Monday, June 27, 2011

A Tale of Five Gamers - Week 14 - Round up!

A Tale of Five Gamers - Week 14 - Round up!
Well folks, here is the first round up for the new layout, this is the week 14 update for the newly expanded Tale of Five Gamers.

Week 14 Updates
Challenge No Submission Casualty List

Here are the current number of casualty models each player must have completed by the end of the challenge as a fine for their none submission of weekly updates! However its up to you if they all get another one added to the list for this weeks lack of submission!
  • Chris - 2 models
  • Jono - 2 models
  • Dave - 0 models
  • Dan - 1 model
So that's this weeks round up and due to the lack of week 13 updates both Jono and Dan have acquired a dead model each.

A Tale of Five Gamers - Week 14-6 - Chris' Tau Update

Chris' Week 14 Update
So time for my update, not much on the words this week, more time for pictures. I have included some pics of the Firewarriors to give you some idea on the progress made. I have also included the Battlesuit in its various parts that i've left unrepaied to assist with painting.

Any thoughts or comments would be great.
Cheers, Chris

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Tale of Five Gamers - Week 14-5 - Millest's Imperial Guard Update

Millest's Week 14 Update

Well once again an eventful week, the challenge grows both in number of memebers and in models progressing. This week in and out of being in the office way too much I've managed to get a base coat on my vehicles and finish some external detailing as see here

As well as playing with these beasties I've also completed the basing and posing of my Autocannon teams, and with the rest of the force i have begun the process of painting them. Still a long way off with these but here are the Autocannon teams to give you an idea of the progress on the rest of the force.

In addition to these guys i felt like i would like to do something different with the cloaks of my Vet Serg and his Squad leader, whilst thinking about it i came up with these patterns:

As you can see not bad looking but I'm not sure ive done it justice or if the cloaks look good, im not 100% with the kneeling guys cloak but cant really see how to improve it. Any thoughts, comments or suggestions would be great.

Finally im asking for more thoughts and ideas, i recently decided to differenciate the Vets from the normal squads by giving them camo jackets and helmets. I tried replicating the children of men pattern i was looking to do and whilst the patterns for the tanks will work well it doesent translate to small bodies well, instead i reached a compromise and came up with the following pics:

whilst the white dots are massive, these will be smaller when i get a smaller brush, i think that with the black lines and grey dots makes the pattern work. its subtle but definately there. The idea for this was taken from here:
however appears the black lines havent come out so well on my pics :( Any thoughts on alternatives or how i could improve the pattern would be much appreciated.

Well folks thats mine for the week so enjoy and any assistance would be great.

A Tale of Five Gamers - Week 14-4 - Rich's Chaos Space Marine Introduction

Rich's Week 14 Update

Hello! and welcome, my name is Richard. Oh my god. Its taken me two months to be able to write this. I have been playing fantasy for about 6 years and 40k for only 2 (many years ago) my armies have been elder, dark elder and Templars. I am now a fan of the Necromunda and Bloodbowl games. I am friends with chris and he is the one responsible for making me buy Gw products when I vowed never to again as they got too expensive.... But no sooner do I join I find that they have just put the price up again, typical :) but rant over.

Today I will be representing the dark gods of chaos with a deamon influenced word bearers army.

I'm a little worried about how good my painting will be so too all those reading, please be kind it's been about six years since a picked up a paint brush :s

I have pretty much gone for the standard chaos battalion box set. (well it's a start!) can you imagine he shock on my face when you look at how many models you will be fielding for 500pts, answer is not many as you can see from my current challenge list, also to combat the excessive points cost I have been allowed to use a Champion as a leader, much in the way Dan has with his Vet Serg in his Imperial Dogs... I mean Marines.

I've also included an example of the paint scheme and how it might look on the army I will be fielding, i know they arent great pics but they give you an idea until i can sort more pictures this next week.
(for some reason these pics wont rotate on the blog)

The story's and fluff for the forece are not quite complete but be certain they will be in next weeks blog so can I just say that it's great to be part of this so thank you to letting me join and I lookforward to meeting you all :)

A Tale of Five Gamers - Week 14-3 - Jono's Tyranid Update

Jono's Week 14 Update

Hi All!
Well, I can safely say that the past two weeks of my life have been ‘interesting’. As I am sure I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was the best man at a friend’s wedding, which has actually cost me a lot of time, and somehow money! Alas, the vows have been said, and my speech was awesome, so, back to reality!

