A new deployment  

Posted by CommissarHarris

New Deployment:

By 749.M41 the 291st Death Korps of Krieg had received the bulk of its draft of replacements from Krieg.  The replacements had been integrated and equipped from the cavernous holds of the regimental support ship, IS 'Thorium'. Along with the new draft, and new equipment the regiment found itself re-designated from a Grenadier Regiment to an Armoured Regiment.  Gone also were the drab uniforms suited to the rolling sulphur plains of Praxedes, Replaced instead with a green, more suited to the green sward, jungle or swamp. 

Training began mid-749.M41 for a new combat deployment.  The men and women of the regiment new little of the new deployment and cared less. Whether the Men and women of Krieg were eager or indifferent when they climbed onto the transports lifting them to their new combat zone none of the passers by on Ironheart could tell. In little more than three months the Newly formed XXVI Ironheart brigade would be fighting for its life on the world of Rodinya IV, a vassal colony of the Mechanicus forge, Ironheart.

Project Earthshaker Part 2: Painting and assembly  

Posted by CommissarHarris

Overall painting plan and method

In order to keep the battery relatively consistent, I will be doing three models at once. I find if I start one and finish it, then start another, by the last model in the run, that the models not look right together. My techniques change over time leaving the models looking different from each other.
1) Preparation and detailing
2) Undercoat:
3) Basecoat:
4) Top coat:
5) Mapping:
6) Fading
7) Decals
8) Chipping:
9) Matt Varnish
10) Filters: Burnt Umber; Black
11) Spot Filters:
12) General Rusting
13) Fuel and oil staining
14) Detailing

1) Preparation and detailing

The resin parts of the model were subjected to the usual method of cleaning resin parts. This model was washed in warm water with simple green used as the degreaser. It was soaked in the mix for a few hours before the parts were carefully scrubbed with a tooth brush. The parts were then left out to dry overnight on a tea-towel.

I then cleaned off the mould seams where possible. This is an older forge world model, and it can be a bit rough in the moulding, fortunately these particular examples are quite clean and don't require much in the way of clean up.

I am not doing any ultra detailing on this models, mainly because i forgot before priming and basecoating
. The plan was:
1) cast serial numbers on the gun carriage
2) breach block open on one gun
3) clipboard signage on the gun shield
4) riveting on the inside of the gun shield.

Maybe I will remember for the next battery. The few things I did remember were:
1) cut the top of the shield off;
2) glue and clamp the plastic barrel of the gun together;
3) once dry, file, then sand the barrel seams to make a smooth tube.

Preparation on the barrel seams and the top shock absorber make all the difference with this model

2) Undercoat: Halfords Grey Primer

With all of the bits clean and prepped I spray the parts with Halfords Grey primer. This is a car body repair primer and has no trouble sticking to the normally hydrophobic resin used by GW. It forms an intermediate layer between the hydrophobic substrate (the model) and the wetter GW chaos black spray.

3) Basecoat:

Undercoat as usual with Citadael Spray Chaos Black, working in even strokes 6-8in from the surface to get a light even coating.

4) Topcoat

The model was sprayed with a topcoat of VMA: Dark Yellow, being carefully to spray from the Center of each pannel outwards, leaving an arrea of light coverage towards the ed h to add a little shading.

After that using VMA: Arena Sand lighten off the model yet further in preparation for the mapping step.

5) Mapping

Mapping is adding irregular patches of a darker colour, off shade from the topcoat. I also added thinners to make it more of a glaze

A bit of acrylics "mapping". I just paint irregular patches of colors (use a #8 soft round brush) similar to the basecoat. The paint is a bit dilluted (I added glaze medium as well as water) and overlap over them. This is to obtain chromatic variety. The effect is completely exaggerated, but we are going to fix that.

6) Fading

Next step is to fade the islands back into the background, making them into subtle variations in colour.

After dabbing on the colour in large islands, spray a light coating of VMA: Arena Sand. I haven't thinned it at all, I just try to control the stream to get a light coating. This is in slight contravention to the guru who first spoke of this.
He thins the paint 80% gloss varnish. I may still try this.

having done this on the first two models, the learning point was to make the spots larger, paint continents not archipelligos. I will try this with the third arty piece and see if it looks better.

