Friday 30 June 2017

A break for Elysians

Despite my obvious excitement for my Emperor's Children in 8th Edition, I haven't abandoned my previous projects. There's only so much pink and purple a man can paint in one go without going completely loopy, so I've been breaking things up by working on my Elsysian forces alongside them.

Having had a look at the new rules for Elysians, I'm really liking how they work under the new edition. Being able to deep strike a ridiculous amount of guardsmen up the face of the enemy on turn one whilst my Inquisitorial assault elements advance behind them has really fired my imagination, so my Kolstek 133rd 'Elysian Pattern' Drop Troopers have made their way to my painting desk.

I've nailed down a really nice and quick method of batch painting these guys, so I should be able to turn them out quite quickly, I just need to work out my squad designation and markings for them. I'm thinking of using 3x Veteran Squads, a Command Squad + Commander, then a few Valkyries as backup. A good, compact force which shouldn't take too long to paint up.

At the rate I'm painting atm, I'm actually in danger of finishing models quicker than I'm buying them. It's been a long time since that happened! Clearly this 'hour a night' pledge is helping. Let's hope it continues.

Thursday 29 June 2017

The ever-steady march of progress...

So 8th Edition has hit the gaming community like a hurricane and by all accounts it's been a roaring success. I've already played three games of the new edition and immensely enjoyed each one. That's already a massive increase on the amount of enjoyment I got out of non-30k 7th edition! I even spent the evening last Monday teaching a group of people who hadn't played since 5th ed how to play. That's pretty good going considering that at that point I'd only played one game of the new edition myself- a testament to how slick and streamlined the rules have become!

Needless to say, 8th ed has been the massive shot in the arm that 40k badly needed.Most people have nothing but good things to say about it and loads of people who'd previously left the game have made their return, at least judging by my local community. Previously there'd normally be a few of us meeting on alternate Mondays to play Horus Heresy. There'd be a few people would be milling about occasionally playing AoS, but 40k was pretty much ignored. Last week though there were four games of 40k being played, with half a dozen more people watching with great interest. Excitement is running pretty high in my local area.
Enough gushing about 8th edition though. The real benefit of this release for me is that it's set my motivation to build and paint stuff into overdrive. It's a shame this hasn't involved too much progress on my obscene backlog of projects though. Instead I've been focussing on what's looking to be my army of choice for this edition: Slaanesh.

I've always loved Slaanesh and his/her/it's followers. They've run a close second behind Tzeentch in my love ever since I started 40k in 2003-ish and I've always wanted an army of Noise Marines, but ever since the 3.5 codex their rules have been a little lacklustre, so that's really killed my enthusiasm for them. I might be primarily a narrative gamer, but I also like to actually win games occasionally!

The moment I saw the new rules for Noise Marines though, I knew the time had come to make my dream army a reality. I started by taking the Primaris half of the Dark Imperium boxed set and having a rummage in my bitz box to make them suitably Slanneshii:

Yes it's left my painting points in tatters (I'm not going to even talk about the Ebay slurge I've done for Daemons to accompany them), but at least I'm actually painting stuff! I've been painting so much in fact that I'm running up a massive surplus on my 'hour a day' hobby challenge. Hopefully once I've got my Emperor's Children off the ground, this will translate into progress on my other stuff too, but I'll have to wait and see how that pans out.

My original plan for this force was to make something which works equally well in both 30k and 40k. The more I look at what I want and start painting though, the more I'm thinking that plan is going to fall by the wayside. I'm wanting to include some of the weirder and more obviously Chaotic stuff which Chaos Space Marines get like Warp Talons, Daemon Princes and Forgefiends, none of which have a direct 30k counterpart. Instead I'm probably going to be taking inspiration from Kraut and his World Eaters over at the Eternal Hunt blog and build myself some 'historical' versions of my 40k Chaos characters when I get around visiting my 30k EC force.

