Monday, 11 December 2017

Winter is coming (No, this is not what you expect...)

Frostgrave caught my attention since the beginning, just like everyone else. I got the rulebook and I really wanted to run some games, a little campaign, see what was it like... That was, I don't know, a couple of years ago? Since then. Since then I've been wanting to do something about it. In fact I had a clear idea I wanted to do last year before Christmas, but time caught me, calendar expired, blah blah. The time is now. I'm doing it this year. But if I want to have it finished by Christmas, I better hurry now.

'But what are you talking about, deranged man?' I hear you say. 'Why the obsession with Christmas? Can't you play a game... well, whenever you want?'
Of course, but as weird and silly as this particular project is going to be, it would be even weirder and sillier in August. Let me explain...

I got the following mini from the first DieHard Miniatures Kickstarter. I had quite a particular idea for it, and I'm not sure of where did it come from. But I certainly envisioned quite a specific magical person...
His true name was forgotten in the mists of time. Most people call him Klaus, Klaas or other variants, it depends on the country where you ask. Some people just call him 'Father'. His origins are also unclear. Some rumours and legends say that he comes from the South, the warm, mysterious South. Most people believe instead that he dwells in the eternal ice of the distant North. Truth is elusive.
Many years ago, a pact was sealed. He took an oath to pay tribute to the Men. It is still a matter of debate if this was done wholeheartedly or if it was a result of the dark war who confronted the Realm of Men and the Realm of Faerie. The only thing that is a fact is that he is compelled to pay a tribute every year. Every single year, the night before Christmas...

Nowadays people depict him in a different way, all in red. But it was not so in earlier times...
OK, now you see where am I going to with this. There was something in the mini, I couldn't say for sure what was it, that made me think about the most typical magical being in Christmas time, but not in the ubiquitous current red Santa Claus fashion, but closer to the idea of Father Christmas, an earlier vision of the character. I was visually thinking of the version we saw in The Witch, the Lion and the Wardrobe movie. Kind of.

Now, who would be part of Mr. Klaus Warband? Who will be his companions into the frozen ruins to ransack old pieces and treasures that would eventually become the presents this mysterious Wizard has to gift the humans? Well, tradition speaks of Elves...

Every Wizard needs an Apprentice...
She's casting these rare spells known as 'Carols'
Otherworld was quite an obvious choice for most of the warband, as the Elves in their ranges totally fit in the Frostgrave theme. So here we have some pillagers...

Do they look like Mr. Klaus' Elves?
The one on the right is from Northstar, but suitably blended in
So three thieves, an archer, a treasure hunter and finally, a barbarian...

Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer beastman (Northstar too)
This is the full warband:

Ready to rob the gifts you may (or may not) receive this year
In all their seasional fashion
I honestly have to admit I have no clue of the actual gameplaying, as I've only read the Frostgrave rulebook, but never actually played (yet), so I'm not that sure, for example, of what Wizard type better suits this particular magic user. Chronomancer, as he delivers the gifts all over the world in just one night? Illusionist, as he manages to bear the magic of Christmas among this dark realm? Thaumaturge, as he pretends to peacefully accomplish his mission? If any of you has experience with the game, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the subject!

BTW, just a bonus. If I've built this bizarre warband, what kind of rival may they face? Who would dare to oppose such colourful Elves? That's the next part of this project. Thanks to Otherworld...

...this chieftain Gnoll will be the Grinch himself
So I'm building a Gnoll warband ;) I hope I have them ready in time!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Ballads of War. Final pages

This is it. This is all I got, four more pages. In fact, the last one is incomplete. I had it in pencils only, but as I had to translate it for the blog, I've painted it at least in crude b/w with photoshop.

First of all, some comments on the pages above.

We finally discover Brent's secret about his strenght. Not that it really adds anything relevant to the story, but it was something I wanted to reflect; the fact that terraforming cannot be an absolutely precise process, and that it's impossible for all the planets in the galaxy to have the very exact conditions we have on Earth. So this had to translate into some effects in the inhabitants of different worlds. This was all the reasoning behind. I planned at some point to have some characters talking about that, about planets with unbearable conditions, worlds with blue grass and green skies, that sort of things, going a step beyond the classic Star Trek/Star Wars concept of all planets being equally apt for all species to live on their surface.

