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Friday, 20 November 2015

Flash Fiction Challenge - Omen

So for shiggles I thought I'd participate in the flash fiction challenge thrown down by Mr Wendig over at terribleminds. I got the song 'Omen' by Crossfaith.

OMEN!!
My thousand words is below for your perusal. Please enjoy/ignore/abhor at your convenience.

Omen

I entered the cell and glanced at its sole occupant. She looked utterly miserable. Cell wasn’t the word they had used to describe this room, calling it instead an “isolation ward”. I had been in enough prisons to know better. I glanced around the room, looking for somewhere to sit; naturally it was unfurnished. Just bare, grey walls coated in vinyl that would be slightly spongy to the touch. The door clicked shut behind me and I knew, without looking, that there would be no lock or handle on the inside face of the door; only a slab of timber offering no purchase or hope of escape. The thought sent a shiver down my spine; enough time spent here would shake the sanity of even the most rational soul.
                “Good morning Marie,” I said, taking a step forward “my name is Robert Williams, I’m a detective with the metropolitan police.”
                “Is it morning already?” The woman spoke softly, raising her eyes to meet mine. She was seated on the floor, one leg curled beneath her, the other sprawled out in front. I was shocked at the deep lines the last few days had carved into her youthful face.
                “Already past ten.” I tried to affect a cheery tone but it came out sounding flat.
                “Oh.” She responded listlessly, still gazing at me.
                “Marie, we need to talk about what happened at your apartment, two days ago.” I tried the direct approach. Marie’s face switched in an instant from an expression of abject misery to utter dread. Her eyes darted around the room as if looking for escape and she rapidly shuffled back until she was pressed against the far wall.
                “Can you see it?” She whispered.
                “See what Marie.” I tried to remain calm.
                “The writing…….on the wall.” She motioned with a crooked finger towards a blank piece of grey wall.
                “Marie, there’s nothing there.” My affected calm was beginning to waver. Marie began to mumble under her breath, just on the edge of hearing. Frustrated and concerned in equal measure I took a step towards her. As soon as I moved she fixed me with another stare, drew in a long breath and screamed at the top of her lungs.
                “IT’S AN OMEN!”

*12 Hours Earlier*
I trudged up the concrete staircase, familiar paint strips peeling from the familiar mouldering walls. It was the fourth time in the last fortnight that I’d paid a visit to The Lawn; an imaginatively named apartment block in one of the less desirable areas of town. As I reached the fourteenth floor I saw the yellow and black striping of police tape outside apartment 143. Passing the uniformed officer at the door, the scene inside was distressingly familiar. At a casual glance it was the same as the last three calls to this building. The dreary bedsit stank even worse than it normally would have; every available surface was covered with fluids that rightly belonged inside of a human body. I turned back to the uniform on the door.
“Any sign of forced ent…” I cut myself short. Ragged splinters of the plastic door were barely clinging to the frame. The majority of the door itself was lying on the stained carpet several feet away. Just as I was turning back to examine the room more thoroughly, the head of Met forensics, walked in through the remains of the doorway. I smiled half-heartedly.
                “What can you tell me Carla?”
                “Not much,” she knew me well enough to be honest “the apartment was leased by Mr Lars Anders, what’s left of him is now decorating the premises.” She made a vague circular motion towards the room with her pen. “Plenty of other prints and DNA throughout the place but none of it is immediately suspicious.” She paused and offered me a slight smile “Of course I’ll leave the conclusions down to you.”
                “It’s going to be the same as the others isn’t it.” I replied, trying not to sigh. Three other gruesome and suspicious deaths in this block in the last two weeks and not a scrap of useful forensic evidence.
                “I wouldn’t like to guess, but” Carla paused again “if I was a gambling woman that’s where I’d put my money.”

*18 Hours Later*
The phone was ringing, groggily I put out my hand, knocking the receiver onto the floor but handily answering the call. I scrabbled on the floor in the darkness before finally recovering the phone.
                “Hello.” I mumbled hoarsely.
                “Bob, it’s Sam from the station.”
                “Sam? What time is it? Why are you still working?” Surprise covered my annoyance at being woken.
                “Bob listen, I’ve figured it out, we need to get an armed unit over to sixteen-twelve immediately!” Sam said, feverishly. I was used to his eagerness, a young kid looking to prove himself. But being woken in the middle of the night was something new.
                “What are you talking about?”
                “The Lawn, The bloody Lawn Bob!” He drew a quick breath. “Listen, get down to the station right now and I’ll give you the details.”
So I found myself outside apartment 612 in the small hours with an armed escort from SO19. Sam had convinced me; he hadn’t found any new evidence, no groundbreaking forensics had turned up in the nick of time. But I was convinced just the same, he’d found a pattern in the apartment numbers, something so close to random that it would have been missed by anybody else. Suddenly one of the armed troopers spoke.
                “Contact, by the stairs!” There was a sudden glare of muzzle flash and the deafening report of a Remington shotgun; and then all hell broke loose.

