It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post I have just realised. So I thought I had better do a catch up before summarising February’s scores on the doors in a few days time. Despite the silence on this end, it’s actually been productive with all kinds of hobby comings and goings. The recent cold snap in the UK and having to take some time out to apply for a new job put the brakes on free time activities a little. Despite that however I have still managed to make solid progress on the months Dreadball ambitions and another Ultramarines detachment for Epic, so it’s not all bad.
After setting myself this small winter painting challenge back at the end of November 2012, I have now hit the final stretch and am going to bring the initial painting assault to a close.
Before I do that however, I have one last detachment to show for the Epic scale Ultramarine 2nd Company and this time it‘s some Scouts. Standard stuff for the infantry, but for the transport I thought I would try and be a little experimental and introduce a form of digital disruptive pattern camo. One of the colours I often see successfully included in the Ultramarine vehicle palette is a Codex Grey. Normally I find this to be a rather dull off-palette colour to contrast with the blue on 40K scale vehicles and avoid it myself. However for something as small as Epic I wondered if it could be introduced in a different way to enhance the neutrality of the vehicle colour wise in a way that works as camo. The only formation I could ever see this working for was the Scouts.
Both Rhino were airbrushed blue initially to establish a base. I then used grey to pick out doors and quarter panels on one and the other I used very small sections of masking tape to create negative shapes for the sections I wanted to keep blue. This was then re-airbrushed with Vallejo Model Air German Grey. After the tape was removed, smaller sections were painted by hand in Fenris Grey to help emphasise a more digital pattern. I was tempted to go over and add beige as a final contrast, but in the end felt keeping it just to the three colours worked best.
The rest was pretty much standard detailing and weathering after that. So as not to break the effect I added no obvious chapter markings on the digital pattern version.
The final addition to this little endeavour was a themed objective marker. I canvassed for a few ideas late last year as to what would make a good objective to sit alongside the ones I already have. There were several great suggestions, but two in particular that I really liked were the idea of a Scout Team awaiting extraction and a disabled or lost Chapter Relic such as a renowned vehicle. I decided to combine both and create an objective including a partially destroyed Land Raider which had been located and secured by a Scout Squad. Marking with green smoke they are awaiting a CASEVAC to arrive and extract the team and vehicle wreck back to the chapter armoury for salvage or restoration.
The unusual rust and pale ash colours I chose were done on the back of some research looking into photos of what wrecks looked like after being gutted by fire. In particular the area surrounding the fire damage and what the borders look like where it transitions into undamaged paintwork.
This final detachment takes me over 4700 points in total for the Ultramarines alone and 3500 points for the allied Legio Ignatum support available. With over 8K points worth painted since I started this I am going to draw a line under it now and move onto other things. The project has been an absolute joy to do since I started and has really re-kindled my enthusiasm for Epic, which can’t be a bad thing. In fact, it has been so much fun I am already making plans for a follow-up to the Ultramarines in the form of some additional air and special units later in the year, as well as a whole new army challenge to face off against. So just because I have no immediate plans to paint more Epic next month, don’t be surprised if the odd unit or two still creeps onto the workbench from time to time in spare moments. For now though, that’s it and I really hope you have enjoyed following the progress on the army as much as I have enjoyed painting it.
- Ultramarine winter challenge
- WIP: Tactical detachment secured
- Vindicators: My weathering of choice
- 1,700 points: Terminated
- Fast attack
- Death from above
- Paint more, play more
- Whirlwind week
- Land Raider walkthrough
So what’s next?
The other regular theme the past month has been progressing through the contents of Mantic’s Dreadball Kickstarter package. To date I have painted three out of the four season one teams, which leaves only the Corporation team unpainted. As Kev was playing a Corp team in the league, there was no urgent need for me to paint mine at the time. With the others out of the way and only the MVP characters (Most Valuable Players) left however I figured I should just go ahead and paint them for completeness anyway. Based on an adaptation of the Trontek 29 away kit, they are on the workbench right now and I‘m confident they should be fully finished before the day is out. Even though they won’t get a game this round, they should be handy as a source of free agents for the other teams, or the odd friendly just for fun.
