In lead they shall be cast, and upon sand and PVA they shall walk. White shall their primer be, and in plate of brightest orange shall I clad them. Inred ink I shall shade them, and they shall walk upon fields of goblin green. Let them bear their weapons close to their chests, and in but one pose they shall stand. For they are my Blood Angels, and they shall know no weathering.
Sit down, gentle reader, and I shall tell you a tale. This all started a month or so back when my car quite unexpectedly passed it’s MOT. A welcome piece of good news, to be sure, and given my car’s recent history a most surprising one – and one that left me with a little bit of spare cash.
Spare cash + wine + 1990s nostalgia (because 2020 isn’t really doing itself any favours, is it?) – you can see where this is going. A couple of hours later and a cursory browse of eBay found me a job lot of Space Marines for £20 or thereabouts including posting… plastic Marines and Terminators in a variety of states, but in quantity enough that I could start to build a tribute to one of the very first armies I ever saw in White Dwarf, the Blood Angels 3rd Company from White Dwarf 139, July 1991:
So, giddy with anticipation, I did my planning and preparation, getting the paint and primers together – white primer (naturally), Vallejo Hot Orange and Red Ink, and Army Painter Goblin Green for the bases. These seemed to be the closest match for the old GW paints – I prefer Vallejo because of their dropper bottles, the Citadel stuff dries out too easily in my view.
Next step was stripping them – and not just them, my Deathwatch too, as these would be needed to form the tactical squads. A bit of a wrench, to be sure, but equally I’d never been entirely happy with them… so I made my peace, these lads were going to be what they always should have been, Blood Angels in glorious orange! (Side note – these chaps came in the 2nd Ed box set we accidentally bought while under the influence a couple of years back, so we really are going full on early 90s here)
So there we go! Not quite there yet, I’ve got to get hold of some decals, but I’m happy with the basic scheme. Now, here’s the list:
My goal is to take these lads down to Warhammer World next year, assuming 2020 doesn’t have any more nasty surprises in store for us, as it’ll be a nice little 30th anniversary for them, so let’s see what we can do – Jim has already built a scaled down Rhino from papercraft templates, I’m going to see if I can build some full sized ones for these lads. Land Speeder, Thudd Gun and Bikes might be a bit more of a challenge, but let’s give it a go.. in any case, my biggest ever vanity project is underway!
If you made it this far, well done and stay safe out there – Jim & I were looking forward to a first game and pint since January (!) only to find ourselves caught by a local lockdown, so that’s buggered that for the next couple of weeks… Oh well, at least I’ve got something to keep me busy!
Greetings! You join me at the tail end of lockdown (EDIT – since I started this post, our dear old city of Leicester has become the national pioneer in local lockdowns.. if I find which one of you f*ckers hasn’t been washing their hands there’ll be trouble, I’ve been fantasising about my first pint and some bastard has ruined it all for everyone) , as everyone in the UK seems to have said “sod it” and given up… a brief glance at Bournemouth beaches over the last couple of days would seem to indicate that for many Brits sunshine > virus. For me, I choose to get sunburnt in my own garden where the booze is plentiful and the toilet access is more than adequate – and I can always nip inside to MAKE STUFF.
I followed the template for the body- using cheap glue stick to glue the paper templates to a pizza box and cutting round them. To reinforce the sides – the track units – I cut out a slab of foamcore to the right size and shape, and built the cardboard up around that. I then glued the track units on to the side of the body, and then used a few dabs of Polyfilla to fill in the more egregious gaps and sanded the excess.
Next up was detailing – I cut out the hatches (and scored the card to create indentations in the disembarkation doors) and tried a bit of a trick with the grills. I cut out the main shape and glued nylon tulle over it (had a load left over from the Skalk Point build we did back in the World That Was), and then glued the cardboard frame over that. As it panned out, this didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped, but I think that was more down to slapdash and impatient execution on my part than anything else! I used some bits of sprue to create the buttress/ exhaust bits.
For the running wheels, I cut out 8mm diameter circles of single corrugated card, cut them in half and glues the pieces together to create 4-5mm thick semicircles. I glues these in place with tacky gue and then cut out 5mm thick strips of IDE cable to be the tracks. I used gel superglue to glue these in place.
