Going Bigger with Skitarii

Hey everybody!
It’s the second blog in my mini-series of posts looking at how I can increase the size of some of my 40k armies to 1500-points and play some larger-scale games with them. Since 8th Edition arrived, I’ve not really looked beyond 1000-point games, but I feel like I might be missing out on some opportunities when limiting myself in this way. I’m therefore looking at how I can build on the core of an army that I already own, and raise the bar a little to allow for an expansion. I’ve already looked at doing this with Tyranids earlier in the week, so today it’s the turn of the robot-men from Mars, the Skitarii!

While I have off-and-on been looking at Skitarii for a number of years now, I’ve recently renewed my interest following the possibility of entering a doubles tournament this summer. I’ve previously blogged about this when I was considering going down the Deathwatch route, but have since switched gears to Skitarii, thinking it would be the perfect excuse to finally get this army off the ground and onto the tabletop! Around the same time, GW released an expansion for Kill Team, Theta-7 Acquisitus, with the new Tech Priest Manipulus model, and building him up has somewhat springboarded me into making a renewed effort to paint the models I have lying around!

I’ve talked many times on this blog about my plans for a Skitarii force, and pretty much every time I keep coming back to the same idea: waves of Skitarii foot-soldiers walking across the battlefield with implacable force. Sadly, this idea is not going to really stand up to the scrutiny of a game, Skitarii on the whole being quite weak in terms of Toughness and Saves. The 6++ is going to be handy of course, but in order for this to be a viable option, I do feel that the army would need to have a lot of models to survive such an action! And so, on that note, let me present my list!

I’m fairly happy with this list as it stands right now. I’ve got a good spread of units, with pretty much everything organised how I’d like it. There is a battalion in here, as well as a spearhead and a vanguard detachment, so I’m starting the game with a good number of command points.

Let’s talk first about the Tech Priest Manipulus. I can’t deny, the main draw for me to using this model is the fact that he’s new, and I’ve been a bit seduced by the shiny. I’ve chosen to equip him with the transonic cannon, an Assault D6 flamer, as I feel he’s going to be getting more into the thick of things than any of the other HQs. I can see him being screened by the Sicarians of both flavours, and using his Galvanic Field to help improve those units around him. The Sicarians are something of a new unit for me, as while I’ve previously built some Ruststalkers with transonic blades, I’ve never before now actually included them in the list. I’m hoping that the Ruststalkers can go around with the Manipulus, and the Infiltrators perhaps just appearing with their infiltrate move when the stars align, and everything can start wrecking face.

There are a lot of troops in this list – 43 of them, to be precise! The additional three Rangers have been thrown in simply because I had the points left over, but between all four units, I should be able to achieve a good number of shots. I’ve only got one transauranic arquebus, and am otherwise relying on either the cheaper arc rifles, or the plasma calivers to add some spice to the proceedings. Of course, Vanguard are the more lethal of the two, with their basic guns Assault 3, so the arquebus unit will be able to dish out 24 shots at 18″ – they are only S3, for sure, but my theory here is to just drown the enemy in shots in an attempt to ensure that at least some get through. Indeed, this is really the theory behind most of this list, trying to get maximum number of shots out of everything, and force too many saves that should see a good number of shots get through.

In ideal circumstances, the whole troops section should be putting out a combined total of 93 shots. Granted, that is including the pistols that each Alpha is equipped with, so I’m assuming that these shots are coming from 12″ away – not the sort of distance Skitarii want to close to! – but even so, 93 shots will see a good number getting through because of the sheer volume of saves being forced on the opponent. And that’s just from four units of troops – there are 15 shots coming from the Corpuscarii, the Kastelans can theoretically put out 36 shots with the right Protocol in place, etc etc.

