Apparently, it’s summer now…

Hey everybody,
It’s been raining something terrible here in the UK for the last week or so, which has left me with a lot of indoor pursuits to take my mind off the fact we’ve had more than a month’s rainfall within hours. I’ve already talked about getting back into Magic, which has been very exciting as I’ve been rediscovering that classic. I’ve got quite a bit more to discuss on that, of course, so those blogs will be peppering my site over the coming weeks and months. I’ve already got some lined up, to keep things going while I move house (though when, exactly, that will be, remains to be seen!) so I thought I’d check in with everything else that has been going on!

First of all, I’ve really gotten back into painting, and have been really getting somewhere with my Skitarii army ideas from days gone by. I’ve been toying around with quite a number of list ideas, though for now I’m trying to focus on painting up what I’ve got built, and ensuring I can bring down the pile of shame into something more akin to a proper army.

I’ve managed to get two lots of five troops, along with one HQ and one elite slot finished. Once I’ve finished up the Tech Priest Enginseer and the next ten Vanguard painted up, I want to move back to making the two lots of five troops into two lots of ten, which I’ll probably do alongside another character model. I’ve also built up five Sicarian Infiltrators, which I really like – especially that Princeps model! I love the insane technical details on these models, and I’ve really enjoyed painting the abundance of clips and plugs and screens on the Enginseer, so I’m expecting to enjoy him as well!

It’s my plan to get 500 points of AdMech painted up soon, so that I can start to play games with them. I don’t have an Imperium army that I can play with, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they work. Once I’ve got those 500 points finished, I can keep painting and adding to the collection, but at least it will be an army that is seeing some action, at last!

Skitarii list 500 points

My thought process here is to keep adding units that interest me, or that I feel that I need, once I’ve been able to try the army out and see what it’s all about. I’m guessing that heavier artillery will be a requirement, and I’ve already started to put some paint on the first Dunecrawler twelve months ago, so hopefully that will be making an appearance before too long!

On the subject of painting models, I’ve also been fidding with some Necromunda miniatures, the Delaque gangers that I’d built back in December. I want to get into this game so badly, but finding people to play with has been proving a bit more difficult than I’d thought – hopefully soon, though, I’ll be able to get either the Delaque or Van Saar models to the table and try it out! I just hope I actually enjoy it!

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#nowReading #Warhammer40k #BloodAngels

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I’ve also been reading Warhammer 40k novels quite voraciously, as I try to work my way through quite the backlog that I have! The Space Marines Legends series was a short-lived set of hardbacks that focused on a single Space Marine hero from one of the popular first-founding chapters. I’d read the first book in the series, Cassius, back in 2017, and was quite impressed overall. Lemartes takes us to the Blood Angels, and discusses the cursed sons of Sanguinius with the dual flaws of the Red Thirst and the Black Rage. We follow a Chaos incursion on the planet Phlegethon, which the Blood Angels are sent to put down. The Death Company are unleashed on the cultists, along with those brothers from the Fourth Company who are particularly susceptible to the Red Thirst. When the cultists bring down the wrath of Khorne on the planet, these brothers almost lose themselves, but fortunately the unbridled fury of the Death Company is able to bring down the greater daemon Skarbrand.

It’s an enjoyable enough novel, though it felt a little bit like a non-event in the grand scheme of things. I also read Azrael recently, by the king of the Dark Angels, Gav Thorpe, but I was particularly unimpressed with this one. It just felt interminable, and the plot was particularly uninspiring overall. Also dealing with a Chaos uprising, and showing Azrael’s ascent to Supreme Grand Master of the Chapter, I was hoping we’d get to see a lot more of the inner circle, but instead it all just fell a bit too flat for me. Ah well!

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#nowReading #Warhammer40k

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A bit more recently, we have Cadia Stands, which is something of a tie-in to the Gathering Storm series that brought 7th Edition to a close. The novel deals with, well, the Fall of Cadia, as the forces of Chaos emerge from the Eye of Terror for Abaddon’s Thirteenth Black Crusade. Yes, he’s had a Thirteenth Black Crusade before, but this is a different Thirteenth Black Crusade. I really found myself enjoying this book, as we followed groups of Cadians around the planet. I thought it was really quite interesting to see how the soldiers reacted to the increasingly Chaotic events on-world, as some struggled to evacuate from the warzone.

The book has been followed up by Cadian Honour, which seems to follow up on one of the soldiers featured in Cadia Stands, Minka Lesk. I’m not normally one for Cadian stories, as I’m not a fan of the army in-game, but I enjoyed this one enough that I’m thinking I’ll probably give it a try soon!

Arkham Horror LCG

From 40k to Lovecraft, and it’s been quite an adventure this afternoon, as I’ve finally started playing the Dunwich Legacy!

I’ve been playing this game for what feels like a long time now, but have never made it past the Core Set. Back last October, I finished the core set campaign, Night of the Zealot, and so built up some decks with the new cards and thought about starting up the Dunwich Legacy, but other things seemed to get in the way. Well, I’m pleased to report that I’ve finally made it to Dunwich!

