Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tau Pathfinders: Box Breakdown

The new Tau boxes have been in short supply, so I only just got the Pathfinders the other day. This is another box chock-full of goodies. Lots of bits, plenty of extras to go around, some nice conversion possibilities too.

Here are the Pathfinder sprues. A total of 2, with 134 individual bits. There are a lot of small, easily lost pieces here, so be mindful of that when you start clipping.

There are two general types of minis the box builds: Dudes & Droids (which sounds like the name of an alternative lifestyle magazine in Star Wars). In the interest of packing as much into each sprue as possible they aren't all clumped together, but much of the bit placement is intuitive.

The two things I'm happiest to see here are the three bare tau heads. Before this there hasn't been a lot of character in the plastics, so it's nice to see a bit of variety and emotion.
With a little modification I think the center one would be good for an Ethereal conversion.

Dude bits:
10 Helmeted Heads
3 Bare Heads
10 Chests
10 Legs (2 of which are kneeling)
10 Aerials
8 held Pulse Carbines (8 matching arms)
2 loose Pulse Carbines
1 Pulse Carbine with straps
10 Markerlights
3 Ion Rifles (3 matching arms, & 3 muzzles)
3 Rail Rifles (3 matching arms, & 3 muzzles)
2 arms to hold loose Pulse Carbine
4 arms holding items (sensor, clip, aerial, binoculars)
1 arm with empty hand
1 Shas'ui Backpack
1 Bonding Knife
16 accessories (pouches, grenades, sensors, pulse pistol, holstered pistol)

Drone bits:
2 standard drone domes
3 drone aerials
2 gun drone Pulse Carbines
1 gun drone base 
1 drone markerlight
1 markerlight drone base
1 pulse accelerator drone base
1 pulse accelerator drone panel
1 shield drone base
1 recon drone dome
1 recon drone cap
1 recon drone Burst Cannon (2 bits total)
1 recon drone base
1 recon drone sensor

All told, some good variety, plus if you have a tau army it'll give you bits for

Monday, April 29, 2013

The fate of Faeit?

 If you're a blog-hopper like me you've no doubt noticed that Faeit 212 and Bell of Lost Souls have been stripped from the internet. I was curious if that was a server glitch, but no. Games Workshop has shut them down.

The particular lawsuit can be found here.

The long story short is that GW shot a copyright infringement complaint to Blogger for posting the High Elf photos & info from this month's White Dwarf prior to its release under DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). Not sure how BOLS was affected.

While I can understand GW's call on this, I don't think it's the best call. For some time now, GW has locked down information of their upcoming releases. This extends to their retailers as well as their fanbase. My local game store owner doesn't find out about new GW releases until the White Dwarf release, which means he's always a step behind when it comes to ordering new swag. I imagine this is one of the reasons for the massive Tau bottleneck everyone experienced earlier this month.

Naftka, and many other blogs filled this information void with the news and rumors that GW's holding back. It's kind of a niche, but there was clearly a big interest considering how popular the sites were/are. In my opinion they were just free advertizing for GW. Did they violate IP by publishing warhammer pictures? possibly. Did GW gain more from the rumor sites than it lost? Almost certainly.

I'm not a lawyer, and know very little about actual copyright law, but as a journalist (newspaper, not just blogs) I know a thing or two about having my IP stolen.  I hate the idea of anyone taking the work I created, but I make exceptions for those who give me proper citation. I try not to post anything here without citing the origin and the place I found them. In my uninformed opinion I'm just reporting and reviewing what I see online.

That probably wouldn't protect me from GW if they wanted to ding me.

In the meantime I hope Naftka and BOLS will come back soon. The internet is far too quiet without them.


Meet the PC: Phyrrus, Tiefling Psion

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

In 2011 I became a Game Master for the first time. I always really enjoyed the Dark Sun campaign setting, and wanted to guide my friends through the harsh desert world as well. Since I was busy with my GM duties, Yorrik stepped up and planned out the PC minis for everyone. Finding good minis for Dark Sun is tough because there is almost no metal in the whole world, so every little bit and detail has to be non-metallic: Belt buckle? bone. Plate Armor? carapace. Sword? carve nicks into the edges and make it look like obsidian. It was a tough task, but he rose to the occasion.

Unfortunately my players had schedule issues, and the game ended just before I was able to get into the central story arc. Yorrik bought all four minis, but was only able to complete three before the game was canceled.

Here is the first he completed, his own character, Phyrrus:

Dark Sun is a world where magic creates horrible mutants, and he went a slightly different direction with his Tiefling. Phyrrus was a slightly cracked psychic slave. He was raised to fight in the arena, but he was dangerous to his handlers and had destroyed more than he was worth. His owner threw him to the gladiator pits which is where he met the rest of the party.

