Thursday, January 14, 2010

Building an Army from the Ground Up

So, remember that gaming-related content I promised you? This is me, delivering it!

I told you
I have two armies I'm going to be sharing with you. Because I want to milk these armies every drop of bloggery-related content I can (hey, at least I'm honest!) I'm going to go over the components and some WIP stuff before I actually drop the army itself on you.

It's no secret that I worked on the Star Phantoms army for the Badab Campaign. The real tragedy is that I never got to play this army, not even once. Remember all those thinly-veiled references to a life out of control in my "back to blogging" post?
One of the victims of my life de-railing over the last half-year or so was my ability to participate in the Badab Campaign. I can't tell you how sick it makes me, or how incredibly sorry I am to the guys that ran the campaign that I wasn't able to take part in it.

Anyway...moving forward.

When I began the Star Phantoms, I decided early on that since this was my second Space Marine army, I was going to try and make it my "showcase" -- more accurately, I was
going to paint it using the best of my abilities, pushing myself to hopefully get better in all aspects of modeling and painting in the process, with the goal of having something I could really be proud of when I was done.

I'll let you be the judge of whether or not I succeeded after I've posted the pics and all the stuff about it up. But for now I want to talk about the very ground level of your army...the base.

It's become a trend lately to use custom resin bases to really make your army stand out. I wasn't totally sold on the idea at first, since I hasn't actually seen any of the resiny wonders in person. But the fine crew of gaming elite at Austin's very own Battleforge Games made some kind of distribution deal with and once I saw the Battlefield of Thran set...well, I knew I'd found my bases.

That's right, bases. As in, my goal was to base the entire army on resin bases. Yeah, I know, it's a bit much...but remember, "showcase army" OK?

Anyway, here's a few pics of a couple of sets of the bases I've used. Unfortunately these were taken pretty late in the process and I don't have any "true" WIP shots.

This set of bases has craters and voids and ruts and the like, and since I was already in WAY over my head I thought, "Hey, why not put some water in those holes? That'll look cool!" It took me 2 hours and three hobby stores before I found a "water kit" with these simple instructions: "Pour this crap into a hole and leave alone for a day." Imagine my surprise when it came out looking...well, half-decent, I think

These last couple
of shots are a little more close up, and should give you an idea of just how much detail is packed on these bases. You'll notice the pipes in the ground (which was my inspiration for putting "water" in the voids). The rust on those pipes I'm pretty happy with, especially considering the technique I used for them. And by "technique", I mean I brushed over them with one of my new best friends, the "Floquil Enamel Paint Marker" in "Rust" color. One step rusty pipes? Hell, yes! I'll take two please!

...and there you have it, bona-fide gaming-related content!

What little projects have you guys been working on? Make any discoveries lately that turn a complex process into a one-step dream? Ever started a project, committed to a theme and standard...and about halfway through it realize you must have bumped your head just before you made that decision? Well....share it! It'll make me feel better. :)