When my wife is out of town, I enter a sort of semi-functional, grublike state. It’s a little bit the fact that she’s my primary impetus for engaging in any sort of social activity, and a little bit a sort of stasis-chamber reaction to her being gone. Time tends to get a little muddy as I lay around the house, mindlessly consuming movies and tv, grinding through video games, consuming a theoretically acceptable level of adult beverages and sometimes remembering to change my pants at least once a day.
Then she gets home, and I go back to being a person again!
However, that’s all changed now, because in the intervening time since her last out-of-towner, my wife encouraged my aforementioned descent into the realm of Warhammer. So, while I will probably engage in at least some destruction of digitized villains and am probably going to finish Season 3 of Batman Beyond, my primary target for this incredibly long, incredibly idle weekend is the construction/painting/(ugh) basing of all the precious plastic lingering around the house. Specifically, the living room. Really specifically, the 2-4′ blast radius around the couch upon which I’m sitting right now.
The launch of 2014 brought a lot of retrospective/goal posts on the dozen or so hobby blogs I read, so I’m hoping that throwing up a similar list of shit to do will keep me on some sort of track. Thus…the list!
Shit to Assemble
- 10 Bloodletters
- 10 Plaguebearers
- 5 Seekers
- 3 Screamers
- (Theoretically) 3 Nurglings- Honestly, since I don’t play Nurglings I’m likely to do with these as I did with the 3 from my last Daemon Battleforce, and primarily use them for parts. I have considered taking some of the three-high stacks of the ‘lings and arranging the , facing out, around a larger base to act as a Palanquin of Nurgle. With some greenstuff to make a platform, my thinking is I could make it a detachable option to mount up the Herald of Nurgle I usually employ with my objective-sitting plaguebearers. Since there’s not a model of the Palanquin outside of a model that I neither have nor want (and have never actually seen in person) I do worry a bit about getting a fair and accurate overall height/profile for the scenario, but I think it’d be a fun project.
- 1 Maulerfiend/Forgefiend- As you can see, I’m not yet fully decided on the direction for this. My immediate interest would be Forgefiend, since having a beastly thing good in assault isn’t strictly necessary when, due to primarily running daemons, I’m already pretty set for assault. However, there seems to be considerably more love and awe directed at the Mauler than the Forge, so even though I’d like the Ap2 plate and quantity of shots that the latter offers, I remain conflicted. Also, I was getting pretty excited to name my Forgefiend Agares, because when I was looking for names to draw upon for my armies I found a few translations that described Agares as a demon who makes those who run stand still and, well, autocannons have pinning.Yes, I think about things like that when I’m looking at models.Unfortunately, a more accurate translation seems to be that he makes those who stand still run, and goodness knows that doesn’t happen with a meta that’s almost entirely Space Marines. Still think I’m likely to go in a shooty direction with my dino tho (and Agares is depicted as an old man riding atop a crocodile…which actually fits a Forgefiend body pretty well). Regardless, I’m looking forward to some heavy customization, though I’ll ultimately (I think) stop just short actual magnetization since I currently possess no magnets and don’t know that I can quickly grab any in town. One quick Google later reveals that, actually, I could hit up a supply outlet and theoretically get some sort of magnets, but that seems like a trip to take in my brother’s company since he’d love that shit. Anyway, either this or another item on my list is likely going to end up with
- 1 Daemon Prince- Another part of my brother’s generous birthday/awesome job gift to me (his job is awesome. Mine’s also excellent from the perspective of personal fulfillment, but not in a way where I make it rain daemon engines and princes). My other DP is in the latter stages of painting, and was crafted explicitly to represent that he’s got a Lash of Despair because he always will. By comparison, I’d like this DP to come out more hulking, less elegant. I’m likely to run him as a prince of Nurgle, taking advantage of the mobile cover (especially combined with diving) and being a little less hesitant to get into assault…something I’m still struggling to balance with my other prince.
- 1……HELDRAKE- It’s the model I thought I’d never buy…the dark path down which I dared not tread. They’re too good, too raw, and dropping one on the table is a proud display of your hunger for victory over…I dunno, whatever I claim to champion when I run sub-optimal units and strategies and go out of my way to pick the most complicated and obscure options a game offers. However, that makes it exactly the sort of unit my “little” brother can appreciate, as he’s a man who prefers ballin’ whenever the alternative would be anything that is not ballin’. So now, as a part of my birthday madness, I possess one. Meaning I must assemble one. Meaning I’ll presumably play one. MAAADNESS.
