Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dark Angels 4th Company Devastator Squads

I have always loved weapons that do not allow for armor saves. It takes one less chance to escape, away from the enemy. My 9th ad 10th Squads reflect that idea with their armaments.

Back in the day, my first Devastator squad was armed with one lascannon and three plasma cannons. It didn't cause any issues on the field, because I rarely played them. So, I never expanded them beyond the requisite sergeant and the gunners. Back in the 3rd edition days, the Devastator squads had to pay double for their heavy weapons. That is the main reason why they almost never saw the field among Space Marine players.

I slowly expanded the one squad into two 5 man squads, one with lascannons, and the other with just plasma. Even then, they were still underarmed as I never added the fourth plasma cannon. It wasn't until much later that I added an extra 5 guys to each squad to make them full 10 man squads.

Half of the two squads are my wave one guys. The rest are all wave two marines, but backed down to fit in with the rest of the unit. If you look at the plasma cannons, you can probably figure out which one is the newest. You may also figure out which las cannon gunner is the original.

Anyway, in play, I rarely field them without combat squadding them. The plasma cannons do great when operating in two units of two cannons in each. Four in a single squad really is overkill. With them split up, they really can cover each other pretty well and add a real deterrent to deep striking units or denying objectives. 

The lascannon squad can go multiple ways. Leaving them as a single 10 man squad leaves quite a few ablative wounds to make the four lascannons even more durable and dangerous to Riptides, Land Raiders, etc. Splitting them up again makes for two squads of practically twin-linked lascannons  for when you absolutely want to hit them hard. Even squadding one into just 5 standard marines can allow for them to advance and capture or even harass the enemy, while the four lascannons wreak havoc.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dark Angels 4th Company Fast Attack Squads

So, I have showcased my 4th Company Tactical Squads. This week it is the turn of the Fast Attack Squads. As a former Imperial Guard Player, I always feared hated Assault Squads! They could always get in on my guys in a turn or two. With them jumping from cover to cover, there was little I could do to them, until they showed themselves. When I started making my Dark Angels, I knew I had to have a squad of them.

My first Squad was part of my wave 2 of painting. Not as basic as my first wave Marines, the second wave tended to have more experimentation involved with them. I still created a unified look with these Marines with the same markings and insignia among them. I did mix in some running legs and standing legs, to break up the monotony.

The main thing that sets them apart from my other squads was the Company marking on top of the jet pack and with some of them standing among flat pieces of slate. The Sergeant is actually pinned onto the piece of slate down through to the base. The superglue did not hold well, if at all, with the slate. At this point in time, the Updated Dark Angels Codex had just come out at the end of 3rd edition 40k, so no other options available beyond plasma pistols. Not long after, the 4th edition Marines came out with the flamer option.

The chainswords are actually quite easy to replicate. Paint the entire casing yellow, how ever you want to do it. I then use a Micron pen and coordinate with the teeth of the blade, I markk a spot on the top of the casing and match it up at the bottom of the casing. I step over two more teeth and do the same thing. I then draw a line from the top mark to the one just a couple steps over. I then fill in the space with the pen.

                                                                      \       \       \
                                                                        \       \        \

The other squad of Assaut Marines are part of my third wave of painting. Third wave figures cover the period after the Dark Vengeance release. Among the first releases for 6th Edition, the Unforgiven finally got a much needed update to help them catch up with the standard Marine, which later again bypassed them and left them as a poor choice for some time. 

I wanted to take advantage of a safe delivery system for my Assault Squad as I added flamers to this squad. By removing the jump packs and getting a drop pod for free, I have an even better chance to position the flamers in a prime position for damage. The enemy must then allocate forces to deal with them immediately, else they have the potential to wreak havoc in their backfield.

My 8th Squad sergeant has a banner where the 7th Squad does not. The reason is due to aerodynamics. I would imagine a banner causing too much drag, hence the gold static standard on the 7th sergeant.

