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Friday, November 25, 2011

Just Completed: Dark Eldar Razorwing Jetfire

Hey there Chaos Corner fans! Welcome back to another exciting edition. Well, let me tell you, it's been a busy time here for Old Man Chaos. There's nothing like the holidays here at the Chaos Corner- turkey, family, some sacrifices to the Chaos gods... yep, it's been all go around here.To make matters more interesting, my birthday just passed. I have great friends and family who feed my Warhammer 40K addiction quite well indeed. My friends got me some Hellions and 2 (!) more Venoms. However, my wife got me something I didn't have yet... a Razorwing Jetfire of my very own! So, guess what I've been workin' on...

I love this model, like most of the DE line. It's got a great look, and it "goes" with the look and feel of the rest of the army. I can certainly see my army having two of these ready to go... Hehe! Putting it together was a real snap. Everything fit together perfectly well, with one exception. The guns/turbines kept sliding out of place when I was assembling. I couldn't get them to stay "locked in" where they were supposed to be. Ultimately, I just assembled the body, and THEN put the guns in... It was a bit tricky, but no one will ever notice the difference.

 I also made the mistake (my own fault) of putting a different head in (I'm saving those nice helmets for another project),. The problem was, I picked a head that stuck out of the cockpit ever so slightly. Thus, I could not use the enclosed canopy. Thus, I used the half-canopy instead. This led to a happy accident, as I do like the look I achieved. Whew!

As for the paint scheme, I stuck to my traditional DE formula. I did Red Gore highlights around the edges. This is how I do all my DE models. The look is quite striking, while also fitting in perfectly with the rest of my army. One day, I'll have to take a pic of my entire army, just so we can see the unified look throughout. I love it- my most uniform looking army to date.

Of course, it isn't EXACTLY the same as the others. I put DE runes/glyphs on the vehicle, to make it stand out a bit. I also painted the missiles Dark Angels Green along with bright green streaks of energy. This is the same way I do my agonizers... the missiles look like they are crackling with evil energies and power.

I haven't glued it to the flying stand yet, as I'm not sure how to store it. I don't want to keep laying my fingers on it, putting it on/off the flying stand. And yet, I can't store it while glued on that stand. So, storage is something I'll have to think about.

 Finally, the recent codexes have made it quite clear that flyers are here to stay. Unless I'm missing something, flyers function like skimmers under the current rules (foregoing Apocalypse or FW rules). Of course, I don't want complicated flyer rules to clutter the game, but I'd like the flyers to be more than just skimmers rules-wise. I hope that when they do the new edition, they will make flyers a special category. Again, it doesn't have to be complicated, but a supersonic air plane should not be subject to the same rules as a skimmer. Just my two cents, and I could be wrong...

Well, until next time Chaos friends. Enjoy the pics!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Initial Thoughts: Gears of War 3

Hey there Chaos fans! I've got a brief look into Gears of War 3 for the X-Box 360, in case you're interested...

I have long been a fan of the GoW franchise/series/money maker or whatever you'd like to call it. The first GoW is one of my favorite games of all time. That game is a masterpiece of graphics, atmosphere, imagination, and game play. Yes, other games have done all of thee things too (apocalyptic city- check. Hiding behind cover- check. Ugly bug-like enemies- check.), however, GoW put them together in a fantastic, compelling way. The cities of Serra look lived in, yet totally ruined. The Locusts are vile, and the big baddies are a delight to see (and fight). Finally, the character (and voice work) of Marcus Fenix totally pulls you into the game.The cover and fire mechanic keeps you playing the game. All told, it was one of the best games ever made- it certainly helped to blunt the emergence of the PS3 and its "360" killer, Resistance. Compare the two games, there's no comparison- GoW trumps. Released in November 2007, GoW was the right game at the right time. It changed video game history, making the 360 a true contender, AND raising the bar for third person shooters. Whew! And don't get me waxing nostalgic for the trailer (complete with "Mad World" as the song)!

One of video-gaming's best heroes of all time
The second GoW was quite good in its own right, but lacked the "newness" of the original, and of course that is to be expected. However, it certainly lacked the narrative "umpf" of the original. Of course, you knew there would be a third one, right?

Marcus Fenix versus the Locusts
The game came out well over a month ago. However, I haven't been able to get it, due to time constraints, playing Space Marine (which bears little actual game play resemblance to GoW, despite what critics say), modeling, etc. However, being my birthday and all, my wife decided to get it for me as a gift.  Woo hoo indeed!
Gears of War has atmosphere to spare!

After popping it in, I selected the ""Previously on GoW" video, reminding me of the plot points from the last two games. Then, I started playing... and it was like seeing an old friend again. Hearing Marcus bark orders at his squad, running, gunning, hiding, and gunning from cover brought it all back to me. Whoa- this is a fun game, just like it's predecessors. The voice acting is solid, the graphics (thus far) have been amazing, and the new addition of getting your squad mates to target a particular foe is a great idea that I have to get a better look at.

