Sunday, September 30, 2012

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #12

I had dearly planned to get much more done this evening before posting, but my 2-year-old cancelled those plans. *sigh*

First up is the progress on Proteus. So far he's mostly assembled for the basic level, but there's still a lot of work left to do. There are a lot of seams that need smoothing out. This being my first plastic beast kit, I can't say I'm particularly thrilled with plastic, but it's not terrible. I'm just not used to working with plastic as much. In addition, I need to get him on the stone base as well. Proteus seems like he's going to pose a particular balancing challenge with his head being all metal and he's so far forward. I may need to angle him slightly or weight the back end somehow.

Quick side note, I picked up a Protectorate Vassal Mechanic. I wasn't expecting to, but I put in a reserve request for it and it arrived sooner than I expected. So he quickly got assembled and primed. I wasn't planning to get anything until the Judicator, but, well, the Mechanic will be pretty valuable to have with the Judicator I suspect so it was either now or later.

Ok, this picture is pretty lazy on my part. I didn't feel like setting up individual shots. Going left to right...
The Succubus got started! Just a base coat on the flesh and a single highlight layer. Nothing really fancy here.
The Naga is nearly done. I've even got the base ready. However the one key remaining task is to paint a glowing rune on him to match the rest of my beasts' schemes. I'm just having a real challenge trying to figure out where to put that rune. My leading plan is to put it at the base of the skull, on the side, just past the circular chitin piece. It's just going to be a tight fit.
Next is Skarre, who's nearing completion. I'm mostly just tweaking and tweaking at this point. I don't want to call this one done until I'm really happy with it. My remaining list of items to do is pretty small (mostly just smoothing and metal work), but I keep spotting little things to adjust. Hopefully done this week.
Finally is the Sorceress that is on top of the Throne. The Throne has been sitting around primed without any activity and I figured this was the best way to kick start the process. Of course, I say that but getting the Succubus and Naga done will take priority.

And finally, I get some significant progress on the additional cRoxorz trays that I wanted to build. Today I poured the plaster and textured it. These trays aren't really that hard to make, but the process is lengthy due to all the steps that require long drying times. But it's worth it. I can't explain why, but my cRoxorz just demand this level of attention and diligence. I'll probably never consider doing trays like this for my Legion or Protectorate forces.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Legionnaire Standard Bearer

Straight to the analysis...

What went well:
* Matching the color scheme and style of the original unit. I felt like this guy really hit it.
* The overall shading of the banner worked out well. Not the rune on it though... more below.
* Uh, and just, uh, being done with the unit!

What could have been better:
* The rune on the banner. I wanted to have a glowing rune to match the rest of the army theme feature, but honestly, it just didn't work out as well as I hoped. I was originally trying to do a stippling method, but that sort of went sideways. Then it just went further sideways. I probably should have started over, but, oh well...

And that's it, on to the next thing!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #11

Sound bites episode tonight. Not much on photos.

Finished Farilor and the Standard Bearer. My goal wasn't to paint them great. It was to paint them to match the original squad. Here's a side-by-side. I feel pretty happy with the matching job I did here. The green has a slightly different hue, but it's close enough that it isn't obvious. Challenge accomplished!

No progress on Skarre. Sigh!

I managed to get both the Naga and the Succubus assembled. I'll probably prime them tonight. I actually went ahead and put the Succubus on a base despite my normal process. I figured it would be easier in the long run. I also started assembling Proteus which is about 75% done now.

I've started prepping 4 more TableWar trays for my CRoxorz. I don't know what it is about them, but it makes me want to go the extra mile for theme.

Played another game against Lance's Venethrax list. This time I brought Harbinger, Vessel, and a pretty hard hitting list. I pulled it out at the last moment with an assassination run on Venethrax with the Harbinger herself. Crusader's Call, charging the Nightmare to get range to Venethrax who was hidden behind a forest, and then dropped the nuke on him.

Last thing is sort of a personal venting about life and crap, so people can feel free to tune out at this point. I had an insane week at work. In addition to work being intense, I totally overate during the week and yesterday when I stepped on the scale and I weighed more than I have in two years. This is incredibly frustrating because as of 2 years ago I had finished a run of losing 55 pounds. Things could be worse. The week was intensely stressful and partially I survived because gaming and especially painting provides an outlet for me. It grounds me and brings me relaxation, and most importantly joy. I set a bunch of goals for myself for this year. The only goal I haven't met is losing the few remaining pounds that I really wanted to. So for the rest of this year I'm going to use painting as a vehicle to help me stay focused on relaxing and losing the 15lbs I need to lose in order to hit my goal. I'll keep those posts off the IABN feed and generally try to keep them low key.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Captain Farilor

Farilor here makes the first half of the Legionnaire UA. Painting this pair was an interesting challenge which I'll talk about more in my weekend roundup. Here however I'll just focus on Farilor. Nothing particular special to talk about. This model was pretty fast to paint using my normal Legion speed-painting techniques. It's been a long time (probably a year now?) since I painted a Legion model and I did enjoy picking them back up again. This particular model was quick to paint but gave me a minor bit of trouble. When putting him on a base, the cape broke off. Normally I would try to pin such a piece, but this one just doesn't support an easy pinning solution so I didn't bother. Instead I went with green stuff and glue. Well I apparently wasn't quite careful enough and snapped it off. Fortunately the break was clean and didn't need much clean up afterwards.

