Finishing Our Imperial Assault Campaign

Though the blog is primarily focused with 40k and all things Games Workshop, game night around my house is anything but.  In fact, because we often have odd numbers of players, people that don’t bring armies, or just attendees that don’t play 40k, we more often than not find ourselves playing board games.

For those wondering, this is the number one reason why I struggle to get in 12 games of 40k per year.

Many in our group are big fans of Star Wars, playing games like Star Wars Destiny, X-Wing, and Armada.  I’ve dabbled in a few of those, but never actually purchased any of them (I figure I have enough sunk costs in 40k and Magic: the Gathering to justify playing yet another massive money sink.)   Well, one of them also went out and purchased a copy of Star Wars: Imperial Assault and even went to the trouble of painting it all up, so that naturally inspired a group of us to start playing. Continue reading

Tyrannocyte Tentacles

I recently picked up some Tyranids in a trade including three of their drop pods.  I know that they’re actually called Tyrannocytes, but I’m having a hard time referring to them as such (except for when they force alliteration, like in the title of this blog post).

If you recall from that post, the big issue with them is that they were missing some pieces.  Some of the missing pieces were the spikes on the top of two of the pods, and a set of armored chitin on the third.  Those I managed to pick up off of Hoard-of-Bits on ebay for a reasonable price, but the bigger issue is that they were missing their tentacles.

  • Carapace pieces?  $5
  • Smoke stacks? $2
  • Weapons? $2
  • Tentacles? $30!!!!!!

I don’t mind buying most of that stuff, but I can’t justify $30 for a bunch of tentacles.  On the plus side, it gave me a chance to play with my tentacle maker again (which hasn’t seen the light of day since I started my Tyranid Bastion project more than a year ago–for those that are curious, it’s now spray painted blue, but no further progress has appeared).

I also drastically overestimated how much green stuff I was going to need, and promptly ordered a ton of that online.  The good news is that it seems to keep for a long time, based upon the fact that I still have some that’s pushing two years old.  So, I’ll be good on green stuff for a while.

I won’t go into the tentacle making process too much, other than to say that it seemed to work best if I rolled them into “snakes” and then let them cure for about 45 minutes before scoring and shaping them.  While they were curing, it worked best if I went back and periodically gave them a quick roll (so they didn’t flatten or stick to the plastic tray).

The biggest limiting factor on them was how many other odds and ends I had laying around to form them over.  Tentacles look better when they wriggle around in all sorts of directions, but to get them to cure that way, you have to find a way to position them in odd ways.  Enter: my sculpting tools.  Basically any tool that was laying around got wrapped with a tentacle of some type (and, like before, it was best if I came back every fifteen minutes or so to adjust them).

For the last lot, I rolled them a little longer and wrapped them around the carapace itself.  This looks far more dynamic, and might have been something I should’ve done with more of them.  Then again, you want at least some of them to dangle down, right?

For the one missing the lower tentacles, I rolled out some long ones and tipped them with little claws from a spare Harauspex mouth.  They don’t look quite like the “proper” tentacles, but I think they’ll do in a pinch.  The real problem I have is that they’re so evocative of the Aliens from “Chicken Little.”

I can’t get it out of my head…

The good news is that I’m into this for about $130.  They’re $63 each (MSRP), so I’m at about 30% off retail.  That’s not super exciting, considering how much work I put in them, but if we’re using that math, I also got two harpies and six venomthropes thrown in for free.  Yup, at that price, I can definitely overlook my feelings on cartoon aliens…

Trading for Tyranids

I’m constantly on the lookout for a good deal.  It used to be that any deal that seemed reasonably good might be good enough, but anymore, unless I really want them, I tend to pass on anything that isn’t an absurdly good deal.

Just before our Apoc game, I had a friend from Seattle call me about some old models he had laying around.  He told me that he’d sell them to me for $100, and I bit.  In hindsight, I didn’t do a proper valuation on them, and though they were certainly worth it, it would’ve normally been the type of deal I’d pass on.  I mean, it wasn’t a bad deal at all, probably being valued in the $300 range if it were all brand new, but it was for an army I didn’t play (Khorne marines), nor did I immediately know of anyone looking to pick them up.

But he was a friend and I had a momentary lapse of reason (plus he secretly threw in delivery, which included a surprise appearance at said Apoc game as well, which was worth the $100 right there).

Well, flash forward to last month.  There was a guy selling some Tyranids on a local facebook group.  The models themselves looked pretty banged up and his prices were a little high for my likes–and lord knows I don’t need any more Tyranids.  Still, he had some models that I don’t currently own, so I pinged him and asked him if he was interested in anything in trade.  I have a ton of models languishing in my garage, so trading is a far easier pill to swallow.  When he said he wanted Chaos, I flashed him some pics of the chaos marines, and he was hooked.

We then worked out a trade that involved the marines for:

  • 2x Tyrannocytes (partially assembled)
  • 1x Tyrannocyte (mostly complete)
  • 6x Venomthropes
  • 2x Harpies (or maybe they’re Hive Crones…?)

