Thursday, September 30, 2010

From the Desk: Forsaken Conversion, part 2

I had intended to get work done on my Ravagores, but my dremel's battery was dead so while it charges I figured I'd get some more work done on the Forsaken conversion.

After trimming all the pieces, the first big step was to start cutting off what I didn't need. I took out my trusty jeweler's saw and cut away at Cylena, severing out her midsection. I decided to keep the belt and cut everything off below that. I had debated whether to keep the little waist-cape, but that would have required much more cutting for little gain. I also tried to cut her head off as close to the shoulder level as possible.

Next was the easy task of cleaning up unnecessary metal around the Forsaken head's neck as well as splitting up the spine into the pieces I needed. Note that the "spine" of the Forsaken sculpt actually forms the top and back of the head as well, so it was necessary to keep that top part. The bottom part of the spine turns into the tail which was, of course, quite necessary. I'm honestly debating making the tail longer with a minor amount of GS work, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

At this point it's starting to be possible to visualize where the project is going. Laying out the pieces I noticed a couple points of concern. First is that the midsection is noticeably smaller than the legs are, which will give some odd proportions. Second is that the arms look like they are going to work out quite well, provided that I pin them properly.

Ok, that's today's update. Not a huge amount of work, but this step really helped me to get a handle on where this is headed. I should note that although there's no picture here, I went ahead and GS'd the head and spine top together to get a jump on that bit of work. Next time I plan on focusing on getting the torso and legs put together.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From the Desk: Forsaken Conversion, part 1

When I first decided to start building a Legion list, I was only focused on models that I really honestly wanted to paint. Then I started playing Legion more seriously and started to pick up models that I was less interested in painting due to their need on the battlefield. The Forsaken quickly came up as a necessity for Fury management. However the sculpt leaves much to be desired for me. I'm not a fan of the static pose making him look like a 1920's gentlemen vampire. Hence I began hatching a plan to bodge together my own version of a Forsaken. This is the first in a series of posts on this bodging project.

The first step was to figure out how to construct my alternate Forsaken. I didn't want to do much sculpting myself so I went to the PP parts store and started searching around. Today my resulting bits order arrived. Now I should note that according to the PP conversions policies, I'm borderline at best and may have picked bits that will not actually qualify as a legal conversion, but I tried to follow the spirit of those rules.

I decided to keep the claw arm from the original model, along with the head and the spine. The spine will likely get cut up into pieces though. For the wing arm, I opted to use Absylonia's wing arm. For the legs, the Incubi lower body was a great swap since it kept the feet in the same style as the original Forsaken. That left me with the challenge of a torso. I wanted to find a female torso, so that quickly limited my options. I wanted to find something in a similar style to the normal blighted Nyss so that it matched the army. Cylena fit the bill nicely, although it will require some serious cutting and chopping to make it work.

Well, that's enough for this first post. I'm juggling multiple projects, but hopefully I can stay on this one to keep the updates rolling.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Another quick post since I'm trading time for blogging to have more time for painting. I wrapped this guy up just this morning. It's a great model except that the head angle is a little weird. In hindsight, I probably should have fixed that.

For the base, I decided to keep with my rock theme for beasts, but I wanted to give a hint of the dig in ability that he has, so I sculpted a little fake mud on the rocks where his feat are placed. I know, I know... you can't dig into rock. You know what? Artist's prerogative.

This guy also has a tone of little spines all over him. I ended up taking some shortcuts on them to get him wrapped up.

Last note, his 7 appendages made it that much harder to reach all of the spines, the chitin, and the skin. There were a number of little mistakes that I had to clean up afterwards. Don't get me wrong, I still liked painting this model. It was just challenging and others out there that have a Teraph in their queue to paint should be aware of the challenges to reach all the parts of the model if you fully assemble it and attach it to the base before painting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Horrible Horrible Destructotron

Ultra-quick battle report time! Pardon the terrible pictures. It was also a heavily proxied game, particularly on my side.

Me: eLylyth, 2 Ravagores, Seraph, Teraph, Shredder, Stinger, 2 Shepherds, Forsaken, 5 Raptors, Thrullg.
Henry: Gunnbjorn, Bomber, Slag, Impaler, 10 Pyg Bushwhacker, Champs, 3 Longriders, 4 Krielstone Bearers with UA, Fell Caller, Runebearer

We used the Warmachine Battlefield Generator to set up our board, and the trolls won the initiative which was painful for me. I used my feat on the first round to lay out scather templates on most of the Pygs and then rolled up Thrullg into melee and put Counterblast on the nearby Teraph to create a no-win situation for them. This configuration of pain was referred to as the "horrible horrible dustructotron". However the sneaky trolls managed to wriggle out of the situation. Later in the game, as I was backing up and shooting, I had a chance to try and drop Pin Cushion on Gunnbjorn through the Spell Martyr. Unfortunately the spell missed, otherwise it would have probably been game over.

