Well, how long has it been since my last post involving miniatures? Over 3 weeks, you say? Sorry about that, friends. Real life has utterly and completely ambushed me since the start of September. Not only has work begun in earnest after the end of summer break but I'm also knee-deep in the application process for Doctoral English Literature programs. If accepted to any of the 4 programs I am applying to, then I will begin my doctoral studies in the Fall of 2010. But in the meantime, I've got academic recommendations to lock down, Statements of Purpose to write, and (the biggie) a GRE Subject Test in English Literature to prepare for in early October. In other words...swamped.
I'd really like to apologize to the rest of my fellow bloggers who are involved in the TOEMP challenges. Sorry for being incognito these past 2 challenges and for not being very responsive during the email chats. I can't promise that real life is going to let up anytime soon, but I'll definitely try to regain a routine in regards to my miniature hobby. We'll see.
So, with that out of the way, here are the 3 Imperial Guard Cadian Heavy Weapons Teams I promised to complete for Challenge #3. Interestingly enough, the first 2 teams (a lascannon and a heavy bolter) were both done 2 or so days before the Challenge #3 deadline and the final team (the 2nd lascannon) was about half-way done. I was actually pretty certain I'd make the deadline. And then...real life. Well, I can't quite remember the deadline for Challenge #3, but I think I'm about 2 weeks past due. The picture to the upper left of the post is of the 1st lascannon team. If any of you have seen a very early post I put up of the lascannon team for my Veterans Squad, then you'll recognize that I've repeated the mixing and matching of Cadian and Catachan parts for the crewmen. There are 2 reasons why I do this: 1) I just don't have enough dedicated Cadian Heavy Weapons kits to make the quantity of Heavy Weapons I need for my planned army, and 2) I kind of imagine Heavy Weapons Teams being a bit more loosey-goosey with dress regulations due to the labor-intensive nature of operating the weapons.
The second picture to the right is of the heavy bolter team. The gun shield wouldn't fit properly, so I just left it off. Personally, I think it looks better that way, more like a Vietnam era M60 general purpose machine gun. The final picture to the bottom left is of the 2nd lascannon team.
Total Points earned for this challenge:
3 Heavy Weapons Teams + 6 points (I'm trying to push for including these models in the cavalry/ bikes category rather than the foot sloggers seeing as how each model consists of 2 crewmen plus a heavy weapon)
Eyes/ Lenses + 6 points
Missing Deadline - 3 points
Total: 9 points
For the 5th Challenge, I'm going to try to get 10 Vampire Counts Skeleton Spearmen painted up. Again, I very likely won't make the deadline, but I'm going to keep keepin' on.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
As a life-long New Yorker, I'd just like to take the time today to remember September 11, 2001. No politics in this post; this is neither the time nor the place for that sort of thing. Just a moment to remember what the city was like when the Twin Towers still stood. Being a life-long New Yorker, I think I'd only actually been to the Towers once or twice, usually to accompany relatives visiting from other states or countries. You see, as a New Yorker, you live with these great monuments on a daily basis, so they kind of recede into the background of your mind. It's not that you don't love them or treasure them or aren't in awe of them. You are. It's just that you're more like the proud parent in regards to places like the Twin Towers or the Empire State building or the Statue of Liberty - you want to show them off to friends, family, and strangers, but when the hubbub dies down and the pictures have all been snapped, they return to being those silent, comforting presences that remind you of where you are, who you are.
Note: comments are welcome, but please make them non-political. Thanks.
Monday, September 7, 2009
The TOEMP Bloggers have received their latest assignment! For Challenge #4, we are given free reign to paint up 60+ Codex/ Army Book points worth of any models we choose. Afterwards, we are then required to write up a short piece explaining why we chose said models (e.g., to work towards finishing an army, because said models have been sitting on our workshelves giving us a guilt trip for oh so many months, because we were particularly intrigued by the look and character of said models, etc.). Perfect challenge to not only keep us all painting but also to give us something to write about on our blogs!
I've decided to continue chipping away at my Imperial Guard army by painting up a Heavy Weapons Squad (2 lascannons and a heavy bolter). Working on the Sentinel kind of got me in the mood for working on characterful and evocative bases that told little stories, so that's what I'm going to try to do with these 3 Heavy Weapons Teams. I'll probably continue with the tale I began with the Sentinel by sprinkling Chaos Space Marines (or at least their body parts, all hail the Emperor! mwahahaha!) throughout the 60mm bases.
