Friday, December 30, 2016

Tempestus Rex

Here is the culmination of many hours of toil. I present to you, Mars Alpha Pattern Warlord Titan, Tempestus Rex, ("Storm King" in low Gothic) of the Legio Gryphonicus.

I am well pleased at the way it came out. As with many large projects, there are a few small things I would do a bit differently, but nothing major. It has been one hell of a build, and one of my best.

Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement, it helped a lot in the dark times when there was just so much left to do. Booze and cursing The Jeff helped a lot too.

Now it's time to see what 3,000 points of imperial Guard Tanks can do to it.

The Big Guns Never Tire
And What A Joyous Sound They Make

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy X-Mas

Happy Holidays to all! Be it Christmas, Hanukkah, or the Ascension of Tzeentch, may you have a great time.

I know the Warlord update is very late, but weather (cold and very windy) has prevented the final spraying of dullcoat. The Titan looks terrible in photos right now due to the glossy coat I put on as part of the decals stage. Maybe next week for the glorious reveal.

So have a excellent holiday(s) and feel free to invoke Metal Santa on a T-80 for an extra mulligan.

Go Roll Some Dice
In The Name of Holiday Cheer

Friday, December 9, 2016

Almost There

Decals are done, arms have been epoxied, and all smaller parts are attached. The only step left is left is to put all the big parts together. I'm kinda terrified.

That will happen later today, so on Monday there will pictures of a (hopefully!) complete Warlord Titan. It will still need some touch up paints and a final dullcoat, but damn this has been a hell of a project.

As I have said before, I want one of the main weapons to be a Gatling Blaster.
Forge World has yet to produce one but I want to be able to swap it in once they do. I though of a few ways to temporarily mount the Volcano Cannon. Magnets and pinning being the first two. I ruled both those out for practical reasons. I know, heresy against the magnet gods, but the size of the magnet required vs, space available was not a good match. I have gone with...
Yes Velcro! That technology that that we got from the Roswell aliens. Or something like that. I cut some pieces down to fit and damn if it doesn't work.
 Well, mostly. I still had to put some thin cardboard shims along the sides to keep it snug, The end result is a solid mounting that will keep the heavy gun in place for the time being.

All Praise The Machine God
And Maybe the Velcro Aliens Too... 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This Just In...

From the Mantic Games Facebook Page: "Well, we're pleased to announce the winner of the unboxing video is Atomic Warlords"

Thank you to all who watched the video! And a big Thank You to Mantic Games!

I will have a gameplay post up soon-ish. Right after the Warlord Titan is finished...

Go Roll Some Dice
Happy Zombie Hunting

Monday, November 28, 2016

New Fightin' Ground

A few weeks ago I received a nice bit of intel from Warlord Pete about a sale at Frontlines Games, makers of a wide range of fine gaming mats. The discount was very good, and as luck would have it, they are located here in San Diego. I picked the last Urban Combat mat in stock. We tried out a game on it right away.
2K, Tyranids vs Eldar. The mat has multiple deployment zones subtlety marked on them. It is made from a sturdy neoprene and rolls up nicely into its own zippered nylon storage tube.
It was a good game, I had always wanted to kill a Wraithknight with one hit from a Bone Sword, and I finally got my chance. Mrs. Blackheart was not amused at the loss of her Wraithknight.
These photos don't do the mat justice, It looks even better in person. If you are in the market for a new gaming surface it would be hard to do better. Highly recommended.

The Great Devourer Hungers
And Really Likes the Smooth New Surface

Monday, November 21, 2016

Painting Frenzy

Lots of good progress has been made on on the mighty Warlord Titan. It will be a while before I will do anything that has gold trim on it again, but it does look nice. I finished painting up the armor plates, now some need decals before being attached.
The torso is complete, I still have the head and guns to detail, then it will be on to final assembly and then some weathering.

Today's Top Tip: Always keep your coffee mug and paint water a safe distance apart...
Re-enactment. No coffee was harmed, this time.
At least I noticed right after I infused my drink with gold paint. Which just proved I needed more caffeine. Next up: Battle report with a fancy new game mat!

Trust In The Machine God
I Need a Coffee Servitor

Friday, November 11, 2016

This Far, No Further

Happy Veterans Day to all my fellow Vets. The work on My Warlord goes slowly now that I am in the painting stage. So many small pipes, and I haven't even gotten to the gold trim. Which I know is going to...challenge my persistence. New Pics next week.

I recently played a four player Star trek Attack Wing mission, First Contact. Each player brings a 120 point squadron and together they must stop the Borg Cube, which is run by a deck of cards.

