Sunday, 7 February 2016

Reivew: Blood and Skulls Industry Double Sponsons Beta

Many of the tanks in 40k are armed with sponson mounted secondary (sometimes primary) weapons. It's important to house them in something strong, both in-game and in the real world. As lovely as Forge World Deimos weapons are, they are fragile. So here's a nice third party alternative for your viewing pleasure.

 These sponsons, the Double Beta, cost around £11.05 for a pair, and are suitable for larger tanks such as the Land Raider. Their shape makes them unsuitable for Baneblades (without modification, the Alpha is a better option) The sponsons don't some with locating pegs, so a good bit of eye-work and guessing is needed to ensure that they line up right, but it does make it compatible with other ranges of tanks with only a bit of work.

The kit is fairly straightforward to put together, with each sponson made up of seven parts. There are no instructions but it's fairly straightforward to work out anyway.

In all honesty the above part could have been reworked from five parts to three, but I guess it helps with modifying the angles of the guns.

The kit doesn't come with guns, but it's very easy to add your own (a selection of weapons are also available from Blood and Skulls). The kit includes recessed holes for magnets, or you could glue weapons directly to the weapon mounts, which swivel left and right once assembled.

On the tank they have a MKIIB feel to them, though much shorter. Still, there's plenty of surface area to glue them onto the tank. For more strength, either pinning them,or gluing a door on first for more surface area, will help.

If you're after some tough-looking armoured gun-mounts, then these offerings will do a great job of that. The weapon mounts maybe slightly over-engineered, but that's airways prefered over an under-designed mono-part upgrade.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

WIP: Idolator MkII (Vindicator count-as)

The Idolator came about after a shortage of Vindicators and other siege engines during the conquest of the planet Folux V, by a number of Tzeentchian war bands.  The planet was a heavily fortified forge-world, and a number of the attack craft, many carrying Vindicators and Typhon siege machines, were destroyed upon atmospheric entry by the Mechanicus forces, with very little left over to salvage. But with a whole Forge World to play with, the Warp Smiths had a dark plan. 

The Idolator was created by the corrupt Warp Smiths and Dark Mechanicus cohort accompanying the war bands.  The Thunderer tanks found mothballed in vast underground storage facilities were far to slow and heavy to keep up with the other chaos space marine elements, and so the multi-fuel engines were upgraded, and improved filtration systems were added to cope with the toxic particle-choked atmosphere. Armoured blades were attached to the front, and the hull was raised to allow space marines to get inside and man the tank. Some daemons were even transferred into the tanks to replace them; in cases where their previous vehicular prisons were unrepairable, but intact enough to prevent the daemon escaping.

Whilst not as efficient as the Vindicator, the Idolator is an effective enough substitute, and the fleet of chaotic war-machines helped turn the tide of the war, and bring another valued planet to the forces of chaos. Many remain in service with the war-bands. After decades of testing and research, the Idolator MKII was found amongst dozens of chaos warbands in mid-M39. Fitted with armour plating commonly seen on Astartes tanks, it was much lighter and more resistant to spalling than conventional Imperial armour. Many examples mounted far more elaborate weaponry, such as Laser Destroyers, making them incredibly deadly hunter-killers. Thse MkIIs are, for now, fairly rare, but as more Heteteks research forbidden works, production is likely to develop even further. 

A few years ago, I made the Idolator: a stand-in for Vindicators, using an old Leman Russ that wasn't getting any action on the table-top. Now I find myself back again with the chassis, and I have started work on two, more detailed versions of this original tank. 

The main difference at this early stage is adding new armour plating, more in-line with other Astartes vehicle. The new profile of the tanks suggests it is a 'missing link' tank, much like the Sicaran, between the Rhino and the Land Raider. 

I had been toying with using them as normal Vindicators or even Rhinos, but I've decided to make the vehicles Vindicators, with swappable main guns. Laser Destroyers are first on the list, as they're great for punching through armour (which the army in it's current form struggles with). Six twin linked ordinance AP1 Lascannon shots from two of these monsters is sure to break through even the toughest plating.

The plan is to make the main guns removable, with guns simply slotting into the gap in the front. Armour panels will help hide the gap and integrate the weapons systems. 

Once the hull had been blocked out, I'll work on getting the body detailed with additional armour and systems, before finally getting the guns ready. 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Workshop Datalogs: January 2016

A new year is upon us, and already the plastic factory is running at full blast. Today's update features missiles, heresy and super-heavies.

With a distinct lack of AA in my list, as well as heavier weapons, I've decided to strike two Storm Talons with one stone, and have made a missile Havoc squad. In-game, they will have all three missile varieties (flak, krak and frag), giving them the tools to take on any target.

