Bakka Revival

Back again on the Imperium. With the coming of BFI (french BFG tournament), I’m keeping on building a fleet with the 2010 Bakka list. As of now, I have several conversion on the standard cruiser to reflect the orthodoxy of Bakka (keeping a Mars Pattern) with enough small changes that make the fleet recognizable.

The 2010 list adds some very interesting variants. I had worked previously on the Havoc frigate for Cypra-Mundi, with the diamond prow, but with only a prow swap if can be made quite good looking (yes, I sometimes praise myself).

Bakka Havoc prototype

Bakka Havoc prototype

And finally, since the 2010 list allows the presence of Endeavour & Endurance light cruisers, I couldn’t let pass the occasion of making yet another variant to fit in :

Bakka Endeavour Prototype

Bakka Endeavour Prototype

Since the draft of this article was pending long enough, I recieved the test prints :

Bakka_Havoc_1Bakka_Havoc_2

Bakka_EndeavourBakka_Endeavour_rear

I’m planning to field some in June for the tournament.

Now time to find my ordnance for Bakka … They’ll have to be bulky, because Bakka is old school and I see them heavier than the standard Mars pattern.

BFI 2016

Well, for french BFG players it should not be a surprise as now, but I’d like to drop a few lines on the coming BFI tournament of this year. BFI was an initiative of some parisian players to finally try to hold a regular event arround BFG. It holds in june in Paris at a shop named the Waaagh Tavern (awesome people there in the staff, don’t hesitate to drop by if you are in Paris and innocently want to link with the hobby). Last year was the first edition, and a rather classic tournament in the mechanics, but with a lot of good spirit from the players and the staff. Nicely painted tables were available, which is always best. It’s also a full painted tournament, because grim dark gothic space miniatures always look better when painted. Unfortunately, the event last year was a bit altered for me, as my son was quite ill both before and during the tournament, so I had to frequently do round trips during the event, which wasn’t the best. And as I was a bit overwhelmed, I even didn’t manage to paint my fleet😦.

This year, I was able to be more invested in the preparation of the event, and the main change is that it’s more a large scale narrative campaign (4 turns – 20 players) than a competition. It’s already hard to play on a regular basis BFG, at least the BFI aims to make people play together instead of against each other. Basically, the background story revolves arround the Tyranid invasion of a sector, but we try to find some hooks to change a bit from a too classical story. This year again, I’ll play a Bakka fleet. The 2010 list is OK (a few things aren’t to my liking, but enough of it so I can build a list). And of course I didn’t resist to make some custom models to fit with my vision of Bakka (and the conversion I have already done). More on this in a few days.

I can’t tell you much right now, as we prepare some suprises, but I wanted to show that BFG is still alive (and yes “this was a triumph”) in France. I’ll give you some feedback and pictures of my fleet in the two months to come, and of the event in june:).

Tau-Kugawa

Again, let’s relaunch the blog:).

This time a centralization of a project which began with the last Tau codex at 40000. When the Kor’vattra was released for Battlefleet Gothic, I reacted like almost everyone : “Woh, it’s ugly”. With time, I began to appreciate the retro design of the ships, as it fits the low tech in space for the Tau. But (there is always a but) the miniatures were crude and the fact that they were made of metal didn’t help for the details and assembly gaps. So, in parallel of my return to the Tau in 28 mm, I began working on HD models for the Kor’vattra. No major changes in the designs, I just tried to densify the details.

First work on the Merchant (also to be able to have heavy transports for the Kor’vattra hence the need for a Cargo Module to be designed). The prototype from Shapeways has arrived and has been primed (badly as I’m unable to make a smooth undercoat).

Tau_Merchant_Proto

For the cargo module, I tried to be coherent with a small freighter I made some time ago (which looks so dull and undetailled now). Some changes too on the gun module, allowing placement of turrets to show the fire arcs (front + side). The launch decks are made, I’ll show them with the Hero.

Containers for the cargo version

Containers for the cargo version

Railguns and Ion canons. On such small pieces, Shapeways FUD and FXD are great, and most of all, they don’t need supports, allowing more freedom with the designs. Too bad the material is a pain to work with. The concepts:

Railgun Ion_Cannon

Work done on the Orca and the Defender (some details left to be done at this stage). Design picture at this time.

Orca Concept. Some detailling to be done on the prow

Orca Concept. Some detailling to be done on the prow

Defender concept

And to go with, some fighters and bombers.

Barracudas

Barracudas

Tigersharks

Tigersharks

And this time I won’t let the blog down one year aND A HALF ! Gosh …

Dogfight time !

So much for a regular update on the blog … This whole year saw the eking out a living (is this english ?) of several projects, but mainly a lot of change in my personnal life (work, home, familly …).

