Saturday, June 26, 2010

Incoming! Storm Wardens Drop Pods

The Project continues apace, but it still seems that there are folks out there who haven't heard about it yet. People who would be interested in contributing to such a great cause, but who don't regularly check the Internet. So, I ask you all, on behalf of the Storm Wardens team (and Doctors Without Borders), please send those folks our way.

Anyway, on to the post. Last Saturday I went to my FLGS, Games & Stuff, to hang out with some friends and get some painting done. I also "took delivery" of three mostly assembled and entirely primed Drop Pods that were donated to the Project by Games & Stuff and assembled by Matt (the store's Wargaming expert). I got a lot of work done on them on that Saturday, and over the last week I've been finishing them off one at a time.

Anyone who has put together a Drop Pods knows that it is quite possibly the most detailed kit that GW has created. Sure, there's the Screaming Bell and the Stegadon, or even the Stompa, but all these other kits don't have the "toy factor" built in. By "toy factor" I'm talking about integral parts that move. In this case they're the leaves of the pod that open to disgorge its cargo and reveal the detailed interior. While it would have been very simple to build the Drop Pod and glue the leaves shut (which would also have cut the painting time by at least 60%), it wouldn't have shown off that great interior, and felt like I was cheating the final recipient of the army.

So, in the picture above you can see the sections Matt gave me for each Pod. Just perfect for painting everything that needs it, and still assembling the Pod so the doors open and close. You may also notice the pieces in the lower right corner. Rather than choose the armament for you, Matt has magnetized both options for each of the three Drop Pods. Great idea!

I used much of the same color scheme that I used on my own Ultramarine Drop Pods that I built on their release, including the striking hazard stripes on the edge of each leaf. There were differences, such as the location of the metallic panels, but it is a fairly straightforward scheme, letting the model itself do much of the work.

I hope you like these, and think they'll give the final owner of the Storm Wardens some extra flexibility in his army creation/deployment.

We now have a central blog too,, and we'll be keeping this updated as we begin the countdown to the final drawing (only 4 weeks away).

Finally, get your butt out there and tell more people about the Project, together we can really provide a great cause with a big chunk of change!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Storm Warden Sternguard Squad, complete!

Work continues apace on the Great Storm Wardens Project of 2010. All of our collaborators are chugging along nicely and posting regularly about how their part of the project is going. Keep an eye on their blogs via the blog list on the top right column.

Anyway, above are my finished Storm Warden Sternguard Squad. Ten rugged Veterans who have all served their time in the militant arm of the Ordo Xenos, the Deathwatch. In addition they wear the silver helmets that are a mark of the Veterans of the Storm Wardens. When Ron gets his Terminator Squad wrapped up, you'll see the silver helms on them too.

Keep your eyes out for a post on how to build the Special Issue Ammunition Magazines (SIAM) for their bolters, coming soon to a blog near you.

There have been a few questions regarding the colors used for this Chapter. Here's the very basic rundown of how I've been painting the key areas.

Heavy drybrush of Boltgun Metal, wash of Badab Black, highlight of Chainmail, highlight of Mithril Silver. Paint basecoat of Regal Blue, highlight with a 70:30 mix of Regal Blue and Enchanted Blue [yes John Shaffer, I used Enchanted Blue], highlight of 30:70 mix of Regal Blue and Enchanted Blue.

Black areas:
Basecoat Chaos Black, highlight 50:50 mix of Chaos Black and Adeptus Battlegrey, highlighted with Adeptus Battlegrey.

Red areas:
Basecoat Scab Red, Highlight 50:50 mix of Scab Red and Blood Red, highlight Blood Red, finish eyes and gems with 'Ardcoat.

And here's the veteran sergeant, ready for skull-pounding action. I hope you like the squad and that it encourages you to get involved by clicking on the bottom at the top right of this blog.


Speaking of getting involved, John Shaffer, GW Hobby Guru Extraordinaire, and Games Workshop themselves have provided a Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer (new on sprue, no box) that will be given away tomorrow to one lucky contributor! We'll be running more freebie giveaways like this throughout the build-up of the project, so you have to be "in it to win it", as they say. Please note that freebies won throughout the project will not affect anyone's chance at the final army.

For more info on the Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer, head to the Santa Cruz Warhammer blog NOW! : )


Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Storm Wardens Surprise Arrives!

So, on my doorstep today I found a delivery from FedEx. A reasonably non-descript white box addressed to me. I took it inside, opened it up, and found the great loot contributed to "The Project" by the team at Gale Force 9!

These quality gaming aids will form part of the final bundle so that the lucky owner of the Storm Wardens army can comfortably throw down knowing that the icon of the Storm Wardens adorns their templates!

Item One: The Storm Wardens Turn Counter
The central dial spins and the bottom point on the shield points to the turn. Nice and easy!

