Wednesday, May 25, 2011

6th week of "Heroes of Armageddon" charity project prizes!

Something a little different up for grabs this week from the "Heroes of Armageddon" charity project - a couple CMON 2009 Annuals have been donated for prizes. I tend not to bother posting my mini's on CMON as I am well aware they are basically tabletop quality - I usually aim for special methods(eg. staining) to make tabletop quality quicker to achieve over a larger quantity of models than a great model.  However I will admit that every blogger of whose painting I am jealous seems to have already purchased a copy of the annual.
CMON Annual 2009
Judging by how strictly models are judged on CMON, I would expect the quality of the photos in this annual to be outstanding. You never know this could convince me to aim higher and start posting up pics - probably need a lightbox first! As usual I have donated another $20 to the cause.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A plea for positivity... (a re-post from Pirate Viking Painting)

Re-posting this excellent article from Pirate Viking Painting. I encourage anyone with similar feelings to do the same. It's projects like "Heroes of Armageddon" that make me feel the blog-o-sphere is a more positive place than the various hobby forums and this is the type of thing that reinforces it. Blog-on Pirate Viking Blog-on.

I really do not do this very often but I am going to post about something that has nothing to do with painting miniatures. It does, however, have an enormous amount to do with this great hobby of ours.

The Internet is a funny old place, people hide behind their anonymity in order to make snide comments. Complex issues are summed up in 140 character bursts which are frequently massively over simplified. People actively “troll” to trigger long strings of furious comments that somehow enhance their self worth. More than anything else, people bitch and moan.

It is getting to the point where I find myself actively avoiding seeing any comments sections of websites at all because they just depress me. This is a real shame as the Internet can be an enormously potent tool for discussion and debate. Now I am not naive, I know that the idiots who “troll” comments forms will never go away as long as there are sad people whose self worth is boosted by the rage and upset of others. What I would like to see is a greater responsibility on the part of we, the bloggers, to make sure that we present news and opinions in a positive and non inflammatory light. There are sites – you know who you are – who seem to post deliberately inflammatory editorials to spark what they call discussion. I suspect that the problem is that advertising revenue on the Internet is tied to page views and rows bring page views. Oops, there I went, see how much deliberate thought this takes? That last comment violated rule 7 below.

So here is my thing. I hereby pledge to do the following on my blog:

1)            I will keep all criticism constructive.
This is an important one, if you don’t like something about a model then specify what it is and more importantly what you are doing to correct it.

2)            I will make no sweeping generalisations.
This leads on from above, do not say “that model is rubbish”, say “not convinced by the sword” and then – following rule 1 – “so I’ll replace it with...”

3)            I will not signal my dislike for a range/model that I have no intention of buying.
This really annoys me. People who do not like a model, who have no intention of buying it, throwing around cynical snipes which ruin the enjoyment of all those who do like the range. If you don’t like it you won’t buy it. That is fine, there is no need to express your less than humble opinion to the world. (example: I genuinely felt like the only human on Earth who thought the Stormraven was kinda cool)

4)            I will not base my opinions on photography alone.
Miniatures often do not photograph well. I will have a model in my hot little hands before I make any judgements upon it.

5)            I will treat others with respect.
Other people’s opinions are valid, they are entitled to them, yes, even if you think they are stupid.

6)            I will not summarise highly complex issues of business.
I know nothing about running a multi-national company, I know nothing about running a miniatures company, neither do you if you are honest. Maybe a handful of people in every ten thousand know anything about these things. I will not make sweeping comments about things I know precious little about.

7)            Suspicion is not proof.
I will not make accusations without proof of indiscretion. Snide cynicism is an unhealthy humour.

8)            People are people, even on the Internet.
What a lot of people seem to forget is that every miniature ever made was created by the blood, sweat and tears of at least 1 person. Maybe lots of people. All of those people worked hard, are proud of their endeavour and will see any flaws in their creation far more keenly than you. All that ignoring the above 7 rules will achieve is to hurt someone’s feelings.

There, now I would love to turn those 8 rules into some sort of active pledge that we would all endeavour to uphold. Unfortunately I am just a very little fish in this great big pond and don’t have the sort of clout that would be needed to get this universally adopted.  Any volunteers?

