Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Storm Raven WIP 1

Greetings! one of the various projects I have in my desk is a second Storm Raven for my Blood Angels army. I was able to order it from Wayland before the price increase so it is a reasonable investment. Should I have ordered 2? well let's begin with 2 'Ravens lists, and then move on.

Painting the crew compartment.

How 12 Space Marines are going to cram in that area is beyond my comprehension :) and there are only  8 seats by the way. Anywho I decided I wanted to paint the inside of the 'Raven as well, even though it is going to have very little visibility. Guess it's all about taking the most out of each kit. It also makes sense though to just glue all the doors in place and forget about the inside, especially if you favor playing rathing the hobby side of it. I favour both  :)

That said, diven that I won't be peering much inside of it, I also didn't want to spend too much time in this area. Hmm so something nice and quick? airbrush and washes! I started by basecoating the inside in white using the Vallejo white primer with an airbrush. The reason for not priming black is that I wanted the inside to look clear, just like the 20th century tanks which look almost white in the inside, to be more visible when in combat mode the lights are turned out. I guess a Space Marine would not have a problem there though!

After that I applied a layer with a light grey color using the airbrush as well. It was one of the model air paints which are really handy - no need to use a thinner, just pour to the airbrush and paint. 

Next was painting the cables, seats and brass decoration in the inside, followed by a filter with devlan mud. This gave the plates a very nice worn out look, plus some shadows and depth. If this was going to be in the outside, I would have continued to work and clean it a bit, but for the inside will suffice.

Once everything was dried I glued the panels into place and locked them with some tools to ensure they fit well. The only additional work I did was on the front ramp hinge, which is too thick to allow for movement. I used a drill to enlarge it slightly so the ramp can actually swing. 

Questions / feedback, feel free to comment away!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Digressions on 6th ed

Space Wolves
I've been out for holidays, and that includes posting blog entries too :p It doesn't mean between mojitos and friendly matches on TV my mind has not been busy interpreting the new rulebook and FAQs, nor trying to devise playstyles and armies for 6th ed. I have not played a game yet so all that I have now are hypothesis and assumptions, which will probably proven wrong with time. Here are some thoughts:

  • Space Marine armies of all colors, shapes and degrees of facial hair based in light AV11 vehicles will be less viable than before with the hull points rules, reduction in cover and I think increase in TL Str 6-7 weapons we're going to see. Perhaps spamming 10+ vehicles will still work but I certainly don't see these 4-6 razorbacks hybrid builds as before. Hybrid SM armies will have to use other resources, namely larger foot slogging units (if possible with some AI protection in the form of 2+/3++ saves toting guy leading the way), jumpers for BAs, TWC, whatever the army has to offer.
  • 2+ saves can't be hurt by EW as before, so plasma will need to be taken to deal with these efficiently. What rapid fire, the extra range and hull points bring to the table make it a much more viable choice against the previous allmighty melta. Which in turn, if we see less melta in the tables, could cause other side effects in the form of LR or other big guns that were too easy to kill before, for what they costed.
  • Challenges will also impact the way ICs and sergeants are equipped. A PF in a 1W guy will have a hard time in a challenge, as he will be wiped out way before he gets to strike. Are we going to see challenge-oriented characters? I would think so. Artificier armor, invulnerable saves and some type of EW (we shall see which one prevails) will be more often seen when available. At this moment, no option seems clearly better than the others, so we might end up in a rock-paper-scissors meta in which characters will be good against some types and not as good against other. For example, if your opponent has a 2+ save you will need a mean to bypass it, and that means generally striking at I1 throgh a PF, TH or power axe. On the contrary, these weapons will put you at disadvantage if your opponent has a 3+ and strikes at normal initiative. Let's keep in mind not all the characters have access to 2+ saves so this is not as easy to solve as equipping your guyas with 2+/3++ saves and a PF.
  • Flyers are completely in the air (no pun intended) as there are almost no AA guns. Once GW unveils the whole thing we will have a better idea. For now the only way to efficiently deal with Flyers is using flyers, which strangely is what GW wants to sell you now. Are we so easy to manipulate as GW thinks?
  • The change in reserves might turn out for good, as you get more stuff sooner (3+ in T2 and T3). However not being able to reserve more than 50% of the units is bad. It's bad because it makes certain armies illegal (DoA), and it's bad because sometimes you have to reserve, or be alpha-striked. Say you go second and face a leaf-blower style IG army, or Str6 spam (some builds can pour 100-shots-per-turn), Tau gunlines, wolves missile-spam, you name it. And say there's not a lot of cover to hide behind. I'd like to hear a viable solution to this other than buying your own cover in the form of GW terrain kits.
  • On the upside, I like that the change rules will revive some units from their death limbo. Death Company (hehe), Sanguinary Guard, quite a few Eldar units, hopefully Chaos Space Marines and Tau... the list is long. I won't neither miss seeing 3 hydras every time I face IG lol.
  • Things like premeasuring and random charge distances are, well difficult to justify. Anyone who plays the game enough can eyeball distances reasonably well, and missing from time to time gives it this "almost certain to happen but not guaranteed" feeling that is good for the game. The 2D6 charge will sometimes punish well articulated tactics, more than expanding the charge range I'm afraid. Because if you are at 11", are you going to attempt charging and get the overwatch damage?  Conversely, if you are at 5" you will likely try to assault if that was your plan all along, and yet you can miss that assault. Probabilities are not high but we know things happen when you roll too many dices. Bottom line: random 2D6 will not likely grant incredible charge distances, but rather screw from time to time charges that should have happened. Reminds me of shooting point blank melta to a LR and failing to hit.
  • Last but not least, the commercial policy of GW. So they launch the new rulebook in June but the starter set comes in September, so you either buy both, or are meant to not play these months (of course there are ways to...). They bring Flyers to the game in a way that you either use Flyers, or get screwed by other Flyers. Allies are designed in a way that will push many people to get GK or IG, or *potentially* (we still need to see the effect of allies) face stronger builds. See what I mean?

