Friday, October 30, 2009

71 - Tau Empire Stealth Team for TOEMP Challenge #7 Completed!

The Stealth Team is done with about 3 or 4 days to spare. Depending on how busy my weekend turns out to be, I may have an opportunity to put together a scenery piece I've been mulling over in my head.

Well, these Tau models were fairly painless and quick to paint. Again, as I mentioned in the earlier post, there weren't that many colors in the overall scheme - lots of Black, lots of Purple. The only difficulty would be in the highlighting to make the subdued colors pop. And, let me tell you, highlighting is tough, for me at least. I still haven't developed a particular technique or level of comfort with it.

For instance, what looks like "battle damage" on these Tau Stealth units was actually my attempt at highlighting. But I couldn't get the lines on cleanly enough - too much twitchy hands syndrome. So, I kind of got frustrated and just started dry-brushing the highlights on. A lot messier, to be sure, but after looking over the results on the first Tau Stealth unit I tried it on, I kind of liked the unintended result. It did give the unit a war-torn, weathered look which, in my mind, fit the fluff behind the Stealth Teams (i.e., lone wolf units operating far ahead of the main army, having to live off the land and make due with whatever they had on hand).

Highlighting the Purple areas was a bit easier because of the large surfaces I had to work with. I probably should have given the Purple another, lighter highlight to make it stand out a bit more, but such is life. I also added a few touches of Red to the models to break up the color scheme a bit. After initially finishing the Purple on the models, I was a bit underwhelmed by how monochrome they all looked. I guess I'm from the school of miniature figure painting that believes every model must have at least 3 primary colors represented on it.

Here are the points breakdown for the Stealth Team:

Foot sloggers = 4 points
Lenses = 3 points
Beating Deadline by at Least 24 Hours = 2 points

For a total of 9 points. Now let's go work on that scenery piece, maybe...

Click here for more pics of the Stealth Team.

Leia Mais…

Sunday, October 25, 2009

70 - Tau Empire Stealth Team for TOEMP Challenge #7 WIP

Seeing as it's been over a week since my last post, I thought I'd put up some WIP pictures of my Tau Stealth Team. At the moment, they've received 3 thin coats of a Purple basecoat, after which I then glued all of the various accessories on to the miniatures.

All of the Stealth Suits are equipped with Targeting Arrays (those antennae like things afixed atop their heads) while the two non-team leaders are armed with Burst Cannons. The Shas'vre is armed with a Fusion Blaster and also sports a Hard-Wired Drone Controller and a Markerlight (which is glued to the top of his Fusion Blaster).

The interesting thing about Tau models, for me at least, is how difficult it was to find reference pictures regarding which bit does what. For example, the things I'm calling Targeting Arrays could very well likely be something else entirely. I really have no idea. Googling "Tau targeting array" only gets me images of fully constructed Tau models without any specific pictures highlighting which part of the model is the targeting array. Same thing goes for the Markerlight and the Hard-Wired Drone Controller. For the Stealth Suit kit this isn't too much of a problem seeing as how the load-outs for the Stealth Team is fairly limited. But I can just imagine the difficulty (especially for the obsessive compulsive among us) of putting together a Crisis Battle Suit or a Broadside.

Well, overall I'm making good time on these figures. Honestly, the color scheme of the Stealth Team really lends itself to quick painting. The Black primer acts as a basecoat and aside from the Purple over roughly 50% of the figure, there aren't very many other colors represented. The only time intensive part I can see down the line is the highlighting. Due to the subdued and dark color scheme, these models are going to test my highlighting abilities in order to make them properly pop.

Maybe I'll be able to finish this team with enough time to spare to put together a scenery piece for them. We'll see...

Leia Mais…

Sunday, October 18, 2009

69 - TOEMP Challenge #6 Update III

Standard Bearer and Medic completed! That brings the Company Command Squad to 6 completed members. I've begun basecoating the Officer of the Fleet, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get him done before the 20th of October. I spent most of today finishing up the Standard Bearer and the Medic, so I'm pretty burnt out on painting - don't think I'll be doing any more on the Officer of the Fleet tonight. And due to my work days being extremely busy and taxing, I'm not sure I'll have the time or energy to get to him before next weekend.

I'm fairly satisfied with the Standard Bearer, although painting the flag was much more difficult than I anticipated. In all honesty, it's probably the most difficult thing I've painted since I started this hobby! Is that strange or what? I think the reason I found it so difficult, despite it's relative size compared to a 28mm miniature, is just the sheer amount of detail on the flag. Couple that with the folds in the flag, and trying to keep the paint from going out of bounds was like herding cats. Of course, painting a molded flag is still leaps and bounds easier than free-handing one, so I can't complain. Still, I marvel at some of the clean paintjobs I've seen of banners and flags.

The Medic was very straightforward. Pretty much a standard Cadian Shock Trooper but with the Medic backpack and arms. I couldn't find the special Imperial Guard Medic Head (you know, the one with the stylized caduceus on the front of the helmet instead of the Imperial Eagle), so I had to resort to a normal Cadian head. Kind of disappointing, that.

Well, if I don't get to finish the Officer of the Fleet by October 20th, then I'll just consider this my submission for TOEMP Challenge #6.

