Wednesday, 28 July 2021

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Assault Squad TO-DONE!!!

 



Hi folks,

Back in the 90's when I was eagerly playing 40K but had no money for miniatures, I would often play against my mates using folded cardboard miniatures. They were roughly the correct size and had the wargear written on the back. They were sketchy, but we played some fantastic games using them! One of my regular opponents used to laugh at my assault squad (not too kindly, either), because they were all equipped with powerfists. His beef was that there was only one powerfist on each close combat sprue, so the most I could realistically field, at GREAT financial expense, would be two. Obviously, 3D printing was science fiction at this stage. 

Anyway, with this long held grudge in mind, I set about putting as many powerfists into this squad as I could using only 2nd Edition parts and a razorsaw. It was a painful reminder of how laborious conversions were in those days: hacksawing through an entire metal space marine to get to the powerfist takes some weetbix. I also clipped the hand off a monopose marine's flamer, replacing it with a boltgun grip, so that I can have a flamer in the squad as well. Jumping next to a weak infantry squad and flaming the heck out of them is a good laugh in 2nd Edition. Here are some close-ups of the finished marines.














See you across the table,

Marc




Friday, 16 July 2021

Hobby Diary Part 9: Azrael and Assault Marines

 



Hi folks,

During the week I have been busy constructing my assault marines for the 2nd Edition Army Challenge. The real challenge has been sourcing the powerfists I wanted to equip them with, because vintage close combat weapons don't exactly grow on trees. I know they can be 3D printed, but I had a couple of busted models with powerfists I knew I could hack up a little bit further. I also cut up a flamer from a spare monopose figure, taking off the right hand attachment and replacing it with the grip of a boltgun. Jumping in close and flaming things is fun in any edition, so I included a hand flamer in the squad as well. I also used a powerfist and chainsword from the classic CC sprue, then converted a 3rd edition chainsword to make it look more like the earlier version. To do this I shaved off most of the detail, such as the exhaust vent and skull pommel. They are now primed and ready for some airbrush work.




 


I have also been working on Azrael in preparation for a big final bonus month of the challenge. I am hoping to get the big three Dark Angels characters done by the end, including Azrael, Sapphon and Ezekiel. I have plans for Asmodai as well, which I may or may not pull off. I am using the official Asmodai figure for Sapphon, so Asmodai needs to be... something else. Azrael takes a long time to paint, as he is actually two figures and a fairly detailed backpack. The main body is well on its way, requiring some highlighting on the metallics and highlights on the black robes, combi-weapon and sword.





I also received my order from Greenstuff world, which included a textured roller for The Wifey's Necron bases. We are going to give it a go this weekend and see if we can base her first models! I'll post a little How-To tutorial when we figure out how to make it all work properly. 





See you across the table,

Marc


 

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Dark Angels Infiltrators TO-DONE!!!

 



Hi folks,

The troops unit for my Dark Angels Crusade army is a small unit of Infiltrators. My plan is to bump them up to full strength almost immediately, but getting the first 5 done feels like a real win. I like their area denial ability and the enhanced synergy they can have with Phobos Masters and Lieutenants (particularly considering as I have already painted one of those a while ago!). I also think the models look fantastic! 

I have painted them in a really simple urban camo (grey with zenithal highlighting, brown webbing, black instead of red carbines with just the Chapter symbol on the right shoulder pad). The main reason for this is I think it is weird to have green with gold trim "infiltrators", unless the terrain is all made up of Christmas trees! Grey also goes really well with the autumn colours of my bases and was super-quick to paint. The hardest part, and by far the most time consuming, was the hard-lining of the grey highlights. It was a real grind.

















With this squad done I feel like I am picking up some momentum. Over the next couple of days I need to refocus on the 2nd Edition Army Challenge, but I have a good feeling that this crusade army is going to get done in a reasonable amount of time. 





See you across the table,

Marc




Saturday, 10 July 2021

Dark Angels Master Astoran "The Unmerciful" TO-DONE!!!

 



Hi folks,

Last night I added the finishing touches to Astoran's Heavenfall blade, after watching some YouTube tutorials on how to paint energy effects. I have never been particularly successful at this skill, but I am happy with how this version turned out!






