Thursday, December 11, 2014

Battle Report: pCaine vs eIrusk

So what do you do with Irusk is on a hill, in a cloud, behind a delta formation of shield walled Shocktroopers? You Caine him!
Tarin shadowfired the front shocktrooper. Then Caine advanced, Thunderbolted another Shocktrooper over Irusk, then Sniped himself, feated and put shots into Irusk. Then the Defender aimed and dropped a shot right into Irusk to finish him.

I freakin love Caine!

This sort of thing is what I love about Warmachine as a game. The old No Quarter Challenge pieces in the magazines really exemplified that sort of thing and I've always approached the game in that respect. This game was especially that case because when I pulled off this maneuver, I was already losing on scenario, the Defender's cortex was blown out, Aiyana was dead, and most of my Stormblades had been wiped out. I was losing both the scenario and attrition games. Assassination was my only remaining option, so I needed to puzzle out a solution.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014


Ironclad done! This is the first pure-melee jack I've painted for Cygnar which just seemed a bit strange for some reason. Still though, looking forward to getting it on the table.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Battle Report: Nemo2 vs Directrix

So last night this happened...

Thunderhead was right up at the front and I don't think I've ever seen a model with so many statuses on it. In addition to being down to 2 boxes remaining, he had the following effects on him: Flare (from a servitor), Harm (from Directrix's servitor), Knocked Down, Backlash (from Directrix), Failsafe (from Nemo2), and he was on fire. Ironically despite this situation, he survived the fire with 1 box left, stood up, and electro-purged a bunch of models right around him and cleared a path for the Stormclad (after being Energized by Nemo) to slam the Corallary into Directrix. The game would have been wrapped up at that point but even against a knocked down model, snake-eyes still means a miss for the Stormwall. Stupid dice!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

General Adept Nemo

Wrapped up yet another Cygnar caster. This one was a bit of a rush job just to get it done. I opted to exclude his "epic" base enhancement since it would have occluded my normal basing scheme. The side effect of course is that he's sitting pretty far back on the base. it's not really a problem balance wise unless he gets positioned on an uneven surface.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lieutenant Allister Caine

Getting Caine done was sort of a sidestep in my painting queue in an odd sort of way. When I got into Cygnar I hadn't really thought about getting many of the casters, but after getting a tip from one of our local PG's about Caine, it got me excited to paint him. Plus I have to admit that the boom The Way Of Caine was really great and got me extra excited about fielding Caine. I even took him for a first run last night and beat Aurora which was a bit surprising to me given that I hadn't played him before.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #68

Ultra fast post this week.

Fairly productive week despite some serious Diablo3 binging. I finished a Stinger and pCaine. I also have nearly finished Nemo2, and my Ironclad is about half done. I also assembled a pile of stuff: Storm Tower, Neraph, Blighted Bather, Strangeways, Charger, Sentinel, pStryker and eHaley. All of that stuff also got primed, along with Gaston and Sturgis, and about 20 bases. I also have eAbsylonia about 2/3 assembled at this point as well.

On the priming front, I found that I slightly overprimed a couple of the items. Not a disaster but annoying. Also the fumes from priming all that stuff was noticeable in the room. It has me rethinking my priming strategy. There's a lot of advantages in both directions so we'll see what I end up choosing in the long term. For now I'm done priming until after the Christmas break though.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Battle Report: Convergence Proxy Fest

So the other night Lance and I got a game in. eFeora tier 4 list (2 full TFG units, Daughters, min Cleansers, full Choir, mechanic, Judicator, Crusader). Lance had Lucant, Axiom, double battle engines, double mechanics, angels and small based shield wall dudes.

Early on things were looking great for me. My tier bonuses gave +2 SPD for all flameguard models, and +2" deployment zone, and I was going first. I swarmed the objectives and positioned my Judicator to be ready to unleash fiery death the next round. Lance rushed forward and feared with Lucant to improve his chances of surviving. I then purged almost all of his shield wall guys, blocked out one objective entirely and got set up to control the second objective. Then the wheels started coming off the bus.

