Thursday, 27 June 2013

showcase: 1500 pts Thousand Sons Foce (Wartorn UK)

Wartorn is quickly approaching, but I am now safe in the knowledge that my fighting force is all painted and ready for battle.


The list has remained relatively intact, but those eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed there is no more Rhino for my Thousand Sons. After a discussion on the forums, it was agreed that it is an easy kill-point, and I've dropped it (and one cultist) to spend points buffing the more important units.

 The Vindicator now has Daemonic Possession, whilst the Mutilators have the benefit of a mark of Tzeentch.

My combat tactics are very light at the moment, and I suspect I'll think about them in more detail. My main plan is to focus each unit on a particular target. For example, the Havocs will focus on light armour/bikes, Vindicator will take tanks/infantry, as will the Land Raider, and the Drake will get up high and focus on back-bench killers such as artillery, and other flyers. I am open to tactical suggestions, but to let you know, I cannot change any part of my list, the list has already been submitted.


As well as preparing my main force, I've also managed to finish the Daemon Prince, which may see some action this weekend if I roll Dark Apotheosis for any of my champions.

If you have read the Facebook page recently, you will know that there will not be a post this Saturday, as I will be at Wartorn UK. However, I will be taking tons of photos, so expect them to appear over the weekend. Normal service resumes Tuesday.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

WIP: Daemon Prince of Tzeentch

when playing a test match with my tournament list, I managed to enter a combat challenge and win with my Terminator lord. I rolled my bonus, and got the most-favoured roll of 65-Dark Apotheosis. I was amazed I managed to roll it, but annoyingly, I had no Daemon Prince model. a Contemptor Dreadnought did proxy for the time being, but it has spurred me to built one, in-case such a thing happens at the tournament, where WYSIWYG is more strict. Things is, I have less than three days to prepare it.



Fortunately I have finished building the beast, so that's stage one complete. The model is based on the K'daai Fireborn models made by Forge World/Warhammer Forge. I had to buy a box of three, but it does mean there will be more princes to come, one for each of my major champions, should they all decide to go full on beast-mode. It has ended up a fraction taller than a Contemptor dreadnought, but far skinnier. It is taller than a Lord of Change, so I suspect it is a suitable size for a Daemon Prince, even though it is smaller than the official plastic kit. It is on a 60mm base to keep the other players happy, and fore more space for scenic bits. The war gear has been left purposely bland: this is the transformation prince, and this has no gear other than a mark and power armour. Other future princes will be more extravagant.



I've made a few modifications to bring it into the 41st millenium. The main piece is the power-fist, leftover from my Tartaros Terminators. You may note that it matches the one wielded by one of my sorcerers, Imoda. This is most likely going to be his transformation, so the fist and a Chaos power pack, from the possessed sprue, have been added. It won't exclusively be his transformation, so I've tried to make it more generic. The cables coming our of both gauntlets are reminiscent of my Terminators, particularly the sorcerer in Terminator Armour who is leading my force.


Paint wise, I am thinking of doing golden armour, or incorporating some blue into it. The flames will either be standard yellow/red, green or purple, though I am leaning towards normal flames for now. If I change my mind, I still have the other two models to test out other colours

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Showcase: Chaos Lord/Sorcerer on Jet-bike

To lead my chaos bikers into battle, I created a new speedy HQ choice a few months back. Now the model is complete, say hello to my Jet-biking hero.


In-game, he counts as either a Sorcerer or a Lord of Tzeentch, on a Disc of Tzeentch with a Burning Brand of Skalathrax, amongst other things. This is because the disc is classed as a jet-bike, and you don't need to be great at maths to work out a jet-bike is a good alternative for something that works like a jet-bike. The Baleflamer from the Heldrake was planed in the weapon housing to represent the Brand.

This model sacrificed his noggin for a
good cause....
Very little had changed since you last saw this model. I swapped the head out, taking the one used on my actual-disc sorcerer. I felt it was better representing of a Thousand Sons than the more generic horned helmet it had before. The rest you know already: A Forge World Scimitar Jet-bike, combined with a power axe from the Dark Vengeance starter set, various Chaos components, and some Brass etch.





