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2013 was a hell of an emotional ride, but attending Meg Maples’ class at my local games store, Huzzah Hobbies, was a perfect ending to the year.  I’ve been lucky enough that this is my second time taking on of Meg’s classes and each time I walk away knowing more than I did when I sat down.  Sadly, I forgot to bring my camera and so I don’t have as many pictures as my buddy Plarzoid, but I’ll steal a few of his pics and tell you a bit more about my experience in the class and some afterthoughts.

On Day one of the class, after we had cleaned our models, Meg took us outside and showed us how to prime our models.  I realize it sounds a bit silly, but the majority of us overprime our models (myself included) when using spray primer as we’ve been taught to hit every nook and cranny and to have a nice solid coating.  Basically you need (at least with white primer, I didn’t ask about black – but I imagine the principle’s the same) only enough primer to cover the model, your model will look gray instead of white, as shown here with Plarzoid’s model:
001_primed_front

Yes, its hard to believe its really white primer.  Meg covers this more in the blog on her website: http://arcanepaintworks.blogspot.com/2013/11/varnish-lacquer-dullcote-and-chips-oh-my.html

Then we hit the meat and potatoes of what most folks were there to learn, two brush blending.  I’m really not going to go in depth here as its been covered in other websites and videos.  We started our two brush blending adventure with the cloaks and from what I recall, everyone’s cloaks turned out great for the most part.  I spent way too much time on mine and had to catch up on other parts, but I was amazed with how it turned out.  So amazed that she’s sitting on my painting desk right now staring at me, harassing me to finish her base.  Here’s a finished shot of the back of the cloak:

  200_chris_back

One of the main criticisms of my models is my lack of contrast and not pushing the highlights enough.  I’ve always been afraid to push the highlights too much for fear that the model with just look too strange or the paint will start to look chalky.  But Meg then blew my mind (yes, I know, doesn’t take much, but bear with me) and showed us all something that’s in the painting section of the Khador army book, that if your highlights are too bright or start to look chalky, to take your base color (or mid tone, depending) and glaze over the area to slightly darken the highlights and/or remove chalkiness and help blend them back into the base color and smooth the transitions as well.

I was able to apply this to most of the rest of the model as well, to varying degrees of success.  As you can see the highlight in her hair is a bit too bright and the blends on her skin as seen here on the front of the model, could be a lot smoother.

201_chris_front

Then Meg covered eyes (Oh. The. Horror!) which was easily the most painful part of painting the model.  I’m really looking forward to Plarzoid’s tutorial on eyes as I still need a lot of help, although the eyes on my model turned out okay, but nothing as amazing as Meg’s or Plarzoid’s.  And then skin, gems, hair and fur and I think she may have pulled folks for a sidebar after someone’s question regarding metallics.

The best aftereffect of class was that I really feel reinvigorated regarding my painting.   I’m positive that Meg’s teaching, spending the weekend just painting, and sitting and talking with the other fellow painters and my friends, really all helped to make me feel refreshed and rejuvenated.  All too often its easy to get bogged down in the day to day minutiae of living our lives, which (for me at least) eats away at our time to paintpaint. Painting armies can make painting seem more like a chore or not worth the effort of setting up, sitting down to paint (not always uninterrupted painting either), and then cleaning up and putting things away.   While I don’t normally go with New Year’s resolutions, I am going to try to attend some painting get togethers or paint with Plarzoid or one of my other friends sometimes as a way to help keep myself refreshed.

Just to show you folks at home how invigorated I really feel, I finished the Tau Crisis Suit (including the scratch built base), worked on these bases and stared touching up and finally moving forward on some Retribution of Scryah models.  I apologize in advance for my less than ideal picture taking – I just don’t seem to have the knack for it:

Tau Crisis Suit-2 Tau Crisis Suit-3 Tau Crisis Suit-6

Bases Bases-2 Bases-3

What do you folks think?  What other things do you do to try to help keep yourself motivated or refreshed?

Here’s the long awaited third installment of Mugu’s Templecon Picture Extravaganza.  Looks like he has a bunch of games he’s going to discuss!  Enjoy!

I'm powering my way through the next 100 games....

Hello folks!  Welcome back to the last of my TempleCon 2012 posts.  While I didn’t grind through a ton of games like some people did at TempleCon, I did get in about six games that I clearly remember most of and another handful that I only vaguely recall.  Of course, I realized when I started taking pictures in my first game, which happened to be against my friend Ken when I forgot something…

Me: Cool!  My first TempleCon game! I’m just going to snap some pics…
Ken:  Good idea.
Me:  Yep, made sure to bring my camera so I could take lots of pictures.  It’ll also make it much easier to remember my games.
Ken:  That’s a good idea.  I brought a small notebook to write notes from my games in.
Me:  Ah, crap……I knew I forgot something.

