Friday, June 25, 2010

Terrain: St. Kevin's Church

I have always enjoyed building terrain to battle over. In fact it was the terrain section of the 3rd edition Catachan Codex that first drew me into the hobby. I had always enjoyed art and craft when I was younger and the possibility of making something that had a more practical purpose appealed to me. Varied terrain gives a much more evocative feel to things, adding a little bit more fun to one's battles.

First up is a piece I knocked up the other weekend. I had been looking through issue 270 of Wargames Illustrated which was themed around the Vikings in Ireland, an area that of course had local significance to me. Paul Davis wrote an excellent article on how to build an early Irish Christian church, based on St. Kevin's Church in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. I haven't actually visited Glendalough but I plan on doing so soon in the future.

I won't go into too much detail of the building process as Mr. Davis does it far better. I followed the steps closely, only diverging at the end. I didn't have the time or resources to sculpt stonework in plaster so I just mixed sand into poster paint to create a rudimentary stonework.

I decided to leave off any specific religious iconography, allowing me to use this as a Christian church in any historical game I play, a Bretonnian or Imperial church for WFB or a remote Imperial church in 40k. It also puts me in mind of Graham McNeil's great short story, The Last Church, describing the last church on Terra after the Unification Wars.

Door made from coffee stirrers and lollipop sticks. As you can see, the walls and roof are all corrugated cardboard.

I hope to make this a regular feature, where I will post up the various terrain features in my collection. Having a dedicated gaming room, aka The Warhammer Room, aka Skavenblight, of course helps with the space requirements.

Upcoming terrain pieces:

  • Cities of Death terrain.
  • Trench system (winter).
  • Jungle terrain.
  • Village and graveyard.
  • The Alamo!

Stay tuned!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Finished Deathstrike Missile Launcher Conversion: Skyrangers XXII

Last weekend I put the finishing touches to my plastic Deathstrike Missile Launcher.

The urban 'dazzle' style pattern on the launcher was completed by jagged strips of Chaos Black, like all my vehicles and aircraft.

The Deathstike Missile itself was given another coat of Skull White to make it smoother than its original spray-painted state.

I applied 5 transfers from the Imperial Guard vehicle transfer sheet to add some detail to the Deathstrike Missile, the Aquilae and some serial numbers. I didn't want to go overboard with details as I preferred the simplicity of the white missile.

Lastly I painted the Earthshaker Gun in the same colours as the Launcher. For the most part I will use the vehicle as a Basilisk but I always have the option for the Deathstrike Missile Launcher, if I feel a bit mad... :)
As always, C&C greatly welcome!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Plastic Deathstrike Missile Launcher Painting: Skyrangers XXI

A Deathstrike Missile Launcher is as much a display piece as it is a gaming piece so I decided it needed a decent paintjob immediately. Usually a plastic conversion is knocked up pretty quickly but I soon leave it to one side. However my Guard army is my only fully painted army (bar this model!) so I just had to get the Deathstrike finished! Last post was its conversion, now the painting.

The paint scheme is my usual Brundark urban camo, inspired by the 122nd Cadian infantry uniforms. The 122nd Cadian tanks were simply drybrushed but I liked the scheme so much on the infantry I decided to carry it on onto my armour and air-support.

I started with one base coat of Fenris Grey Foundation Paint on the Missile Launcher. This was followed by two coats of Shadow Grey. The splinter/dazzle camo is simply Astronomicon Grey Foundation Paint followed by two coats of Skull White. The lines are not that crisp at the moment, I will clean them up at the end. Next up is the black splinters and the finishing touches.

The Deathstrike Missile itself was spraypainted Chaos White (with the spray can, not the spray gun). It took about 4 light coats to cover the dark green plastic of the Revell kit with a smooth white coat. I'm looking forward to adding some official (and unofficial!) decorations to it!

So that's all for this evening. Hopefully I'll get a chance to finish the painting soon and get the chance to deploy the dreaded Deathstrike Missile on the battlefield. I'm not expecting anything amazing as it will no doubt be a fire magnet but that means less fire on the rest of my army!

