Thursday, August 15, 2013

House Tourrash Marches To War

I met my personal goal of painting up my first seven Knights ahead of the weekend gaming event!

Here's my first three paladins.  They're not entirely finished yet, as I have to settle on Brotherhood badges for the three Paladin groups they'll be leading, which will go on their right shins in black.

Similarly, I have to settle on a badge for the Wardens, and decide whether they're going to share a badge with my next trio of Wardens, or whether I want to give the units separate markings...

And finally the Baron.  I attempted a minor light source on his Baron Lance, adding an electric glow to the coils running up the sides of the lance.  Not sure how well I succeeded; Saturday I'll get some input in person most likely.  I have to make a banner for him too, but that's a project for another night.  Ultimately, his banner will either be a larger version of the House crest, or it will be a scroll carrying the House motto.  Don't know yet which.

As for the house Crest:  Three orbs gules per bend sinister argent, sable (hopefully I got that right).  Essentially, I wanted something that would link the House back to the Mechanicum despite their very un-Adeptus Mechanicus color scheme, so I split the heraldric field black and white, and put three circles on it in red for Mars, Metalica, and Cydonika.  It doesn't clash as badly as I feared it would, and it's better than my earlier idea of using black, red, and green.

Monday, August 12, 2013

And more on the way!

My challenge for this week:  while finishing off my business school prep-work, paint 7 knights, and hopefully assemble and paint 1-2 warhound titans.  Let's see if I manage that before Saturday (B-school takes precedence of course).

So here's my first couple of painted Knights (the Baron, 3x Paladin Proxies, 3x Warden Proxies):

Meet what will hopefully be the first seven painted Knights of Cydonika.  I wanted something a little different (most of my armies tend to fall within a certain spectrum of the color palette involving blue, green, and red), so I opted for a purple/golden yellow contrast with silver trim and silver heads.  The left shin will get House Tourrash's heraldry (TBA), and the right shin will get the knight detachment's squad heraldry.

House Tourrash, the Knights of Cydonika

"Nemo nos ceperint vivos"

House Tourrash originated on Mars as part of the garrison of the Cerberus Planitia Cybernetica Forges.  They were, among other Knight Households Skitarii regiments, and a Titan Legion, eventually tasked to an Explorator fleet headed deep into the Galactic East to provide security for the fleet and its eventual colonization efforts.  The world that Explorator fleet ultimately settled upon still serves the Martian Mechanicum today, as Forge World Metalica.  House Tourrash acquitted itself well through the centuries, guarding the nascent factory templum as the Mechanicum iterated and prospered on Metalica, and rode to war on numerous occasions alongside the Legio Metalica (Iron Skulls) against the region's entrenched ork populations.

In late M34, Metalica launched an Explorator fleet to map out regions further East along the edge of ork space, ultimately settling at a suitable planet, redesignated "Cydonika" after a decade of unrelenting warfare to cleanse the ork population present.  House Tourrash has guarded the forges of Cydonika ever since, riding to war alongside Cydonikan skitarii, as well as her parent world Metalica's Titans and skitarii when requested.  To date, the House still keeps an honor guard of seven paladins on Metalica as part of the Iron Skulls' home forge defenses, and the House keeps their Knights' cockpits unpainted in honor of their shared history.

I'll update House Tourrash's lore as I finish off the miniatures, polishing it up and keeping it reasonable as I go.  My plan is to paint up my Titans for Legio Metalica (although of late, Legio Crucius is starting to compete for my affections; they might get their own miniatures at some point), and ultimately have a combined arms force of Skitarii, Titans, and Knights that I could table for a truly massive battle should I so desire.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Battlefleet Solar, Armageddon Sector Fleet List

This post is playing a little bit of catch-up with my project log over on Specialist-Arms, so bear with me; there's more coming soon, and it's not necessarily BFG.

So I'm finally getting closer to finishing an Imperial fleet I started years back in college.  At the time, I only had access to the plastic cruiser kits and metal escorts, but since then, I've been able to get my hands on a set of resin garage kit conversion parts to better represent ships produced at the forge world Voss, or other Segmentum Solar shipyards using Voss templates.

Starting from the left, you have the three Falchions of Pugnus Squadron (more to come when I get around to painting the other six I have), the Tyrant-class cruiser Aloysius Helmawr IX, the Gothic-class cruiser Lord Nevsky, the Armageddon-class Saint Drusus, the Mars-class Sanctus Macharius Victor, the Tyrant-class A. von Wallenstein, and the Armageddon-class Saint Jowen.

