Another New Army!

Hey everybody!
I’ve been struggling with hobby motivation a lot over the last couple of months. I’ve had a lot going on with getting my house sorted and whatnot, which has undoubtedly not helped, but even so, I don’t think I’ve managed to properly finish any single miniature so far in 2018. Which is, itself, disheartening. I’ve had several projects going on, as well, which also aren’t really helping with my motivation: Tyranids, Genestealer Cults, Dark Eldar Wych Cults, and then re-starting with my Necrons – it’s all been rather a lot, I feel!

Aside from the difficulty I’ve experienced with trying to decide what to focus on, I’ve found that I’ve lost a bit of skill with painting, having not really done a great deal for so long. This was abundantly obvious when trying to paint the Neophyte Hybrids for my Genestealer Cult,  where the amount of detail on the regular troops was just insane. So I began to cast around for other things to paint, while I built myself back up to all that.

And then I decided to jump on board with Tau.

Tau Empire Fire Warriors

Now, I’m not about to launch into some grand tale about how I’ve always wanted a Tau force. I’ve never really considered them before, as I’ve always just been drawn to other xenos races. I know very little of their lore, beyond the usual stuff about space communists, and I only know that they’re a sit-back-and-shoot style of army.

But I think that new-ness, for me, is what has ultimately led to me getting into them as a force. Back in 2015, I painted up a single Tau miniature for a painting competition at my local GW, and I remember it being just so arduous due to the fact that the models were so small. Well, I’d not been painting for a very long time back then, so I suppose I’m more “into it” these days. Despite what I said earlier about feeling out of practice with painting minis, I feel like I’m up for the challenge, at any rate!

So I’ve gone pretty extensively in on Tau, ready for the new Codex to drop in a week or so’s time. I suppose that can also be a factor here, having something new to look forward to and all the rest of it. While part of me wants to rebel at the notion of jumping on any bandwagon, I think sometimes it’s fine to see something new, like the look of it, and get on board with it, you know? Anyway… enough trying to justify my decision, I think!

I’m going to try my best to chronicle my adventures with the Tau on this here blog, and see how things pan out as I build, paint and play with the new army. I’m still not entirely sure on my colour scheme – not knowing any of the lore is both a good and a bad thing here, as I don’t know what to do for the best! But for now, I’m focusing on building up the contents of the Start Collecting box, and trying to get all of that sorted. I want to do this almost as a Tale of Four Warlords style of monthly updates, but as I’m starting from behind I’ve decided for the first goal to have both the Start Collecting box and one other (probably a Commander) built and painted by the end of April. That should give me enough time to not only get the building and painting done, but also to get to grips with the lore and the army on a more cohesive scale.

I’ll probably post semi-regular updates anyway, but the first major one will be done by 30 April, so keep your eyes peeled for that! For now, I thought I’d share with you the fruits of three days’ labour on the Start Collecting box:

Cult Uprising!

Hey everybody!
I’ve been back and forth on this subject for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve finally found the time to sit down and work out just what I’m doing with my Tyranid/Genestealer Cult army. Remember this?

Tyranids are an army that has appealed to me almost from the start, but I’ve always had something else going on. For 2018, however, I decided to throw my lot in with the bugs, and finally set about creating a Tyranid army. However, I’ve already found myself losing interest in such an enterprise, despite having bought so many of the blighters! I’ve had some bad experiences in assembling a carnifex and a tyrannocite, so thought it might be better to start where this really all began for me, with the Genestealer Cult.

Genestealer Cult

Cultist models have really caught my imagination since their release in the Deathwatch: Overkill boxed game a couple of years back. I picked up the game, of course, and when the range was introduced I did get myself a couple of extra bits, though I’ve been really slow at building them up. Well, no more! I’ve worked out a small, 500-point list to start with, and will be working on that for the next month or so as a foundation to a larger Cult force.

Genestealer Cults list

 

It’s probably not going to be the most competitive list out there, but who cares – I’m excited to put it together and get it painted, which I think, in this specific instance, is the most important thing right now! It uses the models from the Overkill box as a basis, though the Acolyte Hybrids are from the separate squad box released afterwards. In my Ambush! blog, I talked about how good a basis Overkill is for a Cultist army, though I’ve since gone through all of the models in there and notice that the squad sizes are a bit weird: two squads of six Acolytes (which are a minimum of 5 per squad in 8th Edition), and two squads of eight Neophytes (which are a minimum of 10 per squad). I’ll probably be raiding the bitz websites to see if I can bulk these out soon!

