Thursday, May 16, 2019

Serpenting the Waves, Part Tres.

A third Wave Serpent assembled for my...unreasonably large Eldar grav fleet.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Paint Your Sh_t: Article 02

This is a series of short articles where I'll address how to go from unpainted miniatures and random collections to a more cohesive painted collection of models, particularly for army based games akin to Warhammer 40,000, etc.

Disclaimer: These articles will contain occasional ribbing of people who play with unfinished or unpainted models.  This is intentional.  If jokes, and ribbing can help encourage people to push their hobby (which in turn benefits everyone they come in contact with), then all the better.  If you're easily offended, look elsewhere for hobby tips!


Now we've set in our minds the goal: Painted minis.  Nice table.

The goals of my youth were inspired by battle scenes featured in GW's White Dwarf publication.

This may be the most contentious part of the miniature painting discussion: Why?

I can only answer this with my opinion, and obviously other peoples' opinions will vary.  Keep in mind that while our goal has been established above, some other people don't share that goal.  Some people only enjoy the competitive nature of the game (which is surprising, since tabletop wargames are not known for their tight rules writing - generally these people would be better off with another type of game/competitive product).  Some people like the game but have zero dedication or motivation to actively pursue achieving the goal of painting miniatures on a nice table.

Some people don't have the budget (which is not very large compared to most hobbies), and a lot of people are so overwhelmed they don't even know where to start - something we'll tackle in a later article.

So why do you paint your miniatures?

I started in miniature gaming the way a lot of people my age did - board games.  Namely games like Hero Quest (a Milton Bradley game made in conjunction with Games Workshop).  This was a simple and fantastic dungeon crawl board game.  It was followed by the vinyl-mat fantasy battles game called Battlemasters.

Battlemasters was also an MB game with some help from Games Workshop.  You received nearly two full fantasy armies in the box...had I know I would have bought a dozen copies and stored them!  On the back of the Battlemasters' box were painted versions of the unpainted figures you received in the box:

Needless to say this stirred my imagination.  It wasn't long before I had some craft store paints and some hand-me-down brushes from my father (who did military scale models) and I was poorly painting miniatures.  Later I visited some hobby stores and discovered some Warhammer 40K products and that kicked off my middle and high school years of collecting and haphazardly painting miniatures.

At the time I was simply painting them because it seemed cool and I thought they looked neat on the box (in truth mine were fucking hideous).  As shown in the first article I had a small but fully painted Eldar army in high school and likewise had a painted Necromunda gang and most of my later GW boxed games were eventually painted.

After getting back into wargaming late in college I started gaming with a group of older gamers (doing a variety of historical, fantasy and science fiction games).  This was the group where I inherited my personal gaming standards.

As grown adults it was simply bad form to show up with unpainted miniatures or unassembled vehicles.  The provided table and terrain were excellent, and we had a nice gaming space - so bringing unfinished and unpainted models was simply bad gaming etiquette.  You were lowering the aesthetic level of the game for everyone involved.

So...about that painting miniatures...why?

Shut up!  I'm getting there.

This gaming group instilled in me the gaming etiquette I practice today: I view it as a matter of respect to bring my best to the table and not to diminish the group's enjoyment by limiting the aesthetics of the game.  While many people will shout "but you can't tell someone how to enjoy the hobby!", it's simply good manners not to lower the standard of the game.  When you partake in a wargame with an opponent (friend or stranger) you're partially responsible for how the game looks and how much enjoyment you both get out of the effort.

The game becomes a two-person (or more) group effort.  At the gaming table, I never want to bring the level of the aesthetic down.  I'd rather not be the weakest link or the one person showing up with unpainted miniatures (or worse: unassembled/missing components).  I should respect my opponents enough to bring the best that I can.


Of course there are plenty of exceptions.  New players, brand new models (that someone is desperate to field), a person whose army is under construction so every week or two they have some models unpainted, etc.  This is obvious.  But, as you age and construct an army or collect for a game - progress should be made.

Next Time on Paint Your Sh_t

The next article we'll discuss what level to paint to...and why you may be setting your goals too high (and how little we expect when we ask people to bring painted miniatures!).  Painting armies is a skill you can develop, but you need to establish reasonable expectations and goals to meet with this process. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Chaos Terminator Lord

Not super excited with the result (my dip is going bad and I'm resisting buying new stuff...) but here is First Captain Astrakos - an evil doer of generous proportions.  Inspired by an old John Blanche kit-bash from the 2nd edition Chaos Codex.  I will probably print a pretty banner for him later to replace the scribbled one.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Bonus Wraithlord

Picked up another Wraithlord (i.e. Eldar Dreadnought) on eBay for a good deal recently.  I was planning to make a Wraithseer out of it, but maybe later.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Ugly Bugs.

I've been really struggling with hobby motivation lately.  I ended up forcing myself to paint another squad of Warp Spiders.  End result?  Pretty heinous eye-bleaching colours.  I started with a vague idea in my head and it simply never came through on the miniatures.  I'll keep them and use them, but this kind of result is not helping my hobby-mind set...

I got these guys used and nasty on eBay:

Paint Your Sh_t: Article 01

This is a series of short articles where I'll address how to go from unpainted miniatures and random collections to a more cohesive painted collection of models, particularly for army based games akin to Warhammer 40,000, etc.

