Friday, December 24, 2010

Dynamic Redirection

I took a break from painting the Tau. With the re-release of the Dark Eldar I wanted a chance to do something else and not get burnt out. As with the Tau always advancing in new directions, I got some of the new Dark Eldar models and "experimented" with some new ideas.

At the end of second edition I had started with Space Marines and then Craftworld Eldar. My first Space Marine Army were the Dark Angels. They were well... dark. They were the first of the first Space Marine chapters and I figured why not. They had a cool looking symbol, so in the name of the Emperor... Many, many, many mistakes were made. Losing an entire army on the first turn: thank you void grenade, haywire missiles, shokk attack guns, and other stuff. I soon came to the realization that Space Marines lacked many things in second edition, one of them being mobility. Land speeders just didn't have it, and died way to easily. For those of us who made the worst mistake ever in second edition: to put your troops in transports, especially rhinos, that also lead to units shooting at juicy targets with big uberguns. So the Space Marines were sold for.... Craftworld Eldar.

Saim-Hann was for me the complete polar opposite of the Dark Angels. From big, bulky, angular vehicles to sleek, slick, sophisticated vehicles that raced across the battlefield. The loss of heavier armor to slightly less armor was a bit of a hindrance, but the pay off in firepower and agility was worth it. In Second Ed the Eldar could bring some enormous firepower to the table, and they could quite literally: Reach out and touch you. The Craftworld Eldar also had something that the Space Marines didn't have: Initiative and a very high one at that. Force fields were also a staple of Eldar technology. Finally the models were so easy to paint so it was stupid simple.

Take falcon, and wave serpent out of box. Sometimes use X-acto knife to take off molding lines... sometimes. Spray paint every thing flat black... not in the house. Getting really creative now hold on: Take four pieces of masking tape and make two "V" shaped patterns on the hull of the Falcon or Wave Serpent. Next spray paint red and let dry. All of the canopy's that you spray painted black... paint dark blue where (ultra marine blue)the windows are and then high light with light blue (enchanted blue)after that. Once red paint drys remove masking tape. Viola: insta Saim-Hann Falcon or Wave Serpent. For guardians apply same theory with one exception: no masking tape and paint helmet and gun dark gray (fortress gray), use watered down black on gun and then highlight head with lighter gray (space (cheese) wolves gray), with again watered down black on front of helmet where the eyes are. Paint base (snot or goblin) green, use clear PVA glue on base, swirl around in plastic container filled full of favorite base terrain or fish aquarium rocks, yes the statue of limitations has finally ran out on that one, and then put onto field. This also works on Farseers and Warlocks. Just pick out the runes with shining gold and brazen brass (tin bits) and again use the dark blue and light blue combo and Voila again.. insta ground forces with out adding any water. No I didn't use water in my paints like I do now. But back then, it was all about kicking ass and making people feel bad about playing....ya. Then Third Ed came out.

Dark Eldar were the fo schizzle. For me the models looked sexy, hello wyches. Again they had high mobility, this time, very high mobility, and their firepower was off the scale. The Space Marines had gotten several upgrades when the rules were rewritten. I sold my Craftworld army and went the from the monkish Craftworld Eldar (prudes) to the everything in excess, Dark Eldar... yes I would like an extra bottle of chocolate syrup with my sin and decadence. Nothing was too vile, too Evil, or too in excess, and the Dark Eldar had the firepower and hand to hand to back it up. There were two main flaws to the army, when it crumbled... it really crumbled, and the models were extremely brittle.

Again like the Craftworld Eldar the army was extremely easy to paing. Especially seeing the army on the front of the book. Testor's (tm) had or still has a color called Artic Metallic Blue. It came in both spray cans and individual jars. Raiders, Ravagers, and Troops were painted very quickly. The metals took a while... However now comes a twist....

One of my really good friends at that time, Jason, really taught me how to paint. Layering, lots of layering, painting in white or bone, or the worst thing ever: Painting Faces. One thing I dreaded the most: Faces. Without going into great detail I was transitioning in, he was transitioning out. In the course of my teachings, I left some of my metal figures over at his apartment and when I came back a few days later; they were painted, and painted quite well, far better than I could have done. So... picking up on this, I just "happened" to leave figures over at his apartment, and my army's special units were being completed at record speed. When I finally got called out, there was much tribute that was paid if I recall correctly: Subs for Scrubway, Taco's from Taco Smell, there were many emergency resupplies of Code Red, you get the picture. However, I had a finely painted Archon, Dracon, two full Incubi Squads, twenty wyches, ten grotesques, ten mandrakes, ten hellions, three homenculi, one talos, one beastmaster and five warp beasts. To this day I still thank Jason, and tell people that I didn't paint my metal Dark Eldar figures, that laurel is all his .

