Monday, January 31, 2011

Knights of Bal Timorea, the Finale!

I just returned home from staying out at the beach for the last several days with my family so I'm now catching up on all the exciting hobby goings-on I missed while disconnected. Right away I am delighted to learn that Alex of One Inch Warrior has won the drawing for the Knights of Bal Timorea project. Congratulations, Alex... hooray! Along with the big announcement last Thursday SC John of Santa Cruz Warhammer also posted some awesome pictures of all the entries to the contest. Seeing them together is really cool indeed. I'm grateful to all the other participants and had a fantastic time working on my knightly submission, this was easily one of my favorite hobby projects from last year.

I hope there are more opportunities to participate in community projects like this in future, this was a lot of fun and also a nice little diversion from the usual routine. Thanks again to everyone involved and to Santa Cruz Warhammer guys for issuing the call to arms. Woo-hoo!

Sir Cumference rides again! Only now he has joined company with a glory-hungry band of knights... happy questing, fellas!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Drilling for Hydra

After lots and lots of drilling, the Hydra is at last coming together. I started off well but became distracted over the weekend trying to fix the wings on my Harpies which needed some realignment and had quite a few gaps to fill as well. I returned to the Hydra and have proceeded to drill several more holes into it than are found on a golf course. The count is currently at eleven pins and I expect by the time I'm finished I will have used around seventeen pins on the beast. This is for me is a nice accomplishment since I normally avoid pinning as much as possible. The War Hydra model is simply too heavy and off balance to allow for any of my usual corner cutting, thus the pin frenzy.

I have three more necks and three more heads to go before the Hydra is complete. There are already a number of large gaps between the pieces that will need to be dealt with but so far I'm happy with how things are going. I had hoped to be working on the plastic guys by now but I think the extra time and care I'm putting into assembling the Hydra will be worth it in the long run. Those heads might still pop off but I feel confident they at least won't break apart merely by putting the model down on the table.

Oops! A little too much enthusiasm for pinning...

Alright, that's it for tonight. I just wanted to give reassurance that the Hydra had not defeated me and that in fact the battle rages on even now. Armed with heavy-duty brass rod, I will be victorious. I think I should be able to finish all the pinning and gluing tonight, leaving whatever necessary greenstuff business for tomorrow. Also my mother-in-law will be visiting for a few days so I'm looking forward to some potential extra hobby time the rest of this week. Okay, I gotta get back to that monster. I hope everyone is doing well this evening, take care!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Combat Patrol at AdeptiCon - Chaos Marines

I finally realized the other night that there's no way I'm going to have enough time before Adepticon to paint a new force for the Combat Patrol event (rules can be found here but all pretty standard I think). I'm fairly confident getting my Dark Elves ready by then will take as much time as I can make available. Therefore I'm reluctantly putting aside my idea of painting a new couple of Raptors Legion squads for Combat Patrol and instead have reviewed my other options.

While my Necrons would require absolutely no work in order to be ready, I'm not terribly interested in playing them. It's the same situation for my Tyranids although I might take another look at them at some point just to try out potential lists. Imperial Guard would be fun but require much too much painting for consideration. My very old Orks might work alright but I'd have a very limited selection from which to choose. This means the assignment for the Combat Patrol mission falls to my Chaos Space Marines, the Beasts of Annihilation. All I'd need to do is paint seahorse chapter badges for 15 or so marines and one or two big seahorses for the Rhinos, plus some touchups here and there, and they would be done.

I still haven't gone back to work on this army after finally deciding last summer on a design for their chapter symbol, a little yellow seahorse. It was now more than ten years ago when I first began working on these Chaos Marines and so perhaps it will be the event at Adepticon that at last motivates me to finish such few details that remain. Also due to his group's inability to get organized before the big Team Tournament had sold out, DrGabe of DrGabe's Miniatures will also be playing in the same Combat Patrol event with me. Just in case I find myself matched against my longtime nemesis, I would enjoy using my Chaos Marines against him just like old times.

