Thursday, 28 February 2013

Pictures of the month: February 2013

It's that time again, so get comfortable. Today's post is the end of the month special, Pictures of the month, where I show off some of the best pictures I've been sent in. Normally I will post five photos, but because this month has been pretty good for contributions, and good ones at that, I've bumped it up to six. Hope you enjoy my selection:
A Demarchon Warlord ready for a fight
(Richard Eddon)

For the Emperor-Custom Sanguinor
(Richard Miles)

A particularly deadly looking Chosen Chaos space Marine
(Mathieu Rivard Lemieux)


Spreading disease and destuction-Nurgle Sorcerer in Terminator Armour
(Adam Gale)

Leading from the front-Imperial Commissar Lord
("Cattigan 71")

Mad, angry and killy-Chaos Helbrute
(Ian Phillips)


Well, that is all for this month, but there are always more chances to be featured. Any pics which don't get published (and even those that do) will be put into their own special gallery on the Facebook page.

Next month, I'll be hosting theme month, an idea which I plan to do for each month from now on. The theme for March is: tanks. Tracked, wheeled or grav, send in your tanks. Either post them on the Facebook page, or email them to matthew.david.davies@gmail.com for your chance to be featured. Usual rules apply: Any system, as long as it is 100% complete.

I do stress that it is tanks only, walkers, chariots and flyers do not count. But chances are I'll get around to them in a following month, to hang on to them. Deadline for March is the 29th March. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

WIP: Renegade Thunderbolt (Part Two)

The Indominus pattern Thunderbolt is an example of a rare technological snobbery amongst the Mechanicus.

The Indominus is an incredibly old design, pre-dating the standard pattern by at least a few millennia.  Because of it's age, it is much cruder in design, even by Imperial standards, and gets a lot of criticism for its basic nature and inferiority to its more common cousin, the Cypra Mundi pattern. The machinists of Mars,  whilst accepting of its technological purity, see it as an inferior specimen of dedication to the machine god.

Due to the loud noise of its engines and the general shape, it is often mistaken to be Orkish unless observed closely, and it is suspected that some of the known patterns of Bomma are based on stolen examples or 'modified' blueprints hijacked from Mechanicum data-banks  But its sturdy structure proves otherwise, and despite its brutish form, it still achieves its role as an attack craft very well.


The build process of the Thunderbolt is complete, and now it's onto the painting.


The base coat used was Army Painter Desert Yellow, follows by a layer of Vallejo German Camo Brown Light. Agrax Earthshade was applied to the crevasses and rivets, with more Camo Brown Light to tidy up. Soon, I will apply a light dry-brush. The metallics are starting to receive a basecoat of black, ready for painting.


The canopy has been painted over. I felt that it would be too difficult to create a pilot with the parts I had at the time. I think that it will end up painted black with a blue or green tint, perhaps purple.


The chaos stars (from the Renegade brass etch sprue) added to the craft have been painted in German Camo Brown Medium. I wanted to keep the plane simple, with a themed colour scheme. Brighter icons of dedication may be added later, and painted in a graffiti style.


Next, it's onto the metals, namely the engines and guns. Once they're done, it's squad marking, and finally, the weathering process. Expect a lot of streaking and chipped paint

Once all that is done, I will move onto the base. I'll try to have something interesting planned...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Interview: Daniel and Justina from Roses and Boltshells


Inside, we all secretly (or openly) want to be a part of the 40k universe. Every Warhammer 40,000 player wants to be a space marine, an Ork, or some other wild being from the forty-first millennium.


Well, two people are one step closer to such. Twenty year old Justina Šniukštaitė, from Kaunas, Lithuania and twenty five Daniel Høgh from, Ikast, Denmark, are the duo to see for science-fiction costumes based on our favourite fictional universe. Running under the name Roses and Boltshells, the couple have come up with many amazing sets of cosplay gear, and show no signs of running out of great ideas.


Daniel has his roots in the wargaming scene, running his local gaming club. He is often fighting at the forefront with his force of Imperial Fists.

When asked about her involvement in our hobby, Justina said: “I would love to be a wargamer, though unfortunately it’s not very popular around where I live. I am aware of wargaming club in the capital, but I'm an university student; don’t think I can afford going to the capital every other weekend just for wargaming”. Let’s hope that a good gaming scene shows up soon.