The paint scheme follows the standard blue-gold scheme. The ordinary metals were given a lot of wear-and tear, which done through heavy washes of Agrax Earithshade and Badab Black, as well as a lot of chipping with Mithril Silver.



The power/force axe was painted in red fiery tones. I started with a lightning effect, painted on in a 25/75 mix of black and Mechrite Red. I then painted in increasingly smaller lines in the following order: pure Mechrite Red, Evil Sunz Scarlet, Troll Slayer Orange, Flash Gitz Yellow, 50/50 Flash Gitz Yellow/White, White. I also added an ominous yellow eye on the centre of the blade.


Because of all the large flat surfaces, I had plenty of space to practice freehand. Much of the model's surface has been convered in icons and scripture. Icons were done in Averland Sunset and Flash Gitz yellow, whilst the scripture was painted in white using an insane Detail brush from Army Painter.

With this guys completed, I'm ready to challenge Nurgle Command's model in combat in the coming months.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Analysis: 4ok Psychic Powers (Telepathy)

Telepathy in 40k is essentially all about mind-games. The telepath has the power to inspire, terrify and conceal things from the minds of the enemy and the ally. It is not as directly destructive as other disciplines, so the tactics for its use are very different.

Psychic Shriek

This power is the only real direct-damage power in this discipline. It only has a 12" range, and causes wounds based on leadership values (3D6-LD value). What this power does have going for it is that it doesn't allow armour or cover saves. The best targets for this power are low-leadership units to force more kills, or high armoured units to negate their main bonus.

Dominate

This power can effectively render an enemy unit useless for a turn. The enemy has to roll a leadership test every time it wants to run, shoot, move, assault....anything really.  Failure means they do nothing at all. Very handy for units closing in on you, or ones with big guns. The power will not work on fearless units or those without a leadership value, so don't try this in those Dreadnoughts bearing down on you.

Mental Fortitude

Mental Fortitude is a blessing which helps units stand their ground. Fleeing units immediately regroup, and become Fearless for a turn. This is also very handy even if the unit isn't fleeing the battlefield. Use it to buff camping units, to stop them running off key objectives, or use it on a cannon fodder unit (like Cultists) to tie up enemy assault units and prevent them running down your screening units in the fall-back phase. The power is a bit useless if you have a lot of fearless units like Thousand Sons.

Puppet Master

The power use the enemy's guns against them is in your hands. The power lets you control one model (your choice is you pass the "focused" part) within 24" and shoot with it for a turn. Turn meltas on enemy tanks, or gun doen hordes with blast markers. this power can also affect enemy tanks, so you can really have some fun here This is a focused witchfire power so it does require a bit of luck. To help improve your chances, aim for units with multiple models with powerful gear (Fire Dragons, Lootas, Devastators, tanks squadrons). If you don't get your targeted model, there will still be something useful. Also, you could try targeting single-model units to improve the odds.

Terrify

Even the most fearless of foe will be shaking in their boots after this power goes off. The target looses their Fearless rule for a turn and also have to take a leadership. Very handy for units that just will not flee. This would even be handy for large Ork mobs, fearless due to their unit size. Their naturally low leadership could be the death of them.

Invisibility
Render units like this invisible.


a very good power for units holding out at the back on objectives. Granting Shrouded and Stealth, this power renders a unit pretty much....well...invisible. It is Warp Charge two, so you will need a psyker with mastery two to be able to use it. But it is very beneficial. Using the previous example of Cultists, a unit of Cultists in ruins with Invisibility cast upon them will have a 2+ cover save. On a 20 or 30 man unit, that's one unit that is virtually un-removable. Of course the power does not work on cover ignoring weapons like flamers, so watch out for those

Alternatively, you could use this on units closing in on the enemy, to improve their survivability. The power effectly creates a 4+ cover save on its own, and will boost whatever cover you mode through

Hallucination

Stay off them drugs kids! 

