Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Conversion Corner: Necron Monolith LED (no putty, soldering, or programming!)


Oi! I've been too far gone from the keyboard. I meant to at least write up this one after Adepticon, but between a move and new job I haven't been as mindful of this as I should have been. I have new things to write about now that things have settled down though, so let's start with a bright one! A light up Monolith.

The kit I used to light up was an unexpected and happy find at Meijer: spokebritz by Brightz . It was on sale and I thought "hmmm, Necron green..." So I got it.

Because this totally says "Warhammer stuff" to the average Joe.

What you get in the package is a strap (to attach to the bike) and the actual lights, along with some mini zip ties. It's not much, but for $10 I wasn't complaining. It actually has two settings: blinking, and constant on, so if you want to give your opponent a seizure you can go for the cheap win! (not recommended)

There are multiple small LED's embedded in each string, which should spread out the light well enough.

To start with, I built the model without its base plate. This was tricky as it didn't have the nubbins there to help keep the shape properly. Still, all I had to do was use a bunch of rubber bands and some items to help square it up and it was fine.

I sprayed the inside of the monolith white so as to better reflect and intensify the lighting, since I only had one package to work with. I then sprayed the outside black and then painted it to completion so that I wouldn't get any spray on clear parts or LED's. I cut a hole in the bottom just big enough to fit a strand of lights through, as I didn't want much light leakage. As well, that's where the battery housing and switch will go, so you don't want to remove too much.

I also cut out the center of the top plate right under the light, to allow it to shine up through the crystal. I don't have a picture, but to cover it I simply took some clear packaging such as from GW's clampacks and painted it clear green (used an airbrush so it'd be a smooth coat).

Since I wanted decals and multiple clear coats on the finished model it had to be totally done before adding the cool stuff, including the clear bit in the top.

This end down. I just took a pic of it to remember what replacement batteries to get.
I threaded one strand up into the interior. One nice thing about this product is that the strands are partially metal, so you can shape it to your desire, allowing it to stand up inside without any support.

To keep it in place, I superglued it on the left and right column tops as you see here. This optimizes the support and shape of the strand, and it really doesn't need anything else.

The other two strands I used to wrap around the bottom. Conveniently the model base is already perfect here, so I wrapped the lights to my preferences and superglued them in place. Using two strands down low gives plenty of underglow like how you see in Dawn of War. I also superglued in the battery housing, since it fits perfectly in that slot on the bottom. One thing to remember is to keep enough space between the model and the bottom so that you can sneak a finger in there to turn it on!

That's all there is to it! After you install the lights, all you have to do is glue the top to the bottom and stick all the clear green bits on, and you'll have an eerily glowing piece of xenos technology, which looks ace on the table.

It's aliiiiive!

I hope this article has been helpful in lighting up your own Monoliths (or other Necron vehicles). Til next time, dear readers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Showcase: Forgeworld's Carmine Dragon


I painted something!!!

It's been too long, dear readers, but I finally have some new content for you to feast your eyes on. 

This week (as in, it took two days start to finish, because I'm in the process of moving and needed to get it DONE), I painted up Forgeworld's Carmine Dragon as a commission piece. 


He wanted it to go with his Wood Elves army, mainly as a Green or Forest Dragon scheme, so that is what I strove to achieve. He wanted a more whiteish highlight on greens, so I took to Sybarite Green and Gauss Blaster Green to make that happen.

I otherwise stuck to some classic techniques that I personally enjoy using, especially for the horns and teeth, while trying out a couple other new ones.

Don't touch my egg.

I had fun with it for sure, as I'd never painted a dragon before, especially a big one like this. 

Spikes for daaaaaays.

Oh hai, I see you.

From above.

From slightly more above.

Since it was to be an epic dragon though, he wanted it to have a rider. And here he is!

I don't always take good pictures.
You can't see it, but I did even pick out the eyes, because I'm that kind of nutter. So, with a pointer on where to stick him, I glued him on at the end and this is how it turned out:

You wish you could dragon surf like this guy.
Elves care not for physics. 

Sweet elvish bootay.

He's stabbing this caption.

"Hi-ho, Silv-I mean Green, away!"
So that's the final product! The client absolutely loved it, so I'd call that a success for a couple days of painting!

