Wednesday 31 December 2008

074 Me (after a fashion)

Hullo again!

For those of you not aware, those over at Andy's Blog have been having a friendly competition to 'design oneself' in miniature form. I thought the deadline was the end of January: apparently it's tomorrow! Now, while the time difference gives me a few extra hours, I've had to ignore our houseguest (luckily, none of us care much for New Year's Eve celebrations), in order to turn out a verion
This is me in an approximation of me during my brief period in uniform. Details include the following:
- my glasses - these were an absolute bugger to convert!
- my sword (the "Ballard Sword")
- my ever-present satchel
- kit (I'm something of a pack-rat and always carried stuff)
- the colours, both of the service dress uniform and the cap
- the light blue flash
- my pre-commissioning rank insignia on my left shoulder: a beautiful design, and a rank the conference of which I've always been proud. This is probably the most tricky thing I've ever painted!
Sadly, I'm no Golden Demon painter, and the mini looks far better from a distance than under the glare of naked bulbs and a flash at eleven at night. Oddly, I had to use candles for illumination whilst painting this tonight, too!

Oh, I'm a little less, er, rugged these days, and I should point out to anyone who knows me reading this that this is just for fun: I'm not seriously trying to recapture my past with any degree of faithfulness!

I'll finish and base him at some point soon. Kate says she's going to do a version of me in a Hawaiian shirt if I provide the model...

Here's to the New Year and Codex, and do pop over to Andy's blog.

- Drax

073 Box in Action!

Greetings from a Happy Drax!

Here's my new travelling paint box in action [for more info see here; for blueprints, see here] - I'm an abysmally slow painter, but I managed to paint up one of my fire support lascannon squads whilst away over Christmas - partly at home with my dad; party whilst enjoying our wonderful stay with Saranga and the Crispy One - thanks guys! I still had to finish them off at home, but it was great to have a bit of time to paint whilst away.

Of course, the one thing it's harder to travel with is a good source of light, especially when you're trying to paint at night. Maybe I'll get one of those cheap little LED clip-on reading lights...

Yes I know I've yet to finish their lasconnon, but I'll get to them soon and get the bases/transfers/varnishing done too. Rumour has it I might soon want to re-base these bozos onto 60mm bases for the Codex re-release in May, but we'll see. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

Cheers, and all the best for the new year: let's hope it's a good one, eh? Thanks for swinging by here in the latter half of '08!

- Drax

Thursday 25 December 2008

Saturday 20 December 2008

071 Battle Report! Cadian 1/24th Vs Dark Angels

I should explain.

This is the battle report from my wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable match a couple of weeks ago against Fallen 73rd over at Unforgiven Angels. My army list can be found here and 73rd's will be added to this post soon. It was 1500pts and a chance for me to field a detachment from the Cadian 24th's 1st Battalion - basically all of my light vehicles (less the W-i-P Wyvern)!

But here's the thing, and I've a feeling that some of you purists out there will disown Drax for this:

we played online.

Yes. 73rd is an absolutely marvellous opponent: thoroughly sporting, a proper gentleman and up for a laugh...but I've never met the chap. He lives over 200 miles away (for those of you in the States, 200 miles is a huge distance over here!) and I live in the deep countryside with no car and busy weekends. [Seriously: even when we hire a car (like today) it still takes us over half-an-hour to reach a road with two lanes!]

I don't understand any of it, and I simply cannot use the right technical language, but there's a program called Vassal which replicates (extremely well) a 2-D game of 40K with all the requisite pieces, as you can see below. I've played 73rd like this thrice now, and each game's been a corker, but this latest one was simply superb!

We're usually happy to forgo technicalities for the sake of cinematic style, and boy, did we get it in this one! From the hapless Dark Angel missiles pinging off the chimera hulls to the final what-the-hell showdown between his terminator chaplain and my heroic young officer, this was Good Fun. Add in a sentinel bonking a Deathwing terminator on the head with a multilaser and you've just about got an idea of the joy of it - even in inglorious 2-D!

The details and a commentary will be added bit-by-bit, and I'll let you know when I have...but here are the teams, and the screenshots follow:

1500pts IG armoured column NB: All vehicles have smoke.




2 hellhounds, each with basic armament + extra armour [I’ve always thought it makes no sense for hellhounds to be FA]


Full platoon as follows:

HQ: Jr. Officer with Honorifica Imperialis, melta bombs, p/wpn, bolt pistol; vox; vet medic; 2 grenade launchers

1 sect: sgt; vox; plasma gun

2 sect: sgt; vox; melta gun

3 sect: sgt; vox; grenade launcher

4 sect (r): sgt; vox; flamer [NB: They share HQ section’s chimera]

4 chimera transports, comprising: 2 with T-L heavy bolter; 1 with multi laser; 1 with autocannon


2 sentinels w. multi laser 2 sentinels w. lascannon


Griffon Basilisk with indirect fire.

