Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ultramarine movie in the works

It seems a Space Marine movie is in the works according to The Movie Blog. Codex Pictures, the studio that brought Bionicle to animated life, plans to do the same for popular tabletop game Warhammer 40,000. Computer-animated Space Marines and Orks will do battle in their own DVD movie, Ultramarines.

News of the production of a movie was unveiled at UK Games Day, the biggest event in the Games Workshop calendar, on Sunday, September 27 2009.
Follow the progress of Ultramarines at
Besides rumours to this being a straight to DVD movie, there are also rumors that it's going to be CGI only movie, like the FF series or the latest Resident Evil movie.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blood Bowl

No painting this week and I blame the release of Blood Bowl (for Windows) for the this. This game is very addictive. I predict the next week and the week after the next are going to be spent playing Bloodbowl and not painting. Anyway, since I am doing a bit of research on Blood Bowl articles, and a couple of friends are interested in those too, I thought I should make a list of them and post them here, so others can browse them as well.

Living Rulebook 5 edition (pdf)
Living Rulebook Proposed 6 edition (pdf) (I think this is used by Cyanide's PC version)
Lot's of strategies (general and race specific)
Blocking Techniques (The art of blocking pdf)
A plethora of Playbooks for all teams

For those that don't want to pay 50 euros for a game, you can try the free java version of Blood Bowl over at FUMBBL.

I also played my first two private league matches. It was serious fun. The risk of losing my players that I had just leveled tremendously added to the excitment. The league is a greek one called GBBL (Greek Blood Bowl League) and we are constantly looking for more members. Join up if you are interested. Password is 'gr'.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ooh, some many computer game releases and news, so little time to paint.

Following the announcement of MechWarrior reboot (see previous blog post) which got me excited, I decided to buy the Blood Bowl PC game too. I had never played Blood Bowl before, but I always was interested in it.

It's really awesome, albeit a bit pricey at 50 euros for a digital download (I could also buy the DVD version, but I couldn't be bothered to visit the local mall). As I see it, the solo campaign is pretty OK, but the game really shines in Mutliplayer mode. You got an option for RTS mode and Turn based. I love turn based games, so that's what I prefer. The rules are very loyal to the current version of Blood Bowl (Living Rulebook 5th edition).

If you are interested in playing a few games with me, my coach name is 'plutonick'. I am also fervertly looking for more Greek players, and perhaps I might get a Greek league started!

Friday, July 10, 2009

New MechWarrior videogame in the works, and other news

This week has been pretty exciting for me and every Warhammer fan. More Spacehulk news surfaced, Planetstrike released, Warhammer Invasion card game announced. But I think BattleTech fans were the winners.

You see there hasn't been a BattleTech/MechWarrior game for 7 years. Last one released was MW4:Mercenaries in 2002. After then, development of a new game by MicroSoft was in development hell, and then abandoned altogether. Now, seven years later, their prayers have been answered. A MechWarrior reboot is currently in production at Smith and Tinker (current holder of MicroSoft/FASA Mechwarrior IP) and Piranha games. Yes, that's right, reboot. Instead of this game becoming MechWarrior 5, the developers have decided to completely re-launch the entire franchise, calling this new title MechWarrior.

Also in honor of BattleTech's 25th anniversary, Smith & Tinker has authorized and MekTek Studios to distribute MechWarrior 4 (along with its expansion packs) completely free.

Me, I am starting saving for a new PC and planning my annual leave accordingly.

More info and videos here: IGN

Friday, June 26, 2009

Conversion: Space Marine Bike to Chopper, part 3 (WIP)

Part 1
Part 2

Progress so far. I glued the Space Marine together, then glued the Space Marine to the fork, but did not glue the Space Marine nor the fork to the bike since I need figure out how to add the armour plate with the headlight to the fork. Also, I need to decide where to put the bolter. Either on the front wheel, on the fork or next to the exhaust pipes.

I didn't like how the original feet-holders (dunno how they are called) looked on the chopper bike. They are ok on the original bike, but look to blocky on a chopper. So I cut it out a bit and made it slimmer.

I am getting used to the extremely long fork and general look. Below are some pictures of the model so far, starting with a picture with extreme perspective (fits the general tone).

