Nemesis

Started this bad boy today – three chapters in, and loving it! #HorusHeresy #Warhammer40k

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After having read the first ten books of the Horus Heresy series in order, I’ve thus far been a bit more haphazard with my reading of the next batch of them. That said, there isn’t really a great need to read the books in their published order, as the Black Library has already told us!

Nemesis is the thirteenth book in the series, and while it does feel almost a side-story to that of the Heresy itself, it is nevertheless notable for being one of the few stories since Fulgrim that actually advances the story.

As the cover might suggest, we move from the Astartes to the Officio Assassinorum for this book, which deals with an attempt to assassinate Horus before his rebellion can get too out of hand. After yet another failed attempt from Clade Venenum to eliminate the Warmaster, the Master of Assassins pools the resources of the Officio to send an Execution Force team to strike the Warmaster at the world of Dagonet, where he is expected to appear in support of the local rebellion there.

Along the way, we also follow the plotline of a series of gruesome murders on the neighbouring planet of Iesta Veracrux. We eventually learn that the murders have been committed by an assassin in the employ of Erebus (who else?!) in a grand plan to eliminate the Emperor. The assassin is the failed attempt by Clade Culexus to create a sort of ultimate psyker-killer, known as the Black Pariah, though Erebus has performed a ritual to create a demonically-infused killer now called Spear. Spear is able to take on the aspect of anyone he has killed, and so assumes a series of roles that allow him to infiltrate a Rogue Trader local to Iesta Veracrux, with the goal of obtaining the Warrant of Trade. The Warrant was sealed with a drop of the Emperor’s own blood, and so Spear is trying to gain the power of the Master of Mankind through that drop.

All of this is going on while the Execution Force is assembled on Terra. I think this is the first Horus Heresy novel proper to truly deal with the homeworld of the Imperium, as we follow the team across the Atalantic and the Yndonesic Bloc. I’ve always been somewhat fascinated by the vision of the future Warhammer 40k presents to us, so really enjoyed these little vignettes – even if there was an element of Blues Brothers-esque putting the band together.

The team assembled, they travel to Dagonet and find the world has already declared for the Warmaster. Falling in with some rebels, they manage to set themselves up to await Horus’ imminent arrival, though when the Sons of Horus teleport down to the planet, the assassins discover they have killed a decoy – none other than Luc Sedirae. In retaliation, Horus orders an orbital bombardment of the planet, while the Execution Force finds themselves on the trail of Spear instead. One by one the assassins are felled by the Black Pariah, leaving the Vindicare assassin Eristede Kell to finish him off.

The mission is a failure, and the novel ends with Erebus sacrificing the remnants of Dagonet’s populace to the Ruinous Powers.

Horus Heresy Nemesis

This is a really good book!

James Swallow has also written the fourth novel in the series, Flight of the Eisenstein, and that earlier entry in the series was also a really great read, enhancing the opening trilogy and also being the first published book of the Horus Heresy to take us to the Sol System. While we’ve been on Terra in the short story Blood Games, I was really intrigued to actually have it as part of a novel here, as I said earlier. It’s just so fascinating to me, especially having gotten so far through the Horus Heresy series without really getting there yet. I suppose in part, it provides a weird sort of grounding-point for the universe as a whole, as it is our own world and all. But anyway, definitely a highlight of the book for me!

I found the individual assassins to be really quite interesting in their own ways, though did find it difficult to keep a track of who was who when they were referred to by their Clade names. I suppose Culexus and Callidus, Vanus and Venenum and Vindicare are all pretty close to each other that it can be difficult to differentiate! The most useful thing, actually, was picturing them as the miniatures from the Assassinorum Execution Force boardgame – another set of miniatures that I have waiting for me to build!! Though I’m definitely more interested in doing so after reading this book…

This was a really great read, and unlike other novels that veer away from the main Astartes storylines, I actually really enjoyed the change of pace here. I’ve already read The First Heretic, of course, but it does kinda bother me that I skipped Fallen Angels – mainly due to not being so impressed by the previous installment in the Dark Angels storyline. I’m also not interested in the Space Wolves, so don’t want to progress to Prospero Burns (even though it is by the illustrious Dan Abnett). I might skip ahead to The Outcast Dead, actually, which is also supposed to be set on Terra…

The First Heretic

Hoping for some motivation… #HorusHeresy

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The First Heretic is the fourteenth novel in the Horus Heresy series, and is an attempt I’ve made to get some inspiration to return to painting miniatures, after an alarming number of weeks where I haven’t taken up a paintbrush at all!

