Tale of Gamers: Update

My second Tale Of Gamers battle is scheduled in for next week, and I’m still on track having finished my first 250pts of reinforcements.

I’ve decided that my force is a little slow at the moment, so have added in two Taurox Primes – one with a Gatling Cannon and Volley Guns to deal with infantry, and the other with Autocannons and a Missile Launcher to deal with light vehicles (and ‘cos it looks so darn cool). This gave me 60pts left over, which coincidentally is what five Stormtroopers cost – so both squads are now bulked out a little bit. Next month’s additions are already under way, with a Command Squad assembled so I can start using those lovely, lovely orders.

The plain black panels were a stylistic choice on my part – Inquisitor Ariada du Bois doesn’t tend to announce her presence, so it makes sense that her vehicles would be unmarked except for the Imperial Aquilla. I am tempted to pick up Forge World’s brass Inquisition sheet sometime, however, to decorate the plain panels with the Inquisitorial =][=.

Reinforcements!

Yep, I did keep the tops removable so that I could paint the interior & crew.

I’ve also been working dilligently on my Tyranids, painting them as a splinter of Hive Fleet Leviathan. The contrast between the albino skin and the deep purple chitin is such a fantastic look, and I’ve also kept the red to a minimum by avoiding using it on the guns. This is really just a stylistic choice on my part but, as the models are beautifully sculpted to have their forearms meshed into the weapon, I wanted to keep it all one uniform colour so that the gun really looks like part of the creature – you can’t tell where the creature ends and the weapon-symbiote begins.

Unfortunately they are currently leaderless as my Hive Tyrant hasn’t got a base, but the troops and heavy support choices are coming along nicely. I’m particularly happy with the Carnifexes – aside from being stunning models they were also a joy to paint, and I can’t wait to get them on the table.

They’re not quite finished yet – there’s still a few details like teeth, eyes and the bases to finish.

And finally, I’ve been working on another model I love, Forge World’s Inquisitor Solomon Lok. I’m not sure if he’ll be appearing in my Tale Of Gamers army yet to assist Ariada, but it’s such a characteristic model I just had to paint him. I’ve chosen quite a muted colour scheme as, what with the hood and cloak, Lok looks to me like he would be able to blend in with the citizens of the Imperium if he needed to go undercover. Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to get a good shot of him when he’s painted in such a dark colour scheme!

That’s all for now, though I’ll be updating again soon with more painting progress and my charity Magic The Gathering tiger deck.

Take care,

Ben

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Tyranids: An army 15 years in the making

Just in case my Tale of Gamers Inquisition and my charity tiger MTG deck weren’t enough projects by themselves, I’ve decided to resurrect an army that I started when I was 14 years old to actually get on and finish it.

Tyranids have always been a cool faction to me. Maybe I’ve just watched Aliens one too many times, but I love the aesthetic of the army with their living weapons and organic focus. They’re also arguably the only race in 40K who are completely inhuman, as at least races like the Eldar and the Tau have humanoid traits while the Tyranids are incomprehensible. I remember picking up the 3rd edition codex and loving the different creatures you could create. Sadly my army never went that far, but as I’ve rediscovered my interest in 40K thanks to the Tale of Gamers this seemed like an ideal time to pick them up again. It’ll provide a nice break from the Inquisition, being almost the polar opposite – while the Stormtroopers have been all metal and armour, the Tyranids are nothing except flesh, chitin and bone. I’ve actually completely up-to-date on the Inquisition painting (in fact, I’ve painted more than I need to this month), and my Malifaux Arcanists are all but painted as well (just the Ice Dancers and Carlos left to go), so I feel in need of a new project.

I’ve decided to be rather boring and go for Hive Fleet Leviathan – purple’s an awesome colour that I don’t use enough, and the contrast between the albino skin and the deep purple chitin looks amazing. So far, between the models I still have and a couple of cheap steals on eBay, my swarm consists of:

1 Hive Tyrant
3 Tyranid Warriors
10 Termagants
15 Genestealers
10 Gargoyles
2 Carnifexes

That should be enough to keep my brushes busy for a while. I know that Tyranids aren’t considered to be the most powerful army in 40K at the moment but, to be honest, I don’t really mind. I’ve just reached the last year of my twenties, and I’d much rather buy models that I’ll enjoy painting and find fun to use on the battlefield. So, once this lot’s underway or completed, I think that the Tyranid swarm box is next…

Oh, and apologies for the Jurassic Park pun in the title!

