Thursday 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

It's normally about this time of year that I start posting about grand, overblown pledges for my coming year in the hobby. Not this year though. I've learnt the hard way that real life has a habit of screwing over all my plans.

Because of this, in 2016 I'm going to keep it simple and make just three pledges:

1. Play more games

This is going to be the main one for me. 2015 has been quite a slow year for gaming, mostly due to the fact that I've spent most of this year unemployed, This coupled with having to move flat in August to an area where organising games is difficult, I really haven't done much gaming since July beyond the odd game of BFG or Betrayal at Calth.

With this in mind, my primary pledge in 2016 is to play more games. If I can aim to play 26 games across the year, I'll already be ahead on last year. I figure playing an average of one game every two weeks shouldn't be too strenuous.

A big part of achieving this will be to find myself a gaming group. In Peterborough, I attended an awesome club (Peterborough Wargames Club, check them out here). Thanks to PWC I tried a wide variety of games and they were primarily responsible for me branching out beyond GW in my gaming. Now I've moved to Norfolk though, I've found myself without a group to play with (the groups I played with when I lived here a few years ago have mostly disbanded) - a state of affairs I intend to correct!

I think my first step will be to get involved in the 30k Community in Norwich. I've visited them at Athena Games a couple of times, but haven't had a chance to actually play against them yet. It'll be good to actually be  able to face other 30k armies, as my Sons of Horus have mostly faced 40k armies in the past.

My other plan is to sort myself out with a gaming table for my flat, so I can actually play against the few gamers I know who live close enough to play games against at home. I'll be building a double-sided modular board to fit onto it, so I can play both Battlefleet Gothic and standard 40k/Fantasy/Skirmish games.

This brings me quite nicely onto my second pledge...

2. Clear my Backlog

At the moment I have a massive backlog of models to paint - a result of being a self-confessed hobby butterfly. I'm hoping to clear a good portion of this over the next couple of months. This means actually finishing projects for a change, instead of leaving them half-finished.

Right now I have the following which needs finishing:
  • Sons of Horus (3000 points)
  • Thousand Sons with White Scars allies (3000 points)
  • Battlefleet Gothic Sons of Horus fleet (2000 points)
  • Battlefleet Gothic Ork fleet (2000 points)
  • Battlefleet Gothic Terrain
  • Deathwatch/ Inquisition (1500 points)
  • Malifaux Show Girls crew (basic crew box)
I think that's plenty to be getting on with for now. A big motivation for me is the idea of being able to display them in my living room now that I have my own place. My plan is to start nothing new until they're finished. My only hobby purchases will be parts I need to finish these projects. To keep me motivated even further, I make my third pledge...

3. Document it all!
Nothing keeps me more motivated than sharing what I'm doing with the hobby community. As well as blogging about my work on here, I'm also a member of Warseer, The First Expedition and Bolter & Chainsword, as well as countless hobby groups on Facebook.

Everything I build and paint will be shared online, to motivate me as well as to pick up tips and advice improve my hobby skills. I'll try and post on here at least once or twice a week, keeping track of my progress on my pledges. Hopefully all this will allow me to actually follow through on my pledges for once.

So there you go, my aims for 2016 set out and ready to go. My life is far more settled now than it's been in previous years, so I reckon I stand a good chance of actually sticking to my pledges this year. As ever, we'll have to see though.

What are your hobby goals for 2016?

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Alto Damokai WIP

I missed the competition deadline with this guy unfortunately. I just had too much to do in the build up to Christmas to sit down and get him finished properly. Nonetheless, allow me to present my current WIP: Alto Damokai, Praetor-Librarian of the Thousand Sons 55th Company.

There's still a way to go on him, but I'm really liking how he's turning out. The huge amount of hours I've spent on him is really showing through. I've made a sculpted base for him too, but I unfortunately didn't have time to snap pics of it before work this morning.

What do you think so far?

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Contemptor Dreadnought progress

It's a slow day at work today, so I figured I'd use the time to post and schedule blog updates.

