Sunday, October 18, 2009

Surprise! Legion of the Damned!

Welly welly well, from today's Games Workshop Newsletter (Issue 65):

"Incoming! Legion of the Damned
Today at Games Day Italy we unveiled the all-new metal Legion of The Damned models."

The picture here is from the newsletter (and therefore credit for it belongs to Games Workshop) and I have to say: Damn, I'm surprised and impressed! Oh, I'd hoped to see a new line of LotD models but didn't know this was even in the works (though I've been a bit out of the loop lately and it's entirely possible that everyone else even remotely involved with 40K knew about this, I've been busy, people!).

So...what do you think? Has anyone -- like me -- wanted to included some Damned goodness but hasn't due to the ridiculous prices the (now non-current) models have commanded on Ebay lately? Franly I'm glad to see this new line, and can't wait to get my hands on a box or two.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Today I bought a Sisters of Battle Squad box -- you know, the one with 10 Adepta Sororitas minis, your basic "troops" unit for a Witch Hunters army. I finally gave up on finding any decent deals on Ebay and/or Bartertown and just decided to do what I should have done in the first place, and that's support my FLGS by purchasing the models through them. That way I'll get exactly what I want, when I want it, and I won't have to waste any of my (increasingly precious and limited) hobby time stripping paint of minis I got in the "aftermarket".

While I'm certain I'm going to drop more cash on this project doing it this way, I find myself asking this question (in a sort of TCO/ROI way of thinking), "Just how much is your free time worth?" By this I mean if
you decide to purchase some stuff off Ebay (and I've done it shamelessly and will continue to do so for other projects) you pretty much KNOW you're going to have to spend extra time prepping the minis that you wouldn't have to spend if you just bought new models. Sometimes the time it takes to do all these extra steps -- paint stripping & model cleaning being the major time bandits followed closely by any repairs you have to make, etc. -- can quickly escalate into a pretty significant time investment.

When you add it all up, the man-hours you had to spend doing the extra work will more than likely offset any savings you got in buying the models "second-hand" (as it were). For me it's a simple overall test: I take what my approximate hourly rate is from work and multiply that times number of hours spent doing the second-hand model pre-painting prep work and that gives you a reasonable dollar amount that you add to the price you paid for the "second-hand" minis. If the total of these two numbers (price y
ou paid for minis + dollar amount associated with spending your precious time doing the extra work) is higher than the retail price of the squad/blister/box/etc., well, you screwed yourself and you'd have probably been better off buying new stuff in the first place. :)

[...and holy crap on a pogo stick I just realized I spent a ridiculous amount of time explaining why I had purchased new minis. Ha! Me, a longtime CMBS victim, explaining to a virtual room full of fellow CMBS victims why I...bought...more...models. Talk about "preaching to the choir", huh?]

Anyway, so I get these shiny new models home and give a little show-n-tell for the wife, showing her the few models I'd managed to score over several months of scouring the Auction Hellmouth for bargains). I also explained to her some basic fluff ideas
I had to the army...

...but I have been vetoed.

The Wife has informed that I shall not, in fact, be naming my new Adepta Sororitas force "Order of the Glistening Black Iris" (think Georgia O'Keeffe painting here, people -- I'll attach a .jpg of the painting to the bottom of this post so you'll know exactly where I'm going with this one...)

Oh, woe is me, I have been repressed and my creativity has been stymied!


Yeah, I'm guessing if
"Order of the Glistening Black Iris" didn't make it through, I'm pretty sure "Order of Our Holy Pink Tacos" won't, either, and that means "Order of Our Raging Premenstrual Princess" is definitely right out.

What disappoints me most about the Black Iris Ban is I think the painting's color palette would look fantastic on a Sisters army. Not that I can't use that color palette, I suppose, but it just won't be the same. Oh well, I'm sure something will come to me.

So, any suggestions you'd care to share?

Has YOUR creativity ever been stymied? Have you ever had good ideas just sort of "die in committee"? If so, how'd you deal with it? about sharing a tale or two of heartbroken hopes and desolate dreams -- truly good creativity aborted by some outside force or agent?

Lastly, as promised, I present Georgia O'Keeffe's "Black Iris":

Image Credit/Citation:
"Georgia O'Keeffe: Black Iris (69.278.1)". In
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

(...see what I mean?)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Darkwynn Removes any Doubt that Guard are the New King of Cheese :)

According to BoLS, my friend Nick -- a.k.a. Darkwynn -- has won this year's 'Ard Boys competition. I just wanted to take a moment and congratulate my friend -- winning 'Ard Boyz is pretty damned impressive and having played with him and against him...I'm not really surprised. He's one of those guys that can see things several turns in advance...and he also possesses an almost-supernatural ability to second-guess what his opponet is going to do next.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is this:
Nick won 'Ard Boyz. Nick slaughtered his was to the top with I.G. (noone is really shocked, not even a little bit). Regardless of what army he's playing, he's a smart, strong player -- and finally, congratulations are definitely in order.

So, Nick my brother, congratulations on this pretty damned impressive achievement. When we see each other next we should take 10-15 minutes to go grab some beers and celebrate properly, like real men...n'shit. :)

(And yes, I still think "'Ard Boyz" sounds like...well, porn.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Holy Incredibly Broken Psychic Power, Batman! (Or, "WTF, GW? HAVE YOU BUMPED YOUR FRAKKIN' HEAD?")

[WARNING: You might say I cluster-bombed the f-word in this post, and committed several other acts of profanity and foulness. As such, this post probably shouldn't be read by...well, anyone, really. Proceed at your own risk.]

So, when I posted my "IT'S A GREAT TIME TO BE IN THE GUARD!" entry, there were
a couple of you that said you look forward to my rants that come on after a new codex is released.

I just finished reading the new SW army list that mkerr put up on BoLS, and read about a new psychic power that Rune Priests may take:

Jaws of the World Wolf (basically a 24" line that removes models
that fail an Initiative test)".

Go on, read that sentence again.

Let those words sink in nice and deep into the ol' brain.

I think you'll agree with me -- SW player or not -- that the first thought that jumped into your head and ran around in circles screaming was "HOLY FUCKING FUCKITY FUCK FUCKING HARE FUCKING KRISNHA JUMPING ON A POGO STICK! What the FUCK WAS GW THINKING? Surely this is bullshit. Surely this is some little gag mkerr is pulling, yanking our collective chains..." ( may not have had that exact thought, but I'll bet the thought you HAD was something similar. If it wasn't...friend, you either love cheesy broken bullshit like a crackhead loves crack served o
n a stripper's nipples or you've got some sort of mental block that's not letting you see just how incredibly, completely, ab-so-fucking-lutely broken a power like this is...)

