Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sherman Firefly (part three)

Over the past few weeks I have found an evening or two to dabble more on this model. Most importantly I have made the decision to add a highlight layer to the Sherman Firefly. Although this layer wouldn't exist in real life, it looks right on the model and helps pull out some detail when one looks upon it.

I used a color from an old Epic paint set, called Jungle Green, and it works very well with Tamiya Color Olive Drab 2  (TS-28) spray paint. I applied this somewhat thinly, to hint the highlight more than to overwhelm the Olive Drab coat.

These two pics show these results up to this point. Not obvious in these pics are the detail that I painted on the bottom of the barrel, which I assume it a sort of camouflage to disguise the true length of the barrel, so that at first sight, the tank might be mistaken as a standard Sherman tank. 

And yes, you can see in the next pic, the construction of my infantry units is indeed taking place! They are sure to earn their own post soon.

These next pics are some real-world examples I found online. I chose these as the inspiration, or justification, for where to place the decals on this model. And to also justify my choice of painting in solid colors.
Photo swiped from Wikimedia Commons

Another photo swiped from Wikimedia Commons
Those are just two of the photos I found, but the next few pics show the decals going on. Also note that I chose to take these next few pics in natural lighting as I was finding that the harsher light of my painting table lamp was distorting the color a bit, and you can now see in the pics below that the model is painted in a darker tone closer to the real thing.

This last pic shows the completed model!
(Yes is it actually happens).

I dry brushed some Sandstone brown to to dirty up the tracks and the lower hull, and satisfied, I stick the proverbial fork in this model.

The next Bolt Action project will be the British Infantry...tally ho!

Bonus: Here is a great historical overview of the Sherman Firefly: -guide-sherman-firefly.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Wolf and Treachery Transmissions

While poking around on my computer a few nights ago I stumbled upon this old file that contains an example of the type of background immersion that some of us like to do locally. What follows is a series of 'fluffy' e-mails sent back and forth between Da Masta Cheef and myself, revolving around getting me and my Space Wolves into battle (Ok, to get me to show up to a game!). This was during the 5th Edition of Warhammer 40K (probably my favorite of the post 2nd ed era) and the Space Wolf codex had just come out and I had yet to get a game in with them. We've gotten a kick out of writing these kind of things, this one in particular, and Cheef still brings up the humbling of poor Sven every chance he gets. We were scheduled to have a battle against Warfrog's Eldar, but circumstances (once AGAIN) prevented me from going.

Cheef started this whole exchange off by rubbing in the fact that I abandoned him, and well, I took the bait and the ball was rolling from there...

From: Da Masta Cheef
To: Neverness
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 8:10 PM

You, the deluded follower of the so-called 'Corpse-God',

The accursed Eldar have issued challenge to the Mighty Guar Sek (He who's voice drowns out all others), and he has demanded their annihilation! Even now my forces muster @ the 1500 point mark. Our spies have become aware of your approach and I laid plans for a multi-pronged assault. However the vile Xenos have arrogantly declared (as they are want to do) that they can 'easily match' our combined assault! To fight along side followers of the Corpse-God is an abomination! However there is rumor of the recent publication of a tome, in which it is said your Space Dogs fought alongside the blessed forces of demon-kind. So such actions are not without precedent. As an act of 'good faith' (such as it is), I ordered the ritual sacrifice of one of our Preachers (his entrails were feasted upon by our rogue psykers this very day). In his place shall stand the infamous Rogue Inquisitor known as the Khorne Dog. His appearance will be quite familiar to you and the mutants you call Wolfen. Attached to my command squad he will forward my communications to you, saving me the disgrace of having to directly communicate with so-called 'Loyalists' on the glorious field of battle. The Stinking Bishop (also formerly of the Inquisition) has also offered to grace us with his presence should it be required, along with a 250 point contingent of his followers.