Mostly I've been focusing on painting the Dreadnought I showed in the last post, but I've also started work on Damokai himself and continued to work through my mountain of basic troops. Progress is being made, albeit slowly.

Here's how the Dreadnought stands atm:

Still a long way to go on him, but I'm getting there. I'll finish him up right after I paint up my Preator for a competition next week. Between the comp, work and christmas coming up, I'm ridiculously busy atm, so I'm not even sure if I'll get him done before the deadline on monday. We'll have to see.

Saturday 5 December 2015

Thousand Sons Contemptor WIP

No completed models for you today, but I have been working on a Contemptor Dreadnought which I bought off eBay couldn't resist stripping down and painting as soon as it arrived in the post.

After two nights work, this is how it looks:

There's still a long way to go on him, especially on the top half, but I'm quite proud of how the legs have turned out. Not shown are the various papers and scrolls which I'll be attaching when I'm done to give more of a Thousand Sons vibe to him.

The provisional name given to him is Ancient Alkush, 'The namer of names'. Thought up by my girlfriend who got fed up of me asking her for Egyptian-sounding name suggestions!

I've started logs for this project on a couple of forums, so I should have plenty more to show off soon.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Thousand Sons heads WIP

My bag of heads arrived at long last from Bits and Kits this morning, so I've taken a break from painting red armoru so I can work on them.

The one on the left is going to my Preator, whilst the other two are destined for my Tactical and Veteran squads. I've got another half dozen which I haven't started on yet, mostly due tonot having enough pins to mount them on.

Not a bad start, even if I say so myself. I love it when I reach the stage of new projects where I have all the materials and things start to come together like this.

Hopefully it won't be too long before I actually have some completed Thousand Sons to show you.

Tuesday 1 December 2015

"I Aten't Dead"

It's been a while since my last post. This is mostly due to being unemployed and just having moved into a new place, so i've been too busy to get round to blogging. I've been slowly plugging away at some of my projects though. I even got some models finished for once! I'll be trying to post up my progress on stuff over the  next couple of weeks.

The main thing I'm working on atm are my Thousand Sons. I've finally found a red paint scheme which works for them and I actually like. This coupled with the release of Betrayal at Calth means I can get most of what I need in one go. I've got my copy of B@C ready to go, thanks to my lovely girlfriend who got it for me as an early Christmas present, but it's taking all my self restraint not rush through and assemble it all at once.

This is the test scheme i have so far for my XVth Legion:

I've got a plan to convert up some helmets for them from Chaos Warrior helmets, so he's remaining headless for now (Assuming I don't go the whole hog and buy FW heads for the whole army) and I'm going to see if I can prise the left shoulder pad off so I can replace it with the Mk IV Forge World ones previewed in their newsletter today, but other than that, I'm happy with how he's shaping up.

With the test model complete, I've started a little production line to paint up my first squad:

'Slow and steady' is my watch phrase for the whole project. Considering I've been planning this force for nearly five years now, I don't want to get too carried away and potentially ruin my expectations for the end result by rushing through it.

I'll post more soon.

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.

Tuesday 19 May 2015

The Moral Maze

I've run into a bit of a moral quandary.

As you may know from recent posts, I've acquired some 1st Edition Space Hulk terminators and want to run them in my 30k Sons of Horus. Problem is that they don't come with any heavy weapons and Combi/Storm Bolters and Power Fists are really not the ideal loadout on them either.

My question is: on scale of 1 to 10, how heretical is it for me to consider chopping bits off these models which are almost as old as I am, replacing two of their Storm Bolters with converted Plasma Blasters and replacing one of each of their gun barrels on the others with meltagun barrels to make Combi-Weapons?

I'm also thinking of adding Chainswords to their fists to make Chainfists or blades to turn them into Lightning Claws.

The Purist in me balks at the prospect, but the gamer in me is thinking 'I really need something to hunt down opposing Knights and I don't have the money to buy a new unit to fill the role'.


Sails of Glory

Our planned Black Powder campaign game tonight was cancelled at the last minute so one of the regulars down my local gaming club brought along something new for us to try in the form of Sails of Glory.

