Armies on Parade 2020!

I’m a casual hobbyist at best (and definitely no better as a photographer), but when I saw that Games Workshop was running Armies on Parade online this year, I decided I was gonna throw my name into the hat, and share pictures of the two armies that I’ve managed to finish this year. It’s been a long strange trip but I’m happy with how both of them have turned out so far – and I have plans to add a few new reinforcements to my Eldar, and a big expansion on my Death Guard army, too, in 2021. The Long War never ends.

Pictured: A whole bunch of elves pouring out of the Webway Gate.

Out of the two I definitely think my Death Guard army is more photogenic, ironically. I’m happier with how it turned out and how coherent it all looks together, even though I do love my multicolored Aspect Warriors for Eldar. On the Death Guard side, I think I’m most proud of my vehicles – the Blight-Haulers and the Rhino really stand out, and I’m still a sucker for my Lord of Contagion, too. Papa Nurgle’s blessings on Lord Felthius and his creepy-ass smile.

Pictured: Where the trouble began. That smile. That damned smile…

On the Eldar side, I think my space elves suffer from a slight lack of coherency in their colors. I’m very happy with my Fire-Falcon-Rainbow-Prism, my Storm Guardians, my Howling Banshees, and my HQs, but I think in the new year the Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent, and my back left Wraithlord are going to be in need of a little love and a facelift. In a way, though, this is a good problem to have – it makes me feel like I’ve improved and that it shows in my recent painting.

Double-Feature Eldar Crusade Report!

The bad news with writing a Masters’ draft the last month is I did very little painting. The good news is that I got a couple of great games in, playing at Noble Miniatures with KinpatsuSamurai and playing Floorhammer at my apartment with my roommate. In both games I ran my Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar, with wildly varying results. They still hold their own decently against the Sisters of Battle, but I am in desperate need of a solution to to army’s kryptonite – Tyranids.

Pictured: An image taken moments before disaster

Both games were in the Crusade format, and the first involved getting my Warlord – in this case Jain Zar – to cast a ritual using the Webway Gate, which we busted out because it fit the mission type and…I will take absolutely any excuse to use my Webway Gate. I sorely underestimated the amount of damage KinpatsuSamurai’s Exorcist could put out, and I paid dearly for it in the first turn of the game. My Banshees took a beating from Repentia Sisters and other close-combat units, but I think what really shone this game were my Storm Guardians. They’re really starting to grow on me.

Pictured: My surviving elves by the game’s end, and smoking legs where a Penitent Engine used to be, courtesy of the Storm Guardians. The exploded Falcon also did not survive.

I managed to just barely win out through time and technicality against KinpatsuSamurai. My roommate is a different story. With her Tyranids, it’s never a question of whether or not I’m going to win, it’s a question of how long the game go on until she tables me and has her run of my objectives! The Banshees probably did best out of my units in this game, but that’s not saying much – we got halfway through turn three when I was wiped off the board. One of these days I’ll figure out how to hold my own against Tyranids – but today is not that day, and tomorrow doesn’t look good either.

Pictured: Jain Zar and a squad of Howling Banshees against a Broodlord, which was the only one of my roommate’s units I defeated this game. The only one. Definitely not salty.

Eldar Fire Prism

A long time ago I saw Spikey Bits’ LED-lit Eldar Fire Prism and decided I was going to do that someday. Now, with more or less my whole Eldar army assembled, I decided this was going to be the time, and that this was going to be the model with which I call my Eldar “done.” Feeling like this army is done is bittersweet, but also a thrill – and I’m looking forward tremendously to running this Fire Prism with the rest of my space elves on the tabletop.

Pictured: The lighting on the Star Engines, which I must pay 10 points for in perpetuity.

Putting this together was definitely the trickiest build I’ve ever done. Having to drill holes into the frame of the model and run wires between the power supply in the base and to each of the model’s assemblies took planning, elbow grease, and a little luck, but when it came to rigging up the lights themselves Evan Designs and their LEDs were fantastic. Even without having worked with electronics at much length before I was able to figure it out, patch it together, and bring this boat to life.

Pictured: The bare Fire Prism without heavy weapons or canopies. Hello, pilots!

