The 11th Company 40K Podcast

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Eldar Bastion

One of my pet peeves is the lack of Xenos terrain. Xenos fortications are currently lacking as well. Creatively, they can be asset to battlefield both in protection units from withering fire and a great looking display on the table
One the hardest to duplicate is Eldar signature design. The Imperial Bastion is a big block of human might, while the Eldar are all about wispy compound curves. So when Alan asked to make him an Eldar Bastion in 10 days, I knew I was in for a challenge
Step 1: I found one of many Eldar templates and with some late night inguinity realized I can use it back to back to simulate an Eldar tower support. Notice I use "x" to remind myself where to cut out areas

Step 2: Just like the Center LoS Blocker I did for the 11th Company GT (which is Nov 8-9 at the Murriels Inlet Mall in Myrtle Beach, SC this year) I chose to carve a slot down the middle & create an X pattern to provide structure, strength, and frame to work with

Step 3: If you are looking at this and saying to yourself, "That looks really tall" you would be right. This thing towered of the Imperial Bastion. Since this would be used for Tournament play, I made some changes to keep it as close to the Imperial Bastion dimensions to avoid any modeling for advantage rants

Step 4: I knew I need a way to clearly demonstrate Fire Points, Entry Points, and where the heavy bolters are.I found these foam eggs at the local chain craft store. They were a pain to cut & sand, but they added the necessary girth to my spindly tower without losing the Eldar look. I varied the number I put on each side to reflect the correct number of Fire Points

Step 5: Adding a battlement. Where did I get that cool texture foam? Grcoery store. I asked the meat packing department if I can have one before raw meat touches it. Sometimes saying please is all you need

Step 6: Adding the wall around the battlement started with a block of foam that I cut to the size of floor. I then used a plunge tool to cut out the middle section.

Not bad, just a little too pink

Step 7: Base coat with Behr Airy, closest I can find to Bleached Bone

Step 8: Airbrushed Mournfang brown into the recesses, and Menoth highlight on all the corners. still not sure if I want to add a base put deadline is looming. (Behind the scenes trivia: that is same desk where I record with the guys every week for our podcast)

As always, comments and suggestion are always welcome.

Some suggestions I would add:
  • lots of Eldar players like the ruined look, so adding vines and ivy is great way to inject some color into this.
  • I didn't have the bits, but 4 Shurkien Catapults would have been great to say "Heavy Bolters"
  • If I were to add a base,was would extend the entry point in the back to make a warp gate like look using water effects and transparency film

Thursday, September 18, 2014

40K across the USA part #1. How do you build an army for 8 GTs?

Hello every one! Allan here with a question for do you go about building an army for 7-8 GTs?

I plan on attending these tournaments in the next couple of months:

Brawl in the Fall (Fresno Ca) Oct 4th-5th
Feast of Blades (Denver Co) Oct 10th-12th
Adepticon Primer (Milwaukee WI) Oct 18th
Mechanicon (Philadelphia PA) Oct 24th-25th
Anything on the East Coast Nov 1st and 2nd?
11th Co GT (Myrtle Beach SC) Nov 8th-9th
Da Boyz GT (Rochester NY) Nov 15-16th
Renegade GT (Minneapolis MN) Nov 22nd-23rd

So here are some things that you have to take into account when building your army:

They will have have very different missions from BAO format, to Nova Missions, to the new Adepticon missions, book missions, and new made up missions.

First off they are not all being run at the same points limit. Brawl in the Fall is 1750 points and the Feast of Blades is 1500. After the first two tournaments, everything east of the Mississippi River is 1850 points which makes it easier.

Some are not allowing Come the Apocalypse allies.

DetachmentsCADs and formations are all a mess. Each one is all over the map as to what you can take, and in what numbers. Some allow double CAD, some are 2 sources only, some are allowing you to self ally, etc.

Forge world

Some are allowing it, and some are dipping there toes in with limits, and some are still banning it.

Some are restricting what units you can take, and some are opening Pandora's box. Feast of Blades and Mechanicon are going full escalation (Hello Transcendent C'Tan!).

So how does one build an army to compete with all of those rules and restrictions?

The answer is:
#1. You don't
#2. You can't
#3. It is way too much work

So what you have to do is use the KISS principle and keep it simple.

Instead of doing a ton of research breaking down every mission (which i never do anyways), and read thought all of the different army construction guidelines to figure out what the optimal build is for each tournament, I will just have to build an army around the most restrictive rules for all of them and just have some fun.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Imperial Bridge Display Board

A lot of my customers have a clear idea what they want. Other give me an idea and we work together to come up with a completed idea. This is one of those collaborations. What started as "something Imperial" turned out to be something really cool for Texas Games Con. The basic idea was an Imperial City overlooking a large bridge, where the army would parade across the bridge. I apologize in advance I do not have as many "in progress" pictures as I was on a tight deadline to get this done.
For large projects like this, save come cash by using the cheaper foam for support and use the good stuff for visible areas
I put the bridge on a steep angle so to maximize usable space for the models, since all the wood area would be water

The stone work in the arches is all done with an etching tool. The Gothic look of buttresses helps with constructing the back building. Each of the those walls is a slot the slides together so the whole back building is collapsible for travel. I noticed the floor was still crooked and could not support even plastic models so I added supports underneath. For scale, that is Deathwing Terminator Model on the bridge

Here is your big tip: see all those fancy pillars between the arches & the railings? That is all molding from Home Depot. Instant detail at low prices. Base coat everything with Behr Deep Space, even the bottom of the bridge arches. I then dry brush with a lighter grey color. The foam has enough texture to simulate stone. 