*30 Hours Later*
“Robert, I’m detective Holroyd.” I eyed the guy suspiciously. A city type in a crumpled but expensive suit. From my seated position on the floor of the cell he loomed over me.
“Can you see it?” I replied venomously.
“See what Bob?” I could see the tension around his eyes.
“The writing on the wall,” I shook my head, suddenly exhausted “it won’t go away.” The numbers were crawling in my peripheral vision. I closed my eyes, it didn’t help.
“No Bob, I can’t see anything.”
“It’s…” I leapt to my feet as my vision clouded over “IT’S AN OMEN!”

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

December Painting Competition

As the deadline for the next painting competition looms, I thought I'd share some very WIP photos of my Night Lords assault Sergeant whom I intend to enter.

Ave Dominus Nox!
This morning I had a stab (pun intended!) at painting the right lightning claw. I tried for a red to yellow fade and I'm pretty happy with the result. Hopefully it will really come together once the rest of the model is complete. Apologies for the bad lighting in the picture above, I was rushing out the door to get to work. Painting before work though - sometimes I amaze even myself! Anyway, the point is the lightning claw. Do you guys (gals?) like it? Any tips for improvement? By all means leave a comment below.

Also some random gold bits that I apparently splashed on.
I figure my only real chance at winning this painting competition is to go for some wow factor. A guy with big red claws and a skull faced helmet fits the bill for me! For those who don't know the deadline for the competition is the 9th December and will be held/judged at my FLGS. As usual I'm up against some stiff competition, in fact I'm anticipating more entries than ever before. As the competition is for a single miniature up to (approximately) Dreadnought size there's bound to be a lot of diversity in the field. Certainly people are talking about entering all kinds of weird and wonderful miniatures from a variety of different systems.

Lightning Claw!

MOAR Lightning Claw!!
I'll post some more photos as he progresses but probably not the finished article until after the competition. Don't want to give my competitors any more advantage than they've already got!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Betrayal at Calth

Bam!
Ok, so this isn't exactly breaking news, but I thought I'd write something about it anyway because GODAMMIT I'M JUST SO EXCITED!!! I've been out of the country for the last week or so and I missed all the breaking news; then I came back to see Betrayal at Calth splattered all over the rumour sites. 

I'm not exaggerating when I say I was on the phone to my local pusher immediately (ok, maybe pusher is a little harsh, perhaps dealer is more appropriate?!) I've simply got to have one of these, the miniatures would make splendid additions to my Night Lords and it would give me another GW board game to share with (infect) my local board games group.

Now much has been said about GW releasing one off, limited run type board games (although I'm hearing this won't be limited). I've read many complaints and disparaging comments about the quality of the games, the miniatures and the pricing of both. I for one, believe that the quality of GWs miniatures has gone from strength to strength in recent years. If you think that any manufacturer in the world can match the quality of GWs plastics for the same price point then I urge you to go and pick up a copy of Dark Vengeance. The detail and casting quality on those Chaos Chosen blows my mind every time I pick one up. Not only that but they're snap-fit models to boot! Anyway I digress.

The point is that I'm very excited to see the new Heresy plastics; I can only imagine that the quality will be sublime.

Moving on to the game itself, which it seems is playing second fiddle to the miniatures in the minds of most fans. Judging from my past experiences of GW board games I can say that I'm looking forward to this side of Betrayal at Calth as well. I am fortunate enough to own both the latest release of Space Hulk and Execution Force and I can say that I've enjoyed both games thoroughly. They both work well with two players but can be easily adapted to accomodate teams of players on both sides (IMHO the best way to play Space Hulk).

Now speaking of pricing, we all know it's going to be £95 (here in the UK). That's a lot of money, it really is. But is it good value? Many people have compared price points with the Heresy range from Forge World. Obviously it works out cheaper if you look at it this way (though estimates of exactly how much seem to vary wildly). For me, it was a no-brainer. The miniatures fit nicely with one of my fledgling armies and the fact that I can customise them with legion specific shoulder pads and trophies etc means that it will be easy to make them unique. Essentially, for anyone looking to start playing battles in the Age of Darkness, Betrayal at Calth should be an obvious starting point.

Whilst I'm on a bit of a pro-GW rant. Lets talk about the modern iteration of 40k, with a particular nod to rules writing and in-game balance. If you float around these here internets (like I do) then you're bound to have come across a swathe of comments, articles and general whining about game imbalance, codex creep and generally stuff just being OP or UP etc. Now I'm the first to admit that the game isn't balanced; I'll even go so far as to say that GW intentionally uses this imbalance to sell shiny new models. But I ask the question, has the balance of the game improved or worsened over the years? The overwhelming answer has to be yes, massively. I've played most editions of 40k (I missed Rogue Trader and 3rd Edition) including a lot of 2nd Ed (which I still play regularly.) Comparing the 2nd edition rules with 7th shows a clear improvement in terms of rules clarity, cross-codex balance and points values. Don't believe me? Dig out your old 2nd Ed stuff and get a couple of games under your belt without wearing your rose tinted specs. I guarantee you'll agree before the end of turn 2.