May your closed minds be opened to the righteousness of our cause! May you turn from the Corpse-God to follow the TRUE Gods of War! The Gods of CHAOS!

Disrespectfully yours,

Colonel Extra-Hand Straken

728th, Sabbat Irregulars

From: Neverness Date: Friday, October 9, 2009, 11:18 AM

FAO: Master-General Styker of Departento Munitorium
RECEIVED: Scintilla
TELEPATHIC DUCT: Astropath-terminus: Loki
AUTHOR: Wolfpriest Jorvik
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The sharpest tooth gnaws the hardest bone.
First off, let us apologize profusely for our impending tardiness to the war zone we were requested to support. Our navigator, being of stout constitution for one of his kind, thought he'd join the Long Fangs down in the cantina of our Battle-Barge, the Kraken's Maw, for a few rounds of mead. Not fully comprehending the strength of a beverage that can actually cause a buzz in even a Space Wolf, the navigator was still highly inebriated when summoned to duty. This is how our Battle Barge is stuck in the wrong Segmentum, awaiting the passing of a minor warpstorm, which should get us to the battle about a fortnight from now. Still reasonably quick as far as warpstorms are concerned, but we feel this may greatly impede your progress in the campaign so we wanted to alert you to the reason, and fact, of our tardiness so you don't start off on some foolhardy campaign expecting us to make a dramatic entrance on the nth hour; This will not happen! So, hold the lines you have, we are coming, just not on the night you expect.

*A scene from the cited battle with Warfrog's Eldar
I would also like to enlighten you about these xenos, the eldar. We have engaged this particular craftworld before, and unlike the rest of their skippy and dancey brethren, this is a vile and tricky lot. Be particularly aware of their snipers, fore they brought low many a wolf brother in our last engagement*, Also beware of two sets of warriors, the Dire Avengers and Swooping Hawks. On the former, they have the firepower to obliterate any unguarded foe who stands before them. Of the later, be aware of their bombing runs, as they can wipe units of guardsmen with a single pass. Make sure they grasp the concept of `going to ground' or else you will forfeit their asset to you entirely. 

A further note if you will; Wolf Lord Sven is concerned with a communication sent out by your field general, whose sense of humor disturbs us greatly. Signed `Col. `Extra-hands' Straken, this prankster has unwittingly sewn his own demise with a missive laced with heresies, blasphemies, and plain insults. Find with this transmission a copy of said missive and review. We expect that this individual will be removed from the theater of battle prior to our arrival, or by Russ we will be forced to take matters into our hands.

From: Da Masta Cheef Date: Saturday, October 10, 2009 12:28 PM
Awww, you're bailing? BAD Puppy! No biscuit! lol, too funny actually. I knew you'd be 'geek' enough to appreciate my preceding message.

From: Da Masta Cheef Date: Saturday, October 10, 2009, 10:44 PM

." damn it! Serg....Mossad, Rifles. This is f......he Mighty Sek wh.........ioce drow......others........been aveng.....!! Eldar Comma......dead, enemy inf.........lling back to their li......walkers out ther..3 or 4......issiles..... All our Inf.....ead, all dead. I'm the only o.........rtillery still entren.........op firing to save idea wher.....onel Strak......maybe dead or captu.....t our line holds, can'........other enem....ttack. Will fi.........last!

....geant Mos.....acting Com.........r 
728th Sab.........fles......."

From: Neverness Date: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 10:27 AM

FAO: Master-General Styker of Departento Munitorium
RECEIVED: Scintilla
TELEPATHIC DUCT: Astropath-terminus: Loki
AUTHOR: Wolfpriest Jorvik
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Eateth not the yellow snow.
Good news the warpstorm has passed, and we are now in orbit above the battleworld. We will engage the enemy as soon as Wolf Lord Sven's Thunderwolf gives birth to her pups. We're all gathered in the ship's kennels awaiting their arrival. Should be any day now, hold the line a bit longer and we will descend upon your alien foes and crush them. We've received fractured communications from the planet below, but while adjusting our receiver unit, Iron Priest Woton found a channel that plays nothing but old concerto standards. We believe these sounds will help sooth the Wolf Lord's Thunderwolf during her birthing, so we have it piping through the whole ship.