Like several of these early Horus Heresy novels, the book begins decades before the actual Heresy itself, as we see the Word Bearers legion humiliated by the Emperor for their veneration of him. The book opens in the city of Monarchia on the planet of Khur, where the Ultramarines systematically destroy the city on the orders of the Emperor himself. When Lorgar arrives with his legion to discover what is going on, he is met with Roboute Guilliman and Malcador the Sigillite, who explain that the Emperor dislikes the veneration shown to him, but Lorgar refuses to heed them, swatting both aside with zealous fury until the Emperor himself teleports to the ruins of the city and rebukes Lorgar in front of his entire legion. He leaves a squad of twenty Custodes to watch over the legion and ensure they do not lapse into idolatry once more.

The Word Bearers then return to Lorgar’s home planet of Colchis, along with one of the few survivors of Monarchia’s destruction, and essentially lick their wounds. Lorgar determines to renew the Word Bearers’ efforts in the galaxy, and for the next few decades, they appear to make a clean break of things by ensuring compliance after flawless compliance. The Custodes and the Astartes bond somewhat, and all seems well. However, beneath the surface, Lorgar has been swayed by his closest advisers, Kor Phaeron and Erebus, into pursuing a more devious agenda.

They arrive on the world of Cadia, and after being welcomed by the natives as if they had been expected, they are invited to witness a ceremony, at the climax of which one of the Custodes is sacrificed, which allows for the demon Ingethel to be brought forth from the Warp. Lorgar talks at length with the demon, before sending a small contingent of his warriors led by Argel Tal into the warp storm above the planet. In the storm, the demon explains several truths to the legion, such as the fall of the Eldar race, and also the birth of the primarchs in the Emperor’s gene labs. Argel Tal is told that the Emperor learnt how to create the primarchs from the Chaos gods, but then refused to keep his side of the bargain. In a sort of Back to the Future moment, Argel Tal is forced to destroy the haematrope reactor that allows for Chaos to enter into the labs and fling the primarchs to the four corners of the galaxy.

Argel Tal and the marines with him are possessed by demons, and the Word Bearers begin their efforts for vengeance against the Emperor, by sending out chaplains into the other legions to spread the word – notably, of course, Erebus is seconded to the Sons of Horus. Several more years pass, and the legion remains outwardly loyal, though the demonic possession begins to take hold, just as news is brought of the Warmaster’s rebellion in the Isstvan system. The legion makes all haste, making sure to prevent the Custodes from landing first, and join forces with the Night Lords, Alpha Legion and Iron Warriors to provide a relief force for the main traitor legions on the planet.

We get to see the drop-site massacre from a different perspective, with a focus on Lorgar’s fight against Corax, before the Custodes arrive and learn that the Word Bearers have in fact been traitors all along. Argel Tal and his company, now transformed into the demonic Gal Vorbak, slaughter the Custodians. The novel ends as the Word Bearers begin to enact their vengeance against the Ultramarines, setting course for Calth…

The First Heretic

This book was actually a pleasure to read, despite the subject matter! I suppose, having been so intrigued by Erebus since meeting him in Horus Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of him. That said, the main focus of this book is split between Argel Tal, captain of the 7th assault company, and the primarch himself. Notably, I think this is the first time in the series where we get to meet a lot of the other legions and their primarchs – the Ultramarines, Raven Guard, Iron Warriors and Night Lords all appear with speaking parts, however minute!

