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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Space Marine Scouts

NOTE: Unless stated otherwise and regardless of paintjob, I am talking about the 5th Edition Codex: Space Marines Scouts.

Ah, Scouts: the under-rated, under-used Space Marine step-children.
Before we launch into the uses of specific types of Scouts, let's address the elephant in the room.

Why the hell would anyone take Scouts?

Two things: They score, and they're cheap.

The main thing Scouts have going for them is that they're a Troops unit. That means they can capture objectives. In 5th Edition, with 2/3 Missions involving scoring units, this is definitely something to keep in mind. In the amount of games I've played since 5th came out, I've noticed a shift from the old days of only taking your obligatory 2 Troops units then loading up on elites/fast attack/heavy support. Troops are now the MVP's of the army, and with Space Marines you only have two choices.

The second thing they have going for them is that they're cheap. Looking only at 5 man squads, Scouts are 15 points/model, whereas a Tactical Squad Marine is 18 points/model. If we beef these squads up to 10-man squads, they become even more efficient at 14 points/model for Scouts and 17 points/model for Marines. A Space Marines army will rarely be the side with more models on the table, and some army builds will feel that deficiency more than others. Scouts can help out a great deal by putting more bases on the table for the same points, or possibly opening up some points for a desired other unit/upgrade by trading out a Tactical Squad for a Scouts Squad.

How are Scouts different from Marines?

The biggest difference you'll find is in their stats. Scouts have a WS and BS of 3. They're not as accurate, but for the most part, having Rapid Fire weapons helps to alleviate that. Also, they have an Armour Save of 4+. It's not Power Armour, but it's the next best thing.

Also, not to be forgotten, they can infiltrate.Start the game off with a few Objectives already captured.

Different types of Scouts

Close Combat Scouts
Scouts have an option to replace their standard gear with a Combat Blade or a Shotgun for free. Why did I include Shotgun in the Close Combat section? Because it's 12", S4, Assault 2. There isn't even any Armour Pen. Considering their standard-issue Bolter is 24", S4, AP5, Rapid Fire, why would you take a Shotgun? The only time a Shotgun is preferable to a Bolter is shooting prior to an Assault. Rapid Fire weapons cannot be fired in the Shooting Phase prior to an Assault, but an Assault 2 weapon can. The 12" range pigeon-holes their role even further. What I plan to do with my Scouts is make a 10-man squad with 5 Combat Blades and 5 Shotguns. It's a delicate balance figuring out how many Blades to Shotguns in a squad; The more Shotguns, the stronger the pre-assault Shooting Phase ... potentially softening up the target and making the Assault Phase easier. The more Combat Blades, the stronger the Assault Phase.

Painter's Note: Check out the gnarly paintjob on these guys! I've had a few emails asking me about if I started off painting at near my current skill-level. Let me assure you: no. I painted like crap for a long time before I started honing my skills (I don't even think too highly of what I can do NOW, but thanks for the positive feedback). I'm not prepared to show you my first paintjobs yet, but these were still a fair ways back; back when I thought it couldn't get any better than Basecoat followed by Drybrush. Also the eyes! I have more crosseyed figures in my basement than I care for, including a model of Azrael (shame of shames). I am definitely going to replace these guys with the new model line and a decent paint-job.

Long Range Scouts
Also an option is to equip your Scouts with Sniper Rifles for free. 36" range, AP6, Heavy 1. Sniper rifles wound on a 4+, regardless of Toughness (great for Carnifexes and Wraithlords) and have Rending to boot! Any roll to Wound of 6 immediately causes a Wound and makes that shot AP2! The "Heavy 1" and 36" range of this option are what make this Squad build a Long Range Scout. Best thing to do with these boys is to sit them in Cover with some Camo-cloaks (+1 to your Cover Save) somewhere removed from where the heat of the battle will take place and attach a heavy weapon like a Missile Launcher or Heavy Bolter.

Painter's Note: These boys were painted a good deal later than my Combat Scouts. I had long since left the drybrushing phase behind me as an all-purpose highlighter and moved into more of a high-contrast layering technique. I call it "layering" but it was just barely that. The colors were bright and cartoony. They're good enough that I'm not going to replace them (You'll notice I re-based them.)

