Sunday, March 19, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Iskandar Khayon, take two!

Quick hit this morning - I was re-listening to Talon of Horus in audiobook form while painting yesterday (pics of that progress shortly!), and thought it would be fun to take a quick break from painting and build a new version of Iskandar Khayon!

Taking a modeling cue from the previous version, I started with the new plastic Ahriman model as a basis, swapped out the staff for Kayon's force axe Saern, and carved out the space for an alternate head and backpack. His daemon-wolf Gyre got a slight size reduction, and this time around I'll be painting her black-furred - I'd missed the reference to her color on the first read-through, doh!

It could be fun to put together a diorama of the Rubric being incanted with Khayon and Ahriman confronting each other, after all I do have an Ahriman and an apparently unhealthy fixation on building sorcerers! Could be also be fun to do a command squad that includes Mekhari and Djedhor, the two Rubricae that accompany Khayon in the book. Djedhor is mentioned as being a standard bearer at one point, and perhaps I can find a reasonable counts-as use for Gyre in there somewhere as well...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - The Dust Storm Approaches...

As this is my fourth go-around with the Thousand Sons, I wanted to take some time to come up with some further background fluff and theme for the army. I have always envisioned the forces as having a shared continuity, the first iteration way back in the Tempus Fugitives days was a Great Crusade force (pre-heresy, as it were), while the second and third were set just prior to, and just after the Razing of Prospero, with a few homebrew characters making an appearance in every force (The doughty Sergeant Hesyre being the obvious example). This time around I'm envisioning a late-heresy force, in the time immediately prior to the Rubric of Ahriman where the legion is beginning to unravel both figuratively and literally. Enter the Khamasiin, Warhost of the Sorcerer Lord Sethep-Khet!

Sethep-Khet is a new character in the annals of my force, being one of the devotees of the Pyrae cult and sub-altern to Khalophis during the destruction of Prospero. During the destruction of the cult temple, Sethep-Khet's legs were crushed by falling masonry and though dragged to safety by his brethren he refused to retire from the battlefield. Using telekinesis (though a Pyrae, most practitioners were capable of lesser feats from other disciplines) he held himself aloft through the remains of that dark day, making a fighting retreat to the center of the city where he and the other remnants of the legion were translocated to Sortiarius, the Planet of the Sorcerers. He refused bionic replacement limbs and instead relies on his powers to hover in stately grace - In the heat of battle however he bounds across the battlefield in a manner disquietingly similar to that of the flamer daemons that caper in the realm of the Great Eye. From the bridge of the battle barque Re-Setyu, Sethep-Khet now leads a warhost known as The Khamasiin, (being a Prosperine dialectic derivation of Khamsin, a dust/sand storm in the Gyptic and Nordafrik areas of Old Terra), Thousand Sons who have pledged their loyalty to the Warmaster. Just roughing in colors on him so far, to get a feel for the balance of white, gold and crimson. Gotta throw in a touch of blue here and there as well, it being Tzeentch's color after all!

The Khamasiin are a departure in style from the previous forces, as I wanted to really try something different - The last few armies have been very tank-heavy, so the obvious flipside of the coin is an Orbital Assault force! Ties in nicely with the whole duststorm motif to have them falling from the skies and soaring in on flyers and skimmers. Got the majority of the infantry basecoated, though there's still another 20-strong assault marine squad in the wings (pun!) that are awaiting a few more bits to arrive before they begin the build process. Itching to get cracking on these guys, but will finish off the Mechanicus elements on the painting deck first. Gives me impetus to get 'em done!

I'm going to focus the painting efforts on a 2500 point force to begin with, being the theoretical force I'll be taking to NOVA later in the year. Did a cut-down paining chart to help me visualize where things stand, what I still need to buy/build and keep me from haring off on other non-essential models for the force, as fun as they may be to paint!

That said, the intention is to have an army capable of other configurations beyond the Orbital Assault (which is a bit restrictive overall). Still keeping with the lighter elements, so no Land Raiders or Spartans this time - just a a few predator variants, and who am I kidding the army is going to have a Glaive or a Mastodon at some point, it's a foregone conclusion. Hah!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - Robots rolling through the manufactorum...

Real Life(tm) has been kicking my butt recently, but there was time to put brush to model here and there as a way to unwind, so I fired up the painting servitor and got cracking!

The Thallax got painted up to the "Off the factory floor" stage prior to waterslides and weathering, thinking some hieroglyphics on the offhand shoulder would be a good way to go! Went with the brush-on gloss on the faceplates to give them a nice shine, though the lighting is a little poor to get the full effect in these in-progress shots.

