22 Dec 2009

Small Progress Update and Things To Come


Right, having got the after effects of reading the Space Marine Codex off my chest, time for an update on my current progress.

I must admit that I've taken an impromptu break from the modelling/painting side of the hobby recently. I think I burned myself out, rushing to get an army finished within a deadline, which all proved for naught in the end as I was unable to attend the event the Morlocks were meant for. This means I didn't really do anything with them until two days ago, when I broke out the paints again.

Looking at the Morlocks all lined up, I got that "overwhelmed" feeling you get when you just have too many models to paint. So the new plan is to do a squad of Morlocks, then return to the Hellebronian Helghast to do a squadf Storm Troopers, then on to a squad of normal Iron Hands, maybe some Jyshites, then keep rotating. I'm hoping the diversity will distract me from the fact that I'm painting a very similar set of models silver over and over again...

That said, I can't see myself doing much for the next week, what with Christmas coming up, and Assassin's Creed II winging it's way to me as we speak...

So, for the new year we have... intentions (I won't say resolutions, they always fail dramatically) to keep rotating my paint line to keep it fresh.

Also, once Prospero Burns and A Thousand Sons come out and I've devoured them, I'll be planning a small force of Thousand Sons. I'm not too sure how many of them - it could range from a Sorcerer and his sect to a small skirmish force, depending on whether I get bored of modelling them or not...

Here are some of the pictures I'm using for inspiration:

Uthizarr

Phosis T'Kar

Ahriman

And of course, Magnus


Three out of four of these guys have Terminator sects, so I'll be uing these as a test bed. I want to try and improve on the method I used for the Morlocks. The more I look at them, the more I see the flaws... So these guys should allow me to try some stuff out in preparation for doing Ferrus Manus and his bodyguard - including a newer, better Gabriel Santar.

I'll be using the new Crusader Legs from Micro Arts Studio for these guys, as they should fit quite nicely.

So that's the plan as it stands. Comments? Ideas? Suggestions?

10 Dec 2009

Jyshite Initial Concept

I've had this idea buzzing around in my head for a while now so I thought I'd stick it down on "paper" and try and give it some shape. The astute, or just generally curious, among you may have noticed that I have a second blog with absolutely nothing on it, named "The Lay of Jysh". It was created a bit prematurely, mainly to test out new blogger templated for NYD, but has been staring at me for a while now, begging for something to be done about it.

The whole point is to create a campaign setting - in a similar vein to Forge World's IA books, mainly for my friends and I, but also anyone interested in the milieu. I want the battlezone to evolve as we play games/campaigns in this context so that, in the end, we have a massive narrative that has occured as a direct consequence of our actions.

So, Jysh is an orc-infested system that caught the tail end of a Waagh about 400 years before Terran forces first came across the system (this setting is during the Great Crusade). The Waagh was broken, but so were the Jyshites, their population greatly reduced, their cities mostly destroyed and mines ransacked. Since then, the orks and the Jyshites have been competing with each other and amongst themselves for resources. Reduced to a hunter-gatherer/scavenger existence, the Jyshites are a pale shadow of their former state.

The models I'll be using for these guys will come primarily from their Feral range (I'll be stripping my Penal Legion squad as the basis for the first hunting group), but also from their Rebel range to represent them scavenging Hellebronian equipment after skirmishes and battles.




Regardless of body, they'll all be using one of the Feral heads:



The force will be using the Imperial Guard codex, so I should be able to integrate them seemlessly into my army for bigger battles. It will of course be a more feral (sorry about the pun...) interpretation of the army list. Penal Legion for individual Kin Bands, Enginseers for Tech-Shamans, etc...

I want to include some desert-style rough riders in there, and the Tallarn Mukaali seem quite fitting - either as rough riders OR ogryns, maybe. I was wondering if anyone owns these models or has had a look at them in the flesh. If you could let me know what parts come separately on these kits, I would be very grateful.



So that's a rough outline so far. Any comments or suggestions?

8 Dec 2009

Helghast Planning: Storm Troopers

It's been a while since I had a look at my Helghast-based guys - mainly due to the fact that my collection has been stuck round my mate's for the past few months...

This is just a quick one really. I had originally intended for the Storm Troopers to be based on Pig Iron's heavy infantry models with the Inner Guard heads. But now they've brought out a new boxset:

They're perfect for the look - I'm going to test out a "chipped" black armour highlighting method that Rev from Warseer has used to great effect. These will kind of be test minis for my final Iron Hands colour scheme, strange as that sounds.

However, I'm not sure whether to keep the standard heads or switch them for Inner Guard heads:
 
I'm thinking I'll hold off on adding the heads until then end of the month and order some inner guard heads anyway just to see what they're like. Any opinions on which I should use?

1 Dec 2009

Mini Pre-Heresy Guide

I received an e-mail yesterday (someone used the button! :D) from a certain Levi, asking for various bits of advice, so I thought I'd stick some of it down in a blog post for future reference. So here's a small guide to starting out with a pre-heresy army - particularly Iron Hands.

