Thursday, June 25, 2020

30k Militia Turrets

While Dallas and Greg have been pumping out models with regularity, my progress has been slowed by school being cancelled and at home learning g being implemented. This program has been a failure in my opinion as although  technology has allowed us to attempt remote learning, it is not yet capable of the task asked of it. Thankfully the school year is ‘officially’ done and I’ve been able to carve out a few hours of painting here and there. First up there s a unit of troops for my 30k militia force. Models are from anvil industry and are armed with lasrifles. The rules allow you to buy augmented weapons which add +1 to the strength of las weapons making these long range bolt guns. A bolt gun isn’t anything to get excited about when your fighting  World Eater Legionnaires swinging a chain axe at your skull, but it’s better than strength 3 I guess.
The Sargent is armed with a power maul and blast pistol for those pesky World Eater Terminators. Yikes!

I’ve also reorganized my existing Imperial Guard army to fit in with the 30k list. It’s pretty basic and would be used to add some fodder for the Traitor Legions. I purchased some new turrets for my Leman Russ tanks from Kromlech. The turrets fit perfectly and have almost every weapon option for the tank. I opted for the demolished, battle cannon and twin lascannon turrets. I added some Sons of Horus transfers to show off their new allegiance. I’m sure Horus will be considerate of their crews lives.

Storm Eagle for 30k Space Wolves

Storm Eagle gunship ready to fly in support of the VI Legion on the tabletop.
The skies of the real world today might be mostly empty, but the skies of our Horus Heresy are getting little crowded! Here is a Storm Eagle gunship painted in the colours of the VI Space Marine Legion, the Vylka Fenryka - the "Space Wolves". The model kit and decals are from Forge World.

View of the top, showing a crew access hatch, and the rocket launchers (not sure how those get to ground targets, but it's 30k, let's not worry over such things).
As you can likely tell from even a casual perusal of this blog, I am rather passionate about GW's Horus Heresy setting. This leads to the accumulation of more models than I can paint at a given time period, and thus an accumulation of what I like to refer to "pending projects" (makes it sound more organized, less nutty). This model is one such "pending project" fact, it was "pending" for well over a year, almost two!

View from the front - twin heavy bolters, ready for strafing - and there is also an access ramp in the nose.
Twin lascannons under each wing.
It's a little precarious up on that flight stand...
Why did it take so long to paint this? Well, all the usual excuses apply...when I paint 30k, I paint tons of it, but then when my hobby-squirrel brain chases other interests (like the Franco-Prussian war, to name a recent example), the 30k stuff waits. But there was something else...this kit is a healthy size, and it was kind of intimidating to consider painting. I procrastinated and made up excuses, worked on other projects etc. while this model, primed and ready, waited amid the "pending projects".

There was an option to mount multi-meltas, but I just didn't see those as "strafing" weapons, and opted for the heavy bolters instead.

Close up of one of the twin-lascannon mounts under the wings.
Enter Dallas, and the wonders of collection escalation! When Dallas sets his mind to a project, he is often quite decisive about it. Earlier this year, he talked about how cool a Storm Eagle would be. He got one. And then he built it, and painted it - and it looks bloody fantastic! I told him if he painted his gunship, it would inspire me to finish one too - and it has! Seeing his awesome IV Legion gunship, I decided to get moving and paint one up for the loyalist side. Since I have been painting a lot of Space Wolves for 30k lately, I opted to paint one for The Rout.

One of the side access hatches.

Main access ramp for troops and cargo is at the back.
As Dallas mentioned in his recent post, these Storm Eagle models have a well-deserved reputation for "being difficult" to assemble. Certainly, it was utterly beyond my skills, and thus I turned to local hobbyist Steve B for assistance - as has been the case with so many vehicles and kits in my 30k collection, Steve was an absolute genius at getting the model assembled and ready to go. He had to put up with numerous issues assembling the model - "green stuff" and card and other things were required in order to make them work.

This is always disappointing to see with such an expensive model kit, but this is par for the course with Forge World kits (not all of them, of course, but enough of them). Certainly I was fortunate that Steve helped with the assembly - I could not have built it properly myself...

