Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Yet Another 30k Imperial Fist Tactical Squad

Fresh victims for the Warmaster! More defenders for the Siege of Terra...

Continuing to catch my blog posting up with my painting, and in this post we veer back once more to GW's 30k setting and the new "Age of Darkness" box set. This is yet another Space Marine tactical squad, clad in Mark VI plate and wearing the colours of the VII Legion Astartes, the Imperial Fists, the stubborn and doomed defenders of Terra. These are multi-part plastic figures from the new GW "Age of Darkness" box set.

A selection of the new marines...

I continue to really enjoy painting these new plastic 30k marines!

These figures were base coated in white, using Army Painter's "Matte White" spray, and the yellow armour was then given a coat of "Imperial Fist" from GW's Contrast Paint line, before getting a coat of the more traditional "Yriel Yellow" acrylic, and on from there. As with the other VII Legion elements I have been painting this fall, the weathering on them is fairly heavy, meant to represent hard-pressed defenders who are too busy fighting and don't have time for Ultramarine-style preening between battles.

Another view of some tactical grunts. Vox caster on the right.

I'm pleased with how the roughed-up yellow armour came out, although I continue to find painting the embossed Legion symbol to be very challenging. Overall, they came out better than previous efforts, but in general they benefit from looking better from about a foot away on the table than they do up close :)

I changed up the Sergeant a touch in this squad, using a surplus Mark III shoulder plate.

He also got an extra shoulder plate, to mark him out as a veteran.

My collection of VII Legion marines is large enough now for a small game - three tactical squads, a terminator squad, a Contemptor dreadnought, and a collection of figures to serve as officers. Might be time to add some vehicles to this lot, or perhaps some more support or specialist infantry selections - either assault, support or even breachers. These might be projects for the looming 13th edition of the Analogue Hobbies Winter Painting Challenge...

One more team photo for posterity...

Thanks for reading! I hope my fellow Conscripts are busy preparing their miniatures for the annual winter painting efforts, and I'm looking forward to joining them on the AHPC painting trail once more. The Challenge begins on December 21st - in the interim, stay tuned for some more deck-clearing-style posts to set the stage. Cheers for now. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Warmaster - Braganza's Besiegers

Another quick detour into "Warmaster" - "Braganza's Besiegers", a Regiment of Renown, created in 10mm by the brilliant MiniRat!

Fans of the now-deceased Warhammer Fantasy Battle may recall the "Dogs of War" faction - the assortment of mercenaries which could take to the field as their own army, or could be hired out to anyone willing to pay for them! These were excellent models, with fun back stories for the units - the "Regiments of Renown" - and they were pretty effective on the gaming table to boot. It was sure fun to bring large pike blocks into action against, say, Brettonians! The "Dogs of War" were fully realized in 28mm, but never did get the Warmaster scale treatment - thanks to 3D printing and brilliant designers, that is changing, as you can see in this post! I present "Braganza's Besiegers", a regiment of mercenary crossbowmen. These are 3D prints designed, I think, by "MiniRat" and printed under license by Excellent Miniatures.

Luca Braganza himself stands tall in the front line!

Most (though not all) of the "Dogs of War" mercenary units were from the Tilean city states, and this group of doughty and heavily armoured pavisse crossbowmen were foremost among their ranks. Under the leadership of Luca Braganza, the Besiegers were a sturdy and interesting missile unit option in the WHFB game. Unlike most missile units in WHFB, the Besiegers tended to hold up pretty well when contacted in melee, thanks to their armour and large pavisse shields, and so you could put them in different and unexpected places on your battle line.

A view of the battle line...

I really can't say enough about these sculpts - they are incredible, more than worthy heirs to the great tradition of "Warmaster" figures!

The "Dogs of War" were my first WHFB army - sadly no longer in my possession, of course. When I came across these figures during my more recent Warmaster efforts, my nostalgia was of course immediately triggered, and I was keen to add them to my existing Empire forces for Warmaster. The quality of the design/sculpting is incredible on these - they are lovely, faithful sculpts capturing very well the look and feel of the unit - and you can even see Luca Braganza himself! It was a real treat to paint these up, a palette-cleansing project in between 30k models.

Close up from behind showing more details, and my rather crude freehand on the banner.

Which Elector Count will pay up to ensure these fellow are on the right side?

While there were no official rules for Dogs of War in the Warmaster game, I really don't think it will be difficult to come up with some stats for them (and I'm pretty sure there are excellent fan-created ones out there, or just pavisse crossbow ones from Warmaster Historicals). The opportunity to add mercenary units (and, perhaps, some of the "logistical" problems that come with them) to a game of Warmaster in the future would be lovely, and as ever, the jolt of nostalgia will be great fun too.

