Tag Archives: Adeptus Mechanicus

Larsen van der Grauss

Released as part of the Kill Team: Rogue Trader set Larsen van der Grauss is a Lectro-Maester of Adeptus Mechanicus, which means he’s a prospector charged with seeking out new sources of power for the forge worlds. There’s something wonderfully retro sci-fi about him, an aesthetic which runs through a lot of the Adeptus Mechanicus range but which really comes to the fore here. He’s also been sitting around unfinished since September of 2018 so he’ll be another submission to the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium.

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A close up reveals not only the flaws in my painting but also freehand on the screen of his high-tech handheld gizmo (which I’m secretly rather proud of).

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I’d love to see another boxset similar to Kill Team: Rogue Trader someday. Games Workshop have done some excellent sets recently but most of them have been made up of models that were already available, spiced up with a few extras which were given an early release through the boxset. The Rogue Trader set however explored entirely new ground, without any of it needing to develop into a fully released faction (not that I’d have minded if it had). The only comparable example I can think of in recent years (outside of Specialist Games of course) has been the Warhammer Quest games. Between them Blackstone Fortress and Kill Team: Rogue Trader really expanded a lot of the otherwise unexplored corners of the 40k universe and I certainly wouldn’t be averse to seeing more sets like this in the future.


A Princess Of Mars

This is one of the first models I planned to tackle for Fembruary and so it makes sense, in the topsy-turvy way I go about my hobbying, that she’s one of the very last to be completed. Back when Lady Olynder, the Mortarch of Grief, was first released I worried that she’d be a difficult creature to paint and commented that I felt like I was the only person on earth who didn’t really like her. To be honest there were plenty of moments whilst actually painting her which didn’t help to change my mind. Much like the Khinerai I painted earlier in the month the whole model is prone to moving around every time a brush touches it and despite my attempts to anchor her a bit more solidly both she and her handmaidens pushed my patience to the limit at times.

That said however I still enjoyed painting her a great deal, even if she did make me grind my teeth and swear more than usual, and I’m happy with the end result so all’s well that ends well. Rather than paint her as the Queen of the Nighthaunt I used her as the basis from which to convert a tech-priestess for my nascent Adeptus Mechanicus collection.

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With a conversion of this type there’s always a temptation to keep adding things but to me the simplicity of the original Lady Olynder is one of its great strengths and I wanted to strike a balance between maintaining that whilst adding just enough to tie her into a futuristic rather than fantasy setting and make it clear that here we have a representative of the Martian priesthood rather than an ambulatory bedsheet. For those who’re unfamiliar with the base model I used here’s the studio version from Games Workshop as a comparison.

Lady Olynder

As well as the Princess herself I had a lot of fun with the two little handmaidens. Strange though it may be to say I think there’s something quite cute about these two, and they offered an opportunity to play up the technological aspects without detracting from the simplicity of the core figure.

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Finally here we have her, ready to command the soldiers of the Red Planet in their unending search for lost technology.

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And there we have it, another model that could so easily have been left unfinished get’s pushed over the finish line for Fembruary. That’s not all either, tomorrow – once I’ve added a few finishing touches – we’ll see another agent of House Escher.


The Chances Of Anything Coming From Mars… – Part 2

It’s been the best part of twenty years since I started banging on about wanting to paint an Adeptus Mechanicus army, almost six years since miniatures for them were released and nine months since I finally got a couple of Skitarii painted. For that matter it’s also been one week since you looked at me, cocked your head to the side and said, “We need to talk about Mars” and five days since you laughed at me saying “The Omnissiah demands you get your shit together and paint His legions!”. Anyway, at long last my two Skitarii have been joined by two more.

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Really I should have painted another to round out a squad but the uncanny powers of Tzeentch with which I’ve been tampering over recent weeks have clearly addled what was left of my common sense.

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I’m not going to pretend that more of these will follow straight away, I’ve got more Tzeentch and the Fembruary challenge lined up which I want to concentrate on, but I am determined that after that I’ll give the armies of Sacred Mars the love and attention they have been denied for so long.


