Monday, May 31, 2021

Fanatical Preacher (Art Monday)

 The title sums this one up well doesn't it? 

This was done as a submission piece for one of the 40k fanzines that were around in the mid-'90s, but it never was used by any of them. Shame too, I think this one has character.  This was a bold use of black for me, I am not usually eager to embrace the high contrast style when I do line art. Maybe I was reading some of Mignola's work at the time? 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Blood Axe Boys (Part 3)

Think'n 'bout it.

As any ork player knows, five models does not a Boyz squad make. So before I got too much further on these guys I wanted to double-up on the model count. Thankfully I have A LOT of first edition miniatures ready for the role. 

Da new recruits. Or old recruits. Whatever. 

We used to call this boy Da Mad Thunker back in the day. I think you may be able to determine why that is. I found this resin piece from an old basing kit that I thought might justify this model's determined level of thunk'n. It's an unexploded anti-personel missile next to a rock designed for throwing at a riot police line. I think this is quite characterful and is so not typical of the current Orks line of miniatures. As I stated, more like gushed, in Part 1, I just adore the detail on these old ork miniatures. They are so full of character and each one has unique details. They're loaded down with dystopian relics and each one looks like they should be heading to Barter Town to trade in some scraps. 

Da Mad Thunker and the contemplation of unexploded ordinance.

I have to point out the beakie (Mk VI) Space Marine helmet which also came from the old basing kit. I have a particular fondness for the beakie helmets as they were the Space Marine design when I started playing and when this model was sculpted and released. I just couldn't resist the throwback.

Beakies were 'ere.

Tamiya Color Olive Drab was sprayed on these guys and after a few days of curing it was time to do a bit more.

Primed in Olive Drab.

I painted the base using watered downed Folkart Asphaltum. And I used Caliban Green for the skin basecoat. The flesh steps are pretty much going to follow the steps shown in Blood Axe Boyz Part-2. 

Basecoats in the early stages.

And here they after they had the Goblin Green layer and Tesseract Glow wash. As you can see they are matched fairly close to the first five boys. This is great considering the wash used over the Goblin Green on those first five models was done using a mixture of yellow and green ink while these five were washed with Tesseract Glow. Both of them look like Anti-freeze before application and gave me the same, or very similar, results in the end.

Reunited (sung in the key of waaagh!)

Ok, that's it for now. I am trying to decide if I shall dabble more on these guys or those Imperial Guardsmen and/or Ratlings? My choices sometimes overwhelm me... sigh. 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Abernathy The Black Monk


The Black Monk.

Father Abernathy The Black Monk of Unicoi Secondus. When I wrote the taunting email to Da Masta Cheef as prelude for our recent game (The Prize), the character of the wacky zealot Father Abernathy the Black Monk was born. 

Super easy basecoats.

The model was included with the Valhalla Imperial Guard army I bought from Rob many, many moons ago and remained in his primed black state in my miniatures case for two decades. I rediscovered him while poking thru that case looking for options to put into that small IG list and this chap all but jumped out at me. My first thought was that he could be associated with the Bank of the Black Monks from Blackadder, particularly the Baby-eating Bisbop of Bath and Wells who enjoys torturing those who fail to pay their debts, and the amusing thought of that stayed in the back of my mind. I was just too inspired by that idea to let it go and so I just had to make a list based around this chap. His paint scheme in the above pic was super easy as I was only going for a battle-ready level.

The Black Monk inspiring his men in battle.

I was really enjoying painting this guy and he was fun to play with in the recent game that we used him in. So I figured I would finish him off. Nothing special to really discuss as far as painting techniques or color combos other than his robes. I did that by edge highlighting up two shades of gray before washing it with Nuln Oil. I then deepened some of the shadows and recesses using Abaddon Black. Simple, and actually fun!

I decided to go with the dirt brown base rim even though my older IG have Goblin Green bases. I just think the Guard look better with the grittier color.  

The finished Black Monk.

