Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Painting the PP Way

That there, is Matt DiPietro. Someone had just asked him a question about painting, and he immediately put down the Bloody Barnabas studio model he was painting, and started getting into the nitty-gritty. When a guy puts out such ridiculous quality painting, and is more than happy to drop what he's doing and demonstrate things on scrap models for your amusement while the hues he had so carefully mixed dry in their palette wells, you listen to the man.

Here's Matt: "I don't use layering, I always 2-brush wet blend" Say what now? "It's sort of the Privateer style" he explained. I was asking him about how the smooth blends on the red Skorn armor was achieved when the areas were so small and surrounded by gold trim. His answer sounded impossible to my ears.

When I first started painting models, I was surprised by how quickly the paint dried, and found that I couldn't make smoothly shaded areas as easily as I would have with oil paints on a canvas. Then I learned from veteran miniatures hobbyists that people use layering, glazing, and dry brushing to get nice gradations. What Matt was telling me was essentially "just work faster". I was floored.

I also noticed, the man licks his brush like crazy. Every time he washes the brush, he puts it in his mouth. And I swear, sometimes in between strokes, with paint on it. It was weird at the time, but now it makes sense to me. What you're doing is you're using one of the most sensitive areas of skin on your body to make a nice point on your paintbrush. You're also able to feel how wet the brush is.

This is really getting to me. I can't even look at my models anymore. I want to dump them all in a bucket of Simple Green and start all over. But the rational side of me, the one that is thinking about Templecon Hardcore, says "try it on some new models first".

So that's what I'll do. And I'll be bringing it to this blog, step by step documentation of my attempts to paint like a pro. Tears will be shed, oaths will be uttered, and I'll document it all in stark detail for your amusement. Stay tuned.

Blink Blink... Ack, where am I?? (A Gencon Recap)

Hello all, now that I've finally recovered from my completely devastating first Gencon Experience, I thought I'd finally recap my amazing weekend by cobbling together a bunch of blurry iPhone photos! Only the best for my readers! ;c)

My Gencon started in my room Tuesday night till early Wednesday morning, frantically touching up what painted (Skorne) models I had, then Dullcoating them in an effort to protect them from the carnage that lay ahead (more on that later).

Then, after a short nap, I was off, carpooling with 3 excellent dudes.

The drive from New York City to Indianapolis feels like a lonely trek out of civilization and into a desolate waste. Then, once you're out of New Jersey, it's miles of beautiful American corn fields for hours on end. (Ba-ZING! Sorry New Jersey, but I'm pretty sure there was a healthy dose of sarcasm when you were named the Garden State)

I was running on very little sleep by the time I got to Gencon, and I'm pretty sure my mind was just processing bits of information serially. For example, "Oooh, Gencon Flag! Because we are at Gencon now, I get it! We should go in!"

While I waited for the exhibitor hall to open, the Rio Grande demo room was in full effect right across from the queue, and I decided to dive right into demoing games from the get-go. I'd heard so much about Dominion, and I must say, it lives up to the hype! This is deckbuilding on the fly, in a not overly analytical game full of combos upon combos! It's a testament to the game that in my addled state, I immediately grasped it, and by the time my 1v1 game ended, I was moving just as quickly as the veteran was, buying cards, playing actions, and wrecking his hand :c) Love it, and I'll have to buy it soon!

My first sight of a 2-point sensitive dynamic gaming table. It looked good, but without miniatures standing on it, the experience lacks depth ;c)

And finally, the most important booth at Gencon! I was promptly told to wait in line if I wanted to buy anything, but before I did, I quickly thumbed through the FoH: Skorne book. Boy was I glad I did! Surprises Galore! Of course in my previous post, I missed quite a few entries, but what I did notice was very interesting. Deciding on what to buy proved to be quite a challenge. My Gencon trip was made possible more by the good will of my friends than by my financial resources, so I had to closely consider each purchase. In the end, my PP haul consisted of an Extreme Titan Gladiator resin kit and the Discordia Character 'Jack conversion kit.

You ever fancy yourself pretty good at something, say basketball, or studies, and then you go to a new park, or transfer to a new school, and get your world turned upside down? That's what happened to my entire painting career when I saw the PP studio models. I knew they would be impressive, and I was expecting to be impressed. What I saw knocked the air out of my lungs, and I stood transfixed in dismay, horror, and rapture for a long long time. My painting is crap. This is the real deal. After leaving a nose-shaped smudge on the display case, I looked to my left, and saw Matt DiPietro in the act of painting! I think his painting area was one of the major highlights for all the PP fans at the booth this weekend, and I'll join the chorus in extolling his greatness and all around helpful attitude. More on that later though, time to actually have a productive Tuesday. Cheers, all!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Early scouting for the Empire! ( Gencon Report )

So I'm standing in line waiting my turn to give pp my money, but I've had the chance to peruse some of the skorne stats from FoH:Skorne.
Aptimus Marketh
Warlock attachment
He collects souls which he can spend to pay the warlock's upkeeps
He can cast one of the warlock's spells up to 3 cost.

