Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Return of She Who Milks! (part 2)

The Dairy Cow of Love continues to be colored.

I used Apple Barrel English Blue on the 'black leather' areas. I think this gives the leather a slightly worn look about it.  Also I base coated the metal circular plates that form a belt and that hang on her back with Burnished Gold.

Leather and gold.
Next I washed the Burnished Gold with Chestnut Ink. Then I basecoatws the armout with an old Citadel Metallic pianted called Amethyst Purple.

Chestnut Ink on Burnished Gold. Amethyst Purple armor.
I applied the Amethyst Purple to the armor on her head as well as repeated the color steps for the gold trim. I started to work on the horns and teeth at this step also.

Coloring the head.
Shining Gold was added as a highlight to the gold. I then drybrushed Mitheril Silver on top of the Amethyst Purple.

Mitheril Silver drybrused over Amethyst Purple.
A wash of 1:1 water/Druchii Violet was applied over the armor. I really like how vibrant this made the armor appear and I am quite pleases with it.

Druchii Violet wash on the armour.
I finished the horns and teeth bringing the bone color up to a white highlight. Finally I painted Mitheril Silver on all the spikes, buckles and sharp things that appear across this miniature, of which there are many. 

Mitheril Silver spikes.
Next, I have the base to paint up before relocating this model onto it. That will be covered in part 3.

Turret base primed and ready for part 3...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Return of She Who Milks! (Part 1)

Of all the sinister rogues in my collection, is there one as vile or as feared as She Who Milks? First revealed to the world many years (and 40k game editions) ago in a joyous Battle Against the Exodites, this vile fiend has only made a few appearances on tabletop, and this blog, since that time. "She" is an original Rogue Trader era model that has sadly remained in a semi-state of neglect.  I recently found her in a case all by herself and I lamented upon her rediscovery that I never finished painting her or any of my Slaaneshi models. Furthermore I thought how sad it is that as these models are slowly being redone in plastic that these original Greater Daemons are shrinking in size and relevance.

Dwarf Flesh basecoat.
That same day I happened to stop at one of the local gaming stores and bought a box of the new Hero Bases. The biggest base has a destroyed tank turret which can be used as a pedestal. I immediately thought that this would be a great way to redo She Who Milks. So above you can see the two models together.  She Who Milks is wearing that same basecoat that has been on that model for well over a decade now. I had a Dwarf Flesh basecoat on her which I was going to bring up to a pinky-fleshy color. (This was getting away from the temptation to paint her like a black and white dairy cow, as even I thought that would be just too damn silly).  I was going to copy a scheme from a model I had seen in White Dwarf at the time but I must have lost interest as other projects (and real life) no doubtfully pulled me away.

In the beginning  (i.e. the late '80s) Slaaneshi daemons were painted in a wide variety of disturbing and unsettling pastel colors. They were freaky. When the '90s rolled around they started to use caucasian flesh tones which looked disturbing also but a bit boring. In more recent times the purple-hued color the GW painters have been using for their Daemonettes has grown on me and I decided I wanted to give it a go. But I didn't know how they were doing it until I found Duncan's tutorial on Warhammer TV.

They start off by priming the model in Mechanicum Grey. Not having that paint, I decided to skip that and just paint the next color over the Dwarf Flesh.

Warpfiend Grey layer.
I painted Warpfiend Flesh over all the skin and the claws. The claws were already basecoated black and since I want them to be darker anyway I thought this would work out well.

Double-coat of Druchii Violet.
Next I applied 2 coats of Druchii Violet, and added another coat to the claws for a deeper tone.

After that I decided to deviate from the tutorial (it's just a guideline after all) and use a deeper color they have called, appropriately, Daemonette Hide.

Daemonette Hide coat.
Being that there is a lot more skin on this thing than there is on a typical Daemonette, it made a lot of sense to me to have an extra layer of tone.  I think worked it out nicely.

Warpfiend Grey applied again. 
After that, I got back to the script and added another layer of Warpfiend Grey. 

