Monday, November 28, 2022

Space Marine Heroes (Part 1)


 Recently I picked up two packs of the current release of Space Marine Heroes. These are the red plastic versions of the first series that were blue plastic. When that first series was released here in the States a few years ago, I collected a few of them of them to make a unit around the single Ultramarine guy that I had painted.  However only recently have I been remotely focused on my Ultramarines so I never built these models. Until now.  

My inspiration was a sick day. After leaving work early feeling like absolute crap, I went home and slept for about five hours. Feeling a bit better later in the day I didn't feel well enough to paint or draw but assembling simple models was just the right thing to focus on for a bit. And these models are definitely simple. They are push-fit, and some of GW's best examples of them if you want my opinion. I use Plastruct Bondene Styrene & ABS Plastic Solvent Cement to secure the bonds, but only on a few parts. I left some partz unglued so that I can paint behind them. 

The first guy is Brother Castor. Or that was his name in the first set. In this current release he has a Blood Angel name is Brother Arteno. He's about as standard of a Space Marine that one can imagine. 

Brother Arteno. Or Brother Castor. 

This next one is a standard guy as well, but that pose makes all the difference. I really like this one a lot. In the first series he was called Brother Gaiam. He does not appear in the current release so no Blood Angel name for him. 

Brother Gaium.

This next guy was called Brother Toriad in the original release. He was a rare model exclusive to Japan and not part of the U.S. release. But he was available in a Barnes & Noble exclusive game. He is now included in the current series as Brother Sevrael. Note that I used the spare head from Brother Gaiam as I liked the idea of him screaming at whatever he's shooting at. 

Screaming Brother Toriad/ Sevrael. 

This next guy is Brother Titus. I liked his bare head and decided to use that one. He's reloading his bolter in a very dramatic fashion. He's also available in the current series as Brother Marzio. 

Brother Titus/Marzio.

I think this model was inspired by one the Codex covers (maybe 7th?). It's quite a dynamic pose and quite different from the others. His name is Brother Garus and is not in the current series. 

Brother Garus.


And this is Brother-Sergeant Sevastus. In the current series his Blood Angels name is Brother-Sergeant Baldaeo. 

Brother-Sergeant Sevastus/Baldaeo.

The squad Sergeant might be familiar to long-time readers of this blog. I painted this miniature a few years ago for my Celestial Lions. In fact, I think he is the last model I have since painted for the Celestial Lions. So I decided that this Ultramarines Sergeant was going to keep his helmet on. Besides l like the look of the red helmets on Ultramarine Sergeants and I want to continue that here. 

As you likely spotted in the lead photo, the marine that these guys are intended to join up with is somewhat smaller. These Space Marine Heroes were probably the last 'first born' models designed before the Primaris Marines arrived. The previous growth spurt the marines had was with the Deathwatch Veterans who were mostly in MK VIII armor. These guys probably scale up well with the MK VI miniatures that were launched with the current edition of Horus Heresy but I have yet to see a comparison. Anyway, I don't think it will matter too much once they're painted, but then we'll just have to see at that point. 



Monday, November 21, 2022

Three-way Attrition


 Last week on the 5th of November, Kushail, Da Masta Cheef and I gathered to play a three-way game of Warhammer 40,000 9th edition. I brought my Black Legion Chaos Space Marines,


Cheef brought his Tau,


 

and Kushail brought an all Dreadnought list of Lions of Harlech.


We decided to use the Open War deck and chose War of Attrition. We randomly drew a Twist card  and got Exhausted, much to Kushail's glee, as it ment all models had their Strength characteristics reduced by -1. We all pulled Ruse cards which we kept secret from each other until they were revealed. 

This isn't going to be one of my typical battle reports, but more like a highlight of what happened. Cheef took so many photos that I"m having a difficult time figuring out what's what, or when was what, or why we took a given photo. So, I am going to focus on who eliminated which units. We only counted a unit destroyed when the final model was pulled as a result of shooting, close combat in the fight phase or elimination during the morale phase. Assists did not count for anything other than bragging rights. 

The dice eating lava board

The Lions of Harlech won the roll-off to go first, Chaos would go second and Tau would go last.

 

Looking at home in a Chaos shrine...

According to my notes there were no destroyed units in the first turn. Although I almost wiped out the Tau Hogziliaries, but one sneaky piglet got away! 

This little piggy...


The ruckus of turn one.


LIONS OF HARLECH TURN 2

The Hellbrute, despite using the Fire Frenzy Stratagem during the Lion's Shooting Phase and getting some Overwatch shots, failed to withstand the double onslaught of the Ironclad Dreadnoughts and was ripped apart. The Lions scored 220 points. 

