Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ordnance ready to fire!

I was so very close to having a fully painted army - the new box sets arrived a couple days earlier than I thought, so I'm back to having a bunch of unbuilt, unpainted stuff waiting in the wings. Nevertheless, I managed to get the crew for the Medusa Siege Gun finished up last night:

At this point all I had left was four melta-gunners, but I think I'm going to hold off on painting them until I have a chance to go through the new codex and figure out where they're best suited. From a cursory inspection I think I'll be able to come up with a fair analogue for more or less every unit I plan to build for the Mordian 7th Regiment. It appears that with some finessing I may be able to proxy the beastman attack squads after all!

Reinforcements arriving, sir!


Got a call from my FLGS this afternoon to let me know my order arrived:

Well, most of it anyway. I'd ordered three each of the Valkyrie, Sentinel and Cadian Command box sets, but only got two of the command and Valkyries. Probably for the best, there was a sharp stabbing sensation in my wallet as it was.

Haven't really had a chance to tear into the boxes just yet, but I'll post my thoughts on the new sprues in short order - it's a very exciting time to be a guard player!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hold the line!

Got a box of reinforcements in the mail today, I'd placed a Forge World order a while back and had almost completely forgotten about it. I'd picked up a couple more sets of Cadians with Respirators upgrade packs sufficient for two more hardened veteran squads (though I'm holding off on building them until I can sit down with the codex and figure out how I want them), as well as a trio of Heavy Bolter turret emplacements:

My intent was for these to serve a dual purpose - when I don't use the fortifications, it frees up the turrets to use on my Chimeras (should the situation call for it). I was surprised at how little flash there was to clean off these models. Usually FW stuff comes with significant resin plugs left over from the casting process that require I break out the Dremel. In this case, a pair of clippers, an exacto knife and a little sandpaper did the trick. Easiest clean up I've done!

Not that I really need more inquisitors, I couldn't pass up the Hector Rex and retinue set - they are simply beautiful sculpts. The pictures on the FW website don't really flatter the retinue figs, but they're actually pretty nice in person. You can definitely tell that the set was made by two different sculptors however. All in all, it should be a fun little unit to paint.

At the moment they're just assembled and washed, I'll let them air dry overnight and primer them tomorrow - it's supposed to be a beautiful day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

More light...

Managed to take some better pictures of the Pegasus after work today:

Slightly better shots of the interior. The canopy is very shiny so it's picking up a lot of reflections.

I think this one will be the vehicle transporter variant, while for the next one I plan to build a troop transport section directly attached to the lander.

And finally, just a couple shots for scale. It's a pretty darn big flyer, but I think it actually matches the guard army 'look' fairly well.

Now that I've got that out of my system, back to the last few guardsmen...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pegasus Heavy Transporter


As is usually the case, I have a hard time staying on task when it comes to the 40k hobby. After reading about the new Planetstrike rumors on BoLS, I thought I'd take a first pass at a super-heavy transport flyer capable of deploying a large number of guardsmen, or a super-heavy vehicle.

Inspired by the most excellent project at Tunnels and Trolls here, a few months back I picked up a pair of GI Joe "Dragonhawk" models from eBay for use as the basis for the transport. I don't have the resincasting capabilities that the fellow that runs that site does, so I decided to content myself with a slightly less grandiose conversion.

I started off with a fairly simple command deck, the scale of the Dragonhawk is about twice that of 40k, so a two man command crew take the place of the original pilot.

I added a pair of twin-linked Lascannons and a pair of heavy bolters, installed the command deck, masked off the cockpit windows and gave it a hit of primer.

I didn't have good light by the time I finished painting the Pegasus, I'll get better pictures taken in the next day or so. The model includes a magnet harness on the bottom to allow it to attach various cargo containers. My next associated project will be to build a drop cannister designed to ferry a platoon of infantry to the battlefield.

