Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Well the Sons of Sek got finished right under the wire. The GT was a blast and I'll have full coverage by this weekend. 

Monday, June 30, 2008

Skorne Army Showcase

Here's a quick break from all of the Sons of Sek business (I just put together the 4 standard bearers and will be painting them tonight). I went to a Hordes tournament last Saturday. This was my first game in almost 2 years. It was pretty easy to get the hang of it back again.

The tournament had a small turnout, only 4 of us, so we only played 2 rounds. I won my first game (vs. Circle) on points 8-2. My second game was against the Trolls, and I was on the erge of wiping the entire army off the table when he charged his Warlock into my unit of Cataphract Arcuarii, who had the Death March spell on them (when one of them dies they get a free move and can make one attack with a boosted melee and damage rolls). He killed two of them who struck back in their death throes and finished him off, giving me the win.

In the end, I was the only person who went 2-0 so I won the tourney. Not bad for my first time out in almost 2 years! The Press Ganger running the tournament also let me know about a league that had just started that week at another shop just down the road. I went down right after the tournament, joined the league and got 2 games in (2 losses, but good games). I also got to meet a lot of players, which I've had a diffuclt time with since I moved down here a year ago.

I'll be going back Thursday to get some more league games in, but until then, back to work!

Lord Tyrant Hexeris

Titan Gladiator

Cyclops Savages

Cataphract Arcuarii

Praetorian Swordsmen

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sons of Sek - Veterans Painted

Here are my 3 Veteran Squads. One with trip-flamers, two with trip-meltas.

Here's a closer look at the Vets. Any thoughts on the eyes? I decided to do pure white, with no pupils to give them a haunted look. Is it effective or distracting... possibly something else altogether?

In the Gaunt's Ghost books their armor is described as "ochre." For my interpretation of Ochre, I did the following:
  • Calthan Brown base coat
  • Tau Sept Ochre - overbrushed on the raised areas and lightly stippled in the crevasses
  • Desert Yellow highlight
  • Bleached Bone hardline

My squad marking system is somewhat simple, and is partially based off of the Cadian system. The command platoon is designated by "00." The Heroic Senior Officer's squad will be "000". I've envisioned that my Veterans are attached to the command platoon, working closely with the colonel (need to go back and find the appropriate rank designations for the SoS). As such, these squads are designated "003", "004" and "005". "001" and "002" are reserved for the special weapons squads.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with these guys, though they took longer than I had anticipated. I imagine that the bulk of the basic troopers who are cadian-based models will go a little quicker as there are some short-cuts I can take with them.

I have 17 models done, only 152 to go before September. I've moved some things around with my schedule in an effort to get caught up. So next up will be the 4 standard bearers (3 Platoons and 1 Company standards). I'm hoping to get these guys done by Sunday night. If I can do that, I'll be back on schedule.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sons of Sek - Converted Veterans

So I'm still a little behind on my schedule. But I think I can get caught up this week, and possibly ahead next week. I'm working currently on my 3 Veteran Squads. The bulk of my infantry we'll be Cadian-based with conversion. The Vets, Officers and officer Bodyguards will all be based on the WHFB Chaos Warriors.

I had to make 3 Lasgun Vets, 6 Melta Vets, 3 Flamer Vets and 3 Sgt.'s.

CSM Nub Arm
The Chaos Warrior body is two pieces, that includes the upper arms and sockets for the lower arms. I used CSM arms, cutting off the shoulder and upper arm, creating nubs to fit in the Chaos Warrior sockets.

Stock Lasgun

The standard lasgun posed a slight problem. The stock doesn't fit in the crook of the warriors arm, so I had to shorten the stock.

Modified Lasgun
Now its a little more compact, but still doesn't fit like it would on a normal guardsman. Notice the dirty aquila is gone.

Finished Lasgun Vets

Here you can see that even with the shortened stock, I still had to position the gun one handed, and I gave them a combat knife in the other hand (from the CSM sprue). Hopefully, this won't be too confusing with the Sgt.