In gameplay, I love the maneuverability of the jump packs, yet most of the terrain in my area is not conducive for them. The 8th squad has really shined with them dropping right next to the enemy via drop pod, unloading the flamers then holding out for quick reinforcements.

As far as being colorblind, a case in point is the symbol on the right shoulder showing their unit designation, is practically invisible to me. The red symbol is extremely difficult for me to pick out. Looking at just a moment ago, I thought I accidentally left it blank.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tooting My Own Horn!

Not in a flatulent sense, but I am tooting my own horn as GW just called me out on their first Advent Day Video! A couple of months ago, GW sent out a cry for assistance to help in ideas for what they can do on their excellent painting tutorials hosted by Duncan Rhodes. I threw quite a few ideas their way. Mainly, the ones that give most people problems or pause. One of the biggest painting bugaboos is White armor!

At about 24 seconds in, Duncan calls out my name in response to 'How to Paint White Scars Power Armor'. This is really good 'primer' video for painting white armor.

You could always cut a step and airbrush the armor in Ulthuan Grey as well. Then proceed with the wash into the recesses, mixed with acrylic medium, followed by the white edge highlighting. The main point to remember is, always water down your white to avoid the clunky, chalky look that can happen when it is too thick. Multiple coats of a thinned white will work.

Meanwhile, I should be getting back to painting soon. The excess work on the house is still not complete. The guy that will be doing, will not be available until January. Until then, I have reset part of the room to allow for some work to be done until then.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dark Angels 4th Company

The Dark Angels

I keep talking about and mentioning my Dark Angels. I've shown snippets of them and such, but not much else. In my downtime, I have taken a few pics of my 4th Company Marines. This is the beginning of their time on the blog.

I started my Dark Angels way back in 2003, after finally giving in and doing a Marine Company. I had been completely sick of Marines being everywhere and beating up on my Mordian Imperial Guard and Order of the Martyred Lady: Adepta Sororitas. I did paint up a squad of Deathwatch Marines previously that I used alongside those two armies, but otherwise I had no Marines at all.

Why the Angels? Everybody had blue, black, grey, or red Marines at the time. I thought about Salamanders, but I just didn't dig their background as much as the Dark Angels. Besides, the Dark Angels give the option of three different armies if wanted, with the Deathwing and Ravenwing added on.

My Marines have been painted in three waves. The first wave was done in fairly generic GW form, painted Dark Angels green, with varying light greens for highlighting. This was when I was starting to really hate painting bleached bone... It's coverage was so bad, yet I persevered. All the guns were done in black as I couldn't stand the red guns that were shown in the original pictures. Anything laser or plasma got a red cowling around the barrel. The first wave Marines were to get me a functional 1500pt army on the table.

No matter what, each squad was equipped with the same armor, helmets, and backpacks. This was chosen to add uniformity. Every member had their company emblem painted into their kneepad. I don't remember why I chose the right knee. At some point it came about that it was supposed to be their left knee pad, no matter. 

A majority of the banners are from The Dark Fortress. A wonderful website for almost anything regarding the Dark Angels. In this case, I printed the PDFs and sprayed the entire back of the page with an old can of GW Bleached Bone. The banners were then cut out and attached from there.

My second wave of Marines started to get brighter and a bit sharper highlights. This wave was to begin to fill in holes that I found in my army. When I build a squad, I don't go for the magnet route. If I need a Marine to have 'x' weapon, I will build a guy with that item. Or in these cases, I just build another squad. 

With the fourth squad I started to give the individual members different items or emblems. While keeping to the same helmet, chest, and backpack, I switched up the squad insignia. I stretched myself some with this squad, the Marine with the empty bolter using his pistol. One with a bolter strapped around him. The fourth squad is probably my best but not my latest.

The third wave of my Marines came about with the Dark Vengeance box set. At its release I had completed squads 1st thru 4th, 7th, and half of 9th and 10th, a little over half. Painting up the Dark Angel Squad from the box put me close to finishing a complete company.