Take care,

Ben

Tale Of Gamers

My local gaming club has started a Tale Of Gamers. For those of you who don’t remember this White Dwarf classic, it was a series of articles from way back in the days of my youth where members of the studio would each collect and paint a new army, adding a set amount of models each month and playing games as the armies grew. I remember loving the articles back when I was a teenager reading White Dwarf, and decided to reignite my interest in 40K and join in. I’ve already got a half-finished Inquisitorial force from years ago when I last played Warhammer 40K (back in the days of the Daemonhunters codex!), and this seemed like an ideal time to finish it.

So, having picked up the up-to-date codices I would need and re-reading the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies for the millionth time as inspiration, I sat down to write up my starting army. First off, an Inquisitor to lead the force – and with the release of the stunning new Inquisitor Greyfax, there was no question as to what model I was going to use. I’ve never been a big fan of using pre-determined characters, though, preferring to write my own backstory…

* * *

Ariada du Bois was born on the Imperial world of Lacus IX, a planet covered entirely with one massive ocean. Cities are built upon tall metal stilts high above the water, with floating gondolas carrying travellers between each city. Due to its proximity to a relatively-stable warp current known as the Daemon’s Tongue, Lacus IX enjoys prosperous trade but also faces regular attacks from the forces of chaos, as well as any xenos races such as the Tyranids who exit the Empyrean at this point.

Born in a family of Praetors, the local law enforcement on the planet, Ariada naturally graduated towards the Praetor academy where she graduated with distinction. The next two decades were spent rising through the ranks, leading a tactical response unit in various engagements ranging from raids on criminal syndicates to being mobilised alongside the PDF against alien incursions. All that changed when her fireteam was requisitioned by Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Janek Luther to assist in an assault on a chaos cult. Displaying bravery and fortitude in the face of the great enemy, Ariada was offered a position on Luther’s staff. Accompanying him on various missions, she was eventually promoted to the rank of interrogator, before progressing to become a fully-fledged Inquisitor. Due to her experience fighting against various alien races on her homeworld, she has recently transitioned to the Ordo Xenos where her experience and talents have led to a successful start to her career.

Recently, Ariada has been chasing a cabal of eldar pirates who have been raiding convoys and supply routes in the Osmeron system. Having chased them to the planet of Thomia Minor and realising that traitors in the local administratum or military are tipping off the pirates to weak and unguarded convoys, Ariada secretly lands her forces on the planet without informing anyone. Gathering her cadre of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers along with an elite Deathwatch kill-team, she prepares a trap for the eldar, creating a fake supply convoy that – as far as all Imperial records are concerned – is carrying weapons and munitions to a local PDF garrison with minimal guards. Following the convoy, Ariada prepares to strike at the Dark Eldar, turning the predator into the prey.

However, Ariada is soon to realise that the situation on Thomia Minor is far more dire than just eldar pirates. A Nurgle cult bent on turning the planet into a daemon-world for their pestilent god; abrasive and disruptive Adeptus Mechanicus forces who see Ariada’s presence as desecrating their techno-shrines; an Imperial Guard garrison who may or may not be harbouring the traitor leaking information to the eldar; a Deathwatch force with their own secretive agenda and no desire to see an Inquisitor stand in their way; and a battalion of Chaos Space Marines set on laying waste to the world.

* * *

Having been out of 40K for a good few years now and having never really paid attention to the meta when I was playing it, I decided that I wanted to build a thematic force. The starting force ended up spanning two codices, thanks to my desire to use Inquisitorial Stormtroopers (who, oddly, aren’t a part of Codex: Imperial Agents for some reason). Leading the force is Inquisitor Ariada du Bois, accompanied by her trusted cadre of acolytes, henchmen and associates. The bulk of the force is made up of elite Inquisitorial Stormtroopers, along with a small Deathwatch kill-team who Ariada has called upon to assist in hunting down the Dark Eldar.

20170204_084019Inquisitor Ariada du Bois herself, armoured in a suit of power armour and armed with her trusty boltgun and power sword.

20170204_084120Ariada’s retinue, consisting of: Angelos and Constantine, her Crusaders; Eirianwen and Aderyn, twin swordswomen from the planet Carthae (Death-Cult Assassins); a Jokaero weaponsmith; Lucius, the mystic; and three acolytes.

*edit – looks like the Jokaero somehow dodged the photo shoot! 

20170204_084037Commissar Johan Klyosov.

20170204_084143Inquisitorial Stormtrooper squad alpha. Recruited by Ariada from one of the Inquisition’s many secret bases around the galaxy, these men and women are veterans of combat and well-used to the sort of work that the Inquisition requires of them. With only the undercoat and the first coat of gold done, there’s a lot of work for me to do on these models over the next fortnight!

20170204_084217Inquisitorial Stormtrooper squad beta.

20170204_083945Deathwatch killteam ‘Andromeda’. Armoured in matt-black power armour and armed with combat shotguns, kill-team ‘Andromeda’ has worked with Ariada before, and have joined her again to hunt down the dark eldar pirates plaguing the planet.

