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EPIC Painting

ToEG – First progress on LatD

I am back in town, though only for 48 hours. Subtracting work and jet-lagged sleep, I had a few hours to get started on the LatD. Step one was to gather up all the necessary components. With the exception of the DRM Ketzali, my various orders and trades had arrived while I was away. Most of those parts needed clean-up, including de-sprueing (probably not a word), a few boxes worth of infantry.

Khorne tray (clockwise from top left): Daemon Engines, Lord of Battle, an old 40k daemonic slaughterer which will become a Feral Titan, collection of parts for the Khorne Altar, WM Fleshhounds to become Chaos Hounds, a tub of spare Beastmen to populate the Transports, tub of Fleshhounds, tub of Berzerkers (I need a few more bases to run my Black Legion Khorne contingent as World Eaters), 18 Big Mutant bases (the right most still need to be properly based), 18 newly painted Mutants from today’s painting session (centre).

Slaneesh Tray (clockwise from top left): 22 Cultists freshly base coated in Dheneb Stone (the missing two are in the tub below), parts for the Slaneesh Altar, Scout Titans, Slaneesh Knights, Chimeras and Hellhounds, tub of mixed models with Noise Marines to make Fire Support squads.

Tzeentch Tray (clockwise from top left): BIG tub to make 24 cultists stands, Fire support bases, small Titan, big Titan, Firelord, Doomwings, Silver Towers (still looking for 2 more).

Nurgle Tray (clockwise from top left): Plague Tower, Plague Zombies, WM beast rider to become Rough Rider, Blight Drones, 6 Mutant bases, Titan, WM Rat Ogres to become Big Mutants with some Epic scale handlers, WM Chaos Spawn, tub of Terminators (to augment Black Legion Nurgle, WM Screaming Bell as base for Nurgle Altar, tub of GHQ infantry to make cultists, tub of Havocs (for BL), tubs of mutants and cultists, Rhinos for the Havocs.

Pretty much everything is cleaned up now but a big basing orgy will still be necessary. To make some actual progress against the August ToEG deadline, I painted up the 18 Khorne Mutants. I still need the matching 18 Big Mutants to make complete units but I guess they are worth roughly 300 points. I also did up a test base for the Slaneesh Cultists. I will finish all the bases in one go towards the end of the project. Off to traveling for another few days again (unfortunately even further west so more jet lag L ). Another update will come on the weekend.

 

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EPIC Painting

ToeG: LatD – Force Planning

After some soul searching, model counting and browsing of online stores I have my first draft for the LatD force design. While the notion of using a “common” set of cultists and mutants was very appealing from a painting perspective, it would really limit opportunities for unique conversions. So I tried to find a way where I could use my existing ~40 bases for some of the Gods and then add more readily available models for the remaining Covens. Below is the result. I don’t quite have enough Covens for all the support options but in all cases I am only one unit below the required count. The individual forces per God are each around 2000 points so any combination of two forces should fully cover a 3000 points game (point values taken from NetEA LatD Beta list). Photos of conversion models are all from the actual manufacturers. I will still have to paint my own 🙂

Noted below are the force organisation, design ideas and my first cut of conversion sources. Comments on the playability and modelling ideas are welcome.

Lost and the Damned

Khorne Warband = 3185

Design Notes: The iconic imagery is aggressive assault, savage beasts, martial combat, skulls, etc. Models will be painted in brown and dark red tones. Metal will be rusted or brass. Green accent colours. The force is fully mobile to go with the assault theme. This works well with the Daemon Engines which portray a similar image. 

Sigmatus Covenant Covens – Khorne (2x Mobile with hounds = 2x 420, 1x Foot with Altar = 450)
3 Aspiring Champions
19 Mutants (mix of beastmen and various daemons)
15 Big Mutants (mix of minotaurs, trolls and ogryns)
6 Chaos Hounds (use DRM Critters)

18 Land Transporter (use GHQ trucks)
1 Chaos Altar (stone altar with old Bloodletter statues pulled by old Fleshhounds)

Sigmatus Covenant Support Covens – Khorne (4 formations)
1 Lord of Battle = 400
15 Daemon Engines (3 units + 3 spares) = 3x 300

Cross-Over Units from Black Legion =595  (already painted)
1 Daemon Prince =50
1 Bloodthirster =75
8 Bloodletter = 8x 20
8 Fleshhounds = 8x 20
8 Juggernauts (can be used as Rough Rider) = 150

Nurgle Warband = 1925

Design Notes: The inconic imagery is decay, rats, mutation, slow but steady, etc. WM Skaven models help to capture this image while differentiating the mutants from the martial Khorne models . Paint with green and bone/brown colours. The force is assault oriented but on foot for that inevitable slow wave theme. The Daemon Engines augment this slow and steady concept (the Rough Rider are fast but their models at least will look sluggish).