Blackstone Fortress: Daedalosus

Working on the servitor X-101 got me thinking about the sons of Holy Mars once again, and the fact that I haven’t painted anything for the glorious birthworld of the Mechanicum since back in April. Despite how much I know inside I love tech-priests and their ilk I still seem to have a bit of a mental block when it comes to actually painting them. Still, whilst I’ve got Blackstone Fortress on the brain I can always kill two (servo-)birds with one (radioactive!) stone and paint Daedalosus, the wandering tech-adept who can be taken as part of the band of adventurers venturing into the fortress.

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I know I’ve slowed down a bit on getting Blackstone Fortress painted since I completed the original boxset, although this last week has done a little bit towards setting that right. We’ve got out of the habit of playing it since we discovered Warcry – although I paint plenty of other things that never see a gaming table so I don’t really see why that should make any difference. Still I would like to get the finger out and get everything else painted for it (especially once the wintery weather puts me off from being outdoors more than I strictly need to!). I’m still in two minds about buying the final expansion, Ascension. On the one hand the new Guardian Drones look amazing, we’ve enjoyed the game and it makes sense to complete the collection and finish the adventure. On the other hand the price feels a little bit like they’re taking the piss – safe in the knowledge that lots of people have been hooked by previous expansions Games Workshop are charging a bit more than I, without the box open in front of me to take a proper look at its contents, feels it really deserves. I may yet save up for it but it’s not the only thing GW are trying to tempt me into buying right now. I’ll think about it…


Blackstone Fortress: Servitor X-101

As promised the explorers risking life and limb in the darkness of the Blackstone Fortress can now be joined by the servitor X-101. Of course I won’t let the occasion pass to complain that GW really ought to provide us with some more servitor models, there are few things as evocative of the 41st Millennium and the few existing miniatures for them are hellishly old. Every Imperial faction could use a few servitors and gangs of corrupted, malfunction servitors would be a wonderful addition to Necromunda.

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All in all he was remarkably quick and straightforward to paint and so I’m feeling enthused about tackling some more Blackstone Fortress models, perhaps finishing off the last few heroes from the original game or turning my attention to some of the expansions.


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…).


Martian Madness and Pointy Elves

This weekend sees the Las Vegas Open, which is apparently some kind of big deal if you’re a tournament gamer who lives in Las Vegas. The rest of us might not pay that much attention, were it not for the fact that GW sees this as a grand opportunity to reveal some of their forthcoming releases. Needless to say I have plenty of thoughts about these and I’m not going to miss the chance to share them with the world because that’s how the internet works nowdays.

First things first we have the announcement of a substantial wave of new models joining the Adeptus Mechanicus. I’m not sure if I’ve apologised for this before but I’m a huge fan of the Ad-Mech. I say apologised because for many years I harped on about how awesome they were to anyone who couldn’t think of a suitable excuse to leave, about how great it would be to see a range of miniatures for them, about what a missed opportunity it was that GW failed to do anything with what must be one of the finest ideas they’d ever come up with. Then finally GW got the finger out and created a truly wonderful range of models, tapping into the weirdness of the Ad-Mech with real aplomb and I’ve painted nothing. In the five years since they first appeared I’ve managed to get about half-way through painting two Skitarii and that’s it. I didn’t rush out and clear the shelves of my nearest stockist but I have snapped up bargains and Start Collecting sets until I’ve gathered myself a sizeable heap of the Sons and Daughters of Mars and I love them as much as ever but I just haven’t got any of them painted. My soul may have long ago been sold to Chaos, and my heart will always be green and orky, but the Adeptus Mechanicus speaks to me to quite a profound degree, and yet I’ve done naff all about it.

Nonetheless this might be the moment to take the plunge. After all I’ve just finished off my Skaven so maybe I ought to roll up my sleeves and tackle the Martians. I wasn’t particularly wowed by the Skorpius tanks that emerged last summer, and in part that may be because I’m just not that big into tanks. To me the Skorpius are just a little plain, sensible and straightforward which is not at all how the barking-mad scholars of Mars like things. On the other hand the Archaeopter looks like much more my kind of thing, as weird and archaic as all the best Adeptus Mechanicus creations should be.

