Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Men With Toy Soldiers!

First, I want to thank everyone who has dropped by since we opened up less than a month ago to comment, follow and read our content!

When I started this project, at the urging of my better half, I was utterly convinced that I was absolutely deluded in thinking that anyone would have the slightest interest in what I had to say.  Thankfully, I was wrong!

He's making a 1750 point tournament list, he's checking it twice...

What keeps recurring in the feedback that I'm getting is that:

1) People are interested in the perspective of someone just starting up in the hobby.

2) Most of our articles are 'fun' to read.

I'm glad to hear both of these things, because I've been making an effort from the beginning to keep everything posted very positive and light-hearted, while also trying to provide lots of pictures and content that was a little bit different from what I'm seeing elsewhere.

So thanks again to everyone that's tuned in, and have a great holiday season!  It'll be quiet around here for a few days while we're devouring turkeys with the Hive Fleet at home, but in the new year I endeavour to continue providing you all with half-cooked Unit Reviews, mediocre paint jobs and conversions, and of course, lots of pictures captioned with bad jokes!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The quest for the 1500 point Tyranid list continues!

Well, I'm trying my best to come up with a 1500 point list for an upcoming league that I'm happy with, and that I don't need to buy/convert too much for.

I'm finding the points total to be really restrictive, however, because I want to include a Trygon -- Which really means I have to include two, and there's a third of my army gone.

The other thing I'm struggling with is where to fit Genestealers in.  I want them to outflank, but if I do, I want the Swarmlord along for the +1 to reserves and the re-roll.  Does anyone have success infiltrating them, walking them up or outflanking them without bonuses?

Put me in, coach!

I also haven't been able to visualize a conversion for a Mycetic Spore, so I don't know that I can put my zoanthropes in.  Does anyone have any experience with scuttling them up the table behind friendly units?  Or is that just crazy talk?

Anyhow, I'll shoot out two lists for now.  I'm not 100% happy with either, but I figure they'll get nicely dissected here and hopefully that can help my though process along.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Help! I need a 1500 point list!

Hi all,

Just a brief call for help here.  I'm thinking of joining a league for this season, starting in a week or two.  It's 1500 points 'golden standard', so we have to play at least that point value and can play above it if both players agree.

Uncle Paddy Needs You!

I want to build a good, balanced, all-comers 1500 point 'Nids list, and I need input!  Please!

Doesn't look like there are any comp rules, but your opponent can award you 3 points for sportsmanship per game, and one point is 'is it a fair list', one point is 'would you play this person again'.


Bonus round:

We don't have to take the same army each week, or even the same codex!  So while I might not play it, I'm trying to build a 1500 point Blood Angels list with no mech except for dreads.  Go!

Santa showed up, and brought the Hive Fleet with him!

Thanks everyone for the suggestions on what to pick up!

As it turns out, we bought everything.  All of the Tyranids in the store.  Well, actually, I left a couple boxes of 'Gants and Raveners behind, and an army box.  And since we still had money to spare, I ordered a couple more things, which I'll list below.

So here's what we got:

Santa brought the tequila for Paddy O'Lantern

List and what's to come under the jump!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Help me spend $400 on miniatures!

Sorry about missing the last few days' worth of content, Men With Toy Soldiers was away at the first of many illustrious holiday events!

We also had a family dinner tonight, at which I over-indulged.  I think the Hive Mind was fully in control, because I was definitely The Great Devourer!

But we're back in town for a couple of days until we do the real Christmas marathon, and Santa is coming around tomorrow in the form of a shopping spree at my Friendly Local Game Store, sponsored by my Sugar Mama.

It's all about the Elizabeths, baby

So I'm going to put up what I have, and if anyone still reads the blog you can help me choose how to spend money!

Here's what we've got:

1x Tyranid Prime

2x Tyranid Warrior

16x Hormagaunt

28x Termagant

8x Genestealer

1x Trygon

So, I've got $400 (Canadian) to spend, at 20% off GW prices.

What should I buy?  GO!

Bonus round:

If you run out of Tyranids worth buying, I've also got a budding Blood Angels army....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finished Trygon!

Well, that was a journey!

I actually finished it yesterday but didn't have time to post anything up.  I also want to say that by 'finished' I mean it's ready for the tabletop, but I'm going to be finding small errors and correcting them for weeks to come, I'm sure.

Here it is!

Bring on the AV14!

Detail pics and my thoughts after the jump!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Biggest Bug of All - Trygon almost finished!

After much. much work, we're coming around on the home stretch!

I have to paint three of these eventually? Goodness.

I am actually tired from painting.  However, it's almost done!