Knowing now that it's going to be my Chaos Space Marines, I've been working on some potential army lists I could use. It's been a struggle trying to hammer out something I like, but given the nature of the event, I'm not terribly worried about the effectiveness of my "army." Perhaps I'm mistaken but I don't see how you can take too seriously 400 point games of Combat Patrol. Sure I want to do as well as I can but I'm just looking for some fun rolling dice while possibly dealing with an Adepti-style hangover from the night before. With that understanding of my goals and expectations, here is the first set of lists I'm considering:

Patrol A (pictured above) - 400 points
5 Chosen Chaos Space Marines: plasma guns x 2, Rhino
10 Chaos Space Marines: Aspiring Champion, Icon of Chaos Glory, meltagun, missile launcher, Rhino w/Havoc missile launcher

Patrol B - 400 points
5 Chosen Chaos Space Marines: Aspiring Champion w/power weapon, plasma guns x 2, Rhino
10 Chaos Space Marines: meltagun, missile launcher, Rhino w/Havoc missile launcher

Patrol C - 400 points
5 Chosen Chaos Space Marines: plasma guns x 2, Rhino
10 Chaos Space Marines: Aspiring Champion, meltagun, lascannon, Rhino w/Havoc missile launcher

Patrol D - 400 points
5 Possessed Chaos Space Marines: Rhino
10 Chaos Space Marines: Aspiring Champion, meltagun, missile launcher, Rhino w/Havoc missile launcher

Patrol E - 400 points
5 Possessed Chaos Space Marines
5 Chaos Space Marines: Icon of Chaos Glory, plasma gun, Rhino w/Havoc missile launcher
5 Chaos Space Marines: meltagun, Rhino

Patrol F - 400 points
10 Chaos Space Marines: Aspiring Champion w/power weapon, Icon of Chaos Glory, meltagun, missile launcher, Rhino w/Havoc missile launcher
5 Khorne Berzerkers: Rhino

That's what I've come up with so far that I like but I'm sure there's many other variations I could devise. I don't know if I care enough to put much more time into this and at least now I have a sense of what I'll use to begin painting seahorses. I haven't seen anything about the actual missions that we'll play during the games but again I'm not too concerned about that sort of thing for Combat Patrol. There's only so much you can do with 400 points of Chaos Space Marines so for me it's not worth worrying over, I expect to have a good time regardless of the composition of my patrol group. That being said, I am really interested in case anyone else has thoughts or suggestions although I am limited by what is already in my Chaos collection. For the moment I'm favoring either Patrol A or Patrol B.

There are 69 days to go until Adepticon and still much to be done before then. Fun, fun, fun... happy gaming and painting, everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hydra Night

This is going to be a relatively quick post tonight as I am about to begin the assembly of my Dark Elf War Hydra. Based on its reputation I am expecting this to be a frustrating and potentially unpleasant experience. I've heard numerous horror stories about this miniature and am understandably nervous about the modeling challenges it will present. Already in the short life of this project both a Harpy and a Dark Elf Shade have gotten the better of me and drawn blood from my careless fingertips. I therefore fear what might befall me while working on the War Hydra.

I'm sorry I haven't posted any updates in the last week about my Dark Elves, hobby time has been scarce and I spent what I had assembling the first batch of models. I decided to begin by working on all the metal Dark Elves I have in order to get the most annoying stuff out of the way early. I'll then move on to the plastic guys and hopefully be ready to begin painting by February, giving me about two months to get at least 1000 points painted before Adepticon. It's been sort of a slow start but I'm optimistic things will pick up soon.

So far I've assembled five Shades, the first five out of ten total Harpies, a Sorceress riding a Cold One, and an Assassin as seen in the picture below. All of those except the Shades were among the miniatures I had purchased before ever wanting to collect Dark Elves for WHFB, having planned on using them either for other projects or else purely for the fun of painting them. The Hydra and the remaining five Harpies are the last of the metal minis to be assembled so I'd like to start on the plastic ones by next week.

