Monday, April 28, 2014

"Painting Frenzy!" but nothing to show right now...

My apologies for the radio silence this week. I've been incredibly busy wrapping up a couple of painting commissions and getting started on a couple more. Once the clients have seen their models I'll be able to post some photos here. In the meantime, I'll leave you with a hint about one of the commissions I'm working on - this link HERE.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Well, there was certainly interesting (and, for me, completely unexpected) response to my last post. In that post I gushed over the work of Clarence, and then presented my copy of his work. I love all of the elements of this conversion, and I love all the ways they go together.

There were quite a few folks that did not like the conversion, some who hated it. I was certainly put on the back foot, feeling pushed into a defensive stance, not a place I feel anyone should be when we're talking about having fun with our toy soldiers.

I felt, therefore, it would be good to step back for a day or two, take an objective look at the constructive criticism that I've always tried to welcome, and then respond.

The general concerns about the model were as follows:

• The gun arms were too small, comically/tragically so.
• The carapace was pushed too far forward, creating a feeling of incredible overbalance.
• The exhausts were not at a corrected angle, exacerbating the feeling of the previous point.
• The legs were too long.
• The head was in danger of being "lost" underneath that large carapace.

My responses to these concerns are:

• I LOVE the look of the gun arms. Are they proportionally smaller than the original inspiration model? Yes, but I feel that this disparity is a considerable part of their charm. I'll be keeping these at the same size. Please, there is no need to labor this point ; )
• I understand the concern from a visual point of view (although in the universe of wonky physics that is the 30K/40K universe I don't think there's a "working" balance issue). I will be keeping the carapace at it's current angle, and anchor point, but I have decided to add a couple of features that hopefully will address the visual imbalance. More thoughts presented below.
• I honestly had not thought about these when building the model, so I'm alright with thinking about them a but more, probably taking the time to rebuild the exhaust pipes.
• I'll be taking a closer look at this. There might be 5-10mm I could cut from the thighs that would address the issue.
• I want to go with the smooth, black glassy look that I've used on some of my other Mechanicum models (the Thallax and the big combat servitors). This will need to be framed well. More thoughts presented below.

Two thoughts on my adjustment to address concerns on visual imbalance are:

• Make an addition to the structure of the Warden's torso, building it to follow other lines already in place. As it wouldn't be a part of the armor plating, it would have quite a utilitarian feel, with rivets and anchor points, much like the superstructure of the Warden itself.
• At least one, but more likely two, campaign banner hanging from a horizontal pole(s) extending from the back of the Warden. As these pilots are the older, grizzled veterans of hundreds of campaigns, it seems there'd be plenty of opportunity to go to town on many fun elements here. The bonus would be seeing they way it filled out the "gap" caused by tilting the carapace forward.

As the Warden doesn't have the shield or heavy stubber of the Paladin or Errant, I thought it would be a good idea to frame the dark/black faceplate with lighter/white banners. I think there are a lot of things I can do with these that can guide the eye to the "soulless" mask and ensure it doesn't get lost in the rest of the paint job.

I may be opening myself up for another round of criticism, but I'm ok with that, as long as it is constructive. It's how we can evolve and improve, right?


Friday, April 18, 2014

Mechanicum Knight Warden

The model I posted a preview of days ago is now mostly complete, mostly…

It is an updated version of a Knight Warden, the first Knightly model for my own Mechanicum-aligned Knight Household (yet-to-be-named). This is one of those moments where I am happy to be standing on the shoulders of giants.

I'd like to thank Clarence Harrison, who runs the excellent Quindia Studios blog. While I was working on the two Knights for Hank, I was wondering how I could build a Warden reminiscent of the classic Epic model above. In stepped Clarence with this post HERE.

He followed it up with this excellent post HERE, where he detailed how he built his great Warden.

And now he's painting it! All very cool.

The Knight Warden below is my version. Almost identical, but with a few twists of my own.