For Daniel, the hobby of costume making came natural. He said: “Making costumes was a natural development for me, as I did a lot of LARPing and role-play. I collected stuff from movies and didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for replicas from my favourite games/movies. In the beginning I made relatively small items but my eagerness to make a full space marine suit was what sparked my ‘real’ costume making hobby”.

His first costume was a Viking, which, to Daniel’s admission, was of “poor accuracy, low budget cloth and insanely bad finishes”. But everyone starts somewhere right?



Justina found the hobby recently, only starting in 2009. But even with such a short time, she has managed to help come up with some amazing costumes and suits. When asked about her first costume, Justina said: “My first one came from back then favourite animation series, called “Soul Eater”. If I had to compare it to my latest one, I have changed skill-wise and visually throughout the years. My first one was barely a few accessories and a fabric dress. Made in two weeks, while now my costumes take months to make”.


Whilst the couple don’t plan to sell you a full-sized suit of Power Armour any time soon, they are open to suggestions. Justina said she sometimes sells unique items, so it’s worth keeping an eye out.


If you’re now itching to make your own costume for an event, after seeing all the amazing works throughout this article, Daniel has one great, simple piece of advice: “Never give up! Never surrender! Never shun advice and make it your own!”. Justina goes on to say it can is an expensive hobby, but if you are willing to put the time and effort into it, it will all pay off.


For more pictures, and if you want to ask for advice on making your own gear, check out their Facebook page


To finish off, here is my new profile picture, provided by Justina and Daniel. Turns out, their artwork is just as amazing as their costume work. 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Kit Review: Zvezda 1/100 Range


For today, I’m entering the unknown territory of no-mans-land, and will be making my first significant steps into starting Flames of War, and have started with these cheap little kits from the relatively unknown Zvezda.


The tanks I have here are in 1/100 scale, and are an ideal model for use in 15mm games such as Flames of War.


You usually get around nine components on a single sprue, including a flag/marker part for use in Zvezda’s own game, Art of Tactic. For other uses you can ignore it. The pieces are clip together, meaning glue is not needed. Though I still recommended that you still use some.

Scale shot with a Terminator and a £1 coin

The plastic is very detailed for the price you pay. These models, a Stug III and a Panzer III, cost just £2.50 each, which is amazing value and probably the cheapest out there. You only get one tank per box, but this offers a great amount of flexibility in terms of unit sizes: you don’t have to buy a box of five for the sake of one of two models.


But there are a few issues. The gun barrels, particularly the tiny machine guns, are very weak and flimsy. Since they are not as strong as the metal barrels used, by say, Flames of War, it's advised to be very careful.


Another issue is that the plastic is very shiny and oily. Washing does remove most of this shine, and hopefully the undercoat will stick. The Stug wasn't as bad, but it did look like a completely different plastic. Kits from companies like Plastic Soldier tend to have a lot more consistency and quality.

In short, here are my main pros and cons:

Pros
-Great value. Cheapest alternative.
-To scale
-Easy to build

Cons
-Weak gun barrels
-Gap filling may be required
-Oily plastic of varying colour (and quality?)
-No optional parts/variants.


Whilst it's not the best range available to any 15mm modeller or gamer, it is ideal for those wanting to try out a small scale game, without first having to spend a good amount of money to start practising paint schemes.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

WIP: Renegade Thunderbolt (Part One)


Work has begun on the Bomma-to-thunderbolt conversion, and all is going well.


One of the first things I did was to remove many of the rivets covering the plane. Whilst Imperial vehicles are covered in rivets, Ork vehicles are covered in more. So to help streamline it, every unnecessary rivet was shaved off. Also, gaps and missing panels were covered using parts from the kit.


After consulting my Facebook fans, I decided to mimic the Forgeworld model's weapon placement, and have placed all of them jutting from the plane's nose. The twin autocannons are made from evergreen plastic tubes, as are the lascannons.


The lascannons use the mounts from the Bomma's nose mounted big shootas.


To hide the scrapheap look, I have started to sculpt on the panels. Using Greenstuff, I'm straightening edges and fixing the chips.

