Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lack of stuff

I have a deadline at work on Friday, so that basically means I'm working late every night. I'll be back next week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Paintbrush Care

Good people of the internets, I beseech you; How do you keep your brush tips from curling? I have tried drying them like I would a bigger brush, Making sure the tips are formed, and on and on and on. Every guide I've found has failed me.

All of them are curled. After one or two uses, they're done. I've adapted my painting to it. I've even figured out uses for it. What am I doing wrong?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tau Bastion

I'm working out the design here, but my friend and I are having trouble deciding on the weapons it should have.

The imperial/chaos bastions have 4 Heavy Bolters and a Lascannon on top (there is some variation, but let's just go with this). These are automated weapons, which means they fire at WS 2 if they aren't manned. For most of our games I imagine we'd ignore the automation and have it be more of a fight to take it over to utilize the weapons, but the automation was part of our dispute.

Heavy Bolter is |36"|S5|AP4| Heavy 3|
Lascannon is |48"|S9|AP2| Heavy 1|

We contemplated a Missle-Pod to replace the Heavy Bolter. Same range, +2S, 1 less shot. It seemed fair enough. The Lascannon seems obvious, Railgun. I liked the idea of the Ion cannon better, which he didn't mind. My thought was mostly on the sub-munition. It doesn't make sense for the Bastion not to house whatever it needs to power the submunition, but it's already flat-out better than a lascannon. I was thinking of doing a complete rules write-up with some options. Eh, I'll do it right now.

*~5 minutes pass*

Okay, so rules aren't that complicated...but here are thoughts:
I like AV13 over 14. Obviously 14 is better, but our Hammerhead is only 13 on it's best side and it just feels more right. I also think our firepower options are going to be a bit better, no matter the combination (there are some that are worse, but I was going for equal to or better than because the worse seems a lot worse and the better seems a bit better)

Weapon Combinations:
4 Long Barrel Burst Cannons (It's a Forgeworld varient; Just a Burst Cannon, but 36" range)
1 Railgun

4 Missle Pods
1 Ion Cannon

3 Missle Pods
1 Railgun

I was also contemplating some of the XV9 weapons, but they're all rather short range, so I'm not sure they make sense.

The problems:
I like the idea of 3 weapons as opposed to 4. It's going to be a round bastion, so they'd all have a wider arc of fire (120º insead of 90º). I also want them Twin-linked. I think it fits for Tau weapons. They're drone controlled (see paragraph about automated weapons in the Planetstrike rulebook). Tau drone technology is supposed to beat out everyone else.

My friend very much argues against the twin-linking. He agrees completely that it makes sense from a "But they're Tau!" perspective, but is "not going to give you a better bastion". The last time we talked about it, the idea of AV 13 hadn't occurred to me.

Now that I've babbled on about it for a bit, I think these configurations are all reasonable:

Tau Bastion

AV 13 all around.
BS 2, Twin-linked automated weapons. (This means they are not twin-linked if manned, but do get to use the firer's BS.)

3 Long-barreled Burst Cannons
1 Ion Cannon

You can upgrade all three LB-Burst Cannons to Missle Pods for +18pts

You can upgrade the Ion Cannon to a Railgun for +35pts.

The points were sort of thrown in (difference between TL-BC and TL-MP for a suit and difference between an Ion Cannon and a Railgun). I don't have a points cost for the whole thing, they're free in Planet Strike.../shrug.

I don't know how I feel about losing the TL when the gun is manned. It makes it so a unit of Fire Warriors in the bastion (BS 3) makes it worse, so it makes it only really useful for Stealth Suits to be inside. Maybe the spotter from a Sniper Drone team with the Drones on top firing their own weapons (but then they're vulnerable), but he could only man one gun. (It's probably worth noting that a bastion can be occupied without the guns being manned. If you want to use one of the gun ports as a fire point the gun can't fire as well, but 2 models can shoot through the port.

