Archive for June, 2011

Basing Tests for my Chaos Space Marine Army

I’ve been building a Chaos Space Marine army for awhile now, and I’ve gotten to a point where I have enough of them built to finally start thinking about painting them. However, before I paint them, they need to be based.

Miniatures (this explanation is for people who aren’t nerds like me) usually have a round or square base that they stand on, depending on the type of game. To make a figure really stand out and look good, it’s best to both texture and paint the base to look like whatever terrain they’d be likely to be standing on. This could be dirt, grass, cobblestones, spaceship deck, or whatever.

Runic Mountain bases from Secret Weapon

There’s a whole cottage industry that’s sprung up around pre-made resin bases. Depending on the company you buy from, you can find any kind of subject matter or style you want. It’s best, when building a whole army, to have a common style throughout your entire force.

I, however, don’t use “store-bought” bases; I model my own as I go. For my Tau Empire army, I modeled the Firewarriors and Kroot to be standing on dirt and rocks with a bit of foliage in the form of a little green wash and a bit of green static grass glued in small clumps here and there. For my Chaos Space Marine army, I’ve decided I want them to be standing on a field of burned ash and blasted rock, very bleak in grey and brown. Therefore, it’s best to do a materials and paint test before actually gluing things to the bases of my built figures.

Sand, glue, shards of slate. Painted, drybrushed and washed

This test piece is using “colored candle sand” from Hobby Lobby, glued down with normal CA glue (kind of like superglue) and some small pieces of slate from the Games Workshop Warhammer 40k model basing kit. Then I spray primed the whole thing black and did some simple painting and drybrushing on it. Then a wash and some more drybrushing and it was all done. It’s not a bad look, and it shouldn’t take away emphasis from the models.

This base used baking soda instead of sand for a much finer texture

Then I built this base: I used the same paint and wash colors and the same slate, but instead of using the sand, I used much finer baking soda with the CA glue. Also, I put down two layers of it; I covered the whole base with CA glued baking soda, waited for it to dry, and then put on a second layer, but only on half of the base. I wanted it to look somewhat like wind erosion, and tried to emphasize it when I painted it, as well.

These photos don’t do the bases justice. The two-layer effect on the baking soda base is quite noticeable in real life, and the texture difference is much greater between the baking soda version and the sand version.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the color scheme and I’m probably going to go with the baking soda technique for my basing. It will probably take a bit longer, but I really think it’ll look better in the long run. I’ll probably just do a group of five Chaos Space Marines to start, and see how fiddly or difficult it’s going to be, and then I’ll primer those five guys and get to painting. Of course, determining how I’m going to actually paint my army will be a whole post by itself, so keep an eye out for that.

Combat Patrol Tournament and Dreadnoughts and Princes

So I’ve been busy lately. Two Saturdays ago, my good friend Peter helped me get the old chest freezer and the very old (and very heavy) refrigerator out of the basement, freeing up more space for nerdery in the Nerd Bunker. I was able to get people to come and pick up both of these behemoths (free of charge!) by putting them up on CraigsList under the ‘Free’ category. It feels really good to have these things out of my hair and it allows me to progress with work in the basement.

This past Saturday I played in my first Warhammer 40k tournament. It was a 400-point Combat Patrol event at Chimera Hobbies and Games in Appleton, and I didn’t completely tank. I did bring a totally new list that I’ve never played before and even used units I’ve never played before (Plague Marines) because, why come to a tournament with all of those preconceived notions about what your list is like and how your units work? That’s for boring people, I assume. I did actually win two games and of the three that I lost, one was really close (only point point) from a draw, so I felt like it was a good showing. I got a terrible painting score because, well… my figures aren’t painted. So I need to fix that soon.