A look at some of the decals on the wings...

Another partial profile view of the main body of the craft.
Painting was straightforward, in that I pretty much followed the same steps I use to paint an individual space marine - but of course the size of the model made the process more involved, and it took several days.

I painted the pilot and the cockpit, and then painted the cockpit cover separately, before adding the plastic canpoy. Unfortunately the spars that should go over the canopy to help hold it in place were not packed in the kit properly - there were two for the left side. So I just left them off - they are not strictly necessary.

The base coat was "Mechanicus Standard Grey", followed by a layer of "Dawnstone", a recess wash of "Agrax Earthshade" and edge highlighting of "Administratum Grey". The red is "Khorne Red", edge chipped with "Mephiston Red". I sponge-chipped the whole thing with "Eshin Grey", then went to work on the various lenses, metallics etc. There were a few spots where I was able to make use of GW's new Contrast Paint range...usually on metallic components, a good way to give a bit of colour and/or shade - especially for the buttons on the cockpit controls etc.

WIP,early stages, some base grey and metal paints on the model.

Another WIP photo...this was the 50% done stage...
The decals come from Forge World's awesome legion-specific decal sheet range. These decals are pricey, yes, but they are more than worth it, providing a healthy supply of varied and cool decals. I tried to make the best use of them I could on this model. 

This beast will carry the warriors of The Rout into battle in style, conveying them safely to a hot LZ and then sticking around to provide some fire support. With lascannons, heavy bolters and missiles, the Storm Eagle will bring the vengeance of the Vylka Fenryka to a 30k tabletop sometime least, I hope it will be sometime soon - our common lament. When the time comes, I have a feeling we will be playing a HUGE game of Horus Heresy...but until then, we can all stay safe and keep painting.

VI Legion models give a sense of the size...certainly this is no Thunderhawk, but it's a big model.
A big thanks again to Steve B - I hope he's happy to see this finally painted! A big thank you also to Dallas for the inspiration and collection escalation, and to the Fawcett gang in general for their energetic embrace of the setting. I remember when I first started the Horus Heresy in 28mm back in 2014, I figured that "it would just be a few models" and that the game would be something niche that I would run from time to time. Instead, Byron, Dallas, Mike and others have all jumped in, and 30k games have been fairly regular occurances...between us we have significant forces we can put on the table for something like ten or eleven of the different Space Marine legions, as well as the Mechanicum and even the Solar Auxilia. We have heretical billboards and Walls of Terra for terrain. The games have all been amazing. Crazy stuff! Anyway, thanks for reading, be safe!

PS - I still have another one of these models to go! We'll see which Legion gets that one... 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Iron Warriors Primarch Perturabo and Iron Circle Battle-Automata

A mighty group here... I've now finished painting Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors Legion, and two Iron Circle Ferrax-Domitar Battle Automata. Three very large models!

We'll have a look at the Iron Circle battle-automata first. These are robots, of course - creations of the Adeptus Mechanicus modified by the Primarch himself to serve as his personal Honour Guard. Apparently Perturabo assembled six of these machines as his "Iron Circle" following an incident where an Imperial Fists kill team managed to infiltrate his flagship, the Iron Blood, following the Battle of Phall.

The Iron Circle are armed with Graviton Mauls and Karceri battle shields, as well as shoulder-mounted Olympia-pattern bolt cannon. The models are very straightforward to assemble, with the exception of two elements...

The legs, often a particular bugbear of mine, assemble easily due to the fact they go together in only one way. I often have problems assembling legs since it can be tough to ensure that the hips and pelvis of the model are level. However there's no problem this way with the Iron Circle robots.

One of the difficulties, however, is pictured above - the long power cable stretching from body to left hand. Of course, modelers have significant flexibility in how the model is assembled and that precludes Forge World from providing a "pre-formed" length of cable. Their solution is to supply a straight resin cable and instruct modelers to heat it in hot water and bend it to suit placement on their particular model. You can guess how this goes in many cases... resin is insufficiently bendy and breaks into pieces when it's being bent to shape. This is exactly what happened with Unit 1. To fix it I had to run a piece of stiff wire, bent to shape, between the unbroken ends of resin cable I glued to the body and fist. When I was happy with the shape, I rolled thin cylinders of greenstuff and attached them to the wire, matching the cast resin cables. The final step was to build and attach the bronze cable stays, again out of greenstuff. Arrrgh.

