Friday 28 February 2014

Building Venators : A journey from Laserburn to Necromunda via Confrontation

A little warning before you start reading, this post is going to be a bit lenghty so you might want to get yourself a drink and sit properly before reading.

You're back? Good.

I've recently tried to gather all the information I could on the venators to capture them the best I could. I need to have a clear vision of how they were portrayed in the designer's mind to see what I like in them and how I can make my own interpretation.

My main source of inspiration will be the confrontation rules published in white dwarf in (information below taken from LEXICANUM).

  • White Dwarf 130: Introduction; background to the planet and hives
  • White Dwarf 131: Necromunda Gangs; background to the hive gangs
  • White Dwarf 132: Creating a Gang; background and rules for creating a gang including generating equipment, a stash and skills, with a short story
  • White Dwarf 137: Combat Rules (first half); game rules for characters, group coherency, game sequence, turns phase, actions, visibility, firing and rules for trading equipment
  • White Dwarf 138: Combat Rules (second half); game rules for hand-to-hand combat, hit locations, damage and injuries
  • White Dwarf 142: Weapons; rules for weapons 

 You can find pretty much everything in those articles but I'm going to concentrate on venators.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Why stay cool when you can be obsessed ?

Yesterday, I remembered a very interesting article from the excellent Mr Saturday's mumblings. But why is that? Well I was looking at what would appear as Junk to most people (it appeared as Junk to my wife anyway) but which appeared like a treasure to me...

Mr Saturday calls it the "hobby filter" and I think it is quite a good way to see this. You're looking at the same thing but you're seeing the same thing.

Look at the test pictures below :

Here is some cardboard junk I got from work. I think it was used to hold computer parts...

Now put your "Hobby filter" on and see :

With the Hobby glasses on you can see where gap filler is needed, you can almost see how you're going to finish the stairs , add a base and equipment like wires and pipes and how you'll paint it with textured paint.... 
I'm seeing a perfect power plant for some confrontation/Rogue trader/necromunda/inquisimunda/inq28.

Sunday 16 February 2014

You know you're doing right when...

... you start sculpting sphincters.

Yep, Sphincter it is. Some of you will start to think there's something of an obsession with me and this but the thing is I have thought a lot about them lately.
The first reason being the excellent Steve Casey from the no less excellent Eldritch Epistles has talked about his visits to Bryan Ansell and his marvelous collection of unreleased citadel miniatures. If you have read some of these posts (and you should have if old lead is your thing) you will undoubtedly have thought about the countless moulds awaiting at the foundry amongst which some may contain "The Sphincter Beast".

Well this particular reference has got to be as mythical as the ass cannon and other wonders. No pictures of it are available and we only have the description of those who have seen it to tell it exists.
I've decided to take a dive and see how I would design such a concept.

Of course sculpting a sphincter beast from scratch as got to begin with sculpting a sphincter. Given the chaotic essence of the concept, I opted for a rather aggressive approach for my sphincter :

As you can see, there's not much here but I will add new layers of sphincters and teeth to the concept until I'm happy with it and then I'll start working on the "beast" part of the concept.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

You think I ain't worth a dollar but I feel like a millionaire...

Yep, today was a bit special, I actually felt like a millionaire. People in Grenoble (where I live) have seen me dancing in the street with my 3 years old daughter like a mad man :

I won at something for the first time in my life...

Let me explain a bit. I'm not the competitive kind of guy. I tend to avoid competition though I never shy away from emulation. Hobby wise, competition is something I've always avoided because basically I don't have what it takes but also because in my teens, I used to live in Nantes where there was the most insane concentration of golden demon winners, people who really had a huge impact on raising the artistic and technical level of this competition... (the guys who were actually the first to go and get slayer swords outside of their own country) real monsters I mean.

Though they were all very nice to see at the local hobby shop (and even in the GW store which was quite a nice place at the time but that's another story), it was clear I was not playing in the big league.

I recently left my now famous Rooster knight at my new Hobby shop (with golden demon winners there too ^^) which has a monthly competition.
I came there this afternoon to pick my Rooster knight and to leave my last demon hunter and I just learnt that I had won January's event !

I won a 5€ voucher which is not much but the very fact I won something has made my day ! 

I know there are some really good painters amongst my readers and even some genuine golden demon winners so bear with me, I know this is no great achievement but this is just the kind of things which boost my hobby. Getting some nice comments, constructive criticism and sometimes a few thumbs up or a little prize is just priceless to me. It just means I'm not doing this alone at my desk like I used to before starting this blog.

Emulation it is, now I want to to even better because I see so much great stuf around I want to come up with my personnal best too.

As always I'm incapable of concentrating on one task alone so here are the things which are making their way at the moment :

A unit of chaos droids led by a poor necron conversion, with bases done and a slight zenithal grey spray over the black base coat. I'll just paint the edges in light grey, paint the metal areas in mithril silver and then I'll wash the whole model with diluted black and matt medium. I'll just have a few details to add (I'v recently found some very good inspiration for them so stay tuned) and they'll be good.

