Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Savours of Damarus

Regimental Sergeant Major Wulf Heironymous stood behind the firing line of the makeshift firing range that had been erected in the cargo hold. He recited the right of accuracy to the troops that had been assigned to weapons drill. They all knew it but he recited is anyway. 
'Remember these words they are now your mantra! On this range you will come to understand the importance of accurate coordinated fire, or I will personally eject you from the nearest voidlock' 

He turned to the corporals, and barked 'Ascending small arms volleys. Begin at 50 meters.' 

He turned as the NCOs began bullying the green troops into firing ranks and remembered back when he first began to understand the words of the right.

Recruit Wulf Heironymous felt pressure on his left shoulder as Reinald squeezed it 
'Repeat the right of accuracy this time.' 

he spoke softly. Wulf wasn't sure if he was worried that an officer would hear. Or if Reinald was just trying to calm his nerves. Wulf adjusted his grip on the wooden handles and shifted one hand to loosen the clutch of the tripod. As he did he sighted along the receiver and down the long barrel of the Autocannon. He moved the range notch up a 20 meter increment, aligned the front post with the rear sight and laid them over his target. A stack of grain bales with a crude circular splash of red paint approximately 400 meters distant. 
'No 420 meters distant.' 

Wulf thought correcting himself. The receiver radiated heat and the air crossing across his sight picture twisted and turned as the much hotter barrel produced a heat haze. Wulf though back to his militia training and began to softly speak the right he had learned by rote even before he had held his first lasrifle.

'Haste is the enemy of accuracy.
Enemies targeted in haste are not speedily terminated.
Accuracy is methodical, ordered, and precise.
Methodical is ordered.
Ordered is precision.
Precision is accuracy.
Without accuracy even heavy fire will fail to find its mark.
Without accuracy the Xeno advances.
Without accuracy the heretic continues to draw breath.
Accuracy is the bane of the enemy.'

Wulf finished muttering the right, as he completed realigning the Autocannon. A lieutenant barked through a loudhailer from down along battlements. 
'Box 75 do insure your performance improves!'

Apparently the officer had noticed Wulf's abysmal shooting. He wasn't surprised every cluster of bales besides his bore huge holes punched from the heavy caliber rounds of the Autocannons. Aldheim snidely remarked that a recruit shouldn't be shooting the heavy weapons and they would all be disciplined if the officer sent a corporal over for couragement. Reinald Interrupted 
'This will likely be the only chance the kid will have to learn how to use a heavy weapon before the fighting starts.' 

The lieutenant held his loud speaker to his mouth and bellowed. 
'All sections. Short bursts. Two cycles... FIRE!' 

Thunder erupted along the wall as over two hundred heavy weapons simultaneously opened fire. Wulf depressed the tab between the Autocannons's handles with his thumbs. This time he kept his head low and eyes aligned with the sights. He released the firing tab after a count of two, let the weapon settle on the target again and depressed the tab a second time. He continued, methodical in his actions. Aim, fire, reset, after 50 smoking shells had tumbled to floor of the parapet the receiver locked back with a satisfactory metallic clunk. Aldheim seamlessly reached across and released the exhausted ammunition drum from the Autocannon's feed. He then slid a fresh one in place and raped the side of the drum with the flat of his hand to free any stuck shells. Wulf grabbed the cocking handle with both hands sliding it back towards himself and then forward again. His whole body rocked with the effort of charging the spring, striping a shell from the ammunition drum and chambering the explosive tipped projectile. Realigning the sights with the target he continued depressing the firing tab. Again the Autocannon barked and vibrated violently as the receiver rapidly reciprocated. Each time he fired he was sure to lose only a few rounds that way he was able to correct his aim. The previous attempt he had held the firing tab firmly down. the entire autocannon had bucked so much his hands and teeth had hurt from the vibrations despite the sandbags pinning the legs of heavy weapons tripod down. Even if his initial aim may have been true but by the time the Autocannon had expended all the ammunition it had carved small river of muddy craters away from the initial impact point.
'That's a bit bloody better. Why didn't you do that the first time Mus?' 

Aldheim slapped him on the back as he congratulated him 
'Perhaps we will avoid having to stand post all tonight after all.' 

The bales of hay had been smashed apart by the concentrated fire, the small remaining clumps were smoking from the heat of the explosive rounds. The air was thick with the acrid tang of cordite. 