Here's what I have left to do:

- Edge all of the carapace sections with Dheneb Stone
- Clean up a couple of the details
- Do some general fixing of errors
- Base it!

So what you're looking at is very close to the finished product, with a little less depth in the carapace!

Here's a closer view of the front that shows the details a bit better:

Terrifying, isn't he?

So I should be done, dare I say, tomorrow!  Although it's such a large model that I'm sure I'll be finding errors on it for the next month, so it'll keep me busy.  As for the base, I think I'm going to take the Rippers off, just because I don't really feel like painting them or that they add too much to the base.

I'll wait until tomorrow to do that, though, because maybe I'm just tired and grumpy right now!

The Biggest Bug of All - Trygon WIP Update!

Well, this thing is a pretty big project but having started it I'm much less intimidated!  I had a nice night where I popped the movie Hot Fuzz on the computer in front of me and just painted away.  So here we are:

The Trygon got a manicure with OPI colour "Voracious Vermillion"

 - The exoskeleton is done, highlighting shading and all.  It will get another thin coat of Leviathan Purple wash over certain parts, but other than that it's finished.  

 - The (very) bright red on the talons will be toned down considerably after a couple coats of Baal Red, but I really like the effect -- it's very attention-grabbing!  This will probably be the method I use for MC talons on all of my bugs, except perhaps the Tervigon, but more on that at a later date.  And what you're looking at there is just two layers of Blood Red over white primer.

- The Carapace is what I'll be working on tonight.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around how to shade and highlight it, and I still haven't picked up Devlan Mud to test it and see if I can get a more natural, consistent shade on the Dheneb Stone.  One thing I'm very pleased with, however, is how smooth of a coat I managed to get on the large back Carapace section (the only part I'm really stressing about) by being very patient and thinning down the Dheneb Stone alot:

I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave

As always, any input is appreciated!  One decision I'm still struggling with is whether or not to use the red for any other 'spines' on the model, such as the side ones that I've left unpainted on the tail.  I'm not sure if it would add anything, or just make the model look busier.


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Biggest Bug of All - Time to paint a Trygon!

EDIT: The next one gets painted before it gets fully assembled.  Made that tougher for myself than I had to.

Well, here it stands in all its white-primed glory:

Whitesnake!  Haha!

This is by a large margin the largest model that I've ever attempted.  The next largest was a Bloodthirster, which really isn't all that big without its wings.  This model poses a couple unique challenges that I'm going to have to overcome:

1) The two-part Scything Talons.  Because I've been painting both the carapace and talons bone-coloured for the rest of my models (such as these hormagaunts), I've got a bit of a quandary here, since there is carapace on top of the Talons.  After doing a lot of test runs on a spare Mawloc arm, I'm going to try leaving the carapace bone coloured, but doing all the talon 'blades' in bright red.  We'll see how that works out!  I can always repaint it.

2) The sheer size of the model.  As I said, I've never tackled anything this large, and the wash-over-primer method I use for the little bugs won't really do this justice -- plus it would take a lot of wash!  So I'm going to do a traditional paint/highlight/wash on this model. Which could take some time!  I'm also going to try Devlan Mud for the carapace sections instead of Badab Black, since I think it will give me an overall 'smoother' finish.  I'll be testing that out beforehand, though.

So that's what I'm up to.  How are you all doing?  I feel like we haven't talked in so long!

I'll update the WIP as I get something accomplished on this beast.

P.S.:  I had to add a couple rippers to the base.  I like to think that they look up and say, "I want to be a Trygon when I'm all grown up!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

MathHammer, Episode 1: Termagants are better than Tactical Marines!

This is the first installment of a series of articles that use the power of math to show that some units are better than you think.  We're delving into some dangerous uncharted territory here, and I'm likely to make errors, so feel free to contradict me!

I notice after posting that he has dirt stuck to his gun!  Silly Termagant!
Everyone knows that you only take Termagants in units of 10 so that you can take Tervigons, right?  That's what the internet says, so it must be true.

As those of you who have been reading along know, we try and do things a little bit different here at Men With Toy Soldiers.  While I agree with the consensus that Termagants + Tervigons are possibly the best unit in the game at scoring objectives, I want to see if we can find other uses for them, and possibly even... have them kill things?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

So how does Acid Blood work, exactly?

Super short post:

I'm trying to wrap my head around how Acid Blood is supposed to work.  Since I can't get clarification by googling it, and it's not in the FAQ, maybe I'm just imagining things.

But if I had unit X attacking, say, a Pyrovore (comes with Acid Blood), and let's say for argument's sake that unit X was really good at close combat:

30 attacks, hitting on 2's = 24 hits
Wounding on 2's = 20 wounds
20 Wounds, 4+ armour save.... 10 unsaved wounds.

