Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Names for the Webzine

Alright, I need your help. I have a name in mind for the webzine, but first let me tell you a little bit about what it will contain before you decide if the name is appropriate...

The Main focus of the webzine will to provide economical (read: cheap) ways of producing fantastic terrain, models, or gaming aids (that relate to 40k). Additionally, the secondary focus will be to promote narrative or 'fluffy' play, by giving campaigns, house rules, background fluff, and army lists to the reader. Finally, the tertiary goal of the webzine will be some of the other things that make up the 40k hobby, such as; painting, converting, sculpting, competitive play, battle reports, and tacticas.

Ok, now for the name. My wife and I devised the name: "The Hobby Bucket, for the 40k Gamer on a Budget". Too corny? I am drawing a blank for any other names, so please give me some suggestions!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Must..... Feed.... Addiction....

Well, I am finally letting go of a portion of my Flames of War (a WW2 game) collection. I am trying to fund a few things, mainly my 40k addiction but also I am trying to escape to a new apartment. In Alaska, the job market has not been kind to my family, but my wife and I are trying to turn things around. She just got hired as an Optometrist's Assistant in a Wal-Mart Vision Center, so that should help bring in some money. I have an interview for a position of Personal Trainer at the local gym (don't laugh, I am not a overweight middle-aged guy despite the stereotype of 40k player. I am ex-military and love to stay fit). But until the money rolls in from new employment... I have to roll the FOW out. FoxPhoenix Jr. has to eat! So drop on by to check out the going rates for some US Infantry platoons and such. I'd appreciate it!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

FoxPhoenix's New Venture: A Webzine for the Hobbyists?

Yes, now that I am infatuated with Scribus, I now have the urge to create my own webzine! If you like astromag, or Firebase, then what are the types of articles you like in it? I know I really like the hobby entries about modeling and painting. I've also been known to enjoy a well written battle-report. So what do you think?

I am going to need some help making this. If you think you have a good article that belongs in a webzine, or are a decent artist that can make some good imagery for the publication, feel free to send your work to:

I am currently entertaining the idea of making it mainly modeling/painting, with some gaming and battle reports thrown in to balance it. The 'zine will focus on 40k. So again, if you have something worth putting in a magazine, send it in! I need your help to pull this one off!

Also, I am gonna need to name it! Send in name suggestions too!

Grey Knights Squad- Almost Finished

Today I was hard at work finishing my Grey Knights power armor squad. I got them painted, and now I just need to base them for them to be finished. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

First Finished Grey Knight

Here he is, the first of 5 Grey Knights I purchased and am attempting to get table-top ready. Luckily, Grey Knights are stupidly easy to paint, even for my mediocre skills, due to all the detail the metal models hold. Well, what do you think?

Later, probably next month, I will bring to you the publication this is all gearing up for...

I am putting together a campaign, depicting the decline of a company of the Sons of Baal into Chaos. Of course, the Inquisition would probably be interested in controlling such an outbreak. Thus, the Ordos Malleus would send its Grey Knights to guard a valuable Inquisitor from the highly-likely demonic incursion...

Ok that's enough spoilers. You'll just have to wait and see how it goes from there.

Sons of Baal Supplement

Check out my newest publication: a background and supplement for my Chapter: the Sons of Baal. Give it a read, and let me know how you like it! If I get decent responses and feedback, I may try my hand at webzine editing. This may be the dawn of a new era here, folks.

You may have to go through a bit of junk to get to the download, I apologize. If anybody can suggest a better filesharing site (a free one BTW) I would be most appreciative.

Saturday Product of the Day: Scribus

Ever wonder how those webzines make their pdfs? I did. So, I looked into Adobe InDesign. Unfortunately, the student version of the program ran at over a hundred USD! What? How can I afford that? I needed an alternative program. FREESOURCE HO! I found Scribus on, and immediately started tinkering.

This program is great for creating professional-looking PDFs with little or no experience neccessary. The program is free for download, and has extensive support via the Scribus website. Look for it at

The next post will be the result of what I have been laboring over all day! Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Sample List That I Run

I have a multitude of lists saved on my computer, but here is a general take-all-comers 1500 point list I have had mild success with.

HQ: Chaplain with Plasma pistol.

Reason for taking- He reigns in the Death Company marines quite nicely, and adds to their effectiveness on the charge. A nice way to fill that required HQ slot.

Troops: 3 squads of 10 tactical marines, 9 Bolters + Sergeant

Reason for taking- Since BA troops have to pay for their special and heavy weaponry, I don't take them in the squads regularly. Occasionally, if I am worried about armor, I will throw Meltaguns in there and cut points elsewhere. Heavy weapons in tactical squads generally do not pay off for me. These guys are easily split into combat squads to contest objectives, or left whole to be hard rocks upon which my defense is based.

Heavy Support: 1 Predator with Lascannon Sponsons and Storm Bolter
Heavy Support: Devastator squad with 4 Missile Launchers, Sarge has Plasma Pistol

Reason for taking- The predator has an autocannon to deal with unprotected infantry or very light armor, or the lascannon sponsons to tear through the thick armor. I park it on a good lane of fire and don't move it much for the rest of the game, preferably at the farthest possible range I can get away with. The devastators also do not move much. I generally deploy them into cover they can fire from and leave them there, as long as they have good visibility. The missile launchers are versatile enough to take on lightly-armored infantry hordes or crack open lightly armored tanks. The plasma pistol for the sarge is disposable if you need the points, but I like to have a potent short range weapon to help fend off assaults (and unless you are very good, they are likely to get assaulted at some point).