Sigmatus Covenant Coven – Nurgle (1x Foot with hounds and spawn = 335, 1x Foot with hounds, spawn and altar = 505)
2 Chaos Space Marine Aspiring Champion
8 Mutants (left-over models with Green Stuff)
8 Cultists (left-over models with Green Stuff)
9 Big Mutants (using WM Rat Ogres)

2 Chaos Spawn (using WM Chaos Spawn)

1 Chaos Altar (WM Screaming Bell pushed by WM River Trolls)

6 Chaos Hounds (using WFB giant rats with handlers)

Sigmatus Covenant Support Covens – Nurgle (3 formations)
1 Plague Tower = 325
4 Contagion Towers = 325
6 Rough Rider (using Warmaster Beast Rider) = 150

Cross-Over from Black Legion (already painted)
1 Daemon Prince = 50
1 Great Unclean One = 75
8 Plague Bearer = 8x 20

Slaneesh Warband = 2110

Design Notes: The inconic imagery is variety, randomness, playfulness, mobility. Vehicles will be painted in pink similar to Emperor’s Children army. Cultists should be in a blend of pink, yellow, light blue and red. The force is mobile and shooting oriented to go with the Slaneeshi theme. The Daemon Engines operate similarly.

Sigmatus Covenant Coven – Slaneesh (1 Mounted with Hellhounds = 500, 1 Foot with Altar and fire support = 450)
1 Demagogue
1 Chaos Space Marine Aspiring Champion
22 Cultists (using mix of models including cultists, daemons, imperial guard, eldar and orks to invoke random nature of Slaneesh)
6 Traitor Chimeras
1 Chaos Altar (pleasure barge build on old Epic 1st ed Eldar tanks?)
3 Traitor Hellhounds
4 Fire Support Units (cultists with Noise Marines)

Sigmatus Covenant Support Covens – Slaneesh (3 formations)
2 Subjugators = 450
6 Daemon Knights (1 unit + 2 spares) = 275
4 Traitor Sentinels (using Eldar Warwalker with Slaneeshi symbols) = 100

Cross-Over Units from Black Legion (already painted)
1 Daemon Prince = 50
1 Keeper of Secrets = 75
8 Daemonettes = 8x 20
8 Mounted Daemonettes (can be used as Rough Rider) = 150

Tzeentch Warband = 1810

Design Notes: The iconic imagery is long range, psychic, corruption without mutation, mind games, etc. For both theme and model reasons the Covens represent a corrupted Imperial Guard regiment with Thousand Sons “advisors”. The paint scheme will be regular Guard with blue uniforms similar to Thousand Sons. The force organisation is very basic with fire support only. The Tzeentch Daemon Engines operate independently anyhow so there is no real need to integrate with the Covens. 

Sigmatus Covenant Coven – Tzeentch (1 Foot with fire support = 300, 1 Foot with Altar and fire support = 450)
2 Demagogue
22 Cultists (using IG models with chaos marines and horrors thrown in)
1 Chaos Altar (some kind of mobile summoning circle?)
8 Fire Support Units (using IG models with chaos marine havocs)

Sigmatus Covenant Support Covens – Tzeentch (3)
1 Firelord = 150
3 Doomwings = 150
4 Silver Towers (have 2) = 325

Cross-Over Units from Black Legion (already painted)
1 Daemon Prince = 50
1 Lord of Change = 75
8 Flamers = 8x 20
8 Tzeentch Disc Rider (can be used as Rough Rider) =150

Undivided Warband (Support) = 2360

Design Notes: Undivided Chaos is usually a good place for the “recently corrupted Imperial Guard” theme. I used this for Tzeentch already so something else was needed. I like the DRM Ketzali models and thought about a theme that would include them somewhow. They look a bit like the Jawas from Star Wars (smaller guys in brown robes) so I think I am going with a related theme: Clannish loot and scrap metal collectors who have become worshippers of Chaos by virtue of their outcast status rather than true evilness. The scrap metal theme also lends itself to “absorbing” all the left-over models in my bitz box to make extra tanks for this army (the exact model count for some of these vehicles is therefore unknown until I actually start kitbashing). Their equipment should be very rusty using my 40k rust scheme. Infantry should be in dirty brown robes. The force organisation is shooty with a bit of all the Undivided support choices.