I am still in the process of painting my gaunts, and although I haven’t finished any more, I should hopefully have a batch of 10 finished for photographing in the next week or two!

One thing that I have made, is a little comparison shot of my gaunts, from start to finish. I apologies for the terrible light, I just can’t seem to find a good source of natural light in the new place. Heck, I am not the best photographer in the world either!

Going from left to right, these are the 5 main stages of my painting process.

  1. White undercoat. Nothing more to say here, I use Halfords white primer. It has a slightly grainy finish (may be my method), but it works on the nids!
  2. Badab black wash. This is the first layer of the Badab wash.
  3. Badab black wash. I wanted to show the difference here between the two layers, and how different they both look! I am finding that as I go along, different models are getting different amounts of wash on them, and I really like this difference. Adds a bit of character to the army as it were.
  4. Skull White (claws, teeth), Mecharite Red (carapace), Tallarn Flesh (tongue, flesh). These flat colours are painted in the areas that I have said, sometimes two coats, just to give a good coverage. I find that quite often with the white I need to put 2 layers just to get a reasonable look through the uneven Badab wash below. Normally this would bother me, but with the wash going over the top, it just adds to the effect!
  5. Gryphonne Sepia (claws, teeth), Baal Red (carapace, tongue and flesh), Badab Black (shadows in the carapace). This last stage is quite simple. Washes! I apply 2 layers of both the Gryphonne Sepia and the Baal Red in the areas stated. The Gryphonne Sepia makes a massive difference, and the second layer is just to my taste. 1 layer would look just as good on a much lighter model. The Baal Red doesn’t really make that much difference on the carapace, so I put down 2 layers. If you look at the 4th and 5th models, you will see that it doesn’t look as flat. On the larger models, I have found that the more uneven I paint the Ball Red, the better it looks, go figure! The Baal Red on the tongue/flesh just makes it look a bit more realistic, the two colours go really well in my opinion! Lastly, I just run a tiny bit of Badab Black in the gaps in the carapace. Namely all overlaps on the heads and legs. This really brings the little guys to live!
This seems to take me up to 2 hours per gaunt, and about 5 hours per larger model. This may be a long time, but I am very happy with the outcome. If you were to rush it, I am sure that someone with a steadier hand could get the same finish in much less time. Equally, I would recommend this to other n00bs, as it’s not really that hard to get a reasonable standard on the table with this method!

Also as a final round-up here are some other pics from the past week or so.

See you next week guys!

A Tale of Five Gamers - Week 14-2 - Dan's Marine Update

Dan's Week 14 Update

Hi there!
Quick update from last week as I was too busy to catch breath let alone blog. Basically I primed all my minister ready to get going this week.

This week I have started painting my units, with tac squads being the first to get colour. As you can see I've applied regal blue to the main areas. I've taken an assembly line approach to get as much as I can done.

I have made a start on full colour scheme as the pic below shows.

Next week I'll be continuing this approach and applying finishing touches when I can.
All the best,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Tale of Four Gamers - Week 14-1 - Challenge News!

Hi folks,
the first update of this week is slightly different to the normal first post. This week we have some information on dates, formats and other exciting stuffs!

First up, Dates! As many of you are aware the 500pt challenge should have ended at the start of June, this unfortunately was not possible to a number of factors, however we now have a completion date. The final completed army shots will be published on or around the 15th of July, this will comprise of a post for each member giving you a shot of the force and their fluff. After this we will then have a complete round up of each force with a few days between each followed finally in early august with the opportunity to vote for your favourite looking army. Personally I'm looking forward to this as we will also hopefully get some battle reports up too.