Elite: 10 Veteran Assault marines, 2 with combat shields and power weapons
Elite: 8 Death Company marines plus a rhino with stormbolter and extra armor

Reason for taking- You may be tempted to take squads of assault marines, but don't. The squad of vets costs only 10 points more per squad, and you get 2 attacks instead of 1, plus better weapon options. I take 2 with shields and power weapons, so that each can act as a sergeant if I want to combat-squad the unit. Usually though, I leave the unit whole so they are not as vulnerable to morale checks. Your Death Company marines are gonna soak up fire from the moment they debut on the table if your opponent has ever faced BA before. It helps to A) put them in a rhino for the protection, B)use the rhino to run cover for them, or C) let those overcharged engines rip and charge your DC-filled APC right up a flank or onto an objective. The extra armor is pretty vital to keeping that rhino running as long as possible to get your DC where you want them to be. The extra stormbolter is super cheap, so taking it is smart and increases the amount of 'softening up' you can do with your rhino before you disgorge the DC.

The Army as a Whole:
I like to think of the army in terms of "Assault Units", "Mid-range Units", and "Back-Field Units". All the units listed above can fit into one of these three categories. For example, the Chaplain and his DC (as I always stick them together, hence the DC squad size of 8) belong to the Assault Units category.

I use the Assault Units to attack the soft spots that become available. Veteran Assault Squads (VAS) can deepstrike or bound across the field with their packs, and DC marines can use the rhino to charge into soft spots.

Although the DC marines are tough as nails, and the VAS are quick, the Mid-Range Units are your bread and butter in this list. They are slower than your assaulting squads, but they are vital to taking ground and objectives. Their bolters have a pretty limited range, but full squads of them are pretty fearsome once they are within that range. A single 10-man squad equates to 18 rapid fire shots and 1 pistol shot, all at BS 4. Against lightly armored infantry, the high strength and penetration of the bolts wreck whole squads. Against vehicles its not so good, but it definitely gives you a chance to glance against AV10 or below. Your Tactical squads are your only troop units, so in objective-based games you can combat-squad them into a total of 6 scoring units, which is decent. Granted, they are small scoring units, but scoring units nevertheless.

The Back-Field units are the guys who sit still and shoot. The dev's and the Pred belong here. They are meant to dish out extreme prejudice at maximum range, to soften up the lines before the hammer hits. The pred is mobile enough to move if the need arises, but I don't like relying on vehicles for my Anti-Armor weapons due to the fact that a single penetrating hit is all that is needed to scatter Pred debris across the board. When you consider the availability of meltas in MEQ forces, in land speeders, bikes, and everyday tactical squads, it makes relying on a vehicle a more dangerous proposition. You either add another dev squad in place of a pred if you don't like vehicles either, or you can replace the dev's with another pred. Player's preference. I don't have 2 preds at the moment, so this suffices.

Well, that pretty much covers it. I don't like relying on special characters and such to win, as I feel that those tactics are not in the best spirit of the game. Dante and Corborlo have some awesome abilities, but I prefer good ol'fashioned MEQ horde tactics. I like to swarm the board with 3+ save infantry that have BS 4. That's just me though.

What would you do differently? Let's open the dialogue, and get some ideas on how to further refine my tactics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Daemonhunters are here: Purge and Cleanse!

Today I finally received a package from good ol' Canada that I had won in auction over a month ago. I am stunned by the detail that is captured in the metal models, and it makes me very glad I got a few of them.

I have a little combat squad of Grey Knights of the Inquisition, 4 with Nemesis weapons and 1 with what appears to be a psycannon? I doubt they will see much competitive use, but they will definitely help along some of the more fluffy lists I have been known to compose.

Some thoughts on Grey Knights...
They have the ability to be taken either as a troop choice (yay another scoring unit!) or they can be added as a fast attack choice by deepstriking onto the battlefield with tele-packs. They also come with great weapons, essentially filling the roles of Terminators without the suits. The downside: just looking at the list will tell you that they are expensive, and they don't have nearly the survivability of their Terminator counterparts since they lack an invulnerable save.

But the models are so beautiful...
I'll spend a bit putting them together. In the meantime, look at this nice picture taken today on my new game board!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Portable Game Board

I have often found myself lacking space to store all my gaming-related things. Due to my family growing exponentially over the last few years, room is quickly becoming a valuable commodity in the FoxPhoenix house. Anything I can do to save room, without sacrificing good looking terrain and models, is definitely worth looking into.

Most of my games are played on ruined city boards. These kinds of boards are easy to make, being entirely flat and 2-dimensional, but make for some decent looking battlefields. The addition of a few craters and ruins and I can get a few decent shots for the battle report.

The battle for space, though, means that I have no permanent game board. Since everything has to be easily storable, this used to mean that I had a piece of black felt that I would simply drape over the kitchen table. Now, however, even this surface is off limits, because I can't tie up the only table where my children can eat at. Thus, I was inspired to make a folding game board, that I could attach the felt to. I didn't want to mess around with trying to drape the felt over a table anymore. So, I gathered the following supplies:
A 4'x4' sized board (the standard board size at most competitions I have attended)
3 Hinges and fasteners for them
My 6'x6' felt piece, black with white spraypaint dusting
A heavy-duty staple gun with 1/4" staples
2 sawhorses (aluminum and collapsible, about 15 USD ea. at a hardware store)

Using the pictured method, I made myself a much more convenient board! There are many other ways I could have gone about this, but I like my method as it is most convenient to my lifestyle. I store the sawhorses in the bottom of the closet, and this board fits perfectly under the bench on the front patio. Out of sight, and out of mind, keeps the missus happy!