The final power of the discipline, and possibly one of the most interesting. Also mastery two, it needs a good psyker to be used. The target unit has a chance of either pinning the unit automatically, rendering them useless for a turn, or a third, more deadly effect. The final roll results in the unit attacking itself in combat. Each model makes a close combat attack with their best weapons. This could seriously damage units like Terminators, Grey knights and Mega Nobs, who all have high Strength and/or low AP weapons. aim for the enemy combat monsters and let their imaginations go wild.

So with some advice on messing with the minds of your foe, you can now have a go of giving the enemy nightmares.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

WIP: Chaos Bikers of Tzeentch

What's fast, deadly and scary to fight? Battle-unicorns, obviously. Today, I am not sharing any armour plated fairytale killers, but another type of steed; the bike.

Having completed three Chaos Bikers, I could tell that three wasn't going to be enough to do some damage or protect my jet-bike lord. So, I am in the process of building four more, including two extra Plasma-gunners, to add a very nice anti-2+ kick to the unit.

The basic models are the non-chaos Space Marine bikes (I bought one of the three-packs to save some coin!). I chose this variety because it closer ties in to my conversions based on the Dark Angel bikes. Also, I prefer the more enclosed, armoured and less spiky look.

A few modifications have been made though. The main one of course is the helmets, which are metal Thousand Sons ones. I've also changed the chest pieces and shoulder pads to chaos space marine bits. I had to trim the belt buckles on the chests, since they were preventing me from placing them at the right angle. If the bodies are to up-straight, I cannot fit the larger chaos backpacks on.


The hardest part was making the Plasma Guns for the bikes. In the end, I went with a different style to my first one, and simply added the plasma weapon on top of the bolter. I trimmed down a Plasma Pistol (and the plasma cutter from a Techmarine on one bike) and flattened the top of one bolter. The two were introduced, and now I have a simple yet representative conversion, without the rider having to balance and enormous energy rifle in one hand.




Next up it's painting, and then the unit will be a nice 7 strong squad of speedy death. I'll probably take advantage of GWs three-pack of bikes again to save more money, and I can then have a full-sized unit, and make the final speciality model; the icon bearer. Comments and criticisms welcome.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Review: Warlord Games Macedonian Phalangites Box Set

Macedonian Phalangites were a key part of the well-trained force that formed the Macedonian army, and helped lead Philip II and Alexander to many victories. Warlord Games has produced a plastic box-set of these spear armed elite troopers for their Hail Caesar war-game.

The box comes with enough bodies and parts to create 40 Macedonian troops armed with spears and shields. That's right, forty models. Four-zero. This is an incredible amount of plastic for £20. In other box sets you usually expect around ten models for around £20, and in some skirmish games, this can often be only five models. So right off the bat, you're getting a lot for your money.


The price you pay though is a lot of repetition. The box comes with ten sprues, all identical, as well as a transfer sheet. Having so many sprues be the same does limit customisability, but remember that this is a box of uniform troopers, so expect them to match in style and posing (as they are moving as a unit). Also, it is a very large squad, so it will be hard to focus on the individuals. instead, you will be awe at the size of this block of troops, which if my guesses are correct, you can make even bigger with more box-sets. That is one large block of men to fear in battle.



Now onto the models themselves. Each sprue comes with parts to make four soldiers, and comes with six heads, six spear arms and a pair of helmet crests, meaning there is some degree of customisability to the squad. The arms are part-moulded onto the model, which gives the impression of ease of assembly. That impression is correct. There are no instructions, but the arms are for the most part attached to the spears, so instructions really aren't warranted. There are only around four to five parts per model so there is very little to get wrong. Also, you want the unit to rank up together. Customisability brings such problems, I remember building a very beautiful unit of Warhammer Forsaken, but always struggled to get them to form up neatly. As with the T-34/85 I reviewed last week, the details are very crisp and a good indicator of the quality.

Warhammer 40,000 and Malifaux models shown for scale
purposes only. 

When put together, the models look very imposing with their spears and heavy-looking round shields. I worry that the spears are too flimsy to hold up to repeated use. I recommend extreme care, or for those who are keen modellers, replacing the spear shaft with brass rod. Mould lines were limited and easy to clear.