Now I've never played any Napoleonic naval games before, but this seemed pretty good. Despite our frantic consulting of rule books due to the GM having not played it before (he originally had it planned as a demo game in a week or two's time), it seemed easy to pick up. I got a few photos, but due to a combination of my shaky hands and temperamental iPhone camera, they unfortunately turned out too blurry to post up.

We played a simple game with a ship of the line and a frigate on either side, French vs British. I took command of the French ship of the line, with my three fellow players also taking a ship apiece. Much amusement was had at the inexpert sailing of the commander of the British frigate, first attempting to sail straight into the wind, then swerving into the rear end of his teammate, then getting caught in a vicious two way boarding action against the opposing frigate, resulting in his prompt sinking. Despite this, the British Line Ship succeeding in giving the French the runaround, doing tremendous damage before legging it for open water with both French ships dogging his heels and eventually making it off the board before we could catch him. I worked out too late that if only I'd swung my ship a few degrees to port to get the wind behind me for a burst of speed, I would have caught up enough to fire another broadside into him. Oh well, I live and learn.

Anyway, good fun was had by all involved and plans are afoot by Mike (the GM for the night) for massive expansion and an awesome terrain set to match. I definitely want to try it again and I'll hopefully be able to get a few photos for a battle report too next time too.

I also managed to pick up the paints I needed tonight, so hopefully progress on my Sons of Horus will be on the way soon!

Edit: Mike put up a much better report from the game on his own blog here: . He did a far better job of covering it than I did and has a better grasp of naval warfare than I do, making for a far superior read!

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Tub of Heresy

Having gone through my vast horde of GW bits, I decided to seperate out any and all bits which were usable in my heresy conversions. Needless to say, I ended up with rather a lot so now I've got a big tub of heresy parts to be used or stripped down, plus two small craft boxes of the rarer or more prized pieces I found.

By my reckoning there's enough parts in there for 20-30 marines of varying descriptions. Add those what I've already got built/painted and I reckon I'll be hitting 8000 points on my Sons of Horus and Thousand Sons within a few months, once I've had a sort through and build of what's in there.

Sods law says I'll still end up spending hours looking for that one bit I need for projects though!

Oh and annoyingly I've run out of the wash I need for my Sons of Horus, bringing progress on repainting them grinding to a halt (again). Hopefully I'll be able to finish off my first Inquisitorial Henchman Squad done  though.

Intro game to Epic - Orks vs Khorne

After many, many years of wanting to try it, I played my first ever game of Epic the other night and it was well worth the wait. Now that I've fixed the issues with the photos I can re-post this write-up of my experiences.

We decided to play NetEpic rather than Armageddon due to my friend's personal preference and borrowed a 3000 point Khorne army to face off against his Ork horde. They were both very aggressive assault armies and in hindsight I think I played too cautiously for a Khorne force, but it was still good fun and I'm looking forward to playing it again. I think in terms of play style I would have preferred a Thousand Sons force or maybe recreating my Sons of Horus in 6mm, but I got a basic understanding and a good feel for the rules and now I can start working out my own lists to try and collect.

I even managed to get a few photos of the game in progress:

Looking out over the battlefield on Turn 1. You can just about make out his Gargant on the far hill. He had some Madboyz, a Klan of Goffs, a Klan of Bad Moonz and a Kult of Speed plus a Stompa. I had some World Eaters, lots of Deamon Engines with some Flesh Hounds and a Banelord Titan in support

My fiendish (for Khorne at least) flanking  manoeuvre with my Berserkers and Flesh Hounds to try to avoid being hit by two clans at once. This was foiled by the Gargant and Braincrushas (I think that was their name, I forget it exactly) smashing my main advance to bits though.

Angron ended up taking the rather undignified step of diving for cover behind the Banelord Titan!

Then came Dan's altogether more successful rush with his Kult of Speed down the other flank which swept round behind my Banelord Titan to catch my basic World Eaters and Angron off guard. Only some hasty discarding of Reward cards save me from the ignominy of losing Angron to a bunch of opportunistic bikers!

Angron soon got his revenge however as he carved his way through most of the Kult singlehandedly!

