Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting Back into Gaming

A few months ago, I had moved into a new apartment. It was far enough from my old place that I needed to start going to a closer Games Workshop. A few days ago, I finally had the opportunity to go in and introduce myself.

I brought in my Titan and all the Ultramarines that I had finished. I also brought in the Devastator squad that I was still working on. I've never transported an unfinished squad before, so I was a little worried. Thankfully, they were okay. No paint rubbed off at all.

After showing up and introducing myself, I was able to play a 1,000 point game with someone I had met there. He was pretty new to the game and I hadn't played in a long time, so we left our rule books open and figured stuff out together.

My opponent: Chaos Space Marines

The 2nd Company takes aim at the Chaos downrange

Marking the bases helps since they have no arms yet

I ended up winning in the end, but the match taught me a few things about how to use my army. I learned that I'm not set up well for close combat. He brought two squads of jump infantry and I was luckily able to blow them off the table before they got to my gun line.

All in all, it was a good trip. I'm still going to focus on painting, but I think I'll start making time every once in a while to head down there and get a game in more often.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Third Tactical Squad Complete

Since coming back from my field time with the Army, I've put a lot of work back into my Ultramarines.I now present to you my third and final tactical squad. Check out the Ultramarines page to see the new squad!

It feels good to have this squad done. Having a third tactical squad to work with gives me a lot more flexibility on the battlefield. Also, painting three tactical squads in a row has become quite tedious. I was painting marines with bolters after marines with bolters after marines with bolters and it was becoming a bit difficult to find the motivation to continue. Now that the mainstay of my army is complete, I can start focusing on things that are different and, in my opinion, more fun to paint.

Right now, I'm working on a devastator squad comprised of a sergeant, three missile launchers, and a lascannon. Once those are done, I'll be at 1,000 points and I can really start playing more.

I'm making sure to take pictures of my devastators through every step of the painting process. After the squad is complete, I'm hoping to post up several tutorials to help everyone see how I get the results I do. First and foremost is a nice armor tutorial. I'm also hoping to get several other tutorials out of this squad; weapons, lenses and bases being among those covered.

So stay tuned! There's good stuff coming!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Review: Kill Team

I was poking around the XBox Live Marketplace when I found Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team. I knew it existed, but I was holding out for Space Marine. After seeing this in the Marketplace for just $4.99, I couldn't pass it up.

Before I begin, let me say that you get what you pay for and Kill Team is no different. Having paid just $4.99, it's not a very long game and the graphics aren't the best in the world. It's pretty simple gameplay, too. Move around with the left thumbstick and shoot with the other one. One button throws grenades, another one is your "action" button, and a third one uses your special moves. That's it. As simple as it is, however, it's very fun and well thought out.

The premise of the game is that an Ork Kill Kroozer is heading for some unnamed forge world, when out of nowhere, a Cestus Assault Ram goes careening into the side of it and you pop out to kill a whole slew of Orks and systematically disable the vessel. Along the way, you'll see some pretty cool stuff. You'll fight a couple of minelayer vessels plucked right out of the pages of White Dwarf. You'll kill a weird boy, fight Tyranids, and even take down a Stompa. That last part is really hard, by the way.

In the game, you have the ability to play as a Sternguard, a Vanguard, a Techmarine, or a Librarian. Each one has his own weapon and his own special move. One thing I really like about the game is how they did the special moves. Take a look at this:

See that little ring around each player? That's your meter for your special move. When it builds all the way up, hit your special move button and your character will do something cool resulting in a bunch more dead Orks than usual. The thing I like about this feature is that the ring reminds me of a model on a base. That, in conjunction with all the things that are plucked right off of the tabletop (you'll see when you fight the minelayers or the Stompa). It helps bring the tabletop game back into the videogame. Not many 40k videogames do that.

For the $4.99 I paid for this game, I really loved it. It's a really fun way to unwind from a long day at work after my eyes have gotten tired and told me they don't want to stare through the magnifying glass anymore. All in all, it's a great game and I'm really glad I bought it. I suggest you get it too. I think that any 40k gamer would like it. It's simple, yet fun.

