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Friday, September 30, 2011

Finished: The Landing Pad

Hey there Chaos fans! Did you think old man Chaos forgot about you? Of course he didn't. I'm back with a new post, this time its the Imperial Landing Pad!



I was inspired by the color scheme of the landing pad shown in the 40K rulebook (in the battles/campaign section. What page is it on? How should I know? What- you think I have a photographic memory... come on now!). I used Calathan Brown with successive lighter brown (Graveyard Earth) highlights. I used Tin Bitz and Boltgun Metal for the grating and to show signs of damage / wear. I painted the lights in successive blues, followed by gloss to make the lights look shinny.





I'm trying real hard to continue my quest to build more terrain. I'm currently alternating between terrain and the Dark Eldar. I prefer to paint my army, but, truth is, terrain is needed. I have a lot, but I want more variety. I want to make special pieces so that I can use them for story campaigns (The Blood Angels have to make it to the spaceport in order to send for reinforcements or get picked up or whatever). I'd like to add these terrain to make game story-lines. That works as a good motivator for me to make more terrain.

Enjoy the pics. Until next time...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Space Marine (THQ) Insanity!

Hey there Chaos fans. I must confess that I haven't been modeling much this past week. I had been working on a new Venom for my Dark Eldar- it was about 2/3rds of the way done when THQ's Space Marine came out. Since then, I've been playing non-stop. The multiplayer, that is. It is so darn addictive and crazy to play. I've advanced to level 27, and I just got the Chaos Marine award for killing 250 enemies. Whoa! And I just killed my 50th with the Heavy Bolter. There's so much in this multi kill fest... It's fantastic. My only issue is that THQ seems to have decided NOT to go with dedicated servers. While I understand the decision, the downside for us players is that there are some Internet problems- slowdown, glitches, changing hosts, etc. that sometimes mar the experience. Granted, it's still great, but I wish that lag and whatnot was not an issue.


I also figured I'd show you guys my Plague Marine from the game. It's amazing how the color customization works. This guy is so close to my Plague Marines, it's not even funny... Until next time...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Game Review: Space Marine (In Brief)



Hey there Chaos fans! I'm sure that all 40K fans are aware that THQ and Relic have rolled out the first major (and modern) 40K action title- Space Marine. Yes, I've been around long enough as a 40K enthusiast AND a video gamer to remember such outings as Fire Warrior and the ancient Space Hulk ("Bethor's Bolter... is.... jammed"!). I've also played the fantastic (and underrated) Squad Command for the PSP. Indeed, Warhammer 40K has had a longer and more storied video game career than some may realize.

Who remembers this game? Who remembers the Saturn?
The real issue for GW is that no video game has yet created "cross-over appeal"- that is, cracking into the "regular" gamer demographic (and don't give me this "hardcore" gamer crap- that concept is overblown and inaccurate, in my opinion). I know that is GW's real goal- making money off the video game while, at the same time, getting some of these video game players into the hobby. In other words, the games are an advertisement for the hobby. The closest GW got was Dawn of War- embraced by many PC gamers as a great RTS game. However, what GW really wants is a knockout title- a triple A title to go toe to toe with Halo, GoW, Resistance, etc.

The 40K gamer, has a different, but important set of expectations for a 4oK video game. They too want a triple A title- BUT, they want the game to have all the bells and whistles from the 40K universe. They want the action, look, feel, flavor, and tone of the 40K universe. They want a game that is 100% faithful to their vision of 40K.

Thus, both parties were looking to Space Marine (from THQ and Relic) to accomplish these lofty goals. The game has been in production for nearly 2 years, I believe. Last week, it was released. The Internet reviews have been "lackluster" and "good, but not memorable" and the like. It's earned grades of  7.5 (IGN) and B- (1up.com) and 7.0 (Gamespot). That doesn't sound like what anyone was hoping for. So, I thought I'd add my 2 cents...

"Does the Codex say how to clean the blood off our holy armor"?
Wow! This game is fantastic. The look and feel of it IS 40K. This isn't a hack job or "dumbed down" version of the universe I know and love- This has it all. The lead character, Captain Titus is dead-on perfect Space Marine. From his demeanor to size, to the way he moves in the armor and fires his bolter- he's great. It's not just just him- the architecture of the buildings LOOK like the building kits! The Imperial Guard have their uniforms, lasguns, and more. The Orks are vicious and cockney. And Chaos is... well, more on that in a sec. The game itself is a blast to play- a bit of Devil May Cry with a bit more shooting. Its NOT GoW- there's no button to duck and cover. The action is fast, furious, and bloody. It does get a bit repetitive, but you're having so much fun you barely notice! Overall, the sounds, voices, actions, weapons- it's all here!

