31 January 2010

The Iron Warriors – RTB01 missiles

I just wanted to share these models with you. I scoured the earth to find some RTB01 missile launchers when thinking about these guys, and love the results. Obviously some converting had to be done to get them to fit, but it was worth it, and they are a constant talking point when facing new opponents.

I would love to do something similar when I take on the Dark Templar project again, but these missile launchers are just so damn rare these days that it may become a bit of a nightmare – we will see.

29 January 2010

Friday Update

So I've been at this blog for almost a fortnight now, with an over-enthusiasm that is to be expected when a child discovers something new and exciting. No doubt the pace of my blogs will drop off as the weeks go by, but I fully intend to have at least a once-a-week update.

After reading some great posts on other people's blogs I have decided to adopt the Painting Points Challenge that is currently doing the rounds – taking it a step further like Erik A from Berks Warhammer 40k and giving myself a monthly target to aim for. I need this kind of structure to stop me getting distracted now that I don't have a weekly gaming club that I can get to.

I am so close to my first painting point that I can taste it – as you can see the Blood Angels Veteran Sergeant there is almost complete, just a few details to finish now. Just when I think I'm getting there I find something else that needs painting on him! I even found space for some yellow paint, but not happy with how it went down – it'll do for this guy but will have to get some help from the experts I think, ha.

The Dreadnought arms are not far behind. I have the Terminator Sergeant ready for final detailing, then to complete the list, the Dred body and four Tactical marines with their red armour done and ready to be tidied up and detailed. I have promised myself not to look at anothiner miniature until these guys are done – anything bright and shiny and I'm off track!

I had a bit of a scoop last weekend to help bolster this new army. I was given a donation of Blood Angel figures by my best mate, stuff left behind from when we had a regular gaming night. The figures used to belong to one of the guys who has long since left the hobby. Thanks Kev!

The collection is a real mixed bag, with some figures victims of the spray can (I didn't know you could get so much paint on an individual figure without thinking "hang on, this doesn't look clever"). There is a couple of Tactical Squads in there, an Assault squad including the Honour Guard medic, some metal bits and most importantly...a 5-man Death Company.

In other Blood Angel Project news, I made my first purchase this week – some metal BA shoulder pads – after a decent Ebay sale or two. These will go with my next Troop unit, whatever it may be, so that I don't hand to paint or decal any more icons. I missed out on a couple of auctions for BA characters, but with hindsight have decided it's better to hang on until the new book before shelling out on ICs, they may change completely.

28 January 2010

The Iron Warriors – part 3

The Boss Man

Many moons ago I saw a conversion done by Graham Davey (in WD or maybe an old Chaos codex) that used the body of Kharn and the bare/bionic head from a metal Chaplain. I really liked it, even though it was painted as Black Legion, and took it as the basis for my Chaos Lord when I first started my Iron Warriors. When it came to taking my IW to tournaments I wanted to upgrade to a Daemon Prince, and liked the idea of my guy being elevated to daemonhood.

The new Daemon Prince model (at the time) was so awesome there was no decision to be made when choosing where to start. He had to have wings and a daemon weapon so I ordered bitz from the classic Daemon Prince via GW mail order (do you remember those days when you could order bitz?..sigh). The wings were pinned in place and blended in (quite poorly with hindsight) using greenstuff. The Daemon Sword was removed from the Prince's hand and the axe pinned in place – a plastic chaos vehicle spike was pinned at the other end.

For the bionic arm I had ordered Ghazghkull's arm, which was a perfect fit and posed to match my Lord figure. I used a little greenstuff on the Prince's head to create skin edge so that half of his face was bionic, again to match my original Lord figure.

This Daemon Prince model has gone on to lead my Iron Warriors in many tournaments since, including several GTs. His bark was always worse than his bite, and his perceived threat (especially sitting behind my line of guns) has been a very successful tactic against all but the cleverest of opponents.

27 January 2010

The Dark Templar MkII

So last summer I decided that I wanted to give the Dark Templar another go, but properly this time. I spent a lot of time contemplating colour schemes and icons – I didn't want them to just use the Black Templar stuff in a different colour (that would be faaar too easy ^^).

