Monday, June 24, 2019

On the Workbench [June] - Heresy Era Dark Angels Relic Contemptor Dreadnought

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP

While preparing for my next Horus Heresy game, I decided to give The Dark Angel's Molecular Acid another try.  And what better way than hosed out of a mortis pattern contemptor dreadnought?!  I picked up the Relic Contemptor body and all the trappings from Forge World and got to work.  The Dark Angels do not have a custom contemptor body yet, but the relic body features shields and other embossed motifs that should paint up nicely for the First Legion.

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP

When building Forge World dreadnoughts, the legs are always the main challenge.  They can be extremely posable, but that flexibility means lots of little fiddly bits that need to be held in place while a pose is worked out, but before the glue (and any pins) can be applied.  I used some good ol' poster tac to set the pieces while I worked out the right angle for a striding pose.  In this case, the dreadnought is striding over some broken ground. We're having our front walk redone and there are loads of great rock chips to use for basing, just laying about.

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP

Once the leg position was chosen, I glued everything together.  This is a careful process of working piece-by-piece from one leg to the other being very careful not to lose the pose I worked so hard to get in the first place.  All the balls and sockets were scored with a hobby knife to generate a coarse surface for the 5-minute epoxy to join to.  With the glue all set, the rest of the dreadnought's body went together quickly. No pins were used in the end.  The epoxy makes a strong joint for these "smaller" models.

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP

Poster tac held him to the base until I was read to pin him down permanently. In the end, I believe I captured a decent dynamic striding pose. Next up it was time to assemble the arms.  I glued the shoulders and upper arms bits in place, then magnetized the weapon arms.  I'm never satisfied with Dreadnought weapons and it often pays off to be prepared for a weapon swap later.

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP
Come get some!
The final pose look suitably menacing for a First Legion dreadnought striding into battle.  Th emodel was pinned to the base using the right foot, whiel the left is simply glued down with more expoxy.  The the base cover was applied using a quick dip in the ol' ballast tub after a good layer of wood glue was laid down. This ties the model in with the rest of my Heresy Era Dark Angels.

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP

I was planning to leave things here, but I also had the missile rack for the dreadnought's carapace.  I'm not planning to use it in my upcoming Zone Mortalis game, however it looks cool and I expect I'll enjoy it in other battles. In the end, I decided to assemble the launcher and glue it on too.  In some games, I won't pay the extra points for it, but that's no big thing.  I'll just inform my opponent that it's out of ammo for the battle when that is the case. :) It's rule of cool all the way! I ruled out magnets because I felt I would almost always use the launcher, so it wasn't work it coming off for the odd game.  My model storage if full of magnetized dreadnought options that never get swapped out or used. 

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP

Yes, that's much better.  Here is the final product of the build.  The dread strides forward hosing down some target off to the right. The small bit of green stuff on the left shoulder is patching a hole made while trying to clip the part from the "sprue".  Once painted, no one will be the wiser. A small skull found it's way onto the base as well.

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP

I'll wrap up with a shot of the rear for completeness.  Lots of great detail on these dreadnought models form Forge World.  I look forward to getting paint on this one next month.

Heresy Era Dark Angels Contemptor Dreadnought WIP

I have a 10-man unit of breachers to build for my 1K Zone Mortalis list, then it's all paint all the time until I get the additions ready for battle.  And of course, I have to complete my Adeptus Titanicus Warhounds before then.  They have not been forgotten and must be completed before any more paint gets on the Dark Angels.

Until next time,

Cheers and Happy Painting!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

WIP: Adeptus Titanicus Legio Tempestus Warhound Titans - Part 7

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

I have more progress to share on the Warhound titans.  The legs of the last two were based coated in the same manner as Turbo Canis and Facta Belli.  This work did not seem to warrant more pictures as it would just be more of the same.  I then began to work on the upper torsos, starting with Turbo Canis, shown here.  With spoilers of a Legio Tempestus decal sheet coming at some point, I chose to leave a plain white shield on the carapace in the hopes a cool Tempestus crest will one day be applied there.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

Still no shading.  I'm going to shade everything in one pass once I have all the base colors in on all four Warhounds.  I made an exception for the scroll work only.  I will want to be careful not to get a lot of Nuln Oil on the scrolls, so I'm shading them early to remind me to skip them later.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

