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Monday, 29 July 2019

Everchosen Open Category - I'm the winner!

As we all know, this weekend was the in store portion of the Everchosen painting competition. I haven't been painting anything specific for the competition as I haven't had time at the moment (other hobby projects have taken priority). However, I always like to support my local store, so I picked out a couple of miniatures from my collection and entered them anyway. And, lo and behold, I managed to win the open category with Belisarius Cawl!

Got a big shiny certificate for my trouble!
I'm absolutely thrilled to have got a win, especially when I entered without painting up a specific competition entry.

The winning entry, Mr Cawl.
If you'd like to read more about the painting of Belisarius Cawl, you can check out my old posts here

But, there was more good news from the Everchosen competition. Not only had I won the open, I placed second in the main category with the Emperor's Champion!

I promise that's not a monochrome version of the previous photo.
So, sadly, I just missed out on going to the online voting stage. But that's probably a good thing, because I've seen loads of incredible entries from around the world and I don't particularly need to be crushed by them.

Second place in Everchosen, not bad!
All in all, I'm ecstatic with how the competition went. I came away with a couple of certificates and I'm pretty damn proud of myself. Hopefully I can paint a few more one off miniatures this year and push myself even further!

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Big batch painting - Over forty Tyranids

Well there's a post title I never thought I'd write! Historically I've been awful at batch painting. I've never attempted more than about five models at a time and never successfully completed any of those. I just find (found?) it soul destroying, seeing so little 'real' progress whilst mindlessly applying basecoats etc.

Boom! 41 Tyranids painted as a single batch!
So, what gives? How was I able to crash out such a huge number of models in a couple of weeks. Well, unfortunately there's no single factor involved here. Frankly I'm kind of stunned to have managed it myself. But here's a little summary of my ability to suddenly do batch painting:

1 - Lowering the quality.
I'm always loath to drop the quality of my miniatures. They are expensive things and deserve the best quality I can manage. I certainly apply this attitude to all my other armies, so what's different about the Tyranids? Well, for one, a lot of these are Ebay rescues which had a hard life the first time around, so they're cheap and not in the greatest condition. This certainly helps to break the attitude of painting them to your best standard. In addition, I knew that to complete a batch of this size in a reasonable time frame I would have to drop the quality a bit. This doesn't mean they're sloppy, it just means sacrificing a few details and using simple painting methods. This brings me on to....

2 - A simple paint scheme.
My Tyranid scheme was concocted over ten years ago when I was just getting back into painting. At that time, two factors were paramount. It must be easy to paint yet look decent, and it must use as few colours as possible (I was a starving student at the time). This definitely helps when it comes to batch painting because the models are basically a couple of basecoats and some washes (with a few details picked out). Simple = fast.

Hormagaunts from the batch. Incredibly simple but effective.
3 - Accuracy and experience.
This is one of those things that only comes with practice. The more you paint, the better you get and the fewer mistakes you make. This means far less time cleaning up after applying a wash or basecoat.

4 - Inspiration.
My brother Blazmo (of Tabletop Apocalypse) had just completed a batch of 20 troopers for his Steel Legion forces. They are far more detailed (and better painted) than my Tyranids which got me thinking, if he can do it, why not me? In addition, we talked about doing a meatgrinder type game with successive waves of Tyranids assaulting a beleaguered Steel Legion force. Obviously to pull this off, I needed to have lots of Tyranid infantry! 

That all pretty much sums up how this came about. Even though I sacrificed quality a bit, I'm still really pleased with the finished batch. I guess quantity really does have a quality all of its own.

They ain't pretty, but they're painted.
As you can see from the above, they aren't the most beautiful things I've ever painted. But they'll certainly see plenty of battlefield action and hopefully revitalise my interest in Tyranids. Here's to the next batch!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Questoris Knight Gallant Conversion - Two Thunderstrike Gauntlets!

I finished building and painting this fine lady a few weeks ago but didn't have the chance to take photos of her until now. I am proud to present Caestus, a Knight Gallant with two Thunderstrike Gauntlets.

