Saturday, 29 December 2012

Review: Highlights of 2012

With another year coming to a close, and with the next lined up for us to make of it how we want, it's time again to review the best bits (both blog and non-blog related) of this past year or so.

100 Facebook likes



As of now it is 108 likes, but I thought that, back when I opened the page, even reaching 100 would be a challenge. I'd like to thank everyone who has been following, and people who have got other friends and hobbyists to follow. I must be doing something right for such support from great members of this community. Lets see if we can get to 200 faster.

Forgeworld's Horus Heresy range


With the release of the earlier marks of power armour and Contemptor Pattern Dreadnoughts, we could all tell that Forgeworld would eventually do a Horus Heresy release; it would be such bad business sense if they didn't capitalise on a popular period in the sci-fi 'history' of 40k.



 And although they are intended for heresy-era , I've nabbed up a few for my Thousand Sons, and intend to get a few more in the new year. Mainly, I'll be getting one of these Imperial Jetbikes, for something really special.

Thrashing the 20,000 views target

When this blog first started, I intended to reach 10,000 likes in its first year. When that was easily smashed, I raised the bar to 20,000. Even that has been beaten, by over 4,000 views. Without your great support this wouldn't have been possibly, so again, thanks guys.

The world not ending



Well, to be fair, this wasn't going to happen anyway. If you went and researched 2012, you'd find out that nothing of the sort was predicted, and it was all a big marketing ploy (seriously, hundred of books, films, shows, even deodorants, were sold by playing on people's fears of imminent doom). Even if it did happen, I doubt it would have stopped the more serious hobbyist.


6th edtion 40k and Chaos Marine Codex


With every edition, we do have those who do not like it. The majority simply move on, and some really like the changes. I'm in the latter group.

I've enjoyed the small and radical changes, both with the core rule-set, and with the new codex, which is full of fun combinations and new units to try out.

So with my top moments broadcast, how about you share yours. Comment below or come over to the Facebook page (click Ahriman up at the top). Also I wish you all a very happy new year, and I'll be starting the new year with a post showing my progress and completion of some of the December projects.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Showcase: Deimos Pattern Chaos Rhino

If you are reading this today, or any point after, the world did not end on the 21st December 2012 (not that it would have). You can relax, the corporations and people in tin-foil hats were wrong, and we can get back to normality whilst people come back down from the French mountains, where E.T. didn't come pick them up like an interstellar taxi-driver.


So now, onto something real. My completed Deimos Pattern Rhino. For those who have been following the build process (parts one, two, three and four for those interested), it has been a fun little build, and a number of the skills learned can now be applied to other projects, such as my Fellblade.


The rhino has been painted in the standard legion colours, but with more gold, thanks to the added banding. The missiles in the Havoc Launcher were painted with Ceramite White, followed by Vallejo's Dead White.


I've also added a legion icon to the roof hatch, which mimics the one shown in another of my vehicles, the Storm Eagle.


What has changed is the weathering process. Instead of the usual Forgeworld weathering powders, I've been using Tamiya projects, which, I feel, have been doing a better job overall.


The sand weathering around the bottom was done with a Tamiya weathering stick (demonstrated in this tutorial). The smoke was done using a soot colour from their 'weathering master' kit, and the headlights were an experiment using the snow colour as a glow. An interesting idea which works quite well.

This will be the last post until after Christmas, and regular service will resume next Saturday (29th December). The Facebook page will be updated up until the 24th, so hover about for some random updating. So to finish, have a great Christmas guys, and I hope the Chaos Gods present you with gifts you hoped for (or a suitably mutated alternative). Here are a few more pictures to conclude.





Thursday, 20 December 2012

Matt's Malifaux: Building and Painting


My first time with Malifaux is proving both interesting and frustrating.


First, let's get the bad over with. I have hated putting these models together, and I hold a special loathing for the steamborg.


Whilst it is a beautiful model, none of the parts fit properly, and big gaps are created from the miss-aligning parts (see shoulder above). I suspect I will need to do a lot of gap filling and re-sculpting when I get around to finishing it.

Also, the mecha-spiders are a pain to build. Tiny parts and sockets too small for the legs. Ramos was the easiest model, but even then he still had a sizeable gap where his arm joined.


So with the bad out of the way, it's time for the good. These models paint up really nicely, and it's a pleasant change from the blue armoured wall I am usually facing off with. I've been focusing my attention on Ramos first.