Reinald nodded towards the barrel of the autocannon. It was smoking along its length. Aldheim swiftly pulled on a pair of thick gloves, depressed the barrel locking lever as he griped and rotated it a half turn. The barrel sprung free and he laid it upon the open asbestos lined bag put aside just for this purpose. He grabbed the unused spare barrel and reversed his actions to lock in place. All three occupants of box 76 scrambled to attention and saluted as they noticed the lieutenant marching along the wall towards them.

The lieutenant spoke with the smooth accent of high born plutocracy. 

The lieutenant addressed Reinald but he looked straight at Wulf. Reinald snapped his response 'Sir!

The lieutenant eyes dressed Wulf up an down as he continued.
'Your performance in the first drill was typical of a recruit not inducted in the use of a heavy weapon.'

Reinald looked straight ahead and remained at attention 
'Sir. Yes Sir.'

'But your performance improved remarkably in the second dril.'

'Thank you Sir '

The lieutenant returned the three's salute 
'You have my congratulations. Your target is the most thoroughly destroyed'

The lieutenant turned his head to the left addressed the sergeant standing behind him. 'Sergeant. Please see to it that the recruit maintains the grooming standard. '

As the lieutenant walked away the sergeant began berating Wulf. A tirade of abuse flowed form the stern sergeant who was concerned with the moral ramifications of how Wulf's hands and sleeves ended up coated in soot. After some more disparaging remarks about Reinald's, Aldheim's, and Wulf's parentage. The sergeant gave the members of box 76 double watch duty that night and stalked down the row of pill boxes on top of the wall looking for more victims. 

Wulf sighed with relief as the Sergeant beratement seised. 
'The lieutenant knew that I was the one who used the Autocannon. He could see the powder no my hands. Why didn't he say anything?' 

'I am guessing he was happy with your performance... He may also realise that having the recruits actually learn how to shoot might be useful.'

Aldheim scoffed.
'Thoes big green brutes won't know what hit em if they come near the walls. The whole bloody leavy is mobilised. Besides did you see the Sphinx Heavy Guard, and Highlands Wardens mustered on the southern planes? Tanks! Undereds of em... No Ork is even gona get close to these walls. It's a pity too. They say kill'n Xeno is the Emperor’s work.'

'I'm not too sure Aldheim. They wouldn't have mobilised the leavy and conscripted the recruits if there wasn't a real threat. Not to mention all the off world reinforcements that have arrived.'

'Pffh you melancholy bastard. It's always doom and gloom with you. Mark my words the Wardens will chase the Orks into the hills the moment they make planetfall. If they make planet fall! Did you hear we've got a Navy cruiser, and one of the Rogue Traders have a fracking battle cruiser! Training that recute is a waste of time. We're not even gona get to fire a shot.'

The coordinated crack of a lasgun volley impacting the metallic silhouette targets brought the Sergeant Major out of his daydream. The green troops had found their groove. The veteran NCOs had bullied, coaxed, threatened, and tutored the green troops into a disciplined firing line. The rhythmic firing of the troops was an impressive sight and he knew the officers would be impressed with straight backs, synchronised movements and clean starchy uniforms. Now that the new men understood how to volley fire they would practice and drill twice each day at the opening and closing of each day training. As Regimental Sergeant Major, it was one of Wulf's duties to ensure that the troops looked proper. But he knew that wars weren’t won with formation marching and neatly arranged lasgun volleys. 

He gestured to the sergeant leading the other NCOs training the troops.


'Don't sir me Sergeant Decius. You've done good dressing those kids up, the officers will be most pleased. Now it's time to show them how to properly use those lasguns.'

'Kids eh... No problem Sergeant Major.'

The elderly sergeant turned and almost immediately began bellowing at the youths. Suddenly their neatly arranged ranks and straight backs were imbecilic. The other NCOs also berated the unseasoned troops. As they almost fell over each other and scrambled into firing positions behind cover. Worn-out cargo crates scattered along the length of the firing range just for that purpose. 

The NCOs broke the men into two groups and begun instructing the first to suppress the targets with aimed fire from behind cover, while the second advanced. After a short distance, the advancing group was halted behind cover and extolled to open fire, allowing the first group to advance. The two groups of troops repeated the cycle until the end of the range was reached. 

