Saturday, December 15, 2012

Black Phoenix Warp Spider #2!!

I wasn't planning on blogging about these again until after I at least had the whole squad together, if not painted, but I just finished this one and was so excited I had to post it.  Spiderwoman, eat your heart out!

The rock I just picked up today while walking my boy around the neighborhood.  I could actually turn it on its other flat side and have her really doing a wall-crawl but then she'd be shooting the ground.  The body doesn't fit into the round waist all that great -- it fits but at this angle it looks odd.  Hopefully once painted no one will notice.  (Maybe I'm the only one noticing now?)

I'll probably pull her back off the rock to paint her so I don't get any on the rock itself.  The legs are Hellion legs and the blade arm actually came with the Scourge kit.  I have a handful of the the shredders and the head is Reaver.

I'm loving them so far but working again with these tiny parts makes me wonder if I'm going to be able to pull off the four-armed exarch...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prototypic "Dark" Warp Spiders

The Black Phoenix hybridization continues!  My goal is to create a Craftworld culture merged with Dark Eldar: the Black Phoenix, a darker version of both Eldar cultures joined as primary and ally contingents to form one mutable battle force for 40K.  In doing so I'm using the amazing Dark Eldar sculpts as the basis for making my own sleek and creepy aspect warriors and other cool conversions.

I've been brainstorming different ideas for making my own Warp Spiders -- cuz let's face it, the current ones are still the old ones and they're still pretty static and lame.  So pouring over my new Scourge kit I found new inspiration.  (Which means I need another Scourge kit because I certainly I don't want to be without my DE Scourge/Dark (Swooping) Hawks either!)

So here is my first build, and I'm going with it!  It's almost entirely Scourge, with a Reaver rider dome head and trophy racks on his back.  The scourge model is dynamic and graceful, yet armored to reflect the 3+ save of the Spider aspect armor.  All of them will be armed with shredders, which are basically the DE version of the Spiders' monofilament Death Spinners.  But the true spider look comes in on their backs.  My Spiders have six warp-generating cylinders on their backs that combine with a pair of long arching warp vanes, which not only allow them to teleport through the warp but give them an arachnoid look!  I never really saw the great detailed cylinders on the Scourges' backs before due to the awesomely distracting wings,  but replace the wings with trophy racks and you're all set!  The warp vanes on this model are just put in place with putty for now -- once I get my hands on some Incubi I intend to use those racks for these models.

So four of the squad will be like this one, armed with shredder/spinners (I already have plenty of bits for it) and all with the mysterious domed helmets.  The exarch model i intend to be bare-headed using a scar-faced head from another DE kit and he'll have four arms!  The Shrine of the Spider Aspect on the Black Phoenix, you see, has been tampered with by the Haemonculi Puppet Masters.  I have some wicked knived hands from the wych kit in mind for two arms, the shardnet arm to go along with the spider's web imagery, and then another shredder, possibly modified to look more advanced.  It will take some tricky surgery to merge four arms on these thin bodies, but I'm going to give it my all.  I envision black and red for the color scheme with white, grey, or silver highlights.  We'll see what happens, but that's the plan and I'm excited to see how it works out!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


As an Eldar player for a long long time, I have my own ideas of how things should be.  And I will probably come up with more stuff later, but right now if Phil Kelly were to ask me what I think should be in the next Eldar codex, I'd say things like this:

* Phoenix Lords: Disciples: If you take a Phoenix Lord as a HQ choice, then his/her aspect counts as a troops choice in your army.  

* Phoenix Lords: Invuln: The Phoenix Lords are awesome individuals and you pay out the nose for them, averaging about 200 pts a piece.  Twice as much as a basic SM Captain or similar figure.  Why then, are they so damn squishy??  Basic HQ models in other armies have Invuln saves, and even some elite choices and a lot of Chaos army choices have them standard.  Why, then, does my 200pt HQ model NOT have one???  Asurmen is the only Phoenix Lord with an invuln save of 4+.  I suggest he maintain that to reflect his Battle Fate rule, while all other Lords get a 5+ invuln save.  I want a little more security for my investment! 

* Dark Reapers: the fluff talks about how the vanes on their helmets help their targeting, yet no rules reflect that.  Given that they are 35pt each, I figure we're due a little more bang for our buck.  I'd like to see them get Skyfire standard to reflect the fluff on their gear.  

* Dedicated Transports!  The elder have ONE and it costs 100 pts or more depending on weapon choice.  You can buy 3 rhinos for what one Wave Serpent costs.   That's killing us Space Elves.  And as the elves are more fragile in general than most, having a transport to move them is important, but at that price??  We need cheaper transports and more options for them (like venoms are for DE - give us a smaller, cheaper option too please).

* Similarly, there are some points comparisons which are depressing.  And some not, I admit.  Sixteen points for a power sword wielding Init 10 banshee is a pretty good deal, but 45 plus weapon for a fragile, open-topped vyper when a sturdier land speeder comes WITH its weapon for 50 is a bit off.  I suppose one could argue the rip-offs balance out with the bargains for the Eldar but, especially in comparison to the newer codices, I think Eldar tend to be over-priced.

* Shuriken Catapults - they suck!  Their stat line is fine, in keeping with bolters and other high-end standard issue shooty bits, but their range is terrible.  Twelve inches standard, 18 for the "advanced" Avenger 'pults.  So guardians, who suck anyway, cannot fire on anyone until they are close enough to get killed first.  That has to change!  I suggest 18" for standard and 24" for Avengers.  And it logically follows that shuriken cannons should be better than a meager 24" as well - make them 30" or even 36" please.

