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  • Mike Zulu

    Dakota Minor Defence Corps (PDF)

    By Mike Zulu

    Introduction Like many established Imperium worlds, Dakota Minor has a planetary defence force simply known the Dakota Minor Defence Corps (or DMDC). Most of its number are conscripted from the local population; a small number of citizens willingly join to escape the tedium of farm life that is prevalent on Dakota Minor. The DMDC is organised in a manner similar to Astra Militarum regiments, albeit more limited in their makeup. For the most part, it consists of dozens of infantry battalions
    • 0 comments
    • 415 views
  • Bouargh

    AdMech Patrol #2 - Progress report

    By Bouargh

    Blog entries pass and sometimes look like very similar to some previous ones. It is one of the issues when dealing with army building on base of multiples buy outs of the same Patrol Box...   Yet we might eventually expect some variation if the models are fitted in different fashion, ain´t we?   The Onagre DuneCrawler as already been spoiled in the FOrums, but it has been the major progress of the past week so I will "proudly" republish it there. It is also an unhonorable  wa
    • 1 comment
    • 269 views

Our community blogs

  1. A little more work done on the Baneblade: 

     

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  2. This is one of two that I plan on doing for the sisters of battle.

    really like how the wings and armor came out.

    What do you all think? 

    Love it? Get yours here! https://tomcatlasercreations.etsy.com

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  3. A while back my Fiancée was shopping at Target and asked me if I wanted anything. I told her the The Space Marine Board Game. She did pick it up for me.

     

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    Not being a Tyranid Player or an Ultramarine player this was an enh purchase for my armies but as an introduction to 40k for my fiancée's adopted sons and my future (step) sons (11, 10, 9, and 8) it felt it would be perfect.  I can build in paint Capt. Titus, the kids can build and paint the Tyranids and then we can play the game with each other.  As way of bonding with them. 

     

    To go along with the game I figure I purchase these 2 sets.

     

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    This gives them 2 brushes, some paints and more models to build and paint.  I figured once they were used to having me around them and I was able to spend more time with them it a good time to start. Well I ended up moving in sooner than expected, and the kids and I have become closer much faster than expected. Due to some issues I had to delay the project for us. Not saying anything to them about it until after February this year.

     

    During the course of redoing the hobby area/ office the kids have seen me working on my personal models and all the figures in the display case and became interested in 40k. So I showed them the Game and paint starters. The 3 of the boys seem super excited about it. I told them during the Summer we would start working on it and be able to play the game. I have a feeling the 9 year old will be the one that likes it the most and want his own army/ Kill team eventually. 

     

    I need to get some more starter brushes and sanding sticks for them.  

     

    I will also create a dedicated album to showcase their work.

     

  4. Due to being off work a week for surgery I've caught up on some modeling 

     

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    Somewhat depressingly the infantry here are less than a third of the total in my 3000pt list aha.

     

    I'm now off to lazily build 7 whole stormcast models over a weekend 

  5. Another slow day at work, another blog post to archive a previous project. 

    When the Strike Force Justinian Kill Team was announced/revealed I got to work on a conversion. The stock models are fine, but I'm not a big fan of the Ultramarines and didn't feel like shelling out cash when I had most of the models/bits on hand. The one exception I made was for the captain, because I needed both a powerfist/plasma pistol...and white-scars bits to accompany the upgrade kit I'd picked up ages ago on a whim. I ended up kitbashing Kor'sarro Khan and Messinius. I probably could have found a powerfist and plasma pistol elsewhere, but the horse motif on Messinius's p-fist was too good to pass up...and I was excited about the project. I had previously painted up a box of eliminators as Space Wolves for fun, so one of them took a plunge into some simple-green to be reborn a Son of Chogoris. The Heavy Intercessor was a bit trickier. I didn't want to buy a box for just one model, but I had some aggressors from a start-collecting SW box that I was never going to build, so I got to work kit-bashing. I had a Deathwatch Frag cannon that passed the sniff test to look like a heavy bolter, and after a LOT of painstaking trial and error managed to get the ammo-belts from the aggressor models to look like a decent ammo belt for the HB. The reamaining intercessors also came out of the start-collecting box, and with a few upgrade bits were ready to serve their Kahn. The top-knot and grenade/smoke were both donated from some orks (don't tell the Scars)
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    Painting them came together fairly quickly, I went with the GW recommended scheme and colors straight from the website...with the exception of the white, since I don't truck with citadel white's and nothing beats Titanium white ink through and airbrush for my money. 

     
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    I wanted to go big with the weathering, since it was a skill I wanted to practice. I also finally took the plunge on pigments, which was a medium I'd never worked with. I tried a few different application methods and found that overall I preferred dry application and then sealing it with my varnish. Applying it "wet" with sealer ended up too muddy, and trying to apply the sealer after yeilded similarly dark/muddy results. Since my head-cannon for the team was fighting in Monument valley in SPAAACCCEEEE the muddy look didn't do it for me at all. 

    The rocks for the baes are just that. Rocks. I went into the back-yard with a hammer and chisel, and went to town on some slate pavers we'd used for a garden boarder. They tended to break in longer, thin-ish pieces. The biggest one's were set aside for the board (more on that later) and the smaller pieces were distributed among the baes. As stated earlier my idea for the bases/board was monument valley, and I tried to capture that vibe as best as possible, with some added color variation just to break up the visual. Once the bases were done I got to work on the board. 

    This was the first board I'd ever attempted. I've been a long-time lurker in various terrain building/hobby blogs to have a general idea of what to do, and decided to jump in with both feet. I played around with various arrangements/builds, I knew I wanted dimensionality, and to include a bike in the board, because White Scars, so I needed something that would accommodate that.
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    Once I had the general layout settled, I decided I wanted to incorporate more of the stones from the garden into the board to tie the models and the board fully together. So I got to work cutting out parts of the board and replacing some of the foam with stones. 
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     I carved out holes for the bases in the foam and used spare bases as placeholders. This ended up being a bit of a bad idea. The end result has the bases blending smoothly with the board, but they are kind of a mother:cuss:er to remove/replace. Oh well, lesson learned. 
    Once I had the layout more ore less settled I used air-dry clay to build up the foam and better incorporate the rocks. Because I'm impatient the air was assisted with a hairdryer. image.thumb.jpeg.7c1fa046dfd385811dc2bb3823f8d6e8.jpeg
    The clay dried with huge cracks, and would easily lift if pulled on...not sure how or if that can be remedied for future projects, but since it wasn't my final layer I didn't worry about it too much. When in doubt, cover it up I guess. Next step was the terrain paste. I primarily used Agris Earth from Vallejo, spread pretty much across the entire board. I wanted the rocky breakup, but also to seal down the clay.
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    Next up was Martian earth terrain paste from Huge Miniatures. This is a smoother terrain paste that I wanted to use to signify where the marines had been walking, breaking up the dried earth and making it more fine, driving up dustimage.thumb.jpeg.57960ec09588999e1f20e02865eeb35f.jpeg
    Satisfied with how it looked, the next step was painting. I didn't know how the stones would take paint. I cleaned them off with dish-soap and water before bringing them inside, and decided to use a primer across the whole board just to make sure I could control the colors more easily
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    Once I had the basic colors in I used pigments to drive up the "churned desert" look
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    I added some dried bushes/scub to help break of the desolation. I kind of wish I had added more color just to break up the tone of the board, but I didn't have any cacti style terrain bits on hand, and am still happy with the overall result. 

