Sunday, December 26, 2010

It was the year of board games

My kids did get some 40k stuff, and I'd made 40k advent calendars.  The theme this year was board games.  Between my kids, wife and myself we just go Lego Minotaurs, Lego Creationary, Munchkin, Primordial Soup, Settlers of Catan, Forbidden Island, and Castle Ravenloft.  Other bits too, but I'm really looking forward to some of these games.  We've already tried the two Lego games.  Minotaurs is great if you want something nice and confrontational, plenty of opportunity to mess with people.  Creationary is good for getting inspired, need to be quick with your fingers.  Both well recommended.

Its a Festivus Miracle.  Happy Holiday of your choice all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ultramarines The Movie The Review

Seems like there are a few reviews starting to pop up.  All generally favorable, so I wanted to add mine.

The Box
A heavy cardboard box with a thin cardboard slip cover.  Nice artwork and an introductory grimdark passage.  Inside are the DVDs is a really nice metal coated case, and the hardbound graphic novel.  So far, good marks, the DVD case particularly.

The Graphic Novel
I know its a novel because it said so on the box.  Novels these days don't have many words I guess.  This post probably has more words than the entire 'novel'.   And the artwork.  Hmm.  Some nice pages, but some really bad ones two.  There is a close up of a head that would have looked badly drawn in an early 80s issue of 2000AD.  However, it does act as a nice intro and explains a little of the background.  Primarily why a captain is taking a single squad of Ultranewbies into battle.  Really could have done with a better artist.  I'm sure this guy is good, but how work here lets the side down.  So, neutral on the Graphic Novel.  Nice back story, nice packaging, but not particularly graphic, or much of a novel.

The DVD Case
Is awesome, just in case you forgot that bit.

The movie
OK, it does take a while to get moving.  To be honest though, it's character development and I'm happy with the slower pace of the first half.  While they could have all jumped in a Rhino, it did help to build things up a bit, add some tension.  Animation runs from average to top notch and is mostly very high with some lovely texturing and lighting effects.  While they could have had a prettier overall movie with some more cash, they spent enough.  There aren't really any bits that I thought looked bad.  Story wise, there is one, it has some depth.  Good enough for me.  Can't say much more.  Oh, and the voice acting is wonderful.  Their choices really paid off.
Overall, looks good, plays good, definitely enjoyable.

The best bits
I particularly liked the fluff at the start, and the two bullet-time scenes.  The speeder was nice too, but sadly didn't get any action.  The chaplain is cool too, wish he'd had more time.  The other touch I liked was a couple of the heads up views where you are seeing things with a data overlay as a marine would see them.  And down in the bottom right corner little inspirational messages pop up like 'burn the heretic'.

What the next movie needs
Assuming 600,000 plus people buy this one and they make a decent amount of money and decide to make a second one.   Plasma or melta weapons would be nice in action.  A dreadnought with an autocannon.  A land raider.  And that's assuming they stay with Ultramarines,  I'd love to see an IG movie to.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ultramarines Movie didn't disappoint

Longer post in the morning, just wanted to say I enjoyed it.  Well done, nice effort from Codex/GW

Ultramarine the movie!

Has arrived, sweetness.
When I'm to busy to sit and watch it.
Nice thick, heavy box which contains the graphic novel and the movie.  The graphic novel is hard bound but a bit sparse on words.  Not read it yet, just from flicking through the pages.  The movie itself comes as two discs (movie and specials) in a really nice looking metal case.  Great job there.

One issue, its R rated.  Now I expected some violence obviously, but what did they have to do to get an R rated cartoon?  So now I need to watch it before I let the kids even note its existence so I can figure out if its OK for them.  Supposed to take it to the FLGS so a few of us there can watch it.  Also got a friend who wants to organize a manly night of manliness (where you sit and paint and play 40K and drink whiskey.  In a manly manner) around watching it.  But dudes, R rated.  Do they not realize how much of their potential audience that knocks out?

Anyway, expect much posting once I've watched it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And now for something completely different

Really worth the time, an absorbing bit of video that showed up on one of the blogs I follow. Sums up some of my opinions nicely.  And by nicely I mean better than I probably could myself.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Work in Progress

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, despite my intention to post at least once a week.  To make up for that here are a few of the things I've been working on.  The woman with chainsaw is from Reaper Minis.  I've been really impressed with the quality of their stuff.  Clean castings with plenty of character.  This one is finished and will end up on a shelf.

Next up is the almost finished Ultramarine Command Squad.  Fletcher wanted a cool looking squad with a close combat set up.  I picked up a Dark Angel veteran kit and had a few other bits so this is how they ended up.  I'm happy with how they can out and Fletcher loves them.  Just need some detail on the bases and a coat of sealer and they are finished.  And OK they probably should have the Ultramarine logo on the shoulder, but I suck at painting it and don't have any of the stuff needed to do a good job with transfers.  They look better without it.