Mid-Range Scouts
Standard Issue Bolters for the win. These Scouts find their role in the thick of things alongside their Brother Marines. Due to the lack of Combat weapons, play the mid-field and use their Rapid Fire to the best of its ability. I've taken a Heavy Bolter along for when standing your ground is what's called for. On the move, he still has a Bolt Pistol. Another cool thing about giving a Scout Squad a Heavy bolter: they get the free option of firing a Hellfire Round instead of their normal 3 shots. A Heavy Bolter's Hellfire Round is a Heavy 1, with a blast marker. It's also poisoned (always Wounds on a 2+) making it a great "Oh no you DIDN'T!" option when a Carnifex or Wraithlord gets all up in your Scout's grill.

Painter's Note: I just painted these guys last week, so the paintjob is recent. Nowadays I use Basecoat, wash, layering highlight on my models. All flesh was Deneb Stone followed by Ogryn Flesh, no highlight. Flesh and hair I do not follow up with a highlight because I actually want the more realistic subtle look. I leave the higher contrast effects for armour and equipment. The armour was based in a 2:1 Dark Angels Green:Knarloc Green mix, then washed in Badab Black, then highlighted with Knarloc Green. It's much less cartoony than my old method, and makes it look more gritty and real while still not sacrificing too much contrast. Cloth was based in Deneb Stone, washed in Devlan Mud, then layer-highlighted with Bleached Bone. Leather was based in Vermin Fur, washed in Badab Black, then re-highlighted with Vermin Fur. Bolters were based with Mechrite Red, washed in Badab Black, then highlighted with a thinned Blood Red.
You might have also noticed they have eyes. My hands have gotten steadier to the point that I tried adding eyes again. A black dot on a white area still stands out too much for my tastes, so I found that going over that with Ogryn Flesh brought down the contrast enough that it looked good and subtle, right where I want organic effects.

Overall Scout Tactics

The main thing to stress here is that in a Space Marines army, no one unit can do it alone. That's important. You do not have enough models on the table to take too many risks. Your units need to support each other.

OK, now since Scouts are scoring units, we're going to focus on taking and holding Objectives. Objectives generally come in 4 flavors:
Ones in YOUR Deployment Zone
Ones in Your OPPONENT'S DZ
Ones midfield, and
Ones out of the way of battle.

If the Objective is in Your DZ, the ideal candidate to hold this is a Long Range Scout Squad. Sniper Rifles and heavy weapons will do wonders here while still being able to participate in battle. They will do this role better than a Tactical Squad with a Heavy weapon, simply because Sniper Rifles have a longer range than Bolters. The Scouts are actually more efficient at this. In the spirit of No One Unit Can Do It Alone, sit a Heavy Support Unit with them. Make it a strongpoint. If you can convince your opponent that they don't want to go near that Objective, you've already taken one important step to victory.

If the Objective is in your Opponent's DZ, You will want Combat Scouts, Tactical Squads, and even Mid-Field Scouts to help out here. This will be the hardest kind of Objective to get, and will probably also need the help of whatever Fast Attack and Elites you have.

If the Objective is mid-field, you will want Tactical Squads and Mid-Field Scouts. When I talk of Mid-field, I don't just mean any area in between your Deployment Zones, I mean areas that will clearly become the zone where your two armies will concentrate their fire. Even when holding this Objective, your Mid-Field Scouts will be able to pitch in with their 24" Bolters (and Heavy Bolter if you took it.) Your Elites should be helping out here. When you've established ownership of these Objectives, it is time for your Elites, Tactical Squads and Fast Attack to converge upon the Opponent's DZ Objective(s).

Some Objectives are not in either DZ, but clearly are out of the way of where the main battle will be held. These are best held by Long-Range Scouts. This way you can capture that Objective that will take your Opponent too long to try to get to right from the beginning. If he/she decides it's a lost cause and focuses mid-field, you've taken another step towards Victory. Again, No One Unit Can Do It Alone. Out of the way Objectives are vulnerable. Be prepared at ALL times to come to their rescue with your Fast Attack Units. While your Troops and Elites push Mid-field, your Fast Attack should be hovering somewhere between the thick of battle and the Out of the Way Objectives, harassing your enemy's flanks. When the mid-field is secure, have the Fast Attack move on to converge at the Opponent's DZ with your assault oriented Troops and Elites.

Sergeant Telion

I wouldn't feel right discussing Scouts without mentioning the new Special Character Sergeant Telion. While awesome, keep in mind that he costs 50 points ... so if your main reason for taking Scouts is to get more boots on the field, this option would defeat your purpose.

