Sunday, 14 August 2016

Showcase: Chaos Dameons of Tzeentch and Forge World Terminator Lord

The Daemon allied force I've begun to use has proved very effective. The cheap, powerful units of Pink Horrors plugs a neat gap in my Thousand Sons force. This week, I have finished a unit of Pink Horrors and a new Herald, as well as my limited edition Terminator.

The Pink Horrors are the classic Diaz sculpts, my favourite released. Finding enough models was hard, but lately I've managed to find another ten for a bargain price, so they will be soon stripped down and painted in the new scheme. I went for a flesh-colour rather than the typical florescent pink, as I feel it gives off a much creepier vibe.

This unit also features a pair of even older models, to help fill out the unit size to its minimum.

Alongside the Horrors is their Herald, both to help improve nearby units with Divination rolls, as well as his exalted locus for a base strength ten attach with the unit (which has proved incredibly effective against units and even light vehicles).The model is one of the Pink Horrors from the Silver Tower boxed game. A joy of a model to paint, and even if it is a two-part mono-pose, the details are fantastic, and in the same scheme works really well. The 32mm base also helps identify him for wounds purposes.

Finally with have this big guy, the limited edition Terminator Praetor. Now a fully fledged Tzeentchian sorcerer, this model will form part of my Armies on Parade entry. Whilst not representing any character from the Ahriman series, I'll find a use: perhaps as part of a small Terminator unit.

Next on the list is so finish the centrepiece for my display. More on that soon....

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Road to glory: Armies of Parade Part One

I love the creativity and ideas that flood the net when Armies on Parade arrived. And now that my town has a local GW store, I can have a crack at it.

My first thing to work out was a theme. It's easy to plonk an army on a board, but having a coherent theme really does help create a great scene. I've decided to go for the events from Ahriman: Unchanged, when Ahriman's band of sorcerers returns to the Planet of the Sorcerers to undo the first Rubric. I want to create models of all the main characters on Ahriman's side, plus infantry and vehicle support. I have a bit of a head start on this, as some of my existing models can be used. So far I've worked out the following:

  • Ahriman-I'll either modify an existing GW Ahriman model, or convert my own.

  • Ignis-I actually made a start on Ignis months back, as part of a planned smaller diorama. The base model is an Iron Father, but since the picture was taken the model now has Cataphractii lightning claws, which match the book's description. The arms are new so will need painting to match the torso, as Ignis is described as having bright orange and black Terminator armour
  • Credence-Ignis' faithful robotic companion. Based on the book's description, in terms of weapons (two fists with in-built flamers and a shoulder-mounted cannon) the best starting point will be a Castellax Battle Automata. Like ignis this will also be orange.

  • Ctesias-From the book this character has a staff and rides a disc, so my current Disc Sorcerer will be a perfect stand-in
  • The Athenaum-Magnus' Knowledge locked in the shell of a Sanakht. This one will be interesting, as I want the model to be unarmoured. I am still of two minds whether to include this model. For compelteness' sake I still may.
  • Gaumata-Essentially a sorcerer with a mourning star. Should be fun to convert, this guy will lead a unit of Thousand Sons
  • The Changling-Whilst in no way in Ahriman's side, it would be tempting to have this guy skulking in the background, as it played a key role in the book.
Alongside these characters I'll be adding some Rubric and daemon support. The daemons will surround Ctesias as he summoned them to the planet during the novel's events, whilst every unit that can be will be in blocks on nine, Tzeentch's favoured number.

All I have to show you now is a very rough sketch (not to scale), but over the coming weeks I'll certainly have more to show. 

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Workshop Datalogs: July 2016

This month has been a flurry of activity, with both the Thousand Sons and Undead receiving a lot of attention.

After completing the Contemptor, I've moved onto the next Forge World model in line, the limited edition Praetor. Painting up this model has been a joy, and I'm coming very close to completing it, with only a few details to go. What's more, I've also been working on its alternate 'base'.

As well as being a Sorcerer model, I can use it as a herald or burning chariot. Two pins and matching holes have been drilled into the disc and the sorcerer's right foot, ensuring I have a stable connection with either the disc or a normal 40mm base.

Next up is a unit of Warp Talons, brought back from the dead (Well, bits box). I've managed to put together a unit of seven, with an imposing champion which uses Asorath the Grim's wings, Forsaken helmet, and Necron tabbard. I did try going for multi-coloured wings on the champion, but it wasn't working out so I'm now going for crystal clean white feathers.

Alongside the Thousand Sons, I've been painting up this Tomb Stalker for the other half. An Ebay salvage job, the model was originally painted in a gold and silver scheme, with broken legs. With some TLC, base reworking and a new paint job, it's really starting to come together. For added structural support, the base was built up using smaller chunks of cork, and an old Leman Russ turret.