I’ve spent a hefty chunk of time researching various methods of alternate Heldrake construction. Ultimately I’m probably coming back–as so many have–to Marshalfaust’s take (and I like to think that every time someone posts a link to his thread, somewhere the man grows in power). Primarily it’s because I’ve read so much about the challenge of transporting the base drake, but also because of my compulsive need to fiddle with all things until they bear my own indelible mark. With the drake, I’m going to alter the wingshape and the head at the very least. I like the more compact profile of the Faustdrake, but I think I’ll modify it to create a more aquatic theme. Specifically, I’m (hah) “angling” for an anglerfish look; I think I’ll clip the silly little chin-thing off the Forge/Maulerfiend dino head and add it to the forehead of either an ectoplasma cannon or a shaved-down Troglodon head. I also utterly love the bit where Heldrakes contain the shriveled, screaming husks of their former crew, so I may work a spare hatchmarine from one of my Rhinos onto the body somewhere, solely so I can have a hideous, vestigial being dangling from the body (which is all the more appropriate if you know the unusual details of anglerfish reproduction).Sorry, no, I can’t just walk away from that last line. Shit be crazy. Some anglerfish males are born without the ability to even eat, because they’re part of a broader subspecies where the method of reproduction is for the male to bite a female and then fuse itself to her body by dissolving its mouthparts and her skin. Multiple males can be linked in this way, ensuring that reproduction is possible even in the cold, lightless void of the ocean’s sinister depths. People love to joke about 40k being grimdark, but the Warp ain’t got shit on that.The Heldrake’ll probably incorporate spare tentacles from the Forge/Maulerfiend kit, because I do like that look and it fits the whole deep-sea thing. I may fiddle with the smaller wings to give the impression of fins, and perhaps shove some Nurglings on like barnacles.
That’s my assembly line, then! I’m thinking I’ll start on the troops, get them thrown together and on bases. That’ll let me work up to the painting frenzy, and then circle back around to doing fiddly things on the big bad bodies.
Excrement to Prime/Basecoat
I vacillate on the terminology, especially since I’m often throwing my first coat down with a particular color other than black or white. Plus, “basing” is usually used as shorthand for this part of the process in my house, since I derive such nonexistent pleasure from the part that involves the actual base of the figure that I’ve done it for precious few of my actual pieces. This list, obviously, grows as I complete stuff in the previous step.
- 10 Daemonettes- I put these together as soon as the box came in, because I’m a Slaanesh man at heart but the grand total of 10 ‘nettes that I previously possessed have never actually survived to assault. It’s simply not enough of their already fragile bodies. I tend to expect superior results from Seekers, given their mobility and the extra attack hopefully compensating for lack of AP with increased rending hits. My 7 Seekers/3 Heralds approach, though, has also been wiped off the board by a round of shooting (granted, a round of shooting from a crew of Gray Knight assholes). More bodies means more wounds and, theoretically, more survivors to actually launch an assault.All of the Daemonettes I’ve already painted (my Androktasiai) have an African theme–a mix of Igbo, Fula, and South African inspirations, primarily. I also always loved that scene in Fellowship of the Ring when the snarling Uruk-hai has a palmful of white paint slapped on his face, so my different Daemonettes (Seeker, Herald, base) have a brush’s worth of a different paint splashed across their faces. They all have rich brown skin and ivory claws, with blues and purples predominant in their clothing, and most of their heads are either hairless or have the finny mohawk/spike ridge. The Graeae (which I pronounce as Ice Cube would) I’ve yet to paint will be, well, gray, and their steeds are already a gray/blue. That means I’m still searching for a paint scheme that fits these new ‘nettes, my Hysminai.I’m having a had time shaking the image of a blue-gray sort of sharkish look, which would show bloody splashes really nicely. I modified all the models by clipping the thumbs off their claws, clipping the claws off their wrists, then reattaching them pointing downward like mantis limbs, so there’s some temptation to go with an insect paint scheme. I’ve toyed with going wasps, perhaps bright yellow and stripes of bluish-gray; I’ve also considered brilliant green like Spikey Bits’ mantis prince but with the mantis claws it feels a bit too on the nose. Since I tend to go right to the most prevalent color when basecoating a model, this indecision hamstrings my ability to get rolling on the painting, but even though I’m currently planning to run them as a 20-strong unit I’d eventually like the ability to have two visually distinct units of daemonettes on the board, avoiding any confusion if they happen to be adjacent.
