby. Then she gets to take the receipts out and get an equivalent amount of money to spend as she sees fit. This creates a fun little dynamic where she actually encourages me to spend money on this hobby. It makes us both happy. Ok, back to now...

So I pull out the receipt from the bag and stuff it into the magic jar and my wife smiles. They she asks where the model I got for this weekend is. After pulling a bunch of bits out of the blister pack, she says to me "You could easily finish that by Sunday couldn't you?" So, long story short, I'm now challenging myself to have eDoomshaper painted for the Schism tournament this weekend. Whee!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I feel like I'm really on a roll with my Protectorate backlog. It was nice to get this guy painted since he's really an auto-include now for most Protectorate casters. Not an especially remarkable model though.
Nothing special to mention here. Similar techniques to before. I'm still sick so my mental capacity is pretty low. Fortunately painting doesn't seem to require much brainpower. Ironically, I haven't got anything primed and ready to start next, nor do I have enough brainpower to decide what I want to work on next. Perhaps the rest of this week will be a break.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Legion Color Scheme Thoughts

Over the last several weeks my pile of unpainted miniatures has shifted pretty noticeably. Instead of 4 unpainted factions, I only have 2. However my pile of unpainted Legion models continues to grow and admittedly, I haven't painted a single one yet. I've been getting them trimmed, pinned, assembled and in some cases even based. However not a single one has been primed, nor have I even played a game with them yet. A big reason for that is that I'm stuck on a color scheme for them.

Something I learned from doing Cryx was that I really enjoyed having a consistent scheme for them. Well, ok, my Cryx isn't all consistent. It's got 2 different types of bases and some models are NMM while others are MM. But, the point still holds. I love the way the models look together. I want to handle Legion the same way. To that end, today's post will be half stream-of-consciousness, and half "research" notes on various color schemes that I've found previously.

Nyss: When I did Cylena Raefyll and the Nyss Hunters, I really did enjoy painting them in the studio scheme. The black was challenging, but I loved how the flesh looked. I think regardless of what other scheme choices I make, I want to stick with the pale blue skin for the Nyss warriors themselves. Beasts are, of course, up for debate.

Painting Practice: When I started working on Cryx, I specifically wanted to do a little practicing of NMM, and a lot of practicing with washes. I found that experience to be very valuable, and likewise I'd like to focus on something specific when doing Legion. To that end, something I haven't worked on much up to this point is greens. I've done a fair amount of whites, reds, blacks, and blues. However I haven't done much work with green and I'd like some practice. Somehow I need to work that into the scheme. Perhaps light green flesh for the Nyss instead of light blue? Hmm...
Also, I want to practice the whole "layered streaking" of chiton/bone. There's a really great tutorial on this here.

Basing: Ok, as cool as those snow bases were to make for the Nyss Hunters, I do not want to be making those on a large scale. It was fine for on-offs, but I'd like something more jungle-ish instead. Below are a couple prototypes for bases that I made.
Personally, I like the right one better, but the contrast in it is lower. To that end I'm probably going to get some alternate moss colors to fill in and create more of an autumn look to it. However, this is generally the style I want to go for; rocky and mossy. To that end, I want my Legion scheme to not look wildly out of place. Greens and browns would make good predominant colors.

Prior Work: Here's a few links of various Legion beasts I've seen painted by other folks:
* Dead Dogg's Carnivean for NQ - I love the paint job, but honestly I feel like the carapace and the soft tissue are too similar in color and reduce the "readability" of the model. However the green skin is excellent.
* Speed Painted post on Privateer Forums - Not a huge fan overall (the green skin is a little too "ghostly"), but the brown carapace is magnificent. Hints of purple really create an interesting effect.
* Another post on the Privateer Forums - I specifically don't like the brown armor, but the browns and greens are about the level of brightness and contrast that I like. If nothing else, it makes for a nice reference.
* Deathstalker from Jarrett Lee's blog - Love this paint job. Jarrett's very impressive. The interplay of blue and purple on the cloak is remarkable.
* Raek from CMON - Not particularly a fan of the color scheme, but it illustrates the "streak" look of the carapace that the studio scheme also has. I definitely want to practice that technique.

And now for something completely different:
Nature rocks. Just look at this frog! I love how there's massive contrast and conflicting colors, and yet somehow it works. I love the idea of contrasting spots on my beasts' soft tissue.

Summary: So, where does this leave me? Well, after putting all this together, letting it tumble around in my head, here's what my plan is looking like:
* Carapace - Browns with white/black streaks in it
* Beast flesh - Green with spots
* Armor - metal
* Warrior flesh - Light blue
* Cloth - Dark blue/purple
Odds are things will change as I go, but this is my working plan for now.

Friday, March 20, 2009

High Executioner Servath Reznik

This is going to be a relatively short post. I finished the last details on Reznik today while home sick with the flu. Nothing quite like trying to paint while being assaulted by body aches and hacking coughs. However the painting must continue! There's not a whole lot to say on this one. A lot of the techniques used here were the same as for the Protectorate jacks I finished recently. The "Burninate" is another tribute to Trogdor.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Steamroller 4 Rocks!

The tournament yesterday was a blast! In the past I've bagged on tournament formats and complained about how they aren't very fun. Well, Steamroller4 seems to have turned that around finally. Well, as much as a tournament format can. It's still going to be chocked full of people just trying to win (more on that later), but at least the format and timing makes it better.

