Friday, December 24, 2010

Day Three

My new airbrush from Amazon came today.  Next day shipping saved my project from a three day delay, and I couldn't have been happier.  I fired up the airbrush and quickly realized this was the one I should have bought.  It was the Iwata HP-CS, which had been recommended to me by a few friends and I had seen it on some other painting blogs.  I was trying to be cheap, and in this case I should have listened.  This airbrush sprays even, doesn't clog and is way smooth.  After a few hours I was able to get all of my vehicles based and highlighted.
 The above are the results from day three.  My next step is to paint the tracks and wash the vehicles/tracks.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chink in the Armor

Had a minor setback this morning while trying to airbrush.  The airbrush I had bought was kind of a piece of junk that I was trying to be cheap when I got it.  I had issues with it before and just not feeding paint as well as it should.  When it wouldn't feed paint this morning I just decided to order a new one, I was tired of messing with it. Amazon had one in stock that I had wanted from the start, and was able to overnight it to me so my project will only be delayed by about a day or two.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day One

I started my Holiday IG painting project today.  With my first day off from work for the Holiday I kicked off the project.  I spent the morning trimming up the track sprues, so they could be painted on the sprue.  I don't know if this is going to make it easier, but I think in the end it will be a lot less of a headache.
I tried to minimize the amount of sprue left that could block paint, but still hold the bits in place.  Clipping 9 of these turned out to be a real chore.  Time will tell to see of it was worth the effort.
Laying out all of the vehicles I realized what a monumental task I had ahead of me this week.  After a few not so short hours I turned them into....
Tomorrow......the Airbrush!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Successful Run

I had a great weekend of gaming, and most of it was filled with 40k.  I had found out mid last week that one of the local GW stores was doing an 1850.   I had scrambled on Saturday to finish up some conversions to get the Hydra conversions as well as the 2nd Manticore finished in time. 

Sunday morning I was packing up and realized I had forgotten to finish the weapons on the Valkyries (I had planned to magnetize them) and I hastily put them together, as well as a medic for my command squad.  I also decided that my Company Commander hadn't "gotten it done" in my last two games, so I built another one and demoted the model to platoon commander.  I couldn't just shoot the guy, his brother-in-law is a Commissar.  It would have made Thanksgivings awkward for a while.

I arrived at the time I was supposed to, and shockingly I was the first one there.   Even though I have gamed for almost 15 years the idea of "gamer time" has never ceased to annoy me.   The store manager had put together some original scenarios, all based on Arnold movies.  As he is our Governor and only has a few weeks left in office, it was his idea to pay tribute to him.  I normally hate wonky scenarios, I'd rather play straight up missions out of the book, but it made the games a bit more of a challenge and weren't that hard to understand.   Usually overly complicated scenarios are the most annoying part of playing in tournaments to me.

My first game I played against a very nice player who was running Tyranids.  He had a quasi-nidzilla list, but with genestealers list.  The mission we had played had an option to pick a few different objectives, so I went for kill points and killing the enemy commander.  The deployment worked in my favor, though there was some terrain in the middle for some of his creatures to hide behind.  At first I thought this would work against me, but he had hidden behind the building trying to avoid all of my direct fire.  This made a nice target for my barrage weapons and I was able to kill his harpy, take down a hive guard unit by a model and start wounding his swarmlord off the bat. 

The game went as you would expect, he came at me, and I shot a lot.  It got exciting when some of his genestealers deployed off a piece of terrain near me and ate my Company Commander and a Lascannon team way quick.  I wasn't too worried as I had my chimeras with flamers nearby and the next turn I roasted them before they could do anymore damage.  A drop pod full of warriors in my line made the mistake of dropping next to my vets, and some meltaguns with multi laser fire finished them off.   Overall it was a really fun game for me, though my opponent wasn't able to get much done.  The terrain was way too sparse for it to be anything but a shooting gallery.

