Monday, June 17, 2024

Primaris Lt. In Phobos Armor

 Do I really need another Primaris Lieutenant? (Does anybody?) Well, yeah, I do. This particular guy will fit in nicely with my Reivers as well as the Eliminators unit I constructted alongside this guy. They were finished during the March For Macrage challenge, but this poor chap was sidelined. -Until now!

They're not garters, they're knife straps!" 

Of course I basecoated the blue armor using my old Space Marine Blue. I hope I can find another paint pot of this color eventually, or at least a good analog for it. 

Let's cut to the chase, since I have shown these steps ad nauseum on this blog  already and I just don't feel the need to be that redundant at this moment.  I pretty much painted him like the examples I've seen in Imperium Magazine and elsewhere, with the exception that I painted his mask red with a white stripe running down the middle to denote his Lieutenant rank. I think this looks pretty cool, even though this might increase the odds of him getting shot in the face. Of course I realized well after the fact that these colors should be inverted, but I like the way this turned out so I'll leave it be. 

Finally, the dreaded decal stage.  Thankully this wasn't too problematic and I only used two decals on this model. 

And with that stage completed he is done. Normally I would probably add a few grass tufts but I have already packed them away for the move.  

And yes my family are moving to new house and everything is in chaos and disarray. Granted I'm not moving far, just 20 acres away, but it's turnng out to be a long drawn out affair which has stopped my hobbying for the time being. Hopefully things will pick back up soon. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Venom #2 (Part 3)

 I was able to make a decent amount of progress on this model since last time. Really the only thing left to do was the gunner. Somehow through the back and forth that Da Masta Cheef and I did with this thing ("Take this." "No, you!" Etc.) One of the sprues disappeared. 

So I had to build the gunner from a variety of bits.  The legs and right arm are from the original 3rd edition Dark Eldar Warrior sprue, the torso is from the Venom kit and so is the head. The arm with the chain is from the Wyches kit. 

Yeah, he is one kitbashed fellow, but I think he turned out well. He seems a bit more relaxed than the gunner from Venom #1, who looks like she just wants to kill everyone. This guy is a more casual kind of killer. You can compare and contrast them with the last two pics in this post.

The last thing to do was affix the canopy to the cockpit. This was done using Testor's Clear Parts Cement, a niracle affixing agent I wish I had when I was building model planes as a kid. 

And here they are together. My fleet of dread murder elf skimmers has doubled!

Hopefully I can get the next one done soon-ish and finally start on some Raiders. I would love to finally field this as a proper army by the end of the year, but we shall see. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Blood Axe Kaptin (Part 4)

 At the end of Part 3 I had stated that I felt that this guy was mostly done, but that it needed something else...

"Sumfink! Go git 'em!"

That's right, an attack squig. Which definitely meets the criteria of "some thing".  And the one I chose was this classic Rogue Trader era ork squig. Well, technically a tyranid squig. It's a bit of a complicated piece of lore that was only ever published once (White Dwarf #145 specifically). But nevertheless this classic freaky squig fit perfectly on my Blood Axe Warboss' base and gives a sense of menace. Mirthful menace mind you, but menace. 

Bare metal.

Unfortunately the tab had to go!


For such an old squig, it's still fairly large. Here he is on equal footing being compared to a Dark Eldar warrior. 

It kind of looks like a fleshy battle-bot in a way...

I based-coated this thing using Contrast Paints. Skeleton Horde for the claws, teeth and spikes, and Blood Angels Red for the skin. 

Contrast Paints basedcoat. 

Next I washed the model in Agrax Earthshade then gave it a layer of Khorne Red. The boney bits were given a layer of Screaming Skull with Wraithbone highlights. 

Mostly done.

Once he was done it was just a matter of affixing the squig, now names Sumfink, to the base of this Warboss, which a bit of superglue took care of in no time. 

Left side details

I'll work out a name for this big git eventually. But like many of my characters, sometimes they earn their names during a game.  With all I got going on, that may be a while. 

Rear details.

To end this project I added a few grass tufts to the base.  The final thing left to do is to add a clear coat to help reduce the chance of chipping the paint.

The job's done!

And now my Blood Axes have a dedicated leader. WAAAAGH!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

And we shall call you 'Lance'

 Get ready for a fun one! 

