Saturday, 30 March 2013

Picture's of the Month: March 2013

Again, we find ourselves at the end of the Month. This month's theme was tanks, so here are some of the best armoured battle-creations I've been sent:

Dakka Dakka Dakka!-Ork Kill Krusha
(Crann Morgan)

Recreating history-Pzkw 3 . N
(Crann Morgan)


For the Plague God-Nurgle Predator
(Nurgle Command)
From the skies!-Ork Airship
(Ian Wyatt)


This last one isn't strictly a tank, but these things 'tank' a lot of damage....

To battle-Nemesis Dreadknight
(Andrew Jashyn)

That is all for now, but why not have a go at next months theme? The theme for April is...Battlegroups! I want to see photos of your whole army (or at least a combat-capable section that is usable in a game). As normal, any system, scale or models, so long as they're 100% complete. Entrants should send their images to: matthew.david.davies@gmail.com or post them onto the Facebook page

Thursday, 28 March 2013

WIP: Chaos Heldrake

The smell of promethium and dark insense assailed Drogar's nostrils. From what he could hear from the babbled words of Sorcerers, he was to 'ascend'. More like be imprisoned he thought. It was more of a trap for the ex-Raven Guard than a throne. He tried to resist his metal prison,  but his armour had been welded to the cockpit of the chaotic machine, both with welding torches and delicate shots with a meltagun, the latter had make the flesh of his hands run like oil across his now immobile lap. He had been unconcious whilst he was interred, but the searing heat of the meltagun has brought him to an agonising conciousness. The room was dimly lit, and whisps of green smoke lazily moved in the air. 

His metal coffin was shaped like a vile dragon or drake from an age long-gone. Its eyes were dead sockets, and from its mouth jutted a heavy multi-barrelled cannon. Drogar realised this was some sort of attack-craft. Then the lights flared...


As well as the Fellblade I showed last time I posted, I've also returned to working on my Heldrake. I've been putting this beast off, purely due to the obscene amount of gold trim I'll have to do. If you recall the tutorial on my gold technique, you will realise how many layers there were to achieve the right effect...


But since it served me well in a recent game (shooting down an Avenger attack craft which was harassing my Storm Eagle), I thought I'd treat it to a paint job. I've decided to tackle the gold in stages. First off, it prevents boredom from using the same colour so much. It also prevents insanity...




A start on the fleshy areas has also been made. For those interested, the final outcome should be similar to that achieved on my Forgefiend (which, sadly, failed to do much in the same battle).




Another important thing I've done is magnetise the wings. I haven't had a single game where I've needed to travel and it hasn't broke a wing. So I thought I'd redesign them so the wings would and could break off. It also aids in transportation. One wing did break in the wrong place whilst being removed, but I simply decided to magnetise at the point of breakage, as it was in a strong and still-suitable area for the rare-earth magnets (Side note; prying apart super-glued rare-earth magnets is my interpretation of Hell...).


That's all for today, but check out the Facebook page for more maniacal exploits and other projects.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Fellblade Project: Part Five (Up-armouring)

Former Majos Farrox adjusted the driver's panel from inside the Fellblade. He still hadn't fully adjusted to the warband's customs, and the scars from his encounter with his 'master' Khotep were still fresh. The damage done to his metal face had been crudely welded shut by Khotep himself, his master deeming it unfit to repair this whelp with any skill or care, as what he shows for other war-machines and dark tech savants. It was a painful insult to the artful Magos, and a reminder of the insult he himself caused. Perhaps once day he could indulge his vanity and rebuild his face to match its former chromium shining glory, but under the service of these renegades, it was unlikely.

Something inside spoke to him as he worked, uttering dark words. It has been uttering dark phrases for at least two hours. It was odd, the daemon always used a different voice, speaking once every nine minutes, for nine seconds. Blurting the same section of chaotic scrap code; that whihc the Magos could not decipher. This time however, it spoke in a tongue he understood:

"You will be mine, Farrox! I taste your blood. I need your technology, your metal bones, your copper brain. I need your soul!"

Farrox jumped in shock, sitting in the decayed remains of the driver's chair, gripping the torn leather tightly. He experienced an emotion blocked by centuries of data-coding and indoctrination; fear.