Second game was against a friend of mine who runs a nasty Thunderwolf Cav/Wolf Lords with M. Launchers List.  The game was capture and control.  He made one mistake with his placement of his objective too far from his troops.   I concentrated most of my firepower on his thunderwolves, got lucky with taking out a few of his lords and troops on the first few turns and spent the rest of the game trying to kill two lords in my lines.  One of them went down by concentrated Hydra fire, the other one never did die.   I was able to outflank 2 Valkyries into his lines, one with some vets and I was able to hold his objective.  The game ended with me with both objectives.  To be perfectly honest other then my lacannon teams not doing squat I had a lot go right for me in that game.

My last game was the quickest.  I was matched against someone else I knew very well, a Dark Eldar player that I've known for quite some time.  I even bought his soul once.  Lost the receipt though.  It was a dawn of war objective mission.  With our armies, the missions didn't really matter.  We both have alpha strike shooty armies for the most part, so all that mattered was who went first was who would win.   We both knew it, and even joked about it.  I won the dice roll and halfway through the fourth turn ( really only the second turn we played, as dawn of war tends to be) we just called it.   The manticores and massed multilaser fire, if they are allowed to work for a few turns, tear up dark eldar.   

It was only a 10 player tournament at a local store but it was nice to get three games in and run the list.  The second game I was pretty happy about winning, his list is tough and he plays way more then I do.  The third game was simply a matter of who got first turn, I can't be too excited.  If he had won he would of destroyed me just as quick.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I had ordered some stuff on Black Friday from The War Store that came in yesterday.  I had picked up two whirlwinds for my hydra conversions, as well as my second manticore.   I don't have a ton of time this week for hobby stuff, too much going on in life, but I'm going to try and at least finish the Hydra conversions and slap together the manticore. 

I'm hoping to get some time in on Sunday doing more play tests with my adjusted list.  I think its going to work much better at the 1850 level then my previous attempt.  Its about the only thing that stinks about this hobby, play testing with different models until you get to that sweet spot.  I kind of miss how I used to be less into being competitive and just slapped together a list that night of models that I felt like playing with. Though I don't miss how unfocused it was, and how often I'd regret taking certain models/units.  I guess I don't miss it.

My eBay auction is going well.  I've sold off at least 15% of the auctions I posted on Sunday, and most of the others have a healthy number of watchers so I know I'll get what I'm looking for.   Its always amazing to see the different level of interest in the different armies.   The Tyranid auctions get about 20% of the views as my space marine stuff I have up.  True proof of their popularity.  Or lack of interest on the Tyranids part. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saving a Foot

I this weekend decided to finally trim down my collection of 40k models.  For one thing, I had broken my "not going to collect an army, without getting rid of one" rule when I picked up my IG.  I had thought about getting rid of my Tyranids, but I just hadn't actually done it.  I really liked the way I had painted them, I had a few really cool conversions but I just didn't like playing them so they had been boxed.

There were two reasons I decided to part with them.  The first was cash.  The models could get me about 25-30% of what I needed to pay for a new laptop.  My laptop has been in a death knell since early last year and I am tired of it limping along.  It has almost been three years since I got it, which is a record for me and laptops.  There was a time when they barely lasted a year for me, and I had to force myself to not replace them earlier then a year.  The one before this one almost made it to two years, but then the video card melted.  This one has been a record, and while I would like to make it three years (April of 2011), it is not going to happen.

The second reason, is that of space.  My 40k collection has grown to a blob of uncontrollable proportions in my garage.  I have a large shelving unit that is full of boxes, cases, loose bits, tools and has begun to spill out into other areas of my house.  Besides my army, my son and lady have one, so five armies was just too much for me.  I'll be down to four, which I feel is more reasonable.  My Blood Angels, Orks, IG and Chaos. 

