Monday, November 30, 2009

Adeptus Mechanicus Guardsman tutorial

I have been building an Adeptus Mechanicus army for several years now. It first started for use with a home grown Adeptus Mechanicus codex put together by Tim Huckleberry of GW fame. The codex was ( and still is) a work in progress. Some units ended up needing to have weapons changed as the codex evolved so I came up with a system that would let me easily change around weapon options. Some of the local players aren't too keen on home grown army lists so I set up my AdMech to play as an Imperial Guard army too. This was back during the third edition of Warhammer 40k and you needed three squads to field a basic guard army. The first two squads were for an infantry platoon with two squads and the third squad was for an armored fist squad. It was a basic army but before I finished the first three squads the 4th edition guard codex came out and brought us army doctrines. I latched onto chem inhalers and cybernetic enhancements. These two really embodied the Admech force was building. A bunch of drug charged cybernetic servitors walking into the enemies guns.
It prompted me to finish the conversions for a full army and then play the worst game of 40k I had played until then and since. I fielded my fully painted and 95% converted army against a unpainted optimized tournament army. By games end, my army was wiped out to the last model. While in return, I had managed to stun my opponents dreadnought and that was it. I didn't kill a single model and was wiped out. Back to the drawing board and the conversion table. I sacrificed a chunk of my Catachan army to reengineer them into the Admech force adding more special and heavy weapons. I added more tanks and still lost more than I won but was able to at least give my opponents a run for their money.
Then came the newest Imperial Guard codex and the latest growth of my Admech army. I love the new Guard codex. It has finally given guard players the tools to make other players fear playing a guard army instead of of thinking "easy win" when they see Guard across the table.
Enough history, here is a tutorial on how I build my Adeptus Mechanicus Guardsmen.

First I start by assembling a basic Catachan legs and torso. I then round up a plastic gift card and break out my standard paper hole punch. I then punch out as many discs as I need for the current project. Then I glue one disc to each left arm on the torso. This will be the base of the weapon arm.
A group shot of the current set of reinforcements.
Then drill holes in the neck area of the torso and and the center of the disc. Glue a piece of wire in the disc's hole leaving about 4mm or so exposed.
To prep the head I carve down the neck to a point to make the join easier in the torso. I prefer to use space marine or chaos space marine bald heads with rebreathers but have used different heads as long as they have some bionic bits on them.
Use a hobby knife to slowly carve out the neck in the torso using the pilot hole previously drilled there. I basically put the point of the knife in the drill hole and turn the knife so it leaves a cone shaped hole.
I dry fit the head and the cavity in the torso so that the head will set more natural. Sometimes I have to either carve the hole larger or whittle the neck down to get it to set right. Then put a bit of plastic cement in the hole and set the head in. If you did it right it should set right but usually I have to go back and add a bit of green stuff to fill some of the gaps.
Next add the weapon rail. Take a piece of 2.5mm styrene rod and cut it into 5mm sections. Drill a hole in one end and then glue it onto the wire glued into the shoulder disc. The 5mm length is fine for lasguns but I have had to vary the length to fit various weapons.

This is the cut down Catachan lasgun. Remove the stock and pistol grip and smooth down the cuts.
Before adding the weapon I trim the back off of a space marine bike wheel hub cap and then glue it to the end of the styrene rod.
Then I glue on the cut down lasgun to the rod, completing the weapon mount. I use superglue for this join. This gives me the option of changing the model's weapon. Over the years and through three codex rewrites I have had to reequip several models and the superglue allows an easier break than plastic cement.

Here is a view of the half way completed guardsman.

The claw arm is made from the Catachan arm carrying a lasgun by the handle. I cut the hand off a little above the knuckles and then square the stump off.

Then glue the cut down arm on and leave it set up.

While waiting for the arms to cure, I start cutting out the basic claw components from styrene strips. I need two strips of 0.8mm x 1.5mm 5mm in length and two strips of 1mm x 2mm 3mm in length. This takes a while but I usually knock the strips in batches so I can assemble a few and let the glue cure while I work on the next batch.

I sort the strips and pair up a set of two 1mm x 2mm and two 0.8mm x 1.5mm strips. One thing to be said about tools, I use two sets of tweezers. The pair pictured is a set of spring tweezers I use to hold one of the 1mm x 2mm strips. Then trim the corners off of the two 0.8mm x 1.5mm strips. I put a drop of plastic cement on the base strip and then use a second set of tweezers to place the trimmed strips on to the glue. I place the trimmed corner against each other and then use the tweezers to press the two strips flat. The trimmed corners give the angle for the claw. I then ad another drop of cement on top of the trimmed strips and add the remaining 1mm x 2mm strip on top. I then press the top strip down and slide the claw out of the tweezers. I set the claw aside and adjust the pieces to get them level before the glue sets.
A completed basic claw.

After the claw has set I glue it to the stump of the Catachan arm. Sometimes the arm has to be trimmed down and/or be filed to get it level. Once the join has cured I go back and trim down the corners of the claw to make it look more like a pincer.

An almost complete trooper.

The sixteen new reinforcements, almost ready to roll off the assembly line and bolster the Adeptus Mechanicus legions.

