A 25mm Temple City: Part 4

•February 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Well, this week was a long and busy one to say the least. Therefor, I didn’t get much done in the way of painting. For the sake of not leaving you guys post-less this week though, I was able to get one miniature whipped up and ready for the table top. It actually belongs to my favorite family of soldiers, the Standard Bearer! It’s not much when looking back on the week since my Skinks first saw battle, but I figured it would be better than nothing.

As you guys can see, not much new to explain here. Same basic paint scheme as everything else, but with a standard added.

The stone standard is just a grey of my own making with a wash of Badab black. Nothing special. Just simplicity at its finest(I’m gonna go back and do a lot more to it. I was just running out of some essential paints and inspiration).

I’m hoping to get a significantly larger amount of painting done in this upcoming week, so keep posted for more to come. Until next time, happy wargaming!

 

Product Showcase: Warhammer 40,000 25th Anniversary Miniature

•February 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

2012 marks the 25th anniversary of our beloved Warhammer 40,000. To celebrate this momentous milestone, Games Workshop has commissioned a limited quantity of 25th anniversary miniatures based on on the cover of the original Rogue Trader book. The miniature is of a Crimson Fists marine standing on a rocky formation with a chapter standard next to him. I think it is safe to say that this is one of the most stunning miniatures that Games Workshop has ever produced!

Now if you couldn’t tell, I’m a little excited about it. In fact, you could probably use the term ecstatic to quite accurately describe my feelings about this. I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this fine piece of art.

Even the box is something to be marveled! That will hopefully help me to refrain from opening it. Something like this is more of a collector’s piece to my rather than a regular miniature.

Just as the Cover of Rogue Trader was all those years ago.. 25 years to be exact! I just had to vent my excitement on this, and I could think of no better place to do it than on my wargaming blog. For more information, just go over to the Games Workshop website. It’s a limited edition item, so it will most definitely go fast!

A 25mm Temple City: Part 3

•January 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

After a few days spend revamping my color scheme, I’m finally caught up and ready for some new project releases. Today’s post will be featuring the the soft and squishy little artisans of Lustria.. Skinks! Skinks are probably my personal favorite servant of the old ones, and for good reason. They may not be as strong as the Saurus, but they are smart, cunning, and responsible for the handling of all of the Lustrian monsters employed in battle by the Lizardmen. Rather then using just one for my post, I painted up 4 Skink Skirmishers since they are rather small and quick to paint.

As you can see, they follow the same general scheme as the Saurus do. That means that this is going to be more of a showcasing post, rather than a tutorial on how I painted them. For this reason, I am going to keep this post short and sweet. Skinks are pretty damn small and simple, so I don’t really see a need for 3 differently angled shots. The only real new thing I added was some Hormagaunt Purple for tongue and other oral matter. I decided on this color after looking up some pictures of real skinks on Google. I did however add some blue to it, along with a wash in order to give it some extra depth.

And here we are! All 4 Skinks ready to do battle in the humid depths of the Lustrian jungle. I know it wasn’t much today, but thank you all for checking out today’s post anyway. As usual, all advice, thoughts, or constructive criticism is always appreciated. Until part 4, enjoy rest of your day/night my fellow wargamers!

 

A 25mm Temple City: Part 2

•January 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Well, today’s post was going to be about my Skink Skirmishers, but there has been a change of plans. Last night I got to thinking about my color scheme. As I essessed my work, I decided that it wasn’t going to be my scheme going forward for a few reasons. One: while I got the color scheme from a red and blue poison dart frog, I just don’t think tropical when I see it. Two: the more I stare at it, the more it begins to look like some cheesy red, white and blue patriotic design with that Bleached Bone. Three: I’m just far more partial to bright/cool colors. Therefore, I have painted up another Temple Guard in order to showcase my new scheme. This is a scheme that I thought about before, but kind of forgot about. Without further adieu, let us begin!

As you can see, much of the paint scheme is the same, aside from the skin and scales. I felt that an Ice Blue for the skin would give it a more tropical look, especially after toning it down with some Asurman Blue wash. On top of that, I think the gold looks far less intrusive when along side brighter colors, rather than darker blues, and especially reds.