Wulf thought about the elder sergeant's remark. At Nineteen he was one of the younger NCOs in the regiment. He was definitely the youngest Regimental Sergeant Major the regiment has ever had in its history. Traditionally it was battle honours that won a veteran the title of RSM. As the levy hadn't seen any major conflicts in sixty years, hard work and an affinity for pleasing the officers had been the deciding factors for the appointments in recent memory. A few of the oldest soldiers in the regiment were NCOs that had spent a decade or more lobbying for the title of RSM. There was some discontent about Wulf's appointment, but while he continued to act competently the worst he would have to contend with would be a raised eyebrow or a laconic response. 

After the troops had navigated the length of the firing range three times The NCOs broke the groups up further down into squads of four. And then began to run the drill again half of the troops would fire other half would advance. The roles would switch and the first group would leapfrog the second. The fresh troops were learning fast but their actions were still less coordinated and their movements slower than Wulf would have liked. They would get there he was sure of it. He knew the next step of their training would be the hardest yet. They were going to have to learn what to do once they had closed with the enemy. Neet volleys and fire and manoeuvre drilling were only half the battle. They were going to have to learn the brutal reality that despite rapid fire Autocannons, tanks and mass lasrifle fire a lot of the killing in war was done art arms length. 

After mess he retired to his bunk. They had been voidbore for sixty days and the ship sleep cycle was second nature now.  He had become accustomed to the shifts in gravity, the sense of continuous movement, the sounds and smells of ship life. Bitter Oil, grease, and body odour. Sporadic crinkling of electrical arc welders, and the hammering of tools, the thrum of the atmospheric scrubbers, and the knocking of water pipes. The boastful laughing of young men, the hushed whispers of attempts to maintain private conversations, the mournful screaming of someone awakened by a dreamborn terror. The task before him was to transform the assortment of weathered veterans, and green recruits into a functional fighting force. General Dantie had honoured his treaty with Lord Havelock after the invasion of Damarus was repelled, troops, tanks, armaments, and equipment were all made available. The tanks like the armaments and equipment were less than optimal. Either well past their service life or damaged from battles with the Orks on Damarus. The troops likewise were the minimum the general could supply and still adhere to the agreements he had signed with the rogue trader dynasty. Freshly conscripted juveniles untested in battle and elderly men well past their prime. The officer corps were quite component, battle tested, and loyal... To Lord Havelockat least, but politically opposed to Dantie's goals so the general was happy to send them off world. 

As Wulf drifted off to sleep he thought about what lay ahead of the troops. He had advised that most veteran troops be promoted into NCOs and laid out a program of intense physical training to mould the youths into real soldiers. For the most part the officers had delegated the reformation of the newly formed First Damarus Leavy Expeditionary Regiment to him. The task before him was daunting but he would not srink before it. He understood the consequences of should he fail to prepare the troops to meet the challenges that they would be expected to face. 

The cool wind blew over the edge of the battlements its temperature lowered by the flurries of snow that had begun to fall as Autumn deepened. The chill in the air cut Recruit Wulf Heironymous to the bone his fatigues and coat wet with sweat but the cold did nothing to dampen the flames of the burning buildings behind him. Aldheim maned the Autocannon swivelling it on the tripod across his field of view searching for more targets.
The quietly spoken gunner Reinald had died a week ago his blood still stained Wulf's clothing.
'Mus get another drum ready, you dolt?

'Why don't you just call me Wulf?'

Wulf open the crate that held the ammunition drums. Empty shells rolled off and clattered to the rockcrete floor as he flipped the lid. 
'Only one left'

'Then stop daydreaming you're a Wolf; and find more. NOW!'

Wulf jogged along the parapet avoiding sandbags of collapsed pillboxes, and piles of spend shell casings. He didn’t want to slip and fall to the street below. One of the other recruits had fallen two days ago. Back broken but still alive... he had screamed for his mother as the medicals had carried his stretcher into a waiting cargo van that now served as an ambulance. His movements were hampered by the fading light of dusk, and the bodies. He hated looking at them; faces frozen in rage, pain, or fear. Worst of all were the bloody lumps of shredded flesh or blackened smoking remains unrecognisable as human besides the tattered remnants of green and blue Levy uniforms. The medicals would remove them eventually but they gave priority to the wounded. 