Anyway, not much else to say here. What went well? I painted a Legion model again and enjoyed it! What could have been better? Not snapping off his cape! On to the Standard Bearer...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #10

Ten? Crazy!

Finally some real progress on Skarre. I decided it would be wise to get her on a base sooner rather than later, so I whipped out something that I'd wanted to use for a while and put it all together. It was definitely a good time to go ahead and do this step as well. It'll help me make sure I have a good balance in color between the base and the model. I got a fair amount of work done as well. I did a couple of thin ink washes on the blue and it really smoothed out the blending and brightened up the color nicely. I also did some general clean up and a bunch of work on the metals. So far it's coming along well and I'm still enjoying painting it.

I also got started on Farilor and the Legionnaire UA. These guys are sort of an interesting painting challenge since I want to make them look at similar to the original squad that I painted. I'm keeping a pair of the original squad on my desk while I do these two in order to have as a reference. I'm also still mulling over what to put on the banner, but that will likely take a while to decide.

So my whole self-imposed countdown before getting a new airbrush got thrown out the window. My normal online seller for airbrush supplies was having a big sale and I broke down and picked up the Harder Steenbeck Infinity. It just arrived this last week so I haven't gotten a chance to try it out yet (despite my anxiousness to), but it looks very nice and definitely ridiculously easy to clean.

Maelok is now 3-and-0! I won a game against Lance's Venethrax experiment this week playing 35pts using the Overrun scenario. Lessons learned: When faced with Satyxis jamming, counter-jam with Gatorman Posse and be amused how the Satyxis can't kill them when they are fully buffed. I also have to say that I am really enjoying playing Maelok. He's amusing and extremely survivable. He definitely push the r0x0r into my cRoxors.
And as an added bonus... Lytro pics of the battle!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vessel of Judgement

Wow am I glad this one is done. Not very proud of this effort. There's a bunch of obvious problems with this model, and I'm going to skip any normal analysis. The only time I started to feel at all happy about this model was when I got the bulk of the red/black highlighting done. But in general I was just pushing to get completed and the final result shows it. And so, just pics for this posting. On to other projects.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #9

Another evening posting of my weekend roundup. Why do I always wait until 10pm to do these?

Significant progress on the Vessel of Judgement! I got a bunch of work done on it. Once I turned the corner of getting some highlighting and shading done, it started to feel a bit more like positive progress. This is a common problem for me. Often I feel like a model looks terrible until I get a certain amount of highlighting progress done. I've definitely hit that point finally here. I also reached a point at which it was critical to get it on a base just from a handling point of view. So I quickly got the base put together. Nothing amazing there.

And in order to keep my momentum, I got the priest and, uh, puller guy, primed and ready for painting. I also have the chains primed but it didn't seem relevant to post pictures of those minor parts. Of course, this picture isn't particularly interesting either. But the point here is that I'm in the glide path now to finishing off my first huge based model. I honestly think this is a pretty important accomplishment for me. I've been putting off these huge based models for far too long. And with the colossals coming out soon (which I love already), then I need to start clearing my existing huge based models to justify getting more. Anyway, enough of that prattling.

Ok, so the Succubus... What a pain in the butt to assemble! I'm pretty OCD about making sure my models can't accidentally come apart due to tipping over on the table. So of course for this very finely sculpted model, I decided to pin all the little fiddly bits, and this has become a nightmare to do. So many tiny arms and wings! And getting things lined up properly when pinning? Ugh! So this is a WIP shot of extra long pins sticking out. They are the pins for the upper arms and wings. I had to put it all together in this way to make sure the pins were secure. At this point I have all the holes drilled. I need to put everything together which shouldn't be too much more work at this point.
I do have to mini-rant that this particular copy I got had terrible mold lines. Really awful. And the sculpt is such a fine sculpt that there wasn't much I could do to clean them up completely. Oh well.

Mini battle report:
Maelok vs Morghoul, 15pts, overrun.
Another battle with Maelok, and another close victory won by pulling out a multi-part assassination run. Actually the biggest thing that enabled it was Morghoul feat doesn't prevent Warlocks from spending fury. Zorch!

And that's it! Another week and a good feeling one at that.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Musing on Gators

Now that I've gotten several games in with Gators and completed painting my current collection, I thought it would be a good time to look back on the experience and philosophize about where to go from here...