Finally, a knight that can applaud.
The conversion was inspired by this post from Stepping Between Games (thanks again Rory). Basically, I just thought it was a cool idea and decided to go for it. I had wanted to add a Gallant to my army for a while and this gave me the push I needed to commit to it.

The left hand which comes with the kit.
I tried to go for as dynamic a pose as possible without extensively converting the legs. I wanted her to look like she is striding forward ready to pummel something with those massive armoured fists.

And the right, which is converted from a spare left hand.
Converting the right hand proved to be a fairly simple matter. Once the thumb was removed it was easy enough to swap to the other side of the palm and then fill the gaps with greenstuff. The trickiest part was fabricating the armour plate which goes on the back of the gauntlet. This had to be cut to shape and then rebuilt with greenstuff. However I think it turned out pretty well in the end.

I think my lettering is improving too.
As for the paint scheme, she follows in the tradition of my other knights, with the usual green and beige livery. I did make one small change here, which was to add some hazard stripes to the back of each gauntlet, just because I wanted them to look extra menacing.

I also added a couple of stripes to her tilting shield using Tamiya masking tape. I think it breaks up the flat area a little and creates some interest. I did go to the trouble of putting a magnet in the top of the carapace so that a missile pod can be added in the future if desired. Currently though I'm planning to run her as cheaply as possible, so carapace mounts are out.

Obviously, crunch-wise it's illegal to have a pair of Gauntlets on a knight. So on the tabletop she's just a normal Gallant who happens never to use a reaper chainsword. I don't think any of my usual opponents will have too much of an issue with that (at least until after she's finished crushing their tanks like tin cans).

Stomp stomp, punch punch.
I've already had the pleasure of fielding this beauty where she performed admirably; punching a Wraithknight to pieces two games in a row. Here's hoping we have several more fun games together.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Revealed! Skorpius Dunerider Datasheet.

I found this laying about these here internets and thought I'd post it up for y'all to see.

Delicious new rules!
As a Mechanicus player I find these rules (and the model itself) a little underwhelming. It seems odd to me that the Skorpius doesn't have an invulnerable save, because every other Adeptus Mechanicus model does. 

Moreover, the loadout and weapons of the Disintegrator are a bit mediocre. This thing has to line up against the mighty Onager Dunecrawler and it loses out in just about every aspect. The Dunecrawler has an excellent 5+ invulnerable save which is so valuable in 8th edition; it can also carry a neutron laser which is surely a better anti-tank weapon than either the Belleros or Ferrumite cannon of the Disintegrator. Honestly, I'm just a bit unsure how this tank is supposed to fit in with the existing army.

The transport variant is pretty basic. It's cheap in points and isn't particularly durable. The weapon loadout of four heavy stubbers isn't going to scare too many opponents either. However, I reserve judgement on the Dunerider until I see it on the table. Adding a transport into a Mechanicus list does open up a lot of options that weren't available previously (except for the Termite).

Anyway, those are just my quick thoughts on the new rules. Feel free to comment below and let me know if you agree!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Battle Report! - Warhammer 40k, Orks vs Adeptus Mechanicus

Last week I played one of the oddest and most enjoyable games of 40k I've ever played; so I thought I'd provide a quick write up for your amusement. 

I played against my dear friend Rich and his Orks in a 1000 point game. For various reasons we decided to forgo all notions of a mission and simply knock seven bells out of eachother. First guy to die, loses!

For those weary souls who carved their way through my last battle report against Necrons, this isn't the same Rich I played back then. This is an entirely different Rich; hereafter known as Other Rich.

Entirely unrelated photograph of my knight menacing a Custodes.
As is rapidly becoming battle report tradition, I didn't take any photos (a good thing too as we played in a poorly lit, yet welcoming, pub). However I've made some lovely maps so hopefully you won't get too blinded by walls of text.