* And speaking of shuriken cannons, the Death Jester Shrieker Cannon: basically the "virulent toxins" that make folks explode are only worth a pinning test, which most will pass.  It sounds like a poisoned weapon to me.  I'd say Strength 6 in keeping with the shuriken cannon pattern, but never requires worse than a 4+ to wound no matter the targets toughness. And pinning.  Or, if they cause the target to swell and rupture, maybe it's an instant death weapon? 

* Bring back the Harlequin Solitaire.  Kind of like the SW lone wolf, a single dude who wanders alone but is bad ass.  Maybe with a Guardsman Marbo kind of infiltrate rule, neuro-disruptor that reduced enemy's Init or Attacks, some kind of psychic power...  I could actually come up with quite a bit on Harlequins, but think they are pretty good as is. 

* Psychic powers - this applies to the 6th edition 40K as a whole.  Currently to take random powers from the main rulebook you have first pay whatever the normal , varying prices are for your codex powers and then trade them for a random power.  So you might have to buy one at 20pts and the next at 30pt just to get a grab bag prize.  I suggest that ALL random rulebook-based psychic powers cost a flat rate of 20pts for all armies.  If you prefer your codex powers (and sometimes I do) then pay as per the codex.  

* Warlocks: I'd like to see warlocks become independent characters like Elite-choice Chaplains, Blood Angel medics, and IG priests.  Or we can follow the wolf guard and necron royal court examples and say you buy so many and then distribute them throughout the army.  So for the Eldar's codex let's say this:  0-5 Warlocks can be taken per HQ choice you take, no matter who that HQ is.  They count as an HQ choice but do not use up a slot.  They then operate as independent characters and can join other units, or can form a squad with a farseer.

* Jet Bikes - While I love the advantage of the 3+ armor save, it doesn't make much sense compared to the DE Reaver save of 5+.  Instead riding a jetbike improves Toughness and Armor Save both by +1.  So for Guardians it'd be 4+ armor save, shining spears 3+ and the exarch 2+ (standard aspect armor is 4+, exarch 3+).  Then for warlocks and farseers I'd say the wraithbone breast plate counts as both an armor and invuln save of 4+, so on a bike armor is 3+, invuln still 4+.  (And of course the improved catapult range of 18".)

Okay, that's all I got right now.  I don't think I'm asking for a freakin' Blood Angels codex here (every bleepity-bleep advantage you can imagine at no points cost, cheatin' bastards...), just a fair shake to keep up with all the rest of the Joneses in the galaxy.
What do YOU think???

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dark Eldar BeastMistress and Gladiator Slaves!

After getting an hour here and there for the last few weeks I finally got my gladiator slaves finished!  This is my Dark Eldar Beastmaster and one of two "flocks" -- they will count as Razorwing flocks.  I think it fits the stat line well.  Imagine them as slaves fought in the arenas of Commorragh where they no doubt won her some money, taken now by the beast mistress and pumped up on combat drugs (stats and beast mobility) and armed with especially deadly but brutal weapons (rending):


I intend to give her a second base full of warriors to steer into her enemies, but painting them might wait a while.  What I thought would be an easy paint job turned tedious, as they usually do.  I quickly decided on simplifying the task by using a lot of the same colors for things on all models, rather than a more realistic variety.  They all wear Jade's colors, showing their heraldry for their owner.  

I also decided that Jade's cool blue weapon is a "frost rifle", used for chilling the blood and preserving her trophies.  Of course the profile is equal to the splinter pods on beastmaster skyboards, so it's a poisoned (4+), AP 5, assault 2 rifle (the super-chill can cut and freeze anything no matter its Toughness score).    

With the gladiator slaves, as with most of my models, I try to find unique things about each to make them standout as individuals.  The lead model is dark-skinned and wears a head from the Space Wolves kit; in the arena he's known as "The Jackal".  (Kind of a Master-Blaster of Thunderdome masked style.)  Another gladiator carries a shield that matches his strangely Chaotic-looking belly plate, but that's just a coincidence, I'm sure.  Or maybe the slave have found religion in their imprisonment?

These models are taken from the Fantasy Warhammer Chaos Marauders box, and they fit the part wonderfully.  Unfortunately there aren't that many combos you can do with them so we'll see what I can come up with for the next batch.  I hate to repeat myself. I also plan to use them to replace the Ur-Ghuls in my Archon's Court (every Archon needs a handful of disposable gladiator slaves, after all).  

For Blondie I mixed yellow and flesh color, then washed him a few times, then added just yellow to his hair and beard.  I kind of wanted to paint his eyeballs but was afraid i'd just leave white blotches on his face, so I just let the brown wash pick out the details for me.  The last guy is sporting lots of red skull iconography, again following his mistress in her color scheme.  They actually all turned out better than I expected and look pretty good as a team.  There was some doubt in there about halfway through, but once I got all the base colors in place and smoothed out, I knew some washes and highlights was all I'd need.  

I may go ahead and build the next four, maybe using some more space wolf parts, like their hairy heads.  I would like to carve out a beaky marine helmet and have one wearing it like a hat but I don't think I have anymore beaky's in my bits box.  I count 5 Crimson Fists already painted with them and I don't really want to sacrifice any of them.  

This last pic I just threw in cuz the blur looks like they're charging across the field.