Sunday, 8 October 2017

WIP: Talon patttern Hellblade

Just in case you think I don't have enough projects to finish this month, here's yet another. But this time, I've taken to the skies, with a Hellblade/count-as Heldrake.

My army is lacking in the air superiority department, and as much as I like the retro-looking Doomwing I made a while back, it doesn't stack up well against some of my newer additions, both in terms of paint quality and modelling skills. Whilst I will probably fix that, I wanted to go in a different direction with this one: something more modern, angled, and in the style of one of my favourite Forgeworld flyers.

The model started out as a used Stormtalon, originally intented for an Crimson Fists force a friend was downsizing. I also managed to blag a few Heldrake bits from another friend, so naturally I had to smash them together.

The problem I had was that I inly had 3 wing pieces, and needed 4. The back two are made from plasticard, with very thin plasticard used to create the intricate patterns.

The pilot is new, as it was missing when I bought it. The legs are Kromlech bike legs, and I used parts from the Thousand Sons blade cult minis from Forgeworld for the upper body. The arms were the most outstretched arms in my bitsbox.

Weapon-wise, I kept the twin lascannon, as this is now an option for the Heltalon. When I want to use it as a Heldrake, I can use a modified ball turret, which is detachable. Sure the lasannons are still on the model, but from a normal eye-level you can't see them tucked under the front wings, so it should be ok.

I think I'll do something different with the paint scheme. Much like an Imperial Navy flyer, it will have its own, non-legion scheme. The pilot will probably still be blue to tie it in with the rest of the army. It's been a fun litttle project, and should paint up nicely too.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Wip: Build Bonanza

With an ever mounting pile of half-done conversions, restorations and scratch-builds, this month will see me tackle three of the main ones.

The first in line is this former Contemptor, now a relatively comvincing Deredeo Dreadnought, armed with heavy bolters, butcher cannon array and greater havoc launcher.

I fancied trying one of these out, after readoping the chaos index. As I have a ton of Contemptors now, and since they share several chassis components, it seemed fitting to modify one. The chest armour has been extended, with spaces for the heavy bolters. The cannons are two halves of a bastiom aa gun, and the greater havoc is two regular havoc launchers glued together. All weapons are magnetised so I can use other options (the Malignatas Saker looks to be a possible favourite.

Next in line is this Decimator. I've never been happy with it, and a lot of it was down to the posing: I'd made it to tall and stretched. So with a more hunched pose it is now looking much better. I also made two new arms, based on the style of ork power claws. Square tubing forms the basic shape  with L-shaped and custom cut pieces to help buils the basic shape. Various spares were added for detail.

Finally, we have the biggest model: a Minotaur. This originally started out as a legion malcador hull made from scratch,  but as I'd folded that army into my 40k thousand sons, it needed a new purpose. So with a lot more plasticard, trimmed down Baneblade sides, and a misscast fellblade cannon, I had a big, mean artillery piece to support my renegades.

I also used a few cool parts leftover from my Blood and Skulls Industry reviews. The tracks, plough and even a lighting kit all come from them, and are nice additions to the model.

I wanted the tank to look like it's been though the wars, and has several welded on panels and rushed field repairs, using whatever junk the renegades had laying around. It has orkish hints, but a much neater exdcution than those green brutes.

So, that's alot to do in a month, but I'm quetly confident it can all be finished by halloween. Stay tuned on Facebook for regular updates.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Review: Egypt Sons Conversion Set

Wargame Exclusive have been around for a while now, but recent kits like the Master of Crusade and Tau-like models made me want to check them out in a bit more detail. With that in mind I scoured their webpage for a suitable kit. I found the Egypt Sons Terminator conversion set. Seeing as I am primarily a sons player, it seemed like the most logical place to start.

The set, costing around £23 at our current exchange rate, gets you six sets of torsos, heads, tabbards and shoulder pads. One more set than you need for a basic Terminator squad, so the sixth could be used for a character. To finish the kit you will need to source your own bases, legs and arms. 

The resin quality is really nice. Details are crisp, and no obvious air bubbles. The casting gates are quite chunky on the torsos, and one the the more delicate head dresses had split, but apart from that there's no real qualms.