7) Decals

You will need:
- A sharp scalpel;
- Decal set fluid;
- tweezers
- decal sheet;
- half a paper kitchen towel, folded to a tab and wetted down;
- a dry square of kitchen towel;
- gloss varnish;
- Matt varnish;
- a brush

Step 1: planning
First step is to plan: What and where. I have done one of these guns before, years ago. I will be using the what and where from that, all krieg decals on the shield with serial numbers on the barrel and gun shield.

Step 2: Gloss foundation
Wherever you have chosen to put a decal, paint on a spot of gloss varnish. The reason for this? This prevents silvering under the decal film when its dried out.

Step 3: Cut out the decals
Cut out the decals you plan to use with a sharp scalpel, i usually take the opportunity to put in a fresh blade, the worst thing you can do is use a blunt one and cause a small tear in the carrier medium, as this will show up. The forge world decals are entirely transfer medium, making this quite important. Cut the decals as close to the print as possible to minimise the risk of carrier film.
Put these to one side.

Step 4: Fix the Decals
Wet the area you have glossed up with the decal solution, this degrease's the area and provides a slipping agent. Then put the decal, paper side down on the wetted out paper towel. This releases the carrier film from the backing paper. Leave it there for 45 seconds or so, when it's ready the carrier film will move freely over the backing paper.
use the tweezers to pick up the decal still on the backing paper. Hold the decal over the area you want the deal to sit on, then use the brush to move the carrier film off the paper onto the model.
If it isn't aligned quite right, wet out the area with decal set, then use the scalpel or brush tip to nudge the decal into place.
When it's all lined up nicely, use the dry piece of paper towel to dab on the decal and mop up the excess Decal Set.
leave this to dry for a few minutes

Step 5: Finish
Once everything is all dry, put a coat of Matt varnish over the decal.

Usually I fcuk up this step completely in a rush to get it all done. So here are a list of don'ts:
- don't ignore the gloss varnish step, you end up with a decal with silvering under the carrier film, this is bad, it draws the eye.
- don't use a saucer of water to wet off the carrier film, it leads to the backing paper comming off, and makes the decal almost impossible to handle
- don't put the decal over mat varnish, the decal won't stick. At all.
VMA: Vallejo Model Air
VMC: Vallejo Model Colour
VGC: Vallejo Game Colour
C: Citadael
AOC: Windsor Newton Artists Oil Colour
CW: Citadel Wash

291st in Rest and Refit  

Posted by CommissarHarris

In my little world it is currently 748.M41, The 291st has at this time been rotated off of the hell world that is Praxedes IV and sent to Ironheart, a Forgeworld elsewhere in the Tortuga Reaches subsector. 
By this time, The 291st had become seriously depleted, having been in almost constant action for more than two years.
The Forgefathers of Ironheart had agreed to rest and refit the Regiment on their world.
The Magos of Ironheart were secretly ecstatic at the chance to examine the ancient, near relic Executioner model Leman Russ' which were the mainstay of the Regiments Armoured Company.

In the Realworld, the Muses have taken me to paint Sisters of Battle, where I am slowly building up to 2000 points.  The 291st are not dead yet, and eventually the Muse will wander back there.

Picture taken from  from Deviant Art

Tour of the Battle of Loos  

Posted by CommissarHarris

Six divisions of British army were thrown in to loos against two German divisions. In less than one months operations the British took an estimated 50,000 casualties; the Germans took half that.
Standing in the ground it is easy to see why Sir John French decided to prosecute a battle here, he must have had commanding views of the ground from he slag heaps behind British lines, good sighting for artillery. Seemingly easy command and control. However on the ground, at the front, it's billiard table flat. Standing on Dud corner cemetery tower (the jump off point if I have read the map correctly) looking north towards St Mary's advanced dressing station just behind the final stopping point of the offensive, it is a farmers field. Dead flat with no obstructions. One division was destroyed taking it. You can walk between the two cemeteries in less than 10 minutes across country.
It is difficult to see from the cemetery how this ground made any sense for an attack.