I also found that the bone pieces looked much better on more brightly colored miniatures. Don’t worry either guys, that severed human head is going to look a lot better soon enough. All of my flesh tone paints are currently making their way to me via postage(along with flocking for the bases). I also had to change up the eye color seeing as the old one would now match my Lizzies’ skin color. To avoid this, I just changed the eye color to a darker red to give it better contrast quality.

The scales were just swapped over to Scorpion Green, which I felt complimented the Ice Blue rather well. I gave it a darker wash to get down in between the scales, but I’m waiting on doing the highlighting until some of the necessary paints to arrive in the mail. This is just an “Almost done, but still kind of a WIP” post aimed at getting all of your opinions on the scheme.

Last but not least, is the customary in-action shot. So back to the well paved jungles of Lustria we go! As usual, all advice, thoughts, or constructive criticism is always appreciated. Until part 3, happy wargaming!

A 25mm Temple City: Part 1

•January 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

After a month long hiatus from the blog, it’s time to get this going at full speed! Over the holiday break, I decided to get back to my wargaming roots and pick back up on my first true wargaming love. Back when I was 11, before I even knew that there was a fantasy game published by Games Workshop, my friend took me down to a hobby shop over in Washington to introduce me to Warhammer 40,000. His uncle had shown me his latest white dwarf which was showcasing the then new 4th edition(Whenever hive fleet Leviathan was first introduced) Tyranids, and I immediately decided that they were the coolest things I had ever seen. That however, didn’t last long; the minute we walked into the hobby shop and headed for the product shelves in the back, my eyes were drawn to the small area of shelf stocked with Lizardmen. As a kid I freaking loved dinosaurs, and to be quite honest, I still do. I was ushered over to the 40k section though by my friend, who used the excuse “Nobody actually plays fantasy here, it would be pointless to play it” in order to get me to focus on 40k. Now, how many of you actually think that discouraged me one bit from getting them? Those of you who said “not a goddamn bit’ would be correct. I left that day with a box of Tyranid Gaunts and a box of Lizardmen Saurus Warriors. That of course was before I understood the concept of core force requirements and such.

So what I ended up doing over the last month is dusting off some old Lizzy models and buying some new miniatures as well. This painting blog series will be following the process of completing a new Lizardmen army that I hope will be completed within the next 6 months. The first unit up is my block of Temple Guard, simply because I love the miniatures for them; and after all, isn’t that why we all got into the wargaming hobby in the first place?

The First step was to base-coat the miniature with chaos black spray primer. This was fallowed by a coat of Regal Blue applied to the skin areas of the mini and a layer of Scab Red over the scales. These were then each given a wash; Asurmen Blue for the skin and Badab Black for the Scales. In order to help relegate the wash over the scales to just the creases, I went over with a dry-brush of Scab red in order to touch it up.

The ceremonial bone pieces fashioned to his shield, chest, and head, along with the skull on his wrist, was done with a coat of Beached Bone. This when then fallowed with a wash of Badab Black and a dry-brushing of Bleached Bone again. I like the dirtier affect that the wash gives the bone, but it is a little to dark to just be thrown on and left as is. The teeth and claws are just a simple coat of skull white, with a light wash. I am by no means a good painter and I will be the first to admit that, so for this army much the same as my other, I am just aiming for a descent table top quality paint job.

The metal armor is just a coat of Shining Gold with a dark wash to dirty it up. Simple enough for me I must say. The cloth straps holding the armor and bones to the Lizzy’s body is just a watered down layer of Astronomican Grey, followed by a a light wash of Badab Black, with a dry-brush of grey to clean it up a bit. Last but not least is the obsidian on the weapon. This is just a layer of watered down chaos black over a layer of blue, followed by a coat of gloss varnish.

And voila! The finished product at home in the well paved jungles of Lustria! As always, I love sharing my work with all of my fellow wargamers out there and I always welcome feedback to help me improve my painting. The next part will be coming your way soon, so until then, happy wargaming!

