Some kind of progress

Sorry for being quiet recently, life’s been a bit up and down and that’s affecting my hobbying (not least in that I’ve somehow hurt my painting wrist so that highlighting of my latest model is taking a lot longer than I’d hoped). Once I’ve finished this guy I will move onto something a little bit simpler as a month on one Shining Spear is a bit long even for me.

I picked up the Imperial Knight codex the other day. The fluff is good but it’d have been nice to have added a couple more units to bulk the army list out. We seem to be moving to a more modular game these days with Imperial Knights, Inquisition etc. adding more stuff to (Imperial) armies. Hopefully GW will branch out into the non Imperial armies sooner rather than later. I doubt that we’ll see Exodites anytime soon but I hope that whenever they bring out the Ork codex (no idea when of course) that they add a few supplements or a Grot codex or something.

I quite like the new Militarum Tempestus. I’m not going to pick them up immediately but I might make a nice, fluffy little list with these guys and the Inquisition codex. The Imperial Guard (or Astra Militarum as they’re now called) has never really been my thing but these guys look kind of cool. I’m trying not to buy too much at the moment though as I’ll probably be moving in a few months and things can wait until after then.

I made some scenery this weekend. We desperately needed some line of sight (L.O.S.) blocking for our games so I decided to build a hill. It took me a few weeks to find the bits. The shop where I picked up foamcore in the past has closed and our local model train shop charged more than I was willing to pay for an A2 rectangle of foam. In the end I found some, along with a bag of static grass, in a bookshop in town which has a limited art section (and the most beautiful-and pricey- model aeroplanes). It’s not a very sophisticated hill. I cut the foam with a knife as I don’t have a hot wire cutter and glued the layers together with thick super glue. I then painted it with Chrome Green acrylic paint. I couldn’t undercoat the model as the spray primer melts the foam, so I used a thick coat of cheap acrylic rather than the finer modelling acrylic, which would have required multiple coats. I added a few lichen “trees” and some grass tufts before smearing the whole thing with PVA glue and covering it was static grass. It’s cheap and a little bit crude but it’s a piece of all too important L.O.S. Blocking terrain that doesn’t resemble a pile of books!

102_0181

So, having built this hill we had to test it out with a game of Kill Team. I’ve been playing with my Space Wolves and I finally think I’m getting there. I took:

5x Grey Hunters
5x Wolf Scouts (3x sniper rifles, 2x bolt guns)
5x Fenrisian Wolves

I need to tweak it some more but it’s a much better list (at least against Orks) than the last one. I have a slight problem in that apart from Grey Hunters, which are fine as they are, most of the usable things for Kill Team in the Space Wolves codex are too expensive for the limited points budget (Swiftclaws, Wolf Guard, Lone Wolves, Thunderwolf Cavalry) or have to be taken in fives (Wolf Scouts, Fenrisian Wolves).

The game went far better for me than the last two times I played, although the Fenrisian Wolves die too easily which meant that my boyfriend’s Orks broke my army about two turns too soon. I’m going to drop them from my next list because of this, although they are good fun to use and its nice to have something that can zip across the board. If I could take fewer of them, I’d keep them in. We played the Head Hunt mission and in the end I won 6-4 on Primaries. It was a nice close game, the last time we played was a bit of a disaster for me, I’d taken Grey Hunters, Wolf Guard and Fenrisian Wolves and was then systemically taken apart by Lootas and my own dice. The Wolf Scouts really made the game for me this time, their ability to infiltrate and the 36” range of the sniper rifles more than made up for their carapace armour. I’m looking forward to the next game as I’m sure that The Other Half will have found a good counter to them.

Well that’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll have something else to post about sooner rather than later!

L.o.F.

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The Joy of Kitbash part 3: Weapon Swaps

So, today I’m going to talk about weapon swaps. Sometimes the weapon that a model wants to use is simply unavailable or requires buying a kit for just one bit. Perhaps the way the weapon is posed is not quite right or you want a WYSIWYG model and your model doesn’t have quite enough hands. If this is the case then it’s time for a weapon swap.

Some weapon swaps are trivial, for instance in building Long Fangs from the Devastator kit or giving a model a sword or pistol from another kit. It gets a little more complicated when you need a weapon for which you don’t have the kit or want to pose the weapon in a different way. I’m going to cover reposing of limbs in a later post so today I’m just going to look at what the limbs are holding.