Enemies of the Imperium: Corsairs of HelcaraxĂ«  

Posted by CommissarHarris in , ,

And now for something completely different.

I Recently attended the Tempus Fugitives event, The Hammer of the Gods.  Tempus Fugitives are themed events with Codex restrictions.  The idea is firstly to change the Army flavour to the 30th-32nd Millennium and the period of the Great crusade, when the Armies of the Imperium were heavily integrated with the Adeptus Astartes.  The Legions still existed and the Imperial Army was commanded directly by Space marines.
What this means in practice is that its about the 18 First founding Legions.  If you want to field Imperial Army units, the army command and much of the support must come from the Space Marine lists.  I applaud this as it encourages conversion and painting of even standard space marine units to reflect the armour, weapons and tactics prevalent in the 30th Millenium.
For me however it is a bit of a blocker.  When I re-entered the GrimDark in 2000, I like many others settled on the Space marines as an army to collect.  I painted and converted 4 space marines armies: Blood Angels; 2 home grown chapters; and finally settling on the Exorcists.  After a Brief Foray into the world of the Adepta Sororitas, I eventually I had my fill of trying to make Power Armour look good and I drifted to Guard and the Korps. In Short: If I never have to paint Power Armour again it will be too soon.
This left me in the cleft of a dilemma: I wanted to go to a prestige, highly themed campaign event,  where I couldn't field my beloved 291st; And the prospect of modelling the army you are encouraged to take left me cold.

Looking at the event list left the following alternative armies to build:

  • Necrons (The world of God Hammer is a weaponised tomb world)
  • Eldar/Dark Eldar/Corsairs (Enforcing the Ancient "No Fly Zone around the Auld-Enemys Artifact)
  • Mechanicum (The whole world is a machine!)
  • Laer / Independent Human High Tech Empire (and why not!)
Looking at the list, I like the idea of a Mechanicum list, but I had limited time to gather and paint the army, and it will be unusable outside a narrow realm of these games.  Eventually, given there was no codex finalised until the 11th hour I excluded them.  The Independent Human High Tech army was aimed at a Tau codex with Guard/Tau equipment mix.  This is intriguing,  but again it will be unusable outside a narrow realm of games.
Laer? No.  Just no.  It doesn't inspire and would be almost 100% sculpting and heavy conversion work.  No.
Necrons? They were a definite maybe.  I had an idea to do LED glowing eyes, and I did quite a lot of research into this.  I even built a test squad of 20 Necrons and a lord with glowing eyes.  I figured I had 1500 points (At a push) painted already and if I failed to meet the tight deadline I could just roll out these lads. In the end I thought "No".  I have yet to solve the problem of the battery housing and  off switch.  So they went to one side. 
That left Eldar.  Having recently acquired IA:11Doom of Mymeara, I was intrigued.  I liked the look of the winged Eldar models, the codex was sound (Even slightly Cheese).  All I had to do was complete a 2000 point army in 5 weeks. From scratch.  Having not painted an Eldar model since 1980 (Harlequins).  No problem.

So I cracked open the "Doom of Mymeara" and created a list which I think would be OK, and off I went to the Forgeworld website.  Then down to the local Games Workshop for more Eldar kits.  While I was waiting I tried a colour scheme on a Guardian Squad. It Worked and passed the "Does the Wife like it" Litmus Test.

Then I started to paint.  For Five weeks all my spare time was dedicated to making the deadline.  This is the result.
The List:
HQ: Corsair Princess with Retinue:
Corsair Princess Idril Celebrindal, WANTED: for Crimes against the Imperium

Elite: Corsair Void Storm:
Elite: Shadow Spectres
No Photos Please, were Shy.

Troops: Corsairs 1st Squad

Troops: Corsairs 2nd Squad 

Troops: Wasp Assault Walkers
Wasp Assault Walkers for Chopping down power armoured troops
Fast Attack: Nightwing Interceptor
Eldar Nighwing, Just plain evil

Heavy Support: Warp Hunters
Three Warp hunters, for legalised cheating. Very strong cheese.

