Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mordian 7th Regiment - New Chimera test build and Leman Russ Vanquisher

Time to squeeze one last blog post in before the month ends! After my previous experience building the Mk. 1 Rhino upgrade kits from Blood and Skulls Industry I was chatting with Tom about the other kits he's made recently. I was excited to hear that I could still order the Chimera upgrade kit he'd made a while back as it's very similar to the Wyvern Pattern Chimeras I'd kitbashed (scroll down a bit) for use with the last iteration of the glorious 7th. For a quite reasonable $15, he offers a replacement top plate, turret and hatch that quite nicely approximates what I'd done before with the added bonus that it requires almost nothing in the way of cutting and trimming like the kitbash versions I'd made did. A week or so after I'd placed the order, a box arrived with 5 of the kits. After trimming away the minimal flash and a quick wash, I snapped a picture of what exactly comes with the upgrade kit:

I especially like the viewports he's used in place of the ball-and-socket lasguns from the standard Chimera, and the low-profile turret is designed to accept the multi-laser from the original kit, as well as giving one room to add whatever turret armament one may desire. I cracked open one of the old-style Chimera kits I've been hoarding in the Closet of Doom and did a test build with the first of the five kits I'd ordered.

The kit went together smoothly (well as smoothly as assembling an old-style Chimera kit ever does) and I decided to build an Autocannon turret as well as a Multi-laser turret (as he'd included a spare turret in the package). I decided that as part of the overall sleeker aesthetic provided by the turret and new hull, that I'd leave off the big boxy side armor plates that come with the old kit and instead just add some stowage and whatnot to the sides. Overall I'm quite pleased and I'm looking forward to building the rest of the kits!

While I was about it I knocked together one of the newer Leman Russ kits that I picked up at my FLGS. My intent was to build it such that it could be used as either a 'vanilla' Leman Russ or a Vanquisher (I do really like the push-fit weapon options on the new kit), though I decided against adding side sponsons to it. I may add another Leman Russ in the future, but for now the other two heavy support slots for the army will be taken up by a Medusa Emplacement and a Manticore. I loves me some heavy artillery after all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Mk. 1 Rhino/Predator kits, first builds

As I've felt that I've made great strides in painting the Dark Eldar, I rewarded myself with some build time! Over the last year or so I've been gathering bits and pieces for use in the Heresy-Era Thousand Sons that I have planned. Recently I picked up some rather brilliant resin add-on kits from Blood and Skulls Industry to turn a current-era Rhino into a nice approximation of the old Mk. 1 version.

I ordered five of the Rhino upgrade kits (which are a limited run not sold on the eBay store, contact the seller for info and availability) as well as a trio of Predator kits (Also known as "Liberator" turrets and sponsons on the Blood and Skulls Industry site), and set about cleaning up the extremely manageable flash and gave 'em a good wash. The Rhino kit consists of two replacement side plates, a new front plate, a pair of hatches each mounting a bolter(ish), and the iconic round doors and exposed exhausts. The Predator Kits had a pair of side sponsons designed to interface with the Rhino kit side plates, and a rounded top turret very reminiscent of the original Mk.1 Predator kit. The sponsons and turret also have pre-moulded spaces for rare-earth magnets for ease of weapon swaps.

Unlike the Chapterhouse kits, these kits did require a bit of work on the modeller's part to prepare the Rhino for the side plates. This means the existing exhausts must be cut away. I used a very thin-bladed and tiny-toothed hobby saw, which for the most part cleanly cut away the exhausts. After that it just needed a bit of a sanding to smooth out the various rivets and the side plates are mounted flush to the newly-flat panel..

Once that was taken care of however, the rest of the kit goes together like a dream. I decided to go ahead and permanently mount the Lascannons and Autocannon armaments to the two turrets, but will be magnetizing the side sponson guns (onse I get a pack of the proper-sized magnets). The one thing that I do really like about the chapterhouse kit that isn't included in these kits are the front and rear grillwork that really help drive the Mk. 1 look home. Luckily I have several sets to pull bits from.

I realized that one of the things I failed to buy prior to the recent price hikes are, unfortunately, enough Rhino kits to apply these upgrade kits to. That being the case, I decided I'd just start off with one Rhino and one Predator until I can take out a bank loan to buy another three Rhinos...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mordian 7th Regiment, D Company - Planning and build nearly complete.

