Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Phantom Titan build pt4: Legs, Hips and Waist

Continuing the upwards climb it was time to start on the legs. As I'm posing her in a "sort of a half turning back as it fires thing" both feet will be on the ground. This has advantages and disadvantages:

- Stability
- Less stress on one side's joints

- Can end up a more staid, boring model
- PITA to get the whole thing lining up right and stay level.

That second con is the big one. If I'm going to have both feet firmly on the ground (or at least close enough) the whole leg assembly needs to be put together very precisely. Unfortunately that is rather challenging due to the models very flexible design.

To try and overcome this I formulated a plan: get the whole right leg into position, then carefully build the right one from that. With lots of dry fitting and wishing I had Dr Octopus arms I arrived at the pose. Marking the postion of the pieces with a sharpie I began at the right ankle, pinning it in place (using The Inner Geek's greenstuff marker method). After that I put the knee into position.

Mounting the upper leg to the knee joint was looking problematic. To allow the full range of motion the upper leg has a large void space where the knee piece can slide into. Problem is that this gives a very small contact area and not much to pin into.

To solve this I put a pin in the knee thusly:

On the inside of the upper leg I put a corresponding hole and placed a wad of greenstuff around it, so the joint is braced more heavily:

...but I digress...

I now had one fully built leg:

And since I've been asked about it, this is how I left it to dry:

To continue the build the right hip and waist were glued into position, and then pinned in place. I simply eyeballed their position, setting them level with the leg turned out slightly.

Once this dried enough I was able to dry fit the left leg assembly so the model stood standing. Gripping the hip in place (being very careful) I drilled pin guide holes into the waist:

This gave me the correct position to glue the hip piece in, then I did the same on the upper leg. To make sure the lower leg correctly mated up with the foot and upper leg I fixed the knee in place to the lower leg first, before gluing both remaining joints simultaneously.
Doing it this way allowed me to wiggle the parts a little to ensure the feet remained flat on the ground.

"But wait - how could you move the parts? didn't you pin the joints?"  I hear you ask.

No, these two joints I pinned after the fact, the knee from the back and through the kneecap, and the ankle on the side and rear.

Now the main structure was set I added an extra pin to the right knee, through the kneepad, and vertically at the waist. Pinning the joints on two axes inhibits the motion on all three. So for instance the first pins on the waist (running front to back) wouldn't have stopped the legs splaying out to the side, but the ones going up/down compensate for that.

Rought position of pins shown in red:

Next up: Torso and pre-painting (dry fit shown below)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Phantom Titan build pt3: Feet

So begins the first part of the structural build. My weapon of choice for gluing the main sections is Araldite, a two part epoxy. I use the 5 minute quick dry version for obvious reasons.

For the assembly I glued all the parts save the heel and heel connector together before pinning. This allowed me to get the parts into the correct position without worrying about lining up holes, as the unit had to prettymuch be put together all at once due to the way the plates overlap.

After the glue had dried I got the dremel out and drilled holes into the foot module as deep as was possible. I'm using nails as my pins - they are strong, not too thick, and can be hammered in easily if they need to go that extra millimetre. It was not always possible to drill the complete depth of the nail, so it needed to be cut short.
To make sure I was cutting the correct depth I inserted the nail, marked it with a sharpie as seen below, and used that as a guide for where to cut.

The hole is due to an air bubble

Zap-a-Gap was dripped into the hole and the shortened nail inserted in place. As I mentioned before if needed they could be gently tapped a little deeper so they ended up flush with the kit.

These are the main points of connection for the foot, though the front ankle plate also connects to the toe ball.

Each foot module has five pins in it, following the red lines save the heel ones, as the heel will be pinned into the base. The top of the ankle will be pinned into the lower legs when they are constructed.

The feet are the most complex area of any Titan kit, with the largest concerntration of variably positioned parts and the greatest number of components. They are also vitally important as the positioning of the feet will play a large part in the final pose of the model.
If not familiar with a kit such as this it would probably be best to start on another section first. Luckily for anyone contemplating an Imperial Titan the feet are, while more fiddly, easier to pose due to having a sturdy foot plate everything attaches to.

Next up - Legs and hips.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Phantom Titan build pt2: Magnetising the Tertiary Guns

The Phantom kit comes with a Pulse Laser and Long-barreled Star Cannon designed to be mounted under the AA Missile Launcher on the left shoulder. Obviously if you glue one in you can only ever use that one, so I decided to magentise the socket and make some more options.

