GWDeathwatchOVerkill

Deathwatch Overkill: Unboxing Nostalgia

GWDeathwatchOVerkillsSince DeathWatch: Overkill was released in March, I’m a little behind the times on my review.  This is largely due to the fact that I just “finished” my posts on painting up my copy of Zombicide (hint: I’m not actually done, but I’m really close–there are just a few odds and ends plus a few helpers that never got painted), but it’s also due in part by the fact that I haven’t been getting much 40k related hobby-time in.  I bought models for Deathwatch (along with a board game) back in March, and even wound up assembling most of one of the figures myself (the rest of my base game was assembled by Brandon, thanks again, kind sir).

I even got to play two games (which amounts to playing the first mission twice), so I have an inkling of information that I can do a review with at some point (of course, I’d like to get an additional game or two under my belt before I attempt that).  So, this post, I just wanted to talk a little about the models.

This won’t be ground-breaking, as they came out several months ago and if you had any sincere interest in the product, I’m sure you’ve seen them elsewhere.

DeathWatchOverkillDieHardIn a word, I think they’re “spectacular.”

The quality of the sculpts is on par with any plastic models GW has ever released.  Unlike the days of classic 2nd edition, the models are dynamicly posed and have a surperb level of detail.  My real excitement, like many others, was in the possibility of the genestealer cult moving back into the realm of 40k.  Back in my days of 2nd edition, I wound up playing virtually all of the armies available (aside from Sisters and Necrons), and the ones that I enjoyed more than any other were the Genestealer cult and the Harlequins.

In hindsight, I wonder if that’s because I was striving to be different, so that drove me to play niche armies?  While that’s a valid possibility, I don’t think that’s the case.  Harlequins were a chance to push my painting skill level with all of their stripes and checkers, but cult was a calling for an entirely different reason.  No, I never got to play with limousines or anything nutty, but I did have the thrill of playing with an army that had some of the best assault units (genestealers), cheapest psykers (hybrids), best tanks (IG) and best fodder (IG) making them all around a crushingly strong force to play.  I suspect my nostalgia is heavily invested in how much I used to win with that army because, let’s face it: winning is fun.

GWDeathwatchOVerkillSo, when GW released the board game (and soon after it, rules for playing them in 40k), I was instantly on board.  I wound up not only picking up the game, but also two additional sets of the cult models.  I was a little dismayed when I learned that the rules that were released aren’t really designed in such a way to allow you to play multiple sets (due to the fact that all of the characters are unique), but it’s still possible, and there’s always hope that they made enough profit that they put out an official cult release again in the future.

Until then, I’ll have to make time to clean up and assemble two more sets of cult figures (I couldn’t con Brandon into assembling more for me–but maybe if I pay him?… hrmmmm), and then it’s off to paint them!

Image Credit: Images Copyright by Games workshop and Die Hard Game Fan

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Adeptus Cellphonicus

AdeptusCellphonicus (1)You may have heard of Ali Express–as they were a well known purveyor of counterfeit Forgeworld models from China.  Heck, you may have even heard of them from some of my experiences.  Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done business with them, but due to some recent changes, I found myself wandering their website.

I wasn’t looking for models, but rather I was looking for a case for my new cell phone.  I’m one of those dinosaurs that tends to keep his phone until it’s completely unusable (based upon a combination of environmental concerns and the fact that I’m a cheap bastard–mostly the latter).  The last time I purchased a phone new was an iPhone 4 when it first came out.  Since then, I’ve limped by on that phone and my mom’s old 5c (at least it wasn’t pink).  When the battery on the 5c got to the point where it wouldn’t hold more than a 20 minute charge, it was time to pick up a new phone.

Luckily, a friend of mine happened to have a 16GB iPhone 6 laying around and he let me use that.  Historically, I haven’t been one for using phone cases, but since this isn’t my device, and it’s in good shape, I wanted to be able to return in in likewise condition.  With that in mind, I set to searching online for a suitable case.