AdMech Flyer

With the Serberys cavalry they’ve continued to up the Ad-Mech’s game as troops go thundering into battle on weird, bio-mechanical dogs. It’s utterly mad of course but then that’s how the Cult of Mars ought to be. I’m sure a few Imperial Guard fans are cursing that these have appeared but Rough Riders remain a thing of the past and although I agree with them entirely that Rough Riders deserve a new kit ASAP these models are one of the coolest things we’ve seen in a while (and it’s been non-stop cool things lately).

Serberys Sulphurhounds

Speaking of madness we have the Pteraxii, another new unit of troops, this time with wings. Again the strangeness of the Ad-Mech is on full display and although I’m not so over-excited by them as I am the Serberys cavalry there’s still a lot to like here – not to mention what looks to be a lot of useful parts for Inq28 conversions.

Pteraxii

I must confess the first thing I thought of when I saw them were the Bird Men of Catrazza, an old regiment of renown from the days of WHFB.  To be honest the similarity probably starts and ends with them being men with wings but it gave me a little thrill of nostalgia all the same.

Bird Men

All this Martian madness is due to be released soon, which makes me hopeful that GW will finally get around to releasing the Tech Priest Manipulus properly too. Until now it’s only been available as part of a Kill Team set, which would have been a bargain if I’d been in the market for any of the other contents – as it was it just looked like a very expensive way of getting the Manipulus model so I’ve been stubbornly holding off. Either way it now appears to be out of stock (unless I’m just failing to find it on the GW website) so fingers crossed the fat lad will see a proper release shortly.

tech priest manipulus

Moving across to Age of Sigmar we discover that Teclis, once the premier mage of the WHFB setting and now elevated to godhood in the Mortal Realms, has been at it again. Following the capture of Slaanesh who was forced to disgorge the glut of elven souls they’d consumed during the End Times (I’m picturing someone sticking their fingers down a Chaos God’s throat until they puked – something Slaanesh probably gets off on) Teclis took his share of the available souls and turned them into a race of his very own. Sadly he made, not to put too fine a point on it, an absolute balls of things, and the result was the Idoneth Deepkin, a culture defined by their deep-seated trauma at being consumed by Slaanesh (not the mention vomited out again) and with a deeply difficult relationship with their spiritual father. With the majority of their race born with weak and withered souls they took to stealing the life-force of others and Teclis attempted to wipe them out, which only served to sour relations even further. You’d have thought old Teclis would have decided to write the whole business off as a bad job and leave creating new Elven races to others, but apparently he’s decided to take another shot at it and his latest effort are the Lumineth Realm-lords.

Vanari Auralan Wardens

Perhaps worried about what they’ll get up to without him keeping an eye on them Teclis himself has joined the range, with a gloriously over-the-top miniature (although personally I still prefer Morathi and Alarielle when it comes to Elven Gods in miniatures form). Whilst Teclis himself looks suitably impressive the star here is Celennar, Spirit of Hysh, who may be intended as a creature of purity and light but could just as easily be something chillingly inscrutable and madly Tzeentchian.

Teclis

These are very much old-fashioned elves in the style of the High Elves of yesteryear – some of them even ride around on horses! After the part-tree, part-elf hybrids of the Sylvaneth, the part-snake Daughters of Khaine and the weird, eyeless aquatic creatures of the Idoneth Deepkin these harken back to something much more traditional and Tolkienesque.

Incidentally I’ve recently discovered that the word “Aelves”, which GW now uses in place of the desperately outmoded “Elves” to differentiate their copyrightable pointy-eared people from the kind of pointy-eared folk that everyone else produces, should be pronounced “Elves” just the same as every other company’s elves. Until now I’d been pronouncing it “Aleves” with a hard “A” – which would have made all those fans crying out for some old-fashioned elves like these part of the Campaign for Real Aelves.

Vanari Dawnriders

I don’t imagine I’ll be painting any of these myself any time soon, I’m sure they’ll appeal to a lot of elf fans and I can see that they’re beautiful miniatures, but they’re not really my kind of thing. That said pretty much every other AoS race has found its way into Warcry so perhaps someday these will too, in which case I might find myself tempted to put together a little warband and stretch my creative muscles into painting something bright, clean and noble rather than the filthy degenerates that usually attract me.

