Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to all in the hobby community. I am anxious for 2010 and loads of good hobby time! I am also going to make a New Year's resolution to update the blog regularly again! These once a month updates are not cutting it!

New pictures and updates in the coming week (since I am off for the next 10 days) so I can show you all what I have been working on. I have been working away on more Warmachine things in preparation for Mark 2 to hit the shelves.

I have also been trying to decide what GW army I am going to focus on finally. Wolves, Skaven, Orks, and others have all made their way across the painting table over the past months. So what army will finally get the focus? The only hint I will give is it is something I started a while back and painted up a few units for before moving on to something else. It's never been shown here on the Forge yet, but I am thinking it will be something fun to get back to. The next update will reveal all...

So I hope everyone enjoys their holidays and time with family and friends! All the best to everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I demand, RETRIBUTION!

Yes, the bad puns continue. Well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you are all ready for a few days off to eat vast sums of food, spend lots of money shopping, and hopefully paint some toy soldiers!

I realize it has been a month since my last posting, but I have to say I haven't had much interest in miniatures of late. There is a time each year where I need a bit of a break from the hobby and this year it has been the past few weeks. Sure I still scour the internet each day for news and new models, and I have still bought a bunch of new figures, but the actual time to sit down and paint has not been there as of late. I blame my crappy job, way too many cool new video games (especially the new Call of Duty) and general craziness of this time of year.

I did venture up to Gettysburg about two weeks ago to the Fall In show that HMGS East puts on. It was a decent show. I only went for a few hours on Saturday to roam the flea market and dealers' area. I picked up some models for the recently released Malifaux game from Wyrd miniatures and I am looking forward to painting those up. I also found some great bargains in the flea market (5 Tzeentch Screamers for $2 anyone!).

I have also been reading through the new Hordes Mark 2 rules released yesterday and I am lookign forward to giving them a try. I played some Warmachine Mark 2 last week and I am getting used to the changes and liking what I am seeing.

My Skaven and Space Wolves are still lurking (and now I have amassed a ton of Skaven stuff to paint as well) as are lots of Privateer Press models for Warmachine and Hordes. I have been painting a bit today on some Trollblood Whelps to try and reinvigorate my desire to paint. It is starting to work...

Ok, enough of my ramblings. I am also planning on a Retribution force for Warmachine (hence the pun filled title) and here are some test models I painted a while back for the new faction. I am very happy with the color scheme. Let me know what you think!



Sunday, October 18, 2009

The scratching of rats and howling of wolves...

Finally I return to the blog with a proper update. My hobby time has been rather sporadic as of late. I find that without a driving force such as a tournament or other big event, I don't have as much of an urge to complete an entire army (which I am sure I have mentioned before). However, I feel all that is about to change.

Originally my plan was to crank out a small Space Wolf force focused on Wolf Guard. In preparation for that, I completed the following test model.



I opted for a more true grey color scheme than the blue look GW goes with on official Space Wolf models. This particular model was converted using the ForgeWorld Space Wolf parts along with parts from the Cullen special character model. I really like the overall look of the model and I think the army will look really sharp on the tabletop.

So as I made preparations to gather the necessary models for the Wolves, I found myself playing a game of Warhammer with my buddy John Shaffer. While we played what turned out to be one of the best games of Warahmmer I have played in years, I had the opportunity to check out the new Skaven army book. My history with the rats is long and troubled. The first Warhammer models I ever purchased (almost 20 years ago - yikes!) were some Jes Goodwin Plague Monks. Over the years I planned on doing a proper Skaven army many times and I have amassed quite a bit of stuff for the force. This new book blew me away. It was written by my friend Jeremy Vetock (one of my previous bosses during my GW tenure) and it is by far one of the coolest army books I have seen. The amount of options available are staggering and there are plenty of great conversion opportunities (which I love)! So I decided that I will still work away at the Wolves here and there, but for now my attention has been sucked in by the ratmen. I have had a few test models done for some time now, and they are some of my favorite paint jobs.






In addition to these models, I have begun putting together a unit of Plague Monks and a few other characters to prepare for the Skaven's arrival on November 7. The new Clanrats and Stormvermin are amazing and I can't wait to start working on them! I am also in the process of sketching up some ideas for the units in the book that don't have any proper models so far, and I began construction on the Plagueclaw Catapult. This is very WIP at the moment, but I thought I would show you where I am trying to go with it.

