Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grey Knight Rumours and the return of Instability Checks?

In case you haven't seen the latest round of rumours circulating about the Grey Knights, head on over to BoLS where they will bring you up to speed.

There are a couple of interesting quotes that are relevant to both daemon and chaos space marine armies.
Firstly is the concept of daemonic instability looks like it might be about to make a return. Even back in the days of Realms of Chaos, daemonic instability was there: it is only recently that this rule seems to have been removed from the w40k system. In brief, daemons suffer from instability as they are not of real space, their forms being created and held together by the will of the daemon involved for a time (of course, they don't suffer such instability on daemon planets or locales near the eye of terror). In the old system, opponents could cause daemons to take an instability test (read: leadership test) if they whittled down their numbers significantly during a shooting phase, or combat phase. The amount the daemons player failed this test by would then be the number of daemons that returned to the warp in shock! Now whether this mechanic will be the same or not remains to be seen. But its looking like daemons are going to suffer if they're paired up against grey knights in a game!

And then there is something called "daemonic infestation" which makes the daemons more resilient to such instability checks. I've no idea how that would work or what it generally is referring to. Could be exciting!

The other nugget contained in there is that chaos icons (whether daemons or chaos space marines) somehow interfere with the grey knights deep striking. Sounds interesting and could be a boon for countering some of their tactics against both daemons and chaos space marines.

Finally, there's also talk of specific terrain suited to the grey knights. The could be very entertaining!

As a daemons and chaos marines player, I am worried about the power level of the grey knights. I hope they (the designers and play-testers) include checks and balances so that players such as myself don't get turned off. But I can also see myself purchasing a few squads of grey knights myself as I've always liked their background since the Realms of Chaos era.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Statistics: How Many Nurglings?

A full discussion of daemon troops wouldn't be complete without those naughty little nurglings. I have admittedly struggled to find a place for them in my mixed daemon forces (not so mono-Nurgle lists with Epidemius). But if they are to have a role, then is should be analogous to ripper swarms: a screening unit and a tar pit. Screening is tough to evaluate and it clearly follows the rule of thumb of the more the better. Let's have a look at the other role.

Tar-pitting.
With some luck, the nurglings will not lose a single base by the time they reach hand to hand combat with their target tar-pit unit (a squad of marines, of course). They might have taken a wound or two or one base though. So the question then becomes how many nurgling bases do I need to force a draw with the space marines in close combat?

In close combat, the marines strike first, hitting on 3+, wounding on 3+ and making the wound stick by avoiding 5+ save. For 9 marines, that means 2.67 unsaved wounds -- just about enough to take off a base of nurglings. The power fist sergeant will cause an additional 0.74 wounds, taking the total up to 3.41 wounds.

In exchange, one base of nurglings hits on 4+, wounds on 5+ and makes it stick a third of the time. With 3 attacks per base, (4 on the charge) that comes to 0.167 wounds per base (or 0.33 wounds on the charge). That means I will need at least 18 bases without charging (hahaha) and at least 9 or 10 on the charge.

So the answer to my question is that I will need to take a large (maximized) squad if I want the nurglings to do a half decent tar pitting job. Otherwise, they can simply die fast and provide a screen to my other more valuable troops!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Statistics: How Many Pink Horrors?

Pink horrors are clearly not close combat exponents. They shoot things. Repeatedly. And fast (assault 3). They want to get in range, shoot things and avoid being charged. It's that simple. Add in a little bit of tank hunter, Changeling mischief, and icon bearing and we're done.
Shooting.
So, if they're going to shoot things, then how many horrors do I need to take care of a (say) squad of 5 marines?

Each horror gets 3 shots at BS=3. Hence 1.5 shots will hit. Fifty per cent of that will wound (S4 against T4). That means 0.75 wounds, on average. And then the space marine gets a 3+ armour saving throw. So, 0.25 unsaved wounds per horror.

Hence I need 4 horrors to statistically take care of a single space marine. Therefore a squad of 5 marines need only fear a full pack of 20 pink horrors of Tzeentch. This seems like a very large number realistically. Especially given the points value of the horrors.

Survivability.
Let's have a quick look at their survivability whilst we're here. How many standard shots (i.e. bolter shots fired by a marine ... or BS=4, S=4 shots) can they take?