And with that, he was done. Glamor shots were in order for the newest member of the Neverness Rogues Gallery. (This is likely not the last we'll of this guy!)  And here they are, enjoy! 

Bringing the light to the damned.



Monday, May 17, 2021

Sister Of Battle (Art Monday)

 Here is a Sister Of Battle/Adepta Sororitas blasting away with her bolter. This was done after the SOB line was launched at the tail-end of Warhammer 40,000's second edition. I had explored a Sister earlier for a piece that was published in Inquisitor Magazine that was popular at the time, but I really wanted to draw this design. This was my first attempt at it. It's done in a style that I was playing around with back then, and I like how 'clean' my line work is. If I were to do this today I wouldn't have her as 'skinny' as she appears, and I doubt I would have her shooting that massive bolter one-handed as depicted here. This was done in pen & ink. It was going to be included in BMQ, a fanzine that Dr TSG and I were working on back then (don't look for it, it never made it to press).

Friday, May 14, 2021

Ratlings Report (Part 1)


 My recent challenge to paint 500 pts in Imperial Guard led to my attention falling on these guys. They were the first IG miniatures that I ever owned, but they weren't necessarily purchased for use in the Imperial Army. Way back in in 1994 while in my 2nd year of art school, some of my roommates and I decided run a Chaos campaign as detailed in the back of Realm Of Chaos: The Lost And The Damned. We generated by rolled up and/or selecting our champions and warbands and, well, chaos truly ensued. There were just three of us playing this campaign. Ron chose Slaanesh, Scott chose Khorne and I selected Nurgle.  My champion to lead them was randomly generated and I rolled up a Ratling. 

"What? Me, a chaos champion?!"

We scoured the game and hobby stores in that part of New Jersey until I found a blister of Ratlings. I selected the one that appeared to be in charge and made him my champion. Something about his appearance reminded me of a classmate so I named him Howie N'wtaewn, a chaotic bastardization of my classmate's name. 

Adorable murderer.

In the course of the campaign my Ratlings received some crazy rewards and gifts. At one point the ratling unit were gifted with Grav Gun Techno arms which were better than their actual needle rifles. I recall an instance where they totally wrecked a rival Predator tank by grav attacking it's tracks, flipping it and ultimately exploding it. This was using the 1st Edtion Vehicle Manual, the ruleset with the clear targeting grid. 

Another gift, one that Howie received,  was the Nurgle gift of Immensity. A hilarious conundrum for a ratling. For a long time I pondered on how to convert up this model. In time,  I gave up on the notion, and as the editions rolled away in time, the prospect has felt more and more unnecessary. 

Queuing up.

Back to present, and here they are answering the call to rid the Imperium of foul xenos filth. After reglueing them to their bases it was necessary to fill the gaps in their slotta bases. I do this by first taping over the bottom of the base's slot.

Tape on the base bottom.

And then I will the gap with glue, and I repeat this step over and over until the it dries. If you don't do it enough you may still end up with a dip in flock or whatever basing material you employ. 

Gluing the gaps.

With the basing done, I took them out and primed them. The next morning I painted their skin areas with Gulliman Fleshwash, their guns with and their bases. 

Ready for battle? 

These models aren't even truly basecoated yet but I at least got to the classic three-color-minimun to justify putting them into action. Which later that day I did! And they performed pretty good actually. I look forward to finishing these chaps when I can.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Moon Over Termagant (Art Mondays)

 This is a termagant on a cliff overlooking a newly claimed world for the Hivemind.  I tried to make it look more like the original Rogue Trader era model but fused with some of the 40k Second Edition era design. And yes, that's a spike rifle. Weird that the miniatures for that were only ever released during 2nd ed, but there have been rules for them in a lot of editions afterwards, in some form or another, whether in a codex or an FAQ. This piece was sent to Inquisitor Magazine and they agreed to print it but instead they went with another termagant that I drew that was armed with a Strangleweb (which was another 2nd ed era weapon that has yet to reappear). But I always liked this one more than the other one. 

