Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. X – Characters

And we proceed into the end phase of this projectwell, probably.. after nigh on TWO YEARS (!) I’ve finally got the supporting characters for Captain Tycho’s HQ.

Presenting:

From left to right – Librarian, Medic, Chaplain
Side view on Chaplain – he was based black, drybrushed up and then washed with black again – yellow and bone parts shaded with Vallejo Skin Wash and I tried to feather the wash a little with a wet brush… looking at the close up though I can see a few issues!
Medic – I was happier with him, based in Dulux Jasmine White (yep) thinned with Windsor & Newton medium, given a very thin coat of Skin Wash to warm the whole thing up a bit – slightly heavier wash on the yellow and/ bone parts
Librarian – I did the blue with Wilkos Duck Egg Blue, washed with a craft blue and did a thinned down wash over the silver on the power sword to suggest a “power” vibe

The back banners were my attempts at freehand and I think it’s undeniable that I REALLY need to get my eyes checked – I think I may have another crack at these, drawing them out on paper first rather than going in freehand!

Captain Tycho and his supporting cast…

Hmm. Looking at these from two feet away, they look OK, but under the unyielding light of camera close up, I’m not happy. Glasses and retouching I think are the order of the day – anyone out there have any experience of this sort of thing?

Stay safe and thrifty out there, back again soon!

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt.9 – When You’re On A Roll…

There’s an old saying – when you’re in a hole, stop digging, but when you’re on a roll, keep rollin’! So after the first Rhino actually took me slightly less than two years….

Yeah…

After having realised (with a couple of pointers from Jim) how to crank ’em out, here’s two more:

These were built exactly the same way as the first one, papercraft template downloaded from “In The Grim Cheapness” (RIP), glued to card… ignored the fiddly bits, used straws for the exhausts, PVA dabs for the rivets and Polyfilla (sanded down with an emery board) to fill in and take care of any glaring gaps. Primed white (and pre-shaded with brown ink), then Vallejo Hot Orange base, Red Ink Wash, drybrush with Hot Orange and edged with cheap Cadmium Yellow craft paint.

Metallics are Vallejo Mithril Silver over craft black base, whites are Dulux Jasmine White house paint (!)
Notice that No. 9 Rhino has a) the variant frontal armour and b) a small dent after having been inadvertently sat on by the boy.. not to worry, what would have been £30+ quid of plastic down the pan gets a quick shake, squeeze and prodding back out with a cocktail stick and..
Good to go! Seen here with the first Rhino, Captain Tycho and some friends…
“Our aim is to create a recognisable brand to strike fear into the hearts of the Imperium’s enemies”

So there we go, more progress on the 1991 Blood Angels Tribute Act… now, to make this force 2nd Ed legal, I need to bodge together a Techmarine, plus there’s a Land Speeder, a Land Raider, a Thudd Gun, two bikes (Christ knows how I’m going to do them) and the rest of the characters still to do… so hmmm, what’s next on the hit list….

Stay safe and thrifty out there, and slavia Ukrainia, slavia heroyem – all things pass

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 8- Startin’ Up The Motor Pool!

After my compatriot’s rather heartfelt (and heavily researched) post on the unfolding conflict in Ukraine, I kind of feel a bit sheepish popping this here, but here we are – the first vehicle for the 1991 Blood Angels!

Fittingly enough, it’s a Rhino – the ubiquitous M113-battle-taxi of the far future. This was (fanfare please) a DIY papercraft build, put together from a template downloaded from the now-shuttered (sadly) blog “In The Grim Cheapness” – I’d recommend downloading the hell out of everything on that site while it’s still up.

I actually built the basic hull and treads back in 2020 (!) and pretty much forgot about it, so hauled it back out and started applying details. Hatches and armour layers were cut from thin card, and the iconic four exhausts (borrowing from Wyloch.. praise be upon him) were made from drinking straws. I plugged up the holes with greenstuff and cut down thinner drinking straws for the very top of the exhaust.

