Saturday, 1 December 2018

Kill Team: Mantle of the Champion

Hi folks,

Last night I converted this robe for my Fallen Kill Team leader. The main body of the robe is from a finecast Lukas the Trickster kit. I shaved the little Space Wolf diamond off the back, as well as the wolf shaped vents, which I replaced with a standard set. Thankfully, this wasn't too difficult; finecast is as soft as butter.

...but why would a Dark Angel be wearing a wolf pelt?

Thankfully, nothing on the pelt suggests it is a wolf (besides, there are no wolves on Fenris...). The inspiration for the robe is one of my favorite artworks in the Visions of Heresy book, which was used on the Horus Heresy TCG card "Mantle of the Champion":

I find something deeply sinister about this picture of a Dark Angel. You know he must be a skilled swordsman (he is holding a sword in the full picture), because he is wearing something called "Mantle of the Champion". At the same time, though, he is kind of hunched over.

The pelt is probably from a Calibanite Lion. Only two are killed in the books, one by Zahariel and one by The Lion himself, so the pelt would be something rare indeed. Considering who Zahariel ends up becoming, it is not such a stretch to expect such a pelt to end up on the back of a Fallen Angel.

The beast itself is lethality personified. On the 40K Lexicanum site, they are described as the most fierce and deadly of all the great beasts of Caliban. Their name comes from a mane of razor-sharp spines around their neck (whilst they are quadrupeds with paws, only their mane directly likens them to their Terran namesakes). Their claws are as sharp as knives and incredibly deadly. The lions also have two sharp, enlarged, teeth protruding from their top jaw. Their natural armored skin is able to patch itself and shift where needed. Calibanite lions also have orange eyes with reptile-like, slitted, black pupils. As with all the great beasts of Caliban, they possess an almost unworldly intelligence and seem to enjoy causing suffering. They can also shrug off pain and wounds without second thought.

Zahariel only manages to kill one by stopping time, phasing his arm through the beasts body and shooting it in the heart! Considering this was the first manifestation of his physic powers, you would have to say that is both a lucky and exceptionally brutal kill.

By modelling this pelt on my Fallen leader, I am trying to draw on this mythology, tying him back to old Caliban and the Knights of the Order. Making a link between him and Zahariel as well as establishing him as a champion to fear. Whether he lives up to the hype is another story!

I have a lot of conversions planned for this Kill Team, so I will be punctuating my other painting projects with more Fallen kitbashing. The squad includes a mace wielding Zealot, heavy bolter specialist and a Sniper with a stalker pattern bolter, spanning three different marks of armour. If I get through this with all of my fingers intact I will be amazed.

See you across the table,


Sunday, 25 November 2018

Kill Team: Eddie and The Troopers

Hi folks,

A nice member of the Facebook Necron group mentioned that this guy reminds him of Eddie, the Iron Maiden mascot. The thought stuck; I love Iron Maiden!

I gave him a little green glow to the edge of his cloak. perhaps to suggest some phasing shenanigans.

I'm hoping to add some Immortals, Warriors and Flayed Ones to the team, keep an eye out for them.

Up the Irons!


Saturday, 24 November 2018

Kill Team: Necrons WIP

Hi folks,

With the shutting down of Google+ looming, I have been seriously reconsidering how I engage with the 40K online community and searching for alternatives. I have tried just about every platform in the past 10 years and Google+ was by far the best community for a long time. Recently, though, it feels like it is going into a death-curl (that thing that spiders do...).

I have joined an emerging 40k group on MeWe with some familiar faces. If you are interested in jumping ship, here is the link:  Warhammer 40 000.

The hope is to set up a vibrant, supportive 40K community with interesting and imaginative content. It is really in its infancy at the moment, so if you feel like you can make a contribution it would be greatly appreciated.  The chat features are really organic and everyone on there at the moment seems to get on really well.

To celebrate getting the group started Pablo D. Mura has started a Random Army Contest. Participants were all assigned a random army and we are competing to complete a model, unit or force of that army until the end of the year. I drew Necrons, which was a pleasant surprise. I have decided to put together a Kill Team, led by an old Space Crusade android masquerading as a Deathmark!