The First Heretic deals with what I suppose can be construed as the absolute pivotal moment in the entire Horus Heresy – Lorgar turning from the Emperor and pursuing the path of Chaos. (I suppose “the Lorgar Heresy” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but anyway). While on the face of things, there isn’t really anything bad about this book, I did feel that Lorgar’s turn to Chaos was perhaps a little too convenient – I know that we know, as readers, what must happen, but as with a lot of prequel stories, there is a fine line to walk when dealing with the inevitability of something and making it natural and believable. For me, I’ve always struggled with accepting just how quickly Horus was seduced by Chaos in the second book, and it’s a similar thing here with Lorgar. While the story does work fine as it is, I couldn’t help thinking at times that it was only going this way because we were expecting it to do so, and it offered little surprise along the way.

As with many other books in the series, we start a long way out from Isstvan V, and I do feel a little tired of this construction for Horus Heresy novels now. With the exception of perhaps Battle for the Abyss, which itself was a fairly contained storyline anyway, none of the novels I’ve yet read has advanced the storyline beyond Fulgrim – though I did skip Nemesis to read this one, so perhaps I’m missing something here. Obviously, Forge World are keen to make this into an epic tale for the ages, but a part of me can already see just how much the storyline is being milked for all its worth!

But when all’s said and done, this was actually a really good book, and one that I found myself looking forward to picking up in the evenings after work, etc. It seems there are very few books that I’ve come across recently where I can say that, anyway!

What a time to be alive!

Well, then!

Things seem to be getting crazy in Warhammer 40k right now, with the emergence of Roboute Guilliman from stasis after, I believe, the Triumvirate of Ynnead somehow managed to bring him back from the point of death. He’s coming back with friends, as seems to be the way of things with The Gathering Storm storyline, and is poised to lead the Imperial answer to the threat of Chaos and the 13th Black Crusade.

I have to say, I absolutely love the model. A lot of folks are unimpressed, but I think that’s just the curse of the internet generally hating everything and anything new. I’m not unreserved – I really don’t like the face, but he comes with a helmeted option that I would probably use should I end up getting him.

(Who am I trying to fool – of course I’ll be getting him!)

This is all definitely cool, of course, and I’m very excited about seeing the father of the Ultramarines (the grandfather, then, of my Novamarines!) It really is a great time to be a fan of 40k, as we enter the 30th anniversary year of the game with what looks to be an immense shake-up!

I find it very surprising, in one sense, that we’re seeing this stuff now – it’s at least a month before we’ll have plastic Guilliman in our hands – but then, it seems to be the thing for GW to do nowadays, giving us plenty of advance warning about releases. Look at Tzaanuary, and the Eldar Triumvirate/new Stormcast stuff, all being spoiled well before pre-order dates, let alone release. I find it surprising because, previously, it seemed the business model was very much around impulse-buying, but now we’re being given time to plan out our purchases, and as a result, I’m curious to see if people may be foregoing the new Eldar in favour of the big guy.

I’m personally torn – I mean, I want those Eldar models, though primarily I only want the Incubus guy, as he would best fit in my Dark Eldar army. This morning, I did have the idea of potentially using the Avatar model as a Keeper of Secrets, which I suppose could work, but I’m suddenly more excited for the new Primarch than I am for the space elves, even though I’ve switched from Ultramarines. I’m definitely buying the book, but I’m trying to save up to buy a house, so I’m thinking differently about these things now. I just find it interesting to see how this new strategy of advance warning will work out for them, and if we’ll see a return to more guarded releases…

At any rate, we’re also getting a new Cypher, and a new Grey Knights Grand Master, which is very exciting! I’m not so much of a Cypher fan – despite my love of the Deathwing, Dark Angels in general I can take or leave. I’ve often thought about adding some Grey Knights to my collection in the pre-Deathwatch days, too, though was always a bit saddened that their characters are all finecast. So that’s pretty exciting, all told!

Rise of the Primarch will apparently be the conclusion to The Gathering Storm, which begs the question: what’s next? I wonder if we are indeed going to be getting 8th Edition in April, or if 40k will take a little bit of a back seat for a while as happened with Age of Sigmar after their big summer campaign last year, before we get something more grand later on. I don’t know, but it definitely seems like an exciting time to be a fan right now!

Added to all of this enjoyment, of course, we have the Horus Heresy Weekender happening today and tomorrow at Nottingham, where a lot of amazing stuff is coming out, both for the Thousand Sons and the Legio Custodes! I believe Space Puppies are getting some stuff too…

Definitely check out the live blog over on the Community website, but if you’re a member of any of the Facebook groups for Warhammer 40k, you’ve doubtless seen the wonderful Contemptor Dreadnoughts and miscellaneous awesome that is on show already!