Some progress to report. I've finally started the turret! The biggest and most complicated part of this build is under way. The hull is also pretty much covered.

The final piece to the basic hull was the top plate. This is all one piece of plastic. I did cut it a bit short, but rather than start again, I'll be filling the gap later on. Once this is done, I can get to work with the detailing.

The front has also been tidied up. The bolts and the half-defiled imperial insignia have been removed fully, and the gap between the bumper and glasis plate has been neatened up with a piece of L-shaped plasticard rod.



The basic skeleton of the turret is a few layers of foam sheeting, cut into ever decreasing circle sizes and glued on top of one another with PVA. Whilst this is by no means a strong adhesive on its own, it is more than enough for my purposes.

The outer layer is Miliput. This stuff is ideal for this purpose. It is tough, relatively easy to work with, cheap, and most importantly, sand-able. I was never going to get a perfectly round turret with sculpting skill alone, so I needed something that could withstand a good sand-down, which will properly begin once the entire turret is covered.

It also helps if it can hold up to this, my new toy. I'm surprised I've got this far without one. It's so far helped shape the turret, and remove a ton of imperial insignia from some metal Space Marine models I'm planning to convert later on.

Once the turret shape is completed in basic form, I'll sand the thing, and get started on the biggest of guns: the twin-bareled Accelerator Cannon.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Interview: Ian Wyatt and his Orky Contraptions

Scatch-building and 'kustomising' is something many of us try, but some just have a talent for it. Forty year old Ian Wyatt is one such talented individual, and has made a number of fantastic Ork tanks and vehicles, ranging from Rhino modifications all the way up to 100% custom tracked battleship-type creations and flying gun-boats.



Ian hasn't played a game of 40k, but is very much in love with making and building fantastic display models. Whilst not always game-legal, you can count on them being fantastic displays of creativity and skill. The fact that there aren't any plans, blueprints or diagrams makes it more amazing.


Currently, the York based modeller is sticking with Orky ingenuity for the time being. "I've made some Chaos Nurgle stuff, but I love Orks too much, and I'm not bored of them yet so can’t see myself moving". Ian, in typical Ork fashion, doesn't have a 'plan' for his many creations, and that maybe the secret to Orky success.

"The plan is always in my head, I never draw anything or very rarely write anything down, the only things I plan for now a days are rule stuff, i.e. is it legal and so on. I’ll be on dakkdakka or another website and see a model/models I like, then I down load the photo to a “Things to make” folder on my computer, that will be my starting block for some of my models".


"Trust me, if you build a model from the top of your head and name it “Bad Ass Death Walker” the will be 5 more Bad Ass Death Walker out there that were made months ago".

Most of what Ian uses in his conversions is plasticard sheets, tubes and rods. Most of this stuff is available on-line (should you wish to try). Some parts are spares from his own "bitz-box", but Ian Said:  "this does run low from time to time and also all the good bits are hard to come by, so eBay is my friend. I guess I need some good 40k mates with loads of bits that they don’t want".

Should you wish to check more out, and you're in York, his models are on display at The Travelling Man (which also sells 40k/fantasy and Warmachine/Hordes). Ian is happy to take on commission pieces. Should you want to talk to him about it, you can contact him on Dakkadakka.com via the username wazzoo2000, or by email at:  iwyatt@btinternet.com and he can speak to you about prices and what you want making.




As an endnote, this blog has finally hit 40,000 likes! This was a target I'd set to have achieved by September 2013, so a big thanks to everyone who has got me there so much faster. I hope you continue to view the blog, and visit the Facebook page.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

News: Wartorn UK 2013 Is Coming!

After two successful years, Wartorn UK is back to help entertain us gamer-geeks over two days in summer. The event will take place on June 29th and June 30th, at the Scarborough Spa.

For those who don't know, Wartorn UK is a relatively recent wargaming event, held in my home town of Scarborough, and sponsored by UK retailer Boyes. Started in 2011, Wartorn has since provided an opportunity for people to game in competitions, sell and buy models, and enjoy epic displays.