"Grenades for the Grenades god!"

Once again Da Masta Cheef and I got together for a 28mm scaled tussle. This time on his home tabletop at Villa La Croot. I brought 1500 points of Worldeaters. It's a similar list to the one I ran last time,  but I removed Kbarn and added a Rapier Laser Defender (Legends). I've had this model for ages and decided to give it a shot. Also joining these guys are my newly built and base-coated Exalted Eightbound and my recently battle-ready Cbaos Spawn. I also included a Daemon Prince, Bori the Bloody. Today the Worldeaters were the Attacker and their Secondary Missions were Behind Enemy Lines and Storm Hostile Objective. 

Worldeaters assembled.

And Da Cheef brought 1500 points of Black Dragons Primaris Marines (with a tac squad of Incadescent Coyotes). The Black Dragons were the Defenders and their Secondary Missions were Deploy Teleport Homer and Storm Hostile Objective. 

Imperial scum.

The Primary Mission was Take and Hold. The Mission Ruke was Minefields although I am pretty sure we completely forgot about that rule*. We pulled the Dawn Of War deployment card, and considering Da Cheef's table is a bit smaller than the standard table size, our deployment zones were packed full of models. I neglected to take any pictures of our deployments but the first picture below ought to give a good impression of it. The Worldeaters got the first turn and they surged forward with murderous glee to a cacophony of yells and chainsaws.

Opening moves.

The Blessings of Khorne results for the first turn were Unbridled Bloodlust on the Exalted Eightbound and Wraithful Devotion on the Jakhals.  This was a turn of maneuvering and rushing forward. But the Blooddumpster and a few other units threw a lot of firepower at the opposing Dreadnought, taking a lot of Wounds off of it but not enough to finish it. 

Worldeaters firepower!

Black Dragons retaliated and managed to put a dent in the Worldeater's force. The Blooddumpster was knocked down to 7 Wounds, and one of the Exalted Eightbound was eliminated with another one wounded. The Jakhals took a lot of firepower as well but they remained above half strength. 

Surging forward.

Turn 2. 

This round's Blessings of Khorne were Bloodlust of the Eightbound and Wraithful Devotion on the Jakhals.  

For the first time in this edition, I finally got the opportunity to use the Grenades Stratagem, and I did so with glee. I had a lot of firepower lined up to bring down the Dreadnought, but the grenade thrown  by the Juggerlord was able to finish off the mechanical menace. 

Big bada-boom!

During the Charge and Fight phase the Juggerlord with the Eightbound charge and wiped out a squad of Intercessors that were sitting on an  Objective. However the next closest enemy unit to them was the Hellblasters who were eager to throw some fire on their cool victory.  It was during their charge that we made a joke regarding the Juggerlord's "Lance " rule, and although I don't recall the actual joke, we decided to name this guy Lance going forward.

Target Priority unlocked. 

On the other side of the table the Khorne Berserkers wiped out a squad or Reivers, ending their reign of terror. 

Black Dragons Turn Two, and this is where the manure hits the merry-go-round. It starts off subtlety enough with the Iridescent Coyotes showing their young Primaris compatriots how to shoot. They managed to shoot the hell out of the Berserkers, who had just killed the Reivers,  putting a dent in their number. 

First born and still deadly.

The next achievement in Astartes firepower was the ATV moon-buggy that shot and killed off the Hellbrute. 

The Hellbrute falls! 

The Sternguard finish off the Exalted Eightbound, leaving the Juggerlord without a meatshield. This worked out well for the Hellblasters who were more than happy to fry Lance the Juggerlord with their intense heat weapons. 

It was the Eradicators who made the shot of the game,, who,, with a CP re-roll,  managed to destroy the Blooddumpster. The evil Landraider exploded via Deadly Demise, something that rarely happens in our games, and the explosion was brutal. Two of the Eradicators were killed by the Mortal Wounds. The Daemon Prince, Bori the Bloody, took 6 Mortal Wounds.  One of the Chaos Spawn was eliminated and the other one was wounded also. Oddly, and amusingly, the Khorne Berserkers who were embarked within the Landraider were unharmed by this mighty conflagration. 

Image a lot of fire and smoke.