The coat started off as Vallejo Leather Brown, with added GW Screaming skull to brighten up the coat and to highlight after a wash of Devlan mud, everybody's favourite wonder-wash.


I've also started the spiders. Nothing too complex as of yet, just Boltgun Metal, Devlan Mud, and a Drybrush of Necron Compound. Next, it'll be the brass sections and detailing.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Tutorial: Sand Weathering With a Tamiya Weathering Stick

Even under a layer of caked desert-dust, I could still see the symbols on the side of the passing Rhino APCs. When I closed my eyes, yellow serpents curled within my conciousness, and glowing moons laughed at me. All I could do at this point was hide. I doubt the Overseers are looking for me now...

Players are often split on the concept of weathering tanks. Some like theirs fresh from the factory, and at the other end, some want the look that their war-machine is long overdue for a power-hose. Personally it is best to be weathered, but reserved. I don't like over-doing it, but I do like to show where my Thousand Sons have been doing most of their fighting: a desert world.

I've decided to use a Tamiya weathering stick. For those who don't know, it is essentially a weathering 'pen' which contains a semi-wet compound that is rubbed onto a tank, thus weathering it. Whilst I have been enjoying the use of Forgeworld weathering powders, I feel that much of the sand powder gets blown away when it comes to the clear varnish spray.

For this tutorial, you will need but a few items:

  • Tamiya weathering stick (I'm using sand, but I imagine this would work just as well with a mud stick)
  • Standard sized paintbrush
  • water (clean)

To start off, paint up your tank as you normally would. Add any damage (such as scratches) before applying the weathering stick.

Next, begin 'painting' on the weathering substance. You can do this by drawing lines, or dabbing the stick on until you get the right amount. Apply it thicker to nearer the tracks as this is where the build-up of dust will be greatest. Use real tank photographs as references. Allow the weathering to dry.

Now, at this stage it doesn't look as 'realistic' as the stick says. This is where the water comes in. Slightly dampen the paintbrush, wiping off any excess water. 

Slowly begin thinning down and changing the substance. You don't want to make it runny, just wet. Stroke the brush downwards and dab the brush when working on the dust to get interesting effects. Mess around with the mixture and patterns until you are happy with the results.

And there we have it; a battle tank fresh from a desert skirmish. As a little secret, the tank I've been working on today is the Deimos Rhino I finished building a few weeks ago. I might show you it completed on the last post before Christmas (Dec 22nd).

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Review: Influential Bloggers and Youtubers

Inspiration and encouragement comes in many forms, and if that form is a person, it is only fair and polite to let them know that they've had an impact on the direction and success of something. That is why, for today, I'll be sharing with you key Bloggers and YouTubers who have helped influence my work, for the greater good of course.

11th Legion

These guys have been particularly helpful in helping gather support for the Facebook page, and directed me to useful blogging groups. A particular shout-out to 'Spud'; a great guy to talk to and someone who always has great models in the pipe-lines.

Nurgle Command

It's been great helping out Nurgle Command since it started up earlier this year, and Adam (the owner) has been a great source for ideas, both with his own projects, and some of mine. I still owe him a game of 40k at some point, so readers can expect an apocalyptic clash of Tzeentch and Nurgle at some point in 2013. I wish his blog the best for the new year.

Voices of Mars

Voices of Mars' Mario was one of the key reasons I started up the Power Armoured Metal YouTube channel. It all started shortly after his 'I am a Wargamer' video, which I still need to reply to. Mario turns out to be a great guy who knows his wargaming, and is a friendly face on the scene.

Joeyberry

Another Youtuber, one who's Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 and Malifaux video are a) great entertainment, and b) informative for those wanting to get started. Joeyberry highlighted Malifaux as as good game to consider. I've seen it in shops before, but her videos did cover the game in more detail and depth than simply reading the back of a box. She also helped out with colour scheming on my Mutilators.

So to round up, a big thanks to everyone mentioned: you've been greatly helpful in my year of wargaming and modelling, and are great people to know. I suggest that everyone should look at their work, and after that, you will see why these guys deserve a mention.

(all banners/images shown in this post are property of their respective owners)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Review: The Best Posts of 2012

Popularity on the internet is as volatile and scarcely understood as plasma weapons and the methods of the Inquisition. For unknown reasons, blogging can have spikes one day, and a massive drop the next. However, those who maintain a great site with good content are able to manage the highs more reliably.