Here are my stages for painting over a black primer, for anyone curious enough to give it a go:

Scales layers:
- Caliban Green base
- Warpstone Green layer 1 (overbrush)
- Sybarite Green layer 2 (drybrush)
- Gauss Flayer Green layer 3 (drybrush)
- Waywatcher Green (wash)
- Sybarite Green layer 4 (drybrush)
- Gauss Blaster Green layer 5 (drybrush)
- 1:1 Gauss Blaster Green : White Scar White layer 6 (drybrush)

Belly layers:
- Caliban Green base
- Loren Forest layer 1 (overbrush)
- Straken Green layer 2 (drybrush)
- Nurgling Green layer 3 (drybrush)
- Ushabti Bone layer 4 (drybrush)
- Screaming Skull layer 5 (drybrush)
- Waywatcher Green (wash)

Bone layers:
- Rhinox Hide base
- Bestial Brown layer 1 (layered)
- Snakebite Leather layer 2 (layered, slightly lined)
- Bubonic Brown layer 3 (layered, lined)
- Ushabti Bone layer 4 (layered, more clear lined)
- White Scars White layer 5 (layered, distinct lined)

Mouth/Gemstone layers:
- Khorne Red base
- Emperor's Children layer 1 (drybrushed/spotted)
- Thinned Purple Ink wash
- Emperor's Children layer 2 (same as ^)
- White Scars White layer 3 (spot highlight)
- 'Ard Coat gloss

- Yriel Yellow base
- Red Ink glaze
- Yriel Yellow touch up
- Black (pupil)

Gold Armor:
- Balthasar Gold base
- Reikland Fleshshade wash
- Gehenna's Gold layer 1 (layered/drybrushed, depending on location)
- Mithril Silver layer 2 (same as ^)

- Dwarf Flesh base
- Reikland Fleshshade wash
- Dwarf Flesh layer 1 (layered)
- Elf Flesh layer 2 (layered)

- Pallid Wych Flesh base
- Black (pupil)

- Zandri Dust base
- Seraphim Sepia wash 1
- Reikland Fleshshade wash 2
- Ushabti Bone layer 1 (layered)

Green Cloth:
- Straken Green base
- Athonian Camoshade wash

- Boltgun Metal base
- Coelia Greenshade wash
- Mithril Silver highlight

- Raw Umber base
- Celestra Grey layer 1 (drybrush)
- Ushabti Bone layer 2 (drybrush, inner rings)

- Castellan Green base
- Nurgling Green layer 1 (drybrush)

- Rhinox Hide base
- Mournfang Brown layer 1 (overbrush)

Rocks (as per Ground, then):
- Celestra Grey layer 2 (overbrush)
- Longbeard Grey layer 3 (drybrush)

Thanks for reading, I'll see you again soon enough!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Battle Report: Battlefleet Gothic on Vassal, "Raid on Kittery-804"


Time for another battle report! In the ongoing campaign for the Armus sub-sector, the Chaos fleet led by the Lord Kol Sarat takes on the Imperials once more, this time in a punitive raid on Kittery-804. Not participating in the raid himself, he sent the Warmonger, Agony, and Hellblade to reconnoiter in force. Patrolling the far flung penal colony system at that time fell to the Brazen, Valiant, and 711th Squadron.

Cruiser Clash

Chaos (subplot - Enemy Plans)
Hades Class Heavy Cruiser Warmonger
Slaughter Class Cruiser Agony
Slaughter Class Cruiser Hellblade

Imperial Navy (subplot - Experimental Ship)
Lunar Class Cruiser Valiant
Gothic Class Cruiser Brazen (+2 HP, -1 Ld)
5 Firestorm Class Frigates 711th Squadron

Turn 1: Chaos

The Agony's captain, fresh from repairs within the warp and eager to spill blood, ordered his squadron to close as fast as possible with the enemy. With gusto and blazing engines they shot ahead 57(!) cm (the roll was 6, 6, 6, 6, 3). The Warmonger followed along leisurely behind, coming into extreme range with its heavy lance armament. At long range the gunners showed their metal, scoring three hits on the Brazen. This is where I found out the ship actually had 10HP to start the game with, hoi!

Turn 1: Imperial Navy 

Holding their discipline in the face of the insane bravado of the Slaughter squadron, the Imperials took advantage of the close range to unleash their particular brand of hell on their enemy. Linking their fire, the 711th and cruisers bracketed the Agony, stripping shields, sundering the hull, and damaging the thrusters, resulting in several hull breaches. Torpedoes screamed into the Hellblade, and while the turrets took out an average number, they still scored a hit. A telling turn of events, and the Agony's captain was cowed...

Turn 2: Chaos

Bleeding heavily into space, the Agony attempted, and failed, to disengage. The Hellblade turned into the enemy's rear and peppered a weak broadside into the Brazen's aft quarter, taking down the shields and scoring a hit. The Warmonger locked on, bringing all guns to bear (as I'm writing this, I just realized I didn't reroll my misses due to lock on, gosh darn it!) on the Firestorms and the cruisers. Still, the weapons batteries scored three hits and the lances two, resulting in two destroyed frigates. The prow lances missed the Brazen, and since I forgot my orders, I passed the turn...