The torsos share a lot of visual cues with the original multi-piece plastic terminators and were probably intended for their use only. Much like the plastic kit there are lugs on each side to allow the arms to be lined up easily. However, they fit fine with the likes of Tartaros and Cataphractii legs. 

On my test squad I ended up using all the parts except the heads, as I don't think they work as well as the other components.  Fortunately normal marine and tartaros heads fit like a glove, should you also want to use something else.

The details on the kits are really nice, nothing feels particularly crude, barring the heads. I will say though, that some of the shoulder pads are enormous, even by gw standards. You will see in the second image that I ended up cutting some down to size, which makes them much better proportioned. 

And here is the finished squad. I ended up making 5 scarab occult and 1 sorcerer. When fully assembed they look great, and once painted should blend in very well with my other 2+ saved members.

If you're after an alternative look to your rubric terminators, Wargame Exclusive are one of the better places to look. Sure I don't like the heads, but the other bits do work really well, and if you have any terminators that aren't the scarab occult models, new or used, you can very easily make a convincing variant.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

WIP: Rhino Refurb

Like an old, rusty classic car, restoring a cheap eBay or trade forum model can be immensely satisfying. This week I've been fixing up a Rhino apc which needed a lot of tlc...

The tank arrived via post in a bit of a mess. The paint was thick and gunky, there were random bits glued on it, and it hadn't been built very well.

Luckily, it had been glued together with what must have been either a glue gun or a pritt stik, and it came apart with ease. I had it down to its base components within minutes.

Now began the task of replacing parts and covering the damage. Luckily I had a Blood and Skulls rhino conversion kit laying around, waiting for its shining moment. The hideous front plate was replaced with the clean, heresy-esque plate from the conversion set.

The sides were also modified. This conversion set does require a bit of hacking at the original plasticto fit properly, but it is pretty convincing, especially now the tank has a uniform primer colour.

As this tank is for my Tzaangor unit, I wanted it to be laden with trophies from various battles. I've chained down an eviscerator and hotshot lasgun to the roof, which has the added benefit of covering some of the mess. The remaining damage will be worked into the paint scheme.

The front is a bit more elaborate, featuring the skeleton of an Imperial hero, an arbite or captain of some description.

As this is for a unit that is known to steal anything shiny, I am of two minds if it should be painted in the Thousand Sons scheme, or another army's colours with tzeentchian grafitti (maybe blood ravens for the irony). In either case it will be an effective addition to the squad, allowing them to travel much faster towards a good, vicious close combat.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Workbench Datalog: August 2017

A while since my last post, and a fair few projects have come and gone. Here's just a small part of what I've been working on this past month.

Having sorted out my cases and models, I realised I didn't have any ranged cultists anymore (must have trades or sold them) since cultists are still a valid and cheap unit choice, I felt the need to add them back into the list, but with a ranged punch.

I bought two boxes of cultists and used one of my old rogue psykers for the squad. I already have some close combat cultists, so this squad was going to be all autoguns (plus heavy stubber). The extra autoguns came from genestealer cultists. My favourite model is the heavy stubber. Since templates don't exist anymore, I wanted to have an aiming model, with the gun propped up on rocks. With a 40mm base and kneeling legs I think I have a cool looki g alternative to the standing model. The gun is a shortenned genestealer cult gun, with a bipod from the Scout kit.

And because it's a Thousand Sons army, I have never have enough sorcerers. This model is designed to be semi-modular, in that it can be run with or without a jump pack.

The model is half Rubric Marine, half Forge World, using parts from the Thousand Sons blade cult set. The swords are sweet, and two sword is preferable to one.

To finish today's update here is a sneak peak of one of two (yes, two!) Armies On Parade boards. Until next time, keep on modelling, sharing and growing our hobby community.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

WIP: Home-Grown Mastodon

The Mastodon is one of the largest land vehicles available to the Space Marines, and now their evil cousins can take one of these mountains of ceramite. But with a pricetag matching its size, I thought I'd have a go at building my own.