I spent most of Saturday morning taking pictures of the army and breaking up into smaller units for posting on eBay.  I also posted up a lot of models that I had purchased at local sales, expecting to eventually need.  A drop pod here, two Land Raiders, a ton of special characters, and the list goes on and on.....

Besides the money, it will be nice to be able to find my stuff a lot easier.  I'm contemplating starting a spreadsheet to inventory what I have, my bits and model collection is just too big.  It always hurts to let an army go, but sometimes to save the rest of the hobby you have to. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Make friends with a Machinist

I couldn't have done a better job if I had paid GW to cast what I wanted.  The CNC machine at work, with the gentle guiding of my work's best machinist put out an amazing result.  These don't look like a conversion at all, they look cast that way. 

Couldn't be happier.

My suggestion, make friends with a Machinist!

Taking Advantage

On the left is the first step for converting the chassis. I shaved off the lasgun sights, and filled in the open bits and hatch with plasticard so it does look a bit different then a Chimera with a Whirlwind on top.

After deciding on my course to modify the Chimeras into Hydras using Whirlwind launchers I needed to find a way to drill out the turrets. I didn't want to put the launchers in the back of the chassis, because it would just look like a Whirlwind with a Chimera chassis. The hole for the turret is not big enough to fit it, so....I'm making it bigger. I'm actually getting some help from the machine shop where I work to drill out the hole. The advantage of working for a manufacturing company is having a machine shop with fancy (and expensive) tooling equipment. If it can cut steel, it can cut plastic.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I started converting my Hydra's in the hope (slim hope) I'd be able to make an 1850 tournie at a FLGS this weekend. It's doubtful I will make it, I'm kind of in a "needing the stars to align" for it to work, mostly life stuff in the way.

I've decided to make my Hydras as chimera chassis' with whirlwind launchers. Its a pretty easy swap, as I have access to a machine shop at my work that can cut the exact size of the Whirlwind turret hole in the top of the chimera. Should fit perfect. I just haven't found an autocannon turret idea that I like, and most of the free world uses missiles for air defense so why not the IG? Everyone else does counts as, so why not me.

I finally glued in my Valkyrie bases over the weekend. I was dreading it, as I didn't' want to the glue to fog up the clear bits. I spoke to a friend who said that the vapors can be dealt with if a hairdryer is used to both blow away the vapors as well as it dries it out, which the vapors plus moisture is what causes the smudging. Sure enough it worked like a charm.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Played a bit more, decided on some tweaks to the list. Haven't formalized it, but I think I am closer to my 1850 so that I can start painting. Had some mixed results with my first airbrush experiance. I ended up ordering some airbrush paints, I think some of the clogging issues I was having were because of the paint I was using had some chunks in it, and jammed up the nozzle.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I finished up building my IG army on Saturday morning. Took the list over to a friends house to give it a shot. Played two games, the first was against a pretty competitive plague marine list (9 oblits, ouch...).
I lost the first turn roll and it was a KP mission, which I think is going to be the mission this army does the least well at, unlike my BA army that excels at it. I had 2 good turns of shooting and it just wasn't enough. Took down a few of his rhino's filled with plaguemarines, but other then a few lucky Medusa hits the plaguemarines are tough, to say the least, to kill. He got a demon prince into my tank lines and that was about it. It was the first time I had played a list like his, so I learned a lot about how to play against it, as well as something about my army.
Next up I tossed my army against an ork horde army. It was a pretty standard ork army, 3 squads of 30 boyz, 3 deff dreads, some mega nobs and a big mek. This time I got first turn and it really helped. It went the way you would expect for a shooty IG and horde ork game to go, I shot at him a lot and whittled away about 2/3 of his army by the time it got to me, but it just wasn't enough.
I am going to play a few more games before tweaking my list. The inquisitor is going to go first I think. I like the idea of what he can do, but so far he hasn't done anything other then take up 80 points. While not a lot, I take the two medusas to work with his anti-deep strike ability so if he is not being used, I can modify that part of my list too and free up some more points. I've noticed a lack of ranged tank killing in the army, and if I drop the inquisitor and modify my HS choices, or maybe add in a HW team with lascannons it might help. I'll run a few more before I do that though.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Almost There...