Has anyone used a Deathstrike Missile Launcher yet? I actually saw someone using one in a local GW yesterday but I don't know if it did any good...

As always, C&C welcome!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Plastic Deathstrike Missile Launcher Conversion: Skyrangers XX

(or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb)

Quite frankly the Deathstrike Missile has no place on the small battlefield of 40k, what with it's 80 feet (!) range and all. While it makes more sense to leave it for Apocalypse games I couldn't help adding a plastic conversion for my Basilisk. You know, just in case.... :)

As you can seen this was a fairly straightforward kitbash. I never glued the gun platform section of my Basilisk to the hull, thereby allowing it to be removed and used as a Salamander command/scout vehicle. Now it also functions as the Deathstrike launcher platform.

The model I used for the missile is Revell's Nike-Hercules Missile System. As you can see the scale of the missile is quite suitable for 40k and the Guard. The original model includes booster rockets but this made the missile a tad too long for the Chimera, so I left them off. These can be used for something else later (Havoc Launcher, Missile launcher etc.).

The main launch ramp was trimmed shorter to accommodate the new length of the missile. The base of the launcher was assembled as normal, leaving off the extra platforms at the front as they disrupted the line of Deathstrike. As you can see the ramp can extend up and down in order for the missile to launch.

The platform was then pinned with paper clips to the Chimera/Basilisk hull. Small drill holes are all that are left once the platform is removed, thereby allowing it to be normally used as a Basilisk.

The missile was also pinned to the launch ramp in order to keep it in place. It can be then removed once the Deathstrike missile has launched. I used one pin at the front and two at the rear for maximum stability.

I think the Nike Hercules is a good fit for the Deathstrike Missile. The Nike Hercules was a SAM that predated the more famous Patriot missile system. Whilst the Codex describes the Deathstrike as an ICBM the size of the missile in the picture is more in line with short to medium range missiles like the Nike Hercules, Patriot or Scud.

As I mentioned above the practical applications for a ballistic missile in a game of 40k is debatable but nevertheless the fun of bringing a doomsday device onto the table now and again, especially in themed games, is worth a little bit of converting, trimming and pinning. Plastic conversions are always a favourite of mine and I look forward to checking out my local hobby shop again for more kitbashing opportunities.

Oh and of course bringing a Deathstrike Missile allows for numerous Dr. Strangelove references!

Next up is painting! Stay tuned.

As always, C&C greatly appreciated.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Skyrangers XIX: Finished Imperial Advisors

Well I'm finally back. Things have been very busy at university these days, I've started a PhD and I am up to my ears in books, articles and archives. There hasn't been too much time for the hobby but I've been following everyone else still. I did however get some games in over Christmas and lo and behold, I even got some figures painted this weekend! As you can see, it's been a while since I assembled my Imperial advisors and they've been glaring at me from the paint box since!

First up is the Master of Ordnance. The extra blast template is useful. He may not be a regular addition to my list but it's good to have the option.

Painted exactly like the regular infantry; Shadow Grey with white and black stripe camouflage.

Next is the Astropath. Helping a reserve roll is invaluable. I miss Improved Comms but using this very nicely sculpted model is not too bad.

Paint wise I used a couple of coats of Dark Angels Green for the cloak and then picked out details in Blood Red, Burnished Gold and Boltgun Metal. Skin was Tallarn Flesh followed by Elf Flesh. No shading as I want him to appear pallid, he's not one for the fresh air usually.

Lastly is the Officer of the Fleet. As I've said before he's not as sharp as the official model but the Skyrangers will take what they can get. Interfering with your opponent's reserve roll is very useful if the scenario involves it. Like the Astropath if the mission doesn't involve Reserves then you may want to spend your points elsewhere..

The uniform was basecoated Astronomican Grey, then multiple layers of Skull White. Can anyone recommend a good way of getting whiter than white on a figure? Details picked out Burnished Gold, Chaos Black, Blood Red and Boltgun Metal.