I’ve played the first scenario, Extracurricular Activity, using my Jenny Barnes and Ursula Marsh decks. I know Ursula is a more recent investigator, but the deck was built, so there we are! I really enjoyed it, seeing how the game has evolved from the core set already was quite interesting. There is a strong discard theme in the first scenario, at least, which I wasn’t expecting – I didn’t quite see my decks completely discarded, but even so, it was something I wasn’t really prepared for, and the hate leveled at investigators by the Agenda for having a large discard pile was really something!

Arkham Horror LCG Dunwich Legacy

Overall, I’m really enjoying this game. I’ve been buying everything for it as it has been coming out up until the current cycle which, due to real life intrusions, I hadn’t been aware had been released! When I popped by the games shop recently, it turns out pretty much the entire cycle has been released now, though I’m fairly sure I’ve only picked up the deluxe cycle.

FFG have recently announced a fifth deluxe expansion, The Dream-Eaters, which has also taken me unawares! The way the campaign works for this expansion is quite unique, as it features scenarios set in the real world and in the Dreamlands, and you choose one of the two for your investigators to follow. There is still talk of a cohesive eight-part campaign, though, so it sounds as though it will still be a traditional cycle. I may even have caught up with it all by then, and be able to play this one as it happens!

While I am loving this return to the Arkham Horror LCG, and finally getting round to seeing what I’ve been missing all this time, I’m also excitedly awaiting A Shadow in the East, the next deluxe expansion for Lord of the Rings. I haven’t played that game for a long time now, I know, but it is still up there for me, and I look forward to getting my grubby little hands on it!

Rampant Speculation, and more!

Hey everybody!
It probably hasn’t escaped anybody’s notice that tomorrow is the start of the Vigilus Weekender, a two day event at Warhammer World, where GW are going to announce “something big” for us all. Intrigued? Well, I am!

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Vigilus Calls. The Imperium will answer…

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This “something big” could, of course, be anything. I’ve been reading a lot online where people have suggested it could be the return of Abaddon, or it could be Marneus Calgar as a dreadnought, based on the teaser video GW posted yesterday. Frankly, both of those things could well be true, as it wouldn’t be a massive stretch of the imagination to learn that the Black Legion has shown up on the hotly-contested battleground, and given how sidelined Marneus Calgar was during the Dark Imperium novel, I think it would be so cool to see him come back as a relic dreadnought to really kick some ass.

I suppose the problem with that last could be that it feels like such a huge event, it should be in a novel. Calgar’s last stand, his heroic death and eventual reincarnation in the sarcophagus of a dreadnought – it’s too much to just bring out the model and say, “oh yeah, he’s in there now”. Maybe they’ll announce the tie-in book, though something just feels a little off about that. Sure, there has been a build-up for months now, with all the box sets coming out! But who knows?!

Abaddon and the Black Legion are a very safe bet, as it feels like the Blackstone Fortress stuff is going to be heralding a new age for Chaos. If we don’t get more Chaos Space Marines in the mould of those chaps from the boxed game, then I don’t know anything, anymore! I’ve talked about this extensively in the past, but I would love to see GW come out with a full Black Legion release, making use of the new minis as well as the Chaos Renegades such as Traitor Guard and Beastmen, with maybe some sort of campaign book rather than a full Codex. A Black Legion Codex just seems like a silly thing, to me. I am really excited to see how GW progress with the new models from Blackstone Fortress, however, so I’m probably talking about them a great deal because I’m just so interested!!

Personally, I would love to see the announcement of the Genestealer Cults Codex come out of this weekend. We know that they’re an active force on Vigilus, and while they have only recently had Tooth and Claw devoted to them, I would like to see this be a major thing to come out of the weekend. Preferably with a pre-order to boot! But between a Codex, the new Aberrant models, maybe the new Abominant, and of course the gunslinger Primus, this is a Codex release that would actually feel like a new army release once more. It’s the last of the regular Codexes from 7th edition to have the 8th edition treatment, so why not go out with a bang? We could even be seeing more new releases for the army that we hadn’t been expecting – I mean, who was expecting that Abominant?

Equally, I would love it to be something entirely out of left field, that comes as a complete surprise to us all. Codex: Dark Mechanicum, with a whole new line of models after the Negavolt Cultists!

But it’s most likely to involve Primaris Marines, so there is that…

Anyway! Whatever is involved this weekend, I’m just rubbing my hands with anticipation!

In other news, I’ve picked up my copy of Blackstone Fortress today, and have put together a little unboxing video in the way that I used to for these things! I haven’t made a youtube video for a while now, though that is at least partly due to the fact I was moving house so didn’t get a chance to keep going there. Might get back into it all sometime, once things calm down again! Of course, it feels like there are enough miniatures in the Blackstone Fortress box to keep me busy until Christmas, so I may have other things to occupy my time!

I’ve been busy building some units for the Ravenwing portion of my Dark Angels army that I talked about in some depth the other day, so I currently have the bikers from Dark Vengeance (that I eventually bought from ebay, as I couldn’t find my own – they were a nightmare to fix up, but got there in the end!) and a Talonmaster that was built out of a landspeeder and the Ravenwing upgrade sprue. I’ve also put together this little beauty:

I’ve had this kit for years, and have been recently on the fence as to whether to keep it or not, but having now built it up, I’m really chuffed that I did! It looks amazing, and I can’t wait to get it painted!

