Tag Archives: Warhammer

Forgotten Heroes and Killer Robots

Many of you will know the feeling of stumbling across a miniature you were once proud of but which you hadn’t seen for ages; the mixture of fondness for a well loved piece, joy at its rediscovery, pride in the way that your skills have improved and faint embarrassment that it’s not quite as good as you once thought. Indeed it was with exactly this mingling of emotions that I found myself looking at these next two models whilst sorting through boxes of old stuff (read; junk) at my parents’ house.

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This battle-preacher has reappeared at quite a fortuitous moment, representing as he does another of my past forays into the world of the Imperial Guard. He may be very much a product of his time (my painting standards have come on I’m pleased to see – and why did I once insist on painting every rivet red?) but my idea of the Imperial Guard hasn’t changed radically. I still see them as medieval by necessity, a lack of resources rather than cultural affections giving the majority a ragged appearance. Like the murderous medic I showed earlier in the week I may well return to this model in the future as I think he’d fit in nicely with an Inquisitorial retinue. As it stands my Chapel retinue is far too esoteric for him but perhaps a more traditional Inquisitorial warband will come together in the future?

In the meantime here’s the “Hammer of the Emperor” gathered for battle – my complete collection of Imperial Guard models so far (plus a skullcrab from HeresyOfUs) standing ready to strike fear into the hearts of Ork warbosses and Chaos lords everywhere.

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Whilst the preacher has a promising career ahead of him (following a few improvements) I’m not sure the same can be said of this killer robot. Finding him was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me – he’s one of my earliest conversions and clearly very much the product of a hobbyist whose imagination outstrips his skills by a considerable margin. I think I was aiming for “deranged mechanical killer” and instead ended up with “cute, and perhaps a little worried”.

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So with these two rescued from life in storage it’s time to turn my attention to the future of my Imperial Guard endeavours, specifically the kind of men that the Imperium would send to do battle on the Thorn Moons as part of the Iron Sleet Invitational.

The road from Terra is long however and the journey only just begun…

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The Doctor Is In

For various reasons I’ve had the Imperial Guard on the brain recently. It started out as a recurrence of my long-running, but never fully realised, ambition to tackle the Guard as I see them, the under-equipped, under-valued troops of the Imperial war engine who survive, or more usually don’t, thanks only to their grim determination. The Iron Sleet Invitational, focussed around the Imperial Guard, threw oil onto that particular flame and boosted the whole thing to new heights so expect to see the fruits of that particular labour soon.

This chap isn’t part of that per-se, but rather a remnant of a previous exploration of my ideas on this front who never saw completion. So, whilst I think about the question of what it means to be a solider in the 41st Millennium, I allow myself to tidy him. He’s sketchy but for the moment that’s what he is – a sketch that links to my ideas for this yet to be realised project. Pretentious? Perhaps a little, but there you have it. In time I’ll return to him and tidy up the looser paintwork of my younger years but for now I just wanted to use him as a way of progressing my ideas before tackling newer projects (a claim which is both a woeful excuse and only makes me sound even more pretentious, surely the worst of both worlds, but again with my time very stretched at the moment, this is how things stand).

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I’m rather fond of the way he’s pointing – there’s something malevolent about it, as though he’s picking his next victim more than conducting triage, which given the production-line treatment of those wounded in the Imperium’s wars may very well be what it feels like.

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Should any of my inquisitorial agents require surgery this man is ready to assist. Should I ever get round to building my long planned Imperial Guard regiment, he’s ready to enlist as a medic. In the meantime; the Doctor is in!


Dreadtober – Part 2

It’s been a week since my bold assertion that I would paint a bloat-drone in the month of October and the question on everyone’s lips is; how much have I managed? For the uninitiated October has come to mean Dreadtober as hobbyists attempt to get their unloved Dreadnaughts finished before the start of November. Anything of roughly dreadnaught-sized proportions is welcome, with carnifexs, dreadknights, helbrutes and – in my case at least – bloat-drones all welcome. If you have a dreadnaught shoved to one corner of your painting desk it’s not too late – this could be its moment.

I’ll confess that much as I enjoy Dreadtober I actually hate posting WIP images of part-painted models, especially when they’re frozen in the moment when the first basecoats have been applied but the washes are still waiting in the wings and the whole model is a shoddy mess of flat panels and ugly colours. Nonetheless regular progress updates are very much in the Dreadtober spirit so I shall grit my teeth and reveal the current state of the bloat-drone to the world.

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As you can see it’s not looking its best yet but you can’t pretend I didn’t forewarn you of that!

The khornate helbrute, originally painted for the 2015 Dreadtober, is also at a less than prepossessing stage, its flaying arms repaired and – hopefully – upgraded with garish lumps of greenstuff (hence the black and white image).

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Still lots to be done before the end of the month then but progress is underway at least.


The Emperor’s Angels – Part 1

Starting work on a little foray into throne-loyal power-armour. Although historically my preference for astartes has always leaned heavily towards the servants of chaos the chance to start a small collection of truescale marines was too good to pass up. Probably won’t do much more for a little while as so many other projects are jostling for attention but wanted to do a little kitbashing to test the waters, starting with this assault marine. As ever feedback is more than welcome.

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The Year of the Rat – September

With real life continuing to be busy, time for painting in short supply and my available energies focussed on the 41st Millennium, my Skaven army has suffered another month of less than inspirational growth. Still, every rat is another body to expend in the pursuit of victory for Skavendom so here’s two more ready to connive their way into the rearmost ranks of the ratty advance.

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Speaking of ranks, those who still think in old fashioned warhammer terms will be pleased to discover that the addition of these two scabrous vermin adds another rank to my block of spear-rat infantry. I myself sit in a rules no-man’s land, not being particularly familiar with either ruleset, but my rats still sit on square bases and I still think of them as living in the Warhammer world rather than the Mortal Realms.