In my head, the army is definitely a gun-line, shooty list. But I’m not neglecting close combat, as already mentioned with the Sicarians, but also I’m including some Electro-Priests, by far some of my favourite units in the entire AdMech army. I really don’t know how well these chaps will fare, as I hear so many mixed reviews of them, but I’m not going to give up on including them in the list before I actually try them out. I’m using both flavours, so it’ll be interesting to see which kind will be best, as I do have a third box waiting for me to build…

One of my favourite 40k youtube channels is StrikingScorpion82, and I really enjoy his video series where he looks at an army and goes through tactica on a selection of the units therein. For the AdMech, he talked about building an army that centred on an Imperial Knight, the idea being this is an army of machine-worshippers, so why not include at least one of those machines in the list? Well, I’m not a big fan of Knights, so instead have gone for a pair of Kastelan Robots as well as a duo of Onager Dunecrawlers as the central focus of my army, led by a pair of Tech Priest Dominuses (who I imagine to be brothers, for some reason).

You might be wandering, then, just how I’ve organised these half-man, half-machine killers. Well, I’ve gone for Ryza as my Forge World, having painted up my army so far without a specific Forge World’s colours in mind. It’s a choice that I made last year, when I was trying to inspire myself into doing more work on these guys (though sadly didn’t work at the time!) The dogma allows for re-rolls of Hit rolls of 1 in the Fight phase, which is partially why I feel somewhat safe including such a high number of close combat units in the list. The unique Ryza stratagem gives +1 to wound and +1 damage for all plasma weaponry, which is admittedly not being used to great effect within the list as I only have three such weapons, but I think there will likely be more targets for my CP expenditure across a battle. Finally, I have gone for the Ryza warlord trait on the Tech Priest who wields the eradication ray, giving that weapon +1 strength and +1 damage. Should be handy!

His brother Tech Priest is wielding Weapon XCIX, which improves his volkite blaster a bit. Without trying to over-think these things from any kind of competitive standpoint, I actually like a great number of these relics, and can see myself changing this a number of times as and when I get to play with the army.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the list I’ve come up with. I do still need to build a few pieces for it – notably the Infiltrators and second Dunecrawler – as well as painting the vast majority of it! Though I’m definitely further along in that respect than I am for the Tyranids list I talked about on Monday. I’m currently focusing on trying to get my infantry painted up so that I can actually base them – I paint inside the robes etc first, so don’t attach them to the base until at least that part has been done, which does mean it’s a while before I can actually get these folks on the table. But even so, I’m enjoying the process, and I’m definitely looking forward to having my first playable Imperium army ready soon!

November Retrospective: goals and ramblings

Hey everybody!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a blast this last month here on the blog, there seems to have been so much stuff to talk about, it has been really great to talk about all the upcoming stuff, the current projects, theory-craft about the future and so on. It’s been really productive for me, and hitting that 800-post milestone was just the icing on the cake there. I published a new blog every day for the week in which post 800 arrived, though looking at the little calendar over on the right there, I actually posted for nine consecutive days, which is definitely more productive than I’ve been for a long time here! Which is interesting to me, as I love a good stat.

However, the month is now at an end, and so I thought I’d ramble instead about the upcoming projects that I have on the horizon, and see where I’d like to be at the end of the year – it’s something I have thought about lately, and as we launch ourselves at December this weekend, I think it’s about time to lay out some groundwork!

This month, I’ve managed to paint quite a lot, as it happens, between the Thorns of the Briar Queen warband, the Fulgurite Electro-Priests that I’ve been wanting to paint since they came out, and the recent batch of Necrons and Dark Eldar chaps. Starting work on the Elucidian Starstriders has, I feel, knocked me a little as I had been trying to focus instead on painting just one unit and getting that finished. It was fine when I could focus just on the Electro-Priests, or just on the Immortals, but I do feel that I have once more been branching off and, sadly, it’s no good to anyone! I’ve recently been feeling really annoyed at having so many partly-painted miniatures out on the desk, so I think I need to pare things down and just work on the unit I want to finish, then move on.

Which brings me on to the units that I want to work on!

Necrom Immortals / Annihilation Barge

I had been talking earlier in the month about Necrons first and foremost, and wanted to paint up some more Immortals and some Deathmarks. Well, I have finished the unit of Deathmarks now, so I think I will indeed go for the heavy armour and add the Annihilation Barge to that list, alongside some more Immortals. For the Great Reanimation project, I currently only have 15 troops painted, while my list requires 25, so I think I need to get moving there. I have, actually, nearly caved on a couple of occasions and bought some Warriors for the army – sculpts that I dislike so much, but I can see myself perhaps eventually adding in the new year. Never thought I’d see the day, but there we are! I’m still considering it, though, so haven’t pulled the trigger yet. We shall see.