Axiom managed to get the drop on the Judicator after having a hole sprayed clear by one of the battle engines. Through some crazy rolling, he leveled the Judicator almost entirely. But the damage output didn't stop there. With only 8 points of damage left on the Judicator, the second battle engine strode up and sprayed over Axiom to finish the job. The one saving grace was that Lance's damage rolls were not discriminating and tore the Axiom a new one. After that I was able to take out the Axiom with my Crusader which was in turn taken out by a battle engine and Lucant himself. At this point though I was up on scenario 4-0. Lance then proceeded to roll up a battle engine and drop two 4D6 damage sprays on Feora: 4-6-4-5 and 6-6-4-4. The spiky damage on 2 pow 10 sprays put Feora in the dirt despite her arm 18 status.

And this, my friends, is why I'm so very done with Protectorate.

I will say that I am terribly impressed with the utility of the Convergence battle engine. I'm looking forward to seeing those on the table more. They bring a really unique style of mechanics to the game.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


It's a Stinger! Boom! Nothing else to say!

Monday, November 17, 2014

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #67

Again, travel sucks...

So this last week was productive by sheer force of will. I cut back on my Diablo 3 addiction a bit, and worked on things in small chunks. Pictured here is the key stuff. Nemo2 and Caine1 are started, as well as the Ironclad base metal work is done. The former two are part of a big push I'm feeling around getting more casters ready. After having played Haley1 I've got a desire to try some more of the casters. To that end I also got Sturgis and Gaston assembled (pictured here), as well as Stryker1, a Charger and a Sentinel. I've sort of had this push to get stuff assembled and primed so I can get ahead of the painting phase again and this gets me there quite well.

I also finished yet another Stinger which I'll post tomorrow, got a game in last night which I'll post later this week, and generally did some clean up on my painting desk in terms of organizing my tools and such. Hopefully this week will be more productive from an actual paint-on-model point of view given that I'm not planning to travel.

One last quick note: DickBlick has W&N Series 7 brushes available again. Hopefully the US Customs block on sable hair brushes has finally been removed. And no, I don't get any sort of kickback from anyone at all on this. I just like the brushes above all others and wanted to share the word.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cygnar: Rivet Counts

A little random humor for your Friday...

Wow does Cygnar have a lot of rivets. Like, loads of them. Ridiculous amounts. At the beginning I was actually counting them as I trimmed and cleaned the pieces for models. I gave up on the task eventually but I figured I'd share the ridiculousness of how many rivets I did end up counting. I don't claim that these are 100% accurate, but they are pretty close.

ModelRivets each
Storm Strider308
Journeyman Warcaster51
Allison Jakes40

What this means is that I've painted well over 3500 rivets at this point.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fyanna the Lash

This was another cursed model. Got knocked over multiple times. Got primer and paint scratched. Had a missed gap and a missed mold line. Sat on my desk for a long time before getting started. Just generally it took on a will of its own and tried to break me. However I've finished it and happily so. Keeping a Legion model on my desk at all times is a great way to keep my sense of color fresh. I tend to play with color just a little different every time I paint something for Legion and this one was no exception. The skin was standard, but the hair and cloth were both slightly different than how I had done them before.

Monday, November 10, 2014

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #66

Traveling weeks suck.

This week was not great for actual painting progress, but I got lots of stuff posted up on the blog. Stuff that I'd backlogged to post but spent the time painting instead during the previous week. Fyanna however has gotten a lot of work done. She's about 75% done at this point, but I haven't even started a base for her. Working on a Legion model again has reminded me how streamlined my Cygnar paint scheme is. Painting this model is much more work given the wider variety of colors at play. I do love painting my Legion though, and particularly these solos that have nice character to them. However it's no wonder I've cranked through a much higher volume of Cygnar in such a short time period than any other faction.