Okay, that's it for tonight's update. If I have some extra time this weekend I'll explain more thoroughly what I have in mind for this army and what I'll be working on over the next few months and beyond. Now though I'm off to fight a Hydra... goodnight!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deepstrike Radio's Queensland Flood Relief

I saw the info for this charitable effort yesterday over at Sons of Taurus and wanted to repost it here to help get the word out. This is just a copy/paste job so if you want either more details or to make a paypal donation, all of that can be found at Deepstrike Radio. Here's the basics, though:

"In wake of the 2011 Queensland Floods, Deepstrike Radio is launching it’s first Flood Appeal. With an estimated $30 Billion damage bill, 18 dead at time of writing, and some 17,900 houses dramatically damaged, it is the least we can do.

Our appeal will happen in two stages:

1) Accepting donations of Space Marine boxed sets and money. Any money received will be used to build Space Marine army force together with donated box sets.

Donations can be made either through our paypal donation button (located on the front page) or if you are contributing a box set – email and we will provide you with a postal address. Donations will be accepted until 30 Jan 2011.

2) Combined Space Marine army force will be put onto eBay on 1 February for you to bid on. This army will come unpainted so that you can choose which chapter you want to have, however, Dave Taylor ( will paint a Space Marine Captain in a chapter scheme of your choice for a Centrepiece model. Awesome!

As an incentive to donate, we are able to announce that we will be giving away books signed by both Dan Abnett and Graham McNeill to the person that donates the highest amount to this appeal.

All proceeds raised will go the Queensland Flood Appeal.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us:

Big thanks must go to Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill and Dave Taylor."

I hope Deepstrike Radio is able to raise lots of money with this relief drive. The people affected by this disaster definitely need help so check it out if you think there's someway you can contribute. Thanks, everyone!

Friday, January 14, 2011

With Malice Aforethought - Choosing Dark Elves

I checked in on the website for AdeptiCon earlier tonight and saw that it kicks off only 77 days from now. Allowing for travel time that leaves me with right around ten weeks to prepare for the events in which I'm registered to participate. The first morning of the con I'm playing in the 1000 point, four round Warhammer Fantasy: It's How You Use It tournament for which I plan on assembling and painting a new Dark Elf army. This is one of the events I'm most looking forward to and has sparked a renewed enthusiasm for the game that I haven't felt in quite a long time. Therefore tonight I want to begin the chronicle of my experiences with this army by discussing how I came to choose the Dark Elves and what it is about collecting them that appeals to me.

Some of you may remember when 8th edition was released last summer that I was very excited about returning to the fantasy game after an absence from it of several years. I'd drifted away from the game and, despite several attempt at getting involved again with various armies, ended up sitting on the sidelines through the entire duration of the previous edition of WHFB. With the game set to undergo what promised to be a thorough overhaul, the launch of 8th edition seemed like an ideal time to start playing again. At that point I wanted to collect a Bretonnian army but struggled with the army book and decided it was just not a good fit for me. Thus ended my brief allegiance to Bretonnia and with it my hopes for a triumphant return to Warhammer Fantasy, at least for the time being.

Feeling somewhat stung by this I didn't think much more about WHFB until preregistration for AdeptiCon 2011 began last October. Described as being particularly suitable for new players, the 1000 point Warhammer tournament seemed perfect for me and as a half-day event would still leave plenty of time for hobby seminars. Wunderbar! As I had hoped it would, signing up to play in this little tournament has given me the motivation I needed to revisit my choice in army and have another go at adding WHFB back to my hobby rotation.

Before finally choosing to play Dark Elves, I had narrowed the finalists down to either them, Orcs and Goblins, a skink-themed Lizardmen army, or my old standby, the Dwarfs. I read through the background sections for each army book and dutifully ogled all the pretty miniatures, but unlike when I selected the Bretonnians, this time to help decide which army to collect I set about making list after list for each of the contenders. I wanted to be sure that whichever army I chose would be one that offers a wide variety of styles of play, a quality that I felt was lacking from my experience working with the Bretonnian army book. Although my short term goal is to have 1000 points ready in time for AdeptiCon, ideally what I'm looking for is an army to which I can commit for the long haul.

