Friday, February 28, 2014

All Wings Report In

Today we have a guest article from our very own Red 7, "Foxy" Johnson, on how to paint up your very own Red Squadron.

Mr. Blackheart and I have been playing a whole lot of X-Wing recently. After a couple of games, we thought it'd be super-neato if the X-Wings were painted to represent the individual pilots. Given that the Rebel Alliance scrounges material from pretty much anywhere it can, it makes sense that no two X-Wings would look the same (much unlike the Empire, which seems to have an unlimited defense budget).

As a long time 40K player (I got the Rogue Trader book for my 11th birthday), painting miniatures is almost a force of habit. For some reason (most likely laziness), I was pretty hesitant to get going on this project. As I was perusing the X-Wing forums on the 'Geek, I saw a link that ultimately led to this post: ( (if I could find the BGG post, I'd link it here, but I haven't had any luck). The post is a great article on how to go about painting your X-Wings. Yep - that post is what I needed to get started on painting our own X-Wings!

Righty-o - enough talk. Let's get on with it, shall we?

Red Leader

Red 2- Wedge Antilles

Red 3 - Biggs Darklighter

Red 4 - John D.

Red 5 - Luke Skywalker

Red 6 - Jek Porkins

Paint Palette
When it comes to painting, I'm extra-super lazy. As such, I will go to great lengths to avoid doing mixing of any kind. Shown below are the paints I used. Where possible, I've included the company's color code in parentheses:

Tamiya Deck Tan (XF-55) - matches the X-Wing miniature's hull color perfectly.
Tamiya Flat Red (XF-7) - matches the X-Wing "racing stripe" and wing markings almost perfectly. Also used for Red Leader's Astromech droid.
Tamiya Yellow Green (XF-4) - used for the "yellow" parts/patchwork of the X-Wing's hull (e.g. Red 5's nose stripe, nosecones of Red 2, 4 and 6, yellow trim on Red 4).
Tamiya Flat Yellow (XF-3) - used only for the R2 unit on Red 4's X-Wing.
Citadel Color Ice Blue (61-36) - Used for "candy striping" on laser cannon barrels.
Citadel Color Fortress Grey (61-53) - used for parts/patchwork (primarily the nosecone stripe on Red 4)
Citadel Foundation Mechrite Red (??) - used for red components on the hull of Red 6.
Citadel Color Chaos Black (61-51) - used for touching up canopy windows on Red 4 and Red 6. Also used for the "dagger" symbol on Red 2's hull.
Citadel Color Rotting Flesh (??) - used for a couple spots of slightly greenish patchwork on Red 3 and Red 6.
Citadel Washes Badab Black (??) - for some of the battle damage/weathering on Red Leader. Also to touch up some of the weathering effects in general

NOTE - Games Workshop updated their entire paint range, so some of the Citadel Colors won't be an exact match under their new names.

Oh yeah - one other thing. I strongly recommend rinsing your X-Wing miniatures in warm soapy water before painting them. I soaked ours in warm water with some liquid dish washing detergent for @ 5 minutes. I scrubbed them lightly with a toothbrush, rinsed them and let them air dry. I found that if I didn't do this, the paint (particularly the Tamiya paint) wouldn't really stick to the miniature.

Other Tools
Brushes - I used a Citadel Fine Detail Brush and a Floquil Golden Fox/Renard D'or F302.
Masking Tape - nothing fancy, just the plain ol' masking tape that you can find at any hardware store.

Like I said before, this blog post ( kicked the idea of painting the X-Wing miniatures to look like the individual Red Squadron fighters into motion.

Reference Material
I used the following photographs as reference. I'm not exactly sure where they found data for the paint schemes, so I can't be 100% certain if they're canon. In particular, there seems to be some debate over Red 6's paint scheme (as near as my amateur eyes can tell, the red canopy/trim did not make it into the final film). However, the paint schemes for Red 4 and Red 6 are really freakin' awesome, so that's what I went with.

