Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Last bits to an Epic challenge (30K, Epic Style Part V)

On one foot you limp; on two feet you sprint.

I finished two Epic models in time for the end of the painting challenge.

First was the "Curtgeld", which is the price of admission into the painting challenge. Every year, we must paint a figure related to a particular theme for Curt's, the organizer of the challenge, collection. This year, the theme was cooperation and teamwork, so we had to submit a collaborative piece or entry. I got together with Greg, fellow canadian, enthusiastic wargamer and hobbyist and the man responsible for my Epic projet.

When Greg and I discussed our ideas for our all-canadian Curtgeld, our first ideas was Napoleonics, but we figured many would obviously go down this route, what with Curt"s obsession with the era! So I proposed a somewhat crazy ideas, which I figured we might be the only one to do; both of us painting the same figure. And in the spirit of the recent Epic projects, by me and Greg, but also by Curt with this Adeptus Mecanicus project, we settled on a Epic Warlord Titan.

So Greg painted the metal works and half of the Titan (the purple parts), and then send it to Montreal for me to do my half (the blue and yellow parts), and I was also in charge of the basing and the little add-ons like the Marines on the base. It was, for me at least, the very first time I work on a model that someone else started! I have to admit, it was a bit more difficult than I anticipated, as I was afraid to accidentally touch some of Greg's painting, which would be a much bigger problem than when I can easily retouch my own work.

The Warlord-class Titan is a large and powerful type of Battle Titan, armed with much more firepower than its counterpart, the smaller Reaver-class Titan. The Warlord is the most common class of Battle Titan in use by the Titan Legions during the Heresy, and many Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Worlds field their own patterns of this class. Due to their immense size, Warlord Titans are not nearly as fast or agile as the Reaver-class Titans or the Warhound Scout Titans, but they more than make up for this failing with their sheer firepower and heavily armoured bulks. This thing is big, this think is massive, this thing will blow shit up!

This model is straight from the early Adeptus Titanicus boxset of the late 80s, one of the multi-part plastic models from the game. We kept it old school, even including the void shield wheels in the base. I included a few Space Marines on the base to give the model a sense of scale and size.

We think this massive war machine will fit in very nicely in Curt's Epic force, even more so since Greg has been painting Titans left and right during this challenge, and Curt will probably need some extra firepower next time he gets to face Greg's legions!

This got me 30 pts.

It was not in my plans to paint anything else than the Curtgeld this week-end; I'm really burned out by the challenge. But Curt did last week challenge me to a last second sprint to the end, and I felt I had to give it my best!

So I managed to paint another Epic piece, as my last stand in the 7th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge!

How I react when Curt challenges me with one week left to the challenge...

So here is a Legion Glaive Tank for my Emperor's Children force. The Glaive is a super-heavy tank pattern related to the Fellblade, but beyond the obvious surface similarities the two tanks are very different. The reason for this divergence lies with the Glaive's primary weapon system, the fearsome and arcane Volkite Carronade, a massive Volkite Weapon that is capable of destroying enemy vehicles in a single shot. Volkite Weapons produce a deflagrating attack, in which subsonic combustion caused by a beam of thermal energy is propagated through the target by thermodynamic heat transfer, so that hot burning material heats the next layer of cold material and ignites it. The Volkite Carronade used by the Glaive was able to make short work of all but the most heavily armoured enemy vehicles and structures.

In short, it's a massively dangerous metal beast! I followed of course the painting shceme of my Emperor's Children force, but gave the glaive white details on the turret instead of the gold I used on the Fellblades to make the model stand apart from my other super heavies. I'm not entirely happy with my work on the Volkite cannon, but it will do.

Those two entrys gave me 37 points. The Challenge is now over, I'll do a post detailing the experience, but I'm very happy with my hobby output for these first three months of the year. Even on the Blog front, this is my 14th post of the year, which equals what I did all last year!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hail to the King, baby

Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my BOOMSTICK! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

When I was maybe 11, I saw late at night a horror movie called Evil dead. It terrified me. So of course I watched Evil Dead II not long after and was also terrified, again. The "humour" in the movie escaped me, and the fact the main hero, Ash, spends a good half of the movie alone, tormented by evil demonic forces really made a number on me. But the worst part was the movie's ending, in which our hero gets propelled back in medieval times, not the happy ending you want for your horror movie.