Orcs & Goblins were eliminated because I expect to be pressed as it is getting the initial 1000 point army painted in time and thus picking a horde type of army seemed like an obvious bad call for me. Plus it's possible there will be a new O&G book coming out soon and this introduces more uncertainty than I'm presently willing to accept given the circumstances. Next I considered Dwarfs because building an updated army to replace my old collection of beards wearing armor has been on my hobby to-do list for a scandalously long time. Also my familiarity with Dwarfs seemed like it could simplify some of the learning process I will face with 8th edition and would allow me to start off already within a comfort zone of sorts. I decided against them however largely due to this familiarity. I feel like I'm starting WHFB fresh all over again and want to try out new approaches to the game than what I've done before. Therefore going right back to one of my primary armies from the past ceased to interest me once I thought about this and I moved on.

That means it came down to Dark Elves vs. the Lizardmen. The latter of the two offers so much of what I'm looking for in an army that it was a very close decision choosing between them. The strongest lure I felt for the Lizardmen came from what I consider to be one of the greatest Games Workshop kits of all time, the mighty Stegadon! This beautiful chunk of plastic is by itself ample reason to start a Lizardmen army and was likely the main cause of my prolonged indecision. Eventually I decided the skink-based army that I wanted to play, focused on skirmishing light troops backed by Salamanders, Terradon Riders and a Stegadon, would not be a good choice for me as an army with which to learn the game. It seems like it would be too tricksy for me to handle while still coming to grips with the basic mechanics and fundamental strategies of the game. Also I do not know if I would want to expand the army beyond its core emphasis on skinks so I thought it best to save this one for a later, more frivolous project.

And so that left the Dark Elves as the victors of my army search. Although it may seem as if this was just through surviving the process of elimination, there was in fact a lot going in their favor from the beginning and only increased their lead the more I thought about it. For starters I think their range of miniatures is, with just a few exceptions, one of the nicest available. Over the past few years I've purchased a modest selection of Dark Elf models just because they looked neat and seemed like they'd be fun to paint, chief among them the much ballyhooed and likewise bemoaned War Hydra. That's not to say the other army choices I considered do not also have their own awesome models. But unlike the others, I have essentially no prior experience painting Dark Elf miniatures which adds to the whole newness vibe that I'm grooving on. I've painted my share of Dwarfs, Orcs, Goblins, and even Lizardmen in the past, but I have previously painted at most perhaps only a half dozen or so Dark Elf models.

A fire breathing, regenerating, terror causing monster with Thunderstomp... YES PLEASE!

Cool miniatures alone are not enough to sway me however because Games Workshop has us spoiled for choice on that account. Therefore I believe the time I spent working on army lists at a range of point levels was particularly helpful. I quickly came to appreciate the variety of units available to Dark Elf armies and am confident I could add to my collection for a long time to come before exhausting my interest in them. I think it's an impressive mix of heroes and units, including: both cheap and elite infantry, skirmishers, missile troops, fast cavalry, heavy cavalry and chariots, competent magic users, a quality warmachine, and perhaps best of all, a big ugly monster worthy of being the centerpiece for my army. That's pretty much everything I could want and more.

Lastly, I noticed something unusual about the Dark Elves. Although I've at least dabbled in close to every army available at some point or other, it appears as though I've managed to avoid almost entirely the Dark Elves. Not only have I painted just a meager few of their miniatures, but I also have read and absorbed precious little of their fluff and background material prior to this undertaking. Other than the fluff contained in previous versions of their army book I cannot recall having read anything else concerning Dark Elves and their place in the world of Warhammer. As much as I liked the miniatures and their style, the concept for mean elves obsessed with revenge had virtually no appeal for me.

Something clicked though as I was reading through their current army book a couple of months ago when I started this army evaluation process. This time around I was totally hooked by the story of the Druchii and found their history and social dynamics fascinating. It was therefore something of a special bonus when I realized that I have the Malus Darkblade and Malekith novels available to read as I work on my Dark Elf raiders. I don't know if I've ever had the pleasure of reading a Black Library book while at the same time working on the main army featured in the novel. That makes this sort of a unique treat for me and sealed my choice in favor of the Dark Elves once I realized how well this had worked out.

