Sunday, November 8, 2009

Industrial Terrain Project - Day 11

I am constantly on the prowl for scenery 'on the cheap'.  As much as I believe I have every right to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on the highest quality resin-cast structures, my children constantly bombard me with irrational and self-serving arguments such as "it's cold" and "I'm hungry".

Whatever.  Call when you get work.

Anyhow... O-Scale model train buildings are generally pretty darn close to 28mm in most cases. Problem is, anything a retailer can add the words "for model train sets" to the description gets a 700% markup (your mileage may vary).  So stumbling across a decent deal on a decent O-Scale building is, well...  decent luck.

I found me one of them "good deals".  Bachmann Plasticville O Kit, Apartment House, 45980. Approximately fifteen bucks each + shipping.  They have the right retro feel, and when I am done appropriately "dark futuring" them up they will be a perfect addition to my industrial city as Hab Block One and Hab Block Two.  Pix below are original nasty plastic color after assembly, with the second unit one step further (primed). FrankenOrk & Sparkz the 'Bot for scale reference.

Don't expect much from the kits themselves.  There is no internal detail.  No windows either, but I'll be fixing that by using some of the hundreds of discarded clear plastic packaging pieces I have been hording since last Christmas. You know...  the ones your IPod, Car Charger, or other electronic must-have thingee came sealed in? The packaging that is impossible to open without the Jaws-of-Life and an acetylene torch?  It has a use.

The base plastic as-formed colors (maroon/gold) are hideous. But there's a considerable number of raised textures which I am positive will respond well to drybrushing.  Each kit is a ten minute assembly.  Use super glue. The plastic is some manner of mutant polymer that standard Testors model cement couldn't dig into.

I like these so much, that I am positive there will be a Hab Block Three and Hab Block Four.

Plasticville.  There's a pop culture reference in there somewhere.  Just don't feel like digging it out.

Epic Possibilities

While collecting and tossing out all of the GW plastic kit instruction sheets which I have meticulously kept throughout the years for some inexplicable reason (not really inexplicable... even as I throw them away I am half-convinced I'll need them at some point), I happened across the dust encrusted case which holds a motley assortment of CAV white metal 'mechs'. The CAV models had crossed my mind once or twice in the context of possible Ebay fodder, but I'd not had the burning desire to actually dig them out and take a gander in a very long time.

For those unfamiliar, CAV (short for Combat Assault Vehicle) is/was a game produced by Reaper Miniatures in the vein of "oversize metal robots blasting the everliving crap out of one another".  Somewhat standard fare, though the CAV in-game scale is a little more personal than Battletech.  More akin to walking main battle tanks than walking battleships. To Reaper's credit, most of the models (such as the Dictators pictured above) are just downright incredible and are formed decently enough with minimal flash.  Unfortunately, Reaper screwed the pooch in terms of... well, everything related to the second edition release of the game.  The release delays of CAV second edition rules (based on Reaper's multi-genre R.A.G.E.system which CAV shared with Warlord) were multiple and lengthy, and when ultimately blessed for public consumtion the CAV second edition rules were only available in the $40.00 boxed starter set.  To add insult to injury, those 'included' rules were on a CD in PDF format.  Reaper did at one point say they would make the individual (PDF) rules available for download purchase from their online store, though by that time I had long since lost interest as I was having to try way too hard to remain a Reaper customer.  It didn't help that in this time frame Reaper had a data breach and my credit card information was compromised.  Failure cascade.

Rambling diatribe about Reaper aside, I'm left with a few dozen N-Scale models which have no purpose in life. With the resurgence of Epic 40K as of late I wonder if any all of these would be suitable for that system. The man-sized figures have as much detail as any tiny little chunks of white metal could, and the Heavy Troopers bear a striking resemblance to Astartes.

This whole thought train is a first-blush, "I wonder" thread.  So there remain a few points yet to determinine:

1) Scale of Epic as compared to CAV.  I vaguely recall reading that Epic was N-Scale as well, but I am rapidly approaching 'venerated' (sans the deserving of honor part) and my memory fails me more often than not.

2) Are any of these CAV models viable counts-as?