Basically it works really well as a turret, which I don't necessarily like. I was also going to put walls around the base, about 2" out, with a little "arm" showing that they were pulled in against the hull when it was dropped in. I've been working on it a bit, but I have four walls. If I go with three guns, four walls will look weird...hrm...thoughts?

Inspiration? Forgeworld: Tau Burst Cannon Turret


I has one!

I'm going to need some bigger magnets for the turrets (Railgun, Ion Cannon, Skyray missle's). I'm basically following this guide (it's a 2.42MB pdf), except I'm going to try something a bit different with the three front turrets to make a it a bit easier to switch out weapons, while still being able to glue everything on except the 2 burst cannons, targeting array front piece, and smart missile systems. It will require some extra magents, but only like 6. I figure I got 100 for a couple of dollars, I can spare 6 to make my life easier. I just know I'm going to lose parts if I don't...

The idea is to put two magnets on either side of everything. That means in the holes on either side of the SMS, cutting off the nubs on the inside of the SMS/BC drone mounts and putting 2 magnets where the nubs where, Cutting off the part that the nub goes into on the BC and putting 2 magnets there, attaching something to the back of the targeting array bit to get a magnet on either side of that, and then fitting 2 magets into the bottom...hemisphere thing that has grooves for it.

That all seemed very confusing. I'll take some pictures later and draw on them to show you what I mean. I'd like a bit of "That should work." or "DON'T DO IT! OMG!" before I ruin the only one of these I'm going to have for a little while :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tyranid Landing Spores

For those who don't know, Tyranids for what is basically a Drop Pod in this latest codex. GW doesn't have a model for it yet. I don't even think FW does. Black Matt has cooked up a pretty good method for making them and is selling them for $20 a piece. They get progressively cheaper as you but them up to 5 at a time ($65/5, or $13 a piece).

He said it cost him $10 to ship three of them to someone, so a good bit of the price is just shipping. They really are worth checking out.

A List of Projects

This is mostly me rambling, trying to figure out what I'm doing. I have so many half done projects with even more ideas for new ones. The big one: I really want to make a Tau Bastion. A giant tower with Twin-linked Pulse Rifles on each side and a pintle-mounted Ion Cannon on top? Big crated on the ground where is was dropped in? Some walls that look like the expanded out from the base after it landed?


Tau to paint:

Finish Kroot: They're like 90% done and I'm just being lazy.
Finish Devilfish: ~75% complete, still not happy with the large smooth areas.
3 Crisis Suits: These will probably be the hardest for me to get motivated to do. They're assembled and that makes it kind of not easy to do the inside areas well. Still trying to work out a better way for that.
3 Stealth Suits: These are sort of painted, they need some detailing, but I'm still not happy with them just looking like everything else in my army. They're supposed to be camo'd and special and whatnot. Not sure what I want to do with them though. Potentially explore more of an entirely black suit with a "glowing" look that I mentioned a few days ago.
Lots of Gun Drones: May never happen. Unless I start using some.
A Marker Drone: May never happen. Unless I start using it.

Daemons to paint:
Daemonettes: Finish painting and basing the other 19.
Masque: Paint it.
Bloodletters: Fix the two the dog chewed on (Grr!). Possibly some work on the hellblades. Mostly just done.
Juggernaut #2: Repaint to be not a  black rhino with a green bloodletter...some ideas just don't work out.
Flamers: Highlighting
Pink Horrors: Possible stripping and try again.
Flesh Hounds: Finish bases.
Karanak: Finish base and highlight/wash.
Bloodthirster: Finish. (need to work up the skin to a nice bright red and detail)
Screamers: Detailing.
Lord of Change: Finish his beak and glue his damn pieces together you lazy bastard! (I yell at myself for this one all the time. I'm particularly proud of a few select models, and this is one of them. It's like 99% done and I just need to sit down and do it.)
Skulltaker: Clean-up and some better detailing. He was one of my first models (I think my first warhammer purchase was Skulltaker, 10 Bloodletters, 10 Daemonettes, and 3 Flamers)