However the bad side to playing Dark Eldar: no new codex in ten years, and most of all: The Raiders and Ravagers were prone to having their stands break. I spent more time repairing the plastic flying base stands, and drilling out holes in the bottom of Raiders and Ravagers than I had time on the table. If one model got knocked over, it would be followed by a SNAP with the base separated from the model. The Ravagers had metal, pewter side panels, add to that metal guns, disintigraters or dark lances, plus the weight the of the model itself, and every time it was knocked over, bumped or what ever I usually lost a stand. In a 2,000 point army I could easily have three Ravagers, and anywhere from five to eight Raiders. I liked the "Air Cav" army but it was a pain to maintain. So when the Tau came out with Devilfish and Hammerheads the Dark Eldar got shelved.... So darkness changed to light, yang to yen.

So now the yin has changed for the yang. The new rules for the Dark Eldar just came out last month. A new line of spectacular looking models, hit the shelves, probably the best in years produced by GW. The next Tau codex is not scheduled to be released anytime soon. Not to mention a deep buried emotion to eviscerate my opponent on the table and then laugh at them hysterically. I am shelving my Tau and painting my Dark Eldar. Once the Dark Eldar are complete I will start back on the Tau.

I am recreating the army I played back in 3rd Edition: Air Cav. This army will again be Raider, and now Kabalite Warrior heavy, retain the Female Archon, Incubi heavy on elites, no wyches, and Ravagers for Heavy Support. This time around I am making one fundamental change: Metal fricking stands.

This time from the lessons I learned from posing Tau models in new dynamic ways mainly: XV 8's and XV 88's, pinning body parts: I applied those lessons learned to the Dark Eldar. Up until I had taken a class from the GW store in Syracuse, which is now gone... those were some really cool dudes BTW, they really shattered the image of the typical GW Trolls, but thats another story for this blog, I would really butcher models. Now not so much. With the hand drills, and some new tools I had an idea of never having to fix a base or a stand ever again.

Once I had a new Dark Eldar Raider I took out of the box and looked at the pieces, and with the directions, got the pieces for the under belly and dry fitted them together. After seeing how the pieces fit, I saw there was a gap between the bottom and the part that was the initial part of the floor of the Raider. So now going to the local national, orange themed, hardware store I found what I was looking for: 3/8in x 3in aluminum screws and the aluminum bolts to go with them. So here is the step by step:

On the bottom of the Raider where the stand would go take a hand drill and make a hole there so the drill goes all the way though. Once that's done, use a hobby knife and widen the hole, until the screw will fit through. Only make the hole big enough for the base of the screw to go through, not the head. Once you get that done, take your first bolt, and run it all the way up so its flush against the bottom of the Raider. That will hold the screw in place. Now with a second bolt glue it to the base and let it dry. Once the bolt drys to the base you can then screw the screw into the bolt onto the flying base. What you have now is an indo destructo aluminum stand, that you can take the bottom on and off. Upon completion of painting the Raider or Ravager, you can epoxy the bottom bolt to the base so it will never come off, and then use CE glue with or without accelerator to lock down the top bolt to the base under the Raider. I will post pictures in my next blog.

Also coming new lessons learned painting models....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Master and Apprentice

Its been quite some time since my last post. Between a well deserved two week vacation, and five days away on a job trip, I lost almost a full month. At least while I was on holiday I was able to go back to my roots to one of the first people who taught me some of the tricks to modeling.

