úterý 9. prosince 2014

The Pyre Cultists

Gak, is it December already? I've moved to another country due to a student exchange, which means two things - first, time passes way too quickly, and second, I couldn't work on anything hobby-related for last three months! Hopefully, the Hobby Gods will forgive me. Luckily enough, I got some pictures with me here!

 

I've been thinking for quite some time about what warband to choose for my Dark Vengeance Chaos Space Marines. In the end, I was choosing between the Thousand Sons, Iron Warriors, The Cleave and The Pyre. I skipped the Thousand Sons due to the fact that Dark Vengeance models would need extensive conversions to make them pass; the same with the Iron Warriors. The ever-oozing Cleave are fascinating and would not require so much conversion work, but I always prefered all the other Chaos Gods over Nurgle - so in the end, I want with The Pyre - the orange-colored warband specialized in flame weaponry, slightly reminiscient of a perversed version of the Inquisition. I appreciate the fact that it is Chaos Undivided, and I find the image of a solitary, mysterious sect of Chaos Marines setting whole worlds on fire enthralling.

"The Pyre warband is known to favour short-range combat, especially in urban environments. While capable in melee situations and extended range engagements, their devotion to flame weapons often dictates their tactics. They generally eschew assault and fire support elements. Rather, they focus on movement through cover until they can attack with eldritch fire."
"The Pyre's forces have played prominent roles in several actions, particularly in the Vanity system. Oddly, though, no higher ranking members of this warband have been positively identified. Instead, these traitors have been seen in the company of Warp creatures and the Stigmartus. Also of note is that Pyre units have not been observed working directly with Chaos Space Marines of other warbands." - Lexicanum

Discovering the connection between The Pyre and a militant Chaos Cult called the Stigmartus was a pleasant surprise to me. Therefore, I've tried to paint the Cultists as being connected to these two organizations at the same time - by having the blood marks of Stigmartus and the color scheme more akin to The Pyre, to make them look coherent on the table. In the end, I went with dark brown uniforms with black gasmasks and Troll Slayer Orange or Mephiston Red clothes. Weapons were painted with Brass Scorpion mostly to give a more "unclean" look compared to imperial forces.


A model I particularly enjoyed to paint was the Cultist leader, broadly known as "that Chaos Commissar guy". While I love the model, I absolutely hate the crazy-haired-Hannibal-Lecter head he normally comes with, so I have taken that one out and replaced it with a gasmask head that can be found in the Dark Vengeance sprues as a base decoration. Since the head is missing half of its gas mask, I've wanted to make it look as if half of the mask got scorched by a flamer - something that I didn't exactly achieve in the end, but I still find the way the model looks more serious and satisfying than if I wouldn't do the conversion.


The Cultist I love the most is the one holding a flamer, though. The bulky body, the ready-to-burn stance and the Cultist mask is a menacing combination - welldone on that one, Games Workshop designers! Something about this guy just screams "butcher" to me, so maybe I will try to convert the other one as a white-coated axe-holder. Actually, I would like to convert each of the duplicate models (I hate clones!) with either some kitbashing, or even some neat green stuff mutations. The Chosen Marines are a priority now, though.


I've tried to make the bases thematic, so I went with a "scorched earth" look by drybrushing different shades of grey and white. My idea is that the unit is slowly proceding through some heavy terrain - a forest perhaps - and leaving nothing but ash behind.


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these! I'll try to make another update soon - got pictures of an Alaitoc War Walker hidden somewhere in my computer...

úterý 16. září 2014

WZR: Armoured Chasseurs

Prodos Games' Armoured Chassuers is the unit that got me into Warzone Resurrection. In my opinion, Prodos has done great job on the concept of these models - while their execution is unique and novel, they are still clearly inspired both from the original Warzone and from recent industrial science fiction such as Quake. Thanks to that, the result is both fresh and familiar - well done, Prodos!

Armoured Chasseurs

I have already reviewed these models, but there are still few points I'd like to make regarding the assembly. While Prodos' resin is very easy to work with, due to its softness and lightness be prepared that some of the longer bits such as weapon barrels might curve, warp or even snap. Luckily enough, this is usually hardly noticable - in fact, the only larger warp I can see on these models didn't occur to me until I took and checked the pictures. Also, be prepared that the assembly of legs and torso parts requires some use of green stuff, liquid green stuff and/or filing, otherwise the Chasseur ends up in a rather embarassing pelvic thrusting pose.

