Friday, 21 July 2017

40k: New Primaris Librarian – Part 1


I had told myself I wouldn't do it. I can't afford it, don't need it… but yesterday I found myself in possession of the new plastic Primaris Librarian kit.

It was the last one in the shop, so I felt kinda lucky that I'd managed to get hold of one. The price – £22.50 – stuck in my throat a little bit, but it's a lovely model and my librarian had done so well the other evening in our 8th Edition Intro Game that I felt this was a worthwhile investment.


The box contains two small plastic sprues, a base and transfers, plus a small booklet containing construction diagrams and the datasheet in half a dozen languages. It didn't feel like a lot for £20+


I started to build him early evening, and almost immediately hit problems. I had to stick two legs to part of a body, then once in place add a second part of the body. Not a complex task, but the flowing robe parts need to be positioned in a precise way. In addition, there wasn't much surface guide or suitably large areas in which to glue these pieces, so it took several attempts to get things vaguely correct.

At each stage of the construction I had to let the glue dry thoroughly before I could proceed as bits were moving all over the place, so delicately were they positioned.


Next I had to stick the back half of the model to the front piece that I'd constructed. Only problem here was that the two halves of the robe have to marry up exactly… which of course they didn't do very well. The outcome being that additional glue had to be used and the two halves firmly held in place for a while, resulting in fingerprints across the surface of the robe.


To add insult to injury, I then discovered that one of the pipes on my Librarian's Force Sword hadn't been cast properly!


By this time it was late evening and I decided to call it a day. I need to spend some time cleaning up the robes and the gaps before I can start adding some of the detail pieces from the kit.

This has been a pig of a build so far, and certainly not worth the £22.50 spent on it – not even close. Hopefully I'll feel better about it at the end.


The irony is that the Primaris Captain, who towers above the Librarian, took precisely 6 minutes to build and clean up with a file, ready for painting.

Roll on part 2…


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

40k 8th Edition: Intro Game



After a month of patient waiting and reading, last night I managed to get in a game of the new 8th Edition of 40k.


The night before I had been up late, feverishly getting some colour onto models. I managed to get some black and purple painted (or rather slapped on base colours) onto most of the models I intended to take. It didn't look great but made me feel better. The main focus was the new Reiver models. Painting an undercoat over the blue plastic turned out to be a challenge – I should have sprayed them perhaps, but I didn't want to obscure the 'soft' details any further. I have to say I am very much looking forward to painting them properly at some point. They will look very cool.


Bull and I put together lists of 50 power points. I took an ad hoc collection of Dark Templar marines and I was facing a massed horde of Orks, with a Battlewagon. I tried to take a range of models to cover various facets of the new rules, including Rhinos/Razorbacks, a Dreadnought, some Tactical marines with Missile Launchers and Plasma guns, and a Librarian.

Up to this point I have struggled to visualise how the game would play, something I'm not used to. The one overriding conclusion Bull and I have come to is that we've got to unlearn a lot more than we have to learn. We found a lot of the rules didn't make sense, or just felt downright illogical. Other times there seemed to be glaring gaps in the rules and there were quizzical glances shared across the table.


For example: It felt wrong that a vehicle speeding into a massive group of Orks can only score a melee hit on 6+, whilst the return hits were 3+ (I'm guessing it's a size vs size thing). Terrain seems to have been virtually ignored in the rules other than a reference to cover. Is there such a thing as difficult terrain anymore? When a unit arrives from Reserves is it considered to have moved for Shooting purposes? The idea that a group of 30 Orks shooting pistols can take down a Rhino feels silly.

Like I said, we have a lot to unlearn. This edition of 40k is an entirely new game and cannot be compared to previous editions. Something as straightforward as not thinking of vehicles as vehicles, but rather a large marine with heavy weapons and lots of wounds – vehicles as we knew them don't exist. It was easy to slip into old procedures or rule interpretations and that was more problematic than the new rules themselves.


Having said all that, I think there is a lot of potential here. The current 'Index' armies feel quite bland, though we are trying to keep things as simple as possible to grasp the core mechanics. I came away from tonight's game with the feeling I used to have back in the days of 4th edition game nights – eager to pour over stats and trial new combinations and units. We definitely had an interesting opening game, that probably produced more questions than answers.


But who were the heroes and villains this evening for the new look Dark Templar?

