Sunday, 25 September 2016

Workshop datalogs: September 2016

It's been a while since my last post now, but today I'll be making an effort to catch up and return to a more normal schedule. Since my last post I've made my first ever trip to Warhammer World (a pilgrimage finally fulfilled) and bought some sweet new units, including something limited edition.

First I'll start off with the trip. Upon seeing the blue Rhino out the front I knew I was in for a good day. With plenty to do, see, and critically for GW, buy, Warhammer World is certainly a place you need to visit at least once.

Me and the fiance managed to book one of the tables, Shrine World, for a small Chaos V Necrons game. It was a great excuse to try out some of my newer units, including the Decimator and Cultists.

In the end it resulted in a draw, but it was a beautifully crafted board with tons of tall scenery I've never had an opportunity to use. I did, however, want to play on the Zone Mortalis board next to me, but it wasn't available for my time slot.

As well as the gaming, there were the displays. £7.50 per person is on the steep side, but those displays were some of the biggest and best I've seen, and it allows you multiple trips around the five areas. IT's amazing to consider how many models had to be built, painted, positioned and repositioned before everything was spot on.

There were big displays for Age of Sigmar, 40k and the Horus Heresy, as well as recent and past Golden Daemon winners.

Finally, the stores. I pretty much ignored the Warhammer section, as I can get most of it at my local store, instead bee-lining for Forge World. Without the 12% shipping fees it's a much more attractive option.

I ended up buying this, a Sicaran. A fast, heavily armed and vicious heavy tank, it's a great addition to the army. Armed with the impressive Accellerator Autocannon (6 twin linked rending autocannon shots that ignore jink? Yes please!) and three heavy bolters to back it up, it is likely to decimate both infantry and light tanks (even heavy tanks aren't safe with that much rending).

I've also adorned it with a dirge caster on top, to help my assault elements survive reactionary fire before a charge.

As well as the tank I've finally got my hands on the renegade Librarian model, for retail price! Surprisingly the FW store has a few of these guys, plus the other limited edition Praetor, on general sale, so I snapped one with without a second thought.

The model is near-perfect, so all I did was make the axe a bit more Thousand Sons-like with a Tomb Kings part, and added half a brass etch star to the shoulder pad.

Alongside the Forge World model I've built yet another sorcerer. This one will be run as a non-tzeentch one, so I can maximise on powers from the new, exciting chaos astartes disciplines (especially Heretech). I pan to paint him up in a dark grey or black. Fluff-wise he's a lone traveller selling his services for magical trinkets.

That's all for today, but be sure to follow the Facebook page for more updates and pictures.

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Road to Glory: Armies on Parade Part Two

With the weeks counting down to my first Armies on Parade, I'm been kicking it up a gear with the work on my display. The board itself will be kept secret for now. It's nothing mind-blowing in my opinion, but I have to keep something a surprise.

First we have some new cultists, made from the Silver Tower acolytes (and a couple of Bloodbound to fill the ranks). With a few guns here and there they make for fantastic Cultists. A white and yellow colour scheme also picks them out against the azure-clad might of the Thousand Sons.

Next is the Predator-Russ hybrid tank. The sponsons and hull have been completed, which really helps to make this stand out more against a basic Russ. A few details need to be added before it goes under the paintbrush.

The Front plate has been made to look like a Rhino, with a similar lower armour plate and visors.

I've gone for a Mars-Alpha style hull extension to help differentiate it. The exhaust has been chopped up into a Panzer IV-style exhaust and a new engine filter, using a grill from a Space Marine backpack. The sponsons are magnetised so I can swap them for heavy bolters, when I get around to building some.

And who will lead this mighty force? Why none other than Ahriman of course. I've brought Ahriman back, in new, shiny armour. Based on the new Watch Commander, this version of Ahriman does not have the Black Staff, as I wanted this to be a force based before the creation of the staff, and the events of Ahirman: Sorcerer. It'll be one of the key features of my display.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Review: Blood and Skulls Industry Ploughs

There's two ways to deal with an obstacle, go around it, or through it. Today we choose the latter, with the help of some menacing looking ploughs from Blood and Skulls industry.

I have two variants to go through with you all, the 'V' medium and straight medium, both retailing at about £6.80 at our current post-referendum exchange rates. Size-wise, they are best suited to 'medium' sized tanks like the Predator, Rhino, Chimera and Leman Russ kits. Since both cost the same amount, and have the same methods of mounting, it's down to personal preference.

