Friday, April 6, 2012

Second Dire Avenger Squad Complete

I'm cutting a bit close to the wire here, but I've managed to finish my second Dire Avenger squad just in time. This, unfortunately, will be the last squad I work on for quite a while. To see the full squad, check out the Eldar page!

Right here, though, you can see a comparison of the two Dire Avenger squads side by side.

The different plume colors allow me to tell the squads apart on the battlefield.
Different squad banners

Friday, March 30, 2012

Exarch Finished

The race is on. As my deployment date creeps closer, so too does the end of my current painting project. In order to get the models finished on time, I've had to abandon my goal of writing a tutorial for it. I've taken enough pictures so far that if I have a few days worth of free time between finishing the squad and getting on the plane, I can still write an armor tutorial for everyone.

As for the Dire Avengers themselves, I've gotten a lot done.  The Exarch is completely finished! As you know, I've painted these models exactly the same as my other squad. The only difference separating the squads is the color of the helmet plumes. Take a look and see for yourself!

I love how that plume turned out!

I'm a huge fan of how his helmet plume turned out. I think it'll look fantastic when the whole squad is done. Also, the helmet plumes should be different enough that I can tell the two Dire Avenger squads apart on the battlefield.

As far as the progress on the rest of the squad goes, I'm almost done with them, too. Really all I have left is some detailing on the guns and their helmets. It shouldn't take me too terribly long. I just hope that my work schedule allows me to finish them before they ship me off. For now, take a look at my current progress.

I would like to say that I've noticed a small difference in the color of their armor versus the armor of my other Dire Avengers. The colors for their armor is Regal Blue, Ultramarines Blue, and a 50/50 mix of Ultramarines Blue and Ice Blue. I use them in that order, so that mix is my brightest highlight. I must have mixed this batch differently than when I painted the last squad of Dire Avengers because the armor is slightly different. It's barely even noticable, but it made me realize that if you're going to mix colors, make sure you mix enough for the entire project.

I hope this doesn't end up being my last post for a while. With any luck, I'll be posting again with the finished squad and maybe even a short tutorial for you guys. And with that, I leave you with some reference pictures from the other Dire Avenger squad so you can see the difference for yourself. Take care!

You can see how the armor colors are slightly different.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Finishing Up the Avengers

As I know I've mentioned before in several of my posts, I'm in the Army. Unfortunately, being in the Army comes at the cost of deploying for a length of time. For me, deployment is right around the corner. I'm not allowed to say specifically when I'll be leaving, but suffice to say that this will probably be my last blog post for a while. At the very least, I'll be gone less than a year and I'm planning on getting out of the Army after this deployment and getting a job that will allow me to devote more time into the hobby (and the blog). I'll talk about that more as it happens.

As for right now, I'm working quite hard trying to get my current project finished. I most recent Ultramarines project got my army up to 1,000 points. Now I'm working on doing the same for the Eldar. I'm currently working on my second squad of Dire Avengers. They're going to be exactly the same as my other squad of Dire Avengers with only two exceptions. First, the Exarch will have different wargear. As per my army list, I'm going to be taking a pistol and a power sword in this one, as well as the Defend power. Also, and more importantly, I'm going to paint them exactly the same as the last squad, but change the colors in their helmet plumes. This will help them stand out on the battlefield, especially when I get them into close combat. Instead of doing yellow and black like the last squad, the helmet plumes of this squad will be green and black. Not only will this help them stand out from the other unit, it'll also help them link back to the rest of the army. I try to do little things like that as much as I can since their armor is a different color from the rest of the army.

I'm about halfway done with them right now. So far, this is how they look:

Their waist and everything below it (except for the base) is completely done. I'll be cleaning up the torso next and finishing that completely. After that, its just the arms, heads, and bases and then I'm done. I really hope I can get this squad finished before I deploy. If I can, I'll be posting it here. If not, you'll see 'em after deployment, I guess.

Lastly, I'm still taking pictures and working on the Dire Avengers tutorial. Even if I don't get this project finished before I go, I'm still going to try and post something in the How To section. Until then, have fun painting! I'll try and post again soon!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Painting Contests

Ever since I started painting my Ultramarines back in mid 2008, I had always been a pretty seclusive hobbiest. Being that I'm such a slow painter, I had always spent most of my time painting instead of playing. It was only recently that I had enough models to start playing regularly. On March 25th, however, my local Games Workshop was celebrating the 25th anniversary of Warhammer 40,000 and was running several events that weekend. Two of those events were painting contests. Naturally, I entered them both.

The first contest was on Saturday night and was done in-store. Everyone was to bring a fully assembled and primed model to paint in store. We had two hours to complete the event. Given that I usually take upwards of a week to complete a single model, this would be a problem for me. I brought an Ork Nob from the Assault on Black Reach set because it had a nice amount of detail but should still paint up fairly quickly.

I had some problems during the contest because I just wasn't used to painting that quickly. Also, I used half the time painting just his skin. When the store manager called for us to put our brushes down, I clearly wasn't finished. I set him down in the judging area anyway and this is how he looked:

The pin was my prize for winning

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how the model turned out. Judging was done by everyone in the store, so the manager gave everyone in the store an opportunity to vote on what models they liked the best I ended up taking first place in that competition, along with a Necron player from the Youngblood category.

As for the second contest, we were to submit a model that we had completely finished. No painting in store, no rushing to finish. Just submit a model that was already done. The only stipulation is that the model had to be a space marine. Naturally, I was pretty confident on my ability to do well in this competition. I ended up going with my Captain. In this contest, the judging would be done by the store manager. I ended up taking first place in this contest as well, though a lone space marine scout gave me quite a run for my money.

