Recent Project: Blood Angels

I’ve been working on my 30k Blood Angels for an upcoming event. Here are some Work in Progress shots.

I’ve been cranking on terrain and my 30k Blood Angels for a Horus Heresy event that we are running this summer. Part of this project was referenced in my prior posts about modifying the BaC Contemptor Dreadnought.

Originally my goal was to do an Orbital Strike drop-pod list, I still want to run that occasionally but I have decided to change directions slightly and do a ‘Day of Revelation’ Assault Marine list instead. It’s a more compact project which still involves several drop pods.

Here are some work in progress shots of the units I’ve been working on.

Leviathan – I recently plucked the heavy Flamers off of the model and replaced them with Iliastus Assault Cannons. You can see some landspeeder press mold bits in the foreground.

One of several jetbikes – I have about 9 of these, several will be dedicated to characters.

Landspeeder Squadron – 5 speeder squadron is underway. The graviton gun on the top is controlled remotely by the gunner in the right hand seat. 

Jetbike Chaplain – This is one of the characters who will be riding around, causing trouble, in my jetbike squad.

Contemptor Dreadnought with 2x powerfists & plas-blasters

Contemptor Dreadnought with 2x Kheres Assault Cannon

Most of this fits into my new list.everything has a pile of work to do yet, but I wanted to share some of the work in progress. Once I get my assault marines all buttoned up they will join these units on the paint bench.

 

Panzer IV for Bolt Action

One of the units which I am running in my half of the Bolt Action team tournament at Adepticon is a Panzer IVh. This is my armor support for the list that I am running with John for the tournament. Its been performing well in recent games, I feel that I am learning how to run a medium tank in a infantry heavy list.

Some of you may recognize this from this post where I showed some work in progress on the modeling.

pzIV_5

pzIV_4

pzIV_3

pzIV_2

pzIV_1

Eldar Work In Progress

I’ve been inspired to revive an old, old, old love of mine.  The first minis I ever collected in any meaningful way were GW Eldar for 40k.  Recently I’ve been playing the occasional game of 6th ed, and was pretty excited about the new releases for the Eldar range, so I’ve been doing some 40k painting!  Another recent event in Xenland was the acquisition of a new airbrush.  I had my doubts about these devices, but they make painting groups of miniatures much faster!  I am expecially excited to use it to make some progress on vehicles for Bolt Action and Flames of War.  I digress…

This is a slight evolution of an Eldar paint scheme from years ago.  I am exited to bring it back to life.  The base coat is Vallejo ‘buff’ and then washed with the GW camo green wash (I forget what it’s actual name is).  Here are some shots of the work I accomplished this weekend on these minis:

Guardian Weapons

 

Guardian Squad work in progress

 

Guardian close up work in progress

 

 

Flames of War: Soviet DShK AA Truck

DSHK5

I recently completed an anti-aircraft platoon for my Soviet Army.  I have always been a fan of this model and when I had faced Soviet players in the past found that the AA gun mounted on the back of a truck really added a unique element to an otherwise rubber-stamped feeling army.

Defensive tactics

One thing that I like about this unit is that it is actually very versatile.  I have found that I really appreciate anything in FoW that can fill several roles or can be modified to fit a scenario before the game starts.  Obviously this platoon can be used to scare of aircraft… it’s an AA unit, but thanks to the mobility of the truck that it is mounted on and FoW’s ‘portee’ rules, this unit has some utility if there are no aircraft around.  The gun team can dismount and become a AA man packed gun team.  This feature of the unit allows AA gun teams to integrate with an infantry force nicely.  As man packed gun teams the dismounted DShKs can be dug in to a Strelkovy line to add defensive fire support, or help hold an objective.  The fact that one of the platoon’s gun teams is the platoon commander gives a small buff to the unit as the command team cannot be isolated by enemy fire (priority target: infantry teams).  The DShK is a a proper heavy machine-gun.  Being part of the .50 family it has an AT of 4 and a firepower of 5+.  This means that it can be a threat to armored cars, light tanks, and even medium tanks in defensive fire.