So, let's start with the basics, then move through the armour marks.

The Iron Hands Tactical Squad box set is a good place to start. While it isn't the steal it used to be, it's still not bad at 25 squids. You actually get almost enough pieces for 12 models (you need two extra backplates) and some very nice bionic-y metal parts. Remember though, that pre-Heresy, only the Emperor's Children were accorded the right to wear an aquila (two-headed eagle) on their breastplate, so you'll either have to file off or bulk out the chests with that detail on.

Of course, you don't have to use that box set. If you're feeling adventurous, you can make the bionics yourself by cutting off sections of limbs and replacing them with various bits, ranging from electronics from an old remote, to bits of wire and plasticard (styrene) rods/tubes. Using the standard box sets, you can achieve some very good results. Here's a decent tutorial.

And here are a couple of projects I've been tracking for inspiration:

G-Relk's Iron Hands
Kikkala's Iron Hands

Get lots of these. Shaving down the skull will give you a perfect cog and a nice flat surface for your clan marking, although you could leave the skull and have that as such.

These power cables are also VERY useful - both for bionics and adding random detail to just about anything. The bag comes with a series of different-sized wires, ranging from vehicle-sized to ones more suited to infantry.

For pre-heresy armour marks, I'll go through each one with a few comments.

Mk.I: Thunder Armour


This is the original power armour used by the barbarian tribes of earth. It only enhances upper body strength - the legs and pelvis are adorned in the 30-something-k equivalent of plate mail. This type of armour was only really used during the Unification Wars, as it's lack of respiratory equipment - as well as a sealed environment - make it practically useless in space. Elements of the design can however be ported over to different marks for variety, such as the layered shoulderpads and the thunder/lightning ornamentation - the Emperor's own heraldry.

Here's a great tutorial from Horn over at My Wargame on converting MkI Armour:

Mk.II: Crusade Armour


This armour came into use universally at the start of the Great Crusade. The outer planets of the solar system were taken using this armour. It provides a sealed environment and full auto-senses. Some models seem to have had a fixed helmet.

Converting this type of armour would be quite a challenge - the amount of layered plates all over the armour and the distinct breastplate mean you're probably going to have to break out the modelling putty. You could always use the Armour Through The Ages box set, but metal is a pig to convert with, and you'll definitely want some different poses - the original has an unnatural "leaning forward" pose that just doesn't look right. It might be worth picking up that box set for reference as you work on different armour marks though.

Oh yes, High Marshal Helbrecht is wearing either an ornamented MkI suit, or a later design artificed to look like Crusade Armour.

Mk.III: Iron Armour


Iron Armour could be considered prototype Terminator Armour. It's basically a MkII suit with extra armour plates added on the frontal parts over the chesplate and legs and a new(ish) helmet. You can find a few examples of iron armour in GW's current range:

Master of the Arsenal - very ornate example, perfect for a Pre-Heresy Captain, and there seems to be enough flexibility in the model to be able to perform weapon swaps relativeley easily.

Sergeant Chronus - This pack is a pretty good deal - you get a full suit of MkIII with a variant type of helmet and a MkIII torso in the same blister. The ultramarine symbols are a pain to remove without scuffing the rivet detail.

Iron Warriors Warsmith - This guy just looks awesome - and is perfect for Iron Hands, especially. Though not true MkIII (he has a MkVII "boot" on), he's customised himself enough for it to not really matter.

Iron Warriors Conversion Pack - Though the chestplates are definitely useful (you could probably use them as a basis for MkII armour types), the best thing about this pack, in relation to Iron armour is the helmets which are some of the most appropriate bits you could get.

My Wargame also has an excellent tutorial for MkIII armour which Horn has just finished:

Mk.IV: Maximus Armour


This armour was supposed to be the final Mark to be produced - the epitome of armour engineering (at least until the Legions were completely re-equipped with Terminator Armour). Though it became available late in the Crusade, a few of the Legions were well along in switching to this new Mark. It's features are much closer to the current types of armour, so make it one of the easier armour types to convert. It's main differences are the snout on the helmet, the breastplate, groin guard and kneepads.

As with MkIII, there are several models/bits in the current GW range which can help us here:

Red Scorpion Upgrade Kit - this pack has been the bread and butter of pre-Heresy modellers ever since it came out. You get 11 MkIV heads and torsos, as well as a powersword-armed bionic arm and a pair of shoulderpads that My Wargame thinks suit the MkIII armour very well.

Red Scorpion Vanguard Veterans - This pack is less useful to the pre-heresy enthusiast. Though it does give you 5 MkIV torsos and heads, they are so covered in religious ornaments as to make them almost not worth it. The thing of greatest note would be Sergeant Culln's legs - they are true MkIV legs. Buying a pack per marine is not really feasible, but you could get hold of one for reference though.

Black Templar Upgrade Kit - This kit contains, by virtue of having two of the same sprue inside, two MkIV helmets and torsos. The detail isn't as crisp on these as it is on the Red Scorpions, but it is serviceable and the two don't look completely weird next to each other. It might be an advantage to start a Black Templar army and just save those torsos from the packs you buy...

