Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seahorses of Annihilation

I'm taking a break tonight from assembling terrain, the pictures of which that I've taken have been mostly either boring or unusable due to near constant toddler-attacks. I've included a few WIP photos at the end of this post just for the sake of completeness after my last posting, but I've got something else on my mind right now that I'd like to address first with this update. This evening I decided it was time to get back to my old Chaos Marines. After a decade of waiting for me to settle on something, they finally belong to a named warband, the Beasts of Annihilation. Having chosen this group based solely on their color scheme more or less matching the one already painted onto my army, this step forward has brought with it a new dilemma in that there is no established chapter badge or symbol for this warband. After taking so long to get to this point, I am eager to hurdle this stumbling block so that I can at last finish this army.

At first the name itself seemed somewhat silly to me, but over the ensuing weeks its appeal has grown on me, especially after an exchange about it with Sons of Taurus. The result of this shift in attitude is that I no longer know if I should go with my original joke idea. I therefore painted my candidate design onto a spare icon bearer, last touched by brush more than six years ago, as a test run. You can see the result below. Well, what do you think... have I taken it too far?

Other than the snout being a bit long, this is essentially what I envision as the Beasts of Annihilation's calling card to the 40k universe. I may try to add some orange shading on the belly but I don't know if it would be worth the effort. I haven't come up with any alternatives so if I don't go with the seahorse it's back to the drawing board. I enjoyed painting it and it passed the main test of not being particularly difficult or time consuming so for the time being I am satisfied with it. Also I would probably have fun doing larger versions of the seahorse on tanks and banners. I just have this nagging feeling that it could possibly be too inappropriate. Then again, I'm also working on a Simpsons army so I've probably already crossed that threshold of concern. Perhaps it was a millennium of taunts and jokes about the chapter seahorse that eventually drove the Beasts of Annihilation to embrace Chaos, due to bitterness and a mad desire to prove their mettle.

My inspiration for this comes from the real-world iconography of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (2/4) with whom one of my best friends served for a number of years. Hence there is actual military precedence for this. I'm fairly sure I've also seen the seahorse used in heraldic devices, but that could have been mere fanciful depictions or even just a figment of my imagination. Nonetheless, seen below is the insignia of the aforementioned USMC battalion.

I'd love to hear any thoughts on whether I should go forward with the seahorse or if I instead need to rein in the stupid and find something more suitable for a bunch of daemon-loving meanies. What do you think?

Below are the photos showing some of my recent work on 7G. The first one is of the space-filler piece, previously consisting only of the pipe sections glued down onto the base, that I have now turned into an impromptu gun nest...

Next is a detail from one piece of a marine who has crashed through this building's ceiling, squishing some unfortunate fellow beneath him. Look for the hand poking out from under one of the tiles to see evidence of this pitiable ending....

Seen below is a damaged building that has become a fuel depot to serve whatever vehicles or generators located in Sector 7G...

Lastly, a WIP of my next double sized building that I'm still putting together. (I ran out of pieces.) You can see I have used one of those shoddy, flimsy GW "moonscape" craters to reinforce the bond between the sections of the base. It worked out really well out in this case so I'm now planning more of these using the rest of my packet of craters.

It's still slow going, but I feel like I'm getting the hobby winds behind my sail.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A New Hope... for Painting

I have a painting desk! Woo-hoo!! It is three feet wide, twenty one inches deep, and stands forty seven inches tall. In the above picture Homer can be seen next to the desk to better provide a sense of scale, but mainly just to scowl and look on disapprovingly. I do not know from what sort of wood the desk is constructed, though I am curious to find out. Ideally I would have preferred a little extra space but this one more than satisfies my hobby needs, in particular that of the roll-top feature which should allow me to quickly shut things away from my daughter's darting, ninja like hands when required. I'm hopeful to be painting again very soon. I'm currently just waiting for my wife to choose where I should conduct my geekery from amongst a few now viable spots around the house, at which point I'll get things unpacked and setup.

While I'm quite pleased with the desk's pragmatic value, what makes it special for me is its history. It turns out my mom purchased this desk in 1968 aftering saving up for it her first summer after graduating from college, but then stored it away in my grandmother's attic sometime in the early 70s. Upon learning that I was looking for just such a piece to use as a painting table, my parents retrieved it during a visit to my grandmother last week and delivered it yesterday. There was some minor repair work needed but that's all taken care of and I'm ready to go.

