Saturday, 31 May 2014

News: Wartorn UK Ready For Summer

2014 sees the return of Scarborough’s very own annual war-games show, Wartorn UK. And it’s going to be bigger than ever. The two-day event will be running on Saturday June 28 and Sunday June 29, at the Scarborough Spa on South Bay.

Situated alongside the town’s Armed Forces day, the event never fails to attract big crowds and big names: including the likes of Warlord Games and Mantic Games.

The show will have over 30 traders attending (with the possibility of more) as well as a bring-and-buy event; a haven for second hand bargain hunters. Alongside the stores will be games. There are currently 29 confirmed games present, both display and participation. The event will be spread out over four rooms, so this year’s show will certainly be the biggest in its short history.

There are several new things to get excited about this year. For the first time there will be guest speeches at the show. One such guest is Steve Dunn, who will be giving a talk on the Battle of Cornell: the British Navy’s worst wartime disaster in 100 years.

Two tournaments will be running, a 1500 points 40k tournament, and new for this year, Dropzone commander (also 1500 pts). The 40k tournament will use the now-defunct 6th edition rules, so you won’t have to worry about cramming in a new game edition. Tournament tickets cost £10, and can be bought here. The fees cover the entry costs, prizes and entry to the event for both days. £1 from each ticket will go towards Help For Heroes.

And if that wasn’t enough, there will be the Scarborough Armed Forces Day air-show to look forward to. This year's sees the only airworthy Vulcan bomber take to the skies of this seaside town.

This year’s event will be cheaper for all to attend. Tickets are now £4, and cover both days. Under 14’s go free if accompanied by an adult. There is nearby parking, plus several parking areas within walking distance.
I will be attending the event, so if you need any advice on how to get here, where to stay, or if you want to chat, feel free to contact me. I’ll also be bringing along a special prototype model, which I won’t be revealing in-full until the event.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Review: Spellcrow Plague Legion Bits Part 4/7 (arms)

Arms are an important part to most models, and many people don’t consider that you can do a lot for a model’s appearance with just a pair of arms. Today, in part four of my Spellcrow review mini-series, I’m looking at their set of Plague Legion arms.

For £6.50, you get two parts sprues, each coming with three pairs of arms: with left arms holding rusted knives, and right arms without weapons, just triggers, for use with rifles and pistols.

On each sprue, you also get a bonus head.

The arms are fully suited for Plague Marines and other Nurgle creations: the arms are heavily pitted, with scratch marks and corrosion sculpted onto them. The flared armour has a medieval look to it, so is great for making your models look like well-aged veterans of long-since-past wars. The knifes are in multiple poses, and whilst slightly on the chunky side, are well detailed.

The gun hands are fully compatible with Spellcrow’s own range of guns…

…As well as GW’s own weaponry. Make sure to trim off the handles before gluing.

The arms take the shoulder-pads of other ranges with no issues, which make the assembly of models much easier. The above example is an Evil Craft pad.

These parts have hands which are a bit larger than normal “marine” arms, and are perhaps closer to GW's older models, and arms/hands used by Forge World’s Tartaros armour. To demonstrate this, and the customising opportunities, I’ve make this plague champion, with storm bolter and plague-chainsword. The weapons (and gun hand) are Tartaros Terminator components. With a little bit of work, you can convert the knife hands to add other close combat weapons, or to create something unique like the weapon above, which reuses the knife handle.

All-in-all, they are a valuable set for anyone making plague marines, or those who just want neat corroded-looking arms, providing chunky hands do not put you off. Next time, I’ll be looking at some accompanying Shoulder pads.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Rise of Xaphan: Vraks Army Redo Part Three

The first batch of models is almost complete, and today, I'm sharing an update on them, and a draft of my army list designed for today's newly released 7th edition. .

I wanted to add a little colour to these otherwise drab models. The eye lenses have been painted with a green glow-effect, similar in appearance to cultists from THQ’s Space Marine video game.

To make a nice change from the usual bases, I’m going with a thawing snow styled base. The bases, after receiving a layer of sand, are painted in Rhinox Hide. After a dry brush of Steel Legion Drab, and with rocks picked out in grey, the base got patches of snow added. This was made using a mix of Citadel snow and Baking powder, to create a multi-tone effect. To finish them off, I plan to add some Army Painted winter grass.