They'll get hit on 3+, get wounded on 3+ and save on 4+. Hence they stand a 22 per cent probability of being removed from a standard shot. Therefore 4.5 standard shots are required to remove them on average. This means that space marines shooting at them will kill less horrors than horrors will kill marines in a firefight! This is a somewhat surprising result that is often overlooked by marine players. Equally, it is half of the survivability of plaguebearers. Hence I will often take units of 10 or more horrors for my purposes of icon bearing, backed up with a little shooting ability to make eldar (etc.) think twice, before encouraging them to hop along to claim an objective on turn 4 or so.

Further Discussion.
BUT, there is a different reason that I will take horror packs: the Bolt of Tzeentch. A good set up I've found is simply to take a minimum sized squad and equip one horror with the Bolt of Tzeentch for extra anti-tank ability in the daemons army.

And then there's the Changeling. I've discussed this fellow in the past, so I'll simply provide a link to those earlier thoughts.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Statistics: How Many Plaguebearers?

Today, I'll continue my examination of lesser daemon statistics by having a closer look at Nurgle's tallymen: the plaguebearers. They are one of my favourite units in a mixed daemons army list and I don't usually leave home without them.But what do I want my plaguebearers to achieve in a typical mixed daemons army list? Well, they're certainly not there to get their points back through close combat with opposition units. I use them in two primary roles:
(a) Objective securing;
(b) Tar-pitting opposing units (and monstrous creatures).

Before we get in to it, I will also note that I use plaguebearers to hold chaos icons in my mixed army lists given their survivability and have long ago concluded that they're the only lesser daemons that are worth while taking a chaos instrument for. That can also make for some neat wound allocation shenannigans, but I won't get in to that!

Objective Grabbing.
Usually, I will sit a unit of plaguebearers on an objective (if it is an objective game), hunker down and sit there for the entire game. Perhaps some other units might deep strike off their icon to support them; perhaps not. I will usually aim to place an icon in a piece of terrain as well, so they'll get approximately a 4+ cover save.

Let's assume that they get 10 incoming shots per turn. How many plaguebearers do I need for a 5, 6, or 7 turn game so that at least 1 of them survives (statistically)?

We'll assume the shots are from marines (hitting on 3+) and wounding on 5+ (thanks to the daemons high toughness rating). For 10 shots, there are 2.22 wounds resulting.

Their cover save means 1.11 wounds stick and the feel no pain special rule reduces that down even further to 0.55 wounds. Hence over 5 or 6 game turns, there are approximately 3 daemons sent back to the warp. Four in a 7 turn game. Hence I could get away with a minimum sized squad if I believed that they would be mostly left alone apart from a puny 10 bolter rounds per turn!

Tar-pitting.
Let's have a look at the other role I have for them -- tar-pitting other units. What do I mean by tar-pitting? Simply making sure that other units are in close combat with the plaguebearers and not attending to other units that might be better targets for shooting (etc.).

We'll assume that the situation is that I want to tie-up 10 space marines in close combat for most of the game (thereby keeping them away from objectives and preventing them from shooting my more fragile daemonettes or bloodletters). One of the marines is a sergeant with a power fist.

Given that the plaguebearers enter play via deep-strike, we'll assume that they take some incoming firepower from the marines. This will result in approximately 1 plaguebearer heading back to the warp (give or take a little margin of error).

The marines strike first, hitting on 4+ and wounding on 5+ (with 2 attacks each, let's assume). If the plaguebearers charged in, they will take 3.33 wounds, of which 1.11 stick after their saves and feel-no-pain rolls. In return, the plaguebearers will hit and wound on 4+ (with re-rolls to wound due to poisoned attacks). For every plaguebearer, that results in 0.25 unsaved wounds on the charge. The sergeant with the power fist will then cause 1.11 wounds of which 0.74 stick. So, the plaguebearers need to number at least 8 strong to get better than even odds of a draw (which my instrument of chaos then means I'll convert in to a won close combat). Add in a few extras to survive the incoming fire, and about 9 or 10 plaguebearers will be needed. This number again feels about right from play experience.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Statistics: How Many Daemonettes?

