Saturday, July 1, 2017

Painting some Tau soldiers from Warhammer 40K

My relationship with miniature's painting is of the love-hate kind.
I will love to be able to paint them, but I hate painting them maybe due to an inborn lack of patience for such tasks.
I tried the painting of miniatures several times already. My first time was long time ago, with the release 3rd Edition of Warhammer fantasy, at some point around 2002. I got the starter box with humans and orcs at the Spiel Messe in Essen and divided it with someone. I took the orcs :)
Assembled the big guy, tried to paint the little ones and some of the beasts...
Never finished, never even played...

[jump in time]

Later I tried again, this time with the Tau from Warhammer 40K. I think that already in or around 2002 when I got that orc army for Warhammer fantasy, I also saw the Tau army; they were the new kid on the block coming to the Warhammer 40k universe and I liked them the moment I saw them.
I don't like Warhammer 40k. The gothic setting is not something for me; but the Tau, they are really cool. They really resemble the Japanese samurais they are apparently based on; they even got mechas if you are into that stuff.
Anyway, in some point around 2012 (yes, like 10 years after the orcs) I partially convinced some friends, partially was convinced by them to try Warhammer 40k and that means pore or less, painting miniatures again.
I got some Tau forces second hand on line, some of them were already painted (at very good) other were covered in paint (if you get my meaning) and some were just black coated.
They were mainly in the classic desert orange that the Tau usually seem to be.
i tried to replicate the nice painting job on the same tones with one or two drones and, well, it was more or less fine for me.
But I wanted for my Tau forces to be a bit different, so I got some other colours and tried to paint a few further drones...
I played the game three or four times during this period, against an orc army. The game didn't really catch amongst the group, the interest faded away...
No more painting, no more Warhammer 40k

[small jump in time]

Runewars !

I saw the announcement of this game, got tented, but discarded it.
Some months later, saw the release of the starter box. Got tented again. Saw the announcement of the Army Painter Guide to painting the armies. Got very tented. I read all the news and downloaded all the stuff.
Told to a friend, but surprise, he already had bought the starter box. Tried the game. Looks amazing good.
Searched for my painting tools, brushes, colours, etc and got into the mood of painting miniatures (yes, again).
Not having anything form Runewars of my own (yet) I took my old Tau soldiers and decided to try again.
This time, however, I didn't look to them so much as Tau forces from the Warhammer 40k but more as Colonial Marines (yes, the guys from Aliens) or Starship troopers and since the humans in Runewars go, more or less, in blue I decided to try some blue colouring on the Tau soldiers.

Here is the evolution of my miniatures. There a lot of pictures, some are better than others, but I hope there are able to show what I did.
For colours I worked with some Vallejo I was having already and some Citadel which I got recently, namely the Citadel Base Painting Set, which includes the Macragge Blue.

Hope you like the outcome as much as I.


Step by Step

Base Coat: Vallejo 72.019 Night Blue; maybe it was not my best idea. This colour is really very dark and on top of the black coating...
Well, it is difficult to see even after two layers.
Left model base coated with Vallejo 72.019 Night Blue
Right model just black primer for comparison.
Base coat Vallejo 72.019 Night Blue

Over this base coat I tried some dry brush with Citadel Macragge Blue from the Painting Set to the armour as well as some Vallejo 72.067 Cayman Green for the trousers and arms and gloves.
The dry brush was excruciating. I did it twice and still barely visible...
Left model, dry brushed and base coated trousers and arms
middle model, Vallejo Night Blue base coat for comparison
right model, black primer for comparison

Close up

Further colours:
For the gun, the backpack and the little antenna on the helmet: Citadel Leadbelcher
For the feet/boots: Vallejo Sombre Grey 72.048

Picture taken with flash, not my best idea...

