Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Today was a very productive day! Using left-over soil/glue mix from my Tank Trap Barricades, I was able to base a LOT of miniatures. All of my Space Marines now have the material on their bases, and are now just awaiting a quick drybrush to finish up. Here are a few units I completed today (Finally done and table-ready with a quick coat of paint on the base!):
5 Grey Knights (In power armor, 1 w/ Incinerator)
6 Assault Marines (5 + 1 Sergeant)
1 Regular Chaplain w/ Plasma Pistol
1 Terminator with Assault Cannon
In Ork business, I got my ENTIRE collection primed today! Expect a review, of the amazing product I used to complete this daunting task, in the near future. I am saving it for Saturday, since I have been neglectful of the product reviews as of late. Anyway, here is a list of the Ork models I primed today:
36 Ork Boyz with choppas and sluggas
4 Ork Boyz with big shootas
10 Ork Nobz
2 Ork Warbosses
6 Ork Deffkoptas
I have also gotten consent from my wife! She is finally going to help me paint all that ork flesh... It doesn't seem like such a huge task when you know that somebody is going to help share the work load.
I promise to get some good pictures of my recent work soon! For now, I am just going to try to keep up my momentum!
Until next time-
Today I want to share how I made a lot of easy and decent-looking tank obstacles, using fairly cheap and widely-available items.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED: (Costs are approximate)
(Pictured) Ice Cube Tray: I found a nice one made for RVs that had a more square shape to the cubes rather than the elongated rectangles used in most trays. Cost: 1.50 USD for 2 trays.
Foamcore Board: This will be used as the base. You can use a different material if you desire, but I use it because it is cheap and looks good. Cost: 3.00 USD per 2'x2' section.
Low Temp Hot Glue Gun: Used to adhere the finished cubes to the board. Cost: 5 USD (including glue sticks)
Plaster: I used plaster of paris made for modeling and sculptors. Cost: 4.00 USD for a bunch, plenty left over.
Potting Soil: Some of you may know this as my preferred medium for basing, making an organic texture when applied liberally with glue and paint. Cost: Free, if your significant other or your mom has potted plants!
Cheap Craft Paints: Black and white as a minimum. You really don't want to use up your expensive paints on a terrain piece. If you have it on hand, gray is useful so you don't have to mix your own. That helps keep consistency between pieces. Cost: 2.50 USD per color for a 8 oz container.
PVA Glue (AKA Elmer's): Buy the off-brand if you can, such as Rose-Art, because you are going to use a lot of it. Cost: .5 USD per 4 oz container.
When mixing the plaster, use the directions on the back. Pour the mixture into the ice cube tray, making sure to fill each cube as equally as possible. I found it useful to use a scraper to scrape off the excess. Scrape the excess onto a piece of newspaper or a paper plate and we can use that later. Once your tray is filled, tap it a few times to let all the air out. After about an hour or two, they should be ready to be popped out of the tray. They need to be popped out to dry properly. Let them harden overnight.
Cut out the foamcore bases. You will need either a sharp knife, or you will need to peel the paper backing off and use a hot-wire foam cutter. Make them big enough to accommodate at least 3 cubes with gaps in between. That is all you can do for one day, you'll have to wait for the cubes to be totally dry.
Mix your potting soil with a copious amount of PVA glue and black craft paint. Just make sure you use more glue than paint. Plug in your low-temp glue gun to get it warming up. Be careful! It does get hot, and it is likely to drip hot glue if you leave it alone too long. Make sure nothing flammable is around it. Our paper plate / newspaper with the excess should be dry now, so take that large piece and smash it up, mixing the pieces into your goop.
Glue the cubes to the bases, using the hot glue gun, being sure to leave gaps in between. By the time you are finished with the last one, the one you did first should be cool enough. (Pictured) Use your old brush to glop mixture onto the piece, starting with the gaps. Use the brush to coat the entire piece, but leave the most debris in the gaps between the tank traps. This step will take another night to harden overnight.
You should have something similar to the 3rd picture above. Now you can come back with a gray, and dry-brush it over the whole piece. Pay special attention to the tank traps themselves. For the final dry-brush, use a very light gray or a white. Finish up with a sealant of your choice, I still use Modge-Podge matte that is slightly watered-down. You're done! See the finished product in the 4th picture above.
This should at least stimulate some ideas about making tank traps. It may not exactly be fast, but it is easy, in my opinion. You should get 7 or 8 barricades, depending on the cubes that your tray produces. What are some of the ways you guys make tank trap barricades?
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I have a TON of projects going, and I thought I would show you just how much I have sitting on my table at the moment. I am only mentioning the active projects I have going, not the ones I decided to neglect!
