Saturday, June 29, 2019

I Bring You Fire (Part 1)

I bring you FIRE!...The sticky kind.

As stated in I've Come For-Reaping Part 1, the next of my Aspect Warrior groups to receive my attention are my Fire Dragons. If you didn't read that post I will sum up for you what's going on and why my Craftworld Eldar (Aeldari) are getting so much attention: in short Da Masta Cheef and I decided to have another grudge match battle featuring his Eldar and my Space Wolves. But he doesn't have as many Eldar as he used too, so I am helping out by filling in the gaps from my collection. Should be fun. But I want to get these models at least semi-painted before then.

Today's focus are the Fire Dragons.

Feeling primal.

I only recently bought these Fire Dragons, used, from eBay. Accept for the Exarch. I have owned him for about 20 years and he sat in that blister pack until I started this project. I have always loved these sculpts and greatly lamented the late '90s redesign. But for whatever reason I just never had a set of my own. I have painted these models before; I painted a squad of ten models for Dr. TSG  back in the '90s. I painted them close too, or inspired by, an example from the 2nd Edition era Eldar Codex. There is not-so-good pic below of this scheme but I think you'll get the gist.

Example for 2nd Ed Codex: Eldar.
I looked at other examples, even going to far back as White Dwarf #127 to look at the original paint schemes, but I wasn't satisfied with those (Magenta armor...really?). I think I will attempt to, once again, use the 2nd edition scheme. But, instead of yellow helmets, do them with the Ynnari colored helmets like I did on the Reapers. Oh, and there are suggestions for back banners again!

Color scheme examples from WD #127.

In the latest batch of eBay winnings was a single model that was already painted. I intend to just paint over this as it seems to be a thin coat. I will likely do this model last. But I did go ahead and glue grit to his base as well as the others.

Yellow and purple, a scheme for villainy. 
The helmets are base coated in Khorne Red like the Dark Reapers were. For the primary base color I am using an Orange from the old Epic Battle paint set from the '90s called Fire Orange. Those sets couldn't be bothered to actually put labels on the paints so you had to learn what was what from the box. It's a bit darker than Fiery Orange which came out a few years later. Painting Fire Orange straight onto the white really kicks up the intensity of the colors!

Fire Orange and Khorne Red base coats.
Next I painted on Chaos black in a few strategic spots, but this was more to get them on to the table. Note in the pic below the lighting has altered how the orange looks in the photo, in reality it looks more like the one above.

Abaddon Black actually. 

These are FAR from done, but unlike the Dark Reapers I won't be able to just zip through these, so definitely expect a part 2 or 3 for these guys.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

I've Come for the Reaping (Part 1)


Yes, Eldar.

Or Aeldari, as GW's IP folks would now prefer us to call them.

You might have seen my recent tinkering with the Ynnari and wondered if it would lead to more. That answer is yes, but not for that specific reason. Recently Da Masta Cheef and I talked about having a follow up game to a game played ages ago that pitted the Space Wolves against his fearsome Exodites. He was cool to do it, however he had only a fraction of the force left from that time. I told him what I had for Eldar and asked him to make a list, and this is what he needed:

"Alrighty then: Will need (5) Fire Dragons including Exarch w/Fire Pike, (8) Swooping Hawks including Exarch, and (3) Dark Reapers, no Exarch.  Those will bring my horde up to a 1k, Non-Battleforged Battalion List."

And I had what he requested and what we see here in the next pic are the Eldar I have gathered to make up the difference. Well, the ones still in blister packs anyway...

From the archives.
These were gathered in that late '90s and early '00s during a time when GW US would do these massive blister pack grab-bag sales. You paid a set price and received a random assortment of blister packs. And thus, my Eldar and Imperial Guard armies would be born... Curiously, some of these packs ranged from all over the world, I have some with German pricing and some that looked like they were being sold elsewhere. This one below is particularly curious as it has a Goodwill price tag on it!

Goodwill sells miniatures?
Anyway, I mustered these troops and began tidying them up and assembling them. I am genuinely excited to be working on these guys, as without this push from Cheef,  I am not sure when I ever would have gotten to them. For now, I just want to get them "battle-ready" with the intent of finishing the units properly when I can or want to.