You'll notice that the models are not on a base. the box-set does not come with any sort of bases. Based on the box-art on the back, the models are meant to be set up on a large base, each one containing eight models in a two wide by four deep block. Theses big bases seem very simple to make though. You could easily cut a 2" by 4" rectangle from plasticard, wood, or even cardboard.




To finish up, this is a box set where you get a lot for your money. You may have to sacrifice things like bases, but the things that are missing are easily made. I'm going to score this kit with an 8.5/10. My main points are as follows:

Pros
-A lot of plastic for £20
-Details are clear
-Models are easy to assembly
-Fear factor! Big units will scare the opponent


Cons
-No bases
-Not much customisability
-Flimsy spear shafts, might break if not careful

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Showcase: Thousand Sons Heldrake


The second showcase in a row, not bad if I do say so myself. I've been very busy trying to get a number of projects done before Wartorn, both for tournament reasons, and so it looks more acceptable to get something new (helps not having 12+ existing projects!). The latest item to be completed is my Heldrake, a model which is both deadly and divisive in looks.


The gold trim was my biggest fear when painting this, simply because there is so much of the stuff. Following my six stage scheme for gold, you can imagine how much work had to go into it. In between the gold lining, some panels got scripture painted on with Vallejo White and am ultra-thin brush.

The eyes and parts of the underbelly were painted in a green glow to showcase the daemonic energies barely contained inside this deadly sky-beast. I used my glow technique, but also added a layer of Tamiya Clear Green to suggest the glow is coming from behind glass.

To add a bit more character to the model, I added a tiny amount of blood-effect around the mouth, using Agrax Earthshade and Tamiya Clear Red.


The base was built up to a cliff edge using Milliput and foam. After sanding the base was topped with a spare dreadnought shoulder and broken mechanics, before being painted. The dreadnought arm has been painted in the colours of the Blood Ravens chapter (cookies for getting the reference!).

Sorcerer Ramshek directs the machine into battle...

With this model now complete, I only have a few more squads to finish up before my tournament Thousand sons force is ready for the battlefield.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Showcase: Panzerkompanie HQ (Stugs with Bergepanzer)


My first unit of completed Flames of War vehicles. Whilst the Puma cars I showed last time are the first completed models, this command unit if the first fully built and painted squad to soon take to the miniature fields of battle.

The models are mostly straight from the box, apart from the Bergepanzer III. The recovery vehicle started life as a normal Zvezda Panzer III, which was designated as a test-vehicle, a platform to try out my colour schemes. Even though it was a test model, I hate seeing models go to waste, never to be played. So I decided to make use from it. Whilst I couldn't form a unit with one tank, there was one option I could do, covert it! I was in need of a recovery vehicle, and rather than spend £8 on a new one, I customised this old tank into one. The hull is mostly stock.


The turret and locator peg were removed, and a 'box' was added to the top, made from plasticard. Thin strips were then added on top to form the planks making up the section. The compartment was filled and decorated with various spares, taken from the Stug and Panther kits made by The Plastic Soldier Company. The winch arm is made from a paper clip and plasticard rod.


The Stugs weren't left unmodified either. Both tanks have had zimmerit added, a feature common to German tanks of this era. It was make by applying a thin sheet of greenstuff to sections, mainly the front, the turret housing and the rear, and then patterning it with the tip of a hobby knife. considering the scale these tanks are, I think I've pulled off the effect well.


All three vehicles have been painted in my mid/late war scheme. It starts off as Middlestone, and after a was of GW Agrax Earthshade and more Middlestone, patches of Reflective Green and German Camo Dark Brown were added to finish off the look.

Little details include the machine guns, painted in Boltgun, and the tools picked out in dark brown. I've also freehanded the German cross on both Stugs, to break up the camouflage a little more.


Overall, I feel this unit is ready to take the fight to the enemy, and in style.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Review: Warlord Games T-34/85 Medium Tank (Plastic)

Warlord Games is fast becoming a popular creator and supplier of historical war-games, from the Roman conflicts to the ever-popular World Wars. Bolt Action is one of their key ranges, and one which I have seen many of my friends and followers have a go at. So it only makes sense for me to start with Bolt Action too.

