Monday, December 28, 2009

God Bless Us Everyone

I hope Christmas was good for you guys, because it was good for me.  I ate too much, I didn't drink enough, and I spent too much time with in-laws.  But other than that, I got Assault on Black Reach and a Killa Kan with Rokkit Launcha to build my army up.

This is cool, because I have a bunch of minis to paint and it gives me an excuse to switch gears on how I paint.  I spend so much time fixating on the details that I'm convinced I'm going to burn out on painting.  So for the rank and file of my army I'm going to start dipping them.  It'll get them painted faster and allow me to spend my time painting the boss units, or big units that just look like fun to paint (like my Ork Trukk).

So, does anybody have any advice before I start dipping?  Any suggestions, tips, or tricks?  I'd love to hear them because I'm going to admit that I'm a little nervous about starting this.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ultramarines The Movie Concept Art Revealed

I just got the latest e-mail newsletter for Ultramarines The Movie and lo there was in the newsletter a link to some revealed concept art.  The art is the entrance to the Codex Chapel, and I have to say it's just another bit of news that has me excited about this movie.  Sadly it also said the next steps were recording voice actors and creating story boards.  So it appears the movie is farther off than I had hoped.

See the art after the jump

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ultramarines The Movie The Update from The Producer

The Ultramarines The Movie: Blog has posted an interview with one of the producers.  It sounds like they are definitely trying to make the Warhammer 40,000 movie that we fans of Warhammer 40,000 have been wanting.  My only question is "What army are they going to fight?" they mentioned a bunch of possibilities, but left us hanging on which one it shall be (I hope it's Orks).

See the video after the jump.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Dawn of War II Chaos Rising update I missed

My apologies, I missed this update last week over at the Dawn of War II site.  It's a chronicling of encounters between the Blood Ravens and the Chaos Space Marines in the Dawn of War series.  It's pretty darn cool, but I want to zero in on something and let my imagination run wild for a minute.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Horus Heresy Board Game

You've read the books,  you've heard of the old game.  Now you too can command the forces of Man or Chaos in most epic battle ever.  Fantasy Flight Games has released Horus Heresy, a two person board that allows players to play out one of the seminal moments in the 40K mythos history.

I'm not sure how different this new release is when compared to the 1993 release.  However, I think it's safe to say that it will be fun.  Whether you care or not, in the fluff few events are more important to the 40K universe than the Horus Heresy.  So I doubt Games Workshop would do anything to detract from the popularity (and money making potential) of this story with a poor game.  (Courtesy Bell of Lost Souls)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Army List Program For Us Cheapskates

I have no shame in the fact I'm cheap.  Actually it's my wife that's cheap, I have no shame in constraining my spendthrift ways to her budgetary demands.  So as I've transitioned from focusing on just buying and painting my army to buying, painting, and using my army in the game I've come to realize that I really want a list building program.

Why do I want a list building program?  For a couple reasons.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Tryptophan Clouded Trip Through a Trippy Battlereport

Note: This battle report has been sitting in the queue waiting for me to publish it for a week.  I make no apologies for the fact that right now I barely know what day of the week it is, but I do apologize for letting 40K Neophyte sit unattended like I did. 
While most of my Thanksgiving weekend was spent working and trying to avoid death at the hands of my loved ones for working, I fit in a round of 40k.  It was a tight fit considering how long it went, and it was an exhausting fit considering how late it went but it was a fun fit, and that's all that matters.

Pictures and battle report after the jump...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Breaking: Ultramarines Movie Names Writer and Director

This just hit my inbox moments ago, but the latest Ultramarines Movie newsletter had information that the writer and director have been named.

Dan Abnett has been named the writer.  That's right, THE Dan Abnett.  The guy who has written more than 30 Black Library titles, including the Gaunt's Ghost series, the Eisenhorn trilogy, the Ravenor series and two of the Horus Heresy books.

Martyn Pick has been named the director.  That's right, THE...wait, who? Nothing against Martin Pyck, but his name doesn't have the cache that Abnett's does.  Still he was the animation director for "The Age of Stupid" and has directed some small films and even the music video for U2's "Get On Your Boots".

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising Stuff

Crazy week this week, I haven't had much time to paint or play games or anything. Shoot last night I was on my computer and fell asleep while talking to somebody via IM. We were chatting in Steam, I typed something, and then woke up with a screen saver on.

That said, a couple Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising things hit this week. We have a High Score Contest winner, Patch 1.9, and Chaos Rising info. It's all after the jump.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising Trailer

The fine folks at IGN posted a new teaser trailer for Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising the other day.  It isn't long, but there is some cool gameplay footage.

The game is scheduled for a March 2010 release.

See the preview after the jump.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Megaforce Madness

There have been rumors and images of the Ork and Space Marine Megaforces rolling around the internet, and while I was embroiled in a stretch of horrible The Last Stand play I missed that Games Workshop had posted the info for the new, impressive, and apparently limited edition Ork and Space Marine box sets.
I have a breakdown of what's in each set after the jump.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Dawn of War II - The Last Stand Contest Fun

Those crazy guys over at Relic have just gotten all contest crazy for The Last Stand.  Last time it was "the first to beat Wave 20" this time it's a Highest Score Contest.  The Details are at the link, but basically get the highest score in a round during a window of a couple weeks, and have it hold for at least 24 hours.

This is just fun.  And I'm sure it'll be fun to try and do it, but if my attempt to get the highest score go anything like my last few rounds then I don't have to worry about winning.  But I'll still try.  And I suggest nobody else does (cause I want to win something sometime).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dawn of War II - The Last Stand My Own Personal Update

So last week when I was discussing the Dawn of War II DLC "The Last Stand" I commented that I was getting dumped into solo games after loading.