Ger the "Cole Train" in here... fast!

Again, I haven't played it for that long. However, being a GoW game, you already know what to expect. So, that should make it clear to you whether you want this game or not. For my own part, its been great so far, and I know that I'll enjoy the explosions (which my wife said were quite loud) till the end. I hope that the story is better than GoW 2, but hey- we shall see. If you're a fan and sitting on the fence, I say get it!

Well, that's my 2 cents. Until next time...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Maximizing Your Gaming Dollar The Chaos Way Part III: Grotesques

Hey there, my fellow Warhammer 40K fanatics. Old man Chaos is back with another entry in a series of posts that attempt to show how one can save money in this very expensive hobby. Today, Chaos Corner will show you how to tackle... Dark Eldar Grotesques!

I have two words for this- Fuh-Gly!
As my readers know, I love the new Dark Eldar range. Without a doubt, these are some of the finest models ever sculpted by GW. After years of horrid (wretched is a good word too) Dark Eldar models and even crappier rules, we have been treated to a true renaissance for the DE. The models, fluff, and rules are all nearly perfect for what the DE should be. Though they're nice, I think the DE range is superior to the Necrons (and I'm afraid for teh Necron fluff changes, but I digress...). As fantastic as the new DE range is though, there are a few clunkers. How could it not be, since the ENTIRE range had to be redone ? There has to be at least ONE stinker here- and to me, it is the Grotesque.

Not really an improvement...
I love Jes Goodwin's designs. They have gotten better and better over the years. Look at his Carnifex redo- fantastic model! And he did a wonderful job with the Dark Eldar (look at his drawings, then look at the models... incredible!). However, the Grotesques represent a huge misstep. The model is bland and ugly (and not in a cool DE way, either). It also lacks any real pose-ability or variety, they all look the same. Finally, despite the sweeping blade, there is no motion to the model. All of that for a wonderful $20.75. That's really a shame- too much money for a bad model. Nope, this won't do at all. We must solve this... the Chaos way!

So, I want to make a better looking Grotesque, for hopefully less money. It hit me after I got and put together the Talos. This is a great model and kit, which happens to have a TON of pieces left over, including spare weapon arms/tentacles, several helmets, and other spikes/blades. Yep- you could do a lot with the leftover bits... and that got my gears turning. I could use these to make Grotesques...

I had a ton of Chaos Spawn laying around, un-assembled. I decided that I could kit bash the two... and the results turned out great well. As a philosophy behind their aesthetic, I figured that the Grotesques were a creation of the Haemonculi, just like the Talos and Wracks. So, I figured I'd do everything I could to make the Grotesques to look like an "intermediate" creature, between the Wrack and the larger Talos. I could imagine that a few Wracks may have failed my Haemonculus in some way, and in his fury he turned them into Grotesques for their failures. Then, if a particular Grotesque proved strong/interesting to the Haemonculus, he'd expand on his "artwork" further, making it a Talos. So, I made a conscious effort to make them look alike in crucial ways.

I used the leftover Talos bits on the Spawns, but I used very few Spawn bits, as I didn't want them to look too much like Chaos Spawn. Just enough to make them look freakish. Then, I put green-stuff balls over the Spawn head holes- and then put a Talos mask over- which looks like larger versions of the Wrack helms. Then, I painted the Grotesques to look like Wracks and the Talos. Purple base, with layers of bleached bone to be pale skin. Any armor was painted black with red lines (like the rest of my DE line). I painted the blades and vials the same way I did it on the Talos. Finally, I did the helms the same, with shining gold outline and black surface.

The result? Well, you can judge for yourself. I think it works very well indeed. The bits tie the Grotesques in with the Talos, while the helms and skin color certainly evoke the Wracks. Put all together, I think these Grotesques work, adding some ugly muscle to any Haemoculus entourage. To me, they look far better than the regular GW grotesques, and I can take pride in my ingenuity in converting them. They fit in with the look, and will make a fine addition to my Dark Eldar force.

Now, did I save money? Well, you must discount the Talos- any DE player worth his salt is going to want AT LEAST one- especially if you're doing a Haemonculus. So, 6 Grotesques equals- $124.50 ($20.75 X 6). Meanwhile, 6 Chaos Spawn are $99.00 (3 Boxes of two each X $33). So, if you have a Talos or two anyways, you'll have a ton of bits left over- so I think this is a great alternative to the GW Grotesques. It saves money AND allows for creativity.

You can't beat that. Once again, "Maximizing you gaming dollar the Chaos way" works it's magic!. Until next time...