January catch-up!

Hey everybody,
It’s been a while since my last blog post on here – in fact, I hadn’t realised just how long ago it was! Time to catch up, methinks!

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Should see me through the festive season! #nowReading

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First of all, I read the very wonderful Grey Knights, the first novel in the Grey Knights omnibus, shortly before Christmas. It follows Justicar Alaric as he works alongside Inquisitor Briseis Ligeia to prevent the rogue Inquisitor Valinov from bringing the daemon Ghargatuloth into the universe. As the majority of the Grey Knights have been deployed to the Cadian Gate in an effort to stem the tide of Abaddon’s Thirteenth Black Crusade, Alaric only has a small contingent to aid in his task. They track the likely place for Ghargatuloth’s return as somewhere within the Trail of Saint Evisser, and we really delve into the whole world of Imperial saints and the Chaotic corruption there – there are several twists and turns along the way, which I don’t want to spoil here because they were really well done, but suffice it to say it’s definitely worth picking this one up, even sixteen years after publication!

There is so much to enjoy in this novel, even though I found it difficult at times to get the time to actually read it! Having recently made a commitment to getting back into my Grey Knights project, I think this made me enjoy it even more, seeing the way the Grey Knights do battle. We get some really great descriptions of the Fortress-Monastery on Titan, and there is the real sense that Space Marines are, at their heart, warrior monks.

I very rarely read an omnibus as a single book, but rather treat it as the collected individual titles, and come back to it each time I want to read a particular book collected within. However, this is probably the first time I’ve wanted to carry on with the books, and I’m definitely planning to read the second book very soon.

Sadly, painting has not been something that I’ve been enjoying of late. I think I’ve been really out of practice since not having the time after the firstborn came along. Painting is, of course, something that improves over time and, after having a significant break, I’ve found that my brush control has really fallen by the wayside, and as a result I’ve become really frustrated with myself for not producing the sort of miniatures that I want.

I’d been wanting to paint up the House Orlock gangers that I’d started to paint almost two years ago, but a combination of the loss of confidence with a brush, as well as the fact the primer on some of these is a little thick in parts (it’s a grey primer, too, and I hate painting over grey!) has made me give up and strip them.

I’ve been watching Duncan’s video on painting the Sump Dogs, though, and as always, he has inspired me to give them a proper go. I mean, none of the lazy “just give it a drybrush and call it quits!” – I’m going to (try!) and follow this guide to the letter. We shall see how I get on!

Incidentally! How sad is the painting world now that Duncan has left GW?! I was gutted when the news was leaked shortly before Christmas – Duncan’s videos were basically how I learnt to paint!

This classic was, probably, the first miniatures-painting video I ever watched, and the massive collection of videos have been some of my favourites over the years – always come back to them, and I always look for a Duncan video when I’m going to paint something to see what he has to say about it. Hopefully they’re going to keep the archive up there, at any rate!


Model of the Year was announced the other week, and it was none other than the new Abaddon the Despoiler! I’m not sure if that was a shoe-in, though, as my personal choice was the new Keeper of Secrets, which is just such a phenomenal creation, it’s almost unlike anything else they have!

In a year when we had all of the Genestealer Cults stuff, the new Chaos Marines, new Drazhar, Ossiarch Bonereapers, new Slaves to Darkness, new Sisters of Battle – and all of that incredible Warcry stuff!

There were so many amazing new models in 2019, it was definitely a hard call. 2020 is already shaping up to be wonderful, now that we’ve had some of the new Sisters released – that Triumph of St Katherine centrepiece model is just astounding – so I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Hopefully by then, I’ll be more confident with painting once again, and can actually knock out some of these new models!


So yeah, I think I need to get cracking with regaining my confidence when it comes to painting. There are so many miniatures that I have on the back burner of course, so I really need to crack on! I think a lot of this will be helped by going back to basics, to some extent, and trying to re-learn a lot of stuff. It’s definitely going to be worth spending the time to do this, though, as I so many models that could be outright ruined by sloppy (or worse) painting!

I mean, I’m going to be picking up the Triumph of St Katherine, for goodness’ sake! I definitely need to up my game for something so fancy!

Let’s pause for a minute…

Wow. Just, wow.

As you probably know, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog for any amount of time, I’m a big fan of Warhammer 40k, and really enjoy what’s been happening with all the new stuff right now. But I feel a bit like there’s almost too much coming at me right now, that I can barely keep up with it all and contain my excitement! Let’s recap, first of all.

Kill Team was announced at the GAMA Trade Show, as an updated version of the skirmish game, and I was extremely excited. I love the idea of small-scale games, and I’m really intrigued as to what they mean with making it a fully supported and distinct game system. Should be a lot of fun, not least because it will also be coming along with more terrain, which is always good!

