Sunday, September 20, 2015

Horus Heresy Death Guard Vehicles

Over the last few weeks I have been working on two vehicles to add to my expanding 30k Death Guard force.  The vehicles I have added are the Sicaran Venator and a Fire Raptor.  Both were picked just because they look too damn cool not too have!  Here they are along side my original Sicaran.

I love the Sicaran hull and having a normal one already, I just had to get the other version of it, where the driver is obviously trying to compensate for something.  The gun is a huge neutron laser and makes up most of the tank, and the fluff explains that it is the largest weapon on any tank in this class.

The gun spits out multiple strength 10 AP 1 shots, so it should help against the land raiders and super heavies that are starting to show up in our 30k games. On top of that anything that is hit by the gun  (even super heavies) can only fire snap shots the following turn.  Even better yet, because this is a Sicaran hull it is a fast vehicle so can move 12" and still fire 2 weapons at full effect (mind you as soon as the big gun fires, the sponsons are snap firing anyway since it is an ordinance weapon), or if it chooses not to fire, can cover 24" in a turn. This means it can get where you need it on the table quickly.

To help ensure that the main gun stays alive a bit longer, I mounted the optional sponson mounted lascannons.  Even if the main gun is knocked out, at least it can still do something.

Next of the new vehicles is the Fire Raptor, which in my mind is very reminiscent of an A10 tank killer with two huge guns under nose and I could not pass on one, and it doesn't hurt that it turns out to be really good in a game.

I built the kit with the landing gear out so that it can sit flat on the table to be used as terrain, even when not used in a game.  I have not figured out a flying stand system for this beast though as it just does not seem stable enough on a GW flight stand for me.  I can use one, but will probable build in some kind of magnet system and a larger base so that I feel better about this expensive and fragile model sitting 8" above the table.

The guns on this flying gunship truly shine, and it should excel at multiple things in games.  The chin guns can spit out 7 shots that are strength 6 AP 3 so should help thin out all of those Legion Marine squads.  The rest of the armaments on it are a little less deadly being all AP 4, but putting out a lot of shots.  It has 4 single shot rockets and two side turrets that each have a reaper autocannon battery (4 strength 7 twin linked shots each), and each turret can target whatever they chose, they are not limited at firing what the main guns are targeting.  This should allow it to help support my ground forces and open up some Rhinos with all the strength 7 shots so that my infantry can get at the squishy contents.

I have been asked about my painting method in the past, since it is very different than my normal 40k clean style, so I figured I would explain a bit.  Firstly, I am doing all of my Death Guard as grungy and dirty as I can while still keeping them resembling their white and green official colours.  The reason for this is that I really love the first few Horus Heresy novels and the loyal Death Guard that are led by Captain Garro in them.  I picture my force as part of Garro's force that was on Isstvan III either during or landing shortly after the Warmaster Horus scorched the planet in his attempt to wipe out the loyalist members of the legions there.  Almost everything on the planet was destroyed by his attack and what was left was badly damaged, and everything that came down after the strikes was subject to all the dust, corrosion, and fires going on, and then went through the vicious fights that took place.

To accomplish this look, I did a bit of investigation and found a REALLY simple method.  In fact it is so simple, and looks so good (at least in my opinion) that I wonder why the hell I spent so much time trying to paint vehicles in the typical GW clean sharp method....  This method takes way less than 1/2 the time, in fact probably about 1/4 the time, and looks better (again my opinion).

Step 1) Assemble and prime your vehicle.  I primed these with Vallejo German Dark Grey airbrush primer as it gives a ver good dark colour for the chips (a dark almost black grey but with a hint of brown and green).  I then gave some quick random shots of a rust brown to some edges and recesses where I knew I would ensure some chips where. (total time to prime and hit with rust - 15 min)

Step 2) Spray the whole model with a coat of either AK Heavy Chipping Solution or AK Weathering Solution.  I used the heavy solution around the edges and the weather on large flat surfaces. Then set it aside and let it dry completely over night. (total time - 15 min)

Step 3) Next up I spray the whole model with my base colour and any accent colour (the green in my case, which in my anxiousness to get these done, I forgot and then had to go back mask areas, put another layer of chipping solution and and then put the green on) and then set it aside and let it dry for at least an hour or two. (total time - 15 min)

Step 4) Now comes the fun part.  Either use a spray bottle with water or a large brush with water and wet down an area to start working on.  Let it soak for about a min to soften the paint and then just start rubbing any area you want to show wear or chipping with a stiff brush.  Paint will start coming away in a very random and natural way.  The more you rub the more comes off.  just keep moving around and working areas until you are happy with them. (total time for chipping - between 20 min and an hour depending on how you work)