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    In creating this post I actually realized that I don't have any "final" pictures after having added the bike so that can be a follow up post in this particular thread at a later date. Maybe I'll go back and add some more color to the board to break it up as well. who knows. 

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    Overall it was a great experience and broke down my mental barrier about taking on a project like this. I learned a lot, and I've taken those lessons to future projects. 

    One final note, if you're going to use stones for a terrain board, do yourself a favor and put a sheet of plywood or something more solid as a base, because this thing is heavy as :cuss:.

     
    *edited to remove superfluous picture

     

  6. It has been a while since I posted something on my blog and since I have been thinking about different miniature lines and their advantages and disadvantages I decided to do a short review comparing miniatures from 3 different companies: GW, North Star and Wargames Atlantic.

    The cover I chose for this blog entry is a conversion made of bits from different companies, including the 3 companies I will evaluate in this review.

    As a initial warning, this review is based on my personal preferences and should be seen as a perfectly impartial review, but I will try to describe the advantages and disadvantages as straightforward as I can.

     

    Lets start with GW

    GW has a lot of experience and you can notice that easily with their model boxes, including the painted examples and the instructions that are often detailed enough to help with assembly.

    Still the models have varied greatly throughout the years and there is a clear difference from older models to newer ones and in my opinion not everything is good.

    Many modern models have loadouts that are only meant to be used with specific bodies/heads/other parts which wasn't the case for the older ones and this is particularly noticeable on the models with the more dynamic poses, where it can be painful to try and use slightly different loadouts or heads to give a different look (examples from my experience would include the escher models, some of the gsc infantry, but obviously there are more examples).

     

    Advantages:

    • Experienced miniature designers
    • Useful assembly instructions (although not always perfect)
    • Painted examples (often with indication of the paints used)
    • Clear description of contents (in most cases)
    • Good sprue photos (most often than not)
    • Lots of extra parts for customization (although often not usable for all models)

    Disadvantages:

    • Modern models tend to be less customizable without extra work (poses, places where parts fit and so on can be tricky to work around)
    • Heavy cost
    • Often difficult to find through EU retailers as many items are exclusives or have limited availability
    • Push fit models often have areas which lack detail despite being cut in lots of different fragile parts (seen in some of the old 5 cultists sprue and some of BSF renegade guard)

     

    North Star Stargrave

    The models done for the Stargrave game are mostly recent and thus the line is still relatively small, but the kits are overall well designed and the parts put on the sprue in a decent manner.

    Some numbers on the arms are not always easy to see from some minor mould issues, but overall the quality of the sprues is great and the models are easy to assemble and can be customized in several different ways.

    Since they were developed for small games the models are less standardized than something like IG in 40k but they are great for representing ship crews, militias, mercenaries and renegade forces that don't follow a strict uniform policy.

    Sculpts for decorative parts are usually simpler compared to GW but extremely pleasing to the eyes and easy enough to paint.

    The heads are often sculpted as different people and not just clones with different expressions/hair/beards, although you might see repeated bare heads across different kits in the same line.

     

    Advantages:

    • Painted examples
    • Clear description of contents (in most cases)
    • Good sprue photos (not always but on most occasions)
    • Lots of extra parts for customization
    • Unique sculpts for the heads that avoid repetition
    • Decent sprue layouts
    • Good fitting of parts
    • Relatively cheap

    Disadvantages:

    • Minor issues with areas of the sprue that are not well detailed (the numbers placed on the area of the arms that fits the body are not always visible)
    • Lack of experience in terms of model design (not an issue with Stargrave in particular but some of the first Frostgrave kits were a bit less customizable and designed in a simpler way)
    • Not as common as GW kits (still relatively easy to find through retailers but not everywhere)
    • No assembly instructions (although the models are easy enough to assemble so not a major issue)
    • Not standard in terms of equipment so not suited for things like IG regiments

     

    Wargames Atlantic (mostly Death Fields)

    Wargames Atlantic has the Death Fields line as a sort of IG proxies line, with many kits being roughly compatible with IG infantry in terms of weapons and gear, although there is a clear effort to be slightly different in terms of loadouts to avoid issues with GW.

    There is a clear lack of experience in terms of kit development and while they are still relatively high quality, some part fitting is difficult (arms for example might not fit exactly right for some pairs) and some sprue layouts are not necessarily the best, with many kits having areas of simplified details to get around their inexperience.

    There are no instructions and in some cases pairs of arms are found through experimentation or by checking reviews of the models.

    Sprue pictures are usually available, but most seem to be taken with potato quality smartphones.

    Lots of repeated sculpts, especially in the heads, for example with gas mask heads it is often the case that all of them are the exact same sculpt, no small details changed nor anything similar in order to add lots of customization.

     

    Advantages:

    • Painted examples
    • Lots of extra parts for customization
    • Relatively cheap
    • Standard equipment

    Disadvantages:

    • Bad fitting of some parts
    • Lack of experience in terms of model design (lots of issues come from the fact that the designers are good at making designs, but not good at making sure those look good in a sprue)
    • Not as common as GW kits (still relatively easy to find through retailers but not everywhere)
    • No assembly instructions (sometimes this can be an issue for some kits)
    • Repeated sculpts for the heads that cause lots of repetition
    • Bad sprue photos (not always but on most occasions)
  7. After grabbing "accidentally" a GSC patrol box, on purpose to use the body to kitbash some IG regiment, I am potentially left with some bits inc. mining tools. 

    I then remembered this pic, unless I decided that GSC bodies would do better base for IG than Orlock gangers BECAUSE of this pic:

     

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    I am already the happy owner of enough Engineseers to fill all the slots in my AdMech army. And I have been left with one extra (remaining from a Patrol box), in desperate need for a purpose in its life of plastic toy soldier.

    Kitbashing it to get an oversized clamp and a mining laser looked ike a fun idea.

     

    And here is the result:

     

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    The beauty of AdMech kits  is the amount of left bitz you have once the models are built. For this one, I used a Skitarii arm, chopping away the rifle as right arm. Left arm is the spare arm from my mago, removing the serpenta. and servo arm has been relocated whille adding a small Kataphron mechanical limb to handle the laser will on rest after harvesting a quintal of noctilith...

    extra bits from grav canon of Kataphrons make the handles.

