30 November 2012

Nurgle Forgefiend – A Closer Look

There were glimpses of this monster in the battle build-up and our in-game photos. I've had a lot of inquiries about it so I thought it was time for a close-up look at how I converted the standard kit into something more Nurgly.

Adding greenstuff rot and snot to enhance the look of the plague marines and terminators was quite straightforward. This model is enormous in comparison, I would need to upscale the contagion to something suitably grand.

I added magnets to the end of his arms so that I could swap weapons when needed.

I clipped off most of the spikes in the head and neck area, or rather tore them off so that they left damaged remains. I drilled holes in a handful of places and added wooden skewer 'horns'. Similarly, the exhaust pipes had a lot of spikey decoration at the top that I tore off with my clippers. I gradually added bits of greenstuff to build up the contagion. Most of it was just blobs of greenstuff spread out with my sculpting tool.

On the left side of the large back plate I tore a hole in the armour. I dropped several tiny balls of greenstuff loosely in the hole and once complete poured superglue in there to hold things in place and add a crusty texture.

On the left shoulder plate I drilled two holes. I created two large balls of greenstuff and left them to cure overnight. Once rock hard I glued them into the holes, drilled small holes into them in a '+' pattern. I then added greenstuff 'skin around the protruding globes.

Another technique I used was to drill several shallow holes with two different sized bits on the head of the beast. The depths varied a lot and the positioning was quite random. This gave a corroded effect on the metal plates which looks great.

I also added pustules in several places on the model. This was done by rolling a tiny ball of greenstuff, adding to the surface and then pushing out the edges with my sculpting tool.

The icon of Nurgle appears in several places and this was done by roughly spreading out greenstuff  on the armour surface then using the flat end of a drill bit or file to push three circles into the greenstuff in a triangular formation.

In addition to extensive use of greenstuff and a drill I used lashing of PVA glue. I wanted to give the look of unidentified goo seeping out from various parts of the machine – final colour to be decided at a later date. I filled the exhaust pipes with glue and allowed it to flow over the top so it naturally ran down the sides. I did the same on his back, running glue down his spine from under armour plates.

A death machine of Chaos wouldn't be complete without a victim somewhere on the base. I used a random collection of marine bits and filled in the gaps with greenstuff rot growing over the corpse. I'm still deciding whether to paint him up as a Dark Angel marine.

I managed to slap some paint on the finished model prior to the game against Bull. It was just a quick basecoat of English Uniform, with some Scorched and Bestial Brown on the metal bits, then lashings of Devlan Mud. Now I get to go back in and paint up some details.

See the Forgefiend painted up!

The next project is the Heldrake – he's in serious need of rot and contagion. I will post my 'How to destroy a £40 Heldrake with a drill' experiences soon!

28 November 2012

Battle of Cherbull – Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

The opening statement in this post-mortem aftermath discussion should be that this was an awesome game. We had big tanks, big explosions, lots of combat (some heroic, some not so) – we even had a flying dragon and zombies! Big thank you to Bull.

I had devised a list of evilness, talked the talk in my pre-game banter, and now had to stand up and dish out the pub kicking that I'd promised. But I was not facing the army I had expected.

Bull's Dark Angels

To start with, Bull had thrown a spanner or two into the works, which was great. His list – which he admitted was more characterful than killer – was not quite what I had predicted. The Terminators and Land Raider made sense on paper, given that Belial was leading. I had mentioned them briefly in my pre-game thoughts but I did not really expect to see any Terminators… not really. The Lascannon Razorback was something that I had also dismissed over time but could return to haunt me. What it meant was that there were less enemy models on the board but all of them were a real threat.

