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Friday, 20 October 2017

Painting the Onager Dunecrawler - Dreadtober 2017 week 3

So, the end of the third week of Dreadtober looms, and how am I doing? Well, to put it bluntly, I've finished!



Oh yeah!
Ok, that's not quite true, as I did say I would paint the other weapon options and I have yet to do so. But even so, the Onager itself is complete along with the Eradication Beamer I showed off last time.


Time to Eradicate!
Painting the model in sub-assemblies really helped me to get it finished quickly and made the whole process a lot easier. It's much simpler to slap on a basecoat with a big brush when you don't have to worry about all  those pesky details!


Love the cog and skull motif.
I think this is the first time I've applied a transfer since I was about twelve years old. I must say, transfers have definitely improved in the decades since then! I also used some Micro-Sol to help blend the transfer into the paintwork which worked quite well.


How many lenses can you count?
In case you can't tell from the rampant photography, I really am delighted with how the Onager turned out. The pink and green scheme scaled up really well to a larger model and the brass details really set it off. The most fiddly part was probably painting and assembling the turret gunner; but when you can have a heavy stubber for only five points, I wasn't going to leave him off!



Feel free to count the rivets too!
So, thanks to Todd and all my fellow Dreadtober-teers! Once again, the threat of community humiliation has spurred me on to complete a model that would probably have languished in indefinite undercoat. As I mentioned in my first Dreadtober post, I'm also participating in a build-and-paint campaign at the moment so I have a few other models on my list for this month. Check in next week to see if I have a further Dreadtober update or something different entirely!


As usual, you can read my Dreadtober story here, here and here.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Painting the Onager Dunecrawler - Dreadtober 2017 week 2

Welcome to Dreadtober week 2! So, how's it going? Well, it's going pretty great, thanks for asking.


Finally glued to the base!
It's been a solid week of progress for me. I've finished painting a lot of the smaller parts that will be glued in place once the main hull is complete. Not only that, but I've finished painting the lower half and stuck it on the base!


Following in the footsteps of the rest of my Skitarii, I'm trying to keep things simple with the paint scheme. Not getting bogged down in too much of the detail (because these things have tons of it!)


Eradication Beamer! Such a cool weapon.
I'm delighted with how the scheme is turning out. I'm always worried about transferring a colour scheme to a larger model, but so far it seems to be working well.


As far as assembly goes, the legs were a bit of a bitch as I hadn't realized that you can't just slide the funny snowshoe type things around the feet once they're fixed down. This led to much cursing as I had to rip the legs off the base and then reconnect them with the 'snowshoes' in place. However, it doesn't seem to have damaged the finished product.


Other assorted gubbins. All WIP.
Still, so far, progress is good and I'm well on the way to finishing the model by the end of the month. You can check out my previous progress here and here. Also be sure to stop by the main Dreadtober blog to see how the other participants are getting on.


Tune in next time for another batch of hot, steaming progress!



Friday, 6 October 2017

Painting the Onager Dunecrawler - Dreadtober 2017 week 1

Well the first week of Dreadtober is finished and things are going ok for me. I've decided to build the Onager as a series of sub-assemblies for painting and have made a start on painting most of the bits. I've even managed to finish painting a couple of the smaller parts!


So many parts!
As with most modern plastic kits, the Onager is a joy to build. The components fit together nicely and there are very few mould lines. You may just be able to see from the picture above that I've built both the neutron laser and the eradication beamer as weapon options. I have drilled and inserted magnets behind the weapon housing so that I can pick and choose. If I get the chance I will also magnetise the heavy phosphor blaster, but realistically I would probably always use the eradication beamer instead so it seems a little redundant!


I've noticed that a lot of people tend to magnetise the weapon barrels instead of the whole gun chassis. In my experience this tends to make things a bit wobbly on the tabletop and if you aren't super careful it can lead to some very wonky gun barrels.


Nice legs! Just test fitting the armour panels.
For the colour scheme I'll be using my usual Skitarii scheme which you may have seen here. It's an attractive (if I do say so myself) combination of deep green and bright pink; with plenty of metallic thrown in for good measure. They are armoured cyborgs after all!


Complete! Turret gunner and....whatever that thing is.
Mostly, I'm just delighted to have finished some of the bits (even if they are tiny!) Hopefully finishing a part at a time will give me the motivation to push through and get this thing finished.