     

    As you can eventually appreciate, from this too dark pics bellow , it gets an oversized hydraulic clamp from GSC Metamorphs. A little bit otT maybe...

     

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    To be painted in June, with the rest of my AdMechs, once starting the CtA challenge! 

     

    To be continued...

  8. It's been 23 years, but I have finally finished painting Abaddon! <yeah! woo! alright!> 

     

    I need to fiddle with getting the chain attached to the skulls (holes too small for chain end to fit, so need to fiddle with it), but other than that it is done, and I'm happy with it. 

    Quick photo taken, but will need to sort out some decent photos soon for a proper post on the forum! Enjoy

     

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  9. OK, let's start this month's entry with a quick recap. 

     

    Jan - bought a tonne of models. Pile got bigger

    Feb - sold a tonne of models. Pile got smaller

    Mar - bought a tonne of models. Pile got bigger

     

    Guess what happened in April?

     

    Well dear reader you would be correct. I sold a tonne of models. In fact nearly my entire Eldar project (nobody wants a Wraithlord or wraith-plane-thing apparently) has made its way out through the postal system to new owners this month. Whilst it's never the best feeling to give up on a project, it can be rather cathartic to see it all go, knowing that you were never going to finish it. 

     

    Also on the chopping this month were my Sisters of Battle. This is a decision I'd um'd and ah'd over for quite some time, but eventually I had to bite the bullet. I've had some of these models for close to a year now and I still couldn't picture a colour scheme that I felt would work on the models and that I would be happy to paint across the entire army. In the end, this was the deciding factor. If I'm not excited to paint something it's never going to get painted. I was sad to see a few of them go, especially Morvenn Vahl and a squad of Seraphim I'd built some scenic bases for (because dear God Emperor GW's flight stands are awful). The Adepta Sororitas line has some amazing sculpts that, in the right hands, look downright stunning on the tabletop. Hopefully they're now in those right hands and will make the Emperor proud.

     

    "Ah" I hear you ask. "But did you actually paint anything Doobles?" 

     

    YES! Some of it is even board appropriate as well!

     

    Let's start with where we finished last month. Solar Auxilia. I knew the models were pretty. That's why I bought so many. Turns out they're also pretty good to build - especially the tanks. To kick things off though I started basic - a lasrifle section of 10 guys. They're going to be starting life out as an allied detachment to my Sons of Horus, so who better to paint them as than the Cthonian Headhunters. 

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    The colour scheme allowed me to try a few new techniques like chipping and coloured metallics which is always fun. And to use a few new colours which I'd been looking for a use for. The red is something I'm really proud of and it really pops in person. 

     

    The oil wash is a little heavier in places than I'd have liked - some of the chipping detail has been lost in places which is a little frustrating - but the overall effect it gives is one I'm very keen on. In fact I'm finding myself using oil washes/filters more recently - the process is very enjoyable and oddly satisfying.

     

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    The paint scheme was largely taken from the Cult of Paint tutorial on YouTube. If you're looking at Solar Auxilia, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at that video as they've done a trio of lovely schemes.

     

    Elsewhere, I finished off a couple more characters for my growing Ad Mech list.  Firstly a Manipulus:

     

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    Some great details on this chunky lad, including the floppy disk that took me way too long to notice.

     

    Also painted everyone's favourite tall boi - the Skatros!

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    He will certainly snap in half en-route to his first game. It's a dumb model. Its rules aren't good. I love it.

     

    Also painted some......feudal world Imperial Guard.......who have to use primitive weapons like bows..........

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    Anyway...........

     

    In summary, we are most definitely back on track with our pile of shame reductions. Solid painting volume (for me), minimal purchases and two whole projects sold off means that I end April very much in the green. Challenge now is to maintain this momentum. I don't have any more projects left of the size of the Eldar or Sisters to move on so we're truly to down to the battle of painting vs buying. Let's see if I can hold my nerve on that front.

     

    Finally, let's run the numbers:

     

    Models IN: 16

     

    Models OUT: 110 (!)

     

    APRIL TOTAL: -94

     

    YTD TOAL: -87

     

    That's more like it! Tune in next month to see if I've managed to break the cycle at last.

     

     

  10. For once it has not been months since the last update. I have had a fairly productive week and actually managed to clear several of the partly painted models off of my desk:

     

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    The scouts from the Killteam salvation box are now done, as is my Gladiator lancer, but forgot to photograph that.

     

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    This grey knights Librarian, is a kit bash based on the terminator librarian from the leviathan boxed set, actually finished it a couple of weeks ago, but just remembered to paint it.

     

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    Also to add to my home-brew marine army are a multi-melta armed eradicator, a kitbashed phobos librarian, a terminator captain and a 3d printed proxy for a centurion, that fitted in better with the Primaris aesthetic. I like how it turned out so will print another couple to make a full squad. 

     

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    Some Aeladri models I have had laying around for ages I finally finished of with quick paint jobs - a 3rd Support weapon to go with my others and a couple of jetbike warlocks to act as an escort to my Jetbike farseer.

     

    Next up, it's Tau time with the kroot hunting pack I have already built and primed and the new combat patrol and other models I pre-ordered on Saturday. I also managed to pick up a couple of bits of Kill team scenery I was missing on e-bay over the weekend, which should hopefully arrive soon.

     

     

  11. Hero-Stand Display Plinths are customisable monuments designed to showcase your prized miniatures in all their glory.  

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    These versatile, 3D printable plinths introduce a modular system that allows you to create captivating displays tailored to your needs.

    Whether you're a proud hobbyist, display painter, miniature collector or just want to create impressive dioramas, these plinths provide the perfect stage to bring your characters to life.

    Join the pre-launch today at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/saucermenstudios/hero-stand-display-plinths

    Display-Plinth-Coming-Soon-1.jpg

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    [Ref. Captain Malphas of the 3rd Company, Angels Apocryphal, Patron of Klan Dunmael, Lords of Blackholme]

     

    By the third moon of the Boethean Strand, and the dark temples therein, you will burn this day.
    ~To Crulliorre Vehnuym, Arch-Heirophant of the Unmade, during The Rivening

  13. Lord Solar: Yes, I know. It's been done. We've all seen 100's of conversions of Lord Solar. Leave me alone. I felt the hobby inspiration. I had to go with it. 
     
