Monday, June 29, 2009

Chaos Bikers

I'm thinking of entering the 'Ard Boys tourney locally, just for the heck of it. Because I know I don't have enough killer instinct to win. I gave up being overly competitive years go. So my plan is to bring at least a 3 color painted and based 2500 point Chaos marine army. So here will be a push to get a bunch of my remaining Chaos minis painted. First up will be my converted Chaos bikers. There are 6 of them in total including two with meltaguns.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Space Wolf Ven Dread update

Here is the long overdue update on the Ven Dread. If you go back and look at the test model I did for my new Space Wolves army in the Space Wolves revisited post you'll notice I was trying out striped highlighting. It looked pretty good on the marines, but looked awful on the Dread and I imagine would have looked equally bad on my tanks. I have abandoned this style as is apparent on the latest Grey Hunter.

So the Ven dread has recovered fro his stripey syndrome and is now on track to be finished in the next few days.

I have decided to vary the colors of the wolf pelts throughout the Space Wolves army; including black, grey, brown and white fur.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Advanced 40k

I’ve been digging through my Second ed 40k stuff as one of my buddies just moved back into the area. He hasn’t played since then and really likes the depth of 2nd ed over 5th. We were talking it over and he’d be willing to play 5th if we added some extra flavour back into it.

A large part of the reason I am considering doing an advanced 5th is the desire to use the current codices. Most of them are much more balanced and have new units than the 2nd ed books. Plus I don't wanna do complete rewrites for the Necrons, Dark Eldar and (damned) Tau.

Since I’m going to be working on it anyway I figured I bring it to the attention of my readers here at Galaxy in Flames and see what you guys thought of the idea.

Is there any interest out there for an advanced version of 40K?

I'll be melding the best parts of 2nd ed with 5th ed to make a more robust 40K. Adding in things like arcs of fire for infantry, throwing grenades, vehicles hit locations and damage charts, to hit modifiers from 2nd. Keeping the assault phase, weapons AP system and the balance of 5th not affected by the second ed additions.

The close combat and psychic phases were by far the worst parts of 2nd ed and must go. IMHO

I am also tossing around some ideas for keeping overwatch, but limiting it to support units like heavy weapons squads. Then adding something similar to the defensive fire rule from Flames of War; this would let the defender shoot as they are being assaulted for non-support units; this added to limited fire arcs will make flanking in assaults a viable tactic.

The main goal I'm after is to add tactical depth back into 40K without making it overcomplicated. I'd still like to keep the average 1500-2000 point game around 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

So would you guys be interested in me posting something like this up here and maybe helping out with some playtesting?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Warhammer 40k the Orwellian Angle

This will be a series of periodic looks at the 40k universe from an Orwellian perspective. Who doesn't love a good conspiracy!

The background of the 40k universe has constantly changed and evolved for just over 20 years. Every bit of background/fluff was completely official at the time it was published. So what makes the current version more important than the original version?

The problem with the background/fluff is that it is very subjective about what is considered cannon and what isn’t. There is a lot of conjecture over the Black Library fluff, is cannon or not?

What we do know is that the whole history of 40k has been written, re-imaged and rewritten again. It can be very frustrating and hard to keep track of.

Sometimes there is a complete change in the fluff, like entire races that had existed just disappear from the universe.

There are many views held by us, the 40k enthusiasts. I relate them to the Inquisitorial factions, there are many shades in between the two and many viewpoints exist within even these categories.

Puritan: These people see the most recent fluff is correct. They view it as the only truth, all the other background is superseded by this. They acknowledge that GW has complete control and direction of the fluff.

Radical (this is the Orwellian view.): These people see the fluff like real life history filled with opinion, bias and propaganda built upon throughout the years. Rather than seeing the most recent fluff as cannon above and beyond previous sources, you develop theories as to why the story was changed. They see that the majority of the fluff comes from the Imperial viewpoint and thus would be subject to distortion.

I prefer a Radical view of the background for 40K it gives great depth to the universe and makes it feel more real and gritty. I think the old adage “the victor writes the history” fits in nicely here.

The first Radical view I’d like to bring up is the shadow cast around the founding of the Ultramarines. This is part one; I’ll finish this up next week.

In WD 97 the Ultramarines were introduced to 40k as a third founding chapter. Their Primarch Guilliman was a great Imperial Guard commander, he was chosen as the leader of the chapter.

Here is the text bout their founding from WD 97:
Chapter Ultra-marine of the Legiones Astartes was founding during the inter-legionary wars of the thirty-second millennium. Tradition places the date at 4001001.M32 - the very first day of the millennium. The chapter is therefore over eight thousand years old, making it a chapter of the third founding. Upon its inception, the Emperor gave the chapter the number 13 - formerly the number of one of the traitor legions now banished to the Eye of Terror 'without number and name with all honors erased'
As we know this was later changed and they are now listed as a first founding chapter.