Let's move on. Brent is captured! The NSFW stuff is not gratuitous. I gave it a thought and it seemed plausible that the ruthless Imperial captors treated a prisoner in such a way. In fact I think we all have seen worse things in the news on actual events I won't speak of.
But we have a new player! Right, an Imperial Inquisitor. The usual choice for a character of this kind would be a middle aged mysterious man, preferably of a different ethnic origin than the leading character. Yeah, have a look at cinema, comics or pop culture in general. But I gave it a second thought and decided that this would be a perfect role for a woman. Nowadays it looks quite normal for us having powerful, strong women in this kind of roles; a Cersei Lannister or whatever. But please keep in mind this was ten or twelve years ago, women older than 30 in these roles were the exception, not the rule. I really wanted to explore the possibilities of this kind of character. She was meant to be the real mastermind of the plot. Ahh... let me tell you about the plot, what I was supposed to draw...

(Is it still a spoiler if the story is unlikely to be told...? Hmmm...)

We start right in the last panel we have above. We discover that Brent Beronis was actually a Major in the Imperial Guard Stormtroopers. Well, that's not a regular profile for a deserter. If you remember the Appendix of Vol. 1, I misled the reader's attention through a false path. In 1x26, Arbos Holdstat presumes that Brent must be a sarge or something like that, as he knows how to lead. In the long text of the Appendix, I stated there was a Sergeant in the Stormtroopers who told stuff to the narrator. There are a couple of hints here and there leading you to the wrong direction. In the Appendix of Vol. 2 I was to tell the real story of how and why Brent deserted. Not really relevant for my current purposes, just wanted to state that he is actually somebody, and it can be used for the Inquisitor's purposes...
Three millenia ago (or any WH40K absurd amount of time), Salar Beronius, Hero of the Imperium, led the Imperial Armies through a righteous crusade. Right, the last name should ring a bell. Brent Beronis is the direct descendant and last of that lineage. That's a relevant fact. Salar Beronius, then a widower (after parenting the mentioned line of direct descent), got entangled in a harsh campaign beyond Imperial borders. There he was seduced by an exotic woman. What he didn't know is that she was a witch, a worshipper of the Dark Powers, who gave birth to a child, a boy who was tainted from birth. In a Greek tragedy style story, the child would grow to finally kill his father, who ended his days in despair. Long story short, the boy would finally rise until he ascended to the rank of Daemon Prince. He was known by the name of Ihridur Moratar. His many evil deeds were put to an end by the Grey Knights, who managed to imprison him, as he was too powerful to be slain.
But in recent times, just four or five years ago, a Chaos conspiracy has succeeded, and Ihridur Moratar has been set free. It will take some time for him to fully recover, but it is known that he is gathering new forces and he is gaining strenght again. The Inquisition is not particularly happy about that, so it has been decided to put an end to Moratar for good. But for a full exorcism to succeed, some blood of the Daemon is needed. That's an issue. If only we had some blood of the same line... oh, wait. We have one Beronis at hand! Well, at hand... he's a deserter. That is the real reason behind all we have seen until now, that's why Commissar Bajakian has been pursuing him for so long. Not to put him under arrest, but to use him against the Daemon Prince, as planned by the Inquisitor. By now it is clear that the dreams and visions Brent is experiencing come from that evil ancestor.
Besides, as Beronis is a rank officer in the Imperial Guard, the Inquisitor has forged some kind of 'prophecy' which says that Ihridur Moratar's very own blood would be his bane. The Inquisitor and the Commissar will promote Beronis and make a leader of him. This way, by showing off the man who presumedly is destined to kill him, they expect Moratar to rush and make a mistake, marching to battle before he's totally ready. Then, Volume 2 was to end with our fugitives being incorporated to the Inquisitor detachment and Brent shaving and fitting into uniform back for active duty. About El'Kais... well, the Inquisitor's Savant would discover some interesting facts. For example, Tau build their names around their chaste and relevant life facts. So a name like Por'El Tolku Kais Montyr Blahblahwhatever would refer to the Water Chaste... diplomat? He stated in 2x11 that humans used that word in a restrictive way. One could say that he is in charge of relations with other peoples and races, to gain knowledge of them, to learn about their lives and capabilities... we could even say to obtain intelligence of potential adversaries... So El'Kais was openly stating to everyone just with his name that he was a damn spy :D So, being the Tau 007, he has broken out of his containment cell and has vanished...

From this point on, the following Volumes were thought as a escalation of force, in which we could see the kind of conflicts you can play in the WH40K universe, from regular skirmishes to a final, apocalyptic battle (a game of Epic).

