Sunday, June 27, 2010


This one has been a long time coming. I can't believe KublaCon was almost a month ago. I just got my brush-on primer the other day and finished the last bits of work last night. The brush-on primer was something new for me and I have to say it exceeded my expectations. Certainly not something I plan to make a practice of using all the time, but definitely helpful. The particular kind I got was the Reaper Master Series, which of course only comes in white, although I can't honestly think of a time I'd want brush-on black primer.

Once I finished the prep work, the rest went quickly. The color matching on the repaired spots isn't perfect, but it's not obvious by any stretch. It was pretty easy to match since I've got a pretty set skin method for my Legion beasties now. I think the most annoying thing about finishing the cleanup work was that I didn't have the model stuck to a paint can for easy holding, so I had to actually hold the model itself in my hand which makes me a bit more nervous these days (I'm always worried about rubbing paint off). However, it went pretty smooth. The only real problem was cleaning up the bottom edge of the base where a bunch of paint had worn off.

Speaking of the base, I was a little shocked to discover that the 50mm metal base I purchased (from PP no less) isn't a full 50mm. I lined it up with a plastic large base and it's off by about 2-3mm. A little strange, but I'm not going to fret about it. All things considered, using the metal base helped a little more for stability of the model overall, which continues to please me.

Well, this will probably be the last post for a while. I've got some personal business outside the country for a couple weeks so it's unlikely that I'll be getting any painting done. Perhaps though I'll have some good reference photos once I get back.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


This model was a pretty significant departure from my normal line up of models to paint. Megalith has two predominant features, stone and wood, both of which are features I don't paint that much on such a larger scale. So, getting a chance to paint this one for my buddy Sean was an interesting challenge. I opted to use a combination of washes and 2BB for doing the stone, throwing in some additional reds and greens into the color to give it a little more lifelike feel. For the wood, I used a lot of controlled washes.

The runes turned out ok, but some of them could have definitely been better. I opted to paint the eyes like gems rather than glowing just because I thought it gave the runes a more specific theme to their purpose on the model. Overall I think the biggest struggle I had with this model was really more of a sense of mood since it's predominantly bright and doesn't have enough dark regions to create more contrast. Definitely one of those more holistic painting skills that I'm still working on.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

From the Desk: More Megalith Progress

It's late, and I'm sleepy, so just a quick post of the progress on Megalith. The vines seemed to have worked out pretty well. I actually used the GW green wash as an intermediate step, and then used a light flesh tone (combined with olive green) to do the highlights. I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out so far, but there's still a long way to go.

Battle Report: 4 Player Madness

Better late than never! I finally got a chance to do this write up on the 4 player madness battle we played the other day.

The scenario was pretty crazy. Teams of 2 were randomly decided and each army's goal was to deliver a package to their team mate. The packages could only be carried by the warcasters' battlegroups, and could be handed off as a free action. Each player started on a different edge of the board with team mates being on opposite sides. We decided to go with a clockwise activation order rather than activating teams at a time. Little did we know the chaos this would end up causing.

I can't recall the details of the armies unfortunately, but here's a high-level summary. Team 1 was myself playing MacBain (!) and Aaron playing Stryker. Team 2 was Lance playing eAsphyxious and Henry playing Grissel. As it worked out, Aaron went first, followed by Lance, then myself, then Henry. The deployment was crazy, with people very close to each other right at the start of the game. More on that later.

This battle was crazy vicious. Cygnar and Cryx were mixing it up right on turn 1, with Satyxis boldly rushing in to cause chaos. MacBain used his feat on turn 1, and Stryker on turn 2 to avoid complete devastation. The terrain helped to funnel most things toward the middle as well, but with Cryx's speed, things tended to pour right into Cygnar's face. There was a crazy dual-caster-kill event that took place, with Stryker (actually the journeyman) killing eAsphyxious, and then a mob of Satyxis killing Stryker right afterwards.

