Friday, September 6, 2013

Progress on my Riptides - Table ready

I was able to spend some time this week working on two of my Riptides.  I got enough done so that I can now use them on the table without feeling like schmuck. I usually get an army "table ready" then go back and do tiny details, and weathering. 

The nice thing is that with these done I am almost at that point.  I only have 3 broadsides, 2 skyrays (maybe one hammerhead, not sure right now) left to do.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Big Jim's Narrative Event at Celisticon 2013

On Sunday, September 1 I played in another Narrative Event that Big Jim put on, this time at Celisticon in Fremont, Ca.  This is one of a series of events he has put on that I have played in.  I once again had a great time.  These events always bringing out some great players and end up being one of the most fun I have playing 40k.

This game was a bit different as we broke into two boards, one 2 v2 and one 3 v 3.  This made for a very smooth game, and we actually finished way ahead of time.  The nice thing is that at this point, a lot of the players are the same, so it is always nice to get to catch up with people I haven't seen since the last event.

I decided to bring my chaos again.  I had flirted with the idea of rushing to finish my Tau, but I just hadn't felt like rushing on the project the last few months.  It was a good decision as not only did I enjoy playing my Chaos it helped reignite my love for the army.

This was the army I brought for the event.

We played on two tables.  The first board, with ruins was the 3 v 3 game ,and the one I played on. The other board was 2 v 2. 

I had such a blast and it was such a whirlwind I really didn't take a ton of great pictures, though I did have take some.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Planning for Celisticon 2013 - Big Jim's Narrative Event

I think I've gotten my list squared away for Big Jim's Narrative Event at Celisticon this weekend.  This is my fourth time playing in his events and I am super excited.  They have all been a blast.  The last one I played in at the BAO earlier this year was the first time I really used Ralph (my Chaos Warhound Titan) and last year's Celisticon was the game was when I faced a Warhound on the table and decided I had to have one (no regrets).

Yesterday I started working on my army list and looking at the scenario, troops are going to be very important.  My army list starts with subtracting out the points for Raph, leaving me with 1380 for the list.

Besides Ralph I have take my huge unit of Zombies which means Typhus is coming along for the ride. The zombies always go in my figure case one because they are of my favorite units I have ever built, being a kitbash of several GW kits.  I want two units of plague marines for grabbing objectives.  With the remaining points I decided to go with a Demon Prince and a unit of Terminators.  Once again,  I decided to bring these models since I like them.  As my chaos isn't the most competitive army out there (the heldrakes are staying home), I wanted to bring the models I wanted to look at, outside of my display case.  I did contemplate brining the Decimator instead of the Demon Prince but as I haven't used the Demon Prince in a while I think I'd like to see him on the table.

My List

  • Typhus
  • Demon Prince (Nurgle, Wings, Psyker)
  • 5 Nurgle Terminators
  • 30 Plague Zombies
  • 6 Plaguemarines (Rhino, 2 plasma guns)
  • 6 Plaguemarines (Rhino, 2 plasma guns)
Super Heavy
  • Chaos Warhound Titan
Another benefit to this list is that I won't have to bring a ton of stuff. While I am hamstringing myself with no helldrakes or maulerfiends this army will be pretty easy to transport.  Since I am bringing some terrain for the event I wanted an easy to transport list so I don't have a ton of stuff to carry.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tau Riptides with MaskFX digital camo masking

I spent some time this weekend getting the camo scheme down on two of my Tau Riptides.  The MaskFX digital camo masking worked about as well as it did before.  It seems to really not like curved surfaces.  I experimented a bit with using multiple pieces to hold itself down, and I was somewhat successful.

I think I am going to use some foam to ding up the camo even more so the over spray doesn't show up so prominently.   It's a great product when it works, I am just having way too much trouble getting it to stay put. 

Just like my earlier post you can see how some of the masking has already pealed up after putting it down on the rest of the model.  I ended up just accepting it on these models and I'm going to weather them to cover it up.

After spraying the base coat and then masking.  Masking took around 40 minutes since I used so many pieces.

 After spraying the second coat, the more prominent color, on top.

Peeling off the masking.  I use a combination of my hobby knife and tweezers, depending on the location and how it is sticking.

After peeling off the masking I was left with the below.

I then proceeded to repeat the process on my second riptide.  The project ended up taking most of a morning and an afternoon. 

