Friday, December 23, 2022

Warmaster Empire Characters

Some Empire Characters for Warmaster. Sculpts by MiniRat, printed by Excellent Miniatures.

Just one more post before Christmas - a few more Warmaster character figures, this time for The Empire. These figures are 3D prints, sourced from Excellent Miniatures, and I believe the design genius behind the files is MiniRat Studios. Here we have a wizard, a priest (certainly can be a Priest of Sigmar, but this is not specified), and an Elector Count.

A Priest of Sigmar.

Nice little shrine to accompany the Priest.

Nice big hammer to sort out those who do not believe!

My Empire forces for Warmaster are pretty old and established, but having coming across these sculpts, I thought they were all so cool that I wanted to add them to my collection, taking to the field to lead and support the forces The Empire on the table. Long time fans of Warhammer Fantasy Battle will recognize the inspiration for these sculpts from GW's long-lost WHFB ranges. 

A College of Magic wizard - spell in progress!

A really, really cool sculpt - ready to zap the foes of The Empire.

These sculpts are brilliant, and there are many, many small details that are just wonderful to see - and try to capture if I can with my brush. Like any project, there are always things you look back on and wish you could have done better, but there is always scope to improve, and these small, 10mm figures are the sort that will inspire you to keep going!

An Elector Count to lead the forces of The Empire.

Yet another amazing sculpt, tons of detail, which I did my best to capture.

In "Warmaster", the command and character models are important, but their influence is subtle - some can throw a few spells, and they can join regiments in the line of battle to add a lift their combat ability, but their most important role is to provide commands that move your units around the table. These character models add a nice touch of Empire "flavour", and I hope they can see action on the table someday soon. 

Thanks for visiting - happy holidays to everyone, and as the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge gets underway, watch for the submissions to start rolling in! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Steel Legion Platoon Command Squad

Providing command and control to an Imperial Guard army can be tough. One of the most popular ways its accomplished is with a Commissar prepared to execute the entire command staff if found wanting. A far less psychotic method is platoon commanders! Since I'll be adding several more infantry squads to the steel legion (GunSchwarm), I painted up a second squad. Instead of a standard bearer, I painted a bagpiper from Victoria Miniatures. He comes fully equipped with a gas mask capable of receiving the blowpipe. I have no idea how he takes in enough air to get that thing going, but I admire his dedication. If I was choking on chlorine gas, I'd want the bagpipes to be the last thing I heard! The kilt was a bit tricky. This was my first attempt and I decided to just go with it, as I decided it wouldn't improve much before I had added too many layers and lost detail to the model. I think with practice, I could improve it, but I don't exactly have many kilted models to practice on.

From now until March, I'll be painting for the Painting Challenge. I try to keep up with the blog here, but sadly it tends to take a back seat to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

Thanks for visiting.

Deimos Pattern Predator Support Tank for Imperial Fists

Deimos Pattern Predator Support Tank - plastic kit from GW's new "Age of Darkness" range.

If you celebrate Christmas, surely one of the best parts of it are the lights? Perhaps this may still be true 30,000 years into the future. A time The Emperor clings to power in the face of a rebellion by his Warmaster. Sure - half my loyal Space Marines were killed as Isstvan, but perhaps Malcador will bring me that one stocking stuffer I'm hoping for?

Lascannons on the sponsons, for extra AT punch.

Well, whatever may happen, I surmise that one way to add a certain "festive light" to the Christmas celebrations on Terra circa 30k is to use a "heavy conversion beamer", such as the one mounted on this Predator, to render your heretical enemies directly into particles of light! Thus the gloom is illuminated, while the rebels are crushed! Glory to The Emperor! And it is all thanks to this handy "Deimos Pattern Predator Support Tank", a multi-part plastic kit from GW's Horus Heresy range.

Rear view, showing the customary legion numeral, as well as the completely safe, 100% no problems-ever power unit for the Beamer on the exterior of the turret.

The Horus Heresy is chock full of whacky, whacky weapons you can use to eradicate your enemies. The list of weapon options has grown exponentially over time. One of the surest places to track this fun trend is the choice of weapon options for the humble Predator...once a supporting sort of infantry-fighting-vehicle of the Imperium, in the current "Age of Darkness" game there are so many different weapon options for the thing they actually have two different kits.

