Friday, August 31, 2012

Games Workshop and The Peter Principle

Have you heard of the 'Peter Principle'? It is the idea that eventually everyone gets promoted to a level of incompetence. That is, you get a job you are qualified for and capable of executing. Eventually your hard work is recognised and you get promoted. Maybe you are good at that next level of responsibility and action so you get promoted again. But, after a few steps like this, you get promoted to a point where you actually aren't capable of doing the job.

Its not a bad theory. The same principle can, in fact, be applied to a lot of areas (pro-Poker players are also liable to play their way up onto tables they can't compete with) including the development of business.

Another way of looking at this idea is that businesses will find what seems a successful strategy and then milk it and stretch it to the point of breaking. It is my belief Games Workshop is doing just that.

Games Workshop, being a Publicly Limited Company, makes its financial results freely available. At the uppermost level, the company appears to be doing well. Profits are good. Shares paid a healthy dividend recently. More lines are continually being added to the product portfolio and new shops and retail accounts appear to be being opened and added every month.

All good, right?

Well, not really.

The problem with the profits being generated by Games Workshop, and in particular recent increases in same, is that they come not from increased sales per se but from increased efficiencies. That is, GW is not selling more boxes of models, they're just spending less on doing it.

These efficiencies come in several flavours, from supply chain reorganisations to mass lay-offs and the opening of one-man stores with limited opening hours. Several stores have just announced reduced opening hours - including my own local GW.

While the financials make sweet reading to share holders looking for dividends, they are not good news for the business in the long run as they ignore one of the primary factors in GW's survival and prosperity over the last twenty years - its retail network.

By this I mean the shops and the people that work in them. Its all very well having the largest network of retail floorspace in the industry, but it does you no good if its staffed by mouth-breathers who neither know nor care about the product they peddle. Just ask any High Street fashion or technology outlet.

Research by the YMCA network of gyms in America found that people became and stayed members more for the social side of the gym than the actual fitness side. That is, they YMCA figured out it didn't need to spend as much money on fancy new gym equipment as it did on getting staff to be welcoming to members, know their names and goals, that sort of thing. Similarly, people go into stores like GW as much to play with other people as they do to shop.

When you walk in to a GW, as well as enticing boxes full of fantastical toys and games, you see other players. The background and the models are great - probably best in the industry and all that - but what keeps people playing and buying beyond the first impulse purchase is the social side of gaming. People like doing stuff with other people, its as simple as that. GW stores have facilitated that.

Or at least they used to.

My local GW used to have pretty much unlimited gaming, painting, and modeling for anyone. You could turn up any day of the week and, if there was a space, sit and paint, or play a game with a friend. You generally wouldn't do this on a weekend day, just because those were the days all the school kids would mob the store so best to stay away. But apart from that, it was a great place to hang out, play, paint, build, chat, etc.

Then we got a new manager and this was changed. Now there would only be spaces for gaming and painting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sure, it was from opening till 8pm, but that wasn't the big message that most of the loyal customers took home. What these new gaming hours said was 'if you aren't buying something, you aren't welcome in the shop five days a week'. Sounds dramatic, I know, but thats what we heard. This was particularly galling after a lot of the regulars had literally worked through nights to help the Store Manager get a display board ready for Games Day. One regular's flat became a sort of doss-house for the volunteers trudging back and forth to the store each day to build more and paint more. For the store.

Playing hours just recently changed again (less than a year after the first reduction). Now the Tuesday gaming has been shortened to end at 5pm. So, if you have a job or family commitments during the day, you're out of luck on a Tuesday. Oh, and by the way, during school holidays, over 16's gaming only starts at 5pm anyway.

And today it was announced the shop wouldn't even open on Tuesdays.

So, to revise, we have gone from a store with a loyal clientele who all visited several times a week, bought, played, and painted there, and were willing to work nights for free to help the staff with their projects to one where we are only welcome one day of the five in a week unless we have our wallets open. 

I am not unaware of the rationale behind 'efficiencies' like these. There's a recession on, blah blah blah. No doubt sales on these two days are particularly weak. To save on wages and overheads the decision has been made. But really it is just one more negative response to the problems of business.

Once again the profit margin is being protected not by aggressively driving volume sales, innovating new product lines, or recruiting new customers, but by cutting off what the upper management see as dead flesh.

