Monday, September 23, 2013

"Mud, glorious Mud!"

...or "Getting dirty with Black Templar Heavy Support"

After recently having a go at weathering some Black Templar vehicles that I purchased on "the bay", I decided to really go for it and try something new by learning how to add mud. I have made stuff look used before, most notably my Tau Riptide, but I haven't muddied stuff up.

Here is how they turned out:
...also tried to add a patina of age to the metallic cherub...
The "Potestas IV". 4th in her line to bear that name.

Homebrew Tech Marine...not too happy to see all this mud in
the hangar I shouldn't wonder!

You can find lots of videos and information on the web on how to go about this, and there are a variety of techniques, ranging from very simple to a little complex, depending on what tools and resources you have to hand.

I watched this video by MarneusAugustaCalgar:

This suited me down to the ground, as I don't have access to some of the weathering pigments used to such stunning effect in other videos, but I do have modeling sand, gloss varnish ("GW 'ard Coat"), old brushes and a load of brown paint (left over from painting a battlefield).

You can see the technique in the video (I substituted modelling sand and brown paint for actual earth) but the simple steps are:
1.) Pour modelling sand into a container.
2.) Pour paint into modelling sand.
3.) Mix well.
4.) Add gloss varnish. 
I mixed up a big batch, because I was going to work on 3-4 vehicles in one go.
Once you have done that, follow the video and set to work (accompanied by the right music of course!)


a.) Don't be too precious - get it on there in among the bogies for the tracks and anywhere else you want mud!
b.) Use an old, unwanted brush. Even if you can clean it later, the bristles are going to be ruined.
c.) If you are doing multiple vehicles, don't go too slowly! The varnish dries quicker than you might think, so the mix becomes unusable in quite a short time.
d.) If you turn your vehicles over on the tabletop when they get destroyed, don't forget to do underneath as well...

If you want to, then do the process again, but this time using a darker paint. I think it looks better to have a couple of different colours. Also, I think the darker paint on top shows that this mud is "fresher", while the lighter colour has dried. You should do this to your own taste, but you can get a sense of this above.
I like this technique because it is simple to do, fun to try, and it really adds something extra to the vehicle. I also quite like the gloss effect (although there are plenty of people who don't!).

Some useful feedback I later received from the excellent model painting communities on Google+ included...

1.) ...I have too much mud on the actual tracks themselves - the tracks are always moving, so they actually would have LESS mud on them because the mud falls off.
2.) ...consider adding modelling flock to the mix. This can help to give the impression of churned-up turf/ grass (I don't know how much you would add though).
3.) ...if you don't like the gloss effect, consider using Matt varnish, or later adding a wash.
(I can't remember the exact words, but a big thanks to everyone for the input!)

These vehicles actually aren't finished. There is lots more detailing that I would like to (should!) do, including drilling out gun barrels, further highlights and drybrushing etc. but for now, I reckon these guys could bring some rolling thunder to the table!

Thanks for looking - all comments and constructive criticism welcome!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Planning a Crusade...What are my Options?

"The boss" has arrived... the form of the High Marshal Helbrecht model that I snagged off ebay.
Definitely not the model I got off ebay!
Copyright Games Workshop

So now the question is, I am too impatient to wait to build up my army, so what kind of Black Templars fighting force can I put together? I thought I would ask the question to you, the experts, for your opinions.

1. I don't have any of the new SM: Codex models. (e.g. Centurions)
2. Everything I have collected to date fits in with the "Old" codex in terms of units and vehicles. e.g. I don't have any older  "regular" Space Marine units that can now be taken with Black Templars (Thunderfire Cannons, Flyers etc.)
3. I don't want to spend much more money - so if you build an army with the units listed below, but want to recommend a unit or two I don't have, please keep it at a unit or two!

Here is a list of the models I currently have (you can see most of them here, although the High Marshal didn't arrive in time for the family photo!) I have added links to photos that might help, but the photos weren't taken with grouping models together, so they are a bit mixed up.

I'm looking for a fun (fluffy, but with a chance of putting out some hurt) 1850-2000 point force to be used with friends, (so proxying is OK, and so is WYSIWIG)


x1 Helbrecht
x1 Emperor's Champion
x1 Chapter Master

x1Chaplain in Terminator armor

Command Squad x5)
(x5 models, including Apothecary and Company Champion. Unit has a Chapter Banner)

Honor Guard x5
(or, 5 models that could be used as HG)


(x2 with Thunder Hammer and shield, x3 with claws)

(with autocannon)


-including x2 missile launchers, x1 plasma x1 Flamer, x1 Melta Gun

Sword Brethren x5 

Neophytes x10
(6 with CC weapons, 4 with shotguns)

x3 Rhinos
(I also have kitbashed 
-optional x1 twin-linked heavy bolters
- and x1 twin-linked lascannon... I could make x2 of these Rhinos into x2 Razorbacks)

Fast Attack:

(4 with power swords, 2 with power axes)

x1 Landspeeder (with cannon)

Heavy Support

(TL Lascannons and Sponson Lascannons, but I have the sprues to replace the turret lascannons with cannons)
EDIT: x1 Whirlwind

Any thoughts, help or advice out there?