But what makes it different? Wartorn UK, every year, raises money for the UK charity Help for Heroes, which helps British soldiers who have been wounded in battle live their life post-conflict. Last year, they raised over £430 for the charity, and is aiming even higher this year.

The show is also becoming known for making an effort when it comes to displays. 2011, the first show, saw them attempt a world record by gathering over 10,000 Napoleonic figures on one battlefield. Last year saw a recreation of The Battle of Marston Moor, a famous battle in Yorkshire history. So, for 2013, they're aiming for the far future, and are planning to set up a huge 40k battle, depicting one of the major wars of Armageddon. I've been told to expect many wrecks and super-heavy vehicles.


If you fancy finding yourself a bargain, the trade stalls are second to none. Trust me, you will always find a bargain or a lucky find. I've seen rogue trader Chaos models, complete 1st edition Space Hulk boxes, Gamesday models at rock-bottom prices, the lot. There are also a number of bitz sellers, ideal for converters and kit-bashers. If 40k isn't your thing, do not worry. Many stalls specialise in historical games, other sci-fi games such as DUST and Infinity, terrain, accessories and more.

23 traders have been confirmed so far, with one big name joining the ranks: Foundry Miniatures. A veteran company of the gamer scene, expect them to make themselves known.

Alongside the key traders, a bring-and-buy will take place. Need to sell some models? Want to buy more with the profits? Here's a great chance to make some money, or get some cool models.

 As with previous years, a number of tournaments are being held, from 40k to Magic The Gathering, to Flames of War. Entrance fees have dropped due to Wartorn's success, and vary between £10 and £12, which includes the entry fee in the price. Competition tickets have to be bought on-line, but payments are made through PayPal, so it is 100% safe to do so.

If you don't want to enter a competition, and just want to enjoy the show or pick out a bargain, tickets cost just £4 a day, or £6 for a weekender ticket, both are available at the door. I will be there, hopefully on both days, so it's a good chance to chat with me about 40k, the blog, or whatever takes your fancy. You may even make it into a feature.

For more information, should you wish to attend or even sell there, you can contact the team at:  wartorn@scarboroughwargamesclub.info whilst businesses should contact at: uriah_heep2000@hotmail.com

(2nd image property of Help for Heroes)

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Review: Kromlech Stygian Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads are an essential bit of kit protecting the soldiers of our far future (or far-gone) wars. Many kits come with their own, but if you're finding them too bland, there are plenty of companies making alternative pads. Today, I'll be looking at one of Kromlech's varieties, the Stygian.


This pack, like all of Kromleck's pad kits, comes with ten pads on sprues, in five different varieties. This particular type fits 28mm Heroic scale models, and are ideal for models such as Games workshop's Space Marines, or Kromlech's and Maxmini's own sci-fi warriors. This pack will cost around £5, depending on your supplier.


These particular pads have an Egyptian theme, featuring scarabs, eyes and the Ankh. Such styles are great for Egyptian themed forces, and make great alternative pads for models such as Thousand Sons.


The quality of these pads, and many of Kromlech's products, appears to be second to none. I've never had any serious bubbles or damage, and the little damage there happened to be was an easy fix. these shoulders are no different, void of any serious imperfections

Kromlech pad on the left model, regular GW pad on the right

My main gripe with these pads is that the banding is too thick, in my opinion. On normal Space Marine pads, the edging is much thinner than on Kromlechs (compare the two models above), which makes matching shoulder pads impossible unless you use two per model. In all honesty though, this is nit-picking, there's not a lot to hate.

 If you are an utter chaos-purist, you may need to avoid the pad with feathered wings, with a passing resemblance to the Aquila if you look squint.

In short, I think that these are a great project, and will add a nice amount of variety to your forces. Here are my main points:

PROS

-Great designs
-Relatively good value
-Fantastic quality
-Will fit standard Space Marines (non-terminator)

CONS

-Edging is a bit thick
-Some designs maybe unusable, depending on your own style tastes



(1st image property of Kromlech)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

WIP: Tzeentch Raptors (#6-10) and Mutilator

The big-trakk rocked as two shots hit the track units, wheels and springs flying from the hull as the taught suspension units melted and broke from the tank. GitzBlasta opened the hatch, shoota in hand. He looked left and right, seeing a pair of oomie jump troops blasting at his tank with melta weapons. He fired his shoota on full auto (not that there is any other setting) in an arc around the big-trakk, but the assault troops simply launched off, the shots landing where the marines were. 