The first step is selecting a magnet - I'm using 1/8th inch neodyium ("rare earth") magnets sourced from MagLab. Non-Australians can just google suppliers I'm sure.
These magnets are very strong for their size, and fairly inexpensive (20c each) for the utility they provide.

Second step is to mount the magnets. I begin by drilling a small indent in the shoulder mount socket, as this is the universal acceptor, so it doesn't have to match anything. Picking a spot roughly in the centre I made the indent around half the depth of the magnet.
The magenet is glued in place using Zap-a-Gap, and greenstuff packed around the edges of the magnet, flsuh with the top.

Next is mounting the magnet on the weapons. The key here is that the weapon magnet has to...

1) meet up with the socket magnet accurately

2) stay attached and not come out

3) have the right polarity (be the right way around)

How I do it is similar to how I pin joints, a method I learned at The Inner Geek, using greenstuff (or blu-tac).
Taking the weapon magnet I drop it in the socket, so it sticks to the acceptor magnet already fixed in place. I then take a blob of greenstuff and place it on the end of the weapon (as a side note I cut the back of the ball mount flat to give a little wiggle room).

Next, I wet the greenstuff to prevent it sticking in the socket, and push it in at the desired angle before pulling it out again, showing the impression of the two magnets thusly:

A small indent it drilled, using the imprint as a guide. The weapon magnet is then removed (being very careful to retain the correct polarity), and glued into the green-stuff bed. Repeat as many times as necessary.

The Shuriken Cannon and Scatter Laser are taken from the Guardian heavy weapons sprue, with the backs cut off. I didn't mount the Missile Launcher or Bright Lance as the Phantom is neither lacking in missiles or anti-tank.

Up next - Foot assembly.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Phantom Titan build pt1: Preparation (ii) - trimming & dry fitting

The next step after inventory and cleaning is to trim the parts of flash and mould lines, and make sure everything fits together properly.

It is important to study the instructions beforehand to get a feel for how everything fits together before you start cutting. In the picture below it is not immediately obvious where the flash ends and a plug starts (or if there even is one).
Nothing is worse than making a cut then realising you just chopped off a vital connector. Taking a little extra time to be sure the first time will save a lot of time if you don't and make a mistake.

Also pictured are some of the tools I use. The clippers and knives people will be already familiar with, but the saw (known as a razor saw or jeweller's saw) is not a common item for some. It is useful for cutting thick sections that a dremel can't reach, or where a power tool would be too rough.
The flash above, for instance, is so thick and bulky that maneuvering the dremel in place is quite a juggling act.

In addition to the tools above I use a number of files and sandpapers:

I use the files to even out, and the (very fine grit) sandpaper to smooth out. Even with these it may be necessary to use some putty to smooth over any seams.

Another useful piece of equipment is a clamp.

This is a dremel clamp, and can be used to mount a rotary tool. It features a ball jointed base and rubber padded clamps. The moveable base is valuable in that I can easily rotate the parts about for better access, while the padded clamps prevent damage to the soft resin.

Before starting I sort the pieces into 'types', usually bits that go together during construction.

Click for larger.

Before cutting I check each piece against the instructions to see how it interacts with other parts, and test fit them together. Usually there will only be a small, obvious amount of flash that needs to be cut away for a smooth fit. Unfortunately there is sometimes a large amount of flash bonded with important connectors.

The knee joints of the Phantom have a guide peg on them that fits into a groove in the shin, keeping them straight. Without test fitting it would not be immediately obvious what the peg is, and it could be mistaken for flash and accidentally removed.
The test fitting will also show if anything needs to be reshaped to fit. For example, one of the Phantom's foot plates needs to be widened to allow the heel plate to fit under it.

Dry fitting the parts together also gives an insight into how the model will need to be assembled to allow for painting, showing points that will overlap or restrict access to other sections (or parts that will become totally hidden).

All this took around six hours, for 68 parts. It may seem like a long time but it is vital groundwork that can cause serious delays later in the construction.

Next up: Magnetising the tertiary weapons.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Phantom Titan build pt1: Preparation (i) - cleaning

Here begins the chronicalling of my Phantom Titan build. I'll be detailing it step by step as the weeks go by, from the very early stages to the finished piece. Hopefully this will not only prove useful to anyone else considering a Phantom, but to other builders of Titans or Forge World kits.