After recovering from my apoplectic fit (LOL!) and remembering how to breathe again, it dawned on me that mayhap mkerr the elder chose not to share some details about this new power. Perhaps there's some kind of special test, or save...oh YEAH, there's an INITIATIVE TEST. That'll save ya!

Congratulations, Games Workshop. You've outdone yourselves! You couldn't just take the new C:SW by the power-whorehouse for enough "sessions" to make an entire codex rant-worthy (comical or otherwise).

Oh, NO, that's what we expected.

Instead, you made your opening bid a single psychic power so jacked that it was rant-worthy by itself!

It's really a shame, too, because I was thinking maybe, just maybe GW had gotten a better hold on the whole "game balance" thing and while I expected the new SW book to be very competent, close-combat-wise -- and definitely a "step up", power-wise from the old SW 'dex...I certainly wasn't expecting the steaming pile of wolf turds that this power re
presents -- unless there are mitigating rules/circumstances/things we don't know about yet that makes even using this power in some way risky to the Rune Priest and/or there is some kind of "save" other than a woefully-ridiculous initiative test.

Now, one thing: notice I didn't say SW players shouldn't take this power. If it's in your book, take it. However, I may very well begin carrying a 2-foot-long crowbar with me to game so that I'll have my own little "24 inch line" that makes things disappear (or collapse in a heap of bruises and pain, which is just as effective) for those special moments when your 200+ point squad gets eaten by an invisible wolf. :)

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em, folks. Inquisitor Lords with the old-school unlimited range psychic hood are now pretty much mandatory unless you enjoy the feeling of wolf johnson in your backside. Actually, a tooled-up Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Lord with all those nifty "make the enemy psyker go away" powers/wargear...hmm...

OK guys: what do you think of this game balance abortion?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Planetary Empires Strategy Cards

Lately it seems that GW has been out to impress me.

Just last week we're treated to what I like to call, "The IG FAQ of Win". This week, I see this (OK, granted, it was actually "released" on August 27 but I don't hit the GW web site every day).

What "this" is, is downloadable, free extra content to enhance your Planetary Empires campaign -- a little add-on, if you will. Not necessary to play the game or anything, but a nice little addition you can make to add a little variety/challenge to your campaign.

I'm very happy about these little strategy cards and am hopeful we'll be able to use them in the PE campaign that I joined at Battleforge Games recently...if not, then there's always next campaign, right?

While we're on the subject I'd like to go on record by saying that I approve of any and all free downloadable content that enhances your game. This is nothing new, mind you, video game publishers/producers have been doing it for years (as well as other parts of the software industry) but I can't really think of anything like this in recent memory that GW has actually released for free to download that can actually be a part of the game that isn't an Apocalypse datasheet (please correct me if I'm wrong). I won't say it represents some major paradigm shift on GW's part -- not yet, anyway, they'll have to consistently put little "easter eggs" like this for several months before I think that -- but I will say it's a step in the right direction.

What has GW done lately that's impressed you? What have they done that does not impress you? And while we're talking about PE, has anyone started/joined a new PE campaign since the new set came out?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fully Functional Parody

Some days when you travel the back alleys of the Internet, you come across interesting and amusing things.

Today was one of those days.

I submit, for your approval (and amusement): Toymallet 40¢, because "In the grim emptiness of your wallet, you can't afford to play".

The fun thing is, isn't not just a parody, it's a fully-realized (though vastly simplified) wargame. If you nose around the site a bit you'll discover that Jennifer Rietz is also a 40K player -- she has pictures of her Tau army posted there. So this is coming from someone who knows what she's talking about.

Good times!

Anyone have any good 40K humor they want to share?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sometimes The Funny is Delivered to Me

Every now and then I take a perusal through the great wasteland of the blogosphere, looking for new blogs to follow. I'm often reminded of the line from Bruce Serling's novel, Islands in The Net: "The Net was a lot like television, another former wonder of the age. It was like a vast mirror, reflecting what it was shown -- mostly, human banality."

But there is good stuff out there, you just have to look for it. If you look at my "follow list", you'll see that I follow -- get this -- 180 blogs. Yeah, that's a lot of blogs. When I want to read some new blog content, damn it, I want to read some new content! The vast majority of them are in the FTW Blogger Group, and there's a good reason: Ron really made something special when he created it.

Now as probably know, there's lots and lots of blogs out there about 40K/WHFB/GW. This is a good thing. They run the gamut from pure painting blogs to strategy/tactics to somewhere in-between (my own blog being a mish-mash of "whatever 40K-related I happen to be thinking about or doing at the time").

However, my latest discovery falls into the realm of...let me think... "40k Internet-related Critic" might be a good phrase. This masterpiece blog is Pathtyphon's Blood of Kittens, and it's a riot. With categories such as "40K Douche Bag" (delivering a verbal slap in the face to certain overblown, self-aggrandizing, those-that-suck-on-the-cock-of-powergaming....douche bags!) with posts that read something like the dialog from your average Jerry Springer episode, BoK has found a special place in my heart. The This Week in 40k Douche Bag: YTTH Edition
post made me laugh so much it was almost painful -- and the accompanying graphics were masterful.

Though he doesn't know me, I consider Pathtyphon to be a kindred spirit, a true master of the rant.

If you're not overly squeamish, I say give it a read. :)

What about you guys? Anyone got a blog that you feel the rest of us should be reading? Enlighten me!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Interesting Tidbits from the new IG Codex FAQ

Welly welly well, GW has released a FAQ for the new IG codex -- in what must be a new all-time record from release of codex to release of FAQ.

Giving it a read-through I can't say there are really any big surprises in it, though a couple of the more asinine things did get the old nerf-bat. Specifically, taking two regimental advisers doesn't made the bonus gained from the adviser stack. So no, sorry, you can't have a +2/-2 bonus to reserve rolls.

The biggest surprise, though -- at least for me -- is GW actually included a section on the Inquisition armies (Daemonhunters and Witch Hunters), and it includes both nerfing and buffing in equal measure.

First off, IG may not issue orders to DH/WH: "No, orders can only be issued to non-vehicle units from Codex: Imperial Guard." Oops.

On the positive side, though, you're free to induct any IG unit in the new codex so long as it's allowed by the "By the authority of the immortal Emperor of Mankind..." rule. This does mean no more Armoured Fist Squads (as they no longer exist as a separate unit), but it does mean you can buy all those nifty Guard units and their Chimera transports, too. Also, special characters that replace Platoon Commanders are allowed, and Sentinel Squadrons can be either Armoured or Scout variants.

Oh, and you can only induct 0-1 Leman Russ Battle Tanks, so none of the new variants.

Aaaaaaand last but not least, my favorite part of the FAQ:

Q. Can allied models in terminator armour,
such as Grey Knight Terminators, embark in

A. No. The Valkyrie cannot transport Ogryns or
models of a similar size (such as Terminators),
you stupid, power-cock-sucking douchebag.
Did your mom often drop you on your head when
you were an infant, or were you just born dumb?