So, without further ado, a breakdown of the armies:

The Omnissiah's Chosen (Ed, Adeptus Mechanicus: Graia)

Tech-priest Dominus (Anzion's Pseudogenetor, Magos Biologis)
Tech-priest Enginseer
10 Skitarii Vanguard (3x plasma caliver)
5 Skitarii Vanguard (2x arc rifle and Alpha with arc pistol)
6 Skitarii Rangers (2x arc rifle and Alpha with taser goad)
Skitarii Rangers (2x Transuranic Arquebus and Alpha with power sword)
5 Sicarian Ruststalkers (Transonic Blades)
Onager Dunecrawler (Neutron laser and 2x Heavy stubber)
Onager Dunecrawler (Eradication Beamer and Heavy stubber)
Sydonian Dragoon (phosphor serpenta)
Ironstrider Ballistarius (Twin Cognis Lascannon)
3 Kataphron Breachers (Arc claws and Heavy arc rifles)

Unwashed Xenos Rabble (Other Rich, Orks: Bad Moons)

Warboss (Killa Klaw, Kombi-shoota)
Big Mek (Souped-up Shokka)
Weirdboy (Warp Head, Da Jump, Warpath)
Mek (Kustom mega slugga)
10 Boyz (Slugga, choppa)
10 Grots
10 Grots
Morkanaut (Kustom Force Field)
3 Meganobz (Killsaws) (Transported in Morkanaut)
Mek Gun (Traktor Cannon)
7 Lootas

So a bit of a heavy list from the Orks, but one that I'm used to facing. The wierdboy would no doubt be throwing a nasty warboss my way backed up by the Morkanaut and some heavy firepower from the lootas and mek gun. Still I was quietly confident, after all, I've faced this sort of thing many times, what could go wrong?? Well, famous last words and all that....

Here's what deployment looked like:

Lots of gunz on the left for me to worry about.
We rolled off for first turn and I lost. I also failed to seize and the Orks kicked things off. The Morkanaut (containing the Meganobz) waddled forwards with both units of grots following behind. Other Rich declined to move anything else and moved onto the psychic phase. The weirdboy managed to cast Warpath on the Warboss before also hitting him with Da Jump. The Warboss was catapulted directly in front of my Ruststalkers and was looking very scary. I used the Infoslave Skull stratagem to fire at him with the nearby unit of Vanguard but could only manage one wound.

Next up came the Ork shooting phase. The lootas let rip at the Neutron Onager using the More Dakka and Showin' Off stratagems to cause plenty of wounds. Foolishly, I used a CP re-roll to save one of them, but still the Onager took six damage. Next up the Mek Gun took a crack at the same target but fortunately failed to wound.

However, the Souped-up Skokka had yet to fire. Other Rich was rolling hot and it let rip at strength ten with ten shots! Needless to say, after all was said and done, my poor Onager was a smoking ruin. Fortunately it didn't explode.

The Morkanaut also let rip with it's variety of horrible guns. The rokkits targeted the Ironstrider but failed to wound, the shootas targeted the vanguard and managed to kill one. However, the nasty Ork plasma weapon on its right arm targeted my second Onager and managed to get two wounds through. On the damage roll, Other Rich rolled a might eleven and my second Dunecrawler was utterly obliterated.

At this point I was pretty dumbstruck, the Ork shooting had proved devastating and had robbed me of two of my best units; however worse was yet to come.

In the assault phase, the steroided up Warboss charged into the Ruststalkers and Vanguard. I managed nothing on overwatch and he targeted the Ruststalkers with his attacks. It was basically a foregone conclusion (hitting on twos, re-rolling, wounding on twos, re-rolling) but we went through the motions anyway. I was unsurprised as I cleared the Ruststalkers off the table. Manfully the vanguard bonked the Warboss with their gun-butts but it didn't achieve anything.

Going into my turn one I had suffered horrendous losses. Three units down and a Warboss in my lines and I had barely rolled a dice! Still, I'm stupid enough not to know when to quit so I played on grimly.

I knew the warboss had to die, so the vanguard fell back from combat and I lined up a charge with the dragoon. Most of my remaining units trained their guns on the Warboss.

In the shooting phase, combined fire from my Skitarii and Magos Dominus killed the Warboss. The plasma vanguard managed four wounds on the Morkanaut but sadly the Kataphron Breachers could only manage one more. I fired the twin-lascannon from the Ironstrider at the Morkanaut and actually got a wound past the kustom-force field but promptly rolled a one for damage.