I first met Dennis when I was about ten years old. I was trying to put together model airplanes. I remember trying to put together a 1/72 scale Revell F-100 Super Saber from Revell. I don't believe I was all that successful. I was trying to use Testers Polystyrene glue. That was the glue to use back in the day, yes its "old school". There wasn't any of this CE super glue, Zap a gap with Zip Kicker, accelerator stuff like things. Old polystyrene glue would take what seemed like hours to harden. There were like 48 different steps and would take the average person a month to complete a model. If you really wanted to do it right and paint the cockpit, paint the inside of the engine, or air intakes, you could easily make one kit a two month venture. If you wanted to do a tank, it could easily stretch to three. Dennis' page is linked below:

Also back in the day there wasn't, or at least I wasn't aware of, any water color paints you could use for plastic modeling. Water colors were for painters, for school projects, or for "serious art-tists" who painted on canvas. Again until I knew any better, Tester's Paint was the only paint I was familiar with. This was not a good thing since at that time, Tester's was an oil based paint. As many housewives and mothers could emit a scream that could shatter glass when they found out that oil base paint had been knocked over and had dripped onto the, their carpet. If you were fast enough with the paint thinner, if the carpet was dark enough, and the paint was the right color, you could get by with little or no stain. Sometimes even lacquer thinner couldn't help the spill, and grounding would take place.

Anywho I was able to find Dennis at one of the local hobby stores he teaches at. As always I make it a point when I am at home to have a chat with Dennis about the models I have been making and some of the issues I have been having. Don't get me wrong. There have been some cool techniques I have picked up from different places around the country but as always I am constantly humbled whenever I talk to Dennis.

In earlier posts I have talked about using an airbrush to speed up base painting models. This has been very effective, and saved a ton of time. However with the ten dollar special airbrush from Harbor Freight it is great for blasting out tons of paint for what I need it to do. Problem is you either get quality or quantity. So... this leads me to the first of a few issues: what airbrush do I use for quality painting, ie finer nozzle? I also I am noticing allot of clogging when I do use my cost effective airbrush. Again I am using the GW Mechrite Red paint... which is THE worst paint to base with. Its heavy, gums up rapidly, and most of all kinda expensive, but dam I like the color. Also most of all with the gumming up process my paint jars that feed the airbrush are starting to get caked up with residue. I am starting to have issues galore. Dennis to the rescue, and the humbling is about to begin:

First Dennis re-introduces me to lacquer thinner. OK O Great Tactician (me), remember lacquer thinner? Yup, sure do... works well with miliputt for filling in gaps when its a paste... Remember how it will basically eat through just about anything given time? Yup... it will eat right through polystyrene kits if given time.... So you know it will remove paint from polystyrene kits and paint on pewter parts? Yup remember on some tanks that had some metal parts on the chassis. So ya think it might work on other metal parts....? That was the first time of many times my hand meet my forehead at a high rate of speed, and the following dumb feeling. OK so now I know how to get all of the gook off of my airbrush. All of my parts received a generous three hour soaking in a metal container. With an old toothbrush I was able to rinse the paint off of the jars with hot water. I soon had two sparkling jars. This time when I pushed a dressing pin through the air nozzle it came out allot further and pushed out allot more gummed up paint.

Next about thinning the sludge I have been forcing through my airbrush. Ninety-One (not JD or JB) percent alcohol is not only used for cleaning but can also be used as a thinning agent. This one I didn't know. Household Windex is also an excellent cleaning agent(and its cheap). When I was painting with the airbrush I added about two to three drops of Windex to help thin out the paint before I added the water. I did notice a difference. I did feel that the paint did come out smoother. And on that note.......

I didn't realize that there is a certain pitch that the airbrush will emit when I get the right thickness of paint to where I want it. Again Dennis had a story of how one of his student was telling him his mix was off by the sound of the airbrush was making when he was doing a couple of test strokes. I was only using one sense when I was using the airbrush, not two or I would have noticed this difference sooner. It doesn't sound like much but look at it this way: Too much paint and you lose all of the detail of the model. Too little and you will have clumps of watery paint all over your models, yes it will look like someone spit on it, hence the term: spitting. When you have to clean up paint on models, its a waste of both time and money. Again there was a resounding "Duh" when Dennis told me this. I knew that there was a certain mix or recipe I followed when I made my initial batch of paint. I knew that when I brushed a Devilfish I had to have so much paint in the jar, and so much water. I just never though to listen to how the brush was singing. I wanted my brush to sound like Jewel, not Roseanne Barr.

So now back to something else I have addressed before. Use the right tool for the right job. The original airbrush I bought was crap, it was made to be run off of canned propellant. Which lead me to the ten dollar work horse I am using to base the army. Again I cant give this ten dollar brush enough props. So if I have a shot gun, I now need a sniper rifle.

Dennis showed me the difference between a gravity fed airbrush and suction based airbrush. I was taken back of how easily the gravity fed airbrush broke down for cleaning. I also loved the fact that it looked like it had a much easier feed system for shooting paint onto a model. The needle was much finer as I saw how easy enough it was to write a name or do a certain style of camouflage, which... game me a few ideas.