Fun: I am having a blast with gators. They are fun to paint and fun to play. They may not be a full fledged faction, but I feel like I can mostly compete and have a good handle on their strengths and weaknesses. And for painting I find them to go relatively fast and have just the right amount of detail for my tastes. I can see myself continuing to play them for quite some time.

Time Spent: At a blisteringly slow pace (9 months) I painted the 18 models. That didn't count the other stuff I did at the same time, nor the models I'd had previously to starting Gators that will work for them. It's a terribly slow pace, but in the context of what was going on in my life, I can't really complain. The net result is 58 points and 3 warlocks.

My Battle Record: At this point I've gotten 10 games in with them (that I can recall) at various point levels. I tried to recall all the battles and this is what I came up with:
* Calaban: 2 wins (eHexeris, Mordikaar), 4 losses (eMorghoul, eMakeda, eHaley, Vlad).
* Barnabas: 2 wins (Zerkova, Harkovich), 0 losses.
* Maelok: 2 wins (Kaelyssa, Morghoul), 0 losses.

Where to go from here: So what more would I potentially add to this collection? Well I started thinking through this and prioritizing what I would get next and here was my list...
1) Pendrake
2) 2nd Ironback
3) Second Posse
4) 2nd Croak Hunter
5) Bone Grinders
6) Bog Trogs

And that concludes my musings about Gators. I'm taking a break from painting anything for them so that I can close out some of my other unpainted models, particularly getting caught up on Legion. But who knows! My Gatorlust may get a stranglehold on me and I'll start filling in those items. Or perhaps the Gargantuans book will yield unexpected treasures for Gators that I just won't be able to resist.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Battle Report: Sparkle vs cRoxors

Because of the proliferation of great battle reports out there (especially Chain Attack), I've generally gotten away from doing battle reports unless there's something specific to the game that I feel is worthy of blogging. This game however was amusing for a number of reasons. What follows is a somewhat disjointed battle report, more in the form of scattered notes. Oh, and to all you Retribution players out there, just take it all in good spirit.

Battle: Sparkle (Lance) vs Gators (me), 15pts
Mission: Restoration
Sparkle: Kaelyssa, Daemon, 5 Destors, Mage Hunter Assassin
Gators (tier 1): Maelok, Swamp Horror, Bull Snapper, Gatorman Posse (3), Witch Doctor, Croak Hunter
It's important to note that both lists were based on what we had painted. Not actually optimized lists at all. This is especially true of Lance's Sparkle list. There are obviously more optimized choices at 15pts.

Battle Notes:
* Destors are just not equipped to deal with Gator Posses. With Death Pact on them, the Destors were at -8 to damage against them at best.
* Maelok with no armor buffs however can take a fair amount of damage from a hail of pow 10 gunfire if dice run hot.
* Gators really have trouble hitting hard enough to take down jacks. A Swamp Horror in particular is simply unable to do that.
* The scenario objectives (which can be activated and heal nearby models) really came into play in this game. I think Maelok and other gators probably healed 25+ points of damage across all the models.
* The killing blow on Kaelyssa was dealt by the Croak Hunter!

Quotes from the battle:
* This is so bad! (after a hail of pow 10 ranged attacks barely scratches my 3 posse members)
* The reason Venethrax looks so badass is I've been reading these cards.
* Retribution is so EMO they don't kill you, they just hand you the knife.
* This makes my Gators feel like a real faction!

Project Sparkle:
Here's a shot of Lance's Project Sparkle army at its first 15pts. He used iridescent paints on them which gives them a multi-colored sheen to them. It's definitely a nice touch on top of the studio color scheme. The Scribr bases for Kaelyssa and the Assassin were really nice touches as well.

War Room: As a side note, we tried out using War Room (iOS version) for this battle. The good side is that it does support the features needed (tracking/viewing damage and cards for both sides). And even when we swapped out from the app to take pictures, we were able to re-join the game and keep going. The down side? Well, there were some places where it just hung and crashed and some other things. Also trying to add just a single point of damage on solos is tedious. And in general, it's a bit slow when switching between certain things it takes a while. Overall, probably not going to be using it for games in the future.

Monday, September 03, 2012

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #8

Super light weekend roundup post this week.

Vessel of Judgement! How I hate thee! This model just doesn't gel with my style of painting. I'm hating every minute of it. I need to get this thing done though.

More quick updates...
* Maelok (and gators in general) are done!
* Skarre got no attention this week.
* Got an awesome battle in against Lance and his now unveiled Project Sparkle!
* Also got a battle against Henry where I brought Legion and he had Cryx with Scaverous and the Kraken. Was a good battle and I definitely don't feel like colossals are required to stay competitive, although they definitely change the dynamics of scenario play.
* Started a prototype model for my Sunset Cowboys.

And that's it! I'm going to spend the time I would normally burn on blogging to try and get more progress on the Vessel. Being done is better than not being done.