So I cracked these blisters open, cleaned up the flash, glued them to their bases, glued on the grit, and primed them up. After base coating the bases, I had to ponder a bit more seriously on just how I wanted to paint these Aspect Warriors, particularly the Dark Reapers.

Primed with base-coated bases. 
I decided that the color scheme I used on the Ynnari Dire Avenger was just too extreme of a paradigm shift for me to accept on the Dark Reapers. So I looked back into the past, way back in fact, to the Dark Reapers very first appearance (in color) to White Dwarf #127 which was published back in the golden age of 1990. This snippet (see below) is from the color guide in that issue. In hindsight, I don't think many people really ever went with these schemes. and I'm not about too now, but I think I want to blend the middle one and the right one together. I will make the helmet and loin cloth/apron-thing Ynnari colors and the armor a Dark Reaper grey/blueish color and keep the missile launcher black.

Color guide from WD #127.

And no, I won't be creating any banners for these, at least I don't think I will. This image was created in the early days of GW's banner-mania phase of the '90s, and that phase (thankfully) faded away with the onset of 3rd edition. Seriously, it got a bit silly with almost everyone having their own back banner!

I used, appropriately, Dark Reaper Citadel paint for the basecoat on the armor. Khorne Red was the base coat for the helmet. Bone was used on the face mask and the bone necklace and skulls of the Web of Skulls.

Base coats.
Following the steps for painting Ynnari in White Dwarf (May 2019), I added Evil Sunz Scarlet to the helmet. I washed the face mask and bones with Agrax Earthshade. I also settled on a bone color for stripes on the aprons.
Mid coats added.

Next I colored in the lenses on their helms. I wondered how Jess Goodwin didn't go cross eyed while sculpting these things as I struggled to paint them. Next I added Fire Dragon Bright as the highlight. I love how these turned out, far more so than the Dire Avenger; which I used Fiery Orange on in lieu of Fire Dragon Bright.

Fire Dragon Bright on the Helms.
I decided I wanted them to conform with the Dire Avenger, so a wash of Carrosburg Crimson was applied to the helmets. After that, details. I painted the soul gems, sashes and other details to the point that I felt I could stop. Like all the Eldar miniatures of this era, or any really, they are covered in bumps that can be painted as gems (or not) if one wishes. For the sake of expediency, I opted to just stick with the obvious ones that have the metal borders. I do reserve the right to go back and paint more, particularly on the weapons...

Done enough. 
 Here are some closer shots of these guys. I hope you enjoyed this. I did them fairly fast considering that my goal was just to get them battle-ready, I guess I just couldn't help myself?
I wonder what these guys talk about?

I kept the sashes blue, again to confirm with the Dire Avenger. It doesn't contrast well with these guys but on future Ynnari models this shouldn't be a problem.

"Hey, I bet I can hit that guy with these skulls..."

That's it for now. I made this a 'part 1' because I see a few minor details I want to revisit in the near future, so those will be dealt with in 'part 2' but for now, we can move on.

Next up, Fire Dragons!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Stormhawk Interceptor (Part 8)

We left off in Part 7 with the main model done with only the base left to finish. After some distractions and whatever it was time get this thing finished.

Like I did for the flight stand on the Dakkajet, first I traced out the bottom of the flight stand onto the base using a Sharpie. Then after I had placed the objects onto the base, I used watered-down PVA glue to apply the grit, but I was careful to keep the grit outside of the pattern. After this I primed the base using Chaos Black. I built up the dirt colors using a series of craft paints until it was at a satisfactory level.

Done with the dirt.

Next I put my focus onto the collapsed Statuary. I decided to to make the ruined girders and support sections rusty and older looking.
Statuary before dust coat.

The statuary pieces were also painted up using craft paints, primarily the greys that I typically use for statues, rocks and Imperial Guard uniforms and tanks. I like that granite look I guess? I used Country Tan, the middle color of my ground palette to dirty up the statuary once the primary painting was completed.

Dust coat added.

After that, I affixed the clear flight stand to the base and set it aside to bond for a day.

Flight stand joined to base.

And finally I applied a few clumps of grass to sort of spice it up a bit.

Some grass tufts to top it off.
And with that, this thing was done.


Working on storage/transport for it now, but I have decided that it wasn't "blog-worthy" to chronicle that endeavor.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Ynnari Dire Avenger

Soulbound Dire Avenger color test.