By the way, we want to know if that heretic Straken has been dealt with yet? If not, we need meat for the wolf pups...

Wolf Lord Sven, ready and willing to assist in puppy birth.

From: Da Masta Cheef Date: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 7:44 PM

FAO: Wolfpriest Jorvik
AUTHOR: Inquisitor Kemp, Ordo Hereticus
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It is not your right to question, only to obey.
There is no Colonel by the name of 'Extra hands' Straken, nor a 728th Sabbat Irregulars listed within the ranks of the Emperor's most glorious Imperial Guard. Further inquiries as to the identities of those you have mentioned above has garnered the attention of the Ordo Hereticus. As such I have taken command of this investigation and am aboard my cruiser 'Interrogator' which is en route to rendezvous with your strike cruiser for further investigation. You and your crew will stand down and submit to MY authority upon my arrival, and will cooperate fully with any 'cleansing' operations should they be necessary. The thought of the Astartes being so easily misguided by, if not outright consorting with the ruinous powers is one that shall be quashed with much haste & vigor!

The Emporer Protects.

Inquisitor Kemp

-Ordo Hereticus-

From: Neverness

FAO: Inquisitor Kemp, Ordo Hereticus
RECEIVED: Scintilla
TELEPATHIC DUCT: Astropath-terminus: Loki
AUTHOR: Wolfpriest Jorvik
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Men can be replaced, data is precious.
Lord kemp, we are not surprised to once again bear witness to your witless observations and shortsighted determinations with regards to imminent threats to the Imperium we hold dear. Of course "There is no Colonel by the name of 'Extra hands' Straken, nor a 728th Sabbat Irregulars listed within the ranks of the Emperor's most glorious Imperial Guard." It's what they have come to call themselves! Do you honestly think to believe that a group of traitors would resubmit to the Departmento Munitorium a name change after they turn traitor? No, why, in their current guise they can continue to seek requisitions and supplies thus not only draining the Imperial Guard of resources, but by also acting in a manner counter-productive to the aims and wishes of the Administratum. Besides the obvious act of subterfuge, if such a group were bold/stupid enough to attempt such a request, it would take decades for the change to actually occur! We both know that the Administratum is not known for expediency. For example, we're still waiting to hear back on our Request of Censure against you for that decision you made six years ago to pull back the Imperial Guard that we were sent to support against a combined Tau and Necron assault. You stated on the Voxcast that the regional Governor's botanical gardens were to be protected at all costs, leaving us to pursue the routing Tau (we're still happy to have crushed the Necrons in the campaign). When advised against this decision, you had the Guard fire upon our force. If the Tau were not a bigger threat at the time, your bones would be lining our wolf kennels.

Back on the point, `Extra Hands' Straken, and his 728th Sabbat Irregulars, regardless of whether or not you can produce a record of their existence, will be pacified. We welcome you to join us –from a distance- in monitoring their destruction, but if you intend or dare to assume that the sons of Russ will heel to a paper-pushing simpleton, you better not show up with a pack of women this time.

Chewing up Treachery,


From: Da Masta Cheef
Subject: Casualties were heavy.....
To: Neverness
Date: Saturday, October 31, 2009, 11:46 PM

...but the 728th Sabbat Irregulars still managed to hold the accursed Eldar to a draw. The line holds, with the famed Eldrad fleeing before the might of Straken!

It is no wonder that the cowardly Space Puppies, fled before us, refusing to come to battle.


