Monday, November 1, 2010

Whispers and Howls

Well now...time for a project update.  This project has a dual purpose, to put together a theme based army around one of my favorite Khadoran warcasters, and tie in a competitive Steam Roller list. The second purpose of this list is for exilejjb's Army Challenge over on WaMP.

Steam Roller, which is Privateer Press's official tourney format - in the SR format you can use 2 legal lists and decide which one to use before the match starts.  The size of the lists will be 35 points and I will be using Epic Butcher for list 1 and Zerkova for list 2.

This is the current set of lists:

2 x Doom Reaver unit + UA
Doom Reaver unit

35 points on the nose - this list will most likely see little to no modification as it gets played through more.

My Zerkova list has two options so far:

Option A
2 x Doom Reaver unit + UA
4 x Grey Lord Ternion unit
2 x Koldun Lord

35 points on the nose

Option B
Doom Reaver unit + UA
Doom Reaver unit
Koldun Lord
Devastator Marshalled under Koldun Lord
Koldun Lord
2 x Grey Lord Ternion unit

34 points

Play testing may modify the lists somewhat as I get a better feel for how they perform - painting and modeling updates will be posted to [URL=""]my blog[/URL] once I get moving a bit more.

Working on assembly/conversions and the display base currently, and have been spending a bit of time on the display base the last week or so.

Now this is my first foray into building a display base, well any type of scenery actually as I've never really done anything beyond the overzealous base work before.  So I'm entering new ground and having a fantastic time with it.  This is also my own personal testing grounds for my part in the Dragon Painting Cadwallon Table Project - a giant undertaking by a number of the fine folks and myself on the Dragon Painting board to build a 4x6 modular Cadwallon table in 2x2 sections that can be reproduced by anyone anywhere in the world through a detailed set of instructions and blueprints that will be put forth as each section is created.

Now with the theme of my army obviously being based around the recovery of Orgoth artifacts and the use of said artifacts, I began to think about putting this army in an Orgoth ruins.  I love the concept of the Doom Reavers and the Butcher - tortured souls and all, and the fact that Zerkova and the Grey Lords that are constantly searching for lost Orgoth artifacts and weaponry....totally sweet back story.

As you may or may not know, I'm an animator by profession so that means EVERY project starts with a sketch or two, and since I had a really good idea of how I wanted this to look I just did a brief sketch for layout purposes...sadly I for some reason cannot get my scanner to pick it up - it is pretty light, but still...damn scanner.  So with my plan in hand and my figure layout pretty much set up, off to find a few pieces of reference.  I always suggest using reference for any project you're working matter how great your imagination or memory is, you will always find inspiration in reference, be it photos, drawings or other building projects such as this one.  I went after some ancient ruins photo's - here's a few:

So first step involves setting a base and selecting materials.  For this project I've already selected my color palette (more on that at a later time) - so I don't have to break my skull open and pull something out of the depths of my melon kicking and screaming that it doesn't like the other two colors that it has go with...colors can be so damn spoiled at times...freekin whiners.  A couple of the other things I am trying to keep in mind are this - there's going to be over 40 metal figs on this board - 4-5 on 50mm bases that have some heft to them and it's going to go gaming with me, so it has to be fairly sturdy and easy to repair if needed, but light weight, I know I've got big arms...but who wants to pack around 40lbs of gaming stuff all day right??

Well the obligatory pink insulation foam is always where things start, and I figure if I can get ahold of the right molds, I'll be using some plaster castings as well, but this foam stuff after a little experimenting seems to be a great medium for we'll be using quite a bit of that, also I've read about this STUFF which if I take the writers words at face value will keep my foam from getting I'm down and good to go with the foam carving love, but again if I can get some of the right molds...I'm using some of that too.  :D

Setting the base to means making sure the 2" piece of foam I'm going to use as my base has a good firm base of it's comes the random piece of hard board I've got lying about:

A good amount of wood glue (I don't recommend wood glue for foam to foam...but since the base is wood, it is actually a great option for wood to foam) and a few clamps with a good overnight rest and the two are like an old married couple...damn near inseparable.  

Ok, now I've got my base, time to draw out the layout on top of it and get to work.  I was going to do a Hirst Arts ruined tower in the upper left, but instead carved the whole thing out of pink foam.  I wanted to put the blocks on a foam base to start with and it just ended up being simple enough to carve the whole thing out while watching Kim Possible with my 4 yr old.  I was thinking that I took some WIP shots of my tower ruins, but I am mistaken...I did no such thing.  

I adjusted the photos best I could buy my lighting in the garage is terrible and I was too lazy to grab my high priced flash attachment for the over priced camera I have that I don't know how to use they're a little bright and washed out, but you get the idea.  :D

Next up came the base for the tower, it's cut but not really weathered yet as I want to keep it kind of 'pretty' as it will look like a cut slab, so lots of rubble strewn about, kind of like the Colosseum and the Pantheon.  

I was a little stuck on the stairs and was talking about it with my pal BA and he suggested a pair of pillars instead of the entire set of wrap around stairs I was planning.  PERFECT!!!  He suggested doing menacing faces like on the armor plates of the character drawn up in the world guide, but as I was looking for something suitably Aztec or Mayan online for a reference piece I was struck with an idea.  I'll do the sword/staff of the Doom Reavers instead!!!  So I grabbed a couple of quick shots from the concept art as reference and set about for a couple of hours carving away at two blocks of foam.

As of right now this is where I'm at...I still need to glue the pillars, the tower and the tower base down, but I might actually buy some foam glue for that.

Next up is a ruined wall section in front of the tower base, a burial cairn with pillars to the right of the tower base and a carved stairwell arched entry in the bottom right corner.

I'm not sure which ones first, prolly the cairn or the wall as the archway is going to be two or three pieces which may very well take some time, and I want the pillars to be cast, as I'm not sure I can carve good even cylinders in foam.  :D

Got some list testing to do this weekend, but I'll update when I have more to share.

'til then, keep you paint thinned and your brushes clean!

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