3) Do I even want to delve into yet another systems of miniatures?!  This is probably the most important question of the three.

Likely going to drop a post in the BoLS Lounge... see if the general geekdom has some input.  I'll be pleasantly surprised if any of them has even heard of CAV.  And if none of this works out, I'll make a few bucks on Ebay.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Rotten Luck & Customer Service

The really, real world took it upon itself to repeatedly curb-stomp me this week...  and then kick me in the jimmies for good measure.  

For all three of you who read this blog, posts to occur today-ish.

Something I feel important to mention:  Purchased a Battlewagon recently which had an unformed part.  Contacted GW and inquired about the best way to go about acquiring that single part, as it is relatively important to the model. Support was extremely amicable and indicated they'd send out a replacement part right away.  What they sent me was an entirely new Battlewagon kit.

Games Workshop models are a bit salty (expensive). Everyone knows this. Doesn't stop me, or any number of others, from buying them in droves... as we bitch incessantly about the cost. I guarantee the above-and-beyond customer service I received will factor heavily next time I'm waffling about a model's cost.

Well played GW.

Monday, October 26, 2009

'Ork in Progress Part Deux - Captain Trips Edition

Not an especially productive week... from a 40K or any other perspective. Spent the better part of four days slowly withering away from Captain Trips (obscure Stephen King superflu reference +1).  I did however manage to assemble the remainder of my 500-pointer...

...turn my Boyz into 'Ard Boyz...

...kustomize my Warlord...

...and get the lot primed for painting.

Then there's this poor fella'.

All he wanted to do was be a 'Ard Boy like his mates. Snatching a pauldron from one of 'dem fallen Chaos 'umies, just like some of the other lads 'ad done, seemed like the best way to go about it.  

Nurgle?  Whodat?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wayback Machine - What IS That Thing?!

Come with me, intrepid traveler, two years into the distant past. Where the man who never finishes projects (MWNF) happens across an article on GW's website detailing two Rhinos kitbashed together into the awesomeness that was the "ASC". MWNF deludes himself into believing he absolutely cannot live without one, and sets about hacking and sanding and plasticard'ing and slathering glue.  Surely THIS will be the one project he finishes!

Fast-forward to present day.  The original ASC article is now defunct, vanished into the black hole of the interwebz, and there she sits... collecting dust.  Unfinished.  Kudos MWNF.  Well played.

Help me out here. What purpose should this bastardized monstrosity serve?  As you can see the plasticard work is solid, so it's worth salvaging. I have ideas - such as 4x Heavy Bolter sponsons and a pair of Twin-Linked Assault Cannons ala land battleship.  No doubt cool, but relatively unremarkable.  I think this model has a great deal more potential...  but I'm at a loss as to exactly what that potential is. Some sort of massive artillery piece?  Mobile C&C Prometheus-esque platform?  MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System)? 

Input please.  I have some time here while the primer dries on my new Ork Bikers and I flesh out exactly what I want to do with my World Eaters.  Time to get this thing close to some semblance of finished.

By the by:  if perchance you, dear reader, have an archived copy of the original ASC article, I'd be extremely interested in acquiring it for nostalgia purposes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

'Ork in Progess

In case it has not become increasingly apparent, I tend to jump between projects quite a bit.  I enjoy the hell out of customizing/painting/building, and am generally in no big hurry to get any one of them done...  so puttering on whichever model strikes my fancy at the time works for me.  That, or I am trying here to excuse my pronounced lack of attention span.  Regardless…

Up until now I have been perfectly content with my 500 points of happy green goodness.  They’re fully painted (which is a novelty in and of itself) and they’re my simplistic diversion army when I want some comic relief. 

A few nights ago I was rummaging through the storage and bits box under the game table, looking for some obscure piece which I never found, and a Deffkopta clattered to the floor.  As I was reaching to put it away, it dawned on me that there were a sizable number of Boyz bitz strewn about under there, and I really had no idea exactly how much Orky goodness might be lurking in the gloomy depths.  So I started digging.  The end result surprised even me, and I am fully aware of my obsessive-compulsive 40K purchasing.  

