The Next Warhammer Scenery Painting Challenge!

Off The Top of My Head

It may be patently obvious from my Sector Imperialis post I love Citadel Scenery.

Being a narrative player the world building portion of the game is my favorite, and nothing builds a story better than creating an interesting environment for your battles.

Over the years I’ve acquired a lot of Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy battles scenery.  I’ve painted a few pieces but never got around to painting the vasst majority.  Completing my cityscape got the painting bug back in me and I decided to start doing the rest.  It’s no small task but even the small progress I’ve made makes a huge difference!

Craters, earthshaker cannon craters, a crashed Aquila Lander, a Citadel Hill, two Citadel woods, fantasy walls and fences, Magewrath Throne, Eternity Stair, Temple of Skulls, Firestorm Redoubt, some quad guns and Icarus Lascannons, a Wall of Martyrs Bunker, a Haemotrope Reactor, and some Promethium Relay pipes.

A lot of the craters and the hill I hand painted with what was left over from my Realm of Battle board.  Everything was spray painted with GW or Army Painter sprays.  Mournfang Brown, Desert Yellow, and Khorne Red making of the majority with some Fang spray on the Wall of Martyrs details.

Here you can see more Wall of Martyrs defensive lines, a Plasma Obliterator, a Balewind Vortex, the Honored Imperium set, and two Bastions.

The Skyshield landing pad, Fortress of Redemption, armored shipping containers (behind the towers) Witchfate Tor, Dreadstone Blight, The Garden of Morr, a watch tower and chapel from the fortified manor set (where my walls and fences came from too), Arcane Ruins, and the Dreadfire Portal.

Here’s the lot!

My Basilica Adminstratum, Manufactorum, Shrine of the Aquila, And Sanctum Imperialis ses are actually primered too, but they didn’t fit on my table!

Here’s hoping in the next few weeks I can provide updates on the progress of these sets too.  Getting all of this done will be a major accomplishment for me!

Making Easy Wargaming Smoldering Wrecked Vehicle Markers!

Off The Top of My Head

While trying to re-learn the intricacies of Warhammer 40k again I remembered what a pain it is to show a vehicle as being “wrecked.”  Many makers, including Citadel/Games Workshop, make “wrecked” markers, but none of these ever seem to have the gravitas necessary to show the drama of an exploded tank or burning transport.

While re-learning the game I found myself watching a lot of battle reports on YouTube.  By far the best have been by StrikingScorpion82 whose games are both narrative and competitive.  They are also filled with great personalities and cinematic moments.  Scorpion also has a number of reviews and “how to” videos, my favorite being how he makes his wrecked vehicle markers.  His are durable, well-built works of art.  You can see his technique here:

After seeing this I wanted to make some of my own, but wanted to add a bit of effect and admittedly wanted to spend twenty dollars or less…  They aren’t as dynamic as his but are MUCH better than turning a tank of its side!  here’s what I did:

I started with some red flickering LED tea lights.  I got mine from Amazon for $8.59:


I went for red to give it the internal smoldering look I wanted.  They come in packs of twelve to give you plenty to work with.

I added some bent paper clips, which won’t be anywhere near as durable as the copper wire Scorpion uses but I had them on hand.  I used Gorilla Glue white to attach them to the candles.  I used two different version; one bent in half the other bent to stand all the way up with a folded hook at the top. The latter proved to be FAR easier to work with:

20170226_174935I masked off the bottoms of the candles (where the batteries, electronics, and switches are) and prepped the “smoke” portion.

Scorpion started with cotton wool, but I only had access to polyfill, which I got at Walmart for around $4.  I used copious amounts of PVA glue on the sides of the candles and shaped some polyfill around the base.  I then took various portions of the polyfill and shaped different “smoke” shapes around and on the paperclip bases:

You can see the polyfill around the basses in the back. The rubber bands weren’t actually too hard to take off, but also weren’t really needed. I just held each piece for a few seconds and they usually stayed. Ignore Konrad cat seated in the background…
Like Scorpion I made various sizes, based around two basic heights.


I followed the instructions on the tutorial and spray based them all gray.

20170226_200437Then added the black spray around the lower portions of each marker.

You can see the finished videos of them below!

Realm of Battle Sector Imperialis COMPLETED!

Off The Top of My Head

So it finally happened.  Over the weekend I took two days and completed the Sector Imperialis Realm of Battle board I started 2+ years ago!

Again following on from our lord and savior, Duncan Rhodes, I used the techniques he detailed to complete the painting!


Using pre-printed gaming mats is easy and fast, but for drama and detail it’s hard to beat this board.  Tt’s flexibility (six tiles that can arranged in various ways) and aesthetic are hard to beat.

20170219_185348You can see the tiny bit of Nurgle’s Rot I added to the open sewers for effect.

20170219_185514In Rhodes’ terrific tutorial he suggested using washes of varying colors to add character to the road.  This worked VERY well.  Here you can see the colors he recommended, Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade, and Athonian Camoshade with Dawnstone drybrushed over it.  You can also see the gutters.  They have also been washed with all three and finished with some Typhus Corrosion.  A bit of Typhus Corrosion was also added to the detritus in the gutters to unify the look.


