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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Belisarius Cawl and Friends

Hello once again Chaos people. Welcome to yet another edition of Chaos Corner. As I promised, I would be getting a bit more frequent in my postings, as real life has settled down a bit for me. Today I have something that isn't Chaos (I don't think... but you never know- he does want to muck about with the traitor legions gene seed after all). Without further ado, here he is... Belisarius Cawl (which I'm just going to call Cawl so I don't have to type his full name each time).

I must say that while I am a Chaos player through and through... I love my Ad Mech army. I have tried my hands at other Imperium armies- Grey Knights, Deathwatch, Ultramarines... but they never quite "got me" the way Chaos did. But that is not true of the forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus. They are a great "new-ish" faction in 40K gaming.

Besides their storyline (which is cool in its own right), the models are just fantastic. They have a ton of detail without being overwhelming. And while they aren't THE most posable, you CAN do conversions and cool poses with them (particularly the Kastellan Robots). The entire range is just so cool, fitting the Mechanicus perfectly. On some occasions I find myself torn- Chaos or Ad Mech?

So I was very excited to hear a few months ago about the Ad Mech getting their own character- Cawl, who would be playing a huge role in the events that have changed the 40K universe just a bit (8th Edition / Primarus Marines / Great Rift). I didn't want the Triumverate box that he came in though. Luckily my friendly storekeeper arranged to have the box split, so I got my grubby mitts on Cawl.

I didn't paint him at first because I was deep into Thousand Sons and didn't want to be distracted. Then my wife and I bought a new house and craziness ensued. I decided that I would do Cawl right after I finished Magnus, which is exactly what I did.

I love the model. Once again, he is very detailed, but its what one would expect from such a character from the Mechanicus. Cords and wires all over him. I love that he's not really human at all anymore.

He looks more alien than human. Again, it fits the narrative and their background perfectly. As for the assembly of the model, I may have cursed  a few times putting him together, but ultimately it was worth it, as he looks amazing.

As for the paints used, I won't get into that. Previous blog entries have detailed my Ad Mech paint scheme so there's no need to rehash it all here. Needless to say, I tied him into the Ad Mech VERY closely. In fact, I used all the same steps, so that he would look exactly the same as the other Ad Mech (a part of one single machine). The ONLY thing I did was that I used some brass for a couple of his arms, just to make his limbs look older / more unique. Otherwise, he is painted just like all my other Ad Mech.

I had a chance to use Cawl in a game a few weeks back. While I lost the game, Cawl was an absolute beast in the match up. I can just imagine that he will be a major consideration whenever I make an Ad Mech list (though he is expensive, he does a hell of a lot).

Alongside Cawl, I also worked on two more Kastellan Robots (which I got from my friend Pete for Christmas). This brings me up to 8 robots (4 with guns, 4 with the fists). I love these models. There is just something exciting abut them being activated by the Datasmiths to destroy a target. I imagine them moving slowly but inexorably, with heavy footfalls and whirring of their limbs (a sound like Ripley in the cargo lifter in Aliens- you know what I'm talking about).

As I was trying to catch up on my modeling, I decided to just make the Robots straightforward, with no conversions. However I did add one little thing- a grate from the new Shadow war Armageddon set. I had the Robot stepping on it just a little, giving him something interesting to do.

Well, that's it for this round of Chaos corner. I hope you liked it.

Until Next Time

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Magnus The... Blue?!?

Hey there Chaos fanatics! Welcome to Chaos Corner. Now, I know I've been intermittent in posting. I've been very busy with house stuff and real life. As I said in my previous posting, I have been working on 40K stuff to be sure. So here is one of the big ones that I finished in recent months...

Magnus The Red. He is one of the best characters in 40K. Tragic, brilliant yet stupid, careful and reckless, selfish and selfless in equal measure. Unlike some characters in 40K fiction, he is very 3 dimensional and complex. Of course, he led his Thousand Sons to utter disaster, and in a way, they have all been paying for it ever since. The idea that a man who valued intelligence above all should see his beloved sons reduced to incurious shells of armor without will or knowledge is just an amazing story.

Naturally, with the release of the Thousand Sons, I got into them and I received him as a Christmas gift. However, I didn't want to paint him right away. I wanted to paint some of the army first, so that I could get a feel for how I wanted the overall army to look. My thought was that since Magnus would be the centerpiece, I should flesh out the army first so that he would tie into it, yet be distinct.

