Friday 14 October 2016

Horus Heresy - Night Lords Legion Showcase

A few of these models have been around the blog for a while, but, as I have some fancy new photos, I thought I'd post them up for your viewing pleasure.

Night Lords Tactical Squad - Lead by the legendary Bathinko! 
The above is one half of my tactical squad, as always, I'm thrilled with the way these guys turned out. It just goes to show what kitbashing can do to personalize your models and really bring out the feel of a Legion (or Chapter if you're into all that 40k shiz.) The models draw parts from a wide range of different sources: Space Wolves, Chaos Marines, Anvil Industries Exo-Lords and Forgeworld Legion parts to name but a few.

Another photo - I'm most pleased with the models  wielding a hand weapon and bolter.
Below are a few more photos of my Contemptor Dreadnought - Honoured Brother Mordo. Nothing fancy here, just the stock Forgeworld kit with a plasma cannon and plasma blaster. Can you say Gets Hot!?

Love this model!
I have a second Contemptor in the pipeline, this time armed with a Volkite Culverin and Kheres Assault Cannon. Hopefully it will bring some brutal firepower to the tabletop! Sadly, construction of this Contemptor will be postponed for a while whilst I work on some Mice & Mystics miniatures and my Sktarii! With any luck I can get all of that out of the way and return to the sons of Nostramo sometime soon!

Ave Dominus Nox!

Monday 22 August 2016

Horus Heresy: Converted Night Lords Legion Centurion

So, I found an old finecast (shudder) Wulfrik the Wanderer in the bargain bucket at my FLGS. After looking over the model for a few minutes, I couldn't resist buying him (only £3!) to convert into a leader for my Night Lords Legion force.
Well worth the asking price I reckon!
As you can see he's absolutely festooned with skulls and bones and other assorted body parts. Just the thing for making him look like a veteran Space Marine who's been carving his way across the galaxy for centuries, spreading terror wherever he goes! In fact, there's so much detail crammed into the model that it made him somewhat difficult to paint. Just knowing where one part began and another ended was a chore in itself.

The conversion is a simple one involving swapping out both weapons for plastic Betrayal at Calth parts (yes, I know a power sword and plasma pistol is a useless combination, but it looks cool, so there!) The head was exchanged for one of those delightful White Scars helmets from Forgeworld.

The only other change was to remove some of the detail from the back and add a random Chaos backpack that I had laying around. (I know this isn't strictly correct for the era but once again, it looks cool, so there!)

Obligatory 'rear of the year' view.
As my only painted HQ choice, he sees more than his fair share of battles (for such a useless miniature with even more useless weapons.) In spite of his many deficiencies, he's often performed surprisingly well on the tabletop. Winning a game by being the only surviving miniature and beating a squad of Space Wolf terminators in close combat are at the top of his accolades.
Ooh, menacing.
It's always nice to be able to make a conversion like this, a relatively simple thing which results in a unique miniature which can be used again and again. As his legacy of tabletop victories (and defeats) grows, I hope to share some of them with you in a fictional format. Until then, Ave Dominus Nox!

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Night Lords Legion: Night Raptors - Showcase

Following on from my previous article, showing off my Night Lords Terminators I thought I'd continue with a brief showcase of my Legion Night Raptors.

We have come for you!
These guys are a gorgeous set of models from Forgeworld, and the only Night Lords Legion specific unit available so far (with the exception of the Terror Squad parts which are essentially just kitbash materials). I really love the details that have been worked into these minis; the bones, skulls and scraps of flesh hanging from their armour add a really horrific feel and help them to evoke the background of the Legion.

Ave Dominus Nox!
The standard kit includes enough parts to arm the squad with a choice of two power weapons and a single Nostraman Chainglaive. I have gone a step further with these guys, including three Chainglaives within the squad and adding a cheeky hand flamer for the squad Sergeant (a bit useless but why not!?)