Alright, rant over, the message is this. Yay GW! Please keep making and improving shiny toys that I want to buy!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Painting Blood Rage

I'm guessing you've heard of Blood Rage the new(ish) board game published by CMoN. If not, you probably expected this post to be about some sort of painting equivalent of road rage brought on (most likely) by an excess of grey plastic (or metal if you're one of those guys) and an inability to get those fine highlights looking just right.

Says it all really.
At any rate, it's a beautiful looking set of miniatures (vikings and creatures of mythology) which spend their time massacring one another over an equally beautiful board. Sadly, I don't own a copy of this game. Even more sadly, I haven't had a chance to play it yet.

Fortunately, my good buddy Dave has got himself a copy along with a bunch of other goodies from the kickstarter. A few weeks back I was salivating over the miniatures and he kindly offered to let me paint one of them. After the initial shock of being entrusted with someone else's precious miniature. Followed by the initial outrage of only being offered one of them. I was delighted! After some discussion, I chose/was given the sea serpent. You can see the final results of my finished work below.
Rawwwrrrrr!!
Bursting up from the depths of my kitchen table.
I went for a fairly muted palette that involved various hues of (Citadel) Rakarth Flesh. Painting the water gave me some pause, in the end I went with my gut - painting it blue, washing down with Drakenhof Nightshade and highlighting up through turquoise and into white. After a goodly application of gloss varnish the result is quite pleasing.

Check out the detail, not bad for a board game!

Teeth!
I also used this as an excuse to experiment with some opalescent medium that I've had kicking around for a while. I mixed it with a purple glaze and used it on the weird tendril like things coming out of his head. The photos don't really show it, but the colour changing effect is quite nice. I hope to find an excuse to use it more often in the near future. Other than that, the paint scheme was quite straightforward; mostly a basecoat, wash down, highlight up sort of affair. Hopefully Dave will like it when I eventually get it back to him and perhaps he'll entrust me with more of his minis in the future (hint hint.)
Same teeth, different angle.
Oh, and on an unrelated note, I did finish my Dreadtober Carnifex before the end of October (honestly, I really did!) I'll put some pics up in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Age of Sigmar and a Shameless Plug

In the midst of all this Dreadtober madness, I thought I'd share a few photos of another project I've been working on. I want to clarify this by saying that these miniatures are at best a collaborative project and at worst just photos of wonderful things created by someone else. Regardless, behold!

The mighty Lord in all his glory - or should that be gory?
Now, I can't take any credit for the paint job on the Mighty Lord, it's all the work of a far more talented hand than mine (Berserkerbro). But I painstakingly built and assembled the model before handing it over, so I feel justified in posting pictures and claiming all the credit. I had slightly more to do with the grim faced fellows below.
My love for you is like a truck, BER SER KER!

My love for you is ticking clock, BER SER KER!
Not only were these guys lovingly crafted by my bare hands, I also applied the Khorne Red basecoat. I know, my skills are amazing.

So, the question on everybody's lips is. Why on Earth are you suddenly messing about with all this Age of Sigmar stuff in the middle of Dreadtober? Sit back, relax and I'll tell you.

It all started when Age of Sigmar was first rumoured to be around the corner. I had a few discussions with Berserkerbro about possibly painting the minis for our FLGS. So I had a chat with Keith (proprietor of said FLGS) and he hummed and hawwed and even sashayed a little and then eventually said yes. 
Marquee Models delivers exceptional customer service - mostly due to the cloning vats.
So, if you're in the area, and you fancy seeing some of the minis in the flesh then come on down. If you ask really nicely, Keith will probably let you play a game with them into the bargain!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Dreadtober - Progress update #2

Shockingly, I've actually managed to make some progress with the Dreadtober/Carnifex painting challenge. Trust me, I'm more surprised than you.
I think the paint was still wet when I took this.
As you can see, most of the chitinous areas are now complete along with the fleshy parts. All that's left is to fill in some detail (ie apply moot green with wallpaper brush) and finish off the base. This is definitely a good thing as I'm going abroad for the last week of October so I only have this week to finish him off. Wish me luck! More photos below.
Zoomed out so you can see some other random objects. You're welcome.

Rear shot so you can admire the junk in the trunk!

Moar photos!

From the top ie General's eye view.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dreadtober - Progress update #1

A Carnifex?! For Dreadtober?!! Madness you say?!!! Well, get over it, it's happening so you'll just have to deal.
Ugh, that looks hideous!
As you can see, it's part way through painting. By the end of the month it will join my tie-dyed horde of alien gribblies. The colour scheme for my Tyranids is very basic because it was conceived when my interest in 40k was rekindled back in 4th edition. Essentially the fleshy parts are painted with an 80/20 mix of Evil Sunz Scarlet/Abbadon Black and the base is painted in Dawnstone. All of these areas are then washed with Nuln Oil. Once that's done the chitinous parts are painted with White Scar and then heavily washed with a 60/40 mix of White Scar/Altdorf Blue. The final details are picked out with Moot Green and Pink Horror and a goodly dash of Ardcoat is applied as necessary. The last step is to drybrush the base with White Scar.