Overall, very much looking forward to getting some of this in my life!

At the same time, we also had House Van Saar announced as the fourth gang coming out for Necromunda, and I was also incredibly excited by the look of these guys. I do love the biker aesthetic of House Orlock, as I’ve mentioned on this blog already, but there’s something about Van Saar that I can’t quite put my finger on. What I do know is, I’m going to be getting these chaps, too!

I think I’m pretty much dedicated to following Necromunda for all of the new gangs, as I’m just really in love with the feel and the look of them all. But yeah, there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on about this gang that is making me really intrigued to try them out.

So that’s another resounding success!

While they were also announced at GAMA, we had to wait until Adepticon this week for the reveal of the next faction for Age of Sigmar, the Idoneth Deepkin. And my goodness me, what a reveal it was!

This video, and stills from it, seemed to take over my facebook feed for 24 hours straight, it was quite amazing! While they’re not the Fishmen we’ve been waiting for all these years, the Deepkin take as their basis the Black Ark Corsairs subfaction of Dark Elves from the World-That-Was, and they really go to town with it! GW’s miniatures have improved so dramatically since the Corsairs were a thing, and it really shows with these guys.

I’ve not played Age of Sigmar since 2016, and I believe it’s come a long way since then. While I haven’t really kept up with it, there have been numerous things coming out that have really got me wanting to invest in the game system, not least of which the Daughters of Khaine release that came out recently. I think the new-style fantasy miniatures from GW are just stunning, and while it is a subjective thing, I do think that anyone who says these things look terrible is just being ridiculous. However, my heart does truly belong to 40k, so I doubt I’ll be buying into a fantasy army (despite having made some purchases of late…)

But it won’t stop me getting some of these Deepkin to convert for my Dark Eldar…!

I’m still pretty excited for these guys, anyway!

Of course, lots of other tidbits have come out of Adepticon, such as the next three Codexes after Drukhari (rumoured to be out on 7 or 14 April), news of some huge Knight that mocks the idea of this being a miniatures game, an Age of Sigmar CCG, and of course, the confirmation that plastic Sisters of Battle will be coming out in 2019.

Of course, I’ve been feeling pretty burnt-out on the Sisters rumours for quite some time now, so even despite this news, I’ll still believe it when I see it. However, it’s nice to see the community feedback finally taken seriously on this point! And no doubt, when they come out, I’ll want an army of them like most other people!

Along with all of this, we have the Forgebane game coming out tomorrow, and the Necron Codex is due over the Easter weekend. I’ve already been excitedly starting a Tau army, which is once more vying with my Necrons for my attention. To say nothing of adding yet more miniatures to my Dark Eldar, which I’ll doubtless be in the mood for in another couple of weeks when their Codex comes out!

All of this stuff has got me feeling a little bit like I’m on some kind of hobby treadmill, and I’m in actual danger of falling off!

See, like many folks, I have a whole load of hobby projects that I’d like to get on with, but it’s getting to the point where I’m not sure where to begin with tackling it all. Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, I have:
– get on with painting the Tau that I’ve been building up recently;
– get moving with painting/re-painting my Necrons in Thokt Dynasty colours;
– finish painting all of those half-complete Dark Eldar models;
– paint the Orlock and Escher gangers for Necromunda;
– also think about building and painting the Goliath gangers;
– think about the terrain for Necromunda;
– paint all of that Sector Mechanicus terrain I built last summer;
– carry on with the AdMech/Tempestus Scions army;
– finish painting up those Deathwatch miniatures;
– finish painting up those Novamarines, too;
– finish building and paint the Thousand Sons and Death Guard models;
– make a more serious effort with painting the Genestealer Cultists;
– decide if I want to have all of those Tyranid models, as well…

I’m sure there’s plenty more on the agenda that I’m just not thinking about right now!

First-world problems, for sure, but I think I’m in danger of getting into some kind of hobby overload once more, and I think I need to take a step away and almost move all the half-complete projects to the side while I concentrate on just one! I had a real issue when trying to paint the Genestealer Cultists that I discussed in my Tau blog here, in that I felt like I was out of practice with painting in general. I still haven’t yet made any concerted effort to remedy this, but until I do, I’m not feeling confident enough to get moving on things like the Deathwatch, Thousand Sons, or Necromunda minis. I need to focus on a much smaller array of stuff, and in fact I think I need to actually fully paint up a single unit to get my head back in the game, as it were!

Something that is increasingly difficult with all of this wonderful new stuff coming out left and right!

But looking at it from the opposite side: what a glorious time to be in this hobby!!

The Necromunda Weekender

Hey everybody!
Well, I’m a little late to this stuff, but I’ve just been taking a bit of extra time to digest all of the news that we’ve been seeing from the guys over in Nottingham!