Sigmatus Covenant Coven – Undivided (2x Foot with fire support = 2x 300, 1x Foot with fire support, Demolisher and altar = 660) 
3 Demagogue
33 Cultists (use DRM Ketzali)

12 Fire Support Units (using random AT guns from GHQ and other looted gun equipment)
1 Chaos Altar (scratch build Capitol Imperialist-like vehicle to mimic Star Wars Jawa crawler?)
3 Traitor Leman Russ Demolisher
? Traitor Hydras (kitbash from left-over parts)
? Traitor Griffons (kitbash from left-over parts)

Sigmatus Covenant Support Covens – Undivided (3 formations)
6 Hellfire Cannons (1 unit +2 spares) (add Ketzali gunners) = 200
5 Traitor Basilisk (1 unit + 1 spare) = 325
6 Traitor Leman Russ (have 2) = 400

Sigmatus Covenant Plague Zombie Infestation
20 Zombie Bases (using Exodus Wars Edenite Zombies) = 175

Other Chaos Units to complete (I have a few left-overs from my Black Legion project that need to get done as well)
2 Nurgle terminators
4 Nurgle Havocs
2 Nurgle Rhinos
2 flesh hounds
1 Mortarion
1 Magnus the Red
1 Lord of Change
6 Rough Rider (for IG)

Categories
EPIC Painting

TOEG: Lost and the Damned – Gathering the Forces

With me personal vote as the tie-breaker, it’s Lost and the Damned for my venture in the TacComs Tales of Epic Gamers challenge. The first step will be to sort out some kind of army list. Like all my Epic armies, I will try to cover the entire book. Actual point values will therefore be a secondary concern for now.

After a quick read of the official LatD and the NetEA LatD beta list, I realized that I have a bit of a problem with my current LatD models. The old Epic Chaos range had a huge variety of interesting metal models and I have pretty much all of them. In the LatD list this translates into a whole bunch of Coven Support choices (4 for Khorne to cover the Lord of Battle and the six different kinds of Khorne Daemon Engines in at least an “assault”, “mid-range” and “shooty” configuration; 2 for Nurgle for the Plague Tower and Contagion Engines; 3 for Slaneesh for the two types of Scout Titans and the Knights; and 3 for Tzeentch with the Firelord, Doomwings and Silver Towers). That’s before adding more generic support units such as tanks, aircraft of artillery (all of which seem essential for actual gameplay). The problem is that the LatD list requires a 1:1 ratio of Covens to support units. Thus, I would need a dozen god-specific Covens plus probably another handful of Undivided Covens to fill the support roles.

I currently have 20 bases each of Mutants and Cultists plus a handful of character bases. I also have a dozen Big Mutants with the ability to make more if needed. The Mutant bases use Chaos and IG Beastman models from all editions of Epic plus a few of the newer daemons sprinkled in for variety (to be painted generically as mutants, not as actual daemons). The Cultists are about 50% actual Chaos Cultist models augmented by suitable left-over models (e.g. guardsmen, Eldar guardians, Orks, etc.). Depending on configuration that’s enough for 4 or 5 Covens or one per God – a basic but very unsatisfactory configuration.

Option 1: I could build more Mutants and Cultists along these lines to bulk out the force. This is pretty hopeless. The two primary models are rare commodities and usually not available independently. Buying them new would generate a huge waste of other Chaos models with no purpose. This option is pretty much dead.

Option 2: I could use the existing bases as Undivided and build up a new type of base for each God. The challenge with this approach is the choice of models. There are no God specific GW models and no proxies jump to mind. I would need proxies for all four Gods for this to make sense. Any ideas?

Option 3: I could paint the Mutants and Cultists in a bland non-god-specific pattern and build a bunch of god-specific character models to instantly “re-dedicate” units between games. Would 5 such “adjustable” Covens would be enough for most 3k games? Is it realistic to assume that the character base will always survive until the end (to keep identifying the unit)?

Option 4: Use the Option 3 generic approach for the God-specific Covens and then build a separate set of Covens using proxies. My current favourite proxy model would be DRM Ketzalis: http://www.darkrealmminiatures.co.uk/store/product.php?productid=154&cat=8&page=1 . They have that cloaked cultist look.

How is everybody else handling this issue in the LatD list?

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EPIC Painting

ToEG: Decision Making

Tactical Commands is launching a “Tale of Epic Gamers” event where each participant commits to painting 500 points of models each month. More information at:  http://www.taccmd.tacticalwargames.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=18753
This is just the right thing to get me motivated to dive into my Epic collection again.