"For every unsaved wound a model with acid blood suffers in close combat, the enemy unit that struck the blow must pass..."   - Tyranid Codex p. 84.

So despite the Pyrovore only having 2 wounds, would you have to take 10 initiative tests for the unsaved wounds as opposed to 2 for the Pyrovore's wound total?

I'm going with yes, and here's why:

1) Rules!  If I cause 200 unsaved wounds on your model that had 2 wounds, and you had Feel No Pain on that model (triggered by unsaved wounds), I guarantee you would want to roll 200 FNP checks to try and save its life, despite the model only having 2 wounds.  Exactly the same situation.

2) Fluff!  If I bleed acid and that hurts you, and you beat my corpse into a bloody lump, you're going to cause more acid spray.


P.S.:  The Zoanthropes who run the legal department here at Men With Toy Soldiers would also argue that the definition of 'unit' in the base rulebook, combined with acid blood as written, verbatim, would mean that every model in the unit that wounded the acid blood critter must take its own initiative test and risk a wound.  Not sure if anyone plays like that, but that's the logical conclusion of both rulesets.  Either way, we might be able to find a use for the Pyrovore (god I'm trying so hard...) as a melee suicide bomb.

Interlude over!

Friday, December 10, 2010

How To Cheat At Painting -- Part 2

Part 1 here.


If you're anything like me, you face two very large obstacles when starting a new painting project or (heaven forbid) an entire army:

1) You are physically disabled when it comes to painting.  Your hand quivers as though in constant terror of the brush, and you have eyesight somewhere between a myopic bat and an a rock.

2) You have little time, and less attention span.  You are also the slowest painter in the world, and it's a shame there's no trophy for that.

Because I'm determined to enjoy this hobby despite my challenges, I had to figure out a way to paint up 'Nids quickly, smoothly, and (since I started a blog) in a fashion that photographs well.


We left off with this:

We've come so far together!

Now I'm going to continue the step-by-step and show you how to finish off a model's details and give it a good looking base, all with minimal effort and time!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How To Cheat At Painting -- Part 1

If you're anything like me, you face two very large obstacles when starting a new painting project or (heaven forbid) an entire army:

1) You are physically disabled when it comes to painting.  Your hand quivers as though in constant terror of the brush, and you have eyesight somewhere between a myopic bat and an a rock.

2) You have little time, and less attention span.  You are also the slowest painter in the world, and it's a shame there's no trophy for that.

Because I'm determined to enjoy this hobby despite my challenges, I had to figure out a way to paint up 'Nids quickly, smoothly, and (since I started a blog) in a fashion that photographs well.

I should have special parking at my hobby shop.

Now, I've posted the evolution in how I paint my bugs, but I feel like I should share a step-by-step for others on how to quickly and easily put together a decent looking model, from priming to basing.

Finally on Google!

Well, it took about a week for Men With Toy Soldiers to show up on Google, but we've finally done it!  Thanks so much to everyone who's tuned in to check out what we have to offer in the early stages, I can promise you that things should be both bigger and better moving forward.

As for being on Google, check this out:

We're number 1! We're number 1!

So thanks again to everyone who has been reading and commenting, I've gotten some great positive feedback.  I'll try to keep providing you with reading material that's positive, in good humour and hopefully helpful or inspiring to other people who love the hobby like I do.

I'll also keep making fun of Space Wolves!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Surefire Way to Attract S8 Weapons - A Tyranid Warriors Review

The Hive Mind came to me in my dreams and spoke to me.  It used no language, as such, but its message was clear:

If I didn't get back to posting Tyranid-related stuff, it would open one of its six mouths, and sing the song that ends the Earth.

So I'm taking a break from batch painting the last of my Hormagaunts -- more on that later -- to bring you another Unit Review!

Well, before I can play a game, or even assemble and paint an army, I need to figure out what I'm going to field. So I guess I'll start examining the units one by one and asking:

 - Do I like the unit? That is to say, do I like the aesthetics, background, etc?

 - Do I think it's worth putting into a game, for its point cost?

This installment: the misunderstood Warrior.

Not a basketball player from Golden State.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blood Angels - 2nd Attempt

After receiving some solid advice, I think we can all agree that this is more like it:

When I showed her this model, my girl said: "I wouldn't kick him out of bed."

I'm excited!

As you may notice, I actually finished this model.  That wasn't the original plan.  I had intended to paint just the body on this model again until I figured out how I would be doing my Blood Angels, but I was so pleased with how this was going that I wanted to see it finished and based to see if I liked the results.  I do.

