Sunday, 23 August 2015

Mk1 Dreadnought conversion WIP

I'm still in the process of moving flat, but I wanted something to work on, so I decided to treat myself to a moving-in present (that's my excuse anyway) and buy some of the new Ad Mech Kastellen Robots.

They're gorgeous models and I love the 50's Sci-Fi vibe they're got going on, but I had something different in mind for them. My plan was to convert myself an updated version of these:

Yup, the classic Mk1 Dreadnoughts. I've always loved these models, but they're a bit small and clunky to use in game these days. There's also the fact that the models go for ridiculous prices on eBay! It's a conversion idea which has caused surprising amounts of controversy on the various Facebook groups on which I've suggested it, so I'm determined to do them justice.

So I set about with creating my modernised versions. The first step was to construct the torsos. I'm aiming for the rounded look which the original models have, but to also add a little bulk. With the aid of a couple of 28mm bases and a stack of pennies, I came up with this:

I'm obviously leaving off the domed head, but a disc of plasticard neatly sealed the hole left behind. After that I added bits and pieces to bring it closer to the look and vibe of the original model, until I arrived at something I was was happy with. At the end of the night's hobbying I had this in front of me:

I couldn't resist painting up the legs, as they didn't even need converting. They're only lightly pinned atm until the body's finished. There's still a long way to go, but I'm quite liking how it's turning out. It has a definite resemblance to the Mk1, so I'm going in the right direction at least.

Unfortunately I won't be able to work any more on it until at least next week when I can get my hobby area set up in my new place. It's been carefully packed away for the move tomorrow. It's annoying, as I'm keen to crack on, but I'll just have to be patient. Good things come to those who wait after all.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Shattered Legions Warleader WIP

With me still being in the process of moving, I've been somewhat limited in what projects I can work on at the moment. The vast majority of them are boxed up ready for transit. I did however find a box of abandoned projects in a cupbaord and I couldn't resist having a poke around to see what I could do with them.

I ended up making this:

He's going to be some kind of iron hands character for my planned Shattered Legions project. He's probably going to either be a Preator or a Forge Lord and been given the provisional name of Arik Haxor.

It looks a mess atm, due to the mishmash of parts used from various states of painting, but I reckon he'll look great once properly painted. I still need to bulk out his legs a little though I think, as he seems a little top heavy. 

My Shattered Legions is going to be quite slow-burn I think, as money's going to be tight for me for a while. Forge World have also mentioned at their Open Day that there's a distinct possibility that proper rules for the Shattered Legions are likely to be coming soon, so I don't want to build anything I can't use.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Karrson merradon, Legion Delagtus WIP

 So in between my new job and moving flat, I found time to work on my newly-promoted Legion Delagatus - the unkillable hero from my last post.

Apologies from the bad photo, I'm working from a makeshift hobby area atm due to the aforementioned move. I'm liking how he's turning out though, especially the red on his shoulder pads. I'll be adding freehand symbols them once I'm set up in my new place, as well as running some washes over him and his base. I also debated sculpting a cloak on him, but I'll leave it until I have more time I think.

Not bad for an hour's work though, even if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Pesky Eldar and a true hero

 I managed to get a game of 40k in last week, for the first time in ages. It was only a small 1000 point engagement, but I had good fun.

It gave me the opportunity to test out the force I'm wanting to paint next for my Sons of Horus (I figure having a preset list will help me stay focused). Horus Heresy lists struggle at lower points and I was against Eldar, who are hideously undercosted, so I didn't hold out much hope of victory tbh, but it was nice just to be able to play for once.

I brought the following:

Karsson Merradon - Legion Delegatus with Power Axe, Artificer Armour, Refractor Field and Pride of the Legion

Veteran Squad Korkann - 9 x Veterans, 3 with Power Swords, 1 with Power Axe, 1 x Meltagun in a Rhino with Heavy Bolter, Sniper 

Terminator Squad Sekundus - 6 x Legion Terminators with Power Fists, 1 with Plasma Blaster

Javelin Speeder - Heavy Flamer, twin-linked Cyclones and a HK missile.