The models are based on recycled Dark Vengeance chosen, with Horus Heresy missile launchers (and a chaos one kindly donated by another gamer). The champion has a combi plasma in case of Terminator attacks.

Something a little bigger now, and intended for my Horus Heresy Thousand Sons (but might end up in the Chaos force), a Malcador. This one will be very different. Firstly, it's a scratch-build. Secondly, it will be made to look more like existing Space Marine vehicles, so expect to see clear hints of Land Raider once the side panels are fabricated.

Finally, we have the big boy, the Chaos Knight. The main colours have been added, and now it's just a case of painting up the remaining armour, weathering and final details, then I can bring it out for some action. I've recently joined a campaign, so I may finally get to use this beast and wreck some Imperials. But since we start at 600 points, it's a while off.

My plan for the next week is to finish the havocs, and make more progress in the Malcador (I should hopefully be getting more parts for it soon). Until next time, FOR THE DARK GODS!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

WIP: MKIII Thousand Sons Upgrade

A new years is a great time for new starts. Whilst I don't really want to start yet another army, I would like to update my main one; the Thousand Sons. Some of my more recent works have sported a new yellow-blue split scheme, so I've gone back to a few of my older models, and applied this new colour scheme. First to go under the brush were the MKIII Thousand Sons.

 In general, it was quite an easy job. The left side of the models were given a coat of Averland Sunset, followed by Flash Gitz Yellow, a brown wash, and more Gitz to tidy up.

To help make the blue pop some more, it got a glaze of Guilliman Blue. This helped shade the model and really does help to show off the details of the Forge World parts. The next step on these guys is to reapply the logo, now in blue.

Another change I made was putting the models on 32mm bases. But rather than rip them off and repase them, I had a convenient set from my Christmas haul: a set of Tabletop Adaptors from Bitzbox, which offer an easy way to make 25mm into 32mm.

The adaptors went on without a hitch, and although a bit of liquid greenstuff if needed to fill in the gaps, it's a far easier way to re-base Marines, and cuts out the risk of damaging models. With a bit of paint, the adaptors blended in well with the original base work.

Finally, for today's update, a new member joins the Sons. This MKIV Ironclad was a nice Birthday present from the missus, and with a few chaotic components, it looks the part. I just want to add a few bits of brass etch to make it clear that it is a chaos vehicle.

As usual, keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter, and I'll be back next week with more chaotic goodness.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015: A Year In Review (Top 10 Posts)

Another year over, another one to look forward to. Before we move on to our top 10 posts I'd just like to say I've had a crazy year full of change, but I want to thank you all for continuing to support this blog, and I hope you'll enjoy what I have planned this year. Despite my new, exciting job getting in the way of regular updates, I'm planning to implement a return to regular updates, likely at the weekend. So sit back, and have a read through last year's top 10 posts, based on both popularity and general interactivity.

10-Daemonkin Rapiers

Starting off our list is one of my favourite conversions: daemonic Rapier platforms. Until recently they've had no crew to man them, but very shortly I'll be revealing the finished squad, in all of their death-dealing glory.

9-Skitarii review

The Mechanicum got some love last year, and finally got their own releases in plastic. Their basic troop set was in the limelight this time, and it proved to be a fun and popular piece.

8-Blood and Skulls Oppressor Tracks review

Proof that this company makes great parts year on year (they also featured in last year's list), this review was a popular update, with several people asking about the tracks. They were fantastic to work with, and work well for any tracked Chaos vehicles.

7-Betrayal at Calth 

One of this year's biggest releases: the first of what could be a long line of plastic Horus Heresy Sets. As a fan of HH, I just had to try it out. The models were amazing, as what the board game that came with it.

6-Kromlech Cyber Samurai review

Kromlech's Cyber Samurai parts were great items to review, and with a middle-place on this list, you thought so too.

5-Renegades and Heretics elites review

This post details the heretic's Elites choices, showcasing some fun builds in an expansive armylist with tons of potential.

4-Dark Skitarii WIP

This was the second update for the Dark skitarii force, and details how I planned to run the army. Whilst the army hasn't been worked on in a while, it's popularity suggests that I aught to get back to them soon.

3-Review of IA: Thirteen

A fantastic book I still enjoy flicking through, Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen is a great resource, that many of you enjoyed reading my thoughts on. With its arrival, the Thousand Sons have seen exceptional change (pun somewhat intended), with new units and exciting upgrades. The fact it is also one the limited edition copies makes it all the more special to me.

2-Dark Skitarii Vs Necrons

Our penultimate post was a small but fun battle report: my Dark Skitarri mantiple versus the girlfriend's winter Necrons. Suffice to say I lost, but it was a fun game anyway.