The final touch is a band of green stuff to finish off the claw. Once this is painted up it will look like the mount grafted on to the arm's stump.

Here is a completed Guardsman ready to be painted.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

GameOnGw Games Day

On 14Nov09 I attended the GameOnGw Gamesday at The Cage gaming space in High Point, NC. I took my Mordheim Tilean war band and some of my Pulp figures to possibly use in ChuckarooBob's planned Great War game. I packed everything the night before and was halfway to the Cage when I realized I had left my camera so sorry no pictures.
I chatted with the lads until Chuckaroo showed. I got the Italian paratrooper light machine gunners and another Italian paratrooper heavy machine gunners Chuckarro had picked up for me at Fall In. We set up and then played a rousing game of Great War ran by him. It was early war with the Brits verses the Turks. It was a meeting engagement were but the Brit made it to cover and stayed so us Turks had to root them out. I controlled a Turkish company and 2 machine guns. I moved up, set the machine guns and manage to decrew the only British Field gun but then had a platoon of Turks decimated by British grenadiers. My commander charged in to slay the Grenadiers and killed several before the British command charged in and killed him. The Grenadiers went on to charge my two machine guns while the British command watched them go. The last grenadier destroyed one of the machine guns but died in his attempt. British cavalry arrived behind the turkish positions but were beaten off in a vicious close combat. This I left the Turks with a Marginal victory. Chuckaroo played another Great War game but I broke out the Mordheim figures for a couple games.
My first game was against Mike and his Dwarf band. I helped him get his band together and then we played an ambush scenario were by band was spread out all over the table and some off table while Mikes's dwarfs showed up on a random table edge. They showed on an edge near one of my warriors and were in combat by the second turn. Mike proceeded to rapidly put three of my models out of action and I had to start taking rout tests. the dwarfs are just tough as nails and I had to get lucky to put one down. What followed was about an hour of hard core Mordheim, with me making more than sixteen rout tests before I finally failed and bolted.
The next game was a four player game using the pool Scenario. There was a pool with a pile of wyrdstone shards in it in the middle of the table. The goal is to search the pool get the shards and get back off of the table. I took the honor less dog approach and jumped the closet war band, which was Shaun W's Reiklanders, while my heroes made a dash for the pool and searched for shards. I put several of Shaun's guys down and he ended up routing off the table. I found three of the possible six shards and decided that was good enough and left the table so the last two players could fight over what was left.
I had a great time at the games day and look forward to the next one.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Apoc-Eclipse at The TechShop

The Battle begins with The Xenos Attackers taking the first turn.
My stroke of genius, deep striking my vypers, ended with two destroyed by Interceptor guns and one mishap destroying the third one.
A scatter into difficult terrain but it survived.
Imperial backfield with a defence in depth, or they ran out of room to put models.
The Eldar air force buzzes the tower.
My pathfinders before,
And after.
Ulthwe farseers deploy their wraith gate. On a hobby note the wraith gate is made from one half of a 2007 Lifesaver Christmas ornament ball, painted black.
The Manta moves in
the Harlequin jetbikes arrive from the titan mover to storm the Starport.
The Phantom titans arrive via the activated titan mover.
Close Up of the three Amigos.
The Harlequins attack the Dark Angels devastator squad.
The Cloud Strike squadron in the Imperial back field.
The Tau Flying Circus
The Shadow Sword before,
And after the concentrated Xenos fire, with a Coup de gras by A Tempest tank.
Gap left in Imperial defensive line and Space marines after round of heavy Xenos fire.
Star Dragon sees the field for the first time.
Overview from the Imperial side.
Imperial Left flank defenses all but destroyed.
The Wraith lords attack the Star port and put it out of action.
Robert's Reavers buzzed by a Night wing.
Reaver Targets the Dark Phantom.
The Thunderhawk arrives and target the Tempest tank.
The Titanium Duke warhound reinforces the Imperial left.
Baharroth's tempest arrives at the feet of a Reaver titan.
The Harlequins assault the Dark Angels Masters of the Chapter.
Ground view from the Xenos side.
The Harlequins continue to whittle down the Dark Angels masters of the Chapter

The surviving Harlequin troupe master.
The Dark Angels Death Knell formation lands on the star port to contest the objective.
Tau Manta overflies the warhounds Titanium Duke and Strontium Dog
End game Imperial left.

The worst dice roll in the game. Steve rolled seven ones to wound with a heavy flamer shot.

Unfortunately the game was called at the end of the third turn When we realized that there wouldn't be enough time for a full fourth turn. So this ended with an Imperial win. I was a little disappointed but i had a good time and saw a bunch of really amazing models.

Some highlights were the Tempests bagging a shadow sword and both surviving their first time on the field, The Phantom titan burning up a whole bunch of space marines and the Ulthwe farseer surviving everything the imperial could throw at them and only losing one model. Some bad highlight was the vyper scattering off table. the Solitaire not making it to the table because of deep strike mishap and the Harlequin bikers killed in the explosion after the wraithlords destroyed the star port.

I can't wait for the next one tentatively planned for March 2010.