28 February 2019

Collecting Kill Team Terrain

Preparation of the Kill Team board continues, as time has become generally limited to finish my team. I'll admit this is probably the most expensive route to go, but the hope is that I will have a decent set of terrain that works well for both Kill Team and Necromunda.

I started with the Ryza ruins from GW, which are relatively cheap and provided a good basis. I then bought in to the idea that I was creating an abandoned/ruined manufacturing zone, and things started to… erm, escalate. I love the look of the Manufactorum (above in grey plastic) and it would also bring height to the table (which is always a double edged sword!).

By this point I was bitten by the terrain bug. I have always loved the Armoured Containers, and they would be perfect for my setting, so they were next on my shopping list. I only have one built at present, but there are two more waiting in the wings.

Then came the 'pièce de résistance'. An Adeptus Mechanicus specific kit, I found it lurking away from the other terrain in my local GW store. It is an absolute beauty, and makes an awesome centrepiece. The fact it cost less than the Armoured Crates was a bonus.

So that is the collection so far. All lacking a bit of paint, but that will come – I'm very much looking forward to getting some colour on this lot and creating an awesome gaming environment in which to play Kill Team.

Stay tuned for more Kill Team!

15 February 2019

Making a Kill Team Board

By way of a side project, alongside my A Tale Of 3 Armies kill team building, I decided to make a Kill Team board and have some new terrain for it. I haven't managed to complete my last two board projects, but somehow this one seemed very do-able, even given the limited time I have these day. Once I'd started I got the bug to get it done. I took inspiration from the Malifaux board I made all those years ago, mimicking the potato printing process to create patterns and textures.

I bought a piece of 4x2 6mm MDF and cut the length down so it was 30cmx24cm – slightly wider than the 'official' kill team size of 30cmx22cm (which is a really odd size and surely just so it will fit in a box), but I'm ok with that. I bought a trolley full of tester paint pots at the same time, in a variety of colours, and chose a dark brown to base coat the board. I used a roller so that I would get some subtle texture, but not too much – I made the mistake of using some filler to texture my Malifaux board, and it proved to be quite an issue.

I gave the base coat 24 hrs to dry thoroughly (not a quick process in a cold garage). Then came the fun part!

I cracked open the other tester paint pots and found myself an old car washing sponge. I used a fork to rip up the surface of the sponge so it was very ragged but in a random, natural way, filling the floor with bits of sponge in the process!!

I went back to my original dark brown paint and dabbed it quite heavily over the basecoated board, to fill in any bits I'd missed and to add more texture.

Whilst this initial pass of brown was still wet, I poured different tester pot colours into my paint tray and used the sponge again, letting the colours mix naturally as I dabbed, trying to keep the coverage as random as possible. There were blues and greys and browns and greens, and gradually they began to mix in the tray and on the board, so each application got more subtle. I tried to keep the lighter colours concentrated near the centre of the board, as that is where most of the action would take place and it would become the natural focal point.

After tidying up the incredible mess, I left the board for two days to dry in the chilly garage – even that was only just long enough (the paint on my sponge was still very wet!). I brought the board indoors to put some terrain on it and photograph it, thinking it was done. But something didn't feel quite right – it felt too light in colour, not grungy enough.

My solution was quite extreme.

I managed to find some old bottles of Windsor & Newton ink – Nut Brown and Black. I mixed the two in a bowl, with only the smallest amount of black, as I recalled it was very strong. I added some water and a bit of old matt medium and washed the entire board using a sponge, making sure as best I could that the coverage was even and there were no lines. The board was almost black – I could hardly see any of my sponged on patterns!!

With the ink still wet, I got a clean sponge dipped in water and started dabbing it lightly and quickly around the centre of the board to thin the ink coverage. It was a very gradual process. I kept going until I felt I had the right balance and the results were looking grungy enough for me. I then (gingerly) brought the board indoors to dry thoroughly in the warmth.

I have to say I love the final result. It has surpassed my expectations and I have created a new board process along the way. I will probably add some furniture pads underneath to protect whatever surface I'm playing on, but aside from that (and a coat or two of protective varnish) we're done.

I did consider adding scenery elements (skulls, discarded weapons, etc.) to the board but I want this to be easily stored, so purposefully kept it as flat as possible. Similarly, I thought about printing tyre tracks, footprints, explosions, etc on there, but again decided to keep it neutral so it can be used for any game. The scenery placed on top will create the real atmosphere for the gaming and I wanted the board to be nothing more than a backdrop for that.

Expect to see this board a lot on the blog in the future!!

13 February 2019

Crimson Fists Kill Team – Part 1

With my Kill Team list in hand I sat down with a box full of plastic sprues to construct my first ever kill team. I have built all seven members of my team to an initial stage, and will now go back to each and give them some extra bits to flesh out their individual characters. So with this first stage of building complete I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce them.

This is Gunner Marine "Dutch". He was part of the rebuilding of the Crimson Fists, after the Rynn’s World invasion by Waaagh Snagrod that left chapter numbers decimated. During his time as an Astartes he has seen many a battle, not least the second invasion of Rynn’s World, this time by Daemon Prince Rhaxor. Dutch faces all these conflicts with the same dry humour and unflinching calmness.

This is the first model I built, mostly from Sternguard Veteran bits. It was the first time I’ve put a space marine together in a while, so was a great first experience. Given that there are Primaris in the group, who do not have the same connection to the chapter and Rynn’s World as the regular marines, I want these veterans to be oozing character and Crimson Fist-ness.