I’m hoping that the fact the Annihilation Barge is partly painted already will give me a good head-start on this!

Total so far: 5 Immortals and an Annihilation Barge

Before I move on, I thought I’d just mention my Dark Eldar, and the fact that I’ve recently managed to finish off a couple of things that have been hanging around the painting table for a while now, such as a Venom and the Sslyth. I’m quite chuffed that I’ve finally painted up a full Court of the Archon, which looks so gloriously weird that I love it! I’ve enjoyed getting these final few projects completed, to try and fully round-out the army, and have been trying to get more of the special-weapon Kabalites painted up as well. I now have the grand total of two splinter cannons and two shredders in the army – yes, that is apparently all! It’s surprising, really, that I’ve otherwise managed to get a silly amount of dark lances and blasters, when I try my hardest not to listen to the internet meta and go for these things! But there we are. I’ll probably continue to paint up odd warriors like this – I think I have at least three squads built and primed, so I suppose it’s inevitable that some of those will find their way to the table eventually. I wanted to experiment with taking huge blobs of Kabalite Warriors without relying on Raiders, so using 20-man blobs that include a dark lance, a splinter cannon, two shredders and two blasters (the max load-out). Not sure if that would be any use, as it would be a huge points-sink (200 points, without kitting out the Sybarite with any special weapons).

At any rate, I have no plans to paint anything further for the army this year, though that could change as I decide to try something new!

Skitarii Vanguard / Tech Priest Dominus

Let’s talk about Skitarii, though. I’ve been thinking about getting back into Kill Team with a force of the robot-men, and have been reading some short stories/novellas that feature them, so it’s probably natural that my attention would be turned that way. I’ve now got a grand total of 10 models painted for the AdMech army that I’ve been thinking about for years, so I think it’s time to really try and add some more to that. I’ve mentioned recently wanting to add in either some Rangers or Vanguard (probably Vanguard), and the Tech Priest Dominus, and while I think that’s definitely the goal, I don’t know if I’ll manage to get them all finished in December. The Tech Priest is such an amazing kit that I really want to try to do it justice, and so would need to spend a lot of time with it, picking out all the details of cabling and such. I’m fairly confident I can get some troops rattled off fairly quickly, though, so fingers crossed they won’t be too much bother. I recently built up some Vanguard with a lot of special weapons in the team, so I may actually try and get those painted as well, but for now I’m sticking to just five regular dudes with radium carbines.

Total so far: 5 Immortals, Annihilation Barge, 5 Skitarii

Let’s talk about Chaos for a bit!

Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists

Blackstone Fortress has inspired me so much as regards getting into the Ruinous Powers, but my thoughts had turned from the Light of the Emperor with the Necromunda rules for Chaos Cults. I’ve currently got a bunch of these guys built up ready, having found my Dark Vengeance stuff as well as picking up some more off ebay, so I’m ready to get moving there. I currently have just five miniatures plus the gang leader (I think he was called Tetchvar in Dark Vengeance?) primed and ready, so I’m looking forward to getting round to those. I’d like to spend some quality time painting these guys, as well, as I think the miniatures look fantastic, and there is an element of wanting to do the models justice given the fact they are so scarce now!

However, Blackstone Fortress is also a thing, and I’m thinking about adding some of those miniatures to the fray, also. I’ve bought additional Rogue Psykers, as I thought it would be a good model to use as the Cult Witch in Necromunda when I get round to that, so I might add those to the roster. Some guys in my local group have also started on the Traitor Guard, and their results are amazing, but the feedback is they’re so detailed models that it’s taking longer than expected to paint them. So I might not move on to them just yet, as I’m trying to go easy on myself here!!

Between everything, I think there should be some excellent fodder for my budding Chaos warband.

I think the sensible thing to do would be to re-evaluate the situation once I’ve gotten going with my painting projects during the month. So for now, we’ll just stick to the Chaos Cultist models and see about adding in Traitor Guard later.

