Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Death from the Skies cover

Loraziel over at Dakka Dakka posted this shot of the rumored Death from the Skies flier compendium.
There are some conflicting rumors (surprise surprise) about this release.

 initial rumor was that there would be a number of new fliers including
A new Tau flier
A new Eldar flier
The Dark Eldar Voidraven Bomber
and a new Tyranid unit called the Harpy.

meanwhile there's another rumor saying that this is just an update that brings all the current fliers in line with 6th edition rules (plus adding the DE Bomber).  I'd obviously see some new fliers, but only time will tell.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Meet the PC: Aria Lael, Shadar-kai Wizard

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.

Robotlich is a buddy of mine, and one of his favorite settings is Planescape, Specifically Sigil, the City of Doors. So Yorrik went ahead & created a little extraplanar campaign for us. We were given Carte blanche to create our characters. As kooky a backstory as we wanted, or as rare a race as we desired (well, as long as they had rules). There were four PCs total: I played a Shadar-Kai wizard, Robotlich was a Tiefling Bard, Roshko was a Warforged Warden (he was more like a carved wood golem), and my friend Havok was a Dragonborn Sorcerer.

Only two PC minis were every actually finished for this game though, and this is one of them:
Aria here was banished to Sigil for being a little too... zealous... in her social ladder climbing. Maybe it's considered a bad thing to be planning to kill your way to the top. I had reaper's Terezinya mini in mind when I created the character, so it was a small thing to paint her as a grey-skinned Shadar Kai. (The photojournalist in me feels obligated to tell you that there were a few really noticeable paint chips on the mini that I haven't gotten around to touching up lately that I fixed in photoshop, just fyi)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dawn of the Dad

In the original cut, Leia gives Luke a wet willie

So... funny story,

My wife and I went in for a standard prenatal visit Thursday afternoon. When they check her blood pressure it was high, and when they gave her a little test to find out if she was passing protein, she was.

These two tests together meant that she might have preeclampsia, a disorder that means that the stress the pregnancy is putting on her body was affecting her kidneys and possibly more organs. One ultrasound, a battery of tests, and a lot of waiting later, my wife was put in an ambulance and sent South to a hospital that was capable of handling emergency births (I posted "Change is Coming" during the long wait ). Before we left, we were told that we might be having kids that night. We were in a bit of shock.

Keep in mind, these kids aren't expected until March, so we didn't have the house clean, the cribs or cradles in the house, or have the nursery set up (read: "we were S.O.L.").
What do you mean you weren't ready? You had eight friggin' months
We got to the better hospital around 11pm and had our fears put to rest: we weren't going to be having babies Thursday night.

Instead, they were delivered Saturday. Two healthy babies, one little boy (3lbs 10oz, 15 3/4") and one little girl (3lbs 3oz, 16 1/4"). Let's call them Adam and Adora.
I think I've found this year's Christmas Card
Since birth they've been flourishing in a great Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and have had some great caregivers and nurses looking after them. Adam has been a premature baby rockstar. After a single day of life he no longer needs any breathing assistance and has been amazingly stable. He's also been gnawing non-stop on his pacifier which is a great sign of his being ready to feed unassisted.

Adora has had a harder time since her arrival. She had a tighter fit during her time in the ovarian prison, and has bruises on her feet and right leg. Her stats are less consistent, but still healthy. She's getting a little extra breathing help via a small air tube, and already has a few signs of jaundice. Most of this stuff will fix itself, or with a little help, but she's a trooper.

We've had family with us ever since the start of our little debacle, and they've been instrumental in keeping us grounded and cared for. I know I'd have missed several meals if it hadn't been for my or my wife's folks.

My first full day as a father has been busy. Now that the twins are here I'm playing the part of tour-guide. Family members have to be escorted into the NICU three at a time, so I've been on my feet constantly. Does this make me second fiddle to kids who haven't learned the finer points of focusing their eyes yet? Absolutely. But that's fine. It means I also got to spend a lot of time with the kiddos.

