Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sons of Horus Land Raider

Veteran marines from the 16th Legion on maneuvers with their new ride
It has taken over a year, but my Horus Heresy forces finally have a proper vehicle! This is a Land Raider Proteus from Forge World, painted to accompany the Sons of Horus into action against the dupes of the False Emperor. 

I took this photo to make sure I was able to mount the tracks properly for both sides

WIP progress - I was thrilled to have the tracks mounted on until I started priming...
So far, with the exception of El Booze, and Ferrum Mori, my 30k painting efforts have been concentrated on infantry - various foot slogging Marines as well as some Solar Auxilia.  But as you will see in a battle report that I expect Dallas to post here shortly, infantry alone can't always get the job done.  It's time to round out my Heresy forces with some vehicles, and the Knights and Titans are a little too unbalanced to set up for our Thursday games.

Ring mount for the sponson - one section gave way during the prep...f**k resin
The Land Raider Proteus is a wonderful model design from Forge World, a shout out to the original Land Raider plastic models from the Rogue Trader era.  When I think of the Horus Heresy games that I played with the "Space Marine" and later "Epic" games, Land Raiders were always prominent so I really wanted one to accompany the Sons of Horus and their friends on the table.

WIP - the green is down
Painting the lascannons separately is highly recommended
 A vehicle model from Forge World is always a fraught experience.  The designs are (for the most part) lovely, but the quality of the casting can be hit and miss.  Further complicating matters is the utter lack of instructions.  I have heard many horror stories in particular related to the Land-Raider-based vehicles, as the design of the model is open to rage-induction depending on how reliably the resin was cast.

Lucky for me this kit was relatively well cast. I had a problem with one of the lascannon mounting rings - it was laughably thin and a chunk came right off during assembly prep. The other challenge was the side doors - they barely fit, and it was more than a matter of a mis-cast - they were flat-out too big, and I had to do some carving to get them to sit in the recess of the side of the vehicle.

Ready to roll!
Figuring out how to mount the tracks was also a bit of a puzzle, but I was able to sort it out.  I was lucky, the tracks were straight and well-cast, and the track channels were cast properly and so the tracks fit! 

Twin lascannon sponson, ready to dish out abuse to the foolish adherents of the False Emperor
Chuffed about getting the thing put together, it wasn't until I started painting that I realized I had messed up - I should have left the tracks off for painting.  Getting the black primer into the recesses of the tracks was a huge pain in the a@@.  If I do another one of these, the tracks will wait and get a separate paint job on the side.

At least I was smart enough to leave the lascannon mounts and cow catcher aside to paint separately.

I'm sure the Sons of Horus use "green" bio fuels...
The painting results on this overall were...OK...I used the same greens and edge highlighting I have been doing on the Sons of Horus marines and while I looks alright, it's not as smooth as I would wish it to be.  I will probably have to break down and try and airbrush at some point if that is something I'm really interested in achieving...

Heavy bolter mounted on the command cupola
The decals are from the Forge World Sons of Horus decal sheet - the big "eye of Horus" symbols turned out great, but the roman numeral legion markings silvered up like crazy!  There is always something that comes up when painting a Forge World can still see the damn silvered reflection in some of the photos when you look at the "XVI" near the front.

Anyway, I sorted the decals as best I could, and did some hard core weathering - lots of sponge chipping, weather powder, and even some oil paint! However, I noticed that the Testors Dullcote tends to wipe out the effects of weathering powder, so I may have to go back and add a bit more. But overall it still turned out OK, well enough to roll out on to the table and get shot up in the first turn. 

Wheels are better than heels!
Of course a single vehicle still leaves my enlightened supporters of Horus short when it comes to transport - I hope to add some more conventional Rhinos, and maybe one or two more terrifying vehicle bits from the Legion armory.  But it's great to have this vehicle done and it will hopefully inspire more progress on some others.  Horus for hope!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

40K Chaos Renegade Ogryns WIP

A flurry of hobby activity over the past week included some greenstuff conversion work (I am hesitant to call it "sculpting") on two new acquisitions - some out-of-production metal Ogryns. I've given them gas masks to fit in with the rest of the Chaos Renegades. These two will fill out a squad of three models, joining the example I've converted and painted already.

This guy already had an augmetic eye fitted and I thought it would be a shame to lose that, so I gave him a half-mask.

The filters are done by making a small ball of greenstuff, setting it in place on the model, and pressing down on it with an appropriate-size circular or cylindrical object (in this case, I used some plastic rod I had around). Then, use a pin or dental pick to make the holes for the filter.

This model got a full over-the-head mask. Eye ports are made the same way as the filters.