The Neophytes are probably my favourite kit in the whole range, and I think I’ll likely be looking at doing more of these in time. For now, I’m mainly using the Overkill miniatures as I already have them built, and eight of them have actually been painted to some degree. However, this list may well change soon as I decide to add in models from the Neophyte kit in due course.

Genestealer Cult

So there we are, 500 points of Genestealer Cult, which forms the bare bones of a Battalion Detachment! In time, I can probably stretch this to 1000 points by incorporating some Tyranid models – I’ve got both Warriors and a Hive Tyrant armed with lashwhips and boneswords, and I think it might be cool to have them in the same army to tie in with the Acolyte leader (and, to a lesser degree, the Primus). Of course, I could equally go the other way and build up the Astra Militarum alliance, having already got some guardsmen and a Leman Russ built and primed…

The important thing, though, is that I start getting this army on the road. So, by the end of February, I intend to have all 531 points fully painted – I may even have gotten in a couple of games with them by then, as well…!

Make sure you come back to check on my progress! And remember, I usually post up what I’m doing over on instagram as well, feel free to check me out there in the meantime!

Another new army!

Hey everybody!
By now, you no doubt realise that I have an addiction to Games Workshop and their little plastic men. Well, we all have our vices. Anyway, while I’ve been both adding to my Necrons, and building up my Dark Eldar, I’ve also been thinking about a lot of the smaller-scale stuff that I have had on the go for varying lengths of time. Genestealer Cults, Deathwatch, and even the regular Space Marine stuff – but first and foremost, I’ve been thinking about making some sort of expansive Imperium army. With the release of the Imperial Agents codex last Christmas, I’ve been pondering all sorts of different combinations of interesting little marginal character-armies, and with the roll-out of 8th Edition, this idea is getting a little more firmly off the ground!

Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii

Back in May, I’d picked up a Start Collecting Skitarii box set, and not long after had built up five Skitarii Rangers. They’d been hanging about primed for a number of weeks, but finally I’ve decided to actually get myself in gear and paint the little blighters! I’d initially wanted to paint them in the Metalica scheme, but decided that I didn’t want the hassle of painting the off-white robes. In the event, I’ve created my own Forge World, which is yet to receive a name, but still! I’d initially wanted to have some very blue Skitarii, to contrast with the usual reds, but as it turns out, these chaps are just kinda muted and grungy. I’d hoped the bases would brighten the scheme somewhat and set them off nicely, but as it happens, they just seem to have added to the overall muted effect! Hm.

The robes have been done with Stegadon Scale Green, with Dark Reaper and Thunderhawk Blue providing the highlights; inside it’s a case of Celestra Grey and Ulthuan Grey, all of the robes then shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade. The pressure suit was done with Eshin Grey shaded with Nuln Oil, and the metallics are the usual scheme of Leadbelcher and Nuln Oil, and Balthasar Gold and Agrax Earthshade. I’d decided against painting the Machina Opus in the usual half-and-half manner, and instead have opted for a golden skull. Might see if I can somehow tie that in to the history of my Forge World at some point. The guns are painted with Rhinox Hide, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, and then highlighted with Skrag Brown. The Arc weaponry is Caledor Sky highlighted with Baharroth Blue. Both of these are pretty much the Duncan-approved methods, anyway! The purity seals are Zandri Dust (parchment) and Tuskgor Fur (wax) shaded with Agrax Earthshade. Finally, the eye lenses have been done with Ulthuan Grey shaded with Carroburg Crimson.

Despite the fact that they haven’t turned out as I’d first imagined them, I nevertheless actually really like these guys! I think once I have a proper horde of them on the tabletop, with some vehicles in amongst them, it’ll look really cool, anyway!

So what am I going to be doing with this army?

As I said before, it’s an Imperium Army, and for the most part I’ll be using models that I’ve already got hanging about for one reason or another. It’s broken up into two Patrol detachments, and combined comes to 50 power / 1000 points exactly. Let’s break it down.

Imperium Army

I’ve got a lot of Militarum Tempestus stormtroopers anyway, so thought it would be good to get some use out of them. Two squads of five Scions, flying about the field in a Chimera with a Commissar for inspiration should be useful – by giving every squad a vox caster, I should be able to make maximum use of the Tempestor Prime and his command rod, relaying orders up to 18″ away from him. I mean, in my head it sounds cool, but I don’t know exactly whether it will play out that way!