The discoveries included:

- 3 Deffkoptas - ala Black Reach
- Nobs box set - purchased for conversion bits
- Killa Kan – unassembled. A birthday gift from my son
- Stormboyz box set – likely an impulse buy.  Love the models
- Five of the OOP bikers (not sized correctly, but fully painted)
- Nob that came with White Dwarf Black Reach release
- A primed Big Mek
- Trukk – the OOP one, also not sized correctly
- Buggy – half completed
- 5 Nobs – more Black reach goodness
- 20 Boys – even more Black Reach goodness
- 1 (AWESOME) Boss w/ power claw - Black Reach strikes again
- Looted Rhino – half finished.  Now defunct, but possibly usable

Though I have not taken the time to rough-calculate the exact point value of all the sundry bits, there’s no question that this is a sizable addition to my existing horde. Quite possibly edging the green guys into the top slot as my largest army to date.  Think I’ve found my weekend project.  Couple gallons of green paint, some high-caffeine beverages… and we got ourselves a party!

I need to get out more. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Project Reveal - Custom Heavy Weapon Bases

Close friend of mine has a birthday fast approaching, and I wanted to give him something unique.  As he's a new IG player, I figured I couldn't go wrong with the gift of 40K.  We had a match scheduled for Sunday, so I was scrambling to get these completed, and spent the better part of the weekend obsessing over every minute detail (because I am like that). What you see below is the end result.

Unfortunately the match was not to be, as my pal was unfortunate enough to require an emergency room visit.  Happy birthday and get well soon bud, so you can see these things in person!

(Credit for the photography: my lovely wife. Additional shots @ 'read more')

In the eternal struggle between good and evil…

…evil always has more fun.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my next army project must be no holds barred, wanton-destruction-for-its-own-sake, full on 100% Chaos.  No more fence-straddling, angsty anti-heroes for a while.  Time to take the gloves off and embrace the darkness.

So what does this mean?!  It means I need to choose… and I have some prerequisites:

1)  Evil - no apologies, no soul-searching, no regret.  Kill! Maim! …you get the point.
2)  Well established background – though I enjoy it immensely, I tire of self-fluffing (yeah, I said it).  I want history, dogma, gear and well defined options out-of-the-box.
3)  If I’m going cult, there’s really no way around the fact that 4th ed CSM has the better rules for that purpose. Of course, full agreement amongst the gaming group is a requirement.* 

* I prefer 4th ed CSM for cult traitor marines, simply because of the depth of the rules. However I am one of the apparent few who actually like the 5th ed CSM codex, because I see it for what I believe to be its intended purpose: generic renegades.  That publication covers those generic renegades admirably, and it served me well in this regard.  I never got the sense that the codex was meant to encompass or define the pure cult traitors.  That being said, this will be my first pure cult army.  So I was fortunate enough to escape the sense of betrayal felt by those poor souls who possessed well established Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, etc upon the release of the new codex. 

Here are the chapter options and personal opinion of dogma/tenants:

Word Bearers:  In terms of unadulterated, despicable evil, these monsters are hard to outdo.  The Word Bearers don’t just do the deed… they ruminate over perfecting each nefarious act.  Flawlessness in execution of debauchery and depravity being the ultimate aspiration.  Academic malevolence and fanatical devotion to the ruinous powers… the Word Bearers ooze unrepentant wickedness.    One of the better takes on the ‘Bearers I have read (and the partial inspiration for this thread) is Matthew Farrer’s short story, Snares & Delusions.

World Eaters:  The sharp point of the Chaos spear.  When you want something dead, really dead… accept no substitute.  Vicious and vile, the ‘Eaters are the best amongst equals at storming a target and making it disappear.  Straightforward brutality.  Violence its own reward, but quantity far outstrips quality in the act.  Devotees of Khorne (who else?), the only non Chaos Undivided chapter in the list.

