Blood and Honor: The Defense of Macragge A charity army build

Well this year's charity army build is gearing up!  Lets start with extreme eye candy courtesy of John Stiening. You have to visit his blog HERE. His work is just gorgeous. I personally need to get down to see him again soon to learn a bit of how he does this yellow.

John Stiening

John Freaking Steining. This model is outstanding. I am almost considering pulling out of the paint team just so I can enter to win this army!

You can purchase entries HERE. All proceeds go to benefit Doctors Without Borders.

As I posted before, this year's charity project is actually FOUR armies. Deathwatch, Tyarnids, Ultramarines and Man Eaters. It is my honor to be taking part in the Ultramarines army painting a squad of Sternguard Vets and a squad of Tyranic War Vets.

Here is my WIP on the Sternguard Sgt. It pales in comparison to what I just showed you. John humbles me. But it's ok. I do my best!

Sternguard Sergeant
I am building up the blue very slowly. I started with John Stiening's recipe, 50/50 Kantor/Black, then layers of Kantor, Macragge and Calgar blue. He is still very dark and I need to do many more layers to bring the blue up to the level of some of the other marines in the project but that will come. I wanted to do some of the details to give me an idea of where I need to bring the blue.  Of course it would not be a Jawaballs model without my own touch! One thing that I feel I do rather well is grey and of course red. You can see both taking shape. The red helm for the sgt. and the plasma pistol grey. I am even going to dip into the last few drops of my secret red varnish to finish the helm. The stuff I used on my old Blood Angels army.  Oh I am going to miss that pot of stuff! I have some video going up today continuing the step by step of this project.

Want more eye candy?

Here are more WIP shots from the DEFENSE OF MACRAGGE home page.

Truly beautiful work!

Oh and a charity army post would not be complete without linking to Dave Taylor!  Visit his blog HERE to see his updates on his Centurians he is painting.

Dave Taylor's Centurian

Of course, you have to be In it to Win it!  VISIT HERE to get tickets. For every ticket you purchase, you name will be entered once into the drawing. If you purchase 100 tickets, your name will be entered 100 times. So get on it!


Where to game in CT?

40k is a social game. It is meant to be played by groups of guys. The hobby is meant to be shared. You get better at painting and playing by being around others, learning from them and sharing that experience. You can't get this in your basement alone, (trust me I know) or sitting around with that buddy you always pound on. My brother, who lives in Vermont is a great example. I helped him build his list, and he brutalizes his buddies over and over playing in his basement, but it was not until he finally went to a gaming store up there that he encountered some one who could beat him, and he truly started learning the game. The only way to  get the full experience of 40k, or any table top game, is to go to a gaming store and join the community.

So where do you game in CT?  I get asked this a lot seeing as I live in CT and all.  The truth of it is that there simply aren't many places to go with thriving 40k communities. Sure there are my friends who game at Battle for Salvation in Westchester, NY. But we all know the wonderful CT traffic. I just can't get there very often.

So where?

The answer is The Battle Standard! Located in Manchester, CT it sits right in the heart of Connecticut making it an easy trip for any one in the state. 

What makes The Battle Standard great?  

Well for one, the owner Jared is a down to earth and supportive guy. He truly cares and wants his gamers to love their experience. I have chatted with him several times, and he is the type that not just talks to you, but listens and responds to what you have to say. A rare breed in our egocentric world!

I have played in a few tournaments there and as far as game stores go, it is large, clean and organized.  They pride themselves on "Raising the standard of gaming" and it shows. Each table has great terrain and the lighting, often times dark and shadowy in some stores, is bright and vivid, making your models look great on the tables.  But more than that is the little things.  Each table has stools... yes I know, a place to park is often overlooked. But even better, and more often overlooked, is the need to place our drinks so that we don't leave moisture rings on the tables... The Battle Standard tables have drink holders!  Coat hooks too. How many times have you gone to a game store and had to stuff your coat into a corner some place.  Or worse carry it around with you or leave it hanging on the back of a chair.  The little things!

Yes, funny, but it is the little things that matter when raising the level a step above every one else. And TBS gets those things right.  But one of the best touches, and perhaps most unnoticed, is the environment. Have you ever been in a stuffy game store during a tournament, late in the day on a hot afternoon?  We have all embraced the gamer funk!  Well The Battle Standard has an air filtration system!  Yup, no need to shower there!  (Joking please shower.)  

Seriously though, it is a place set up for gamers to play.  And that is what it is all about.

What else makes it special?  It's location is great, just off a major interstate in a strip mall. So there is plenty of parking. Right across the parking lot is a KFC and Taco Bell, along with a deli next door. Food? Check. 

That is it for now.  I will talk about events, painting competitions and the community there next time. My friend Alex Fennel, one of the top ranked 40k players in the world plays there and is always willing to give tips.  

I will leave you with one of the more important aspects of a good gaming store...

You cannot put a price on a good restroom when there are dozens of gamers about. And this one is large, comfortable and has a working flushing toilet!  (Trust me, I have seen some restrooms that were less than standard.)  It even looks like an ork outhouse!  Heh I should do an article on game store restrooms. 

So get out of your basement and get into the game at The Battle Standard!