I know a bunch of people that ensconce their devices in premium cases like Otterboxes or Lifeproof cases that can run in excess of $100.  That’s just more than I care to spend.  Frankly, I find the $20 and $30 options for a piece of plastic or silicone rubber to be highway robbery, so I found myself checking out Ebay and Amazon.  I did find some highly rated options on those sites that would’ve more than met my needs, but I also got a wild hair for something more than a monocolor silicone sleeve, which lead me over to my old friend, Ali Express.

I searched for “iPhone 6 case warhammer” and came back with a number of results.  There were a lot of viable options to go with (including one of Marneus Calgar sitting on his throne, but I ultimately went with the Adeptus symbol as it was more clean and simple.

Yeah, I tell myself that, but nerdshame played highly into it.  Marneus would’ve been harder to pass off, but the Adeptus symbol is generic enough that, unless you play 40k, you probably have no idea what it is and think I just listen to heavy metal music.

The case ran a perfectly acceptable $5.50 (including shipping from China) and despite the claim that it would be delivered within 39 days, it actually arrived in 13, so I was pleasantly surprised.

AdeptusCellphonicus (3)Since the vendors are all Chinese and English is clearly not their primary language, it can be difficult to tell exactly what you’re buying.  I was a little concerned about the general quality of the item–particularly I wondered if it was going to be a hard or flexible plastic, and whether the adeptus icon would just be a cheap sticker that would peel off when it got wet.

Again, I found myself pleasantly surprised on both counts.  The case itself is a combination of hard and soft plastic, giving it a sturdy back, but allowing it to grip snuggly around the phone.  It’s also flexible enough to be removed smoothly without fear of scratching my device.  As for the sticker, I’m sure it’s still fairly cheap, but the resolution is pretty good (as you can see from the photos) and there is a layer of clear plastic above it, which should help to protect it.

The case also has a nice feel with textured grips on the sides, plus the design is such that the buttons work easily without having to force them, and the holes don’t seem to have any impediments to using the various peripherals, buttons, or slots on the phone.

AdeptusCellphonicus (2)In short, I’m happier with this case than some other $30 options I’ve tried in the past.  Granted, I’ve only had the case for a couple of days, so that could all change in time, but as I’m only $5.50 in the hole on this, I can’t see myself changing my opinion drastically.  This really seems like money well spent to me.

Granted, if you’re concerned about GW’s IP, you can always get another variant that doesn’t include the symbols, but I suspect if you’re reading this blog, that might be one of the bigger selling points on this particular case.  If you’re interested in picking one up yourself, you can follow this link to the vendor I used.

Also, for anyone who checked my Frugal gaming page and saw that the $5.50 charge is curiously omitted, I figured that this charge wasn’t a hobby purchase so much as it was a functional upgrade for my phone, so I didn’t count it against my spending for the year.  Whether that’s the right answer or not can be debated, but I went with the prevailing wisdom that went along with buying my card catalog: just because it’s hobby related, doesn’t mean it’s hobby spending.

 

 

 

 

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Zombicide Progress: Heroes – Volume 12 (Parker, Kyoko, & Amy)

Can it be?  Am I really done with this series?  It seems like I’ve been working on these guys forever, though I didn’t really start on them until January.  So, in the matter of three months I managed to paint up all of the figures in the board game (well, excepting the last few that are still outstanding: dogs & helpers).

Parker:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (5)This is another one of those generic models that I avoided because I’ve never seen her used and because she frankly didn’t interest me.  The end result turned out pretty well though, but nothing in particular was overly complex or notable.  I like how she turned out in her human form.

Her zombie form, however, leaves a little to be desired.  In particular, I don’t like the way her shirt turned out, but I told myself that it didn’t matter because I was so close to finishing and she would rarely hit the table anyway.

