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Thursday, September 27, 2012

"I Love The Drake" / "I Hate The Drake"

Hey there Chaos fanatics! I've been slowly but surely recuperating from my surgery and hospital stay and all that. I have been painting a bit, reading a bit, surfing the web, etc. I realize that I haven't done a posting in a bit, so here I am, back to the grindstone.

It has been a time of change for us Games Workshop and 40K players people, huh? But, is it a case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" perhaps? Hehe! It depends on which message boards you read of course. Some say that the changes to the rules, WD, and the upcoming Chaos Codex are all fantastic- the rapture is here! Others fear that these changes are the doom of GW- that the Chaos gods are about to destroy everything we hold dear. I suspect, as with most things, the truth lies somewhere in between. I'll give you my 2 cents, which, in this economy, ain't worth 2 cents, but you get what I mean...

Let's talk 6th for a moment. Since I have been ill, I did not get in nearly as many games as I had intended on, though I did play a few. I love the book- the art, the format, etc. I think the rules are also fairly strong, and that there's going to be a lot of things that come to the fore as I play more. I love some of the randomness- random objective effects, random charge lengths (crazy- but I like how it reflects the chaos of the battlefield). I'm not sure yet if Overwatch completely ruins getting into CC, as I'll need more games to determine this. Overall, I think 6th is a strong book, certainly more complex than the previous few editions, which is a plus. I just need to play a few more games to get the rest of the intricacies (I haven't played with flyers or flying Daemon Princes yet, for example).

Now, how about that White Dwarf...? I like most of the changes here. The overall layout was really good. The inclusion of a hobbying section (I love that huge base), and a painting section harking back to ye olde WD. The battle report was much more sharply written, getting right down to the game play. Yes, the book is still a huge advertisement (natch) but it is moving in a much better direction.  Now, all they have to do is have a few fluff pieces in there, and it will be like the old days. However, they MUST ditch the red backgrounds for the pix- it just clashes way to damn much, and I am convinced it made the models look worse.

Speaking of... what about the new Chaos stuff. First, I am sure that the Codex will be up to snuff, based on the pages that have been seen online, Phil Kelly does good work, and we have nowhere to go but up from the past edition. I like the look of the book (hardcover and color), though that cover makes me laugh- Blood Gorgons was an 'OK' book, but now I'll always think of it when I look at the Codex (its nice art, but couldn't we pick from a better book- say First Heretic or something). I can't wait to play with cultists/zombies in a non-Apoc match, that's all I can say. I have already reserved the book at my local store.

As for the models- well, here's where it gets dicey. First, the red backgrounds did no favors for these models. Look at the 360 online or the battle report pics to get a better idea of these models. They are in no way the "abomination" that some have suggested. On the contrary, I think the Heldrake is a very good- check out the Black Legion paint job to see how cool it is. The Maluer/Forge Fiend is a bit unusual, but a good paint scheme and a bit of conversion will make that model into a solid entry. The Warpsmith is a great model, as is the Dark Apostle (amazing sculpt). The Sorcerer hearkens back to the old metal sorcerers (retro, but more detailed). I love the Warp Talons (Yes! Plastic Raptors at last). However, the Mutalators are just plain ugly- yes, I know they look like the Oblits, but- damn they suck. I sense another "Save Money The Chaos Way" in the future when I do those...

Herein lies the rub. I hate to say it, but most of the new models aren't really "Nurgl-y".  Let's take the Heldrake, for instance. It just doesn't scream "Death Guard" to me. Now, you paint that up in Black Legion or World Eaters (imagine a Red and Bronze dragon- holy shit), it its great. Paint it up in a darker Night Lords scheme (the one in the WD is too bright), good. But... Nurgle... meh. I don't know. It just doesn't scream that to me. It did inspire me to finish my Forgeworld fighter though... Yep, I had it for a while but never finished it. Now, it is done, and I intend to use the Heldrake rules (the 'drake wings are based on this model- look closely).

With some conversion, the Mauler/Forge Fiend will find a home in my Plaguemarine force, no doubt. But again, the aesthetic looks better for some of the other legions. I WILL buy a Dark Apostle, but again, he doesn't look to be easily Nugle-fied. As for the Warpsmith, I can paint him to be all rusty, and he'll fit in, though I still am under the old illusion that nurglings run the inside of tanks, thus the Death Guard would not need a Warpsmith. That's just old fluff though. As for the sorcerer, I already have my one from Forgeworld, whom I also recently finished (and I'm pleased with my work, considering I'm still not at my best).

I am excited for Chaos, and I can't wait to field my Plague Marines alongside my old plague zombies again. I also want to use the allies rules to bring Nurgle daemons with me again. I have the new plastic Plague Bearers, and have been slowly working on them. Those are great models, by the way. Even if you have some of the old metals, these new plastics are very detailed, and will fit in nicely with the old ones.