In the end, MacBain was the last caster left on the table, but there were still random models running around (leftover Satyxis, a Brute Thrall, a Withershadow, a couple Troll Champs). We decided to play it out and in the end I just wasn't familiar enough with MacBain to get him loosened up and he went down. Total carnage!

All around, it was a seriously fun game. Afterwards we talked a bit about the scenario and came up with a couple ideas on how to alter it:
* Replace the "package" with an actual courier model who must be escorted. We had a lot of ideas on that as well, like giving him special actions he could use to increase his survivability.
* The clockwise turns worked out pretty well, but the deployment aspect was pretty vicious. It would definitely need some tweaking.

Anyway, good fun was had by all, and I'm definitely looking forward to tweaking and trying this again.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

From the Desk: Getting Stoned with Megalith

More quick updates from the painting desk... I started painting Megalith for a friend last week. Unfortunately my work/life balance is pretty terrible, but I am making some progress. This is the first Wold I've painted, so it's a pretty significant amount of learning. I have to admit that stone isn't one of my best materials to simulate. We'll see how this guy turns out.

I also got to play in a 4 player game yesterday with an amusing scenario. I'll post pictures and a battle report tomorrow (hopefully) but here are a few quick highlights:
  • I played MacBain!
  • MacBain was the last caster alive!
  • The scenario was crazy fun!
  • Oh, and did I mention... I played MacBain!
  • Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Witch King

    Just a quick post of a model I finished up for someone else. Nothing amazing here. I got some tips about painting black and did some experimentation with adding deeper shades of various colors to give it a little something more.

    Wednesday, June 09, 2010

    Battle Report: Here Comes The Train

    Last night I played a game of Warmachine that was rather off the beaten path. My buddy Aaron and I put together a scenario to liven things up and the battle was a riot.

    Here's how it worked. One player (chosen randomly) was designated the defender, and the other the attacker. 2" from the center line, on the defender's side of the board, we ran a road across the length of the board. This served to represent the train track. Starting on the attack's 2nd turn, the train enters. The goal for the attacker is, of course, to destroy the cargo car of the train. Here's the specifics:
  • The Locomotive was def 7, arm 21, 32 damage. The cargo car was def 7, arm 23, 50 damage. If the locomotive is boxed, it remains on the table, but the whole train becomes stationary. Other than the locomotive being boxed, the train cannot be made stationary. It is immune to knockdown, but can be affected by spells and effects and is considered a friendly faction model for the defender and an enemy model for the attacker. Both the locomotive and cargo cars can be repaired by mechanics.
  • During each player's maintenance phase, the train moves 8" along the track. It cannot have this movement modified by any means (feats, spells, etc) and always moves 8" provided the locomotive has not been boxed. If the train collides with a model during this movement, that model is slammed d6+2" and suffers a pow 20 hit, and then the train continues to move. Note that models could potentially be hit multiple times this way.
  • The defender sets up and goes first. The train enters the board at the start of the maintenance phase of the attacker's second turn.

    The Lists:
    me (defender): Amon, Reckoner, Castigator, Devout, Dervish, Choir(6), Deliverers(6), Vilmon, Paladin, Vassal, 3 Wracks
    Aaron(attacker): eStryker, Ol Rowdy, Stormclad, Stormblades w/ UA, Longguners(6), Black 13th, Journeyman Warcaster, Stormsmith

    Perhaps not an optimal choice for me, but I wanted the Castigator so that I could throw something in front of the speeding train. I hadn't played MKII Amon yet, so this was a golden opportunity to see how he played.

    The Battle:
    The first couple turns were as expected, with both of us making a mad rush to the middle and trying to secure a hold on the track zone. I scored first blood by launching my Dervish into the group of Stormblades and slashing through 3 of them. Things were looking good so far, but then, enter the train...

