Iron Warriors Army Building – Aspiring Champion, Missile, Squad.

With the completion of the Aspiring Champion and Bearer of the Missile Launcher, I’m calling the first squad of my resurrected Iron Warriors  – started over a decade ago – finally completed. The squad originally only numbered 6 in total, as it was built as part of a force for Combat Patrol games back during a time when CSM could take a Special and a Heavy weapon in sub-10 squads. Unless we were house-ruling that? I can’t remember. They keep changing things like that, so I’m not going to get bent out of shape about the minutia of how many special and heavy weapons they can have. I’ll dump the three Execution Force Iron Warriors in here for now to bring them to nine, and split the Exes off into separate squads when I have all of the current stuff that needs to be finished after a decade done and start on into totally new squads. At that point, I’ll bump these guys to 10 or more as well.

At the suggestion of Dagger & Brush, I’ve began adding some cabling made from clips of guitar wire to some of their bases in an attempt to give them a bit more “pop” and 3-d interest. I haven’t been able to find my copper wire yet, though I may go back and add a few of those when I find them – and add some more guitar wire to additional models at the same time.

My first Iron Warriors Chaos Marine squad, finished and rebased onto Sector Imperialis 32mm bases. I’m now onto working on the second, close combat oriented squad. After I finish those, I can start on some brand new builds.

My Aspiring Champion, showing off a section of guitar wire added to represent power armour cabling as well as a few hazard stripes. When I started these models years ago, I’d intended to heavily chip and weather their armour and weapons as well as add rust and oil stains to their armour, but I quite like how they look now. Not quite clean, but not too grimy, either.

 

 

 

 

Bats and Rats

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Reaper’s Bat Swarms

My rather pathetic entry for the Undead army part of the painting challenge in July was a single “swarm” unit that I’ve only photographed this morning – made up of a trio of Reaper Bones’ Bat Swarms (77046: Bat Swarm). (I can’t believe they want US$2.99 for them!) Since I have four of the models from their various Bones KS campaigns, I decided to paint the fourth at the same time in the same manner. The base coat was a mix of Reaper’s Master HD Colours of Rusty Red and Ruddy Brown. I then washed it with GW’s new Nuln Oil Gloss, to hit the recesses hard while staining the upper as little as possible. Then drybrushed with Khorne Red, Mephiston Red and finally Evil Sunz Scarlet. I’m well aware that these are tabletop quality paintjobs at best and that no-one will care how I did them, but the fact is they’re pretty crap models that don’t really deserve any better, and I’m simply recording how I painted them in case I get another pair of them to make a second swarm one day – purely for gaming purposes. I added the tombstones on the unit base from the Renedra Sprue since the bats were mounted on gravestones anyway in order to tie them in a little with their surroundings, even though I usually dislike “diorama bases” on my own models, as they place the models in too specific a location for figures that will be running around various tabletops.

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm by Werner Klocke

Cheetor at Sho3box did a much nicer job on his Bat Swarms a couple of years ago, which I noticed only recently via Google Image Search, what with highlighting their heads and whatnot, but for me, going reddish so they fit broadly within the Undead Army palette was good enough. I also did their bases and unit base so they’d fit in with the Graveyard themed scenery that I’ve started putting together (very) slowly.

 

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

Anyone actually excited by these? I thought not.

The Rats follow almost the exact same ethos and purpose – though the models manage to be much less impressive. This time the models are provided by Reaper’s Rat Swarms (77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2)). You get a pair of them this time for your $2.49, though again I’d possibly be willing to argue their value, even for that price. Anyway, once again I had four of the sculpt, and again I mounted them on 30mm round bases from Impact Miniatures, which I’d originally bought to rebase Space Marines but have been using to base various swarm-sized vermin from Reaper Bones so far.  Paint was… various browns outside of my usual basing colours, including Model Air Khaki Brown at some point, again with the Nuln Oil Gloss, and then AP Tanned Flesh for their widdle teeny-tiny tails and feets. One day the rats will no doubt be shifted over to my Skaven Army, but I’ll need to actually have a few units of Skaven painted before that becomes a worry. I figure vermin like Rats fit in well enough with Bats and Bugs (Sol B shoutout!) to go with the Undead in the meantime. As I finished the the Rat Swarm base in early August, it will also be my weaksauce minimum mandatory Undead submission for this month’s paint challenge if I don’t manage to get something more impressive done.

