Saturday, 26 September 2015

Review: Kromlech Legionary Smash Hammers

As a Chaos Space Marine player, I don;t often get to make used of Thunder Hammers. Sure I could use them as Power Fists, but generally I haven't made much use for them, and so most hammer bits go by without a glance in their direction. But could today's product from Kromlech change my views?

The Legionary Smash Hammers (sounds a bit Super Mario doesn't it?) is a 6-piece weapon set, containing three flavours of hammer, ranging from 25mm in length all the way up to 35mm. A set will cost you £5.05.

The hammers look like they are intended for single-handed poses, though the longer ones could easily become two-handed weapons, depending on the model they'll go on. None of the weapons come with hands, meaning they can be added to any model with ease, not just a Space Marine or Ork. This does mean cutting up the handle or finding open hands, so be prepared to think about the posing and extra parts needed.

These hammers are stunning in the detail they possess. Take this example, which features minute scripture around the ends of this hammer-head...

...this is that same hammer next to a five pence piece. The detailing on these weapons is outstanding, and the fact that it is legible and clearly defined showcases the product's quality.

In all honesty they are far more suited to 'Imperial' Space Marines and Inquisitors. They all have a strong Gothic flair, and would look great on one of the Imperium's greatest daemon-hunters. One style, the one shown here, has Templar iconography, making them perfect for Black Templars and their splinter factions.

If you're looking for the pinnacle of detail for your leader, these weapons are a gold-standard example. The detail is insane, and if you used these on bog-standard models, you'd be very hard pressed to find anything fancier for your leader. Ignoring the mildly comical name, Kromlech's Smash Hammers are truly a great hit*.

*That was a bad pun, I'll be going now...

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Workshop Datalogs: September 2015

No matter how hard I try, I can't stuck to one project at a time. This week, I've been working on some 40k units; mainly the Land Raider Achilles, and finally getting around to making a crew for the Daemonkin Rapier platforms.

The tank is mostly done, and the main work now is to add little details here and there. One of the doors has been base coated yellow, in preparation for the warband's infinity-serpent icon. The door shown above has a tattered banner, which will be painted in pre-heresy colours. This tattered flag will serve as a reminder of the past, and the new, darker path the warband now treads.

For the Rapier crews, I've build Chaos Space Marines from a variety of spares. Kromlech Stygian heads, Spellcrow torsos and more were used in these models to make some unique models to go with my unique gun platforms.

I wanted a mix of technology and sorcery to represent how the gun 'carriages' are controlled. In this squad you'll see a mix of mystical smoke, auspexes, remotes and even a crystal ball, courtesy of a Necron. I'm a bit short on right arms currently, but all these models will be WYSIWYG.

To finish off this update, here's one last model: my old Daemon Prince of Tzeentch. With a recent Tzeentchy purchase, I has a few leftovers, and a few ideas. With a new head and Nagash's spare sword, I have managed to make a classic model fit my theme in a much better way. The bright colour scheme is something I plant to use on all of my daemonic models; the bright pink goes very well with the strong blue and yellow of my warband.

That is all for today, but keep a lookout on Facebook for more on these projects.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Age of Sigmar: Ghouls, Ghosts and Altars

With the Age of Sigmar launch now a memory, it's been the ideal time to develop my Death force. With a few games played, and many errors made, I have been adding some new units, and painting up existing ones to get them tabletop ready.

The Grave Guard squad has been expanded from nine models to 12. Hopefully the extra bodies will come in handy.

To represent their cursed weapons, they have been given a green glaze to signify a magical presence. I want to keep my colour palette limited to make the force simple and appealing.

With the Hexwraiths though, I wanted black to feature predominantly. Being the model-equivalent of Death, they suit the all-black look. To tie them in though, they will receive some worn bronze detailing, and the green flames used here will tie them in with the other magical elements...

Such as this, my rendition of a Tomb Kings Casket of Souls. It seems such a great unit, that acts as both a ranged unit and spell deterrent. I couldn't simply used the TK model though, so a more Gothic one was made. The altar is made from plasticard and old cavalry bases (wont be needing those any more).

The altar guards are based on Avatars of War Corrupter models with Skeleton weapons, arms and heads. They look like heavier-armoured version of the Grave Guard, making for perfect bodyguards for the sorceress upon the altar. She is made from a Raging Heroes Elf character, with a flowing greenstuff dress.

The altar is covered with the tools of necromancy: books, scrolls, timepieces and a dead body to practice on. All this comes together to create a unique centrepiece for the army. It needs a little work before I call it finished; namely the vampire sorceress' skin, and some blood effects.

