Friday, 31 January 2014

Farsight Enclave: Riptide with ion blaster

I got this model for Christmas, and have been working on it for some time. It's quite a lot of work to assemble and paint, but this was also a model that I really enjoyed doing! I plan on buying another to complete my Farsight army, but that will have to wait until my model backlog has been dealt with...

I went with the standard Farsight scheme, using lots of grey panels to break up the armour.

The shield has some extra detail, which I picked out in white, then touched up with back again.

I thought about adding weathering to the jetpack, but ultimately decided to keep the model clean. This is something of a diversion from my typical approach - for larger models I usually go with chipping and weathering.

The might ion blaster: note the additional twin-linked plasma rifles. These can actually be placed on several points, such as the shoulders, the arms, etc.

I decided to paint the head white, because there is an awful lot of red on this model. The lenses were done in the standard Farsight manner - finished off with a dot of gloss.

All in all, a great model - very Pacific Rim! The next one will be armed with a burst canon, for some variety.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Night Lords Helbrute and slow progress...

This week has been so busy that it's been difficult to get any painting in. I'm actually taking a few weeks to do some projects for myself, so this is not such a big deal - but it was still good to get some brush time in today. I managed to finish a model that has been sitting on my workbench for absolutely months...

The Helbrute is a strange kit - the only dreadnought model available for the Chaos Space Marines, and only through the Dark Vengeance boxed set. It has lovely detail, but that is weirdly mostly on the front of the model.

I went with a Night Lords scheme, with terror markings, to add the model to my fledgling (and really only for cool-paint-scheme collecting) army.

I've seen Helbrutes done in a lot of ways, but I felt that the exposed, non-armour plated areas should be flesh-coloured. That also complements the blue and gold warplate, although as you can see from this picture there is quite a lot of flesh on the model.

I used a combination of the new GW paints, but also some of the older Foundation series. Necron Abyss is a particular favourite of mine, for that deep blue armour colour. The gold is done very easily and simply - I used Vallejo Liquid Gold series (Old Gold) which I then washed with Agrax Earthshade. This is my preferred way for doing gold on line troops, much quicker than building up with GW metallics (although you need to wash your brushes with spirit after use!).

Below is my Night Lords army so far - I still have to paint up the rest of the Dark Vengeance set, but those figures have some serious detail! The Chosen look like they will take months for me to get done, so they will wait for another session...

Next week, probably some more Farsight and then some Knight Models Batman figures...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Judge Dredd: Judge on Lawmaster and new Dredd figure

Following on from my post last week, I've been busy doing more Dredd-painting! This time we have a Lawmaster and the man himself - shown here with two judges I painted last year (another Dredd sculpt and a psi-judge).

The Lawmaster has apparently been a long time coming to the Mongoose range, but it's a really nice model! Again, these are properly retro figures - the entire body is metal, and the figure has a real heft to it. 

Be aware, if you build one of these, that the handlebars require some bending to get into the right position. The body is a little small compared to the other judges, but not so much that it's a problem.

I decided to mount the model on a resin base I had spare, to add some interest and protect the metal wheels. The worst part about metal models: the paintwork rubbing off as you work on the model!

This judge is armed with a scatter gun as well - just realised that I forgot to highlight the holster...

I've also just finished this Dredd model. This is a newer sculpt to the one I painted up last year, and I think it is much better. The pose is nicely dynamic, and the body is properly proportioned.

Just another view of the model:

So, what's next on the painting desk? More Tau (although not much more - nearly finished my Farsight army), some more Batman models and probably some Tyranids... 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Cursed Earth Desperadoes

I've been a fan of Judge Dredd since I was a kid, and this Christmas my wife kindly bought me hardcover rulebook and a pile of miniatures! In a future post, I'm going to do a run-down of the rulebook and a proper review - suffice to say, for now, that it is a great book and looks a lot of fun. But today is all about the miniatures....

