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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

BERSERKERBLADE - Now on Instagram!

The post title pretty much says it all. That's right, you can now keep up with my seemingly random hobby exploits on Instagram. Isn't technology wonderful?? Seriously, that's not rhetorical, go answer in the comments....


That plasma cannon also includes a camera.
In an increasingly busy life, it's becoming more difficult to keep posting quality content to this blog. So if you want to see some more of my exploits, click the link! https://www.instagram.com/carnage_x_scissors/

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Hobby Butterfly - Horus Heresy Night Lords Legion Praetor

As some of you may have realized by now, I am a bit of a hobby butterfly. Despite my commitment to building and painting Tyranids for 8th edition I have gone somewhat off piste and started fiddling with my Night Lords again. What can I say? Sometimes a project just calls to you and I am always too weak to resist.


Ahriman?? Never heard of her!
I've had the Ahriman miniature from Burning of Prospero hanging around for a long time (since the release day in fact!). I had a few ideas of what to do with him but nothing that ever materialized into a plan. However, on a whim, I started cutting the parts off the sprue and before you know it, the terrifying vision above was born! The tricky part is that, unlike the other miniatures from the Burning of Prospero, this guy screams 'Thousand Sons'. The miniature is absolutely covered with scarabs, runes, scrolls and other sorcerous paraphernalia. Perfect for the planet of the Sorcerers, but not very fitting for a son of the Eighth Legion! This led to a great deal of cutting and scraping with the hobby knife to remove the symbols from his shoulder guards and chest. I also removed the scarabs from his staff and replaced them with a couple of skulls. Thank you polystyrene cement!!


The larger bits of conversion are more obvious. I cut away the kopesh blade from the top of the staff and replaced it with a thunder edge pattern chainsword to make a massive Nostraman Chainglaive. The reaching hand was replaced with a bolt pistol and the head was replaced with one from the ancient GW Night Lords conversion kit.


I'm not quite finished with the build just yet. A few areas need a bit of green stuff and I want to add a few more grisly trophies. However, I am looking forward to getting some paint on him to really bring the model to life.


Stay tuned for the next installment where I will undoubtedly have gone off on another tangent and be kitbashing some other random miniature.

Monday, 10 July 2017

New 8th Edition Tyranids - The Red Terror

Continuing with my updates to the new Tyranid army I am creating for 8th edition, I proudly present The Red Terror!


So old, so metal!
It seems funny to have built and painted a classic model from third edition specially for eighth but I couldn't resist. Generally I don't care for the style of Tyranids from third edition, they were going through an awkward phase and most of them looked decidedly peculiar, even at the time. However, the Red Terror has found a special place in my heart, and my army.


I didn't buy this model intentionally, he just appeared in a bundle of cheap Tyranids I bought on Ebay. As with most Ebay purchases, it appeared he had had several previous owners and was caked in layers of 'interestingly applied' paint. However I must have seen something in the model as I soaked him in Dettol for a couple of months (probably unnecessary but I always forget to take things out of the Dettol.) After the paint was stripped and I had picked the plasticene out of the joints (why do people do that!?) it was a pretty simple job to rebuild and get on with the painting.


Love that tail.
As for the rebuild, I have recently acquired a set of sector Imperialis bases so it seemed criminal not to use one. Especially as the model is a bit big for the 40mm that it was originally supplied with. I was pretty pleased with the base, going for a brassy effect alongside my usual concrete rubble look.


As for the Terror himself, it's my standard scheme again. A dark red, some black wash, a light blue and a bit of scorpion green. So simple it should be illegal! But I'm happy with the result.


Rawr!
 In game terms, the Red Terror acts as a force multiplier for nearby Raveners allowing them to hit on 2+ with their close combat attacks. Although I have yet to field the Red Terror, I have found that this is a powerful ability for Tyranid Warriors and Primes as they can re-roll hit rolls of 1 with their scything talons. Basically ensuring that all your attacks hit all of the time!


The Red Terror also has a funny bonus ability called Swallow Whole. Essentially if you score four or more hits in melee then you can exchange all of those attacks to roll a single dice. If the result is equal or higher than the highest wounds characteristic of the target unit then one of them is killed instantly. This seems like a nice bonus ability that probably doesn't have too much of an application in game. You could probably use it to pick off heavily armoured two wound models (terminators, primaris marines etc.) but realistically it's never going to be a game changer.


The observant amongst you may notice that this model isn't part of my planned fifty power level list. Unfortunately I had started painting him before I figured out the list and it just seemed a shame to stop. Rest assured that my next post will be squarely back on Target as I'm working on some Tyrant Guard for the new army.


If you want to read my previous post you can catch up here.
  

Friday, 7 July 2017

Fugly miniature Friday - Amon of the Thousand Sons

I just got the Forgeworld newsletter including this guy.



