Wednesday 29 December 2021

Van Diemen's World Veterans: Grog Ard-Nogg TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

I have realised that I am posting most of my WIP photos on other platforms, so the blog is looking a little sparse. I don't like that, because my main motivation for blogging is to have a record of the journey I take with these models. I'll have to do something about that in 2022, I think; these miniatures don't just paint themselves!

I spent 7 hours on Christmas Eve painting this Ogryn bodyguard for a good mate for Christmas. The model is a sculpt from Victoria Miniatures which I have to say have been great to us the past 6 months. Their new sculpts are really wonderful, shipping has been quick and customer service has been both thoughtful and personal. Everything you would want from a little miniatures outfit.

So... 5 minutes before we had to leave for the Christmas Party I was up to this stage of the job:

Gah!!! So frustrating! 

Anyway, I had set the deadline with my family and I wanted to keep my word, so I held onto it for a couple more days (thankfully I had a back up present prepared; a newly released treatise on traditional samurai weapons).  Today we got together again to play some boardgames and I was finally able to pass the model on. Noticing an errant highlight, I had to sit down and do a quick correction, but after that I was really happy with the finish. See if you can spot the mistake that I had to fix ;-)

Over the next couple of days I am going to really try to push my 9th Edition Dark Angels army towards completion, starting with some Hellblasters. I also have some board game pieces to finish that I am fairly proud of, which I really need to get finished.

See you across the table,


Wednesday 22 December 2021

Dark Angels Deathwing Squad TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

When Sydney went into hard lockdown halfway through the year I planned to make and paint a 50 PL Crusade army for 9th Edition. As things have turned out, I got a lot less time to work on those models than I ever could have imagined. I am on school holidays and have literally just fallen into a heap, following what has been a gruelling work slog right to the end. During my first couple of days off zombie-Marc managed to add some detail to these Deathwing terminators. Thankfully, this old school Space Hulk scheme pretty much just requires you to spray them white and then paint neatly, which I think I have done sufficiently. I have based them on 32 mm bases so that I can use them as a team in Space Hulk as well.

Overall, I am very happy with the scheme, even if it is a little jarring to the eye (so white!). They are a nice homage to my classic 2nd Edition Terminators that I painted in the same scheme during the 2nd Edition army challenge a while ago. My army list is not Terminator heavy, so this will be the only squad in a total of 2000 points worth that I am currently working on. I have to say, I am enjoying more variety in my lists in 9th edition, despite what appears to be the current Deathwing heavy meta.

I am not sure if I will fit another post in before Christmas, so if I don't I wish you a Merry Christmas and good health in 2022!

See you across the table,



Thursday 16 December 2021

2nd Edition Army Challenge Round 3: Legion of the Damned Commander TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

The 2nd Edition Army challenge has gone live for another round. Over the next 6 months I will be painting the Legion of the Damned Army of my dreams. If you have been following the blog for a while, you will know that my very first army was Legion of the Damned, back before they had the White Dwarf Codex. Back in those days you could only take a Tactical Squad of them, so I had to extrapolate how much the other units would cost and what their stats would look like. After a while, my gaming mates complained that the army was too cheesy, so I repainted them as 100% Codex legal Dark Angels. A little while after that the LotD Codex was released and it was pretty much exactly how I used to run them (though Terminators were conspicuously missing from the list...).

Having repainted the Dark Angels over the last two challenges, I felt it was time to revisit Legion of the Damned. With only a couple of 2nd Ed. figures to fill out the list, I hit ebay pretty hard for a couple of weeks to get everything that I needed. some of the models were once in a lifetime level purchases (looking at you Centurius and NIB metal Landspeeder!). Others were a lot cheaper to source. If you are interested in seeing my challenge list and intro, check out the blog post at Dr The Viking's Cowabunga blog

My first 200 point "slice" was a Legion of the Damned Commander, which I converted to carry a thunder hammer. The Codex says I must take one of these and the model used is an old Chaplain, so converting the Crozius Arcanum was always going to be the challenge. A thunder hammer or power axe are the obvious choice, as it only requires changing the weapons head. 

I chose a dedicated LotD bolter for the right hand to keep an open pose; I really wanted people to see the detail I had spent hours painting. Originally I had planned a Brother-Captain Tycho style combi-melta, but it would have covered up the combat blade and leg. The paint scheme is pretty standard for a 2nd Ed. LotD figure, though I will drop the hint that I painted all of the flames Corax White before painting over with yellow and orange, to make the flames brighter. The fireball on the right shoulder pad was inspired by the mana symbol for mountains in Magic the Gathering!

