A New Year Beckons…

It’s crazy that this blog hasn’t been updated in awhile – I thought I was getting good at posting regular updates and content, and clearly failed – so at least there’ll be a veritable truckload of posts over the coming weeks. Life has inevitably been in the way of hobbying, which is good and bad in equal measure! That said, since the ETL, I’ve been doing well at ploughing through unit after unit, and creating some really good things that I’m proud of – and continuing to clear my backlog!

As ever, the Bolter and Chainsword ran the Call of Chaos in the run up to Christmas – an irresistible challenge for a batch painter like myself. I went all out:

“I, Chaeron, will answer the Call of Chaos and vow to complete twenty one units, all before January 15th 2015. If I do this successfully I will receive the Mark of Postulant Glory and continue on the path to ruin. If I fail I’ll wear the Mark of the Lost and I expect no mercy on my soul!

  1. Forgeworld Great Unclean One
  2. Forgeworld Great Unclean One
  3. Forgeworld Great Unclean One
  4. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  5. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  6. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  7. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  8. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  9. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  10. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  11. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  12. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  13. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  14. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  15. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  16. 1 Obliterator
  17. 1 Obliterator
  18. 1 Obliterator
  19. 1 converted Fiend of Slaanesh
  20. 1 converted Fiend of Slaanesh
  21. 1 converted Fiend of Slaanesh”

It was a pretty big vow – the largest in terms of units pledged, with plenty of familiar faces also participating to suitably encourage and provide the criticism to help progress everything!

There are pre-photos of all of the pledged units:
GUO3_zps4c0834da.jpg

Troops_zpsc9b07ae4.jpg

Obliterators_zps1e32f90c.jpg

Fiends_zps70481b90.jpg

And with that, the next Black Crusade commenced!

I began with the three Forge World Great Unclean Ones – arguably, some of the best models produced and one of my all time favourites.

I started with a Rhinox Hide base, getting in everywhere fleshy:

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Proceeded to then drybrush Averland Sunset – trying get that tone and depth between the recessed areas, and make it look similar to elephant skin, wherever possible:

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Then, started to pick out all the flesh ‘disturbances’ in Screaming Skull (of which there are many):

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And all three had that done:

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I then worked on the flesh further:

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With the first one’s flesh coat done:

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And then together!

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So then, I started highlighting…

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And adding gore:

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Some assembly required:

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Up close and personal:

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I don’t even know the collective noun for three Great Unclean Ones – suggestions welcome:

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They all have quite questionable hygiene too:

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Once I got to this stage, I needed to throw in a WIP of something a bit different – those Fiends did nicely:
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Before I began blocking colours on my Obliterators:

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Once those steps are done, things go faster:
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And naturally I had to get the ext batch ready:

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And then get them painted!
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And now with flesh and weapons done:

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Before, finally, after a monumental effort: I completed it all! I went back and did a few extra things on all of the above, making sure everything was of a very good standard, no missed details etc. – which left me with one of everything:
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A nice side view:

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The ‘big guns’:

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The right side:

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The left side:

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Phew! Quite an effort – really pleased generally as the vast majority of the Plague Marines were salvage jobs, hence why there is some discolouration in places. Overall, a new lease of life – so I’m pretty delighted I’ve rescued them for the army.

And with that, the Call was complete. Now to begin preparations for the ETL, and a review of the year in general. Best wishes to you and yours for the year ahead!

E Tenebrae Lux III – My Next Vows

As some of my previous posts on this blog have alluded to, I’ve been actively competing in the Bolter and Chainsword’s E Tenebrae Lux III, which is a great motivator to get things painted. After my two early completions of roughly a thousand points a piece, I decided to go somewhat larger, vowing to complete:

Chaos Terminator Squad Corruptus – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, pair of Lightning Claws, Chainfist, Power Fist x2, Reaper Autocannon, Champion with Gift of Mutation and the Icon Of Despair – 280pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Rictus – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Heavy Flamer – 212pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Mortis – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Reaper Autocannon, Power Fist, Chainfist and two Combi-Weapons, Champion with Gift of Mutation. – 267pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Vitiosus – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Reaper Autocannon, pair of Lightning Claws – 234pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Constupro –5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Reaper Autocannon, lightning claw – 230pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Inficio –5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Reaper Autocannon, Chainfist, CombiPlasma and Power Fist – 251pts

