Archive for ‘Khador’

August 2, 2010

Old Witch Progress, If You Call This Progress

by Nate Birkholz

I’ve been as busy as a colorful simile lately at work, and have had little time for blogging or painting. In the interest of correcting both oversights, tonight I made time to do another pass on The Old Witch’s cloak.

I started with another coat of dark blue, as the first coat did not result in uniform coverage. Fortunately, I had taken extra care with the initial pass around the boiler and didn’t need to coax a brush into those areas again. Next I mixed white 2:1 with the blue and drybrushed across the wrinkes of the fabric. Unfortunately, the results came out a bit…feathery, and didn’t have quite the effect I was going for.  I am sure I did at least three things wrong, but I am not entirely certain what those things are. Perhaps I should have just picked out the peaks individually with a dry-ish number zero brush instead:

I think I’m struggling with a number of factors — the amount of paint to have on the brush, the proper size of the brush for the task, and the angle of the brush. The cloak here has a lot of gentle topography in some areas, a lot of wrinkles in other areas, and both helped contribute to the troubles I had.

Onward and upwards, however.

Next I mixed Badab Black and Asurmen Blue Citadel washes about 50/50, loaded up a brush, and washed the heck out of the cloak to flatten out the highlight and deepen the shadows:

This did smooth out some of the transitions, and made the feathering less obvious. Next I will do another highlight: this time I think I’ll definitely get the brush even more dry, and I will try using a larger brush at a nearly perpendicular angle on the lower parts of the cloak to make it glide over the high points more.

I also painted the topmost exhaust pipes with a thinned copper. I will wash these with brown, then add streaks of black wash coming down from the top. I will follow these with verdigris at the base of the pipes, and finish with a black drybrushing at the tops of the exhausts.

July 16, 2010

Cloaked in Midnight

by Nate Birkholz

I am very busy at work right now, but I added another wash and highlight on The Old Witch’s tunic and skirt, then I did the initial basecoat on her cloak. I wanted to tie her overall appearance into her “crow” theme, so I decided to paint her cloak as a midnight blue, here’s hoping it will end up achieving the desired effect.

It was remarkably arduous to get into all the little crevices and through all the detailed sections where the cloak loops around or under other elements of the model. Trying to angle the brush between her arms and deposit the paint in tiny nooks and crannies without slopping onto finished portions of my paint job was similarly difficult. I am starting to wish I had painted her before assembling her, and dealt with the hassle of assembling painted pieces instead.

I might try to highlight the tunic more.

The blue had some trouble covering the white primer uniformly, so I'll add a second coat.

The sash is going to be red, as are the shoulder pads.

I have started using these giant bottles of spice from Walmart as paint handles. I buy the bottles (for 50 cents, mind you), dump out the spices, and half fill them with gravel from the parking lot for weight. I stick the figures to the top with poster tack. This has been working very well for both priming and painting, far better than using old paint bottles as I had done before. Of course, for years I just held the base and then had to touch up the paint on the toes of their boots, but…

The size is really good for all the Warmachine base sizes.

July 15, 2010

Perhaps I’ll Just Back Away, Smiling and Nodding…

by Nate Birkholz

…which is an understandable response when meeting a madman, a madman like the Butcher of Khardov!

The first of the two Khador lists I am considering is led by the warcaster Orsus Zoktavir, the Butcher of Khardov–also known as the pButcher, or alternatively as OMG HE’S GOT A GIANT AXE AND IS COMING RIGHT AT ME (to his friends). As I noted elsewhere, I feel like the pButcher and his Full Throttle spell leverage the inherent fun to be found in fielding lots of great stompy, steamy magical robots, but I am concerned that his playstyle might be a little one-note in the long term, and he does not seem well-suited for scenario play.

I started originally with a list founded upon a fully-loaded Winterguard Deathstar (lock, stock, and 16 smoking barrels), but after some discussion on the boards, I arrived at the following list, boasting 10 face-seeking axes:

Army: Call to Axin’
Type: Skirmish (1 caster, 35 pts)
Points: 35
The Butcher of Khardov (+6 pts)
* Beast-09 (11 pts)
* Berserker (6 pts)
* Juggernaut (7 pts)
* War dog (1pts)
Great Bears of Gallowswood (5 pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4 pts)
Koldun Lord (2 pts)
Widowmaker Marksman (2 pts)
Yuri the Axe (3 pts)

Now, this seems like a lot of fun. I like the fact that the War Dog and Iron Flesh combine to give ol’ Orsus a remarkable Defense stat (for Khador) in addition to his excellent Armor. I am not a fan of Beast-09 as a de rigeur auto-include–I’d rather explore some of the other options amongst Khador’s heavy iron, and that’s a lot of real-world cash to spend on one model (I frankly feel he’s inflated in price because of his perceived value on the table)–but Beast really makes sense for this list, both thematically and in his ability to draw fire away from Yuri and the Bears (individuals who are really not otherwise fit to be mentioned in polite company).  I like that the Koldun Lord can add a Focus to a ‘Jack (making up for the fact that the Butcher really needs to spend focus on spells) as well as wield his magic shotgun. And the Widowmakers and their Marksman can soften up the enemy or deal with roaming solos while the Butcher trundles along upfield.

That said, I think I can go one better with another version of the list, while losing some range:

Army: Plan of Axin’
Type: Skirmish (1 caster, 35 pts)
Points: 35
The Butcher of Khardov (+6 pts)
* Beast-09 (11 pts)
* Berserker (6 pts)
* Juggernaut (7 pts)
* War dog (1 pts)
Great Bears of Gallowswood (5 pts)
Greylord Ternion (Leader and 2 Grunts) (4 pts)
Koldun Lord (2 pts)
Manhunter (2 pts)
Yuri the Axe (3 pts)

Now we’re looking at 15 axes, enough to reduce any Circle Oroboros treehugger to singing folk songs about Nature and crying into their wheat grass. The loss of the Widowmakers pains me, partially because I love the models, partially because they seem to be some of the most generally useful Khador forces and are thus of high value, and partially because I am concerned about removing all long range attacks from the list.

That said, the Greylord Ternion gives me cloud cover for the advance and more magic shotguns (and, of course, more axes); there seem to be a fair number of ways to see through clouds, but in general I feel like they add a valuable defensive screen. And the Manhunter brings more free-roving threat to keep my opponent distracted, an especially valuable feature in a low-model army. To be honest, the Manhunter could be swapped for any number of two-point utility solos, including the Widowmaker Marksman, Kell Bailoch, or Harlan Versh, for example.

Every time I ponder either version of this list, I feel like the ‘Jacks are going to be a few tons of fun and it would be a great way to dig into play, without going too overboard on unusual rules or obscure synergies. A small number of models in the army helps me get to the table faster (as a slow painter), but also seems to limit some of my options for board positioning. I think it can really turn out some damage once in melee range, but the lack of a tar pit or a lot of ranged threat (in either version) forces me to play like…well…a madman!

That is most assuredly going to hurt.

For the record, here’s what my 15-point initial purchase would be, and what I’ll be trying via Vassal:

Army: Call to Axin’ 15
Type: Duel (1 caster, 15 pts)
Points: 15
The Butcher of Khardov (+6 pts)
* Berserker (6 pts)
* Juggernaut (7 pts)
* War dog (1 pts)
Great Bears of Gallowswood (5 pts)
Koldun Lord (2 pts)