Monday, August 26, 2013

Final Batch of 30 Plaguebearers Completed Saturday!

Hey, Folks!

Just wanted to let y'all know that I completed the final batch of 15 Plaguebearers this past Saturday, which is the final set of the 30 new PBs that I needed to get done in order to have at least 4 Daemons Troops choices and one set of 10 to pop out of the portaglyph.  That means that I have 50 painted and based Plaguebearers completed in total, with each squad of 10 having a different color on their base edges to denote the different squads.

In total it took me just 34.5 hours to complete these last 30 Plaguebearers, over about a little over two week timeframe.  Sorry I don't have more pictures of the newest 30, but I spent a marathon 7 hours on Saturday getting the last 15 painted and all 30 of the new guys based, organized into 5 squads of 10, the base edges of all 50 painted the appropriate color, all of them matte varnished, flocked and gloss varnished.  After that, I was pretty spent, and just didn't have it in me to set out all 5 squads individually and take pictures of them.  I'll try to get some close-up pictures taken here sometime soon, but you can see from the picture above what I've got, and get a general idea of what they look like and the variety in their finished looks.

That means that all I have left to do to get the minimum required done for Valhalla is to paint up the Nurgle Biker Lord, the 6 Plague Drones, and the last Plague Hulk.  I should be able to start on the Biker Lord tonight, and work on him in the evenings throughout the week (although I'll have to do so at home instead of at my FLGS for family reasons).

I'm really glad that I had to reschedule from the August Valhalla to the October one, as the August one just started today, and there's no way I would've been ready for it, at least to the degree that I wanted to be ready.

Now, it's time to get the rest done, try to get a few stretch goals fit in (doing the edge highlighting on the two Heldrakes, and getting a few more Havocs built and painted up so that I can run a squad of 4 Missile Launchers and 4 Lascannons with Aspiring Champions, if needed, plus a few other "like to" tasks), and try to get a few games in so that I'm not too rough with my rules when I get to Utah...

As always, comments are always welcome!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nurgle Biker Lord to Lead My Death Guard Built

Hello, Folks.

Well, what I initially thought would be a major setback has once again turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I'm talking about how at the 10th hour it turned out that I wouldn't be able to go to Blue Table Painting's Valhalla in August; however, I was able to secure a spot for October, although just by the hair on my chin.  What that did was allow me more time to get everything I wanted to get finished built and painted so that I would have 2,000 points of Chaos Space Marines and 2,000 points of Chaos Daemons.  As it turns out, there's no way I would've finished all 2,000 points of Daemons in time to leave this Sunday, August 25th, to get to the August Valhalla, which starts next Monday, the 26th.  As it stands with what I've completed, I'd be short probably 6 Plague Drones and one Plague Hulk (aka Soul Grinder).  And I'd be in even more hot water with the missus than I already am now, as I'd have had to spend more time away from my family than I actually have in the last few weeks.

However, having the extra time will allow me to get all of my Daemons finished.  But just as importantly, it will allow me to complete some "stretch goals", the first of which is actually very important.  You see, I already have a Night Lords Biker that I was using as my Biker Lord with the Mark of Nurgle in games with my CSMs.

The spiked mace I modeled up for him 10 years ago worked out great as a representation of The Black Mace.  The problem is, my CSMs have evolved into primarily a Death Guard force with other Nurgle supporting units, and I only run Nurgle Daemons as their allies.  So, it seemed a bit inappropriate for a Night Lord Biker Lord to be leading my Nurgle army, but I was willing to settle for that to get everything else I needed to get done completed in time for the August Valhalla.

But with the extra time at hand, I've been able to convert up a more appropriate Nurgle Biker Lord, and will (should) have ample time to get him painted (er, washed) up in time to take him to Utah for Valhalla in October.

The picture at the beginning of this post shows the basic conversion of the bike, with a kind of Shrine to Nurgle affixed to the back of the bike.  The bike model is a 2nd Edition Chaos Space Marine Bike, so it's a bit different than modern day CSM Bikes, and I've been saving it for a special character, so that worked out great.  Josh Howery did the kit-bashing of all the Nurgly bitz onto the back portion of the bike, using a variety of bitz that I had on hand from all the Nurgle kits that I've collected over the past 10 months.  Here are a few more shots of the bike from different angles:

What you don't see very well in these picture, unfortunately, is the slight conversion to the front of the bike.  Thanks to a suggestion by Jimmy at Empire Games, I cut off the front wheel at the point where it connects to the handlebars, and extended the front out with about 1/2 and inch or so of plasticard tubing.  (You can just make out the tubing in the second to last picture in the series above.)  When I showed Jimmy what the bike looked like after Josh's kit bashing ministrations, and what the front piece would look like, he said, "Dude, that screams Orange County Choppers!", and suggested I make the extension.  Fortunately I already had a supply of plasticard tubing of the right dimension, so with some careful cutting and trimming, and two small lengths of brass rod to run down the middle of the tubes and anchor into the handlebars and front wheel, I was able to turn this old 2nd Edition CSM Bike into a proper chopper.

