Tuesday, 12 September 2017


A bladed killer swoops down on his prey

My pack of Hellions

The gang leader....for now

He should watch the lady behind him...she is ambitious

Circling around

Celebrating the kill

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Gosh, He's a Big Boy

Haven't had much time for painting recently as I've been finishing off a book but I did get around to modelling a Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought.

This is a complicated highly posable model with a multitude of parts that move or open. Display modellers will love it but it is almost over-engineered for a wargame model. Of course, this trend is also detectable in the products currently being offered by non-wargaming kit manufacturers - especially vehicle interiors that can't actually be seen when the model is assembled.

I have read of show judges inserting fibre optic probes into models to check out the quality of painting for non-visible parts. And wargamers are supposed to be obsessives!

Anyway, the model is infinitely posable: you want it in a sumo wrestler crouch? - no problem,  an arm out shoulder high clutching a cultist? - piece of cake, doing chinups - why not?

Just for fun, here is a Primaris Dreadnought by the side of an old one.

The Primaris undoubtedly has presence on the battlefield.

It also has presence in game turns. I've given it a typical general-purpose mixed weapon load of a heavy gatling, close combat weapon, flamer, twin assault grenade launchers and an AA missile launcher with ground to ground capability.

Hellbrutes don't stand a snowball's.

Great model: recommended

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Warband of Malo the Impaler

8th edition has rekindled my interest in 40K so I am getting out all my old models and tarting them up a bit. This is one of my chaos collections.
I enjoy putting together small 40K armies and giving them a back story. Somehow it seems much more fun than putting together a killer army. I guess that’s why I play narrative rather than competitive games.

Anyway, here is a small balanced Khorne force.

Chaos Lord in terminator armour – 6pts
Exalted Champion – 5 pts

15 Khorne Berserkers – 13pts
20 Beastmen (cultists) – 6pts

Fast Attack
2 Chaos Spawn – 4 pts

Heavy Support
Forge Fiend – 9pts

Hell Blade – 8pts
Hell Talon – 12pts

Total: 63 pts

In tactical terms the idea is that the Forge Fiend is fire support for what is primarily a close support army. The aerospace assets are there to tie down a defensive line and keep them occupied while the troops move up. The Beastmen are a tarpit and objective holding force. I expect the Berserkers and Spawn to do the actual attacking.


Malo the Impaler

Sgt Maluock of the Iron Hands 1st company lost control and slaughtered a detachment of the 73 Zillian Fusiliers who failed to advance dooming his squad of Space Marines, impaling their Colonel and mounting him on his armour. He turned to the worship of Khorne, making an unholy pact with the Seamless Dark Mechanicum Forge World – souls for Daemon engines.

Currently he leads Bloodfist’s Warband of Brazen Gladiators, Donna Bella and her Beastmen cultists, and two Spawn. His warband is supported by three daemon engines – a Forge Fiend, a Hell Talon and a Hell Blade.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Kitbashed Typhus

A new Typhus model is on its way to replace the rather tired offering still in the GW range but - given that Lords of Contagion models are on offer on eBay for a few quid - I decided to make my own.

I cut off much of the LoC decoration to change the silhouette of the model and gave it a different stance, one with both feet on the floor. One main change is that the dangling intestines have been removed to make a ragged exit for plague flies.

I chopped up the manslayer and rearranged the bits to make it more scythe-like in appearance, adding the hand protector - Nurgle is all about Health & Safety, after all.

The destroyer hive is mainly made from Milliput, grooved, drilled and cut up while semi-dry to give a crumbly appearance.

The cloak is also cut back. This entailed filling in several uncovered gaps with paper impregnated with polystyrene cement.

A top view of the destroyer hive tubes.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Kitbashed Primaris Librarium

I fancied adding a Librarian to my Primaris Ultramarine army but the £22.50 cost for the single plastic figure was somewhat too rich for my wallet.

I therefore resolved to buy one of the Dark Imperium figures that can be had for a few quid off eBay and convert it.

I have to say that my effort has not been entirely successful.

Oh well, it will have to do.

On to the next.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Scratch-Built Chaos Hellblade Aerospace Fighter

Rolling over for an attack run

The Chaos Hellblade is an absolutely iconic 40K fighter plane. Imperial fighters tend to be Hawker Typhoons - heavy, brutal, blocky - but the Hell Blade is a Spitfire - light, elegant, agile.

Banking into a hard left turn: note the steerable lateral thrusters

Forge World used to make a Hell Blade but it has been withdrawn, possibly for remodelling as the quad-autocannon are gone in the new datasheet.

The new Hell Blade has twin guns. I have located them on top of the wing because that is the visible part of a fighter model and scratch-built models often are too 'clean'.

Power climb using the main ventral thrusters

The Hell Blade is normally piloted by a hard-wired servitor and/or a daemon. There isn't really room for a pilot.

Pulling out of a strafing run

I found a paper-plane template on the web for scale and the shape of the main body parts and wings.

Outrunning a missile

The plane is made from card, reinforced with white glue, and straws. Only the guns and sensor packs on the wings are from plastic kits.

It is painted with commercial primer, to smooth out the surface, Humbrol red spray can paint, as a base colour, and a light coating of Tamiya metallic red.

Okay, it not as good as a Forge World resin model but that will cost you the best part of a ton (assuming you can find one), and this cost pennies.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Review: Artizan Designs - Grey Wolves U-Boat Crew

 Grey Wolves

Northstar Miniatures sell 28mm Artizan Designs metal models on their website. There is a 'Thrilling Tales' section of Pulp Fiction and generally Interesting Characters. They come either as single figures or in packs.