ANYWAY... the Karceri battle shield looks pretty cool painted "chevronny" in the good old IV Legion style. The shields were extensively chipped with a mix of Rhinox and craft black on the yellow parts, and Leadbelcher on the black parts.

Unit 2 was painted in the same way - base Leadbelcher, bronze parts Brass Scorpion, yellow parts Zandri Dust/Averland Sunset, the whole washed with a mix of Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil.

Here's the second beef I had with assembly - similar to the power cables, the ammo belts for the bolt cannon were straight resin pieces meant to be heated and formed to shape. Well screw that - I knew what was coming, so just cut some straight pieces of belt and attached them to the cannon.

The maul is a wicked looking weapon!

The cables on Unit 2 actually bent and formed very well - this is what they're "supposed" to look like.

The Iron Circle robots absolutely tower over regular infantry models - in the foreground is a Space Marine in MKIII armour.

Now on to the big man himself, the Primarch Perturabo. I've actually been finished the model for awhile but figured I'd combine the post with the Iron Circle bots that were just completed over the weekend.

Lots of silver paint on this fellow also. I like the head sculpt but having seen another hobbyist's conversion of Perturabo wearing a helmet, I kind of wish that Forge World had given this as an option. After all, gritty siege specialists don't often run around without head protection.

The provided display base is ridiculous and over-the-top, and actually took a little bit of thinking to figure out in terms of assembly. It's completely impractical for any kind of gaming use, of course, which leads to my work shown later in the post.

Perturabo can wield Forgebreaker, the massive Thunder Hammer forged by Fulgrim and used by Ferrus Manus (save Ferrus!), primarch of the Iron Hands Legion. The hammer was given to Perturabo by Horus the Warmaster himself, following the death of Ferrus Manus in the Drop-Site Massacre on Isstvan V.

But wait! There's more! As the display base is pretty much unusable for gaming, I rigged up some magnets to base Perturabo on a 40mm base, using one of the parts from the display base as well. The magnets work fine but be mindful of polarity as always!

Finally, I magnetised Perturabo's right hand as well, so he can be played without Forgebreaker if desired. Again, all it takes is some small magnets sunk into his wrist and hands.

Forgebreaker and bare right hand

Gaming base

Display base
As Conscript Greg pointed out in a recent text, we seem to be headed for a GIGANTIC Horus Heresy game as soon as this lockdown lets up. I have to say that Perturabo and his Iron Circle Honour Guard were pretty satisfying to paint despite (more likely because of) the limited palette and simple techniques used. They sure look impressive I reckon!

Stay safe everybody!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The 28mm Mandalorian

Knocked off a little painting a couple weeks ago... this 3D print of The Mandalorian, star of the eponymous Disney+ Star Wars TV show.

Conscript Dave V. had picked up the model online as a possible candidate to use with his Star Wars Legion collection. Unfortunately it's just a bit too small to fit well with the scale-creep 32mm figures produced for that game... which meant that he's just about right for my collection of true-28mm Wizards of the Coast "Star Wars Miniature Battles" figures.

As you can see, it's really a nicely designed model and painted up well. I'd never painted a 28mm 3D print before so I was a bit surprised by all of the "runners" that required cleanup, but most came off quite easily... except for the one that broke off his pistol. But that was easily fixed with superglue.

Here's "Mando" pictured with another dude in Mandalorian battle armour from the WotC lineup. Mando fits in great on his double-base - they're Warlord plastic bases left over from another project.

Like all of the models we've painted recently, we continue to wonder when we'll be able to get them out in a traditional tabletop game. It'll be especially fun to plan some scenarios for Mando, what with Imperial Stormtroopers, other bounty hunters, killer robots, and all sorts figuring into his TV adventures... I'll just need to scrounge a print of the Child to tag along with him!