It took me an hour or so of really fine detail painting, which (as is often the case) you only really see properly if you get your head down to tabletop level and he whacks you with it! Ah well, that's the hobby for you. 

I had a craic at painting Astoran's name on the shoulderpad as well, but found just couldn't get the whole name in there. I was having getting the turn-back of the "s" shape done in the space provided with enough resolution between lines that you can actually read it. I'll keep trying with this script work, but I think I need a better brush and a magnifying glass setup to do any better. As it is, I have given him a shorter version of his name "Astor". 





I'm very pleased with how the mousy brown and grey of the Mantle of the Seneschal goes with the plum colour of the robes and tassels that I mixed. I was tossing up between plum/purple robes and red robes, but I really thought that red would not go as well with the mantle. Tying all of the pieces together on such a busy model is really important, or it really does look too busy, so I am glad I took the risk with those two choices. Of course, he can't actually be equipped with the Mantle until he earns it in a crusade, but a boy can dream, right?!



The Mantle of the Seneschal was made from Lukas the Trickster's cloak, with some Dark Angels-themed modifications and the addition of an Iron Halo. Goodness knows which beast of Caliban the Lion killed and skinned, that matches the colour scheme I used. It looks very ROUS to me (if you don't get the reference, watch The Princess Bride!).

The base matches my other 9th Edition Dark Angel urban bases, which are great fun to paint on their own, with all the weathering and hazard stripes involved. The yellow of the stripes is a nice contrast to the blue lightning of the sword (I hope).





In between working on the sub-assemblies of this beast of a project, I have also been working on some of the other parts of my 50 PL crusade army. More on that soon! Until then:




See you across the table,

Marc



 

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Hobby Diary Part 8: Dark Angels Master WIP

 



Hi folks,

Me: Paint a 50 PL Dark Angels army in two weeks using speed painting techniques!

Also Me: Spend a whole week painting one model!

Ahhh, well 😂

During the first week of my challenge I spent a lot of time planning conversions and paint schemes. I wanted to use the Lazarus figure as a basis for a custom Company Master, but really wanted him to have a similar visual impact as Lazarus (he is ridiculously cool looking). Because my plan involved a bolt carbine hanging from a strap and an extra cloak, I had to plan the construction and paint job in layers. That included some sub-assemblies of sub-assemblies; I had to paint the bolter before attaching it to the arm, then paint the arm before attaching it to the body. All of this has taken a lot of time, but has been highly enjoyable.











Next on the agenda is to paint the head, which I am going to keep helmeted, the right shoulder with 3rd company markings and the Heavenfall blade, which I am hoping to giving some lightning effects. I have never done this effect successfully, sooo...

See you across the table,

Marc


Thursday, 1 July 2021

Dark Angels Whirlwind: An eBay Win

 



Hi folks,

I saw this Whirlwind on eBay a few months ago and had to resist mightily to not buy it immediately. I don't often buy miniatures just for the sake of owning them; I prefer to strip them and paint them myself, but this figure just looked so good. I knew that I wouldn't really have to do anything with it. Beautiful, bright, 2nd Edition style paint job and amazing care taken on the decals.

Anyways, I let it go. The seller dropped the price significantly. I let it go again and tried to forget about it. The price returned to normal, then dropped again. I had it up on my screen and my son saw it, and he said "woah, are you going to get that tank Dad, it looks sick!". Wifey gave me the look and I said no. My daughter piped up saying "nawww, let him have the tank", and my son started chanting "let him have it, let him have it!". It was bizarre.

Anyways, it arrived last week from Canada. I used to love using Whirlwinds in 2nd Edition, but never came close to affording one back in the day. If I get some games in, I'll definitely try to fit this one in my list. Otherwise, it has a place of honour in my 2nd Edition collection. Whoever painted this beauty, I salute you.