That said, Telion has a BS of 6! That's not only a 2+ to hit, but if you roll a 1, you get a second chance (6+) to still make the shot! His Stalker Pattern Boltgun is considered a 36" Range (!), S4, AP5, Heavy 2(!) with Rending (!). That's a huge candidate for attaching him to your Long Range Scouts. Heavy 2, 36" Range with Rending! But we're not done yet! Eye of Vengeance allows YOU to allocate Wounds caused by Telion's shooting, rather than the opposing player! But we're not done yet! Voice of Experience allows Telion to give up his round of shooting to allow another model in his unit to use HIS BS of 6! Remember that Missile Launcher I had attached to the Long Range Squad? Ever made a hasty prayer to the Emperor when relying on that one last Krak missile shot to take down an enemy tank? Well the Emperor's answer to you is Scout Sergeant Torias Telion.

Now, while I have clearly shown you the benefits of taking Telion in a Long Range Squad, I should also mention that he has 2 attacks and a WS of 5, making him a decent accessory to a Combat squad as well ... but with every other ability and even his main gun aiming him towards a Long Range role, I wonder if it would be worth it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Just a few things I want to get out in the limited amount of time I have:

First off, Congratulations to Ron Saikowski of +From The Warp+ on his win in Fritz's Competition. Here was his winning entry:

You can find his tutorial on how he made it here: Part 1, Part 2, Painting.

Secondly, I can see by the poll over on the left that Space Marines is up for review. I'm working on putting together a review on Space Marine Scouts, including all equipment types. After that, Sternguard.

Thirdly, I got a new job and am currently in transition between my current job and the new one. The current job is interrogating me for all I'm worth as they're not in a position to replace me, and the new job is having me help them a bit after hours ... both of which I'm happy to do, but you can imagine that it's putting a serious drain on my hobby time. Hopefully soon I'll be back to my usual 1.5 posts a week and commenting on everyone else's stuff to boot. Bear with me a bit. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Autarch on a Jetbike

This is my entry for Fritz's Contest.
You can vote on his site and please do, there are lots of great entries.

Despite my love for this model, I don't think I'm going to win this one. Part of this is due to that I had this boy assembled and primered right before the announcement, so too much conversion was already out of the question ... the underslung Reaper Launcher is magnetized, however ... and can be replaced with a Fusion gun.

So basically my only hope at winning this was with a paint-job (but the competition is fierce and the conversion-fiends definitely brought their game-paint. See Ron Saikowski's entry as well as Bill Lewis'. That is some seriously amazing work, guys.)

My Autarch is of the Alaitoc Craftworld, and as they're referred to as "The Starstriders," I thought I would take that as inspiration for the paint-scheme, and painted a galactic and star-ridden carapace. The Alaitoc symbol has runes of the various aspects painted down the blade, so that it looks more like Khaine's Wailing Doom (which has runes down it). I imagine that these are some of the aspects that he favors after having walked all paths towards being an Autarch.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Magnetizing Your Models, Part 2

For Part 2, we're going to deal with a much smaller magnet, requiring a finer level of skill.
If you haven't already, I would suggest trying your hand at the larger magnet uses covered in Part 1 before attempting to use these. Undue frustration helps no-one.

On to the further uses of the large magnets as well as some smaller ones. For our primary example, I give you my new Space Marines Commander:

There are two magnets installed in the model above. The first is the same size covered in Part 1. It is lodged in his left shoulder. The shoulderpad was glued up at the top so that replacement arms can be easily slid into place underneath the shoulderpad.

For the second magnet, I used a 1/16" diameter disc magnet (1.5mm). You can find it here. It's the smallest size they carry over at Gaussboys. Compared to the magnets covered in Part 1, these are half the diameter and half the width. With 3 dimensions cut in half, you're left with a magnet that is 1/8 the size of the already small ones covered! Look at it embedded in the wrist above! It's tiny! Be very careful handling them, getting them near other magnets can cause them to violently propel themselves towards the other magnetic field (given that their mass is so low).

How To Use Them

As in Part 1, the first step is to drill a small hole where you want the magnet mounted. For this, I use a 1/16" drill bit in a pin vise. Glue the magnet in. LET IT DRY.

Next up, take another small magnet (one that you plan to embed in the gun-holding hand) and let it stick to the embedded magnet in the wrist. Use a permanent marker to mark the side facing out. When you are done drilling a hole in the hand, prepare to glue in your second magnet. Since you marked the side facing outwards, that mark should go IN the hole. You should not see the mark when it's mounted in the hand.

