Monday 26 October 2015

Siege Studios Painting Class Review

A desk awaiting Learning and Creativity

At the weekend, I went to a painting class held by Siege Studios at Wayland Games. This was the first time Siege had run a course, so there were a few minor teething issues, but nothing that can't be fixed for the second time around. I'm told they're already planning another event, so if this sounds good, keep your ears open.

First item on the agenda was some airbrush tutorials and pre-shading. There was a wide range of skills and experience in the class, but it was a small group and there were plenty of instructors to go around. They would demo something, then you'd try it out yourself.

I practice on some generators I'm planning on using as scatter terrain for things like Infinity. This is the base coat stage, and I intended to come back to them in later parts of the class.

We then moved on to blending, which I've done before but am pretty out of practice on. I was pretty pleased with this, but think with a bit more practice I can definitely do better. Do bear in mind that this is my progress during the course. Some other folk with more experience were putting out some absolutely stunning work as a result of the lessons they got over the weekend.

We then went on to power weapon effects. Mine doesn't look great, but there were two reasons behind this - one is that my blending is pretty darned slow right now, so I wanted to get the hang of putting paint in the right places in the time available. The other is that it turns out that the brushes I have, while pretty good, aren't up to some of the tasks we were being set, so it's time to order myself some new brushes!

At the end of day one we did transfers. The generators were returned to for this!

We were using Micro Sol and Micro Set to make the transfers blend in, and I was super pleased with how they turned out in the end - not much gloss at all and hardly any visible edge. I have already ordered things off the internet to practice with!

Day 2 started with weathering. They showed us two techniques. I'd already done some work with the hand painted scratches and sponge weathering, so decided to try out the hairspray technique. This was the result. I made some definite mistakes in doing the process, but I also know where I went wrong and learned how to cover them up! I'm looking forward to trying this out on a model at some point.

Faces, faces, faces. I have done faces before. This one turned out pretty well. I want to try some more faces with different colours and a better paint brush. I don't think I learned anything specific new here in terms of techniques, but I got good feedback and critique, which I appreciated. I also learned other ways of doing the same things I've already done before, which is a good tool to add to the arsenal.

A desk where many things have been Learned

We finished up with some topics of our choice and one on one tuition. There was a bit of a basing demo, but I didn't try anything of that ilk myself - but I will be. Oh, I will be! I am full of ideas and brimming with enthusiasm. Tiredness, too, but mostly enthusiasm!

In a few of the gaps and the personal painting time, I finished up the generators, playing around with a few more weathering techniques. This isn't the greatest photo, but I'm really happy with how the transfers came out. I think I'd probably put something in to bring the Verdigris down on the right hand one a bit if it was an army piece, but as scenery, I'm going to call these two done.

Monday 19 October 2015

Warhammer 40K Open Day, Forge World Seminar

Introduction and Context

I would normally do my account of a trip to an event in chronological order, but everyone is getting all excited about announcements from the Forge World seminar, so I'm going to knock this out first.

I don't expect to be first to press these days - I leave that to the enthusiastic people like the Battle Bunnies and The Imperial Truth. I like to think of myself as BBC Newsnight, talking it all over after those young bucks from the "breaking news" channels rush things out as they happen.

I also don't photograph the seminars because I work by hand-writing all my notes as I go and I don't have time to photograph and write at the same time. Also, you can find blurry pictures of a power point slide on the internet if you care to look.

I was in the second presentation on the Sunday. Presiding were Mark Bedford and Andy Hoare. I have also added other things told to me in person during questions at the stands over the two days.

Horus Heresy

Golden Demon Entry: Young Bloods

Horus Heresy Book 6 is called Retribution. Words have only just been finished to send it up for approval, then printers. While that might just mean it could scrape out just before Christmas, it's probably more likely to be put out for a Horus Heresy weekender. Look for that to be early February - I don't think hotel contracts have been signed just yet, but its probably going to be the Belfry again.

