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. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sons of Sek - Standard Infantry - Part II

Here's 10 basic joe infantry squads. They're all members of 1st Platoon. Seven of them are from Squad 11 and three of them are from Squad 12. Same basic methods that I used to paint the rest of the infantry (see Painted Veterans). What was a nice surprise, was that these guys only took about 45 minutes each, compared to the 75 minutes to do a veteran. I figured that with build time and paint time, I have 160 hours worth of work left to do. Or about 5 hours a day (yikes) for the next 5 weeks (week 6 will hopefully be building a display board).

I think, unquestionably, the heads are big. But painted up, I don't think they look too bad. Umm, so they come from a planet that creates big heads as a mutation. Yeah, that's the ticket... just the other day. Seriously, I don't think it's too distracting.

At my local game store (Hat's Games down here in Tucson), they're doing "Learn to Play 40k" Saturday's, where we'll be doing escalating points to get a handle on 5th edition. To be honest, I'd rather just jump in at the higher points levels, but it's giving me little painting goals along the way.

For instance, this Saturday is 500 points, minimum of 1 troop squad. For me that would be 1st Platoon and a Sentinel. So... I'm going to try to get 1st Platoon painted before Saturday. That leaves me with 4 Vox Casters, 4 Sgt.'s, 4 Special Weapons, 3 Bodyguards, and 18 regular guardsmen.

Last night after I finished painting these guys, I put together the Vox-Casters. Today hopefully I can put together the Sgt.'s and the Special Weapons and get a jump on painting them. Unfortunately I still have to finish a final assignment for my internship. Tomorrow's my last day, then I can really dive in.

10 more down, 134 to go.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sons of Sek - Standard Infantry - Part I

I've been making little to no progress these last couple of weeks. There's been nights out with friends, and things to do around the house. Plus I was in New Mexico visiting my family for 5 days. These previous week, I was able to crank things out. But these last couple of weeks have proven very unfruitful. I don't go back to classes for another 3 weeks. I'm hoping I can really get some stuff done in the meantime.

It works out to just less than 4 models per day that I need to get done, if I want to finish before the GT. "4 models per day" doesn't sound so bad, but considering I have to maintain that for 30+ days is a little daunting. But anyways, on to the conversions.

The majority of my troops require this particular conversion, and it is based off the Cadian model, rather than the Chaos Warrior model.

As always I'm going off the above source picture. I've had to make decisions that provide a balance between approximating the source image and ease of reproduction over 130+ models.

I started with the legs, and began by removing the cargo pockets. Why? I don't know. I guess maybe with the armor plates it would look to busy. I also cut off the boot straps. Again no particular reason why.

Next were the extra armor plates for the knees and shins. With both I began by estimating how big they would need to be. I then created the plates in Adobe Illustrator. I took my base size and made two more plates that were smaller, and two more that were bigger. With these 5 different sized plates I test-fitted them to determine the correct size, and make any adjustments for width and height. When I got it just right I created enough in AI, and then printed them on manila folders.

Using a fresh x-acto blade I cut them out and formed them to fit before super-gluing them on.

The cod piece was made from the shovel blade from the Cadian Heavy Weapons team. I then took a tiny Khorne Icon from one of the newer CSM helmets and glued it on the blade. I then made molds and am casting enough pieces for the army. In order for the piece to fit correctly, I had to cut out a portion of the overhanging jacket.

The backpack was made from a particular CSM backpack. I simply cut at the blue lines. This way it can serve as a drop-chute, as well as matching the backpack worn by the Son of Sek in the source picture.

The extra shoulder armor was made using the same techniques as the leg pads. I probably should have done 2 layers to stay true to the source, but that would have been a lot more work.

So far, I'm pretty happy with the modeling. Hopefully when they're painted, I'll get a better idea of how closely they approximate the source image. I'm planning to get them painted tonight... we'll see.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sons of Sek - Officers

It's been more than a week since my last post. Things have been a little crazy around here, and I'm behind on my schedule. I'll get it all figured out, and I might be able to get caught up or at least nearly caught up next week.

But anyways, let's talk about my officers. So I needed my HQ (a Heroic Senior Officer) and 3 Junior Officers to lead my 3 Infantry Platoons. They would also use the Chaos warrior bodies as the basis of the conversion.

I wanted to make all of the officers stand out from the rest of the Chaos Warrior body models. The first thing I did was for the HSO. I decided I wanted him a little higher on a rocky level. I needed something flat, that I could glue the wallpaper I use on top of.

Making the HSO Stand Out

I grabbed some square bases and cut off the beveled edges. The plan was to form these up a bit and glue them together, to create my rocky raised platform.