Slaanesh Grey top layer. 
Finally topping that off with Slaanesh Grey. Duncan suggested on the Daemonette to use this color as a highlight. Again, being the size that this model is, I chose to be a bit more liberal with this layer.

Slaanesh Grey/White mix highlight 
 And then I added a layer, in a highlight fashion, of a Slaanesh Grey / White mix. This I thought really did the trick. The model had a few small bumps which I wasn't sure what they were supposed to be... zits? Warts? I just painted them White and moved on. I Also added the slightest white highlights on some of the top-most areas of the minature. In particular I made sure to make the knuckles on the clinched fist white to perhaps accentuate the power behind that flex.

Black leggings.
In the end I decided to make She Who Milks wear black lingerie. I figure it would constrast better than anything else. Also any other color could throw off the entire model's vibe. And a clawed pinkish hermaphrodite cow demon has to have the proper vibe, yes?

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Celestial Lions Land Speeder (Part 1)

As an option for my Celestial Lions Kill Team I wanted a Land Speeder in lieu of having just a Tactical Squad. I knew before I began that I wanted to magnetize this vehicle for gun options. I also knew that I didn't want to use the Typhoon launchers as that's the most expensive (in-game) option. This piece would be interchangeable between a standard Land Speeder and a Land Speeder Tornado.

This was actually the prime motivation behind this whole Celestial Lions project and it was the first thing I started on. Back ib December, I primed the whole kit while it was still attached to it's frames using Krylon Gold.

Primed sprues.
After just over a month I returned to this model confident that I had a renewed grasp on the Celestial Lions paint scheme. Now this is the original model that came in the 40k 3rd ed starter box.  It is somewhat notorious for being a model that doesn't like to go together without a fight. Having built one of these before, I know that it takes patience, skill, rubberbands and plenty of plastic cement.

Stage one, with magent hole.
At this point I figured out where I wanted the hull mounted magnet to go. I simply eye-balled it and carved out a hole using my X-acto blade. I made the hole big enough for the smaller magnets, that will be on the guns, to fit through where they'll contact the larger magnet superglued within.

Large magnet superglued over small hole.
On to the painting, where I picked out all the areas that needed a black basecoat. Next, I applied Chestnut Ink to all the grooves and recesses on the main hull and the lower assembly.

Test fit. 
Next I had to decide which weapons to use for my load out options. I chose the multimelta from the 2nd edtion era Land Speeder and the heavy flamer from the Space Marine Attack Bike which is also from that time.

Old enough to be relics.

The magnets I am using are seriously strong and in the event that the superglue were ever to fail I would likely not be able fix it again due to the way this kit goes together. So I decided to glue a piece of sprue over and around the magnet for extra security.

Sprue cage over the manget.

With the sprue cage set and the magnets glued, I am happy to show that this appears like it will work perfectly!

Heavy Flamer option.

Multimelta option.

I have another weapon (or two...maybe. the debate continues) that I would like to add to these options, but for now I feel like we can move on with the painting and assembly. And since this post is now long enough, we shall leave those steps for part 2!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Cypher beat down.

Burning ...for you. 
The Bob and I decided to play a full game of 40K, and we had so much full with chasing Cypher that we thought we should do another Cypher mission. This time we played Turn the Tide. The idea being that the aggressors have more-or-less ambushed Cypher and his minions as they were doing whatever it is they were doing, and they have him back against the proverbial wall until help arrives. This one has a rather unique deployment which I found exciting and challenging.You can see in the map that I get to set up in that gray corner and he gets to set up 12" away in the other three quadrants. 
How the deployment works is that I essentially split my force, and if the aggressors, in this case Bob's Dark Angels, can destroy the force that I started the game with, then he'll get the big share of VPs (6 VPs in fact) whereas if I have survivors, I would get them. The big catch is that my Reserves don't arrive until Turn 4. Oddly enough the other Special Rule, Backs Against the Wall, forces broken units to auto-rally when they hit the board edge. 

