Category Archives: Astra Militarum

Rodents Of Unusual Size And The Junit Round-Up

Rejoice, rejoice! If you own any bells now is the time to ring them! The ugly plague monks are done at last!

I’ll admit that by the end I was sick to the eye-teeth of them and more than happy just to call them done. The result of this is, sadly, that they’re not the best painted models in my collection, but then again they’re not the best sculpted models in GW’s catalogue either. I will however happily meet them half-way, if they make me some better plague monks I’ll put more effort into painting them.

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I used a bit of greenstuff to make this one look even more diseased and to break up the otherwise rather flat and bare surfaces, with mixed results in my opinion.

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Here’s the whole unit, complete with banner, musician and Bearer of the Word (although if that’s what a Bearer of the Word looks like these days Lorgar has really let his standards slip…).

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The way units rank up in Warhammer means you can’t actually see all of them that well but to my mind that’s actually something of a blessing.

Anyway, in spite of my moaning, that’s another unit done and a definite cause for celebration. Furthermore it occurred to me that as we’re now roughly half-way through 2018, that this would be a fine time to take a look at the progress my Skaven army has made so far this year. Here’s how it was looking back at New Year;

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…and here it is now.

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Solid progress, I hope you’ll agree! Now arguably the rats didn’t quite make it under the wire for Azazel’s Junit challenge, sneaking in last night which is technically July, but I don’t think Azazel’s that strict and anyway I’m just glad to get them finished. Certainly I wouldn’t have had the push to finish them, at least not for a while, without the challenge so, as I’ve been saying here regularly over the last little while, Azazel deserves another resounding “thank you” from me for conjuring and shepherding these little excursions of collaborative encouragement.

Two units that definitely did meet the Junit criteria however were my Space Marines and Imperial Guard squads. When I posted the marines last week I realised I was pretty unhappy with the highlighting on the acting sergeant’s legs and, although you were all too polite to comment on it, it pained me sufficiently that I went back and gave him a quick repaint. Again hopefully you agree that this is an improvement.

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And, whilst we’re turning our attention away from fantasy rat-men and onto the defenders of humanity in the far future, I realised after I posted the most recent two guardsmen that I hadn’t added a group shot of the whole squad so here they are, the completed (J)unit of rag-tag serfs, plus a Catachan who’s still on the phone.

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Indeed, by way of a pallet cleanser after struggling with the monks, I went ahead and kitbashed another addition to the Guard regiment. I tend to try and keep updates to a theme but as this one is proving to be very much a grab-bag of general updates, here’s a couple of WIP images of the newest recruit.

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I know there are a lot of Chaos and Ork models garrisoning the shelves of my house but humanity need not loose hope whilst this little lot stands in their defence.

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Having seen the progress that the Skaven army has made in 2018 it occurred to me that it would also be worth taking a look at all the other things I’ve painted this year so here they are, every model I’ve finished in 2018 (minus the Skaven as that made everything too confusing, and also not including the little gang of genestealer infested civilians that I sent off into the northern wilds in search of Big Boss Redskullz). It’s not an unimpressive pile either if I may say so myself, with everything from plague zombies to unicorn-men, and goblin warbosses to skull-faced birds putting in an appearance.

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Sadly there’s still only one painted Necromunda ganger in there but expect to see that situation rectified over the next few months. Of course that’s not all I’ve got planned so here’s to plenty more projects over the next six months!

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Disposable Heroes – Part 14

Inspired by the old Catachan I painted last week I found myself looking again at my small, rag-tag Imperial Guard force. Blame Azazel and his increasingly compelling Junit challenge but I found myself unwilling to leave them at just eight when a couple more would make for a full squad of ten. Of course I know this is just an excuse, as minimum squad sizes hardly matter in the shadowy Inq28/Necromunda world these chaps inhabit, but that wasn’t going to stop me breaking out the brushes for a quick recruiting drive.

Press-ganged as part of a routine purge to combat overpopulation this former agricultural worker has traded the pesticide fug of the fields for the battle-ridden hellscape of the Imperium’s warzones.