 






See you across the table,

Marc



Monday, 28 June 2021

Hobby Diary Lockdown Edition: Unforgiven Crusade Army

 



Hi folks,

We have just started the school holidays here in Australia and another wave of COVID-19 has just hit our shores. We had planned to take the kids to North Queensland, to explore the Daintree Rainforest and go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, but that has been cancelled. We knew the risks when we booked everything; the tickets were purchased using credits from our last cancelled holiday! Now, I am stuck at home for two weeks in lockdown. To keep my mind off what could have been, I have resolved to make some serious progress on my 9th Edition Dark Angels. I have decided to build a Crusade army, using Power Levels instead of points, in the hope that my group of gaming mates can get a rolling campaign going at some point. After much (much) consideration, considering both my playing style and the narrative I want to tell with my army, here is the list I am going to start working on:


Dark Angels Patrol Detachment 49 PL (2CP)

HQ

Primaris Captain (Warlord)

Wargear: Special Issue Bolt Carbine, Heavenfall Blade

Rites of Initiation (Deathwing)

Warlord Traits: Rites of War, Brilliant Strategist (Paragon of the Chapter)

I am going to use this Captain to represent the Master of the 3rd Company. Both weapon choices are fairly efficient, with the option of upgrading the bolt carbine for the Lion's Roar combi-plasma during the campaign. I am also going to model him with the Mantle of the Seneschal, which may be wishful thinking on my part! Such a cool relic though. I have chosen the Rites of War trait, which grants Objective Secured to CORE and CHARACTER units within 6". It seems like the kind of thing the Master of the 3rd Company would be able to do (he didn't get to his position by losing objectives). I look forward to running him around with a blob of Hellblasters. I also burned a CP on Paragon of the Chapter, to give him the trait Brilliant Strategist as well. This will give me another turn of Tactical Doctrine (and another turn of Fire Discipline...).


Troops

Infiltrators x 5

Wargear: Helix gauntlet

I'll be expanding this squad to make it bigger, and hopefully adding some Intercessors or Tactical Marines as well. At the moment it looks like a bit of a Troops tax kind of situation, but that will change. With my Warlord handing out ObSec, it is not so much of a problem at this stage.


Elites

Deathwing Terminators x 5

Wargear: power sword, 2 x chainfists, 2 x powerfists, cyclone missile launcher, stormbolters.

It wouldn't be a Dark Angels army without Deathwing support. I have these five built, primed and ready to go. 


Ravenwing Black Knights x 6

Wargear: power sword, corvus hammers and plasma talons

It wouldn't be much a Dark Angels army without some Ravenwing bikes either. I have had these floating around on sprues for seven years or so, gradually being sacrificed for parts (arms especially).


Heavy Support

Hellblasters x 10

Wargear: Assault plasma incinerators

I have always been a sucker for plasma. After receiving these for Christmas (from myself) last year, I have been chomping at the bit to run them in a game. 


Work has already started, with some big builds scheduled over the next couple of days. Let's see if I can get this done, so that I can look back on this holiday a little more favourably!

See you across the table,

Marc


Friday, 25 June 2021

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Devastator Squad TO-DONE!!!

 




Hi folks,

Today is the first day of the winter school holidays. You may already know that Sydney is in the grips of a third wave of COVID-19, which has forced us to cancel our holiday to Queensland. The plan would have been to head up North to escape winter for a bit and spend some time exploring the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Instead, it look like we are going to get some much needed jobs done around the house and spend some time doing simpler things.

Last night, to unwind from the Term, I spent a good couple of hours working on my June project for the 2nd Ed. Challenge. The final construction of the heavy weapons marines was pretty hectic: it took a considerable amount of superglue and prayers. One of them just would not fit; I couldn't get the backpack to fit into the cavity in the heavy bolter. Knowing that I would need to either reposition the whole right arm or cut the backpack, I left it for the night. In the morning I ended up cutting the backpack, but submitted the final post an hour or so late to the challenge. That will probably mean no stamp for me this month, but I was very glad to get the squad finished, which is really the aim of the whole challenge in the first place! 

I have tried to convert a mix of arm options for the left arm, including a bolt pistol (for when the heavy bolter inevitably jams), a combat knife (guns are for show, knives are for pros), an auspex scanner ("That's not possible; that's in the room!") and an empty fist. In the good old days, I used to use Hellfire shells with these guys.