For now the plan is simple: Be there to help the kids and my wife however they need it, and do my best to keep my kids on the path to come home, on the path to their potential, off the pole, and off police scanners. 
Also off the rock.


Friday, January 25, 2013

More WoC from the February White Dwarf

These are all up online at Games Workshop, but I figured I'd repost the Warriors of Chaos shots that Naftka put online earlier today.

I'm still fond of the Slaughterbrute, although I don't think I'll be able to rationalize buying it, since I'm about to funnel all of my money into my imminent twins (more below). I might make an exception for any upcoming Daemon release.

Here are the shots from Faet 212 via the Freak Factory:

In personal news, my wife tested positive for preeclampsia, so despite being 7 weeks early we're going to be delivering the twins tomorrow. Wish us luck.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Change is coming

Funny story: This photo is actually kinda applicable.

My wife and I are expecting twins. They're due in late February/early March, but twins are unpredictable. As I wrote this, my wife and I are in the hospital as she is being tested for preeclampsia. Anything could happen from this point forward.

I don't really talk about my personal life here, but this is kind if a big event that will affect every aspect I my life, including the time I use on my hobbies, and this blog.

I have been preparing a bit, by writing my "Meet the PC" posts months in advance, and rumor updates will be easy to keep up to date with.

I've also talked to Yorrik as well, and he'll be contributing while I'm busy wrangling a pair of newborns. So thank you Yorrik.

Until the two little demons break into the materium I'll be doing my regular painting and hobby updates as usual.

Wish me luck.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Painting Competition: Ahriman's base

The deadline for the local painting competition has been pushed back a few weeks, so I can actually spend some time putting everything together. I popped out to a craft store on my lunch bread and got myself some cork board for use in some bases.

The smallest amount of cork I could find was a 4 pack of 12"x12" boards. Far more than I'd ever be able to use. I just took what I wanted for myself and handed the rest to my local game store owner and commissioned him to sell them to my fellow hobbyists.

 Here's what I did once I got home:
This is another mini that I intend to use for my own army, but I figured I could gussy it up a bit. I plan to surround him with 20+ ablative cultists, so I'm not too worried about making him more susceptible to enemy LOS . You can see I tossed him on top of two chunks of cork. When I see people layer cork on cork I'm usually slightly distracted by the seam where they come together. To combat that I glued down patches of sand wherever the seam was apparent.

I want a few neat visual details to add a bit of fun to the base, so I added the decorative terrain bit (in the lower left section), and a decapitated cultist head from the DV box. Like I said, he's going to be accompanied by cannon fodder cultists, so I figured that'd be completely appropriate.

You can't tell from the photo, but the neck, and backpack area are covered in dollops of white Elmer's glue. I'm going to be painting the head and backpack separately and I don't want the spray primer to touch the areas where they will eventually connect. By adding the glue and allowing it to dry prior to priming the model it forms a protective cap that will pop off easily once I'm ready to glue the pieces together.

The valley where I live is experiencing some particularly cold weather, so I'm going to hold off on priming until there're some better conditions.  In the meantime I'm working on my plaguebearers, and the DV Deathwing.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Meet the PC: Utaku Kenbish, Unicorn Clan Shugenja

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.

Keeping in theme with the L5R minis I thought I'd post the only other member of our party I completed. There were three characters originally: Ikoma Ryo (Played by Yorrik), Hiruma Tokaji (played by myself), and Mirumoto Tsuichi (played by the GM's wife).

During a short second campaign my friend Roshko joined our party as Utaku Kenbish, an emancipated Unicorn shugenja who aspired to be the Master of Fire.He'd recently gotten out from under the thumb of his misandrous family when he met our characters at the Winter Court.  I think he hung close to my Crab Clan character because he was way more civilized by comparison.
This mini was a bit rushed, since the campaign he was a part of was a short one. He was a bit of an odd duck as a shugenja, since he didn't really wear robes, and he wielded a scimitar (which meant I had to do a weapon swap). Overall though it was a good likeness for the character.