Mah name amm Amomm!
Amon of the Thousand Sons, the latest effort in the Horus Heresy character series. Now, in my humble opinion, the Horus Heresy characters seem to run the gambit between very nice detailed models and very hideous detailed models. For me, this guy certainly falls towards the lower end of the spectrum. There's nothing really wrong with the pose or most of the miniature but seriously, that face! He looks like some sort of bio-engineered weasel man!! So much so, that it prompted me to use another recent Forgeworld release (who shall remain nameless) to make the following thing of beauty.


I think it's an improvement
Actually I think this looks so good that I might buy both models just so I can build the conversion.

New 8th Edition Tyranids - Stone Crusher Carnifex

As promised, I'm back with an update on my new Tyranids for 8th edition. Earlier this week I posted about my plans for a new list and got all giddy about the new edition of 40k, you can read all about it here. Things have gone well so far and I'm proud to present my finished Stone Crusher Carnifex.



So spiky!!
This has been my one concession to new miniatures within the new army. I was picking up Imperial Armour: Index Xenos from Forgeworld and I just totally caved. The next thing I know, I'm the proud owner of a Stone Crusher, but on the plus side, at least I managed to paint it!


As far as painting goes it's my standard Tyranids colour scheme. The scheme is horribly basic as it was my first 40k army and I needed it to be easy to paint. Essentially, all the fleshy parts are painted red and then washed with Nuln Oil. All the chitinous parts are painted white and the given a heavy wash with a pale blue (1:1 Ultramarines blue and white). From there, a few details are picked out in scorpion green and some in pink and it's done. Incredibly simple but it gives a nice result for the amount of time spent, it's an immensely rewarding colour scheme in that way.


I love the wrecker claws.
I've been painting Tyranids like this since 2008, shockingly that's almost ten years and I don't have nearly enough painted models to show for it. It does mean that next year is my Tyranniversary so I should probably plan something special for that!


As for the stone crusher itself, it looks good in the new edition. The paired wrecker claws allow it to re-roll hits and wounds against vehicles and with strength 12 and an AP of -3 it should be putting down some serious damage! Not only that, it's one power level cheaper than a standard Carnifex. I'm not sure if this is an error or if it works out cheaper because you can't change the weapon loadouts much.


Anybody remember these old paint pots?
As you can see I went for the paired wrecker claws instead of the bio-flail option. I hadn't seen the rules when I placed the order but I've always loved the look of the wreckers so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they're quite decent on the tabletop.


Unfortunately, the photography isn't that great. A couple of things contributed to this. Firstly, the miniature itself has awkward dimensions. The carapace rams and the large scythe tail make it incredibly long and so it was hard to find a focused perspective. Secondly, I've had some building work done at home and so my hobby area is in complete disarray. The photo set up was a bit rushed together.


Nonetheless, I hope you've enjoyed seeing my first efforts on the new swarm. Hopefully I will have something more to share in the next few days.



Monday, 3 July 2017

New 8th Edition Tyranids - A new edition, a new swarm

So the new edition has well and truly landed (and disembarked, guns blazing!) and I'm feeling truly reinvigorated. Seeing the new rules inspired me to drag out my old Tyranids and after a couple of games I'm well and truly hooked.


The Tervigon - back from the grave!
 So hooked in fact that I've decided to build and paint a new Tyranid army from scratch using my old colour scheme. Last week I've had a frenzied week of building using only old models I had lying around. I've put together a new Hive Tyrant, two Carnifexes, two Biovores, three Tyrant Guard and hauled a  swarm of Gaunts out of retirement. I've also begun painting in earnest, making good progress with my Stone Crusher Carnifex and the Red Terror.


The planned 50 Power list will look something like:


Tervigon
Hive Tyrant (Stranglethorn cannon and boneswords)
3 x Tyranid Warriors (Boneswords and devourers)
10 x Termagants
10 x Termagants
3 x Tyrant Guard (Rending claws and Scything Talons)
Stone Crusher Carnifex (2 x Wrecker Claws)
Biovore
Biovore


I'm not sure how effective that will be on the table, but given that I've enjoyed playing the Tyranids so much, I'm sure it will be a blast.


Also Tervigon
Stay tuned for more updates this month as I try to paint the swarm of freshly undercoated gribblies that have invaded my painting table.



Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Warhammer 40000 Primaris Space Marines - Editorial

They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give of themselves to me.
Like clay I shall mould them, and in the furnace of war forge them.
They will be of iron will and steely muscle.
In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest guns will they be armed.
They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them.
They shall be pure of heart and strong of body, untainted by doubt and unsullied by self-aggrandisement. They will have tactics, strategies and machines so that no foe can best them in battle.
They are my bulwark against the Terror.
They are the Defenders of Humanity.
They will be bright stars on the firmament of battle, Angels of Death whose shining wings bring swift annihilation to the enemies of Man.
So it shall be for a thousand times for a thousand years, unto the very end of eternity and the extinction of mortal flesh.
They are my Space Marines and they shall know no fear.
They are the last, best, hope for humanity.
Except, they aren't!?