Laser Destroyer Array

Predator 'Drukkar' - Predator with Plasma Executioner Cannon

Whirlwind Scorpius 'Athekan'

A very small list, but like I said, Legions struggle in lower points games. I figured the heavy firepower from the Predator and Whirlwind would help me tip the balance if the Eldar did their usual 'hide and shoot' thing.

Off the top of my head, my opponent brought this:

Farseer on Jetbike

3x Jetbikes, one Shuriken Cannon

3x Jetbikes, one Shuriken Cannon


5x Wraithguard with D-Scythes in a Wave Serpent

3 x War Walkers

5 x Warp spiders

A very tough list to face with what I had, but not massively cheesy, aside from the D-Weapons on the Wraithguard.

We rolled the mission with two objectives (can't remember what it's called these days. I know it used to be Take & Hold in 5th Ed) and I won the roll off for deployment. I set up a rough battle line, hoping to spread out and trap the Eldar wherever they happened to go, deploying my Rapier Laser on my right flank to sto him advancing his vehicles across the more open terrain, whilst my Veterans and Predator advanced on his objective and the Terminators secured my own.

It was a good plan I thought. He promptly scuppered it by holding most of his force in reserve, deploying only his Jetbikes, Farseer and Vyper behind the silo which his own objective was in.

Unperturbed, I made my turn one, using my Javelin to score a clean kill on his Vyper. The combined fire of the Predator and Whirlwind did far less damage than I was hoping though, with the Whirlwind only managing to kill two Jetbikes and the Executioner Cannon overheating on me! (First time that's ever done that to me too).

After that the game went massively downhill. The Eldar reserves came on pretty much all at once and my force was surrounded by outflankers and taken apart.

 After the Warp Spiders killed my Scorpius, my fate was sealed. I put up a valiant fight though.

The Vterans were forced out of their transport by the Wave Serpent, using the wreck in a less than noble manner to avoid the Wraithguard D-Scythes. They did manage to take the Wraiths apart the next turn though, so I had a measure of revenge before being gunned down almost to a man.

The Terminators managed to hold on far longer than either of us expected though, even managing to kill two out of the three War Walkers bearing down on the objective with Combi-Bolters and Plasma Blaster before the Warp Spiders finally jumped in to finish them off.

The only guy to survive the battle was Merradon, my Legion Delgatus. Thanks to a combination of his Artificer Armour, Refractor Field and the cover afforded by the smoking wreck of the Rhino, he survived fire from pretty much the entire Eldar force for two turns, actually allowing me to reach the natural end of the game. It was amazing to watch and I wish I'd gotten a photo of it, but we were both too absorbed in the unfolding drama to think about getting a pic.

Needless to say, the Eldar won, but it was one hell of a match and it reminded me why I love smaller points games so much. They seem to have a much stronger narrative focus and sense of drama than larger games. I remember laying a lot of 1000 point games with my Space Wolves a few years ago and got the same impression then too. It's a shame the focus of the game these days seems to be on ever larger forces.

After the battle I felt bad that the heroic Merradon had only been a proxy from another Veteran Squad who I'd brought in test the Delegatus rules. To make up for this, I've decided that he's going to become my proper Delegatus model from now on (also doubling as a Vigilator when needed), complete with a spiffy new paint job and a backstory written to reflect his feats. He's now sitting on my painting desk, awaiting his transformation. Hopefully I'll actually get around to it soon. I've got a lot going on atm though, so I'll have to see.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Giving Age of Sigmar a fair trial

I went into GW yesterday. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the best of plans, but I needed some more 32mm bases for an upcoming game with my Sons of Horus and didn't feel like waiting for delivery.
 Pretty much as soon as I walked int the door, a staff member started the expected sales pitch for Age of Sigmar. I told him I wasn't interested, explaining my issues with the fluff and removal of points, but he was determined to try the hard-sell on me. Eventually he convinced me to at give it a try and to play a test game on their display table. I figured I had an hour to spare and I may as well try the game at least once.