How this has worked for me:

The magnets are still quite strong despite being so tiny. I have nearly every equipment option for the Commander that is available in the new SM Codex. The only things left for me are to convert a Thunder Hammer and a Combi-Flamer.

Another way to use the small magnets? Let's move to another example; A Chaos Terminator Lord.

Magnetize the shoulderpad separate from the arm. Why would I do that?!? It's just more work!!

In case you'd like to have multiple shoulderpads in order to paint a god-specific Mark on it. Suddenly, your one model can bear the mark of any god he wants simply by swapping out the shoulderpad.

The method of how follows similar to above, though this took a little trial and error for me, mainly in finding the right spot for the magnet. Given that there is a larger magnet already mounted in the shoulder of that same arm, keep in mind that the smaller one will align itself according to the larger. Also, it will want to sit parallel with it. In the picture above, you'll notice an empty hole about mid-shoulder. The magnet didn't want to go there ... and (it's hard to see from the light reflection) the actual magnet is mounted below the empty hole where it sits parallel to the larger one. For where to mount the matching magnet in the shoulderpad... about here:

It's the gold dot in there...

Here's a better look at the back of the shoulder again:

Different angle, but I think you get the picture.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poll and Changes

First up, I'm changing the nature of the poll. It's more general now, what army do you want to see more of, etc. You can choose multiple options now. Let me know what's coming up...

Secondly, the hobby stuff (like the magnets and the terrain sets) will be posted when I complete them as well as the Comics, so you won't see them on the poll anymore (they seem to be the most popular features, so there's no point putting them up against unit reviews). On that note I've gotten some serious headway done on the Space Marine Commander conversion and I'll be getting some pics up soon showing you why he's being nicknamed Magneto by some of my gaming buddies.

Third, I've finished my Autarch submission for Fritz's competition. I'll let the photo debut over on his site (The Way of Saim-Hann).

Fourth, I've gotten sucked into Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. It's awesome. I'm trying not to let it get in the way of my modeling too much. If any of you are interested or also play, I run Order on Be'lakor and Destruction on Avelorn. Shoot me an email and I'll send you character names. We can save the world together, or destroy it, whatever's your pleasure ;P

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The State of Things

I'm sorry I don't have any real content for you all today, just an update on some things going on in my world...

Thanks to all of you for your input on the whole profanity issue; it meant a lot to me not only that you all contributed to the discussion, but that the discussion for the most part was kept amicable.
I've seen good points on both sides of the issue here, as well as a surge in requests for more comic (leading me to believe that the vulgarity is not scaring away audience...). However, things will not remain exactly as they were. There will be two changes. First, I will be relying less on vulgarity in the comics in general. I don't believe the level of humor will falter. Secondly, I will not shy from using vulgarity if I feel it is relevant and adds to the humor. When these comics come about, I will post a Warning: Comic contains mature content! above the comic's thumbnail, so those who wish to avoid it can.

"Another Comic!" has won in the Coming Up Next poll by a staggering amount. Due to this, I'm going to make the Comic a more regular occurrence. You will not see it listed in the poll anymore, because I will just be posting them as filler in-between articles on hobby topics. Thanks for the show of support.

There's been a lot of craziness going on in my personal world, and this is the main reason why I haven't had any real content up since the last comic. On one hand, I'm in the negotiation process for a much higher-paying job in the field I currently work in ... on the other hand, the wife and I received some very bad news in the family. I've had a lot on my mind, both promising and depressing ... and it's made me a bit unstable of late. I hope to get my personal life back into a sense of normality soon and with that, All Things 40K.

I'm almost done painting up a unit of Eldar Guardians. I'm so close to finishing them, I can taste the Victory Circle ... and it tastes blue with yellow accent.

After the Guardians are finished, I will be painting up my already converted/assembled/primered Autarch in order to get it finished in time for Fritz's Competition. Seriously, take a look yourself if you haven't already.

Also, I just got in a boxed Assault Brood. Do you know what's in that? Let me break it down for you...
3 Carnifexes
6 Tyranid Warriors
16 Genestealers
16 Hormagaunts
16 Termagaunts

Who wants to see not one but THREE fully magnetized Carnifexes??? Any takers?

