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Monday, 2 July 2018

Battle Report - Astra Militarum vs Tyranids

So this Saturday I was fortunate enough to face off against Blazmo of Tabletop Apocalypse and his newly painted Steel Legion army.

'A dud!' Quoting my own words has never been so amusing.
Blazmo has been kind enough to write up a detailed battle report with some fancy pictures too. It's well worth a look and you can (and should) check it out here: Tabletop Apocalypse.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Hobby Update - A Knight Household

Things have been a bit quiet around the blog lately, so what have I been up to?

Lords of War anyone?
The photo above should make it pretty obvious that I've been building my knight household! Regular readers may know that I painted the Cerastus Knight Castigator as part of Monster March back in.........well March. Since then I've added an Armiger Warglaive from the Forgebane box set and a Questoris Knight Errant which I picked up from a friend for a knock down price. At the time I really didn't need it but it had exactly the loadout I wanted and it was in decent condition too.

The pre-owned Knight Errant. 
As it turned out there was a bit more rebuilding work needed on the Errant than I had anticipated. The waist joint had been stuck together using unmixed green stuff (WTF!?) and so had the Icarus Autocannons. Speaking of the Autocannons, they had been assembled completely upside down! Which meant the barrels didn't align properly. At any rate, after a bit of scraping, cutting and gluing I managed to get it back into shape and ready for painting.

The rebuilt autocannons.
As for the Armiger Warglaive, I had it fresh from the Forgebane box. It was a lovely kit to work with and you may have seen my work in progress Armiger Helverin conversion which will be the fate of the second Armiger from the box.

Striding past some Mechanicus oil derricks.
The Armiger is currently very lackluster on the tabletop but I'm hoping the new Imperial Knights codex will change all that. If not? Well, I guess I'll just have to play with beautiful models that are a bit uncompetitive. It could be worse!

Reconnaissance footage from a Mechanicus aerial drone. 
Speaking of the tabletop, none of these models have been used in battle yet. It's a bit of a first for me to have painted over 1000 points worth of miniatures and never used any of them for gaming. I'm hoping I can convince my gaming buddies to take on some (or all!) of them soon.

Showing off my new terrain too.
These knights were originally conceived as Lords of War to add to my Adeptus Mechanicus forces. I have purposely matched the colour schemes so that they can be used alongside one another. However, the knights seem to have become an army in their own right! So much so, that putting them next to the Mechanicus makes the army look very unbalanced; I guess I need to paint a lot more Skitarii!

I never really thought I would be a fan of Imperial Knights. The kits are lovely but I've always thought of them as a bit unwieldy for everyday play. They cost a lot of points and don't really make for a 'balanced' force on the tabletop. Somehow though, I've painted three of the things and really enjoyed doing it. Not only that, one of my hobby resolutions this year was to paint a Lord of War and now I have three of them!

Here's hoping they get to stride out across the tabletop sometime soon!

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Knight Armiger Helverin - Work in progress

I'm sure you were all as excited as me to see the announcement of the new Imperial Knights over the bank holiday weekend. In fact, I was so enthralled by the new Armiger Helverin that I just had to have a crack at building one right away. "Madness!" I hear you cry, "the kit isn't even released yet!" Well, this is true, but I've always loved a bit of a kitbash.

So I present for your viewing pleasure, the fruits of my bank holiday Monday.

Autocannons? More like AWESOMEcannons!!!
If you're familiar with the Armiger kit then you'll see that I've just replaced the chain-cleaver and thermal spear with a pair of long barreled autocannons. I've no idea what the Helverin autocannons will do rules-wise but I just tried to make something that looks similar to the images GW have shown off. I think it's been pretty successful.

The GW version for comparison.
So, how did I make them? The bulk of the gun is made from an Icarus Array from the Onager Dunecrawler kit. I sawed the gun shroud in half so that I would have two identical pieces and then fitted the barrels in place. The rear part of the gun is made from a twin linked autocannon from the Ironstrider model. These were cut down and then shaped so that they fit inside the back of the Icarus gun shroud.

A work in progress of the guns.
I was concerned that the body of the guns would be too slender for the Armiger frame, so I bulked them out with some ammo packs from terminator assault cannons. I also added some small servo arms from the kataphron servitor kit (pictured above).

The completed Helverin autocannons.
The final hurdle was connecting the weapons to the Armiger arms. Luckily the bottom of the arm (elbow?) fits perfectly inside the radar dish from an Onager Dunecrawler which in turn connects neatly to the gun body.

So, there you have it. A good use for that second Armiger from your Forgebane box and all those Mechanicus spares that are cluttering up your bits box! I'm looking forward to painting it!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Salute 2018 is this Saturday!

It's that time of the year once again!

What time is it?
That's right! On Saturday 14th April London's Excel will be hosting Salute 2018. The 'largest wargames expo in Europe' is back and bound to be filled with bargains aplenty. Last year I bought my own bodyweight in mdf terrain and I'll be back on Saturday to see what other delights I can get my grubby little hands on.

I will also be taking part in the speed painting competition run by 'Eavier Metal. 25 minutes to paint an ugly model with colours that refuse to dry - what's not to love!

Give me a shout if you're coming down, it would be nice to meet up with some of the people from these here internets.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Complete

Just in the nick of time! I'm pleased to announce that the Cerastus Knight Castigator is finished! (pause for rapturous applause, accept bouquet of flowers etc.)