I have fixed that.

After updating my video drivers (I was one release back) I also installed the latest version of the AMD Dual Core Optimizer.  Once both of those were done (and I'm fairly certain the Optimizer was the big deal) I was able to play with other people.

This is great because I couldn't get past Wave 5 by myself.  I also couldn't level up very fast.  Now I'm level 9 with my Mekboy and I've reached Wave 16.  I'll go into more detail after the jump, but if you're playing and you don't want to know what Wave 16 is, then don't read past the jump.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dawn of War II - The Last Stand 5th Race Revealed

One of the things that made The Last Stand so intriguing was this idea that a new 5th race was going to appear in the DLC.  Lots of speculation about who the 5th race was going to be.  Well the news has leaked, and if you're interested, hit the jump to see.

Dawn of War II - The Last Stand First Impressions

So it had been a while since I cracked open Dawn of War II.  I had been busy painting, playing some other video games, and after completing the campaign I was sorely outmatched in multiplayer.

So right off the bat, I was the first of our threesome to die.  I got better after being revived, but I struggled a bit.

It didn't matter though.

Because I [expletive deleted] love this new game mode.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dawn of War II - The Last Stand Is Live

For those who maybe missed (like I almost did) The Last Stand - the downloadable add-on for Dawn of War II - went live yesterday.  I didn't get online until late last night so I was only able to download it.

I will be playing it tonight.  Oh yes I will be.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dawn of War II - The Last Stand...The Contest

I shamefully never discussed the soon to be release DLC for Dawn of War II "The Last Stand".

So to catch up, here's what the press release says about "The Last Stand"
The Last Stand is a cooperative survival mode that gives gamers control of an individual hero unit and drops a small multiplayer team into a battle with impossible odds.  Players can choose between a Space Marine Captain, Eldar Farseer or Ork Mekboy and will team up with two other squad-mates in an attempt to hold out as long as possible against wave after wave of relentless attackers.  Hero units level up and are fully customizable as new armor and weapons become available from game to game.  Working together to devise innovative strategies is the key to success in this brand-new battle mode.

The Last Stand download also contains two new multiplayer maps, balance updates and bug fixes for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II.

With the pending release Relic has announced a contest, details and the trailer for "The Last Stand" after the jump.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Failed the 400 Point Challenge, But I Had So Much Fun Doing It

So, my buddy Steve had a painting party over the weekend.  For those who haven't tried this, it is a great way to get motivated to paint.  You paint, you hang out with friends and talk 40K, and if you'r lucky you can even play some 40K too.

So with Steve's painting party, myself and Chris were there and so the 400 point challenge was to be completed.  And well, it wasn't.  For those who have been following Steve, Chris and I set up a 400 point challenge where we tried to paint a 400 point army to be used in a 400 point squad skirmish.  Chris was close, Steve was closer, and I wasn't anywhere near where I needed to be.  My Boyz and Boss Zagstruk are done, my Stormboyz have their rokkit packs, pants and boots done, and the Nobz and my Warboss aren't anywhere near done.  Since the first 400 point challenge is over, we are moving on to a second 400 point challenge (putting me that much farther behind).  The goal is after three 400 point challenges we'll be able to field a fully painted fully functional army with no proxies and no empty bases.

After spending several hours painting we broke to play our 400 point squad skirmish.  The battle report is after the break.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Industrial Complex Terrain

Miniature Wargaming found this cool, printable industrial complex terrain from  Something easy to use that you can place down and put set pieces on for a quick game, or use without the set pieces if you don't have any.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

UK Golden Demon Winners 2009

Games Workshop posted the Golden Demon Winners for 2009.

For the record, if I was Sylar from Heroes, these are the people who's brains I wold eat.  (via Games Workshop)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

White Dwarf Subscription Mini Bonus

So lost in the news of the <drool> Ultramarines Movie </drool> came word this weekend of a new offer from White Dwarf.  Get a subscription to White Dwarf, get a Squat.  Yep, the ol' 40K proxy for the dwarf of Warhammer Fantasy.  No word on if this means a return of the squats, or just a cool offer from White Dwarf.  (via Bell of Lost Souls)

Exclusive - Thirty Seconds of Chaos Rising | Dawn of War II Community

New Dawn of War II trailer available online.  I've embedded the trailer, but I also have a link to the Dawn of War II site's page for it.  There is an HD version available to download.

Exclusive - Thirty Seconds of Chaos Rising | Dawn of War II Community

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ultramarines: The Movie


There's going to be a direct to DVD Warhammer 40K movie centering on the Ultramarines.


There isn't much information about it yet, but the thought of a CGI movie based on Warhammer 40K has me giddy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

400 pt challenge update - Howl Like a Wolf

I've been sick, and my mind has been battered by the warp. I have pulled myself out of my delusional state long enough to post pics of the my buddy Chris' army for the 400 point challenge.

For those who are unfamiliar, my friends and I - in an attempt to give us motivation to paint - have embarked on a 400 point challenge. We are painting 400 point value armies to then combat each other so that I can win and rub it into them.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Space Hulk!

So my buddy Steve ponied up the money for Space Hulk. For those who aren't in the know Space Hulk is a board game from Games Workshop released in 1989. It introduced Genestealers (later made part of the Tyranids) and pitted them against Space Marines doing a quick recon on the titular Space Hulk before it drifted back into the Warp. Kind of putting Alien into Warhammer 40K.
(1st edition Space Hulk box art)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Da Boyz vs. Da Humies

So the 400 point challenge that has been mentioned numerous times out here is facing an end at some point soon. We had left it somewhat open ended, but the time is coming soon (so I really need to get my Stormboyz done so I can get the Nobz done so I can do my Warboss, man I'm behind).