Lady, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to leave the store.
And who the hell are you?
Name's Ash. [cocks rifle] 

Two years later, I saw a commercial for Army of Darkness, and I realized it was the sequel to Evil Dead! Finally I would knew what happened to Ash! As I was 13, and the movie was PG-13, I went to see it in the theater. I quickly realized that the sequel was much more lighthearted than the original, and while for a moment it disappointed me I rapidly fell for it's humour, and laughed for 90 minutes straight. 

You found me beautiful once...
Honey, you got reeeal ugly!

To this day, Army of Darkness is one of the movies I've seen the most often, and I can recite most of the movie lines by heart. And they're so many classic quotes in that movie! 

It's a trick. Get an axe.

Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the gun.
I got this Hasslefree miniatures a while back, because obviously as a die hard fan of the serie I needed it, and obviously when I saw the last bonus round theme (TV or movie character) I knew what I had to do! At first I wanted to do a diorama, but after painting the figure the wargamer in me whispered to my ear "you'll want to play with him, are you sure a diorama is a good idea?" That combined with lack of time as I've been working really hard on that Pulp duel with Sander made me decide he would be enough. And who am I kidding? Of course, Ash is enough! 

I intend to use him in Pulp games, and also of course Zombicide! And who knows, Oldhammer maybe? It's a great figure, and I'm really happy with my painting.

Sure, I could have stayed in the past. I could have even been king. But in my own way, I *am* king.
Hail to the king, baby.

Monday, March 6, 2017

A few more Halflings...

Why not, hey? In what is quite possibly my last Halflings of the winter (and challenge), here's another batch of 5 of the little fellows, and it includes some of my favourites, as today we have a berserker, a Wizard, a Honey Mage, a General and a Psion.

From left to right : Psion, Berserker, Wizard, General Bilbo Bonaparte, Honey Mage
Yes, we have ourselves our very first Napoleonic Halfling, people! And not any Napoleonic soldier, but the man himself, Emperor of the Halflings, general extraordinaire Bilbo Bonaparte. Funny thing is, and I don't remember who it was,  but someone in a comment asked if there was any Napoleonic Halflings. I smiled at the time, knowing this guy was coming. 

The Berserker is one of my favourite sculpt of the range, and I gave her the fiery orange hair of her fanatic Dwarven cousins, Slayers of Trolls. I'm also very pleased with the wizard, as I'm really happy with my painting on him, especially his flaming hands, which I think I nailed. And one cannot not talk about the Honey Mage! It make so much sense that Halflings would've come up with a school of magic that gives them unlimited honey! I love the bees all over her, and the honey dipper wizard staff is a seriously nice touch.

I had a LOT of fun painting all these Halflings; so often the subjects of our painting is serious, with monsters and wars and such, that this was just a very refreshing little project. However I believe these will my last of the winter as I'm also working on a side duel due for early March (it's coming Sander, no worries. It's gonna be awesome) and I would like to add a few pts to that 30K duel. I did managed to paint 25 of 'em little fellows, and since my goal was between 20 and 25 I can say "mission accomplie". I have quite enough to create a LeafGrave warband, and I even have the choice between three Wizards! So I gather it is time for a family portrait of the bunch. 

So that's 25 more points. Now if you'll excuse me, second midnight snack is coming...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lorhal Kuvax, Nurgle Sorcerer

Let the Old World rot away and all come to Nurgle

I haven't painted a lot of Oldhammer recently, mostly because I've been working on my LeafGrave and Epic project, both requiring figures to play. My Chaos army has reached a good size (3000pts+) and so I feel a bit less urgency in painting figures. Which will surely change next year, when I start my second Oldhammer army...

Anyways, last saturday after a family dinner I felt like painting a single and so I settled on a nice Old School Citadel Nurgle sorcerer. I enjoy painting Nurgle figures since I like all things disgusting and horror and I especially like the hooded ones; I find they look super creepy. This one is no exception. This sculpt, released in 1989 I think for the Realm of Chaos line, was used, with a few modification, as the basis for two Nurgle Sorcerers; one with a staff and one with a sword. Those familiar with Citadel figures of the mid-80s know this was something often done in all their ranges; it allowed them to produce a lot of variety while keeping costs down, and apparently gamers loved variety! Stunning, I know.