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Black Templars...AFTER the Apocalypse...

Well, since my last Black Templars post, where I looked ahead to the new Space Marines Codex in the light of great concern by the BT community, a couple of things have happened.

  1. The new Space Marines Codex dropped, and came to me as a download from the Black Library in digital form.
  2. More reinforcements for my growing BT army arrived, making me think about where I want to go next (particularly after reading the Codex.)
Let's take a look at those things one by one.

The new Space Marines Codex - The Digital Divide...

I opted to get this as a digital download for three reasons. 
1. Convenience: (physical) I couldn't be bothered to trek across Tokyo to Games Workshop to get one (its a big city right!)
2. Convenience: (format) I always make my lists using Army Builder or Battlescribe and take them digitally with me to a game on my tablet. Why not have the rules digitally as well? One less thing to carry.
3. Cost: 4,643 yen (29.99 GBP) digital ebook v. 8,000 yen (51.66 GBP)

Now, it wasn't too difficult to order the Codex online, and when I woke up on release date 7th September, the download links were live, but there is an important lesson that comes next, and this has to do with ereaders and file types.
FB Reader icon
If you aren't using iBOOKS/ Apple, (a separate purchase) payment gives you access to two file types (each of which you can download 5 times):
These are both popular ereader file formats, and there are lots of different readers that will open them, so no problems...(I am using FB Reader)
...however, note that in my brief experience, there are some limitations that you might want to be aware of.
-Neither of these formats include links from within the text to other parts of the contents. In other words, where a rule is listed, there isn't a link that jumps to the actual rule. This would be really helpful for making this a viable reference tool, and it is (I think) implemented in the ibooks version.
-Only one of these formats (ePUB) appears to include an index. Fortunately, the index does link to the appropriate page.

Yes, I can manually add bookmarks throughout the text at various places that I know will be useful to me, but that is neither very convenient nor as useful as it might sound, because to use a bookmark (after creating them for the whole book) you need to go through several steps.
a.) Open bookmarks.
b.) Scroll through bookmarks (which often can't be renamed or listed in a preferred order)
c.) Click bookmark.
d.) wait for jump to bookmark.
e.) scroll through section to find the exact reference you want.

Hmmm, not very convenient.

So the lessons are (I think)
- The ePUB reader version seems somewhat easier to use, and is actually half the size.
- If using the digital version for mainly reference (which I guess most people would like to) then consider the iBOOKS version. It is more expensive (39.99 GBP) but it appears to have completely linked references from the text and is also includes a complete interactive army-builder.
Note links, including quick links to special rules.
Interactive army builder
There seems to be a big difference between iBOOKS and ereader format. Not being an expert, I don't know if this is to do with the limitations of the format itself, or simply because iBOOKS is a better bet financially to put more money into. I suspect it is a bit of both, but isn't there a half-way house? (e.g. embedded links in the ereader text, even if there can't be an interactive army builder.)

And you know what? I'll probably end up buying the printed Codex anyway, because a Codex is just good to have in your hand!

The New Space Marines Codex - The Crusade begins anew...

Aside from the digital stuff above, Templar players probably want to know what is going on with the actual rules. As I said in my previous post, I thought that whatever happened, it wouldn't really make a huge difference to most players, and that in fact it might bring in some new players. So what is the news?

They keep/ gain some stuff:

-Templars get a significant amount of space, even as a successor chapter.
-They get their own Chapter Tactics, (Accept any Challenge no matter the odds, Crusaders) whereas other successor chapters use the Chapter Tactics of their parent chapter.
-They have Crusader Squads, that can be 5 initiates with one initiate taking a Heavy weapon/ Power weapon/ Power fist and a different initiate taking a weapon from the Special weapons list (Flamer/ Melta/ Grav/ Plasma).
-They now have access to the full Space Marine armory (i.e. all the new shooty stuff!)

They lose some stuff/ can't compare to other chapters:

-Eternal Champion gets dinged. Expensive. Has "combat stances" but they only work in challenges.
-Marshall Helbrecht (unlike all other Chapter Masters) doesn't get Orbital Bombardment. I know he is "only" a High Marshall" and not a CM, but it still doesn't seem to make sense to me.
-BT Chaplains take a hit. No more Master of Sanctity, overall back to "Vanilla" SM Chaplains for the BTs.
-They don't really mind Psykers too much now - at least in an allied force (hey, if you were wrapped-up in the old fluff this is a big deal.

These are the things that I have noticed from reading around. There is lots more stuff that can be added to this list, but this isn't an "analysis of the Codex" post (just checkout Bolter and Chainsword for those - BT experts aplenty there...)

...and a new Black Templar joins the crew:

Chaplain in Terminator armor


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