[40K] #Squaduary Success Story

plaguebearers

More dodgy evening shots under the daylight bulb, but hush ye – I eventually pulled out my finger and produced something for the multi-blog hobby extravaganza organised by Rory at Stepping Between Games.

I didn’t envisage doing any Daemons for my current army, but I got lucky with these and scored a bargain. Since building and painting them I’ve actually become a bit more enthusiastic about Daemon-wrangling in general, and can see the merit in that Daemon Allied Detachment people keep advocating for Chaos Space Marine players. The power option there is Horrors, of course, for maximum Warp Charge, but the thing about Horrors is I can’t stand anything with Warpflame. It’s a stupid rule with at least half a chance of helping your opponent out, supplying or improving one of the best defensive USRs in the game. Against the most common target type, the ubiquitous Space Marine, there’s only a 33% you’ll see something you want out of it, and I don’t like guns that buff their targets two thirds of the time.

(This doesn’t make me as angry as those italics might suggest. It’s been a long day down the words-hole, hewing hot poetry analysis straight from the molten crust of my once-fine brain, and I’m feeling a bit fried right now.)

Anyway, Nurgle daemons have a certain synergy with the boys from Nostramo – they all have Shrouded and they’ll all like Night Fighting on the first turn. A small Allied Detachment of four Heralds, for cheap Warp Charge that my Sorcerers can leech off; plus two big units of Plaguebearers, for Shrouded Objective Secured infantry who have relatively easy access to Feel No Pain; that’s honestly about it. Seems like a natural fit for the Raptor Talon Murder Talon build, which doesn’t bring its own Objective Secured infantry to the table. As to how they get there… one day when I’m not so exhausted in the brain I’ll tell you about my fanfiction and you’ll be sorry you asked. In the meantime, I’m jobbing off for a few days to run some Vampire, level a Druid, entertain some friends and generally not write anything.

Then it’s on to #MonsterMarch (what will these blogger people think of next). By co-incidence, the next month of the Tale of Gamers challenge involves a unit of big lads. I’m thinking Chaos Spawn: I’ll want one as an easy filler for Auxiliary slots and another just in case a Champion has a little moment after a challenge, so they seeem like a shoo-in. Tune in later in the month to see a) how I get on with that and b) how the Night Lords fare in their first actual battle. Ooooh.

[40K] A Tale of Von Gamer – The Prince of Darkness

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Trying something a bit different with this lad: painting before full assembly. I’ve learned from my experiences with the Helbrute that reaching past armour to do flesh is Not A Good Idea with the methods I’m using, and all of these discrete pieces are ‘separate’ from the Prince’s actual body, so there’s no need to fret about filling in gaps like I usually do.

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This is what primer looks like. 22nd February. 6 days to get him done or I welch on Month 2 as well.

Speed painted over one soggy Saturday. Notice that it went dark the moment I slapped the Liquid Talent Nuln Oil on. Truly, we bring the night…

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The finished product (shot under the daylight bulb at about hours 2030, hence the odd lighting). He has red hands because he’s there in case Szandor has a Little Moment at some point, and Szandor’s sinner’s hands will never be unstained. Lack of Wings for the same reason. Personally I think jump packs/wings should transfer over on a Dark Apotheosis roll, same with psychic levels and relics. Cool with losing the rest of the wargear, but jump packing Warlords and psychic levels are the sort of thing you build an army around, and it’d suck to have a Daemon Prince turn up and that ultimately cost you the game because of lost tactical capabilities.

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Bonus Squaduary content: I made up way too much Dark Flesh, so I thinned it down further with glaze medium and water and started on the Plaguebearers I meant to do last week. Here they are with a layer of Drakenhof Nightshade slopped over the top of their glaze. I’m still feeling my way forward with these: some Sanguine Base will be going on their innards and I might do something whimsical with their eyes and swords, but otherwise I might leave them more or less as they are.

(Daemons of Nurgle are likely to become my go-to for Summoning and Allied Detachments: I like the way their Shrouded stacks with the Night Lords’ ability to impose Night Fighting, and it’s not too hard to slap Feel No Pain on them. Plus, you know. Four Heralds means a reasonable amount of extra Mastery dice and Biomancy powers. And they’ll pull double duty as an Age of Sigmar force, which… plays into some other projects that are in the works. At the end of the day the Night Lords are in charge of this army and if that means Tzeentch and Nurgle both have a stake in their success then so be it. Mutual enmity aside, the Powers will come when they’re called…)

[40K] A Tale of Von Gamer – Seasons In The Ice Cage

Tackling the newfangled technical paints and making some freaky ice bases. Almost a tutorial!

