29 March 2010


I grabbed a couple of images from around the web of something neat on the shelves at the recent Forge World Open Day. It's a bunch of little gretchin-crewed tanks. I haven't looked at my Ork codex in a while, so I don't know what these would stand in for, but I'm sure I could shoehorn them in somehow. I love Snotlings and Grots. They're like the unruly trailer park kids of the Orc/Ork world. From what I hear many of the parts on these little tanks are interchangeable, so you can customize them to a degree. Images were taken from this thread on Warseer and the GW daily blog.

I've also seen some photos of variant parts for the Ork Stompa kit and some other bits and bobs for other armies. But these little tanks are at the top of my Shiny List at the moment.

27 March 2010

Combi-Flamer Finished

I found some time to slap some primer on the nine Space Marines (two Sergeants, two heavy weapons, and five Assault Terminators) I'm working on. I was able to convert a Combi-Flamer for one of the Sergeants. At first I chopped up a Combi-Melta for the conversion, but the nozzle for the flamer extended too far down and interfered with the muzzle of the bolter. So I did some chopping on a Combi-Plasma and got it to look all right. I'm not sure how solid the attachment for the flamer's fuel tank is, though. It might fall off. If that happens I'll have to side-mount it and run some hoses into the body of the weapon. So I hope it doesn't fall off.

I also got part of the basecoat put on a few of the figures. It's not a lot of progress, but it's a little bit. I don't have much else going on at the moment on the hobby side of things. I am painfully slow at painting. I am a little envious of those folks who turn out a new squad or vehicle every few days. It is often discouraging to look at all of the projects I really want to do and realize that at my current rate I'll die of old age before finishing them. I guess I need to paint faster or find more time to paint with.

22 March 2010

I spent the weekend having another exciting drill with the National Guard. Today was an off day at work, so I spent the time trying to get caught back up on schoolwork. I didn't quite get it all done, but that's how it goes sometimes.

I haven't had much time to think about games. I was able to pick up a few things with part of our tax return this year. I got an Ork Stompa at the local hobby shop and an Imperial Guard Stormlord at a steep discount on eBay. I also picked up some Devastators for my Space Marines. I needed some heavy weapons for my army. For Warhammer Fantasy I picked up another Dogs of War regiment, Lumpin Croop's Fighting Cocks, a unit of halfling archers with a rooster standard. I've mentioned this a few times, but even though there isn't a current list for the Dogs of War, I really like the models and would like to get enough for a "counts-as" Empire army. Some of the models are getting pretty hard to find. One set I'd really like to get is the Giants of Albion with Hengus the Druid, but they fetch a pretty penny on eBay.

It's getting warm enough that I should probably start riding the motorcycle to work most days. I enjoy riding it, but sometimes when it's a bit chilly out I don't like taking fifteen minutes in the morning to put on all my extra winter gear.

I really want to dig out a few minutes to put some more figures together. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in a day to get everything done.

15 March 2010

Busy Busy Busy

It seems like every semester has a point where school, the day job, and the National Guard all pile up for a couple of weeks, leaving me no real time for anything but work. I've just dropped into that warpstorm and will probably not surface much over the next few weeks. Hopefully I make it to the other side without picking up any Chaos mutations.

All the pieces for my new Space Marine list have arrived. Hopefully at some point I will be able to find a few minutes to get them all glued together.

With my last couple days of freedom I did a couple of fun things. On Friday I attended the Boise Roadster Show with my parents and a couple of my siblings. There were plenty of nice cars on display. It's the sort of event that makes you want to build a hot rod of your own, but that is a spendy proposition. It's the kind of hobby that makes miniatures look cheap.

On Saturday we went to The Melting Pot with another couple. It was a pretty fun time and the food was pretty good.

11 March 2010

Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts

My wife bribed me into accompanying her to the craft store by telling me I could use some of her coupons to buy more plastic bits boxes. I just had to help her pick out fabric for a project she is working on. It was painful, but it was worth it. I got a couple of bins, some other storage, and the X-ACTO self-healing cutting mat kits were on clearance. The $14 one was only $4, so I got one of those. Now I can stop cutting up all of my tabletops. I don't know if the clearance on the mats is a nationwide thing or just here locally, but it seems like something that most wargamers could use. And if you tag along with your significant other, you can earn spouse points while simultaneously advancing your hobby ambitions. It's win-win!