I really like this sculpt, and what Yorrik did with it. It's another Reaper, Damien, Hellborn Wizard.  I particularly like the extreme highlighting technique. The hard edges make me feel like he's from a harsh, bright environment.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New plastic Farseer mini

I've been pretty busy lately since I'm serving as Daddy Daycare full time, so I've been a little slow in posting this from over at Faeit212, a plastic Farseer.

I'm happy to see this model actually. In general I really like the move to plastics, although I wish there were more bits options. Even the metal/finecast minis have alternate weapons & head choices, so you'd think the plastics could add a few options as well.

Either way, The build looks solid, and entirely on point with the other Eldar HQs we've seen. I look forward to seeing this this built as opposed to in a clampack.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Meet the PC: Deggin, Human Fighter

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

Four of us played Robotlich's Tongue-in-Cheek D&D game, but only three of our PCs were completed. This is mostly thanks to the fact that Roshko loves making characters that are nigh impossible to find models for (the two that stick out in my mind are a carved wood golem with a spear, and a shapeshifting wilden). This is the last to get finished, Deggin, a warhammer-wielding fighter that pushed enemies all around the battlefield.

I can't imagine this mini's armor being practical, but hey, it looks neat. The miniature itself is Dalton Krieg, Adventuring Knight from Reaper, with a slight weapon swap. It can't very easily be hammer time without a hammer, now can it?

Next week: Characters who ventured the sands of Dark Sun


Friday, April 19, 2013

White Dwarf Leaks: High Elves on the march

The first pics are in of the offerings in the next White Dwarf. The rumors have been accurate once again, and the High Elf Army will be receiving their new codex an units in no time. I nabbed these from Faeit 212.

By the way, is anyone else thrilled at the rate these armies are being released? This will be the sixth codex release of 2013 (Dark Angels, Warriors of Chaos, Daemons of Chaos, Chaos Daemons, Tau, High Elves) and is the rumors are true there will be four or five more, depending on who you believe (Eldar, Lizardmen, Space Marines, Orks, Tyranids, and Imperial Guard have all been mentioned.)

Anyhoo. Back to the Elves. Looks like a nice crop of new minis. I'd have to say my favorites are the Female spearman, and the Shadow Warriors, although I can see myself doing a bits order of those flaming bows & arrows. Those look stellar too.

I once entertained the idea of starting a High Elf army, but never could find anyone willing to split the Island of Blood box set with me. Something about an elite army speaks to me, since Fantasy armies have sooo many minis. I have an unfinished Orc & Goblin army, but there aren't enough fantasy players around to compel me to put it back on the front of my painting table.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Meet the PC: Brother Bertrand, Human Cleric

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

Continuing with Robotlich's funny D&D game we have Yorrik's character. Anyone can play a powerful, svelte, handsome scion of their patron deity, but how many of you would want to play this guy?

This handsome paragon is Brother Bertand, our Cleric. He carried a magical shovel, and ran in combat far more often than his girth might suggest. The mini itself is Friar Stone by reaper and was painted by Yorrik.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Commission: Judge Dredd Commissar

No sooner did I finish my Kroot mini did another get dropped in my lap.

During a local game convention a buddy of mine asked if I'd be up to paint a Judge Dredd mini (from Mongoose Publishing) so he could use it as a Commissar in his IG army. No problem. All he asked was for an urban, terminator-sized base, & thought it'd be great if I could have Dredd stepping off of a Dark Judge's head.

Well here's where I'm at.

The client is obviously a huge Judge Dredd fan, so everything will be kept in line with the source material.  The paint scheme will be close to the shot below, but darker. deeper blue, darker less vibrant green, & a rich gold. So hopefully a bit less cartoony.
There are four Dark Judges Judge Death, Judge Fear, Judge Fire, & Judge Mortis.

From left: Fear, Death, Fire, & Mortis
 Looking at the options there I figured that Judge Fear would be easiest to fabricate. It's basically a Mk III Space Marine helmet with bat-wings, so basically a Horus Heresy Night Lord. Now all I have to do is complete a trade for a Forge World MK III head (then convert & mutilate it) & I'm golden.

More as work progresses. Hope you enjoy.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Painting Competition: the "Scourge of Pech" Complete

I managed to complete the whole thing at midnight, the day before it was due. I wasn't going to be able to turn it in on Saturday since I'd be working in another city, but the game store was still doing it's Friday Magic Draft, so I ran it over. I know I say this every time, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. I've never tried something like this before, particularly modeling armor, and it all came together exceptionally well.

I'd kept the scope of my project a secret, so I was happy with the overwhelmingly positive response.