Next up the format and regularity of updates are changing. At present it seems the weekly updates where 2 members are group together are getting too big, so instead I am looking to publish the following:
  • individual update posts for each gamer as they come in on the deadline
  • a weekly roundup linking to all that weeks updates and detailing an other details such as the Dead Model Count.
Hopefully that format will make things easier to follow and will mean we can have more pics etc for the guys and give you all more to look at. Any thoughts or feedback please let me know.

Finally, A Tale of Four Gamers has grown again!
That's right we have another member and we have now evolved to A Tale of Five Gamers. The newest member of the challenge is Rich, a friend of Chris will be joining us this week with his Chaos Space Marines and is hoping to stay this through to the ultimate completion of this and some of the other challenges planned.
So please all join me in welcoming Rich to the challenge and hopefully we'll get a lot more action.

Thanks for reading guys and gals and keep any eye out this weekend for the Week 14 updates and roundup.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Tale of Four Gamers - Week 13-1 - A Solitary Update!

Millest's Week 13 Update

So time for another update, this week though its just me!! Nothing from the other guys, I know their busy but not even excuses for the most part. oh how the might have fallen!
Still on with my update, not a lot of action as this week I have been concentrating on the interior of the Medusa. First time I have really used a brush in anger (test models don't really count do they?) and I must say I'm pleased with the results and the new GW washes. So with out too much hassle here is the interior for the Medusa:

As you can see I have decided on a weathered and worn look but keeping it uncluttered. I liked the effect the washes have given and all it leave me to do now is fix the back of the engine bay and fill the gaps.
Hopefully more Guard action next week.

Chris' Week 13 Update
Hello all. Apologies for the utter lack of anything new for several weeks. I’m sure you’re as sick of seeing unpainted, half assembled Tau as I am. Good news though... my paints have arrived and painting has commenced!

I began by bluetacking any parts of the model I didn’t want to get paint on (ie arm/head joints) and undercoated in skull white. The cloth areas were then heavily washed with Gryphon Sepia followed by a highlight of Bleached Bone. I’m happy with the result but may add a very light dry brush of skull white further down the line if I feel they look too dark.

The bases were painted Adeptus Battlegrey and given a wash of Badab Black. The effect wasn’t as obvious as the clothing, I think due to a combination of using two dark colours, and me not being as liberal with the black as I should have been. I then drybrushed with Battlegrey followed by Codex Grey.

Disaster struck when I was painting the base for my broadside. I was unknowingly putting a little pressure on the model as I held it to paint, and snapped it at the ankles :O It wasn’t much pressure, but then the ankles are delicate so serves me right for getting overly enthusiastic about painting. I’ll super glue it back together but if that doesn’t hold, I’ll have to pin it. What a pleb.

The next step in my painting is mixing Regal Blue and Dark Angel Green to get a dark turquoise I will use to shade the lines in the armour and weapons. After that it’s the solid Hawk Turquoise and a highlight. Hopefully I’ll have a complete (or almost complete) squad to show you all next week. We need some more models as Jono’s getting cocky that he’s the only one with finished miniatures...

(Nobody likes a smug Jono)

All Other TOFG Updates!
Erm, Nada! I believe Dan is on holiday this weekend (though hasn't been during the week) but as to the others still nothing, well at least the model counts going up in one area :) however this weeks dead model count is up to you guys, should I let them off them or should they all get one for not updating?

Challenge No Submission Casualty List

Here are the current number of casualty models each player must have completed by the end of the challenge as a fine for their none submission of weekly updates! However its up to you if they all get another one added to the list for this weeks lack of submission!
  • Chris - 2 models
  • Jono - 1 model
  • Dave - 0 models
  • Dan - 0 models
As always comments and thoughts are appreciated, as is your decision on who should get a model penalty!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Forge World Newsletter #277 - Heresy Era Heavies, Dark Eldar Vehicles & Transfers

As always the important bits reproduced below:
Hi there, In this week’s newsletter we are excited to announce four great new products: an addition to our Dark Eldar range in the form of the terrifying Reaper, a Space Marine Heavy Weapons set, and two decal sheets for the Eldar and the Astral Claws.