Speaking of figures: I’ve been working on some of the bigger figures in my army in prep for a potential 1000-point battle in a few weeks. You may recognize the dreadnought here from a post a few weeks ago. He’s been changed, however:

Chaos Dreadnought made from Venerable Dreadnought

Chaos Dreadnought made from Venerable Dreadnought

He still needs a little more grunge and pitting on his legs, and a bit of baking soda corrosion, but he’s pretty close. The tentacles turned out pretty well, and the spikes and skull-chain accessories from the Chaos Rhino troop transport set fit this guy just about perfectly. While the spikes on top make the figure look a lot more interesting, it makes him a lot taller and might make him a bit more difficult to transport in a Battlefoam bag, so I’ll have to figure that out. I’m really looking forward to painting him, though I haven’t decided on a color scheme yet.

Then there’s this guy, who has been a bit of a pain:

Warhammer 40k Daemon Prince

The Daemon Prince

The kit goes together fine, even though the instructions are a bit difficult to decipher from time to time. However, I wanted to magnetize his wings, not so much to give me options (I’m not sure why you’d ever use a Daemon Prince without wings, duh) but for transport purposes: removable wings would make him easier to transport to games at other people’s houses, etc. After much screwing around, I finally got the rare earth magnets all set up and put in the right spots and the wings attached properly and everything about the model was great.

Unless you touched it. Or breathed. Or looked at it. Or thought. Or your heart was beating. If any of those things happened, then the wings would fall right the hell off.

So now I’ve glued the damn wings on, and I have to do a little work with some ‘green stuff’ putty to fill in the holes left over from my magnetic shenanigans (‘Magnetic Shenanigans’ is the name of my next band, by the way) and then I have to texture this guy’s base. There will be a new post about base texturing and painting coming here quite soon, as I’ve been doing preliminary work so I can get my whole army properly textured the same and then ready for priming. Then painting. Then I won’t get such a terrible painting score at the next Combat Patrol tourney. Hopefully.

Glittery Death and Some Redemption

Just a quick post about a few games of Combat Patrol I played this Memorial Day weekend. I started really poorly and then improved.

First, I played against Sam and his dreaded Dark Eldar again. I tweaked my 400 Chaos Space Marine Combat Patrol list to (hopefully) counteract what I assumed he’d be bringing to the table. I brought five Havocs (instead of the six Chosen I usually run with) and armed them with a normal bolter marine, a missile launcher, two heavy bolters and a lascannon. I was going to try to keep them in cover and hopefully reach out and pop his speedy (but delicate) vehicles. Due to the costs of the heavy weapons in the Havoc squad, I had to reduce my normal CSM troops squad from 10 (including Aspiring Champion) to nine, but I added in an Icon of Slaanesh to raise my Initiatve so I wouldn’t be so outclassed when I got into combat with the tricksy Dark Eldar. (Spoiler alert: This didn’t work. At all.)

Long story short, Dark Eldar went first, and killed everyone in my Havoc squad except the lascannon guy. I fired one shot from him in my shooting phase and exploded one of Sam’s transports, killing a few of the Dark Eldar riding inside. That was, frankly, the last cool thing that happened on my side for the rest of that game. Quite unnecessarily, Sam’s dice were on fire that day. The battle report in my head is just snippets of glitter cannons and crying and gnashing of teeth, and then it was over. Another win to the Dark Eldar.

My Chaos Space Marine squad, preparing to rush slightly forward

Later, I got to play against Mike and his tryout list of generic Space Marine Scouts. He proxied a bunch of Sam’s old Ultramarines, Orks and Plague Marines and took to the field, infiltrating his entire force. I set up next because I was going second, as usual. Things went much better for me in this game, and I had switched back to my normal CSM 400-point Combat Patrol list. My dice rolling got slightly better (although I did get several Gets Hot! results in a single roll with with my Chosen plasma gunners, luckily they passed their armor saves) but at the end, I had won the secondary and tertiary objectives, while we had a draw for the primary objective.

I need to start texturing bases of my Combat Patrol forces really soon, so I can get to priming and then painting. While I’m working on that, I’ve discovered that if I finish a few more larger pieces (Chaos Dreadnought and a Daemon Prince) I’ll be able to start playing 1000 point battles with the stuff I’ve built. Maybe I can get finished on both of those pieces (they’re both started) this weekend, if I have time.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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