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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Painted Tyranid Hive Tyrant

I finished up this bad boy the other day. I really like the direction my Tyranids have taken over time. Allow me to walk you through their evolution...

My first Tyranid models were genestealers from the Space Hulk box set. I painted them as they appeared on the box art: pink-ish with a grey-blue carapace. My friend commissioned me to paint his Tyranid army (I did it for free, so not as much of a "commission") and he wanted everything red with a bone colored carapace.

Towards the end of 3rd edition, I want my own Tyranids. I do some scrounging for coloring ideas and hated all the options I saw in the rulebook and in the codex. ...all except for one image. It was a picture of a hormagaunt swarm assaulting some IG. They were purple with black carapace. I love purple. They looked awesome, and I went with that (I later did a search online for Hive-fleet names and found that purple with black carapace was the color-scheme of the "Hive Fleet Harbinger" ... according to Wikipedia, so 'grain of salt' there).

When I started painting my models, I would hate how everything was so dark and unrefined. Some truly wicked features weren't immediately visible. I played around with it a bit and decided that a bright red fade on the face made them look exceptionally vicious. I loved it. FLUFF: My splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Harbinger had evolved red faces during their separation from the rest of the tattered remains of the broken Hive Fleet Harbinger. On one of the many lush worlds they harvested, there was an indigenous canine with a remarkably sturdy jaw structure offering them a disproportionately powerful bite. Their skin was a bright bloody red. Upon integrating this trait into the fleet's collection of ever-perfecting DNA, in addition to the stronger jaw structure, the fleet's "faces" expressed the bright blood red color that is now all that remains of that particular species.

Fast forward to a month or two ago. We're in 5th edition, and my friend Aernout is painting his Tyranids while I'm painting some Space Marines. Aernout is a ridiculously talented artist (check his deviant art portfolio... you'll see what I mean), and does this great green with teal carapace scheme. He tops it off by adding a bright yellow racing stripe over the top ridge. It was brilliant. I decided shortly after that I liked the idea so much I wanted to use it myself. I asked him first about stealing his idea and after he assured me that I was being silly, I went with it. Orange would be my bright stripe. FLUFF: My splinter-fleet had stumbled across some insectoid recombinant DNA that presented a far more efficient structure for building chitin-based carapace. A poisonous beetle; black carapace with bright orange markings. In integrating it through the fleet, the insectoid's other trait was also expressed; a "warning" pattern appeared on their carapace, similar to that which was on the poisonous insects.

And now we have the state of my current hive fleet. The rest of Hive Fleet Harbinger probably wouldn't recognize them any more, though they are still technically part of said fleet.

The purple parts were all painted with a 2:1 mix of Warlock Purple : Dheneb Stone. It's bright pink. Fix that by hitting it with a healthy dose of Leviathan Purple Wash. Much better. Carapace was Chaos Black with a Codex Grey drybrush. The orange used was Blazing Orange. Bone was painted in Dheneb Stone, washed with Devlan Mud, then drybrushed first with Bleached Bone, then with Skull White. I found drybrushing has a great grainy effect that works wonders on bone/carapace stuff. It looks natural. The green areas (Toxin Sacs and on his Lash Whip) were Rotting Flesh followed by a Thraka Green wash.

The basing is standard GW sand and rocks, followed by a Devlan Mud wash, then a Bubonic Brown drybrush. Here is a sample of the test base I used to figure out what I wanted.

Oh, did I mention he's magnetized?

Above, I've highlighted the locations of all the magnets used - 5 on each side. If you plan to use a similar idea, something I've learned... Make sure the two large magnets have the same property facing outwards. I.E. when you're done making an arm with magnet, you should be able to affix it to either the top slot or the bottom.

The small magnet up on top of the carapace is for the Adrenal Gland (I had to carve that thing up to get it to fit properly. They give you the same one as for the Carnifex, and the Hive Tyrant's carapace peaks at a much more acute angle.

The small magnet between the ribs is where I put the Toxin Sacs. This way I don't have to put them on every arm attachment I have.

The small magnet right above the upper arm slot is for the Extended Carapace.

Below, you can see the model with those three smaller magnet slots occupied with their biomorphs:

Yay for options!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shades of Sand

I generally try to have my basing be distinct army to army. It should offer the right effect and the right color-scheme. Sometimes, it's hard to think of how to make things look different. I'll give you a run-down of the basing schemes I have in mind by army:

SM/Dark Angels: Marble Tile + rubble
Eldar: Autumn lawn
Chaos SM: Grey concrete + rubble (adds to the muted effect)
Daemons: Lava bases
Orks: Reddish-yellow sand, rocks and junk.
Tyranids: Barren, brown, lifeless dirt.
Necrons: Desert sand
Tau: Snow + sparse grass
Imperial Guard: Industrial street/sidewalk, occasional rubble
Dark Eldar: Moon-scape
Witchunters/Daemon Hunters: I want to wait until we know if they get separate codexes before I put too much thought into this.

