Saturday, 17 February 2018

Cultivating the Cult

The Cult expands. The word spreads!
As I told you the other day, my first Overkill Hybrids to paint would be the 3rd and 4th Generation ones. Essentially because they have a lot of pieces and I needed to paint torsos and certain bits before glueing, so the sooner I had these finished, the lesser risk of losing stuff among the lead & plastic mountain.

First of all, the minis are just superb. Oh, wow. Details, poses, everything. Being plastic monopose as they are, the range is top notch in its category. I think that these bodies combined with Mechanicus bits would offer really interesting results.

Anyway, the minis. I didn't convert them, just as I did with the Genestealers and for the same reasons. I may regret this decision in the future, but for now I'm in peace knowing that I'm making some actual progress. Here you have them. First of all, the Fourth Generation Hybrids, armed with autoguns:

Nothing spreads the word of a cult better than xeno hybrids with guns
Just in case, a brief reminder of fluff. Genestealers reproduce by infecting victims (you know, Alien style), humans in this case. The offspring will resemble the Genestealer, each generation infecting more humans and diluting the bloodline. So first generation Hybrids are pretty close to purestrains, while second, third and fourth generation are gradually closer to humans, so specially the latter can infiltrate Imperial society and rot it from within.

Third generation Hybrids. Bigger heads, suspicious claws
Colour wise you can see that I opted for brown bodysuits and grey armour. Mining labourers looking. My photography skills don't allow you to see it, but there are some different skin tones, while keeping them all in the purple side, as did with the purestrains. I really wanted to add some more racial variety, but I couldn't make purple work fine with darker shades of brown. I will make some experiments, but for the moment these will have to work.

All the minis have small bandages and badges. I've painted them all in classic Genestealer Cult purple, as it was the way to tie them with the old colours. I found it a way to represent their adhesion to the cause, with a colour code identification. It is the way the neophytes recognise each other, the way to say which side would each one stand for.

Third generation with special weaponry
I replaced one head with a closed helmet, which is nothing but a sphere I found in my bits box. Trust me, I have an use for that spare head ;)
I didn't paint the mining lasers in khaki, as they are not really weapons, but mining tools, so I kept them different and painted them grey.

The minis are fabulous, but they have an insane level of details, they took me longer than expected. I think I need to take a breath before repeating the whole process on the first and second generation Hybrids; but don't worry, as I'll be working on the Cult too. I'll find out how far can I reach with that Hybrid head... ;)

Saturday, 10 February 2018

The Cult rises

I've begun to paint the Hybrids from the Overkill box. My first idea was doing just like the Space Hulk Genestealers, i.e., painting them all in a row. But woah. No way. I have hundreds of bits spread and scattered all over the workbench. I do need to part them into small groups. So I'll be doing different batches of similar minis. So let's go!

I'm seriously considering modelling this image in 28mm
My first take was on the Magus:

The Governor called. He wants his curtains back
The plan was making the robes pretty distinctive. The Cult is recruited from miners (at least that is what I understand from the minis), but I wanted this bloke to look clean, totally upper class. I'll go dirtier with the rest, but not with this one.

I was tempted to replicate this image, but went for turquoise curtains instead
If this one was the religious head of the Cult, only below the Patriarch itself, now here we have what looks to be the military leader:

I want a cap! Cannot lead without a cap!
Here you can see what's the Cult appearance going to be. I've seen gorgeous minis over the internet, challenging patterns and even unveliebable colours. I was goint to paint them in orange, as other workers in my urban project. But I changed my mind. Brown will serve the idea of the mining guild better. So I will go for chocolate brown for the jumpsuits and grey for the aroured parts, just for contrast.

We also have two familiars in the sprue, but no idea of what are they gaming wise:

My preciousss... we wantses our birthday pressent.... Sssss
So this is how we start! I'm currently assembling and painting the 3rd-4th generation Hybrids, as they have like a million pieces and I want them finished before I lose something. For the moment this is it.

