Thursday 14 December 2023

Dark Angels Intercessors Combat Squad TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

The year rolls on towards its conclusion and I find myself barely keeping things ticking over. The school year here in Australia has just finished and I have stumbled over the finish line. The past couple of nights I have been trying to do a bit of painting to help reset my mojo. All I can say is that it has been a slog, but I have to start somewhere.

These Intercessors have been floating around for a while now, I think they were originally part of a Birthday care package one of my mates dropped over during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Intercessors form a big chunk of my 1000 point crusade list, so they are a logical place to start. With only five of them, it doesn't feel too much like batch-painting either, which I don't think I could stomach at the moment!

The theme of my army focuses heavily on the original background story Deathwing, which identified some Dark Angels as having been recruited from amongst the native tribes of the Plains World. To represent this I have used some Native American style heads from Puppetswar, to represent marines that still feel ties to their ancestral origins. In the story Deathwing, there is a great tension between fulfilling the duties to the Dark Angels Chapter and honouring the people they left behind. The beauty of the story is that these goals end up being mutually achievable. I really want to tap into that vibe and avoid the modern Dark Angels tropes. 

With the philosophy of "less is more", I am only going to use ~ 8 custom heads across the whole army. Enough for 1 or 2 per squad and perhaps a character. 

I have some Hellblasters lined up to do next, as a bit of a reward for completing these dudes. I am still a sucker for plasma.

See you across the table,


Saturday 4 November 2023

Dark Angels Ballistus Dreadnought: TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

If you have been following the DreadTober blog for the past month, you will know that the challenge is finished for 2023 and I managed to finish my project off just in time. This project was a labour of love from start to finish, as I tried to pay homage to the old school 2nd Ed. Dark Angels Dreadnought box art. This was a little tricky to do due to the additional design elements the new Ballistus dreadnought has when compared to the old castraferrum. The model is a lot busier, so I had to make some careful colour choices to make the old scheme still work, i.e. figuring out what to do with the missile launcher so that the red casing still contrasted nicely against the nearby shades.

I added a couple of freehand Devastator symbols to reflect the fire support role this Dreadnought will assume on the battlefield. You can't fit many anti-armour units in a 1000 pt list, so it will have some heavy lifting to do in regard to removing high toughness targets.

Overall, I am very happy with how the finished product. Having the pressure of the challenge deadline and the support of so many hobbyists really helped to get this one over the line. I really want to get my army ready for the Christmas break, when I will have some time to play games. Hopefully, I can set myself some deadlines along the way and maintain the little bit of momentum that I have.

See you across the table,


Sunday 29 October 2023

DreadTober 2023 Progress


Hi folks,

It feels a bit odd posting about my DreadTober progress at this late stage. The truth is, I have been putting my progress straight into the DreadTober  blog without posting it here. I haven't hadn't the mental bandwidth for doing anything twice. If you follow me on Instagram  (@m4cr0dutch) you will probably see some extra work in progress shots, simply because I can quickly do it from my phone at the end of my paint session, which is usually late at night right before I crash into bed.

I have been really amazed by the hard work so many people have put into DreadTober this year. Every year it is a bit of a nervous time, particularly at the start, not knowing if anyone is going to join the challenge and have a genuine go at it. Numbers are down just a little this year on the official blog, but there are still heaps of great projects. Quite a few people have had a craic on MeWe as well, which supports a small but loyal 40K community.

I have been struggling a bit with my project, particularly the physicality of getting behind the paint station and concentrating for 30 minutes a the end of the day. A lot of difficult things are happening in my life at the moment, in almost every aspect of my life, and it doesn't leave much energy for that kind of thing. I have also sustained a rib injury that seems to flare up the worst when I am sitting at a desk. Despite this, I feel like I have gotten myself into striking distance of finishing my project. Here are some shots to show where I am up to:

I have chosen a very old school scheme for this Ballistus Dreadnought, mirroring many of the colour choices of the original 2nd Edition Dark Angels Dreadnought, which inspired the sculpt. The devastator symbols on the right knee and pauldron are both free-hand additions, but apart from that I have relied heavily on decals from the big Dark Angels decal sheet. I have used a lot of microsol/set to get them looking right, with matt varnish to seal the deal. I painted over the 3rd Company symbol on the left torso, as the red was not bright enough to match the casing on the storm bolter and missile launcher.

I have been waiting a long time to work on a project that could fit those text decals from the Dark Angels sheet. the hazard strip was cut in half to fit the missile launcher arm as well, helping to tie the model in with the basing material.

