Friday, 3 July 2015

Showcase: Tzeentch 'Daemonkin' Rapier Platforms

The Deathshoal are a feared weapon of Tzeentch, and the creations of an unholy pact between sorcerers of Tzeentch and the Hellforges within the Eye of Terror. These weaponised creatures began 'life' as Screamers, Discs and other similar daemons of Tzeentch, before being forcedly grafted with heavy munitions. The high-calibre weapons became infused with the raw power of change, making them many times more deadly, erasing not only the flesh, but also the souls, claiming them for the Lord of Change's entertainment. Only examples armed with weapons dubbed 'Hades Autocannons' have been discovered officially, though rumours of more exotically-armed creatures have begun to circulate amongst Militarum platoons.

-Idonis Raus, Ordo Hereticus-M35.464.21






Finally, I have finished something. Most of my current projects have been builds, so it has been nice to work on, and finish, some painting work. These three models are my chaotic stand-ins for Rapier Weapons Platforms. At less than the third of the cost of one Forge World Rapier, they are a nice bargain unit, and very thematic. Although there is no such thing as a Tzeentch Daemonkin book...yet.


They are based on the plastic Screamers set, with various gun components (Autocannons, Heavy Bolters, Ripper Guns) making up the Hades Autocannons. I chose these weapons for their good rate of fire and high strength: perfect for taking on tougher units, monsters, and medium armour: even flyers at a pinch.


The paint scheme is fairly simple, involving a fair but of drybrushing and blending. The main body was Regal Blue worked up to Temple Guard Blue. The other fins are purple, using Liche Purple with a bit of pink mixed in for highlights.


for added contrast, the smaller spines were painted pure Temple Guard Blue.

The eyes were done in yellow, with a cats-eye-like pupil for that daemonic touch. I made sure to have them all facing the right direction.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Review: Kromlech Stygian Legs

"Then I took an arrow to the knee." If that guy had been wearing power armour, that line would never have been uttered. But oh well. Power Armour is one of the top pieces of kit of the 41st millennium, and well-protected legs mean you can stay on the move, unlike the aforementioned goon. Today, we'll be looking at another Kromlech set from their Stygian range.


This set, which comes with two copes of three designs, currently retails for £5.77. All three designs share a common Egyptian theme, with plenty of scarabs, Ankh, robes and details which scream Egypt (and are perfect components for Thousand Sons).


As usual, Kromlech's quality is second-to-none, with no major imperfections barring a few bits of flash. Very little clean-up was needed, just a quick clip, scrape and a soapy bath. The resin is also nice, solid and smooth, with no oily residue left after cleaning (some resins can still feel slippery and oily after cleaning).



These legs have a distinct Mark II/III Power Armour look to the, with segmented and riveted shin and thigh plates, and reinforced front armour. These would make fantastic Horus-Heresy (or post-Heresy) parts for a Thousand Sons force, as they are not overtly chaotic, and fit that particular legion's themes and design.


In terms of pose they are much straighter than, say, GW legs, giving the models you make a noticeably taller-standing pose. As seen here, the model on the right's (Kromlech legs, head plus a few other bits) eye-level is a good 0.5cm /1cm higher up, which makes for a much more imposing model.

For any Thousand Sons player, this is another must-buy for a great looking and unique force. For best value-for money, mix these in with other parts. Whilst less than a pound a pair is OK value, if you use a lot of these, the costs will add up. This can be said for any set of bits from any company though.

 In short, this product gets two thumbs up, and I would highly recommend it, even just one set; they would be perfect for veterans or characters if you do not want to commit a whole army to them.


Monday, 22 June 2015

WIP: 2005 Era Possessed Restoration (Part One)

After almost ten years of searching, I finally grabbed a set that many would consider an awful, abominable sculpt. I am, of course, speaking of the metal Chaos Possessed squad.



 Released in 2005, they seemingly disappeared less than a year later, replaced by the much more popular plastic rendition once the next codex arrived. Now, whether this was because the kits sold poorly, or bad timing, nobody knows, but since then this set is a rare find, with single figures easily reaching £15 each. Thankfully I managed to find a full set for much less, though it does need some work...


The first job was to strip the models, then the fun converting could begin. The models in their stock form are pretty good, though there are a few things I wanted to change.




For the unit champion, I did little. I really like the power fist and bolt pistol arms, and the body is mostly good. I did swap out the chain sword for a modern one, since the blade was too wide and impractical for my liking (the teeth would get stuck in the motor because they were too big. I also fixed the 'clown shoe' with the tip of a Raptor's foot. A plastic possessed backpack was added to finish the model off.



This guy will require a bit of Greenstuff work, but other than that he will be mostly stock, apart from a new-age backpack and a small shoulder pad from the Grave Guard set.