There may...or may not be some extra words in that answer that differs from the original text.

All in all though I don't really see anything that's going to represent a dramatic shift in the balance of power in C:IG -- so everyone go ahead and take that breath now. :)

What do you guys find interesting about the new FAQ?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random Pictures from the Floor of BoLScon 2009

I just downloaded the BoLScon pics from the camera, and thought I'd share a random sampling. I'm not even going to try and comment on them, though if you have any questions I'll try to answer them. BoLScon was amazing -- you'd never have guessed it was the inaugural event, especially with the huge turnout. Hats off to everyone at Bell of Lost Souls for a great job, a fun event, and a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Either the Best, or the Worst...

All right, OK, I know! It's been like a hundred years since I posted anything. I've been busy, guys, very busy, and a lot of that busy has actually been gaming-related (though there's definitely been some work and personal life stuff in the mix as well).

What have I been up to? Well let's see...the biggest Time Consumer has been the Star Phantoms army (whoever guessed them as my "secret project" when I posted the "Palette Portrait", you WIN!...the non-existent prize!). I'm very pleased with how far along I've managed to get with it, despite some false starts and a couple of "new painting method" mishaps that resulted in an entire tac squad going into the Simple Green for stripping (yes, it was THAT bad!). I'll toss some WIP pics up later, as well as the list (which may or may not be seeing daylight at BoLSCON this weekend) for your amusement. I tried a very, very different approach to list building for the Phantoms -- basically the "anti-version" of my current Ultras list...nary a single Land Raider in sight! But they're meant to play in a dramatically different way than my Ultras, too, so hopefully it won't suck. :)

Speaking of BoLS, another thing that's been keeping me on my toes is I've been a moderator on Bell of Lost Soul's new Lounge. So if you've been over there say "hi" (yep, I'm CrusherJoe there as I am here) and if you haven't been over to check it out...SHAME ON YOU! Get off your butt and go check it out -- now! :) And speaking of BoLSCON, are any of you planning on going? I can personally vouch that it is going to be a righteous, rocking con -- there's more prize support than you can carry off in two wheelbarrow trips and the sceanrios, terrain, the whole thing is going to be fantastic. Let me know if you're going so we can meet! I'll be there all weekend long (I won't be staying the night, as I literally live only 3 miles north on I-35 from the Doubletree Hotel) but I'll be there pretty much from open to close. I'd like to get some games in with you guys if anyone's going to be down! Or if not, then we can grab some beers and see some what I'm certain is going to be some very kickass gaming going on. :)

Let's see, what else? Oh, I started BattleFleet Gothic (two fleets finally taken out of their shipping containers and touch up work has begun (4 of the Chaos cruisers spent some time in Simple Green "wetdock") and I've got a starter list ready for my Chaos and Imperial Navy fleets. And if that weren't enough, I've also compiled an Epic Space Marine army, which has grown into a very playable army in a very short period of time (Go go gadget Ebay auction winning tools. There are a few local Epic players and I'm looking forward to throwing down with them very, very soon (as in, after BoLSCON).

So now, we're pretty much caught up with what I've been up to.

However, that's not really what I wanted to post about.

No, you see, I was up late (again), working (yes, *sigh* again!) and thinking a little bit about 40K army lists, maybe even doing a little blog-reading and Lounge modding between tasks...and suddenly, it hit me...Either the Best -- or the Worst -- Army List of All Time:

Converted Sisters of Battle on Space Marine bikes.

We'll call them "The Emperor's Cycle Sluts from Hell" until I can think of a more appropriate act of punnery to make the concept and the name complete (and NOW you know why I chose that leading picture, hmm? Yes, that's the actual "Cycle Sluts from Hell" band. Cute, huh?) :)

Anyway, yeah, these are the things that rattle around in my head late at night.

What's the craziest army list/concept you've ever come up with? And for bonus points: Did you actually build your crazy list and play it? (And know that if you -did-, you've gained a new level in Geekery, please update your stats and choose one more Advantage of 15 points or less!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition defines satire as "A work of literature that mocks social conventions, another work of art, or anything its author thinks ridiculous."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition goes further, defining it thus:

  1. A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit.
  2. Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity.
So, having established the genre of what I'm about to share with you, I want to make it crystal clear that this is not an anti-Guard rant. Personally I'm still very happy for all the IG veterans out there that suffered and persevered for so long and finally were rewarded handsomely for it. You guys got a good book -- enjoy it! But keep in mind, that doesn't mean it's immune to a bit of lampooning...I cranked up the exaggeration and hyperbole to 11 for this one, guys...hopefully you'll find it amusing.

Oh yeah, I feel I should warn you that I work in profanity like some men work in stone or oils. It's my true medium. If "foul language" offends're probably not going to like this, and you should just take a pass on it. If you decide not to heed my words....well, you're on your own. :)

On our local forum, Dielan posted this question:

Subject: Which army

Quote from: Dielan on July 15, 2009, 05:50:02 PM

So finally having finished painting my dwarfs (i thought the day would never come), I've decided to start a 40k army in inspiration of my games at last weeks ard boys. Its down to Marines or the new IG..

Know nothing about the new guard and would like some general description of how they work in this edition and environment.

-Dylan W

Good question, I think, but I wanted to give him a little more than the simple, "Oh, the new IG is pretty good" song and dance...and hopefully deliver a bit more accurate picture of how the new Guard plays. :) my response:

Well, I'm not an IG player but having seen their new codex, gotten in a game or two and having watched more than a few games against the "new IG", I think playing them goes something like this:


Before the game begins, use your REGIMENTAL ADVISORY NEUROMANCER's "NYAH NYAH NYAAAAAH!" special ability which grants you first turn and forces your opponent to leave his army in the transport case. It's a merciful power, really, as it saves your opponent the hassle and humiliation of getting all those models out only to have to put them all back up really, really soon.


1. Movement
Shuffle some stuff around. Best hurry though, those 12 tanks won't move themselves -- make sure you have your 24 Chimeras in front of your 4 squadrons of Medusas otherwise one might take a hit which means it could possibly be damaged in some way -- and that's unacceptable in today's IG! Next up, you've got a lot of Valkyries -- if it were real life the sky would be darkened by so many wings! -- so move all 50 of them up 48" and line up those 158,000 twin-linked las-cannon shots on the rear armor of everything your opponent has. Last but not least, there's all those guardsmen, veterans, ogryn, stormtroopers (well, at least the 700 stormtroopers that AREN'T in the Valkyries moving in for a deep-strike assault with STR 10 AP -1 Hellguns (that's right,"AP Negative 1", in case some asshole comes up with something better than a 2+ Save, bitches. The new IG's got everything covered for ya!), psychics and of COURSE your EXTRA-SPECIAL special characters (you're probably running one named ST-RAPIN' and another one named LA FEMME DE RAMBO, we'll get to them in a minute). All told, it looks like you've got 4.5 millions models to move, so get to it! NO ONE SAID WINNING WAS EASY! (Well, except Games Workshop. We're pretty sure they were thinking, "Winning will be easy!" when they were writing the new IG codex...but that's another story.)