After a spray of grey primer, I tried a bit of underpainting – pin wash with black ink in the recesses, drybrush white. Then a coat of cheap blue craft paint:
The final touches were some craft brown paint mixed with PVA and sand for some mud texture paste to cover a few (ahem) modelling inconsistencies..
Overall, I’m pretty pleased – I think this fella will do well transporting the remains of the Crimson Fists into battle on Rynns World, not to mention layin’ it down on the world of Hazzard when we finally get to get a game in….F*cking c*cking sh*tting w*nking lockdown… WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS, PEOPLE OF LEICESTER! I WANT TO GO TO THE F*CKING PUB! WE’RE SO CLOSE!!!!
And there I shall leave you- we are tantalisingly close to hooking up for a game, but after three – four? – months, another week or so… ain’t no thing.
Stay safe out there, WASH YOUR HANDS, WEAR A MASK AND DON’T DO STUPID THINGS! See y’all soon (I hope)..
How do, Dan here and yes, I’ve been at the granny grating again (sorry Legion4, I know this is hard for you 😉 ). Once again, I’m not going to try and claim any particular credit for this idea, the entire thing was nicked whole from the BattleCraft YouTube channel. Watch, learn, fall in love with it… they’re just so freaking cute.
And of course, cheap to the point of being practically free.
So, I began by cutting out my basic “horse and rider” shape, as per the video. Next up, I cut a length of granny grating and trimmed it to look like a pole. I superglued these on to my horses at a roughly 45 degree angle (apart from one where I cocked up a bit – see if you can spot him in the pics) – this is the deadly explosive lance that gives the Riders their punch against armour and cavalry. I’m not sure how that might work in reality – surely a shaped charge big enough to take out a Land Raider would probably take the arm off the rider at the very least, but hey, it’s 40K! DRIVE MY TANK CLOSER SO I CAN HIT THEM WITH MY SWORD!!!
I hot glued these onto 20mm x 20mm single corrugated card (cut from a wine box in this instance) – two riders per base.
Then it was out to the shed for a burst of black spray primer, base coat with Wilkinson’s “Granite Dust” house paint from a tester pot (£1 or so? And it’s kept me going for 3 years so far..)
Follow that with a coat of tan craft paint, dot in the body armour with Vallejo German grey, wash with thin black ink.
Next – horses. Vallejo Filthy Brown washed with brown ink – I would have gone for more variety but I was really psyched to get these done, so apologies for lack of diversity..
Then it was flesh for the faces and hands, wash with thin Vallejo Skin Wash.. I did the lances the same way as the horses, finished with a dab of Vallejo Mithril Silver washed down with black for the lance tips.
Basing was the same as the rest of the lads so far – paint the base dark brown, then PVA, a dunk in the flock pot and a drizzle of Garage Floor Dust (TM) and boom, done.
I’m really chuffed with these little guys and I do plan to expand them out to a full company at some point, but I’ve started to get a focus on what my Guard army should look like. I’m taking my inspiration from these guys here: The Assault On Barbarius Prime Epic battle report from way back in the 90s.
As you can see, this force featured a Tactical Company (check) a Heavy Company (almost check – stay tuned), an Artillery Company (hmm) and two companies of superheavies as well as support detachments. Now, here’s the thing – I’m pretty certain I can build all that lot with foamcore, card, granny grating and straws. It’s going to take a while, but I don’t see any of it as impossible. I look at an Epic Shadowsword and I think “foamboard sides and base, lay cardboard armour over the top, drinking straw cannon and granny grating heavy bolters”.
Will this pan out? Or will it be a massive act of hubris that ends with me having superglued my hands to my feet and desperately trying to type a blog entry with my nose?
Let us see.
In the meantime, stay safe out there, look out for each other and stay thrifty 🙂
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or are one of those “normies” just not interested in miniature wargames..) you’ll have heard the big news – Games Workshop, the Evil Empire of the games industry, are releasing a new edition of Warhammer 40,000. This makes it the 9th – although it feels like 8th only came out five minutes ago, but I guess that’s just me.
Needless to say, the forums have been full of speculation about what will be on offer, and some of these discussions have become a bit… heated, shall we say. Particularly with the news that GW will be sticking with the IGOUGO activation – this discussion thread on Dakka got very salty very quickly, and it got me thinking.