Given that there is no highlighting, glazing, metalwork (non-metallic or otherwise) etc. it's not really surprising that I can turn these things around pretty quickly (now watch me miss the deadline!) I'm sure my fellow Tyranid players will agree that when you're playing a horde army, the simpler the paint scheme the better!  
What do you mean the photos are identical?!
As you can see, I've completed the basecoat on the skin and base, washed it down and made a small start in applying the white layer. As with most of my Tyranids, there's a bit of construction history to this guy. He's one of my ebay salvages; basically I went a bit nuts and bought three Carnifexes I didn't need along with nine Tyranid Warriors, a bunch of gaunts and spore mines and a Red Terror. Those who were aware of the size of my existing Tyranid collection simply shook their heads woefully. I think I'm about five genestealers away from an intervention.

Anyway, like most cheap things from ebay they'd had a hard life. Badly constructed with polystyrene cement, shellacked with layer upon layer of paint and displaying some impressive battle damage. Nonetheless, I take a perverse joy in resurrecting these poor miniatures and adding them to my armies in new and glorious forms. This particular model was stripped using Fairy Power Spray before removing the head and limbs. Once this was done I used a new head from my bitz box along with some new claws and re-posed the torso joint so that the model is rearing up instead of staring at the ground.

There's bound to be a few experienced players out there rolling their eyes and wondering why I would bother to put so much effort into building a Screamer-Killer style Carnifex. The simple answer is that I think they're awesome; are they the most effective build on the tabletop? No, not by a long shot, but it's a classic build that takes me back to the misty eyed days of second edition (when they were toughness 8 and had 10 wounds...).

More updates to come soon.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Dreadtober, Tervigon and other random things

In random painting news, I've finally finished painting my Tervigon. This is particularly significant, as it was a Birthday present from my darling wife, so I have to show that I appreciate it rather than just letting it join the forlorn pile of half finished, unpainted junk gradually accumulating beneath the bed. Here's a blurry camera-phone shot of the finished article for your amusement.

Thankfully the blur hides the painting flaws.
Now, many things have been said about my Tyranid colour scheme. They've been called garish; been described as hippies; and once even compared to Aston-Villa fans! Well to those people I say, screw you! This is how Tyranids look in my imagination! The terrible horrors from beyond our galaxy would surely be festooned with tie-dye! Ahem...

Moving swiftly on; I have come across a certain painting event known as Dreadtober. The gist of this is that the participants must build and paint a Dreadnought before the end of October. Sadly, I don't have a Dreadnought to hand, but I do have four spare Carnifexes! Using the old, Space-Crusade definition of a Dreadnought, I'm sure a Carnifex could be squeezed into this category (despite Greg's protestations). So, before the end of the month, I will produce at least one fully painted (tie-dyed) Carnifex. Updates and complaints about lack of progress to follow.   

Monday, 27 July 2015

Space Hulk - After Action Report

Yesterday (a dreary Sunday afternoon if ever there was one) I was fortunate enough to be invited for a painting session with my gaming buddies. I arrived to a scene of utter carnage; apparently they assumed I was the messiest painter ever and had covered the entire floor of their living room in newspaper! After a brief double take and my patented quizzical stare I manfully got on with painting some more Night Lords. Good progress was made by all involved but as the evening drew in I was getting antsy (and hungry!) so we duly broke out the Space Hulk and ordered lashings of Chinese food.

Space Hulk is a game I've struggled with in the past. Try to play it with a hardcore wargamer and they'll complain that it's too simple. Try it with a casual board gamer on the other hand and they complain that it's too much like a war game! Regardless, it's a game I have a soft spot for and so I've continued attempting to foist it upon anyone who will even remotely entertain the idea. For this game we played as a group of five, three playing the Blood Angels and two playing the Genestealers. I chose the exterminate mission simply because I hadn't played it before.

The Exterminate map - Scary!
In this mission, the five Blood Angels begin play scattered across the map. Their objective is to either block the Genestealer entry points by standing near them; or to kill all of the Genestealers. The Genestealer objective is simple, kill all the Blood Angels! The Blood Angels have the deadly Assault Cannon and are led by the utterly useless Sergeant Gideon.

Derrrrrp!
The game started with a bit of confusion as I failed to tell the Blood Angels players that they could win the mission by killing all of the Genestealers (sorry guys!) This caused some aimless shuffling by several of the Terminators as they wandered up and down corridors. Sergeant Gideon was particularly impressive as he walked round and around the same room, opening and closing the doors as he went. Needless to say, the Blood Angels command point totals were dismal at this stage (he was probably distracted by all the doors.)

After a few turns some of the blips began to reach the Terminators and the game began in earnest. I took command of the Genestealers coming from the South entry areas and Keith took the North. Facing off against an Assault Cannon on overwatch was always going to be messy and I took heavy casualties as I attempted to rush the southern rooms. I did however manage a lucky kill as a Stormbolter jammed and one of the Terminators was brought down. Keith played a much more stealthy hand and moved his blips through the tunnels to the far North causing a lot of backtracking and overwatching from the Blood Angels.

As we moved into the mid-game I finally accepted that I was going to have to try to force a reload from the Assault Cannon. I duly expended my Genestealers only to have the Assault Cannon retreat into the central area just out of reach. How frustrating! Meanwhile, the Terminators to the North were attempting a retreat towards the central area and Keith managed to kill one of them with a well timed rush.