    Construction - building off of my previous display boards.
    Base: went to mdf round 80mm base. This is no time for the slanted standard GW base.
    Shape: two half circles of cork, with styrene wrapped around the half-circle shape. The MDF base allowed me to glue the styrene to the flat edge. No water effects this time... but we could have. on top of the cork I added apoxy sculpt to shape a bit of a hill for a good pose. In hindsight i ought to have spent more time on the pose to get a great angle overall. 
    Wood: Styrene strips. Razor saw, x-acto knife & 220 grit sandpaper for wood grain texture. UMM-USA punch for nails. My favorite tool. The best tool. Come at me. I'll die on this hill. 
    Sandbags: could have tried harder. Apoxy sculpt 2-part mixed for 5 minutes, rolled into log, then the roll is sliced into small sections with x-acto knife. Press each section with finger to form sandbag - use cloth to make texture. I should experiment more with getting a more exact shape. Still, apoxy sculpt is a cost-effective method. 
    Corrugated metal: heavy tin foil costs a tenth of the foil/hobby pewter sheet via greenstuff world or wherever. I did spend some more time on this adding a lower wooden section to the walls but I was too impatient. I should have went with a much larger wood plank along the bottom. It looks too close to the floor boards. 
    Razor Wire: I rushed it a bit without a clear plan - just wanting to get it done this weekend. I don't use the twisted wire. I see now there are 3d printers making interesting small scale barbed wire for basing. Here I'm adding rows of it. I use Royal models 1/35 barbed wire brass etch. Like real barbed wire it is a problem to work with. 

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    Conversion: The replacement head is Reptilian Overlords (i think) off of an etsy printer. I use the green stuff roller to make the mouth/breather tubing. On the back is a backpack from Tiny legends 3d printed range. 

    Medic: old Krieg model with new kill team medic bits.

    Stretcher & casualty: Tiny legends. 

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    Painting: Got some color on it. Aging wood is always fun. Simply wiping off excess paint reveals the white styrene underneath creating a decent distressed effect. I had to play around a bit. 
    Details: I really really wanted to add a nurgle rat from Cursed City, but ran out of space. A 1/35 panzer shell and a crate will have to do for detail bits. I'm ok with the light and wire, but it seems like it could have been more. 
    Mud: With dry dirt I have little trouble adding various browns. In fact I figured out how to add oil stains and all sorts of color variation on the last display board. But... Wet mud is somehow very hard for me. Basically I'm just slopping on Vallejo Russian Mud. It works I guess...
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    Painting: I got the paint blocked in. This is the part where not rushing the early stages and getting it right matters. I'm too impatient though - Forward! I find that painting white or cream is easy on the airbrush, but awful on a simple paint brush. 
    Grass: i tried some grass tufts. The uniformity of height was a real turn off. I've still got some scale 75 natural fibers. Using that makes a much more realistic dead plant, at the mere cost of my sanity in trying to get the super glue to fix them correctly. 
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    Can't wait for some 'try-hard' to argue with me about modelling to advantage at a tournament. Time to get 2 more DORNS painted. Then we ride. 

     

    IMG_20240406_181809224.jpg

  14. Introduction

    Splinter fleet Zahhak was part of a much larger Tyranid hive fleet that entered the galaxy from below the galactic plane, which would be designated Leviathan in 997M41. Zahhak first entered the Matteus Subsector in 927M41 and struck the various worlds within, focusing on the worlds within the Matteus Epsilon system. However, the relatively remote location and the resilience of the native flora prevented the Splinter Fleet from breaking out into the neighbouring subsectors and the greater Segmentum. Combined with a timely Imperial response to the Tyranid incursion, Splinter Fleet Zahhak was crushed after several months, reduced it to nothing more than a seasonal pest for the two Imperial worlds.

     
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    A Tyranid swarm charges the Imperial defences on Barbed Gate.

     

    Splinter Fleet Zahhak’s appearance, galactic movements and strategic behaviour was very similar to Leviathan, which was the reasoning for being later designated as the same Hive Fleet in 999M41. What distinguished Zahhak from the bulk of Leviathan was inception into the galaxy seventy years ahead of the rest of Leviathan. Additionally, many bioforms were identified in Zahhak that had not been recorded in the First Tyrannic War, and most have not been seen since. It is theorised by members of the Ordo Xenos and other Imperial biologists that this splinter fleet was more experimental than its bulk, and was assessing potential attack vectors before committing itself to a wide-scale invasion through the galactic plane.


    53463307726_201db94fef_b.jpg

    Unique bioforms that have been sighted among Zahhak’s forces; some of which have yet to be sighted in other Hive Fleets.

     

    Sometime after the galactic invasion of Hive Fleet Leviathan in 997M41, Splinter Fleet Zahhak would be re-designated as Hive Fleet Leviathan Splinter “34-Omicron”, and remembered by the Imperium as a lesser conflict with the Tyranid species. Some of the bioforms unique to Zahhak would reemerge in Leviathan and other hive fleets, albeit with variations and improvements.

     

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    A Tyranid Mawloc (above) and a Hive Crone (below), of Splinter Fleet Zahhak. Both bear similar markings to Hive Fleet Leviathan.

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    The Invasion of the Matteus Epsilon System

    Hive Fleet Zahhak made planetfall on the two Imperial civilised worlds of Black Jewel and Barbed Gate in the Matteus Epsilon system, in 927M41. The alarm was raised by Inquisitor Malethann of the Ordo Xenos, thanks to the efforts of Kill Team Rapier on the outer reaches of the system. They confirmed the presence of a Tyranid hive fleet en route to Barbed Gate from below the star system plane.

     

    The sudden incursion of Tyranids so far from the Eastern Fringe (the locale of what would be known as the First Tyrannic War) prompted a drastic response from Battlefleet Agripinaa and the local Astra Militarum regiments. A Black Templars crusade fleet that had been using Matteus Epsilon as a refueling and rearming station also heeded the call and declared the beginning of the "Barbed Gate Crusade". Finally, Kill Team Rapier and members of the Ordo Xenos were involved for the more complex assignments, namely assassinations and recovery of key Tyranid alphas and synapse creatures.

     

    53462393847_d2cc768055_b.jpg
    A Black Templars strike force engages Zahhak in a spearhead assault, in the wildlands of Barbed Gate.

     

    The Tyranid splinter fleet quickly found itself in a ruthless conflict with not only the human defenders, but also the hardy and protruding flora of Barbed Gate and Black Jewel, for which even the ravenous xenos were under-prepared to consume. These difficulties saw Zahhak easily divided and cut off from the bulk of their hive species, making them easy prey for the Imperial forces. The effective culling of the various synapse creatures and leaders, thanks to the efforts of Kill Team Rapier, also saw the efficacy of the splinter fleet's strategies and tactics significantly weaken over time. Eventually, after several months, the splinter fleet had found itself disconnected from the Hive Mind; the Tyranids bioforms of Zahhak reverted to their base instincts, and took refuge in the barbed foliage native to Barbed Gate and Black Jewel. They ceased to be a true threat to the Imperium, reduced to nothing more than a season pest to the human controlled worlds.