From: Neverness
Subject: Incoming transmission
To: Da Masta Cheef
Date: Sunday, November 8, 2009, 12:19 PM

FAO: Master-General Styker of Departento Munitorium
TELEPATHIC DUCT: Astropath-terminus: Loki
AUTHOR: Wolfpriest Jorvik
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Negotiation is surrender.
On this day were able to confirm the treachery of Lord Kemp on the field of battle. He had allied himself with the despicable heretic Col. ‘Extra’ Hands Straken and the 728th ‘Sabbat Irregulars’. Lord Kemp is often referred to by his own troops as the ‘Khorne Dog’, a sobriquet in and of itself that is affirmation of treachery. Although soundly defeated, during the calamity that ensued on the battle field we were unable to confirm the kill as the pack of wolf brothers that brought down their command squad was subsequently violated with a pungent brew of the most heinous of chemicals ever introduced to a theater of war. Even the heightened metabolism of a Space Marine cannot withstand exposure to this dirtiest of tricks. Beware of this most crude of battlefield ingenuity, as this foul noxious chemical is capable of overwhelming the stoutest of men, and hardiest of respirators. So do put out the alert that we believe these traitors to still be at large, although they will most likely lay low for a while to regroup and heal, they are still undeniably dangerous and corrupting.

To add further insult our Wolf Lord Sven Axegrinder was brought down in close combat, but instead of killing him honorably, they took to stripping him of his sacred armor and applying female undergarments and face-paint and tying him to a statue of the Emperor in a nearby square. They then took to broadcasting this image throughout the local planetary network’s entertainment frequencies. This insult has invigorated our chapter, and we won’t rest until these traitors are forever exterminated.

We’re still looking for the so-called Xenos threat that was the original intent of our dispatch to this system. We’re waiting for more intel, but it would seem that this was a ruse to draw us into an ambush.

And as an aside; To assist in rooting out other potential traitor regiments, do be on the look out for requisitions for large quantities of feather boas; we’re alarmed at how many were found on the corpses of these traitors, and alarmed further that they seemed to have been given as standard issue. Surely tithes could be better allocated to improving the basic wargear of the Imperial Guardsman?


From: Da Masta Cheef
Subject: Incoming transmission
To: Neverness
Date: Sunday, November 9, 2009, 12:43 PM

FAO: Master-General Styker of Departento Munitorium
TRANSMITTED: Carcaradon Cluster
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Interrogation through torture always nets results.
The attached transcript was recorded by an Obsolescent Temple Assassin that is tracking the Heretic unit known as the 728th Sabbat Irregulars. It is believed to be from a command briefing of the Rogue Colonel 'Extra Hands' Straken. Though he survived the encounter, the Assassin's position was compromised, leaving us with only a scrap of dialogue. I have sent a copy of this to my Master, shall I also forward this to the sons of Russ?

-Interrogator Snipes-

+++++Recording Begins+++++

Cheef's Obsolescent Temple Assassin?
'...that screaming all about? I thought you executed the howitzer crews for their incompetence?'

'Eases the mind doesn't it? I did, although I did leave one to feed to the Psyker. His power grows by the day, he needs to be watched. Our friend the Inquisitor is in the medicae. Apparently the followers of Khorne feel pain, thanks to the Blessings of Grandfather Nurgle, I do not.'

'Indeed Colonel. So are they taking the Dog apart or putting him back together?'

'Not my concern, the medicae's saw bones is a devotee of Khorne as well, so either way their god is being sated. What do the spies report?'

'The Wolves have landed again, don't think its the ones we fought, its the others. The ones that fought the green Astartes. Who were they anyways, Death Guard?'

Don't know, don't care, they killed plenty of themselves, and added enough collateral damage to send droves of new refugees to welcome the Glory of Chaos and to refill the ranks. What of our armor?'

Only one Bane Wolf is back in service, they're emptying the latrines into it now, and the PDF turned up another Battle tank as well.'

'The Bastion laser?'

