Thursday, 30 January 2014

Order of Battle

A little piece of nostalgia
 After a fairly long period without actually much 40K playing taking place, I'm back in the swing of things now.  Last week I had a game of Zone Mortalis/Kill Team with Dave, and I have two more games scheduled for the next month.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Alea Iacta Est

So, earlier in the week I made a mould of a Squat.  I've also made a second mould - of a Chaos Dwarf with Blunderbuss - but it's all academic until I actually pour resin in.  A hundred moulds will be useless if everyone turns out mangled rubbish with no detail and loads of air bubbles.  So it's time to mix up some resin and see what comes out!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Inside The Spaceship

God bless you, John Blanche, and your stupid heels.
I've always had a fondness for the Sisters of Battle - I was 13 when their 2nd Ed Codex gave them their first real army list, and inexplicably a young teenage George was rather drawn to the John Blanche cover pictured above.  I'm therefore always happy to play my chum Dave, whose efforts to befriend me online are part of why I got back into 40K at all, and who has a Sisters army.

Today we met for my first 40K of 2014 to play Kill-Team.  Not the fancy new Kill Team ebook, I must confess, but the older free PDF rules GW had on their site. We gave ourselves a slightly larger point allowance of 300 and then played two games back to back - each only took about an hour, and gave us plenty of time to chat about UK politics, Channel 4 television programs, who he and I would cast as a female Doctor Who, how Dave's wife and baby daughter are doing, and my recent attempts to make moulds.

For those of you wondering if I can finally score my first nerdy win of the year.... read on!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Breaking The Mould

 So, I posted a picture of a Lego box a few days ago - to be exact, a small open-topped head made of wee Lego blocks.  Whatever is this construct for, you may ask?  Why, it's a mould box - because my next hobby experiment is to try casting my own figures.

This is a bit of a moral grey area - strictly speaking casting any figures would be a copyright violation.  But when it's figures that are out of print and have been for years, which can only be bought on eBay for crazy money....  Well, who do I benefit by spending £15 on three Hobgoblin Sneaky Gits or one Squat Exo-Armour, especially when I need 20 of the former and 5 of the latter to actually field a unit?  I've picked up some odds and ends on eBay for my Chaos Space Marines and Squats when it's been at a non-silly price, but it's difficult to justify paying even more than Forge World prices for this kind of stuff. 
I had previously dabbled in InstantMould to make parts - duplicate a head here, a gun there - but it's got limitations which make it impractical for anything beyond a fairly small size.  If I want to dabble in copying whole figures, I gotta get some new gear.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Cry Havoc

My stable of figures for my Havocs
Chaos Space Marines Havocs are the heavy weapon squads of the army.  5-10 figures, of which 4 can be armed with one of a set of seven different weapons - three "special" weapons and four true "heavy" weapons.  They've got game utility because you can squeeze an awful lot of firepower into just a few guys - and it's the only non-flyer unit in the codex with any anti-flyer capability.

As with a few units in my army I've painted up way mroe figures than I can use in one squad so as to allow me to play various different units.  The above photo shows, from left to right - three Lascannons; an Autocannon; a Plasma Gun; two missile launchers; and two heavy bolters.

Three Lascannons and an Autocannon for an Anti-Armour squad.
This means I can mix and match the various heavy weapons as required - Lascannons for punching heavy armour, autocannons for light armour and heavy infantry, missile launchers for generalist work (including flyers) and heavy bolters for anti-infantry fire.  However, all those excess bolters can also turn the unit into.....

Missile launcher and Plasma Gun, for an old school tactical squad kind of unit
...a ten man normal Chaos Space Marine unit with one heavy and one special weapon, able to slot into a troops unit. 

Unfortunately, Troops is a problem for converting my army to Horus Heresy.  My Emperor's Children are heavy on sonic blaster-armed Noise Marines for Troops but that isn't allowed in a Horus Heresy army.  My basic troops can only come from one of three units - basic bolter marines, jump pack marines or bolter and riot shield marines.  In order to get a Horus Heresy game, I need to address this. 

To make matters worse, the Havocs can't be played in Horus Heresy as it stands either - that army doesn't take a mix-and-match approach to heavy weapon squads, instead all models in the unit must have the same heavy weapon.  You would need at least four of any heavy weapon, plus a sergeant, to make a legal unit.

This leads us onto my next painting project - kill two birds with one stone and make both troops and heavy support choices for my M31 Emperor's Children

Sprayed Alien Purple and with some Snakebite Leather already painted on.
Ten figures total: two bolters, three Heavy Bolters, two Missile Launchers, a Lascannon and an Autocannon.  This can be mixed into the existing models to create:

  • A ten man regular Marine unit for Troops
  • A five man Heavy Bolter unit
  • A four man Lascannon unit (just add a Sergeant model from my chosen unit)
  • A four man Missile Launcher unit (again, Chosen for Sergeant and it's done)
And even in regular 40K, the new heavy weapons will give me more possible load-outs for Havoc squads.