So once upon a time, I started a blog that was all about the glorious Mordian 7th Regiment with the intent that it would keep me on target with my hobby work and allow me to solicit feedback from all you awesome readers. That worked for a while, but about a year ago I finally became fed up with all the little problems that I'd introduced into the army and I sold off a goodly chunk of it with the intention of starting over from scratch. In the mean time I've been all over the map with Orks and Ad-Mech and Dark Eldar (oh my!). Nevertheless, behind the scenes over the last year I've been slowly buying the odd box set of guard models and tucking them away in the Closet of Doom, and I've fiddled around with various army lists, knowing that the "original" Mordian 7th list is neither competitive, interesting from a modeling perspective, or in certain unit's cases even possible with the current codex. That being the case I've decided to toss out the plan of meticulously re-creating the original list and instead come up with a blended list that a) includes most of the 'signature' units from the original, b) would be fun to build and paint, and c) actually be a feasible army in the current edition.

I sat down, cracked open the painting chart (thanks to Admiral Drax once again for this fabulous idea) and set to mixing and matching what I thought would be a fun army to build and paint. Luckily I kept a number of units from the previous army, so a seed of already-painted models exists for me to structure the rest of the army around. I started from the top and worked down the army list...

Leading from the front is Company Commander Evin Eldro and his command squad. In game, I utilize Creed's rules to represent Evin's years of service, fiery temperament and superior tactical acumen. Though shouting "Eldrooooo!" is not quite as satisfying as "Creeeeeeed!"

The HQ slots are further filled with Lord Commissar Fidel Arden (shown here leading the rest of the members of the Commissariat assigned to the Mordian 7th)...

...and Sanctioned Psyker Morrin Dannel (taking refuge with the rest of the psykers that accompany the glorious 7th). There is also a small detachment of Techpriests assigned to the Mordian 7th as well, though I have no pictures of them at the moment.

Filling in the Elites slots are a number of Abhuman units - the Mordian 7th is well known (and a bit infamous) in their use of Abhumans. First and most often seen taking the field are 3rd Platoon, a.k.a. "Thargadd's Thumpers", a unit of Ogryns who have accompanied the 7th since its inception.

As diminutive (and sneaky) as the Ogryns are large (and smelly), Dunno's Deadeyes are the 7th's unit of Ratling Snipers.

Nicodemus is a disgraced Imperial Assassin that has thrown in his lot with Commander Eldro and is often sent on insanely dangerous missions, which seems to suit his need for atonement. In game, he counts-as Guardsman Marbo and is armed and modeled accordingly.

Now I'd sold off nearly all of the Troops choices for the army and have been re-building them. At the moment, no pictures, but it includes the following:

1st (Tactical) Platoon
HQ squad w/ Chimera
3x Squads of Guardsmen with Grenade Launchers, Missile Launchers and Chimeras
3x Lascannon-armed Heavy Weapons Teams. 

2nd (Assault) Platoon
1x Veterans Squad w/ 3x Plasma Guns and Valkyrie (anti-infantry squad)
1x Veterans Squad w/ 3x Meltas, Demolitions and Vendetta (anti-tank squad)
In the original list, all of these models used to be equipped with laspistols, CCWs and Jump Packs which is no longer an option. Instead I've kited them out with Grav Chutes and mounted them in Valkyrie/Vendettas which I feel is a fair approximation.

4th (Beastman) Platoon
10x Beastmen armed with two hand weapons. Packmaster Raakt is armed with a pair of Chainswords, but the remainder of the unit carries basic axes and swords.
In the original list, Beastmen were a valid unit choice. To represent them in the current edition, I utilize them as a Penal Legion who always have the "Knife Fighters" option and forfeit their lasguns. They are made from fantasy beastmen who have had their torsos replaced with Cadian torsos and occasional bits of equipment (canteens, grenades and the like).

6th (Penitents) Platoon
10x Penal Legionnaires w/ Lasguns
Very simple unit - the 7th is primarily modeled using Cadians but the Penitents utilize Catachan models to represent a more buffed-out criminal look. Painted in prison orange, complete but apparently I've never taken pictures of them...

On the Fast Attack front, the army includes a Bane Wolf, a trio of Mars-Pattern Sentinels (currently unbuilt) and a 10-strong unit of Rough Riders. Instead of horses however, the Rough Riders are all mounted on motorcycles and are led by Captain Hilts who is a counts-as Mogul Kamir (bonus points if you get the Captain Hilts reference).

As mentioned in the Troops section, the Imperial Navy has supplied the 7th with several aircraft. The Valkyrie has been assembled and painted for some time now, but the Vendetta still languishes in a box in the Closet of Doom...

On the heavy support front, the Thudd Gun that used to accompany the 7th has been replaced by a Medusa Emplacement. Hands down one of my favorite FW models of all time. I could have sworn I had a picture of the completed model, but apparently the only shot I have is an old in-progress picture.

