Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Ten Honorable Mention #1: OOP WFB plastic grab-bag Dwarfs

Remember the old starter box set for Warhammer. I loved it then. I adore it now. Granted, the models are not the overwhelming, nor dynamic, nor obviously compelling (the Goblin archers in the set, for example, appear to be wearing terrycloth bathrobes). They show their age, but usually in the most charming manner (of course, a gentleman never asks, but these diminutive fellows are about 25 years old now). These particular Dwarfs have made an honorable mention for my top ten models list in part because they are not metal and that is a timely issue, because they represent the very best of my painting ability at the time when I began to participate in this hobby with some ambition, because I think they still look really cool, and because they are tremendous fun, if stunty.

To this day, I like these limited, stiff Dwarfs to most of their current plastic iterations precisely because the models are such simple chunks of plastic. It is the girth that I admire –the extremely low center of gravity.

Still, all of the above is not quite enough to merit a slot in the top ten… nearly, but no.

As you can see, I enjoyed the soft, forgiving liberties of plastic even then. I have about 10 or so of the Crossbowmen, whom I cobbled together by chopping away at the awkward Dark Elf figures mercilessly. At the time, I was totally baffled by the notion of the Dark Elf. The very idea just seemed ludicrous …now I would give a pinky to have them back.

Well. Generally speaking, I do not believe in empty nostalgia –or at least I try not to (though #7 will test that rule)- so please wipe that tear from your eye as you cast your mind back to a time when this box of 60 plastic figures with 6 different races cost 20 USD. I am reliably informed that this would be something like 42 USD in today’s currency –which in my reasoned opinion makes the set decently comparable to, if not exactly on par with, the 74 (shockingly diverse, dynamic, and beautiful) figures one would get along with a rulebook, dice, templates, etc in the Island of Blood starter set today.

This was/is a stunning example of forward thinking.

Because it seems the right time to look forward while looking back, let me state the following clearly. I am totally, absolutely fine with GW’s current direction –supportive even. This is a rare opinion. I realize. Even most apologists will concede the obvious cudgel of the price rise. For my part, I believe quite sincerely that almost all of the clamor, the rage, and the opportunistic indignation is wildly misplaced.

I say the above at least in part because what I am doing in this hobby is not necessarily married to what GW is doing in this hobby. And this is a disposition that I believe the company endorses, even promotes (please feel free to ask me about this opinion if you have no notion of how or why I have come to it).

Non-metals are the way of the future and have been for 25 years. These models demonstrate that then and now. I have three 40K armies in various states of flux/completion. Between them, I have exactly one metal model (Telion. I know. I know). I do not expect to suddenly leap toward Finecast, but I will be happy to experiment with it just because I have disliked working with metal that much. I look forward to the new stuff, actually. Certainly, the price has increased, but I find both value and consolation simply in the fact that the material is not metal.    

With regard to the aforementioned cudgel, I set aside my hobby sum and work within those means. That was true when I was a nipper and bought these Dwarfs. It is true now. I will not be spending more than that sum regardless. At the very best, I may have to actually finish all my projects before moving forward to the next. That would be good for me. At the very worst, I may have to trim the fat and get rid of some old models that are simply collecting dust in the basement. Also good for me.

[oh... eh... ahem, and this is the perfect time for me to announce that an unpainted mass of old Dwarfs, the Chaotic variety (metal ones at that for those who miss the stuff), will be going up for sale on this site sometime in the reasonably near future. I confess that, after years of clinging denial, I will neither paint them, nor play them. Never. I just cannot find the hours in the day. So they go to make room for what I can do. Stay tuned].

In the mean time, let me bid my most pleasant farewell to metal. Ciao. 

See you next time, when the nostalgia machine (and my attempts to resist it) kick into a higher gear with entry number seven...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Top Ten Models.... according to me: #8 Haemonculus

The previous entry earned its spot on the combination of its unflinching adherence to the principle “less is more” and its classically evocative pose.

