Sunday, 19 June 2016

WIP: 40k Scale Doomwing

The Doomwing of Tzeentch is thought by Imperial Scholars to be a medium-sized attack craft similar in combat role and effectiveness to the more common Heldrake. It is almost exclusively seen in the armies of the Great Conspirator, swooping low across the enemies of Chaos, ripping apart tanks and scorching scores of soldiers with daemonic flames.

In terms of armaments they share identical load-outs, the dreaded Hades Autocannon for anti-armour duties, and Baleflamers for incinerating infantry in raging infernos. 

Doomwings attack in a similar fashion to the smaller disc-daemons known as Screamers. Unlike the Helldrake, which claws and bites at the armies below, it instead slashes with its mighty wings, the edges of which appear super-heated by the speed it travels or my magical influence. Like a knife through butter, these bladed wings cut open tanks and soldiers alike, leaving similarly messy results to the Heldrakes talon strikes. 

Though no two Doomwings are truly alike, they all share a common appearance: large swooping wings, bedecked in faux (or sometimes real) feathers, burning sigils and icons of the change god. They feature an avian-like head at the front, crafted in the likeness of greater daemons. The 'pilots' of these craft are barely recognisable, and like many vehicles of the dark hordes, the pilot's body has fused completely with the daemon bound to it. It is unknown whether they have any sentience left or if they are given completely to the new host.

In flight, Doomwings are very hard to focus on. Whether through blistering speed or sorcery, their outlines shimmer with warpflame, making them harder to hit. When they arrive, a shrill scream slices through the air, bursting eardrums and driving many to madness. And this is before the torrents of flame and bullets rain down...

Here it is, a new flyer for the Thousand Sons. A while ago I ran a Heldrake with the Sons, but I was never 100% sold on it. Whilst it is a great looking flyer, the aesthetic of it didn't fit with my Thousand Sons, who I wanted to have a string Tzeentch-look to them (especially of late). I came across an image of the old epic Doomwing. Which is was clearly a very old model, I loved the overall feel of it, and after seeing a great sketch of an updated version, I was motivated to rebuilt it.

Truth be told this is a project I started a long time ago, but never got around to finishing. What started off as a Chaos Lightning soon turned into an abandoned husk. But as you can see, I finally got about to fixing the poor flyer up.

The hull is the main section (and probably only real GW section) of the craft, and was from an Ork Bomma. The wings and head are completely scratch built-with two heavy flamers inserted in the head to act as the Baleflamer.

Like the linked drawing, I decided to go with metal feathers for the wings, which were far too bland for my tastes. Rivets and some greenstruff detailing help complete the look.

My favourite part is the pilot, who is clearly now one with the craft, whether he likes it or not! The body is the torso of one of the chaos Chosen from the Dark Vengeance kit. I chose this particular one for the rebreather tube and exposed rib cage, which work well for the conversion. A ton of greenstuff, cables and vents help fill out the Ork Cockpit. The arm fused with the cockpit was 100% sculpted and a complete accident, but I went along with it and it's turned out fantastic.

As you can see there's a long way to go until it's finished, but it's great knowing that an old project is finally getting some love. Hopefully the Fire Raptor/Storm Eagle follows suit.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Review: Citadel Gemstone Paints

Shiny gemstones are a great way to add some realistic details to your model. whether it's a snazzy ring or a helmet's glass lenses, being able to paint perfect gemstones and glass is a handy technique. Now Games Workshop has released a set of three technical paints especially for this.

I've bought two of the three new pots, Waystone Green and Spiritstone Red, to try out, and see how it compares to my usual technique.

Firstly these two paints are a bit thicker than normal paints (especially the red): not base colour or textured thick, but fairly gelatinous compared to normal colours. This would mean that for smaller parts you only need a tiny amount. The best way I can describe these paints is that they're a mix of a glaze and gloss varnish. They'll tint whatever you paint with that colour, and leave a very smooth, shiny coat.

The GW site recommends painting them over the top of a bright silver. I tried these colours over Mithril rather than the newer silver shade, and the effect are, interestingly, quite good. It's not a style I'd use for gemstones, but for lenses on machinery this effect would look great. These colours can be used in other ways to achieve different effects.

On my Contemptor, I've tried painting them over a bright like-for-like colour (Goblin green for Waystone and Evil Sunz Scarlet with some orange for Spiritstone) for more stone-like effects (i'd say the previous efforts give a glass-like effect . I'd argue that this yields much better, realistic results, especially if you want darker looking stones. I think of the two I've tried the red gems look better, but this is a technique which will be refined.

In some lights I'd say you get a better shine than a normal gloss coat over the top. the red stones look fantastic when the light catches them.