They did however get me thinking about the place of elves in the Age of Sigmar, and what that means for the humans which find themselves increasingly pushed to the fringes. In the past humanity stood at the heart of both GW’s key universes. Just as the Imperium has been the central mover-and-shaker of the 41st Millennium so the Empire lay at the centre of the Old World, with the other races scattered around the edge of the map. Elves lived on the outskirts, sailing their craftworlds through the depths of wilderness space or living on far flung, exotic continents like Ulthuan or Naggarond. AoS however has pushed the elves to the centre of the setting whilst humanity barely gets a look in. With the release of the Lumineth Realm-lords we now have four full elven races in AoS, joining the sea-dwelling Idoneth Deepkin, the never-knowingly-fully-dressed Daughters of Khaine and those most wooden of actors the Sylvaneth. Between them these races have sprung from just three of the Elven pantheon, Teclis, Alarielle and that old snake Morathi. That still leaves us with Tyrion and Malerion who are surely bound to usher in elven races of their own sooner or later, not to mention of the off-cuts of the old High, Dark and Wood Elves still knocking around the Realms. Rather than Age of Sigmar this could very easily have been called Age of Elves and one almost wonders why GW didn’t bite the bullet and do just that. Humans have been shoved into the margins of the setting, with most of those still living in the Realms being flesh-eating degenerates or Chaos worshipping thugs. In the purging of their old lines that followed the death of WHFB the Empire was spared the destruction that swallowed their brothers across the mountains in Bretonnia but sometimes you’re left wondering just what GW saved them for. The human perspective is a great narrative tool (most, if not all, of GW’s customers being human) but the old Empire range now look like people out of time, a race of proxies standing in for the fantastical city states described in the background. It’s easy to imagine the kind of strange and extraordinary cultures which might exist in the Realms, until you discover that everyone still dresses exactly like they did thousands of years ago in Reikland. I often dreamed of starting an Empire army myself and I certainly have nothing against them as a faction but they look out of place now, and GW seem to have little interest in developing new human cultures with which to populate their developing setting. Perhaps, with retrospect, they should have been bolder, packing the Empire range off to join the Bretonnias and Tomb Kings in the history books and reducing the human race to tribal savages, scraping by in the Age of Sigmar, with a few chosen champions elevated to join the Stormcast hosts, whilst the light of civilisation belongs exclusively to the Elves. In a decade or two they could have revived a few Empire concepts to the delight of old grognards who would rave to bemused youngsters about the era when bases were square. After all if you wait long enough everything comes round again, even zoats…

Nurgle

Of course, as soon as Teclis showed up with Celennar – who is at least in part a giant cat – Nurgle had to get in on the action with a cat of his own and a crazy cat lady to keep it company. Enter the Wurmspat, a new warband for Warhammer Underworlds. Underworlds hasn’t really grabbed me as a game, I’m not really interested in card games and the focus on the competitive side leaves me cold, but there’s no denying it’s brought us some outstanding models. With the Wurmspat we see not only two more Blightkings, each of which is a chip off the manky old block and a fine looking decedent of the original Nurgle Lord, but we also get Fecula Flyblown, our first Nurgle lady (and her cat). Of course I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth but for traditions sake I will repeat the same mutterings that I make every time there’s a new Nurgle release – that this was a fine chance to bring us a pestigor and they missed it again.

Fecula Flyblown

Last but very definitely not least we have a real blast from the past, the first Zoat to grace the worlds of Warhammer since the ’80s (by my memory at least). When I first heard that a Zoat was part of the reveals I assumed, wrongly as it turned out, that this would be Zolcath, the Blood Bowl star player. Who would have thought a second Zoat might be waiting in the wings after all these years?