It may be the higher ups see this as part of a viable long-term strategy to eliminate their retail footprint entirely - they sell the same product at exactly the same price on the web. Perhaps they figure they can continue to make money that way. The official blurb from GW is that they are a manufacturer, not a retailer, so its entirely plausible the Board of Directors sees the retail network as  a liability, not an asset. The problem with that though is there are a growing number of alternative retail outlets that do provide gaming, do value customer footfall, and sell all GW's competitors for less than GW's prices.

I'm also aware I'm a little spoilt by having Wayland Games and Tabletop Nation on my doorstep. But I'm not the only GW customer who is finding alternative places and systems to play.

Is it a coincidence then, that the biggest single share holder, recently receiving a nice dividend of 29p per share, in GW is also its 62 year old Chairman? Is it ironic or sarcastic that that same Chairman said in his preamble to recent financials that 'short-termism' was a great evil?

We will see. For now though, there is really no reason for me to go into a Games Workshop. I can get anything I want from them cheaper elsewhere, including getting to actually play their games. But I can also get a whole lot more from those other venues and I will post more about that later in the week.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thoughts on vehicles in 6th Edition 40k

The latest edition has been out a few weeks now and I've had a chance to play a half dozen games and wanted to share a few observations on one aspect of the new meta in particular - vehicles.

In 6th Ed, vehicles were pretty much king. Marine armies were often built around Land Raiders and Rhinos, Orks raced across the field in Truks and Wagons, Tau were nothing without a few Hammerheads, and so on and so on. Lets not even get started on Imperial Guard lists....

The conventional wisdom is that all this was likely to change in 6th though. The fact that glancing hits can now remove a tank in as few as three shots should make your Razorbacks and Falcons much more vulnerable, greatly reducing their lifespan. Not being able to camp in a vehicle on top of objectives also reduces the utility of these mobile boxes. But is that how the new game is playing out?

In my last six games I have played with Eldar, Space Wolves, and a mix of Space Wolves and Blood Angels. I have beaten Grey Knights (tabled them twice), a mix of Marines and Dark Eldar, Blood Angels (tabled again) and pure Eldar. Yeah, so far, I'm unbeaten in 6th Ed :) But the point I actually want to make is I've seen a fair variety of vehicles and infantry at play.

My initial verdict: vehicles are by no means done with and are still extremely valuable additions to most armies.

Take my Space Wolves list. I have a fairly aggressive and competitive list. It involves a couple of units of Long Fangs, three Lazerbacks, a las-Pred, and usually a las/missile launcher Dread'. In the three or four games I have fielded them, I have not lost more than two vehicles in the entire game. In fact, I have only ever lost two on one occasion.

Even in last night's semi-Apocalypse game of 4000 points a side, I only lost one Razorback. The other two were on one Hull Point each, true. But my side still also had two las-Preds and a Vindicator untouched by enemy fire.

My Space Wolf tanks aren't even in cover!

So far, it seems, the same principles of the 5th meta hold true for 6th. That is to say, multiple redundancies and correct threat projection will mean your enemy won't be able to target and destroy enough of your vehicles fast enough to stop you doing what you want to with them. How does this work?

1. Multiple Targets.

First, if my army has 11 missile launchers and 7 las-cannons, several being twin-linked, many of which are in cover or obscured, but all of which are pointed at you, as well as tactical marines with meltas and plasma guns running towards you, how do you choose which to shoot first? Unless you also have lots of high powered weapons, or at least weapons powerful enough to Glance from range, its  a difficult process.

2. Cover Saves

Eventually you will prioritise a target though. First you have to roll to hit. you might miss or scatter. Then you have to roll to wound or penetrate. Then I get to make cover saves/invulnerables etc. I'm not saying you can't or I won't make any of these rolls. The point is there are lots of rolls to make to do some damage. And I'm not even using a Aegis or Skyshield yet...

3. Hull Points Aren't As Easy To Take As It Seems, Or Multiple Targets Part 2

So all hits now take hull points from vehicles. But the most common ones come with three. So my semi-mech Space Wolves have a total twelve hull points between them. Even for Necrons, who I hear can take out a tank a turn, will need a few turns of good shooting to eliminate all of them. By which time I will probably have done what I needed to do with them.

That last sentence is key to understanding vehicles, and infantry for that matter, in 6th. As much as your opponent needs to be clear on which targets they can and should attempt to take out first, you need to know what you are going to do with yours because you must assume they will get destroyed eventually.

But what about fliers?