The Heavy Conversion Beamer, ready to power up and "make some light"!

The "Support Tank" version of the Predator model carries with it some of the more exotic weapon options. Since my VII Legion forces are still pretty lightly armed, and lacking in AT ability, I went with an option that packs a lot of anti-tank punch AND also has a shout-out element to the crazy Rogue Trader-era. To quote those original rules, "the weapon functions by converting matter into energy". What could go wrong, right?

Remember the Conversion Beamer? Good times.

Since enemy tanks are made of matter (I pause here for the Word Bearers to chuckle, but regardless) I thought this would be the best AT-type platform for my loyalist detachment. To add to the AT punch, the sponsons are equipped with lascannons, so all in, this will be pretty effective at wrecking vehicles. One truck with the beamer, however, will be to find clear lanes of fire, as the strength of the weapon is dependent on the range - it is rather unusual in the sense that it needs to the further away in order to be more effective. A bit odd, that - but then, it is an odd weapon.

The "family photo" of my VII Legion forces painted to date. A little speed bump for Horus, but a stubborn one, at least.

So I have the new "family photo" above - three tactical squads, a terminator squad, a smattering of officers, a dreadnought, three APCs and now a tank. This is a decent force for a small "Age of Darkness" game, and I hope to see them on the table at some time next year. Meanwhile, these models are no doubt hoping some further reinforcements might arrive during the approaching Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge...we shall see! Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2022

A Few More Orcs Before Christmas

Orc warriors ready for action - metal figures from GW's long-gone "Warmaster" range.

Some more OOP goodness from the distant era of the early 2000s and GW's excellent "Warmaster" - here we have another regiment of Orc warriors, ready to pour out of the mountains to cause mayhem across The Empire! These are metal castings from GW.

The Orc & Goblin army for GW's "Warmaster" relies on, well, Orcs! Makes sense, right? You can augment the force with Ogres and Trolls, but the core of your forces will be built around basic regiments like these ladz.

Axes? Check. Big banner? Check. Drums? Check. OK - let's go ladz!

As ever, these old castings were a real treat to paint. Such astounding sculpts, with great character and lots fun details to try and capture on such small figures. My brush skills could not get all of them, but I gave it a crack wherever I could, and in aggregate, I like how these fellows turned out.

The "line of battle" readies itself for action...

My Warmaster Orc & Goblin army now has four regiments of basic Orc warriors, an excellent foundation, but more are planned as the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge approaches, as I managed to source this on eBay this fall:

 A second Orc & Goblin starter box! This will be fun!

So watch this space for more Warmaster goodness - and indeed, more hobby goodness generally - as I join a number of other Fawcett Avenue Conscripts for AHPC XIII. The madness begins officially on December 21 - but I hope to have a bit more painting to share before then, so thanks for visiting!   

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Deimos Pattern Rhino APCs for Imperial Fists

New "Deimos" pattern APCs for the Imperial Fists.

Expansion of the Loyalist forces in my 30k collection continues - the members of the VII Legion Astartes will be able to drive to battle using these "Deimos Pattern" Rhino APCs. One of the vehicles above is a hybrid plastic-resin kit from Forge World, but two are newer, fully plastic GW kits issued as part of their new "Horus Heresy" range.

View showing the rear hatches.

For an old hack like myself, the "Horus Heresy" setting is tied very much to the old game "Space Marine" (which would evolve into "Epic" over time). In the box for that game you got, well, lots of Space Marines ("beakie" ones, wearing what we now refer to as Mark VI armour), some Rhino APCs and Land Raider tanks. So for me, the "Horus Heresy" is as much about Rhino APCs as it is about "beakie" Space Marines. 

This nostalgia is leveraged throughout GW's Horus Heresy range, and has been for years. The "Deimos Pattern" rhino was a Forge World conversion set for the 40k Rhino, creating a vehicle that very much echoes the look of the original Rhino APCs. Nostalgia! Of course, the kits were a bit of a b*tch to work with, as they involved Forge World resin, but man they look cool, and I have accumulated quite a few of them for my assorted 30k forces. 