I bought a bunch of Astra Militarum stuff around Christmastime for my burgeoning Genestealer Cults army, so already have a Chimera and Commissar that are just waiting to be built – I had initially thought about converting the Commissar to be a Genestealer Hybrid, as I wanted my entire Guard to be cultists, but I think that may be a bit too much to bother with. Plus, the Primus is a pretty good Commissar stand-in if I need one! I’ve already built up two squads from a pair of Scions kits, as I was building up the relevant Scions for the expansion to Deathwatch Overkill that appeared in White Dwarf back in the day. Working through each of those models has proven to require a third box, however, to make legal squads, but no matter. I enjoy having the variety of weapons and such, anyway, and they are really quite wonderful kits to put together, after all.

For the Skitarii portion of the army, I only needed to get a second squad of the Rangers/Vanguard kit, and a Sydonian Dragoon. I’d already been attempting to paint some Electro-Priests over a year ago now, so hopefully this will prompt me to finish them off, and the Start Collecting box really is incredible value. I do plan on getting another in time, in part to continue the idea of a wave of Skitarii marching implacably across the table, but those Onager Dunecrawlers have been growing on me as models, and while I’d initially planned on selling that portion of the box, I think I’d like to have at least a pair of the buggers on the table!

The Skitarii portion of the list feels much smaller, but is actually a fairly significant portion of the overall army. While I was surprised at first at how cheap some of the units actually are, I think it would also be quite easy to sink a lot of points into upgrades that, on T3 models, are probably wasted. If building Dark Eldar has taught me anything, it’s to be sparing with the upgrades!!

Before I end this blog, I just want to give a shout-out to Alchemists Workshops in Winsford, who I came across after watching The War Gamer‘s painting tutorials on youtube. I trundled over there earlier in the week to pick up the above bits, and couldn’t believe how well-stocked and how cheap the Games Workshop stuff is! It’s in the middle of an industrial estate, which feels a little weird to me, but I was very impressed! Definitely going to be making that journey again to stock up on stuff soon, anyway!

Dark Eldar updates!

Hey everybody!
Exciting times are inbound, as I’m sure anyone looking forward to the new edition of Warhammer 40k will agree! I’m particularly excited as my degree course finally came to a close on Friday – I’ve been doing a part time course through the Open University since February 2012, and it’s with a huge sigh of relief that I had my final exam on the 2nd! With no more essays or revision to take up my time, then, I’ve been applying myself with gusto to the task of completing the 1000-point list of Dark Eldar that I’d started work on earlier this year!

At the weekend, however, I thought it’d be interesting to see how my list holds up in the new 8th Edition ruleset. The first thing that I can see is just how cheap it is for the same list this time around!

Dark Eldar oath list

I think the biggest factor here is the Talos, which has dropped by 32 points alone. Not having to pay for sergeant upgrades is also not insignificant! So these things have absorbed the increase in points that the vehicles represent, meaning that I’m overall 50 points cheaper!

In my original list, I hadn’t upgraded the Trueborn beyond giving them a Dracon, but since I’ve now built them with 50 points-worth of upgrades, I’ve adjusted the Warriors accordingly. So I was a little over the 1000 points limit agreed by my local GW, but in 8th Edition, Trueborn can’t take haywire blasters, so having modeled them with these things, I’m feeling a bit bummed right now! I’m still in something of a planning stage with them, but I might make them counts-as dark lances, which they can take. Or just build two more with regular blasters and wait for 9th Edition!

I was actually surprised to find that they’d made these changes, though – while obviously it’s a new edition, and things change, I somehow wasn’t expecting to see wargear options diminish like this. I’ve never been around for a change of edition, however – getting into 40k shortly after 7th Edition landed – so I suppose I don’t know what to have expected!

Anyway, I’ve been making decent progress with my army lately, I think, so it’s time for a showcase!

I’m really pleased with how this project has been going so far! Considering I wasn’t really sure what I was doing when I painted up my first Kabalite squad, I think it’s really gathered some steam over the last month or so, as I’ve managed to finish off the first batch of Wyches, churn out another batch of Kabalite Warriors, some Kabalite Trueborn, an Archon, a handful of more Kabalite Warriors, and most recently, two horrors from the Coven! My Wracks just need their bases finishing off, and they’ll be done as well! I’ve already started work on a Succubus and Lhamaean, while also trying to get started with the vehicles!