The Eldar list I have been playing in 6th only includes three vehicles. Thats a single Wave Serpent and two fliers. In the hardest game I have played in 6th to date, I lost both the fliers and the Serpent to Orks. That said, I did misuse my Phoenix Bomber horribly, wasting its shots on an Ork Battlewagon, instead of taking out the 15 Looters that then proceeded to shoot it out of the sky. But hey ho, it was the first time I used it and I was a little panicked by the fact my opponent had two Baneblades-as-Wagons racing across a 4x4 table at my squishy Troops. A bit of an aberration then.

Against Grey Knights, the same Eldar obliterated 1750 points in four turns for the loss of two, yes two, Wraithguard...

But, for all that, flyers haven't really percolated down into the meta around here that deeply.

I shot down my Grey Knight opponent's solitary Stormraven with a lucky snapshot from a missile launcher before my Nightwing even got on the board. Last night my Dark Eldar opponent's Voidraven bomber scattered a Mine almost entirely off the board, then took a penetrating hit that removed a lance, and then failed to hit with its remaining gun in the last turn. Still, the strategy of shooting jets like that with las-cannons still seems, to me, the best alternative to a Skyfire weapon.

Until quad-cannons and Icarus lasers and flakk missiles become commonplace its probably too early to tell how deadly flyers will be in the long run. I suspect they will become fairly key in armies designed around them and taking out the aforementioned AA guns will be a high priority for controlling players though.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Super-quick Thoughts on Aeronautica by Forge World

While at the GW Open Day a few weeks back I got a chance to flick through a copy of Forge World's new Imperial Armour book, Aeronautica. I decided not to buy it, as all the models is covered where already present in other books I already own. The Eldar flyers for examples, are both in Imperial Armour 11. I missed a couple of things though.

This week I got a better look at a copy of the book in my local GW store. First off I noticed that the Nightwing and Phoenix Bomber are both now legit Codex Eldar choices. As far as I could remember the statlines and points costs were the same as in IA11, but this now means you can field them in your Craftworld army and are easier (read:cheaper) to add as allies to a Dark Eldar force.

This also means, of course, that I just wasted a few quid and more hours painting those Corsairs. Grrrr. I may well be ebaying them soon. Or send me an offer.

The second thing I saw was that the Fire Storm has a transport capacity of six. This is not a change to previous rules editions, its just the first time I noticed it.

In 5th Ed. 40k the Fire Storm was the red headed step-child of the game. Not really much use in a standard game - the slot it takes up can be much better filled with more powerful tanks. In Apocalypse it could be useful - if your opponent took flyers. Other than that it was a high-cost low AP gun. But now we're playing 6th and there are flyers everywhere. Add in the fact Tankhunters USR got much more deadly in 6th and the Fire Storm (which did get upgraded to 'Skyfire' in Aeronautica) becomes a fairly viable transport choice for that unit of Fire Dragons you've got. Its not cheap. But twin-linked skyfire shots in a fast skimmer that can carry dudes around? Maybe worth it...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Losing Weight, the Forge World Way!

As a middle-aged man who is at home most of the day with the kids, it was easy to become, shall we say, 'well-built'. Or we could say 'fat'. its up to you. Whatever you choose, I am quite certainly the visual definition of overweight. Medical charts would classify me as being dangerously so. Not in imminent danger of diabetes, heart disease, or any of the myriad other health issues weight can precipitate, but certainly heading that way. Ok, I'll be brutal - I'm obese.

Thank you, Doctor.

The key to successful change of any kind though is motivation. Sometimes this can be fear of negative consequences but such is human nature that more often than not the appeal of gaining something is far more powerful. So I have decided to utilise a trick that helped me quit smoking nearly a decade ago to help me lose weight.

I simply added up all the money I was going to spend on tabs and instead spent it, guilt free, on toys.

Thank you Valve, and Gordon Freeman, for saving me from lung cancer.
I did this with a simple spreadsheet. One column had the day's date. The next, how much I would have spent that day on nicotine. The third kept a running total of that cash. Being that smoking is habitual, it was easy to make a count each day of how many cigarettes I was likely to have consumed. One after breakfast, another mid-morning, maybe a couple at lunch time, one late afternoon, two, maybe three in the evening, and so on. I knew what my triggers were, when I was likely to have needed more nicotine, would have been too busy to smoke and so on. Before long I had a steadily growing total of cash saved up.

Just in case anyone reading still doesn't know that.

Note I did not stop myself from smoking per se. If I really wanted one, I could have one. But it took practically no time at all before the potential reward (another £6 to add to the total!) quickly outweighed the desire to smoke. Instead of satisfying that craving to sit down, relax, chill, smoke, I could remind myself I intended to buy a new graphics card for my PC and I would far rather have that than five minutes poisoning myself.