Heldrake enters the fray

In a similar vein my list gave Bull a couple of unknowns. He would be experiencing a Flyer for the first time and all that entails (as would I). On paper the Heldrake seemed almost game changing and could cause him no end of trouble (or at least that was the plan). The Zombies, whilst very characterful, were more a novelty addition. On paper they seem quite weak and Bull's list had the firepower to kill them easily. Alas, he engaged them in combat on Turn 2. He has since criticised himself for this. In fairness, if he hadn't engaged them when he did, they certainly would have charged into him next turn, doubling the incoming attacks. The only thing he could have done was find a different way to get rid of the Obliterators, which were his true target.

At the end of the day I claimed the victory, so talk of ifs, buts and maybes seems a little redundant from my perspective. Still, there is always a lesson to be learned and I do like my statistics, so I have asked the questions a general must ask himself and pored over the data for each unit. Apologies if it's a little self-indulgent!

Would I change my list?
I can't say that I would to be honest. I eeked out every last point of the 1500 available, so in order to get the one thing I did need more of – Obliterators – some other aspect would suffer significantly.

I could have removed their Mark of Nurgle, taken the Extra Armour off my Rhinos and found room for a third, plain Obliterator perhaps. However, the Armour saved a Rhino on Turn 1 and Toughness 5 Obliterators lasted longer against the Lightning Claw Deathwing than they would have, had they been T4. They would also have been instant killed with a Power Fist. That in turn would have meant the Zombies had more Deathwing Terminators to deal with and that whole combat could have swung in favour of the Imperials.

That's not to say I will take the same list next time…!


Would I change my deployment?
Not really, I think it worked out in the end. The only thing I may do differently would be to deploy Typhus and the Terminators in with the Obliterators and Zombies. However, having them in reserve did mean I could drop them where they were needed most, even if this did expose them for a while.

What would I have done differently?
I would have made a more concerted effort to take out the Vindicator earlier on. It became a real thorn in my backside and prevented me claiming a second objective that was there for the taking. I've learned in this game that the chances of destroying a vehicle in one hit is unlikely. You're much more likely to kill a vehicle by removing its Hull Points with multiple glancing hits. Expecting the Heldrake to take out the Vindicator in one turn wasn't reasonable, without something else softening it up first.


Man/Unit of the Match?
I think it has to be the Zombies! I was expecting them to die easily and leave the Obliterators exposed. What actually happened was that they helped the Obliterators last longer than they might (and visa versa). Thanks to their sheer weight of numbers, they helped tie up 400 points worth of enemy and took down the Deathwings' beloved leader. Had Bull taken a Heavy Flamer in his Deathwing Unit he could have taken out half the unit in one hit! Scary.

The only issue I have is that in order to field these guys I HAVE to take Typhus. Costing almost as much as a Landraider in points, that's quite an investment.

Damage Taken: 24 zombies lost (approx. 100pts)
Kills: 3 Deathwing Terminators and Belial (approx. 315pts)

Wooden Spoon?
All the units in the army did reasonably well. I didn't lose a lot (really) – A Rhino, 2 Obliterators, 3 Terminators, half a dozen Plague Marines and two dozen Zombies – but was anyone dragging their feet? The only unit that didn't contribute a lot to the cause was the unpainted Plague Marine unit. They were blown out of their Rhino on Turn 2 then sat near objective and were hit by the Vindicator for two turns. They didn't kill anything, despite a couple of rounds of shooting, ending the game below half strength.

Damage Taken: 4 Marines and a Rhino lost (approx. 145pts)
Kills: 0


What about the Big Fella?
He arrived in a very prompt fashion and managed to land where I wanted him to. A good start. He cast a Malediction spell to impede the nearby Deathwing Terminators which seemed to help and survived a round of shooting and a couple of rounds of combat unhurt. Once he got his mojo going he was devastating, showing us a glimpse of what is to come. He rolled up 8 hits against the Chaplain, who failed 4 of them, so he can certainly dish out a beating. His Boon Table roll game him re-rolls to wound – this would have made him even more deadly had there been anyone else to fight! Looking forward to seeing more of this guy in the future. His points cost may mean that he isn't present at every battle, but that only reflects the nature of his lofty status.