Having gone through all of this and really having taken my time with my decision, I feel confident that the Dark Elves are indeed the right choice for me. I like the painting and collecting opportunities, there seems to be a strong variety of units and army styles with which I can experiment, and the fluff offers for me a new and previously unexplored perspective on the Warhammer world with more than 1800 pages of fiction to read related to my choice of army. Like I suggested before, it's all I had hoped for and more.

So that's the story of how I came to be a Dark Elf player, I do apologize for letting this turn into such a lengthy saga. In my defense however this did cover the past three months of Warhammer Fantasy contemplation in which I've indulged. Now that I'm caught up to the present with my account, I doubt there will be further reason to write at such length anytime soon. I ended up not having much time to begin work on the army this past week so I'm looking forward to diving in this weekend. In the coming days I will discuss things like potential themes for my collection, developing army lists, assembly and painting notes, and so on. For now though I feel exhausted and am quite ready to stop writing.

Therefore goodnight and happy gaming!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Something for you fashionable antiquarians...

A sharp-eyed tipster sent me this link to the original (I suppose) version by jeremywc. Thanks for the laughs, buddy. :)

I'm working on Dark Elves tonight though nothing much to show for it yet. No more time for blogging, it's back to the glue and hobby knives for me. I hope everyone is having a good week so far, bye!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ultramarines - Everyone's a Critic, take 2

I'm just getting underway with my new Dark Elf army and am very eager to start blabbing about it here. Before doing so however there are a few loose ends I feel I should take care of before getting too far lost into the world of Warhammer Fantasy. First off I realized that it will take some time until I have anything ready to paint for the Dark Elves so I'm leaving the rest of those Frog Fighters to finish over the coming days. I'll just work on them here and there when I have time to spare. No need to rush them after all and I'm rather excited to begin work on the new army.

Next up, I told Thor of Creative Twilight quite a while ago that I wanted to post a review of his list building tool, Command Center. I will still do a full review but it's too good of a resource for me to keep quiet about it any longer. Command Center is a free, online-based army list construction tool designed for use with Warhammer 40k. It's not meant to replace your Codex or do all the work of building a list for you, like Army Builder for example, as you must initially enter the relevant stats yourself. Rather it facilitates working with the saved information to help you adjust and refine your army lists, as well as allowing for easy access to your army rosters whenever online. Most gamers I know want to own a copy of their army's Codex anyways so why then shell out more bucks on something like AB when you can use Command Center for free? I like it a lot and recommend any 40k player give it a try.

Okay, last on my list tonight is the review of Ultramarines: A Warhammer blah blah blah that I promised a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure at this point most of you have seen enough reviews of the movie and could care less about hearing yet another opinion on it. I will therefore try to keep this brief.

Ultramarines is bad and disappointed me as a fan of the 40k background. The movie itself is a real stinker but I still enjoyed watching it. I agree with most of the catalogue of charges made against the film but all of the artistic and technical shortcomings were essentially what I expected. I'm a diehard MST3k fan and so cheesy, B-movie lameness never bothers me and is something I actually enjoy in the right context. On that level I thought Ultramarines was a lot of fun and could make for a very funny, albeit geeky, RiffTrax episode. And I thought there were indeed some genuinely cool scenes too, so it wasn't all bad really.

What truly disappointed me about the film is that it felt so very small and bland. WH40k has such a rich and evocative background, filled with heroes and villains larger than life doing tremendously momentous things. It's a galaxy replete with warfare, the battles of which are epic and can consume entire worlds. Ultramarines had none of this vast sense of scale and hence left me feeling uninspired and decidedly underwhelmed. The other problems with the movie are at least for me forgivable but as a 40k product what I did not like was the overall mundanity of its vision. There was hardly any of the awe-insprining size or craziness that distinguishes Warhammer 40,000 from other science fiction settings. I'm not positive but I think that's why I was ultimately so disappointed by this movie.

Alright, that's it for tonight. Sorry about flubbing this post and initially publishing it after only the first couple of sentences. Oh well, all part of the diceRolla way I suppose. I'm off to glue some elves together... cheers!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Invasion Begins

Hurry! Hurry!

