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:


Phosis T'Kar


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.




Fast Attack

Heavy Support

Mechanicum Gallery

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



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.




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.




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




14 Nov 2009

Does My Blog Look Big In This?

Well, that was fun... As you may have noticed, I've changed Blog templates, and after lots of "insert address here", I got the menu bar at the top working, as well as the feedburner e-mail signup in the top-right. Not sure what those RSS "Full Posts" and "Comments" buttons do - they just bring up a load of HTML gibberish for me, so I think I'll leave them well alone... (If you'd care to give me a brief explanation, fire away. Just don't hurt my head too much. :D)

I'm also on Twitter now, so if you're on there and actively use the thing, "Friend" me or whatever so I can see what you're up to... :D Maybe I'll stick something up there from time to time if it isn't worth a whole blog post...

If for some reasons you want to talk and the comments don't cut it, there's also a button up there for my googlemail address - I'll try and wade through the spam and find you.

Any comments, criticisms? I can't see myself changing template again for a while, but if people really don't like it, it may speed the process along a bit.

Anywho, cheers chaps, good night!

6 Nov 2009

1st Game For Morlockwing

Took my Morlocks down to the local club last night to pop their "game cherry" and had a good match against Friend Matt. He was using his CSM:

Lord in TDA w/4 Champion Terminators in a Land Raider
Summoned Greater Daemon
2x10 CSM in a Rhino
2x 8 summoned Daemons

There may have been some more stuff, but I'm not sure. It was a 1500pt Annihilation game with a Pitched Battle deployment. I took everything I have made up (so five squads and two characters).

We didn't finish the game in the end - we got to Turn 4, but we had a bash at it anyway. Highlights include him shooting my first squad to land, getting three wounds and me rolling, individually, three 1s in a row... Auspicious start, but it would seem that I was just flushing out my bad luck for the rest of the game. The Mr Claws from the aforementioned squad bit the dust the next turn, but the guy with the chainfist went on to weather a round of shooting from his whole army, go all "Hulk Smash!!!" on his Land Raider (with 3 Destroyed results), then weather another round of shooting before finally being dragged down by weight of numbers in assault (there's only so many 2+ armour saves you can take before your luck runs out - my limit was nine...).

A short distance away from this, two successive waves of Daemons landed and tar-pitted one of my squads, reducing it to 2 members before they got countercharged by another squad and disappeared under a flurry of power-weapons.

Meanwhile in the centre, the Belial+Interrogator+Company Banner combo Command Squad first charged the Greater Daemon in cover. He took two wounds off the Iron Father, who managed nothing in return, before, again, a flurry of power/chainfists popped him back to where he came from. The squad thgen consolidated into cover just in time to receive charges from both the Chaos Lord and retinue as well as the Defiler.

When the dust settled from that assault, the command squad had been wiped and both the Iron Father and Santar had been reduced to a Wound a piece. However, the Chaos Lord had managed to score himself a Thunder Hammer to the face, three of the Terminators were gone and the Defiler had been reduced to scrap metal (with 3 Destroyed results) by the Chainfist guy.

All in all, I won 6-2KP - but a lot of that was down to lucky dice rolls on my part.


This guy really held his own - shrugging off two dozen-odd shots of various types, from Lascannons to Bolt Pistols, before carving up a Land Raider in a single round. He earned his space in the annals just for the distraction he caused...

I liked the club a lot and felt welcome there. I'll definitely be wanting to become a member at the end of the month. It'll be nice to have a regular game every week. I have one organised against my eternal nemesis army - orks next week, which should be fine - the list has the joy of nob bikerz with der warboss nd painboy... Should make it interesting at least.

So, this game is going to be 2000pts, and is kicking off a campaign using planetary empires and the veteran skill rules in the back of the rulebook. That means I have to add another 500pts to my current list, but I won't be allowed to change the list once I start it. My current list can be found here, and I was hoping for some advice on what I can expand it with. Should I just plump for two Land Raiders (and hope someone can lend me a proxy for one of them), or should I maybe take something else - I'm not necessarily going for pure-Deathwing - to even out the force?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

5 Nov 2009

Must have unit: Terminators

I've always loved Terminators of every type, be they Assault or "Tactical". They were the first Space Marine box set I ever bought. There's just something about a walking man-tank that ticks all the coolness boxes for me, and I could count on half a hand the number of games I've played without them.

It's not even due to their effectiveness on the tabletop. My prized warriors have probably, over the years, spent more time sitting in reserves and never showing up, getting "pwned" by power weapons (especially before the 5+ Invul), or Deep Striking into impassable terrain than they have on the tabletop taking names (I can be ridiculously unlucky with these guys).

It's the idea, the fluff, that makes me take them every time - they just ooze awsomeness. Scenes such as Forrix's in Storm of Iron, the assault on the Whisperheads in Horus Rising or the original story I read about them, during which a Wolf Guard champion got trodden on by a Titan, dug his way out of the rubble then sauntered back over to the squad he was just talking to, taking the conversation back up with a casual "As I was saying...".

So yes, my must-have unit: Terminators (or failing that, dreadnoughts... :D)

22 Oct 2009

Morlockwing Pt.14: Still alive!

Evening all!

Been silent(ish) for the past three weeks but, as you'll see, I haven't been (that) idle... :D

Let's just dive right in, shall we? I give you Terminator hell (in more ways than one):

 That's the full 1500pt army. The plan, for the "normal" troops was to give them a badab wash then drybrush them quick and dirty like to be ready for the Gedren Prime event this weekend. Sadly I won't be able to attend due to family issues, but the silver lining is that I can spend a bit more time on them.

I used a can of Army Painter Plate Mail primer in a bid to speed things up. It did work a treat, though for the exo-skeleton bars, I'm going to have to paint black then tin bitz over the top...

Plain Plate Mail (basically Chainmail equivalent):

And with a heavy Badab Black wash:


I'm going to try for a high contrast look - practically pure black on the underside with a nice sheen on the top of the plates. I've never liked painting with metal beyond the whole basecoat-wash-drybrush method. Any attempts I've made before have been inferior to that effect.

And finally, we have the two characters.

Gabriel Santar, First Captain of the Iron Hands, Equerry to Ferrus Manus:




And the Iron Father:




The primer on both characters was done in sub-optimal conditions (it's getting cold in blighty), and that's all they've had so far. I need to go over with a chaos black basecoat, then they're going to be painted in standard Legion colours, which should make them stand out from the rank and file nicely. They're both based on Chaos Lords with a bit of pro-create work, and I felt they both deserved a face to make the more individual as well. I'll be trying to emulate Rev from Warseer's method of painting them - no grey highlights on the armour but mithril silver "chips" on the edges of the plates. The faces will be rotting flesh highlighted up with skull white (they're blu-tacked onto the models at the moment).

The secondary arms on the Iron Father come from the Iron Brotherhood minis by Micro Art Studio and the bionic hands on the end of his mechadendrite "tabard" come from a set of conversion bits made by the Phoenix Wargamer's Club.

Oh, ignore the bases completely - they're just mountings for painting. The actual ones have jad their basecoat of tin bitz then will be getting a boltgun drybrush and a couple of washes to make the look weathered/rusty.

Let me know what you think - I kind of feel that the IFs axe is a bit plain at the moment and am considering adding a power cable for it.