 Sadly my camera phone was acting buggy today and as a result I barely had enough power to review the Cypher Dataslate and could take just two pics. Bob took a lot of great pics which I hope he'll show on his blog soon (update: and here it is). Therefore I won't be doing my typical  battle report but instead giving you a brief summery. 

We totally forgot to check for Night Fighting, which might have helped me in the first turn. The Dark Angels hit me hard with a sledgehammer-like alpha strike that saw my Black Legion unit all but wiped out. Only the Aspiring Champion survived, and of course my dice chose that moment to start rolling high and he broke harder than my first car and ran screaming for the table edge where he would ultimately rally before being picked off (by a Krak missile!).

Bob has some great shots of the Ravenwing attacking Cypher. Cypher and his Fallen goons dove out of their Land Raider to vaporize the bikers, however the Sgt and the Attack BIke survived and pulled back to make room for the two units of Deathwing that 'ported in on Turn 2. In short, only a wounded Cypher survived that hail of bullets and he dove back into the Landraider. On Turn 3 that surviving Attack Bike rolled up and lanced the Landraider like a boil with it's multimelta, leaving an exasperated Cypher sitting in a crater. 

The bottom of Turn 3 saw me trying to cobble together some sort of force with which to survive Bob's next turn. The Vinidicator, which couldn't roll a HIT on the scatter dice if I had bribed it to do so, was ultimately wrecked (see top pic). 

The final stand for Cypher saw him being captured, again, while the rest of his goons were all executed. And this was done before my Turn 4, denying me my reinforcements (a Chaos Champ on a Juggernaut and a squad of Khorne Berserkers).

It was a fun game despite my abysmal dice rolling in the beginning, and a fun scenario. Very challenging. I would like to try it again I think, but with a more hardier army composition. In the game victory was very much absolute so we didn't bother with VPs (and I doubt I earned any regardless!).

Anyway, I was trying to pressure Bob to write out a battle report, or a least a photo dump with play-by-play comments, on his blog. Especially since it's been awhile since he last posted on it. And if he does, as promised, I'll link it back here. (Update: Here it is)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Celestial Lions Kill Team ( icons)

As any dedicated Celestial Lion Player (assuming you can find one) will tell you, there isn't much at all in the way of official visual reference for this Chapter. We have the image above, taken from the old 3rd War of Armageddon campaign website, and the artwork in and on the cover of the Armageddon omnibus from the Black Library. Prior to the Armadeddon Black Library novel the only official background source (that I know of) was from the old Armageddon 3 site. Using the Wayback Machine site I was able to explore that old campaign site. It was a very cool support page and it was a lot of fun to use and access during that campaign back in the summer of '00. I took a few snips from that site to show you the Celestial Lions stuff. Again, it isn't much:

Found via the Wayback Machine*,  the Armageddon 3 website.

The original and official story of the Celestial Lions.
Miniatures are an even a worse scenario, as I believe there has never been an official painted example featured in a GW publication (although there have been fan -and I think WD staff?- models showcased but those are super rare). Which leads to a question of iconography. We are presented with two different shoulder pads, one showing a colored in lion's head looking straight-on:

Straight on!
...and the other in a more traditional monotone icon of a lion's head in profile I assumed this is the Chapter's icon as it appears on the left shoulder pad. .

Chapter Icon
Another prominent icon is this symbol that appears on the leg. I assume this is a Campaign Badge, which is something the Game Design/ 'eavy Metal team used to put on all of the marines back in the '90s. These seem to have fallen out of fashion in the same way that Goblin Green bases have but I still like to put them on my Space Wolves.

Interestingly the Armageddon 3 site doesn't give us any more info on this campaign badge. But this other image that I found does, and it says it's for the Fire Wastes Army Group North. Makes sense as this is the area that the Celestial Lions Chapter was stationed on Armageddon, and the place of their fall. I haven't decide yet whether or not I want to include this on my models. 