I brought three Federation heavies, Enterprise E, Thunderchild, and Prometheus. There was another Fed player (Defiant, Hood, and Yeager), a Klingon (3x Vor'Cha) and a Romulan (3x Reman Warbirds).

The Borg attacks can be devastating. Normally it will make four attacks, one each at the closest ships.  The attack strength is determined by the action card that is drawn for the Cube each turn, usually between 6-8, with a 10 in there for fun. Some cards change up who gets attacked, and sometimes everyone get attacked. Once the Cube's shields are knocked down the Borg Sphere is launched and heads toward the edge of the table. If it exits the players all lose, as history is changed and all is Borg.
We did really well. That is, until we lost four ships in one turn. The Sphere was stopped short of the map edge, but all the Romulans went with it. All three Klingon ships went out in a blaze of point-blank glory, but did a huge amount of damage.

It came down to the wire. On the second to last turn, the Hood, Defiant, and the last Klingon were blown away, and the Prometheus reduced to two hull points. Good dice favored me next turn and the Enterprise did just enough damage to finish off the Cube.

It is a fun mission, but I feel it could use some tweaks. Like the Borg Cube doesn't move at all, and a bit more variety in who it attacks, and maybe some special attacks as well. I'll write up a revised mission and post it here later.

Go Roll Some Dice
And Don't Forget When You Are Cloaked

Friday, October 28, 2016

Can I Play with Madness?

Mansions of Madness (2nd Edition) is another great product from Fantasy Flight Games. It is a 1920s era Investigators versus Lovecraftian Horrors board game. With miniatures and a app for a game master.
The first edition of this game came out a few years back and was liked by a very small dedicated fan base. I was disappointed in it. I kinda wanted a Call of Cthulhu dungeon crawler with some mystery solving. Which it sort of was, but there was fixed, detailed adventures that required the GM to do a lot of set-up work. If there was a minor mistake during setup it would ruin the adventure. I found the game too fiddly, slow and too much work and not enough fun for the GM. So on the shelf it went.

Second Edition fixes all of that by giving the GM's job to a computer. I must say I was very skeptical that this would work, but it does work. Now Mansions of Madness 2ed is a co-op 1-5 player game. You do have to have a tablet handy (Or on a laptop via Steam) to run the app.
The app does a good job of handling map reveals, objects, random events, and stuff of that ilk. All the action still happens on the gaming table. Moving figures and monsters, dice rolling and keeping track of your character's physical and mental health is still the player's job. It launched with four scenarios and now it is up to six, with more on the way. Each adventure has some variants in map layout and monsters, so it is not exactly the same every time you play.

The first edition maps, monsters, and investigators can be used with the newer version, which is really nice for those of us who held on to it. For those who didn't pick up the first edition and its expansions, FFG is selling those as 2nd Edition packs. Lots of support right away for this game, and more to come.

Let us talk about the miniatures for a moment. The sculpts are okay for game figures, but the large, clunky, square bases are just the worst. Like with Imperial Assault, the grey figures looked sad against the fantastic artwork on the maps,  So I did want any (in)sane Cthulhu fan would do, paint the figs and re-base!
I decided to go full boat crazy and use clear bases for the monsters. I had thought about that for the investigators, but their bases where small, round, and looked fine for the figs. Plus I didn't really want to try and cut off those tiny feet. I am very happy with the end results.
All the monsters, more to come.
Investigators painted by Mrs. Blackheart.
I have talked to some people who question "Why the app? Why not just make it into a computer game?" For me, it is because I enjoy the social and tactile interaction of a boardgame. I like being a GM, but sometimes you just want to be a player in the party of investigators and to share that experience. In this example, it allows everyone to do just that.

Having an app take over the GM role is novel, and does add to the air of mystery and surprise to the game. It also allows for some puzzle-solving that is done on the tablet. There are, of course a few quirks with the app, but overall it works well. Is computer assisted games the future? For some games I think so. It definitely works for Mansions of Madness,

Go Roll Some Dice
And try not to go Mad

Monday, October 17, 2016

Slow and Steady

No dramatic progress to show off. Lots and lots of priming, some test fitting of the big subassemblies, and a whole lot of over-thinking the paint scheme.
The Testors Titanium Metalizer spray paint  looks great over the black primer. I did the guns with Leadbleacher spray for some variance in the bare metals. All of the armor plates have been back-painted black and I have started to do detail paint on the legs.