I got one sitting on pre-order, so I'm expecting it in a week or so. I have already dropped into a GW store to peruse the copy they had there, and I have to admit it looks way awesome. Relic Blades? Yes, please.
Because of how great this codex is, I will be posting articles on the units and their uses of the NEW codex when I mention space marines. My personal army is Dark Angels, however I will be using the new SM codex. So, most of the articles will be showing you examples on how to keep the unique fluffy feel of your specific chapter, yet still represent all the new C:SM goodies. Also in the works is a whole new SM Commander model that I'm designing from the ground up. He will be fully magnetized with all the options present in the new book. We'll get to that later, though ;P

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Never Interrupt a Chaplain When He's Ranting...

Warning: Comic contains mature content.

Edit: So Picasa (Blogger's image hosting site) automatically resizes large pictures to 1600 pixels tall. Photobucket's even worse. Rather than pay a site to get the "pro" account for a few extra pixels, I resized the comic image and redid the text/word bubbles so that they're readable. Sorry 'bout all that =/

Friday, September 19, 2008

Custom Objectives: Eldar

While I love the green plastic counters that GW offers, I couldn't help but feel a bit strange fighting some other army over what looks like a holographic banner midfield. So, the thought occurred to me to make my own Objective Markers to make things look more cinematic.

First up, a boulder covered with runes:

I had one of my trusty Warlocks stand in for scale. It's one of the smaller objectives, made out of a chunk of styrofoam that I chopped up with a hot wire cutter. It's on a large flying base with some small rocks around the base, and finally flocked to match the Eldar Terrain Set.

What is the significance of the Rune-Rock? I don't know, I can't read Eldar ;P
I did add the spirit rune on the side that you usually see on the Wraithguard and Wraithlords... so perhaps it's a conduit to the planet's spirit? You decide.

Next up, a Wounded Autarch. I had this model leftover because I wanted the best of both blister packs for my own. I liked the Scorpion helmeted one, but wanted the Power Weapon. Silly me. So I bent this model a bit, so he'd be barely sitting up, and bent his feet forward so they look a bit more natural for someone laying down. I gave him the Shuriken pistol arm, and positioned it to look like he's propping himself up on his elbow. I then filed off the Soul Stone and belt normally around his chest. Why? Because I green-stuffed a soul-stone on a belt for him to hold out in his hand (arm was the Autarch Chainsword arm). He's on a Large Flying Base with some Greenstuff piled up into a mound for him to lay on. The small bit of Eldar terrain you see sticking out of the ground near his mound is off of the Wraithlord sprue.

In his last moments of life, his only desire is for someone to recover his Soul Stone to further help his people. Will you retrieve it for the good of the Eldar? ...or deny the Stone's power to his dying and desperate people?

A statue of the Avatar. The model is standing on top of a chunk of Styrofoam glued on top of a Monstrous Creature base. The smaller statues come from the Dire Avengers sprue. This guy was real easy to make. Foundation paint Astronomicon Grey, Badab Black wash, Skull White drybrush. There are a few splotches of Devlan Mud around the statue as well.

Frighteningly detailed and displayed prominently, why do the Eldar protect the statue so? It is said each of the Eldar worlds has a shard of their Bloody-Handed God, could this statue have some vital role in the revival of this world's Avatar?

On to the larger objectives. A crashed Eldar Falcon. Now before a bunch of you rail on me for destroying $35 on an objective, lemme explain. A while back I ordered a single Warp Spider mini from a bits site (not telling who), who promply lost record of my order (yet was happy to take my money immediately) for a good 3-4 months. After a couple of emails, they eventually found the order, and sent me not only the Warp Spider, but most of an Eldar Falcon "for my troubles." There were several bits missing from the Falcon Sprue to the point that I couldn't come up with a way to salvage it (missing windshields, for example) ... and so I sacrificed the complimentary Falcon to the Hobby Gods.

The raised bits of land were formed mainly of styrofoam with a bit of greenstuff. A glued layer of rock covers it all. The Falcon's wing was chopped off so that it would protrude from the rock at a wrong angle. The rear door was glued on askew. the bits of glass are made by clipping up the clear plastic sprue that holds the Flying Stands.

Are there survivors trapped in the Passenger Bay? Do the Eldar fear the repercussions of their enemies getting ahold of some mostly-in-tact technology? Precious cargo?

And lastly, the Warp Gate. This one's real big; breaking up the terrain a bit by slapping down a wall. This is made of poster-board, and was cut out using the print-out instructions on GW's site (look for German Warp Gate). The large stone is a $1 bit of costume jewelry.