By comparison, this model retains all the postural elements (notice the way its weight sits more heavily on one imagined foot) but reverses the premise of less is more by adding formal complexity and buckets of fiddly details. This is still a relatively flat one-piece model, but because of that flatness, we can observe some interesting new principles in action.

Details first. The entire Dark Eldar range (old and new), in my humble opinion, is designed to stretch the painter’s abilities. There are, inevitably, too many details to grapple without committing hours and hours on every single model. This can be both a blessing and a curse –as you can see my rather ham-fisted attempt with the myriad of gruesome tools hanging on his belt; I opted instead to hide some of the detail with equally gruesome viscera and thereby avoid having to sort out visually what-is-what in that mess.

In a similar vein, I have not done proper service to the skin mask stretched over the Haemonulus’ face (who came up with that? absolutely horrific). As such, the tremendous level of detail here (in complete reversal of last week’s entry) will always reward more and more and more attention from the painter. In this effort, I sincerely feel that I have only just started to tick away at the lengthy checklist of items the sculptor included for our delectation. It is a complicated affair, and all the more compelling as a result. Indeed, I would like to paint a version of this character every few years as a kind of measuring stick, a manner to gauge the progress of my painting abilities etc –an interesting experiment that I will almost certainly never get round to as I have way too much on my plate already.

With regard to the formal complexity I mentioned earlier, I would like to point out the way that the folds in his robe mimic the exact angle of his scimitar and therefore pull the eye straight up that angle until the very top of his sword. In addition, the hair at the back also mimics this angle to the same effect –and likewise pulls the balance of the model in that direction. The bend you find at the top of the scimitar, apart from adding an element of cruelty to the weapon, pushes the eye back across the model, through his head, and toward the box in his right hand (I forget what that thing is meant to be). The redirection is amplified further by the force of the model’s wild staring eyes, which are again focused directly on the box. The Haemonculus’ arm then brings one’s eye back down the model in a gentle slope toward the body from where the gaze drops further along with the weight of the hanging utensils … and from where the process starts over once more.    

This makes the model visually complex and stimulating –and therefore rewarding to look at.

[note: I mentioned previously that this list has been amended on the fly. True. I have re-re-revised it in light of some recent developments and the then reconsidered those revisions. Certainly, my opinions are not stagnant, and the highly subjective nature of this project must mirror that. For that reason, the next installment will be our first “honorable mention” for a model that has not quite made the top slots, but who almost did so and who deserves attention all the more in light of the shifting circumstances of the web. More soon.]

Thursday, May 26, 2011

CSM vs. CSM (p.3): The Vultures Circle

And for the final installment of this battle report:

When we first agreed to deploy our forces as if every model had the Infiltrators USR, I was modestly concerned that we would simply play a huge scrum in the middle of the table and that would be that. I was concerned that every unit would simply float around the first or second to arrive and that the subsequent action would not only focus on that singular point but also ignore the remaining elements on the table.

I shouldn’t have been worried in the slightest.

This otherwise quite unsubtle change to the game had a series of quite positive and dramatic effects on our day:

-deployment was no less (and perhaps even more) interesting/challenging than usual. Much of the game was, in fact, played during these initial moments. Pitmann set his Berzerkers to the Western edges of the table in order to bracket and corral the action, while I spread in mutual support on an angle across the center –more or less- in order to create a series potential chain reactions depending on which unit got smashed first. My Obliterators grabbed the high ground that dominated at least half of the table, while Pitmann’s Oblits grabbed the second highest ground in hopes of the same. The ensuing shootout was tremendously entertaining. Nothing here is particularly new, but the point is that there was never a single scrum in the middle and the action roamed the entire breadth of the space available; moreover, the following point ensured that unexpected but significant spaces opened rather quickly –thereby forcing us to confront the shortcomings of our own plans directly and with good manners.

-significant confrontations happened early and often. As mentioned, the chess-match turns happened in deployment, so we could get right to the drama …and so we did. Both of us were itching to see our HQ choices slug it out –a much more entertaining prospect than whittling/sniping one or the other with Obliterators or whatnot in a slow dance before the collision. Of course, this worked wonders for the imagery of the day (the photos of these two beasts getting to grips are my favorites from the batch), and helped suggest the next installment(s)…

-in fact, the entirety of the tabletop deployment was remarkably suggestive of narrative elements that neither of us predicted beforehand. As it turns out, this simple “one off” has given us fertile ground upon which we will soon be planting our summer campaign. Golden.