Oh and to settle my mind I would like to throw my hat into the hurricane of fury associated with pricing. NO-ONE is forcing you to buy models. No-one is forcing you to choose one miniatures company over another (anyone who raises the tournament compatibility thing only has a right to if they ACTUALLY ATTEND THEM and the vast majority of us do not). If the models are expensive, save up for them. If the models are more than you think they are worth, do not buy them. Everyone can afford this hobby at some level. So you can’t afford a 4000 point vostroyan guard army? Of course you can’t. You probably don’t own a Ferrari either. I want a huge number of things that I cannot afford. I don’t buy them. I don’t feel that I should vent my spleen to millions of people about it. Try not to grumble automatically just because someone is successful. This was brought home to me when I realised I used to make anti-Microsoft jokes while using a Windows PC. Ridiculous.

That is all, I just wanted to get that off my chest as it has been driving me nuts lately. If you have read this far I salute you. Stay positive people.

"Heroes of Armageddon" moves into month two of weekly giveaways!

Up for grabs this week from the "Heroes of Armageddon" charity project is one of three boxes donated by Carl "Covchaser" Deakin (link goes to his youtube homepage - check out his conversion videos!) Actually all three boxes will be given away so there will be THREE WINNERS! If you want some more info about Carl I'd advise checking out the latest weekly prize post.
thunderfire cannon
This is another great thing about these charity projects - the community support.  A lot of the miniatures for the armies themselves are donated and stuff that can't be used is put up as weekly giveaways.  The way the community bands together for these type of things is just extraordinary!
legion of the damned
I've donated another $20 to the cause - breaking the $100 mark!  It's amazing how quickly it builds up.  As described in my last HoA pimp post - it really doesn't take much to scrounge up $20 you could throw towards this - and who knows, you could end up winning one of the weekly prizes or even one of the FOUR completely custom built & painted armies based on the war of armageddon.
venerable dreadnought

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Minis painted by others and for others...

Following up on posting the pics of the prize from the second GWpertinent contest, now that Dave @ mini painting for free has completed Lead Painters League season five, that means he had a moment to snap a couple pics of a mini I painted for him earlier this year.  Silly me forgot to take any pics before I packed her up for shipment so I haven't had anything to show you guys.  The request was for a fire aspect so she needed to have lots of red, though I didn't want to just simply paint her armour red.
the dragonblooded - on her own
There are a couple techniques I tried out on this mini for the first time, I wanted to try a wash + drybrush technique to make the armour look fire-y without actually being all red - and am quite pleased with how it turned out.  It was basically just a golden yellow colour with a heavy red wash, which I then drybrushed the same golden yellow over.  Where the wash is in the crevasses is more red, with a orange tinge leading up to the drybrush which was very light to bring the yellow back. 

The second is her red hair, since the armour didn't have a lot of actual red and since anything with a fire aspect always seems to have red eyes and red hair I thought it would do a good job of reinforcing the fire aspect.  I drybrushed a coppery colour over the base red, and then used a couple coats of baal red wash to tinge it red again. I don't feel the pics do it justice as I was really impressed with how "ginger" it looked - maybe Dave can comment to this effect?
here she is taking on some frog-men
I tracked my progress on painting some figs for him last year over at Weekly Minis. I figure not everyone has seen everything I've painted that I posted there so why not throw a few extra pics into this post.  Here's the first mini I painted for Dave - I can't remember the sculpt but I remember saying "hell send me a cowboy" and he did! You can see the original Weekly Minis post here. I tried to keep it very simple, using only devlan mud as the wash to try and unify the tones. I also used my bleached bone/gryphonne sepia sand technique for his base.
never painted a cowboy before!
The second fig I painted was an anarchist for a RPG campaign Dave had going on. There's also a post with more pics about him over at Weekly Minis.  I didn't want him to look too evil, so I used some neutral greens and browns for his clothing - but I had to give him a black cloak.  There is more info on how I painted him over at Weekly Minis.
the anarchist
Finally if you missed out on the posts of minis that Dave painted for me, you can find the Genestealer Patriarch @mini painting for free & an Eldar Harlequin @mini painting for free which are both WIP.  There is a post with finished pics @mini painting for free as well as @GWpertinent.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fourth weekly prize announced for "Heroes of Armageddon"