That said, the beginning of the end started when my buddy Steve sent out this picture of his Space marines.

So, obviously I had to respond with Da Boyz
Obviously Steve is farther ahead. But they're just marines. They look good, but they just miss that snarling bloodthirsty look Da Boyz have. Or at least that's what I try to tell myself everytime I look at his picture. Man, they just look so good, better than mine, in my opinion. My only consolation will be when I crush his poor misguided Throne worshippers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So I finished up Da Boyz Last Week

You might have noticed that my posting schedule has been erratic. I'm not gonna lie. I've been putting in a lot of hours at work, and when I'm home I'm either painting, sleeping, playing an occasional video game, or trying to catch up with the family. It's not any better this week, as I currently am taking a short lunch at 11:30 after having come into work at 4:00 am (yes I was up at the ungodly time of 2:30 this morning -insert pathetic violin music as I beg for sympathy-). Eventually things will settle down....I hope. But until then, at least I have a job.

So I wanted to give an update. I haven't taken any pictures recently, but I have finished up Da Boyz, or at least my share of them. Out of the box for Da Boyz, I have made 8 Boyz and 1 Big Shootah. For those good with math that's 9 of the 10 bases included. The last base is actually reserved for my 6 year old's Ork Boy that she's about half way through. She hasn't painted in a while, and she loses interest after a bit, but I'm trying to engender a love of 40K and all things nerdy with her.

Over the weekend I didn't get as much painting time as I had hoped, but I did get started on my box of Stormboyz. These guys are going to be fun. First of all, I was expecting them to be more like Zagstruk. Zagstruk was fun, but where he had a lot of detail, he didn't have any real customization. I probably shouldn't have expected much customization, but remember I am a neophyte, and Zagstruk was my first metal piece. I was used to having all sorts of oddz 'n bitz to use on Da Boyz, and Zagstruk didn't have that. I realize now it wasn't a Stormboyz thing but a metal showpiece/boss thing. So the Stormboyz have all sorts of different customization that can be done. Like the seemingly infinite possibilities for the different rockets. I spent my time this weekend trying different rocket combinations to settle on the 5 I will be using. I could still change...except for the one with the gretchin/grot (I'm assuming gretchin, but my newbie ways say maybe it's a grot) piloting it. I love that rocket. I also love the gretchin that you can have holding onto a rocket with a stikbomb in his hand. That is just vintage Orky goodness. Violent, yet funny.

So I'm going to paint the rockets, then paint the figures to put them together. I hope I can get the 5 Stormboyz done faster than the Ork Boyz since I'm WAY behind on the 400 point challenge.

I'm also going to get some pictures taken this week. I promise.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Adventures in Pinning

Tragedy struck the other day when Boss Zagstruk's arms popped off. First one arm, and then as I was trying to re-glue it the other one. Being a heavier metal model I had thought about pinning his arms, but decided that since there were rectangular guides pinning wasn't necessary. Sadly I was wrong.

The guides for Zagstruk's arms are just that, they are guides. The recesses on the arms and the protruding guides are both very shallow, so they direct how to have the arm on the body, but they don't really hold it in place. The leg is different, there is a very pronounced rectangular post you have to fit the leg piece onto (I actually had to file the post and the hole in the leg to get the leg to fit properly).

So I decided to pin the arms. Man I was really nervous. I spent so much time on Zagstruk I didn't want to ruin him, but I didn't want parts of him just coming off either.

First lesson in pinning: Pay attention to the instructions. I didn't buy a pinning kit, I just used the how to guide from a recent White Dwarf. If I hadn't paid attention I would have likely had holes that didn't line up that would have led to some very uneven looking arms that weren't quite flush with the body. The instruction have you drilling a hole, putting in the pin, then dipping a little glue on the end of the pin so that when you put the pieces together you have a clear spot where to drill. Solid advice.

Second lesson in pinning: It doesn't take much to pin. The piece from White Dwarf suggested using a paper clip to create the pin as it is the right size for the hole and you can clip it down to the length you need. This is ideal for me since a)I'm cheap and b)I have no problem with white collar crime. So I took some paperclips from work to have a supply for pinning. However, it doesn't take much paper clip to create a viable and working pin. So my handful of paperclips will last me forever. After realizing that I had way too much for pinning I clipped the piece down. And then clipped it down again. And then one more time. You need something to hold it in place, but you don't need it to be too big (mostly because you have to drill forever to get a hole deep enough for a large pin).

Third lesson in pinning: Glue. You need to glue the post into the first piece too. My first attempt at pinning Zagstruk I thought I had the post in snug, so I put a bit of glue on the end to line it up, but I didn't actually glue in the post. So after mounting the arm onto the body, the arm fell off the body having transferred the post from one piece to the other.

Fourth lesson in pinning: Putting the pin in the first piece. The book said to put the pin in the deepest piece to drill first, this wasn't the easiest way (for me anyway) to pin. The deepest piece to drill into would be the body on Zagstruk. But for the second arm I put the pin in the arm first. I actually found it easier to work with the pin in the arm. Maybe it's splitting hairs, maybe it's just psychological. All I know is I felt more comfortable having the pin in the arm first.

To be honest, pinning was a lot easier and less nerve-wracking than I thought it would be, once I got started and worked out the kinks. I will be continuing to pin my heavier metal models from now on as I feel much more comfortable that the added weight of the metal won't break the glue bond with that pin there.

Anybody else have any suggestions or ideas for pinning?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Zen of Painting

I have hit a zen-like state with painting this week, and I hope it lasts.

So for the summer months, painting isn't something I can always get to. I lose my computer/40K room to my step-son (home from college) and the daily schedule isn't really a schedule. Not to mention how busy my weekends are.

