Monday, August 30, 2010

The seven 'P's

I am away from home on a course starting on Thursday next week, nine days including the weekend, so I will be pretty much incommunicado. I'm building up a block of troops to take with me for the week, and I reckon an hour an evening should see me through them all in that time.

So what have I got?

  • Two squads of Wargames Factory Shocktroopers (EY2 and EY3); a total of sixteen lasguns and a couple of grenade launchers to go with the sergeants I painted a couple of weeks ago. Only one in the image above; the other squad was hiding somewhere... 
  • A veteran squad of Games Workshop Cadians (V08) with Pig Iron packs and heads; a sergeant, three grenade launchers and six lasguns, and also a missile launcher stand.
  • Two more veterans (V03) to allow me to swap the heavy bolter out of the previous squad.
The interesting bits are the missile launchers (two to a base; I want them for Kill Team, and they have the 'relentless' USR, which I reckon can be represented by extra missile tubes) and the sergeant, who has an Empire torso to replace the Cadian one.

I also played around to make cheap plasma guns for the next veteran squad; this is made from a bolter and a plasma pistol. [edit] And here is the original source of this conversion - thanks 'Other Kevin'. [/edit] Looks pretty good to me; I just need to wait for my next delivery of Pig Iron heads and some more backpacks before I do the rest of the squad. The only unfortunate thing is that you have to use the lasgun arms where the left hand is on the arm and not the gun, so you only get two suitable pairs per box; still, it's not as if I'm short of arms...

Oh yes - the seven 'P's - Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Pi$$ Poor Performance.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The quality of paint is not strained...

I was listening to one of my regular diet of podcasts in the car the other day (Meeples and Miniatures, episode 65 - where Neil was talking about painting figures. There was a discussion about paint and preparation, and one of the comments was that neither he nor his co-presenter would ever use craft paint other than for scenery.

Which got me to thinking... it may not be as good as hobby acrylics (GW, Vallejo, PP, Foundry or whatever), but is it 'good enough' for rank and file? I have certainly used odd colours in the past, and I will admit that I still use craft acrylics to touch up spray undercoats where the can misses undercuts. So I dropped into Hobbycraft on the way home from the office and I picked up five tubes of FolkArt acrylic ( which were as close as I could match by memory to the colours I'm using for my Imperial Guard.

What I will do is to assemble and undercoat my next squad as usual (a veteran squad of GW Cadians with Pig Iron heads and backpacks) and then paint five using my usual paints and five using the cheap craft paints. Both batches will get a Devlan Mud wash, and then I'll see whether I can tell the difference. And I'll post the pictures so you can compare them too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Painted command squad

I'm off work this week, and I got a chance for some painting this afternoon.

Grenadiers for the platoon command squad - Echo Yellow Zero.

And the platoon commanders, along with the squad sergeants for EY2 and EY3.

And last of all, the first figure for my company command alongside the EY0 grenadiers for scale; this is the Master of Ordnance. Arms from the tank commander, torso and shoulder pads from a Cadian, head from Pig Iron, 'legs' from a BBC dalek...

I really must get some basing done soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Once you've gone plac... won't go back!

Sorry, bad pun.

We are having a 'Kill Team' tournament at the South London Warlords after the summer break, and I thought I would quickly knock together a rather more elite team than I usually go with - a squad of 8 Sternguard. I'm not sure how well they will work, but the mix of ammo types is quite fun, and there's only a few figures to paint.

Anyway, I dug out a couple of boxes from the lead mountain - Veterans and Sternguard - and started to put a squad together. My word, how frustrating! I have been working with plastic for ages, and going back to metal was a real eye-opener. All those little tendrils from the air-bleed points, mould lines that need files, superglue/greenstuff sandwiches to assemble the parts... give me plastic every time.

In the end, I got three figures made. I'm going to go buy some of the new armour variants from Forgeworld, and make the rest of the squad from those; at least resin is easy to cut and clean up!

So, rant over. I have set up a little poll; please vote so I know it's not just me!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Shocktroop platoon command

Well, I thought I would use the remaining figures from the first box while I waited for Wayland Games to get stock and deliver the other three. Eight figures - what to do, with not quite enough for another infantry squad. So I decided to do the Platoon Command Squad - grenade launcher spam and a couple of choices for the platoon commander - and the sergeants for the other infantry squads.

First of all, the grenade launchers. I played about to try to get a better angle on the gun, and I am pleased to say that after a bit of practice, there's some leeway in the pose. Anyway, the squad grunts are done.

Next up are the officers and NCOs. These are the guys I was more worried about; the box parts aren't all that great for command figures. Still, I'm quite happy with what has come out.

I really raided the bits box for them; there are some old bits in there that you're unlikely to be able to source easily these days. The sergeants are the guys on the ends, and they have laspistols from the old GW generic close combat sprue. The platoon commander's power fist comes from the same place (still needs a bit of green-stuff to blend it in). The plasma pistol and bolt pistol on the two platoon commanders, and the sergeants' chainswords, are the old GW assault marine parts - they still have the marine hands attached to the weapons in most cases, trimmed down to visually match the shocktroop wrists. The chainsword on the platoon commander third from left is from the GW Cadians, again with the hand still attached.

Most of the left arms are made from the arm that cradles the lasgun; cut across the bicep and rotated to move them away from the body, and cut at the wrist to replace the hand with a weapon hand. Right arms are mostly the flamer arm; it's at a decent angle, though the hand has a non-standard grip on the weapon so it has to be replaced.

That's a platoon command squad, a spare platoon commander, plus a couple of sergeants for the next two infantry squads. I reckoned these were going to be the most awkward to do, so I thought I'd get them out of the way while I had some time. Overall - colour me happy.