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,


Saturday, 25 March 2023

Monster March Progress


Hi folks,

I have just realised that March is almost over (madness!!) and I haven't posted anything about #MonsterMarch7. I bombed out the challenge last year due to a horror run of bad health, so have been hoping to make amends this year. With the 2nd Ed. Army Challenge about to reach the half-way mark, I was also keen to work on a project that wouldn't feel like I was dividing my efforts. For that reason I have chosen a 2nd Edition Hive Tyrant that will work well with the rest of the army I am currently painting. I have converted it to have wings, which was not an option back in 2nd Edition, but makes for a fun custom biomorph. It opens up an opportunity for me to write a unique Codex entry that can also contribute to the overall challenge. At the moment I am painting it parallel to the other two units I actually pledged for the 2nd Ed. Army Challenge this month: another Hive Tyrant (armed with a barbed strangler, bonesword and spinefist) and a classic Zoanthrope.

So far, I have been able to block in the main colours on each primary sub-assembly, as well as some washes, highlights and other details.

At the moment, I am working on blocking in the main colours on the smaller sub-assemblies, including the arms, bioweapons and tails. This is about as much work as painting a whole unit of little bugs, so I still have a lot of work to do, followed by the basing. I feel pretty confident that I will get them done, though.

To complete one of the side-challenges (secondary objectives?) I have also constructed a faction specific terrain piece. In this case, I have a built a Hive Node, designed to look like a coral outcrop with stinging fronds. The colours fit my swarm pretty well, I think!

That's it for now, hopefully I have some good shots at the end of the month to show off these finished projects.

See you across the table,


Saturday, 11 March 2023

2nd Edition Army Challenge IV: Tyranid Warriors TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

Towards the end of February, I made a final big effort to get my warriors completed. I had kept them in sub-assemblies, as I knew the completely assembled models had lots of hard to get places in regard to painting detail. The final construction of the model was a real pain though, as the parts are heavy and fiddly to fit. The main problem was that the arm pegs didn't fit the holes in the torso well enough. Knocking the parts against other painted parts caused quite a few chips, so I shelved the whole project for the night and mulled it over. The next day I fixed all of the places where the paint had chipped and drilled out the holes in the torso with a large drill bit, which fit the arm pegs really well. I then varnished all of the parts before attempting to glue them in place again.

Et voila!



Venom cannons and a barbed strangler

In 2nd Edition the devourers get two sustained fire dice when they hit, causing a maximum of six hits each that cause fear. They also have the potential to jam, which is not ideal! The deathspitters are a little more reliable, dealing a strength 6 hit to a single target and strength 3 hits to nearby models. I included them in the brood for a little more consistency. Venom cannons are by far the best heavy weapon choice for Tyranids, though the barbed strangler is pretty funny when it manages to actually do its thing. You need to kill something with the initial strength 4, -1 save hit. Once you have done that, the 3" blast that occurs can really tear a hole in the enemy army. 

Overall, I was very pleased with how the Hive Fleet paint scheme has worked with the larger models. Certainly worthy of a big badge:

See you across the table,


Friday, 10 February 2023

2nd Edition Army Challenge IV: Termagants TO-DONE!!!


Hi folks,

I have been enjoying a short break from blogging, following a really difficult year on the homefront. In January, Dr The Viking's Cowabunga 2nd Edition 40K army challenge started again for a 4th season. Many veterans have joined the challenge again this year, as well as a bunch of rookies. I have decided to paint Tyranids this season and have gone a step further to take on the "Gamers" challenge. That means I will be painting large numbers of models every month to try and create a large army by the end. For the first month, I chose what I think will be my greatest challenge, a brood of 32 termagants! My first challenge was creating a paint scheme that would pay homage to early 90's 40K. I wanted the scheme to be a genuine alternative to the Codex scheme, bright but cohesive. Here is the breakdown:

Over the course of the month, I sat down for a large number of short, but sharp, painting sessions. I really had to push myself for quantity, as my default setting is to take excruciatingly long amounts of time to stress over details. Here are some progress shots taken during the month:

My "Blue" stage...

Blocking in the Jokaero orange

Greens, pinks and starting on the washes

Ready for basing!

The finished product was everything I hoped it would be and even managed to score me some Terminator honours for the first month. I have to say I was a little emotional when I saw what some people had said about them. I love painting these figures with fellow enthusiasts of old school 40k, so creating something that resonates with them is fantastic.

This month I am working on a large brood of Tyranid Warriors, which I have been ferreting away for a couple of years through ebay purchases. The Trooper also gave me a box full of old school Tyranids to include in the challenge, which included even more of them. I really love these sculpts in particular, even though they are kind of rubbish in-game. Hopefully, I'll have some more progress shots this weekend, as I get back into the swing of recording my hobby adventures. Here they are all primed and ready to go:

See you across the table,