Sunday, 31 July 2016

Road to glory: Armies of Parade Part One

I love the creativity and ideas that flood the net when Armies on Parade arrived. And now that my town has a local GW store, I can have a crack at it.

My first thing to work out was a theme. It's easy to plonk an army on a board, but having a coherent theme really does help create a great scene. I've decided to go for the events from Ahriman: Unchanged, when Ahriman's band of sorcerers returns to the Planet of the Sorcerers to undo the first Rubric. I want to create models of all the main characters on Ahriman's side, plus infantry and vehicle support. I have a bit of a head start on this, as some of my existing models can be used. So far I've worked out the following:

  • Ahriman-I'll either modify an existing GW Ahriman model, or convert my own.

  • Ignis-I actually made a start on Ignis months back, as part of a planned smaller diorama. The base model is an Iron Father, but since the picture was taken the model now has Cataphractii lightning claws, which match the book's description. The arms are new so will need painting to match the torso, as Ignis is described as having bright orange and black Terminator armour
  • Credence-Ignis' faithful robotic companion. Based on the book's description, in terms of weapons (two fists with in-built flamers and a shoulder-mounted cannon) the best starting point will be a Castellax Battle Automata. Like ignis this will also be orange.

  • Ctesias-From the book this character has a staff and rides a disc, so my current Disc Sorcerer will be a perfect stand-in
  • The Athenaum-Magnus' Knowledge locked in the shell of a Sanakht. This one will be interesting, as I want the model to be unarmoured. I am still of two minds whether to include this model. For compelteness' sake I still may.
  • Gaumata-Essentially a sorcerer with a mourning star. Should be fun to convert, this guy will lead a unit of Thousand Sons
  • The Changling-Whilst in no way in Ahriman's side, it would be tempting to have this guy skulking in the background, as it played a key role in the book.
Alongside these characters I'll be adding some Rubric and daemon support. The daemons will surround Ctesias as he summoned them to the planet during the novel's events, whilst every unit that can be will be in blocks on nine, Tzeentch's favoured number.

All I have to show you now is a very rough sketch (not to scale), but over the coming weeks I'll certainly have more to show. 

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Workshop Datalogs: July 2016

This month has been a flurry of activity, with both the Thousand Sons and Undead receiving a lot of attention.

After completing the Contemptor, I've moved onto the next Forge World model in line, the limited edition Praetor. Painting up this model has been a joy, and I'm coming very close to completing it, with only a few details to go. What's more, I've also been working on its alternate 'base'.

As well as being a Sorcerer model, I can use it as a herald or burning chariot. Two pins and matching holes have been drilled into the disc and the sorcerer's right foot, ensuring I have a stable connection with either the disc or a normal 40mm base.

Next up is a unit of Warp Talons, brought back from the dead (Well, bits box). I've managed to put together a unit of seven, with an imposing champion which uses Asorath the Grim's wings, Forsaken helmet, and Necron tabbard. I did try going for multi-coloured wings on the champion, but it wasn't working out so I'm now going for crystal clean white feathers.

Alongside the Thousand Sons, I've been painting up this Tomb Stalker for the other half. An Ebay salvage job, the model was originally painted in a gold and silver scheme, with broken legs. With some TLC, base reworking and a new paint job, it's really starting to come together. For added structural support, the base was built up using smaller chunks of cork, and an old Leman Russ turret.

Next, some Age of Sigmar. Yesterday saw the release/re-box of some mono-pose Stormcast and Bloodbound model. I bought the Storm of Sigmar set for £20, which represents a 50% discount over buying the four component sets individually. The models are fantastic, being the same as the ones in the starter set, but none of them were going in my Death force stock...

So now they form the start of a unit of Grave Guard with great weapons. The models are big, imposing, and slowly look a bit more like the skeletal remains of the warriors they once were. Many have has their feet chopped off, and replaced with sculpted bony toes (a tutorial for this will likely come out soon). A head swap and a few cuts later, they are slowly looking the part. The next step is ensuring the armour looks suitably beaten and old.