I also worked on a prototype for the Alien Temple bases. I've been thinking about putting my new mercs on these bases to give them their own theme. I wanted something that looked different but I could still get done efficiently. These are not super efficient, but they go pretty quick. I think the real question is whether I actually want to re-base any models or not. This also goes back to my Cygnar Gun Mages being on different bases (and having a different theme as well). I'll probably stall until I've gotten much further through my Cygnar paint queue to make this decision, but having the prototype for this base done now helps for the future. I still need to decide what to do about the bits of moss growth on these bases though. For my own reference, here's what I did so far:
Base coat: Ironhull Grey
Streaks: thinned Underbelly Blue
Wash: SWW Algae
Base coat cracks: Ember Orange
Highlight: Cygnus Yellow
Highlight: Cygnus Yellow + White
Highlight: White

And finally, a big reason I haven't gotten more done this last week is that I've been re-bitten by the Diablo3 bug along with a couple buddies of mine. I've been playing a lot and this is an example of one of my recent spoils. I'm not proud of how much I've played but sometimes my inner muse needs a break with some semi-mindless button clicking.

Saturday, November 08, 2014


Getting Thorn done was a small bit of focus and willpower for me. After already painting a pair of Lancers, it was a little difficult to get excited about painting another arcnode but since he was already base prepped and his glow work got done with the Stormglad and Defender, it was a little easier to get moving on him. The rounded shoulders made this one a little weird to work on compared to most of the other Cygnar jacks that don't have as much of a bubble look to them. As a result I felt like this one needed more insignias to disguise the lack of proper highlighting.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Inspiration: Bohun

Sometimes the work of another artist can be both inspiring and disheartening. This is definitely the case with Bohun. I'll let his work speak for itself, but whatever you do, definitely check out his tutorials on Facebook before moving on.

You can see his Putty and Paint profile here.

And here's his CMON gallery.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Stormblade Captains

These two Stormblade Captains round out the last of my Stormblade forces. I have to say these are really nice models too. Loads of detail. I actually opted to downplay and hide some of the detail just because the model was already quite visually busy. There's also the side effect of my paint scheme not handling too much cluttered detail very well. I honestly could have spent twice as much time on these if I'd really wanted to, but this Cygnar army is about getting on the table and looking good together. Still though I'm quick happy with how these turned out and I'm looking forward to playing them.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


Yep! It's a Defender! Adding to my arsenal of gun jacks. Nothing particularly interesting about this one. I opted to make his ammo appear glowing just for kicks. Beyond that he's nothing really special.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #65

Roundup right before packing for a work trip. Blah.

Lots of stuff got finished so my desk is pretty low on things worth taking pictures of. The only real notable thing is that Fyanna is in progress. It's funny how coming back to painting Legion feels like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes. Fyanna is one of the few Legion models I've actually played unpainted. Normally I hold myself to playing painted models but I was curious to try her and couldn't wait. Hopefully I'd cover up this shame by finishing her this week.

I've also got Nemo2 and an Ironclad started with metal base coats done. The Ironclad is the last Cygnar jack I have assembled and prepped. After it things will slow down and I'll have to get back to some assembly work again if I want to add more jacks.

I'm trying to resist buying more Cygnar, which is only succeeding because I've told myself I'll wait until Dynamo comes out in December. I've also got the bug to catch up on Legion which shouldn't take me long. I'm hoping to get a couple of them done before the Blightblades come out this month.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Captain Victoria Haley

Finally I have a second Cygnar warcaster ready. Not my favorite model, but I wanted something fairly different to play and this helps me work through the "prime" casters. Nothing special to say on this one really. One problem I had was finding enough surface to put even just a single insignia on, and that was a pretty small space unfortunately. Also, when I pinned her, I screwed up and her back foot is actually floating just a bit (maybe 1mm) and not set all the way down. Oh well! Tabletop quality! Moving on!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Stormclad! Done! Nothing interesting to say! Love this model! Pictures!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Airbrush Class Review

Sunday I went up to the Secret Weapon Miniatures' headquarters and attended an airbrush training class with Mister Justin himself. This was a rare treat as he's become a very busy man these days. There were 14 of us in the class and it was a very hands-on class. Besides being a rather noisy situation due to all the compressors (especially 1 very loud shop-style compressor), it was a pretty nice environment to work in for the task at hand. I got a solid 4 hours worth of time directly working with my airbrush and many times got to ask Justin questions to help debug problems, get advice and generally improve my confidence in using the airbrush.