You can see the two very similar Sorcerers; top right and middle of third row

The one I painted today is the sword version; I also have the staff one but him I keep for something special. So I present to you Lorhal Kuvax, Nurgle Sorcerer.

Since my Chaos undivided core force is black and poison green (a bright green), I've been trying to avoid green for my Nurgle contingent, and rather go with browns, beiges, yellow and even pinks. So for this one I went with a dirty beige, with pink details. I used just a tad of my poison green, to tie it with the rest of the force.

Of course, this being Oldhammer, a sorcerer needs a familiar! So I also painted a little freak to accompany him. One of the weirdest familiar model from the era, it's basically a gigantic mouth, but he does fit nicely stylewise with Papa Nurgle's children.

And 10 pts for the challenge

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Halflings Part IV (LeafGrave project)

And here he was, a little halfling from the Shire, a simple hobbit of the quiet countryside, expected to find a way where the great ones could not go, or dared not go. It was an evil fate.

Not very original, am I?

Yes, five more Halflings this week. I'm just amazed I managed to keep my pledge of five per week, really! And for this week we have a pretty bizarre and heteroclite bunch of little men, with a Digger, a Potion Maker, a Linksman, a Thief and a Warrior Princess (!). Some of these are definitely on the silly side of things, but it's what makes this range's charm. 

From left to right : Potion Maker, Digger, Warrior Princess, Linksman and (80s) Thief
I'm quite pleased with the way the Warrior-Princess came out, as I didn't want to go with a boring metal or gold plated "armour". She reminds me of the Princess in one of the Super Mario NES game., I even resisted the urge of painting her pink! I do love her gigantic sword. Make fun of her incredibly impractical armour at your own risk, fellas!

Notice the Linksman's golf bag filled with weapons! 

And then we have the Thief, dressed as a 80s hair band member for some reason, complete with the haircut, the tight pants, the headband and the short coat with glitter and epaulets! When I saw it, I figured I just had to paint it as the Europe band singer, complete with white jacket, pink pants and blonde hair! Those were the days, am I right?!

Makes for a lousy thief's attire if you ask me, maybe she can bling her victims' attention away from her pick pocketing? 

Anyways, silly and fun bunch, silly post, good fun to help survive a sad February. I'm up to 20 Halflings done, and my goal was 25, so I might just skip a week next week. Or not. We'll see.

And another 25 pts

Monday, February 6, 2017

Emperor's Children additions (30K, Epic Style Part IV)

More Emperor's Children for my Epic Horus Heresy project. I've been painting these in between Halflings. One of the things I enjoy about painting Epic is that it's a nice change of pace; sometimes I'm just really tired of working on 28mm figures and I just switch in the middle of a session to painting little tanks and it gives me renewed energy and motivation.

So this week we have three support detachment sporting the Purple & Gold of your favourite Legions of depraved sociopaths. 

First up, a detachment of 4 Predators. These are the Annihilator variants, equipped with turret-mounted Twin-linked "Stormbringer" Lascannons as opposed to the basic turret-mounted Autocannon on the Predator Destructor. I always had a soft spot for the Predators' look, as I find it looks good without being over the top.

Up next, we move one size up to a quatuor of Sicaran Battle Tanks, one of the most advanced armoured vehicles used by the Space Marine Legions during the Horus Heresy. These powerful vehicles were exclusive to the armouries of the Legiones Astartes and were just in the process of being introduced as a standard vehicle of the Legions when the Horus Heresy broke out. This allowed the Warmaster Horus to ensure that many examples of the new tank found their way only into the armouries of the "traitor" Legions that would side with him before the outbreak of his rebellion against the Emperor. Yes, Horus is the kind of leader you can count on!

Not very point effective for the duel though, as they are rather big for a measly 2 pts! But that drawback is more than offset by their badassery and their awesome look!  These guys are big and mean, and style wise fit perfectly with my philosophically agressive Emperor's Children.