Damage Taken: 2 wounds
Killed: 2x Command Unit marines, Interrogator Chaplain

Other Stats…
The rest of the army looks something like this:

Killed: 1x Command Unit marines, 1 wound off Interrogator Chaplain
Damage Taken: wiped out
Effectiveness: Took hits to shield Typhus, otherwise in deficit

Plague Marine unit 2 (secured Objective marker)
Killed: 2x Command Unit marines, Imobilised Venerable Dread
Damage Taken: 2 dead 
Effectiveness: Positive

Killed: Hull Points off Vindicator and Speeder, 5-man Tactical Squad
Damage Taken: survived untouched
Effectiveness: Pretty even with points cost

Killed: 2x Deathwing Terminators, Hull Point off Land Raider
Damage Taken: wiped out 
Effectiveness: Held up the Terminators, otherwise in deficit

Killed: Hull Points off Vindicator, Speeder and Razorback
Damage Taken: 2 Hull Points lost (should have been 3 and dead)
Effectiveness: Kept Vindicator occupied, otherwise even with cost

What's Next?
As Bull pointed out in his battle report, this game represented an initial surgical strike by the Nurgle forces to eliminate the Dark Angel leadership. That mission is now complete and it's time to move on to take the rest of the planet. Belial may be down but he's surely not out. He may need time to recover but he'll be back before this campaign is done. Can the Dark Angel's at the outpost on Cherbull hold out until reinforcements (i.e. a new codex) arrive to save them?

27 November 2012

40k Battle Report: The Battle of Cherbull

After yesterday's deployment report we're straight into the action…

On my right, the Speeders swung out further right facing back into the board, giving them a good line of fire next turn. The Vindicator trundled forward, firing its Ordnance weapon at the nearest Rhino. Bull rolled a hit on the scatter dice and the shot went through. I was in danger of losing a squad on the starting grid, but he rolled a Crew Stunned result which was downgraded further thanks to my Extra Armour. Took my first Hull Point damage.

The Tactical squad in the centre ran out towards the objective on my right. The Venerable Dread moved forward and got a shot off against my wounded Rhino – saved by cover (helped by the fact it was night). On the left, the Command Razorback shot forward and popped smoke. The Land Raider flew up the board, ripping gunfire into the Zombies, taking down a couple.

1. Rhinos move up

End of Bull's turn 1 and I was relatively unscathed. The damaged Rhino moved forward to block line of sight to the centre of the battlefield (1). The Plasma guns in the back shooting to no effect. The other Rhino moved forward slightly to give the Forgefiend more protection, the Plasmas in the back shooting at the Razorback to no effect. The Forgefiend itself stepped into the wood to his left and opened up on the Razorback, stunning it.

Elsewhere the Zombies moved up, towards the Land Raider, whilst the Obliterators broke off and positioned themselves on the top of the rise behind the sandbag cover. They fired Lascannons at the Land Raider and got a glancing hit.

Bull's Turn 2 is where things started to get tasty – I'll only talk about the moments of significance from now on but please take into account that I'm wearing some pretty rosy-coloured glasses and the truth may become distorted a little. You'll have to check out Bull's blog for his version of events.

2. Belial incoming

The Speeders opened up on the already damaged Rhino and glanced it to death, the Plague Marines tumbling out on the left side, leaving the Vindicator with nothing to shoot at. The Razorback tried to reposition and imobilised itself. The Land Raider moved up further and delivered the Deathwing Terminators who charged up the hill (2), into the Obliterators and also engaged the Zombies. One Obliterator wound, a dead Terminator Sergeant and several dead (again) Zombies later it was my turn.

3. Outnumbered

The Heldrake turned up, attacked and glanced the Multimelta Speeder on the far right and hit the Tactical Squad with the Baleflamer, killing two (I rolled three 1's!). The Forgefiend finished off the damaged Speeder. Typhus and the Terminators also arrived and managed to Deep Strike into the space in front of the Razorback (threading the eye of the needle!). In combat, the Deathwing took down an Obliterator and more Zombies, but the undead were making their mark and the 1's were creeping into Bull's armour save rolls. Two more Terminators were now down. Belial was looking a little lonely with only a Power Fist swinging, Assault Cannon wielding Terminator left by his side (3). The Zombies moved in.