The pathetic demise of a Hellbrute. 

BLACK LEGION TURN 2

"Shoot 'em down boys!"

One of the Lion's Itonclads was destroyed by the Psychic powers of the Sorcerer Lord in Terminator armor. 

The Black Legionaires wiped out the Tau Jaloo Auxiliary. 

The Black Legion take the lead with 235 points. 

Lining up for a strife,


TAU TURN 2

The Tau didn't eliminate any units but they put a considerable hurt on the Black Legion and picked off a few wounds from some of the Lion's Dreadnoughts. Using the Outflank Ruse card, the Piranha and Ramora Drone harassed the Lions of Harlech while a squad of Breachers, Kroot Carnivores and a Kroot Shaper showed up in the Chaos deployment zone. They took a wound or two off of the Chaos Sorcerer. 

End of Turn 2 points: 

Lions Of Harlech: 190

Chaos Space Marines: 230

Tau: 0



LIONS OF HARLECH TURN 3

I have heard it said somewhere that 40k is a three-turn game in the sense that the winner can usually be determined by end of turn three. Well, Kushail was determined to make that theory a working one. The Chaplain Dreadnought charged my Exalted Champion, and, well, pulped him. This earned him another 90 vps 

CHAOS SPACE MARINES TURN 3

The traitor astartes didn't eliminate any units this round but they did hold their own against the Dreadnought onslaught. Both of my psykers put some hurt on the Chaplain Dreadnought using Smites of Infernal Gaze powers to achieve this. Of Particular note was the Aspiring Champion of Legionaires Squad 3 by rolling an against the odds Morale test and keeping the Chaplain tied up a bit longer. 

The Vindicator putting the hurt on the Dreads. 


TAU TURN 3

No units were taken out by the Tau in this round but they put a lot hurt on my Legionaires squads and tore some armor off of some dreads. But the Kroot did manage to get a charge in on my Chaos Sorcerer. The Chaos Sorcerer took a few wounds from these guys but he killed a lot of them in return. The failed morale check caused a lot more pain on the Kroot but the remaining ones were still in the fight.

LIONS OF HARLECH TURN 4

The first few rounds were just a big wind-up for Kushail and his Lions of Harlech, and on Turn 4 he landed his killing blows. In the Shooting Phase he shot down the Ramora Drone, and picked off the Kroot Shaper. Then he squashed a squad of Chaos Legionaires. He racked up 190 points from all of that and it was looking like he was going to be hard to catch up to.

Out flanked but fully armored. 


CHAOS TURN 4

Now trailing the Lions in points I was desperate to get rid of some of these Dreadnoughts. My Legionaire with the Balefire Tome finished off a Contemptor Dreadnought with Infernal Gaze earning 150 points for me. And my Sorcerer used Infernal Gaze to eliminate the Chaplain Dreadnought for 180 points. A moral victory indeed, but one short lived, as the Kroot took him down in the Fight Phase. It was the Tau's first points in the whole game so far, but an impressive 120 points and a crushing blow to my army. 

TAU TURN 4.

"Surprise!"


The Kroot, having showed the rest of the Tau how to draw blood, inspired the rest of the Tau to continue to do so. They finished off the rest of my big squad of Legionaires (220 points!) and blasted away the Vindicator (130 points). 

LIONS OF HARLECH TURN 5

It was mopping up time as the Lions finished off The Taus Breachers (95), the Hogziliaries (80 points), the Kroot (84 points) and the last of my units, the Legionaires (215 points). The Lions had this one in the bag, it was just a matter of sorting out the details.


CHAOS SPACE MARINES TURN 5 

(We're dead Dave, we're all dead.)

TAU TURN 5

The Tau got the final kill of the game by taking out a Contemptor Dreadnought (150 points).

"It's coming right at us!!!"


It was a fun game, even though I was tabled I dished out a fair amount of hurt and we had good fun. So here are the breakdown: 

CHAOS SPACE MARINES: 565 Points

TAU: 620 Points

LIONS OF HARLECH: 944 Points. 

Victory to the Lions! 

The stand off.

There's  a lot little things that occurred in this game but I don't recall where they fit into the play-by-play of the game. Things like, I need to keep a guy a alive and he had to make three 6+ saves, he rolled two 6's, I uses a CP reroll and got the third 6. Etc. It's those little moments that make games like this one especially fun. I'm already looking forward to the next one!





Monday, November 14, 2022

Medusan Wings (Review)

 


Medusan Wings by Matt Westbrook. 