Turn 2: Imperial Navy

The remainder of the 711th squadron swung around to light up the Agony, while the cruisers were poised to make use of both broadsides. The Agony's captain suffered the final humiliation for his hubris, and his ship was rendered combat ineffective. It proceeded to drift out of the engagement area, and his fellow captains saw fit to not retrieve his hulk. Despite the weight of fire, only shields sustained hits during this turn, though the Hellblade was also crippled. The Emperor's light seemed to be shining on the Imperials now!

Turn 3: Chaos

While the Hellblade came about for another gunnery run, the Warmonger closed in on the Brazen for an exciting boarding action! The result was a crushing victory for Chaos (he rolled a 1, I rolled a 6), and it took a huge amount of damage! I also succeeded in uncovering the enemy's battle plans during the action (I was after his lucky charms!), completing my subplot.

Turn 3: Imperial Navy

Well, the 711th disengaged at high warp, while the cruisers unfortunately remained, due to low leadership values.

Turn 4: Chaos

The Warmonger continued her persecution of the Brazen, targeting her with available guns and hulking the ship, while the Valiant finally escaped. A fine prize indeed...

What a back and forth game! First he smashed me, then vice versa. I thought I was in trouble, early on. The Slaughters definitely overshot where I wanted them to go; they were supposed to be the ones to board an enemy ship, but they definitely got too close, then wreckfaced because I was thinking "I only need one to do what I need to...right?" Poor choice, as his Firestorms went bananas and scored a bucket ton of hits all at once. Oh well, live and learn right? The boarding action swung the game back in my favor, no questions there; a 1 to a 6 is always going to hurt. Just wasn't expecting it, though I can't complain about the result.

Would you have played it any different? Spot anything we missed? Let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Battle Report: Battlefleet Gothic on Vassal


Today I will be discussing a battle I played over Vassal, with my good man Ruckdog as the punching bag du jour.

I first met Ruckdog (one of the many Andrew's in attendance) at Adepticon during the BFG tournament, an event I strive to play every year because it's quite possibly my favorite game of all time. He's a pretty cool guy, and invited me to check out his forums called Man Battlestations, a site all about warship gaming. Pretty cool stuff!

Anyway, he's been running a BFG campaign, and while it has been a slow start, we've gotten the ball rolling and I actually recorded one of our games! Introducing the fleets:

Imperial Navy (Ruckdog's)
Exorcist Class Grand Cruiser Guardian
Dominator Class Cruiser Audacious
Lunar Class Cruiser Valiant
Lunar Class Cruiser Bellerophon
6 Sword Class Frigates 302nd Escort Squadron

Chaos (Me!)
Styx Class Heavy Cruiser Hateful Death
Devastation Class Cruiser Bearer of the Word
Devastation Class Cruiser Hellbringer
Slaughter Class Cruiser Torture
Slaughter Class Cruiser Hellblade

We played a Fleet Engagement, Deployment B. Here's how we deployed:

A few scattered gas clouds and a chunky asteroid field gave us some terrain to play around. I lost the roll for first turn, so it was on to him!

Turn 1: Imperial Navy

It was the start of the engagement, and already the Chaos fleet was approaching the rear quarter of the Imperials! Determined not to let that come to pass, the 302nd passed Come to New Heading and swiftly came about. The rest of the fleet kept to minimum speed, turning slowly to face. The first shot of the game was a snap shot Nova Cannon shell from the Audacious, which missed as such a long range.

Turn 1: Chaos

The Tyrant Kol Sarat (my fleet commander) ordered the squadron of Slaughters to swing about quickly, and they easily passed their Come to New Heading check (Ld 10 due to subplot, wooo!). All of the carriers dumped a lot of assault boats and bombers into the void, and that was pretty much my turn.

Here's what the board looked like at the end of turn 1:

Some more maneuvering will be in order!

Turn 2: Imperial Navy

You'll have to ignore those zigzaggy lines; at this point we had a connection issue, resulting in doubling and trebling ships and dice and everything else; needless to say we had some fixing to do. But once we did, it was on to the battle again! The cruisers completed their turns, rang out with another Nova Cannon shot (that missed again, seriously this is the most amount of shots I've let him had in a game and they're getting flummoxed with the generosity =P ). Two fighters took down two assault boats.

Turn 2: Chaos

Those red tokens were simply marking copy ships that he could see (but not me), so just ignore those...

The carrier squadron rearmed and refueled their squadrons, ready to send them into the void again later. In the meantime the Slaughter squadron went All Ahead Full and rolled a mighty 10 on five dice...le sigh. Still, 40cm is nothing to scoff at! The assault boats swept into the Audacious, causing a few swiftly repaired critical hits, while the bombers waited for the other cruisers to run them over.

Turn 3: Imperial Navy

The Imperials closed ranks, attempting to use their armored prows as a shield and their hulls as a knife to cut apart the Chaos fleet. The downside is that their firepower could not be brought to bear just yet. A nearly point blank Nova Cannon shot misses yet again!