After finishing spraying I started on the second step, adding Nuln Oil shade ( with some flo-aid) to the cracks to begin the laborious lining process.  It is such a pain but it really does make the model pop.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review of Critical Mass Games MaskFX Digital Camouflage Masking Sheets

I decided to do an urban camouflage scheme with my Tau, and after a while of trying to decided how to do the camo I decided on using a masking technique.  I've done this in the past on a large scale, with a baneblade and shadowsword, though this is my first time masking infantry.

After a while of looking into my options I found a product by Critical Mass Games called "MaskFX".  They are precut sheets of masking, in a digital pattern.  They even make a "15mm" sheet, which I thought would be perfect for Infantry figures.

The company is based out of England, though their shipping was very fast and the website was easy to order through as a US customer.  The website isn't really clear on how much masking is on each sheet, or how much to buy, so I picked up two "28mm" sized sheets and two "15mm" sized sheets.  My logic was I could the smaller scale sheets for my infantry and the larger sized masking for my vehicles and larger suits.  My first disappointment was when the masking sheets arrived.  The two "scales" are the exact same size of masking, only the "28mm" sheet holds more masking.  Not a big deal, but just a bit of a let down.

I decided to try the masking out on some Crisis Suits and a Suit Commander. I used three different greys from GW for this process.  I used Administratum Grey as the base coat.  Put down some masking, and then Dawnstone.  This was where I started having my first issues.  The MaskFX adhesive isn't that great, so the masking has a tendency to pull away from the model if it's wrapped around anything, or not on a flat surface.  While it is good that the masking isn't too strong so it doesn't pull paint off it doesn't do a great job of staying put. After my second spray I did some more masking and sprayed the models with Mechanicus Standard Grey, my final coat.  This would give me three different colors on the models.    For pulling the masking off I highly recommend using some tweezers.  The masking is small and hard to pull with just a hobby knife.

Below are the results I got.  Unfortunately, since the masking doesn't stay down as well as it should, some of the masking is not as clean as you may want.  Since I am doing "dirty" camo, and will go back and put chips in, it will look okay for me.  If you are picking about it, you may want to avoid using this product. 

After completing the suits and being relatively happy, except for the "not sticking well" problem, I decided to move on to my infantry.  Since the infantry (fire warriors and pathfinders) are smaller then the suits I decided to do only two colors, Administratum Grey masked off and sprayed with Mechanicus Standard Grey.  This would have the most "striking: pattern, save me a masking step, and really not lose much.

Since I was only doing one masking I decided to do more masking so the camo would be more pronounced.  Since the masking has issue on curves and "non-flat" areas I also decided to do every helmet, shoulder pad, and gun heavily.  I think this will show up on the table top and you won't notice the legs and torso's don't have much masking on them. 

It takes a long time to mask, about two and a half hours to do 46 infantry models.  I may just be slow though.  What this does mean is that by the time you are ready to spray a lot of the masking would peel up and not be sticking to the model.  You can see below that before I sprayed each model, I had to press down on the masking to get it back in place.  I was reasonably successful in getting the masking where I wanted.


 After spraying.

I was reasonably successful in getting masking back to where it needed to be before spraying, though once again, some of the masking is not as clean as I would have liked. Since I don't mind a dirtier look to the camo, it is not the end of the world, though it is a bit frustrating the product doesn't work as well as I think it should. The Infantry had more issues then the Crisis suits, you can clearly see in the below picture how many of the lines were not clean between the colors.

The models so far I've done using the MaskFX digital camouflage masking.

Overall I'd give the product a B+.  I am going to use it to finish this army, I do really like the look it can provide.  I wish the tackiness of the masking was about 20% more so it would stick once you lay it down. It is a balancing act with any masking material as you don't want too much adhesive or you start to pull the paint off when you pull the masking, this just needs a touch more.  I also would hope the website would get updated to clearly define a bit better what you are getting when you buy it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Assembling a Forgeworld AX-1-0 Tigershark

While working on my current Tau project I am in tandem working on an Apocalypse model for the army.  I really enjoyed having the Baneblade and Shadowsword for my IG army, the titan for my Chaos, so when I decided to do Tau I knew I wanted at least one Apocalypse model to run with it. I decided on the AX-1-0 Tigershark since D-Weapons are awesome. 

This model turned out to look really easy but be more of a pain than I thought it would be.  For one thing, the mold channels go into areas that are exposed flat areas of the back of the craft so a ton of filing needs to be done so it looks right.  They also were a pain to cut off since they were so think.  A dremel works but it makes a big mess (even using a vacuum). 

