Sunday, June 19, 2022

Some Thousand Sons Reinforcements - Part 2, Tactical Squad

XV Legion Marines in Mark III power armour. Plastic figures from GW.

Another post featuring reinforcements for the XV Legion Astarters, the "Thousand Sons". These Marines are clad in Mark III plate, multi-part plastic figures from GW. Nothing that special about 10 more Astartes carrying bolters, but the method used to paint these guys was a little different for me.

Really pleased with the metallic, candy red - all thanks to the "Rattle Can" approach.

As I have mentioned on different occasions over the past year, I have been keen to achieve a metallic red look for the armour of the Thousand Sons, without resorting to the logistical headaches involved with an airbrush. Previous experiments had involved use of GW's "Contrast" paints - with OK results, but with a clear limitation in that "Contrast" paints do not work well on vehicles. Any painting approach that works on the infantry but not on the vehicles will be a limiting one. So I had my eyes out for something new...

Sergeant sporting a Thunder Hammer and plasma pistol. And a few extra mystical symbols...

And another approach duly appeared! Medders' Miniatures has done several YouTube tutorials with what he calls the "Rattle Can Series" - ways of painting Space Marines models that do not involve airbrushes, but rely instead on the selection of a good spray can to achieve a base coat on the armour. I found his tutorial on the Thousand Sons to be inspiring, and so I gave it a shot! 

The armour panels were finished with a coat of satin varnish...although, still pretty glossy...

This squad is the result! I will saw that messing around with oil washes, while kinda fun, is also a much slower process than it seems in the video. For my part, using GW's "Nuln Oil" is just fine, is much quicker and less hassle. Involving oil paints required the use of multiple coats of varnish, and this impacted the detail on these plastic figures, particularly on the face plates of some of the models, where the surface detail is a bit thin.

But overall, I really do like the look of this metallic red - in this case, achieved by spraying a Tamiya Red over a matte white base coat. I am looking forward to trying this painting approach on a vehicle very soon - that will be the real test!  

An officer - AND a psyker!

Tactical squads are pretty basic in 30k (at least, I assume they still are - will be a few days before I finally get the chance to check out the new edition of the Horus Heresy rules) but they are good building blocks for a standard force, and in the case of the Thousand Sons, you can also makes these guys psykers, so they can be flinging spooky powers as well as bolt gun shells as their enemies. Plus, who knows, they probably are secret members of a cabal...right?

Thanks for reading - stay tuned for more 30k content!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Some Thousand Sons Reinforcements - Part 1, Contemptor Dreadnought

"Your library fines are overdue" - Thousand Sons' Contemptor Dreadnought - multipart resin kit from Forge World.

Well, about a year (give or take) after some fuzzy photos first leaked online, a new edition of the Horus Heresy rules is about to be released. I wish I was connected enough to have somehow scored some preview miniatures myself (being online, as a fan you feel like somehow literally everyone else got some), I have channelled my excitement instead toward chipping away at my already-existing pile of 30k stuff to paint. Here we have a Contemptor Dreadnought painted in the colours of the XV Legion Astartes - the "Thousand Sons". This is a multi-part resin kit from GW's Forge World studios.

I love "volkite" weapons! What fun to equip one on a Contemptor Dreadnought!

My Thousand Sons collection started small (don't they all?) - based around the figures and units that came with the excellent box game "The Burning of Prospero". Over the years, I have been inspired to try and build this small cadre into a force that can play in a standard game of 30k. I have also sought out various means whereby I could try and achieve a metallic-looking red for the Thousand Sons' armour without resorting to the headaches of an airbrush. 

Chainfists do seem a touch uncivilized, but just because this guy enjoys books doesn't mean he can't also enjoy carnage.

I have played around with various approaches that involve GW's relatively new line of "Contrast" paints, and IMO the results have been OK - in fact, I think that approach can look really sharp with practice. The problem arises with vehicles - "Contrast" paints have many uses, but in general look like crap on vehicles (or anything where there are larger, flat panels). This model, in my opinion, shows some of those limitations - the red is metallic enough, but a touch blotchy in places (despite my best, careful efforts) as "Contrast" paints just don't know what to do with flat surfaces.