2. Shooting
Ah, shooting, the phase every IG player loves like a man ending a 4 year vow of celibacy and winning the lottery just before stepping into the Bunny Ranch loves to party. And ALSO just like that guy, you're going to be shooting -- A LOT! Every tank (and you've got a LOT of 'em) can now move 24" and shoot every weapon. Twice. Did I mention they're twin-linked? Well, they aren't, usually, unless ST-RAPIN' issues the "FUCK 'EM OVER!" order followed by the "BEND OVER HERE IT COMES AGAIN" order, which makes every weapon in the IG army (including the guns on tanks!) Assault 4 and twin-twin-linked (letting you re-roll any misses, and then re-roll any misses from your first re-roll). It also lets you temporarily take command of your opponent's guns, too, because you're IG, damn it, and that means if it's a gun, YOU SHOOT IT! So make those to-hit rolls and then re-roll those misses and then re-re-roll the 5 dice you've got left that didn't hit on the first or second rolls. You'll probably find using a wheelbarrow to just dump all those dice on the floor works best. After rolling for wounds you'll discover that every now and then you're playing against some cheeky bastard that has forgotten his new place in the 40K universe's pecking order and has managed to make a damned cover save or some such shit. Make sure if that happens to use the REGIMENTAL ADVISORY GAME BALANCE GENIE's "SUCKS TO BE YOU!" ability to force your opponent to re-roll any successful armor, invulnerable or cover saves. Remember when I told you the new IG has GOT YA COVERED? WOULD I LIE? NO! So after all that, if your opponent has a model or two left on the board don't worry, there's one more phase left in your turn!

3. Ass-ault
Oh, before you begin this phase don't forget to have your REGIMENTAL ADVISORY NEUROMANCER use his "TODAY'S JUST NOT YOUR DAY, IS IT?" special ability which causes any unit your opponent has brought in from Reserves to be removed from the game -- you can never be TOO CAREFUL! When that's done, go ahead and move up ST-RAPIN' and his 47 member, all-veteran command squad armed with power relic holy thunder eviscerators into ass-ault. Remember ST-RAPIN' grants all friendly squads within 72" range FURY-ASS CHARGE, AIN'T SCARED, FEEL NO WOUNDS, REGENERATE, FOOTLOOSE AND FANCY FLEET and the new IG-only USR, AUTO-SWEEP -- which eliminates all that pesky rolling for hits and wounds business you'd normally have to deal with in a round of close combat and proceeds directly to the SWEEPING ADVANCE. Since ST-RAPIN' also grants his unit I11, you'll be sittin' pretty on a mound of bodies in no time! If your opponent has any models left at this point (INCONCEIVABLE!) use the new Penal Legion "I'M IN UR BACK DOOR, INVADIN' UR SPACE" move followed up with the "DEATH FROM BEHIND" order. If for some reason THAT doesn't reduce your enemy to having a NEGATIVE model count, say the magic phrase, "WERE YOU IN THE 'NAM, MAN?" to automatically bring LA FEMME DE RAMBO into the game. Once you've placed LA FEMME DE RAMBO on the board, roll a D6. On a 1+, LA FEMME DE RAMBO cuts open the nearest enemy model (unlimited range) and shoves the core of a proto-star into his guts, which immediately goes nova, inflicting 4000D6 STR 11 AP -1 hits on every non-IG model on your board AND the 6 boards closest to yours while ALSO lighting LA FEMME DE RAMBO's cigar. THAT'LL TEACH 'EM TO MESS WITH THE NEW IG!!!

So at the end of Turn 1 you've won your game and most likely the surrounding 6 games as well. WELL DONE, GUARDSMAN! WELCOME TO THE NEW IG!

Next week we'll cover the use of the new REGIMENTAL ADVISORY DEMI-GOD models and their special rules which can let you win a game before you've even met your opponent as well as alter the timeline to retro-actively win every game you lost with that old, horrible, I-don't-want-to-ever-see-that-book-again-burn-every-copy-you-find IG codex.

IT'S A GREAT TIME TO BE IN THE GUARD! there you have it. What do you think? There's no hate in there guys, only maybe the ocassional "knowing wink" or two for those moments when you're reading through your new codex and some of the stuff in it makes you tingle all over -- and don't lie, you know your new book makes you tingle in places that haven't tingled in a long while. And that's perfectly fine. You've earned it. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some Non-40K Creativity

I know this is a bit of a departure -- and in a way something I sort-of promised myself I wouldn't do -- but here's something I've been working on in the background. It's a test render of a panel from a webcomic (of sorts) that I've been working on...for a while now. The character's name is "Dottie" and she's the co-pilot to "CJ" in a story called "Coast-to-Coast Murder Tour". It would seem that Poser and a pile of add-ons finally allow me to create the characters as I've seen them in my head. The next step is to get Cinema 4D running with it's "Sketch and Toon" rendering engine that will turn the wonderfully-detailed 3D world of Poser characters into something resembling...Grand Theft Auto, or a high-end comic book. That's the "world look" I've always wanted to be able to create for CTCMT and I think it may finally be within my grasp.

Will the whole project ever see the light of day? Maybe. :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Palette Portrait

I have finally -- finally! -- gathered all the paints needed for my next project. It took a lot longer than I expected it to, because I had some issues getting a couple of colors right -- mainly, the different shades of turquoise for the base and highlight. Then I needed to find a complementary color range to use for things like cloaks and banners (more on how I did that a little later in this post).

Anyway, once the colors were decided and then matched to a real-world equivalent, it became my quest to actually find all the ones I didn't have locally and buy them. I have this thing about buying things locally -- if there's a business in town that carries what I need I'll go there and buy it. Now what with me being a network engineer (well, ok that was my title, before my promotion) that I would be all up in the whole Internet shopping. For most things, you'd be right, but when it comes to hobby-related things, I keep my money in's just a thing I do.

Anyway, it took a little time and a little driving about town but I finally got everything I needed and thought I'd share this little portrait of me next project's palette. :)

Now...can any of you guess what my next project is based simply on the colors in the palette? (And no fair telling, fellow Austinites!) I have a feeling some of you just might be able to get it right...

Now let me tell you about a couple of nifty little resources I discovered in my quest to match paint colors to colors in a digital image:

Let's say you have a digital picture or document that has colors you want to match. If you've had artistic training you can probably do it without thinking about it too much. Well...I don't, to the rescue!