Total: 1504pts.

Note that man-for-man the Guard are outnumbered!



Interrogator Chaplain - Terminator Armour - 120 pts


Deathwing Terminators - Cyclone Missile - 245 pts


10 Marines - Sergeant PPistol - Flamer, Missile Launcher - 210 pts

10 Marines - Sergeant PPistol - Flamer, Missile Launcher - 210 pts

10 Marines - Sergeant PPistol - Flamer, Missile Launcher - 210 pts

Fast Attack:

6 Ravenwing Bikes, 1 Attack Bike, 1 Landspeeder - 2 Flamers (Bikes) - 380 pts

1 Ravenwing Landspeeder - Typhoon Missile Launcher - 75 pts

Dedicated TransportsRazorback - 50 pts

Razorback - 50 pts

TOTAL = 1490 pts

Oh yes - by the way: the men of the 1st/24th won...

- Drax.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

070 Box of Tricks Blueprints

Crumbs - seventy posts already!

Thanks for your interest in my travelling paint station from post 069 and for your kind suggestions and requests for construction details. Here they are - fresh from my essential hobby notebook, my Book of Arcane Scribblings (Vol. IV):
Here are my four planning pages. Frustratingly, the squares in this notebook are 7mm, so for Vol. V I'll have to try to steal an exercise book with 5mm squares (I have a pad of 5mm squares too, and it's tremendously useful for foamcard blueprints - I love squared paper). You'll note that at times I've used the printed grid for 7/10 scale sketches (all images can be clicked on):
Here are the quantities and dimensions of each basic piece, which I've labelled on the diagram beneath [NB: this is for material with a 5mm thickness]:
2 x A (base and lid): 190 x 150mm
4 x B (long sides): 180 x 45mm
4 x C (short sides): 150 x 45mm
4 x D (lugs or brackets): right-angled triangle with 10mm sides
1 x E (baseboard): 180* x 140mm
2 x F (back and front walls): 180* x 40mm
2 x G (sloping sides): take a piece 140 x 40mm, mark 50mm along from opposite corners and cut on what should be a 45 degree angle to make two. The flat top edge is 50mm and the bottom edge is 90mm.
* I had to cut these lengths down to about 175mm on my mock-up.
I shan't insult your intelligence by telling you how to put it together: it's pretty simple - just two open boxes hinged on one long edge with a removable tray - the diagram'll make it clear, anyway. I joined mine with PVA/white glue and sellotape, and the whole thing took about an hour to knock together.

The details you can fiddle with yourselves.
Oh, the central conceit is that all GW paintpots fit into a space 45 x 35 x 35mm. That was my jumping-off point.

Here's some more pages of scribbling, just for the hell of it. They include concept sketches for a sentinel-headed quadrupedal walker, amongst other things!
The book lives by my bed, beside my candle, and travels with me. It's currently three exercise books bound together and is a source of constant comfort in my old age!

- Drax.

Saturday 13 December 2008

069 Box of Tricks

So...I'm lucky to work in a school.

Here's why: at a moderate level - even in a British high school (way smaller and less equipped than most of their Stateside counterparts) I've access to a huge variety of useful stuff in a way that most people - through work at least - don't. Gym stuff; sports stuff; science stuff; computer stuff; reprographics; maths stuff; books and stationery; A/V equipment; a library and even name it, I've used it. But all pales into insignificance when compared to having the design and technology department (US: "shop") at my disposal.

In addition to borrowing tools and resources, my previous efforts have resulted in my awesome paint station (which I love) and a few templates. But recently, I've decided to start a new project, which I've been designing over the last week and of which I made a mock-up today. Behold: Drax's travelling paint station:
Yes, I know it just looks like a 190x150x100mm (7.4 x 5.9 x 4.0") box made out of 5mm foamboard, but look - it opens up to reveal......a detachable mini paint staion!
This bad-boy is purpose-built to enable me to while away hours with quality "Drax-time" after Kate's gone to bed when we're travelling.
The idea is that the box can carry the following:
- 16 paint pots ("full 16-bit colour," as Kate pointed out!)
- 6-ish paintbrushes, a knife, glue and sundry other tools and bits (inside/attached to the lid)
- 10 infantry models (in the slot at the back, which will be padded with lightweight 5mm foam)
- assorted tissue (+ folded newspaper on top of paints).
I'll hopefully be making it in the new year at school, using 5mm wood, but this foamboard/PVA/tape mock-up is actually so sturdy that I'll probably take it on my travels with me this Christmas. I've designed it so that it fits nicely into any of my bags too.

What do you think?

C'mon: shower me with praise, damnit!

- Drax