     

    But with the ever increasing number of Tyranid hive fleets entering the galaxy in the decades to come, it is likely a question of when, not if, the remnants of Splinter Fleet Zahhak will rejoin the Hive Mind...

     

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    The Tyranid Prime known as the the “Caustic Menace”, is ambushed by Kill Team Rapier within the protruding flora native to Barbed Gate.

     

     


     
  15. Basically a photo gallery of the finished model.


    The armour panels had a final edge highlight of Skarsnik Green, while the gold areas were highlighted first with liberator gold and then mithril silver (very old Citadel pot). Red areas are highlighted with Evil Sunz Scarlet and then Fire Dragon Bright.

     

    In case anyone is interested, the smoke coming from the Leman Russ is an old trick of mine, harking back to my teens when my mum used to make teddy bears. The smoke is actually teddy bear stuffing! I still have a bunch of this stuff in my hobby box and it traditionally gets used during games to mark where a tank has been wrecked but not exploded.

     

    The stuffing works well as smoke because it is a bit more coarse than cotton wool so it holds its shape better. I fixed it in place with PVA glue and brushed a bit of Abbadon Black onto it with a large brush to create some of the oily smoke effect.

     

    Hope you like it!

     

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    Lots more images in the album:

     

     

  16. KY'VASH RECON CADRE

    STEALTH BATTLESUIT TEAM

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    Stealth Battlesuit Team 01 - Shas'ui in XV25 Stealth Battlesuits with Burst Cannons, led by Shas'vre in XV25 Stealth Battlesuit with Fusion Blaster.

     

    Considered the natural progression for those Fire Caste warriors who serve as Pathfinders, elevation to the rank of Shas'ui allows - and, in fact, demands - training as a Stealth Battlesuit pilot. The XV25, only recently having made it to Ky'Vash alongside other more 'modern' battlesuit designs, is a point of minor consternation to those within the Recon Cadre. Traditionalists within the Ky'Vash Fire Caste consider the bulky, and situationally less flexible nature of the XV25 as compared to the previously favoured XV15 an inferior asset, though such opinions have begun to fade as the suit has proven itself compatible with the broader strategy of the Recon Cadre. 

     

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    While the XV25 has a highly effective stealth system, thus the designation, it retains the camouflage coating of all members of the Recon Cadre as a backup in the event of system failure.

     

    -

     

    They're just adorable chunky, aren't they? I quite like the old XV15's, but ultimately could not manage a printed/recast version of them that would work for me. Oh well. XV25 are fun, too, and they're VERY quick to paint! Possibly a bit too quick, that drybrushing is a bit dire. In my defence, I've basically run out of my grey, and went for completion rather than slow, steady progression so I wasn't left with anything un-brushed before I get a chance to go buy another pot. 

     

    Probably back to space marines next, before I get back to the Tau for, depending on many things, either some fire warriors, fireblade, or Ghostkeel. 

  17. zDT1ggv_k9ckAX2fndlAPLECTS5H2jBdmWYbqR7NTCwlRjQTiIeai5U3FI1gS-G1UQQd99WQmDAey0lCJ5zpuHdEr7vVyRtLOTPLI3_8BydLr5U3BPY-oY2CLN6hC6Keamkkx-395APjGiBINYQN7w

    The Iron Snakes


    The Iron Snakes

    Fear not the snake for his guile, nor his silence.

    Fear him for his speed at striking,

    The clenching strength of his coils,

    The armour of his scales,

    And the sharpness of his bite.

    Fear the snake, oh enemies of man,

    For his coils encircle us

    And his bright eyes, unblinking,

    Watch over us forever.

     

    From The Lays of Proud Ithaka.

     

     

    Time to start anew. It has been almost a year since I posted anything here., my small Ultramarines project that I started a previous thread for fizzled due to real life issues and hobby burn out, so I decided to take some time away and got stuck into a solo Gloomhaven campaign instead.

     

    Over Christmas while I was off work I sat down and re-read brothers of the snake quickly followed by the 2 Urdesh novels and found the itch to dig my Iron Snakes back out.

     

    Usually with hobby projects I rush into them with lots of enthusiasm but without too much thought into how to put my idea's into reality and this leads to a scattergun approach which usually leads to me to spending plenty of characters converted and painted but nothing much else, so this time I have sat down and made a plan of sorts.  With the Urdesh novels fresh in my mind I plan to make the squads/characters from that novel first:

     

    • Damocles Squad - using the sternguard kit as a base
    • Kalliopi Squad - using the jump pack assault intercessors as a base
    • Erasmos Squad -  using the assault intercessor kit as a base 
    • Platonos Squad - using the intercessor kit as a base 
    • Captain Priad - using dark angels master lazarus as a base.
    • Pyrakmon - techmarine kit
    • Hamiskora - librarian kit

     

    I have sat down and painted a couple of test models which I am happy with these use slightly different colours to my previous models the biggest being the golds and have also pick up some awesome new decals from Aquila Relics to use for this project .

     

    Below is the test model that I painted up using the old company champion mini that I have laying around.

     

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    I have had a rummage through the pile of shame and collected a few bits together and have started kit bashing a  5 man squad that I'll get painted up before I set to work on the above models.

     

    Thanks for looking, until next time.

     

     

  18. terminator ultra
    Latest Entry

    I don't how else to say this but I guess I just wanted to come out. I hope this dosen't affect your perception of me. I am trans. (don't want to be lying to people with pronouns)

  19. A quick visual battle report of a recent game where Legio Tempestus faed down th Evil Mordaxis.

     

    Legio Tempestus

    Corsair Maniple

    Reaver - volcano, laser blaster, missile

    Reaver - melta, gatling, volkite

    Reaver - fist, chainfist, laser

    Warlord - volvano, quake, missiles

     

    Legio Mordaxis

    Venator Maniple

    Reaver -  volcano, melta, lasers

    Warhound - plasma, lasers

    Warhound - plasma, lasers

     

    Reaver - laser fist, missiles

    Nemesis warbringer BVolcano, volcano, melta

     

     

    We rolled diagonal deployment, and random missions I got hold the line (points for how far from my board edge they are, secondaries for killing) and they took kill (double scale in points for kills). 

     

     

    My as of yet unnamed Warlords second ever game. He's never died yet, so maybe unkillable? Or untargetable? "Neglecta Rege" is high gothic for 'Ignored King'? Either way, he sat on one side of the table and took pot shots at stuff all game. 

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    My warlord spent the game on first fire orders as he had a decent field of view and the range to do so, and had 3 turns shooting into that impossible warhound trying to drop shields, who wound then emergency repair and somehow bring them back up as I chipped away damage. In turn 4, he finally killed the little blighter, and in turn 5 he shot back at the shield stripped venator reaver, nuking it. 