The Multi-Melta

My Multi-Melta parts arrived in the mail today, so I should be able to at least get that Space Marine put together. The mail from Texas always seems to arrive in Idaho faster than any other mail. My orders from Reaper rarely take more that two or three days, and the little package containing the Multi-Melta arrived from Texas in two days. There must be a time-warp between here and there, probably somewhere in Colorado. Still waiting on the parts for a Combi-Flamer.

I've been wanting to take my Space Marines out of their box so I can set them out in a parade formation, but my boy is always waiting in the wings with his destructive little hands quivering in anticipation. Sometimes he pats the top of the box and begs me with his dark little reptilian eyes to open it and let him toss the Marines down the stairs. I guess we should have thought twice before naming him after a comic book hero whose trademark saying is, "It's clobberin' time!"

10 March 2010

Mustache March

A group of us at work decided last week that since we can't participate in No-Shave November we should at least do Mustache March. The requirement is that everyone should grow a mustache during the month of March. On the day there was much agreement, but on Tuesday when we returned to work after the weekend only two of us had held firm. The only other guy to show up with a mustache is leaving to go to Iraq in a week, so his last day was today. That leaves me as the only one with a mustache. I admit that it looks ridiculous and even I can't take myself seriously knowing that it's there on my face, but I feel a need to see the joke through for a while longer. Besides, I think it will go well with my new Three Wolf Moon shirt.

The only problem is that anyone who doesn't get the joke will think that I wear the shirt and mustache as an actual lifestyle choice. I guess being misunderstood is one of the risks of being an artist.

08 March 2010

The knee doctor said I don't require surgery at the moment but that due to the unusual structure of my knees I need to take precautions or my knees probably won't last much longer without some sort of injury. Apparently I am a mutant. The peculiar way my bones are built is a 1 in 100 rarity that makes me 4 times more susceptible to injury of the knee. Yay. So I've been prescribed a few weeks of physical therapy to learn what I need to do to keep my joints from exploding.

I've been contemplating the back story of my 40k armies, thinking that I want to tie them all together into some sort of narrative, sort of like one of Forge World's campaign books that centers around the armies and equipment that are found in a single area. The idea would expand from force organizations and color schemes all the way up to coordinating battle boards that reflect each army's unique building style. For my Imperial Guard I've decided on a Mars Pattern XXI camouflage scheme, and I think my armies will be fighting over a Red Planet that the Adeptus Mechanicus want to use. Unfortunately, it is currently infested with Orks that need to be moved aside. That's about as far as the idea has progressed. My Space Marines are not red, but Space Marines don't need to match the terrain they're fighting on. My friend E.A. is painting his Tau in a red and tan scheme that should fit into the theme as well, although he doesn't know about the back story for my armies. I can't remember that far back, but his color scheme may have informed my choices somewhat. I imagine that as the Adeptus Mechanicus are invested in the acquisition of this world I should include some Techpriest Enginseers and some Techmarines in my armies somewhere.

I still haven't nailed down a lists for my Orks and Imperial Guard. The problem is that there are so many models for both armies that I want to build, I can't fit everything into a single list. I stopped by the hobby shop in town after my trip to the doctor this morning to look at the new Ork models and the Battle Missions book. I like the new Killa Kans, but I think I've got one or two of the older ones still kicking around in my boxes somewhere. The Deff Dread and really most of the walkers in 40k seem a bit overpriced to me. I have a hard time justifying them, which explains why there aren't very many on my shelves. The Battle Missions book looked interesting. I'm not sure if I would actually buy it, but it seems like a strong source of ideas for narrative storylines in a campaign.

Games Workshop also sent out an e-mail highlighting the new Blood Angels stuff that is in the pre-order section of their website. Some of it looks pretty neat, although I don't have much use for the actual figures. My main interest is in the accessory stuff; shoulder pads, icons, weapons, and backpacks. It might be interesting to paint up a couple of Sanguinary Guard figures as high-falutin' Assault Squad Sergeants. Maybe they could represent the Command Squad of a Reserve Assault Company or a special unit attached to the Chapter's First Company. I'm still pretty dedicated to my homebrew Chapter, so any new figures have to find a spot in the force organization for the Chapter. Luckily I can bend it to my whim, although if I make too many changes the strict Codex Chapters will suspect me of heresy against the Emperor.
Today was a pretty decent day. The wife and I took turns tending to the boy in the church's nursery. He isn't quite old enough according to the rules to be in there by himself, but younger kids can go with a parent. My sister was in the nursery with her little boy as well. I think the couple who runs the nursery is glad to have more adults in there anyway, as a dozen or more kids aged 18 months-3 years can turn into quite the overload. My shift went pretty well aside from a life-and-death conflict over the Lego bin. One of the little girls became focused on putting the lid back on the Lego bin, while my boy wanted to play with the Legos in the container. With the battle lines drawn up they pulled the bin back and forth for a good ten minutes, both crying tears of despair and refusing stubbornly to give up.