Strategically speaking (and by that I refer to the fickle will of our dice), a lot went right for me on the day. As mentioned, six consecutive rolls of 6 for armor saves certainly, and singularly, kept my Terminators on the tabletop. This is unprecedented for me, and goes a long way to make up for the Daemon Weapon debacle the prematurely finished my Lord. Without question, the Terminators are my MVP of the day, and I am quite pleased that I was finally able to manage the more pro-active (read: charge denial) policy that I have been hoping for in my games against Ref Pitmann.

I am certain the Right and Honorable Referee Pitmann will come to our next confrontation with veins in his teeth.

And to that end, we hope to replay this scenario at least one more time, perhaps more, with the addition of Objective markers that will further stretch our forces and resources across the tabletop. Likewise, this will invariably help broaden the narrative of the campaign as well. More on that soon.

See you next time for a very recently revised selection of #8 in the Top Ten Models …according to me series.

Monday, May 23, 2011

CSM vs. CSM (p.2): The Battle

[A Brief Recap]
For a modestly more comprehensive look at the scene, please check the first installment of this batrep (p.1) here. Otherwise, the following should suffice:

Pitman fielded his Iron Warriors –with a strong Khornate disposition- and I brought a Nurgle faction of the same, whom I call the Arrugginiti. This may make some of the photos combined with the narrative potentially a bit awkward (who is what?); however, true to form, the Iron Warriors are always silver+, while my Arrugginiti are all manner of otherwise weathered metallics.

To add spice to our standard encounter, we deployed our forces as if every single model enjoyed the Infiltrators USR and forbid reserves. As such, we imagined that a once broader CSM army had finally sundered into divided factions loyal to one aspect of Chaos, or another. This battle, then, was one important scene in that grand schism. 

[Early Turns]
Deployment being what it was, there were bound to several calamitous confrontations from the word go.  Ominously, Pitmann took first turn. Calamity ensued.

The Iron Warrior Terminators in the middle of the table popped out and picked off my unit of Plague Marines that had been cowering in a Rhino toward the middle of the table. It was a messy affair. T5 failed to keep them in the game, and even the Champion with his Power Fist was unable to get his own back. Alas. I was hoping for a bit more from this unit.

In the rest of the action, the Iron Warrior Raptors took some shots at my other Plague Rhino, but failed to produce the intended result; Pitmann’s Obliterators began an interesting and much enjoyable shooting duel with their counterparts from opposing strongholds, but to little effect. The two units of Berzerkers on the Northwest and Southwest margins began their now standard march toward the muss, and largely served to hem the action (as a rule, I have tried to give these marches a very wide berth while I try to deal with whatever else is on the table. I loathe and fear Pitmann’s Berzerkers with equal measures).

Finally, Pitmann’s much celebrated Daemon Prince closed immediately (HQ-HQ assault in player turn one, how often does that happen?) with my Chaos Lord. I am used to getting squished in these encounters and was, therefore, absolutely stunned when the first round of combat ended inconclusively. The Daemon Weapon answered blow for blow and T5 actually appeared to make a notable difference in the dice this time round. My confidence was growing. Pitmann looked rather shocked... and a little nervous as well, I might add.

Such was my new-found confidence that the Raptors behind my Lord jumped directly past him (rather than support the unfolding combat immediately in front of them) in order to make a gambit at saving the otherwise doomed Plague Marines in the middle of the table. 


In the very next round of combat, the Iron Warrior Terminators finished the Plague Marines and something dreadful happened …my Chaos Lord tripped over his weapon, impaled himself, offered no attacks, and was summarily executed the Pitmann’s Daemon Prince. It was awful.

