This post is mostly about playing catchup with a few models that I painted recently but never wrote an article for. I also played a pair of games yesterday that happened to use all of these models, but more on that later. First up is the Sniper half of the Celestial Guard special weapons blister, who I painted simultaneously with the Wu Ming from last post. I’ve already had a few chances to discuss Celestial Guard, so there isn’t much left to say. She’s a cool model, to me she has the feel of part of a fireteam in an urban environment, reacting to movement in an upper story window or roof top. As far as colour goes, the only thing that is really unique about her is her hair. My original instinct was to forgo purple for something more identifiably oriental, but in the end my inner Weeaboo won out. I painted it by highlighting the black undercoat with Skull White, before putting a slightly wetter Liche purple over the top. I’m happy with the result, and will probably replicate it if I ever manifest the courage to take a brush to Miranda Ashcroft. I fielded the sniper as part of a fireteam in the second game I played, (annihilation) although she personally never fired a shot. Instead her partner with the Spitfire took point in an absolutely tense fire fight with a Shasvastii Gweilo link team over two turns, eventually prevailing over three of them after many exchanges. This reversed a very poor start and the momentum carried me through to a welcome win. In anticipation for the games, I quickly whipped up the second Wu Ming the night before. As I found a method I was happy with on the guy with the Combi Rifle+E/mitter, I went straight for the HMG, who I anticipate will see the most table. I painted him exactly the same as his predecessor. Painting the numbers on his head is quite hard! His number is meant to be 三十五 / sān shí wǔ, the characters for 3, 10 and 5 (meaning 35) respectively. Won’t get too bogged down in numbers for the time being; I think I might do a whole post on numbers to celebrate finishing the fifth Wu Ming, so look forward to it. I deployed the Wu Ming with HMG in the first game (The Armoury), on a fairly quiet flank. Because of a chronic shortage of orders on my second turn, he never got activated. Why were my orders in short supply? Well, I had this wonderful idea of using a Rui Shi to suppress the objective room from one of the doorways with assisted fire from the Celestial Guard hacker. On the way to the room however, a crafty Noctifier came out of hidden deployment on a distant rooftop. As the remote broke cover on his second short move skill (I thought it was safe, my first mistake), the Noctifier had a beautiful normal roll against it and disabled it. Thanks to my tunnel vision, I spent a lot of orders getting a Sophotect up to fix it, which meant I finished my turn bunched up around the doorway where I wanted to set up the Rui Shi (Second big mistake, although I didn’t know it at the time). My friend did notice my mistake however, and wasted no time notifying me by way of Shasvastii Seed Soldier with light grenade launcher, who unloaded speculative shots at the mass of troops until one hit. With the objective room under his control, he let his Sphinx off the chain to keep me busy while he plundered the armoury with impunity. Sphinxes are awesome by the way. I did eventually put it down, but it took enough effort that I did not have the orders or the manpower to make a push on the armoury. Total defeat. There is a silver lining though. When I first presented my Crane on the blog, I said I’d wait till he bagged a Shasvastii before I painted the dead one on his base… That damned Noctifier who set about the chain of events leading to my loss of the armoury? The Crane braved his AROs long enough to take a shot with Triangulated Fire. What should have been a -12 modifier despite the X-Visor for the combination of long range, cover and TO camo was taken up to a comfy -3, and the xenos was purged with shock ammo. Tactically irrelevant but it sure made me feel good. I also took the opportunity to get started with the freehand detail on the inside of his cloak. I think it needs some bleached bone but happy with the result so far.