Going in order of the photos-
Assault Squad: Painted, needs basing.
Random Infantry: Special weapons, sergeants, and the odd occasional trooper. Painted, needs basing.
Objective Markers: Assembled, most need priming, painting and Basing.
Bike Squads: 5 Left to assemble, 2 meltaguns, 2 sergeants, 1 captain, and 5 regular bikers already assembled. A few are primed, but most are not. One has a partial paint test completed, but needs finishing. They will not need basing, but the bases will need painted.
Command Squad: Champion is painted, the others need painted. All need basing.
Additional Terminators for standard Terminator Squad: A few are primed, all need painted and based.
Mephiston: Painted, needs basing.
Chaplain: Painted, needs basing.
Terminator Chaplain: Primed, ready for painting and basing.
Tactical Squad: Primed, ready for painting and basing.
Various commander models: Need painting and basing.
AoBR Tactical Squad: Assembled, needs the works!
AoBR Dreadnought: Assembled, needs the works!
AoBR Ork Boyz: 40 Assembled, needs the works!
AoBR Ork Nobz: 10 Assembled, needs the works!
AoBR Deffkoptas: 6 Assembled, needs the works!
AoBR Ork Warboss: Assembled, needs the works!
I have more stuff in the terrain modeling department, but I am working on a tutorial for some of those so I'll share those later. For now, I'm just going to take a minute to appreciate the work load I have ahead of me!
I apologize for the inconsistency of the updates. I really am going to try to get it together and get some more regular updates, especially on the weekends. Thanks for sticking through it!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
In the last post, I discussed a few ways that Assault Marines might stack up against a SM player's regular troop options. In this post, we will explore the FAQ: "Assault Squad or Vanguard Veterans?"
First, let's check the stat line. At first glance, the Vanguard Squad looks exactly the same as the standard Assault Squad's stat line. However, you will notice that a Vanguard Veteran gains an additional attack, as well as a point in Leadership. This isn't in the stat line, but I thought it might be relevant: Vanguard also benefit from the "Heroic Intervention" special rule. Furthermore, Vanguard have a wider choice of weapons and wargear. Both are considered Fast Attack options, and thus neither edges an advantage from organizational choice.
Now the points. Some may argue this is the disqualifying point for including the Vanguard, and I'm inclined to agree. A Vanguard Squad costs 25 points more than a regular Assault Squad right off the bat. Now consider that a Vanguard squad does not even have Jump Packs included in those points; you have to pay for them separately. A whopping 10 points extra per veteran is what those will cost you. It would be cheaper to put them in a Razorback or a Rhino, but then you lose the Deep Strike ability and the independent mobility the jump packs bring. Although the Veterans get better weapon options, those cost extra too.
So, it boils down to this: Is it really worth the points for the extra attack and the weapon options? I think no. Tell me what you think!
Well, I'm now settled in and we finally got our DSL running. I haven't had time for a Sunday Terrain piece, but I have been painting a few miniatures in order to get a jump on June's goals! This assault marine is the first I have been working on this month.
I really love the visual quality of Assault Marines. Their poses are pretty dynamic and look great, but thinking tactically in a non-Blood Angel list, are they even worth taking? Many competitive lists I have seen do not include Assault Squads. Why is this?
At first glance, they do not seem to be significantly better than a tactical squad. Their only visible difference is their wargear, which includes jump packs and the combination of a pistol and ccw. While the pack gives them better mobility, and the weapon combination gives them 3 attacks on the charge, this still does not seem significantly better than their tactical brethren. However, when you compare the two in points, the Assault squad is only 10 points more expensive. That comes out to 2 points more per marine, which is not too bad for the addition of jump packs. If you feel so inclined, you could also switch out all their jump packs for a rhino, giving you a cheap trade for the transport (20 points really). The main advantage of Tactical squads over the Assault squads seems to be that only the tactical squads are scoring units. Assault marines do not seem that bad.
But how to incorporate them into my force? How to use them during a game? Assault Marines typically stand out on the battlefield, due to their larger-sized jump packs, and so I find they draw a lot of fire as they hop on up to charge. On terrain-dense boards this may not be such a problem, but on open fields they can get picked apart. A tactic I have found to be useful is to use other unit's transports as a screen while they advance. The transports are likely to get blown up, but as long as they block LOS to the squad long enough for them to position for a charge it can be worth it. If they don't get blown up, they can do all sorts of fun stuff like tank shock infantry out of the way, ram intervening vehicles, etc.
What other ideas do you have for Assault Marines? Next article we will compare the standard Assault Marine vs. the Vanguard Veteran
Monday, June 1, 2009
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