I came away from the game surprised. Not a convert, but surprised nonetheless. It plays very well, with the game ticking along very nicely. We played three turns in less than twenty minutes, even with his overenthusiastic explaining of the rules, complete with over-the-top descriptions clearly aimed at a young audience. It was fun to play too. There are a few issues, like the fact that a Goblin can wound a Dragon just as easily as a Skavenslave, but on the whole it was a fun experience.

The game seems to seriously favour whoever has the current turn, as they get to strike first in combat. I personally find this a little silly. A Dwarf shouldn't be able to strike faster than an Elf just because it's his current turn. It kind of broke the suspension of disbelief for me, but I suppose it keeps the game flowing nicely.

After he'd decimated my Chaos forces with the Eternals, we got back to the subject of balance. He tried to convince me that the game was balanced, pointing out the instant death conditions and the 'social contract' in setting up a game - basically relying on your opponent not to be a git in what he brings. I couldn't be bothered to point out that this effectively kills the tournament scene, as his 'do it by wounds' suggestion still doesn't result in a fair game. My hundred 1-wound Goblins vs your ten 10-wound Dragons still does not make for a fair match.

 I'm still not going to play Age of Sigmar, as I have too many issues with the balance and the direction the fluff is taking, but I've at least given it a fair try. The Chaos models are lovely (on the whole - I'm ignoring the big ugly beastie) and seem perfect for conversions. The guy told me that the boxed set was designed with conversion potential in mind and I can believe him. Even 40k players who shun Age of Sigmar might be convinced to buy some of the Blood Reavers to turn into Khorne Berserkers, or else pick up some of the Stormhost Eternals for true-scale Space Marine conversions. I've seen people turn them into Custodes, Inquisitors and even Thunder Warriors. I'm guessing that the higher-ups in GW realise that even if Age of Sigmar isn't a success, the conversion potential will sell boxes where the AoS rules cannot.

Now people can't say I didn't give it a chance. I played a game and it failed to wow me enough to pick it up. Can't say fairer than that, really.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Poundland Scratch-build Idea

I found this in Poundland the other day. Whatever it was originally meant to be, it caught my eye as a good base onto which I can scratch-build an Arvus Lighter for my Militia/ Warp Cult:

If it doesn't work out, it's no big deal. It only cost me a quid, so I figured it's worth a try. If I can make it work properly though, I can build myself a fleet of flyers for not very much money at all.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Random Traitor WIP

Jsut a quick one today. I just wanted to show off the latest addition to my 30k forces. I had planned to make a Maloghurst the Twisted conversion when I sat down to build stuff last night, but somehow it evolved into this:

I'm not even sure what I'm going to use him as, but I love how the model turned out so I'll find a way to fit him in somewhere. I thinks he's got a distinct Cthonian or White Scars look about him, so I'm thinking of probably painting him up as a traitor member of the fifth legion who's now serving my Sons of Horus, maybe having him fluffed-out as being one of the rebel 'Scars who fled after the battle above Prospero.

Looks like I'm saving my Mal conversion for another day, once I can get hold of the Huron parts again. Oh well, at least I got a cool homebrew character out of it.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Techno-Barbarian 'Grenadiers' WIP

One of the advantages of things being so quiet at work today is that I finally have time to schedule blog posts. Things have been a bit hectic for me recently, so it's nice to catch up.

As promised, here's the beginning of my Techno-Militia, starting with my Grenadiers, built using a combination of discarded old bits and a little sculpting:

My plan is to field this force using the Gene-bulked and Dark Age survivors provenences, giving me heavily muscled brutes in scavenged equivalents of Power Armour, as well as giving me access to transports smaller than a Gorgon. Expect lots of Mad Max-style modifications to some Rhinos to follow in the near future. I plan to add at least 20 'Grenadiers', as I need them for my compulsory troop choices. After that I'm going to be adding all kinds of lesser scum and mutants to support them. I'm liking what I have so far though and think they'd make a great allied force for my Sons of Horus.