Hobby Progress, week 51

It’s the penultimate week of my hobby progress blogs, and for those of you who are into this stuff, Merry Christmas! Get yourself another mince pie, and let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to this week!

It’s actually been another fairly slow week, as I’ve finished off a couple of the things I talked about in last week’s update, but very little else.

First of all, let’s look at this, my first ever attempt at proper freehand stuff. For a first attempt, I think it looks pretty great actually, but for what I was trying to achieve, it does leave quite a bit to be desired. The marines themselves look nice, though – I’m actually really pleased with how the Centurion has turned out, and the Command Squad guys look fine and stuff. Standard Alpha Legion scheme at this point, really, and there’s not a lot else I can say about them!

My attempt at OSL for the Corvus-Alpha legionaries has turned out pretty okay, again for my first serious attempt at doing it. I’d built up the blue on the armour with Temple Guard Blue, which is brighter than the usual Teclis Blue that I highlight it with anyway, but still hadn’t provided enough of an effect to be really noticeable, unfortunately. I then went in with Baharroth Blue, going lightly over the plasma coils and then building it up with a vaguely drybrush/stipple effect to create the diffuse glow, and while I do think it looks decent enough, I still think the fact that I’m basically doing a blue glow on blue armour leaves the effect somewhat lacking. But it’s serviceable, and I suppose that’s the main thing!

Bam! Another tactical support squad finished! #AlphaLegion #HorusHeresy #Warhammer40k #SpaceMarines

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Finally, I’ve got a second Tactical Support Squad finished! These guys are equipped with flamers, so it’s the unupgraded version of the unit, and again, they’re just the standard Alpha Legionaries. Since reading about the concept of the tactical support squad, I’ve always enjoyed the idea of having these guys launched at the battlefield in a drop pod and just dousing the whole place in flame, covering a retreat or something super dramatic-like, so I’m glad to have them in the army, even if I never end up doing anything of that sort!

All together, it was a productive week for the Alpha Legion, as yesterday I built up a second Tactical Squad! And an apothecary…

I’d set myself a bit of a challenge for Christmas Eve, to get as far as I could with these chaps, and in the event I was just impressed that I’d managed to build them all. Once these have been painted, that will mean I have the minimum force required to play some 30k, so I hope that I can start getting some games in in the new year!

The apothecary is for the January painting challenge at my local GW store, where we need to paint an elite unit. I’m kinda taking the easy route, as I believe most people are using the plastics from the Calth and/or Prospero sets, so terminators, while I’m going for the single apothecary. I do now also have the necessary weapon options to start looking into building some Lernaean Terminators, but I’m hoping to work on some other stuff as we move into 2017, so I want to go easy on it!

Along with finishing off some of the Necron things I’ve had hanging about for a long time, I’ve decided to make my dream of a Slaaneshi daemon force a reality, and so want to get moving with the Daemonettes and Seeker Chariot that have both been built up since the summer, and then start adding things like Hellstriders and Daemon Princes to the roster, and eventually some bigger stuff like the Warshrine! Looking forward to seeing where that goes, anyway! Age of Sigmar is still as big as it ever has been at my local store, and I get the vague impression that the uncertainty around 40k’s future as we look at 8th edition has been causing a few 40k regulars to drift into AoS – the chap I played a few weeks ago has started a zombie force, for instance, and there are skaven rumblings from die-hard Eldar players. So I think it’ll be good to have a force for each system – while I do have Stormcast Eternals coming out of my ears, Slaanesh is something that I’ve wanted to build for a long time…

Finally, I built up five Tree-Revenants. I actually have no idea what I’m going to do with them now as, while I do have some dryads and whatnot, I don’t really need yet more miniatures to paint at the moment!!

Anyway, there’s just one week left before the end of the year and the culmination of my hobby progress blogs for 2016. Fortunately I do have the week off work, so I hope to get some things finished – stay tuned for that, at least!! And whatever you’ve been up to today, I hope it’s been a wonderful time!