Finished Flamer Vet
Same basic principles as before, except the flamer and melta make a better fit. Both the flamer and melta come from the CSM Raptor Assault Weapon Sprue. I think I bought the last 17 from GW when you could still bitz order them. They came with a melta, plasma and flamer on each sprue for $1.50 I think.

Sgt. Sword Inspiration
As always, I come back to this drawing for inspiration. I want all of the Sgt.'s in the army to have a sword that looks similar to the one above. I could only find metal ones that would be too difficult to get a hold of now, what with GW bitz services not being the same. By chance I came across the perfect plastic piece.

Sgt. Sword

I just happened to have 3 boxes of berzerkers laying around (that's what happens when you're devoted to Chaos). I found several sword in scabbards on the sprue that were the same basic shape (lower sword). I simply shaved off some of the detail and formed a sharpened blade. Looking at the picture now, I may go back and create the notch of the blade edge near the hilt.

Finished Sgt.'s
All of the Sgt's in the army will have horned heads like the figure in the drawing. This head was from the chaos Warrior box, and needed a rebreather mask. For the Sgt's, all of their rebreather masks will be in the shape of a hand (again like the drawing). This one actually came out the worst of the 3, but some creative shading during painting should clean it up a bit.

Well, that's it for now. I really like how these guys came out, and can't wait to get them fully painted up. I have the 3 flamers vets painted, and should hopefully get the 6 melta vets done tonight.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Sons of Sek - Sentinels Painted

It's very late (or early depending how you look at it) so I'll make this quick. Here are my two "sentinels" for my Sons of Sek Traitor Guard Army. These guys took much longer to paint than I had estimated, and I'm a couple of days behind schedule. This week I'm supposed to be working on my 15 Veterans, and I think I can make up the time.

With these sentinels, I tried some different things with washes to avoid the standard drybrushed metal. It basically amounted to a 1:2:9 mix of Brown Ink:Chaos Black:Water with a drop of dish detergent to make the wash more viscous. Afterwards, I applied to subsequent Chaos Black washes, and then did a careful overbrushing with Mithril Silver on the edges and raised portions, and then decided to go back and do a Mithril hardline on certain conspicuous areas.

The bloodletter was painted going in progressive steps from Mechrite Red to Blood Red to Blazing Orange.

I had some issues matte varnishing these guys. I've been using the Armory Matte Varnish (I finished my last last can of the old formula of the good GW varnish on the Uruks), and its been tending to frost the models. I think it might be due to holding the can too close. I'll have to do some experimenting.

Note the banners. The Hand emblem is going to be the symbol of the Sons of Sek. There's a running theme with the Sons of Sek, where hands cover the mouth. It has something to do with the liturgy of the followers of Sek. Whenever he is named, everyone says, "Whose voice drowns out all others." Note the hand incorporated into the rebreather mask below.

The "3/1" signifies that my army is part of the Sons of Sek 3rd (The Fists of the Magister), 1st Company. The "1S" and "2S" signify that they are scout detachments of the 1st and Second platoons, respectively.

I've started building the Veterans tonight. Hopefully by tomorrow night I can have them fully built and converted, and maybe I can paint the 3 sergeants. We'll see.
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sons of Sek - Sentinels Conversion

My new Sons of Sek army has two sentinels in the list, mostly for their improved comms upgrade to help with the rest of my army deep striking in. Rather than use normal sentinels, I wanted to create something that would "count as" a sentinel. With so many rank and file models in my army, I wanted some things that could help make the army "pop" as a whole visually.

There's no mention of the Sons of Sek using sentinels in any of the Gaunt's Ghosts books, so I've taken some license in coming up with these converted penitent engines. The closest equivalent in the Ghosts books would be the wirewolves found in Traitor General. In the book they were metallic constructs that contained daemons, and they were used by the occupation force as a type of alarm system, guarding small towns.

What I've built are large metallic constructs that are, for all intents and purposes, controlled by a bound bloodletter. I've carried over the theme of the wirewolves, without necessarily carrying over their appearance.

Here's the conversion process:

Removing the Purity Seals
As you can see, there are a number of large purity seals covering the model. My initial thought was to remove only the wax portion, thereby converting the purity seals into "litanies of hate." I decided against this, and instead removed them all, first with clippers and then with a dremmel.

