Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A year in review, and resolutions for the new year

Like many others of the wargaming blogosphere, I've been thinking about the past year, what it has brought for me, what I've learned, and what next year will hold. 2009 was a good year for me, not just in the hobby. My first game, [PROTOTYPE], was released to generally good results, I celebrated my first anniversary with my lovely wife, my extended family got bigger, and my career continues to advance in exciting ways. I also realized I've been working on the Yukoni for just over a year!

One of the many lovely gifts I received for Christmas this year was a copy of the Wolves codex along with Wolf Terminators. Stellar kit, and a great book! I think the only thing that I've felt a little let down about with the past few codexes, especially Wolves and Guard, was the lack of all the great conversions and non-stock models in the colour pages. However, I have the internet to fulfill that. ;) Anyways, I was toying around with the Wolf Terminator sprue, and I got to thinking about all the different ways I could make use of it, because I am chronically unable to use anything straight out of the box. So I've spent the past few days, when not visiting with family, trying to decide what army I will do once I've got 2000 points of Yukoni. Today, however, I was talking about 40k with some co-workers and I realized that 2010 will be the tenth year I've been in the hobby. Ten years! Kind of shocking. After an evening of pondering on that, and on how I've never been happy with my hobby skills, I've come to my New Year's Resolution: No. New. Armies. I mean it! I still have a lot of work to do on the Guard (four tanks, Marbo and Straken conversions, twenty Rough Rider, a Vendetta and a Vet Squad), but I think that, after ten freakin' years, it's time for me to learn to do stuff more better.

Painting especially has always been a chore, an arduous task I must grind through if I want to play. In fact, one of the major joys of the Yukoni is how easy it has been for me to paint them and get a result that doesn't make me cringe too much. From three feet away. If you squint a bit. In 2009 I've definitely learned a lot about painting and converting, but I would still consider myself barely a Table-Top Quality painter. Thus I came to the second part of my hobby Resolution: I will build, convert and paint a series of models from armies I don't play that I have no need for on the table-top purely as an effort to improve my skills.

This is the list of what I intend to do. It's still very preliminary and in no particular order:

Chaos Marines: Chaos Spawn. Lots of opportunities for more advanced sculpting, and maybe to try on some blending.

Eldar: Wraithlord. Ever since the plastic model came out I've been wanting to do something with it, and this is a good chance.

Necrons: A Lord of some kind. Seems a good model to practice metallics on!

Orks: A Warboss. Sculpting and converting practice, as well as skins and fabrics.

Black Templar: Okay, this one is cheating a bit since I'll be able to field it. A new Emperor's Champion for my kilted Marines (who use BT rules)

Iron Hands: Something. I don't know what. But to learn to paint black, and further develop my ability to convert bionics.

Space Marines: A member of my Thousand Swords Chapter. The model I have in mind will require reposing a Marine and doing some face sculpting. Plus, I really need to learn how to highlight properly.

Space Wolves: A Lone Wolf, howling defiance to the sky, with Frost Blade and Storm Shield. That or a Grey Hunter with a banner for the freehand practice.

Tyranids: A Trygon. It's a delicious model.

Witch Hunters: An inquisitor. Painting fabrics, and lots of sculpting work required for what I have in mind.

So yeah, that's the list. The only thing really missing is vehicles, and that's because I'm already going to be doing five of them for the Yukoni.

Also, I should mention that the resolution only applies to 40k. I mean, how am I supposed to resist plastic Warjacks? I'm weak!

Anyways, I'm done with the text wall. More pictures coming soon, I promise! I hope you all had a merry Christmas season, and a happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The pipes are a'callin'

Whee, got lots done tonight.

First up, Green/D is built, minus their backpacks which will be done curing tomorrow.

And the piper is built, too! That means that Green/Command is also ready for painting. I can't decide whether to paint them or Green/D first...

And finally, the two Sergeants for Green/A and Green/B are also ready for paint. When I had to move all my lovely shotgun Sergeants into a Vet squad (obligatory fist shake, as that's my only issue with C:IG, and it's a feeble one at that) I was short two Sergeants, so these two got made.

In other, yeah. There's been some response to my post about the Special Characters, mostly about Pask. I've been recommended Bob Elliot of the 19th Field Regiment, but I know very little about him and haven't been able to dig up much yet, as well as Major David Vivian Currie, who was awarded the VC for his actions during the Battle of Falaise. I've also decided after all to swap Jack Churchill and Brian McMourne (really? Nobody gets that? Where are all the REH fans?) around, mostly because I had an awesome idea for the McMourne/Marbo model, and so that I could make a squad of Commandos around Churchill, with the West Wind Para heads.