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    Deployment - you can see my 3 reavers at the bottom, protected somewhat by the central buildings, and my warlord off image to the left. large.IMG20240225155251.jpg.5c74f69df65679b1534ce1b8f96f24d6.jpglarge.IMG20240225155253.jpg.65b252a7108ddf0092da3a5ccce516b4.jpg

     

    My melee reaver shimmied sideways around the central buiildings to line up a charge on he nemesis titan and the other reaver. The silver reaver activated first and charged mine, getting within 2" to attack with the chainfist, doing some serious damage. To avenge this slight, i redirected my charge from the nemesis to the new reaver, and made contact, rolling poorly with the chainfist.

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    My opponent had the initiative and attacked first with the silver reaver, chainfisting my boy to death, who blew up dropping my opponent's voids.

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    The lone  ordaxis reaver at the back then shot my meltacannon reaver, killing it. Passing my tempestus command check, I went down fighting and shot everything into the silver reaver...with it's shields dropped, the meltacannon bore a hole through the reactor and it went boom, the explosion damaging the legs on the mordaxis reaver that fired the initial shot.

     

    In the end, I managed to take down everything but the nemesis, finally silencing the warhounds that plagued me, losing 2 reavers in return. My opponent gained 30pts for killing 2 reavers. I gained 20pts for hold the line as the nemesis was so far back, and killed 2 reavers and 2 hounds for 14pts, 34 in total. A narrow victory to tempestus - if my opponent had just moved the nemesis 6" forwards in his final turn, I'd have scored 5 less and he'd have won!

     

  20. Well, it's been a while since I blogged last...too long in fact. I was only supposed to have a short break while I finished my Bladeguard and Assault Intercessors (and Bladeguard Ancient, and Captain...). They didn't end up being done till late November time as other things piled up.

     

    Here's how they turned out:

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    This led to me finally starting the Marine half of the Leviathan box (I think I said before I wanted it done before New Year...That didn't happen).

     

    I started with my favourite Marine sculpts, the Terminators. While I may of saved the best till last with the tyranids, I wasn't following that trend with these. So seven models hit the table (Captain, Librarian, Terminator Squad):

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    and at some point I added the old Terminator Marneus Calgar finecast (I didn't know this when I bought it) model to this.

     

    They got a coat of blue, and silver aaannnddd that was it for a month or so.

     

    Flash forward to January (same time I revived my thread in the wip area) when I picked up the paintbrush again.

     

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    I tried something new for these which I had only done in trial cases before, and that was building up to white (and going further for the chest aquillas, up to gold). I worked through dark grey to light grey to white. With the helmets, I worked in as layers, leaving grey showing as shadows. It was a time consuming process but I liked the results.

     

    The capes on the captain and Calgar I'm particularly proud of, more so than my primaris calgar.

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    I was grateful that the captain's base gave me an opportunity to do another tyranid...even if it was a dead one.

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    I also attempted my first free handing here, and clearly I need more practice.

     

    The rest of the models turned out quite well, I also held back a little on the blue highlights, not sure if it was effective or not.

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    It was about this time I realised that Calgar's little shield wing was glued on by the previous owner the wrong way. 

     

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    I didn't push myself on the Librarian as I should of but the GW standard paint scheme didn't appeal to me.

     

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    The Terminator Squad though, I'm quite happy with these guys, in fact I'm itching to get the multipart set now, just to have their various weapon options.

     

    So, there was 25 models for the space marines in Leviathan, and I've done 7 models here. By my quick and dirty calculations, I've almost done a third. 

     

    This brings us to the next batch for this mini project:

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    Orto Cassius aside, it's another 7 models (one being the big boi of the Ballistus Dreadnought). Completing these will take me over the half way point. Let's see if I can get them done in under three months this time! People who follow my other thread will have an idea of where I am with these guys...

     

    Till next time,

     

    Keep hobbying!

     

    ZeroWolf

  21. What's the problem?

     

    Have you ever thought that relying too much on rule books and summaries makes it slow and cumbersome when playing Warhammer 40k Kill Team?

     

    Above all when you're starting with a new Kill Team, it's hard to keep track of the different operatives' stats, all their ploys, equipment... And if you're sharing the same book with other people in the same game it makes all the experience really slow. You spend more time turning pages around than actually enjoying the game.

     

    While there's some great aids around for printing data cards, if you have a very diverse squad you will end up with a lot of them, and if you change your weapon choices depending on the game you play, you'll need plenty of those. Furthermore, those are amazing for operatives, but they don't include any specific Kill Team ability or the Glossary with all the different weapon rules you will be using, needing to have specific documents laying around.

     

    What's our solution?

     

    The solution we came in is to create a summarized QRC that will fit in between 4 - 6 pages, so it can be printed or browsed directly as a PDF in a tablet or phone. 

     

    They show the Faction Archetypes, all the available options for each operative, as well as their main Stats and any special rule (Flying, Psychic...). They also include the Faction TacOps, as well as the special abilities, psychic powers and both Strategic and Tactical Ploys.

     

    image.png.0f619c32994c476bffa51f782ea0c8f0.png

     

    At the end of the documents you can find a whole Glossary with ALL the abilities and Special Rules that appear in the whole summary, so you can rely on those as your go-to reference during your games for that specific Faction.

     

    image.png.8872af154ec6b60f1b910f563f77688b.png

     

    How do I use them?

     

    They're filed in PDF format and you can either print them and staple them (or any other choice) or browse them directly from your digital devices.

     

    Where can I find them?

     

    You can find the available ones in my page for free (or the prize you'd like to contribute with!)

     

    If you'd like QRCs for some team, drop us a line and we'll work on it!

  22. Even though I've still not finished the Marines I wanted to have done by the end of last year :sweat: I'm queuing up the next unit* I'll be painting - these Scouts:

     

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    *technically 2 units, one to go with my Boarding Patrol, the other for 'regular' 40k - but I'll also field them as a Kill Team :smile:

     

    I've been thinking about how I want to paint them - specifically, their fatigues. I've had a few ideas to try - black, dark grey, khaki or military green, but I wanted to test which would go better with the grey armour of the Ashen Sentinels.