So, Book 6! This covers "Shadow Wars in the Age of Darkness", probably around about 010 of M31. These are the smaller battles away from the main campaigns and major fronts of the Horus Heresy. They cover smaller units separated from their chain of command. That's not to say these battles weren't full of hatred, betrayal and bitterness, but this is the effect of a galaxy descending into chaos (small c).

There will be five narrative chapters with lots of words about things happening. A "Retribution" campaign, six "Shadow Wars" missions and some legendary missions as well, which are the historical refights.

New forces are Blood Angels, Dark Angels, White Scars, Shattered Legions, Black Shields and Knight Errants.

Shattered Legions cover survivors of Istvaan, but also other ragged bands made up of cross Legion formations. There will be special Rites of War for the Shattered Legions.

Black Shields are Marines who've renounced their oaths to their legion and obscured their legion markings. There is a definite call back to the old Rogue Trader style multi-coloured armour and use of Xenos weaponry. They get a new Legion special rule, and also get to use one of four sub categories - such as being genetic abnormalities, seeking death in battle, or being space pirates. The models will have opportunities for ad hoc repairs, crazy hair and the Mark V rivets. Slit visors and alien rifles. They will be able to mix and match more than anything - including different legion specific troop types.

The Knights Errant are Malcador's people - HQ choices, with Garro and Rubio being named character, and a third "make your own" profile being available.

There will be new Rites of War, new special characters and new Consul types. There will be the introduction of some more Dark Mechanicum - not full on daemon engine types, but a few using forbidden weapons.

The new Consul types are the Delegatus and Praevian which are already up as PBFs, plus a banner bearer, with special rules for both loyalist and traitor versions.

The Mastodon Heavy Assault Transport is nearly done and will carry 40 Marines. When it's destroyed, it isn't removed but stays on the table as a building.

The Leviathan Siege Dreadnought had been being developed in secret on Terra, so is primarily loyalist, but a few found their way into traitor hands. A few examples were on sale at the show, but it should be on general release by mid November.

There's also rules for the Vindicator Laser Destroyer, the Rapier Quad Launcher Battery and the Knight Atropos. The Ordinatus rules will be included here too.

There will also be an Arlatax Class Battle Automata, which is an assault shock unit for the Mechanicum. It will be a jump monstrous creature.

 There will also be a new Contemptor class Dreadnought call the Cortus. It's a lighter version of the Contemptor which was used against the Orks at Ullanor - mass produced at the time, then mothballed afterwards - and then returned to service as weapons and parts became scarce through the Heresy.

A bunch of pictures were shown.

Golden Demon Entry: Staff Category

There was a print of the Disciplines of Flame, who are from the Salamanders. They're lead by someone who was thought to have died. (On Istvaan?) They have come back and said that while they walked the halls of the dead, Vulkan was not there, so he believes Vulkan lives.

There was a picture of a Dark Angels Lance Decurion.

There was a picture of a House Malinax Cerastus Knight Atropos. These were a bonded Knight House who declared for the Warmaster. The multi-tailed scorpion symbol is that of a Dark Mechanicum Magos who is coming soon.

The paint scheme Mark did for House Malinax is apparently quite popular. Mark is writing it up and will look to get it put up on the blog, or available from the FW e-mail address. He mentioned liking using darker metal colours for knights as it makes them look heavier. There will be a transfer sheet - the ones on the example model were quickly knocked out on a laser printer, the final ones will be a much higher quality.

There were pictures of a White Scars Tactical Legionary and an Alpha Legion Assault Sergeant. There was mention of one of the bits covered being a Battle for the Pale Stars, which is related to Badab, so this is a look at that area of space during the Heresy.

A picture was then shown of a Black Shield Chymeriae. These particular ones were Marines who didn't know what they are - they don't know who made them. Their armour is unpainted but marked with some sort of runes or markings (which might give a hint as to their origin).

