Final Push towards West Coast Mayhem

I don't know why, but supposedly I'm going to West Coast Mayhem. I guess it is to have fun... My life just doesn't get better and I'm so so tired of the status quo. I wasn't going to write another entry into this journal until after I actually made it to West Coast Mayhem, but I've actually been trying to help Nick what little I can in promoting the event so I've posted on various boards/websites plus actually called and visited with gamers and game stores especially on Vancouver Island.

Not a lot of people are coming from the Island or the States which saddens me as there were a bunch at Conflict Vancouver in 2003. Neither the 40K nor Warhammer Fantasy Battle tournament has sold out yet with two weeks remaining. Some people still have optimism, I haven't had much optimism since March 2005. They are already talking about next year being bigger, better, and more well advertised. I wish them luck, I know some people have put in a lot of time and effort to make this happen. I've tried to help what little I could. I always try to help people, even though I've only met Nick once and I've never met Thor...

Darren's Miniature Painting Contest

A week before West Coast Mayhem, Darren long time GW employee (10 plus years), held a painting contest at his store. I wanted to support his entrepreneurial business venture and since I have no job, no money, and no hope... I ransacked the only miniatures I had in Vancouver, the ones in this army and entered as many categories as I could so his figure cases wouldn't be so empty. He ended up with a good turn out and a familiar name to anyone who has entered a miniature painting contest in Vancouver in the last few years won several categories, Kelly Kim.

Some people are a bit bitter perhaps that Kelly enters and wins so many categories, I told Darren I think there are other people who can paint better, but they don't always put in the time and effort necessary to win. Kelly Kim is very consistant and he is/was a semi-pro painter so he can be very efficient and he knows what looks good on a table, in a figure case, on a website, and in a painting contest. I'm a gamer first I think I've entered four painting contests, now five in my entire life. I had always done well until some Inquistor scale contest at the Park Royal store Owen asked me to enter, I never saw the winning entries, but he said some buddy judging went on...

My Inquisitor scale entry that 
	aparently lost

Kelly Kim did not win every category in Darren's contest, but he did win three or more. Another person managed to win best sci-fi squad defeating my random five terminators and your much maligned scribe managed to win sci-fi large sized model with none other than Blastmarker Billy. I thought that might have been my strongest entry as it was intended to be impressive and an army centerpiece.

I won a Charon miniature case which was is probably the nicest prize I've ever won in a painting contest. Darren has challenged me to defeat Kelly Kim, one year from now, but I don't even know if I'll be alive one year from now, let alone living near Darren's store. It would take at least 30 probably closer to 60 hours to paint a miniature to the standard necessary to have a chance to defeat a really well painted Kelly Kim miniature. I would have said prior to this contest that my best chance to win a painting contest was in the squad category as I'm a gamer first, but apparently large miniatures might be my true forte.

I don't always agree with judging at painting contests or even the idea that you should judge art, it is so subjective, so personal. I talked with another person who entered a lot of categories crediably. He suggested nicer bases as a reason I didn't win in squads. This is a very accurate observation. I have very plain bases especially by 2007 standards. I'm a gamer first. If I had more time I planned to spruce up the bases of my GT3 army. I don't have the time, energy, or money... However if you want to win a painting contests, say a painting contest in Vancouver where several world class painters might show up, digging figs out of a very deep miniature cabinet make sure you have an impressive base. These can be bought pre-made.

My army general has one of these pre-made fancy bases, but I never entered him in Darren's contest, there was no category for best single sci-fi miniature. There will be another miniature painting contest a week from now at West Coast Mayhem. I suspect many people will enter the exact same models and you might see similar winners, however a few more good painters may come out of the woodwork. I thought of three or four (Nathan, Orion, Thor Gammon, even Angus Wakefield) who could and have in the past painted, entered, and done well in painting contests on the West Coast of Canada. There are many, many more good painters in BC, perhaps the most famous is Jason Richards who I don't think I've ever met. I don't get out much. Here were the results of the last two GW Conflict Vancouver Warpstone painting contests 2005 and 2006, note I didn't enter either and notice how many times Kelly Kim won. ;-)

I plan to enter the Phantom of the Rock Opera in the West Coast Mayhem painting competition. However the day before I went to get it out of a box which contained some unpainted miniatures and it wasn't in there. It is probably in some box at my mother's house with 90% of my gaming stuff. But maybe it is just gone... It is perhaps not painted as well as Blastmarker Billy or Malfactor the Marred but it is a sweet conversion, people who've seen even a picture of it, like it, and it has a display style base. One thing counting against it in a GW painting contest is it is so very, very out of print.

One Last Model

Terminator with a chainfist

At the repeated insistance of regular opponent Rob, I primed and repainted one of the old OOP Chaos terminators I had stripped, one with a chainfist. I actually assembled and painted three terminators and a champ with great weapon, who in the new codex is no longer an option. These are the first models I've painted since I moved to Vancouver, actually they were mostly painted on Vancouver Island. They are the final four green models I plan to paint, well I might do two Nurgle bikers to go with Issacous. I have tentative plans to give Issacous the tiny line treatment someday. But these may be the final four models I ever paint. I just don't have the time, energy or will. The will to paint.