The straight design is quite similar to those found on large excavators and has a very utilitarian feel, ideal for Space Marine and Imperial vehicles. The robust design is continued with how it has been cast. It is a very thick, sturdy piece that could probably withstand an actual tank shock move. With such a flat surface to work with, you have plenty of free space to work with, whether you want to freehand a mural or add some extra spikes, there's options aplenty.

The 'V' style is more along the lines of a 'traditional' snow-plough, and I think this would luck fantastic on something like my wheeled Taurox (above), as it has a very cool post-apocalypse feel suited to a big wheeled truck (perhaps I've been watching too much Mad Max: Fury Road).

The mounting points on the plough are single piece and very easy to put together. You also get some additional parts allowing you to mount the plough on 45 degree angled parts, as well as flat, vertical surfaces. Such a small thing makes attaching the ploughs so much easier.

If I did have any issue with the kits, it might be that the mounting pieces are a bit too long. It shouldn't be too hard to amend though, so it's a very minor thing for me.

All-in-all these are fun little additions which offer a more menacing and heavier alternative to the spike-like ploughs you get in many kits. From a cost perspective they are relatively affordable when compared to similar products, and it's nice to have a few options, and whilst there are only two choices, it's still a choice.


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Showcase: Chaos Dameons of Tzeentch and Forge World Terminator Lord

The Daemon allied force I've begun to use has proved very effective. The cheap, powerful units of Pink Horrors plugs a neat gap in my Thousand Sons force. This week, I have finished a unit of Pink Horrors and a new Herald, as well as my limited edition Terminator.

The Pink Horrors are the classic Diaz sculpts, my favourite released. Finding enough models was hard, but lately I've managed to find another ten for a bargain price, so they will be soon stripped down and painted in the new scheme. I went for a flesh-colour rather than the typical florescent pink, as I feel it gives off a much creepier vibe.

This unit also features a pair of even older models, to help fill out the unit size to its minimum.

Alongside the Horrors is their Herald, both to help improve nearby units with Divination rolls, as well as his exalted locus for a base strength ten attach with the unit (which has proved incredibly effective against units and even light vehicles).The model is one of the Pink Horrors from the Silver Tower boxed game. A joy of a model to paint, and even if it is a two-part mono-pose, the details are fantastic, and in the same scheme works really well. The 32mm base also helps identify him for wounds purposes.

Finally with have this big guy, the limited edition Terminator Praetor. Now a fully fledged Tzeentchian sorcerer, this model will form part of my Armies on Parade entry. Whilst not representing any character from the Ahriman series, I'll find a use: perhaps as part of a small Terminator unit.

Next on the list is so finish the centrepiece for my display. More on that soon....

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Road to glory: Armies of Parade Part One

I love the creativity and ideas that flood the net when Armies on Parade arrived. And now that my town has a local GW store, I can have a crack at it.

My first thing to work out was a theme. It's easy to plonk an army on a board, but having a coherent theme really does help create a great scene. I've decided to go for the events from Ahriman: Unchanged, when Ahriman's band of sorcerers returns to the Planet of the Sorcerers to undo the first Rubric. I want to create models of all the main characters on Ahriman's side, plus infantry and vehicle support. I have a bit of a head start on this, as some of my existing models can be used. So far I've worked out the following:

  • Ahriman-I'll either modify an existing GW Ahriman model, or convert my own.

  • Ignis-I actually made a start on Ignis months back, as part of a planned smaller diorama. The base model is an Iron Father, but since the picture was taken the model now has Cataphractii lightning claws, which match the book's description. The arms are new so will need painting to match the torso, as Ignis is described as having bright orange and black Terminator armour
  • Credence-Ignis' faithful robotic companion. Based on the book's description, in terms of weapons (two fists with in-built flamers and a shoulder-mounted cannon) the best starting point will be a Castellax Battle Automata. Like ignis this will also be orange.

  • Ctesias-From the book this character has a staff and rides a disc, so my current Disc Sorcerer will be a perfect stand-in
  • The Athenaum-Magnus' Knowledge locked in the shell of a Sanakht. This one will be interesting, as I want the model to be unarmoured. I am still of two minds whether to include this model. For compelteness' sake I still may.
  • Gaumata-Essentially a sorcerer with a mourning star. Should be fun to convert, this guy will lead a unit of Thousand Sons
  • The Changling-Whilst in no way in Ahriman's side, it would be tempting to have this guy skulking in the background, as it played a key role in the book.
Alongside these characters I'll be adding some Rubric and daemon support. The daemons will surround Ctesias as he summoned them to the planet during the novel's events, whilst every unit that can be will be in blocks on nine, Tzeentch's favoured number.

