Friday, April 15, 2011

Bloodpact N20 Half-track -Your input please

Hey all,

Today is not a post of pictures and all that jazz, but today is a post asking for input from those Gaunts Ghosts fans out there for the fluff side of things, but also for gamers in general for the playability side.

As this title suggests, I am currently working on a N20 half track conversion for my Bloodpact. Where I used the ork truck as a basis for the transports (counts as chimeras) I am using the ork battlewagon for the basis of this conversion. No WIP pics as yet, but currently the base of the wagon is built (that's all I am using from the kit in terms of structure) and I am currently making the plasticard body for it.

So far I'm happy with the progress, but I've come to a point where I didn't do much thinking beyond. In order to really keep building this thing, I need to know what I will be using it as in game terms. In the book, Honour Guard, the N20's that I'm basing this model on are armed with 70 mil Anti-Tank cannons. This leaves me with 2 most fitting options:

1. use this to represent a Leman Russ Vanquisher.
   Armour 14, 13, 10 Rng 72" Str 8 Ap 2 Heavy 1* *extra d6 for armour pen


2. use this to represent a Medusa Siege Cannon with Bastion Breacher shells.
   Armour 12, 10, 10 Rng 48" Str 10 Ap 1 Heavy 1* Blast *extra d6 for armour pen
   140pts (155 if I give it enclosed crew compartment)

Now, that doesn't seem like much of a big deal, but in terms of how I go about making it, it brings up a few dilemmas...

My army is very strongly themed on the books, but in a few areas there is minimal detail given on certain units and vehicles beyond a minor description. When it comes to these things, like all hobbyists doing armies based on novels, movies, etc I try to keep as true to the source as I can. In the book it doesn't specify if the N20 has a fixed gun (like the Medusa) or a gun that can rotate like a turret or even if it has a turret (like the Vanquisher). It doesn't even state whether its open topped or not. In terms of reading its great, leaves a lot to the imagination. In terms of hobby design its good cause gives some freedom to go with what you think. In terms of building a unit for gaming, its giving me headaches....

Sd.Kfz. 251/22 Ausf. D
This is pretty similar to what I have in my mind when I think of the N20 half-track:

Unfortunately it is a model, but its the clearest/best picture showing the gun mount. Its not so much a turret as a pivot point, as the gun only has a 90 degree fire ark.

Sd.Kfz 250/9
The other option, which I'm not too keen on to be honest is to have the turret, such as this:

This gives off too much of an armoured car feel in my opinion, and not a tank killer like the previous.

In terms of what looks like what, the first picture I feel best represents what would be the 'counts-as Medusa' with the 2nd picture best representing (though with a much smaller barrel) a 'counts-as Vanquisher'.

Personally I am more drawn to the Medusa style look of the half-track, though perhaps making the gun smaller and more centrally mounted, so it has the full rotation ark, as well as keeping the shield around the gun.

And so I throw it out to the masses for some input on the following:

1. What do you feel this should count as in game terms
2. Model it based around the 251/22 or the 250/9
3. Any other input for the project.

Let me know your thoughts and will hopefully have some WIP pics up in my next post.

Til then.

----- I will be taking a picture of all the pieces, with list of parts (labeled by number), the quantity of each part, as well as the dimensions prior to assembly so I can make more of these, and pass on the info for anyone who wants to make 1 after seeing the finished product. Instructions of assembly with step-by-step will also be compiled into a doc. Will post up on my blog if requested. -----

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bloodpact Primaris Psyker

Hey all,

I seem to be failing dramatically with the whole "1 post every 1-2weeks" I made a few months back... Life has a habit of getting in the way of things I must say. But despite all this I have made more progress with my Bloodpact, though not so much in the way of pictures...

Anyway back on track now.

I'm sure the Gaunts Ghosts fans out there will remember in the book 'Only in death', where they enter Hinzerhaus and Wes Maggs points out the portrait of the lady in the black dress, and that she is described in a very similar fashion to that of Ulrike, the 'witch' in the Bloodpact team sent to Balhaut in the novel 'Bloodpact'. This character is who I chose to base my Primaris Psyker on.