You'll notice that quite a few of those involve rocks/sand; Orks, Tyranids, Dark Eldar and Necrons. Currently I'm working on basing my Tyranids (while painting up another Ork unit for the poll. Damn you guys really like Orks) so I thought I would run a test on some basing sand with a few different washes to see if I could get distinct effects.

The end result was interesting to me, and I thought you all would like to see it. I sectioned it out so you know what wash was used where.
The Devlan Mud is extremely dark, and it's what I went with for Tyranids. I did, however, decide to follow it up with a drybrush of Bubonic Brown to lighten it up just a bit. I think I'll use Gryphon Sepia for the Orks.

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Painted Chaos Lord

He's done! My Black Legion Chaos Lord will destroy you all! ... at least he sure looks like he will. He's easily one of my more menacing looking models, and the paint-job didn't diminish that any. Please note that the SM helmet and Tyranid skull have been painted to match my other armies. That's right - things are getting personal.

I've seen a lot of tutorials on how to paint black armor. Most of them involve simply highlighting the edges with shades of grey. For my Chaos Marines, that looks far too clean. While that is a direction I would go for Black Templars or DA Ravenwing, for my Black Legion we need a less pristine look. The black armor areas were basecoated in Charadon Granite. It's a very deep brownish Gray. It won't look right at first, you just gotta believe. Follow it up with a healthy dose of Badab Black wash. This will make it almost black, yet still allow you some depth that you wouldn't get by just highlighting edges off of a black basecoat. Now, when the wash is dry, highlight the edges with Codex Grey.

All gold details were extremely simple. It was just Shining Gold followed by a very heavy Devlan Mud wash. That's it. My metals and Reds were also followed by a Devlan Mud wash. It has ended up muting his entire color scheme, which is awesome for him. I wanted him to look ancient and antique, and this is what it has done.

His cape was Mechrite Red. I painted the border trim and the central design in Dheneb Stone. Eye pupil was black. After I painted these things, I first washed it all in Devlan Mud. Following that, I gave it a few thin layers of a very watered down Codex Grey. I wanted this to look like an old, faded and tattered tapestry. After the color was muted sufficiently, I gave a little more watered down grey along the edges and bottom to really bring that faded and tattered image out.

Oh yeah, and did I mention he's magnetized?

I also magnetized the shoulder-pads separate from the arms. Why? So I can replace his normal shoulder-pads with ones bearing a specific god's mark:

I currently only have one for Khorne. I need to order some more blank pads. Also, I'm debating swapping this one out for one of the Khorne-specific termainator pads offered by Forgeworld. I'll let you all know if I do go that direction.

Daemon Weapons

Oh, you didn't think I'd make a Chaos Lord and not do daemon weapons, right?
I have plans for making 5 total. One for each god, then one Undivided. Below are the three I have currently done: (Undivided, Nurgle, and Khorne. In that order)

The above weapon is Abaddon's sword Drachnyen. Shame on you if you didn't recognize. ;P
The blade was based in Iyanden Darksun, then washed with Leviathan Purple (weird, I know). I highlighted with 1:1 Iyanden Darksun:Bleached Bone, then with 1:2 ID:BB, then finally a very light highlight of Skull White. I wanted this weapon to look suitably daemonic, yet not use colors typically aligned with the other gods. This left out pink, purple, red, brass, blue, green, brown. Since the undivided icon is usually a yellow circle with 8 arrows, I decided to go yellow.

For Nurgle, I wanted a cool and interesting looking blade. I didn't want to go scythe because GW doesn't make good looking scythes and that's what everyone else does anyways. This sword was taken from the cold dead fingers of a pewter Tomb King with Sword and Shield. It was based in Tin Bitz, drybrushed with Boltgun Metal, then washed in Thraka Green and Devlan Mud. I mixed together some Blazing Orange with Bestial Brown, sprinkled in some baking soda and applied that to flat areas as rust. It's a trick I picked up from Santa Cruz Warhammer.

It's not Khorne unless it's an axe. This bad-boy comes from the Chaos Space Marine Khorne Lord. It was based in Brazen Brass, then washed in Baal Red. Then I drybrushed it heavily with a 2:1 mix of Bleached Bone:Mechrite Red and washed it again.

At a later time, I made this Tzeentchian daemon weapon. Check here to see how it was converted.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Painted SM Commander

Finally done painting this guy, and I love him. I built him after I got the new SM Codex so I could have a magnetized commander with as many options as possible. Also, despite my playing this army as vanilla Marines, I still like the DA flavor and fluff ... so he will keep their colors/icons.