We are Alpharius!

Hey everybody!
As you might well know, if you’ve been following my Painting Progress blogs I’ve been writing every Sunday this year, I’ve been slowly building up an Alpha Legion force, primarily to play 30k at some not-too-distant point. I’m a hugely fluffy gamer – by which I mean, I’m more interested in the theme of the game than whether I’m playing at all tactically – and so reading about the Legion has been a big part of this process. Of all the Space Marine Legions, the Alpha Legion is by far the most secretive, and while little is really known about them, there is a fair bit of conjecture, so I thought I’d add a little of my own thoughts to that in today’s blog!

Alpha Legion

The Alpha Legion was the twentieth and last of the Space Marine Legions created by the Emperor of Mankind during the First Founding. Unlike the majority of their brother legions, the Alpha Legion was created somewhat apart from the others, with a very specific purpose in mind. This purpose appears to have been one of secrecy and intrigue, assassins fighting in the shadows and doing the jobs that otherwise could not be performed openly.

Before they were reunited with their Primarch, there are records of a secretive Legion carrying out assassinations and other shady activities that were off-the-record, sometimes these operations took place alongside other legions, who had not been made aware of the Legion’s presence on the field.

Eventually, they were reunited with their Primarch, Alpharius. Or, that should be, their twin Primarchs, Alpharius and Omegon. Something that is truly unique to the Legion, nobody is sure if this was by accident or design that there are two of them – though, given the predilection for secrecy and misdirection, I would guess that it was more the latter.

Praetorian of Dorn

As a Primarch, Alpharius was the last to be found by the Emperor, hence the Legion was designated the XXth. Alpharius was a coolly calculating, brilliant tactician every bit the equal to Roboute Guilliman, and in fact the two legions formed something of a rivalry during the Heresy. Alpharius had few friends among his brother Primarchs, notably only Horus (though the Legion did campaign alongside the Dark Angels and the Iron Hands).

Alpharius’ wargear is particularly exotic, including the double-headed spear known as the sarrisanata, which is possibly of xenos design. I’m thinking about kit-bashing an Alpharius together, as a Stormcast Eternal paladin glaive might do the trick with this one, but I guess we’ll have to see. I kinda want to make him really stand out from the army…

Alpharius was said to be able to walk among his legion with some degree of anonymity, which must mean he was short for a Primarch. I mean, space marines are generally pretty huge, so he’s still definitely taller than the average human, but not as imposing as his brothers. Sources also talk about many other marines from the legion undergoing cosmetic surgery to further resemble Alpharius, deepening the level of subterfuge and intrigue. It was also common for any member of the Alpha Legion to call himself Alpharius when dealing with outsiders.

While a lot of folk online still say all of the Primarchs were super-human beings, I think the fact that his own legionaries could pass as his double must mean that Alpharius (and, by extension, Omegon) was of average space marine height, right? I mean, what’s the point in the rank and file undergoing cosmetic enhancement to further resemble him if he’s still two feet too short to pass as the Primarch?

Hobby Progress 43

That’s the principle I went with when I built my Omegon conversion a couple of weeks ago. The one concession I made to the idea that the Primarchs are stand-out characters was in using a head from the regular 40k range, which are slightly bigger/more rounded than those in the Betrayal at Calth marines. Otherwise, this guy is just one of the rank and file, and you’d never know who you were dealing with until it’s too late!

Hobby Progress 43

Omegon is the leader of the Effrit Stealth Squad, so I’ve paired him with the Reconnaissance Squad. In the game, Omegon doesn’t actually have any rules (yet), but the assassin Exodus does, and given the fact that he can only join Recon Squads, I thought it made perfect sense to basically use the Exodus rules for him.

In the lore, Exodus is thought to possibly be more a title than an actual person, with several deployments being made at the same time on some occasions. His skill as an assassin is legendary, rivaling even the members of the Officio Assassinorum.