So this week has been great. I've found time to paint before work, at lunch, and at night. I'm making real progress, and feel like I might actually meet the 400 point challenge.

It helps that I came to the realization that I don't need to spend as much time on my boyz as I was. Oh sure if it's a special character then yeah he gets the complete detailed work. But for the boyz, I'm not having them look bad, but I'm not focusing on every tiny little detail. I can't. I'd burn out from worrying about getting them done, and not having the time to get them done.

So this week I've got 4 bodies done. Torsos and legs are complete and together. I have arms in various states of completion and heads with base coats. They aren't done, but they feel like they will be soon.

So combine the time I've been able to put into it, the epiphany about not having to spend so much time on my boyz, and the visible headway I've made and painting time has become very zen-like. Gone is the feeling that I have to get this done because I'm so far behind, and gone is the way painting almost seemed like a chore. It's a relaxing pastime again, and that helps feed into it too.

Now hopefully with me camping this weekend I'm able to hold onto this feeling and feed off of it and into it next week as well.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oddz 'n Endz

Just going through some unfinished posts, thoughts, and ideas I've never really completed or followed up on.

Dawn of War II - I finished the campaign, finally. And really I was a bit disappointed with the challenge of the final mission. Not to say it was bad, because it wasn't. But I had a harder time with some of the other missions leading up to it (especially when I decided to go after an Ork Warboss to get some more Terminator armor). The story and campaign were great, but I guess knowing some of the difficulties I had I was surprised how easily I completed the last mission. Not to say there weren't some hairy moments, but I never had that "Oh crap I'm gonna die bad here" moment.

Plus, the single player campaign was the worst thing I could have done for multiplayer. Again, I loved the campaign, but man after focusing so much on levelling up my guys, getting good loot, and finding different combinations of loot to make my guys lethal, multiplayer was like learning the game all over again. Not to mention the campaign is all Space Marines, and I like to play the other races in multiplayer (especially Da Orks).

I'm hoping there will be some cool DLC coming. Maybe some Xenos-centric campaigns?

Ork Boy #4 - I finished up Ork Boy #4 and I almost have #5 done. No pics, but even though I'm not spending the hours on them that I did on Zagstruk, I'm still a slow painter. This is great for the look of my army (I hope), but not so great for the 400 point challenge. I need to get on the ball and paint some more. I was hoping to be done with my boys and maybe onto my Nobs or Stormboyz by now.

400 Point Challenge - As I've said I'm way behind in the 400 point challenge. I'm not sure where my buddy Chris is in his painting, but I just got word that my buddy Steve is almost done with his tacit cal squad (he's doing marines) and then he has 5 assault guys and he's finished. I still have to finish up my Boyz, then start on my Stormboyz, and my Nobz, and then my Warboss with Bosspole. Yeah I sense failure in this challenge, and it reeks as bad as the sweaty pits of a nervous Space Marine about to be swept up by Da Green Tide.

Ravenor by Dan Abnett - So I was coming home yesterday and I was thinking of stopping into my new gaming home when I decided instead to stop off at a book store I pass all the time. I ended up picking up Ravenor by Dan Abnett because I've really been itching to read a 40K novel. This would be my first. I love the selection of the novels Black Library publishes, but why does everything have to be human-centric? Black Library really needs to do a Xenos series. I'd love to read something from the Ork perspective (it could be funny and brutal), or from the Eldar. Sure the Tyranids might not be fodder for a great story, but not every Xenos race is a mindless collective bent on the destruction of everything around it. Still, I'm definitely enjoying Ravenor, and now have a new way to soak even more 40K goodness. It's just another step to as complete a 40K immersion as my short attention span and love of shiny things will allow.

Non 40K news - My wife purchased my ticket for the RiffTrax Live: Plan 9 from Outer Space show on August 20 (I love her). I'll be going to the closest theater to my tiny small backwoods town, which is actually my old stomping grounds of Jackson, MI. I encourage everyone who loves bad science fiction movies and laughing at them to go see this event. For those who don't know, RiffTrax is from the people who did Mystery Science Theater 3000. And since this is riffing on the worst movie ever made (not the most un-entertaining that would be a toss-up between Twilight and Ishtar...yeah I went there) I don't expect to be all. Anyway if you're going to Jackson look for the fat nerd (oh wait, that doesn't clear things up at all). Well let me know and we can at least say hi and I can bask in the glow of your praise about my blog...or wither beneath the brutal criticism. Whichever you prefer.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Finding Your Church of Gaming

Okay this is NOT an article about religion. Let me just get that out of the way. But I grew up in a church going family. My grandfather was a Baptist preacher. So I've spent a lot of time in church. While it was a gathering of religiosos, old women with wrinkly skin who covered the smell of their halitosis with Dentyne, and pot lucks. A church is also a place where people of a like-mind can meet, talk, and find strength and inspiration by mingling with their people.

In a way, a gaming/hobby store is very similar to that. I found my gaming church last week, and I'm really happy about it.

I live in a small town. It's a great place to raise my kids, but it's a horrible place to nurture my gaming passion. I may not be the only person in the area that plays 40K, but I wouldn't be surprised if I was. Not only is there no real gaming community in this small town, there isn't a gaming/hobby store within an hour of there either. Hell, there isn't even a comic book store probably within 30 minutes of that town.

So for the most part I've had other people buy things for me to save on shipping. That's cool, as I could get the stuff I needed. However it kept me from having some place I could connect with other gamers. A place I could talk about the game with people who know and cared (beyond my circle of gaming friends). A place I could breathe deep the sweaty air of nerds in their glory, and be strengthened in my own nerdery. And a place I could actually buy my own stuff too.

