Saturday, December 13, 2014

Codex Blood Angels

Everyone's favorite space vampires are back! The boys in red got a serious FOC readjustment. This brings the Blood Angels back in line with the fluff, that they are a Codex Chapter with just a few quirks. They like to get up close and personal, but aren't made out jump pack troops.

Here is a quick run down of the big changes that jumped out at me.

Everybody that isn't a tank or speeder has Furious Charge. Oh. Yeah. No more rolling for Red Thirst.

The Baal Strikeforce FOC is 1 HQ, 2 Troop, 1 Elite compulsory and the regular optional choices. Which means you can have 4 Elites in your force. The Command Benefit: Red Thirst, +1 Initiative on the turn any unit charges. Very stabby indeed.

Lord Dante and Master Seth are in the Lord of War slot. Dante got some nice buffs, Eternal Warrior, and his Axe of Heretic Smiting is now +2 Strength, Master Crafted.

Librarian Dread is now a HQ. The Sanguinary Priest is a HQ and a single model with two wounds and Ld 10. Brother Corbulo is a seperate choice. Captain Tycho has two profiles (again), and the Techmarine now a HQ choice. The Reclusiarch is gone, and the 2 wound Chaplain moved to HQ.

Big changes here. Now only two choices! Tactical Squads and Scouts. Tac Squads gained Grav guns and Heavy Flamers as options, but lost Land Raiders as a dedicated transport.

Lots of choices here, good thing you can take 4 in a FOC list. Vanguard Veterans, Death Company and Lemartes, and all the non-psychic Dreadnoughts are now here. And yes, Blood Talons lost their "mulch" stetting and have to settle for x2 Str, Shred.  

Fast Attack
The Assault Squad is the only addition in Fast. Vanguard and Baal Predator moved out.

Heavy Support
The Baal Predator went from Fast to Heavy. Predators, Whirlwinds, and Vindicators can buy overcharged engines. Land Raiders no longer fall from the skies.

Being a (mostly) Codex chapter I was disappointed not to see the Stormtalon gunship, or the Landspeeder Storm as a transport choice for the Scouts. I also miss the Reclusiarch. The rest of the changes make sense to me. I have yet to look deeper at the Psychic stuff, and the of details on some units. That's why there will be a part II.

"So fear not and be proud, for we are the sons of Sanguinius, the protectors of Mankind."
-Commander Lord Dante

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I've assembled my Toxicrene/Maleceptor kit as a Toxicrene, and it is pretty nice. A good sized monster, with big (and perhaps unwieldy on the tabletop) tentacles. 

A note about construction: The instructions default to the Toxicrene in the rearing up position, with one claw on a unlucky Terminator and the other claw up. The model can also be built with a lower pose. This is descriped in tiny print on the cover of the instructions. I'll admit I did not notice them until after I had assembled the body. Good thing I wanted the default pose.

It is important to let the arm sockets dry before attaching the tentacle arms. Otherwise they may push in and that is no fun. Alternatively, you could leave the head off so you can put your finger on the socket and hold it in place while you glue the tentacle arms on.
The fallen Terminator is a really nice touch and I can't decide if I am going to put it under the Toxicrene's claw or on a base by itself and use it as an objective. 
With a Dreadnought for scale
I'll get this beastie painted and unleash it upon the battlefield soon.

The Hive Mind Hungers
Now with even more Tentacles!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Armageddon Released

Warhammer 40,000 Armageddon for the PC is now available. Head over to Steam or Matrix Games and get it this week for $10 off. I'm downloading it now and will have a review up in the near future. Looks great if you like the turn based wargame thing. Which I do, very much.

The Emperor Protects
Armageddon's Tourist Bureau has its work cut out for it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Devil is in the Decals

Decals. That finishing touch to a model. Sometimes they curl up and fall off after a few months. They always look like decals, shiny and obvious. But that is not how is has to be!

This article is aimed at those who don't know the mystical and arcane art of applying decals. It's not simple, but it is worth the effort. The end result is decals that look painted on and never peel off.

Know your foe: Water slide decals like to adhere to a very smooth surface. If you did not paint with a gloss or satin finish you will need to transform the surface of the paint. This is easy. Clear glosscoat is available at most hobby shops in spray form. I use Testors ($7). The only danger here is that if the weather is outside nominal use parameters it may fog up and give the model a frosty look. This is easy to avoid, do not spray paint if it is cold or windy out. Use a light coat. One pass only. Then do not touch it for 24 hours. Fingerprints are next to impossible to remove.

Assemble your tools! Now that the glosscoat has set it is time to get down to business.