I am not sure what that scorpion-nid thing is on the rock... in early tyranid art they used to depict all sorts of weird bio-critters that used to inhabit their hiveships. In the army list for Tyranids that appeared in White Dwarf 145 this role was given to Squig Swarms. According to the background given for their entry a bunch of orks were bioengineered into the squigs. The squigs that appear in ork society today were evolved from those liberated from Tyranid hive ships. Thankfully that fluff never reappeared anywhere because it just didn't work from a continuity/timeliness perspective. And it was... stupid. But I must have been thinking about these things when I did this drawing. 

And this completes the four illustrations that were done on this page of bristol board. I thought you might like to see them altogether. 

I hope you got a kick of this, see you next Monday for something else.

Friday, May 07, 2021

The Prize.


The fight for The Prize! 


FAO: Master-General Styker of Departento Munitorium
RECEIVED: The Future Home Of The Volunteer Parkway Primus Textile Manufacturium, Department H.
TELEPATHIC DUCT: Astropath-terminus: Jim
AUTHOR: Father Abernathy The Black Monk of Unicoi Secondus.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The alien fails because it cannot embrace the Emperor.

Dear Xenos scum,

This is your final notice that you are to immediately vacate and leave the world of The Future Home Of The  Volunteer Parkway Primus Textile Manufacturium, Department H. It's designated role as a manufacturium dedicated to the fabrication of textiles needed to supply His Glorious Imperial Army exceeds any ancestral or aboriginal claims your kind and kin may protest to claim. Since our previous efforts to persuade you resulted in the death of our Missionary, Grievous The Unkind, and his attaché, we are giving you a second, and final,  chance. Also,  we have determined that his translator servo  skull was left behind when he departed and we suspect his message was improperly conveyed. But we do thank you for the return of his remains, even though the note you sent with the package indicates that you wish for us to 'go copulate' with ourselves. Again, the lack of a proper translation device is on us, but we are giving you this final chance to vacate with what you xenos refer to as your 'lives'* 

The voice of His Holiness, 
The Black Monk of Unicoi Secondus.

*How any creature considers living without a 18 hour work day devoted to the service of the Holy Emperor Of Mankind a "life" is a baffling concept to us, but that's your business. Perhaps we could find a role for your kind in a sub-department of the new textile manufacturium? We will attach applications along with this message. 


It's safe assume that the Eldar were less that amused to receive that message. Well Da Masta Cheef was bemused when I sent him that jovial pre-game taunt email. Yes, we were able to arrange a game and we settled on a small 500 point game to stretch out these lethargic gamer limbs. It allowed me to chose an army that I have been itching to do something with since I acquired it from my brother oh so many years ago: Astra Militarum Imperial Guard. 

The Imperial Guard. 

Here is what I brought (per pic above, left to right): Two Chimeras with track guards and a storm bolter, Infantry Squad with 9 lasguns, and a Sergeant with bolt pistol, Militarum Tempestus Scions with 7 hot-shot lasguns, a plasma gun and a melta gun, led by a Tempestuous with bolt pistol and chainsword, six Ratlings, Company Commander (Duke) with chainsword, and The Black Monk himself an Ministorum Priest with a bolt pistol. 

The Eldar.

Per the above pic (left to right), the Eldar are a Dire Avengers with Exarch, Ten Guardian Defenders with a Shurikan Cannon, Dragon Knight Autarch with fusion gun, warlock with singing spear, Corsair Falcon with scatter laser and pulse laser and a Corsair Reaver Band armed with a brace of pistols, Sunburst grenades, and Sparglaives, 

The Open War deck draws.

The Open War Deck gave us The Prize as a mission. A single objective that a single model can pick up and carry off. The side who has it wins the game at the end of Turn 5. If no one has it, it's a draw. Cheef and I like it simple and with this small of a points game, it was a perfect mission to draw. We aren't entirely sure what The Prize is since we didn't have a proper objective marker, we settled on using one of the old 6th edition era ones that I carry around in my gaming bag. Maybe The Prize is some item or info that would end this land dispute or maybe it's those job apps those out of work xenos desperately need. Who knows?  But these guys want to kill each other over it and we're happy to oblige.  