I keep forgetting to use my To-Do list stamps, but these guys certainly deserve something, they took so much out of me to finish 😂




See you across the table,

Marc


Saturday, 12 June 2021

Hobby Diary Part 7: Ghost Bears and Devastators

 



Hi folks,

I haven't had a whole lot of energy the past couple of weeks; family, health and work issues have been rolling me in the foam. It hasn't all been bad, some things have just caused me to be ridiculously busy, but that level of business is unsustainable. This weekend is a long weekend in Australia, as we celebrate the Queens birthday, and all I can say is that I have spent most of my time sleeping on the lounge with dogs on top of me.

At some point last week I managed to finish paining these Ghost Bear mechs from the first wave of the Clan Invasion Kickstarter. Both the Adder and the Nova are over-gunned Mechs, which I love; if you want to unleash hell to your own detriment in a game, these guys can dish it out. The Nova has 12 Extended Range Medium Lasers, with only enough heat sinks to fire half of them. But if you want to fire all of them...

The Adder has two Particle Projector Cannon "head-cappers". It can also fire just one comfortably, but I'll happily ride that Heat Scale a little higher if it means taking down Mechs twice its size.








For the 2nd Edition Army Challenge I have been tinkering with a combat squad of Devastator marines with heavy bolters. That has mostly involved converting arms to fit them, as they didn't come with any ($50 on ebay only buys you so much vintage 40K!).




 

I'm fervently hoping that today's mindfulness will provide me with some energy to get on with some painting tomorrow.

As a side note, I have been participating in the Push up Challenge for the past couple of days. This is an event held in Australia, which raises money for critical Mental Health services. In short, I'm trying to do one push-up for every person who committed suicide in Australia in 2019 (3318 in 25 days) to raise money for Lifeline. Lifeline is an emergency counselling hotline, which serves over a million people every year, but struggles to meet demand. If you feel like donating to help me support this cause, of just feel like following my progress through the challenge, check out the link below: 


See you across the table,
Marc

Thursday, 27 May 2021

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Brother Bethor TO-DONE!!!

 



Hi folks,

This month has been pretty horrible, to be honest. My father has been in hospital with four life threatening conditions, which the doctors have been gradually stabilising. I don't think he is out of the woods yet and I am... stuffed (for want of a better word). It is one of those situations where you feel the bonds of your relationship deeply, and you spend hours reflecting on memories and regrets. At the same time you are driving at weird times, not sleeping, trying to get information out of busy people, trying to give information to confused people, trying to heal someone you have no power to heal, trying to spend time with people you don't have time for and still managing to do your day job (somehow). 

In the small moments when I have been awake, not doing any of the things above AND unable to visit due to strictly enforced visiting times, I have been plugging away a bit at a time on Brother Bethor for the 2nd Edition Army Challenge.  This model is my favourite 40K figure, which I already own (albeit in a converted form). The unofficial theme this month was "music", so I snuck in a cheeky The Unforgiven by Metallica homage, by using the Push Head art for the single on the banner.







I also burled through 5 Devastator marines in one night, to keep my points total for the month respectable. Thank goodness for airbrushes.





They certainly aren't my finest work, but it has been enough to give me some modicum of peace in an otherwise stormy sea. I don't know what next month will bring.

See you across the table,

Marc




Saturday, 15 May 2021

Hobby Diary Part 6: Smoke Jaguar Command Lance Finished and Gaming

 



Hi folks,

Towards the end of last week I added the finishing touches to this command Star of Smoke Jaguars. Wade and I had previously worked on them together, to get the majority of the painting done. Wade then took them hoe and added some more washes, gun-barrel weathering, gloss varnish on the laser lenses and mud bases. I finished them off with some laser cut foliage and the tiniest decals I have even used.












We celebrated the completion of the project by getting the guys together for a game, pitching the Command Star against a Star of second-line Clan mechs. Space Cowboy and I took the Smoke Jaguar's and managed to destroy two enemy mechs and a tower. We even managed to win the initiative roll (...once...). At the end of the game though, the simplicity and efficiency of the second-line mechs was a telling factor. With 6 ER PPCS between them, and Space Cowboy miscalculating his heat dissipation capacity the whole game for his most powerful unit, we were never really in the game competitively. We had lots of laughs though, which is a win 😂.



 


See you across the table,

Marc