This GW Ogre Bull model pictured here is my output from the class. Not particularly amazing except for the fact that all of that work was done entirely with an airbrush. I did some masking obviously to prevent overspray on key areas, but I didn't do anything with a brush. He's clearly not going to win any awards, but I'm somewhat shocked at what I did pull off on what is a relatively small model for my skill levels. Up close (and from other angles) you can totally find several small spatters and "spider webs" where the paint got away from me, but that's all part of the learning process. I focused on just using the airbrush to re-do problem areas rather than just give up. I will admit that at one point I nearly said "screw it", but rather than surrender, I took a moment to pause and look at what my peers were doing which helped me feel like I wasn't the only one feeling frustrated. As one other classmate said aptly, "this is a great opportunity to get a month's worth of mistakes done in a single day and get help rather than getting frustrated".

So what did I learn?
  • Practice with coloring books. They are cheap and provide a great canvas to just fool around on and not stress about "ruining" it.
  • Everything you can do with an airbrush, you can do with a brush. This might seem obvious, but keeping this in mind, the airbrush should be thought of as a time-saving tool. If the work is getting too difficult to accomplish with an airbrush, switch to a traditional brush.
  • Models are just 2D surfaces mapped onto a 3D object. It's a matter of painting each of the 2D canvases on that 3D model. With that in mind though...
  • Everything is a sphere. Muscles, faces, and so on are basically constructed of lots of spheres and each one needs highlighting and shading appropriately so that they make visual sense on the model.
  • Use a sculpting tool to gently push in the edges of painters tape when masking helps improve the accuracy of the masking effort. This works particularly well on areas where the edge of that tape can be pushed into a crease.
  • There's no one answer to any airbrush problem. For example, if the paint seems too thin and is spiderwebbing, one option is to dial back the max paint on the airbrush, leave the pressure the same, and work in shorter bursts. This leads me to a very important point I learned...
  • Unlike the brush where much of the learning is by "feel" and "intuition", the airbrush requires a fair amount more disciplined practice. It is important to actually understand all of the factors in play such as viscosity, air pressure and such. This requires measured experimentation to work through as much as getting a familiar feel for it.
Some other quick notes from the class:
P3 paints and Daler Rowney Inks are both liquid pigments and thus work great in the airbrush. I'd never thought to run inks through the airbrush, but it does work great.
91% isopropyl alcohol for cleaning.
Thin with water only.
Don't use the reservoir cup. I was amused that Justin never used a reservoir cup on his airbrushes. Just dumped paint directly into the top with the cup off. Makes sense in hindsight since the cups are generally way larger than needed for small work.
0.2 needle for detail work. 0.5 for general work.
Get some airbrush lube. I desperately need to do this after (at the end of the class) doing a complete strip-down of my Infinity.
Justin has lots of hilarious stories about great painters doing amusing things. A couple times I was paralyzed with laughter.

Also got to see the SW warehouse and production areas which was a fun bonus. Ok, enough typing. It's time to get paint on a model while I'm riding a wave of motivation.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yesterday at the LGS

Yesterday I went down to my LGS to play and help out someone. On our local forum someone posted that they had gotten an Archangel but didn't know what to do about the wings. I jumped in and suggested using a couple long pins. This guy asked if someone could help and I volunteered to meet up with him at the LGS to do it. After half an hour of general chit chat and drilling and cutting and explaining and, well, just general BS'ing and modeling, it was all set. I'm happy to say the pins worked nicely and the pieces fit nice and tight. It was a great experience all around and doing it at the LGS was especially nice since other people came by asking questions. I had brought my own Archangel along which of course draws a lot of attention being such a huge model.