The last few nights I've made some progress, finishing up my Infantry on Monday Night and Tuesday/Wednesday I completed 5 chimeras. I've got two more to do tonight, and after that I've only got some converting to do (2 chimeras into hydras) and two valkyries. I'm still not 100% sure what I am going to to build the Hydras, but I'm sure it will come to me. I may even not do the conversion and give them a try in a few games to make sure I like the way they play. On paper Hydras seem like a no brainer. Cheap and effective at destroying skimmers I figure against all the new DE forces out there they will be a great addition.

I'm hoping to finish up by Saturday night so I can get some play testing in on Sunday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Raiders of the FLGS

I had an interesting weekend in the world of 40k. I continued on my assembly project, not quite on schedule but I did finish most of my Infantry. I still have a few melta guns and plasma guns to convert to throw on my special weapon/veteran/and command squads.

I got together with an old high school buddy over the weekend and showed him the hobby. He had told me he was interested, so I ran him through a basic game (ork on space marines). He seemed to like it, so we'll see. It is always nice to increase the gaming group with fresh blood. This wasn't what really made my weekend, what really did was a box I found at a FLGS's bits sale.

I went to a local shop that was trying out having a bits market event. People could put out their items for sale, people paid the shop for them, and the sellers got GCs to spend at the store. People got to get rid of stuff they didn't want and get some store credit, the store made some money off the event and people got to get some cheap models. Everyone wins.

It started off okay, I saw some loose orks I picked up. I got some space marine bikes for my son at a fair price. I was able to pick up a dark eldar and eldar jetbike for my Ork bike conversion project. Found a few loose items, and I was ready to go when I noticed a box sitting at the end of one of the tables of items. I walked over and casually looked inside. I could not believe my eyes as to what was inside. There was an armorcast Ork Gargant. It even looked intact. I looked for a price and couldn't see one. I asked my son to go ask the cashier how much this item was. I could not be live my eyes when he said $45.

I then began to remove the pieces from the box to see if it was intact. People started to notice as I was assembling the Ork Titan on the table realizing what it was. Even more lucky, it was intact. Quite a few people, the ones that knew what it was, had the same reaction I did. It was like finding a Jackson Pollock at a thrift store for $5.

Upon taking it home that day I thought for a while about what to do with it. Looking up how much it was worth I decided I couldn't keep it. I really wanted to, but the model is worth so much I couldn't. The worst part about having a heavy economics load in college was the concept of opportunity cost. If I keep it, I am giving up the opportunity to sell it and get enough money to pick up another army. I don't have another army in mind, but knowing me I will soon and I'd rather add another army to my stable then keep one model. Even if it is an amazing one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Double Time.

Finished up a couple more vehicles last night in my mega-assembly task. I got the second basilisk (holy crap I hate putting the cannons together) and my manticore. I had only planned on doing the manticore, but it went so fast I did the basilisk as well.

The manticore is a way fun model to put together. I didn't assemble the missiles, as I am mulling over the idea of magnetizing the missiles so when I shoot one I just pull it off to help remember how many shots I have left. Sounds like fun, but I'm not sure if my eyes are bigger then my stomach on this one.

Going to pick up some plasticard today so I can finish up the chimeras. I hate the guns coming out of the firing ports. They just look silly, and I've had bad experiences. A friend of mine showed me how he put plasticard underneath to plug the holes and it came out really nice. I'm going to give it a shot. Going to shell out the cash for a pair of proper sprue clippers, I've been using the same pair since dubya got elected (the first time) so I'm due.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Diving In

Built my first model from "The Box" last night. Felt like putting together a basalisk. I haven't done one in a long time, I did one about 8 years ago and they are so much easier to put together. Though the cannon is still a pain, that system to make the thing move up and down does not work very well. I ended up just gluing it down. I also am not a fan of the empty space between the gun platfrom and the bottom of the Chimera chasis. I might try putting a piece of plasticard in there.