Step 5) Time to put your decals on and then make sure you take some areas of them and pick them away so that they look worn to match the rest of the vehicle.  I then clear coat the whole vehicle to prep it for the next step. (total time - depends on number of decals maybe 30 min)

Step 6) Back to some AK solutions for the grim look. Now I go to some AK Streaking Grime and AK Rust Streaks.  These are enamel based solutions that make streaks really easy, but make the earlier clear coat step necessary. All I do is put a drop of the paint on each chip, or in crevasses or on sills and then let is sit for a bit (15-30 min).  Once the paint has had time to dry a bit, it is time to take a soft brush and some odourless thinner or white spirits and brush down over the dots of paint you put on.  They will start stretching down and forming streaks.  If you pull them too far down you just wait a bit and then brush up with some more thinner.  You can keep working the paint back and forth until you are happy with how it looks.  I like leaving it a bit rough, then grabbing a stiff bristle worn out brush and do it again to break up the streaks and make them look grainy like real rust or dirt runs. 

Step 6b) What is shown above is one coat of Streaking Grime, and then I went back and added little bits of the Rust Streaks and repeated step 6.  (total time for 2 colours of streaking - roughly 2 hours)

Hopefully, this all comes across clearly.  I may sound complicated, but honestly it is super simple and very fast.  If there are any questions, please ask.  Total WORK time for priming through streaking on both the Sicaran Venator and Fire Raptor was roughly 4-5 hours.  Once all of that is done, then I go back and paint all the details and then add pigment powders to dirty it all up even more.  These finishing steps take about the same time as the weathering, so total time for 2 really big vehicles was less than 10 hours. Which in my mind is pretty damn fast compared to what I used to spend to paint vehicles and I used to despise painting vehicles, and now I love it, so it's pure win.  Now, if only putting the Fire Raptor together wasn't as much of a pain the .... as it was, or I would get the troop transport version to go along with this one.

Anyway, sorry that the post got so long, I hope you find it interesting, and thanks for reading it (assuming you got this far).

Now, time to get another game of 30k in!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sedition Wars - Re-fight and Some Thoughts

Conscript Byron was sick a couple of weeks ago so couldn't come out to the Terminal Station game I ran. Accordingly, he dropped by Wednesday night to re-fight the game. This time it was just the two of us, head to head, with Byron running the Vanguard, and myself running the Strain.

The scenario objectives were the same as we previously played - basically it was a race to the train. However, both sides played a little differently,  both acting more aggressively.

Byron set up his 7 Vanguard (6 armed with laser carbines, one elite armed with a grenade launcher) as far forward as he could, in two groups on either side of the sushi restaurant. The grenadier was given two tactics markers, to allow her to fire indirectly.

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The Strain (16 Revenants, 2 Quasimodos, and 2 Stalkers) were again limited to setting up adjacent to 4 strategic points. (Remember, we have doubled the gun ranges to S=8/M=16/L=24 inches, so the point cost of the Revenants has basically been halved).

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Byron opened the engagement with the launching of his only grav grenade, causing some damage, but, more importantly, pinning several Strain in place for a turn (the Singularity effect reduced their movement to "1").

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The Vanguard advanced north towards the rail line, on both sides of the red-roofed sushi restaurant. Nine Revenants and a Stalker advanced south towards the Vanguard, some entering the strip mall buildings through the back doors. They drew a lot of fire, and most of them were killed, However, the nano-virus clouds left behind by dead Revenants moved on, infecting some of the Vanguard. The two Quasimodos moved to take up firing positions. The rest of the Strain moved away from the action, towards where the train would arrive.

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A single Vanguard Samaritan got the attention of both a Quasimodo and a Stalker, but for a couple of turns none of them could manage to hit the other, even with the assistance of the Tac-net!

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One of the Quasimodos achieved a strong position on top of the blockhouse, commanding the centre of the table. He killed a Samaritan with his acidic ranged weapon. An infected Samaritan drew his fire, and blew him away with a well-aimed laser shot. Then, as the infection overtook her...

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...she withdrew towards the western table edge, trying to get as far away from her comrades as possible before the inevitable happened...

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...and the nano-virus consumed her and turned her into another Quasimodo!

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When the maglev train arrived, 7 or 8 various Strain were in position to board. A couple hiding behind a Tyrell Corporation shipping container were lit up by the grenadier (literally; she set them on fire). Akosha Nama, riding on top of a container on a flatbed car, finished off the flamed Stalker with a round from her sniper rifle.

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Below, Byron contemplates his potential moves toward the train. A couple of Vanguard have already been hit by the remaining two Quasimodos, and are about to die agonizing deaths from their corrosive acid spray.