The game ended up as a win on turn 3 for Dan, due to running out of time with him holding three out of five objectives and my inability to break his Bad Moon Klan, which had I managed, would have netted me a win. Still, it was great fun and a solid intro to the game, even though I can't afford to invest in it at the moment. It's definitely one to go on my future 'to collect' list.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Just a quick one...

Just a quick post today, due to lack of painting progress to show. I just wanted to express my joy that I've managed to acquire a large collection of Horus Heresy audiobooks from a friend of mine.

It gives me an opportunity to catch up on the few installments I've missed and give my favourites a re-listen. It also lets me listen whilst working on other stuff, so my rate of painting progress won't suffer unduly. It might even increase! I'm rather looking forward to starting on them this evening whilst basing up some Sons of Horus.

Of course the ever-present danger with listening to Horus Heresy whilst I work on projects is that I may get inspired into starting other projects before I finish up the ones I've got, but I shall try to resist.

On another, very annoying note, I've noticed that the picture formatting for my mini battle report from my game of Epic the other day is majorly messed up, due to the fact that I published it from my phone. I've had to pull it down whilst I try to sort it out. Hopefully I'll have it back up soon though.

Monday 11 May 2015

State of my hobby

Normally I do a review of my projects at the start of the year, but with me being so busy recently, I never quite got round to it this year. Now I have actually time to focus a bit more on my hobby, I figured now would be a good time to do to have a look over it all.

This is what I have on the go at the moment:

Sons of Horus

As I said in my last post, I'm currently rebasing all my Sons of Horus to 32mm, giving them a spruce up as I go.

The plan is to write out the full fluff for each squad as it gets renamed, finally putting their background to page. My initial expansion of my Sons of Horus was so rapid that quite a few units got skipped over the first time, even though they were fully fluffed out in my head. It'll be nice to spend the time sorting it all out properly.

Ordo Xenos forces

My other major project. Starting as a good excuse to make use of all the odds and sods from various projects I had laying around, this has grown to encompass Warbands, Deathwatch and Scions/ Stormtrooper forces, as well as eventual Harlequin allies.

This project will grow alongside my Sons of Horus, switching between them as the mood or inspiration takes me. These should be fully fluffed out at some point too.


What started out as a counts-as Solar Auxila force has grown into an idea to produce a full 2nd Ed-legal force, after a friend of mine introduced me to playing 2nd Edition 40k and I fell in love with the system.

Whilst I can't afford to use the original Squat models, I'm going to continue with my Fantasy Dwarf conversions until I have a full force to use for 2nd Ed, plus in a variety of roles in the current 30k and 40k rules.

Mercenary Tau

One of my side projects to make use of everything in my hobby cupboard, some of which were some battered old Tau I got in an eBay job lot with some classic marines. Whilst they were in no state to be used as Empire Tau due to their abundance of missing pieces, a meshing with Imperial bits from my spares should yield some decent results and provide me with a small allied force to make use of with my Inquisition.

Hochland Engineer Army

This is very much on the back burner, due to the total collapse of my interest in Fantasy which came with the End Times. Even if I don't use it, I plan to at least get a 2000 point force finished at some point for display and completion purposes, but my other projects are taking priority right now.

Song of Ice and Fire

This is still a project I want to do, as I think it'll work fantastically, however a combination of a lack of interested playtesters in my area, lack of money to buy the models for my first scenario (Tyrion &Catelyn being ambushed on the way to the Vale) and very little time to work on rules has pretty much killed my motivation to move this project forward.

Hopefully between the new series on TV and a Winds of Winter release being finally in sight, I'll be able to get the motivation going to reignite this project soon.

Lost and the Damned

This is a possible project in the works, after a friend of mine suggested the possibility of running a 13th Black Crusade campaign at some point next year.

Lost and the Damned are something I've wanted to collect for a very long time, but  due to the fact that I started 40k literally the month after the original worldwide campaign finished I've never had the chance to do it. This is despite having been inspired by numerous versions of the FW Traitors & Renegades lists (which I'll be using rules-wise if this project happens).