Grave Wardens – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, 4 Combi Weapons and a Heavy Flamer– 232pts

Deathshroud – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, 5 Combi Weapons – 227pts

Daemon Prince Chaeron – Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Mastery Level 1, Black Mace, Aura of Dark Glory – 265pts

Daemon Prince – Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Gift of Mutation, Black Mace, Aura of Dark Glory, Ichor Blood – 255pts

Daemon Prince – Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Gift of Mutation, Black Mace, Aura of Dark Glory, Ichor Blood and Wings– 295pts

Two Nurgle Obliterators with VoTLW: 158pts

Typhus – 230pts

Typhus – 230pts

Ahriman – 230pts

Kharn – 160pts

Chaos Knight – 375pts

9 Khorne Terminators with Heavy Flamer and Power Fist, 5 Chainfists and a Combi Flamer – 390pts

…Of total value 4521pts on or before August 1st. Now, making this vow just over four weeks before was perhaps ambitious – but I was keen to crack on and get a huge chunk of this done. Or die trying…

As ever, I resorted to painting in large batches, and spraying too:

Sprayed

I ploughed through the Deathshroud and Grave Wardens first:

And then moved onto the Cataphractii:

Which became:


 
Then:
 

 
Before trims:
 

 
Bases:
 

 

Leaving me with just a Knight:

If anyone is wondering why there’s a change of colour scheme from my normal – it’s because I’ve tied it into the Legio Mortis. With my inspiration being Dread Wake:


 
Meaning I had completed all of this!

And then, crazily, added another two vows with 24 hours to go:

Which I completed that evening:

6971pts completed in total over the course of a month – not bad, eh?

I’d highly recommend entering something similar: high levels of motivation and seeing everyone else’s great work is a massive inspiration. And, you can plough through great quantities in no time!

Necrosius

Another recent pleasure to paint was Forge World’s Necrosius – and I had two of them to do! Although a rough and ready quick job, very happy with how they came out. You can see them before:

And now in my scheme, after:

Much more coherent! Now just to raise a suitably large Zombie host…

Angron

I’ve loved the Forge World character and Primarch series, and the first I was lucky enough to get my hands on was Angron. I had hoped that by painting him under ETL conditions, I could make him into my pièce de résistance…

I was able to put in a good shift early on, which really helped. Some excellent blogs out there really did help on the armour, although I did admittedly cut a few corners and adapt it (like all painters should!) to start getting the effect I really wanted.

Leading, ultimately to:

A model I can very much be proud of!

Decimator and Ectofiend

Part of my vow for the ETL included a Decimator and Ectofiend, and although they both took a bit longer than expected due to work commitments, I have now finished the vow! Huzzah!

The rough step by step is below, if interested:

My Decimator and Forge Fiend, one more completed than the other, are being blocked – and I’m about to do the last of the white cover on the Decimator before we start to wash. The Forge needs the flesh and trim doing before I get to that stage – as well as the weapons of choice. Getting there though!

With a nice close-up of the Decimator:

These have both been washed to within an inch of their lives – Decimator will need a bit more detailing, bringing out some of the more intricate details on the armour – but is on the whole progressing nicely. The Forge needs more flesh work done to both tidy and improve the shade – and some more work done to both head and weapons, which need some more colouring! They’re really shaping up nicely I feel – and am going to have to work out how best to base the Decimator…

Ectofiend:

The Decimator:

Bad boys together:

For now, I can look at another vow – but revel in my two finished Daemon Engines!