Paint Schemes for Red 2, Red 3, Red 4 and Red 6 ( (this was my primary source).
Red 2 Commission ( (used primarily as cross-reference w/the first site cited above).
Red Leader (
Red 12 ( (haven't painted this one yet, but I might have to... [I think we might need another "generic" Red Squadron pilot])

Stay on Target
and listen to the voices in your head

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Plastic Knight Rises

That is a hell of a thing. Even though the rumors broke a few days ago I never thought I would be holding a White Dwarf magazine looking at the new plastic Imperial Knights for 40K. WD #4 is worth picking up for all the pretty pics of the knights and the awesome decal sheet that comes with the kit. And for a mere $20 there is another huge sheet with lots more (different) beautiful decals.

The rules are brief and to the point. Two versions: Paladin and Errant. The Knights can be taken as a primary detachment of 3-6 or as a allied detachment of 1-3.

Interestingly, no mention of a codex. I find it hard to believe this is just a crazy awesome one off. Dare we dream this is the vanguard of a Mechanicus Codex? My bank account suddenly cried out in terror.
If this is the fruit of a weekly GW release schedule no longer tied to the One Big Release, I could not be happier. Odds and ends of various armies showing up just because the studio thought it would be fun to do them? Yes please.

The Emperor Protects
And Surprises

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kaiju Swarm vs Blood Angels

It was time to try a Kaiju Tyranid army. Matt was kind enough to brave the unknown and brought his Blood Angels to the party. 2,000 points per side; Big Guns Never Tire was the mission, and I went first.

I had a whopping 22 models, it may have been the first time Matt's marines outnumbered his opponent.

Kaiju Swarm Alpha
Hive Tyrant with wings, Heavy venom Cannon and twin-linked Devourers
Old One Eye 
Three broods of 4 Warriors  
2x Harpies
Two broods of 2 Carnifex(es) or is it Carnifexi?    

Not many models, but a whole lot of wounds and toughness 6 creatures. The Blood Angels would be in for a rough time. A little bit over 25% of Matt's points was waiting in reserve, a risky gamble. 

As could be expected my first turn was mostly spent running, but a Harpy did take out the Baal Predator with its Heavy Venom Cannon. A few Tactical Marines were picked off by the Hive Tyrant, and that was it. I had a Carnifex shot up real bad and a few wounds spread out among the beasts. 

Turn Two got the monsters in real close, a few units didn't need to run and shot up the Marine's line a bit more. Tragically for Matt, his Stormraven loaded with Terminators and a Furioso Dreadnought didn't make it on the table this turn. I lost a pair of Carnifex and some Warriors to shooting attacks.

Turn Three went quite well for the Great Devourer. A few wounds from overwatch did not halt the onslaught.                                  
  Old One Eye turned a Land Raider into a smoking crater, the Land Raider Crusader was beaten into junk and a lot of assault marines were lunch for the Haurspex. The rest of the Tactical Marines were felled by the Hive Tyrant and Harpies. The Stormraven arrived and unloaded its deadly passengers.
The Haruspex did meet its end by a really angry Chaplain with a power fist and one wound left, and the Tyrannofex was gutted but the Furioso's Blood Talons. One Harpy took four wounds from the newly arrived Terminator squad. As impressive as the last minute heroics were, it was not enough. At the end of turn four only the Chaplain and a lone Terminator remained for the Blood Angels.  Tyranids 8, Blood Angels 3.

A good game that would have been much closer if not for a few rolls. But that is why we play the game.

6th edition Tyranids do seem to favor the Kaiju style armies so far. I am going to try a list that is mostly little fellows and 'stealers and see how that fares. The unpredictable nature of what kind of Tyranid list you will be facing gives a edge to the 'Nids by complicating army creation for their opponent. It will be fun to see this play out in the games ahead.

Feed the Hive Mind!
Must be Blood!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Multiple Warp Signatures

Star Trek Attack Wing is speeding up their release schedule. With the some new (non-Heroclix) sculpts in the line-up and a re-do of the Klingon Bird of Prey I do hope that the older Heroclix Enterprise A & E get a new model as well. I'm not going to hold my breath though. Not very many ships left for them to do, I would love to see an Federation Akira class (from First Contact and some DS9) and a bigger Borg Cube without the armor plates. But that's just me.