I’ve already posted some thoughts about game design and support, but I got to pondering the reasons why GW stick to this core idea for 40k but get so much more imaginative for other systems – and I’ve come up with a few real world analogies.
Consider the Porsche 911. Evolution of the Volkswagen Beetle, air cooled engine in the back way out behind the axle. Undoubtedly iconic, but also a bit of a handful, and well recognised as a yuppie-killer during the 80s. Over the years Porsche have tried all manner of drastic – stuffing the front bumper full of lead – and less drastic measures to even it out and from all accounts it now truly is a brilliant, balanced driving machine.
And if I ever get the chance to drive one, I’ll let you know my thoughts.
However, a few years ago they introduced the Cayman – lighter, cheaper, mid-engined.. and a fundamentally better design to the point where they’ve had to hobble it by not letting it have a limited slip differential (thing that makes it go faster) and slightly detuning the engine to produce 15-20bho less than the 911. Because it can’t be seen to be faster than the 911. Although several of Porsche’s designers have gone on record as saying that f they designed the 911 now, it would be the same as the Cayman, that moment has passed – the Cayman is fundamentally the better sports car, but the job of the 911 isn’t to be the greatest sportscar anymore – it’s to be the 911. It’s to be an icon. And you can’t f*ck with an icon.
See where we’re going?
OK, now to the world of guitars. Consider the Gibson Les Paul. Great big slab of mahogany, two big humbuckers (big fat sounding pickups), only one cutaway so top fret access is limited (tough to get the high notes).
And then Gibson’s arch-rival, Fender, introduced the Stratocaster – whammy bar (wiggly thing that changes the pitch of the notes), THREE pickups, lighter and more versatile..
A couple of years later, Gibson retired the Les Paul and brought in the SG – lighter, easier top fret access, more versatile:
The SG was supposed to be the lighter, more affordable, more versatile replacement for the Les Paul (as the Stratocaster was supposed to be for the Telecaster). You can still buy a Les Paul. You can still buy a Telecaster. What does that tell you?
Some people – a LOT of people – don’t want objectively good. They want the classic. They want The Icon. And that’s what 40k is.
Wait, 40k a design classic? But there’s so much wrong with it – IGO UGO, turn phases, list building… yes, but if you want better rules play Kill Team or Necromunda or Apocalypse or Blackstone Fortress or Betrayal At Calth or Epic (which I always dug as a kid more than 40k) . BUT 40k is no longer designed to be an objectively great game – it’s job is to be 40k. See the comparison?
Just as there are designers at Porsche who would LOVE to redesign the 911, just as there are designers at Gibson who would LOVE to redesign the Les Paul, I’m sure there are designers at GW who would love to redesign 40k from the ground up – look at Blackstone Fortress, or Kill Team etc. In fact, Christ , look at Epic back in the day! But they’re stuck. 40k has been around since 1987 – it has players who have been playing that long. They have certain expectations of how the game will play, and have done for 30+ years. And IGOUGO sits at the heart of that. These players have been around since Rogue Trader (more or less… we came in at the end of the RT era, ater GW had patched the hell out of it with Compilations, Compendiums, Vehicle Manuals and Battle Manuals) – you cant just ditch them, that would be a real betrayal of the fanbase. So what’s the answer?
I suspect 9th – at least to begin with – will be a pretty good answer. I anticipate a bodge of 8th with bits of 7th to add a level of detail.. I must admit we’ve only played a few games of 8th but there were a few bits of it that didn’t feel quite right to me, almost like they’d thrown the baby out with the bathwater in search f streamlining. So will we be buying it? No. No chance. But that’s because we’re cheap. Should YOU buy it?
Honestly? If you want to get into 40k and you have £100 or so to spare.. actually yes, I reckon you could do worse. As well as the box set usually being a (relatively speaking) good deal in terms of miniatures, 40k as a game always seems to get a lot of love when new editions drop, before power creep happens – and as 9th is being posited as an evolution, not a revolution. I think 9th could be a great time to get into 40k. For three or four months.
Meanwhile, we’ll grab what minis we can on eBay and play Grimdark Future and Future Force Warrior with the intent of someday getting the bastard finished and published!