Below are some extra gun options. There is a magnet embedded in his wrist so I can swap out these guns.

I'm working on a Combi-Flamer conversion. At the moment, it will probably be the current Commander Combi-Melta with a Flamer head instead of the Melta. Also, I'll need to swap the Bolter barrel with the Flamer barrel so the Bolter isn't firing into the pilot light.

Oh, I also made a Storm Shield for this hand:

I really love how the Storm Shield came out. I like it so much, I'm going to keep it on him while I show you his Melee arm options...

Above is my Relic Blade. It's the large Power Sword off the Champion in the Command Squad box set. In keeping with my love for Dark Angels, I decided that their Relic Blades would be those nifty Obsidian Power Swords they seem to hand out to anyone important. Azrael's sword gave him a +2S, so it makes sense...

And in case you want a Power-sword/Power Fist combo, I gave him the Right handed sword from the Captain in the Assault on Black Reach set:

I hope you like him.
The torso and loincloth come from the Champion in the Command Squad set. His right leg is from a kneeling Space Marine (most of this stuff was bitz ordered). The left leg as well as the Imperial Eagle prop he's got his foot on are from the Special Edition Veteran SM Sergeant that GW's site gave away free with large orders. Head is a Ravenwing Sergeant's head. The large DA icon on his backpack came as sudden inspiration. The wings are from the DA Veterans box set, and I had them attached to his backpack like that for a while before suddenly realizing that if I add a sword it will be a huge DA icon. Score!

All the green armour was basecoated with a 2:1 mix of Dark Angels Green : Knarloc Green. (It'll come out very bright, I know) It was followed up with a Badab Black wash. This brought the brightness down to where I wanted it, while also giving a shading/depth element. Edges were highlighted with Knarloc Green.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Switching to Disqus

This is a test post. Hopefully, if this works not only will we have Disqus comments from here on out, but I will not have lost any of my prior comments.

Also, new Orks post last night! I don't want to steal it's thunder by posting a test post immediately afterwards, so go check it out. :)

Edit: While the Template upload went smoothly, I don't seem to be able to post a comment to this post. Anyone out there have any suggestions for me as to what may have gone wrong? Shoot me an email, please.

Edit 2: Tried saving the template to the hard drive as an xml, then clearing cookies and uploading instead of manually editing the Blogger window. I got an error: bX-2qsmc9

I've sent a few emails to Disqus for help. So far, there's been no word. Slightly more success posting my problem on Disqus' support thread. I got one reply asking for an emailed copy of the template. I sent it yesterday. Hopefully this gets resolved soon.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ork Boyz


Now that that's out of the way, let's check out our most basic Orks Troops Unit: Boyz.

WS 4, BS 2, S 3, T4, W 1, I 2, A 2, Ld 7, Sv 6+

Ork Boyz cost 6pts/model. A mob can have 10-30 Boyz (60-180 pts.) That's a very low point cost. You're looking at outnumbering a Marine army ~3:1 on average with a Troops choice like this. That's amazing. Toughness of 4 will help to keep the casualties down, despite the lack of real armor. WS 4 and A 2 are what should really be standing out to you. These guys are one of the best Close Combat units in the game, point-for-point.

Mob Rule
This allows you to (in case of a required Leadership Test) replace your Ld 7 with the number of Boyz still alive in your mob. This is great movitation for maximizing your mob to 30 Boyz. If 11 or more are still alive, the mob is Fearless!

Furious Charge
When your Boyz charge into assault, they get +1 S and +1 I for that first round. That would make the mob of up to 30 Orks hit with S 4. I hope you're never on the recieving end of this.

Once per game, the Ork player can declare a Waaagh! during his Shooting Phase. All of his units with this rule get Fleet of Foot for the rest of the turn. Fleet of Foot!

... so, to sum up: You have a group of 30 Orks that can Fleet during a Waaagh!, hitting you 4 times/model (assuming Slugga/Choppa) with WS 4, S4 ... and they're Fearless until below half strength! And all for only 6 pts/model. THIS is why they are one of the best Close Combat units in the game.


This is their standard Pistol + Close Combat Weapon arrangement.

Free replacement for the Slugga/Choppa, in case you want to go the shooty route with your Boyz. Shootas are 18" S4, AP6, Assault 2. Now, if you remember the Boyz' stat lines, you'll remember that their BS is only 2. That really sucks. However, Imagine 30 Shootas (60 shots) at S4 ... not as bad as before. In addition to this, if you do decide to assault someone, you're not completely at a loss without the Slugga/Choppa; you're only -1A per model. They're still hitting 3 times/model on the charge, and with all the other goodies mentioned above!