Looking forward to painting these guys and having a squad of three models to use in the army.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Horus Heresy Painting - IXth Legion "Blood Drinkers"

Command Squad
Earlier this Spring, I decided to start a 30K/Horus Heresy project to join in the big game planned for later this summer. Not that 2,000 points of Space Marines is gonna make a huge difference in a game with multiple Reaver Titans, Knight Titans, and super-heavy tanks, but there has to be some crunchies around to get plastered by "D" weapons, right? ;-)

The first thing I had to do was settle on a Legion. It had to be Loyalist - mainly to offset the massive Traitor forces that Conscripts Greg and Byron have been amassing, and to better fit in with my Legio Metalica Reaver Titan and Loyalist Imperial Knight. And it had to be a colour scheme that I hadn't done before on an "army" scale. I've discussed this more in depth in my post on the test model, but suffice to say I settled on the Blood Angels Legion (the IXth) for a colour scheme, and focused on a particular military organization within the Legion - the Blood Drinkers (later to become a successor Chapter, of course).

Anyway, I'd been accumulating more Rogue Trader-era metal Space Marines (mostly in MKVI armour that came into use toward the end of the Heresy) for an undetermined project, and it seemed like a good idea to reassign those assets to this one. I'd also picked up a lot of RTB-01 plastic "beakies" (also MKVI armour) in various states of repair, and those had their paint stripped ready for reassembly and painting.

I also picked up the MKII "Command Set" from Forgeworld. Fortunately, these new resin models scale pretty well with the old MKII metal Marines that I have in the collection. For example, in the first picture above, the middle two models are Forgeworld, and the two on the ends are old metal MKII bodies with Forgeworld resin MKII shoulderpads, backpacks, and Phobos pattern bolters. Games Workshop itself produced "Armour Variant" models in MKI-V armours, typically with metal bodies and separate arms, pads, weapons and backpacks. In fact, you can still buy Finecast versions of these models here, although they're usually readily available in metal form on eBay.

MKII Command set from Forgeworld. Banner deco is decals, except for the numerals which are hand-painted

How about this Rapier! Old-school metal with MKVI crew
I wanted to include a Rapier in the list just for fun. My preference was to use an old metal model to better suit the character of the list - plus I already had some Marines in the collection that would serve well as crew. So a model was obtained from an eBay seller, painted and weathered. It'll serve as the "laser destroyer" Rapier variant.

Heavy weapon squad - per 30K doctrine, all armed identically, in this case with conversion beamers
The heavy weapons squad is identically armed with Conversion Beamers. I like using these as the weapons because they can reasonably proxy for just about any other heavy weapon, from lascannons to plasma cannons, except maybe missile launchers. The Marines and weapons are all metal from the RT era, of course.

Veteran squad - composed entirely of Marines in MKII-V armour variants
The 10-man Veteran squad are equipped exclusively with early-mark armour variants. They're also all either one-piece metal figures or metal bodies with resin or plastic arms. They also have backpacks appropriate to the armour type, and figures with separate weapons have Phobos bolters. I obtained the bolters and backpacks as pieces from eBay sellers who specialize in that.

MKV - "Heresy" armour - distinguishable by studded plating

Another MKV suit

Converted one-piece metal MKII. Replaced sword in left hand with a bolt pistol

MKIV with metal body and plastic arms - Phobos pattern bolter

MKIV showing pauldron decoration

MKII in its original form with sword

Another view - this is one of my favorite models!

Tactical Marines
The Tactical Squads are RT metal models with a few RTB-01 plastics mixed in. I've converted a few of the metal models for variety and to suit my aesthetic.

Another conversion - hand flamer out, Umbra pattern bolter in

RTB-01 converted a bit - I used the "bolt pistol" right arm to brace the bolter in a firing pose

There's several of these Marines with Terminator honours in the group - I cut off the ridiculous blade attached to the bolter

Artificer Armour

The "army" thus far
Well, that's the Blood Drinkers as they stand right now. I also have a metal Terminator Squad in Blood Angels livery I'd painted for Space Hulk a few years ago, that can easily slot into this force. Future plans include a 10-man assault squad (just waiting on jump packs from MaxMini), a metal Landspeeder currently in primer, two Rhinos (Chapterhouse conversion bits on the way), a Land Raider (ditto), aaaaand... a massive Spartan Assault Tank now on my painting desk awaiting assembly. Heresy escalation is a thing, you know ;-)

Anyway, it's been great fun accumulating and painting these models and I'm looking forward to adding the vehicles. I hope you enjoyed reading about the army - look for them in a battle report very soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Painting Challenge Wrap-Up, Part 3 of 3 - 20mm Odds & Ends

20mm WW2 Soviets from Elhiem
For my final entry to the Painting Challenge I just tried to finish clearing off the painting desk with some leftover bits from the projects that got me up and moving in the first place - 20mm.  I started painting some miniatures in this scale last fall, and finished quite a few more of them during the Challenge and I have been really enjoying working in this scale.