As you can see, the colors balance out pretty well, and to me, it feels well balanced. I went for that ruddy skin-tone red instead of a fire-engine red, so the green and red don't give off a Christmas vibe.

I'm also happy that the Kroot itself stands out compared to the marine. If you're gonna do a Kroot challenge, you want it to be the center of attention.

 More good news, I wasn't the only entry! Three other painters submitted their models, although none of them converted, or when to the godawful effort I did (one of those painters is a professional, he has a card for his services & everything).

Now that this mini is done, I'm going to have to sit out the next competition in order to judge. Once a painter accumulates three wins (finishing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place) you have to take a break. I think it's fair, since it helps mix up the pool of contestants, and means the same 3 people aren't winning every time.

Just because I'm not competing for the next few months doesn't mean I'm not going to be keeping busy though, Oh no.

Starting Wednesday I'm going to be taking 10 weeks off work to take care of the twins, which means I'll have a bit of time on my hands when not changing diapers or feeding screaming little mouths. I have things in the works, including a Judge Dredd/Commissar commission, some army work, and a few bits & bobs along the way.

More when I have it.


Meet the PC: Thia Telmoran, Elven Ranger

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

 A year or two back, my friend Robotlich took a rare step into being a GM with a tongue-in-cheek 4th edition &D game that pulled heavily from old video games and heavy metal. There was a fight where we took on characters from Altered-Beast, another had us face off against a berserker Pac-Man, and another where we faced the mighty Skajaquada. He even created achievements that we could earn for performing certain actions during a fight.

My character was an insanely fast, axe-wielding elven ranger. She would pinball her way across the battlefield, knocking enemies prone and keeping them down. There wasn't a lot of roleplaying per-se, and none of the party members were particularly good people, but I was the only one that could have turned out to be an axe murderer (it was written into a possible character epilogue).

In this particular situation I allowed the miniature dictate my character. I'd had this mini for years, and decided I needed to create a PC for it. The mini itself is an out of production Wood Elf Ranger from the old WOTC skirmish game, Chainmail. She was just too perfect to pass up.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Painting Competition: Almost there

True to form, I'll be painting this thing until the last minute.

The good news is that I made major headway over my weekend. The scenic base and space marine are complete, as are the kroot's skin, armor, & many details.  Bad news is that there are still a few hours left before it's done.

Here's the finished Space Marine. When coming up with the scene I decided I wanted to have the marine come from a chapter with a particular hatred of Dark Eldar (since the kroot was clearly working for them). It fell to either the White Scars or Salamanders, & I figured the battle damage would show up better on a green marine than a white one.

Here's the (99.9%) finished product:

More bad news is that, as of yesterday, *no one else has entered a mini.* So there's a chance that I'm going to all this effort with absolutely no one else in the constest. That might stick in my craw.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Painting Competition: Kroot base

Slowly but surely I'm working on my competition entry.

It's tough to balance all my responsibilties, but I'm managing to get a little work in every day. Deadline is Saturday, and I'm about to start my weekend, so I dearly hope that I'll be able to make some major headway in my painting.

You might be wondering what's taking so long since most of the modeling was done over a week ago. Well truth be told I was only showing you part of the final model. The whole entry is quite a bit bigger.

The whole scene is actually a duel between my Kroot mercenary and an injured Salamander. The bit with the kroot is blended in with the rest of the scene, and magnetized so it's detachablility should be hidden nicely. I've got most of the base complete, with just a white drybrushing and wash to go until it's finished. The Space marine has a ways to go still, and I haven't even started on the kroot itself.

I should probably prioritize the kroot, since it's the whole point of the contest. I can't help dragging my heels though since I'm going back and forth on the paint scheme. I've been planning to paint it's skin in a blue-green (Incubi Darkness base up through a light blue-grey), but looking at it now I don't think it'll be menacing enough, and likely won't stand out next to the prone Salamander. Maybe I'll go back to a ruddy red skin like my Fallen. It'd balance nicely, I just need to remember what I did to get that color....


Monday, April 1, 2013

Meet the PC: Vindolfr, Deathwatch Devastator

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

Yorrik painted the third member of our Deathwatch team here. This Long Fang was the veteran Deathwatch marine in our party, and was played by Roshko. In the Deathwatch RPG Marines are capable of bringing down torrents of firepower and death upon their enemies. Unsurprisingly, the heavy weapons specialist takes that to an extreme. His best moment (in my opinion) came when he was thrown out of a crashing Valkyrie, and focused his attention on shooting an enemy rather than save himself.

Like I said before, this mini was also painted by Yorrik, and he also free-handed the chapter symbol on the shoulder pad. The thing with the Deathwatch is that the chapter symbol is on the wrong shoulder, which means any asymmetrical decals will be pointed the wrong way.