- 1 Chaos Biker: Two of the bikers are at the detailwork/wash/highlight stage, but the champion had a more complicated base (he’s coming up over some metal shards so that there’s a nice dynamism with the other bikers, each of whom are tilted to one side or the other. This is considerably simpler than some of my other projects, since I already have a color scheme going and just need to apply it. If it’s so easy…why haven’t I done it yet?
- 10 Possessed…sorta: It’s really 9 possessed and one Slaaneshi Chaos Lord/Lucius the Eternal I ‘bashed up so I’ve got an HQ to unlock Noise Marines. I’m torn here in that I theoretically want to put them in the same armor scheme as my other Marines, but worry I’ll get sick of it so am also tempted to branch out. Since I tend to eschew shoulderpads (man, pads are a pain in the ass to actually mount on a model) and sometimes backpacks, I probably need to do some close work on a few of these to get them fully kitted out anyway. I think they’ll be fun projects, a sort of right-brain exercise amongst all of the more orderly paint projects on hand.Lucius is going to cling closer to the marine paint scheme, though I gave him a monstrous chestplate with a face in it which fits his Armor of Shrieking Souls quite nicely. Since I’m painting my CSM as The Cleaved, but going for more of a dirty porcelain look than the pink-white I’ve seen that done is on the net, I’ll play with a melding of porcelain/flesh on the armor, which’ll make it one of the more complex things I’ve yet tried.
- 1 Soul Grinder: Ephialtes (the Aloadae, not the dude from 300). Previously my only piece of non-transport AV, the poor dude got assembled then jumped, so he remains unpainted even as new kids enter the nest. I assembled him with the Warpsword because I think there’s a good chance I’d take it most games (to, at the least, strike before Unwieldly stuff) but otherwise a base Grinder doesn’t have a lot of bitz in the box. I have some failed greenstuff experiments lying around the house that may make their way onto the figure, and the Troglodon poison spittle would probably be fairly safe from snappage positioned correctly out of his mouth. Bigger stuff is usually worth a full priming before I basecoat it, and in this case I’m thinking of starting in either black or some sort of brown. From there, I’m thinking I’ll style him after a spider…particularly the Goliath Bird Eater. That fits with his likely identity as a Nurgley fellow, since it’d involve a lot of browns and shadows, fit nicely with the GW corrosion paint, and potentially lead to my modeling urticating hairs to give the model a bit more distinction. Might mix in some Bolas spider too, since my ultimate aim with the Soul Grinder was to shoot fliers!
- 9 Flesh Hounds of Khorne- I have 10, but one was my test paint so it’s a bit closer to done (has the base and a few layers of color, needs washing and some detail). I don’t like the actual flesh hound models and it was markedly more cost-effective to go with an alternative; I considered vampire counts dire wolves too, and am still not sure I wouldn’t like those better. My aim here is to basecoat them a bright orange, then go over that with a dark, almost metallic gray for the fur. This reflects how I’ve painted the bloodletters I used in the escalation league, in that I want my Khornates to look like metal statues boiling from the inside with molten heat. I’ve further overlaid that with smears of green stuff and Nurglings, so that my flesh hounds are clearly beasts enslaved by Nurgle and none to happy about–or healthy for–it. I’m giving the corrupt smears a nice healthy orange color, and if I’m feeling especially competent plan to paint the edges of each pool of corruption black, as though they’re scorching in the heat of the beast.
- 3 Mounted Daemonettes as Heralds- These are my graeae, my 3 gray sisters. Pouring points into 3 heralds on steeds, and the crew of ablative wounds that theoretically get them into combat, has not thus far been super effective. My hope, though, is that the addition of people with actual guns will cut down on the shots they take reaching position, and also allow me to focus their psychic powers more fully on buffing/debuffing instead of now, where I rely on them for shooting. Giving the ladies Ap2 is so very cheap and easy, and a unit of Seekers with 3 Heralds plus the unit character is churning out around 20 such attacks (plus all the basic rending attacks the core ladies provide). I’m aiming for a light bluish/gray (hence the conflict with my Hysminai).I actually used heads with hair for the sisters, and plan to do each of them up with a few different details. This will, among other things, make it easier to keep them straight when I roll their multitude of gifts and psychic powers. Deino (Dread) will be the least elaborate, and probably have some shiny armor to make her a bit distinct; she’s the anticipation of horror, so a bit of a harbinger. Enyo (Horror) is going to have a spiked chain from an old DnD mini wrapped around her claws, and probably spotting or striping to distinguish her from her sisters. Traditionally there are three gray sisters, but when I read that someone added a fourth it worked perfectly with a conversion I’d already made on the models before coming up with their naming convention! My last model, Persis, has a second head, Pemphredo (Slayer and Alarm, respectively). The head replaced one of her arms, so I’ll probably do the fleshy tendril that connects them to look appropriately mutated.