I’ve also been building AdMech stuff, which is exciting – I’d previously built a Tech Priest Dominus, but the model broke, so it’s nice to have another one to get painted.

While building both the Tech Priest and the Darkshroud, I was thinking about how amazingly detailed these models are, and how I really want to do them justice. So I’m really looking forward to getting started on them, as a little winter painting project. This hopefully won’t impact too much on the plans I talked about the other day, of course!!

Anyway, it’s been a busy time for building, and with the arrival of Blackstone Fortress, it’s going to be even busier! But I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next from this weekend’s event!!

The Deathwing

Hey everybody!
After mentioning the idea in yesterday’s painting update blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about my ideas for a Deathwing army, and thought I’d come along here today to briefly talk about the whole thing. I’d last mentioned it on the blog here almost exactly a year ago, when the last thing that I’d done for the force was build up a Land Raider Crusader. I’ve not actually painted any of the models in the army since November 2016, however, when I was attempting to forge ahead with some Deathwing Knights:

So I do feel that I have a long way to go!

The Army Right Now
The current state of the republic so far as my Deathwing goes is as follows:

Deathwing list

That is an elite, expensive list!! I’ve been quite excited by this army for a while, now, and I think the idea of it being such an elite force is a really exciting prospect. None of my other armies forgoes troops like this, although I suppose the Terminator Squads basically act like troops for the purposes of this list.

Who are the Deathwing?
For those of you who don’t know, the Deathwing are the elite First Company of the Dark Angels Chapter of Space Marines. The Dark Angels are a Chapter shrouded in mystery, and secrets-within-secrets is kind of their schtick in the 40k universe. During the Horus Heresy, it is widely believed in the meta that Lion el’Jonson kept back from Terra during the siege, as he wanted to see which way the hammer fell before fully deciding to join with Horus or keep to the light of the Emperor. Added to this fact, back home on Caliban the Lion’s trusted lieutenant, Luther, fell to Chaos and took a sizable chunk of the Legion with him – these are known as the Fallen, but the Dark Angels are determined above all else to keep the existence of these renegades from the galaxy at large. Very few know the story of the Fallen, and all of those in the First Company are within the Inner Circle of trust in this regard.

Nowadays, the Dark Angels regularly devote a portion of their strength to searching out for these renegades, in an attempt to make them repent or die. If any part of the Chapter suspects the potential location of a Fallen, they usually bring in the Ravenwing to deal with the situation – the lightning-fast Second Company. Should the presence of Fallen be likely, the First Company promptly come in to deal with it.

Side note: Ravenwing
The Ravenwing are the all-biker Second Company of the Dark Angels, and a force that I have not usually paid much attention to. However, since reading through the Codex for the Dark Angels, I’ve been considering re-vamping my entire list to include at least some of these guys in there. As I said, the Ravenwing are supposed to hunt for the Fallen, and when they confirm a location, they call in the Deathwing to teleport down to a planet and strike. I think it could be really cinematic to recreate that on the tabletop, so I’ll be giving that some thought in the coming weeks to see how feasible such an addition could be! I already have the flying church altar that is the Darkshroud, as I had been briefly considering using it as a part of the Deathwing army anyway, so I might include some more and plug any tactical holes in the list.

The Army Build
First Companies of Space Marines Chapters are the veterans, and as such almost exclusively wear tactical dreadnought (or terminator) armour. As such, there are a lot of Terminators in the list – pretty much everybody is wearing that stuff for the 2+ save it grants! While I still have some models that I’d like to add to the army, such as a second Venerable Dreadnought and perhaps an Interrogator-Chaplain, I am also in the curious position of having everything currently built and partly painted, so this is like none of my other current army projects to date!

It’s definitely a fluffy army, and I have no idea how well it would do on the tabletop. But my curiosity in that regard makes me want to try it out soon and see just how well (or not!) it fares!

Tactical Thoughts
I’ve only briefly studied the new Codex, so there may well be a lot of things I’m missing with this, but some important linchpins for the force are Belial and the Ancient. Everybody in the force has the DEATHWING faction keyword, except the Venerable Dreadnought (and the Land Raider, though at 300 points, I’m currently leaving that thing off the list!) – Belial, as Grand Master of the Deathwing, allows for all friendly units within 6″ to re-roll failed hit rolls (as well as allowing for re-rolling hit rolls of 1 for all Dark Angels units within 6″ of him), while the Ancient gives all Deathwing units +1 Attack while they are within 6″ of him. While Belial is obviously a unique character unit, the Ancient will be useful to give those Terminators and Knights 3 attacks each, and the Venerable Dreadnought will gladly take that for 5 attacks, as well!

But the Venerable Dreadnought isn’t a DEATHWING unit, I hear you cry. Well, thanks to the ICP stratagem “Inner Circle”, he now can be!

I may well build up another Ancient, as it happens, though that would be too much for the game and not enough for the fluff.