Item Two: The Storm Wardens T.A.C. Template
This template (aka the Tactical Assault & Coherency Template) has three sides of 2", 4", and 6", just the thing for easily ensuring your infantry and vehicle squads are in coherency, and measuring out your 6" moves and assaults. In addition, the hole is just the right size to stick your finger through so you can twirl the template while you contemplate your next move.

Item Three: The Storm Wardens Multi-Template
Again the Storm Wardens sigil is etched into this 3-in-1 template (actually 5-in-1, but who's counting?) The Flamer template, as well as the 5" and 3" blast templates all in one handy, translucent blue piece.

Please Note: Gale Force 9 will not be selling the Storm Warden Templates, these are the only copies. So only the lucky winner will have them. GF9 do, however make a HUGE variety of other gaming aids (counters, tokens, etc.), hobby products, terrain, and other scenic materials. If your FLGS doesn't stock them, ask the owner to bring in a rack or two!

Until Saturday's post, take care, and join in the fine by clicking on the Paypal button at the top of the right column : )


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sample Storm Warden Sternguard

Just so you didn't think it was all hype and a clever ruse, here's the first member of the Storm Warden Sternguard squad to get paint. Veteran Brother Titus, like the other members of his squad, has served in the Deathwatch and still proudly bears the pauldron and silvered arm of the Ordo Xenos Astartes.

The Storm Warden shoulder pads were sculpted up by yours truly, cast by Justin from Secret Weapon Miniatures, and distributed to the group for the sole purpose of use by the team for this project. Don't even think about asking for some, as I'm sure Justin has already destroyed the mold.

Although we've had quite a few hoops to jump through on the whole "charity donations" thing, we are currently up to date with all our paperwork and everything is fully functional. So feel free to click on the Options drop down menu on the top right column and contribute what you can. The sooner you do, the sooner you're entered in all the mini-drawings along the way. There'll be another tomorrow night (Sunday 13 June), keep an eye on the Santa Cruz Warhammer blog for details on who has walked away with this week's loot.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Scout Sergeant Mkoll (and a Storm Wardens update)

So, it hasn't been all "Storm Wardens this" and "Storm Wardens that" since my return from Australia. On the contrary, there have been plenty of other projects consuming my spare time.

Here's a few shots of the "test paint" model for the Tanith army I'm working on. One proplem I've always had with the Tanith are that they wear black fatigues, with black webbing, and matt black body armor. At 28mm, that makes for a pretty dull model. Fortunately the Scouts get the camo cloaks, so there can be a bit of variety. I've found that when a palette is very simple, it becomes more important to highlight everything well. Hopefully you can see that in the photos. But I have taken my time highlighting the black.

The client is happy, so on to the rest of the squad. Once they're all painted to this level, I'll putt on tattoos for the Tanith members of the squad.


With one mimi-drawing down and many more to go, we have another taking place tonight on Jawaballs Live! The show starts at 6pm EST (that's 11pm GMT for folks in the UK and Europe). John from Santa Cruz Warhammer will be on with Jawaballs, answering your chat questions about the Storm Wardens Project, and the guys will be giving away some Jawaballs loot.

If you want to get your hands on some great prizes, provided by some very generous stores, then head to the right column, click the paypal button and select an option. The higher the number the more chances you have (1 chance for each $). There will be ore mini-drawings before we get to the finale, so get in now and make the most of your contribution.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Great Storm Warden Project: Sternguard Veterans

As many of you are no doubt aware, myself and a bunch of other bloggers have recently embarked on a fairly ambitious project. We're building a collaborative army of Space Marines, from the Storm Warden Chapter to be precise.

My role/task in this project is to provide a custom squad of Sternguard Veterans. You can see the whole squad in it's current stage above. I have included a Sergeant with power fist, two Veterans with combi-meltas, one Veteran with a combi-plasma, and one Veteran with a heavy flamer. I've chosen these weapons because of a Sternguard squad in my Ultramarine army that I used with reasonable success in the 2008 Baltimore GT that had a similar loadout. They regularly enter play in a Drop Pod, but more on that later.

Each squad member is getting some sort of conversion work, some a bit more than others. The first thing to mention is that the Storm Wardens have an interest in meeting new xenos species (and wiping them out). To that end they have a disproportionate number of Veterans who have served in the Deathwatch. This squad will be made entirely of Deathwatch Vets, so everyone will end up with a DW shoulder pad on their left shoulders (and Storm Warden chapter pads on their right).
These three models above all ended up with the legs that I built at the recent Pre-Heresy Space Marine clinic I ran at the GW in White Marsh, MD. MkV on the left, MkIV in the middle, and an artificer style on the right. While the Storm Wardens weren't around during the Heresy, I have reasoned that these veterans were presented with these prized relics by their Ultramarine primogenetors or by their Deathwatch commanders for acts of extreme courage.