The third guy was missing an arm, so I cleaned up the area and used a plastic arm. The hand is from a plastic Horror, whilst the sword in an Evil Craft item. A should pad was added to the bare left arm for balance.



Number four is pretty good as standard. but the one thing I hated was the axe head, which had the same oversized impractical look of the champion's chain sword. An Ork choppa was used to replace it.



The final guy was one of my favourite sculpts, even if the face is a bit goofy. This will be covered up later on. I've also added a pair of shoulder pads to tie him in with the other models.

I need to do a bit of sculpting work, but once that's done, I can enjoy painting these often overlooked models from gaming history.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tactical Review: Rapier Vindicator

The Vindicator has been with us for a long time, in the same basic format. but now Forge World has released a nod to the past, with the Rapier armed Vindicator. This tank, possibly a nod to the Rogue Trader-era Sabre, puts a whole new spin on the role of the Vindicator, bring with it a new set of play styles and challenges. And with Forge World giving away free rules for it, now is as good a time as any to review the unit, and give advice on it's use



The tank, weighing in at 130 points base, is a Heavy support option for all Space Marine factions (interestingly, this includes Grey Knights) and Chaos Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000, and for the Space Marine Legions in 30k. Since I have the Chaos codex to hand, I will focus it's use in a Chaos army, though the advice here can be applied ot all.

The Rapier Vindicator differs from the standard siege tank, in that the Demolisher Cannon has been swapped out for a Laser Destroyer Array. You loose the cannon's blast template and one strength point, but you benefit from doubled range, better AP and higher accuracy via Twin Linked. This mades the tank perfect for taking out tanks, despite the strength loss.

Some people might compare this to a Lascannon armed Predator. They might point out that a Predator, with a twin-linked Lascannon and 360 degree firing arc, is  about 30 points less, so why would you run this? Well, the answer is overcharging. This relic tank can supercharge its main gun via Capacitor Fire to fire twice, if it doesn't move. It also has the option to Overcharge Fire to get three shots, but has a small chance of taking damage. This makes it an incredibly potent anti-tank weapon, with up to three twin linked shots with ordinance. The heaviest of battle tanks and monsters, even super-heavies, should fear this tank, and this ability makes it a worthy choice over the Predator.

Using this tank against units is practically pointless, so dedicate this vehicle against any armour, fortification or large creature in sight. If you absolutely have to fire at infantry, aim for the tougher units like Terminators and other models with higher armour values. Use Overcharged Fire to make the most of the gun.

Make use of cover with this tank; whilst its front armour is good, it suffers from having the Rhino's weak side and rear armour. Use cover to avoid exposing your weak spots, and stay far back on the table to avoid early charges. Also, it might we worth having a basic squad posted nearby to repel infantry.



In terms of a loadout, it's pretty good stock, and there aren't really any other weapons to bolster its anti-tank capability. Personally I'd attach either a twin-linked bolter, Storm Bolter or Havoc Launcher for a slightly boosted anti-troops performance, and to help prevent the main gun getting destroyed.

Apart from that it doesn't really need much upgrading. A siege blade is a good idea if you ever plan to move the tank, but its long range should have you covered. For Chaos players, daemonic possession might be very worth it on this tank. Sure you go down to BS3, but you have twin linked to help you out. Having said that, this tank has less fear of being stunned than a normal Vindicator, since it can still fire and benefit from twin-linked...when overcharged, and statistically speaking, at least one of your six dice will hit.

With this advice on using the Rapier Vindicator, hopefully you'll consider this awesome blast from the past for your forces


(Images from Forge World, used for review purposes only)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Pistols At Dawn: Kromlech Vs Evil Craft Vs Anvil Industry

A warrior's sidearm is often his last resort, so picking the right one is essential for your armies. Today I have not one, but three awesome 'Bolt Pistols' to share with you today, in a three-way battle for supremecy. I will be looking at several factors including value, quality and detail.



In the blue corner, we have the Legionary Thunder Pistols from Kromlech.

In the red corner, there is the Chaos Pistol, from Evil Craft.


And finally in the green corner, we have Anvil Industry's Heretic Pistols.

Now, fight!

Value

First up is value, which is based on not only the price, but how much you get for your money.


Kromlech offers you ten pistols for £5.05. You get two designs, pistols both with and without optical scopes. This works out at a shave over 50 pence per unit.



Evil Crafts are much more expensive, at £5.90. Like the Kromlech guns, you get ten per pack, but unlike them you get five designs (two copes of each). This extra variety comes at a cost, at 59 pence per unit.

Finally we have Anvil's offering. At only £2 per pack, they are the cheapest of all three sets, working out at a tiny 40 pence per unit. Unlike the others, you only get five a set, and only one basic design, though the bullet belts are all slightly different on each gun.