Zoat

In many ways Blackstone Fortress has stepped into the same niche as the Specialist Games studio, allowing GW to produce those things which fans still love but which don’t quite fit in to the established armies of the main games. So far we’ve seen Rogue Traders, Imperial Navigators, a Man of Iron, Traitor Guard, Dark Mechanicum, even a stonking great Ambull. Of course nostalgia is all very well but the strength of all of these has been that they stand on their own two (or in this case four) feet as excellent models, more than deserving of attention and admiration in their own right. One wonders what else might emerge from 40k’s shadowy corners to walk the halls of the fortress; Squats, Hrud, Eldar Corsairs or Exodites, perhaps even a Slaan? Of course the question now is, will the Zoat be an adventurer or an adversary? I suspect it’ll be the latter of course but the former would be wonderful. Who wouldn’t feel more comfortable tackling the maddening halls and unravelling corridors of the xenos star-fort with a Zoat at their side?

Finally, in the midst of all this excitement, it would be remiss of me not to mention the appearance of the Eightfold Harvest Lord, a Khorne worshipping maniac now stalking the surface of Necromunda. Having sworn to bring cannibalistic madness down upon my favourite Imperial planet I was already contemplating making my own version but to be honest this beats what I’d come up with hands down. Of course, like all the Forge World bounty hunters he’s a little pricey but I reckon he’s one to save up for (not that this will be easy with all these other lovely looking miniatures crowding the release schedule over the next few months!)

Eightfold Harvest Lord

Needless to say I’ll be watching all of these miniatures emerge with great interest, although exactly what I end up adding to the collection and what I allow to pass by remains to be seen. After all there’s clearly plenty more waiting in the wings – and any fellow Ork fans out there will know I’m extremely curious to get a proper look at Makari’s boss. Can the greenskin to rival Abaddon get a model to match? We’ll know soon enough…


Exciting Times Lie Ahead!

Right, I don’t usually do over-excited, spur of the moment blog posts, but I just couldn’t miss this. For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet the ever-entertaining Warhammer TV team have just put up a video recapping the releases of 2016. All very nice, and justifiably self-congratulatory, but the real interest is in the last ten seconds or so as a series of images flicker across the screen. For those who still think that their previous claim that there were plastic Sisters of Battle coming up was just a joke this might be of interest…

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Based on that I think it’s fair to say that their claim that Saint Celestine is about to lead a crusade into the Cadian Gate might also not be a joke. Time for us Chaos fans to start working on our defences then…

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Fans of the Adeptus Mechanicus (such as myself) might be a little more excited by this machine-man…

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And it looks like we haven’t seen the last of Tzeentch either…

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Exciting times ahead indeed!

All Images belong, of course, to Games Workshop and are used without permission.


Warhammer World – Part 5

Continuing our look through the dioramas on display at Warhammer World today we explore the section given over to the alien races inhabiting the grim darkness of the far future. First off we have this lava board, showing the planet of Valedor – or Düriel to the Eldar – being swarmed by the Tryanid hive fleets.01At one point Valedor was a tropical paradise but, as is the case with most places in 40k that seem like they might be really nice, that wasn’t to last. First the Imperium turned it into an industrial hellhole, then the Tyranids arrived and began stripping it of all organic matter. By the time the Swordwind of the Eldar return to what had once been one of their Maiden Worlds the whole place was rather worse for wear. Eventually the Eldar activate a device known as the Fireheart, splitting the planet’s crust into the volcanic turmoil we see here.0203Both factions are really giving it their all here; the Tyranids have deployed their bio-titans (above) whilst the Eldar respond with their Phantom Titans.0405Another display I’d been looking forward to was this one; Ork Town – originally built by Forge World for their book Raid on Kastorel-Novem.010203A squad of Tempestus Scions have been shot down in Ork territory and now their allies rush to evacuate them. Apparently an ex-army store manager spent a day training the team in how to descend on ropes from an aircraft in order to capture the scene perfectly. Frankly I’m sure they could have worked it out from Youtube videos but who can blame the chancers for convincing their boss they needed a day out?040506070809Lastly for today we have the Tau facing off against their enemies in the Mechanicum. Both sides are rather fond of technology although the Tau’s habit of innovating, plus their insistence on being filthy xenos, prevents them from being friends. Plus the Mechanicum almost obliterated the Tau when the latter species was still in the stone-age, something that is bound to sour any relationship.010203A rather large Tau flyer. Probably named after a fish.04One of the Tau flying-mech-suits (which, if it’s not already clear, I’m not too familiar with) annoying a titan.0506Something I found particularly clever about these dioramas is the way in which the eye is drawn to certain angles, which themselves provide cinematic scenes. Take this Sydonian Dragoon for instance, which strides through the periphery of an explosion with the effortless cool of an action movie hero.070809Remember those Imperial Guardsmen standing grimly in their cold trenches I showed you yesterday? This is the Tau equivalent, and it’s just a tiny bit more glamorous!10This encounter perfectly encapsulates the dynamic (pun intended) between the energetic Tau and the trudging, hidebound Imperials.1112I feel there’s a joke to be made here, either about getting legless or going topless…131415The Mechanicum politely explain to the Tau that what they have are not guns, this is a gun…16Now some of you might be thinking “Hey guy, where’s Chaos in all this? I thought they were the big bad in the 41st Millennium? Don’t they get a diorama?” Oh they do my freind, they certainly do – but for that you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow…