Freed from the confines of the Blooddumpster the Khorne Berserkers were exposed to the blood lasting Intercessors and the Apothecary Biologis who led them. They ended in a relative draw with both units locked in combat.

Battle Royale! 

Hilariously**, the Assault Intercessors failed to charge the Jahkals even though the roll they needed to make was quite low.  

On the other flank, the other squad of Berserkers were actually getting socked pretty hard by the Iridescent Coyotes  in fact only three models remained standing in the unit, with geriatric Marines swarming all over them! 

Holding on for dear life.

At the end of Turn 2, this is what the VPs looked like: 

•5 VPs  (5 for Take and Hold)

•14 VPs (10 for Take and Hold, 4 for Storm Hostile Objective)

Turn 3

Blessings of Khorne for this turn were Wrathful Devotion on the Jakhals and Warpblades on the Chaos Spawn. 

Just about every unit I had was locked in combat except for the Rapier Laser Destroyer. That fired on the ATV but rolled shockingly low for damage. The Chaos Terminators arrived and shot up the Sternguard before charging over to assist the Khorne Berserkers who were locked in combat with the Incadescent Coyotes. Much to our surprise they didn't wipe the Coyotes out on this charge, but they sure did flip their odds the other way. 

The sprawling melee on the Worldeater's left flank continues however the Daemon Prince was now engaged, and he killed off the Eradicators and the Ancient Biologis. The Chaos Spawn with the Warpblades killed off a few as well but still they remained locked in combat with the surviving Primaris marines. 

Thinning the ranks.

The Chaos Terminators ultimately killed off the last of Incadescent Coyotes and together with the last few Khorne Berserkers they claimed the objective. 

Objective very much secured.

During the Black Dragon's turn the Assault Intercessors finally kill off the Jakhals, who had frustrated them for the last few rounds..  But the highlight of the turn was the ATV which got two hits on the Rapier, this turns Oath of Moment target, that would have  destroyed it had I not rolled the required 6s needed to keep it alive! We were both laughing at the miracle of this moment. The stubborn artillery piece that refused to roll high on damage yet refused to die also. 

The duel of dice.

Black Dragons
•13 VPs
(+8 more for Storm Hostile Objective)

•29 VPs 
(+15 more for Take and Hold)

It was getting late now and we agreed to stop here. With the Worldeaters now more than double the VPs of the Black Dragons it was looking  like a challenge for the Black Dragons to catch back up.  And we were getting  tired. It was a good game, full of those crazy random moments that we like talk about with other gamers.  The exploding Landraider was just awesome, and we got such a kick out of how much damage it did. 

I liked how well I got Lance the Juggerlord to perform, especially when he charges. The Exalted Eightbound were exceptional as well, but they weren't as resilient as I had hoped. But then, I guess when being targeted by Hellblasters few things are. 

I think the unexpected MVP on the Black Dragons side, with exception to the suicidal Eradicators, was the ATV. That thing could dish out some pain. So much so that I need to build the one I've been holding on to. 

Ok, so this report was kind of a sad one to write as it may be the last time Da Masta Cheef and I will be able to play against each other for the foreseeable future. He is relocating from the Mountains to the Coast, two states away. So until the time comes when we can arrange a game down the road, thanks Cheef for all the fun and games! 

*Or no one ever rolled a 6 on their Advance roll. 
** We laughed, but Cheef's laugh was at the irony of it all, while mine was at the strange luck of it. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Blood Axe Kaptin (Part 3)

I was distracted a bit here and there, and real-life keeps complicating things, but finally I managed to finish this guy.  Mostly. 

Of course I had to make this Blood Axe Kaptin carry an actual  blood red axe. Well the head of it anyway.. But what really helped me get this guy done was Cryptek Armourshade Gloss. I used it on the mechanical parts of the axe, the big shoota and the two holstered guns on his back, as well as the metal plates on his boss pole and his body armor. I love that stuff and it has become a crucial ingredient for metallic rust effects. 

The leather straps were done using Khorne Red, Nuln oil and Pink Horror. This is the first time I have used this scheme of an ork model. Usually I use it on Imperial models such as Assassins and Space Marines. But I've found that I like to use this scheme to contrast against other colors, like in this case where is contrasts nicely against the green colors of this model.