Click here for more pics.

Leia Mais…

Friday, October 16, 2009

68 - TOEMP Challenge #6 Update II

Again, to keep myself motivated, I thought I'd post what I've managed to complete for Challenge #6 up to this point. From left to right, we have: the Bodyguard, the Vox-Caster, the Company Commander, and the Plasma Gunner.

The Bodyguard is essentially a Catachan model with a Cadian torso and painted Cadian colors. Fluff-wise, I figured it would make sense that the bodyguard for a commander would come from a more "elite" fighting force. And it just so happened that the bits of Catachan troopers I had in my bits box allowed me to configure the model with equipment that the Bodyguard read-out allowed - close combat weapon and frag grenade.

The Vox-Caster is pretty much standard Command Squad kit parts.

The Company Commander, as I mentioned in the previous post, sports arms and shoulder pads taken from the Hellhound Tank Commander. I like how he turned out, although the Badab Black wash I added to his greatcoat to give it some dimension was probably slathered on too thickly. I very likely will have to go back over it with another highlight.

The Melta Gunner has arms from a Catachan trooper (again, as mentioned in the previous post). He was actually the toughest model to put together because I was having a hell of a time trying to find the proper left-right arm combinations for him. I was trying desperately to avoid giving him a pointing right arm since not only is my Company Commander pointing at something, but so is my Officer of the Fleet (not yet painted). I don't think seeing 3 different members of your Command Squad pointing in 3 different directions while screaming their heads off would give your rank and file troops all that much confidence that your HQ knows just what the feck it's doing.

Okay, back to the painting station to muster the motivation to finish the last 3 (4, if I decide to paint up the converted Lord Commissar) members of the Company Command Squad by October 20th.

Click here for more pics.

Leia Mais…

Sunday, October 11, 2009

67 - TOEMP Challenge #6 Update

Here's an update as to how my sixth TOEMP challenge is coming along. My GRE Subject Test was this Saturday, and now with it out of the way, I've allowed myself to relax a bit over the weekend by working on the hobby. For Challenge #6, I've chosen to do a full Company Command Squad for my Imperial Guard army. One of the extra requirements for Challenge #6 is to perform as many conversions as possible to your models, but as you can see from these pictures, I don't think I've fully embraced that particular requirement. You see, I'm still a wimp when it comes to green stuff. All I've yet used it for is to fill gaps in models and vehicles and while I hope to one day be able to fully sculpt detailed conversions with the stuff, that day is most certainly not now. But despite that, I tried to convert this Company Command Squad as much as possible by just swapping pieces here and there.

The picture to the upper left shows the 3 members of the Command Squad that are the farthest along. From left to right: the Plasma Gun Veteran, the Company Commander, and the Vox-Caster. I know it's hard to see, but the Plasma Gun Veteran has Catachan arms and a Space Marine Plasma Gun. I went with the Catachan arms to simulate how laborious it would be to actually operate one of these cumbersome special weapons; sleeves would either just get in the way or not offer enough ventilation from the heat. I had originally intended to make him a Meltagunner, but since meltaguns are at a premium these days (i.e., I had 1 meltagun to spare and I plan on using it with my Space Marines), I settled on a plasma gun. It works out, really, since with the Medic in the Command Squad, that gives me an additional layer of protection against overheating. The Vox-Caster is pretty much standard; I think the only change I made on him was to use a Heavy Weapons kneeling legs bit on him, but aside from that, everything else is straight out of the Command Squad kit.

The Commander pictured to the right is coming along rather swimmingly, I think. His head, torso and legs are from the Command Squad kit, but his arms (and molded shoulder pads) are from a Hellhound officer and the sword attached around his waist is from a WFB Bretonnian kit. I was actually a bit stumped as to what color to paint his greatcoat. I didn't want to go with Hunter Green because it seemed a bit "blah." I didn't want to keep it Black either or to paint it a brigher primary color like Blue. So I tried out Dolphin Gray and was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out. He still needs another layer of basecoat, a wash, and some highlighting, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with him. (And he didn't take all that long to do either! The giant surface of the greatcoat really helped speed him along.)

The final picture (to the bottom left) is of the 3 other Command Squad members I plan on painting up. From left to right: the Bodyguard, the Regimental Standard Bearer, and the Officer of the Fleet. The Bodyguard is essentially a Catachan guardsman while the Regimental Standard Bearer uses parts straight from the Command Squad kit. The Officer of the Fleet, however, is a full conversion. I'm pretty proud of him. His torso is from a Baneblade Tank Commander. I carefully cut the tank hatch surrounding the bottom of his greatcoat away, then attached Cadian legs I cut off at the knees. This part worked out more seamlessly than I expected. The rest of him is a mixture of Shock Troop, Command Squad, and Baneblade Tank Commander bits with another Bretonnian sword strapped to his waist. At first, I was about to make him the Master of Ordnance, but I actually have a Hellhound Tank Commander laying around that I plan to convert into the Master of Ordnance using the same technique I applied to turn the Baneblade Tank Commander into an Officer of the Fleet.

