Brother Wolf

Mar 072012
Unpacked Devilfish

That wrap is gangsta!

The majority of my Tau have finally returned home from Sri Lanka. I don’t have time to go into EVERYTHING in the depth I would like to, but I wanted to post up some flava real quick about where things are at. Each of these will get some quality time in a post of it’s own soon, but here’s the short version, (hahah, me with a short version HA!). Queue The Ecstasy of Gold.

The Good: Having my models back, lots of paint.

My models are back in my hands. Not counting the extra bitz I had originally ordered, to replace everything I sent overseas today would cost approx $650 retail. Admittedly, accounting for the Apocalypse 3 tank box, eBay and The War Store I got all of that in my hands for less than $400 between 2007-2011. Still, sending that much plastic around the world and finally getting it back is a good thing.

Also good is the overall quality of the paint work on the Firewarriors, Kroot and Stealth suits. Saving me from having to paint over 100 infantry is DEFINITELY GOOD! This isn’t to say the paint on the tanks, drones, Pathfinders or Ethereal isn’t also good, but the bulk of the army on foot is what shines.

The Bad: Broken bitz, anomalies, missing stuff.

After such a long trek, one assumes something will be broken. Hell, I can’t get minis from the upstairs closet to the game table downstairs on dice day without tweaking something. *grin* So to assume everything made it from the U.S. to Sri Lanka on the sprue to be assembled and then back to the U.S. without mishap is just being foolish. Broken stuff is pretty much the usual antennae or loose bits far from the main body of the model. It’s just too damn hard keeping that together, so to have to wrap & pad only means risk in breaking them. Some stuff was probably broken before it shipped, like the engine on one Devilfish. Still, easy enough to fix.

The anomalies in paint or assembly are what kind of blow me away. Overall, the assembly is well done. However, there are simply oddities I cannot explain. Like the mismatched paint and backwards assembly for one pair of aux burst cannons. Or the missing hatch & weapon mount on one turret. One Devilfish had an aerial assembled on it’s top in the back by the engines, (which is now broken and in need of repair), rather than on it’s snout like the 2 properly assembled Hammerheads. Of course, there’s also the pair of Firewarriors, one with no shoulder pad and the other with his upside down.

Of course, the one that I’m most concerned about is the blatantly missing XV25 Stealth Suit. I know it was assembled and painted. Somehow it didn’t make it into the box. I’m hopeful it will turn up. Again, percentage-wise, I’m shocked more didn’t go missing. Still, I sent home over, I want him back.

The Ugly: Minis still to be finished, minis never purchased, time to finish the project, money/confidence lost.

So there are still 4 XV8 Crisis Suits sitting in the studio, waiting on the last 2 to be assembled and painted for a total of 6. They have been through multiple corrections and are waiting final approval to be sent back. There is also a final Devilfish still to be assembled & painted. They should hopefully be joined by the errant XV25 mentioned above as well as 2 German StuG and 3 British Sherman Flames of War tanks. Soon, I hope, soon.

When the project began, (I’ll note it was an alternative project to the original Crimson Fists choice), Finecast hadn’t even been announced yet. Among the purchases were blisters of Kroot Hounds, intended to augment my speedbump units w/ 6-9 I5 attacks on the charge. Alas, Finecast was announced, metal pulled entirely and as they hadn’t been purchased yet, never would. Ultimately, the money I paid went to offset the return shipping, but I’m still bummed that if I do want hounds, I’ll have to pick them up on eBay, (not fond of Finecast am I).

Speaking of when the project began, I’d like to point out today is exactly 3 days past the anniversary date of when I announced the project. Yup, more than a YEAR since I boxed up 13lbs of minis and sent them away until they returned. As I mentioned above, some minis are still awaiting return and some minis never made it into the project at all.

It has been a tumultuous year for Painted Figs. Whether you believe the statements of the protagonist or those of his detractor, the simple truth is that PaintedFigs has a huge gallery of completed project albums, attesting to the work accomplished to date. Navin has also been courteous & responsive to my requests, even if it’s only been to let me know he doesn’t know and will get back to me. I would not intentionally dissuade anyone else from engaging PaintedFigs in a commission. Look through the gallery, look through the price list & decide if it’s worth it. I would, however, caution them on the complexity of the commission and/or the volume of work requested. In retrospect, I should have assembled the Crisis Suits myself and sent them over. I also should have sent the force over in smaller, more manageable chunks, since I was told the volume ‘overwhelmed’ the studio. I am happy to have the work done, but not happy with the time and ultimately the wasted expense of a program I didn’t really get my money out of.

The experience has also cemented the fact that I cannot trust anyone else to paint for me that I don’t already have some form of personal/professional relationship with, (Ap0k, SilverTabby, Tinweasel & misterjustin have already proven their worth to me in this regard). It’s one thing to ask an artist to paint something for you based on a theme and allowing their vision to carry the rest. It’s entirely another to require assembly and paint for a working army to be accomplished by a third party to an exacting standard which may or may no be within the skill set of the party in question.