With daemonettes of Slaanesh, I want them to primarily be rapid moving infantry killers, with a secondary suite in light tank busting. So how many of them do I need to accomplish each of those tasks with a reasonable chance of success?Against Infantry.
We'll use the same situation as with the bloodletters: a ten man strong space marine squad armed with bolters, a multi-melta and a flamer. How many daemonettes might I lose before they reach their target? Well, firstly I'm going to suggest that they can completely avoid the flamer due to their fleet special rule. With luck, they may also be able to avoid rapid fire range of the bolters (depending on the opponent and the gaming situation at hand). Hence, we have 8 bolter shots and a multi-melta shot to weather before close combat ensues. The bolters hit on 3+ and wound on 3+. The multi-melta wounds on 2+. In total, I might expect an average of 3.56 + 0.11 = 3.67 wounds. Each daemonette gets a 5+ invulnerable save, leading to 2.45 unsaved wounds. Let's round that up and say 3 daemonettes may die before getting in to melee with the space marines.

In close combat, the daemonettes strike first due to their high initiative. They have 4 attacks each on the charge, hitting on 4+. Hence 2 attacks will hit on average. Of those hits, one in six will cause a wound and a further one in six will rend (i.e. no save). Therefore the marines take 0.33 "normal" wounds and 0.33 rending wounds, on average. With a 3+ save against the normal wound, the typical daemonette causes 0.44 unsaved wounds on the charge. Even with 20 daemonettes, I'm not going to be able to alpha strike the space marines out of existence. But for a smaller squad of, say 5 marines, 12 daemonettes will take care of them in an alpha strike on average. From experience, this feels about right given that I usually have to back my daemonettes up in close combat with another unit.
Light Tank Busting.
Remarkably, daemonettes can pose a problem to AV=10 tanks. This is due to the rending special rule. If they roll a 6 on their armour penetration, it means they get an extra d3 to roll. That extra d3 results in at least a glancing hit (penetrating two thirds of the time). Assuming that the daemonettes charge the tank, they will get 4 attacks each. Hence even two daemonettes should be statistcally enough to result in a glancing hit if the tank has not moved. Three daemonettes would be needed if they are only hitting on 4+ to cause a glancing hit. At flat out speed, they will be hitting on 6+. To cause a glance (statistically), we will then need 9 daemonettes.

Of course, I haven't spoken about the result of the glance or penetrating hit. That's another die roll entirely. But against tanks that haven't moved, or have only moved a "normal" amount, daemonettes in small numbers can pose problems. Hence I think I will take about 12 daemonettes in a squad: not only is it fluffy, but they can also handle a small combat against marines and pose issues to light tanks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Statistics: How Many Bloodletters?

This week, I'm going to be writing a series of four articles looking at the troops choices for the four main chaos powers in Codex: Chaos Daemons in a similar way that I looked at the advantages of plague marines and noise marines in the past. Today, we're starting with Bloodletters of Khorne.Not so long ago, Raptor1313 wrote an article on how evaluating units by making their own points cost back is overly simplistic. So, what is it that I want bloodletters in my (mixed daemons) armies to do exactly? I personally think that the answer to that is to do what they do best: kill infantry quickly and efficiently. I'm not bothered if they don't make back their points. I just want to be certain that they do their job.

The situation.
Most commonly, I use bloodletters to take out squads of space marines. So in my considerations below, I will assume that I want my bloodletters to take on a squad of 10 marines. I will assume that one of the marines is a sergeant with a power fist. Perhaps one of the more typical set-ups that I come across is multi-melta plus flamer special weapons in these squads, so I will assume that as well.

In game terms, my bloodletters have to deep strike in. I will assume that this goes reasonably well and then I run them to ensure not too many bloodletters get whacked by templates and to get closer to their quarry. The marines will sit still and rapid fire them. After that, I will have my bloodletters assault the marines. (Of course, sometimes the marines may choose to charge them rather than the other way around, so this situation is necessarily simplistic!).

The question is this: how many bloodletters do I need to (statistically) achieve the goal of destroying the opposition (without having to rely upon them fleeing and the bloodletters catching up with them)?