It is late, but tomorrow I will set up the terrain on it for its first photo shoot!

My First Greenstuff Attempt

Today was a milestone day in my modeling history: today I did my first greenstuff conversion! I decided I needed a company captain with a power fist, so I made one out of bits I had left over, and decided to go further by adding a mantle. I made the basic shape by rolling the greenstuff into a ball, and then flattening the ball out before draping it over the shoulders. A sculpting tool from GW helped stipple the texture in. After I had the basic mantle, I used a thinly-rolled snake of g.s. to create a front portion of the mantle. I was at first worried about how the pauldrons would fit with the g.s. in the way, but then I realized that the g.s. would just help them adhere better so I just stuck them on. Hopefully it will look a lot better when painted.

For the second try, I used leftover g.s. from the first model to make the modle my command squad had been missing: a standard bearer. Granted, this isn't the full size standard, but it will do for now until I have time to make a proper bearer.

The other project I started today was making more easily portable/storable game board. More on that is to follow, so stay tuned!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Too cheap to buy magnets? Cheap alternative!

First off, I must apologize for my lack of a Sunday terrain tip. Instead, today I was busy putting together my newest purchase, a Predator! Having learned my lesson, I knew that I could make both a Rhino APC and a Predator from the same kit, using swappable parts. However, I lack magnets. How could I keep the parts swappable so I could field both?

You will find a cheap, temporary alternative at any department store or office supply store.

Poster-tack (a reusable, rubbery adhesive) can be applied to the interior of sponsons or hatches, providing temporary adhesion to the hull of the vehicle. By not gluing down the top hatch, I can swap between a Rhino's top doors and a Predator's turret collar.

Try it next time you find yourself without magnets, and you will make your model last the wait for them to arrive in the mail!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Product of the Day: The Forge (and alternative methods of building lists)

I used to use the well-known Army Builder by Lone Wolf Development, but recently I have had issue paying 40 bucks for a program they will not support as soon as the next version comes out. So, I delved into the realm of free; buildings lists in programs such as MS Excel and Word. This worked for a while, but I found it still involved a lot of page flipping. So I did an internet search and came up with a nice, free little program named "The Forge".

It is freeware made by a guy named Peter-Anthony Pappas, and you can download the program at his website: . He also offers a "Pocket Forge", which will run on most palms and pocket pcs, but this is not freeware. I believe it is shareware, and the full version can be purchased for a small fee. Go to his website to learn more about Pocket Forge, as I do not personally have any experience with it.

As for the Forge: you have to download army lists from a yahoo-based group, at , which requires membership. Not a big deal, because membership to yahoo is free.

Only certain army lists are currently supported, but ambitious and intelligent fellows have the ability to create their own army lists using the built-in editor of the program. Some current Codexes that are most current include:
Space Marines 5th Ed
Orks 5th Ed
Blood Angels 5th Ed
Tau 5th Ed
Tyranids 4th Ed
Eldar 4th Ed
Dark Eldar 4th Ed
Necron 4th Ed
Daemonhunters 4th Ed
Witchhunters 4th Ed
Imperial Guard 4th Ed
Chaos Space Marines 4th Ed

In other words, for 4th edition players there is no problem at all. All the 4th edition codexes are in there, including some neat stuff like a Creature Feature from White Dwarf, as well as alternative languages in some codexes (Only German for CSM and Daemonhunters / Witchhunters, I believe.)

The program is easy to use, and has no limitations on army lists. Meaning: it will not validate your lists and tell you if it is legal. This requires you to have your codex, and know how many of what can go where, but it does do the math for you. It has some rudimentary stats for each model in an army, but it does not include stats for standard equipment they come with. When you print it, for example, it will include the stats for a Missile Launcher in a Tactical Squad, but not the Bolters. Most players have that stuff memorized anyway, and just need a program to quickly calculate point options. That is what this is perfect for, and it's FREE!

Some other small features add to the usability of the program to this end, such as a feature to add up the selected options only. This can tell you how much points you have delegated to wargear, or how many points worth of vehicles you have, for example. It also includes an integrated dice roller, but I have not found this to be as useful. I imagine it might be useful to somebody.

In short, The Forge is a free and easy way to build some army lists without having to fork out the major dough for the AB suite. Also, it keeps players honest by requiring them to have a copy of their codex, which I support fully. I highly suggest checking this program out at:

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chapter Naming Poll is closed, results are in!

By a two-to-one majority, the winning name of the poll is (drumroll please...).............................

Bum ba ba BA!!!!

The SONS OF BAAL with 6 votes.

The runner-up in the poll was Blood Luminar, with 3 votes. Because of this, I will find some way to incorporate the Blood Luminar name into the chapter, probably as a company nickname. I am also partial to the Blood Luminar, so it will fit my company nicely.

Thanks to everybody who voted! Don't forget to tune in tommorrow for my weekly product review post.

(It will be a review of something you wouldn't normally see!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I don't play apocalypse, yet I am building a Warhound????

As the title says, I don't have an apocalypse rulebook, but over on Ron's "From the Warp", I saw some templates available for download on building your own Titan: Warhound variant. I have no idea how one would field a Titan, or the recommended payload, but I have always been fascinated with people's scratch builds of them and wanted to attempt one myself. The Warhound was the smaller of the two, and appeared simpler. A perfect model for my first try!