Or so the conversation went.  I hadn’t planned on bringing you all full fledged battle reports, but I did want to have a bit more than just pics, so I’ll be going by my fragmented memory of what I do recall with the pictures.

The First to Fall

I had high hopes that my first game at TempleCon would be a crushing victory, setting the tone for the rest of my games at TempleCon.  It did set the tone, but the majority of my games (at bit over half to be fair) were losses.  There were a few things going against me this game, first was that up until this point, I have had zero experience playing against Retribution and second, I totally forgot about the scenario rules for the game.

Sneaky Angry Elves, oh my!

The first game was on the Scrap Yard themed board.   I thought I was doing fairly well in this game until Ken (who remembered the board rules) pushed one of the cars full of scrap through my unit of mechanithralls, killing all but one of them.  I spent the rest of the game chasing his warcaster around the board while slowly losing models in my army.

And lurking around the corner

Team Game versus Cryx & Menoth

Yes, someone’s clearly confused here. 🙂  Ken & I got a team game where he and I teamed up against two nice guys who were playing Cryx & Menoth.  The cavern board was easily my favorite board that I played on.  It had enough fun rules that added fun to the game without detracting from it.   Easily one of my favorite parts of this game was a ghostly Phoenix walking through a cavern wall into an unsuspecting enemy deathjack.   Ken and I came very close to winning this game.

Be wary of Gypsies!

Versus Khador

I managed to finally play one of the Lost Hemisphere crew by the name of Gypsy.  He wanted to try out his army for the Midnight Madness tourney that night and I was more than happy to oblige him.   And when he set his army on the table I couldn’t help but laugh at he slaughter that was about to commence…..all of it his.  The game was essentially Ulhans versus soulhunters or light cavalry versus heavy cavalry, take your pick.  I lasted until turn 3 before this happened:

add lance to face

So, yes, it was easily the most crushing defeat I had all con.  It just proves that you’re bound to run into the one opposing army that’s going to crush yours and this was mine.  He ran circles around the deathjack, rode down my soulhunters, and applied lance to the faces of my coven.  However, he was *the* nicest guy to play against, though he honestly didn’t have any tips on how I could have done better against him other than to swap out the deathjack for something else, but even he admitted that it was just a bad matchup on my side.  I wonder how he did at Midnight Madness?

Should I be concerned?

Versus Skorne

I played a very intense guy who caught me as I was about to call it a night and we played a 25 point (IIRC) game back on the Scrap Yard board.  I was hoping for a different outcome, but it wasn’t to be.   I have to be honest, once I saw this –

Gotcha~!

– I thought I had the game in the bag….and then Master Ascetic Naaresh killed them all.  He used a lot of fury to do so, but it was slaughter all around.  As it turned out, I was his 83rd opponent of the con.  It turned out he was trying to get enough Iron Arena points to trade in for one of the nicely framed art prints, which he eventually got, after 100 and some games.  If I hadn’t been so tired, I would have loved to know how I could have done better against him, but all I wanted to do was sleep after that.

Just another day in metropolitan Corvis

Versus Cryx & Menoth

One of the last games I played was a team game with Ken again versus two of my local players Danny (Cryx) & Jeff (Menoth), though thankfully (for us) the game went more in our favor and we pulled out a win.  Unlike most of my games, my dice were rolling really well that game.

Bane Thralls FTW

This was the only game where I didn’t already have a premade army list, which is why it was the only game where I brought bane thralls and my beloved bloat thralls.

Even when I lost, I had a great time playing all my games.  I never once encountered someone who was a bad player (though a few could have benefited from a shower or two).  In the end I managed to get a Cryx faction patch and some TempleCon dice with my points.  Thank you all for following along through my TempleCon posts!

Did I play against you?

How many games do you usually get in at a convention?

 

 

 

 

 

Mugu’s back with part 2 of his Templecon photo dump.  Today, he has pictures of some of the amazingly detailed costumes he saw at the convention.

Welcome back to the wonderfully weird world I live in!  🙂  As I want to finish another post before heading off to bed, here are some of the cool costumes folks were wearing at TempleCon.  This really is only a handful as I easily saw 40+ people in costume while I was there.  Enjoy!

Have steampunk sniper rifle, will travel...