Check in next week to find out if I've rocketed ahead with the painting or if it's slow going. Right now the motivation is high and I feel like I'm on a roll. Oh, and if you're interested, you can check out my intro post for Dreadtober here.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Painting Skitarii - 500 points complete

I reached an important milestone this weekend with my Adeptus Mechanicus army. Painting a 500 point army to completion.


Sorry for the glare....and the curtains.
I guess thirteen models doesn't seem much to write home about (especially as I completed the bulk of these models this year during Squaduary and Monster March.) But it's very significant for me. Having a fully painted army of a certain value is quite a rare event in my hobby life, so it's definitely one worth documenting.


The final model.
Some of you may recall that when I took part in Squaduary I had painted the rather inadvisable combination of an arc rifle and a plasma caliver for my squad of Skitarii Vanguard. As it turned out, the lack of a second identical weapon really damages the focus of a squad on the tabletop, so I felt I needed a second plasma caliver before I could honestly call the army complete. I painted up the guy above and added him to the vanguard squad for a double dose of hot plasma death!


I'm also taking part in a campaign over the next few months run by my buddy Lewis over at Canis Aureus. The concept is to increase the army size by 250 points per month and play a series of games over a system map of the Charadon Sector. Hopefully this will push me on to complete 750 points by the end of October, which ties in nicely with Dreadtober as I will be painting an Onager Dunecrawler to add to the force.


Stay tuned for more updates on Dreadtober and, with any luck, a fully painted 750 point force in a month's time!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Dreadtober 2017 - Skitarii Onager Dunecrawler

It's that time of the year again! The nights are drawing in and there's no better way to spend your evening than slaving over a hot Dreadnought (or approximate equivalent).



Spooky!
In my usual fashion I will be trying to stretch the category of Dreadnought to its limits by building and painting an Onager Dunecrawler for my growing Skitarii force.


For those that don't know, Dreadtober is a participation project within the hobby community. The primary aim is to get a Dreadnought (or Dreadnoughts!) built and painted to completion within the month of October. Participants post weekly updates on their various blogs (all collated at the main Dreadtober blog) and with any luck, we all end up with a shiny new Dread at the end of the month!


Having participated in these community events in the past I find them immensely motivating and hopefully this Dreadtober will prove no exception!


Stay tuned for weekly updates all throughout October.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

New Necromunda Goliath Gang - The build

Another completely out of sequence post here, this time with my work in progress Goliath gangers!


Sadly, I think I went too small with the axe.
Like a lot of people, I'm really excited for the release of the new Necromunda in November. So much so that I asked Blazmo over at Tabletop Apocalypse if he wanted to split the box set for Christmas. The answer was a resounding yes and, after some discussion, we decided that he would take the Escher gangers and I would be left with the burly Goliaths. Just kidding, there's nothing I like better than a muscular guy, festooned with piercings and slathered in baby oil...........but maybe that's a discussion for another time.


At any rate, I figured it would be nice to get a quick game or two in on Christmas day rather than just sitting and building miniatures. So I hatched a plan to build and paint a small gang before Christmas so that we would be ready for our first games on the day. These guys are the result of that plan.


The beginnings of a gang - you only need 3 models!
Obviously they are based on the Age of Sigmar, Khorne Blood Reavers but with various bits and pieces added. In terms of weaponry I am left in a bit of a quandary, I don't want to build anything that will be illegal under the new rules but that leaves me with limited options. The miniatures that have been leaked so far seem to be armed with peculiar things that didn't exist under the old ruleset. The one thing we know for sure is that a plasma pistol will be legal, so I've used one for my leader (even though it's illegal under the old rules!)


I've also gone for a ganger with a massive chainaxe (with pistol back up) and a juve with a stub pistol and axe (and maybe some frag grenades). I'm playing it pretty safe (and pretty short ranged) but I don't want to end up with miniatures that I can't use. After all, that would defeat the object entirely.


The leader, as yet unnamed.

Rear of the year!
I'm pretty pleased with how they've come together so far. They look more like a group of Unity era techno-barbarians than gangers but maybe those are one and the same thing?


I'm determined to paint them in bright, clashing colours in honour of the classic 90s style of the original game. That's going to be a challenge for me as I'm much more comfortable with GW's modern 'grimdark' style. Stay tuned to see if I build any more and if I get around to actually painting them!



