Friday, March 30, 2012

The Way of PAIN...counters

To compliment my recently completed Grotesque unit, I finished off the Pain Counters I'd shown earlier. Instead of each of them representing one pain counter each, my idea was for them to be a progression: one victim being put through successively worse pain that was twisting his mangled frame. I'm really happy with the effect, and I can't wait to start on the next set of pain counters for the Wracks squad. That one will feature some Haemavores.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Catching the Bug: Quick and Dirty Mycetic Spores

After playing a game of 40k for the first time in what feels like a billion years at the Ajax GW 40K 25th Anniversary, I've kind of gotten bitten by a bug to get back to my bugs with the end goal of actually getting them on the table and playing some games with them. That has meant some stripping and some basing...

...but mostly I have been wishing I had some actual mycetic spore models to put on the table. Though I've got fully sculpting and possibly casting my own spores on the back burner, based on the original design I came up with for the Casavant Prime board, I wanted something that could be done quicker to stand in in the interim.

I had some of my cast Tyranid Barricades lying around that I wasn't using, so I propped them up on some extra insulation foam, covered over them with some Apoxie sculpt to make it look like ploughed-up dirt, and VOILA!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Grotesques from Bio-Terrors: Mission Accomplished

Well, last June I started in on my first models for the Haemonculus Coven, and they were destined to be Grotesques. I based them on Paulson Games' Bioterror models, and from four identical models, I managed to squeeze out the four following original poses:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grotesques complete!

More images and information soon, but for now it's time for a happy dance!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tyranid Archive: Looking forward to 6th Generation

If you've been keeping up with my Tyranid Archive posts, you'll know that I've spent the last month or so documenting the successive iterations of the Tyranid codex since 1st Edition, focusing mostly on how the Tyranid model line has evolved. Though there are some yawning gaps in my Tyranid history (Space Hulk and Genestealer cults to name a few), I've got a guest expert or two lined up to fill these gaps.

As last Wednesday's article brought us up to speed with 5th Edition and its models, I thought that this week I should open things up for a bit of wishlisting/predictions for the next Tyranid model release.

So, I'll start with my own predictions/hopes for the next generation of Tyranid models, but I'd also like to hear what you all think will be coming up next for Tyranids when their codex is eventually revised and the line is refreshed. Please focus on the models rather than on the rules, and post your ideas/wishes in the comments below.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hive Fleet Moloch: GOZILLA! continued...

UPDATE: Marco Schulze/Hive Fleet Moloch lives again! You can not follow his work on his Hive Fleet Moloch Instagram profile!

I went trawling through my closet full of white dwarfs again the other day, and I uncovered the article I'd missed in the last batch of Hive Fleet Moloch scans. As I'd thought, this one featured the Godzilla army that Moloch had whipped up for the studio. The article is mostly written by the man himself, so it gives a good deal of insight into the thought that went into the army. I must apologize for the poor quality of the scans and the dark quality of the images as they appeared in White Dwarf. Hopefully they are still legible enough that people can draw some inspiration or further understanding from them.

(EDIT) Someone pointed out that, due to the way Blogger displays photos, these may not be the easiest to read on here. Thus, here's a link to the actual gallery on google photos, wherein you can click on the loupe/magnifying glass above each image to see them full sized.)

White Dwarf 307
(August 2005)

Hive Fleet Moloch Godzilla Swarm

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Tyranid Archive - 5th Generation (2010, 2012)

In honour of 40k's 25th Birthday this year, I'm working at an ongoing series called "The Tyranid Archive," which is meant to be a historical look back on where Tyranids came from and how far they've come. Here's our last installment, for now, tracking the chronology of the main Tyranid model line's evolution. However, there are some gaping holes in this chronology that I'm trying to get some help to fill (Space Hulk? Genestealer Cults?), so those may be cropping up soon.

5th Generation (2010, 2012)
(Also known as The Age of The Trygon, Great! New Units!...Now Where Are The Models?, and Oh You'll Get Your Second Wave...Someday)

With this article, we're brought up to the current generation of Tyranid models and rules. As it's the one that current Tyranid players are most familiar with, I won't spend much time talking about the rules. However, some notable changes from 4th Generation/Edition for those of you who only started Nids recently were things like the strength and number of shots of ranged weapons going back to being an absolute value, rather than based on the strength/attacks of the creature carrying them. Our Niddy guns hadn't been like this since second edition, and though it makes things a little easier, I far preferred when the creature influenced the strength/attacks. It made for comedic possibilities like Carnifexes totting Str 9 or 10 Fleshborers. Then again, the new system makes things like devourers a little more useful on gaunts

Just like with my 4th Generation write-up last week, I'll be skipping over the tried-and-true models that remained in service from the old codex refresh through to the new one. However, If you're keeping score: Plastic Gaunts, Hormagaunts, Rippers, Warriors, Genestealers and Carnifex; Metal Hive Tyrant, Lictor, Tyrant Guard, Broodlord, Biovore, Spore Mines, and Zoanthrope.