The backpack covers some of the careful flame-work I did on the left shoulder pad, but that could not be helped. You can still see it from the right angles, which will have to be enough.


The finish is not quite as crisp as my Dark Angels, but I am enjoying the free-hand work. It feels more like artistic expression, than the safe "colour-by-numbers" schemes I have used previously. Over the next 5 months I will have an awful lot of free-hand to do; let's see if I am still this enthusiastic in June 2022.

See you across the table,


Sunday 14 November 2021

Tyranids VS Death Guard and Blood Angels 2000 Pt Battle


Hi folks,

Last weekend I got together with a couple of mates to break the 40K gaming drought. Sydney has been a fairly hard COVID-19 lockdown for over 3 months, so our opportunities to toss down some dice have been limited. To brush off the cobwebs we decided to play a 2000 pt objectives battle using some of the new Octarius rules for Hive Fleet Leviathan. We soon found out that the cobwebs were a little thicker than anticipated and spent a lot of time reading rules to relearn 9th Edition. Our smaller games before the lockdown had barely scraped the surface of what 9th Edition can throw at you, so it ended up being a big learning experience.

Army Composition

I teamed up with Sgt Waz to control the Tyranid force, which included the following units:

  • Swarm Lord with 3 Tyrant Guard
  • Broodlord
  • Malanthrope
  • 3 big blobs of Termagants
  • Exocrine
  • Tyrannofex with Rupture Cannon
  • Dimacaeron 
  • Deathleaper and another Lictor
  • 2 units of spore mines (4 in each) and 2 units of Mucolid spores (5 in total)
  • 2 Biovores

The Trooper and Dippa joined forces to create an unholy alliance of Blood Angels and Death Guard. The Angels were led by Mephiston and included:

  • Sanguinary Guard
  • Sanguinary Priest
  • Intercessors
  • Eradicators
  • Redemptor Dreadnought

The Death Guard were led by a Daemon Prince and included:

  • Plague Terminators
  • Deathshroud Terminators
  • Plagueburst Crawler
  • Blight Drone
  • Contemptor with twin Vulkite Culverins [eeeurgh]


We deployed the Termagants to control two objectives and make a push for a third. The Broodlord provided synapse on the left flank, whilst the Malanthrope provided synapse and a defensive buff (-1 to-hit) to the centre, which included the Exocrine and Tyrannofex. The Biovores were deployed in cover on the right flank to provide harassing fire. The Swarm Lord, Tyrant Guard and Dimachaeron were deployed forward to make a charge up the centre to make it... uncomfortable, for Death Guard and Blood Angels to control the centre objective. The Lictors were held in reserve; I love the idea of Lictors but had no hope that they would actually achieve anything except a brief distraction. The spores were also held in reserve, ready to lay down all kinds of annoyances.

Turn 1

Going first, we repositioned the Termagants to start controlling a greater area of the board whilst maintaining control of the objectives we already had. You can't string them out like you used to, but we managed. This was to protect against the Sanguinary Guard and Death Shroud Terminators coming from reserve (probably in Turn 2). We moved the centre brood of Termagants towards the centre objective and moved both the Swarm Lord and his Guards to support them. The Dimachaeron headed straight for the enemy lines; that thing is fast. The Exocrine hammered the Eradicators with fire, killing all but one of them with the help of the Pathogenic Slime strategem. The Tyrannofex wounded the Blood Angels Redemptor Dreadnought, but didn't do nearly as much damage as I hoped it would. The Biovores fired on the Plague Terminators and missed, which allowed us to place some spore mines in a really annoying spot. The Dimachaeron made its charge roll against the Plague Terminators, but didn't make much of an impact with its claws (we had forgotten some of its rules...). The thorax maw did its job though, putting a whopping 6 mortal wounds on the unit.

During the first Blood Angels turn they advanced Intercessors towards the two flank objectives. Mephiston charged the Dimachaeron and the Redemptor Dreadnought fired a large brood of Termagants (but failed to make much a mark. The Death Guard Daemon Prince and Blight Drone also charged the Dimachaeron and the Blight Hauler fired at the Tyrannofex, causing some wounds with its entropy cannons. The Contemptor fired a bucket load of shots into the Termagants holding an objective near our deployment zone, taking out a few of them. Miraculously, the Dimachaeron survived and managed to kill Mephiston.

