Spiteclaw’s Swarm (Commission)

I’m decided that I’m going all-in with Shadespire. However, despite the relatively low model count, I don’t have the time or motivation to paint all of the warbands for this game, so I recently reached out to another Shadespire player and asked him to paint Spiteclaw’s Swarm for me in exchange for a set of terrain. I recently received the finished models and I’m thrilled with the job that he did. They’re better than anything I could do myself in the mere two hours that he said it took him, and just flat out amazing for a speedpaint! Besides the overall great quality, I really like the way the green turned out on these models — a deviation from the standard studio colors for Spiteclaw’s Swarm and a great color choice in its own right.

20180507_215353

Advertisements

Shadespire Ruins

I’ve still been mostly keeping my head down for the past few weeks, working on making new terrain and filling orders. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t done anything non-terrain related. I have been getting in a small amount of tabletop gaming time here and there.

One game that I recently got into, almost on a whim, is Shadespire. I plan on writing more about it some other time, but suffice it to say that it’s already become one of my current favorite games. Shadespire is a fast-paced, tense, tightly-designed, highly enjoyable experience that all comes in a neat little package (plus a bunch of expansions that you’ll probably want to get as well).

Gameplay aside, Shadespire also provided me with an excuse to make some new terrain pieces:

3D terrain pieces are not required to play, and I’m not the first one to make something like this, but they to enhance the experience and kick it up a notch, even when unpainted like the ones in these photos.

Screamers of Tzeentch

Finished up a group of Screamers of Tzeentch recently. I remember feeling weirded out the first time I came across them in a Hobbytown USA back around 2004. It took a while, but these guys grew on me by the time I got my Start Collecting box last May. To me, they strike a good balance of managing to be creepy without being too over the top nightmarish or gross.

A couple of takeaways:

1. Army Painter washes are awesome! I’ve used their Strong Tone a fair amount in the past and I’ve been experimenting a little bit with the other colors more recently, but I haven’t used them this extensively or effectively before.

2. I had a lot of fun painting these guys! There’s a fair amount of detail present, but not an overwhelming amount, and nothing that was frustrating to paint. Combined with the cool blending effects I got with the washes, I don’t remember the last time I had this much fun painting a miniature.

 

Painting Guide

Body
1. Prime white.
2. Base coat Reaper Master Series HD Blue Flame.
3. Apply liberal amount of thinned Army Painter Blue Tone.
4. Apply thinned Army Painter Purple Tone.
5. Re-apply small amounts of thinned AP Blue Tone to create more distinction between purple and blue areas.
6. Drybrush RMS HD Blue Flame to bring up highlights.

Teeth/horns/spikes/etc.
1. Basecoat RMS Linen White.
2. Apply light amount of thinned AP Soft Tone.
3. Drybrush RMS Linen White.

Eyes
1. Basecoat RMS Marigold Yellow
2. Highlight RMS Clear Yellow

Small Stepped Hill – Badlands Theme

I’ve been experimenting with a new style of terrain piece, not to mention getting some more use out of the tree models that I sculpted over two years ago but which I hadn’t started using until recently. This is my version of a “stepped hill,” although I might call them something else if I can think of something flashier.

When making terrain, there’s normally a trade-off between aesthetic quality and playability. Stepped hills, with their relatively large expanses of flat surfaces are typically more abstract and less realistic than hills with a more “dynamic” design, but this also makes it easier to position miniatures on them. I think this design manages to retain the advantages of stepped hills without sacrificing too much in terms of aesthetics.

I painted this piece in the “Badlands” theme, which I’ve really fallen in love with of late since tweaking it by adding the Shadow’s Edge Miniatures grass tufts. It was a minor change, but because it’s such a simple color scheme, I think the little bit of additional color from the green tufts helps it pop.

Some Thoughts on the GW-FFG split – Part 2

A little less than a year after it was announced that Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop would be parting ways, WizKids just announced that they’re partnering with Games Workshop to “extend the Warhammer 40,000 universe IP across multiple categories, including, Dice Building Games™, board games and more… WizKids will create two new board games, along with dice games based in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, with additional plans to republish classic board games Fury of Dracula and Relic.”