Black Templar Sword Brethren - This would again be for reference - one of the Brethren has MkIV knee pads (bottom-right on the link). Apart from maybe Imperial Fist Huscarls or Word Bearers, the model itself is a bit useless for our intentions.


Mk.V: Heresy Armour


As the Heresy broke out, MkIV armour was found to be lacking due to the exotic materials that were needed to construct it. MkV was brought out as a stop-gap and could conceivably be patched up with any old armour the Techmarines had lying around. The helmet itself is a prototype for the Terminator project and due to the inferior materials used in it's production, molecular bonding studs had to be used on the areas most likely to be facing the enemy.

By far the best tutorial I have seen for Heresy armour is on the blog Eaters of Worlds:



Pre-Heresy Modelling

Now, I've rabbited on about all these armour marks for quite a while (for me at least, I've spent half a day, between working, writing all this up), and it may come across to some that this time period makes for very niggly army construction. This can be very true, if you want your army to be as canonically accurate as possible. Most of us, however, would like to get an army on the table in the first hald of this century...

So, a small list of things that help:

- Avoid the aquila breastplates - either that, or file them down.

- Reserve the blank breastplates (the one with the skull in the middle of the chest) as well as any filed-down aquila ones for marines with boltguns or heavy weaponry. You don't want to waste bits that cost a lot (in terms of money or effort) on a model that is going to hide most if not all of that detail.

- It may be an idea to have your pre-Heresy army as a side project while you focus on your main army. That way, you can buy the bits you need for your current army and just set any useful bits to the side for your Pre-H one. If you go out to actively buy bits for a pre-heresy army, you'll find the costs mounting up VERY fast. I've found it better, for my peace of mind, to let the bits build up naturally.

- AOBR marines can be converted, quite easily, to Heresy era ones (as shown in this tutorial) and make a great way of bulking out your forces.

- If you're going to start cutting up individual components, like say, legs, cut up the ones you need then do the conversion - don't cut them all up in advance. That really didn't help with my motivation...


Right, I think I'm burnt out for now, so I hope this helps Levi (and anyone else looking into pre-heresy modelling). This is by no means a complete article - the amount of depth it's possible to go to with this subject is staggering. For the interested, I suggest you check out The Great Crusade - a forum dedicated solely to Pre-Heresy with some great (and very helpful) characters on there.

A few blogs from known Pre-Heresy offenders:

Eaters of Worlds by Pacific
Wolves of Cthonia by Yvraith
Halcyon Daze by Anodyr
My Wargame by (White)Horn
Zen40000 by Aventine

While they don't all have pre-heresy stuff on them, they are well worth a look-see.

So, hope you enjoyed this. Any questions or comments, you can use the space at the bottom or e-mail me (USE the button, you know you want to... :D )

A Few Iron Hand Pictures

In response to an e-mail I received the other day, I'm just posting up some pictures of my non-Terminator Iron Hands. These pictures are quite old, and none of the models look the same as they do today, but they're close enough. Sorry Levi, no devastators though - they're too recent an addition.

So first up, we have my first PH Iron Hand - a Standard Bearer. He was supposed to be entered into a contest over at The Great Crusade, but was not finished in time and has since been disassembled. The right arm was based on a necron with added wires, though if I were to redo the conversion, I would add far more bulk to it.



At the time, these were going to be following CSM rules, hence the double special weapons. I've since changed my mind on this (interesting, related article here) so will have to build enough normal guys/heavy weapons to double the amount of squads I have.

1st Squad






2nd Squad




I've since added some Devastators as well as two characters to the army, and they're all stuck down my friend's place at the moment - which is probably a good thing, considering how hard it has been for the past few weeks to concentrate on the Morlocks.

Miscellaneous Gallery

The following pictures represent my meanderings into other worlds and designs.

Jyshite Resistance Gallery


The Jyshite have been fighting for their homeworld for three generations now. What was once a great mining and industrial world has been reduced to blasted dunes and shattered plains by the greenskin menace.

HQ

Elites

Troops

Fast Attack

Heavy Support

Mechanicum Gallery


Guardians of lost knowledge, the Mechanicum will stop at nothing to recover humanity's forgotten secrets.

HQ

Elites

Fast Attack

Heavy Support

Iron Hands Legion Gallery



With bodies and minds of iron, the sons of Ferrus Manus relentlessly prosecute the Emperor's Will wherever they may be.

HQ

Elites

Troops

Fast Attack

Heavy Support

Helbronian 2nd Army Group Gallery



The Helebronian system was bought to compliance early on in the Great Crusade, and their soldiers have now faithfully served the Emperor for over 150 years.

HQ

Elites

Troops

Fast Attack

Heavy Support

"Done" Gallery

Welcome to the Gallery Section. By clicking on any of the banners below, you will be able to view any squads that I have deemed complete so far. Enjoy!

2nd Helebronian Group


Iron Hands Legion


Mechanicum


Jyshites


Others