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.


Friday, 28 April 2017

Infinity Nomads Spektr - Showcase

Something I've been saying for a long time is how I want to play more games of Infinity. As with all hobby activities, the biggest obstacle is having the time. The second biggest (for me) is a lack of painted miniatures. This is particularly telling when it comes to Infinity as up until now I had painted a grand total of one miniature. So, I proudly present, a 100% increase in my previous painting total, namely a Spektr.


Badass!
For those that don't know the game, Infinity is a skirmish game set in the near future which is designed to simulate military special operations and stealth missions. With the various factions locked into a 'cold war' state outright war is something best avoided therefore combat takes place in shadowy infiltration missions or elite combat drops.


Having played around with the starter set a bit and with a shaky grasp of the rules I'm a newcomer to this system. But so far I really like what I see. The miniatures are top notch and have a distinctive style. The rules themselves are detailed and sometimes complex but allow for a great level of immersion. It really feels like a clash of elite special forces.


As for the Spektr, he's a stealth operative who's great strength lies in his anti-personnel mines. I'm not quite sure how he's best used on the table but forward infiltration and minelaying is bound to cause some headaches for my opponents right?



Love the dynamism!
I'm trying to keep my Nomads scheme simple so I can turn them out quickly. So far it seems to be working and I'm happy with the results. Hopefully I can show off some more miniatures soon and get a few games under my belt.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Salute 2017 - Aftermath

For those that missed it, last Saturday (22nd April) Salute 2017 was held at Excel London. Allegedly the biggest wargaming event in Europe, this massive expo is hosted annually by South London Warlords. I was fortunate enough to attend and spent the day shopping and painting with Blazmo from Tabletop Apocalypse


Warlords' Warlord!
We decided to drive down to the venue as I wanted to buy plenty of terrain and it was bound to be heavy. Despite the wallet crippling parking fee (still cheaper than the train!) they journey down was easy and we arrived just before the doors opened at 10am. Needless to say there was already a huge queue of eager gamers ahead of us ready to spend their hard earned cash!




So many nerds!
Despite the lengthy queue, it moved swiftly and we were soon inside the exhibition hall. As usual, the show included plenty of trade stands for all kinds of different games and wargaming products.


Nerdvana!
Having made a rough game plan beforehand, we headed straight for Troll Trader as we had found some excellent deals there in 2016. Once again we were not disappointed, quickly snatching up a copy of Red Veil for Infinity and a huge stack of TT Combat mdf terrain. We quickly realized our error as we had to carry around a massive block of wood for the rest of the day, how foolish!


Plenty more spending was to come as we grabbed more Infinity figures and templates from various stands (Micro Art Studios was one but there were too many to remember.) Every shop seemed to be offering discounts and freebees, I ended up with a small pile of different miniatures from random games systems. Always nice to have!


The other highlight of the day was the speed painting competition hosted by Eavier Metal. In a mere 25 minutes contestants were challenged to paint a model to completion, obviously no mean feat!


Blazmo and I, furiously painting!
This was my first experience of speed painting and I enjoyed it immensely. It was a great laugh as we manically splattered paint onto the miniatures. Even getting a basecoat on every area seemed like a challenge at first! It was also my first time using Army Painter products, which seemed strange at first but over the 25 minute period I came to actually quite like them. I will definitely consider Army Painter when I need paints in the future.


Such skills! Mine is the one on the left.
Another highlight was the massive 30k Horus Heresy display put on by the Warlords themselves. This seems to be a fixture which grows in scope every year. The obvious standout this year was the enormous (though definitely under scaled) Warlord titan. Despite my dislike of the model (because of the scale issues) I had to admit that it was an impressive piece which had been masterfully painted. The display itself was full of great details which were well worth taking the time to admire. One of my favourites was the three gore spattered World Eaters contemptors shown below.


So evocative!
Strangely, despite spending plenty of money, I didn't buy any 40k figures this year. There just didn't seem to be any stand out deals on the day. Still, with a pile of terrain and Infinity figures, I should be kept busy for some time yet. All in all the day was a blast and I look forward to heading down again next year.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Painting Kataphron Breachers - Adeptus April week 3

Phew! These painting challenges are starting to feel like hard work! Those of you that are paying attention will have noticed I missed week 2. This is due to a number of factors, most of which are wargaming related. First off I've actually been playing some 40k (pause for applause), secondly I've been distracted by my Infinity Nomads and thirdly I'm all giddy for Salute this weekend and am struggling to concentrate. Nonetheless I present my unworthy offering below.


