June 29, 2012

Vlad, my first Warcaster

Despite the fact that I will be using Butcher as my first Khadow Warcaster I painted up Vlad. He was assembled on my desk and I had started painting him before I really thought about it. I wasn't sure if I should do him in red or the 5th Border Legion scheme. I figured I needed the practise so I went with the green scheme. I think it worked out well, especially the oversized shoulder pads. I am slowly getting better with the shading part of the scheme. It takes only a few minutes to shade the armour down while the highlighting just isn't as fast. I am not sure why but if I don't spend the time it doesn't look correct.

I think the darker colour of the shade is just that little bit more forgiving. I am unable to shade the dark grey that easily. The colour resists it quite well. I guess because it is already so dark. Highlighting the grey isn't easy and I have found myself easily going really extreme with this colour.

I kept the cloak simple as I am just not good enough at freehand to do anything more extreme than you see here. Geometric designs are fine. Anything more than that and I really struggle. I would love to have been able to do something more impressive on such a large area but I can't. The light killed the shading on the cloak a little but I am pretty happy with it. So the next Warcaster will be the Butcher. I will probably leave him until after the Demolition Corps though.

June 28, 2012

Demolition Corps bases

This is what I am doing for my Demolition Corps. The big Man O War models have just enough base size to get some interesting detail on there. I wanted the unit to look like it is crossing a barbed wire line. This is the most action posed of the unit the rest aren't quite as creative. The models were a complete horror to work with. I don't know what type of plastic this is but it took me easily three times long to get these assembled and cleaned than a metal unit. The plastic just doesn't clean up nicely. I use a blade to clean off mould lines and when used here it tore the mould line leaving a ragged strip of plastic behind. Using my files, not of the highest quality I admit, didn't help either. That started to damage the surface surrounding the line rather than polishing it. I finally used a combination of the knife and some dental tools and this managed to get them decently clean. I really am not looking forward to the next set of Privateer Press plastics.... I am hoping I somehow got a bad batch.

June 27, 2012

Kodiak WIP

Here is my Kodiak nearing completion. I hope you can see that this is a vast improvement from my Menoth Warjacks. I put a lot more effort into shading this model and while I haven't done it perfectly it is good enough. I have gone for the same scheme as with the Man O War Kovnik. I shaded a little darker however and I think this helps the contrast with the lighter green. I want to keep the tabard red on my Warjacks to tie them into the main Khador colour somehow. It is also breaking up the green a little with a warmer colour. The off white on the edges of the shoulder pad is similar to what I did with the pads on the Kovnik and I think I will keep it as a compliment colour on the army.

I haven't as yet added any damage or weathering to the model. I am almost to afraid to at this point. I could happily leave him as is and just finish the base. However I do want my Khador Warjacks to have some battle damage and I need to think about ways to do it. I think painting it on is better than salt weathering or the hairspray method. I intend to keep the damage to a minimum level which I can then ramp up for the older chassis such as the Berserker and Drago.

I put a lot more effort into the mettalics than usual. The poor photographs don't help show it off. I will be weathering these down but I think I achieved some good contrast on them. My blends are not quite seamless yet but I am getting there. Metallics are really hard to do... I watched Ghool's video on how to do them and he really makes it look easy. Check out Hand Cannon Online for his excellent videos. So this is the current state of the Kodiak. Hopefully he will look even better when next he appears!

June 22, 2012

Bloodtrackers










I am finally done with the Bloodtrackers. That is a good feeling. These models are so detailed that they are a little bit of a pain to paint. I only had four to do, five with Nuala, but they seemed to take ten times longer than any other model. Having finished these also means I have no more Circle Orboros models left to paint at the moment. I know this state won't last long so I am savouring it a little. I want to get the Blood Weavers and some more Warbests so I imagine I have a week or two before my resolve breaks and I buy some.

June 21, 2012

A Kodiak Moment

I couldn't really do a 5th Border Legion army without a Kodiak. I picked this fellow up on eBay as part of a package. It included quite a few other 'jacks so I almost have almost the full compliment now. For the battlefield bases I rally wanted to add some sandbags so I built a small barricade to test it out. I think it works fine, better than the Man O War's crater. The gap between the hull and the upper piece is really annoying. I had heard about it before but I though that it only really effected the Juggernaut. I filled it up and now once it is dry I can lay down an undercoat. I really don't know what else I will do for bases just yet. I haven't spotted many online that I can blatantly copy. The biggest problem will be with the Winter Guard as they have small bases and they are a nightmare to do something special with. Hopefully some inspiration arrives...