As far as the regular hobby goes, I'm almost done. I have two models sealed and the rest of the tactical squad waiting to have their backpacks finished. I know my timeline keeps getting longer, but I'm really hoping that by the end of the next work week, my squad is complete and I can focus on my Devastators from there.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

1,000 Points on the Horizon

After a month in the field with the Army, I'm finally back in the land of the... uh... showered. Now that all my field time is over, I have a ton of free time to devote to the hobby again.

Before I left, I was working on my third and final tactical squad for my Ultramarines 2nd company. Now that I'm back, I'm working on the last few steps before I can get this squad on the table. Painting tactical squads have become pretty tedious. For the most part, I’m just painting marines with boltguns followed by marines with boltguns. Needless to say, I’ll be really happy when this particular squad is finished, marking the completion of this squad as one of the most important steps in the building of this army.

All that's left is backpacks and bases.

Hopefully, I’ll have this squad complete within the week. After that, I have a 5-man Devastator squad to do. That shouldn’t take too terribly long. Once the Devastator squad is sealed, the Ultramarines will be ready to play at 1,000 points. Somewhere in the middle of painting all this blue, I’m planning on putting up a tutorial or two. Stay tuned for more from The 40k Hobbiest!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Taking a Break

In my last post, we discussed ways to come back from a long break. We went over things you could do to get back into the hobby after being away for a while. On the flip side of things, however, what can we do if we know we're going to be taking a break for whatever reason? What can we do to help us come back later when we know that we're going to be away for a while? Keep reading and we'll figure it out together.

For starters, get your reading list made up and take some 40k books with you. The root of this blog comes from the fact that I'm soon to be doing a long period of field training with my Army unit. I already have my list of books that I'll be taking with me so that I can keep reading while I'm in the field. In my last post, we said that reading 40k books is a good way to get your mind thinking about the universe and will excite you into painting again. Just as it can get you going again, reading the 40k books is the number one thing that is going to keep me excited about painting while I'm unable to do so. It'll help keep me motivated so that when I come back, I'll be painting straight away. Podcasts and the like work the same way.

I know that I'm going to stay motivated for when I get back, but what can we do before we take our break? You're obviously going to pack up your models to keep them safe while you're gone, but what about your current project? I for one know that my current project, an Ultramarines tactical squad, won't be finished before I head off into the field. Also, I don't feel comfortable putting my unfinished models into a foam tray because putting them in and taking them out of the foam can rub the paint off if you're not careful. I don't want to just leave them on the table, either. If I do that, they'll just collect dust by the time I get back. That just sounds like too much work to fix. BeforeI go to the field, I'll be putting my unfinished models into my glass display cabinet. There' they'll be protected from dust and any other random things that could occur to them. For those of you that don't have a display case, putting your models in a closet or draping a cloth or paper towel over them will achieve the same effect.

After protecting your models, you need to protect your brushes and paints too. Games Workshop sells their brushes with little plastic tubes to protect the bristles. I always keep mine so that if I ever need to, I can put them back on and store the brushes. If you've thrown your brush protectors away, you can make new ones out of duct tape or something similar. Just make sure to put the sticky side away from the bristles.

As for protecting your paints, there's not much to do. Games Workshop's new paint pots do a pretty good job at keeping your paints from drying out, but just to be safe I'm going to put my paint pots into a plastic bag before I go. That way I know I won't have to worry about them being dried out when I get back.

We seem to have all our bases covered at this point, but there's still one last thing to do. While you've been painting, you've been thinking up all sorts of little rules and things to remember about your current painting project. Make sure you write all that stuff down before you walk away from your project for a while. Write down what step you're currently on, too. Even if it sounds obvious, write it down. You'll thank yourself when you get back to it later.

While you're gone, staying motivated is the biggest thing you can do. Forgetting to protect your paints, brushes, or models can all be fixed in time, but if you're not motivated to get back into the hobby it won't matter. Keep reading those books while you're out. If you can, keep up with your 40k forums, podcasts, and blogs.