It was lovely to spend a little time on Warmaster. But my brushes, of course, were soon back to projects tied to the, er, "other" Warmaster...stay tuned for more on that, and thanks for visiting!    

Saturday, November 26, 2022

New Plastic Contemptor Dreadnought Kit for 30k

Contemptor Dreadnought, ready to make a stand on Terra with the VII Legion Astartes.

Back with another "catch up" post, and back with more 30k painting to share. Here we have a Contemptor Dreadnought, painted in the black and yellow colours of the VII Legion Astartes, the Imperial Fists. This is a multi-part plastic model which came with the new "Age of Darkness" box set for GW's Horus Heresy setting.

"Net zero compliant" power pack on the rear of the model.

I would expect anyone taking the time to view this post beyond a quick scan is already familiar with the idea of the dreadnought armour from GW's 30k/40k setting. These are sort of "enhanced suits" of great combat power, but it's just that the pilot is, well, in there forever - a severely wounded marine, somehow still alive, but no longer able to operate in his "regular" armour. If the apothecaries don't put him out of his misery, the tech marines will simply "install" him into one of the Legion's dreadnoughts, and he can go on fighting for his Primarch and his Emperor or Warmaster...

I love the OTT look of the twin auto-cannons, probably one of my favourite weapon options, but there are so, so many choices for guns - very 30k!

The Contemptor Dreanoughts were a fun stand out feature of the early 30k efforts from Forge World. The dreadnought models of the 40k setting had become these really weird walking boxes...they had a certain charm, I guess...but these Contemptors were much, much better looking IMO. They were also a shout-out to the "Epic" roots of the 30k game (along with the Rapiers, the "Deimos" pattern vehicles, etc). The Contemptor sculpts look much more like what they are nominally supposed to be - a Space Marine stuck inside even bigger combat armour, shooting even bigger guns and punching enemies with even bigger power fists.

These models were always resin, and came with the joys and (mostly) frustrations of hobbying with Forge World resin. GW did release a plastic version of the Contemptor with the "Betrayal at Calth" box set, but that model was a cut-rate two piece plastic kit, a pretty weak effort by GW. 

If the job calls for shooting AND punching stuff, the Contemptor is ready for work!

With the advent of the "Age of Darkness" box set, 30k geeks now have access to a true, proper multi-part plastic Contemptor kit, and wow, is it a beauty! It goes together very nicely, without too much fuss, and as an added bonus it is possible, without too much trouble, to magnetize the weapon mounts! This opens your collection the full spectrum of bonkers 30k weapons which can be used to equip this thing! Adding the magnets might seem fiddly, but trust me: if I can manage it, anyone can, and it is worth it in the end - sure, you want autocannons or lascannons or whatever....but you also want to try out the conversion beamer in at least ONE game, right?

Here the twin-lascannons have been swapped on to the weapon arm. You also get twin multi-meltas or twin heavy bolters as weapon options in the "Age of Darkness" box, and separate frames are available which contain beamers, volkite weapons etc.

Are there downsides? Maybe a couple, at most. The building sequence makes sub-assembly very, very hard, and this, in turn, can create some challenges when painting the model, especially the "helmet". If you want to paint the helmet/head separately, then you basically cannot assemble the torso very much at all. It would have been better for the "neck" to be one separate piece - but that is picking the flyshit out of pepper. This is an annoying, but not insurmountable, and in the end, overall, this is a HUGE improvement over the resign models and pole-up-its-ass plastic kit from the Calth box. It is just a great kit, 30k fans will really enjoy it!

This brings me to the only other "criticism" I might have of this kit - and it is not really about the kit itself, rather, the fact that you probably already have one or two (or maybe a lot more) of these Conetmptor models in your collection already, and as such, the advent of this kit is sadly late and perhaps a touch pointless. That said, for new entrants to 30k, or the deep hard core nut cases like me, well...this is still just great! Enjoy building and painting it!

Last stand, anyone?

I mean, I think Contemptor Dreadnoughts are sort of a must-have in any 30k collection, just because they look cool, the design tie back to the good old days etc. Even better, with the new "Age of Darkness" edition of the rules, they are also a lot more impressive in terms of their combat power on the table - now that they take "wounds" instead of vehicle-style hits, they tend to last longer in the game, which is great, much more cinematic, and gives a game performance that feels a lot closer to the "fluff" in the Black Library novels. No doubt this fellow will help the doomed defence of the VII Legion last that little bit longer atop the Walls of Terra.