Two down, one to go.


In other Adeptus April news someone has been good enough to join me for this painting challenge. Namely the talented (not to mention speedy) Cylde Ar from Mastodontica. If you follow the link you will see that he has already completed the monthly challenge. What a show off! I'd better get a move on if I don't want to be utterly crushed by my own painting challenge!


Cylde's cool looking Librarian.
As some of you may know, I'm a big fan of the Exo Lords range from Anvil Industry and I've used their parts extensively with my Heresy era Night Lords. I'm pleased to see that Cylde is also a fan of their parts and has used plenty of them to make this awesome looking guy. Speaking of Anvil, I'm off to Salute tomorrow to pick up some more of their stuff and say hi to the guys in person.


All that aside, my own progress with Adeptus April has been slower than I would have liked. I have to give big thanks to Cylde for appearing out of the blue and giving me the push I needed to get this far. I just hope the motivation will last and I can finish the last breacher before the end of the month.


The breachers themselves continue to be fun to work with. The details are nice and the paint scheme isn't too taxing. I was lucky enough to be able to get these guys on the field a couple of weeks ago where they totally wrecked face! Knocking out a Contemptor Dreadnought in a single volley and then going on to destroy a second dreadnought and a Rhino. Not bad for an 'uncompetitive' weapon loadout!


What a difference a head swap makes!
So, once again we're going to end on a nail biter. Will I get the squad finished by next week? Only time, and my fickle attention span, will tell.


If you missed the fist part of Adeptus April, you can find it here.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Salute 2017!

Well, it's that time of the year once again, Salute is upon us!




For those that don't know, Salute is often called 'the largest wargames expo in Europe'. Personally I have no idea if that's true but I can say for certain that it's huge! Hosted by South London Warlords at the Excel, London, Salute brings together a massive number of traders, gamers and artists for one day of enthusiastic consumerism. This year, the event will be on Saturday 22nd April and opens at 10am sharp.


Last year I attended Salute in support of my FLGS (Marquee Models) so you may have seen me proudly wearing the blue shirt and putting various punters through the hardships of board gaming. This year I'm being very selfish and just heading down for some good old retail therapy! I was delighted by the bargains on offer last year and hopefully I can snag a few more this time around. In particular I'm on the look out for some terrain to spice up my gaming board but I've no doubt an unreasonable pile of miniatures will find their way into my grubby hands as well. Oh, and don't forget, Forgeworld have a stand at Salute so if you need some resiny goodness without paying the postage this is the place to be.


As well as battering my wallet, Salute has a variety of other attractions to look forward to. In particular the painting competition which showcases some truly amazing examples of the miniature painters art. Last year their were also plenty of impressive wargames displays and a host of participation games for various systems. All in all, a great day out for the intrepid wargamer.


Give me a shout in the comments if you're planning on coming down. It would be nice to put faces to some of the names that comment from time to time!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Painting Kataphron Breachers - Adeptus April Week 1

Howdy y'all! It's been another rootin' tootin' week of progress for me! Under the self appointed banner of 'Adeptus April' I've made a start on a unit of Kataphron Breachers for my ever growing Adeptus Mechanicus force.


Haywire to the max!
As you can see from the above I've gone for arc rifles and arc claws for maximum haywire goodness. Now before anyone starts, yes, I know destroyers and more competitive and, yes, I know they can have heavy grav cannons. But the thought of battering my opponents with 18 grav shots a turn makes me feel a little bit sick. So I've decided to go with the haywire breachers. It's not all bad, they do get a better armour save which is important as these guys don't have feel no pain. They should be the bane of enemy vehicles of any type with 6 haywire shots and 6 haywire attacks (on the charge) tanks have something to fear. You can also pull a funny trick if you combine breachers with a Magos Dominus allowing their weapons to gain the cognis special rule. Suddenly your snap shots hit on a 5+ and can be re-rolled with the right canticle allowing you to threaten aircraft too.


All in all I'm expecting these guys to do pretty well on the battlefield, in fact I have my first game with them tonight (albeit the unit is not yet fully painted).