So, aside from finishing painting the Stormtroopers, some final details on Ariada herself, and finishing the basing, that’s the first month done! I’ve got an allowance of 250pts to add to the force for the next month, and have been deliberating on what to add for the past couple of weeks. Currently I’m thinking of adding in some more Stormtroopers to bring each squad up to 10 men, and maybe adding in a Taurox Prime to add some extra mobility to one squad. I’ve got a couple of games with the force before then, though, so we’ll see how they perform!

Take care,

Ben

Painter’s block

As you may have guessed from the lack of recent posts, I’ve had a bit of what I suppose we should call painter’s block over the past few weeks. I can’t attribute it to a lack of time, or indeed models to paint given that I’ve a sizeable Frostgrave crew sitting on my table. Instead, I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to pick up a brush and start painting, and have instead been falling back on games that don’t require painting such as X-Wing and Magic: The Gathering. The EU Referendum hasn’t helped, either, but I shall avoid talking about that as this blog is meant to be about wargaming, not my political stance.

I did force myself to sit down on Sunday evening, planning both assembly (a Johan model I won at a tournament a while ago) and painting (my old metal Rasputina model, and Kirai – I don’t play Ressers, but she’s a lovely model and I have had a paint scheme in mind for ages now). I have repainted an A-Wing for Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing Miniatures Game in the last couple of days, however, which was great fun. I’d consider X-Wing to be my second game – it’s fast-paced, fun and, rather crucially, straightforward in terms of mechanics. The phrase, ‘Easy to learn, difficult to master’ has never been so true!

I started off X-Wing playing just the Empire – mainly because they could hire Boba Fett while the Rebels couldn’t. This was back in the early days before Scum & Villainy were a faction, of course. However, as of late (and due in no small part to the co-operative X-Wing campaign I’ve been playing in), I’ve begun to emulate my favourite TIE pilot, Soontir Fel, and started to defect to the Rebellion. This was brought about by the A-Wing in particular – the nippy little ship with its incredible dial chock-full of fast, green manoeuvres won me over. To me, they’re such fun to fly and encapsulate what drew me into X-Wing in the first place (well, alongside Boba Fett and the fact it’s Star Wars. I mean, come on – it’s Star Wars!) – the fast ships. I love the high-speed dogfights as ships vie and jockey for position, dancing around one another as they attempt to lock the other pilot in their sights while avoiding their enemy doing the same. Sure, I enjoy flying the slower or larger ships such as the TIE Bomber too, but ships like the A-Wing and the TIE Interceptor are what X-Wing is all about to me.

20160624_091011Back on tangent (stay on target…), here’s the repainted Green Squadron A-Wing. I started by dulling the model with a wash of Nuln Oil, giving some more depth to the detailing on the fuselage. The red parts were then painted in P3’s green, before being highlighted in a mix of Loren Green and P3 green. This was then washed with . Finally, I picked out the lines on the engine and the cockpit in a mix of Army Painter matt white and GW Astronomicon Grey, and repainted the missile tips in Cygnar blue base. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out, and am really looking forward to using it in this week’s campaign game. I’ve been informed that we’ll be dogfighting planetside this week as opposed to in space, so I’ll have to try and get some pictures…

Take care,

Ben

Catching up

This week has been a week of progress, really – working on various projects but not quite finishing any of them. I’m off to a tournament next weekend, so I’ve been trying to finish painting various models in time. First up, there’s the Night Terrors – 3ss Insignificant Minions who Marcus can hire (thanks to their Beast characteristic). I based them off the lesser short-nosed fruit bat, mixing up Doombull Brown with Mechanicum Red and a touch of black to create a reddish-brown base colour for the fur. This was then mixed with Skrag Brown for the highlights, with Midnight Blue used for the wing membranes. The eyes are, of course, in bright blue like all my non-Arcanist beasts, to tie them together and give the impression of Marcus’s formidable will.

DSCF7839DSCF7834I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing with their clothes. At the moment they’re just black, and I’m quite keen to try and avoid drawing attention to them. I may just go for a dark grey colour, to try and keep them as unobtrusive as possible. Opinions are more than welcome! :)

I’ve also been re-basing all of my Arcanists. It’s not as big a task as it sounds – rather than replacing the bases, I’ve decided to add cogs and the like to each model’s base. It’s looking good so far, giving a little bit more interest without becoming a focal point, and lends itself well to the steampunk feel that I like. It’s quite time-consuming, though, glueing each cog down before painting it in three coats of paint (black, Warplock Bronze, Boltgun Metal). I’ve only finished about a third of my collection, so my chances of finishing before the tournament look slim…

DSCF7841Oh, I’ve also finished Lindsey Stir-er, I mean Lust at last (when this came on my playlist while painting, I took it as a sign to get on with her at last!). She seems to be one of the Crossroads Seven people advocate taking outside of her native faction, so I might have to give her a go at some point.