It is easier, then, to change a habit for a reward than it is for a punishment.

So, with my weight, I have decided (with my wife's support too!) that for the next three months, I will be rewarded with £10 for every 1% of body weight I lose down to 100kg. I currently weigh just over 116kg, meaning I could gain about £150 to splurge on Forge World!
Swapping a gut for this.

The cash incentive is to help me form new habits, healthy habits, that will get me fitter and slimmer, faster. Instead of sitting in front of the PC or TV in the evening I can go for a walk or run. I can say 'no' to those late night cravings for cereal, bread and peanut butter, or chocolate, and instead check out Forge World's website for new models, books and supplies.
How far would I have to run to get these boys?
 It is already working. Instead of wasting the morning surfing the web and mooching around the house, I am going for a swim. Maybe I 'll spend the afternoon digging the garden. Maybe I won't as I will have my 5-month old boy with me. But maybe I'll spend the time bench-pressing and bicep curling him instead :)

And then I can re-watch the Horus Heresy trailer and plan out tomorrow's exercises....

Thats the plan then and I would love to hear from any other overweight gamers who would like to lose weight along with me. Maybe some sort of friendly competition? A fortnightly weigh-off with prizes for the winner? Or just get in touch if you want help getting motivated to get slim and/or more healthy. If I can figure it out, I will share the Google Doc with my weigh ins here - any tips on how to do that would also be welcome. Thanks :)

UPDATE: As of 31/8/12, one week in to the plan, and I have lost 1.2kg, just over 1% :) Thats the first £10 done!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: The Legend of Sigmar

Thanks to Graham McNeill, I now have a respectable number of books in the Horus Heresy series jamming up my bookshelves. It was 'A Thousand Sons', you see, that got me hooked on the series, even though I only bought it so that 'Prospero Burns' would make sense when that was published. I was a fan of Space Wolves, now I am a fan of Graham McNeill. As well as being a great writer, he's a nice bloke in person - intelligent, thoughtful, and helpful. Whats not to like?

Given the addiction to Heresy era novels Mr McNeill spawned in me, I was a little wary of buying any of his Time of Legends books. What if I liked them as much as the HH titles? I don't really like fantasy novels as such, but what if these were so good I then had to hunt down every other Legends title?

Well, the good news for you is the books are pretty good. The good news for me is they're not so good I have to buy any more.
The first book in the series,'Heldenhammer', covers from Sigmar's first battle (plus that pretty much prerequisite 'difficult command decision') through the subjugation and annexation of most of the other kingdoms of men right up to the Battle of Blackfire Pass - the point at which his Emperorhood (ship?) was pretty much confirmed and the Empire was really born.

'Empire' then shows that even with the Empire forged and codified, enemies within and without still threaten to undo Sigmar's work. There are 'daemons' to be slain and necromancers to be defeated. The northern borders are threatened and so on and so on.

Finally, 'God King' shows us Sigmar dealing with the greatest threat to the lands of men to ever rise - Nagash. While all the Empire must fight, it is Sigmar alone who must defeat the most powerful necromancer to walk the land.

As background to the 'current' world of Warhammer, its all good stuff. The empire is still the most powerful force around as well as the only progressive one and its roots are all here to see. From the reason the Empire is ruled by Counts (and Vampire Counts!) to how Dwarves were so instrumental in its founding, McNeill does a great job of explaining and exploring the character and foundation of the great realm of men.

If anything though, these books are too short. I was expecting pacing more like the Horus Heresy series where entire books can be given over to a single battle or discovery. Indeed, the Battle for Blackfire Pass is over in a couple of chapters. Much is made of the effort to get the united tribes of men to the same place and fighting the same enemy. But that enemy is practically sketched. They're green and big. One is bigger than the rest and has a flying mount. But they all die pretty quickly and there's no real sense of menace from the greatest inhuman horde to ever invade the Empire.

The battle against Nagash is a little more fleshed out (no pun intended). But Nagash's invasion plan, a quite cunning one, is barely touched upon and his motivations and character are hardly mentioned.

Similarly, dwarves appear to be fundamental to the inception and creation of the Empire, as well as its survival through several invasions, yet their motivations and reasoning is left frustratingly unexplained.