The concept for the look is primarily Mk 6 armour. Trying to represent what the RTB01 marines would look like if they were released in 2010. This look is what I was first introduced to when I 'discovered' Space Marines, and it is creeping back into some of the current sculpts which is great to see.

I picked out a few key elements that I wanted present on the rank and file troops:
• the piped chest piece
• no knee-pads
• banding sculpted into the feet
• shoulder pads with no lip on them
• left shoulder pads studded
• an older looking backpack
• and of course beakie helmets

Characters and key models will obviously have license to stray slightly from these guidelines or have artificer armour, but these are my golden rules for the majority.

Having made my decision I did a mass scrounge/trade with everyone I knew to get the bits I needed. A lot of sculting is going to be required so I set out to do some test pieces.

To make things even more complicated I don't want any of the newer looking vehicles. This could be problematic down the line, but I want the army to look very retro and the new-look tanks would kill it. I started to convert one of my old Rhinos.

Things stalled at that point with my wedding/honeymoon/work taking the front seat and I haven't been back to them yet. The plan is for my little Blood Angels project to get me back into full swing and up to speed with my painting so that I can hit the ground running when I return to the Templar.

24 January 2010

McVey Blood Angel perfection

Whilst on the subject of painting Blood Angels, I found this on my rounds of my bookmarks list. OMG, if ever I was feeling a bit chuffed that my Blood Angels were looking good, this surely brings me down to earth as well as lots of inspiration.

If you fancy owning this fella, painted by Alison McVey, it's going to set you back a cool £300 – find out more at www.studiomcvey.com

23 January 2010

Blood Angel Red

As promised I took some photos whilst painting up the red armour on my Terminator Sergeant so that I could show how I paint Blood Angels red. This is not a tutorial, professional opinion or anything as authorarative as that. This is simply a demonstration of how I paint red armour – it works for me and if you can take anything from it then great.

First thing to note is that I hate off-the-shelf models, I don't do them. In every army I have created to date, every miniature is altered in some way so as not to look like every other bod's models. With this Tale of Four Gamers project (which maybe I should re-name Tale of a Single Gamer?!) the idea is to do things I'm not used to – take me out of my comfort zone. The AoBR models are plug and play anyway, so the aim is to get a few units painted up as quickly as possible – speed is the key here. With this in mind, here is my demonstation of how I paint Blood Angels...

Taking the based and undercoated (in Black) model I take some Chaos Black and mix some Blood Red with it. I guess it would be about a 50:50 mix or maybe 60:40 in favour of black. I then overbrush the entire model, not worrying about being too neat as I will go back and black out everything not red later. Overbrushing is like Drybrushing, but with a wet brush – it works great on vehicles and now I use it on figures too for speed.

The paint will dry almost immediately so I add some more Blood Red to the mix on my palette and go round again. I find this better than trying to paint Blood Red over the undercoat due to Red being so transparent, it would take so many coats and take too long to get a flat colour. By having some Black in the mix it appears to be much more smooth and solid.

I continue this process as many or as few times as I feel necessary, or can be bothered, until I reach a pure Blood Red coat. I will probably put down two thinner coats at this stage given the transaprency of the paint.

At this point I give the whole model a liberal wash of Baal Red allowing plenty of time for it to dry thoroughly. Once this is completely dry I wash it in Devlan Mud, not letting the wash collect on any flat surfaces if possible.

Once this is dry I paint some thinned Blood Red along edges to add highlights, letting the paint go a little way in from the edge itself onto the armour. I then use Blazing Orange on the very edges themselves. At this point I mix in some Iyanden Darksun with the orange and put very delicate highlights along key edges, but not all over. The thinner the paint at this stage, the better it will blend.

I then give the model a final wash of Baal Red to unify all the highlights and deepen the colour generally before cracking open the Chaos Black to paint out where the red is not wanted.

I'm finding that painting two models at a time is about right for me. I don't get too bored and the paint doesn't dry on the palette. Having said that I've been painting the sergeants by themselves, being a bit more careful. Everything prior to the highlights takes no time at all, and I make sure I have something else to work on whilst the washes dry.

22 January 2010

FREE Blood Angels Army?!

Like a lot of people I have enjoyed the recent Tale of Four Gamers article in White Dwarf. I like the idea of building a new army in this way as it keeps things structured and gives you manageable goals, with a real sense of achievement in a relatively short space of time. I did prefer the very first Tale of Four Gamers many years ago, which was based around Warhammer instead of 40k and gave the likes of Paul 'Fat Bloke' Sawyer £50 to start and £25 a month after that – not that £25 would buy you much these days! – it just seemed more structured than the "paint what you like" version recently.

I decided to start a new army in the Tale of Four Gamers style but with a big twist – given the fact that I have no spare cash to be spending on models, the army has to cost nothing!!...(or as near to nothing as possible). Luckily, thanks to my days of heavy spending and gaming (for which I am now paying – lesson to be learned there kids) I have boxes of leftovers, bits, half-built models to get me going. Any money I do spend has to be generated by selling other model-related bitz on Ebay.

So which army?
With the current rumours about the new Blood Angels codex in April there was never any question (the rumours triggering this sudden, temporary change in alligiance from Chaos). From the day I first picked up Space Crusade, and my first RTB01 marines, I have always loved the idea of Blood Angels, and always wanted a full on army. However, for many years Chaos was the power on the gaming table and it never happened.

I have started with the marines from the Assault on Black Reach boxset. The Captain and Dread had been painted up in Salamander greens, but have been re-undercoated. Hopefully I can get this little lot done over the next few weeks – I already have my next group of models ready to go!

Stay tuned for more, including a mini guide to how I paint red!

20 January 2010

Thousand Sons...

The Thousand Sons were the very first tournament-specific army I built, based around the Index Astartes list in White Dwarf. Why did I pick them? 3 reasons – they had two wounds each; their possessed could charge 12"; their dreadnoughts didn't go crazy.

I created the army list based around three units of eight marines plus aspiring (sorceror) champion. This was joined (as far as I can remember) by a unit of 9 possessed, a dreadnought and a land raider – all led by a Sorceror Lord on flying disc. From memory they did ok, but not great (mostly due to my naive tactics). I never got to buy, build or paint the Dred and LR so my Templar rented out theirs for the occasion.

The Thousand Sons themselves were just normal Chaos marines (this was way before the cool TS metal bitz became available), organised into squads identified by different helmets. They had old school metal TS shoulder pads. I went with a very dark blue colour scheme, with rich gold edges – I've never liked the sky-blue and yellow the TS usually wear. Of course having left it too late to do a proper job, everything was rushed beyond belief, and subsequently nothing was painted very well – the highlights on the blue armour so subtle that you need a spotlight to see them!

Each squad had an Aspiring Champion, and I scoured the bitz box to find matching helmets and three power weapons. Again, these guys got a very raw deal when it came to painting – not even having their lovely TS shoulder pads painted beyond undercoat (oh the shame of it!).

I spent a little more time on the Sorceror Lord. I scratch-built him a disc from an upside-down flying base, some spawn tentacles and a lot of greenstuff. Alas it is no longer with us – the flying stem broke during the last game of the tournament, and the lord fell off (hence he is housed on a temporary base with chipped paintwork). The model itself is of course Ahriman, with Abaddon's daemon sword and a plastic zombie hand. With hindsight, this makes him look like he's reaching for a packet of biscuits rather than casting some deadly spell but it seemed genius at the time! I made a mould of the metal TS shoulder pad the rest of the army had and stuck the cast-up piece onto the plain shoulder pad of the lord model so at least he matched.

It is my aim one day (once I tweak my Bezerkers and finish my Nurgle) to revisit these Thousand Sons, give them the paint job they deserve and maybe add a few more models.

18 January 2010

The Iron Warriors – part 2

The Heroes
Every army has its heroes, and over the last 5 years my Iron Warrior legion has been no exception.

The IW Chosen
By far the most heroic group ever has been my Chosen Chaos Marines. Never have I seen a 5-man unit cause so much havoc and mayhem to opponents. They didn't kill the most enemy models, or claim the most objectives (in fact the missile launcher rarely hit anything of consequence) - all they did was infiltrate into the enemy's deployment zone. For example, I had one guy at a tournament move a Daemon Prince and TWO units of daemonettes to deal with my sneaky unit, taking a massive threat away from the rest of my army. I've had veteran gamers totally change their battle plan because of the perceived upset these guys caused. I don't think they ever survived a tournament game in three years, but they're heroes every one!

The IW Champions
Due to the nature of having lots of 5-man units with a heavy weapon and a special weapon, there was never much room for Aspiring Champions in my tournament armies. However, I did build a couple for the creative buzz and for low key games.

Made from the Techmarine from my original Command Squad purchase, this champion got his Power fist from the Captain Cortez sculpt of the time (the only right-handed fist I could find!).

This guy has been one of my favourite models for ages, yet I've never really used him in games. Based on the legs of the IW Warsmith, the (shaved) head of a Deathwatch marine, and the power weapon and pistol arm from a Techmarine.

More to come soon.

15 January 2010

The Iron Warriors – part 1

My archiving continues today with part 1 of my Iron Warriors army.

The army started out as a simple list based around the Index Astartes article. I loved the idea of having a Basilisk in a marine army after years of facing the (albeit unreliable) Ork variant across the table. I wanted the marines and vehicles to look really grimy and dirty, as if they'd been fighting for years without respite.

The twin dreadnoughts were the first vehicles to be done, and great fun was had possessing them. I really enjoyed painting them, as I developed my paint scheme. Alas 'golden balls' and 'dread head' are no longer with us – casualties of ebay (for the abysmal, gut-wrenching price of £9 each) when I first stopped playing.

My Forgeworld Vindicator was my pride and joy and I loved this model, though it was a nightmare to put together, and I never did figure out how to use it effectively except as a scare tactic.

And finally, for today, my first Iron Warrior Rhino. This became my Command vehicle, given the attention lavished upon it. Its most infamous moment was at a Conflict tournament at Alexandra Palace – a game against a pre-heresy World Eaters scout army: The game was all but over, I had routed the army and was mopping up until Night Fighting came down the last turn; the two dreads were to take a pop at the last few scouts, but I rolled a 6 for both of them!! They promply turned to the nearest unit (Command Rhino full of guys – couldn't see the scouts in the dark!) and fired Plasma Cannons twice, popping the vehicle and virtually wiping out the squad...ouch! 17-3 win instead of a 20-0 massacre....I never used dreads again.

More Iron Warriors to come soon!

14 January 2010

For the love of Khorne!

In the thick of my tournament gaming years I was building a new army for almost every tournament I went to – certainly every tournament 'season' – and the army that I consider the pinnacle of that was my Beastman Bezerker army. It was devastating.

In every 'Pitched Battle' game I played I could guarantee two things: In turns 1 to 3 I would be on the receiving end of long-range firepower big time and lose vehicles and a few men; by turn 4 the Bloodthirster was here and the 'Terror Twins' would send the enemy into blind panic, just in time for the Bezerkers to arrive and clean up. To lesser players it was a guaranteed 20-0 massacre, to veteran gamers it was a challenge. The only problem I had was with an Alpha Legion army that infiltrated in force after I had set up – by the end of turn 1 I had lost all my vehicles and my 'thirster was on a standing count. The game ended in a draw (although I had more points) but I was happy!

The army was a last minute decision and was tweaked up until a month before the GT. The inspiration for the Bezerkers came from a Possessed Marine unit for my Thousand Sons that involved just using up lots of leftover bits and greenstuff. I had just started a WH Chaos army with a large Beastman unit so had plenty of bits. I then gathered all the marine parts I could find and started sticking quite randomly. I bought all the vehicles new (tut, tut!) in complete contrast, as well as Forgeworld extra armour (oh dear!) so the idea of it being a budget army went out of the window very quickly.

The Shaggoth was the obvious choice for a Khorne Daemon Prince with a Bezerker Glaive who could fleet of foot then charge 12" every turn (that guy clocked up some mileage!). For the Bloodthirster I did a head and weapon swap with a Minotaur, which was perfect.

The vehicles unfortuately did not match the rest of the army – I'd run out of time completely, and was still painting them the night before GT. I always intended to go back to them but never did – in fact I am currently re-shaping the Rhinos for my new Nurgle boys (it's all about recycling!!).

For anyone interested the army list went something like this:


• Lord / Mark Khorne / Bezerker Glaive / Daemonic Stature / Feel No Pain / Daemonic Strength / Daemonic Resilience / Daemonic Speed

• BloodThirster

• Marines / x8 / Mark Khorne / 8x ChainAxe / 1x Champion / 8x Frags / 8x Furious Charge / Rhino / Extra Armour / Smoke

• Marines / x8 / Mark Khorne / 7x ChainAxe / 1x Champion / Power Fist / Daemonic Strength / 8x Frags / 8x Furious Charge / Rhino / Extra Armour / Smoke

• Marines / x8 / Mark Khorne / 7x ChainAxe / 1x Champion / Power Fist / Daemonic Strength / 8x Frags / 8x Furious Charge / Rhino / Extra Armour / Smoke

• Predator / Twin-Linked Lascannon / Heavy Bolter Sponsons / Extra Armour

• Predator / Twin-Linked Lascannon / Heavy Bolter Sponsons / Extra Armour

• Predator / Autocannon / Lascannon Sponsons / Extra Armour

13 January 2010


Just to break things up a bit I thought I would show you what is on my paint table at the moment...


As I mentioned in a previous blog, this was my tournament comeback army for 2009, which didn't happen. I bought all the bits, but didn't even construct a single model. During December I decided to make a concerted effort to get back into the models, so I dug these guys out of the cupboard and started building.

I have concentrated on the Terminators, probably because there's only five of them and the models are just amazing. I couldn't leave the legs as they came off the sprue so I've been trying to get them on par with the Forgeworld torsos. I bought some 'possessed' resin bases from Dark Art Miniatures to add to the effect, my only problem was drilling room for my 'penny weight' (I always weigh down my models with a 1p or 2p coin in the base if at all possible - makes a big difference!) which has turned out to be a nightmare.

I always take one model through to completion if possible, to test colour schemes/ techniques/ etc. for painting up the rest of the army. This time I chose the Champion model who is almost finished. Not happy with the green goo on the base - although it looked how I imagined, it's too cartoon-looking for the mood of the model itself, will probably go for a dirty yellow/brown instead.

For those interested, the amry list I'm working to looks like this:

Daemon Prince Wings / Mark Nurgle / Warptime
Greater Daemon
Terminators x5 / Icon Nurgle / Hvy Flamer / Pwr Fist x3 / Combi x2
Plague Marines x7 / Champ / Meltagun / Flamer / Rhino
Plague Marines x7 / Champ / Icon / Pwr Fist / Meltagun / Flamer / Rhino
Plague Marines x7 / Champ / Icon / Pwr Fist / Meltagun / Flamer / Rhino
Plague Marines x7 / Champ / Pwr Fist / Meltagun / Flamer / Rhino

I did have a couple of units of Lesser Daemons in there instead of the fourth Plague Marine Squad, but it was too light on units that could hold objectives. I also appreciate I have no long range shooting, which goes against the grain being a former Iron Warrior general, so I may drop the Greater Daemon and try and get a tank or some Obliterators in there. Need to get some bodies painted up first, then I can tweak!

12 January 2010

The Dark Templar...Mk I

In between posting about my current project and thoughts I will take a look back at previous armies I have built so that I can (a) share them with the world and (b) force me to find any photos (or re-photo them) and act as an informal record. To begin with I'm looking at my first Dark Templar army.

It was whilst purchasing the metal Command Squad boxed set I was asked an obvious question - Which chapter are you going to paint them up as? - I hadn't actually thought that far ahead! I decided that I wanted to paint them as my own Dark Templar chapter, but use the colour scheme from the old Rogue Trader Salamanders which was Dark Green and Black and Yellow. Later I decided to drop the yellow, even though this meant there was no contrast colour and they all just looked dark and muddy.

As new models were released I bought them, doing very minor conversions now and again, and collecting a rather eclectic and unplanned set of miniatures. When it came to my first tournament I put together what I considered a decent army based around the models I had and the new Black Templars list in the Armaggedon codex - taking into account I had read all the rules to death but played precisely three 1000pt games!

The week after the tournament I had learned three things: My army played like crap; My army was painted like crap; I was really getting into this hobby big time!

I learned loads over the next 12 months from chatting to other gamers. Although my painting didn't improve much, my gaming did, as did some of my conversions. I went all out to win best miniature trophy (seeming only capable of winning most sporting player up to that point!) and spent weeks converting a Terminator Captain into a real combat monster that looked awesome. My efforts paid off and next tournament I came home with my target silverware. I even won more games than I lost!

Just as I was starting to find my feet I discovered the Chaos codex, and things would never be the same again! I played a couple of tournaments with my Dark Templar as Chaos marines, and my aforementioned heroic Terminator Captain as a Chaos Lord, and the results were very positive. Then White Dwarf started releasing Index Astartes lists for Bezerkers, Thousand Sons and the like - it was time to move on.

11 January 2010

Chapter 2

My first real army came about after the launch of 3rd Edition. Jes Goodwin's metal command squad sparked the renaissance after I had lost interest during the cartoon colour schemes of 2nd Ed.

I moved to Tunbridge Wells in 1999, and had a local GW store of my own at last. The release of the first Black Templars codex sealed things, as I took my eclectic group of miniatures and put them into some kind of order. I entered my first tournament in January 2001 with my BT list painted up in my own Dark Templar scheme (Dark Angel green and black). I went back to the same tournament several times, met lots of frothing tournament players, and was slowly led down the path of the power gamer.

It wasn't long before armies were being devised and built specifically for tournaments, and the 'Jedi Council' years began. This cutthroat team of power players dominated local tournaments for a 2 year period - the kind of people you hate to be drawn against. We won a lot of trophies. I got addicted to winning, and created nastier and filthier army lists, peaking in 2004 with my 'Beastman Bezerkers', which had me undefeated in the GT Finals that year.

After that I went back to my beloved Iron Warriors, which had mutated into an Apocalypse sized force, years before the book was ever released. They were pretty sound (without being outrageously beardy) for the remainder of my tournament career. In 2006/7 real life took centre stage and I retired not only from tournaments but 40k generally, and made some cash on ebay.

In 2008 I moved to Folkestone, and my only hobby was World of Warcraft which I'd been playing for 3 years. I was now addicted to that, and my life was slipping away doing daily quests, grinding rep, and raiding. I decided enough was enough, and wargaming was much more creative and rewarding than just sitting in front of a screen. I had no desire to go to tournaments (although the set-in-stone deadlines are great for productivity), but wanted to get back to building and painting. I started to read some 40k novels, my ultimate goal to create the Dark Templar chapter I'd always intended.

It's just turned 2010, I have a host of forgeworld Nurgle dudes on my painting tray (my 2009 tournament comeback army that I bought and never started). These days not spending much money, if any, is a priority - luckily I have boat loads of bitz from the old days and a vivid imagination! Did I mention I'm a perfectionist too? Let's see what we can build, eh?!

The beginning

It started in 1990. I was a student, working in Argos on Saturdays and came across a game called Space Crusade in the new Christmas catalogue. Having purchased that, and marvelled at the cool miniatures, I had fun creating my own games (without ever using the rulebook). Some weeks later, whilst walking through the newsagents one lunchtime, I saw a magazine with the same illustration on its cover as the Space Crusade box. I immediately flicked through it and saw new rules, metal miniatures..wow! That was my 'red pill' moment and the rest is history.

The magazine was, of course, White Dwarf (issue134) but it was issue 139 that sealed my fate. A painting article by Tim Prow with some Blood Angels and four pages at the back of lots of space marine miniatures - what chance did I have. A marine/eldar battle report followed soon after and, though I had no idea or real interest in the rules, it all just looked so cool!

A bit of research revealed that there was a Games Workshop in Manchester (some 20 miles away) - a grubby little shop in Brown Street, just near the Arndale Centre, it turned out. So began my monthly pilgrimage to Manchester and a routine of buying random miniatures, books and paints, depending on what was in stock. It would take another 10 years before anything serious, organised or planned was to happen.