What if it was true that the Ultramarines were a third founding chapter and Guilliman was a really great Imperial Guard Commander? Would it be so hard to understand why many of the original legions initially refused to follow High Lords of Terra recommendations? We now have the Horus Heresy Books that confirm this tension. Would it not make sense for the High Lords to create a Puppet that would promote and enforce their mandates? It makes a lot more sense when you look at the reactions of the real loyalist Legions.

Many of the Primarchs were very opposed to the splitting of their legions? Let’s take a look at the Crimson Fists who were originally a first founding legion and their brothers in the Imperial Fists. In the current fluff one begat the other, what if great treachery on the part of the High Lord forced them to hide the truth.

The Imperial Fists are attempting to destroy the Fortress of Pain. The situation is a complete stalemate with both sides suffering from huge casualties. The Crimson Fists some distance away the fighting on the Eastern Fringe. The two most vocal opponents are separated the High Lords seize their chance. The remnants of the Imperial Army fall upon the little of the Crimson Fists that remain, killing nearly all. Using the prototypes of the Assassin Temples, they succeed in laying low the Primarch, mortally poisoning him. Seeing their Primarch alive but with his life in the hands of the enemy forces the rest of the Crimson Fists to surrender. They take the Primarch's weapons as their own and they eventually find their way to Guilliman. Doesn't it make more sense for a Primarch from the Crimson Fists to wield such weapons?

The Imperial Fists have taken huge casualties at the Fortress of Pain. Now you have the two most vocal opponents incapacitated. The High Lords present an ultimatum to the remaining Astartes of those Legions. Weak and beaten, they have no choice but to accept to the demands. The Crimson Fists will be allowed to live as long as they obey the High Lords, remain silent about their founding and give up their home world. If they disobey, their Primarch will be killed. If Dorn disobeys, his brother will be destroyed.

What if this is the reason the Crimson Fists are no longer a first founding legion?

Here is some background on Orwell for those who do not know his work.
Orwellian: George Orwell
In regards to George Orwell's 1984 book where the current ruling party rewrites history to fit their needs:1984

I'd like to thank Refuse and Sigismund Himself at the Bolter and Chainsword for the inspiration for these posts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Finished Space Wolves Grey Hunter

Here is the finished Grey Hunter. I decided to go for a forest style basing to go with all my lovely new terrain.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chaos in the Woods

Here are some better detail shots of the terrain I recently acquired from my Father. I've placed some of my Soul Reapers Chaos marines in the pics for scale.

My new terrain and a tribute to my Father

I just inherited my Fathers LotR terrain, he's moving outta the area and doesn't feel like hauling it with him. Win for me, I can now cover 5 feet of table in forest! It needs some small fixes, but I think it is still fantastic looking stuff. Here is a sampling of the pieces.

A little back ground on my Father. He has been gaming since the mid 70's with a passion for the ancient world. During the 80's when gamers were still playing on bare tabletops with some colored felt scattered about for terrain. He undertook the task of creating 2x2 ft modular terrain using the same techniques that model railroaders use. Since that time he has won multiple awards for his fantastic layouts. Here are some scanned pics of that first terrain layout.

Happy Fathers Day Pop and thanks for all the wonderful years of gaming!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Space Wolves audio book

Nick Kyme is working on a Space Wolves audio book called Thunder from Fenris. Here's the skinny from his blog.

"I’ve just listened to the final sound effects and music edit (version three) of Thunder from Fenris. I am very pleased with how this has come out. It’s sounds great. Though I am starting to become aware that not many folks seem to know about it, so if you could spread the word, I’d totally appreciate it. :-) It’s an audio book; it’s Space Wolves versus Plague Zombies (yep, you heard right) and it’s pre-released at Games Day and then in GW stores a few weeks later (and on-line, of course). That’s about all I can tell you without the BL inquisitors hauling my arse in for ‘questioning’."

Here is some info on the recording.

"Just by way of a little insight, the actual recording day was around eight hours - roughly 9am-5pm - and generally consists of the writer (me, in this case) and editor (that’ll be Christian) sat in the directorial suite with script in hand, listening to the actor go through his lines and weave his magic over the microphone with director and sound engineer guiding and monitoring proceedings respectively.

It’s a team effort and, as always, we were surrounded by total pros.

Toby Longworth (who folks will hear voicing James Swallow’s excellent Heart of Rage in the not-too-distant future) really delivered for us (and me, I suppose) again with a stellar performance. He had three Space Wolves to nail and he had them down from minute one. Three very different characters; three very distinctive but wonderfully rendered and wholly apt voices. I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Easter egg - check out a character called Thorgard in the production and see if you can tell where Toby drew his inspiration from. Great stuff.

I’m hoping fans will love Thunder from Fenris as much as I did writing it, and will get the same level of enjoyment I did from hearing it immortalised into audio. I’ve yet to hear the music and fx edit (we recorded the rushes on the day, and another sound engineer will now be set to work adding atmospheric music, bolters, zombie noises and so on, and generally cutting the whole thing together)."