June 20, 2012

5th Border Legion Test

So I painted my first khadoran. I wanted to do a 5th border legion scheme as I think it is nicer than the standard red. The Man O War Kovnik was my victim. I don't see him being used often so I am assuming he isn't the most competitive piece. A good candidate for a test I think! Please feel free to give some feedback. I messed up the highlights in places. The shield isn't highlighted high up enough for one. I also don't have enough of a contrast, it would seem at least, on the green armour. I used Vallejo's German Fieldgrey WWII. It is a nice military colour, not too vibrant or garish. I shaded it with a fifty fifty mix of Charred Brown(VJ). This is a nice shade as it doesn't get too dark and take away from the green effect.

I did the base up to look like a small crater. The model really fills the base and so it is hard to make out. For the grey I think everything came out fine. It might blend a little too much in with the green. It is also quite a muted drab colour. I have a very german theme in my colour selection as this one is called German Grey(VJ). The green is highlighted with Dead Flesh(VJ) so it maintains a green hue. I usually use Bonewhite(VJ) and I was a little worried that it might wash out the green too much. The grey is highlighted with Bonewhite and it comes out fine if maybe a little blue.

I think this image shows the colours best as there is no shield or weapon disturbing the view. I added some battle damage and it is okay. It was just painted on rather than added with salt or hairspray. I did it this way to save time and also as I didn't want to get my airbrush out. It could have been a lot better that is for sure. In future I will be paying a lot more attention to it, especially on my 'jacks. The shading can be seen much better here on the shoulder pads. They fade into a much darker shade as the reach the edges. That came out quite nicely I think but could use some more work. Shading has never been my strongest technique. I usually start with the darkest shade and work up in tone. I want to improve so it is time to start clambouring out of my comfort zone! I am not sure what is up next for Khador, maybe my Kodiak. It depends on how inspired I feel to keep going with the scheme as it currewntly is.

June 19, 2012

How do I pronounce Nuala?

I listen to a lot of american podcasts about Hordes and Warmachine. One of the funniest things to note is the varied pronunciation of names, especially Khador despite the pronunciation guide in the rulebook! Another in Nuala. It is an irish name and we certainly pronounce it differently from what seems to be the standard way. It is actually infectious as I always find myself saying it wrongly. However I have her painted now and maybe she will get to a battlefield soon. I am not sure if she is that good though and I wonder what other peoples thoughts are.

She grants quickwork and reform. Reform is good but the range of the javelins are short. That means if they shoot at something and reform they will be only ten inches away at the end of the turn. That is well within a normal threat range. What seems better is quickwork. It allows them to shoot once they have killed a foe in melee. As I learned in my last game that is only a good ability against non reach troops! I look forward to trying them out I am not sure which 'lock they go with to best benefit. They really would like a speed boost most of all. They have no trouble hitting and not much trouble killing. Moshar dropping some salt pillars infront on them might be nice too.

June 18, 2012

No Man's Land - Khador

I am finally making a start on my Khador army. I want these to be a ragged bunch fighting over a ravaged front. The bases are really going to be something special, hopefully. I want them to reflect the constant fighting the army has had to endure and in essence this will be closely modelled on WWI. There are a wealth of photographs available but these aren't always much of an inspiration. General details are fine to pick out but the quality of these early photographs is a little limited. In general I see that the ground is incredibly broken up with almost nothing growing there. I suspect there was still some grass or weeds but it won't be covered in stuff like my Circle bases are. Then there are the common elements like obstructions and craters. The obstructions are a problem as they can't be accurately modelled on the smaller bases. At least they can't be modelled easily. I guess there is a way to do it and I will try to figure that out. Debris is simple and I won't have to worry about that. Broken up pieces of wood and mangled metal are easily enough fabricated. I would like to have some skulls lying around. I was recently watching th documentary The Civil War and the shots of the battlefields showed plenty of skulls lying around. One thing I have noticed is the amount of water sitting in the craters. It looks cool but I hate using water effects on bases. It is almost impossible to get it to look right, at least the way I do it. So to sum up this is going to be a difficult task. It will be rewarding I am sure and it is going to teach me a lot. The best way to learn I guess is to make a small terrain piece representing a shelled out area of a battlefield. That is going to be the test piece I can use to experiment on. I have noticed a really interesting blog here that has some most excellent examples of terrain especially trenches. I haven't as yet delved into too much depth but so far I think there is a wealth of information to be gleaned. Here is an example of what I have been trying. I don't know if I will stick with this base but it looks okay. I guess over time I will refine what I am doing a lot. I wanted to have Drago look like he is appearing over the edge of a small trench or foxhole. I would have liked to have the side a little higher but it is okay for a first try. I felt that if I raised the model too high it would be way too top heavy to be practical, which is probably is already. I like the idea of adding some height to a model, especially the older metal khador Wwarjacks. It can be taken to the extreme and hamper playing. I am especially considering hills. A top heavy model and a hill just don't mix. The Kodiak is hte next model I will base and I think I will aim to have him walking through a crater. That can't be too hard to do right?