Next, some Age of Sigmar. Yesterday saw the release/re-box of some mono-pose Stormcast and Bloodbound model. I bought the Storm of Sigmar set for £20, which represents a 50% discount over buying the four component sets individually. The models are fantastic, being the same as the ones in the starter set, but none of them were going in my Death force stock...

So now they form the start of a unit of Grave Guard with great weapons. The models are big, imposing, and slowly look a bit more like the skeletal remains of the warriors they once were. Many have has their feet chopped off, and replaced with sculpted bony toes (a tutorial for this will likely come out soon). A head swap and a few cuts later, they are slowly looking the part. The next step is ensuring the armour looks suitably beaten and old.

As usual, stay up to date with my latest work on Facebook, or join in the conversation below.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Showcase: Thousand Sons Contemptor with Multi Meltas

Renseneb, also know as Renseneb of the Ninth Circle, once walked the streets of Terra millenia ago, and was one of the first of the Thousand Sons. A skilled pyromancer, he was cut down in his prime by an alien warlord, cut in two by a wicked barbed power blade. Kept alive long enough to be interred within a Contemptor Dreadnought chassis, his vengeance against alien foes was noticeable, even by the Imperium's own Xenophobic standards. Commonly armed with a pair of potent Multi Meltas, no enemy tank, walker or wraithbone construct could withstand his fury. During the battle for Prospero, a mighty Mastodon of the hated Space Wolves legion fell beneath his fiery might, even it's ceramic shielding melting to slag with Renseneb's warp-influenced shots. The contingent of Astartes burned alive, the doors leading out fused shut. 

After the Horus Heresy, and banishment by Magnus after the Rubric, he joined the Scions of Change as a key adviser: his mind was incredibly clear, when it was common for many Dreadnought pilots to be lost to insanity, rage, daemonic influence or all three. 

Today he stands at the forefront of the Scion's wars. Still wielding the same Multi Meltas as used against aliens, Astartes and Custodes alike, no tank is safe. Upon his armoured hide rests an icon of Tzeentch, the god of change. Daemonic forces stir around the flaming icon, bringing forth the wrath of the gods to every war and skirmish.

Finally, this beautiful kit is finished. It's been such a joy to build and paint, I've taken an extra long time to ensure every detail is spot on. Following the blue and yellow scheme as the infantry, it stands well against the Thousand Sons it is usually fielded with.

 An airbrush was used to create the build up of dust on the legs, which really helps make the model look and feel just a bit more realistic.

Having put this model with my first Contemptor, I am now tempted to rework that one to match. This new model is my "sculpt of the year" and will be a hard one to top.

For most battles he will just be armed with the Multi Melta: a free upgrade and very nice against tanks, especially with a precognition blessing from my Tzeentch herald for re-rolls.

So there we are, another finished walker (I have too many walkers!). Comments welcome .

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Review: Limited Edition Forge World Terminator Praetor (Plus Conversion)

Last week was a first for Games Workshop, Forge World available to buy in store! whether it was an attempt to gauge interest, or a unique event, it was a great opportunity to review another limited model.

At £25, it's about standard fayre for a Forge World Terminator-sized character (and not far off plastic). The model comes in a giant suit of Tartaros Terminator Armour, and is armed with a Paragon Blade. It comes in eight parts, including a semi-scenic base. The model also comes with rules for its use on games of Horus Heresy (40k rules were given out if you spent over £60 in store).

Weirdly the arms aren't totally separate: one arm up to the elbow is attached to the torso, which comes with a separate chest plate.

Whilst there aren't any real posing opportunities in the kit with major work, it does have a great pose: the model striding forth with blade in hand.

The model is quite large, easily dwarfing my Forge World psyker...

...and even Space Marines. Note that this space marine has had a leg extension and a large flaming power pack!

As you should all know by now, I cannot leave a model unconverted. This wasn't my only purchase of the week, ad I also bought a Burning Chariot set. I'm sure you can guess what happened next..

...This! Another suitable imposing Sorcerer for the Thousand Sons. Using parts from the Burning Chariot (as well as a fantasy chaos lord's head) I've made a suitable chaotic, and daemonic, denizen of the Warp.

The model will help tie in my allied force of daemons with the Thousand Sons. Fluff wise this is a powerful summoner who's responsible for the daemons appearance. In-game it functions as a normal Burning chariot (or a Herald where needed), but with the option to use it on foot.

Overall it is a model that converts really well (even for chaos). Next up is paint, and I imagine that this model will be great to paint. If you're one of the lucky few to grab one, you have a great model that will look fantastic in any Space Marine force, heresy or otherwise.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

WIP: 40k Scale Doomwing

The Doomwing of Tzeentch is thought by Imperial Scholars to be a medium-sized attack craft similar in combat role and effectiveness to the more common Heldrake. It is almost exclusively seen in the armies of the Great Conspirator, swooping low across the enemies of Chaos, ripping apart tanks and scorching scores of soldiers with daemonic flames.