Total so far: 5 Immortals, Annihilation Barge, 5 Skitarii, 6 Cultists

Now then, let’s bring ourselves back from the brink and return fully to the Light of the Emperor, with some Space Marines! I’ve talked recently about two of my favourite projects from back in the day, Deathwing and Deathwatch, and I am quite keen to do some Imperium projects alongside all the Xenos and Heretic stuff I have going on! I had been thinking about trying to finish the Deathwing Knights, which have been hanging about half-finished for years, but I’m already feeling a little overwhelmed at this point, that I’m moving away from this idea a little bit. Similarly, I’d thought about trying to paint up some characters for the Deathwatch, but again, it feels like those models would require too much time to do them proper justice.

So I’m thinking that I’d prefer to hold back a little, and see how the month pans out before going too crazy here. I’ve got almost twenty models that I want to get painted during December, already, so I don’t want to just keep adding to the list and risk not getting anything done! But I shall definitely re-evaluate the situation once the month is underway!


This blog is already running quite long, but you’ll be pleased to learn that I’m not far from done now!

Now that I’ve outlined all of the stuff that I would like to get painted during the month, I thought I’d waffle a bit more about my thoughts for getting it done in time. I’ve really enjoyed the focus I’ve been able to maintain on the hobby during November, and I was talking about this sort of thing with my mother-in-law at the weekend, who is herself a very crafty person, doing all sorts of sewing stuff. Anyway! She was saying that she’s taking part in some kind of long-term thing whereby you commit to doing a little crafting each day for 50 days (at least, I think it was 50 days), and it has really helped her to get some projects moving along. So I’m planning to adopt this approach myself, and so every day during December, I’m intending to paint for at least an hour a day.

I think that a lot of my success during November has been due to painting miniatures as a wind-down before bed (though it hasn’t helped my sleeping much, given that I’ve been excited about getting projects moving!) So I’m hoping to continue that, and while I suppose I can probably write-off Christmas Day due to the usual family commitments, who knows if I may well still manage a few brush strokes?! I do have some time off though, so can always make up for lost time!

I think this approach of ‘a little, often’ should do quite well, and if I can keep the focus on getting units finished at a time, I should be fine! That’s the theory, at any rate!!

I’ll be documenting my progress over at my instagram account, with daily updates of what I’ve done (hopefully I’ll stick to this list, but you never know!) and, every Sunday, I’ll be reinstating the Hobby Progress blogs for the month, with a special one on New Year’s Eve that showcases all of the stuff that I’ve managed to paint throughout the course of the year. It’s surprisingly more than I had thought!!

So stay tuned for all of this and more, as we throw ourselves at December!

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!

More Kill Teams!

Oh Kill Team, what have you done to me?! I feel like I’ve spent the entire weekend writing up different lists, juggling people around to fill specialisms, and generally losing myself in list-building for skirmish games! I suppose this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it has allowed me to look at a lot of the factions where I’ve not got a lot of work done, and started to think about finally finishing off some of my long-held projects.

So I thought I’d come here once more, and ramble about 40k – though on a smaller scale…

Skitarii Kill Team

I’ve been off-and-on thinking about a Skitarii army since I first bought the Start Collecting box back in May last year on a whim. Since then, I rather feel like I’ve been drowning in Skitarii miniatures, and between a second SC box, Forgebane, and now Kill Team, I think I probably have enough troops to garrison Mars. There’s something about a huge wave of these robot-men that I like the idea of, so really want to have an army of the blighters.

For Kill Team, of course, I’m going slightly more circumspect – let me introduce you to my list!

Team Lambda-Rho-Psi is a fairly standard mix of Rangers and Vanguard – I know the radium carbine is probably a better option than the galvanic rifle, but I already have three galvanic rifle dudes painted and ready, so half the team is already done! I’m therefore thinking I only actually need to paint five guys for this to be a finished team, which feels like a much more manageable option! It also fits in quite nicely with my Summer Painting Goals for the 500-point Skitarii list, although I do need a second plasma caliver-wielding Vanguard for this one.

I do like the army, at any rate, and it’s something that really excites me when I think about the hobby and 40k in general. I really fancy an eventual army with probably two battalions’ worth of Skitarii, along with Dunecrawlers and the like. Ah, wonderful!