This is an picture angled so you can see the cockpit. I am kinda proud of how it turned out, considering I started painting models a month ago.

I am really getting obsessed with Space Marine converted bikes. I did some researching and found some truly inspiring pictures. The one I singled out was by Santa Cruz Warhammer (thanks for posting your comment!). I like how the fork is almost parallel to the ground. Reminds me of some anime/manga bikes (Akira?). I will definately try this on my next model.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Conversion: Space Marine Chopper bike - part 2

Here is part 1

I did some progress yesterday.

As seen from the first picture, I inserted a wedge below the fork. The wedge was made by cutting the frame of a sprue. Also, I created suspensions and rivets using and sculpting glue.

Finally tried painting the cockpit on the sprue.

Now, I am trying to decide where to glue the 'fog-light and armor' piece. I might not use this after all. Also the bolters are a bit tricky to place. I might place then on the left and right of the front wheel.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

SM Chopper Biker: Is this ridiculous, awesome, or both?

I like extremities, so I started modifying my SM bikers to look like Chopper riders. I went for an extreme look, that looks both awesome and ridiculous. Before going on to convert the rest of the squad I would like to hear your thoughts.

I still need to cut of the steering axl so the angle of the main body will be corrected.

Researching for AoBR Space Marines conversion

Lately I have been thinking how to convert the space marines included in my second set of Assault on Black Reach. Since I don't have that many models besides my first AoBR set (just a Pred, Rhino, Sternguards and some scouts), I have been told by other, more experienced w40k players, that I need some kind of assault troops. Also, AoBR terminators are rather weak compared to the stand alone set.

What I have concluded is that I need to do the following:
1. Buy the Assault Terminator squad and use the spare arms (Thunderhammer or Lightning claws) to replace the AoBR terminators' arms.
2. Buy some Tactical Marines in order to include some plasma equiped soldiers (or find a way to convert an AoBR marine to carry plasma)
3. Somehow convert the Dreadnaught to add some firepower on his left hand.

I did some reasearch on the net and found some nice links. I will post them here in order to have them all in one place for quick reference and also perhaps help others looking for similar resources.

Mainly cosmetic conversions on AoBR dreadnaught, without changing anything but their looks.
AoBR Tacticals to Sternguard
AoBR Terminators to Assault Terminators
AoBR Terminators to Assault Terminators #2
AoBR Captain conversion
AoBR Dreadnaught plasma cannon conversions
AoBR Dreadnaught plasma cannon conversion #2

Also, there are numerous sites/blogs about how to convert SM to CSM, or how to convert the Ork minis, but I was not interested in then at the time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Some W40k inspired sketches/doodles. No painting.

I have slowed down painting the last 2 weeks and debating with myself if I should buy a Space Marine Battleforce and a Heavy Support Squad,
However, I did take some pretty bad photos of some pretty bad doodles I did while at work. I am reading Starship Troopers currently, playing a lot of MegaMek (BattleTech java) and reading stuff about W40k, so I guess I was influenced by all those things. They are basically some dreadnought/battletech robots, something similar to a Space Marine and Hitler in Power Armor.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First attempt at blending, lighting and painting faces (AoBR - Terminator sergeant)

I have been trying to finish painting my AoBR space marines since I got the starter. This being my first Warhammer 40k purchase and my first attempt at painting I have been struggling finding motivation to paint, time from other hobbies (I blame MekWars - an online BattleTech Java campaign, and Facebook which is a huge timesink) and also the problem that as a beginner in painting, I kinda hate my painted minituaers due to low quality.

Anyway, thanks to Gareth and to the FTW blogring, I found the motivation to go on. Here is a previous post about my progress on AoBR terminators. This is a picture of further progress.

As you can see, I painted glowing eyes on terminators after reading a few tutorials on jeweling, and also finished the first layer on the on the sculted insignias (using Valejo's Wolf Grey). I also did a layer of Valejo's boltgun metal on the weapons and Terminator's cables/tubes.

I spent a considerable more time trying to paint the face of the sergeant. After reading various tutorials on how to paint faces (especialy this) and loading a few pictures on my PC of that very same model (thanks Gareth again), I tried to paint my first face.