I've found that place, and I'm excited about it. The place, EAC Games in Maumee, Ohio, is still an hour away from where I live, but it's not that far from our remote facility for the company I work for. I'm down there at least once a week, so I have ample opportunity to stop in there. I can talk to people who are knowledgeable. I can get input and ideas from other people. I can be inspired in all things nerdy.

Basically I have found a church of gaming that I can join my people and find acceptance as I worship Gork and Mork (believe me they are a lot more fun to worship than that Emperor dude).

Oh, and I can buy stuff too.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sealing the Minis

Being new to 40k, I haven't really attempted a "How To" article, because I'm still learning how to. So for my first attempt at what could be viewed as a "How To", I'm describing how I seal my minis after painting them. But please, feel free to offer suggestions, because if there's a better way to do it...I want to know.

During the winter months as I finished up minis I wasn't able to seal them. My garage is where I do all my primering and sealing, but my camper was in there for winter storage. So now that summer is here and camping season in full swing - I've been able to get the camper out of the garage so I can primer more parts and I can seal the finished boyz.

So let me tell you about the first boy I painted. I went out and bought some some spray enamel. I sprayed my boy, and when it was done and dried it looked...wet. See I didn't pay much attention and the can I bought (which was with the flat enamels) was gloss. So he looked wet. I was really kind of pissed and embarrassed.

I was able to fix him by covering his head and arms, and doing a light coating of flat. It didn't completely take the shine off, but it dulled it. I had covered the arms and head, because if it did what I wanted it to, then he'd hopefully look sweaty. If it didn't work, then I figured better his armor and clothing looked bad than his head and arms. He doesn't look bad, but the spray gloss enamel has been retired.

Now I use a clear flat enamel that I bought at a major hardware retailer. I'm not endorsing them, so I won't mention their name, but I can tell you it starts with L and ends with owe's. Nothing fancy, but it does what I need it to: Protect the paint. Now, for things like blood on a blade, or a wound, something like that then a brush on gloss enamel is my preferred choice. That way it pops against the flat.

To seal the minis up, I set them on my saw horse in the middle of my garage. Then I use what I call a burst method. Keeping the can back about 12 inches, I spray the enamel on in "bursts" to keep from causing a build up, or dripping. A burst of enamel, then a different angle and another burst. I do this as I move around the Mini in a circle. Then I let it dry. Simple as that. Once that's done, then I'm ready to finish the base (I've read that it's best to do like sand or grass on the base AFTER sealing as the enamel can bunch up on the base material and make it look like crap).

I started sealing because I want to protect the minis I spend so much time painting. However I never really saw the need for it until Zagstruk. He's the first metal mini I've painted, and I've noticed that the paint comes off the corners and sharp edges easier than the plastic minis. Maybe I need a different primer? I'm not sure, but to be safe, I definitely have him sealed. The only thing I've noticed is that the flat enamel sealer I use dulls the colors a bit. Maybe it's just the stark contrast to the shiny gloss I used before...but maybe a semi-gloss would be better? Do they make a clear semi-gloss spray enamel? Anyway, as the name of the blog implies, I am no expert - just a new guy to a game. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You Will Be Motivated...or else.

So the time sink du jour for me lately has been tooling around looking at the humorous and demotivational posters. The site has been around for a while, and this isn't the first time I've spent time there. This time, though, I really took notice of their Warhammer 40K posters. There is this funny Obliterators Poster, this one that combines my love of 40K and bathroom humor, this poster about 40K classic edition, and the one with the greatest Ork gun ever.

Well it inspired my buddy Steve to create one of his own:

Which then inspired me to create one of my own:

For the record, I like Steve's better...except for all those Space Marines on there.

Anybody else got a 40K motivational poster they created, or a favorite 40K motivational poster on the internet? I love these things.

Friday, June 19, 2009

To the Defense of 40K

**Note** I wrote this blog post last week when I first read the blog post in question. I didn't publish it right away, because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just having a knee-jerk "don't say anything bad about something I like" reaction. I still feel as strongly today as I did last week so I'm comfortable posting this.

I'm sure most of you have seen the posting out at Bell of Lost Souls that linked to an old blog post that disparaged Warhammer 40k. If not you can see it here. Basically the author decides to point out that 40K is for adults, but they do it with an amazing amount of ignorance, baseless accusations, and poorly thought out arguments.

At first I wanted to respond. Then I didn't want to waste my time. Then my buddy Steve wrote an excellent rebuttal on his blog. In the end I think the rebuttal posted at the end of the blog post, and my buddy's combine to make an excellent counter point (actually the rebuttal at the end of the blog post combined with any other well thought out rebuttal would make an excellent counter point) (actually, any well thought out rebuttal would make an excellent counter point, the rebuttal included in the original blog post is good but is way too short).

Basically the author took some attention getting advertising and marketing tools and used them as both support for their arguments, and as the basis for their arguments. Suffice it to say, I'm glad this person isn't playing 40K, because if they were anything like their blog post then the emotional unbalance could give 40K a bad name. Also, as funny as that comment is, the arguments made in the article are even more baseless.

The one that really got my attention was when the blogger was commenting on the Cities of Death expansion:
When children think of cities, they SHOULD think of them as great places to hide out to kill everyone they can find. Because that's what cities are for. Even churches are good to blow up and stuff because it's way fun. Everyone wants to blow up churches and mosques and hunt down every last civilian, with urban tactics and go block by block until you're sure every last one of them is dead.