You know, Bob, you told me we were starting a Cult. You call these two a Cult?
And I'm serious, the Governor really wants his curtains back
I hope I'll have some more progress soon!

Monday, 5 February 2018

Four hands work

Despite the title, no, I haven't hired anyone to paint. I'm opening yet another project! (Oh, no!) A project that involves four handed people, hmmmmm...

As usual, this story begins years ago, when I got the new Space Hulk and simply put the box in storage. Right. Shame on me. Deep shame on me. But I'm doing something about it today. Finally!

I'm getting all the Genestealers and putting them in the production chain.

Well, Picasso went through a Blue Period, that's how I felt. Days of all shades of blue
WIP pics won't add much in this case, I guess, so I'm skipping those and going for the results. I used Vallejo Royal Blue as base colour for the chitinous parts. For the skin I didn't want pure purple though, so I tried mixing it with flesh tones. That way I would still get a classical Genestealer looking but with a more natural feeling.

The colour combo works for me
I don't have any Blood Angels (yet), but I painted the Marines' armour red anyway
I always tend to make slight conversions in this kind of projects, repositioning arms, swapping heads and things like that. I do hate having two identical minis. But this time I had to do an exception if I ever wanted to have these finished. The anonymous Genestealers can endure it.

Besides, I don't think I could get much better poses
The mere simple painting work was enough endeavour for me and my sanity
It's really amazing that the basic shape of Genestealers hasn't changed that much in almost 30 years. Well, of course that first illustration in the Rogue Trader book was different, but since the original 1st Ed. of Space Hulk was released, the changes in design have been almost insignificant. That speaks much of the original art on these creatures.
Of course the biggest change can be seen on the Patriarch. Or whatever it is called nowadays.

For me it will always be the Patriarch
Here you have the mandatory family pic:

Space giant blue cockroaches infestation
It's been some weeks work while painting the stuff you've seen lately on the blog. I had some doubts at the beginning about what colours to use. A full black approach would be dull (besides, I -finally- received the Aliens vs Predator KS, so I'll have my chance for that). Cockroach brown looked like a fun idea, but in the end I couldn't resist to the classic blue colour. About the skin, as I said above, I think it looks more natural. But I had yet another reason. This is going to be part of a wider project, as at the moment I write this I also have all the Genestealer Cult from the Overkill game primed and in the assembly stage. The fleshy colour will help to tie in both ranges, or that's what I hope. So you can expect more people with extra arms incoming anytime soon...

Friday, 2 February 2018

Colour explosion (again)

Time to close yet another project (for the moment). I had some World of Twilight minis pending for my pal, and it was about time I did something about that.

First of all, do you remember the big Dompaku? The large sauropod like beast. Don't worry, here you have the link. Well, it came with the riders on foot. So this was easy, just had to repeat the colours:

'So I have to catch the stone with my hand? You say this is called... baseball?'
But now it comes the time for colour bombs, which is the funniest part of this. Lek'Saa with Grishak:

The pack included two Grishak. Additional ones were painted for dramatic purposes
The same goes for the Trebarnii unit:

No, people, you are no good for infiltrating units. Deal with it
I had no particular scheme in mind. Just wanted them to look bright and different from each other, in the same line than my previous works on the World of Twilight ranges.
The only ones I gave a thought before splatting any paint on them were these:

On'Saa runner and Shaman
I love the pose of the runner, absolutely dynamic. Funny thing, first thing that came to mind was Flash from the comic books, so I didn't resist the first impulse and accepted the inspiration. It had to be red!
For the Shaman I tried black, as it was a colour I had never used on this project. I wanted to emphasize how different and mysterious a Shaman had to look from everyone else. The pic is awful (all the pics here are awful!) and it's impossible to see the highlights on the skin tones, but I promise they are here!