I’m surprised at myself for, having sworn off batch painting for this project, immediately going forth and batch painting Cultists (but wouldn’t you, given the alternative?). I’m also surprised at myself for, having decided to paint models in the moments I’d normally spend vacillating on Facebook when my concentration wavers mid-article, ending up sitting down to discrete two-hour sessions in which a Marine and/or five Cultists have ended up completed from start to finish. No sooner do I say “I shall not do a thing” than I go off and do the thing. Weakness. Degeneracy. Something ought to be done!

Nevertheless, I was determined to uphold some of my principles, specifically the ones to do with bases. That’s why – despite having a toolbox half full of basing materials – I’ve invested in some technical paints for my Chaosmens. My old pot of Stirland Mud has been resurrected to provide the ‘spot colour’ (and ‘spot texture’ too) for a method I learned from (stage whisper) White Dwarf. Truly the Time of Ending is upon us when the old hobby rag actually teaches people something useful.

The rationale:

I watched this time and time again, that haunting soundtrack and the steady craaaaaaackle of encroaching ice reaching into my soul, calling something out of me.

As above, so below. That’s what the Warp does, at least when it’s reaching out from a cold dark place in the cosmos and gracing a new world with its touch. The glimpses of Stirland Mud around the edges are the last gasp for the native soil of whatever poor world my Night Lords befoul with their presence; all else is the chill embrace of death, the very earth beneath the VIII Legion’s feet revolting at every step they take. I thought I’d excised the urge towards references to Mourning Sun when I was still playing my Necrons, but apparently not…

The method:

  • Prime base grey like rest of model.
  • Use ‘lifty end’ of a scalpel to blob Astrogranite Debris onto edges of base
  • Use ‘stabby end’ of a scalpel to poke Astrogranite Debris inwards, leaving some cracked spaces in between blobs
  • Leave to dry. Stick in front of radiator and job off to edit videos: this will take a while.
  • Wash base with lavish quantities of Drakenhof Nightshade.
  • Leave to dry. Stick in front of radiator and job off for a walk: this will also take a while.
  • Drybrush textured surface very gently with Dawnstone. Don’t overdo it: we don’t want it looking all mundane and concretey.
  • Use ‘lifty end’ of a smaller scalpel to blob Valhallan Blizzard into the cracks between the blobs.
  • Use ‘stabby end’ of said smaller scalpel to ensure it’s not on too thick.
  • Use ‘lifty end’ of smaller scalpel to apply Stirland Mud in restrained quantities around edge of base.
  • Realise this makes the mud look like the ‘intrusive factor’ because it’s been applied over everything else.
  • Curse vehemently.
  • Realise it’s gotten well dark and you can hardly see what you’re doing.
  • Curse again.
  • Daub Drakenhof Nightshade over the edges of the bases.
  • Hope it looks OK.

Obviously, this isn’t perfect, and the approach will be refined on future pieces. I could probably get away with just using Stirland Mud from the start, instead of mucking around with Astrogranite Debris, but I worry that’d make the bases look too brown overall. Instead I shall simply make sure to do the Stirland Mud before the Drakenhof Nightshade goes on and I’m sure everything will turn out fine.

The result:

The implications:

At this rate I might even consider some special terrain, something in the vein of the Baleful Realmgates, for use as objectives, or to provide a more appropriately Chaotic battlefield experience; certainly an improvement on the Imperial Everything in the Citadel 40K catalogue. These are where the caress is felt. This is where the corruption starts. These are the rips and rends in spacetime out of which the Eighth Legion emerge, ravening for delight. These will also make great mission objectives for “the draw mission” or for the narrative game I’m hosting at Dice and Decks later in the year, to wrap up all this activity. So they’re on the to-do list, at the ’rounding up’ stage in June.

For now, though, it’s on to month two of the challenge – a character model.

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I’m trying something else new with this one: not sticking the armour plates on before I paint the skin. I’ve learned from the Helbrute, and these are separate pieces, so there’s no need to worry about leaving gaps…