Battle in the Thornwood: Airbrushing Woes and Scenarios!

Thornwood

autojack80Hello fellow Losties!

Autojack here again, and let me tell you, it has been a heck of a few weeks. I have been throwing myself into playing what games I can with Haley3 as a taste of things to come, planning and practicing with her, fine tuning my lists and turning out a series of different games! Rest assured, I will be discussing my progress with you all soon in my next Iron Grudge article, but for now, I feel long overdue for a painting article!

Well, painting has been in a bit of a slump lately. I have started working again, and boy is it tough when you effectively have three jobs. Certainly a step up from no jobs, but there has been a marked decrease in my available energy levels to do things like put paint on models! It hasn’t stopped me, however, and I have forged ahead! I’m now dedicating the next week to getting through a number of back-burner projects that include my assembled theme force list with which I plan on fighting Gaspy in a couple weeks. I also owe him some of my serious painting attention, so that much I must be devoted to as well. In what spare time I can muster I’ve been trying to work something out that’s been bugging me for a long time: airbrushing.

Now, I’ve had a nice Iwata HP-BCS for many years now. I’m pleased to say I’ve kept it in as working an order as I can muster, regularly cleaning and oiling it as well as replacing a long-since worn out nozzle on it, but I’ve often had difficulty with it. I’ve learned a lot and improved with it, but I must say, I’ve been jealous of Gaspy’s easy grasping of its nuances. I have had a much harder time. Not just him, either, there have been many friends of mine who recently have picked up an airbrush and met with some great results off the bat! I am feeling a little left out, truth be told. I’ve wanted to make mine work a little more for me lately! So in light of Gaspy’s and my upcoming battle, my second Storm Strider had been sitting gathering dust while merely basecoated for no less than three years now. It’s high time I dusted it off and fired up the airbrush again. Here is my progress so far:

Storm Strider Airbrushing!

I think my biggest issue with it so far has been pressure. It has taken me some time to get used to the standard operating distance, but I have a sneaking suspicion that mine wants to be a little further back than most people do. I think in part it is the powerful shop compressor I use. At the time I purchased my airbrush (it may have been somewhere in the neighbourhood of seven years ago) I wanted to limit my investment costs, so I bought a middle of the line airbrush, but strayed from the fine art compressors that were available because of the prohibitive price tags. Instead I went to home depot and bought a larger compressor that hits the decibel level of a revving chainsaw. It is capable of some fine levels of pressure in the line, but quite frankly I don’t have a lot of fine control before it’s spraying wildly. As I say, I suspect it causes me to effectively have to stay a little further back from the models I’m working on, which sacrifices a little of my fine motor control. Get too close and you end up with these really gross whorls in the paint as it ripples out with the pressure. There is nothing uglier. You may, in fact, see a few on my Strider’s legs if you look closely enough. šŸ˜› So one of the things I’ve intended to do is upgrade to a now much more affordable art compressor that won’t shake the house down every time it refills. Luckily I’ve spotted the prices cut in half. Hopefully I can follow up on that!

In the meanwhile, another of the issues I’ve faced with it is the paint consistency. Many artists it seems become tongue-tied when they try to explain how they do certain things–one of those is getting the paint to the right consistency. Most of the time, they explain it by saying it should be about the consistency of milk, which I find as annoyingly vague as many found Mrs. Beaton’s “goodly pinch” before the level cup, tea and tablespoon were devised. For myself, someone I found on the helpful Internets was kind enough to show me with my preferred paint brand (Citadel), how to arrange the right consistency by drawing the paint up the side of a clear cup and showing how much the pigment stayed there. YouTube is good for the visuals, I will say that much. Anyway! Some work with the consistency, and hey-ho, things are looking better. I will be attempting to employ this mighty device with a bit more verve than I have been in the past. Hopefully I will get an opportunity to show off my mighty Archangel of Everblight at some point in the near future with a little bit more careful airbrushing done on it! But in the meantime..

Back to the Thornwood action! I believe I mentioned a little while ago that I had managed to put some paint on one of my favourite models in the Cygnar range, Captain Arlan Strangewayes! Here he is:

Arlan

I can’t say I’m actually thrilled with how he turned out, as I think he looks a little bland. He is, however, one of the first models I turn to when I have two free points to fill. Part of the combined arms strategy as it is employed in Cygnar involves having a breakwater of magically armoured jacks to hold back the enemy and absorb their charges. If the jack isn’t dead, usually it has suffered some damageĀ Ā from the oncoming enemy, so that’s where the Mechaniks come in to see the jacks restored to fighting form. While many take Strangewayes in conjunction with jacks marshaled by things like Arcane Tempest to get successfully double-boosted ranged attacks from his ever-so-useful Power Booster ability, his other magic ability is Evasive Maneuvers–making a friendly Faction warjack immune to free strikes and giving it the ability to make little 2″ moves when missed by a ranged attack. It’s actually a great ability, particularly for those of us who hate getting enemies jammed up in our faces! Strangewayes also comes equipped with a very impressive Repair ability 10 to ensure that whatever he lays hands on comes out the better for it. He is also the owner of a unique weapon almost unseen in Cygnar–a spray attack that does electrical damage! Useful in that it basically has the Clear! ability with many troops in Cygnar, it also provides him with enormous utility in the field. AsĀ I often bite my tongue when I reach for Mercenary solos in my lists, it may be part of my bias that I consider him slightly more quickly than many two-point Mercenaries (save perhaps the terrifying Gorman di Wulfe), I think he is an enormously flexible asset in Cygnar that anyone in their right mind should see beyond Power Booster when they reach for him just to watch him do some extraordinary things! In my list he will likely be keeping three huge-based models up and running against a number of swift and painful enemy attacks..

While I have your attention, I would like to take a moment to check out the scenario Gaspy and I will be playing in our next round! Drum roll please.. and it’s RECON. This is a new scenario in 2015, and I must say I find it quite compelling. I love the long zone in the middle as it becomes a lightning rod for tight scenario games. Many players consider it too hard to dominate, but I disagree. Certain lists make it harder than others, but there is rarely a time when you feel like your squishier control casters (like a Haley or a Deneghra, for example) are too vulnerable toĀ dominate it. Here’s the layout:

Scenario2

You will notice that once again, we have a pair of objectives to contest as well! Gaspy and I will have to go to the drawing board as far as which to take in this case.. For me, I know I will actually be using light artillery in this list, and am considering carefully the implications of boosted damage rolls from a Storm Tower! As light artillery go, the Storm Tower is actually a fine piece. It hits a respectable RAT 7 at an impressive RNG and POW 14 on the initial hit, not to mention a few lightning-generator electro-leaps with their annoying way of dodging rules shenanigans! (Not an attack! Take *that* Necrosurgeons, with your sac pawning!!)

Until next time!