Night Lords:  Undisputed masters of terror.  In contrast to the raw terror of certain death inspired by the World Eaters, fear inspired by the Night Lords is dread of the unknown… of one of any number of atrocities to come.  Stealth, darkness, and horror are the mantra of the ‘Lords. Death from the shadows, their forte.   The ‘Lords do not worship the Ruinous Powers as gods, but this reality makes them no more virtuous.  Unspeakable acts of depravity are their calling card, and are likely the only sign of the Night Lord’s presence a living being will ever encounter.  Though the premise is fantastic, the Night Lords strike me as a niche army, and difficult to represent well.  In addition, I think their hit-and-run tactics could prove challenging in games.

Iron Warriors:  Paranoid in the extreme, merciless, consummate masters of the siege.  Ruthless & coldly efficient, Iron Warriors pour steel rain on ill fated foes with an overwhelming number of large-bore weapons (four Heavy Support choices).  The only Astartes, loyalist or traitor, with the capability to field a Basilisk.  Iron Warrior Possessed are unique in the utilization of bound daemonic energies to power an array of cybernetic enhancements, as opposed to outright mutation.   A lot that is fascinating, but don’t really have the “boogymen” feeling to them.  More of a calculating, mechanical amorality.

This is where I stand at the moment.  I’ve made no decision as of yet, but have definite leanings.  I’ve placed a poll to the right, and would be interested to hear opinions on a preferred army, and the reasoning for that preference.

Death to the false emperor!  

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend Project

Spent the entirety of the weekend working on a special project.

Watch this space for an update shortly.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Industrial Terrain Project: Day 10.5

After receiving requests to see some WIP shots of Building One (which I don't have), I decided to toss some of the various pieces I have (in numerous stages of completion) on the table to give a better overview of what the end result will look like... eventually.

The pictures really speak for themselves, and they illustrate much more concisely than my original description how the edges of each piece form streets, curbs, etc.  I do apologize in advance for the picture quality. Though I am working on it, my photography skills are far from respectable. As I luck into better pix I'll replace the worst of the lot in this post.

Finally & completely unrelated, a gratuitous 3/4 beauty shot of my converted Macharius Annihilator.  For no other reason than it is a damn fine piece of machinery.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wayback Machine - June '08 - BoLS Machaian Crusade IG Regiment Challenge Entry

Went back in time a ways to grab and preserve here my entry in the BoLS Macharian Crusade minidex IG Regiment Challenge, along with my background as originally submitted (before I knew they has Adrantis V well-covered).

Macharian Crusade IG Regiment Challenge - June '08

I ended up sending the model to the BoLS guys to do with as they please. Though I do wonder what ever became of him.  I have to say that I'm pleased my painting skills have improved somewhat since then.

The Scourge

Self-named The Scourge, and labeled “Red Devils” by Imperial forces, these enigmatic forces presented a considerable threat to Third Army Group perimeter and reconnaissance forces for the duration of the Macharian crusade in the Ghost Worlds region. Scourge forces struck rapidly utilizing highly fluid tactics which consistently demoralized the more rigid Imperial troops through the use of insidiously clever ambush and hit-and-run guerrilla tactics; generally preferring to strike at night or in poor weather conditions. Advanced liquid propellant-based projectile weapons, which made a distinctive low-frequency thwumph sound and X-shaped red-orange muzzle flash when fired, only served to add to the elusive adversaries' mystique and further unsettle the outclassed guardsmen. Specifics regarding troop disposition, motivation and origins were never significantly discerned as Scourge infantry were morbidly adept at discovering creative means of suicide to avoid interrogation. The ultimate fate of Scourge forces after the crusade remains unknown; though haunting regional tales persist of unidentified raiders striking fringe settlements and unwary patrols without warning, leaving only the corpses of their victims as evidence of passage as they seemingly vanish back into the ether.

Doctrines: Die-Hards, Drop Troops, Sharpshooters, Carapace Armor
Preferred Weapon: Liquid propellant-based sabot projectile cannon (lascannon equivalent)

Dryw, Renegades and a Bit of Cheese...


I imagine it’s time I provided a bit of insight into the author.

The crafting aspect of 40K is just as enjoyable to me as the game itself.  Coming from a long and undistinguished career of military diorama modeling, my 40K end results tend towards more subtle & dingy/less flashy colors. I spend way too much time on each model/scenery piece, and I avoid Cool Mini or Not as the disgusting amount of skill some of those guys possess makes me weep.