Back to matter in hand though, the Primaris Marines were awesomely good fun to work with. The kits are simple to build, although the limited poses we have currently made a few of the conversions a little awkward to do, especially the head swaps. You'll also notice I haven't done any swaps on the shoulder pads either. This is due to the way they detach -  the arm and pad are one big piece, or else the pads are sculpted onto the torso pieces. I'm hoping that the multi-piece kits we'll inevitably get don't have this issue, as I can imagine a lot of people getting frustrated when trying to swap the pads for Chapter-specific ones. I can work around that issue for now though.

Anyway, after a surprisingly short period of time, I had these guys ready to paint. The actual painting of them only took a couple of hours, as I tried to keep the colour scheme simple so I can produce an entire force fairly quickly. The trick was trying to balance the garish colour schemes which Slaaneshii followers are known for whilst still making it look good as a force. I think I've struck a good balance. I'll be going back later to add transfers and freehand detail, but I'm considering these guys done for now.

Hopefully I'll be able to finish up the rest of the box in the enst few weeks. After that I'll be building and painting the two boxes of Warp Talons I bought, then move onto the characters for the army. It looks like is going to be a summer dedicated to Slannesh for me!

I'll post more soon.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Taking a break from painting - to do more painting!

I've gotten a little tired of painting endless black and silver, plus the severe shake up of how Inquisition forces work under 8th has sapped my enthusiasm for them somewhat, so I decided to take a step back from it until I know exactly what I need to paint once 8th drops. I was unlikely to actually get the entire army done before release day anyway.

I've decided instead to take a break and 'cleanse' my painting pallete a little. My unpainted Thousand Sons have been staring accusingly at me for the last few months, so I decided to finally get some paint on my Breacher squad:

I know it's not the best of photos, but I was pretty shattered from work when I grabbed the pic. I'll post better ones once I've done the cleanup and highlighting on them. I'm only working on a small unit plus an Apothecary for now, but it's more progress on them than I've made for months, so I'm happy.

Hopefulyl I'll get these done this week, or at least get them to the stage where they just need transfers applying to them. I'll let you know how I get on.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Progress and Inquisition in 8th

Progress has been pretty steady over the last week, keeping up a good amount of painting hours. It's amazing what you can get done if you just do a little bit each day.

One of my Deathwatch Kill Teams is pretty much ready to go. The Thunder Hammer guy had a run-in with my cat, so he still needs to be fixed up. Other than that though the team's looking good. I just need to do the Chapter pads now.

 They're going to be (left to right) Astral Knights, Iron Hands, Marines Errant and a Blackshield. Being the eternal hipster that I am, I've avoided just using the common Chapters which you get in the box. It gives me more of an opportunity to come up with some interesting models and fluff for them. More on that in a later post though. For now I'm just wanting to get a force ready to go.

On that note...

 I've been painting the Crusaders for my Inquisitors retinue. They're still in need of highlighting, but I'm liking how they've turned out. Having had a look at the new Inquisition rules at my local gaming shop, I'm not exactly happy about the future of my force. From what I can tell, Inquisition warbands aren't mixed units any more. Crusaders, Death Cultists and Servitors aren't even in the Inquisition section of their Index! I've got to borrow units from the Ministorum and Space Marine list just to use them and I can't combine them together any more. This basically invalidates both the warbands which I was using in 7th edition. One was 5 Death Cultists, 3 Crusaders and a Priest, the other was a shooty blob of Jokearo and Servitors.

This basically means the entire dynamic of my army is being changed if I want to keep using my Ordo Xenos in 8th Edition. Annoying, but I'm sure I'll cope. My annoyance is somewhat mitigated by the fact that we now get to draw units from any of the Imperium lists. This opens up awesome conversion and gaming options. I'm already considering making some Inquisitional Ogyrn Brutes!

So yeah, I've got mixed feelings on 8th atm. Overall though the game seems to have gone through a massive improvement. I guess I'm just going to have to learn to adapt.