With the trim work done and other details painted in, the Warhound is really coming alive now. I'm still looking at weapon details, and of course the plasma effects on the right arm weapon. The left arm weapon is painted in a manner similar to the tri-barrel Reaver versions that I've already painted. I think I'll paint the plasma effects all at the same time so I get a good consistent look on the two Warhounds carrying that weapon.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

Slow progress without showing the other two leg sections I worked on.  However, these Warhounds are deceptively close to completion.  I should be able to complete the other three torsos in time to share in my first post of next week.  I'd like to wrap up this project before the end of next week, when I head off on a family vacation for a bit.  It will be tough to come back to the project in process after being away for a while.

Best wishes for the coming weekend.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Monday, June 17, 2019

WIP: Adeptus Titanicus Legio Tempestus Warhound Titans - Part 6

Getting back to the Warhounds, I began by touching up the decals and then started painting in details such as gears, armor trim, etc.  It is tempting to just work through one Warhound at at time now, but I'm trying to stick to batch painting these beasts, lest I finish one or two and abandon the others for another project or distraction of the moment.  I'm so close to a full painted Axiom maniple!

Turbo Canis and Facta Belli both were built with a magnetized waist so I started with the legs on those two titans.  Toes were painted with the "bottom" dark blue color from the camouflage pattern (Vallejo Air Deep Sky).  The trim is Vallejo Air Steel while the gears at the joints are Vallejo Brass.  Some GW Tin Bits was used one a couple hoses at the back of the legs and on the waist joint.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

The Legio heraldry and princepts individuality is coming out quite well on these Warhounds.  Turbo Canis is the pack leader for the Warhounds and its princepts has made sure this titan stands out.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

No shading has been done yet, nor highlights but the main colors are now set and all painted in.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

Facta Belli's legs are painted to the same level, and yet look different with its own individual heraldry. This titan sports more of the Legio camouflage pattern.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

The armored areas too small to effectively camouflage with the dazzle pattern have been painted in the dark blue to make clear that is the base Legio color.  This includes now only the toes, but the small armored sections just below the knees.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

I'm pleased with how the checkered decals have come out.  I did a small bit of hand painting to fill in the checkered pattern where the decals didn't quite fit. Choosing to cut the shapes out of a single A5 sheet of checkered pattern is a challenge, esp. for the small intricate shapes, such as around the eagle and scroll design on the right leg armor. I went with a quicker "best fit" approach knowing I could touch up a few squares here and there without disrupting the orderliness of the overall pattern.

Legio Tempestus Warhound WIP for Adeptus Titanicus

So that's two sets of legs base coated with two more to go.  These models have so much detail for their scale.  They are a pleasure to paint and it's pretty easy to get good results if you just plug along like this, one step at a time.  One could easily get overwhelmed, but my approach is to put aside the future and thinking about how much work there is.  I just focus on what's next, sticking to a simple formula of Base, Shade, Highlight, moving along area by area.  Breaking down big projects into small areas like this makes it more manageable for me.

I hope that by posting up all these stages others out there can benefit as well. I find that when looking at finished pictures, it is hard to imagine how a painter got there.  In these WIP posts, I seek to illuminate my own process for how I get to the final product. Pro painters do this stuff all the time, but it's daunting to the more casual hobbyist.

Check back for more progress later in the week.

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Friday, June 14, 2019

On the Workbench [June] - Heresy Era Dark Angels Veteran Squad, Cataphractii Praetor and Command Squad

Inspired by my recent Horus Heresy game and looking ahead to the next, I put together a few more Heresy-era Dark Angels this month.  My next campaign game looks to be a 1K Zone Mortalis game and so I'm looking at new models to add to my original 1K force.  Zone Mortalis will be brutal close quarters fighting and calls for some new units.  Missile Launchers, for example, won't be of much use in the close confines, nor will the Deredeo do as well.

While I recently added a Praetor and Command Squad in power armor to my available units, I thought this was an excellent opportunity to add Cataphractii elements as a foreshadowing to the Deathwing. So a new Praetor in Cataphractii armor would be needed. I decided to take advantage of the model I already have from the Betrayal at Calth box set. At some point I'll do something more interesting but for now this gets me going with a perfectly serviceable Praetor.