As always C&C greatly appreciated.

I've been busy experimenting with the new Skaven book and hopefully I'll begin to post on my WFB armies soon too. Also I have more historical stuff in the pipeline, watch this space.

Hopefully I will be back soon with pictures of my next Imperial Guard project, something rather special. I made a purchase yesterday and I now have to get kitbashing. You have been warned! Mwah hahahah!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crimson Fists VII: Assault Squad Eos and Pedro Kantor

Death from above! Assault Squad Eos has been further depleted since the Battle for New Rynn City and now stand at 5 brothers strong. Their role is to counterattack rather than direct assault as they would usually become isolated. Of course if the situation arises they will deepstrike, usually behind the gunline of a static army (Tau, Imperial Guard, Eldar) to sow destruction and/or clear objectives. Otherwise they hang back, either behind terrain or in reserve, and attack the biggest threat to the rest of the army.

A very small conversion. I wanted to convey a bit more motion in the model so I bent the arm back around the helmet and filled in the space under the army with some spare sprue bits. The plastic glue sets it all together and the shoulder pauldron covers the work. Sort-ed!

Sergeant has a powerfist to help deal with vehicles and high toughness models.

And finally Chapter Master Pedro Kantor, saviour of the Crimson Fists during the darkest hour. Kantor is one of my favourite Space Marine characters and the model is great. It's not too ostentatious nor chunky nor ridiculously posed. Understated yet ornate, I really like the Classical references, such as the laurels and cingulum, the Roman legionary studded belt. I left the standard off the backpack as I'm really not a fan of them. The moulded standard is very nice though, so I may give it to another Marine a smaller handheld standard.
Kantor is not too shabby rules-wise either. He replaces 'Combat Tactics' with the 'Stubborn' USR.

Even better any unit within 12" get +1 attack. This ability swung a game for me a while ago, when the extra attacks brought down the critical number of Necrons for phase-out. Huzzah, Vote for Pedro! While I won't always use him I will certainly keep him in rotation.

That's the entire army folks. Now onto painting!
As always, C&C welcome.

One final thing. You may notice the new layout, which I must thank my wonderful girlfriend and her html skills for. Merci beaucoup!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Skyrangers XVIII: Valkyrie Urban Camo Painting Finished

My Skyrangers finally have fully painted air-support! After parts 1 and 2 where I basecoated in Fenris Grey and Shadow Grey and started the splinter camoflaugue I now painted Skull White over the Astronomican Grey splinters. Even with the foundation paints it took at least two coats of white to get an even coverage.

The crew were painted along the same lines as the Skyrangers, Shadow Grey helmets with white and black stripe camoflague.

Top down shot.

Some hitting power. I chose the rocket pods as much for their aestetic appeal as their usefulness (better than a one shot non blast ordnance missile).

You can't really see but the side gun is the Multi-Laser. The Aquila is Burnished Gold and highlight of Shining Gold.

The splinter camoflague is designed to disrupt the outline of Valkyrie and make it a harder target as it flies between buildings. The Skyrangers specialise in urban drops you see.

The splinters are plain Chaos Black painted over the Skull White. Less is defintely more when painting this style. It's always easier to add a few more than stand back and realise you've gone overboard.

This ramp will be used by either my Command Squad or my shotgun demolition vets.

Interior shot. The gunners are painted the exact same as the infantry.

A steady hand is needed to keep the lines crisp. This works for the urban splinter camoflague. More rounded stripes/blobs are more suited to jungle or temperate camoflague patterns.

The final piece is the base. Sand was glued to base and then undercoated with Chaos Black spray. This helps seal the sand onto the base. I made sure to leave a cross section for gluing the flying stand onto. After that I painted the base Scorched Brown and drybrushed Vermin Brown to tie them in with the earth bases of the rest of the army.

Well that's the biggest piece I've painted in quite a while but it was great fun!
All C&C greatly appreciated.
Can't wait to give her a spin on the battleflield!
And not playing Wagner while doing so would be just criminal...