Leave everything behind, there's no time to spare!

Get as far away from the coast as you can...

The Dark Elves will be here soon.

Or if not soon, then hopefully in time for Adepticon at least. New army project starts tomorrow. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Serenity Now!" and a Frogs WIP

There are days when it feels so very nice to finally sit down, relax, and paint some space frogs. For me this was just such a day after dealing with a myriad of stresses related to our upcoming move. I'm very eager to get started on my new army for WHFB but before I do that, I want to see these Frog Fighters finished. I've really enjoyed painting them and they are truly unlike anything else I've painted before. Using such bright colors has been a treat as I can't even remember the last time I painted anything orange. This has been a fun way to kick off the new year of painting but I'm ready to move on to bigger projects.

These frogmen certainly have their share of problems but I really wouldn't expect anything more from a range of miniatures called Critter Commandos. Looking at them now I am reminded what a pain it had been to clean off their horribly located flash and mold lines. Also there are some odd inconsistencies with the sculpting itself. For example, half the frog warriors have pupils already sculpted onto their eyes while the other three frogs have smooth eyes without any detail. Further, the two heavily armored frogs have significant and obvious differences between them. Maybe it's intentional, like one of them is wearing an older generation of armored suit, but considering the other shortcomings of these miniatures I suspect this would be an overly generous explanation.

Even with their strange blemishes I still really like these miniatures. It's also been fun thinking about how I can incorporate them into the gaming side of my hobby. As I mentioned previously, I believe Killzone, available for download from Galaxy In Flames, offers the greatest potential for quirky miniatures like these and so that's where I've focused my attention. I currently favor playing them as Space Marines because the equipment matches nicely (guns, jet pack things, full bodysuits), so that way the bigger guys could be used as Terminators as befits their larger bases. Also I think it would be the simplest option considering how familiar most people are with Space Marines and the way they perform on the tabletop, making it easier for opponents to handle this particularly unusual counts-as situation.

I'm now happy with the plans I have in mind but I'd love to hear any other suggestions on how I might make use of these miniatures. They are destined to appear in only the friendliest of friendly games so I don't really anticipate any problems, though I do prefer to take as reasonable of an approach as I can. I have a few other sets of Critter Commandos currently packed for the move which I'd like to work on later this year. With them I'll be able to provide the Frog Fighters with a number of loyal allies as well as an appropriate group of enemies for them to battle against, the dreaded Ratzi Menace.

I look forward to keeping this project handy for when I need a short interlude from my more serious painting interests. I aim to finish these miniatures in a day or two and should then be able to settle into a comfortable hobby groove. That's the plan at least, we'll see how it works.... Until next time, happy gaming!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Painting Notes for Raptors

Following on from last night's post about using this blog as a place to keep my painting notes, I'd now like to revisit those Raptors marines I started on last December. I foresee working on them intermittently all year long and beyond as I've decided for this army project my goal will be to collect and paint an entire Battle Company of the Raptors Legion. I expect this will take me a long time to complete, making this record of how I've chosen to paint them rather important for me to keep updated.

I haven't worked on these guys in almost a month (last seen here) and likely won't get back to them for another couple of months more as I really need to begin devoting my hobby time to WHFB. Adepticon is fast approaching and only today did I at last settle on what army I will be working on for the 1000 point Fantasy tournament for which I've registered. Once I have finished my Frog Fighters, I'm going to put everything else on hold while I focus in on the square-based side of life. Therefore lest I forget how I painted the first members of my Raptors Legion, here then are my painting notes for them:

