Finally got around to painting these guys… they have been on my desk forever! I really haven’t been motivated to paint them since 8th Edition really isn’t kind to them, but once I started, they were actually pretty fun.
As stated above, they aren’t as strong in this edition as they were in previous editions. They too fragile for what they do now (which is essentially suicide bomb into a unit with a character and hope for a lucky 6 with the Killing Blow dance!), and frankly Dryads do it for cheaper (although sans Killing Blow).
My hope is by hording them now, when the new Wood Elf book comes out, they will be uber!
Last year at the Bugeater GT, the one thing lacking from my army was a neat display board. I just used a Realm of Battle tile, which did OK in a pinch, but for this year I wanted to actually put some effort into it! During our trip to Florida this past holiday season, we were fortunate enough to visit the Disney Animal Kingdom, and I was immediately hit with a wave of inspiration upon entering the park:
The “Tree of Life” serves as the center piece of the park, and it dominates the skyline. As soon as I saw it, I knew I needed one for my Wood Elves! Fast forward a couple of months, I saw this really cool wire tree in a jewelry store that they used to hang seasonal ornaments, and “Presto! ” I had my armature.
I debated back and forth on what to use to texture it (clay, toilet paper, plaster cloth), but I finally decided on paper mache because I wanted to keep the weight down (the thing weighed like 5 pounds already!). A quick trip to the local Hobby Lobby resulted in several packages of Celluclay, which is essentially a package of fibers that you add some water to, which results in a paste that is almost like clay, but with half the weight! I also got a sweet frame as well.
It took ages to texture it, mainly because I grossly underestimated how big the tree was, so I did not have enough Celluclay to cover it initially, so I had to do it in 2 batches. It also took forever to dry as well due to the humidity at the time. I actually had a freakout moment picking it up by the trunk to see if it was dry, and my fingers sunk right in! I was able to patch it quickly, and against all temptation, I let it sit for a whole 2 days before touching it again! When it was fully dry, it was hard as a rock! The tree also weighed substantially more as well, which was also a huge surprise. I can only imagine how much it would have been if I went with clay!
For the branches, I took a page out of the old General’s Compendium and went with using Great Stuff spray insulation foam. This proved to be both a good and bad thing! It was a good thing because it was super quick and easy… you literally just shake the can and spray away. The bad thing was is that I forgot how much the foam expands before drying!
Because they ended up so big, I ended up having to go out and buying double the amount of flock I initially did when it came time to flocking. Flocking took FOREVER, as the spray adhesive I bought wouldn’t stick at all, so I ended up having to use the trusty old hot glue gun and close to 100 sticks of glue!
When it was all finally flocked, I drained a whole can of matte varnish and a can of Mrs. Douglas’ hairspray to try and seal it. It still shed like crazy every time I moved it, but it did the job well enough.
Here was the finished product:
It came out pretty well I thought, and I received a lot of nice compliments throughout the event… I definitely achieved my goal of having the largest/most over the top display board there!
I did leave a HUGE mess in our dinning room, which Mrs. Douglas was not happy with:
Luckily for me, this was able to soften the blow (quiet literally!):
I was pretty surprised that I won, as there were some pretty awesome armies there (saving that for another post!), but it was really cool hearing my name called and knowing that all my hard work paid off!
Now the question is what to do with the Tree in between events? It’s really too big to “hide” in a one-bedroom apartment, so I have to figure out to somehow use it less I incur the wrath of Mrs. Douglas again!
There were six of them, each with the build of an Astartes, but without a suit of battle plate, they were less bulked out and gigantic. They wore fabulously ornate gold breastplates decorated with eagles and lightning bolts, and each wore a tall, peaked helm of bronze with a red, horsehair plume. Scarlet cloaks billowed behind them in the cyclone that swept through the chamber. Long spears with boltguns slung beneath long, crackling blades were aimed at him, and he instantly recognised the warriors for what they were – the Custodian Guard, the Praetorians of the Emperor himself.
For the longest time, I have always wanted to do an army based on the Custodians of the Emperor himself, the Adeptus Custodes. I mean how cool is it being genetically superior to an Astartes (albeit fewer in number), and having superior equipment and arms? When the latest Dark Angels FAQ came out and brought the equipment choices of the Deathwing up to par with the current army books, I knew I had an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The new FAQ made the ruleset quite competitive (ie I wouldn’t get blown off the table against the internet power builds that float around here), and combined with the low model count it was essentially a win-win in my book.
With that said, I spent the last few months tracking down and buying the bits I needed for this ambitious project, from hovering over Ebay auctions to buy Thunderhammers and Grey Knight Terminator heads to ordering pre-heresy shoulder pads from MaxMini all the way in Poland!
The parts list included:
- Assault on Black Reach Terminator bodies (I had a stack of them leftover from another project)
- Plastic Terminator torsos (just the front plate)
- Plastic Grey Knight Terminator/Paladin heads
- Thunderhammer/Storm Shield arms
- Chapterhouse Studios Eagle Storm Shields
- MaxMini pre-heresy Shoulder Pads
- Cadian Sentinel Missile Launchers (to serve as Cyclone Missile Launchers)
First, I sacrificed many cork coasters to make the bases, as just slapping a model on the stock base is boring! I love using cork because it’s easier to cut/drill/pin through, and with just a little effort it can look exactly like slate, which is not so easy to cut/drill/pin through!
I’ll end this post with a small teaser of my command squad, fresh from their Simple Green soak/scrubbing to remove releasing agent!