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What’s more my hulking, ugly rat ogre may still be awaiting the arrival of a brother to fight alongside him but at least now I’ve recruited a handler to keep him lumbering in roughly the right direction and stop him from eating anyone who the packmaster hasn’t earmarked as a direct threat or rival (which, now I think on it, will be a slim list indeed in the cruel and complex world of Skaven society).

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Welcome To The Jungle

I’ve spoken before about my love for Warhammer: Total War, a computer game which combines my addiction to the Total War series (which peaked in my early 20’s but to which I’ve recently relapsed) and that weird old-fashioned hobby where you paint your own models and push them around on the tabletop. Today sees the release of the second instalment in the trilogy, this time focussing on the lands across the sea to the west of the Old World. Whilst the previous game covered the lands surrounding the Empire, stretching north as far as Norsca and the fringes of the Chaos Wastes and south into the Orc infested Badlands, this game brings us the High Elf homeland of Ulthuan, the desolate horror of Naggarond, a suspicious stretch of desert in the Southlands that would be just perfect for some undead kings to build a few pyramids on and of course the teeming jungles of Lustria. Naturally this calls for some kind of celebration or recognition on this blog, if for no other reason than that my (already stretched) hobby time is now going to be eaten up by conquering the new world in the name of a verminous empire. Last time round I marked the occasion by waxing philosophical about the fall of the Old World, the dawning of the Age of Sigmar and the passing of the world of Warhammer from the tabletop to the computer screen. This time, in the interests of showing you a painted model rather than just fobbing you off with my words, here’s the famous Tilean explorer, and discoverer of Lustria, Marco Colombo.

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Marco was given to me by my friend Les, long before I’d really discovered the world of Warhammer, and sat unpainted for years – first because I knew I lacked the skills to tackle him, later because a million other projects were demanding my attention (if you’re in this hobby then you know how these things go). A few years ago when Les was planning an Empire army I rescued Marco from his box and started to paint him, intending to give him back as an addition to the nascent force. Alas I failed to get him painted as completely as Les failed to paint the rest of the army and then GW went and blew up the entire Warhammer planet, which rather put the tin lid on things. This, however, is Marco’s hour at last. Now I just need to paint up that Liche Priest that his brother Sam gave me before the release of the inevitable Tomb Kings expansion…


Slowly We Rot – Part 1

When I first saw the Malignant Plaguecaster I felt a profound sense of disappointment. Here was a model raised from the same series of models, the same Nurgly aesthetic as such masterpieces as the Plaguebearers, the Glotkin and Maggoth lords, the gleefully tumbling Nurglings and the excellent new Plague Marines, yet which owed next to nothing to any of them. Where we could have had a powerful plague-wielding wizard in crumbling power armour, or a mutant monstrosity bursting from his corroding exo-skeletal suit as the warp boils him into something daemonic, instead we have a cartoony pile-up of over-the-top ideas, each brazenly competing with the last into a muddled, messy let down. Here’s a reminder of how cluttered he looks when assembled as intended.

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That said, I wasn’t going to let a lump of plastic beat me without a fight. After all the concept of a ten-millennia old disease-infested mage-warrior remains powerful and inspiring, even if the official execution turned out to be distinctly disappointing. Given sufficient consideration and effort (or possibly blood, sweat and tears) I was determined to transform the Plaguecaster into a model I could be proud of.

The Plaguecaster however turned out to be a wily old beast and fought back against my attempts to convert him. As soon as I started to assemble him I realised that this would not be as simple as a straightforward head- and arm-swap. The long tastles which had at first annoyed me, turned out to be an intrinsic component of the kit, covering up the join between the distended guts and the outreached arms.

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Those wanting to convert this model without the tassels face a gruelling battle with the greenstuff to fill all those gaps. I won’t deny that this may have inspired my change of heart as, in spite of my initial reticence, I found myself willing to accept the tassels as part of the finished piece. Time to concentrate on the other changes that needed to be made; removing the silly staff, the fart hand, the podgy little head and the flywing cape, and adding in suitable replacements.

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The plugs where the flycape should sit still need to be greenstuffed over.

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As an aside it appears, judging by the information that I’ve seen circulated online, that the Death Guard codex will contain rules for both chaos sorcerers (with or without terminator armour) and plaguecasters. Yet surely the plaguecaster model is just that, a sorcerer with the mark of Nurgle? The fiction describes them as being one of several classes of sorcerer within the ranks of the Death Guard (alongside the Festering Poxshamans, the Faminbringers and the Maggotmancers) but surely, unless GW plans to release models and rules for some of these other classes in the relatively near future (and let’s be honest here, awesome though that would be it’s not likely) then surely the concept of the plaguecasters would have been better kept as a cool nugget of inspiration in the background, and the model released just as a good old-fashioned Nurgle sorcerer?

Some will say that the new naming conventions of the modern GW are simply a way of protecting their intellectual property but really the names are just labels, convenient handles to hang on things to facilitate communication. Is there really anyone out there who thought the Eldar were rubbish and swore never to purchase a single aspect warrior, but is gleefully overexcited by the arrival of the Aeldari? Didn’t old Shakespeare say something like “An Ork by any other name would smell like feet”? Or was that an Orruk?

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked now, but if anyone out there has the Death Guard codex and wants to tell me if there’s a material difference between a plaguecaster and a normal chaos sorcerer with the mark of Nurgle that justifies having both of them in the same book then please speak up. Otherwise any feedback you have on this tainted son of Nurgle before he sees some paint would, as ever, be very welcome.