And now, I have even more of them, as they are available as complete plastic kits. GW's launch of new models and new kits for the Horus Heresy has tossed fuel on my fire for this setting, as I add new models and vehicles to my collection. These Rhinos are the first of the new, fully plastic vehicle kits I have worked on. Since my Sons of Horus already have several of these vehicles, and since the Space Wolves also have a few for their forces, I thought it might be best to prepare some for the Imperial Fists, defenders of Terra. After all, they will need these APCs to run away from the Sons of Horus as their useless walls crumble under the noble assault of the Warmaster...

Careful with the clippers on this frame - don't want to bend that thin little section of the outside plate on the vehicle...

Every model kit can be tricky, and these new plastic Deimos kits are no exception. There are a few challenges in assembling these ones, but when compared to fiddling with the previous hybrid kits from Forge World...well, it is night-and-day - the new plastic kit is SO much better. There was no re-scaling or re-sizing...the new plastic Deimos kit is a faithful reproduction of the previous hybrid kit from Forge World, and it is much easier to assemble.

Watch the tabs on this floor might want to shave them down a touch...

Now, there are only two notable things to flag: the first is to urge caution when clipping the exterior side panels from the frame...there is an extremely thin little section there, and as you clip away, it might come under pressure and bend, but that won't happen as long as you are cautious. The second thing to watch is the size of the tabs on the floor plate - they are very thick, and are a somewhat tricky fit into the tabs of the interior side walls of the vehicle. You might want to shave them down a touch.

One of the new plastic kits...just excellent, fun to have.

But that is really it. Overall, the new plastic Rhino kits are just great. Another thing to comment on is the incredible number of options you get with the commander sprue - a whole assortment of weapon options to mount on the turrets. I did not opt to use any, as I like the "classic" look of a Rhino, but you can mount heavy bolters, havoc launchers...even a multi-melta, giving your Rhino APC a notable anti-tank ability (admittedly not the most efficient way to get that, but still, a neat option).

VII Legion, ready to roll out.

Painting these in yellow is, of course, not the easiest, but I have to thank Mike F for sharing some details on his approach. His advice was excellent, and so I was able to paint these yellow even though they started out with a black primer. Applying thin layers of paint is a bit of a drag, but it got there in the end, and to the extent there were spots which were not perfect, well, I am weathering the tanks a fair bit, to match the weary infantry they will be transporting.

So now, my VII Legion forces have some APCs to take them around the table, and the Imperial Fist collection is now well on its way to standing as a full-size force on the table. As the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge approaches, I suspect some more 30k subjects will be part of those efforts - stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Return of the GunSchwarm!

 A while back Greg moved and had to find new homes for some of his vast collection of painted models. One of these included his GunSchwarm which were based on the GW Steel Legion models. They saw fairly heavy use during the Space Krieg days. I always wanted to do a Steel Legion army, but the cost always stopped me. When Games Workshop finally retired the Steel Legion Imperial Guard I ordered a couple of boxes. This was followed by a third box from the secondary market at slight mark-up. On Ebay I managed to source 3 Steel Legion Plasma gunners and metal Kasrkin at an eye watering price (so much for cost being a factor). 3rd party manufacturers supplied Ogryns, Rough Riders and some heavy weapon teams. Vehicles are a mix of GW and Mortian. I love the paint job Greg used for the GunSchwarm and I decided to emulate it as close as I could. Greg and I have slightly different scales, so I knew it wouldn't be a seamless match. I've managed to complete one squad and I'm fairly happy with them. We'll see how many more I complete for the painting challenge.

Here's a mix of Greg's models with mine. Main difference is the brown for the gloves and mask. I used my standard go to leather formula which is quite a bit redder.
Greg's on the left
The next difference is less obvious in the pictures, but the great coat color is slightly different from Greg's. I sued Vallejo German Uniform which is the same Greg uses. I picked up two new bottles of it within the last year and even a comparison of the new bottle to an old one I had bought 10 years ago were noticeably different.
New on the left, old on the right

Not sure when they reformulated the color, but there was nothing I could do about it, so I just forged ahead. Luckily, the two groups blend in ok. I suppose it represents fresh recruits in their shiny new uniforms being brought in to join the depleted and battle-worn vets.