'We embark, brothers,' said Oblexus, 'Our sworn allies of the Martian priesthood have called for our aid to overcome the xenos who have defiled the holy works of these machines, and we have answered their call. We shall honour the covenant made between the red planet and the blessed primarch. The Medusan Wing shall purge these greenskins and the obscenities they have built to oppose us. Their creations are abominations, affront against the perfection of the Omnissiah. In the name of the Emperor and the Gorgon, let us visit annihilation upon all of their misbegotten kind. With Wings of iron!"

The Medusan Wing is an elite squadron of Iron Hand Space Marines who pilot Stormhawk Interceptors. The pilots of the Medusan Wing are: 

Iron Father Oblexus leading from his Stormhawk
Ironhawk

Techmarine Dektaan in Medusan Two.

The longest serving member of Medusan Wing, Colnex in Medusan Three.

Techmarine Enych in Medusan Four.

The most recent Techmarine to join the squadron is Severus in Medusan Five. 

And Atraxii, piloting Vengeance of Santar, a Stormraven gunship. It is Atraxii whose point of view we are following in this tale. Having spent the past 30 years studying on Mars with the Adeptus Mechanicus, he has just come back to the home word of Medussa, the Chapter base of the Iron Hands. 

His arrival is soon followed by the arrival of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Adept Wyn has arrived to petition the Iron Hands to stop an ork assault on their refinery complex that is suspended in the clouds of Halitus IV. A good chunk of this story is spent dealing with the Adeptus Mechanicus and their appeal to the Iron Hands for aid and their mustering to provide it. 

However once we get to Halitus IV, the action begins and hardly ever stops.  Westbrook does a fine job showing the details of the steps that the Iron Hands perform in working out and executing their plans. I found the whole decision making process that they go through to be interesting. However, as a casual reader might suspect, when Atraxii's suggestion regarding the how to handle the orks is brushed aside in lieu of the plan determined by the algorithm, we know things are about to go seriously wrong. And they do. 

Iron Father Oblexus is wounded when Ironhawk is shot down by an Ork Ace (an apparent anomaly among orks as far as the Iron Hands are concerned). The scenes where Atraxii uses the Stormraven to retrieve Ironhawk is very interesting. It kind of had a Blackhawk Down kind of vibe as two Tactical Marines defend the crash site from the approaching orks. After his rescue, Oblexus is forced to concede that Atraxii did have foresight into the situation that the algorithm failed to determine and has Atraxii take his place in Ironhawk

The rest of book divides into two plot paths: the Iron Wing continuing the air defense, and Oblexus joining up with the Iron Hands and the Vostroyan regiment of Imperial Guard, led by the impressive Colonel Donati, in the defense of the Adeptus Mechanicus Temple. It becomes clear to Oblexus that Adept Wynn and the Adeptus Mechanicus are hiding something of great value on Halitus IV. Their Skitarii forces are kept back until practically the last minute, as the orks are almost about to overwhelm the temple and indeed the whole installation.

It becomes clear to the Iron Hands that what the orks are after is simple: fuel. A massive ork terror ship has been hiding out in the clouds awaiting it's moment to strike. Needless to say, the fight that ensues is crazy in it's epicness,and although a few of their members don't survive this tale, they are ultimately triumphant. 

It is revealed in the end what the Adeptus Mechanicus are hiding in their temple. I shall not spoil it here despite my underwhelming opinion of it and my belief that it didn't really serve the story to have it here at all, other than to cause tension between the Space Marine and Ad Mech leaders. 




This story is also available in the anthology On Wings of Blood.  

  • Did I like it? Yes, although I felt it took a good while to get going.
  • Was it hard to put down? The first 3rd of the book was a bit dry, but once the story got going it was a heck of a ride and difficult to detach one's self from it.  
  • Could I care about the characters? For the most part, Iron Hands characters ate difficult to emotionally invest in. They are cold and mechanical people who eschew things like emotions and human frailties. Indeed, they seek to evolve close to machines much like the Adeptus Mechanicus, whom they have a sort of kinship. One of the most intriguing characters in this story appears in the beginning chapters and that is Venerable Lochaar, a dreadnought. This guy is a bad-ass and I hope to see a model of him one day. The two main characters, Atraxii and Oblexus are the characters you invest in as you read this tale and despite their nature as a reader I found myself definitely invested in their survival and success upon the conclusion of the book . 
  • Did the writer truly grasp how the 'world' of the 41st millennium works in the sense that it doesn't betray or retcon previously established (as I know it) lore? Matt Westbrook has done a fine job with story and he nailed the essence of the Iron Hands well. I like how he wrote the personality of the machine spirit of Ironhawk. This would be a challenge for most new writers to 40k fiction but he handled it well.
  • Was I being talked down too? I didn't think so at all. In fact I found the tone to somewhat refreshing compares to the  last Warhammer 40,000 story I read. 
  • How predictable is this story? This felt like an expanded Inferno short story. I thought it was obvious that the most of the Medusan Wing were going to make it through the tale, that they would be victorious, etc. But it was different enough that it kept me excited with the story. Not having a clearly defined villain (just faceless and nameless orks) leads one to root for the protagonists by default. 
  • Do I recommend this book? It's a good short read which requires no previous knowledge to pick up and get into. And sometimes that's the perfect criteria for picking up a short story to escape away a few hours of bolter filled fun. 

