This blog is about the world of gaming miniatures, as seen from my perspective. I've been collecting and painting for over 30 years now, and while my primary focus is miniatures for D&D, I also enjoy many other games that use minis, so we'll be covering those as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Paved With Good Intentions #1

My own personal road to hell is paved with the good intentions of tackling various miniature-related projects. I'm sure many of you can relate - you acquire some minis for a very specific reason (diorama, gift for friend, one-off encounter, etc.) - only to find that weeks/months/years later, the minis and your project are languishing in to-do hell.

PWGI #1 is my WH40K Dark Angels army. Back in 1999-2000, just before I jumped ship for my tour of duty at WoTC, I managed a FLGS in Bellevue (WA) - the now-defunct Games & Gizmos. Fun job, good crew, small but loyal crowd of regulars who hung out, etc. I was familiar with GW and WHFB/WH40K, but in name only. I had never played a GW tabletop game, and up until then, had never thought about playing one.

Of course, how are you supposed to talk and/or sell one of your larger product lines if you know nothing of it? My co-workers and the regulars all pitched in to help me learn the ropes, play an intro game of each, and things of that nature. At the time, I remember it being fairly easy to learn, and entertaining, if not outright fun.

When it came time to pick my 40K army, I did my due diligence and studied up on all the various factions available. There are several armies that caught my attention right off the bat: Space Marines, Imperial Guard, and Tyranids. The IG was appealing because of their armor-heavy roster and the themed units: jungle fighters, winter warriors, etc. The Tyranids are just badass, both in looks and unit composition. The Marines, though, were the most appealing in the end: variety of troops, armor, elites, and just their looks in general.

I chose the Dark Angels because to me, they had the most compelling history amongst the Space Marines. That, and I thought (and still think) their dark green armor just looks kick-ass. Their iconography is gothic and brooding, and I like the Deathwing and Ravenwing elements of their organization too.

So I used my employee discount and purchased my DA army. I started out by assembling two Rhinos and a Whirlwind:
RhinoRhino HedgehogWhirlwind

The Rhino on the left is your standard Rhino, without details like the radio antenna, etc. The Rhino on the right is my first attempt at a conversion. I was inspired by the WWII hedgerow cutters attached to US tanks during the Normandy invasion. I took two Rhino cutters, snipped off the teeth, glued them together, and then glued on the teeth at the proper angles. The Whirlwind is a nice-looking model, and there is something reassuring about the weight added by the metal bitz on it. I also have a Land Raider or two, but didn't get far on them.

There are also two Dreadnoughts in my army. One is still untouched, and the other is about this far along:

Still a long ways to go, but I like the look of these metal monstrosities.

Enter the Deathwing:
Deathwing Terminators

My terminators started out primed white, then Bleached Bone, liberally applied with an ink wash, and then on to dry-brushing. I actually prefer a finished product closer to Ivory or Bleached Bone instead of Pure White. I don't know why, and I know it kind of goes against canon, but I like what I like.

I picked up another idea that is pretty much a project in and of itself, even though it is related to this army - swappable arms! Stitch over at The Angel's Talon (and The Other Talon) is a wealth of information on all things DA and 40K in general. Of course, when I will ever get around to it is a story for another time...

And finally there is the bulk of my army, still tucked away, still patiently waiting their day on the workbench. I don't even want to think about that! My goal is to finish what I've started at this point: Rhinos, Whirlwind, Dreadnought, and the Deathwing termies.

So there you have it! My first (and possibly largest) unfinished project I'll be sharing with you - with the primary motivation of trying to light a fire under me and get some of these projects cleared off my never-ending To-Do list.

If you feel up to it, leave a comment and tell me what's sitting around on your workbench - misery loves company!

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