Thursday, 28 February 2013

Beard Bunker Campaign Week

Greetings shipmates, I've been away for a while (back to work Monday-ish). If anyone is curious what I've been up to, or who these people are:

or indeed where this is and why we care:

Then head over to the Beard Bunker where we are finally starting to post the early stages of our campaign opener event!


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Nerd Thunder IV - The Guns of Nuvverork

Greetings shipmates! Well, it is that time again. Pirate Viking Painting has joined forces with the Beard Bunker and made the perilous trek all the way to the frigid wastes of Nottinghamshire to partake in battle of epic proportions. To add to the blog confluence even James and Sophie of Battles & Biscuits dropped by. But we know why we are really here, to show some pics of 8000 points of Orks facing four 2000 point armies of Space Marines over a 12'x6' table full of lovely scenery!

The lovely Tau table was our focus for this year's efforts. The large buildings made for excellent objectives.
Setting the battle roughly around the War of Dakka the Orks had made their own modifications too...
Warhammer World's scenery meisters are genuinely inspirational
The Junktown scenery was brought from the Beard Bunker specially.
Mark's Kill Tank rumbling out of the Mek's Workshop
Speed Freaks roar onto the table.
THIS is how Blood Angels deploy... FROM ORBIT
Ork forces mass around the workshop
"Eyup twinkle toes" two dreadnoughts tag team the Orks in the centre.
The Raven Guard desperately try to demolish the Tau railguns being targetted on the flyers.
This is your shokk attack gun and lootas
This is your shokk attack gun and lootas on double 1's...
Things look pretty good right now, unfortunately, things weren't going to stay that way.
The scouts are still trying to demolish those bunkers.

Deathskull lootas colonising the Tau command building.
My dreadnoughts suddenly have a slightly sick feeling
The grots are... largely inconsequential actually.
Noticing impending peril the Ravenwing roar in.
The Furioso pops a warboss like a grape and the regular dread desperately fights off the Deff Dreads.
Sneaky little Dark Angels in the forests.
Less sneaky Dark Angels...
The Space Wolves advance under the watchful eyes of the Long Fangs.
Assault Squads arrive and... scatter badly.
Crank up Ride of the Valkyries, the air support is here!
The war for the centre power station is getting hot.
Ragnar Blackmane and his tactical dreadnought cronies charge in
By this point there aren't many Blood Angels left, in fact there is Lemartes and two Death Company
You've never seen a man happier than when Phil Stutcinskas likes Mark's Orks.
Deathwing reinforcements teleport in.
The Nephilim was ace, zooming around and wrecking Ork vehicles days.
This mosh went on for a while...
Walkers stalk the Dark Angels.
The table as of the end of turn 3.
Charlie and Maisey try to win the battle by poking.
Dark Angels draw a bead on the impending walker-geddon.
Raven Guard dreadnought tries desperately to smack a Kill Tank.
What happens when two assault marine units smack a large ork unit.

The Lootas survey the battlefield.
Like Hamlet the stage is strewn with corpses at the end.
Well, fun was had! The battle ended in a hard fought draw with all my Blood Angels killed except Lemartes! Charlie is going to do a more thorough write up on the Beard Bunker soon but I felt we should see pretty pictures as soon as possible!


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Sonic Dreadnought

Hello to one and all. Today we have probably the loudest vehicle in all the multiverse:

An Emperor's Children Sonic Dreadnought! This badass lump of resin is a complete kit from Forgeworld (and haven't we seen a lot of them lately?) that I've painted for the same client that commisioned the purple chaos marines we've been seeing on the blog lately. For those who might be unfamiliar with the lore concerning these things, some of Slaanesh's chaos marines are so plumbed in to sensation that they modify their senses to perceive everything in terms of art and music. To them a sunset and the screams of the dying are the same. To further enhance this experiance they use musical weapons that use harmonics and resonant frequencies to burst and shatter their victims while adding to the music of battle that they are addicted to. This thing is a Noise Marine champion interred in the walking life support mechanism of a dreadnought but still attacking with his favourite weapon:

from the excellent Order of the Stick.
Following some painful painting experiances recently I decided to paint the gold first. Normally "inside out" sums up most of my proceedure decisions but the liquid gold is easier to apply in broad strokes. I then washed the Liquid Old Gold with Agrax Earthshade and got to cutting in the purple.