On the MVP pool front, currently Slippery Joe, Wildcard and Reek Rolat (not shown) are on the bench available. Lucky Logan is also available, but isn’t included in the painting here as I donated mine to Kev, who has painted him up for use in his Corp colours. Number 88 is almost finished and the final three are pencilled in as part of March’s target. When the last block is finished I will have to take a group photo of the whole of the Season One/Wave One pack together and post it here.
Gaming wise, I narrowly lost out to Kev last week with the Forge Fathers against the Veer-myn. It was a pretty tight game all in all and only a couple of bad tactical decisions on my part left me open to Kev denying control of the ball during my penultimate rush. The resulting strike tipped the score back in the rat-men’s favour and I learned a couple of useful coaching lessons for future outings. So far I’m still loving Dreadball and its game mechanics. The only thing I have to say I find frustrating is how the Ref-Bot is moved around at the end of each rush. Both Kev and I seem to pursue the same objective of placing it in the most irritatingly inconvenient place purely as a hex-blocker. We tried a few house rules to randomise the movement instead, but so far it still doesn’t act as more than an inconvenience as opposed to a fun addition to the game. That is pretty much it, which probably goes to show what a decent set of rules the core game really has. As more and more players gain XP (Experience) and the character MVPs are making appearances, the game is starting to heat up tactically as well.
All things considered, I still highly rate Dreadball as a great game to get if you haven’t already. It will be interesting to see what Jake introduces as part of Season Two.
Finally there is Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, which is now the only Games Workshop range I am actively still collecting, I have been on a bit of a downer on Games Workshop lately as I have found their recent Warhammer and 40K designs to be heading off in a somewhat strange direction recently. It’s possible my 40K aesthetics and the current design teams are diverging, although Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy range does seem to contradict that theory. I really like what Forgeworld are doing design wise and feel it nails the look cohesively in the main for each of the Legions to date. The current 40K crop on the other hand seems rather confused and I do worry it’s lacking direction. Or at least if there is a direction, it isn’t one I wish to head in personally.
Thankfully, the Hobbit releases are more tightly controlled by an outside influence; the films, and seem to be in the safer hands. Of course, this is purely a matter of taste and there do appear to be plenty of commentators in the ‘Blogosphere’ that don’t like them at all. How much of that is genuine dislike for the designs and how much is just down to an anti-GW, anti-price or anti-Finecast sentiments I can’t say. But clearly since The Hobbit came out there seems to be a bit of a split in opinions. Pricing, rather than quality of design has been my main restriction to date and why I’ve been a bit more selective in which new releases I have gone for to date. The March releases however, are in my opinion absolute corkers! Despite the tight-fisted ten Men of Dale for twenty quid, I really do love how they look. There are so many lovely little touches in the costume that shows influences from both the east and their Dwarven near-neighbours as much as the northlands. They really are a fantastic looking set. Even better in my opinion are the Warriors of Erebor, which I’m hopeful will help pull together my newly added Grim Hammers with my current Erebor Dwarves from the original Lord of the Rings releases. What I particularly love about this set is the rag-tag mix of armour. They really do look like a Dwarf kinband that have lost their home and kingdom; a theme that is critical to the look of the Erebor Dwarves in my view. Thror’s people weave a tragic tale made all the more poignant because their downfall is a result of their own greed, for it is the great wealth stockpiled under the mountain that attracts Smaug in the first place.
There is a fantastic mix of nobility and bitterness in the look of the Erebor Dwarves, which I think comes across fantastically well in the design.
The star of the release for me without doubt though, has to be Thror himself. It is an absolute stunner of a centrepiece leader for the Dwarves and completely eclipses the versions of Durin and Dain that pre-date it in my opinion. Thror’s significant stature and gold lust are really captured in the miniature and despite its equally bloated Finecast price tag, I have already pre-ordered the mightily proportioned King under the Mountain. If they can do even half as nice a job with his son and Thorin’s father Thrain II I will be a very happy man.
Until next time, have a great week.