Big Shoota/Rokkit Launcha
For every ten Boyz in the mob, you can have one replace his gear for one of these. A Big Shoota is 5pts, and is 36" S5, AP5 Assault 3. This added range could help out a lot if your intention is to park this mob on a mid-field Objective, or even the longer-range Objectives. Rokkit Launchas are 10pts, and are 24" S8, AP3 Assault 1. Great power, decent range, but a low rate of fire for a BS2 model. Again, as before, enough of these are bound to off-set the high miss-rate ... but at 10pts/Rokkit Launcha, they'll burn up your points fast.

'Ard Boyz
One mob of Boyz per army can upgrade to 'Ard Boyz. This gives the mob a 4+ armour save. It's also an additional 4pts/model. This would make a 30-ork mob cost 300 points.

While costing an additional 10 points before wargear upgrades, a Nob is as expensive as a Space Marine ... and he gets S4 and A3 in his stat-line. Considering Furious Charge, these guys hit like freight trains. Give them Power Klaws (+25 points) to really deliver the hurt.

Your friendly dedicated Transport Vehicles! It's a Fast vehicle, and extremely flimsy (Orks would have it no other way). At 35 points, they're very cheap. The only thing to keep in mind is the maximum capacity of 12 models. If you take a Trukk, you will lose the benefit of Mob Rule very quickly in exchange for possibly getting to the enemy faster. There is safety in numbers (and you can make this work for you both ways...).

Foot-slogging your Boyz will allow you to take advantage of 30-man mobs of Fearless T4 Orks. They're quite survivable, especially if you take 3 or more full mobs. On the other hand, Trukking your Boyz will mean each mob is less survivable, and in a very vulnerable vehicle to boot. To off-set this vulnerability, take 4 or more Trukk mobs. While one Trukk is very easy for your opponent to neutralize, 4 or more will make them sweat for sure.

Comparin' the Boyz to da Rest

Ah, grots. They're only 3 pts/model, and have miserable stats. As with Boyz, you can have a mob of up to 30. Are they better than Boyz? Hell no. They suck in Close Combat, and their BS3 goes to waste on 12" guns, putting them in danger of being assaulted. So what are they good at? Meat-shields. If you're foot-slogging your Boyz, running a mob of Gretchin in front of them as a meat-shield is the best thing you can do with them. Your opponent doesn't really want to shoot at the Gretchin, he/she'll know that the real threat is your Boyz ... but if he doesn't shoot the Gretchin first, your Boyz will have a 4+ Cover Save. It's like taking the 'Ard Boyz upgrade, only for fewer points!!! It's a grot's life.

Nobz/MegaNobz/Biker Nobz
If you have included a Warboss as one of your HQ choices, you can have one Nobz, MegaNobz, or Biker Nobz unit count as a Troops Choice. This would put them in the same class as Boyz. Are they better than Boyz? Yeah. Pretty much anything the Boyz can do, these guys just do it better, and harder. They're extremely expensive, though ... so that one unit can't really invalidate the use of Boyz totally.

Deff Dread
If you have included a Big Mek as one of your HQ choices, you can have one Deff Dread count as a Troops choice. Deff Dreads can be geared for nearly any role, and if given a pair of Big Shootas, your one Troop-Deff-Dread could easily sit back while your Objective-capturing units hit the mid-field and Opponent's DZ Objectives... If you're considering having it be a close up unit, it may prove to be a bit more vulnerable than a good-sized mob of Boyz, with only a 12 AC on the Front and Sides. While vehicles have gotten a slight buff with 5th edition, it's still quite possible to take out with a single heavy hit. While the Dread can be taken as a Troops choice, the reason it really doesn't compete with a unit of Boyz is that as a vehicle it can't capture objectives.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Painted "her" a while ago...

and never got around to actually posting the results. Check her out:

Skin tones were done similar to my daemonettes. Pretty much everything about this model was me playing around with the washes. As you can see, they work really well.

I need to get moving on painting more of the daemons I got lying around. There's a Beast of Nurgle and some Bloodletters I really want to try my hand at.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Alaitoc Guardians

Finished painting a box of Guardians. The gun on the platform is removable, all of the available guns are painted.

The Guardians were basecoated in Mordian Blue, then washed with Badab Black. The armour was brightened up with a watered down Enchanted Blue, then highlighted with Ice Blue.
Helmets were basecoated in Iyanden Darksun, washed in Devlan Mud, then worked up to a bright yellow with multiple layers of watered down Sunburst Yellow.

I can't wait to get a game going, so I can test them out on the battlefield.
Also, I have an Eldar Windrider Host to paint up. The Autarch is done, but I need to paint the 2 Vipers, 9 Jetbikes, and the 3 Shrieker Jetbikes I bought to go with them.

Wish me luck :)
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