Quite enjoyed painting the Thallax, so the Vorax were the next on deck - keep that momentum going! Just the antiqued gold/brass and laid in the basecoat for the red so far, but already liking how they're shaping up!

Since three models don't really make for much of a batch, the Thanatar got the same treatment. He's a beast - definitely glad I left him separated at the waist to facilitate painting! Got a whole mess of Thousand Sons basecoated in red, so expect a tidal wave of the Sons of Magnus in short order - Really excited to get stuck in with 'em, something a little different in store for the army this time around...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - The Flesh Is Weak!

The fallible flesh components of the painting servitor succumbed to the touch of Nurgle so I did a half day today - Between sneezing fits managed to get several nearly-built models constructed and even start laying in a little paint on a few models!

First up is the heavy hitter of the Cybernetica force, the Thanatar. Armed with a fearsome Hellex Plasma Wave mortar and Mauler Bolt Cannons, it's just a beast! I expect it to take a ton of fire, so it gets the Paragon of Metal special rule, granting it some much needed extra survivability!

Next were some of the most challenging models in the Mechanicum line to build in my opinion, but also the one whose look I enjoy most of all - The Vorax! A worthy re-imagining of the old Crusader robot, I love the insectile look and think they'll tie in nicely with the scarab motif of the Thousand Sons they'll be fighting alongside!

Finally, a bit of paint! As a departure from the normal gunmetal skeletal structure, the various bots of the Zhao Arkkad Cybernetica will be getting an antiqued gold/bronze color, which when tied together with the red armor plates and black weapon housings should give them a nice complimentary color scheme to the Thousand Sons as well. Just laying in the basecoats for the reds to get a feel for what panels I want to do, and of course at some point they're all going to get a hit of my usual blue as a spot color - should really make 'em pop!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Just the base-ics...

Quick hit this week, major system upgrades at work over the weekend ate up a bunch of my time, but I did manage to do a little more build time for the Cybernetica (though nothing complete to snap a picture of), and did lay in the initial colors on the bases for a few of the upcoming skimmers to get a feel for the look:

Nothing too fancy, wanted something relatively neutral and medium-dark so the sandstone rubble would pop, and hopefully set off the crimson and gold of the models nicely. I'm thinking some tufts of dried grass may work well to give them just a little more visual interest - I think I'd better off avoiding my usual green mix though, want to keep an arid feel going for them. The bases are from Elrik's Hobbies - Link to the Egyptian Ruins bases!

In other exciting news, I got a little box of joy from Chessex from whom I'd ordered a mess of custom dice - Five different sets of 20, each bearing the crest of one the five cults of the Thousand Sons on the 6 face of the die. As I don't REALLY need 100 dice, I'm planning on bundling them up and handing them out to any fellow Thousand Sons players I come across at NOVA later on this year!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Heresy Era Mechanicum - Zhao Arkkad Legio Cybernetica begins!

Wait! Put down the pitchforks and torches, it's technically part of the Thousand Sons project, I swear!

One of the things that I rather liked in the book A Thousand Sons were the Legio Cybernetica robots embedded with psycho-reactive crystal matrices, allowing Khalophis to direct them on the battlefield. Turns out the folks at FW liked that idea as well and worked that aspect into the rules, and showed off some rather cool Castellax variants at the recent Heresy Weekender. They are going to be a must-buy as soon as they're released!

Of course, that just means I am going to have to do an entire army of allied Mechanicum, right? There is a method to the madness - At NOVA 2017 there's a 1500 point-per-person team event, and a friend of mine who is attending and I are doing a bit of a collaboration. He'll been helping me out with the airbrushing of the metallics, and I'll be doing all the traditional brushwork and modelling. On the up side, with the recent sale of the previous incarnation of the Thousand Sons I was able to add in pretty much all of the models for the force in the recent order - all that remains are the yet-to-be-released Castellax, which I sincerely hope will be made available in time for the event...

I did spend a little time assembling the two Thallax cohorts, I really dig these models and was looking forward to building 'em. Next up on deck is the Belisarius Cawl model, who I think will make for an excellent Archmagos Dominus. He's about half built at this point, but is all in sections to facilitate painting - managed to restrain myself from building it all only to find it becomes nigh-impossible to paint fully assembled!

When all is said and done the whole force will be 15 models, which should hopefully make it reasonably easy to build, paint and (above all) transport to the event!