I already knew that I was going to use the Aspiring Champion body-and-head from the Forge World Death Guard upgrade kit as the body and head of my Nurgle Biker Lord, so with the help of a little Green Stuff, I was able to attach him to the legs that came with the bike and get him set up and posed properly.  I've left him off the bike for the time being so that I can paint him and the bike properly, but otherwise he's ready to go.  Oh, yeah, I also used the backpack from the new CSM Sorcerer Finecast kit for my Nugle Biker Lord, as it's just such an awesome backpack.

The final bit of pre-painting conversion that I needed to do was to make another spiked mace on a chain like I had done for the Night Lords biker all those years ago to represent The Black Mace.  For that I used the following materials:
  • A length of plasticard tubing that would fit in the biker's left hand (cut and re-positioned) and allow the spiked ball to hang from the chain without (hopefully) interfering with all the stuff that was now on the back of the bike.
  • The chain from a pair of nail clippers.
  • A length of brass rod that would fit in the center of the tubing, cut long enough to extend up from the top of the tube into the "connector" of the nail clipper's chain, and also extend down the other end long enough to anchor the "tassle" that I'd be putting there.
  • 4 toothpicks with the ends cut to the appropriate length.
  • The large topknot off the head of a regular CSM to be used as the "tassle" at the bottom end of the haft of The Black Mace.
  • Green Stuff.
  • Superglue.
Here's a shot of the biker body with the arms appropriately posed, and The Black Mace in mid-construction:

And here's a shot of the biker body on the bike, showing the handle of The Black Mace in what I hoped would be the proper position, with enough chain to work with to attach the spiked ball:

I ended up having to break the left arm off and re-position it to get a better, more upward angle on the haft of TBM, but having used superglue, that was easy enough.  Here's a few shots of the biker with the finished Black Mace mounted on the bike (the bottom foot plate of the bike is not attached at this point, which is why it looks a little out of alignment; it's just sitting on the ground to help keep the bike upright for the pictures, and to give the full impression of what the bike will ultimately look like after it has been painted and the final assembly of all the parts completed):

In this final shot you can see the tubing used to extend the front wheel out for the chopper effect.  Also, I'm really happy with the way the spiked ball turned out; my first one, on my Night Lords biker, was my first attempt at using Green Stuff, and it shows.  I worked on this ball for quite a while to make it appear as round as possible, with the spikes as evenly distributed as I could.  All in all, I like the effect.

So, what do you think?  Please leave a comment and let me know what  you think of this guy.

At the moment I'm finishing up the last batch of 15 Plaguebearers so that I will have four units of 10 plus another 10 to emerge from the portaglyph that I intend to use in games with just the Daemons.  After I'm finished with the "chore" of getting these 15 Plaguebearers finished (gotta have the Troops), I'm going to "treat" myself to painting this Nurgle Biker Lord, then I'll face down the "chore" of getting the 6 Plague Drones painted up, and finally "reward" myself with painting up the second and last of the Forge World Plague Hulks.  Then I will be DONE with everything that I HAVE to have to take with me to Valhalla, but there are a few more stretch goals that I'd like to get done, too.  Looking at my schedule and the time available to me, I think I'll get everything done that I need to get done, as well as a few things that I want to get done, like painting up four Night Lords Havocs with missile launchers and a few Havoc Aspiring Champions to go with them.

In the meantime, please opine on this guy.  I'll post pictures of him once I've finished painting him and he's finally assembled and based...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pro Pics of My Chaos Space Marines

Hey, Folks.

A while back I promised that I would have better quality pictures of my Chaos Space Marines (and what Daemons I had done) than I was giving you courtesy of my iPhone and shaky hands.  Well, a few weeks ago my friend James Conley brought a good amount (but not all) of his photography gear to my FLGS, took a bunch of pictures of what I'd painted up so far in my efforts to get ready for Valhalla (plus some pre-existing models), and then used PhotoShop to clean them up and make them pop a bit.  So, here are the pictures he took for me.

The photo above is of my Night Lords Chaos Biker Lord with The Black Mace.  This is actually a model that I converted and painted up about 10 years ago, but with that spiked mace on the end of the chain, he was perfect for a Biker Lord to lead my CSMs and Daemon allies in games of 6th Edition 40K.  However, being a Night Lord, it didn't seem appropriate for him to continue leading what has become a predominantly Death Guard army, so with the additional time I have available to me now that I'll be going to the October Valhalla instead of the August one, I've been working on a proper Nurgle Biker Lord to lead my Death Guard.  But, that's another post for another time.  I've always liked this Biker, so thought I'd show him off here.

