Good Knight? 

Warhammer 40,000 – So less than a year after their initial release we've go a brand new Imperial Knight Codex. I for one am excited. I passed on the original codex because I couldn't stomach painting $30+ for two unit entries that I already got with my $3.99 White Dwarf pamphelt a year ago. This time around I decided to pick it up because the Knights are something I've been thinking about running for a while and I think the limited back story included in the codex is interesting. 

Essentially the book added a few more varients and gave every Knight upgrade options to take carapace mounts to deal with Flyers and beef up the amount of firepower they can dish out. They also added a sprue to the kit and increased the cost. It's a shame the upgrade sprue isn't available separately as I'd like to get some carapace weapons without having to buy the full kit. 

The book gives some good options and I'm looking forward to slowly building up a force of 3-5 Knights so I can run them as my core force once in a while.


What's in a List?

Warhammer 40,000 – I've been playing and painting 40K also exclusively as of late. Not that you couldn't tell based on the current glut of content on this site. Granted I'm not playing 2-3 times a week with a tournament every Saturday like I used to back during the heyday of 3.5 Edition with the special assault rules and god-like Chaos marine book. But I am getting a game in every other week at a minimum and as such am really getting a grasp on the subtleties of seventh edition. I'm still not 100% on all the rules all the time and don't do a whole lot with crazy formations yet. But on the whole I really like the game.

I like having options (which is why the 3.5 Chaos Book will always be my favorite) I think at the peak of my 40K addiction I had five unique chaos marine armies, sisters of battle, space marines, dark eldar, eldar, lost and the damned, genestealer cult (using lost and the damned rules) and a bunch of small warbands that were used for Necromunda and 40K. Somewhere around 4th editon I sold off most of my 40K stuff because I found other games I liked better that were seeing more play in my area and in my playgroup. 

I picked up every edition and gave it a shot but sixth and seventh edition really grabbed my interest. It seems that in the last few months seventh editon has really taken off wth the casual groups I play with. The tournament scene may be a different story but at this point in my life I play games for fun not to grind through crushing noobs to snatch a $50 gift certificate. (Besides I can't remeber outside of GT's the last time there was a 40K tournament in the Detroit Metro Area.)

Anyway what's in a list? When I build a list I start with a theme in mind and base what I build off that theme. For example if I want to play the Star Phantoms Devestator guy the obviously I'm going to take a bunch of Devestators and Heavy Support Options to make best use of his cool ability. Will the list be strong? Hopefully but in my mind I'm building to fit this theme that may or may not come off on the tabletop. Most of the time it doesn't because I don't want to sound like a neck-beard explaining the nuances of my list and why I chose each choice and how fluffy it is. I do that for myself and will share if asked but not everyone is into the fluff of the game and most don't want to be bored with your intricate story.

Have you ever looked across the table and been able to figure out the theme or story your opponent might be trying to convey? No really have you? I think for most people they look across the table and see the best choices of units and models from what is available to their opponent. (Or you might look across and think WTF is this guy thinking those units suck) In previous editions you generally knew what was in each codex or at least had a general idea of what to expect when you looked across the table.

Lately I tend to see quite a few giant walkers, tanks or other lord of war type units on the other side of the table. Granted many of the games I'm playing now are 2000 points per player so it is easier to fit those models in but I can't help but think how crazy it is that these rare unique units are used in almost every conflict. I mean I get it if you drop $100 on a model you want to use it as often as possible, but I can't help but think they've become to much of a focus in the game. Don't get me wrong I love all the fun toys and like to play them as well.

My issue really comes down to how that skews my own lists. I find myself including units that I don't necessarily like to play all the time just because I know I won't have a good time if I don't have a shot at taking out threats that will just remove swathes of my army if left unanswered. 

So what's in a list? Do you take fun stuff you want to play or do you take stuff because you know you'll need to deal with specialized units?


Who watches the Deathwatch? 

