Thursday, December 30, 2010

100% Total Hurray

From BOLS:
Being a Khador player, I fully support this concept and hope that the model looks half as bad-ass in real life as this magical Leman Russ does in the picture.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WIP: Officer of the Fleet

Here's a quick update on one model that I'm really liking right now. I have the Company Command Squad on the paint table and they are about halfway done. Attached to this squad is an Officer of the Fleet (OoF)and building a suitable model has been fun. It was either him or Demolitions Doctrine for the Hardened Vets at the same points. I have a Master of Ordnance and Astropath being built right now too.

I think the currently available OoF model is really awesome but I don't think he totally fits into the look of my Valhallans... plus I'm totally broke. Further, I have 2 decades worth of bitz so if I can't scratch build one for free then I may as well hang it all up.

I did an image search and saw a few people doing a conversion using the old tank commander model, one that I still have and never used. I think this bit works well because my officers all have frogging to tie them together and this tank commander does too.

Here’s the original bit over at Dakka Dakka:

The challenge would be to make him look like the off-world Naval advisor that he is, be WYSIWYG/apparent, still look "cold" and still look unique without being distracting.

He didn’t have legs so I trimmed the current standing Tank Commander plastic legs until he was in proportion and lined up well with the Valhallan models. I sawed/trimmed some pouches and original sidearm away and then added a plastic las pistol/holster. I filled a minor gap at the waist and then primed him.

Converting was easy but the color theory wasn’t so cut and dry.

I decided that I’d use a light grey so his overall tone is lighter than the Valhallans but the stain wouldn’t deviate too much from the overall feel of the models. I hoped for a monochromatic result. I trusted the stain wouldn’t make him too dark and the final appearance would be complimentary blue/grey to the powder blue of the Valhallans.  The silver with ice Blue wash took to the stain nicely too, some nice glint accent.

Here are 2 WIP of the model right before final paint

And just after stain

I’ll post up pics after he is Dullcoted and based.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

WIP: Melta Vets

Non-traditional I know but pretty much as I expected them to look and so, I'm happy. I think their look backs their fluff (they are ex-miners) and so the steadycam look is ok. I may add a melta power cell somewhere too but I don't want them too bulky.

I had hoped 3 points of glue would hold them without pins but that ain't happening. I need to pin them.

They need some greenstuff and pouches too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Well, I hit 50 painted Vahallans by Christmas so I'm feeling pretty good about myself, almost as good as when I got zipper pants for Chirstmas in 1984. On to some pics...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

40K: Christmas Oath Home Stretch

I haven't had the heart to tell my 6 and 9 year old that the countdown in this house isn't for Christmas... it's for 50 painted Imperial Valhallans.

So here's a WIP... the squad that takes me just past 50 guardsmen have texture drying on the bases. After that dries the bases will be painted and then Dullcoted sometime tonight. Tommorow will be snow and then that's-that.

I'll be trying to jam out 3 melta vets over the weekend, to properly fill my demo vet squad and maybe getting that Company Command squad done next week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

40k: Medusa WIP

My Basilisk was built years ago, with an Earthshaker platform that slides out. That forethought allowed me to add another platform later.

Later is now.

For this I used an Earthshaker breach and chamber turned backwards and trimmed down, the armature from the tank plow, also trimmed and shaped. I built a pivot on the armature itself and then used a Lego hinge shaved and placed to allow the Medusa to aim directly and indirectly through two points of articulation. The motive assembly for the gun is an extra Tau ion cannon or somesuch I had lying around.

Finally, I used various bits from the bits box to detail. The muzzle is a marker cap. Not shown is the breach door or bearing races installed.

The breach fits used 9mm casings from the last time I was at the range. At some point I’ll build some Medusa rounds and a crew for loading the Medusa.

Overall, I’m happy with it, given the time I put in. I’ll prime and paint it at some point this week but priority number one is the 5th squad, which is well underway.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

40K: Stowage

So just a fast update this frosty December evening in Philadelphia...