Eventually I was just continuing to back up into the corner and was down to just eLylyth and the 2 Ravagores. A clever use of a Pyg for the Bomber to target, along with just enough ranged, let the Bomber drop a boosted blast damage on her and finish the job. If it wasn't for that, I could have eventually mopped up probably, but it would have been dangerous.

Honestly, I haven't laughed so hard during a game for quite some time. Even though I lost, I feel like I won because it was such a fun game. Plus, I got to test out the Ravagore which led me to purchase 2 of them today. They will undoubtedly jump up in my painting queue ahead of many other things. I have to give a hats off to Henry's dice: I can't recall seeing so many successful tough checks before! Some of those Pygs survived 3 or more tough checks! Anyway it was great to try out the Ravagore and get a little more practice with a number of models that I haven't had much experience with and feel moderately successful.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Now this is what I call a beast! I can honestly say I had a great time painting the Scythean. With so much chiton, it afforded me lots of opportunity to put variations into the washing techniques that I use while not over-saturating the surfaces with paint. I threw in a variety of colors including dark greens, reds, blues and (of course) browns. I don't recall the exact order or colors unfortunately. However my general strategy was to give it a couple good washes of lighter browns (jack bone and bloodstone) and then throw in the dark primary color washes (red and green). Then I added some thinned blue and umber using 2BB to create more contrast at logical separations.

The rest of it was pretty straightforward. Underbelly blue and trollblood base are my 2 primary skin tones, and then I use flesh and sanguine tones to create more variation and shading. Once those two primary parts are done, the overall model just had little details left to do (spines, mouth, rune, claws, etc). I have to admit that the part that threw me off the most was doing the rune since I hadn't painted one in a very long time (August of 2009 in fact). It occurs to me now, looking back through my blog, that I totally failed to paint runes on the Seraph and Angelius. DOH! I may have to break my normal rule of not going back and touching up previous models and add runes in.

It's great to have this huge beastie done, especially since the Ravagore releases next week. I'm looking forward to painting another such monster.

On a side note, I picked up a Flip Video and have started experimenting with it a bit. If there's any interest out there in video samples of painting techniques (such as the 2-brush technique), I'd love to hear. It's just the sort of motivation I need to figure out this whole video posting thing. Until next time, paint like you have a pair!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

From the Desk: Why I Love Painting Legion Beasts

Carving out time to paint with a six month old in the house has been a little challenging. However my desire to paint is strong, and I've managed to make it work pretty well so far. I spent a week getting a number of models assembled and primed, and now I'm finding that I'm making more progress than I expected. We'll see if it holds out. Here's a shot of the Scythean in progress. There's still a fair amount of detail work left, but the major areas are pretty much done. So far it has gone really fast, partly due to my Legion painting process. More on that down below.

Here's a shot of the other stuff that is started. I used some assembly line painting for the chiton on these guys while doing the Scythean to save me some time in the future, but set them aside so that I could focus on the big guy. The Teraph is where my eye is next since that model (along with the Raek) is what really lured me into starting Legion.

Now, as a quick aside, I want to reflect on why I personally really enjoy painting Legion. The models are striking to me personally, but that's not the main reason. It has to do with a combination of simplicity and opportunity.
The simplicity comes in the form of the sculpts. They have a simplicity in that they don't have a ton of little detailed items all over (unlike troll models I must say). Most of the beasts have 2-3 primary features (chiton, skin and armor) that covers 80% or more of the surface. What this means is that after doing the chiton and skin it feels like I've made a ton of progress. By coming up with a process that makes painting the chiton quick (washes over white primer), I can make large strides in a short amount of time.
The opportunity comes in the form of having a spacious "canvas" to work on. The larger muscled surfaces of the skin allow for me to experiment with shading and texturing surfaces. The chiton has plenty of detail to its surface which can be brought out using washes. Overall the sculpts create opportunities for me to practice new techniques and don't constraint what I "must" paint like other overly detailed sculpts do.
Well, that's enough of that prattle for tonight. Painting the Scythean definitely has me excited to paint the Ravagore once it releases!