Miniature Painting Basics Volume 2

The second tome in the Miniature Painting Basics has just hit the shelves (virtual shelves…)

The Miniature Painting Basics series teaches simple techniques that every miniature painter should learn and how you can easily master them. 

Every book includes the theory behind the technique, a list of do’s and don’ts, and examples of where and how to use each technique.Each book focus on a specific aspect of miniature painting that you should learn and master. You do not need to read them in order, although if you are just starting, it will make a lot more sense to do so.

MPB : Drybrush

The second book in the Miniature Painting Basics series, Drybrush teaches you one of the easiest and most efficient technique to use on your models.

Creating contrast is the bread and butter of every awesome miniature, and drybrush makes such a thing not only possible, but extremely easy. Find out about all the great uses of drybrush for your models, from beginner’s first steps to advanced techniques used on high quality miniatures.

Editor’s note:  If you are in the US, this link might work best.


The mandatory 2016 review

My 2016 review strategy was this : Scroll through the blog from my 2015 review and note things I’m proud of and things that I failed – so I can try again.

So here we go, starting with my 2015 plans heading in 2016 :

– More videos. I’ve stepped up my video game, both in quality content and overall video making, so I plan on getting more done on the tubes.
This one I did, my channel got some more quality content. And because of other projects, I now have some more cool toys to film and edit videos with, so I expect to be back on track with this soon enough.
– More books. I have put in a lot of work in other books and have a lot underway. And because I’m not writing in as many blogs, this is where the content will go – most likely.
I did put out one book, one of my best selling one too, but I consider this as not enough. I have at least 4 new ones started, so no excuses for 2017.
– Podcast. With my english being a lot better than in the previous years ( I still sound like a frenchie, don’t worry ) I want to give a go at podcasting, as I have yet to find a podcast that I truly enjoy, might as well make my own.
Nope. Nopedy-nope-nope.
– Quebec Open or whatever. I want to start running tournaments, locally and possibly everywhere else later on. It’s been too long since I ran a large scale event, so I want to get back on this.
Hellz yeah. Quebec City Open – Edition 1 was a hit, planning for 2017 has begun.
The army of the month project. It was not part of my resolutions or pledges or whatever, but I did manage to keep it on for 5 months, after which I ran out of armies to paint at home. I might try something similar in 2017, as I have a whole lot of projects.
Besides this awesome montage here are some highlights :
1- My own game store. Yeah that’s the big one ( rivaled by the Quebec City Open ) but if you ever stroll through Quebec City, come and drop by for a game or a chat.
2- Team Wobbly Modelers : Austin, Kelsey and Kinder who’ve dragged me along kicking and screaming ( and, let’s be honest, drinking ) through Adepticon and ATC. Spoiler alert, both of these events I have locked down for 2017.
3- Tournament wise, it’s been a pretty nice year : Best Sportsman at Adepticon, Best Painted and Player’s choice at ND Open and Best General at CCBB.
4- Wrote some great articles on Spikey Bitz. My favorite is this one. I can see this coming back as I paint a lot more.
Now dwelling on the past can only do so much, what’s up with this blog for 2017 :
1- Mo’ armies. I have 2 armies I am working on right now, as well as 4000 points of Adepticon team goodness coming in from Troy to paint. Ain’t no store stopping this madman.
2- Best Painted at Adepticon. This is quite an ambitious one, but within the past 2-3 years, I’ve won pretty much every kind of trophy from Adepticon – 2015 Player’s Choice, Team Best Gen/Overall, Best Sportsman last year. The only one missing is Best Painted. So that’s my only goal this year. Paint a sick army and display board, win, never attend again. Or something like that.
3- Books. I will be aiming at 1 per Month in 2017. Or 1 every 2 month, with 1 or 2 being premium quality books ( one of which already in the work )
4- Drink mo’ Beer, Push mo’ toysoldiers, Make mo’ Friends.