All four characters are finished and in the same place now. Maybe it's time to get the band back together.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Test Mini: Plaguebearer

There have been a lot of rumors spinning around lately about an imminent Chaos Daemons codex release in March. With the revelation of the Warriors of Chaos book release, I'm not exactly sure where that leaves those of us who field the harbingers of chaos.

Either way, after finishing the Greater Knarloc, I set about to finally try my hand at the Plaguebearers that have been sitting patiently in my mini case.  I've had a few concerns about working on these guys. Namely, my panting style doesn't really lend itself to the Nurgle rot look. Almost all of my minis are clean, like they're heading into battle. Clean lines, clean look. Pretty straightforward stuff.

So before I jumped in feet first on all ten guys I painted one. Here he is.

I'm pretty happy with how he looks. It was a simple paint job, and I could probably knock out ten guys like this in a week if I had enough free time. Even more important though, I feel like it has a dirty, Nurgly quality while still looking like my style of painting.

After taking this picture, and looking at him a bit more I came to the conclusion that the pustules were too close in tone to the teeth and bones. I added bits of Lamenters Yellow Glaze to set them apart. Also, I decided to make the horn a bone color to be more in line with my other Daemons.

Steps for the Body:
1: Basecoat of Castellan Green, then adding layers while mixing in Nurgling Green. The highest higlight is straight Nurgling green, but it's pretty sparse
2: I add Balor Brown dots to the pustules, and Khorne Red into the recesses where skin appears to have ripped away.
3: I paint on a layer of Sanguine Highlight (from P3) over the Khorne Red, then add a little white to the Sanguine Highlight for the highlight.
4: Water down the Sanguine Highlight a bunch to turn it into a wash. Paint on thin areas of the red wherever want to look infected, like under the eyes and around the pustules.
5: Wash the whole frickin' thing in Athonian Camoshade.
6: Mix Balor Brown with White and add smaller dots over the pustules. Dab pustules with Lamenters Yellow Glaze.
7: Snakebite Leather through Bleached Bone for teeth & bones.

Steps for the Plaguesword:
1: Basecoat of Boltgun metal mixed with Athonian Camoshade. This will give the metal a dark greenish hue, but will also thin it out significantly.
2: Highlight edges with Chainmail. Add spots of Dark Flesh where you want some rust.
3: Add spots of Macharius Orange over the dark flesh spots
4: Do a light wash with Athonian Camoshade.


Warhammer 10k

I'm happy to say that I just hit 10,000 hits (according to the google stats at least). I know most people would probably consider this a silly milestone, but I've been looking forward to it since my first post, 6 months ago (the May Mini Madness posts were all backdated, and mirrored the same posts I made on my old Warseer project log).

Thanks to everyone who has clicked and lingered, even if you were just here looking for information on Terry Crew's grandfather. Special thanks to everyone who has stayed and contributed, either through comments, content, advice, or easily stolen ideas (40k Giveaway).

I've had fun sharing my work and ideas through this blog, and look forward to the next months of posts as well. I hope you like what you've seen, as well as what's to come.


PS. While reading back through my old posts I realized I compared the new plastic Flamers as having abs like Terry Crews, which solves the mystery of how my blog showed up on a search for him.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Commission: Greather Knarloc complete

Five months after my first post, the Knarloc is complete.

I feel like I could look at this thing all day. I'm really quite proud of it.

The Leopard Shark skin turned out a little more gray than I'd intended, but I can fall back on the fact that a lot of the photos of Leopard Sharks have a similar hue to them. Otherwise I think I kept the idea all there, and the painted-on texture keeps it looking nice and organic, like folds in skin. I don't know exactly why I made the mouth a dark purple. When I think about kroot I think about parrots, and for some reason I always imagine them with purple tongues. I'm weird that way sometimes.