I am convinced that the females of our species have been doing hobbies or crafting just as much as we men have for quite some time. Intuitions have sprung up to further these crafts or hobbies. Michales is one of these fine places that I have discovered with the travels of my wife that has, quite frankly, allot of really cool modeling stuff!

Michales carries airbrushes, not the el cheapo, second rate brush, but the top of the line Badger brand of air brushes. Badger was the original type of airbrush my Dad had that almost drove him to pull out his hair. Again the Apprentice asked Dennis the Master; how about the Badger line of airbrushes? Dennis said that Badger was one that was tried, tested and proven, and been around for a heck of a long time. However looking that these brushes, they aren't cheap. So what to do? Enter the Internet....

Michales like many other places has Email lists for preferred customers. These can often be a bad terrible thing where stores sell your address for ten cents to someone else. However, they like other places send out coupons. Oh yes... some times coupons for as much as forty percent off of certain items. Doing the mental math are we? Yes so that $120.00 Badger Airbrush, is now under $75.00!!! That's a heck of a deal no matter how you look at it. That means you can celebrate your brand new top of the line, quality (sniper rifle) airbrush with a fine dinner with your spouse.

Thanks Dennis

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Firewarrior Madness

I got all of my original 72 Firewarriors removed from their base, and pulled up all of the old railroad ballast. In many cases the clear PVA glue had either rubberized or shrinked to where it pulled the ballast up off of the base.

Once the ballast was removed, I used a heavy hobby knife to remove the Firewarriors from their base. I did this because the first time I was basing the Firewarriors I was using alot of PVA glue to coat a base and "swished" it around in a plastic container. The result did turn out pretty well. Using the railroad ballast lasted about nine to ten years. If I wanted to push it I could have easily used super glue CE glue and glued the ballast back down to the base. But I think its time for something different.

So 210 Firewarriors are quickly on their way to being repainted. I am actually very excited of getting the Firewarriros done. The Firewarriors make up a very large part of my army and I want to make sure that they match with the other units.

Of the 210 Firewarriors, the first 72 have been removed from their base and have one side, air brush painted. I started to paint the other side and I just couldn't get the mix right with the air brush. I kept gumming up the air brush. Either I didn't thin out the paint or the paint was too thin and came out really watery. I started to run out of time so I called it a night. By the up coming weekend. I would like to have all 210 done. That will leave the the six original Devilfish, the Pathfinders, The Piranha's, and the last formation consisting of six XV-88's and 12 XV-8's.

I am still surprised of how much time the air brush is saving. Although some times it is very frustrating to use, it definitely is worth it. I think if I was using it every day or for work I would invest in the $200.00 model but I cant really justify it. I am still wondering if I should have bought a more powerful air compressor. I think that 20-30 psi might be too light. The other thing I have been thinking about is, looking for a different head for the airbrush that might allow a finer line for painting.

I would like to be done with at least the initial basing of most of the models by the end of next month. I think that is a Conservative estimate. From there I can start adding the sept marking and the offset color, in this case gray. Farsight's colors seem to be maroon and gray. With other supporting colors of light and dark blue for plasma guns, black-highlighted with gray for under workings, and for lenses, I am going to try something different. For the lenses I am going to try yellow instead of green or blue.

Many years ago in 2nd Addition 40K there was an actual Deathwing Squad of Terminators. The color (colour) scheme was skull white with bone white for highlights, red for lenses, and green for wings for the Dark Angles symbol. The overall effect was "Christmas" themed Terminators. I have seen the same recurring colors being used on different models in showcases in different combinations. I just have a hard time envisioning white XV-8's, highlighted with bleached bone, with red lenses and green highlights. That just screams wrong on many levels.

I think that this color scheme will stay much closer to what Farsight's shown in the Codex.

So once all the the army is based coated, I can start knocking out squads with gray highlights and appropriate color schemes. I need to write these down and make sure I stick to them and not get sidetracked.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Have been thinking a lot of how to proceed. I have been thinking it may be better to "attempt" to rebase one squad of Firewarriors and see how that goes. If all goes well and I manage not to cut the heck out of my fingers then I will rebase all six squads. If the rebasing goes well then I will finish off the last of the XV-8's.