Having made some good progress on the squads, I’ve come up with an initial army list I want to run for this army. Bear in mind that this army is based on the 4th/5th edition Vraks army list (which are due to be updated) mixed in with 6th edition Rapier batteries, a 7th edition army selector (with the assumption of being allowed to use a lord of war at 1000 points), and a smidge of guesswork:

Command Squad (exalted), plasma pistol, heavy stubber
(HQ advisors)
Enforcer, shotgun
Enforcer, shotgun, carapace armour
Enforcer, sniper rifle
10 disciples of xaphan, plasma gun
3 Ogryn Beserkers, Power Maul
20 Worker's Rabble, flamer, autopistols
10 Armoured Fists, lasguns and laspistol, heavy stubber.  Taurox, twin turret autocannons, heavy stubber
2x Rapier platforms with laser destroyers
Malcador Defender, heavy bolter sponsons

I wanted this army to have a rag-tag antiquated feel with inferior (but still powerful) weapons. My main troops unit is a block of Workers, whose main task is most likely to die to enemy fire and be a big distraction, or to cower on objectives. The enforcers are there to ensure squads (especially the workers) have a good leadership value: assuming random leadership stays with the update, these guys will be very useful. I went for characterful “enforcement” weapons, shotguns to kill traitors up close, and a sniper rifle to get long-distance deserters (in my mind). The armoured fist squad will run in a basic Taurox (assuming Vraksians get access to it). If not, then I’ll have to buy a Chimera, and I’ll convert the Taurox into something else; maybe a wheeled Trojan/Atlas variant?

 I’ve gone with Ogryns because they are a cool unit of drug-addled monsters which are iconic to the Vraksian forces. With the modern power weapon rules I went for a power maul on the unit leader: what’s not to like about a possible seven strength eight concussive attacks, plus the attacks from the other Ogryns? The rapier guns are there for anti-tank purposes, and are pretty neat-looking weapons with good accuracy thanks to twin-linked.  I’m of two minds on whether to run them as a unit of two, or two single units.

The Malcador is the main bruiser of the force. Whilst it is a super-heavy tank in a 1000 points force, and that might sound OP at first, remember that it is hardly the most powerful of the super-heavies; with its front armour of only 13 and  “normal tank” weaponry. To make it a bit fairer though it is the only tank in this list. Its role will be to charge forward, absorb incoming fire, and engage multiple targets; thinning down infantry squads for the Vraksians to mop up. The Demolisher Cannons is also a handy anti-tank gun should I need it.

I don’t expect this army to win all its games, but I do expect to have a lot of fun playing this list.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Review: Blood and Skulls Industry 6x6 Wheel Kit-With Assembly Guide

Games Workshop's Taurox is a divisive Vehicle. Many like the weapon options and armoured-truck styling, but a lot are put off by the stumpy track units it has in place of wheels. They ruin the overall look, making it look very odd, standing out against other Astra Militarium units. One solution many have followed is to replace them with wheels, either from other kits, like the Ork Trukk, or third party upgrade packs.

Today, I’m having a look at one such pack, newly released from Blood and Skulls Industry. The set retails at £7.13 with current exchange rates, and comes with six ‘large wheels’ which Blood and Skulls has been selling for a while, but with added mounting brackets, two front single wheel mounts and two rear double wheel mounts, to allow easy fitting to the Taurox.

Apart from a noticeable mould-line running across the tyres, and a few air bubbles, they are well-cast, with crisp detailing. The tyres have detailed treads, with added armoured grips. The rims are nicely styled and utilitarian…you won’t see many Tauroxs packing 36” chrome spinners will you?

The brackets are surprisingly detailed, despite the fact it is a fairly hidden part. Still, it shows good craftsmanship.

To fit the brackets, you will need to trim the axles, removing these lips designed for the standard kit’s track units.

Once they’ve been trimmed and filed flat, you can easily add the brackets. The front single-wheels should be attached with the lip facing the top, and central to the axle.

The rear one is similar, but with the lip facing the bottom edge.

The tyres are next. These simply slot onto the modified axles. Make sure to line the up straight, there is a little bit of wobble until they set.

And there you have it, a wheeled Taurox. Replacing the tracks with wheels drastically changes the appearance of this vehicle. The back wheels do protrude from the back of the model, but in a future post, I’ll be showing you an extended bay, as well as other modifications, to transform this slightly ugly truck/tractor into a suitable workhorse for any imperial army. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Rise of Xaphan: Vraks Army Redo Part Two

The Vraksians continue to prepare for war, and the handful of models I started a few weeks ago are closing in on being finished. Today, I’m sharing with you some in-progress pictures of my Vraksian Renegades, and some of the officers of the soon-to-be army.