My List:
I only brought one list. Here's a crappy picture of it. Terminus, Nightmare, 9 Bane Thralls, Pistol Wraith, Skarlock, Gudrun, Bokur, and Gorman. I put this list together rather hastily and primarily based on a Cryx force that I liked the look of. Gudrun got thrown in to help deal with stuff tactically, the Bokur was more just for fun, and Gorman was to give Terminus a little more protection.

Battle 1 (the most fun):
The first battle was huge fun. It's also the only one I snapped any pictures of. My opponent was playing a Krueger list and I have to say, it was a super fun battle. He had Krueger, a Woldwarden, a Woldwatcher, a Woldstalker, Tharn Ravagers with a White Mane, Shifting Stones, and Bone Grinders.

The mission was Mosh Pit. We both headed for the center. There was a fair amount of punching each other in the face. In the end, I made a run on Krueger with Terminus and failed to get enough hits in. Then, stuck in the middle with no focus, he tried to leverage as much as he could on Terminus. Fortunately I had knocked down the Woldwarden. He got Terminus down to 3 life left and ran out of stuff to hit me with. At that point it was done. I moved Terminus out of the fray, behind Krueger and shanked him.

There was unfortunate dice rolling on both sides, but it was a hugely fun battle and my opponent was both gracious and friendly. This battle was easily the most fun tournament battle I've had.

Battle 2 (the lamest):
Some guy brought a Kreoss drop-and-pop list. It was lame. He almost failed at killing Terminus in melee though, which would have meant I'd have shanked his ass for sure. But alas, his dice were with him. If he hadn't had Eiryss, I'd have easily survived.

I totally kept that guy nailed on his timed turns though, once causing him to not even get to do anything with Kreoss. He complained afterwards and I told him "You bring pop-and-drop, I'm going to hold you to the time limit cause that's the drawback of that list." I think he didn't catch my intention though.

Ironically, in the last round, that guy played a different Circle player who, in my opinion, is a clearly superior opponent. The Circle player just marched Kaya forward and let him kill her without even trying. The Kreoss player seemed to think he had earned that victory which I find highly amusing. I totally gave the Circle player a high-5 at the end when he told me that. If I face that same guy and he brings the same list, I'll just forfeit before the match even starts.

Battle 3 (quite fun):
The last battle was against a Goreshade list using the Break The Line scenario. I'd only ever played against Goreshade once before. At this point I wasn't in the running for 1st anyway, so I played pretty fast and loose. The battle was quite fun though. I got a run on Goreshade but just barely missed killing him. I'd thrown the Deathjack out of the way and Death Chilled it as well, but he was still able to leverage just enough to take out Terminus. To my opponent's credit, he actually won on scenario as well by using a Helldiver. It was like a double victory, for which I gave the guy a hearty handshake on a very well played game. Not only did he play well, but he was pretty bold with moving Goreshade up and didn't have any arc nodes.

In the end...
I had a great time, despite my usual tournament record of 1 win and 2 losses. The 10 minute rounds makes for a speedy game, and pretty much every game I got at least 4 turns in which I very much enjoyed. The 10 minute turns are pretty rough, but it forces the game to play faster, and you have to take a more streamlined force. We played out the whole tournament in under 5 hours too (3 games) which was very cool. I'm very much looking forward to the next Steamroller 4 match!

The list was a lot of fun to play. Terminus is easy to run in tournaments and really fun to play. Attaching the Bokur to Gudrun was not as useful as attaching him to Terminus I think. However, the list was more about putting my Cryx on display. My reward for losing was getting a lot of comments about my nicely painted army, which I value more than a trophy for sure.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Well, the jack factory rolls on. This big boy is a very significant lump of metal. I actually reverted to painting in pieces on this one, leaving the arms separate, so that it would be a bit easier to manage the weight of the model. Again, not super interesting to paint personally, but there were some parts that I did enjoy like the giant mace.

I actually had this mostly done in just a couple nights' work, but it took me a few extra days to do the last touches, basing and sealing due to my work/life balance challenges lately.

Things that went well:
* I did the metals first which actually made things much easier. I could be sloppy and fast with the washes and not worry about messing up the whites. This sped up the work noticably.
* Painting in parts was a huge use here. I only left the arms off but that was plenty help.

Things that could have been better:
* Battle damage would probably have been a nice addition.
* I feel like the reds are a tad flat. I probably could have deepened the shading closer to black to make it pop more.

Well, nothing else fancy to say right now. This weekend I'm going to hit a Steamroller4 tournament at my LGS for the first time in ages. I'll try to post some pics of the event.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Blessing of Vengeance

I've come to the realization that I don't really enjoy painting Protectorate jacks that much. It's a shame really, cause the sculpts of the newer ones are pretty good. It has something to do with the hard lines of the model I think. Just not terribly interesting to paint. Plus it's a fairly limited color range necessary. Unfortunately I still have more to paint.

Stuff that went well:
* The inscriptions on the shield and seals worked out pretty well. I used thinned Umbral Umber and Armor Wash for the first sketching in of the lines, then went back with purple ink and added some depth to them.
* Bronzes went pretty well overall. Used the same formula as before. I'm really liking them.
* Red armor plates came together pretty well, with fairly smooth blending.

Things that could have been better:
* I tried to widen the hips a bit, and in the end the hip joints ended up being fairly weak.
* Whites were a bit challenging, and I struggled to get them right.
* Inks gave me fits, and a couple times I just couldn't keep them contained. Given my desire to just "get done", I didn't bother touching up the mistakes.