I did have one issue that was very anoying, the chasis itself was tweaked a bit. I could see it on the sprue and I was hoping that the slight bend to the pieces woudn't affect the model, but it did. I hate when my vehicles don't sit flat. I'm hoping when I add in the treads, after painting, that it sits a bit better. I don't have high hopes, but it's also not the end of the world.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My cornucopia of models came yesterday. Didn't expect them until today, but they came a day early to my delight. It was a lot of fun to open up a box with that many models. I've never ordered that many models before. Previously I've collected armies in 500 ish point blocs, and this time I decided to just dive in with about 2k points all at once.

Staring into the abyss of the sheer voluming of plastic needing assembly staring back at me I'm not sure my decision was the smartest. I think the only way this is getting done before next election is spend some of upcoming holiday time putting glue to plastic.

On a side note, my eBay issue had to go to eBay claims. Seller didn't want to work with me, had to argue that models with bare plastic were not fully painted. Not a big deal, I'm sending the models back in a few days and I should get a full refund. I should be more frustrated but I'm honestly happy to wash my hands of the mess, and in hindsight I'm pretty lucky that this is the first time I've had to deal with a seller like this.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I hate UPS. No, I don't. But I hate how they sit on packages at their depots.

I ordered a metric ton of IG a week ago and it has been sitting in their depot for the last few days, waiting to be delivered. Hopefully it should be to me today or the next. Planning a new army, and then finally pulling the trigger is one of my favorite parts of the hobby. The worst part is waiting for it to show up. It makes Christmas as kid look quite pedestrian.

On a side note, I finally got the Baneblades I had ordered. I love eBay. Its one of my favorite ways to get models, to sell the ones I'm done with, and generally window shop. I've had great experiences in the 10 years or so I've used it. But occasionally I get one of these.

The models I had purchased because they were painted. Looked nice from the pictures, no over spray, not tons of paint, pretty good. Described as Table Top Painted and ready to play with and only highlighting was needed. They showed up, looked great in the box, until I turned them over.....Plastic? The models were (5 of them) were all bare plastic, and the pictures were taken so this wouldn't show up. To make a long story short, I'm having to go through the eBay resolution process because the seller hasn't sold much on eBay and wants to have an educational experience in the process (his words, not mine) instead of resolving the issue between us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I had a very 40k centric weekend. Got my baneblades and Leman Russ' in the mail on Friday. That night swung by my FLGS to pick up the new Dark Eldar Codex and after got in a 2k point game againts one of my regular sparing partners.

It was one of the most interesting games I'd played in a while. He was running a very heavy TH/SS termie list (30 Terminators) and I decided to run a Tac Marine army (6 tac squads, 1 assault squad, 2 dev's with M/L). It was space marine elite vs space marine spam. We had rolled Dawn of War and decided to reroll as I would have gotten killed. We ended up playing capture and control with him walking across and me rolling a lot of bolter shots, and we ended up tying. Very strange mismatch of a game.

On Saturday night, the same sparing partner had missed a tournie he was supposed to be playing in and hit me up to see if I wanted to play again. By the time we were supposed to get together after a day of being a responsible adult and getting things done, both of us were a bit tired to play and spent the evening painting and watching Marbo's inspiration destroy cinematic villains.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My addiction kicked in Today with a long fulfilled desire. Found an auction on eBay I had been watching for a while with two baneblades and three leman russ'. I was able to pick them up for a very reasonable price. Someone clearly had played some Apocalypse and decided it wasn't for them, or got tired of it. The models are painted to a very basic table standard and with some wash and extra detail work I think they'll be fine.