My Transuranic Arquebuses targeted the Big Mek but could only manage one wound.

I had no charges to declare (and my dragoon was now in a precarious position) so I passed on to Ork turn 2.

End of turn 1, things are looking........not great.
The Morkanaut moved up ready to try to charge the Dragoon (and undoubtedly ruin my Skitarii with its guns); the grots trundled forward and the Mek woke up and chased after the Morkanaut in an attempt to heal it. Fortunately his advance roll was miserable and he tripped forward 1". The weirdboy and the boyz moved forward too.

In the psychic phase the weirdboy attempted Warpath on the boyz but failed to cast. He then used da jump and hurled them forwards in front of my plasma vanguard. I really should have used Infoslave Skull again but I forgot.

Fortunately Ork shooting was a little more forgiving this time around. The lootas fired upon the Arquebus Rangers but could only kill two of them. The Shokk Attack Gun targeted the Ironstrider and caused three wounds. The Mek Gun fired at the Ironstrider as well, but failed to wound again!

Once again the Morkanaut spread its shots around and caused three wounds on the Dragoon. It also killed a few of the plasma vanguard and one of the rangers. Critically it failed to finish off the Ironstrider.

In the assault phase the Morkanaut ploughed into the Dragoon and crushed it mercilessly. It then consolidated forwards. The boyz attempted to charge the Vanguard but failed to make the distance.

Coming into my turn two I had taken more losses but was weathering the storm better. I knew the Morkanaut had to die this turn or it would be basically game over. With that thought I lined up all my guns to target it and the servitors and the Dominus to charge it just in case.

The Ironstrider was repaired by a friendly Enginseer and promptly chewed five wounds off the Morkanaut with its lascannons (it must have been blessed by the Omnissiah). The servitors and plasma vanguard managed to cause six more wounds between them (although one of the vanguard died to an overheat). The rangers, Dominus and the remaining vanguard all whiffed pathetically leaving it down to my Arquebusiers to finish the job. Fortunately I managed to get a six on the wound roll which caused a mortal wound felling the mighty Morkanaut. Even more fortunately it didn't explode (it was right in the middle of my units and this would have been devastating). It even had the decency to crush one of the Meganobz as it died.

However, that did leave me in the unenviable position of having two Killsaw Meganobz bearing down on me and no guns left to shoot them with. At this point I did the only reasonable thing and charged straight at them with my Skitarii Rangers, Kataphrons and my Magos Dominus. Unfortunately the Dominus didn't make the charge but the other two units made it in. Sadly however, the Mega-armour proved too thick and only one wound was caused. The Meganobz struck back and pulverised one of the Servitors.

With that, we moved onto Ork turn 3. Things were looking better, but the Xenos were still in a commanding position.

End of turn 2, the Ork firebase is still very much intact.
At the beginning of turn three the boyz, grots, Mek and Weirdboy all moved forwards seeking to get into assault range. The Meganobz stayed locked in combat. The Weirdboy was too far away to do anything particularly useful in the psychic phase; he may have attempted to use da jump on himself and failed to cast.

Ork shooting was, once again, more forgiving this turn. The lootas targeted the plasma vanguard with a massive 21 shots! After some good hit rolls this translated into 10 wounds but I got very lucky and managed to make eight 4+ saves so only two of them bit the dust. The Shokk Attack Gun took a crack at the Arquebus Rangers who were trying to snipe him off the board but only managed to kill one model.

Finally the Mek Gun fired at the Ironstrider causing five wounds and leaving it on one! Fortunately I had repaired it in the previous turn or it would have been destroyed.

The boyz took a crack at the vanguard with their sluggas but missed entirely. They did however make the charge and slaughtered the entire unit in the assault phase. They then consolidated forward to engage the second unit of vanguard.

The Meganobz attacked the servitors once again and were able to destroy one more of them. I would have lost both models but I managed to roll two 6+ 'refusal to yield' saves for my Forgeworld trait. This left one model clinging to life with a single wound remaining.