And last for this week is a Legion Outrider Squad. I needed more speed for my Legion, and these guys look the part. These mechanized Space Marine reconnaissance squads are mounted on all-terrain Assault Bikes and are responsible for performing scouting missions and conducting guerrilla attacks behind enemy lines.  I quite like the models, although in hindsight I'm wondering if I should've put two bikes per bases. Of course, that would've required twice as many bikes and twice the cost! Anyways, the detachment still looks good to me, even if pictures are a bit hard to get right because they are so very small!

And a family picture, just to give some perspective on the size of each models.

Next up for this project; more infantry for my Emperor's Children, and probably another Super Heavy Tank.

And another 22 pts for the challenge.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Halflings, Part III (LeafGrave project)

Judge me by my size, do you?

Those of you actually reading my ramblings may recall that the Halflings are meant, amongst other things, to play some Frostgrave games (which I renamed LeafGrave for this project). And to play LeafGrave, you need at least two very important things : 1) a wizard and 2) an apprentice. So it was time to paint one of each! Also this week a Paladin, a bard and a fighter.

From left to right: Fighter, Bard, Apprentice, Mage and Paladin

The Mage is to be used as an Elementalist for LeafGrave. I didn't painted the Apprentice in the same colour scheme as the Mage, which many people do, as I wanted the Apprentice to blend with other of my Halflings wizards. 

Because yes, I have a few more Halflings wizards from that range so that will leave me the option of building different Halfling warbands with different wizards. I expect you'll see at least one or two more practitioner of magic in the next month or so! I did however gave the apprentice the same type of "lightning blue" magic flame to tie him up. 

I hope you keep enjoying the little guys as much as I enjoy painting them. It's like going through all the possible D&D Character classes, 5 Halflings at a time.

More Halflings (possibly, probably) to come next week!

And another 25 pts for the Challenge

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Female Assassin

Assassins take no pride in fighting fairly. We take pride in winning.

A single piece for this week's Challenge; a female assassin from Dark Swords Miniatures. The figure is not attached to any planned games or project, really, it's a Christmas gift from the girlfriend. Now usually when she gives me figures as gift they go into the lead pile, and she gets to see them painted many moons later, so this year I decided to do something different and put it in my priority pile!

So there she is, I painted her as a single so I did spend more time on her than most other figures, and I'm really happy I did as I think she looks gorgeous! The figure itself is n awesome sculpt and has that nice Old School vibe the fantasy masters at Dark Sword still manage to produce. It's a very simple sculpt, no skulls or extra belts and stuff, but it is very effective.

Yes, I couldn't resist using some pink on the female warrior, cliché you might say, but I just love the colour and any excuse to use it is good with me! I tried to offset the bright colour with a darker mauve cloak, a very simple basing and some grey pants. I quite like the final results.

Now, of course, being who I am it might just be the start of a Frostgrave or Songs of Blades and Heroes warband! Somewhere the evil masters at Dark Swords are smiling, knowing I need at least 10 more of their figures...

(and a small but satisfying 5 pts for the Challenge)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Halflings Part II (LeafGrave project)

More StoneHaven Halflings this week, as I'm keeping up with my goals of painting 5 per week. The little buggers are a ton of fun to paint, and since each one is very different it keeps me from being bored of painting the same thing.

And so this week we have a gardener, a lorekeeper, a ranger, a ratcatcher and a skelly.

From left to right : Ranger, Gardener, Ratcatcher, Skelly and Lorekeeper

I exceptionally went with a different base style for the skeleton as the nice and happy goblin green didn't seem to fit very well with him. That figure is very cool, and the smoking pipe is a nice touch. I love the funny details on many of them; if you look closely, the Lorekeeper, just like any good teacher, has elbow patches on his jacket!

Same as the previous Halflings,  I used green and brown when possible while still going all over the place in terms of colours, to keep their individuality.

25 more points for the challenge!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Photographing Miniatures : Part II, setting up your camera

So last time we discussed how I got my perfect set-up. You can imagine my frustration when I took some pictures and still they were dark and out of focus. After reading a few tutorials and some trial and error, I came up with settings which work very well for me.