I'm planning on sorting out a few "sculpted" icons for the greaves, and for the shoulder plates on my Paladin and Errant. More on that later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Thank You, and a Preview

It always floors me when someone does something unexpectedly awesome. Blog reader Richard contacted me the other day and told me that he had recently received an order from Forgeworld. Unusually, his order contained an item he hadn't actually ordered, a set of Mechanicum Myrmidon Destructors. After contacting FW Customer Service, they apologized for the mix-up and said Richard didn't need to send them back. So what did he do? He very kindly sent them on to me, knowing I'd get them assembled and into my Army (presumably alongside these guys).

Thank you very much, Richard! Your generosity has made my week : )

Also, crappy camera-phone pics of something Knightly have been spotted (pssst, that's the preview).


Friday, April 11, 2014

NOCF Weekly Prize Drawings



Press Release: April 11, 2014

The NOVA Open Charitable Foundation (NOCF) is currently selling tickets for the 2014 charity army raffle season. Visit and join the “Compassionate Force” by taking chances on winning one or more of the amazing armies being offered this year and supporting deserving charities in the process!

NOCF weekly drawings begin tomorrow (April 12, 2014). This week’s prize is a $25 online gift certificate to Secret Weapon Miniatures. Anyone who has purchased tickets in the raffle before midnight tonight is eligible to win as the winner will be drawn from the pool of raffle ticket holders.
Winner will be announced at tomorrow.

Remember to check the Foundation website ( ) every Sunday between now and August 17, 2014 to see which of our amazing sponsors is offering a gift certificate for the weekly Saturday drawings!

The NOCF is a non-profit organization operated by a Board of Directors in accordance to charitable organization by-laws. Donations are tax deductible; purchase of raffle tickets is not. If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please send them to: .

Thursday, April 10, 2014

AdeptiCon Titanicus!

Well, it sure has been a busy seven days! Almost as soon as I arrived home from Chicago, my wife jetted off for a conference in decidedly-warmer California, so I've been wrangling our two little ones.

Anyway, on to the AdeptiCon Titanicus (AT) game! For those of you not in the know, the AT game was set up by AdeptiCon organizers Hank Edley and Matthias Weeks. Following some spirited discussion about old games and the joy the had with them, it was a fairly short jump for the guys to take it to the extreme!

Hank is a resin addict from way back, and Matt has always loved Epic/Space Marine/Adeptus Titanicus with a passion, so the idea of reviving the game in 28mm scale was a perfect fit.

Twenty Princeps brought along their Warhounds of Reavers to do battle over a 16' x 16' surface with spectacular buildings created by my buddy Alex Landing of Ironheart Artisans and inspired by the original cardboard buildings from one of the early Epic boxes.

We were using a modified version of the Adeptus Titanicus rules, with everything scaled up. Playtesting had been done by Hank and his crew earlier, but nothing can actually compare to herding 20 power-crazed Princeps in their stockinged feet as they bounce over-sized foam dice around.

Although the Chaos Warhound pilots began the game by racing down their left flank into what seemed the jaws of destruction, things turned out to be much less lethal. In fact, only one Titan suffered any significant damage on the tabletop. Despite this, and the late hour, all involved had a fantastic time!

Another great thing was the variety of models on the table, including a classic Reaver and Warhound originally from Armorcast and a Warhound scratch-built by John Christensen, with spinning mega-bolters, flashing lights and a general air of Awesome.

The view over the carapace of Primaris Secutar, turbo lasers targeting Venatrix Nocturna (the very Warhound I help build).

Hank has unnecessarily apologized to the Princeps, pledging to test things out more during the year and ensure that there is a great deal of lethality prepared for the next event. We'll be ready Hank!

I hope you enjoyed the photos, and that they inspire you to get cranking on a Titan of your own!

Monday, April 7, 2014

AdeptiCon Report - A preview.

After four incredibly hectic days at AdeptiCon (each 18 or 19 hours long and a complete blast!) I've finally made it back home, and will be posting photos from the show. Here are a coupler of teaser shots from our Guns Of April game on Friday night (below) and the AdeptiCon Titanicus game on Saturday night. I now hope to get a bit of sleep, and put a few more posts together later this week.