Not shown in the pics is the Medic (primarily because he's unchanged from the standard medic that comes in the Command Squad kit). I also desperately want to put together an Astropath but I'm having a hard time finding the proper bits to convert one. I have a Reaper Miniature that I think could work as an Astropath, but he's a tad too big, scale-wise, to fit with the rest of the Command Squad models.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

66 - TOEMP Challenge #5 Finally Finished!

5 days past the deadline, 3 days past when I wanted to finish them by, but here they are - my Vampire Counts Skeleton Warriors command group. Almost zero highlighting done on them, but overall, I'm glad I took my time with them. Usually, I consider painting skellie models kind of a mindless activity - you know, just basecoat in White or Ivory depending on the look you're after, then wash in Devlan Mud or Badab Black and, voila!, you're done. But these 3 command group fellas (or at least the Champion and the Standard Bearer - the musician was kind of simple) had plenty of fun fiddly bits to fuss over.

All 3 Skeletons are, again, a mixture of Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings. The Musician, for instance, is basically a Tomb Kings Skeleton with a Vampire Counts shield; the Champion is a Vampire Counts torso, head, and swordarm on Tomb Kings legs; and the Standard Bearer is essentially a Vampire Counts Skeleton holding a Tomb Kings standard pole with a Vampire Counts banner affixed to it. Even though the primary reason for all this mixing and matching is one of necessity, I'm actually digging it. It gives the models a bit of a different look compared to if I had just used all Vampire Counts parts.

By the way - the piles of skulls and tombstones in the background are actually extremely cheap yet nicely detailed and pre-painted bits I found at my local Michael's craft store. They were selling them for Halloween dioramas, and they were exceptionally cheap - about $1.99 each for a pack of 6 skulls and 6 tombstones. They're also just the right size - well, the skulls are a bit big, but not strangely so. I also changed the background color for these pics, swapping out the powder blue for a light purple. Overall, these 2 minor changes to my usual light box set-up added nicely to the models, I think.

Okay, so TOEMP points wise, here's the rundown:

7 Foot Sloggers = 7 points (even though my previous rank and file Vampire Counts posting had 7 skellies, only 4 of them were newly painted)
Missing Deadline = -3 points

I wonder if the Standard counts as an Icon/ Symbol or Mark? Well, either way, it wouldn't really change my tally all that much. Grand total? 4 frikkin' points! Whoohoo! I'm livin' the high life now, baby!

Well, my GRE test is this Saturday, and after it's over and done with, I think I'll have time over the remainder of the weekend to start in on my TOEMP Challenge #6 committment. I'm going to paint up an Imperial Guard Company Squad, I think, composed of a Company Commander converted from the Baneblade Tank Commander, a Company Standard Bearer, a Vox-Caster, a Medic, and I really would like to put together a Meltagunner and a heavily converted Bodyguard, but I'll have to see if I have the parts and the inspiration and the time laying around somewhere this weekend.

Click here for more pics.

Leia Mais…

Friday, October 2, 2009

65 - TOEMP Challenge #5 Almost Completed

Since I've discovered that blogging does help me stay motivated, hobby-wise, I figured I might as well throw up a post showing how far I've gotten with TOEMP's Challenge #5. The main option for the fifth challenge was to paint up a heavy support unit, but since the only heavy support unit I have in my collection is a Land Raider which I've yet to muster the courage to tackle, I decided to go the alternate route and paint up 60 points of Troops. My initial plan was to paint 10 Vampire Counts Skeleton Warriors with a full command, but due to time constraints, I paired that back to 4 new rank and file Skeleton Warriors plus full command. (I already had 3 Skeleton Warriors painted up, so I figured painting up 7 more would give me 10 - halfway to my planned 20 man block of Skeletal Spearmen for my Vampire Counts army.) Well, even that proved a bit daunting because as of October 2 (the deadline), I've only managed to paint up the 4 rank and file skellies while the musician, the standard bearer and the champion languish at my painting station. Oh, well...the best laid plans and all that.

So, here they are. The four up front are my newly painted skellies while the ones in back were previously painted. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I've mixed and matched Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts parts for my Skeletons. This is because prior to committing to a Vampire Counts army, I was toying around with the idea of a Tomb Kings army, going so far as to buy a box of Tomb Kings Skeleton Warriors and a box of Skeletal Horsemen. When I finally did decide to go Vampire Counts instead, I picked up some bits off of eBay and went about converting the Tomb Kings models into Vampire Counts models. I'm pretty satisfied with the results, although converting one type of skeletal footsoldier over to another isn't really all that difficult. I think the real challenge is going to come from converting the Tomb Kings Horsemen into Vampire Counts Black Knights.

Of the previously painted skeletons in the back of the pictures, I had to make some minor alterations to them in order to better fit them into my army list. I originally had assembled them with hand weapons, but I then decided that I wanted my Skeleton Warriors to have spears. So, I tore the weapon arms off of 2 of the Skeletons, trimmed the area around their shoulder joint, then glued spear arms onto them and re-painted the area.

Well, I very likely won't make the deadline again. I very much want to take my time with the command portion of this Skeleton mob, but who knows? I do have a day off tomorrow...

Leia Mais…
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