The Havocs are a mixture of figures I picked up on eBay.  The Rhino accompanying them is because, while I have four Rhinos, they're all painted differently - I'll want two matching purple ones for an Emperor's Children force.  

Once this is painted I can play a Horus Heresy game with a legal army and Fulgrim can have his game debut.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children

A few coats of varnish on and at this point, Fulgrim is good enough for me to plank down on the table.

As ever, under different lighting he comes out different than he is when I'm actually holding him.

 Here's some final shots of Fulgrim on his own and his scenic base before I move onto the next project.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Stripping For The Internet

So, I make a lot of eBay purchases.  Since I got back into 40K I have bought a few pots of paint and a brush out of a GW store.... and literally nothing else.  Almost all my figures are second hand purchases or gifts, and that often means they've already been painted.  Sometimes this is a problem because it doesn't match my scheme; sometimes this is a problem because they're painted poorly; and even when the above two aren't true, I'd rather try and paint it myself since that's half the hobby right there.
Several models, most decidedly un-Emperors Children.
Take this bundle of figures, all from various eBay purchases sitting in my to-do box.  A squad of Chaos Space Marine Havocs, packing one of each of the four heavy weapons I can have but painted somewhat Word Bearers-y; a Forge World Emperor's Children Dreadnought, with twin-linked Lascannons and Missile Launcher; and a undercoated metal Chaos Lord from the Box of Delights.  All these items were picked up for a chunk under RRP but they're not necessarily much use to me in those paint schemes.

But have no fear!   There's plenty of guides online to stirpping paint, and with the aid of those guides I can turn these bad boys from bright red and pink into..... slightly less red and pink!

Thursday, 16 January 2014


We said that already in the title, thanks.
 Alas, I haven't spent much time painting in the last couple of days.  RPG night yesterday and other stuff today put paid to that.  However, I did manage to put some transfers on Fulgrim: and, yes, build a lego DeLorean, which isn't related to this blog but I have a picture of it anyway.

Box Of Delights

This picture is a clue.

The above picture is an eBay auction I won a few days back.  A mixed back of figures, mostly Chaos Space Marines with a few Plague Marines, Beastmen, Chaos Dwarves and Space Marines thrown in, plus some transfers.  Considering the Rhino, Bike and Chaos Dwarves it was a bargain so I snapped it up.

So far, so dull, right? 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Edge Of Skill

Some highlighting and drybrushing took place today.  Fulgrim is now starting to look about as good as my limited skills are going to get him.

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Pearly Quail

Today is 13th January 2014.  For many of you, this is just a day - a dull Monday, the start of one of the first weeks of the year when you've only just got used to work after being off for Christmas.  It is, in short, a dull day.

However, it's not dull for me, because it's my birthday.  And not just any old birthday, oh no.  It's one of those ends-in-a-zero-it-must-be-time-for-serious-maturing birthday.

The big tri-decennial.
However, maturing ain't really my strong point, and while there is a part of me that finds it surreal to imagine that I'm no longer 23, OK, maybe 27 max, here I am.  A child of the 80s in a world where people born in 1997 can vote in the next general election even though I was gearing up for my first 40K edition shift when they were still needing their nappies changed. But I've not let that impair my ability to get silly presents - some with a wargaming vibe.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Recording How You Painted Figures

Though I've only just started keeping a painting blog, I previously did make some scribbled notes as I went along as to what colours I was using and in what order.  AS I spent longer online it turned out quite a few people do this, to help them keep their armies/teams/warbands/etc looking uniform if they go a long time between painting sessions.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Slapping The Quickshade On

My first week at work didn't feature much painting, alas.  After two weeks off work, in which I've fallen into bad habits of sleeping in and going to bed late, getting back to a 06:15 alarm has proven.... challenging.  However, today my girlfriend was out in town and I set myself aside some time to paint.  Stick 4od on in the background and let's get this Primarch back on the road!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Slow Work

Yes, I know, I've been a bad nerd and not updated on Fulgrim!  Returning to work, RPG night and a coffee meet-up after work tonight has meant he hasn't progressed much but I'll do my best to rectify this soon.

Tonight's coffee meetup was at Geek Retreat, a glasgow nerd hangout, with my chum David.  He's one of the guys who got me back into 40K and was my first opponent in about a decade.  We still play very frequently and also just generally natter a lot, being about the same age.  Like me David prefers to play 40K in a more laid back way and together with a couple of other players we have strung some recent battles into a vague narrative of sorts.  He has two armies, Sisters of Battle (occasionally with space marine allies) and Tau which are both painted in a dark purple scheme - together with my marines, the field is positively awash with amethyst.

