Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Dark Angels: Grand Master of Chaplains Sapphon TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

I have been experiencing some insomnia for the past couple of weeks, so I have decided to do something constructive with the extra time. The first project to get the midnight treatment was this one. When GW released this model they called it Asmodai, but I'm calling shenanigans on that. In the Angels of Death Codex the Grand Master of Chaplains, Sapphon, was equipped with a powersword. I used to use him all the time, because you had the freedom to choose his wargear cards. That meant that you could give him a jump pack and combat drugs (or the less risky Frenzon) and really wreck face. This guy, to me, has always been Sapphon, not Asmodai. I bought the miniature just before 3rd Edition dropped and he has been shifted from bitz box to bitz box ever since. Not any more!

I considered giving him a jump pack but decided he would be better off supporting my Deathwing Knights on foot. I have plans to do a Lieutenant with a jump pack to support my Ravenwing Knights, so need the spare jump pack anyway. I chose to paint his powersword red to match the swords that the angels hold on the Dark Angels' banners. The crozius also reflects this. The robes were undercoated in Ushbati Bone, washed with sepia then dry brushed very carefully with white. I was really working hard to not leave that chalky look you can get from dry brushing. After that I did a selective wash with Kommando Khaki to knock back the sepia. The black highlights were also drybrushed on in about 5 seconds flat; no hard lining at 2 am! After 2 hours I was done and starting to nod off. Primary and secondary objectives complete!

I'll leave you with the description of Sapphon from the Angels of Death Codex, for those of you who weren't around in those days:

Sapphon is the High Interrogator and Grand Master of Chaplains of the Dark Angels Chapter of Space Marines. Also known as the "Finder of Secrets," Master Sapphon did not receive his esteemed rank of Grand Master due to age or ability as an Interrogator-Chaplain (Master Asmodai is superior in both), but because of his ability as an inspirational leader of men. Even brave and indomitable warriors such as the Dark Angels are inspired by Sapphon's presence when he is amongst them on the battlefield. His presence often leads them to carry out feats of extraordinary valour. 

See you across the table,


Sunday, 8 April 2018

Joel Chapman: In Memoriam

Hi folks,

Two weeks ago my dear friend, Joel, passed away in hospital. On the blog I have always referred to him as KuriboGoomba, to provide him with a bit of anonymity. A Goomba is one of those little mushroom guys from Super Mario Brothers (and Kuribo is the japanese word for the same guys).

Kuribo. Goomba.

Joel and I met on the first day of high school 24 years ago. I had brought a Lone Wolf book to school as a bit of a safety blanket, and our shared interest in gaming brought us together very quickly. He introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons, which neither of us took very seriously. We played many, many roleplaying campaigns together, mostly as a strange pairing of Solamnic Knight and Kender Thief: Simoen Swiftblade and Crazy Chester the Dancing Jester. He also introduced me to Battletech; my first love in table-top gaming:

You know the game is serious when Joel is climbing on the table.

We must have played hundreds of games against each other in the past 24 years, often with him representing his beloved Ghost Bears, or delving deep into the underhanded tactics of the Inner Sphere.

Some Ghost Bear Mechs I painted for Joel last Christmas.

I can clearly remember the first game of Magic: The Gathering we ever played. We took his brother's 60 card starter deck and split it in two, so that we could both have a go. We amassed a ton of cards from that day onwards and played almost every day. Some of my fondest memories are of playing MtG with Joel at the local library, waiting to be picked up to go to his place for the weekend. It was that sense of starting an awesome weekend early. I had said to him before he went into hospital that, when he gets out, I was going to get us some of the new MtG set so that we could relive old times.

Joel played quite a bit of 40K back in 2nd Edition, gravitating towards Imperial Guard. We could never afford all of the tanks that he needed, so I bought him some $2 army tanks and painted them up in his regimental scheme (The "Wolfenstein 3rd", if I remember correctly).

Check out the bootleg $2 tanks! With Ork meat shield!

