Monthly Archives: July 2015

Heretic Oath

 

Just found this guy whilst sorting out some stuff. Not sure what I originally had planned for him but whatever it was he fell out of favour and off the radar, and ended up in a box. Having serendipitously rediscovered him I decided to finish him off and add him to my traitor guard. He didn’t need much work, just a few details and finishing off the base – in fact it probably took me less than quarter of an hour to finish him, which makes his sojourn in the box a little shameful.
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Quite pleased with how neatly the flagellant lower body fits to the traitor guard torso, which gives me some ideas for the champion in my Renegade Infantry squad.convert-or-die-chaos-faith-keeper-2I’m thinking he might represent some kind of preacher or faith-keeper, encouraging the fractious masses with litanies of hatred and despair. I intended the scrap of parchment in his hand to be a page torn from some unholy book but now I wonder if it might actually be crib-notes, written then cast aside by some arrogant Dark Apostle, then found and recycled by his lowly counterpart amongst the traitor guard. And if his words don’t sway the troops with the inevitability of the primordial truth then perhaps the sight of the severed head of the last fool to waste his time (perhaps by suggesting they retreat) should do the business?convert-or-die-chaos-faith-keeper-3Look at him; needs a rebreather just to survive the hellish death-worlds his masters enjoy, still doesn’t wear shoes. Hardcore!

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The Witching Hour Approaches

rogue-psyker-convert-or-die-1Psyker. Priest. Voice of the Neverborn. Directing the debased horde. Willing sacrifice to enflesh their victory. Engineering the union of gods and men with his own blood and bone.rogue-psyker-convert-or-die-3

rogue-psyker-convert-or-die-2Quite pleased with this creepy fellow. The bits to make four more are sitting on my table. Just need to stick them together…

Rather excitingly this is also my 100th post. Who knew when it began that this little blog would go so far? Not I anyway!


Change In The House Of Flies

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I was keen to show off some Work-In-Progress images of this guy as part of the ‘No Guts, No Glory’ series, particularly as those pieces have all been about finding out what I can do with the (amazing) Putrid Blightkings kit and this one has stretched my adventures with those particular models well beyond anything I’ve tried before. However in the end it wasn’t to be, beyond a quick snapshot here. However, unlike a lot of models where there’s a comprehensible – if only tacked together – shape fairly early on, this one stayed as a pile of disparate bits right up to the very end. It wasn’t until the last moment (and a few hair-raising eleventh-hour tweaks) that I got to see the finished piece myself and confirm that it was all actually going to work.

It’s with tremendous relief then that I get to see him finished (incarnated?). Obviously this could have been a trainwreck but I’m glad I persevered. Take a look:

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He’s a fairly big lad, even leaving aside the fact that he’s in mid-air, which – in my opinion – is how a daemon prince should be (big not flying!). Here he is next to my Nurgly Dreadnaught Igorin Rotbringer.

And buzzing over the heads of the worshipful ranks of the Rotten Souls.

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So what do you think? Is this another dread summoning for my daemonic legions or should I have left him to gestate in some toxic sump a little longer? Let me know in the box below.


Outbreak of Evil

I’m still forging ahead with my new traitor guard project but let’s take a quick break from them because they’re not the only thing on my painting table. I’m also working on a fairly big, and extremely complex, Daemon Prince of Nurgle but I’m hanging fire on showing it to you until it’s finished – mainly because until then it’ll be in twelve disparate bits and I’m not entirely sure how, or even if, it’s going to work out. In the meantime, in order to keep me fresh and stop me succumbing to ‘big model panic’, I’ve also been working on a few more plaguebearers to join the Rotten Souls. plaguebearers-of-nurgle-convert-or-die-2

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Life Among The Ruins

Someone go to Holy Terra quick and toll the great Bell of Lost Souls once – Warhammer is dead. A world burns and, regardless of what you may have heard to the contrary, a man from Games Workshop is on his way to your house right now to smash up your models and force you to buy Space Marines.