Militarum Tempestus

These guys have a similar feel, for me, to the Skitarii mentioned above – everything about them just feels classic 40k somehow, and I love the fact that I have them in my line-up. I’ve been thinking for over a year now about getting together an army of just Scions, but since the Codex arrived last autumn, instead I’ve been considering my options for widening the view to take in some of the tanks of the Astra Militarum, also.

As regards the Kill Team, however…

Eight bodies doesn’t seem too much, does it? Especially when you think I’ve already got one painted – the actual Tempestor Prime for the army won’t work in Kill Team, but one of the Tempestors I have for one of my squads will work just as well.

I’ve been putting off painting any more of these so far, mainly because I can’t remember the colours I used. But I think I just need to crack on and get some paint on there, and it should be vaguely obvious what I’ve used. I think it’s Mephiston Red with a shade of Nuln Oil for the carapace armour, but I can’t really be sure.

Anyway. As with the Skitarii, I’m really excited about painting up these Scions, not only because I already have the army in my mind, but I think the models are superb!

The thing with Kill Team, as I’ve said, is that it’s making me think of all sorts of little bands of warriors that I might not otherwise have done anything with. I’m also considering making teams with things like T’au and Drukhari (the latter isn’t too bad, but I’m really finding it difficult to come up with a build I like the look of for T’au).

And then, of course, there’s this…

Primaris Marines

Well, this one came from nowhere! Right before I moved house last summer, Dark Imperium came out, and I was torn between building things with the new Space Marines and packing my life away. As it happens, I had to do the packing, so played a lot of 8th with Necrons and Dark Eldar, existing armies that I had painted up. With no real time for anything new, Primaris Marines and Death Guard both kinda passed me by, really, though I’ve tried a couple of times to look at the Chaos side of things over the months.

Now, however, after seeing the phenomenal work of Paul Norton and his Iron Ravens on instagram, I’ve found myself wanting to do something with Primaris Marines at last. I’ve actually painted a total of five Primaris Marines since they arrived over a year ago – three Reivers, a Hellblaster and an Intercessor. While I’ve built up quite a few, as it turns out, of the other marines from the box, I’ve only basecoated them with Khorne Red and left it there. Time to do a lot more with them, then, I think!

I’m going for Genesis Chapter, although I have previously thought about doing Novamarines with them as well. I might end up doing a mix, I suppose we’ll see! I know that the shoulder pads work on either flavour, though the Dark Imperium marines are often sculpted with the pads stuck to the arms already, so that may not work out for me. So far, I’ve been quite pleased anyway, though, so I might just continue with Genesis Chapter and be done with!

The squad is the smallest yet, with just six chaps (and I’ve already painted one, so…) I’m planning to use the 30th Anniversary marine for the Sergeant, and then use Dark Imperium guys for the rest.

I think, after playing the game last Friday, I can see a definite advantage to smaller teams, as my 15 Cultists got to the point where they auto-failed Nerve Tests and I was basically just sitting there being picked off. Added to this, Marines should be a lot more durable, so I shouldn’t (hopefully!) get into the position where I’m seeing my guys die off in droves. An all-shooty team should be a plus, too, as I can hang further back than with the more combat-orientated Cultists.

That’s the theory, at any rate!

I’m hoping to be back soon with some progress on getting these chaps painted up, anyway. I only need to do 17 models to get all three Kill Teams on this page fully painted! Shouldn’t take too long…

Warhammer Reflections – 4 years on

Hey everybody,
It’s approaching the time of year where I generally get quite nostalgic for my “career” within the Warhammer hobby, so I thought I’d ramble a bit here about some of the good times I’ve had with little plastic men over the last four years. In a manner of speaking…

Can you believe it’s been four years since I started this little adventure? Well, if you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you’re not only extremely classy, but you probably can… It all started because of Shadows of Brimstone, that kickstarter from Flying Frog Productions that I backed massively, only to find out in the months following the end of the campaign that the miniatures would require assembly. To practice, I therefore bought a Beast of Nurgle from Games Workshop, having been aware of their products for a number of years thanks to the card game Warhammer: Invasion, and the rest, as they say, is history.

