A word to the wise

"Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers, all of which are true and terrifying to know." - Inquisitor Czevak Turns out, the answers are; "Oh, just a few days", "Our friends will be here shortly" and "We have quite the appetite".

Friday, 27 September 2013

... More rare items!...

It never ceases to amaze me how many interesting folks you run into in this hobby, even the more extreme ones like myself with rare collectables.

Oddly enough, though purchasing an item on eBay, I made contact with a fellow enthusiast with a mate just as nuts (for the rare/unreleased/custom things of Elven kind). He has subsequently offered to sell me a couple of custom items that I wasn't previously aware of - yup, it certainly is a good Friday here. So without further ado;

Custom Dawn of War Farseer...

And, a custom Eldar Dawn of War Webway Gate...

Perhaps I should celebrate by going into a Games Workshop store after work... Do you think they'd let me get past the front door?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

... UPDATED: Jetbike Warlock sneak peak...

Early this morning I had an email from Luke over at The Sound of Machines telling me the Jetbikes have been done - along with an MMS sneak peak, top shot of the finished Warlock. Luke has mentioned there will be more piccies to come in the afternoon, so stay tuned for the rest of them.

Very much liking the work on the canopy!

I'm also told the Shining Spears are completed as well, so those bad boys will be posted up here as well; in total there are 27 Shining Spears, 10 Warlocks and 4 Spirit Seers - Bwahahaha indeed.

Can't wait to mount these lads on the stands that turned up from Back to Base-ix . I will note, the nature of laser cutting had the stands smelling like the amazon had been burned to the ground, probably a good idea to throw them into some warm soapy water to help kill the smell and remove the laminate from both sides of the acrylic - if anyone is looking to buy some!

Update: Here is a quick pic of the Jetbike Warlock and Spirit Seer, some very small alterations happening in the next week or so (Shining Spears and a little bronze for the Jetbike Turbines), updates as they become available :)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

... A new shipment: Teaser of what's to come...

Well my "crack" dealer in the US got in touch a couple of hours ago with a lovely image, posted to my facebook wall. So I thought it was only fair I share the "goods" with you all... amongst other things, consider this an "over share" if you like. You've been warned.

I think the sad part is that not everything FIT in this photo, there are still collectors edition books (including the Apoc kit) that can't be seen here. Yes, I may have a problem...

Whilst the Eldar stuff is mine, however the Tau/Dark Eldar/Grey Knights/Necrons etc is actually off to my painter up North in Queensland - as payment for working on the tanks/vypers/hornets/walkers/lords etc. Good times indeed!

Love you long time Dave "Heisenberg", thank you for supplying this Aussie with some of the finest crack since 2007.

Friday, 20 September 2013

... Mr.Squiggle up in this b*&$h...

Today I surprised myself by drawing out some concept designs for the commissioned Eldar table. Keep in mind i'm proud as punch having done this, as previously i'd have required a lay down (and counting to 10). Artistic is something I am not.

Elliot over at CustomTerrain.net emailed me last night with some ideas as to how the board/terrain can be tackled. I have to say he has put some good ideas forward. At this stage, the table will be six boards 2 foot by 4 foot in dimension. The configuration is in 8x6, however given the modularity allowed, any shape can be formed - even a 12x4 for those extra long face off style battles.

So far the following has been mulled over;

Overall the modular board set goes something a little like this... Excuse the dodgy sketching.

Board 1 - Two levels, ground with sloping ramp leading up to a landing platform stemming out from the level 1 cliff face.

Board 2 - Not really worked out as of yet, this is up in the air and may be fairly plain overall.

Board 3 - A level one board with recessed dry riverbed, complete with a large Wraithbone bridge around 8" in width. The riverbed itself leading into an underground cave.

Board 4 - A giant Eldar Mosaic, with magnets placed at certain points to allow "Snap in" structures. More specifically, Webway gates of 30" and 8" in height - yes, large enough to allow a Phantom through, amongst other "up in the air" concepts.

Boards 5 & 6 - A level 1 to 3 in height board (with a substantially high ridge at the back) reminiscent of the giant rock spire/canyons seen in the US. Basically level 1 and 2, with a very high level 3 viewpoint at the top - perfect as a ridge for Flyers to come over during their bombing runs.

So that should give a rough idea of the boards, however there are of course a few Eldar terrain pieces being discussed (as mentioned in the previous update regarding this commission). The good news is the "resin" portal for the Webway gates is doable, something which i'll be keen on seeing!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

... Quick update & promos...

Well this week certainly has been eventful!

