Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WIP: Spartan, Lord and Sorcerer

With a new job, I’ve been finding it hard to get time to work on my projects. However, in between shifts and on days off I’ve done little bits here and there. Lately, I’ve broken out the glue and recommenced work on some of my long-standing projects: notably a chaos Terminator Lord and the Chaos Spartan.

The lord is based on a Khorne Lord Zhufor from Forgeworld, that I got last year as a present. I did plan to make this model as just a terminator sorcerer, but with this model’s bolter/power fist, it made a great stand-in for Abaddon the Despoiler. It could also be used as a sorcerer, should I decide I don’t need a Talon of Horus and can make do with a twin bolter. However, seeing as it is a Khorne model, not Tzeentch, much had to change before any of this.

First off, the Khorne icons were removed from the model. Abbadon’s sword was cut from one of the old metal sorcerers in power armour. I added a baroque helmet from Evil Craft, and the shoulder-pads. From Maxmini, are reminiscent of the early days of the Thousand Sons, before treachery and tragedy trapped them into exile.

I decided to keep the skeleton, because it is a great piece and adds height to this model.

Alongside this lord is the ultimate transport, the Chaos Spartan. The one thing that had been putting me off completing this was making the eight Lascannons, and making them look good. Whilst I was satisfied with the ones made for the Fellblade, I wasn’t quite happy with them. I’ve changed a few things this time.

 Along the energy coils, I’ve added support struts, to suggest they are an older or more primitive build. To help with the overall look, I’ll be adding armoured covers much like on the plastic Land Raider.

I also added this old-looking spotlight from the Malcador. Spartans cannot have searchlights, but it is a neat piece, so I had to use it.

To finish off, here is a small conversion I did, to make use of a model I hadn’t found a use for yet. I added a Maxmini clockwork axe to this Chosen with Power Fist model from the Dark Vengeance box set. With some additional work, this could make a great sorcerer or even another Warpsmtih.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Pint-Sized 40k: Travel Wargaming (Part One)

War gaming is great, but it can be a little cumbersome. Last year I took my Thousand Sons with me to Wales for a game at GW: Cardiff. I must admit that it was a pain to bring with me on the train, alongside two suitcases. With that in mind, I wondered if there was a better way to get my gaming fix, without the bulky cases and heavy rulebooks. Whilst pondering, I have across this amazing project, and I decided there and then: I want a travel 40k set. I would use a magnetic travel game, like shown in the link, and use Warhammer 40,000: Epic models and squads.

However, with epic becoming out of print, and being very expensive on EBay, it seemed like a project that would be cancelled before even starting. But when I went on vacation this year, I struck literal gold. I visited ACME Games in Llandudno, Wales, to buy the Warlord Carrier I reviewed this week. Before leaving Wales, I decided to go back one more time. And what did I see on the counter? Bags of Epic Space Marines for sale, at ridiculously cheap prices.

I managed to bag 23 stands of Marines, 12 Rhinos, and ten Dreadnoughts, for the insanely low price of £2. Yes that’s right, £2. Result!

Sure, I don’t have much of a range, but that’s not important: this will be a simple pick-up set ideal for train journeys and airplane rides. Still, it does have potential, and I’ve already begin converting up some units.
Here, we have a Khorne Rhino for one of the teams (I may do a four gods ‘eye of terror’ style set). All I did was add a small Khorne icon from the Forsaken kit, cut in half with each half added to one of the roof hatches.

This next model is more intricate. I wanted to have some sort of battle tank, and a Vindicator seemed like a very easy conversion. I filed the front end flat, and added a short stubby gun barrel, made from plastic pipe. The calibre is a bit large, but then again it does make it easy to identify. A bit of trim was added to the front plate for detail.  I also shaved the roof hatches, so I can add a vent (make from a normal-scale Space Marine’s backpack vent.

This is only the beginning, but I expect to have a lot of fun with this. I've never worked with stuff this small, so it should be an interesting endeavour. Next on my to-buy list is a magnetic travel game to use as the board. If anyone can direct me to somewhere in the UK that sells cheap options, please feel free to comment below or on Facebook.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Review: Bolt Action Universal Carrier

The Universal Carrier was one of Great Britain’s most common WWII vehicles. These small, light carriers lived up to their name, and there universally used in the British, Australian and Soviet armies in a variety of roles, from troop carrier to light gun platforms. Even the Germans nabbed themselves a number of these ubiquitous units. 

Today, I’m looking at Warlord’s newly released plastic Universal Carrier.

Warlord’s plastic model retails at £12 for one model. There is also a three-pack set, which also comes with infantry, for £45. This set is great value, but for today I’m only looking at the carrier on its own. It is a very small model, but it is one of the cheapest transports out there.

The kit comes on two sprues, and is very easy to assemble, with only two stages before options. the parts are very well detailed, with clear-cast rivets and details galore. One thing I like about it is that it doesn't have a slab of resin underneath; that was the one thing that bothered me about the old resin ones, I don't like having a mix of based and un-based tanks. 

In terms of options, the vehicle comes with four crew members (only the driver is needed really), and parts to make either a mark one or mark two. There are no weapons options apart from two MMGs, so you’ll need to do a bit of converting to make a gun carrier such as the boy’s rifle UC or the 2 pdr.

The kit is easily customised with just a few outside parts. I plan to make this model a part of my early-war German army, and it will be run as a count-as 250 scout unit. 

All I’ve needed to do is change the heads for German helmets and add a few bits of stowage from the Heer box set. The British MMG has been changed out for a German MG34, also from the Heer set. The Pak 36 still needs adding, but so far it is turning out to be a great investment. 

To finish off, here's a scale shot next to another Warlord Games plastic kit, the Hanomag.

Overall, this is a great addition to a Bolt Action force, and not just for the British armies. Germans, Soviet, and I think Canadians too, all these armies (and probably more) could all do with more Universal carriers amongst their ranks.