This may seem a bit 'out of the blue' for anyone who follows this blog regularly, but I assure you that this has been brewing for a long time. To sum up, I really like the concept of the Ynnari, and since I have Dark Eldar (Drukhari),  Eldar (Aeldari) and Harlequin armies this seems like a neat way to get them on the table. They are not my main focus armies, although the Dark Eldar have gotten a lot of love for me in recent times, and I clown around sometimes on my Harlequins, I just haven't done anything with my Eldar in ages!

Mrs. Neverness got me the Ynnead Triumvirate for Valentine's day, and the May '19 White Dwarf has some great paint schemes for them. And since all my Eldar factions have red in them (to some degree) I thought it might be fun to tie them all together.

It starts off with a Khorne Red base coat.

Khorne Red.
This is followed by a wash of Nuln Oil. After that a layer of Evil Sunz Scarlet was painted on.

Nuln Oil and Evil Sunz Scarlet.

The White Dwarf article next called for Fire Dragon Bright to be thinly applied as a highlight. I didn't have that one, but I did have the older Fiery Orange which seemed like a close analog.

Firey Orange

Although I liked how this came out, compared to the reference pics this just looked too orange. So I toned it down with a rather liberal wash of Carosburg Crimson.

Carosburg Crimson.
I like it, but I'm not thrilled with it. The model in White Dwarf was really vibrant and I hesitant with adding another highlight so for now I am leaving him like this. The other trappings were fairly easy and straightforward to do. However I am less than thrilled with the white part if the face plate. In hindsight I should have painted that before doing the eyes and the rest of the helmet. One thing I do admit, as much as I generally prefer the original Aspect Warriors, I do think the modern plastic Dire Avengers rock. I especially like the face plates better.
Finished model.

Still, even though this is an experiment, and I had some challenges, I still really enjoyed painting this one. I have some more Eldar I want to tinker with, and I guess one of the reasons I never dove into working on these guys before  was that color schemes for them seems so...I dunno, I suppose disinteresting to me. But I like this Ynnari scheme and I have some more ideas on what to do with it.

Rear view.
See you all at the web-gate!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Deadly Assassins (Part 5)

On the planet where the phase knives grow.

Welcome to the almost annual series of posts featuring the Imperial Assassins. Last year I showcased the Culexus Assassin, which deviated from the other two (Vindicare and Eversor Assassins) in that I didn't base it's paint scheme off of the examples used by GW with the launch of the Execution Force game. With this year's miniature, the Calidus Assassin, I decided to go back to that original inspiration, with a few minor deviations. She also completes the quartet that makes up the Execution Force.

As I touched on earlier, I used a White Dwarf (WD Weekly #65) for a rough guide on painting this model, but I also referred to a Warhammer TV video on how to paint Synskin. The steps I used was Dark Reaper, then a 50/50 mix of Dark Reaper and Russ Grey and a highlight of Russ Grey. That final stage is shown in the next pic.
About half-way done.
Interesting though this was, it was way brighter than the example in the video and compared to the other assassins I had previously painted. So I muted this down by applying a layer of Nuln Oil. Although still a bit brighter, I was very much pleased with this look.

It didn't take too long to paint up the rest. Belts, like the previous Assassins were painted using Khorne Red, Nuln OIl and Pink Horror. The green energy of the blade and gun was done using Caliban Green as a base, but unlike the Warhammer TV example, I used Game Color Livery Green with a highlight of Sunburst Yellow instead and I think it worked out good.

99% done.
I was going to give her black hair as a homage to my dear Mrs Neverness, and was going to do it by painting it white first and then using old Citadel black ink over it. But when I painted it white, I decided that I really liked how that looked! It contrasts very nicely to the Synskin suit and gives the model a unique character. I have two more Calidus Assassins, so if I have a burning desire for one with a different hair color I will probably just give myself some options.

I was really digging the open base, I thought it gave more visual power to the Callidus model from an artsy-fartsy point of view anyway, but when I put her with the other three assassins it gave her the illusion of incompleteness. So I gave in, but only minimally so, and added a single skull and two grass tufts.

