Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Modular Cities of Death game board, new name and layout, and 1000 views!

Welcome back!! There's been a few changes round here, most markedly the blog name change. I decided on Tempest's 40K Bunker as the old name seemed a bit too focussed on terrain and minis, whereas I wanted to encompass the entire hobby itself. A small change, but I feel its an important one. I'm also going to play around with the layout and colours as well, so dont be surprised if its all changed when you next come back! 

Cities Of Death "Modular" game board.

I've started work on a new and somewhat ambitious project, a fully modular gaming table for use in Cities of Death 40K battles, which is formed from 2ft x2ft MDF wood sections. I was initially quite hesitant about this project as I thought it would be hard to cut perfectly sized squares, however a trip to the hardware store (Bunnings) alleviated some anxiety when I found that I could buy 2x4ft sections, so only one cut per board to make each section. I actually found one of the 4x2 boards was a few mm longer than 4ft, this actually made for perfect 2ft squares after cutting when taking into account the width of the circular saw blade- the other 2 boards are both 1mm narrower across one direction. In the end it'll amount to nothing, but at least i know to search for slightly longer sections when i get my next board.

I marked out some roadways on the squares, 6 inches wide and entering/ exiting at the middle of each edge. For now I only have four squares, and have planned for two T intersections and two crossroads, the next two squares will have straight sections of road.
The roads themselves are carved into the squares using a handheld wood router with a 19mm square/flat cut router bit. I had to make up a wooden router guide to run this along, and after routing out each length of road I undo all the clamps and shift it about 17mm and go again for another pass. Tedious, but three-dimensional recessed roads are pretty sweet! The roads are about 4 mm lower than the top surface, so there's still 11mm of wooden board left to keep it all really solid, there's no chance of breaking the squares at all. Its basically the same height as a 40K round base.

Future plans are to add some much thinner (10- 15mm wide?) and much deeper lines here and there to represent water drainage channels. They'd terminate before each board edge, going 'underground', and would mainly be there to add some extra dimension. I'd also run them so they appear to flow under the roads as well, and am hoping to use water effects to get a good sense of realism. But for starters i'm going to concentrate on the roads and see how they all come out.

I've also decided that I'm not going to trash the streets with cracks and craters, I'd like this setup to work for both 'war-torn' and 'recently invaded' city scenarios, with craters and detritus being added on top later if necessary as seperate terrain pieces. Im definately going to do some more investigation into what kind of road lines or markings to paint down, but im not 100% sold on the idea just yet. If they are painted on i'll be drybrushing over them in spots to make them appear quite worn, giving a sense of age to the board. 

So for now at least I have one square completed, the others should be done by the weekend, as its been raining nearly non stop for a while now and I therefore have some free time to spend in the garage!

Over 1000 blog views!!

Wow, it hasnt taken that long to get this many page views, some of you must like me enough to come back for a look every now and then.  I really appreciate that people will spend time looking into my Blog, and I'm hopeful that I'm able to continue showcasing the kind of minis, terrain, tips, tutorials, battlereports and general info that interests people and hopefully inspires them in their own hobby endeavours.  I aspire to keep going with this Blog for as long as possible and keep working on the minis and terrain that inspire me so much. I appreciate your interest, and hope that I can continue to provide another perspective on the universe of 40K.  

Until next time, thanks for visiting.
Tempest :) 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The "Kan Wall", BA SangGuard and some big-name repaints!

Hi all, welcome back! I've been relatively busy of late with house and baby-centric preparations (only 10 weeks to go!) so the hobby has been pushed back a little bit.  I've still been able to get a lot of things done though in the limited time available, namely trying out some NMM gold techniques on a squad of Sanguinary Guard, and assembling and lightly base colouring some Killa Kans. The former was due to a desire to try something I havent done before, the latter because I was hoping to  get a semi-competitive "Kan-Wall" list ready for a one-day tourney.

Here's how the Sang Guard are going... pretty happy for a first try!

So regarding the Orks- I got the Kanz glued together and undercoated in just one night, including removing all mold lines, flashing etc and then got their main hull/body sections coated in a single layer of hawk turquise to help them look less like flat-black flailing robots. I also undercoated and then painted the skin onto the Painboy and Grot orderly for my Nobz squad as well as the Big Mek with Kustom Force Field. Nobody wants to see bare metal, or just black undercoat. A small bit of effort always goes a long way.

I then ran the boyz at the local tourney (1400pts), and the first game demonstrated how hardcore a Kan-wall can be. Running two squads of 3x Kans,  two x 30-strong Boyz mobs and a Warboss, 9 Nobz + Painboy and Big Mek with KFF all in a Battlewagon I essentially steamrolled the Marine army in front of me. The only major losses I sustained were the Warboss and Nobz, who failed to get a charge in by a half-inch, and were then themselves assaulted by Lighting Claw- toting Terminators and a Captain. I eventually whittled these guys down with a mob of Boyz, dealing on average 60+ attacks per turn until they were gone- 2+ armour can be good if you dont need to take 9 saves per model! Aside from that, the only other significant loss was a single Killa Kan to an assault cannon shot, and this was after both Kan mobs had carved up a Landraider Redeemer into several smoking sections. They then went on to attack the Tactical Squads positioned at the back of the board, taking them down with grotzookas, missiles and then close combat. Here's some pics from the game:

Deployed and ready to roll!! Everyone has access to the KFF bubble at this point of the game :)

Waaagh!!! Kans carve the Landraider into ruin, the left Boyz mob swamps the terminators whilst the right ones rescue "Frosty Frostington" (the snowman) who was the main objective.