You can see the rivets – dots of PVA glue, dabbed on with a cocktail stick. I also used Polyfilla (spackle, in American) to fill in some of the gaps, and then sanded it down before priming.

In white, naturally, as was the style of the time – and I decided to get clever, adding a thin chestnut/brown wash over the primer:

Before applying the basecoat, two thin coats (naturally) of Vallejo Hot Orange, washed with Vallejo Red Ink, drybrushed with Hot Orange and edge highlighted with thinned Cadmium Yellow craft paint.

Craft black for the bits that are going to be metallic and the campaign badge, and the vision slits because no bloody way was I going to cut out raised lips for them…

You might notice that although this is based on the classic Mk 1 Rhino from the Rogue Trader but I wimped out of doing the radiator grills – I did have a plan to use nylon tulle (which we used when we made Skalk Point) but after losing several layers of skin trying to superglue the bastard stuff I gave up and went for armour layers with cardboard. So we have a beast which is neither quite fish nor fowl, but after a lick of paint, we are left with….

My First Papercraft! With thanks to Jim for a bit of assistance 😉
Freehand shapes were drawn on in pencil and then Dulux Jasmine White house paint (thinned with Windsor & Newton medium) to fill in the shapes.. I actually measured the arrow to get it geometrically right, a first for me!

In situ on the terrain mat with some friends for scale

So there we are – it’s not quite done, I need to get a couple of bolters to mount on it but riding a wave of confidence I may even scratchbuild some to stick on there!

Not perfect and I very much doubt it would fool anyone into thinking it’s a legit GW product, but works nicely for us and looks pretty good – the army list calls for another two, so that’s me occupied for the next few weeks!

On another note, we decided that one thing we could do is cash out everything we’ve earned from selling Apocalypse: Earth to the DEC appeal to support Ukraine, so from now on until all this is over all proceeds will be going there. Not much, but better than nothing. As Jim mentioned in the last post, we did have some engagement with Russia (43 readers… out of 144 million people.. still) so if you ARE a young Russian chap of draftable age reading this and conscription season is right around the corner, maybe now is time to take that gap year abroad you’ve been promising yourself…..

Stay thrifty and safe out there, and may sanity prevail before too long. Slavia Ukraini, slavia heroyem

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 7 – Captain Tycho!

Happy holidays one and all! Wherever you are out in the blogosphere let me begin by wishing you good cheer this festive season, and may you all successfully dodge the Omicron variant…

This is going to be a short one because neither Jim or I have done a great deal of hobby stuff over the last couple of weeks as we’ve been making up for the misery of last year’s Christmas by doubling up on the drink and merriment for this year… that said, I have managed to get something done on my 1991 Blood Angels Tribute Act.

No Space Marine force is complete without a heroic leader – and I mean that literally, as the Codexes don’t allow it – and I’ve got one sorted for mine now. Here is Captain Tycho, 1991 style!

Mmm, shiny (cheers for the pics, Whittlesey!)

Now, here’s the one I cobbled together from what I had to hand:

I’m going to claim he looks vaguely festive, as he does look like an animated (and righteously furious) bauble… Goblin Green bases seem to do that.

It’s also increasingly obvious that I should have been painting these guys as Space Wolves as there are all sorts of wolfy trinkets hanging off him as well as other Marines… but I’m going to explain this away as the force having served alongside some Space Wolves and having been rewarded with some ornaments as a sign of good faith between these two. I also like the idea of a Space Vampire and a Space Viking slamming back some Space Brews in Space….