Warhammer 40,000 – I'm still keeping my head above water, it's crazy every spring I seem to get flooded with a bunch of new commission work, typically it's for a game that just released the previous season or that has recently seen a upsurge in popularity. As of late i've been seeing an awful lot of 40K models come across my table. This seems odd to me as if you believe the interwebs that game might as well be on it's last legs with the amount of "new" games; that play better, are cheaper and generally better designed; that are stepping up to knock the champ off it's proverbial golden throne. 

Locally I think many players feel burned by the "new hotness" and are going back to an old stand-by. I get it I've always loved 40K and nver have an issue popping into a store during a gmae night and finding somone playing it. With other games the scenes fluxtuate so frequently a game can die before you finish painting up your models. This is the reason I kept my Space Marine army (and one day plan on finishing the damn thing) no mater what games come and go you can always count on 40K to be there. Sure you might have to mortgage your house to update all your rules, but at least you know how to play it.

Anyway enough rambling, my latest project involves updating a clients Deathwatch Marines to match the jump pack troops I did for him a while back with the Dark Angels commission. He had painted these himself at some point and decided that he didn't like the colors (and repainted them again, maybe a few times). As is often the case he dropped them off with the models I originally painted for him and asked me to make them match. 

Sadly this wasn't going to be an easy job because the models would need to be stripped before I could do anything with them. A quick trip to the Home Depot (actually it wasn't quick because I had to make four stops before I remember Home Depot is the only place I can find Simple Green) and the models found themself in a bath of blue simple green. I let them soak overnight and spent some time scrubbing the models with a toothbrush. After scrubbing them for significantly longer than I remember having to in the past I only got the first layer of paint off them. Back in the blue stuff overnight and repeat two more times. I was eventually able to get them down to the black "primer" stage which is pretty mindblowing. I've never had to scrub and soak for so long so I'm wondering if the formula for Simple Green changed or if my client just did something crazy with his paint.

Once I go them back down to a base layer I reapplied the black and started picking out the details in metallic gunmetal, red and bone. He was pretty open to what chapters were represented on the shoulder pads so I got creative and did some custom chapters to make use of the decal sheets I have on hand. 

These are just about done just a few little details to finish up and I'll be able to send them back to my client who will be happy to have some matching Deathwatch Marines.


Grey Knight Ghetto Bird

Warhammer 40,000 – Storm Ravens have to be my least favorite model to paint. I'm not sure what it is about them the model is really pretty cool looking with a decent amount of detail so it should be quick and easy to paint. But for some reason I just can't get into the groove with them. 

These set is particularly challenging because it's part of the Grey Knight commission I've been working on that requires a super cheap paint job to match a failrly complicated one. For the infantry models this was easy, but with these planes the large falt areas aren't cooperating with my wash process. Which is a bummer because I need to then go back after the wash and do a dry brush. 


On the painting table ... Orange Tide 

Warhammer 40,000 – Busy in not a strong enough word to describe what I've been lately. My latest commission of a White Scars-ish Space marine army has been devouring most of my free time at the moment. I'm really happy with how quickly I've been able to get through these models considering about 75% of them needed to be assembled and based as well as painted. My client is pretty laid back about how quickly I turn these around but I'm really pushing to get everything done ASAP.

Since picking them up on April 25 I've gotten the following components assembled and at least base coated with three colors:
(27) Bikers
(6) Attack Bikes
(2) Storm Talons
(1) Storm Raven
(1) Dreadnaught
(1) Chaplain on Bike
(1) White Scars Captain on Bike
(2) Razorbacks
(1) Rhino
(1) Drop Pod
(30) Tactical Marines
(10) Devastator Marines

It's been quite an adventure so far and I've gone through way more paint then I anticipated but once I restock on my washes I should be wrapping these up before the end of the month. 

Once I finish the washes I need to go in and do the bone highlights, flesh tones, eyes and any sensor lenses. Then it's the fun job of applying the decals. 

This shouldn't be to bad as I'll prep every model for the decals and then hopefully be able to assembly line them with each step to get the decals smooth and sealed.