Things were looking a bit dismal coming into my turn 3. I had two Meganobz and a unit of boyz tearing through my dwindling infantry and very little left to fight back with.

Nonetheless, I moved up my Dominus and Enginseer to engage the Orks and the Ironstrider moved up as well, just so it could be repaired. I managed to put 2 wounds back on it with the Enginseer. The lone servitor fell back from combat and was repaired by the nearby Dominus up to full health. I also fell back from the Meganobz with the rangers hoping that shooting from my remaining few guns could do some damage.

In the shooting phase I fired the enginseer's laspistol at the meganobz but failed to wound. I then targeted them with the Dominus' Eradication Ray. Some brilliant rolling saw 3 shots which hit and wounded; each with a -4ap and d3 damage. This was enough to blast the Meganobz to bits and made me feel a lot better. I took a crack at the Mek Gun with the Ironstrider but only caused 1 wound.

In the assault phase I charged both of my characters into the unit of boyz. The Dominus must have changed his batteries because he managed to kill 5 boyz in combat (probably thanks to a combination of his relic and warlord trait). The enginseer accounted for one more, but the vanguard couldn't do any damage. In return the remaining boyz killed one of the vanguard.

In the morale phase the boyz lost another model leaving only three remaining in the unit.

At this point things were looking up thanks to some inspired fighting from my warlord. Never underestimate a tech-priest!

End of turn 3, I still haven't managed to silence da big gunz.
And so we moved into Ork turn 4. The grots, mek and weirdboy all moved forwards once again and the few remaining boyz stayed locked in combat. 

In the psychic phase the weirdboy cast smite on the rangers killing one of them.

The grots shot at the nearby Skitarii rangers and managed to kill one more of them with their grot blastas. How insulting!

The Mek Gun shot at the Ironstrider but fortunately (for me) failed to wound. However the Lootas let rip again and turned the Ironstrider into a pile of scrap metal. The Shokk Attack Gun fired at the lone servitor but only caused 2 damage leaving him on a single wound again!

In the assault phase the grots and Mek charged into the Skitarii rangers. The grots managed nothing with their measly strength of 2 but the Mek was able to bring one of the Skitarii down. The Ork boyz attacked the Vanguard and the Dominus but were unable to cause any wounds. In response, the Dominus dissected the rest of the Ork boyz and the Rangers were able to kill one of the grots.

At the top of my turn 4 I knew I had to try to deal with the lootas, mek gun and Shokk Attack Gun. If I didn't, there was no way my remaining handful of infantry would be able to survive the coming turn. I moved the Dominus into a position to shoot the Lootas and possibly charge the grots. I moved the enginseer up to try a charge on the Mek and my remaining vanguard moved up to get some shots on the lootas. At the end of my movement phase the Dominus repaired the long suffering servitor once again bringing him back to full health.

The Dominus and Vanguard fired upon the lootas managing to bring down four of them; hopefully this would reduce their impact on the game somewhat. The lone servitor targeted the Mek Gun with his Heavy Arc rifle managing to get a wound through which caused 5 damage! With that the Mek Gun was destroyed and I had gotten very lucky.

My remaining snipers took a pop at the Shokk Attack Gun and whittled him down to a single wound remaining. Sadly, they weren't able to kill him.

In the assault phase my characters attempted to charge to grots but only the Enginseer made it in. Between him and the Skitarii they were able to kill 4 grots and in response the Mek put a wound on the Enginseer. In the morale phase, 2 more grots fled the field.

End of turn 4, things are looking more even with severe losses on both sides.
Coming into Ork turn 5 things were looking very close. I had reduced the Ork firebase to only five models (albeit with some nasty guns remaining) and I still had a few Skitarii left to fight back with. It was all to play for!

To begin with, the depleted grots fell back from combat, whilst the unharmed unit of grots moved up to replace them. The weirdboy moved forward for an easy charge into the Skitarii Vanguard and let loose with a smite which killed one of them.

In the shooting phase, the remaining three lootas fired upon the Arquebus armed rangers but some poor rolling saw all the shots go wide. The Shokk Attack Gun also targeted the snipers but was only able to fell one of them. The Mek shot at the Enginseer with his kustom mega-slugga but fortunately missed.