Other than Skavenblight Dinge, which was used for all the road and stone sections, my Leadbelcher stock took a big hit.  All this metal…  Here the metal floows and mechanical components are displayed.  All were washed in Nuln and drybrushed with Necron Compound.


These bronze sections are some of my favorite pieces.  They were based in Balthasar Gold, washed in Nuln Oil, drybrushed with Necron Compound, and detailed with Nihilakh Oxide.


One of the crypt sections and one of the eagles I wanted a marble effect.  They were based in Ceramite White, washed in Drakenhof Nightshade, and drybrushed with Prixati White.

If you’re thinking of painting one of these beware…you’ll get through some paint, this handful got me through about half of it:


This was a great project and one I may be detailing and changing periodically as I use it.  It’s a great central piece and if you have one a fun project!

Game Room Update: The Fortress of Arrogance

When I moved in to my new place last year one of the things I was most excited about was setting up my new game room.  With a home-made 6×4 table and a wolrd of board games and 40k to play, I couldn’t wait to put up decor and set up my hobby room.  I never thought of naming it until I shared with my RevPub partner my WIP of Commissar Yarrick’s legendary Tank, The Fortress of Arrogance.

I learned of this mighty armored vehicle from Chains of Golgotha and immediately loved the name.  I knew when I started my guard army (built almost ENTIRELY from rage quitters and scrap and a couple of boxed sets admittedly) a version of Yarrick’s pulpit would have to be included.  Here’s my version:

Fortress of Arrogance Pulpit WIPWhen I shared this she commented that it would be a good name for my game space, and I started work on a sign that night that mimicked the “official” markings on the tank as it appears in the Apocalypse expansion.  Here’s what I’ll print for my door:

Fortress Of Arrogance
Built from some Skull line art, and some simple Illustrator work it captures enough of the original and still makes a good readable sign for the door!

As for the Fortress itself it’s progressed a bit.  I was able to get my fantasy armies out of boxes with the addition of the two new inexpensive glass curios, and even added some shelves for the Blood Angels/Flesh Tearers that used to be crammed into the bottom shelf of my IG curio (a couple of chaos engines too big for my storage boxes are up there too.)








As I get things painted (which I’m working on now, my Vostroyan command squad is up first) I’ll share them.  As can easily be seen I have a lot to paint, but I like to build and play, so painting always seems to take a back seat!

Realm of Battle Sector Imperialis Work In Progress

Off The Top of My Head

Realm of Battle Sector Imperialis Work In Progress

This year I got myself the coolest birthday present I’ve ever gotten myself.

The day I moved in to my new place I decided to spring for the new Stormclaw Warhammer 40k set. I found a trusted seller on eBay was selling it as a rate and ordered it from them. The week it came out I received a message saying they didn’t get as much stock as expected and wouldn’t be able to send it.   I could get a refund or use that money to buy something else. While cruising their page I found they were selling the new city scape, Sector Imperialis, at a reduced rate as well. So I applied my Stormclaw money to it and got a 330 table top scenery set for $158 dollars. It was great.

It has been a nice project and one I’ve been looking forward to. A large-scale painting project that can be easily customized and personalized.

I wasn’t quite sure where to start so I watched these videos and soldiered on:

I followed most of these recommendations the letter. I changed the ground color to Mournfang Brown and ran out of Skavenblight Dinge (go for four pots, I have used three there’s enough in the bottom of them for touchups and nothing else) so I used Stormvermin Fur around the Aquila sections.

Straight road sections. Clearly needs touch ups, but for 3-4 hours work it’s going faster than expected.


The T Sections.


This metal section has been touched up a bit. Still need to go back over the Skavenblight, but it’s going quickly. A thin card will work well to keep the right colors where they’re supposed to be.
Running out of Skavenblight made me use Stormvermin around these sections. It’ll mix it up nicely I think and will blend well.

I’m going to mix Nuln Oil and Drakenhof Nightshade instead of Athonian Camoshade to give it a dirty blue color instead of earthy green.

My painting rig. A big piece of cardboard would work as a pallet but since I’m painting all six sections at once I’m standing up most of the time. The traditional version comes in handy and is only $5. The brushes were $1 each and my water container once contained lunch meat!

I’ve still got the bronze colors and touch ups to do on the basing of this painting but believe it or not this much work only took about 4 hours. It goes fast. I’m looking forward to finishing basing and I’m very eager to start detailing and working on the colors to see what happens. I’m going to take Duncan’s recommendation and try Nurgle’s Rot some of the sewers, and maybe some water effect in some of the other sewers.

This project, at 6 feet buy 4 feet, eats up paint. These are the pots I’ve used thus far…

I’ll post more of them as I go. It’ll start to match my NEW Imperial Guard army, which I’m starting in the next week!

In other news…check out the site in the next few weeks as there will be some new merchandise (Finally) I’ll post once the designs are done!


Off the Edge: A Commentary on Forums and Commentaries…

Off the Edge

Everyone needs a good rant. And it’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to go off a bit. It’s been a busy few weeks so I thought I’d take a break to let off some steam.