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Offensive tactics

On the attack the DShK can contribute a bit to shooting out dug in infantry as well.  Its better than 6 firepower and it’s 4 rate of fire give it a slight edge over other infantry weapons for shooting teams in bulletproof cover.  If dismounted these guys can keep up with an infantry advance, or if kept on their trucks, they can act as an additional maneuver unit.  The platoon has only 3 teams, so they are very fragile and can be an easy kill for your opponent.  This shouldn’t be underestimated.  It would be easy to accidentially throw these guys away, and unless you are gaining the benefit of saving shots from something more critical by sacrificing the AA MG Platoon, getting them shot off the table for no reason really needs to be avoided (duh… easier said than done).

DSHK4

Great fit for all lists

Most AA units in FoW are very cheap, but this one is a bargain points-wise even by those standards.  At 60 points they are an easy fit to round out an army, bringing you up to an even amount of platoons.  If you can neutralize a light armored attack or an airstrike they quickly start earning those points in your list.  If you can use them to jump a target of opportunity, or support an attack on an objective then you really are seeing them prove their worth.

DSHK2

Building & painting the models

As I had mentioned before I like the way this unit adds a visual dimension to the rest of a Soviet Army.  Having a couple of trucks in an infantry or armored battalion really adds character.  I opted to employ the popular technique of magnetizing the gun to the base via a sub-base made with a bit of the plastic from the blister that the unit came in.   The sub base has a bit of metal in it which allows it to stick to magnets mounted in the base as well as the bed of the truck.  If I were to do this unit again, I would use larger magnet – the magnetization as is not isn’t very strong.  The 1/8th” magnets I used are adequate for the job, but it would be possible to shake the gunner loose from the base or truck with little effort.

I avoided adding grass to the sub-base, but did paint it brown and texture it with sand.  The goal here was to create a surface which wouldn’t be dramatically out of place on both the truck bed and the actual gun team base.  I may pull more highlights out of the greens in the truck paint scheme.  On the fence with that at the moment.  I opted to mount the truck to a base to give it a bit more stability.  I don’t usually do this with my vehicles, but I think that I will be from now one with the ones that have separate metal wheels.    It really helps the truck feel finished and keeps it stable on the gaming surface.

DSHK4

Some painted minis…

I recently learned a bit more about how to use my camera, editing RAW photos, and purchased a new set of lights. This has inspired me to take some photos of my recent miniature work to get a bit better at taking photos. Check ’em out!

Not much of my Warmachine stuff is painted. I did manage to paint these deliverers and one of the heavy jacks for my Menoth army. These guys were a lot of fun to paint, and I hope I can get into the rest of the army some day.

Here are a bunch of units for my US 3rd Armor army for Flames of War. At the moment I am focusing on Germans for my practice, and tournaments, but I will always have a soft spot for the G.I.s!

Flames of War Sherman tank

Stuart tanks for Flames of WarStuarts! These tanks rock in the game, and these were fun to paint. They are a bit of a conversion job. I rebuilt their barrels out of wire, and greenstuff, as well as added some bits of detail in putty to give them a more well used look. The decals on all of these vehicles really look great if you use some green to make them look chipped up, and slightly covered with dirt.

US 105mm Artillery Cannon

US 105mm BatteryThis is one of my two artillery batteries that I have for my US Flames of War army. I also have a 155mm battery to accompany these boys!

SS Tank Hunters

Here are some WIP shots of my SS Tank Hunters/Scouts.

I am still learning how to use the new camera.  Hint: I need more light.

Since I have wrapped up this platoon, I have begun on the army’s HQ section, and 1st platoon.  I have made the camo a bit more detailed, and covering a greater area.  I think its looking a bit more accurate than on these guys.  Not that I am disappointing with the results above.  These guys are going to be part of my army for Adepticon!

Base marking in Flames of War

Anyone who has played a handful of games of Flames of War has probably noticed that it is easy to mix up teams between platoons.  The problem is that when you are looking down at your infantry teams, gun teams, and in some cases even tank teams, everything tends to look the same (they are wearing something called a uniform after all).  This can cause issues in the game when you need to remove teams as casualties, determining which platoon has what weapon attachment, or how many teams are in a platoon when it can take it’s defensive fire shots against an assaulting platoon.  Most of these issues come up with infantry companies which have platoons which are deployed interwoven, or simply next door to another platoon.  It can be very easy to mix up which team is with what platoon.