My contest entry

This awesome scout made me worry. I though he was gonna win.

That's some pretty awesome camo on that cloak.

My trophy for winning!

After winning two contests in a row, I don't think I'm going to enter the next one that rolls around. I don't want to discourage other painters from even trying. I don't want to be that guy. Instead, next time there's a competition, I'm going to offer to make the trophies for it. I think that would be neat.

Through all the competitions, I still haven't forgotten about my promise to make the Eldar armor tutorial. It's coming along quite nicely and should be ready to be posted in a few weeks. Keep checking back! The tutorial should be posted before too long!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Battle Report: Ultramarines vs. Orks

Yesterday, I headed down to my local Games Workshop and played a game with Tom, who I met that day. We played 1,000 points because that's all I had finished. You can see my list on the Ultramarines page. I don't remember exactly what he brought because I'm not all that familiar with Orks, but I do remember Snikrot, a Warboss, a squad of Nobz, and a bunch of Kommandos.

I let Tom thumb through my copy of the Battle Missions book and he found the All-Round Defense mission, which neither of us had ever played before. I deployed in the center of the map and he infiltrated two units into the ruins on either side of me.

Ultramarines deployed
Orks push in through the perimeter

 Tom and his Orks went first. He moved his two squads through the ruins and sacrificed his shooting to run them a bit closer.. On my turn, I opened up on them with everything I had in an attempt to keep them outside my perimeter. The Orks stayed their ground, leapt into my perimeter, and assaulted me on Turn 2.

Kill them before they get too close!

This is where my sergeant dies. . .

First Squad lost combat by losing 4 models, one of which was the squad's sergeant. They passed their leadership test and stayed their ground. The rest of the Ultramarines responded by shooting at the other squad and bringing it down to just two kommandos remaining. They also passed their leadership test and stayed in the fight.

First Squad runs!
By now, Tom has brought in the rest of his army from reserves. The Orks assault Second Squad with kommandos in their turn and end up running. In response, I decided to shoot my entire army at the newly arrived Nobz unit. Miraculously, they didn't die. They were, however, under strength and running away.

Warboss leading the Nobz
Turn 4 ended up being the final turn due to time constraints on both sides. In a last-ditch effort, the Warboss and his boyz failed to finish off first squad and the game ended in an Astartes victory. If I had it to do over, I would have definitely made some different decisions because I'm not so sure I would have survived six full turns. Good game, Tom!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Tutorial: Vehicle Insignia

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally posted up another tutorial. This time, I'll show you how to easily hand paint emblems on your vehicles.

In the future, I plan on making and posting more tutorials up for you to use. If you have any ideas on what you would like me to make a tutorial about, email me at Head on over to the How To page and check it out!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Drop Pod: Monotonous Details

After completing my third tactical squad, my plan was to put the Ultramarines down for a while and start working on my 1,000 point Eldar list. I didn't have the Dire Avengers I was supposed to be building, so my wife suggested that I finally finish that drop pod she bought me a few Christmases ago. Right now, her Eldar have been pushed back a bit. I'm going to finish this drop pod before delving into the Eldar once more.

At its current progress, the doors and floor are almost ready to be sealed and glued together. All I have to do is the center section on 4 of the 5 doors and I can start sealing and gluing.

When finished, the other doors will have Ultramarine symbols as well.
The metal lines on the inside of the doors were very monotonous.
Having gotten this far in the painting process, I'm reminded why I like playing troop-heavy armies and why I dislike painting vehicles. Transferring my Ultramarines' painting technique to vehicles means that I had to take extra time putting the black lining into the metal areas of the doors. I paint slow enough as it is, but applying my processes to such a large model is just so monotonous. The benefit, however, is that it should match quite well with the rest of the army and so far I'm really liking the outcome.

If any of my readers here are getting discouraged from painting such repetitive details, keep at it! I just recently got through a very difficult spot on these doors and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out despite how long it took to accomplish it. Looking back at all the repetitive details that I've already accomplished helps keep me motivated to continue. Take a look at what I mean!

Painting repetitive details pays off in the long run!

Another problem I've discovered is in my harness section. This was a section that I put together a long time ago, right when I got the model. When I put it together, I wasn't thinking about how I was going to paint it. Now I'm paying for it.

Add caption
I think it'll look really good after it's completed, sealed, and glued in place. Right now, however, I keep dwelling on the fact that I should not have assembled it as much as I have before painting it. If anyone is reading this and thinking about buying their first drop pod, put together the center section and the five harness sections, then paint them independently. To do it all together is almost more trouble than its worth.

Needless to say, I won't ever be playing a drop pod list. Also, if I ever decide to paint another drop pod, I'll assemble it differently so that its easier to paint. In the end, I think it'll all be worth it. I think this drop pod is going to look pretty sweet when its done.

Have you ever worked on a model with monotonous details? How'd you get through it (or did you)? Have you ever assembled a model in such a way that made it harder to paint? What'd you do?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Devastator Squad Complete

The Ultramarines 2nd now has one of its devastator squads in its ranks. With the completion of this squad of heavy weapons troopers, my army is officially at 1,000 points. I'm going to start looking for smaller tournaments to participate in. In the future, you can see some tournament coverage and maybe even a battle report or two in the blog.

As for now, check out the Ultramarines page to see the new models!

I'm still working on that armor tutorial, or at least thinking a lot about it. With all the long hours I'm constantly putting in at work, it's difficult to find time to work on it. As soon as it's done, it'll get posted up here for everyone to see! Keep checking back!