Volume 3 would have started with Commissar Bajakian having a lecture of Imperial Tarot (I wanted to show as much fluff depth as possible) and it was all about planning movements and building the prophecy up, so its first steps could be fulfilled in order to draw attention from Ihridur Moratar. We were to learn about the Inquisitor and her motivations, that helping the reader to have a better insight of the Imperial/Chaos cosmogony. Brent helps El´Kais to escape away from Imperial control and receives his gratitude (this will be relevant ahead).
In addition, the Inquisitor is curious about those Eldar and what was Brent doing with them. The Mausoleum is off-limits now, as the planet is under Eldar control, but doing reverse engineering, they investigate the source of the rumours that led the Mechanicus expedition to that point. They travel to a planet with a Mechanicus archaeological site, in which they discover a Necron Tomb (In my imagination it was some Necron Xi'an). Things get complicated when they discover a Chaotic Cult infiltration within the Imperial garrison/population (I guess that some Dark Mechanicus would be in place too, but this is a new idea just ocurring to me right now). The struggle leads to partial activation of some of the dormant Necrons (uh-oh) and a desperate battle ended only by Arbos Holdstat's cunning lateral thought, delivering a massive EM pulse and rendering the Necrons inactive.
By the end of the Volume we learn about the obscure Mausoleum and what does Chaos have to do with all this. Keep in mind that, at the moment I designed all this, the C'Tan were four stellar gods reigning over the immortal slaves known as Necrons, as opposite to current background. Within the Mausoleum lies a fifth C'Tan, killed by the Emperor and the Eldar in the days of the Great Crusade, and kept secret since then. Its corpse is still so powerful that it could unleash havoc through the galaxy. Hence the sarcophagus and the amount of energy needed to keep it sealed.
BTW, you remeber Cypher being the guardian of the site? Please check his Codex profile and you'll see he owns a C'Tan knife. Here we have the explanation; he took part in that battle and earned the weapon, falling over him the burden of guarding the mausoleum. The Chaos cult is no other than Ihridur Moratar's own followers. He had learned about it and he will try to seize the corpse's power to regenerate himself to full strenght and even taking him to further steps. What could not he achieve with the power of a god? Could he even tame the abhorrent powers of the null void of the C'Tan? Well, whatever. Now you see that all was connected in this story :P

Volume 4 starts with an Eldar conclave, opening with a representation of Eldar history by the Harlequins. The Eldar have to decide what to do now that they have the corpse. The planet is safe no more, as they don't have the stregth to keep it against the mon-keigh (that's why they needed the Tau, but they are out of the scene now). Biel Tan will have to keep it as a temporary solution, but they have to find a definite one, as it would drain the Craftworld and its energy. The Harlequins will try to find a solution in the volumes of the Black Library.
Meanwhile, Brent & co. are travelling to a warzone, in which Brent will have to take command of Imperial forces to fulfil his destiny, get well known, blah blah. Perfect excuse for a spaceships battle against a Chaos fleet (a game of BFG; no one can resist that). Our heroes meet a small detachment of Space Marines (I thought of Black Templars, as their fleets are constantly wandering, but other Chapters would serve as well) and they all fight along.
The Inquisitor takes a risky path, as she decides to strike Eldar Pirates positions in the surroundings. That wasn't in the plans, but they finally strike, as it gives credibility to Brent's position, being a new Hero of the Imperium, standing against all. In the battle, Vix is taken prisoner (among many others), as she was posted on an underdefended position. Brent goes mad (by now the romantic tension between Vix and him should be noticeable) and blames the Inquisitor, but she plays cool (or 'machiavellan', I should say). The Eldar Pirates (i.e., Dark Eldar) may kill other prisoners, but not Vix, not one of their own. The Pirates operating area is usually off-limits by old tradition and treaties. No one has dared to enter in many centuries, despite the pirates being a pain in the ass. But now things have changed. The Inquisitor invokes an old decree, allowing any Inquisitor to take any actions required to recover personnel in the service of the Inquisition who is held captive. Wink, wink.
It's a golden opportunity because, as the Inquisitor had learned, the Space Marines were to rendezvous with large scale forces of their own. So they all together prepare to strike the Dark Eldar position...