Black Shields will likely be "By The Emperor's / Warmaster's Command" with non Black Shield Marines, due to the distrust and dislike of these strange orphans and oath breakers. But they will fight just fine alongside almost everyone else.

There was a picture of a Blood Angels Tactical Legionary, and also one of their vehicles. There was very ornate artwork on the Land Raider. It was mentioned that for many Legions, that might be a commander's vehicle, but that pretty much every Blood Angels transport had that level of artwork and detailing. There will be transfer sheets to help you out with this.

They looked carefully through the background and realised that while all Blood Angels were ordered to go to the muster at Mataba and then on to Signus Prime, some companies will not have made it - so the Blood Angels in this blook will be a few companies who did not make the muster, and still see Sanguinius and the rest of their Legion as missing, and don't know if Sanguinius is still alive or not.

There will be a campaign of Iron Hands attacking World Eaters, which will show the unusual situation of the World Eaters fighting a defensive battle.

40K News

Staff Army Display (not Corsairs!)
 There is a re-worked Doom of Mymeara book. A proof copy was at the event. It includes Corsair Jetbikes and Skathach Wraithknights (they have jump capacity). There is an all new Corsair list which stands in its own right and is heavily customisable. They are their own faction and very different to the other Eldar factions. There's been a full rules revision.

There is also a new "Craftworld Creator" for minor craftworlds which is effectively a formation builder.

Already mentioned elsewhere is the Mars Beta Warhammer World Exclusive Warlord Titan Head, consisting of a variant head and two shields.

They get distracted back into Horus Heresy again!

Horus Heresy Model Masterclass Volume One is coming.

There were a few "Mor Dreythan" Raven Guard kits on sale - and another Raven Guard unit was just back from the casters but was not yet approved in time to be shown or go on sale.

The Solar Auxilia got their Power Axe Storm Section.

The Medical unit shown in White Dwarf is held up because they wanted to add another piece of equipment to the unit.

The next Primarch is Dead Sanguinius in a box. Honest.

Israel Gonzales sculpted the Nathaniel Garro figure.

The Knight Errants have a special "Oath of Moment" rule - a secret objective to complete that's worth between 1 and 5 Victory Points. However, if you don't complete it, you can do no better than draw the game. The troops are there to support the Knight Errant in their quest!

Questions from the floor

Warhammer World Display

I've not typed out any questions, but simply framed the answers in such a way as to make it clear what was being asked. I skipped a couple of non-questions.

More red books will still be done in future - maybe even a revised Crusade army list with the additional units added since it was released.

Loken will not be getting new rules as a Knight Errant just yet.

Alan Bligh does have a plan for a new 'core' Legion list post Crusade and on into Heresy. This isn't planned for a book yet, but is something being considered and thought about.

An FAQ for the Master of the Forge requirement for Relics in Imperial Armour 2 is on it's way - expect it to be simply a Techmarine requirement.

There is a changing relationship between Forge World and Black Library regarding the Heresy. It originally came from the IP approved by Alan Merrett for Sabtertooth's Heresy card game - this was then passed on to Black Library. Forge World started off as a junior partner, but it's now moving to be a more "back and forth" equal relationship as ideas pass both ways. Perhaps an author needs an assault tank and Forge World have a model coming. In the early days, a writer would just make up military equipment - as there weren't plans for models then!

The writers haven't told people to port Skitarii armies straight into 30K yet, because they haven't finished thinking through how Skitarii work in 30K. They don't want to officially say "just use them" just yet in case they want how they work to be very different! Still, in the meantime, the unofficial advice is to use them if you have them 'cause they're pretty awesome and it will look cool.

Black Shield forces are small - perhaps only 1,000 troops or so. But that's bigger than "most" people's collections, so you can still make a sizeable tabletop force if you want. They shouldn't have Primarchs (obviously), but they also don't have the resources to maintain disposable weapons. So they won't have drop pods, relying more on fliers.