Low-emission power plant...

Even with the challenges of using the "Contrast" paints, it was still a fun bit of kit to work on. I enjoy the pseudo-Egyptian glyphs, icons and symbols used by the Thousand Sons - it's not just that they revere knowing, but they specifically revere knowing more than you do. The weapons are fun too - heavy volkite weaponry, and a crazy chain-fist. This guy won't burn books, but he will burn you, and everyone around you...finishing this model significant increases the combat power of my small-but-growing Thousand Sons force. It's big enough now that I might even call is a "cabal"!

The leadership of my own Prosperine "cabal" taking shape...

And being part of the Thousand Sons legion, you can also make the "pilot" a psyker - so not only is this thing blasting the bodies of its enemies, but also their minds! And, as we know, there are never any downsides to using psyker powers in the Warhammer 30k setting - everything always works out fine, with 100% safety, with no negative after-effects.

Stay tuned for some more Thousand Sons reinforcements, and more about the elusive search for the no-airbrush-but-still-cool-metallic-red...until then, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Elucidian Starstriders

The "Elucidian Starstriders" - plastic figures from GW.

The Elucidian Starstriders were a "Kill Team" set released by GW several years ago (amid the previous edition of the "Kill Team" game). They represent a Rogue Trader, Captain Elucia Vhane, and her crew, from the ship New Dawn. And by "crew", we mean, of course, "survivors", since things appeared to have not worked out too well for the New Dawn. These are all plastic figures.

I admit to having no particular interest in the story of the New Dawn - but I recall seeing the figures when they were released years ago and being keen on acquiring them, as they would make for interesting character figures/objectives in skirmish-sized games of 30k and 40k. A purchase was duly made, but of course, by the time the figures arrived, my butterfly-type hobby attention had moved elsewhere, so the figures duly sat around...

Voidmaster Nitsch, Elucia Vhane - and loyal canine!

Anyway, I did finally paint them! The first figure to be painted was "Knosso Prond", an assassin-type figure, painted as a "Curtgeld" for Mike F back in early 2021, during one an Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. The Rogue Trader, Elucia Vhane herself, was painted earlier this year, once more as a submission for the most recent edition of Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. With two figures down, I figured it was time to get off my duff and finish the rest of them - and they have been finished off this spring (or, I should say, "spring"). 

Stanistasia Minst (left) and Larsen vsn der Grauss (right).

We have a couple of space weirdos to round out the complement - some of the most interesting figures in the assortment! There is Larsen van der Grauss, a "communications specialist" - with a get up like that, it looks to me like he gets solid five-bar wireless coverage wherever he goes in the universe!

We also have Sanistasia Minst, apparently a medical specialist of some kind. Like all health care providers in the 30k/40k setting, Stanistasia exudes the requisite air of of techno-dread, sporting instruments that seem more adept to harvesting organs than doing anything to help the patient who may have been housing said organs...

I love the baroque armour on these troopers.

Another view showing equipment/kit.

We also have Voidmaster Nitsch and his small squad of troopers. They feature ornate armour that brings to mind the "Solar Auxilia" of the 30k setting. These are, IMO, some of the coolest-looking figures in this set. Plus, rotor cannons are always fun to use, right?

Rotor cannons solve problems, right?

Also - they have a dog! So you know this squad is great, because dogs are great :)

Great figures in this set, but the dog is a favourite!

What purpose will these figures have? I have no specific noted above, they would make for great specialist/objective/character figures in games of Kill Team, 30k and 40k, so I hope to make use of them in some such way. But mostly they were fun to (finally) paint. 

That's all for now! Hope everyone is doing OK out there. Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 6, 2022

Scale Comparison for Horus Heresy / 40k

In my previous post featuring the Alternative Armies knights, James Martin requested to see them scaled against some guard and marine models. Since it was such a good idea, I decided to oblige him.

From left to right: Mark III Space Marine, Anvil Industry Regiments, GW Steel Legion, AA Knight, Imperial Guard, Death Korps Krieg, Mark IV Space Marine, Cataphractii Terminator.