Before I go, it's time for a little hobby update. I've been working on my third tactical squad for my Ultramarines. Once they're done, I'll have all my core units finished and I can work on pretty much whatever I want to. I get excited every time I think about it. I won't be able to finish them before I go into the field, but about a week after I get back they should be finished and ready to play with. I'll be sure to add in some pictures to show you how they came out. This batch is producing some pretty awesome bolters!

Until then, take care!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting Back to the Hobby

Due to endless Army Field time, moving, apartment problems, and a bit of my own laziness, I haven't worked on my hobby in a while. Now that things have calmed down in my life, I've finally managed to sit down and start painting again. After being away from the hobby for so long and getting used to new routines in life, how does one find the motivation to pick up the paint brush again?

In my own experience, I hadn't done absolutely anything 40k related in a little over two months. I was halfway through A Thousand Sons and I hadn't even read any more of it. My half-finished tactical squad was untouched on the table. I hadn't even read any updates on games- After everything calmed down in life and things returned to normal, I just couldn't bring myself to spend untold hours in front of a magnifying glass like I used to. So I ask again: how does one return from hiatus and start devoting hours to 40k again?

Starting off easy by reading the novels is a great way to get started again. After the craziness in my life calmed down, I picked up A Thousand Sons and started reading every night before I went to sleep just like I always had. Reading about space marines in action and visualizing the epic battlefields always makes me want to paint more and more squads so I can play bigger games.

Lastly, one can always turn to the forums for a source of inspiration. When all else fails, nothing makes me want to paint more than seeing someone else's beautifully painted miniatures. Whenever I see someone else's work, I always find some new idea or technique that I want to apply to my own minis. That just makes me want to paint even more.

Now, I turn the question over to you. What inspires you to paint? After being away for a while, what do you do to get back into the hobby?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Tutorial: Parchment & Purity Seals

I've been to too many stores and seen too many people just paint their banners and purity seals with Bleached Bone and leave it at that. We can all do better, especially when we want to paint better than the tabletop standard. I think it's the little details that really help to bring the models to life and make them look great. To that, I posted a tutorial to help everyone get more detail out of their purity seals and other parchments. Head on over to the How To page and check it out!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Review: Older GW Codices

While I was visiting my friend in California, we went to a flea market at his local game store. In my last post, I talked about going there and meeting Carl and Geoff from The Independent Characters. What I hadn't said was that, while I was there, I found several codices from previous editions.

In these older books, one can see older models and really see how the game has developed over the years. Stuff like this really helps me decide how to paint an army. Seeing the old Ultramarines from the third edition codex is what helped me decide on the color scheme that I'm using now. I like it a whole lot better than the newer scheme with black weapons and gold everywhere. These older codices also have "model showcases" that aren't in the newer books. In the old Codex: Chaos Space Marines, I found a few converted minis that I'd never seen before. Codex: Space Wolves has a really nicely painted bike squad just inside the front cover. Codex: Dark Angels has a fantastic chapel diorama just inside the inside cover of that book. While the models aren't as good as the ones from today, there are some fantastic ideas and great ways to get inspiration for the hobby that just can't be found in the newer codices.

Also, the older codices are full of stories and background material that isn't in the newer versions of the game. This is my favorite part. The fluff that comes from these older codices sometimes doesn't match up completely with what's currently in print, but it clearly shows the evolution of the universe and of the game itself. In some of the xenos codices I picked up, I read a few stories of Imperial scientists researching things that, in the current editions, are known fact. And if you look closely, you may even read something that you never knew before.

To me, older codices add something to the game that I can't get from the newer editions. If I ever come across an old book that I don't have and isn't in print anymore, I'm probably going to buy it on the spot. If you want to get heavily into the Warhammer 40,000 background then I suggest you keep an eye out too. They're hard to find, but well worth it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vacation to California, Met IC Podcast

On Wednesday, my wife and I left for a vacation to California to visit my buddy and his fiancee. He's an avid 40k gamer, so we went down to Game Kastle, his local gaming store, and played a game. My Ultramarines managed to beat his Tau in a game of victory points. It was a little close at the end, but after not playing a game for as long as I had, I think I did pretty well.