Just like the others gloss black weapons give a classy contrast to the rich purple and golds and the green gem spot colours provide a bit of visual interest. I resisted painting the Twiddly Bits that have featured on the other models in this commission because it is already a very, very busy figure. The clean purple plates are some of the only relief that the eye gets!

To try and reduce the "toy-like" appearance of such a bold model I rusted up the exhaust pipes (always cheap metal) and added plenty of oil around the joints and pistons. This created a really nice contrast between the grungy workings and the gleaming armour plates. The rusting was done with a new product for me: AK Interactives Rust Streaks. This is an enamel paint that means that you can mess about with it using white spirit that won't hurt the acrylics. In this case I just thinned it down and glazed it over the pipes and exhaust vents. It is translucent and created a lovely rusty not rusted look.

For the base I just used lumps of cork rubble, modelling sand and a few Secret Weapon bricks (I won some Secret Weapon stuff in a contest recently so picked up some of the bricks and the snow I used on santa). To my mind the bricks are a little thin but they help make the dreadnought look bigger so that works. The heap of tanks that I showed you in an earlier post are underway and will be finished over the next couple of weeks. Not next week though because Pirate Viking Painting is going TO WAR!

You might remember last year that I went off to the Beard Bunker in Oxford for a paintathon? Well, I'm going back for the campaign week this time! I'm just 21 half painted Dwarfs from a 3000 point horde of the little dudes and I intend to do some grudge filled harm. To top it off, the week of awesome begins tomorrow with our - sort of - annual pilgrimage up to GW HQ in Nottingham for the mad apocalypse events that we call Nerd Thunder! This time it is four 1st founding Space Marine armies facing off against a huge Ork horde in Nerd Thunder IV: Guns of Nuvverork! Pictures will, of course, be up here and on the Beard Bunker for all to enjoy. As this is one of my holiday weeks there will of course be not a whole bunch of progress on current projects but come March we will see the second titan stride forth and a host of purple tanks try to avoid his feet! See you soon folks.


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Citadel Paints: A more measured review

Hello and huzzah shipmates. Well, it has almost been a year since the new line of Citadel paints came out. I did a first impressions review way back in August of last year, but having used them extensively now I think I have honed in on what works and what doesn't about the new range along with a few suggestions to fix what doesn't work. I usually think The Good, The Bad and The Ugly when I am doing reviews, in this case I am also adding The Indispensable as there are some of the new paints that I just wouldn't be without. So without further ado...

The Good: By and large almost all of the new paints fit into this catagory, if you don't see one mentioned then it probably belongs here. Weirdly, one of the things I grumbled about in the last review - the demise of desaturated foundation paints - has actually helped me become a better painter. It kicked away the drab crutches and forced me to use brighter, more vibrant schemes. This was a win. The browns certainly belong in here, there are now lots of nice, versatile brown shades to choose from and there isn't one that I haven't found a use for yet. Including two different vibrant turquoises and a solid pink is also a sterling effort as these colours are evil to mix (Pink? Really? Yep, just try mixing a "hot" pink). I'm also liking the two bone tones (heh heh) which make highlighting bone a fast task rather than another mixing stage. I'm also a fan of the new washes. Yes, I know Nuln Oil is not a pure black wash but it is rare that we really want one. I just use black ink if I need really black washes. So all in all, the vast majority of the range ends up here. Unfortunately...

The Bad: These aren't dreadful paints, there's just something a little wrong with them and that is why I have placed them in the Bad rather than the Ugly. One of my most immediate gripes is with some of the metallics. Three of them - Runelord Brass, Sycorax Bronze and Hashut Copper - are excellent and come with my recommendation. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the steel and gold shades. Ah, it's not like we use them often though right? The problems with both are coverage. The gold needs all five stages to be painted in sequence in order to look right. FIVE stage gold on EVERYTHING? Every finger ring, every bracelet? Forget it. I needed a one coat gold that would just do the job. I found it in Vallejo Liquid Metal paints. Yes they are a bit of a pain to use and clean (you need Isopropyl Alcohol - useful stuff) but with one coat they create a solid, lustrous gold that can't be beaten. They take shading washes nicely too. The steel - I am reliably informed by Andy of Lair of the Brevicks - would be better served by Army Painter Plate Mail Metal and Gunmetal. I'll give it a go. Getting very fed up of having to do two basecoats for steel.