Calculations.
The first step in this calculation is to determine how many wounds are caused by the space marines on the bloodletters before they can get in to combat. That's 8 rapid firing bolters, 1 flamer and 1 multi-melta. I'm going to assume that the flamer template hits 2 bloodletters (which may or may not be accurate in a real game - this is purely a thought experiment!).

How many hits do the bloodletters take on average from this volley? Firstly, there are 16 bolter rounds to consider. Two-thirds of them will hits -- meaning 11 hits (rounded up). We'll add 2 hits from the flamer, which makes for 13 strength 4 hits. I'm simply going to be pessimistic (from my bloodletter's point of view) and assume that the multi-melta also hits them.

How many wounds result from that? Well, half of the strength 4 hits will wound. That means approximately 7 wounds ... and we'll just assume the multi-melta causes a wound as well. So 8 wounds in total.

How many bloodletters survive? Their 5+ save is invulnerable, so they get a save from everything (just not a terribly good one). About 3 of those 8 wounded will survive.

For the win.
To fulfil my wants for the bloodletters, I must take out the entire marine squad in one round of combat. How many are needed?

The bloodletters on the charge have the benefit of the furious charge universal special rule. They're hitting and wounding on 3+. Moreover, they're killing on 3+ thanks to their hellblades. Moreover, they're charging, so they get 3 attacks each. That means 1.33 marines removed per bloodletter. I'd need 7.5 bloodletters to assure myself (statistically) that the marines would be removed entirely. Since they strike first (due to the higher initiative) the marines don't even strike back(!)

How many?
I lose about 5 bloodletters to the rapid firing marines. I need 7.5 to survive in order to wipe them out. Hence 5 + 7.5 = 12.5. Rounding up - this means about 13 bloodletters to achieve my aims. Although I will note that I've been pessimistic along the way (regarding the multi-melta which may not hit or wound, but I assumed it would!). Twelve bloodletters should be fine.

Shortcomings and caveats.
Of course, I've ignored the fact that sweeping advances could work just as well (against chaos marines!). Or if my opponent is near the board edge, they could certainly flee away and off the battlefield. And there could always be faults in my logic above! (let me know!). But overall, and from experience, I know that 10 bloodletters sometimes pulls up short, hence a unit of 12 or so bloodletters feels like it is about the right answer to my original question.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shadow Sword: Part IX. Dark Washes

If you ever get the chance to see a tank close up, you'll notice that the paint work is invariably imperfect. The years of dust, rust and active serve add up pretty quickly. So even a relatively fresh tank off the assembly line has darker splotches of paint here and there.

For my traitor Shadow Sword, I have applied a number of dark washes to all surfaces of the tank. The washes were made up of watered down black for the most part, but I also added in some watered down reds and browns for a couple of the washes. The first wash layer was applied evenly all over the tank. The subsequent layers were applied either unevenly (to simulate a variety of wear), or selectively to different areas such that the lower down portions of the tank received more darkening than some of the upper layers that may have been exposed to rain for example.An immediate difference can be seen in the top shot, with the bleached bone areas really showing the darkening very well indeed. There will be little need to paint these further except for highlighting work. On the redder parts, the washes are less noticeable, but they are certainly there.
The side shot shows the uneven application of the washes to certain areas -- the tank colours are getting darker closer to the soil level. The slightly redder and browner wash can also be clearly seen against the silver of the tank's tracks. It gives the silver a certain rusted aspect suggestive of some wear and tear, but not significant enough to warrant replacement.

The next step in the painting process will be various highlighting layers.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blue Horror of Tzeentch

When a pink horror perishes, two blue horrors rise to take its place. Although I've dabbled in hosting two blue horrors on one base to represent this turn of events, the new plastic horrors are slightly on the larger side to be able to get away with this as readily. Not to be perturbed, I had a go at painting a singular blue horror regardless.

This chap follows the paint scheme that I laid down in my earlier post and features blue inking, highlighting and asurman blue washing. Although the red tongue provides a neat contrast colour for the miniature, I think I'm most happy with how the accessories turned out on this one as I have had issues with trying to get them looking authentic (rather than a plastic bangle bought at some cheap jewelery store!). A little choas black lowlighting seems to work wonders for such decorations.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Warpstone Flux Anniversary

Today is another Warpstone Flux anniversary!