First line of work, some little ordnance minis to replace the regular ordnance tokens. I tried to have several designs, because a bit of variety is always welcomed. First of all, a set of fighters/bombers inspired by WW2 airplane (which make them suitable to figure marauders or thunderbolts).

Le grand cirque - revival

Le grand cirque – revival

With this kind of volume it’s a lot cheaper to print them directly en masse than casting them in resin, so I have a horde of them ^^.

Second tier with a bomber derived from Wing Commander and the french Mirage IV fighter :

Thunder_child

More classical but I think it suits the bulky and ragged look we all love.

Third try with an inspiration from Battlespace that I found lovely :

Banshee Fighters

Banshee Fighters

Nicknamed “Dragonfly” by several people in place of the “Banshee” original name, but well … I’m quite proud of my work (yes, more self-praise) for a 8 mm piece. Just the basecoat ATM, thay’ll reinforce my Voss fleet.

Bakka Bakka

On this lame japanish pun, I’m quite proud to announce that I finally finished my model for my Firedaggers, for the Bakka battlefleet. This fleet comes from an alternative imperial fleet, in the venerable BFG Magazine #2, and represents the home fleet of Segmentum Tempestus. The list was updated in 2012 by the BFG Compendium team. I’m not a big fan on some modifications they made, but some are interesting. There is some people that question the choice of Bakka for this expansion, but personnally I like its fluff and the orientation is interesting. The compendium version make the list more playable, but some new ships like the Havoc aren’t to my taste. On the contrary, the Mercury really fits the concepts of this fleet, very gun-oriented.

So, first work on this : The Firedagger. Bakka is a fleet belonging the Big Gun Lobby in the admiralty. Thus, they use very few attack crafts. This dates back to the 36th millenium, when the Gaerox Prerogative tried to focus the new doctrine of Bakka on carriers. Lamely, some ships (like the Despoiler) all defected to Chaos, or were too ammunition consuming (like the Viper destroyer). The Firedagger is a frigate hull equiped with Fleet Defense Turrets, capable of defending nearby ships from ordnance attacks. These turrets are also available to some of the Mechanicus cruisers.

To sum it up, I’m working to make myself a small Bakka fleet, for the moment based on the old BFG Magazine list. After a long time of testing and thinking (mainly concerning the wings), I achieved this :

Firedagger - Side View

Firedagger – Side View

The Flak turrets are separate, allowing some posing and re-using on Mechanicus ships.

The second work for Bakka is my Daemon Slayer. This ship comes from the BFG Mag #2 too. It’s a unique ship (basically a Tyrant), armed with a prow psychic canon. This is an abomination which disrupts the hive mind control for tyranids, banishes demon ships and cripples a regular ship for a while … As it’s a unique ship, I tried to make it stnd out, while staying in the general design of an imperial cruiser, since Bakka is a rather rigid fleet on the conception of ships.

These are the firsts layer of paint, to settle the official paint scheme of Bakka.

The small conversions on this are :
– A long antenna from the Space Marine Battlebarge to represent the Psychic Canon
– A test for the figurehead : an etched brass eagle from Forge World
– A bridge from a Mechanicus Cruiser in place of the antennas, to represent the esoteric face of the psychic canon (containing a psyker choir or similar), and reinforcing the relic side of the Daemon Slayer.
– A custom made engine (made for my Cypra Mundi fleet, before I found a better piece for it. More in a post to come).
– The wings were lengthened with the fins of the Repulsive bridge.
– The fins on the engines come from the Falchion
– Weapons batteries from the Space Marine Battlebarge, as they look more gothic than the standard batteries)

Well, this is only the beginning:).

BFG – Modular Cargos

So the pace increases in July:).

Today, a bit of a check up on a long term project of mine. As the BFG rulebook said, the transports add some variety to any fleet. GW only produced two imperial transports. Forge World did some variants and new transports for the Kor’Or’Vesh Tau and the Eldar, and quite nice heavy transports for the Imperium. As it is a bit restraining, because nothing looks more than a fuel transport that the same fuel transport. In the Battlefleet Gothic Magazine 4, Nate Montes did submit some profiles to recycle old Space Fleet models to count as new transports classes, and a cute little scenario with a pair of tables to deal with the civilian reaction in a space battle (from the coward that flees to the madman who charges the ennemy with it’s puny transport … In all cases, your convoy formation is forgotten). Since then, Warp Rift did submit some new profiles for a bit less than a dozen transports and some nice examples and tutorials.

To sum it up, I always had a lot of fun to imagine various cargo ships, all different. A bit similar to scale model railway, when you assemble a convoy of very different freight railcars. All of this must come from the old and blessed days of Transport Tycoon.

The Alpha of it all ...