First off, I had to do some conversion work on him. I can't help it; its the old Chaos converter for me. The model is great, if slightly fantastical (which befits the Daemon Primarch of Tzeentch). But one of the things that bothered me was the darn chestplate with the horns. I felt that it made the model way too busy, so I decided to do without it.

As a result of that, Magnus looks statuesque- like a Roman god come to life. For his skin, I wanted to keep it darker than how I painted the Thousand Sons rank and file. So I used Kantor Blue for his skin, with lighter blues for highlights (as I feel that Tzeentch's color is blue). I also decided to make his feathers blue, but a bit lighter than his skin. By painting the wings white, with blue washes over it, making them distinct from his body but also tied in.

The other conversion I did was his open palm. I thought it was kinda silly to have that hand just hanging out there. So after some thought, I went and bought ghosts from Fantasy. I took the two that looked best (and would fit properly) and with a little putty made them sit in the palm of his hand. To me, it looks like he is summoning some kind of warp entity. I also took part of another ghost (the swirl but not the head/arms) and put it over Magnus' weapon, so that it looks like there is wrap energy coming from it.

I guess I just wanted my Magnus to look a little different, especially as he is utterly un-posable (something that is bothering me about the new GW products unfortunately). Anything I could do to make my Magnus a little unique. As for the rest of the model, I used a lot of gold for the metal bits, so that my 1K Sons gold helms and his gold would match and tie them all together.

Last but not least, his hair. I have always thought that Magnus The Red implied not red skin but rather red hair. I figured he had a ruddy appearance, but not literal red skin. (Personally I think its rather silly that he's actually RED). So I decided to go with my gut and make only his hair red. The red starts with Khorne Red and some crimson wash followed by successive brighter highlights. The hair looks vibtant and hot, contrasting nicely with his cool blue skin.

Now I haven't used him in battle yet (I finished painting him in June actually). I have decided to wait on playing Thousand Sons until their codex proper is released (which rumors indicate will be by the end of this year). Then I will field them once more as a force to be reckoned with LOL.

Well, thats it for now. I'll be back with later postings of other stuff I've been working on.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I fell off the face of the warp

Hey there Chaos fanatics! Old Man Chaos is back, with a vengeance as it were. I know I haven't posted for quite a while, but I have been very, very busy. Mrs. Chaos and I bought a new house. As I'm sure you realize, this is a big undertaking- banks, lawyers, etc... but it also meant that we had to move, get settled, do work on the house, paint, rearrange furniture for the 20th time... well you get the picture. Because of all that, I have been unable to post in quite some time. That doesn't mean I haven't been keeping up on my 40K though. I have been doing my models, reading 8th edition rules, etc. I will show the things I've painted up... when I can find my lamps that I use to illuminate the models, that is...

Besides, I have something a bit bigger than that to share with you now, my fellow denizens of the warp. When my wife and I were shopping for a house, she said that I should have a dedicated space for my hobby. Not just a painting desk, but a virtual man-cave sized gaming and hobby area. Now that is an understanding wife, no? At my old family home, I had a gaming table in the basement, but the basement was crowded with a family's lifetime of stuff and clutter. It wasn't that big either. And it had an old boiler that my friend Pete said was the gateway to hell itself (it threw out lots and lots of heat- making it impossible to play down there in the summers). At any rate, my wife wanted me to live the 40K addicts dream with a dedicated space.

With incredible luck, we found such a house that had the perfect space. Yes, it is a basement. But with a little work the basement could be finished, and it would practically double our living space. Great neighborhood, great house, good price... and an area for 40K.

Fast forward a few months. With most of the work done I began planning out my man cave / battle bunker. Half would be dedicated to a good TV and videogame setup. The other half would be 40K central. I moved my painting desk down to the cave and it was perfect (I just have to tidy up a little bit).

When it came time to get a table... I was fucked. I am absolutely NO good with building actual things (plastic models? Yes. A 4x8 table? Hell no.). My previous table was designed and built by Pete (my brother and I certainly helped, but Pete was the boss. And Joe only played with Skorpinok in my basement as we toiled). Pete has since moved far away, and while I see him once in a while there's no way he could build me another table. How could I do it now?

