Inquisitor of Ordos Xenos

Way back to the early spring of this year, 5th Edition was still going strong and Special Operations: Kill Zone was happening at Adepticon. After looking through my stash of spare miniatures I decided to do an Inquisitorial Kill Team after I found this Inquisitor that was perfect for the Ordos Xenos. 

The fancy gun (now with psy-bolt ammunition) was constructed out of spare Necron bits on a lark several years ago. I have no idea how I did it. Sadly there was no blogger at that time. 
The miniature was mostly painted several years ago. This was when I was following 'Eavy Metal painting guides. There was no blending and some of the transitions were awfully hard. But it was the common paint procedure for the era. 
The base was from Secret Weapon Miniatures. The old bases were bland, so new ones had to be had! The weathering was actually done with just paints, no powders this time. I was going for the hyper realistic bases to try to match the older paint job on the models. I think the combination turned out pretty good. 

I suspect that there will be Special Ops: Kill Zone happening in my gaming group soon. We are still having a lot of fun with base 6th Edition. There will always be a place for small skirmish style games. 

(Obligatory barrel shot!)

Dark Angels Librarian Terminator

As many of you know, my favorite marine army is the Ultramarines. I love the look of the sharp blue on the battlefield and that is what really drew me to the army (you can now take your Smurf jokes and take a hike, lol!).  Anyway, it alway amused me that the color for Librarians was Ultramarine Blue. So when my teammates needed a Librarian painted, I was a happy painter.
Being Dark Angels, the model needed some green which was easy to add to the knee pain and the back of the cloak. One way to make your models stand out is to color the back side of a robe, cloak, or whatever different than the front side. Its a simple note that I see many people opt not to do on their models.
Again, the model was presented to me with the base pre-assembled, but I loved the skulls and light sprinkle of rock. Unlike the Chaplain, the Terminator just has a lot of stuff going on. This time, a simple base does the trick.

Mounted Orc Boys

More Warhammer Fantasy Battles, this time with PappaJJ's boar riders that I did for him. These models were again most excellent in many ways. First of, these are some of the only orc models that actually rank up and assemble without causing mind-numbing headaches. Secondly, the models were a snap to put together while remaining highly flexible in poses no matter the weapons that were chosen. Lastly, the large smooth areas on the armor allowed me to use the snow on metal effect extensively which I thing came off very smoothly.

Dark Angels Chaplain Terminator

Greetings gang. I hope that by now everyone is knee deep into sixth edition Warhammer 40K and is loving it as much as I do. With the rumors starting to get more and more firm on Dark Angels as the next codex after Chaos Space Marines, I figured it was time to show off some models done earlier this year.

As you may remember, our Adepticon team tournament this year featured Dark Angels in all of their special forms. I was tasked with painting up several of the terminators for the army.

This particular model showed up assemebled and the base already done with the owners bits attached. Since the armor was going to be fairly bland with the typical black scheme, I wanted the large pieces on the base to attract the eye, and tie into the casing on the combi-melta. 

The greens were mostly done with glazes after painting a very light and bright green as the base coat. This is once of the first models I used this technique to good effect, and on such a large portion of the finished product. 

Savage Orc Boys

Unlike the standard Orc trooper, the Savage Orc Boys are actually green on most of the model!  It was strange spending so much time on other orcs not painting green. But not with these chaps. I spent time trying to make sure the feral nature of these naturally feral creatures popped out. More contrast in the face and teeth was where I focused. The faces got a treatment of the new yellow glaze which really helped to add some pop.  The teeth got several doses of Secret Weapon Miniature washes (technically glazes as well).

I tried to avoid metal as much as possible on the mostly jungle themed fighters. Again, SWM washes made a huge impact on top of the old GW gray base that was aggressively highlighted. 

Here Be Goblins (More Orcs and Goblins)

While the new edition of 40K is looming closer, I wanted share some more of the Orcs and Goblins that spent most of the last year working on.
First off, goblins are pretty awesome in the lore of Warhammer Fantasy. They are mean, vile, aggressive, and completely nutty!  These spider riders were awesome to prepare and easy to paint up. I could see myself making a full goblin army (one day... in the far future perhaps!)
The purple and orange colors carried over nicely to these units. The purple on the spiders shows nicely and the orange tops gives some contrast.