So what should we consider when doing a weapon swap on a model? The first thing to think about is how the weapon is going to be fixed to the model. Is it in the model’s hand ready to use or is it stowed? Is it one-handed or two handed? If it’s stowed, does it need strapping down in any way? If it’s in use, is it in one hand or two? In which direction do you want it to point?

Below are some examples of stowed weapons. The sword that the Wolf Scout is carrying is a cut down power sword from the Space Wolves pack (representing a combat knife). I had to build up the hilt with green stuff and I added the chain to make it look as if it were strapped on. I also built the green stuff fur cloak around the blade, so that the sword blends in with the rest of the model. The meltagun on the first Grey Hunter is slung from a sling made from green stuff. Here, I just glued the meltagun to the thigh of the model and used two thin bits of greenstuff to make it seem as if it is slung from a strap over his shoulder (don’t you just love big shoulder pads sometimes). The final stowed weapon is the simplest. I just glued the bolt gun to the backpack to represent a weapon that is maglocked in place.

stowed weapons

So, stowed weapons are fairly straightforward. Now we come to weapons modelled as if they’re in use. The trivial example (although it doesn’t feel like that when you’re juggling arms and bolters) is swapping out a bolt gun for a plasma or melta gun. A more dynamic pose can be made by having the model wield the weapon one-handed. For the flamer wielding Blood Claw below I used a plasma pistol wielding arm from the Space Wolves Pack box and a flamer from the Tactical Marine box (1). I trimmed off the plasma pistol using a scalpel and trimmed the grip area of the flamer to match (2). Then it was straightforward to glue the two pieces together(3-4).

Flamer diagram jpg

Then there are weapons and items that do not exist, for example the only Space Wolf Crozius Arcanum comes with Ulrik the Slayer. Fortunately it’s very easy to make your own. All you need is a thunder hammer (of which you’ll have plenty if you own the Space Wolves Pack kit) and one of the backpack icons from either the Space Wolves Pack or Terminators kit. Trim off the head of the thunder hammer and glue on the icon. It really is that simple!

crozius

So, what should you try to remember when kitbashing or converting weapons. Well, firstly, you need to consider what the weapon represents. For example I built my Rune Priest with a staff, which caused no problems when I fielded him in 5th Ed., but caused me much confusion when I first got him into close combat in 6th (it should be a power stave). The next thing to think about is the aesthetics- how you want the model to look. For instance if you want a WYSIWYG model you need to work out how to fit everything on which, when you have a model with two or more weapons, stops being trivial very quickly! The third thing that you need to consider is transport and storage. Unless you only play at home and store your figures on a shelf, you will need to be able to pack up and move your models. If you want to kitbash or convert a model with a particularly epic or thematic pose you may want to think about either keeping everything close to the body of the model (for ease of packing) or using magnets.

Hopefully this post gives you a few ideas about how to be creative with a weapon swap. In the next post of this series I’m going to look at reposing limbs. Until then!

L.o.F.

On the twelfth day of Christmas the hobby meant to me…

Twelve Space Wolf Great Companies…

So this is the last post in this series, normal service will shortly be resumed. This post took longer than I expected, sorry. The reason why will, hopefully, become clear soon enough.

Today I want to talk about my army. The picture below describes my army as it is. I’ve arranged it mostly in the same way as the Force Org although you may notice that there are four Heavy Support slots drawn in. That is because I have a Land Raider to paint one of these days as well as another pack of Long Fangs.

Great company coloured

My Wolves are part of the Great Company of Ælthere Greatpaw. I wanted to give my guys a Viking raider feel, so I’m going for lots of Fast Attack in the form of Swiftclaws, Land Speeders and Fenrisian Wolves, although I’m not impressed with the Landspeeder so far. The bikes are cheaper and survive a little bit longer (if more by luck than any special ability). I don’t like Thunderwolf Cavalry, don’t ask me why, I just don’t, so I’m avoiding them.

I have three HQ choices at the moment and I’m not planning on any more for now. As well as Greatpaw himself, who is a Wolf Lord in Terminator armour, I have Alvaldi Ratatosk, the Rune Priest, and Hildólfr Deathmask, the Wolf Priest. I actually have two models of Deathmask, one in Terminator Armour and one on a bike, as I wanted a more mobile HQ choice to go with my Swiftclaws.