In the end, I am glad to have the Tau fully painted. Once the fixes are complete and the Crisis suits here, I’ll be proud to put them on the table. It also inspires me to finish my 3 Broadside conversions and paint them myself. Finally, it has given me the impetus to get off my ass and accomplish some more painting of my own. It’s March now, so the question is can I finish 3000pts of Space Wolves and/or Necrons by August? Interesting challenge.

Mar 022012
Box 1 of 2 from Sri Lanka

Damn postal service!!!

My Tau are slowly arriving. So box 1 of 2 arrived earlier this week. Box 2 is still MIA, despite being sent at the same time. *sigh* Box 3 will contain the final elements, my Crisis Suits. They are still building the last 2 to add to these. Despite repeated efforts, they have still managed to put the missile launchers on backwards. *sigh again* One last begging & pleading to get them right on the final 2 still to be assembled. *crosses fingers* So, I have all my infantry, I’m still waiting for my 6 tanks in transit, (where for art thou?), and the final shipment of 6 XV8 Crisis suits & 1 Devilfish, (as well as the 5 Flames of War ‘Open Fire’ starter box tanks), should be on their way as soon as the paint is dry.

While I am very grumpy that it has taken a year, A YEAR, to get these figs back in hand, I will say that having only taken a few out of the box to check I am at present impressed with the overall quality. Whatever issue happened to cause delay, I should have 3000pts of Tau, painted, which I would NEVER have actually got ’round to doing myself in a paint scheme that I won’t likely have on any other group of models I own. Not sure it’s it’s been worth it, but I do look forward to putting these models on the table, outdated codex & all. What do you think? ‘Eavy Metal vs Sri Lanka?

Feb 212012
Necron Lychguard

Come get some...

Short work week already starting crappy, for modeling anyway. I did get President’s Day off, but I spent it installing my new Smart TV, (and all the hassle that legacy cabling incurred due to HDMI inputs on the new set), rather than modelling as I had thought I would. (Well, ok, I played a bit of SWTOR too).

I did manage to get 30min in today to clip swords, arms and review posing options. The ‘we can do anything’ arms are problematic, being shared in part with the warscythes. Awfully small to pin, I foresee many repairs in their future. I was able to pose one model. The erstwhile sergeant, (there are no such things in the Necron list), was chosen for the longest loincloth and fanciest headdress. For his gear, there are 5 total phase swords in the box; 2 pointed forward, 2 at right angles and one held sword tip down. I gave him this last one, the inverted sword, (it’s hard to tell from the pic at left). It’s not ideal, but I kind of like the way it turned out. He stands tall, tip of his sword buried in the sands, dispersion shield held relaxed at his side, arrogant in his knowledge he can best any challenger. His shield is only tacked on for the moment, I’d like to paint them separate.

The rest of them will be more dynamically posed due to the way the arms & swords  work, but it may take most of the week due to the fidgety nature of the hands. Ugh…

Feb 152012
Necron Lychuard work in progress

"Wheeerrre is myyyy mind."

Pic at left is a WiP for my Lychguard. I managed to base the legs, apply the loincloth and assemble the 4pc torsos for all 5. Not too shabby for a lunch break which included wolfing down the last of my chicken parm. 7pcs each if you include the bases themselves. Seems like alot of bits, but contrary to my first opinion, Lychguard aren’t TOO terrible to assemble, (easier than the Praetorians by the look of it). While the same legs are used with slightly different embellishments, I have a niggling issue about the torsos for either build which annoys me.

The torsos are front/back half the same as just about every plastic model from Dire Avengers to Space Marines. However, unlike the Immortals I just crafted, these require a special piece for the neck which fits between the halves. Um, WTF?!?! Yes, the high cowl in the back and the scooped neckline might be a bit deep for how they chose to fit the neck, but my response is still WTF?!?!

Seriously GW, was it absolutely necessary to pander to the sculptor when you have such vast resources at your disposal for making exquisite, plastic sprues of late? I am seriously impressed with the detail and quantity of bits, I truly am. But having to put a TINY little neck-bone in between the torso halves was ridiculous. No reason for that, NONE!!! Compared to what I’ve seen come off the sprue in recent years, this could have been avoided. Ok, so I guess it wasn’t very niggling…

Anyway, I should actually finish these up on Thu, affording me 5 lunch breaks to work on the Annihilation Barge before my game w/ DesertFoxx on the 25th.

Feb 142012
Necron Immortals

Die Humans!!!

Last Thursday I squeaked half hour over lunch to assemble another 2 Immortals. Not exactly a blistering pace, but considering what my pace has been like for many months, I’ll take it. I’m was out of the office for a long weekend, but I did manage to finish building all 5 of  them. W00T!

I had originally planned on  starting on the Annihilation Barge next, but now that I am clear on GW’s new fangled method for infantry, I think I’ll work on my Lychguard next afterall…