Friday, 21 July 2017

Dark Angels: Character Kitbashing

Hi folks,

I was in the mood for building things a couple of nights ago, so I started working on some Dark Angels characters. The plan is to make some updated versions of some old models that I have. I still love the classic models, especially Ezekiel, but they really stick out like a sore thumb next to my newer figures.



The Dark Vengeance master was always an Azrael wannabe in my mind, so I thought I would make it official. Not much conversion work was required for this guy, just a head and backpack swap. The sword looks impressive enough to be the Sword of Secrets and he has a nicely posed combi-plasma strapped to his back. Thankfully, I also have a spare Watcher in the Dark with Lion Helm to go with him. I'll be undercoating this guy black and going from there.


Even with Ezekiel's classic pose being appropriated by my new Azrael model, I felt like this guy had some big boots to fill. I did a simple arm swap with a drum-fed bolt pistol from the new Ravenwing Command Squad sprue (is that even considered new anymore?). I also gave him a suitably Librarian-esque backpack. I will probably go back and drill out the bolt pistol, and I will definitely be fixing up the floating foot during the basing procedure.

Interrogator Chaplain

I don't have a name for this guy yet, but he is based on the Seraphicus model. Like the Centurions I was working on back in February, this guy only really goes together one way, so making significant modifications was a bit more invasive than usual. I pretty much spent 30 minutes just cutting and shaving away the backpack, as the robes that I wanted to keep were attached. I also gave him a winged jump pack from a Blood Angels model (Astorath the Grim) and a dirty great big powerfist.

I still have some Deathwing and Ravenwing characters to work on, as well two extra Librarians. For no, though, I have plenty of models to paint!

See you across the table,


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Dark Angels Devastator Squad: TO-DONE!

Hi folks,

With the end of the 2016/17 hobby season looming, I can't help but look upon my To-Do list with despair. In terms of progress, I feel like I have missed a lot of opportunities to finish my projects. My concentration has just done a lot of drifting, particularly during the past 6 months. Sometimes it is good to go with your heart and work on the projects that are inspiring you, but there is also a time for just knuckling down and getting the job done.

With the release of 8th Edition, I have taken the opportunity to reconsider some of my plans and prioritize certain units that I want to use in games. This Devastator squad was the first to get bumped up the list. I am working on a new set of characters to fill my HQ choices, so my old Dark Angels Master has been demoted to Veteran Sergeant status. I also did a couple of hours worth of extra detailing and touch-ups, including re-painting the skin tones and adding a round of highlights to just about everything.

The plasma cannons don't work quite the same in 8th Edition, with the loss of blast markers, but they are also safer to use (...unless you overcharge them...).  I have spoken to a few people who are thrilled with the elimination of blast markers from the game, as they had experienced some annoying shenanigans at tournaments. I am going to miss them though, in my gaming group we never had any such troubles.

The heavy bolters have always punched above their weight in my experience, taking more scalps than the plasma cannons!

Surprisingly, it was the bolter marines that required the most work, particularly the chest eagles, which I completely repainted. Taking a look at the shots now, I am glad I went to all the trouble, though I have noticed that I forgot to paint one of the details on one of these marines. I'll give you a biscuit if you can spot what I am talking about :o)

I have a game of 8th Edition lined up for next Tuesday, so it will be interesting to see how much more I can get done before then. Until then, here's another big purple stamp:

See you across the table,


Friday, 14 July 2017

The Weekly Review: Birthday Edition!

Hi folks,

This week I celebrated my Birthday in style: hanging out with the kids and painting in my free time (if you have kids, you will know roughly how much I got!). My hand has almost completely healed now, so I have been testing it out on a Primaris Captain that Sgt Waz gave me that was 99.9% completed on arrival. It had a bit of touching up that could be done on the base and one purity seal that he missed (If you are reading this Waz: I LOLsed when I saw it, but didn't tell you). As I have often done in the past, I used this opportunity to go nuts with detail work. I am really enjoying letting someone else do the drudgery of undercoats, layers and highlights! Now it is 200% complete :o)

The first step was to remove the head ornament thingy and the sword, which were both very Ultramarine/Ancient Roman looking. Nerve-wracking does not even begin to describe the feeling of snapping off a sword from a miniature someone just painted for you as a Birthday present. I cut and filed down the head armour, then drilled pilot holes in the hand and backpack. Note: I don't usually pin plastic, these bits were just going to be sensitive to knocks and need the support.