I haven't decided what I want to begin painting first so I'll be thinking about that over the next couple of days. In the meantime I'm going to keep assembling terrain, of which I will take pictures tomorrow for a full update on how that's been going... assuming life cooperates, of course.

Okay, that's it for now. Later, friends!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Horror of Many Clauses

I'm still working away at the urban terrain for Sector 7G and will take some pictures tomorrow to document the progress I've made these past few days. In addition to detailing a couple of pieces, I could not resist and have started assembling another double-sized building. Also I should be getting my new painting desk tomorrow afternoon so I'm sure I'll want to report on that as well. For now, though, I'd like to indulge in a short bit of literary fun.

Earlier today I saw a post at Enormous Noise which introduced me to the website I Write Like. You can submit a sample of text at the site for analysis and are then told which famous author's style of writing resembles your own. Upon submitting the previous post from my blog, this was the result:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

As much of a fan as I am of his writing, I don't know if this is all that complimentary. It does however confirm something for me that I've long suspected, that my writing style is indeed clunky and awkward, often confusing and appealing to only a very small number of people. I started reading Lovecraft when I was about twelve years old and I've wondered over the years how much of his stilted formalism rubbed off on me, or if instead that's just what comes natural to me and thus struck a sympathetic chord when reading his works. It does seem appropriate at least that less than a week ago that I turned my Followers section into an admittedly lame Lovecraft joke.

This certainly does not bode well for any of you when I start posting my own background fluff. You have been warned....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Update, Sector 7G

In an effort to build some much needed hobby momentum, I've spent time over the last couple of days working on a few pieces of terrain for 40k. It's been almost a year since I did anything with my "Sector 7G" cities of death project so this seemed like a reasonable place to start up again. When I last left off with it, I had assembled seven buildings with another two almost complete. Eventually I will expand this urban industrial collection by an additional four or five buildings along with assorted space fillers, but for now I just want to finish a few of the ones that I put together last summer. It will be good to finally check-off even a small portion of this from my to-do list, plus I'll still be able to use the terrain blocks individually as they are done.

Here's a group shot of what I accomplished before setting them aside to work on something else... I believe it was Dark Angels. Nonetheless, I've begun detailing two of the buildings, the results of which can be seen in the above picture, but more clearly in the shot below, as evidenced by the scattering of sand and some Imperial Guard bits. I enjoy making little scenic additions to these types of pieces, which is the main reason why I chose to base all of them on the modular movement trays. Hence there are a couple of little vignettes that I'll point out once they're painted. Future construction efforts will involve making the aforementioned building sections, but with more emphasis on irregular footprints to help break up the monotony.

Those two structures seen above are the ones I've chosen to address first. The one on the left is the building that I first put together when I started this project. It's also the one that was first referred to as Sector 7G, prior to me deciding to put together a bunch more of them and call the whole group by that name, so this is kind of special piece for me. The one on the right, imaginatively named Pump Station, is the one that really got me motivated to start up again on this set of urban terrain. After painting, I'm going to fill the reservoir area with resin water effects (tinted, maybe?) and use the experience as practice for when I likewise fill the skull pits on my Realm of Battle Gameboard. It has only been about three months since I worked on the gameboard so it can still wait a bit.

The days have been predictably humid here and so I was not able to get these sprayed this afternoon liked I had hoped. Therefore I've planned a session of late night priming this evening. I'm still trying to get my painting situation sorted out, but until then I think messing around with Sector 7G will be a nice way of easing back into the swing of things. I haven't entirely settled on a color scheme for this set of terrain so I'd love to hear any suggestions.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We Have a Winner(s)

I want to start by saying that I am sorry for being so late in announcing the results of my "Hey, Win Some Stuff" contest. I did a poor job planning out the day and have been racing around trying to get things done. The good news though is that I'm going to skip whatever blather I might otherwise have penned about the release of Warhammer 8th edition and instead get right to the interesting stuff. Be sure to stick around after the main announcement, though, as I've got a few other surprises for everyone.

