31 December 2012

Goodbye 2012… Hello 2013

Yes, it's that time of year again where we get to sit back and reflect upon the last twelve months saying woulda, coulda, shoulda; then draw a big fat line under it all and make exciting plans for the next twelve months.

2012 was the year that never was for me and mine. There was so much that was going to happen, things that would change our lives completely, that didn't for reasons that we have no control over. My career continued on its downward spiral, working for obnoxious ***** and not able to get out (other than to walk out and lose the income), whilst my wife's career had ups and downs but is significantly better than it was at the beginning of the year. We went on an amazing holiday to San Francisco, Napa Valley and Yosemite for my 40th birthday, which kinda blew my mind.

From a gaming perspective my only real ambition for the year was to not lose my hobby mojo – to paint more, to keep the weekly gaming with Fug going and supplement that with games against Bull.

I have definitely managed to keep the mojo going, I'm really enjoying what I do because I'm doing what I want to – the record number of blog posts this year (more than double last year) is testament to this. I gave up all the resin base making because it was becoming like a job, and things that would expand the business were not what I wanted to do, so I stopped. I organised a charity painting project at the back end of the summer which pushed my painting ability (and my sanity) and I have painted at a consistent rate throughout the year.

The gaming has gone a little awry. Tuesday night gaming with Fugs lasted until March when he moved out of his mom's place and stopped coming. My dedicated interest in Malifaux stopped about the same time too. With Salute I got very excited about Warmachine and Hordes, purchasing many Everblight models over the summer. Alas, Bull and I only managed a couple of intro games. The back end of the year has been all about 6th Edition 40k, something I couldn't have predicted. I got out my shelved Nurgle models and added some new shiny bits. We've also managed a string of narrative games as we reacquaint ourselves with the 40k universe. That's been fun, and awoke the old 40k player in me.

As the year draws to a close I have built my first Batman models – something that looks very exciting on paper but whether it will develop into something other than a new model collection, we will see. I also managed to persuade my family to buy me the X-Wing game for Christmas – no model painting required. I'm very excited about this too as it takes me back to my childhood. With the release of the Millennium Falcon and Slave I due in Feb, things are looking good. I get to play Star Wars without so many frowns.

So what about 2013?

As usual I won't be giving myself any specific ambitions as such. The only thing I have announced that, by hook or by crook, I shall not be working at the same place this time next year. To be stuck there for another year will seriously affect my sanity and my health – life is just too short. By the same token I can't ignore my responsibilities as the man of the house and just sit on my backside on income support (besides my wife wouldn't let me get away with it!). 2013 will be a year of change.

One the hobby front I would like to play more games. I got my friend Chris playing Malifaux, which he enjoyed. I'm hoping the "straight out of the box" aspect to X-Wing will help this generally. My 40k games with Bull will no doubt continue – his Dark Angel codex due in January will boost his enthusiasm. I hope to finish painting my Nurgle models and then have a look at my Iron Warriors.

If Batman does not take off as a gaming option for me I hope to cherry pick the models I want to paint. I'm pretty much done buying into Malifaux but still have plenty to paint. My love of converting models has been reawakened with the return to 40k and I still have loads of "bitz" in the attic to make stuff with.

Looking forward to Salute as always. Not looking for anything in particular this time around (so far) but definitely want to meet up with some of you fellow bloggers – Postie's crew in particular.

I'm also looking forward to the next Hobbit film. Now we've got that first one out of the way (which I did enjoy) you know the next two are going to be better – a dragon and a battle of five armies!

Aside from that little lot, let's see what life brings us.

To all my fellow bloggers, gamers and painters – all the best to you. Have a Happy New Year and fingers crossed for the next twelve months!!

29 December 2012

Batman Begins!

I've had a day or so free since Christmas to get some hobby stuff done. I managed to get my two favourite Batman models put together on custom bases as planned. The models themselves were in as few pieces as you could hope, but weren't without their issues.

Batman is quite a heavy model and had almost no mold lines. There was significant flash around his bat ears and there was very little definition around the joint between his arm and batarang hand – quite bad miscast. I managed to pin body to legs easily before pinning hand to arm (this will need filling as you can see in the photos.

For his base I did simple flagstones that can be painted as if he is in the street. I stuck them on a wedge of plasticard to raise him up a little, but the idea here was simplicity.

Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel (Harley Quin) was a different matter. She has to be one of the skinniest models I have ever worked with – a size 0 for sure. The photo shows a space marine for size comparison.

My pin was too thick to attach her lower and upper arm parts together so I had to clean up what was there and stick the bat to the back of her head to strengthen the whole thing. There was a lot of flash on her arm piece which, given how thin it is,  was rather disappointing. I have probably lost some detail trying to correct this.

I wanted a little more detail on her base than B-man's so went with a variation on one of my original sewer bases. As part of Joker's crew she will probably spend more time in the depths than the caped crusader.

So there we go, a new project begins. I need to clean and fill these two a little more and then go out a get some new spray undercoat – then it's on to some paint!

24 December 2012

Nurgle Heldrake – part 1

The above image shows my shiny new Heldrake that made its debut in a recent game against Bull's Dark Angels.

I'd been horrified when I first saw the model but have to hold my hands up and say that it has grown on me… a little. Its abilities in-game made it a must-buy model and so, with some reluctance it has to be said, I parted with my cash and built the Chaos flyer.

It had a reasonable debut, but the implied threat was far worse that what it actually achieved on the day. I went home pleased with my purchase, but the model itself has always bothered me and I promised myself to make it more suitably Nurgle when I got the chance.

It was never going to be pretty but this is how I trashed a £40 model!

The first thing was that it's all too spikey. The front wing is so long it often catches on the table, so that was another issue. The 'veins' that appear across the various surfaces was also too fussy. it all had to go. The flyer looks very Khorne-like in its natural state but that goes against everything that is Nurgle.

I dug out my Dremel, found my box of accessories and spent the next hour chewing the plastic to pieces – literally.

…and this was the result.

A very folorn specimen, looking very sorry for itself. I have to admit it did cross my mind that I had gone too far. However, you have to have faith in your convictions. At the end of the day, no matter how trashed the model got, it would look infinitely more Nurgle-esque.

I set to with greenstuff in hand to pull the model around… but that's for another time.

To be continued…

To everyone out there in the blogsphere who has visited the site in the last year I say a big thank you!
I hope everyone enjoys the holidays and gets what they want from Santa – Merry Christmas everyone!!

21 December 2012

It's the Batman!!

It's the last day at work before the holidays begin, so it's time to start thinking about Christmas projects!

This year's project is based around the new Batman miniatures game from Knight Models. The rules are due in a downloadable format imminently but the first wave of models have been available for a few weeks now. In addition to this there have been some recent sneak peek images of upcoming miniatures, which only add to the excitement.


These initial models seem to based upon the Arkham City (video game) versions of the various characters. However, it has already been hinted that there will be multiple versions of key individuals with different rules – the first example is the (above) Nolan-esque Dark Knight version of Batman.


The models are 35mm, which is slightly larger than we're used to but should provide lots of details. The above photo shows how big some of these models actually are – Bane and Croc in particular look huge!

Anyway, back to my project.

A while back I ordered some of the models – in fact most of the first wave. I liked the Batman and Harley Quinn models in particular, but managed to somehow add the Joker and his gang to my order. Whilst I have no intention to paint all six models during the holiday, it would be nice to get at least one, maybe two complete.

Why so conservative in my goal?
First of all I have to paint some more 40k for my next big game versus Bull's Dark Angels; Secondly I want to get back to a quality paint job, like the Malifaux charity models; Finally, I want to give each model a custom resin base. None of my current bases quite fit the genre, except perhaps my sewer bases, so I want to go to town a little.

From what I've read, sewers play an important role in the Batman game. There are a number of sewer entrance counters placed on the gaming table, allowing players to climb underground and move about unseen. My sewer bases were relatively easy to build, so I could get some new character-specific ones done quickly.

Looking forward to getting stuck in!

20 December 2012

40k: Painting My Chaos Sorcerer Jedi

When I built my Sith Jedi, who is cleverly disguised as a Chaos Sorcerer, I was under pressure to paint a fair number of models for my battle against Bull last weekend.

On top of 14 Plaguebearers I also had a Great Unclean One. This left me a single evening to throw some paint onto this poor HQ before the big day. To add insult to injury, the terrible rain we'd been having that week meant that I couldn't spray undercoat the model – I'd have to do it with a brush.

As you can clearly see this model is still very much in-progress as I only got it part-finished on the night.

Of course the predominant colour would be black, but there had to be colour variation within the black palette so I went for my Black/Necron Abyss mix that I've used before. It gives a very, very dark basecoat and highlights with a hint of blue. I purposefully only used white here as my 'other' black will (eventually) be a traditional black with grey highlights. This should provide enough of a visible difference whilst remaining black overall. It also gives me a good practice for painting Batman over the holidays.

I had decided to go with a skull-like face so went with my new mix. I start with Burnt Umber then gradually highlight with Bleached Bone, adding white at the end.

The other thing of significance is his lightsabre… err, force weapon. We didn't realise this until game day but there are actually three force weapon profiles listed in the main 40k rulebook. The 'force stave' would be the obvious choice with this model, but with an AP of only 4 it is unlikely to ever be chosen. So I'll stick to a standard force weapon profile for now.

I couldn't decide how best to paint the lightsabre so for the purposes of the game I just made sure it was very red. Any suggestions please do chip in!

Still lots of details to be picked out here and I'd like to introduce the four colours of chaos if I can in a subtle way.

Looking forward to part 2!

19 December 2012

Afterthoughts: Assault on Outpost 13

It's been a busy week thus far so the details of Saturday's battle are a little hazy now, but I'll do my best to come to some solid conclusions.

The game was another slug-fest – the kind of game that drains you completely. Very topsy-turvy, neither general knowing which way things were going to go. I think we both had doubts about our chances from the start, which is very strange.

Bull's list was largely what I expected. He went with the Chaplain/Command Squad instead the beloved Belial but, aside from that, there were no real surprises. The one thing he didn't do was split up his 10-man units into multiple 5-man squads, which would've allowed him greater flexibility. He also held the HQ back, hiding in the Razorback, no doubt awaiting a counter-strike opportunity. Unfortunately, when that opportunity arose I don't think Bull was feeling too confident about the outcome of the game and so they stayed put and the battle went on without them. I think Bull really learned a lot from this game, perhaps more than the previous one as there were more 'bread and butter' units in this list which should form the backbone to lists in the future.

I purposefully didn't take my flyer, denying Bull the opportunity to shoot it down. Yet, in my quest to constantly field the unexpected, I took some Daemons as allies which had mixed results, as well as my Sorcerer Jedi.

The biggest challenge however was the battlefield itself. With little cover apart from the large wood to my left, it was relatively easy to predict the progression of the game. However, despite this, neither of us took advantage of this information and did the obvious, not really challenging the opponent.

Would I change my list?
Too early to say if I'm honest. Things didn't go to plan but I don't feel I've seen this particular lineup enough to judge fairly. The Sorcerer is definitely not heavyweight enough to carry a combat – too few wounds and attacks and the positioning of the Obliterators can make or break their contribution.

Would I change my deployment?
I would have kept a troop choice held back to control my own Objective and maybe kept the Obliterators in reserve so that they could deep strike in closer to the enemy. Everything else was solid I think, just the application of my plan fell apart.

Man/Unit of the Match?
Difficult one to decide as nobody really stood out this time. I'm thinking the Predator as, combined with the Forgefiend, it controlled the 'outfield', pouring fire into any enemy vehicles that came into line of sight. If they weren't destroyed they were forced to keep their heads down. The Hellbrute comes a close second.

Kills: Final hull points taken off the Vindicator, Land Speeder destroyed (plus several saved hits)
Damage Taken: survived untouched

Wooden Spoon?
Without doubt the Great Unclean One. 160 points of close combat death that didn't participate in the game at all, he was my main assault unit and he went AWOL. Not entirely his fault – I decided to deep strike so close to the enemy, then rolled badly on the mishap table.

Kills: 0 – was never close enough to the enemy!
Damage Taken: 2 wounds

What about the (other) Big Fella?
The Sorcerer got a little short-changed in this game. His role was meant to be a supporting one, to enhance the Plague Marines as they charged into the enemy lines. Alas, I felt compelled to throw their Rhino into the enemy to distract the guns, right next to a Dreadnought, and neither HQ nor unit stood much chance after that. He did manage to cast quite a few spells though, which were excellent. He gave "Gets Hot" to all the guns in the enemy units around him, resulting in at least one or two dead marines. His enhancement spells meant that he took a couple of Hull Points off the Dreadnought, softening him up for the Hellbrute's finish. Being Initiative 4 and only having 2 wounds and attacks is not enough to make a significant impact in assault – even with enhancements. I need to see more.

Kills: 2 Venerable Dreadnought Hull Points
Damage Taken: dead

Other Stats…
The rest of the army looked like this:

Kills: Final Venerable Dreadnought Hull Point, 2x Devastator Marines
Damage Taken: 1 Hull Point lost
Effectiveness: much improved on first outing

Plague Marines
Kills: 0 – distracted the enemy allowing Plaguebearers to survive
Damage Taken: wiped out
Effectiveness: an expensive distraction 

Marine Unit 1
Kills: 1x Tactical Marine and Veteran Sergeant in challenge
Damage Taken: 1 dead, immobilised Rhino
Effectiveness: waited too long in Rhino to impact much

Marine Unit 2
Kills: 0 – supported Unit 1 advance
Damage Taken: unit survived untouched, immobilised Rhino
Effectiveness: waited too long in Rhino to impact much

Kills: Land Speeder
Damage Taken: survived untouched
Effectiveness: bad positioning limited their impact   

Kills: 4x Scouts, Hull point off Vindicator
Damage Taken: survived untouched
Effectiveness: not bad

Kills: 4x Devastator marines
Damage Taken: 8 dead
Effectiveness: good tarpit unit but that's all

What's next?
The trilogy of games concludes with a 2000 point battle some time over the Christmas holidays. I think Bull feels he has something to prove now, so expect the return of Belial, lots of Terminators, and lots of 5-man marine squads with plasma.

Once we get into January there could be a new Dark Angel codex so no doubt the gaming will continue for the Plague marines but against a much better equipped enemy.

18 December 2012

Battle Report: Assault on Outpost 13

The forces of Chaos pushed on into Dark Angel territory, trying to secure the planet of Cherbull…

I gave my predictions as to what I would be facing yesterday, but this is what I found:

Interrogator Chaplain
Command Squad x5 / Power Weapon x2
Razorback / Extra Armour

Scouts x5 / Sniper Rifle x2
Dreadnought / Venerable / Twin-Linked Autocannon / Heavy Flamer / Extra Armour

Tactical Squad x10 / Plasma Cannon x1 / Plasma gun x1
Rhino / Extra Armour
Tactical Squad x10 / Plasma Cannon x1 / Plasma gun x1

Landspeeder / Assault Cannon
Landspeeder / Assault Cannon

Vindicator / Extra Armour
Devastator Squad x10 / Plasma Cannon x4 / Power Weapon x1

I took a different lineup, lead by my new Sith Jedi, Sorcerer Talon:

Sorceror / Level 3 / Mark of Nurgle / Sigil of Corruption / Mutation

Plague Marines x7 / Plasma gun x2
Rhino / Extra Armour

Marines x7 / Meltagun x1 / Mark of Nurgle
Rhino / Extra Armour
Marines x7 / Meltagun x1 / Mark of Nurgle
Rhino / Extra Armour

Predator / Lascannon Sponsons / Extra Armour
Obliterators x3 / Mark of Nurgle

Great Unclean One
Plaguebearers x14

We rolled for set up and missions, got diagonal deployment with an objective in each other's deployment zones worth 3 points each, together with three secondary missions worth a point each.

Bull elected me to set up and go first, with Night Fighting on turn 1.

There was only one option here and that was head for the trees and stay in cover. I sent my three Rhinos in that direction, (1) two of them managing to immobilise themselves in the woods – great!

(1) Two immobilised Rhinos on the edge of the wood

Everything else ambled into the cover of the trees, the Forgefiend killing two scouts who had deployed to my right, the Predator giving a Speeder a fright who had to jink-save 3 penetrating hits to stay alive.

At this point there wasn't much for the Dark Angels to shoot at, so there was some movement here and there and not much else.

Then the drama began. The Great Unclean One turned up at the beginning of my next turn. I decided to throw him down the throats of the awaiting enemy, but scattered on top of a marine squad and had to roll on the mishap table. I rolled a 'wrong coodinates' result, meaning Bull could place my HQ anywhere on the table he liked. Of course he put him far away from his battle lines and effectively took him out of the game – he couldn't get across the table in the remaining 4 turns to do anything – so he sat behind a bit of terrain (after being shot twice by the Quad Gun) and sulked.

My Forgefiend and Predator poured fire into the Vindicator, managing a hull point between them.

Again there wasn't much for Bull to shoot at and his skimmers backed away from my Heavy Support.

Next turn my Plaguebearers turned up and, in defiance of the dice gods, I elected to deep strike them right in front of the enemy again. Ironically the landed without scattering but were in full view of the entire Dark Angel army. I needed a distraction.

(2) Plague Marines stray a little too close

(2) I threw the Rhino containing my Jedi and Plague Marines right up to the Defence Line, then realised that Bull could surround it and destroy it. Luckily for me he rolled low on a difficult terrain move so couldn't cut me off completely. However, he did manage an exploding penetrating hit, leaving a crater and a handful of dazed Plague Marines where the vehicle had been (3). He then charged in with his Dreadnought – the one thing that particular unit needed to avoid.

(3) Rhino is blown into small pieces

The biggest problem was that my Sorcerer had taken a wound in the explosion, leaving him on only one remaining wound. I had rolled Iron Arm as a psychic power, which I duly cast, giving him a total of Strength 6, Toughness 7 and Eternal Warrior – most of which wouldn't matter against a Dreadnought. The Dread squished a couple of Plague Marines and I managed to take a Hull Point in return.

The rest of the Dark Angels shot into the Daemons but only managed to kill two or three.

Next turn I pumped shots into the Vindicator and managed to take its last Hull Points – First Kill objective point to me. The marines in my immobilised Rhinos decided to get out and run through the woods – their transports were not being fixed anytime soon. I moved the Hellbrute out of the wood, just in front of the Dreadnought combat. He charged in and managed to take down the Dread, but not before he had reduced the Plague Marines to the Champion and the Sorcerer.

The Dark Angel troop unit opening up on the remains of the Plague Marine unit, killing both the Champion and my Sorcerer – Kill The Warlord objective point to Bull.

(4) Hellbrute jumps in to support the Daemons

The Plaguebearers were not doing much against the Devastator squad who they had charged, and were in danger of being killed over time – I'd have to throw the Hellbrute in to even things up (4).

Elsewhere, the combination of the Predator and Obliterators took out the Speeders, whilst the Forgefiend moved over to the left and killed two of the skulking scouts in the ruins. They wouldn't be able to claim the Linebreaker objective point now, whilst I had several units in Bull's deployment zone virtually guaranteeing me an additional point.

My troop units burst out of the wood and one managed to get into assault with the troops who had killed our glorious leader, inflicting a decent amount of damage and killing the veteran sergeant in a challenge – alas the Boon table roll indicated that the offering was not significant enough, so my champion got no upgrade.

The combat in the middle between the Devastators and my Plaguebearers, now joined by the Hellbrute, swung back in my favour and Bull was running out of units here – not wanting to commit his Chaplain and Command unit and risk a possible 'Kill the Warlord' point going to me.

Bull decided to call it there, not feeling things were going to improve. On the night we called it a 5-4 win to me.

However, I have since realised that I was not actually controlling my own objective – I had no troops near it. With that being the case, the final score was actually 2-1 to me but, more importantly, Bull had a very good chance of winning control of his own objective in the following turns and making the score 4-2 in his favour.

More thoughts tomorrow. I suggest you go look at Bull's Battle Report to see his perspective of things. We have our third game of 2000pts due over the holidays so keep an eye out for the preparation for that.

15 December 2012

Pre-Battle Thoughts

So here we are again.

Bull has given little away in the run up to this next game, whilst I have leaked some of my new additions. Belial has returned from the dead, though not the same man he was. The heroic Command marine, who wounded Typhus, has also had a weapon change but could be on the verge of jumping ship to the dark side!

My Predictions…
This time I expect to face something a lot more straightforward than last time, despite the game size increasing to 1750 points. I have no doubt the Aegis Defence Line and Quad Gun will make an appearance. Bull will be keen to take down any flyers that might appear after the potential shown by the Heldrake. It wouldn't surprise me if I saw a flyer on the Dark Angel side of the board either, but I don't think Bull's had the opportunity to buy, build and paint one yet – he still has Saturday morning though.

I don't think Bull will go with two HQ choices again. However, Belial needs the Land Raider and his Terminators to be truly effective – will Bull be prepared to sink so many points into them again? The alternative scenario is that Bull will leave the Deathwing master at home and take someone else. Not likely, Belial is the man… and a man looking for revenge. I predict the return of the Deathwing in force.

I'm expecting lots of Plasma this time. The Dark Angels suffered last time for not carrying such a potent anti-marine weapon and Bull will be keen to not repeat this mistake. He will set up behind his line and wait for me to march on him – mission allowing – which is how I expected things to be in the last game. The gun line from hell! A Razorback and maybe the odd Rhino for mobile cover could also be the order of the day, especially if the Dark Angels have to advance at all. 

There will undoubtedly be a Dreadnought (or maybe 2) in the Dark Angel list, especially given the game points increase. I'm guessing Assault Cannon and/or Autocannons. I'm not overly concerned with this level of firepower but the close combat threat can cause problems. I'd like to say there will be no Terminators in this game but, as I mentioned above, I actually think there will be more of them. This time around they will sit tight and be a counter-assault threat.

Fast Attack
The Speeders will no doubt make a return. They are pesky, but you can't ignore them else they will find the side armour of your vehicles. Even Bull's Multimelta Speeder has to hit at some point in time – neither his MM Speeder nor the Multimelta on his Land Raider hit once in the last game, despite several turns of shooting. Bull also owns a host of marine Bikers but I don't think we'll see them in this game.

Heavy Support
The Vindicator tank was a pain last time and will no doubt make a return. The S10 large blast template is a threat to everything on my side of the table and Bull will like that. I also expect the Land Raider again. I struggled with the high armour on this vehicle, never mind its contents, and that will be another plus Bull took from the previous game. Devastators will certainly be a part of his defence line – they were built and painted a while ago and Bull will be itching to give them their debut. He knows that the heavy gun line works, so I expect to see a wall of heavy weapons when he deploys.

So there we go, that's my initial thinking on what the Dark Angels will bring to the table. I think regardless of the overall composition, the army will be much more competitive – especially now we have a 'proper' game under our belts.

I've had an even more extreme idea. Bull has recently hinted at The Fallen, a project I know he is very keen to do. There is the vague possibility that Bull might field an all-Fallen army, full of Chaos units!!

14 December 2012

40k: Battle of Cherbull… Phase 2

With the Dark Angel leadership licking its wounds, the next phase of the invasion was to take out their communication capability. The Imperials would be keen to hold onto this as long as they could, increasing the possibility of someone hearing their cries for help. Talon would silence their cries once and for all.

He used his influence as Herald of Chaos to gather together an army like none seen here before. Daemons were coming to aid him and they would all but ensure a swift, successful conclusion to the assault. Only their decrepit god could help the Imperials now…


Bringing the pain…
It's no secret that I will be fielding a new, somewhat experimental HQ choice tomorrow. At present my Sorcerer remains the only model in my lineup without any paint on him, but he should look more the part come game time.

As much as it might be more advantageous or Jedi-like to have given him the Mark of Slaanesh (for increased Initiative) or Tzeentch (for a 3+ Invulnerable Save), I have stayed true to the character of this campaign so far and given him Nurgle's blessing, making him Toughness 5. This won't help him against Ordnance blasts or Dreadnoughts but should filter out some of the bolter and normal close combat hits.

The main downside to taking him over a Chaos Lord is that any Plague Marines I may decide to take will not be Troops, they will remain Elites, even if he has the Mark of Nurgle. This means I will have to take additional Troop choices, even if just to fill the slots. Alternatively I bin the elite Plague Marines and just go basic Chaos marines, but lots of them!

What I have decided is to make him a Level 3 Psychic which will allow him to roll 3 spells, although one will now have to be from the Nurgle list. I'm hoping that he can manage to pick up something to augment either his own abilities or those around him. With a bit of luck that should offset the fact that he only has two wounds.

I've also given him a mutation which gives me the possibility of rolling something quite funky like an additional wound, Toughness 6, increased Initiative, improved save or Eternal Warrior (no instant death). Now that's a lot of ifs, buts and maybes for a general to be taking into a fight but that is the fickle nature of Chaos. He will either kick ass royally… or crumple at the first hurdle – I love it!

13 December 2012

Thinking About Christmas…

With just over a week until I finish work for Christmas I can't help thinking about how I'm going to spend my holiday time. We will have my mum staying with us for the most part so there won't actually be a lot of time to paint. However, you have to have some kind of batting order for when the opportunity arises.

I have my Plague Marine army to continue of course. There are lots of half-painted models – the Hellbrute, Forgefiend, Terminators – and I hope to give them some attention, if not finish them completely. I also have an entire unit of Plague Marines that need greenstuff additions before the paint can go on.
Hmmm, lots to do here.

I also have my fledgling Plague Guard which I hinted at a few posts ago. I have found a bagful of half-built Guard models so they will need the new resin heads and all the Imperial icons hacked off and the armour distressed.
Hmmmm, lots to do here too.

However, it's me (!!) so I've got myself ANOTHER special Christmas project to get me back into a 'proper' painting vibe (not a sponge or drybrush in sight). I will go into more detail nearer the time, but the image below should explain things…

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. I have a full on evening later today getting my troops ready for Saturday's game against Bull's Dark Angels. There will be more posts before then, building up the tension.

12 December 2012


These are my Plagueletters (nothing to do with anthrax-laced correspondence).

They started life as my "Lesser Daemons" from the old Chaos Marine Codex but never saw the tabletop due to my complete loss of faith in the book. They were hiding amongst my un-finished resin Plague Marines, so when the Forgeworld stuff made a comeback these guys got resurrected too.

From a fluff perspective, I like the idea of Father Nurgle taunting the blood god by twisting some of his Bloodletters into a more diseased version. They may not look particularly "Slow and Purposeful" but they look suitably nurgly now.

I've repainted them in my English Uniform scheme used throughout this army. I have spent as little time as possible painting them which, for me, has been a nightmare. I really struggle to 'slap' paint on models (hence I have a horrendous backlog). I managed to get these guys sorted in an evening, including using a sponge to add colour to their rusty weapons – great fun!

In addition to my twisted version of Khorne's finest, I also have some of the more traditional lesser Nurgle Daemons. They're still looking for some paint but, with a bit of luck, they should be on a par with the rest of the troops by the weekend.

10 December 2012

40k: Creating A (Chaos) Sith Jedi…

After the previous post introducing the latest character in my Chaos army I thought I should demonstrate how he came to be.

I've always wanted to somehow combine my two favourite sci-fi franchises into something that would let me re-live childhood days of playing with action figures, acting out my own, far superior storylines than anything George Lucas produced in recent times.

The one good thing to come (and go) with the Star Wars prequels was Darth Maul and he was the main inspiration for my new HQ choice. He will be my third attempt at having a Jedi amongst my 40k troops – the last one was a Blood Angels Librarian a couple of years ago who was built but never saw any paint. My hope is that with a deadline of Saturday we should see some swift progress, if not a totally finished model.

The current Dark Vengeance Chosen models have been something of a revelation and I had hacked the Lightning Claws of one particular model to use on my Terminator Champion. What remained was still a stunning model even without arms. I felt it needed to be used in a suitably fantastic way and so it became the perfect basis for my Sith Jedi.

I ripped the Space Marine Commander's cloak off my old Blood Angel Librarian Jedi and stuck the backpack of the latest Chaos Champion plastic model that I've used as a Plague Marine Champ. I know there is a combi-melta on his back, and a Jedi would be unlikely to use a gun of any kind, but it demonstrates his status – plus I like the bounty hunter vibe it gives off, with various weapons strapped to his back.

His right arm came, of course, from the Dark Vengeance Dark Angel Librarian. I was going to cut off the should pad and reposition it at 90 degrees so that the gesture could match the original Librarian pose. However, I felt a Sith Jedi would be more nonchalant in his force-manipulating gestures, so the shoulder stayed where it was.

Of course he had to have a two-handed lightsabre like Maul had. I examined several different ways to achieve this, including a raid of my old Star Wars figures to find red plastic lightsabres. In the end I went for a Terminator Power Axe arm and some plastic rod. I like the idea that he would have a larger, more armoured gauntlet on his 'sword arm'.

I used the base that the doomed BA Librarian had been stood on, to give him extra height and gravitas. He just needs a little bit of greenstuff love to fill in gaps and add details, then we'll be onto the paint. I'd better make sure I have plenty of black!

I'll discuss his in-game attributes later in the week…