Monday, July 28, 2008

March to the middle, and punch each other in the face

Last night I played in an epic battle against Lance. This was, once again, a ridiculously fun game. Here's the line up:

Lance: eMorghoul (freshly acquired from Comic-con), Gladiator, Cannoneer, Rhinodon, Cyclops Savage, Drake, Krea, Paingivers (6), Bonegrinders (6), Gobbers, Feralgeist

Me: Madrak, Champs, Krielstone Bearers (6), Stone Scribe, Blitzer, 2 Imaplers, Axer, Totem Hunter, Fell Caller, Gobbers, Alten Ashley

Basically, in the words of Podthrall Shane recently, we met in the middle, and punched each other in the face until it was done. It was a serious scrum in the middle of the table. I have to admit that I very much enjoyed the brutality of it. Here are some highlights:
  • The Totem Hunter charges the Drake, kills it (gaining a totem), the Feralgeist jumps into the Drake, and the Totem Hunter uses his remaining buckler attack to kill the undead Drake (gaining a second totem).
  • Impalers once again bend the rules of probability and score 2 out of 2 crit slam hits, keeping the Gladiator out of action the whole game.
  • The Rhinodon pasted the Blitzer in a single activation, with fury to spare, creating an unfortunate vessel for the Feralgeist.
  • eMorghoul charges the front line of champs, teleports behind them, feats (catching half my army), and manages to survive the counter-attack after that. His feat is nasty nasty nasty!
  • A solid NQ Challenge plan was foiled by a sub-par initial dice roll on the Axer's attempt to slam eMorghoul. In hindsight, I should have slammed one of my own guys into eMorghoul rather than slamming him directly. If the slam had succeeded (needed 13 on 4 dice to hit), the Totem Hunter would have been gaining a 3rd (and very impressive) totem.

In the end, eMorghoul made a valiant assassination run on Madrak, but he needed just a tiny bit more oomph to make it. After using 1 fury to shutdown transfers and tough, he had 2 remaining fury to make 3 attacks with, needing 6's to hit and doing an average of 12 damage per hit. True to statistics, he hit 2 out of 3, did 12 damage on the first hit, and Madrak had the scroll to ignore the second hit. We called the game at that point as it had become academic.

Playing Trolls again after so long was a lot of fun. Remembering the fury mechanic was not as hard as I expected, probably from playing against Skorne so much. Madrak with Champs and Krielstones is always entertaining too, watching my opponent try to sort out how to actually hit and kill them.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gnarly (part 1)

I started working on the Gnarlhorn for Sean yesterday and figured I'd snap a pic of the progress, along with the particulars of how I did what I did (not that it's really that spectacular).

First, I primed in white. It was just easier. I've still got mixed feelings about using white instead of black on this model, but it's clearly too late now. It has helped for doing the flesh, but has introduced an additional step for doing the armor.

For the skin, i decided to go with more of a human tone rather than a darker leathered tone. Primarily because it gives me more contrast range to work with, without having to go super dark, and I also feel it will make a better match with the more beaten tarnished gold color I plan to aim for on the armor plates. The skin so far is the following steps:
  1. Base coat Midlund Flesh.
  2. Add some lines of MWH. The idea here was from Matt DiPietro's post on the Ask the Studio thread about how he added texture to the skin and horns.
  3. Medium-thick wash of Bootstrap leather.
  4. Some two-brush blending of Battlefield Brown on the lower regions of the muscles.
  5. Thin wash of Ironhull Grey and Umbral Umber.
  6. steps are to add some highlights to the upper regions of the muscles, and then some additional shading work.
The armor is pretty basic so far. Fill in the recesses with Necrotite Green, then a wash of Iosan Green, then another wash of Gnarls Green. Both washes have a touch of flow medium in them to hep them flow into the recesses. Then I carefully went over all the raised portions (the parts to become gold) with slightly thinned black. The black is to help with the metals once I start them. I'm still thinking I might do an ink wash on them, but it's undecided at this point.

Please note, this pic is my first attempt at moving towards using Google's Picasa and Picasaweb for my photos. I'm still working out the kinks, along with the lightbox image display kinks. If you encounter problems, please leave me a comment so that I know.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Showdown Update: Taking a Break

Life has really hit me like an avalanche lately. I was clearly unable to keep up with my Showdown challenge, plus I'm experiencing a bit of burnout now. So, I've decided to at least take July off from the challenge. I may take next month off as well, and resume in September. For this month, my goal is to get the Gnarlhorn painted for my friend Sean, and do some maintenance stuff on the blog. Specifically I need up refine my photo setup, switch to using Google's Picasa, and create a handful of reference pages on this blog. I've also been backfilling posts that were overdue, namely the Harrower and the Pistol Wraith. Speaking of pictures, here's a (not so great) group shot of the Cryx models for the first month's challenge.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Battle: Fiona vs Skorne

Last night Lance and I battled and it was, well, rather lopsided. I decided to give my new Cryx a break this time and try out an experiment with my mercs. I had listened to a recent Podthralls episode (#146) where they ranked Merc casters and it got me interested in trying out Fiona again. Here's the lineup:

Me: Fiona, Nyss Hunters (10), Sea Dogs (6), Aiyana & Holt, Rupert, and Gudrun
Lance: Hexeris, Bronzeback, Arcuarii (6), and the Totem Hunter

Early on, Hexeris presented himself as a target, but I was unable to capitalize due to some extraordinarily bad dice rolling. However later, I made 6 out of 9 tough rolls which was also a freak of statistics. Overall though, it felt like Fiona was keeping things under control most of the game. It was really a poor matchup between the lists due to 1) Hordes really doesn't work well until the 500pt level, and 2) Fiona's discord spell made for bad business against those Arcuarii that are weapon masters with reach.

The key features of my army were using Nanokian Brand on the Nyss to let them shoot through intervening models (making them lovely little assassins), and using Teglesh Mark on Gudrun to turn him into a fairly indestructable arcnode.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From the Painting Desk: Magnetic Bases

CAUTION: The Magnets discussed in this post are NOT child-safe!

A little something simple from the painting desk. I've seen alot of discussion on the PP forums about using magnets to secure models into metal cases rather than using foam trays. I was at first skeptical, but I decided that given the pile of magnets I now had in my drawer from the failed Egregore experiment, I'd give it a try with this Cryx army. This tip is, to say the least, suprisingly good. I've added magnets to the undersides of the bases using just glue (no greenstuff) and then I have a small piece of sheet metal that I plop them on. It works great. As long as I don't jostle it too abruptly, they hold perfectly still and can even be suspended sideways and upsidedown without a problem. Below is a quick pic of one of the Witch Coven and the Harrower bases with magnets on them. Notice that the Harrower has a single magnet, and yes, it's strong enough to hold the model to the sheet metal upsidedown. I'm totally a believer and will be ordering more magnets.

For reference, the magnets I got are Neodynium Rare Earth magnets, 1/16" thick, 3/16" diameter. The magnet on the Harrower was a sample that the place I ordered from threw in for free which is 1/8" thick and worked perfectly for the large base. I haven't tested on medium bases.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pistol Wraith

I was working on this one in parallel with the Harrower and managed to finish him up a day later. I got some good inspiration on him from the PP forums. The glow effect worked out pretty well I think. I liked the overall effect, and this model is really a majestic one to paint.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Wrapped this bad boy up finally. Behind schedule, and the last item to fill out the 350 point Cryx challenge. All the practice with washes really helped accelerate getting this one done. It took alot less time that heavy jacks normally take me. It's not a great paint job, but I'm happy with its table presence. Something to note though, this one was a real pain to assemble.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Witch Coven of Garlghast

It's amazing how some things seem to just linger and not get finished in a timely manner. I just finally wrapped this group up. The witches have been done for probably 3 weeks now, but it took me a while to get them based and then the Egregore was a whole mis-adventure. I had a grand scheme of using magnets to make the Egregore float, but that didn't pan out. It was just too much weight and required too many magnets to make it feasible. In the end I had to strip all the magnets back out of the core and then start over. I probably wasted 10+ hours messing around with it but I'm glad I did. I'd have been kicking myself later if I hadn't at least tried.

The bases added a fair amount of work as well. Huge thanks go out to BobbyBrady from the PPS forums for the help and advice on how to make this style of bases. I spent a fair amount of time experimenting to find a good reproducable method of making these without spending too much time. In the end I'm very happy with how they are turning out.

These models are a huge departure for me in my normal style. I did alot of "NMM" type of work here, some of which is arguably metalic looking. Great learning experience, even if it didn't end up looking very metalic. The blades at least look metal. All around, I had a good time painting these models, and feel like they are up to the quality I'm trying to reach in my showdown painting push.

Group shot:


Witch 1:

Witch 2:

Witch 3:

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Terrible pictures. Just terrible. It's a shame too, cause the model really is decent. I'm thinking that in the near future I'm going to have to completely alter my photo setup to a more static location instead of just setting it up as needed on my desk. I'll probably convert to using picasa at the same time. Anywho...

This model was very fun to paint. I did alot of washes (per my Cryx theme) which made it go fast. I even included a little OSL work around the swirling soul trail which worked out better than I expected. The basing was a new project for me, making lava bases. Again, too bad the pics are so terrible. I should really get around to dealing with that soon.

Showdown Failure

Well, my painting showdown for June has ended in a partial failure. I got 10 of the 13 models finished, but ran out of time. I'm hopeful that I'll be close to finished by the end of the week. However, not to be disenchanted with the showdown concept, I'm going to press ahead and begin my July target anyway and try to get caught up. In addition to finishing up my June work, I'm going to add the following models for July:
  • Terminus
  • Cephalyx Slavers (Slaver + 9 Drudges)
  • Pistol Wraith
  • Revenant Pirates (4 more to round out the squad)

    This actually puts me above 500pts by giving me 3 extra pirates for when Rengrave presses dudes into service.