To me, the Kroot riders look good individually and together. The orange kroot is probably my favorite of the two, since I feel the blue one is too vibrant.  Since they're so visually different from the Knarloc I did a few things to try to tie them together. Most notably, I treated their sashes with the same leather paint job as the Knarloc's straps. If I'd had my 'druthers I would have painted them in far different tones, but this is what the owner wanted.

I was thinking about what to do with the base as i drove back from a trip to Eugene Thursday afternoon. It looks like he's chasing down prey, so I came up with the idea of having him charge over some kind of terrain piece. So maybe a barbwire fence...

I still had a roll of barbed wire Yorrik had loaned me, so the decision was made. All it took was the barbed wire roll, and a pair of toothpicks to sell the image. It's probably one of my favorite parts of the piece. I hope the owner loves it too.

Here's the before & after side-by side.

I mentioned that this would be a test of my skills and it has been. It's been a little energizing even, to the point that after finishing this guy I jumped right into my next project. More on that tomorrow.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

February White Dwarf Leaks: Warriors of Chaos

Today brought a surprise explosion of Warriors of Chaos news. I was hoping beyond hope for Daemons, but oh well. My time will come. In the meantime, Here are leaked photos from Faeit 212.

My favorites out of the lot are the big red beastie (called the "Slaughterbeast" I believe) and the mini that appears to be a Tzeentch sorcerer.


Monday, January 14, 2013

40K Giveaway: Winner's Choice

The first giveaway got a really positive reaction, so I thought I'd give it another shot.

Unfortunately there was a bit of a snafu when I mailed the Emperor's Champion. I sent it in time to get to Skywatcher before Christmas, but it never made it. I offered to buy him a new Champion, but we agreed on another mini from my bits box instead.

Word to the wise: Always buy the package tracking.

Okay, back to the giveaway.

Here's my attempt at an M. Night Shyamalan twist: There's more than one mini to choose from.

A Space Wolf scout
An early edition Plaguemarine w/melta
An XV15 Tau Stealth suit
A Legion of the Damned marine
An Eldar Warpspider
A Warlord Vale Swordsman
A Clan War Scorpion samurai

In another mini twist (Ha!), there are two non 40k minis up for grabs as well. I have a lot of RPG miniatures kicking around, so I thought I'd add a few to the lot.

The rules are simple, but modified this time:
1)  Be a public follower of this blog (I want to see you in the 'Members' gadget on the right).
2)  Leave a comment below giving your first and second choice of minis from the photo above.
3)  If you promo my giveaway on your blog or website you'll be entered to win twice (Make sure to let me know if you do).
4)  If you win the item, come back and leave a comment once you've received it saying,"Hey, I got it!"

May the odds be ever in your favor.


Meet the PC: Mirumoto Tsuichi, Dragon Clan Samurai

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.

The third and final of our 2006 L5R game was Mirumoto Tsuichi, a traditional member of the Dragon Clan burdened with family guilt and suffers ancestral hauntings. (played by the GM's wife). Literally. He had a really obnoxious ancestor that kept interfering in our dealings. It once made Tsuichi break an enemy general's family tea set while we were negotiating peace (it didn't go well), and on another occasion it distracted our Lion Clan companion during a duel, causing him to lose his eye (that didn't go well either).

 I've had this miniature since '06, and it fit really well with the character. There aren't a significant number of male, dual-wielding dragon clan minis out there to begin with, so it was fortunate this one fit the bill.

Full disclosure though: I only completed this miniature two weeks ago.

I started writing these "Meet a PC" entries in advance and started noticing all the half-finished minis that never made it to table complete. I ran into this mini again while doing some cleaning & just got inspired to paint it. Took me about 6 hours over the course of a day. Turned out pretty well.

Next week will be the fourth and final installment for the members of our Rokugan adventures.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

New this week: Mid Jan.

Now that I'm done with the Terminators I can get back to a few of the other things that have been on the back-burner for a bit.