- 2 Seekers- Not the mounts, just the riders; they’re the three who came with the box I made my Sisters out of, but unless I get clever and swap their claws around to get mantis-ey, this is a simple job of imitating the paint jobs I’ve already done.
- Arguably, 1 Aegis Defense Line and Associated Gun- Gray plastic, man. Lots of it.
Things to Actually Paint
And here lies the rest…probably the majority…of my projects.
- 16 Chaos/Noise Marines with Sonic Blasters/Blastmasters/etc: Noise Marines are the whole situation I’m into, and the primary reason I went into CSM for shooting. At this point all of them have at least a gray basecoat, and I’ve painted 4 of them more or less fully (still not entirely satisfied with my sonic weaponry). I clipped the barrels off of my bolters (and a few bolt pistols) and replaced them with shaved-down Warpflame Gargoyles from my rhino kits to build my sonic blasters–didn’t love the bit conversions GW sells and also, from a price perspective, no. I want the Noise Marines to carry living weapons, essentially mini-daemon engines you point and shoot. The blastmasters are similar, but built on heavy bolter or plasma gun frames so that the models with them stand out. I also used the bigger, more eagle-like heads so that the weapon is fully distinguishable. For Doom Sirens (which I’ll ideally have 2 of in the unit with Lucius, with both units having 2x blastmasters thanks to the faq) I eschewed the “marine’s voice is amplified” fluff for severed daemon heads dripping ichor and clenched in one defiant fist. I also took a few more liberties with my two Champions, using bitz from the Possessed box and a box of Chaos Forsaken to make them resemble marines who are more fully mutated than their brethren.The actual marines themselves are also modified, with a few having Space Wolf heads thanks to a generous donation from another player at the local shop. As I mentioned, I’m painting them as Cleaved, and depicting that chapter as more of a…”condition.” I’m representing that by painting some of my CSM in the colors of *spits* Loyalist chapters, then blending that into the Cleaved colors. I’m also painting the colors across the whole model, including any exposed flesh; the idea is that my CSM are their armor, in a way that manages to be distinct from Obliterators and Helbrutes. It’s less about the marine melding with his equipment, and more about the Warp using the marine as the material for more armor.
- 2 Chaos Rhinos- One of the rhinos is done up with a heavy Nurgle theme, including a standard mounted like a masthead on the front, and all the usual spiky bits and skulls and Ultramarine helms one would expect. The other’s built up as more of a living thing, mostly using spare bitz and bobz from Daemon Princes and Screamers to give it spiked ridges and masses of flesh. I’m still not entirely decided on which turret/weapons to mount on each of them, but think I’ll give the living rhino the hatchmarine that I greenstuffed a fat umbilical cord to the back of. That way, the theme there is a rhino who gained such a thirst for bloodshed it extruded a crew to help it do its work. My other rhino then gets the hatchmarine (with a chosen/champion helm) I built with the twin-linked rhino bolter molded into one arm, and a Possessed dual-blade arm for the other. I’ll give him the fluff originally intended for the umbilicus soldier, that of a Chaos Space Marine called the Huntsman who, in the inverse of the Rhino situation, fused with his transport due to his love of running down infantry.Both rhinos have Dirge Casters–they’re pretty much the reason I wanted Rhinos in the first place, since my daemons get cut up by Overwatch) and I gave both of them Havoc Launchers to which I’ve attached a couple of Nurglings each. I also modded one of the launchers with a grinning plaguebearer head over one of the launch tubes. I’ve already given both of the vehicles and their associated goodies a coat of black, and plan to paint the living one in a dark blue with some pearlescent effects to evoke a big, nasty fly. I have no real idea how the other one will shape up; painting it in my army colors seems like a task that’s both boring and–due to the large quantity of white and beige involved–difficult to maintain consistent quality over the course of.