1-Age of Sigmar: My Return to Fantasy

Number one goes to GW's biggest announcement: the death of Fantasy Battles. What rose from the ashes was Age of Sigmar, a much more simplified war-game, which despite being perhaps over-simplified, is quite fun. It caught my attention, and even drew me away from Chaos for a bit. I hope to get the vampires and skeletons out again shortly, now that a GW has opened locally.

The new year

So, that's the past, what about the future? Well, I have a few projects currently on the go, including yet another Chaos Dreadnought (I could run a mayhem pack if I wanted to).

I've also finished updating a Thousand Sons squad to be both on the bigger 32mm bases, and with an updated colour scheme to match my recent heroes. The whole army will be getting this treatment, so stay tuned for more updated squads shortly (and a great product to make things easier).

With that, I wish you all a fantastic 2016. I hope you continue to enjoy and support the blog this year and years to come.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Review: Betrayal at Calth Boxset 2/2 (The game)

Last time, on Power Armoured Metal...

We had a look at the Betrayal at Calth boxset, looking in great detail at the contents. Today, I've had a go at the game, and have a few thoughts on how it plays, and how much fun I'd have.

 The game that comes with the set is vastly different to 40k. Gone are measuring tapes, armour saves and profiles (as we know them), and normal D6. In its place is an interesting hex-board orientated game, with simplified weapons, ranges and movement. The dice are also a bit odd, with a selection of symbols replacing the familiar dots.

Players are equipped with a selection of cards, including unit stats, tactical actions and attach actions, including the deadly rad grenade.

Each tile has a "unit cap" of three, making movement much more strategic. As much as two terminators would improve a situation, you can only fit in one, so players are required to be a bit more clever.

The game only comes with six missions, and no options for a generic beat-em-up (though I can't image it being hard to work it out). It was recently revealed that White Dwarf will be publishing a new scenario, so this could be the future for the game's expansion and continual updating.

All-in-all, the game is a refreshing change from 40k. From the smallest first scenario to the all-or-nothing finale, Battle at Calth is a fun little boxset that offers something a bit different.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Review: Betrayal at Calth Boxset 1/2 (The Content)

When Forge World released the first kits for their Horus Heresy range, the gaming community collectively lost their minds. Finally, one of 40k's most influential events was getting its own range. But over time, we realised that was so popular that it really aught to have been plastic: a resin army, whilst lovely, is super-expensive. It seems GW listened, and this weekend released the first of what is most likely to be a full range of plastic Horus Heresy Kits.

 This first one, Betrayal at Calth, is a 2-player board game with models which can also be used in 30k and 40k. It comes with enough parts to make 30 MK IV Space Marines five Cataphractii Terminators, one Contemptor Dreadnought, and two captains, one in power armour, the other Terminator armour-clad. You also get a set of card playing tiles, a pack of action cards, strange-looking dice, rules for the game, FW-standard transfers and tokens. Clearly, they haven't skimped on content.

Straight from the get-go this is a high-quality product. The box card is thick and glossy, and the set has a fair bit of weight to it. Quality and quantity? A very strong start for Betrayal.

The £95 price tag may intimidate some at first, but once you compare it to Forge World it becomes clear. To buy the same amount of resin models, model for model, would cost in excess of £370 (and that's before you factor in the costs of the many special weapons and multiple arms for the Contemptor, so add another £30 to that). Add in the costs of the dice tiles, and maybe a fiver for the transfers, we could assume that the total value, in resin, is around £420. Over £400 of models for £95? Yes please! If you're lucky, your FLGS may be doing a discount. I got my copy for £85, making the deal all the sweeter. 

I was surprised to find that most of the models are fully posable, not your typical mono-pose clip-together that Age of Sigmar and 40k deal with. Only the dreadnought and characters are mono-posed, though it is standard practice these days for the latter two. 

Another bonus is that the models do not have any legion-specific marks, allowing for these models to be used for any of the eighteen legions (and their many splinter factions), without the hassle of shaving off existing icons. 

GW's claim that the models are fully compatible rings true. Here are some test models for my Horus Heresy force (can you guess which?). I've added Thousand Sons metal torsos, which was easy to add since the bodies are two-parted. Weirdly the studs and holes on the torsos are reversed, so a tiny bit of trimming is needed just to remove those. 

Based on the contents alone, this is an amazing set. Even if you decide the board game isn't for you, you've still got a strong foundation for a Horus Heresy army at a quarter the price. 

Next week I'll be going through the game play for Betrayal at Calth, so stay tuned. To finish off, here is a new character I made for this army. Can you guess who it is? Comment below, and keep up to date on this project on Facebook