I've always loved Goblin Fantatics. Its like giving your ADD youngster a kilo of coke and a machine gun. These dudes are wild and crazy and love playing against them. To be honest, these were some of my favorite models to paint up. 

Night Goblins are standard, effective, and the back bone to a goblin army. While I'd like a bit more variation in the models, they assembled easily and painted up nicely. The banner is just completely full of awesomeness. What more can I say about the goblins without getting cheesy?!?

Visions of 6th Edition

By now many, if not most of us have seen visions of 6th Edition 40K (via White Dwarf 390), and I for one love it. If you haven't had a chance to read through #390, its entirely devoted to 40K. Most of it is a paid advertisement for the newest edition with all of the eye candy you expect to see.

But what has me excited about 6E?  Forging a Narrative.
Matt Ward talks on page 22 about telling a story in each battle. It isn't so much just winning a game, but  being able to have your "unsung heroes earn honor and glory."  Characters can pick out individual models, challenge other characters, and get a special ability before the game starts. But its not just new rules for heroes, its that Games Workshop has purposely strayed away from making a system designed for parity, designed for tournaments, designed to show off a players skill. Its clear, GW wants its game to show off GW. And you know, what?  I'm ok with this.

Having stayed away from the rumors for the last several months, I still wasn't surprised to see mysterious terrain in the new rules. But what did surprise me is the close tie-in with Citadel scenery and the new Fortification rules. Its a beautiful tie-in to allow your army to gain some very real benefits. It will be interesting to see how this affects play. Should I expect my opponents to show up with their own scenery?
In other news, I've actually been working on my scenery for the last couple of weeks. Its kinda by mistake, but I'm eager to use some of my newly prepared Fortifications!

Its hard to say before the rules come up, but WD suggests that Overwatch comes in two forms. Classical overwatch from days gone by (or standard in Special Ops: Kill Zone) and as a charge reaction. Finally! I've been asking for a rule like this for several editions. It definitely changes the landscape in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and certainly my Imperial Guard hope it changes things in the far future.

Flyer Rules
There are finally some real flyer rules coming out. I wish the rule "zoom" was there (it just sounds too silly), but at least a dude with a hand gun isn't going to easily be able to shoot my planes out of the sky while they are flying around. However, it seems (pg 67) that exploding vehicles deliver a staggering S10 hit to those inside!  Yikes!  I don't know now what this means for mech armies, but you know have to account for flyers in your games.

Other Rules
Pre-measuring and random charge length didn't get much coverage, but seem to be in the rules. I'm all for these rules if it speeds up the game and avoid "cheating measuring" I've seen more and more the last year. My only fear is that it might actually slow down the game as some players will spend an eternity making sure models are where they want them.
Hull Points are definitely in and look to replace the former vehicle damage chart and functions more like wounds on a standard IC.  This might mean my Vendettas fire a full strength until its HP's are fully gone. I can live with that!

Old Rules that Have Changed
Feel No Pain is now 5+, Reserves start on turn two at 3+, you loose your assault bonus with multi-assaulting units, Overwatch Flamers might do d3 wounds (not automatic),  and most significantly wound allocation might be gone and replaced with nearest models take the first wounds.

We will see on Saturday, but sci-fi war gamers have some exciting times ahead with an edition change.

Using Snow Effects

There has been some talk of the snow effects used on the Orc army and I wanted share my experiences using Woodland Scenics Snow Flakes. Mr. Justin has a great tutorial about using Snow Flakes which was my starting point.

Here is the effect used with WS's Realistic Water. I don't like it, to be honest. True it makes a wet snow appearance. But it doesn't have the pop that I was looking for. It was very realistic, but did catch my eye. You can also see that Realistic Water is somewhat expensive, and this technique uses a fair amount of the water (and less of the cheaper snow flakes).

Here is the effect with PVA glue which I liked much more. First off, it gives a much sharper contrast against the dark colors on the orcs. True it does look like 'fresh' snow and I used it on models that I thought would be 'out front' more in this army. It also was placed on models where I thought snow would collect. Its also much cheaper. I currently buy my PVA glue by the gallon. Its cheaper than RW (by far!) and has far more uses. Face it, at this stage of the hobby you should by buying your PVA glue by the gallon!

How To Deal With an Orc Horde (As a Painter)

The Orc Horde is upon us!