Thanks to everyone who made it such an excellent event!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Knights of House Coldshroud stand ready.

As this goes live, I'll finally be on my way to the hallowed grounds of gaming - AdeptiCon!

This will be my ninth trip to the most excellent of wargaming Meccas, and I'm certainly looking forward to it. I have three nights of gaming lined up, as well as doing some coverage of the show.

The Knights you've seen me painting have already arrived at the show, and will soon be in the hands of their owner. They may or may not see the gaming table on Saturday night as part of the AdeptiCon Titanicus event, it all depends on the number of titans that eventually show.

To ensure maximum flexibility, both Knights have magnetized weapons, so can be fielded as either Errants or Paladins. You can also see them on their lovely Dragon Forge Designs Urban Rubble bases. Gluing them onto the bases was a little tricky, as the rubble is so irregular and the ankles don't flex at all. I ended up put balls of greenstuff under the center of each foot in order to ensure a secure bond, and filled any small gaps by cutting some of the toes off, realigning them, and wedging the odd "brick" (made from plasticard strips) into any small gaps. I'm pretty happy with the result : )

This first Knight above is set up as a Knight Errant (with the melt fuel canisters attached to the gun arm), but it can work quite well as a Paladin too, as seen below.

And this one is set up as a Knight Paladin, with the ammo hopper attached, but again, it could work just fine as an Errant.

House Coldshroud are pledged to support the Legio Gryphonicus (War Griffons), and as such I used the House Hawkshroud icon, repainted in a cold white against a blue background.

Hope you like them, and stay tuned for more from AdeptiCon!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

+++Primaris Secutar enroute to Lombard III+++

Primaris Secutar, my Reaver Titan from Legio Crucius, is now battle-ready. In fact, as I type this she is probably somewhere in western Pennsylvania, on her way to walk on the hallowed battlegrounds of AdeptiCon.

Time slipped away from me at the end there, and I was unable to do all the shading, chipping, and weathering I wanted to do. A little disappointing, but I will be able to really spend some time on her once she returns to Baltimore (and before the big 30K event at the end of May).

And thank you to Forgeworld for this wonderful image that inspired/informed much of my paint job. Originally I was going to give her kill marking banners, but I thought it might be best to simply record her achievements from the games she fights in, starting with Saturday night's AdeptiCon Titanicus extravaganza : )


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014's Charitable Army Painting efforts

Please note, this is NOT an April Fool's joke, but the real deal. After working on these kinds 
of projects for three out four years, I'm proud to once again saddle up and contribute to the cause. There'll be plenty of information and links coming over the next few months : )

Press Release: March 31, 2014
The NOVA Open Charitable Foundation (NOCF) will open its 2014 charity army fundraising raffle season tomorrow, April 1, 2014.  Visit and join the “Compassionate Force” by taking chances on winning one or more of the amazing armies being offered this year and supporting deserving charities in the process!

The NOCF was created to assist international miniature painters and artists who produce armies as fundraising vehicles for charitable causes.  Recognizing the immense generosity of the worldwide tabletop wargamer, the NOCF was formed to bring this “Compassionate Force” together under a single banner with a broad international outreach.  Every raffle ticket purchased in support of these charity armies will contribute to causes which address the needs of humanitarian emergency relief, children’s concerns, medical research and the military.

In 2013, the worldwide tabletop wargaming community’s support of the NOCF charity army raffles raised over $10,000 which was donated to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, The Fisher House Foundation and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The three charity armies from 2013 were shipped from Washington, D.C. to winners in Washington State, Missouri and as far away as Tasmania, Australia!

*A Consortium of professional and award-winning artists from within the tabletop wargaming community has come together in support of the NOCF Macragge Project. Learn more about each HERE. The proceeds from these two armies will support Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres.

The NOCF expanded the work of the Consortium to two separate armies in 2014, representing Battle of Macragge, the epic clash between Tyranids of Hive Fleet Behemoth and Ultramarines led by Marneus Calgar. Both of these armies are full 1850-tuned armies, including numerous extra models for force flexibility.