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2) Sandra Garrity

And yes, I’m aware that these Bones models started as metal sculpts in greater detail (and multipart for the bats) and the Bones stuff is cheap & cheerful stuff for gamers of various stripes. That’s why I painted them, though it doesn’t preclude me from pointing out that they’re both a bit rubbish, even if they end up looking passable on the tabletop.

 

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Including the fourth, warped Bat Swarm (and yes, I did the hot water, and yes, it bent back anyway).

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

These have a secondary, theoretical use for me in RPGs. And the Skaven army.

Swarms for Kings of War – models by Reaper Bones.

I decided to take an all-together shot of all my completed little Reaper Swarms. With the unit bases, they’ll do the job on the tabletop. I noticed after taking the photos that I forgot to add tufts to these new ones, so I might have to go back and do that so I can consider them finished. I know I’ve gone on and on about how crappy they are, but I’m just a bit OCD about certain things…

 

The Winter Doldrums.

Some of you might be wondering why I’ve been so quiet lately. Well, this time the issue hasn’t been work, but midwinter. Not the winter painting doldrums, either – but a terribad cold that just won’t go away and drains much of my energy. I’ve still been well enough to go to work, and even do some painting and modelling and even forum-ing, but I’ve just not really had the energy for blogging properly. Not wanting to go out to take photos of my models in the (freezing bloody cold) war room. models needing to take a week before I can spray varnish them because it’s too cold (and dark) once I get home from work. I’ve been dividing my recreation time between mostly-simple hobby tasks and simple models and simple painting, and even then I’ve had to force myself. The other place I’ve been spending my time is on the PS4 – playing The Division and Mad Max, which I’ve picked up again after losing interest and putting it down a year ago.

I’ve got another unit of Celtos Skeletons almost done. Literally just a couple of hours of work left on them – mostly on the command, and – oh yeah – I have to figure out a bloody banner for them since the model is an old-school banner bearer with a bare crossbar. So a couple of hours, plus figuring out how to do the banner. (I should go old-school and cut up a cloth banner, like I used to in my Oldhammer days!) Since I’m running out of 4th Edition Goblin shields with the cool embossed skulls and crossbones on them, and I want to keep my few Marauder Undead shields for really special models, I was going to go the freehand route again. Then while rooting around amongst my transfers looking for sheets to use on the Minotaurs and Iron Warriors, I found three old Undead decal sheets, dated 1996 and untouched.

I think I had planned to use several of these on Space Marines, as new/different chapter badges. Certainly the red-hooded skulls look like they’d work perfectly as an Unforgiven chapter, and the winged skulls as a Night Lords subfaction. The Flaming skulls make me think of Word Bearers for some reason (I know, they use the tome). Maybe a “Ghost Riders” chapter?😉

It’s funny though. I’ve actually gone back and forth on whether I should use them or not. I mean, I can obviously freehand a bunch of skulls and bones that will look pretty good, but it would also add a nice touch of older-school to use some of these old decals. But can I bring myself to defile these one-off, 20-year-old sheets?

Minotaurs Space Marines – V Squad

I’ve gone and (finally) completed the last four models for my first squad of Minotaurs Space Marines. Their designation is V squad since I needed a squad number that would fit in their teeny little sculpted tactical marks, and I have almost entirely 40k 2nd Edition decals – at least easily accessible. I plan to have I squad as blinged out, II squad as somewhat less blinged, but still a little bit fancy pants. III wouldn’t fit, and the old-school solution to IV and VI squads seems to be “make your own by combining the V and the I”.

AOBR Tactical Marine, Minotaurs Space Marines

Three more models from Assault on Black Reach (2008), and a Missile Launcher marine from the Second Edition Boxed set (1993).

2e Space Marine Missile Launcher, AOBR Tactical Marine, Minotaurs Space Marines

And yes. I’ve had that guy sitting around in various boxes ever since I bought the starter set right after release back in ’93.