So these were the last minis I had from my pal! Another chapter (temporarily) closed, now I'm moving onto another (totally different) one in which I have been working too. I hope I can show some stuff during the weekend or so...
Stay tuned!

Monday, 22 January 2018

Arbitrary Arbitrators

Completion. Closure. Ahhhh, what a pleasant feeling.
If I pull my memories back, I think I wanted this unit about at least six or seven years ago. At the very least! Many things happened through the way, though. Anyway, this is not a ranting blog, but a place of solutions and results! So, after long years since I bought those old Necromunda Enforcers, after failed attempts of cloning (inexistent or enormously, absurdly expensive) bits, patient eBaying and finally greenstuffing, after all that wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff... I've finished a full squad of Adeptus Arbites with shields and mauls.

As I said, I used the Necromunda Enforcers. I needed more, as I wanted a ten men squad and the kit included seven minis. The old regular Arbites wouldn't be of any use, because of the pose and the helmet, so I got some other Enforcers. They all needed some conversion work, as they are not really designed for this riot control stuff. Here you have the Judge and the bloke who came with the heavy stubber, now conveniently suitable for their duty.

Oh, and the cyber-hound!
Now an example of what I did with these. The man on the left is equipped with the original gear. For the rest I had to improvise power mauls with the Skitarii box (best bits box ever) or several bits from here and there.

However, they do their part
This is the full squad:

Give that dog a shield too!
So I was saying closure was the keyword today. With these, my Arbites look this way:

Well, I think this is quite a force
Three ten men squads (shotgun/ bolter/ maul & shield), a wheeled transport, an air transport, a drone, a K9 and a Sentinel.
Well, yes, I could get a dog handler and a remote controler for the drone, but you know, I could happily declare this army finished. Yes. It is finished. Finally. Ahhh, completion, as I said, what a pleasant fe...

Oh, wait.

It would be reasonable to think that GW may release new Arbites for the new Necromunda. Ouch. Oh, and have you seen the Artel W stuff?

Oh, why? Whyyyyyyy?

Monday, 15 January 2018

Multi-purpose flying skiffs

I got this kit from MadMechaGuy long time ago, but I had never got to the assembling phase (which generally is step 1 of all this!). Well, about time! It's a flying skiff that immediately remembered me those from Jabba in the Return of the Jedi movie. I loved it that much that I even got two of them! Well, let's see what am I talking about...

Not seeing it? Don't worry, tends to happen
When you turn it upside down it looks better
Weeeeell, this is the rough main shape. Job done
It's really intuitive to assembly (I didn't have any instructions, but the final pics from the web were enough) and the basic design is cool, but oh, you can certainly expect this is not the lousy end of this post. As I got two of them, I pretended to do two totally different skiffs.

The first one would be a recreation barge, more in the Jabba style, but WH40K oriented. So it would need some extra work to set an awning and stuff:

Now we're getting closer
The finished product would look like this:

Red flying luxury barge
The awning itself is but a piece of cloth, the rest are some random 40K bits or so. Some close-ups:

Ahhh, the grandeur
I should add armchairs there, or a table with a bottle of wine
Comfy for your wild parties off town
But I said I got two... I took a totally opposite approach for the other one. It's an industrial cargo barge:

The simplest configuration possible
Fodinae Corporatio or 'Mining Guild' in proper WH40K Gothic
It certainly covers all your needings. Buy one now!
The kit is pretty simple to assemble and, though the basic shape may look kind of raw in the beginning, it's full of possibilities. Had I devoted some more time to them, I could have added more details, but I'm happy with the results as this is just the work of this weekend, so the efficiency rate is fine for my standards :)

Already working on more stuff... ;)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Riot Control Armoured Sentinel

Riot Control Armoured Sentinel. RCAS. Agh, that sucks. I really have to find a better name for this. But oh, I'm digressing and I haven't even begun to speak. Anyway, from what I've said, you may have a hint; I'm assembling a Sentinel for the Adeptus Arbites. The idea came to mind long time ago, but had never developed it until now.