The finished Callidus.
 And here she is partying up with the rest of  her Execution Force buddies. I wanted to take a pic of all of them outside in the natural light and on the moss patch but it's been raining up here for the days and I didn't want to contend with the mud. That, and direct sunlight has been a fleeting thing these past few days also.

"Dude, I can see my house!"
 Case in point, while attempting to take these outside pics, the shadows shifted. As far as details go, the first pic in this post is the best pic, even though I couldn't get the phase blade to contrast too well against the grass. But this next one, the assassin was shaded, but I think it's cool anyway. Like she's leaping from the shadows.

Shadow leaping in plain sight.
Well, that concludes the first Execution Force, but I have more assassins to kept this annual-ish thread going for a long time! See you then!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Gimme Da Prize

"'Ey, gimme da prize!!!"
"Dare can be only one ya git!" 
Da Masta Cheef and I have been talking for about a month now about playing our quasi-annual Ork vs. Ork game, These match-ups are always fun regardless of whichever edition of 40k we are in at the time.  Da Cheef mustered his troops, and for a variety of reasons we chose to stage this battle at his house. The muddy ruins of Dinnahtabul (complete with pouring rain soundtrack from outside) would serve as our battleground on this day. As you can see, the board for this game is round. Clearly the standard missions might not work...

So I pulled out my Open War cards and we chose the Deployment Zone that would be easiest to set up and get us right into the thick of action. The Objective was The Prize, a fitting objective really as we won't have to be bothered at all with VPs, just obtaining The Prize. The Prize will be represented by a nice banner model that Cheef has. The Twist was that this was occurring during a Warpstorm. The Cheef has a Weirdboy in his army so at least that wasn't a wasted twist. We determined that he was the underdog in this tussle, so we had him draw a Ruse card.

Yes, it's upside down, and no, I can't be bothered to fix it. 
I won the roll off for deployment, and put one of my Nobz right onto The Prize (Da Prize, as the Orks say it) and right smack in the middle of the table. The Cheef and I both spent the CPs to give two units 'Ard Boyz which gave those units an additional point of armor. I chose the mob in the middle of the table that was holding Da Prize, and he gave the bonus to the nearest mob to the prize also.

With my Boyz in the center of the table, I had the Lootas in the ruins directly behind them set up to provide support. to their right, my mass 'o Grots were gathered to act as a shield for the Big Mek in the old White Dwarf Bunker. Overhead, the Dakkajet was zooming low to support it's team below. Opposing this force was the big mob of Boyz accompanied by the Warboss Krump & Pittance and a Weird Boy

My Rightside (on the left of this pic).

On the other side of the table, my Shoota Boyz were gathered and ready to riot. The Warboss, Ror-Ruk, was directing the operation from his Trukk. On the opposing side, the massive Matillda Battlewagon loaded down with Tankbustas was readying to meet my challengers. They were backed up by two Ork artillery pieces. Using a Ruse card, the Grot land tank was removed and reappeared behind my forces, positioned to attack the Lootas. Da Cheef placed his Kommandos in reserves.

My Leftside (on the right of this pic).
Turn one, pretty much everything surges forward. With Da Prize in hand, my Boyz rushed Da Cheef's Boyz. The Grots moved up a bit too so as to get as many guns into range as possible. The Dakkajet slowed to minimum speed, carefully (as much as an ork can) selecting his target. On the other side my Shoota Boyz moved forward to get into range of the Matilda Battlewagon and the Trukk did also.

My Orks 1st turn movement. 
My entire right flank fired everything it had at the Boyz across the field from them.  The the unit was reduced down to about half strength, but it would have been so much worse for them had the CPs not been spent to make them into 'Ard Boyz. It was a very wise investment indeed!

Lots of dakka!
On the other flank my Warboss in his trukk led the Shoota Boyz in to tear into the Battlewagon, taking off a lot of it's Wounds, but not enough to wreak it.

Left Flank Charge. 
My Slugga Boyz charged into the other boyz who had taken all that firepower. Although he suffered some more losses, somehow that unit managed to hold on and stay in the fight!

A big brawl of rolling green...
My shoota boyz charged as well in an effort to finish off the Battlewagon, but it held on with just a few wounds left!

Tear it up ladz!
It was time to strike back, Cheef's Turn One would be a bloody one!

