Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Minor Sidetrack: Eldar Upkeep

I just realized last week that I hadn't changed my Eldar list from 6th edition. In fact, I think prior to that I've only played my Eldar a couple of times in 7th ed, using my old 6th ed list, themed as my version of a Windrider war host, or at least a really fast army:

Farseer - on jetbike, with singing spear
2 Warlocks - on jetbikes with singing spear
10 Guardians - with starcannon
mounted in Wave Serpent - twin-linked bright lance, holofield
10 Dire Avengers - with Exarch
mounted in Wave Serpent - twin-linked bright lance, holofield
6 Jetbikes - with 2 shuriken cannons
6 Jetbikes - with 2 shuriken cannons
3 Vypers - scatter lasers, shuriken cannons
Crimson Hunter - with Exarch
Falcon - holofields
Fire Prism - holofields
Fire Prism - holofields

It's very telling how powerful Eldar is, because that 6th ed list was still really powerful, even soundly beating an army of a trio of mon-keigh Imperial Knights and their IG allies.

But I figured that it's time to use some of the models that have been on the shelf for awhile, and have a change in how the army fights. Well, whatever changes, it will still be fast and in your face. So jetbikes and skimmer tanks are still important. Units that are not on fast skimmers must be fast themselves, or at least be able to infiltrate or outflank. And since I've got such an abundance of psykers in my other favorite army (Thousand Sons), I'm going to leave my aging Seers at home to contemplate amongst the stars. So this was the war host I used last week, and it was great fun:

Autarch - with a fusion gun
10 Striking Scorpions - including Exarch with Scorpion's Claw and Crushing Blow
9 Fire Dragons
mounted in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon, holofield and ghostwalk matrix (had 10 extra points. besides, it's the Autarch's ride)
10 Guardians
mounted in a Wave Serpent with twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon, holofield
3 Jetbikes - with a shuriken cannon
3 Jetbikes - with a shuriken cannon
3 Jetbikes - with a shuriken cannon
3 Jetbikes - with a shuriken cannon
6 Warp Spiders - including Exarch with twin-linked death spinner and fast shot
6 Swooping Hawks - including Exarch with Hawk's Talon
Crimson Hunter - Exarch
Fire Prism - holofield
Fire Prism - holofield

I must say it was really fun playing this army. It's super-flexible, and uses some of my favorite units in the Eldar army - Warp Spiders, Striking Scorpions, Swooping Hawks - and units I haven't touched in years - Fire Dragons, Autarch. It's also really hard-hitting and extremely manouverable. With the Autarch having some ability to influence reserve rolls, the war host is able to deliver death blows when and where it wants to, more or less. In one game, the Autarch also managed to get that amazing Strategic Trait to re-roll reserve rolls - which gives him amazing control!

I also realized that my Eldar hasn't had much love in a long time. The last time I painted an Eldar model was the Crimson Hunter a couple years back, and even then haven't quite finished its base. I did paint 6 jetbikes at that time, along with a converted Warlock on jetbike. The Striking Scorpions, Swooping Hawks, Fire Prism, and Autarch were painted in 2007 - along with a paint refresh of 6 jetbikes, and still looked great. But the Wave Serpents, Fire Dragons and Guardians were looking pretty sad.

The Wave Serpents were kit-bashed in 2000 - before ForgeWorld released their kit, and certainly way before the existing plastic Wave Serpent was released. And they pretty much remained the same ever since - plastic card bow shield generators, twin-linked brightlance turret. The paintjob has chipped in many places and some of the decals are in tatters. When I did a paint refresh in 2007, which included jetbikes, Vypers and the Falcon, I didn't manage to get to the Serpents. Here's a pic of the old Serpent. The Serpents above and below that are the updated ones as of last night.

The Spiders and Dragons were also painted in 2000, and have lots of chipped paintwork, and some of the Spiders paint has faded. The Guardians were painted in the same year, but have only minimal damage.