As I mentioned a few weeks ago (and detailed in this post) I mounted the model using a Secret Weapon Miniatures base and flying stand. After that was done I began the assembly process.  I spent a few hours every few days over about two weeks.  It wasn't the hardest project I've done though it turned out to be more intensive than I thought looking at the pieces.

The first thing to do was to start filing down the model so the engines could fit on the back.  As you can see from the below picture quite a bit of file work was needed to make the housings and four engines fit. 

 A clamp was super helpful to ensure that the housing sat flush with the not exactly flat surface I filed down.

 After a lot of dry fitting and filing I was able to get all four engines and their mounts installed. 

 Like all Forgeworld models some of the pieces were warped.  For this model it wasn't too bad, it really was only the Railguns.  Some hot water got them most of the way there.

 I did run into one major problem.   While attempting to install the cockpit/escape pod, which slides into place, it got stuck about halfway into position.  I am still not sure how this happened after many dry fittings.  It is much better to slide it into place and then put a couple of  drops into the cracks to glue in place than put glue on it before sliding.

I tried to use a mallet to gently push the assembly back out but this ended up just damaging the back of the cockpit assembly.  Luckily this part will end up being covered, though it was hugely frustrating, to say the least.  After realizing it wouldn't budge I figured an overnight soak in Simple Green would be the only way to get it out, by breaking up the glue.  I didn't want to redo the entire model, so I managed to MacGyver a setup that only soaked the needed area. Sure enough, after about 24 hours, with a little prying, it popped right out and I could get back to assembly.


 I only had a few pieces to install and the model is basically done.  The rail guns are just sitting in place, since I'd like to pain them separately (otherwise I can't get camo masking on the inner engine housings.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

First 2nd Edition Apocalypse game under my belt

I packed up my Nurgle themed Chaos Space Marine army, with Ralph the Warhound, to take down to my local Games Workshop store and get in a game of the new Apocalypse.  There are tons of articles in the 40k blogosphere reviewing Apocalypse so this is not what this post be about.

 I will only say that I had fun and I really enjoy the direction GW is going with Apocalypse.  It feels like a continuation of the move in 6th edition to a more narrative, garage-hammer style game.  While in the past I was more into the competitive when 6th rolled around I was pretty much done with competing in the hobby so this move is working out really well for my hobby.

We played a game of around 3500-4000 points with some super heavies.  I had a Titan and my opponent had the new Khorne super heavy as well as a tower thing on top of a Baneblade.  I can't remember exactly what it was, but it sure did pump out some pain.  So many weapons.

Like most games I didn't take a ton of pictures, though I did get some.  My army wasn't all the way painted so I wasn't crazy about the pictures that did come out.

My deployment. Ralph took the left side and my Riptide formation (4 strong, thanks to the GW store manager letting me borrow one of his) took the right flank.

My opponent got first turn and I already had some demons in my face. 

I manged to put enough shots down that the demon unit and his demon prince friend got scooped.  This was a portent of things to come as Tau and Chaos are a such a potent combo.  Between the hell drakes and crisis suits they didn't last long.

 After my first turn more deep strikers came in.  This time Lord Zufor and a full Terminator retinue deep struck right in my lines.  I knew this would be crazy and devoted about half my army to dealing with it.  I got really lucky in that 3 of my 4 riptides passed reactor overcharge checks and I could an overcharged ion cannon pie plate on them.  A very lucky hit, followed with many marker light assisted shot brought the unit down and then Zufor bit it.  It was one of those turns where I got very lucky and I shouldn't have been able to handle them.

 The Demon Princes on my right flank (left screen) came deep striking in and since my left flank was clear my whole army could shoot at them.  I had a lot of lucky wounds and my opponent couldn't make hardly any invulnerable saves.

The game went on for another turn though it was mostly a one sided game.  It was a game where it wasn't a great match up for my opponent, playing a mostly assault army, and he got really unlucky in a lot of his rolls and I rolled hot equaled a very one sided game. He was a fantastic sport, made the best of it, and I think had a good time.

 Bonus pics time.

Found out if you knock Ralph over just right he looks like he is napping.

I got to see both the Khorne and Necron super heavy in person.  I'm still not sold on the Khorne model though the Necron one is insane.  Almost makes me want to play Necrons so I can field one. 

The store had an Apocalypse demo table.  Fantastic idea, and it looked fantastic.