Hmm.. I reach the end of this post with no clear conclusion… but I am curious to see the new box… what do our friends out there in the blogosphere make of it all?
So, as before, take your CDs and put them in a bowl. Boil the kettle, pour the water into the bowl, leave for about ten minutes or so. This will soften the plastic enough that a normal pair of kitchen scissors will be able to cut through it – it’s a bit of an art but you’ll get the hang of it. I cut random curved lozenge shapes out of it – you don’t want to make anything too recognisable as a geometric shape like a circle or oval. It won’t look natural, it’ll distract the eye and bug you like hell.
Well, it would me.
Anyway, next step was a couple of nicely sized and shaped stones from the garden – I disinfected them (can’t be too careful these days), and glued them onto the CD base using a generic “No More Nails” knockoff (something like acrylic caulk or hot glue would probably work just as well). I pressed some cat litter into the excess glue splodges around the big rocks for some extra detail, then stippled home made texture paste (PVA, filler powder, sand, water and black paint) onto the “ground” of the piece (not the rocks themselves though).
After all that, the whole thing got primed with cheap black spray paint and the “ground” areas got a drybrush with burnt umber, brown and then a final drybrush with bone craft paints. I painted the rocks with Granite Dust house paint from a tester pot I got a few years back:
Next up – leopard spotting! This involves daubing on first a yellow wash:
Followed by a brown wash:
Followed by a black wash:
And then a bone drybrush to bring everything together:
Finally, flock! We’re both sworn adherents of Mel The Terrain Tutor’s 3 tone flocking technique, with the addition of Jarvis JTF 1 as a cover tone and Garage Floor Dust (TM) drizzled on as a final touch. Then it was out to the shed for sealing – two coats of PVA thinned 10 parts water to 1 art glue (or thereabouts).
And finally, pics of the finished article in situ!
And there we go folks, a nice quick, cheap, easy build! I’ve got five more stands of trees to do so I’ll be banging out some more rocks to help keep myself sane during the build process… at the very least, when this lockdown lifts we’ll have a VERY pretty to scuffle over…
Till next time, stay safe, stay thrifty, someday soon this will all be a memory…
It’s probably fair to say that one thing EVERYONE on earth has in common, is that 2020 is not playing out the way the wanted or expected it to.
Or if it is playing out the way you wanted, well, f*ck you and the horse you rode in on.
In any case, the lockdown has robbed me of gaming buddy (not a COVID casualty, mercifully, just being careful and following the rules – getting pissed and playing soldiers with your mate hardly counts as essential travel business) , so in his absence I’ve been busying myself with readying a new faction for One Page Rules Grimdark Future / Future Force Warrior / 40k. You’ll have already seen their armour contingent, now here are the lads themselves!
As I mentioned, I think the “Rebel Guerilla” faction are meant to represent the Rebel Alliance from Star Wars, but I kind of like the idea that 40k and Star Wars kind of represent two sides of the same coin.. Luke Skywalker and co. might think they’re fighting for freedom, but in fact they’re just dupes of the Chaos Gods, killing for Khorne, fulfilling the machinations of Tzeentch, their defiance feeding Nurgle.. as for Slaanesh, I guess Leia snogging her brother in Empire Strikes Back ticks that box! Meanwhile God-Emperor Palpatine knows the TRUE nature of “The Force” and knows that only brutal repression can prevent mankind’s corruption at it’s hands.
So with that in mind, pics!
I even had a bit of a backstory for these lads – originally part of a PDF territorial reserve unit tasked with internal security operations, these lads were sent to arrest a cell of four individuals tasked with Warp/ Force sorcery… but when they arrived to round them up they found they couldn’t quite remember why they were there, and their CO suddenly found that he bitterly resented propping up a corrupt and inefficient administration that had one law for the many and one for it’s cronies. Ever since then, they’ve been on the run, existing as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them.. maybe you can join The Hazzard People’s Front!
Building on the idea of “baddies who think they’re goodies”, I went with a paint scheme inspired in equal parts by Return Of The Jedi, Rogue One, and the Vraksian Renegades from WH40K. Craft paint tan for the base uniforms, washed with thinned brown and black inks, webbing done with Vallejo Olive Drab. I think it came out rather well, something sinisterish about it but without overplaying it. These lads don’t know they’re baddies yet, remember- skulls and spikes all over everything might give the game away!