I printed the templates out on some heavy-duty cardstock (120 lb.), and have been putting it together with a combination of masking tape and hot glue. So far, all I have done is a foot, and I am 2 hours into it. Oh well, at least my cost is cheap so far (approx. 38 cents). More to come, so stay tuned!

Last day to vote!

Today is the last day of the Chapter Naming poll. Get on and vote!

I have little time today, but I will make sure to post later and explain my most recent exploits. I did buy some more paint yesterday, and some greenstuff! This will be my first attempt at sculpting, so I will try to document it in detail.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is anybody out there even using this junk???

I've had some really good reviews on some of my blog articles recently, but that makes me wonder... does anybody REALLY use these modeling ideas?

Here is my challenge to you, as the reader of these articles.

Send in a picture to of a terrain piece or model you made that used an idea you got from this blog. Also, if so desired, include a link to your own website or blog so you get twice the coverage! I am interested to see if anybody actually likes any of the ideas I have brought about on this blog. Additionally, if anybody gleaned some inspiration for a new idea from one of my projects, send that in as well! Nothing beats improving upon an idea!

So get in those pictures and links! On May 1st, this year, I will post an entry with all the pictures and links I receive. So don't delay, act now!

Yay job hunting...

Sorry for the lack of updates, been out job hunting today. Additionally, my son had his first day of daycare today, so things were pretty busy.

The chapter naming poll is closing soon, so be sure to get your vote in! I need some tie-breaking between the leaders, or I will have to run a third poll as a sudden death! I don't want to wait that long, so hurry up and vote!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Terrain Piece 2: Adeptus Astartes Hero Shrine

For this Sunday's piece, you will need to devote a little more time and money than last week's crater project, but this project can add a nice centerpiece to your cityfight board. Let's start with the supplies you will need:

A pack of cork tiles (6-7 USD)
Hot glue gun *High Temp, mini sticks* (5-7 USD)
Mini-glue sticks (5-6 USD)
Greco-pillars *found in wedding cake supply aisle* (5 USD)
Squared-off craft sticks (4 USD)
PVA glue *aka white glue, elmer's glue, etc*(.50 USD)
Craft paints *black, gray, white* (.50 USD each)
A leftover plastic miniature for the statue
Plastic bits *to make the bell, statue stand, etc*

The first step is to make your building template. Each floor has to be the same size, so cut out 2 squares of equal size from your cork tiles. The left-over pieces from the tile can be used to make the wall sections to the upper floor. Using the hot glue, attach the four pillars to the four corners of your bottom floor. Make sure they are all oriented in the same direction, as some pillars have distinct sides. Glue your top floor on next before you start on making the walls of the top floor. Leave a gap in the walls for an entrance to the top floor. Also, it makes the piece more usable game-wise if you make the walls as ruined facades, rather than complete walls. This makes it easier to place miniatures in the tower. You could be really adventurous and make a removable roof if you wanted complete walls, but that was a little more involved (and complete) than I wanted this project to be. With ruined walls, it blends much more seamlessly into my ruined-cityscape.

Next, its time to make the statue. I used a bottle cap from a 20 oz drink, and glued a miniature to the top with the hot glue. A small, square piece of cork makes a good piece to attach an inscription block for the statue. Glue this whole bit into the center of the bottom floor.

The following step is quite tedious, but produces spectacular results. Before you start, carve a hole in the floor of the 2nd story that goes through completely. Then, cut pieces of the craft sticks so that they match the length of your 2nd floor and lay them down in the similar fashion to a wood floor laminate. When you get to the hole in the floor, cut a whole piece to fit across the entire length, but break it unevenly. The remove a piece so that the edges of the boards end over the hole, but broken and jagged-like. Once you have finished laying the entire floor, use extra sticks as a trim border around the perimeter, to clean up the appearance of any mis-matched sizes. If you make a roof to the 2nd floor, make sure you make a bigger hole in that too, to give the illusion that a bomb or some other projectile penetrated through the building. Adding a few vertical boards in the corners helps too.

Use some crumbled cork to add rubble to the bottom floor. Use plastic bits to create a bell in the tower, and glue that down. Or use a bell of appropriate size, if available. How you create access to the 2nd floor is up to you: a ladder, staircase, or lift are all acceptable, some are just more difficult than others to make. I made a staircase, by cutting out 2 cork forms and gluing rectangular steps to the forms. That project was separate, and a little out of the scope of this tutorial however.

Now, all your cork sections are not going to be very sturdy. This is remedied by sealing the cork with PVA glue. Watered down a little, the PVA glue spreads pretty well. Use it to cover all of the cork sections and seal it. Don't get any on the wood floor, though, or you can't use a wash to darken and age the wood later.

After the glue dries, all that is left is the paint! Start with black or gray, your preference, and drybrush the next lighter color on.

The rest of the minor details are up to you. Now you have a dominating tower that rules the cityscape!

Have a Happy 40k Easter!

With a suitably 40k-gothic easter bunny! Sure to delight your kids! *(Results may vary.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Product of the Day: Testors Liquid Cement for Plastics

For today's product, I have for you my plastic model glue of choice: Testors Liquid Cement for Plastic Models, in the handy 1 oz. applicator.