The only things left to do is to flock the base and seal the model with a protective coat (part of the joy of metal models is trying to avoid chipping). But I can't help the feeling that he still feels incomplete...

I hope you agree, but I think it's looking good for a miniature that was released way back in 1999. Come back whenever part 4 is posted where I'll reveal this model in his truly finished state! 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Spore Mines (Part 1)

 After my recent game/schooling by Warfrog and his Tyranids, he gifted me some spare bug stuff. One of those was an assortment of the new style Spore Mines. I really like the new, bigger, size and whoever sculpted these things really captured their floaty vibe by the way the tentacles are posed. They're also considerably larger than their previous incarnations. 

I got these things painted up ro a battle-ready standard by using contrast paints. Xereus Purple and Ultramarines Blue were the two main colors and I used Bloodletter to wash over the weird flesh membrane looking thing that's the core of the mine.  And that's really it. And the Contrast Paints make for a good quick multi-tone look that I'm satisfied with. And of course I can revisit these again later to paint them up to my Parade Standard. 

There are three different poses, and here they are; 

I have more of these things (he gave me about 15 or so) but this is a good start.  I'll say it again, I think the Contrast Paints do a great job getting these things into a table-worthy state, and they will hold up well enough until I can turn my attention back on to them. Which, with all the real-life stuff I got going on, will be a while down the road. So don't hold your breath for Part 2! 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

The Emperor's Finest (Review)


Original cover.

The Emperor's Finest by Sandy Mitchell.. 

Ciaphas Cain has been around for 20 years now? It's true! And it has been a good while, too long even, since I read a Ciaphas Cain novel and I felt it was finally time to do so. 

This story begins with Cain summarizing his previous adventure (The short story Echos of the Tomb) and telling us how he narrowly escaped from a Necron tombworld and how he came to be in the service of a group of Adeptus Astartes of the Reclaimers Chapter.  They used cybernetics to rebuild some of his fingers that he had lost when escaping the Necron tombworld. We are introduced to his hosts, the two most important to this story being Brother Captaun Gries and Techmarine Drumon. Cain is tasked with sticking with the Space Marines as they are sent on their vessel, the Revenant, to assist the world of Viridia in putting down a rebellion. It is while meeting with Viridia's governor that he meets Mira DuPanya, the Governor's daughter.  She is an officer in the PDF whose more interested in pomp and appearances than any true military merit but Cain has no choice but to have her tag along in the ground assault he leads against the rebels. 

However all does not go well. Cain figures out that the rebels are in fact a Genestealer insurgency.  And worse, the PDF troops accompanying him have already been infected by the brood. It looks like the end for Cain and Mira when, thankfully, the Reclaimers save the day rescuing them and killing off the Genestealers and their cultists. 

This would've been a better cover.
Trying to figure out where and how the Genestealers got there in the first place led to a brief investigation into abnormal sightings in the Viridia system which uncovered that the Spawn Of Damnation, a known space hulk of ill repute, had briefly made an appearance in this system. Invigorated, and with an Adeptus Mechanicus team accompanying them, the Reclaimers were determined to hunt down the Spawn of Damnation and end the Genestealer threat, and, true to their name, reclaim what archeotech they could with the Adeptus Mechanicus. Naturally, Commissar Cain was encouraged to tag along and assist with the hunt. During the brief time before they set of, Cain's aide, Jurgen, was able to rejoin him, and I just had to quote Cain's description of seeing Jurgen again after so long: 

He looked just as I remembered, as if a nurgling had somehow become entangled with a random collection of Guardsmen's kit, but I was delighted to see him nevertheless. 

I love it! 

And the back and forth between Jurgen and Mira was quite entertaining. During this period Mira and Cain have sparked up quite a romantic, and physical, relationship. And it's no surprise when she has herself attached to the mission to hunt down the Spawn of Damnation, but she is definitely more interested in hunting down Cain as a potential husband, although Cain doesn't realize this until it's almost too late. 

While tracking down the Spawn of Damnation they arrive in a system infested with orks, so much so they they materialize practically in the midst of an ork fleet. They are attacked and boarded, and although the marines (and our protagonists) defeat the ork boarders and make the next jump out of the system considerable damage is done to the Revenant. And it takes a good amount to time to repair the vessel and track down the Spawn of Damnation. They track  it to the Serendipity System, a lush Imperial world ripe and vulnerable to the Genestealer threat. 

