Posts Tagged 'Black Templar'

Painting a Black Templar Army: Not Exactly Black and White

This weekend, I did something that I haven’t done in months and months: I actually put paint to miniature. I started working on some test models for my Black Templar army, trying to figure out my paint process (step by step, including the list of paints used – what I generally call my “recipe”) and trying to figure out how I want them to look. I find it’s best to use some test models when you start this process.

An overexposed cell phone photo of the winner of the two paint schemes

An overexposed cell phone photo of the winner of the two paint schemes

For this paint scheme (my fledgling Black Templar army) I grabbed two generic Space Marine models from the 5th edition Assault on Black Reach starter set. These models are generally easy to find on eBay and are great for starter models as they go together very quickly and are pretty easy to paint. I primed them both black with my airbrush (using Vallejo Airbrush Surface Primer) and then dusted them from above at a 45-degree angle with a dark grey of my own mixing specifically for this project (known now as the ’special sauce’). This gives the models depth, as the lighter color of paint lands on all the raised areas and then naturally fades to black in all of the areas that the airbrush doesn’t reach. This makes the model look like the shadows have been painted on, which they have been to a degree.

When I got to the iconic white shoulder pads for this army, I wanted to try a few different options. I didn’t want the white to be a flat, bright white like I frequently see on Black Templar models online. I wanted the white to be either dull or dirty in some way, and this is where starting your painting experiments with several models instead of just one starts to pay off. If you have at least two models to practice on, you can split off your ’recipe’ at some point and see which look you like better. If you only had one model you were testing on, you wouldn’t be able to compare techniques.

At this point, I’m pretty happy with the model seen above. I still need to finish the eye lenses (traditionally red for the Black Templars) and the basing colors (mainly a mud color and some small grey rocks), but once I’m happy with all of it (and have it all written down for posterity) I’ll be able to start working on the actual real models in the army and use the pictured model as an example to paint from. I’m looking forward to it.

New Terminator Leaders

I’ve been doing a lot of building lately, which means I haven’t painted in a long, long time. Like, seriously long. I think it’s been since early last year. Let me reiterate: it’s not that I haven’t been hobbying, it’s just that I built an entire Black Templar army, then started building new Chaos Space Marines units when the new book debuted, and then I got angry at the new Chaos codex and decided to switch back to Templars. And now I’m even building some new stuff for Templars, but the painting will start soon.

Black Templar Marshall in Terminator armor (left) and Sergeant in Terminator armor (right)

Black Templar Marshall in Terminator armor (left) and Sergeant in Terminator armor (right)

So I decided to try out running a Terminator Command Squad. To start that, one must have an HQ unit in terminator armor, so I’ve gone down that road and built a Marshall. I did a bit of kit bashing with him by using a set of the terminator legs from the Dark Angels terminators that came in the new Dark Vengeance box set and then one of the Forge World Black Templar Storm Shields, which are huge and awesome. I magnetized both of his shoulders so I could swap out the Storm Shield and the Lightning Claw in the future.

I also built a Sergeant for the Terminator Command Squad (as he’s a requirement) and I gave him a Storm Shield as well (but not the same fancy Forge World) and a Thunder Hammer. I usually find a guy in power armor or terminator armor without a helmet to be a silly idea, but I’ve been doing it for some of my HQ units just to make sure they’re easy to pick out of the group, visually. I also magnetized his shoulders so he can swap arms and use different weapons in the future. I built him a lightning claw arm as well, so he and the Marshall could be lightning claw bros if they wanted.

Next, I’m going to build some regular terminators to add to the group (including an assault cannon or two), and then they’ll be ready to get their bases textured. I’m hoping to get a lot of my Black Templar bases textured in the next few weeks so I can start priming them. Priming is, as you know, the next step to painting, and then soon I’ll be painting again and trying to re-learn those muscles. We’ll see how it goes.

Switching Armies?