     

    Someone at my local gaming group generously donated some Cadians to me so I could test these colour-scheme ideas; here's what I've done:

     

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    Starting right to left (to be different, or maybe awkward :laugh:) - while I think the green and khaki/tan do go alright with the Grey armour, I actually think they'd be better suited to Guard miniatures than the Space Marine Scouts. The other two are Black Legion contrast over white primer (left), and Basilicanum Grey contrast over the same grey that I paint the armour (followed with Nuln Oil wash) (second on left). I think the Black Legion doesn't leave enough lighter edges of the fatigues, whereas the Basilicanum Grey & Nuln oil do that much better; so that's the scheme I'll use - the armour is a lighter shade of grey so it contrasts well with the fatigues. Also, the darker fatigues is apt for sneaky, infiltrating Scouts, I feel :whistling::biggrin:

     

    So that's what I'll go for, when I am actually able to start painting the Scouts. But first, I need to finish those other Marines..! :rolleyes::biggrin:

  23. I've been building my Orks from my new pile of shame and it's going a lot slower than I thought it would. It takes me probably 30 minutes per model just to scrape off all the mould lines! 

     

    When you think I've got nearly a hundred models to build (2 x 20 model units of Boyz was a bad place to start) it's going to take me a millennium before I'm ready to get them primed, painted and onto the tabletop. 

     

    As frustrating as it is, I think it's a lot better than the alternative. Mould lines left on models really stick out - at least to me - and look... unfinished, even when they're painted. Some of them are really subtle or in places you'd never see unless a model was an inch in front of your face but some of them stick out like a giant neon sign. You know those people that like to watch people popping spots? I'd watch an ASMR video of someone scraping mould lines of Warhammer models. 

     

    In fact I'd consider paying for someone to do it all for me so all I had to do was assemble my models like little Lego pieces then move on with my life. I'm glad I didn't bother in picking up a mould line remover tool, there's no way that chunky tip could get into half the nooks and crannies those pecky mould lines show up. Hobby knife all the way, baby!

     

    I'd love to know if you spend the time to remove mould lines on your models or if you're a psychopath and leave them on! Drop a comment below :)

  24. Welcome back, I honestly didn't think it would take more than 6 months to get back to this, but here we are, and we'll cover my 2022 Commissions, and a little bit of spill over into the early months of 2023.

     

    So, where was I?

     

    Right, Belakor, dragged out for 3 months. Did I learn my lesson and take a break? 

     

    No. No I did not.

     

    In fact, I immediatly kicked off the year with two simultaneous commissions, a long slow burn one from my regular client with the Sororitas and Drukhari, and one from a new client for some Custodes.

     

    The Custodes commission included 8 Allarus Custodians, and Trajann Valoris (I still have my own I've yet to paint...).  I was matching an existing colour scheme (the client provided a painted model as reference), and these guys turned out to be quite the contradiction for me. I liked the colour scheme and was digging it, and I really, REALLY enjoyed painting Trajann Valoris, but man, did I find the Custodians themselves quite the drag. All that tiny filigree on the shins and weapons meant so much back and forth between the gold and black, but in the end, I think the effort was worth it.

     

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    Spoiler

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    The very same week I set off on the third round of Commission work, expanding the forces of the the Sisters and Drukhari. As it turns out, my client is actually a family group, who are all buying the armies together,  and they are adding two new armies to their collection, Necrons AND Slaanesh Daemons, and this commission will add enough models to bring these two new armies up to points to match the Drukhari and Sororitas.

     

    It turns out I'm a glutton for punishment, and you see, I tend to make my job harder for myself. Excluding the rank and file models, personally, I *HATE* seeing the *same* model multiple times throughout an army.  So I spend my time time converting the clients models, for no additional cost, because it makes me happy. This is most prevelant in the Battle Squad banner bearers, every single one of them is unique. Initially, the client was very cautious / nervous about letting me do my thing wih their models, and very hesitent with conversions, thankfully now I have erned their trust and have carte blanche to assemble models however I fancy.

     

     

    The newest Adepta Sororitas expansion included Inquisitor Coteaz, Morvenn Vahl, 3 Pragon Warsuits (with magnetised weapons), 20 Battle Sisters, and a Castigator Battle Tank (also with magnetised weapons).

     

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    Spoiler

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    The Drukhari expansion was a much lower model count, but made up for it with big firepower. It included 1 Succubus and 10 Mandrakes, but the punch came in the form of 2 Forge World Reapers, and a Void Raven Bomber (with magnetised weapons). This Succubus is why the client became more open to conversions. You see this model started out as a Daughter of Khaine model, in fact it was one of the freebie's GW was giving out when the started the free monthly models.

     

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    Spoiler

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    At the start of Q4 of 2021, my health issues once again reared their ungly heads and I was forced to turn down the first of the Slaanesh commissions for the family group. It would of been for 4 Keepers of Secrets and 30 Daemonettes. I really wanted to do them, but just could not function. SO, when it came time for the first expansion, they tasked me with matching the paintworks of another commission painter. Unfortunately, despite a number of attempts at contact, I wasn't able to get a paint list or basic walkthrough of the scheme, and the pictures the client sent through didn't really provide a clear enough idea of how to procede. 

     

    When looking at the pictures below, you'll be able to see that the colours of the claws go through a few iterations and repaints until the client settled on the scheme in the top picture. The commission started with Syll'Esske and 10 Daemonettes, but with a late Q3 expansion, they added The Contorted Epitome, 20 Daemonettes, and 6 Fiends.

    The late addition of the 20 Daemonettes came with a timer, they were needed BEFORE Xmas, which was complicated by a GW FAQ. Daemonette squad sizes changed, and of the 20 painted, based and varnished Daemonettes, 9 of them now had to become Champions, Musicians, and Icon Bearers.

    Thankfully the clients understood that this was a significant request, whilst still needing to maintain the deadline, and offered a more than acceptable "inconvienience fee". Thankfully the Contorted Epitome and Fiends weren't included in the timer, and I finshed those in early January.

     

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    Spoiler

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    The Necrons were the largest of the commissions in 2022, and consisted of The Void Dragon, The Nightbringer, The Deceiver, Imotekh the Stormlord, a Royal Warden, a Plasmancer, 5 Lych Guard, 10 Immortals, 20 Warriors and 6 Scarab Swarms all in the Sautekh Dynasty.

     

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    Spoiler

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    BUT, those models aren't Sautekh, are they?

     

    Nope, no they're not.

     

    Several months in to the work, (I'd been switching and changing between the factions to prevent burnout), the client dropped a bomb. They're dropping Imotekh and replacing him with The Silet King, an Overlord, 2 more Plasmancers, and 5 additional Lych Guard AND changing the entire Necron commission to the Szarekhan Dynasty....the day before I was ready to show off the completed models. 

    This ended up taking the rest of the year and them some to complete the repaints and additional models. Again, I was fairly compensated for the repaint AND Imotekh was mine to keep.

     

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    Spoiler

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    The final piece of this year long, four faction commission was a sizable chunk of terrain. 8 Ruined Sector Mechanicus Ruins, 4 Ruined Walls, 4 barricades, 4 pipe sections, 1 Ferratonic Furnace, 2 Plasma Generators, 3 Munitorum Crates, 2 tank traps, 2 trap doors, 5 3D printed crators.