Thanks for visiting

Thursday, December 8, 2022

IDOLS of TORMENT - Playtest party

Fun evening last Saturday night with the design team, fiction writer, and fellow play testers of the upcoming game IDOLS of TORMENT

I had a fun, tense game with John.  In a standard game of IDOLS, both sides are trying to Reap the Lost Souls wandering around the Echo, the collapsed, shattered remains of Heaven and Hell. In the scenario we were playing, the side with the most Idols (player models) left on the table would win; Reaping a Lost would allow a [player to bring back a defeated Idol. Lots of twists and turns. I was lucky to slay John's Corrupter early, but he ended up slayng 6(!) of my 8 models. In the end game, I morphed my threated Reaper with my remaining Slayer, killing the Idol in contact. We were tied 6 slain models each, but by the scenario rules John's slain Corrupter was the tiebreaker!

These are pre-production components, play mat, and 3D printed terrain and figures painted by the designers and John. Fellowship, rules discussion, and thin crust pizza!

I am looking forward to painting my Vain faction. Killer Venetian, flayed skin ballerinas with blades for fingernails and pointe shoes!

"Chicken Run" - Star Wars Game 8

Last week I ran the 8th game in our ongoing Star Wars campaign, using Galactic Heroes, 2nd. Ed.


The Rebels won the previous game, seizing a cache of heavier arms and ammunition. Some Empire forces have fallen back to a small backwater town on Bothawui. Rebel troops are in hot pursuit, intent on their mop up operation.

The Imperial planetary commander has assigned a lone All-Terrain Scout Transport and some infantry to this town to try and contain the Rebel threat. Little do the Imperial forces know, the Rebels have just the things for an unsuspecting walker crew.


Set Up

3’ x 3’ table. The table was covered in buildings, forcing the AT-ST to maneuver. 

The Imperials set up an AT-ST and some Deathtroopers in the southwest corner.

The Rebel side sets up a Veteran squad (with a tripod blaster) and 2 Rebel Troopers squads (with Ion Grenades ana d Grenade Launcher) in the northeast corner. They were led by a former Clone Trooper, Striker (CT-1987).


Special Rules

Put one Joker into the game deck. It behaves as the lowest suit Ace (Ace of Clubs).

At the end of the turn the Joker was played by a Rebel Player:

·         Air strike!

o    Place the 5” Blast template anywhere on the table.

o    Roll a d10. The direction the “point” of the d10 shows the direction the blast deviates, and the number is distance in inches.

o    Any miniatures half or more under the template are hit. Roll to Wound or Damage for each miniature hit.

At the end of the turn the Joker was played by an Imperial Player:

·         Reinforcements!

o    Place a group of Grunt Stormtroopers armed with Blaster Rifles anywhere outside 12” of a Rebel miniature.


Victory Conditions

The Rebels gain 10 Renown if they destroy the AT-ST, and 1 Renown for each Imperial trooper Out of Action or routs.

The Imperials gain 1 Renown for each Rebel Out of Action or routs.


First Round, the Rebels got several hits on the Imperial Walker, but failed to actually Damage it. After that, their luck utterly abandoned them.

Every round, the Imperials managed to draw a Joker, getting the two available Grunt Stormtrooper squads, and otherwise denying the Rebels their Airspeeder air strike.

The Stormtrooper remnants came on from the south, forcing the Rebels to deal with them and disrupting their planned advance to the northwest.

It didn't help that the Rebels also rolled several Out of Ammo results.

The Rebel Leader, Striker, put up an amazing fight, rallying or healing (with medi-packs) troopers until he went down to a hail of blaster fire.

In the end, the AT-ST never went down, and the Imperials scored 6 Renown to the Rebels' 2, for a decisive Imperial win.

The Rebels won the last two games, but now are on the back foot. Next game will involve some sort of meeting engagement as both sides try to reinforce their fighters on Bothawui.

Thanks to Kevin, Rob, Frederick, and John for playing with me. Thanks to Dallas for the fellowship and Twinkies.