Yes, you guessed it. It's the most Space-Mariney of Space Marines. The new, shiny, Primaris Space Marines!

Sigmar? Never heard of her!
If you were hiding under a rock yesterday you might have missed the announcement from Games Workshop that they will be releasing the new Primaris Space Marines to coincide with the release of 8th edition. Unlike most of the daily tidbits thrown out by GW in recent weeks this seems to have caused a slightly more negative reaction from the vocal members of our community.

So what do we know so far? From a lore perspective the story is roughly this: Guilliman comes back from the dead and sees that the galaxy is in a sorry state. He realizes he needs some sort of super warriors to swing the tide in humanity's favour and apparently Space Marines just won't cut the mustard. Some shady dealings go on with Belisarius Cawl and the Adeptus Mechanicus and hey presto! Primaris Space Marines!

Ok, so far, so cheesy. But who exactly are these guys? Well, they're a little bigger than regular Space Marines (when did a Space Marine become regular?) If their stat line is anything to go by they're tougher and more aggressive than the usual breed. They have some enhanced equipment in the form of mark X armour and bolt rifles (thanks again Belisarius Cawl).

Now, what I want to discuss here is how the Primaris Marines could fit into the existing 40k lore. How this could be done poorly and how this could be handled brilliantly. The internet is full of people's (perfectly valid) concerns about how these guys will work on the tabletop. Will they invalidate the existing marines through power creep? Are they just a massive sales gimmick? But for me and, dare I say it, many members of the community the thing that keeps us coming back to 40k is the rich and detailed setting. It really is one of the most captivating sci-fi settings around and the iconic Space Marine is the most recognizable cornerstone of that setting.

For me, the Primaris marines represent the biggest change that GW has made so far in their Gathering Storm storyline. More than the destruction of Cadia and the resurrection of a Primarch, the Primaris marines tread on the toes of a huge wealth of existing source material, much of which could be marginalized or invalidated if this change is handled poorly.

So, Space Marines, they're big, tough and functionally immortal. They have eidetic memories and, in combat situations, their brains process far more effectively than a base line human. On the battlefield they are truly superhuman, able to withstand horrific wounds and keep on fighting. Able to shoot with pinpoint accuracy and tear their foes apart in hand to hand combat. Seemingly then, Space Marines are perfect, so much better than us (baseline humans) in every way. How boring!

The truth is that any fictional creature with superhuman characteristics doesn't really become interesting until we examine its flaws. In much of the existing fiction, Space Marines are magnificently flawed. For all their vaunted immortality and strength they pay a steep price indeed. Taken as children and morphed into living weapons their emotions are stunted almost to the point of autism. As such, many of them struggle to emapathise with normal humans and cannot relate to their emotions. Black Templars particularly seem to lack this emotional depth; only able to respond to another's distress with either rage or blank muteness.

In going beyond the abilities of a human being, the Astartes sacrifice a great deal of their emotional range. They are unable to feel fear, sexual desire or romantic love. Yet for all that, they are still able to feel bitterness, jealousy and shame. Would these emotions not come to the fore if a new and improved 'replacement' was created? The answer has to be yes, of course they would. Some marines are bound to feel resentful about the new saviours of humanity. After all, they've been defending the galaxy for 10000 years, who are these new guys to show up and claim they can do a better job?

The Primaris Space marines then must be as flawed as they are powerful. If they are simply invulnerable supermen that outclass the Adeptus Astartes then they will not make for interesting characters. Equally, if the Space Marines simply move over and make room for the new guys without some serious tension then this will not make for a believable fiction.

The replacement of humanity's finest is not unprecedented, the Adeptus Astartes themselves replaced the Emperor's Thunder Warriors at the beginning of the Great Crusade. Not much has been written about how the Thunder Warriors took this development but it seems there were more than a few murmurs of dissent. I would expect to see the same from the Space Marines of the 41st millennium. After all it is hard to believe that the Dark Angels, with all their secrets, would readily accept outsiders into their ranks.

The way I see it, there is an easy fix for a lot of the problems presented by the Primaris Space Marines. Are you ready? Here it comes.

Have some of them fall to Chaos.

It really is that simple. This could solve the issue of tabletop balance and give those whiney Chaos players something to be happy about for a change. Furthermore, it works well within the established canon. A new breed of marines could be susceptible to the touch of the warp in unforeseen ways. Some of them could feel rejected by their 'brother' Astartes and turn from the Imperium unaware of the full horror of Chaos. In playing up the new, young, naive angle the Primaris marines seem all the more believable. After all, they haven't had ten millennia to learn vigilance against the power of Chaos.

Just my thoughts and we'll all see how this develops in the coming months. But one thing's for sure, the Primaris Space Marines will cause a massive upheaval in the hobby landscape. For good or ill, only time will tell.