As a side note, I should really look at doing a blog devoted to that game. I know it’s long-dead, but it was one of my all-time favourites, so definitely deserves some love here on the blog!

While I was initially really heavily into the Old World, due in part to the fact that I was so familiar with the card game, I think the negative reactions I was exposed to following the End Times series really started me moving away from the fantasy setting, and instead looking into the 40k stuff. While I felt like I had a decent grounding, between the card game and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, I was really flying blind when it came to the grim dark of the far future, but threw myself into the lore of the Necrons, having discovered the Lychguard kit (as has been mentioned on this blog before, of course!) I suppose, to some extent, it was only natural that I would gravitate towards those chaps, seeing as how I was a huge Tomb Kings fan. It was a real heartache when I recently decided to sell my stock of TKs, having been so assiduous in gathering up as many of the kits as I could when they went Last Chance to Buy. But that’s beside the point.

I really enjoyed the look of metallic skeletons, and as has been well chronicled on the blog now, I really fell for those Lychguard like there was no tomorrow. While they weren’t the only contenders for my first 40k army – it was a toss-up between Necrons, Tyranids and Dark Eldar as to who I was going to pursue as a first army choice – the undead space robots won out! Tyranids were an extremely close second, due in part to the awesome Shield of Baal series that started very soon after I’d made the decision, but I think I’ll always love those undead space robots…

Of course, since then I’ve managed to build up an extremely large Dark Eldar army, as well as having started to build a number of big bugs, too! Recently, I’ve embarked on repainting my Necron force, as it was my first army (and you can tell), though I’ve not yet managed to get very far. Always something to distract me!

It’s really been 40k that has been a driving force behind my passion and enthusiasm for this hobby, despite dipping my toe into fantasy every once in a while. I have very fond memories of the launch of Age of Sigmar, and while I’ve bought and sold more fantasy armies than I care to remember, I think I’m definitely keeping hold of my Stormcast Eternals for the fact that I enjoyed assembling that force so much.

Age of Sigmar

40k has been huge for me since then, and I honestly can’t ever see myself moving away from it. Whether it’s through the tabletop game itself, or any of the specialist games like Deathwatch Overkill or Necromunda – or even keeping some of the FFG games alive such as Conquest or, the classic, Space Hulk Death Angel – I can see myself forever staying with the grim dark of the far future, and look forward to sharing that with as many people as possible.

It’s definitely been an exciting four years, and there has been so much that I’ve enjoyed. While this blog started life as a sort of general nerdy thing with a lot of variety (at least, I think it did!), I’ve been very conscious of the fact that it has now become very focused on Warhammer, with Magic and Star Wars being a bit of a sideline.

And this is because I basically love the Warhammer 40k universe now!

I had a bit of a realisation a week or so ago, as I was laboriously reading through the latest new canon Star Wars novel Last Shot, that I don’t actually enjoy the new Star Wars as much as I enjoyed the franchise back before 2015. I don’t mean to turn this into some kind of Warhammer 40k vs Star Wars debate, but let’s leave it at I’m enjoying the former an awful lot more than the latter, right now!

And I suppose that’s partly due to the interactive nature of Warhammer 40k for me. There hasn’t really been a stand-out Star Wars game since WotC produced Star Wars miniatures, whereas there’s a whole hobby-gaming side to 40k that makes it a great deal more immersive.

I’d like to think that I’ve improved a great deal as a painter in the last four years – certainly, I’m more willing to show off my Drukhari, my Genestealer Cult, or my Thokt Necrons before bringing out that Beast of Nurgle – though there is always room for improvement. I’m still quite a lazy painter, something I’ve noticed when painting some Van Saar gangers recently. I rely a lot on drybrushing, while not always taking the time to drybrush properly. More models than I care to remember are quite streaky as a result! But I do feel a lot happier with my miniatures that I’m painting now, than I have done with the older lot. One of the reasons why I’m intending to re-do my entire Necron army, actually!