He never was much of a painter, his hands and fingers were... utterly massive. He was an amazing martial artist and piano player, but just couldn't paint the detail on a Citadel minature. Whenever he botched an eye he would turn it into an eye-patch, which left the majority of his army looking like pirates. When 3rd Edition hit the shelves he gave up 40K, but always appreciated the fact that I kept going, even if he didn't enjoy it himself. A few years ago he came over and spent the whole day creating a new paint scheme for my Nids (see the photo at the top of the post). We settled on an Aliens xenomorphy/Fierce Snake scheme which I still use to this day.

Joel and I shared so many other interests/gaming experiences that became pieces of who we were: the Alien movies, Red Dwarf, The Young Ones, Macross, Cowboy Bebop, UFO Enemy Unknown/XCOM, Doom, MechWarrior, Halo, Mass Effect, Morrowind, X-Files, Millenium (which we called "The Bishop Show"), and too many more. He could always be guaranteed to win a board game at the last moment, when everybody thinks it is impossible.

Joel winning at the last moment when Heinz and The Trooper thought it was impossible. Sgt Waz hangs his head in victory/shame.

I think all of us thought he was going to pull the same trick again when we saw him in hospital. In a way, he did score a breathtaking last moment victory. He saved six people through organ donation, including a young child.

Having grown up with Joel so closely, I know there are parts of my character that come from him and our shared experiences. He touched the lives of so many people. Our little gaming group has pulled together just a little tighter, trying to support each other through the shock of losing our chieftain.

I'll see you across the table again one day, my brother.


Saturday, 17 March 2018

Iron Snakes: Centurion Test Model Complete

Hi folks,

It has been a long time since I posted anything; I have been trying to sell my house in preparation for the big move in the middle of May. Most of my models have been packed away already, to keep them safe during all of the open house sessions, but I have kept a few out to work on. I haven't had any time to do this, however! This afternoon I took some time out to finish a test model for my Iron Snakes Centurions, and I think he has turned out pretty well.

For my test model I picked what I thought was the least inspiring pose and poorest modelling work. If I could make it look alright I could definitely do the rest of them!

The shield is a custom job from ML shields. You can see the microtexture from the fabrication process, which I didn't attempt to smooth out. On the table-top this detail is hard to see, but I wouldn't want a whole model made out of the stuff.

The cables at the back were all glazed with seraphim sepia as I did with my Imperial Knight Warden, followed by a gloss varnish to make them look oily.

I added some carbon scoring to the weapons; that is an aweful lot of dakka for one infantry model. Sorry about the blurry pics, I am really missing my lightbox and camera set up.

One down, five to go! I don't know when I will get a chance to paint again, and I have a few things to get done for other people that will save me having to include them in the move. I would love to get all of them done by the end of the month if I can though, so keep an eye out for them :-)

See you across the table,


Saturday, 24 February 2018

Old School Gaming is Moving!

Hi folks,

Well. That escalated quickly!

For the past year or so I have had the nagging suspicion that my family was going to grow out of the space that we live in. We live in a townhouse in western Sydney which we have worked on pretty hard, including the building of a new 3 m x 7 m living space and a leafy green rainforest garden. I am a slow decision maker in the family, so when our "dreamhouse" came up for sale about a week ago, it helps that I had been thinking about it for 12 months already. Wifey is far better at snap decisions, so for once our wills aligned perfectly on time. The end result is that we will be selling our little "Lighthouse" and moving into a larger home down the river:

Enough room to swing a cat.

Between then and now, we will be slaving away getting our current home ready for sale. To give you some idea of what I mean by that, I have spent the past two days stripping stickers off the front glass frontage and frosting the glass manually; all of those hobby skills being put to good use!

Before :-(

After :-)

One of the first casualties has been my man-cave. The garage space is in desperate demand as we shift furniture around and get packing. I didn't realise how special that space had become to me until I packed up my lightbox equipment and started emptying out the table draws (soooo many cool resin bases and long lost decals!). Transporting all of my miniatures and half-finished projects is going to be hell, but I'm sure I will figure it out.

All of my current projects are on hold until I can set up a space at the new house; we have already planned a dedicated gaming room and storage space. That means that for the second year in a row I will be unable to reach my Squaduary goals. I am planning on doing a few posts as I set myself up again, which will probably include me building another light box. The blog will be a little quiet in terms of other hobby posts though. I'll try and catch up with you all on your own blogs and live a little vicariously for a while!

Wish me luck!


Doggo is going to get a proper backyard!