Monday, November 07, 2022

The Fallen Moon Page 25 (Art Monday)

 


And this concludes Part One. 


I wanted the ending to be wordless to let the reader absorb the situation. Before I started posting these pages I had considered adding some word balloons to the final panel to indicate that someone in the crew is attempting to communicate to the bridge, but ultimately I decided it was best to leave it alone. 


Somewhere I have the script for Part 2 written out but I have yet to locate it. When I do I probably post it here alone with the concept sketches I did with it. As I stated long ago, I have no desire to complete this and I am not sure that GW would allow me to do a modern day rendition of this as they are (or were? I have no idea) doing a licensing agreement with Marvel to produce  comics. And so far it appears that The Fallen Moon has not caused any concern from anyone over there that usually looks into these kind of things. So this work of fanfiction created 25 years ago for a fanzine that was never produced, will just have to be just what it is. And as it is. 

Note I intend to edit this post at some point to include links to every post in this series so that they can more easily be accessed and read. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Fallen Moon Page 24 (Art Monday)

 


This page is showing us the Imperial troops taking cover from massive explosion from the previous page. I recall being inspiredby by footage of U.S. troops doing similar maneuvers during the nuclear tests back in the 1950s.  

And the last panel has the Gothic vessel shattering a mountain. Anytime I can use Kirby crackle in a comic I'm a happy artist! I aspire to one day incorporate it into a Tales From The Smoking Wyrm cover, I just need the right subject matter to justify it...

Friday, October 28, 2022

Fixing a Rogue Trader-era Dreadnought (part 4)

 

The finished Furibundus Dreadnought.

With a bit of spare time available tonight I was able to get this model finished. Here's the last stages that got me there:


I needed something for the base. Recently ordered a pair of Chaos Space Marine Aspiring Champions from a bits seller on eBay. Each came with an extra front piece which, yay: options, ment that I now had a pair of large useless bitz. I had the idea to make an Objective Marker out of one but as I thought about it, I realized that idea would work great on this Dreadnought's base also.  I put a skull where the head would go, just a spare Chaos Space Marine shoulder pad at and odd angle and glued those where the shoulders would be. This will give an impression that this body is mostly sunk into the mud and dirt.

Really dead chaos guy. 

I applied Stirland Mud Technical Paint all around the remains of this Chaos guy. The idea was to mostly fill and cover up some of the gaps between the corpse and the base. 
 
Starland Mud.

After the Stirland Mud dried I applied the grit to the rest of the base. 

True grit.

The skull of the dead chaos guy was basecoated using Corax White. 

Basecoats on the base items. 

Skeleton Horde Contrast Paint was used on the Skull (i love this stuff!). The rest of the stages of the Black Legion guy are the same ones I used on the majority of my other Black Legion marines. Also not that two oval plates were painted in anticipation of the decals that are going to go in those spots. 

Middle coats on. 

Let's cut to the chase; here it completely done sans a varnish to seal the model. This metal after all and prone to chipping. 

Boom, done! 

The blue U looks good on the white plate. I would say. 
Almost birds eye view 

The small roman numeral three went on the red plate. And in the lower leg plate a larger Ultramarines icon was adhered on to there.

Three's the Company.

The right leg had a skull badge placed it. A departure from how it looked originally, but I thought it was over-using the Ultramarines icon before and this feels a bit more balanced to me. 

Skull!

Now for the glamor shots. 


And after much debate I did decide to keep the eyes green. I thought the red eyes would clash with the red of the gun and the red badge. I did add a white highlight to each eye however. 


And that's another Dreadtober in the can! But technically the month isn't over, perhaps I can knock out another one?



Monday, October 24, 2022

The Fallen Moon (Page 23)

 

So I kind of imagined that the explosion sort of 'bounced' the ship into a nearby mountain. It was that or the momentum would've just carried the thing right into the ground and everyone and everything would just be dead. And that wouldn't have fun right? But a big junk of wreckage smashing itself all over the place seemed like it would be a fun thing to draw. And it was!