The rebasing doesn't need to happen all at once, 72 Firewarriors will take some time. The 25mm bases come ten to a bag and the 40mm bases come five to a bag. I will make sure that I stay on track. I still have the rest of the A-X-10 to finish off, six Devilfish, the Piranha's, three unpainted XV-88's, and some Pathfinders.

I have been draining the local stores of mechrite red. Between a special order of ten jars from a local gaming store, and clearing out a GW store a little at a time, I have managed to lay low and not come up on anyone's radar.

The painting has been going smoothly, much better than I had thought. The investment of the airbrush really has paid off. I am no longer limited on the type of color I want to use as a base. Also the paint seems to come out much smoother, or more constant. The paint doesn't seem as "heavy" as from a can. I will defiantly recommend that if anyone is planning on painting a large army, as in over 3000 points, get an airbrush. Its really paid for itself and save a ton of time, while being fairly inexpensive. Like anything else, you need to get familiar with using the airbrush, but the results and benefits are well worth it.

I am thinking that for the bases, I will leave the bases black, and then use another type of railroad ballast, one of the more coal like ballasts. The good thing with using a darker color is that it wont take much to lighten it up or show some contrast. A coat of dark gray, and then a second coat of some light gray may work well. There will be allot of experimentation next month to see how things work out. I am not sure if I want to go into using static grass just yet.

I bought a modeling book that covers 40K models and how to base them. The default seems to be the light green with flocking. I wasnt quite sold on the brown or desert base. The city scape could work, with bits of tubing or polystyrene parts.

There are a few pictures around the net that show models standing on top of some "mesh like" material. I was thinking that some of the mesh from a window screen might work. While in a crafts store, I found some plastic mesh. It came in a grid and looked to be about a 1'x1' piece. It was flexible and it also came in different colors. I was thinking that either black or gray would work well. It would be easy to add some depth on to one of the bases that way. It would also be easier to have a piece of mesh to easier identify what formation that model belonged to.

I haven't been thinking about how to tell the different formations apart. The Farsight Bodyguard isn't bad. However the other 50+ suits are going to be a problem. Whats going to be worse is the problem with the Firewarriors.

With a current total of eight-teen squads I am thinking its going to be a nightmare. Add to that the leader has to be identified with certain markings. Its not going to be as easy as, painting the helmet white on the leader, then have the rest of the squad follow him around the board. I am thinking that if there is a gun-line then there will be multiple squads in close proximity to each out and could possibly get mixed in together. So again, do I use the bases to differentiate each squad, have different squads painted differently, or a combination of both?

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Decisions

I have decided to make some decisions..... First I am going to go ahead and purchase some more 40mm bases for the remaining twelve XV-8's and six XV-88's. That in turn will require the purchase of even more mechrite red.

Right now I have a Farsight Formation that is maxxed out. That formation has six XV-88's and twelve XV-8s. There is another formation called a Broadside Destructor Phalanx. It is XV-88 heavy and has some really cool rules if you are facing a heavy mech opponent or someone who has say... an Ork Gargant or a Warhound.

So, if I pull the XV-88's from the Farstrike formation and dump them into the Destructor Phalanx, I am still three shy. So... if say over the next month or two, nine more XV-88's were to materialize, I could... field both formations.

Screw this with great power comes great responsibility crap. I am thinking more railguns is mo' betta'. Perfect fix for bugs... more railguns. Perfect way to literally turn a mech army into Swiss Cheese a al railgun. Perfect way to make the RV on wheels-Baneblade go 'Boom', with a railgun. Rhino rush meet Railgun gun line, yes thats 72 freaking inches of range with my railguns. Did I mention that when I look for the strength of a railgun I automatically go all the way to the right of the table where it should say.... "railguns only"?

Whats the only thing better than eight-teen railguns on the table? Maybe twenty-one railguns on the board, you might think? No but wait theres more.... How about a destructor weapon on a mobile platform that moves no less than three feet per round, and whats the main armament on that platform: a railgun so fricking big it autokills stuff.

Ok my meds are kicking in.

I am making the decision to standardize the remaining suits in the army. I am even going so far as to include the XV-25's that I already had painted up in another paint scheme. After the suits are done, the Piranha's will follow, then lastly the remaining Devilfish. Once I have completed the base painting for the rest of the army, the last hard question will be addressed: do I want to remove 72 Firewarriors and put them onto new bases for repainting.