Basecoat: Color Primer Army Green
Power Armor: Devlan Mud (twice), drybrush of Traitor Green, edge highlight sparingly with Thrall Flesh, Orange Rust weathering powder
Equipment: Thamar Black, Greatcoat Grey
Auspex Screen: Gnarls Green, Iosan Green, Wurm Green, thin lines of Morrow White
Eye Lenses: Iyanden Darksun, Moldy Ochre, Sulfuric Yellow, Gryphonne Sepia, dot of Morrow White
Chest Eagle and Weaponry: Boltgun Metal, Badab Black, Mithril Silver
Name Plate: Tin Bitz, Dwarf Bronze, Shining Gold, Devlan Mud
Purity Seal Wax: Mechrite Red, Skorne Red, Khador Red Base, Leviathan Purple
Purity Seal Parchment: Hammerfall Khaki, Menoth White Highlight, Morrow White, (Am I missing a wash here? I think it might have been Gryphonne Sepia.)
Skin: Tallarn Flesh, Ogryn Flesh, Midlund Flesh, Ryn Flesh
Base: thinned Umbral Umber, heavy drybrush of Bootstrap Leather, light dryrbrush of 'Jack Bone
Base Edge: Scorched Brown

As I discussed above, I will soon be turning my attention to Warhammer Fantasy. I need to try my best to make up for all the time I lost the last few months while vacillating over what army I'd want to take with me to the tournament. I'm starting from scratch with an all new army and I haven't played any games of Fantasy in years, at least as far back as sometime before 7th edition. This means there is indeed much to be done so this project is going to have to be my top priority. But I will talk more about these plans in the days to come, for now I just want to get back to painting my space frogs. Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Frog Fighters WIP

When I started this blog one of the main purposes in doing so was to use it as a way of keeping track of my painting notes. I've had notebooks for this before but have done a poor job in the past of hanging on to them or using them consistently. Since I like to skip around with my projects and always have a number underway at any one time, not keeping up with my notes can become very problematic. Thus my plan to use diceRolla as an online painting notebook was conceived.

Typically with the first WIP post of a new project I would include a complete list of the paints I had used up to that point, broken down for each discrete area of the miniature. As I made further progress these steps would be added and through the magic of the Edit Posts button a fully updated painting guide would gradually be created. (An example of how this ultimately looks once complete can be seen here.) This method provides less than a step-by-step or painting tutorial would but it is enough for me to feel comfortable about leaving a project for a long time without sacrificing consistency in the colors used. And voila... I had a painting notebook!

This system worked well initially but after my unexpected four or five month break from painting last year I neglected to resume this helpful habit. I'd like to say it was just laziness but truthfully I became self-conscious about this practice once I realized how many exceptionally talented painters see my work here. I worried that these "color guides" as I called them would come across as presumptuous or vain if their purpose as being for my own benefit were not understood, so I stopped doing them. I've since come to regret that as I, true to form, failed to take any notes once I started painting again last autumn. In that short amount of time I've already forgotten how I went about painting my nascent Blisstonian 9th army and the currently dormant Rogue Trader crew for Killzone. I'll likely be able to figure those out again but it will require time that would otherwise go to something more productive.

Therefore one of the things I've decided to do with diceRolla this year is return to my former intent of maintaining an online painting notebook. If all goes according to plan, the first WIP post for each new painting project will have a list of colors used, gradually expanding to include every pot of paint touched in the process of working on the miniature. Hopefully this will not be too intrusive as to annoy any veteran painters and perhaps might even prompt suggestions as to how I can improve my painting or choice of colors. And if anyone does in fact find these notes to be in some way helpful to their own hobby, then that will just be a nice bonus.

What follows then is my first color guide of 2011, beginning the year with a selection of Frog Fighters for the game Critter Commandos. Over the coming days I will return to edit this, updating it as I make progress painting these miniatures until completed. This is meant for my benefit but if anyone has questions, please don't hesitate to ask as I'd be happy to help if possible.

Bodysuit: Necron Abyss, Asurmen Blue, Exile Blue, Cygnar Blue Base
Jetpack: Iyanden Darksun, Gryphonne Sepia
Jetpack Bands: Thamar Black, Boltgun Metal, Badab Black
Skin: Knarloc Green, Thraka Green
Eyes: Underbelly Blue
Guns: Thamar Black, Boltgun Metal, Badab Black
Pineapple: Tausept Ochre, Devlan Mud
Base: Charadon Granite