And on that note, because I can’t name you all ( I tried looking through facebook for adds but there was 250 new 2016 friends so yeah…) please know that you made this year awesome of playing with toy soldier and drinking cheap beer. I truly hope we can drink more cheap beers and push more toy soldiers in 2017!

The ATC/ETC Format and You : A Neophyte’s Journey to World’s Team Tournaments.

AS you may know from my incessant Facebook updates about it or my previous blog post, I attended ATC for the first time earlier this month.  I really enjoyed my experience, and was fascinated with the matchmaking system and the army building that goes around.   The other part that fascinated me was the outcome for teams that did not pay much attention to said format.

So I’ve compiled some tactics and infosfrom a bunch of players much more skilled at the warhammer than myself to give their thoughts as well.

The matchmaking system is quite simple : You pick a list, the other team assigns you 2 of theirs and you choose an opponent from it. Repeat the process with the 4 remaining lists alternating who picks one.

Quite simple, yet it allows for much strategy, specially in list building.

As ETC regroups some of the best players of each country, it is regarded as a staple for competitive lists. The 2015 ETC for example, brought everyone’s favorite Warp Spider Spam to the competitive scene ( Thanks, Kurt!).

It is not always the case, however, as teams and players have to make compromises to their lists in order to « save » a codex for another list. This is problematic with 8 players per team and 20 or so books only. A good example of this is the Librarius Conclave, which is almost every country’s Space Marine part. This also means that a lot of lists run the Dark Angel Equivalent, or the Psykana Division from the Astra Militarum, because either they’re already running the Dark Angels Codex, or there simply was no other way left to get a lot of warp charges.

The ATC is a better judge in army building as teams are 5 players instead of 8, meaning that you are able to fit more into a single list because it will not handicap another player later on.

Then again, the format doesn’t favor take-all-comers list. Or at least, not 5 of them.

In the general sense of ATC ( I’ll use ATC as an example, as I have yet to go to ETC; and on a totally unrelated matter, CA-NA-DA! CA-NA-DA! This weekend! ) lists come in 3 categories : Attackers, Defenders and Balanced. There are many names for them but essentially : Attackers are list you want to attack people and score big wins with. Defenders are lists that can take a beating and still salvage some points. Balanced lists should be able to do both depending on the opposing team.

Every team should have at least one defender. The go-to defender lists are Daemons, Battle Company and the Bark-Star list ( 55 Fenrisian wolves in a single unit and all the characters and psykers you can find ) The defender’s job is to either take on a matchup that no-one on your team wants or can deal with, or take on one of the attacker’s list and prevent it from getting 20-0. This is not for everybody, as you end up getting dumped on all weekend for the greater good of your team.

The attacker rôle is slightly different, as the best way to attack something is to have 2 lists that completely destroy a matchup you know you’re likely to face. Eldars and Super-Friends are frontrunners in this as almost every team plays the 2 lists in some form. In broader concept, having 2 lists that obliterate MSUs or Deathstars of all shape, size and form. Attacker lists may have obvious weaknesses or terrible matchups, but because they are used aggressively, they are very unlikely to meet their counter in game. Attacker lists of excellentce include artillery spam, War Convocation and Tau.
Balanced lists are generally more akin to what you see at tournaments. More balnaced lists that have a decent match versus almost everything. Eldar is a pretty balanced list, as it is strong, can score 20-0 in the right condition and unless paired really poorly, will not get 0 points to objectives and cumulative objective scoring.
1 Defender and 2 pairs of attackers ( 2 versus a specific match, and 2 versus another ) is quite good if you face the right teams.  1 Defender, 1 Pair of Attacker and 2 balanced list is a safer route.
Now this is all great with teams of well organised and careful planning ( Those teams that were ot drunk in the hotel’s media room at 1AM before the tournament trying to print their lists ). But what about the teams that came in with little or no direction on how to tackle the matchup condundrum?
Here’s the very true tale of a 2016 player :

They kept choosing their lists over mine when we were choosing lists. I also got punted out as the first list 5/6 games. Would have been nice to know I was that guy going into it. My list was meant to fight battle companies, daemons, deaths stars, and war convo. Instead my team kept tossing me to elder and tau because they didn’t want ruin their personal record. In the end they just made our team get less points.
Planning truly is the key to avoid those situations. Scoring best X-army player if your team is in the bottom of the standing is not a proof of your skills, it’s bad pairings or poor team building.