And finally – my Deadzone kickstarter has arrived, so I’ll be trying that out again. I still haven’t finished painting even a single Enforcer yet, due to my stupid idea of hand-painting each armour plate individually. Still, it’ll be good to give it a go again, as I remember rather enjoying it last time I played it.

Take care,

Ben

Malifaux: Assembling Night Terrors

The latest additions to Marcus’s menagerie! At 3ss each, Night Terrors are a great way to bulk out a crew with additional minions, and offer a few tricks to limit your opponent’s Sh and Ca abilities.

20160503_082609These guys took a little longer than usual to build, but they look gorgeous. I’d recommend gluing the claws onto their wings first, then assembling the rest of the Night Terror as this makes the arms a lot easier (speaking from experience!). I particularly like how each one comes with its own bit of ruins to perch on.

20160503_082637My personal favourite Night Terror. I’ve taken to calling him Damien, though I can’t remember why. The name came about while I was assembling him rather late at night (very late at night), and it’s kind of stuck!

I’m looking forward to painting the little guys. Little is a relative term here, as due to the crumbling masonry they’re perched on they take up a surprising amount of space in my case! I’ll be painting them in a bat-inspired colour scheme, probably leaving the clothes in quite muted colours so they don’t stand out too much. And, like all my non-Arcanist beasts, the eyes will be blue to represent Marcus’s control over them. I’ll be attending a tournament in a couple of weeks, so they’re high up on the priority painting list.

And finally, my progress so far on Luther. I’m pleased with the way his teeth and eyes look, so I just need to decide how I’m painting his jacket now. Any suggestions are welcome!

IMG_20160502_182441Take care,

Ben

Catching up with painting

It’s been a while since I put up any pictures of models I’ve been painting – in fact, most of these were painted back in 2015…

DSCF7808First up, reinforcements for the Cult Of December in the form of the impressive Snow Storm and a couple of Silent Ones. I wanted Snow and Storm to be in different colours, but both still thematic. I ended up going for a grey-white colour for Storm’s fur, starting with Games Workshop’s Astronomican Grey and working up to a final highlight of pure white. To add a little contrast, I painted the claws and horns in a darker grey, mixing Army Painter matt black and white for highlights until I was happy with the finish.

DSCF7812I ended up trying something new with Snow, starting off by painting her cloak and dress in the same grey as Storm’s basecoat. I then started mixing in white and a bit of blue, before washing the cloth a couple of times with Games Workshop’s Asurman Blue. I’m happy with how this turned out, since it gives her a similar-yet-different colour to Storm. Finally, I picked out the fur trim in dark grey and painted her flesh in my usual manner, albeit with added white on the final coats to give her a more cold, otherworldly look.

DSCF7820The Silent Ones were painted in a similar fashion to the December Acolytes, focusing on whites and greys with touches of blue here and there to tie them together and add a contrast colour. I kept the hair raven-black, though having recently seen a picture of someone else’s models with superb blonde hair, I might go back and re-do one of them… I picked out the masks with matt black, then painting them with silver to draw the eye to them.

DSCF7823DSCF7826Angelica has been on my wish list for ages, so when she was available on Black Friday I jumped at the chance. I’ve been using her in most games since, as she’s a great choice for most crews (spoiler alert – there may be a Tactica Tuesday post on her coming soon!). I stuck pretty close to the artwork when it came to painting her, going for a bold red dress with contrasting lilac feather boa. The claws on her glove are picked out in Games Workshop’s mithril silver, though they’re so small the colour doesn’t really show unless you’re looking closely. Finally, the stool she’s stood on was painted in my favourite Midnight Blue.

I’ve pretty much finished painting all my Arcanists – however, we have just had the Wyrd Easter sale, and I have to confess that I picked up a few more members of the M&SU there. (I’m particularly looking forward to running Union Miners, as I can see them synergising well with most of the Arcanist masters). I do still have some members of the Crossroads Seven to finish as well – in particular, I’m finding Pride hard to paint as I can’t decide on a suitable colour scheme for him.

Other than that, I’ve had a bit of a resurgence in regards to my Wood Elves – I still don’t know when they’ll next see the gaming table as I’m not really fussed about Age Of Sigmar, but I do enjoy painting them. The current projects include a Glade Lord on Great Stag, a Spellweaver on Unicorn – once I can decide what base size he should be on – and around 35 Glade Guard. Don’t hold your breath, though – they’ll be on the backburner once again as soon as the latest Wyrd order arrives.

Take care,

Ben