Dark Eldar Reaper
Akin to the Ravager, the Reaper is a swift and deadly gunship. Its sleek, dart-like hull is built around a single, monstrously-powerful weapon codified by the Xenosavants of the Adeptus Biologis as a Storm Vortex projector. This cannon operates much like the smaller Haywire blaster, and unleashes a cascading pulse of electromagnetic energy that is far more powerful than anything possible in a hand weapon. The vortex chamber at the Reaper’s heart is a cage for howling energies harvested from the spires of Commorragh itself, which when combined with its speed and manoeuvrability makes the Reaper an elegant but still devastatingly lethal weapon when compared to the brutal armoured warfare practiced by lesser races.

The Dark Eldar Reaper is a complete resin and plastic kit which contains a plastic Dark Eldar Raider kit and a set of detailed resin conversion parts, designed by Stuart Williamson, which allow the reaper variant to be added to any Dark Eldar army.
Experimental rules for this sleek and powerful craft are available now to download from the Forge World website, and the Dark Eldar Reaper is available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 27th June.

Space Marine Heavy Weapons Set
The noble Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes are supplied with weapons and armour by ancient alliance with the Adeptus Mechanicus. Some of the less common patterns of heavy weapons created by these techno-magi date from the hallowed and ancient days of the Great Crusade and the Astartes Legions of old. These shoulder-mounted patterns afford greater protection to the wielder as they allow less of the firer to be exposed to incoming enemy fire as they unleash their destructive salvo.

This Space Marine Heavy Weapons Set, designed by Phil Stutcinskas, contains four resin heavy weapons: a Plasma Cannon, Multi-Melta, Heavy Bolter and a Lascannon, as well as supporting and counter-balancing arms, and backpacks that can be used with the full range of both Citadel and Forge World Space Marine kits.
This detailed resin upgrade set is available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 27th June.

New Astral Claws and Eldar Decal Sheets
Our final releases for this week’s newsletter are two new additions to our range of A4 Decal sheets, designed by Kenton Mills and Paul Rudge.

The Eldar Decal Sheet is packed with over 1,000 individual decals that are suitable for use on both vehicles and infantry. Craftworld, Path and Aspect runes are all included as well as unique runes for the doomed Craftworld of Mymeara and the Corsair bands of the Sky Reavers, Sunblitz Brotherhood and the notorious Void Dragons.

The eagerly-anticipated Astral Claws Decal Sheet contains over 500 Chapter badges, Tyrant’s Claw symbols, blazons and the Maelstrom Warders heraldry suitable for use on both vehicles and infantry. The sheet also contains Chapter badges for the ill-fated Tiger Claws Chapter and is packed with the Astral Claws ‘true’ lion-headed Chapter device as well as the heraldry of Lugft Huron that became synonymous with the notorious Badab War campaign.
Both of these decal sheets are available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 27th June

Liking the look of the heavy weapons but could do to be more "modern" but the look is good and well in line with the look of the pre-heresy range.
not a bad issue this month.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Age of Darkness - Book Review

Age of Darkness edited by Christian Dunn

After the betrayal at Isstvan, Horus begins his campaign against the Emperor, a galaxy-wide war that can lead only to Terra. But the road to the final confrontation between father and son is a long one – seven years filled with secrecy and silence, plans and foundations being formed across distant stars. An unknown history is about to be unveiled as light is shed on the darkest years of the Horus Heresy, and revelations will surface that will shake the Imperium to its very foundation...

•Rules of Engagement by Graham McNeill
•Liar's Due by James Swallow
•Forgotten Sons by Nick Kyme
•The Last Remembrancer by John French
•Rebirth by Chris Wraight
•The Face of Treachery by Gav Thorpe
•Little Horus by Dan Abnett
•The Iron Within by Rob Sanders
•Savage Weapons by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Age Of Darkness is the latest book in the Horus Heresy series and is the first compilation of stories, this collection was edited by Christian Dunn and seems to have worked well. This book is an compilation of 9 short stories set during the Heresy itself and attempts to bridge the gap between the initial phase of the Horus Heresy and the next stage of novels in the series and take a different approach to the schisms within chapters, something merely hinted at in the past.