This stuff is fantastic. For putting together plastic kits, nothing bonds better. But wait! There's more! Not only does it do a bang-up job putting together those kits, but it also does not stick your fingers together like superglue does. It also smells kind of like lemons, as opposed to burning hair like some epoxy glues.

Surely there is a downside, you say? The only downside I have encountered so far is that it does not work on metal, wood, ceramics, etc. (Duh.) It only works on plastics. Fortunately, GW is trying to make all their kits plastic eventually, so this works out for most GW products.

Aside from the glue itself, the applicator is also a wonderful product. A minuscule tube, like the needle of a large syringe without the sharp point, is perfect for precise application of the cement where you need it. No more big globs out of huge tubes!

A single thing of this stuff runs you about 7-8 USD at your local department store that sells models. The good thing is that the large 1 oz size will last you a very long time. I have about a 1/3rd of a bottle left, and I have been using this stuff for all of my plastic models since I started the hobby. That comes out to about 100+ infantry models and a couple vehicles! Definitely worth every penny.

A word of caution, however. This cement works so well, that you will not be able to break a model down into pieces later like you can do with superglue-constructed models. Whatever plastic models you put together with this will stay like they are pretty much indefinitely. You will have to cut a model to change it at all. This can be a minor annoyance if your codex changes, and you need to reflect the changes on your model for WYSIWYG purposes. Also, once you glue it, you can't remove it later if you decide you want to magnetize something. This glue is pretty much permanent.

So, in short, get this stuff for easy creation of semi-permanent plastic models. It works wonders.

Friday, April 10, 2009

You be the judge! The final Chapter naming poll is up!

You can select multiple answers to this poll, in case you can't narrow it down to just one. The top two contenders from the previous poll, as well as all the ones I have received via email, are included in this poll.

For furthering your understanding of background behind the chapter, here is another little bit of fluff:

2nd Company's Chaplain Nero Paternus stepped off the landing ramp of his Thunderhawk, feeling the ashen remains of a dead civilization crunching beneath his armored feet. From behind the skull-shaped visage of his chaplain's mask, his suits senses gave him the sensation of his nostrils burning. Acrid sulfur clung to the air like a heavy shroud.

He looked around and took in the sights of a civilization that had fallen to ruin. Twisted hulks of habitat buildings had fallen into burnt heaps and craggy building spires lay broken amongst the wreckage. A pallid smoke still sauntered into the air almost lazily, fed by buried embers that had burned for years.

The first drop pods of the assault force were touching down amidst the ruins, disgorging their squads into their standard battle formations. A few of the marines already were shouting Sanguinius battlecries, and acting in an erratic manner. Nero knew that the Black Rage was falling upon them, and it would be his duty to tend to them. It would be his duty to give them direction and focus their unbridled energy at the foes they were hunting here amidst the ruins.

Chaos. The taint of it was unmistakable to the experienced chaplain. He could almost feel it, like a throbbing heart, beating in his temples. It saddened Nero to think that the enemies they were here to kill had once been called his brothers.


The Strike Cruiser Salve Veritate (Saving the Truth) had long since been dispatched to quell an upstart warband of Orks in the region of planets that orbited a star in the Ghoul Stars cluster. The cruiser carried the 6th Company, known to be ferocious in combat to compensate for its smaller size than its brother-companies. Two centuries passed, and there had been no sign or message from the cruiser. All the Adeptus Astartes from that vessel were presumed dead, and the search parties that scoured the ruins of the planet had come up empty-handed. The vessel had simply vanished.

Then, a few years ago by the Imperial Calendar, the Chapter's Fleet astropaths began to feel the psychic tremors. It was like the call of a siren, alluring and yearning, tugging at the fabric of their minds. The Lord Commander ordered investigation into this phenomenon. As near as the astropaths could decipher, the tremors' epicenter was emanating from the very planet that the Salve Veritate had been dispatched to. Fearing the worst: the commander ordered his most esteemed battle-company, the 2nd, to initiate a reconnaissance of the planet. The task-force was told to prepare for any foe, be it xenos or the heretic, the traitor or the demon. Little did Nero know, it might be all of them at once.

Well? Was it any good? Comments appreciated as always!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

First Chapter Naming Poll is almost done! Vote Now!

The first poll for a new chapter name for my BA Codex chapter is almost concluded! Vote today so I can start deciding what decals to use!

Here is a taste of the fluff I had planned, to help you decide:

Long have we been on this crusade in the lightless void. The Ghoul Stars are not a friendly region, are there are many dangers that lurk in the darker reaches of the Emperor's glorious Imperium. Our crusade has taken us far from those who once called us brothers. Our dwindling naval fleet harbors all the home we have ever known. Even the oldest among us, the venerable Brother Circius in his Dreadnought casket, have the faintest glimmering memory of our homeworld. Baal, so long ago, had sanctioned this crusade. We have held fast in this endevour, but the Red Thirst and the Black Rage has taken many of our brothers and twisted them beyond reason or recognition, so our mission is becoming increasingly taxing.

Our commander has decided that it is time to return home, to reaffirm our mission and restore our strength. We have wandered far from our origins, but perhaps with the guidance of our predecessor chapter's Lord Dante, we can regain our focus and replenish our resources. Maybe with the aid of our former brothers, we can become strong again.

---- Okay, I realize that it is not the best, and probably has a ton of stuff wrong with it, but maybe you all can help me with that. Here is the fluff I am pretty sure about, and want to keep an integral part of my army's story:
*The entire chapter is fleet-based, and operates from a Battlebarge and a couple of strike cruisers.
*The chapter is constantly under-strength, due to the active nature of their crusade.
*It is a successor to the Blood Angels, but the details of its Founding (and the reason behind its crusade) are intentionally obscure.