Now, the Wash. According to the method from quick painting from the Army Painter, they base coat directly with a primer-base coat mixture, give some more base colours and them wash with their especial Quickshade.
I decided to try something similar using the Vallejo 73.207 Blue Wash
I have never done a wash before, therefore on some of the miniatures there was too much of it and they turned out too dark, others were not so bad.
I liked a lot the effect which it gave to the feet/boots. I think they look very good with such a simple sequence: base coat and wash.
The trousers and arms also look very good at this point, I think.
This one is my favourite so far
This one is the second I liked the most

This is quite dark, it was the second one I washed

This poor fellow was the one I washed the first, therefore the darkest of them all

Further I tried to dry brush some colour on them with the Citadel Layer Calgar Blue
It is a quite nice colour, however my skills with the dry brush technique are very basic, so I was busy with them for a while and did it twice.

Kind of Panorama view

I cleared a bit the gun of the models where they turned out too dark because of the wash with Vallejo 72.047 Wolf Grey which seems to match the Citadel Leadbelcher quite well without the metallic hue.

I also gave some dry brush to the trousers, arms and gloves with Vallejo 72.062 Earth.
I considered Vallejo Khaki 72.061 or Vallejo Desert Yellow 72.063 for this task but found them not close enough to the dark green I was having already.

I have to do some more pictures with that last dry brush, so this is for now :)

I also attached a head to the headless guy who I used as black primed comparison. He is supposed to be the leader of the group, so he will get a separate entry, also I didn't paint him as the rest.
Basically because I was busy experimenting with those guys and I started painting him after I was already after the washing step for the basic soldiers. But, again, that is for later :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Unboxing Imperial Veterans

The latest expansion for X-wing has already hit the shelves, here, in old Europe, a good week before than expected in the U.S.A.
There have been enough spoiler about the contents already at the FFG webpage, so I am not going to bother you with a description of it, just some pictures of those new, cool, awesome miniatures :)

Friday, July 10, 2015

More arrows

Another session of Archery :)
Some pictures, not too much to say this time...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Memories of a Traveller

[Location: Observatory Hall, Orbital Cluster Philip Augustus, right above the Mediterranean.]
[Previously: At a Company reception, several underlings were talking about holiday destinations when a Big Boss arrived and not only interrupted the flow of the conversation but re-routed it into current politic affairs.]

[Big Boss monologuing] - The vote this weekend is critical, not only for the affected country itself but also for the Earth Union. The Union cannot afford to lose a member, any member; otherwise other countries of the Union will also be attack the same way and they will have also to leave the Union, making the Union weaker not stronger. It is not that the Union can expel a member, but a country can always left. The real problem is the current government. I really hope your country [Big Boss pointing to one of the underlings] is not going to vote for Permane. They are the same and then your country will be the next in the list...

[The pointed-to underling looks to Big Boss with a distant expression on the face]

[Big Boss first confused, then annoyed] What's the matter? you don't think so ?

[underling] It doesn't really matter. It is pointless.

[Big Boss, surprised] Pointless? What do you mean?

[underling] Five years and six and a half month for today, a real First Contact will take place. Two years and three months after that precise date our species will be on the brink of extinction.

[Big Boss, scoffing] You believe so?

[underling] No. I don't believe so. I know. I was there.

[Deathly silence]