He reached the stairs and swiftly descended joining other troops doing the same. He approached one of the ammunition dumps. All he found was empty crates and scattered packing material. Other troops crawled through the mess flipping empty crates over looking for one that remained unopened under the detritus. He abandoned his search and returned up the stairs. He paused at each pillbox that had been struck by a shell and rummaged amongst the carnage for additional ammunition. By the time he returned to Aldheim the Autocannon was barking again. The Orks often mustered together into great green waves that surged forward and threatened to wash aside the the city's great walls. But the time between these grand assaults wasn't quiet. Smaller bands and tribes continually launched skirmishes, heavy weapons were pushed into position and begun shelling, and fast vehicles raced along the perimeter of the defences firing wildly and bellowing insults as they careened across the rough landscape. The continued pressure punctuated by the major assaults was wearing on the defences. Lack of sleep and maintenance  further degraded the collation of forces stationed on the walls. The defence council had directed all available resources to the city's defence. Platoons of Levy troops stood shoulder to shoulder with Damarus law enforces. Their numbers further bolstered by masses of armed voidmen supplied by the Rogue Traders who had come to the planet's aid. The poorly armed and unarmoured voidmen's skin was unaccustomed to natural light of the long Damarus days and clothing was unsuitable for the chill of the Damarus evenings. Their uniforms were an eclectic assortment. Bare feet, and bare chests weren't uncommon. Some possessed tricorn hats or tools for maintenance, all were armed but again there were a great assortment of weapon types. Shotguns, auto rifles, and various lasguns. What they lacked in provisions they did make up in discipline, not once did they shrink from battle. However the intense fighting and unrelenting tempo of the conflict combined with Damarus Weather resulted in very high attrition among these units. The Companies of Levy troops fared better but they too were at breaking point. Heavy weapon ammunition was nearly exhausted and casualties were mounting. Wulf slumped down beside Aldheim as he begun striping the shells from the partially expended drums and consolidating them.
'this is all I could find'

Aldheim glanced at the blood smeared ammunition drums.
'It'll have ta do. I hope this truck shows up soon or there'll be nothin left ta resupply.'

Aldheim, Wulf and several other heavy weapon squads had been redeployed from the walls overlooking the western argi plains to the wall guarding the major highway to Shard's forge. Supplies were running low and the forge had continued manufacturing from its stockpiles throughout the two weeks of the siege. However with the majority of the Sphinx Heavy Guard, and Highlands Wardens vehicles damaged or disabled and the infantry marred in the defence of Damarus prime. Safe transport of the vital ammunition shipment was impossible. The Rogue Trader; Atticus Havelock had volunteered to personally escort the multiaxial cargo haulers as they made a high speed dash along the highway leading from the forge to the city. 

'Lord Havelock will make it. He has to succeed. He just has to.'

'I don't like his chances the whole damned place is swarming with those green bastards.'

'He has done the same before. Gone beyond the walls to take the fight to the Orks. You've seen the pic-casts. He led those sorties With the Sphinx Heavy Guard, and Highlands Wardens. Sweeping the Orks from the walls. Twice now he's done it.'

'Aye but he ain't got two armoured divisions backing him up this time. Most of da Wardens and Guards are still recovering from those sorties and a lot of em didn't comback.'

'You'll see. He'll do it. They say he saved the offensive against the first rock that fell the one they surrounded and destroyed with Highlands Wardens artillery. You've seen the posters. General Dantie was pined down with the Sphinx Heavy Guard. Suddenly as if summoned the prayers of the troops he descended on wings of light and by blade and flame Lord Havelock single-handedly cleared the way.'

'Single handed eh. Then why're we up on this wall providing over watch for his approach?'

Wulf didn't answer. He just knew that this hero that had come from across the stars to save Damarus was like the heroes of old. The preacher every seventh day had told the stories of the Emperor and his warrior's who had travelled the void defeating mankind's enemies. Surely in this time of need one of those heroes had returned. The Rogue Trader's actions has surely proved it. Atticus Havelock had United the despite forces of Damarus under his command had charitably deployed thousands of Voidmen, and tonnes of materials to aid in the defence of Damarus. His advisers has redirected and repositioned elements of the defences to better Whether the attacks the the Orks had launched. His ship The Redeemer mighty enough to be seen in orbit from the surface had unleashed spears of light down onto Damarus scouring away the Orks when they had gathered in sufficient mass to detect from orbit. Now he was insuring the safe delivery of the precious ammunition that the defences needed to continue the fight. 