This gentlemen stood outside the dealer’s den and exclaimed “Buy my gun!”  I didn’t follow him up on it, but I assume he made these for sale.

A Gentleman Adventurer

This nice fellow even gave me his card (I have it somewhere…) after letting me snap his picture.

Hel~lo Ladies!

I actually didn’t see these two ladies until Sunday morning when I was checking out of the hotel.  They and all the folks in costume were really nice about letting me take their pictures (thank you all!).

Aye, aye Cap'n, dona shoot me!

Despite him brandishing his pistol, he was one of the few pirates I saw at the con.  He was dressed differently every day.

A friend of Alice's perhaps?

This nice lady had a really intricate costume that my poor picture taking abilities don’t really show unfortunately.  I meant to ask her if it was an Alice in Wonderland theme, but forgot to. 🙁

Seems she's found a willing victim..er...friend

 As I was taking her picture, her friend came over and I got both their picture together.  He had a very nice armpiece that I meant to ask him about, but alas I was hauled off for food, and I was fairly starving at that point in the day.

And yer little dog too!

 Ah!  Another gun brandishing well dressed gentleman adventurer and his lady friend.  These two folks also had on different clothes every day of the con if I remember correctly.  They also had a very friendly and cute dog on leash that was with them all the time.

And now you can tell I'm at the end of my post 🙂

And this well dressed …er… Dr. Who-orangutan (at least that’s what I’m calling him, something about the scarf….  In any case, I think he had this costume on all day long, every day.  I don’t know how he didn’t pass out from sweating to death.

And that wraps up my second post.  Hopefully next year I’ll actually take more pictures.

Are you in any of these pictures?

Do you have any cosplay, costumes, outfits, or gear that you like to wear to cons?

Have you made any cool gear that you like to show off, even if its only online?

While I’m dealing with time away from the hobby desk due to vacation, overtime at work and have no material to discuss due to complete failure to accomplish anything lately, Mugu’s here to the rescue with part ! of a multi-part special on Templecon.

Faithful readers, as you probably know, Plarzoid, Ken, and I have returned from the chilly wilds of Rhode Island and survived might TempleCon 2012.  I think I definitely made up for not having been to gaming convention in years!  I had a blast, played at least four months worth of Warmachine games in three days,  got to see folks in lots of cool and interesting steampunk, pirate, and other costumes, and got to just relax and have a great time.    This will be the first of three posts, this one will show off some of the Warmachine boards available to play on.  There were several others, but off course there were times were I just forgot to take any pics at all (very silly of me).  Enjoy!

The Scrapyard

The Scrapyard was the first game and first theme board I played on at TempleCon.  The railcars full of scrap metal could be pushed by warjacks into/over other models.  As you’ll see in my next post, I forgot about that little rule…

A Tea Party

One of the boards I didn’t get to play on; the idea was for the attacker to try to destroy the crates on the pier and ship (IIRC) in order to try to win by scenario.

Cavern Board

The Cavern board (or old mines, it might have been called) was fun to play on.  AOE weapons that missed had a chance of causing a cave-in (several did happen), you couldn’t use arcing fire weapons to arc fire, and the black discs on the table were bottomless pits.

Ummm......Stone Pillar Board?

I call this the Stone Pillar Board, but I didn’t get to play on it and the pic I took of the name didn’t turn out.  Another board I didn’t get to play on.

Road to Berck

The Road to Berck board looked like fun (Plarzoid got to play on this board, I didn’t).  While I’m not completely sure, I think one player had to essentially block the pass and keep the opposing player from getting through.

Correct.  The player on the cliff side had one game size fewer points to play with (I had 35, my opponent had 50), and to win, I had to last 5 rounds, and still have a model inside the ravine.  If they got any models into the ravine, it was game over.

Cyriss Temple

The Cyriss Temple board is another that looked pretty cool to play on, though I have no idea what the scenario was supposed to be.  I didn’t play on this one either.

Beach Assault

The Beach Assault board was really popular.   From what I recall the assaulting player got more points to add to his army as the defending player had a nice sturdy bunker to hide behind/in.  Yes, another one I didn’t get to play on.

Well. that’s all the boards that I have decent pictures of.  There was a Corvis City block board, two ice boards, at least one trench warfare board, a cool graveyard board, a loading dock/construction board, and many others I cant recall at the moment.  The themed boards were in high demand and as the con and days went on, they were that much harder to get on unless you got lucky.

Have you built any themed boards?

Are any of the ones I took pictures of, one you helped build?

What do you think of themed boards?