The final tank ended up being built in a number of subassemblies, either pressure fit or magnetized together so that I can fix it later if any of the lights shut down. I used a take on the “sponge” method I’ve used to do grav tank hulls before and that I used prominently on my Death Guard (and Spekd has my eternal gratitude for introducing me to that.) The hull design is a cross between the “eye” motif Ulthwe uses generally, but is also a callback to the game Fire Emblem: Awakening. Because I’m hot trash.

Pictured: My “Falcon”, like everything else in my army, geared to support Howling Banshees.

In addition to the color-changing rainbow cannon and the flickering engine lights, the Fire Prism is also multipurpose – for a while now, my existing Falcon has been in Biel-Tan colors and since I’m going full-Ulthwe I wanted my Howling Banshees to have a party bus that would fit in with the rest of my army. As KinpatsuSamurai has pointed out, I have picked a lane, and I’m owning that!

As tricky as the build was, and as much as I might have been able to give it more love if I’d waited until after my Masters’ was done, I’m extremely happy with the results on this. This is the best model that I have ever built and painted, and the difference between this and my older work (before Twitchy Bristles) is night and day. I don’t think I could hope to end the construction and painting of my Eldar army on a better note.

Plague Surgeon and Noxious Blightbringer

After writing last week’s battle report, I realized I’d missed a few essential characters in my Death Guard army when I did up my galleries – sort of! They showed up in the background of some of the other pictures but I wanted to give them a dedicated spot of their own to shine. They’re two of my favorite miniature designs in the Death Guard line – though all of the recent Death Guard Elite characters are pretty great in that regard.

Pictured: Nurglings, still being my favorite part of painting Death Guard.

And now with my whole batch posted, I find myself thinking about what I’m going to do with the next batch, once my Masters’ is done and once I have more free time on my hands. As it stands I have the Death Guard half of a Know No Fear starter still needing painting (along with a few fun other models), and as good as my first “batch” has turned out I want my next Plague Marines to stand out even more.

Pictured: My typical Death Guard character lineup.

As much as I like the color scheme that I went with generally and the rust effects, I think my next batch is going to emphasize a more Horus Heresy color scheme, where armor is visible, and I also think I’m going to try and switch up the brown color I used for cloth. It blends too much with the other colors, and when I’ve seen people go for violet or red-colored cloaks it looks like it pops much better. Maybe something like a wine-red? We’ll see.

Crusade Continues – Mistakes Were Made!

I’ve been playing Eldar for a long time – maybe a little too long! Taking my Death Guard out for a spin over the last couple Crusade games with KinpatsuSamurai has been a blast, but it’s definitely come with a sharp, blight-ridden learning curve. The first game against the Sisters of Battle was a train wreck – pun intended – with my Thomas the Chaos Rhino and Plague Marines all being bogged down in Repentia Sisters while the Sisters’ Immolator picked off cherished Nurgly characters.

Pictured: “Thomas had never heard of such bullsh*t before.”

I think in some ways I learned more in the second game, on a much more open board, against the Death Watch. Compared to Eldar, I definitely need to be more conscious of movement limitations, and I need a solid “delivery method” for my heavy hitters. KinpatsuSamurai won this one by a pretty wide margin, but the final melee between the Death Watch and my Biologus Putrifier and Foul Blightspawn was – pun once again intended – a blast.

Pictured: Two Elite Death Guard characters, soon reduced thereafter to mist and bone chips.

As always, Noble Miniatures in Paradise, just outside of St. John’s, was a fantastic location for the games and the setup for both games was great. I’d like to extend a thanks and a shout-out to KinpatsuSamurai for the awesome match, and for doing a battle report of his own on the second game, which is hosted on the Rolling Intentions website. They’re a group of awesome people writing on the tabletop scene in my neck of the woods, and definitely worth checking out!

Preview: Taste the Rainbow Cannon!

This is a model I’ve poured a lot of effort into over the last month – originally I was going to build it after I finished writing my Masters’ research project as a reward, but then a local painting contest came up and I thought it would be a great chance to get some local exposure for my work. The contest is part of the Sci-Fi @ Home convention, based out of St. John’s. I’ll have a proper gallery done up soon, but in the meantime, here’s the video that I sent in as a demo of the lighting system!

Pictured: The lighting demo for my Eldar Fire Prism, in Craftworld Ulthwe colors.