First thing I opened the image in Photoshop CS4. There's a tool in Photoshop that lets you "sample" a color and it will return the "values" of the color in several formats, including RGB "hex" color codes used in web pages. I took a few random samples of the color and then proceeded over to Color Match v1.0. If you've never used this site before...I highly suggest you check it out. You feed it a color -- either one from the extensive list of paint ranges that's available, or by RGB hex value. I fed it the value I'd gotten from Photoshop, unrestricted the paint ranges it would choose from, hit the button and 2 seconds later I"m looking at a graphic of my chosen color surrounded by the six closest matches from it's dat abase (and like I said, it's pretty extensive). After that I used a couple of other sites (that, I just realized, are on my other laptop so I don't have the links for them...let me know if you want them and I'll pop them up later). that will take a color (again, by RGB hex value) and present you with the complementary, contrast, split complement and "box" colors of your color from the color wheel. I think it's pretty bad ass.

Finally, I took the hex values from the color "theme" generating sites and put them back into Color Match and badda bing, badda boom I had the info on the colors I needed.

So there you have it: a portrait of the palette and how I got the paints matched to colors in a digital image.

How about you guys? How do you choose your color schemes? Ever use one of those nifty color wheel thingies? How did things turn out?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Terminator Pics (or, "Screwing Around Trying to Learn the Camera, Light-box and Lighting")

Holy crap, it seems just like yesterday I was talking about putting up some sample pics that resulted from taking some test pics with the light-box. But it wasn't "only yesterday", come tomorrow it will have been a week since that post -- which means, ultimately, is that I should have been able to smell the FAIL in that idea. :)

Fast-forward through t
his craptacular week until last night. I was finally had the time to pull it all together and take a few pics with the new gear. Adding new gear into your photo-making world is pretty much like adding a new brush into your painting tools. Sometimes making only a change or two can have fairly dramatic (and sometimes unforeseen) consequences and will take time for you to learn how to use the new tools and smoothly integrate it into your processes. It can also reveal deficiencies in your existing gear, too -- I realized almost immediately that I don't have enough "proper" light sources to use the box most effectively. These photos have fourescent, CFL, and incandescent light sources...and that's probably the worst mix of light temperatures to attempt capturing the subject's color accurately. Don't get me wrong, I knew this going IN to this little "photo shoot" but I made the best with what I had on hand. Needless to say, a trip to Lowe's is in order to purchase more "shop lights" and "daylight" CFL bulbs before I try to take any more pics.

Luckily, it's Photoshop to the rescue (as it often is when you're dealing with digital images). If you're unfamiliar with digital image manipulation software, there's a halfway-decent tutorial on CMON that covers the very basic basics. And if you don't have Photoshop (and it's an expensive beast, I'll grant you that), well that's OK, you can always use The GIMP. It's free, open-source software that works, and works very well (having most of the core functionality of Photoshop).

Like most things, though, do a li
ttle research and a little reading and you'll quickly learn how to "clean up" your images with minimal effort.

Also keep in mind that I did VERY little image manipulation on these pics, spending only a couple of minutes on each one. So while they look pretty good...they could look a lot better if I wanted to spend the time to do it -- but for my purposes at this point, I think they're acceptable.

Another trick I need to learn is improving the "detail" shots -- you know, when you want to highlight a specific detail or two on the mini. Planning the shots out before (or while) you've got the camera on the tripod will really pay off. One thing's for certain, you're probably not going to get that nice "money shot" of those details if you didn't take some good pics of them in the first place. :)

Now if only the Blogger editor could handle image placement in blog postings, we'd be in business. But for some reason, it doesn't, and by that I mean, "Yes, it does, but BOY does it SUCK." If anyone has any tips or knows of a way to place images in blog postings using a WYSIWYG editor, please let me know, because the stock editor is FAIL.

Oh, and before you even suggest it: No, I'm really not interested in cranking out some custom HTML code to make pictures display exactly where I want them to. C'mon guys, it can't be THAT had. I'm pretty sure both Microsoft Office and Sun's OpenOffice have word processors that'll do it...get with the program, Google, and suck less! :)

Anyway, enough about that. I mean it's not like you can't place images in the posting at all (obvioiusly, huh?).

This final image is the one I'm most happy with (or should that be, "least disappointed in"?). I did a tiny bit more image manipulation on it (though the background -- at least in the image presented to me in the Blogger editor -- looks kinda like ass and could definitely use some tidying up.

Ah well, that's a project for some other time. :)

So what do you use for taking pics of your minis? Any specific gear? What about where you take those pics? Indoors? Outdoors? In your secret underground lair? What about touching those pics up before posting them? Any specific steps or procedures you'd like to share?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The "Secret Project" to Make Something That Will Make One Part of This Hobby Easier...

OK, longest post title ever...but it basically sums up what I've spent a few hours working on lately.

Here's a pic (taken with the camera on my phone, which is "eh" at best for this sort of thing) of the almost-completed light-box I built to make taking close-ups of minis easier.

I was going to go the "cut up a cardbox box to make the frame" route, which certainly works and does what a "light box" or "photo box" is supposed to do...but for some reason, that just didn't seem like sturdy enough (and yes, I know just how crazy that sounds). I figured if I was going to take the time to actually build something like that, I might as well make it so I only have to build it once. I know me, and knowing me, I'm pretty sure if I'd built one out of cardboard I would have damaged/destroyed it before getting more than one or two uses out of it.

I had a couple of ideas floating around in my head for a possible design. I was thinking about making the frame out of PVC tubing, or something similar. Not wanting to re-invent the wheel, I paid a visit to one of my most favorite sites in all the Internet: Instructables. A quick search yielded a potential design using electrical conduit, but that seemed perhaps a bit too involved. However a little more searching and I discovered this design, which utilized expandable window screen units and was "folding" for easy storage/travel and actually looked very professional. We had a winner!

I wasn't able to find "squard" window screens, so I had to modify one of the screens with the trusty Dremel to make it square for the back panel, but other than that I followed the plan from the instructable pretty closely.

I'm very pleased with the results. I picked up a "utility light' (basically a light-bulb socket and an aluminum reflector) and a couple more "Daylight" (6500K...supposedly, anyway) compact flourescent bulbs and I can pretty well flood the interor the light box with bight, diffuse light.

All that remains to be done is adding the "diffusing material" (yep, I used a cheap bed sheet, too) to the back panel (which I'm going to do today) and then do some trial runs. I'll post up some the results of the trial runs either today or tomorrow.