Again, not the best of light. For some reason the windows look sort of smoky, but they are actually perfectly transparent.

The Pegasus is also of sufficient size to transport a superheavy vehicle. My opponents suggest however that a deep-striking Stormlord might be considered just a wee bit cheesy. Can't say I can argue with that!

At the moment I don't have any sort of rules designed for the transport. For ease of gameplay I may simply count it as a proxy Thunderhawk Transporter, and will likely base the upcoming homebrew rules upon the Thunderhawk as a starting point.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't turn around...

A nice lazy Saturday afternoon - chores and laundry, and a little paint spattered about. Finished up the last two commissars:

From what I understand, in the new codex the previous ability of the vox network to extend the leadership of the HQ squads to the rest of the army is no longer available. I figure ten commissars should keep the guardsmen in line...

Just a few crewmen left to go...

Check out the big brain on Brett!

I managed to finish up a few more models last night - I actually had a good time painting this unit of Psykers - the green/yellow/white paint scheme was a nice change of pace following the grey/red of the rest of the guard army.

I'll be picking up one of the new Primaris Psyker models and after I find the 3rd ed model that will give me an 8-strong psyker battle squad. Should be a pretty fun unit - I was underwhelmed with the psykers in 4th ed., but it sounds as though they may be more useful in the new codex.

5 more miniatures down, 11 to go!

Friday, April 24, 2009

If you can't make it good, make it big.

In addition to the upcoming Leviathan, I have another superheavy project in the works. I should probably seek counseling...

What will eventually end up being the centerpiece of the Adeptus Mechanicus Ordo Reductor army that waits in the wings is an Ordinatus Minoris crawler. Significantly smaller than the true Ordinatus superweapons, the Minoris crawler is nevertheless a fearsome war engine. The length of three Leman Russ tanks and sporting several sponson-mounted weapons such as Conversion Beamers and Assault cannons, the Ordinatus Minoris' main armament consists of one of several titan-scaled weapons systems. Cradled within a lattice of supports and attended by numerous tech-priests the main gun is designed to annihilate opposing superheavy vehicles and titans. I felt that it was my duty to try my hand at building one (especially since one of my main opponents is in the process of building a pair of Warhounds), and the rough shape is starting to come together:

The rules and inspiration for this monstrosity in the making comes initially from the old days of Adeptus Titanicus, and more recently from the excellent Cult Mechanicus army list available on the Tempus Fugitives site. I decided on building a Volcano Cannon variant, if only for the simple expedient that I had one left over from building the Stormlord! My plan is to craft the main gun as an homage to the Macro Cannon illustration in the Rogue Trader rulebook. It is not currently attached to the vehicle, merely sitting on the back until such time as I build the superstructure.

The true Ordinatus platforms, while an intriguing project possibility in their own right, would likely be simply TOO big to use on the 8x4 table I have at my disposal. I actually like the idea of the smaller versions, and I'm currently in the process of gathering useful bits to use in the project and experiementing with various ideas. I'm still figuring out how I want to do the superstructure - I'd started with some Cities of Death panels, but felt that the result completely obscured the cannon model and ended up looking fairly bland. I'm now considering using some of the old Necromunda bulkheads which would give plenty of open space to allow a view into the gun carriage and attending tech priests/servitors.

The Adeptus Mechanicus is the next army up on the workbench once I finish the Mordian 7th regiment, so expect to see more of this soon!

Fear me, but follow!

A title like that can only mean one thing - Commissars.