Combined with the unit special rules, the Chainglaives mean that these guys are capable of putting out some serious hurt in assault. Potentially 5 attacks apiece at Strength 5 and WS 5. All with AP3 and rending from the Chainglaives! Now if only I had ten of them so I could take advantage of the Legion trait - A Talent For Murder.

Death is nothing compared with vindication.
Hope you've enjoyed seeing these guys, more Night Lords to come as I update the blog this week. Until then, Stand in Midnight Clad!

Monday 8 August 2016

Betrayal at Calth - Night Lords Terminator Showcase

Well, it had to happen eventually, I finally borrowed my bro's photography set up and managed to get some decent images of my Night Lords Cataphractii Terminators.

What do you mean that's a Volkite Caliver??
These are beautiful models and IMHO some of the best plastic Space Marines that GW have ever produced. The kit comes with a vast array of weapon options but I just had to go one step further and armed them with a selection of Volkite Chargers and a Reaper Autocannon. This was mostly in an attempt to make them effective at range whilst keeping the points cost as low as possible. Unfortunately this aim failed horribly as the kit only has options for lightning claws or power fists, so I was forced to arm them with a selection of expensive close-combat upgrades.

One of the claws in question
Despite weighing in at a hefty 243 points they have performed surprisingly well on the tabletop. The volkite chargers add a real punch at range and in close combat the addition of a chainfist and power fist for the Sergeant means they are able to crack open armoured targets fairly well. Despite being 'Slow and Purposeful' the additional 4+ Invulnerable save granted by the Cataphractii plate makes them much more survivable than regular terminators. Is it any wonder I've nearly painted the full squad?!

Close up of the power sword - nice!

The four finished members of the squad - where's No 5?

I've got a load more photos of my Night Lords to show off, so hopefully there will be more posts looking at the VIII legion this week.

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Games Workshop - Dreadnought Attacks FAQ

Undoubtedly many of you have seen the faqs being issued by Games Workshop via their Warhammer 40000 facebook page. Generally, I'm delighted that GW are providing faqs for their publications in this manner. It's something the game has needed for a while, and will continue to need as the complexity of the rules and force organizations continues to grow.

Think you're a nerd? My daughter has this on her baby-grow!
However, scrolling to the end of the latest Space Wolves faq, I was met with a surprising and somewhat disappointing 'house rule' for the number of attacks on a Dreadnought stat line.

Before I start complaining bitterly (and believe me, that's what this article will most likely devolve into - feel free to jump out now) let's reminisce a little. Back in the days of 5th edition (actually, 4.5 edition if you had that dodgy pdf download rulebook - does anybody else remember that?) times were simpler. They were heady days of 500 point battles, modest miniatures collections and making the attempt to use whatever you had that was actually painted.

Back then, Dreadnoughts and their equivalents were a pretty big deal on the battlefield. There's only so much you can fit into a 500 point CAD that can even glance a Dreadnought or stand a decent chance of wounding a monstrous creature. Many times these battles culminated in a miniature 'clash of the titans' as Dreadnoughts, Carnifexes and Talos Pain Engines tore eachother apart in the middle of the field. In these clashes, there was only one possible outcome. One combatant would be utterly destroyed; the other would stagger away, horribly damaged, but usually functional enough to be the deciding factor in ultimate victory.

The point I'm trying to make is that, in a one on one scrap, these things were relatively balanced and that made them tense and exciting. The dreadnought would lumber forwards, chipping a wound from the Carnifex with it's assault cannon. In return, perhaps the Carnifex would glance the Dread with it's bio-plasma. Who would get the all important charge? And would it be enough to seal the fate of their opponent? Much trepidation and nail biting ensued as the dice were rolled and the fate of the vanquished party was sealed!

Now, with the sudden enhancement of your average Dreadnought, these types of battles are no longer so balanced, nor, exciting. Four or five power fist attacks will make mincemeat of most monstrous creatures and your average walker stands even less of a chance. A Space Marine Dreadnought charging into a Carnifex or Helbrute looks almost comical as the Dreadnought emerges victorious with perhaps a couple of scuffs to his paintwork. Meanwhile his 'towering opponent' is just a pile of scrap metal (or gooey Tyranid chutney).