4. Typhus engaged

Next turn the Vindicator hit the Forgefiend, catching a couple of Plague Marines in the blast. The fiend survived the effects, thanks to being Daemonically Possessed (we forgot to take off the Hull Point damage so the maths doesn't add up later). The Chaplain and Command Squad jumped out of the Razorback and fired at Typhus and his unit. One died. The Land Raider, Razorback and Dreadnought (who had moved up in support) all shot at the Nurgle Terminators. Not a scratch. The Command Squad charged in and challenges were made (4). Typhus was unable to kill the Veteran Sergeant (!!) and the Terminator Champion inflicted a wound on the Chaplain, who rolled terribly in the attack.

It was about this time that Bull made an observation. My dice rolling was developing into two extremes. My defensive dice were full-on heroic, whilst my attacking dice had been awful. The ultimate outcome being that things weren't dying much!

5. Typhus on his own

The Heldrake attacked the Vindicator with no effect and toasted the remaining members of the Tactical Squad. The Forgefiend moved up and killed off the second Speeder. The full strength Plague Marine unit moved over to support Typhus and block line of sight to the Forgefiend. They shot and imobilised the Dreadnought (who made me re-roll a 6 result thanks to being Venerable). Elsewhere combat continued. Typhus killed the Vet Sergeant, the Chaplain killed the Terminator Champion. The remaining Chaos Terminator took out a single marine before being taken down by Power Axes. Typhus was on his own (5).

The Zombies swarmed over Belial and eventually he fell, despite killing another 3. The hero of the Deathwing was gone, overwhelmed by the horde of plagued undead. The Deathwing vs Obliterator Power Fist face-off resulted in a stalemate. The lone Terminator now faced quite a task.

6. Lone Terminator

The Vindicator moved and shot the Forgefiend again, taking out two Plague Marines in the blast again. It was becoming something of a pain in the backside. The Daemon vehicle survived again.

The Plague Marines supporting Typhus were shot by every weapon in range but managed to lose only one of their number. The Deathwing Terminator managed to take down the last Obliterator and survive the Zombie attacks (6). Typhus killed the Chaplain in a challenge with no damage in return.

7. Tag team

The Forgefiend went nose-to-nose with the Vindicator, getting a glancing hit on the front armour. The Heldrake repositioned itself for a final run at the tank next turn (7). Typhus was joined by the Plague Marines and all but one of the Command Squad were killed. Amazingly the survivor passed his morale test. The Deathwing Terminator killed a couple more Zombies – I was now down to 9 left!

As we went into Turn 5 things were tipping in my favour. Bull could not claim any objectives – no scoring units left – and I already had 2 Victory Points in the bag thanks to the secondary objectives "Slay the Warlord" and "First Blood". I was confident of claiming the centre objective marker but that could easily go astray.

The Vindicator blasted the Forgefiend, rolling a hit (AGAIN) on the scatter dice. I was down to my last Hull Point and was unable to grow any back it seemed. The Plague Marines killed the last Command Unit marine, but not before he inflicted 2 wounds on Typhus. They then fell back towards the centre objective marker to support the other Plague Marines. Typhus moved towards the sole Deathwing Terminator fighting Zombies on the hill.

8. He's behind you!

The Heldrake swooped in on the Vindicator and took out its last Hull Point. Typhus charged into combat with the Deathwing Terminator (8). Alas, he didn't get to place the killing blow as the Dark Angel marine was finally taken down by the Zombies.

Bull rolled for variable game length and the game ended.

When we stepped back and surveyed the landscape the Plague Marine army had won 3–0. A superb game that ebbed and flowed and was hard fought throughout. It was one of those games that feels like a real slug-fest and totally lived up to the pre-game banter.