These three are a Veteran kneeling, the Vet with the Heavy Flamer, and the Vet with the combi-plasmagun. The two on the outside have small scrolls sculpted in brownstuff on their greaves (in the same style as the metal Sternguard), while the HF Veteran has the Storm Warden shield icon sculpted on his right shoulder pad. The Vet on the left has a head from the metal DW sprue and a plasticard bolter strap. His ammo-hopper (like all the bolter and combi-weapon toting Marines in this squad) is made from half of a Terminator Storm Bolter clip. The Heavy Flamer is made from a plasma cannon with the front end replaced by a Terminator HF. Brownstuff was again used to fill in and cover the plasma coil.

Here's a close up of the front of the HF and also of the Veteran icon dangling from his prized DW shoulder pad.

Here's a close-up of the Sergeant and his bolter. You can get a bet look at the Special Issue Ammunition Magazine (or SIAM for short).

I wanted to make sure that even the regular Veterans in the squad had some flair too, so these guys (and a couple of others) got legs from the Space Wolves sprue (on the left) and various Chaos Space Marine Sprues (Khorne Berserkers on the right) with all the chapter/legion specific icons filed off. I should be able to add in some rich golds to help give the squad that great veteran look.

Anyway, I mentioned before about the Drop Pod. Well, the guys at Games & Stuff (great hobby store in Glen Burnie, MD) are donating THREE Drop Pods to the cause! I'll be speed painting these up on Saturday in two weeks, once Matt has had a chance to pre-assemble them for me. Great stuff!


Speaking of great stuff, Mik (one of the Storm Warden team) and the blog/podcast he is involved with (Minions of the Monster Master) have provided a t-shirt with the project artwork on it that will be given away tomorrow to one lucky contributor! We'll be running more freebie giveaways like this throughout the build-up of the project, so you have to be "in it to win it", as they say. Please note that freebies won throughout the project will not affect anyone's chance at the final army.

For more info on the cool t-shirt freebie, head to the Santa Cruz Warhammer blog NOW! : )


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Great Storm Wardens Project Kick-off Post

Well here it is, "The Great Storm Wardens Project"

We have gotten so much out of this hobby and our blogs that we decided to give back a bit and work together on something awesome, and give money to charity.

The end result will be an incredible painted army going to one of you, the WINNER of this drawing.

The Army.

The Storm Wardens are a new Space Marine chapter from the yet to be released Death Watch RPG. Together with Games Workshop, Fantasy Flight Games (Horus Heresy, Wings of War) has been developing the game which will be released this summer.

We approached the folks designing the Death Watch game while planning this project, and told them we were thinking of building a Storm Wardens army, and they loved the idea. They have been working with us in getting the look of the army just right and giving us some great unreleased fluff and imagery.

We are going to build a complete Storm Wardens Space Marine army with a decked out HQ, Marines, Veterans, Scouts, Terminators, and a bunch of vehicles, a massive army that any commander would be proud to field.

You will be able to see the army units come together and follow the army build progress through links to all the builders blogs on our "Storm Wardens" mini blog roll.

Who will be working on the army?

Thomas Wynn ( Wynn Studios)

Ron Saikowski (From the Warp)

Mister Justin (Secret Weapon Miniatures)

Mik (Miks Minis, Barter Bucket)

and us, Mike & John (Santa Cruz Warhammer)

Along with the blogger build team, we are going after some related hobby retailers to give up some loot to add to the army prize. Secret Weapon Miniatures is donating all the custom bases, and Chessex has already sent us the custom dice.

What can you do?

Well, you can give money to the cause. You can give to the fund at the top right of this page or any of the other participating bloggers, using PayPal or a credit card. Each dollar will also enter you in the free army grand prize drawing, the more you give, the better your chance of winning, and more money we can give to charity.

We will draw the winner in mid July.

What if I don't have any money, but I still want to help?

Dig around under the couch cushions or under the seat of your car, put on some dark sunglasses and sell pencils out of a cup on the street corner, or even sell some extra Warhammer minis on Ebay, then use that cash for a donation.

You can also help by linking to this project in your blog, telling your friends and other gamers, mention it at your gaming club or even posting about it in your favorite forums, this will help us get the most exposure we can, so we can raise more money for charity.

If you have a small business (or know someone who does) that might have a product to donate that would be great to add to this army, contact us about a feature during the build.

Why should I help out?

If you have ever read something on our blogs that you thought was cool, gave you a good idea, showed you how to do something better, downloaded a free drop pod template, used the Barter Bucket, or perhaps you even got something from us for free and you are feeling a bit guilty about it.... well, now is your chance to give something back, pay it forward, return a good turn.... well you know.

Oh yeah, and you could end up with an entire finished army, by giving $1 to the Storm Wardens Project.

Where does the money go?

The money will be a gift from us to Doctors Without Borders, and actually help people. We chose Doctors without Borders because their cause is a global pursuit to help people in need, where ever help is needed most, and they have a good track record with getting the $ where it does the most good.

So there you have it. I hope you are all as exited about this as we are, its been tough keeping it a secret.

So.......who wants a new army?