In the end I've found that you get similar results to painting gems the old fashioned way, but it's a lot quicker and easier. So if you're after a fast way to paint effective looking gemstones, then these new technical paints are a good option. If you've already mastered a technique then this doesn't really achieve anything different, but if you want to try something new, give these paints a go.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

WIP: Thousands Sons Terminators

I realised the other day that whilst this army is fairly tough, it is lacking elite close-combat units and 2+ saves. So how do I fix this? a big blob of Terminators.


A while ago I bought, built and painted some Tartaros Terminators, though weirdly I didn't do much of a post on them (apart from this WIP from 2013). After very little use in their previous load out, they found themselves wallowing at the bottom of a spares box of abandoned projects. No more!

I thought I'd make them bigger and better, and to showcase the nature of Chaos, the armour has been mixed up, and is now a mix of Tartaros, Cataphractii, Indomitus and Aegis Patterns. A few non-terminator parts were thrown into the mix to create a unique squad of six, with enough spares to add a few more later on.

I went to a more streamlined load out with this new squad, and most are armed with twin linked Bolters and power swords, with a few power fists dotted about, and a Reaper Autocannon for heavier targets.This was made from a spare Grav Cannon, aluminium tubes and green stuff.

The Champion is my favourite model of the unit (the Reaper being a close second). It was made using the lower half of captain Lysander (heresy!), the back of a Grey Knight Terminator, the front of a Thousand Sons Sorcerer, Cataphractii arms and Tartaros shoulders.

The ultimate plan for this unit is to either mount it in a Spartan or Storm Eagle for normal games, and something much, much bigger for large games...

Sunday, 15 May 2016

WIP: Abbadon's Envoy and the Tzeentch Contemptor

Abbadon's call to join his latest Black Crusade has been heard throughout the Eye, and hundreds of his personal envoys have been sent out to bargain, intimidate and coerce the support of the many chaotic warbands roaming the daemon-infested region of space.

Xavar Kas, a proud warrior from the Black Legion's Sons of the Cyclops, was sent by the Despoiler to garner the support of the Scions of Change. Abbadon knew of their large collection of ancient heresy-era weapons and venerable heroes of those bygone days. Xavar arrived with a cohort of Chaos Space Marines, highly disciplined and methodical killers with wargear suggesting they specialised in covert operations; an apt association given their purpose for bothering the Scions.

This newcomer is not yet trusted by every member of the warband. Whilst he has the support of several key sorcerers in the group, the ancient Contemptor pilot Renseneb shows a reluctance to trust the outsider: am open contempt that would not be tolerated by any other than the venerated Reseneb. Only time will tell if Xavya will fulfil the promises made, so for now it's still a matter of convincing the group to join.

A new model joins the ranks of the Scions of Change, but this one will be a change from all the blue and yellow you're probably used to. This guy will be part of a basic marine squad as a unit champion, and will be a 'cheaper' option in my lists to Rubrics.

I wanted to go for a 'mysterious traveller' feel to the model, and a Space Marine captain I got in a trade proved to be a great starting point.

Since grav-guns are not an option for Chaos models (yet), I used an extra Bolter barrel to make a twin-linked Bolter.

The head is from a Dark Vengeance chosen, and the belt icon was shaved off the lord from that same set.

His second arm was model to look like he was brushing away his cloak. This has been a really fun model to work on, and his accompanying squad will be equally awesome to work on.

Next up is the Chaos Contemptor, a model many of you seem to like, myself included. I've made it a bit more chaotic since last time.

A couple of small horns, from Dark Vengeance chosen, have been added to each side of the helmet. It's a subtle feature which I hope presents the image right.

To top the model off, a large Tzeentch banner. This particular part has been on at least 4 different models (including the Tartaros Terminators) and with the addition of a Captain's helmet, makes for a great feature of the model.

And with that's it's time to start painting these two. As usual, like and subscribe for more updates and regular chit-chat.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

WIP Thousand Sons Support Units (Chosen and Contemptor

The first stages of the Thousand Sons refurbishment have been going fairly well, and performs alright in matches. A win, followed by a couple of draws against Tau and Mechanicum, has given me a few ideas on where to expand. Previously I've added cultists and obliterators, but now my mind is set on the next units after that, where I think I'll need extra help against hordes and heavy armour.

 To solve the first problem, I've build these guys: a squad of chosen armed with flamers. A squad full of templates is a fantastic tool against Orks, Tyranids and other horde units. If I get the infiltrate trait (or take Ahriman), I can image a lot of fun going down.

The models are mostly based on Space Marine Sternguard, with some 30k Flamers, Chaos backpacks and Thousand Sons/third party bits thrown into the mix. The Chapmion is a Chaos Sorcerer with a power fist and bolt pistol replacing the standard weapons. The bases are MDP Chapel Ruins in 32mm.