In terms of armaments they share identical load-outs, the dreaded Hades Autocannon for anti-armour duties, and Baleflamers for incinerating infantry in raging infernos. 

Doomwings attack in a similar fashion to the smaller disc-daemons known as Screamers. Unlike the Helldrake, which claws and bites at the armies below, it instead slashes with its mighty wings, the edges of which appear super-heated by the speed it travels or my magical influence. Like a knife through butter, these bladed wings cut open tanks and soldiers alike, leaving similarly messy results to the Heldrakes talon strikes. 

Though no two Doomwings are truly alike, they all share a common appearance: large swooping wings, bedecked in faux (or sometimes real) feathers, burning sigils and icons of the change god. They feature an avian-like head at the front, crafted in the likeness of greater daemons. The 'pilots' of these craft are barely recognisable, and like many vehicles of the dark hordes, the pilot's body has fused completely with the daemon bound to it. It is unknown whether they have any sentience left or if they are given completely to the new host.

In flight, Doomwings are very hard to focus on. Whether through blistering speed or sorcery, their outlines shimmer with warpflame, making them harder to hit. When they arrive, a shrill scream slices through the air, bursting eardrums and driving many to madness. And this is before the torrents of flame and bullets rain down...

Here it is, a new flyer for the Thousand Sons. A while ago I ran a Heldrake with the Sons, but I was never 100% sold on it. Whilst it is a great looking flyer, the aesthetic of it didn't fit with my Thousand Sons, who I wanted to have a string Tzeentch-look to them (especially of late). I came across an image of the old epic Doomwing. Which is was clearly a very old model, I loved the overall feel of it, and after seeing a great sketch of an updated version, I was motivated to rebuilt it.

Truth be told this is a project I started a long time ago, but never got around to finishing. What started off as a Chaos Lightning soon turned into an abandoned husk. But as you can see, I finally got about to fixing the poor flyer up.

The hull is the main section (and probably only real GW section) of the craft, and was from an Ork Bomma. The wings and head are completely scratch built-with two heavy flamers inserted in the head to act as the Baleflamer.

Like the linked drawing, I decided to go with metal feathers for the wings, which were far too bland for my tastes. Rivets and some greenstruff detailing help complete the look.

My favourite part is the pilot, who is clearly now one with the craft, whether he likes it or not! The body is the torso of one of the chaos Chosen from the Dark Vengeance kit. I chose this particular one for the rebreather tube and exposed rib cage, which work well for the conversion. A ton of greenstuff, cables and vents help fill out the Ork Cockpit. The arm fused with the cockpit was 100% sculpted and a complete accident, but I went along with it and it's turned out fantastic.

As you can see there's a long way to go until it's finished, but it's great knowing that an old project is finally getting some love. Hopefully the Fire Raptor/Storm Eagle follows suit.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Review: Citadel Gemstone Paints

Shiny gemstones are a great way to add some realistic details to your model. whether it's a snazzy ring or a helmet's glass lenses, being able to paint perfect gemstones and glass is a handy technique. Now Games Workshop has released a set of three technical paints especially for this.

I've bought two of the three new pots, Waystone Green and Spiritstone Red, to try out, and see how it compares to my usual technique.

Firstly these two paints are a bit thicker than normal paints (especially the red): not base colour or textured thick, but fairly gelatinous compared to normal colours. This would mean that for smaller parts you only need a tiny amount. The best way I can describe these paints is that they're a mix of a glaze and gloss varnish. They'll tint whatever you paint with that colour, and leave a very smooth, shiny coat.

The GW site recommends painting them over the top of a bright silver. I tried these colours over Mithril rather than the newer silver shade, and the effect are, interestingly, quite good. It's not a style I'd use for gemstones, but for lenses on machinery this effect would look great. These colours can be used in other ways to achieve different effects.

On my Contemptor, I've tried painting them over a bright like-for-like colour (Goblin green for Waystone and Evil Sunz Scarlet with some orange for Spiritstone) for more stone-like effects (i'd say the previous efforts give a glass-like effect . I'd argue that this yields much better, realistic results, especially if you want darker looking stones. I think of the two I've tried the red gems look better, but this is a technique which will be refined.

In some lights I'd say you get a better shine than a normal gloss coat over the top. the red stones look fantastic when the light catches them.

In the end I've found that you get similar results to painting gems the old fashioned way, but it's a lot quicker and easier. So if you're after a fast way to paint effective looking gemstones, then these new technical paints are a good option. If you've already mastered a technique then this doesn't really achieve anything different, but if you want to try something new, give these paints a go.