Armoured Chasseurs

I have went with a gray/black paintjob inspired by the artwork Prodos provides for the Chasseurs. In addition to that I've added some blue details, mostly stripes on the shoulderpads. I'm still not decided if these will be markings of the whole army (since I associate Cybertronic with the color blue), or just of the squad; perhaps I'll leave the blue stripes at each Cybertronic model, but use the other details (such as the circular thing located on the arm) to denote squad.

Armoured Chasseurs

Each of the models has been drybrushed with metallic colors on edges to give the armour a chrome look. One of the most wonderful things about the Armoured Chasseurs are the highly detailed backs - the cybernetic spine is just beautiful.

Armoured Chasseurs Squad Leader

On the other side, the fact that these guys are so heavily armoured yet wear almost no protection of the head is rather dumb. Subdermal implants are enough when it comes to protecting the brain, I guess. Still, the heads look extremely cool and really give the impression that these guys had their skulls removed and replaced with cybernetics. One head has a visor over the whole face, which I decided to use on the squad leader. I wasn't sure how to mark the leader (it's a shame the set doesn't include any special bits for that), so I have decided to paint a big Cybertronic "C" over its left shoulder. The other method I was thinking of was painting the whole shoulderpad a different color.

Armoured Chasseur Conversion

There isn't much room for customization in the set - only two optional bits are the plasma rifles. Luckily enough, the material is easy to work with, so for one of my models I've decided to do a small conversion and "straighten up" its arm, so that it holds its carbine as if it is a pistol. I guess one could go crazy with 40K bits on the models, though I didn't find space marine grenades and packs exactly fitting, so I've decided to keep these guys pure.

Regarding the bases, I went the same way as with my Commander Dr. Diana. All hail the mighty kitchen strainer!

Armoured Chasseurs and Commander Dr. Diana

I guess it's obvious I really enjoyed working on these models - the amount of details is really incredible, and the concept is such a fresh break from 40k. And now I can think about expanding the force - gotta say the updated Chasseurs and the new Exterminateur Attila Mk.I look particularly nice. Or perhaps I should start the Dark Legion? Well done, Prodos, you got a new addict here!

neděle 31. srpna 2014

WZR: Commander Dr. Diana

Ok, quick update on Warzone Resurrection! Below is the lovely Commander Dr. Diana miniature (which I have reviewed before) painted. I've got to say that painting this lady turned out to be quite a difficult task; I hardly ever paint anything outside the 40k range, and the WZR models are both more detailed and realistic than 40k models, which made me rather unsure about the paintjob. in the end, I had to experiment. The result is not too good, but it have teached me a lot.


I have chosen to do my Cybertronic in a grey scheme with black and blue details, but since Diana is a doctor, I have used white instead to accompany the grey. I wanted to make the coat look like if it was made of latex or nylon, so wash was used only lightly. While the white part turned out pretty good, the gray is a letdown... If I could paint this again from scratch, I'd make the whole coat white now.


To enforce the latex feel of the coat, I have painted it with gloss varnish ('Ardcoat). Unfortunately, the result is not as glossy as I hoped for, and it makes the grey look rather bad. I was thinking about some "weathering" such as adding dried blood to the tools and/or coat, but in the end, I think it would have make the model look too busy and perhaps silly. This is not an Ork afterall.


The base was an experiment as well. Since the model was supplied with a rather large base, I wasn't exactly sure what to do with it - so I cannibalized a plastic kitchen strainer and used the mesh to create the base, along with some dirt and random bits... Voilá, the base looks rather good for a post-apocalyptic setting. At least something went right with this model!

Overall, the dirty look the model has was a bad choice, I should have gone with a cleaner style, perhaps with a different color scheme, too. The miniature looks just fine on the tabletop, but as a showcase, it doesn't work.

One final note regarding the model. The resin WZR uses is rather soft when it comes to small, long parts such as gun barrels. Ofcourse, the tiny gun barrel on this model have snipped off... Luckily enough, the pistol still looks alright.

neděle 20. července 2014

Alaitoc Guardians

Wow, is it really July already?!