It is here that the adventure changes gear, and goes from tame to crazy really quick. Cain and Jurgen are pressured to accompany the Terminator Space Marines along with a group of adeptus Mechanicus who are determined to retrieve a data core from this space hulk. Only for Cain, who is tasked to go determine why another one of the Cyber-Altered Task (CAT) units has gone offline. Things go side ways from here as they are ambushed by Genestealers whom they nearly escape but not  before the Terminator escorting them is slain. Realizing that the Genestealers are ambushing the main group, Cain and Jurgen attempt to circumvent the fight and make their way back to the Thunderhawk gunship waiting for them in the hanger but, space hulk being space hulk, they get lost. 

The 3rd Cain Omnibus. 
While cautiously attempting to navigate their way through the space hulk they discover a massive colony of orks who are massing and preparing for an invasuon. Clearly they are going to attempt a raid on Serendipita. With this knowledge he has to report to the Space Marines, he is evwn more eager to get back to the ha get only to stumble into a nest of Genestealers. Genestealers that have a few Ork Hybrids in their midst. Figuring out that the Genestealers master plan is to use the orks to wage war on Serendipity, while they themselves infiltrate things quietly, Cain makes the spontaneous decision to get the orks and Genestealers to fight each other. He is successful at pulling off this feat but only narrowly escapes when he and Jurgen find another active CAT. Using these coordinates, the Space Marines are able to teleport Cain and Jurgen back to the Revenant. Much to their relief and shock as the genestealers had them as good as dead. 

The story ends with Cain and Jurgen leaving the Revenant after a week of recovery to meet with the Governor of Serendipita. The war between the Genestealers and Orks is still ongoing and the Reclaimers have called in reinforcements to raid the Spawn of Damnation once the xenos numbers have been sufficiently reduced. Meeting with the governor he found out that Mira was quick to become engaged to him. "...what did you expect? You went gadding off to that drifting mausoleum and let everyone think you dead."  Cain was relieved at this outcome. Indeed, all seemed to be. And we're left with one of the rarest of things, a happy ending in a 40k novel! 

  • Did I like it? I did enjoy it, especially the last 3rd of the book when things really started to get dire. 
  • Was it hard to put down? Honestly, after they Cain left with the marines to go searching for the Spawn of Damnation I really did struggle to stay engaged with it. Less a fault with the story than what I had going on in the real world. However, being hospitalized encouraged me to re-engage and I was glad I did. The Space Hulk part of the story was quite thrilling. 
  • Could I care about the characters? Mitchell has always written these characters well, and the first person methond in which Cain's memoirs are recanted has always been appealing. However the character of Mira was a joy to read, particularly Cain's descriptions of her behavior and character. Mira's character was one I thought wouldn't survive the tale but I was pleased that she did survive and didn't lead to some sort of heart break for Cain. In fact, the relief he had when she got herself engaged to the Governor of Serendipita was very amusing. The Reclaimers Space Marines, whom this story was loosely centered around, were a curious chapter to learn about, but nothing too thrilling was revealed. Cain presented them from the perspective of an outsider looking in, but being part of military he wasn't as an awe of them as others might have been, and he was very respectful of their ways and practices. 
  • Does the writer understand how the 'world' of the 41st millennium works? Very much so, yes. Much of Cain's story was written prior to the 13th Black Crusade retcon and the return of the Primarch and warpstorm rifts of the current setting, and it's interesting to see how they now fit into the current paradigm. That said, Mitchell definitely gets the setting, and it's nice to read a 40k novel with a breath of levity about it. 
  • How predictable is this story? I couldn't predict this one! Not fully anyway, and that made this story very enjoyable. 
  • Do I recommend this book? Yes, But I wouldn't make this your first Cain book. They tend to be presented out of order but that doesn't matter as far as enjoyment goes. Mitchell does a good enough job filling in the back story so that you could make this your first Cain story but I would always recommend to the new reader to at least start with the 1st omnibus Hero of the Imperium. This story is the 3rd omnibus Saviour of the Imperium, but it takes place fairly early in Cain's career.