With all those ranked up, you'd wonder what model slots were left to fill in the Tyranid range. Well, that'd be a good question because there weren't any. We had models for every unit in the 4th Generation Tyranid Codex. So how was Games Workshop going to justify a new Tyranid Codex? How were they going to sell new models if people already had access to the whole of the range?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Warpshadow has gone dark

Howdy folks.

Anyone who knows me from Adam knows that I've been involved with, pretty much, since the inception. It is a place near and dear to my heart, and though I know nothing about WebMagicTomfoolery, I have an abundant amount of enthusiasm for the board. Unfortunately, boards don't run on enthusiasm alone, and as much as I love the board, that love can't obliterate the nefarious work of hackers.

Thus, as we had recently come under the crosshairs of hackers, and there were all kinds of weird redirects happening when people tried to access the board for about a week now, we contacted out service provider and asked for help. They took a look through our files, found some ones that had been messed with, and, promptly, obliterated those files.

Unfortunately, those files were rather essential for the operation of the Phpbb backend of the message board  :|

So, when they removed the infected files, Warpshadow went dark.

Now the Gestalt is faced with the mammoth task of resurrecting the board from our back-ups and patching the holes that let the hackers through in the first place. Understand that NONE of us are web-heads, so we are, pretty much, clueless when it comes to how to move forward. We will be relying a great deal on our service provider for help with this, and I ask that you all have patience with the other members of the Gestalt/Admin team. Unfortunately, I will be away and out of synapse range for the next week, so I am trusting this all to Yaleling, Hydra, Hive Node, and Moloch. If anyone has any help that they could provide to them, I encourage them to do so.

Rest assured that we will restore the Shadow in the Warp as soon as we are able!

Hive Fleet Moloch: GOZILLA Swarm!

UPDATE: Marco Schulze/Hive Fleet Moloch lives again! You can not follow his work on his Hive Fleet Moloch Instagram profile!

In the Piece of the Hive Mind introduction, I mentioned that Moloch used to have a pretty decent relationship with some of the lads in the Studio. Never was this relationship more decent than in the run up to the 4th Generation/Edition Tyranid release. While we were all hmmm'ing and hawwww'ing, trying to figure out what, exactly, a plastic Carnifex was exactly supposed to look like, Moloch was lucky enough to already have his hands on the kit.

No, sorry, wait. He was lucky enough to already have his hands on SIX of the kits, and two metal Hive Tyrants to boot! The studio had supplied him with the models early with the understanding that he would convert and paint them up to represent a Godzilla swarm: a Hive Fleet list that maxed out the number of Tyranid Monstrous Creatures you could include at 8! This seems like small potatoes these days, where Harpies and Tervigons mean that the most TMCs you can fit in a list is 17 (Do the math: 2 Tyrants/Tervigons as HQ, 3 Tervigons as Troops alongside three broods of Termags, 3 Harpies as Fast Attack, and 3 units of 3 identically equipped Carnifexes as Heavy Support. Now, that isn't to say you could actually cram all that into a normal point limit...), but back in 4th Edition, the idea of the Godzilla swarm struck fear into the hearts of Marines everywhere.

The studio entrusted Moloch to make this newest of Tyranid monster lists look good, and I think he may just have exceeded their expectations!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hive Fleet Moloch: The White Dwarf Articles

UPDATE: Marco Schulze/Hive Fleet Moloch lives again! You can not follow his work on his Hive Fleet Moloch Instagram profile!

I had meant to scan most of these in time for the two original Hive Fleet Moloch articles, but I only got around to it recently. I've scanned the covers of the magazines each article appeared in for reference sake. I feel like they're just further proof that Marco's Fleet was a big deal, and even Games Workshop recognized that. As these pertain to, IIRC, 4th Edition, they are, essentially, nostalgia pieces, but there are some good photos in there, so I wanted to share them with folks.

(EDIT) Someone pointed out that, due to the way Blogger displays photos, these may not be the easiest to read on here. Thus, here's a link to the actual gallery on google photos, wherein you can click on the loupe/magnifying glass above each image to see them full sized.)

White Dwarf 276
(March 2003)
Hive Fleet Moloch Feature 
(from the Nottingham Grand Tournament)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hive Fleet Moloch: A Killer Team

UPDATE: Marco Schulze/Hive Fleet Moloch lives again! You can not follow his work on his Hive Fleet Moloch Instagram profile!