Next up we have a unit of Death Guard Plague Marines:

And here's all four squads of Death Guard that I painted up earlier this year, just a few months ago:

Here's a closeup shot of one of my Heldrakes:

And here's both Heldrakes swooping onto the battlefield:

Next we have the 5 Nurgle Chaos Spawn that I was able to crank out relatively quickly:

And in the background of this picture, you can see the two units of Night Lords Autocannon Havocs that I typically run:

Next up we have "Mr. Fat Pants" himself, the Forge World Nurgle Daemon Prince that I use as my Great Unclean One to lead my Daemon allies (and who will be leading my all Nurgle Daemons army once all those models have been completed):

And here's the GUO leading the twenty Plaguebearers that I have completed so far, which were the first models I painted for my journey down The Road to Valhalla:

That's it for now.  I'm hoping James will take another series of pictures of all of my Nurgle Daemons once I have them completed (I think he will), and when he does, I'll post those pictures up for your consumption.

As always, please feel free to post any comments!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

First Plague Hulk Completed Saturday!

Hey, Folks!

Well, I did it! I got the first of my 2 Forge World Plague Hulks completed this past Saturday, and it didn't take all day to do it, either.  (In case you didn't know, I'll be using these beauties as Nurgle Soul Grinders in my 40K Daemons army.)

I ended up having to spend a little more time on the swords than I'd expected.  A friend (and Golden Daemon winner) suggested that I wash the sword blades, which I wanted to look like stone.  So when I did (with Agrax Earthshade) some mold lines that I'd missed became very apparent, and I had to deal with them.  That stripped off the paint down to the primer where I trimmed the mold lines, so I had to re-paint the areas I'd trimmed (Mechanicus Standard Grey), wait for that to dry, wash the entire sword (actually, I did both swords at the same time), wait for that to dry, and dry brush it (Dawnstone) to bring it to the point I'd had it before.  Then I showed them to Jimmy, the manager at my FLGS, (who is an excellent painter himself), and he suggested an extreme edge highlight of the next lighter color, Administratum Grey.  So I did that, matte varnished them, gloss varnished the pustules again, and yes, they ended up looking a lot better!  Thanks, guys!

So, all in all, from priming to final assembly, highlighting and touch-ups, I worked on this beast from Thursday, July 25, through Saturday, August 3rd (not working every day; had to take a few days off from hobby time here and there to spend time with the family).  So 10 elapsed days, of which I worked on him 7 of those days.  The entire process took me 40 hours to get him to this state:

There he is in all his Nurgly glory.  There's an amazing amount of detail on this model; sorry I don't have more close-up pictures of him; I'll try to get some next time I have decent light.

I decided to work on this model after I got the Plague Toads (to be used as Beasts of Nurgle) completed, and prior to the Plague Toads I'd been mostly painting infantry models, so working on this Plague Hulk was my "reward" for getting so much other stuff done, and before I go back to the assembly line drudgery of doing more (necessary) infantry models.

I have one more of these guys to do, but that one's going to be the last thing that I do to get all of my Daemons ready for October Valhalla.  I finished this guy up around 6:00 PM last Saturday, which left me with time to get started on my next task, which is to paint up 15 of the 30 more Plaguebearers that I need for Troops.  I got a good amount of work done on the Plaguebearers Saturday night, and then got a bunch more done last night, so they're going pretty quickly.  I'm hoping I'll get to get some hobby time in tonight (Tuesday) after work, as I've got a game scheduled this Wednesday.  I know, right?  An actual game?  Yup, time to brush up on my playing skills (and reward myself with a break from painting; although taking the time off to play a game does leave me a little anxious), and face a tough and fast Eldar force at 2,000 points to see what I need to do against the pointy-eared ones and their cracking new codex.  I'll be using my standard 2,000 point CSM list (Death Guard with Night Lords Heavy Support), which includes some Daemon allies.  But, it will be the first time I've played with this army completely painted, and the first time I've played with a completely painted army in about 4 or 5 years!  Looking forward to it!

So, point being, I probably won't get any hobby time in on Wednesday, and I'd like to get these 15 Plaguebearers completed before Saturday.  I should be able to work on them Thursday night; the question is, will I be able to tonight, as I'm estimating it will take two good evenings' work to get this first batch of 15 Plagubearers completed.  Will keep you posted on those.

In the meantime, please let me know what you think of the Plague Hulk, and leave a comment!