"Damnit! Right boyz, ger' out", he barked, making his way to the ramp exit at the back. He only took four steps before another marine landed, sending a cloud of dust and shaking the ground, unbalancing the weaker orks and gretchin unable to hold on. This 'oomie' wore blue armour, and had an enormous jump-pack attacked to his back. Orky in principle, but not design, it was studded in fist-sized gemstones and brass plates. The marine had a head of long red hair, and hardly looked older than a man in his twenties  despite probably being centuries old. An eight pointed star was emblazoned on his shoulder; a Chaos marine. 

Gitzblasta couldn't car less if he was good or bad, he would be krushed. He ran towards the marine, only for it too to jump off. Gitzblasta spat the dust from his face. But whilst he was fixed on the champion, he didn't notice that the meltagun troopers had returned, and with friends...


Having had the models and parts for a few months, it was about time I got to work on the other five members of my Raptor squad.


The first five were completed some time ago, and this group of five new ones will bolster that unit, bring it up to a fully-upgraded ten man unit, with three meltaguns, an icon bearer and a champion.This batch is made up of three regular grunts, a meltagunner and the icon bearer. Most are missing a sword arm, as I want to get some Khopesh style weapons ( I think Kromlech makes some like that...).


Some of these models also use some cool new shoulder pads, made by Kromlech. They're more Egyptian than thousand Son, but they fit very well with my theme.


As well as these guys, I've started painting one of the mutilators. I was torn between daemon skin and a human-like skin. in the end, a human skin would contrast too much, and I settled on a skin-tone similar to an old Daemon Prince I worked on last year.






To finish today's post, here's a teaser of a new project. More teasers will appear on Facebook. Only one more like until the next teaser is released, and at 400 likes, you will be able to see the whole model in all its WIP epicness.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Tactics: chaos Warpsmiths

The chaos gods do not just bless our bodies and our souls. They bless our machines: they guide our las-blasts, work our engines, throw enemies under our tracks. Take heed of my words, and consecrate your guns in blood.

-teachings of Warpsmith Dragar, Word Bearers XV Cohort

Today, we look at the humble (or not so humble) Warpsmith, one of the many HQ options from the latest Chaos Space Marine Codex, and ways in which is new option can be used by your chaotic hordes




So, what are the main stats to consider? Well, for 110 pts, you get standard space marine statistics, BS 5, two wounds and 2+ armour save. Nothing to write to your mother about, but a free 2+ save and ballistic skill five is very handy from this shooting orientated HQ.

Warpsmiths can be considered shooting orientated for two reasons. One, they only has access to shooting weapon options (bar daemon weapons). Secondly, they come with a flamer and a meltagun as standard. A BS 5 meltagun is very handy for popping tanks and high save. Also, because of the mecahndrite's special rules, you can fire two weapons per shooting phase (either both mechandrite weapons or one and a hand weapon). With a combi-melta, that's two high-skilled melta-shots able to scare any armoured foe. Add in melta-bombs and you have a very nasty tank killer.

On the other hand, taking a Burning Brand of Skalathrax means two flamer templates (one of which is AP3), making a fantastic horde-clearer.

It'll buff out...honest!
Of course, the main reason to take a Warpsmith is to fix up your vehicles. With a 4+ (5+ normally, plus one for mechandrites), there's a good chance to repair weapons, re-attach tracks or bolt on a hull-point. Of course, it does mean keeping your Warpsmith right next to tanks and vehicles, which might mean he is stuck at the back of the table. Thankfully, he is more than capable of defending units in combats with flanking squads.

Warpsmtihs also have another two bonus, Shatter Defences and curse. Essentially, it is the opposite of the Techmarine's Bolster Defences, reducing one piece of terrain's cover save by one. This is best done on pieces where there are a lot of units taking cover, or on high-cover save buildings, such as bastions, where the opponent has spend points on the save. Denying them the 3+ cover can help with the offensive.

