Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Trenchworx 28mm Renault FT-17 Tanks

Awhile back I participated in a Kickstarter (sorry Greg) run by a company called Trenchworx. I've heard nightmare stories about Kickstarter campaigns before but I have to say that the Trenchworx KS was run professionally and efficiently. Communication was great and the product was high quality!

I blogged a few months ago about the British MKIV tank I'd painted as a German "beute" panzer. The other vehicles I got were a troop of three Renault FT-17s, which I built and painted a few weeks ago.

The kits included both a 37mm gun and a machinegun for the turret, and optional trench rails as well. The vehicles were a snap to assemble, and even included magnets for the turret and weapons.

Here it is with the 37mm gun mounted. I painted the tanks in a standard camo scheme with markings for the third section of the second company. There's a handy guide here on the Landships site.

And here's the turret machinegun.

Here it is in pieces. The holes for the magnets are beautifully countersunk into the parts and the magnets fit perfectly. Just make sure you get the polarities correct! ;-)

All in all these are great kits and will look superb on our Great War battlefields. They'll also spur me on to build up my late-war French. I've just finished some work on a group of Foundry models that were painted by our late friend Glenn, and I intend to add to those with more Foundry stuff, including some 75mm guns and crews.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

THE BIG ONE - Part Two - Horus Heresy 30K Mega Game

This is it - THE BIG ONE - as teased by Greg in his recent post. (I like to think that the guys in the pic above are Heresy vets ;-)
As Greg noted, we've been playing a mini-campaign around the Siege of Orask. The campaign background:
The machinations of Horus are revealed, and they reach well beyond even the events of the Istvaan System!
Knowing they would not join his cause, Horus dispatched the IXth Legion to “liberate” the worlds of the Signus Cluster - a campaign far from Terra, far from Horus’ plans, and home to a trap.
The Primarch of the Blood Angels has led the bulk his Legion into that distant assault, and Horus now looks to cut them off completely from contact with the rest of the Imperium. He will do that with an attack on the frontier world of Orask, staging area for the IXth Legion’s invasion force.
As news of events on Istvaan reaches Orask, the local Imperial government is stunned - and panics when their sensors detect a task force of ships bearing the signals and markings of the Sons of Horus, the World Eaters and the Death Guard headed for the planet. Things get worse when a number of Horus’ agents take action, disabling defence systems, monitors, docks and other elements, sowing further panic. The traitor Legion elements crash through the scattered resistance among the orbital defences and begin to secure landing areas.
On the planet’s surface, elements of the IXth Legion - the 66th Maniple, the “Blood Drinkers”, reserves which had been planning to follow their brethren toward the Signus Cluster, instead turn to defend the planet, knowing if Orask is overrun, the bulk of the IXth Legion will be trapped in the Signus and unable to defend the Imperium from Horus.
Back in August we played the first game and it was a hoot! So on Thanksgiving weekend (on my birthday, no less) we pulled out all the stops for a massive 30K slugfest. 
Greg's lads: Sons of Horus, World Eaters, "El Booze" (Imperial Knight) and Ferrum Mortis (Reaver Titan).

The IX Legion "Blood Drinkers" - with Loyalist Imperial Knight and Reaver Titan. Not so many Space Marines though - I'll have to work on that.

Solar Auxilia allies for the IX Legion - infantry painted by Greg, and Stormblade by me.

We're missing a group shot of Byron's Death Guard traitors but you'll see them pop out in due course!

The battlefield. Orask City in the foreground, where the Loyalists will set up, facing an assault by the Traitor Legions across the table.

The Fall colours are lovely on Orask this time of year!

Loyalists deployed. Lots of cover in the ruins of the city, so why deploy anywhere else?

Solar Auxilia to the fore, since "Facecane" (their commander, represented by the "Lord Solar Macharius" model) wouldn't have it any other way!

Looking out towards the Traitor lines.

What could pierce this thin red line??

Turns out these guys will give it a try...

You can see some of Byron's Death Guard in this photo - including "the Compensator" (Sicaran Venator, at left).

Traitors advance. We imagined the gunners rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of dropping pie plate templates on these targets.

Compensator down! The Venator was a prime target for the IX Legion defenders. Suffer not the phallic to live!!

Blood Drinkers Spartan rolled out of cover to disgorge a giant squad of Marines. Just out of shot: the Contemptor Dreadnought that ruined their day.

IX Legion Assault troops figured that the best defence was a good offence. Tragically, they would prove to be mistaken.

Things are still looking good from back here. The Titans took turns shooting each other with Turbolasers and dropping Apocalypse Missile templates on lesser-priority targets.

Oh, what happened to that squad?


Sons of Horus assault troops consolidate after wiping out a squad of Auxilia in the wood.