Next is my new favourite model, a Thousand Sons Contemptor. Though magnetised for any and all load-outs, I've gone with double multi-meltas, firstly because I already had one from the Betrayal at Calth Contemttor, and that saved me £9.50, and also because this load-out is the cheapest, a very good option against tanks. It's short ranged, but I think this could be counteracted with good movement, or use of my Dreadclaw.

The base model is very detailed and didn't require much work. I've added a pair of tzeentch icons to the shoulders, and a brazier to the hull. A couple more chaotic icons and trophies will be added, but I don't want to go overboard with it. The winged scarab will stay on the model, as it's a nice detail and doesn't necessarily say 'Imperium', especially when painted in the same style as the head dress (now referred to as the 'angry bunny' by the missus).

For the base I plan to sculpt hills and cliffs, burying some of the debris, which includes old tank track casts (failed track cast attempts) and some Taurox bits.

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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Workshop Datalogs: April 2016

A little bit late this month (wedding planning, sideways promotion at work and Goth Weekend have been keeping me busy) , but with some time off and an improved workstation, I now have something to show you all.

Firstly, the aforementioned workbench. Having moved the living room about I thought I'd fix up my workbench, formerly a computer desk. After tightening up all the screws, I removed one of the lower struts housing a CD rack, which has given me a lot more space to store boxes of stuff. The top shelf has also been taken off. Though I lose storage space for WIPs, it's a blessing in disguise, since it means I'll be forced to focus on only a couple of projects at a time. It has also given me space to fit my paint racks.

 Another neat little feature I added is this paintbrush/tool holder, made from a hacked up felt-tip pen case. Not bad for free junk.

Now some models. First up is this little guy, who will become a coms guy in my Vraks list. He's made from a Bolt Action German radio model, with a head from Pig Iron Miniatures, and a Skittari back pack. A simple conversion, but it works quite well.

Also for my Vraksians (or as a standalone kill-team, I'm not sure) some more mutants. Instead of Ork-based mutants like my other squad, these are based on a mix of Plaguebearers and Skittari.

All armed with autoguns, they'll form another key troops choice. I plan to paint them up as either fallen skitarii, or regular mutants who have looted their gear. Expect plenty of pus and rust.

In Tzeentch's wing, we have some developments. The Obliterator I've been working on is pretty much done now and ready enough for the battlefield. The banding really come out once painted, and I think it's a great alternative to standard Obliterator models.

Finally, the Daemon Price of Tzeentch. It's getting there, and the focus now is all the fine details: jewels, scripture and runes. Painted in my army's colours it looks a lot more in-keeping, and will be a fine addition to the first wave.

That's it for today, but keep following me on Facebook, where you'll find extra content, conversation, and manage bananas.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Review: 30th Anniversary Space Marine

If you've been living the the warp for the bast few weeks (or half hour, depending on your local time distortion levels), this weekend marked 30 years of the Space Marine; Warhammer 40,000's most iconic hero (and a few years later, villains). To celebrate, they released a remaster of their very first Space Marine, the LE-2 Imperial Marine

The model seemed to be an instant hit, selling out at my local GW in only 5 minutes. I only managed to get a copy because there were two window copies that had been forgotten about, and even then the second one was sold in seconds.

For your £18, the price of your average Space Marine character, you get an up-scaled and greater detailed version of that very first marine, armed with a combi-disintegrator (a strength 5 ap2 instant death gun that can be used more than once), combat knife and Disintegration Pistol. You also get some rules to use it in your games of 40k, as a free upgrade for any Space Marine (this guy will become an auto-upgrade for sure). All of this is packaged in a retro-looking box reminiscent to those earlier kits. I wouldn't quite call it a presentation box like GW did, but it's a nice box as far as boxes go. 

Interestingly you do get a few options, in the form of alternative shoulder pads. The rest of the model is fairly straightforward; multi-part, yet mono-posed. 

Whilst everyone else will paint it up for their force (or stuck it on ebay with a 3000% mark-up) I thought I'd go down a different path...

And ta-da! A new Chaos Lord of Tzeentch on a Disc. My fluff-concept for this guys is that he was a marine of a forgotten chapter (or legion), lost in the warp, but rather than be consumed he was moulded by it and became a champion of Tzeentch. Keeping his colours, he chose to be a warning to those who would forget him so easily. The main additions besides the disc were some Raptor shoulder pads, a Dark Vengeance Lord's backpack (Which is reminiscent of retro CSM power packs so it suits the model) and a Tzeentch knife. These were simple additions which greatly change the look of this model, and is something just a little different.

I plan to paint it just like this original model I did for a painting contest, but heavily beaten and worn. It will be a fun addition to the force, and may become part of a Tzeentch aligned chaos force to go with the Thousand Sons.  

All-in-all, a fun little model that was quickly snapped up by fans across the globe. For those who have one, you have a piece of history. Keep it, enjoy it, and if possible, find an original copy to go with it. It started the Space Marines as we know them, and it stands out as one of the greats.