Before he arrives let me share a few of my own thoughts on the passing of Warhammer. Be warned however, I am a long time 40k collector and painter – and nowadays a player of nothing. If you’ve just rage-quit in disgust rather than face the dawn of the Age of Sigmar then this may not be a good place to be. Spam your hatred of me in the comments box below, if it’s erudite – or even legible – I may just let it stay.

The truth is Warhammer never quite grabbed me in the same way 40k did. The miniatures are pretty nice, and that should be enough in itself, and it looked like it would be fun to actually play – something that never really clicked for me with 40k. I started several Warhammer armies over the years; my Skaven I’ve already shown, my Vampire Counts deserve an outing at some point as well. I’ve often dreamed of an Empire army (lots of black-powder, crazy contraptions and handlebar moustaches) or perhaps Wood Elves (especially post End-Times when I could add in some of the more feral elements from the Dark Elves to create a truly savage Wild Hunt). The only reason I never did much with either Chaos or Orcs was because I was already throwing all my ideas in that department into 40k. I even have a few Bretonian knights kicking around somewhere.

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My first Skaven – a gift from a friend a long, long time ago…

As it turned out none of these ideas went anywhere. As I have come to discover the hook I need to get me involved in a setting is the background. This is why, sidetracking slightly, I hate the term ‘fluff’. Fluff implies that what we are dealing with is extraneous extra stuff, designed to go around the key elements (the miniatures? the rules?) but hardly vital to them. Which, may I add, rather comes across as one in the eye for the ancient art of storytelling. No-one has ever put down a well-thumbed copy of Lord of the Rings, or sat in a cinema watching the latest Hollywood extravaganza and thought “Well that was some rather good fluff”.

The point I’m attempting to make is that a solid background makes a game. The Emperor has sat decaying upon the Golden Throne of Terra for more than two and a half decades now. What has happened to your miniatures in that time? How about your rules? With each new armybook or codex armies have risen or fallen in the “meta” and units have gone from “deathstars” to disposable and back again. Yet the fluff remains inviolate, the pillar upon which all else is built. And, when all is said and done, the 40k ‘fluff’ continues to excite me in a way that of Warhammer never did.

This isn’t a fantasy vs sci-fi debate, in fact I’d argue that 40k is far more fantasy than sci-fi (yes, it’s set in the future, but it’s also packed to the gunnels with magic, wizards, knights, dragons and elves – and not a single actual scientist in sight).

Not scientists…

The problem with the Warhammer fiction, for me, is that it appeared to be founded on a principle of ‘Never make a single, logic narrative step when twelve highly improbable ones would do’. As a result my credulity was constantly being stretched and I spent more time trying to follow the plot and remember which convoluted steps which led us here.
From what I’ve seen so far this reboot seems to be continuing the trend. If they wanted to move the timeline forward then surely this could have been done without destroying the world they had created in its entirety? Why not stop the End Times at one minute to midnight with the world reeling, every faction battered but Chaos suddenly on the defensive as the Gods withdrew their power from Archaon, preferring to toy with mortal lives for another age than see the world destroyed outright? And before you tell me that’s daft let me remind you, a precedent has already been set by a little known guy named Horus… Of course the world would still be in trouble, its cities in ruins, its armies shattered, its people driven to their knees. Chaos Lords, enraged by the nearness of the victory that had been snatched from them, would still be rampaging around the countryside seeking to make their mark in the power vacuum left by the death of Archaon. Orcs and Skaven fight over the ruins and everyone is out to seize limited resources off everyone else just to survive. Luckily for the forces of Order golden armoured heroes are descending from the heavens! The tide is about to turn!
Perhaps you think my ‘post End Times solution’ is rubbish fan-fiction, in which case fair enough, but surely it seems more believable than all this nonsense about some guy flying through space, hanging onto a speck of reality, then rebuilding some worlds by magic or what-have-you. Also my way would have allowed any characters players wanted to survive into the new era to do so. That elf prince you wrote all that background about? Well in my version he survived the End Times by being terribly heroic (your Skaven hero hid until it was all over). In the official version they both snuffed it and if you want them in the new world some unlikely miracle must have occurred. No, the only way they can exist ‘in game’ (and they do – there are rules for Special Characters in the pdfs on the Games Workshop website) is if one is playing ‘pre End Times’ – in which case why not just leave things at one minute to mid-night and skip out the whole ‘Sigmar flies through space’ thing altogether?