Unfortunately, I have a major limitation at the beginning of the project: Travel will keep me away from my painting desks until the last week of August. Thus, the first 500 points chunk of models better be fairly quick to finish. I will use the early weeks of August to decide on army, unit and paint scheme choice.
I paint armies in batches to maintain consistency across the paint scheme of all models. As a result, I have completely finished armies (IG, SM, Orks, Chaos*) and completely unfinished armies. The latter constitute the options for the ToEG project: Tyranids, Eldar, Losts and the Damned (LatD). All my Epic armies aim to achieve “the book” in the sense of having every available unit type with reasonably multipliers for core units. With this approach most armies come in around 10000 points under Epic Armageddon rules. The Nids, Eldar and LatD are no exception.

I have no special motivation to prefer any one of the three armies so I will ask the crowd to select. Let’s introduce the contestants:

Tyranids
Overview:
Tyranid models are long out of print so the collection is somewhat lopsided along lines of EBay availability: 2 each of the big critters (Dominatrix, Harridan, Hydraphant and Hierophant), a dozen each of the synapse creatures (Hive Tyrants, Tyranid Warriors, Nodes), around 10 each of the critters (Genestealers, Lictors, Carnifexes, Zoanthropes, Raveners, Gargoyles, Hormagants, Termagants, Spores), and between 6-10 each of the “vehicles” (Haruspex, Exocrine, Trygons, Malefactors, Dactylis). I will need to find some kind of conversion solution for Hierodules and find some Biovores to purchase somewhere.
Pro: I have a paint scheme already worked out for the Tyranids and am happy with it. Also, most of the models are based and primed already.
Con: Nothing major really other than that I will need to convert a few models. It will be a bit boring to punch out hundreds of models with the same paint scheme but 6mm models are an endurance sport anyhow.

Eldar
Overview: The Eldar army is fairly big, mostly because of the wide range of unit choices. In total it has a full unit of 8 models with exarchs for each aspect (Dark Reaper, Dire Avenger, Fire Dragon, Howling Banshee, Shining Spear, Striking Scorpion, Swooping Hawk, Warp Spider), 6 Guardian Hosts with a handful of all the upgrade options (weapon platforms, Wave Serpents, Wraithguards, Wraithlords), 4 Jetbike Troupes including one with Vypers, 3 Ranger Troupes, 3 Warwalker Troupes, 3 Falcon Squadrons, 2 Nightspinner Squadrons, 1 Fireprism Squadron, 1 or 2 of each of the flyer formations (Nightwing, Phoenix, Vampire), 2 each of the Engines of Vaul (Cobra, Scorpion, Storm Serpent, Void Spinner) and one each of the titan options (Phantom, Warlock, 2 Revenants).
Pro: Eldar models are fun to paint and offer a lot of variety due to the aspect warrior colour schemes.
Con: The army isn’t based yet. Basing 6mm models is something like 75% of the workload so this will require a major time investment up front. I also don’t have a good paint scheme for the Eldar yet. I would like to mimic the scheme of my 40k Eldar (purple with blue accents and bone coloured wraithbone). Unfortunately, a straight translation of Liche Purple into the 6mm scale comes out to dark. I will have to experiment with different ways to achieve purple. Maybe a white undercoat followed by coats of Purple Wash would work?

Lost and the Damned
Overview:
The LatD are a way to use all the left-over models from my Black Legion and Imperial Guard collection. The army list doesn’t have a lot of choices so this is slightly smaller collection (though it cross-uses the already painted daemons from the Black Legion collection). The bulk of the army comes from about 20 each of Mutants, Cultists, Plague Zombies and Big Mutants plus assorted command models. The only other “fixes” part are the Daemon Engines: 1 Lord of Battle, 6 Doomblaster, 3 Brass Scorpion, 1 Tower of Skulls, 3 Cauldron of Blood, 1 Deathdealer, 1 Blood Reaper, 1 Plague Tower, 2 Subjugator, 6 Slaneesh Knights, 1 Firelord, 4 Doomwings, 2 Silver Towers, and 6 Hellfire Cannons. I am missing Contagion Towers and Questors (and two Silver Towers to make a legal sized formation). For the rest of the army I have a few bags of assorted IG equipment: 8 Fire Support Squads, 6 Chimeras, 3 Hellhounds, 3 Demolisher, 2 Leman Russ, 5 Basilisk, 6 Rough Rider, and 50 or so assorted 300:1 GHQ army trucks to be used as Transports.
Pro: I recently (almost) finished the Black Legion collection with only three models left (Magnus the Red, Mortarion and a Lord of Change) – hence the little asterix above. So I am sort of “in the groove” with respect to the colour scheme for chaos armies.
Con: The collection is far from completed model wise. I will also need to convert up a bunch more armoured vehicles and find proxy solutions for things like Chaos Hounds and Spawns.

So, help me decide by voting below. Thanks.