The Twist card was interesting as the driving rain and wind it describes bestows the benefit of Light Cover to anyone beyond 18". A condition my ratlings were pleased to have to their advantage! 

Here's how my deployment turned out. The Scions were in reserve. The Infantry unit was inside the chimera to the left while the other was empty. Both were poised to to zip up to The Prize. The Black Monk and the Commander were outside and behind the Infantry loaded chimera so as to be able to benefit them when needed. The ratlings were positioned on the opposite side of the wall close to the objective.

Imperial Guard deployment.

The xenos were also poised to dash towards The Prize. The Corsair Reaver Band went into reserves, waiting for their moment to pounce.

Eldar deployment.


Lucky me, I won the roll off and the Imperial Guard go first. The Chimera zipped up but the Infantry remained embarked. Both Chimera opened up on the Guardians, as did the ratlings. After the morale phase all that remained of them was the gun platform and two defenders. 

The surviving Guardian Defenders.

The Eldar's first turn was surprisingly ineffective, much to Cheef's disbelief (and my relief).  The Falcon's attempt to take out the chimera failed to even wound it. 

The showdown that wasn't.

Turn 2

My dice were still hot as the Infantry disembarked from their Chimera and their Sergeant grabbed The Prize. The Chimera to to my right moved up and opened fire on the Dire Avengers but it wasn't as effective as the Scions who landed behind them. Their hot-shot lasguns tore into them with only a single one left standing, the Exarch. 

The Dire Avengers are cut down.

The Cheef was exasperated that his dice were forsaking him, but when I accidently touched them he immediately decided that my luck would transfer to them. I laughed off such superstitious nonsense but it did seem that Cheef's and the Eldar's luck was about to change... the Chimera that deployed the Infantry turned it's weapons on the Falcon but the Falcon easily deflected the attacks. 

Bottom of Turn 2.

I thought the ratlings were safe but the Corsairs arrived and ambushed them. 

Ambushing the ambushers.

I played the Take Cover! Stratagem, but it just wasn't enough. The ratlings were wiped out! Cheef was now happy. 

' "Take cover" doesn't mean jump in a grave!'

The Falcon performed way better this turn leaving it's chimera opponent with a single wound remaining.

Defensive Gunners! 

The Guard's luck wasn't over yet though as the Defensive Gunners Stratagem was played. Despite the wounding hits, the Autarch's made his saves and ripped into the Infantry. And he was joined by the Dire Avenger Exarch who gleefully joined in the bloodletting. I had to play the Insane Bravery Stratagem to assure that my men didn't bolt and stayed in the fight. 

Turn Three
The Scions were not within range of any more viable targets so they advanced towards the center. Meanwhile the chimera on the right turned around and approached the Corsairs bringing a few of them down with a hail of fire. Sarge's bolt pistol was his only effective attack option apparently, as these were the only wounds the Autarch couldn't seem to save. The Commander and the Black Monk joined in the fight also, but the Black Monk took a wound for his efforts.  

The fight for The Prize is in full swing. 

Bottom of Turn 3. 

Eldar Turn 3.

The Falcon finished off the last Chimera and put some wounds on the other one as well. The Corsairs took off more wounds on the chimera mostly thanks to a Sunburst grenade attack that impressed the heck out of me. They then charged the Chimera hoping to finish it but, that didn't have the desired results that the xenos had hoped for.

The Corsairs assault the Chimera.

Meanwhile at the center of the table the Warlock joins the fray.  The Commander (Duke) had taken a wound by this point also but everyone else stayed in the fight!

"Give me the prize!"

Turn 4

The Chimera backed up, and blasted the heck out of the Corsairs, leaving only one member of the squad left.  The Black Monk killed the Dire Avenger Exarch and moved to confront the Warlock face to face. But more dramatically, the Autarch felled the Sergeant and claimed The Prize!

