Friday, May 16, 2014

CRIMSON FISTS Part 4: Sternguard Veterans

If the fluff of the Crimson Fists demands heavy weapons, the crunch definitely asks for Sternguard Vets. Pedro Kantor, Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists, is an unique character in the game which has a special rule allowing Sternguard to score objectives (although with the advent of 7th edition, who knows how this will be FAQed).

Sternguard vets carry their signature special ammunition, which allows you to choose between "ignore cover", "poisoned (2+)", or "AP3 gets hot" bolt rounds. Needless to say, the flexibility is extremely handy. Another unique advantage of fielding Sternguard is access to two special weapons, including the heavy flamer. In addition, any number of veterans can replace their bolter with a combi-bolter of any kind. Sternguard work best delivered by Drop Pods, to position them exactly where you need your opponents key unit destroyed. A ten-man unit with two heavy flamers and five combi-meltas, is flexible enough to take out hordes, heavy vehicles, monstrous creatures, or even elite units (although they struggle a bit against 2+ armor). While not as good in close combat as their Vanguard brethren, each vet sports two attacks each, and they even have access to power weapons or power fists if you anticipate them being engaged.

All an all, this unit is fantastic, and the backbone of any Space Marine force including Pedro Kantor among their ranks.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

CRIMSON FISTS Part 3: Big Guns Never Tire

One of the most rewarding aspects of the tabletop hobby is to develop an army's thematic, whether it is done following the long history of the published Warhammer universe or if it is your own creation, a "homebrew" army as it is usually called. In either case, the philosophy of making an army themed around its backstory is referred to as a "fluffy army", whereas its mortal opposite is the "crunchy army". Fluff is storyline driven, Crunch is rules driven, an army optimized for function. 

For my Crimson Fists army, I wanted to stick to the existing 40K mythology, in color scheme, army composition, and just the general feel of it, down to the bases I selected. Among Space Marine chapters, the Crimson Fists are known for following Rogal Dorn's doctrine: specializing in siege warfare, and thus favor heavy weapons. This was convenient because Space Marine heavy support units are among the most visually notable, as well as being very good on the table top. A crunchy army by means of fluff. 

In the storyline, the Crimson Fists are also known for surviving an Ork invasion to their home, Rynn's World. Only about 100 battle-brothers survived the gruesome 18-month siege, and those who survived were turned into hardened veterans. An separate post detailing veteran squads is forthcoming, but I wanted to make special mention of Rynn's Might, an honored Land Raider whose A.I. conducted a solo war fighting hundreds of orks on its own, which I also wanted to capture in my army. 

Man, the Crimson Fists sure love big guns:

I have broken the post into six units, which is conveniently the maximum allowance of heavy support units for one army in the game.

Devastator Squad: All Crimson Fists are proficient with heavy weapons, learned by spending their early days assigned to a Devastator squad, which supports forward units from the rear, while staying mobile.

Thunderfire Cannon: While technically Techmarines are part of the Adeptus Mechanicum, Space Marine Techmarines are battle-brothers who received special training to operate the ancient war-machines of the Imperium. The Thunderfire Cannon is designed as a mobile weapon platform specializing in anti-infantry barrages. 

Vindicator Siege Tank: Also known as the Tonka Truck of Doom, it's powerful siege cannon scares the crap out of every unit in the game. Usually does not survive very long, as a clever opponent will remove it from the table at the nearest opportunity. 

Hunter Anti-Air Tank: A very specialized tool, it does not see the tabletop often, but when your opponent is fielding mass flyers (I'm looking at you, Helldrakes), you know you want one on your side. Besides it is relatively low cost, and a very good looking model. 

Storm Eagle (ROC Pattern): While not the fluffiest unit, definitely my favorite, beautiful model and incredible on the table top is the Storm Eagle. It's hard to say no to a twin-linked multi-melta, two twin-linked lascannons, and four twin-linked crack missiles. There is an entire post dedicated to this one model somewhere else. 

Rynn's Might (Land Raider): The iconic Space Marine heavy tank, the Land Raider boasts the best armor in the game. While most players prefer the Crusader or Redeemer variants, fluff demands Rynn's Might be a Phobos Pattern variant. Fluff also demands Rynn's Might to be covered in as many Crimson Fists icons, medals, and inscriptions as possible, after all, it's the most venerated machine in their armory. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014


At about $160 plus shipping, the Forge World Storm Eagle Gunship is the most expensive model I own, which is offset by also being the most kick ass model I own. A centerpiece of any Marine army, it is both larger and heavily armed than the Stormraven Gunship, a billion times better looking than the flying brick, and it also has nice weight to it being mostly resin. 

The contents of the box are a mixture of resin pieces, which as you guessed correctly are warped, and the Stormraven sprue from which it uses the wings and part of the hull. 

