Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Nameless One

So, after many months of being lazy and working on other projects, I have finally finished painting the Yellow Sign forces for Cthulhu Wars.

 All the lesser creatures of the Yellow Sign.
 The Undead hordes, pulled from the desecration of the world.

I tried to keep these guys simple, but in the end there wasn't enough contrast so blacklined the bandages and shaded the tentacle tips.
 The Byakhee, winged horrors not of this earth.

I tried my hand at some two brush blending on these guys, using black over yellow, followed by a wash of dark sepia.
 The King in Yellow, a lesser avatar of Hastur, and the embodiment of his desecration. His power is to corrupt the lands to increase the power of Hastur.

The flesh took the most time on this guy, being about eight stages, with a transparent yellow intermediate layer. The base is just drybrushed with small details picked out.
 Hastur, He Who Is Not to be Named. On the dais we see that Elder Signs no longer hold him back.

Shading the yellow proved something of a task over such a large area. The tentacles are my first real attempt at airbrush blending on any kind of detail.
 From the rear Hastur is no less intimidating, a great mass of writhing tentacles and malign intent, and carved into the dais the symbols of his rule over the desecration.

The symbols didn't come out exactly how I wanted (more of a glow effect was hoped for), but the effect is nonetheless good, and I like the way the blue acts as a spot colour against the yellow and sandstone.
Acolyte cultists, loyal to the Yellow Sign itself, and capable of bringing forth the minions of Hastur into this plane.

Each spellbook is slightly different, though the cultists are the same. This is about the only place I can really put in any individuality, so I go to town on it.
And something a little cheeky to end 2015 with. For a boardgame, these miniatures are lavished with detail, some of it subtle, some, not so much.

Wishing everyone all the best for 2016.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Cthulhumas Fhtagn

As one might guess form the title, I got some Cthulhu Wars swag for Christmas. (Actually arrived on Monday, but it's been a bit nuts this week). So, without further ado, the stuff (which also joins my ever-growing painting queue).

Five boxes. Five!?

Yeah, this stuff is kinda bulky, and comes in very nice thick cardboard printed packaging (which I did not, in fact, think to photograph).
The first part of the 'one of everything' bundle for being a KS backer of the original game. These might become display pieces or something.
I especially like the Bhole… and in game it's horrifically evil as an indestructible Great Old One with 6 combat dice. It also has a nasty habit of eating gates—and everything on them. Whole.
More stuff. Includes a couple of monsters from the core game that aren't in the top photo.
The 6-8 player Earth map. I have a 6-8 player Dreamlands map on pre-order from the Onslaught 2 KS.

The Dreamlands map… or maps. They don't 'wrap around' like the Earth map, but tunnels like the Surface and Underworld of the Dreamlands.
High Priests. One for every extant faction. Sacrificing them grants extra power.
Ithaqua, the Windwalker faction. Starts at the poles, and creeps forward. Playstyle is to cause attrition damage to opponents and them hibernate to conserve power for next turn. Also gets to summon monsters in any battle where casualties were caused. 
Tsathoggua, the Sleeper. Can steal other factions spells and abilities for temporary gains. Also gets a free monster every turn. Not particularly tough, but has some devious plays, like capturing and sacrificing enemy monsters, or holding a gate in suspended animation.

Yog-Sothoth, the Opener of the Way. He (it?) serves as a gate. His monsters can be promoted through various forms instead of being summoned. In addition, he can start anywhere (that isn't already occupied), and can shuffle gates around with his spellbooks.
Azathoth, the blind idiot god. This is a neutral faction, and anyone can pay doom points to buy his monsters' loyalty; or trade their spellbooks for his.
Great Old One pack one. Five flavours of gribbly that can be summoned by anyone willing to pay for them. Some are good for you to have, some are bad for your enemies.
Great Old One pack two. Only four gribblies, but each has a very nasty flavour. Bokrug is immortal, and destroys your enemy's infrastructure when you give him as a 'gift'. Atalach-Nacha spines webs of fate that can win the game. Father Dagon makes the sea yours to command, washing your enemies into it. Ghatanothoa mummifies enemy cultistis, preventing them from doing anything in the doom phase.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The PHR Advance

So, I've been painting a bit more this last week—actually a fair bit more than usual. Probably something to do with my Xbox being out for repairs… anyway, this is my second 'Skirmish' sized force for DzC, the Post Human Republic. Their shtick is battle walkers (mechs) and cybernetic enhancements for everyone.

Neptune class dropship. Underslung is an Ares class AT walker.
 Another view of the Neptune + Ares. Normally the Neptune can carry walker, back to back, but I only have 1 painted.
 Closer view of the Ares. I painted some iridescent blue pigment into the vents along the top, but I'm not sure how well it shows up in the pictures.
 Rear view of the Ares, showing off the powerplant (dark metal) and radiators(?) (dark bronze). The silver on the legs is Vallejo Model Air Gungrey, washed with Secret Weapon Heavy Body Black. It actually creates a really nice dark metal look for me.
 Attempts at heat discoloration on the Neptune's drive nacelles. The base colour is GW Tin Bitz (the new Warpstone Bronze is about 2 shades darker), washed to about the 3/4 mark on each plate with GW Leviathan Purple and then up to the 1/2 mark with GW Baal Red. (And I will never understand GW discontinued their matte drying range of washes.)
 And now we have my attempts at OSL on the inside of the Neptune's drives. I think it actually looks better in the photo than in person.
 Triton A1 light dropship, armed with optional missile pods. While these are kind of underwhelming in the game vs armour, they do give the Triton surprising capability for building demolition.
 Rather smaller than the Neptune (though their wingspan is approximately the same), it's still packed with detail, most of it brought out with a simple targeted wash using Secret Weapon's Dark Sepia (this stuff is like the old GW Devlan Mud for me, even if it does dry gloss).
 The underside of the Triton, once more showing off some OSL inside the drives. Rather easier to do than the Neptune due to how small they are.