You can see this is just the basic structure so far using parts from the old Screaming Bell, Siege Tower, Siege Attacker Mantlet, and more. I have a lot of work to go on this, but when it is all done, it should be an awesome war machine to rain warpstone death down on the enemy!

Well, this has been a long post getting back into things. I should be able to update more regularly from here on out. Look for my next post to cover something I have been thinking a lot about lately - how to come up with the proper bases for an army. I will also be featuring a lot of great resin bases from Dragon Forge in my Wolves and other Hordes/War Machine projects so look for some features on using those items to their fullest.

Until next time, have fun with your hobby!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Derailed!

I had all the intentions to get a bunch of new posts done over the weekend but I got a cold and my daughter has also been sick all week so things have gotten a bit off track. Sorry, as soon as everyone is better the updates will flow! My Space Wolf test model and some models for my upcoming Skaven army are waiting to be seen!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stop being a slacker!

So my blog updates have been few and far between as of late. The new school year starting and juggling all that with the kids has taken up lots of time. But things have finally settled into a good rhythm and I should be able to return to blogging on a more consistent basis.

Like many others, the "shiny new toy" syndrome has gripped me and I find myself working on some Space Wolves. I wanted to make sure that this army is different enough from my Shadow Hawks so I am focusing on a Wolf Guard heavy force lead by Logan Grimnar. This will also be a Drop Pod army as it seems fitting for an army geared toward getting into the thick of things as quick as possible. I have finished a test model and I just need to get it photographed. I am really pleased with how it came out. I am going with an Adeptus Battlegrey base color instead of the blue that the GW studio uses on the Wolves.

I will also be basing all of my Wolves on some fantastic bases from Dragon Forge which I will be showcasing on here in some upcoming posts.

I plan on getting photos done tomorrow of the Space Wolf and a few other recent paint jobs, so check back for an update this weekend.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Shifting Gears

The painting bug really took hold over the past few weeks and I found myself completing a number of models over the last days of summer vacation. Once again the Warmachine/Hordes models drew me back to them and I finally completed a few things that had sat half started or primed for ages.

First up, I new I needed a second Warlock for my Trollbloods. I have loved the Grim Angus model since I first saw him and I finally got around to painting him. I wanted to really make him stand out, so I decided to go all out on his base and really add some extra details to him.



The tree on his base is from the GW Tree's and I used some Hudson and Allen leaf scatter on his base and on the branches.
Next up I finished off a Troll Impaler that had sat primed in my "waiting to paint" pile for some time.


I had recently finished my Troll Champions unit, so to go with them, I completed the new Troll Hero model.


In addition to the painted models, I also got another unit ready to paint for the Trolls - the Pyg Bushwackers. While I like these models a great deal, I wanted to add something extra to them. The model that is laying down had a coonskin cap on, so I thought about giving the rest of them hats. The Perry Civil War plastics have some great hats on the sprues so I added these to the models. I also created a scenic base for the prone model with another GW tree branch.


Finally, I wanted to experiment a bit with the Army Painter line of sprays. I like to use sprays as often as I can to cut down on the painting time and speed up completion of units. The Army Painter line has a great selection of colors to choose from. However, they are very expensive for what you get. A can is $16.99. That is a very steep price. But I gave it a shot anyway, just to see how they worked.
I sprayed a unit of Cygnar Stormblades with the Navy Blue spray. Since they are all armored up, it was a good choice to get the armor done quickly. After they were sprayed, I washed them with GW's Asurmen Blue to deepen the color a bit. I then went on to highlight them with the usual process of Cygnar Blue, Cygnar Highlight, and Delta Mediterranean Blue. Below are some shots of the Blue sprayed model and the final model.


Well, that's what I have been working on for the past weeks. Next up on the painting table is to finish up the Stormblades and paint the Pygs. I also have a few Cryx models I have been wanting to finish up I am experimenting with. Until next time, enjoy the models and have fun with your own hobby projects!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Return of the Blog - Shadow Hawk Designer Notes

So I finally return to the blog! Sorry for the delay, it has been a hectic summer. I haven't found much time to work on too many models, though I have been working on a bunch of Planetstrike terrain. I'll have more on that in a future post. Now, onto part 1 of my Space Marine army details.