Curse is good against vehicles, causing all weapons on the enemy vehicles to have the gets hot rule. Whilst not overly powerful, it can create a chance of the tank damaging itself if it risks firing. Aim this at bigger thanks with a lot of guns. The more guns they have, to more potential for failed gets hot rolls. however, it is probably useless to use against vehicles loaded with plasma weapons (which have the rule anyway). If in range, I would rather fire the meltagun (since you forfeit your shooting to curse).


Finally, its time to discuss close combat ability. In combat, the Warpsmith is hardly a slouch. Whilst he only has two attacks base, he gets two more from his mechandrites. On the charge, that's five Str 5 ap2 attacks with his power axe, easily enough to kill all but the toughest (or luckiest) heroes and models. Not being able to buy a power fist does mean he will struggle against walkers unless you buy melta-bombs.

All in all, the Warpsmith is a relatively useful Swiss army knife of a character, able to do most things to a competent standard, and is must for any vehicle heavy armies. Though in fairless, it shouldn't normally be your main HQ choice

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Showcase: Chaos Sorcerer (Power Fist/Force Sword)

Venerable brother Arias crushed the chaos marine with his power claw, splintering the heavy Ceramite plating of its power armour. But no blood came out as he killed the warriors of the Thousand Sons, only grey dust and a green flash of light. His other weapon, a Flamestorm cannon, lit up the dusk of the battlefield, melting power armour and sending burning cultists screaming to their doom. Many threw themselves off the cliff edge, to quickly end their suffering or in vain hope to land in water.

One marine remained to challenge him, as the rest of the Red Scorpions battle-group attacked the main Thousand Sons defending force. This renegade looked to be some form of champion, resting one hand on an ornate power sword, green lightning crackling off it's blade. His helmet was of the brightest gold, flame-light flickering off his shiny surface. A purple cloak flowed behind, topped by numerous scrolls and pieces of parchment hanging from his power pack.

"Burn, herertic", Arias intoned monotonously, firing his Flamestorm cannon at the sorcerer, who was engulfed by the thick flames. But after the flames vanished, he still stood. His armour showed no signs of burn damage, nor was his cloak aflame, or even singed. Is was if the flames were dissipated  Arias fired again, but the sorcerer held his power fist, open palmed, at the flame shot. The flames contracted in size as they closed on the Thousand Son, forming in the open palm of the power fist. The flames changed colour, from a promethium fueled red to an eery purple, screaming faces appearing in each flicker. The sorcerer then directed the flames back at Arias, forming a concentrated beam of purple energy. The warp-flame hit Arias' Flamestorm cannon, melting through the heavy plating, igniting the fuel, and blasting the whole arm from the body. The molten metals of the arm dripped down onto the leg, partially melting the joint, slowing any potential movement. 

The heretic ran towards Arias, who swung across with his power claw. The sorcerer ducked under the blow, seemingly by inches. He swiped up with an activated power fist, smashing into the power claw's joints. Climbing up on the now immobilised arm, the sorcerer then blasted the sarcophagus with another warp-fire blast, melting away a fist sized hole in the armour around the vision slit. Amniotic fluids drained from the internal tank.  Arias' fleshy remains were pitied by the sorcerer, who tutted behind his helmet, before saying: 

"So...this is what the false god calls a hero? How disappointing."

Arias was no longer able to move his face after centuries of internment in amniotic fluid, so his rage lay inside, until the sorcerer rammed his force sword straight through his skull, killing him instantly. Arias' soul burned as the psychic forces tore his spirit apart.



Today, I'm showing off, in my opinion, my most intricate and best painted HQ charcter for my Thousand Sons.


This guys has long been unpainted, but a recent HQ competition motivated me to start and finish this long awaiting HQ, which has been very successful in-games. It only seemed fair to give him some paint.


The power fist's flames, and the eyes, both use an OSL (object source lighting) technique, learned in an older 'Eavy metal Masterclass' book. Although the paint names are redundant, the techniques are fantastic and still very much relevant. I chose not to add OSL to the sword, as I felt it would be too much.


Being a Thousand Sons leader, he needed the icon of his Legion. This is probably the neatest one I've done, after trying out a different technique of painting it. I will share this technique at a later point.