The kit I am reviewing today is a T-34/85, one of the Soviet's most successful tanks, and one which helped  change tank designs during World War Two. Warlord Games has recently recreated this tank in plastic for Bolt Action, for use by the Soviet forces.  I have never made a Warlord Games model, so I cannot compare the tank to their metal/resin range of tanks, so for now this is just a simple review of this tank, not a comparison between plastic and resin.

It currently retails for £18 on the Warlord Games website. The price is fairly low for a 'medium tank', similar tanks from other games can cost much more than this. It is, however, much smaller than those other products. Having said that, this tank is the correct scale for the range it has been added to, and it is only fair to expect a smaller product for a much lower price.

My first impressions are very good. The kit comes on two sprues, with instructions and a small sheet of water transfers. The instructions are simple to follow and easy to read. They do not show how to add the optional tank commander, but it is a kit that comes with pain-free assembly, so it isn't really an issue. If it were a massively complex kit, then I could imagine issues, but I digress. There are a few options, but less than I'm used to: although the options I'm used to are choices between laser-cannons and plasma blasters (Warlord, if you're reading this, a T-34/85 with a laser cannon would be pretty cool!).



In terms of detail, the tank is covered in everything you expect from a kit in this price bracket. Details are very crisp and intricate, down to the fine pattern on the tank's track links. The wheels do lack a groove (where the track teeth would pass between), but that is kind of nit-picking, as I doubt you will notice during game-play when you're trying to hide from a King Tiger.


Having built the tank over an afternoon, I can say that I encountered no serious issues, if any at all. Pretty much all parts slotted together neatly, there was no warping to deal with, and the mould-lines were relatively simple to clear. Parts like the tracks aren't numbered on the instructions, but there is only one way for them to be attached to the model, so there is no issue here. It is a beautifully simple kit: the kind of kit you can lazily build on a sunny afternoon in an hour or two, with the very minimal of rage-quitting and a smile on your face.



GW Rhino and space Marine shown for scale purposes only

In conclusion, this is a fantastic kit from Warlord Games, and as it is my very first kit from them, it has portrayed them in a very good light, scoring a very good 9.5/10 for those of you who like a number. I cannot wait to review more products from them in the future. As usual, here are my main points summarised:


Pros
-Cheap for a medium-tank
-Incredibly detailed for this price range and scale
-Very easy assembly
-0 defects

Cons
-More options would have been nice
-Instructions do not show how to assemble the commander


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Showcase: Chaos Cultists With Autoguns

A horde of cultists march under the banner of the Thousand Sons this day. Today, I'm showing off my recently finished 'shooty' Cultist unit.

I wanted to make this unit appear to be a mix of soldier, renegades, civilians and the faithful. In order to do this, I've mixed in a number of models from sources other than the Dark Vengeance box set. All have been painted differently; no two are alike. But they all follow a general theme. They are mostly painted in light sandy colours, khakis, with patches of blue, and in the case of the ex-soldiers, patches of their former armour colours.


A few are based on the current palstic cadians. These models have had their armour part-removed and damaged, and have had a few added parts. Some have had head-swaps, the new heads coming from Maxmini (WWII German variety). The Cultist champion is based on a Cadian, with a Forge World Renegade Enforcer's body, a renegade's autopistol, and a punching arm from an Empire model. Seeing as he has a skull-helmet and is the only one armed with an autopistol, he shouldn't be too hard to pick out as the ring-leader.


Some are even older models, but are still a recent addition. These models are the classic metal Cadians. These were harder to work with, and so have only really had green-stuff additions, such as face-masks and bandages, a few spikes glued on, and have had all insignia and icons filed off.





I wanted to have two heavy stubbers in this unit, but Dark Vengeance only comes with one. The second is a conversion based on the flamer carrier. The cables, flamer barrel and tanks were cut off. An ammo belt left over from my Anvil Industries rifles as added in place of the cable, and the barrel of a bolter was added to the tip of the gun. The back was covered with a parchement/wood panel from the Empire Flaggelants kit.

So that's one mob done, now it is time to move onto the combat cultists...