The assault phase saw the weirdboy charge into the remaining Skitarii Vanguard and the grots charge into the Rangers. The weirdboy then squashed the last two Skitarii with his staff and the Mek put another wound onto the Enginseer. The grots failed to harm the rangers. In reply, the rangers managed to kill two of the grots and subsequently another one fled in the morale phase.

Mechanicus turn 5 saw the Dominus move over to get a charge on the weirdboy. Before doing so I fired his macrostubber at the small unit of grots and wiped them out. He then charged into the weirdboy and tore him apart with a combination of Anzion's Pseudogenetor and his axe.

The kataphron servitor targeted the lootas with its heavy arc rifle and was able to kill two more of them with some surprisingly accurate shooting. There was now only one loota left!

In the combat with the grots, the rangers managed to bring down another two of the diminutive creatures. The Enginseer and Mek swung at eachother but were unable to cause any damage.

It was now the end of turn 5 and we should have rolled for random game length. However, things were so nailbitingly close that we decided to play to the death. Had the game ended here, it would have been a draw with first blood to the Orks and slay the warlord to the Mechanicus.

End of turn 5, very few models left on either side. It really could go either way.
Coming into Ork turn 6 there was no movement. In shooting, the lone loota targeted the lone skitarii sniper on a faraway rooftop and riddled him with bullets. The Shokk Attack Gun fired at the servitor and managed to do two wounds AGAIN! Would this servitor never die!? The mek missed with his mega-slugga and the grots shot a skitarii to death with their grot blastas.

The mek fought first in the assault phase and failed to get past the enginseer's armour. The rangers slew two grots and the enginseer missed pathetically.

In my turn I shot the remaining loota with the wounded servitor and charged into the mek with the tech-priest dominus. The Dominus was successful where the enginseer had failed and he brought down the Ork Mek. The rangers were able to add another grot to their tally and the remaining two grots fled the field in the morale phase.

Now there was only one Ork left on the field (and on one wound no less!) so we could have called it there. However I wasn't about to deny Other Rich the satisfaction of firing the Souped Up Shokka one last time. He targeted the servitor but only rolled 4 strength 4 shots and failed to cause any harm. After that, the remaining two rangers did the honours and shot the Big Mek with their arc rifle.

So ended a spectacularly bloody and enjoyable game. I had only five models remaining on the field including a battered Enginseer and an amazingly lucky Kataphron Servitor (if a Servitor can be said to be 'lucky').

My thanks to Other Rich for a fantastic game, and one I thought I would certainly lose. Here's hoping our next game is just as good.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Adeptus Mechanicus Ironstrider Ballistarius - Complete

As my last post said, I've been feeling a little adrift in the hobby wasteland lately. Nothing I can really put my finger on, but I just seem to have lost a bit of the usual drive which has pushed me through a lot of models in recent months. I did however manage to build and paint an Ironstrider Ballistarius recently to add to my Adeptus Mechanicus forces.

A bit of a tricky model to photograph.
Personally, I prefer the Sydonian Dragoon which can be built from the kit; however, I reasoned that an Ironstrider would add a different, and possibly less competitive element to my Mechanicus forces.

The kit itself was fine to build, a little fiddly in places but nothing to complain about. It certainly benefits from being painted in sub assemblies however. When I painted my Dragoon, I assembled it entirely first and was cursing myself throughout the painting process.

Check out the little transfer on the engine cowling.
I opted for twin lascannons with this one, mostly to drive the points cost up. The last thing my Mechanicus army needs at the moment is more dangerous, low cost models. They're tough enough in my meta as it is!

I did have the chance to try it out on the tabletop this past weekend against an Ork army fielded by one of my regular opponents. The Ironstrider proved to be pretty ineffective as I whiffed a few of my hit rolls. It chewed a few wounds off of a trukk and, in turn 4, spectacularly nailed two grots at long range but that was about it. Regardless of my ineptitude, it was another Mechanicus victory, so the forces of the Omnissiah continue to rampage unchecked.