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Not so sure on the background for this one; could he be a fanatic who believes his shots are guided by the skull of the martyr he carries, or a man blinded by a malfunctioning lascannon who’s been ordered by his commander to man up and get back out there.

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This makes them the third unit I’ve tackled for Junit and the first one I’ve actually finished (with – gulp – not a lot of month left to play with). Still, the end is in sight for the other two squads so here’s hoping I can turn around the rest this week.


Garage Days Revisited – Part 2

They say that old Catachans never die, they just smell that way, although sensibly they never say it if any old Catachans are within earshot. This is another escapee from Chris’s garage (and for those who need to catch up on the full story you can find it here). I like to think this chap was the veteran of a fair few battles before he made his way into the dusty darkness of the garage. He’s got tough guy action hero written all over him, and regardless of how often he’s probably been shot and blown up he still makes it through to save the day. What’s more he manages it all whilst chatting on his phone – old though he is he still manages to be relevant to the millennials. After such heroics the least he deserves is to be properly painted at last.

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Humanity’s defenders being a diverse bunch I reckon he’ll fit in alongside the rest of my small Imperial Guard collection where his 1980’s action movie musculature will be the envy of my underfed hive-world conscripts.

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Sorry babe, gotta go, Sarg is shoutin’ at me again!

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Disposable Heroes – Part 13

For a long time I’ve dreamed of commanding a huge Imperial Guard army, capturing my vision of what human wars in the 41st Millennium are like. Alongside an equally vast adeptus mechanicus host, a few squads of space marines (truescale obviously) and perhaps a unit or two of custodes, would march a vast horde of human soldiers. Each would be personalised, converted into a unique character. Alongside them would roll the massed armour (even though painting tanks holds no appeal to me at all) and other warmachines, towering knights, squads of ogrens and so on. However so far common sense has continued to assert itself. Rather than rush out and spend all of my meagre earnings on guardsmen when I already have a horde of other unfinished projects demanding my attention, I’ve tried to keep it small scale, building up a squad, model by model. Perhaps it’ll grow in time into a platoon, then – maybe – a second, until one day I look round and find myself with an army waiting to march on my command. A few days ago I added a couple more guardsmen and, finding that rather than satisfying the creative urge this only exacerbated it, I’ve painted up another one.

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In addition I went back to the medic I showed last year and made some adjustments, improving his paintjob and tying him into the slowly growing collection.

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I suspect that for now I’ll be setting the guard aside and turning my focus elsewhere again but before we move on here’s a quick look at some of the other models I’ve assembled who will, in time, make their way out of unpainted morass and into the ranks of the Hammer of the Emperor.

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And of course before we depart the guard entirely however there’s always room for another group shot of progress so far.

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Disposable Heroes – Part 12

Back at the tail end of last year I took my first steps into assembling the Imperial Guard regiment I’ve always imagined. Inspired by the Iron Sleet Invitational I put together a little band of guardsmen capturing the aesthetic I’ve long associated with the Guard, and yet which rarely comes across in the official models. I even waxed philosophical on the topic if you’re interested in reading more about my reasoning. At the time I made four guardsmen and, hitting something of an inspirational dry spell, rounded out the squad with a specialist agent sent to the Thorn Moons by the Imperial invaders. However that left several unfinished guardsmen sitting on the corner of the desk, neither fit to be included in the group nor ready to be cast back into the bitsbox, but waiting for inspiration to return and raise them up as fully finished models. Feeling the call of the guard once again I grabbed one of those unfinished miniatures and gave him the additional touches needed for him to join the Imperial war-machine.

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I see him as very much a devout soul who, believing he has been called to serve in battle as part of the Emperor’s great plan for humanity, has requested dispensation to leave his allotted labours in the manufactorums and join the Guard. The fellow members of his congregation, believing that his mission is a holy one, have gifted him the small icon from their church to carry into battle, hoping that this will ensure his protection until he has completed whatever task the Emperor has set before him.

Of course this isn’t my first experiment with the Imperial Guard. A while ago I put together this chap as a “proof of concept” to test the waters and iron out some of my ideas.