I had this squad painted for a while now, but it took me some time to get decided on the Weapon Platform - especially in regards to the marble effect. I've decided to use stippling only on the shield and frontal panels to make the vehicle bit more interesting. Kudos to my girlfriend for help with that! The decorations are a mix of old and new decals, I still don't feel confident enough to freehand Eldar runes.


Assembling these guys was quite fun. Sure, the Guardians box is old and the mould lines are ever-present, but the models can be assembled in various poses and the kit has plenty of interesting bits such as various antennae, targeters, grenades and spare clips. There are two shields available for the platform, and the box includes each of its pontential weapons. For more variety, try kitbashing with the Dire Avengers box - for example, the model below has a one-hand shuriken from the Dire Avengers exarch.


I planned to do some squad markings for the Guardians, but in the end I've decided against it - at least until I get another squad. My idea was to choose squad colors and paint them on either on kneepads or the antennae on back. I've also left the Guardian helmets free of the Guardian symbol; the reason for this is that I have actually seen only few Guardian models with it - even the Games Workshop showoff models don't have it! And I'm not even sure it would look any better.

The bases were done in similar way as with my Dire Avengers - various bits of plasticard and frames painted to resemble Eldar ruins, painted with Eldar symbols and sticking out of Stirland Mud texture.


By the way, I've tested the unit few times and I rather like it, even though the lack of a proper armour save is really annoying! I guess these guys will mostly camp at base around an objective, which is why I armed the platform with a Bright Lance. The low rate of fire makes it rather unreliable, though. Maybe I should switch to a Starcannon or Shuriken Catapult?

středa 30. dubna 2014

Genesis Chapter Predator: Wallpaper

Is this a filler post? Yep, I guess it is... sort of. But sometimes even filler posts can be inspiring, right? I sure hope this wallpaper-sized picture of my Genesis Chapter Predator is one of those. Kudos to my friend Vojta for taking this sexy picture.

Space Marines Genesis Chapter Predator wallpaper
In too deep, against all odds brothers!

pondělí 24. března 2014

Leviathan Genestealers

Leviathan Genestealers

Genestealers... The ultimate Tyranid shock troopers. I have to admit that while I got annoyed by assembling (and weighting) Hormagaunts pretty quick, working on Genestealers keeps feeling good. The models are pretty large (for basic troops, anyway) and they look menacing - they stay true to the creepy idea of a Tyranid/Human hybrid, which can be seen on many of the model's features (such as head or spine). Sweet!
 
Tyranid Leviathan Genestealers

I actually painted these before my Warriors and it shows. I paint Tyranid fleshy parts with Ceramite White, Screaming Skull and Carroburg Crimson, since I want my Leviathan to have more "blood" than the Games Workshop studio army; but I still need to find the right balance between the "clean" and "dirty" look. The originally grey-painted bases were redone lately in dark green and decorated with grass and plants, consistent with the jungle look I went for with my Warriors.

Tyranid Leviathan Genestealers

I feel like I could do more for these poor bastards (sorry, hybrids), but I have way too little time and way too many unpainted models waiting! I'm looking forward to working on more Genestealers though, and comparing them to these. A Broodlord conversion might be a fun project...

neděle 23. února 2014

Good old Tyranid Warriors... and a converted Prime!

Tyranid Warriors Leviathan

I always liked Tyranid Warriors - there is something about these creatures that screams both "ferocious beasts" and "intelligent alien menace" at the same time. As soon as I heard the rumours of a new Tyranid Warrior kit, I went and bought the old one... Why? I expected the new kit to cost more and not include any Rippers (since Rippers are not included in most of the new Tyranid kits). Turns out I was right on both accounts (though the price rise is justified by the quality of the new kit).

Painting these monsters was a lot of fun, since they are a nice compromise between the small horde models that make you feel like a copying machine, and the larger bugs that are fun but difficult and time-consuming to paint. The models look nearly the same as the new kit, though I find the lack of optional bits... disturbing. I prefer the old biocannons more though - in the new kit, the Barbed Strangler looks nearly the same as Stranglethorn Cannon. Here, it is pretty much unique.