It’s been a long time since I posted here for real (the WordPress auto-generated “end of 2012” statistic post doesn’t count) and I want to mention exactly why that is, but it’ll have to wait for another post. Soon.

However, I did want to mention some stuff about my recent hobbying, so I figure here’s a good place to do it. Though I’ve been building pretty steadily since my last post, I haven’t actually played a game since mid-December. In that game, Kevin’s Eldar crushed my sad, stupid Chaos Space Marines, and made me take a long hard look at my new codex.

Then the new Dark Angels codex came out.

Google Image Search, you so crazy

Google Image Search, you so crazy

At this time, I’m putting my Chaos army on the shelf. I may sell them, but I haven’t decided yet. I think Games Workshop did a real disservice to the Chaos codex, especially when comparing it to the codex that they published before it (Necrons) and the codex after (Dark Angels). I could get into a long discussion about it and mention stats and force org comparisons and whatnot, but I don’t feel like it at this time. There are plenty of threads at Dakka Dakka and Warseer and other message boards that go over these issues in exhaustive detail, but let me just say that those bits of information are only part of the issue, and the other part of it is highly intangible and emotion-based. I can’t really describe it more than that, and due to this I’ve decided to put them on the shelf (for now) and not just sell the army outright on eBay or Bartertown.

So as it stands, I’m going back to my Black Templars and the allies that I’ve chosen for them, being at this time the Grey Knights and the Ultramarines. I have a game tonight against Kevin’s same Eldar list and tomorrow night I have a game against Jason’s Dark Eldar list. And though I doubt I’ll win either (as they’re both better players than me) I will probably at least feel better about my army, and for whatever reason, that’s pretty important to me.

An Apothecary, a Chaplain, and a Land Raider Walk Into a Bar…

So my crazy month of August is finally over, and after travelling to Indianapolis and Chicago and running a 40k tourney all in about three weeks time, I’ve had some time off and played a game or two and now have some stuff to show off.

I’ve mainly been focusing on my Black Templar army as of late, as the Chaos Space Marine codex will probably be released sometime between October and the end of 2013 (hopefully) and I don’t want to build anything or paint anything, just to then find that the rules have changed and made this figure obsolete or requiring a big change to its weaponry or whatever. However, I suspect the Black Templars will be lucky to even get a new codex even in 2013, so I figure I’m safe to build, and soon start painting.

Land Raiders Gonna Land Raid

This is the first Land Raider I’ve ever built, and it’s a little bit of a handful, but not too bad. It’s actually a Land Raider Crusader (notice the Hurricane Bolter sponsons) and with proper clamping and big rubberbands, the construction isn’t too bad. Plus, I got to put all kinds of fun custom Black Templar bitz all over it, which I enjoy. I suspect I shan’t be building another one for this army (in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, rules have changed to make vehicles a touch more  fragile, unlike the last edition, when vehicles were king) but I do have one for my Chaos Space Marine army. However, I’ll be waiting to build it, as I had mentioned.

From left to right: Doktor Pokesalot and Padre Plasma Pistol (the Triple-P)

These guys are mainly for a command squad I’m working on for my Marshall. The Apothecary is the standard build from the Command Squad box (although he does have a Black Templar shoulderpad, ‘natch) but the Chaplain is kind of a custom build for me. I used a Dark Angels robed body, a custom built crozius that I made from the Black Templar power axe, and a skull helmet and skull shoulderpad from MaxMini. Also, his left arm is magnetized, so he can swap between a plasma pistol (shown) and a bolt pistol, if points are an issue. I mostly like how he turned out, but now I’m trying to figure out how to paint him. However, I need to figure out how to paint the whole army, first. I should probably get moving on that, but I still have 15 terminators (five tactical and ten assault) and ten assault marines with jump packs to build, not to mention a few random hangers-on. Oh, and a Predator. And two and a half Landspeeder Typhoons. And two drop pods. And I should finish building the Storm Talon for my Space Marine ally detachment. And then I should build the 10 scout snipers and the Techmarine for that detachment. And then there’s the Grey Knight detachment.