To celebrate, I decided to make a posed photograph of a collection of my best painted, prize winning, and favourite models.
Foreground:
Screamers of Tzeentch, Flamers of Tzeentch and Horrors of Tzeentch.

Background (Imperial Ruins):
Death Guard Plague Marines (I; II; III), Daemon Prince, Dreadnought, Spawn (Plague Ogryn)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why I still use Inks

Despite the availability of washes, I'm still a fan of using inks on my miniatures. In the picture, you can see the results of applying a goblin green basecoat to an ork boy's exposed flesh followed by the green ink. The results can be seen. The ink does a great job at getting in to the recesses and darkening the miniature. As I'm slowly using up my remaining citadel ink pots, I'm mixing up some of my own by diluting my darker colours with with equal parts of water (or less). After the inking layer, I'm still applying a highlight colour or two (or more), followed by a wash to bring everything together. This is because washes are excellent at blending lots of different tones in to a smooth transition that retains the highlights and lowlights very well. It'd take many layers of washes to achieve the same effect as inking (or moderately diluted darker colours), and so that is why I'm still using them to this day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Poll Result: Which troops are easiest to get painted to a good standard?

Two weeks ago, Warpstone Flux asked which troops are the easiest to get painted to a good tabletop quality result.

The overwhelming winner were the necrons. This is entirely due to the whole drybrush and be done approach that many noted in the comments. I was impressed to hear that a whole army could be painted up in just one day. My own Verdus Prime necrons don't follow the drybrushing approach as can be seen in the picture (and tutorial) -- lots of careful white painting followed by some choice application of oozing oil and green gauss barrels.

Also strongly showing are the space marines. They're an interesting second place given the highlighting that often goes in to their raised portions of armour. Gaunts took home third place, probably due to being able to dip. The other standard troops all got votes as well, with Orks coming in a close 4th place behind the gaunts.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tabletop Quality Flame Painting

This article is about how I achieve a tabletop quality flame on my miniatures, such as horrors of Tzeentch, pictured.

This first thing to notice about fire is that the hotter portions are (physically) located toward the centre of the conflagration, where the fuel is concentrated. As we observe further out from the centre, the flames tend to become more red and dark coloured. Soot may also contaminate the flame (depending on the fuel source) which results in darker specs throughout, but particularly toward the extrema.

On the basis of those observations, I painted the flame on this horror with a white undercoat -- this helps the colour stand out nicely against the darker contrast of the horror's skin. I then work through the brighter colours of the flame, starting with yellows, through oranges to reds. With each colour, I apply less and less of a coat so as to leave some of the colour from underneath showing through. Finally, I use pure chaos black to add a little touch of soot to the very tips of some of the flames, as well as dab a few small specs of soot at random as well. The result is a flame that, although it won't win any Golden Demon awards, it certainly stands up well on any tabletop.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Battle Report: Chaos Space Marines vs. Tyranids (200 points / Kill Zone)

To help promote the Kill Zone rules, this post is a mini battle report on a small band of chaos space marines against a bunch of genestealers. My list cheated slightly: I had (unknowingly) one too many 2+ save models (doh). (Sorry Jim, I clearly didn't read the rules closely enough!).

My Chaos Space Marine team consisted of:
3 Chaos Terminators, 1 combi-melta (95 points) (team leader has the combi melta)
5 Khorne Berzerkers (105 points)

Meanwhile, the opposing tyranids were:
10 genestealers, with 1 broodlord (200 points) (team leader is the broodlord)

We stopped short of having any of the optional upgrades, but the genestealers could have done swift as the wind.

The set-up was a small area, littered with craters and small rubble piles (difficult terrain). I think the set-up will favour my marines since it'll leave the genestealers with precious little cover. The mission is 1.4 (extreme prejudice).

Turn 1.
I bunch my terminators up together and head toward the nearest crater. The shoot and kill two genestealers straight away, despite a cover save. Those twin linked bolters are good, even if they're not storm bolters. The khorne berzerkers, I keep a bit looser and allow them to prowl as lone wolves. They move up on the genestealers but fail to kill any. In return, the genestealers oblige by moving closer and then running even closer.