War Machines: Lynx
Eldar Corsair Lynx.   Right 3/4 High

Corsair Lynx.  Left 3/4 High

Corsair Lynx: Profile

.... And that was it.  I met the deadline except for One Corsair toting an Eldar Missile Launcher.  The Shadow spectres were to a table standard, but lack finish so no Photos.

There were no real stand out models during the event, no "Man of the Match".  The army either Triumphed spectacularly or crashed and burned in the first two turns.   More to do with me and the complete lack of play testing and learning games before the campaign weeked.  Still it was fun.  The Eldar faction won the event, and My army was nominated for Best Painted army.  It got a lot of comment on the table and attracted a lot of stares.

I will be playing these for a little bit longer.

IXX Company: Artillery  

Posted by CommissarHarris in , ,

The 19th Company of the Death Korps of Krieg is beginning to take shape. The part you really can't appreciated from this is that I am planning on modelling the crew for each tube. That will give 8 crew per gun. Along with the 40 infantry and 15 HQ and advisers, its a daunting number of Infantry models to build for.

I'm also getting a bit nervous that I am basically building a broken army again. Amongst other things:

- Krieg guns are immobile, the army list explicitly states the guns cannot be moved, in contrast to the main rules which say the crew can drag the guns. So if the guns are completely immobile, how does dawn of war work?

- Death Korps siege masters have apparently never figured out camouflage techniques, so no Camo Netting for the Guns.

Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained. In other news, I spoke with forge world about the fact that I have something in the order of 7 sets of artillery crew, each with 2 models out of five with arms designed to carry a shell, or a gurney for a shell, but the set contains no shell. This means I have 14 models which I am as well put in the bin.
The nice man on phone sales said he would do what he could to source the shells, but at the end of the day, the description of the product clearly states the pack is to be used in conjunction with the artillery kit. This is in clear contradiction to the 3 pictures on the website which all show the models with shells in hand.

Project Valdor: Part 2 Top coat  

Posted by CommissarHarris in ,

Overall painting plan and method
Preparation and detailing
Top coat:
Camo Pattern:
Matt Varnish
Filters: Burnt Umber; Black
Spot Filters:
General Rusting
Fuel and oil staining

Preparation and detailing
This model was washed in warm water with simple green used as the degreaser. It was soaked in the mix for a few hours before the parts were carefully scrubbed with a tooth brush. The parts were then left out to dry overnight on a tea-towel.

I then cleaned off the mould seams where possible. Forgeworld has come a long way since the first models I bought and mould lines are few and small, little to no reconstruction work is required on the detail of this model. The worst mould lines are on the trench crossing rails at the back, where the mould has not line up perfectly. However it's not so bad that filing can't reduce it to manageable proportions.
Nothing that is on a sprue is clipped off. Parts are left on sprues for ease of handling during spraying, and to keep parts together and not lost in my carpet!

I am not doing any ultra detailing on this models as it is already pretty stunning out of the box, besides the Real Worldtm, has really done a number on my paining time over the last half year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Undercoat: Halfords Grey Primer
With all of the bits clean and prepped I spray the parts with Halfords Grey primer. This is a car body repair primer and has no trouble sticking to the normally hydrophobic resin used by GW. It forms an intermediate layer between the hydrophobic substrate (the model) and the wetter GW chaos black spray.

Undercoat as usual with Citadael Spray Chaos Black, working in even strokes 8in from the surface to get a light even coating.

Top Coat:
All of the spray work is done in Vallejo: Model Air colours.  It is Basically done in Four stages:
 - Top Coat
 - Mapping
 - Camouflage
 - Unit Campaign markings
 - Tracks:

Firstly the Tracks (Still black) are masked off with  Tamiya Masking tape and the body of the model is sprayed with the top coat of VMS:

Then the Mapping with Vallejo Model colours, Various shades of the topcoat were created using VMA: mixed and thinned with VGC: Pale Flesh; VGC: Snakebite leather VCG:Burnt Umber.  These various mixes were painted onto the vehicle in large Continents.  The Top coat of VGC was then sprayed over the model to blend in and tone down some of the variations.

Then the Camouflage pattern was sprayed on free hand with VMA: Again in large continents.

The Masking was then moved off the tracks to the body itself around the tracks and the tracks given a coat of VMA: Burnt umber.