    The train brought an interesting dynamic to the game. For one, it's big, blocks line of site, and is very dangerous. Plus, it distracts the attacker from wailing on the defender's forces. However, for me as the defender, it created a bit of a challenge. Either I hang back and have the train block off my ability to attack, or move forward and get trapped between the train and the attacking forces. I tried to find a bit of middle ground there, however I ended up having my forces get split up a bit, with my choir trapped on the other side of the train from my jacks. What follows is a series of pictures detailing the comedy that ensued from the battle.

    Reckoner: "Uh oh... fence behind me... jacks in front of me... train to the left of me..."
    This was a pretty bad situation for the Reckoner. Amazingly he managed to wriggle out of it without getting clobbered! The Castigator 2-handed threw the Stormclad in the way of the train, the Vassal ansilary-attacked the Reckoner to kill the Stormblade, and then the Reckoner sneaked out of the path of the oncomming locomotive. Unfortunately...

    The Castigator didn't clear the path of the train and got slammed away, but not without earning his reward. The Stormclad was thrown into the front of the locomotive, and then during Aaron's maintenance phase, it was hit by the locomotive and slammed 3", and then slammed again another 7". Double slam baby! Aaron and I were both cracking up at the carnage of the locomotive.

    This gives you a better view of the battlefield after the maintenance phase of Aaron's 3rd turn. My forces were split on either side of the train, and Ol Rowdy was well positioned to start wailing away. Despite my best effort to put some hurt on Stryker with the Devout and distract his forces, Aaron was not tricked. Ol Rowdy charged in and pounded on the locomotive... and pounded... and pounded... and pounded... and in the end...

    ... the brave locomotive engineer was slain, and the locomotive ground to a screeching halt! If it wasn't for this impressive display by Ol Rowdy, I think the scenario would have quickly gone downhill for Aaron, and although I loved the carnage, I believe we should all observe a moment of silence for the poor locomotive engineer.

    [insert silence here]

    At this point things started to go downhill for me quickly.

    Vilmon was charged by 5 Longgunners who managed to beat him dead. Oh how sad! The Castigator got revenge by walking over and combusting on the Black 13th and Junior and burning them all to a crisp. In the end though, Stryker weeded out all of my remaining forces except for Amon and I sadly had to concede the game at that point. I should point out that both Aaron and I had some very comical dice rolling, with more double 1's coming up than I could believe.

    The scenario was a blast! There's some refinements to make for sure, but overall it worked out quite well and we had a great time. Here's some thoughts on the scenario itself:
  • Changing the stats so that the Locomotive is a bit harder to kill and the cargo car is a bit easier seems appropriate. As it stands, the only viable strategy is to destroy the locomotive to buy enough time to actually destroy the cargo car.
  • Before the game we discussed the option of jacks going autonomous if warcasters are killed, just to keep the focus on the scenario instead of caster kills. It didn't come up, but I could see this being an important aspect to throw in.
  • We were both curious how it would have played out if I had thrown my forces across the tracks to block Aaron from getting to the locomotive. I suspect it could easily make the scenario much much harder for the attacker to win.

    Well, I hope you've enjoyed this rather lengthy battle report. I'd love to hear from folks out there if they've done similar scenarios before!

  • Sunday, June 06, 2010

    Kommander Strakhov

    This is now the second Khador model I've painted. Strakhov was interesting to me for a couple reasons. I really like the skhulpt of his gun and his, uh, skhirt. Overall the skhulpt is nice: it has plenty of details without being overly khomplicated. The details are spread out enough so that the eyes khan read them properly. There's even a nice detail on his face of a skhar that adds even more expression to him.

    The biggest thing I'm disappointed with on this model is aktually the basing. I used the GF9 snow basing material and it just didn't kheep it's whiteness. I think my original formulation of snow would have workhed better. In any case, this badass is ready for deployment in my buddy's armies now.