The Anvil Industry models are probably the smallest. You really notice it in their guns,which are much better scaled to the models. the above model has a Space Marine bolter, as I felt the properly scaled guns didn't match GW's aesthetic. The Knight kinda fits right in the middle and doesn't look out of place next to the guardsmen.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Traitor Militia Grenadiers

 I mentioned last post that I was adding some units to my existing Imperial Guard army to adapt it to a 30K army. The cool thing about 30k is the use of technology long forgotten by the 40k universe. Some technology in use is rare even by 30k standards. I like the idea of the Survivors of the Dark Age provenance as it gives regular infantry a 3+ save to represent power armor. Power Armour is used mainly by Space Marines, but it was probably fairly common prior to the Age of Strife. A few worlds still had access to power armor, but their availability was dwindling. By the time of the Horus Heresy there would be few non-space marines who had access to Power Armour. 

Many Imperial Army regiments followed Horus during the Heresy and I liked the idea of one of them being relatively favored by Horus and thus given access to human power armor for the elite squads of grenadiers. They haven't gone to chaos yet and follow Horus out of blind loyalty and for political reasons. I'm sure it'll work out great!  To represent the grenadiers I drew inspiration from this picture.

The closest models I could find were Alternative Armies Ion Age Retained Knights. The models are cast in metal and I think were sculpts from the 90's. They share many features of space marine power armor, but I'm not sure who inspired who. The AA models are spindly compared to space marines which I think helps to convey that there are just normal dudes inside. I struggled with the lighting today, so the color is a bit more washed out than normal, but it gives you the idea. I just went with the standard olive green like the rest of the army, but added red shoulder pads and some Sons of Horus transfers. You can't see them due to the glare unfortunately. The banner is also a SoH transfer and the banner bearer is standing beside the platoon commander who's decked out in brass power armor. I painted up 35 models in total. That's enough for 2x 12 man grenadier squads and a large command squad.


I have one more vehicle on the way for this group and when it's done, I'll post a photo of the entire army.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 30, 2022

This was PrairieCon 2022!

So this past weekend, Conscript Mike F and I travelled to Brandon to attend and run games at PrairieCon XLI, the 2022 iteration of, as an old program wonderfully put it, "Western Manitoba's Only Gaming Convention." :-)

I ran the old reliable Gaslands (twice) and my Battle of Hoth game with Star Wars: Legion models and using the Bolt Action rules. First up - Gaslands. I ran a game on Saturday morning with two players and me, and it was fun - but I think the early hour (first slot of the convention, 9am) maybe trimmed off some participants.
Anyway at 2pm I ran the game again with 5 players, mostly all buddies. Each player picked a pre-generated 2-car team, put them on the table and blazed away. Here's some photos from the games...

In game 1 the new player picked up the rules very quickly and was executing tricky maneuvers in no time. 

Rear-facing rocket launchers on the buggy made short work of a biker!

The brown buggy took a lap around the table staying out of trouble.

With only one hull point left the driver lined up his opposite number for a head one crash.


In game 2 the group of friends picked things up fast as well.

Collisions and carnage definitely abounded.

On Sunday morning I ran my Battle of Hoth game. Rich and Darryl took control of the Imperial forces. Their objective was mainly to enter the Rebel deployment zone (behind their trench line) with secondary objectives to destroy Rebel units.

The Rebels deployed in the trench line mostly, prepared to repel the Imperial assault.

The Imperials were pretty disciplined and engaged Run orders to move across the table. The Snowtroopers had the "Recycle" special rule and when a unit was destroyed, it reappeared 18" behind its point of furthest advance. 

Luke appeared from Reserve on the Imperial table edge, trying to make it back to Echo Base after crashing his snowspeeder and destroying an AT-AT off table. He used the Force to put Pin markers on the Imperial E-Web Blaster but ran into a squad of elite Imperial Naval Troopers - it did not end well.

Luke never got a chance to charge in with his lightsaber - the Naval Troopers activated first and even though Luke deflected most of their blaster bolts, he ultimately failed a Deflect roll and was... "defeated". 