“Fething love you, Brother…. Hic”

Yellow is known for being a nightmare to do, so here’s my secret – cheat. White primer, preshade with thinned Vallejo Chestnut ink wash (this is quite handy as it helps outline what bit is where, which is useful when you’re as old and blind as I am) – and then just cheap yelow craft paint over the top. Chestnut ink wash and then mix some bone into the yellow to start to highlight up. I did some edge highlighting on the tops of the shin pads and some armour plates, but the clever stuff was drybrushed, I don’t have the eyes, skill or patience for anything more involved. Other than that I simply tried to follow the pattern on the 1991 original, doing the black with Vallejo German Grey washed with black ink and drybrush with a lighter grey.. For the bases I painted on PVA and dunked it in sand but in order to make it easier to paint I did this BEFORE priming.

Hoping to get him on the table pretty soon assuming Omicron doesn’t cause the downfall of human civilisation and the end of life as we know it… in the mean time, stay safe, healthy and thrifty and we wish you the Happiest of New Years!

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 6 – Blood Angels Terminators, 1991 style

How do – seeing as having recently written an absolutely EPIC battle report, my partner in blogging currently resembles this:

I thought I’d take over blogging duties for a little while and share my next block of progress with the Retro Blood Angels – for those of you unfamiliar with this endeavour, I picked up a job lot of Marines on eBay last year in celebration of my car unexpectedly passing its MOT, realised that if I combined them with the Marines from our inadvertent eBay purchase of a 2nd Ed 40K box set I would be able to put together the Blood Angels army featured in the first ever White Dwarf I ever read, issue 139 from May 1991.

I resolved to paint them in the classic 90s style – white primer, PVA & sand bases (painted Goblin Green), edge highlighting, no weathering – and offer up this tribute to.. well, I fell down there, really. I just wanted to have the army that I fell in love with as a nipper.

So far I’ve got the bulk of the infantry done – two Tactical Squads, a Devastator squad and an Assault squad, so this time it’s the turn of the elite 1st company veterans in their Tactical Dreadnought Armour:

I won’t delve into the painting format as it’s largely the same as what the rest of them have had just with an extra layer or two of yellow to bring out some highlights.

This was my goal:

Linked from Whittlesey40k, who also very kindly provided a set of decals for the project – owe you a beer!

And this was what I managed:

Don’t think the ‘Eavy Metal team will be beating a path to my door just yet, but from two feet away they look pretty good – and you’ll just have to trust me when I say that banner looks better in the flesh….

Progress so far? Well, funny you should ask:

All the lads – Nos 1 & 2 Tactical Squads, No. 4 Assault squad (Yellow helmets, chainswords and chap with “just a flesh wound”) and No. 9 Devastator heavy support squad (blue helmets, big guns).

Oh, and the how-to on the terrain mat is here – thoroughly recommend visiting Mel The Terrain Tutor on YouTube for a better run through.

What next? Well, that’s the infantry largely done, although the characters all need to be painted and there are some Techmarine conversions I’ll need to figure out – building sci-fi spanners out of cardboard and granny rating should while away a few evenings as the nights draw in – but the original force featured a Land Raider, a Thudd Gun, a Land Speeder and a few Rhinos which in the spirit of thriftiness I intend to scratchbuild – Jim’s given me a template for a papercraft Rhino from the now sadly shuttered In The Grim Cheapness, as well as a few hints and tips from his own experiences – and of course there’s always Wyloch.

Stay safe and thrifty out there and fingers crossed the Mu variant doesn’t doom us all to another lockdown winter…

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 5- Blood Angels Assault Squad, 1991 style

Ok, so here in Blighty it is allegedly the height of summer but the sun has been an inconsistent companion.. however, in the grim darkness of the far future the primary colours are always bright and the grass is always Goblin Green.

And to give some variety, let me present a post that is NOT all about granny grating… we’re back to 1991 for some retro Blood Angels assault troops!

Now these guys were a little more speculative in terms of colour scheme as they certainly weren’t in the initial magazine article in White Dwarf 139, and in fact I’m not sure they ever made it into a battle report before Space Wolves and then Ultramarines became the flavour of the month, but really the only difference is in the helmet – those that are wearing them – being painted bright yellow.