There are a few tiny details on this lascannon armour that I need to fix up before installing it, and a little bit of work left to go on the lascannon itself. Hopefully, I can find some time over the next two nights to finish it off!

See you across the table,


Tuesday 3 October 2023

Iron Snakes Terminators: TO-DONE!!


Hi folks,

It's DreadTober!! So, of course I have been painting Terminators 😆

I guess the original name of Terminator armour was Tactical Dreadnought armour, so that has to count for something, right?!

These terminators have been sitting in a little box for years now; an unfinished unit that was meant to be an quick addition to my Iron Snakes army. That collection is conspicuously missing any close combat units and anti-armour capability, so thunderhammer-toting terminators always seemed like an obvious choice. 

I have painted them in the usual scheme (leadbelchers, warplock bronze and kabalite green verdigris) with some additional turquoise accents and red shoulder pads to match the trim I usually have on the other infantry units. I used some decals that Sgt Waz and Wade gave me for my Birthday during the COVID-19 lockdown. The bases were finished with some cute laser cut ferns from Noch. Here are some close up pics:


I had to kitbash this guy a quick mace head to replace the hammer part I used for the captain.


Iron Snakes often attach an Apothecary to squads on extended missions when they are expected to operate independently for a time.

Iron Halo Dude

This guy was originally going to get a cyclone missile launcher... but... yeah...

Just Ken

Nothing special, he's just Ken.


Can't touch this.

To lead this unit I have rebased a Captain in Terminator armour I painted for D Power's Soulslike painting competition. The prize for winning that competition was a portrait of the miniature, created in D's signature grim/dark as hell style (which has taken pride of place in my hobby space ever since):

The story behind this Captain is that he has been trapped by himself on a hellish daemonworld for an extended period of time (let's just call it The Underworld). Having been comprehensively tested for corruption and being judged pure of mind and soul, Mikos has returned to active service. All who fight beside him agree that he has changed...

I also added the finishing touches to some objective markers, which have already seen some action on the table top. 

With this final distraction out of the way, it is time to focus on my DreadTober pledge! More about that next time...

See you across the table,


Sunday 3 September 2023

2023/2024 To-Do List


Hi folks,

I have cut a bunch of things out of my To-Do list this year, so that I am just focusing on my 2nd Edition Army challenge entry and my 10th Edition Dark Angels. They are my two main priorities which I know I will be able to put my heart into. There is plenty of other stuff I could write down, but I doubt I would ever get around to doing them! If I do, I'll just stamp them anyway ;-)

Let's start with the old school things:

2nd Edition 40K

Blood Angels

Brother-Captain Tycho

Chief Librarian Mephiston

Apothecary Corbulo

Veteran Sergeant Cleutin


Death Company Chaplain

Death Company Squad

Tactical Squad

Devastator Squad

Scout Squad

Terminator Squad

Furioso Dreadnought

Baal Predator

Blood for the Season of Blood! I have included every character except for Dante, because I didn't want to share the few assault marine models I have across two armies. Tycho is definitely my favourite Blood Angels character, even if he is not the most powerful on the tabletop. I have included a bunch of staple squads in there, as well as a sick Furioso Dread I am converting and a Baal Predator (an early 3rd Ed. shoe-in).

Imperial Agents


Character in Terminator Armour

Terminator Squad A

Terminator Squad B

Callidus Assassin

Half of this collection got lost in the mail for 6 months; both the seller and I truly believed they were gone for good! I am hoping to add them to my collection as allies, though painting such venerable models and doing them justice is a daunting proposition.

10th Edition 40K

Dark Angels


Ballistus Dreadnought (DreadTober)

Hellblaster Squad


Deathwing Terminators

Deathwing Strikemaster

I need to prioritise these figures so I can play more games with my mates, so expect to see them on the paint table soon. I am particularly looking forward to painting another Dreadnought for DreadTober which is starting in a few weeks time. I love the old school aesthetic of the new Ballistus Dreadnought, so when it hit the ebay shelves it was a must have for me. I am also managed to pick up some of the new (outrageously good looking) Terminators and I am keen to continue my tabletop adventures with Azrael; this will be the third version of the model I have painted!

Wish me luck!


Monday 28 August 2023

2023 Hobby Year Review


Hi folks,

Well, it has been awhile. This year has been a quiet one on the hobby front, if painting a 2200 point 2nd Edition army can be described as such. Participating in the Cowabunga 2nd Edition Army challenges is both awesome and utterly time consuming, taking me out of the mainstream of modern 40K for 6 months in the year and leaving me fairly burned out for the following 6 months. 