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Arrow ? Not really

I got the impression that lately I only talk about x-wing in this blog which actually it is intended as a way for me to talk about anything that catches my attention or I have any interest on.
So, I will try to re-focus on other issues bzw. activities, such as for example archery.
I started with archery some years ago, actually several years ago. However in contrast to Oliver Queen I did not spent five years only shooting my bow in a "desert" island in the middle of the pacific; live has priorities and my time for archery comes and goes according to other things that happen in my life, such as my family :)
Anyway, I was going to my archery club on a more or less regular basis for a while, then I stopped, came back again, stopped and finally, last week, after around 18 to 24 months pause I came back.
It was a nice day, sunny but not too warm and I really enjoyed it; not only because of the weather but also because my body has not forgotten how to use the bow. What I mean is that shooting with a bow is similar to swimming or to use a bike; it involves muscular memory if such a term exist.
I was afraid that the very first arrow was going to go astray and that I will lose it or break it; however it hit the wall where target was not so far away for the target, which is a good thing :)
This is specially true with my bow as I have no aiming means whatsoever.
Originally my bow is a recurve bow, which should have an aiming help, but I found it too distracting and I never use it, as I also never used stabilizers my bow has nothing apart for the drawstring and the arrow support and pusher. It is what usually is called a "bare" bow, which is one of the closest thing to a traditional bow without being a traditional bow.
As you can imaging, a traditional bow is done in wood, shoots wood arrows and has nothing to help aiming and sometimes not even an arrow support; yes, you feel like Robin Hood with such a bow.
A recurve is done in parts; a central piece which in mine is metal and the upper and lower arms which are done with a composite material and usually uses alloy arrows or carbon fibre arrows.
So, here some pictures :)
First volley

Fly casually

or why I should stop playing x-wing competitively.


Last weeks I have been reading the meta, tinkering and testing my dual phantom plus Soontir list for the regionals which had been the main focus of the last entries on this blog.
Regionals are gone now and everything seems quiet in the western front (actually there is a second regional at the end of this month, but that is another story).
Also this last week, my local group was considering to play a Epic Game. They wanted to go for 200 points each players, tournament style and four players.
Here, I was the calm voice saying things like: we have never done it before, we have limited experience with the CR90 corvette and all that energy stuff, maybe 120 points per person with a lot of time for the game will be better, we play quite and nicely, relax, checking the rules, discussing the game as it progresses and so on. So, I was the calm down voice.
What happened? Well...


We prepared the teams, discussed strategies, met for the game, did the set up, took some pictures, set the dials for the first round and I managed to destroy the whole mood of the game and ruin the whole concept.
Rickbane and me we were playing imperials, Rombic and darth messenger were playing rebels. As more experienced player, messenger was in charge of the CR90 corvette and Rombic was playing the normal rebels ships, which included an Prototype A-wing (PS 1) and three other craft with PS 2.
The four ships were deployed in formation and he wanted to move them a 2 turn, all of them and made then focus. However, with all the talking and the fact that he was having another A-wing which was supposed to do a 3 turn, he put the two dials of the A-wings on a 3 turn, which will disrupt his formation.
When he was revealing the dials he was saying aloud his intentions, namely all 2 turns and focus, but the dial was showing a 3 turn. We pointed this to him, he turned the other A-wing dial and surprise it was also a 3 turn, however he just keep doing the intended 2 turn which was fine, we were playing casually and for fun, right ?

Not really...

He had moved already other two ships after the "misplaced" A-wing, I was still talking about something else or about this particular movement when something, I don't know what or why just snapped in me. I just turn to him and said something like:
sorry, you need to move back those two other ships and move the A-wing a 3 turn which is what is in the dial, so is the rule (yes, the rule, the tournament rule) and, by the way, I am serious about it.
Death silence for a second.
Mood completely spoiled and the whole idea of the game, learning and having fun gone; just because of me being a [please insert here appropriate insult].
Maybe it was the fact that I played a tournament the weekend before, that I am having some stress in my life at the moment or that I am completely out of my mind, but the truth is that I was completely out of line.

Yes, sure, a few minutes later, during the second round, a little voice in my head said to me what a moron I was and I apologized to him, and he was so nice not to hold a grudge about it and the rest of the game was (more or less) fine and that they win and destroy my two ships before the fourth round (I think this was karma coming back); but that is not the point, those are amendments which needed to be done after my performance.

My point
I am trying to learn from this and trying to learn to fly casually and no be a moron with/about this game. Hope you never encounter someone displaying out there a behaviour as stupid as the one I did.

Fly casually and see you around.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Regionals !