At the bottom of the turn, my Raptors were now caught directly between a consolidating group of Terminators and an also consolidating Daemon Prince. Unfortunately, either combat had resolved itself at the bottom of my turn, leaving these poor fellows entirely in the wind. Certainly, their Lord could have used the hand and this would have avoided the ensuing mess as well.

As an aside, there is a funny way that Fate works the turn sequence at times and, if this game had a theme, that would be the substance of the matter. 

True to form, both IW Terminators and DP took advantage of the new turn and piled into my suddenly isolated Raptors. Considering both the theme of this blog and the theme stated in the paragraph above, it seems worth noting that at the end of Pitmann’s second turn, my lone remaining Raptor rolled double ones for his morale check (the elusive, eponymous Gentleman’s Ones) and stayed in the game; thus, said Raptor –though uncommonly brave- ensured his own demise during my turn, and likewise denied me a chance to shoot at Pitmann’s inevitably victorious Terminators while also leaving the Iron Warriors fresh once more at the top of their own turn. Fate vs. Turn Sequence. Though one shouldn't criticize, it was a misguided bit of bravery, and poorly timed, to be sure. Gentleman's Ones indeed.

Thankfully, it was not all bad news. My Obliterators made a decent contribution to the game by limping away from a vicious shootout with their Iron Warrior counterparts, all of whom had quite neatly been reduced to their component molecules. 

Moreover, my second squad of Plague Marines disembarked and, with some notable help from my Terminators (ahem), gave Pitmann’s Raptors what-for on the other end of the table.

The combat was messy, but inevitable really; in sum, I needed to work for “charge denial” and, while four Plague Marines paid for it, the remaining Rusted Ones dismantled the Iron Warrior Raptors in remarkably good order. It was a much-needed measure of consolation for the calamity at the other end of the table.

Still, at the end of two extremely brutal turns, I was having difficulty imaging how this thing might last the third. I had lost well over half my force (one squad of PM dead, the other halved, Raptors gone, Chaos Lord gone) with only my Terminators and Obliterators worth mentioning. On the other end, the Iron Warriors (having lost only a unit of Raptors and Oblits) were marching across the table with the strong remnants of a Terminator Squad, and Daemon Prince, and two untouched units of very hostile Berzerkers.

As it turns out, we made it to seven. Here is how…

[Middle Turns]
The Iron Warrior Berzerkers plodded onward.

Having cleaned their respective ends of the table, the two Chaos factions set in toward the other. My hamstrung unit of Marines unhesitatingly offered themselves as bait in an attempt to pull any of the Iron Warriors into the path/view/range of my Obliterators looming over the northeast corner. No dice. Pitmann was not biting.

The Rhino, instead ran interference and tried to channel, or at least bracket, the Iron Warrior approach to my only real remaining threat… the Terminators. 

The first unit of Berzerkers had closed the gap considerably during in the interim, and I was only able to get one bit of shooting (for a tally of two Berzerkers) before deciding that, once more, I must play for “charge denial.” Unenthusiastically, the Terminators assaulted an opponent that I was not really too excited about facing in close combat; however, the other options were far worse, and I had no intention of waiting for the DP and second squad of Berzerkers to arrive at their convenience ...ftw. 

As it turns out, the Terminators came up ace. To be fair, the dice helped –over two rounds of combat, I rolled six consecutive 6s for saves, Invulnerable included. Glorious. Those that know me, and know my dice, will also understand that this kind of luck (for me) is beyond rare -unheard of, really.

Still, the Terminators cleaned house.

Pitmann had not anticipated such a one-sided turn of events. Otherwise, I suspect he would have hesitated a bit, allowing the remaining troops and DP catch up. To be candid, I was not expecting that result either. Go figure. Still, he was in a tough spot and his options seemed reasonable at the time.

With regard to the other unit of Berzerkers and the Daemon Prince, they were delayed slightly by necessity, as Pitmann expertly denied my Obliterators a single meaningful shot as they marched across a really significant patch of real estate. 

[Final Turns]
Having said that, this may have been the moment in which the Iron Warriors made their only real mistake of the game –as each new threat continued to approach my Terminators one at a time. As such, I was able to fight each combat without being utterly overwhelmed.