And in the final stages of turn 4, the Kans engage and massacre the Tactical Squads :)

The unfortunate thing was that I had to bail out and return home after this first game, so I'm not going to automatically assume that this is a dynamite killer list just yet. I will however admit that its the basis for a strong list, especially with another 350 points added on top to equal the 1750pt limit that is most commonly seen around the local tourneys. Im thinking that I'll be throwing in another 3 Kanz, and will therefore have 3 Grotzookas, 3 Rokkit Launchas and (if i can scrounge the parts) 3 Kustom Mega Blastas. I'll also be looking to add a Deff Dread with twin scorchas, mainly just to give the opposing forces something big and scary looking. Stat-wise and for its points, a Deff Dread is considered an underperforming unit, however I'd be looking to utilise it in the psychological 'big and scary' role for keeping my Kanz alive. With armour plates and grot riggers it should be able to keep rolling forwards attracting fire and keeping the other elements of my force unmolested. The last switch/addition i'd be taking is another KFF Mek, removing the Warboss from my list. This then opens up about 130 points to use, so I'd possibly get another Deff Dread. 11 Walkers, 60 Boyz, 9 Nobz (upgraded with more Pklaws), a battlewagon and 2 KFFs to cover the whole army?? I know why this type of list has a reputation...
*Update: I've now purchased another 3 Kanz, and a box of Lootas/Burnas- more green-death to come!* 

And now, switching back again to the painting side of things...

Following my recent discovery of the greatness that is Simple Green concentrate I have been diligently rescuing some of the old models in my posession from the captiprison of thick, claggy and decidedly unattractive paint. Some of these minis are mine, and some of them belong to my friends- I've taken it upon myself to help them with paintstripping, cleaning up and (where appropriate) repainting the figures. So far the roster of submerged minis reads like a roll call of some of the greatest and brightest in the 40K universe, comprising Abbadon the Despoiler, Pedro Kantor, Kharn the Betrayer, Azrael (and Helmet Bearer), Interrogator Chaplain Asmodai as well as another "mystery guest"...

My penchant for stripping and repainting minis came after a forum discussion last year on repainting vs stripping and starting over, with which I concluded that the best approach is to start over if the materials to do so were available and the current paintjob is too thick to be covered. A great example of repainting on here is my Terminator Chaplain (the guy in my avatar), who copped a light re-spray in Chaos Black undercoat before having everything painted over again. However, I think that he's the exception to the rule, as the existing paintjob needs to be relatively smooth and thin if you are going to attempt this.

Luckily I have been able to source concentrated Simple Green from my local hardware store, and have been able to get stuck into the process of rejuvenating some previously forgotten or unloved minis. The stripping process can take as little as a few days in the solution for one-coat thick paintjobs or a week or more if there is multiple thin coats and a good sprayed-on undercoat, which acts as an anchor for the paint above to grab to. I generally leave the minis in for a week minimum, and once the green colour starts to dissappear from the solution the minis come out, get washed and have all small remaining paint traces removed from the deeper crevices and edges with a dental pick (a pin head does a similar job).  However, 9 times out of 10 a quick blast under a tap on high pressure tends to remove everything anyways.

So here's a few pictures of the current luminaries awaiting their rebirth- these were photos from games that they've participated in over the last couple of years. Im hopeful that once repainted they'll be back onto the tabletop again to lead their power armoured cohorts to glory/infamy....

Pedro Kantor- the Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists was done up with different coloured eyes for some reason, which combined with the blue/white panoply seems to make him look like a clown. Im hoping to restore some dignity to this guy, and have some great plans surrounding his powerfist regarding some OSL work and some freehand stuff here and there.

Abbadon- his previous owner had painted him in Iron Warriors livery, which looked cool (at a distance) but was way too chunky. He also had huge eyes painted on, like he was running purely on coffee.. Not sure yet what scheme to run with, initial thoughts are the traditional GW black scheme but maybe throw some thinned purple washes in there to give a sinister aspect to the highlights... looking forward to doing all the skulls and small details on him.

Azrael- My original chapter master from 1994 will finally be repainted to lead my Dark Angels- whilst I have another metal Azrael and helmet bearer mini at hand, i'd prefer to use this actual mini as he's the one that's led me to victory countless times before. Although his plasma gun arm is missing in the pics, its now been located. Im still very proud of this original paintjob, it was done with unthinned old-skool GW paints, the equivalent of a standard brush and with the talent available to a young 14 year-old version of me.

Asmodai- the interrogator chaplain is in dire need of a repaint, I cant wait to get him back out cracking skulls- even if its with his confusing double power-weapon loadout that makes no sense (in this edition at least- in second ed a sword could be used to 'parry').

The Mystery Guest (?)- I found a 2nd edition model recently that I just couldnt pass up, he's being done up to test a few techniques and for another reason that I wont divulge just yet. Suffice to say, very keen to get him done!

So even though I have less than 70 days until my baby is due, I've got a lot of work ahead- at bare minimum I want Abbadon, Pedro and the Mystery Guest done, the other guys being less of a rush. Will I get them done? I'll make sure to get progress pics up as they come- they're all about to come out of their bath for a rinse! In the meantime, here's two of the minis who will be getting some work- the "before" shots if you will :)

Urgh!!! I think we can do something with this... Pedro needs love... i think glowing powerfist fingers and eyes will fit the bill nicely, and a "Tempest" spin on the GW Crimson Fists paint scheme ;)

Not bad for something painted 18 years ago!! I owe you a new lease on life my Supreme Grand Master... especially with the rumoured DA Codex inbound! 

Thats all for now, im hoping to get something up again soon.