'The Dark Mechanicus's adepts have retrofitted some of those recovered Xenos grav engines into its support stabilizers. There's not enough power to fire it on the move, but it will serve as a crew portable weapon.'

'It'll have to do...ok, here's the plan: Sergeant Mossad, you will take the platoon to the...'

++++++++Transmission ends++++++++

Note: While scouring Da Masta Cheef's blog, I was unable to locate any pics of the "Khorne Dog" or "Col. Extra Hands Straken", No doubt a cover-up on the highest levels is occurring.

Note2: Thanks to the Cheef for providing a link to an image of Col. Extra-Hand Straken. (And no, you can't have my 1st born...)

Thursday, January 01, 2015

2014 in review

Ah, another year has passed! Just like I did a year ago I shall look back on my modeling and hobby time accomplishments.

And what a totally screwed up year 2014 has been! Lots of life and career changes have occurred, but I feel that the year is ending on a positive note with many bright points approaching in the future that I am looking forward too (more on that later).

A new year, a new paradigm.
But despite all that real life stuff, I have found some time to make a few hobby things happen. In the first chunk of the year I was able to pretty much start off exactly like I thought I would and get working on my World Eaters. But I was still tinkering with my Ultramarines and with using the new Space Marine codex. In particular I was getting used to the combat doctrines and using them during the game. I kept forgetting about the damned things so I whipped up some combat doctrine tokens to remind me. I began the year working on a squad of Tyranid Hunters, but quickly abandoned them when they proved to suck against the army that they were allegedly supposed to rock against.

...and I still forgot about them during the game! 
But Khorne was calling me, and I began work on the World Eaters. I managed to paint a full squad of Khorne Berserkers  however I have yet to post a final post on this unit mainly due to the fact that I have somehow lost my World Eater decals! (I know those damned things are somewhere! Grrr!).


 So when they are ever decaled and flocked I will post a finale for them.

"Cover? They just ignore it anyway..."

I did try them out in a game and after their humbling defeat, I built a Land Raider for them to ride around in.

Blood Dumpster!

I also added a hellbrute to run, or jog or skip along with them. All this Khorne stuff is an amazing output for me, and I am still "feeling Khorney". The reason I was able to focus on these models and actually finish them was that my living conditions at the time forced me to put everything up when I was no longer working on them, I couldn't just spread them out like I typically do and take them for granted. I have already started a 2nd Khorne Berserker unit, Kharne the Betrayer and a Vindicator of khorne.

The Bloodbrute.
My moving around did also force me to make a proper carrying case for my fantasy Orcs and it also inspired me to work on them a bit this year. Although these aren't finished I hope to get more done on this army soon, especially the my War Boss, Da-Leada-of-da-Waaargh.


And in December of 2014 I finally began my first Bolt Action project: A Sherman Firefly.

As real life cuts into my time and the changes and plans that are coming my way continue to cut into my hobby time I am challenged to try to finish some of these current projects.

This just focused on what I have done with models. But one can not discuss Warhammer 40,000 without discussing how the game has changed this year. My god, the sheer amount of product released is somewhat staggering! And to top it off with a new edition so soon after the launch of the last one caught most of us by surprise. I still don't own a copy of the new rules yet (notice that there hasn't been any battle reports on this blog since then?) so I have no true opinion yet on the new rules. I am annoyed that the cards (data packs?) are so limited as they seem like valuable components to the game now. Actually, don't get me started on GW's whole limited edition craze, as it's a major turn off to both me and many players out here! In fact, this whole edition has been a major turn-off to many of my local players, and sadly I am seeing the game dying here locally. But heck, this isn't the first time this happened, I myself pretty much skipped the 4th edition of 40K, but this is far bigger than me this time...

But enough of that, I have also done some real 2-D art this year, a few portraits, and the one that I started this post with. That one is a pic of the future Spawn of Neverness... We're hoping for a girl! :)

As you can imagine, I've got a lot to look forward to in the new year!

-Joel (Neverness).