I started off the 22/23 hobby season with some palette cleanser projects, painting some Ravenwing bikes (which are about to leave the modern scene forever) and a Redemptor Dreadnought for DreadTober.

I have since dropped the bikes from my modern list, so they are left warming the shelf as a nice reminder of how waiting too long to paint stuff can come back to bite you. The dreadnought has made its way into a 2000 point list of 10th Edition Dark Angels I will be working on.

You don't have to scroll too far back to see the models I painted for the 2nd Ed. challenge. My Hive Fleet Proteus nids were fairly well received in the old school community, the paint scheme seemed to tick the boxes in terms of colour choice and overall vibe. My Termagants managed to earn me some Terminator Honours in the first month, which I am very proud of.

Towards the end of the challenge I helped write a short campaign pack for 2nd Edition: Return to Hamelia XI which takes a lot of inspiration from the Jurassic Park films. I wrote some of the terrain rules for the campaign and it was awesome to see some hobbyists really run with those ideas and create entire gaming boards to play the campaign. I managed to play a game with my son, which was his first experience playing 2nd Edition. I think he has a greater appreciation for the streamlined game we play in 10th Edition, though he misses the vortex grenades! I have also been able to connect with some 2nd Ed. players in the mountains over here, about 1.5 hours from where I live. We are hoping to play some games together to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of our favourite edition. 


Over the Christmas break I spent a couple of nights playing Kill Team at a local FLGS with a gaming club. The games were fun and I got along with the people pretty well, but ultimately I had trouble turning up regularly after work. When real life turned the screws, it was one of the first things I dropped, which I really regret now. I can't think of any way to change things, though. Family has to come first [shrugs sadly].

With 10th dropping recently, I have reconnected with some mates to learn the new game and throw down some dice. So far I have enjoyed the fact that stratagems are taking a back seat. The additional streamlining hasn't really effected anything that I care about, so the faster games are purely an advantage for me. I have played games with my Nids, "first born" Dark Angels and Iron Snakes, all narrow losses I can easily chalk up to army selection and bad luck (as always!). The key thing is that all the games were fun. I'll be playing more regular games from now on, so my Primaris Dark Angels will be a key feature in my To-Do list next year.

I'll finish the season with a photo from the last game that I watched; I was too tired to participate but happily played the part of rulebook checker! Here is a photo of Mephiston drinking some quality Ork brew, outside an old school Ork pub, deep in turn 5; a worthy objective if ever there was one.

See you across the table,


Tuesday 4 July 2023

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Month 6 Complete


Hi folks,

June was the final month of the 2nd Edition Army Challenge, run by Dr The Viking over at The Cowabunga Journal. I had huge plans for the month, but real life really turned the screws on me. In the end, I was lucky to scrape through. Lucky is perhaps the wrong word, I did plan for multiple contingencies, I just wasn't expecting things to go quite as pear shaped as they did. 

My last slice included 10 Hormagaunts. If you have ever handled one of these you will know how unbalanced the models are. Most people attach lead weights to the underside of the bases to help keep them on the table! I love how following the established paint scheme for my Hive Fleet has produced something that looks so different. The old school studio collection was similar, in that the Hormagaunts, Genestealers and Biovores had slightly different colours when compared to the rest of the army. These gaunts, with t heir prominent purple heads, seem to stand out in the same way when placed with the rest of the collection:

The challenge was, once again, an amazing experience. There is something special when you get a bunch of like-minded people together in an artistic space and add some hard deadlines. About 1/3 of the group didn't make it to the end of the challenge, but we all gave it a red hot go. The camaraderie was awesome and I am very much looking forward to the next challenge (if there is one!).

I have a couple more models I want to finish for this army, before I will be content to say it is complete. With the school holidays just started there is a good chance I will get some more done in the short term, though I am also very keen for a break. A total palette cleanser may be in order over the next couple of days.

See you across the table,


Thursday 8 June 2023

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Month 5 Complete


Hi folks,

For the 5th month of the challenge I worked on some really iconic models from the 2nd Edition range; a classic "Screamer Killer" Carnifex and a Lictor. Both play important roles in an old school army in terms of target saturation and disruption. At the start of the month I was planning to paint two of each, but half-way through the month I realised I was in a bit of trouble and had to reduce my workload to just stay in the challenge!