Anyway, that's my latest little tangential project to enhance my hobby experience. What little side projects have you taken on make something that will make some part of the 40K/WFB hobby easier, better, or simply more "professional" looking? Have you ever had an idea for something -- a new tool, some object, or maybe even a new process or way of doing things -- that you think would enhance your hobby in some way? If you have....share it! You never know what kind of inspiration you may get -- or give!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Back for the Attack!'s been a while.

When I last updated, I was talking about getting my motivation back. Well, it's come back with a vengeance! I've been painting or modeling pretty much every night for the last couple of weeks.

What I've been focusing on is "learning to suck less at painting". I've been experimenting with new techniques, new paints, and even -- gasp! -- bought a "real" paintbrush...a Winsor & Newton Series 7 Size 0.

I've learned how to make a wash out of regular ol' paint. I've even learned some very rudimentary glazing methods. The one thing you'll notice in the pic is something "new" I've been working on, and that's highlighting. I'm far from great at it but I'm finally learning how to do it and I'm pleased with my progress so far.

I've spent a LOT of time haunting the Reaper Minis forums, especially the Painting Tips & Advice section. There are TONS of very experienced painters there, and all sorts of tutorials and advice and pretty much everything I've learned over the last few weeks I've gleaned it from there (or followed a link or two from there). If you'd like to learn more about painting, I'd recommend you check it out.

Plus I broke in the wife's new super-sexy Canon SD1100IS camera, and that's why I actually have a picture to show you (along with setting up a little area to actually photograph minis). I have some other things I want to share but I was just trying to get a decent pic out of out it and I think I did all right. Expect more to come in the future now that I have the camera and photo-place more-or-less sorted.

Anyway, about the mini in the picture. He's my new veteran sergeant (well, they're all veterans now, but that's the way I'm used to thinking about them). There's some minor conversion work in there, mainly the arm holding the pistol. I took one of the old "pointing hand" arms from the old Devastator set, whacked off the pointing hand and replaced it with the hand holding the bolt pistol. I had to use some green stuff to smooth out the join to the body, and it's not super-smooth but I'm OK with that, considering it's my first try at something like that. I had the pose in my head as what I really wanted to do and finding that pointy arm was the final piece to the puzzle. I would like to note that while I've heard they actually make one or two models with them, I can't for the life of me find a right-handed power fist! So I went with what I could find and I'm very pleased with the results.

As for paint, I used the Reaper Master Series "Ultramarie Triad" (which contains Ultramarine Shadow, Ultramarine Blue, and Ultramarine Highlight) for the majority of the work, though somewhere in the middle of it I purchased the RMS Blue Liner, and pretty much immediately switched to that for shading/shadows/darklining. The Blue Liner is superb -- dark, smooth, doesn't need much thinning (a trademark of all RMS paints, actually) and it plays very well with pretty much any shade of blue. I also picked up the RMS Clear Blue and did some glazing experiments with it (though not on this mini) and I'm very pleased with it, too.

I still have a couple of touch-ups to do here and there before I'll consider it 100% done, and I'm working on a base that isn't the ol' "rock and flock" (which I've used pretty much exclusively in the past).

I've also completed the terminator I talked about in my last post. I'm pleased with how it turned out, too. I'll get some pics of him up soon. I'm especially happy with his cyclone missile launcher.

On the painting table right now I have one more veteran sergeant and two multi-melta guys. They're very close to done as I worked on them at the same time I was working on this guy. Right now their bodies done, including highlighting, and I'm working on finishing the multi-melta parts and the power fist and bolter arm for the other sergeant and then they'll be ready to go.

When they're done, here's what I'll have left before my current Ultras list is fully painted:

Captain Agemman (A "counts-as" Lysander, so I'm using the Lysander model with some conversions)
8 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators
2 Vindicators
1 Razorback
1 Land Raider

The vehicles will actually be pretty easy to do, as I'll fire up the ol' airbrush and knock them out. The TH/SS termis will take a while, but one of the reasons I've taken so long on the 4 guys I have on the table in progress is I've been experimenting and learning with them so doing the termis won't be a matter of conquering a learning curve. I'm not deluding myself, it's going to be a lot of work but I'm actually exciting about doing them now that I feel that my painting had taken a "next step". :)

I've also managed to play at least one game a week (except for last week) since I last updated, and that's gone very well. I've even played against a new guard list and pulled out a win (though admittedly there wasn't much of the "cheaty stuff" in the list, so I don't consider it a "true test"). I'm hoping to play JWolf soonish (note to self: talk to JWolf soon and see about arranging a game with him). I know he'll hand me my ass but it's all about the learning, and I'd like to see just how bad the new Guard is, and I'm pretty sure he'll be happy to show me. Painfully. :)

So, anyway, that's the news. I have quite a few posts planned in my head so stay tuned (or something like that).

How about you guys? What's on your painting table? What have you been pushing yourself to learn lately? What are your hobby plans for the next six months?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Motivation, Part II (Take What You Get When You Get It)

Following up on my previous post concerning motivation for painting, I wanted to say that I finally, finally got my brush wet with paint (which sounds like innuendo, but isn't) this morning.

After going to see "A Haunting in Connecticut" (Joe's capsule review: "Hide and seek in the House of the Damned", or, more succinctly: "This movie sucks. A lot.") and subsequently overdosing on BoLS and FTW Blogger Group blog posts to cleanse my pallet, I felt compelled to get out one of my already-primed terminators, and lay down a base-coat of Ultramarine Shadow.


It's a small step, but it's a big one. I actually feel motivated and excited about painting again.

On a related note, I discovered I really, really need to clean my contacts.

I'm going to go with the "take what you get when you get it" school of thought and be happy I'm feeling good about painting again, even if it's only one base-coating one model. Longest journey, first step and all that.

Wish me luck, brothers!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I've Seen the New Guard Codex

So tonight while at the FLGS I noticed they had their copy of the new Guard codex. Watching that thing travel around the room was a joy, because I got to see these Guard players open it, page through it, and then smile.

I don't know enough about Guard to be able to say what the differences are between the old 'dex and the new one -- and don't ask me about points values because I didn't linger in my looking over it (though I do remember the plasma-packin' Russ, fully loaded with sponsons and everything was well over 200 points). What I do know is this: If you've been playing Guard for years now, and have been eating crap at the tournaments and even during friendly games...your Moment of Retribution is at hand.

There's some broken, broken stuff in this book. Guard are probably going to become a top-tier army, or close to it. You can roll out a TON of tanks. The special characters are awesome. It's a good time to be a Guard player. Enjoy it, my brethern in service to the Emperor, for the good times are here for you at last.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Congratulations, JWolf!

I just wanted to take a moment and congratulate JWolf on winning the Gladiator event at Adepticon.

Well done, sir! Well done!

It's times like this that I'm especially proud to live in Austin. :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Motivation (It Comes and Goes)

I finally decided on an army list that I really like for my Ultramarines.