Up for grabs this week from the "Heroes of Armageddon" charity project is a bunch of very cool resin ork bits and pieces from - everything I have seen from them is truly top notch, there's some really incredibly high quality stuff such as the jetbike and all these orky bits.  If I happened to win this weeks prize I could see myself having to start playing Gorkamorka!  You can check out this weeks prize post here.
these heads have SO much character - absolutely corkin'
As per usual I have donated $20 and have updated my running tally. Truly it doesn't take much to make a difference and you'd be surprised at how little it will impact you.  For example I quit smoking (again..  hopefully for keeps this time!) in January.  I estimate I probably spent at least $50 a week on smokes - this is less than half that - if I could afford more than twice what I've donated weekly to poison myself, I can definitely afford this.
some really wicked looking mechanical torsos - talk about an iron lung!
Or here's another example.  I used to buy my lunch at the mall every day at work - that's an average of $10-15 a day.  Now I bring my lunch 3 days a week (unrelated - more about getting healthy than finding the $$ to donate) which probably costs about the same as one purchased lunch. Again when you consider how much you spend on stuff without thinking about it during the week finding this small amount isn't tough at all!
great action pose legs!
I challenge every one of you to consider superfluous things you spend money on - I'm not saying donate $20 every week like me - but I bet every single one of you could easily find $20 to donate without really giving up very much.  I personally spend about $3-4 a day on coffee, that in itself would be $20 for 5 days. Some folks who drink fancy coffees from places like Starbucks spend almost as much on a coffee as a meal.  Ask yourself if you can give up your specialty coffee for a week in order to help out Doctors without Borders.
these mechanical conveyances are so orky and look brilliant!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

GWpertinent Contest #2 - painted prize

I didn't want to post anything about this until I knew Mik had received his prize - I definitely wanted it to be a surprise!  The request had come in for deathwing scheme (aka bone armour).  He pointed out that his is the 4th Company, with a specific badge on the knee - but other than that I was left pretty much on my own. While I wanted the mini to suit Miks Dark Angels army, I still wanted it to retain some of my painting style.  I did a fair amount of reviewing his current army. I am a huge fan of washes and have recently really gotten into staining, so I decided to go for a bit grittier look than his very white terminators.  I wanted this armour to really seem aged and ancient.  I do think I might have taken it just a teensy bit too far (you can judge below) but thankfully it's nothing as bad as one coat too many of badab black on my Raptors Chaplain.
mostly basecoated
I used a grey undercoat with bleached bone basecoat. Over that I did some highlights in white, trying to focus them so would appear as if from a single light source.  Other than leather and metallics I only used dark angels green and a pretty bright red as complementing colours.  I wavered a bit about the headdress feathers but in the end I decided I liked how striking the solid colour was.
highlights pretty much done
I kept all the gems and his cloak dark angels green to make sure I had enough green on the figure.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a pic between staining and painting the power sword.  I debated between using either the red or green as the base for the power sword, both had their benefits but in the end I decided that I liked the look of his assault squads blue power swords - and that I really needed the sword to be a different colour from the rest of the miniature as it's a pretty standout feature of the fig.
some details like the gems and metallics
I had always been planning to copy my Space Sharks champion power sword. It has gotten a lot of positive reviews.  I think I did a very good job on this blend except for the white end near the band - my brother pointed out that the blend into white was a little smoother on my Shark champion.  This was probably because I had the base green colour and worked down whereas here I started with a light blue and worked up since I wasn't sure how dark it would need to be.  Lesson learned always work to white.
strong wash of devlan mud all over.
added company detailing.
electric band blended power sword.
I finished up a few details with a fineliner pen (name on scroll & purity seal writing) and sealed him up.  I can only hope that Mik enjoys him as much as I enjoyed painting him - it's always nice to take a break from your own projects and paint something outside what you normally would.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

revival indeed... Prepping for Astro

I've been convinced by my friend Mike to enter Astronomi-con in June. I threw a couple 1500 lists together (one for Novamarines & one for Space Sharks) to test out.  I liked the Space Sharks list but it was going to be a lot to get finished, then I found out that certain additional rules were allowed (such as FW characters) and considering the crazy tables/missions they have I became a little enamored with using Mordaci Blaylock so basically all my units would be scoring!  Here is the list I was thinking - unpainted stuff in red.  It also had the (seemingly at the time) additional benefit of less to finish painting - now I'm not so sure, but I'm plowing on with it because switching back now could be catastrophic!