June 12, 2012

Roof Done

I got the roof done despite having to relearn most of my geometery methods from school. I wanted to cut the roof as a single piece of plasticard so I wouldn't have to glue everything together. I managed it and hopefully that gives it a little more strength. I put a cap on it to break up the shapes a little. I was thinking about a flagpole but that was going to make it even harder to store. It is 29cm now, a little higher than expected. I also put some windows on the wooden section in the middle. They are shuttered closed as it was far easier to do them like that than have them open. I think it works fine. Now I just need to start painting! Hopefully it won't take long.

June 11, 2012

Almost time for a roof!

Despite having no internet access for most of last week that didn't really aid my endeavours to get some paint on some models! Once I managed to get a connection I was defintely not getting anything done. I had expected to get a lot of podcasts talking about Colossals but so far there have been none. Must be an embargo until the offical release I guess. Today I was finally able to sit down and get something done. I decided that I wanted to just continue with my tower and get it finished. The top level is more or less complete and I just need to work on the roof. I am not doing anything too complicated with this. It is a utilitarian tower and nothing more. I often see warmachine terrain being qualified as such by the addition of a steam boiler on the side. I am avoiding this as it isn't something I see as being useful for a tower and it would complicate the model too much. I have had this sitting looking at me for far too long. It has to be finished soon. One thing I really underestimated is the sheer height of the tower. With the roof I am guessing it is just under 30cm tall, so almost a foot. That is massive in comparison to the other terrain I have built and I am worried about the metal sides being a little boring. I don't have access to a decent plasticard stockist otherwise I would have gone to town on the detail. If I come around to doing more structures in the future I will make sure I have what I need.

June 6, 2012

Moshar musings

PhotobucketMoshar is an enigma. I really don't get him. I guess if you visit here regularly you will notice I don't get a lot of things, Ravagers especially! I think Moshar is one of the most powerful Warlocks that the Circle has. I just don't see exactly what he works best with. He doesn't boost his army immensely unlike some of our other Warlocks. His feat is only effective against Hordes, which in my local playing group is a massive disadvantage. We have far more Warmachine players than Hordes.

  • Crevasse seems a good spell. With Fury of eight Moshar can reliably hit defence fourteen. The cost is affordable and with a Gallows Grove  channeling this can be cast with little risk to Moshar.
  • Curse of Shadows is also fairly good. It too needs a Gallows Grove to really be effective. I like the idea of being able to bypass the effected unit without suffering free strikes. Having it as an upkeep is nice but I don't see it being that important as generally if the models are close enough to be hit by this spell they are in my threat range. If I am not killing them the turn I cast this on them then I am doing something wrong.
  • Mirage is another upkeep. It gives a short move in the control phase. It is useful when models are engaged the only problem being is that you have to do this the turn before to benefit from it in the control phase. It is nice to give a boost to the forward momentum of one of my units effectively giving a small increase to the threat range. For a cost of three it is only something I would consider casting on the first turn and then upkeep if needed for the rest of the game.
  • Pillar of salt is really where Moshar begins to shine. It is his signature ability and something that nobody else in the game can do. The pillars count as a stucture meaning they are really difficult to get rid of. A base POW of fourteen with ranged weapons (or fire/corrosion) and the fact that you can't charge them means a beast or 'jack needs to deal with them. They block LOS including eyeless sight making them great for annoying legion players. After the first turn I guess I will be dropping three of these on the table and this is where Moshar can really benefit his army.
  • Sans of Fate is a get out of jail free card for Moshar. He can charge something get his attacks in and then teleport back to replace a friendly warrior model. While Moshar isn't great in combat with wither he can damage undead and constructs fairly well meaning that the speel could be useful. It certainly isn't an assassination vector. Moshar is just too bad in combat for that to be realistic.
  • Sunhammer is a nice upkeep to cast on turn one and keep up for the rest of the game. It isn't going to do much damage to anything but how many times have you left a beast on one or two points just to see them heal a little and have their revenge in the next turn? This spell stops that from happening.
From all the spells in the list it is Pillars of Salt that needs to be considered in army composition. Ideally You want to be casting the Pillars every turn preventing the enemy from closing with key pieces. I see lightning strike having a lot of use with this.  Sending a Warpwolf Stalker forward to wreck havoc amongst the enemy lines only to have it move backwards is excellent. Combining that with a garunteed structure sitting between the Stalker and the enemy is amazing. This also works nicely with the Tharn Wolfriders. The light cavalry move gets them back out of danger and the pillars mean that the enemy is really going to have to dedicate something to take out the pillar before it can even consider getting anywhere near what is behind it. If possible doing this over a sequence of turns will attrition the enemy down to a pint where the pillars aren't needed any longer. Then using a Gallows Grove it is possible to throw out a few crevasses to really turn the attrition to your favour.