Does anybody remember TankJr?
As for the models themselves, I've never really been a fan of the battle servitors. I've always preferred the way the breachers look because of their heavier armour. However, after buying the kit I decided that most of my gripes could be solved with a simple head swap. After thinking about it a bit further, I considered what would happen to Skitarii that had been damaged beyond repair. Obviously their spare parts would be turned into Servitors! Hence the vanguard heads on the squad.



Really like this servo arm detail.


As for the paint scheme, I've followed my usual green and brass theme with pink accents. These kits were somewhat unusual for me in that I've painted them in parts before final assembly. This is a huge departure for me as my models are normally fully assembled before I begin to paint. To be honest I'm happy with the method so I probably won't change it for the rest of the squad. I even partially painted some of the parts while they were still on sprue! Something I thought I would never do.


Work continues on the rest of the squad and I hope to have another model done by this time next week. Until then, wish me luck and don't forget to tune in for the rest of Adeptus April!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Titan in a day! - How to build an Eldar Phantom Titan

This was a hell of a project and something that I was thrilled to be involved with.


Hot damn! That's impressive!
To explain a little, a good friend of mine who shall remain nameless (Jack) has a bad habit of buying enormous Forgeworld models that he's too intimidated to construct. Now I have every sympathy here, having built my own Hierophant Bio-titan which was a tricky and time-consuming job but very rewarding in the end. At any rate, Jack has been hassling me for some time to help him out with his growing pile of un-built Forgeworld super-heavies, the grand-daddy amongst them being the Eldar Phantom Titan pictured above. After many months of hassling and a couple of tins of beer I finally snapped and agreed to set aside a day to help him out with these projects.


As the fateful day loomed we talked briefly about what we would need and what models to build. I supplied an enormous shopping list (drills, pins, putty, glue, cookies etc) which Jack went out and bought. As there were several models available including a Revenant Titan, Scorpion grav-tank and a Vampire Raider we weren't exactly sure which to attempt or even how much we could get done in a day.


As a beautiful Friday morning dawned (nothing like building titans in the sunshine) I headed on over to Jack's and we got stuck in to some resiny goodness. After looking at the models we both knew we had to attempt the Phantom, after all, the point of the day was twofold. Firstly to build some badass miniatures but secondly, to give Jack the confidence to tackle some more of these projects alone.


Early progress showing the left leg.
Straight away I could see it was going to be a challenge, the left foot alone was made up of nine separate components all of which had to be trimmed, pinned and glued. On the upside, the feet of a Phantom Titan are exceptionally poseable enabling you to make some really outlandish miniatures if you're feeling brave.


Completed leg assembly, we weren't brave enough to go for a one legged pose!
Strangely, the legs themselves only consist of three separate components, the upper, lower and the knee. These needed to be reinforced as strongly as possible so they were thoroughly pinned along with the hips to make the lower section of the Titan stable. We were able to drive a pin straight through both hips providing a good connection between both legs.


As you can see from the photos we were making a horrendous mess (anyone who's ever drilled and sawn resin will vouch for the amount of debris created). The hoover was used liberally throughout the day to try and keep on top of the stuff.


When it came to the torso assembly we hit a snag, one of the components (front breastplate) was missing. Ultimately I left it down to Jack to decide what he wanted to do, should we stop building and try to build the Revenant instead? Luckily he had a brainwave, a battered Wraithknight was laying around in his bitz box and its chestplate was just what we needed, you can see it in the photos below (the horrible purple part).



Starting to look impressive!
The main torso was quite straightforward and we were able to drive a single pin through all four of the components and into the hips making it rock solid. The shoulder assembly was quite something, involving all the holofield fins, the missile launchers and the massive pauldrons. It all went together pretty quickly though (despite me getting superglue on the coffee table) hence the lack of progress photos.


Then came time to add the head, arms and weapons. Jack declined to paint the inside of the cockpit so the head went straight on. The arms turned out to be a major headache as the guns were really heavy. Much pinning gluing and swearing later and the beast was finished!


Getting there!
Jack wanted to magnetise the right arm as he had both D-cannon and close combat options for the Titan. In the end, we got the sword ready to go but the D-cannon was left for a later date.


Taste the beast!
At any rate it was a fantastic day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thanks to Jack for letting me be part of such an awesome build, now all he has to do is paint it!