After the pinning exercise, we played a 25pt game as well. Mark (the guy I helped) is relatively new to Warmachine/Hordes, so we had a nice casual game. I had given him the option of picking stuff for the list I was going to play and he requested pThag and a Raek, which I happily obliged. I ended up rolling a tier 2 pThag list that included Ogryn and an Angelius. The picture shows near the end where pKaya was in a lot of trouble, pinned behind a bunch of nasty. There was a moment where I thought the Warpwolf Stalker was going to slip loose and have a run on Thagrosh, but my hardy Warmongers held their ranks and the game went my direction. Still though, we both had a great time and I was able to give him a bunch of tips about scenarios and just little things around tighter game play.

Having a vibrant Warmachine night at a great LGS is definitely a fortunate thing to have, and getting to contribute in a small way to help it stay vibrant was a nice way to break up my work week last night.

Monday, October 20, 2014

From the Desk: The Bag O Crap!

Last week I ordered the "Bag O Crap" from Secret Weapon Miniatures. For those of you not familiar with this, Secret Weapon throws all their miscast stuff into a bin and every so often they make up bags of those bits which they then sell. At first glance this might sound like buying garbage. To some degree it is a gamble. Some of the things are legitimate miscasts, and lots of it is just random with no clear knowledge of what will be in the bag. The Secret Weapon line includes terrain pieces and a variety of bits as well which makes the potential ingredients even more varied. Still though, I was already ordering a set of the Alien Temple bases anyway, so I figured why not throw in one of these bags for kicks. So what did I get?

Pictured here is all the stuff I decided to keep. A little over half the bag was bevel-edged bases which I mostly had no use for. I kept everything from the Alien Temple line for experimentation purposes and I kept all of the terrain bits and round-lipped bases. Out of all the stuff pictured here, only a couple were what I consider "badly miscast", and even then they are recoverable. Many of the bases are perfectly fine, including a really sweet 120mm base. One of the bad miscasts was a 50mm Alien Temple base so I'm using it as an experiment base right now.

All things considered, I'm pretty happy with this bag o crap and I'm looking forward to getting another one next time they do this.

And no, I am not being compensated in any way for this review. I bought the Bag O Crap at normal price and at my own risk. I just happen to have really enjoyed getting it and wanted to share my excitement.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #64

No pictures this week. Just lazy...

Busy week, and I'm exhausted, so I'm making this a quick list of accomplishments and then going to bed.

Wrapped up Stormblades (except Captains). I'm super happy to have finished them.

My desk got remarkably clean. I prepped the next batch of models (all individual models), and now my desk feels like it's back to a somewhat normal state of things. Now that I've pressed through that big double unit, I'm having a little trouble deciding what model to focus on first. Probably some Cygnar jacks.

My Secret Weapon Bag O Crap arrived! I'll post a quick review tomorrow on that.

I'm experimenting with Alien Temple bases for mercs. I'd like to have a different but consistent basing theme for my mercs that I plan on routinely playing with Cygnar and these bases are pretty sweet looking. My theory is an obsidian-style stone with orange glowing cracks. I'm going to prototype one this week to see how it looks.

Lastly, my display case is getting full (again). Legion beasts in particular are big and pokey. It also doesn't help that Cygnar has gone from 14 to 50+ models in the last few months, including 2 huge based models. It looks like I'm going to have to demote some models out of the case entirely pretty soon.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stormblade Infantry Storm Gunners

Done! So glad to wrap up all these Stormblades. These 6 Storm Gunners round out the entire set of 22 models. Nothing much to say on these really. I was clearly trying to get them done fast and cut a few extra corners, but nothing major that will make them obvious eyesores compared to the rest of the squads.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beast Mistress (take 2)

Just a quick post that I finished the Beast Mistress that's been sitting on my desk for the last 5 months. This picture is atrocious, and it doesn't actually look that bad in person, but it's also nowhere near as good as the first one I did. This is just a quick tabletop paint job so I can be done.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stormblade Officer and Standard

Not going to belabor this post. The only thing I'm not super happy with about the UAs is that I probably should have done more with the banners than I did. However I must admit that painting freehand on such an irregular surface proved very challenging to my skills. At least in doing this I got some practice at shading the freehand pattern. These banners though are sculpted in an odd fashion: they wave but are still very rectangular from the front. Something about their shape just feels wrong to me, especially given the amount of waves they have. Anyway, what's done is done. Time to move on.