The last few turns saw two terminators hunkered down in the central room and Sergeant Gideon bravely hiding behind them retreating down a dead-end corridor. Once again, we realised that the newly reloaded Assault Cannon was only going to be silenced by throwing bodies at it, so I attempted another mad rush. Slowly the ammo counter dropped and the bodies of Genestealers piled up. We were starting to get low on bodies and I was considering running away and forcing a draw. Finally there was only one round left in the chamber, a stray Genestealer rounded the corner, the dice were rolled and came up a four, a four and a four! The Assault Cannon had exploded! Instantly killing the wielder and slaying the Terminator standing next to him! All that remained was for the last seven Genestealers to kill Gideon (now firmly wedged in the dead end) and the day would be ours!

Grimly seeing his fate, Gideon was put on Guard and awaited the final rush. Come and get it alien scum! Expecting an easy victory, Keith and I hurled the Genestalers forward only to have the first few crushed by Gideon's mighty hammer, this wasn't going to plan at all! This must have emboldened the Blood Angels players and they sent Gideon forward, hammer swinging away, and squished a couple more precious Genestealers. This forced us into an interesting position; it was the final turn of the game. If Gideon killed the last three Genestealers the the game would end in a Space Marine victory. On the other hand we could just run away from him and force a draw. We decided to go for broke and so the final combat of the game began. I've fictionalised it below for your amusement.

Sergeant Gideon strode forwards over the broken bodies of his foes. He was already bleeding from several wounds; the vicious strength of the Genestealers proving more than a match for his indomitable armour. Ahead he could make out the ruin left from the malfunction of the squad's assault cannon. Brother Leon had died a hero, expending every round with pinpoint accuracy and reaping a fearsome tally of alien lives before his weapon betrayed him. As Gideon approached the mouth of the corridor he was greeted by alien eyes glittering in the blackness. Raising his battered shield he charged forwards. The Genestealer pounced, its six clawed limbs propelling it forwards with inhuman speed. The thing hammered into Gideon's shield knocking him backwards whilst clawing madly at the edges of the shield. With brute strength, Gideon slammed his arm sideways into the wall, trapping the Genestealer beneath his shield and ruthlessly crushing it. Too late he noticed the other two Genestealers creeping out of the darkness; his enhanced senses only just saved him as he flinched backwards from the grasping talons. One of them ripped through his ceramite pauldron tearing the flesh and muscle beneath. Gideon roared with righteous anger, swinging his hammer and smashing the Genestealer into the deck. It disintegrated messily, alien ichor painting the walls in a sickening spray. The last Genestealer lashed out with its claws, tearing the hammer from Gideon's grip along with most of his hand. He gasped in pain, even his genhanced body unable to mask it. The momentary distraction was all the Genestealer needed; it raked his head and torso with powerful blows, crushing armour and rending flesh. Gideon's world was suddenly nothing but flashes of light and ringing tinnitus. He tried to rise, to strike with his weapons, when had he fallen to the floor? Above him he could see the rictus grin of a Genstealer as it opened it's fanged maw to reveal a glistening ovipositor.........

Thursday, 23 July 2015

An Evening of Painting

So, last night I made my way along to my FLGS for my fortnightly fix of 40k (I can quit any time I want, honest!) Upon arriving I received quite a surprise, I was the only one who had turned up! After hanging around for a while, the owner (Keith) and I broke out the paints, to cover some ugly grey plastic (or lead, in the case of Keith's Babylon 5 Wars minis) with some much needed acrylic goodness.

Despite being disappointed at not being able to get a game in; both Keith and myself made good progress with our respective projects and had a good old chinwag into the bargain. I took the opportunity to photograph my tactical squad as they are taking shape.

Bathinko leads his Reavers into battle!

How many skulls is too many?

Sons of our father, stand in midnight clad!
I'm very pleased with how the squad is taking shape so far, I've also painted a seventh squad member but had forgotten to bring him along last night. When I first began building the unit I was concerned that they would all look a bit too uniform; after all, they are a Heresy era tactical squad, so there are no special or heavy weapons to break up the ranks of bolter wielding marines. I've tried to remedy this by using parts from different sources as much as possible. The 40k addicted amongst you will no doubt recognise the tactical marine, chaos marine and khorne berserker parts throughout the squad. The left shoulder pads are from Forgeworld (I was splashing out on a Contemptor anyway so a few shoulder pads didn't really break the bank!)

Throughout the unit I've also leaned quite heavily on the Exo-Lords range by Anvil Industry. All of the legs and torsos are from their range as well as Bathinko's chainglaive and the arms and bolter of the marine standing on the far right. I have to say that I've been really impressed with the quality of Anvil's products; they are beautifully detailed and have a rugged, mechanical quality that is perfect for Heresy era gaming. Not only that, they are a fraction of the cost of Forgeworlds 30k marines! I have enough bits and pieces remaining to complete the squad and build myself a tactical support squad into the bargain (I'm thinking Volkite Calivers!)