Because that is FUN. It's a HOOT. A barrel of LAFFS. Let's have a Coke and a donut shall we?
We can talk about shooting little kids and pregnant women, because that'

Now if you look there is a screenshot of the web page for Cities of Death, if you look at the page nothing is in there about killing pregnant women or kids. I could make the accusation that the author is only concerned about the kids because they're a pedophile and wants to be the one to scar the psyche, not some silly game. I would be no better than them, but I would be using the same exact tactics.

That's what grinds my gears about this blog post. With no perceived repercussions the author was able to say what they wanted about something they just decided to get their bug up their butt about. Oh sure the blogger is persona non grata amongst 40K players, but obviously our opinion doesn't count. But yet that post will live on, and no matter how much we, as players who know what we're talking about, speak out against it, the damage is done. It's the anonymity, which helps breed the baseless dogmatic B.S. that permeates the internet.

Really, it's a lack of respect for other people, and a palpable laziness about doing research.

Actually, this pretty much says what I feel about the gunslinger mentality of the blogo-interweb-sphere-verse.

That's why I promise no matter how much I might dislike something (country music, Hannah Montana, the comedic stylings of Carrot Top), I'm not going to bash it. And if I do take exception to the point of commenting, I guarantee my information will be based on facts on not some cursory glance through a website looking for ways to complain about it.

Oh, and I'm willing to say that the blogger that started the whole thing can go to hell. I would even say that to their face.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Boss Zagstruk

After starting, getting sidetracked by Dawn of War II, restarting, stopping to get ready for my step-daughter's open house, restarting yet again, and probably 15 - 20 hours of total time working on him: Zagstruk is finished...for the most part. I have a few minor details to finish up (a decal on a wing, a couple parts that need the colors blended at the seams, seal the paint...), but in my grandest George W. Bush moment I'm willing to call him finished even with some work left to do.

I'm pleased with him. I'm surprised how hefty, and how large he is. I mean I knew he'd be heavier since he was metal, and I knew he'd be larger...but he's substantially larger than I expected.

I tried some new techniques, mixing paints, using some washes, I still did some dry brushing, but I also used my detail brush to highlight some of the highs and lows in the details as well.

The final push to complete him came at my buddy Steve's painting party. Not many could make it, but those of us who did all accomplished something. Jason (of Bob Waaagh! fame) is working on terrain and he completed his sacrificial pool. Steve made headway on several of his Space Marines. I got there late, and spent probably 5 1/2 hours on Zagstruk. I'm glad he's done - his was the first miniature to exhaust me - but now I have a boat load of catching up to do on our 400 point challenge. I have to finish my boyz, I have to paint my Nobz and Stormboyz. I have a Warboss to paint...and while it seems a lot....I'm loving every minute of it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

40k Lesson #36

Here are a list of things I like to have going in the background when I paint minis (in no particular order):
1) Dawn of War or Dawn of War II soundtrack
2) Other music (preferably something geeky like Bad Dudes or a movie soundtrack)
3) Detroit Tigers games
4) 40k podcasts

One thing I learned the other day, though, is hockey and miniature painting do NOT go well together.

I tried to paint over the weekend during the Wings/Pens Stanley Cup Finals (I know the NHL dropped the "s" in Finals this year, but I refuse to acknowledge such ridiculousness). It didn't work. Errant brush strokes. Paint that dried on the pallet while I stared transfixed at the TV. A dropped piece or 2. A broken brush when I got pissed off and snapped it in my hands as I clenched my fists. That dead hooker.

All in all, it just isn't worth it.

And since the Wings blew a good opportunity by allowing 3 unanswered goals in the 2nd period of game 4...I'm turning the game off and painting tonight. I've got enough things between my family and work to piss me off, I don't need the Wings pushing me over the edge. I will NOT buy a gun. I will NOT go on a shooting spree. And I sure as hell will NOT have my last words be "Dakka dakka." least in that context. If my last words are "dakka dakka" when I die of old age....or in bed with Felicia Day, then so be it. I can live with that.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Space Marine Preview

IGN has posted a battle trailer for the upcoming game "Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine".

The game is a 3rd person action game that brings the player down to a personal level, controlling a Space Marine through a campaign. Unlike other Relic games (Dawn of War series, natch.) this game doesn't feature the Blood Ravens, but the Ultra Marines (at least based on the trailer). I'm not sure why the switch, but based on the awesome awesomeness of the video, I don't care. It wouldn't matter what Space Marine chapters were used. The game$*!

Now I have to buy a console, since this game will be specific to the XBox 360 and Playstation 3.

You can read the preview article and watch the trailer over at IGN.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Joy of Painting

[UPDATE] We updated the picture with a new one of Bob Waaagh!, courtesy of my buddy Jason Lorenz.

For the first time in a month I painted minis last night.

Yes I know the shame I have carried with me for the last month as real life intruded upon me and all of my energy was focused elsewhere. First it was my step-son moving home for the summer and taking up residence in my painting/computer room. Then it was my step-daughter's graduation and open house...and the mile long honey-do list my beloved wife gave me.

And then yesterday when I was exultantly sitting down, work went to hell and I spent a couple hours on the phone troubleshooting and prodding other troubleshooters along.

But finally. FINALLY. I was victorious. I was home. I was painting.

God I had missed it sooo much. It was good to be back.

And now I have a 400 point challenge I need to make up lost time for. And I still have that nasty little DoW II campaign bugging me to finish it up (I hadn't done much on my computer in the last month either). But for now, for now I paint like a mad fool. Like I was Bob Ross, only without the hallucinogenic hippy drugs.

Man, I really do feel good to be painting again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Lazy Jerk Is Finally Updating...or is he?