The Aftermath

Wow, after all that I need a lie down.
Discussion and conclusions in tomorrow's post…

26 November 2012

40k: The Battle of Cherbull – Deployment

The build-up to this game has brought tension to almost tournament level, with a lavish helping of narrative and character. The forces of Nurgle were invading the Dark Angel held planet of Cherbull and Typhus himself would be leading this initial Chaos foray into enemy territory.

Yesterday, whilst the battle was being played out, I posted my thoughts and expectations from the night before. Would my enemy field the units I expected? Would my battleplan survive enemy contact?

Sun Tzu wrote (paraphrasing) that if you know yourself and you know your enemy then you will never lose a battle. Yet, if you know neither yourself nor your enemy, victory will be forever elusive. I was using an army and units that I had never used before and whilst I know my opponent, he would likely be taking units I had never faced before. Things really were in the lap of the dice-gods.

When it came to revealing our armies I got something of a shock. Bull's final list looked something like this:

• Belial / Lightning Claws

• Interrogator Chaplain

• Command Squad x5 / 2x Plasma Pistol / 2x Power Axe
- Razorback / Twin-linked Lascannons

• Venerable Dreadnought / Twin-linked Autocannon

• Deathwing Terminators x5 / 2x Lightning Claws / Assault Cannon / Deathwing Company Standard

• Tactical Squad x5 / Meltagun

• Landspeeder / Multimelta

• Landspeeder / Heavy Bolter / Assault Cannon

• Vindicator

• Land Raider Crusader

I certainly predicted elements of the force the night before, but NO PLASMA! However, only having 2 Troop choices and the inclusion of an Armour 14 Land Raider had not been part of my thinking. I would struggle to take down the big tank and the lack of enemy 'bodies' would negate some of my firepower but things would certainly be interesting.

My list remained unchanged from the one in my previous post and, as expected, the inclusion of the Heldrake flyer and zombies had Bull intrigued and maybe a little bemused. None of us had experienced flyers before and zombies, well, they're zombies!!

Then Bull threw in the curve ball – let's roll up a mission, etc from the rulebook.

We got Dawn of War deployment, the Crusade mission with 3 objectives (which we places across no-man's land) and Night Fighting from turn 1. This did hamstring Bull a little, having only 2 scoring units, but if he could destroy my Plague Marine units he could still easily win. We also had secondary missions which would play a part. The Night Fighting played into my hands as this meant that nothing could see beyond 36" and anything further away than 12" from the shooter would get bonuses to cover saves.

Bull deployed first, spreading his army across the width of the board. There was a heavy close combat threat to my left, with both the Belial/Deathwing unit and the Chaplain/Command Squad poised. The Venerable Dread held the centre with the Tactical unit, then the Vindicator and Speeders were over to my right. Note the three red gems that represent the objectives.

I took a fair amount of time deciding how to deploy, which is rather unlike me. Too long outside of the crucible of war maybe. I decided that the only thing that could take down the Land Raider was the Obliterator unit, so I deployed them on the left with a moving Plague Zombie wall for cover. They would at least take most of the incoming fire and could bog down any assaulting units until the cavalry could arrive, be it Plague Marines or Typhus himself.

The (now painted-ish) Forgefiend sat in the centre of the board, hidden by trees. His job was to ensure the demise of any Speeders that came snooping and any other lightly armoured vehicles he could draw line of sight to.

I also did the one thing I said I would not do. I put the two Rhinos full of Plague Marines directly facing the Vindicator. They would undoubtedly draw a lot of fire but if I could get to the halfway point of the board in one piece, near the objectives to the right and centre of the table, I could do the rest on foot. This was a bit of a gamble but the plan was for the Heldrake to take down the Vindicator with his vector strike upon his arrival from Reserve in turn 2, dice gods willing. I could then toast the Tacticals with his Baleflamer and cross my fingers that the retaliatory fire didn't take me down.