Luke & Adam over at The Sound of Machines, have been busily working away at getting my Jetbikes (Warlocks, Shining Spears) sorted out, along with a handful of Spirit Seers - Expect piccies in the next few days or so. Luke has also generously offered to do up a wargaming table for regular play that I intend to store at work (for Pizza/Beer nights). One of the lads (Rob H) from back in my home state has also offered to part with three tables worth of terrain for these games - which should see us have buckets of variety! You might say the standard gaming stuff is now sorted out :)

*Plug - If you would like to meet the boys in person or discuss commissions, they will be out at the Grand Opening for Game Traders this weekend at Penrith (see image below);

Meanwhile, in the Northern Hemisphere, Navin over at PaintedFigs.com has had his colleague Anuruddha working on a Dire Avenger sample. Anuruddha is the lad that did the Warp Spider and Fire Dragon samples that I pretty much approved on sight, so i'm looking forward to seeing what he has put together. Also, the Jes Goodwin Jetbike sculpts turned up, so in the next couple of months we may see the sample images of those as well, I have it on good authority that the resin used was the best Navin has ever seen with hardly any cleanup required at all - stay tuned!

Oh and the Warp Spiders and Fire Dragons are on their way home as well - I seriously need to start thinking about foam trays to store these guys in pronto.

Also up North, on a different continent, my good mate Fireman Dave (Yes ladies, he's a Fireman, hold onto your panties though, he's taken) is in packing mode to ship the recent Eldar goodies (and Limited Edition books) Down Under. Big props to you lad :)

Closer to home, Vincent (aka Duskfrost) has just advised me the Scibor scenic bases have turned up, so expect an Avatar and Wraithseer mounted on those bad boys around the end of the year.

I have to throw in a plug for Back to Base-ix having their 50% off sale this week only on acrylic flying stands. They include the magnets as well if anyone is interested in popping over. I splashed out given it was an all in one solution with a choice of plastic colours (I still went clear). The Universe must have been listening as I was browsing their products on Saturday, only to find out this gem following day or so. Life savers indeed. The promo code is facebook001 used at checkout.

At this point it also looks like the Brass Scorpion is in the lead for the Phantom Titan scenic base project, so get your votes in before the timer clocks out :)

The previous poll results have also indicated you want pretty pictures, and pretty pictures you shall have - just need a few days until Adam's Jetbikes are sorted out and the goodies from Sri Lanka arrive... squee indeed.

Monday, 16 September 2013

... Commissioned Custom Eldar Table...

Today I heard back from Elliot at Custom Terrain with regard to a completely Eldar themed table and matching scenery. From the sounds of things, Elliot has been keen to do an Eldar themed set for some time, which was music to my ears. So what did we talk about you ask? Well we are still nutting out the details, but here is the gist;

1. Theme - Being a desert/desolate former Maiden World now turned to dust (perfect for my Warhost to pick through in their search for goodies of the past). Currently it looks to be eight 2x2 feet sections, which may just expand to 12 sections (given the size of the Warhost that has to fit on it!).

2. Table - The general theme was akin to a desert with patches of sand (small nodes blown/formed by the wind) with parts of Eldar Wraithbone mosaics sticking through where the sand/dirt has been blown clear by passing wind. Along with the odd Wraithbone shards and/or spires poking through for good measure. A recessed meeting point was also discussed in the email reply, so we shall see what Elliot thinks. I sent him this photo as an example of what I was looking for theme wise on the board.

*Note: Naturally, credit to the artist who created this artwork - it truly is inspiring.

3. Terrain pieces - I've passed on examples of the Dawn of War II Eldar buildings as their aesthetic was very pleasing to the eye and shows a true polished Wraithbone accent to the design. This is something i've not been able to find ANYWHERE on the internet (photograph wise). I've asked for Webway gates with open resin/water effect portals - yes this isn't a half measures thing we're talking about.

Of course, as I like the artist to have some say, i've asked for Elliot's thoughts about what he feels can be done for the remaining pieces (where i've provided references and linked this blog). It's only fair that if the poor bugger is doing all the work he gets to have fun with it in the process!

Stay tuned for updates as this unfolds, i'm really looking forward to seeing how this all goes.

... Eldar Aegis & Quad Turret...

Almost forgot this little gem. For those of you out looking for an Eldar styled Aegis barrier and matching quad turret that has the same dimensions as the Imperial versions (without breaking the army theme), Mr.Dandy over at Wargamma has created the following;

Of course, Mr.Dandy also does sets for the other races as well (I picked up a Tyranids set at the same time).

Thursday, 12 September 2013

... Shining Spears & Jetbike Warlocks Underway!...

The boys (Luke & Adam) over at The Sound of Machines have been pretty busy lately. One thing that boggles the mind is how fast they can churn the miniatures out!

As you're all aware (ok, maybe not), Sunday just passed I dropped a bunch of Non-GW Shining Spears and Jetbike Warlocks over to Luke (amongst other things *wink wink, nudge nudge*). What I didn't anticipate was how quickly they've jumped into the squads - The lads are working on a bucketload of Space Marines as well, so perhaps it just helps break things up a tad.

