Monday, April 29, 2013

Question? I have questions!

I have three questions that I need help with. I hope all you good folks out there might know the answers (or know someone who does).

The first question is for the Horus Heresy devotees in the audience who already have a copy of the FW book Betrayal. I bought three packs of the Mechanicum Thallax Cohort at Adepticon, and one in three can be equipped with a "special" weapon of sorts. I've assembled six of the Thallax with their lightning guns, which three special weapons should I equip my last pack with (yes, conversion/creation work will be required.

Another Horus Heresy question. Which scenes in the Horus heresy novels best describe the Warsingers that the Space Marines face in the Istvaan system? I'm hoping to knock together a quick diorama for Games Day.

And finally, can any of you wonderful people point me in the direction of any conversions where people have opened up a Tau Crisis suit to reveal the pilot? I'm looking to do a similar conversion for a Riptide very soon.


PS. PLease note: all the images in this post are from the GW and FW websites and are used without permission.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Back from Adepticon, setting priorities...

Well, it has taken a little while, but I'm finally caught up on things after arriving home from Adepticon on Monday. Sleep was, of course, the big one, and I'm pleased to say that crashing out on the couch each night after the girls were in bed has been very nice. Adepticon is a long show, with long hours and terrible pillows, so sleep isn't always the best. The greatest thing that I find that helps me power through such a great event is the interaction with my fellow painters, gamers, vendors, and enthusiasts of all stripes. Conversations about all manner of toy soldier related excitement can only be a good thing, right?

I spent four days taking photos of various types of historical gaming action, covering: Flames Of War, Black Powder, Bolt Action, Hail Caesar, Warhammer Ancient Battles, and SAGA. Over 220 photos that will end up illustrating at least four (possibly more) articles for Wargames Illustrated! Very pleased with that result.

I also had four entries for the Crystal Brush painting comp. Originally I was reluctant to enter, but decided to take a shot at the last moment (ie: I found myself splashing blood on the bases of my Lamenters at 11:00pm Wednesday night before leaving on Thursday). I entered my Lamenters Sergeant on Sci-fi Single, my Mechanicum in Squad, my Dreadnought in Vehicle (shown above in one of the CB official photos), and my Bridge Guard in Sculpting. Sadly none of them took away a trophy, but it was heartening to see a significant increase in the number of entries this year (200, over 125ish last year). Congratulations to all of those who took a trophy : )

We also ran our second Guns Of April game, our First Day of Gettysburg "what if?" scenario. I've just written up a report of the game for our GOA blog, you can check it out here. It was a lot of work, and not without its issues, but we all had a great time and are already looking forward to next year : )

I also took two seminars. The first was by an old friend from Australia, Victoria Lamb, the owner of Victoria Miniatures and the primogenitor of Object Source Lighting (so that's the class I took). The second was by Roman Lappat (aka Jarhead) from Germany, co-author of the wildly successful mini blog Massive Voodoo. I've been enjoying the MV crew's work for years, s I couldn't pass up a chance to sit in on his theory class. So many wonderful things were covered in the class, I just hope one day that I'll take the time to apply all the lessons learned to a competition entry.

On my way home I started sketching out a diorama I have been wanting to do since Games Day last year. Thankfully I hadn't already started because the things I learned in both classes have meant that I'm going to have to put A LOT more time into it all. Here you see the genesis of the piece. Perhaps I'll have it ready for Adepticon next year?

It should be a lot of fun to work on.

So, priorities then? Over the next two months I'm going to be working on:

• My Mechanicum army - my 2013 entry for Armies On Parade
• A FOW army commission
• The Malifaux Relic Hunters crew

Then for July I'm going to work on:
• a couple of Golden Demon entries
• possibly a Tau commission

And in August I'm going to work on:
• a Primarch for a friend of mine attending the Horus Heresy Gaming Weekend in Warhammer World.

Stay tuned for the progress ; )


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Something to pass the time...

A little while ago I posted this teaser. I wasn't 100% sure that i'd get around to showing him off to you all, but with my studio lights in Chicago (not due back for another 10 days) I figured you might like to see more.

Here's a composite shot of the early stages of the model. I've used a "dolly" from Reaper Miniatures as the skeleton (and a bunch of the flesh) beneath the clothing and equipment for a mini I'm currently (and enigmatically) calling "Bridge Guard". As you can probably guess, I started at the feet and I've built up and out from there.

