Monday, February 28, 2011

Vyper WIP


As you can see I've been working on my new Vyper. This was gifted to by the wonderful Loquacious for winning her banner contest. As I was looking through the kit, I was trying to recall if I'd ever owned a Vyper, and I don't believe I have (having gone through so many armies its hard to remember after a while). I don't think I've had a jet bike since the old wingless metal ones back in 2nd. ed. I haven't had too much trouble with assembly (barring a few things that I'll get to in a bit).

This is the first of my new Siam-Hann contingent which will be allied to the Exodites. I had a Siam-Hann army some years ago which was known as 'the second wave'. A name I came up with as they had a lot of transports & tanks, but no jet bikes. Something of a blasphemy for the Wild Riders. My old army was almost entirely red with some black trim as is normal, however I've decided to paint my new Wild Rider contingent predominately black with red trim. It looks almost a 50/50 split of red/black in the photo, however almost all of the red is on that canopy. The majority of black probably won't really be noticeable till I start painting tanks which have a much larger surface area.

As mentioned above I've had a few issues with this kit, though nothing insurmountable.
First was the mounting for the Shuriken cannon upgrade. How exactly is that supposed to mount underneath? While both cannons in the kit vary a bit in shape, neither seems to have an obvious mounting point. For your convenience, GW thought to not show how to mount the under slung shuriken cannon in the instructions (which are showing their age as the level of detail renders the part images to almost gray silhouettes, c'mon GW, new printing plates don't cost that much...). Anyways a bit of cutting, sawing and imagination I was able to come up with a good center-line mount for the cannon. Looks just fine in the end.

Second, just what exactly are the two parts pictured on the right used for? They're (again) not pictured anywhere in the instructions, or on the box, or on GW's website, nor did I see them pictured on any other assembled Vyper images that I could find in a google search. They also don't seem to have any obvious point of attachment (at least to the Vyper itself, they do have a fitting for a peg of some sort on the reverse side).

Third, The mounting for the turret weapon is...odd. I know this is an older sculpt, predating the newer auto-cad designs that fit together better, but you would think they would have put more effort into the weapon mounting (because its, kinda the whole purpose of the model). In the top photo you can see the hole on the underside of the EML. All of the weapons have this. Looks like a peg should fit through there except none is included, nor are there any holes to mount this imaginary peg onto the turret itself. Also, the place where the turret weapon fits in (using the otherwise useless ring) is too wide, meaning that it wont fit snugly (yet its too narrow to easily use magnets). I also have the turret pointed down a bit, as the EML won't sit level in the mount given the curvature of the turret itself, and the curved bit under end of the launcher.

As I said, nothing insurmountable. Rather its kinda like (though thankfully not nearly as bad as) mounting the weapons on an Obliterator's arms where you're left shaking your head thinking 'who the hell designed this?!' I hope to have the painting finished this evening and decals added so that I can varnish it. After which I can do the final assembly without worry of the canopy fogging over. I painted over the canopy's support struts in 'ard coat. To hopefully keep the paint from wearing off over time. If all goes to plan I'll have finished photos later in the week.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Here be dragons!


First off, I need to rant. Our FLGS went out of its way over the course of two years or so to nurture and cultivate a dedicated gaming group. They were successful. Now we often get the impression that we're an 'inconvenience.'

Last summer due to AC issues there was no gaming for a month and a half. Okay, we can understand that as it was hotter than blazes, but the initial closings of game night were without warning, or reason, and was poorly handled. It was also inconvenient for me as I live about 25 miles away, luckily I was informed by friends who live closer which saved me both time & gas. However there were several guys in the group who had about an hour drive, yet we had no contact info for them. Happens once, fine. I'm sure that they would be annoyed but could live with it. However after happening several times with no forewarning, and yeah. We've never seen them again.

Then, the owner decided that game night was going to switch to Tuesday nights rather than Saturday nights. The uproar was immediate! Virtually all of the college students in the group had class that night. My job requires me to be @ work @ 7:30am, so making a dedicated trip to game every week, midweek, where I'm liable to be up too late and a zombie at work the next day isn't feasible for anything other than once in a while. So that idea was dropped as the entire group wouldn't be able to attend.

The 'FLGS' has three tables with a good amount of really nice terrain, but currently they're looking to open another store in Nashville, and from what we've heard, they're looking to take close to half if not more of the terrain out there with them to cultivate a new gaming group. WTF?!? Are we to just be discarded? (I'm pretty sure our business is still expected though)

This week I got an email from an employee of the FLGS that's a friend of mine saying that Saturday gaming is canceled this week and going to be every other week from now on. No reason was given by the owners and again, we don't have everyone's contact info. So some guys will show up with an army only to be turned away. Annoyed with that Screech called and said 'screw it, let's just play at your house this week.' And so last night we did (which leads into this post's title).