This book features stories from a wide range of authors, chiefly the Black Library big guns such as Graham McNeill and Dan Abnett, as well as the established authors such as Nick Kyme and Aaron Dembski-Bowden and relative newcomers such are included too. As such, the stories vary in quality and content but they are generally of a very good standard.

A great thing about this compilation is that the shortness of the stories make this book quite accessible to on journeys or lunch breaks. However, the shortness of the stories does have the downside that there is a lack of major developments in regards to the Horus Heresy as a whole but the flipside is that many legions or individuals do get some nice development over the course of the book.

Overall, this is a solid anthology that does add to the Horus Heresy Series and does explain to a certain degree some of the events between the betrayal at Istvan V and the upcoming assault on Terra. However, I personally don’t want to give too much away on this book so won’t be going in to each story. The book works well and there as mentioned are some very interesting spins on things, be it the mood and events within a Legion or the preparations taking place by legions on both sides to prepare for the upcoming assaults.

Personally as the stories are so different from one another and to a degree from the Black Library standard so far they really stand out and make for a great addition to the series. For me it’s a solid 5 stars, not necessarily for the quality of writing (though this is high) or for the development but for the different nature of many of the stories, prime examples being the ultramarines story. A great set of stories and a definite add to the collection.

Available from:

Age of Darkness edited by Christian Dunn
Softback, 416 pages • ISBN 9781849700368

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Savage Scars - Book Review

Savage Scars by Andy Hoare

Dal’yth. The forces of the Greater Good have established a stranglehold on the planet, and the time has come for the Imperium to move against them. The White Scars lead the ground assault against the tau, launching into combat with speed and fury, shedding blood as they gain ground against their enemies. Meanwhile, the members of the Crusade Council are determined to pursue their own agendas, and their politicking and back-stabbing will place the entire war effort in jeopardy. But little do they know that Inquisitor Grand has more extreme measures in mind, and the White Scars must achieve victory quickly or the cost to Dal’yth will be devastating.

This novel is the second white scars novel from the black library as far as I’m aware and the same from Andy Hoare. The novel itself is actually the third in the Damocles gulf/rouge trader series and despite this works equally well as a standalone novel that concentrates on the imperial expansion.

As mentioned this novel follows on from the Damocles gulf/rouge trader series and reintroduces many of the characters, mainly the Gerrit Family dynasty and Aura, not to mention Grand and a few others, in their adventures in the Damocles Gulf. This novel mainly concentrates on the fight back against the tau and the assembled crusade force battling against them. The main forces involved are those of the Imperial Guard, the Tau and some of their pets and finally a crusade force made up of numerous different chapters of Space Marines.

The novel follows the actions of three main characters previously mentioned, to work well this novel puts them each in different aspect of the crusades push and then plays on their motives and responsibilities. Firstly there is Lucian Gerrit who to make a name for the family and link it to the crusade for profit takes to leading an Imperial Guard Force. We also have Lucian’s daughter Brielle, whose motivations don’t become clear straight way. Finally we have Sarik, the White Scars character and the crux of the book, leading the crusades ground force we find this whole process to be a learning curve for him and certainly action packed.

The novel is well laid out and flows nicely, the scene setting at the start is a welcome addition as it means anyone that didn’t get to read the first two novels doesn’t need too. I would recommend them but they aren’t necessary for this novel. There are only one or two points where the book gets confusing, this is usually due to characters having not only different names (i.e. first names, family names or dynasty names) but also by some of the characters having similar names. The other is with the Space Marines involved, so we know we have the White Scars involved but they fight alongside Ultramarines, Scythes of the Emperor and Iron Hands. There other chapters mentioned in passing, such as the Black Templars or the Warbringers, but to be honest the three chapters I mentioned first seem done to death. Whilst there is the odd White Scars casualty it seems every other marine that gets killed is usually a Scythe or an Ultramarine, there is little mention of any other force really suffering. I know their big chapters and in the case of the Scythes this is pre their destruction (could this hint at a novel in the battles series for them?) but it just seems in places they are mentioned more than the lead characters own chapter!