While I was at it, I assembled and based the Chaplain as well.  He won't fit in my Zone Mortalis list, but he needed to get built at some point.  I really like the look of this model! I kept him stock.  Both the Praetor and the Chaplain are "bonus" models here.  I don't need to put a lot of hobby time into them.  I want to save that time for more interesting projects.  It's good too seek a balance with limited hobby time.  Not every model can be a heavily converted masterpiece!

OK, back to the Cataphractii Praetor.  A command squad is a great way to fit in some terminators without tying up one of the two available elite slots for a Zone Mortalis list. I have some Tartaros terminators built, but for the command squad, I decided to stick with Cataphractii armor.  These guys are going to be doing some tough ship-to-ship fighting in the void which suits Cataphractii armor.

A plasma blaster is flavorful for the Dark Angels and it's limited range shouldn't be much of an issue in the close confines of a Zone Mortalis.  A combi-plasma adds additional AP2 firepower which should help thin out opposing heavily armored marines. A mix of close combat weapons should give the squad flexibility as they batter there way through the opposition.  I REALLY wanted to paint a couple lightning claw terminators.  I really enjoy the poses and the more realistic, slender claws. I chose to go with a back banner for the standard bearer.  Hard to fight effectively with your hands full of banner.

The usual base cover was added using good quality wood glue (a more durable and tackier form of white glue). Now they are ready for primer.  Last up is a 5 man squad of Veterans.  The Veterans will eventually get bulked out to a full squad of 10, but for the 1K Zone Mortalis game, I can only fit in the minimum squad size.  These guys will join a Contemptor in the elite slots and will likely hold objectives and serve an assault role where necessary.  With two attacks base and two close combat weapons, they will role many assault dice, despite their small size.  Paired with the Dark Angels Mastery of the Blade legion rule, they should do well on the charge against other marines, if they survive over watch. :)

Veterans can get a Heavy Bolter with a suspensor, allowing them to move and fire at half range (18") without having to take snap shots.  Very useful in a Zone Mortalis, where range is limited anyway, and a perfect excuse to hose the enemy down with Molecular Acid Shells ( Heavy 3 poison(2)), a special item of Dark Angels war gear.  The Sergeant holds a combi-melta for close in smack-down where necessary. And everyone carries bolt pistols and chainswords for close in work, except the sergeant who will use bolt pistol and Calibanite War Blade.

A feisty small squad who will try not to get eliminated in a single volley of fire.  I have not played Zone Mortalis before, but I expect with good play and smart movement I should be able to keep these guys alive until they need to go to work.  Next up will be a Breacher Squad (10 marines with breacher shields and a couple meltaguns) and a contemptor with dual twin-linked heavy bolters all on order currently from Forge World.  The breachers will soak up fire as the force advances into the Zone Mortalis while the contemptor provides fire support with 6 twin-linked, d6 AP, poison(2) shots. That's re-rolling to hit, random AP (would love to see some 1s and 2s!!), and wounding on 2s with more Molecular Acid Shells.  Should be tough against infantry and I'm not expecting much vehicle trouble in a Zone Mortalis (dreads only, really).  I'm relying on melta fire across the squads, and the terminators to eliminate those hard targets.

So that's what I have on the work bench this month.  I really will get back to the four AT Warhounds next...I promise! :)

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

GAME: Beyond the Burning of Prospero - a Horus Heresy Campaign UPDATE

Horus Heresy Era Dark Angels
The Dark Angels Force for the Battle

Well, the battle is done, the wounded are being treated, and the slain are honored for their sacrifice.  At the close of turn four we called the game with a clear victory for the Thousand Sons.  The First Legion learned much from the engagement and withdrew to marshal their forces for battles to come.

The "test" game was fun and a good refresher of what games under 7th edition are like.  The MVP on my side was definitely the Deredeo.  The Terran veteran knocked out both a Legion Sicaran Battle Tank and a Whirlwind Scorpious with its main weapons as well as a handful of marines using its Aiolos Missile Launcher.  We'll see it on the table again no doubt.

The Whirlwind Scorpious caused most of the Dark Angels casualties.  I was forced to use cover saves (which I mostly failed) and we mistakenly used the large blast template for half the game. :)  We should have been using the small blast template.  With help from spotters using the nuncio-vox, it hit reliably and my opponent insisted on rolling the maximum shots (d3+1) every time it fired.  In a small game with few options to reach it behind cover, it was the Thousand Sons MVP for certain this game.  It was a small miracle that the Deredeo was able to maneuver to shoot it in cover at all.  Though the heavy weapons squad, with the sergeant and one marine remaining, were also able to make krak missile shots at it, eventually claiming one hull point.