     

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    Sometime about October, I completed another Hero Forge commission for 3 D&D heroes, this was my first referral client, who had seen the first Hero Forge model I'd painted way back in 2020. 

     

    and Finally, the last commission I worked on in 2022 was a triplicate of Kill Teams for fellow B&C member, INKS. There were teams for the Scythes of the Emperor, Blood Angels, Iron Warriors, and a pair of characters, Trajann Valoris (again, and no, I still haven't painted my own...), and a Sanguinary Priest (magnetised pack and weapons).

     

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    So, I've tallied up all the models I completed (I'm counting the crew/pilots etc as seperate models, as they were all painted seperately prior to assembly), and I completed 189 models in 2022. This is about ~50 or so more models than my first year.

     

    What lessons did I learn throughout the year?

     

    The commission WILL take longer that I think it will, because life happens, work happens, family happens. Burnout is a thing. Sometimes I just *DON'T WANNA DO IT" happens, and I'll go outside, sit down to paint, pick up the model and thhen just not.

    One of the things I introduced to facilitate keeping on track was "Marvel Mondays" I began painting my Marvel United figures and posting them on Insta every Monday, I implemented Sunday as "my" day. I never work Sundays (too expensive to schedule), and on Sundays I only do personal hobby and not commission work. This little bit of structure has helped, but it was really only mid 2023 that I worked this one out.

     

    So next time, and hopefully in less than 6 months, we'll look at 2023's commissions, and any lessons I learned along the way.

     

     



     

     

  25. Inspiration for the Order

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    The Order of the Broken Arrow (hereafter known as the Broken Arrow) is the core concept and organizing principle behind my M41 Dark Angels collection. It is entirely a homebrew concept, though I should emphasize that it is founded upon established Dark Angels lore to date as I understand it. It is very likely that as the return of The Lion and expansion of the Dark Angels Primaris marines are explored in greater detail by the Black Library and future codexes, much of what I write and do here won’t line up. The upcoming Lazarus: Enmity’s Edge will also be pertinent to my project, as the core of the Broken Arrow resides in the 5th Company and relies on Lazarus’s status as the “Keeper of the Unseen Ritual” as a major plot point. Still, one can only work with the materials to hand, to date. Besides, a little bit of mismatching, obfuscation, and fuzziness works for a Dark Angels project!

     

    The inspiration for the Broken Arrow springs primarily from The Horus Heresy Book Nine: Crusade and Lion el’Jonson: Lord of the First, both set in M30. At the risk of oversimplifying the incredible lore of Crusade, the Dark Angels of M30 made use of “orders” that existed outside of established Legion organization. These orders were formed of individuals who possessed the knowledge and lore necessary to combat a particular threat. Members of an order carried out their assigned duties in whatever combat or command role they occupied within the Legion until they were needed, at which point the order gathered together to address the situation. Allegiance to an order was not openly declared, but members generally wore identifiers proclaiming their membership to those initiated in the order’s mysteries and arcana. These identifiers could be symbols, trinkets, or even the application of colors in a specific pattern on an armor plate or piece of clothing. The end result of the order system was an invisible infrastructure dispersed throughout the Legion equipped to deal with threats or enemies with targeted expertise, affording the First unparalleled tactically flexibility. 

     

    David Guymer’s Lord of the First explores what this order system looked like in practice. I won’t spoil anything here, but it is a good read for those looking to understand how the Dark Angels legion works. Though I should note that despite it being part of the Primarch series, The Lion ends up getting very little screen time. 

     

    Before moving on to M41, another important source of inspiration to explore is the artwork presented in Crusade. The sheer variety of colors and panoply, each accompanied with its own secret and deeper meaning, captured my imagination. The Star Burners, a specialist squad of Hellbasters serving in the 5th Company, owed their unique markings to pictures in Crusade

     

    So all of this is fine and good, but at the end of the day, all of these inspirations are specific to the Dark Angels Legion, which itself was a product of a discrete time, place, and context. Simply importing everything directly into an M41 setting unaltered, in my personal opinion, undoes and ignores the lore of ten thousand plus years. The Dark Angels were profoundly changed after the breaking of Caliban, the trauma of losing their genefather (temporarily, I should say), and the suffocating, omnipresent weight of guilt and shame that accompanied the spread of the Fallen and codification of The Hunt. It is only natural following these revelations that the Unforgiven adapt to a new reality, one far divorced from that in M30. After all, the Dark Angels only got to spend roughly 168 years with The Lion from his discovery in 846.M30 to the sundering of Caliban in 15.M31. The Legion itself had only been operating as a fighting force for roughly 314 years (Palace Coup in 700.M30 to 15.M31).  In short, what I am trying to get at is that the Dark Angels spent a comparatively short amount of time as the Angels of Death and First Legion and that though these ancient years are the foundation of the modern Unforgiven, it is not believable that their exact heraldry, organization, and customs would survive intact to M41. 

     

    The question then became, how do I incorporate these elements into a modern Dark Angel army? The Lion had not yet returned when I started this collection, so I could not rely on the whole “the Primarch returned and changed everything, so that is that.” It was the 9th Edition Codex Supplement: Dark Angels that answered my question. It noted that 5th Company Master Lazarus was also the Keeper of the Unseen Ritual. This made him responsible for collating the ancient knowledge of Caliban’s ancient orders, and noted that those who possessed such knowledge of the orders were generally Inner Circle [1]. Suddenly it made sense how I could bring the M30 elements I enjoyed into my collection. 

     

    Lazarus, through diligent study, had unlocked some of the ancient mysteries, lores, heraldry, order, divisions, and customs of the First Legion. Armed with this knowledge, he used his own 5th Company as a way to apply what he learned. However, his understanding of the ancient past is incomplete. Data stacks may indicate that applying bone color to certain pieces of armor was an honor, but not elaborate on what exactly that honor signified. The Inner Circle also made sure to scrutinize and drip feed Lazarus only that information which they wanted him to know, though of course some things slipped through the cracks. In the end, I had a premise that allowed me to continue collecting and fielding what we understand as modern Dark Angels while also incorporating elements of the past, distorted as it were by an incomplete understanding and deliberate redaction. 

     

    With the framework in place, the next steps were to develop the lore for an order within the 5th Company, and develop unique iconography and heraldry for other special units. This of course will be the subject of another rambling blog post. 

     

    Thanks again for reading, and of course let me know what you think below! 
     

    - Company Master Holden

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    [1] Located on page eight of the supplement. As someone who purchased the Dark Vengeance box set when it was brand new, I was disappointed to see that Balthazar had been killed off in such a flippant manner. That said, the Psychic Awakening series and recent Codexes have made Lazarus a more interesting character than he was before. I am hoping Emnity's Edge will continue the character development. 

     


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