The idea of having light armoured elements looked appealing, and I do love the Sentinel model. So everything was meant to happen this way! The work on the model is quite simple. I had to perform some unexpected greenstuff work as the sprue had some casting fails, but it was pretty simple to solve. I used the flamethrower configuration, but replaced it for a heavy webber (slight conversion), as it is of course the only logical choice I can imagine for a law enforcement riot control walker.

The police lights are from a cheap toy I ravaged/salvaged/ahem

Just in case you are new to WH40K, webber weapons fire chemical fibers that entangle the objective and immobilises it. It may be the most civilised weapon in all the Warhammer arsenal (of course if you don't take into account that the harder the victims struggles, the harder the fibers shrink until the objective is utterly crushed). Well, let's keep the 'it fires sticky glue to immobilise rioters' approach.

When you paint it in Arbites black, this is what you get:

You don't want to mess with the Arbites
Batman asked for a similar one, also in black. But he didn't get one
Much better than the lousy ED-209
The paintjob is consistent with the rest of my Adeptus Arbites stuff. Straight black, yellow stripes and the Arbites seal on the front. This will certainly be a hard challenge for the rioters in the scenario I hoped to play in 2017 and which now I hope to play in 2018.

It will come. It will eventually come...

Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Battle for Christmas

Last post of the year is going to be the promised Frostgrave AAR. It's been my first approach to the game and I've enjoyed it beyond imagination. I wanted to have played it some days ago, but you know what's calendar like these days. Anyway, there we go!

The ruins laid silent, the thin snow shining under the light of dawn, giving the whole view a true magical aspect. Magic would indeed be unleashed in a matter of minutes. Both Wizards felt each other. Close, really close. Father Chistmas and his Elves better run to get as many treasures as they could. The Grinch and his evildoers would do everything in their hand to beat them and avoid them to take the presents for the Children of Men. The Battle for Christmas was about to begin...

The Grinch Warband on the Left. Father Christmas' Warband on the right
Let's see how this goes. My pal will lead Father Christmas (Illusionist) and his merry ransackers while I take command of evil Grinch (Witch) and his green grin henchmen. The Elves have a bowman, a treasure hunter, a barbarian and thieves; the Gnolls have two bowmen, a templar and thugs. The spells were selected with the characters in mind. For example, Father Christmas has Beauty (you have to be a &%$# bastard if you want to beat Santa, for heaven's sake!) or Furious Quill (seriously, imagine a giant feather tickling the enemies, can you think of anything merrier? Ho ho ho!). The Grinch had Monstrous Form (needless to explain!) or Steal Health (as the Grinch steals joy, life and anything good in Christmas) instead. That kind of stuff helped the game to be more in the 'proper' mood.

I guess that Frostgrave is quite well known by now, so I think I can skip the rules explanation thing (if there's something you want me to explain better, please let me know in the comments!). For the first turn, Father Christmas got the initiative. He and some of his soldiers moved towards the closest treasure...

It's inside the church. Spoiler alert; you see it's half painted/half built. You will see it finished during 2018
So did the Grinch and some Gnolls...
Keep formation!
The Elf Apprentice casts Beauty on herself and more Elves run for the treasures...

Yeah, you run while I think of how beautiful I am
Gnoll Apprentice and his followers move on the other flank
So the first turn was about moving through the ruins and running towards the presents. Second Turn started and soon blood would be shed...