Citadel Space Marine Veteran Captain Flamer Marine Missile Launcher, Rogue Trader 40k2e Oldhammer AOBR Tactical Marine, Minotaurs Space Marines

Looking at this squad, made of 2e and 5e models, it’s amazing how little that the Space Marines have changed since their “update” from the initial run of Rogue Trader “Oldhammer” Beakies to the current form in the early 1990s. A little more bulk, and a little more bling, but very much the same series of models. And I’ve finally got a bunch of these starter models painted! Now working on the next squad, – VI – using some recovered secondhand marines as the base models and some resin pads including a few miscast ones. Sure, FW replaced them, but it would be wasteful to not use them anyway in some form, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undead Army Showcase – July 2016

Undead Army

This is my second “State of the Army” post, this time showing off all of the completed elements of my (Marouda’s) Undead Army at present. Like the Gondor army, I’ve been working on it on and off over the last two or so years, with a recent push during the last 6 months and the painting challenge. I’ve kept Undead on as one of my main options for the second half of 2016, though I’ve opened up my options quite a bit as painting mostly Gondor and Undead got very old by the end. The Undead aren’t so bad though, as there’s actually quite a lot of variety in there, especially when you combine “Vampire Counts”, “Tomb Kings” and even the spectral elements of Lord of the Rings in general and Mordor specifically.

Undead Army

These photographs were taken during the same session as the Gondor Army and 6-month showcase photos, so there has been a little more movement on these undead since then, specifically the unit base I put together for the trio of Nazgûl. I held off publishing (and writing) this post until now as I could see three sets of army showcase posts in a row getting a little tedious. Besides, I wanted to share my Spehss Mahreens.

Undead Army

The Barrow-Wights in the front row need to have a new unit base built for them as Mantic first Squatted them in KoWII before a protest from players (and with myself as one of the first, if not the first in the departed Beta forums) caused them to be reinstated, though now they’re “Large Infantry” with 40mm bases. I’m not going to rebase my LotR SBG figures, so I’ll be making a – hopefully slightly interesting and imposing – multibase for them. My first failed attempt already sits abandoned on my painting desk.😛

Undead Army

There are a few variables in here. The various Mordor and Army of the Dead/Oathbreaker models will (theoretically) be split off one day to one or two LotR-themed armies of their own, the two units of skeletons with Greek shields and the odd bit of linothorax armour will go into the Mythical Greek army, along with the pair of Brass/Bronze Bulls, units of SpartansTalos, and more besides. Tomb Kings stuff, of which there is little to none right now will become it’s own force; and I’ve got a tub filled with Confrontation prepaint Wolfen, a miniscule 12 of whom are pictured here. Though there’s enough of those to happily stay in the Undead while also making up a Lycan-themed “The Herd” army of their own. Until those things begin to happen, though – they’re all combined to form a mighty undead army, led by Neferata (version 1).

Undead Army

There’s another couple of dozen troops (skeletons and zombies) on the paint desk right now, as well as a couple of more centrepiece-type models on the go. I’ll likely keep knocking out a few more undead units as I paint a variety of other things in the time between now and the New Year.

Neferata and Bastet

Marouda took a few photographs as well, managing to take a much better photograph of Neferata than I did when I posted her here – certainly in terms of her facial details not being nearly as washed out as in my own photos. I’m still learning my way around the new camera, but hopefully getting better!

Undead Army

There are a few not-quite-finished models in this photo. 6 Nazgûl (including a few named) and The Witch King. The Confrontation Wolfen also don’t have any paint on them aside from the retail pre-paint. You can also see some more candidates for scenic multibases besides the Wights. Hopefully between some of that and the centrepiece models I need to complete, I’ll be able to show this force off again at the end of the year in a more impressive light.

 

Iron Warriors Army Building – Restarting.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

I’ve slowly been buying Forge World bits and accumulating them for years now. Lots of those bits and kits and models are Space Marine ones. I’ve also bought my fair share of parts from Anvil Industry, Kromlech, Maxmini, etc and more as well. (All awesome guys to deal with, by the way!) I originally started purchasing these many models and components for my nascent Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines and Crimson Fists Space Marines armies. This started long before Forge World began riding the Horus Heresy money train, and the concept of “30k gaming” wasn’t yet a thing. I wanted MKIII Iron Armour in particular for kitbashing into my IW, and obviously Mark VI “Beakie” armour works for a RT-inspired marine force, some Mk IV and V to mix parts in seemed appropriate as well.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