After painting the Ironstrider I embarked on a bit of a building spree which has fired my hobby enthusiasm somewhat. I really love building models, so getting a few kits out and just throwing them together was deeply joyful. I'm currently working on a Questoris Knight Gallant, of which I hope to share some work in progress shots in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Mechanicum Thanatar Siege Automata

The latest addition to (what I hope will be) my assorted collection of Horus Heresy Automata is the big daddy of them all. The Thanatar Siege Automata!

I just love this thing.
The Thanatar is armed with a Hellex plasma mortar which just might be the best weapon name in the entire 40k universe. I left the mortar off for painting and then glued it on afterwards. As you can see, I went for my usual pink colour for the plasma effect.

I laid down some hazard striping on the left shoulder using Tamiya masking tape. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and I think I'll carry this through the rest of my 30k models.

Cool ammo feed.
The model wasn't too difficult to construct. Although bending the twin ammo feed for the bolt cannons did give me some headaches it was easy enough with the application of some hot water and a few pins to hold it in place. Honestly I wish I had used more pins on this model because the ankle joints aren't that sturdy and they could have used some reinforcement. Still, if it breaks I can always drill some pins in during the repair.

Left side!
As you can see, I added a handful of transfers from the Skitarii and Armiger transfer sheets to give a bit of interest. I've really been enjoying transfers lately and I feel it's a shame I didn't use them in the early days of my Adeptus Mechanicus army. Still, every model is an opportunity to expand your repertoire of techniques and I feel I have been able to do that with these.

Since finishing the Thanatar (only two days ago) I feel at a bit of a loss of which model to pick up next. I might do another 30k model or go back to Adeptus Mechanicus and add some more infantry or a Dragoon. Ah well, such is the joy of having an extensive hobby backlog I guess. Tune in next time to see what I decided to do!

Monday, 8 April 2019

Mechanicum Vultarax Stratos Automata

A bit of an odd one out this week. As some of you may know, I have a bit of a backlog of Mechanicum automata for the Horus Heresy. Well, I decided to start making some headway with it! First up, the amazing Vularax Stratos Automata.

It's just so damn cool!
I just love the Mechanicum units; they're similar enough to the 40k Adeptus Mechanicus stuff that they look good alongside it, but they have a really ancient, mysterious feel to them. The Vultarax shares a lot of cues with the Nurgle drones but with a more streamlined, less pustulent aesthetic. Basically, I think it's awesome!

Sorry about the glare.
The Vultarax did prove tricky to photograph though. No matter how I positioned it I couldn't get rid of the annoying glare on the hull. What you see here is the best I could manage.

Did a bit of water effect on the base.
It was a delightful thing to paint though. I'm really happy with the hazard stripes on the front canopy. So much so that I think I will make them a repeating motif across all my 30k units. That should allow them to look distinct from my 40k stuff whilst still remaining a unified whole when together.

The rest of the scheme is my normal green/brass/pink which I'm sure you're all sick of by now. Special mention has to go to the lenses however; the Vultarax is absolutely festooned with them and I really loved painting each and every one.

Profile shot.
Now, to address the slight stumbling block of this project. These days I pretty much only play 40k; I don't really have the time to commit to other game systems (much as I would like to) and the Vultarax only has official rules for 30k. Hopefully Forgeworld will release some rules for their Horus Heresy Mechanicum range for use in 40k in the near future. For now, there are some excellent fan made rules available online which my gaming group has agreed to use to allow me to field this thing from time to time. Thanks a lot guys!

Anyway, that's about it for the Vultarax. I'm hoping to crack on with some more Mechanicum units and get a few more painted up very soon.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Skitarii Onager Dunecrawler - Fully painted

Well, I'm back from a couple of weeks away from work, away from the blog and away from pretty much everything else! I managed to fins plenty of painting time, so things have moved on well. First off, I finished an Onager Dunecrawler for my Adeptus Mechanicus army:

Crawl those dunes baby!
This is actually the Onager from my first Start Collecting: Skitarii set bought way back when. Some of you may know that this is the second Dunecrawler I have painted, the reason for this is that I excitedly started building and painting this model when I first bought it, only to realise quickly that I had made a mistake! I should have built it in sub-assembles for painting and it would have been far easier. After a few shoddy brushstrokes, it was shelved fro a later date.