Volume 5 starts with Vix having nightmares; we get deeper knowledge of her and the whole Eldar/Dark Eldar problematic relationship. After some insights of the Dark Eldar settlement and society, we of course witness an orbital attack by the Space Marines (who doesn't like drop pods?). Though Vix is finally rescued relatively unharmed, the trust in the Inquisitor has been somehow damaged (don't you say!). Ahem. The romantic interest between Brent and Vix is built, but won't lead them to a relationship (you know, the tension cliche as a storytelling resource along the whole series always works).
After that, Brent formally takes charge of his command and is promoted, claiming the enemy's attention. My script for this part was a little loose, but I wanted some dialogue scenes between Brent and the leader of the Space Marines, who was injured by a Dark Eldar poisonous weapon. This serves the purpose of getting into the mind of the Space Marines, how they are nothing else than weapons and how far they are from vulgar human emotions. If any, I wanted to include some reflections of how the Space Marine Captain never really wanted that life, but he was predetermined to it; taken as a child for war, he has seen the worst things the galaxy can offer, but once he begun his path, he could never go back to a life of peace. This is his duty and he will die that way. You know, I wanted to take a different path from some BL novels that depict Space Marines as mean-spirited men with normal emotions. He finally dies after a long agony and is granted a proper funeral.
This way, Brent gives a thought about his duty, so he finally makes the imposed mission as his own. An attempt of assasination against him is the first sign that the plan goes right (yeah, that's the way things work in Warhammer, you know). In the middle of that, the Inquisitor saves Vix's life nearly losing her own, so things get a little better between them. We also receive notice that a powerful Tau Armada is mustering, with unknown purpose; that will be relevant ahead.

Volume 6 begins with a nightmare of a new character. A nightmare of Marneus Calgar himself, remembering the events in the campaign of Ichar IV. Tyranids and all that stuff. Nowadays, in the depth of an Imperial city, a Cult awakens and a long time hibernated egg/thing/whatever opens to life. Dun dun dunnn.
As part of the prophecy, Brent has to claim an ancient weapon (another Warhammer classic). A spear or a hammer, I never got decided about that. It belonged to his ancestor, Salar Beronius, and is revered as a valuable relic. The only problem is that is is kept... bingo, in the holy city where the Genestealer Cult has just manifested. After some intrigues about the Cult and stuff, the Ultramarines and the Sororitas try to evacuate the pilgrims and inhabitants of the city before the Tyranid Hive Fleet arrives. This way we have a Volume devoted to the best Starship Troopers tradition, with a game of Space Hulk in some deep catacombs until our heroes face the big bug boss (and prevail, of course). But this time we begin to have some casualties. The twins (I bet you forgot about them! But by now they should have had some more scenes and get your sympathy). During the combats, Ari is killed and his sister Arieh, in an outburst of rage, get herself killed too, no one being able to do anything about it.
By the end of the Issue, Brent (now having the company of the Ultramarines) travels to get closer notice of the Tau, maybe to settle a meeting. First contact is kind of cold, as the xenos don't trust the humans. Only El'Kais coming out saves a situation coming to a confrontation. Old reencounters and so. Besides, Brent receives an unexpected visit. Cypher comes back. I have been watching you, boy, and that kind of speech. They have a sincere exchange of impressions and they both take the oath to destroy the C'Tan corpse, with Cypher committing to help when needed.

Volume 7 starts with a ceremony of the Dark Angels. We see Sgt. Moustache (remember him?) ascended to the ranks of the Deathwing, so the awful, painful secrets of the Chapter are revealed to him with proper flashbacks for the reader. Elsewhere, Blood Angels Sergeant Cleon (the one we already met) prepares for battle, as the hordes of Ihridur Moratar have finally manifested and march ahead thirsty for war. It will be on a planet where the Eldar are resuppling Biel Tan, due to their current necessities. In a crazy game of enemities and alliances, all the actors we saw in Volume 2 (Eldar, Blood Angels and Dark Angels) will have to confront each other and finally fight together against Chaos forces.
When Brent & co arrive, war is at its most. Chaos outnumbers everybody. Finally, Menelvagor, the Eldar ship, is taken down, High Farseer Ellinderelion on board. Chaos forces seize the rests and take the C'Tan sarcophagus. Glups!
A War Council is summoned. On behalf of the Eldar, the Great Harlequin gets back and leads the delegation. Dark Angels are extremely reluctant to take part, but Blood Angels don't have that problem. Brent comes with the power of the Imperial Guard, the Inquisition (a few Ultramarines maybe? Never really decided that) and the fragile alliance with Tau. The menace is too high, they all have to work shoulder with shoulder.
A diversion must be taken to retrieve some Chaos troops from the ground. So a small army will be sacrificed employed in a massive attack, a retreat and later ambush to the Chaos pursuers. We would have some battle action and the death of Commissar Bajakian while epicly containing the enemy hordes.
The real problem is the siege of Ihridur Moratar's fortress. The void shields generators must be destroyed, so a small force will have to strike the facilities, allowing the big, massive army to attack the fortress. But it happens to be a hard nut to crack, and suddenly everything goes terribly wrong, so Vix has finally to take charge of the whole operation and stay to make sure the explosives make proper detonation and the whole compund is blown away. Of course that means she accepts her own sacrifice. Radio link remains open, Brent commanding Vix to evacuate and so, until they both accept the fate of things and remain to the verge of declaring their love... when the explosives detonate and the void shields go down.
Burst in tears, Brent leads the Imperial Army and gives the order to the final assault.