As for the main color, I have been testing a few different shades of grey. I'm making this titian as one from the Legio Gryphonicus (War Griffons) Of course this means I'll have to repaint my Warhound to match, but it's a small price to pay for awesome.
This is (mostly) the scheme I am going for. Mid-grey kinda color. Gold trim with a white, (maybe red) head. At the moment I am favoring Tamiya Haze grey as the main color. It'll be fun.

The Emperor Protects
Even against runs and overspray

Friday, October 14, 2016

Walking Dead All Out War

Today is something different. Mantic Games is having a contest and I was selected to be in the finals of it. They graciously sent me a retail copy of their new Walking Dead All Out War miniatures game to do a unboxing video of. Whoever of the finalists video get the most watches wins a big Walking Dead prize package.

So, here is my first attempt at making a video, please give it a watch. Feel free to offer any constrictive notes, for I know there is much room to improve.

The game does look fun, and I will have a review of it soon. Titan update on Monday.

Go Roll Some Dice
 'Tis the Season for Killing Zombies

Friday, October 7, 2016

Guns, Guns, Guns

Ahh yes, the raison d'ĂȘtre for the Warlord Titan. Very heavy weapons and lots of them. I was a bit torn on the weapons loadout, I think for the shoulder weapons missile pods have great utility and can wipe out entire units of infantry, but I like big guns and I cannot lie. Triple Turbo Lascannons would be my choice for the "secondary" weapons.

 Arm weapons, I want the classic Defense Laser (Volcano Cannon to you kids) and Gatling Blaster combo. Alas, Forge World doesn't make a Gatling Blaster yet. Soon, I hope. I have a few ideas in decreasing order of sanity for a gatling Blaster arm, but more on that later. The Plasma Destructor and Power Fist don't really do anything for me, so I went with a pair of Big Honkin' LaserGuns.
 First the usual, cut, trim, bath. A little bit of re-bending in boiling water, nothing too bad. All went together pretty well. The triple turbos had a moment of frustration when putting the three barrels together, but it was overcome with a few choice oaths and strong drink.

Just because I wanted to be done with the cut, trim, wash cycle I also prepped the cockpit.
So this marks the end of all sub-assemblies. Getting all them to fit together with be a thing.
Next up: Time for a whole bunch of paint.  

The Big Guns Never Tire
As Long as the Epoxy Sets

Friday, September 30, 2016

Some Titan Progress

I didn't get to work on the Warlord Titan very much the past few days. I mostly blame the oven-like wind that was here all week. I did manage to trim & wash the remaining parts for the body.
And all the armor plates while I was at it.
I can already tell some of the big parts are really warped. Yay, more boiling water fun. All the smaller parts went onto the torso, but I need to prime and start some painting before any more assembling can continue.
The main weapon arms look like they are going to be, you know, challenging. Three different parts make up the joints, so we could give it a large range of motion, which nobody does. Because it's a huge Imperial Titan, not some nimbly-pimbly Eldar. After the priming I'll have to start on the main weapons so I can get the arm pose correct. Next week: Guns & Paints.

Hail the Omnissiah! He is the God in the Machine, the Source of All Knowledge.
And a Real Pain in the Aft Quadrant

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Happy Birthday, God Emperor of Mankind

Back long ago, GW released the awesome 2002 calendar. On September 29th it said "Emperor's Birthday". I have never found any other background to support this, but today is as good a date as any. So Happy Bithday to the one who taught us what is best in life, and then conquered  most of galaxy.  I hope the Custodes put a little birthday hat on him.

The Emperor Protects
Damn, that is a lot of Candles.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Warlord Torso, Part I

Setting the towering legs aside for a bit, it's time to tackle the torso. Or Steps 14-26 as they are known as in the construction tome. Once again it was sort, trim, and wash. This time with fewer and larger parts.
I didn't get any pics during the formation of the main "box" that makes up the torso because my hands were very full and I was uttering many harsh oaths to the Machine God, Forge World, and Jeff. The fit was very tricky. I kinda needed four big parts to come together all at the same time. Oh yes, quite challenging. The main side walls had been badly warped and required trips to the boiling water to rectify. Eventually. As did the curved armor plate over the neck. After that the rest of the smaller parts was a breeze.

Do not try this at your Manufactorium without a good supply of large and small squeeze clamps on hand. And a coping saw, boiling water, band aids, and rum. Overall, the assembly went well and pretty quick. It is coming along, but so much more to be done.
Next up, Torso, arms, and armor.

The Omnissiah Knows All, Comprehends All
But Requires You to Do the Work