When the box set came out, Games Workshop had already dropped their Dark Angels Green paint. Since they couldn't trademark the name, they created a new color, Caliban Green. These guys re not painted in that color. I found it too 'off'. I used the Army Painter Dark Green for the third wave models. Still, it does not match up. I was also more subtle with the edge highlighting; that could have been a mistake. Especially with the 6th Squad, where the highlights are too subtle. The sergeant for the 6th Squad is an old special release that GW had for a while. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Another Blatant eBay Post

Sorry, the craft room is still under construction. The light is starting to grow at the end of the tunnel as we have a person who can/will complete the trim that the framers were unable to do satisfactorily. I am hoping by the time Thanksgiving comes around I can get back to work. I am getting a bit stir crazy, which is why I am putting stuff up on eBay. Please follow the link to see the sales.

Here are a few things that I have going up tonight that may interest some:
One of two classic Warpfire Throwers for sale

Rat Swarm

A Scibor sculpted Wood Elf Standard Banner

A Scibor sculpted Wood Elf Lord

Limited Edition Void Shield Generator

A set of 8 Dryads

The other set of 8 Dryads

I may post some more pictures of the Dryads. They were something that sat on my shelf for about a year as I just couldn't figure out how to finish them. Finally, I just pushed on and added paint letting things build and flow naturally.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Skaven Screaming Bell

This is another 'sale' post

I painted up the Screaming Bell not long after the Warp Lightning Cannon. I pretty much followed the same steps as that process. 
Currently it will be up for sale starting Wednesday of next week with a starting price of $20. 

The accompanying Grey Seer was painted up waay back in 2011 in the Action Poses post. He will not be included in the sale. I may sell him later on, but for now I am keeping him. The bell ringer is also staying in my household for now. 

A couple other items I will be posting are some Rat Ogres in groups of three. All of the rat ogres were done up back in 2011 for reference.

Here a few before pics of some of the beasties. The old rat ogre were such ugly sculpts. To add to their ugliness, GW hadn't really figured out a way to make hairy models fit properly with multi-poseable arms. That is why you see the greenstuff on the arms. I had to fit them on without looking so bad. 

GRRR!! I must eat the bunny! A small rabbit I made with leftover greenstuff for my wife. Which was then hastily eaten when by the monster when I turned away...

This guy was created by my wonderfully talented friend Mike. He just doesn't have the time to paint anymore, especially with a child now. This was his guy he built for Mordheim. Being that he was all metal, the extra arm from Ghazaghkull Thraka  and the spiked ball had him doubling his weight. I definitely should have weathered the shoulder pad more back then....


And the Doom Flayers I put together some time ago. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Been a While

It has been a while done my last post. My craft room is again under construction due to re-plastering and other annoying repairs needed on the house. We are hoping that it be completed before Halloween. It's been ongoing since February 16th....frustrating is the key word here. There were times that we thought it was completed, I got some stuff done during July/August. Then it was discovered that some of the framing was rotted and needed to be replaced. First world problems here!

So since then I've been grabbing things I no longer need or want and throwing them on eBay. For example there is this walled farm house I am quite proud of. Excepting the streak on the farm house roof. A bit of wash got loose. It's not that noticeable until seen in the photos, honest. No, Timmy the Scythes Scout is not in the sale.

As far as painting this piece, it was more of an experiment with airbrushing. The entire piece was airbrushed with base colors throughout. The real trial and error parts came when adding the white to the barn and farm house. I was forced to be more careful with the spraying. Having to carefully limit the spraying to the narrow spaces. I was able to prevent much of the overspray by coming in at an angle.

After the base colors were put down. Just like a regular model, the detail work, dry brushing and washing  were then added. I also placed some grass in corners and flowery plants in the little garden in the corner. For what it was before, I was pleased with how it came out. Overall, it's a really nice piece if not just a tad bit small for 30mm figures. It's more on the scale of 25mm

For the most part I am selling off old unused Skaven figures. My seller link is here. I will be selling off some Warhammer Wood Elves soon along with some old Grendel scenery too.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Scythes of the Emperor and Black Library

GW's Black Library has just released a short story as part of their Summer of Reading. Their first release of the second week is The Shadow of the Beast, featuring the Scythes of the Emperor! Think of this as a beginning to their encounter with hive Fleet Kraken.
Completely used without GW's consent, but all credit goes to them!!