So, we're in July, the sun is shining and beer gets warm very fast. 40k is still a great way to haven fun, and I do so by musings around with my own ideas. Time will tell how right or wrong (likely) I am! Looking forward to my first 6ed tourney late this month. Fun times ahead!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Games Day 2012 Spain

Well I'm just back from the Games Day 2012 in Barcelona. What a day! I'm as thrilled and motivated to continue with my projects as I could possibly be. After all, it's difficult not to be inspired by so many great creations. Big dioramas or individual minis, the quality of Golden Demon participants was breath taking. I have to confess this is my very first Games Day after some ~20 years in the hobby, and will certainly not be the last one.

Huge battles with Flyers... yay
I'm also glad to have in my hands the GD'12 mini; this year is a very special one for me: the Blood Angels captain that was featured in the 2nd edition box. That was the box I began with so this sort of closes the circle. The mini is plainly awesome, and it was good to have the sculpter, Juan Diaz, around. He looked happy to be at home (well, 200 kms to the north but ya know) and was seemed content to give sculping tips to just everyone who swung by his table.

Golden Demon

It's difficult to convey my feelings after seeing so many great pieces of art. I consider myself a (relatively) good painter, and I've even won best painted army at a couple of tournaments, but the stuff at Golden Demon is well above my current capabilities. Some years ago I would have felt abashed but this time I'm just motivated to try and replicate this painting style. Things like creating shades, like line highlighting with different tones to reach almost a white, to paint faces in layers and not with washes... the list goes on and I made sure to take a pic on some minis that struck me the most. Below you can see some pictures.

Now, Anja from the 'Eavy metal team was there, and some of her creations too. The NMM Sanguinor, Astorath, Arjac Rockfist, Njal Stormacaller... these stood head and shoulders above anything else. I own the WD with the painting guide of the Sanguinor, you know full of high quality pics, but seeing the actual mini live makes you think she's sold her soul to Slaanesh (I'm kidding of course). I can only say, there were some incredible minis for the Golden Demon, whose owners probably spent weeks if not months with them. Well I don't know how long it took her to paint those minis, but with GW's release schedule, I suspect only a few days. I *believe* with practice and effort I could one day get closer to a Golden Demon level, but I *know* I will never be able to paint like Anja. That said, GD level is good enough to me so I'll be satisfied if I ever reach that level.

Beautiful subtle NMM touches

An epic battle worth 100 quid

Forge World

People were buying FW stuff like if there was no tomorrow. I had planned to buy the Space Marine Captain and Banner holder, and the new apothecaries, and began a small collection of a pre-heresy Legion. Instead I've decided to hold myself until I can paint those awesome minis to the level they deserve, and thus set upon myself to try to improve and maybe next year I'll be ready for that.

Black Library

Graham McNeill was the BL's VIP and was kind enough to have a Q&A session with the audience. But what caught my attention was some of the new books. Priests of Mars from McNeill himself looks tasty, especially after the monumental Mechanicum, and Fear to Tread's cover with Sanguinius fighting/falling to a demon gave many people a heart attack. Unfortunately the Black Library won't speed up things for a while and the final battle of Sanguinius vs. Horus in the Vengeful Spirit won't come anytime soon, but the reminiscence of the cover is evident.


Any 40k hobbyist worth his salt will greatly enjoy these events, and I love how you have so many different aspects of it available in just one event. You can play, paint, create stuff, talk to other fans and folks from GW, and also spend too much in FW goodies. I had a blast and I'm definetely looking forward to next year's edition.
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