I then carved them into more natural shapes within a certain range of each other. I also beveled their edges.

Gluing them together and putting the wallpaper on, I wound up with the above. It doesn't stand out too much now, but is more noticeable painted up.

All of the officers have mutated heads from the Chaos accessory sprues. I also gave them each the hand respirator mask. The HSO also has the Chaos star on his back, which will represent his refractor field. The HSO also has a bolt pistol, while the JO's have las pistols which are converted lasguns.

I figured that their power weapons would also make them stand out. But half way through painting the models, I realized that the JO's weapons didn't quite look sci-fi-ish enough. So I added some plasticard and guitar wire make them look like there was some sort of power pack attached.

Here are the finished products:

Chief Sirdar (Colonel) Sheram
I decided that my HSO should have a red cape, which would further set him apart.

Vice Sirdar (Lieutenant) Katesh
All of the JO's I decided should have a different colored cape, and so I settled on black. I gave them the same chaos script along the bottom of the cape that the HSO has.

Vice Sirdar - Winscar
Vice Sirdar Maggol

So there they are. I should note, that the hard line highlights on some of the models aren't nearly as drastic in person, they're much more subdued. Oh well. Off to finish modeling some joe schmo guardsmen.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lord of the Rings Indy GT - Results

This last weekend was the first ever Indy GT for the Lord of the Rings. It was a blast; the organizers (Tim and Dean) did a great job and provided for a great time. I'm really liking this game, I just wish there was a group that played it down here.

Edit - Here's the list I took:
  • Easterling Captain (HW/Shield)
  • Easterling Captain (HW/Shield)
  • Easterling Captain (HW/Shield, Armored Horse)
  • Easterling Warrior x14 (HW/Shield)
  • Easterling Warrior x11 (Bow)
  • Easterling Warrior x8 (Spear/Shield)
  • Easterling Kataphrakts x10

The Results

I wound up placing 3rd overall, and took home 2nd place for Best General. I was really pleased with how I did. Anthony, whose Uruk-Hai I painted and whom I convinced to play this game in the first place a couple of months ago, came in second and won Best General.

1st Game
I played John Long and his Grey Company led by Aragorn. The mission was Reconnoiter, which requires you to get more models off your opponent's deployment zone than he can get off of yours. The cavalry on my right flank dealt with the detachment ahead. My right detachment dealt with what was in front of them. My middle detachment acted as free safeties who eventually slowed down Aragorn down when his body guard were shot down. I got one model off (a dismounted cavalry) and managed to break the Grey Company (at 50% of starting strength - triggered this particular scenario's end) before Aragorn could get off the board.

Result: Major Victory

Game 2
This game was Storm the Camp, which ends when you have more models than your opponent within 12" of your opponent's deployment corner. If you do this and are not broken, its a major victory. I played Mike's Uruk-Hai.

I sacrificed my infantry to go toe-to-toe with his block of Uruks. This took pressure off of my infantry who only had to deal with some crossbow uruks and a handful of swords- and pikemen. In what turned out to be the final turn of the game I managed to get one of my cavalry to charge one of his pikemen in his deployment zone. His pikemen was in his deployment zone by about 1/2 an inch. I charged in such a way that if I won the fight (regardless if I killed the model) I would push the Uruk out of the 12" zone. I won the fight and won the game. It was kind of a phyrric victory considering I killed about 6 models and he killed about 18.

Result: Major Victory

3rd Game
This last game of Saturday was against Eric Carlson's Haradrim. He had three Hasharim (crazy Assassins) and the Witch King on Fellbeast - Yikes! The mission was Meeting engagement, where you have to get your opponent to 25% of their starting size. I thought I would have this game pretty handily since I almost outnumbered him 2-1, and he has a bunch of Defense 4 dudes. What I didn't count on was his ability to roll 6's to kill my cavalry like a champ. Once I closed with him, I had 3 out of 11 cavalry left.

That evened the odds quite a bit. I broke his force first but no one ran. Next turn he broke me, and his Witchking throws out a -1 Courage aura, which forced plenty of my models to run. On our last turn enough of his models and enough of mine ran away that we were both reduced to 25% at the same time.

Result: Draw
Game 4
No pic for this one. It was over before it started. This was against Anthony and his Uruk-Hai. The mission was Treasure Hunt. There's a marker in the middle of the table. You have to get a model in base with it, and on a 4+ the model uncovers the treasure. To win you have to carry the treasure off the board.