Kyoko:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (3)Speaking of unhappy, Kyoko fits that bill perfectly.  I think this is actually the model I painted instead of Maddie back in the day,  The model is obviously Asian in descent, but the artwork is a bit stylized and looks more alien than human.  I tried to paint her more Asian (read: use more yellowsin the skin tone), but it didn’t come out that well.  There’s no mistaking her for another figure on the board, but the tone didn’t work out.  Likewise, the skin tone of her zombie figure is off, but I do like how it turned out.

I also rushed her red because, like above, I was ready to be done with the lot.  Keep in mind that I painted her a full five figures before, so that tells you how long I’ve been agonizing over finishing the lot.  It’s no surprise that she didn’t come out as nice as I’d hoped, but I have had friends tell me specifically about this figure that she looks pretty good, so maybe I’m my own worst critic…?

Amy:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (6)I ended things up on Amy because she was pretty easy and I think she might be one of the core characters.  Plus, with the fishnets, she’s easy, but has a little uniqueness to her that made it a good finishing model.

I avoided her throughout the time because, well… I don’t know.  Maybe the issue was that she has that pasty white skin and I didn’t know how to pull it off (what I ultimately did was a mix of bleach bone layered up to pure white and then used a purple wash–vaguely reminiscent of the old GW cultists).

For fishnets, my micron pen had died on me earlier in the process, and though I knew I could just go buy another, I made due with what I had (which was another Micron 05–roughly twice as big as the fine detail one).  The lines are relatively straight, but are far too big…

It’s better than what I did with the zombivor–I messed up her tights in several spots where the lines just jumbled on top of each other.  It doesn’t look too far out of place though because she’s a zombie and they weren’t in good condition on the original figure…

So, it’s great to be done, but I’m sad to realize that I still have dogs and helpers to go.  In order to meet my original deadline, I have four days left to knock out six dogs and eight helpers.  That’s pretty aggressive (especially considering that I have a dentist appointment and an after-hours meeting, plus work all four days this week), but I’m still optimistic I can meet that deadline… wish me luck!

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Zombicide Progress: Heroes – Volume 11 (Cathy, Adam, & Jeff)

The last six figures I have to paint for Zombicide really come down to the models I didn’t want to paint for one reason or another.  Well, I should clarify that these aren’t necessarily the last six models, but the last six characters (There are still some dogs and helpers left after this).  I won’t even go out on a limb and say they’re the last that I’ll ever paint for the game, as I’ve learned from painting my Tyranid army that there’s really no such thing as ‘the last model I’ll ever paint

As for why these particular models got pushed to the end, I don’t know… maybe they were ugly or time consuming or boring?

Cathy:

wh39kZombiCharsAlmostDone (6)Cathy falls into the boring category.  There’s nothing offensive about her, but there’s nothing particularly exciting about her either.  As a whole, I pushed her off because she just failed to excite me.  As a finished model, I’m very happy with the way she turned out.  Something about her shirt and her hair makes it seem like I didn’t paint this model though.  The stark contrast in the shades on her shirt isn’t my style, but I really like how it turned out.

Her hair though is a shining gem.  I’m not sure why I decided to take more time on this particular model’s hair, but I did.  Perhaps it reminded me of a girl from high school who had all sorts of colors in her hair?  Or maybe it was because the model had depth of color in the artwork and the sculpt just didn’t lend itself to painting with washes?

Yup, now that I think about it, that was it.  Oh well, I’m really glad it didn’t, because it gave me a chance to build up the yellow with layers and layers of strokes.  Sure, it flies in the face of painting them quickly, but I managed to put in about five layers of different color strokes for her hair, and I think it turned out great.  In fact, I think she might be in the running for my favorite paint job from the set!

Adam:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (1)Adam got delayed because of those paints and that tattoo.  As both are fairly amorphic, I didn’t think either would be exceedingly difficult, but honestly they proved to be amazingly easy.  The only camo I’ve painted before has been for my space marine scouts (I’ve been really remiss about getting pictures of my space marines on the blog–I’ll have to fix that one day, but you can see some pics of the scouts’ cloaks here).  Anywho, in my normal pattern, I have a fairly distinct way of painting the scheme, but this was just bubonic brown with a reddish wash, and clumps of other paint on top, and I think he came out fantastic.