I brokered the deal over facebook chat and wound up leaving the stuff on my doorstep to have him trade it out when I wasn’t around.  Some of the stuff was sight unseen, and it was in halfway rough shape.  For instance, the Tyrannocytes were missing quite a few pieces, and some of the bits on the Venomthropes were broken, but the price was right, and the guy seemed accommodating, so I didn’t buck the system.

Sadly, I don’t think I got any better shots than this of when they were dropped off.   He threw in a big bag of bits, which covered most of the parts required for the two Tyrannocytes, and the third one that he listed as “mostly complete” was actually only missing the tentacles.  With a little green stuff, that shouldn’t be an issue.

I find myself happy with the trade, but sad that I now have to go paint more Tyranids.  But before that, I have to go strip some figures…


Batrep: Space Wolves vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (80 power)

It’s been a month since I’ve played a game of 40k–heck, over that.  It’s not that I don’t have a regular forum to play in, as I have a regular weekly game night, it’s just that there are so many other factors.  Sometimes it’s a matter of not having the right people, or people not bringing armies.  In both of those cases, I don’t want to leave someone out and play 40k without them.  After all, we want to encourage people to come to game nights, so leaving them out is counter-productive.  Other times, there are just other games that are more compelling: new board games, good weather, or ongoing campaigns.

This past week, I had my heart set on 40k, but we wound up playing a game of Small World and a few rounds of Giant Uno (which is far more fun that it sounds, believe me).  But I still wanted to get in my 40k fix, so Sean and I agreed to meet in secret on a Saturday to get a game in…

Space Wolf Battalion

  • HQ:
    • Arjac Rockfist
    • Wolf Lord w/ Master-crafted boltgun & powerfist
  • Elites:
    • 5x Wolfguard Terminators w/ Wolf Claws
    • 5x Wulfen w/ 4x Thunderhammer & Stormshield, & Pack leader w/ Frost Claws
  • Troops:
    • 10x Blood Claws w/ Flamer, & Powersword
  • Heavy Support:
    • 6x Long Fangs w/ 5x Plasma Cannons, Plasma Gun, & Frost Sword
  • Super Heavy:
    • Knight Paladin w/ 2x Heavy Stubber, Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon & Reaper Chainsword

Technically speaking, this was not a battalion and should’ve only earned him +3CP to start the game; however, it’s only his second game of 8th and he was confused.  It didn’t even cross my mind until he sent me a text the next day to tell me that he had “cheated.”

I don’t view misunderstanding the rules as cheating.  He’s not that sort of guy, so no harm.  The list was rather small, and it seemed that the lynchpin was going to be the Knight.  Unlike when I’d faced them in 7th edition, I wasn’t at all scared by him.  Bolstered by the notion that so many Tyranid MC’s can do as much as 6 wounds per hit, I figured I could take out a Knight without too much worry.

He did warn me about the Wulfen, but he also told me that they had been removed from the table during his first game (Against Tyranids) without really doing anything, so I wasn’t real worried.  He gave me an overview of what they could do, and I figured I’d try to avoid them (if possible) but that they’d die under concentrated firepower…

Continue reading

Striking Gold with Knight Titans

When we last left off on my Knight Titans, it was back in June and I was still working on the knee-caps.   It’s been more than two months delay since then, but a lot of things have happened.  First of all, the Apoc game that was the initial inspiration for these models transpired (though I still haven’t finished the write-up on that), and then some family time, vacation, etc.

Heck, 8th edition came out since then!  I spent more time writing up battle reports for that then I did focusing on my Knights.  Plus, I had started a series of reviews on the Tyranid index in 8th edition (that was back before I learned that they were going to immediately replace it with a codex, which has put the reviews to date on ice).

Well, hopefully I can get back on track and catch up with some of these missing posts.  Luckily, I left myself a bit of an outline to cover the various progress steps I had made.  Next in line: Gold.

For anyone who has seen my armies, you’ll notice that I don’t incorporate a lot of metals into the schemes.  This is, in part, due to the fact that Tyranids have no metals, and my Ultramarines follow a 2nd edition yellow scheme.  But, since I was painting my knights as if they were from House Terryn, it meant that I was going to have to mix a little gold into the palette.

My typical gold scheme is to paint a base of Brazen Brass (or, if you’re not a dinosaur like myself, Vallejo’s “tinny tin”) and then highlight up from there.  In this instance, I opted to try something a little different.  Instead of starting with Tinny Tin, I gave it a coat of P3 Blighted Gold and gone over the recesses with a mixture of that paint and black (watered down).  This gave a similar effect, but it kept everything in the gold scheme.  From there I highlighted up to P3 Brass Balls (which is my normal highlight for gold).

In effect, this just gave me darker darks, which really helps to make the gold stand out (well, at least it does in my opinion).  It almost looks like I went overboard with the black, which I think was likely because I was painting in a room that wasn’t particularly well lit, but in hindsight, I really do like it.

The edge highlighting with Brass Balls is a little stark, and a little sloppy, but the contrast against the black really helps it to stand out.  From a distance, the gold on the models really pops.

There was a non-trivial amount of gold to paint though, and I took a surprising number of photos (more than I can sensibly use within this blog post), so I’ll just pick a few that I think show off the effect best, and then scrap the rest.