Volume 8 begins with Blood Angels Sgt. Cleon succumbing to the Black Rage, so we have visions of the Horus Heresy and the Siege of Terra intertwined with the current battle. All the first part of this issue is about a huge battle. I mean huge. Armoured divisions, Titans and all that. Legions of daemons, Space Marines and people dying all over. Cypher coming, Cleon dying heroically, you get the idea. As apocalyptic as I could have ever designed and drawn it. The thing is that the action will finally conduct us to Brent reaching the chambers in which Ihridur Moratar is unlocking the sarcophagus and executing the ominous rituals to extract the essence of the C'Tan corpse. It would be quite a classic encounter, with more people succumbing and finally reduced to the clash of the hero (supported by the Inquisitor) and the daemon. The opening of the sarcophagus would unchain some kind of apocalypse, everything collapsing all over and Ihridur Moratar becoming more powerful as he absorbs the energy. All the psykers the Inquisitor has brought to shield Brent die one after another (I didn't have Grey Knights in mind then, but now it also looks like a logical decision). Anyway, no big surprise; if we have gone through 8 comics, we can expect Brent to kill the bad guy in extremis in the last minute after an epic struggle. Closing the sarcophagus back again would be the last post-climax confrontation trope, of course.
After that, we have a mess of ruins everywhere, and the Inquisitor reminds us all that the C'Tan energy dispersed through the galaxy will be something to deal with, and for that they will need to co-operate with the Eldar (as for dealing with the corpse itself). An alternate ending could be Ihridur effectively absorbing the whole C'Tal essence; so when he dies, the sarcophagus becomes irrelevant. Both things could work, I guess.
The thing is that we finally close the saga with a bittersweet feeling about the body count, but with a slight optimistic nod to the future, as today's battle has been won.

Well, of course this is a VERY brief synopsis, I have tons of annotations in notebooks with character development and interaction, plots and sub-plots, discarded ideas and the like. I had very clear since the beginning that I wanted to build a romantic relationship between Brent and Vix and that it would be quite a pillar for both characters as it slowly grew, but never coming to the climax. That would be totally scattered at the moment of Vix sacrificing herself for Brent and all his beliefs and mission. This was a centerpiece I haven't talked about too much above, but was essential. The characters had a road to tread, from the rogue fugitive cliche (mean, selfish, whatever) to the point in which they took the narrative upon themselves, earning redemption by doing so.
This was kind of a compendium of WH40K races and armies, I wanted to show a bit of everyone. Some of them were better integrated than others, but I guess that, though some slight review would benefit the whole plot, it worked more or less.

Now, what about the future? I told in a few occasions that I felt I couldn't keep on with the comic as it was originally conceived. The amount of work you have to put on this is enormous, and I felt quite frustrated to see GW official background moving out from its previous settings and replacing full approaches to races and situations (e.g. Necrons, Inquisition, or the whole new fluff earthquake). I wanted to do nothing but a simple story that could fit in the general background, but to accomodate my story to the current line of events I should have to rewrite some major things and redo pages. Sorry, but I felt disencouraged.

I've told you about my idea of rebooting the story, but setting it into my very own universe, far from 40K. In fact I got to draw the very first pages. Here you have an example. This is the double splash page from Vol. 1. Instead of a hive city, I developed this:

That's my top in digital art at the moment. You can bet, I've spent some months on it, it's thought for A3 size.

