Category Archives: Adeptus Mechanicus

The Chances Of Anything Coming From Mars… – Part 1

Before the outbreak of Coronavirus threw the world into turmoil Games Workshop announced that March would see the release of a range of new models for the Adeptus Mechanicus, those cybernetically enhanced sons and daughters of Mars (and other, inferior, forge worlds of course!). The spread of the virus has, naturally, knocked that release schedule back a bit but even before that happened I was suffering from mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I have a long standing love of the Adeptus Mechanicus, dating back to long before there was a range of models available for them, and more crazy-looking troops in service of the tech-priests can only be a good thing. On the other I’ve still never painted a single model from the range and it’s getting embarrassing!

Long ago I started to work on a test model for my first squad of Skitarii rangers, but about half-way through the painting process I stalled and somehow I never quite got back to it. I don’t quite understand what the issue is, I love the models, I love the background, I love the idea of painting them, but somehow the action of actually picking it up and moving the brush never seemed to happen. With the release of new models imminent I decided that this had gone on long enough, sat down and forced myself to finish it.

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Now let me say first of all that I still love these miniatures, they’re amongst the best things that GW has produced and if I ever build an army in service to the Imperium (rather than one looking to smash it down) then these are the guys for me. However, god damn this was fiddly to paint! Working on him seemed to take me hours and the whole exercise became bogged down by frustration and irritation, not something conducive to getting the rest of the collection painted up. On the other hand I was feeling really pleased with the end result and enthusiastic about finishing some more – even if I wasn’t particularly eager about the actual painting stage itself.  I did have a second ranger assembled and undercoated however so I set myself the challenge of getting him painted as well – and not taking weeks and weeks to do it. In the end I cracked through him in perhaps an hour and a half or so, quickly enough that my enthusiasm didn’t abandon me along the way.

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Side by side I think they look pretty good, certainly it’s not obvious which one was on the painting desk for several years and which one I rattled through in an afternoon.

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Oh and it goes without saying that these are perfect for the latest challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium, the “Paint the Crap You Already Own” April Challenge. As a result of my longstanding love of the servants of Mars I bought myself a handful of models as soon as they were released, and continued to bolster their ranks every time I saw a good bargain in the years since. By now I’ve ended up with quite a backlog and between Ann’s challenge and GW pausing all new releases during the current pandemic the decision has been made for me – I need to paint the crap I already own rather than day-dreaming about the slew of potential new recruits which will sooner or later become available to the macroclades of the red planet.

Anyway, getting these done has fired me with enthusiasm and lifted aside a psychological block that’s been hanging over the project for quite some time. I don’t know when I’ll get back to working on this project but at last I can say I’ve painted something and hold my head high amongst the other tech-priests! Should the urge to paint more Skitarii strike me sooner rather than later I’ve even assembled a few more, ready for the brush as soon as a suitable opportunity arises.

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I’m not sure exactly when I’ll tackle them, I’ve got a few other big projects I’m wanting to crack on with (my Necromunda Cawdor gang, more Blackstone Fortress, the rest of the Warcry terrain and chaotic beasts) but right now I’m just enjoying picking up loose odds and ends and getting them finished. Next up is likely to be some more Necromunda WIPs and then something Orc-y (and yes you read that right, Orc-y rather than Ork-y…).


If You Want To Get Ahead…

Remember the skullcrab from Black Edge I painted way back in June? It’s just a cracking little model, packed with character – what could better encapsulate the essence of 40k than a tiny robot-spider made from someone’s skull (presumably someone with quite a big head mind you)? Alas, for various reasons, the other two skullcrabs have sat untouched ever since. Inspired by the skullbirds however I realised it was time to expand my collection of skull-headed fauna and finally get them painted.

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A group shot of the three finished skulls together. Checking the Black Edge store I notice that the skullcrabs aren’t currently available – although I’m hopeful that Mark (of HeresyOfUs – and the man behind Black Edge) is working on them, alongside his various other twisted and brilliant creations.

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As the Imperial forces advance a scuttling wave of skullcrabs travels ahead of them.

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Whilst I had skulls on the brain (surely a normal state of affairs) I nabbed this servo-skull for a quick repaint as well.

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You really can’t have too many cherubs, servo-skulls and other skull-faced cyber-creatures in 40k so I’ll try to build some more in the near(-ish) future – watch this space!


Skull-Crab

I’ve been a bit in love with the skull-crabs from Black Earth ever since they were first revealed, even more so since Mark was kind enough to send me some. It’s odd then that it’s taken me so long to actually paint one of them but hey, I bet you’re not perfect either!

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Binary Logic

The story of Warhammer 40k is, and always has been, the story of the Imperium. Until now, however, we have seen only part of it. The alien races add colour and complexity, harrowing the empire of man from its fringes, and of course there is always the great enemy, Chaos, waiting in the wings for mankind’s own hubris to bring him down. The main player, however, remains the Imperium, a toppling edifice of decaying glory and overweening arrogance in the face of a brutal and rapacious assault from within and without.

Here we see the fall of Rome written across the stars. It is peopled by the strange and the mysterious and governed by the mad. Together they grub through the ruins of their own toppled magnificence and believe themselves still to be supreme. Their wars are fought by medieval peasants, armed with weapons far beyond their understanding, holding back the horrors of the galaxy only through sacrifice and attrition. It’s infamous ‘grim darkness’ has been captured by dozens of authors and codex writers, as well as artists including, amongst others, John Blanche and Jes Goodwin (whose images are used – without permission – to illustrate this blog).
John BlancheSomehow I’ve never felt that this was quite captured on the tabletop. The warrior-monks of the Space Marines have often looked too clean. The imperial guard have come to focus too heavily on the Cadians (whose aesthetic is closest to modern soldiers and not really to my taste) and the Catachans (who now seem like a contrived pastiche, glaringly out of place beside the gothic strangeness of their peers). The inquisition are spent force. They might once have been at the pinnacle of grim-dark gothic greatness but today they look old, tired and utterly overshadowed by the creative genius displayed within the Inq28 movement, their own feral offspring. The assassins and ecclesiarchy languish in lumpen disregard.
Today however sees the release of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Since the beginning they have been a part of the background but it’s taken until now for them to emerge. Quite why it’s taken so long is open to debate, the Imperium after all is the marriage of Terra and Mars, yet the red planet has seen next to nothing in terms of miniatures releases.
Exactly what will come next with this release we don’t know yet, although it’s hard to imagine that more miniatures are not on their way. Already, however, we’ve seen the kind of grubby madness I’ve been hoping for since I discovered 40k. Not only do we see the Mechanicus army so many of us have been waiting for but the spares should provide more than enough to add a Blanchien vibe to other imperial models. Of course I still have a host of Chaos projects to work on before I rush out to buy the agents of the Fabricator General but, having waited for them for so long, it won’t hurt to be patient. At least they’ve arrived.