* mordaci blaylock
* librarian w null zone/gate of infinity
* 5 man terminators w cyclone missile launcher
* 5 man assault terminators w th/ss
* dreadnought w multi-melta/ccw in drop pod
* 10 man tactical squad w melta/missile launcher, combi-melta in drop pod
* 5 man scout squad w sniper/missile launcher,  telion
* 10 man scout squad w 4 bp/ccw, 5 bolterspower fist
land speeder storm w multi-melta

I got started by picking up the storm recently at GW - this was going to kill two birds.  I did need another scout with a missile launcher and another bolter armed scout.  So I magnetized the riders and made bases for them to stick to as well.
land speeder storm w riders magnetized
I also was originally just going to replace the AoBR sergeant with a combi-melta armed sergeant, but I figured for 5 points at the same BS it would be stupid not going in with a meltagun instead of a flamer - so I got those two built and started on getting them painted (also a nice place to use a helmet on the sergeant for the chance to paint it red)
replacements for tactical squad 1
A cyclone missile launcher for the standard terminators was due as well!  As I used a mini that was already painted getting this done was a breeze!
simple missile launcher from IG sentinel conversion
I've been building the assault terminators over a while waiting for the shield bits (so I could keep them all the same!) Thanks Mike & Lorand for donating some shields!
assault terminators (check out the shields)
I played a couple games with them last Saturday.  The list had too much gimmick, not enough meat & potatoes. So I wanted to add some bodies, and definitely do something about the terminators - at this points level it can be tough for them to earn their points back.  I'm going to scrap either the assault terminators or blaylock so I can increase the size of the standard terminator unit to 10.

I decided to scrap the dreadnought for another tactical squad.  It added ten more guys to get painted, but it's a worthwhile switch I think - a single dread can wreak havoc, but more often than not is too exposed and vulnerable to have much real impact.  Yes it can be a distraction but one that can be stunned/shaken and ignored.  The tactical squad is a better all rounder and is just more utilitarian.
second AoBR squad with replacements
In order to afford the full squad I dropped five scouts - it means I have to choose between bolters (without an extra missile launcher) or bp/ccw. Regardless I decided to keep the Land Speeder Storm - I'm just going to have to use it differently than I planned.  I think in the end I will go with the bolter scouts - partially because they are from the same kit but also just because it will make me think twice about charging out!
missile launcher won't make an appearance :(
As was rightly pointed out by Mike - I can't expect to throw my power armour librarian in with the terminators to deep strike.  So I figured to be safe I should really give him terminator armour - and I happened to notice that the base terminator armour upgrade doesn't come with any other weapon! Yikes I didn't realize that storm bolter cost an extra 5 points.
original model
Hmmm - so I decided I should do a little fix up on my termie libby so his right hand is magnetized to afford other weapon options.  I'm also debating getting rid of the banner if I can find another celestial wizard staff bit.  I think I will have enough points for the storm shield but it's nice having options just in case - still need to make a hand on it's own (maybe shooting lightning or something)
ta da!
So here is what I am thinking - please let me know your thoughts - there's now one big decision and a couple small decisions to be made.  It has added some volume to what I need to paint, but I think I can pull it off.  I plan to keep the drop pods really simple - doors will be quartered but everything else will be metallics.

* term libby w null zone/gate of infinity
* 10 terminator squad (cml, cml OR heavy flamer) 5 to paint
* 10 tactical squad (melta, missile launcher, combi-melta/power fist OR bolt pistol) in drop pod w locator
* 10 tactical squad (melta, missile launcher, combi-melta) in drop pod w locator 10 to paint
* 10 scout squad (3x sniper, missile launcher, telion, 5x bolters OR 5x ccw 5 to paint
* landspeeder storm w heavy bolter
? mordaci blaylock or assault terminators (th/ss)

Biggie: Mordaci or Assault Terminators?

Little 'uns:
bolter or CC scouts for the storm?
power fist in one tactical squad or second cyclone for terminators in place of flamer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Heroes of Armageddon" charity project third weekly prize posted!

"Heroes of Armageddon" keeps growing and growing! This time around there are three options for the weekly prize.  Whoever the lucky name pulled from the hat is will get the option of picking one of these three great prizes - all offered by TableTop Fix. Either a Blood Angels battleforce, an Ork Stompa or an Imperial Shadow Sword - some pretty sweet prizes.
option 1
I will admit to having not heard of TableTop Fix before, but I am definitely a follower now - and not just because they've donated to the cause!  I always appreciate seeing alternate models being considered/used for GW games.
option 2
As promised I have donated another $20 to the cause. You can check out this weeks prize post here.  So pony up some cash and cross your fingers! I know which prize I would pick should my name be pulled out.
option 3