Composed on a phone while sitting on a commode. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Express elevator to Hell

So last time I posted I had attempted to give my Valkyries a chipped paint look using salt although the method technically worked the results were less than satisfactory.  I failed to apply it correctly; applying too much salt and in the wrong locations. So in this post I will go over the lengthy descent into hell I experienced  attempting to repair the damage I had done; and the process of completing the painting of the models. My first step was to repaint the Valkyries and cover up all that shiny metal spray paint. I needed a couple of coats of red starting with a darker shade and I had to paint over the whole model to blend the all the colours together  My air brush was a huge help for this, laying down even smooth coats of paint quickly.

My failed attempt at salt chipping.

The Havlock crest on one of my homemade stencils. 

Once I was done I got to thinking about detail. I wanted to use the Havelock family crest as described my my players;  and figured that the wings of the Valkyries would provide perfect spaces for it. Now I just needed to figure out how to get it on there neatly I toyed with the idea of a laser cut stencil for a while several companies could provide me what I wanted easily enough but it would cost a little more than I wanted. So I decided to make my own stencils. I would print out the image onto a piece of paper cut out the area to be painted and just spay through the remaining negative. The only problem is that airbrush paint is very thin and paper doesn't like being wet and how would I prevent the paper from being dislodged by the air blasting out of the airbrush? The solution: I would print out the image onto a sticker cut out the area to be painted and just spay through the remaining negative. Boom, genius, mike drop, (oh how foolish I was). I grabbed some sticky labels of appropriate size printed out my design placed them on the wings of one of my Valkyries then I noticed that one of the labels was a little crooked.  As I removed and re-positioned the offending label the sticky surface of the label lifted the paint strait of the surface of the model but only where I had previously painted it with the horrible metallic silver paint. It appeared that the texture of the spray paint was proving difficult for the acrylic GW paint to bond to. I placed the Valkyrie with the ruined paint scheme to one side; I still had another. I figured the sticky bond of the label was too strong so I had an idea to protect the paint on this Valkyrie with talcum powder. I spread the talcum over the wings then applied the labels with the printed designs they didn't seem to sticky and were able to be re-positioned easily enough. I then lightly cut the design out with a hobby blade. Unfortunately when I removed the cut portion some of the paint again lifted from the wing revealing the silver curse of my own making.

The wings after I remover the first labels.

The wings with a protective layer of talcum powder.

The talcum powder wasn't protective enough. 

After removing the remainder of the labels and putting them away in frustration; I worked on my naval arms men/conscripts greened stuffed their hats, base coated them, and painted a batch to tabletop standard.

Greened stuffed tricorn hats. 

One batch at table top quality, one with two base colors, and one with under coat.

I after my conscript break from the Valkyries I returned. Firstly I washed the models thoroughly to get all trace of the label glue and the talcum of the wings. I once again had to repaint the Valkyries and cover up the evil shiny metal spray paint. I again started with a darker shade and I had to paint over the whole model to blend the all the colours together.  I couldn't have done this without my air brush the thin coats of paint were starting to build up. If I had painted the Valkyries with a brush they would have just been big blobs of paint with a plastic centre by now. I again turned my attention to painting Havelock family crest  on the wings of the Valkyries this time I traced the image on the wings with a pencil and used the outline as a guide to paint the eagle and fist. The result looked better than I expected.

My hand painted design. I am surprised how not crummy it looks.

I then began mucking things up giving the Valkyries a beat up look lots of paint chipping and muck. giving the dropships a really worn look I figure doping from orbit isn't the gentlest of experiencesThis time I used a piece of packing foam from a blister to sponge on the chipping. a trick I learned from a Beasts Of War backstage painting video but the excellent Duncan Rhodes has also done one. Firstly I applied a mixture of dark brown mixed with some black  then some metallic lead bleacher to give the effect of chipped paint with some bare metal showing on the most worn areas. To give the effect that the paint wear was from flight to restricted the wear to the leading edges of the model and each panel. I used some blue painters tape to protect the trailing edges of the wing and tail panels.

Painters tape to protect the trailing edges of the panels.

After I had sponged on the paint chips and metallic paint I removed the painters tape and once again it appeared that the texture of the spray paint was proving difficult for the acrylic GW paint to bond to. As I removed the tape the sticky surface of the tape lifted some of the paint off the surface of the model. This time I had to repaint over he exposed metallic spray paint but I couldn't use the airbrush unless I wanted to cover up all the chipping I had done. So I carefully brushed on some paint, layering up to match the existing red hue, Then I weathered it to look like the remainder of the Valkyrie. The end result wasn't too horrible.