The sword and Dark Angels symbol were both pinned into place. I also added a Dark Angels censer under the billowing robe; I had some sneaky plans for some OSL. Already he was looking a lot less Smurftastic and a little bit more... loyal but unconscionable.

I undercoated the bare parts in grey and then went about restoring any of the green armour that got chipped. I introduced some bronze to the scheme on the bolt weapon, leg armour, backpack, robes and censer, followed by some blue OSL on the legs, backpack and robes.

I painted the sword in a dark red with sharp white highlights, like the old school Deathwing powerswords of 2nd Ed. I then added a small amount of weathering to the armour and mud on the robe (even in those hard to reach places!).

I drilled out the bolt weapon barrel, because that kind of thing is important to some folks ;-)

Lastly, I painted the Dark Angels icon in the same scheme as the captain. And I painted the missed purity seal!

The base got a few lumps of Astrogranite debris, which I painted with Rhinox Hide brown and highlighted. I also added some rust effects using a mixture of Lich Purple (!),  Rhinox Hide and Solar Macharius Orange, which was stippled on using a big old drybrush. The brass and verdigris fan blades added a bit of contrast to the base. Brass is a great material for reducing friction in moving parts... unless it's all oxidised to hell, of course.

And... he's finished! As this guy is a Dark Angels character, I even get to break out the big purple stamp:

Thanks a million for doing all the ground-work Howie, if I could commission you to paint everything I had to that level, so I could just mess around with the interesting stuff, I surely would. Let me know when I can return the favour :-)

See you across the table,


Friday, 7 July 2017

Undertaking to Pylos: Part 2

Telemachus sprinted out of the surf and, as the foam of the last wave receded, he enjoyed the illusion that he was moving preternaturally swiftly. Nearby, his Imperial Knight Warden stood idle. He had left it on stand-by protocols, with its fusion reactor cold and back-up generator providing for the bare minimum of functionality. One did not “leave the keys in the ignition” of a war machine. Now, as he powered up the dune of skittering black rock, he wished that he had never left the command module of his Knight. Passing beneath the shadow of its hulking form, Telemachus grasped a line that would hoist him up to the embarkation hatch on the carapace, and fastened it to the reinforced ring on his belt. As he ascended he turned to watch the crashing waves, expecting the enemy to appear at any moment. He scrambled over the lip of the carapace, using the hand holds and rails to position himself over the open hatch and dropped into the cockpit.

Telemachus took his seat on the padded command throne and barked commands at the machine’s voice recognition cogitators. Somewhere in its armoured heart, fuel rods locked into place and control rods were withdrawn, unleashing megajoules of energy into the Knights power-hungry ignition system. Indicators on the command console flickered to life as pre-ionisation and heating processes began. As the spinal jack engaged, his mind was flooded with data and his musculature pulsed with phantom sensations.

He toggled the current initiator switch and was rewarded by the atonal hum of the plasma drive igniting. The digital meters in his heads-up display showed a small influx of absorbed gases, well within the combat tolerances of the reactor. He manually shimmed the field dimensions to compensate, before diverting the accumulating power to the primary weapons and mobility grids.  He reached up with his right hand and re-set the fuses that governed energy distribution to the carapace mounted weapons, whilst his left hand grasped the arm controller and revved the Reaper chainsword mounted there to full power. With a flick of his thumb he reversed the chain rotation, testing the responsiveness of the controls. Fighting with a Titan-killing Reaper chainsword was similar to dueling with its infantry-sized equivalent. Little finesse was required, but chain control and tooth integrity was key.

With the briefest of thought impulses, Telemachus shifted his Knights weight into an en guard stance, hunkering down with its sword positioned to bifurcate any immediate attacker. With his right hand he grasped the other arm control and released the safety on the Avenger gatling cannon. He half-depressed the trigger with his index finger, allowing it to cycle to its maximum rate of revolutions as the autoloaders clattered. His thumb triggered the heavy flamer control, test firing a gout of incandescent promethium into the black gravel at his Knight’s feet. Finally, he emitted an extended burst of sound from the Knight’s war-horn. “Intrepidus walks.”