The first of the two regional tournament of The Hague was held this last Saturday at the Tabletop Kingdom.
I was there with my Soontir Fel, two Sigma phantoms list and even if I did not fare so well (22 out of 26) I enjoyed it.
There is a compressive article about the whole tournament, with lists, stats and all that here.
I played my first game against John and his Rear Admiral - Soontir list. It was a very interesting match up as so far I have used my list only against rebel two ships lists, never before against imperial two ships lists. However I did two critical errors in the very first turn that cripple my possibilities of doing anything. I placed my phantoms in the middle. John placed his Decimator also in the middle. Both Soontirs were facing each other on my left side of the board. My idea was to go with all my ships against his Soontir and take him out of the equation and than try not to lose any ship while trying to fight the admiral. I moved my phantoms something like 2 or 3 forward and they cloaked. He moved the admiral and boosted almost in front of my cloaked phantoms who where not able to fire on him. My Soontir went 4 forward and boosted to get a range 3 shoot on the admiral but with the idea of being more free and less obvious on the next round I did not push the limits for the usual evade+focus+stress (aka turtle Soontir). He moved his Soontir a slow 2 forwards and let him there. I fired on the Decimator without any success, John fired on Soontir also without success and then I opened my big, honest mouth and said to him something like: "You still have gunner, right?". He had forgotten about it ! So, he says thanks, pick the dices, rolls all impacts, I take the evil green dices and roll all "eyes". We both look to it, we realize that I have no focus and that my Soontir is just space dust. We stop for a second or two. It was unbelievable. The rest went hill down, down, down to a 100-0 victory for John (well deserved). He finished second of the best eight but unfortunately did not manage to get further.

The second game was against Erik B and his IG-88b and four binayre pirates.
Here I did a bit better. He placed his four pirates on my right facing his center, so rotated 90° with respect to me. His IG was on my left also facing his center. It was clear that he was going to join then and turn towards me, the only doubt was when they were going to turn. I assumed that the pirates were going to turn immediately on round 1 and that the IB will follow the round after. I moved my phantoms again like 3 or 4 forwards towards an asteroid that I have placed there as cover and cloaked. Soontir, this time was able to get undisturbed to the end of the battle field and started firing on the sides and rear of the pirates. There was a bit of clogging in that area as the pirates were blocking the IG and themselves on purpose to try to remain there. Soontir collided once before just doing a K-turn and approaching again from the other side. I managed to take out two pirates but in the fight with the IG, I also managed to get the two phantoms destroyed...

After the lunch break I played against Sjoerd and his Corran Horn - two B-wings list. This I managed to win by destroying the two B-wing even if my initial idea was to concentrate on Corran. He destroyed one of my phantoms, although. The game was very good and very funny. The best moments were on the final two rounds. First I cornered one of his B-wing between a phantom and Soontir and it escaped with only one hull left and in the round after, he cornered one of my phantoms between his Corran and one B-wing, but the phantom also managed to survive (even with Corran double tap). The critical moment came when I rolled only one hit on my 5 dices final attack against the wounded B-wing and he rolled a blank. It was a great game, with tension until the end.

After I played against Kim and his Firespray - IG88b list. This list was nice, well, not the dummy IG but the Firespray. A friend of my who was not able to participate in the tournament, when preparing for it, was talking about taking precisely that Firespray (Emon Azzameen) just to be able to drop bombs all over the place. The game was insane. I managed to "eat" all of his bombs, the three of them. It was funny, alas costly for me.
One moment of the fight against Kim's list
The final game was against Olivier and his YT-2400 - Han Solo list. The game was a bit weird as both of us were tired. I managed to get his YT-2400 within firing arc of all my three ships and it barely survived the attack. On the next round(s) I was able to finishing it off and I started trying to regroup to look for a way to corner Han Solo. However, he was determined to hunt down Soontir, which he managed at the end. So, it was a modified victory for me, 43 to 32.

It was a nice tournament.