Star Wars X-Wing Tournament

A slight tangent from my primarily Death Guard orientated blog, but thought a review of the recent event I attended might be well received by those who play multiple wargames, especially as I had such a good time! Published by Fantasy Flight Games, the game appears to be surging, and although there are clear supply and demand issues at this moment in time, it’s a relatively affordable, quick and fun game – that’s easy to pick up and complex to master. You have models that represent a plethora of ships taken from the Star Wars universe, from which you create a squad that is either Rebel or Imperial. A somewhat different mechanism of manoeuvring to other games (models are moved using templates indicated on dials hidden from your opponent), matched with dice rolling and actions, makes for a rather intuitive game that leaves you guessing what the opponent is going to do next, and often cursing your luck and asteroids. You can find more information here: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/103885/star-wars-x-wing-miniatures-game

I’d bought into the game via the reasonably priced starter set and then grabbed swathes over the Christmas period, trying to amass a collection but without actively playing. I lost a starter game to my dad with quick start rules – and did wonder if I’d bought into something duff. But, I unpackaged everything (pushing out card counters will be a nightmare, I promise) and put it all in my new case, and hadn’t really thought much of it, until I was able to help orchestrate an Epic-sized game at my local club. Although we (Empire) were probably going to lose, it made me keen to want to actively play more, as it was immense fun!

I’d seen that Chaos City Comics was hosting a Star Wars: X-Wing ‘Assault at Imdaar Alpha’ Prerelease Tournament a couple of weeks later, and so thought this might be a great time to get a few games in, attend and learn a lot – and go from there. With that in mind, I created a Rebel and an Imperial List, one to use and the other for a mate at the club to use (Cheers Andy!), so that I could really get up to speed before the weekend. I lost both, although with improvements in the second game, and did wonder if this was a game I would ever win at. A few tweaks to my list, and some optimism, I thought that at worst, I would hopefully get a prize for finishing last. Knowing that it would take a four round Swiss-style, I would at least be paired with someone of a similar ability, so had hoped that I wouldn’t be too badly destroyed, and I’d come away with a better understanding of the game mechanics and list building finesse.

Turning up on what was quite a miserable day, I was really excited. I then realised I’d actually forgotten my manoeuvre dials and felt thoroughly embarrassed – not the best start. Thankfully, other generous players were able to lend me their spares so that I could fly the following list:

Chaos City  – 100 points

Wedge Antilles/X-Wing with Swarm Tactics – 31pts

Biggs Darklighter/X-Wing – 25pts

Blue Squadron Pilot/B-Wing – 22pts

Blue Squadron Pilot/B-Wing – 22pts

My first highlight was getting one commemorative Bandit Squadron Pilot card for attending and playing on the day, and that alone was pleasing! Knowing that I was going into this realistically being 0-3 on the (vaguely) competitive games I’d actually played prior to the tournament, I intended to aim low, enjoy and learn. That said, with twelve players taking part, I’d only have to beat 2/3rds of the others to win a prize – as they cheerfully reminded us at the start of the day, although my problem would be beating anyone – let alone more than that!

The draw placed me on Table 5 against a really nice bloke called Simon – who was running an Imperial list, consisting of roughly: Lambda shuttle, Dark Curse, TIE Bomber with Missiles and two other TIEs. It was probably the closest to a swarm that otherwise would feature that day – and certainly the swarmiest list I would face. I set-up strongly, I thought, until I remembered that my B-Wings would rear-end my X-Wings, which meant I had to do a bit of re-arranging to ensure that I could actually start flying and not crashing. That said, I took first-blood – and it started to get messy. Eventually, I was able to grind out a modified win, taking a victory by 11pts – after taking Dark Curse out first, and a succession of fighters thereafter, for reasonable losses. Simon, although finishing 0-4, was a great opponent who started with as much as experience as I had, and will no doubt come back stronger for the experience. A great game, eased me into the day – and played in a great spirit. I was most certainly buoyed by this victory, but resolved not to make the mistakes I’d made in the first game cause me problems in my second.

Jumping to table three, I then played Alex – who had also won his first game. His list was tough: three Interceptors that were tricked to the max. My initial set-up made it extremely difficult to pull this game back – with asteroids dealing as much damage as I did throughout, and although I came close to wiping out two of his Interceptors, by spreading myself too thinly, I struggled massively. A damaged pilot card crippled Wedge earlier than I would like, making him a rather expensive rookie. Having never faced a list with that sort of manoeuvrability, it was somewhat of a shock to see them wilfully pop in and out of my firing arcs – but is something now that I felt better prepared for in future. A very hard game against a top opponent – who went on to finished second overall, so I can’t really be hard on myself!