Victory Points:

Tyranids: 0
Blood Angels/Deathguard: 0

Turn 2

With an even number of objectives between us, we scored no points. We used a strategem to regenerate a couple of wounds  on the Dimachaeron and then deployed some Lictors in position to harass the Intercessors on the left flank and the Contemptor Dreadnought with its Volkite murder-guns. I advanced some spore mines and termagants to capture another objective and hopefully put some wounds on the Blight Drone. The Exocrine fired on the Contemptor but was not able to take it down. In hindsight, I should have fired on the Intercessors holding the objective. The Tyrannofex put another two shots on the Blood Angels Dreadnought, causing some more wounds. The spore mines detonated, causing some mortal wounds on the Blight Drone, but not taking it down. Both Lictors failed their charges against the Intercessors and the Contemptor. The Swarm Lord sling-shotted the Tyrant Guard into the fray, causing some more wounds on the Drone, while the Dimachaeron continued to deal damage in close combat, this time to the Daemon Prince. It could not survive the huge number of attacks being levelled against it, however. The Hive Guard also fell in combat.

With more objectives in hand, the Blood Angels and Death Guard earned a victory point. During the Blood Angles turn the Sanguinary Guard deployed, gunning down the Lictor with contemptuous ease. The Redemptor Dread moved closer, to work at knocking out the Termagants contesting the centre objective. 
The Death Shroud found it hard to deploy, due to Spore Mines, so teleported deep into their own deployment zone. In close combat the Daemon Prince was brought low by the Swarm Lord. The damage was done, however, and with more kills that turn the Blood Angels and Death Guard scored another victory point.

Victory Points:

Tyranids: 0
Blood Angels/Deathguard: 2

Turn 3

I could see that a lot of our tactics were not having the effect we wanted them too. The damage output, particularly of the Death Guard, was insane. My attempts to pick them off with fire from the Exocrine and Tyrannofex was not working, due to their high survivability. I had also fallen into the trap of not finishing the job by switching targets; in many cases the wounded enemy was dealing just as much damage as when it was as full strength (unlike our Tyranids, which mostly had multiple stat lines). To their credit, both Dippa and Wade were making the most of cover and tactical retreats to make focusing on any one unit difficult. I advanced the Broodlord and its unit of Termagants to challenge the Intercessors on the left flank, whilst unleashing Mucolids and Deathleaper on the Intercessors holding the right flank.

The Broodlord killed four Intercessors, leaving one alive. Deathleaper managed to kill one Intercessor and was bludgeoned to death by rifle butts. 

The Redemptor Dreadnought laid into the central brood of Termagants, with help from the remaining Terminators and Blight Drone. The Sanguinary Guard also charged the Broodlord and killed it. In its death throws, I played a stratagem allowing it to attack back, killing four of the Sanguinary Guard, but leaving one alive. [sigh]

Victory Points:

Tyranids: 0
Blood Angels/Deathguard: 3

At this point of the game, after at least 5 hours of playing, we called it quits. With a 3 point lead and Tyranids getting hosed off the objectives, it was clear that the Blood Angels and Deathguard were in an unassailable position. Much of the game had been spent with us pouring over multiple rulebooks, which is to be expected, as we haven't played in such a long time. 

I had a feeling during the game that the Tyranids simply did not have the power to project force. This prevented them from taking and holding objectives. Any tendril we threw out there was getting cut off during the enemy turn, and we were not coordinating our own fire well enough to return the favour. This is something for me to ponder as I take a look at my Jormungandr list: how can it take objectives and hold them? Hell, how am I going to even deploy most of my Nids? Board control is fairly easy to achieve, as the Death Shroud Terminators found out, making it very difficult to deploy things like Trygons, Mawlocs and Ravenors. Hmmm...

See you across the table,


Saturday 30 October 2021

DreadTober: Armiger Warglaive "Patroclus" Audax TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

I have been so busy keeping the DreadTober blog up to date that I have neglected my own blog this month. If you are interested in seeing some more WIP shots of this little fella, check out the weekly updates I have already posted there! 

Overall, DreadTober seems to have been going well this year. The number of page views have been down in line with how all blogs seem to be going at the moment, but there is a solid core of contributors that have been diligently posting their progress and commenting. As I have mentioned previously, I would far prefer to have less views in exchange for more engagement, so I am content that the challenge has been getting out to the people who count. It has been particularly great to see some of my contacts form other 40K circles getting involved, particularly the 2nd Edition Army Challenge folks and some mates from Australia (g'day Dippa!!). 

My project this year is the final nail in my "Walls of Ithaka" coffin. This is a 1500 point Imperial Knight army I have been working on since winning a Knight Warden a while back. Next post I'll see if I can get them all together for a photo shoot. The Armiger Warglaive "Patroclus" Audax (or, "Courageous Patroclus", if you prefer...) is the squire of "Achilles" Aeternum, who I painted for DreadTober last year. He'll gain advantages from being next to the Preceptor, which creates a nice in-game dynamic for them that reflects their relationship in Homer's Iliad. 