Changing the balance of a unit within the game (even one that is considered to be underpowered) can have far reaching consequences. Maybe in these days of super heavies and D-weapons, these types of things are insignificant. But, for me at least, this change damages the cinematography of the game. It takes away what should be an exciting and fluffy tabletop moment; and for that reason alone, it can only be a bad thing.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Skitarii vs Necrons - Battle Report

Just over a week ago I managed to get in my first game with my fledgling Skitarii force.

It wasn't quite like this....
Those of you that may have followed the construction of this army, in its brief history, may know that it was destined for a battle against Blazmo's Necrons. (The infamous Blazmo of Well, said battle took place last week and since our encounter; Blazmo has been kind enough to write it up as a short battle report.

You can check out the batrep here, together with pictures of Blazmo's gloriously painted Necrons and my woefully unpainted Skitarii.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Tabletop Apocalypse: How to be a Better Painter - Basics

A great little painting article from Blazmo, busting some painting myths and giving some useful tips. Well worth a read.

I.......I can't even......

Tabletop Apocalypse: How to be a Better Painter - Basics: The road to success, or sometimes even decent results can be long and arduous. In this series of articles I'm going to share some tricks...

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Skitarii - Test model

Following my previous post on my ill-advised foray into the wold of the Adeptus Mechanicus, I am proud to present my first painted Skitarii.

The first Skitarii - Ready to die for his machine overlords
I tried a few different colour variations before settling on the above scheme. Initially I tried painting the cloaks yellow but they just looked like they were wearing raincoats! In the end, a green-blue hue is much more satisfying, complemented by brass and rakarth flesh with pink for the lenses and other small details. I can't wait to have a few more finished and to make a start on the Onager Dunecrawler from the box set.

A few more images of the completed build and test painted model below for your amusement.

Side shot - Pink purity seals for extra purity!

The Onager - MOAR heavy stubbers!!

Love this model

If only the other nine were painted too

Friday 20 May 2016

Skitarii - How many projects is too many?

Yet another 40k temptation I've failed to resist! Last weekend I went and got myself the 'Start Collecting Skitarii' box set.

Why must you tempt me so!?
For those that have missed out, these 'Start Collecting' box sets are a fantastic deal (in so far as anything made by Games Workshop can ever be referred to as a 'deal.') For £50 you're getting around £78 worth of miniatures and all wrapped up in a formation you can actually field to boot!

Despite the savings, and the beautiful models (I love that Tech-Priest Dominus!) I have serious misgivings about introducing yet another project into my cluttered, overcrowded and mostly unfinished hobby life. This marks the fifth Warhammer 40k army for me along with a small collection of Infinity Nomads, some random Space Wolves (half of the Stormclaw box because why not?) and the hazy dream of a Khorne Berserker-biker army that never really materialized into anything more than a bunch of ebay purchases that hide under the bed.

Other considerations are starting to come to the fore as well. I am rapidly running out of storage space for my miniatures collection, so potential purchases are often weighed against the amount of room that they will occupy on my, increasingly groaning, shelves.

Inevitably, any plans I have made for past projects tend to spiral wildly out of control. As my Night Lords collection shot past the 3000 point mark I swear I heard each and every unpainted miniature cry out 'Get a hold of yourself man! We were only ever supposed to be a 1000 point skirmish force!!' I have reconciled myself to never reaching the end of my collection of Tyranids and my Dark Eldar, though limited in scale, require a punishing amount of time to paint to the standard I have set. So with all of this in mind, what possessed me to add another army to the hobby pile?