Over finals and exams last week I updated and detailed a Leman Russ and Chimera, previously started years ago. They are essentially done but I may add some touches like spall marks along the hull and scorching around the heavy flamer. Also, I think the blue is a little too intense, I may tune it down. But that will be later, good enough for now.

Also, I painted up and glued on some stowage. I think it adds character to the vehicles.

Friday, December 10, 2010

40K Question: Medusa or Colossus or Griffon?

I'm thinking about some arty for the Valhallans. The default is to just build a Medusa gun for my already-completed Basilisk. The bassie has too great a minimum range to amount to much in games that I may play.

Marines in cover? Colossus deads 'em like d-CON but the minimum range is a drag for the average game as well... and the model is all-around expensive too. Great for apocalypse though.

Medusa has some versatility with two differet rounds available, fires direct and has good range for the average table (and no minimum range.)

But looking at stats, I think I like the Griffon the most, at 70 something points and re-rolling scatter, it kills most things in open ground and seems a great value for what it does. I can easily build a heavy mortar to sit in my salamander and park that puppy in a back corner.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Oath: Current Model Count

So my oath was 50 painted Valhallans by Christmas, started on October 1st. I checked last night and I'm at 40 completely finished models. Sweet.

Only 10 more to go. So the painting order will switch up this weekend as the stowage for the tanks is done.

I will paint the 5th squad next week, which includes a grenade launcher and autocannon. And that will be the oath completed.

Hot on the heels of that I'll be trying to finish painting up my list for the holiday bat rep... hard to do since I'm still not sure on what exactly to run.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Malifaux Freikorps

Yeah, I'm thinking about it. Finn, Pete I'm looking at you, you pimp mothers.

40K WIP: Melta Vets

Well I was just able to pick up 3 Necromunda Delaque Heavy Stubber models from Ebay, perfect fodder for some melta gun vets to go with my Hardened Vet squad. Pricy in a few ways, but worth it in the long run.

When they arrive, they will have their heads lopped off like the others and the heavy stubbers will be swapped for meltas and finished the same way as these guys.

They will probably be my eleventh hour project before the holiday bat rep... and probably not the only one.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Priming in Cold

Just thought I'd share my thoughts on priming in the cold since it is about 1 degree outside.

I’ve found that it helps to do 4 things when it is cold:

1.       Not let the miniature get cold.
2.       Not let the primer can get cold.
3.       Not let the primer “fan” go very far in cold air (i.e. spray from far away.)
4.       Not let primed minis dry in the cold. This is probably most important.

So what I’ve been doing is opening a window and priming right there on the sill, holding a box with the minis on it... I haven’t dropped any yet. The rush of warm air out sucks the paint fumes away sorta like a spray booth. So technically you are spraying outside as far as the fumes go but then you bring the minis right inside to dry there. Way less fumes that way too. Usually takes 2 coats this way.

Or, you can find an area outside that is sheltered from the wind then just spray primer there but the trick is the further the spray goes in dry cold air the more it dries by the time it gets to the mini… the dreaded “frosting.” So get your sprays closer with tighter bursts and then get them right inside to dry. I used to spray prime under my front deck during winter months.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

40K WIP: Vehicle Stowage and Autocannons

It'll be a short week, with a paper and final due by next Saturday, so I'll only try to paint 3 autocannons and some vehicle stowage for the tanks this week.

I'll be using all of the stowage I have nested away for outfitting the tanks in this company; Forge World, GW and Tamiya parts.

As for the autocannons I think the theory of what they do for a squad holds up well: good against troops, transports and skimmers. Getting orders works well for them too as a bonus (which can't be counted on.)

I took the sight blades off the muzzles of the autocannons with Xacto and file. I also tapped barrel holes. I left the crew shields off too, obviously. I may add them later, not sure.

The two already-completed squads will each get an autocannon. The third squad on the paint table will only be 8 guys plus an autocannon and two painted guys from the other squads.

After that I'll get to the Company Command Squad and to whatever remaining things need doing, like scratch building a Medusa gun and getting something going for a Master of Ordnance.