All of the Deathwing units also have the Teleport Strike special rule, which is the way they get to deep strike in 8th edition. There is a Deathwing Assault stratagem that allows them to immediately shoot after arriving by deep strike, which doesn’t prevent them from then shooting in the regular shooting phase, also! Very nice. I think the changes to the deep strike rule that prevent this from happening on turn one may have turned off a lot of folks, but I do like the dramatic idea of maybe using it for the Knights – I had briefly considered the Knights and Belial, but if it is used for a unit of more than 5 models, it costs 3CP – a hefty investment for an army that is quite light on the command points due to the fact it’s pretty much all HQs and elites! But it definitely fits that cinematic style if I do indeed go for the Ravenwing build, also!

Deathwing Redemption Force

The stratagems are generally pretty decent, I think – there are a lot of fluffy ones that only really come into play if you’re fighting Chaos Space Marines, and there’s a nice one that affects the plasma weaponry of a Dark Angels unit. Fluffy, for sure, though the Deathwing guys don’t really have many options for maxing out on such things to really make it worthwhile – again, this is a very elite army, with a maximum of five command points available to it as it stands, so I can’t really afford to go spreading the love too much!

From what I can see, though, there isn’t a tremendous amount of tactical ability within the units themselves – there are a couple of stratagems that will help, and a few aura effects that are useful, but in the main we’re looking at an army that is very much deploy and get on with it. Everybody is a Terminator, so has a 2+ armour save and 5+ invulnerable save, with at least two wounds each (Belial and the Master are the toughest infantry units with 6 wounds, while the Venerable Dreadnought has 8), so it should be a fairly durable force – as well it should be, for the points cost!

Building the army
I have an inordinate amount of love for the Deathwing Terminators kit. Ever since I built up my first Terminator (above), I knew that they were going to have a special place for me. I think the kit is quite remarkable for having three options within it – the regular Terminators, the Command Squad, or the Knights.

The way the Deathwing Command Squad has been broken up in the new Codex does mean that I’m somewhat at sea with my current builds – I actually have an additional Terminator with an assault cannon that I currently can’t home anywhere. I think I’ve got another box somewhere in the pile of shame, so I could always build up a third squad and maybe with the left-over model make either another Master or that second Ancient. It just feels a bit wrong to me that there would be two Ancients floating about with the company banner, you know?

At any rate, them’s my plans for the Deathwing army! It’s a force that I really love the look of, and have had a lot of fun painting them in the past, so hopefully that will continue as I move slowly towards completion this year! December is definitely Deathwing month for me, as I’ve done a lot with these models each Christmastime for the last three years now, so it will be nice to continue that tradition.

Stay tuned for more updates, anyway!

Painting Progress! November 2018

Hey everybody!
Well it’s day five of my 800-blogs celebration week, and to close with a bang, I thought I’d update you all with some of my recent hobby progress! As always, I’ve been building a lot, but more excitingly, I’ve also been managing to not only paint a lot of things, but to get some of those things finished! Win-win!

Let’s start with some Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault.

I’ve not yet played this game, but seeing these minis really inspired me to look again into fantasy and the Nighthaunt range for Age of Sigmar, and we all know where that has led me! These were some quite challenging models to paint, the Briar Queen herself in particular, because I’m not really used to having such light colours, and having to mix shades with medium to lighten them has been quite a learning curve for me. The models have so much character though, I really enjoyed getting them finished and seeing the whole band come together.

I enjoyed them so much, in fact, that I’ve already built my second warband!

I’m hoping to get a game of Shadespire in soon, so will be featuring that on the blog here at some point in the near future – stay tuned for that!

Next up are my Electro-Priests! They’re a unit that I’ve had some trouble with in the past, as I’d wanted to paint them for a long time but initially sprayed some white and it didn’t end well for me. I’d previously had the idea of painting their skin a charred black, with the robes a light pink. Well, that no longer fits with the look of my Skitarii, so I went back to the drawing board and have painted them with the blue robes of the rest of my army (which currently numbers five models, but whatever) There are a few callbacks to the Skitarii such as the grey tabards in front, which echo the pressure suits, and of course the various dangling bits and pieces are a strong resemblance between both squads. You can definitely see on three of them there is a chalkier finish, where the stripping hasn’t quite worked out for me, but overall I think they look great, and they’re a really nice addition.

Really chuffed to have finally painted them, after nearly three years since they were originally built!

Of course, I was wanting to paint something weird while I was waiting for the Blackstone Fortress stuff to land, so now that I’ve done these, I feel at a bit of a loss as to where to go next! Fortunately, however, I have found some of the Chaos Cultists from Dark Vengeance, so have been busy building up those gentlemen!

Not only have I got the Cultists being built up, I’m also building some House Cawdor gangers for Necromunda. They both kinda fit the bill of weird 40k stuff, after all, so I think they’ll keep me going nicely for the next week, until we get to Blackstone Friday! The Cultists are nice models, for early push-fit stuff, and I have previously painted up some of them at least, so I’m excited to try my hand once more at these guys. While building them, I was thinking that I’d like to try, so far as possible, to make a really nice job of them – partly because they’re comparatively rare models nowadays, but also because they’ve got so much lovely detail on them, and I don’t always try my hardest to really make an effort with the regular line troops. So I’m thinking that I’ll just do a few at a time, and try to make them really special.