"I have The Prize!"

Eldar Turn Four, the Falcon and the support weapon try to wipe out the scions but only manage to pick off one or two.  Autarch, grabs The Prize and flees to an area of the board where he thinks he'll be safe. The last corsair dashes up to to assist the Warlock. 

Warlock & Preacher have a Three Stooges moment.

The Eldar turn ends the Imperial Guard in a challenging place: who could I possibly get to intercept that damn Autarch?!

The end of Turn 4. 


Being a point (499 pts) under the Eldar (500 pts) I was able to draw a Ruse card that I had almost forgotten about which I desperately employed now: Tactical Reserves. I brought in another squad of ratlings as their guns had the longer range and potential for them to take out that Autarch than the Infantry squads did. 

Ratling tactical reserves arrive.

And it was worth it. One of the shots caused a Mortal Wound which felled the Autarch and The Prize was dropped!

Taken down by a flurry of needles.

This upset was followed by another upset, as the Black Monk was defeated by the Warlock! 

"No one talks to me like that in an email! No one!"

Turn 5 is the last turn of the game and I managed to set us up for a draw by having the ratlings snuff out the Autarch. 

Set up for a draw.

Well, I underestimated, again, the speediness of the Eldar. The Guardian Defenders, those who were hammered so hard in Turn 1, zipped over and grabbed the prize! 

"We got it!"

Fresh from eliminating the Black Monk, the Warlock was feeling mighty and tough so he boldly approached the Scions, attempted to cast one of his psychic attacks...and rolled a Perils Of The Warp result. The resulting warp detonation did kill a few Scions but the resulting, spectacular demise the Warlock (who had passed a statistic defying number of armor saves throughout the game up to this point) took him along with it. Perhaps She Who Milks needed a new companion and summed him to her lair (stable)? Regardless, he was gone!

The Scions, after the suicide Warlock attack

The Falcon blew the ratlings off of the table (so much hate!) much to the glee of Cheef.

And this is how it ended, with the Eldar taking full advantage of their final turn to claim The Prize while the Imperial Guard watched them ride out in the sunset.

The table at the end of Turn 5.

Another fun and furious game! The Imperial Guard did pretty good really. I think they would have done better had I remembered to issue Orders more often, or had the Scions been more strategicly placed (riding me of the those Dire Avengers was blessing though), this could've turned out better. Ultimately though, it's clear that it's best to keep your Guardsmen away from close combat as much as possible. I was impressed with Sarge's durability as he did live longer that I thought he would have going toe to toe against an Autarch (guess he really wanted The Prize!).

Painted or camouflage? 

The Eldar's armor turned into a laser proof Teflon material halfway though the game, with the Warlock being particularly resistant to every successful attack the IG made against him. He only died because he botched a psychic attack. We both agreed that he deserves a paint job and should get a spot in Cheef's painting queue soon (instead of painting Battletech scenery..). Speaking of paint jobs, the Falcon defied the rule of 'New Model Syndrome' and not only survived the game but finished it fully intact! It was definitely impressive in this match. 

"This zone is secure! Move out!"


FAO: Master-General Styker of Departento Munitorium
RECEIVED: The Future Home Of The Volunteer Parkway Primus Textile Manufacturium, Department H.
TELEPATHIC DUCT: Astropath-terminus: Jim
AUTHOR: Father Abernathy The Black Monk of Unicoi Secondus.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Only despair can defeat us. Or bad dice. 

Dear Xenos scum,

We have received your complaint and after careful consideration have determined that your world probably wouldn't make a good manufacturum after all. We have therefor suspended our plans. As a further consequence all applications received so far have been voided for consideration. Which is a relief since the constitution of your frail race probably couldn't survive an 18-hour work day anyway, and we would need efficiency for this project to be successful. 

Enjoy your so called lives.   

Brother Brown, speaking on behalf of Father Abernathy, who is in traction.