I need more glue, is what I’m saying.

Black Templar Progress and My 100th Post

So it’s that time of year again when my blog posting slows down due to a combination of a super-busy work schedule immediately followed by being very busy at Gen Con. We’ll all just have to cope and try to soldier on.

In other news, this is also my 100th post. That would almost be impressive to some degree, except that I started this blog over three years ago, which puts my average of posts per week just a touch north of one and a half, which I don’t feel is too impressive. I should try to do better, but at least today creates a nice round milestone.

So what have I been doing besides working and not posting on my blog? Building Black Templars, that’s what.

The Templar army is slowly mustering for war and painting

There’s the first of three Razorback / Rhinos I have (however, vehicles are now much less useful in 6th edition, so who knows when the other two will get built), two dreadnoughts, five tactical Terminators, an Emperor’s Champion and a smattering of standard Crusaders, both of the close-combat and “shooty” varieties. I’ve been using Black Templar shoulderpads and other bitz nearly exclusively on these models, and even some special Forge World Black Templar bitz have found their way into the mix. When I add in a few proxy figures (mainly from my Chaos army) to act as a few last figures I need, I can field a 1500-point Black Templar army, so that’s what I’ve been doing for my last few games. I’ll have another game tonight and another on Saturday, so the Templars will be getting a workout.

I’ll probably keep building for awhile longer and then try to figure out the paint scheme I’m going to use for these figures. It’s obviously black armor with white shoulderpads, but it’s actually so much more than that, and it’s best to have your painting “recipe” figured out earlier versus later. More on that when I get to that point, I guarantee.

Lastly: Anyone going to Gen Con? Maybe I’ll see you there.

More Battles in the Nerd Bunker

A few Sundays ago I had some lads over to the Nerd Bunker for another day of battle. It had been a few months since the last time, and we were all looking forward to a little carnage. Josh, Karl, Ben, Kevin and Tom all showed up at one point or another and brought some armies and we let slip the dogs of war. Or whatever.

Krazy Karl's Used Tank Super Store

Ben and 1000 points of his newly-painted Necrons and Josh and 1000 points of his somewhat painted Tau teamed up on the big table to go up against Karl and 2000 points of his Imperial Guard and their parking lot full of tanks. I’m not going to give you a batrep here (as I was playing other games myself; you can find out more over on Ben’s blog) but let it be known that the battle raged on for a good long time, with losses on each side (some of Karl’s losses were self-inflicted, because that’s how the scatter die crumbles) but in the end, Karl’s Imperial Guard could not stop the onslaught of the fish-faced alien bastards and the robotic undead, and the game was called.

The 3-way heats up

While that fight went on, my Chaos Space Marines went up against Kevin’s Eldar force. We were playing a 400-point Combat Patrol mission, and Kevin wasn’t running his usual super-brutal Eldar War Walker list, he was running two Wave Serpents with five Dire Avengers (I think) in each. He dispatched my army pretty quickly.

Wave Serpent meets proto-Rhino

Then I brought out my newly built (but as yet unpainted) Black Templar force and used some partially built Chaos Rhinos as proxies for my Black Templar Razorback and Rhino. I had a squad of nine close-combat Crusaders (one with a power fist) in a Rhino and a five-man tactical Crusader squad with a lascannon, a plasma gun, and three bolters in a Razorback with twin-linked lascannons (also known as a ‘Laserback’).

This game went far better for me.

I’ll be totally upfront with you: I had some really lucky dice rolls. There was one standout that strikes my memory, and that was the roll that basically destroyed half of Kevin’s army. Pro-tip: if you’re going to ram another player’s vehicle with yours, you should consider deploying the troops inside your vehicle before ramming commences.