I made 5 Objectives due to the current rules requiring d3+2 Objective Markers to be placed. One of which (The Warp Gate) doesn't have a base matching the terrain so it can be used as an HQ in the Capture and Control mission. Basically, no matter the terrain set, the Eldar army can use the Warp Gate as their objective.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Word on Artwork

After this last comic, I recieved a request for more quality in the comics.
Happy to get any kind of response from anyone reading the blog, my reply was that I'd work on getting out a higher-quality color version.

Well, after spending a lot of time on it, and getting a feel for how much time it would take to churn out a comic at that standard, I'm no longer so sanguine about it.

Given enough time, I could pump out some professional grade artwork. I've done it before on some other projects (mostly Dungeons&Dragons related, don't judge!!! ;P ) , but I couldn't get over the feeling that all this time spent on one comic should have been spent finishing the paint-job on the Guardians, and magnetizing my Chaos Terminator Lord (oh, you'll see), etc. While I can make comics at that level, I think at that point the comics would dominate the blog. Because I'm rather eclectic and whimsical with what kind of things I do, I'd rather stick to the comics how they are. This would allow me to give you more comics as well as posts/articles on other 40-hobby things within the same time-span, rather than becoming a blog that posts only comics, and only once every other week or so...

The comics I've done so far are 5-10 minute sketches, max. They're thrown into Photoshop, resized and given word-bubbles. The process is rather short. There's a lot more required in making a color version. I will continue to play with it to see if repeated practice makes it more feasable ... but at the moment, the only increase in quality that I'm prepared to do is to spend more time in the drawing stage to get you cleaner lines and such. First Round Lascannon got rather messy in those last two panels.

The comics weren't really meant to become anything more grandiose than a simple and quick laugh; a humorous view into the quirky world of 40K.

Also, the suggestion was made that I get the comic up on Golden Throne. If they want it there, that's totally cool with me. If any of you would like the comics on your own site, that is also totally cool with me. My url is down at the bottom of the image, and as long as that's still intact, you are all completely free to use them as you like. I made them for you anyways.

Ok, hopefully most of you are still reading, because I got a special treat for you :) Check this guy out. His artwork and attention to detail are phenomenal. Browse through his site; there is some seriously amazing work there. I've added him to the Community Feed on the right. His blog is called Rajabersiong.

Monday, September 15, 2008

First Round Lascannon

Don't you hate it when your big bad IC gets insta-killed in the first round by some lucky Lascannon shot? This is generally how I imagine that kind of thing happening:

Seriously, attach your IC's to a squad, people. The Emperor only protects on a 4+

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Magnetizing Your Models

Alternate title: "Why the Hell Didn't I Do This Years Ago?"

Dilemma: I bought a box of Assault Marines. I can only have one Sergeant. There are a ton of options to equip him with. What should I give him? What if I change my mind after I make him?

Answer: Magnets.

What you see above is the final product. An assembled and painted Assault Marine with all of his arm options laid out around him. He is fitted with magnets.

Space Marines are a great thing to try your hand on with this technique. Everyone's got some lying around somewhere, and their arms are bulky enough to actually hold a magnet. Add to that, the shoulderpads seriously hide that there is a magnet in the armpit.

Here's what you need:

Magcraft makes a line of magnets that are a 0.125 inch diameter disc. (You can buy them on Amazon) That's the smallest they make, so we'll be using those for now. (note: there are smaller on other sites, but they're very hard to work with, and I'll cover them later with more advanced conversions. For now, let's stick with these.) They come in a pack of 100 magnetic discs for about $9. Next, get yourself a 1/8" drill bit (1/8" = 0.125", see where I'm going here?) and a pin vise. Make sure the pin vise can hold 1/8", as not many can. That size bit is generally too large for a pin vise, but they do make them. The large one in that link is the one I use for the 1/8" bit. The second largest is what I use for the 1/16" drill bit.

Now, once you have the materials the rest is rather simple. After gluing together the torso, use the drill bit+vise to make holes where the magnets will go. Also, drill a hole in the shoulder part of the arm you want to attach. Try a "dry fit" to make sure the hole is deep enough that the magnet sits flush in the piece.

NOTE: The torso was tricky for me, as it was hollow. When I attached the second magnet to the other shoulder, it shot through the torso bit to the other arm (they're that strong). I would suggest reinforcing the middle of the torso with a bit of greenstuff first. Also, before you super-glue the "mate" magnet, double-check that you have the correct side facing out (they should attract each other.) You don't want to finish gluing your model's arm together just to find out that it is violently propelled away from the model's torso when you try to put it on.