Today, I've decided to compile what I've judged the best and most popular posts of this year, based on the number of views (although this only includes link-views, not people scrolling down to view previous/next posts). I'm only basing this on singular posts, not series groups. So, in numerical order:

#5-Showcase: Chaos Space Marine Forgefiend (228 views)


#4-Chaotic Marines and Deviant Astartes Part Two: The New Toys (232 views)


#3-Chaotic Marines and Deviant Astartes Part Five: Battle Time (353 views)


#2-Product Highlight: Division RPG (With Developer Chris Martin) (526 views)


#1-Tutorial: Making Thousand Sons Heads (692 views)

So there we have it. I hope that as a writer and as a member of this great community, I can, with your help, improve on these great results for next year. Next time, I will most likely look at the most influential blogs out there. Enjoy

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Preview: 100 likes secret project

It was stood there in the dark confines of the cargo hold: like some sort of plasteel golem cursed into immobility. It's limbs were caked in rust and the dust of centuries. It's paint was all but faded, bar one panel. The panel bore a faded green laurel, which was wrapped around the image of a raven, carrying an elongated blood drop.

"Ah, brother Demitrius, we finally meet at last. My my, time has not been kind".

The Ancient machine stayed silent, it's occupier long departed from life and awareness of what was to be.

Conversions are always a great feat of imaginative creation and often turn out how people envision them. I've lately been distracted by the Dark Vengeance starter set.

One model I'be created is a Aspiring sorcerer for a Thousand Sons unit. This was made from the plastic Librarian, a Raptor's Power Sword, a resin Thousand Sons chest-plate and a Chosen backpack. A fun little conversion, which only needs a bit of Greenstuff before it is ready to paint.

I also have some sneak pictures of something much bigger. See if you can guess what it is, and I'll give a full reveal at 100 likes on the Facebook page. I hope that these images will entice you to join...



Saturday, 8 December 2012

40k tactics: Leadership

Let he who flees the field of glory be forsaken by Chaos. His soul has no worth in the eyes of the gods, and thus is cast into nothingness. Only those truly surrendered to Chaos are worthy to fight its wars, and it is those most dedicated who are blessed by its touch.

-Teachings of Dark Apostle Vrazar

Most players will have experienced this scenario: a key unit, probably holding an important objective, it's the last turn. After some poor rolling for saves in the shooting phase, the unit fails its leadership test and runs away, denying you the points, and victory. You rage internally, but knowing there were ways around it.

High Leadership characters

This is by far the easiest method of reducing the risk of failed leadership tests. Since you use the highest leadership model in the unit to take the test, it's great to have a HQ unit attached, since most have a leadership of nine or 10. IF it's fearless: even better, since the fearless rule will apply to the whole unit

AOE high leadership characters
My 'Lord Commissar' surveying the forces

Now this are far more specialist option, and covers units like the Lord Commissar and Dark Apostle. The idea behind these is that they grant their leadership to nearby units, potentially meaning a number of squads benefit from higher leadership. It would require some careful close positioning if you want to get the full benefit, which of course makes you more vulnerable to blast weaponry.

Big units

Whilst big units will not solve the issue of leadership values (except with Orks), it helps in another way. to be forced to take a leadership, you need to kill 25% of the unit's models (e.g. 3 our of twelve models). Therefore, a much larger unit will need to loose more models to meet the 25% quota.

Cover

A simple but relatively effective tactic. By keeping units in cover, you are increasing their defences, reducing their chance of being killed. However, do watch out for flamers if you don't have a good armour save.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Matt's Malifaux: The Beginning

Starting a new war-game system is interesting for the experienced player: What you already know about your current game does not apply, everything (or at least most things) are new to you. You are once again the newbie, the new player, the beginner. But most cases, it is not fear, but excitement we feel, when we pick up different models and are ready to play them in a new, exciting way.

This is why I started Malifaux. Whilst I really enjoy my 40k, it is always a good thing to try out something new, and to have a break from the norm.

I've started my adventure with this Ramos crew box. What I get for the sum of £24 is a 'leader' figure, two mecha-spider type swarms, and a big half man, half robot-spider. Something very different to Chaos Space Marines.

Because this is a steam-punk inspired game and force, my bases have been modified to be steam-punk styled. I've gone with a cobblestone effect, which was easily make with a layer of Milliput and some brick-shaping.

The cogs were very easy and cheap to obtain; I simply cannibalised a £1 egg-timer, and placed the cogs as desired.

Paint wise, I will probably stick to the box-art. I feel like testing my skills to see if I can indeed get a similar effective look on my models.

That's all for now, but stay in touch on the Facebook page, where I will update my work on Malifaux.