Saturday, 30 April 2016

Workshop Datalogs: April 2016

A little bit late this month (wedding planning, sideways promotion at work and Goth Weekend have been keeping me busy) , but with some time off and an improved workstation, I now have something to show you all.

Firstly, the aforementioned workbench. Having moved the living room about I thought I'd fix up my workbench, formerly a computer desk. After tightening up all the screws, I removed one of the lower struts housing a CD rack, which has given me a lot more space to store boxes of stuff. The top shelf has also been taken off. Though I lose storage space for WIPs, it's a blessing in disguise, since it means I'll be forced to focus on only a couple of projects at a time. It has also given me space to fit my paint racks.

 Another neat little feature I added is this paintbrush/tool holder, made from a hacked up felt-tip pen case. Not bad for free junk.

Now some models. First up is this little guy, who will become a coms guy in my Vraks list. He's made from a Bolt Action German radio model, with a head from Pig Iron Miniatures, and a Skittari back pack. A simple conversion, but it works quite well.

Also for my Vraksians (or as a standalone kill-team, I'm not sure) some more mutants. Instead of Ork-based mutants like my other squad, these are based on a mix of Plaguebearers and Skittari.

All armed with autoguns, they'll form another key troops choice. I plan to paint them up as either fallen skitarii, or regular mutants who have looted their gear. Expect plenty of pus and rust.

In Tzeentch's wing, we have some developments. The Obliterator I've been working on is pretty much done now and ready enough for the battlefield. The banding really come out once painted, and I think it's a great alternative to standard Obliterator models.

Finally, the Daemon Price of Tzeentch. It's getting there, and the focus now is all the fine details: jewels, scripture and runes. Painted in my army's colours it looks a lot more in-keeping, and will be a fine addition to the first wave.

That's it for today, but keep following me on Facebook, where you'll find extra content, conversation, and manage bananas.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Review: 30th Anniversary Space Marine

If you've been living the the warp for the bast few weeks (or half hour, depending on your local time distortion levels), this weekend marked 30 years of the Space Marine; Warhammer 40,000's most iconic hero (and a few years later, villains). To celebrate, they released a remaster of their very first Space Marine, the LE-2 Imperial Marine

The model seemed to be an instant hit, selling out at my local GW in only 5 minutes. I only managed to get a copy because there were two window copies that had been forgotten about, and even then the second one was sold in seconds.

For your £18, the price of your average Space Marine character, you get an up-scaled and greater detailed version of that very first marine, armed with a combi-disintegrator (a strength 5 ap2 instant death gun that can be used more than once), combat knife and Disintegration Pistol. You also get some rules to use it in your games of 40k, as a free upgrade for any Space Marine (this guy will become an auto-upgrade for sure). All of this is packaged in a retro-looking box reminiscent to those earlier kits. I wouldn't quite call it a presentation box like GW did, but it's a nice box as far as boxes go. 

Interestingly you do get a few options, in the form of alternative shoulder pads. The rest of the model is fairly straightforward; multi-part, yet mono-posed. 

Whilst everyone else will paint it up for their force (or stuck it on ebay with a 3000% mark-up) I thought I'd go down a different path...

And ta-da! A new Chaos Lord of Tzeentch on a Disc. My fluff-concept for this guys is that he was a marine of a forgotten chapter (or legion), lost in the warp, but rather than be consumed he was moulded by it and became a champion of Tzeentch. Keeping his colours, he chose to be a warning to those who would forget him so easily. The main additions besides the disc were some Raptor shoulder pads, a Dark Vengeance Lord's backpack (Which is reminiscent of retro CSM power packs so it suits the model) and a Tzeentch knife. These were simple additions which greatly change the look of this model, and is something just a little different.

I plan to paint it just like this original model I did for a painting contest, but heavily beaten and worn. It will be a fun addition to the force, and may become part of a Tzeentch aligned chaos force to go with the Thousand Sons.  

All-in-all, a fun little model that was quickly snapped up by fans across the globe. For those who have one, you have a piece of history. Keep it, enjoy it, and if possible, find an original copy to go with it. It started the Space Marines as we know them, and it stands out as one of the greats. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Editorial: Why laser cut MDF Is Awesome

In previous years, your only real choice for terrain was plastic kits or scratch builds. But now it seems that the industry is taking a leaf (or rather the whole tree) from nature, as a swathe of wooden products have come out of, well, the woodworks.

Now I will admit, wooden kits for war gaming and modelling uses have been around for a while, but it's only been in the last few years that anyone's really taken notice, particularly 40k players, whose terrain needs have been, in the past, somewhat sated by GW's plastic kits. So what makes wood better than plastic?


Nine times out of ten, it seems that wooden laser cut kits are far, far cheaper than GW and equivalent kits. Take for instance the above large building kit from TT Combat, in 28mm scale. It cost me less than £9 (with discount). The equivalent to this from GW is the Sanctum Imperialis at a whopping £20. Another example is the ruined sector, from GW it is £70. A similar kit, again from TT Combat, which includes two full ruined buildings (each in 4 parts, so up to 8 tiny buildings or a fair mix), 2 shipping containers, 3 walls and 5 barriers, is only £18.


There was a time when wooden terrain was pretty basic stuff. With advances in computer programming and more time to develop skills, some kits that are being made today feature a surprising amount of detail, with some even featuring intricate textured surfaces and layered surfaces.

Ease of assembly

For the most part these kits are easy to assemble, and in most cases can be built without any glue (though from experience I still prefer it). Whether you have PVA or nothing at all, you can enjoy easy to build pieces without the toxic fumes that poly cement and super glue gives off. Even though PVA isn't an amazingly strong glue (you can use wood glue), the way these sets go together means they will be strong enough anyway without risk of collapsing. Still, I wouldn't stand that depleted uranium Chaos Dreadnought on the top floor anytime soon.

100% Recyclable

Mother nature is taken care of here (don't worry, this won't turn into a Green Party conference). Being made of wood, it is completely recyclable, and as far as I can tell there isn't any special coating or toxic treatment. This is a nice little bonus when it comes to the time to get rid of the terrain (as much as I love MDF terrain, I doubt it has the same longevity of plastic). I've often struggled to work out if plastic from GW is recyclable, with wood it's. Also, if you're cool/a hipster/camping and you need some firewood, the sprues have a second use.

They now make actual models from wood!

The general market is flooded with terrain pieces, but occasionally you can find usable MDF models. The above is a near-perfect stand-in for a Necron Sentry Pylon, and at only £7 it is seven times cheaper than the Forge World kit, and would even undercut the worst painted Ebay listing. Obviously it doesn't have the same level of detail, but if you're on a budget (many of us are), then this is an amazing saving.

Sure there are a few downsides; they are a bit more fragile, the joins and connections are far more obvious, and if left untreated for too long, very vulnerable to water, for those who need to count the pennies, and those who want a pleasant, easy kit to assemble to pass some time, look no further.