All I have to show you now is a very rough sketch (not to scale), but over the coming weeks I'll certainly have more to show. 

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Workshop Datalogs: July 2016

This month has been a flurry of activity, with both the Thousand Sons and Undead receiving a lot of attention.

After completing the Contemptor, I've moved onto the next Forge World model in line, the limited edition Praetor. Painting up this model has been a joy, and I'm coming very close to completing it, with only a few details to go. What's more, I've also been working on its alternate 'base'.

As well as being a Sorcerer model, I can use it as a herald or burning chariot. Two pins and matching holes have been drilled into the disc and the sorcerer's right foot, ensuring I have a stable connection with either the disc or a normal 40mm base.

Next up is a unit of Warp Talons, brought back from the dead (Well, bits box). I've managed to put together a unit of seven, with an imposing champion which uses Asorath the Grim's wings, Forsaken helmet, and Necron tabbard. I did try going for multi-coloured wings on the champion, but it wasn't working out so I'm now going for crystal clean white feathers.

Alongside the Thousand Sons, I've been painting up this Tomb Stalker for the other half. An Ebay salvage job, the model was originally painted in a gold and silver scheme, with broken legs. With some TLC, base reworking and a new paint job, it's really starting to come together. For added structural support, the base was built up using smaller chunks of cork, and an old Leman Russ turret.

Next, some Age of Sigmar. Yesterday saw the release/re-box of some mono-pose Stormcast and Bloodbound model. I bought the Storm of Sigmar set for £20, which represents a 50% discount over buying the four component sets individually. The models are fantastic, being the same as the ones in the starter set, but none of them were going in my Death force stock...

So now they form the start of a unit of Grave Guard with great weapons. The models are big, imposing, and slowly look a bit more like the skeletal remains of the warriors they once were. Many have has their feet chopped off, and replaced with sculpted bony toes (a tutorial for this will likely come out soon). A head swap and a few cuts later, they are slowly looking the part. The next step is ensuring the armour looks suitably beaten and old.

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Showcase: Thousand Sons Contemptor with Multi Meltas

Renseneb, also know as Renseneb of the Ninth Circle, once walked the streets of Terra millenia ago, and was one of the first of the Thousand Sons. A skilled pyromancer, he was cut down in his prime by an alien warlord, cut in two by a wicked barbed power blade. Kept alive long enough to be interred within a Contemptor Dreadnought chassis, his vengeance against alien foes was noticeable, even by the Imperium's own Xenophobic standards. Commonly armed with a pair of potent Multi Meltas, no enemy tank, walker or wraithbone construct could withstand his fury. During the battle for Prospero, a mighty Mastodon of the hated Space Wolves legion fell beneath his fiery might, even it's ceramic shielding melting to slag with Renseneb's warp-influenced shots. The contingent of Astartes burned alive, the doors leading out fused shut. 

After the Horus Heresy, and banishment by Magnus after the Rubric, he joined the Scions of Change as a key adviser: his mind was incredibly clear, when it was common for many Dreadnought pilots to be lost to insanity, rage, daemonic influence or all three. 

Today he stands at the forefront of the Scion's wars. Still wielding the same Multi Meltas as used against aliens, Astartes and Custodes alike, no tank is safe. Upon his armoured hide rests an icon of Tzeentch, the god of change. Daemonic forces stir around the flaming icon, bringing forth the wrath of the gods to every war and skirmish.

Finally, this beautiful kit is finished. It's been such a joy to build and paint, I've taken an extra long time to ensure every detail is spot on. Following the blue and yellow scheme as the infantry, it stands well against the Thousand Sons it is usually fielded with.

 An airbrush was used to create the build up of dust on the legs, which really helps make the model look and feel just a bit more realistic.

Having put this model with my first Contemptor, I am now tempted to rework that one to match. This new model is my "sculpt of the year" and will be a hard one to top.

For most battles he will just be armed with the Multi Melta: a free upgrade and very nice against tanks, especially with a precognition blessing from my Tzeentch herald for re-rolls.

So there we are, another finished walker (I have too many walkers!). Comments welcome .