And I had the perfect donor vehicles. I had a leman russ and two thirds of a land raider doing nothing usedul, and with some wider tracks looted from baneblades and Blood and Skulls Industry, this formed the basis of the tank.

Next was to block out the hull. The giant tank is mainly plasticard, build around the four track units. So far I've only build the basic structure with no details. I plan to skin the tank in armour later down the line.

I've also started two of the main weapons. The first, the Melta array, is a Knights melta cannon turned on its side. With little work it is the perfect start.

Next, it's the soulreaper areay. I had a spare hunter cannon, so with a mult-barrel tip from a hades autocannon, it formed the perfect count-as.

It is still early days, but I can see it coming together, slowly, but surely. The next step will be the front. I want to keep motovated, so I'll make a start on the front doors and the rest of the melta array.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review: Tabletop Tyrant Skirmish Case

Having enough carry cases seems to be a big issue for me at the moment. So with some free Amazon vouchers and half an hour, I looked round for some cheap and cheerful carry cases. So today, we're looking at one of the budget options from Tabletop Tyrant.

The model I have is their smallest one, the Skirmish.

 At around £12 (which varies from around £12-15 dependjng on the foam chosen) is less than half the cost of my usual go-to KR case. It's also much smaller, about the size of a small shoebox. This makes it perfect for new starters with small armies, or even experienced players with small games in the week, who don't want to carry a much larger case where half the models are not needed.

In terms of box quality it certainly feels like a shoebox. It's quite cheap feeling corrigated card, and doesn't have the same sense of stength KR card cases do. It also arrived pre-damaged, despite being delivered inside two other boxes. It will holdup during normal use, but don't expect it to survive a quick shower or light drizzle. It looses a few points here.

The foam is a bit better. It is sturdy, firm, and feels quite good. You get two sheets of foam for models, and a thin topper sheet to protect the top layer. It also fits the case well, with no rattling. It's not the most securely put together though: each piece of pluck is only held on by a tiny amount, so whilst easy to pick out, there is a risk of separation of pieces under heavy use.

The case was advertised offering a capacity of around 32 models. With the pluck foam configuration, you only get about 28. The pluck foam, whilst customisable  is incredibly inefficient. Without the use of a knife, about 50% of the remaining space in the tray is foam, when you take out single blocks with a 1 block separating gap.

I had to resort to modifying the slots as it was so wasteful, and it now has much more potential. With some minor surgery, I could easily fit 20 standard infantry models per tray, and the second tray can fit my more unusually shaped models. As it is a small case it's not suitable for tanks or monsters, unless you cut up the trays. I managed to fit a lot of daemons, including:

  • 20 pink horrors
  • 10 blue horrors
  • 10 brimstone horrors
  • 4 flamers
  • 1 exhalted flamer
  • 1 herald
So you can fit a decent amount in, if you are willing to do a bit of customisation to the foam sheets.

If you are after a small  cheap case, then the Skirmish is an alright option. If it wasn't free by technicality I would go for another brand, but if you do choose Tabletop Tyrant, it's certainly suitable for the job, and with a bit of cutting and slicing can be much more efficient in the use of space, allowing you to fit a decent sized infantry army in.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Thoughts on: Index Chaos

With 8th here, I now need to think about how my army will now play, what I can get for my points, and what combos I might wish to try.

The chaos index is an essential for the new edition, but the beauty of it is every non-forgeworld unit is in it, marine, daemon and knight. It’s great from a cost perspective; only having to by one book instead of two (plus datasheet). It’s also relatively small and compact which saves you carrying three hardbacks, and it makes it so much easier to reference when everything is in one place.

It also has a lot more synergy potential, in that the keywords replace a lot of the older criteria for buffs and abilities. Whilst limiting in some aspects, it makes the game a lot faster and easier to follow. You check an ability, check if the unit has the right keyword, done!