I don’t really have any sort of hobby goals in mind right now, except maybe to paint more than I buy, and get smarter with just what I’m buying in the first place, though who doesn’t have those sorts of goals in this hobby, right?! I’ve got a number of projects on the go that feel like they’re overwhelming me, particularly since Kill Team came along and I’m finding myself with plans for several small bands of infantry! Since delving back into my Genestealer Cults for that, however, I’ve been feeling in the mood to try some Tyranids, having bought quite a lot of kits for that army back at the start of the year. I find myself forever floating around from one project to another, without really getting anywhere with one (a notable exception being the Drukhari last year, that was amazing how I managed to apply myself and get over 2000 points painted up in a few months!)

I definitely want to plan my purchases more, and really try to work out just what I need before wandering into the store and picking up all manner of pretty looking kits just because they look nice. I also want to try to paint more, as has been shown by the variety of ‘painting goals’ style blogs that I’ve written so far this year. Having added Tau to my army rosters back in March, I really do feel a bit overwhelmed with everything, so definitely want to start scaling things back on that front. Going forward, I want to try (as much as I can) to pick a unit of, say, five guys, and just do what I need to do to get them finished. I think that’s how I eventually got going with the Drukhari, just five or ten at a time, and as whole units were added to the force, things really just snowballed…

I also want to play more games! Who doesn’t, I guess? But with Kill Team a thing now, the ability to have a lot of small games should make things easier. I’m keen to try my hand at Necromunda, having kitted out the Van Saars to be a proper gang and ready for the skirmish there, though I’m not sure if it’s that popular at my store… Skirmish games are fine, of course, but I also want to try and be a bit more serious with my efforts in mainstream 40k. I’ve got three big armies now as far as my Drukhari, Necrons (if I include the old ones that need re-doing), and T’au, along with a lot of smaller forces (with a lot of unbuilt kits that will one day make them bigger forces), so it would be a shame to not make the most of that and actually do something with them!

All this talk of Necromunda and Genestealer Cults brings me to something that I find a bit odd, but let’s talk about it anyway. I’ve not been in the hobby that long, and I’ve especially not been within the 40k universe that long, but there’s a weird kind of borrowed-nostalgia that I get from these re-imagining of classic aspects of the 40k universe. I suppose I get swept up in the moment, and find it all quite wonderful, though it could just be down to the fact that the miniatures are obviously designed with such care and attention to detail that I find myself really enamoured with them, despite not having a basis for any kind of nostalgia-response. It also helps that Necromunda, in particular, just looks like such a cool, immersive game that I can’t help but be swept up within the tidal wave of awesome that it is!

Rogue Trader is obviously coming out at Christmastime, and also promises to be every fanboy’s dream – including mine! I’m going to have to do some serious negotiation to get that under the tree for Christmas, but it looks like it will be so damn worth it!

The Rogue Trader release in 3-4 months’ time makes me wonder just when we can be expecting the last three Codexes for Warhammer 40k, though. There has been a hell of a lot of talk about a big campaign box for Space Wolves vs Orks, but as we’re now getting closer to the end of the year, I just don’t see this coming out anytime soon. It’s been two months since the announcement, on 1 June, about these books – looking at the last such announcement, when those for Imperial Knights, Harlequins and Deathwatch were talked about, it’s roughly two-to-three months between the announcement and the books being released. So I’m guessing that September will see the start of these things. It’s kinda unheard of for a big box game to have not been spoiled if it is, in fact, only a month or so away…

But that said, the Warhammer 40k facebook page did just unveil this…

Space Wolves vs Genestealer Cult? Who saw that one coming?!

Just another little tangent there! I did say this would be rambling!

Where was I? Ah yes, how much I need to be more careful with my purchases, rather than simply throwing my money at all the new shiny releases. Erm…

At any rate, after almost a year where I moved house and have since struggled to find a place to paint properly, I’m finding myself sliding closer to that point where I’m happily applying acrylic to plastic, so I’m hoping that I can at least make good on one of the many, many painting promises I’ve talked about on this blog before the end of the year…

While I like the thought of Tyranids and having a big bugs army, I’m also moving back towards my Drukhari, having lost interest a little when I felt the Codex had tried to force me to play a mixed list. However, I think I’m most excited right now for the Militarum Tempestus army that I’ve been wanting to build for a number of years now.