So congratulations to the winner of the new Warriors of Chaos army, Sons of Taurus! Clearly he has already traveled far down the path of damnation and proudly bears the mark of Chaos. I therefore suspect it was Tzeentch's scheming that caused his number to come up when I cast that fateful d8 this morning. I'm quite happy to see them go to such a welcoming home. Contact me at [removed] and I'll get everything packed up and shipped to you right away.

Again, I really appreciate people getting involved and helping me out with this blog, and particularly for making this contest a lot of fun for me. I hate the idea of any of you going away entirely disappointed and so I have some consolation prizes for the rest of you who entered. I've lamented before my current lack of space for my hobby, particularly since becoming a family man and selling off my old businesses, and I really like the idea of handing off some neglected projects for which I no longer have room to keep around. I therefore spent a chunk of time today digging around old boxes and picked out some items for each of you based on the type of projects I've seen you discuss on your own blogs. This of course involved a lot of guessing as to what might be appropriate so let me know if I messed up on anything as I'd be happy to take another swing at it. Here then is the run down:

Gyro - You strike me as a fan of miniatures in general and in all their many varieties. I feel like if anyone can come up with a good use for an assortment of Lord of the Rings miniatures, it would be you. Included in your selection are nine Mordor Orcs with swords and shields, six Mordor Orcs with bows, two with polearms, two with two-handed weapons, one Orc with a standard, one champion-looking guy, and a shaman. The last dude is already glued to a base, the rest are all loose but otherwise untouched. I also want to send you a Mordor Troll still in the original packaging to add some muscle to those Orcs, and lastly an unopened blister of Sam & Frodo in Orc Armour. I think they're pretty funny and would be a fitting part of this bunch.

Kuffeh - Are you still actively working on your Dwarves? If so I've got a few boxes of basic dudes that I'd like to send to you. It's one each of the Dwarf Warriors, Dwarf Thunderers/Quarrellers, and Dwarf Cannon/Organ Gun box sets. A few weeks ago I opened them for the first time in search of drinking mugs that I could use for my Stonecutters. Otherwise they are untouched as I didn't see anything helpful for that project. I've also got a new Gyrocopter that I'd like to include if you're interested.

Murl - You're an Imperial Guard player, and if there's one thing that makes Imperial Guard players happy, it's tanks. If I'm not mistaken, I spotted recently a Graia Pattern Hellhound on your blog. If you're interested in having another, I've got a complete and unassembled Forge World Graia kit that I'd be happy to send your way. Also if you're still looking for pieces from the old Leman Rus kit, I've got one of those as well if you want it. Lastly I'm including for you a pair of FW Cadian Veterans with Shotguns upgrade packs. I hope these will help add to your awesome army. [EDIT: Oops, I forgot to mention there's also a Cadian Heavy Weapon Team box for you as well.]

b.smoove - I had a hard time finding anything appropriate for internet celebrity b.smoove. Your stuff is all so fantastically converted and creatively kit-bashed that I'm really not sure what would be of use for you. I do know however that you're a fan of historical miniatures and have recently mentioned wanting to spend some time on those of ancient Rome. (Welcome back from your trip, by the way. I apologize for not having said so sooner.) I don't know if you focus on any particular period of Roman history but I've got two sets of plastic Romans from the Wargames Factory picked out for you. One is the Caesar's Legions box set containing 48 legionaries from the late Republic including enough pieces for three sets of command groups. The other is labeled as 12 Early Imperial Roman Auxiliary Cavalry, but with the possible exception of the command guys they could probably fit into most Republic and Imperial periods as well.

Mihalis "Cadaver" Skalkos - It's looks like all of your commission work keeps you fairly busy so again I wasn't sure what would be a good selection for you. I think I remember you were considering working on Skaven again, and though I don't have a whole lot of those, I would like to send some to you if you wish. I have 3/5 of a box of Skaven Plague Monks still on the sprue for you (I'm sorry, I don't know what happened to the other eight fellas), three unopened blisters of Plague Censer Bearers, and one blister pack of a Clan Pestilens Plague Lord. Since you're an Ork player I can't resist the opportunity to also send you a box of Ork Nobz and a Painboy blister to go with them.

Beef Nuggets - To help fill some of those gaps you mentioned in the Nuln army you're now working on, how about two new warmachines? One is a new Empire Artillery box (the cannon/mortar one), the other is the Empire Volley Gun/Rocket Battery box. Also I've got a box of Empire Wizards, Empire State Troops, and a blister pack Master Engineer Repeater Pistol. I hope these will help you out.