There are loads of ways to mark your units to help alleviate the problems above, and here I am going to show you some of my favorite methods.  The easiest thing to do, and what I tend to do with each of my armies in Flames of War is to come up with a simple marking system for the edges of your bases.  I have seen some people put little dots on the edges of bases with permanent markers, the number of dots showing what unit a team is part of, but I think you can push this method a little farther.  I tend to paint a wide region on the back left side of the base with white paint.  I will put one or more colored dashes to illustrate which platoon the team belongs to.  The colors and number of dashes that you use to mark the teams can vary in any way you find appealing.  For example I will mark my combat platoons with red dashes, but a different number for each platoon.  1st platoon would have 1 red dash, 2nd 2 re dashes, ect.  A weapons platoon would get orange, blue, or other color dashes in the same way.

On the white background, these colored dashes really stand out, and are very easy to read.

Another step that I like to take is to make an additional mark, sometimes on the right side of the base to mark a special unit.  My PAVN Infantry Companies have many RPG teams in them, and it is important to me that I don’t position them incorrectly, or remove them as casualties before I want to.  These teams get an additional mark on the right hand side of the base to help them stand out from the rest of the company.  Teams such as command teams usually don’t get any additional marking as they are pretty easy to identify from a distance based on their base-size.  This method is very easy to do, and makes keeping your teams organized very easy.

US gun team with base marking
This infantry team is part of the 2nd platoon.
The dark blue dash next to the platoon identifier shows that this is a RPG team.

Another method, one favored by my good friend Jason is to give the bases some special detail which will identify them from one another.  His US Paratroopers combat platoons have either pumpkins (made from greenstuff) or tombstones (made from plasticard) which identify them as either 1st or 2nd platoon.  This method, while taking a bit of extra work adds a lot of character, and appeal to a platoon.  At 15mm, the base of an infantry team is effectively half the model, so extra work put into bases is never wasted.  This subtle method can also be used creatively to give an overall theme to your army, much in the way that Jason gave his US paratroopers a Halloween theme.

US Paratroopers (Tombstone Platoon) by Jason Misuinas

The two primary platoons of Jason’s US paratroopers are defined by pumpkins, and tombstones.  These simple thematic devices identify what platoon the team is in while giving the entire army its own flavor.

US Paratroopers (Pumpkin Platoon) by Jason Misuinas
Gasmask wearing Grenadiers by Jason Misuinas

Jason’s Pioneer Grenadiers are a very individualistic unit who’s base really causes them to stand out.  This unit is usually the lone infantry unit supporting his Panzerkompanie, but if he were to add more units, he could apply variations to the basing to both maintain uniformity, and give them some unique trait that he could use to help identify the unit.

One popular method for marking bases that I don’t think is very useful is to put a sticker on the bottom of the miniature’s base.  While marking the unit this way looks nice (because you don’t see the markings unless you look at the bottom of the base), it makes spot identifying the team impossible, and when it comes time to figure out who is who, you need to physically move the team.  This is usually not a big deal, but can occasionally cause troubles.  In a tournament I participated in an opponent needed to make sure that the command team that was between two platoons was his 2iC.  After picking the team up and checking out the bottom of it’s base, he put the team down around an inch closer to a neighboring platoon.  I don’t believe that he was intentionally trying to influence the game, but that fudge could have changed whether both units could link up to provide defensive fire or not.  This method is better than nothing, but not ideal.

Marking your bases is extremely important for your flames of war army.  It will help you keep the army organized, will keep you from forgetting to put teams down (I have forgotten an observer team on occasion), and will help maintain accurate gameplay which your opponent will appreciate.  On that last note, if  you are going to tournaments than this step is critical.  Nothing is quite as frustrating for an opponent in a tournament as when you can’t clearly tell them where platoon boundaries are.  Mark up your teams.  Its good for everyone!  🙂