Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shadow War: Armageddon WIP


Well, what a week with regard to Warhammer 40K announcements, eh?  With a new edition of 40K imminent, it seems prudent to take a pause on 40K projects and focus on something else fun...Shadow War!  I love two things about the new Shadow War: Armageddon game:

  1. It uses 40K models and factions we already have.
  2. It uses the same 40K Terrain, and introduces new kits that go REALLY WELL with the existing Cities of Death kits, and all the new stuff like Promethium Relay Pipes, etc.
Just brilliant in my mind.  Necromunda was fun, but it used the gangs which had no other place in 40K, even though they came form the same background, if perhaps a niche portion of it with regard to the Hive worlds. The basement gaming lab overfloweth with random factions thanks to my own enthusiasm and the packaging of various opposing forces, like Harlequins with Deathwatch, Chaos cultists with Assassins, Genestealer cultists with Deathwatch, etc...

After a brief perusal of my collection, I realized I already had the bitz for making seven new kill teams in addition to the two that come with the Shadow War: Armageddon boxed set. With the rules published for download on the GW web site, I have everything I need to run a variety of teams, plus provide teams for friends that want to try the game out.  Lots of new ways to play with out further investment, other than Hobby time of course. They even put up a roster sheet for convenience.

So this week I put together two kill teams and began to look at the new Sector Mechanicus terrain with a particular eye towards incorporating it into my existing Cities of Death terrain.  Here are some early WIP shots of what I accomplished.

First, and dearest to my heart, is a new Death Korps of Krieg kill team!  I'll likely just run them with the Cadian rules, or perhaps Steel Legion, but that;s k.  They will look fantastic once I paint them up. So I return to the blog the Korps for which it was originally inspired!
Death Korps of Krieg Kill Team WIP

I built these all from left overs in my bitz box that remain from creating elements of the 262 Siege regiment. Some of it was recast crap I bough by accident off EBay in my frenzy to acquire bitz in the early days.  Some of it was authentic Forge World resin.  You can see the patchwork of parts in the pic above.

Engineer parts added a shotgun to a Guardsman recruit. Pieces from the Grenadier squad kit provided all the veteran bodies and hotshot lasguns to rep the Hot shot laser pack upgrade in Shadow War. A spare Company Commander provided a great Kill Team leader (Veteran Sergeant). Spare weapon arms fashioned a second Guardsman recruit. Salt with flamers and a Plasmagun and there you go!

After a coat of Vallejo Black primer, they look uniform, authentic and ready for a coat of paint.  Time to break out the old recipe here on the blog and see how closely I can match them to my original painting for this regiment.  Stay tuned...

Up next is a quick WIP for my Red Hunters Space Marine Kill Team, built from the scout parts that came with the Shadow War: Armageddon boxed set. I forgot to shoot these guys before I primed them so the scratch building is no longer evident as a WIP.  I upgraded the whole team with Camo cloaks, and wanted to rep that for WYSIWYG, but the Space Marine scout range is pretty limited.  So I set about modifying arms and weapons to fit the five cloaked bodies form the sniper set.

Space Marine Scouts Kill Team WIP

The solo sniper is built stock, the remainder have modifications from the minor to the more severe. For the team leader, I chopped the upper portion of the arms from the pistol and chainsword bitz.  This guy is the most awkwardly posed as a result, but I think it I managed the believable swagger of a Space Marine sergeant presenting a challenge. The two bolter scouts were similarly built by removing the parts of the arm that were already including in the cloaked body so that they attached naturally.  Some creative gluing and liquid greenstuff made sure the arms look like they belong now.

The heavy bolter presented the most challenge.  Simply removing upper arm bits didn't allow the heavy bolter to be held in a natural and convincing manner.  In the end, I used a blob Greenstuff rolled into a small cylinder to form the upper arm to the elbow that forms the right arm holding the weapon grip. A smaller amount of Greenstuff went into attaching the left hand to the arm portion of the cloaked body. I am not a good sculptor of Greenstuff, so what followed then initial attachment was a comedy of errors as I attempted to fashion a simple but believable arm fomr the blob of green putty. The result is a bit bulky, and perhaps ill defined considering the true molded details on the model.  But I like it.  If the paint doesn't call out the awful sculpting too much, I'll be pleased.  Under primer, it looks pretty good, I think!