So, as I wasn't able to try out my Exodites this Saturday, they instead got their battlefield debut right on my own game table. 1k, annihilation, pitched battle deployment vs. Space Wolves, I got to go first, and it ended in a tie of 3 to 3. No, this isn't a bat. rep., rather just going to touch on a few things of note.

The Dragon Knights (Wraithguard) only got to shoot twice but, due to lots of cover (as always) their AP2 guns weren't that big of a deal. Once in HTH they didn't do all that much except as to act as one hellova tar pit. A Space Wolf lord, and (by that point) five Grey Hunters and WG w/thunder hammer storm shield basically got stuck there on turn three, and never left except via gradual attrition. At the end of turn seven (and 4 full turns of HTH later) both sides of that melee shook hands and parted ways.

GUARDIANS SUCK! We hear that about a dozen times a night it seems from our self-defeatist Biel-Tan player at the FLGS. A squad of Grey Hunters hopped out of their rhino and opened fire, however due to good cover saves, only two guardians fell. In return, and with the battle cry of 'GUARDIANS SUCK' they returned fire! 14 hits for 11 wounds (and only one of those was from the scatter laser)! Cutting that GH squad in half. Actually turn three's shooting phase went quite well as all three opposing GH squads were cut in half that round. That said, out of both guardian squads, the warlock pictured above was the only member to survive. Still I was quite pleased (and now they have a battle cry)!

Then there is the Autarch. He spent the first few turns, just kinda fluttering back and forth, staying out of the long fangs (with lascannons) line of sight, while awaiting the approaching Grey Hunters. Setting himself up for a charge the following turn he turbo-boosted into position. Where it occurred to me, just how does a Griffin turbo-boost? What do you call that? Fast flying? Super flying? and then there it was :

'He's SUPER FLY!' (he's thus been named)

After laughing for a bit Screech pulled up that sound track on his droid (also known as the 'druid' after a typo in his first 'test' message), and we listened to that entirely un-40k-like music on into Super Fly's charge the next round. In his first gallant charge, he followed in the footsteps of my Warboss with a powerklaw by rolling a bunch of 2's to hit, and only killing one SW. In the following rounds where his laser lance wasn't in effect, he was hitting like a champ, but that doesn't really matter when your target is in power armor. Typical. In the photo above he's over in the table's 'dead pile' corner (the other casualties were moved out of the way for the photo).

While I didn't think to get a photo of it (its still under construction anyways) my new Siam-Han Vyper (compliments of Loquacious) also did resonably well ending the game immobilized but not dead. It popped a rhino in such spectacular fashion that the resulting explosion killed two Grey hunters that were stuck in the Dragon Knight tar pit.

All in all it was a fun game and the Spinifex didn't crumple like tinfoil in their first outing as I had feared they would. As for the long winded rant up top, sorry but such things are all too common on this blog (as you readers already well know).

AND on a totally different note (and likewise added an hour or so after the above): I accidentally clicked on my flag counter, and figured that while there I'd check my stats. In doing so, I saw that I set a new page hits record of 240 on the day 2/17/11. Apparently the Imperial Forestry Service is no longer so obscure of an Imperial institution. ;-p

Monday, February 21, 2011

Preparing to meet our doom...


So, I think I'm gonna give the ol' Exodites their battlefield debut this coming weekend. They're new, many are newly painted, they're an army that I haven't fielded in years, and an army that I've traditionally had issues with in the past as they require 'finesse' (something I lack entirely).

Basically it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

That said, they're pretty minis, and I've approached the army from more of a pretty/fluffy direction. So effectiveness was never a top priority, but they're not a guaranteed loss either. As I'll be fielding a small army odds are I'll play one of the new guys, one of whom has an attitude that is totally self-defeatist (which is really annoying in all honesty, and I won't even go into is 'gamer funk' issues).


Anyways, here's what I have & will be fielding:

Griffin (counts as jet bike w/twin shuriken catapults, mandiblaster & laser lance)

Doom, Fortune & Guide, Spirit Stones, Runes of warding

Dragon Knights (counts as Wraithguard)
Warlock w/conceal

(7) Dire Avengers
Exarch w/Blade Storm

(10) Guardians
Missile Launcher, Warlock w/Singing Spear & Embolden

(10) Guardians
Scatter Laser, Warlock w/Embolden

Fast Attack:
Shuriken Cannon, Missile Launcher, Spirit Stones

That totals up to 1k, so a good starting point.

Here's a few things of note: The DA Exarch is my original 'bitz' model so lacks the almost default choice of 2 Shuriken cats, oh well. I don't yet have the Vyper (though its on the way). The Vyper was what I chose when I won the design a banner contest on World of Wonder. {:-D I'll probably only have a partially assembled mini on the table as due to all of the recessed areas, its very much a 'paint-as-you-go' model. I'm not going to just slap it together to get it on the table (as one of our Eldar players is want to do, mind boggling as that is). Anyways, if its not here/ready in time, I'll (hopefully be able to) borrow & kit out a war walker from a friend of mine (don't think that he has any Vypers of his own).