It'll give me a good excuse to dust off my old Blood Pact and Deamon models too, which will be nice, plus gives me a chance to convert up swarms of mutants and 40k Beastmen, which is always nice.

This could also tie in nicely with my Heresy projects, considering the sorry state the mortal followers of Horus had devolved into by the time they reached Terra!

So there you are. It's a much more restricted project list than previous versions, but that's mainly due to the fact that I have now graduated, so I have much less time to game. It's still more than enough to keep me going though. Hopefully by the time I look over my hobby again, I'll have actually got a project or two finished, so I can start dwindling down my vast 'to do' list. As ever though, I'll likely start with good intentions, then get sidetracked again!

Wish me luck.

Revisiting the Sons of Cthonia

So with the new Space Marine base size from GW rolling out, I decided the time was ripe to revisit and spruce up my Sons of Horus as I transfer them to their bases.

With about 6000 points to revisit and me being skint, this is going to take a while. On the other hand, having to do it in stages also means I can take the time to get each squad up to the very best standard I can before moving onto the next, so I don't mind it too much.

I decided to start with my Preator, a Reaver squad and my first Tactical Squad, seeing as they form the core of any list I write. Here's the first of the redone Reavers:

I still need to finish the base, but the effect of the new base is immediately obvious. It makes him much more imposing and seriously adds to his presence on the tabletop. A success in my book!

Preator Morkaddon's having far more substantial work done to him. As the first SoH I ever painted, I felt he'd benefit from being stripped down and completely redone to take advantage of theimprovements in my painting skills since he was first painted. Here's the stage he's at right now:

Not the best of photos, but he's definitely looking a lot better than he was. He's gained a snazzy new Combi-Flamer too to replace his old Bolter. He's also got it held ready to fire rather than being held neutrally as his his previous incarnation did. This ties in with how his backstory has developed over the last few years, going from a Captain of a footslogging line company to the leader of a highly aggressive airborne force.

His helmet crest went missing in the stripping process. I'm still debating whether to replace it with the bit from the Sternguard Veteran set or to give him a topknot to bring him more in line with the Sons of Horus aesthetic. I'll let you know on that one.

Full background right-ups will follow at some point, but what do you think so far?

Thursday 7 May 2015

Classic and New Terminators WIP

I finally managed to get enough of the paint off the Space Hulk Terminators to start sprucing them up, so along with my HH Indominatus conversions I've been working on, I've been painting two generations of Terminators tonight. Both are destined for my Sons of Horus and still very WIP, but they're turning out nicely I think.

I have to say the Space Hulk Termies are lovely, but I'm terrified of making mistakes when I'm working on them as they're older than I am!

Tuesday 28 April 2015

A rare find

It looks like my Tau mini-project and larger Inqusition force need to be put on the back burner for a few weeks, owing to the fact that I have finally acquired something I have wanted for a long time.

When I arrived at my local gaming club tonight, a friend of mine gave me these:

They're not the best of photos but I'm sure you can see what they are. Six Space Crusade Terminators and a 2nd Ed Tactical Squad. Both need to be stripped and have some TLC applied, but  they're still quite the find, especially as they didn't cost me anything!

I've been after the Terminators for years, but I've always been outbid on EBay whenever they come up.

I'm not sure how I'm going to use them yet, but the Terminators will probably going into my Sons of Horus or be used as Exo-suits in my fledgling Squat force. Either way they're going into the stripping tub tonight, ready for me to work on them on my free day on Wednesday. 

Saturday 25 April 2015

Tau Mercenaries

So I was rooting through a cupboard the other day and I came across some Tau I got in an Ebay job lot a few years ago. They really weren't in great condition, with about half an inch of paint obscuring most of the detail on them but I figured I could either try rescuing them, or I may as well just chuck them out.

So into the stripping tub they went.

After a week of repeated soakings and scrubbings, I finally hit bare plastic. The basic Fire Warriors and set of Sniper Drones seem fine and just need a repaint. The Stealth Suits were likewise and are likely to be siphoned off to become a set of Exo-Suits for my Squats, but the bigger Battlesuits need far more work.