      ARMY #1: Battle of Macragge Ultramarine List
o      Marneus Calgar and Honor Guard
o      Chief Librarian Tigurius
o      Chaplain Cassius
o      5 Tyrannic War Veterans
o      1 Drop Pod
                  o      30 Tactical Marines with a variety of weapon load outs
o      10 x Scouts:  5 w/ Sniper Rifles and Camo Cloaks, 5 w/ Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons
o      3 Storm Talons with Skyhammer Missiles
o      3 Thunderfire Cannons
o      1 Knight Titan
o      3 Centurion Devastators with Hurricane Bolters and Heavy Graviton Cannons

      ARMY #2: Battle of Macragge Tyranid List
o      Flying Hive Tyrant w/ 2 Twin-Linked Devourers
o      5 Tyranid Warriors w/ Magnetized Weapon Options
o      1 Tyranid Prime w/ Norn Crown, Magnetized Weapon Options
o      60 Termagants
o      2 Mawlocs
o      1 Carnifex w/ Magnetized Weapon Options
o      20 Gargoyles
o      2 Lictors
o      1 Deathleaper
o      1 Venomthrope
o      3 Tyrant Guards (expected magnetized options for either tyrant guard or hive guard)
o      2 Hive Crones
o      8 Genestealers

*Stiff Neck Studio, under the leadership of Capt. Wesley Cogdal, is once again donating an exceptional army for the NOCF charity raffles. This year, they are expanding our army range to include the first NOCF Fantasy army, lovingly entitled “Man Eaters of the Great Maw!” The NOCF proudly donated funds from last year’s Stiff Neck Studio army to The Fisher House Foundation, and we hope the Compassionate Force will come together in 2014 to double those funds for this charity.

      ARMY #3: Fantasy Ogre Kingdom List

o       1 Ogre Tyrant
o       6 Ogre Bullz
o       5 Ogre Iron Gutz
o       4 Lead Belcher's
o       1 Stone-horn
o       1 Scrap launcher

*Built by a combined force of hobbyists associated with the Penny Arcade forum, the Deathwatch Army has been donated to the NOCF with the request that it be raffled as a fundraiser for Child’s Play Charity. Forty pages of forum posts followed this army from musings on a “general 40K” thread to each model being painted by a different person over the course of a year, culminating in the most recent post which announced, “The army is in the care of the Nova Open Charitable Foundation. . . .” The handler, who wishes to remain anonymous, recognized that a lot of people had given of themselves to create this Deathwatch Army, and it had a lot to give back to the community. A staff member of the NOVA Open Tabletop Wargaming Convention, Martin Bagley, has agreed to take on the task of repairing and restoring this army to its original grandeur over the next few weeks.

      ARMY #4: Deathwatch Army List
o      Full List Can be Found HERE

NEW IN 2014:
NOCF sponsors have once again exceeded all expectations of generous giving. Each Sunday alternating sponsors will donate a $25 gift certificate for raffle; the following Saturday, the NOCF will draw from the pool of raffle ticket holders and announce a winner. The more raffle tickets you purchase, and the earlier you acquire them, the better your odds of winning a gift certificate you can use toward the purchase of any item at our sponsors websites.

2014 Sponsors:
Remember to check the Foundation website ( every Sunday between now and August 17, 2014 to see which of our amazing sponsors is offering a gift certificate for the weekly Saturday drawings!

KR Multicase is once again donating customized KR transport cases to safely nestle each of our amazing charity armies for their travels.

 TheWarStore contributed dozens of models to the two large Macragge armies and the Ogre Kingdom army this year.

Secret Weapon Miniatures stepped up again in 2014, providing all bases and Masterclass scenic products for the Macragge armies.

Powered Play Gaming joins the NOCF charity efforts in 2014 to offer products for the lighting of models and, more particularly, for the full-on 4’x6’ Macragge Project Terrain Table being created by Michael Frazier.

NOVA Open also donated the dozens of models necessary to complete the Macragge and Ogre Kingdom armies.

Special thanks to the 11th Company who will podcast the drawings internationally during the NOVA Open Tabletop Wargaming Convention, August 31, 2014.