So let me give a nod to my two sources of inspiration for the improvements that I made:

First attempt for Blood Angels paint scheme

Since I'm leaning towards Blood Angels for my fledgling Marines, I figured I should do some paintin' and make sure that I actually enjoyed painting the model and could do it to a standard that I found acceptable.

So I'm going to put up two or three test models using different techniques and hopefully get some feedback on what looks best.  I have a tendency to create extra work for myself by picking out areas of detail that aren't necessary, which slows down the whole army production, and I have a feeling I might have done that on the first test model here:

Look Ma! No hands!

First of all, as many people have mentioned, it's amazing how much you can see in terms of errors when you photograph the model.  Having said that, you can't really see any of them on the tabletop, and this is just a test model after all.

So here's how I did it:

What Flavour of Space Marine am I?

Well, being the proud new owner of the Assault on Black Reach set, I find myself in possession of about 600 points worth of Space Marines, and living near a hobby shop where I can pick up extra pieces out of the AoBR set for very cheap.  Also, I have some Orks, I guess.  As such, Hive Fleet Turbo-Ants, my main project and real buggy passion, will now be competing for shelf space and painting time with my new strike force of Space Marines.

This leads to a crossroads, as it were.  Because Games Workshop is a little too enthusiastic about them, we have a whole bunch of options as to what kind of Marines you want to play.  Meanwhile, we Tyranid players get the Pyrovore.  So before I start down my path to the Dark Side, I need to decide what kind of Marines I'm going to play -- And this is where I would absolutely love any input.  But let me see if I can give you the 'new to the hobby' perspective on what I consider to be my four choices for what type of Marines I'm going to play.

Laziest White Scars paint job ever?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Assault on Black Reach impressions

Okay, the Mordheim stuff is on hold for the time being, but we have returned to civilization and I have had a chance to dig into the Black Reach boxed set.  I know it's been out for a while, but I just got it, so I thought I'd give a newcomer's perspective on the set, especially as it compares to what Games Workshop offered back when I used to play their games, a decade and a half ago.

Pictured: Civilization, except for the Big Bang Theory sign

So while I sit here in the comfortable glow of the city lights, the familiar hum of the Leafs getting massacred on the TV behind me (fewer things are more pointless than a huge HDTV that you listen to, rather than watch), with glass of wine in hand,  I'll give you my thoughts on the Assault on Black Reach box. And I'm thinking of what kind of Marine force I'm going to put together.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I swear this doesn't really happen that much in Canada, and my early 40k Christmas present!

Every time I talk to someone from another country and they learn I'm from Canada, they figure that we live in igloos and ride polar bears.  In reality, I come from a part of Southern Ontario that's about the same latitude as Northern California, and is famous as a wine country.  Now I live in downtown Toronto, where it did not snow last winter (although it does get cold).  It's much more wintry in, say, New York City.

This is what I did last St. Patrick's day.  My golf clubs stay in my trunk year-round.
But anyhow it snowed so much that we couldn't go to our family Christmas thing, and so we're just hanging around in my hometown.  I'm writing this from my mother-in-law's house.  Drinking wine.

This worked out okay, though.  On the way back from lunch with my parents' we stopped into that super  cheap hobby shop that I mentioned, and they had the assault on black reach box for only $85 Canadian, cheaper than at my FLGS by $10! So my darling angel, love of my life, bought it for me today, and gave it to me as an early Christmas gift.  It is ON!

Anyhow I didn't have a chance to open it up today, but they're taking a trip to the Coach outlet tomorrow morning, so I'm going to unbox that, and hopefully do a unit review.

I just want to thank everyone who's tuned in over the weekend while I've been unable to post good pictures and relevant content.  I'm aiming to provide some interesting Mordheim-related content and get back to some serious 40k stuff tomorrow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Men With Toy Soldiers is going on the road!

Things will be quiet for the weekend, as we're about to hit the old dusty trail to take care of some family holiday festivities.  The good news is, there is a super cheap hobby shop in my hometown (25-30% off GW prices), and I should be able to sneak away long enough from the boss lady to grow the swarm a bit.  I'm thinking maybe Raveners, because I just like the model so much and they aren't on my Christmas list for her.  Road trip!

Like this, only in Canada.  In the Winter.  With lots of traffic.  Okay so not much like this but I didn't have time to come up with a good picture.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Not 40k but still awesome: The Zombie Boardgame, "The Last Night on Earth"

Happy Friday my people!

