Back at the start of November I set myself the challenge of painting up the first “Start Collecting: Skitarii” boxset in its entirety by the end of the month. Of all the models in the set the one that gave me the greatest concern was the Onager Dunecrawler, the walking tank of the Adeptus Mechanicus. I’ve always found vehicles tricky, with the result that I tend to put them aside in favour of other things and in so doing fail to give myself the practice that I need to get better at painting them. Indeed a big part of the reason I set myself a time limit for this project was the recognition that without it I might never get around to painting the damn thing at all. The looming deadline however proved to be enough to focus my attention and so here we are, almost at the end of the month, and the Onager is ready to walk upon the red sands of Mars.
Of course the completion of the Onager means the whole box has now been painted and need no longer sit shamefully at the back of the shelf. Time for the groupshot we’ve all been waiting for!
December will mark the end of my year long challenge; to add at least one model to this army in every month of 2021. Fear not though, it won’t mean the end of the project – I’ve got far too many biomechanical servants of the Omnissiah still to attend to for everything to be completed before New Year. However I will be aiming to wrap up the squads that are currently unfinished, something that should be achievable (just about). In the meantime there’s just one more day of Movember left, so can I sneak another bearded fellow over the finish line in time? I think I can…
Well here we are in November, and my campaign to add at least one model to my Adeptus Mechanicus army in every month of 2021 has reached its penultimate stage. Over the last ten months the collection has grown from a tiny handful of models to something which, if not quite the vast host of Martian warriors I might dream of one day commanding, is at least a substantial looking mob of mechanical men. However I still have a lot more planned for this project so this month I’m going to up the ante, and set myself a painting challenge. After powering through a mighty horde of greenskins in Orktober I reckon this month I should be able to paint a complete “Start Collecting” box. This has become a staple of Games Workshop army painting challenges in recent years and frankly if they can do it so can I, right? After all, it’s only 12 models – time to put my money (or my foot) where my mouth is!
The set in question is this one, which was one of the first “Start Collecting” sets Games Workshop ever produced, and an absolute bargain at the time which I eagerly snapped up. Since then, in what is probably a familiar story to many readers, it’s been gathering dust…
My challenge is to get everything painted up by the end of this month, even if that means I’m applying the last lick of paint at midnight on the 30th (although hopefully it won’t come to that!). I have however allowed myself the headstart of getting everything assembled in advance so let’s take a look at what I’m up against.
Leading the force, and acting as the warlord in command of my growing army, is this tech priest.
Under his command will be this unit of ten Skitarii Vanguard.
Finally, just to make my life tough, we have this Onager Dunecrawler. I always find vehicles intimidating to tackle but hopefully having a deadline will prevent me from getting too bogged down, or stalling until I end up pushing it to the back of the desk and forgetting about it. Plus, once it’s done it should make a nice centrepiece for the army.
So there we have it – 12 models in 30 days. Should be easy right… Right..? I guess we’ll find out over the next few weeks…
You’ll be pleased to hear that over the weekend I managed to paint up quite the horde of Orks as part of the Orktober painting challenge. Naturally you might assume, based on that provocative opening statement, that I’m going to show you some painted greenskins today – but you’d be dead wrong about that. You see, several months ago I swore an oath; to paint something for my Adeptus Mechanicus army every month of 2021 and I shall hold to that, come rain, shine or even hordes of Orks.
This month I’ve tackled another specialist tech-priest, and a model almost as fiddly as last month’s Tech-Priest Manipulus, the Cybernetica Datasmith. The Adeptus Mechanicus have always had an uneasy relationship with artificial intelligence. On the one hand armies of robots would be great, seeing as they’re durable, remorseless and wonderfully easy to mass-produce. They don’t have families waiting for them back home, they don’t need to be fed or paid and you don’t have to worry about them returning from war injured or traumatised. On the other hand, as anyone who has seen films like the Terminator can attest they do have the troubling habit of going rogue and removing problem elements (up to and including the entire human race). In the backstory of Warhammer 40k humanity tried having armies of robots and the battered survivors swore never to do it again. Nowadays the Adeptus Mechanicus keeps a very tight leash indeed on their robots and the men who hold those leashes are the Cybernetica Datasmiths. All this does have a downside of course, if the Datasmith happens to die – always a risk when you’re on a battlefield – the robots under his command will continue to follow their last instructions, at which point you’d better stand well back until they run out of batteries – however long that takes. Still better than letting the damn things think for themselves though!
Ready to march alongside my Datasmith I have a pair of mighty Kastelan Robots but they’ll have to wait until Orctober is over. I do plan to add them to the army by the end of the year though.
Time to add a tech-priest to my growing army of Martians and my eye fell upon that most bulbous of the Omnissiah’s servants, the Tech-Priest Manipulus. He’s a funny looking little dude and quite complex to paint, which proved a struggle at first but in the end turned into quite an enjoyable challenge.
Like the squad of electro-priests I painted over the last few months these rotund little fellows are keen to remove the “motive force” that you are so casually squandering just by being alive and put it to better use in powering the great works of the Omnissiah. I decided to emphasise the fact that he’s a pretty unhealthy individual to be around, and give a nod to the toxic and irradiated nature of the planet Mars in the 41st Millennium, by adding a sign to his base that reads “biohazard” (which I realise isn’t easy to make out in these pictures).
I’m planning to tackle a whole bunch of Orks next month (‘cos it’s Orktober right!) but I’ll be sure to find time to add at least one new recruit to the Omnissiah’s legions as well, and once again it’s looking likely to be a tech-priest, this time one who likes to hang out with a couple of big robotic pals…