2015 – For Anyone Who Missed It

2015 Banner

Well here we are at the very end of 2015 and what a year it’s been! In fact as I sit down to write this review it’s hard to know what to pick as the standout moments. The death of Warhammer? The birth of its golden armoured offspring Age of Sigmar? Bloodthristers tearing their way out of the Warp and onto tabletops across the world? Harlequins?

If I had to pick one though it would be the arrival of the AdMech as a fully realised range of plastic miniatures. Now some of you are probably shaking your heads a little at that and thinking “What’s he on about? He’s not painted a single Skitarii! He can’t spell half their names! He’s a foul heritek, what does he care about the loyal servers of the Omnissiah?”

On that front I’ll admit to being guilty of all charges, but let me offer a few words in my defence. To me the Adeptus Mechanicus is the most iconic of all 40k’s factions (yeah, take it Space Marines!) but for a long time it looked like they were forever lost in the warp, their emergence onto the tabletop nothing more than a pipe dream. In many ways (and I’m sure some of you will be accusing me of being a GW apologist for this) their appearance gives me hope that – even if it takes a while – Thousand Sons, Noise Marines, Sisters of Battle, and all the other overlooked elements of 40k will someday make it onto the production line and into our homes. As a society we’re not very good at being patient but I’ve got plenty of models to paint and time enough to wait. The chances of anything coming from Mars was a million to one they said. Yet still they came.

I already expressed my enthusiasm for the release back here and trust me – I may not have painted any yet but their time will come.

Servo Skull 1

Now before delving into my own output this year I do want to (briefly) mention Age of Sigmar (cue groans from the crowd and a hasty assumption of entrenched positions).

WW1

WHFB fans study the latest rules for Age of Sigmar.

I’ve not learned to stop worrying and love Age of Sigmar – in fact my long standing issues with Warhammer have been replaced by a rosy nostalgia that glosses over the cracks and makes AoS seem even more bland and uninspired than it would on its own merits. I’m from 40k after all where neophobia is less of a problem and more of a way of life. However I just read Godless by David Guymer and the Slaaneshi warriors are just spot on. The disappearance of their god has rendered them complex and nuanced in a way they could never quite reach when they were winning. Their lamenting, aching horror at the denial of their prince grants them a real depth and poignance. I almost don’t want them to find Slaanesh (in the overall story-arch of AoS I mean, not the short story itself – no spoilers here!). However I’m willing to guess that everything we’ve seen so far is the set up for the quest to see Slaanesh freed – accompanied by new models for the Elves and their Slaaneshi opponents. When that day comes I hope they take a few tips from Guymer’s text in describing the appearance of the Dark Prince’s servants – seeing characters of that style captured by the same team that brought us the Putrid Blightkings and Bloodreavers would restore Slaanesh to the glory she deserves both in the hearts and the collections of Chaos fans everywhere.