Turn 2.
Another dead genestealer to my terminators reduces their number to 7, plus the broodlord. One berzerker manages to get in combat with a genestealer but is promptly slain on their sharp claws. Three genestealers charge two more berzerkers. One berzerker dies, but two genestealers also perish.

Turn 3.
Two berzerkers charge the broodlord and kill it. One more berzerker dies in exchange though. The terminators take down a further genestealer, but can't manage a "kill zone" since the unengaged genestealers are spread too far apart. A further berzerker perishes to a genestealer.

Turn 4.
This is the genestealers turn of glory. Taking the initiative and using the reactive assault rule, they wipe out the remaining berzerkers and move toward the terminators in their crater.

Turn 5.
My terminators reduce the genestealers down to four in number (pictured). The genestealers then charge. One dead terminator and two dead genestealers.

Turn 6.
The remaining pair of terminators finally manage to break the genestealers and they rout. As they run, they viciously gun them down. ++ Victory to the forces of chaos. But only just. It was a narrow match!

Finally.
Next time, we're going to look more closely at some of the flavour options! Swift as the wind and armoured might look cool. I'm also going to work toward having a sons of malice kill team that can double up as chaos chosen & terminators in a standard game.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

KillZone

Today is the KillZone launch day! The ruleset launched over at Galaxy in Flames is great and I would encourage you to download it (see the left hand side column links on Galaxy in Flames) and play around with the rules presented therein. I've now played a couple of games myself. So to further promote the killzone rules, I'll be posting a quick battle report in a few hours time (stay tuned!).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Manufactorum Door Chopping

Many manufactorum doors that I observe on table tops tend to be closed. I don't know why this should be, given that the door can be removed from it's hinges with a minimal amount of slicing. The door piece on the manufactorum (pictured) is already held in place by only a thin piece of plastic, so chopping it out of its frame requires only a small amount of work.Why have I chosen to remove the door in my manufactorum then? Well, there are two reasons.

(1) I wanted to have the lower floor much more "open" so that additional lines of sight could be drawn to targets inside.
(2) I wanted to split the door frame in to two pieces, thereby creating an extra pair of ruined edges that I could play around with (the standard manufactorum comes with 4 such end pieces).

It also leaves me with the door itself as an extra bit that I can play around with for conversions and basing materials in the future.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Painting Scheme for Plastic Pink or Blue Tzeentch Horrors

Today is a tutorial about how I paint my pink, and blue horrors of Tzeentch. This is a 5 step process, as illustrated in the figure below.

The first step is to give your plastic horror an undercoat (step a). I've been experimenting with a number of different undercoats over the years, and let me say that for brighter colours (as found on horrors), a white undercoat is the way to go. This is because it helps your basecoat stand out well. A black undercoat is more appropriate when you want the recesses of your miniature to be dark and your overall colour tone is not a bright one. For this particular undercoat, I've slightly watered down the white paint. This is because I sometimes find it to be a little too thick and can obscure some of the detail on the miniature before you even get to work on the proper colours.In step (b), I've applied the base coats. For this miniature, I wanted half of it to be pink, and the other half blue. This is just a personal experiment with colour scheme: feel free to have a totally pink or blue horror, or steal this idea from me by all means! The blue basecoat is ultramarine blue, whereas the pink is a mixture of skull white with warlock purple. If you have any of the old citadel pink colour, then that is also a good alternative; as is Vallajeo paints. I've also painted the tongue in blood red.

Next, I apply an ink layer (step c). For those of you who still own citadel inks, I've used blue on the blue side and a mixture of magenta and black on the pink side. If you do not own the inks, then I would recommend mixing up some of your own. This can be done by watering down a dark blue colour (for the blue side) and a red plus black mixture (for the pink side). Be sure that your inks are not too thick -- you can always apply a second ink coat if it is too thin, but removing a coat that is too thick is a much tougher problem!