All of which should not give you the impression that I’m anti-Age of Sigmar, I’m actually pretty excited about it. As I’ve often said I don’t really game at all nowadays, but I still maintain an interest in game design and some of the decisions made in the creation of AoS strike me as well worth investigating. It remains pretty doubtful that I’ll play it but I’ll still be reading the rules with interest.

This brings us to another key point – the fact that I can just pick up the rules and read them. I’m not being asked to invest large sums in buying rule books, I can just grab everything I need for free, legitimately and without fear of prosecution. Welcome, Games Workshop, to the world of modern business! It’s a strange and exciting place but I’m sure once you catch your breath you’ll fit right in!

The fact of the matter is, the rules have been available for free for quite some time. Piracy, once the sole domain of dashing looking men with eye-patches and poor dental hygiene, has come ashore and made its way online. If you know where to look – and who doesn’t – then all the rule books you require can be yours for free (albeit not legally). The aim of this piece isn’t to justify piracy, you can make up your own mind about that, but to deny its happening is the height of foolishness, especially for a company in Games Workshop’s position. The solution? Cut the rug from under the pirates’ feet, give the rules away for free and use them to sell a product that people are excited to buy – the miniatures.

As someone who’s main interest in the hobby is painting and converting models this is the real meat of the release for me; the warriors of Khorne doing battle with Sigmar’s holy warriors, the Stormcast Eternals. Obviously as a devoted servant of the dark gods I’m pretty excited about the former as I can already see all sorts of possibilities for adding them to the ranks of my own black crusade. As for the latter they too should translate to the dark future, one way or another.

Before I go on let me stress the point – these models looks pretty amazing as fantasy models, my 40k slant is purely that’s probably where I’ll be using them.

Anyway, as absolutely everyone has been saying, the Stormcast Eternals would look fierce as Custodes. Of course to truly match the Custodes they’d need those tall helms that must make them bump their heads if they ever find themselves fighting indoors. Still, there are plenty of options available to make that possible whilst the death masks of the sigmarites can be recycled onto Blood Angels, psykers, mutants, navigators, mechanicum thralls, Slaaneshi warriors or anyone else you can think of who looks debonair in a mask.

A few bolters, backpacks and chainswords away from being the best Space Marines you’ve ever seen.

Even if you don’t want to turn these guys into Custodes they could still make for some damn fine Space Marines (to be honest I think the popularity of the Custodes idea springs in part from them being painted gold). Indeed if these models are as large as they’re said to be, and as plentiful as starter set models generally become, then we could be looking at a golden opportunity for true-scaling space marines. The Lord-Relictor is a few minor conversions away from being a jaw dropping Chaplain and how about taking the skeleton he’s holding and mounting it on the front of a dreadnaught?

New Chosen of Khorne for my Beasts of Ruin? I rather think so!

Anyway, I’m writing this with hasty over-excitement in a cafe, so before they throw me out I’m going to wrap this up. As usual if you have any thoughts feel free to put them in the box below. Cheers!


Hammer of the Gods – Part 2

Just a quick update, as promised, here’s the Bone ‘ead for my renegade Ogren squad. And yes, I know there’s no Bone ‘eads in Imperial Armour 13, I just don’t like leaving my Ogrens without someone in charge!traitor-guard-convert-or-die-traitors-27

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As you can see, he’s considerably bigger than the others. Never mind eh – at least he looks like the boss!traitor-guard-convert-or-die-traitors-26