The next major jobs are to build the cockpit and a salvo of under-wing missiles. Hope you've enjoyed the post. More on this project soon. 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

WIP: Renovating The Renegades


Always beneath the Chaos Space Marines, but a little bit more valuable than a rabble of cultists, the armies of traitorous guardsmen are a key part of the force that makes up the great enemy that is Chaos.


In recent years, I've been playing with my Renegade Militia force less and less, favouring my Thousand Sons for battles. I've also greatly reduced the size of the force after selling a number of key units and vehicles. 


But with the allies rules in 6th edition 40k, I can add a small detachment of the traitor guardsmen, and with that, some restructuring and some new paints, I've begun the big refurbishment. Some models shown may be sold on, but the army as an entity will still live on.


The new colour scheme (model on the right) is very similar to the old one, but the subtle changes make all the difference. Instead of Boltgun Metal armour, it is now Vallejo German camo brown medium. The fatigues are German camo brown light, with some Iraqi sand mixed in for highlights.


Those with keen eyes or witchsight will have noticed a peculiar box in the corner of recent pictures, displaying an Ork flyer. No, I haven’t started a new army, and I shall explain. I thought it would be good to try out some of the flyers from Imperial Armour: Aeronautica, but I don’t have £90 to throw at a flyer which I will end up using occasionally. I did look at the Dark angel Dark Talon/Nephilim, which could make a convincing Avenger. But even then, it’s not cheap for its size, and the Imperial eagle wings are moulded on, which would be a lot of work.


Then I found the Bomma. Relatively cheap, and similar in shape and size to the Thunderbolt, another IA flyer which has been around for some time. I happened to come across someone who has had a similar idea (de-orkifying a Bomma), but I suspect I’ll go even further with the de-orkification.


To finish off, here is the first draft of my ally’s army list:
-HQ: command squad w. power fist, bolter, plasma gun, astropath. Techpreist w. servitors
-Elites: 6 storm troopers w. grenade launcher, power fist, plasma pistol
-Troops: 10 veterans, missile launcher, Chimera
-Fast attack: Thunderbolt
-Heavy Support: Leman Russ w. heavy bolter, heavy stubber (or a Basilisk)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Showcase: Idolator Siege Tank

---Data entry xx.d0vr6e.wb.46263.M35---Alpha code: Mechanicus cohort 33-D3412. Transmission begins...

-Urgent assistance requested in sector 44/113-Planetary assignment: Forlorian-

-Renegade elements of the Adeptus Astartes present-Excommunicate Traitoris-XV legion splinter faction-

--Planetary invasion, commenced 10 Terran hours before transmission-

-Fallen Mechanicus brothers present and assisting renegades, urgent attention required. Rogue elements of the Machine God must be purged-

-Reinforcement request-Alpha 99-Astartes cohort (X legion), Imperium mobile division, Legio Invigilata support attachment. Arrival request: urgent-

-Deus Ex Machina-



Well than, this is probably the fastest I've ever finished a tank. Usually takes me a few weeks of working on it and taking breaks by working on other things. The Idolator, however, has been paint-stripped, broken down, rebuilt and painted in a week, even with all the usual details and weathering you can expect.


It was an interesting tank to paint, because its lines are so different to a regular Space Marine vehicle.


There were no indented panels to paint an alternate colour, so instead, a simple yellow bar went on the sides, and a big chaos star around the hatch on the roof.


This is also the first time I've tried my trusty Tamiya Weathering Stick on the tracks. I was worried that it would simple clot in the raised sections, which it sort of did. But when it came to the water stage, it spread out more and I am satisfied with the end result.



Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Tutorial: Improving Obliterators and Mutilators

Obliterators are nasty, ruthless, and probably insane killing machines, and their close-combat cousins, the Mutilators, aren't much friendlier. Both have nice models, now available in easier to convert but often troubled FineCast.


But both models have crippling flaws: Their poses, their faces and in their 'accessory' parts (gun barrels, spikes etc.). Today, I'll be sharing my plans to improve these 'diamond in the rough' models, and combat their obvious flaws.

