Thursday, June 23, 2011

Firestorm Armada: Frigates! Is that a dirty word?

Starter Fleet is finished!

     I just wrapped up my painting on the six frigates included in the Dindrenzi starter box. Though they were easy enough to paint, these were my least favorite models. Mostly because the fuselage was white metal and the engines were resin. They presented the most difficulty in construction, and actually are continuing to piss me off in regards to getting them to sit properly on their flying bases. I'm hoping I don't get an urge to purchase more frigates. I'll stick to the capital sized vessels instead.

     I magnetized all the ships to their bases. That wasn't easy, and I'm still rather unsatisfied with the results. While most of them are sitting pretty level, they continue to rotate on their post a little bit. What I'd like to see is for Spartan Games to adapt a Phillips head style post end to stick into the ships. This would negate rotation and would likely mean that you wouldn't have to glue the ship into the base. As good as these models are, I can't help but think they need a more elegant base solution. Also I'm hesitant to glue these things in (which would solve the rotation and some of the more unstable models) because I'd like to transport these things. I'm looking to purchase the Battle Foam bag when they release the Firestorm: Armada trays.

     Here are a few more shots of the frigates and the starter fleet. Enjoy:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Firestorm Armada: Cruisers Complete!

Cruisin' the Storm Zone!

     Here is the next completed portion of my Dindrenzi fleet. These were pretty easy, not unlike the battleship. I just did the same techniques that I used there, and pretty much in the same order. The results were exactly what I wanted. I just have the frigates left. I started priming them tonight, but I need to prime them slowly to make sure I get all the fiddly little angles on them. Harder than I thought it would be.

     I received my order from The War Store today. I got my wife's Aquan Prime starter fleet, and some more Vallejo paints, specifically to paint that fleet up. We opened the box and took a quick inventory. There's zero assembly on that fleet, as the ships are designed in kinda one organic lump. The battleship model has some really awesome detail on the underside of the model. Kind of a shame really, as you're really not very likely going to see that part of the model very often.

     Here are some more pics of the completed cruisers:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Firestorm Armada: Dindrenzi Battleship Completed

Looking for Blood

     The first ship of my Dindrenzi fleet is complete! The paint scheme looks good, the techniques are coming together, and I'm excited to get moving on the next part of the starter box; The Cruisers! I used some of those good 'ol Vallejo weathering powders in just a few areas, and I think it really helped. I'm certainly going for more of a battle-worn look with these models. I tried doing some fancy-pants glowing effects with the airbrush for the engines, but I didn't like how that turned out. I made a mess of it. Instead, I did some simply brush work, and the effect was good enough. I could come back with the airbrush at a later date and make some new attempts at this "glow" look, but I need to get more comfortable with the brush first.

Firebase Delta

     I've been looking around for any sort of information stream on Firestorm Armada, something to give me ideas of what to expect from this game. I came across this podcast called "Firebase Delta" so I gave it a try. It was great! Just what I was looking for, but wait... there's a kicker:

     40K Radio vets Scotty, Phil, and Chipley! WTH?!? Yeah! They're all there! What a great crew! I've really enjoyed listening to these guys, and they're giving me a good look into the Firestorm Armada arena. I'm getting ideas for games, and the hobby, and I'm excited to hear more. As of now, they have five episodes up. I've listened to two, and I'm afraid I'll be burning through the other three quite quickly. Big props guys!

Firebase Delta Podcast Check them out.

Here are a few more pics of my Dindrenzi Battleship, enjoy:

 I'll have to get some more time behind the airbrush before I do those glowing engines justice

We Brake for No One

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Firestorm Armada: Killer Bees?

Fleet Color Scheme

So here's a little test of the color scheme I've planned up for my Dindrenzi. This is a carbon grey with a nice yellow to setup some high contrast. I've got a few masking leaks to fix, but it came out pretty good. I'll likely do a single engine stripe on the mediums and no stripes on the frigates, just to create a little theme. Lots of work ahead, but I'm enjoying a nice slow pace on these, so I'm not going to stress about hammering out the kit in some record time.

I tested out the scheme on Photoshop first, these were to two that I tested out:

I think the diagonal one was a little weak. I liked the bolder vertical stripes.

I've ordered another starter set for the Aquans. I've got some interesting color ideas for those, but I'll show you that at a later date.

Still wrestling with the airbrush and getting used to troubleshooting it when I have small issues. Progress is being made. There's a certain amount of trouble that you're just going to have to put up with when using water based acrylics on an airbrush, this I've come to learn. I've started looking at buying as much of the base coat colors in the Vallejo Model Air line as I can, since that seems to cause the least amount of trouble with the airbrush. Go figure, right?

I'm hoping that I can find some good tutorials on playing Firestorm Armada to help me learn the game. If anyone knows of some, let me know.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Firestorm Armada!

A new system?!

I've passed my three year mark in war gaming. It has been strictly 40K all that time. I've really enjoyed the hobby, and the gaming, but the prices... a little less enjoyable. As I mentioned before, the recent price increases from GW got me thinking about the future I had in all this stuff. While I'll still stick with 40K, and I have no plans of abandoning my current list of 40K projects, I have decided that a bit of a breath of fresh air might be in order.

I've been looking through all the current major game systems out there, and I was really looking for something that was approachable, wouldn't break the bank in the long run, and seemed like it was backed by a good company. Firestorm Armada looks like it will fit that bill.

They have certainly checked a bunch of boxes here: good models, interesting rules, sci-fi setting, great starter sets, and the game represents a big step away from the tactics of 40K.

I've yet to play a game as I'm taking my time reading up on the rules, and I'll likely purchase another starter box so I can enjoy those models and learn how the different fleets play. Thankfully the costs of these starter sets are such that it lends itself to experimentation.

If you're interested in checking out the game, here are a few relevant links:
Spartan Games Firestorm Armada background site
Spartan Games Firestorm Armada store
CorSec Engineering - Nice movement template and awesome dice docks that glue in over the base of the flying base, allowing you to lock in dice to represent damage numbers. Perhaps a better alternative to the little card markers the game comes with.
Studio Burgstrom - Neat little potential fighter/bomber/interceptor models you could use instead of the card markers for those too.
Litko - Or you could use these to indicate the fighters, bombers, etc. Looks like it would be easier to spot on the table, and easier to move about. Price is a little high, but that's Litko for you.

I purchased my starter fleet and rulebook from the fine folks at The War Store. Love that place.

Now for some 40K

This update will not be total heresy. Here is a picture showing the progress I've made towards my first Imperial Guard vehicle. All the base camo work is done. I've got some supplies incoming to help me with the next couple of steps. I'll talk about that when appropriate.

Don't worry, that's just the base camo. I'm going to be doing much more detail.

If you're in the area...

I live south of Baltimore, near Arundel Mills mall, and if you're interested in Firestorm Armada, and maybe wouldn't mind taking a newb to school, gimme a shout. I've got to finish painting the fleet, because I never play with unpainted models, but I'd be interested to know if there was anyone out there that could teach me this game.