Things are hotting up as the Traitor Reaver lumbers forward.

The Loyalist Knight lines up the Land Raider for a close assault...

Someone else lines up the Imperial Knight...

Byron's scary Fire Raptor flyer appears on Turn 4.

His Death Guard Terminator Squad (with Typhon!!) also beamed in. This did not go well for the defenders.

The Traitor lines are getting a bit out of sorts as templates take their toll.

Smoking crater (centre right) where once stood the Imperial Knight. He failed the charge against the Land Raider and was blown up in the next turn.

Getting close now!

The Blood Drinkers that weren't gassed by chemical weapons, were taken out by Typhon and his DG Terminator buddies with their scythes. Enough remained, though, to wipe out the squad... although it took the remnants of three tactical squads, a Tactical Support squad with Volkite Calivers, and a Heavy Support Squad with five lascannons to do it...

Reaver Titan vs. Stormblade. Not even a contest, although Greg had thought long and hard about trying for a charge against the Loyalist Reaver instead.

"Don't we have some anti-aircraft???"

"Oh great. It's Phil."

There was a reason why we both equipped our Titans with fists...

Left vulnerable in its attack on the Stormblade, the Traitor Reaver was finished off by its Loyalist counterpart.

Not much left except smoking craters.

The Traitor attack still rolled forward.

Chemical smoke/awfulness left by the Death Guard Terminators at lower right.

Wow - what a battle. We actually had to stage it over two days to get the six turns in. The result? Well, we didn't really keep track of VPs or anything, the massive carnage was satisfying enough. However, the Loyalists did kill the Traitor Reaver, Knight, and Land Raider (plus Typhon and his nasty Terminator mates) for the loss of their own Terminators, Knight, and Stormblade... although with the Reaver, Spartan, and Land Raider still functional I'd give the edge to the defending IX Legion. They say that history is written by the victors, or in this case, the writers of history become the victors retroactively ;-)

While I don't foresee another massive battle like this happening soon, I'm sure we'll revisit the 30th millennium in due course for more Heresy battles. After all, escalation continues!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Chapterhouse "Heresy-Era" Land Raider Conversion Kit

Reinforcements for the IX Legion were coming thick and fast in the days leading up to THE BIG ONE. For me it seems to be easier to get vehicles on the table than infantry (although the Blood Drinkers need more of that too) so I got cracking on the Land Raider kit I'd obtained from Chapterhouse.

They call this kit the "Heresy-era Iconoclast" and it comprises two resin sponsons and a central bulkhead that's used to convert the standard plastic Land Raider. (You can see the CH resin in the photo of the unpainted vehicle below).
And here it is, before painting. I was a bit concerned that the Chapterhouse kit might need a lot of work to fit, but I needn't have worried. There was a slight warp in one sponson but this was easily corrected with judicious application of heat and some bending. The central piece was a bit wonky as well but I didn't notice this until final assembly. (You can see in the "unpainted" pic that the overhanging plate is angled downwards a bit and doesn't look quite right). I addressed that issue by shimming the top plate slightly to bring it level with the top of the vehicle, as seen in the pic above. No worries.

I've built three Land Raider kits so far I think, and this is the first one where I've gotten the ramp to work properly. The problem I've always had is that the connecting rod inside the hull slips off its cams. I fixed that on this build by shimming out the rod so that inward pressure on it from the hull keeps it engaged with the cams.
Om nom nom

The lascannons were straightforward as they just slot into the sponson cylinder. I sawed off the ends of the lascannon assembly to get an aesthetic fit.

Nothing to look at back here - just the standard GW Land Raider.

Side elevation show the Chapterhouse conversion to good effect. They supply doors for the sponson that fit well with just a bit of trimming.

I did a standard Blood Angels paint scheme with Khorne Red building up to Evil Sunz Orange, with Nuln Oil wash, sponge chipping and moderate use of powders.

Some "battle damage" evident already as I didn't have an extra targeter to use on the right-hand sponson - I'd forgotten that I'd already pinched it to use on the Spartan :-(  In any case, one will be procured from eBay and fitted. I drilled through the top of the sponson and fitted a bit of plastic rod so the targetter will rotate along with the lascannon array. Has to be good for +1 to hit, right??

Anyway... fun kit to build, I think it looks pretty good in evoking the whole "MKIIB - Heresy" vibe. The kit from Forge World is 69GBP plus shipping - that's about 150 Canadian pesos. The Chapterhouse kit is 25USD, and I think the base Raider cost me about 60USD shipped, so that's 85USD or what, 120 Canadian or so? Not a huge difference and like I said about the Chapterhouse Rhinos, it really makes sense if you have access to cheap GW plastic. Looks cool though eh?