And because I’m not a negative person in life, here are tricks from the pros your can use, should you venture in ATC 2017.

Tom Ogden :

Well the best strategy is this in my own opinion, you discuss before picking your first defender and see who all has the most good match ups and the most worst match ups. Your first defender should be one of your players with the most good match ups that way you don’t get stuck with two horrible match ups, and then pick your two aggressors against their defenders. That leaves you with three list, you then should pick your player with the least amount of good matchup s that way he can pick the list that gives him the most chance of grabbing any points and the rest of the pairings are out of your control

Tony Grippando ( Captain of Team Happy, back-to-back ATC Champs ) :

My strategy the last couple years is to put a list out at random. Keeps everyone on their toes

Mark Adam Abramowicz 
I brought the boogeyman man list – Eldar. That said, we didn’t bring defender or attacker lists. We brought lists we had a lot of experience playing. We knew our lists better than our opponents (well, most of them, we did play Quality Control). That said, we had three lists that were very much take all comers. Those could handle anything the meta threw at it. We did our best to hold them for the final three match ups and threw our two boogeyman lists out 1-2. It worked. It’s not always about list building. Very few people brought suboptimal lists. It’s all about staying positive, sticking to the game plan and believing in yourself, your army, tactics and teammates.
Paul Murphy
In some cases we found it was best to push out the list that needed the most protection first. That way we had more of a choice and less situations where our worse match ups could be cherry picked.
Michael Vagenos :
Our team wanted to prepare for death stars amd msu mostly. We had two lists that could deal with death stars extremely well and two lists that were death stars. So when we saw what the opponents threw out we figured out if they could beat a death star or was one. We would then throw out two lists accordingly. For example if we saw thunderwolves get thrown out we threw out our double surge tau and our warp Hunter heavy eldar at it. I had the tac list but all of us could grind it out if we had too.

Nick Brown Nanavati :
Don’t get tabled turn 1, it puts you at a disadvantage.

Tales From the American Team Championship

Last weekend I hopped on a plane to Tennesse to take part in the 2016 American Team Championship.  Here’s a recap of that blazing weekend.

First and foremost, the ATC is a 5 man per team event, where each team may only use a codex once.  After seeing your opponent’s lists, matches are decided by team captains assigning a defender from their list and the opposing captain picking 2 lists to attack it.   The defender chooses one of them as his opponent, and you proceed alternating which team picks the defender.

Kinder, enjoying his 5th round matchup

This format makes interesting lists and is a lot deeper in proper team and army composition.  Some armies are really good in this format because it’s easy to avoid playing against an hard counter.
For those returning veterans and familiar with the previous ATC/ETC style pairings, this new matchmaking system makes it a lot harder to have “attacking” lists and using them effectively.  After the 1st day of doing the pairings, I think the best way to attack something is to have 2 lists that destroy one list – ideally a popular one like eldars, daemon stars or thunderdome stars.  Focussing on beating that one match hard and having all comers on 3 other matches means you wont really get outpaired.  More on this in an article next week.
After an awesome time at Adepticon, team Wobbly Modellers was back, with the addition of Jonsey as our 5th.  Our lists were roughly these:
Austin- Eldars ( Bikes, Wraightknight and 8 Hornets )
Kelsey- Imperial Knights ( Tripartite Lance and Conclave )
Kinder – Tau  (riptides and Stormsurge, plus a Canoptek Harvest )
Jonsey – Chaos Marines ( Brass scorpion and cabal and renegades wyverns )
Yours Truly – Chaos Daemons ( Screamer Star, dickworms and Fatey )