From what I can tell from the parts I have, I've got one Crisis Suit and one Broadside, with one or two more possibly stashed away in some unknown cupboard somewhere. Both are missing their feet, some weapon systems and a few details.

This basically means I'd have to either order in replacement parts (not easy with me being skint and them being OOP) or scratchbuild a solution to the problem. I don't think I need to tell you which I chose.

Whilst pondering ways to rebuild the legs with what I had to hand, an idea hit me. Seeing as I have zero desire to collect an entire Tau force, these guys (if they ever see the tabletop at all) would be fielded as allies for my Inquisition, Squats or Space Wolves. This means I'd need to find some fluff justification for them being there. This brought me to the idea of Mercenary Tau.

Basically this force will have, for whatever reason, decided to put aside the principles of the Greater Good and are fighting for coin/ tech/ survival/ whatever. This would put them beyond the reach of tradition supply and repair lines, meaning they would have used whatever tech they had to hand to repair their gear. This will let me build mix in Imperial parts with the Tau and go to town with the conversion, whilst also giving me a strong narrative theme which I can tie in with my other armies.

Anyway, enough talking, here's my early progress on my  first rescued Broadside, with the legs rebuilt. I made it a little more spindly than the original model, partly to make it look non-standard, but also so I can use it as a counts-as Sentinel if I ever want to use it with my Squats.

I'll post more soon.

Monday 2 February 2015

Inquisitor conversion WIP

Well it's happened again: I've gotten distracted.

This time I can honestly say it's not my fault. One of the hobby groups I follow on Facebook has launched a group project where every member paints up a Deathwatch marine, which we then field as a group when we meet up. This pretty much provided the perfect excuse for me to indulge in the long-held ambition of mine to field an Ordos Xenos force.

Of course, any good Inquisition force needs a couple of Inquisitors to lead it. Here's the first one I've started working on:

It's converted from the DE Lhamean model, which I've had laying about doing nothing nothing for ages. a quick weapon swap later and I had my first Inquisitor ready to paint.

More soon, including my first Deathwatch Marines

Sunday 18 January 2015

30k Thousand Sons Veterans WIP

What's that? Two posts from me in the space of a week, showing progress on the same project? Wonders will never cease!

Joking aside, I'm getting really excited about my Thousand Sons project. Now the ball is rolling on it, things are coming together really quickly. Before I get distracted by shiny toys though, I've turned my attention to the Tactical and Veteran Squads which will form the backbone of my force. So far I've got these three nearly done:

These are the start of my first Veteran Squad. I view this force as a group who fled Prospero in the wake of the Space Wolves assault, so a hardened band of veterans seem to be the perfect core for my force. I'm still working out the marking system, but I'm liking the idea of one white pad and one red pad indicating veteran status, whilst the Egyptian-style crests mark out squad leaders. I have a feeling that the FW book will overwrite this when they finally get round to covering the XVth Legion, but that could still be a few years off yet, so I won't worry too much.

I've got seven more of these to finish, plus fifteen Tactical marines and some characters. Then I can turn my attention to the Disc Skimmer conversion I have planned.

Thursday 15 January 2015

Thousand Sons Moritat WIP

I've just realised that I haven't posted anything on here for about four months now. I hadn't realised I'd let things fall so far behind.

I'm currently working on my Thousand Sons allies, which I seem to have been making more progress on in the last couple of months than I have in the last four years put together! Having a definite idea of the colour scheme has really helped, as it means I'm not constantly tweaking and repainting the red.

I'll post more of the army in general in the next couple of posts, but what I have on my hobby desk right now is this:

This is going to be used as a Thousand Sons Moritat. I figure that a psycho fireball-throwing psyker suits their character better than the traditional gunslinging variety of Moritat.

Obviously he's still very much WIP. I'll be painting him up over the course of the next couple of weeks. The main change I'm considering already is to change the colour of the flames from yellow to blue/white. This will not only provide better contrast with the red, but helps imply the flames are hotter too!

As soon as I get the money to order them, he's going on a new 32mm base too, along with all my other 30k marines.