So, everything needed was inside my camera, with the essential help of a tri-pod. To follow this Tutorial you need a good digital camera (mine is a Canon IOS Rebel T3) that you can put in "manual setting" and one which lets you play with Aperture, Iso and Shutter speed (exposure).

First and most important advice : DO NOT put your camera on "Macro" or "Auto" mode. I did this for years. It doesn't work for miniatures photography. What you want to do is control the settings of your camera manually. (BTW I'm no expert, what you are about to read has been picked up from the web and many tutorials. It might containt mistakes on the technical terms! I try my best, but I'm a self made man ;-) ).

Aperture is ‘the opening in the lens.’

When you hit the shutter release button of your camera a hole opens up that allows your cameras image sensor to catch a glimpse of the scene you’re wanting to capture. The aperture that you set impacts the size of that hole. The larger the hole the more light that gets in – the smaller the hole the less light. Aperture is measured in ‘f-stops’. In our case, we want a  a smaller hole (high number) so that everything is in focus. I go with f22.

In very basic terms, ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to the light, while a higher ISO number increases the sensitivity of your camera. The ISO setting changes the sensitivity of the sensor. A low number like 100 will be crisp but will require a lot of light to expose the picture correctly. An ISO of 3000 will not require that much light but will be very grainy. I often read 400 is a good number, but I went with 200 and the results were remarkably better.

Shutter speed, also known as “exposure time”, stands for the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor. If the shutter speed is fast, it can help to freeze action completely. If the shutter speed is slow, it can create an effect called “motion blur”, where moving objects appear blurred along the direction of the motion. In our case, you want to play with the exposure meter (-2..1..0..1..+2). This is where I had so much difficulty. I kept changing the shutter speed setting until the cursor was on 0, but that always gave me too dark of a picture. Took me a while to figure that one out! Now I over exposure on the exposure metre about two clicks to get a brighter picture and a whiter background (so +2 instead of 0).

However, the long shutter speed means that, if you are holding the camera the picture will be blurry because of all the camera shake. This is where the Tri-pod comes into play, because we are going to use a long timer; with a long shutter speed just pressing the button can move the camera. The timer eliminates that. I use a full 10 seconds timer. You might say it's annoyingly too long, but honestly with all of the settings described above I rarely take more than 2-3 pictures of any subject to find my perfect picture. So basically 20-30 seconds per good picture is something I can live with!

Officially, I'm still missing two things; a better background (I like blue gradiant, although my current white works just fine) which I ordered from a recent kickstarter, and something to work on my white balance. But I'm a little lazy at times, so I let my Mac's IPhoto deal with my white balance, usually by "lightening" the picture just a tad.

So here you go! In recap, ISO of 200, Aperture of F22, +2 on the exposure meter, 10 seconds timer and a good tripod. Works for me! Of course, you might have to do your own tests so that you find what works best with your camera, set-up, lighting available, etc. It was a pain to spend time figuring all that out but now I think it's worth it!

My camera sitting on the Tri-Pod, with the proper settings

I'm very, very happy I finally managed to get it right, it is really such a relief. After figuring everything out, I spent a couple days smiling, and annoying the girlfriend by answering every problems with a "don't care, figured out my miniature photography".

So now not only are all the settings good, but everything is set-up just the way I want; fast, quick and quality pictures at the roll of a chair! Some recent examples of photography from the new set-up :

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Photographing miniatures, Part I; tools and set-up

Since I started blogging, my bane has always been Photographing miniatures. I hate it because it takes forever to set-up, and that means spare time not used to painting; I hate it because it always end costing money, from tri-pod to cameras to light-box, etc. (and again that means money not spent towards my hobby), and mostly I hate it because I'm not very good at it, and my pictures always end up too dark and I have to take 50 pictures to get two "good enough" picture. It has, in the past, played a role in irregular blogging posting habits. I would often wait until I had enough figures painted to spend an entire afternoon taking pics. But this way of doing thing really didn't work well with regular blog posts, and it's especially problematic during the Analogue Hobby Challenge, as I find it important to try to get a good rhythm and post every week or at least every two weeks.