Obviously there have been no updates lately. The reason is real life has picked my schedule up and killed it like that Dreadnaught in the DoW II intro did to the Eldar. I haven't played DoW II, I haven't painted. My computer/painting room has been taken over by my step-son who is home from college, and my step-daughter just graduated so I've been swamped with getting ready for her open house too. Combine that with my new job and the complete lack of slacker time that has come with that, and well I'm pretty much a walking shell of a man who's seen his free/fun time gone.

So to keep people from writing off this blog completely, and try to keep people up to date, I bring you this update of our 400 Point Challenge I'm in. My buddy Steve decided to show off just how far ahead he is in the challenge. His quote was "show your readers the army that's gonna pound your Green Tide some day... ;)"


Doesn't he know that Mork and Gork will NOT stand for that kind of insolence. Dey's gonna bring down all dem soft pink skinz. Deir soft skin's gonna pop 'n 'splode wit all the dakka dakka we's gonna bring down on deir heads.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dawn of War II - The Sound of War

Relic has released the Dawn of War II soundtrack free for fans to download through Steam.

First of all, this is completely awesome by Relic and Games Workshop to release this music free.  It's a lot easier for me to get these free things by my wife.  And this will save that kind of battle for where it counts (more minis).

Second, after immersing myself in the soundtrack for the weekend, I've come to acknowledge that the Dawn of War II soundtrack is a much better album than the original.  This is a lot from me considering the first soundtrack is composed by Jeremy Soule, one of my favorite game soundtrack composers.  And while the original soundtrack has a couple pieces that I miss ("Blood Ravens Approach" and "March of the Emperor" to name a couple), track for track the new soundtrack is better.

Each track grabs hold and won't let go.  My personal favorites are "For the Craftworld," "March of the Waaagh! (Ork Theme)," "The Green Horde Rises," "Show Me What Passes For Music Among Your Misbegotten Kind (credits roll)," and the Voltron opening-esque "Meridian Nights (Noobie's Grim Dark Future Remix)".  But every track is enjoyable.

Kudos to Doyle Donehoo for 20 tracks of complete awesomeness that have now become my goto soundtrack to paint minis by.

Now go download it and enjoy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The 400 Point Challenge

As anybody who reads this blog knows I'm new to Warhammer 40K.  Thus the name of the blog.  But what some people might not know is I'm so new to Warhammer 40k I have yet to roll dice in the game.  I only have 3 Ork Boyz and a Big Shoota painted.  My time with 40K began with Dawn of War, and through the sheer awesomeness of that game I became enamored with 40K and I am currently working toward being able to play 40K.

That's why I'm so excited by the 400 Point Challenge.

The challenge was issued by a couple other friends.  My buddy Steve (whom I've mentioned in previous posts) was talking to our friend Chris.  It was decided that the painting is fun, but must be done in earnest.  So the challenge was put forth.  Next time Chris is in town we have to have a 400 point patrol list put together and painted.  So that we can actually play the game.

Now, compared to Chris who has played the game quite a while and has a 400 point army list he can put together from what he has, or my buddy Steve who got into 40K before me so has more painted, I'm way behind.

I could just slap some paint on my minis and be done with it, but that's not what I do.  That's not how I roll.  I spend a lot of time making my minis look like crap.  I painstakingly spend hours to make sure my complete lack of talent shines with each brush stroke.  So I've started to put together an army list, but I have a lot of work to do and an unspecified but brief amount of time to do it in.  And of course I'm not done with the single player Dawn of War II campaign yet.   Which of course is a good problem because boy does it suck I have so much fun stuff to do with my free time.  I mean I'm really suffering here.

So now I've picked up the gauntlet of this challenge, and I will do my best to complete it.  Even if it means I'm so immersed in 40K that I find myself actually praying to Mork and/or Gork to relieve me of this burden.

Dawn of War II - Dread Rising

The battle against the Tyranid invasion has continued, much to the dismay of my unused paint brushes. But I successfully unlocked the Dreadnaught, and then upgraded him to be a Venerable Dreadnaught.

The thing is, I've gotten to the point where I always have the Force commander, always have Avitus and his Devastators and always have my Dreadnaught. So poor Thaddeus, Cyrus and Tarkus have to vie for the last remaining slot. Not that I'm complaining, because the Devastators and Dreadnaught kick some serious booty.

Now if things would just settle down so I could start playing DoW at lunch. Then I could paint at night again...that would be the best.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dawn of War II - The Battle Rages

Sorry for the late post, but it's my last week at my old job and I've actually-and sadly-been busy at work.

So over Easter Weekend I spent as much time as I could cracking out on Dawn of War II. The game has it's power klaw in me, and it's not letting go.

When the game starts it's pretty straightforward. Kill the Orks, complete the missions, get the gear. But as the game progresses other planets open up. You start on Calderis, home world of the Blood Ravens, and move on to Typhon. Typhon is cool because you find yourself jumping back and forth from there to Calderis as missions require.

But then Meridian opens up, and so does the game.

Suddenly I have numerous missions on each planet. I have to decide which missions to complete. As I complete them, other missions open up. At the same time, there is a log that shows different actions that have occurred, and how they affect you. Some are directly related to your missions or abilities, some happen on planets you aren't currently at. Combine that with little counters that show the level of Tyranid infestation, and man the game is becoming a pressure cooker...and I love it.

I love the detail, I love the customization of units, I love the consternation of not knowing exactly what units or what equipment to bring. Oh sure, intel helps and gives a clue, but if you use your resources wrong you will be replaying that mission, and days will go by. Which I have done.

My buddy Steve and I have also been playing co-op. We are farther behind than I am in my single player campaign (as to be expected), but the game is completely different in Co-op. It's a more focused attack by us. In single player it's a mad cacophony of actions required for the units. You have different gear to use, you have to be aware of where your units are. You have to keep them all moving. In Co-op you have two units you are responsible for. This has allowed me to really utilize the equipment I have, and to focus on using those units to their max. I'm able to do a better job keeping my guys out of grenade range. It's a different way to play the game than single player, and it's pretty damn cool that way.