What I did was paint the whole head Parasite Brown (Valejo's), then wash it with Beasty Brown, and highlight forehead, cheekbones, chin, nose and lips with a 1/1 mix of Parasite Brown and Elf Skin tones (all my paints so far are Valejo paints). I did a further very thin highlight of bleached bone. The short hair and freshly shaved beard was done with a mix of stonewall grey and elf skin tone.

Then I tried to do the power weapon. My main inspiration (I actually completely copied the color scheme was from The Painting Corps. I painted the blade black and tried doing the blending technique. I applied a very watered down Bloody Red on the tip of the sword and tried to blend it down to the hilt of the sword blending it with black. I used a lot of water. In fact applied a layer of just water to the blade so the color would flow more easily.

Afterwards I tried to apply some electric sparks. I painted straight lines of red, and then on top of those lines I painted gradually thiner lines, using a lighter version of that red color. Somehow I need to make the lines a lot thinner, however the look thinner in reality, the photo tends to magnify the whole thing (and it also makes mistakes a lot more evident)


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tabletop Gaming News is up again.

After reading about TGN's problems and fearing that the site would be shut down, now it's report some god news. It seems the problems that TGN was facing were finally solved, the site is up and running with the usual gaming and miniature news!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

'Roll to wound' makes no sense to me.

I am reading Warhammer 40k rules for the first time, and I am having some trouble getting into their mentality. Especially their 'shooting' rules. My only other tabletop wargame that I have played (and loved) was BattleTech, so when I am reading WH40K rules, it's inevitable that I will end up comparing them, or trying to understand them using BattleTech as an example.

In BattleTech, shooting, wounding and armour saves is just one roll. In fact, there is no save at all. It's either hit or miss. If you hit the enemy, the enemy takes a set amount of damage points. There is a random element as to which part of the Mech is hit exactly, but that is a different story.

In Warhammer, first you have to roll to check if you hit the target. Then there is the roll to wound where you check if you wounded the model, and then there is the roll to check if you can avoid damage due to armour saves. I am having problems understanding the 'roll to wound'.

If the enemy has successfuly targeted and hit your IG soldier, then how is it possible NOT to wound him? The rulebook says that it might be a flesh wound, but if that is the case, wouldn't a flesh wound still be a wound?

I am sure there is a rational explanation regarding 'roll to wound', and I would like to hear.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

AoBR Ultramarines Terminators

Hello everyone. I am at my summer house at Loutraki here in Greece and manage to convince the wife to let me bring my painting supplies here. So, it's sun bathing in the morning and painting in the evening.

If you have been following my blog, you would know that I am rather new to this hobby, so any comments/criticisms are welcome!

First of all, a picture from Loutraki. Any picture from Loutraki is going to be better than any other picture of my Terminators.

Unfortunately I had already painted and highlighted a Termie. It's the one that's based. That particular one is actually from the White Dwarf issue that came with an AoBR Termie and Ork (That's why there is one extra terminator). So until I got the AoBR set, I had time to paint it. This being my very first 40k mini I painted, it's very crude.

The second termie from the left is actually basecoated black and then painted a darker shade of blue. I think it was regal blue. I had no idea it was so dark and then decided to basecoat the rest of the terminators ultramarine blue. I will have to basecoat the darker Ultramarine again and hope that the second basecoat will not hide any detail.

Just in case anyone is interested, the colors I used are the following
1. Primed the figures black with an Italery spray (I am very cheap and I refuse to use GW paints)
2. Basecoat with Vallejo's Ultramarine Blue (except that dark terminator that was undercoat with Andrea color's blue.
3. Helmet and eagle symbol were painted Wolf Grey (Vallejo) and then highlighted with White from Andrea colors.

I am not really sure what color to paint the terminator's eyes. It's either black, or red (using the jeweling technique which I think I can manage). Another area that buffles me is that gun. Do I paint the barrel with a metalic color and the rest of the gun black with dark grey highlights? I have seen some pictures where the gun is painted with bright red or yellow colors, but somehow this make the boltgun look plastic and kinda unrealistic. I suppose this was an older version of the ultramarine paint scheme.