I finally got all the minis I need for The Army of The Crowing.

I have most of them assembled, more than a few primed, and all the paints I need for both armies.

And yet...I find I'm lacking one key ingredient: Motivation.

I don't know where it went. I'm excited about both armies, and I'm really looking forward to putting them both on the tabletop...but for some reason or the other, what with everything that's been going on with work and personal life, I just can't find the motivation to know...paint.

This bothers me greatly.

But -- this being my hobby and all -- I'm very much against forcing myself to paint, as I'm pretty sure my lack of motivation would come out in the paint job, and it would look less than stellar (and my painting needs all the help it can get!).

So I ask you: what do you do when you can't find the motivation to paint? What little tricks do you have to get you going? I could really use some inspiration here, guys!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Over the weekend...

Since Friday night I've been a busy little hobbyist.

Decided to play in a 2K point "Doubles Tournament" hosted by FLGS Dragon's Lair (yes, there will be a much more detailed post on that soon). I teamed up with one of Austin's many great 40K players, Darkwynn, a.k.a. Nick. The tournament rules were each player brings 1K points of different-codex armies, but only one HQ unit between them. Nick wanted to run his Witch Hunters/Sisters of Battle, so that meant I had to bring Vulkan. Now, before anyone cries, "cheese!" keep in mind that DL's doubles tournaments have a bit of a reputation for being very competitive, with players trying to constuct the most hard army-combo lists they can. It was ruled that Vulkan's special rule would apply to the Sisters, so it was definitely Flame On! (and Melta On!) time.

The problem was, I didn't have a Vulkan model, considering there's no "official" one, so that meant it was conversion time. I followed Eek's most excellent Vulkan He'stan Conversion Tutorial, and I have to say the results were very nice. I didn't have a Dark Elf Corsair cloak laying about, so they model as it stands doesn't have one (but I will be acquiring one soon) and I used a lance/arm from a Chaos Knights model to make the Spear of Vulkan. Anyway, I got this thing made in a few hours and also put together a Razorback turret assembly and built 3 scout bikers. All of this was to give us the options we needed to play one of 2 or 3 lists Nick had come up with. Turns out the only model that got used was Vulkan, but hey, that's how it goes. :)

The tournament was Saturday, and it took pretty much all day (as these things do). I'll talk about the results in my full tournament post.

Finally, Sunday I finally got down to doing some basecoating on my TH/SS assault terminators. Not really much, mind you, but at least it's a start.

What did you guys accomplish over the weekend, hobby-wise or otherwise?

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Sickness

This post began life as a comment on the Santa Cruz Warhammer post entitled "Squid Therapy". After the third paragraph or so, I realized I had a full-blown post on my hands...and so, here it is:

I call the sickness CMBS -- Compulsive Model Buying Syndrome.

Me: "Hi, my name's Joe, and I have CMBS."

Group: "Hi, Joe!"

I only have three armies -- Marines, Chaos Marines and Warriors of Chaos -- and compared to the number of armies talked about in that post on Santa Cruz Warhammer, that's nothing! So, I guess I don't really have a problem (remember: an addict will always deny that they have a problem, and/or attempt to minimize it's impact on his life or the lives of those around him).

Oh, you mean I need to count stuff from Specialist Games, too? Oh that's easy. I only have the beginnings of 2 fleets, Imperial Navy and Chaos. Note I said beginning! I haven't even played the game yet, I just happen to like the idea of it quite a bit and there are some other people that play it here in Austin and they've promised to show me how to play. So if they're going to show me how to play, I should probably at least see if I can pick up a ship or two. I just so happened to find a few auctions where the price didn't go over my self-imposed limit. It's like it was destiny that I won them, then...right? It's not like I searched for hours or anything, I just happened to put "Battlefleet Gothic" in the search field on Ebay because I was curious. Nothing wrong with curiosity, is there?

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh, yes, how I was overcoming my CMBS. You see, I used to just wander around the ol' FLGS and pick up what looked neat. It was only when I got better at making lists that didn't involve my having to only use models that I own did my symptoms begin to subside. If I bought a model, it was because I needed it specifically to complete a list. My purchases weren't random anymore, oh no, my purchases were the result of my focus on completing an army concept! You're supposed to be WYSIWYG, aren't you? But then I began to make up lists that used quite a few models I didn't have, and some of those were it was back to the FLGS, cash/credit card/debit card warm in my hand, making me feel alive when I checked out with new boxes and blisters of models, glorious models! Um...yeah...but I'm better now, I really don't feel alive inside when I buy new models...nope, not even a little bit. And NO, my hands aren't shaking, thank you very much!

I never wanted to play any other army than Space Marines, either...but then there was this local guy that wanted to sell a complete CSM army for a very, very reasonable price. Was it MY fault I happened on a good deal? I mean, I'd have been a fool to pass that deal up! And even though I knew I was going to have to strip it and re-paint it, and I knew that was actually adding HOURS to the total time to have the army fully painted and table-top ready, I didn't mind, because in the long run I was saving money! Right? And let's face it, even though it was a completely playable army, it didn't have every model I needed to make a list I was 100% happy with. And if you're not happy with your list, you're not really happy, now are you? And let me tell you, I'm all about being happy, and that meant I've had to pick up a few MORE Chaos models. Obliterators? Check! Defiler? Check! Oh, and the Land Raider that came with the CSM army wasn't really a Chaos Land Raider, and I've begun to use it in my loyalist army...but that's OK, I didn't really want to run a loyalist Land Raider in a Chaos army anyway -- it's just not right! So now -- to make everything "right", of course -- I need to pick up a Chaos Land Raider and only use that loyalist one with my Ultramarines. It's the right thing to do! Right? Who's with me?

And what's that "other" game they play at the FLGS? Something about "fantasy battles" or something. Sounds like "fantasy football". I mean don't get me wrong, I used to loveses me some AD&D, but I'm definitely more into the "hard" Sci-Fi world of 40K, no, that fantasy business doesn't interest me at all with it's square bases and silly movement trays! Plus every army has more models in one UNIT than I do in my Space Marine army! Too much work, I'm telling you, and very little reward...
...oh, hey, what's this "Warriors of Chaos" business? Wow, you're right, those are some VERY kick-ass models right there! What are they? "Chaos Knights"? Are they as cool on the table as I think they are? Yeah, sure, I'll get a box...on, and that WoC Army Book, too...oh holy shit, I completely forgot I have a Tomb Kings army! Yeah, that one the kid was selling off, and I traded him an army case or something for it...that's when I bought the WFB book, wasn't it? Hmm, well, at least I don't have to buy that big ol' book again, and now maybe I can actually USE IT! Damn it, "core" choices? Rares? Generals? Heroes? Well let's get crackin', I've gotten a lot better and faster at painting than I was when I first started out! I'll just make a list I'm happy with, post it up and let the local guys critique it, tweak it and then build it, and I will only buy models that I need to make that list. Yeah, cavalry only, baby! Oh, wait, where'd this box of CHAOS WARRIORS come from? Oh, yeah, that was the first box I bought, figuring I was going to need some "core" units anyway...and the FLGS was out of Chaos Knights, so I figured, "Hey, I'll be helping them out, and I'm going to NEED them later anyway, might as well pony up the cash now while I'm here..." We won't mention that "Khorne Lord on Juggernaut" I bought because I thought it would work out pretty cool as a Khornate Chaos Lord in my CSM army...yeah, he'll make a good BSB, won't he? Right!