Ultramarines Devastators searching for Tau targets.

A few days later, we went back down to the same store for a flea market they were hosting. While I was there, I ran into Carl Tuttle from The Independent Characters, my favorite podcast! It was one of the highlights of the trip so far. I got a picture with him and Geoff, and then showed him some of my Ultramarines. For those of you who listen to the show, Carl is starting an Ultramarines army for his painting challenge, so I thought it would be neat to show him my army.

Left to right: Geoff, myself, and Carl

On the topic of Ultramarines, I'm reworking my entire Ultramarines army. In a few days time, I should have all new army lists posted. I think they're going to work a whole lot better than what I currently have. Keep checking back to see what I've come up with.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I've started working on my third (and final) Ultramarines Tactical Squad. I'm taking pictures after each step. Shortly after the squad is completed, I plan on posting a step-by-step tutorial on painting Space Marine armor using my techniques. Now that the Titan is done, producing tutorials is my main focus. Every squad I make should produce another tutorial or two for the How To page. Keep checking back; new content is on the way!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Titan Walks

Ladies and gentlemen, it's finally done. Canis Rex, my Mars Pattern Warhound Titan, is finally finished after about nine months of constant work. There are new pictures of it posted in the Other Models section right along with all the other ones I've posted. Head on over and check it out!

Not content to rest on my laurels, I've already moved on to my next project. Right now, I'm working on my third and final Ultramarines tactical squad. But more importantly, I'm taking pictures of every step as soon as I finish it. When this squad is done, I'm going to use the pictures to make a tutorial on painting space marine armor the way I do. Stay tuned, everyone. The tutorials are finally on their way!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Finecast, Titan Lasers and Necron Rumors

Well, it looks like the Army got in the way of things again. After three weeks of working out in the field, I come back to see that a lot has changed in the hobby. What's this Finecast stuff all about? Games Workshop is moving from metal to resin? As soon as I heard about it on 40k Radio, I ran straight for my local Games Workshop store to check it out. From what I've seen between my local GW store and the spread in White Dwarf, I think that the Finecast range shows a lot of promise. The real test, however, will come when I convert and paint up the Ultramarines Honor Guard to fit in with my Knights Bellicose.

I've never been one to rely heavily on rumors, but all the talk on 40k Radio, Bell of Lost Souls, and everywhere else on the internet seems to be pointing towards a re-release of Necrons in the August / September timeframe. I'll probably never play them but I'm still excited to see them get a new codex and new models. I've always thought that the current models were too flat and too plain for a painter to show off any real skill. When the re-release happens (if the rumors are indeed true), I'll definately be getting the codex and I might even paint a Necron or two for a painting challenge.
So, after drooling over all those new resin models, I decided to get back to work on what I was currently working on (which just happened to be resin anyway). I sat down at my painting table and fed my addiction to painting, trying to get back what the Army spent three weeks taking from me. I was able to completely finish the turbo laser arm on my titan and am now about halfway done with the plasma blastcannon. I have pictures posted up in the Other Models section so head on over and check them out!

As far as the painting goes, I've finally hammered out a painting schedule. With the unreliability of my work schedule, I can't post actual dates of when I'll have squads done or pictures posted but I can tell you what order I'll be working in. As soon as I finish the plasma blastcannon, I'll have a working titan. With that, I'm finally going to switch back to my Ultramarines after not touching them for almost a year. I'll do a squad of them (my last tactical squad probably), then an Eldar squad (Dire Avengers) and finally another titan weapon. After that, it's rinse/repeat. I'll do an Ultramarines squad, then an Eldar one, and then the final titan weapon. With the titan finally done, I'll just be going back and forth on the Eldar and Ultramarines until both armies are completely done. Then, and only then, will I start working on my Knights Bellicose. Maybe if I get bored, I'll start up a squad of them or maybe paint a few captains. Most importantly, however, I want to finish my two current armies before I start another one. Otherwise, I'll never finish anything.