It is a short story. But being as it is about the Scythes, I am getting it. Add it to the other published Scythes story Orphans of the Kraken, in the now called Space Marines: The Omnibus. Excuse me, I have some reading to accomplish...

Thursday, August 20, 2015


This post can be a boring or even irrelevant post for most people. As our craft room in the house is again under construction due to discovered rotten wooden frames, I decided to talk about something else. Today I am talking about colorblindness and how it corresponds to me and my situation.

I am red/green colorblind. I have known for sure since I tried to apply as a Nuclear Engineer for the US Navy. I failed their colorblind test during the initial physicals. Unable to see the numbers within the circles was a bit frustrating. I had no idea what these other kids were seeing.  The testers notified me of the deficiency just as I was about to take the first entrance math test. I guess being able to differentiate colored buttons on a panel would be rather important in a nuclear crisis. Having failed that, I went from a potential high paying job to Data Processor, who were a dime a dozen. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. Afterwards, my mother had me checked by an eye doctor to verify the findings.

I was given a test of about 30 colored pieces ranging from blue to purple with the first blue and the last purple not movable. There were other pieces, red, oranges, greens, and yellows in spaces between, and I had to fill them in. I lined them all up perfectly, except that the yellows at the end didn't really match up with the purple at the end. Basically, I placed a blue piece then a purple which then flowed into reds/greens, and then oranges/yellows, as opposed to blues, greens, yellows, oranges, reds to purples. I guess that explains why the Los Angeles Lakers weren't dressed in Blue and Gold.

For the most part I can tell colors apart. It's not all black and white. I can see reds. I can see blues. But I may not see a difference with a shade of blue and purple, or a shade of green and brown or even yellow. Worst of all are pastels, with the greens, yellows, and some browns almost being indistinguishable. Or the blues, purples, pinks, and grey giving me the the same problem. Learning my shortcoming, I would just avoid those circumstances where possible and carry on.

I haven't really struggled with being colorblind. There are few situations that pop up where it really matters. Although, during paint ball there was the time the enemies's orange flag was sitting among the green leafed bushes that I was unable to make out. Resulting in me getting shot with victory within arm's reach. Everybody else was confused on why did I not just grab the flag sitting right in front of me? I couldn't see it, and the judge wasn't going to tell me where it was... Me being the last member on my side, we lost.

Further down the road of life, other things began to become more noticeable.  Getting dressed can be embarrassing at times when I mix my browns and greens thinking they matched, or my blues and purples, or various other combinations. Multicolored ties definitely didn't fit in too well with my wardrobe! I slowly tended to favors black or white shirts a lot, very difficult to mess those up.

Traffic lights for me are in order from top to bottom Red, Yellow, and White, not Green! That's fine. As I know the order and what to look for, but what if that light at night was sitting amongst a set of street lights? I would be hard pressed to pick out the 'green' traffic light amongst the other lights as they all appear white to me. Usually, I would never notice the traffic light at all in those cases. This could lead to a sudden stopping or running of a light since I was unable to judge the timing of a suddenly appearing traffic light. This is also compounded by the fact that at night, the red and yellow lights are practically the same for me. So, do I stop at this flashing light, or do I go through it? Not knowing if it is red or yellow. That can be problematic.

Which leads me into painting miniatures. Being unable to match a painted model or picture for it's colors, I have to rely on known formats.
Ultramarines are blue,
Blood Angels are Red,
All Chaos is evil, 
And Dark Angels (in green) shoot them dead!