A 25mm Craftworld: Part 1

•November 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve got another painting post for you guys tonight. Except this time I decided to paint a miniature from my other 40k army; Eldar. This will be the first in a new series of posts that will make up my Eldar paint log, one that will take far more posts to complete than my Grey Knights . The Eldar were my first love as a 40k player and I have been building my army over a period of years, but have lacked the time to paint them. To this however, I say “No more!”. This is were it all begins. This is a Dire Avenger Exarch that I painted up last night, taking about 5 hours total to finish.

I started by base coating him with a layer of Regal blue and then proceeded to drybrush over the armor with Ice Blue, making sure to apply more to the raised pieces of the armor. The next step was to give it a wash of Asurmen Blue, and then go back over the utmost raised armor pieces with one last mist of Ice Blue. The cloth pieces are simply Bleached Bone with a wash of Badab Black.
After the armor and cloth, I proceeded to the wraithbone pieces. These were the shimmer shield, the power weapon’s pommel, the runes, and some decorative bordering. These are painted with a coat of Astronomican Grey and then washed with Badab Black. I then went back over them with a light dusting of Astronomican grey in order to lighten up the shading effects of the wash.
The Flag was just base coat of Regal Blue with the symbol painted(very sloppily I might add) on in  Scab Red. The hair is Regal Blue and Ice Blue Stripes with a wash of Asurmen Blue applied afterward.The next thing to be painted was the spirit stones. These were just Scab Red with a dot of Skull White in the corner, covered with a coat of Gloss Varnish. The last part of the body that was painted was the eyes. These were achieved through an intensely complicated procedure. Ready? I painted them Hormagaunt Purple. Yup, pretty complicated ‘aint it?
The overall final piece was the blade of his power weapon. It was painted Skull white and then drybrushed with Scorpion Green. I finished it off with a coat of Gloss Varnish.
Stay tuned for Part 2.

Game Review: Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine

•November 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We’ve been waiting, we’ve been praying, and we’ve been digging our eyes out waiting for a Warhammer 40,000 game to come to console and finally, it’s here. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine was released September 6th of this year and I have spend the last 2 months since the midnight launch feverously cranking out seize ground match after seize ground match. It was every bit the game that all of the 40k fanboys like myself wanted it to be, but will it hold it’s own when put into the hands of a stranger to Games Workshop’s dystopian universe? Well lets break Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine down and find out.

SINGLE PLAYER

The campaign of this game is truly something spectacular. Not because of story or gameplay, but because that is the main focus of the game. It is a 6-10 hour campaign(depending on difficulty and degree of player skill in TPS) that took me about 8 hours to complete, starting at around 1 am launch night/morning and ending around 9 am the same morning. No food, no sleep, no breaks, just war. The campaign has a fairly good story which is rather unpredictable when unacquainted with the 40k universe(never trust The Inquisition!) and offers plenty of intelligent dialogue. Unfortunately though, it’s a rather isolated and linear story that most gamers would not find worth retelling. The dialogue was very eloquent and insightful and when between fellow marines, made them seem more like “brothers” as appose to Gears of War’s “bro’s”. The games dialogue even had a few lines that were directly aimed at the table top players such as Sergeant Sidonas saying “It’s colder than a Space Wolf’s smile in here”. As for the voice acting? Right on the mark! While not the best when compared to some other games, it captured the stern and dutiful, yet respectful nature of space marines. The character’s that were doing the speaking in this title were the real deal as well. They had The captain, the old and wise friend, and the shifty/overzealous/naive ” plus one”. They go through the standard character arc and manage to make you feel saddened by any loses that occur, and betrayed by any wrongdoings. The brightest spot in the game though was the environment. It had such an absolutely stunning environment that managed to capture the Gothic feel and grand scale of the 40k universe perfectly. The Manufactorum was the size of a small city, and the War Titan was truly a sight to behold(and walk on). The most awe inspiring location in the game was the massive bridge in chapter 4. It was simply gargantuan, and could be seen towering above the area from any outdoor point in the chapter. When you ride a train like vehicle across it, you finally get the full scope of its size. Even when in the covered tunnel at the front end of the bridge, the rockcrete can be scene zooming by overhead, along with any enemies you kill. Yes, the enemies gore flies backward as if it is somehow stationary while the train is moving forward.
Now then, onto the most important part. The gameplay is relatively exhilarating, being half hack and slash, half shooter. It reminds me of a hybrid mix of Lost Planet and Drakenguard. It is really unfair to compare it to Gears of War as many are, because it really resembles Gears in absolutely no way but the fact that they are both TPS. No cover system, and heavy emphasis on close combat. And for all of you calling the chainsword a ripoff of the lancer, the chainsword first appeared in the Warhammer 40k table top game in the late 1980’s when it appeared in the first edition Space Marines Codex. The health system was also a refreshing new take on traditional health regeneration. Instead of recharging health or acquiring health kits, you simply preform an exocution on an enemy; the difficulty of the enemy determines the amount of health you regain. This forces you to way the options of when to execute and when not to, because you can still be killed while preforming the execution animation as you are not invincible during it. This does lead to minor frustration however, when a group of ranged enemies is firing at you from an unreachable platform and it is impossible to regain health during the shoot out. Overall combat it extremely fluid and clean, gracefully switching between ranged and close combat with ease, but many will find it lacking after the first few hours of play. Soften with bolter fire, stun, execute, and repeat. That’s the drill and after 8 hours of campaign, you will know it well.