Out in the field, I did some writing and figured out how all the officers in my Knights Bellicose are going to look. Here in the near future, head on over to their page to see just how I've planned them out.
Keep checking back for updates on the Knights Bellicose and to see the rest of my titan weapons! I should be updating those things pretty soon!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Titan is Almost Done

It's been a little while since my last update and I'm proud to say that my titan is nearing completion. The Other Models page has been almost completely overhauled to show all the new images that I've added. Head on over and check them out!

I've learned a lot in the painting of the head. Through painting my Princeps and Moderati, I was able to reinforce some of the ideas I came up with when painting my servitors. I think I've gotten a lot better at painting flesh and cloth. All the new techniques I've used on the Titan are going to go a long way towards making my Knights Bellicose look spectacular when I get that project off the ground. After the titan is complete, I plan on adding all these new techniques to the tutorials and posting them all in the How To section. It'll be good to finally start giving you something that you can get some real use from.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Titan Update and New Model Post

I just finished a major, major step on the Titan and have taken a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. The only things left at this point are the head and the weapons. Things should be getting pretty interesting very quickly around here now. Also, I posted pictures of my Space Wolf which may be the most important model I've ever painted. If you do nothing else during your visit to my blog, I ask above all else that you head on over to the Other Models page and see my Space Wolf.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: GW Painting Books

Pretty much since they were published, I've owned Games Workshop's "How to Paint Citadel Miniatures," "How to Paint Space Marines," and "How to Make Wargames Terrain." They seem to have served me well so far. A few days ago, however, I rounded out my collection of painting books with "How to Paint Citadel Tanks" and "IA: Model Masterclass Vol. 1" in the hopes that they'll give me some cool new techniques to use on my titan.

I have to say these two books have taught me so many new techniques to use for my larger models. I already knew the basics, but these have shown me how to weather my vehicles so they actually look like they've been used. I'm a little too far into my titan to be using stuff like that now, but I'm definately going to use some of these new weathering techniques around the barrels of the titan's weapons and things like that. Not only my titan, but all the future vehicles I make are going to look so much better because of these two books.

Additionally, the IA Masterclass book has a very detailed section in the beginning explaining what products they use and where to get them. Instead of using the blanket statement about how they only use GW products (the other painting books are guilty of that) the Forge World book explains what products they use to finish and convert their models. They even say where to get plasticard! I've always had such a hard time looking for that stuff and they've answered all my questions.

So if you've ever needed help with your vehicles and larger models, turn to "How to Paint Citadel Tanks" and "IA Model Masterclass Vol. 1." They'll be a big help.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Model Pictures Update

With today's update, everything I have painted is officially posted here on the blog. All future updates will be of things I just finished or tutorials that I've just written.

I have to say that the stuff I posted today is not my best work. I've learned more about a lot of techniques (not the least of which is painting flesh) and so I think that if I were to do them again, they would come out better. Fortunately, I have another unpainted titan crew, so after the titan is done, they'll get redone and look a whole lot better! But enough of my complaining. . .

I've decided that since I need to paint models specifically for any tutorial that I do, I won't be doing any tutorials until after the titan is completed. If I'm really lucky, I can take pictures as I paint my third tactical squad and turn that into a tutorial. Until then, however, look for another titan update in the near future.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Grey Knights Have Arrived!

The Grey Knights codex has been released for a little while now and everyone else seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, so I figured I should do the same. I've had these guys painted for a little while actually but because of the new codex I've finally posted some pictures of them. Head on over to the Other Models page and see the boys in grey!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

How To Section Started

I started the How To page today by posting my very first tutorial, the Getting Started tutorial. All my future tutorials will be based on the general information laid out in there, so check it out to get some good fundamentals down before we get into the more advanced stuff!

I finished a major step in the building of my Titan the other day. Pictures of the finished part has been uploaded to the Other Models section. Go take a look!