Chains Covering the Purity SealsDespite using a dremmel to remove the purity seals, the affected areas still looked fairly rough. I decided to use jewelry chain that I picked up at Michael's Hobby and Craft to cover all of the affected areas.

Chain Close-Up
I used Gel Superglue to form rivets at the point where the chain is attached to the body. It looks messier in this picture than it actually is. Oh, and this

Creating the "Pilot"
I opened up my new Daemons army box and reached for the bloodletters. I was really impressed how they managed to fit everything for all 10 models on 3 sprues. I would have to remove the sword (which I might give to my army general, if the size is not too much of an issue).

Changing the Posture
As you can see in the top picture, the natural position of a Bloodletter is hunched over with its arms angled inwards. The middle picture shows a normal penitent engine pilot with its back arched and its arms spread out. The new bloodletter models do allow for little if any articulation, unlike most other plastic kits. As such I had to trim areas, and cut angles from the arms, legs and pelvis.

Greenstuffing Gaps
Changing the posture of the bloodletters left large gaps in the pelvis and shoulders. I filled them with greenstuf and sculpted the musculature of the missing parts.

Constructing the Pilot Mounts
This part was most troubling. I had intended to carve out the original pilots from their mounting. There were two problems with this method: 1) The bloodletters were too big, and 2) it would have taken too much effort to effectively remove the pilot. Instead a decided to create a crude plsticard frame that would be camouflaged by other pieces.

"Plugging In" the Bloodletter
I took left over bass guitar strings from my Pleasurereaper Baneblade conversion and plugged them into the sides and the back of the neck of the bloodletters. I also took more of my jewelry chain and wrapped it around the torso and limbs to look like he's bound to the mount.

Cleaning up the Mounting Cables
I added some greenstuff to the areas where the cables plug in, to make a more gradual transition from cable to "flesh." I also added another set of chains around the wrists that attached directly to the Sentinel's arms.

Constructing the Banners
In order to further set these up as center pieces of the army I decided to add banners. I made these banners using essentially the same method I used on my Thousand Sons dreadnought. I began by drilling holes into the back of the sentinels at approximately 45 degree angles. I took brass rods to form the banner poles, and used dragon heads from the Chaos Vehicle Accessory Sprue and used them at the banner pole tops.

I then used then cut a piece of plasticard to fit within the available height of the poles, and wide enough at the longest point. I then cut the ends at angles parallel to the poles, but left the plasticard a little longer than necessary, so that I would have material to wrap around the back of the poles. I also cut various parts of the plasticard to make the banner look tattered.

Warping the Banners
I grabbed my heatgun and I just melted the plasticard around the poles and warped the banner itself. Once you heat an area, you have a few seconds to move and tweak it a bit. I just did this till I got an effect I was happy with.

Pilot Close-Up
Once everything started coming together, I realized that the bottom of the pilot mount was too exposed and looked crude. I went through my Chaos bitz box, and was surprised by what I found. I used the mount for a Havoc Missile Launcher from the Chaos Vehicle Accessory sprue. It's placed on its side with the flat end that's supposed to mount onto a vehicle out front. This provided a perfect spot to mount the Icon of Khorne also from the Chaos Vehicle Accessory Sprue.

"Sentinel" - Front
"Sentinel" - Right

"Sentinel" - Rear
"Sentinel" - Left

Overall, I'm quite pleased with how the two sentinels turned out. I will start painting them this weekend, though I have a lot of gaming planned. I'll probably wind up finishing painting them on Tuesday, which will put me 2 days behind schedule already. It took way longer to build these guys than I had expected. I'm currently in the process of priming them. The body and arms are not yet glued to the legs. I pinned them so I can paint the top and bottoms separately, and then I'll glue them at the end.

I think I spent about 16 hours total converting both. I think painting them both will only take 8-10 hours. Here's hoping.
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Current Progress on the Sons of Sek

Current Progress on the Sons of Sek
Sept. 5th, 2008 - They were finished literally at the table before the first round began.