The lads out in the shed for priming – I had to do a little conversion, buying in aftermarket resin jump packs (possibly 3D printed judging from the feel of the material) and chainswords, the essential assault weapon of the 41st millenium. PVA and sand on the bases BEFORE priming – this makes things a hell of a lot easier and less messy later on, wish I’d known that back in the day..
The finished article! Painting process was the same as previous units so no point repeating myself here, although the yellow was shaded with Vallejo Skin Wash before brushed back up with cheapy craft Cadmium Yellow paint.
“Space Wolves? Who they?”
Mk 6 armour makes an appearance
As conversions go, this is pretty brutal! But once I saw Hopalong here, he had to be an assault trooper… “T’is but a scratch!”
The lads all ranked up on the dining table – that’s all the line troops done, next up Terminators, characters, Techmarines and vehicles. The grim darkness of the far future never looked so vivid!

Shout out to Whittlesey40k for the decals that set the whole thing off, very kind of you – and when things FINALLY open back up, these lads will be making their pilgrimage to Warhammer World… stay safe, stay thrifty and we’ll see you again soon

DIY Space Fleet – Spaceships!

You’re going to like this. Grab a beer, this is a big one.

So, as you’ve seen over the last few weeks, our lockdown game of choice recently has been the short lived 1991 predecessor to Battlefleet Gothic, “Space Fleet”. This game was a bit of an oddity, in that existed as a small box set before being not just expanded but essentially entirely rewritten over the course of about half a dozen White Dwarf issues, now available from various sources online… legitimately, we assume…

I downloaded the relevant WDs, printed out the rules (I will compile them all into a PDF at some point, but right now I have NO idea how to do that) and got stuck in to making a board. Counters and helm computers were cut out and stuck to bits of cardboard and away we went, with cardboard silhouettes taking the place of the models.

And much fun was had, although it didn’t make for much of a spectacle. Certainly the squared board and the helm computers really lent themselves to a remote game via Zoom, which gave us both a bit of a morale boost. However, I quickly got the bug and decided to build us some proper models… and this is where our story begins!

This is where we begin – DIY disposable razors!
See where we’re going?
I canz measuring!
Here we see our two cheap knackered disposable razors, cut in half and the bottom part of the handles glued onto a cardboard base – fuselage and wings for the Imperial Gothic battleships!
Detail added – the rear conning tower is a superglue tube lid, the broadside cannons made from granny grating (the miracle material Dan introduced me too) and the engine tubes are from the plastic tube inside a defunct old Biro! Same for the chin mounted vortex torpedo launcher. Held together using a mix of superglue and greenstuff. Forward tower was from some bizarre bit of plastic packaging I’d kept because of the interesting shape. For about eight years.
So much for the Imperials – what about their adversaries, the two Eldar Wraithships? Well… let’s take the other halves of those razors, shall we? Add the unused bit of our bizarre piece of plastic packaging for masts, granny grating for forward laser cannons, bit of sprue for the forward plasma torpedo launcher, cut the solar sails from paper, some greenstuff bodging to represent wraithbone smoothing out any too-straight lines.. Eldar ships are “grown”, not manufactured – according to 1991-era fluff, at least!
Doesn’t look like a ride fit for Eldrad Ulthran yet, but let’s see what happens when we throw paint at it…
But before we get to that – bases! These are important parts of Space Fleet, holding shield counters, damage markers, critical damage info and so on. I began with this octagonal shape cut out of single corrugated card (yes, from a wine box. How are YOU coping with lockdown?!?)
Second layer of single corrugated card – this is creating the spaces where the counters will sit.
Third and final layer – a 25mm square of chipboard with the edges trimmed. It just looked better that way! I used tacky glue (basically PVA mixed with isopropyl alcohol to make it fast drying) to stick it all together. Hot glue would probably work too, but my hot glue gun was playing up and I couldn’t be bothered taming it’s machine spirit. Regular PVA would do the job too, but will take a thousand years to dry.
Ships primed! White for the Eldar, Imperials sprayed gold, holes drilled in the bases and 1 1/2″ lengths of kebab skewer used to mount them on
The famous dice tray! In this instance a pizza box, measured into nine equal squares, Sharpie and ruler to the rescue here.
All set up and ready to go! Eldar ships painted with craft bone paint, washed with Vallejo skin wash and then drybrushed back up, the blue pastel done with blue grey house paint and washed with thin craft blue. Imperials sprayed gold, washed with brown ink, drybrushed silver – the reds are craft red and Vallejo German Grey washed black for the blacks. The bases were sprayed black, painted craft black and then varnished… and we are good to go!