So there we have five cloaked scouts for the kill team. The based for both kill teams are meant to represent generic ash/dirt fall out from the epic conflicts that shattered the hives where these teams operate.  I opted away from busy elements and simply went with a heavy coat of Vallejo Black Lava into which I plunged the various kill team members while it was still wet to represent their weight settling into and disturbing the ash and slag.  Once this dried, I popped/pried them off carefully and the glued them down again using super glue.  I debated pinning (which would really have been the thorough way to go), but in the end decided to risk a simple glue job.  The black Lava is somewhat tacky and holds models pressed into it after drying.  but is is no substitute for a stout glue.

Last up is my proof of concept for incorporating the new Sector Mechanicus terrain with my existing Cities of Death other bitz.  I have to say that GW hit it out of the park, esp. by making the new terrain match exactly with the latest releases of promethium Relay Pipes, etc.   I immediately turned to EBay for more rely pipe parts, and Cities of Death ladders.  While in 40K I didn't care too much how models got from one level to another (an so don't have ladders for each level of every building), Shadow War relies of ladders for guiding movement and it looks to be an important element of the game.  But I digress...lets look a the results of merging Cities of Death with Sector Mechanicus.

Shadow War: ArmageddonShadow War: Armageddon

Brilliant! Here, I have started simple by just adding components from the Alcomite Stack set.
Nothing is glued down, and many parts are still not attached so I can continue to play with various arrangements and configurations.  To bring the elements together, I added a couple parts from the Promethium Relay Pipes set.  These simple elements help better fill out the congested look of a Manufactorum better than just the walls (and their few pips and stacks) alone.  This should play well in Shadow War but will be equally fun for a standard Warhammer 40K game. Win!
Shadow War: Armageddon
 Above, a Manufactorum block starts to come together.  I believe that combining these pieces with more Shadow War: Armageddon terrain and the remaining Cities of Death buildings will make a great table to battle over.  Interesting elements, lots of line-of-sight blocking pieces.  Painting it all is going to give me fits, but fortunately, I enjoy painting scenery! The airbrush will help me get things to a reasonable table-top standard quickly too.  The details...well, they will take time.

I am very excited for the addition of the Sector Mechanicus terrain.  It will bring a necessary element to the scenery set I have always wanted to battle over.  Until now, all games were contested over primarily hab blocks and Administratum offices with the occasional bunker. I look forward to varying this with a believable Mechanicus vibe. And when I get bored with that, there is a tabletop full of bunkers, emplacements and trench lines which I will detail in some future article. 
For now, the new addition of 40K approaches, and in the meantime I have kill teams and fabulous terrain ideas to implement. Oh, and of course this will incorporate the Containers and other bitz I've showed recently...and I'll finish those Custodes...and...
For the Emperor!
Cheers and Happy Gaming.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On the Workbench [April] - Adeptus Custodes and Munitorum Containers

Time to share what I've been working on this month.  I've been able to make progress on the Custodes as well as the six containers for my terrain upgrade project. In addition, the spring weather allowed me to get out the spray cans to prime the six Cities of Death builds I built not too long ago and the Void Shield Generator.  Expect to see some progress shots on those soon too if I don't get too carried away with the new Shadow War: Armageddon terrain and models! But that is a post for another time.

Here are the Custodes after the first highlights have been applied to the gold armor.  So far all paint has been from Vallejo with the exception of GM Agrax Earthshade used to shade the models prior to highlighting. As I did with the Deathwatch Squaduary 2017 project, I'll post a final paint recipe once I've completed these models.

First Highlights

And the dreadnought...

Steppign back a bit, a base coat of gold was laid down using the airbrush over black primer.

Base coat applied

After that, the gold was shaded using GW Agrax Earthshade.

Shaded with Agrax Earthshade

I was pleased how the new gold highlights brought the shine back while still leaving rich shading to add definition to the models.  By this time, I'm probably the last one painting gold armor like it is a new thing, but its still new to me!  Look for a separate post as I tuck in to the other base colors and get on with detailing these awesome models.

Next up is the container project.  All of the containers have been shaded and highlighted.  The red container with an open door had previously been detailed inside, but this month the blue container got similar treatment. 
Blue with highlights

With Shadow War: Armageddon in mind, I'm planning to leave both doors open on the Blue container to provide a tunnel through cover. I really enjoyed painting the interiors.

Blue with interior detail

Next up the red containers...

Red with highlights

And last the yellow containers

Yellow with highlights

The highlights are probably washed out a bit here, but hopefully clicking through the the larger images will reveal the work there. I've already started painting details on the red containers.  So a follow up article will be in order soon to show the progress there.  