When it came to deciding on whether to pick a miniature to base the psyker on, or convert my own, I thought back to an old White Dwarf back when the Daemon Hunters codex first came out. In this issue of which I cannot remember the issue number, there were many examples of the WD teams own Inquisitor with henchmen units. 1 of these units included what looked like a witch in portable stocks. I went through the GW online store and there miniatures catalogues searching for what that miniature was based on.

After a hr or so I found it. It was based on 1 of the Undead Banshee miniatures from the WHFB range. I just so happened to be going through the GW online store at the terminal in my local store, so went straight over to the wall that the fantasy range was on. And as luck would have it, they had 1 last banshee in stock, and it was the 1 I wanted.

This miniature looks so good out of the pack, that there was no conversion work needed to achieve the look I was after. All it needed was to be repositioned slightly once on the base, so instead of looking like she is gliding forward, she looks like the power of the warp is surging through her and lifting her into the air. The next thing I had to work out was that she needed was a base that helped her look the part of a 'witch' rather than a banshee. This was done simply by using a small pile of skulls from the Skulls pack that GW sells. Placing her on top of the pile of skulls has raised her a decent amount higher than the rest of my infantry, as well as helping the base to not be as crowded as it would be had she been standing next to it. The rest of the base is done in the same agricultural/industrial area broken concrete and earth look.

When it came to painting her, I didn't want to go down the same road as others have when it comes to highlighting black. All the black highlighting I have seen uses grey tones for the highlighting. That may be well and good for Marines, but when it comes to cloth and material, I think about how real black fabrics are dyed. The dye for making material black will always have a base colour (the colour the black turns to when it fades is the base colour) which will be 1 of these 3 colours- red is more often than not the base colour, blue and green.

As much as using red would help tie in the miniature with the army, that's not what I wanted. Green wouldn't look right with the rest of the army. What I was after was the deep, dark look of a funeral gown. Deep, cold, black. So Blue was the way I had to go. To do this the whole gown was done in black to begin with. Then using enchanted blue I picked out the raised areas on the main gown, and did the same on the under garment using midnight blue. To draw all the colours together I used the Asuryman and Badab washes. Don't let the picture fool you though, it is actually a lot darker than it appears, the flash is just really bright for some reason.

This miniature, being an undead banshee to begin with, has holes in it as little spots of decay, as well as an eye missing. Rather than fill these in, I opted for painting them with a green glow look, to help reflect the raw energy flowing through her. I know its normally depicted as purple/pink in the books, but this small amount of bright green I feel gives off a better quality to the miniature than using purple or pink would.

The hair was done using my airbrush with thinned out skull white. Starting with a black base colour, and working my way from the tips towards the head, I slowly built up the colour, so the hair became darker at the roots. I couldn't remember if her hair colour was mentioned in the books, but I feel that white is fitting. Once that was done, a wash of badab was done to help make individual clumps of hair stand out, then a highlight with a brush was done to pick out the raised areas.

When it came to doing the skulls, I wanted an aged look, similar to that of an animal skeleton you may come across in the bush or forest. Also similar to those of human remains you see in museums and the like. To achieve this, I went with chardon granite as a base, leaving the recessed areas I covered the rest with bleached bone then a fine highlight of skull white to pick up the raised areas only. This was then washed with devlan mud then gryphone sepia. To give the impression of ritual blood magic being done or some such, each skull has had a marking made in my blood mix done to it. Each symbol is different to the next.

The gem on the necklace was picked out in red gore with a blood red highlight, with the necklace itself as well as the bracelet being done in shining gold. Unfortunately at this time I cannot remember how I did the skin, but as I post more of my Bloodpact up I'm sure I will stumble across the method in my notes and so post it then. Once all this was done, and the miniature attached to the base (pinned on through a hole that goes right through the skull pile and out the base, so the whole thing is 1 solid piece), I coated it in Army Painter quickshade strong tone, and once that was dry I sprayed it with some matte varnish.

And there you have it, Ulrike the Witch, my Bloodpact Primaris Psyker.

After such a delay between posts, I wont state what I will blog about next or when, I will just do my best to keep feeding my stuff to you.

Til next time.