The deadline for Challenge #4 is September 16. Plenty of time!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thank goodness for holiday weekends! Starting the night before, I basically embarked on a marathon session to finish up the Khorne Bezerker and the base elements. Finally, I managed to put it all together around 4 PM Saturday.
The Bezerker is extremely rough, but since the Sentinel is supposed to be the focus for this piece, I'm okay with it. My strategy for painting the Bezerker was to basically make sure the Opaque Red basecoat was applied as smoothly as possible, and then to use the Antique Gold to quickly pick out some details here and there. I relied very heavily on Citadel washes to cover mistakes and provide some depth and shading on the Bezerker.
For the base, I decided against using the dozer blade from the Chaos Rhino as a fence due to its size. Instead, I replaced it with two smaller spikey bits from the Chaos Rhino sprue. The smaller one of the two I kept upright, but the larger one I placed laying down on the ground to simulate the violent onslaught of the Sentinel. Also scattered about the base are two hound head statues also from the Chaos Rhino kit, some moss, talus, and broken off cork bits.
So, scoring-wise, here are the points breakdown for completing this 3rd TOEMP challenge:
Foot Slogger - 1 pt.
Walker - 5 pts.
Walker Details (Hunter-Killer Missile, Plasma Cannon) - 5 pts.; not sure if this is what is meant by "accessories"
Meeting Deadline - 2 pts.
Beating Deadline by More Than 24 Hours - 2 pts.
Adding Extra Detail to Base - 5 pts.
For a total of 20 pts.
Overall, this particular challenge was a lot of fun. Obviously, real life interruptions forced me to rush a bit near the end, but I still feel the end result was acceptable. I eagerly await the next challenge in the Tale of Even More Painters!
Please click here for more pics.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Unfortunately, real life over the past couple of days interfered with my painting schedule. I had originally intended to finish the Sentinel a day or two ago, but it's taken me until today to finally get it done. It's still not 100% complete though. I still need to thoroughly highlight it and get more coverage on the Hunter-Killer Missile before I'd officially call it done.
Overall, though, I like it. It was much harder to paint than I expected, but I think I slowed myself down by making some first-time mistakes that I hopefully will not duplicate. Some things I learned:
1) Prime a vehicle in the predominant color of the basecoat. In this instance, I should've primed the sentinel in Hunter Green instead of Black. I could've then gone over the parts I planned on painting in another color in Black, if I wished. Priming it in Black, on the other hand, forced me to spend way too much time applying the Hunter Green basecoat.
2) Don't bother painting the interior of a vehicle that will not ever see the light of day. With this Sentinel, since I glued the top of the cabin down, the few hours I spent painting the interior and the pilot kind of went to waste. I mean, yes, you can sort of see the pilot through the viewing hatches in front, but the rest of the interior of the cabin is basically invisible. At most, I'd paint the pilot and leave it at that. However, for vehicles where the interior can be seen by opening a hatch or a door, then I'll still go ahead and paint it up.
3) Make sure to use the right pieces when putting the vehicle together! This was just me being distracted and unobservant. For the cabin of the Sentinel, before I knew it, I had glued the open-topped side panels onto the cabin frame instead of the armored side panels. As a result, the top hatch wouldn't fit neatly onto the cabin. I had to resort to doing some cutting with my hobby knife and then filling in the gaps along the sides with greenstuff. I'm actually pretty happy with the greenstuffing (on top of this being my first attempt at putting together a vehicle, it was also my first attempt at using greenstuff to fill gaps and make corrections). Up close, it looks obvious I greenstuffed, but from a reasonable distance, the greenstuff appears pretty seamless.
All of these 3 mistakes cost me a lot of time and motivation. While I enjoyed working around these issues, they also tested my patience with the model, and that's not a good way to maintain interest in something.
Well, I've got roughly 2 more days to finish the rest of the base (the Khorne Bezerker and some sort of barrier to simulate a defensive position) if I want to complete this challenge 24 hours before the Sunday deadline. It's Labor Day weekend in America, and my wife and I don't have anything planned (except possibly watching "Inglourious Basterds" on Saturday or Sunday), so I should have plenty of time.