Now 1-1, I was back to table five, where I played Sam – a really nice guy who played in the best spirit, and truly embodies ‘flying casual’. However, seeing his list – I was fearful. He was running two tricked out Millennium Falcon, and having never faced one, facing two looked like a fearsome prospect. Duly, I revised my flying pattern to a more conservative formation, akin to the my first game but setting it up correctly – which stood me in good stead! Biggs died early, as Biggs is want to do. He is truly a brave pilot that draws fire, and I have to be grateful for his regular sacrifices! I may invest some more in him in future, to make him somewhat more survivable, but he did perform well in his short life. Taking down the first Falcon was a major achievement, as they flew round the edge of the board, their turrets reaping a toll on shields with wanton abandon. Eventually, running both Wedge and my last B-Wing into close range finished the second Falcon, scoring me an outright victory – and taking me 2-1. I was becoming more confident with my list, and how to actually fly, and some downtime allowed Sam and I to chat and to better understand how to play. Very worthwhile! He was extremely happy that he didn’t fly a Falcon off the board as he had in a previous game – and we both enjoyed

My final game saw me go back to table three again, with a face off against Alex who had the same record as me, and a list that looked extremely difficult. This didn’t appear to be a good matchup for me from the outset, but I’d hoped to deal some damage before the end at least. With Soontir Fel in an Interceptor, and two Bounty Hounters in Firesprays, it was a pretty tough list – especially considering Fel’s abilities and the Firesprays being both kitted and resilient, and I was concerned that I’d be unable to actually whittle through both the shields and hull points in time. That said, if I’d managed with two Falcons, anything was possible!

One-shotting Fel early on worked a treat – and this set the tone for the rest of the game, insofar as I rolled superbly – and Alex simply didn’t. Removing Fel early was a great boost, but then he was traded off for Wedge quickly, after some difficult flying. I don’t believe now that I’ve ever flown over an asteroid and not taken damage – and both Wedge and Biggs suffered during this tournament! With three ships remaining against two Firesprays, it was going to be an uphill struggle.

Another trade over time saw both Biggs (who lived far longer than could’ve ever reasonably been expected) and a B-Wing go for the loss of a Firespray, leaving a solitary B-Wing, and a Firespray, to duke it out. I thought this would be a foregone conclusion, but started a classic game of cat and mouse that was immensely exciting and altogether dramatic. After pounding the shields from one another, I was able to continue aggressively pursuing and just keeping out of his fire arc, and despite having maintained a target lock for approximately five rounds, didn’t need to use this with some obscenely good rolls (four hits, three hits and a crit, four hits… four hits…) ultimately destroyed the Firespray. I was overjoyed – Alex is a top player and really made it tough, and to grind out a victory in such a fashion was a delight, which left me 3-1 for the day.

I’d known that prior to this game I was residing in 6th, and to my utter astonishment, this win took me to 4th place – a prize winning position! After everyone else had chosen, I came away with the Z-95 Headhunter!

It capped a superb day of gaming, with some great people. I learned a lot from some experienced players, and nice to meet several people whose names I recognised from the UK/Ireland X-Wing group as part of a fantastic tournament. My thanks to all at Chaos City for hosting, Efka for his TOing during the day, the other attendees for being so pleasant, and all of those I played for their gamesmanship. I’m very much looking forward to the next one!

 

Lord of Skulls

I always find it so much easier to paint to deadlines – and I love entering for competitions on the Bolter and Chainsword, so taking part in the ETL this year was a no-brainer. For my first vow, I wanted to complete the Lord of Skulls that has been sitting quite happily on my desk for some time. I needed to spray it white (as I’d bought it pre-built):

And could then start working on it. Painting became so much easier when I ripped the Lord of Skulls apart:

So much so, that he is now completed! ROT FOR THE ROT GOD; PUS FOR THE PUS THRONE!

Feels great to have completed a thousand points already, huzzah!

Unsure what I’ll vow next, but it’s a great start!