There are a few events that really don't fit well into the pacing and plot of the rest of the story too. 'Empire' in particular suffers from storylines that really don't serve much more purpose than to fill out the book and possibly provide some backstory for characters dealt with more thoroughly in the final part of the trilogy. I get that its important one Count tried to sacrifice his sister to appease daemons and thats why she doesn't really like him. But did Sigmar really have to ride all the way over there to save her? Could he not have sent someone else and got on with fighting someone a bit more important?

Could we also not have spent more time looking at Azazel and what he did next to try to topple the Empire? And how letting one character walk out of the story at one point, only to miraculously reappear, fundamentally changed (i.e. insane) yet still able to save the day several hundred pages later was allowed by the editors I don't know.

Reading the whole trilogy put me in mind of the closing (or is it opening scene?) of Conan the Barbarian, the Schwarzenegger version. You know, where Conan is sat upon a mighty throne, surrounded by riches, yet clearly not all that happy with his position. The narrator tells us how 'my Lord' was not always so, that he came from humble beginnings, and then we get to see at least a little bit of that rise. But mostly the film is about the forging of the man's character, as is the sequel. We never actually get to see how Conan became a King or Emperor or whatever. Maybe 'The Legend if Sigmar' would be better if it was more like that. Forging an Empire should take a loooong time - almost as long as forging an Emperor in fact. 'The Legend..' kind of chops it all down to a conveniently sized trilogy, leaving me wanting more, but none in the right way.

Overall though, its a good story. The reintroduction of characters in 'God King' we last saw as children in 'Heldenhammer' helps tie the books into one epic story. Its part 'The Adventures of Sigmar', and part 'The Epic of Sigmar' too.

A worthwhile read for fans of the Warhammer universe and of Graham McNeill himself. Perhaps not a necessary purchase for fans of fantasy writing in general though.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Good old fashioned Blood Angel Terminators (with NMM)

I had a great day at Wayland Games/Tabletop Nation today, including a sweet game of 40k where my Eldar/Corsairs tabled a bunch of Grey Knights :) More on that tomorrow (I think). For today, here's some Blood Angel Terminators I painted a while back.

 Having painted nearly thirty Space Wolf Termies before this lot, it was kind of a relief to build and paint models with pretty much the same armour and equipment. Paint for the armour is the usual recipe of Mechrite Red, Blood Red layer, Blazing Orange and Vomit Brown highlights and Graveyard Earth shade.

 The Storm Shield has a very basic Codex Grey base. I forgot what I used for shades and highlights. I believe the cracked effects are just lines of Codex Grey/Chaos Black mix, with a very fine highlight of skull white (maybe a very light grey?) to give that 3D effect.

The 'nid skull is a spare from a genestealer sprue. Its a happy coincidence that the few 'nids I have painted have been that colour as it matches the colours on the termies really well. Almost as if I planned it...

 Side view - so you can see the Forge World shoulder pads. The sculpt quality is pretty good. You can keep the ribbons and parchment as far as I am concerned, but the winged blood drops are really sharply cast - very easy to paint up with a striking contrast between the recesses and raised points. I don't think the Blood Angels pack is nearly as good as the Space Wolves one - it would have been nice to see a proper conversion kit, rather than just an upgrade style pack. But they are still a nice way to mark out your BA terminators out as different than the plain boxed ones.

 So here I wanted to show the blend I did for the NMM effect on the Thunder Hammer. There's something about taking pictures with my phone when the light is really strong though, hence that bar effect you can see. I suspect its just that the light is too strong for my camera, but hopefully you get the idea. For a steel effect, I often start with a base of Hawk Turquoise/Bleached Bone. I then blend up to Space Wolves Grey, then through to White. I blend down to Regal Blue.

Getting this NMM effect is, in my opinion, easier on smaller pieces, like these blades or Dreadnought claws, than on big pieces of armour. Thats because you only have to worry about light coming from one direction. Often my NMM blends can actually look really crumby until the very last step - the edge highlight and notching. I often do this with my lightest blend of the base but you can do it with straight white paint too. Basically, you overbrush the edges (every one!) so you get a fine edge highlight and then add a few diagonal streaks. Depending on how you do it, you can get either the effect of the blade being pitted from striking hard objects of seeming to shine with reflected light.

