Thursday, July 28, 2011

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Sekhmet Terminators in progress

After messing around with the Librarian Dread to get a feel for the colors, I decided to take a crack at the Sekhmet Terminators for the Thousand Sons.

The initial build utilized a mix of Chaos and Loyalist terminator bits, plus some Chapterhouse Scarab Terminator shoulder pads. In the novel 'A Thousand Sons' there is a section which talks about the fact that the Thousand Sons were starting to be issued the new Assault Cannons, although they decided to continue to refer to them as 'Reapers' as the name has power. That being the case, I cut the Autocannons from the standard Reaper and fitted an Assault Cannon in their place. The heads were cut down from the Loyalist helmet and it looked fairly decent in the build phase, but once I started laying some paint on them, the gold and red made them look like fairly vanilla Khornate Terminators. Out came the needle-nose pliers, off came the heads and a selection of the resin Egyptian-themed heads were added in their stead.

This really helped solidify the look of the Thousand Sons, and I'm quite pleased with how they are turning out. It was at this point I really started thinking about the overall paint scheme for the army as a whole. According to my research, the standard rank-and-file infantry are red armor with white edging/trim and gold accents. For the veterans however, I decided I'd be going red armor with gold edging/trim and white accents. That being the case, the shoulder pads for the Sekhmet are done in a light bone-white to offset all the gold and with the blue spot color on the power weapons they're starting to look more cohesive. This also ties them together with the Blood Ravens paint scheme (as they are rumored to be a successor chapter to the Thousand Sons).

Not a whole lot left to do on these guys, highlighting on the blues, some minor detailing and the bases and they're good as done!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Seraphis, Librarian Dreadnought Complete!

I'd solicited some advice from you lovely readers regarding what else Seraphis needed to make him stand out a bit, and The Inner Geek made the excellent suggestion that he needed a bit more scroll work and so forth on the armor plates to make them a bit more interesting to look at.

I took this to heart and dug out my old Realm of Chaos books to find some inspiration on mystic runes I could use. With those as a guide I broke out the paint and set to work adding a mess of runes and appropriately eldritch looking squiggles.

Once I was relatively satisfied with the coverage, I went back over the plates with a Baal Red wash to tone them down a bit and help blend them in. I'm really pleased with how it turned out - the red of the runes brightened up the model overall, bringing it more in line with the brighter red shown in the Horus Heresy art books but still keeping the slightly darker tone I am going for. Thanks to The Inner Geek for this excellent suggestion!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Seraphis, Librarian Dreadnought Painted

I've been dabbling a bit with paint schemes for the Heresy-Era Thousand Sons, and I believe I've settled on the crimson I'll be using. I've been a bit tired of painting infantry models, so I thought I'd take a crack at the Librarian Dreadnought for the army - Seraphis is a 'named character' dreadnought for the Thousand Sons in the Tempus Fugitives codex.

Armed with a Plasma Cannon and a Force Weapon, and as a member of the Athaenean Cult, he has access to a number of psychic powers that can turn the tide of battle to the Thousand Sons' advantage.

The model itself is 90% constructed from the Venerable Dreadnought kit, with a few add-ons from other sources - the loincloth, for example, is made from parts of an Inquisitor-scale model's coat. I'm still thinking about what extra detail work needs to be painted on, there's a fair bit of open space yet that I feel may require some eldritch symbols and further scroll work...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Adeptus Mechanicus on the auction block

Unfortunately due to some unforeseen expenses that have bitten deep into my vacation funds, I've been forced into selling off some of my collection to help fund the upcoming trip to GenCon. That being the case, over the next couple weeks I'm going to be auctioning off a number of units. To lead off with I've put the Adaptus Mechanicus up for auction on eBay. As it's currently all packed up in a set of Battlefoam trays, I figured I'd see if I could sell off the entire army at a single auction, but if that doesn't work out, I'll be parceling it out into individual auctions.

The Adeptus Mechanicus army that's going on the block is probably the most conversion-heavy army I've sold in a long, long time - nearly every unit is either Out Of Print, converted in some way, or made from custom after-market models. All told, it points out at around 3500 points and is comprised of the following units:

Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator Force Psi Phi
(click the pictures to enlarge, as usual)

OOP Skulls Techmarines Set

5-man Iron Souls Protectors unit

1x Custom Built Archmagos Veneratus

12-man Skitarii Maniple (Red)

12-man Skitarii Maniple (White)

5x Robots (Red/White)

5x Robots (Grey/Yellow)

1x Custom Built Myrmidon Assault Engine

3x Termites (Ramshackle Games Boring Machines)

1x King Russ Executioner w/swappable sponsons

1x King Russ Vanquisher
1x King Russ Punisher w/additional Battlecannon turret

1x Knight Paladin (BigDaddy miniatures, includes Knight Pilot)

The current auction listing may be found here. As the two boxes that contain all these models are both large and heavy, at the moment the auction is restricted to US and Canadian bidders only (as the cost of shipping the boxes overseas would be hundreds of dollars. I apologize for that restriction, but should the army not sell, I'll be opening up the individual units for sale to a more world-wide audience. I'm a little saddened to have to let these guys go, but when all is said and done I enjoy the 'building and painting' more than the 'having', and as I have plenty more Ad-Mech bits in the Closet of Doom, it simply means I can start building another Ad-Mech army in the future!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Jetbikes build complete

I've been in the grip of the 'build stuff' bug of late, and rooting around in the box of bits I've been collecting for the Thousand Sons uncovered the jet-bikes I'd purchased a long time ago from Zealot Miniatures (though not long after I'd placed the order, they discontinued the models). I'm only doing a small squad of 5, so it was only a few hours' worth of build time to get them all cleaned and glued up.