Anyways, with the magic of magnets and paint, the Wave Serpents have been updated. Had a bit of trouble with my matt varnish clouding over a couple of decals on one of them, but it's all fixed now. The old Aspect Warriors were touched up. I had gloss varnished their helmets to prepare them for decals - but I couldn't find the decals. So they remain rune-less for now. I'm sure they are around somewhere.

I still need to find a fusion gun for my Autarch. I do intend to get the GW Autarch with fusion gun, but that will be for my next Eldar army - a Biel Tan war host of Aspect Warriors. But that's a project after the current Denerair IG is done. In the meantime, these old Eldar models will soldier on. And having a lot of fun doing it too!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Leman Russ #1 Finally Done!

Finally got the first Denerair Leman Russ done. Had some trouble with this one, as I tried a lot of stuff with the model, and accidentally damaged it. While I like the current version of rhe Leman Russ for many reasons (awesome fit, all weapon options included, etc), the turret really doesn't fit into the Denerair WW1-ish look. It's too ... contemporary/modern/slick.

So I spent almost 2 weeks experimenting with turrets. I considered getting an alternative turret online. Then I thought that a circular turret might work, so I hunted high and low for a suitable base material. But after trying all kinds of different stuff, I couldn't find one that's the right size and right material. Then I remembered that my Leman Punisher was kit-bashed using the Punisher cannon bit from the Demolisher kit and an old Leman Russ turret, without the stowage bin.

Just happens that I do have a few spare ol'-skool Leman Russ turrets. Off went the stowage bin and battle cannon, in went the Exterminator cannon bit, and voila!

The rest of the assembly is pretty standard. I moved the exhaust pipes to the top of the rear deck, and used the handle bits as a ladder for maintenance crew to use to access the engine and fuel cap. The paint scheme is standard Denerair armored vehicle livery, which I described in my previous post.

Anyways, now the first one is done, the other 2 should be easier - I hope. Next up will be 2nd squad of 1st platoon. But I'll be doing some maintenance work on some of my Eldar models first. I finally got around to building an Eldar list for 7th Ed (I'd been using an old list, which stll kicks ass, such is the state of the Eldar ...), and I need to retrofit scatter lasers and shuriken cannons on my 2 Wave Serpents. Those 14-year old kit-bashed Serpents are long overdue for a clean-up and overhaul, and this is the perfect excuse for that. The only other model I need to convert/add for the new Eldar list is an Autarch with fusion gun. Should be a nice distraction.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wyvern #1 done!

Finally finished the first Wyvern for my Highlanders. Again, it didn't take too long to paint, but I did spend a lot of time deciding and trying out the conversion, and then again more time on the paint scheme and the paints to use for weathering. But I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

For the base colors, I again used Battlefront's Great War painting guide, and using mainly Vallejo paints, was able to base paint the vehicle pretty fast. Then it was time to figure out the details. In the end, this is what I used:

1. Vallejo Brown Violet - hull, helmet
2. Vallejo Beige Brown - wooden crates
3. Citadel Abaddon Black - all the black stuff, black wash
4. Citadel Leadbelcher - metal stuff, gun barrels, tracks, chipped paint
5. Citadel White Scar - markings
6. Citadel Mechrite Red - markings (by mistake)
7. Citadel Blood Red - markings
8. Citadel Bestial Brown - rust
9. Citadel  XV88 - leather bindings
10. Citadel Nuln Oil - wash on helmet
11. Citadel Agrax Nightshade - wash on metal bits
12. Vallejo German Grey - chipped paint
13. Citadel Fang - mud
14. Citadel Fenris Grey - mud highlight
15. Vallejo Grey Green - hull highlight
16. Vallejo English Uniform - heavy bolter tarp

There were a few experiments and trial and error - stuff that I imagined in my head, and then tried out on the model. Thankfully, most of it worked out ok for me - the rebuilt turret with the clustered barrels (instead of the chopped-off Hydra turret), the hand-painted stripes (I first used Mechrite Red - it's too dark. The straight up red of Blood Red works better), omitting the railings in the fighting compartment, the grey mud instead of brown, etc.

