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.