After church I had to get caught up on some reading for school; a book on the Japanese repatriates who came back from Manchuria after World War II. The last fifty pages or so were very dry, so I fell asleep two or three times trying to get through them. I've still got some homework to do tomorrow.

I've got to go see a knee doctor tomorrow morning to fill out some paperwork confirming that my knee hurts. It's been bothering me since I went to that Army school in January and the issue isn't going away. I hope it is something relatively minor that I can get fixed and healed in time for the rumored deployment overseas. It's a touchy thing to get joints looked at, especially since my day job is directly tied to my fitness for military duty in the National Guard. But I figure it's better to get it fixed than to try to tough it out and have it explode on me at an inopportune time.

I spent part of the evening clipping parts from Space Marine sprues and refreshing my bits box. I can already see that I'm going to need more parts. Once that was done I selected a bunch of bits to make up every special weapon option for a Terminator squad (Assault Cannon, Cyclone Missile Launcher, and Heavy Flamer). I also picked out some parts for some Terminators with Chainfists and a Sergeant with a Power Sword as well as a couple of vanilla Power Fist/Storm Bolter guys. The Assault on Black Reach Terminators have helped me to make good use of the extra parts from the regular Terminator boxes. I can build a second squad of Close Combat Terminators using just spare arms from the Terminator box and bodies from the Black Reach figures. That saves about $40 off of buying two boxes of Close Combat Terminators.

I also dug out the Ziploc baggies containing my unassembled Imperial Guard command squad, complete with Regimental Advisers. I had a lot of fun picking parts from my Imperial Guard bin for this squad, but I was so focused on Space Marines and Orks at the time that I never got around to gluing the parts together. In playing around with an Imperial Guard list I found myself struggling with what to include and how to divvy up the various roles. My natural inclination with any army is to put as many boots on the ground as possible. Apparently with 5th edition the popular thing to do is run mechanized lists, which means fewer guys on the table but more mobility. My Space Marines only have one vehicle. In the one game I've played with them, the vehicle was destroyed on turn one and they hoofed it the rest of the game. I would like to get some of the cool toys out on the table (Valkyries, Leman Russ variants, Chimeras) but I would also like my Guard army to have more soldiers on the table than my Space Marines. It just seems to fit better with the fluff. I am undecided so far, but I know for sure I will get at least one Valkyrie in the list and at least one Sentinel because I want to field my Elysian Drop Sentinel from Forge World.

I also tooled around with my Ork list. I had even more trouble defining roles for the various Ork units and gave up for the most part before really nailing anything down. The core of the army is a couple large units of Boyz and a unit of Nobz. Everything else is up in the air. I'd like to field my Battlewagon, but that's a lot of points that could be devoted to putting more Boyz of various types out on the field. They do need something heavy-hitting, though, and a Battlewagon seems to fit the bill, especially if I pack it with something nasty.

All in all it's been a decent weekend for hobby fun. I really enjoy going through my bits and putting models together. Generally while putting them together I come up with a little back story or an explanation as to why they look the way they do, even if it's just a couple of sentences or even a couple of words describing the look I'm going for with that particular model.

07 March 2010

My Kingdom for a Multi-Melta

I've been reworking my Space Marine list to make it work a little better on paper. At least in theory; I don't really know the rules and I've only actually played once. The one time I played, though, I found that I could not kill vehicles at all. So in moving the list from 750 points to 1000 points I've decided to add some vehicle-killing stuff. I assigned some basic tasks to each of my units and then built the Sergeants and weapon teams to match the tasks.

In putting the figures together I found that I was short a few weapons (a Combi-Melta, a Combi-Flamer, and a Multi-Melta). The Combi-Melta was found in a box from the closet where I had a bag of bits from a commander sprue. The makings of a Combi-Flamer are on their way in the form of another commander kit.