My Assault Cannon Razorback has a lot of potential, and Bull killed it off as soon as he could. The Librarian dropped a couple of awesome boosting powers that helped swing melee combats my way. The tactical marines were quite weak, and pretty poor in combat (I had been pre-warned, thank you Nick). The dread was untouchable in combat but didn't do much damage in return. And finally my Reivers – all they managed to do was throw a handful of Shock grenades before being mugged by 30 Ork Boyz (3 is definitely not enough in a unit). They nearly survived the charge too, but fell without getting to inflict any damage.

Lots to read up, especially FAQs and errata. Then it's back to the painting table!




Saturday, 15 July 2017

40k: New Primaris Reivers Miniatures


I've been largely ignoring the new Primaris space marines in favour of my old school Dark Templar marines, but when I saw the new Reivers being previewed they really caught my attention. Today a plug and play version went on sale and I couldn't resist.


The box costs £10 for 3 models – pricey if you consider a Tactical Squad of 10 models plus lots of bits costs in the region of £25 – and contains a single blue plastic sprue containing the models, plus slotta bases, transfers and a small booklet. There are no extra bits on the sprue – each marine being made up of 2-part body plus backpack, arms and head. The booklet contains building instructions, a quick painting guide and the Reiver datasheet (in at least half a dozen languages) and feels less useful than it should be.


The quality of the plastic is good, with a decent amount of detail without going overboard (like many of the GW releases). Each piece will quite literally plug into the body so you don't have to use glue if you don't want to – GW pushes this big time as a selling point.


I wasn't convinced that the pegs would work as well as I'd like, so for my first model I trimmed them all off – the idea being that this would give me more freedom with the posture. The two body halves went together perfectly, as did the head. The backpack and arms proved a little more tricky as, without a reference point, it was easy to glue them off balance (no shoulder pads to hide mistakes). However, experienced prevailed and the model was completed without much fuss. I even clipped the tab at his feet and stuck him on a traditional round base rather than the slotta (I like to glue 2 pence pieces under the bases for added weight which would be impossible with a slotta style base).


To mix things up and for experimental purposes, I put the other two Reivers together using the pegs – or rather the pegs for the arms and backpack. I still trimmed the body pegs for a smooth fit and stuck them on regular bases.


I have to say that I am rather impressed by these models. The models from the Dark Imperium box set do feel a little superior, whilst these feel a little bit like the 'soft' scouts models currently available. Yet, given my expectations weren't very high to begin with, these do seem like decent models. Are they worth £10 for 3? I'm not sure they are, but if you bought the new 'First Strike' starter box set they work out close to half price because they're packaged with other Primaris and some Death Guard equivalents.

I am glad I bought them though, especially if they life up to their hype on the battlefield!

Now they just need some suitably Dark Templar colours on them.


Friday, 14 July 2017

A 40k Project 10 Years In The Making…



A long time ago, when I first decided to reinvent my Dark Templar marines as Mk6 clad astartes, I decided I needed to make my vehicles a little more bespoke. I had already bodged my version of 'extra armour' by removing some of the hatches and replacing them with reinforced strips plasticard. This worked fine in the early tournament days but I wanted to take things to the next level to something more elaborate.


I cracked out the plasticard again and, using a razorback as a test piece, started my epic project. After sorting the extra armour and new hatches I also incorporated the top plate from one of the new Razorback models. This would give me access to a wider range of weaponry that didn't fit the metal Whirlwind top plates I had been using.

After completing the first vehicle, however, my enthusiasm waned and the project stalled, the models falling into the category of 'projects that were too big to be realistic for me to complete'. Over the next couple of years I dipped back in and things moved a little further forward, but the project was never going to see completion any time soon (an oh too familiar hobby occurrence in this household unfortunately).


After many years of sitting idle, my 40k miniatures are seeing the light of day again thanks to 8th Edition. No games being played as yet, but I am finding a desire to go through the old storage boxes and see what's there. With my decision to look once more at my Dark Templar space marine project, it was inevitable that these vehicles were dusted off for inspection.


For the first time, these Razorbacks and Rhinos are starting to see some paint, the first three undercoated earlier this week after a few minor repairs and tweaks. If I can take things to the point that at least one of them has a completed paint job, before going back into storage, I will be very happy that things have progressed. If they actually get to see some game time, well, I'll just be over the moon!


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