Granted, the Daemon Prince did manage both to charge and to kill a Terminator (perhaps two, I can’t recall at the moment –either way, let’s hear it for T5); however, already weakened, he was unable to hold it sufficiently together in face of the responding Power Fists and Weapons onslaught.

To finish the game, the remaining Terminators found themselves on the happy end of the Fate vs. Turn Sequence equations and once more played for “charge denial.” The resulting combat was ugly and, again, uneven –as the Terminators picked up 7 wounds to their 1.

...an improbable Victory for the Arrugginiti -and no points for guessing which of my units gets the Most Valuable Terminators award… oh wait.

See you next time for “The Vultures Circle,” in which I will summarize and reflect upon the lessons that we failed to learn on the day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

CSM vs. CSM (p.1): The Setup

A week ago today, the Right and Honorable Referee Pitmann slid round for an increasingly rare and lamentably brief bit of gaming glory. We played 1400 points with an additionally quirky deployment, either of which might leave some of you scratching your heads.

A note on that last bit: Pitmann and I have been playing 40K almost exclusively against one another for about 11 years now. I would estimate that I have played at least 20 games vs. Pitmann to every one game of 40K that I have played against someone else. In that sense, we are the dearest of frienemies.

I should also add that in all this time, Pitmann has always (always!) played his Iron Warriors. I, on the other hand, have played whichever army a-go-go I could muster: Inquisition, IG, SM, Inquisition v2.0, IG v2.0, new SM chapter, new new SM chapter, Necrons (yes, it is true), and yet another SM chapter (the Onorevoli, whom you will likely have seen on these pages), and now my beloved devotees of Nurgle… the Arrugginiti.

All of the above means that we are not even remotely beholden to the game in a competitive sense. Certainly, we are competitive when glaring across the tabletop at the other, but we have played enough games that we are really quite free and easy to bend the structure of the game to our disposition without a second of hesitation.

The game in question. We arrived at the significantly less than standard 1400 points after first attempting to work toward the conventional 1250. Pitmann wanted to add a bit more flair to the tune of 150, and there you have it.

Pitmann’s Iron Warriors came to the table with the following (roughly):
Daemon Prince, Khorne
Terminators x5
x2 Berzerkers x10 on foot. PP (I am always happy to see these guys on foot so that I have a proper chance of running away from them).
Raptors x10
Obliterators x3

For my part, the Arrugginiti mustered the following:
Chaos Lord, Terminator, Daemon Weapon (this will be important later)
Terminators x5 Nurgle
x2 Plague Marines x7 –one with PF, the other with Melta- in Rhinos
Raptors x7 Nurgle
Obliterators x3

So the forces were nearly mirror images of one another with Pitmann emphasizing his favorite Khorne, while the Arrugginiti pandered shamelessly to the god of decay. 

For the deployment, we opted for something new (to us). Instead of the normal book deployment or a simple and informal game of smash-mouth, we thought about how we could get our guys into the mix immediately –this is at least in some small part to the late start and the usual time crunch. So. Mix it up immediately.

As it turns out, this was much easier to do than we imagined.

Each of us had six units to place, so we took turns doing so but imagined that every unit had the Infiltrators USR. Nothing was allowed to reserve, so that every single unit began somewhere/anywhere on the table, under the usual restrictions (12” in cover, 18” in plain sight, etc). As expected, we began more or less on top of one another in an ominous manner.

Naturally, this was bound to accelerate certain aspects of the game our HQs, for example, found themselves squared off in the very first turn –which was brilliant, as it turns out.

More importantly, this moment of levity has given us the inspiration for our annual mini-campaign. As mentioned elsewhere, I initially conceived of the Arrugginiti as a sect that branched off from the Iron Warriors once they had completely cast their lot with Nurgle –hence the rust. The, forgive me, chaotic nature of this battle suggested that precise moment of schism, in which a single intermingled force of Chaos becomes irreconcilably two antagonistic forces of Chaos. The table seemed to suggest that there was a good deal more happening just outside the edges, and we were/are quite happy to work that out –as well as tell the specific story of this schism- in the coming months. Already, several models have made themselves worthy of more attention.