In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed my evening of painting; here's hoping nobody shows up to the next wargames evening! (Not really - I need my fix!)

Friday, 17 July 2015

500 Point painting competition - More photos

Following yesterdays belated painting competition post I dug up a few more pictures of my stuff and one of the winning entry.

A little blurry but you get the picture (bah dum pum!)

Some more of the Kabal, I'm really not happy with that power sword.
Unfortunately I haven't had many chances to field my Dark Eldar recently; their huge winning streak has put people off playing repeat games against me. I've had to resort to playing my Tyranids instead, but I might bring the Dark Eldar out of retirement to put those damn dirty Necrons in their place!

All of the entries, the winner was the Grot army closest to the camera.
The next painting competition will most likely be for single miniatures. I'm thinking of buying a Sevatar from Forgeworld to feed my current Night Lords fixation. If and when a date gets announced I promise to put up some progress photos.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

500 Point Painting Competition - Dark Eldar

It's been the best part of two months since I entered the local army painting competition but digging through my files I found a couple of photos and thought I'd share them.

It all started over a year ago when Keith (proprietor of my FLGS) decided he'd had enough of all the half finished armies knocking about and promptly announced a competition to inspire us all to finish a 500 point army. It was pretty open ended, contestants could enter an army from any system so long as it was worth 500 points and was a project that they'd struggled with in the past. The only problem was that he hadn't set a particular date.......

Fast forward a year and everyone has forgotten about or lost interest in the competition when suddenly Keith resurrects the notion and offers us a Games Day Orc (NIB no less!) as a prize! The only catch being that we had a  month to finish our entries. 

Well, it was just enough to convince me to finish 500 points of Dark Eldar including my new Voidraven Bomber (of which I'm particularly proud).

My baby in all her glory - be still my beating heart!
Sadly my efforts were only enough to manage a close second and the Orc went to a better man. Nonetheless, I came away with a fully painted 500 point army which probably would have never happened without the incentive of a competition. I'll definitely be entering the next one!

The Kabal of the Broken Soul

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Legion Wars: Honoured Brother Mordo

Finally, a promise I've managed to keep! I present for your delight Honoured Brother Mordo!

Oh yeah, he's awesome!
This is easily the fastest turn-around I've ever had on a vehicle (about a week and a half). I've been really impressed with the quality of the Forgeworld models; the amount of detail is stunning and I've had very few problems with warping or air bubbles.

A side shot - so you can admire (mock?) my freehand.
Ok, so a plasma cannon and plasma blaster might be the most suicidal and expensive loadout ever conceived for a Dreadnought but they're glued on now so it's too late to change my mind. I'm sure he'll inflict some damage before he succumbs to his own gets hot rolls!? Sadly I haven't yet had the chance to try him on the field of battle, it should be interesting as at 205 points he makes up over half of the points in my fledgling force!

Below is a bit of a photodump because I got all excited with the camera. I've started a short piece of fiction for brother Mordo which will be up soon.

Oh my! That does look hot!

Posing with his Legion brothers.

Just 'cos.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Legion Wars: Escalation

Well it's a stupidly hot afternoon here so you'll have to excuse any errors in this post. You'll also have to excuse the lack of pictures because I can't get hold of them at them moment. Damn technology!

The legion wars have continued apace with as many as twenty (gasp!!) models gracing the field over the weekend. Sadly my Night Lords ran riot in both games slaughtering the Salamanders left and right. So much so that both Berserkerbro and myself got a bit pissed off and started painting Dreadnoughts. Oh dear, the threat of mutually assured destruction looms! Once I finally finish the Contemptor (next week I promise) it will be photographed in all its glory. Shortly thereafter I fully expect to have its last hull point removed by its own plasma cannon........

Anyway, in lieu of photos, here's another short piece of Legion Wars fiction.