My first priority is to finish the Greater Knarloc. I've poured a few nights into him this week, so he's about 70% done now. I finished putting on the "Leopard Shark" design yesterday, so the body itself is complete at least. Now I just need to wrap up it's mouth, spines, & claws. The rest of it is mostly leather straps, and little details, so that shouldn't be too tough to knock out in the next few days.

One thing I've been struggling with is the Kroot riders. The owner really wants them to be bright and colorful, like tropical birds, but that might throw off the whole drab shark look. My solution is to use the colors of Birds of Paradise from New Guinea. Here are the two shots I'd be basing the schemes on.

I think the colors could be complimentary to one another, and if done properly, won't detract from the scheme of the Knarloc.

Next: It's time for another local painting competition. I didn't hear about this one until recently, and the deadline is the end of the month, so I have about two and a half weeks to knock out a nice, quality piece. If I have enough time I hope to paint up my Ahriman mini. A lot of people paint him blue, like a Thousand Son, but I have something a little different in mind him. This picture from the Chaos Space Marine codex will be the basis for it.

In my mind, Ahriman is an exile amongst outcasts. His armor will be mostly stripped of it's paint leaving only an oxidized brass color. The robe will be a drab blue-grey, and the coat will probably be a deep navy blue. I want to avoid bright colors with the exception of the areas where I want to draw attention. Here's hoping I have enough time.

More later,


Friday, January 11, 2013

Commission: Night Wolf Guard complete

Okay, so after getting a few more instructions from the client, these guys are finished.

 I'm pleased with these guys, although I kinda abandoned the "speed painting" aspect of this gig, but hey, I like painting, so no worries.  Hope he likes them, cuz we're already arranging some more commissions this year. Good stuff.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Killing time in Portland: Guardian Games

My wife is a teacher, which means she frequently has to take classes and tests to get new certifications/qualifications. Recently she's been trying to become certified as a bi-lingual elementary teacher, and the test is ridiculously hard . Native Spanish speakers fail this thing. It takes 3 hours, and is a bear to study for.

I drove her to Portland so she could study on the way up, the downside is that A.) I'm stuck in Portland for the duration & B.) I have to drive in Portland. I hate driving in Portland.

Anyways. The testing center is downtown, so I did a quick search for gaming stores where I could vegetate for a while. Lo and behold, Guardian Games was about a half mile away. I'd dropped in before to window shop, but hadn't spend a long time.

The store is nice, spacious, and has a lot to offer.  The staff members I interacted with were relaxed, and fine with me hanging out. It probably didn't hurt that I was making sure to buy stuff so didn't feel like I was taking advantage of their hospitality. The store itself is located in what appears to be a warehouse district near the river. The first time I visited the shop it felt a little sketchy walking past lifeless gray concrete buildings to get to a beacon of geeky warmth.

The front third of the store is where most of the merchandise is found. Wargaming toward the front, boardgames & RPGs a little further on. The middle third is where you find the bulk of the card tables where people set up to play. There's also few places to lounge, a TV and some gaming systems.

I set up shop in the back of the store. They serve booze there. It's also where the Warhammer happens. Coincidence? Probably not.

Fortunately for me it was also Warhammer 40k league night. Unfortunately I hadn't thought to bring any armies.  So I grabbed a bottle of Angry Orchard and watched some matches.
Once they got going there were over 20 players. I saw a fair spread of armies, even met two other Daemon players. Most surprising were the number of folks who used Space Wolves (I think there were 5 total, several of them were used as allies though). Most of the armies were cut & dry with tabletop quality paintjobs, so the conversions I saw stood out. My favorite conversion was a gentleman who swapped the weapons of his Dark Vengeance Libby & Commander with High Elf axes.

According to the player, you can tell it's a librarian because there's a big freaking book on his head.

This axe is actually from the High Elf Lord on Dragon. The streamer adds a nice touch.

I wasn't familiar with the group & didn't have anyone to vouch for me, so I mostly stood on the sidelines and interjected myself into the occasional conversation. Nice folks overall.

The next time My wife needs to take a test in Portland I'll be sure to take an army with me.