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Given my return to the guard I took the opportunity to give him a quick repaint to bring him into the ranks of my new squad. And yes, I know I’ve got paint on the rim of his base and, due to the selective blindness that seems to affect me whenever I do this, I overlooked it. Don’t make me go and take the photos again, just trust me that I’ll get it fixed. It’s mostly at the back, nobody will notice right?

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Whether this has been enough to cure my urge to paint guardsmen and let me focus on other projects, or if this is only the beginning of a mass recruitment drive remains to be seen. In the meantime any thoughts or feedback are very welcome.


Disposable Heroes – Part 11

Having painted four Imperial Guardsmen for the Iron Sleet Thorn Moons Invitational the fifth and final model to tackle the Thorn Moons is someone rather different. Stuck for inspiration amongst the ranks of the Guard I took on an Imperial agent, a shadowy, mendicant figure, tasked with enacting the Emperor’s will without support from the greater Imperial war-machine.

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…And yes, I’ve not drilled out the barrel because that would have almost certainly broken the gun. Am I proud? Not a bit of it!

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Of course, all this leaves for us is to delve into the background of the regiment – the Sarkisian 7th.

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When the Imperium called for troops to join the crusade the Sarkis system, one of the closest along a stable warp route, was a natural choice of recruiting ground. Raised from the densely packed hive streets of Sarkis V, the men of the Sarkisian 7th were naturals at fighting in the narrow crawlspaces and elaborate trench works of their homeworld. Alas the forests of the Thorn Moons, so similar on paper to the hive-warrens, proved disastrously different once they made planetfall. Against the deadly forests of those hell-worlds the Sarkisian 7th were soon whittled down into small bands of survivors, each attempting to find their way to their own lines after their initial triumphant advance.

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All manner of unclean creatures assailed us beneath those terrible trees. Emperor preserve our souls! Have we failed?

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Even against the foulest of heretics we fought on, whilst the dank forest closed around us like a fist.

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We needed leadership – someone who understood those twisting forests as well as the enemy, someone who could guide us to our dreamed of vengeance.Invitational Convert Or Die (9)

She will not tell us where she comes from but, in contrast to our struggling, blundering steps, she walks the forests of the Moons like a native. Was she born here I wonder, beneath these hungry boughs? Did she run through a childhood spent amongst these glades and thickets? It is hard to image her as an innocent, just as it is hard to imagine a childhood spent upon these strange worlds with their all devouring forests. Give me my hive streets once more, the warrens of mankind’s great cities rolling beneath my feet! What foul death-world first spawned such unclean xenos things as trees?

I do not even know her name, nor her rank or duties. It does not seem to matter however. She has led us, when the forest grew darkest. Without her this nightmare world would have consumed us long ago. If we endure here it shall be by her actions and the Emperor’s will alone.

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Once again huge thanks to the team at Iron Sleet for putting the Invitational together and to all the other hobbyists who’ve been involved. If you’ve not already do take the time to head over to Iron Sleet and take a look at the showcase of work they’ve been building, a treasure trove of inspiration awaits!


Disposable Heroes – Part 10

I am summoned. The Emperor speaks to me. It is the preacher’s breath that forms the sounds, his vox-horns that cast them into the incense-heavy air of the chapel, but he speaks with the Emperor’s voice and it is His words that call me to war. No longer can I remain here whilst His realm is attacked by the heretic hordes without. No more can I contain my spite for the xenos that dare to walk amongst His stars. I have requested permission to leave the place of my labours and take up the lasgun. I embrace the duty of war.

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We are all that is left now. Three harsh days on the surface of the Moons, three days weathering the storm cast against us, the armoured giants, the hereteks and their foul trees, the shrapnel storm that gutted our ship before we even reached the surface, the remorseless killing that came after. Of the thousands that left Sarkis IV at my side we may be the last. We seek others to join with, to band together until, perhaps, we have the numbers to strike back, and die with glory. I know the ghost of Colonel Idris is driving me onwards. We shall not fail our Emperor.

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