I should note that there are technically only two colours down here: VMA Sand, and VMA Gungrey. The former is hit with a targeted wash of Dark Sepia, and the later with simple wash of Heavy Body Black.
 This is the Triton A1 carrying its charges, a pair of currently base painted Janus scout walkers.
 Trying something different with the infantry. They were primed white, then hit with a shading wash of Heavy Body black. The front left soldier has a layer of VMC Transparent Yellow beneath VMC Pale Sand. The front right soldier has only the VMC Pale Sand coat.

I'm not actually sure which one I like best.
The back of the infantry base.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Dropzone UCM [Done!]

So, it's been a while, and longer since I posted anything about any kind of progress. Had a painting day with Mark on Monday; that was fun. Anyway, This evening I finished off the first 750 points of my UCM army for Dropzone Commander. I've put up progress pics here before, but now they're actually finished. It's a nice feeling.

The completed force. This is a fully air-mobile group, with infantry mounted in Bear APC's that share the central Condor. The Sabre MBTs on the left own the left hand Condor, while the Rapier AA Tanks on the right have the right hand Condor to call their own. The two smaller craft in the middle of the aerial formation are Falcon gunships, designed to provide top cover for tanks and infantry as they deploy.

The Sabre MBT squad, A7X. The guns are poseable thanks to magnets and some very careful effort in pinning key components.
The Rapier AA squad, S2Y. The guns are poseable for the same reasons as the Sabres'.
Two full Legionnaire squads (3 bases) along with their Bear APCs. Squad II (left) uses Bear 53. Squad V (right) uses Bear 51.

Yes, all those squad markings are hand painted.
 The Condor dropship for Sabre squad A7X.
 The Condor dropship for Rapier squad S2Y.

 Transport formation.
 Another angle on the transports. You can see the underslung vehicles better here.
 Looking at those underslung vehicles from below.
 A base from Legionnaire squad V.
  Bases from Legionnaire squad II.
Legionnaire squad II again, this time with flash. I need to think of a better lighting setup to use with infantry bases.

 Next up on my painting desk: PHR. These are the guys that will serve as opponents for the UCM above.
A slightly closer look at the initial stage of painting on a Neptune dropship.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Flames of War, Take 3

So, I have been slowly chipping away at the start of an American force for Flames of War, a World War II 15mm game. Still waiting on more models for that force, so for today's battle I borrowed Mark's late war Panzergrenadiers (at least I think the list was for Panzergren.)

I was playing against Rob's Soviets. So. Many. Tanks. Anyway, we rolled for a battle, and got Dust Up, which is a fair fight that uses table quarters as deployment zones.

 So, this was the battlefield, dense forest in one quarter, good roads throughout, and rolling hills with plenty of broken ground.

I chose to deploy in the quarter with the forest, thinking it would provide a solid defensive advantage—it would have, if I remembered a key rule from the game.
 This is our deployment. I have a platoon of PzGr. in the woods, and two Königstigers holding the flank (I would later learn this was a mistake, and they should have stayed on the back road).

[Better yet, I should have put the second PzGr. unit on top of the objective and dug them in—but guess which rule I forgot about?]
Rob gets first turn, and his T-34-85's rush forward in the traditional Russian Blob-o-Doom formation. I advance my Tigers to hold the open objective at the crossroads.
 Rob's T-34-85's move up and ping a shot off the side of the Königstiger, bailing it out.
In my turn the Königstiger remounts immediately…
…and decides trying to get into a better position is a good idea. He misses his single shot at the Blob-o-Doom.

 Three SU-100's drive on from reserve, Rob having gotten a good roll. They proceed to miss horribly, but put the willies up the Tiger drivers.
 The Königstigers turn to face this new threat, blasting one to pieces.
The Blob-o-Doom arrives, killing both Königstigers. Rob also rolls well enough to get his other reserves onto the table—a massive infantry blob.
 Some StuG assault guns arrive from reserve and put rounds through the back of a T-34-85, but do little else.
Rob's Blob-o-Doom repositions to the edge of the forest, while the northern blob moves out to deal with my StuG's.
The blob attacking my PzGr. unit in the forest. Things do not go well for the infantry, because I forgot to use the rule allowing them to dig in (and thus become about 10x harder to dislodge).

 The infantry get some revenge by assaulting the SU-100's, destroying one, and buying some valuable breathing space.
 Which is lost when the infantry blob marches into the forest and begins capturing the objective in there. I have nothing close enough to contest it.
I move my StuG's up in vain attempt to start capturing one of Rob's objectives, but the only real gain is killing his company commander.
The Russian conscripts in the forest scratch their heads in consternation as to why a single Kubelwagen was so important to the STAVKA.

I have a few things to take away from this game—aside from needing to learn the rules better. Heavy tanks work better as snipers, not brawlers. They lose too much from their rate of fire when moving (my American tanks won't, but they lose accuracy instead). Infantry die easily if not dug in or in bulletproof cover. Deploying in rocky quarter opposite the forest might have been a better choice, but I keep thinking like I'm playing other games, and forests are essentially godly in terms of cover and survivability for troops inside.

Also, I need to remember which infantry units have good anti-tank scores (which, for my Americans, falls to my many, many bazookas), and which are better simply digging in and holding onto their cheeks.