Come to think of it, I haven't seen that Tomb Kings army since we moved to the new place. I wonder where it is?

When I first got in to this hobby and learned about Forge World, I thought, "No matter what, there's no way I would ever pay that much money for models that don't give you any advantage on the table top! What's the point in that?" I mean, yeah, they look great and there's all kinds of pretty, amazing details...yeah, I have a box of CSMs that I bought a while back, but only took a couple of bits out of. But never mind them, I'm looking for some Plague Marines. Huh, "Nurgle Death Guard Marines Upgrade". Interesting, you can use it with the regular CSM box and get 10 Plague Marines, and wow those bits look fantastic! What, other people are making a big FW order so we can get free express shipping? Well I could use that "Nurgle Death Guard Marines Upgrade" from FW, it's not all THAT much, really, and it would give me those Plague Marines I've been for that "The Army of The Crowing" CSM project. Since I'm not going to use those CSMs anyway... You know how I know the set is called "Nurgle Death Guard Marines Upgrade"? I'm reading it off the label on the ziplock bag that Forge World ships it in! But man, look how AWESOME those bits are! Hey, Forge World has Ultramarine terminator shoulder pads. Those would look great on those assault temrinators I'm building. Some more guys are putting together another Forge World order...? Sure, count me in!

But at least I can take some solace in the fact that I'm not one of those guys that go all crazy and buy a lot of specialized gear and tools. I mean, I really needed the Army Transport II, it was just so much more convenient than anything else...and who can resist the Gale Force 9 stuff? C'mon, they put that little hole there on the TAC template so you could spin it around on your finger! Oh, that application? It's called Army Builder, and it really makes the whole list building process a lot easier. No, you don't need it to play or anything, it's a convenience. What's wrong with having something that makes a task easier to do? It gives me more time to build and paint minis, I swear. And that airbrush, and the compressor that go with it? Well, you can't count that! I mean, you can clearly use it for SO many other things than just painting minis! I mean...I guess you can, anyway. I've only ever used paint minis. But I COULD use it for other things, so it doesn't count. Nope, not at all...and the Dremel? Hey, my dad gave me that Dremel, so that totally doesn't count! And you can definitely use it for other things! I mean, I'm pretty sure you can...all I've ever used it for is...yeah...model building.

So...anyway, I've gotten a lot better. I barely suffer from CMBS at ALL any more. In fact, there are times when I don't even THINK about buying more models.

I call those times "being asleep".

So...any of you guys have CMBS? If so, how do your symptoms flare up? Have you ever had a serious relapse?

God-Emeperor grant me the serenity
to buy the models I cannot trade for,
the courage to trade for what I can,
and the wisdom to stay off Ebay.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

First Picture of AoTC Defiler

We'll call this a "teaser" picture. I hope you like it, and by all means feel free to comment/critique.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Army of The Crowing Defiler Completed!

With the application of the model glue and the placing of the final armor plate over the scratch-build/converted defiler CCW, I'm finally finished with the defiler for The Army of The Crowing.

Pictures, of course, are to follow, as the wife has said she will be happy to let me borrow her super-camera for mini-picture-taking-duties (she's awesome, that wife of mine!).

All I can say is that the defiler turned out to be a much longer and harder project than I've ever done. It being the first chaos vehicle I've ever attempted, I tried to keep it very stock (even though, I know, there are those that feel chaos vehicles need tentacles and slime to make them look "chaos-y"...I'm not one of those people). The first lesson I learned actually came at the suggestion of the wife. She took one look at the first leg armor plate that I completed, all nice and smooth...and said, "It's too clean." She was right, it was, so I had to re-think how I was going to paint the model, and I came up with a base coat of Reaper Master Series Coldstone Grey followed by a wash of Badab Black, then a drybrush of Coldstone Grey again. This process actually evolved towards the end as I realized I could do a basecoat of Reaper Master Series Stormcover Grey and then a drybrush of Coldstone Grey with much the same effect.

The trick is going to be getting the same "look" with the other vehicles in the army (several rhinos, a vindicator, and a land raider). We'll see how that goes, it'll definitely be a very different process than what I do for my Ultras, which involves a nice smooth application of Ultramarines Blue with the
airbrush. :)

Anyway, I'm very pleased with how it came out and I'm excited to get some pictures up of it soon so you can critique my work.

What's the most challenging project you've ever completed? What did you learn completing it? How satisfied did you feel showing off your new centerpiece?

tell me did the bones collide? why did the bones collide? little lover's so polite, so polite, so polite.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Painting Background Music

If you're like me, you put on the headphones and crank something up to a suitable volume level (my preferred volume level is Asteroid Impact) and get to work on with the water and the pigments.

Lately, I've been listening almost exclusively to Silversun Pickups' Carnavas as I find the mix of smooth layered guitars and often-cryptic lyrics a good mental stimulant to keep my fingers moving in the right ways. Little Lover's So Polite and Dream at Tempo 119 are current favorites, though of course the all-time champion on this album is Lazy Eye.

What do you listen to when you're painting? Do you like something that stimulates your mind? Or do you like something that hovers in the background, never intruding? Or do you prefer to enjoy the silence?

it's the room, the sun and the sky

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Run it Up the Flagpole..."

Call it a social experiment. Call it "Joe got bored with the whole Nob Biker thing and thought he would put this up as his final outlet for it", call it what you will, but here it is:

A petition., I'm not taking it seriously. No, I don't expect anything to come of it. Yes, it is (hopefully) the last bit of complaining/bitching/whining/etc. I'll do about Nob Bikers.

Sign if you want. Don't if you don't. I'm curious to see just what happens...

Spread the word! :)

BattleFleet Gothic

I've been itching to try BattleFleet Gothic. Capital ship combat? Yes, please!

I recently made the Ebay rounds, casting my net far and wide, and managed to score for a few pennies on the dollar a few ships, hopefully, enough to at least get to know the game (with some proxies definitely needed). I landed 8 Chaos cruisers, 4 Imperial cruisers, a blister of Shark assault boats, and an Emperor class battleship.

Now all I have to do is wait for them to arrive...