The Shadow Hawks

I created the Shadow Hawks around 4 years ago now after ages of trying to decide what Marine Chapter to do. I had planned on Imperial Fists for a long time, but all that yellow was too daunting. I was then going to go with Crimson Fists, but deep down I knew I wanted to do something unique.

Now I needed a cool chapter symbol that I could easily replicate or find a good source for. It was around that time that Forge World released the Raptor Rhino and Land Raider doors and Terminator Shoulder pads. I immediately loved the iconography and jumped at the chance to use these as my Chapter Symbol. Plus, there are eagle/bird icons everywhere in various Marine bitz so I knew that would come in handy. I just needed to figure out a way to do my Power Armor Marines in a simple way. Luckily, Dave Taylor was nice in enough to volunteer to sculpt me some shoulder pads for my Power Armored Marines. I then had another friend cast me up a big batch for the army. Things were underway!

I experimented with a few options but really lucked into coming up with my color scheme pretty quickly. It is based on a Delta color called Charcoal as the base with a few other Delta colors to achieve the deep red of the accent. I am a big fan of the Delta Ceramacoat line available at Michaels. They are inexpensive paints with good coverage (for the most part).

With the basic color scheme worked out, it was time to figure out the other details, like what to use as the basis for the army's composition and rules.

When I created the army, I used the now nonexistent Trait system from the last Marine Codex. The Traits I chose were Bolt Pistol/Close Combat Weapon for Tactical Squads and two Special Weapons for Tactical Squads. I always found these to be very useful in my Black Legion army and wanted to use some tactics I was already familiar with.

Once the new book was happening and you could no longer use these things in your army, I needed to figure out what to do next. I settled on Blood Angels as the primary list since I could use the BP/CCW options as Assault Squads without Jump Packs. It also fit the idea I had for the army as a rapid striking force with Marines who were quick into the fight. Lots of Assault Squads would be perfect for this!

Overall I wanted the army to be able to represent a variety of different options though. With that in mind, I am not really settling on any one army book for the Chapter. I love Terminators, and I wanted to be able to field a First Company army at some point. For that I would use the Dark Angels book with Belial (and I created a Chapter Master based on him - pics in an upcoming post). I also have been incorporating some of the new units from the Marine Codex (Sternguard, Vanguard, Ironclads, etc.) so I will also be working on making the main army more based on the regular Marine book.

I want to explore all the various things you can do with a Marine army in my Chapter. Scout armies, bike forces, Techmarines and lots of Dreads, and more! So to that end, I will be continuing to grow the army with as many options as I can so I will have endless options!

In my next post, I will delve into the background of the army in the setting (Founding, History, etc.). I will also get a bunch of photos done finally to start showcasing the army's models. Until then, here are some pics of my Librarian in Terminator Armor. He is built off of a Lysander model as the base and he is one of my favorite conversions in the army. Enjoy and I welcome comments!







Saturday, July 18, 2009

Apologies!

Hey all,

Sorry I didn't get a chance to post this past week as I had planned. The little guy has kept us busy and we left today for vacation to the beach. I am hoping that this relaxing week will allow me time to write up my plans for the Space Marine Army as I had planned. Just wanted to let everyone know that I am working on it and I hope to get it up soon. Updates are coming!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Quick update

Ok, I know it is Friday and I said I would update again on Wednesday, so first off - sorry! I actually had the opportunity to play some 40K yesterday so the past two days were getting prepped for that. I played a game of Planetstrike with my Tau vs. an IG army fielded by BrassScorpion of Bell of Lost Souls. It was a good time and I look forward to playing a lot more Planetstrike!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. The Army Feature is underway and I hope to have lots of pictures taken over the weekend and details about the army up over the coming days. The army will be featured in 3 parts:

Part 1: Designer Notes (how I came up with the army, what I field it as, etc.)
Part 2: Index Astartes Shadow Hawks (the fluff if you will - army history, Founding information, leaders, etc.)
Part 3: Showcase (all the pictures of the army)

With each part I will have some pictures as well, then compile all the shots into one big showcase in the last post. I hope to do this with my other armies over the coming weeks as well so I can showcase lots of cool painted models!

So check back later in the week for the first post on the army's conception and creation!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Finally an update!