And then... there's multiplayer! Holy cow! This is incredible! It's a bit akin to Star Wars: Battlefront. A whole bunch of players online killing each other in fairly large battlefields. Once you play a few rounds, you go up levels and open up the customizer and other classes- Tactical, Devastator, Assault (and their Chaos counterparts). This is where it gets great... you can make you're own Marine... you can pick a chapter/legion from the pre-selected builds, or you can build from scratch. I made mine look almost exactly like my Plague Marine models! Then, as you play, you open up more weapons and armor options, as well as bonus perks (like Iron Halo, Feel No Pain, etc.). This constant opening of "stuff" makes it all the more addictive- the play is furious fun, and you want to play a bit more to open up that Plasma Cannon for your Devastator/Havoc. I'm not a huge multiplayer guy, but damn this is a ton of fun!

"This game should be added to your Codex Astartes... today!"

From a 40K gamer's perspective, this game is fantastic. Action packed, fun, and ultimately VERY faithful to the source material. A 40K-er will LOVE this. As a video game, it has a few faults (single player occasionally feels repetitive, there's a few glitches, etc), but these are no worse than any other game out there. Overall, this game is everything a fan can ask for! I give this 4 our of 4 Marks of Chaos, no question. I'd love to see a sequel (play as a dreadnought in multiplayer!). Or even better, I could see them making an Inquisitor RPG next, using the Fallout engine. Imagine, your enemies could be VERY diverse (cultists, xenos, daemons), your decisions could save/kill millions, and if you go bad (radical) you'd summon Daemonhosts! Wow! Now that's a game I'd love to play.... Are you listening GW?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Just Completed: Dark Eldar Wracks

Hey there Chaos fiends, er, friends. We're back with another posting- this time I've decided to show off my latest painting project: a squad of Wracks and a Haemonculus to back them up.

Since the Dark Eldar codex has come out, GW has been putting out new models for the entire range at regular intervals. I think this is a great approach, as it keeps people (like me) excited for the latest release, and it keeps the army fresh. Others have complained that it all should have been out at once- but I like this strategy of releasing every few months. Most of the models (excepting the boring Grotesques) have been well worth the wait (the Talos and Scourges are incredible models).

A few months ago, GW put out the Wracks and Haemonculus. Now, I've been interested in the Wracks since day one- the artwork reminded me (in a good way) of something from Silent Hill or such horror movies/games. As for the rules, they may be a bit slower, but they have 2 poisoned cc weapons, toughness 4, and they start with a Pain Token. I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. As for the Haemonculus, I'd been using my Urien model to stand in- but I really wanted to expand my Haemonculi choices a bit.




So, I bought them, along with a 5 pack of Mandrakes (my big summer purchase). First things first- my analysis of Finecast. This was my first modelling work with Finecast.Now, there's been a ton of controversy here- people saying its the best GW product ever to comments like "Fine-Crap" and even some outlandish stories of Finecast melting in the sunlight (Well, that didn't happen to mine, and my desk gets plenty of sunlight). The truth, like most things, lies somewhere in between the extremes.




The Haemonculus himself went together 1...2...3. It went so fast, with so little effort. The metal Urien drive me up the wall. The FC Haemonculus was a breeze to put together. Now, the Wracks. These models are gorgeous, no doubt about it. There was some flash and bits to be trimmed, though not a big deal- the worst part was the mold/flash on the base portion, meaning you had to trim very closely to fit it into the slotter base. The FC is quite delicate- a whip broke and one of the blades on their hands did. But, these were VERY easily repaired (the whip should NOT have been broken, and the blade was my mistake). All 10 Wracks went together quick, much easier than the metal, and better looking, I might add. The Mandrakes were a different matter. I'll go into them in a different article- lets just say if the quality of the FC was say 8/10 on the others, they were 4/10. Very poor quality indeed- pieces broken, warped SO badly, etc. I hope that GW can fix this- as it is FC has great promise, but the Mandrakes will make me cautious about buying FC for the moment.

So, now that the Wracks were completed, I began paint them with vigor. I decided to tie the Wracks and the Talos together by using the same flesh color scheme- Hormagaunt Purple, with Bleached Bone overlay, then a purple wash into the recesses. I also used black and gold for their helms, just like the Talos. I tied the Wracks into my whole DE army by having their cloaks black with Red Gore highlighting. I added suitable blood onto the weapons, and viola, the Wracks were done. I must say I'm quite happy with the results.

With the Haemonculus, I had the same Black/Red Gore for his cloak and armor. His flesh was similar, but with both Dwarf and Elf flesh instead of Bleached Bone. His "medical apron" I painted white (a stark contrast) but put on a ton of blood-stains. I think the Wracks came out a bit better paint-wise, but he still looks good, though my paint-job of Urien is still excellent.






Hope you've enjoyed the article and the pics. Until next time... smoke 'em if you've got 'em...