As with all resin, after cutting and cleaning all the mould lines, washing with soapy water is needed to remove the left over lubricants used to separate the pieces. In addition, many of the parts, specially the large hull bits, were warped and out of alignment with each other. This can be a major pain in the ass, but there are a couple of ways to deal with it. The first method a quick hot water bath, applied force to bring the part into shape, and a cold water bath to resolidify it. This method can be messy and difficult, but it is safer than method two. Method two uses a hair dryer to warm up the resin, it is quicker and less messy, but be advised, too much heat will rapidly melt the part all together. 

An interesting aspect of sharing a sprue with the Stormraven is that you can exchange the hatches for the turret and sponsons to use-as a Stormraven. Many tournaments ban FW models, so this is a way to still get use out of your very pricey model. 

As with other models with translucent canopies, priming and painting of the cockpit needs to happen before assembly is completed. Because I distrust resin, I did a second soap water wash the day before priming, and took the time to prime in many steps with lots of drying time in between. 

P3 Exile Blue base coat, P3 Cygnar Base drybrush and Citadel Nuln Oil wash. The key with painting flyers is to always brush forward to back, to simulate wind marks.

P3 Cygnar Highlight and details are the same treatment as my basic marines. Finally the base is from Dragon Forge, complete with a thick acrylic rod, far more stable than the flimsy GW flight stand. 

Final assessment: This model is a joy to assemble and paint. At any step you can't help but to imagine how awesome it will look complete. It definitely turns heads towards your army, and makes the perfect centerpiece. In addition, the rules for it makes it worth playing every game, particularly if fielded as the ROC pattern variant, a dedicated anti-tank flyer that uses the exact same model. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The Crimson Fists have been the focus of my modeling+painting energies for the last year. My goal with this army was to bring up my painting game to pro level. As a relatively newcomer to the hobby, there were two significant discoveries to which I attribute my relative success: first, using the entire array of techniques on every model is paramount, as well as understanding high quality products will never disappoint you (money well spent), and second, deciding on appropriately contrasting colors before starting to paint an army will guarantee uniformity, but more importantly, the right color combination just LOOKS PROFESSIONAL, while the wrong one just looks like crap, regardless of how good your technique is.

Part one of my Crimson Fists posts is focused on my painting process, which is both time-efficient, and high yielding:

1) Prime: P3 Black Primer

2) Base Coat: P3 Exile Blue, P3 Skorne Red, P3 Ironhull Grey, P3 Rhulic Gold, P3 Menoth Base, P3 Thamar Black, Citadel Boltgun Metal, P3 Gnarls Green

3) Drybrush: P3 Cygnar Base, P3 Khador Red, P3 Ironhull Grey+P3 Morrow White, P3 Brass Balls, P3 Menoth Highlight, P3 Thamar Black+P3 Ironhull Grey, P3 Ordic Olive

4) Wash: Citadel Nuln Oil

5) Highlight: P3 Cygnar Highlight, P3 Heartfire, P3 Quicksilver (on gold and metal), P3 Ironhull Grey (on black), P3 Worm Green

6) Flat coat: Citadel Imperial Seal

7) Details: Bits of GF9 grass and 0.05 archival pen for freehanding contours and inscriptions. 

The final product:

Team Riders of Brohan OFCC 2013

These were our armies for our 4-man team:

13th Company Space Wolves + Fenrisian Guard allies

Tony's PBR Boyz

Josh's Angels Sanguine + Tau allies

and our Team Captain Alexander's

Addadon, Comptroller of the Black Crusade

New and better things

So maybe I haven't been the best at updating this blog. A lot has happened in the year or so since last time. I'll try to bring the blog to speed in a series of dramatically over-cliched post, of which these are the ones I can think of right now:

-The Space Wolves+Fenrisian Guard were a huge success at OFCC 2013.

-I immediately moved on to a new army, Crimson Fists, which were rashly put together for the BRAWL 2013, but I will bring in force to the BRAWL 2014 in August.

-Among these models, the center piece is a Forge World Storm Eagle, for which I will make its own post.

-The Retribution of Scyrah army has been progressing very slowly, but I will renew my efforts in preparation for this summer's Warmachine league.

-As a Christmas present, I acquired a wraith themed Eldar army, which I am slowly painting on and off. Perhaps it will be ready for OFCC 2014, but more than likely it will constitute my main army for the 2015 round of tournaments.

-Side projects include a small Inquisition force, based around the Ordo Xenos, and a small Farsight Enclave all battlesuit allied force.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The weekend never seems long enough...

I decided, that while I take my time painting the Space Wolves, I would give my small Grey Knight force a simple paint job, so that I may have a fully painted army to use at our current 40K league, as well as upcoming tournaments. It doesn't matter how much time I threw in, however, this weekend just wasn't long enough to get them all done.

From left to right: Purgation Squads are primed, Strike Squad 1 is basecoated, Strike Squad 2 is inked, Purifier Squad is drybrushed, and Brotherhood Champ is detailed. Hope to bring them up to speed soon, along with their tanks:

It'll have to wait until next weekend...