1 point more than the AG
2 attacks, same weapon strength characteristics
Can use the souls
Can advance and attack out of activation if skorne friends dies nearby.
Can swing both weapons a la manticore

Avg mat, speed
Unlucky def and arm
Reach, halberd type p+s
If it kills, it wants to kill again.
(no more rules, very straightforward unit. That's right, they are not masters of their sword wielding arts)

That's it for now

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skorne are BACK (baby!)

With my new Skorne deck, and as of yesterday, my new Hordes Primal MKII book, I'm setting aside my unwashed (and mostly unpainted) mass of Khadorans, and jumping back into Skorne!

I'm forcing myself to stick with the new and improved MKII pMorghoul for now, as he seems like a perfectly good warlock on paper. (Early results have been discouraging however, albeit against some nasty Cygnaran gun-lines). With his ability to shut down focus spending and forcing within a small area, he is excellent at mitigating counter-charges by warbeasts and 'jacks. This seems to counter tar-pit strategies very well. Meanwhile, with Overtake and Sprint, Morghoul can do a lot towards whittling down the opposition's infantry. I can go on, but without any painting or game reports, I really can't justify such a long post.

'Till next time, be generous: give a little pain!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beast On Ice!

Well I've been sitting on the Beast for a long time. Ok, not literally, but I've left this guy unassembled forever. I guess the thought of bringing a nasty warjack with reach, Thresher, and high-P+S to every fight always sounded unimaginative. Or super awesome, I get confused.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Painting Update: More 4th Assault Legion!

Aaaaand I'm back! It's been a while since I last posted, and a lot of craziness has befallen my life -mostly bad, I'm afraid. But, my fellow immorites, life is starting to stabilize again, so let the posting begin! And if you're a newcomer, welcome!

For now, here are some photos of some of the other assets of my army: the infantry!

Still sticking with this dulled-down GW Camo Green and Purple scheme. It's got a nice Decepticon-ish look. All the better to frustrate all those goody two-shoes!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Khador 4th Legion: Warjack WIP

Greetings! It's been a long time, but I've finally found a moment to post an update on what I've been up to in the past few months! Like I've mentioned before, I've gone whole-hog into getting Khadorian models, and have enjoyed playing with some really fun Warcasters and their amazing infantry!

I have a lot of painted models that I'll be posting, but the thing I'm most excited about right now, is what the Forces of Warmachine: Khador book has enabled me to do: base my army on the 4th Legion theme! The choice of the theme is a no-brainer, as they are the bane of Cygnaran forces who think they're safe behind fortress walls, and because they specialize in Iron Fangs and Man-O-Wars! But enough talk, here are some pics :c)

I think I can base my army on that motto, yep!

I started off by drawing my best equilateral triangle, and then drawing the lines that will form the blades, at oblique angles.

I went in and tried to brush in the rest of the details, using green to break up the lines when needed.

The result was messy, and next time, I'll probably make the triangle larger. But, I'm rollin' with it! I added the little ribbons to the sides of the triangular emblem, because they are reminiscent of the 2nd Army emblem, and help to fill up that space.

And then with all that free-handing, I went kinda free-hand crazy, and started trying my hand at scratches in relief. I'll need some more practice but so far, I'm liking the weathered look!

Until next time, happy painting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Resurgence Recap

Despite trials and tribulations, we had a fantastic tournament down in Manhattan! Our local Press-Ganger Nick did a fantastic job not only organizing and promoting this tournament, but also of keeping everyone happy and having fun. He had his work cut out for him too, as the GS Owner had accidentally double-booked the day, even though Nick gave him months of advance notice. The Warhammer Historical folks took up the whole usual tabletop space in the basement, which meant we had to make do with the small RPG room on the ground floor. With 10 players, we constantly had 2 that were sitting out and waiting for a table (thankfully, not me), while the rest of us played in such narrow quarters, that we often found ourselves getting to know each other much more intimately than we would have liked!

Ok, on to my games, I was one of 2 Khador players, so I was feeling the pressure for the Khador coin... my preciousssss... I definitely know what it feels like to covet something meaningless! But I digress.

Game 1: me vs. Joe (Cygnar)
25 pts: pIrusk, Kodiak, min Winner Guards +UA +3 Rocketeers, Full Iron Fans +UA, Windowmakers.
Joe ran: Kraye, Charger, Hunter, Iron Clad, Gunmages, and I think another 'jack?

I took the time to look at Kraye's card again, and I'm glad I did, as I learned he can reasily give his army pathfinder. I still casted Inhospitable ground a couple of times just to keep him honest.

My first or second turn was extremely fortuitous. 2 of my Winner Guard rockets deviated agonizingly perfectly into his gun mages. One rocket landed amidst 3 of them! After the Windowmakers picked off the straglers, he was down one full unit that never got to roll dice. On turn 2, I also ran my unit of Pikemen, and then popped the UA mini-feat Defensive Formation, giving them another full advance. They covered the entire distance of the board and tied up Joe's ranged 'jacks. No more taking pot-shots at Kodiak, good sir! Kodiak tried to stick a charge at Ironclad, fell woefully short (I'm terrible at judging distances), and got counter-charged and wrecked in one turn.

