Sunday 22 June 2008

022 Drax's Advice Column - Please Help!

Hullo, Dear Readers,

I need a hand with something: what the deuce am I going to put on the shoulder pads of my Hardened Veterans? On the ordinary Guardsmen, the left shoulder has the number "24" (the regimental number) and the right has the imperial aquila - both white transfers on the Dark Angels Green armour:
But what ought I to do for the Vets? Seriously, I don't know, and I'd really appreciate your comments on this one. I have very little imagination, and even if I kept the aquila on the right pad (which would make sense) I haven't a clue for the left one. But I would like to do something different for them.

The only constraint is that I'm not very good at painting small details.

Any offers? - Please help!

- Drax

Saturday 21 June 2008

021 After the War [a little comic relief]

And now for something a little different...

After a brief exchange with The Inner Geek, I have decided to post the 2nd/24th Cadian Light Infantry's mascot. He's small, warlike and somewhat Napoleonic, and he almost always accompanies the Lieutenant who commands 2 Platoon in battles:

Faithful readers, I give you 'After the War':
And here he is with his master, OC 2 Platoon:
And here's the little blighter in real life:
That's right - After the War* is a scale representation of our own faithful corgi: Cadfael. Cadfael is technically my wife Kate's dog, having followed her over from Chicago, and a few years ago ahe presented me with my own 28mm version, made out of Fimo, a kind of modelling clay that you bake to set.

After the War has appeared on the field a number of times, and although he usually trots faithfully after his master, he has also made a characterful objective marker a couple of times. He has no game rules.

I'm pleased to note that Kate has also made and/or painted some of my scenery too, for which I'm eternally grateful. She takes no active participation in gaming stuff, but it's always lovely to have her with me when I'm painting on a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon. Thanks, Kate!

NB: Kate has her own blog of daily(ish) photos which I recommend, too, entitled 'The Nicest of the Damned': I have blog title envy!

- Drax

* His name is a reference to a song: if you don't get the reference but want to, do an internet search for "Paul Simon" and "After the War". Incidentally, I'm a big Magritte fan, too.

Monday 16 June 2008

020 Veterans [Work in Progress]

Well, I've been meaning to post these boys for a while here they are. They are as yet unfinished, so do please bear with me; but (a) I'm quite pleased with a couple of the tweaks I've made, and (b) the work-in-progress pics actually serve to illustrate some of my earlier posts (see below).

So - here are some of the mismatched crowd that constitute the 'hardened veterans' of the Cadian 24th:
Firstly, their trusty vet sergeant, who sports a jaunty little greenstuff cap, a power sword and a bolter, as well as assorted grenades. Sadly, his photos were a little disappointing (this model actually looks better in reality - unlike the other pics, which are pretty accurate):
Next - the sniper. Yes, I know vets oughtn't really to have snipers, but I really couldn't resist converting this; especially if you compare it to the old, old one in the A/P hvy wpn squad I posted previously! I love this model - the rifle really seemed to work well without being too chunky, and goes very well with the FW head with eyepiece:

The missile launcher. I love this model, too: it's the normal IG missile launcher but sawn-off, and with the small Space Marine rockets as ammo (on his back, in this case). The purity seal is an early hand-made one, too:

The grenade launcher and flamer vets speak for themselves:

Next we have the vet with the hvy bolter. This one is interesting because it is an example of how I used to model my tripod hvy wpns: on a separate base and therefore interchangable. I have since changed this (as you can see with the A/P hvy wpn squad I posted) to a converted ovoid base - far more practical! Note the ammo box on the hvy bolter and the demolition charge hanging from his webbing.

The wonderful Forgeworld (FW) shotgun veterans models - I haven't even finished making these, but the models are so cool they had to go in!
And finally, two more basic works-in-progress. From this you can note that the DPM camouflage is in its second stage (obviously it's based on British temperate DPM - maybe these days I'd choose something different, but that's what I started off with and I quite like it): it's a base coat of Dark Angels Green, followed by splodges of (in this order) Bleached Bone, Scorched Brown and Chaos Black.
My usual caveat applies here: I'm not in it for the painting! I only use flat colours as a rule, and I can't do faces. I have particular difficulty with 'white' skintones and eyes - that's why so many of my troops look very scared (blanched and wide-eyed)!

A final word on basing and finishing: these models show my old style basing (a flat, untextured dark green base). They are not yet furnished with transfers or insignia and they have not yet been varnished. These might be the models upon which I try out a matte varnish: it's about time!
Hope you enjoyed some of these...