The Black Shields won't have Tactical Squads - they are an iconic Legion unit. Instead, they'll have a smaller, more customisable unit with more varied weapons, Xenotech, and other weapons you've not previously seen Marines using.

No decision has been made as to how to portray the Emperor on the battlefield when they get that far. Should he be unkillable? Should you defeat him by working around him and destroying  the rest of the army? Or should he bounce back like Celestine?

The Shattered Legions can't take Primarchs, due to their nature. Most other things will be fine.

Mark Bedford is up for running another painting day if someone can make it happen.

There will totally be multiple versions of at least some Primarchs eventually.

The Ordinatus will likely come to 40K eventually. The original write up for Epic had an Ordinatus at Armageddon. There's an Ordinatus in the new Mechanicus / Tau display at Warhammer World. However, this may be for a future weapon variant as they've tried to keep Volkite and similar primarily in 30K in the Forge World kits. There was a new weapon variant design (in plan form only) on view in the Forge World studio area.

Forge World are now capable of using CAD to add magnet guide holes into larger kits. They will do this when the rest of the kit design supports it, because they acknowledge people use them. They may advise on magnet use in, say, the modelling books or help sheets, but won't sell magnets themselves.

Many years ago in a seminar, a book of Penal Legion vs Tzeentch was announced - but it never happened. It was still in the ideas stage but got over-run by Horus Heresy. It may or may not get revisited - penal legions are problematic as Forge World don't really do well at kits for cheap massed infantry!

Imperial Armour 14. Tau. Mechanicus. Red Scorpions. Probably some other stuff.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Slow and steady wins the race

I'm plodding away, getting little bits and bobs done. A lot of work continues to be assembly. Seeing pictures of unpainted models with mould lines removed is not the most interesting thing in the world, so I'm trying to minimise that sort of thing.

Here's a finished thing, though. Some Micro Art Studios bases that I'm going to use for Malifaux Scheme Markers for Turf War and Squatter's Rights. It's a simple base coat, wash and drybrush, but it's a job off the list, and they look quite nice, I think.

Here's some Ratlings a good friend of mine assembled for me. I just added some rocks and texture to the bases before getting them undercoated. They're going away in a box for now, though. I've already got a pretty good chunk of 40K stuff painted through commission painters that haven't seen a battlefield yet.

I've definitely drifted from playing 40K recently. I still love the background and setting, and like coming up with 40K ideas. I'm not sure what's causing the malaise. Is it that my current Astra Militarum force is a bit dated in terms of army selection, so struggles a bit compared to more recent codices? Is it a weak codex at the moment? Is it that I'm a bit over Guard and totally want Ad Mech, Skitarii, Inquisition and a variety of Armies of the Imperium in a glorious Rogue Trader-esque mish-mash that's totally legal this edition? I'm not really sure just yet.

I've been pretty quiet on Infinity recently, but my darling wife has been helping me out with my appalling pinning. I've been doing it by hand and that's meant I've just not made the holes deep enough, and things are pretty fragile.

We started off with rebasing the already assembled stuff. The Reverend Healer here shows the plan - Antenocitis Workshop bases and brass fire arc indicators. They're pretty swish! But I tease Infinity and then it's going to go quiet again...

I'm busy for a whole bunch of weekends now - the 40K Open Day, a painting class, and a LARP (with all requisite prep) - and that's when my wife was helping with stuff. So I'll be plugging away at my own projects and getting stuff ready for the bits she's helping me with, but Infinity won't see much more air until mid November at the earliest!

Monday 5 October 2015

Nothing finished, but plenty going on

 Some of you may be asking "Hey, TRO, why haven't we heard from you about all the cool things you've painted recently?"

You should stop asking that. It shows that you're new in these parts.

Those of you who've been here longer (I'm so, so sorry) are more likely to be asking questions like "Hey, TRO, you haven't whined about not getting anything painted recently, what's up with that?"