The Firewarriors can be painted painted in mechrite red and then inked.
The Firewarriors can be painted quickly and assembly lined.
This would allow all 216 Firewarriors to be done in 1-2 days.
They could be finished fairly quickly.
Army would look uniform


I spent a hell of alot of time painting the initial 72 Firewarriors. Not sure if I want to make that all go away.
That's a hell of alot of cutting
New basing
Getting new bases and flocking

Again much pondering. But honestly I am making alot of progress. Once the entire army is in its mechrite red stage, whats really left?

Painting canopies, lenses, and viewing ports
Painting Plasma weapons
Painting exhaust ports and vents
Painting intakes
The bad one: tracing armored plates with black
Maybe doing some battle damage with silver and black paint
Doing some sept marking in gray
Painting bases

I am leaving the basing for last. For me that tends to go very quickly. I am thinking off gray for for bases and maybe some sore of black flocking or ballast. That might give these models a more weathered appearance.

Still a long way to go but I am still chipping away at my goal. At least I am getting a little bit done at a time. I am also finding out that having a plan and sticking to it, is helping a lot. Having the "no plan-plan" is not the way to go. I am thinking that I will be done before the end of the year. I would really like to post some pictures of a fully painted Apocalypse Tau Army in excess of eleven battle formations, or three full 40K army's.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shas'O Vior'la Shovah Kais Mont'yr

I did a lot of conversions today on my Farsight model today. I had been putting this off for quite some time. I have always used Farsight as a deterrent putting a power weapon armed XV-8 on the board. As the main Commander for my army I wanted him to really stand out. I finally had the right parts and tools to make some good conversions. Again this model is over eight years old, has been around the world once, has been dropped a lot, and has been in many tournaments. This model really has some mileage on it.

The model above has had the legs glued together at least two or three times. I finally pinned the lower legs to the foot assembly. Most of us have been told to always use the right tool for the right job. Well finally after buying, a rotary tool, an air compressor, a thing with two arms that have an alligator clip on each end, a good pair of tweezers, and a hand drill, I now have the options to do some really neat things to my models.

Between the CE glue and accelerator forming the crystalline bond and the heavy duty paper clip rod, the legs shouldn't snap off anymore. I actually drilled though the feet and then at least half a centimeter into the leg. The model shouldn't budge since I even pinned the feet into the base.

I was also able to snap the right leg out of the hip joint and turn it a good 45-90 degrees for a more dramatic pose. I didn't want to go as far as cutting the knee and for a leaning forward look. I wanted to keep it simple and not make the model look over complicated.

I think of the things that I really wanted to change on the Farsight model was the sword, or the Dawn Blade. The sword really doesn't really look all that impressive. It really looks closer to a hatchet of if you want to reach, like a Kopesh Sword. Also the "sword" is.. well.. small. Lets face it, in some situations size does matter. There have been times I have thought, "hello this is my army leader Commander Farsight, he has a power butter knife, that lets him cleave though armor and vehicles." If you are going to have one power weapon in your entire army, make it fricking count. Give the guy his props. If hes got a fabled sword, make it cool, not like it was made from scrap metal from a pick-a-part. Make a sword that people look at and say "Oh $h1t".

I used some pliers and snipped off the "powered butter knife". I then selected a grinding bit for the rotary tool and proceeded to grind the handle out of Farsight's hand. I wanted a good snug fit for the new weapon. I have seen a few pictures were the handle was left in and a sword or other weapon was placed on either side that made the hilt look longer as if it the weapon was made to be two handed. I stole the idea of using the sword from an Eldar Wraithlord.

With some minor modifications the sword is an excellent choice for a new "dawn blade". Its large enough to catch some attention. It is also made out of plastic and is able to be customized for other models. The hilt was separated from the Wraithlord hand with two very simple cuts with an exacto knife. The sword and hit were then glued back together with some accelerator, and then placed into Farsight's left hand.

Again, I used a rotary tool with a grinding head to grind out the previous left over pieces of a hilt. Once the remainder of the hilt was removed, the sword was placed into Farisght's hand to make sure it looked right. I used an exacto knife remove the remaining metal between the fingers. After a few times and some minor adjustments, the sword fit into the hand like a glove.

The shield was moved from the sword arm to the opposite arm. I still cant figure out why you would place a shield on the same arm as your main weapon. Maybe the sword was place as an afterthought? Or was the plasma rifle supposed to be Farsight's main weapon, which goes against everything about him. Also the plasma rifle was removed from the outside of the arm and with some minor modifications, moved on to the top of the arm behind the shield... common sense? I also made another small modification; I straightened out the arm. The forty five degree angle arm for single XV-8 gets old.