As I mentioned in my previous post about the diabolical mind behind Hive Fleet Moloch, Marco was always into the creepy story behind the Tyranids. He communicated this in how he chose to photograph his Nids, but he also paid particular attention to their posing and basing. Nowhere is this fact more apparent than with the Crimson Stalkers of Tenebra Prime: a Tyranid Kill Team that Marco put together shortly following the release of the new plastic Genestealers in fourth edition.

(If you've not heard of Kill Team, it is a simplified rules set that Games Workshop introduced some time in...4th? Edition. It is some times referred to as 40K in 40 minutes as it used smaller, more characterful forces for skirmish-sized games. It was loved by gamers, so much so that there is a fan-made ruleset entitled "Killzone" that can be downloaded for free and is, IIRC, updated to be able to play in 5th Edition.)

Once again, I've been limited in what I can post by the fact that I mined most of these photos using the Way Back Machine as is currently offline and being occupied by cyber squatters. That being said, I was able to find a goodly number of photos.

So, I present to you, The Crimson Stalkers of Tenebra Prime:

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Tyranid Archive - A Piece of the Hive Mind

Here's something I had completely forgotten about, but just rediscovered and figured was perfectly timely for us going over 4th Generation/Edition of Tyranid models this week. A few years back, when Moloch was better connected with the studio, he managed to score an interview with Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin on the heels of the 4th Edition codex release. I feel like the article explains itself, and it's always lived on Warpshadow, but I've reproduced it here for the sake of completeness and ease of use. I can't promise that it's aged well, but it does give a unique insight to the minds of the creators. If anything, it's a pretty solid indication of just how open the studio used to be that Jes and Phil were ever allowed to give an interview like this to someone who wasn't employed by Games Workshop.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Tyranid Archive - 4th Generation (2005)

In honour of 40k's 25th Birthday this year, I'm working at an ongoing series called "The Tyranid Archive," which is meant to be a historical look back on where Tyranids came from and how far they've come. Here's our next installment.

4th Generation (2005)
(Also known as PLASTIC CARNIFEX!)

The 4th Generation/Edition refresh of the Tyranid codex caught me completely by surprise. Moloch, who at that time was pretty tight with the studio, had warned me it was coming. I remember being shocked, thinking that Nid players had waited so long for their codex after the release of 3rd Edition (not, actually, that long now that I look at it objectively), and that there was no possible way that we could be getting new models because Games Workshop had only just refreshed the entire model line. Long story short, I was, more or less, happy with the situation the Tyranids were in during 3rd Edition, and I couldn't imagine how Games Workshop could possibly improve on it.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Hive Fleet Moloch: What happened to Moloch?

Alas, poor Moloch, I knew him, Horatio...
/Flame On/
When trying to amass photos for this article, I googled "Hive Fleet Moloch," and I found a thread on Heresy Online or some similar forum, wherein someone said he/she was starting an army using the Hive Fleet Moloch colour scheme, but he/she had no idea what the Hive Fleet Moloch paint scheme was. Then someone else replied to the post, saying that as there was no scheme described in the codex or on lexicanum online, the original poster could paint Hive Fleet Moloch ANY COLOUR HE/SHE WANTED.

The reference to Hive Fleet Moloch wound up in the fifth edition Tyranid codex solely as a nod to the very talented German artist Marco Schulze who originated it back between second and third edition. It was recognition for years of dedication to one of the original extensively converted Hive Fleets.
/Flame Off/

So, in a vain attempt to avoid this happening again, and in the hope of leaving this article as a reference for new Tyranid collectors everywhere, I present to you...

Hive Fleet Moloch

Now, if you've been eating your biomass and keeping in touch with synapse, you, likely, know all about Hive Fleet Moloch, but in case you missed something, or in case the fleet has fallen off the astronomicon, I'll give you a bit of a personalized tour.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Grotesques Nearing Completion

I can see the light!

After what seems an age of off-and-on work, my Grotesques are finally getting near done. It's amazing how the addition of a couple of arms gives far more bearing and direction to the models. At this point, I need to sculpt one more freaky arm on one of them, featuring a creepy hypodermic bit, then finish up the freaky hand for the squad leader, and after that all that should be left is connecting things up with a few sculpted details, and {deep breath} they should be done!

Man, doing this kind of work on a multiple-unit level can get to be a pain in the butt!

It's seriously rewarding, though. Just as I was starting to feel like I was losing some steam on the Grotesques, I decided to finally attach their arms, and just that small change got me juiced about them again. In fact, I daresay I'm damn proud of the way they are coming along.

Anyway. Enough jabber. Onto the model shots. I apologize the lighting is a little jumped, but I'm not photographing them in my standard workspace.