The first step is to sort and clean all the parts. The instructions come with a numbered diagram of the parts - actually the body comes with an inventory, the weapon arms do not, so I must assume all the parts are present.
That said, the first step is to sorty the pieces and check them off against the list, also checking for any serious defects such as missing plugs or major warpage. I found none, much ot my relief.

I also trim any large bits of flash, though some are so large to require the use of a dremel (such as the D-Cannon's barrel above), so I leave them for now. Similarly and small pieces, such as tassels, view screens and the like are left on their tree so they don't go missing in the next stage.

The actual cleaning is done by running hot water into the sink with plenty of detergent. The bits are then dumped in and left to soak. I left them for around ten minutes before coming back. Pulling them out I went over them with an electric toothbrush, scrubbing out the recesses particularly, befre rinsing them under running water to wash off the soap residue.

This is a vitally important step. Resin must be cleaned thoroughly to remove any traces of the mould release agent, or paint will not adhere properly to it and that would be very bad to discover right at the end of the project.
I had a few parts come out a little greasy still, so I washed the whole lot a second time (yes, all of it - taking no chances). Seems to have done the trick.

There will be some leftover resin trimmings:

Next up, cleaning the parts and dry-fitting.


Also been working on the rest of my Trondar, with the aim of getting them ready for Armies on Parade in September, and with any luck on to Games Day Sydney (which I will be attending, woot!).

Converted up a female Farseer to lead the mob:

Dark Eldar head, and removed from her scenic base. It was easier to chop off her feet and attach new ones from the guardian sprues than to try to salvage her originals.

I kept the wraithbone breastplate simple for two reasons:

1) I'm going to have it glowing so I decided to make it bold to stand out.
2) It's easier to sculpt that way.

One side effect of her new feet is she's now really tall - as in a head taller than everyone else:

Works well for the HQ, I think.

And here's a finished Banshee, with neon paint applied:

Unfortunately it doesn't show as well here as in person, but I'm very happy with the results.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Safety Gear - dremel and airbrushing

The neon paints I'm using for my Trondar project are highly toxic - they have a warning that they contain chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects. Said paint will be applied to resin minis for the most part (and some old lead ones), so more toxicity there.

So here's what I've got to protect myself:

1) Respirator - it is rated for both particles (resin dust) and fumes, so does double duty. I also wear it when drilling metal minis as it's probably best to not be breathing that in either.

1.b) Fan (not pictured) - If I'm working indoors, such as applying the neon paint to minis with a brush rather than an airbrush, ventilation is important. I keep a fan on to make sure there is circulation as only a few minutes with the lid off (and using thinner to clean brushes) will fill the room up with fumes.

2) Goggles - as I'm using power tools it's a no-brainer. Even when I'm only drilling a pin hole it's better safe than sorry.
They're not bad for using on the paint either as they stop the fumes irritating my eyes as much.

3) Gloves - I only wear the left one when dremeling (ah-heee hee!) so that in the event of a slip or breakage my fingers are slightly more protected. I keep the right free so that I maintain maximum dextereity with the tool.
I might get a pair of box handlers gloves, which are like the ones above but the thumb, index and middle fingers are missing.

They've already proved useful when this happened:

So instead of it shearing off into my hand, it bounced off the glove. Similarly I always wear long sleeves (and shoes if standing).

A bit of an investment, about $80 all up, but well worth it.

Final tip - make sure to mention to anyone else in the house you'll be wearing the gear, as you look like a serial killer with it all on (especially with a black jacket and pants).

Another good investment is the chuck attachment:

Some models come with this standard, but the cordless doesn't. It's much better than swapping out the collets and it can also close up enough to grip tiny drill bits, like the 0.6mm one above - perfect for pinning minis.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Arena of Death – Phantom vs Warlord

Gleefully ripping off from Claws and Fist’s series of the same name I present a deathmatch between the pride of the Craftwords, the sleek and shiny Phantom Titan, and the mainstay of the Adeptus Mechanicus Collegia Titanica’s Divisio Militaris, the mighty Warlord Titan.
Both are equal points, the dice rolls are real, the results are written down as they happen.


The Warlord will have a standardised layout for each match:

1 x Quake Cannon
1 x Lasblaster
1 x Twin Turbolaser
1 x Apoc Missile Launcher

This is by no means the strongest, but is a good, balanced layout. The Phantom will be used with different weapon combos for effect.