So there we are, another army to get stuck in with when freedom reigns again! I’m quite pleased with these guys, they should get in close and hit hard – how will they do against Da Skooderia? Or the Hazzard 1977th? Only time will tell!
Stay thrifty out there, but most importantly stay safe, stay healthy and to quote Mel The Terrain Tutor, “Keep Calm And Crack On”! See y’all real soon now
The basic plan with WAAGH BOZZHOG has pretty much always been use the Evil Sunz to charge forward and pin the enemy in place until the Goffs arrive to batter them senseless, while the Bad Moons throw fire support downrange. Meanwhile Big Red would occupy the objective in the gulley to the left, backed up by the Skullhamma and the Slasher would either cause calamities with it’s belly gun or rush forward to demolish the opposition with it’s chainfist, we’d play that one by ear!
Looking at the terrain, it seemed a slam dunk to have the Devastators to deploy up the steep hill onto the objective on the Imperial right, which would also give a great field of fire across the battlefield. However, there was a tempting objective in the town slightly toward the centre, so I split off one detachment to occupy that. Meanwhile, the veterans of 1st Company would hurl themselves forward into the teeth of the ork horde and try and hold the town in the face of the Evil Sunz assault while the Land Raider company moved up in support behind them (with their mortal cousins in the Imperial Guard Vindicator squadron alongside them) and the Warlord and Leviathan adding their weight of firepower to the mix.
This turn broke the Devastators on top of the Veterans and Land Raiders, but the Goffs were teetering on the brink after the spectacularly bloody battle for the town that had also shattered the Evil Sunz, the Slasher and the Warlord had both taken chunks out of each other and both sides were teetering on the edge of collapse…
Whew, that was close – had I not got lucky with the Warlord’s volcano cannon in turn 3, that could have gone very differently.. I’ve also realised how ineptly I handled the veterans, rushing them forward to take on the Ork horde in close combat whilst moving support up behind them – what I should have done is kept them in their transports in reserve and allow the Orks to face long range fire from whatever Devastators I could spare from sparring with the Gargant, let the Whirlwinds and the barrage weapons on the Titan do their thing and then unleashed the elite close combat troops. And I should group the Terminators with them, as they accomplished squat where they were, until they were largely squashed by a ball round… must remember, it’s not how many points you have at the start of the game, it’s how many you have on the last turn that count!
Zog it! Well, I stuck to the plan – so maybe that’s the problem.. I’m thinking of putting the Goffs in battlewagons to keep up with the Sunz and maybe paint up a Death Skull warband to best use the Goff armour. That way the assault wave can hit all at once for truly devastating effect.. hmm.. either way, we definitely have escalation!
Anyhoo, recently he’s been putting up some battle reports using the system formerly known as 1page40k – Grimdark Future. This is billed as a fast playing, easy to use, quick and dirty version of the 40k we all know and sort-of-love, sort-of-loathe. Rules and army lists are free to download from the One Page Rules website here. And seeing as we are drawn to free stuff like a moth to the flame of a slow burning crack pipe, we were all over this.
We set up terrain with a ruined village to the east and a disused plasma generator station to the west, set objectives (one of the generators, central hill, ruined church and a ruined shop)…and GAME ON!
Human Defence Force won the roll off and force the Orcs to deploy first:
And battle was joined!
End result, 2 objectives to the HDF (plasma generator and central hill) one to the Orc Marauders (ruined church, held by the transport)
Casualties – HDF lost a weapons team and some of the infantry squad, plus wounded Captain… the Orcs were pretty much down to the transport and their Power Armour elites, and even they were pretty beaten up.
So a pretty decisive victory!
Thoughts on the game? A LOT of fun. Grimdark Future is simple, fast playing and intuitive, absolutely brilliant for a quick throw down kickabout. We did wonder about the balance of point values given the pounding the Orcs took, but Jim did point out the he might just’ve sucked at playing the game.
So, a new system, and props to OPR designer Gaetano Ferrara for the effort he’s put into creating a fun and fast game that really benefits from not being supported by a major model company (more thoughts on that another day). We had a blast and next up on the list is OPR’s “Age Of Fantasy- Regiments” – we’ll let you know!
