Friday, January 31, 2014

Heavy Gear...Northern Forces: Step-by-Step

Going through the Heavy Gear model lot I purchased from Jarrett a few weeks back, I counted 15 Northern forces gears. Well, no time like the present to build and paint these. First came construction. As I mentioned in my last post, these little models have a lot of parts, but once they're together, they're pretty cool. After cleaning the mould lines and flow gates, and assembling these are the 15 models. They represent 3 Headhunters, 10 Hunters and 2 Grizzlies. 

I like to base models before priming.

Primed black.

The first spray layer was German Dark Yellow. It was a fairly heavy overspray, but bits of black can still be found in the deep recesses.

The next paint layer was a down-spray of Sand.

As I did with the Southern Gears last week, I laid down a fairly heavy wash at this point. I used Vallejo Sepia.

Next came the highlighting pass, which was done with a mix of Sand and White.

The next step was once again quite time-intensive. I did a specular highlight pass with a small brush, and then added in the green accent pass. Guns and engines also got a coat of Reaper Blackened Steel. Then I applied a heavy spray of floor wax, followed by decal application.

Finally, the models got a sealing spray of Testors Dullcoat, the metal was highlighted with GW Chainmail and the bases were finished off. 15 new Gears! Yay! Now to come up with a rule set for these models that's worth a damn.

Another event this week was a session of Elliot's Iron Kingdoms Role Playing Game. Playing were Lee, Casper and myself. It was an interesting session...we found a mechanism that allowed Casper to transfer is Ogryn's soul and mind into a Warjack. Seeing as Casper's character is a 'jack marshal, we're looking forward to seeing a 'jack marshalling another 'jack!

'Til next time!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Heavy Gear...Southern Forces: Step-by-Step

Heavy Gear?!? Yup. I've liked the aesthetics of these models for a long time, but have never taken the plunge...until now.

Local (awesome) hobbyist and painter, Jarrett Lee, has recently been selling off his backlogged inventory of un-started and partially-started projects. I bought his collection of Heavy Gear miniatures, a couple of which were already painted.

There were over 25 models in the collection; a mix of Northern and Southern Heavy Gears. Jarrett had painted four of the Southern Forces Gears. And here they are...

I separated out all of the remaining Southern Gears and got to work building them. They are sweet little models (1/144 scale). For reference, the bases on these figures are 1" across. The models are about the size of 40K Space Marines.

Each model consists of 8 to 10 parts, and honestly...each part requires mould line cleaning.

So...I had an interesting challenge in front of me. I wanted to match Jarrett's painting style on these new Gears, but I didn't have Jarrett's paint list. He was also using an exaggerated highlighting style, which really works well on these small models. Going through the process of matching Jarrett's style was a good exercise for me. I'm very timid when it comes to exaggerating color modulation. Being forced to paint super-strong highlights turned out to be a worthwhile experience.

Anyway, I started with a black undercoat. As I planned out the layers of color I'd use on the models, I realized I was over-thinking the problem...but better to have too many layers of color than too few.

Next was an over-spray of Vallejo Model Air Intermediate Blue.

Then a downspray of US Intermediate Blue.

Next came another down-spray...this time with US Blue Grey.

As I looked at the models at this point, I realized Jarrett's had a much starker shift from dark to light colors on his models. So, I went in and deepened the shadows on mine with a blue-black wash.

I then sprayed on the highlights, which started with Pale Grey Blue. I then mixed in some White for the final highlight pass.

The next step was time-consuming. I went in with a brush and added all the specular highlights with the Pale Grey Blue/White mix. I also base coated the guns with Reaper Blackened Metal, and added the red accents with GW's Scab Red and Blood Red.

In this photo, you can see one of Jarrett's models in the middle, and then my models. I didn't achieve quite the stark modulation that Jarrett did, but I'm happy with how close I got in the attempt.

After applying a protective coat of Future Floor Wax, adding the decals, sealing with Testor's Dullcoat, applying highlights to the weapons and finishing off the seven new Gears (and two robot drones) were complete.

Here are Jarrett's original models mixed in with my copies. I re-did Jarrett's bases to blend in with mine. A close enough match all around...and now I have the core of a Southern Gear force!

Back sides of the models.

This was a fun project, and actually didn't take too long. Next up, I have a stack of unbuilt Northern Gears. Time to get to work!

'Til next time.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Maxing Out the Boomhowlers...and Taryn di la Rovissi

I painted a minimum unit of Boomhowlers a few years ago. Recently, I pulled a couple of Boomhowler blisters out of the pile in order to upgrade what I had up to a max unit. Here are the four guys I finished off this week.