Forge World continues, for now at least, to sell the Legion-specific Contemptor Dreanought hulls. Certainly, you could combine one of those with the plastic weapons if you wished - that might be something I end up attempting down the road - but these plastic kits are lovely, and it would be just as nice (and cheaper) to customize the hulls using 3D-printed stuff from third party suppliers out there.

That's all for now - thanks for visiting and for reading, and watch this space for more painting soon! 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Catching Up On The Blog

 It's winter here in Manitoba and I haven\t posted since September. Painting has been slow the last couple months, mainly because I struggled to complete a final major project for the Imperial Fists. Before I get to that though I'm proud to announce that I've finished the last units for The Minotaurs. Forgeworld makes models for two special characters for the Minotaurs: Chapter Master Asterion Moloc and Chaplain Ivanus Enkomi. I picked both of them up last year and they are the last models I will do for this chapter. Greg often scoffs at this, but I've grown very tired of painting brass and new projects await!

Ivanus Enkomi

Asterion Moloc

The Army Completed...


Last up is the Crown Jewel of the Imperial Fists - The Fellblade. This has been started and stopped about 3 times. The yellow on this thing was very time consuming and I usually walked away from completing it for this reason. With the Minotaurs completed I decided to just get the thing done. I didn't enjoy the process, but once the yellow was complete, the rest of the tank was pretty simple. the color scheme was borrowed from one I saw online and uses my usual black/yellow inversion for vehicles. I did some weathering to the vehicle, but avoided using any weathering powders like I normally do. I usually fuss over the weathering and battle damage on vehicles, but this time I was really desperate to finish it, so I avoided the more time consuming techniques. Down the road if I feel the weathering isn't heavy enough, it's an easy enough thing to fix.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

30k Specialists for Imperial Fists

Master of Signal and Legion Champion for the VII Legion Astartes - figures from Forge World.

I continue to fall behind on postings for the Blog, and am trying to catch up a bit on that this week, starting with this post, which features more 30k content. Here we have a couple of "specialist" figures from GW's 30k figure range - a "Master of Signals" and "Legion Champion". These are resin models from Forge World's 30k figure range, painted in the colours of the VII Legion Astartes, the Imperial Fists.

"Uh guys, there are, like, a LOT of them coming to the walls...just saying..."

If you are one of those non-bot visitors to the Blog, and have visited these online pages previously, you may be thinking to yourself, "hey didn't he already paint these figures?" and you would be correct. I have painted up this pair of figures for the Sons of Horus previously. I really like the "Master of Signals" figure in particular, and since he was sold in a pair with the sword-wielding "Champion", I have several versions of both of these figures.

"Even with the enemy bombardment, we are still getting three bars of signal here in the palace..."

You can see that I continue to struggle in attempts to properly paint the raised detail of the embossed symbol for the Imperial Fists. Maybe I need a new brush? Yes, I'll just blame the brush....

I have opined at different times on the approaches to painting the yellow armour of the Imperial Fists. In this case, I opted once more for my standard "build up from black basecoat" approach. This has problems, but in the case of these models, it wasn't too bad, as they had a fair bit of space - gear, kit, armour decorations etc - that were going to be black, so it was kind of a 50/50 trade off, and bringing the yellow spaces "up" was not as difficult as it would be on, say, the newer Mark VI figures.

"This crazy sword stuff seems to work out for Sigismund, so maybe I'll give it a try..."

The "Master of Signals" has some specific abilities on the gaming table, but more generally, I love this figure for a sort of general looks-cool-factor that appeals to me. It makes sense that, in a detachment of Space Marines, there would be one with specialized communications equipment, with relays back to orbiting warships, of in the case of this fellow in VII Legion colour, back to the various critical command nodes of the defenses on Terra, maybe even the fabled "Bhab Bastion" where Lord Dorn oversees the (pointless) efforts to hold back the (very noble and well-dressed) forces of the Warmaster. 

The armour is a mix of Mark III, Mark IV and custom bits...and he has a particular scenic base that is pretty nice.

He gets a decal for his Legion symbol...only so many of those embossed ones to go around...

Healthy amounts of weathering/chipping applied - making a last stand at the Imperial Palace is a dirty, dusty business...

The "Legion Champion" can stand in for all sorts of different possible officer/leader figures which can be fashioned in the various 30k Space Marine army lists. The Imperial Fists are all about being stoic, following orders, and standing atop well-built walls and shooting enemies, but they are also home to Sigismund and the specialist units which ultimately emerge as the 40k Black Templars. As such, I thought it would be good to have a sword-wielding nutter among the ranks of the command for my small-yet-growing VII Legion detachment. 