Our 2 attackers were Austin and Kinder, with Jonsey and Kelsey  alternating between defending and attacking ( depending on the other teams )  and I was the defender.
The goal of defending is taking on the list nobody on the team wants/can deal with and try to not get a 0.  It usually means you are 1st defender thrown out there, or saved for later to protect one of your list you want to attack with ( because you need an opposing list to be taken already for example )
My 6 opponents were 4 Eldars, a brass scorpion/belakor list and a ravenwing buke army with a Culexus. 
My exact list was this:
Combined Arms Detachment
Tzeench Herald, Disk, Level 3, Endless Grimoire, Locus of +1 Dakka
Tzeench Herald, Disk, Level 3, Exalted Gift
Tzeench Herald, Disk, Level 3, Impossible Robes
11 Horrors
16 Horrors
6 Screamers
Daemonic Incursion:
Tzeench Herald, Disk, Level 3, Paradox
8x Exalted Flamer
11x Horrors
5x Furies
I was pretty happy  with the list, it’s solid and balanced.  I will probably switch the furries and CAD in favor of a Warpflame hosts ( 9units of screamers ) as soon as I find the 15 or so screamers I dont have yet.
The biggest caveat in my plan was that I tested summoning burning chariots en masse, and we failed to bring any chariots to the event.  So that was that.
Through the games, I will only go through my own point of view as I dont know how the opposing team wanted to play/pair us.

Game 1:
My opponent was playing a Ravenwing bikes army with a lot of plasmas and a Culexus.  I really needed to take on this match as this army wrecks all our other lists pretty bad – the knight and brass scorpion lists because you need the buffs on the big guys and the 2 shooty lists because it scouts everything in our face.
So I got that match, because everyone with a culexus jumps at a guy with 23 warp charges.
The game was pretty textbook in my opinion. I missed the assassin with my 9 d3 screamer sweeping attacks on turn one, which meant my turn 2 was an exact replica of my turn one, hiding 12 away until the assasin was dead.  This 1 turn delay cost me big in capturing the turn by turn objectives as i couldn’t leave my side of the board.  The game ended 14-6 for my opponent, and those 6 points were great, specially because we won the 4 other matches.
Game 2:
My opponent Kevin is playing daemons my Belakor and a Brass Scorpion.  I got this matchup because our team team didn’t have a real good matchup versus this one.  Our Knights match was alright, but there was almost no way we’d get it, so I ended up protecting our Eldars from a bad match and give Austin the opportunity to go for 20

My plan going in this was pretty much avoid the Scorpion of feed it summoned units, and capitalise on a failed grimoire to stop invis and punish it.  Or go for Belakor with my star at some point, and from there threaten his backfield units.  My plan seemed to be effective as my opponent said something like ” This game is not like the previou one, you look like you know what you’re doing ” on my turn 2
Things didn’t go like that exactly.  On the turn I wanted to go all in on the really visible scorpion, using the grimoire to bring it to 5+ save ( from a 10 on the warpstorm ), my Fateweaver perilled himself on the ground, and both my S:D powers failed to do a single hull point.  the combined S:10 shooting from the dickworms wasn’t enough, and I was left with an fragile star and an even more fragile Fateweaver, both well within charge range of the Brass Scorpion.
My opponent was leaning towards going for the Fateweaver, and I was prompting him to do so ( “Yeah this is bad, if you kill Fatey this game is pretty much over” ) because the screamer star was so much more important.  In the end, he made the right call and charged the star and promptly destroyed it, leaving me with 2 turns of scrambling for points.  I scored a 5 that game, and Austin a 20 for our Eldars, so that pairing went rather well.  We won the matchup something like 56-44, really close to a draw.
Game 3:
From then on, I will face only Eldar in the tournament, because it’s usually the list that you want to stop form getting 20 points.
Game 3 I did not really enjoyed, the only game in my tournament where I did not give my opponent max sportsmanship.  The eldar list was a pretty standard Spider-Spam, with 2 Warp Hunters ( S:D-1 shots )  My opponent that round was waaaaay to serious for my taste in games of warhammer, and made several remarks towards my cheerful playstyle.