I huge thanks goes out to Taro Modelmaker who sculpted and cast the resin sword and head pieces. If you are hunting for custom Imperial Knight parts, I definitely recommend searching for him on Etsy.

See you across the table,


Sunday 3 October 2021

Van Diemen's World Veterans: Heavy Weapon Squad TO-DONE!!!


H folks,

About 12 months ago The Trooper and I put a fairly big order into Victoria Miniatures to bolster his Imperial Guard collection (Astra Millawhatsits). I have been working on them ever since, in short bursts. I find Victoria Miniatures figures to be beautiful but challenging to paint. As a result, I hit quite a few stumbling blocks with these guys. During the last stages of painting the squad, I was spending 2 hours on each infantry model just to finish them off! That's why I don't collect Imperial Guard, I guess.

The autocannons themselves were completed a long time ago. They look a lot like Bren guns, a light support machine gun used by Australia in active service for a long time. I have painted the rounds with a blue tip to represent incendiary rounds (note also the blue stripe on the ammo boxes. The bases were done using dried soil from out near Parkes/Dubbo in central-western NSW. My mother-in-law went for a tour out there and collected soil wherever they stopped for me to use as basing material. All I can say is that I felt very loved!

See you across the table,


Friday 24 September 2021

Ork Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

For Christmas last year my son received a GW gift certificate from his uncle. After very careful consideration at my FLGWS, he chose to bring home one of these squig buggy things. The selection suits him so well! Over the past 9 months we have assembled it and painted together in short bursts; you canonly hold the attention of an 8 year old for so long. This holidays he said he wanted to finish it off, so we made one last big effort to get it done. 

It is, with perhaps the exception of my Imperial Knights, the most complicated model I have ever been involved with. Thankfully, my son is fearless and just got stuck in. I had a good chat to him about sub-assemblies, because I couldn't think of any other way to do it that he wouldn't find completely frustrating.

He is a very happy grot with the finished project; I can definitely see the impact Splatoon has had on his paint scheme. During the project I was constantly impressed and surprised by his brush control, he is just a bit ridiculous for his age. I helped him with the very small detail on the faces and squigs, as well as some washes (he is afraid of spilling the bottles). I did some of the checker patterns as well, he is still learning how to do those. Here are some final shots:

Hopefully, I can keep his love of orks going for a while. You never know with kids, but I think this will be something he remains proud of, even if 40K doesn't end up being his thing. 

See you across the table,


Friday 3 September 2021

To-Do List 2021/22


Hi folks,

My new hobby to-do list is enormous, just like the last one. With most* of my 2nd Edition Dark Angels complete, I will be shifting my sights to a classic Legion of the Damned army later in the year. Legion of the Damned were my first army, so returning to them and giving them some justice on the paint table (hopefully) will be very cathartic.

My 9th Edition work will be focused on finishing off my Dark Angels Crusade army "The Last of the Plains People". I have a lot of options for that army as it grows, so I will probably be adding things to my list just as I cross them off! I also have a Warglaive to do for DreadTober and several family projects to work on. My son is still painting Orks with me, though we have had a break due to other distractions.I have just gone with the flow with this, because he is so young, but yesterday he was gazing lovingly at them and said he would really like to paint some more. Wifey has also been waiting for me to help her base her Necrons, which we got a roller for from Greenstuff World. That's a post in itself, so keep an eye out for it.

I have a couple of Age of Sigmar jobs to work on just for fun, we'll see if they can be a palette cleanser at some stage. That includes a couple of Warhammer Underworlds bands that I picked up during lockdown (supporting those local FLGSs), which I am keen to play on the tabletop when this COVID lockdown ends. 

With Wave 2 of the BattleTech Clan Invasion KickStarter (that's more capital letters than one would usually put in the middle of words...), you can expect A LOT of Mechs getting painted over the next 12 months. I am absolutely NOT adding them to my pile of shame**. 

I have also kinda forced my best mates into playing some Aristeia with me, which is an anime styled, futuristic, eclectic, skirmish, gameshow, tabletop, miniatures, boardgame. I have two teams from the core set ready to go, including some alternate models for Musashi (the famous samurai of legend) and 8-ball (a fluffy kung fu panda). It is a highly enjoyable game to play, so hopefully I can include some battle reports on the blog.  

Of course, there will be projects that jump out of the shadows and grab my attention; there is at least one super-secret piece I will be working on when it reaches me from Canada, which I am very excited about. 

If you want to check out the full to-do list, just check the side panel, it will be there all year as I slowly cross off projects!

See you across the table,


* I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.

** Oh Crom, please don't let any of these end up in the grey tide.