So that's two more yellow-clad defenders for the doomed defence of Terra. Stay tuned for more - hopefully shortly - thanks for reading and for visiting!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

40K Squats - yes, Squats! (and not Leagues of Votann)

Well, this story began back in the Springtime at PrairieCon, western Manitoba's longest running (and obviously, best) gaming convention.

I've been involved with PrairieCon as an attendee, organizer, or volunteer for just about 40 years. For the last... let's say "many" conventions, I've helped run the game auction (that's me auctioneering in the green shirt below)

Anyway, at the last PrairieCon auction, one of the final lots was a large box of about 5 pounds of random miniatures. This was at the end, after about two hours of auctioneering, and I was beat. But the boxes within the large box of minis were tantalizing, to say the least, with some nice vintage Citadel miniatures boxes featuring prominently. WHFB Skarloc's Wood Elf Archers, 40K Eldar Harlequins, Space Marine Terminators, Space Ork Raiders... awesome stuff. Plus a ton of other old Ral Partha and Grenadier boxes. There was no time to verify contents of any of the boxes because I had to start the bidding. So away we went.

I wasn't gonna let this lot get away, even though I had no idea what was actually in the boxes, and I ended up winning the lot. Then it was time to sort out what I'd gotten myself into. And unfortunately, the very cool boxes were somewhat misleading because most of the contents weren't there. I think the Skarloc's box and the Harlequins box were missing only two models each (which I've since sourced from elsewhere), but the Terminators box and the Space Ork Raiders box were full of... SQUATS! Nearly a full plastic box worth of infantry models (35 of 'em), plus more than 25 metal models, including bits of bikes and some Chaos Squats in exo-armour. WOW!

So since I'd always thought the old Squats were kind of cool, and I'd now lucked into practically a whole army's worth of vintage models, I've decided to paint them. And this is the first post of several where I'll describe how I've done that.  

First off, a confession. Although I'd gotten a whole army's worth of Squats in one go, I can't help but add to the group with other stuff. This includes a very cool Squat Commissar from Wereweevil Miniatures out of Australia (more on them later). The chap on the right is a plastic Squat from the original "Space Dwarfs" box, with a sniper rifle from Victoria Miniatures (more on them later too).

I've painted 27 more of the lads so far and have organized them into a platoon of three sections. Each section has 9 models including one trooper with a heavy bolter and one with a special weapon (melta, flamer, or grenade launcher). The rest of the troopers carry lasguns from Victoria Miniatures.

Second section.

Third section. Since the plastic Space Dwarfs box only included three different heads (helmet, cap, blad with sunglasses) I did a lot of work with greenstuff to put some hair on a few bald heads and make some beards a bit bushier.
Close up of one of the squaddies. Paintwork was really simple - helmets and gloves in Zandri Dust, flak vest in Mephiston Red, shirt and pants in Castellan Green/Deathworld Forest, leather gear in Mournfang/Skrag Brown, boots and most of the beards in Doombull Brown. I went over the lot with Agrax Earthshade and re-highlighted in the base colours.

Unlike all of the other weapons which came from Victoria Miniatures, the heavy bolters are from the original Space Dwarfs box.

Some of the arms required some greenstuff work to make 'em fit with the Victoria lasguns. I do much prefer them to the old GW lasguns though.

This is the Wereweevil commissar. The company makes some very cool not-Squats; expensive, as they come from Australia, but I lucked out and found a bunch for cheap on eBay.

I love this sniper, the Victoria rifle looks really good.

Speaking of Wereweevil, how about these dudes? They're the Termineggs and they mix in very well with the old exo-armour Squats. They did need some conversion though - the Termineggs come holding guns in both hands and that doesn't suit the loadout in 40K. But never mind - I have a bunch of RTB-01 Space Marine power gloves in the bits box so I swapped those in.

Here they are with a Squat trooper.

Lastly - gotta have bikers! These are from Ramshackle Games, and I much prefer them to the old Citadel bikes. These ones are quite workmanlike and not crazy choppers like the vintage ones. These look like military equipment.

The Ramshackle bikes are great, albeit slightly on the small side - but no so much as to be really noticeable. The company has a ton of bikes and stuff to supplement a Squat army and I'm looking forward to painting more. One tip though - the resin that these are made of is a bit tricky to glue together - superglue for sure but sometimes a bit of greenstuff is needed too.

So that's the first tranche of models done. Next up is a command section for the platoon as well as some more bikes.

Stay tuned!