As I was in the midst of my hobby crisis. Desperately wanting to build and paint Skitarii but trying (and failing) to force myself to paint Night Lords someone told me: 'I say go for it with the Skitarii - I mean life is here to be enjoyed and it's not like they're expensive or anything.' This really put things into perspective for me. Even if they just become another unfinished project (who really finishes their hobby projects anyway?) I will enjoy the process of building, converting and painting them. The games they are involved with will be fun, or at least give me a story to tell. Undoubtedly I will learn new painting and modeling techniques as I go (every army I have collected has broadened my skills in ways I hadn't imagined).

With that firmly in mind, I ordered the box and have set about building and painting them with very pleasing results so far. To finish this article I'd like to come back to the question in the title. How many projects is too many? Is there even such a thing? I'm still not sure, but I fully intend to enjoy searching for the answers.

Betrayal at Calth - Power Sword Painting Tutorial

Following my previous post on my Betrayal at Calth Night Lords Terminators I received a request to walk through how I painted the power sword. Ever the obliging fellow, I have provided below for your delectation. You're welcome.

Not the best weapon for fighting terminators though.....

The first stage is to basecoat the sword in Abaddon Black. Simple enough. It's worth noting that I've used Citadel paints exclusively throughout this tutorial.

Next, paint the power feed and hilt in Boltgun Metal (I don't know the new colour but I'm sure someone can correct me).

Now, wash those metallic areas with Nuln Oil.

Finally, highlight them with Mithril Silver (again, old colour, sorry!)

Now for the fun part, painting the power field. I've found that there are two approaches to this depending on the desired final effect. Painting a hard, jagged pattern gives a more lightning-like, electrical look. Painting more rounded shapes leads to a more fiery, magma-looking feel. As I was using a red palette here, I've opted for a slightly more curved pattern.

Nice model, bad lighting.

Anyway, the first stage is to paint the desired pattern in Mephiston Red. Make sure it's sufficiently thin to give a smooth flow from the brush and so that it doesn't dry claggy or raised from the blade. I find it looks best if this is painted radiating outwards from the power source and moving towards the blade tip. If you can concentrate the lines nearest to the power source, so much the better. Don't worry if it looks a little rough at this stage, things will tighten up as we go.

Once this is done and you're happy with the shapes, it's time to paint a second line of Blazing Orange inside the first set of lines. This shouldn't be too hard, providing the red lines aren't too thin. If you're struggling, try widening out the red layer slightly. Again, make sure the paint is sufficiently thin.

Now for the tricky part, painting the final set of fine lines in Yriel Yellow. These need to go inside the orange lines in the same way as before. With the yellow, try to get the thicker lines in the areas where threads join and go finer along the length of the threads. Keep at it until you've got an effect you're happy with, and remember, thin your paints!

Finally, give the whole thing a layer of Ardcoat for a nice glossy finish. This really sets off these power weapons and makes them stand out to the eye.

Hope you found this a useful guide. In the words of many a vlogger: Like if you like this, subscribe if you want to..........comment if you own a keyboard?

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Tyranid Dimachaeron - Painting progress

So, a couple of Christmasses ago, I was lucky enough to receive a Tyranid Dimachaeron from Forgeworld. It's one of my favourite Tyranid models and enormous to boot! The scale of the model made it a bit intimidating to paint though and it's languished in storage for far too long.

Anyway, on a bit of a whim (because that's how hobby stuff happens) I decided to paint it! I'll be following my usual Tyranid paint scheme so that he fits in with the rest of my steadily growing force.

Part way through paint - base coats nearly done!
Whether he'll see any more action on the tabletop is debatable because these things are just so powerful! I manage more than my fair share of wins with my Tyranids already, so adding a killing machine like this might start costing me friends!

Found this exceptionally difficult to photograph.
Over the past week or so I've stormed on with the painting and really made good progress. Unfortunately, things have slowed down over the last few days, but he's so close to complete I simply have to push on and get him over the line.

Current photo - Just details to finish and the base to tidy up.
Sadly though, I seem to be coming down with a bad case of Victory is Vengeance (Horus Heresy book 3 - Massacre) so the itch to paint some more Night Lords is coming on strong! Will the next update be the completed Dimachaeron? Or will the Night Lords Terminators pip him to the post (pun intended). I for one am on tenterhooks!