Armored Suit: Macharius Solar Orange, Gryphonne Sepia (twice), Mecharius Solar Orange
Jetpack: Iyanden Darksun, Gryphonne Sepia
Jetpack Bands: Thamar Black, Boltgun Metal, Badab Black
Skin: Knarloc Green, Thraka Green
Eyes: Underbelly Blue
Pistol and Sword Blade: Thamar Black, Boltgun Metal, Badab Black
Sword Hilt: Tin Bitz, Dwarf Broze
Base: Charadon Granite

Armored Suit: Iyanden Darksun, Gryphonne Sepia (twice), Iyanden Darksun, Moldy Ochre
Eyes: Gnarls Green
Hairdryer: Mechrite Red

Before I go back to painting these guys tonight I'd just like to note the bases upon which these miniatures now stand. I tried my best to blend them with their original bases and am reasonably satisfied with the results. I am normally very reluctant when it comes to the greenstuff however so even this is an accomplishment of which I am proud. I wasn't sure if I'd bother with bases at all but trying to paint them without anything to hold onto was too much of a hassle. Now that they're properly based, painting my Frog Fighters has proceeded far more comfortably.

As an unanticipated side effect of mounting them on bases appropriate for WH40k, I'm also starting to have thoughts... terrible, heretical thoughts... about what to do with these miniatures once I've finished painting them. It's been many years since I lasted looked at the rules but I remember Critter Commandos as being something of an awful mess as far as game mechanics are concerned. Therefore if I want these miniatures to do anything besides sitting on my shelf I suspect I'll need to look elsewhere for a viable gaming experience.

Hmm... Killzone, perhaps? Someone call the Deathwatch. ;)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

'Ere We Go 2011

Woooo-hoo!! 2011 is off and running and I am as excited as can be to start out another year once again at the helm of the good ship, diceRolla. I've got all sorts of projects lined up for the months ahead and am eager to get things underway promptly. I have high expectations and am optimistic that it is indeed going to be a great hobby year.

I will be making some resolutions for 2011 but only a couple hours ago this evening began considering what goals I would like to resolve myself to accomplishing. I intend on reviewing how I did with last year's resolutions soon but for now I will just say that without a generous degree of creative interpretation, I fulfilled little on the hobby side of things. The non-hobby resolutions, however, were thankfully much better. :) I therefore am going to take more time to think about my choices instead of hastily committing myself to something I might soon come to regret.

The general formula for my resolutions will no doubt be similar to that which many other gamers are setting out for themselves, that of: paint more, game more, terrain more, get better at things I enjoy. Once you've established that it's really only a matter of working out the details. I'm driving to Charlotte in the morning for my granddad's funeral so I should have plenty of time to review my priorities and decide what projects will take precedence in 2011. From there I will determine my resolutions and perhaps this year I might even stand a chance of making it past March with them.

I've already got a start on the first project of the new year, one that I anticipate will be a relatively quick set of minis to finish. In a couple of days I'll know what larger projects I want to focus on for 2011, so this small painting task I've set for myself should keep me busy until then and help sustain the hobby momentum that was building at the end of last year. I recently found an old set of models while clearing out some storage space and decided they would be a fun way to usher in this year of painting and gaming.

Yes. Critter Commandos. And it's all Bleaseworld's fault. I had forgotten about these miniatures until seeing some nicely painted penguin commandos on Steve's blog posted here. I then fortuitously found this box of minis just this past Thursday while packing for our upcoming move to Asheville, with one set already cleaned and primed no less! So first up for painting are a group of anthropomorphic frogs wearing what I believe are supposed to be scuba suits and gear, or in other words, scuba-suited frogmen! Here's an early WIP photo as a preview of what is to come:

The horror... the horror....

I've got a long day ahead of me tomorrow so it's time to wrap things up. Thanks again for making 2010 such a rip-roaring good year for diceRolla. Thanks to all the readers and commenters who have offered your own insight and assistance over the last year. And finally I am especially grateful to you members of The Esoteric Order of Jason for your continued support and encouragement. You are a constant source of motivation and inspiration for me and I appreciate very much the interest you have taken in my endeavors. Thank you!

So that's it. I hope this years proves to be a great one for each of you, filled with clattering dice and splashing paint to your heart's delight. Happy 2011, everyone!