The Alpha of it all …

So here I am since some weeks, building small pieces of modular transport ships, dividing them between prow, cargo section, stern and special modules :

The prows

The firsts cargo sections :

And the Sterns :

And 2 modules, one of engines and one of battlements, to be inserted and create armed or fast variants (before I gather my wits and do several versions of each cargos) :

And three fast examples :

Sabot Containers Composition

Sabot Containers Composition

Beaky/Sabot/Crescent Composition

Beaky/Sabot/Crescent Composition

A clearly excessive composition :)

A clearly excessive composition:)

Basically some blocks have been thought together, but everything is adaptable with everything. Some time the result may be not just as well as thought, but at least the freedom of composition should be here.

I think I’ll test them during this summer:).

Heavy Hauling for the Knights of Titan

Well, well … Already 20 days of bloging without any update … So much for regularity ^^.

Today, a short article about Warhammer 40000. Already … Six months ago ?!, my sweetheart braved the bugs of the GW website and bought some of those shiny little plastic thingies we all love. After a deadful duel with the checkout routine and a fearful last stand against the delivery adress form (yes, the website was particularly vindictive this day), the reinforcements went to the Warp of the french post office. On the day of christmas, my true love gave to me, 1 box of dice (with a scatter dice that only seldomly scatters), and a brand new Stormraven gunship.

“What a nice kit” I told myself. “Hell, he looks ridiculous with the engine far behind the cell” answered my sneering mind. I went to and fro on the internet to look at some conversion people made for inspiration, and I found this on the “blog des Kouzes” :

A picture of the main source of inspiration, directly from the German Games Day 2010. Thanks to the blog des Kouzes for the picture.

A picture of the main source of inspiration, directly from the German Games Day 2010. Thanks to the blog des Kouzes for the picture.

OK, it looks like a mini-thunderhawk, but I find that it takes the general lines of the TH but keeps the specifics of the Stormraven (position of engines and the tilt of the wings). And what had to happen finally happened, I bought a second kit of Stormraven …

To sum it up, the details that ruin the vanilla mini are mainly due to the Disbelief Factor. Basically, this is the point of no return, beyond which something fictional goes from plausible to ludicrous. The small thing that ruins a lot of effort. The excessive excess. In this case, for me it is :
– The size of the hold, way too small. I’m not an afficionado of true scale, but here the border between game-manageable size and little wheelbarrow is crossed.
– The position of the engines, too ankward for me. I know that we are in total fiction and that the flying-bricks of the Space Marines would never be able to fly, but here I only see it do looping after looping when the pilot kicks the engines.
– The position of the Huricane Bolters, which fire in the forward hull or if they don’t have a huge blind spot in the forward arc.
– The big, glass turret. Here it’s just a personnal feeling, It breaks the line of the machine. Well, it’ll be stored for use on a Razorback:).

The nice conversion from the Games Day did appeal to me, because it solved the problem of the hold and engines, and made it look more like a Mini-Hawk and kept some specifics of the Stormraven. Well, the big gun (of dooming death) just screamed “THUNDERHAWK” and I didn’t like the Razorback turrets for the Huricane Bolters, but it’s a start. After the buying of one more hull kit via bitz stores on Ebay, here is comes the first try :

The hesitation about the hull assembly ...

The hesitation about the hull assembly …

Now it’s more beefy, at this stage I still hesitated on where to put the second floor : keep the line of the aft section, or like here and more to the fore ? In the end, I kept the first option. One stabilizer later, it gives this :

Hull assembled. Blessed be thee, Machine !

Hull assembled. Blessed be thee, Machine !

Yes, I'm boasting. I used this Grey Knight Forgeworld Rhino Door I bought on impulse several years ago ...

Yes, I’m boasting. I used this Grey Knight Forgeworld Rhino Door I bought on impulse several years ago …

Concerning the wings and the engines, the version of the Games Day Conversion was to my mood, so it’s a copy/paste here. Some work to cut two sets of wings, pinning, gluing and savage rookie greenstuffing gives this :

The enlenghted wing. What an astounishing skill with green stuff !

The enlenghted wing. What an astounishing skill with green stuff !

And a last minute finding : the Dark Angels Dark Talon has beautiful batteries of underwing Huricane bolters. And here they go.

The armament of the bird. Did the designer had something to compensate ? :)

The armament of the bird. Did the designer had something to compensate ?:)

So here I am, with something WISIWYG (bolters & missiles) that I like. I can imagine it breaking, all weapons blazing to clean the drop zone. It has a small look of the Clone Gunships of the Star Wars ugly trilogy (that is the episodes I, II and III).

And here is the shell of the hull.

And here is the shell of the hull.

There is still work on it, and in particular the holes to cover. I now have to find a practical system to magnet or pinn the wings, because this beast doesn’t fit in the display, and will be a nightmare to transport if I just glue them in place.