I rolled a single sacrifice that I perilled and lost on the 1st cast of the game and no Incursion, which was the key to not getting wrecked in that matchup,  I ended the game with something like 4 models versus his almost full standing army.  I scored 2 points, the lowest in my tournament record, and sadly our entire team took it pretty bad, where we score 24 points total.

Game 4:

This eldar player was rocking a different list than most are used to.  The core of the list was a bunch of bikes, with added  Warwalkers with a bajilion shots, a squad of Vypers and a single unit of Warp Spiders.  His army was pretty nice, with a dark green scheme.

The game was the Relic, and I spent my game zooming to the middle of the board to kill some bikers attempting to get it.  My fateweaver spent the whole game in reserves, which made it harder for me, as bikers are easy to deal with with Psychic Shriek, and less when you have to spend a bunch of powerdice to shoot at them.  In the end of the game, I was left with a single horor in my deployment zone.  Score was 14-6 for my opponent, and as in the 1st game, my 4 teammates all won with a high margin.

Game 5:

I’m pretty sketchy on details regarding game 5, as I was already quite drunk at that point.  I was paired versus my buddy Tom Ogden, and we took it to more drinking.  We played roughly three turns and drank roughly 20 ounces of vodka, called it a draw and went to the parking lot for more vodka.  Tom’s girlfriend also brought us orange juice and pizza, so that truly was the best game ever.

I also ran out of battery with my camera at  that point, and sadly don’t have pictures of the 2 last games.

Game 6:

My last game is a little more clear.  Once again, I was playing a classic Eldar list, with bikes, Warp Spiders, Hornets and Warp Hunters.  This time however I got the Incursion and Sacrifice spell in multiple copies.  I also got a pretty nice table that kept Fatey safe and sound on turn one.  I took the 1st turn and started spawning utility units, screamers and blood crushers namely, which are great at contesting progressive objectives ( the middle of the board one in this case ) and killing spiders.

My opponent, Zeek ( The only name I remember, yay me ), put his wraightknight in the middle of the board to contest the turn by turn objective, and he would remain there the entire game, as I summonned and deep striked a lot of stuff around it to contest it and keep the big guy locked in close combat the whole game.

I knew I was loosing Kill Points, and the middle objective would be tied pretty much the entire game, so it was really important to destroy the objective secure units that could rain on my parade on the end game objective.  The game ended 11-9 for me, my best score of the weekend, and an impressive one for someone set up to lose games!

Overall, we finished 13th out of 48 teams, and Austin won the prize for Best Eldar player, a great achievement, considering that Eldar is one of the most competitive field in the event.  My last round opponent had a truly spectacular army, and was top 3 in painting I believe, and next time I’ll spend more than a day to paint my force.

Until next time,
No excuses, hobby like a champion!


Painting Deathwatch Space Marines

I recently joined the Astartes for Charity 2017  group and was tasked/ appointed myself to figure out a painting scheme for the whole for, and explain that scheme. 

So if you are in the business of painting kickass Deathwatch Marines, step right up.

Following my regular approach to painting, there are 2 main ways that I will show – one with an airbrush and one without, and my main concern is making sure that we end up with a cohesive force at the end, regardless of the different skill level of the painters involved.

This means that nobody has to feel like they’re not good enough for this, it’s for a good cause and you will fit right in if you want to be part of it.

The main goal here is to use techniques you feel comfortable using with the colors listed below and shown in the video.  The overall scheme and matching colors far outweighs impressive techniques with mismatching colors.
Below the video playlist (I  don’t have one of those fancy youtube account that can post long videos – yet ) you’ll find the color list for everything you should need.