Bathinko was laughing again; laughing like a maniac and revving the engine of his ridiculous chain-glaive. Kromellus could hear him over the squad vox as he exchanged sporadic bolter fire with the Salamanders scouts crouching in the ruins to the North. Kromellus loosed a three round burst and dropped behind a stone parapet as he reloaded. As he crunched another magazine into his bolter; Kromellus couldn’t help but reflect on his situation. It was one thing to have dropped through the warp onto this forsaken world; it was entirely another to have to follow a raging lunatic into battle time and time again; at least he wasn’t screaming for a change.
As he stood and took aim at the green armoured figures, Kromellus saw a midnight blue blur in the corner of his retinal display. Bathinko had broken cover and was sprinting headlong towards the Salamanders position. “Get back here you moron!” Kromellus yelled uselessly into the vox. The only response was another wave of mirthless laughter. Instantly the targeting vectors of his enemies changed to bracket the new threat with a storm of bolter fire; Kromellus could make out two scouts emptying their weapons in desperation to bring down the charging giant. He watched Bathinko pause in his headlong sprint to prime a Krak grenade and hurl it fully into the torso of one of the scouts. The anti-tank warhead detonated with a dull thump, utterly destroying the scout in a pointless and gory display of overwhelming firepower. As Bathinko gloried in the carnage his grenade had created the remaining scout took careful aim and hammered three rounds into his bat-crested helm. Bathinko dropped like a rag doll, still burbling incoherent laughter into the vox.
As Kromellus watched his Sergeant fall into the dirt he realised he’d expended his last magazine. Opening a squad vox channel he called for his brothers “Sons of our father, with me! Murder them all!” With that he vaulted out of the rubble and ran towards the scout; he had just enough time to notice two of his brothers charging with him before all of them were engulfed in the searing torrent of a flame weapon. Immediately Kromellus dropped into the dirt, rolling in an attempt to extinguish the clinging chemical fire. His brothers did not react as quickly and were caught in a second burst of flame. From his prone position, Kromellus saw a figure clad in green ceramite emerging from the ruins wielding a chainsword and an ornate combi-flamer. He vaguely heard his brothers’ screams over the vox as the flames ate through their armour joints and they died in agony.
Kromellus desperately regained his footing as the Salamanders Sergeant bore down upon him. The Sergeant hacked at Kromellus’ neck joint with his chainsword, the serrated teeth spewing sparks as they glanced off the layered ceramite. Kromellus drew his gladius and punched it into the Sergeant’s abdomen. He felt the point snag as it was deflected by torso plating, but the blow was enough to unbalance his opponent; instantly, Kromellus moved inside the Sergeant’s guard hammering his gladius downwards in a backhanded grip. The legion steel smashed into the Sergeant’s respirator grille, mangling the intake vanes and drawing blood. Just as Kromellus drew back his hand for another strike he heard a cry from behind “Kal’Dhanis!”, as he tried to twist to engage this new threat he felt a sickening impact against his right knee joint. Kromellus’ leg buckled and he lurched sideways as he turned, seeing the scout firing bolt pistol rounds point-blank at his exposed armour joints. With a snarl he drove his body forwards using his good leg and stabbed his gladius upwards through the jaw and soft palate of the scout and into his brain. Kromellus had no time to watch as the scout’s eyes glazed over; Sergeant Kal’Dhanis had recovered and was swinging his chainsword in a decapitating blow. Kromellus abandoned his blade and threw his forearm into the path of the descending blade. The teeth chewed through his armoured gauntlet, severing muscle and tendons and showering him in a spray of his own blood. Kromellus made a grab for the blade sawing through his arm and wrenched it away; hurling it to the ground nearby. In the same motion he smashed his head forwards, driving into Kal’Dhanis shattered faceplate with a horribly organic crunch. Kal’Dhanis reeled and Kromellus wrapped his fingers around his throat; using his armoured bulk to drive Kal’Dhanis onto the ground. For what seemed like an eternity he choked the life from the Salamanders Sergeant; green armoured gauntlets battering and scratching at his faceplate as the son of Vulkan fought desperately for life.
After the body finally went limp in his hands, Kromellus pushed himself back to his feet. His left arm was nearly severed below the elbow and his right knee would bear no weight. He had a nasty feeling that an augmetic replacement would be required for him to continue serving the legion. His retinal display registered a catalogue of damage to his armour; not the least of which was that he was still smouldering from the flamer wash. As he half-heartedly patted at the clinging flames; Kromellus heard a burbling chuckle over the vox. Bathinko was still laughing.

Friday, 19 June 2015

The Legion Wars Begin!

Ok, so it's been a while and I haven't posted any updates. You know how it is: Life, work etc etc. So what have I been up to? Well, shortly after swearing off any new hobby projects and committing to painting the models I already own, I went totally nuts and started putting together a 1000 point Night Lords Legion army for the Horus Heresy. Building and painting has begun in earnest and I'm thrilled with how the VIIIth legion are turning out so far.

I've also begun a small build-and-paint escalation campaign against Berserkerbro's Salamanders. Here's a little mid-battle photo of my Sergeant getting mown down by a bunch of scouts.
Sergeant Bathinko's last moments....
Here's a very short piece of fiction I wrote to accompany the photo and commemorate his defeat.

Sergeant Bathinko screamed as he bore down on the crouching scout. The vox caster built into his ornate helm amplified his screams into an inhuman roar. The Salamander reacted instantly, turning on the spot and unleashing hail of mass-reactive bolts. Most of the shots went wide, the few that struck home detonated harmlessly against Bathinko’s armour. As the scout drew his combat blade, Bathinko raised his chainglaive, the teeth of the brutal weapon whining as they cut empty air. His first stroke was a massive downward cut with both hands that would have cut an Astartes warrior clean in half had it struck home. The scout had anticipated his move however and stepped inside his guard jabbing viciously at the exposed cabling of Bathinko’s midriff with his blade. Bathinko’s retinal display lit up as his armour sustained damage to its power feeds and with another scream he swung the haft of his chainglaive outwards, knocking his opponent into the dirt. The Salamander reacted instantly, rolling to his knees and firing his bolter one handed. The single shot smashed into Bathinko’s faceplate scrambling his vision and severing one of the crests from his helm. Blinded and enraged, Bathinko swung the chainglaive downwards with all his strength. The pitiless chewing teeth sawed through the stock of the upraised bolter and into the torso of the kneeling scout.