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The single Vanguard Samaritan left behind by the Taco Bell finally helped kill the Stalker threatening her, then she moved away from the train, drawing fire from the recently-created Quasimodo. Though covered in acid, she managed to kill the creature (her former mess mate) with a single shot (she rolled three "6's" to hit).

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The Grenadier and another Samaritan managed to join the sniper on the train. Meanwhile, six Strain also boarded the train. However, two Revenants died from Vanguard reflex fire and one was reduced to a single wound. The two Samaritans were infected by the resulting nano, but otherwise were unwounded.

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Discussing the game afterward, in our minds we took it as a tie. Yes, the Strain got 1 more model on the train, but it had only 1 wound, and the Vanguard had a big, expensive character with a superior, longer-ranged weapon.


I like the alternating Active Mode and Reflex Mode that comprise each side's turns. You always have to pay attention, since, in Reflex Mode, your models may be able to respond to enemy actions.

Some of the nuances of the rules are interesting. You roll for corrosion resistance at the END of your own activation. So that one Samaritan mentioned above moved and drew the reflex shot from the Quasimodo, who didn't cause enough damage to kill her outright. She then fired, killing the Quasimodo, then she had to roll for corrosion resistance.

You only take extra damage from corrosion effects at the START of your activation. If one saves at the END of her previous activation, the corrosion ends, and you would not take any more damage from corrosion next turn. Thinking about it, this actually rewards bold action, risking drawing fire, rather than waiting for the Strain to shoot you during their own activation.


Trooper Vasquez managed to avoid the worst effects of the acid on her armour. As the train left Terminal Station, she ruefully turned away and contemplated her situation: Wounded. Infected with the Strain nano-virus. Alone in hostile territory. 

"Time to soldier, soldier," she said to herself. "Let's see if that abandoned aid station has anything that can slow down this frakking infection."

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Operator Akosha Nama called out to the Vanguard nearby, "Get back! There's a Corpsman at the other tender that can help you!"

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Her optical camouflage activated. She started to disappear from their view, and looked straight at her enemy. 

"I'm coming for you."

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Blood Drinkers Contemptor Dreadnought, Tac Support Squad, Assault Squad

A bit of progress to report on the Heresy escalation... as we posted last week, the campaign has begun. That means the pressure's on to get more stuff out of the painting queue and onto the tabletop for the next big game.

This weekend I was able to finish the Contemptor Dreadnought that had been sitting around for awhile. A pretty basic paintjob to fit in with the rest of the IX Legion "Blood Drinkers" maniple.

The Forge World Contemptor is an excellent looking model and I elected the Plasma Cannon/Close Combat Claw option to arm it, for no better reason than it looks cool...

The laser-cut base was kindly provided by Conscript Byron of SG2 Creations, cheers B...

Posing the model was a bit of a challenge, especially as my preferred adhesive is fast-setting superglue. This doesn't leave a lot of time to get the pose right with the multiple parts involved. I think this one came out OK though.

Glowing green eyes.. all the better to see (traitors) with...
The other escalation update is a bit late, since these guys took part in the campaign game already, but I thought I'd post some pics anyway.

They're MK IV Marines, of course, armed with Volkite weapons. They are a Troops choice in the Legion army list - "Tactical Support Squad".

I've got five more Volkite weapons so there's still the option to bulk the squad out to ten Marines, just need five more bodies ;-)

Lastly, here's the converted RT-era Assault Squad. Ten Marines with pistols/bolters and close combat weapons, with a plasma pistol in there too. Jump packs are from Max Mini.

These are three of my favourites - the RT Lieutenant with bionic leg, RT MK III Marine with Bolter and sword, and a converted RT Medic with updated bolt pistol.

Here's another three - the model at centre has been converted to carry a Heresy-era resin bolter in his right hand.
These four chaps fill out the squad. The model second from right has had a head swap, and the one at far right with plasma pistol is the same model as the converted one in the picture above.
It's great to get these models done and into the force org. I'm quickly exhausting the queue of unpainted Heresy stuff... but there's another 10-man RT tactical squad and Apothecary waiting for paint, along with a Chapterhouse Land Raider conversion kit that awaits assembly. That's not even mentioning the Magos and Adeptus Mechanicus guys I need to build and paint to accompany the Reaver Titan... so we'll be busy for awhile yet I think ;-)  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Side tracked, yet again... Small Ronin or Daisho skirmish force

So, with all the Warhammer 30k going on, you would think that I should be working on my Fire Raptor and Sicaran Venator, but no I got sidetracked, once again, with another side project.

Mike, Kevin, Dave, and I have started looking at some small skirmish games set in ancient Japan.  Is it ancient if referring to the 16th century? If we can call a 386 ancient technology, then I am going to stick with the 1500's being ancient too.  The two games we have looked at are Ronin (by Osprey) and Daisho (by the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare).  Ronin is historically based and sticks pretty close to real history, while Daisho is more mythical factoring in powers and demons (if you so choose).  The great thing is that both can be played with the same figures, which we all collected over the last few months and have been sitting cleaned and primed on my painting desk.