My plan is for these vessels to be pulled from the Sector in which Necromunda lies, late in M41 just prior to Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade.  Many of the sector fleet's vessels were previously dispatched as reserves to the Armageddon Sector to reinforce the squadrons attempting to stem the tide of Ghazkull's second invasion, and the war has left its mark on the returning ships.  Both the St. Drusus and St. Jowen were dispatched to Armageddon as Lunar-class cruisers but were upgraded over the course of the war along with many others of their class as the Imperials desperately tried to outgun the Orks who vastly outnumbered them.  The St. Macharius is Patrol Group Adamant's command vessel, with the veteran Commodore Iulia Apraksin commanding her task force from the carrier's bridge.  The Helmawr is the youngest ship in the task force, built in early M39 above Necromunda at the insistence of then-Planetary Governor Aloysius Helmawr IX, who had gotten it into his head that an Imperial Navy warship was the most suitable memorial to his illustrious personage he could have.  Lord Helmawr's micromanagement of the ship's design and construction tended more towards the ship's decoration and command & guest quarters and less-so to the specifics of the ship's class and displacement, and so when the understandably frustrated shipwrights suggested the ship be built to the specifications of the newest and increasingly popular cruiser design, he happily agreed, blind to the unsubtle irony in their choice.

Here's a closer shot of the three battle cruisers in close formation.  To round out the fleet, I plan to add another 2-3 squadrons of escorts, 4 light cruiser hulls based on the Voss light cruiser design, another nova cannon-armed Armageddon to round out my Holy (Face) Rollers, possibly a Dictator to give me more attack craft options, and I have an Apocalypse-class battleship that needs some retouching before it will join this battlegroup.  I'll have one more torpedo-armed cruiser prow left at that point, but I'm really not sure what else this fleet really needs, unless I want to reserve in a cruiser hull from another fleet list that I can't normally take in the Armageddon Sector list (maybe a Dominion or an Overlord?).  I have a couple of strike cruisers and a battle barge that I could use to thicken out the fleet if I really needed to, but I'm more partial to fielding a "pure" Imperial fleet.  I may also add some small turrets to the Tyrants and Gothic where the battle cruisers have their forward antennae; I might also use these ships to represent a Bakka list from time to time, so having the extra turrets modeled on wouldn't hurt.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sure, why not, let's juggle a couple of projects at once...

So, since I still can't decide whether or not I want to add battle damage to my battleship, and since it hasn't dried up enough outdoors to get a good dry primer spraying day down on some other projects, I got started on my next large BFG vessel.

Below you'll find my WIP Vengeance prow alternative. I based her off of the Repulsive's prow with some modifications. She's .75 inches wide at her base, .5 inches wide at the top, and .25 inches deep. I built out a framework on Monday, filled her in with putty on Tuesday, and then with a hobby knife I trimmed the excess out and sanded it down to get my dagger shape when I got home tonight (the alternative was to repeat my hour of playing with obscure angles and plasticard lengths from Monday, which honestly, was not getting me anywhere. At all.) So far tonight, I've started adding the trim (so you can actually see her lines), and shaped the spine that I'll be using as a guide on the top to get that acute sloping Chaos prow effect.

The next photo will show you what it looks like at this stage, plugged into the Retaliator's prow slot. I plan to bring the prow up from the upper trim in a pair of shallow angles, which will reach that upper metal bit and stop, and in this ship's case, I plan on using some more plastic strip to drape the arms of a massive chaos star over that area a la BFG core rulebook artwork. the long sloping prow sections I will in this case finish smoothing and then drill to fit numerous antennae into in order to represent the +1 Ld sensor probe upgrade from the BFG:R Chaos fleet list (although I may not use it in every game).

This is mainly a proof of concept build. If it works, well, I have a few more hulls to do something similar with, although I think I might try for a differently-shaped prow for my Imperial Vengeance hulls.

Next steps:
1) build up the upper surface of the prow to a pointed edge;
2) start on the superstructure beneath the prow (bring it down similar to the Vengeance and Repulsive prows, add a couple of close defense turrets, bring the keel slightly forward onto it)
3) upper deck trim work (Chaos star), drill and mount antennae and sensor probes, add some gribbly squares and bits similar to Imperial ship prows to help hybridize the design
4) fill in that square gap between the prow and the hull, add some plating, and gribbly it up so it looks legit.

Monday, June 17, 2013

One for posterity..

So, after a flash of inspiration (I read Zenithfleet's blog), I plan on adding some lingering battle damage to my Night Lords battleship.  Since anything I do after this point is irreversible, I'm putting up some photos here and now of the battleship as she stands, all pretty and new:

And a top-down shot of the free-handed lightning bolts:

The trick will be scarring her in a way that it'll look good without being horribly overdone.  I'll get back to you on exactly how I'm going to pull that off, but I think I'm going to sear a couple of lance strikes across her prow and stern quarters, and then find a way to minimally pock-mark her midships with macro battery impact craters above and below her waterline (or whatever I should be calling the drop-off between her upper and lower gun decks).  I might also cut out and core a couple of the upper gun deck turrets to make it look like a magazine explosion took out part of one of the batteries.  I just need to make sure I don't get too carried away or I'll end up with a flying scrap-heap.  This will by necessity obliterate some of my detailwork, but I think the end result should give me a ship that doesn't look quite as pristine, and since she's supposed to have been fighting for about 10,000 years now, I figure that's more appropriate.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Retaliator-class Grand Cruiser

So, I apparently missed the memo on how the Vengeance-class hull assembles really poorly.  I'd chalk it up to rubber mold fatigue and years of production, but some of the gaps are so far off they had to have been bad even when this thing got started.  So, here's all the parts laid out.  I'm not using the weapons in the lower right-hand corner, but they're part of the kit:

The problems start appearing once you try assembling the ship.  Test-fitting the prow only reinforced my decision to scratch-build my own custom prows for my Vengeance hulls anyway.