(Side note – free rules and army lists, 1/72 miniatures, scratchbuilt terrian and vehicles… could this be the cheapest wargame ever played?)
On the Marine side – two tactical squads of Space Marines, each comprising a Sergeant with bolt pistol and chainsword, a Marine with a missile launcher, a Marine with flamer, and 7 Marines with bolters. For the Orks, it was the Dread, twenty Boyz armed with bolt pistols, axes and stikkbomz and no fewer than FORTY Gretchin, all armed with autoguns – quite the horde!
Forces were organised as follows:
Marines (all Space Marines have Mk7 power armour, bolt pistol, frag and krak grenades):
Squad Raphael (red shoulder pads):
Sergeant Raphael – bolt pistol, chainsword
3 Space Marines – boltgun
1 Space Marine – flamer
Squad Mephisto (blue shoulder pads):
Brother Mephisto – bolt pistol, chainsword
3 Space Marines – boltgun
1 Space Marine – Missile launcher (targeter, frag and krak grenades)
Squad Lazarus (grey shoulder pads):
Sergeant Lazarus – bolt pistol, chainsword
3 Space Marines – boltgun
1 Space Marine – flamer
Squad Cleon (cream shoulder pads):
Brother Cleon – boltgun
3 Space Marines – boltgun
1 Space Marine – Missile launcher (targeter, frag and krak grenades)
Orks (All Orks and Gretchin wear flak armour):
Da Krusher – Ork Dreadnought armed with two power klaws, heavy bolter and lascannon.
Grugnat’s Mob – ten Orks armed with bolt pistols, axes and frag stikkbomz.
Snikbog’s Mob – ten Orks armed with bolt pistols, axes and frag stikkbomz.
Grit’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.
Grot’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.
Scumbo’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.
Fergit’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.
The Marines got points for wiping out as many Greenskin mobs as possible, while the Orks got a 5 point bonus for getting a mob of six models or the Dread into the Marine deployment zone. Game length was four turns.
To everyone’s surprise, the Orks won the first turn and barrelled forward, Gretchin screening the boyz who were hugging the available cover until they could get within bolt pistol range.
This time probability reasserted itself and the Marines scored first turn.
Once again, the Marines won the first turn and the missile launcher teams desperately pumped bolter fire and frag missiles into the oncoming greenskins, while the flamer teams attempted to manouevre in to use their devastating short range weapons to better effect..
First turn passed back to the Orks and the boyz burst from behind the screen of Grots to engage the Marines at point blank range!
At the end of the turn, we totted up the points – Orks 4, Marines 1 – a solid win for the Greenskins!
Dan owned up to a lack of concentrating fire on single mobs, as he caused a solid amount of casualties but not actually wiping out or seriously damaging complete units. I did get pretty lucky with Da Krusha’s lunatic rampage not just taking down three Marines from Squad Mephisto but also taking him squarely into the Marine deployment zone! However if Dan’s flamer teams could have gotten in range, or if he’d finished off Da Krusha with a couple of extra krak missiles, things could easily have gone the other way..
So if you’re keeping score, that’s 2-1 to the Orks, so a Greenskin victory in this mini campaign! Props to Dan for a brilliant job on his Marines (whatever he may claim to the contrary) and being a gentlemanly and sporting (if perennially unlucky) opponent.
This project has been a blast, but it doesn’t have to end here – we’re toying with adding a few bits to make these forces 8th ed legal, and just maybe to take them on a pilgrimage to Warhammer World itself, for a game on the hallowed tables themselves! A great way touch base with the roots of what got us into this hobby in the first place.
Wiping the sweat from my brow, allow me to present the remaining members of my Ork force – 5 more Boyz and 10 more Grots! I figured as there really wasn’t much point just rehashing stuff you’ve already seen as I haven’t changed my painting strategy, but this is the perfect opportunity to get the ladz out on parade in force. So lots of pics but very few words this week!
I’m really pleased with these guys, they’re never going to win a Golden Demon but from two feet away they look pretty damn tidy. Certainly far better than anything I managed as a sprog back in the early 90s! Next up is pitting them against Dan’s Marines in the climactic final battle of our mini campaign.. stay tuned!