Stay safe everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Heresy Iron Warriors Legion Storm Eagle!

Well, it's finally done - my IV Legion Storm Eagle. I'm not going to go into a bunch of detail on how the build went... suffice to say it was a bit of a b!tch. The Storm Eagle has somewhat of a reputation as a challenging kit to build and I reckon that it's well-earned. In fact when I had the kit in hand, I ended up asking a fellow gamer who's done some commission work (including building Storm Eagles) for various Conscripts if he'd be interested in building this one for me. "Too booked up with commission work, sorry" was the response. When I said I wasn't in a rush and could wait, he said "sorry, I'll pass. Too much work." I certainly don't blame him one bit... but like I said, I already had the kit in hand so I had no choice but to crack on myself.

The kit actually went up in an evening and a bit. I strongly recommend some specialty tools for constructing it though, specifically giant spring clamps and two-part epoxy - JB Kwik-Weld is my preferred product. The long side panels of the fuselage are prone to warpage and really can't be straightened with hot water, they're too large and thick. But as long as the floor and top pieces are straight the sides can be made to conform when clamped together. I actually left out the interior bulkhead as it didn't fit well but the build is plenty strong even without it.

The kit does have some amazing detail - the cockpit is fully kitted out with blinky lights and screens. A pilot is provided too but I supplied the Legion MKIII helmet to give him some Heresy flavour. Does anyone make a dismounted Space Marine pilot? Or would that just be a Space Marine?

One incident of the build was the necessity to seal up all the doors to make the model fit together - anyone who can build this thing with opening ramps is a star in my book. The fit around the ramps on my kit was fairly poor and required some plasticard strips added as well as filling with greenstuff or JB Kwik.

The wings and engines fit acceptably well. I decided to stripe the control surfaces of the wings, as some striping was needed to fit the Iron Warriors theme. I didn't want to go overboard though. IW decals are from the Forge World IV Legion decal set and the "14" numerals are from a WW2 German aircraft decal set I had in my decal folder. I'm still pondering whether to add "IV" decals under the canard wings.

Lots of silver paint on this bird! The basecoat is Iron Warriors with panel-highlights of Leadbelcher, washed twice with Nuln Oil and sponge chipped with Mithril Silver. The gold is Brass Scorpion with Nuln Oil and Reikland Fleshshade washes.

I ended up striping the nose of the aircraft as well and I think it turned out OK. It was a little tricky to make the various angles of the stripes work across the surfaces though. The yellow is a base of Zandri Dust with Averland Yellow over top, washed with Agrax Earthshade and sponge chipped with a mix of Rhinox Hide and craft black.

Top view of the aircraft showing the twin dorsal-mount Vengeance Launcher missile racks. Honestly the setup seems somewhat sketchy to me as these air-to-surface missiles have to fire straight out over the top of the Storm Eagle's hull... but 40K so whatever. Unfortunately I couldn't manage to completely straighten the lascannons :-(

Construction of the rear ramp caused some problems due to poor fit of the kit parts. I solved this by supergluing everything down and filling gaps with greenstuff and plasticard. Sadly one of the plasticard strips I was trying to fit fell inside the aircraft and since it was all sealed up already, will stay rattling around in there permanently... argh.

The nose again showing the twin heavy bolters. I elected these over the multi-meltas because strafing.

I think the pilot really benefited from the addition of the MKIII helmet.

Here's the aircraft on the ground with a couple of Legion officers.

Simple groundwork to fit in with the rest of the army - Rhinox, Mournfang, Steel Legion Drab with grey rocks and some barbed wire.

I'm really looking forward to getting the Storm Eagle off the ground in a game, or even using it as an objective or even just scenery. It really is a cracking model and once built, reasonably fun to paint, especially in a colour scheme as simple and forgiving as the IV Legion's. Hopefully we'll be able to get in a game in person before the end of summer... but now it's over to Conscript Greg to paint a Loyalist Storm Eagle. Escalation waits for no man!

Cheers and stay safe everybody...