I have to use color charts. The one Games Workshop came out with several years ago I still use. They also have an even older one, but I didn't scan that one. Besides, most, if not all, of these colors are no longer available. Although, I never realized that Snakebite Leather was an orange. At least, whenever I use it my wife asks, 'why did you paint it orange?' For me the Blood Red is a true red. It's a strong color, very vibrant. Yet a friend of mine says it's too red, the Mechrite Red is a truer red. That just never made sense to me. Back me up on that if you can.

As I slowly understand the limits of what I can see and do, I began to expand and experiment with my painting. My wonderful wife is always there to help me pull out and match up families of colors. She is quick to point out if a green is too blue or has too much yellow to go with the the other green I picked out. She was the one to notice the 'pink' tone on my dozer blade. Me, not knowing any better used Rose Madder as a dirty brown color for my oil filters, not realizing it was a red! I have never heard of Rose Madder outside of a Steven King story! Thinking the blade was coming out quite nice, I never knew there was pink all over it. I still don't see it! This led to a repaint and a very frustrated painter for a couple of days, having to try and fix or cover up other spots of 'pink'.

Just now, am I using a wet palette. Since I can control the colors that are being used, I have confidence I can't mess it up too much! I just limit myself to 'avoid those circumstances where possible and carry on'. I am adapting.

And this carries into correcting the colorblindness problem. Enchroma is a site that is trying to find the limits of human color vision and correct colorblind deficiencies. Enchroma has a test you can take to get an idea of what level of colorblindness you have. Taking it several times, I usually come out with a Strong Protan, which in their description, sounds like it's the last step before full black/white vision. The link has a nice explanation of what I see in relation to other people. It even mentions the traffic light dilemma. Although, you cannot convince me that peanut butter is NOT green! You may also notice I didn't say 'normal' people a couple of sentences ago. I, may actually be right. Just because I am a minority, doesn't mean I am wrong!

Friends have sent me links about finally being able to see color. Or videos where people put the Enchroma glasses on, and voila! everything becomes the way it is for 'other' people.

Wouldn't this be awesome?!?! Especially for us red/greens? 

I ordered a pair of the $350 glasses with some ebay money I gathered. The glasses arrived in a very nice case with a nano fiber cloth to clean them. The pair of glasses I chose were rather fashionable, if I say so myself, the Cx Gamma* set. The glasses sat in their case unused for about a month. What was I getting into?
*I don't know why they say it's not available until November '15?
Anyway, there was a SeaWorld trip we had planned with several of our friends. I brought the glasses along to pull them out and give them a shot when I was ready.

For all the videos you see, it's a fairly big deal for the people to see colors in a different way. To be able to see a distinction with the greens and yellows. You can tell they are visibly moved when they can see purple for example. Honestly, I was a little scared to put them on. How will this change me? Will my blue car no longer have the same appeal as it did when I chose it? Would I be able to see how badly I painted my Dark Angels? My wife was afraid I wouldn't like her naturally red hair any more. 

Well, there was a garden of flowers in bloom just waiting for me to see them in their natural hues. Putting the glasses on, I must admit they seem to almost glow with iridescence. But everything else had a more reddish tinge to it. All the blues were more purple. The yellows and tans had an orange or peachy tinge to them. Greens were different, but not noticeably so. The reds were stronger that was for sure. They almost glowed like an infra-red, very off. It was almost like how tv shows depict colors in the ultraviolet spectrum that bees see. For me, apparently, the glasses upped the red factor but not the greens. I can see differentiate reds just fine in my opinion. The glasses were not helping.Maybe I need to wear them more? I can't say seeing more red will help me out anymore though. 

That day ended up being a tad depressing. Not quite as bad as the Navy physicals day. My hopes were up that I would repeat the videos I had seen. Telling myself I wouldn't cry like the guys in youtube clips. Soon, I would wear my fancy glasses while painting to get an idea of what I needed to work on. None of the high hopes came to pass. Peanut butter is still green and Clorox is still blue. Maybe I should avoid driving at night and stick with black and white shirts. Put down the paint brush and find a new hobby? The hell with that, I will just avoid those circumstances where possible and carry on!