The silver curse strike again.
Can't use the airbrush here.

I actually think I did a good job in the end.

My next project is paint up a Lemun Russ.

But to that second circle of sad hell,
Where ‘mid the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell
Their sorrows. Pale were the sweet lips I saw,
Pale were the lips I kiss’d, and fair the form
I floated with, about that melancholy storm.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Soaring in the heavens, or descending into Hell: A Valkyrie story.

It's be a good long time since I've posted anything I might say it's because I've been too busy with gaming and other hobby stuff. Or I may say I was occupied with university or work, but they would be poor excuses. The truth is is mainly laziness that has prevented me form posting. But I haven't be completely inactive this whole time. I have managed to work on the flyers for my Rogue Trader themed Imperial Guard force. When I got my airbrush I started looking at different ways to paint with it.  One of the coolest tricks I found was salt chipping. So I soon got an idea to have my Valkyries display a high degree of wear and tear the reasoning being a Rogue Trader on a  lengthy voyage wouldn't be stopping off for a resupply regularly. I would spray my flyers with a bright metallic base, salt that sucker up, paint over the whole lot, and then just chip the salt away to reveal the bare metal of the fuselage.  Easy right?
First I set out for some metallic paint for the airbrush. After some research I discovered that normal metallic paint isn't suitable for airbrushing. Apparently the metallic particles in the pigment tends to
gum up the airbrush. There are products that allow metallic airbrushing like the Model Air range of paints from Vallejo.

What could go wrong?
But me being my usual impatient self just decided to use whatever was available locally in this case cheep silver spay-paint.

So first up I had to assemble the pair of Valkyries I had. I avoided using the instructions for most of the construction. But I had to check them for the location of some of the smaller parts. I stuffed up one of the wing weapon hard-points when I glued it in back to front the only thing that tipped me off was that the angle seemed wrong. Another this was I did was leave the pilots torsos out of the original construction I had to trim them a little to make them fit after they were pained. During the assembly I installed a series of 3mm circular magnets. The idea being that later down the track I could swap out the weapons or even convert them them Vendettas.

Assembly complete. 
Magnets on the hard-points.

Magnets behind the multi-laser.
Top off for future painting.

Magnets for the rear door too.
Rear door magnet works good. 

Blue painters tape to protect the primer.
The internals a light grey to reflect light. 

Internals painted.
Internals painted. 

Painted flight controls #2
Painted flight controls #1

More blue painters tape.

Blue-tac to protect the cockpit.

What have I done!

Painted pilots  

Canopy fitted over cockpit.
Canopy fitted over cockpit

Now it's time to start the salt coverage. I grabbed a small bowl of water, some paper towels, a brush, and and some salt. I laid the towel down to help with the mess then used the brush to paint on some small dabs of water I tried to keep the water to the edges of the model but often the surface tension of the droplets broke it was much easier to dab the water on the flat of a panel. Next I sprinkled salt over where I had added the water when the salt  touched the water it congealed otherwise it just fell off. I repeated this process until I thought I had  covered enough of the model. Then I grabbed my airbrush and begun layering up red paint until I couldn't see the base colors anymore. When I was done and the paint had dried I begun the very messy process of brushing all the slat off I used a small house paint brush it fairly soft bristles and the salt came off easily I ended up with a large red salty mess of dried paint. The effect of the chiping actually looked good; I guess because it was actually chipped paint. But the overall look of the miniature looked off. I think I simply used too much salt and in the wrong places.

Ready for the salt

Perhaps too much 

I like the effect but not the placement. Too much in the center of the panels, and too much overall. I think less will be more. 