The choice of weapons in the old kit is lacking as well, though in 6th edition environment, shooting is the way to go anyway - so I armed them with Deathspitters and a Barbed Strangler. I like the idea of ranged bioweapons, for me it's something that makes Tyranids different from other science fiction staple aliens, and that really hints at their alien intelligence. My favorite part about bioweapons are the eyes - I mean, those living rifles have real eyes on them, how cool is that?

Tyranid Warriors Leviathan Deathspitter
Tyranid Warriors Leviathan Deathspitter
Tyranid Warriors Leviathan Barbed Strangler

Since I got two kits, I have also converted a Tyranid Prime - note the options for that were very limited in the old kit; the new one wins here hands down. I have given it a pair of Rending Claws, Adrenaline Glands and a very special head, which I converted using the tentacled head from the Genestealer kit. To make it stand out more, I've built it on a higher base, and added some worm-like Tyranid creatures under it - I know they don't look exactly great, since I don't work with green stuff a lot, but they still add some atmosphere!

Tyranid Warriors Leviathan Prime Ymgarl Factor

The result looks almost Lictor-like; I guess I could even proxy it as one. I planned to play the creature with Regeneration, but since the 6th edition codex opens up so many new options, I'm not decided yet - the huge claws could work well as the Maw-Claws of Thyrax, and the head conversion could represent the Ymgarl Factor or even the infamous Norn Crown. Regarding the claws, I should have probably go for a ranged weapon - but these claws look so much cooler!

Tyranid Warriors Leviathan Prime Ymgarl Factor

Since there is not much of difference between all the warriors (in the old kit, anyway), I tried to make them unique through basing. I've scrapped my idea of a nearly consumed death world and instead went with a contrasting, dark green jungle theme. Static grass, aquarist plants and even pieces of sponge were used, as well as my original Ripper-like worms, made of green stuff and termagant shoulderpads.

Tyranid Warriors Leviathan

Finally, here is the back view of the pack. I've worked on these models over few months (in fact, the first Warrior was done one year ago), and the way I paint their chitin slowly changed - the barbed strangler model (right one on the picture under) and the Prime being the newest examples. I'm trying to improve, though I still see the Tyranids as a challenge to my skills.

Tyranid Warriors Leviathan

In summary, the old models certainly lacked close combat options as well as customizible bits, though their design still looks fresh, and they had the added bonus of having Rippers included in the kit (still got to paint these little beasts). I had much fun working on these four, and building the Prime was truly a challenge. Now I'm still wondering how I should build the two Warriors left - thinking about boosting the Warrior unit with two more deathspitters, or building one with a venom cannon (to variate him with the Strangler one), or use the Prime as a standard Warrior in another pack of three Warriors (perhaps close-combat oriented). Options - there are so many of them! Guess that's the beautiful thing about Warhammer.

čtvrtek 16. ledna 2014

Scratchbuilding Craters out of CDs!

I'm working on terrain lately, and any good battlefield has to have plenty of shell craters around... Right? I've decided to start small, so the first few craters I've made actually use old CDs for bases. Why CDs? As anyone who lived in 90's, I've got plenty of these around, many of which are not even working anymore, so they make a really cheap alternative if you live in flat and can't go crazy with cutting MDF planks. And if done correctly, the resulting crater is big enough to make cover for 5-6 models.

40k crater

Materials used for these are as cheap as possible: CDs, paper, sand, decoration stones and Creall Do & Dry modelling material. First, paper was glued over the CD to cover the obvious hole in middle and to work as a more adhesive surface for the Creall. After that, deco stones were glued onto the surface; while this is not required, it gives the terrain more character and more support for the modelling material.

crater WIP

Last step is the most fun one - using the modelling putty to make your own unique crater. I've made two so far, both not exactly beautiful or eye-catching, but they work!

CD craters

My girlfriend took the idea bit further, and actually made her crater look good. In fact, she hasn't made a shell crater, but a small volcano - and she did a pretty good job with both the modelling and painting part!

40k volcano crater

The lava was made with PVA glue - first it was poured into the crater to make level of certain height, then (after waiting a few days), the bubbles were made on top of it using more glue. I'm using the volcano as a mysterious lake in game, though the size is limiting. But it looks great on the tabletop!