Yesterday Luke posted these piccies up for all to see, however I thought i'd drop them here to showcase how quickly they get stuck into their work - and lovely work it is indeed from what I can see.

First up, Jetbike Warlocks (with a few Spirit Seers in the background who will join the Warlocks);

And the Shining Spears;

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

... Dilema - Titan Scenic Base...

Given the first of eight Titans begins construction in November over at The Sound of Machines, it got me thinking about what to do regarding scenic bases for such grand Warmachines.

I've decided that each should have their own somewhat unique base, with the natural choices being of the following races;

*Note: All images below are copyright of Games Workshop and Forgeworld respectively. They are only shown here for illustrative purposes to assist with visualising how they may look torn asunder at the base of an Eldar Titan ;)

1. Chaos - Reaver (or Warhound) Titan parts scattered on the base, Brass Scorpion STOMPED into the ground.

2. Necrons - Monolith or Tesseract sliced apart, Pylon cleaved in two.

3. Nids - Heirophant mulched into the ground

4. Imperial Armour Super Heavy Tanks - Sliced and diced... but which one?

5. Imperial/Chaos Thunderhawk - You get the gist...

Commissioned Artists - Guide to a smooth transaction...

As you're all aware, I deal with four different commissioned artists/studios. As such, I thought it would be a good opportunity to pass on some wisdom i've obtained through the last year.

Here are some things you should know prior to engaging an artist/studio;

1. Have an idea or scheme in your own mind as to what you want. If you can, collect reference photos as this will greatly assist in the artist realising your "dream".

2. Have a budget in mind, however keep it realistic. Artists have to make a living, and as such you shouldn't expect they be paid as slaves.

3. Look at an artists examples, ask them what they cost to give you an idea of what you could be in for cost wise. This will give you an idea of what to expect for your cash.

4. If you're looking to have an entire army painted (and you believe their prices reflect your budget adequately), ask if they do full army rates. Most artists will oblige as they can mass paint lots/squads etc (time economy for them works out in everyone's favour).

5. Obtain a rough timeline at the time of quotation, if you're in a rush to get an army painted, you will want to know if it is feasible. Nothing worse than watching the face of an artist turn white after you've paid in full then start screaming about how the army needs to be ready for a tournament in X weeks time. Save someone the heart attack.

Things to keep in mind as work begins;

1. Provide all details (build requirements, paint schemes, themes, reference art etc)

2. Agree on a payment scheme (typically half up front - they need to eat!)

3. Agree on checkpoint times - Perhaps a once a week email to update on progress (don't expect updates every day - that just gets bloody annoying!)

4. Ask for test samples to validate the scheme of a squad/army/etc before mass painting begins. The last thing you want is to have the miniatures come out looking nothing like you had imagined. It also saves the artist's sanity and feeling bad for failing to meet your expectations.

5. Keep changes to a minimal once given the go ahead. Do not bombard your commissioned artist/studio with 1001 change requests or requests for updates. This will only end up more costly for you and likely end what could be a good business relationship.

At project finalisation;

1. Ask for photos of the finished goods, so you too can (from a distance) double check any misses in detail - having to send back miniatures costs a bit postage wise for corrections.

2. Once happy with the results, pay the full amount owed in a timely manner. Ever looked forward to pay day and found you've been missed? That's how an artist feels as well - boiled rice for dinner next fortnight isn't an empowering thought.

3. Thank the artist for their efforts, tell them what you liked (and didn't like if applicable). If they are professional, they will appreciate the feedback to improve their skills. Positive motivations keep them in the business and happy to take any future work you may wish to throw their way.

4. Tell your friends - these guys are usually solo or part of small business, lets keep them employed by churning out top notch work!

I hope this helps some of you in managing expectations.

Monday, 9 September 2013

... Monday - A bad Omen in anyone's book...

Ok, a little detour thismorning from the normal schedule of things. A bit of a rant, if you will.

For those of you in other parts of the world, Australia recently elected a new Prime Minister, by the name of Tony Abbott. We have a similar setup to the US, in that there are two major parties who promise the world, when really they're just selling us garbage in the hope we buy it to satisfy their shareholders (aka the big boys financing them). All fun and games, which makes the start to my day kinda disturbing.

My other half and I were waiting for our regular train, when as it pulls up, not 1.5m from us (or about 4.5 feet) the doors to the train open, a man stands in the doorway... unzips his fly, pisses all over the platform, the door threshold and himself to an extent, says "Soooorryyyyy"... and steps back inside just as the doors close, with the train pulling away from the station. My other half, pissing herself laughing in disblief and myself wondering if our new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has a twin (who likes to wear hoodies). We caught the next train, avoiding the puddle left behind.