I only play friendly ‘home’ matches.  One too many temper-tantrum-getting-screamed-at-who-needs-basic-hygiene bad experiences in a LGS pushed me out of that arena for good.   I much prefer a regular group of players who never get wrapped around the axle about rule interpretations or that extra 1/16th of an inch the Carnifex may have moved.  I’m a crotchety old curmudgeon, and just don’t have a whole lot of patience for that sort of garbage in my favorite pastime.  So to ensure that sort of environment, I built a 4’x8’ monstrosity in my rec room and once or twice a month the gang gets together and tosses dice.  I’d have it no other way.

As for armies themselves, I am invariably drawn to the weird, the one-off, the kooky, and the just plain odd.  Coolness factor ranks high, even if whatever it is doesn’t necessarily work very well or even reliably.  The few times it _does_ work are worth the pain, and getting a good laugh out of it is a plus.  I run four armies exclusively:  Renegade Marines, Orks, Tryanids, and Kroot Mercenaries.  The Orks and ‘Nids are relatively sane/vanilla straightforward builds and are great when I am in a smash-and-grab mood.  The Kroot Mercs? Well, they lose…  a lot.  But they’re damn fun to play (albeit a massive pain in the ass to assemble).

The Renegades… need a bit of explanation.  Not excusing, mind you… just explanation (read more link below).

Industrial Terrain Project: Day 10

Ok, that’s not entirely true…  Day 10.  I only recently started chronicling/blogging my crafting exploits and I have been fiddling with the four terrain pieces I'm detailing in these posts for quite some time. So I actually have no clue of the actual ‘start date’.  Arbitrary number ‘10’ it is.

Almost all the terrain builds for 40K I see out in web-land consist of structures which have been pulverized or half buildings with the plumbing hanging out.  Don’t get me wrong, many of these pieces are absolutely brilliant. Wanting to do something different I opted for an intact industrial landscape.  The revised 5th ed. building rules (treating them exactly as a non-moving vehicle) and PlanetStrike allow for easy integration and management of solid structures in most games.

This piece below, artfully named 'piece one', is a motley assortment of PVC fixtures, gutted electrical boxes, plastic cross-stitch lattice (I think that’s the technical term) and various sundry pieces from the bits box all mounted on ¼” MDF.  Once complete and on the table, the edges of the pieces will serve as street curbs to form streets.  Each structure will possess an address which allows for easy identification of the building specifics for game purposes.  For example: this structure will be Building 1, Capacity 5, Armor 10.  So the address sign will read: B1C5A10.

Build stage 1 complete and primed.  Detailing to follow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Combat Pharmacuticals

Category:  Background & Fluff

Prime - Stimulates nerve endings in an electric wave of intense agony. Ingestor is rendered exceptionally awake and alert. Narrows concentration to a highly focused point and eliminates strenuous emotion, causing the user to become extremely cold and rational. Side effects include an astute awareness of pain, occasionally lending itself to low pain tolerance with excessive/unchecked dosing.

Substitute for MoS (Mark of Slaanesh): +1 initiative characteristic.

HVOF (High-Velocity Oxy-Fuel) Plasma Sprayer

Category:  Background & Fluff

[Counts-As: Noise Marine Doom Siren]

A mixture of hydrogen/methane fuel and oxygen is fed into a high-focus magnetic-contained combustion chamber, where the combined gases are arc-ionized, ignited, and combusted continuously upon activation. The resultant superheated gas (20000 °C) at extremely high pressure emanates through a diverging nozzle at a velocity exceeding 1000m/sec.

Mk. VII-x Advanced Prototype Bolt Weapon


Category:  Background & Fluff

[Counts-As: Noise Marine Sonic Blaster]

The Mk. VII-x Bolt Weapon is the evolutional advancement of the ubiquitous Astartes Mk. Vb – Godwyn Pattern Bolter. The VII-x specifically addresses multiple inherent limitations of the Godwyn; providing superior performance and fire mobility at the expense of increased maintenance and manufacture complexity.