Add some weathering

Time to add the water. If I use the usual water effects, I would need to wall off the entire board. No Thank You. Instead, I used Gloss Medium, a crappy brush, and applied using a stippling technique (ie dabbing up and down perpendicular to the board instead of wide strokes). This creates these cool waves. I used a grey gravel to create a beach to show a barrier between the building & the water. Dries in about 24 hours!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ork Junkyard Display Board

It would only be appropriate to do something ork-related with the new codex release. Here is a display board I did for Texas Games Con using a Mek Junkyard theme
To get a the ork look, I needed some reference material. I found a technical drawing of an Ork Kroozer, which I blew up and printed out to use as floor for our riser

Getting this design onto the foam is not as tricky as it seems. First I position the template on the foam. I then use a ball point pen and trace each and every line.

This leaves a light indentation
I then use an etching tool on each of the lines to give the detail needed to stand out

Assembling the parts: I used an electrical junction box for the taller shed. The black lower shed is packing from a Fried Chicken dinner at WalMart. The ramp is a roller attachment found at Home Depot. Pipes on the right are submerged into the foam to serve as a guardrail to keep models from falling off

Base Coats

Weathering and flocking. To create the scrap piles in the corners, I used a mixture of chopped up sprues and a rust colored gravel

Add Backdrop and we are complete! Waaaagh!

Swamp Display Board

It is not often I dabble in the Warhammer Fantasy Battles, I haven't played since 6th edition and have sold by Lizardmen, Dark Elves, & mishmash of Chaos and Beastmen. That said I have always had a soft spot for Skaven, which I use as my Hrud infantry (counts as Kroot). I have also been itching to take another shot a swamp terrain after doing a segment on a swampy Zone Mortalis boards. So when I had a request to do a Skaven Swamp themed display board. I was ready to go.
The riser section was cut from 1/2" insulation. I cut out a series puddles to add to the swamp feel

The lower section was a challenge. If I used foam again, it would be too deep, but I need some edge to show that this area is raised above the water. I found cork board sold in large sheets which worked great. In hindsight, I would have cut them up into several small pieces as large pieces like this curl when painted

Skaven armies tend to be large in model count. Whenever 2' by 2' if not enough for your army, adding a second level to a display board is both practical and cinematic way to get more space. To keep in theme of our swamp, I used insulation again to make a worn down boardwalk that would go over the swamp. I used an etching tool to simulate wood planks & nail holes 

Base coats done with Behr Deep Space

Time to add some green. First I did the actually board.It was real easy to practice wet blending when you 4 square feet to work with. Then repeated the technique on the foam & cork. Foam unsanded has a fair amount of texture, so don't be afraid to dry brush for effect. Lastly I painted the middle of each puddle darker to give the illusion of depth once we add the water effects later

Rotten wood is often grey with black & green mold. I should know from staining my deck for 14 years. I later added green flock for a more texture look to the decaying wood. The holes were cut with my plunge tool. This is a great trick. It gives a place to put my fingers during assembly. The holes are small enough so a figure won't fall through, but big enough so people can see the models underneath

Using some scraps of foam I constructed the pillar for the boardwalk. The key was to get the height correct so models could easily fit underneath but still have a enough support to hold models (even metal ones) on top

This may come as a shock: I am not a fan of the water effects. The old school mixing of two resins was always messy. The newer solutions still require a flat, level surface and to dam the areas to prevent overflow. With the small lip in the foreground, this was a recipe for disaster. Instead I used Glossy Medium that you apply with a brush. It worked great except for one thing: swamp water doesn't have waves. So I used a spackling knife to create flat water. Later I added my favorite Dead Fall Flock to make our swamp a little less neat.

Added a swampy backdrop and we are complete

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Return to the Craftworld

It is not often in life that you get a do over. Opportunities like this should be cherished. I was happy with the results of last year's Tactical Terrain board with the Eldar Craftworld theme. But I always thought I could do better, as the design of the board had several starts and stops. In the end the final product you saw at the 11th Company GT (Veteran's Day Weekend and the Clarion Conference Center in Myrtle Beach, SC) was the 3rd concotion of the board.

So when someone asked me to build one for them, my first reaction was "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" After a moment of collection, I thought the design part is done, I can focus on execution this time. So in the end I completed another Craftworld. Much like George Lucas, I simply added a few extra Stormtroopers and Jawas but kept the basic idea intact.
I started with the tried and true stencil. It was cool, but it lacked something
I experimented and finally settled on this idea. Originally I was going to cut the dark sections out, but this made the Gate too flimsy. I opted instead to etched the outlines to break of the flat areas
For the Center Piece, I kept the original design but altered the platform. The old ones were a simple circle, so I added some flare by using part of hill template to create a more interesting look
Looking back at some of my source material, I realized I missed an opportunity to add some detail to these wide flat areas, notably the triangle pattern around the warp gate
Base Coat is applied
With a little more time I was able to spend more concentration on the paint job. I airbrushed (instead of a frantic drybrush) a layer of brown followed by a layer of black, leaving the brown still peaking through
I continue the paint theme here as well. I really hated that hole in the middle, so I changed it
Using a piece of MDF, I painted a black area where the hole would be. But I could do more
A quick search of the internet I was able to find 4 different Eldar Icons. I printed them out on frisket (fancy world for 8.5 by 11" sheet of painters tape) and cut out the designs. Learn from my mistake: don't do this on a windy day
Put the board in place, but don't glue it yet
Find the right spot and attach your stencil
With the airbrush I spray a lightning pattern using a 50/50 mix of white and reducer
Then go back over the white areas with Transparent Blue to finish the look
Remove the stencil and the glyph is floating in a plasma storm
Final Look once the foam is glued to the MDF
So I hope you enjoyed. Here is an example that repeating a project doesn't need to be boring. Even after doing this a second time I came with more ideas to add but time to move on to new ideas

Leave your comments below and thanks for listening to the show