Posted in Hobby, Shadow War Armageddon, Unboxing, Warhammer 40K

Armageddon Blog 1 – Unboxing Shadow War Armageddon!

Look at what the mailman brought. A shiny new box of Shadow War Armageddon!

It has been a while since I played with my Warhammer 40K miniatures, but Games Workshop latest skirmish tease has me back in a flash, ordering a box of Shadow War Armageddon (which also sold out in a flash, so I’m clearly not the only one). Continue reading “Armageddon Blog 1 – Unboxing Shadow War Armageddon!”

Posted in Hobby, Unboxing

Havox – Professional Photography Light Box Review

Taking photographs of miniatures can be hard. Worse, I am not much of a photographer. Usually, I simply use my iPhone.

However, I did have a small foldable light box that made it a bit easier to take pictures of small things. Most of my Imperial Assault pictures on this site were taken this way. Continue reading “Havox – Professional Photography Light Box Review”

Posted in Scum and Villainy, Star Wars, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing Scum & Villainy StarViper – Part 2

X-Wing Miniatures StarViperThis is the second part of my StarViper unboxing. In the first part of this article, I talked about ship as a model, its basic statline and maneuver dial.

This second part examines the named pilots and upgrade cards – everything to really tool up and customise your StarViper for a space battle!


The Unique StarViper Pilots

princexizorguristarviperThe StarViper Expansion Pack for the X-Wing Miniatures game comes with four pilot cards: The generic Black Sun Enforcers (pilot skill 1) and Black Sun Vigo (pilot skill 3), as well as the Prince Xizor, leader of the Black Sun himself, and his bodyguard and human replica droid Guri.

Prince Xizor is the top pilot for the StarViper, though his pilot skill of 7 is slightly below most top pilots of other ships. His ability to palm off damage to nearby ships – and inverse Draw Their Fire – is very thematic, both for the crime prince himself and for the Scum and Villainy faction as a whole.

That said, Rebels are probably still better suited for squadrons using Draw-Their-Fire-like abilities, as they have more ships that can regenerate shields.

Guri has the more interesting ability, I believe. Her ability to gain a free focus up and close to the enemy synergises very well with the StarViper‘s role as a close-combat dogfighter and frees up an action to use for barrel roll and/or boost (with abilities like Push the Limit)

Both Guri and Prince Xizor can take an Elite Talent.


Scum & Villainy Upgrade Cards

Let’s start with the cards unique to the Scum and Villainy faction.
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Virago is the StarViper‘s unique title. It can only by used by Prince Xizor and Guri and adds the ability to equip both Illicit and System Upgrades to the ship, opening up a lot of customisability.

Bodyguard, featuring art work for Guri, is a card obviously designed for Guri. It works well with Guri‘s ability to generate a free focus. It makes Guri a nice companion, especially for large ships (more so than Prince Xizor), allowing her to boost the other ship’s agility. I am tempted to try with with, say, a Firespray 31.

Inertial Dampeners is a one-use-only card, though it can be a nice surprise to stall out a pursuing ship. It is also a cheap upgrade.


Generic New Upgrade Cards

Upgrade cards from this expansion that anyone can use.

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Autothrusters – the one Modification that brought arc dodgers back into the game against turrets. These days, it is impossible to go to an X-Wing tournament and not see Autothrusters. Arguably. this upgrade – and you get two in the expansion – sold FFG more StarViper expansion packs as the ship itself.

Accuracy Corrector – if Autothrusters are amazing, Accuracy Corrector is a System Upgrade without a place, at the moment. For one, the few ships currently able to take System Upgrades all have plenty of attack dice, making two guaranteed hits less exciting. For another, System Upgrades, rare as they are, include some amazing cards. The Accuracy Corrector is also rather expensive.

Hull Upgrade – A card seen before and, in this expansion, arguably meant to go on Prince Xizor‘s ship, potentially making him a bit more tanky.


The Final Two Upgrades

Yes. Two more. There really is a lot of fun things in the StarViper expansion pack!