Aside from that, I am open to suggestion for fluff. Maybe knowing a little bit about what I am aiming for will allow you to pick a better chapter name!

After today's poll closes, I will be running one final poll that includes the names that I have received as suggestions both by email and on the DakkaDakka forums. The winner of that poll will be the new chapter name for my Blood Angel successors! So get voting, and give me your suggestions!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Let's Talk Tactics 1: BA vs SM

After last night's game, I found that some things work and others do not. Here are some general tips for BA players facing Codex SM armies:

*Nothing pops power armor like plasma weaponry, but beware: it can turn on you!
*If you are going to take a squad, it is better to take the squad at its full capacity. Anything less, and they get picked apart too quickly and are forced to take morale checks.
*Death Company marines are your greatest asset, but you have to use them in conjunction with a Chaplain or Brother Corbolo in order to direct their efforts.
*Even when unguarded, a captain with a power fist is still a formidable opponent.
*Scouts will crumple in an assault. Take advantage of it.

Here are some general guidelines for building lists for BA, when you suspect to face a lot of SM:
*Troops are important in 5th edition. Don't forgo points here.
*DC are very powerful. I would venture to say that they are even more so than standard terminators. So make use of them, and field as many of them as you can get points into.
*Don't waste a lot of points on the frills. Meltabombs are great, when you get to use them, but you have to ask yourself how often you really will get to assault with them. Bodies are better than bombs, as a rule of thumb.

That should get you a good start. Email me some other BA tactica tips at and I'll put together a post on it!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mini-Battle Report: BA vs SM

Tonight I played a game of 40k with my wife, and surprisingly had a lot of fun. 40k is made for players who like to think tactics, but it also is made well enough that even a not-so-tactically-inclined player has somewhat of a chance. My wife doesn't have a clue about 40k, but she tries and even puts up a challenge from time to time.

Tonight's game; a 500 point super-small game based in a city landscape (of course, this is my favorite type of board). These lists wouldn't fly at a competitive event, but I wanted to start her off easy.

The basic lists:
My BA Codex-
Chaplain w/ Plasma Pistol
2 Death Company Marines
5 Veteran Assault Marines, 1 with Combat Shield and Power Weapon
10-man Tactical Squad with Flamer and Plasma Cannon

Her SM Codex-
Company Captain with Powerfist
10-man Tactical Squad with Flamer and Missile Launcher
5 Man Assault squad, sarge had Combat Shield and a Power Weapon
5 Man Scout squad with a heavy bolter.

It was a standard Capture and Control mission, but I was more bent on killing her troops than getting my own onto the objective, and therefore I made the game a draw. A few highlights from the game:

-Her scouts tried to circumvent the majority of my forces. They hid behind a ruined wall that she did not notice had an open in it. My death company pair, along with the Chappy, jumped through and beat the scout squad senseless in one round. The one poor soul who survived the slaughter tried to turn tail and run, but got mowed down before ever firing a shot.
-My veteran assault squad pulled a deepstrike on turn 2. They cornered the captain by himself in the rear of the enemy force in turn 3, and assaulted him. The enemy captain went to town on my squad, crushing two of them with that power fist and shrugging off every attack sent his way. The jump pack troops then disengaged, proverbial tails between their legs. Some 'veterans'.
-It took me 5 turns to get my tactical squad to the top of the bell tower ruins overlooking most of the board. I got 1 shot off with the plasma cannon in the 6th turn, but it was a good shot that killed 5 tactical marines from her squad. Gotta love clustered forces! I think she might have learned her lesson from that one.
-Very anti-climatic ending. The death company pair and the chaplain dove into the weakened tactical squad's line, and each side took casualties until only the chaplain and the veteran sergeant remained. The game ended that turn, with the two failing to exact a fatal blow on the other.

It was a fun game. It took longer than normal, because I had to explain a lot of rules to her. It was still fun overall, though, and it was awesome to see the terrain pieces I have been working on for the last few months finally fill up a table. Later, I will discuss the actual tactics involved behind the engagement, and go over the strengths and weaknesses I see between the BA codex and vanilla SM codex lists.


Today I got out my piece of black felt that has been sitting in my closet forever. I rejoiced in the driveway as I went to my garage, which has long since been clutched in the frigid grasp of winter... until now. The sun was shining, the temperature above freezing, and I had a can of white spraypaint. SPRAYPAINT! I did a little jig as I realized I could use spraypaints again. So, my black felt square became my new table covering with a dusting of spraypaint.

With that being done, I decided to set up my buildings and terrain on my board to see how it looked. This is what the result was, as you see in the pictures above. Finally I have some good city terrain!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Terrain Piece 1: Easy Craters

Here is a quick tutorial for a easy piece of terrain that won't take up your entire Sunday. This is so you can do those other things your wife has been nagging you to do all week, like go to church, take her shopping, fix the garage door, and so on...

First off, the supplies:
-Keebler mini-pie crust tins (made of aluminum, cracker crumb crust things) 2.99 USD
-Jello pudding or pie filling 1.99 USD
-Patching plaster (powdered, not ready made) 2.99 USD
-PVA glue 0.39 USD
-Craft Paint, Black and White 2.00 USD
-Anything to use for texture: ballast, potting soil, dirt, etc VARIES

Total cost of supplies: about 10 bucks for approximately 10-15 craters (can be less or more depending on the types of materials you use such as the ballast or plaster)

Step 1: Make a pie and eat it too
This is the best part for a Sunday afternoon! Make the pie and eat it. You paid for a pie crust, so make it and eat it! Save the tin!!!!