Two of those packs, available for £8.50 each are U-Boat crewmen, entitled 'Grey Wolves'. They include: a captain with binoculars, a petty officer with Schmeisser SMG, two crewmen with SMGs, and a Spandau team.

These are great figures, full of character. In size, they match Warlord Bolt Action minis pretty much exactly.

I envisage using them: as a defenders of Berlin '45 Naval section, a Sea Lion Patrol Scenario section, Very British Civil War, 7TV, and in pulp fiction skirmish games generally that are set in the interwar and WWII eras.

Highly recommended.

You can buy them here.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Review: Quick Fit Plastic Deathguard

Gee Dubya have released a Quick Fit Build box of three plastic Deathguard, clearly aimed at the 'toy' market.

So should a wargamer buy them?

They are pretty similar in concept to the Deathguard marines in the starter sets, i.e. push together, which is why, I suppose, they are quick build.

'Push together' means 'spring slightly apart after the glue has dried' so I recommend cutting off the push together lugs before gluing.

Note: a friend of mine decries this ridiculous idea and advocates making the sockets wider instead.

So should you buy them?

On the plus side:

First up they are only a tenner so are reasonable value. Hell, an Ayrton Senna represents great value compared to character models currently going for a Bobby Moore.

Secondly, they are different from the ones in the starter set - a definite plus.

Thirdly, one of the heretics is clutching a Blight (grenade) Launcher which is a useful supplement to one's putrid host.

But on the flip side:
I assumed they would turn my seven-marine starter unit into a ten-marine set - but no. One of the models is a champion with sword and power fist as the set is intended as a three man section, which ain't a lot of use. You can take two models away from the seven in the starter set and make two five-marine sections.

Kitbashing the fixed-pose champion to turn him into a standard marine would be very tricky and probably not worth the effort.

So, my advice is buy them if you want to turn your starter section into two smaller sections, otherwise wait for the box set which will undoubtedly be on the way.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Kit-Bashed Chaos Hell Talon

The Business End

I recently pulled my Siege of Vrak Chaos Armies out of storage to confer some TLC

First up was my Hell Talon

Straffing Run

The Talon is the intermediate sized Chaos aerospace combat machine, designated as a Strike Fighter. It is well armed with twin lascannon and secondary armament.

Bombing Run

It carries some really nasty dumb-bombs which unfortunately mean you have to fly over the target. Choose with care, or you can find yourself stranded in the middle of your opponents army - ho hum.

The Base

The Talon is mounted on a metal tube affixed to a Vrak siege line resin base.

I took the damned photo so I'm posting it

Chocks away, Biggles

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Plastic Deathguard Through The Ages: Size & Style Comparison

 Deathguard Marines

I have been collecting plastic Deathguard models for a few years now so I thought it interesting to compare them.

In terms of size, there is not much in it with regard to height. Perhaps there is a slight increase as time has gone on, but the real change is in bulk which has noticeably increased.

As far as style goes, there has been a tremendous improvement in both detail, and corruption/decay. There has clearly been a ratchet up of 'vileness' (for want of a better term) over time across the three versions.

However, none of this stops one bulking out an army with the old models.

Deathguard Section Leaders

Fundamentally, exactly the same trends are on display.

Note that the early 'sergeant' is metal as there was little variety among the plastic marines. In fact that is a third trend, from identical trooper models, to customisation per model, to every model different.

Deathguard Lords

All this only really becomes a problem when you get to warlord models. On the left we have a Forge World model of Necrosius (produced around 2007) - and on the right a new generic Lord of Contagion.

Necrosius (as depicted in Siege of Vrak III, graphic from warhammer40k.wikia)

Ex-Apothecary Necrosius is The Hand of Nurgle, and the Warlord of the Apostles of Contagion. He ranks number three among Nurgle warlords after Typhus and Mortarion himself: in fact he and Typhus are at daggers drawn.

In short he is a big wheel in Nurgle space marine circles, at the head of the party A-list.

But the old Forge World model doesn't do him justice. In short, he just doesn't look like one of the chaos supreme warlords. And that is my problem.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Dark Imperium Nurgle Deathguard Character Models

What strikes me about the new Deathguard plastic character models is their size and the vast amount of detail present. They cry out for the use of washes - unless you are a very patient and skilled painter.

I have to say that I completely love the Lord of Contagion (centre) and Noxious Blightblinger (right) that are superb models but absolutely hate the Malignant Plaguecaster.

How do I loathe him; let me name the ways.

I hate the stupid expression on his fat face and the silly stick in his left hand. It might make a suitable wand for a fantasy hedge wizard but not the Deathguard.

Most of all I hate the eruption of magic flowing out of his right hand. I find it impossible to paint these things in any way that looks one tenth real and they make the model a pain to store and move around the tabletop. The 'vomit' might be artistically balanced by his cloak sticking way out t'other way but that utterly compounds the practical issues. The thing has a huge 'footprint' on the table.

But Citadel models often have a marmite quality - which is much better than being bland.

The awesome detail continues in the back view to make your models still pleasing on the eye as they march forward across the table crushing the lackeys of the corpse god.

Mwah, ha, ha, ha.......gibber.......

Monday, 17 July 2017

Nurgle's Poxwalkers

Here we come
Walkin' down the street
We get the funniest looks from
Everyone we meet
Hey, hey, we're the Poxwalkers......

101 uses for an old autogun: a halberd

Should've used a higher factor sunblocker on his back

Pleased to see you

My, my Grandpa, what big boils you got

The anti-acid pills ain't working

Hit him so hard I bent me flamer pipe

Friendly looking chap

You scratch my back and...you'll get somefink 'orrible

Hammer time

We're just tryin' to be friendly
Come and watch us sing and play
We're the pox generation
And we've got something to say,