The Cawdor stuff is really kinda weird, isn’t it? Such fiddly models, as well. But while I initially wasn’t thinking much of them, I think I would like to try some of these in a game at some future date, so it would be good to have them painted up and whatnot. While I’m definitely going to do more than ten Van Saar gangers, and will probably do more Orlocks as well, I think I will probably just build up the ten as per the box, and leave them at that.

Speaking of the weirder elements of 40k, all that talk about the Kill Team Rogue Trader expansion the other day has gotten me into painting the minis, finally! I really, really like these guys, so while the going has been quite slow so far, it has also been a lot of fun. The models are so wonderfully detailed, they really show just how good GW is at sculpting their models right now – it’s stuff like this that really puts the argument that Citadel minis are the best in the business out there. I’m not really used to painting regular human skin and whatnot, so I have been finding it a little tough at times, but they are so enjoyable to paint that I can’t help but want to plough ahead with the project!

Something that I’m really pleased with is getting this squad of Necron Immortals finally painted up, having stalled with them a few weeks ago and not really having gotten the inspiration to finish them off. I’m a big fan of gauss Immortals, but I think the tesla carbines have really come through here, and the soft drybrushing from Kantor Blue, through Alaitoc Blue and up to Teclis Blue has really come through quite well, I think – rather than looking messy, it actually feels more like a glowing effect, to my eye, so I’m really chuffed!

While I’m still a long way off from my projected list from September, I think I’m feeling more in the mood to get moving with the Great Reanimation now, so hopefully my Necron army will be getting back to the tabletop soon!


So I’ve been painting and building a lot, but I think the Necrons bring me on to the next part of this blog, and my plans for the immediate future, and where I would like to be by the end of the year (just six weeks away!)

Obviously, I’d like to get more Necrons painted in my Thokt Dynasty scheme, so I think somewhere near the top of the list will be more space skeletons. I think I’d like to get more troops, with more fancy units, so I’m thinking I’ll probably aim to do five more Immortals (gauss most likely!) and either five Deathmarks, or an Annihilation Barge. I’ll stop short of saying both, but I’ll decide which I’d rather do soon. I’ve got both units built, at least!

I talked about Skitarii before, and I think I’d like to get at least five more Rangers or Vanguard painted – possibly Vanguard, as I’ve been thinking about some effects I could try on the radium carbines. Not sure if I’d do anything else, though the Tech Priest Dominus is a strong contender. I had one built up, but I think it broke; I do have a total of four further Tech Priest kits (between all the Start Collecting, Forgebanes and now the Kill Team Commander that I picked up the other day!) so I could build up another and see if I can get anywhere with him. I started painting the Tech Priest Enginseer, but he’s currently on my painting table broken, so I’ve been thinking about trying to finish him, as a part of which I’ll try to fix him.

The Chaos Cultists are a project, but while there are a load of them, I’m going to paint them in fives, so as to not overwhelm myself. Whether I get to them before the end of the year or not, I don’t know, so I’ll leave them off this list for the time being. I also don’t know if I’ll manage to get the Elucidian Starstriders finished before new year, but I’d like to see how far I can get. So far, anyway, I’ve almost been painting them while I had a certain paint on the palette for another unit, so I might just keep them there and see where I get to.

Three years ago, I started to build a Deathwing army, and I am really feeling in the mood to do some more with that this year. I have a lot of models that are basecoated and such, so I might see if I can get the details finished on them, as they are a wonderful-looking force, and I’m really proud of those models that I’ve so far managed to finish. So I think I might like to add in the Deathwing Knights to this list, as I think I’d like to get those done in particular.

So what’s on this list? Necrons, Skitarii and Deathwing, with perhaps some odds and ends mixed in to keep things moving and interesting. Necrons are possibly my priority because I want to try and get the army up to a level where I can start having games with it. I need to make sure I don’t get distracted by Lychguard or Praetorians, and instead focus on the troops that I need, and some of the good support stuff that will make a core of the army. Skitarii will be my Kill Team project – I’ll be writing a blog on that sometime soon – so they’re again something that I will be painting up to play, with a view to finally getting the army going, but I think that’s more of a long-term goal. And the Deathwing thing is almost something of a passion project at this point, but I would really like to do some more work to them: as December is traditionally my time to do stuff with the First Legion, hopefully we’ll see at least some movement on that front!

I have the feeling, though, that Blackstone Fortress may be taking up a lot of my time, once I get it in my hot little hands!!


So there we are, my painting and hobby progress to date! I think this focus on just finishing one unit is definitely the way forward for me, so you can expect to see more updates where I have complete units in the future. And what a week it’s been! 800 posts, huh? I certainly didn’t think I’d last longer than a year, but next April it’ll be my five-year anniversary! Amazing stuff!

War of Secrets

Finished the third of the Space Marine Conquests series this morning, and while I think it was probably the best of the three we’ve had so far, I’m still not entirely sure I like these new breed of Space Marines in the lore.