The Rapier Laser Destroyer has accompanied the 7th for decades as well, and is usually watched over by one of the two Techpriests that are part of the army.

One can never have enough artillery, so a Manticore has been seconded into the army as well. My intention is to also include one (maybe two) Leman Russ tanks, I'm planning on a heavily magnetized version to allow for as much flexibility and options as I can.

The Imperial Navy also provides the 7th with significant air support in the form of an Imperial Thunderbolt...

...And a Vulture Gunship armed with twin-linked Punisher cannons. If all else fails, I guess I'll be more or less ready for the vaunted "Summer of Flyers"!

All told the army comes out to just a hair over 4,000 points as listed. Now all I need to do is paint about 80 infantry and 7 vehicles, as well as re-base nearly all the currently-painted models so the bases match my current theme. Looks like I have my work cut out for me!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Kabal of the Crimson Woe - Hellions unit completed

The last few weeks have been tough on the hobby front, mostly due to the home remodeling - since I had to pull the A/C unit out of the window in my hobby loft, it's been well over 95 degrees Fahrenheit up there. Not ideal! Luckily, one of my gaming buddies offered to let me do some painting and whatnot at his place in the interim, and I've managed to crank out a few more models:

Most recently I've managed to polish off a small unit of Hellions - nothing too fancy, I stuck with the same scheme that I used on my Wyches - Off-white leathers, red armor, gold trim, blue hair. Quick and easy. I've got the 6-man Reaver unit about half done as well, and once those are done all that remains are the sails and crew for the Raiders. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

In other news, I'm slowly getting things squared away for the next rendition of the Mordian 7th. I've assembled and primered 60-something guardsmen and worked a little bit on painting the Manticore. I swear, the blog used to be all about the guard, really!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Magnus The Red painting in progress

Still waiting for the renovations around my condo to be completed, with summer in full force around here the temperatures in my hobby loft have hit over 95 degrees (good thing I don't have any finecast! [rimshot]), so I haven't gotten much done up there of late. This is a piece that I'd worked on a few weeks back for my Heresy-Era Thousand Sons - The Primarch Magnus the Red.

Magnus is described as a crimson-skinned giant of a man in several stories, and I tried to capture a reddish/ruddy hued skin which turned out fairly decent - It's a simple coat of Dwarf Flesh, a light wash of Baal Red and a highlight of Dwarf Flesh and Elf Flesh. As far as him being a giant, I didn't include a model for scale, but suffice it to say that that's a 60mm base he's standing on!

As there's more than a bit on animosity between the Sons of Russ and the Sons of Magnus, I thought it would be only appropriate to have Magnus wear a wolf-skin pelt. The model required quite a bit of greenstuffing to mask various joins and gaps, and unfortunately while painting the model I've discovered several places where my GS skills left quite a bit to be desired.  I'm not sure how to go about repairing the remaining gaps, I guess I'll have to try and use a bit more GS here and there and hope I can paint over it without the paint flaking off or something...

I'm in the home stretch with a unit of Hellion and Reavers after a friend of mine graciously offered to let me do some painting over at his place where it's much, much cooler than the oven of my hobby loft. Pics soon!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Adeptus Custodes Terminators

Not a huge amount of forward progress on the Dark Eldar of late, I've been working on batch painting four Raiders and a Venom all at the same time. That's been more than a little tedious, so I decided to take a break from the red and gold paint scheme and instead paint something... gold... and red. Argh.

I'd picked up these Custodes Terminators years and years ago and they have patiently waited in the Closet of Doom until the recent release of the new Grey Knights. After reading through the codex, I figured that they would be well-represented on the tabletop as a unit of Paladins, and set about building them accordingly utilizing a mix of the GK Terminator arms, and the arms that came with the Custodes originally.

As there isn't really a 'Sergeant' for the unit, I went with a slightly-more-ornate Nemesis Force Halberd for one of the models.

Though it's not nearly as powerful as the almighty Psycannon, the artwork for the Custodes clearly shows them carrying a flame lance, so I've included one in the unit as a counts-as Incinerator.

Rounding out the unit are three more NFH-armed terminators. Unfortunately all of the main bodies for the Custodes are identical, so I tried to utilize the varied arm poses to try and get them to look a bit more individual. As I have no plans to run a GK army, these models will be going on eBay this coming weekend...

As mentioned earlier, I'm in the midst of batch painting all the transports for the Dark Eldar, and snapped a quick picture of them while I was about it. Still a ways to go, but at least all the main colors have been blocked in!