Perhaps it was an Omen, who knows...

What I do know, is that in the next month there will be some gorgeous miniatures arrive in the form of Warp Spiders and Fire Dragons from Sri Lanka that were posted end of last week. Adding to that, a bunch of Non-GW Jetbikes (Shining Spears and Warlocks), a Phoenix Bomber and some Spirit Seers from The Sound of Machines and some pretty hi-def style HQ units from Vincent down in Adelaide.

That reminds me... Must send off the rune to be painted on the Avatar's loincloth!

Below, the reference image by Broken Blade in the UK that I sent to Vincent as a guide to what i'm chasing paint wise ;) naturally with the black/tiger striping on the loincloth and rune attached.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

... TSoM Visit & Shadow Spectres MKII...

Well i've just arrived home after a visit to Luke over at The Sound of Machines, with good news no less!

The visit was a two-parter, to drop off and pick up (with a little discussion). Credit to my other half who was interested to a point - i'm sure I now owe her an outing haha. Shoe shopping here I come eh?

I'll start with what was dropped off;

1x Phantom Titan - with Distort Cannon, Star Pulsar and Titan Close Combat Weapon
1x Phoenix Bomber - this is to be used as the guinea pig for how the Titan's paint job will come up
4x Spirit Seers
10x Jetbike Warlocks - The Russian sculpts
27x Shining Spears - Also of the Russian variety
... Plus a bunch of Armorcast Cinematic pieces for use as "Turbine" flames

After a bit of discussion as to how the job should be tackled, we settled on the general theme for each unit and how it would be broken down (between Luke and Adam).

So, just what did I pick up?

46x Warlocks
12x Jetbike Warlocks
30x Harlequins
12x Shadow Spectres

Some of you may recall I asked Luke if he would be cool with darkening the red armour on the Shadow Spectres - That he certainly did, and let's just say i'm chuffed with the results!

My lighting is a bit rubbish, however from the following shots, you will get the general idea;

And one with a flash, although I don't think it worked out too well...

Saturday, 7 September 2013

... And a Craftworld is born...

After much mucking about with Elven/Eldar language guides, twisting and contorting words etc etc, finally a bloody Craftworld name has been settled upon. Oh and i've officially got the shits over farting about with vector graphics.

... Craftworld Dras'Volharr - The constituents of course named the Dras'Volharrii.

A small play on words here, loosely translating as "Shadow Wind", I felt the army epitomises fast - so I felt it a fitting name given the swift and elusive nature of the Craftworld.

And the rune? Well I like triangles, alot... I think it has something to do with playing a crapload of Zelda based games through my youth. Honestly, I had to keep myself at bay or a Triforce may have ended up being thrown in somewhere. This is of course a draft, although i'm pretty content with it, just wish I could have given the "S" part more of a calligraphy look (like smoke or a flame).

Friday, 6 September 2013

... Prototype Jetbikes enroute...

I've just had confirmation that the Prototype Jetbikes are enroute to be painted en-mass. So whilst I await the Dire Avenger test sample (to approve mass painting of the little buggers), these guys will shortly follow up - after the Swooping Hawks and GW Shining Spears are also sorted out.

Thankfully, with Finnan's (from Dakkadakka) blessing, I was able to pinch his colour scheme used - as it uses the same palette currently in effect. Credit of the images below goes to Finnan of course ;)

In short, imagine the following, except with blue/green gems, bone coloured shuriken catapults and a tiger striped pattern on the canopy;

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

... What was old, now renewed...

Ahhh, this takes me back to the old days. Happened to stumble across my old tournament list from back in 2006, just prior to the 4th Edition Codex release. This bit of InDesign work was almost lost to me, as I couldn't track down the PDF. Given the organisers of the tournament have the other copy (there were only two made), this is all I have left to remember the nights of messing about until I got this sucker right.

I even managed to track down the lad who did the Saim Hann Craftworld art on the front cover, requesting his permission to use it in this book - Thankfully he was enthusiastic about its use as I was! Yes I was very proud of it, and thankfully my workplace at the time didn't mind me using the photo quality print paper!

Sorry this isn't as good as some of the cheeky Codex scans out there :P

... Scenic bases chosen (and on their way!)...

After mucking about looking for decent "Eldar-ish" scenic bases, i've settled on Scibors offering and purchased enough of the following to cover all HQ models being sent down to Vincent.

I bought one each of the 60mm offerings, however i'm not sure which one would suit the best (regarding the Avatar and Wraithseer). Both have to be mounted on 60mm bases, although I did have some image of the Wraithseer posed with a hand on the spire in the first large base image (with the pointy column). As if peering around the side, searching.

Personally, I think Scibor should do an oval sized base for the Wraithknights... I can really see them looking sensational on that scenery. Let me know what you think!