I am looking forward to playing with the new rules and the new codex. Its just a few days away now. I know that some people are cynical, but I am hopeful. It won't ever match what we have in our heads, as I think that Chaos players tend to love their fluff/characters/army look more than liking to win. Now, that is not an insult to anyone, I just know that many Chaos players are passionate, and would rather have a codex that allows for fluffy lists than anything else. They are committed to Chaos itself- if they can field daemons and cultists and all that but still face a tough time on the battlefield, most Chaos players would take it. Win or lose, they just want to be Chaos fanatics. Why do you think I haven't gone and played the all-powerful Grey Knights? Or ran my Nurgle force with Spacewolf rules? No. Way. I am a Chaos player (and let's face it- I play Dark Eldar too. Dark Eldar are pretty evil, and no one would say I care about only winning if I have played DE since their earliest incarnation. Ouch- talk about punishment). But now, with the new Codex and the 6th allies rule, I can take my Nurgle Daemons and zombies. Iron Warriors can bring in their Basilisks. Word Bearers and Alpha Legion can bring in their Cultists. I know they'll be more goodies in the Codex; even if not every old time fluff idea CAN be done, it is nice to see that most of it is restored. Reason to be hopeful. Then, Chaos can destroy those hopes by tearing down the false throne and desecrate the weakling Emperor and... ahem. You know what I mean.

Until next time, my friends. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oooohhh! Chaos Daemons!

Hey there everybody! I told you I'd be back pretty quick with some new postings. Today we have a bit of an unusual post, but I think you'll like the results. So let's take a look, shall we?

Just before I began to get really, really sick (late July / early August), White Dwarf 391 came out, featuring the new Daemons release. I liked that the issue had the new rules insert- a nice way to boost White Dwarf a bit- now all they need is some stories/fluff, some legit conversion/hobby articles, that sort of thing- and WD will be back to its former glory. One can only hope.

At any rate, I began to drool over the latest models. The chariot looks nice and sharp (hehe!) and I really liked the new Tzeentch plastics- Flamers and Screamers. I was tempted to purchase, but then I remembered a few things. First, Chaos is going to get all kinds of goodies the next few months- perhaps I should wait and see, and then purchase once I can see all the Chaos stuff (though I did run out and buy the new plastic Plaguebarers). I also remembered something else, equally important... I already had like 10 of the metal Screamers in my basement! They had been put together (the tails gave me a hard time back then...), but I had never painted them. I also had a Lord of Change and a box of the new plastic Horrors. I decided to work on these models just before I went into the hospital- and well, you know that bit. When I got out and felt better, I decided to keep going with Tzeentch.

I know what you're thinking: how could you betray Nurgle!! Well, as you probably know, I have a sizable Daemon army, made up of Slaanesh, Khorne, and naturally, Nurgle Daemons. But my Tzeentch daemons had never been fully done. So, I am not really betraying Nurgle, but he is my true Chaos love... Hehe!!

So, let's look at the Screamers first... I have had these guys for a while, as I said. They were put together, but without bases. The tails weren't quite right on a few of them, as I wasn't as good at modeling back then and all. However, I decided to leave them, as they look just fine anyways. I made their bases using brass rod, and I went from there. They really look just fine compared to the new plastics, so why not, right?

Paint-wise, I did Kantor Blue followed by Altdorf Blue. I followed up with a wash of Drakendorf Nightshade. I then did a highlight of Calgar Blue for the spikes, ridges, etc, and the scales I painted Lothern Blue. The teeth (or whatever) I did Ulthuan Grey to make it look like teeth but without going all the way to white. Finally, I did the dorsal tendrils Screamer Pink with highlights of Pink Horror. Finally, I did Gloss Varnish on them- both to protect the metal and to give them a wet look, appropriate for stingrays.

Ultimately, I was very pleased with the Screamers. They looked suitably like stingrays, and had the blue color motif of Tzeentch. As I already said, they are not much different from the plastics, so I'm not missing out here or anything like that. If I were building a scratch chariot of Tzeetch or a disc, I might buy the plastics; as it is now, these are just fine. I'm looking forward to fielding them.

Next up, let's see those Horrors. I know what you're saying- why aren't they pink? Too true, too true. However, I have made my Daemons (and, to an extent, my Chaos Marines) with certain colors in mind. Khorne naturally is reds, Nurgle is various shades of (decaying) green, Slaanesh is various purples, pinks, flesh colors (Ooohhh! Seductive). Tzeentch is predominantly blue. With those thoughts in mind, I really didn't want the Horrors to be pink. Besides, there is certainly precedent for Blue Horrors, isn't there? ("Where once was one, now there is two. Where once was pink, now there is blue"- See? The fluff backs me up!!).