    Thursday, June 03, 2010

    From the Desk: Starting Strakhov

    Now that Kubla is done, my goal is to get into a happier place with my painting queue. Part of that is catching up on models I promised to paint for other people. The first in that line is Strakhov. I really dig this model, so getting a chance to paint it for my buddy Sean was a no brainer. This post is more of a teaser for him than anything else. I just finished the basic work on the reds. I decided to go with a bit more of the orange-ish tone to reflect his demeanor. I'm planning to paint the armor plates in a blue-ish white tone, and the trim as a black leather color. Unlike most of my projects, I decided to attach him to the base first to make things a bit quicker.

    Tuesday, June 01, 2010

    From the Desk: Angelius Repairs

    I'm still wrapping up the Angelius, and in fact ended up using him for the 15pt Mangled Metal tournament at KublaCon despite it not being finished and sealed. Amazingly, he came through completely unscathed and didn't tip over once! That later point is something I'm very happy about from a usability point of view. However, he still had a structural weakness at the join between the upper body and the tail that connects to the pillar. So, in order to address the issue, I decided to bite the bullet and re-work it.

    The structural weakness was specifically between the main body part and the small piece that I kept from the original sculpt. The join between that piece and the body extension that I sculpted is rock solid, and continues to stay joined securely to the pillar. The first step was to drill a second hole for another pin to more secure the two pieces. Next, the original join was a little gnarly with green stuff and it removed the illusion of a nice smooth flying snake, so I filed that down smooth. There was also a couple places where the sculpting of the body extension wasn't smooth, so I carved those down smooth. Lastly, there was some roughness to a portion of the sculpted body next to the pillar (probably due to glue issues) so I carved those down smooth as well. Now, once my paint-on primer order arrives, I'll go about repairing the paint job.

    This is the first time I've done a major amount of repair work on a model that was practically finished. It was a little terrifying to start carving, but once I got started I realized that I wasn't hacking up anything that would be overly hard to fix. And in fact, I think this will be a good exercise for me to try color matching on the pieces that need to be repainted.

    Pandora Avatar

    After much struggling and a very long time, I finished Pandora in time for the KublaCon painting competition. I've got a lot of comments on this model so I'm going to diverge from my normal format a bit.

    All along the way of working on this model I was soliciting feedback from a number of people and got lots of useful perspective. It was definitely a change from my normal method. Since this model was just for fun (there's no rules for her currently), I felt fine taking my time to get her done. It was definitely worth it. I feel like the additional time was well spent, even though there are still things I wish I could have done better.

    Challenging Sculpt:
    This sculpt presented a real challenge to my skills, and admittedly I think it was above my skill level to paint. The biggest problem is there's a lot of negative space in the lower half of the model. This worked against me heavily when trying to create a better overall composition of the piece. Try as I might, I just didn't pull it together entirely.

    This model was admittedly planned as my secondary entry for the competition (behind the Lady Justice crew), but I ended up treating it like a primary entry. It won a gold in the open judging which I am completely stoked about. In addition to the award, I got a chance to speak with one of the judges (Jody) who I respect very much. He's given me good feedback before and it was great to get his thoughts...

    Judge's Feedback:
    * The face, although a good attempt, doesn't read well enough. I knew this was a problem, and he said he was impressed with the attempt, but it's a challenging effect to pull off for even a master painter.
    * The OSL needed to be more aggressive. This was something I suspected, but Jody's input put it into better perspective. Muting the rest of the color scheme would have helped exaggerate the light sources as well, and that would have helped the overall mood.
    * The blue cloth is another cool color which competes with the cool green. This was a huge revelation. The greens and blues are both relatively cool colors in comparison to the reds of her skin and hair. It didn't even occur to me that the greens were primarily cool colors. Using a warmer color in place of the blue may have created a better overall color balance.

    Final Thoughts:
    Overall, I'm still pretty stoked. This was a challenging piece and I learned a lot (and I really do mean A LOT). I am especially thankful to all the people that gave me input on this model as I worked on it. I've posted it on CMON to see how it ends up getting rated, so feel free to cruise on over and vote!