Rooting around in my shelves I realized that in addition to the five commissars I had in regular play with the army, a further 5 were just waiting to see a paintbrush. Three of them were virtually complete, and just required a color or two and a shot of sealant:

Lurking further back in the shelves I found two more. They're everywhere! As I was losing the light, I just snapped a quick picture in process:

Just to keep the balance, I also dug out all my old psyker figs to give the commissars something to shoot at. I rarely took more than a single psyker in the 4th ed. rules (if that) though I always liked the figures - With the advent of the new Psyker battle squad, I figured it was time to give old Morrin Dannel a little backup. Just a quich shot of the group in progress:

I'm missing the 3rd edition Primaris Psyker model (though it's on a shelf around here somewhere), but other than that there's a representative model from every wave of psyker figs since 1st edition. I'm going to paint all of them in a matching color scheme to the one on the far left - Green cloaks (the color of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica), white trousers and shirts and yellow accents. That should tie all the disparate model styles into one cohesive-looking unit.

After these models are complete I'll turn my attentions to the 5-man Medusa siege gun crew and the 4 meltagunners. In the home stretch now!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Praetorian Project, mk. II

One of the things that draws me to the Guard can be summed up in one word: Tanks. Not only do the forces of the Imperial Guard get some of the biggest tanks on the 40k battlefield, but in the Epic scale games there are far more massive vehicles available, including one of my personal favorites, the Leviathan Command Carrier:

The incarnation of the guard army that preceded this most recent Mordian 7th redux was a very vehicle heavy force full of fun Forge World models and conversions. Right about the time that I was building the army, BoLS had come out with their Lords of Battle supplement, and I figured I'd try my hand at building a Leviathan in 40k scale, as I was always a fan of the model back when I played Adeptus Titanicus. Without further ado, I broke out the foamcore and cities of death bits and came up with a passable albeit scale-challenged model.

As I have alluded to in earlier posts, it is my intention to create a new leviathan, taking advantage of what I'd learned from making the previous one. I feel that while I got the general shape of the superstructure correct, it was just about 2/3's the size it should have been, and because of that the CoD bits looked awkwardly out of scale with the rest of the model. Since I'm hesitant to rely on foamcore for structure on a vehicle that's going to end up about 10"x9"x14", I've enlisted the help of a woodworker friend of mine to build the new superstructure. I drafted up some simple plans for the basic geometric shapes, and will subsequently detail out the resulting wood superstructure with thin plasticard and CoD bits. Replacing the Leman Russ turret with a Baneblade turret, and being able to space the side pylons further apart should help the overall aesthetic as well.

To that end, I started off with measuring the various detail bits that I intended to use (CoD panels, the various turret collars, etc), then assessed the overall scale and shape of the hull accordingly. Above is the quick sketch I made to help me figure out the scale - following that I drew out a set of full scale templates. When all is said and done,, it's going to be about 1/3 again as long and wide as a Baneblade, and stand about 10" to the top of the Baneblade turret. Other than needing to order up six of the Land Raider Terminus Ultra sprues, most of the decorative bits I'll be using exist in the closet of doom... Once I get the superstructure back, it should be a fairly simple task to decorate it appropriately!

I'm turning over the plans to my woodworking friend this weekend, though since he's only able to work on it in his spare time there is no real completion date for that stage of creation. Further updates on this monstrosity to follow!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Well ahead of schedule...

With a glorious half day today I had some extra time to paint and seal the remaining vehicles. Using the 'assembly line' method isn't just for blocks of troops, it's also useful to crank out an armored company. Once I had all the main armor and tracks painted, all that remained was the detailing and the color patterns I use to tie the army together. I find that doing several tanks at once ensures that the overall color scheme stays consistent.

The largest of the tanks in the army (currently... muahahaha), the Stormlord is a super heavy transport capable of moving a short platoon in relative safety. Four twin-linked heavy flamers, four Lascannons, a pair of Heavy Stubbers and a Vulcan Megabolter also provide a frightening amount of firepower.

A step down in chassis size, the Macharius is sometimes referred to as the poor man's Baneblade. Lacking the sheer number of weapon systems of its larger cousin, the Macharius nevertheless can lay out a significan volume of fire.