(www.youtube.com/watch?v=67FDkVV4CgY if you can’t see the embed.)

Thrilled to get my name out there as a painter, and I’m excited to run this in my Eldar army soon! Full gallery on this coming next week!

It lives! Lighting test for my Fire Prism

Just a short, sweet update for today. I’m still hard at work on my thesis and won’t have the chance to do any major hobbying for a while. But I did have time to do this: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67FDkVV4CgY if you can’t access the embed)

Pictured: Left to right, the engine, prism cannon, and cockpit lights.

The lights and the battery pack and other accessories were all bought via https://evandesigns.com/, and they were relatively easy to put together (even for someone with no real knowledge of electronics, wiring, circuits, etc.) The shipping was relatively quick and to be honest I might pick up more lighting sets from them in the future if I light other 40K vehicles.

My plan is to use the blue lights for the engines, the four white lights for the two cockpits, and the color-changing LED to give my Fire Prism a bright, shiny rainbow cannon. There’s a local convention doing a miniature painting contest this month, so if I can work a little more efficiently on my thesis and free up some spare time this might be the right time to bring this to life.

Eldrad Ulthran

Although many Aeldari seers sensed the nascent presence of Ynnead in the infinity circuits, it was Eldrad who put into motion a daring ploy to awaken the slumbering God of the Dead.

With playing Ulthwe since I got back into 40k and painting, having a psyker HQ in my line-up has been the bread-and-butter of my lists, and this is especially the case with Eldrad Ulthran later in 8th edition and early so far in 9th. With the new Crusade campaign I’m in I wanted to have a nice, shiny new Farseer for the tabletop and so I took a crack at painting the former High Farseer again.

Pictured, a Farseer painted a year ago, left, and the recently-finished Eldrad for comparison.

I’m thrilled with how the model came together – I used a combination of some of my own methods for the gems and cloth and some of the recommended colors and placement from one of the old Warhammer TV tutorials (praise be unto Duncan and his two thin coats). This is another model where I feel like the improvement I’ve made in the last couple years really shows, and makes me glad that I took another shot at this.

Lord Felthius and the Tainted Cohort

Pictured, Lord Felthius – a Lord of Contagion model with a lot of personality.

With Games Workshop recently removing most of the line of Easy to Build kits introduced in 8th edition, I’m glad that I got a hold of these models when I did! I hadn’t done much in terminator-sized models up to this point and initially I found the sheer number of details on these a little daunting, but each of the models in this set ended up looking really distinct with their own individual presence and personality.

Pictured, my favorite part of painting Death Guard – the Nurglings!

With recent Power Level updates I’m not altogether sure the Tainted Cohort can be fielded on its own anymore, which means it might be worth picking up the regular Blightlord Terminators at some point, but even once I do I think I’m going to find excuses to use these models as part of that squad because they just look so imposing. And, as always, I love Nurglings.

Embarking on my 9th Edition Crusade

Pictured, 25 PL of my Eldar, taking on the Deathwatch after exiting their landing craft.

I’ve wanted to do narrative-style play in Warhammer 40K for a long time, so when a couple of friends of mine wanted to start up a Crusade game and came up with a strange new world for us to fight over, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I packed up my Eldar, and a friend of mine packed up their Deathwatch, and we went to our FLGS – Noble Miniatures in Paradise, Newfoundland – to kick things off.

Pictured: The Eldar take some calculated risks, but boy are they bad at math.

I brought a squad of Storm Guardians with fusion guns, my Howling Banshees, Jain Zar, and a Falcon transport and we went up against a squad of Primaris Intercessors, a Redemptor Dreadnought, a Primaris Captain in Gravis Armour, and an Inquisitor. The dreadnought was definitely the target that gave me the hardest time, but in the end my space elves recovered most of the supplies from their crashed cruiser’s debris and escaped.

Pictured, my Guardians defending an objective (and also coming to space elf Jesus.)

There were definitely some lessons learned this game but the fusion guns worked brilliantly, and I think I’m getting better at playing my Banshees to their strengths. Looking forward to switching my roster up a little for the next Eldar game, and looking forward to debut my Death Guard on the tabletop sometime soon, too, in this campaign. As always, I can’t say enough good things about Noble Miniatures and about their table setups. They’re a phenomenal shop and made for some great pictures, and a great starting point for our Crusade.