Oddly enough, although this is Greatpaw’s Company, he’s the one guy for which I have least fluff (beyond the fact that I imagine him with a broad Yorkshire accent. My imagination is weird some days). Deathmask though is explained in detail in two posts here! The symbolism on Ratatosk is mentioned in my original post on him. I like trying to add symbolism to my figures. I find that it helps me to paint them if I have a sketchy idea of name and personality. Sometimes this personality doesn’t develop until I paint them (I have a Blood Claw with an axe who looks like he hasn’t had an original idea in his life), sometimes it never develops at all, but I find that a model with a sketchy back story gets painted far more quickly than one without. Oddly enough I forget all about this as soon as I field them in a game!

For Elites I currently have Wolf Guard Terminators (three for now, but hopefully more will follow in time) and a mixed bunch of Wolf Scouts. In future I’ll be adding a Dreadnought to the list, but he’s still in his box and desperately needs assembling and painting. I like Dreadnoughts, I’m just not sure how I want to build this one though.

My troops slot still has plenty of room to expand. I currently split the ten man packs into two but what I really need to do is build more. I’m working on it, honestly! The Space Wolf Pack boxes are almost too detailed. It takes a long time to paint each guy properly and that makes painting new Grey Hunter and Blood Claw packs a little bit off-putting.

I’m still building up my Heavy Support choices too. I have one complete pack of Long Fangs and another partly painted pack. The rest are in need of assembly and my Land Raider needs painting. It’s just a little bit daunting! I’m also a little bit nervous about putting too many points into this slot as my Long Fangs have seen very little action so far.

Anyway, that’s the last of this series. I hope that you enjoyed them. I’ll be back to my usual schedule (hopefully) on Tuesday. I have plenty of non-numericially themed posts waiting!

L.o.F.

…Eleven months of blogging…

…Ten thousand years past…

…Nine different tools…

…Eight books to look at…

…Seven days of hobbying…

… Learning sixth edition…

…Fifth Edition!…

…Four more excuses…

…Three things to think of…

Two different opinions

And a gift under the Christmas Tree

Wolf Scout painted

Well, I wanted to get this wolf scout ready yesterday but he still needed basing, so I’ve posted an extra post today to show him off. He still needs a name, I’m trying to think of a good one, but I’m not having much luck. He’s one of the models that I posted pictures of a few weeks back when I constructed them, but now he’s painted. I had some fun making and painting him, although I have to say that the cloak was a little tedious at times, but that was my fault! Once I got the hang of it, it was fine.

and the cloak…

and another shot of the front!

Flyers, Scouts and Styrene

Just a quick note again. I’m off to a meeting tomorrow for a couple of days so there’s unlikely to be a post on Thursday. I don’t think that I’ll be dragging any Black Library books with me and I definitely won’t be doing any painting or modelling. I also might not be able to deal with any comments or problems as I don’t know how much internet access that I’ll have, or rather how much internet access I will have for fooling around on the web.

I managed to do my back in over the weekend so I’ve been trying (and failing) to ease back on the crafting side of things this evening, which meant that instead of spending an hour or two painting a Wolf Scout I decided to make a start on a bit of scenery. It’s not at a stage where I’m going to show pictures and things but it looks like it might be fun. I’m using plasticard (styrene sheets) to build it and I imagine that, once I get back from this trip and do some more work on it, there’ll be milliput or greenstuff involved. There will at least be candles to model- dribbly candles of course, and pools of gloop and gore. I’m trying to think of a way to meld together the base colours of my boyfriend’s daemons (grey) and my Wolves (snowy sand). I think that I have it, but I need to build up the basic shape first. It will be a bit of flat terrain that could be difficult or dangerous terrain or an objective of some sort.

I did make a start on painting one of my Wolf Scouts yesterday and today. I’m still pretty happy with the cloak I made, but it’s a bit tricky to paint. Still, I know that Scouts don’t take too long to paint and then I can move onto my Old School Long Fangs, which will then mean that I have room in the queue for the stuff I bought on Saturday.

This brings me on to Flyers. I picked up White Dwarf 390 on Saturday and it was actually pretty good. The trouble is that I now want a flyer and Space Wolves don’t seem to be getting one! I know, I know, Space Wolves are rather (very) over-powered, but, as you may have already guessed, I don’t play serious 40K. I find the MSU Space Wolf lists a little bit contrary to the spirit of the codex. I’m trying to build up a list with a raider theme- lots of fast attack in the form of bikes, speeders and wolves (without Wolf Guard on top- lazy sods) and a flyer would fit the theme. I guess that if I can’t have one, I’ll have to persuade my boyfriend that he really needs one for his Ork list!