My only gripe with co-op so far is communication. For some ungodly reason, my buddy can hear me through my mic, but I can't hear him. He's hosting the game because his computer kicks mine in the balls and calls it a little girl (and mine is no slouch), but he can't communicate to me. Combine that with the complete lack of documentation and any semblance of an in-game help for these matters and I really find that to be an annoyance that we shouldn't have to deal with in this day of multi player gaming. We're switching to Vent, but then how do I make sure he doesn't hear me through Vent and the game? Don't know, because the game doesn't tell you anything about co-op or multi player communication. We work with computers, veterans of many games, and we can't figure this out? That is messed up.

Besides that one gripe, I love this game. I really do. I really really love it. I will continue to regale with updates as I play through the campaign in single player and co-op, but if you haven't gotten the game yet...get it. For the love of the Emperor and his Golden Throne...get it. The power of Gork and Mork compels you...get it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dawn of War II - Tempers Receding, War Proceeding

So I worked on my computer some more, and I found some success.

First a 2nd chkdsk.exe /r on my games partition allowed the game to actually load and not max out my CPU while stuttering and lagging on the menu animation.

Then, to make sure I wasn't running into an issue with my onboard sound, I turned the quality and channels used down.

After all of that I was able to continue on my Single Player campaign and finish the opening missions on Calderis. I can now move onto a second system.

This is perfect. I have a long weekend ahead of me and I cannot wait to crack into the campaign.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dawn of War II - More Thoughts and Woes

Does anybody remember Highlander? In that movie when an immortal took the head of another immortal they experienced what was called "The Quickening" as they absorbed the knowledge and experiences gathered by the dead immortal.

Dawn of War II has had a similar impact on my computer. Only by similar I mean opposite. It's not The Quickening, it's The Slowering. And rather than absorbing knowledge and wisdom, I'm spouting profanity and curses.

I think it might be my HDD. It might be something else with my computer. It could be the game. All I know is, I've played 3 missions in single player and 4 missions in co-op and now I can't really do much else. I either hang on the opening animations, or the menu animation gets sloppy and choppy and the game doesn't respond well.


The single player is a blast, but co-op is so much fun. Instead of being in charge of all the units the co-op splits the units between the 2 players. So we're having fun, and we've been kicking butt...only now it's my butt that's being kicked, and I don't like it.

I've lowered my graphics settings turning off physics, anti-aliasing, and post-processing. I've done as much HDD maintenance as I can think of defragging and checking my HDD partitions. I've even upped my pagefile size. But the game is choppy, and my CPU has both cores maxed out when DoW II is running.

I'm running a 2.4GHz dual core AMD processor with 2GB of memory and a nVidia Geforce 9600 video card wtih 512MB of video memory. Windows XP is my operating system, and I have the latest DirectX 9 install and drivers.

If I can't get this fixed I'm afraid my love affair with the Dawn of War series will be destroyed, and it's through Dawn of War that I got into Warhammer 40,000 in the first place. Anybody have any suggestions?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dawn of War II

So I was all set to get Dawn of War II within a week of its release when the company I worked for announced they were closing our plant. Being the kind of husband who is sensitive his wife's needs, I opted to not buy DoW II so that my wife wouldn't feel the need to knee me in the groin.

Thankfully times have changed.

I accepted a new position with another company last week and start later this month. And I had a birthday that ended up with me getting some money. So to celebrate my birthday and my job, and avoid having a hole burned into my pocket, I bought of Dawn of War II.

Initial thoughts on the game:

The install wasn't as smooth as I'd hoped. I had some internet issues that affected both updating the game in Steam, and updating Games for Windows - Live. Those problems, though, are the fault of my ISP, not of the game. I do not blame Relic, Steam, or even Microsoft for those issues.

Single player Gameplay is incredible. I had experienced mutliplayer in the Beta, and so I was ready for the change in game play shifting focus from resource and base management to unit management in conflict, but the single player is so much fun. I mean, it's so fun it made it easy to get over the pangs of guilt for killing Orks (and let it be known that having a group of Orks running around a battle field yelling "Dakka! Dakka!" is one of the funniest things I've seen in a video game in quite some time). I'm looking forward to finishing the campaign in single player and doing it in co-op.

It is definitely worth the price of admission...and then some.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Boss Zagstruk update #2

Work is coming along slowly on Boss Zagstruk. I have been working on the main body: dry brushing the gray on the pants, painting the tunic and working on the armor.

I decided to use a brown tunic for Zagstruk, vs. my normal red. So I'm making his armor red. I figure that since he's an Ork, standardization isn't really a high point.

I'm working on the overall painting before I move into getting into the nitty gritty detail.

So far I'm pretty happy with him

Camera update

Thanks to the feedback I messed with my camera and got some better pictures. I have updated my slideshow to feature some of the most recent pictures (plus some of the more palatable old ones).

I need to get a tripod and a light box. I think those 2 things will be the next step to enhance my mini pics. Eventually a new camera, but for now, much better pictures.

Thanks to the help of everyone who offered suggestions.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Camera Question

As anyone who has perused, or followed my blog knows: My pictures of my minis suck.

I mean they look like they were taken by someone who lost their glasses and has a bit of a palsy. They're either blurry, distorted, grainy, or a combination therein.

So what I need to know is, what's the most important thing I need to look for in a camera for miniatures?

Is it megapixels? Optical zoom? Digital zoom? Something else entirely?

I want something that I can rely on to take good quality pictures, but not something that is going to break the bank.

Any suggestions?