This is Gunner Marine "Fury". Another veteran who has seen his fair share of wars, he too was part of the rebuilding post-Waaagh Snagrod. He is a bit more cynical than Dutch, as well as being rather hot-headed for a Crimson Fist marine.

This is another Sternguard model, with bits coming almost exclusively from that box set. I wanted to add a couple of marines with their helmets on, so this guy was a good candidate.

Crimson Fist Scouts "Reese" and "Hicks" are my light troops. Recent additions to the ranks of the Crimson Fists, they both showed remarkable promise, so have been given the task of surviving some covert missions with the rest of the Kill Team. They both tend to be a little rash at times, but full of enthusiasm and always volunteering for the crazy plans.

These guys are standard Scout models aside from their head swaps (which involved a lot of drilling into the body piece to fit!). The only other bit to note is that Hicks on the right has bare arms! I used the arms from the Heavy Bolter Scout model (in lieu of any Necromunda Goliath bits) to match my vision from my favourite scout pic. Needs tidying up with some greenstuff, but came out ok.

This is Primaris Gunner "Bane". Like the rest of the Primaris in this Kill Team, he is quiet and stern. Never feeling the need to talk a lot, he just goes about his job, firing his Auxiliary Grenade Launcher and taking down the bad guys.

A very straightforward model to build, using bits from the Intercessors box set. I hope to add a little more character, but not too much.

This is Primaris Comms Officer "Vector". Cold and calculating, with an acute aversion to unnecessary risks. He is likened (by the more cruel brothers) to a droid in his demeanour, lacking empathy to those around him, basing many a decision on logic and mathematical probability.

Another model from the Intercessors box set, except for his head which is from the Primaris Medic. I want to do a bit more to this guy to emphasise the comms officer role he has – unique version of armour, antenna, etc – it needs to be obvious what he does.

This is Primaris Sergeant "Vorn", and the Leader of our Team. He feels an immense sense of responsibility to the Chapter when commanding, and has no time for joking around. This dour attitude affords him few friends, but his leadership abilities in a firefight afford him complete loyalty from his troops. They trust his judgement implicitly.

I used the body from a Primaris Sergeant model in the Easy-To-Build kit as the starting point, using Intercessor bits and a chainsword from the Blood Angels Primaris upgrade sprue.

These casualties will make great Objective markers. It's a pity that GW don't do more of these as they're quite awesome. The one on the left came from the Primaris Medic and the one on the right came from Haarken Worldclaimer, both exotic basing elements.

So that's the team. The next stage will be to add some more bits and greenstuff to draw out their characters more, then it's on to paint!!

09 February 2019

Tale of 3 Armies – Introduction

So in a previous post I talked about my hobby plans for this coming year. I also spoke about the fact that I couldn't decide which chapter to paint up my new space marine army and that I had decided the only route forward was to do all three as Kill Teams instead. So that's the basic premise for this project – three viable Kill Teams, one Crimson Fists, one Dark Angels and one Blood Angels. Then as a bonus round (if I'm not completely fed up with the whole thing), I will attempt a Mk 6 Dark Templar Kill Team (simply to get my DT project kick started).

I went out to the local GW shop and bought a ton of plastic kits… but where to start?
Next, I read some forums and blog posts about space marine kill team composition and tactics and soon had a plan for my first team.

Crimson Fists
Given that these are the guys I've been looking to build for decades, I thought I'd start with them. I already had a few left over Imperial Fist shoulder pads that I could make use of immediately, so no excuse to delay. The team will be made up of Scouts, regular Marines and Primaris and I want every miniature to be unique and characterful in some way – ideally I want to be able to feel the individual personalities, as well as easily identify them at a glance on the table top.

Once this project is done and dusted, if I've enjoyed creating my Crimson Fist gang, I would like to fill out the numbers to make legal 40k squads and try and get a 500 or 1000pt army together. But that is one for later in the year.

As a side project (in for a penny, in for a pound) I also plan to create a Kill Team board and collect and paint some suitable terrain for it. I see this as an easy win to be honest – I already have a 4x2 piece of 6mm MDF and buying, building and painting a small Citadel terrain kit would be quick and bag me a square on the Wargame Hobby Bingo Card!

The Other Armies
Whilst I'm not thinking too much about those at present, I have already acquired the upgrade sprues for both Dark Angels and Blood Angels. I don't want the composition of the three kill teams to be the same, so there will be some variation in number of regular vs Primaris marines and the weapon load out. Some may be more efficient than others on the gaming table, but I'm not too worried about that at present.

Stay tuned for the first update!

07 February 2019

Wargame Hobby Bingo

I found an article on Rob Hawkins' blog about his Wargame Hobby Bingo, and at the time thought that it was something that our good friend Mr Awdry would embrace completely. Never really considered it myself as hobby time is so subdued at present that any one of the activities listed would be a bit of an ask, and there was no hope of ever getting close to completing the whole card.

Recently I started my Tale Of Three Armies project (which I will be posting about soon) as a bit of a distraction and a means to scratch an itch or two. Things are going well, if slow, and I'm enjoying myself doing what is comfortable – kit bashing and converting space marines. Then Mr Awdry posted this week about his Doomriders and the fact they allowed him to tick off one of the boxes on his Wargame Hobby Bingo Card, so I took a closer look at said card. I realised that my current endeavours would actually qualify for box-ticking (once there is paint present) and that in a short matter of time I could have as many as six completed squares on the card!

As a result I find myself remarkably motivated to get some of these bits ticked off the list, and do you know, this time it may just happen!