Now it’s 10 or more years later, and “30k” is now a thing – with a growing in-depth and generally well-written background. 40k is now a borderline-unplayable clusterfucked ruleset but still a first love, at least in terms of background, and I’m finally restarting on these old Iron Warriors – beginning by rebasing and completing the models I started in the mid-2000’s, paused and then came to a stop on again around 2009.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

The question for me to ponder right now – much more for the Iron Warriors – is how do I build them? Do I build them as a 40k Chaos force, replete with a mix of chaos armour, scavenged modern and also heresy armour – or do I try to build them as two separate forces – 30k and 40k Iron Warriors. Though to be quite honest I don’t know if I’ll have the painting stamina and interest to build and paint a full army of the massive size that 30k seems to demand.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

Unlike the three push-fit “starter kit” style Chaos Marines from Execution Force that made up my “proof of concept” models as far as rebasing my IW on the new Citadel bases, every other model of my Iron Warriors is.. well, they’re far from all something one could consider conversions, but they’re at least kitbashes from the CSM kits, Iron Warriors and Iron Hands metal upgrade parts, and of course loyalist marine parts. In this way, pretty much every model will be in some way unique. The Close Combat-oriented squad, which I’ll get to work on after I finish this “Tactical” style squad also features bionic CC parts poached from a variety of sources.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

I’ll continue to kitbash my CSM Iron Warrior models from all of the previous sources of course, plus parts from the “Horus Heresy” models. The question is on how many do I leave in the “30k pristine” state – looking somewhat like these guys. Because let’s face it, those models linked look bloody awesome as well, without a hint of Chaos in their paint or mixed armour in their modelling. While I’m not averse to using sculpted parts with chaos stars on these guys, I’ll be avoiding the gribbly side of Chaos as much as possible for the Iron Warriors, so No Rogue Trader models, nor any Dark Vengeance-styled ones either.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

What I (eventually) do with the Imperial Fists models and bits will be a much easier choice. I don’t want no yellow marines in my collection. People like Nerdfest have done some great models in the Imperial Fists livery, and I think they’re great, but still, no yellow Marine armies for me. (ok, maybe one squad integrated into the Crimson Fists, down the line.) The mantle of the hated foe of my Iron Warriors will be taken by both the Crimson Fists and the Black Templars, so pretty much all of the “Imperial Fists” upgrade parts I’ve gotten will be shared between those two venerable loyalist chapters.

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

I guess the other question is whether I drop all three of the Execution Force Iron Warriors into this squad, or whether I try to space them out over multiple (three?) “Tactical” CSM squads to avoid repetition of pose within each unit. Another question to ponder. Then again, I don’t even have a current army list (or anything like it) drawn up, since the last time I used these guys in their semi-painted state was in 3rd or 4th edition using a slightly-modified set of the Combat Patrol rules and based off the Index Astartes Iron Warriors list.

What are the current CSM rules? 6th Edition Codex plus the PDF errata?

Gah. I don’t look forward to writing up an army list for these guys.

Three of Nine – Citadel Miniatures Mounted Nazgûl

Dark Riders, Black Riders, Citadel Nazgul, Nazgûl

These three models were painted some time ago, around 2005 – give or take a few years, and long before blogging was a thing to me. They’ve recently been drafted into Marouda’s Kings of War Undead force as Soul Reaver Cavalry – that is to say Vampiric Cavalry, which seems about as reasonable an approximation of Nazgûl as you can get within the Army list. These three represent a “troop” of Vampire Knights, which would ordinarily be made of 5 models. Works well enough for me!

Dark Riders, Black Riders, Citadel Nazgul, Nazgûl

So while the models are old, and their paint is old, what’s new is that I’ve gotten some custom-cut MDF and been able to make a unit base for them, in much the same way as I did with the Swarms that I painted recently. I think it makes them look quite nice, and certainly looks better than having them blu-taced down to a bare piece of MDF. I don’t believe I’ve shown these models before, so it’s all good.

Dark Riders, Black Riders, Citadel Nazgul, Nazgûl

For now, the Nazgûl will reside in the Undead Army, but at some stage they’ll be split off into their own Mordor force – When I have enough Mordor models painted to field them as a smallish army in their own right.