Amazing to see how much traffic drops off for a new blog when you don't post for a day!  I'm a bit leery because we're out of town all weekend doing glorious family holiday things, and I'm afraid I'll make everyone who's been kind enough to visit the site lose what little interest they already had.  I'll try to find a good topic to post about while I'm visiting the parents for the weekend -- maybe I'll dig through the attic at my parents' and try to find some nifty stuff.  There's a lot of buried Chaos and Vampire Counts stuff there that's getting on in age.  Plus I want to grab my old Mordheim stuff, because hell yes.  I wonder if I could trick my buxom wench into playing Mordheim?  Very small boardgame leap from Last Night on Earth.....

Oh right!!  We were talking about Last Night On Earth!!

 Gratuitous box shot?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Non-Tyranid News: A One-of-a-kind Bloodthirster! I promise!

Well, after finishing off the Prime, I'm out of primed models to paint (Prime... primed... oh wait, I already made that joke).  And since it would wake up my dearest love if I were to prime more right now, this seems like as good a time as any to post this:

What's a Bloothirster's favourite sweet snack? Candy Khorne! Haha!

Born To Run - A Hormagaunt Review

Well, before I can play a game, or even assemble and paint an army, I need to figure out what I'm going to field. So I guess I'll start examining the units one by one and asking:

 - Do I like the unit? That is to say, do I like the aesthetics, background, etc?

 - Do I think it's worth putting into a game, for its point cost?

This installment: The oft-maligned Hormagaunt.

"We so Hormy!"  I crack me up.

My lazy Tyranid Prime conversion, Part 4... Finished!

Part 1


I've made a Tyranid Prime conversion using a Warrior, a special base, a large Scything Talon flipped around to be a Bonesword, and a Trygon headpiece converted into a large shield that is a 'counts-as' Lashwhip.

And now it's done!  Behold:

My large sword and shield are not compensating for anything! Shut up!
I'd love to hear any constructive criticism.  Or praise.  Especially praise.

But how do I feel about it?  Jump!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My lazy Tyranid Prime conversion, Part 3...

Part 1 found here.

Part 2 found here.


I've made a Tyranid Prime conversion using a Warrior, a special base, a large Scything Talon flipped around to be a Bonesword, and a Trygon headpiece converted into a large shield that is a 'counts-as' Lashwhip.

So after finishing the conversion, it was time to paint!

This is a bit of a milestone for me because now that the Prime is put together I can actually play my first game if I want -- he's my first HQ.  Granted, it would be a game with a couple small units of little bugs, a Prime, and a Trygon, but still...  Getting there.  It's probably enough that I could conceivably field it against either side of the contents of an Assault on Black Reach box.  And lose to the Marines.

Not those Marines!

My lazy Tyranid Prime conversion, Part 2...

First part found here.


I left off describing how I had come to choose the parts for my Tyranid Prime:

1) Warrior as a base model
2) Needs a Lashwhip and Bonesword
3) Needs to be bulkier than a regular Warrior, to stand out as a Prime

And to that end, I chose to convert a spare Trygon head plate into a shield for him, to count as a lashwhip.  I really like the idea of a Tyranid Warrior with a sword and a shield.

I also carved up and flipped around a spare large Scything Talon from the warrior kit.  I used my knife to cut small 'flattened' parts out of the edge of the blade in an attempt to give it some hard edges.  If all goes according to plan, layers of highlighting should make it look crystalline, which is the effect I'm going for.  At this point, I was absolutely unsure of what colour I was going to use for the bonesword.  Not even a tiny clue.

Assembled and Primed.  See what I did there?

My lazy Tyranid Prime conversion, Part 1....

Before you finish painting me, can I count as a Prime if you just write "Army Leader" on my base?   All the other Hormagaunts would think I'm so cool...

Part of the challenge of putting together a glorious Hive Fleet (like the Turbo-Ants, for instance) is that you need to convert just about everything.

Now for those of us like me, who lack not only talent but also creativity, this.... isn't good.  Especially if the model in question has no concept art in the codex (everyone knows a Tervigon is just a pregnant Carnifex).

Now since I'm still under 1,000 points of Turbo-Ants, if I ever manage to play a game, it's going to be a Prime leading the carnival. So I better come up with one.  Daddy doesn't proxy.  Unless it's convenient.

So here are my goals:

1) A Prime is a warrior, so figure something out that uses a Warrior base

2) It needs to be differentiated, so somehow figure out how to bulk it up and make it look more impressive than the other warriors

3) You don't actually know what you're doing, do you?  Stop crying, you're embarrassing both of us.  Magnetize that business and at least your errors won't be irreversible.

Paddy O'Lanterns the Irish-dancing Hormy says, "Let's make some errors that are irreversible!"

So before I post what I ended up with as a model, let me point out a couple points of my process: