31 January 2013

Painting Rivet Wars Minis by Wappellious

I came across this nifty video yesterday by revered painting guru James Wappel. He is the official painter for Cool Mini Or Not's Rivet Wars, which is currently up on Kickstarter.

Now, James is in the process of attaining his own Kickstarter backing for some painting DVDs, which is fantastic. It was great to get a sneak peak at how he paints, as a kind of taster for the DVDs to come. He doesn't use an airbrush either, which is refreshing to say the least!

On to the video:

Heldrake tomorrow!!

30 January 2013

40k: For My Next Trick…

I've enjoyed my time altering vehicles for the glory of Nurgle. In fairness I haven't got a handle on the painting of them yet, but the converting has been on the money so far.

I've already converted a Forgefiend into something more gribbly. This has been the benchmark by which other projects will be compared. It has had a basic paint job to cover the grey but it needs a revisit.

The most recent addition to the Nurgle vehicle pool has been the Heldrake. This project was a real gamble – who in their right mind hacks up a perfectly good, brand new £40 model?!

Luckily, that has come through the rebirthing process with flying colours and is having painting attention lavished on it currently. Another update due before the weekend.

Not content with those two, it's time to look at the next project on the list. I was lucky enough to receive a Defiler kit for Christmas but, as I build him, I'm undecided whether to convert/paint him up as Nurgle, or save him for the Iron Warriors. In the meantime the converting machine must roll on.

I decided what was needed a few weeks back and was all set to purchase some shiny new gear. However, given I was going to give it a Heldrake-style makeover I thought I'd check Ebay for some bargains first.

Sure enough I found this bad boy and was lucky enough to bag it for just over half the cost of a new one. I picked it up from the Post Office yesterday and noticed a few things when I opened the package:
The Bolter had snapped off (no big deal); the Lascannon sponsons and assault ramp were fully articulated (awesome!); The Havoc launcher and Heavy Bolter were glued in place (hmmm). I concluded that this will make a great starting point for my new Nurgle Land Raider for Typhus and his Terminators.

The plan is to cut off the bits I don't want (spikes, icons, weapons). I also plan to take off the tank treads and replace with Forgeworld Chaos treads – can't be having any aquilla symbols on a Nurgle tank!

I will then follow the process that I used for the Heldrake – use my Dremel to texture the surface of the tank then add greenstuff elements. I will also sculpt Nurgle specific door symbols and add some fungus pipe vents, like on the Heldrake, in and around the exhausts.

I've never completed a fully painted Land Raider before, despite owning several in the past, so I'm looking forward to this.

But, before then – Heldrake painting update before the weekend!!

28 January 2013

Thousand Sons makeover…

I always said that I was going to go back and re-work my old Bezerkers and Thousand Sons once I felt the Plague Marines were done.

I started reading the novel Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill a week or so ago and, true to form, I've been bright-lighted by the prospect of re-imagining my old tournament army. I should stop reading!

I was never happy with the models I had (above) as they were never finished. This was before the days of metal or finecast upgrade packs, so were made up of standard marines with old school TS metal shoulder pads. I ended up with 3 units of 8 marines and a sorcerer plus a Sorcerer HQ.

So what to do with them?
I never liked the blue scheme and was always drawn to the red and gold vision of the pre-heresy Sons. However, unlike the Plague Marines I will not be doing a complete army. I want to refresh the units I have and maybe get them a Rhino or two.

I found a Pre-Heresy Thousand Sons army by Proiteus on Deviant Art and it inspired me further.

Rather than just do a repaint I want to re-model the units slightly. They will still be chaos marines, but with the pre-heresy scheme. I also want to update the shoulder pads and change the heads. I am, however, torn on which direction to go with the heads…

do I go with the Kromlech Stigian heads…

or the PuppetsWar Stargate-inspired Egyptian god heads…

the Maxmini mecha egyptian heads…

or the Maxmini Steam Knight heads?

Once the units are done (and I may reduce these to two units from the existing three) I can have a look at the HQ. My Ahriman model was ok in theory apart from his zombie hand.

When researching pre-heresy HQ choices I found the above image on Litanies of Hate. He epitomises the direction I want to go in, but maybe without the non-metallic metal look. He is certainly an impressive (and intimidating) model to have as your HQ. After my Typhus conversion I feel the Thousand Sons deserve a suitably impressive Ahriman to lead them, even if their role is reduced to Allies for a larger Chaos force.

BUT, before all that can start I need to crack on with the Plague Marines. Lots more to paint yet!

25 January 2013

Space Marine Borg Collective…

I stumbled across these guys whilst doing a random search on Google the other day. It is a superb Heresy era Iron Hands army by Sinzaren on Flickr.

I was immediately blown away by them, initially because they look like Borg from Star Trek (I think the background helps). I knew a lot of people who wanted to do a Necron Borg army when the plastics (and the Monolith) first came out, but this is far better than anything I've seen so far.

Looking closely at the models, the paint job is simple yet works very well. However, it is in a group that they look best… I'm going to just shut up and just give you some more photos. If you want to see them at a larger size – and more of them – I suggest going to see them at Sinzaren's Flickr page.

Whether you like the painting style or not, it is very effective and quite intimidating on the battlefield I imagine. It has a real sense of gravitas and menace that many of the brightly coloured marines you see just don't have. I also like the idea of Heresey era 10-man Devastator squads!!

23 January 2013

Nurgle Heldrake – part 3

Nurgle Heldrake - part 2

Finally got an undercoat and some colour on this guy as he's been sitting in a state of grey for far too long.

I started off with a Vallejo Burnt Umber basecoat on pretty much everything. I have to admit that this was quite thin (embarrassingly due to being a little short on paint) so was quite patchy and almost absent from the deepest recesses. Having restocked the paint supplies yesterday I gave the model a coat of Vallejo English Uniform (which is the basis of my Plague Marine models) making sure is was quite solid but leaving brown in the recesses. Once this was dry I dug out my bit of sponge and applied a second, rather heavy coat of the English Uniform which caught all the open areas of the model. It also adds a texture to the surface which gave the Dremel'ed parts a more organic feel.

With each coat of sponged paint still wet I added more and more Vallejo Ochre to the palette which gave progressively lighter highlights. This is now complete at the basic level. I need to go in and start adding some detail which is when the model really comes to life. This will be time consuming so progress will be slow but, even if the Heldrake doesn't make the final list to face the DA next month, it will have been worthwhile.

As you can see from the image above (hopefully my Heldrake won't spend much time in this position on the gaming table!), I didn't go all out on the highlights underneath. I like the idea of the underneath being a lot darker. I intend to add some very bright elements here to represent power cells glowing. Not sure I'll go full OSL but we'll see how it goes.

To be continued…

21 January 2013

Malifaux Ebay Goodness

Not much progression again this weekend. We've had family staying with us and this doesn't leave a lot of opportunity to do hobby stuff. However, I finally managed to get my (no longer required) GenCon purchases up on Ebay

18 January 2013

40k: Who You Gonna Call?

In my previous post I hinted that, in order to counter the new Dark Angels, Typhus would have to call on some nasty reinforcements of his own. But who should he be calling to come and help? What models do I have access to, either owned or borrowed? Here are some of my thoughts – feel free to jump in and comment.

Abaddon The Despoiler
The Kingpin of Chaos, Abaddon is the daddy and Chaos incarnate. He doesn't just come with a single Mark of Chaos, he gets them all! He is a bit of a monster in combat, with his 4 wounds, Toughness 5, Initiative 6, Weapons Skill 7, 4+ Invulnerable save, lightning claw and daemon weapon. You do have to get him into combat though, which has a cost implication. He also costs a whopping 265 points – possibly the most expensive character in the game – and he has to be your Warlord, meaning that Typhus would take a back seat. The cost of the two characters together comes to nearly 500 points, that's a quarter of my available amount!! Throw in a Land Raider transport and some Terminator back up and we're closer to 1000 points – half of my points on 6 models! I do own a painted model of this guy, so he is available.

Possessed Marines
I've looked at a rather nasty combination of these guys, but they wouldn't fit in well with my Nurgle theme. If you had a unit with the Mark of Slaanesh (making them Initiative 5) and gave them the Slaanesh banner (which bestows Feel No Pain on the unit) they could become a devastating Assault option. Their random weapon roll each turn is unpredictable but any of the roll would make them a threat. Throw in my Sorcerer Jedi with the MoS and he can buff them further. Awesome option but another expensive one. I do own a unit of painted possessed models so no extra work involved.

The Chaos Dreadnought has become an odd fellow. It was never taken in the past due to it's unreliable 'Crazy' rule and the better option of Defilers. They back in 6th Edition with an improved price but with still no clear role. Current wisdom suggests go assault with them, being covered by the guns of a Defiler. Yet with Armour 12 and the remaining 'Crazy'ness even 100 points seems s bit much. Would the inclusion of two or even 3 be enough to frighten the enemy? …or points better spent elsewhere?

Nurgle Terminators/ Obliterators/ Mutilators
Having a host of nasty Toughness 5, Terminator Armour clad monsters would usually be an appealing, if (points) expensive, proposition. However, with the Deathwing having a 'Bane of the Traitor' rule on many of their combat weapons it means that things like Power Mauls and Power Weapons that would not worry me are now AP 2 with enhanced Strength. That would pretty much render these guys pointsless, to replaced by hordes of Cultists who have no armour and just don't care. If I can find a way to negate this new rule (or if Bull were to not take anyone with it) these guys would rock. Don't have a lot of models to represent them, but could bodge it if need be.

Chaos Cultists
Be it zombies or gun-wielding loons, a large unit or two (or three) could swamp the battlefield and make life very difficult for the pesky Dark Angels. The zombies proved their worth last time out, if slow – regular cultists could run but are vulnerable to morale checks. The big plus is that they are cheap and Troop choices, so can capture objectives. You have the option of giving them Marks of Chaos to improve their stats slightly, but they soon cease to be cheap anymore. I would also have to acquire, build and paint up a boatload of these guys to fulfill my vision.

Chaos Bikes
The addition of some speed to the army would be excellent. Making them Toughness 6 with the Mark of Nurgle even more so. A unit of these guys is definitely on the shopping list – I have a box of bits that would make up 16 bikes – but I don't have any built at the moment. The balance is keeping the unit small to remain (points) cost-effective without being so small that you're wiped out easily.

Being able to field heavy weapons in 5-man troop units made these guys redundant (in my head) in the past. Their new price means that a unit containing 4 Autocannons is very affordable and will ping out 8 shots a turn at Strength 7. Funnily enough I bought the bits the make up a unit of these just before Christmas. They may yet make an appearance!

The Chaos hybrid that is a Dreadnought and a Basilisk rolled into one. A there's the rub – is it a combat monster or a shooting monster? At the end of the day it is armour 12, so even Assault Cannons can take it down. I have a part-built Defiler sitting on the painting tray and could borrow another if necessary so they are an option. However, at almost 200 points each they're not cheap, even if they are fast on the field of battle.

Possibly my favourite Heavy Support choice ever, the workhorse of many a tournament army. If you can protect its side and rear armour these tanks will cover your back reliably, if never being the standout unit. I used to be able to take four of them with my Iron Warriors which was awesome, but now they're perceived as a poor cousin to the likes of the Forgefiend. One on its own can be a liability but put a couple together and they can really do the business. I have loads of models to cover every eventuality here.

Land Raiders
I haven't fielded any Land Raiders… forever! I could never justify the points cost in the past, but a fully tooled up Chaos Land Raider comes in at 250 points. As transport for Terminators they're cool – Armour 14 is still a problem for most enemy units. They have guns aplenty and you can launch an assault from them. I don't own any of these anymore, but could borrow one or two if necessary. Could get pricey though, swallow up a lot of points quickly.

I dipped my toe into the pool of available allies in an earlier battle, with mixed results. The daemons are definitely an option even though I'm lacking many models. I could take a lot of big guns in a Guard detachment, but would risk harming my own troops as they're Allies of Convenience. This option certainly expands my available choices and some potent combinations could be achieved. The impending new Daemons codex should (if rumours are to be believed) provide some amazing additions, just not in time for my next battle. I also have the option of Necrons, Tau and Orks as similar iffy allies.

16 January 2013

War Looms On The Horizon

Typhus knew that time had run out.

Despite the stream of victories against the beleaguered Dark Angels, the forces of Nurgle had not taken complete control of the planet Cherbull.

Now the cavalry was coming and the Imperial marines would soon be bolstered by more troops and bigger weapons. Their battered spirit would also, no doubt, be lifted. This was the last thing he wanted. However, the situation was what it was.

He would have to call for reinforcements himself – something that would decimate the Dark Angels once and for all; something that would break their spirit completely and put his plans back on track.


Yes it's that time again. With something in the region of three weeks to go until my Plague Marines get to face Bull's new look Dark Angels, it's time to plot, plan and scheme. Time to mix things up again and throw a few curve balls.

Having read through the DA codex I'm expecting to see lots of heavy weapons, DA having regained the option of heavy weapons in 5-man units. With their ability to not scatter when Deep Striking, I'm also expecting to see Terminators, possibly dropping in behind my front line – something Bull would never risk before. I can also virtually guarantee some Scouts for objective grabbing, and a banner or two. I wouldn't be surprised to find a flyer in there also. But the big question has to be, will Belial be leading the troops again or could Azrael make a guest appearance?

The Dark Angels have lost 'And They Shall Know No Fear' and their ability to make combat squads, so there are some silver linings. The biggest problem I will be facing is the ability 'Bane of the Traitor' (or something like that) that gives +1 to weapon AP. This will make many close combat weapons AP2, threatening my Terminators and Obliterators no end.

Lots to think about. I need to stay focused on my own plan of attack and, should these threats appear across the table from me, have a strategy in my back pocket to negate them.

14 January 2013

Excited About X-Wing

Not much to report on the hobby front, except that the greenstuff work on the Heldrake is now complete. I also managed to pick up some spray undercoat this weekend so I can actually do some painting now. Alas Batman and Harlequin may have to wait as the Plague Marines have to take priority due to an upcoming game at the beginning of Feb. The new Dark Angels codex has thrown some spanners in the works (like they get bonuses when fighting against Chaos) so I will be facing a completely different enemy when I visit Bull next.

My new X-Wing Christmas present has been playing on my mind, I'm itching for a game. Having put the models together, making suitable sounds effects as I went, read the rules and watched several example games on YouTube, I'm quite excited.

In addition to the single X-Wing and two TIE Fighters that came with the box, I also received the TIE Advanced – now Vader can play a part in future games. In the post Christmas frenzy I picked up a Y-Wing to help balance the choices.

Even without having played a game yet I'm looking out for new releases. February will be a benchmark as two of my favourite Star Wars ships make an appearance. Not only do we get to see the Millennium Falcon debut – the largest ship available for the game by far – but also Boba Fett's Slave I ship is released. Even if I never play the game at all, these two models will be added to my collection.

In addition to these two iconic ships we also get the A-Wing and TIE Interceptor. These will expand options available to both sides, offering some great maneuverability from what I believe.

Looking through the rules the game seems very easy to pick up, at a superficial level at least. Gameplay seems very straightforward and depending how many points you spend on upgrading your pilot and ship you could be fielding a host of Academy graduates or a single well-known hero Luke Skywalker. The skill of the pilot dictates when you get to move and shoot, plus named individuals often gives you a special rule or bonus available only to them.

Anyway, without wanting to spend ages trying to explain gameplay (badly), I thought I'd include the official X-Wing tutorial video…

Hoping to get some progress achieved on the 40k front this week, so fingers crossed for some photos soon!

11 January 2013

Happy Birthday!!

I realised the other day that today is The Dark Templar blog's 3rd birthday!

315 posts and 90k+ hits later here we are.

It's quite frightening how time flies, and also how my hobby focus has changed over that time. In honour of the occasion I have linked a few of my first posts, for those of you who missed them.

Post 1 – The Beginning
Post 2 – Chapter 2
Post 3 – The Dark Templar…Mk I

Over the weekend I will be having a look at the X-Wing game I got for Christmas, plus the addition ships I've bought since!

10 January 2013

Wappellious on Kickstarter at last

James Wappel Miniature Painting

Those of you who enjoy your miniature painting should already have heard of James Wappel. He's a very talented artist who has turned his hand to miniature painting and has developed a rather unique and recognisable style. He has been developing a series of "How To" videos over the last few months and finally has his Kickstarter project live.

James Wappel Miniature Painting

Now, I've downloaded other paid painting tutorials and trawled through YouTube for free ones but I am genuinely excited about this. I really love his painting style and the prospect of being able to see him in action and pick up some pointers is making me rather giddy.

He has far too many examples of work for me to put here so I suggest that you have a good old look through his blog – http://wappellious.blogspot.com/

Then, when you're as excited as me, head over to his Kickstarter page; have a good read through what he's proposing then help him fund his project – The Painting Pyramid with James Wappel

As for me, no progress made on projects this week but should have something very soon.

07 January 2013

Nurgle Heldrake – part 2

I've had a week away from blogging since the New Year making the most of my remaining holidays. Now it's back to work and back to the blog, so let's start with some greenstuff!

Nurgle Heldrake – part 1

I learned a lot of tricks about representing Nurgle with greenstuff whilst transforming my Forgefiend, so intended to follow a similar line with the Heldrake. However, the Heldrake was going to need a lot more conversion, hence the last time we saw him he was looking a rather forlorn shadow of his former self.

The head was always going to be the focal point of this model so I started there, adding back in what I'd taken away with the Dremel. On the left side of it's head I extended the area around the eye and tried to make it look like bone. I also added various horns and spikes (I know – I just cut them all off right!) to make it look more alive than the previous metallic incarnations. The rest of the left side had boils, diseased skin and Nurgle icons grafted onto it. I also added pock marks using the drill at various points on the wings, particularly at the ends.

The right hand side of the head needed to be different. I created an eyeball and let it dry before adding bloated, diseased skin around the area. Spikes, boils and excess skin were added here, as well as something of a double-chin (not in photo).

There has been a lot of negative feedback (from what I've read) about the unfinished nature of the exhaust ports on the Heldrake. The fact that you can see right inside the model does little to add value or quality to the piece, which is a shame. I decided I wanted to add some fungus pipe vents (as seen on Typhus' armour). I had to open up the holes to fit the size of plastic tubing I had; I then lathered the area in plastic glue and left it to dry. Once solid I went back and added greenstuff around the join. However, you could still see inside the model so, rather than use up a ton of my greenstuff, I glued in bits of sponge soaked in white glue.

So there we are. The Heldrake isn't finished yet – he needs more 'stuff adding down the right side. The model is starting to weigh a ton with all the added bits, but should look smart once the paint is added.

To be continued…