Let everything dry before you try them out.

At this point, feel free to enjoy your model:

Now that you have the basics, you are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

Another example of what you can do with magnets?

Oh yeah. BOTH turrets.

Click here for Part 2

Monday, September 8, 2008

Moving Some Things Around...

So, I've made a drastic change to the look of the place, you'll notice a third column over on the left.

That one column of widgets got mighty long with the Community Blogroll, and rather than make that shorter, I had another column installed. The Community Blogroll's only going to get longer, so I'll leave the right column as it is. Most of my widgets were wiped during the change, I think I got everyone's link back into the Blogroll. If you see that yours isn't, let me know; it wasn't intentional.

The Left Column, however, will be changing. First and foremost, a poll. YOU will be deciding what's up next. Ignore the close date. Basically, I'll be working on whatever's the most popular choice. When that post is made, I'll reset the poll with new options.

Also, I'll be installing Army sections on the left with 5th edition tactics/units articles. These will be updated regularly, and will have a notice for when an article is NEW! or UPDATED!

Feel free to sound off and let me know what you think of these changes. Good? Bad? What would you like to see?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008


So finally you all get to see the final product on the slight conversion I did on these girls. They were painted very heavily with the new GW washes, as I attempted to integrate them more and more into my style. I liked one of the schemes for the girls shown in the codex (pink skin, purple "daemon parts") and decided to make the pink part more like the mortals. The washes do amazing work on this.

All fleshy parts (including claws/feet) were basecoated in the Foundation paint Dheneb Stone. It's an extremely pale color, but that's ok. When it was dry, I used a 3:1 mix of Ogryn Flesh and Baal Red, both washes. Coat her heavily with it, let it get deep in all those cracks and claw-grooves. When that was dry, I had a good fleshy color and moved on to Leviathan Purple (another wash) to hit any fleshy part that looked more daemonic than mortal (lower legs and claws). Hair was based in Hormagaunt Purple, then washed with Asurmen Blue. All the costume parts using Shining Gold were washed in Leviathan Purple, just to bring it closer to the color theme. The banner was base coated with 2:1 Warlock Purple:Dheneb Stone, then washed with Leviathan Purple.

They were based on the Lava Bases I mentioned earlier.

So, a Daemonette's stats read similar to those of the Howling Banshees: WS 4, S3, T3, I6. Let's check out their abilities.

Aura of Acquiescence gives them the effect of assault and defensive grenades. This means they are a good unit to assault through or into cover.

Rending Claws offer a little added punch to their assault.

Daemon means they have a 5+ invulnerable save and are immune to Instant Death.

Fleet will let them make their 6" assault move even after making a d6" run in the Shooting Phase. Lovely.

All of this paints a very interesting picture. They are fragile, yet seem to excel at first strike assaults. Fleet will allow them to reach the opponent before a unit of Bloodletters would, the Aura will help them assault units even in cover, and the high Initiative and Rending Claws will help to minimize casualties due to retaliation.

Base attacks is 3, so with numbers, they will easily begin to accumulate a LOT of attacks. A unit of Daemonettes numbers from 5-20. 20 chicks with 3 rending attacks each, 4 on the charge... still quite formidable

The Aura might not seem like much, but I've already seen a unit of Bloodletters get torn up for assaulting a unit in cover. Cover gets first hit since Bloodletters don't have an Aura-like ability, and they're not that much more resilient than the Slaaneshi girls. These two HtH units would most likely best be suited moving in tandem; the girls make first contact and soften up the target, the Bloodletters come in and clean up with their S4 Power Weapons. If it doesn't sound fluffy to have them work together like this, think of it in a different light: competition. The Daemonettes are much faster and would most likely be taunting the hell out of the Bloodletters for missing out on all the kills. The Bloodletters' rage would most likely have them following suit in order to upstage the Daemonettes.

Here's a downside, though: They cost 14 points each. That's one point less than a Space Marine. Given that you can deep-strike the entire army, make sure you plan out your tactics really well, as you probably won't have numbers on your side (especially if you go taking elites/heavy support. Talk about a points-sink!)

One note on survivability: please make use of cover. The Daemonettes have no normal armour save, only the 5+ invulnerable one. Add to that a Toughness of 3, and it will not take much to decimate them. Most cover in 5th edition offers 4+ saves (invulnerable, even) and is much preferable to their standard save. Take this into account when Deep Striking them in. Discretion is the better part of valor.