So in terms of price it is a clear victory to Anvil Industry.

Quality


This one is hard to deterimine a winner for, as all three companies have a high-quality product. Anvil Industry's product is clean, but is quite simple in design so there was little to go wrong.

The other two offerings are far more detailed, and yet came out just as crisp. None of the examples I'd received at any imperfections or serious mould lines.


Evil Craft's pistols are perhaps harder to remove from the sprue, as the resin sections holding the guns to the sprue are the thickest.

In terms of quality then, it is a three way tie, with perhaps Kromlech edging a millimetre ahead, due to smaller resin gates.

Details

All the guns are designed for the larger 28mm human (i.e. Space Marines), but after that the guns each take a different path, but all are well suited to their designated styling.


The Kromlech gun has a special-ops feel, and would be well suited for highly trained veterans. The drum-fed scoped guns are perfect for representing specially trained operatives on long missions and unit leaders with extra kit.

Evil Craft takes the most ornamental route. Each gun is lovingly detailed with spiked trim and skulls. All the pistols have a magazine style clip, and sharp fanged barrels. These guns are the largest of the three, with a more 'true scale' vibe. These are best suited for unit champions and warlords, where the ostentatious designs would not look out of place.


Anvil's is the most utilitarian. Each gun, with a belt feed, looks like it would work in real life, with perfect proportions which all look the part...well that's about it really. They are very functional in appearance, but there are no real details to speak of. They paint up well, but there are no trims to embellish or details to pick out.

Conclusion

This is a difficult one to pick one winner, each has their own appeal. The Evil Craft pistols are perfect for Chaos Space Marines, but are a bit too expensive to be rolled out across a whole army. The Anvil guns are perfect value and have a simple but appealing appearance, and the Kromlech ones are a good all-rounder, with a few nice details, a bit of choice and a fair price. If I were to give a large squad pistols I'd choose the Anvil guns, if it was a veteran unit the Kromlech ones would be my #1, and if I wanted to give a mighty Sorcerer or Lord a daemonic pistol, Evil Craft would take the trophy.


Friday, 12 June 2015

Workshop Datalog (June 2015)


Despite a busy work-week, I've found some time to work on the Achilles, plus a few other models, namely Ignis, my upcoming Warpsmith.



 After getting some more stuff from my parents, I found an old tank which was armed with Multi Meltas. I tore these off and added them to the Achilles. They didn't have the rear section of the gun (just barrels), so they have been extended using plasticard, in the rough shape of the other side.


As we speak (well, read), the tank is being covered in rivet holes, which will be applied over the weekend. After this crucial stage, this relic tank will be ready for some paint. I plan to paint it as an incredibly worn and rusty tank; this vehicle has seen millennia of conflict at the forefront of most of it.


Overseeing the tank build is Ignis, Master of Ruin. Most of you will have seen the build, but not the painting stage. At this point, the orange is about 90% done, requiring only a to layer and highlights. It's proving a hard colour to get smooth, but the colour choices are perfect for the character.


I've also made a start on the black. It will be highlighted with a grey/blue for a nice subtle appearance. The armour will be slightly rusty to highlight the detailing and bulky, functional armour.

With that comes the end of today's update. For more pictures and discussion, check out he Facebook page.


Sunday, 7 June 2015

WIP: RT Land Raider Achilles (Part Three)


Slowly, but surely, this relic of days gone by is getting closer to being tabletop ready. Since the last update, I've been focusing on adding some details to the tank, to bring it in line with more modern vehicles. As cool as the Rogue Trader tanks of the 80's and 90's look, they look incredibly outdated next to today's high-definition sculpts.


The second storage bin has been cleaned up and repaired, and filled with skulls, scrolls and helmets to match the other one. 

At the front, some chaotic chains and looks have been added. The chains are from the Chaos Vehicle Accessory Sprue, and the hooks it is hung from are made from scratch.


The leftside door has been given a fluttering banner, from the Flagellant set.

The Empire Flagellants are a great source of detailing parts. The engine has been spiced up with a set of hanging chains and skulls, for that added chaotic feel. I have also finished closing off the back, with a plate at the bottom set at an angle. This covers up all of the melted nastiness and generally neatens up the rear. The exhausts have also been plated up, with the left-side getting some trim. 

More repairs have been made to the tracks, and now only a couple of links need finishing off. The stock tracks and the replacements have been detailed using very thin plasticard, to at least hint at a proper hinge. I may cover up some of the built up glue spills with sand and dirt. 

I'm still in need of some more multi-meltas, so until then I cannot paint it (if anyone has some free to a good home, I'll be interested). But I can focus on the detailing work, with the rivets next on my list.