That list is kind of funny for someone who only really ever wants to play mono-Nurgle (All my Nurgle units are painted, heh)

The Tau Tank Traps need finishing.
Tau Bastion: This is my next big project.
Set of Tunnels: I wanted to make a set of "tunnel" representing pieces for coolness and/or stratagems, should I ever play anything that uses them. I also thought I could make them look pretty cool, disguising them in various ways. This might get abandoned.
Craters: I want to make some. Probably following something like this: Miniwargaming: Crashed Asteroid

Number one right now: Finishing my roommates Dreadnought. I have a very very very odd love of Dreadnoughts. I like mech-like suits. I always have. Mechwarrior, Armored Core, etc. Anything with an oversized robot with interchangeable parts and I'm in.

Hid Dreadnought is from an age of metal. It's a heavy little sucker, with no base. Anyway, he finally picked a chapter, Raven Guard, so I offered to paint it for him (more like asked if he'd let me, which I had asked multiple times, to which he responded "Then I'd have to pick a chapter."). I've been poking at it for ~2 weeks, but it's a PITA to paint assembled. So I found this guy who suggested boiling it. Literally. I boiled water and dropped him in for 30minutes. Worked like a charm.

Now that he's apart hopefully he'll be done soon, and I'm working on finishing my Kroot while in between Dreadnought stages (waiting for things to dry). Infantry is so hard. The test model is all exciting, but then you try to replicate it 11 times and painting the same stock 4 or 5 times, I just don't want to do the other 6 >.<

That's enough rambling, back to work...

I found an army to give OSH a run for his money...

I still give OSH more points for painting awesome, but the conversions in this are just epic...

Tau Swamp Fighters

Sample images:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Comment turned post

tl;dr - CSM 3rd Edition had a lot more fluff and options that I think should be encouraged and spread to other armies, as opposed to being obliterated as it was by their 4th Edition "update".

 (In response to Pete's Firewasp's comment in this post, I got a little preachy.)

I guess I didn't include Black Templars or Dark Angels. I only included Space Wolves because they have their own section outside of the Space Marine section on the website, and I imagine Blood Angels will too shortly.

CSM did get a fairly recent update, but that's a touchy subject with me atm. I like Nurgle. I like the fluff, especially the irony of it, and I like the toughness of the units. I like a lot about it.

When I bought my Tau, my roommate wanted me to go CSM instead. I got bored the other day and started to check out the CSM codex. It seemed kind of cool. Then I read some more about Death Guard. I was liking the challenge of creating an effective, fluffy nurgle army that didn't have a bunch of identical units.

I decided to look around online to see what others had found. What I discovered was a LOT of rage. This led me to find a copy of the 3rd edition CSM book. This led me to rage.

The Tyranid and Tau 4th Edition books are sort of sparce. They're thin books, lacking variety you find in the 5th edition books. It's hard to customize a Tau army in a functional way that is also effective. These new Tyranids...I can see 5 different unique, flavorful, effective armies easily. Same with Space Marines, Space Wolves, and Orks.

The 3rd Edition CSM book is awesome. Options all over the place. I think every army should have some version of Veteran Skills (Essentially any character or individual unit can be given things like Furious Charge, Counter Attack, etc. for a points cost) and that it should be extended to stat line modifiers as well (+1S, +1WS, etc.), but that's a whole different story. You could dedicate anything and everything, but everything had a drawback too that matched what it gained. Nurgle Fast Attack was limited to 0-1 Bikers and could only have 2 dedicated Rhinos as Troops, then they became Fast Attack.

This is all coming from a builder. My favorite aspect of the game is designing an army. I like themes and cohesive ideas that bind it all together. If there were more drones or more stealth units, I'd give up every Railgun and spend days finding a way to make it work. If I can't find a good story in my head, I loose interest VERY QUICKLY.