 Well, the thing is that there's plenty going on. Just not much getting finished. The other weekend my darling wife helped me assembled some of my Infinity figures by using her Dremel. Assembled, unpainted figures aren't all that interesting, but here's one I took a photo of to post excitedly to Twitter about. She still needs her brass fire arc marker adding, as do a whole bunch of other ones.

I did get sat down the other day to do a little painting. It's not much, but the base and wash is in on the markers I'm going to use for Strategies in Malifaux. This won't be a complicated paint job - a few dry brushes and a little tidying up, and they'll be done.

Jumping on from that will be the rest of my "starter crew" which is using the models I already have to get up to 50 soul stones. I understand that's the standard game size. That means just two models - my Teddy, and a Convict Gunslinger (an old metal ltd edition "Miss"), although I do need to find a card for her.

I'm not sure what to do next from there - most of the other Malifaux I have is various limited edition bits and bobs I got with the Through the Breach Kickstarter or Black Friday bundles and stuff like that. I do have a University of Transmortis set, but I seem to remember I can't do the single player version of that without a Henchman to lead the crew (I need to find the rules booklet for it as I took it out to read and it's somewhere around here).

What I'm likely to do is get a model that makes a model useable / useful. For example, I have a Performer - once I get a Coryphee or two, she becomes useful in the Collodi crew as a Mercenary.

Getting other people to paint stuff for me is definitely worthwhile. Here's a quick snap of a Valkyrie painted for me by Vidpui. You should hire them. They're pretty great. I'm already planning on sending them another one!

I'm really not too worried about the lack of finished stuff I've painted in September - plenty of stuff is progressing nicely, it was just mostly on the assembly side of things. October is pretty busy too, with the Warhammer 40,000 Open Day and some painting lessons already booked in.

Also, a lot of the lack of progress has been down to me making the conscious decision to spend some of the energy tidying up my house and throwing out junk instead. I'm at peace with that because I'm generally happier as a result - and I think happier than I would have been if I'd painted instead of tidying. This blog isn't UYH so I'm not going to be posting "before" and "after" pictures of me tidying the dining table...

I'm planning on getting a Widow Weaver for the Collodi crew, and I decided to hunt out some tokens for her web markers. They need to be 30mm, and I went with these markers from Litko. I was worried about buying her and getting her finished before they came from the US, which is another spectacular example of my terrible over-estimation of how much painting I'll get done.

The webs themselves are some webbed markers, I'm guessing for D&D, but they are smaller than 30mm, which is what Malifaux needs. So, I also bought some thin clear 30mm discs from Litko to glue the webs to. Really pleased with how these have turned out.

Also, the other day I got a very pleasant surprise when The Miniatures Apprentice sent me some free stuff! I bought the "Mantis Warrior" from them a while ago, and while it's still in the box looking a bit intimidating, I was very impressed with the quality for first forays into the world of miniature production.

This chap is a mecha-dragon. He carries the halberd type thing underneath him as he flies. I reckon he's going to look pretty rocking when assembled up and painted.

Here's a mecha-wasp. (It's not all mecha, though!) Looking at TMA's shop, I haven't quite laid him out how you should assemble him. He'll work quite well in weird pulp games, a xenos antagonist for an INQ28 game, or possibly even as an alternative for some Necron thingummies, should one be so inclined.

Here's a chap who might be of interest to the adventuring types, and probably some of the Oldhammer folks as well. He's a dwarf warrior, looking really mobile and keen to engage with his enemies.

I really wasn't expecting to be sent a parcel of really quite gorgeous miniatures out of the blue, so thank you hugely to The Miniatures Apprentice! It has certainly laid on the guilt about my not having assembled and painted the Mantis Warriors I got before they went out of stock...

For the Oldhammer inclined, I've just spotted a new demon on the TMA webstore. I think he'll appeal to that sort of crowd! I kind of want one myself, but I really need to assemble and paint the stuff I've already got!