A lot of people use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family; share random things about themselves; or surreptitiously stalk people. I use mine almost entirely for news and the occasional non sequitur. I’m a fan of several things, including boxing, films, and miniature wargaming. And news flows freely on Facebook in the form of rumors, leaks, and on-the-scene reports.  The news is almost always welcome; the response to news in the form of comments rarely is… I thought I’d let some gripes go about the mood of internet commentary:

1.)    Negativity: I’ve been to several forum sites for ALL my favorite hobbies and the commentary of the reading public is about 90% negative. And of the negativity about 80% of those aren’t just dismissive but also hateful. Games Workshop releases a new model and “it’s the ugliest, most expensive thing ever,”   a new movie comes out and it’s “boring, slow, and overrated,” a fighter wins a fight he was expected to lose and it was because his highly favored opponent was “old, washed up, or over-trained.”   I made similar comments in my How to be a Fan posting series, but why is EVERYTHING the worst thing ever? Rarely will you see some positive comments, but forums and article comments don’t seem to be a place for discussion any more. They’re all just places for people to bitch… Apparently those who remain silent are the quiet approvers…

2.)    Pop-Cultured: This one isn’t related to just forums, but following themed news sites (sci-fi sites, gaming sites, fan sites) they all seem to be obsessed with the same few topics that everyone is obsessed with and post them endlessly. For a few quick examples out of MANY:

  1. Nintendo Culture: Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw said it best; Nintendo has basically been making three games, the same three games over and over again for 30 years. And people freak out every time the new Zelda (which is just like the old Zelda) is released like it’s made out of gold…
  2. Game of Thrones: People love the show. I don’t particularly care for it (fantasy soap opera with nudity) but it’s all the posts talk about. Mostly they talk about characters dying. My thought, if all these characters die at random why would I care the least about any of them?
  3. Firefly: It got cancelled. Lots of great shows get cancelled. It’s not coming back. Saying it over and over doesn’t help.

So what’s the problem with these posts? Well we see about 800 Game of Thrones “these people died” posts a day. Meanwhile other great fantasy/sci fi topics are getting ignored by sites supposedly designed to discuss sci fi and fantasy but seem to be stuck in the same few loops. I think it would be remiss if themed sites ignored the most popular topics, but when 90% of topics ARE Nintendo or Game of Thrones the site has become a specified fan page. How about introducing people to some lesser-known material? Save “All Firefly All the Time” for the specific fan pages.

3.)    Memes: I won’t lie. I do find some of them hilarious. All the “Shut up and take my moneys” and Grumpy Cats make for good quick reference moods but they’ve become ridiculously overused. The evolution of the Meme is so fast even Professor Richard Dawkins’ head would spin. It’s gotten to the point where people almost talk in “Meme.” And they are almost always snark-based. So not only are people negative but they’re lazy and negative. Posters could use some training in how to be cleverly negative. Read this review or this review from Roger Ebert to see how it’s done. Just posting “meh” or the Picard face palm isn’t nearly so effective.

Yes I’m aware of the irony of complaining about internet complainers. But what can be done?

First, remember why you’re there. If you’re on a hobby site you’re there because SUPPOSEDLY you enjoy the hobby. Then why are you just complaining? Some forums have an active debate where people discuss merits and even theories, but many are just lines of hatred. The latest rulebook for Warhammer 40k hadn’t hit SHELVES yet and people were declaring they were quitting because it was the worst ever. Calm down. It’s a hobby. It’s for fun. If you’re not having fun do something else instead of bitching about why you’re not having fun playing something you haven’t played yet based on news you read 15 minutes ago.

Second, remember these are people you’re talking to not just screen names. Debating is good. We all have unique perspectives, but declaring someone’s opinion invalid simply because it disagrees with yours is non-sense. Could Ali beat Tyson? We’ll never know. But your guess is LITERALLY as good as mine. So just because we disagree doesn’t make either of us wrong. Also those about whom you’re spewing your venom are also people. Jervis Johnson is certainly not an idiot and wrote very complex rules for a very complex game in conjunction with several other game experts. If you can do better maybe you can make your own game (with blackjack! And hookers!) or maybe it’s easier to arm-chair general and criticize than actually DO something? Being proactive about things is hard but it’s actually progress rather than just whining.

Third, remember none of us are perfect. We will make mistakes, lose our rags, and make bad decisions; but remember it’s EASY to criticize, which is why the rewards for doing so are so low. It’s much riskier to actually be out there doing something, but the chances at achieving something and making an actual difference. If you’re ever proved wrong or change your opinion be gracious enough to admit it. You’ll be surprised how effective that is…

I know I’ve sounded like “can’t we all just get along” before, but it may not be the best philosophy, because we can’t and shouldn’t. Disagreement leads to new ideas (Thesis+Antithesis=Synthesis=NEW Thesis+Antithesis, etc.) but we can be respectful at all times. I’ve had many, many great debates with people and we were all are allowed to conclude our discussions as in the Napoleonic Wars, “in good order, with colors and arms.”

It’s just the internet. It’s hobbies. It’s entertainment, people. It’s NOT that critical.