The cape came out great, and I think I'll be using more purple in my force as a result. It started off as Liche Purple, with a small bit of white added for raised areas, even more for highlighting. A Tamiya weathering stick was used to create the dust effect at the bottom, where the cloak would drag on the floor.


The base has been kept faily strightforward, using only the rock formation that came with the model, and a Necron skull. I felt that adding more, such as grass tufts, would hide key details like the leg highlighting.

All painted up, this pyromaniac-sorcerer lord is ready to set the Imperium alight for chaos



Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Fellblade Project: Part Four (Serious Horsepower)

Ozhmund Kotep stood amongst a sea of engine components; pistons, gears and bolts. Grabbing parts in order, left to right, he dipped hands into a great gold vat, containing a mix of human and xenos blood, Screamer venom, and machine oil, before placing the dripping components back on the tables perfectly aligned in groups of nine. His assistant, former magos Farox, had been observing this ritual for the past six hours. The machine priest's allegiance to the Thousand Sons had been so far brief, only defecting to them over a week ago. Fresh sigils of chaos covered his former god's symbols, and he wore a gold spiked band around his neck.

"Query, Master Khotep,  senior-techmarine for the XV legion, designation: Thousand Sons, Excommunicate Traitoris. What is the purpose of submerging holy components in this substance?"

Khotep remained silent.

"Query, Master Khotep, senior-techmarine of..."

"It's to bless the war-machine and bond it with daemons", Said Khotep, impatience evident in his voice.

"But by my calculations, Master Khotep, senior-techmarine for the XV legion, designation: Thousand Sons, Excommunicate Traitoris, this substance will increase the rate of deterioration by 0.7382% in all metallic components, and 1.2532% in rubbers and plastics."

"It is essential, my assistant", Khotep emphasised the 'assistant' part of the sentence. The magos was thrown to him by his warlord as a servant.

"Your rites of the machine are very similar to those I observed from Fenris' own..."

Khotep stopped still, blood dripping down from his hands, then turned fast, punching the magos square in the face, sending him to the floor. The magos' left-side eye lenses were cracked by the impact.

"Do not speak of the Wolves of that dog-emperor in my sanctum! Do you recognise what this is?". Khotep took out a bolt pistol.

"Yes, Master Khotep, senior-techmarine for the XV legion, designation: Thousand Sons, Excommunicate Traitoris. It is a bolt pistol, pattern unknown, some identifiable parts, Phobos pattern, Indominus pattern. Recalibrated to take 0.50 calibre bolt shells"

"Yes, and if you mention...Space Wolves, in this workshop again, you'll get a 0.50 calibre bolt shell to the face, understood?"

The magos remained silent, but Khotep knew he had understood. He went back to his ritual, dipping more components in the blood/oil mixture.


Where I left the Fellblade last time

Finally, after a long while, I'm back to working on the Fellblade. Yaaaaaaaay. Still so much work to do, but I feel a lot more motivated to get this beast up and running.


So far this weekend, I've been focusing my attentions on the engine section, hoping to shove some serious power under the hood.


The engine from the existing Baneblade had been cut away last time I shared progress, and reshaped with plasticard to sit lower and further back. This work has now been completed. Whilst it's not perfect, it is only the first layer, and will be covered in new panels and details.

I decided to make my own, larger version of a Helfire reactor (like those used in Chaos Contemptor Dreadnoughts). the base-parts for this are the two halves of a Leman Russ Executioner Plasma Cannon. I wanted something techy, and something which would take a glow-effect well.

The large exhausts are actually Forgefiend Hades Autocannons. There's something both intimidating and retro about them, and I was instantly attracted to the idea of using them. The smaller exhausts are Big Shoota barrels left over from my Bomma-to-Thunderbolt conversion.


The engine covers are taken from the Bomma kit. They're not glued down, as I want to add another layer of plasticard, so the covers fit flush. I may also add some vents, made from various turbine components (Warp talon backpacks, drop pod vents etc.).


Once the engine is done, I will finish the hull and start riveting this beast. The turret will be the next step, something I am dreading. will be a challenge to sculpt a dome...