So, basically what FFG had been doing up until about a year ago. I think Nicolas Cage’s character in Con Air summed up my assessment of this new situation the best:

1xw7f0.jpg

In this scene, there’s a ’67 Corvette Sting Ray tethered to the back of a C-123 transport aircraft. While it’s in flight.

 

Nothing against WizKids (I really wanted to like D&D Attack Wing!), but in terms of board games and miniatures, they’ve always seemed like the store-brand alternative to the more expensive name-brand. I suppose if you’re a Trekkie you’d go for Star Trek Attack Wing over X-Wing Miniatures, but the general consensus is that X-Wing is the better game (both in terms of quality of the components and the game itself), and it’s certainly the more popular one. So for Games Workshop to be partnering with them less than a year after announcing their split with FFG seems like a major step down for them.

I had always assumed that it was GW that wanted to end the arrangement with FFG because I couldn’t see the upside of FFG wanting to break away, but maybe this wasn’t the case. Of course, I’m only speculating without the benefit of insider knowledge, so maybe there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, similar to how the events of Con Air naturally led to a ’67 Corvette Sting Ray being tethered to the back of a C-123 transport aircraft while it is was flight.

Or hey, it’s 2017. We’ve got a pair of infantile man-children at the helm of two different countries playing chicken with their nations’ nuclear arsenals, the Cubs have a shot at winning the World Series for a second year in a row, and Princess Leia is dead*. Maybe GW partnering with WizKids instead of FFG is just part of the new normal.

 

*I’m not speculating on Leia’s fate based on the trailer for The Last Jedi that was recently released; I’m referring to Carrie Fisher. Still haven’t gotten over that one.

Swarmlord WIP – part 2

I talked about my start on the Swarmlord in a previous post. Of course, where would he be without his retinue of Tyrant Guard? Probably arriving via Tyrannocyte, but that’s for another project.

I’m participating in a Paint & Play at my FLGS, where I picked up a box of these guys the other day. In addition to playing games, we’re painting our armies in 500 point chunks. The Swarmlord plus three Tyrant Guard armed (get it, “armed?”) with crushing claws weighs in at just under 500 points, so I’ll throw in a couple of spore mines to top it off. Now that this first batch of models is assembled, on to painting!

I also made a short video talking about these guys some more.

Swarmlord WIP – Part 1

Behold, in all of his unpainted glory, the raw might of the Hive Mind made manifest in physical form, the Swarmlord! I decided I’m going to change things up a little for my next 40k match, and I’m bringing the Swarmlord along as part of my new list.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I got into 40k partway through 5th edition, right when the new Tyranid codex came out. The Swarmlord made his debut in that codex, but the official model came some time later, when the Hive Tyrant kit was converted from metal to plastic and new bits were added that let you make either a regular Hive Tyrant, a Flyrant, or the Swarmlord. I stopped playing 40k right around the time that 6th edition was released. I didn’t get in a ton of 40k games the first time around, and I’ve never used the Swarmlord in a game before.

I got this model last fall when I picked up a bunch of second-hand monstrous creatures at a good discount*. The guy I got them used a ton of superglue and greenstuff because to assemble and magnetize this model, along with some other extremely sticky substance that left behind a considerable amount of residue. Fortunately, I was able to clean it off with some dish soap and elbow grease.

I didn’t anticipate having to do this much work to get this model ready. Frankly, the amount of time and effort required made getting the discount from buying it used a wash. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any mention of the sticky residue in the auction description.  I’ve been more and more disappointed with eBay sellers lately.

The swords were magnetized, but the magnets in the torso sockets were so crudely placed that I decided to dig them out and clean out the excess greenstuff and superglue. I was originally planning on going all-out and making this a nearly fully-articulated model, but I decided in the end to keep it simple. I did add magnets to where the torso connects to the lower portion of his body, so at least it has one point of articulation, plus it’ll make transportation easier since I can separate the upper and lower portions of the body.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Plus, I can mount the torso on a flying base from one of my screamers of Tzeentch!

 

*After writing this, I realized that I left the Swarmlord out of that picture that I linked to, but he did in fact arrive with those other guys.