I added a resin cloak, from the Minotaurs Chapter Asterion Moloc model, as well as a textured base from Micro Art Studio. Micro art have some amazing bases; these ones are some of the more simple designs, which I like to use so that they don't distract from the miniature too much (particularly when the model itself is fairly plain).

After spending a day at the rainforest with the kids, I ducked out to the games room for about an hour to paint him last night. I still haven't finished the base, but he is very close to being completed.

Sgt Waz has some Necron sprues he is going to let me plunder, so I should have a Kill Team ready for the table in no time.

See you across the table,


Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Kill Team: Lictors TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

It has been a long time since Lictors have been a thing to fear in a GW game. Back in the glory days of 2nd Edition you could give them some pretty devastating wargear, which (along with the character-centric ruleset) afforded them a high degree of lethality. They were also much harder to kill. Since then they have crashed pretty hard as a unit, though I have always fielded at least one. Deathleaper itself has had a few good innings in my army lists, particularly in the earlier editions. I never liked the pose, though, so converted him scampering on all fours without the goofy looking grasping claws.

Derpy derp

Now, with the release of Kill Team, Lictors have created their own little niche as a small, elite, hard to kill and hard hitting force. Their heavy to-hit modifiers in cover, high movement rate, combination of high AP or 2 damage close combat weapons and high strength shooting weapons provide them with a lot of tactical options on the battlefield. Once they get stuck in, they really take heads; I love one-hitting Primaris Marines (or anything else, for that matter)!

In terms of Tactics, Scorch Bugs and Hunting Roar are no help at all; I don't have fleshborers or warriors. Caustic Blood is great when you get into a hard fight and just need to pip one more wound off your enemy. I don't use Lurk much, but it makes a Lictor ridiculously hard to hit in cover. I find that actually moving them to where they can't be shot is usually more effective, however. Feeder Tendrils are very situational, but I always keep it in mind when attacking a Leader, a few spare command points at the end of the game can be the difference between winning and losing. Metabolic Overdrive wins games, no questions asked. Coupled with a Scout specialist, this Tactic puts Lictors where they need to be, a turn before they need to be there.

So, here is the Lictor Kill Team I have assembled, for a campaign I am playing with Sgt Waz and The Trooper.

Six Eyes (Leader)

I often hide this guy in the back lines, keeping him as a counter-charge unit and farming Command Points. I then team him up with another Lictor to take advantage of the Level 1 Leader Tactic, allowing both of them to hit before the enemy. More often than not, this forces an opponent to sink command points into hitting first or getting out of the way safely. I am thinking about moving this guy towards being a Tactician at Level 3, though Paragon also fits how I use him. That's assuming he survives that long; so far he has died every game to auxiliary grenade launcher shots.

Ol' Squidface (Veteran)

Ol' Squidface started the campaign as a grunt, back before I knew I could have another specialist. In that game he out-performed every other Lictor, earning himself immediate Veteran status! Adaptive Tactics gets him that much closer to charge range, or, more usually, into cover before the bolts start flying. Grizzled keeps him in the game when the bolts start flying. I am going to move this guy towards being a Level 3 Survivor; it would suit him well.

The Formless Maw (Combat)

I really wanted a snakey Nid to fit in with my Numereji Hive Fleet, so this guy was born out of an old Ravenor body, with some Venomthrope parts for good measure. All of the tactics and abilities for combat specialists are brutal, which makes him a bullet magnet. I don't know where I will go with him, but Deadly Counter, the ability to hit back with a mortal wound on 5+ when an enemy rolls a 1 to hit in the Fight phase is jelly.

Herald of Numereji (Scout)

I modeled this little fella using an old 3rd Edition Lictor body in a more dynamic pose, using the rending claws off Deathleaper and another Venomthrope head. I can't emphasise how much I have grown to love this guy. So damn fast. Stealing objectives and breaking the enemy lines like a ghost.

I'll try and post the details of the campaign we are playing soon, in case anyone is interested in following our progress or wants to give it a go themselves.

See you across the table,