Disclaimer: These articles will contain occasional ribbing of people who play with unfinished or unpainted models.  This is intentional.  If jokes, and ribbing can help encourage people to push their hobby (which in turn benefits everyone they come in contact with), then all the better.  If you're easily offended, look elsewhere for hobby tips!


 I'm not a very goal-oriented person.  I've shit for discipline, zero ability to perform long term tasks or goals and generally you should ignore anything I say.  However, one of the few things I've figured out in my all-too-many years here is how to get a shed-load of painted models onto a table top.

These articles are meant to address one hobby: tabletop wargaming.  I'll be using Warhammer 40K since it's relatable and I have plenty of source material to draw from.

When I was growing up, I was always interested in toy soldiers, and suitably similar board games like Hero Quest, etc.  My father was a military modeler and eventually convinced me to start assembling and painting models.  Eventually I discovered tabletop gaming and started to combine all of these interests into one thing.  A way I could "justify" playing toy soldiers as I moved into middle school and high school?  A tangential hobby I could share with my dad?  Gaming?  Get outta town!

My enthusiasm was pushed by images of fully painted armies battling it out over fully painted/assembled terrain.  Images you could find in magazines like White Dwarf.

This kind of stuff blew my 10-14 year old mind...
So, to me, and to most people, this is the goal.  Painted minis.  Nice table.  Boom.

As a middle schooler and high schooler, my games never looked that good.  But I was encouraged to try.  I even stumbled upon an ancient picture I took of my Eldar army from high school:

Fully high school, what's your excuse?
Like most high schoolers involved in an expensive or time-consuming hobby I thought "man, some day...some day I'll have all the minis I want and I'll have an amazing table!" etc.  The goal has remained the same and it's been about 25 years since I made that Eldar army in high school.

Be 100% honest with yourself.

In looking at a goal for painting miniatures for tabletop wargaming, be 100% honest with yourself.  Ask yourself some of these questions:

1) Am I really interested in spending a lot of time and a decent chunk of money pursuing this as a hobby, or will I get burned out in two months and move onto something else?

2) Do I want to become a professional miniature painter and compete in painting competitions, or do I want to paint armies to a nice standard to enjoy gaming with them?

3) Do I have the patience and long-term interest in this project (the game, the army, the miniature) to see it through, or will I stop in the middle - having wasted time, energy, and money?

After giving it some thought, if you want to paint armies for tabletop wargaming and you think you have the interest and dedication to pursue it...then we'll start talking about how in part two.

The goal is always this:

And not this:

Games! Warhammer 40K, 8th Edition

After having a couple of rather uninspired games of 40K I had a great one this past week with a buddy.

A Knight Household's keep is under siege...
We did a 1,500 point game of Tokenhammer.  We changed one additional thing in our game which added a lot to the enjoyment factor.  We removed the re-roll Stratagem.  We allowed re-rolls from other sources as normal, but none of the basic 1 CP re-roll strats were employed.

It was a really nice change.  It meant we were unable to re-roll the climactic moments of the game which are caused by dice.  Nothing is less exciting than rolling a '6' to blow something up...only to have it immediately re-rolled to avoid any extraneous harm, etc.

 The besieging Wandering Sons make use of a wooded hill for cover.
 Two armigers, piloted by brother and sister prepare to defend their home.
 The Thousand Sons arrive to help the surprised rogue Knight household.
 The rogue Knight "Sine Nomine" prepares to engage the besiegers.
 Siegemaster Tropios Juut commands the attack, putting a Typhon Heavy Siege tank to use, shelling the fortress.
 Additional support is provided by a number of rapier batteries.
 "Sine Nomine" charges into the threat.
 The Typhon, belching smoke, fires a round which detonates inside the Knight, destroying it and blowing up the bridge.  Debris damaged the Typhon severely and injures the nearby Daemon Prince.
 "Sine Nomine" falls into the acid lake which provides the household with a moat.

 The armigers advance, prepared to defend their keep.
 Cyzo Astor, Techmarine of the Wandering Sons runs to repair the damaged rapier battery.
 One of the armigers advances to take revenge for the destruction of the great Knight.

 Cyzo Astor confronts the damaged armiger, slaying it with scrap code, meltagun fire, and flamers.
 One armiger is damaged heavily early in the game from a lucky conversion beamer shot.
 The Knight's keep in all its besieged glory.
 Thousand Sons Space Marines occupied key positions while the heavily armored Knight and armigers took the brunt of the assault.
 Wandering Sons renegades engaged from the treeline with missile launchers and boltgun fire.

 The armiger ignored the acid scoring its legs (it suffered three wounds to the acid lake!) and advanced, spewing autocannon rounds into the treeline.
 More Thousand Sons space marines occupy the structures of the keep.
 A Daemon Prince and Sorcerer move past the burning and damaged armiger.
A second rapier spent most of its existence spewing endless bolt shells into the opposing force.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Some 40K tables...

Been discussing tables and terrain with some people lately, so I'm using the blog to host some pics I can use as reference!

More tables...

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Couple o' Cultistos

A few of the Blackstone Fortress traitor guard painted up as cultists for my CSM.