So I have finally had a chance to return to the painting table after a hectic month. I picked up some of the Planetstrike items that were just released and I have to say, I am really excited about getting in some games. I think this will be a very fun way to play 40K!

So while I spent last night evening building a crazy two story Bastion, I also had the good fortune to be in PA for the past week and spend some time at Legions Hobby and Game. What an amazing store that is! I have never seen a larger selection of gaming products in one place! Everything you can imagine is there! If you find yourself in the Pittsburgh area, be sure to check it out!

http://www.legionsgames.com

I picked up a variety of things there: some Dark Age bases, Micro Art Orc heads (those conversions coming soon), an Avatars of War Chaos Lord, Ultraforge Daemon Wings, GW Direct Only Ammo Grots for my Flash Gitz unit, and more!

Well, enough rambling. Starting with the next post (by Wednesday) I will be doing a feature series of articles on my Shadow Hawk Space Marines. I am planning on adding some new units to the army for Planet Strike (like Drop Pods) and I realized it was time to really delve into the background and details on this army. Until then, here are some teaser models to get your interest fired up!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Greatest Miniature ever...

Sorry I haven't had a chance to update lately. I haven't had a chance to do much painting recently either! All because I got the best miniature on Monday: Alexander Jonathan Hall

Alexander was born on Monday at 3 PM! He is doing great and I look forward to having a future gaming buddy!

More on the regular little mans soon (once I get some sleep and can get back to some painting!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cadian 485th "The Diamondbacks"

I have finally had a chance to get back to taking some photos and updating the blog in a proper fashion! As many others, the new Imperial Guard Codex has energized me to get back to my Cadian army that I started ages ago. Even though I haven't finished the Orks, the Emperor's Will cannot be denied!

The Cadian 485th was envisioned as an Armored Recon force. The infantry squads will be in Chimeras and there will be lots of Sentinels and other fast elements. The new Valkyries are perfect additions to the army as well! The army name comes from a lizard indigenous to the founding planet in the Cadia system. The creature's mottled skin tones are represented in the army's color scheme.

The overall commander of the army is an Inquisitor who is utilizing the recon force to investigate a variety of Chaos incursions in the sector. So the army will also feature Inquisitorial allies.

There is still quite a bit of work to be done on the army, but here is what I have so far.

The Kasrkin squad is one of the first elements I painted up. I had considered a Grenadiers army under the old doctrine system, but decided that I would just have them as a supporting unit.

The Sentinels. I have a second unit being built that will incorporate magnetic weapons so that I can swap them for different battlefield roles.

The Command Squad's Chimera has been converted out of a FW Trojan Recovery Vehicle kit and a large communications dish was added to the top from another FW kit. I am really happy with this design and I think it really conveys the army's role as a scouting force.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I would do Veterans for the army. I converted these models for GW when I was working there to show some other uses for the plastic Marine Scouts. Now with the Grenadier option in the Veteran entry, I decided that I would use these guys as my Veterans. I have to convert 5 more to complete the squad. The Vet squad will be mounted in a Valkyrie in the army, so their helmets and visors give them the appearance of drop troops as well.

This is the test model for my Grey Knight Terminators. I didn't want to do a standard color scheme for them, so I added the colors of the IG army to the model. I also painted him in greys instead of the usual metallics.

These are some other random models I have painted for the army so far. I am planning on using the cyber mastiff to be a bodyguard for the Commander in the HQ Command Squad. The Veteran officer will find his way to a platoon command or squad sergeant.

Here are some of the vehicles I have done so far.

There are the various models I have done so far. I am working away at an infrantry squad right now. I will keep you all updated as the Regiment comes together!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Baltimore Games Day 2009

So Saturday was Baltimore Games Day. I had a lot of mixed feelings heading toward this particular show. First, it was the 15th Games Day Baltimore that I have attended. I began going to them in 1994, and I haven't missed one since. Second, this was a show that I knew would be facing some challenges. The constant changes at GW US and various friends who have been let go would make this show "interesting" to say the least. Finally, I decided to compete in Golden Demon for the first time as a regular customer.