Step 2: Mix the plaster
Mix up your plaster. Generally, the stuff calls for 1 part water to 3 parts powder, but I usually have to add more water than that. Adding some glue helps thin it too, and it should dry stronger too.

Step 3: Crush up the tin to look like a crater
The pie tin needs to be molded a little to get a proper crater-like shape. Turn it upside down (or rightside up for a crater) and press the middle so that you make a depression there. How deep you want it is up to you. This will also warp the sides in a little bit, but that is ok.

Step 4: Fill it with the plaster, and make a crater
Turning it back over, fill it up to the top with plaster. Give it a few taps on the table to vibrate some of the bubbles out to ensure it bonds strong. Let it sit for at least 5-6 hours (go watch some football if it is in season!), then CAREFULLY extract the plaster piece from the tin by bending the edges of the tin outwards away from the plaster piece. Once out of the tin, let dry for a couple more hours. (Do that chore on your "honey-do" list.)

Step 5: Paint and glue
Mix up a sticky paste consisting of PVA glue, black paint, and your texture medium. Using one of your lousy brushes (a big one), glop this stuff on the entire thing. Really build up the middle portion to make it more gradual, so the depression you made doesn't have such steep sides. Wait for this stuff to dry for several hours (Sunday dinner! Yum). On the plus side, because you added the black paint you don't need to base coat it again.

Step 6: Final drybrushing and sealing (Urban style, skip if you have different paint scheme in mind)

Take some black paint and add a glob of white to make a dark grey. Drybrush the entire outside of the crater, and the crater rim. Don't do the interior so much, but give it a light drybrush. Add more white to your grey, and drybrush again, but lighter this time. Adding a lot more white to your grey, give it a x3 very light drybrushing. On the inside of the crater, drybrush a light coat of earth-colored brown. Seal it with your preffered sealant (varnish, spray matte, modge-podge, etc).

Your done!! A super easy crater that you barely had to pay any attention to! You still had time for all that other Sunday stuff, and got a couple pieces made for your game table at the same time. The only downside to this method is that it does take a long time between steps, due to drying time. Your drying time may vary depending on climatic differences.

For BEST RESULTS, I reccommend making these in batches. The mini-pie tins come in packs of six, so make them all at once to save time. Also, ready-mixed patching plaster will not work the same. It takes forever to dry, for some reason, and it doesn't dry as hard.

Finally, you can reuse your tins! Just put them back into a crater-like shape after you peel them off the first one. I expect to get at least a half-dozen uses out of mine before I can no longer use them. Not too bad, for a ten dollar project.

Until next time, have fun modelling!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday's Product of the Day 1: Modge-Podge

I am starting a weekly post on Saturday where I review a product I use in my 40k endeavors. This week I am reviewing an overlooked sealing medium known as Modge-Podge: Matte Finish.

We all know that 'ardcoat from GW is too glossy. In fact, until recently, I decided to forgo applying sealant at all, due to the fact that you can't use a spray can when it is -10 degrees F outside, and you have little ones in the house. So, I began my search for a good product that could be brushed on and would have a nice matte finish. That's when I found this stuff.

About 4 bucks at my local department store, a pretty good sized jar of the stuff seemed like a good deal. When I got home and opened it, it smelled exactly like PVA glue. Naturally, I was a little peturbed that I spent money on what I perceived to already possess. I reluctantly decided to test it, to ensure that I might be able to use it.

Spot testing on my painting surface, I found that normal PVA glue, when thinned with water, still leaves a slightly glossy look similar to a Satin finish. The modge podge, in addition to thinning out more consistently, dried with a much clearer and less shiny finish, like a matte coating should. The best part: it didn't distort color at all! PVA has to be thinned considerably before it can be used as a coating, or it will leave a white residual effect. Modge Podge does not do this unless you don't thin it at all. With a little water, it becomes the perfect brush-on-application sealant!

There you go, my 1st weekly product of the day. I hope it helps!

First highlighting attempt- Rhino

For those of you who remember my first attempt at a Rhino, it wasn't very good. I was a little intimidated by the highlighting process, preferring instead to just heavily wash my models. On infantry I can get away with this a little more. On vehicles, however, it is a bit more apparent.

Thus I decided to try my hand at highlighting. The Rhino was painted mechrite red, a foundation color, and the only other red I had from GW is Scab Red. Thus, I had to turn to my lesser-quality paints from Applebarrel. I used Bright red, which I imagine is the equivalent to Blood Red, but with a less smooth mixture. This made it a little more difficult to use proper highlighting technique, and it appeared to be more of a drybrush job. Ah well, the desired effect was nearly achieved, so I had to call it good.

This job helped make it more true red, more like a Blood Angel vehicle should be. I hope you agree!

I also added some water transfer decals to help Angelicize the vehicle. A coat of Modge-Podge Matte finish sealed it.

2nd Assault Squad Leader

I haven't been posting as frequently recently, and the reason being I have had a sort of renaissance of painting lately. This is the model I have nearest completion, an assault squad Sergeant. I normally do not like transfers, preferring to leave out the iconography, but this time I couldn't resist.

I tried applying a new technique for a scar. I will post a mini-torial on it later. I still have to finish the base and clean up some lines, but this is basically how it will look.