As for the tattoo, I just mixed some red, yellow, and blue with the flesh tone and painted it on his arm.  Not quite as successful as the camo, but not a bad end result either.

Jeff:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (2)Jeff reminds me of a cross between Miami Vice and Ken Jeong from “The Hangover.”  Oddly enough, when painted up, the figure lost all sense of Asian ancestry and looks like a boring white guy (with overdone white-rimmed glasses–I mentioned before that my skill on them lacks any subtlety).  He looks ok for what it’s worth, but neither the art or the model inspired me, so I didn’t do a particular good job on him.

And then there were three.  Are you as excited as I am?

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Zombicide Progress: Heroes – Volume 10 (Joe, Wanda, & Maddie)

I had posted previously that this lot was of figures that were all black, but that obviously isn’t true.  It seems more evident that these were the outstanding figures that I thought were more interesting or difficult, as I only have six more figures after this, so the end is in sight and I wanted the final portion of the race to be a sprint.  That said, some of these figures don’t even have a drop of black paint on them…

Joe:

wh39kZombiCharsAlmostDone (2)An interesting thing about this model is the figure is completely bald.  The sculpts are all very detailed and virtually all of them are identical to the artwork.  Joe, however, is an exception because they just didn’t sculpt hair on the model.  They did take the time to sculpt the claw marks in the zombie version’s head, but no hair.

When I look at the guy, he appears very Asian, but now that I’m thinking about it more, maybe he’s supposed to be black.  If that were true, maybe he has a buzz-cut and that would explain why they didn’t bother sculpting any hair?  That could be true, but I think it was more of an oversight.

From a painting perspective, I took particular pride at the color matching I did on this figure (Except for his jeans), because I thought I was true to the original palette.  I’ve had a friend comment that he was surprised that I put the effort in to do the plaid shirt, but frankly plaid is very easy on figures: you just paint it whatever color and then stripe it with the alternating colors.  I will say that I messed up the vertical stripes on his shirt because they’re supposed to be purple, but in the lighting conditions I was painting in, I just used the color that matched his jacket.

Wanda:

wh39kZombiCharsAlmostDone (1)Just when I said that virtually all of the sculpts are in the same pose as the artwork, Wanda goes and ruins it for me.  To me, she’s about as iconic a model as Zombicide has.  I’m not sure if it’s because of the absurdity, or the fact that she seems to show up in a disproportionate number of games that I play, or her color scheme, or what.  All I can say is that I really identify her with the game.

Her scheme is pretty bold in that she has so many colors around, and all of them are bright and vibrant.  I think I matched them all fairly well, though I could’ve gone lighter overall (the contrast helps make the figure stand out though).

I also got a little cute with the base and left it black, so she’s the only one with a black base–for the characters that is.  I used that as a little reminder that she’s fast moving, so players will remember that she gets to move extra squares.  I think she’s look better had I stuck with the gray base, but I like the little color play, so I think I’ll leave it this way.

Maddie:

Wh39kZombiCharsDone! (4)To be honest, Maddie wasn’t even in this lot.  Originally, she was supposed to be the 6th model that I painted in this lot–based upon her complex scheme–but I pushed her off until the next batch, and I don’t rightfully recall who took her place here.  I will say that I dreaded painting her and pushed her off at least two times before finally biting the bullet.  I don’t care for the figure or the color scheme, but then again I was never into punk girls much, so maybe that’s just a personal bias.

I’m pleased overall with the tights and the teddy bear (two things that I think were causing me to avoid painting her in the first place), so we’ll count her as a win as well.

As of this point, that puts me six characters short of finishing the lot.  Officially, the light at the end of the tunnel has opened up and become a beacon.  I will finish on time….. I will…