Typhus and the Terminators were also held in Reserve to make their grand entrance later in the game. Deep Striking is always a gamble but, without a Land Raider of my own, the only other alternative was to walk… Lords of Nurgle don't walk!

We were ready to go. Bull had first turn, I decided not to try and steal the initiative. I wanted to go second, given the objectives, but also I wanted him to use up a turn shooting into the dark before I moved up.

Turn 1 Movement Phase…

To be continued.

25 November 2012

40k: The Calm Before The (Nurgle) Storm

So, it's the night before the big game (although this won't be posted until Sunday, probably around game-time) and I have to gather my forces and my thoughts.

I'm thinking that if I lay out these thoughts here we can see how the plan survived enemy contact and the commanding officer's incompetence in the thick of battle in a post next week.

There's a number of things that we can assume. The mission will be our own version of "kill the other guy" with possibly killpoints thrown in. It will probably pan out that, like my initial game of 6th Edition vs the Dark Angels, as the invading force my Plague Marines will be marching across the board to wipe out the Imperials – hopefully there will be more terrain this time.

We have agreed that the winner of the battle will get to determine the mission, terrain, etc for the next installment, so there is something to fight for. I have an idea of where I want to take this storyline if the forces of Chaos prevail – it suitably involves virus bombs and mass extermination – but we will have to see.

My final 1500pt list looks something like this:

• Typhus

• Terminators x3 / Mark of Nurgle / Twin Lightning Claws x1

• Plague Marines x7 / Plasma Gun x2 / Power Axe x1

- Rhino / Extra Armour

• Plague Marines x7 / Plasma Gun x2 / Power Axe x1
- Rhino / Extra Armour

• Cultists x33 (Plague Zombies*)

• Heldrake / Baleflamer

• Obliterators x2 / Mark of Nurgle

• Forgefiend

(*This unit is unique to Typhus – he can 'transform' any Chaos Cultist unit into zombies, gives them 'Feel No Pain' and 'Slow and Purposeful' but they can take no upgrades at all and only have a single close combat weapon.)

The general thinking is that I need to have as many threats on the table at once all steaming towards the Dark Angels so that Bull splits his fire, doing little bits of damage everywhere without destroying anything outright. I'll keep Typhus and his Terminator entourage in reserve with the Heldrake, the idea being that Bull will almost forget about them because they're not on the table.

The Plague Marines will fly across the table as fast as they can, purely to threaten his line and draw fire onto the Rhinos. Once they bail out of the vehicles they need to sit tight in the rubble or fall in behind the mobile Zombie wall. These Zombies will move as fast (ha!) as they can with the Obliterators, who also have 'Slow and Purposeful', sitting behind them. I'm hoping the sheer volume of Zombies with the built-in Obliterator threat will also prove a big distraction for the Dark Angels guns.

The Forgefiend has a lot of potential threat and I expect Bull to want to take it down. As much as I'd like it to contribute a lot of shooting to the mix I suspect Bull will go out of his way to take it down, either with Speeders or an Assault unit deep striking next to me.

Once the Heldrake arrives it has a kill priority order. Any Vindicators and the inevitable Venerable Dreadnought will be top of the list. If he can then drop a flamer template on a unit of marines as he flies past that will be great. When Typhus and his boys finally turn up, their job is to get stuck into anything that can threaten the Heldrake, whilst staying well-clear of the Dread and Vindicator (both can inflict 'Instant Death' with no 'Feel No Pain' rolls).

As for Bull's Dark Angels, I'm expecting the following…

He will probably be taking Belial to lead the army. He has painted up a close combat veteran/command unit to accompany him – Belial has Terminator Armour that won't fit in a Rhino and the command unit is wearing regular armour which can't deep strike so he'd have to deploy on the table in cover and walk or wait to counter-charge. Alternatively, Bull could switch to a Terminator Command Unit which would offer him more options (deep strike) if more expensive. There is an outside chance that Bull has been yanking my chain and will send in a lesser HQ for this battle (see below). I don't really see this happening as Bull likes the drama involved in a good vs evil battle like this, not taking Belial would dilute this a lot.