Horus Heresy Legion

The Legion relies on stealth and subterfuge, and makes use of a lot of non-astartes personnel. This is seen quite prominently in the novel Legion by Dan Abnett, which is a remarkable novel in the Horus Heresy series for the fact that the space marines have such a small role – at least, it seems that way at first! It’s true that the genhanced space marines would find it difficult to move around in stealth even out of their power armour, but regular guys from the Imperial Army would be much better-placed for the most part. I’m not entirely sure how I’d add some regular troops to my army, but I’m bearing the thought in mind for the time being…

Hobby Progress 29

Something I couldn’t quite get my head around at first – but now really like about them – is the unit organization. Space Marine Legions were usually formed into some kind of fighting companies of varying sizes, such as the Fellowships of the Thousand Sons. Not so the Alpha Legion, however, which was organized into whatever fighting unit was required for the mission at hand. In painting up my Ultramarines, I’m trying to take some pride in the fact I will have the proper unit and squad markings, colours and all the rest of it – like a real military unit, essentially. With these chaps, though – I have no idea! But there is a bit of freedom to being able to use the miniatures however I feel, and I just know when it comes to fielding them in battle this will be right up my street. I never like to use the exact same combination twice, so a flexible fighting force really appeals to me like that.

I do love these guys, and I’ve really enjoyed building up my force over the last few months! All in all, I feel like I’m going to be in for some exciting times once I get into this Heresy game play!

Hobby Progress, week 50

Hey everybody!
Week 50 of hobby progress is upon us! Can you believe it? Well, here it is, anyway! I’m just so surprised because I hadn’t actually thought it would keep me going for the whole year by simply posting updates of my progress like this, but, well, it has!

Week 50 has actually been kinda slow, which is a surprise considering I had the week off work. But even so, progress has been made, so I can’t really complain on that front! First of all then, let’s take a look at what I’ve been painting.

Hobby Progress 50

Novamarines have been a theme for a couple of weeks now, and I’m now calling these guys done. I’m not 100% happy with them, but I think they’re as good as I can get them now, and anything more will just be making a mess of the buggers. They do look somehow better in real life, I think, though I could probably do a better job with highlighting the blue. I’ve done the laurels in the usual Ultramarines scheme, and have painted the chapter badge with Celestra Grey, which I think looks good but I might end up going over it with White Scar as it is supposed to be a stark white. But anyway, for now, these guys are finished!

I do have the dreadnought still to finish off, and I have four tactical marines that now need to be painted as well, but I think I need a bit of a break from all the quartering!

Hobby Progress 50

The Alpha Legion stuff I’ve had on the go has been going pretty well, too. First off, the Corvus-Alpha tactical support squad is pretty much done, I just need to sort out this attempt with OSL! I’ve painted the plasma coils with Caledor Sky, shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade, then layered over with Temple Guard Blue, which I’ve then stippled and lightly drybrushed over some areas of the armour to make it look like the plasma is lighting up those areas. Unfortunately, the armour already has that teal/turquoise look to it, to it blends in a bit too much and hasn’t had much of an impact! I’m going to go back in with something like Baharroth Blue though, so maybe that will brighten the whole thing up.

Hobby Progress 50

The Command Squad has gone pretty well, I have to say. The banner is causing me the most problems, unfortunately – because I’ll need to attempt some freehand on it! I’ve found some inspiration online for the colour of the cloth, at least, so have gone in with a mix of Abaddon Black and Eshin Grey to have that really dark grey look to it, then went back and very lightly highlighted the edges and folds with Kabalite Green. It’s an extremely subtle look, but I think looks nice! I’m going to do the simple alpha/omega logo rather than try to paint the three-headed hydra thing, anyway, and I’ve seen some fairly easy ways to paint the unbroken chain logo as well, so want to try that on there also. Hopefully it won’t turn out like total crap, anyway!

The Centurion has pretty much been finished, as well! I’ve painted the face as I’ve been trying to do all of my bareheaded chaps in the legion, Doombull Brown then shaded with Reikland Fleshshade, which has given a bit of a coppery look, then highlighted with a Doombull Brown/Karak Stone mix, which has provided a bit of a highlight without losing too much depth. I’m still too terrified to paint eyes, but I’m fine with that. I’ve tried to keep him standing out from the rest of the legion by keeping things like the backpack the turquoise colour, and have taken the time to pick out all of the rivets on his armour with Leadbelcher, which has taken forever but does look quite striking, I think! So I’m definitely getting there now!