If I learned anything from my first attempted at painting this squad is that basing greatly improves the overall look of even a mediocre painted mini.

I still have trouble finding the optimal amount of water to add in my paint. Sometimes it's too thick and the rest of the times it's almost transparent. I think it's way better if the paint is transparent. Some times I can do cool stuff, like blending two colors and having a 'fade efffect'. Also any damage done can be repaired easily.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tabletop Gaming News site up for sale.

Sad news indeed, but it seems that Tabletop Gaming News, a wargaming site that I have been visiting frequently, is up for sale. The reason is increased costs and less time for Zac to devote to his site.

On a related note, which other wargaming or 40k specific news site are you visiting?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How magnetizing a Predator almost got me killed. It might be funny but it’s no joke!

Two years ago in my attempt to imitate the Space Marines, in terms of having improved genetic internal organs, I had a heart valve surgery with an artificial one that contains metallic parts. Emphasis on metallic. Yeah, I am kidding. I was not trying to be a Space Marine, but I did have such an operation since my original valve was not performing it’s best.

A few days ago, I decided to glue and paint my Predator. I read a nice article how I could magnetise it and be able to convert it to a Rhino, and then to a Predator. Also, I would be able to switch weapons and not have to stick with a single combination. So, I order some neodymium rare-earth magnets from Maelstrom . These guys never cease to amaze me when mail delivery speed is concerned. Three days later I had the magnets in my mail and I started fooling around with them. I have never used neodymium magnets before and I just couldn’t believe how strong they were. I glued some of them on the predator, and put the rest in my t-shirt’s breast pocket. When it’s quiet I can always hear a clock’s ticking sound from my valve and it wasn’t long before I realized that the ticking was out of sync and bit delayed. It turned out that the magnets were magnetizing the valve and were affecting the blood flow. I put them away immediately, and then I had an awkward moment of inner understanding, not much unlike how Superman felt when he realized that consequences of being close to kryptonite.

The predator is turning out beautifully though.

Because I am cheap, instead of using a second magnet on the doors, I used a metalic paper clip.

Painting the interrior of the Rhino was a bit challenging especially trying to create the monitor effect, since I am rather new at painting. I still need a bit more practice on the jeweling technique.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My journey to Warhammer 40k started with BattleTech

I got involved with Warhammer 40k because of BattleTech. Some 10 years ago, while studying abroad (in UK), a roommate of mine showed my his new PC copy of MechWarrior 2. I didn’t really like the graphics, they were too blocky, but I liked the concept of huge robots piloted by humans duking it out in the far future. I also liked the intro movie, which was outstanding for its time. I didn’t really pay any more attention to that game for some time. Also, there was a Games Workshop store near my university (Uni. Of Essex Colchester). I had a shallow roleplaying background at the time, and although the display of warhammer miniatures was exciting, the various codexes and rulebooks and different armies was way too confusing to me.

Some years later, I am back in Greece, having just bought a new PC. I think it was a pentium 486 one, and had an extra card to handle 3d (Diamond Monster-something, I am at work now and I don’t have net access to research it more). That card was bundled with a version Mechwarrior 2 optimised for that specific card. I gave the game a second chance and was hooked. It seems actually playing a game as opposed to just watching other people playing it, is a whole different experience. I was (and still am) more of a turn based strategy gamer though, so I got MechCommander when it was released too. Then it was MechCommander 2, and after that I was on a quest to find similar themed movies. Alas, there were very little such movies to be found, besides some mediocre ones, such as Robot Jox 1 and 2 (I hoped that the recent success of Transformers would change this, but so far, we only got Transformers 2. I am still hoping however).

I tried to get into Mechwarrior: Dark Ages miniature game (that clix game) but I couldn’t find greek players and after being burned with Magic: The Gathering, I disliked the ‘collectible’ aspect almost immediately. However, Mechwarrior: Dark Ages directed my attention to Classic Battletech . I got the Introductory Boxset, a few metal minis and paints. Then, I got the main rule book (Total Warfare). Unfortunately, as was the case with Mechwarrior: Dark Ages, I couldn’t find any players in my area, or anywhere in Greece for that matter. However I didn’t regret buying all that stuff, because the setting, the artwork and the minis are amazing especially if you are into giant piloted robots. The rules are very clear and straight to the point. The only disadvantage is that the games can drag a lot, especially it there are a lot of Mechs in the gameboard.