This would technically allow Farsight to use both the shield and sword at the same time..... ok ya its fluff, but still. Only bad part was the original arm was all metal. With only a slight curve the sword arm in its current position is what you get. With the sword mounted in the left arm with a slight bend, the model looks much like its about to do a "bitch slap" or a back hand cut. Yes I have a weird sense of humor.

Finally I stayed with the markerlight head. With four antenna's slightly bent out, it really makes the head look sharp. I also repositioned the head to look off to one side for a more dynamic look. The head was then strengthened with some CE glue to make sure it stayed in position.

I think if I were to do make any further changes to this model it would only be one thing. I saw one picture where someone had taken the top of a drone and used green stuff to put a sept marking on. It would be easy to get a drone base and saw the bottom part off. The tricky part would be to get the green stuff all the same thickness and then cut out a Farsight pattern. The red circle would be easy, but the "T" part I think would be tough. Then once you have that done, the symbol would need to be placed just right onto the drone body. I have never sculpted before, lets keep it simple stu....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Shelf Turns Red

I made a lot of progress today. The last week really put me behind schedule. I do believe that I did make up for it today. I have all but twelve XV-8's completed. I am still wondering if I should make them look like the rest of the army or keep them as is so they can be designated as a separate unit. If I do decide to paint them like the rest of my army I will have to get some more 40mm bases.

I got Farsights bodyguard reprimed, and repainted today. Considering the models came out around '02, the models are still holding up really well. The heads came out really well. The new markerlight heads really make the models stand out just enough. I really wish I would have discovered that conversion about five years ago.

I absolutely love the new color. The mechrite red really has a blood/maroon color that is closer to what I believe Farsight is supposed to be depicted in. Originally I wanted to follow the fluff about the 'breakaway faction" and use some sort of rust color. Then I saw another model that had been painted by one of the 'Eavy Metal' team and really liked that color. It was a deep red not quite a maroon but not quite a blood red. For two months I experimented with different colors with no luck. I ended up settling on a mixture of a black and red. Depending on the ratio of black to red, you can come up with a very deep rust brown. However now finding out that the Tau use some sort of crystalline armor, rust really isn't an issue now is it?

For my color scheme I am going to do mechrite red, black and a dark gray. Plasma will be a combo of dark blue and light blue. For lenses I am going to stick with light and dark blue, with some white. I have issues with using the standard paint chart. Way back in second addition, when the Deathwing Terminators first came out, they were, because of the fluff, painted in Christmas colors. Being bone white, trimmed in green with red highlights, they had everything short of a beard and eight tiny reindeer. In the dark future there is only war, and someone forgot to add the kick ass, foreboding, unchristmas colored terminators. Maybe for lenses I might try yellow. I will have to experiment and see how it comes out.

These guys below are the command section for my Nighthunter Stealth Formation. Supposedly the more experienced or veteran pilots use the smaller suit XV-22 instead of the XV-25 because of a smaller signature. In the game there really doesn't have any difference. I used to have six of these guys but I traded them away for another Devilfish and some other units. Besides the new XV-25's had just come out, so it made sense at the time. I was lucky enough to come across about 24 of the metal ones. If I really wanted to I could field two complete Stealth suit formations, if I was going with out any Rapid Insertion Formations.

The Xv-25's below came out very well. I was able to paint almost three times as many XV-25's than XV-8's with the same amount of paint. Painting the stealth suits really went quick. Much quicker than I had expected. I was will able to complete 30 stealth suits in just over an hour. I have six left I am not sure if I want to paint over or not. Jury is still out. Yes the antenna's are in different positions on the XV-25's. Forward on the top of the "helmet" means part of a 'Rapid Insertion" Formation. An antenna on the jump pack means the suit belongs to the Stealth Hunter Formation. The drone controller is a free floater.

Sometimes I will run one of these with some marker drones to stir trouble up in small games or in Apocalypse games run a team of three, put a positional relay on one, hide it and watch people get mad.

I also started painting the A-X-10 tonight. Its about half way done. I will post a picture when its completed. I have to say, that plane looks down right evil even partially painted. Its like a giant bloody wing just hanging in mid air.

Sooner or later I will have to make a decision on what to do with the models painted with the previous color scheme. Deep down I am hearing a call for new bases....