The 3rd Edition CSM codex is exactly what I've always thought every other codex should be like. Fluffy army related options with generic options that can be put together and too many ways for me to exhaust that would let me really make an army my own. My problem is really that they utterly destroyed that beautiful thing with an "update" that hunched the guts out and made what remained a little cheaper in points.

 I'm just going to cut myself off  and step down from my soap box here because it's almost 7pm and I'm still sitting in my office >.<

Tyranids; Armored Core 5

I found a copy of the new Tyranid codex...there is some truely awesome stuff going on in these 5th edition updates. I really can't wait to see what happens to Tau with their next update. Supposedly it's in 2012, which is sad times for how far away it is, but still awesome for knowing that it's definitely coming.

5th Edition so far (I think):

Imperial Guard - Updated
Orks - Updated
Space Marines - Updated

Tyranids - Updated
Space Wolves - New
Blood Angels - New

That leaves...
Chaos Space Marines

Dark Eldar
Tau Empire
Witch Hunters

(I'm at work and was gone for an hour right here, so I apologize if what precedes doesn't match up with what follows. My mind wanders and I ramble.)

 I left Daemons out because I think they were released in 4th Edition, but it was right before 5th Edition came out, so I feel right saying they're 5th Edition, but don't want to argue with technical people :)

I think Tau have a pretty easy update coming when they get one. Forgeworld has almost done it, the "normal" codex just needs to make it "official" with a couple other things. That said, I hope it's as amazing as this Tyranid update. I liked where Tyranids were, but this 5th Edition codex has blown me away.

If you aren't sure they're awesome, just contemplate this: They have Assault 20 and Assault 12 weapons...on Monstrous Creatures with 6 wounds...Toughness 6...and special rules that make it even crazier. They are very short range, but it's still just awesome. I'll probably ramble more about this once the codex is released and I play against a few...like every other blog will this weekend :)

(I wrote this before I wandered off to meetings for over an hour)

Kotaku: Armored Core 5 leak

I don't know about you guys, but I love Armored Core. With all the District 9 comparisons to Battlesuits I saw running around, I figure this might be worth mentioning. Am I the only Armored Core fanatic out here?

I recently moved into a new apartment, and whenever I move, I always find a bunch of stuff I'd forgotten about. I'm a pack-rat....HUGE pack-rat. Like my wife made me consolidate 9 boxes of "Stuff I just want to keep". I ended up with 4 boxes, and most of what I did was just fill in the empty half of a few without throwing a terrible lot away.

Relvency: I found my copy of Armored Core 4, for the 360. (Sidenote: spelling armor "armour" for so long writing warhammer lists makes it hard not to say "Armoured Core") All of my moving efforts immediately died and I was sucked into trying to recreate a Crisis Suit, in it's various configurations, and a Stealth Suit. I go pretty impressively close to the Crisis Suit. It made it a bit more fun to play.

Dreadnoughts are pretty easy to recreate as well.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shield Drone detail close-up

NockerGeek commented on being unable to really see the definition of the shield drones recesses, so this is a not so great picture of the drone. It's a good way to see the details though and maybe seeing it blown up will make it easier to see when looking at the other pictures.

Shield Drones!!! Part 2: Now with paint!

 That last picture in particular is terribad, but it shows off something I wanted to bring up: Why doesn't anyone seem to paint all 4 eyes on the drones? They do in the Codex images, but most people I see that do close-ups of their drones only paint the forward eye like an eye. My roommate thinks it's probably because it feels more "eye like" with only the forward one painted. /shrug I didn't even realize they had four eyes until I painted these.

Crisis Suits; On Drones

To those of you who have painted Crisis Suits: Is there some process to it that makes it not such a pain?

Getting back in behind the arms and in between the body and jetpack is really killing me. I can't find a way to do it cleanly.