On one flank the Imperials continued the advance.

Meanwhile on the other Rebel flank, Vader ran ahead of his snowtroopers and engaged a heavily Pinned Rebel squad all by hisself. This almost ended badly as well, because although Vader cut down a bunch of Rebels, one trooper managed to roll "6 followed by 6" to wound! Vader only escaped defeat by using his Parry rule to make the trooper reroll that successful wound, and sadly another 6 failed to come up. 

Way to go, Dark Lord of the Sith - you defeated three Rebel soldiers. Good for you!

The game concluded with the Imperials having destroyed four Rebel units (4 VPs) and managing to get one unit in the Rebel zone (2VPs). The Rebels destroyed four Imperial units (including the mighty AT-ST!) and didn't exit any units of their own in the six turns we played. A really fun game and I have to give props once again to Jay of  Jay's Wargaming Madness for the basis of the Bolt Action conversion I used for the game. I did make a few more changes to Jay's original mods but I think it worked out great for a convention game.

Pretty cool right? That's some commitment to cosplay right there... 

PrairieCon was a great time as always. Getting to see my old gaming buddies again (after three years away!) was amazing, and running games and auctioneering at the world-famous game auction was a blast as always. I did make one big purchase at the auction too - a large cardboard "mystery box" full of about 10lbs of old lead figures, for which, after hotly contested bidding, I paid a sum that was significant. Suffice to say that the product boxes in the big box weren't exactly 100% accurate as to their contents, but I figure I did OK, as the lot game with a full boxed set of Eldar Harlequins from the Rogue Trader era, most of the box of Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers, plus a LOAD of original plastic and metal Squats, and some RT Imperial Guard, RT Chaos Space Marines, RT Space Orks, etc.... so we'll call that fair. I have a feeling it'll be a "tale that grows in the telling" though, as the day after the auction I was told that I'd actually spent DOUBLE what I paid for the lot. By next PrairieCon I'm sure I'll be said to have spent five thousand dollars on them or something. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Galactic Heroes - "Boba Fett? Boba Fett! WHERE?!" - Game 3

Conscript Frederick pointed out that I failed to post Game 3 of the Star Wars Campaign to the blog. Have to rectify that. 

During Game 2, the Imperials took heavy casualties but prevented the Rebels from getting off-planet with vital intelligence. Plus, both Luke and Darth Vader were put Out Of Action and will have spent the next couple of games in bacta tanks.

Awhile ago, I ran Game 3 of the campaign for four of my fellow Fawcett Avenue Conscripts, using the Galactic Heroes sci fi skirmish rules set.

Both sides have rushed in what reinforcements they could. The goal in Game 3 for each side was to get their models into the enemy deployment zones; 1 VP for every trooper or specialist, and 2 VPs for every Leader. As an added bonus, Boba Fett is trying to obtain a bounty on Han, garnering an extra 2 VPs if he defeated the smuggler.

Looking from the southern table edge, the Rebels set up to the west and the Imperials in the east.

The Shoretroopers, unhindered by the shallow water, advanced along the southern table edge, using the fallen AT-AT as cover. The Rebel Veterans, survivors from Hoth, moved to give fire on them. Boba Fett jumped along the northern edge, accompanied by Stormtroopers. Han and the Pathfinders moved to meet them.

Long story short, the Imperials moved their forces sooner, getting the jump on the Rebels. Some bad die rolls left several Rebels out of ammo, with not a lot of time available to reload.

The anticipated Han/Boba Fett showdown never happened. Han went down to a lowly Stormtrooper mid-game. Boba Fett missed with his missile and flamer, and was hit by multiple Rebel blaster shots, including the tripod mounted heavy gunner (who was man of the match for the Rebels). Another Rebel Trooper, out of ammo, rushed Fett and managed to roll hot in close combat, striking him down with their rifle butt.

The Shoretroopers mostly got to the Rebel zone unscathed, but took some casualties in short range firefights and close combat.

The Rebels, trying to rush up the middle, didn’t get as many troopers into scoring position as the Imperials. It was a tense, close game, decided only on the final turn.