War of Secrets deals with the Dark Angels, and so we have the usual round of secrets within secrets. It’s actually quite a straightforward story in that regard – the Dark Angels chasing down one of their Unforgiven. The new Primaris are a part of the chase, though of course they aren’t trusted and so don’t fully know what’s going on. So we have a lot of angry marines on both sides, the Primaris for being kept in the dark, the “regular” chaps due to what they see as Guilliman’s spies in their ranks.

Layered on top of this, we have a T’au storyline that involves Shas’O Kais, one of the three star pupils of the legendary Puretide. Kais, heretofore merely a Codex background character, is held in stasis due to the fact that he is an unpredictable ‘living weapon’. However, a conspiracy is launched with Tutor Twiceblade, another of the legendary tutors of T’au society, to launch him again into the front lines.

The stories converge over the planet of Saltire Vex, which has come under some kind of psyker plague, possibly as a result of the presence of the Unforgiven marine (that’s my inference, anyway!). The action follows the twists and turns of both factions, with some decent action scenes throughout, particularly near the end as we see a Ghostkeel battlesuit put through its paces. The T’au side of things was probably the most interesting to me, possibly due to my recent interest in building an army of the blighters, but Kelly is well known for his T’au writing at this point, so it’s probably no surprise there.

While the story was definitely a lot better than the last installment for me, I suppose that was due to the fact I’m a lot less interested in Space Wolves than Dark Angels (and, especially, T’au). But even so, we’re back into this mix of Primaris vs non-Primaris stuff that started off in the first book, though given the First’s penchant for secrecy, the friction is a lot more pronounced here. The way the storyline is concluded, however, did slightly annoy me – I’m trying to avoid too many spoilers in this, but suffice it to say, it felt like too convenient a finale, somehow.

At any rate, I’m sticking with the series, in the hope we might see some really intriguing aspects of the new 40k universe. The fourth book in the series has just gone up for pre-order this weekend, and features the Ultramarines in “a mission of vital importance” to the Indomitus Crusade – interesting, as I thought that was over already. Sounds a bit vague, but I suppose we’ll see! I’m hoping we might see the series move beyond the First Founding chapters, but I suppose I’d rather have a shorter series that just takes us through these than an unnecessarily long series that shambles through the thousands of chapters one by one…

Warhammer 40,000 news!

Hey everybody!
It’s the Warhammer 40,000 open day today in Nottingham, but I’m at home moving furniture about so couldn’t make it. However, catching up with the news over on the GW Community site, it looks like a tremendous time ahead for the game! Let’s take a look, and then I’ll catch you all up with what I’ve been doing of late, as well! (Spoiler: it isn’t what you might think…)

First of all, following its release yesterday, Necromunda has already got the next gang expansion lined up: House Orlock!

House Orlock is made up of miners and engineers who use ingenuity and grit to solve the various problems of the underhive, whether they’re making sure mining quotas are met or are just working out the best way to neutralise a charging Goliath ganger.

Exciting stuff, I have to say! I think this is actually the best-looking gang so far, and I can definitely see myself going for them – I was planning to go for Escher because I thought the Goliaths look slightly too over-the-top, but these chaps look like they could be exactly what I want in a gang! If nothing else, they are sporting some truly amazing facial hair…

In addition to a new gang, there’s a new book coming out with their rules, and new terrain tiles to further help expand the game! Looks like GW are truly making this a wonderful gaming experience! However, the new Hive Scum are being released in resin, which is not something that I’m looking forward to experiencing. Might have to pass on them.

I’ve not actually had the time to pick up my preorder copy of the game, so need to try harder and get my stuff soon…

While we’re on the subject of Necromunda, have you guys seen this video from Warhammer TV? 3D combat is, of course, what Necromunda was famous for, and while the new boxed game doesn’t have any multi-level terrain, the Gang War book apparently does. Anyway, I got on a real scenery kick earlier this year, building loads of stuff for an Armies on Parade board that never really got off the ground, given that I ended up moving house and all the rest of it, but I do still have a few kits lying around, and have recently managed to consolidate all of the stuff I had built up, following the move. Now that GW are releasing new terrain, and this has cropped up, I’m hoping that we’ll continue to see stuff like this into the future – and, indeed, more videos to inspire all manner of build options!

Back to main-line 40k, now, and the mythical Myphitic Blight Hauler is finally coming out in time for Christmas – and it’s just £15! Having decided to build a Chaos force that is predominantly these lovely chaps, I’m definitely going to pick up this demon engine for the army, and it just looks so cute!

It’s an easy-build kit, and we’re getting more for both Primaris Space Marines and the Death Guard – I actually think it’s a really great way of continuing the Dark Imperium box by having these things available as well. I’ve often thought it’s a bit weird how there are starter boxes with the push-fit models, then if you want anything more added to your force you need to level up your modelling game. Plenty of people are put off by the assembly of these things, and instead have picked up the likes of X-Wing, so having almost a complete range of easy-to-build kits can allow someone to assemble quite a decent army even when they’re an absolute beginner. Sure, it might not look as great to experienced gamers, but I think this is a problem that a lot of commentators seem to forget – experienced gamers are not GW’s intended audience for these kits. Of course, such folks will no doubt buy them anyway, but I don’t think these kits are intended for anybody other than those people who want to spend as little time at the hobby table as possible, and more time at the gaming table. A lot of people are complaining about the Redemptor Dreadnought coming out, due to its mono-pose look – well, luckily for you, you can actually buy a fully-customisable version already! So leave the easy-to-build one alone and move along!