You can't really tell by looking at the pic above but the sensei gang is doing well for the time being and though I wanted to paint them all one by one, well, old habits die hard and all so I just came back to batch painting... All flesh parts, grey parts, blue parts and dark brown parts have been done so far.

The deostick grav-attack is nearly done, I'v found the proper reactor donors (old color pens from my daughter) for the sides so I still have to add those with some green stuffing and he's good to go to the painting range... The base has to be refined a bit but the gap filler used is heavy enough to make a good balance for the model.

Kaleb's doing well too with not much left to do. I finally came up with completely random black and white patterns which are not really artistic but which are doing the job I think :

I forgot to say that I used a little trick taught by Stygianheart which is very easy but helps a lot. I just placed a few drops of PVA glue (just try different sizes) with a drop of superglue in the middle. The result gives some convincing exploded pustules and organic shpaes depending on the amount of PVA and superglue used.

Here are the tests on some Pcard and you can see on the grav-attack above the result on a finished model.

Thanks mate, keep good tips like these coming !

Every fortune begins with a single penny...

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Building up a sensei warband, what's not to like ?

You may remember from some posts ago that I plan on making a sensei warband. I 've always ben surprised to see how few of them seem to make it to the tabletop or even the painting ranges. The sensei are one of the most interesting aspects of the imperial history on the 40k Universe and probably one of the one which lacks to today's fluff.

I'm speaking of a time where Gods of Chaos were fighting gods of Law and when the emperor had a detailed history and past which opened doors to many a stories... But the topic today is not discuss the lacks of modern fluff but to see how we can use the gems of old books.

Here is some brief recap of what you're meant to know about the emperor :

Sunday 2 February 2014

Master of the obvious...

Life is wonderful, you know it is. After last post (thanks to easy lead), my old DnD paladin Seu Antheus has got the chance to serve again the lady of the lake to fight evil and save widows and orphans.
This has been made possible by Captain Crooks over the oldhammer forum who just launched a remote game using a specific thread and I have to say it is a really refreshing experience to have the opportunity to play again after so much time...
Ok, dungeon and dragons is fun , no real surprise here, but I don't get much occasions to play (none in fact) so even if I miss meeting players in real, I'm really enjoying this one a lot. Anyone who want to see what all of this is about can have a look here.
I went into my little bazaar and found a model I had loved and forgotten. The paintjob was pretty close to my best at the time so I was quite happy with him. It is a resin model made by Ilyad, a french company which did some very good models back in the day. It comes from a french comic "Les Chroniques de la Lune noire" (Black moon chronicles), a monument of french dark fantasy comics.

Now playing this model feels kinda awkward considering the rest of my collection so I might get him a replacement in the form of the Paladin of the citadel adventurer starter set, I believe you will all agree there is no better model to play such a character...

Painting wise, I'm actually doing a lot but on multiple fronts like always, things are getting close to the end for Kaleb but I'm still struggling with the black and white markings (should be finished this week hopefully).

I also rediscovered the wheel. Yep you're reading right, after rediscovering black lining I actually rediscovered blocking all base colours at the start of a paint job. It's something I've never ever done in my 23 years log painting life and I tried it on my "in progress" sensei gang.

I wanted my sensei leader to be the model or "benchmark" for all the other members. This means I applied all the colours I wanted for him (There will be a complete post about this one) and then added them to all members until I was left with "empty" spots which will receive other colours to differenciate them a bit. This ties the band visually and will speed the painting process.
OK so blocking base colours helps, no real surprise here either...

Here they are in their glorious unfinishedness.

Just look at how proud he looks with his friends around !

The "How to old hammer" band is advancing step by step too, I managed to get an hour this afternoon to sculpt the shields like intended on the chaos warriors. Nothing really fancy here, they're just plastic battlemasters chaos warriors after all but I believe this little cosmetic effort will help to give them some individuality.

Now here's a question for all of you. I've recently bought a marauder giant for a ridiculous price and I have come to looooove the model. 
One thing is bothering me though. The neck. just look at the picture below. Doesn't our good ol' marauder giant look like he could wear a terminator suit? His neck seems to be broken and his spine his totally not in line with his skull (or maybe it's the other way round but anyway...).

If I'm placing his head like his neck is the continuity of his spine, he looks far more taller and even a bit noble. I'm pretty sure that his head was lowered afterwards to make him look a bit more rough and blunt and that his very special mullet cut is just the only way Ally Morrison found to hide the weird neck angle.

I may be wrong but this would make sense. I have to say it is not a problem at all for me sonce I want my models to look cool before realistic.

Just look at the comparison with the head high
Yes I'm a noble giant !
with his head low (like intended)
Well, I'm still considering building him with the head high just to be a bit more realistic and because I would love to make hime a bretonnian giant. Or maybe I'll just stay lazy and build hims as is...

Who knows?
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