Matty - I think I've scraped the bottom of the Wood Elf barrel with those Dryad bits I mentioned to you, though I do have 12 assembled but unpainted Dryads that you are welcome to have if you like. I don't know how excited you still are about Necrons, but I've finally decommissioned the Necron army that I've been working on for my brother off and on for most of the last decade and thought you might want some of the remaining elements of that project. I have for you one box of Necron Warriors (unless you've already got 120 of them, there's always room for more...) and one Heavy Destroyer. Also I picked out for you two Necron Immortal blisters, one Flayed Ones blister, and two loose Flayed Ones. Let me know though if you're not all that Necron-crazy anymore and I'll go have another look around for you. Oh, I almost forgot... I've also got for you one each of the Citadel Hero and Urban Basing Kits.

DrGabe - For having the temerity to try to crash my party and turn my Followers against me (what is this, 7th grade all over?), my gift to you is a bitterly contested, lifetime rivalry to be fought out in small scale on tabletops the world over. Of course considering we only see each other once every decade or so, this really is kind of a hollow gesture. Oh well. I hope life is treating you well, buddy!

Damn, that took a while... whew. Please everyone, I really am sincere about wanting to give these miniatures and whatnot away to you. Not only am I thankful for your patronage and support, but you'd also be helping me out as well. So hit me up at [removed] and tell me where I can send all this stuff.


PS - This is my 151st post on diceRolla... woo-hoo!
PPS - Just to be clear, the middle initial [removed] is the letter q as in Quincy. And don't worry, I'll remove all that once I've heard from everyone.

Running Late

Sorry about the place holder post, I just wanted to let you know that I am running late getting the results of my contest thingy written so that you don't think I've completely spaced out on it. I forgot my nephew moved his birthday party to this evening so I'm caught up in all that business. Right now I'm aiming to get today's real post on here by around 10, maybe later but definitely tonight though. Again I'm very sorry to flub the timing on this and I promise I'll be back as soon as I can tonight with all the fun news.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Less Than 12 Hours Left

I got my copy of the Warhammer rulebook yesterday and oh my gaaaaahd, it's freaking huge! The book is absolutely beautiful and very well done, but as a gaming reference it strikes me as rather impractical. Not too big of deal if you already plan on buying The Island of Blood set but certainly frustrating for gamers on a budget. Games Workshop has definitely succeeded in making another high quality product, I just hope they've not created too much of a sticker-shock barrier for new people considering taking up the hobby. Nonetheless, the bibliophile in me rejoices at the sight of such a lavish tome and I think it's cool that so much attention was given to the hobby and background sections. I have happily spent much of the last day looking at all the pretty pictures and skimming through random bits of text as it will probably be sometime before I'm ready to begin digesting the rules themselves. It really is such a nice book that I want to take my time exploring and enjoying the material within... at a cost of about 75 dollars, I think it deserves to be savored awhile before turning to its more utilitarian purposes.

Okay, nothing much going on here otherwise. Just wanted to post a little reminder about the giveaway I'm doing tomorrow for those of you who have not yet entered. To those of you who have already signed up for a chance to win those Warriors of Chaos dudes, thank you very much as I am really excited to have the opportunity to give this collection of miniatures to one of you. I've been cleaning up more of the house and found some packets of WoC bits that I ordered to bulk up a few units, the plan having been to make use of leftover arms and such from the other box sets I'd bought. So in addition to the items mentioned in my previous post, the winner will also receive a single horse from the Marauder Horsemen kit plus 5 sets of Marauder Horsemen bodies, shields, and left arms. Also included in the prize package are eight sets of Warriors of Chaos torsos and capes, right arms, and heads to allow for even more enemy-chopping fun.

I've decided to put a deadline for entry on this contest just to make sure I don't run into any last minute troubles. Therefore to be eligible to win, Followers of this blog need to leave a comment on the original post by tomorrow at 8:00 AM (EST) letting me know that you want to be included in the drawing. At the time of writing there remains a little more than eleven hours to have a shot at winning this new Warriors of Chaos army. If you're not already playing a Chaos army, there's enough here to get a big start with them. And if you don't play Warhammer Fantasy, here's a chance to get an army to help introduce you to the game. So come on and sign up.