Neutron Laserrrrrr!!
As a result, the half painted model has been part of my army for years. As the rest of the force has grown around it, it began to look more and more of an eyesore. But, with the Mechanicus points drops from chapter approved I was hard pressed to make an army that didn't include it. Thankfully, I managed to push through and get it finished.

Aren't transfers fun?
I also tried something a bit different with the base on this one. I attempted to build a kind of toxic waste outflow next to a bunker hatch. I used some clear pouring medium for a water effect and I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out. I think I will attempt something similar on future projects. The base design was inspired by my friend Anna over at The Ashen Pair. We had some conversations about my sandy bases and she gave me a gentle shove to try something a bit more adventurous.

The base itself.
Waste outflow detail.
Anyway, another model added to the army and another fun project. More than anything I'm just really pleased to have this one done and to be able to use it on the tabletop.

Check in next week to see my next project which is also Mechanicus themed!

Monday, 18 March 2019

Monster March - Hierophant Bio-titan week 2

First off, sorry for the delayed post. This really should have gone up last week as part of Monster March but some things got in the way. Namely, finding the right space to take some half decent photos of this massive beast!

Now that's a big bug!
Eventually I managed to find a couple of huge pieces of paper to make a background and got a few shots of the finished article. That's right, she's officially finished! (No comments of 'you missed a spot' please.)

The Hierophant has actually been quite a relaxed project to work on. Partially because it is such a simple paint scheme (see my previous post) but also because it was part way finished when I kicked off this month; so it has felt easier than having to start from scratch.

She's so pretty!
Profile shot.
However, we're only about half way through March, so I feel like I should add another model to the Monster March challenge run by Path of an Outcast. Unfortunately I don't have another suitable monster (and let's be honest, what could follow the Hierophant?) so I'm following the theme of getting things finished off.

Without asking permission, I'm going to chuck in an Onager Dunecrawler that I started painting about two years ago but never finished. It's in a bit of a sorry state and will need some TLC to bring it up to scratch. Here's the current state of things.

Why oh why didn't I part assemble it??
So, it needs a lot of work. The painting is shambolic and it needs a base, feet, a gun and lots of hugs and kisses. I have done a bit of work on it to even get it to this stage. The legs have been cleaned up and I'm fairly happy with how they're progressing. That upper hull though........ugh.

Anyway, tune in next time to see if I've manage to make a beauty out of this beast!

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Monster March - Hierophant Bio-Titan week 1

It's March once again and that means time for Monster March! This is an annual painting challenge run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. Once again I'm thrilled to participate with another huge model; this time, trying to finish off a Hierophant Bio-Titan for my Tyranid army. If you read my previous post, you will know that I had made a start on this beast a couple of years ago; but had never gotten around to completing the model. Well, it's time to change all that!

So terrifying!
As you can see from the above, I've made great progress this week; getting a lot of the base colours finished off and starting to add detail. It's been interesting to go back to a Tyranid after painting so many Adeptus Mechanicus models recently. My Tyranid colour scheme was created over a decade ago and was designed for a novice painter (me) to get reasonable looking models on the field quickly. I haven't been able to change the scheme much over the years because it would create disparity within the army. So, what you see on the Hierophant is a pretty basic paint scheme. 

On the one hand it's nice to paint something so simply and be able to make lots of quick progress. On the other, it's frustrating not to be able to apply skills that I've learned over the last ten years. Nevertheless, it's a bold, bright scheme and looks good on the tabletop. So I'm not too miserable about it.

I'm always amazed at the size of this thing.
In terms of progress, there's not too much left to do. Basically details to paint, a few areas to touch up and that big old base to deal with. If I have a good week next week it might even be finished by my next post! Then I will have to deal with the problem of trying to properly photograph a model this size!

Tune in next week to see how I'm getting on and if I decide to add a second model to the Monster March pledge.