I also wonder how long it will be before I have to tell someone (one guy in particular in fact) to pick the Autarch up by the body/base/wing, etc and NOT by the lance! I can't ever understand why people go 'hey can I look at that?' and (it seems instinctively) reach for the most fragile bit to pick a mini up by.

I've also printed off the Exodite field guide, so I'll be able to see how/if that helps in explaining what is what.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Imperial Forestry Service


So my recent 'Exodite field guide' seemed to go over well, especially the mentions of the 'Imperial Forestry Service'. Indeed, way back when I started this blog & I first mentioned them here, they seemed to get a favorable response (as they also do locally). However, aside from Ranger Smith himself and their infamous rhino, they've never been painted. Last night I started to remedy that. I also gave Ranger smith a quick touch up & inking to match the Foresters better. I hope to get the last two painted this evening.

(I had to add a pic of the ol' IFS rhino in even though nothing new has been done to it)

On the table top, they're used as Ordo Hereticus allies (the easy explanation is that they're a guise of the Inquisition). 'Ranger Smith' is the guy with what looks like an LMG. He's used as an elite level Inquisitor with a stormbolter, though if points are tight just a regular bolter. Frag & Krak rounds out his equipment. The other guys are 'Foresters' (Inquisitorial Storm Troopers or warriors in a retinue, again when points are tight). They're anything but a powerhouse unit, rather just a fun little addition to my games.

Fluff-wise, I've never written anything down but when asked, I have a basic outline on them that goes something like this:

The Imperial Forestry Service is often deployed in small teams to newly colonized 'frontier' worlds to assess the local flora for its exploitation via tithes to the Imperium. They tend to be well trained, equipped (note the stowage all over the rhino), and armed as they're basically 'on their own' when traveling into a world's hinterlands. Kinda like an Arbitrator team, just with a heavy 'outdoor survivalist' bent. On a newly claimed world, Forestry Service teams are often the first Imperial operatives rural communities will encounter (and such encounters are frequently hostile).

Their dispatch orders are meted out via the Administratum and as such, mistakes in deployment are not unknown (nor infrequent). IFS teams have been deployed to desert worlds, ice worlds, hive/forge worlds (far from the Imperial 'frontier'). Indeed, gas masks were added to their TO&E after teams were continuously deployed to Necromunda's ash wastes for more than a century due to an Administratum typo. Even if they're sent to a temperate planet, having no landing craft of their own they're at the mercy of the Imperial Navy. So they might be dropped into desert/arctic conditions requiring them to cross continents before finding anything of exploitable value (assuming they survive such crossings).

Or something like that, it varies here and there.

In short, the Imperial Forestry Service was a good idea that's underfunded and generally has been squandered by the Administratum's typically apathetic & monolithic structure (hence the Forestry Service's obscurity).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snap Tite 40k?


Last night I was assembling/fitting together the Rhino-turned-Razorback that I bought recently. I assembled & glued the sides, and then just fit everything else together and found that it stays together quite well, without glue! Nice! I prefer to paint my Rhino interiors prior to gluing them all together, and I usually half assemble them like this to make sure all is in order. But until last night it hadn't occurred to me that I could use it in a game without gluing anything else. It could make for a nice 'wrecked' pile too (though I'd be wary of losing something).

Work also continues on the Exodites. I got the 'dragons' base coated & the first inking done, but no photos. Not much to look at yet anyhow.

There's also a good piece of news to announce, but I'll leave that to a certain someone else...


Friday, February 11, 2011



Lately as you all are aware I've been working on my Exodite army. However when this army gets to the game shop (and theoretically a tournament sometime beyond, assuming I get the hang of them), identifying the conversions may become tiresome. I've already had one friend pick up a dragon knight and say 'ooh, nice jet bike'

Umm, no. They're jet bikes in all the other Exodite armies, not mine.

And therein lays my problem. Locally it probably won't take long for everyone to figure out what is what due to a repetition of appearance. However with new players/opponents, tournament opponents, etc., it could be quite distracting. However Nyhil on Ten Inch Template (some time back) he mentioned that he had a similar problem with all of his Vraks militia conversions, and so created a 'field guide' of sorts for his opponents.

Great idea! Here's what I have so far:

It fits on a standard sheet of paper, and in a tourney scenario I could print my army list on the reverse side, so opponents & TO's would have all the info that they need with a visual reference to boot! The IFS logo can be removed when/if I add more Exodite units. Its basically a filler for dead space @ the moment. Prior to that though, I can just print a few copies off to bring to the FLGS.