Firstly, Mongoose have had some flak from the community because of their handling of previous much-loved miniatures games. This is a shame, and I don't really know the wrongs and rights - I guess that licences are not easy to manage, and I'm sure that Mongoose is not solely at fault for how Starship Troopers worked out. That out of the way, I actually think that they have done a great job on Judge Dredd: they have a lovely rulebook, a great range of miniatures and a regular flow of new releases. 

Here is my gang all together:

The models are all metal, and feel really "old school". I never thought I'd say it, but I miss metal miniatures! Resin and "restic" have become the more favoured medium for detailed miniatures, but these materials have their own issues: I'm fed up of warped weapons, bad casts, models being easily knocked over during a game...

The downside of the range is that these are not highly-advanced, new-age super-detailed sculpts. They feel very '80s or '90s, but to me that isn't a bad thing at all! I actually found the level of surface detail to be ideal - they painted up very quickly, and very a joy to work with. 

Here is the leader of the gang - a "hero" in Mongoose's rules - with a serious pirate-y vibe. I like this figure a lot.

The Cursed Earth Desperadoes boxed set contains 8 models - easily enough to get started with the miniatures game. This is definitely one of the advantages of the game: you can play on a small surface with a handful of figures each. For me (as I regularly paint whole armies), this was really refreshing.

Here's a mutant with toughened skin mutation, armed with a shotgun.

Another mutie, with three arms - carrying a pistol and a knife.

This mutant is just plain ugly, carrying a shotgun (or maybe a stump gun?).

This is an extra member of my gang - a figure from EM4 Miniatures, that I've had lying in my bits box forever... I started painting her up years ago, but never had a use for the figure and so couldn't muster the motivation to finish her. In scale and style, EM4 models fit quite well with Mongoose's range, so I finished the model and added her to the gang!

This weird mutie is my favourite of the group - with blue skin, strange limbs and goofy teeth!

So, that's my first Judge Dredd gang finished. I also received a judge on Lawmaster and a Judge Dredd sculpt, so these are next on the painting desk.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

More Ebay listings

My clean out continues with more models from armies that never got off the ground...

Firstly, some Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii. I was quite pleased with these figures, but just haven't got the time to finish a whole army like this! These would be great veterans for an Imperial Guard army, or henchmen/acolytes for an Inquisition-based force.

Secondly, some more themed Guardsmen. These were done as a test several years ago, to see whether parts from the Outrider WFB boxed set were compatible with the Cadian sprues: the answer was a definite yes! Again, I haven't got the time to make the rest of this army, and these would be ideal as vets or henchmen...

Thirdly, a lonely Imperial Fist Space Marine model on which I experimented with dipping - he's metal and in good condition, based on a nice resin base and includes a backpack (not pictured).

The auctions for the Tervigon/Carnifex models are still going, so be sure to check those out as well - some very unique Tyranid models looking for a good home.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Some Tyranid miniatures on Ebay

Just posted a couple of models on Ebay, which thought some viewers might be interested in...

Firstly, a couple of Tervigon conversions - ideal to add to a new 'Nid army...

Tervigon 1: with resin egg sac

Tervigon 2: with Chapterhouse Studios parts

More bits to be going up on Ebay later in the week, so watch this space.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Codex: Tyranids - some initial thoughts?

Yesterday saw the release of Codex: Tyranids - possibly the most-hyped 6th edition codex to date. The forums have been burning with comments on the lead-up: unusually, the pre-release discussion (at least to me) seemed to be almost universally positive. This appears to have abruptly changed in the last week or so, as the final rules were released and people got their hands on the actual codex.

My Hivefleet Behemoth army: now several years old,
including metal Tyrant, Hive Guard and Tyrant Guard

Well, I picked mine up yesterday and have scanned through it. I'm not going to do an in-depth review - there are plenty of those on the internet already - but rather present some initial observations on the codex.

Firstly, I have to say that I'm a little disappointed by the release. Yes, there have been some general point reductions, but these are typically minor and often come at a wider/longer-term cost. For example, Termagants and Hormogaunts have gone down in cost: but their (pretty essential) biomorph upgrades have sometimes gone up...