Also, I picked up the Grey Knights codex yesterday. I haven't made my final decision about them, but so far they're pretty powerful. I don't think they're rediculously overpowered like the Blood Angels are, but there's some things I didn't think I'd see. Everyone has psychic powers. Everyone. Even the techmarines. Even the rhinos! It's a little rediculous, but it seems to be balanced by the points cost of the individual models. I like it, but we'll see how it works out on the tabletop.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Double Eldar Update

Work has been really busy for me lately so I haven't been able to post in a while. To make it up to you guys, I've posted two Eldar updates this week! As of right now, the Eldar page is completely up to date. Every Eldar squad that I have finished has pictures of it on the Eldar page. Head on over to the Eldar page and check it out!

Next up, I'm planning on adding something to the How To page. If you've ever wanted to know how I do what I do, check back soon and you'll find out! As I'm working on my tutorials, I'm going to try to finish taking pictures of all my Ultramarines.

My main painting project is still my Titan. Here in another week or two, I should have enough accomplished to post another update on its progress. Keep checking back because more site updates are coming your way!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dreadnought, Titan Assembly, and More

Since this is a relatively new blog, all of my weekly updates tend to consist of me posting pictures of my already-painted squads or posting an army list or two. This week's update brings pictures of my Ultramarines dreadnought: Brother Agnathio. He's up on the Ultramarines page, so go check it out!

In other news, the work continues on the Titan. It's still my main project, which I've been working on exclusively since September. I've since finished the legs and have moved onto the upper body. In another week or so, there should be enough done that I can post some more pictures of my progress. Keep checking in for more 40k pictures! I'm planning on adding articles on the How To page pretty soon, too!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

More Army Pictures

Today was kind of a major update for the blog. I've added pictures of my Guardian squad and my Autarch to the Eldar page and the Captain to the Ultramarines page. I've also made some formatting changes to many of the pages. Wander around and see what's changed!

Just one of the pictures that went up today!

It seems that Games Workshop has been busy too.They've added some new Apocalypse datasheets and some new battle missions to the Astronomicon! They've even added some more Blood Angels stuff just in case you want to spend the rest of your life painting red or being hated by all your friends. It's no secret that I really don't like the Blood Angels for a multitude of reasons, but I have to say that some of their models look pretty cool. When the Grey Knights codex is released in April, I might be making a Stormraven or maybe even a Librarian Dreadnought.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ultramarines Update

I've just posted pictures of one of my tactical squads. It's not everything that I have in that army, but it's a start of the picture-taking. Head on over to the Ultramarines page and see what's there!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Army Lists Posted

No new pictures just yet, but the weekend isn't over. I have, however, posted a few army lists for the Ultramarines, Eldar, and Knights Bellicose using Google Docs. Another big thank you to my wife for showing me another way to get content to you! So head on over to my army pages to see how the armies are going to turn out! I'll post more army lists as I finish more units and get closer to being able to field that list in its entirety.

And in other news, Forge World has recently released the Ultramarines Transfer Sheet which will make it way easier to add chapter iconography to your boys in blue!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Warhound Titan is Halfway Done

I recently finished the legs on my Warhound Titan. Head on over to my Other Models page to take a look!

And in other Games Workshop news, my least favorite 40k army (Blood Angels) got an update this month. Now they have new models like the Stormraven Gunship and the Librarian Dreadnought to back up the fact that they're way too powerful to actually play. Good luck dealing with all that red, though. It's a hard color to work with.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Knights Bellicose Update

I've updated the Knights Bellicose page by adding my test model. Go check out what I have!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The 40k Hobbiest is Open for Business!

So my blog has officially launched. Not all of the pages are up and running yet because everything is new, but over time I'll keep adding content. Right now, I'm working on painting my Mars Pattern Warhound Titan. I'll have some pictures posted soon, so keep checking back!

I'm planning on posting an average of once a week, but I'll keep steadily adding content (mostly in picture form) to my other pages as I get models done. Expect to see some work-in-progress pictures, too!