I'm expecting the Venerable Dread (with Twin-linked Autocannons) which is not good news for the Heldrake or Typhus and Plague Marines. The Autocannons are a threat to my flyer and the Strength 10 dreadnought close combat weapon could instant-kill Typhus. The Vindicator tank, which I believe can move and still shoot its ordnance in this edition of 40k is also a major threat to ground based troops – a large Strength 10 blast is going to do a lot of damage and will be concentrated on the Plague Marines where possible no doubt.

Other things I may see, based upon various intel…

I may see the rumoured Devastator Squad (3 Missile Launchers and a Lascannon). This will be a potential threat for the Heldrake should they manage to hit, but could be eliminated by the 'drake's Baleflamer in one shot if I'm lucky. I may also see Speeders with Heavy Bolters and Assault Cannons. The Cannons will be an issue for the zombies as it negates their 'Feel No Pain' roll, and their speed could get them behind my lines. However, the Forgefiend and Obliterators will have a field day against them so I'm not too worried.

I've also seen evidence of a new Assault unit lead by a jump pack Chaplain HQ which may make it's debut, as mentioned earlier. Bull hasn't said much about them so either they're his ace up his sleeve or he doesn't intend to bring them yet.

There is also the vague possibility of a few Deathwing Terminators. Once I pointed out Belial's benefit of making Termiantors (normally an Elite choice) into a Troop choice Bull's eyes lit up. He may decide that it would be more beneficial to have Terminators as Troops instead of Tactical marines. This will remove a lot of Plasma Cannons and Plasma Guns from his list, which is why I don't think he'll do it, but will give him much more close combat ability so it's something to consider. It would also give him the option of deep striking a large portion of his army behind my advancing line but, until the new codex, they are likely to scatter a bit making it too risky a strategy in my opinion.

That's kind of where I am right now. The build-up banter has been such that either of us might catch the other out cold, presenting an army we're not prepared for.  Alternatively, we've may have second guessed exactly what we'll be facing and it'll all go swimmingly.

Either way, I need the dice on my side…!

The Battle…

23 November 2012

40k: Painting Typhus Part2

Painting Typhus Part1

I've found that this Typhus model is one of those painting projects that will never be finished. There's always another highlight, shadow or detail to add. Even now, a week after 'completing' his armour I find myself layering more paint or washes into it.

It has been an absolute pleasure to paint. After the time, attention to detail and accuracy required for my Tale of 3 Painters models, this model has allowed me to be (relatively) sloppy with the painting, yet produce the exact result required. Plus, at the end of the day this is a gaming miniature rather than a display piece so you don't want him to be too polished.

The base was painted with a Vallejo Basalt Grey and Black mix, then highlighted with the Grey. Final highlights were made up of the Grey with increasing amounts of White added. I then went back in with some brown and black washes, adding shadow and depth to certain areas.

The red fly was washed in Devlan mud (probably several times as part of the overall armour coverage) then highlighted with the Dark Flesh basecoat. Additional highlights were of Blood Red with a little Blazing Orange for the final edge.

For the fungus-type pipe vents on his back I went all Privateer Press. P3 Cryx Base mixed with Black as a base colour, followed by a couple of layers of Cryx Base, then added Cryx Highlight and a little White. Once complete I gave the area a Black/Green wash.

Similarly, the skulls of Nurgle on his shoulder started off with a Cryx Base coat, followed by a couple of layers of Cryx Highlight. I then added White to the mix but only applied to the uppermost surfaces of the skulls.

The shaft of his scythe was painted black with Burnt Umber highlights, the final highlight having a tiny bit of White in the mix. The wrappings started with a Burnt Umber, Ochre and Knarloc Green mix basecoat. I then added increasing amounts of White to the mix to highlight, with a final wash of Devlan Mud.