Urgh. Rant over, anyway.

Speaking of Primaris Marines, however, we’re getting two new Lieutenants, one each for the Blood Angels and the Dark Angels, that have all the usual regalia of each chapter, to accompany their respective codex releases in December. Wonderful! I don’t actually have a Blood Angels force, but I have been trying to build a Deathwing army since GW made their first and only foray into the whole Black Friday thing a couple of years ago, and this is the first thing I wanted to talk about when catching you all up with my hobby progress of late!

My Deathwing force has been in a state of partial completion for about two years now, although to date I’ve only got about seven terminators and the venerable dreadnought actually finished. I had some time off work not too long ago, and spent a day building a land raider crusader for them. I love the Deathwing photo spread from the old Dark Angels codex, and have been vaguely modelling my force on that, so definitely wanted to get the big tank for my force.

When I spent some time trying to work out all of the points costs for this force, I think it came in somewhere around 1500 without the land raider, which initially surprised me for such a small force. However, I’m guessing that these chaps will do a lot more damage than otherwise expected… I have got two Vanguard Detachments, due to 3/5 of the old Command Squad now being deemed as characters in their own right, but I am wondering if I really need Belial in the force anymore. He used to negate scattering after you deep strike in, but scattering isn’t in 8th edition, so he’s mainly there for fluff. I suppose we’ll just see how the army evolves!

I’ve already mentioned my Chaos force that I’ve been assembling, of course and wanted to point out the other half of the army – Thousand Sons! I was very taken by these chaps when they were released about a year ago, and had thought about getting some for a Kill Team, but only recently pulled the trigger and picked up a box. Well, I enjoyed putting the Aspiring Sorcerer together so much last weekend that I’ve since bought a second box, as I think I’m going to have at least one Patrol Detachment in my Chaos army of Thousand Sons!

I just hope we get some plastic Noise Marines at some point…!

Finally, we have this handsome fella. I’ve been flirting with Tyranids for so long now, they were almost my first army (but lost out to Necrons), and a couple of times over the years I’ve found myself buying bugs without any real thought to making a force, but just having something utterly alien to paint. Very much like Lizardmen from Warhammer Fantasy, I think I’ve been drawn to Tyranids because they were part of my first exposure to 40k (Space Hulk, of course), and the fact that you can paint them with some really outlandish, almost venomous colour schemes.

More so than that, however, I feel that there is just something so utterly 40k-ish about Tyranids: while Chaos is probably the most over-arching enemy across the majority of 40k literature, I always find myself enjoying far more the books that throw space marines against the big bugs. Shield of Baal is definitely one of the best settings I’ve come across, and books like Warriors of Ultramar and Space Marines Legends: Cassius have proven just how much I enjoy these things.

Since the codex has been released, I’ve been scrabbling about, sorting out my Genestealer Cult models, as well as looking for the other Tyranid models that I’ve bought – I have a Maleceptor kit somewhere, and need to find those Zoanthropes that I built up a while back, too.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on building up the Tyranid Warriors from the Shield of Baal: Deathstorm box, as well as purchasing more reinforcements in the shape of the old Start Collecting box (I do want a Trygon as well, but that Hive Tyrant model looks so damn good!)

I suppose it’s somewhat inevitable, given the fact that I’ve been recently thinking about my Cult models as well, that I would have moved towards building a force – however small – of the bugs those cultists worship. I’ve not properly worked out a list just yet, but I think it’s going to involve a Hive Tyrant surrounded by Warriors, a Broodlord surrounded by Genestealers, and a psychic contingent of Zoanthropes and at least one Maleceptor. I can start thinking about Carnifexes and Trygons further down the line, I think…

I’m really happy to have started in earnest with building some Tyranids to go alongside my Cult. While it has previously always felt a little like a distraction from my main force of Necrons, I think I have enough on the go nowadays that adding one more faction isn’t really going to harm anything!

And who knows? Maybe if plastic Sisters of Battle ever happen, I’ll be adding yet another faction to the never-ending roster!

Hobby Progress, week 48

The end of the year draws closer! Initially, I hadn’t thought I’d made as much progress with my painting this week – I’ve been suffering with man-flu, and have an essay due on 8 December so have been trying to catch up with my degree work, and just hadn’t thought the time had been there. But in checking out last week’s progress update blog, it turns out I actually have made some forward motion! Let’s dive right in…

hobby progress 48

Always afflicted with a bit of hobby-ADD, and while it can often lead to having a morass of unfinished projects on the go, it also seems to have served me well this week, as I’ve made a lot of progress on some of these things! I’ve been painting up the Necron Wraiths following my last game of 40k, as they do pretty well and I want them finished, rather than two part-done and two merely undercoated. So I’ve been powering through with those, and they’re inching closer to done, I feel! Having the gold on the palette just to do the heads meant that I could get on with painting up the four Liberators that I’d originally built for my Armies on Parade entry, but didn’t get round to painting in time – so they’ve been basecoated and shaded, and are a sort of mini-project that I expect will be done when they’re done…