So let's talk about the good first. I did OK for my first attempt at Golden Demon. I entered five categories and I made the first cut in 3 of those. So in all, I think that is pretty good for my first attempt against the big names in the painting world. I am going to try and get pics of all my entries done this week to show you all. I didn't paint anything specific for the show either, I just pulled out various models that I was really proud of and entered those.
Another good thing at this year's GD was getting to see lots of old friends. It's the one time of the year when tons of people I have met through this hobby are all gathered together, so it is always great to catch with them.
Finally, I participated in the Armies on Parade event and displayed my Shadow Hawk Space Marines. It is an army I am really pleased with and something truly original, so it was nice to show it off. I received a lot of nice comments on the army, and I thank anyone who stopped by to say they enjoyed seeing it.

Unfortunately, that's about all that I have to say on the good front. Overall, I was hugely disappointed in this year's show. Let me preface the rest of this with a few things though. I have run Games Day myself (the 1998 show and all the shows in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 - around 16 events) and I know they can be a total nightmare of logistics and other hassles. So while I am saying I did not enjoy the show overall, it has nothing to do with the hard work that I know many of my friends at GW put in. It has to do with the upper management (both UK and US) and their overall attitude toward Games Days in general.

GWUS has seen massive upheaval this year in staffing and focus as a company. Due to those things, Games Day was kind of left by the wayside. The upper level folks at GW have always looked at it this way. They want it to happen and they want it to be good, but they think that should happen with pixie dust and goblin magic. They don't want to devote the resources, time, and overall effort to make the show great. "Just make it happen." Because of this, the show suffered.

As soon as you entered the hall, you could tell things were not the same this year. There was massive open space (it was a bigger hall than in years past as well). They didn't bring ANY of the 100+ Games Day Tables that the hobby teams of yesteryear spent months and months of work on making. The only gaming tables were supplied by clubs. While that is a great idea in principal, you never know what you are going to get from the random hobbyists out there. Some do fantastic work (the remote control super heavy battles were great), while others slap a few models on a table and call it a day. So by not having something there for GAMING (and let's face it, that is a huge part of Games Day) that was completely under GW control, it left a lot to be desired. Heck, bring the tables and use them for open gaming, since most people would kill to play on fantastic terrain with their own models.

Another area greatly lacking was the Studio Guest area. There was only 1 model there that hasn't been seen online for weeks now. There were about 10 things on display period from the Design Studio, and there was nothing at all about Planetstrike (which releases in less than 2 months). The UK guests also did not have even a PowerPoint presentation to show. That kind of attitude is a slap in the face to dedicated hobbyists who paid $25 each to get in. Games Days were always the hotbed of excitement about upcoming releases and cool stuff. That was not the case in Baltimore this year.

The Games Day store was dismal. Sure Forge World had a few great new things to buy (after waiting in line for up to 4 hours), but the regular GW store had nothing new. Not even this coming week's releases were there. I was hoping to pick up a few things like the IG Advisors. Not the case. I did purchase the new FW Khorne Daemon Prince and Herald, but that was it.
Even to check out in the store took forever (and if you waited in the FW line to get your stuff you then had to go to the regular GW store to pay and wait in another line). Not fun.

Finally, GW made the decision to not use outside help from Outriders/Kommandos this year at the show. For the first time in 15 years, those great hobbyists were not present to help out. I have a special place in my heart for the Outriders. I started as one, I ran the Outrider Program for GW for a year, and I worked closely with them for 4 more years in running the events). These guys truly love the hobby and helping make a great day for the customers. Not utilizing this talent was a shame and it was noticed. There was an overall feeling in the air that just lacked excitement.

So in all, while anytime to get out and talk about toy soldiers and see friends is great, the event itself was not very good. I commend the GW staff that are in the trenches for working hard to make the best of what they had, but GW management needs to decide once and for all what they want Games Day to be and devote the proper resources to make that happen.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Emperor's Might has arrived!

Today is the launch of the new IG codex and I am very excited. Amongst the million other projects to work on, my Imperial Guard army has been half finished for ages. The 485th Cadian Regiment "The Diamondbacks," have been waiting for me to return to them and I think that it is time to start working on them. Well them and finishing more Orks, more WM and Hordes stuff, and I am sure something else...

I am going to try and get a bunch of pics up over the next week of what has been done so far on the army, but until then, I leave you with the HQ Command Squad, one of my Staff Golden Demon winning entries from a few years back. Enjoy!