But once more I'm afraid I currently lack the time and dedication I need to commit myself to such an endeavour. To do that I would have to quit painting minis and devote myself to properly learning photoshop. I'm not even talking about rewriting the story. Maybe some day, but I don't see it happening in the near future, to be honest.

Well, this is it! I can state this has been the longest post I've ever written for the blog, haha! I hope you have enjoyed it. All C&C is always welcome, of course. About absolutely anything; the comic itself, the art, the unfinished project, whatever you have in mind.
Thanks to all of you who have commented during this whole adventure, your kind words encouraged me for every new installment and meant a lot, for this, as you can guess, was quite a personal project with a lot of dedication.

I'll be back in a few days with more minis. Seasonal minis! I can say no more, stay tuned...

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Back to World of Twilight

I had quite a lot of World of Twilight minis in the painting queue, it was time to put my hands on them.

Dammit, I didn't remember they were this many!
I've started with the Dompaku:

Also known as giraffephant
The leg joints (the two left legs) were too evident, so I've sculpted some ropes and pendants. If you don't look too close you won't notice :)
I took a different path than the other one I painted. I made this one in light colours and no pattern on the back. The only touch of vibrant colours is the crest:

It probably means the Dompaku is in heat
Then, the riders:

Huey, Dewey and Louie, WIP stage
The final result looks like this:

A real beauty, the Dompaku is one of the finest sculpts in all the Twilight ranges. At least is one of my favourites. I'll be painting the rest at a slow pace, as I'm currently embarked in a few projects (of which you will have notice quite soon); but for the moment this is it. Hmmm... Does it qualify for Dinovember? :D

Monday, 27 November 2017

Blog 5th anniversary!

Five years have gone by since I started this blog :O
Tempus fugit and that stuff, you know. In fact I wasn't even aware of the date until yesterday! A quick view to my stats (I hadn't looked at them since last year) shows that the blog is alive and healthy, with 494.408 views (13.235 of them in the last month). Wow.

But this is not about numbers. It's about the way we share this hobby, how I enjoy painting, converting or whatever and how your feedback encourages me to keep on. It's not about results, I'll never win a Golden Demon -not that I care about it. It's about the journey itself. Thank you all for being there, for your comments, for your visits, your ideas. Thanks for everything.

So Year Six starts now! In the short term (next month or so, until the end of Christmas) I have some plans in development, I really hope to bring them here soon (you know about the Arbites vs rioters scenario, but I have some other surprises on the works...). I also have long term plans, but you know how this works, new ideas keep on flowing, so I'll be doing them as they come.

Thanks for reading and for walking with me in this adventure. Allons-y!

Friday, 17 November 2017

I spy with my little cyber eye..

Yet another silly idea for my upcoming Arbites/rioters scenario. This was something that simply came up from nowhere; I fancied having a surveillance drone for the police force. I know, I know, in WH40K these things are covered by mere servoskulls. But hey, honestly, I didn't want that; a floating, grinning skull with tentacles was out of the table this time. I have used servoskulls before, but I really wanted a simple drone, something that looked technological.

The centerpiece for this project had been lying in my bitbox for years. Quite appropiate, as it was the plastic One Ring from the Fellowship of the Ring starter box (do you even remember what am I talking about? That box actually had a plastic ring, I'm not making it, promise!). With some more bits glued to it I got this:

This is essentially the thing
For the rotor I toyed with the idea of building it from scratch, but then I found that vent from the Overkill sprues (the one of the Genestealer Patriarch -whatever it is called these days. N.B.: This reminds me I have to paint a lot of Genestealers. But that's for another day). It was smaller than the Ring diameter, so I had to fill it with greenstuff.

The rest is just a matter of tiny stuff from here and there
The front camera is from a Predator tank, I believe. And this was pretty much all, no way I could make it simpler.

Smile to the camera
Painting the drone was of course quite easy too. Just paint it black! I added the yellow stripes that my other Arbites vehicles have and painted the Adeptus Arbites seal on the side.

Those blue spots were supposed to be LED lights. Impossible for me to achieve a proper OSL at that scale
I used a couple of Imperial Guard decals. Here you have your floating skull
I'm not really sure of what rules I will give the drone. My preliminary ideas are about some intel device; the Arbites player will not know for sure at first where are the mobs, nor their numbers or composition. The drone will give that knowledge to the law enforcers. Something like that, I still lhave to give it a thought.