40K: Completed Valhallan Platoon Command Squad (Sorta)

So the Platoon command squad (PCS) is done. I already decided that the melta gunners will probably end up in basic squads or with the Company Command squad (CCS.) As the CCS gets painted, I'll do up some flamethrowers to put into this squad, to replace the reassigned meltagunners. Seems to me BS 3 frontline meltas may not be so bad... especialy if they have the possibility to get Bring it Down orders. I figure the PCS will probably ride in a Chimera anyway and stand off.

PCS in process...
Some point soon I'll make some Banners in GIMPshop and get the guardsman with a stick some flag to fly.

Overall, I'm happy with how the squad came out, but there isn't much time to admire anything. My goal is 50 painted IG by Christmas.

... and completed.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

40K WIP: Valhallan Commander

Valhallan Commander

Here's a mock-up of the Valhallan Commander. I used Solar Macharius' cloak for the back. I completed him with the binoculars and arms from the tank commander sprue.

In his previously painted version, he had a plasma pistol and power fist. I've since disassembled and stripped him. This time around I'm looking to give him a power sword and plasma pistol.

I think these bits work becuase:

  1. He's in a more realistic "commander" pose. He looks like he's moderating the fight.
  2. The tank commander arm bits have frogging and that will tie the commander visually to the Lt's in the Platoon Command Squads who also have frogging. Commisars have that as well.
  3. Macharious' cloak has a sheathed power sword poking out, good for arming the commander. The bigger area of fur on the cloak will tie him in better with the fur lining of the troops while bulking him out a bit.
His arms/hands aren't really styled like the other Valhallans but I'm fine with that. I could bulk them out with greenstuff but I'm on a deadline.

The final model will be trimmed and put together tighter but that's basically it.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

40K: Valhallan Company Standard Idea

I was just cruising the news on at lunch. I saw an ad for The Economist, showing an article with a painted illustration of a Communist in uniform riding a horse while holding a very young Korean or Chinese boy.

Check it out here: Next of Kim, The Economist: Next of Kim

I think I may do something with that for my Valhallan company standard... with a battered Valhallan riding a horse over piles of dead orks, with ice mountains and Aquila in the background, a Valhallan youth in his free arm.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I try to watch a good movie to stay inspired with my projects, something that you can put on even while you paint and just to listen to it. To me, a good movie is something that you can watch in your mind as you listen to it while concentrating on painting/building... and it brings ideas to you army.

Right now, I've got Where Eagles Dare on in heavy rotation as inspiration for my Valhallans. One idea from the movie I used with my Valhallans was making snow plows for my tanks, similar to what was on the bus at the end of the movie.

Besides being a war monger classic, it combines 6 things I love in life:
  1. Mountain warfare
  2. British accents
  3. Clint Eastwood perpetually annoyed
  4. 60's dramatic "BUM BUM BUUUUM" music
  5. Bill Murray, I mean Richard Burton
  6. Nazi M*A*S*H* helicopters
Check out Where Eagle Dare on IMDB but skip the fan synopsis, it's not accurate and leaves out the awesome.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/30/10 Update: Valhallan Platoon Command Squad WIP

Just a fast update that the Platoon Command Squad is coming along. The Company Command Squad will be started right after this and I'll be moving the Meltas to the CCS so they can take advantage of BS4. The flamethrowers painted with the Company Commnad Squad  will move to the Platoon Command Squad.

Also, here are some more angles on the second sentinal finished over the weekend.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gallery Updated

I updated the Gallery with some BFG, Hordes and Nurgle Marines I did awhile ago. Just sayin'.

40K: The Numbers of the Beast... 4 and 3

Jason just slid by to roll for mission and deployment for our upcoming Warhammer 40K holiday bat rep. We agreed to find out what the mission and deployment is but not share army lists.

We got 4 and 3, Capture & Control and Spearhead.

We will also be playing on a small board, 4'X4' so 1000pts of IG vs space marines within shouting distance to start should be interesting, bloody and photogenic.