The Multi-Melta is something I just don't have. The part can only be found in the Space Marine Devastator box set which will cost around $30 at the local shop, maybe a bit less if I use my member's coupon. Or I could pay $6-9 on eBay to get just the Multi-Melta parts from a bits scalper who buys boxes of figures and sells the high-demand stuff like Multi-Meltas and Twin-Linked Assault Cannons at inflated prices. Neither option is that great, but in most cases I'd rather buy the box and put all the other parts in my bits box for use at a later date when I need a Plasma Cannon or a servo-skull. I will wind up doing one or the other, but I have to grumble about it here because grumbling is half the battle. In the meantime I will use a Missile Launcher in place of the Multi-Melta because they cost the same number of points and I've already got one painted.

06 March 2010

Assault Terminators Assembled

I got my Terminators put together today. I'd say it took me 35 minutes to an hour to get each of them put together. Some people complain about it taking a long time to put together plastic figures, but selecting parts from the sprue and putting them together is one of my favorite parts of the hobby.

These are the two with Lightning Claws. There aren't a lot of different ways to pose Lightning Claw arms, but I was able to use a good mix of components from my Space Marine bin.

The Sergeant here isn't wearing his big wolf cloak yet, as it will be impossible to paint him with it glued on. With his Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield held out so far to the sides and his cloak extending to the rear he is going to be a very large and intimidating model out on the table. It was a real chore to find components that would work together with the cloak, and it was even more of a chore to get everything test-fitted and make sure he would go together right. I needed about three more hands to hold everything in place for test-fitting. I don't have any poster putty or Blu-Tac to help with test-fitting models. His cloak will need some green stuff work done to fit properly, but it will fit around all the other stuff he's wearing.

And these are my Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield guys. I like the idea of dudes with huge crackling hammers banging on tanks and rattling the crews inside. I spent several years as a driver on an M1A1 Abrams, and the driver's seat is pretty comfortable by Army standards. During certain parts of training the driver's only real job is to watch the battery meter and keep the heater running. Inevitably the driver falls asleep and when it comes time to wake him up the other members of the crew will hit the front slope of the tank with a hammer or a helmet. It's a pretty startling noise to wake up to, sort of like having someone wake you up from your bed by banging a couple of pots together near your head.

05 March 2010

White Dwarf Complaints, Space Marine Plans

I haven't posted much lately because I haven't had much to post about. I've even sat down a few times to write something up and just haven't had anything really to say. I've also been pretty busy with school and work. I am pretty tired of going to school, but I've apparently still got 4 more years left at my current rate. If I could take more credits every semester I'd have a degree in 2.5 years, but that seems unlikely at the moment. And if I have to cut back on credits because of classes that don't fit with my work schedule I will be 40 before I have a degree. That's what I get for squandering my youth.

I have also been working on a 1000-point list for my Space Marines. A key weakness in my 750-point list was a complete lack of weapons for killing vehicles. It didn't matter in the context of fighting against the matching list I constructed for my Orks, but it matters against just about anything else. So I added some melta weapons to the list as well as a couple of other things. I also added in some stuff I had wanted to build anyway, like a squad of Assault Terminators and a Land Speeder Storm for my Scout squad.

The Assault Terminators are exciting. I picked the parts out of my bits box. They are from a large variety of kits and chapters, with a heavy emphasis on stuff from the Space Wolves Wolf Guard Terminators box. There are also some Dark Angels and Black Templars parts as well as vanilla Space Marine Terminator stuff. But I think that most folks who see them would notice the Space Wolf parts first. I think the Terminator Sergeant will probably draw a lot of attention on the table as his cloak and bulk will make him look pretty intimidating. I am not going to be painting them as Space Wolves, as my Marines all wear the colors of my still nameless homebrew Chapter. If only I could get this excited about finishing my Razorback. The stuff I've done to it so far doesn't look too bad. I've just been short on time and motivation to do anything but sleep when I have free moments.

I e-mailed a complaint letter to Games Workshop concerning my White Dwarf subscription. For the last few months it has been arriving later and later, two or three weeks after it arrives in the store. Last month's issue still hasn't arrived, and this month's issue is already on the shelves. This month is supposed to be the last month of my subscription, so I am trying to decide if I want to renew or not. I think I'd rather pay the three extra dollars each month and get the magazine on time than save some money and get it extremely late or not at all. I've seen the issue crop up on a few other blogs, so it's not just a problem I'm having.