- Drax.

Thursday 12 June 2008

019 Shout Out!

"There's no such thing as bad publicity."

- This is very true, and following hotly in the footsteps of my fellows I'm delighted to draw your attention to some of the other individual blogs I enjoy - most of which have Imperial Guard content which I fully intend to explore further. Of course, all of these can be found in the links section on the right, but for simplicity's sake, I commend the following to your notice:

Col. Gravis's Praetorian Imperial Guard;
Tantalum 5th;
The Inner Geek;
Andy's Blog;
From the Warp.

There really seems to be a lot of cross traffic between these blogs which we all benefit from, and as I'm pleased to have discovered these pages, I'm sure you will be too!

What's even better is that I know if I'm checking my blog but I haven't been able to post for a couple of days, I can always see what these other fine contributors are up to instead!

By the way...for those of you who are in the UK and will understand this: my school's had the OFSTED inspectors in this week, and as the inspections are over I'm a damned sight more relaxed and happy now...Yay!

Thanks for your time; more models soon,

- Drax

Saturday 7 June 2008

018 A/P Squad C

August '09 - NB: Since the new Codex: Imperial Guard, my fire support platoons have been disbanded, and their constituent units re-allocated. In this case, these autocannon teams are now part of 1 Tactical Platoon.

Hooray! Thanks to suggestions from Col. Gravis, I have now completed the autocannon squad (to go with the missile launcher squad and, soon, the hvy bolter squad) for D Coy's 1st F/Sup platoon.

This lot oughtn't to require much explaining, so here they are:
Two things of note. First, the bases: each is a normal 40K 25mm base halved and stuck either side of a Warhammer Fantasy 25mm base; the gaps subsequently filled in with greenstuff. As I say, thanks to Col. Gravis for this, because I'd tried lots of different approaches previously, and wasn't happy with any of them - especially in gameplay. If you look carefully, you can see the joins.
The other thing is the 'sniper' - as was. A very early attempt at converting a trooper into a sniper, this guy somehow found himself in one of the fire support platoons. Don't ask.
So there you go...enjoy!
- Drax

Friday 6 June 2008

017 Basing and Varnishing (mmm...shiny!)

Right then...just a quickie.

I'm going to try to outline why I base and varnish my models as I do - you may have noticed by now that it doesn't always actually look that good; not least on my earlier efforts!
Firstly, basing. I've never relished the idea of basing an army - I find painting the models time-consuming enough and just painting them black or (for a long while) dark green seemed to do a good enough job. However, I figured I ought to try to grow up, and the release of Cities of Death persuaded me that rubble might just be within my grasp. It turns out that it is - just about - within my grasp. I don't like applying it, I don't like basecoating it black, I don't like what drybrushing it does to my brushes (even the old ones!) and I think the end result is - frankly - flat and boring.

BUT it has to be said it's better than the bases staying blank. AND it does make the models look finished. AND it does give them a little more character. AND with a 200+pax army I can't afford to be too fussy. So I guess it works out for the best!

Also, I really like the flashes on the reverse of the bases (see 1Pl HQ medic, below) - it's hard to express just how useful this for identifying units in the field and in storage!
As for the varnish? Well, I do this purely and simply to make the models more hardwearing - especially given the amount of them I'm obliged to store and (sadly not often enough) transport. If it's not painfully obvious, I use spray-on Purity Seal. It also seals the transfers on superbly well.

So there you go!

- Drax

Thursday 5 June 2008

016 One Month In

So...a month in! A month in, and this is a rough guide to what I've accomplished:

Roughly 150 hits;
One comment (thanks, seemyinnergeek!);
52 images;
The vague manipulation of html;
Some links to other great sites established;
My first ever attempt at freehand design painting (see below, and post 015);

4 units fully finished because of the impetus of this blog, including: 2 sentinels, 1 missile launcher squad, B Coy comd squad, and even one of my autocannon squads (which will be posted this weekend) - so that'll soon be five units in a month: unprecedented! And that's with a week travelling!*

I have to say I'm pleased with the start we've made - and thanks to all of you for your patience and support: I really appreciate it!

Now I'm going to (a) post this and hope that the 'comments' option appears this time, and (b) start possibly thinking about a possible entry for the BoLS competition to design an IG regiment for their Macharian Campaign . Yay!

Thanks, all...

- Drax.

*Incidentally, I really enjoyed the two days I spent at my new school in Devon, and my wife and I have found a lovely cottage to rent too...ahh!