Friday 11 March 2016

Betrayal at Calth - Painting Terminators

Time for another belated status update! These photos were taken a while ago before I got distracted from my Night Lords (and 40k in general) by my Infinity Nomads.

Stand in Midnight clad!
So, I got the Betrayal at Calth box for Christmas (wow, that's a long time ago now!) and, unsurprisingly, started making up the minis as an addition to my Heresy Night Lords force. After drooling over the models and building most of them in a frenzied rush, I turned to painting.

To begin with, I started painting my tactical marines, bringing them up to a full ten man squad. My next plan was to convert and start painting a squad of assault marines but suddenly, I had an epiphany.

I had never painted a model in Terminator armour.

It's worth letting that sink in for a second (or at least it was for me). I like to think of myself as a fairly experienced hobbyist. I have four sizeable armies and have been playing for years across multiple editions of 40k. I've painted infantry, monstrous creatures, vehicles (ok, not many, but vehicles are hard!) and flyers but never once a model in terminator armour. Needless to say I resolved to change this immediately and have a full squad of Night Lords Cataphractii painted up as soon as possible. The pictures here (apologies for lighting) show the first completed member of the squad.

The reaper autocannon was made from two Anvil Industry autocannons glued back to back. I think it gives a nice Heresy feel to the model and is very reasonably priced!

The rest of the model is the basic Terminator kit with a couple of skulls added for a Night Lords feel. I'm very pleased with the overall result.

Power Sword - Keeping the model cost down!
Yes, that is Tresemme in the background - keeps my brushes silky smooth!
I have since completed two more members of the squad including the Sergeant. More pics to come soon!

Tuesday 8 March 2016

Tabletop Apocalypse!

Sometimes, when you're trawling the grey, ashen landscape of these here internets an image will jump out at you like a lush oasis (I think that metaphor has been tortured enough!) and you'll be like "woah!"

This is just one of many creations by a horribly talented individual over at Tabletop Apocalypse. I can't get enough of staring at this model, putting aside the jaw-dropping paint job, the conversion alone is mind boggling. If you know your way around the Heldrake kit, then you begin to appreciate the sheer amount of additional extras built into this one.

I can't wait to see more from Blazmo over at Tabletop Apocalypse. Surely a sign of great things to come.

Friday 12 February 2016

The Canis Aureus

This is just a quick shout to my buddy Lewis who has recently taken the plunge into the grim darkness of the 41st millennium with a Space Wolves army. Check out his minis and fan-fiction over at the Canis Aureus.

It's rare to see someone develop such a zest for the hobby in such a short space of time. I look forward to the blog, and the army, going from strength to strength.

Monday 8 February 2016

Single Miniature Painting Competition

Ok, so this post is long overdue, but hey, sometimes that happens right? Back in December I entered another local painting competition for single miniatures with my Night Lords Assault Sergeant.
They call me Mr. Claws!

I figured I had little hope of winning this one; after all I was up against some stiff competition! With this in mind, I resolved to paint my entry in the most dazzling way possible, thereby blinding all to the actual quality of my painting. A pair of lightning claws painted with a red to yellow fade and a skull faced helmet cut from a Khorne Berserker seemed to fit the bill nicely. With the addition of a giant jump-pack from Anvil Industry he was complete.

Plonking him on the table next to the other models, I was apprehensive yet slightly hopeful. After a short game of capture the flag (with some slightly bizarre additional rules) the judging commenced. I became more and more concerned as the other participants described their entries. As the votes were cast, I was sure I would lose out to the beautiful Salamanders Captain (pictured below). My apprehension was ill founded however as I managed a narrow victory over the competition (only one vote in it!). As my reward (believe me, pride at being crowned the new painting champion was enough) I earned a hideous model of Batman's Joker from sometime in the mid eighties. Well, you can't have it all I guess.

Photos of the other entries below:

Check out the Salamander in the bottom left.