For the severed head I used my usual flesh mix, with a twist. Instead of basecoating Burnt Umber I used Cryx Base which has a greenish-grey feel to it. I wanted to get across the idea that the infections and diseases carried by Typhus's great scythe have an instant effect upon touching the skin, so by the time the head had been truly severed it was really starting to take hold, speeding up the 'dead look'. I added Vomit Brown to the mix and highlighted by adding white. I then washed the lower part of the head and all the recesses in a watered down Knarloc Green. It actually looks rather like stubble from distance, but it gives a sickly feel, which was the point.

As tempting as it was to give the severed head blonde hair, to match Bull's Belial model (left), I decided Black was the better option, helping to add contrast around the armoured gauntlet.

Once I was pretty happy with how things were I got out my pot of W&N Indian Ink. This stuff is Black, I mean VERY Black – so much so that if you stare at it too long you feel like you're falling through space. It is the single best way to wreck your model. However, if you water it down A LOT it can add a great layer of shadow and depth. So, armed with a very fine brush I set to, re-defining the edges of armour, cracks and crevices, making sure I didn't overpaint anything accidently.

This model has cleaned me out of the last of my Devlan Mud wash – the end of an era. We will see how the replacement works with the rest of the project. I managed to keep a relatively tight palette of colours throughout this model, all of them quite earthy. By painting my Plague Marines two models at a time, a slight variation creeps into the unit which is great. For Typhus I took the basic recipe and made his armour slightly brighter across the board, without necessarily making the final highlights any brighter (if that makes sense).

Finally, inspired by Michael from 28mm Victorian Warfare and his Ryle model for our Tale of 3 Painters project, I took the plunge and added grass tufts to a model for the first time…ever! It's amazing what a difference it makes to the base, so you may start to see more appearing on my models in the future.

22 November 2012

Nurgle is with me…

If 7 is the 'magic' number of the Ruinous Power of Nurgle then he seems to be pleased with my offerings on this blog. Nurgle is surely with me for the battle this Sunday!

If you missed any of the recent Nurgle-related posts…

Dark (Nurgle) Vengeance

DV Nurgle Lord

Preparing For War


Fire & Brimstone
The build up towards the battle against the Dark Angels

Building & Painting Typhus

More Typhus painting tomorrow, followed by some thoughts before the big game!

21 November 2012

40k: Painting Typhus Part1

In the last post we saw Typhus just before his black undercoat; now it was on to some colour.

I've developed the scheme for my Plague Marines over several weeks and models, tweaking each time. I wanted Typhus to follow the scheme but rise above it so that he could be picked out as the leader in a sea of rotting plague marine armour. It also had to be relatively straightforward as I didn't have as much time as I'd have liked to finish him, not if he was to appear on the battlefield in all his glory.

I started with a solid coat of Burnt Umber followed by a couple of thinner coats of my Vallejo British Uniform, which forms the basis for my scheme. A couple of washes of Devlan Mud later and he was starting to take shape.

At this stage I move onto highlights. I took the British Uniform and added a tiny bit of white to pick out the armour after the brown wash. I then progressively add more white to the mix until I'm painting an off-white colour to the highest points of the model. I used a striped effect when painting; as this builds up with each layer of paint it helps the armour look worn and old.

Once happy with this part of the model I move onto the metal parts, starting with a coat of Scorched Brown (see photos).

I then dab Bestial Brown using an old brush in an adhoc fashion to give a mottled, rusting effect. I then repeat the procedure with a metallic paint, in this case Vallejo Oily Steel. This layer is often overdone so I usually go back and dab additional Scorched and Bestial Brown to take the shine off it. Using watered down paints at this stage can give some interesting translucent effects on your rusty metal.

Now I start to paint in some of the detail basecoats. I use Dark Flesh on the fly icon and his guts, as well as any boils developing on the armour plates. I take a timeout and give the whole model another Devlan Mud wash.

To be continued…