I spent a lot of time working on the blend on the claws and getting shading into the armour and skin tones. Edge highlighting was a bit laborious, but I was really happy with how it turned out.

This isn't actually the first time I have painted one of these old Lictors. I did one back in the 90's for a mate, which was green with some bright spot colours on the claws. I was pretty proud of it when it was finished but I think my mate was expecting something more like the box art. This one doesn't match the box art either, but I think it has the right vibe.

For the final month of the challenge I have a brood of 10 Hormagaunts to do, which are a real pain to put together (all kinds of physical balancing issues). They are going to be tough to do, but I guess that it is why it is called a challenge!

See you across the table,


Tuesday 16 May 2023

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Month 4 Complete


Hi folks,

It has been a while since I actually finished these, which is a reflection of how things are going for me at the moment. Life has just been pretty intense and I am not quite sure what to make of it all. 

The two models I painted for the challenge last month are both Epic 40K monsters at 28 mm scale. Unlike other large creatures from the Tyranid Codex, they are follow the same rules as vehicles, with armour values and hit locations. The Dactylis (left) lobs bile pods at the enemy that hit like battle cannon rounds. They are a huge amount of fun to use on the tabletop, if you can keep them alive! The Haruspex (right) hits like a ton of bricks in close combat. It also has two acid spray weapons that can eat through both vehicles and lightly armoured troops pretty efficiently. The Dactylis was produced by Forge World back in the 90's under licence (not that Forge World), and the Haruspex was made by Armorcast.

I painted the backdrop during the last big fires over here, which were so bloody awful that it has taken me this long to feel comfortable using it!

This month I am working on some Carnifexes and Lictors, which are bucket list models for me. 

See you across the table,


Sunday 9 April 2023

2nd Edition Army Challenge: Month 3 Complete


Hi folks,

I am half-way through the 4th season of the 2nd Edition Challenge and really starting to feel the burn. I had originally thought that I would get some Gargoyles done as well, to create a bit if a flying circus for my flying Hive Tyrant, but just constructing those things was difficult enough. They will have to spill over into the Month 4 pool of unpainted models. 

I did manage to get my other two models completed, which I had originally pledged for the challenge. The first is a more traditional Hive Tyrant, armed with a barbed strangler, spinefist and bonesword. It would have been unusual to see one armed like this back in the day, as the kit came with a lash whip. I like the spinefist, though, as it gives the tyrant something to shoot when it moves, albeit a short range. The barbed strangler is a move-or-fire weapon, so has the effect of slowing the Tyrant down. The spinefist would give it an extra force multiplier when things get up close.

The zoanthrope is such a classic, ugly, model. The newer versions depicted the Zoanthrope as a creepy floating brain bug, which I really love, but he old model hits me right in the nostalgia. Zoanthropes are great to use on the tabletop in 2nd Edition, particularly using the Dark Millenium rules. They add to the warp flux that powers the Tyrants but can also unleash devastating psychic blasts all by themselves. I wasn't sure how to paint this guy, as I would usually add some kind of glowy brain effect that does not really fit my 2nd Ed. scheme. I decided to just trust in the process and used the purple spot colour, with some extra highlights to bring attention to the veins. 


This month there is the subliminal pressure to paint something armoured for Armour in April. I have a couple of Carnifexes to work on, but I think I will have a go at painting some of my Armorcast figures instead. 

See you across the table,


Thursday 6 April 2023

Monster March TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

March has passed us by and I somehow managed to complete this monstrosity for Monster March. Having used winged Tyrants in 40K for ages, I was excited to have a go at creating an old school version. The key was to find wings that were the right scale, I think, and these Dark Pegasus pieces really tick that box. 

The arms were left over pieces from the Tyranid warriors that I worked on last month. With only a few days to go before deadline, I realised I didn't actually get a tail with this guy, so I used one of the toxin spikes I had left over from my 9th Ed. Trygons.

To make him usable in 2nd Ed. 40K I created two custom biomorphs, Chiropterous Wings (which work like a jump pack) and psychotropic sting (which works like a one-shot digi-weapon, that also uses the hallucinogenic effects table). If you want to check out the full rules you can download them from the 2nd Edition Army Challenge Month 3 post. Be sure to check out the other completed projects for this month too, there were heaps of amazing models.

Overall, I am really happy with how this model turned out and I am looking forward to adding a bit of a flying circus to my list, with some old school Gargoyles. Next post I'll have some photos of my main projects for Month 3 of the challenge, a more traditional Hive Tyrant and a Zoanthrope (with legs!).

See you across the table,