MULTI-PLAYER

Space Marine is a member of a dying species known as the “campaign based action shooter”. During the first year and a half of it’s creation there wasn’t even a plan to include a multi-player mode in the game, rather the game would focus on an intense story driven campaign that would keep the game alive on it’s own. But then something happened. The gaming world around it evolved and they witnessed games like Halo 3, Call of Duty: MW2, Battlefield 2, and Gears of war 2. These games redifined the life cycle of the modern video game. It is no longer “Beat campaign, replay campaign every six months, and enjoy multi-player whenever a few friends are over” but rather “Beat campaign, play multi-player online until sequel comes out, never play campaign again unless achievement hunting”. This meant one thing had to happen.. Multi-player had to be added.
Now the first thing that any real Warhammer geek will notice is the customizer(which to the chagrin of many, cannot be unlocked until online rank 4), which is extensive to say the least. Remember those miniatures you build and paint? Yeah, so do the game designers for Space Marine. There are literally billions of combinations in the customizer. It includes dozens of pieces of armor that 40k fans will know and love, and newcomers will find aesthetically pleasing, as well as every color of citadel paint currently on the market(73 to be exact!) including inks, washes, foundation paints, and other general colors not related to Games Workshop.
The multi-player can’t survive on looks alone though. The customizer includes an extensive class customization feature that lets you play on your own terms in this class based multi-player battlefield. It includes weapons, secondary weapons, and perks that are unlockable through specific Call of Duty like challenges. When implemented in the game, it makes for a surprisingly and remarkably well balanced multi-player experience. The three main classes are Tactical(jack of all trades, master of none), Assault(master of close combat and hit and run, but made of glass), and the Devastator(master of heavy/long ranged weaponry, but slow as a brick wall and as strong as one too). The multi-player is fun and engaging, but suffers from a major flaw known as Notenoughvarietyitus. There is a meager selection of only 5 maps across a mere 2 game types(Annihilation and Seize Ground). This ends up being a severe blow to the replayabillity of it’s multi-player. On the upside however, 3 more maps and a Capture The Flag game type are in a DLC bundle coming out this December. This also includes a new variant of Exterminatus which enables you to use your Chaos Marine against orks and the forces of the Emperium. Exterminatus is my next thing on the list though.

Exterminatus’  delayed release is what actually prevented this review from coming sooner(30 day DLC became 55 day DLC), but it came none the less. Exterminatus mode is an engaging objective based horde mode that lets you pair up with 3 of your friends or random players to take on massive hordes of orks and servants of chaos. This one might have been the saving grace for its replayabillity, because damn is it fun.
Overall, this is definitely one of the top shooters of the year, but one that I feel will fail to satisfy those gamers looking for the next Call of Duty or Gears of War. It’s campaign may be short but it sure as hell is a great time while it lasts, and it’s multipplayer is well balanced and seeing support from THQ in the form of future DLC. Would I recomend it to someone? Yes, anyone and everyone. But do I think that would work? sadly, to no avail. I confidently give this game an..

8.5/10