Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Warmachine Khador Color Test

Today we have a guest author...

Hey- Adeptus-B here. I've been curious to ‘dip my feet’ into Privateer Press’ Warmachine skirmish game for some time now, but I never quite worked up the resolve to make the investment. I love the Warjack miniatures, and the combat system sounds fun, but whenever I've had enough ‘mad money’ to sink into a Starter Set (Khador immediately caught my eye), I always found something else that I wanted just a little bit more…

Until now. My favorite local game store is going out of business (r.i.p. Bridgetown), and all of their inventory is on clearance. I was trying to talk myself into taking the plunge with a Khador Starter Set (a Warcaster and two Heavy Warjacks), when I noticed that they still had a ‘Two-Player Battle Box’ available- with the same figs as the Khador Starter, plus a squad of 5 Shocktroopers, a Warmachine Prime Mk II rulebook, and a whole Protectorate of Menoth force (a Warcaster, 2 Heavy Warjacks, 1 Light Warjack, and 5 Cinerators!), plus dice and other odds and ends. Since the clearance price was just over the normal price for the much smaller Starter Set, I decided to take the plunge.

Since Zorcon already has a Cryx Starter Set (a gift from Leartes), I have a future opponent waiting in the wings, and don’t need the Menoth force from the Battle Box. I plan on selling them on Ebay (making the clearance Battle Box an even better buy); Zorcon suggested keeping some of the Cinerator figs to use in our Dark Heresy campaign. They look very cool, but they absolutely tower over GW figs (even Space Marines), so that’s not really an option.

The plastic these figures are made from is not the standard ‘model kit’ plastic that I’m used to (styrene, I think?). It’s much denser- almost the consistency of resin. This gives them impressive weight, but they require super glue to assemble rather than model glue. Since super glue is much more brittle than model glue (which actually ‘melts’ styrene together), I’ll have to be very careful handling these figures- I already snapped an arm off my prototype once so far.

I assembled the Juggernaut first. The figure went together smoothly, but I had a lot of trouble removing the mold lines. Many of them are quite poorly placed, making them difficult to trim or file off- especially around the ‘boiler’ on the back. I added some ‘battle damage’ to the assembled figure with the edge of a file, based on the cover painting of the Battle Box. In hindsight, I wish I would have also added some divets with a drill, representing ballistic impacts.

I shied away from the ‘traditional’ Khador color scheme (red-on-red-on-red), opting instead for a simple camouflage effect that plays up the pseudo-Soviet elements of Khador culture, with red used only for markings. The paint job is pretty straight-forward: primed black, then a dry-brush of gunmetal on the ‘worky-bits'. I then painted the armor plates Scorched Brown (yes, I still use early Citadel Colour terminology), and gave them a heavy dry-brush of Graveyard Earth. I applied a thinned-down wash of Scorched Brown over that, then blended (not my strength) back with more Graveyard Earth. I added a ‘cut’ highlight along the sharp edges, made from a 50/50 mix of Graveyard Earth and Bleached Bone. The ‘snow’ patches were painted in Space Wolf Grey, with white layered on top. I painted the boiler and some parts that were neither gears nor armor with Tinbitz followed by Dwarf Bronze. I added some silver accents to the remaining gunmetal areas, and carefully added silver into the ‘battle damage’ scratches. Since the Juggernaut’s Ice Axe is supposed to generate cold (physics be damned!) I decided to attempt a frost effect on the blade, to distinguish it from the Destroyer’s more conventional Executioner Axe. I stippled a semi-random pattern on the Ice Axe blade with Ice Blue (naturally!), then layered white over that. Finally, I tried to match the base colors to Zorcon’s ‘field’ table. I usually avoid adding flock or static grass to the bases of my figures, but since I added a splattered mud effect to my Warjack’s feet, they needed a dash of green on the base to stand out. Since ‘facing’ has important ramifications in the game mechanics, the rulebook suggests painting indicator marks on the rim of the base. I couldn't find a single example of anyone actually doing this, but, what the heck, I decided to use this as an excuse to add a bit more Khador red to the miniature.

I’m pretty satisfied with the results. I don’t plan on making any big changes to this color scheme on my Destroyer (or any other Khador Warjacks I may pick up in the future). Next up will be a test Shocktrooper. I’m leaning toward a bronze-heavy color scheme.

Now I just have to goad Zorcon into painting his Cryx, and I may actually be ready to play my first game before the year ends…