Round 1 – Warlord Goes First

The Warlord fires all its guns, the AML hitting with all shots automatically due to the Phantom’s footprint, and the other weapons all scoring hits.
Armour penetration is rolled, with the AML scoring a glance, and the Quake Cannon two pens. The five turbolaser shots auto penetrate.

Saves are rolled:

Stationary Phantom (5++): Saves one QKC hit and one turbolaser. This gives it one glance and five penetrating hits (four with a +1 on the damage chart).

Moving Phantom (4++): I only managed to improve the roll by a second save against the turbolasers, not too much of an improvement.


Stationary – Gun Crew Stunned (saved), Driver Stunned, Drive Damaged, Weapon Destroyed x 2 (one saved), Structural Damage

Moving - Driver Stunned x 2, Structural Damage, Chain Reaction! X2 = Driver Stunned x2

The Warlord packed a hefty punch, doing a large amount of damage in a single salvo. Next turn the Phantom will be severely weakenedHardly surprising though.

Round 2 – Phantom goes first < 48” range

The Phantom fires its missile battery and pulse laser, hoping to take down some shields first. With some good rolling five void shields are taken out, allowing for the big guns to follow up:

Two D-Cannons: Both hit, inflicting 4 rolls on the damage chart (with a +1 on each), bypassing the remaining void shield entirely.
Results are Driver Stunned, Weapon Destroyed (save failed), Drive Damaged, Chain Reaction! = Chain Reaction! = Drive Damaged.

Not bad, immobilising the sucker and knocking off one of his guns, as well as two SPs, somewhat reducing the Warlord’s ability to get his shields back.

Two Pulsars: All eight shots hit, causing seven hits (one needed to knock out his last shield). For this example I’m adding both the AP1 and StrD bonus to the damage chart.

Results are: Weapon Destroyed (saved), Structural Damage x 3, Drive Damaged x 3 (third converts to weapon destroyed, which is saved).

A somewhat lacklustre round of shooting there, failing to do much in the way of reducing the Warlord’s immediate fighting ability, so come next turn it will be able to hit back with its full salvo of weapons (see Round 1 for how that’s going to feel).

So I rolled again, bringing up: Weapon Destroyed, Drive Damaged, Structural Damage, Chain Reaction! x 4 = Weapon Destroyed, Structural Damage, Chain Reaction! = Chain Reaction! = Chain Reaction! = Chain Reaction! = Structural Damage... but it doesn’t matter as it was dead already (it exploded).

So it is possible to ‘one shot’ a Warlord, but you need to be very lucky in both getting those Chain Reactions and taking down the shields.

One Pulsar, one D-Cannon: All shots hit, though one Pulsar blast is used up on a shield. The D-Cannon does 2 hits, for a total of five rolls on the damage chart with two at +1, and three at +2.

Results are: Structural Damage x 2, Chain Reaction! x 3 = Drive Damaged, Chain Reaction x 2 = Chain Reaction! x 2 = 23” blast Apocalyptic Explosion!

Impressive, but keep in mind that if the Phantom had been over 48” away, the Pulsar hits would have been absorbed by the shields. Twin Pulsars would have been needed to get two hits.
Also keep in mind that I’m using both the AP1 and StrD bonuses, so if that gets FAQ’d as not working the results would be less impressive.

Round 3 – Phantom (mixed weapons) at 90” range.

Phantom goes first, moving forward and firing its Pulsar, stripping off four shields. The Warlord remains stationary, firing all its weapons, totalling up two glances and seven pens (five with +1). The Phantom saves one glance, one Quake Cannon hit and two turbolaser hits.

As a note if the Phantom had moved all out and gotten a 3++ save it would have saved against four of the StrD hits.

Damage is: Weapon Destroyed (Pulsar, saved), Gun Crew Shaken (Pulsar, stunned), Driver Stunned x 3.
The Moderatii need to spend more time on the target range it seems.

The Phantom, robbed of the only weapon it can use at this range, shunts all the driver stunned results into Gun Crew Shaken ones (aside: does the attacker still chose the weapons? I’d say so). The D-Cannon, Pulse Laser and Missile Battery are now also stunned, so the Phantom cannot shoot at all next turn.