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Calculation – a Elite Talent featuring Prince Xizor himself (don’t expect to get this from other expansions anytime soon. Yet another way to use of Focus Tokens (the Episode VII starter set added a few of those too). Situationally powerful and cheap, but I would not use it over abilities like Predator.

Ion Torpedos – a secondary weapon I have not used. This torpedo has great potential to wreak havoc among swarms of small ships. Imagine taking out somebody like Howlrunner with the Ion Torpedo and (!) ionizing her swarm. Still, 5 points is a lot to gamble on a one-shot weapon.

It should be noted that the expansion also comes with 7 (yes, seven!) Ion Tokens, in case the Ion Torpedo (the only ion weapon in the expansion) works as intended!

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Final Thoughts

Autothruster modification cards put the StarViper expansion pack on the shopping list of every X-Wing tournament player. Yet even ignoring the Autothrusters, I feel this expansion offers a lot for budding Scum-and-Villainy-players.

  • It offers a very nimble, elite ship with a cool, unique look
  • It is bulging with unique upgrade cards and abilities. Though most (except Autothrusters) may not be the top-shelf tournament stuff, they offer some interesting and fluffy builds. With the possible exception of the Accuracy Corrector, no upgrade here seems bad.

The StarViper is definitely an expansion worth buying!

Posted in Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting, Star Wars

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – Dark Vader Part 3 – Final Touches

DarthVaderfullypainted1

Final steps on my Darth Vader miniature included a coat of Citadel Purity Seal, followed by re-application of glossy ‘Ard Coat, notably on the light saber.

I also rebased Darth Vader, adding a little grimdark skull to go with it (if anyone deserves a skull to his feet, it is Darth Vader).

Ready for action!

DarthVaderfullypainted2
vroom-fshhh-bzhhhh

If you missed my earlier articles on painting Darth Vader, you can find them here:

Posted in Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – Dark Vader Part 2 – Light Saber

The next step in painting my Imperial Assault Darth Vader was the light saber.


Step 1 – Red Undercoat

DarthVaderLightSaber1I started with two layers of red over the white base coat of the light saber blade. The first layer in Mephiston Red, the second layer in Evil Sunz Scarlet.


Step 2 – Highlighting the Blade

DarthVaderLightSaber2

Once I had a nice red, I started adding a lighter highlight to the upper and front part of the blade with Wild Rider Red.


Step 3 – Silver Glow Effect

DarthVaderLightSaber3

Another suggestion, which I picked up from YouTube, was to attempt the light saber’s glow effect of the light saber with a line of Rune Fang Steel, a very bright silver, and not a bright red or white.

I went back and forth on this, trying to get it right. I am not 100% happy with it.


One Step Back – Highlights on the Cloak

DarthVaderLightSaber4

I also started adding a red glaze – Citadel’s Bloodletter – to the areas surrounding the light saber, to simulate the glow effect.

The red glazed did show on some areas, notably the glove and arm, but wouldn’t take to the cloak right next to the light saber, which was still to dark.

To help with this, I went back and added more highlights with a mix of black and Fenrisian Grey to the cloak around the light saber to create a basis for the glaze.


Step 4 – Red Glaze

DarthVaderLightSaber5After applying the new highlight to the cloak, I went back and applied several layers of Bloodletter for a red effect on the right side of the miniature.

I also toned down the silver line on the light saber itself.

Next step: rebasing Darth Vader.

Posted in Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – Dark Vader Part 1 – All Black

Onwards with painting my box of Fantasy Flight Games’ Imperial Assault.

I chose Darth Vader as my next project. As I have basically no experience painting black details, I once more turned to Sorastro’s Painting Tutorials for inspiration.


Step 1 – Black Undercoat

PaintingDarthVader1No more than giving the miniature a good coat with Citadel’s black primer.


Step 2 – Highlighting Black

PaintingDarthVader2

Highlighting Darth Vader is where the fun starts. I used a mix of Army Painter Matt Black and Citadel Fenrisian Grey, adding more and more Fenrisian Grey as I went to brighten the highlights (or some more black, when I found the contrast too stark).PaintingDarthVader3


Step 3 – Wash

PaintingDarthVader4b

Once I was happy with the highlights, I let the miniature dry, before giving it a wash with Citadel Nuln Oil.