Knowing what I know now of the mission I'll have to build an objective counter...

What a Year

Valhallan Armored Sentinal 2, 3rd army group

I am totally thankful for what I have... thanks to 2010.
One of my best friends Joel died suddenly in June, leaving behind a wife of just over a year and a legion of people who sorely miss him. My mom is still with us, enjoying life with her grandkids though she is terminally ill. I was diagnosed with prostate disease in good ol’ 2010 and that has been a challenge too. It has been a year like no other.
These are the type of things that help “focus your lens” and maybe see things a bit straighter than before. I “see” my wife and kids more clearly. School and work seemed to fall into a rhythm. I’ve really learned what a friendship is.
As hard as it all has been, I’m grateful.
One smaller ripple on the rough pond of 2010 was my attitude towards painting and armies in general. I looked back at the pile of unpainted stuff I had and really took stock of what I’ve accomplished over the last few years, hobby-wise: I learned to purposely paint layers after almost 10 years. I improved my color theory skills. I improved my notation skills, documenting all the schemes and formulas I devised. I improved my terrain-building skills and completed some ambitious projects. I used new materials in builds. I left others behind.
All of that said, I still had a nagging little imp in my brain, strumming his harp to the tune of “na-na-na-na-naaaa”.
I never completed my IG army. I barely even got any of it done.

Commisar Ritrade

So with that in mind, I put aside my Warmachine projects and went back to my Valhallan Imperial Guard, an army I’ve played on and off since 1996. At first, I thought I was going to auction them off since I couldn’t make progress with them. Thinking about this year, a year of regrets, I knew I would regret not getting this stuff done. It'd be like dating a girl for 15 years and not marrying her, while having all the conveniences of the relationship. Yeah, I’m saying this army has screwed me on occasion and I, it. I think anybody who played IG long enough can attest to that. So I’ll stick by the old girl and go outside my comfort zone to get this done. I owe it to myself and the army.
This project is very personal. It means I’ve accepted that it takes me a really long time to paint minis, since getting them all finished has never really been my goal, painting them is. My buddy Pete is the king of production as far as I'm concerned and I admire how he is able to bang out great minis at an alarming rate. I am honest with myself enough to say I will NOT paint 100+ guardsmen with layers of paint and micro-detail the army to death.
I do not have that kind of time. I don't think anybody really does.
So with completion in mind and coupled with the lessons learned from a hard year, I took to getting a large Imperial Guard army “finished.”
Better yet, I figured out HOW that will be accomplished. So thinking about my conversations about future plans with Joel before he passed I remembered talking about my experience working in a paint factory and the idea struck me on how to let go of my meticulous style and let the medium do more work for me.
So I’m painting the bulk of my Valhallan army with water-based stain. It is and isn’t as simple as it sounds. More on that later.
The start of this project is documented here, at The Imperial Guard Debriefing Room:
Look to have me start posting the bulk of updates to this blog while staying involved with my excellent brothers and sister at the Debriefing Room. I will port over the procedural stuff I wrote so it's here, all in one place, at some point soon.
 My goal is to have 50 guardsmen painted by Christmas, about 27 days away. I’m in the 30’s already with what is painted right now.
On top of that, I have a date to play over the Christmas break against my buddy Jason Woolf’s Dark Angels. We aim to have the “fully painted” bat rep to prove it, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy some shots of some of the recently completed Valhallan 554th army:
Master Grumman, Primaris Psyker

Viktor Reznov (Sly Marbo)

Squad B

Valhallan Armored Sentinal 1, 3rd army group

Squad A

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Welcome. Please die.

Lesson One: All gamers die but projects can drag on forever

Nice to have Sarcophagi back after 9 years. I've done a few things since then and posted my projects here and there on various forums but I'm just tired of having my stuff on different websites at the same time.

At the urging of friends I decided it is time to boil it all down in one pot.

I'll start by posting up some recent stuff I'm working on, like my Valhallan IG infantry company for 40k and a small display board.

Later, I'll catch up my past projects and form a portfolio of work.