                As his retinal display recalibrated, Bathinko’s sight returned. He looked down upon the savaged body of the Salamanders scout lying prone before him. His audio receptors picked up the distinctive sound of a boltgun slide being racked. Bathinko had just enough time to look up at the remaining two scouts aiming down at him from the gantry above. In the time it took him to draw breath he was bracketed by their co-ordinated fire; the barrage of shells shredding the grisly trophies attached to his armour and splintering the ceramite plating. One shoulder guard was completely torn away by the torrent; he tried to turn, to protect his head with the other shoulder guard only to be knocked to the ground, sustaining damage faster than his auto senses could track. Bleeding profusely from several serious wounds Bathinko used the last of his strength to draw breath and screamed.


Thursday, 19 February 2015

BerserkerBro - Deff Dread

BerserkerBro - Deff Dread

Two posts in one day - amazing stuff!! Just wanted to share an excellent conversion from the mysterious man known as BerserkerBro. A converted Deff Dread crewed by Grots of course!

Another towering monstrosity from the hands of BerserkerBro.
Obviously it's not done being painted yet; but I think we can all agree, that's one huge metal beastie he's made there! 

Just for a little perspective for those of you not too familiar with GW products. Nearly every part of the model is converted or customised and it stands over twice as tall as the original kit! Or to use an analogy, BerserkerBro is to converting what Makoto Nagano is to Ninja Warrior.


The legend himself - Why so serious?
By comparison, I would be this guy:


Call me MR octopus!

Second Edition Madness

Wednesday Night Showdown - Squats vs Tyranids

This is just a quick round up of the game of 40k second edition between my Tyranids and Keith's Squats last Wednesday. I'm not going to write a full battle report because I don't really remember who did what to who etc. Also I'm very lazy. For those who haven't had the pleasure of a hearty game of second edition I will summarize the differences below:

1 - The shooting phase uses the archaic system of 'to hit' modifiers based on cover, speed of target etc. There are also restrictions based on model facing and closest target. This turns every shooting phase into a sort of gentleman's agreement.

Me: I'll let you shoot my Termagants if you take a hard cover modifier.
Gentleman Opponent: Very sporting of you old bean. Of course I will expect your Termagants to endure the same hardship upon returning fire.
Me: Damn you Gentleman Opponent!! Ok, we'll say soft cover.
GO: Splendid! Fresh horses and Sarsaparilla for all my men!!

2 - You can cast psychic powers in your opponent's turn as well as your own. This is particularly good fun if he/she doesn't have any psykers.

3 - The colours are brighter, the templates are bigger and everything is 400% more awesome.

Ugly models, garish colours and dice with funny symbols on them. - AWESOME!!!
As Keith was playing the role of gentleman opponent; he was kind enough to let me use the old Armorcast rules for my Haruspex. He then proceeded to immobilize it and destroy half of it's ranged weapons on turn 1. And before anybody asks; yes it counts as a vehicle. In spite of these setbacks it still went on to kill both the Squat Warlord and Engineer Guildmaster before the end of the game.
Always does me proud - no matter the edition.
Other stars of the Tyranid horde were the Hive Tyrant who reaped a steady tally of Squats with his Venom Cannon. The Zoanthrope, who ran riot in every Psychic phase and my warriors, who spent the entire game stubbornly refusing to fail their armour saves. I should probably mention at this point that Keith's army included five mole mortars. FIVE!! That's really the reason why my infantry didn't achieve much. They were either dead or stuck in exploding mole mortar craters.

At any rate, the game ended in yet another victory for the Tyranids. I for one can't wait for the re-match; especially if I can use my Lictor.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Dark Eldar Painting Progress

Grotesques:


Finally I have emerged from the depths of painting torture with a worthwhile offering! It seems like it took me an eternity to turn out one of these things (probably because the whole process was frustrating) but I have completed converting and painting an Aberration for my unit of Grotesques.


Isn't he cute!
Apologies for the quality of the photos, it's what happens when you use an antiquated camera from work because you can't be bothered to go upstairs and find a decent one.

Obviously he's based on the Warhammer Vampire Counts Crypt Ghoul chassis but with some Talos Pain Engine parts thrown in for good measure. Chopping and changing the parts was pretty easy; the difficult part was sculpting a loincloth out of green stuff to hide the unsightly furry mound where (presumably) his junk would normally be. However, I was pleased with the end result (sadly the photos don't really show off my sculpting).

As usual the painting was far more taxing than the conversion work. First I worried about the colour of the flesh; I wanted it to blend in with the rest of the army but still look sore and pallid. I don't know if I really managed pallid; but a dab of Khorne red mixed in and glazed over the top was pretty effective for making him look injured and in pain.


Who are you calling ugly?
I ran into painter’s block when I realised the amount of components that would need to be painted in metallic colours (I hate painting metal!). I wanted the metals to look darker and more corroded than my usual Eldar colours. A couple of washes of Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil created a nice base for me to highlight from; and overall I’m pretty pleased with the end result. So pleased in fact that I've made good headway into painting the rest of the unit. Now if only they had a transport.........