Here he is at the last photographed stage. He does have a very Vostroyan feel to him, but he's not really Vostroyan. I've also sculpted a pair of hands for him, so once cast up, he and his clones will be able to hold swords, fusils, axes, standards (and the list could go on).

It has certainly been quite interesting doing this, my first fully-sculpted figure. Hopefully in the next year I'll be able to sculpt a couple more ; )


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rumors of rebel troops looking for shoes

Brigadier General Solomon Meredith, commander of the Iron Brigade, with their color bearer. 

As Blogger's wonderful automated process publishes this update, I'll hopefully be asleep on a plane from Baltimore to Chicago, getting in some last minute zzzzzzzs before the hustle and bustle that will be Adepticon 2013.

This year, as in previous years, I'll be on site to cover the event (well, the historical gaming aspects of the event) for Wargames Illustrated. In addition to the Flames Of War Nationals (Early War), and other Flames Of War tournaments, there are bound to be quite a few folks pushing around historical toy soldiers. Included amongst the latter group are our little band of hobbyists, The Guns Of April.

Friday night we'll be playing our "What if?" 1st day of Gettysburg. I'm not sure where in the venue we'll be, but if you are at the show drop by and say "Hi". We'll be playing from around 7pm til late, after which I'll be taking some more photos for our WI article to appear later in the year.

The miniatures are from the Perry twins, and the flag is from GMB Designs.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Building Better Worlds.

Well, my friend at Secret Weapon Miniatures continues to surprise and delight! If you haven't seen their Tablescapes Kickstarter yet, then head on over now. I'll wait until you get back : )

Misterjustin and the crew at Secret Weapon put out a load of great, top-quality products, and this one promises to be no different.

I've pledged for the 4'x8' set, and was only seconds off getting the early bird deal. That'll teach me to pledge to a project before an hour has elapsed.

"Crowdfunding" is a very interesting thing, and I had told myself that I wouldn't pledge to anther one before anything arrived from the other three I have pledged to arrived. One of them will hopefully be on time (Dream-Forge wave three next month), one is slightly delayed (Free Mars) and one has seen considerable delays, but is now hopefully arriving in a month or so (Massive Voodoo artbook).

This opportunity though, to help out a friend and perhaps get some more gaming in, was too good to resist, and now I'm hoping the Trenchworks board funds....


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Starting on the Relic Hunters

In between other projects (and boy, aren't there too many of them) I decided to start blocking out my colors on the Malifaux Relic Hunters I was tempted to purchase last month. Usually I'd have a clear idea of scheme for all the models and then I'd work on them in batches, starting with the darkest colors and layering up.

Most of the scheme has been decided for me (I'm sticking pretty close to the Wyrd "Studio scheme" for this group), so I'm going to have some fun with it by starting with mid-tones, highlighting up, then pushing in some other colors for shades. Fingers crossed it'll work alright.

I couldn't help myself and just had to start highlighting and shading the coat of this Guild Rifleman. Such beautiful models : ) I also enjoyed the detail on the gaiters.

And here's my tester for the bases. I think the freshly laid wood is going to work well against the black, blue, grey, and white scheme.


Monday, April 8, 2013

If it's a war they want...?

After a lot of modeling and painting, our 2013 Guns Of April project is finally nearing completion!

Personally I've converted and painted around 175 models, as has Rob Chandler (whose Confederates you see below). This is a lot of models, and I'm glad to be done.

Here's a quick taster of some of them. Sometime in the next few weeks we'll get a lot more photos up on the Guns Of April blog : )

The 7th Wisconsin in firing line

The 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, dismounted

The 14th Tennessee, who lost over 90% of their men at the Battle of Gettysburg

Brigadier General James J. Archer, born just up the road from me in Havre De Grace, Maryland. 
Studied at Princeton, and also Bacon College in Kentucky. Who knew there was a Bacon College?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Worth the wait?

With all the other fun stuff going on (like finishing off over 170 Union soldiers!), it has been a little tough to get some of my recent Mechanicum constructs painted. Finally, though, I was able to finish this chap. I hope he was worth the wait.

Originally I was thinking his ride was based on some sort of spider body, but now that it's all painted up, I think it more closely resembles some sort of nasty silverfish, or another creepy-crawly that likes to nibble away to the clothes at the back of your closet.