Hey folks, here’s the follow-up to Mugu’s post on Monday.  Remember as you read this, it was written almost a week ago.

Welcome Back to the Madness!

In my last post (in addition to lots of demotivational posters) I told you how  tressed out I was about the upcoming TempleCon and what I thought I needed to get done prior to that date.  Well, since writing my first post over a week ago, I was able to take stock of what minis I needed to get painted as well as two army lists that I wanted to use at TempleCon.

First the easy and good news – I played the Deneghra1 (Tier 3 – Witching Hour) list and won.  My opponent, Ron, was kind enough to take pictures and wrote a small battle report on his blog, here.

For those who look at the pictures, I forgot to bring my other Brute Thrall and my Scavenger, which were represented by the Ogrun Bokur and armless Helldiver respectively.

What I learned:

The game went better than anticipated as I was really wary of not having any heavy warjacks in my army at all.  I also did not have anything that I felt could shield Deneghra if Ron’s warjacks got too close.

As Ron points out in his blog (in the comments section) my army is vulnerable to Area  Of Effect (AOE) weapons and I knew going into the game that it would also be vulnernable to shooty armies as well.

What I can do about those weaknesses:

My standard approach to AOEs is positioning. I to try to spread my army out as much as possible to try to minimize the damage to any single unit/warjack.  This also has the added bonus of causing some folks to panic when they see the wave approaching.

As for shielding Deneghra, I’m still trying to figure that one out.  During my game with Ron, I kept her as far back and away as possible, but still within support and control area range.  It just happened to also work out during that game that I kept the Savenger and Necrotech between her and the opposing warjacks.

Army Selection:

The army performed well overall despite my abysmal dice rolling.  I may still replace the Scavenger with a bonejack with an arc node, just to have something a bit more untilitarian. Though the Scavenger’s 7 MAT and other abilities make it worth the points, seeing as its my first time using it, I wasn’t impressed (but that’s through my own fault).

I’m on the fence about the Ripjaw.  It performed well enough, but after missing with my initial charge attack by rolling double ones (I should know by now to always boost the roll to hit when I really need it ::sigh::). I couldn’t use the armor piercing attack, but if I had a Deathripper, it wouldn’t have mattered for my second (purchased) attack.

The Mechanithralls and attached Brute Thralls worked better than I could have hoped for – killing the Great Bears of Gallowswood and all but one of the Iron Fang Pikemen! They were the MVP’s of my army.

The Defiler and Warwitch Siren spray attacks were really handy and the Defilers’s arc nodes were really useful for arcing spells into Ron’s models as soon as they were within range.

The Pistol Wraith distracted Ron more than doing anything else, as Ron didn’t have any models other than Vlad with magic weapons that could attack it.  It didn’t really damage many (any?) of his models, but it definitely distracted him.  The Scrap Thrall spent the entire game running around warjacks and trying to make a beeline to Vlad.  The Stalker got too close to Vlad, who was happy to carve it into little pieces.  The Skarlok slung Crippling Grasp around mostly and managed not to get killed.

Painting the Models

After checking my models the other night, it turns out I *only* need to paint the Scavenger and Brute Thrall for the Deneghra list and six Soulhunters & Darragh Wrathe . And only a week to paint it all in. [At the time of writing the article – P]  ::sigh::  Possible, but not likely, especially since the Brute Thrall and Darragh Wrathe need some conversion work.

Speaking of Darragh Wrathe, I have a really nice undead mount from another company that I want to use in a conversion to mount him on, but its going to take too long to finish and so I’m going to mount him on Epic Alexia’s horse with Darragh’s deathpony’s head and tail.  It’s the easiest and quickest conversion I can do and still maybe get him assembled and painted by TempleCon.  I’d just use his old horse, but I chopped him up into many pieces.

Darragh's Parts

 So here’s my plan:

1.  Finish painting the Scavenger.

2.  Assemble and prime the Brute Thrall (who’s getting the IK Bridge Troll’s head).

3.  Reassemble the arms and legs that have come off of my Soulhunters.  (Re)Prime as necessary.

4.  Assemble Darragh Wrathe and horse.  Even if I don’t manage to get him painted in time for TempleCon, I want him to be assembled to use.

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully mine won't be this painful

I’m still a bit stressed, but the win helped boost my confidence in the Deneghra list. The relatively small amount of models that actually need to be painted doesn’t leave me feeling too overwhelmed, either.

However, since last Thursday was my last chance to get a game in, I’ll be heading into the crucible at TempleCon to see if I can master these two lists.