See! warp is stretched
Forwarriors' fall,
Lo! weft in loom
'Tis wet with blood;
Now fight foreboding,
'Neath friends' swift fingers,
Our grey woof waxeth
With war's alarms,
Our warp bloodred,
Our weft corseblue.
"This woof is y-woven
With entrails of men,
This warp is hardweighted
With heads of the slain,
Spears blood-besprinkled
For spindles we use,
Our loom ironbound,
And arrows our reels;
With swords for our shuttles
This war-woof we work;
So weave we, weird sisters,
Our warwinning woof.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Airbrushing the night away

So I recently got hold of an air brush. It was something I've been wanting to get for while. Learning all the ins and outs has been fun. Using it is definitely a skill I want to improve on if not master. A few of the things I have learned so far are.
  • Keep it clean
  • Flush with water after every use
  • Clean the needle and nozzle regularly
  • thin the paint. nope still too thick thin it more
  • Clean and flush it again  
  • Use thin paint, very thin paint
  • If you're going to have a problem its probably a dirty nossle or needle  
Beast of war have an excellent selection of introductory air-brushing videos for their backstages
Since I got this shiny new toy I figured I better use it. My first attempts were just on paper but I soon tried it out on some minis. I was a little over painting my imperial guard so I practily jumped a friends offer to help him with some Shadow of Brimstone miniatures. He backed the kickstarter and now had too many miniatures than he knew what to do with. Further more he isn't a wargamer so he wasn't used to the heaps of multipart plastic miniatures in sprue form, and wasn't relishing the prospect assembling them. I however enjoy all three sides to the hobby triangle. (assembly, painting, and playing) the miniatures were of acceptable quality, but lacking the multitude of fine detail found on GW miniatures that I have become accustomed to. The vent lines in the sprue were a little thick for my liking and made it a little difficuled when removing them from the sprue. Upon assembly I noticed another minor fault with the minis. Although they fitted together well the smother sculpts made for easily identifiably joins. Other companies have learned to hide joins like these under the edge of some detail like armour or cloth. Perhaps the visible joins were a symptom of an emerging company just starting out, poor quality control of a mass manufactured product that was rushed out to fulfil a kickstarter promise, or perhaps a sign of an uncompromising design direction; to create smother organic looking miniatures on a budget.  You'd think Liquid GreenStuff from GW would be the perfect thing to fix this problem, but you'd be wrong.

Harbinger I filled the gaps with liquid green stuff twice.
Yep looks good. Smoothed out those join lines

Goliath I filled the joins four times. The gaps were much more pronounced.

I think they still need work, but I just got sick of green stuffing and waiting for it to dry. 

First time air brushing. First I coated the mini in red then I browned the bony structure of the wings. The blue tack is to protect from over spray.

Next step is a flesh tone on the wings. The air brush laid down a very smooth layer of paint.

Green and flesh base colours.
Highlights, glaze, and gloss varnish to make it look wet and slimy  

I think it worked

Air brush and dry brushing. I used blue tack to protect the different shades of green from over spray.


For the longest time I've wanted a Gaming table. But I've also wanted the opportunity to play on a variety of terrain, and I don't have the space to store a 4' by 6' table. The solution I figured was a modular table with modular terrain. Several companies have offered different types of tile. Even GW but I was never happy with tether the cost or the size, So begun a slow burning idea for 1' by 1' custom terrain tiles. I figured  I could create a variety of tiles all the same thickness and size. And as my collection grew I could mix the different stiles together. I could have battle scared cityscape slowly transfer into a cratered muddy no-mans land then finally into a trench network; then change it up the next time I played.  The best bit would be that the tiles would be thick enough so that the craters and trenches were actually in the ground rather than the typical wargaming terrain sitting on top.  I started out drawing the designs on top of 5mm tick foam-core then I would stick that on top of insulation foam sheets. For years I've been looking for a local supplier of insulation foam. This wonders material than every hobby blog said to use and would be available in any hardware store. Perhaps North Australia isn't in need of as much insulation as North America or Europe because I could never find the stuff. Then one day when I was looking to order some from the cooler states down south I found a stock listing for a local hardware store "pink foam; perfect for insulation and hobby needs" so I decided to make up some test pieces to see if my idea was sound. I decided on a urban road theme for my test.          

I sandwiched two layers of foam core together drew on the design and scored the lines for the concrete joins.  Then painted the scores black to hide the white foam core and provide shading.

I used textured paint for the concrete
I had to make up some textured paint for the asphalt

Sand box sand and black craft paint. Yum.
A stepped creator or collapsed road

Each step is wide enough for a mini
Each sheet is 30mm perfect for a GW mini

Air brush to stencil on the white lines
I think my concept is sound

    The next step is to see if my local hobby club is interested in using this system for their tables. If so then I can utilized their expertise to create better tiles before producing a full set for myself.