Horus Heresy Era Dark Angels - taking cover
Taking Cover, Turn One

A turning point in the game came when a 5-man Thousand Sons destroyer squad descended right in front of the massed Dark Angels taking cover in the large three story ruin.  Shooting from the Scorpious removed the tactical support squad when the Destroyers opened up on the tactical squad led by Brother Centurion Caphriel.  Taking heavy hits, they were forced to make a moral test due to casualties and failed it.  In the ensuing fall-back, they withdrew from the battle, having fallen back off its edge. This cost the Dark Angels both a tactical squad and their warlord, who was not fearless.  The squad had taken enough casualties to lose their vexilla and did not get a moral re-roll either. Recall that under 7th edition rules, casualties must be removed starting with models closest to the firing unit.  While the vexilla wasn't at the windows, he was close enough to be pulled as the marines in front fell. This was frustrating, since it was the whole point of modelling and taking the option! Oh well.

The remaining tactical squad on the second level retaliated by using Fury of the Legion to double their shooting attacks.  While not every marine in the 10 man squad could see the destroyers, enough could and the destroyers were slain to a man.  In the same phase, the the remaining heavy support squad took a hull point from Scorpious but the Deredeo failed to finish the job. In the next (forth) turn, the Scorpious removed the remaining tactical squad for the ruins. I think the Thousand Sons tactical squads had begun to emerge from cover behind the supply containers and contributed to the squad's demise. Regardless, the Scorpious was finally laid low at the bottom of the turn and we called the game after reviewing the victory points to that point.

Horus Heresy Era Dark Angels - we proud few
The Survivors, Seen here at the end of turn one
It was not worth our time to find out if a Deredeo supported by a 2-man heavy support missile squad were going to turn the tide against two tactical squads and the Thousand Sons Warlord who could easily hang back in cover and avoid them. The remaining Dark Angels instead withdrew to link up with their force commander and plot their next encounter with the Thousand Sons.

We were into the battle enough that I completely forgot to take any pictures at all for the blog.  This is really why I don't do battle reports as a rule.  I'm just not focused enough to play the game and take notes and pictures. It's great that I captured a few good images to remember the game by, at least.

A couple after battle thoughts...

  • Hardened armor was no use to the heavy support squad when hit by the Scorpious because they were forced to take a cover saves which are not effected by armor save re-roll.  Since these marines will typically be deployed in cover, and often shot by weapons of AP3 or better, it's not clear if the 25 points for hardened-armor are worth it.  Might choose to spend that on Stasis Shells instead for another game.  Both extras are situational and 25 points is a lot.
  • I forgot that version 1.2 of the 7th edition FAQ changed bast markers and templates to affect "all models underneath it, including those on different levels of a piece of scenery."  When the tactical support squad on level three of the ruin was hit by the Scorpius on turn two, the two tactical squads underneath it also should have been hit.  This would have proved devastating, especially since we were using the large blast template at the time for the shots. more stacking up in ruins if it can be avoided! We were playing the original rules that stated these weapons effected only a single level.
  • The force will benefit from mobility to maneuver and ferret out indirect fire weapons like the Scorpious.  Skimmers and transports are inbound!
Our next game looks to be a Zone Mortalis conflict.  This will mean that lists can change to suit the conflict, which will be set at 1000 points per side again.  I'm looking at some new units which means more painting projects. At the moment, I have in mind running with a cataphractii terminator Praetor w/command squad, a veteran tactical squad, a Contemptor with a pair of twin-linked heavy bolters, and a breacher squad. These would all be new units so I have my work cut out for me!  Also, the breachers are out-of-stock in the Forge World US store, so I might not even be able to get them before the game. In which case, I'll just use something form my existing units most likely.

CORRECTION:  The Breachers are back in stock!

So...that's it for my first foray into 30K games.  It's back to the AT Warhound Titans for my next post.  But no worries, expect more Heresy era Dark Angels coming soon to the blog, starting with whats on the workbench in June!

Cheers and Happy Gaming!