This monstrosity is what I call a "King Russ". It's a bit larger than a standard Leman Russ, but otherwise is identically armed. In game I consider the Extra Armor and Track Guards compulsory upgrades and purchase them accordingly - otherwise it functions exactly like a Leman Russ. This particular tank has been converted into an Executioner, though I have three more of these chassis that I have held off on building until such time as I get the new codex. Seeing as I have some leftover bits from the Baneblade (especially the hellhammer cannon barrel) I'll likely turn one of them into the Nova Cannon variant whose name escapes me at the moment. The other two will likely end up as a Vanquisher and a 'vanilla' Leman Russ.

Lastly the Wyvern Pattern Command Chimeras - I've done one for my Company HQ and one for the 1st Platoon HQ. My long term plan is to build another Leviathan to act as the Company HQ command vehicle and use the Wyverns for the first and second platoon HQ squads. I'll be honest though, the more I look at these, the more inclined I am to get rid of my old style chimeras entirely and re-build them all in this style - the rear-mounted turrets match thematically with the alternate Leman Russ tanks as well as the Macharius. Style before Purpose, as I always say!

So, the initial plan to get the vehicles and sundry unpainted miniatures done by May 2nd is looking to be a cinch. I did dig up a couple other miniatures that require painting that I'd missed on my initial plan, so I'll be adding the following to the painting queue:

5 Psykers
5 Commissars
4 guardsmen with Melta Guns (to swap out as desired into the 1st platoon infantry squads)

Further updates to come!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The other side of the coin

Lastly, I have a Traitor Guard army lurking in the depths of my shelves. Of all the side projects, it has the most completed models, but is the one I'm least likely to work on at the moment. One guard army at a time after all!

I absolutely love the forge world traitor guard figs, especially this Rogue Psyker.

More FW goodness, the commissar's dark counterpart (er... darker counterpart?) - Renegade Enforcers. Simply brilliant castings.

I'm doing one squad of Traitor Guard devoted to each of the four ruinous powers - For the Khornate guardsmen I decided a squad of Blood Pact would be appropriate. The models are mish-mash of parts from the Chaos Marauders and Brettonians in the WHFB range, along with bits from the Catachan sprues. Their masks are made from the shaved-off faces of fantasy goblins.

The Yin to Thargadd's Thumpers Yang, a group of Renegade Ogryns. Right about here is where I ran out of steam on the army, and it's been pushed way back on the shelves (and in the painting queue).

The traitor guard is actually a fairly large army - in addition to the above, there's three more troops squads, a large mob of menials, a number of tanks, some Alpha Legion traitor marines, and a traitor Baneblade... Yes, that's what happened to my first plastic baneblade - I always wanted to do a traitor version, but wasn't quite up to defiling a $300 FW model to make one!

The Crimson Fists

Another side project, I have a small Crimson Fists army. I've built it with an eye towards being a fast, hard-hitting assault force - basically everything the guard really isn't. I decided that since I was going to sit down and recreate the original Mordian 7th for 5th edition, I may as well do an homage to my very first army ever as well- the Crimson Fists. I was so taken by the art on the front of the Rogue Trader rulebook and on that first box of beakies that I just had to paint my first army the same way. Granted, at the time they were the very first models I'd ever painted in my entire life, and I shudder to think back at how they turned out. It was horrific, and I'm glad to say that my abilities have improved significantly since those days! Suffice it to say that Testor's paints will always haunt my nightmares...

At the moment the army is just assembled and primered, awaiting the painting table. The only unit that I have painted thus far is the command squad and good ol' Pedro Kantor that I'd done just as a proof-of-concept for the paint scheme (I'll admit it, I mostly just wanted to paint the new Kantor fig):

I decided to take Kantor's equipment theme through the squad, plenty of power fists and storm bolters. I also enjoy adding the occasional bit of humor into my armies, and this squad's plasma gunner is a perfect example. The opposite side of the scroll attached to the gun has a number of hash marks representing the number of times it's successfully fired... His time is no doubt near!