I’ve only had a few small games, so i haven’t really tried out any new combos, but I’ve picked our a few units you may be seeing more of in chaos lists, ane certainly in my lists and worklogs:

  • Possessed- with a 7” move, they are now one of the faster on-foot units in the book, and with ap-2 claws and mutations, they are also pretty nasty in close combat. The d3 attacks isnt the best, but a buff from a nearby tzeentch herald for +1 strength*, plus the power that grants +1 strength, toughness or attacks, makes them very good (the powers affect TZEENTCH DAEMON units, and possessed have both these keywords. The rules clarify both unit and faction keywords are functionally identical, faction keywords are more for creating battleforged lists)
  • Defilers- yes, defilers. With a ton of wounds, automatic 1 wound regeneration every turn and decent weapons, we may soon see more of these crab-like constructs, as well as their smaller daemon engine brothers
  • Scarab occult-still as tough as ever. Now with 2 wounds and bolters that reduce terminator armour to a 4+ and get twice as many shots than jn 7th,  I plan to have a lot of fun with these
  • Helbrutes-no longer the runt of the litter in terms of unit choice, with a decent 8” move, 8 wounds and good combat prospects, I may have to drag a few of these along to each game

If i have a criticism is that as a Thousand Sons player, the choice of powers is very limited, going from over 20 to 4. Whilst the powers are nice (free extra move, mortal wounds and +1 to hit) I do like variety. Maybe this will be addressed in future publications.

So all-in-all it’s a big change to my usual experiences of the game. Most of it is for the better though, and it’s only really the psychic powers that bothers me (anyone want a copy of the heretech discipline cards?). I am really looking forward to trying out new exciting combos and I may not have considered or even been able to use before.

I’ve also recently received a copy of the Forgeworld chaos index which is full of even more shiny toys, so expect a review of that book in the near future.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

8th Edition Early Observations

With 8th only a few weeks away, it's time for me to think about how my army will work. My local GW had all the index books, and the main rule books, to have a look at before ordering. I only had a quick read of the books and one observation of a practice game between Orks and Tyranids, but here are a few of my initial thoughts:

Thousand Sons are so much more durable*

*Against damage 1 at least. Both Rubrics and Scarab Occult get +1 to their save against damage 1 weapons, basically giving them a 2+ save against lasguns, and allowing the units to effectively ignore the first point of rend.

Relics are gone

As far as I could see, at least. All the entries have access to a range of standard options, but I couldn't see any of the classic (or even new) daemon weapons, relics, and trinkets. I suppose it makes things a lot simpler (and cheaper) but it does meant my burning brand Warpsmith is now redundant.

The psychic phase is much more streamlined

A lot of the randomness has been removed from the psychic phase. Chaos has gone from at least a few dozen psychic powers to about 4 (and maybe a couple of god specific ones for daemons). Whilst it does limit the options available, the new powers are pretty good, including a free extra movement and mortal wound-inflicting spells.

Magnus is a beast (still)

He goes up from 7 to 18 wounds, is strength 16 (as there's no caps on these values anymore) gets +2 to casting and denying powers, and can fly pretty fast. He's still expensive, but he should still be able to go toe-to-toe with any unit, HE can still turn stuff into spawn too (but only models with the CHARACTER keyword now...)

We're going to get MANY more Forge World toys

As well as the main Chaos index, I've pre-ordered the Forge World equivalent. At only £15 (not a typo, genuinely £15!), Chaos will have access to even more heresy tech, including Deredeo and Leviathan Dreadnoughts, Sicaran Venators, Scorpius Whirlwinds and the titanic Mastodon. I definitely have to make one of these now! I do have a spare Land Raider and a few Russ/Rhino hulls I could salvage...

I for one am looking forward to this next edition, and over the coming weeks, I'll be sharing with you all my plans for the army, including variant formations and forces, from Sekmet Conclaves to Tzeentch robot battlegroups to rival the meanest Nidzilla forces.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Iron painter challenge: live

Good morning folks! The 12 hour Iron painted challenge has begun. Check back throught the day for live updates.

8:30. Go!

10:50. Most of the boxes are built, and one contestant is already painting!

12:20 painting has begin! Most of the forces are built, and some players are beginning to lay down basic colours.

15:40. Getting closer, less than 5 hours to go!

17:15- first atmy is nearly finished! (Nurgle daemons)