Up first are some 20mm WW2 Soviets.  These are spare riflemen from a pack of Elhiem figures.  As always, the sculpting can be a bit uneven, but the proportions are somehow still great, even compelling.  The tricks of the sculptor...fascinating!

More defenders of the Rodina

Ready to battle the fascist invaders
Up next is a more modern set - this is supposed to be a TV news team.  Once again, these are Elhiem figures.  I like having media figures as a "gaming garnish" on modern tables, but I find these sculpts are perhaps too ultramodern - I know cameras are smaller these days, but I still think most TV news people have shoulder mounted cameras.  Maybe that is just here in Canada...

"Reporting live from  20mm game..."

I tried to write "PRESS" on their helmets...that didn't really work...
One more Elhiem tidbit - this is a downed pilot.  It is supposed to be from a modern range, but could work in WW2 in a pinch.  Downed pilots always make for great objectives in skirmish games, as the ground pounders resentfully put their lives on the line to bail out some pampered flyboy...

Long walk back to base...
Great objective for games
And one more vehicle! During the challenge I painted a few T-34s for my WW2 Soviets, so I thought I would finish at least one Panzer for the Germans.  This is a 1/72 scale model kit from Plastic Soldier Company.  I can't say enough about how much I enjoy their 1/72 scale vehicle models - they are excellent.

1/72 Mark IV from Plastic Soldier Company
I HATE modeling the schurzen you can see at the back of the turret, I can never get them to sit quite right...
This is a late model Panzer IV, sporting the long 75mm gun and the schurzen plates, which from a hobby perspective make me !@#!@#!@ing bannanas as I hate painting them, then glueing them, etc.  But full credit to PSC - they make the process pretty easy/idiot proof, even for an idiot like me...

Very basic paint job

Ready for action in the eastern front
So that concludes another Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  In total I netted 1233 points of painting.  I easily exceeded my (low) initial target of 300 points, but in the end I did not achieve my (much more ambitious) revised target of 1500 points.  I finished in 18th place (just pipped by Byron - damn you!), which gives you an idea of just how much painting was going on out there around the world during the Challenge.  Byron and Kevin participated as well, with several excellent entries.  I encourage folks to go check out all of the entries (set aside some time - it will take a while!).  We'll see if Curt does another Challenge next year.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Painting Challenge Wrap-Up, Part 2 of 3 - Solar Auxilia Lord Marshal

Lord Marshal for my 30k Solar Auxilia...what an outfit
The second entry from my sprint to the finish in Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is a Lord Marshal for my Warhammer 30k Solar Auxilia Force.

Nice cloak - and note the power cables connected to his snobby staff
The Lord Marshal is a supreme HQ figure for the Solar Auxilia.  Of course, Forge World has yet to release a figure to represent one in the range, but astute 40k types and Imperial Guard fans will recognize this miniature as the special character "Solar Macharius", which I think GW issued seven or eight years ago.  This is a 28mm metal figure (remember those?) from GW.

Remember metal figures?  I sure miss them...I guess I'm a grouch
"Solar Macharius" was intended to be a super-duper senior command special character for the GW Imperial Guard faction.  His backstory is not particularly imaginative and easily forgotten - basically he was really good at spending the lives of his men in well organized attritional military action, and through this capacity is thought of as a "great" commander.  I would chalk this up to Warhammer 40k's dystopian setting, but real history is littered with many such "great" commanders.

Cloak made from endangered space caribou pelts, no doubt
When Forge World released the Solar Auxilia, I immediately thought of this figure as a suitable senior command model, and tracked one down on eBay (it took a while to find one with a suitable price).  I quite like the douchebag aspect of this figure - super ornate armour, a staff with a freaking bust at the tip - which is "plugged in" to something no less, implying a possible use as a weapon or force field.  The prissy cloak, the big sword, the heavy pistol, the whacky helmet - I love it.  I doubt he could even lift the sword!
Waiting to be cut in half by a Traitor Legion Marine
In the 30k rules they try to talk up the "Lord Marshal" as some kind of bad-ass commander, but I imagine him to be much more of a politically-connected REMF-type figure from the Imperium's pre-Horus Heresy era.  While his Solar Auxilia regiment makes a grim last stand in the face of assaults by Traitor Legion Marines, this asshat is preparing PowerPoint servitor presentations about "Force Paradigm Shifts" and worrying about getting the proper leave codes entered into SAP. After all, what sort of twonk would dress like this anywhere ever in any era, much less near a battlefield?

Watch for some "blue on blue" fire to catch this fellow by "accident", assuming a Sons of Horus assault marine doesn't gut him first...