I’ve not been entirely sure what I’m doing with these things – they’re probably the biggest miniatures I’ve tackled so far, with some very flat surfaces! I’ve been doing some drybrushing on them, the same scheme as with the Kabalite Warriors, though so far it’s only looking decent on the Venoms… Still, got to start somewhere!

So, all in all, I’m really very pleased with these guys!!

Welcome to PAIN!

Hey everybody!
If you read my last hobby progress blog of 2016, you’ll no doubt remember the bit where I talked about not wanting to get into building any new armies anytime soon, having quite enough to be going along with, between the Tomb Kings, the Necron revitalisation project, and the Slaanesh daemons. Well, I’ve already failed at this first hurdle, and it only took me a couple of days to do so. Glorious!

My local GW is doing a bit of a “new year, new army” thing in a similar fashion to the Horus Heresy build-a-legion thing that started back in November, and I rarely need an excuse to buy more models from GW. Back when I was still new to the hobby, and trying to get my head around all of the lore and whatnot, I was drawn to the Dark Eldar aesthetic – partly because the Dark Eldar codex landed not long after I’d started to get interested in 40k.

Dark Eldar Venom

I feel like I say this a lot whenever I buy any kind of new models but, while I’ll always love the Necrons, I love all of the sweeping lines of these things, they look so delicate yet so deadly. When I bought Death Masque last summer, I sold all of the Harlequin bits as I didn’t want to get involved in all of that stuff, though I did like the look of those Voidreaver things, which have a similar look to them with the swooping wings and whatnot. I’m actually half-tempted to buy another copy of Death Masque to get some Harlequins, as the Deathwatch chaps won’t go to waste either! But that might have to wait for the time being…

At any rate, I spent a good portion of the New Year weekend investigating these guys in preparation for my new project, so thought I’d share some of the fruits of that investigation with you all today!

Let’s take a look at some history…

Back in the day, there was just the Eldar, carving up their empire from the galaxy after the Necrons all went to sleep. Their advanced technology meant they could get away with doing very little, and this idleness caused many to lapse into hedonism and beyond. They perfected the webway, building cities within its depths, including the city of Commorragh, which became a centre of the many Pleasure Cults that grew up to attempt to experience all the heights of excess. Eventually, the decadence of Eldar perversions caused a massive Warp disturbance that was the birth of the Chaos god Slaanesh, who formed with an insatiable thirst for Eldar souls. This disturbance caused the reality rift that came to be known as the Eye of Terror.

Safe within the webway, the Eldar of Commorragh discovered that they could stay relatively immune from She Who Thirsts if they fed off the pain of others (while their Craftworld counterparts created the spirit stones to keep their souls out of the clutches of Slaanesh). The Dark Eldar therefore developed into a race of cruel, ruthless pirates who regularly raid Realspace to replenish their stocks of slaves to torture.

Dark Eldar

The Dark Eldar have begun to increase their raids as they increasingly crave the souls of others, which some think they use to temporarily sate Slaanesh by proxy. If they harvest enough souls of others, Slaanesh will leave the Dark Eldar alone. The rejuvenating effects of devouring these souls means that the Dark Eldar will never die from old age, and thus risk their souls falling to She Who Thirsts – provided the constant supply of souls, of course.

So that’s what the Dark Eldar are all about – stealing folks to torture them, their agonies preventing obliteration at the hands of Slaanesh. I’ve recently talked about creating a Slaaneshi daemons army, of course, so there’s something clearly about the Dark Prince that draws me, either his followers or his sworn enemies! Of course, I suppose there could be something to be said for having an army of Dark Eldar fighting alongside Slaaneshi daemons – providing those souls for Slaanesh or something…

So far, then, I’ve bought the Codex, the Start Collecting box, a Venom and the painting guide. I love those things because they really inspire me, even when I’ve got a bit of an idea with where I want to go anyway. I’ve already started to build up the Kabalite Warriors, and while the weather is pretty murky and rubbish, I think I may also build up the Venom. As I’ve mentioned with my Novamarines plans, I’m going to build up and paint a Kill Team first, so that I can actually start to play with these things rather than trying to build up over a thousand points. My current plans for said Kill Team are five Kabalite (one upgraded to Sybarite), the Venom, and five Wyches (one upgraded to Hekatrix), which is 190 points. I’m considering my options for those final ten points, but I think I might go for a sixth Wych, as I get the feeling more bodies is more useful!

At any rate, I’m excited to get going with these guys!

Dark Eldar

And look what’s apparently just around the corner!! Seems the folks over in Nottingham are all too aware of when I start to collect new armies…

Novamarines! part one

It’s time for a new army!