You don't have to do a NMM blend to get this effect either. Even if you use the old Boltgun Metal/Badab Black wash, followed by a drybrush with Chainmail technique, you can add a degree of verisimilitude to your blade by adding these notches/streaks. The trick is getting the lines thing enough to look natural and then knowing when to stop :)

PLEASE do feel free to ask any questions. I know you are reading this :) If you have any questions about any of the stuff I have painted or written about, leave a comment. Unless you're going to be rude, of course. In which case, move on - this isn't the place for you :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back from Holiday - Here's Something I Made Earlier

Ok then, I'm back from a week overseas in the sun. I got to read the entire Sigmar Omnibus (Graham McNeil is the God-King of fantasy) as well as the Dragonlance Legends Trilogy. Dragonlance is an under-rated, perhaps even unheard of franchise these days, but the story of Raistlin's quest for Godhood and Caramon's quest for, well, his self, is a great one.

Anyway - I've managed to get in my second game of 40k since I got back, but no painting, so here's some stuff I painted a while back.

 This fella started life as a Black Reach dreadnought. He's had a few paint jobs, all poor, before I decided what I really needed for my Blood Angels was another, fourth, dread. He's painted with my usual BA recipe of Blood Red over Mechrite Red, with Blazing Orange line and Vomit Brown edge highlights, and a shade of Graveyard Earth in the recesses.

 In case you're not familiar with it, the Frag Cannon is awesomeness incarnate (at least, it was in 5th). You get two rending template hits worth of bang for your buck and this guy  has been something of a unit-assassin for me in the past. Flying around on a Stormraven, he likes to jump off, blast a 'safe' unit in a building, maybe assault them if they haven't all been minced by the cannon, then jump back on the 'raven and do it all over again.

 As I said, the body is the Black Reach dread. But I had enough spares in my bitz box to give him a BA fist.
 At this point, with a few thousand points of BA's in the box, I'm running out of synonyms for rage. This dread got good old 'Anger' on his scrolling. And, to be honest, I couldn't be bothered to think of something clever/paint that small for his glacis nameplate so he's just got some random squiggles there. Dont' tell anyone.
 Another nice view of the Frag Cannon. I'm also quite pleased with how the decals came out on this model too. The yellow is perhaps a tad overbright for the dark red plates, but this emblem, the skull on the shin guard, and the numeral on the other shoulder all look natural and painted.

 One of the things I love about the latest BA codex is the versatility of the army list. You can have a jump pack army, a flyer army, a dreadnought army, and a fast tank army. This one is unique to BA's too - the Baal Predator. Once again though, you can see my slight shortage of enthusiasm for names in the lack of a title for the nameplate. I've only used it once in a fight though, so I guess eventually I'll be inspired to name it.

 As well as being fast and having Scout, the Baal can be equipped with lost of flamers. A Flamestorm on the turret and heavy flamers in the sponsons. Great for clearing buildings - a possibly increasingly likely target in the new edition of 40k.

 I used Forge World's Black Soot weathering powder around the vents and exhausts for a nice little effect. The barrels were washed with increasingly dark washes of browns.

 The yellow decal on the turret didn't bed down quite as well as I would have liked - you can still see the edging on the drops in the right light. Unusually, repeated treatments with Micro-sol didn't help any either :(

 The decals on the front came out a little better though. The extra weathering the received might have helped, being a mix of weathering powder and sponged on Mechrite Red.

So thats a couple of my BA vehicles. Tomorrow (probably) - Terminators!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Final Gallery - Sun Blitz Brotherhood Eldar Corsairs

Alright, these boys are about as done as I want them to be. I could add a few more little details here and there - glyphs on the helmets, that sort of thing - but I really don't want to paint them any more. Time to move on to something else. So here they are:

 Its a ten man squad, complete with a missile launcher and a shuriken cannon. I envisage them holding an objective in my deployment zone and taking shots at anything that comes too close.

The heavy weapons are both scratch-built from several spare parts from tank kits. This guy did have a really cool looking forehand grip - that got lost somewhere during transportation ><

 I started building the missile launcher before I realised the hand holding the handle was the left one. That meant I had to find a right hand that didn't have a weapon, leaving this Corsair looking as if he is suggesting a new direction the squad should attack.

The squad leader is carrying a shuriken pistol and power sword. Just a little bite in case of being assaulted. Not that Str 3 is likely to worry too many enemies...

The bases were all painted with GW's Stirland Mud textured paint with a few pieces of slate and small pebbles mixed in for variety. These additional parts were painted Bestial Brown before I dry-brushed the whole thing with Kommando Khaki and Bleached Bone. The addition of a few tufts of reedy grass and some orange rubber foliage helps break up the bases and tie them in to my flyer bases.

Right, I'm off on holiday now - see you in a week or so.