Step 4 – Adding Details

PaintingDarthVader5

Finally, once the wash had dried, I went back to some of the highlights, this time adding a bit of silver metallic paint into the aforementioned mix. I also used the metallic paint for the belt, the light-saber handle and the chain holding the cloak.

I painted the red (Mephiston Red) and blue (Lotheran Blue) buttons on the chest panel.

Last but not least, I gave the blade of the light saber a coat of Ceramite White in preparation of painting it in a vibrant red.

Posted in Hobby, Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – AT-ST Part 2 – Magnets

Imperial Assault AT-ST

After the initial salt weathering on the AT-ST, I went to work on the details.

  • The weapons were painted with Army Painter black, followed by a think “wet-brush” of chain mail metal and, after drying, a wash of Nuln Oil.
  • The entire miniature got a good wash of Nuln Oil. After the wash had dried, I added a few lines and highlights with GW’s Administratum Grey.
  • I also painted the cockpit windows with layers of Warpstone Glow, Moot Green and Gauss Blaster Green, along with a little bit of black and a white highlight dot.
ATSTScreens
Close-up of the AT-ST cockpit

Magnetising the Hatch & Commander

Another thing I wanted to add to the AT-ST was a magnet to the hatch, so I could swap it out for an old Games Workshop Tank Commander, who would serve as arch-villain General Weiss in my Imperial Assault campaign.

Magnetised bits for the Imperial Assault AT-ST
Magnetised bits for the Imperial Assault AT-ST

For this, I simply filed down the peg of the hatch-bit, so I could use a 2mm magnet and still have the hatch close.

I added a similar magnet to a Tank Commander and glued a counter-part magnet into the hole on top of the AT-ST, normally used to plug in the hatch.

General Weiss Conversion
“Surrender, Rebel Scum!”

There is obviously still some clean-up to do, not to mention the base. However, I am very happy how my AT-ST is turning out so far …

Posted in Hobby, Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting, Star Wars

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – AT-ST Part 1 – Salt Weathering

After finishing the Trandoshan Hunters, I wanted to get started on the AT-ST from the Imperial Assault Game.

While I aim for a traditional grey look for the Imperial walker, I decided to try out a weathering technique I have never tried before: Salt Weathering.

The idea is the use salt (of the more coarse kind) as a random masking-material to create a weathering effect. I hope to achieve a rusted, worn-down look.

If it works, that is.


Step 1 – Brown Undercoat

P1040765I started by spraying the miniature with a coat of Citadel Mournfang Brown.

This should provide a brown, “rust-like” colour to shine through the grey painting of the AT-ST thanks to the salt weathering.


Step 2 – Preparing the Salt

salt and tools

While the undercoat dried, I collected the materials for the salt weathering:

  • Rock/coarse-grain salt
  • A bowl (to catch salt sprinkled over the miniature)
  • Some water
  • A well-used, older brush

Step 3 – Applying Salt to the Miniature

salttwoOnce the miniature was dry, I applied water to areas I wanted to weather. Afterwards, I sprinkled the wet parts with salt, which sticks to the moist areas.

saltononeI thought I was quite liberal in the application of salt, possibly overdoing it.

It certainly felt like a lot of salt at this stage. In retrospect, I probably could have added a bit more.


Step 4 – Grey Basecoat

Imperial Assault AT-ST

After everything was dry, I sprayed the miniature with the actual basecoat I wanted to have for the final paint job. In this case, I used the basic matt grey from Humbrol, which seems like a good shade for Imperial vehicles.


Step 5 – Removing the Salt

Imperial Assault Painted AT ST

Finally, the magic trick. Removing the salt with a soft brush to reveal parts of the brown under the grey basecoat.

Having never done this before, I was excited to see how this would turn out and was very pleased with the result. I expected to do worse on my first try.

imperialassault weathering two

That said, the weathering effect wasn’t nearly as excessive as I feared.

I am may have to be careful to keep the weathering clearly visible as I start to paint the miniature …