And lastly, something I just started.  I picked up a few Tau on ebay, thanks to having a balance on my pay pal for a while (and still got some money there, rubs hands together).  A couple of crisis suits and a broadside.  So first, wow, GW metal casting really frickin' sucks.  I mentioned how much I like Reaper's casting.  Well GW was the opposite.  Flash everywhere is annoying, but the thing aren't even shaped right.  They are all buckled and curved.  Pretty pathetic really, and particularly as their plastic stuff is second to none.  Anyway, I wanted to have a bit of fun with the Broadside so here we go.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Russ Plus - Extra armor finished

Image heavy post, but its worth it.  Here is my finished Russ Demolisher with the new Secret Weapon Miniatures extra armor kit.  It all goes together really well, gives the tank a slightly more 'techy' look which fits the huge plasma cannons just fine.  The last two shots show it with different guns, but also with the sponsons off and replaced by flat panels.  So thank you to Mister Justin for coming out with this kit.  I get a damn fine looking tank out of it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Russ Plus part 3

Almost finished.  Needs to be a bit rustier.  :)   Looking good though.  I'll get some decent photos once its done.

And here is the rust and the exhaust black, ready to make the tank look a little more like it has seen some use.  The weathering on the treads was rust brown (below) and terracotta earth with a wipe or metallic iron over the top.  Looks great.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Russ Plus part 2

My demolisher is all assembled now so I took a few more photos to show off the new armor.  I need to clean the model up a bit more than I realised.  Funny how a few macro shots can highlight that.  It's looking good though, can't wait for it to be finished.  Be even nicer to have it proudly as the center of my IG army.  Well at least until some bastard gets a fluke shot on it with a melta gun.  :)

Oh, the side panels do actually line up perfectly.  The slight gaps you can see in the photos are all to do with my imprecision with magnets rather than the size or shape of the panels.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Leman Russ Armor Kit

Here's a couple of shots of the Russ I'm adding the new Secret Weapon armor kit to.  The parts went on really easily and look great.  The turret armor needed to be set back a little on the demolisher turret as the wider moving front would get blocked by the armor if it was slid all the way forward.  The side armor has a decent amount of give as to where exactly it sits so you need to make sure both sides line up.  I've magnetized everything on this tank.  On the turret you can change out the main gun and the ammo box on the back.  On the sides the sponsons can be removed and replaced by the sidings that come with the kit.  And of course, all the rest of the guns will be swapable.  Here's the first few shots.  I'll post more as it progresses.

IG Officer of the Fleet

A Reaper mini rather than a GW, but seems perfect for joining my command squad as an officer of the fleet to annoy the folks with troops in reserves.  I still need to base him properly, but he's finished for the most part.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New toys

I picked up a manticore that is now assembled.  I pinned the stormeagles so they are removable.  Also added a bit of 'realistic blood effect' when I cut myself on one of the staples I was using for pins.  My IG army is now near "completion".  A couple of chimeras and another vet squad (plasma vets this time) and it'll be ready to do or die on the battlefield.  I've been really enjoying building and painting it, but its definitely time to put it to the test a bit more.

Of and the second new toy isn't really a toy as it will make me money.  Canon 300 f/4 L IS.  And people say GW stuff is expensive.  I used it for the manticore photo.  Not bad for handheld in regular lighting.  Can't wait to take it out to put it through its paces.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Slowly but surely

Things have been progressing OK on the painting front.  The backlog has been building though, and as I'm working on learning new techniques and trying new things I've been slowing down.  The Chaos Daemon is 'finished'.  I'm OK with it, the style I was going for only half worked.  I finished another Russ too.  Went simple on this one and actually prefer it to some of the stuff I did on the Chimeras.  I magnetized all the weapons too, although the turret can only swap between battle cannon and vanquisher cannon.  The demolisher turret was so much easier to magnetize.  Lastly, the 3 reaper minis I picked up.  I've been working on doing my skin tones better, so added some darker colors.  Repeated attempts to get things looking OK so its on a bit thick.  The guy (officer of the fleet for my IG) is coming along OK, the other two though, not sure about.  I'm far from happy with them yet.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reaper Minis

I picked up a few Reaper Chronoscope minis as I'd been checking out their line for a while.  I'd never bought any because, hey, GAMES WORKSHOP FOREVAR.  Seeing them though, makes me think GW has a lot in common with Apple.  Their product is no better than anyone elses, frequently limited, and often has weaknesses you can avoid elsewhere.  They just rely on marketing and customer herd mentality to ignore that.

So I look at these guys.  They need next to no clean up, I've only seen some really minor flash.  The mold lines are next to non-existent.  The have just as much character as the GW minis and more than some.  And, they were $3.  The absolute cheapest you can get a metal GW mini for is $5 and that is in a set of nearly identical figures.  Most of the individual minis are $10.75 and up to $17 for the slightly larger ones.  Compared to a better cast $3 mini?  Damn.

The woman on the left is going to be added to my IG snipers, the woman in the middle is going on a cool looking display base, and the guy on the right is going to be an officer (possibly a commissar) in my IG army.  Yeah yeah, I know you can't use non GW stuff in a tournament.  Thing is while I like the games I'm more in it for the modeling side.  I have more fun there making them than playing with them.