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Showcase: Thousand Sons Contemptor with Multi Meltas

Renseneb, also know as Renseneb of the Ninth Circle, once walked the streets of Terra millenia ago, and was one of the first of the Thousand Sons. A skilled pyromancer, he was cut down in his prime by an alien warlord, cut in two by a wicked barbed power blade. Kept alive long enough to be interred within a Contemptor Dreadnought chassis, his vengeance against alien foes was noticeable, even by the Imperium's own Xenophobic standards. Commonly armed with a pair of potent Multi Meltas, no enemy tank, walker or wraithbone construct could withstand his fury. During the battle for Prospero, a mighty Mastodon of the hated Space Wolves legion fell beneath his fiery might, even it's ceramic shielding melting to slag with Renseneb's warp-influenced shots. The contingent of Astartes burned alive, the doors leading out fused shut. 

After the Horus Heresy, and banishment by Magnus after the Rubric, he joined the Scions of Change as a key adviser: his mind was incredibly clear, when it was common for many Dreadnought pilots to be lost to insanity, rage, daemonic influence or all three. 

Today he stands at the forefront of the Scion's wars. Still wielding the same Multi Meltas as used against aliens, Astartes and Custodes alike, no tank is safe. Upon his armoured hide rests an icon of Tzeentch, the god of change. Daemonic forces stir around the flaming icon, bringing forth the wrath of the gods to every war and skirmish.

Finally, this beautiful kit is finished. It's been such a joy to build and paint, I've taken an extra long time to ensure every detail is spot on. Following the blue and yellow scheme as the infantry, it stands well against the Thousand Sons it is usually fielded with.

 An airbrush was used to create the build up of dust on the legs, which really helps make the model look and feel just a bit more realistic.

Having put this model with my first Contemptor, I am now tempted to rework that one to match. This new model is my "sculpt of the year" and will be a hard one to top.

For most battles he will just be armed with the Multi Melta: a free upgrade and very nice against tanks, especially with a precognition blessing from my Tzeentch herald for re-rolls.

So there we are, another finished walker (I have too many walkers!). Comments welcome .

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Review: Limited Edition Forge World Terminator Praetor (Plus Conversion)

Last week was a first for Games Workshop, Forge World available to buy in store! whether it was an attempt to gauge interest, or a unique event, it was a great opportunity to review another limited model.

At £25, it's about standard fayre for a Forge World Terminator-sized character (and not far off plastic). The model comes in a giant suit of Tartaros Terminator Armour, and is armed with a Paragon Blade. It comes in eight parts, including a semi-scenic base. The model also comes with rules for its use on games of Horus Heresy (40k rules were given out if you spent over £60 in store).

Weirdly the arms aren't totally separate: one arm up to the elbow is attached to the torso, which comes with a separate chest plate.

Whilst there aren't any real posing opportunities in the kit with major work, it does have a great pose: the model striding forth with blade in hand.

The model is quite large, easily dwarfing my Forge World psyker...

...and even Space Marines. Note that this space marine has had a leg extension and a large flaming power pack!

As you should all know by now, I cannot leave a model unconverted. This wasn't my only purchase of the week, ad I also bought a Burning Chariot set. I'm sure you can guess what happened next..

...This! Another suitable imposing Sorcerer for the Thousand Sons. Using parts from the Burning Chariot (as well as a fantasy chaos lord's head) I've made a suitable chaotic, and daemonic, denizen of the Warp.

The model will help tie in my allied force of daemons with the Thousand Sons. Fluff wise this is a powerful summoner who's responsible for the daemons appearance. In-game it functions as a normal Burning chariot (or a Herald where needed), but with the option to use it on foot.

Overall it is a model that converts really well (even for chaos). Next up is paint, and I imagine that this model will be great to paint. If you're one of the lucky few to grab one, you have a great model that will look fantastic in any Space Marine force, heresy or otherwise.