This game was over in 22 minutes. My cavalry reached the marker in two turns, my Captain on horse picked it up right away. Although he had to dismount to dig it up, and lost his horse from then on. I then won priority the next two turns and moved all of my forces back, Anthony conceded at that point, because no matter what happened in the next two turns I would be able to get the treasure off the table, and he would be unable to break my force.

Result: Major Victory

Game 5
This game was against the "Ringer." Frank flew in from Tampa and is a major player on the LotR tournament circuit; he brought his Mordor force. The mission was Contest of Champions, where you nominate a character who has to kill more models than your opponent's character does.

It was a great game, and Frank used his placement in the terrain to draw me in to some unfavorable positions. As the battle lines finally met I felt pretty good about the standup fight that would ensue had my Captain not been killed, but alas... His Wringwraith more than earned his points transfixing my captain (basically nerfing his combat effectiveness - allowing him to be easily surrounded and cut down). My captain died without killing a single model, and as soon as Shagrat (his nominated character) killed one Easterling, that ended the game.

I asked for some advice after the game, and got some good tips about how to better use my archers (I've known that I haven't been using to their full effectiveness for quite a while), and being more patient with my cavalry captain in the scenario. All in all, I think I learned a lot from that game and am hopefully walking away a better player.

Seriously... consider giving Lord of the Rings a chance. I consider myself a pretty hardcore 40k and Fantasy gamer, and LotR is really worth getting into.

I need to get back to working on my guardsmen. I'm visiting my family in Albuquerque right now, so I've planned to get behind schedule. I brought some stuff with me to build at least. I'll post some pics of my officers who I built the other night, but still need to be painted.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July Weekend everyone. I'll be celebrating my taking my Lord of the Rings Easterlings out for a spin at the first ever Indy LotR GT in Phoenix. My camera will be coming with me, and hopefully I'll remember to take pics.

I just added a third column. Please let me know if you're having problems viewing the page properly. Thanks.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sons of Sek - Company and Platoon Banners

In order to break up the monotony of the painting and also the overall appearance of 167 infantry, I would want several banners in the army. I decided that I wanted a company banner and a banner for each infantry platoon.

I decided early on that my army would be the 1st Company of the Sons of Sek 3rd Regiment ("The Magister's Fist"). So above is there Company banner, which says just that. As the 1st Company, their role is often as a spearhead or assault element (hence the "drop trooper" doctrine). The little stylized lightning bolts in the lower left corner represent that.

It was made from 2 Chaos Warrior banner poles. I cut part of one in half and glued it on to an intact one to add a little length. The flag itself is plasticard warped with a heat gun.

Back of Company Banner

A lot of the inspiration for this banner came from Ursarker Creed's banner. I wanted the front to be a little cleaner and less "chaotic" than an average Chaos banner, in order to reflect the drilled and disciplined nature of the Sons of Sek. I think the back of the banner makes up a little for the "chaotic" look with the script.

I knew I wanted to incorporate some kind of cross or St. Andrew's Cross into the design. I sketched and doodles for a while and came up with the top half of the Khorne symbol.

Picking the Colors
I knew it was going to be Black, Red and Ochre, I just couldn't decide on how those colors would be combined, so I made some quick flags using my paints on index cards. I never toyed with the idea of the "Khornate Cross" being black, only red or ocher. After seeing my examples I decided that the Khornate Cross should probably be red, and then eventually decided on the ochre border.

Since the background would be black I began painting the entire banner black, working up progressive highlights of Vallejo German Grey, Dark Grey and Neutral Grey. Then I gave it a Chaos Black wash to smooth the transitions and take out some of the brightness.

Khornate Cross
Originally the cross was painted all the way to the edges using Mechrite. The top bars were originally solid, then I cut in with the black. I then added a black border, so there would be a black line between the red and the ocher border.

I then added the ocher border and highlighted up the red and ocher using my normal progressions. All of the symbols and writing were then painted on. I got a little eager in my painting, that I forgot to take pictures to document the progress.

Platoon Banners
The inspiration for these banners were taken from RonSaikowski's Banner Project: Imperial Guard, from From the Warp. Specifically the one below on the left:
The circled "3/1" on my banners denoted that they belong to the Sons of Sek 3rd, 1st Company. Nothing too complex with these banners, since they're essentially the normal Chaos warriors banners.

So that's all for now. 21 models done, 148 to go. I'm currently 2 days behind on my schedule, which is better because I was almost a full week behind last week. However I have to finish up the remnants for the Easterlings and Anthony's Uruk-Hai for the GT this weekend. So I imagine that I will start next week behind again. Oh well, can't be helped.

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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.