Mayhem ensued. See you Sunday for part two and a proper summary of the evening’s events. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Top Ten Models.... according to me: #9 Ghouls

I suspect that this choice may be something of a surprise or, at the very least, unexpected (-perhaps controversial even?). I ask only that you hear me out before consigning this list to the heap. Please do.

If the lesson from the last Top Ten model revolved around understatement, then today’s selection(s… and yes, this is a two-for-one deal) takes that basic premise and moves it one tremendous step further into the ditch.

Less is more.

Certainly, there is little of dynamic flair worth note on either of these individuals; however, where the Magus is stagnant yet imposing as a result of that insincere modesty, these figures gain their menace from their utter lack…

They are a bone, a loincloth, and disquieting emaciation. Full stop.

That is all. There is, quite simply, nothing to them. Granted, the sculpting could be more dramatic, but to ask for such is also to miss the complexity in their respective poses –specifically, I am thinking both of the gesturing in the hands (the right hand on the green and orange model suggests classical sculpture to me) and the way each model actually stands with weight in the pose. Each has a formal balance that I find appealing, and which is made all the more so by the fact that the only details to speak of are found in the corporeal figure itself.

Well. Given the simplicity and the simple aphorism less is more, I painted both of these fellows with a consciously limited palatte.

The first fellow was a test run on the theme of limiting palatte; he is basically two colors with a third blustering its way onto the base. He was also an experiment in variation within a single color –as I tried to make the hands and feet more ruddy than the rest of the skin tones. Likewise, I chose the purplish-pink skin deliberately to offset the yellows in the bone and cloth (which are, in fact, the same color). I will let other decide how well this worked, but I feel compelled to note that this experiment could/would likely only happen on such a stripped down figure, both literally and figuratively. 

The second effort is an obviously more ambitious and complicated treatment of the other figure in the blister (indeed, this figure made the first cut at Gamesday once upon a time, which is just about as far as I might reasonably hope). This time, I was keen to work up from a common base/shade color toward the otherwise opposing colors, green and orangish. I think only that base color holds those colors together, but in the end the effect may come off a bit contrived (I am not certain –but suspect this is particularly true in areas like the loincloth and bone?). The total effect is gathered together my both shading and highlighting the disparate color with the same selections –shades in purple and highlights in a bleached bone(ish) mixture blended into the actual hue be it green or orange.

In sum, I was and am extremely fond of the model.  

And once more I must reiterate that this experiment could only work on a model so stripped and simple. Moreover, I should also mention that neither of these fellows has a practical role on any army that I own. Neither has spent a single second on the tabletop (though I might like to press the round-baser into service as a zombie overlord or somesuch if I ever... oh, hell. That won't ever happen). I purchased and painted them because I felt utterly compelled to do so -for the love. I realize that the "because it's there" disposition may be a nebulous criteria for a list such as this but it is, nevertheless, a significant one. I painted these guys because I had to, because there unnerving form offered the opportunity to be creative, and because the bare bones poses already tell a very interesting story (to me. I hope to you as well).  

So that is two down and eight more to go (not including the honorable mentions that will appear here and there). I hope you have enjoyed these first installments. 

p.s. I am learning how to use the photobox slowly and slowly. I am not sure about the blue background that comes with it, but have yet to discover a simple remedy. thoughts?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wolves for the Wolf God.

This is just a quick post (to be followed by more reminders as the date in question nears) asking you to check out a local legend and brother in blog. 

Skarvald the Troll-Faced is holding a fine giveaway over on his blog Wolves for the Wolf God. I mentioned this fine fellow recently in the Stylish Blogger bru-hoorah, but want to direct your attention specifically to that giveaway. Would it not seem inappropriate at best, and highly suspect at worst, I would have thrown my hat in for this prize from the word go. Alas.

My hypothetical loss is your potential gain, so check out ole Skarvald and have a spin at those Renegades.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Heroes of Armageddon

Today, I would to redirect your attention to the Heroes of Armageddon project… not only because today’s update introduces yours truly as the fifth Beatle, but also because Heroes of Armageddon is an unapologetically grand idea, brilliantly assembled and executed.