Horus Heresy Necromunda Weekender

For those who don’t know, last weekend was the Horus Heresy & Necromunda Weekender, something that has been an annual celebration of the Horus Heresy but, this year, has been a joint affair between the Heresy itself and Necromunda, the new smash hit boxed game from GW! For the first time ever, I’ve actually been genuinely gutted that the weekend had sold out, as I would have liked to have popped along and soaked up all of the atmosphere – and pick up some brand new plastic!

Let’s start with Necromunda!

Orlock Gang Necromunda

The Orlocks are coming up for pre-order this weekend, which is just so exciting I can’t even begin to tell you! They’re coming alongside their House-specific cards, naturally, with all the rules held in a second Gang War book. This rulebook also holds the rules for some new terrain tiles that are on their way also – it’s going to be quite the weekend, I can tell you!!

Necromunda Hired Guns

Over on the Forge World website, we’ve got the set of three Hired Guns also available for preorder at the weekend. Again, awesome looking models (but not quite so awesome as the Orlocks), and I’m looking forward to getting some. Only trouble, of course, is the fact they’re resin. But I’ll just have to live with that…

In the meantime, I’d built up an Escher gang over the Christmas break, and have slowly started to get moving with them. I mean, I have a colour scheme sorted in my head, so it’s just a matter of time before I get them painted! The Warhammer Community team have put up this handy dandy guide to naming your Necromunda gang, and so I’m quite chuffed to announce that I’ve named my little team the Viridian Venom. That’s got nothing to do with my initials, incidentally, but I took the kinds of conventions listed and went with it. Anyway!

The reason I’m waffling about all of this, anyway, is that there are gang heroes, the Escher Queen and the Goliath King, as well as the Orlocks having a Boss (with dog). If the miniature is anything like this artwork, that Escher character is going to be bloody spectacular!

Escher Queen

I’m looking forward to all of this, having decided that I’m going to collect just everything I can for the game. It’s really fantastic, I have to say! (I’ll try to get a game day review up soon!)

Escher Huntress Necromunda

Heroes aren’t all that we’re getting though, as each House is also getting a sort of faction-specific bounty hunter to go along with the rest of them, and the Eschers have this rather amazing Huntress model. It’s a model strongly reminiscent of some of the artwork that had been doing the rounds while Necromunda was still in its early promotion, so to finally see the miniature is quite amazing. Looking forward to adding her to the roster!

But that’s still not all!

After the beastman bounty hunter that came out shortly after the game’s release, we’re getting more hired gun types, starting with the now-famous Squat bounty hunter. Yes, that’s right – Squats are back! Except they’re not. I mean, one of them is, but he’s hardly enough to build an army with. Anyway, here’s the little guy in all his resin glory:

He looks like a fun model to paint, so I’ll be treating myself to one of these when he arrives. Another bounty hunter on display at the Weekender was Eyros Slagmist (what a name!) who has a very Samurai-esque look about him. In fact, he reminds me of a couple of different Star Wars characters, as well as a hint of Mei from House of Flying Daggers:

Eyros Slagmist Necromunda

I’m sold, at any rate! I’ll be snatching this chap up as soon as possible!

But what of the Heresy, I hear you all type?!

Well, we’ve got the next Primarch for the series they’re doing, Rogal Dorn himself has turned up – much, it seems, to the internet’s dismay. Cries of “he’s a big Custodes?” aside, the model looks quite strident, which I suppose is what we should have expected from Dorn, so I can’t really fault that. I thin it looks decent, and as always with the Primarchs, I love the base!

We’re also getting a new magos dominus for the Dark Mechanicum, some more vehicle doors, and – oh, hello Alpharius!

Alpharius

Jokes aside (seriously, the whole “I am Alpharius” thing is really old and tired now, people!), the model should be amazing, and while I’ve not been interested in picking any of the Primarchs up (price tags notwithstanding), I might find myself getting one of these when he comes out. I do have an Alpha Legion army, somewhere, after all, so it’s only fitting!

Of course, the size they’re going to do this model at does interest me. I’ve talked about this at length in the Alpha Legion blog linked earlier, but Alpharius is consistently referred to as short (for a Primarch), and the fact that anybody in his Legion can feasibly masquerade as him means that he really ought to be regular marine height. Sadly, I can see him coming out as a massive dude like the others, which is a bit sad for my own Legion aesthetic, but even so, it’d be nice to have the daddy…

And that’s all I really wanted to ramble about from the Weekender! Maybe I’ll get to go one day, as it does look like an excellent event. There are a few more models that were shown off during the two days, which I’m sure by now you’ve all managed to devour, so I think I’ll leave it there…

Exciting times to come, though, at any rate!!

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!