All in all, then, I’ve got 300 more points to add to the collection! The Centurion hasn’t been upgraded, while the two Chosen in the Command Squad are both equipped with charnabal sabres. The whole foursome comes to 170 points, while the tactical support squad with plasma guns comes to 175. So added to my existing army of 1270 points, I’m now up to 1415 points overall – but still no legal force organisation, as I still only have one troops choice! So I think I need to work on a second tactical squad next, and get moving on that!!

Huh, that was probably more painting than I’d thought, then…

However, I have been building up a whole load of stuff! Because obviously!

Hooray! Ready for drop pod assault! #AlphaLegion #HorusHeresy #Warhammer40k #SpaceMarines

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Let’s continue with the Alpha Legion theme for the moment, and talk about the drop pod I built yesterday. This thing was really nice to finally get built up, since I’ve had it waiting for a long time now. (Well, technically, I bought the drop pod for my Deathwing, but anyway). It’s certainly an iconic miniature for any space marines army, and while it was nice to get it together, I can’t say it was fun to actually build.

Pretty much all of the large pieces were an absolute nightmare to clean. The five pieces of the main structure, I don’t know what you’d call them, they were attached to the sprue at something like 9 gates each, which means an excessive amount of rubbish to clean off. The doors seemed a bit better, though I will never understand why they can’t make these in one piece. Tank armour, fair enough I’ve made my peace with that being in two sections, but drop pod doors? Hm. I think the most annoying part of it all, though, is that three of the doors don’t actually close – one of them keeps falling open all the time, actually. From what I can tell, it isn’t out of alignment, but there we have it! So I’m not a fan. It does look cool, don’t get me wrong! I just wish it went together better!

(Drop pods have a troop capacity of 10, in 30k at least, but there is only space for 5 marines if you build the harnesses and stuff, so I’ve decided to forego that additional fiddly bit and leave the interior reasonably clear. Just in case you were wondering why I’ve missed some bits!)

Hobby Progress 50

This past week has mainly been about Genestealer Cults, however!

I went up to GW on Wednesday looking for a big kit to have some kind of project for my week, and settled on the Hydra. I’d had my eye on this thing for a while, mainly because I love the fact there’s a guy in the back trying to make sense of the instruction manual, and thought it would be perfect for my cult. Of course, Hydras and Wyverns aren’t in the Cult codex, but you can ally with the Astra Militarum and get one that way. So I was all for it. I spent some time talking over my plans with the guy in the store, and have settled on building it as a Wyvern for the troop suppression rather than the anti-air Hydra build.

The kit was amazing, anyway, and went together so much better than the drop pod! I started to build it up on Wednesday afternoon, only really intending to build up the two guys as Genestealer Cultists, but eventually built the whole thing! The allied detachment doesn’t have a lot of scope for adding stuff like this to it, unfortunately, but I am kinda tempted to get a full squad of three just because I love the kit so much!

Of course, having that does mean I need to look at my allies now. I’ve settled on buying a Start Collecting AM box, as I think it would be hilarious to get the Commissar built up as a Neophyte Hybrid as well! In talking over these plans at the store, it occurred to me that the Primus does have a vaguely Commissar-y look to him, of course, so it isn’t entirely beyond the realms of possibility! So I think the Commissar, the troops and the Wyvern will be in my allied detachment, then the Leman Russ from that Start Collecting box can be taken by the Cult anyway, so it does actually work out really nicely! The only problem, of course, is having enough heads for the entire box to be kitted out as Cultists… Even though they will actually be AM and not Cult, that’s more from a rules perspective than an army perspective, and I want them all to be cultists deep down!

Happy Birthday to me! #SpaceMarines #Deathwatch #Warhammer40k #awesome

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Finally, it’s my birthday today, and I’ve given myself this bad boy to celebrate! It’s my current dream to build up every single weapons option for the Deathwatch chaps, so that when I come to assemble a squad, I don’t need to have any kind of “yeah, he counts as x” or whatever. The terminators and the bikers – even the rhino – are useful for whatever marines I end up building, of course, so I thought the saving of £70+ in this box made it worthwhile in the long run. So that’s the plan for 2017!