I was sick the last few days from work and couldn't focus on some of the technical work I had to do on my 30k stuff, so I pulled out a few figures to get ready for Ronin.

Keep in mind I set out to paint these quickly and to a table top level, they are not meant to be show entry pieces.  I used quick base colour (mid-tone), wash (shadow), highlight method, with very little additional cleanup of fine detail.

I think the longest part on each was painting to insignia's on the back banners.

All of the figures, other than the large banner bearer, are from the Northstar Bushi Buntai box set for Ronin.  The large banner bearer is from Perry Miniatures.  The figures are all excellent quality and the various other Northstar and Perry figures I picked up will all mix with each other perfectly.

However for only about 6 hours of total paint time, I am pretty happy with them.  I may go back and clean up some of the fine details at a later date, but for now I have a force to play either game with.

Hint Hint Kevin, Mike, and Dave....

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sedition Wars Batrep - Terminal Station

Last night I hosted another scenario in my ongoing Sedition Wars Outbreak Campaign; Scenario 3, Terminal Station. This was also the debut of the maglev train I have previously described. 

Vanguard Mission
Objective: Live long enough to get personnel on the incoming train

Strain Mission
Objective: Prevent the Vanguard from escaping on the Train. The Strain win if:

  • The train leaves with no Vanguard aboard
  • When the train leaves there are more Strain models on board than Vanguard models
At the end of round 4, the train would be placed on the track. At the end of round 6 the train leaves the table. When the train leaves there must be more Vanguard models on it than Strain models.


Conscripts Frederick and Kevin played the Strain. They set up 16 Revenants, 2 Stalkers, and 2 Quasimodos adjacent to 4 Strain strategic points on the table. Below, looking east, several corpse counters can also be seen, casualties of previous fighting against the Strain, and potential new recruits as re-animated Revenants.

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Duncan and Malcolm played the on-table Vanguard, 6 Samaritans led by a Grenadier. I allowed them to set up as far as the north side of the road.

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The Vanguard were first out of the gate, wounding or setting on fire some Strain using the indirect-firing grenade launcher, and wounding another Revenant with laser fire.

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The Vanguard made a cautious advance, mostly on the western side of the table, with a couple providing cover by the strip mall to the east.

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The Strain moved morth and hunkered down behind cargo containers and the bunker; the nano-virus clouds seen below were Revenant casualties of incendiary grenades and lasers.

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Frederick and Kevin cheerfully contemplate the rising casualty count of the Strain. With the necrocysts and corpses on the table, they could always create more!

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Malcolm and Duncan contemplate the Vanguard moves.

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One of the Quasimodos adopted a protected firing position on top of the bunker, allowing him to shoot and melt away a Vanguard trooper!

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Another trooper bravely drew the Quasimodo's fire; this allowed her comrades to step forward and gun the Strain monster down! The unfortunate Vanguard succumbed to the corrosive acid of the Quasimodo's weapon.

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The other Quasimodo was in a good firing position, and shot  another hapless Samaritan; of 4 eventual Samaritan casualties, not one armor save was made against the corrosive effect of the Strain weaponry.

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When the train arrived at the end of turn 4, the Vanguard players placed Operator Akosha Nama (run by Dallas) on a car of their choice. Akosha activated immediately, and was part of the Vanguard force from that point on.

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The surviving Vanguard Samaritans try and make up for lost time and advance on the train.

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Two groups of Strain manage to get on the train, with only one casualty falling to Akosha's sniper rifle.

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Too far to board the train, and resigned to trying to cause Strain casualties, the last Samaritans concentrate their fire on the group on the westernmost flatbed car, killing two and wounding one more (who was also set on fire).

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Dallas rolls hot, having Akosha kill a Stalker standing right behind her.

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Several Revenants leapt at Akosha, who grimly killed...

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...or wounded any Strain who got in her sights, until, bleeding out... 

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...she finally succumbed to overwhelming numbers.

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Adding insult to injury, the nano-virus left by a couple of Strain casualties managed to infect one of the surviving Samaritans.

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The game was a tense affair. Despite being defeated, the Vanguard gave a good account of themselves. They killed 15 Strain, and wounded another 3 or 4 of the 8 Strain who managed to get aboard the train.


Here is a prevue for the next scenario, entitled, Ticket to Die, or, as Kevin suggested, Strain on a Train:

From the rear of the train appeared Specialist Barker Zosa, clanking along in a powered exoskeleton, wielding a charged up pulse cannon (cue Samuel Jackson voice): 


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