Make your own painting tray with built-in rack! Part 3

We are finally going to finish the basic tray and rack. You can go about this in several ways, but we will first cover the way I did it.

Now that we have the basic pieces put together, we need to drill some holes to put the paint brushes into. Along the back, I experimented with different drill bit sizes until I found one that accommodated the majority of my brushes. I then drilled holes at regular intervals along the whole back of the rack. Drill these all the way through.

Next, I had to dig out a heavy duty electric drill to use with my holesaw bit. I used a 4" holesaw, the kind they include with doorknob installation kits. Keep a good grip on the drill, because it will really buck when the bit gets a good bite of the wood. Be sure to follow all the recommended safety precautions when using power tools! (I.e. eye protection, hearing protection, etc.) Drill these all the way through.

Now I chose this time to affix a wood block measuring 2x3x3 onto the tray, and drilled some more holes for paint brushes. This time, since the block was large, I drilled a pilot hole from the underside of the board and used a regular drywall screw. In retrospect, I should have done this instead of nailing the top rack to the tray, but sometimes you just want to hammer on something, you know?

Now, to keep the nail and screws on the underside from scratching up the wife's kitchen table, I used a stapler to attach pieces of soft craft foam (brand name "Foamies", 38 cents a sheet at Wal-Mart) to the underside. This also helped keep it from slipping on the table.

We'll continue to add details later. For now, your tray is functional as a brush rack and painting area! By this point you can probably customize it to suit your own needs anyway.

For those who were wondering, I got the black plastic piece from the interior of an old junk car. It was the part of the dash that had knobs for the AC/heater and stuff. I don't really know for sure where it is from, but I imagine you can find something similar in an old car or even a car organizer from a department store might work.

Other options to customize your rack: (the one for painting, you sicko)
Add a border to the board
Drill in holes to accomodate paint pots
Add cubby for unusual pot types
Affix a tray to put hobby tools
Seal the project with varnish or paint

Hope this gives you some ideas!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Build your own paint tray, Part 2

Now that you have your materials together, lets start putting it together. I will go into depth for those who are not carpenters (as I am not one either).

First off, if you are like me, you will need to cut down your board so it actually fits on a table. Use a square to mark the number of inches you want to mark off on each side of the board. A chalk-line helps to make a straight line between the two points, but if you have a long enough level or square you can use it as a straight-edge and draw a line with a sharpie or a carpenter's pencil. My board was about 22 inches, so I cut off about 5 inches. Save this piece for later, you'll need it.

Next, time to build the rack portion. If your excess board you cut off is in the area of 6" or less, cut two pieces of the 1x2 to match the width of this board. If the excess is over 6", cut it down so it is between 6" and 4", your preference. Once you have your two pieces, take finish nails long enough to go through two layers of board and your 1x2, and nail them through. Be careful of the surface you do this on, as the nails might penetrate all the way through to a surface you would rather not be nailed to! After the nails are through, pound the tips over so they don't stick out.

Part 3 coming soon!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Make your own painting tray with built-in rack! Part 1

This is the first of yet another multi-part tutorial. This time I am covering the building of a painting surface that has a rack built into it. This rack will have spots for brushes, paint pots, and even cups of water. (Or a beer! Your choice, assuming you are legal drinking age. Can't say it steadies my hand, but some claim it does.)

First: the supplies. You will need these as a minimum:

A board of 1/4" plywood, preferrably MDF
Finish nails
Some screws
A drill with multiple bit sizes
A hole-saw bit (At least 3", preferably 4")
A piece of 1x2 board

These are supplies I recommend in addition to those above:
Felt or cork for bottom covering
Staplegun (contractor grade, for attaching the felt)
2"x3" block at least 4" long (true measure)
Handles (the long-arc type used for some cupboards)
Files and sandpaper
Wood-Stain or gloss varnish

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Painting my Death Company: Speed Style

As you may know, I have been neglecting my Death Company marines for quite a while. Well, the other day I decided I had just plain had enough. So, speed painting time!

Base coat of gloss black from a non-GW paint, followed by gold trim and bone-white shoulder pads made for some of the fastest painting I have done in a while. They are not even nearly complete yet, but this is what I have so far. I suppose I need to spend less time blogging and more time painting, eh?

Terminator Chaplain Kitbash

I decided that I want to have a Termy Chappy. Therefore, I spent a couple days browsing around on the internets to find the neccessary bits to compliment the ones I already had. This is what I ordered:
-Chaos Terminator Lord Body and Legs
-Black Templar Terminator Shoulder Pads (a lot cheaper than regular termy pads for some reason)
-Terminator Misc. Bits (all the little stuff not neccessary to a termy build like heraldry shields and the like)
-Extra Heraldry Shields

I already had the arms, and I just used an unhelmeted head.

For the whacking stick, I spliced up the Homing Beacon that came with the bits and used the light as the shaft, and then I just stuck a large winged icon on the top to make the head. I reinforced it by gluing scroll cases from the shaft to the hand, making the bond tighter. These got glued to a powersword hand with the blade lopped off.

For the legs, I filed off the totem-looking thing on the left leg, and then filed down a heraldry shield too, and stuck it on the leg. I glued on groin protection, and filed down the chest iconography. I stuck another plate that came from the bits onto this filed down spot.

Now all I need to do is file down some of the edges and mold lines, and it will be ready for painting! (Not to mention the Dark Angel markings on the storm bolter....


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