There's no way I'd be able to attach this without 2-3 pins for stability and a whole lot of modelling putty... so I'm going with plan b:  scratch-build my own prow, attempt to replicate it as best as I can twice more, and then install them on my Retaliator, planned Exorcist, and planned Vengeance/Avenger swappable kit (because it won't be hard at all to design it so I can pop off four magnetized lance decks and replace them with four magnetized weapons batteries).

My first bit of advice if you try building one of these on your own:  put two blobs of paint on the engineering/bridge section of the grand cruiser and then mate up the gun decks to that section like I did in the image below.  That'll make it really easy to drill in 4 aligned holes and pin the ship together.  I use paperclip sections for this;  it's a nice thick solid bar that isn't going to bend or break anytime soon, and will help secure the ship sections nicely.

I'm still working out the exact shape and dimensions of my replacement prow.  I'm thinking I want it no wider than 7/8 in., and about 1.5 in. long.  The Veangeance's prow is about 1 in. wide and about 7/8 in. long, not counting its ram spike, and for comparison, the Repulsive's prow is about 7/8 in. wide and 1.5 in. long.

Of the two, I'd rather go with the Repulsive's dimensions and holding it up to the model out of curiosity, the ship definitely benefits from the narrower, longer profile. I'm a little torn between whether I want to have the prow flare slightly like the plastic chaos cruiser, or whether I want to simply bring it back flush with the gun decks and use something very similar to the Repulsive.  The more I think about it, the more I like the latter option.  I think I'm going to make the sides a little less steep than the Repulsive's, just to bridge the design gap a little between the Imperial and Chaos ship designs.  I'm also debating on whether I want to mount the torpedo tubes in the prow, or under it (the BFG:R ship rules allow you to upgrade the Vengeance-class hulls with torpedoes or an improved sensor array if you want), but for the Retaliator I'm definitely going with the sensor array and I'll be running a bunch of antennas out of the prow's sloping armor when I'm done with the basic shape.  I also want to splay the arms of a chaos star across the prow on the chaos version, and sculpt the imperial aquila (or maybe a winged skull) onto my eventual imperial ship prows.  I feel like they need something to link them in, and some of the original Battlefleet Gothic artwork in the book depicts chaos ships with massive chaos stars on their prows, and I'd like to try my hand at that.  I'd show you my progress on a plastic scratch-built prow, but I've already junked it after realizing I'd built it way too wide.  Something to pick up with and work on tomorrow night!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Painting In Progress

So, Nostramo's Lament is coming along!  This is that Chaos Blasphemer-class Battleship I mentioned in my introductory blog.  I'm delaying publishing my guide to Warp Rift Online until I have her painted up to include in the guide as a finished product, along with a brief snippet of lore.

I need to put on another thin layer of the gold where it's necessary, and I think I want to darken the red some more; it's a bit more brilliant than I had anticipated, and I think I have too much bright paint on the model relative to the darker hull.  Speaking of the hull, my cobalt blue tone is itself, I feel, too bright, so once I have the gold consistent and solid, I'll be doing some blue touch-ups and then running a darker blue ink wash over her to bring the blue back down darker.  I was considering pushing the gold highlights brighter, but at most after a dark wash on them, I'll probably just bring them to a medium brightness in a few areas in an attempt to keep the scheme more muted and menacing.  Wow, I never thought that, on top of a black basecoat, I'd actually find myself trying to mute my colors back down.  Ah well ;)

Also, I'm experimenting with figuring out how I want to do the engine flares on her.  I'm thinking it's going to end up being a red-tinted plasma burn, but the Imperial engine nacelles on her stern don't really lend themselves to easy painting in that regard.  I may need to put a little putty in them, carefully, so I have something to hit with white and a red corona ring...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Well, if you're reading this, welcome to my little corner of the web! I plan to use this blog to keep a record of my model wargaming projects, whether crafting, painting, or list-building and recapping gaming events. I'm definitely more of a hobby gamer than a competitive gamer, so if I were you I wouldn't expect a whole lot of in-depth list-building and strategic discussion here. That said, I'm quite cheerfully plowing onward through trial and error in a few projects of mine, so hopefully I'll be able to pass along some useful advice as I go too.

Currently, I have a few projects going on, and most of them will get short articles on here as my blog catches up with me. Currently, I'm painting a scratch-built Blasphemer-class battleship for my Battlefleet Gothic Chaos fleet (I'll be submitting my building guide for that to Warp Rift Online soon, so stay tuned!), I'm working on designing some alternative weapons plates for the Chaos cruiser models, I have a few seriously back-burnered Epic Armageddon projects (one of them involves quite a few Titans), and I have a gift Word Bearers Dark Apostle miniature for Warhammer 40,000 that's about 66% finished that I really should get around to completing for a friend. Expect to see posts about all of these projects coming in the near future!