And there we go! Got to say, I’m really chuffed with these, the Wraithships particularly – the broken razors were a heaven sent flash of inspiration! And although the Imperial ships look nothing like the Gothic battleships of 1991, they do look pretty close to later iterations (Battlefleet Gothic), and they having a pleasing pulp fiction Flash Gordon “War Rocket Ajax” look to them…

The above pic is from the battle we played last Friday via Zoom, so battle report soon, and as Dan has custody of our Betrayal At Calth set I’m looking forward to a bit more virtual gaming this coming Friday, as even with 12 million+ vaccinated (including Shakin’ Stevens!) it doesn’t look like lockdown is going anywhere anytime soon….

Still, hang in there folks, we’re on the home stretch. Stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty and we’ll see you soon.

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 4- Retro Blood Angels Devastators

I’m blaming Brexit for this. Sorry to get political – I’m on the fence about most things, but since the start of this month I’ve been moob-deep in paperwork, which in turn has knocked on to a lack of hobby time.. with the result that it’s taken the better part of a month to get this next unit done,

This is the Devastator squad, as featured in the original 1991 Blood Angels army I’m using as my template – a few concessions to necessity, as the models I got in my haul back in May (eight months ago! How did THAT happen?!) are all wearing Mk 7 armour not Mk 6. As with the White Dwarf studio army, they’re packing two missile launchers and two heavy bolters.

The goal:

Picture courtesy of our good friend Whittlesy40k

The painting process was basically the same as the two tactical squads, so I’m not going to repeat it here – the only difference was the blue helmets, which I used cheap craft blue, highlighted with Wilkinson brand Duck Egg blue house paint from a tester pot. Yes, I’ve used house paint to paint Space Marines. I offer up my soul to the Emperor in penance.

I also noticed for the first time the little blue circle campaign badge, so I put that in too, again with Duck Egg blue. I’ll have to go back and add that in to the tactical squads over the next couple of.. weeks? Months? Depending on my dealings with the Administratum….

Anyway, pics:

Overall I’m fairly satisfied, although I’m becoming increasingly aware of deficiencies in my technique – I can’t edge highlight for sh*t and my eye for the detail is getting progressively worse… when all this COVID crap is over it might be time to bite the bullet and go get tested for glasses… and I really don’t know what went wrong with some of the basing! I figured it would be easier and less messy to paint on the PVA and dip them in the sand before priming, and for most if them it worked but for some…. Really, not so much.

Still, from two feet away they look pretty good, and they do capture that 2nd Ed vibe, so I’m not going to get too hung up on the details – and here is the full force so far:

The grim darkness of the far future, in glorious technicolour.

So, Jim lad, feels like it’s my turn to host a remote game, fancy trying Betrayal At Calth with these lads tomorrow night?

Meantime, wherever you are, stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty and hang on in there, we’ll get through this.

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 3

Second tactical squad done! Who wants to have a look?

Sarge gets to get all up close and personal with the flamer group, having all the fun while the veteran marine gets stuck with the boring missile launcher team..
Veteran marine is the only non-“I love my bolter” pose, I swapped him in for variety

Not going to belabour this too much (belabour… my favourite new word, thank you Wyloch’s Crafting Videos…. peace be upon you and come back to us soon) as the paint scheme is exactly the same as the first squad, the only difference is the black kneepad and the red nozzle ends on the backpacks, as per White Dwarf 139 pics. These kinds of tricks are quite handy for differentiating the different squads without disrupting the overall look of the army. The banners are from the magazine itself – I printed out the page, painted them following the outlines and freehanded the squad numbers.