For the Sorcerer Sergeant I went with a pair of legs from the Ravenwing upgrade sprues, and the torso and head from the Egyptian-themed marine bits I've been using heavily throughout the army. The Khopesh is from MaxMini, and the wings added to the front fairing were donated by a friend of mine's box of Sanguinary Guard that he wasn't planning on using.

The unit is primarily designed to be a rapid response meltagun delivery system, so next up were a pair of Thousand Sons armed with the Heresy-Era meltaguns from Forge World. The heads are MaxMini 'Steam Knight #1' heads which will be used on almost all of the infantry. I'd ordered up 50 of them but I'm starting to think that won't be sufficient!

To round out the squad a pair of vanilla bikers were built as well. Not much to be said about them honestly. MaxMini heads, Sanguinary Guard wings, marine biker bits. Done.

...And a quick shot of the unit. All of them will eventually be on flying stands mounted to DragonForge bases (as shown in the sergeant picture) but at the time of this picture I hadn't drilled out the bases and stands. With these guys built, all that's really left is a trio of Tactical squads and a Devastator squad. I've definitely been enjoying the build process, I guess we'll see how much of a slog painting them all will be!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Azhek Ahriman built

Had a chance to snap a few pics of the Heresy-Era Ahriman model I've built for my Thousand Sons, and thought I'd enter it in the Minature Wargames Conversions Miniature Conversion Contest as well. 

In the heresy-era codex that I'm using, Ahriman wears a suit of artificer armor so I started with one of the front chest plates from a venerable dreadnought as I felt it looked suitably ornate. The helmet and backpack were from the same set of Egyptian-themed resin cast bits that I used on Besenmut - Ahriman will be unique in the army inasmuch as he wears a 'chaos' backpack however. The rest of the infantry will be wearing the standard marine backpack in keeping with the timeframe. 

I went with some more ornate shoulder pads from MaxMini, and will be painting scarabs on them to match the others scattered around the model. The force weapon is also from MaxMini - all of the force weapons match this halberd look (including the one carried by Seraphis, a named-character LibrarianDreadnought I built a while back), while all the power weapons will be khopesh-style single handed blades, which will help me distinguish who is armed with what easily n the tabletop. Most of the purity seals and scrolls come from the Ravenwing upgrade kit, and were trimmed and bent into position to hide some of the more unsightly seams and gaps.

Lastly I tried my hand at sculpting a greenstuff cloak using a number of techniques I've read about (but up to this point had never put into practice), so of everything on the model it is what I'm least happy with. I started off with a thin card template which I'd glued in place and coated with a thin layer of superglue to turn it into poor man's plasticard. From there I mixed up some GS using the same template shape and teased it into place. I then set about totally ruining it by adding way too many thin folds, to the point it started to look like fur. It was a relatively thin layer so I just let it cure and came back the next day. 

For the second pass I mixed up some GS with a much higher percentage of blue which I've read helps when attempting to make sharper edges. I applied this mix and smoothed it into the existing cloak, and set about sculpting some more reserved folds, with reasonable success. I definitely learned a bit about what NOT to do in this first attempt, but the final result is passable enough not to want to basically demolish the whole model to remove it and start anew! I finished up with a few details - I knew I wanted the Book of Ahriman to be floating nearby as if he was casting from it. The book again comes from the Ravenwing upgrade sprue, with a bunch of the DA iconography filed off and cut away. Lastly I added a small ball of energy just hovering in front of his outstretched palm, as though he was gathering power for some eldritch blast. I'm planning on trying a little OSL on the energy ball and the palm of his hand, I guess we'll see how that goes!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Heresy Era Thousand Sons - Assault Captain Besenmut built

Well the Miniature Wargames Conversions Miniature Conversion Contest (say that ten times fast) got me in the building mood, so I hauled out the box of Thousand Sons bits from the depths of the Closet of Doom and did a little building. In the codex that I'm using, only one assault squad is allowed to have jump packs, so I figured that the Vanguard Veterans squad would be the ones equipped with them. This also has the added benefit of a upgrading the veteran sergeant to Assault Captain Besenmut, who is armed with a Relic Blade and an Iron Halo and has one better WS and W than the sergeant he replaces.

The Vanguard Veterans were built using a number of bits from the ornate Egyptian-themed marine bits I'd picked up from eBay and so Besenmut really needed something to distinguish him from the rest of the unit. My eye fell upon the marine casualties I'd planned on using for objective markers and immediately decided a little vingette was in order, with Besenmut landing on a wounded marine.

A few other things were added to help him stand out - to represent his Relic Blade he was given a Khopesh-styled power sword from MaxMini, and to help represent his Iron Halo, he was also given one of the more ornate helmets from the Egyptian-themed bits. I figured one of the helmets with wings would be suited to the assault captain.

With the weight of the base, I was able to off-set Besenmut from the base a little, even with the metal jet pack. The original positioning was a little off so the steel wire got a little bend to bring the model into a more dynamic position. All in all a fun model to build and I'm looking forward to painting it. It's a fair bet that the marine on the ground will end up being a Space Wolf. It's only appropriate after all!