After a lot of wrangling, I think the Deathwatch Librarian is now done, as well. I’m not particularly pleased with how a lot of him has turned out, but I think he’s as good as I’m going to get him now…

hobby progress 48

The Deathwing Knights are slowly progressing, much like the Stormcast! I’ve been trying to find a way of highlighting the green robes without making them too bright, and have discovered the joy of Kabalite Green! It doesn’t really look right in the pot, but over three or four coats (whatever it was in the end) of Caliban Green, it’s really done the job for me. In fact, it looks good enough that I think Warpstone Glow as a final highlight might be enough, rather than going straight from Caliban to Warpstone. So I’m really pleased there!

hobby progress 48

Remember these girls? I made a joke on instagram how they’d aged so badly in the time waiting for paint, which really makes me chuckle I have to say! But anyway, since they last made it to the pages of my blog, I’ve gone over the skin with Warpfiend Grey, and I think I might actually leave it there, but I’m also thinking I might do a final highlight of Slaanesh Grey before calling it done. In the meantime, I’ve painted the hair Celestra Grey in preparation for shading it blue. Remember my Ogres? The idea is the same, purple skin and blue hair:

I mean, it makes sense to me! I also think it looks cool, and could make the Daemonettes really look great. I’m still vacillating over the corset things they’re wearing, but I think I will end up doing them black rather than metallic, and highlight them with Dark Reaper like the Deathwatch armour I’ve been doing, as I think it will keep them looking quite harmonious, keeping them on the blue end of the spectrum. We’ll see!

What else has been going on?

My local GW Horus Heresy thing now has a name: Strokes of Heresy. I believe it’s meant to sound kinda wrong, but basically it’s a painting competition campaign, where each month a challenge is set – paint a troops choice, paint an HQ choice – and you get points at the end of the month based on whether you’ve built, painted and based the unit. There are additional points on offer if you fully paint any additional units, and if you build and paint the maximum unit size for the month, for instance, and all of this then goes onto a campaign map. You roll dice to gain territory, which then gives you additional challenges for that month, ranging from using an unspecified texture paint to converting and painting a Remembrancer. So for November, it was a troops choice, which I’d finished off mid-month along with a rhino, so I’ve got 4 points right off the bat! Unfortunately, the man-flu has kept me away from being able to roll off for this additional challenge yet, but anyway. This month, it’s an HQ choice, so I’ve gone for a Legion Centurion, keeping things simple, but I’ve also been thinking about doing a tactical support squad for a while, so have also built them up! Exciting times inbound!

My Alpha Legion is growing quite well now, I have to say, and I’m really pleased with how much progress has been made with the Betrayal at Calth box this year. I suppose it’s inevitable at this time of year to be looking back at this stuff, but considering I’d built up the Chaplain, terminators and dreadnought in January, then did nothing with it for months, once this tactical support squad is finished I will have painted up all thirty of the marines, as well! (I’ve actually bought three more sets of marines off ebay, as I don’t want to buy another Calth box just for them, so there are still plenty more marines to make before I venture wholly into Forgeworld territory!)

Next up, I definitely want to do a second troops choice of another tactical unit, which will finally get me the required minimum for a combined arms detachment that I can then start to play some games with. As usual, I have too many fancy units and not enough basic guys! I think I’ll also want to do another rhino to move them around in, but if I’m being honest, this will probably be something for next year, now…

hobby progress 48

Finally, I wanted to show off my Novamarines to date! These guys excite me quite a great deal, I have to say! I’d painted the quartering onto both veteran sergeants earlier in the week, using Alaitoc Blue, and I think it looks pretty great. Unfortunately, I cleared my dining table (where I do all of my painting) on Saturday and forgot which blue I’d been using for them so, when I came to paint up the remaining four assault marines later on in the day, I used Hoeth Blue, which is the next shade lighter, and am kinda gutted about the whole situation! Novamarines are cobalt blue, which is nearer Alaitoc than Hoeth (to my eye, at least), so I’m going to have to go over the four rather than the two! The good thing, hopefully, is that it probably won’t need three coats to block it in on the lighter marines…

Novamarines

I’ve also gone through and lined the armour recesses on the cream parts with Seraphim Sepia, overbrushing with Flayed One Flesh to bring the flat panels back up, and I think it looks pretty great overall! So they’re definitely coming along now!

I’ve still got the four tactical marines to basecoat and stuff, but I am feeling really pleased with the progress on these chaps – I’m already further along than I got last time I’d attempted this chapter! I’m now thinking about what I want to do next, and I think I want to kitbash a fancy HQ choice. Flicking through the codex, you can upgrade a captain to a Chapter Master, which just sounds wonderful, so I’m thinking I might do that! I’ve got one or two bits in mind already, so I just need to figure out the weapon options, and then get building! For this next stage, I want to do a second troops choice so that I can have some measure of legal force with which to hopefully play some games, rather than always going for the fancy options and never having a proper CAD done! So stay tuned for that!