At the end of that game, Kevin’s Wave Serpents were dead, most of his Dire Avengers had died, and the few that remained were retreating off the board. This went really well for me, and made me feel better about my Black Templars, since this was the first game they had won so far. After the game with Kevin, I then played Tom and his Lamentors (he was running them under the normal ‘vanilla’ Space Marine codex) and my Black Templars stepped up again and made me feel even better about them by winning again.

Over all, it was a fun day and it just proved to me that I need to continue building my new Black Templar force and keep playing them (and my Chaos Space Marines) in more games. I should be playing my first big game (1750 points) with my Chaos Space Marines next week. We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll let you know.

The Real 2011 in Review, and a Look Towards 2012

2011 was a great year for me in many ways, and I feel blessed for my friends and family and my life in general. 2011 was a pretty good year for my hobby gaming, and since that’s what this blog is about, I’m going to go over it here.

GAMING
I played a good deal of Warhammer 40,000 this year. By my best count, I played 31 games of 40k this year. Most of them were Combat Patrol, and some of them were in tournaments but it’s still a decent amount of games. Over all of the games this year, my average was certainly under .500, but I figure I’m still learning, so that’s not too bad. In 2012, I’d like to play even more, and I’m pretty sure I can accomplish that, especially now that the Nerd Bunker is at least partially set up and ready for play.

I also played some Dwarf King’s Hold (mostly with Lee) and enjoyed that. I wish I would have played some Space Hulk this year, but that game stayed packed away in the weird annex off of the Nerd Bunker. I also didn’t get a chance to play any Song of Blades and Heroes or Flying Lead this year, other than running a bit of SoBH at Fire and Ice last February.

GAMING – HOPES FOR 2012
I’m planning to play more Warhammer 40,000 this year, at home in the Nerd Bunker, at other people’s houses, and at game shops / tournaments. I know Chimera Hobby Shops (both Appleton and Fond du Lac) is planning to run a 40k Combat Patrol or Kill Team (an event smaller point game, just 200 points with special rules) tournament at each shop each month during 2012, on separate weekends, so if I can’t make it to Appleton one weekend, I can still maybe make it to Fond du Lac the next weekend. Or maybe both!

I also really want to play some different games, as well. I want to get back into Song of Blades and Heroes and Flying Lead from Ganesha Games. I want to play more Dwarf King’s Hold and Space Hulk because they’re fun to play – yet, as board/miniature game hybrids, don’t take as much setup and time as some full-blown ‘real’ miniatures games.

I’m also working towards some other skirmish-type miniatures games, like Warmachine and Infinity and MERCS and Hell Dorado and Mordheim. What’s great about these games is that I can frequently put together two forces (as they’re small) and then invite someone over to play and teach them the game and have figures for them to use. That’s a bit more difficult with the bigger army-style games.

PAINTING / MODELING
I got a good deal more work done on this front this year than I did in 2010. As far as miniatures are concerned, I built and modeled more this year versus last, and even painted a little more than I did in 2010. I started a new Warhammer 40k army (Chaos Space Marines) and built quite a few troops and a few vehicles. I was able to get 10 of the standard Chaos Marines painted and six of the Plague Marines, enough for a fully-painted Combat Patrol army at a tournament in September. I finished painting a unit of Kroot for my Tau army, and I started a small army of Black Templar for Combat Patrol. The Black Templar force is now about 20 troopers strong, and a couple of vehicles (out of four) have been started. So, over all – I did okay on the painting and modeling front, quantity-wise. But how was my quality?

I like to think that my painting is currently the best it’s ever been, and I’d like to make sure I progress from here. Three main things have helped my painting this year: I started using a wet palette to thin and mix my paints, I started attaching my models to old pill bottles when painting so I had a nice handle to hold the miniature for painting without actually touching the model, and I started using my airbrush.