If you look closely I kind of screwed up the transfer application on the sergeant’s shoulder pad (thanks to Whittlesey40k for those) but from two feet away these lads look pretty respectable, certainly fitting my rose-coloured recollections of the early 90s and the glorious vibrant primary colours that defined the grim darkness of the far future…

The full force so far, arrayed in the grim darkness of my kitchen where there is ONLY WAR
I do love the banners. I mean, who wouldn’t want to wage war in bright vermillion with a humongous flag strapped to your back?

So there we go, Devastators up next… or shall I do some Orcs? Hmmm… meanwhile, Jim’s been hard at work with some big chunks of polystyrene that he’s been making a lot of mess with, looking forward to seeing that….

The vaccine is here! So it can only be a matter of time now before Warhammer World reopens, and I shall be taking these lads to visit their spiritual home for a 30th birthday treat.. Meanwhile stay safe out there, stay sane and stay thrifty, we’re nearly there!

Crossing The Rubicon Nostalgius Pt. 2 – First Squad Done!

How do folks, hope you’re all staying safe out there – as we hunker down for the second COVID wave, let me brighten your lockdown with some bold primary colours from the grim darkness of the far future… yes, that’s right, despite my diversion into 20mm fantasy, I’ve not forgotten my 90’s Blood Angels and I’ve actually got a squad completed.

Behold the grimdark, in glorious Technicolour.

I’ve already described the painting process in my first post, so I won’t belabour it here, the main additions were the free hand blood drop on the shoulder pad…

There was a mixed level of success with this, my freehand won’t be winning me any Golden Demon trophies.

There was a slight logistical issue with this, as I discovered I dodn’t have any white model or craft paint. However, I spent the first few months of lockdown repainting my house so.. yes, the drops were done with Dulux Jasmine White house paint (albeit thinned with acrylic medium). Heresy? Almost certainly.

You might also notice the decal – I’d been wondering about where to get hold of these until Whittlesey40k (the same chap who very kindly allowed us to link the original photos from White Dwarf on his blog) got in touch with Jim and very kindly sent a set over entirely free of charge! So many thanks Whittlesey, we really appreciate that and if we’re ever in the same postcode I owe you a beer. Check out his blog here, there’s some fantastic stuff.

Thanks Whittlesey!

The last part was the banner – now, you can’t do 90’s 40k without back banners, can you? Back in the late Rogue Trader/ 2nd ed days, anyone who was anyone in the 41st millenium carried around a flag proclaiming them as such. I’d managed to download a PDF of White Dwarf 139 from Scribd, which had the painting guide for the GW studio Blood Angels army in it complete with back banner designs you can print out, “colour in” and cut out, so that’s exactly what I did, trying to match the colour choice and keep to the lines as close. I’m not as deft at it as those chaps were, but they look pretty good from two feet away and they absolutely scream 90s at you.

The banners are mounted on a paperclip that I straightened out and clipped using wire cutters, and then superglued the banners to. The ends got wedged down the back of the power packs and a dab of superglue to keep in place… I suppose I could have drilled something, thinking about it, but I am trying to keep bloodshed to a minimum. That said, I did drill out the missile launcher barrel – check me out!

The lads on patrol – sergeant and veteran marine equipped with banner. Hilariously impractical, but so cool
Moving out on patrol… at least nobody will lose sight of each other.

So there we go, another baby step forward in my vanity project! Second tactical squad up next, then I think the Devastators… I’ll use them to get my eye in a little more before getting to the Terminators and characters. Plus of course getting my Paperhammer on building them some Rhinos (Jim can help with that) – so plenty to be getting on with.

Stay safe, stay thrifty and The Emperor Protect us all!