 You will need: the sharpest hobby knife on hand, a pair of tweezers, (the kind that stay closed are prefered), two old paint brushes, paper towels, a few Q-tips, and a bowl of warm water.

Plus chemicals. I have used Micro Set and Micro Sol for decades. (Get some from Amazon by clicking on the widget on the right--) You will need a bottle of each.

What they do: Micro Set aids greatly in the adhering of the decal to the paint finish. Micro Sol is a weak solvent that softens the decal allowing it to conform closely to the models surface. Don't drink them.

From here on out this is the method that works consistently well for me. Applying decals is like sex or cooking, everyone does it a little bit differently, but the same.

Cut out the decals. I use a new X-acto blade to cut out all the decals I will be using. Make sure to cover the decal sheet with a paper towel so your hand is not touching the sheet. The oils on your skin can cause problems with the film covering the decal. Some people avoid this by using scissors, but a lot of modern decals sheets are too crowded for me and scissors.
Put the decals in a bath of warm water. Cold water takes forever to loosen the glue and makes the decal stiffer. I give the decal 40-60 seconds under water and then pull it out and place it on a damp paper towel.
Giving the decal a few more seconds to soak up the water, I now apply some Micro Set on the spot where the decal is going to go. Don't worry about putting too much on too wide an area, it dries totally clear.

Now the tricky part. Slide the decal off the backing paper and onto the model. I use a damp Q-Tip to hold the decal down and slowly slide the backing paper away under it. This is the moment to move the decal around a bit to get it in position. You can add a bit of water or Micro Set to loosen it and reposition it.
After it is where you want it, very gently dab the decal with a paper towel taking care not to move it. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then apply some Micro Sol to it. After you have put on the Micro Sol do not move the decal! If you try it will disintegrate into mush. One coat is fine if the decal is on a smooth surface. If the decal is on a uneven or bumpy surface put another coat on after five-ish minutes.

I use separate brushes for the Set and Sol. Then I don't use the brushes for anything but the Set and Sol. Yes, I have them labeled. Let everything dry for at least a few hours. Now you have great looking decals on a really super shiny model. That's right, time for Dullcoat! Same drill as for putting on the Glosscoat, just a diffrent can. The Dullcoat also protects the decals very well so you don't have to worry about damage while handling the model.

And there you have it. It is a bit time consuming but the difference in appearance and durability makes the MicroSet/Sol choice an easy one.

The Emperor Protects
Decals now get a 2++ save 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Regular Brass Scorpion

When Apocalypse first came out in 2007 we were all excited to see that one of the new units was a 40K version of the old Epic Brass Scorpion.
I happened to have a unbuilt Defiler laying about. I picked up some extra bits, and like legions of others, went to work. I was pleased with my creation and it had many good games. Then Forge World released this monster:
About the size of a Baneblade, it was now the Greater Brass Scorpion and had new rules to reflect its much greater stature. It was almost twice as many points as before and far deadlier. My Defiler knock-off was puny in comparison, so what to do? 

For a while I just used my (Lesser) Brass Scorpion as a regular Defiler, but it always left me a bit unsatisfied. So after much deliberation I chose to make my own stats for the Regular Brass Scorpion. 

Taking the Defiler as a starting point, not that many changes were needed. No longer a Super Heavy, it did not need so many secondary weapons. Swapping out the Battle cannon for a Demolisher cannon was the first step. Ditching the Hellmaw flamers was sad, but necessary if it was to be a reasonable amount of points. Boosted its base attacks, the front armor value, and gave it Rage.  

The hardest part was the big gun the tail. On the Greater Scorpion it is an impressive STR 6, AP3, 10 shot weapon of death. A bit overpowered for a secondary weapon on a non-super heavy. I decided to go with a enhanced Reaper for the Regular Scorpion.

I am pleased with the results. Similar to a Defiler, it now feels more like an Khornate assault weapon rather than a artillery piece. 
As always, I welcome your feedback. 

Brass Scorpion…………………………220 points
                         WS  BS      S       F     S     R      I      A    HP
Brass Scorpion     3    3    6/10    13   12    10     3      4     4          

Unit Composition:
 1 Regular Brass Scorpion

Unit Type:
• Vehicle (Walker)

 Demolisher Cannon 
• Blood Reaper Autocannon
 2x Powerfist 
 Demonic Possession 

Special Rules:
• Fleet
 It Will Not Die

Heavy: The Brass Scorpion is a Heavy Support choice for a Chaos Space Marine army that includes at least one HQ selection that has a mark of Khorne.

Blood Reaper Autocannon: Same stats as a Reaper Autocannon, just now Heavy 3 

Blood for the Blood God!
And his Mechanical Daemons too