To date, I’ve still only painted two models for them. However, this is where the joy of Kill Team comes in, as I’ve excitedly been writing up a list that I think will make it relatively easy to get done, at which point I might as well just carry on and paint up a platoon! Oh, I make it sound so easy. But I think, if I can get some of these done, and some more Skitarii painted by the end of the year, I’ll be a very happy bunny, indeed.

So, thanks for reading all the way through this extremely rambling blog post about my jumbled thoughts on 40k right now, as well as something of a potted history of my life with the game, and stay tuned to the blog as I begin to delve more seriously into Kill Team campaigns – and, of course, Necromunda!

Summer Painting Goals

Hey everybody!
I’ve spent what feels like a really long time so far this year, trying to motivate myself to paint the enormous stack of unpainted miniatures that I have lying around (seriously, it’s enormous). I’ve tried a couple of things to impose a sort of deadline on me, hoping that I can get something painted if I give myself a month, or give myself until the next game, but this never seems to work.

Well, it’s time to introduce the latest in this list of attempts to pick up a brush!

I’ve got a lot of armies on the go right now, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve drawn up 500-point lists for three of them, and so have decided to just paint the models for these lists. My thinking here is, if I only have 20 or so models to paint, that will be so much easier than staring down the barrel of 50 or more. They’re all battalion lists, so they should be vaguely playable, and I’ve gone a step further and chosen warlord traits and relics, so that they are as real as I can get them.

And I have to say, it’s actually working for me in some respects, as I want to field these armies right now, and try them out!

So let’s take a look at the first two lists…

Tempestor Prime

First up, it’s my Militarum Tempestus list.

I’ve talked about this army a number of times over the course of my blog. See, it’s one of those armies that I’ve always liked the look of, ever since I first saw the miniatures, but have somehow never managed to get round to doing anything with. I mean, I’ve had the minis built and primed for well over a year now, but I just can’t seem to get myself into painting them! Well, I’ve painted precisely two models for the force in the last two years…

So I have a while to go yet, but this is definitely a project that I’m finding myself really enthused for!

The big theme across this merry band is getting the most from Voice of Command, relaying orders up to 18″ away thanks to all of the vox casters. I think my eventual plan for the full army will be to have two Tempestor Primes, each with a Command Squad, whose vox caster will act as the fulcrum of that relay. The relic I’ve chosen is the Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius, perhaps the most hilarious of names for such a thing, which allows the bearer to issue another order on the roll of a 2+.

It’s an army that I’m really looking forward to getting properly off the ground with, at any rate, so stay tuned for further updates there!!

Next up, we have the glories of my Skitarii!

Skitarii

These guys have been on the radar for almost as long as the Tempestus Scions, after I bought the Start Collecting box on a whim. I’ve so far gotten further with these than I have with the Scions, however, having painted up a total of five models, but the list is a little different, with four groups of troops and a heavy support. There remains a fairly nice symmetry between the two armies, however, and I like the fact that I can put the two of them together when I’m finished, for a 1000-point Imperium army that, I feel, is nicely formed.

This list, however, proved to be the most difficult to write, predominantly because I couldn’t settle on a Forge World for it! My own painted efforts so far don’t conform to any “known” Forge World, having blue cloaks rather than the traditional red. (As an aside, I thought it a nice counterpoint, back in the day, that my Skitarii were painted predominantly blue, while my Scions were predominantly red).

In the event, I’ve gone for Forge World Ryza, which allows me to re-roll 1s in the Fight phase. Hopefully, I won’t be getting into any fights, but it is nice to have that kind of back-up, just in case! As far as relics go, I’ve selected the wonderfully-named Weapon XCIX, which replaces the Dominus’ volkite blaster. I’ve therefore opted not to take the Ryza-specific Warlord Trait, which would kind of do the same thing as the relic, though you can’t stack both, so instead have picked Monitor Malevolus, which is the usual one that allows you to re-gain Command Points.

So there we have it, the first part of my summer painting goals! The third list involves Tau, but is a little more involved, so I think I’ll save that for a separate blog post.

Stay tuned for updates as the summer marches on!!

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!