I have to admit that the Storm Talon has really grown on me. The initial leaked pictures looked a bit ugly, but the pictures in the codex show that the vehicle has a bit more length than I initially thought and it looks really hot in Salamander green!

The Ork bombers look great fun and I look forward to seeing some of those about. They feel really orky and also have a wonderful hint of those days spent bodging together plastic planes when I was growing up.

The Necron Sythe thingies look quite, well, Necrony, but they haven’t grabbed my attention as much as the Space Marine and Ork flyers.

I guess that I should go to bed now and dream of aeroplanes. It’s just like being a kid all over again!

A quick planning update

I’m rather tired this evening, but I felt that the last post was rather too short so I thought I’d put up a progress report for my Space Wolves. I’ve got rather a lot going on at once at the moment, so this list is as much for my benefit than the blog’s!

First off I have undercoated my scouts, at least partly so. I don’t have a garden so spraying gets difficult. I managed two coats yesterday and I’m going to touch it up with the new Imperial Primer, which may be interesting. Hopefully I will finish priming them this weekend, although part of my reason for getting the spray cans out was to stop me adding more to them.

Painting-wise this weekend I want to finish my last three (for now) Fenrisian wolves. I’m hoping to talk about them in detail another day, but I need to finish them first. I also need to finish highlighting my Blood Claws. I still have six to go and because they’re almost done I tend to forget that they’re there.

The other thing that I plan to do this weekend is strip the old undercoat off the old school metal Devastators that I acquired from my boyfriend during our last trip to the UK. I don’t know why he never used them for his Blood Angels, but they look kind of fun, especially with the shoulder mounted weaponry. I might not paint them in the style shown on the box though!

© Games Workshop 1992 (yep, they're that old!)

© Games Workshop 1992 (yep, they’re that old!)

Beyond that I have two other primed models to consider- a Wolf Guard Terminator and a Land Speeder and there’s also a Land Raider that I need to think about. I guess that I might wolfify it with greenstuff and wolf skulls, but it requires some planning.

What I am not going to do is buy more models, at least not until I have made some inroads into the pile. With all the talk of Chaos Legions on the internet I have been looking at various models and I’m very tempted to start a painting project involving Chaos Marines, especially as I am partway through re-reading the Horus Heresy books and all the old legions are fresh in my mind. However I have too much to do and too much of a pile on my painting tray as there is. I also need more guys for my Space Wolves as even I know that my army needs some tweaking! Chaos Marines will just have to wait.

A Semi-successful Weekend

It was a holiday here yesterday and so I took advantage of the three day weekend to do some painting and converting. If things had gone as planned I’d have had a post on Fenrisian Wolves ready, but I messed up my painting, so I thought that I’d show you my Wolf Scout conversions. Conversion is probably a bit of a strong word as I didn’t do that much. The Scouts themselves came from the Space Marine Scouts box. I had a sniper rifle left over from my first box so I gave that to one guy. He also needed a spare hand so I removed one from a spare shotgun model (Wolf Scouts can’t use them and the kit gives you enough bits for either bolters OR shotguns, so it would have gone spare anyway). The heads came from the Space Wolves pack box, as did a power sword, the wolf tail talismans and a wolf skull (not visible in the photo). The chain came from a cheap necklace and the rest is just greenstuff.

To make the fur cloak I first made a flat cloak shape from greenstuff and attached that to the scout. I next applied small pieces of greenstuff, marking and tearing them with a pointed modelling tool to make clumps of fur. For the small bits of fur I just marked and tore a lump of greenstuff directly on the model (if that makes sense). The Sword on the scout’s back was originally a power sword. I cut off the hand, reattached the stub of the handle and extended it into a more Astartes-sized grip. I also filed off the cabling to make it more of a standard sword

As well as the painting and converting I also spent a good chunk of this weekend reading. I finished The Primarchs and I’ve just polished off Descent of Angels. Descent of Angels was ok, it’s not the most spectacular of the Horus Heresy books, but I’ll discuss The Primarchs in more detail another time hopefully (it was good- there’s a hint).

L.o.F.