However, with my WG and IFP coming up both sides of the board, slowly munching on his 'ranged 'jacks, and Windowmakers pinging 3-4 pts of health off of Kraye, the Cygnaran 'caster started to feel a little nervous. So naturally, he went for it. He doubled Ironclad's speed, had it run up and engage my 'caster. I tried to retaliate by blowing all my focus smacking it with Irusk's gunblade, and even CMAing with my WG! The next turn, the Ironclad took some swings, but had a hard time hitting, and Kraye took some boosted shots... leaving Irusk at 2 health boxes! The Hunter, much to my horror, then walked out of my sea of WG with the help of parry, but without a cortex, missed his shot on Irusk. I retaliated hard, and won on a 'caster kill.

MVP of the match: IFPs, for tying up Joe's major threats on turn 2.

Game 2: Jason (Cryx): eSkarre, Leviathan, Seether, necrosurgen and stitch thralls, a unit of mechthralls, bloodgorgers, and 2 melee arc nodes.

I still count myself as new to Cryx, this being maybe me third game against them all-time. And it showed, as I walked into their tricks like it must have looked on first contact between the forces of the Sharde Isles and the townsfolk of Southern Cygnar. My WG fired away at mechthralls, ignoring the necrosurgen, second turn. Third turn on, the horrified conscripts started firing and grape-shotting away at the necrosurgen, but to no avail. Kodiak chose not to deal with the arc-nodes, and by the end of round 3, eSkarre had arced hellfire at pIrusk, shot him with boosted shots from Leviathan, and and shot him up some more with her own ranged weapon. I had wondered why she would galavant all the way straight up the middle to go for the kill, but I didn't realize I was so exposed. If she hadn't succeeded in getting the win, she would have popped her feat anyway, granting her full immunity.

Game 3: me vs Ed (Khador)
Ed and I were both 1:1, so this was a 'coin game'!
He fielded a list I had seen before, except instead of eVlad fenris, Draghun, 2 Doomreavers, Manhunter, he had pButcher, and added a Beast 09, Widowmakers, and other stuff. He blitzed down the middle, and rolled my stuff. In hindsight, I made some major tactical errors, as my list isn't exactly bad against his. I now had 2 warjacks, with the addition of a Marauder at the 50 pts level. They could have counterpunched harder than they did. My WG, with Iron Flesh and Bob and Weave, would have been almost unhitable at DEF 17, againsgt a force with only one blast template (Destroyer). They should have been clogging up the middle zone instead of getting bunched in my zone. NEVER charge Beast 09 with IFPs, especially one backed by 4 mechaniks. Also, at one point, I could have run Eiryss into his back scoring zone, which he had accidentally left vacant. Instead, I disrupted his Destroyer, wooptie do! I lost on Scenario points, 4-2, but we both agreed it was an intense battle. My mental errors totally piled up in this battle, as brain-fatigue was sinking in, but I don't regret it at all.

Impressions: Our Warmachine scene is alive and kicking! The players were all very nice and great sports. I was somewhat amused that in this tournament, I battle-lusted my WG more times than I battle-lusted my IFPs! (2 to 1). Not exactly proud of that fact, but meh!

Anyway, next up, Templecon! Where I will be Eternal-war-ing it up, playing on Saturday's Midnight Madness, and Sundays Highlander. I'll also be trying out as many new games as possible, obviously!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Painting Update: Bronzeback, Sorscha and Irusk

After a long run, my uber infantry-mowing 10 point warbeast is finally done (minus the basing, I hate basing!) and ready for action!

Aaand 2 nasty nasty little models, Warcasters for my suddenly huge Khador army!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Update: Khador Red Painting Challenge!

Well, it's been a long time since I've posted on this blog, and a lot has changed since then. I took a break from Skorne to let the ruleset settle, and jumped in the deep end with Khador. I now have more Khardic models than I ever had with Skorne, and am enjoying painting up their industrial looking models. Pics to come soon for that.
As a way to take advantage of my newfound freedom from grad school, I decided to take up a painting challenge started over at Khador Red. Every two weeks, we are to paint a heavy, 2 lights, or a unit. And what better model to enter than the imposing Alpha Titan himself, the

Here are some pics of my work so far:

Fully constructed: this model took a lot of putty work, as it comprised two very heavy halves for the main trunk, a rather heavy girdle, and a very heavy head. In hindsight, rubberbands would have saved me some grief in fighting against gravity while the putty cured.

Early base coating. I must admit, I was pretty tired and lacking in patience, so I ended up globbing on all this thick paint instead
of layering up. As a result, I accidentally washed out a lot of detail in the wrinkles of the hide and the red armor. I'm going to have to slow down, and try to use free-handing and selective washing to bring some of that detail back.

Current status of the model, with some more base-coats down, and the beginnings of some blending. I'm having a blast so far!