I still haven't decided what the crew will look like. Most likely they'll be wearing kilts, with one guy holding binoculars and observing the fall of shot as the mortar ranges in, and the other guy checking coordinates. But we'll leave that for later for now.

Next up will be 2nd squad, 1st platoon. That's 10 guys - 8 riflemen, flamer and sergeant. Looking forward to getting that done and see the army build up.

Keep them dice rolling!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Straken Survives Crash! And Some Denerair Updates

Last Friday's games vs the vile xenos of Synide's Craftworld Kai were amazing fun. Painful for my forces, but fun anyways.

His 1850pt army list:
Vile Eldar xenos scum:
Autarch on jetbike, with fusion gun, lance and the funky mask
5 Wraithguard w wraithcannon
Wave Serpent with holofields, twin scatter lasers, shuriken cannon
5 Wraithguard w the flamer things
Wave Serpent with holofields, twin scatter lasers, shuriken cannon
Crimson Hunter w Exarch
3 Hornets
Night Spinner
Night Spinner

The Emperor's Indomitable II Catachan, Air Mobile Detachment:
Colonel Straken, with 3 plasma gunners and a Medic
Padre Peters (rides with Straken)
Major Winters, with 3 riflemen and standard bearer
1st Assault squad - demolitions, heavy flamer, 2 meltaguns
2nd Assault squad - demolitions, heavy flamer, 2 meltaguns
3rd squad - autocannon, 2 meltaguns, vet sgt w meltabombs
4th squad - autocannon, sniper, 2 plasma guns, vet sgt w meltabombs
5th squad - autocannon, sniper, 2 plasma guns, vet sgt w meltabombs
Valkyrie Squadron - 2 Valks with missile pods
Vendetta Squadron - 2 aircraft
Vendetta Squadron - 2 aircraft

Synide, the poor thing, had never played a Maelstrom mission before, so I got him to try it out. We played mission no.3. Safe to say it was so much fun, he actually bought the mission cards that night.

I won't go thru a blow by blow of the game, but one thing's for sure - Eldar armies like this one are alongside the Tau for armies that the AirCav just cannot handle. While Straken's troopers fought valiantly, they didn't stand a chance. Xenos withering firepower very quickly tore down the Vendettas and Valkyrie, and amidst my backdrop music of Ride The Valkyrie and assorted late-60s rock, the Catachans' brave fight could not stop the xenos from absolute victory. Only 1 Catachan survived - the Veteran Sergeant Hobbs of 2nd Assault Squad.

The most amazing moment of the game had to be when Straken's Vendetta was shot down by the Crimson Hunter, sending the mighty gunship down in flames, and crashing with a thunderous blast, killing all onboard - except for Straken. Emerging from the fiery twisted wreck, the incensed Colonel charged the nearest xenos tank and brought it crashing down (the plan was for the surviving Vendetta squadron to kill the Wave Serpent, and Straken then would charge the Spiritseer and Wraithguard inside - but the Serpent survived the lascannons with 1 hull-point remaining).

We played a second game, with the same xenos army taking on Ahriman and my Thousand Sons. This game was much closer, the xenos winning 13-11. I hadn't played the Thousand Sons in awhile, and it was pretty refreshing to play Chaos after weeks of siding with the Imperium.

A quick update on my Denerair Highland regiment project. I started on the first Wyvern, and you can see some of the progress below. I really don't like the original kit because it looks too much like a Hydra without the long autocannon barrels (which it is). So I swapped the barrel mountings left to right, and the result is something that I like much better than the original kit. I've added some stowage, and the vehicle is ready for painting - hopefully tomorrow.

Keep them dice rolling.