That's what has been keeping me busy so far this month. I expect to have built a Astra Militarum kill team for Shadow War: Armageddon before the end as well...maybe the Space Marine Scout team too?  Definitely using the opportunity to make progress on my Red Hunters by painting up the Space Marine Scout Team in their colors. As a codex chapter, I'll use the Ultramarines rules for games of Shadow War. :)

Shadow war is going to be an excellent opportunity to build Harlequins, Gene Stealer Cult, Tau and perhaps even Chaos Cultist kill teams as well.  While not wanting to invest in those armies for 40K, I have the models already from recent boxed sets and other sources and it should be good fun to pain small forces of the Xenos and Chaos scum!  

Until next post...

Cheers and Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Adeptus Custodes WIP


What force of the Imperium could be complete without the Emperor's chosen warriors?  With the release Codices for the Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence, I opened a bonus project for my 2017 project to-do list: two 5 man Custodian Guard squads and a Custodes Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought.  Below are one of the Guard squads and the dreadnought.

Adeptus Custodes WIP

All ready for priming, we have the first squad armed with sentinel blades and storm shields, accompanied by a Custodes Vexilla. Looming in the rear of the photo is the Venerable dreadnought.  The dreadnought I easily picked up on eBay, originally from Betrayal at Calth boxed set and also sold separately now. As far as I could tell, the new box containing the Custodes Venerable Dreadnought is the same dread with new packaging; it even still includes a Horus Heresy transfer sheet containing nothing for the Legio Custodes - odd that.

I added scrolls to the armor to give a sense of movement, a crest from the Space Marine Captain sprue, a Crux Terminus on the the left shoulder guard, and lastly a shield crest also on the left shoulder.  Once painted up, these little extra details will hopefully bring the mostly static model to life and sell the venerable status, marking this dreadnought out as a veteran of the Custodes Guard.

The Guard themselves are built stock.  The second squad will feature all halberds to give me a mix of weapon choices and to display the full variant of weapons wielded by the Custodes Guardian squads. These are fantastic models with loads of detail.  The shields are off for painting and omitted from the picture above.  Ultimately, they will be pinned on after painting is complete.   As fan of small batch Bourbon, I have saved up a range of stoppers which I am using for painting.  This approach allows me the manipulate the models while painting without accidentally rubbing off any details, breaking fragile bits or coating areas of the miniature in the natural oils on the hands.

Last up is a shot of the custom bases.  I really enjoy making my own bases.  They are of a very simple design using cork and various grades of scenic rocks and gravel from model railroad suppliers.  I use quality carpenters wood glue to mount everything to the original GW plastic bases. I find that wood glue is easier to work with that simple white glue due to is extra thickness and good drying time.  I believe it holds better as well.  I choose not thin it with water, but instead apply it directly to the bases in all its gloppy goodness.  I use the GW nylon spade tool from the sculpting tool set to spread it about and apply it where I want it when adding specific features like skulls.

Once applied, it is a simple matter to add a rock or tow, a skull, or any other details before ultimately dunking it in a mix of various gravel types.  I have had the same big batch of gravel for years and it is featured on many bases in my collection.  I've gone pretty minimalist here initially, not wanting to detract from the details of the Custodes themselves that will be mounted on the bases.  Prior to priming, I may attach a rogue bit or two to add character and tell some story about the battles fought by such fine warriors...

Custom Adeptus Custodes Bases WIP

On the Dreadnought base, I left the area when the feet attach clear of gravel to convey a sense of weight.  Once attached, the dreadnought should appear to have slightly sunk into the earth. I may similarly clear some gravel for the Custodes Guard as well.  All models will be pinned to the bases using the same brass wire currently attaching them to the bottle stoppers.  For this I use superglue instead of wood glue.  I drill holes through the bases and allow the wire to penetrate all the way through the plastic bases when glued down.  I often drop a bead of superglue over the end of the wire under the base to provide a sort of stopper to make it even harder for the wire to pull free in the future.  

In the coming week I will get these guys primed, and also move on with the container scenery project. The containers have been washed with GW Nuln Oil thinned by Vallejo Matte Medium.  I'll get some photos up in a future post.  Next steps will be to add highlights and weathering damage. I need to work fast...the Shadow War looms on the horizon and there is no way I'm going to be able to avoid the new scenery!!

Cheers and Happy Gaming!