So when I moved this Spring to a new house, I decided I needed to fix this issue once and for all, especially since I had the room needed; i'm indeed lucky enough to have an office (which also serves as my toys/comics collection room) upstairs to myself, as does Laurie. There were a number of things I wanted to adress, and it took me a long time to all put it together, mostly because I had to wait a few months because I was broke after the house move! So I wanted the following :
  • Permanent photography set-up. In the past I tried everything, from taking my pictures outside (not so good when summer is basically 3 months a year in Montréal), to setting up a table corner with terrain, to try to take pictures in front of a simple white paper sheet. All these would take time to install; bringing the terrain needed, getting the tri-pod, etc. I wanted something which would always be easily accessible, no set-up required.
  • A lightbox or something similar. I like to use my terrain for gaming, not taking pics, so I decided to go for a lightbox, with a permanent backgroup. Now, I like my house and my office to look nice, so not only did I wanted the box to be efficient and if possible cheap, I also wanted it to look smart in my office. So no home-made cheap looking cardboard box! 
  • A set-up right next to my computer; when taking pics outside or in the basement, you always have to go up and down the stairs to download your pics, and to double-check they are ok, etc. It's a lot of time wasted, and moreover not the best idea for my knees. 
So now lets look at the solution, which is fairly simple really. I already had a tri-pod (which I think is a must to take proper pics of minis) and a good camera. I needed a lightbox!

While perusing an Oldhammer blog, I found a review for the Foldio lightbox; it's a cheap lightbox, incredibly easy to assemble, small enough to fit on an office desk. And it was available through Amazon! And finally, it looks quite good and fits very well with the aesthetics of my Mac computer and office in general. I actually bought the Foldio 2, which is bigger and has more light than the Foldio 1, two problems mentioned by Matthew in his blog

However, lighting was still an issue, and indeed you don't have enough. I fixed this by buying two desk lamps and equipped them with daylight bulbs; faster and easier than buying more lights of the Foldio guys in Korea!

Here's a picture of the (permanent) set-up. 

To take pictures, I just roll my chair a bit to the left, get in front of the tri-pod, open all the lights and I'm done. 30 seconds and I'm in photography mode.

And then, to download the pics, I move the tri-pod with the camera still attached to it a few centimeters, and connect the USB cable straight from my usb multiple port adapter to the camera.

20 seconds later pics are uploaded, and I know if they are good. Yes, the whole point of this is to minimize as much as humanly possible all time devoted to photographing miniatures, while still getting great results. Toyota would call it "the lean method".

Of course, nothing is easy about Photographing miniatures, so I quickly realized that, while the set-up was great, my pictures still weren' stay tune for Part II!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Halflings, Part I (LeafGrave project)

As I mentionned in a previous post, I'm starting the work on a LeafGrave/Fantasy skirmish project ; the first Warband is a band of Halflings. I have around 40 of the little buggers from a StoneHaven Kickstarter, and I'd like to paint at least 20 of them for the Painting Challenge. The plan is to paint 5 of them per week, give or take a few weeks.

And it starts this week. As I mentioned, what I really love about the range is that each figures represents a RPG "class" or "profession", and every one of them is unique and full or personality. For this first batch of 5, we have the fighter, the chief, the cleric, the archer and the Rogue.

From left to right: fighter, cleric, chief, archer and rogue

The figures are lovely and super detailed, and have that Halfling caricatural look that I like. While painting them I realized one doesn't save that much time  when "batch painting" 5 completely different figures with different colour schemes! I wouldn't paint 10 at a time, that's for sure. 

I painted each one individually, but I did favour green and brown tones, which I find are traditional Halflings colours. I went with a super old school "goblin green" style of base to get a bit of that old 80s Citadel/AD&D vibe, but also because I didn't want to detract from the figures and wanted to keep a very woodland vibe to the whole bunch.

So 5 28mm (if a bit of the smaller side of the scale! ) figures equals 25pts to add to my challenge total!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Emperor's Children Armoured Division (30K, Epic style, Part III)

Children of the Emperor! Death to his foes! 

Well here it is, the first painted miniatures of my 30K Epic project; an Armoured Division (combined arms) of Emperor's Children. Of couse, I had to start with the forces of hope and change!