Ranking models for Warhammer Fantasy is a much different task than arranging individual models for Warhammer 40K. You have to keep models, in rows of five or ten around four rows deep, lined up in a (near) perfect square. This is great when dealing with models like goblins, elfs, and humans. When it comes to orcs, the process sucks. Big Time. These Goblins have it easy.

40K orks are allowed to be more free-form but in WFB the bulky arms and legs are nearly impossible to keep square without making the models all face the same direction. When Jason and I first started talking about the army, it was clear we both liked the 'chaos' of having spears, swords, and shields sticking out in all directions. Its a far cry from the old days of WFB where metal models all faced the same diagonal direction. Those were dark days of modeling!

The easiest way to make these models form up, is to cheat. By making use of the long bases and and the square bases from Citadel you can break up the boring squares and add some depth to some of the filler models. You can take advantage of being able to squeeze four models closer together than on four individual bases leaving room to rank up all the models around the larger bases. Here I used the 50mm Monster Bases to squeeze these orcs together to protect them from the incoming arrow fire.
"Watch 'ur 'eads mates!"
"Oi, not in me eye!"

With the Savage Orc Boys I need to pull a different trick out the box. Jason wanted to have the ability to run one forty orcs unit or two twenty orc strong units, each with banners and musicians. The problem was that I was only given forty models.  So naturally two, models were taken out as extra musician and banner which allowed me to put one model in a spot for two in the main rank.(Here I used two 25mm x 50mm bases). Because of the chaos from the unit, you don't even miss those two orcs. That is the true nature of orcs I guess. 
Its only kinda cheating. 

So the full squad contains 38 models with two extra stand-ins!

And they get to play king of the hill.
The last thing I wanted to do but just wasn't able to make it work with the orcs is to make a formidable shield wall, like the Greek Hoplites. It was outside of my ability and didn't fit the aggressive nature of the orcs. I compromised.  So the front rank here was pushed far forward to make room for the second rank of models. I also positioned orcs taking the ranged shooting while getting ready for the initial hand to hand combat.
Perhaps another army can hide behind large shields. I'm looking at you Men-At-Arms!
Lastly, I used a number and letter system with stick on labels pasted to the bottom of each model. That way units can be assembled quickly and easily. 

It Is Finished

Long time followers of this blog know that I have been working on an Orcs and Goblin Army for PappaJJ for greater than one year at this point. I am proudly announcing today, that it is finished! It features over 2K points worth of core units, two 40-orc strong units, and plenty of characters. I'll be posting the army over the next several posts and going into detail about each unit and the heroes. Don't worry, I'll be back to painting 40K armies soon enough. I have lots of Inquisitor models to share.

PappaJJ has been very gracious in making sure I had plenty of time to work on other projects while working on his army. However, I'll make it said that since Adepticon finished this year, I've work hard-core on finishing this army. Now its time for some hard earned time off, mainly to clean up my hobby and painting area!

One of the cool things about this army is that PappaJJ wanted an unusual paint scheme- no red, no yellow, no black. In fact he wanted winter colors and something that worked well with his Dark Elves. So purple and orange finally emerged as the key colors to balance out the green skin of the orcs.  It was a fun army to pain, but using this colors proved to be a fun challenge. It was great fun working with snow effects to try to create some freshly fallen snow. 

Adepticon Team Tournament

In the last of my Adepticon 2012 in review posts centers around our Team Tournament Army.  If you are not familiar with this particular format, its 4x1,000 armies and you are pared with one of your three teammates randomly each round. The last round is a captains choice. The tournament uses a modified force organization which makes things even more challenging in army creation. You can read more here. I'll skip the complaint about how many Grey Knight armies were in attendance and focus on our army!

An old friend (as in friend for a long time, not just because he is old!) has wanted to do Dark Angels for some time now. The unusual format provided a great opportunity to use both the Ravenwing and Deathwing squads.  In addition, we were able to get a Cestus Assault Ram for the army as well. 

At the end of the day, we are a non-competitive team and ended up our usual bottom middle-third of the final standings. Our painting earned high scores, but it was theme were we did well, nearly maxing out the points. 

We had the to big boys, Sammael and Belial, to make Terminators and Bikes scoring for all four players. It was a nice luxury to have.