Another mild gripe is the greens, this may seem wierd but stick with me. The new range has some lovely blue greens and some pleasant yellow greens but no solid mid-tone green like the old Snot Green. I suspect this is because you are supposed to use Waywatcher Green glaze to rebalance a scheme but I prefer to start with the right colour. Not finangle it at the end. But then I used to live and die with just Knarloc and Snot Green so the extra variety isn't all bad.

Oddly a staple colour is in this list too: Abbaddon Black, I do not know what they have done to it but they have killed it's coverage. Citadel Black does not cover in one coat. I am bemused. I've switched over to Vallejo Black. The last entry for this part is the texture paints. These used to be in the Ugly but I have found a solid use for them. They really are excellent at texturing movement trays and similar. They still remain Bad as they are - in my opinion - useless for texturing bases, but I haven't found a faster way of getting texture onto trays.

The Ugly: Urg. These are paints - mercifully few - that I can find neither use nor unintended purpose for. Seriously, these are the ones I roll my eyes at. Lets start with a horrible metallic: Screaming Bell. What the hell is this for? It does not mix well with itself, refuses to smooth out into anything other than a curdled mess and even after minutes of shaking resolves itself only into a vague metallic red-orange. It's layer partner Brass Scorpion is not much better. I can think of no situation in which I would want to use this colour and I'm an imaginative guy.

Next, the Dry Pigments. Initially I quite liked the idea of these but in practice they are just annoying. Once you get past the top layer they are tough to actually get onto the brush in quantity and can only be used for drybrushing. This means that the lightest colours in the range cannot be used normally without carefully reconsituting them with water and thinner. I no longer see the point. You can drybrush with normal paints! All making them "Dry Pigments" does is restrict their usefullness. I got excited when the edge paint kit came out as this seemed to be the answer to this problem but they hadn't made all of them! Why? In god's name why? Please, if anyone from Citadel is reading this: Keep the Dry Pigments, I'm sure someone gives a damn about them, but release those colours as normal paints as well. Do it through the website, don't worry about space in shop racks. Just do it.

EDIT: OH MY GOD THEY DID IT! The edge pigments are available as individual pots. Screw it, I'm claiming credit ;)

The Indispensable: Luckily though there is another side to the Ugly coin, some paints that I would not be without these days. Let me introduce you to them:

The Flesh Tones: With the exception of Ratskin Flesh I have loved each and every one of these. The new flesh tones are godlike and create some lovely looking skin. Especial mention must go to Rakarth Flesh and it's attendent Pallid Wyche Flesh. Every pale flesh GW have ever brought out has been nasty, either pink or chalky. This stuff is the absolute Daddy. By changing which wash you use you can either make it vital but pale or dead and drawn. It is also a brilliant highlight for woodwork over Steel Legion Drab (the new more vibrant Khemri Brown which I also love) and an Agrax Earthshade wash.

Ceramite White: A one coat white. That is all. If you have ever tried to paint white you need no more explanation than that.

The Yellows: Again, superb, nice coverage at the darker end of the spectrum and with the yellow glaze and wash there is no risk of chalky highlights or insipid shadows. Love 'em.

Thunderhawk Blue: A lovely delicate colour that perfectly highlights black.

So there you have it. Hopefully you got from that the impression that the Citadel range is 80% good, with about 15% not very good. The remainder are either excellent or horrible. I suspect that the ratio would be similar across other paint ranges too. Increasingly these days I use whatever paint works to get my effect. We've never had it so good. The various ranges out there should cater for whatever paint colour or effect you need. It's just nice to know that the old reliable citadel paints that I started with are still mostly a solid range. Just for gods sake avoid the Bad and the Ugly.