As mentionned in a previous post, the Emperor's Children, the IIIrd Legion, was always one of my favourite "traitor" legion. Mostly, I'll admit, because I find the purple & gold colour scheme looks really good on the battlefield, especially in the smaller scale. Their name, also, has always been a favourite of mine. Of course, I could also mention the Legion's "joie de vivre", so refreshing in this dark and grim world of the Emperor! Of course, the cheap propaganda of the Emperor has repeatedly referred to the Legion as made-up of hedonistic psychopaths! 

The Legion has a bit of a perfectionist complex and strives for perfection in all their endeavours and continuously works to perfect their military operations. Sustained not merely by the example of their peers but by a deep individual belief in their duty to their superiors and the Legion as a whole, they fought to the best of their abilities in all conditions, whether the battle was a massive attack or a simple patrol. Favouring a quick-strike and agressive approach to combat, I intend to give them more speed as the force grows.

I don't think I've ever worked that hard to get a colour right as I did with this purple. It's a good thing Rhino models are cheap because I tested at least five different recipes; every time I would paint a whole Rhino, to see how it looked finished with proper shading, metal work, etc. The purple was usually either too dark, too light or the shading and highlights were not visible enough. I wanted a purple which was bright but still a bit "evil" looking and not overly pink like the original EC colour scheme (I actually tried that at first but it was too much, even for a pink fan like me).
In the end, I went to my local GW stores and found my purple recipe! And I never use GW paints, other than  a few glaze and my trusted Leadbelcher. But finding the right colours and contrasts will make or break an Epic force. I then used the traditionnal white and gold secondary colours of the Emperor's Children to pick up details and add a touch of diversity to this field of Lilacs!

Painting technique was fairly simple (and all painted by hand, no airbrush here) : base coat, then a good wash of Army Painter wash, careful drybrush of highlight colour, and then a second edge highlight to pick up the details. Final details were then picked up with Brazen/gold and light grey/white.

I'm very happy with the results. 

So for this first painted Division, we have :

Space Marines clad in Mark III armours. The rules for Epic 30K requires rather big infantry formations, but it does look good. In the middle of the formation you can see a stand of sergeants with their white crest.

Rhino Armoured Personnel Carrier to transport the lads into combat. These are the classic, old school plastic Rhinos which came in the Space Marines box set of the late eighties. They aged remarkably well.

Land Raiders, famous and reliable heavy tank and transport vehicle. Also the original plastic models of my youth. The model has also aged remarkably well. The nostalgia feeling was high while painting these! 

Then a talon of Deredeo Dreadnoughts, my favourite dreadnoughts. They look really cool and remind me of some of the Robotech mech of my youth. I must say I gave these guys a bit of extra love and I think it paid off, as I really like how they came out! 

And finally, the big boys! Legion Fellblades, Super Heavy main battle tanks equipped with compact Mechanicum Atomantic Arc-reactor technology, a reinforced metaplas alloy chassis which provides protection superior to that of nearly all other Imperial armoured vehicles, and a (very visible) advanced Accelerator Cannon as its primary armament. Not to be fucked with. 

These are massive models measuring 45mm(!) in length and I spent a substantial amount of time working on them. I love their looks, and the additions of the legion symbols on the side doors makes for a welcome addition for someone like me who's freehand deficient!

And finally, the mandatory picture of 6mm figures next to a canadian penny! always wanted to do that! For you see, this force is my first time painting 6mm, in fact it's my first time painting another scale than 28mm! (Crazy, I know!) Bit of a leaning curve especially the first batch of infantry (I swore a little at first) but I got the hang of it pretty quickly and I really enjoy painting the little scale. I might be hooked. The girlfriend thinks I'm officially crazy for painting such tiny soldiers!

Points wise, for the challenge we have :

40 infantry x 0.5 : 20 pts
8 vehicles : 16 pts
2 Super Heavy : 8 pts
6 "guns" (dreadnoughts) : 6 pts

So a total of 50 pts to add to my total, and my first foray into the 30K duel! Huzzah!

This was entered as my submission in the Armour Bonus Theme Round . If you like it please go vote for me!! Rewards includes bragging rights, hobby goodies and extra points for the challenge.