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. 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…

The Lost Patrol… DIY Spacefleet Battle Report

The bridged was wreathed in darkness. The faces of the crew and officers frozen, eerily distorted in masks of terror as the vast Gothic class battleship was buffeted like a toy by the extradimensional forces beyond the flickering Gellar field.

With a deafening silence, the ship exploded beck into realspace and the bridge erupted with warning klaxons, sparking consoles and the raised voices of hundreds of terrified bridge crew. The captain fought in vain to get his voice heard before reaching for his laspistol and shooting the nearest panicking crewman in the face.

Immediately, the hubbub subsided.

Better.

“Report!” bellowed the captain. “First Officer Volodsky.”

The XO shivered involuntarily. “My Captain, it would appear that we have been knocked off course by unexpected Warp activity. Navigator DeSalle has suffered a mental collapse due to whatever malevolent force caused our diversion.”

“Damage?”

“Largely cosmetic, it would seem, some limited damage to manoeuvring thrusters and life support but secondaries coming on line now. No hull breach.”

“The Gellar field generator?”

“It would seem to be suffering a minor intermittent fault, my Captain. I shall despatch tech priests to investigate

The Captain grunted. “Very good. Now, our next concern is where we are – and what of the Agamemnon?”

“My Captain, she was information with us and auspex indicates she translated close by. Communications should be re-established in moments. As to our location-“

“Contact!” shouted a crewman, peering intensely at his scope. “Long range auspex reports two contacts, definitely not Imperial. Energy signature matches no known human ship, our auspex returns are distorted.”

Captain Fong drew a short breath. Auspex distortion was too sophisticated for orks, and the lack of warp shadow ruled out Tyranids. The Tau had a crude version of this technology, but the main suspects had to be eldar. This could be a friendly encounter – or deadly.

Agamemnon on vox, Captain, they have detected a missile launch!”

“Confirmed, Captain, the second vessel has also launched!”

So, the Eldar had made the decision for him.

“Battle stations! All hands brace for impact! Power to shields and weaponry! AVE IMPERATOR!”

Welcome to the brave new world of remote gaming! With COVID still wreaking havoc left right and centre, it’s pretty clear that despite the heroic efforts of the NHS vaccination program (something like 200 jabs per minute, last time I checked), lockdown isn’t lifting any time soon. Now, we have tried playing conventional games like 40k, Apocalypse Earth and so on remotely before but we’ve really not been that successful as the freeform movement makes it difficult to interpret exactly where you’re supposed to move units too (“No, left a bit, behind that tree.. no not that one – my left.. no, the other left… ” for twenty minutes to move one bloody squad, Dan X-D ), plus “model’s eye view” doesn’t translate too well (“Can I shoot that guy? No, next to him…. no, the other side… no, the guy in front of him” “That’s a bush”).. so in order to maintain our mutual sanity, we both decided something more of a boardgame nature was probably a better idea.

Continuing our love affair with 1991 and the bold primary colours of the grimly dark far future, and thanks to this awesome website full of retro gaming goodness, we followed the trail taking us back to the precursor of Battlefleet Gothic, the short lived Space Fleet. In fact, White Dwarf 139, Dan’s first ever issue and the inspiration for his retro 40k Blood Angels, contained a slew of rules to expand on the basic boxed game. With a bit of research (thank you Snipe & Wib at Codex Compliant), we figured out what you needed, built a board and some spaceships, cut out the endearing Helm Computers, and after a few practice games over Zoom with beers on hand to figure out exactly what we were doing, we were ready to give you guys a proper battle!

In this scenario it’s a straight up fight between two Imperial Gothic Battleships (mine – “Ajax” and “Agamemnon”) and the two Eldar Wraithships (Dan’s – “Mikael Khaine”, “Khainenabel”) as the Imperials have unwittingly strayed into what the Eldar view as their territory. Of course, all the Milky Way Galaxy are belong to the Holy God Emperor, and so battle was duly joined.

The fleets deploy – Eldar weaponry forward facing and better at a distance, the Imperial ships really need to get in close and rake the Xenos with powerful broadsides to get the upper hand
The fleets advance to contact, Eldar more cautious, keeping their distance while both Imperial ships barrel Ahead Full and open up with Vortex Torpedoes..
To absolutely NO effect.
Eldar plasma torpedoes are similarly ineffective
However the Xenos’ laser batteries do manage to cause some damage, stripping shields off both Imperial ships and causing critical damage to Ajax, denuding her of her right broadside
In the second turn the Eldar prowl cautiously forwards while both sides reload the torpedo batteries – Imperial ships break both left and right to pound the Eldar with broadside laser cannons
These strip some frontal shields from the Eldar but cause no real damage. Poor old Ajax takes another battering though, a magazine flashback reducing her to 2 damage points while Agamemnon loses her left broadside!
Turn 3 and with torpedo tubes reloaded, the Imperials blast Vortex Torpedoes at he Eldar and hit…. nothing. Return fire from the Xenos knocks out Agamemnon’s shields, reducing her to 3 damage points! Both Imperial ships are in a bad way and yet to cause any significant damage to the Eldar :-/
Turn 4 and the Imperials get in close, attempting to turn their remaining broadsides on the Mikaelkhaine, in no small measure because of it’s bloody silly name
Finally we inflict some real damage, stripping off flank shields and reducing it to 3 damage points, but at a terrible cost , as another critical hit causes a flashback to Ajax’s magazine and the proud battleship is destroyed in a vast thermonuclear explosion!
With her last broadside, Agamemnon avenges her fallen sister, destroying the Mikaelkhaine, but in doing so is reduced to a single point of damage!

It was at this point we called the game – Dan had a still largely functional Wraithship (with a slightly more sensible name) whereas I had a limping, listing Agamemnon with no shields left and a mere one damage point left. I felt at this point the interests of the Imperial Navy were best served by getting my warship to safety for repairs, and Dan agreed to let me go while searching for survivors from the Mikaelkhaine wreck! Result – solid Eldar victory, well done Dan 🙂

All in all a fun game, and well suited to remote gaming – I can already see how we might expand things… bigger board, add in some of the different spacecraft GW did rules for, plus the Tyranids who apparently play completely differently to the other factions….

Of course, as is often the case with GW, the Imperials got the vast majority of the support – different ships, rules etc.. but thankfully in the 41st millenium it’s not difficult to envisage a scenario where two loyalist sectors wind up fighting each other… so look out for more Space Fleet, and maybe we can even cook up some sort of Spacefleet/ Epic/ 40k mega campaign once we’re all free again? Here’s hoping….

Stay safe, sane and thrifty, we’ll see you again 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. 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!