It will be interesting to see how much the Borg shake things up. They had better keep the Borg as a really hard to kill, but few in number kind of force. I will be covering the Wizkid's Borg Organized Play Events starting in June, should be fun.

Now if they would just release some faction booster packs with some new crew and equipment cards and a couple of new named ships I would be very happy indeed.

Go Roll Some Dice
And make docking space

Monday, February 3, 2014

In the Mouth of Magnets

Yuuup. All options magnetized.
Today's guest article comes from Matt on the joy of magnetic force. 

Greetings to you who peruse this blog.

I have come to this place to share my madness. I first delved into the 40k universe with the Blood Angels. One of my first purchases was a Predator tank and I wasn't content with either-or set up of the kit. I didn't want to have to choose between a lascannon or an autocannon. I wanted to be able to switch up as circumstances dictated. So, with the proper application of some extra plastic, a metal washer, and a rare earth magnet, I built a turret that could be opened up so that the cannon could swapped out. This magnet based project worked out so well in fact that you might say that I was instantly. . . attracted to the concept. My apologies, I won't do that again. 

Now then, over the years I have magnetized a fair number of things. Predators, Dreadnoughts, my Stormraven (removable wings for storage is extremely helpful), but because of the recent Tyranid release, today we will be focusing on the humble Carnifex. 

First a word on magnets. I use 3/16 inch neodymium disc magnets that have about 2 pounds of pull force. You can get a lot of them pretty cheaply online and they'll have more then enough power for this kind of thing. Once you've got your magnets, you'll need to find a drill bit that is as close to the diameter of the magnet as possible if not slightly larger (you want it to be snug). Most of the time the plastic will be so thin that you'll punch through with the drill bit, so the better the fit, the better the magnet will hold after its glued in place.  Also, establish a "master magnet". What I mean by this is take one magnet and mark one side with a marker or some paint. This will be the "connecting side", the side that you'll use to orient all other magnets to. That way you won't have a rouge arm that refuses to connect to its socket. Finally, you're going to want get a positioning tool of some kind. The back of a smaller drill bit works well for this. Stick your magnet to it in order to simplify the application of glue and the placement.

On to the main body. Assemble the torso section of the body and the heads and allow the glue ample time to cure. The parts need to be good and secure for the next step. Bore out the arm and head sockets with the drill bit. I do it by hand because drills can be too aggressive and can get away from you quickly causing undo damage and possible injury. Be sure to test fit the magnets before gluing them in place. Apply glue to the sockets and using the positioning tool, apply some glue to the magnet as well. Now place the magnet into the hole that you've made. This is where is becomes an exercise in patience since you need to hold the magnet there until the glue sets long enough for it to hold on its on and you can slip the positioning tool off without pulling the magnet right back out of the torso.

A similar process is used for magnetizing the heads, but you will want to clip of the little plastic peg on the back of the head before drilling out the hole.

As for the back plate (I'm working from memory here so bear with me), there should be a little indentation on the inside of the piece, it should be thick enough there for a magnet without having to bore all the way through. Positioning the magnet on the torso above the head socket takes a little estimation. If you cheat it slightly low that should help hold the back plate down tight against the torso.

The arms are where things get really tricky. Each of the arms has a ball joint that needs to be shaved down a little for the magnet to stick properly. Preposition each arm to find the pose that you like and to determine how to trim the joint so that the arm holds that position after the magnet has been affixed. Since the cannon arms join together you need to set them so that they want to connect to one another. On mine, I also pinned the connection between the arms and bonded them together with green stuff for a stronger joint. If done properly, the cannon arms can attach and detach from the torso as one piece.

And there you have it. With a little extra effort and about thirty magnets, you too can have a highly mutable Carnifex. Now take the lessons that you've learned today, get out there, and start gluing stuff together.

Matt has a full brood of three Carnifexes completely magnetized. The flexibility it gives him is amazing. For his next magnet project we will have pics as the build progresses. Probably.

The Hive Mind Adapts
The better to eat you with