We spent a fair bit talking about 40K, in particular about his games over Christmas and my recent purchase of Apocalypse.  He also very kindly gave me a few Chaos Cultists he had acquired - like myself and a few of our other chums, he picks up odd purchases on eBay which can include bundles of figures of which not all are of use to him so we sometimes end up donating figures to each other's battle funds.  Thanks to Dave I got my first Chaos Space Marine Raptors, which have become one of my favourite units; whereas I donated some Eldar to him for when he was using them as "alien auxiliary" allies for his Tau army.  I've got 28 Cultists already painted up (the Dark Vengeance ones plus some old metal Cultists & Necromunda Redemptionists) but these and others I've picked up are a future painting mission, to give my guys more goons to throw wave after wave of at the enemy.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

RPGs: My Great Nerdy Love

Tonight is Wednesday and Wednesday is RPG night for me.  This blog will principally focus on wargaming and board gaming since it's principally about me tracking my progress and rambling about my games - but roleplaying games are a big love of mine and I can't do my nerdity justice without talking about them.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Dreadball Battle Report: Alpha Sigma Squeakers vs Deimos Athletic

I got my first nerdy game of the new year in yesterday evening.  My girlfriend Ailsa and I sat down to a game of Dreadball, the science fiction sports game.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, Dreadball is oft likened to a science fiction Blood Bowl (or, if you prefer, a boardgame version of Speedball) though mechanically it plays quite different.  For those of you unfamiliar with me, I enjoy Dreadball but have yet to beat my girlfriend at a game of it.  In an entire year, every game against her has seen me lose.  Will 2014 be the year I beat the streak?

Dreadball differs from Blood Bowl in play in a rather vital way - the game doesn't restart with a new kick-off after every point is scored, but instead the ball simply shoots out in the middle of the pitch with players remaining where they are.  This means that marching your whole team down the table in a "cage" isn't a viable strategy since it leaves your own side defenseless.  Combine with less distance to travel to reach scoring locations and multiple scoring locations worth different points (so the more awkward a location you go for, the more points its worth) the game goes much faster.

Deimos Athletic (Forge Fathers, Brown) and Alpha Sigma Squeakers (Veer-Myn, Green) on first turn setup.  I've gone for harder punchy players up front, whereas she's kept her muscle in the middle and put faster, weaker ball-handlers on the half-way line.
Let's play ball!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Tyrell's Warband - The History of My Chaos Space Marines

It's back to work for me tomorrow.  I'm not sure exactly what update schedule this blog will fall into when I'm working - we'll see quite hot it all plays out.  Obviously it becomes a little harder to dedicate time to painting & modelling when one is working 9 till 5 but we shall see if I can't keep progress going on Fulgrim and the rest.

I thought today I'd talk a bit about my Chaos Space Marines and why I have the army I have. 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Engildening Of Fulgrim

No real exciting progress to report today, I'm afraid, chaps.  The next big process is adding in all the gold, but it'd fiddly work..... and fiddly work isn't my strong point.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Squats: Which Codex?

The poor ol' Squats.  Not everything from Warhammer 40Ks first book continues in the game - or if it does, it's as a cameo like the Jokaero sidekick for Inquisitors.  Most of these minor races never got much further than a figure or two anyway - Zoats had, what, four metal figures max?

The Squats, however, had a reasonably sized line of Space Dwarves figures - line infantry, heavy weapons and command groups, plus some vehicles and support weaponry.  They had an army list in 1st Edition equal to any of the other army lists in that edition, and got their list early on before some other races like Eldar or Tyranids.  They had a substantial representation in the smaller-scale figure line of Epic, and they were amongst the "get you by" army lists provided with 40K 2nd Edition.

And then.... they become a verb.  Squatted: To remove an army from play and continuity.  The Squats struggled to get over their "Space Dwarf" heritage and were seen as a bit of a joke, in a way the Eldar/Orks/Necrons were not even though their origin was clearly in Space Elves/Orc & Goblins/Undead.  Even when I started playing in 2nd Edition and they still had some minimal acceptance, Squats seemed a bit of a relic - no new figures, no special characters and no units with any sort of special rules.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Swishing His Mighty Cloak

I'm not the greatest of painters, alas.  If you're tuning into this blog for beautiful artwork then... frankly, skip all the posts I make about my own figures.  Nor am I the neatest of painters, alas, so I usually have do a base coat then a "tidy up" coat where I catch all the rough edges of my blocks of colour.

I am, however, still happy to show you how my own limited skills are progress as I present the current state of play on Fulgrim.  Here's a couple of phone snaps from my desk, with Fulgrim on both parts of his display base.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Why Chaos Dwarves? And Why Not Red?

When I first started visiting Games Workshop my early purchases included several fantasy games: Advanced Heroquest, Man-O-War, Warhammer Fantasy Battles 4th Edition and Blood Bowl 3rd Edition.   Despite that, though, I eventually drifted away into 40K and after 1999 or so it was the only one of the big wargames I expressed much interest in.  (Though Blood Bowl remains awesome.)

However, my girlfriend prompted to me to consider restarting Warhammer Fantasy.  While I still have the core of a High Elf force restarting them didn't appeal so much as going to the Chaos Dwarves.  When I've re-read old Fantasy items or looked up stuff for WFRP, the Chaos Dwarves have been an odd draw.