No idea where this is from. White Dwarf Index Astartes article perhaps?
This next pair of images are far more recent. both are from the Armageddon book. 

This image doesn't reveal much at all in the way of iconography, only that this particular Chapter Icon is the lion head looking straight-on as opposed to a profile. It's nice, but not particularly helpful. It does show the blue on their armor as being darker, which is also how I originally interpreted it from the old Armageddon 3 site as well. Often when I see other people's painted Celestial Lions they tend to paint the blue as a turquoise, which looks great as well, but not how I thought it looked on the original site.

The painting used for the cover of Armageddon.
Above is the painting used on the Armageddon two-story collection. The second story in this collection, Blood and Fire, is also available as an ePub download on it's own and has it's own cover.  It shows the Celestial Lion a lot more prominently and, of interest to me, it reveals his right shoulder pad as using the traditional upward pointing arrow that has been associated with Space Marine Tactical Squads in accordance to the Codex Astartes. The arrow on that cover is painted gold as well. 

Believe it or not, that last bit is quite a revelation!

What follows next goes back over a decade to when I first considered doing the Celestial Lions as an army. I decided that I wanted to hand-paint the lion icon onto the marine shoulder pads. One day, I found myself in a car dealer's waiting room waiting for an oil change and I had my sketch book handy. I worked up some sketches. This next image is roughly how I decided I wanted the icon on my guys to look like. 

Profile sketch. 
Another sketch had me putting stars into the dark blue, which I thought might look bad-ass. Also it really plays up the "celestial' aspect of this Chapter in addition to it just being their name.

Starfield idea. 
This next crude sketch was more working out the icon on the armor.

Crude but effective. 
After doodling about in the sketchbook I was inspired to approach my first project for the Celestial Lions. And here he is: 

I painted him in what felt like record time and entered him into a local painting competition. (He came in 2nd!). I used the forward looking straight on image of the lion for the banner, and hand painted the chapter icon onto the appropriate shoulder.

So now, as I work on my Celestial Lions Kill Team I found myself considering whether or not I wanted to make the icon mono color like a traditional Chapter Icon, or color it in simple colors like I did for the Terminator Captain. After much consideration I decided to make it hard on myself and repeat the image from the Captain's armor. Below you can see the earliest stages of my efforts to make this happen.

It's a lot of work and takes a lot of focus, but I hope it works out well for me in the end. Since I am not going to do much more for this army beyond a Kill Team, I figured the extra effort couldn't hurt. Now if I had a full 2K army to paint, I definitely would have looked into getting unique decals made!

The Wayback Machine. It doesn't always work though.

The first nine images in this post are Copyright Games Workshop and are used here for the purposes of review and not as a challenge to their individual copyrights. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Polar Skirmish

 The Bob and I got in another Kill Team game. Again we went with Dark Eldar vs. Dark Angels. Just to break up the monotony we decided to play on our local store's snow board. After searching for as many scenery pieces that we thought went with it best, we set up a board that we felt was simple and pleasing to our eyes (and the camera).

Next we selected a mission, and we decided to keep playing these in the order that the missions are presented in the Kill Team book. Being our third Kill Team mission against each other, we logically chose #3: Head Hunt. Both sides are tasked to eliminate the other side's leader. Back in December I played this scenario against Screech's nids but that proved to be a total debacle due to their Instinctive Behavior rolls. But he did manage to snuff out my leader! This game would be a bit more of a typical encounter without so much confusion and mass routes.

Dark Eldar deployment, left flank.

Dark Eldar deployment,  total quadrant. 
Having tissue paper for armor against those Space Marine bolters it only made sense that the Dark Eldar would be placed in cover. The marines did likewise, but more to avoid LOS from my Reaping Splinter Cannon than any real fear of my weapons AP.

Dark Angels deployment.

He failed to Seize the Initiative so I went first. With exception to a few strategic moves, the Dark Eldar mostly stood their ground and fired their weapons. They killed 2 Marines in the first round of firing which I thought was a pretty good start.