Posture


Like most space marine models, Obliterators and Mutilators suffer from 'Squatting Syndrome'. Their hunched up pose is very limiting, and their larger bodies accentuate the flaws of the stance. What I suggest maybe radical to some, but it is a big improvement, trust me.


Slicing up and reposing the models to stand straight not only provides the opportunity to improve the poses, but also adds height, making the models far more menacing than their unaltered state.

The re-sculpting is also fairly easy, as you can simply fill the gaps with daemon-flesh, or if you choose, ribbed cabling.

Faces



These models, especially the Mutilators, seem to have a 'derp-face' going on. Looks a bit silly if I'm honest. The only real solution is the replace the head entirely. Due to the shape of their chests, any head designed for a Terminator would work with a bit of trimming, but don't let that limit your options. Here' I've chosen to use a helmeted head from the Forsaken box set I reviewed last week. Suitably mutated, armoured, and quite Tzeentchy. The single, Cyclopean eye also creates a certain imposing image, espacially combined with the new, curiously leaning pose.

Accessories.


Whilst their roles as multi-weaponed Swiss army knives is well known, I think they have gone a bit overboard with this, by trying to fit every weapon and spike under the sun to their arms. what I suggest is to downscale this. Reduce the number of weapons on each arm to de-clutter. Also, with Obliterators, try finding multiple barrels of the same gun, and just use the one gun type (e.g only using melta barrels). It helps create a coherent look, and shows the model transforming to suit the role, rather than begin everything at once.

With my Mutilator here, I've not added the extra spikes, and filled in the gaps with greenstuff.

All in all, these alterations help create a more streamlined and intimidating monster of Chaos itself.


(opening image owned by games Workshop .Ltd)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Tale of Two Warlords: Pimp My (Jet) Ride

The Sky Hunter's mind a clash of a thousand thoughts. He was in a strange misty environment, an ice-world. Which was odd, seeing as the war-band was raiding on a sandy death-world. A dream, but so real.
"Wake me up", said a silken voice, familiar, akin to the voice a long-lost friend.

"Save me", The voice grew louder.

He turned around, seeing a woman encased behind a wall of thick blue ice, her face an expression of fear.

"Demia", he yelled, running up to the ice barrier. Placing his hand gently on the wall, he could feel the icy coldness, even through heavily insulated power-armour. After a moment, his mood changed to a frantic state, and he began hacking at the ice wall with his power axe. Blow after blow struck the wall, but not even a fleck of ice came off. He pulled the firing pin on the plasma section of his gun, firing shot after shot at the wall until the gun burned red hot. Barely a scratch.

Then, the woman screamed. She was dragged back, into the misty darkness behind. Two, small, green eyes poked out from the darkness. A silky, eccentric voice spoke to him.

"She is still mine, Imishra. This...is the price of trust."

 He woke up, sitting up rigid straight, sweat forming on his brow. The sky-hunter wasn't sure if any of it was real, though his breath was clouding in front of him.



After Nurgle Command's exciting progress with his own warlord of chaos, I feel like stepping it up a notch.

I've decided to take a literal approach tot he fluff I've been writing. Lately, it has been this section in the tale of the Sky-hunter, from a previous post:

"It's elongated hull was decorated in the deepest blue, and finest gold lining. But its beauty was           desecrated by marks of chaos, spikes and stars jutted from the sides, almost forcing themselves out of   the pristine blue hull."


With that, I've added the jutting spikes along one side, and in the back corner. The are made from the horns of spare heads (namely Plaguebearer heads). A greenstuff ring was placed around them, and blended into the armour, to suggest that the spikes have forced their way out.


On the other side is the mark of chaos, taken from the Renegade Militia brass etch sheet, and bent slightly to fit over the curving bonnet.


The one thing that is almost complete is the base. This was built up using miliput, with various parts added about to add flavour, mainly the chaos rock from the Teminator Lord box set. All that is left is to paint the rim.


Here, I've used one of GW's landmine  alongside an exhaust, a failed example from the construction of my Deimos Rhino. Now it serves the purpose of showing my lord's noticeable kills. A chaos helm finishes off the trophies.

After a tad more sculpting work, it's onto the painting stage. Expect me to go all-out with this guy, and I hope you stay tuned on Facebook for more antics.