Sounds good to me!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Grey Hunter painting update

Here is the Grey Hunter with the fist about half finished. The Grey has only the first highlight applied.

I'm really happy with how good the Space Wolves Night Runner badge looks painted!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shiny model syndrome

So it's been a week since I primed the Grey Hunters for my Space Wolves and I sit here with 6 partially basecoated miniatures. Here's what happened; I was cleaning out my garage and found a box filled with lots of unopened Flames of War boxed sets. I had completely forgotten I about them. So I have spent the week cleaning up and basing them. Grrr....

I came to my senses today and started working on my Hunters again.

Do any of you suffer from the shiny model syndrome?

I really hate getting derailed so easily! I guess it's just the nature of the beast that is miniatures wargaming.

Cheers for now,

PS: While I've got you attention, if you like Space Wolves you should check out Adams Space Wolves Blog he's make much better progress than I am this week. I've known Adam for a few years as a poster on many of the popular forums, he's a great guy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The power weapon poll results are......

too close to call, but lean slightly towards blue. :P

What color Power Weapons should I use for the Space Wolves?

Blue 28 (52%)

Green 25 (47%)

I'd like to thank everyone who voted in the poll. There were some comments on other colors that you'd like to see and Purple was a definite favorite.

It looks like it's time to experiment. I'm going to repaint the power weapons on 4 of my old Grey Hunters. One each of the following colors; Blue, Green, Purple and Red/Orange.

Once completed I'll post pics of all four to get your feedback.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Space Wolf Scouts

You either love 'em or hate 'em, but I've gotta have some for my Space Wolves army. I have always been fond of the Wolf Scout SGT's from second edition. I don't think GW has ever matched their uniqueness in any scout models since. Here are two of them I have from my old Wolf army.

There are a few ways I could accomplish a similar style scout. Fist up I could butcher the existing plastic scouts, but it would be hard to use the 20 Wolf Scout packs I've got. Second is the Prophet miniatures method seen here. This method requires a lot of bits from different kits, but I do have most of them in my bits box.

Which option would you use if you were gonna convert your own scouts?

Space Wolves skin

As Space Wolves get older their skin becomes more tanned and leathery. I've decided to represent this bit of fluff in my army. The following flesh colors from left to right will represent Blood Claws, Grey Hunters and Long Fangs. My Wolf Guard will use a mix of all three tones.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Grey Hunters complete ready for priming

Here are the Grey Hunters with the icons in place! They are ready for priming as soon as I add some gear to the 3rd Mk 4 Hunter.

Here's a shot of the whole groups icons.

3D Great Company Badges are a Go!

That worked out pretty good! The push mold is dry and I'm in the process of putting the Night Runner badge on the Grey Hunters.

I still need to clean it up a bit, but overall I'm excited that it worked out so well!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Space Wolf Update

Here are the first 5 Grey Hunters these will be part of my first Razorback pack.. All of my Grey Hunters will be wearing Mk 4 and Mk 6 armor.The second Hunter from the right still needs the toes of his boots GS'd; they are going to be the striped toes that were prevalent during the RT days. I should have the 6th Hunter wearing Mk 4 armor done tonight. Tomorrow I'll be adding the Night Runner badge to them as the mold should be fully cured now.

Here is an update on the Ven Dread. I decided to give the red DCCW a go and I really do like it. Red is the main contrasting color to my PA Wolves so the Dread need some too.

Skeld also is getting a new weapons option; the often underestimated twin linked Autocannon. This conversion is completely inspired by Grey Death of Paint Corps and Dakka fame.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Galaxy in Flames first Poll question.

I have been working on building my first Grey Hunters pack and it struck me that I haven't chose a color for my power weapons. So I though I'd let you guys help me make up my mind.

Blue is the classic old reliable choice, but green would make for a nice contrast.

Looking at the test mini which color do you think would be a better color for my power weapons?

So vote in the poll and tell me why you chose the color.


Monday, June 1, 2009

How Big Jim Paints Yellow

I received a couple of requests for the Yellow paint recipe I used on the Ven Dreads pack marking.

First off I always paint yellow over a grey base coat, any mid toned grey will work. I find that painting over a grey base helps keep the color of the yellows with little to no distortion, I use Vallejo medium sea grey.

I use Vallejo Goldbrown as the first step of yellow this will give you a solid foundation for your yellow paint, and give you a shading color for those little recesses that may be in your yellow surface. Once this is dry I paint the entire area with Vallejo Yellow Ochre, this is the base yellow that all your highlights will be built up on.

The first highlight is a one to mix of Vallejo Yellow Ochre and Flat yellow, this should cover one third of the yellow surface. The second highlight is Flat Yellow covering about half of the previous highlight. The final highlight is 3 parts Flat Yellow to one part Ivory; this is placed at the edge of the entire yellow surface.

I hope that helps. If you have any further questions feel free to ask.

Big Jim