The Grinch throws a Grenade to the Elves (a stone embedded with evil magic)
Kills a thief and hurts the treasure hunter. Glups!
A thing I've liked about Frostgrave is its lethality. Strikes really disable you. That doesn't mean it actually kills you, but at least leaves you out of combat (which is the same in terms of gaming). Not many fantasy games dare to give this approach to its rules.
Meanwhile, a Thug reaches a Treasure
Father Christmas teleports close to more treasures
Rudolph gets the treasure inside the church and the other Elves move against the Gnolls
The Elf apprentice casts a spell sings a magical Carol and a Furious Quill begins to harass the Grinch:
Tickle tickle, ho ho ho!
Nasty Gnolls attack father Christmas!!
Gnoll offensive is not to be taken lightly
Rudolph takes advantage of the mess and drags a treasure towards his lair
The Elf bowman decides to shoot to the Father Christmas melee. Two Gnolls agains his master, what are the odds he accidentally hits his own boss? Well... Let me tell you.

1/3 is enough. The arrow hits the bearded wizard himself. Ouch!
On one side of the board, we have a one-on-one fight over some gifts
On the opposite one, we have the epic clash between the treasure hunter and the templar
A thief tries to sneak out with more presents
General overview of the battlefield by the end of Turn 3
The critical moment arrives...

Father Christmas is taken down by the filthy Gnolls!
Oooops! This may turn the tide of the game. Not only the elves' Wizard is killed, the treasure he was to get is in the power of the enemy!

In addition, the Grinch steals the treasure hunter's health, leaving her dead
A Gnoll takes another treasure...
But not everything are bad news to the Elves!

A critical hit immediately kills the Gnoll thug
And a pinpoint arrow kills the Gnoll Apprentice!
Well, things get interesting! A Gnoll leaves the board with a treasure. There are still 5 on the board. Two of them in the Elves' power (and a third left by Rudolph, so he can finally get into combat) and the other two in possession of the Gnolls.

End of Turn 4. can you spot all the treasures?
So let's go for Turn 5. Initiative is for Father Christmas Warband...
Frenzy Rudolph charges against the murderer of his master
The archer takes down the Elf thief. The treasure falls derelict
On the limits of the board, the Gnoll templar charges the Elf thief
The poor Elf has nothing to do
Neither has the Elf archer, slain with a critical hit
Green grinning hyenas begin to smother the Apprentice
At the beginning of next turn, the Grinch uses his magic to leap...

...and support his minion against Rudoplh
No matter how beautiful the Apprentice was, she is ruthlessly dismembered
Well, by now two Gnolls have left the board with treasure and two more are on their way. Father Christmas' Warband is reduced to just poor Rudolph, and things don't look good...

But he decides to give battle till the end. Respect
In fact he delivers a deadly blow to the Grinch himself!
But only to succumb immediately afterwards
The desolation after the battle
So in the end the Gnolls had three treasures out of the board and control over another one, while the Elves hadn't taken any for their profit and the whole Warband had been killed. Ouch. Appaling, I'm afraid. So yes, though the Grinch didn't survive to see his evil deeds fulfiled, the spirit of Christmas has been smashed. Spoiler: That explains why you didn't receive gifts this year and had to buy them yourself. Sorry, my fault.

What can I say, I've enjoyed the game a lot. The alternate activation system works perfectly and gives a lot of thrill; even if you have the initiative this turn, if you don't have a Wizard, your enemy is moving first, that kind of things. The spells were selected with care, trying to fit the characters' traits, and they have given a lot of flavour to the battle.
The game is tremedously agile, and deadly, as I said before! You have to be cautious about your actions, and I think that is what failed to my rival. He didn't make the most of his Wizard, using him mostly as a regular combatant, and the same goes for Rudolph the barbarian, who only used his full potential in the final turns, when all was almost lost. Besides, I have to say my pal had some extrememly awful dice rolls. That didn't help, of course, he jinxed almost all his rolls and had some catastrophic results at crucial moments that in the end turned the tide for the Gnolls.

Anyway, the system works and now we may have to think about a campaign. I'll have a look at the book, as many ideas may fit in this context. New characters and settings. Hmmm....

Until that moment comes, I hope you have the best 2017 ending and of course the best 2018 greeting! Happy new year!!