Other than that, a little bird told me that my future may hold something...wolfy...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Flashlights 'r' Us


I think my ability to come up with words for these posts is inversely proportional to the variety of what I'm posting pictures of. First six of Green/D, minus their backpacks and some GS work for the Sergeant's breastplate.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So close now...

Green/C is done. I can almost taste how close I am to being done my infantry. One more infantry squad, one more Heavy Bolter squad and two Command Squads... It's good to be making solid progress on these guys again!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Running out of post title ideas...

Didn't get any work done yesterday, as we had the office Christmas party. I realized about halfway through the night that I was drinking with the guy who made Hot Coffee, as well as one of the guys who invented GTA. I love my job.

Anyways, here's tonight's efforts, finished the fatigues and pouches, etc on the second half of Green/C.

I also did some work on Green Platoon's piper a day or two ago, but forgot to post the pic. I'm not as happy with how these ones are turning out for some reason, even if I am building them better...

I was also doing some thinking about counts-as Yukoni versions of all the Special Characters. Straken is in my 2000 points list as Major Michael Brown, as is Marbo who I'm thinking of basing on "Mad Jack" Churchill. I'm thinking his background might be a high-born Praetorian adventurer who couldn't take the starchy discipline of the Praetorian regiments, got adopted by a Yukoni Highlander regiment and eventually became one of the founders of the Yukoni special recon division, or something to that effect.

Creed and Kell were easy: Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, a personal hero of mine, and John MacDonnel.

Pask I have no idea about. I guess I need to do some research into accomplished Canadian tank commanders...

Bastonne will, I think, become Captain Brian McMourn (virtual cookie if you can guess the origin of that one), last scion of a Riatan (I've decided that the Yukoni Highlanders' world is called Van Riatan's World, and is home to Byzantine politicking between all the various houses over trade, etc) who is seeking to regain his family's honour on the battlefield.

Harker, Yarrick and Chenkov don't really interest me in terms of their rules, so I may not bother with them. Al'Rahem looks like he could be fun, and I've been considering inventing a Riatan/Highlander character for him, as there aren't any historical Canadian figures that spring to mind. Mogul Kamir I'm on the fence about, as his rules don't really seem, to me, to fit with the Canadian cavalry in WWI.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More grist for the mill


First half of Green/C painted. Yay!

Just because I felt like, here's an army shot. I can't believe it's taken me over a year to get this far...


And, finally, I decided to have another go at sculpting faces. Here's the result. I'm pretty proud of it, but I'll let you judge for yourselves.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Inching closer

Three weeks of 80-90~ work hours slowed me down a bit, but I've got Green/C built, and a bit of progress on the platoon command squad as well as planning out the platoon HB squad.

Here's the built squad, all reposed to be running.

And here's Commissar Hakes-Exeter, who definitely subscribes to the 40k school of thought on weapon sizes...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Everything is better with space pirates!

Okay, I'm exhausted and have to go back to work in a few hours (that's what I get for staying up building minis), so I'm just going to let the pics speak for themselves, mostly.

Here's Green Platoon's Command Squad. The officer and basecoated trooper (armed with a hakapik and skinning knife) are not new, but the rest are.

New Platoon Sergeant Major:

Very WIP piper:

Their Commissar, the legendarily unkillable Bryn "the Blessed" Hakes-Exeter, sole survivor of numerous charges and artillery strikes and who once destroyed an enemy Titan by shouting at it (according to regimental legend). Internet Points to whoever can guess what two people he's based on.

According to the army list, he's got a power weapon, but I can't bring myself to carve off his power fist. Ideas, anyone? Right now I'm contemplating either having him holding a big power mace or turning the fist into a power claw.

And now, a little side project where I give into one of my life-long obsessions (not, not kilts): pirates! In this case, space pirates, as so unsubtly foreshadowed by the entry title. The 40k universe is perfect for piracy, and it's much mentioned in the fluff. However, the prime examples, Dark Eldar and the Red Corsairs, just aren't pirate-y enough for me. The Dark Eldar are space elves, and I have an unreasoning prejudice against elves of all types, and the Red Corsairs, especially in their new look, strike me as just another renegade Marine warband. I've wanted to do 40k pirates for a long time (I even wrote some background), but I could never figure out how, mainly because I was thinking about Pirate Marines, which probably would've either had the same problem as the Red Corsairs or descended into cartoonish-ness quite quickly. However, I think I found a way. You be the judge.

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