- 16 Kroot, including Shaper and “Ethereal”- I’m thrilled to have a viable CSM force to run solo or ally with my Daemons. It’s the most efficient, effective, and on-strategic-point option available.But damned if I don’t love Kroot. Not, you know, the sanitized kroot that we’re saddled with currently. I’m talking about the kroot what eat people and organisms, deriving distinct evolutions from doing so. Daemons can take 2 crews of Kroot as One-Eye-Open allies, and since you’d be taking them to infiltrate, set up, and shoot, the dangers of close maneuvers should be mitigated or removed. Plus I wouldn’t expect the bird men to necessarily live all that long, though I could see being happily surprised here. Given the choice between shooting 42 attacks’ worth of Seekers before they get into charge range or some one-wound models with relatively low-strength shots, it may be that the kroot endure.I put these troops together using spare weapons, shoulder pads (so much easier to mount on a kroot than a marine), backpacks, and so forth. I’m excited to paint them…very excited, despite their theoretically moderate role in any army I would run. I’m looking to pattern them after baboons, keeping to a dark coloration with some brilliant splashes around the beak. Their armor, depending on the look of the piece, will either stick to Cleaved colors or suggest trophies off Loyalist scum. some carry more involved Warp mutations, mostly picked out of the possessed and forsaken boxes.I also have a Shaper, for the purpose of the marginal leadership boost to whichever unit (once I have another box and therefore enough kroot to make a pair of units) doesn’t have the Ethereal. He’s done up with more greenstuffed cloth and physical alterations, again suggesting a kroot who suffered consequential Warp mutation.Finally, my “Ethereal” is a kroot in greenstuffed robes I based off of the actual ethereal models. But, you know, fuck Tau. He’s carrying a pair of chainswords to represent dual Honor Blades, and his primary job is going to be granting my kroot extra shots when they aren’t using sniper rounds. I’ll probably cleave towards actual Tau symbols for his clothing, but leave enough rusty-red smudges to make it clear exactly how he came by them. Unlike the others, I’ll paint him up with the coloration of an ethereal, because subtlety is for the Empire.
- 2 Chaos Bikers- They’ve got nurgling buddies on their bikes, because I’m led to understand that Nurgle Bikers are the shit. Both pack meltaguns, one made from a Warpflame Gargoyle, so I’ll have to be sure to differentiate it from my sonic weaponry even though you can’t put a Noise Marine on a bike.
- 1 Daemon Prince- Do you remember the Ghastly Grinner (credit to that random dude for the art) from Are You Afraid of the Dark? Always thought his name was the Giggler, but either way he’s been a thoroughly enduring image since my childhood. That’s what was in the back of my mind when I started on this guy, though I went purple and yellow instead of using blue. As I mentioned above, I built him a three-pronged Lash of Despair out of greenstuff and screamer tails, which is erupting from the top of one of his bracers. He’s also packing a quartet of wings as the result of a happy accident where I lost the ones that came with the actual kit. Instead, he’s using 4 from the vargheist box. I’ve done up his armor and the plated spikes along his spine with ushabti bone, while the flesh is a mix of Averland Sunset and Yriel yellow and the purple (used on his horns/claws) is a blend of Naggaroth Night and Macragge Blue. I think I’ll go over the armor with a silvery blue mix, and then paint eyes and other patterns onto his wings, like a moth, in the same purple as his horns.
- 1 Keeper of Secrets: Tlazolteotl is a goddess of filth, prostitution, adultery, and…secrets. Couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried! While I far from love the Keeper model, painting it in colors inspired by some art I’ve found of her definitely makes it pop. That’s a mix of greens, purples, and reds, with the flesh and most of the clothing being green, while the clawed limbs and other hard bits have the purple. Now that I’ve given her a wash with Drakenhof Nightshade, I’m going to go over all the ridgey stripes with a really, really bright yellow so that it pops against all the darker colors. Not sure what to do with the sword, though…I think it’s a pretty shitty sword.
- 5…Just kidding, I think I’m actually done!
That was…wow, that was a far more involved process than I expected, and took considerably longer than I could have imagined. I’ve spent my entire day listing that stuff out, which gives further credence to my earlier claim that I become grublike in my wife’s absence. I’ve a sneaking suspicion that I left something, perhaps even a few things, off the list but it sure feels comprehensive enough. Now that the typing’s done, and this sequel to Starship Troopers that I’m accidentally watching (I’d link it but I genuinely don’t know what it is, since I thought I was just watching Starship Troopers, but it has the blonde from Nip/Tuck in it) is done–along with the season of Batman: Beyond and a couple other episodes of things–I think I’m just about ready to dizzy myself with glue fumes and set to work!