Step (d) is the highlighting step. This can be done in one of two ways. Firstly, you could be lazy and apply a drybrush layer to both sides. Or secondly, you could apply solid colour. For the first method, take an old brush and mix yourself up a lighter version of pink (i.e. pink plus white) or light blue (perhaps even space wolves grey). Dab off excess paint from the brush and sweep over the miniature with brief strokes all over. Do this again for an even lighter shade of pink and blue. For the second method, again you'll need a lighter shade of pink and blue. But this time, selectively apply a solid blob of colour to the prominent raised portions of the miniature (e.g. the musculature, the eyebrows, etc.). Do this again with a lighter shade, but apply much less, and only on top of the previous layer.

In step (e), I bring the highlighting together by using a colour wash. The citadel washes are good for this, but again if you want to make up some of your own, simply dilute yourself a small amount of your basecoat colour. The blue and pink/magenta wash work to bring the layers of colour in line with one another and create an overall tone in the flesh that looks like a natural progression of colours rather than an abrupt change.

Also in step (e), I have performed some final details. This includes the teeth and claws (one layer of dheneb stone, followed by a highlight of skull white), the eyes (same again actually, but with a black slit painted on with a steady hand and triple zero brush for the pupil) and the various bits of jewellery and accessories (variously painted in yellows, silvers and leathery colours). The final result can be seen in the last picture where I've pinned and mounted the horror on to a pre-painted resin base.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Painted Ezekiel the Fallen

This character started out as an exploration of what Ezekiel might look like as a "Fallen" Dark Angel. With a chaos space marine back back sporting an ork trophy, the miniature gave my a vibe of Tzeentch Sorcerer from the outset.

Hence my painting of this miniature followed that idea. I wanted this guy to look like he would be perfectly at home leading a squad of Rubric Marines. So, I went for the blues of a librarian on the power armour, whilst aiming for lighter browns and creams on the robe portions.

The power armour is nothing special -- I'm sure that any Ultramarine fan could replicate what I've done here. Some highlighting with a none too steady hand has been done in space wolf grey, and the recesses of the armour have been washed and inked in darker colours. This is especially notable around the shoulder pad where it looks almost like a black outline. On the shoulder pad, I've opted to paint a letter "M" with a Roman-esque upper and lower horizontal line surrounding it. Old timers will recognize this "M" as one of the more original symbols for the Thousand Sons.

For me though, the robes are where the painting makes the miniature "pop". With a number of washes of sepia over the top of a foundation coat of dehneb stone, the robes produce an almost lifelike result with the recesses appropriately lit (especially on the rear of the model). On top of the washes, steady lightening back to the stone colour has been made, alongside some more extreme highlighting, such as around the bolt pistol holster (rear) and chains (front).

The force sword gave me some pause for thought. Green was not going to be my original colour choice for it, as I figured "blue and green shouldn't be seen". But this is chaos, right? Why shouldn't Ezekiel the fallen have a gourdy coloured force weapon that clashes horribly with his blue power armour? Hence the sword got a good lick of goblin green, followed by a green inking and steady lightening around the lightning bolt rune.

Final detailing included the oath papers (red and pink colours), the face (metallic on the breathing piece and dark, subdued tones around the face to suggest a sunken, shaded visage) and the ork head trophy.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wargames Gallery: Soul Grinder Line of Sight


My Soul Grinder seems to enjoy clambering on top of wrecked vehicles to obtain a better line of sight to further targets. Here, the Tau are being beaten back by the tide of daemons -- the Great Unclean One (background) did the wrecking job on the tank and is setting off to contest an objective, whilst the bloodletters lurk menacingly to the right (and off picture) to mop up the remaining units.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Poll: Which standard troop gets the best result when painted?

A question for you: Which standard troops choice (from any codex) is the easiest to get a quality / tabletop paint job finish on? That is to say: which is the easiest to get to look good?

Poll is open to the right for 2 weeks to vote. Comments most welcome!

The real reason that I ask is that I've seen in Golden Demon over the past few years a shift to LotR miniatures -- presumably because there are fewer entrants for LotR categories. But if we were sticking to 40k, then which basic miniature would you go for?

Space Marine
Chaos Space Marine
Ork Boy
Eldar Guardian
Tau Firewarrior
Necron Warrior
Cadian Guardsman
Tyranid Gaunt
Dark Eldar Warrior
Other (e.g. specific daemon troops?; Dire avengers?; Plague marines?; etc.)
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