I was able to justify the purchase on another front, I have a friend who plays IG and his Birthday is coming up soon, and I know he's wanted a super heavy for a while so I just couldn't pass up the deal.

I first saw the baneblade back in 2nd edition when they were made by armourcast and a friend of mine (the one who introduced me to 40k, when all my friends were playing fantasy) had one in a box. I thought the thing was the coolest tank I had seen, and even though I played marines at the time I knew I wanted one. Fast forward 15 years later, and I finally have one in the stable.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Latest Ramblings

I thought it might be fun to share my ever changing adventures in the world of Warhammer 40,000. Most people that play discover an army that fits their play style, or they love the look of it. I fit into the other camp; I love most of the armies and enjoy playing almost every type of list out there for different reasons.

A bit of my background as a 40k player.

I played some 2nd edition in High School and graduated into 3rd where most of my time was spent. I found a regular gaming group playing 3 nights a week, and first discovered my awful trait of collecting different armies. At the height of my collecting addiction I had acquired Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Tyranids, Orks, Chaos Marines, Tau and even a small Blood Angel Army.

My gaming group imploded a few years into my twenties about the time fourth ed came out and I just walked away from the game for a few years. Add in some college, a kid and job changes and I've only recently found time to rediscover the hobby, and this time with my ten year old son. I had attempted to get back into the hobby a few years ago with some friends who turned out to not be as committed as I was to it. After picking up a 2000 point Tau army and realizing I was the only one who had bought models I decided to wait a bit before assembling, and sure enough none of my friends pulled the trigger. I sold the stuff on eBay, ended up making all of my money back and decided that it may not be for me if I couldn't get my friends into the hobby.

Fast forward to a few years later when I walked into a FLGS one day to pick up some Magic Cards, as I had introduced this game as a gateway game to my son a few years prior. I saw the Attack on Black Reach set and remembered how much I enjoyed it, and being of the almost the right age he might as well. We picked up the AOBR set and he gravitated to the marines so I took the Orks. My addiction kicked in, and within a month the small Ork force had expanded to 1500 points of Death Skulls and my son's force transformed into a good sized Space Wolf army. This time I decided that even if my friends were not into the hobby I would find a new group to play with, or just play at stores (not my first choice, I am a garagehammer player at heart).

After the Orks I collected about 2000 points of Tyranids, finding a very large force of hormagaunts/termagaunts/warriors on ebay for very cheap. Add in a few elites, an HQ or two, a few Heavy Support and I had a decent force to play with. At this time I found a few friends I used to play with and joined (weaseled) my way into their group to get some games in. My Tyranids worked out well for painting, and I enjoyed playing with them, but they were just not competitive enough for me to use at FLGS tournies. During my reintroduction to 40k I had been collecting a small marine army with the idea of painting up some Blood Ravens as the Dawn of War game had really grabbed me. When I found out that the Blood Angels got fast vehicles I found my codex.

I spent a few months painting up an 1850 force of Blood Ravens using the BA codex for Da Grand Waaagh in Alameda, Ca in October of 2010. I did okay, finished with 1 win, 2 ties and 2 losses and finished 37 out of 73. Not too bad for my first large scale tournament. I wasn't happy with how my army performed, so I decided to rework it a bit. It was a very heavy mechanized list, and I've changed it into somewhat of an assault army with some mech. As it morphed from a shooting army into an assault army I needed to fill in the whole left in my stable of not having a shooting army.

So I decided to pursue collecting a Guard army. This coincided with my urge to step up my painting skills and learn how to use an airbrush. What better army to learn with then a mechanized heavy, shooty Guard army? So I sold off a ton of War at Sea minis and a Necron army that I had collected up but never used, with the intention of it being my next army (until I read their horrible rules and how boring they would be to even stand a chance in a game).

That’s where I am today. I thought it might be fun to document my misadventures and many tangents in the Far Future so starting a blog sounded like the way to do it. It was either that or scrapbook, and I am terrible with embellishments.