And here are all of them together.

Last weekend I played in a Steamroller and wanted to try out a new piece in my pKreoss assassination list. It's Taryn di la Rovissi. With two magic shots and the ability to negate an LOS unit block, I think she's a pretty good piece.

She's a mercenary, but I put a couple of Menoth colors on her, so Kreoss would accept her into his list. Haha.

'Til next time.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Old West 28mm Buildings by 4Ground

OK, so there is a relatively new outfit in the UK that makes scale laser-cut wood terrain/buildings. They are 4Ground (link here). I got interested in their 28mm wild west buildings (made for the game, Dead Man's Hand) late last year, and ordered up a set from Architects of War (link here).

The building kits are very reasonably priced, and come in these plastic bags.

As you can see, all the pieces are pre-painted, and the kits come with very clear assembly instructions.

The laser-cut pieces pop easily out of their frames, and the entire kit goes together with a little white glue.

I started off with a couple of the relatively simple one-storey "side street buildings." Here, the interior is finished. The roofs come off, so the interiors are easily playable spaces.

This is side street building #2, with sub-basement, roof and boardwalks constructed.

And here, the whole thing is put together. I built this while watching a about 90 minutes not paying very close attention to the construction process.

Here are side street buildings #1 and #2 together. Quite lovely and easy to assemble. I'm going to move onto the more complex multi-storey buildings next. Great wild west flavor!

'Til next time!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cygnar Rangers

First unit off the hobby table in 2014. This is a group of Cygnar Rangers. I started these guys when I was putting together the painting workshops I ran at the LGS a few weeks back.

Well, happy with the way these guys turned out. Their cloaks may seem a little bright, but they'll show up nicely on the game table.

'Til next time.

Friday, January 3, 2014

pSeverius vs eMorvahna

First game in the new man cave. Elliot came over for a 50-point Warmachine match.

The scenario is Outflank, with two 12" scoring zones as seen here.

Elliot brings an eMorvahna tier list to the table. Stalker, Gorax and Pureblood are in the battlegroup. In addition, he has Wolf Riders, Bloodtrackers, Ravagers and the appropriate solos. Bloodtrackers have prey on my Errants, while the Wolf Riders prey my 'caster.

I'm playing my pSeverius list again. Hierophant, Reckoner, Blessing of Vengeance and Reckoner in the battlegroup. The rest of the list is Avatar, Errants with UA and Seneschal, Wracks, two Vassals, Mechanic, Gorman and Choir.

Circle turn 1. Elliot has won the roll to go first. On my extreme left, he sends around the Wolf Riders. Ravagers enter the left (near) zone, while Bloodtrackers and the Pureblood head into the right (far) zone.

Menoth turn 1. Blessing and Avatar run up the center with the intention of swinging to the left zone.

On my right, Errants with Defenders Ward occupy a small piece a elevated terrain. With elevation and Defenders Ward, I hope to mitigate the effect of the Bloodtracker prey bonus. I kill a couple of Bloodtrackers.

Circle turn 2. Elliot makes a play to knock out Blessing, but after taking eight damage, I Enliven backwards out of danger.

Elliot's attack on my right is far more successful. eMorvahna purifies away Defender's Ward, and the Bloodtrackers have their way with the Errants. I loose seven of them. Ouch.

Elliot sends his Wolf Riders into my backfield.

Menoth turn 2. In the center I clear out all the Ravagers and toe Avatar into the left zone to prevent Elliot from scoring there.

On the right, I send up the Seneschal to contest the zone while pulling back the shattered remnants of my Errants.

I'm my backfield, Gorman puts up a smoke screen to stop the Wolf Riders from getting at Severius.

Circle turn 3. Here's where it all goes Elliot's way. His damage dice catch fire, and he exploits his opportunities perfectly. He starts with a last remaining Ravager charge on Avatar, dealing an amazing seven damage. I can Enliven deeper into the left zone (where his Stalker can scrap me), or pull over to the right, save the Avatar and get Gaze onto half his Bloodtracker unit. I opt for the later.

However, this pulls my axis of strength into the center of the board, essentially between the two zones. Elliot now feats with eMorvahna, bringing back 11 dead warriors. Essentially, he pins me into the middle of the board.

Screening the Avatar's Gaze with resurrected infantry, he frees up his Bloodtrackers to overwhelm the Seneschal, who was contesting the right zone. Ultimately, Elliot scores both zones.

Because my offensive power is pinned in the middle of the board by resurrected infantry, I have no hope of strongly contesting both zones again by the end of my next turn, I concede a scenario win to Elliot. Well played!

'Til next time.