Some important details:

The entire left arm is silver, including the shoulder pad.  This goes for Dreadnoughts too. 

The right shoulder plate is your chapter’s colors and heraldry.  Feel free to do that one in any way you’d like and include a chapter of your own design.
Simple sand was used on the base.  It doesn’t really matter what kind you use, what matters most is using the right colors.  Also, if you are doing standard space marines, get the new bigger bases, not the 25mm ones.  This is really not a large investment and will really make a huge difference to the end result of the army.
Basecoat with Rhinox Hide
Drybrush with Skraag Brown
Lightly drybrush with screaming skull (bone)
Touch up the edges with rhinos Hide.

We are not using static grass or fancy whatevers; keeping them minimal to make sure that they stay uniform throughout everyone’s contribution.

Abadon Black
Abadon Black + Screaming Skull ( bone color )  about 50/50
Abadon Black + Screaming Skull (bone color) about 30/70 – Very light or edge highlights
Nuln Oil shade
Runefang Steel highlights
Nuln Oil shade
Highlight again with runefang steel
Bolters and guns:  The casings are painted classic red.
Mephiston Red basecoat
Highlight with Evil Sunz Scarlet
Wash with Agrax Earthshade
Eyes and gems – If you don’t feel like doing 4 steps in tiny eyes, simply make sure they are red.
Mephiston Red, leaving some black towards the back of the head
Evil Sunz Scarlet, towards the front of the model
Dot of white in the part that remained black
Scrolls, Seals and Books
Zandri Dust ( Yellowish Tan color)
Highlight using Screaming Skull
Cables, tubes and armor joints
Overbrush or layer on Dark Reaper, Incubi Darkness or P3 Coal Black
Plasma, Power weapons or OSL
Sotek Green
Sotek Green with some white mixed in it – there’s no science here, the paler you go the shinier it gets
Lightly shade with Guilliman Blue
Some other stuff:
Rhinos, Predators and Razorback should be all black with the top hatch painted silver. 
As tanks and vehicles are not pulled from a specific chapter, they are not likely to have chapter markings anywhere.  However, if you feel like it, paint the flat door ( the side one ) in your chapter’s color.

If you have any questions, hit me up here or on facebook, I will be happy to provide!

Say no to bland grey bases!

Urban bases are a classic look and have been a staple of my armies over the years.  This urban look breaks the traditional bland and boring Black-Grey-White and makes for something interesting to look at that does not steal away the focus from the models on it.  And as per usual, it’s only a dollar.

Get my new dollar book right now on amazon kindle!

On a side note, I added anew section to the top with links to all the e-books next to the free hobby resource tab.


AOTM Project for April

Late to post, strong to the finish, as always.

Click below to get more details on my plans for this friendly bunch of blood-loving dudes!


As mentionned in the video, I plan on doing the characters and the “chosen” guys with a lot more care, and then blitz through the 16 Blood Reavers/Marauders guys with a airbrush/dip method similar to the Stormcast Eternals

I kinda wanted to to the bases with lava and OSL, but I’ve since then came back to my senses.  I will do them like the Stormcast Eternals, for reasons detailed below.

Because I like my models to pop,  I will add some cool effect on them.  Instead of some glowy color ( sorta my signature move by now ) I will add blood and gore.  While it’s less flashy than the glow, it should provide a nice eye-catching addition to all my dudes.  And who knows, there will probably be some glowy stuff too.  CANTSTOPWONTSTOP!


My sole plan for these guys is to fight the introduction campaign in the Age of Sigmar boxed set and reccord battle reports on each of them.  This is the main reason I want to bases to match the stormcast.  It might also be a  time to update the stormcast’s bases to something more than plain rocks.  We’ll see!


As with my other Army of the Month Projects, I don’t plan to sell them before the end of the year, as I really like the idea of having all my stuff painted up.  And also becasue it’s cool to have all these models to show for.