The Phantom (turn 2) moves all out and gains a whole extra 9”, closing the distance to 57”. Cannot shoot, but its save is improved to 3++.

The Warlord regains its four lost void shields, and fires again – scoring the same amount of damage as last turn. One Quake Cannon shot is saved, as are four turbolaser hits (it’s like déjà vu all over again).

Damage is: Gun Crew Stunned x 2, Drive Damaged, Structural Damage.
The Pulsar stays stunned, but the D-Cannon makes its save.

The Phantom (turn 3) diverts power from the stunned Pulsar and moves an extra 7”, closing the range to under the magic 48” mark (44” to be precise).
Firing all available weapon systems it knocks out three void shields and hits three times with the D-Cannon.

Damage done: Weapon Destroyed (Lasblaster), Chain Reaction! x 2 = Driver Stunned, Chain Reaction! = Drive Damaged.

The tally is now Warlord at half speed, minus a gun and on 6 SP, while the Phantom is at half speed, and 6 SP.

The Princeps, angry at the pointy-heads’ impertinence, pulls up his shields (regaining all the lost ones) and fires his remaining weapons at the enemy. His anger seemed to do him no favours as he only scores four penetrating hits (‘only’, ha!) – the loss of the Lasblaster was a serious one.
The Phantom saves the Quake Cannon hits, but still takes the StrD turbolasers.

Damage done: Driver Stunned, Drive Damaged (the Phantom is now Immobilised).

The Phantom (turn 4) hits back with all its weapons, knocking off four shields with the light systems, before the Pulsar takes out the last two and scores two hits. The D-Cannon does a further one.

Damage done: Chain Reaction! x 3 (all natural 6’s too) = Drive Damaged (Immobilised), Weapon Destroyed (Turbolasers, saved), Chain Reaction! (another 6!) = Weapon Destroyed (Quake Cannon).

The Warlord is now on 2 SP, Immobile, and fails to get its shields back online. It fires back as best it can, the turbolasers hitting twice, which the Phantom fails to save.

Damage done: Weapon Destroyed (Pulsar), Chain Reaction! = Chain Reaction! = Chain Reaction! = Chain Reaction! = Structural Damage.

The Phantom (turn 5) , on ONE SP, immobile, and without an arm, gives its best shot back. The Missile Battery causes a glance, while the D-Cannon scores two penetrating hits.
Damage done: Gun Crew Shaken, Driver Stunned, Weapon Destroyed (Turbolasers, saved [curse you Imperial dogs!]).

The tech priests pull up a solitary void shield and the crippled Warlord attempts to finish off its nemesis. The damage seems to have busted the targeters, as one of the Turbolaser shots goes wild, missing completely. The other hits though, and is not saved.
Damage done: Weapon Destroyed (D-Cannon, saved!).

Naturally the Phantom (turn 6) shoots back, causing a glance on the shield and two penetrating hits.
Damage done: Weapon Destroyed, Chain Reaction! = Chain Reaction! = Apocalyptic Explosion which, fortunately for the Phantom, is only 18” in radius.

Victory to the Eldar! Though I think it was a very narrow one and had the Warlord had more average damage rolls in the first round of shooting it would have been over more quickly and decisively.

The Holofield save was nice, being able to stop a StrD attack without question, but too unreliable. Having to sacrifice shooting to keep moving (and keep alive) is a big offset. The Phantom can do tremendous amounts of damage, but a single Driver Stunned result can cripple it – either you stay still and weaken your defences drastically, or you risk losing half your heavy firepower.

The above battle was also fought in a vacuum, so the Phantom would have to be dealing with getting blasted by all sorts of light support weapons trying to stun it and lock it down. That would really be the best tactic – hit it with infantry heavy weapons to try and get some stunned and shaken results before concentrating StrD on it next turn. That way you’ve either immobilised it so its save is only 5++, or it won’t be firing so is out of the game for a turn really anyway.

Relating to my earlier thoughts on the beta rules, I think if it was able to totally ignore Driver Stunned results and the Agile movement was 6+d6” / 6+2d6”, and the secondary weapon ranges were increased a little it would be worth it.
If AP1 and StrD end up not stacking on the Superheavy chart though, the Phantom will be quite significantly weakened. Being able to cause SP damage/wrecks on a 3+ is a massive positive in its favour.

(click for larger version with legible text)

I ran a Phantom vs Reaver match too –it went something like “Phantom fires, Reaver explodes” (especially with twin Pulsars), so I won’t bother writing it up.