First of all though there’s plenty of other gaps need filled if Age of Sigmar is to rise from Warhammer’s shadow and I think we’d all be highly surprised if a big chunk of 2016 isn’t devoted to this. Current rumours suggest that Dwarves may be just around the corner (and apparently they’ve taken to communicating in text-speak and they’re after your gold).

Servo Skull 2

Anyway, I’m not just here to talk about what’s been going on in the wider hobby. I’m also here to talk about myself because, to be frank, I think I’m really quite interesting. For me it’s been a year in which my hobby output has been defined by Chaos (with both a capital and a small c). My loyalist space marines have slipped to the very back of the backburner and my poor Orks haven’t seen a brush since January but the Beasts of Ruin have gone from strength to strength.
Servo Skull 3

As soon as I’d finished updating my Orks I started work on a little band of Khorne worshipping Terminators. At some point I’ll probably add another four to reach Khorne’s holy number of eight (someone at GW must be kicking themselves thinking ‘They keep adding models to make squads of eight. Why didn’t we think to make Khorne’s holy number 30?!’)

Khorne Terminators

I also upped the number of Helbrutes in my collection to four – including the Nurgle infested Igorin Rotbringer (second from the right). To the left of him you’ll see the Ironghast Fury – another of this year’s new additions and the first model I’ve created as part of an online event. Dreadtober ran through October 2015 and encouraged as many people as possible to produce a Dreadnaught/Helbrute/Deff Dread or similar. If you’ve not already been to the site it really is time you did, feast your eyes on inspiration here. I’m not ashamed to admit that the Fury would still be unpainted if it wasn’t for this event so this won’t be the last time I do something like this either.
HellbrutesAs well as the new Helbrutes I also added some new HQ units including a fallen Grey Knight, and finally got around to putting paint on the Chaos Lord from Dark Vengeance.
Chaos
Nurgle continued to be a big influence on me throughout the year – mostly as a result of my ongoing experimentation with the Putrid Blightkings. As well as the Helbrute I showed above I also created this Daemon Prince – easily one of the most difficult conversions I’ve ever attempted and a forceful reminder to me that if you keep pushing yourself you’ll create better and better models (or stranger and stranger at least). Read more about him here.
NurgleContinuing the Nurgle theme I also decided to come back to my Plague Marines, another unit which dates back to the very beginning of my Chaos collection. I felt it was time to bring the squad to a conclusion (and so inevitably started another straight away). You can see what’s planned for the second squad here and here . Don’t worry though, this won’t be the last you see of Golothess and the boys.
Plague MarinesI’ve also managed to add three Dark Apostles to the ranks this year. One to speak to the followers of Chaos Undivided.
Chaos 2One to consecrate the skulls taken in Khorne’s name.
Khorne 1
And one to preach to the servants of Nurgle, from the smallest virus to the mightiest Daemon Prince.
Nurgle 2Obviously that means I ought to make one each for Slaanesh and Tzeentch as well. A job for 2016 then…

Another job for 2016 will be continuing to build up my squads of Nurgle Chosen and Terminators. As it stands most of them are still in need of paint but here’s the first two finished.Nurgle 1And of course I finished off my first full squad of Chaos Marines (which you may recall I showed just the other day).
Chaos MarinesNot all of the followers of the Dark Gods wear power armour however and this year I was able to get started on a long standing ambition; the Lost and the Damned. Alongside Ad Mech this is the army that I’ve aspired to most over the years so I’m extremely pleased to have this little lot painted at last. Expect to see a lot more of them in 2016.
Chaos 1If recaps of the year are your thing and you’re starting to panic that I’ve almost run out of words then I highly recommend heading to Heresy and Heroes or Big Boss Red Skulls (the latter is particularly exciting because he talks about me!). I’m also waiting (im)patiently for KrautScientist’s annual Eternal Hunt Awards but sadly they’re not up yet. Keep an eye out though – he assures us they’re on their way and they’re always well worth a look. Edit: And as promised the first part of the Eternal Hunt awards are now up so if you’ve missed them, have a look here.

Hopefully that little lot should give you something to read until I’m back in the new year, accompanied by a retinue of cheerful, excitable and unhygienic sidekicks. You have been warned!