The militiamen all share a common colour scheme: light browns with rust. The metal of their armour has been painted in rusty tones, using techniques for vehicles from Imperial Armour-Model Masterclass Volume One.

Their clothing has been painted using Vallejo English Uniform. To highlight and build up brighter layers, drops of Vallejo Iraqi Sand was added, with more being added to create the final highlights. The skin tones will use my standard colours, Bugman’s Glow, Dwarf Flesh, and Cadian Fleshtone.

For the commander, I wanted a paler, sickly skin-tone. For this, I used Palid Wych Flesh, with washes of Aggrax Earthshade and Reikland Fleshshade, and highlighting layers of Wych Flesh in-between the washes.

The black leather coat was painted using a technique from the old ‘Eavy Metal masterclass book, using mixes of black, Codex Grey and white. The trousers were painted using the same browns as the Vraksians, to tie the model
into the army.

Alongside the previously shown models, this Preacher model was added to the batch, and is painted in the same way as the Vraksians.

Once the models are done, it’s onto their bases. I’m changing the style on these, and plan to go for a muddy snow-base, much like this style. This will create a nice contrast to the models, and will be a good change from desert sands.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Review: Spellcrow Plague Legion Bits Part 3/7 (backpacks)

Today is the next part of this Spellcrow series, and I will be using this update to look at Spellcrow's Plague Legion Backpacks.

This set come with three designs, two of each, and retails for £6.50. You get these three designs in the set:

Fungal growths.

Barnacle-caked vents

Wooden top with fungus.

The designs are on the organic side of things, and would suit "new" chaos' more organic shapes. Each backpack has a hole in the back, allowing for easy fitting on other marine models. The backs are detailed though, so you might need to file them flat if you feel there isn't enough surface area for the glue.

Worryingly, the organic nature means it's harder to remove the thick resin sprues and mould lines without damaging the pieces. Careful knife-skills, plus some green-stuff for afterwards, if your best bet of removing them.

Once removed they do look good on model, and as expected, they fit well with other Spellcrow components.

All-in-all, they are a nice addition to Plague Legion/Marine armies, that require a little more care when it comes to de-spruing mould-line removal.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

WIP: Bits-Box Thousand Sons

The modeller’s bits box can hold many treasures. A well-aged and large collection of junk can in itself create whole armies. Today, I’m showing off a squad I have made using just spares from the bits-box and leftover parts from my many reviews.

This Thousand Sons squad was made from years of bits and gaming detritus. First off we have these basic Thousand Sons. They were made using Dark Vengeance Dark Angels as a basis.

These two models use the full Dark Vengance bodies…

Whilst these two just use the legs, with Thousand Sons torsos.

The squad uses a lot of spares from the reviews I have done over the years. On this squad you can see Kromlech shoulder pads, Forge World parts, and a few Evil Craft bits.

The sorcerer is the most extensive conversion. It has a Mecha Egyptian head, a gun-glaive from Maxmini, Evil Craft shoulder pads and backpack, the robes from a Thousand Sons Sorcerer, the torso of a Sanguinary Guard, and arms from my old Raptor Champion. Despite the mish-mash of components, it looks pretty good, and will look even better with some paint.

At this stage there are still a few changes I need to make: some of the basic sons need their shoulder filing flat and gaps filled. I hope to get them pained in the next few weeks. For now, that is all for today. If anything, I hope today’s post has encouraged you to see what you can make out of your spares mountains.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Review: Spellcrow Plague Legion Bits Part 2/7 (torsos)

The Plague Legions cometh!

Today is part two of my Plague Legions review series. Last time, I looked at Spellcrow’s great-looking leg set, and today is the next important part of a fully armoured and fully disgusting Plague legionnaire, the torso.
The Plague Legion torso set comes with ten torsos, with five different designs. The set costs £6.50 (8 Euros). A close of up each is shown below:

Ruptured stomach

Cabled stomach


Toothed chest

Mark of Nurgle

Each torso is fully compatible with both GW and other third party components. The above model shows the Plague Legion Torso to be compatible with GW arms and legs, a Maxmini jump pack and an Evil Craft head. This is what you want from third party components; full compatibility. These parts are ideal for power-armoured models, but not Terminator or bigger.

As expected, the torsos fit well to Spellcrow's leg set.

If I were to point out a flaw, it is this. There is a resin gate on the back of the neck. Whilst in most cases you won’t see it once cut off, it is harder to cut off than the arm-mounted gates without damaging the collar. Fortunately only one style had this gate.

Despite this flaw the set is an ideal addition if you’re wanting to modify existing troops into the plague-ridden sons of Nurgle.