Turn 3: Chaos

The leader of the Slaughter squadron grinned ferociously as he counted down the range. The Audacious would be at the extreme edge of his effective range, but that still meant it could be done...they Locked On. The carriers put up a small fighter screen to protect mainly against torpedoes, while also putting assault boats and bombers back into space.

Combined, the Slaughters put out an impressive FP28 and 4 lances; needless to say, the Audacious was rocked on its keel and suffered heavily.

Turn 4: Imperial Navy

(neglected to take a picture)

The crippled Audacious disengaged, and the rest of the squadron closed to torpedo range. The 302nd unleashed a fusillade into the Torture, scoring a few hits. More importantly, my turrets were wholly ineffective, resulting in multiple torpedo strikes on both the Torture and Hellblade. The Torture was crippled and the Hellblade's bridge was smashed away, leaving the second in command in charge. The Chaos bombers were swept away, but the assault boats completed their attack run and caused some critical hits to the Bellerophon. These were swiftly repaired.

Turn 4: Chaos

The captain of the Torture, no longer sporting a toothy grin, ordered his ship to disengage, vowing revenge on the cowards who struck from afar. The rest of the fleet continued about, with just a few lance shots streaking through the void to strike the Bellerophon, causing minor damage. Seeing the futility of bomber runs, the carriers simply launched all assault boats, hoping to silence the enemy guns through hit and run attacks than by outright destroying them.

Turn 5: Imperial

Seeing a lone ship vs a squadron of ships, the Imperials turned to pounce on the Hellblade. Luckily it was up to the task and shrugged off the shots that came its way. In a serious of miscommunications, the Lunar squadron did not reload their torpedoes; this would prove to be most unfortunate. Still, they fired their broadsides at the Hellbringer, scoring a couple hits.

Turn 5: Chaos

Seeing the perfect lineup unfolding before his eyes, Kol Sarat ordered all ships to turn to starboard and set their guns; they'd all be "crossing the T" now, and it's time to be effective! Without Lock On orders though, all I managed to do is bang a few shields. More importantly, he succeeded at Brace for Impact! with both squadrons, severely limiting their effectiveness next turn. At such close range, the assault boats from the carriers were launching and returning immediately, many swift sorties one after another. The Bellerophon was targeted heavily, resulting in all the guns being taken out (2-4 times with some of them!) and multiple engine damages. With the sustained casualties, repairs were not so forthcoming.

Turn 6: Imperial Navy

Reluctantly the Bellerophon disengaged, leaving the Valiant to cause more damage to the enemy. In a repeat of the previous turn, the patter of light return fire was swept aside by the void shields of the Chaos ships.

Turn 6: Chaos

Crossing the T once more, the carriers put some heavy duty broadsides into the poor Valiant, and combined with the assault boats brought it down quite a bit in hit points. Poorly maneuvered (they are without a bridge, after all), the Hellblade only scored a single frigate to its name.

After this, the Imperial Navy disengaged as a whole, leaving the Delphi system to the clutches of Kol Sarat! (243 VP to 42 VP, Chaos favor)

I think in this game we both deployed correctly. He has been subject to my use of squadroned firepower the last couple games, so he wanted to give it a try himself. I think if he had kept the Audacious by itself, it could have made better use of the Nova Cannon, allowing the Lunars to range ahead and distract, though they'd be lacking the heavy broadsides of the Dominator. I think the only maneuvering foibles would have been the too-early turns later in the game, allowing me to cross the T multiple times and rake him across the prow. Perhaps venturing further forward to get into my rear would have worked better, because my superior speed got the better of his turns.

Either way, another fun game! I was nervous every time he said "firing the Nova Cannon" and I chose not to BFI. Any one of those times it could have scored a nasty hit, but the dice were not behaving last night. On to the next!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bang, Zoom, Straight to the Moon!

Dang, just a single article in June? Someone slap me, I'm slacking.


I vow to keep up one article per week, because right now I'm doing a terrible job at upkeeping this blog. And it's my only one! My excuse is that June was a crazy month, what with weddings and events and blah blah blah.

So here I am back with something new to feast your eyes on: the moon! Not just any moon, but the Strawberry Moon featured last month during June, where it was all big and close and fabulous. Not much more to say I guess, but feast your eyes on a surface that is very, very far away.

Definitely got some spectacular shots of the moon. I always love photographing it...makes me want to play Battlefleet Gothic! Heh.

This is the best shot I can get of Mars. Naturally, being the next planet in the solar lineup it's really fething far away, but hey, if I can get a shot I'll take it!

Finally, this is a short video of the moon on full zoom for my camera, just watching it move across the sky. I found it interesting how shaky the image is, despite being on a tripod with nothing moving nearby. I assume it must be a bit of atmospheric disturbance, or maybe there are some minor earthquakes happening, who knows.

That's all for now, see you next time!