I suspect that many, if not all, of you are already familiar with the project, so I will not need to lay the foundational details for you once more. Instead, please let me simply reiterate the fundamental point of all this gloriousness –Doctors Without Borders. I cannot think of a single other example in which our collective hobby can and will contribute to the benefit of the “real” world in which we live so remarkably and so importantly.

Win. Lose. Other. Your contribution will help someone out there, someone in desperate need of that assistance, in incredibly valuable ways. I believe it worthwhile, when considering the potential such an endeavor might have in the real world, to think of it in real terms -the tangible benefits of your time and money will have.

That alone should be fine reason to participate –if, however, you require more prompting, consider also the scope of this project with regard to our fine hobby. The Teams that have been assembled to execute this project are simply stunning. Indeed, I encourage you to take another look at the teamleaders who will be creating the four armies up for offer: Dave Taylor, Thomas “Goatboy” Reidy, Chris “Jawaballs” Dubuque, and Rob “Spikey Bits” Baer. Legends. Every One.


The saws are about to come out of the garage once more, and work will get underway in earnest. I will be updating on the progress of the HoA tables on a regular basis over the next two and a half months. In the mean time, let me just say that I fully intend to make several grand steps up from the work you are already familiar with here. It is going to be good... stay tuned. 

[quick note: we will pick up with the regularly scheduled program (Top Ten Models …according to me) tomorrow. See you then. ]

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Top Tip: but first, shame on you

I know what you are thinking, and you know what you are thinking, and we both know that you should be ashamed of yourself.

Generally speaking, I use the paint stick when priming my models; however, I spent a lot of time in various art supply stores during the period immediately preceding AdeptiCon and, on one such trip, I spotted these odd little fellows in a bundle of about 50 or so. Yes. Yes. I know. Stay with me.

In the spirit of something new, I figured that I would give these quirky things a trial run some day. That day was several days ago. And why not.

As you will note, I have conveniently entered phase two of my Warmachine expansion (in which Amon Ad-Raza gets his oats) and, as more than a few of the Warmamodels are quite precariously situated, I wanted to step away from the stick. Although rare, I have dropped a model or two off the paint stick while twisting around for that difficult nook/cranny and, considering the aforementioned precariousness of the Warmamodels, any tumble would be utterly disastrous.

The pictures really tell the story here, so I would like to add a note on calamity and precariousness: I acquired some new generic super glue and gave the plastics a bath before assembly. The Heavy Jack went together wonderfully, but the Light Jack still gave me all kinds of bother. The poor bastard has more pins in him than… ummm… something with a lot of pins in it all the time. I’ll get back to you on that one.

The light spear-and-magic-helmet jack is together, but the experience has discouraged me from attempting light plastic jack number four. You can see part of that jack on the base of Heavy Warjack number two, and you will likely be seeing more pieces of him on various sundry bases in the future. It is a tough world. Get used to it.

On the other end of the spectrum, the metals worked as expected, both for better and for worse: plenty of pins (one in each hand for Ad-Raza, which makes the pose a little off. oh well) and one or two each for the choice’s little scroll thingys. No significant problem. That is what one would expect after all. 

The delicate parts behaved as they will  –the choir leader lost the top of his staff because it was so desperately placed …and I am holding my breath for calamity with Ad-Raza’s ball and chain. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Still, he is such a tremendously cool model that I absolutely must paint him and, if all goes to plan (please hold chain –please hold), he will be my Warcaster of choice for the future. 

So back to the digital-prophylactics. 

They worked a treat. I was able to hold each model as desired and to twist/turn each model as needed, and found all those challenging crannies with an ease that would make the paint stick envious. Of course, I neglected the pinky and paid a small price for my carelessness. I would not endorse this method for large batches –for that I’ll stick with the stick- but for the small, individual effort or a special model with difficult spots, I expect to break these odd fellows out.

At ease, boys. Get some rest. 

See you Monday for Top Model …according to me: #9.