* the images are from Codex Titanicus, an expansion to Adeptus Titanicus and Space Marine.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Divisio Militaris: Is the Phantom worth 2500pts?

So the Phantom is up for pre-order now, and the experimental rules are online to go with it (if you are not familiar with them already give them a read, as I will obviously be referring to them a lot).

Personally, I think it's overcosted for what it does. The current rules should be somewhere between 2250 and 2000, relative to other Titans.
A Warlord is 2500 and, while it would take damage (possibly a large amount at close range), could kill a Phantom more easily than the other way around. The extra movement and holofields the Phantom recieves is in no way comprable to six void shields and AV14. This isn't even comparing damage output, though the difference there is not as accute.

Armour, Defences and Movement

13/13/11 is good, and what I'd expect from an Eldar titan. The Enhanced Holofields are good, but giving up all shooting for only 3++ (sure, it's the new black, but still).
3++ is good, but for a titan to give up shooting its main guns it's not that good.

Holofields are also much more unreliable than Void Shields. For example a Warlord can take six hits from whatever before being damaged, but one krak missile could (theoretically) destroy the Phantom.

My version would be:

Stationary: 5++
1"-6": 4++
7-12": 3++
13" or more: 2++

This may sound a lot, but the difficulty of moving a titan with a 12" diamater footprint on a crowded Apocalypse table is a large one - this one can't jump like Revenants so has to have a large clear space to move.
The two brackets on the regular move is to stymie the cheesy "I moved my revenant 1/4 of an inch so I get a holofield save" stuff - if you want a better save you really have to work for it.

Being able to pass a Driver Stunned result on to the gun crew is possibly the worst idea ever in my opinion. I want my titans shooting the bejeezus out of everything in sight, not moving (I sometimes think they could do without legs at all personally).

If it was simply an ability to swap one for the other or vice versa it would be great - that way you are free to choose to lump all your Gun Crew Stunned onto your driver, or keep moving no matter the cost to your firepower.
Alternatively just have it ignore Driver Stunned entirely.

It seems the desigers (across all the IA and Apoc books) overvalue boosts to movement compared to how much they get used. The Agile / Fleet ability is terrible - sacrificing firing a four shot StrD weapon to move 2d6" extra? Well, it's not the Warhound's D6" at least.
If it was 6+d6" and 12+d6" it'd be better.
I'd hate to forgoe obliterating something to move an extra 2"... it's actually rather embarrasing to move a titan that little a distance.

So, if the total points are going to be taking the agility and speed of the Phantom into consideration (which it certainly seems) I'd give that extra movement more certainty.
As a late random thought maybe even a Jet Pack style move in the Assault phase. It'd allow for some limited moving back into a more defensive stature after firing and be something very unique.
Even more crazy would be if the Phantom didn't move in the movement phase it could take its normal move in the Assault phase, allowing for some seriously cunning maneuvering.

Killing Stuff

The Phantom Pulsar is dead killy - two of those would very likely wreck a Reaver in one turn, or at least cripple it horribly (but being +50% the cost you'd hope so!). I would not change this at all. If the AP1 stacks with the StrD bonus on the Superheavy damage chart, then this gun is even better. I've not seen anything to the contrary, but it is a grey area.

The D-Cannon is brutal, and I think the range works well. The weapon is comparative to the melta cannon, so having an equal range works for me. The D3 damage vs Superheavies is especially dangerous, though it should probably have something against Gargantuans (D3 wounds).

The ranges on the secondary weapons feel too short though. The AA is ok as a point defence and aside from a Lightning or Vulture strafing with Hunter-Killers most aircraft will have to close into range to fire.
Increasing it wouldn't hurt, especially if the "Summer of Fliers" comes to fruition and every man and his dog has a Thunderbolt.

The ground attack missile pod feels too short though, and doesn't mesh with the main guns. It's primary purpose would be either killing light to medium armour or stripping sheilds. The problem is with a 48" range you'll have pummled anything with your longer range main guns or a close in target worth your titan's attention will be needing more firepower than four S8, AP3 shots.

I'd give it the following profiles:

Heavy 4

Apoc4, Pinning

It has dual purpose now, giving the Phantom some anti-horde infantry and more synergy with its other weapon systems.