Monday, October 13, 2014

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #63

Finally started putting paint on my second Beast Mistress. I was updating my list of unpainted models and found that I have 5 unpainted Legion models, not counting the swarm of Shredders/Harriers/Stingers that are sitting around in various states of progress. Despite all my focus on Cygnar, Legion is still my favorite faction to both paint and play. This hiatus from them has actually given me a renewed vigor to get them on the table, especially now that I have epic Absylonia and a Neraph.

My Stormblades are coming along. The UAs are all done and just need pictures. The WAs are still in progress and need reds and insignias. My goal is to have them done this week which should be a piece of cake. That will wrap up that monster project and I can get back to painting single models for a while.

In a rather naughty move, I bought a second Stormwall. One of the guys at my LGS had a second one and wasn't going to be using it. The only downside was that it was already assembled and primed, but to some degree that saves me some trouble. He used a lot of glue so getting it off of the base was a bit of a pain, and there were some parts assembled slightly incorrectly, but otherwise it's pretty well put together. I'll probably take a much more rapid approach on this one to get it done quicker. Needless to say, this isn't at the top of my paint queue, but it is something that I had been thinking of getting anyway. The Stormwall is one of my favorite PP models to paint to date so doing a second should be really fun. Pictured here are the legs and a few pistons being stripped of primer so that I can clean up some issues, as well as trying to dissolve the glue a bit from the bottom of the feet.

Yesterday I also solved a minor mystery. I had assembled, primed and base coated a Defender jack, and it had been sitting on the side shelf for some time. Then one day it was just missing. Yesterday I happened to notice that it had taken a header from the shelf and fallen nearly 5 feet to the floor. Amazingly the paint was barely chipped, however the arms had come loose. Easily repaired though, and now I'm keen to get him painted sooner rather than later.

Friday, October 10, 2014


So here's the 2 Stormblade units finished up. The UA's and WA's are still in progress. It feels great to get these done though. I'm looking forward to fielding them, especially without any attachments just to try them out in their basic form first. In the end I decided to label them "A" and "Z" squads. Not really much else to say here though.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #62

Getting this week's update done a bit early.

My Stormblades effort is really coming along. 6 of them are completely done (except for sealing), and another 7 are very close, just needing insignias and bases. The rest need all the red plating done and some other misc work. I'm fortunately at the point where I can easily see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm near the point of being able to actually play some of these models as well. My goal for the next week is at least wrap up the 2 basic units and the 2 unit attachments. The weapon attachments may take me a bit longer though, especially given this is a hectic week for me. I'm traveling for work for a couple days, Exigence drops on Wednesday, and I'm hoping to get another game in.

On the assembly front I got 3 warcasters, a Stormclad, and a second Stormblade Captain assembled. As much fun as pNemo is, I'm looking forward to playing a new caster.

I also got a game in this last week with Lance. 50pts Incursion, with me playing pNemo (without a Stormwall for once) and Lance playing a tier 4 Syntherion list. Lance crushed me pretty bad, with the end of the game resulting in me taking a wildly unlikely assassination run near the end in a last ditch effort to pull out a win. There were only a couple places where my luck was against me. The first was that the flag that disappeared was on the side I was weaker on. The second was a failed strength check for Thunderhead to 2-handed throw a Cipher. This match up sort of reinforced my sense that having a Stormwall is always a good idea. I just didn't have enough firepower to take out the Axiom, nor enough options to get a proper amount of damage on Syntherion since he was camping 4 focus most of the game. At arm 22, it was pretty rough for me to get enough attacks on him. I will note that Lance proxied the CoC battle engine and it was quite amusing to play against. Despite a pretty rough beating, I still really enjoy the Convergence-Cygnar match ups.

And finally a very different modeling project that my son and I did together getting ready for Halloween. It's very early but I didn't want to squash his enthusiasm for one of my favorite holidays of the year.