I already own a reasonable-size Hivefleet Behemoth army, but with the general enthusiasm for the new codex I was initially planning to Ebay it, and start all over again. I thought that this army would be a planned build, and that I'd paint it up in the original Space Hulk genestealer colours: imagine a Hive Tyrant in dark blue and purple...

But on reading the Codex, I'm not going to do that. I'll pretty much keep my existing army, perhaps tweak some units here and there, but there is nothing in it that screams out a new build or suggests that I should invest hundreds of hours into building a new army...

Secondly, GW just don't seem to "get" Tyranids! Every edition it's the same, more or less. 6th edition has just highlighted lots of their difficulties. They are a close combat army with some shooting potential; and should have lots of ways of being played. Monstrous creatures, a sea of smaller Tyranids, etc... But GW constantly undermines the 'Nids CC powers... They are basically just not scary in close combat, and every edition they get worse at doing what they are supposedly best at...

The lack of allies and fortifications is now (insanely!) made even worse by the removal of main rulebook psychic powers!!! Just why? The 'Nid book powers are almost uniformly uninspiring as well - rehashed old codex powers, which have been mainly neutered as well.

My suggestion: if Tyranids don't get access to any of the "upgrades" that other armies can, then make their Codex really strong!

Thirdly, this codex just feels like change for the sake of it. I had the same feeling, to a degree, with the Space Marine codex - but the addition of the Chapter Tactics rules kind of justified the new book for that army. Here, we have pretty much the same army lat tweaked with the addition of the Haruspec, Exocrine, Crone and Harpy.

There have been several removals from the codex as well: no Doom of Mal'antai, no mycetic spore, etc. I take it that this is because of the Chapterhouse Studios lawsuit, but it's a shame because so many dedicated hobbyists have created their own versions of these characters. These gave the 'Nids some real uniqueness. Instead, we now have Red Terror (with an ancient sculpt!), Old One Eye (with a suggested plastic build from the Carnifex box), and Deathleaper. Such a shame to lose the older characters though - I built some of them for a client last year.

Fourthly (and I know that this is very specific) but they nerfed the Tervigon!

A Carnifex conversion I made with the last codex: the rear egg sac is a resin cast

That's right, the only really good unit in the Tyranid book suffers from a pretty steep price increase. It has lost access to crushing claws, and it's psyker level can't be improved. Worst of all, it can only be a troop choice with a brood of 30 Termagants now.

Another Tervigon conversion:
using the old Chapterhouse conversion kit, and a very glossy Gant
I know that the Tervigon was subject to being spammed. We've all seen (usually net) lists purporting to take several of them, and some players routinely take 2-3 per game. It is a unique model, and a very nice one - but these rule shifts will probably see less of them on the table I'd say.

So, what is the future for my Tyranid army? I'll be selling off my Tervigons, I think - not actually because of the rule changes, but because I really wanted a proper GW Tervigon. I will be adding a Haruspex - again, not because of the rules but because of the model. Perhaps a Crone at some point. But this new codex really just doesn't inspire me, and I won't be ploughing hours of hobby time into a whole new army.

Now, back to painting Mongoose's Judge Dredd miniatures...

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Iron Hands: Master of the Forge on bike, with Conversion Beamer

Managed to finish off a model that I've always wanted to do - a MotF with a full conversion beamer!

I used the Chapterhouse conversion beamer kit - which isn't available anymore. This is a shame, as there are no readily convertible bits available to make a MotF from GW (at least not on a bike).

The saddle bag is from the Dark Angels Ravenwing upgrade sprue, and the bionic leg is from Kromlech. Still have several of those to incorporate into the remaining infantry.

All decals are from the GW decal set - very nice, high quality decals.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Farsight Enclave: Stealth suit team - and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all!

Today I finished a Stealth suit team - just three models, but nice to have a break from doing Broadsides and Crisis suits.

I've never painted up Stealth suits, and these are nice models - albeit quite small.

I added weathering powders to the feet and lower legs - not very discernible on these pictures, but I basically wanted to emphasise the whole "forward recon" element to the team.

Probably going to be working on something else in next week, to give myself a break from Tau - the Iron Hands are calling again...