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm stylish

I was surprised to receive an email from Mik (well not the email part we more frequently than not have some discussion going on) but the contents of said email were definitely a shock!  I have to say I was quite thrilled to be receiving an online "award" - most especially one nominated from my peers

The Stylish Blogger Award given from one blogger to another one might say, is like a pat on the back for a good job. It's definitely a viral, zombie-like spread of good will so it's too good to pass up. I was awarded mine yesterday and have been thinking a little on who to nominate myself. There are four rules;
  • Thank and link back to the person giving you the award
  • Share seven things about yourself
  • Select 10-15 blogs who you think deserve this award
  • Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award
So first off I need to thank Mik (Gyro?) @ Mik's Minis for nominating me.  I've always loved his blog as he just gets into so much I wonder where he gets the cash, motivation and time! Considering how varied his gaming interests are I'm honoured he would consider my very fanboyish blog for nomination.  I'll chalk it up to all the Specialist Games (especially Blood Bowl)

Next up is seven things about me;

  1. Modeling runs in the family - my Dad collects britains and model ships, planes and trains.
  2. When I was younger he took me to hobby shows, he introduced me to GW with a couple white dwarfs & a black orc.
  3. My progression went Reading Lord of the Rings >> Playing RPGs >> Games Workshop fanboy.
  4. It took Warhammer 40K to get me into Science Fiction.  I still mostly just love Space Marines.
  5. When I was 18 I coached my brother's softball team to win the league!
  6. I was an excellent speed swimmer as well as swim instructor/lifeguard, now I am sick of swimming.
  7. I'm a huge football fan (footy - not throwball!) and am a rabid Chelsea FC supporter.
Now onto the nominations - I will mention that there are way more than 10-15 blogs I could nominate, but most have been touched on by another stylish blogger so I will just list them below - know that they have my kudos as well! The guys below are just in alphabetical order, there's no way I could pick a "best" out of them.

Admiral Drax (Chris aka... uh... Admiral Drax)
* inventor of the painting chart - 'nuff said!
Bringer of Victory (Daniel aka Nikephoros)
* definitely leans more towards gaming than hobby - his gaming articles are top notch, but still posts his modeling/painting adventures.
* also home to the hilarious "Stupidity on the Internet" series - mainly focusing on horrible tactics from Warseer.
Corbania Prime (Col Corbane)
* lots of awesome tutorial style postings - check out his cloak sculpting for a great example.
* and by extension, also check out "Going on Campaign" - an excellent resource.
Dark Future Gaming (CVinton, Farseer Rerolls, Old School Terminator, Rhellion and others)
* a spot of everything, my favourite being the GW alternatives
Fallen Princes (John aka Silar)
* only recently found due to his newfound Badab slant, but lots of excellent discussion and hobby articles.
Fly Lords of Terra (Aventine, BushidoRedPanda, Crazy Red Praetorian, EvilAmeriCorp, Kings', RealGenius)
* IMO these guys have it spot on - exactly what the hobby should be; a blend of game/hobby (tournaments, campaigns, themed armies, expansions).
* if you haven't seen their amazing expansion work (codices/playaids), check them out - well worth it.
* by extension check out their individual blogs.
Paint your Toys (Larry)
* have to love Larrys slogan "The blog where all the models are painted, all the tables good looking, and the dice roll below average."
* home to amazing scenery, including an awesome Mordheim terrain series.
Wee Blokes (arabianknight)
* kind of all over the map - but a hobbyists blog for sure.  something for everyone and always a blast!
Wee Men (Siph_Horridus and PornStarJedi)
* the exploits of two friends both (mainly) collecting marines - lots of variety in topics from batreps to painting.
Year of Frugal Gaming (Dave and others)
* making the most of your hobby with the least amount of coin - uh WIN?

Here are the folks who I would've included in this list but are already mentioned from other blogs, if you've missed them somehow - be sure to check these guys out! (again in alphabetical order) Apologies I'm sure there's deserving folks I will have missed - I have almost 300 blogs in my Google Reader!

Consistently Risking Obscurity
Drinkin' & Modelin'
Galaxy in Flames
The Glorious Works
The Grumpy Stunty
John's Toy Soldiers
Kantor Base
Little Lead Heroes
Mik's Minis
My Dice Hate Me
Nesbet Miniatures
Order Minoris
Sons of Twilight
Excommunicate Traitoris
Standard Template Construct
Warpstone Flux
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