1st round shooting
The Dark Angels in cover returned fire, while the other half of their force marched toward the ruined cathedral in search of their target.

Dark Angels 1st Round advance
Dark Eldar Turn 2, and it was obvious that the Dark Angels would need to have their advance cut off. I sent 3 DE out to intercept them: the Sybarite, the Shedder and the female without a helmet.

Xenos meet The Unforgiven on Turn 2..
One of the marines was taken out by a shot from the Sybarite's fusion pistol, while the shredder scattered wildly. The DE charged, but the shredder was killed by Overwatch. The Sybarite easily snuffed her foe (her trait allows her to wound on 2+) and she consolidated away from the fight in a vain effort to seek cover away from the vengeful bolters what would be turned her way. The female was locked in combat, saved by a Feel No Pain roll of a 6!

Kill Spree! Note that we decided to leave the dead for dramtic effect.

As expected, on their Turn 2 the Dark Angels gunned down the Sybarite. The rest leaving their companion to continue to wrestle with the DE woman while they proceeded back to their task of headhunting.

Elsewhere the Dark Eldar and Dark Angels traded more fire with each other.

The Hunt Continues

Turn 3, I moved the leader to higher ground and deeper cover while I had moved 3 DE Warriors down to the lower level to intercept the Dark Angels. However their efforts were laughable as the vengeful Dark Angels stormed the cathedral.  One Kabalite-warrior was melted in plasma fire while another was cut down by the fierce aggression of the Dark Angel Vet. Sgt. Leader himself!

Turn 3, Dark Angels storm the ruins!

Attack from above.
The DA leader Consolidated up a level in his persuit of the DE leader. On Turn 4 the DE now had Furious Charge as part of their Power Through Pain, and it was clear to me that the time to hide and run was over. The DE leader fired a splinter pistol into the Vet Sgt's head but luckily for him his armor deflected it.

A close quarters duel!
Then she dived down at him in an impressive charge. The Furious Charge helped and the Vet. Sgt was defeated.

The Dark Angel leader is defeated, the DE leader consolidates.

By this point, after much back and forth only one Dark Angel remained in the opposite ruins while the other half of the team had cleared the lower levels of the ruined cathedral of xenos scum.

A duel that started on Turn 2 finally ends on Turn 5!
We were starting to wonder if the melee that had started on Turn 2 was turning into something  a bit more inappropriate when finally on Turn 5 the Dark Angel bested his Dark Eldar foe.

With the Dark Eldar Lesder hiding on the top of the cathedral out of LOS of the Dark Angels on the ground, they turned their attention to the Kabalite-warriors who had left their positions in the other ruins and were now sneaking outside of the ruined cathedral. They opened up on the silhouettes and shadows of the xenos killing one of them.

Killing silhouettes. 
Having finally eliminated the last Dark Angel from the other ruins last turn, the Splinter Cannon looked for targets in the cathedral seeing the perfect shot through the windows. Impressive though this was, the Astartes made his save.

Reaping through the windows!
This next pic is the result of me trying to see if the Dark Angel had LOS to the DE Leader on the top of the cathedral, as to me I thought he did. But the camera proved otherwise.

LOS test.

It didn't matter though, as another Dark Angel had made his way up there and shot her, fullfilling his mission objective and getting revenge for his Veteran Sergeant.

In the pic below, you can see way down below in the opposite ruins a lone Dark Eldar Warrior breaking through the enemy lines.

The Dark Eldar leader falls!

It was a very good game! But we didn't realize just how tight things actually were until we tallied our VPs.

Dark Eldar VPs
First Blood 1
Missile Launcher (Specialist) 1
Leader 3
Break Enemy  1
Linebreaker 1
= 7 VPs

Dark Angels
Leader 3
Sybarite  (Specialist) 1
Shredder (Specialist) 1
Break Enemy 1
Linebreaker 1
= 7 VPs

-A true tie!

Thanks again Bob, looking forward to more Kill Team games soon!