Once the core units are finished, I will turn my attentions to replacing the characters. As much as I enjoy using the Wight King, I feel that there are more potent units. Particularly Krell, lord of undeath. I have a special plan in mind for the model, so keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more on that. Until then, keep up to date with this, and other projects, via Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Review: Kromlech Plague Pads (Morbid Legionary and Mutated)

Today I have two sets of shoulder pads for your viewing pleasure; both dedicated to plague. sickness and death. Both come from Kromlech, and both are fantastic options for building Plague Marines and other nasty creations.

The first set, the Morbid Legionary set, has a clear bio-mechanical look to them, where as the Mutated set goes for a full-organic appearance. Both sets are ideal for Nurgle-dedicated forces, hence why they appear in this review as a pair. Both sets retail at £5.05, and both come with 10 pads: two copies of five designs.

Both sets are highly detailed. The Morbid Legionary pads feature dented metal, fly icons and plenty of corrosion, whereas the Mutated shoulder pads are covered liberally with eyes, spikes and fleshy protrusions. In both cases, the details are crisp. Some consider mutations to be 'easy sculpting' or as a way to excuse a shoddy job, but on these parts the mutations and featured are well defined, showing that plenty of effort went into designing them.

On a model they look much better, and blend in with existing Nurglesque features. For illustration purposes I have used Spellcrow Plague Legion models, as it better shows this blending of designs than on a Plain-Jane marine model.

Both of these sets are great additions to your diseased Chaos force. Of the two I think I prefer the more mechanical feel of the Morbid Legionary pads. Whilst the Mutated set is well-sculpted, I like my armour to have a more...armoured appearance. The banded edges and vents help portray a 3+ save better than the others do. Both are available from the Kromlech Website, as well as the odd retailer if you are lucky enough for your stores to supply third party bits.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Rise of Xaphan: Vraks Army Redo Part Thirteen

All it takes is one big leap of progression to make you want to finish an army. In the last three weeks I've finished another squad for the Vraksian Renegades, 99% finished the flagship unit, the Malcador, and finished the build section of a support unit, a Hellhound.

First up, the mutant rabble. This unit was a challenge for me: I wanted each mutant to look different, but I needed the colours to somehow bring it all together. I think I have managed that, but I will let the pictures do most of the convincing.

The models were a great opportunity to practice skin tones of varying colours, due to the amount of exposed flesh on the models. Most use a human-like skin tone that I am familiar with in painting, but some have sickly green mutations (a couple are fully green), and some bear red sore-looking flesh. The green flesh starts off as Ogryn Camo. After a brown and green wash, the colour is reapplied, leaving the shading intact. Finally a bit of Cadian Fleshtone is mixed in to highlight. Since this will be a Nurgle-dedicated unit, an ill, decaying green colour is well suited for this unit.

My favourite addition to this army has been the Malcador. It is a grossly underestimated tank. Sure it has basic armaments and less armour than a Russ, but it is durable-with double the Hull Points-and can fire all of its weapons independently, meaning if the dice gods are on my side it can result in four dead targets. It should also soak up a lot of fire that might otherwise be directed at the grunts. At the moment I only have the three Lascannons ready for use, but other armaments are in the works.

The paint scheme is identical to the Taurox Alpha, and considering there is almost a year's gap between painting the two vehicles, I am really happy with how similar they look; which can only help the theme.

I've added a few odd panels painted in a factory primer colour, which was made by mixing Scab Red and brown weathering powder. It also adds a neat texture. The model only needs a tiny bit of extra weathering before I can call it done, but considering how this vehicle started out like, I am amazed by the difference.

Finally we have this Hellhound. It started out as a Chimera, but since I plan on using modified Tauroxes as Chimera, this didn't fit the theme. So with some choice parts, it became a Hellhound variation.

The hull and turret are from Blood and Skulls Industry, with some fuel tanks used to cover the hole meant for hatches. The main gun was originally an Autocannon-like weapon, but it has been converted into an Inferno Cannon, in the guise of an Autocannon, much like the Soviet KV-8 which mounted a deadly flame-thrower disguised as a normal cannon. I think this look suits the army which has some influence from the Alpha Legion.

I am hoping to get this army finished before adding anything else, but as this blog shows, that is easier said than done. I have toyed with buying some Rapiers with Quad mortars to represent some Thud Guns, and some Plague Ogryns, because I like how Ogryns work for this army and they make for amazing bullet magnets.