Oh and these came from Miniature Market who'd I'd definitely recommend and will use again.  Good prices, quick shipping, very well packed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We don't need no stinking rules

You see all these heated arguments about obscure rule interpretations.  Rules as written vs rules as intended and people being dicks about it just to make sure we all know their opinion is the only one that counts.  Thing is, I think my kids, particularly my 8 year old have way more fun with 40K than any of these people, and they don't even use the rules.  You always know when the conversation starts 'hey daddy, guess what the ork boss did?' that you are about to get a long and detailed battle report.  With sound effects.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New daemon prince - WIP 1

Loved the model so I figured I had to get one as a show piece.  At this stage I have zero interest in a Chaos Daemon army so all this is for is a cool looking mini.  Anyway, so far he is assembled and I've got a Runic Mountain base for him.  I've also pinned the feet and drilled holes in the base.  I didn't glue it down yet to make it easier to paint.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Had a fun day today hanging with Mister Justin of Secret Weapon Miniatures.  Got to see and help with the whole resin base construction process, (I did at least make myself useful), saw some of the other products, and learned about some of the upcoming stuff.  There is some really cool upcoming stuff that I'm sworn to secrecy on.  Its awesome though.  Picked up some of the new Kolinsky brushes which I'm looking forward to using, and had a damn fine Manhattan. 

Basically, good day, thanks Justin.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Elemental my dear Watson

A while back my dad brought over for me a bunch of my old stuff that had been sitting in my parents attic.  Mostly good although it did remind me of what I had given away way back when.  The best part (aside from finding out how much 1st edition plastic space marines sell for) was the cooler and more unusual figures I had that had survived being thrown out.  These elementals make a nice set. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

IG Veterens Done (mostly)

Got these done a little quicker than I expected.  They still need some sealer and probably unit icons at some point, but this is close enough.  The wash didn't work as intended this time.  Not sure if I put too much on (it was late at night) or had it too thick.  Not a disaster, but it makes them look a bit muddled.

 One of the cool things on these guys was the Secret Weapon backpacks.  They fit perfectly and really add a lot to the figures.  Some of the mods I did on these were a bit of a pain.  The backpacks fit like they came with the minis though.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

IG Veterans WIP 3

Just a quick update.  Next few days are going to be busy so this is about as far as they are going to get until probably next weekend.  Flat coats are all done, and a bit of the detail work.  Next its time for highlights, washes and dry brush where they finally start to look good.  The completed guy in the photo is one of my normal guardsmen as an example of how I've changed the color scheme.  Basically vets are black/gray instead of green.  yeah I know, revolutionary isn't it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

IG Veterans WIP 2

The veterans squad is all assembled now.  Didn't go too smoothly, converting the arms to hold the shotguns and melta guns was a bit fiddly and annoying.  They look pretty good as a squad though.  Three melta guns, 7 shotguns, and a powerfist.  Should do some damage.

Its nice to see them all with the backpacks on.  That, the catachan heads and the alternate weapons give the squad a nice distinctive look.  Next I need to finish cleaning up flash lines and such and then get them primed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

IG backpacks WIP

I've been wanting to add a veteran squad to my IG army, but wanted to custom build it.  I picked up some Catachan heads, a pack of meltas, had a bunch of left over SM scout shotguns, and got a pack of Secret Weapon backpacks.  I started putting some if this together tonight just to see how easy it would be.  The Catachan heads don't fit on Cadian bodies very well.  The meltas are a pain in the ass to get positioned.  The shotguns are easier but still some work.  The backpacks though, they went on perfect.  Slipped in nice and snug and tight with everything lining up perfectly (that's what she said).  Really, couldn't ask for more on these.  Well aside from if they'd come out 6 months ago I think all my guard would have them, they look great.

Lastly a quick WIP of another command squad.  Still need to clean them up a little before I prime them.  These are going to get mixed in with the existing stuff so I'll have an all plasma CCS (they also get the medic), an all flamer PCS (with the plasma pistol/power sword officer) and the melta dude goes to an infantry squad.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A bit rusty on pigments

I've just finished the first run at one of my Chimeras.  It's mostly finished, but there are thing I may go redo.  I went for a pale gray (fortress), same as the Valkyrie, but think I may have been better sticking with the darker gray of the sentinel (codex).  Also had a problem I've not noticed before, I need to seal after using pigments.  I rusted the model up some and then wanted to dry brush deneb stone to give it a dusty/dirty feel.  Well the rust pigment started turning it into Deneb Pink.  Note added:  Always do a quick sealer coat after pigments.  The rust itself was a bit of an issue too.  Managed to go way to heavy on one side, doesn't look too good.  Think I'll have to layer a bit of Fortress Gray over the top to tone it down some.  Lastly, the tracks.  They look amazing until I break out the sealer.  All I need to do is start shaking the can and they go all crappy.  I need to spend some time in Secret Weapon HQ, or bug Sirus over at GEG and see what they do to not have the can of sealer destroy your hopes and dreams decent looking weathering.