Here is a shot of the finished chaos terminator with chainfist. I decided to use him to replace the banner bearer I had already converted and painted as I never seemed to make much use of his combi-flamer. In the new codex, in my future army, I envision using a small unmarked terminator squad with a heavy flamer and two combi-mealtas. The combi-plasma is now possible for chaos, but there are few models for it and I'm anti-plasma gun. Too many people take too many plasma guns. I'm pro mealta gun, less shots, but zero chance of hurting yourself and I always have so many problems with tanks. In the new codex I will have signifigantly more heavy weapons in my army lists, assuming I continue to paint and play.

Three more Nurgle terminators

Army Display

The rules or at least the missions and scoring for army selection, painting, and what have you is signifigantly different in the West Coast Mayhem 40K tournament. I didn't have the time and energy to ensure I got maximum pre-tournament points, even though I had plenty of painted models to make it happen. I decided to stick with the army I painted and playtested, even if it did go 0-3 in the practice tournament. This tournament will hopefully have less cheaters, and missions/terrain more friendly to Nurgle. If I enter another tournament at some point in the future I will have an army with more long ranged firepower, more scoring units, and increased speed and maneurverability through the use of terminators, raptors, but most likely bikes. Three bikes with no mark, is such a cheap and fast unit, I've never had a unit like that. I used Issacous or another single character with a jump pack in the past, but characters aren't scoring units for the most part now, so I see value in the 3 man terminator squad, 3 man bike squad, and the single obliterator squad.

Pink Foam and Breakfast Tray Foam board and shaped insulation foam Black foam and beach sand Applying more sand and more black paint Finished army display base

One thing I did decide to do and make time for, was constructing an army display base. I built one for my last GT army and it really helps you display and transport your models. I had some more elaborate ideas but in the end decided on a simple crater filled with embattled chaos space marines. Last time I used a picture frame as the basis of my display, but I've seen a few displays up close and I've decided handles are a good idea, so I got my mom to buy me a breakfast tray. They can be had cheap from say Ikea. The one she bought is far from ideal, so if I do this again, I will get a breakfast tray with flat sides and little legs that fold down, I think that will help the tray sit on a gaming table covered with terrain. As it stands with most army displays you either have to move terrain or put them on the floor under the table, unless your army is really small.

I actually built some terrain six or more months back and it took longer than I thought it would, that is why I wanted to really keep my display minimalist. I also wanted to learn from my previous mistakes. I used foam board, insulation foam, cat litter, and beach sand, just like last time. I also had the entire army painted and constructed so I could position things as necessary. I planned to use less cat litter and to give the foam a coating of black before I put sand and cat litter on it. Drying time for the glue and black coats can be considerable.

Although the display base would help me move my army around at BCIT and get me a few extra bonus points, getting it to BCIT necessitated I take a cab. I've transported my army on the bus on more than one occaision, it is doable, especially because I got a case that holds the entire army plus all the rulse I need. I'm not sure my Cities of Death book is in the case, but it must be, I've still yet to play under those rules, but I played under the third edition city fight rules. Now there are Apocalypse rules, 40K has too many rules for me to keep track of, especially now that my brain is broken.

The entire army from a slightly elevated angle

I hope to get everything done by Friday, I don't want any last minute frenzied activities. The army is done well enough, I would have liked to fancy up some bases, playtest more, maybe even paint an entirely different predator, but I just didn't have it in me. I also planned to paint my campaign badges on prior to the tournament, but that isn't likely to happen either.

I got everything done I said I would, in plenty of time to type up this crap and maybe even get one last playtest game in at the Comic Shop. I've never played there but it has been in business about as long as I've been alive and it is a tough call whether I spent more money on comics or gaming crap. Probably the latter, but which would fetch more on eBay... My comics are older but I read unpopular stuff as a kid.

I know some people will ask so here are:

One other thing I did do in time to collect the bonus points was submit my army list and write a token page of fluff.

I did get in a warm up game, which may help me remember the damn rules. I lost, putting me on at least a five game losing streak going into this tournament. At least I can change my army... Oh wait five straight losses with the army it took me years to paint and build. I lost to the new Chaos Codex in my warmup game, my opponent was named James I believe. He had Tzeentch terminators which were tough to kill, also a flying sorceror with a pretty nasty psychic power (Wind of Chaos). I haven't had that much luck with psychics since 2nd edition, assuming I ever had much luck with anything... I'll have to give some thought to using a sorceror, I'm thinking of dusting of my Tzeentch sorceror on disk and giving him an improved paintjob, maybe that will be my next general. Anything goes in the new Chaos Codex, but I never like to spend a lot of points on HQ. I like that the Tzeentch psychic power has the longest range. I'm all about longer range, plus everyone seems to want to use the Slaneesh psychic power so I don't. I'm a contrarion.

Read how I did and how West Coast Mayhem went...

Words and Images © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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