On the plus side I'm almost done with my shield drones. I love the drones. I wish you could field units of them. Not like Heavy Gun Drones or Gun Drones, but something like...

Drone Squad
Unit size 4-12 Drones
Up to two Gun Drones may be upgraded to Marker Drones or Shield Drones.
Up to two Gun Drones may be upgraded to Sniper Drones Heavy Gun Drones.
If a Heavy Gun Drone is Taken, it may replace one of it's 2 burst cannons for a Marker Light at no cost.
If a Marker Drone is taken, it may twin-link it's Marker Light.

Something like that. Maybe splitting it into Gun/Marker/Shield Drone squads as one choice and Heavy/Sniper/Shield Drone squads as another. Maybe some special character that would let you essentially field a drone army. Throw in the FW turrets. It could get cool.

The drones were a lot of the appeal of Tau to me. The Battlesuits too, but they were very secondary. I don't use any drones because they're fairly ineffective. I think some more complex drone squads could get a lot more interesting. If they had some more interesting aspects, instead of just X Gun Drones that aren't terribly effective (though I have used them and had them really shine a few times), I could overlook the effectiveness for the coolness. Just my thoughts.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shield Drones!!!

Horray! My shield drone conversion kits showed up. I ordered 2 of them (makes 8 Gun drones into shield drones). I really feel like they could have included the plastic disks (the top part) for the $9 they cost, but meh. The glue is drying atm, so pictures later (probably painted. Drones are easy).

Here's a link for them: Games Workshop: Shield Drones
They're buries in the menus. They don't show up in Tau bitz or in the Warhammer 40,000 -> Bitz -> Conversion Packs. They're in Warhammer 40,000 -> Bitz -> Misc -> All the way at the bottom.

The only other places to get them are with the XV15 Shas'ui (comes with 1), or Shadowsun (comes with 2).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Slannesh Pillow Bases Part 2: The 15minutes paint job

So I never painted my Daemonettes, but I wanted an idea of what it would look like.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Slannesh Pillow Bases

A friend I haven't seen in a few years was over for New Year's. She works with Sculpey clay a lot, making tiny animals and such.  
(For those who don't know, my first army was Chaos Daemons) 
While she was making some very tiny penguins, I was showing her my daemons. I did a whole set of lava bases for my Khorne units (20 Bloodletters, 2 Bloodcrushers, 5 Flesh Hounds, Karanak, Skulltaker, and a Bloodthirster). I did slime bases for my nurgle units (1 Beast, 4 bases of Nurglings, and 10 Plaguebearers). For Tzeentch I want to do multi-colored crystals (I got some fish rocks, but haven't tried making a base).

All of that to say: Of all the Chaos Gods, Slannesh is sort of my least favorite. I'm not sure why, I think it's mostly what the Dark Prince stands for, but, either way, it is this god that I picked that most complex bases to do. I wanted to do piles of gold coins and bolts of silk. I ended up abandoning that in favor of plushy pillows, but I never actually tried it out. 
Below are the first three I tried. My friend took the tools I was using with her when she left, so it's all on pause until I can find them or until she gets me a set (which I think she said she was going to do).

The one on the far left is the first one I did, and my favorite. The second one I didn't push deep enough into the middle to build up the pillow, so it's sort of flat and bad. The third was going great until I got to zoned in and stopped dipping the tool. Green stuff gets sticky, so it kind of looks torn in the upper left corner; you can sort of see it in the picture.

Issuse: Not sure how I'm going to mimic it for my Masque, she might get the gold coins and bolts of silk. What do I do for Fiends or Keepers? I don't have any yet, but I just really like the Daemon models and am sort of shooting for "One of everything".  A pile of pillows could be cool. Any thoughts?

Maybe tomorrow when I'm not tired and stoned on pain killers I'll be more apt to take pictures of my Daemons and the painting I got done the other day. Wisdom Teeth are not cool to get removed when you're running around for the holidays...

Happy New Year!