However, I found an online community that were using a Java version of the system, almost like Vassal 40k, but in my opinion a lot more advanced, and got a few games under my belt. I still play there occasionally ( ). Much as I liked being able to finally play a wargame I liked online, I longed to play a war-game in the ‘real world’, face to face with my opponent. So, while searching for greek Battletech players, and finding none, I also found out that Warhammer was pretty popular in Greece (by greek standards that is). More people seem to prefer Warhammer fantasy than Warhammer 40k, but I got bored of fantasy settings after reading so many fantasy books, playing a couple of fantasy RPGs and watching all those Lord of the Rings movies so many times, so I decided to invest in Warhammer 40k.

When Assault on Black Reach was released I ordered one from Maelstrom . I debated with myself buying it from Greece in order to support the local Warhammer shops, but seeing how they were selling it at a price two times of what I would pay to Maelstrom I decided to support my self instead. So I ordered the set at October 2008. It’s almost June 2009 and I still haven’t finished painting the Space Marines, let alone play a game. However I didn’t stop buying Warhammer stuff. I got another AoBR set (still sealed), a Predator (that I almost finished magnetizing), a Rhino (still sealed), A Sternguard squad (primed), Scouts with snipers (primed), and a marine on a bike (which I bought just because I am a fan of Judge Dredd and I liked the model). I also got a lot of Vallejo paints (I refuse to pay double the price for GW paints), a lot of brushes and some other random stuff. I still haven’t got the hardback rulebook, but I am trying to finish reading the small rulebook that was included in the AoBR set. I also got a Black Library book, the Caiphas Cain – Hero of the imperium, so I would get a feel for the setting. Oh, and some poor bloke, made a birthday gift of Tau devilfish and firewarrior to me, which ended up being useless to me since I am playing Space Marines. For some reason nobody seems to want to trade for it.

I still haven’t played a game of Warhammer 40k with anyone, I haven’t read the rules, and I wanted my first game to be with a fully painted squad, but things are going so slow. I am also reluctant to go to a WH40k club and play with someone experienced. I wouldn’t want to force them to explain to me all the rules I missed. My friend, fellow blogger Silevad, got AoBR so all I have to do in order to play a WH40K battle, is to convince him to finally glue all those models.

I am having a blast reading Greek warhammer forums which are full of DRAMA. Ever since my World of Warcraft days, I got addicted to drama! It’s very funny, seeing how Greece has only 30-40 Warhammer players, but almost 6 warhammer community/local club pages instead of a large one. And these pages are constantly getting divided and split into more… but more on that on another blog entry.

Monday, May 25, 2009

First post and an introduction

Hello everyone, my nickname is PlutoNick. I am from Greece, Athens (that’s also my official excuse for any weird syntax or grammar errors or even the occasional Souvlaki reference). I am 33 years old and this is my first blog, ever.

Recently (well, one year ago) I got interested in Warhammer 40k and decided to take the plunge and invest in a Space Marine army as my first WH40k army. That was an idea I was courting with since my college years. I had already decided to buy the Assault on Black Reach starter set, so it was either a Space Marines or an Orks Army. I chose Space Marines since they are both easy to play and easy to paint. Also, you need less models to make an army, in comparison to other factions, which means less money to spent.

While researching some painting guides on the net, I came across a couple of very interesting blogs and I thought it would be nice to make a journal of my journey into the rich world that Games Workshop has created. I am planning on writing about and documenting my first warhammer 40k painting attempts, discussing my mistakes and hopefully learning from them, talking about 40k wargaming/tactical elements (although this will be postponed until I manage to finish my first army - ultramarines), and also talking about the Greek Wargaming Scene, and by Greek Wargaming Scene I am referring to the approximately 20-30 people that play Warhammer Fantasy (and 40k to a lesser extend). Yeah, it’s going to be a riot.

More posts after I finish setting about this blog page.