Those two small niggles aside I actually liked the book. Some of the descriptions of the action and the tau were brilliant, the imagery of the titans superb and the action snappy. All in All a brilliant installation in the series, or a standalone, and one that leaves you hoping that the events discuss at the end of the novel are followed up and we learn more about them. A solid four and a half stars from me and a recommendation to pick it up given a chance.

Available from:
Savage Scars by Andy Hoare
Softback, 416 pages • ISBN 9781844165643

Monday, June 13, 2011

Promethean Sun - Book Review

Promethean Sun by Nick Kyme

The Great Crusade reaches a feral world known only as One-Five-Four-Four. The forces of the Imperium arrive to deliver the primitive natives from enslavement at the hands of the alien eldar. The Iron Hands of Ferrus Manus and Mortarion’s Death Guard fight in theatres of war across the world, but the most vicious combat takes place in the deep jungles, where Vulkan and the Salamanders bring the Emperor’s wrath to the heathen aliens.

Vulkan and his sons must brave the deadly jungles, battle monstrous reptilian beasts and contend with the vile sorcery of the eldar if they are to liberate this world and bring the Emperor’s light to its backwards inhabitants.

So despite the fact this novella cost £30, plus a further £10 postage charge (which despite much swearing and gnashing of teeth I duly paid – note BL, if you charge this much for a 128 book why can’t you at least be reasonable on the postage?) I snapped one up straight away, mainly because I’m anal and needed it to complete the collection. So when it finally arrived I dropped everything else I was reading and cracked on with this post haste! So although Promethean Sun is a very short read, only 128 pages, I found it to be an interesting read by one of the good Black Library authors, and one who always seems to get good reviews from me! Can’t imagine why, must be northern solidarity.

The Story takes place on the world known as One-Five-Four-Four, which given the naming conventions of the Great Crusade we can assume this is the fourth world discovered by the 154th Expeditionary Fleet. Crusading alongside the 154th are the Eighteenth Legion, The Salamanders.

Some of you will be glad to know that the Salamanders are not the only legions featured in this short story, nor is Vulkan the only Primarch. We also get an introduction to the Iron Hands and the Death Guard, lead by Ferrus Manus and Primarch Mortarion respectively.

The break from “tradition” within this Horus Heresy Series novel is that this story features not Daemons or traitors we find all three legions are pitted against The Eldar in this novel. That’s right it’s nice to see the Xenos making an appearance (and rightly getting their arses handed to them).

The story is a nice link in to the short story compilation Age of Darkness, in particular the Salamanders story, and links us to Heka’tan who appears in both books. Also for all you Salamanders fans we also get to meet Gravius (sound familiar?) so it’s a nice link in to all the different facets of the current Salamanders Novels and Short stories.

The story’s plot is straight forward and does everything you would expect from a Space Marine novel, it is a basic cleanse mission on planet One-Five-Four-Four. It is a story with two threads, firstly the cleanse and marine action to keep us hooked but also there is a strong thread that runs through the story concentration on the story of Vulkan and how he was reunited with the Emperor. this is one of the most detailed retellings of a Primarch reuniting with the Emperor, and Nick certainly uses the “accepted” background of the Salamanders and their Primarch.

Although the plot is deceptively simple, there is a lot of description as Nick continues to develop the history and background of the oft forgotten eighteenth legion and who knows this might open it up for some more Horus Heresy action soon. Unfortunately though there is only a bit of character development, namely in flashbacks which detail the coming of the Emperor to Nocturne, and how the people of the world react to his appearance, though as it’s a short story that’s understandable.

The layout of the book is well put together, the faux Salamander skin works and the colour pages in the centre as with all the Black Library novellas are a nice touch. The pages don’t show anything new other than to provide some nice pics and some history, but are welcome and I have included a few interspersed within the review.

I understand that lots of people were majorly annoyed this was a limited edition book and I apologise if I’m crowing about getting one but the book is definitely worth it and should be picked up whenever its seen on eBay, all being well however it should be in a short story compilation soon, and then when it is buy one! It really is that good. Its short and sweet and by the god-emperor does it deliver. Without a doubt this is the best short story I have read for a very long time. I have quite rightly given this a full 5 star rating, though as it’s no longer available I haven’t included any purchase details.
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