What do you guys think?

Thunder Warrior Militia Commander

To distract myself from my disappointment at Age of Sigmar, I've been working on my Imperial Militia force for Horus Heresy, having fallen in love with the Militia & Warp Cult list FW have just given us in Tempest.

I've decided to go for a Techno-Barbarian theme, partly as a way to use up all the odds and sods from my bits boxes, but also because I'm liking the idea of a Mad Max-inspired force, with lots of salvaged weapon and vehicles.

Inspired by Babu Dakal from The Outcast Dead and also wanting a place to finally include the model, I decided to use the Mk1 Marine from the 'Armour through the Ages' set as my Force Commander, with his background having him be a rogue Thunder Warrior who escaped Terra and is now a tribal leader on the fringes of the Galaxy. With the quick addition of a 40mm base and a pet mastiff from the Kings of War range, he was ready to go.

Vesh N'rada, Rogue Thunder Warrior, Techno-Lord of the Dark Wastes

Kudos if you get the reference in his name. I'm really liking how this turned out, considering it's such a simple kitbash. I'll post some of his minions soon,

Monday, 6 July 2015

A Sad Day

So Age of Sigmar has been released from GW and quite frankly it's rubbish.

I'm not just saying this to complain, or because I don't like change. I can see some good points in it. The rules seem fairly fun and easy to pick up, apart from a few key points

  1. There's no points values at all. They expect players to self-regulate what they use. That's fair enough, but it's so open to abuse that it's not even funny. Yes there's bonuses when you're outnumbered, but that doesn't help when you're playing three units of Skaven and a Grey Seer vs 3 Dragons, 4 units of Phoenix Guard, 5 Units of Swordsmasters and a Dozen Bolt Throwers. Outnumbering is done on models, not power either, so 5 Goblins are equal to 5 Chaos Knights, in the eyes of the rules.

    There is absolutely no way you can be guaranteed a fair pick up game any more, or even pre-make a fair list to use against someone before arriving at a club. Points worked just fine, there was no need to change it other than the fact that list restrictions hampered sales.
  2.  Silly special rules: Wargamers have enough problems with credibility amongst the uninitiated, without being forced to ride an imaginary horse around to gain a special rule, or trying not to kneel throughout an entire game (god help you if you drop a dice). Yes, there's the argument for fun, but there's better ways of making a game fun than making a fool of the players. In fact I'd argue that if you have to resort to that kind of thing to make it fun, your game's already a failure.
  3. The background: or rather, the lack of it. They've basically thrown out 30+ years and thousands of pages of deep and nuanced established background, all for the sake of IP protection and shaking things up. The background was the main thing which drew me into the game and it was the main thing which kept me playing. Now it's all gone and replaced with the bland High/Heroic Fantasy pulp which doesn't interest me at all. No more than the End Times did.

    If they'd wanted to shake things up, they could have held a major campaign and advanced the background, like Storm of Chaos or Albion did. There was absolutely no need to reboot the universe. In fact,it's probably driven off more players than it's drawn in.

    The result of these three issues on myself and my hobby (apart from wanting to go and knock some sense into the GW Design team) is this: effective today, I am leaving Warhammer Fantasy behind me for the foreseeable future. It's just not the kind of game I want to play any more in terms of both rules and background. Instead I will be migrating back to Oldhammer (probably 5th Ed, as that's my favourite edition) and playing Kings of War. These represent the kind of games I want to play, so will be what I'm focusing on. I will be buying no new Fantasy models from GW, as I refuse to add to their sales figures for this shambles of a game. Instead I will be buying either secondhand or from bits websites.

    This does not mean I am abandoning GW altogether.I will still buy 40k and Horus Heresy stuff, but I cannot and will not endorse the mess that they're promoting as the future of Fantasy.