Check out those decals!
This thing has definitely been a labour of love. There were times this month when I honestly didn't know if I would make the deadline and it even caused me a few sleepless nights! I'm really happy with the final result though and thrilled to be able to add such a spectacular centerpiece to my Adeptus Mechanicus forces.

Pretty happy with the head.
Half way through the challenge, I decided I would enter this in a local painting competition, which really forced me to up my game and try some new techniques. The blending on the sword blade (seen here) was particularly time consuming and pushed my painting skills to the max. I wasn't very happy with it at the time, but seeing it in the context of the finished model makes me feel much better.

The sword in question.
Transfers are fairly new territory for me as well and caused a few moments of doubt. I tried to plan them out carefully rather than just slapping them on haphazardly and I think the final result is ok. I used a mix of transfers from the Skitarii box and the new Knight Armiger kit. I have to say that Micro Sol and Micro Set were a godsend here, and I would recommend them to anybody looking to work with transfers.

Standing guard over a Mechanicus facility.
The banner proved tricky as well. Lining up the transfers was hard and the connection points were so fine that I had to reinforce them with green stuff; it's still not the best connection in the world, so I will be very wary when handling it.

The banner in question.
I'm pretty happy with the way the colour scheme scaled up to a larger model. Getting the beige right was a bit of a headache in the early stages but a bit of advice from Blazmo at Tabletop Apocalypse soon put me on the right path. The brass and green colours I was already fairly confident with because I had previously completed an Onager Dunecrawler in the same scheme.

An unusual angle.
I want to give huge thanks to Swordmaster at Path of an Outcast for running Monster March again this year. Without the motivation of Monster March, it's likely that I would have faltered somewhere along the way and this gigantic model would never have made it to completion. I also want to say thanks to my brother, Blazmo, at Tabletop Apocalypse. A well timed painting day and a heap of useful advice really turned this project around for me; without him, the Cerastus could well be languishing in the pile of shame.

The sword of the Imperium is ever vigilant.
Finally, I want to say thanks to all of those who took part in Monster March this year. Seeing your progress towards your ambitious projects really gave me a push to keep going to the finish line.

As always, you can check out the rest of my Monster March journey here, here, here and here. Phew! I think I need a lie down!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 4

Welcome to part four of my Monster March pledge his year. I must say, trying to paint a super heavy in a month is starting to take its toll. Still, progress has been good and I was brave enough to tackle the Tempest Warblade over the weekend.

I went for a purple/pink fade roughly following a tutorial from a copy of White Dwarf from 2017. I'm fairly happy with how it came out but I also feel like I could have done better. There comes a point however where you just have to call something done and move on to the next phase. Speaking of which.

The current state of the model
In the photo above you can see that I've managed to finish up the left leg and that I got all giddy and glued on a bunch of armour panels that probably would have been best left until later. The top carapace armour isn't finished yet, nor is it glued in place but I was just posing for the camera.

Because shoulders need guarding too.
I also glued on the right shoulder guards which was really enjoyable and added a lot to the miniature. So, what do I have left to do? Well, my Excel spreadsheet tells me (because I am a sad bastard) that I have to finish painting the Bolt Cannon; highlight the head and the carapace armour; highlight the back of the torso; glue the remaining armour in place and sort out some transfers and the banner which hangs between its legs. There's still plenty to do but I'm pleased with my progress so far. Hopefully I can keep ploughing on and get this thing finished in the next ten days.

As always, a huge thanks to Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast for running the event. If you want to see my journey so far, you can check it out here, here and here.

Tune in next time for the final installment of Monster March. Will I succeed in my Knightly quest or will my dream fall in tatters. Only time, and this blog, will tell.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 3

So we're almost half way through March and, theoretically, I'm about half way through my Monster March pledge. For those that don't know, Monster March is a painting challenge run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. The basic gist is to paint something large and monstrous in the month of March. I have chosen my Cerastus Knight Castigator which has been hanging about for a few months.

So, what's the current state of play? Well, I think that's best described as, work in progress.

Definitely in progress.
As you can see from the above, I've finished a lot of the colour blocking and applied some basic washes. I often find that it's best to finish a portion of a large model before moving on to the next part. In this case, I've divided the Castiagtor up into six parts (both legs, both arms, torso and head) and I intend to finish them out one at a time working roughly from the ground up. So far I've completed the right leg and glued the armoured greave in place (and boy did that feel good!)

The completed leg!
The next job is to complete the left leg and then the entire lower half of the model will be finished (except for the base.......and the transfers....oh dear) Hopefully you can see that the left leg is progressing reasonably well too and should be finished before too long.

Sort of getting there.
I was fortunate enough to have a bit of a painting day with Blazmo over at Tabletop Apocalypse last weekend which really gave me a boost on the progress front. Conversely, I have been a bit under the weather and have a busy week of gaming this week so my daily progress has been slow. Still, my Excel spreadsheet (because I am just that sad) tells me I'm about 50% through painting this beast, so I'm still on track for the end of the month. Here's hoping that next weekend brings another good shot of painting power.

As usual, you can check out my previous Monster March posts here and here. Good luck to all my fellow participants, your work is an inspiration as always!