My army currently stands at 900ish points, and I was hoping to use it next week for its battlefield debut (the FLGS is closed for gaming tomorrow night), but I got a notice from ebay that my Farseer & Warlocks will be delayed as the seller is buried in the snow.

So they may have to wait another week or so.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A curious mental state...


So as I mentioned last week, I went on a spending spree @ the FLGS this past weekend and it felt good, sorta. I got an SM rhino, IG Manticore, Eldar Guardians (the EML team from which you can see at left), some primer & glue. All told it struck me as an exorbitant amount of money to spend on minis all at once. However earlier in the week I spent an equal amount (almost down to the dollar) on my portion of my stepfather's birthday present & the wedding present for my Sister & her fiance. Those purchases didn't phase me in the least, however whenever I spend a lot on 40k I feel kinda guilty. It feels like I'm wasting my money.

Why is that?

I think its because barring the random Forgeworld order, I rarely spend a lot at once. Instead I build armies piecemeal over time in multiple small purchases. I also finance what I buy via selling old stuff on ebay to offset the costs. That said, in the case of the purchases above, this week's ebay sales combined with a bonus from work equaled out (even with a warstore order I made this morning thrown in).

So why the guilt on spending money on stuff that I enjoy?

Damned if I know. You would think that after 15 years, and more armies than I can count coming and going, I'd be waaaay beyond any issue of spending money on 'toys'. Then again, 'guilt' wasn't there in the beginning, so it manifested itself somewhere along the way. Perhaps its a symptom of always feeling like I'm broke/poor/bottom end of the middle class or something. I dunno. It just perplexes me that at some point I developed a sense of guilt in indulging in one of my favorite hobbies.

Anyone else have this issue?

Friday, February 4, 2011

The creative juices are kinda flowing...


I had an idea, and was just cut & pasting various pics together to see if i could come up with a workable idea.

Going with my Dragon Knight (Wraithguard) concept, I was thinking of using a Carnosaur as an Wraithlord. If I put it on an Avatar base, take the weapon platform and bent the topside portion of the platform (i.e.: the part that the gun mounts to) around Carnosaur's back (with something like a saddle strap underneath to hold it in place) and a bright lance or whatever mounted on that. Then add a rider, something like my standard Dragon Knight conversion, except maybe with the Exarch helmet. Give him a Shuriken catapult in one arm, and the DE whip arm (pictured) in the other (I figure the Carnosaur can breathe fire for the flamer).

..and ta-dah! An Exodite Wraithlord!

Does that sound like it could be workable?

Photos property of Games Workshop, LLC., used, sliced & diced without their permission.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Wednesday wall o' text


There are rare times when I can go and buy toys (, gaming stuff) and not feel guilty about it. Usually that involves selling an army via ebay to fund a new one (recycling as I call it), but on rare occasions, I get little influxes of extra cash. Currently its a combination of both. I've been selling odds, ends, and various portions of my loyalist IG on ebay here of late, and those sales have/are going well. Also I'm getting two small bonus checks from work meaning that I'll only be spending maybe $20-$25 of my income tax return (as opposed to my originally allotted $100) on toys. That means the rest of it can go to more 'responsible' expenses (just like it should be).

So here's what I'm buying/already bought:

(5) more Dragon Knights financed entirely by ebay. I might get a Sabol tray for them too. I'm also going to get another box of Guardians which will give me a nice blob of 20 plus the Warlock (I already have 10 Dark Elf legs bits).

Dark Hands:
I ordered the Imperial/Crimson Fists tank icons pack, and already had the Predator back plate & Razorback turret bits. So I'll pick up a Rhino this weekend to give them a bit of much needed mobility.

Renegade IG (still haven't settled on a name for these guys):
I have the parts to make another missile launcher, and bit auctions in my ebay watch list to get the necessary parts to assemble the crew & (2) grenade launcher guys to make another command section (so Straken can get his back from the platoon). The FLGS is also looking to see if they can get me a Manticore kit. Strangely it wasn't listed in GW's order program that the FLGS uses. They looked & I looked all to no avail (the FLGS's owner came up behind me while I was behind the counter sitting at & using their computer and asked if I had clocked in yet, lol).

WHFB Orcs:
I ordered another (and final) box of four Orcs to fill out my movement tray to a full 24 boys (when the Warboss is included). For the time being, that will be it for them till the new army book comes out (even then, I don't foresee me getting much if anything aside from said book).

Quite a bit of that has been bit ordered from ebay, and the Orcs & tank icons direct from GW. Best part is all of which was financed by ebay! However I need to support the FLGS or else we won't have one anymore. So the Guardians, Rhino & Manticore will be bought there along with some primer, paint & glue (via the bonus checks).

After this weekend then, well...there will be no new toys for a long while. Notta problem though as there will be lots to build! (I need to weasel the grot mega tank back into the queue as well).