Posted by Jawaballs at 8:54 AM
Hey Folks, The Conflict GT just ended, and I had a great time! I will be writing up a tournament report tomorrow. But for now, I wanted to bring up what is immediately on my mind! I have been to quite a few tournaments lately, and I always score well on painting, but I can't quite seem to cross the event horizon from good to great. I have picked up more than a few best painted, but it seems lately that my army just falls short. Two recent times the big stop between me and the elusive Best Painted was conversions. Battle for Salvation, Mechanicon, Nova to name a few. I am not saying that the guys who won best painted at those events did not deserve it because yes their armies were fantastic. I'm saying that I did not give myself the best possible chance. And the biggest hit I always take is that my army has very little conversion work.
Now, this is a bit difficult to me. I don't see how I can create a massively converted Blood Angels army. First of all, I LOVE the BA models. In the past most dudes who have used converted models did so because adequate models for the units they wanted to play did not exist. Case in point... Storm Raven! But the issue is more involved than that. Many times guys get high honors in conversions simply by swapping out models from other systems for their own. You see this often with IG. Armies made up of Cadian Infantry are ho hum. But use all Warhammer Fantasy Dark Elf bodies and heads and give them lasguns and blammo, max conversion points. I won't even get into armies that are completely and totally made up of converted things. The biggest problem is that you have no idea what the hell you are looking at. A tyranid army made up of flying mechanical things made from Tau parts for example. (sorry went off on a little tangent, I will save that "counts as" rant for some other time.)
So where was I. Oh yah, converting an army. On the painting rubric for The Conflict GT, which was great by the way, their painting score was a maximum of 40 points, and had a nice checklist giving you complete feedback on what you need to do to improve. I scored 37/40. My areas to improve? Aside from conversion, I could do more with my display board. (That is another future blog post, new board incoming.) For conversions, there were 4 possible points. I scored two. Kit bashing, minimal conversions etc. Not much to speak of in my army for sure. A mix of Assault squad, tactical squad, death company, sanguinary guard and forgeworld bits make up my marines. My priest is converted from the Chaplain dread model using a few other bits cut and shaved to fit. But thats it! And I LOVE the Blood Angels models. Why should I have to build my own to get full points? I relent. In order to get the maximum on conversions, I need to do more than kitbash marine sprues. First of all, I need to bring in elements of models from other armies or systems. Then I need to do some sculpting, plasticard work and scratch building. So, what are my plans you ask?
First of all, I will be rebuilding all of my infantry. I will begin by adding 10 new marines to the 10 Forge World Heresy armor models I already have. I paid 50 bucks for them, I'm using them. Then I plan on getting creative. I want to make my army look more space vamp. So I will be going goth on my marines. Chaos Warriors Chosen might be one of my first stops. They seem pretty bulky to represent power armor and slicing off the chaos bits and replacing them with purity seals and blood drops should not be a problem. But if I go with my two different squads of Forge World models, i will need to do two distinctly different other squads. For the second? Not sure, maybe just kit bashing and such will suffice. Vanguard Vet models, blood angel sprue etc. For heads I am looking for vampire heads. The best I have seen so far are from the WHFB Vampire Counts Blood Knights. Five great vampire heads, but the damn box set is 90 bucks! I have not seen them offered by any bits seller. I did see some vampire models offered by Reaper, about a dozen, that might do. My question to you is what else is there? What would some of you converting experts suggest? The army has to be legal for use in GW tournaments.
Also, I will make yet another display board. The scoring rubric had 3 or 4 possible points for display board, and I failed to get one of them. The top level was a display board that went above and beyond the basics, with lighting effects, water, and muiltiple tiers. I want to keep my display board at the 18x24" size I have now because the main purpose of a display board is to easily move your army around a crowded tournament. I found that 18x24 fits great in most places, and I have seen some absurdly huge display boards being carried around by some guys, that actually just cause traffic problems and annoy people. Or, I can make a larger display board for the purpose of displaying my army for painting, and use my small one for actual game play to carry my army around. Really just a tray. In going with the vamped out blood angels, I can make a gothic throne room of sorts, complete with lit candles and music... a river of blood!
Finally, this new theme will help tie my vehicles together. I will come up with some sort of batwinged version of the blood angels logo, with a fanged skull. I think some already exist. And I will paint up some nice Fantasy banners for the squads to carry.
Any one care to brainstorm more ideas? What models and bits should I use?