I'm sure it will be changed but at the moment the Phantom's Towering Monstrosity rule as written doesn't preclude any close combat weapon arm, when / if such a weapon is made, from striking a 'normal' vehicle. The ability to make StrD attacks at I3 against normal infantry would be a very strong one but, given assault is the last place any non-Ork titan wants to be (and it would mean sacrificing a gun) I wouldn't put it as a big pro.


If the Phantom's going to cost 2500pts one of three things needs to be done:

1) Improve the holofields, or at least make sacrificing shooting worth it. Make any 'bonus' movement more reliable or more easily used.

2) More than two long range guns - getting closer is a bad idea and those shiny missile launchers should be more of a threat.

3) Make Imperial titans cost more. Not a likely outcome, but the mark has been set by which others are measured and the Phantom comes up short when compared to these guys (but so do the Nid GCs).

The Phantom hits hard - very hard, but not hard enough to justify the price tag points wise. It's very good at killing superheavies, but not much else. Toe to toe with a Warlord, it'd be a close (favouring the Imperial due to survivability), but against a mixed force the Phantom doesn't have the same massive 'oopf' as comparative superheavies.

For the same amount you can get five Scorpions that have almost double the Structure Points between them and more StrD shots - they'll also be getting a 4++ save. So either beef the Phantom up, or bring the price tag down.

I vote for more destruction.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Glow in the Dark Test 02

My Spaz Stix paints arrived today (supplied in Australia by Qikazz), so I gave them a test with the glow powder.

The top three are yellow, orange, and fireball orange mixed with the pigment over white. The three on the left are over marcharius orange.

The clear winner is Fireball Orange over either colour in terms of glow, but the plain orange looks a bit better in daylight. The issue here is obviously that I was planning to black and yellow.
So I'm thinking of doing two sets of lines - yellow ones by hand with citadel, and larger orange ones with the airbrush. The Spaz Stix line is nasty airbrush stuff (nasty as in it is carcenogenic and has a warning label on it stating just that - wear your respirator!) so any use of a brush needs to be cleaned with thinner like enamel paints.

Problem there is the pigmented paint is 99& likely to gum up an airbrush. My thought is to airbrush a base coat down then hand paint on the glow sections over the top. This would have the advantage of making the glow slightly irregular and allow me to do false shading by not doing in the recesses and such.

Here's a shot from six feet away:

The glow is quite effective on just an hours charge by lamplight, so it'd be pretty good after a fair bit of daylight I'd imagine.

Current thought is to do a 'fake' glow with citadel paints as a base, tape off the main section, spray white down, spray orange over that, then hand do the pigmented mix. More testing to come.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Glow in the Dark test 01

So to follow up from the previous post I've tried a few different methods, including ink, water, isopropyl alcohol and different paints:

The best glow effect is from the pigment with water / alcohol, the good yellow one is from using sunburst yellow.
The trick is that the pigment isn't soluable, so getting the right amount of pigment to make a glow vs not having that horrible salmon colour is a bit tricky. Also it needs to be smooth enought to paint consistently with else the glow will be uneven.

Still, not a bad first trial run. I'll do another when the neon paints arrive.

On a related note I'm actually kinda pissed at Forge World right now, as "AdeptiCon attendees will be able to advance order the mighty Phantom Titan for despatch well in advance of the pre-order date" (from the newsletter).
I can dig Open Day getting cool stuff, but when it spreads outside of that it is basically a punch in the gut to loyal FW customers outside those attendees - "you like cool stuff? Too bad! You can wait because you're on the other side of the world!"

Keep in mind this was announced two days before AdeptiCon, which sold out ages ago, so it's not like there's any way to do anything about it unless you were already going.

Sent them an email asking for an approx release date and expressing my displeasure at the policy (though with less hostility than above). Australia gets screwed by Games Workshop all the time - look at the prices we get charged here* - but when Forge World does it, it's too much. If I don't get a reply by Monday I'm going to phone them.

* Marine Tac Squad - $62au, $37usd, £23. Convert $62au via actual exchange rates and you get $64usd and £39. Bit of a difference there, no?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Beginning of a new Project

Bag of mysterious orange powder:

Turn off the lights, and it glows:

to the extreme I rock the mic like a vandal, light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle.

Going to play around with this some and see what happens. Also waiting on some neon paint to come in the post. What's is all for?

PhanTRON titan


Going to do some testing on a Wratihlord for concept and practice.