Please, Fred, stop harassing me. We talked about this
I'm replacing you for a regular dog, Fred, I'm warning you
I want to add some more things to my Arbites force, but not many more. I should really get to think of the scenario rules...

Friday, 10 November 2017

Ballads of War 2x26-2x27

Here we start the home straight of what I have. Gasp!

These pages mark the starting point of a (micro) narrative arc in which we are coming back to Brent as the main leading character -and eventually to the critical point of what was going to be the big picture throughout the whole series. I'll talk about it all when the moment comes.

What is relevant for the moment is that the group is getting together again... But wait! What's that!? There are a couple of things to talk about, specially in the second page. The veterans among you may recognise the use of weird grenades out from the Second Edition Wargear Manual. I really wanted so much to do that, to recreate this story under that prism. Strange and so specific grenades added lots of flavour to the game, not the generic 'yup, I'm assaulting so count my generic grenade modifier blah blah'.

About the Imperial Guard Stormtroopers... well, indulge me, this was made like ten years ago or so, when the ACU camo pattern was at its peak. I wanted the Stormtroopers to look in a modern-like, functional fashion, opposite to some other flamboyant uniforms in the Imperial Guard. Pixel patterns were on the rise and ACU was supposed to be adaptable to most scenarios, so it seemed a plausible option for these guys. I know, how things have changed in a decade. Funnily enough, if you go back to the first page, you may notice that the camo net covering the shuttle has quite a resemblance to the Multicam pattern now in use in quite a number of current actual Armed Forces. Ha! I predicted that! :D

I have very, very few pages left. I think I'll publish them all on the next installment with my comments of what was the story to be in my mind. It may take more than usual, but I'll try to have them soon...

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Interlude: Yet another Secret Santa (out of time again!)

Just like it happened a year ago, I've taken part in a Secret Santa event with a group of friends. The only point in this is painting whatever you have in mind for the person you are assigned to, so no contest, no showoff, no pressure. In fact some of the people haven't painted a single mini since last year's event, making this one actually the very second mini ever painted by them! :)

Rules are easy. Take whatever you have at home (well, if you please buying new minis no one will complain, sure, but the idea is keeping it all simple), a 28mm scale infantry mini is a good reference rule, but proceed at will. Paint it and send it to your pal! It's fun, but we were totally out of time once again (predictable). Let me talk first of what I painted. We made a raffle and I got a guy who is starting his way into post-apoc stuff; so the choice was easy, I took a mini from the previous Punkapocalyptic KS:

They are currently running a new KS and this is the only mini I've painted of the previous campaign. Sigh
First thing is black priming and then the flesh. It's my usual M.O., having the skin defined helps me later on when it comes to decisions on colours.

Well, she looks scary now
I wanted her to have a distinctive look, and I remembered those tartan pattern trousers, they screamed punk vibe to me. Here's my recipe; it works for me, but doesn't mean it's the only way to do that.

Base colour, shades and lights. Vallejo Red is the base colour here
Vertical stripes. Mix of Red and dark brown, German Camo Something, Vallejo too
The same, but horizontal
I painted in a mix of black and dark brown the intersections. So you have those dark squares
Same process, vertical and horizontal, but now with  very thin lines, both sides of the larger stripes
Horizontal white lines in the wide open spaces
Finally, vertical lines in yellow
I can't state enough the importance of thinnin the paint during the whole process, seriously. If you don't, you take the risk of ruining it all. Don't be scared of not covering, the important thing here is keeping track of what are you really painting on each step so you don't get lost among all the stripes.

That was the tricky part. The rest of steps can be resumed. Just paint the rest of the mini!

Post-Apoc Punk
Yes, you also have to paint the back of the mini. Those are the rules
I went out of the confort zone with this one and I have to say I enjoyed it a lot. Now I'm only looking for places where I can paint tartan on my minis :D

But let's see what I got!

Oldschool Librarian. Much appreciated!
He totally fits in my RT Ultramarines Army, so I can't be happier! Airbrush technique remains witchcraft to me, it's amazing what you can achieve with one of those magic sticks :O

But this is not all, please check the rest of the goodies in the Secret Santa 2017. Trust me, all the participants have put a lot on each mini :)

This is it, quite a bunch of minis! Hope you enjoy the pics from all of the group. Now we should start preparing the next event if we really want it to be finished before the end of 2018...

After this interlude, my regular blog stuff will be restored soon. Maybe.