Or, more accurately, to revive the idea for a new army!

I first started to collect Space Marines around Easter of 2015, and while I’d decided on Ultramarines as my chapter of choice, I didn’t really get very far with them at all. I’ve currently only managed to complete one ten-man tactical squad, but have a lot more partially-painted blue models! While casting about for inspiration, I painted up a five-man terminator squad in Genesis Chapter colours, one of the many successor chapters of the Ultramarines, and that planted the seed in my mind. Rather than worrying about the potential boredom of a sea of blue soldiers, I could include detachments of successor chapters for a bit of variety!

Hobby Progress 2

That idea waxed and waned for a couple of months, but almost independently of this I hit upon the idea of doing a small, five-man tactical squad of Novamarines back in April of 2016. I didn’t get far, only managing to paint three in the quartered blue and white livery, but I also got myself a dreadnought in an attempt to liven up the project.

I actually really enjoyed how these guys turned out! Sprayed white, I was using the undercoat for the white quarters, and painted the blue inspired by this scheme, starting with Kantor Blue and moving up to Aldorf Guard Blue. It always seemed a bit too dark, however, and the contrast between the blue and the white was always too much for me, really. However, the project died a death, given up because I lacked the patience to really make it happen.

But no more!

With the advent of the Deathwatch Veterans kit over the summer, and the inclusion of a moulded shoulder pad for the chapter, I decided I might give this chapter another try, but kept putting it off. Kill team arrived around the same time, and over the next few months, these two strands coalesced into the idea of seriously building a Novamarines army, but in true slow-grow fashion!

So now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get to it!

I’ve decided to build my army following a bit of a plan, rather than merely going through all of the kits that I like the look of and finding myself with a whole bunch of models, but no legal army! The first step has been to get a 200 point kill team built. 100 points of tactical squad, and 100 points of assault squad. Things have been progressing quite well with this so far – despite a bit of a hiccup with getting the wrong shade of blue on some of them! But I’m still really pleased with the progress made to date, anyway!

hobby progress 48

So let’s talk about my colour scheme.

I’ve been undercoating these guys with Chaos Black spray, which might seem a bit counter-intuitive given the pale scheme, but I just have better luck with the black. I’ve then base coated them all with Rakarth Flesh, and layered Flayed One Flesh over the top. It’s a really pale bone colour, without the yellow tinges that things like Ushabti Bone have, so looks great for that off-white look. I’ve lined the armour with Seraphim Sepia, and where necessary gone back over it with Flayed One Flesh. It’s taken about three coats of each to get the strong finish over the black, but overall I like the look of it!

The blue has so far only been a series of thin coats of Alaitoc Blue. The Novamarines colours are described as cobalt blue, and I think Alaitoc Blue has the right sort of look to it. It’s brighter than Altdorf Guard Blue, at any rate!

I’ve now started to go back to those models from earlier in the year to improve them. The dreadnought hadn’t had much paint put on it, so I’ve gone ahead and put the Rakarth Flesh/Flayed One Flesh on there (as well as the four marines from my kill team) I need to strip the three marines that I first attempted to paint, but I think I’m going to wait for the time being. I don’t want to get too overwhelmed with these guys, anyway!

Novamarines

So where next?

Between the 200-point kill team models, the other five marines I have on the go in need of stripping, and the dreadnought I think I have enough to be getting on with, but I’m still feeling in more of a building mood, so I’m planning to get five more tactical marines built up, and an HQ choice. So I’m going to end up with two troops choices (one five-man and one ten-man tactical squad), an elite (the dreadnought) and a fast attack (the assault squad). The HQ though… I want to build a Chapter Master!

Gaius Hadraichus is the current Chapter Master of the Novamarines, but I can’t find any lore on him online. I’ve therefore decided to just build something that looks really cool: power fists and relic blades for the win! I’ve got a few ideas for bits, mainly pulling from the Sternguard Veterans kit, which is a real treasure-trove of bits for this kind of thing…

All of this will total 690 points, so it’s still a fairly small army after all. Looking further ahead, there are more tactical marines on the horizon of course, as well as the fancy marines of the Command Squad! But I want to keep things manageable, as I’m concerned about getting swamped in miniatures again!

So stay tuned as I get these guys built up and ready for the tabletop! There’s a guy doing Howling Griffons at my local GW as well, so we’re talking about getting some games in when our quartered marines are up to fighting force, so there are exciting times to come, I’m sure!