As it turned out, I'd get a ton of help. A bunch of my friends/family put our heads together and came up with a solution. Russ, who has never ever played 40K before is very good at figuring out things. As we described the table I wanted he said that it could certainly be done. And it would be a housewarming present to boot!

 So, a few Saturdays ago, Brian, Russ, Steve, and I went to get all the lumber and screws and such. We took it all back to my basement and began construction. It took several hours, but by the end we had created an incredible table! And despite all our efforts, there were no snags or snafus- heck, no one got hurt either (power tools and us don't mix exactly).

 We started with the legs, framing them out. Russ wanted me to have storage space underneath so that I could store some terrain, dice, models, etc. Now, it could never fit all my terrain crap, but it would certainly be helpful to have that space.

Once the legs and shelf space was set in, we then put the table top on. Now, originally it was just going to be one huge sheet of wood. However, it couldn't fit in any of our vehicles. So I said to have the store cut it down the middle for transport. Russ said he could make it work. With metal braces placed on the undersides, he as able to join them together just fine. Then, the table went on top of the legs and with some screwing, hammering, etc, the table was done.

 But we were not finished. One of the things that always bugged everyone who has ever played warhammer is when dice roll onto the floor. To solve that problem, we put wood molding around the perimeter of the table, as a border. Now, dice won't roll off the table edge.

The other issue we dealt with was WHERE to roll the dice. Now whenever Pete built a table, it was always 4 x 8. Now, usually games are no more than 4x6. I figured that I would only do 4x6. But Brian had a wild idea- build it 4x8 (just in case we wanted an Apoc game or something). Using similar molding as what we placed on the perimeter, we would cut two pieces so they would fit width-wise across the table. If I placed my game mat in the exact middle of the table, I would have a foot on each side. The molding border would be put in, giving us a rolling lane, an area to put Tactical cards or dead models or what have you. This was also accomplished with great ease.

With construction done, I decided to paint the table top black (my multimedia unit and my modelling desk are black so I figured why not match it all). I may or may not paint the table legs at a later date, but I really just wanted to get the top done.

Ah! Now it was finished I put on one of my mats that I got from FAT Mats. And then some terrain. And at that point I knew that I had exactly what I wanted- a gaming table in a place with plenty of space! And the table is just perfect.

So, about a week later, Brian and I decided to break in the new table with two games. His Ultramarines against my Khorne forces- as nature intended. Now I have played a few 8th edition games, as had Brian. I like 8th edition, though I think it still has problems. Brian with his gun line wins against me every time, because I have to go in close to get him. Though close combat is brutal, you still have to GET there, which turned out to be very difficult for me.

In the first game, we had table quarters playing big guns never tire. Brian stole the initiative and shot me to hell. I lost half my army during his turn 1 shooting phase. There was literally nothing I could do. Nothing. And I made decent save rolls too. It was just too much firepower.

 In his turn 2 he wiped out most of what remained. Brian is the type of player who always goes for the throat. Not unfair or cheating- just he plays tough and he plays to win. He said that close combat armies will always lose to that sustained shooting. He feels that alpha strike determines the winner way too much.

The second game was the arrowheads deployment and we played the cleanse and control maelstrom mission. This game Brian also won, but It was back and forth until turn 3. Heck, some of my guys even managed to kill things in combat!

 Kharn killed some stuff (including 4 of my Warp Talons- I forgot he can re-roll to hits. I rolled 4 1s and forgot the re-roll. Ugh). Again, Brian shot me to hell, but I was able to score some points with the cards and hurt him a little bit. The fact that Marines can get re-roll to hits and re-roll of 1s to wound makes their shooting pretty much unstoppable. But I got some skulls so Khorne was happy.

 Two losses in a row was not the ideal way to break in my new table, but that's OK. The table was great- the mat and terrain were just fine, and the rolling lane made it really nice so our dice weren't hitting models, getting cocked every 5 seconds, etc. 

So with that I will close this blog post. I am grateful that I have gotten the chance to have what I have always wanted- a dedicated Warhammer space. Thanks to Brian, Steve, and Russ for making it happen. And my wife, who doesn't mind being married to a nerd.

Until next time...