Moshar can support the Circles movement tricks better I think than any other Warlock as he provides a direct defence against any retribution. I guess therefore the best things to have in his list are those that play to this strength. Stalkers and Wolfriders immediately jump to mind. There aren't that many other Circle units that really benefit as strongly as they can't move after activation. Puting the Stalker's animus on other beasts helps a lot and so Wilders should be considered so that Moshar doesn't have to do it himself. Reform on the Bloodtrackers is also good. My list is theoretically looking like this:
Mohsar the Desertwalker
* Feral Warpwolf
* Warpwolf Stalker
Tharn Bloodtrackers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
 Nuala the Huntress
Tharn Wolfriders (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Druid Wilder
Gallows Grove
Gallows Grove
I am really unsure as to how this might preform. I desperately want another cheap light beast in there but that would mean reducing the Tharn Wolfriders to a minimum unit reducing their overall effectiveness. With the Pillars and the lightning strike animus I think I can keep my beasts safe long enough to make trading them worthwhile.

On a minor note I think the Celestial Fulcrum plays well with Mohar. Reducing anythings armour really helps the Fulcrum as it is assured getting kills then. Behind the pillars the Battle Engine is really well protected. Any guns that can really damage the engine should be the ones used against the pillars. If they don't shoot the pillars that blocks access for combat troops to the Fulcrum. If they do shoot the pillars then they aren't damaging the engine. A good trade for two fury.  I believe that the pillars don't block LOS to huge based models. If that is correct then you can sit behind them all game long blasting away and not be too worried about any retribution!

June 5, 2012

Tharn Ladies

There seems to be no end to the Tharn models that I need to paint and Lock and Load hasn't helped. It looks like one or maybe two new units for the Tharn. The first is a bow armed Ravager unit which would be cool. Hopefully they suck a little less than their axe armed brothers. I still haven't managed to use them properly though more and more people have been recommending them to me. Also one of the pictures of the Mountain King showed a nice silhouette of two axe armed Tharn. They didn't have the same axes as the Ravagers so maybe they are something new? For now however I have to get the last of my Bloodtrackers done.

I have the minimun unit of these painted since they came out. I think they were the second unit painted after the Wolves of Orboros. I did them in the purple skin tone I eventually used on the Ravagers. It works much better on smaller models. I matched these in pretty well so far though the blending on the flesh is so much better on the recent ones. It also doesn't take as long from what I remember. I have Nuala also to do. I decided to throw her in with these and at least get the base coats and initial highlights down at the same time. It saves mixing the same colours over and over again. Hopefully I can get these done quickly. That would be the last of my Circle models painted, at least of those I have bought so far. I am itching to get a Shadowhorn Satyr and the Bloodweavers are also calling to me. Seeing what is coming in Gargantuans I need to keep up with my Circle if I intend to get the entire faction painted... or I could start my Khador finally. Even getting a thirty five point list done would be nice for them.

June 4, 2012

Salty Pillars, no thanks!

I am looking to play a little more with Moshar the Desertwalker and as such I needed something to represent the Pillars of Salt he can summon. Some 3" card are most defintely not enough so I went about making my own. I made these using some plaster, cork and the lids from a sandwich spread. It was pretty cheap to make I just had to put up with a lot of Apfel-Zweibel sandwiches. I didn't want to make the pillars to look like salt. I always envisaged them as a massive chunk of rock bursting up from below at the whim of Moshar. I know he has a desert theme but this is a little bit more in keeping with my army theme.

I used a few pieces of cork to represent the rock itself. The inside of the model was hollow and wouldn't stand up to the rigours of gaming. To fix that I put plaster into the gap and then covered over the top of the cork with it to make the soil area. This took a while to dry but the piece is really heavy now. There is no chance that it will be moving anywhere due to a careless or clumsy hand during the game. A lot of times I have knocked a template around and it never goes back in the same place. These shouldn't do that. I flocked the top and sides to match the army and started painting.

I have a lot of rocks painted in my terrain collection and I did these to match. A progressively lighter drybrush of grey on the cork really brings out the detail. I give a green wash in places to break up the tone of the piece. Over the top of everything I add a black wash this time with Nuln Oil(GW). This corrects any rough bits in the drybrushing and defines some of the features better. I then just painted the soil areas the exact same way as my army and added the flock to match. The black base shows that it isn't a terrain piece which is pretty important. I don't want these getting mixed up in my opponents mind when I lay down a few amongst the rocks I will also be using. Hopefully the base shows them as a gaming piece rather than a board piece. I haven't manage to use these yet but I brought them to last weekends Steamroller where a few people noticed them sitting in my bag. I got some good feedback so I guess the effort was worth it. Now I just need to figure out Moshar and what to bring with him so I can use these!
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