As promised, some close-ups:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Inappropriate Ripper

The first of an undetermined number of mini comics set in the 40K universe. Depending on how popular they are, I may do more.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Howling Banshees

Howling Banshees are one of the many Aspect warriors of the Eldar army. They are made up predominantly of females [thanks for setting me straight Nash and Admiral Drax], and are equipped with power weapons and their signature Banshee Mask.

The above models were painted with Bleached Bone, then washed in a watered down Devlan Mud. The hair is Mechrite Red, washed in Devlan Mud, and highlighted with Blood Red.

Banshees have a very specific role on the battlefield, and are one of the three main Elites close-combat choices (the others being Striking Scorpions and Harlequins). Specifically what they are good at are heavily armored foes. This means Space Marines (an even juicier target would be Terminators).

Due to their high initiative and good weapon skill, you can count on the Banshees to always hit first (and kill first) before the opponent gets to respond. They ignore bonuses granted by cover, so they're nice to attack a hunkered down unit and still attack first. The powered weapons is what really sets them apart from the Scorpions, though. While Scorpions (due to their high strength and high number of attacks) excel against horde/mob units with little to no armor, the Banshees do well against heavy armoured elites/troops.

The only process of the Assault Phase that they do NOT excel at is the "to wound" roll. Their Strength is only 3, and this is a weakness of theirs. Everything else they have going for them, and can rip apart a fair number of MEQs (Marine Equivalents). Something to think about if you play Eldar: Have a Farseer nearby to Doom their target. With Doom allowing rerolls to wound, there would be no stopping them. Also, for those of you fighting Eldar ... watch out for Banshees hanging back near a Farseer. Shoot them.

Another tactic I've seen used before involves taking a squad of Dire Avengers with a Shimmer Shield Exarch and Defend. Have your Banshees hang back. Their armor isn't great. Use them as a trump card for when things get hairy mid-game. Use your Dire Avengers to intercept any opponent unit looking to assault a poorly defended unit of yours that should remain shooting. With the Shimmer Shield and Defend, you should be able to hold them nearly indefinitely. Next chance you get, assault them with the Banshees. They should clean up in mostly one round, freeing up both units to repeat the process or attend to separate matters.

A word on Exarchs. You are given three wargear options, and two abilities; Executioner, Mirror Swords, Triskele, Acrobatic, and War Shout.

Executioner: +2 Strength, but it's a two handed weapon. Very useful if you're expecting decent to high toughness in addition to the armor. I had one of these assault a tactical squad of mine (in cover, no less) and saw them nearly wiped out to the man in one round. I decided that table-quarter was suddenly forfeit and gave them a wide berth. I'd suggest you do the same. ;P

Mirror-Swords: +2 Attacks, for when it's not toughness that you're up against, but numbers. This option helps out the Banshees with the numbers game, which is better suited for Scorpions.

Triskele: It counts as a normal Power Weapon AND a Ranged Weapon. 12" range, Strength 3, AP 2, Assault 3. It looks like a great way to get a few extra kills in before the assault even starts! At S3, though, it suffers the same challenge that the other Banshees suffer; the To Wound roll. I plan on making one (most likely same Exarch model, but with the Triskele from Jain Zarr.)

Acrobatics: This grants your Banshees the "Counter Attack" USR. Highly useful, if you happen to be charged in combat, you will still get the +1 attack/model as if you initiated the charge.

War Shout: This ability is in addition to the normal Banshee Mask rules, forcing the opponent to make a Leadership check. If failed, the opponent fights at Weapon Skill 1 for the first turn. This could be very devastating if it succeeds, but in 5th edition it seems that more creatures are getting higher leaderships (especially the types of units you should be aiming Banshees at anyways) so its benefit comes very rarely. Those points might better be spent elsewhere.

Note on Jain Zar: A unit of Banshees that she leads is Fearless. Weapon Skill 7, Strength 4 (6 with the Executioner in close combat) 4 base Attacks, Eternal Warrior, 3 Wounds and a 2+ save. At 190 points, she's more expensive than the Avatar, and it's easy to see why. Oh, forgot to mention she has Furious Charge too. She'll definitely make your opponent sweat, as she's quite the beast in combat. Something else noteworthy, she is equipped with an Executioner AND a Triskele (hers hits at S5 at range). Phoenix Lords always get the best stuff. :P
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