Nurgle Chaos Lord conversion

I wanted to start using an airbrush last year to help with priming my miniatures (specifically in winter, when it’s too cold to prime models outside with a rattlecan) and using it for basecoats, shading, highlighting, and painting terrain. I’m happy to say that I was able to use it for all of these things this year, and it’s really made a difference. Once I finally got the room cleaned out and a decent work surface and some good lighting, things came together pretty quickly. It’s great for priming, as it uses very little paint and you don’t feel wasteful just priming one model. Basecoating, shading, and highlighting are great with it, too. Colors can be laid down and blended very easily with an airbrush, which gives the models more depth and really improves their look. Overall, I’ve painted some of the best figures I’ve ever painted this year.

PAINTING / MODELING – HOPES FOR 2012
My main hope is simply to get more done and to improve more in my speed and quality. I have a lot of figures built right now, so there’s no reason I won’t start priming and basecoating them in smaller batches and then just get to work. I have a group of 10 figures built for a Combat Patrol tourney near the end of the month, so they’ll be my next big project. You’ll see more about them here in the coming weeks.

CREATING
I talked about starting some sort of podcast or PDF e-zine or something this year, and none of that has really happened. Mainly this was due to other projects taking up my time, one big one being the work I’m doing at Beasts of War. I did a dozen or so interviews at Adepticon this year (a great, minis-only convention outsid of Chicago) and about 18 different pieces at Gen Con, and I finally started making some videos at the end of the year from the studio I built in the basement, the Nerd Bunker. I’m doing the ‘writing’ (such as it is) and the shooting and the presenting and even the editing, and I’m really enjoying it and the response has been really good. I’m looking forward to doing more Nerd Bunker videos in the future (as of this writing, there’s one that just went live, I have one nearly finished editing here, and two more to shoot planned for this weekend and the next week) and I’ll be returning to Adepticon and Gen Con this year, so you can expect more interviews and news from me.

I also shot a simple video for our gaming club (and our friend Ted who is in Afganistan) of a bunch of us competing in a Combat Patrol tournament at Chimera in September. That was also a lot of fun to shoot and edit, and got a decent number of views, especially thanks to a link from the guys at Beasts of War.

CREATING – HOPES FOR 2012
Again, it’s just more: we’re planning for more interviews and segments from Adepticon and Gen Con again this year, and I’m planning on doing a lot of videos from the Nerd Bunker. I’m also hoping to do more gaming club videos and probably revamp the gaming club website, trying to offer some articles about how to do some beginner things in the hobby to help newer people out. We’ll see how it all falls together.

BASEMENTING
The Nerd Bunker got a lot of work this year. Two of the three main walls were completely primed, painted, and detailed. One wall (the longest) is 3/4 prepared, scraped, and primed. However, there’s been a Herculean cleaning effort and there are now three tables (two 4x4s and one 4×6) set up for gaming and the studio for the Nerd Bunker videos is ready, so I feel pretty good about the progress.

Speaking of tables, this summer my good friend Eric and I built a 4×6-foot gaming table outside in the driveway. A few weeks later, my lovely wife helped me bring the pieces in and we put it all together. It’s a monster, and very sturdy. It makes me very happy and I’m glad for all the help. It has been gamed on a few times already in 2011, but I think it’s going to get much more of a workout in the coming year.

BASEMENTING – HOPES FOR 2012
I need to finish up the final wall, and then do a little wiring so I can bring my computer downstairs and get that whole deal all set up. I also need to set up my painting table so I get my painting supplies off of the workbench. It will be a good idea to get some shelves set up, as well. Then it’ll just be putting stuff up on the walls and getting an old couch and maybe a chair, and I’ll have a cozy little bunker to call my own. I’m looking forward to it.

IN CONCLUSION
It was, as I said in the beginning of this post, a great year and I am thankful for it. I got a lot of things done that I wanted to, I
learned new things and progressed my skills in the hobby (at least in painting if not in gaming and winning). I got somewhere around 80,000 views on YouTube (50,000 on just Gen Con videos alone) and started working in earnest with the Beasts of War lads. I look forward to what 2012 brings and hope to be able to progress and do more. I also hope you can do more this year and that everyone has a successful 2012. Thanks for reading!


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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