"Target acquired mateys!!!"
The Grot Megatank unleased everything at the Loobas, and much to our surprise, the Loobas were wiped out!

The Boyz mob that had taken so much abuse from me in my turn one was augmented by the Weirdboy, and after some nasty retaliation, and an assist from the Warboss, not only was my Slugga Boyz unit wiped out, but they had now captured the flag!

Turning the tide!
On the other side of the table the Tankbustas got out of the Battlewagon and blew up the truck, leaving Ror Ruk the Warboss every exposed and surrounded by a mob of missile wielding hooligans! All-in-all, Da Masta Cheef's 1st turn was devastating!

Turn 2, and in a desperate ploy to save the Warboss I redirected what firepower I could against the rival Tankbustas. My Warboss shot one of the Tankbustas in the head, "Dats for wreak'n me favorite Trukk!" The Shokk Attack Gun added to the attack but it was the Dakkajet that finished off the Tankbustas, killing them all. The pilot cracking with glee as he avenged the loss of his jet from the last time he encountered these guys.

Revenge is dish best served with dakka!

Ror Ruk the Warboss, disappointed that his Shoota boys still hadn't wreaked the Battlewagon, charged in and finished it off with a proper bash with his klaw!

...and they fell all over themselves with glee!
Da Cheef's Turn 2, The Weirdboy attempted to augment the mob of Boyz again but instead inflicted damage to himself via Perils of the Warp! Meanwhile the Grot Tank positioned itself to take out the Bigmek, and after the smoke and dust cleared the Bigmek was no where to be found! The surviving Big Mob charged my Grots along with the Warboss, and the poor grots were eliminated. And the Kommandos charged the Shootaboyz. This was a gory thing to do as almost half the Kommandos died from Overwatch! In the ensuing melee, the rest of the Kommandos would fall to the overwhelming numbers but not without dealing some damage themselves.

The Kommandos risk it all.
Turn 3. The numbers are now looking thin. With focus on getting Da Prize, I opted to shoot the Big Gunz and hope for the Grot to break, which they thankfully did. The Dakka Jet attacked the Grot Mega Tanks but did only minor damage to it. My Warboss moved across the board in search of his prize...

...but instead found the rival Warboss! He was a bit shot up, but that never stops two warbosses from having it out! Ror Ruk charged in and wacked him good with his powerklaw, taking out Krump & Pittance, whose axe was still dripping in grot and Runtherd blood.

Warboss fight! 
Ror Ruk consolidated toward the Grot tank, which was only two happy to turn it's guns on him...

"Dat Boss iz look'n atz us, load da kannons!!!"
Da Cheef's Turn 3

Safe behind a ruin, the Weirdboy held onto Da Prize. I would be hard pressed indeed to try to take it from him at this stage. However the raging warpstorm overwhelmed the Weirdboy when he attempted to cast a power, and he was overwhelmed by the cascade of warp energy and was pulled into the warp! The banner was now abandoned, with nothing left of the Weirdboy but a few sparkles of crackling warp energy fluttering on the wind...
"Oooh... me 'ead urtz!"
The last of the Da Boyz, no longer supercharged by warp energy, yet still covky never-the-less, charged the Shoota Boyz, but they fell to their overwhelming number. Having said that, my Shoota Boyz were all but torn apart this turn by that assault and from the Grot Megatank which we were both thrilled to see was performing excellently in this game!

Da final charge.
The Grot Megatank takes down the Shoota Boyz some more, and would've been wiped out if not for the cashing in of my final CPs to give them Insane Bravery.

"Dis fing 'as gotta go!"

Turn 4 and with shooting from the Shoota Boyz  the Grot Megatank is destroyed! With its final destruction the opposing force has been tabled. We leave this world with Ror Ruk the Warboss searching the ruins, wreckage and bodies for The Prize. Not sure if he ever found it, but with the Dakkajet circling the field trying to spot it maybe he did after the fact?

Da finale.

What a good mash-up that was! So many bodies on both sides! We made some mistakes, sure, to be expected since we don't get to play like we used too, but we had such a good time that we just didn't care. We played very late into the night and into the early hours of the next morning, but time matters not when the Waaagh! Is underway! Thanks to Da Masta Cheef and Wolfy for hosting me that evening and providing us with a yummy pre-game meal. It was all awesome fun!