I started with a base of Caledor Sky, with a shading of Drakendorf Nightshade. Then I did the raised parts Teclis Blue (leaving the recesses alone mostly), and I followed with a highlight of Hoeth Blue. If they had feathers, I did a Lorthern Blue highlight. Their tongues I did with the Screamer Pink/ Pink Horror paint combo (like with the Screamers themselves). The eyes I did Moot Green, to convey the otherworldly warp power in the Horrors. I did the teeth and claws Ulthuan Grey (again, tying the Screamers and the Horrors together). Their assorted jewelry I did in golds and silvers, befitting the forces of Tzeentch.

The plastics are nice indeed, though the metals were great too. Unfortunately, there is no plastic model where a smaller Horror is trying to get out of a larger Horror, which I loved on the old ones. I like that they have multiple limbs, and the jewelry is a nice touch, making them look Egyptian or what have you. Just a word of caution: these guys are a bit top heavy if you don't put them on the base just right, so be careful. I had to weight a few of them down.

Finally, my Lord of Change. Now, this is a model I have struggled with for quite a long time. When I was doing my Daemon army, I did the other Greater Daemons and all quite quickly and eagerly. However, the Greater Daemon of Tzeentch always left me scratching my head. Should I do the feathers blue, or should the feathers be multi-colored, befitting a Lord of Change? I tried it, but I did not like the look. And what of the cloak? I tried white, but I hated it.

So, since I was working on Tzeetchian Daemons, I tried him again. The body and feathers I painted Kantor Blue, and with a Drakendorf Nightshade wash, though a much lighter wash than I had used with the Screamers. I then did successive highlights of Kantor and Altdorf on his skin and feathers. For the feathers, I did an Etherium Blue drybrushing, thus making them stand out. The cloak I decided to go for something different. I painted it Khorne Red and hit it with Nuln Oil, with several hits to the folds and recesses. The garment looks a deep color now, and I did Wazdakka Red highlights to the cloaks edges.

The face was something I always wanted, since I first started working on him years ago- two faced, perfect of Tzeentch. So, the one face I did Cadian Flesh and Ungor Flesh, with shading. The other half I did Macharius with Dawnstone highlights and a Nuln Oil wash. I really like how this gives the model more character- a two faced liar, that is Tzeentch to a tee. Plus, one side looks bright and alive, while the other looks dark and dead. Yep, the face turned out really well.

The model looks really good now, though part of me is not happy with it still. Perhaps it is the nature of Tzeentch to always want to change, hence I want to make more changes. However, I know the truth- sometimes you just have to walk away. I have been painting that model off and on for years- and I was never totally satisfied. At this point, I know there is nothing more I can do, so I'm finishing it- done. It looks good enough for the tabletop, and I need to be satisfied with that.

So, what do you think of my Tzeetchian Daemons? Actually, I have 5 Flamers too, though I can't seem to find them currently... Oh well. Take a look and let me know what your thoughts are. As for my next project, I did indeed buy the new Plaguebarers, so perhaps they'll be next. Of course, there is more Chaos coming on the horizon, so who knows what I'll do next? Hehe!!

Until next time...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Old Man Chaos!! Where Have You Been???

Hey there Chaos fanatics! Old Man Chaos is back in action. But where have I been? Why haven't I been posting? Why was my TDKR review so short?Why haven't you reported on things like Dark Vengeance?

Well... without getting too specific on what is supposed to be a fun blog, I have been ill for a few months. I was born with a certain defect, which recently became a major health problem. I thought I was going to be OK, but it only got worse. I ended up going to the emergency room and needed major surgery to fix the defect now. It was a bit scary for me and my family, but it ultimately turned out very well. I was out of the hospital in a week.

I have spent the past few weeks recovering at home, and I won't be able to go back to work for another few weeks. I only just started painting again (a little a day, but longer each day). I haven't written my blog because at first I was too medicated to, and then I have been too tired to until now- I was fatigued, unfocused, and my mind was fuzzy.

Now, as I am well on the road to recovery, I feel better enough to write again. So, I figured I'd begin writing again. I will be writing a longer, more in-depth review of The Dark Knight Rises (it deserves a longer review), and I have some new models to show you. I'll get those up within the next few days.

I certainly am excited about the upcoming Warhammer 40K stuff. I would love to get my hands on Dark Vengeance, but the cash flow is a little dried up lately, as I've got medical bills and all. However, I love those Chaos models. In particular, I love the champion. I also would love to see the Hellbrute up close (I wonder how different the model will be when released individually). Finally, I think I can speak for most Chaos fanatics when I say I am thrilled to see Chaos Cultists. I am really looking forward to making real fluffy scenarios using the Cultists (I already have a ton of Plague Zombies that can be Nurgle Cultists, and I have some Forgeworld Vraks Traitor Guard too). I will need to get some of those new Cultist models too... Hehe!! I can not wait to see what else is up the sleeve of the Forces of the Dark gods.

At any rate, I'll be back soon with some updates. I have been working on some cool stuff, little by little. I will also remember to do a long review of TDKR.

Until next time...