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.

 

Gondor Army Showcase – July 2016

This is essentially a “State of the Army” post, showing off all of the completed elements of my Gondor Army at present, which I’ve been properly working on over the last two or so years, with a bigger focus during the last 6 months and the painting challenge that I keep harping on about. Models that aren’t yet completed are missing from the photos, so things like the Cavalry units that are part-painted will have to wait for an update down the line. While I don’t intend to buy any more Gondor models, with the possible exception of any new heroes that GW might release or the odd figure to “clean up” and finalise a more difficult unit (Men at Arms of Dol Amroth, Warriors of Arnor etc) I’ve got all of the models for this army in my possession. I just need to paint them!

The army is nominally set up as a Kings of War force, but obviously can be used in LotR SBG, or with a few tweaks in War of the Ring (those bloody bases!) We’ve even used a small number of them in SAGA. Most Minas Tirith/Gondor models generally aren’t very exciting at all as individuals, even with a decent amount of work put into them, but they do have a nice effect ranked up en masse.

I’m not up for a lot of typing right now, so I think I’ll go with more of a “show, don’t tell” for the rest of this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assassinorum: Execution Force. Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

Assassinorum: Execution Force image copyright Games Workshop PLC.

Assassinorum: Execution Force. Image copyright GW

I purchased the Assassinorum: Execution Force boardgame (interestingly, listed as No Longer Available on the GWAU site) a few months ago – it might have been around Christmas. I purchased it not only for the miniatures (new plastic Assassins) but also fully intending to play it as a boardgame, since it got decent reviews, is co-op and apparently also works as a solo game. Naturally, I haven’t done a damn thing with it to date (hello, Deathwatch: Overkill!)

Recently, GW released the “Sector Imperialis” base range. With a somewhat reasonably-priced set of HIPs bases with a close-enough-to-spaceship texture now available readily and easily in 32mm, I picked up a set with a vague idea of rebasing my nascent Iron Warriors on them, as the resin ones I’d purchased years ago are all 25mm and now verboten for Space Marines. Actually, I think Marines (and a lot of other models) look better on the 32mm bases, so after an initial WTF reaction, I’m now well sold on the idea.

After picking up the bases, I put two and two together, and decided to use the Chaos Space Marines from Execution Force as my test subjects, as while they’re reasonable sculpts, they’re simple push-fit marines, and so perfect for proof of concept work. This what happened:

Assassinorum: Execution Force Chaos Space Marines painted as Iron Warriors.

My biggest concern was that unlike, say, the Imperial Fist featured on the box art for the bases, the Iron Warriors in their, well, Iron/silver coloured armour with copper and brass accents with hazard stripes to break up the uniformity would not contrast enough with the bases, given that the bases are also painted in shades of silver iron, typically with the use of brass, copper and occasionally hazard stripes to break up the uniformity…. So, um…

Assassinorum: Execution Force Chaos Space Marines, Iron Warriors.

Warriors of the IV Legion proudly display the markings of their heritage.

I ended up giving the bases an additional watered-down black wash to try to define them more strongly from the marines. I’e used gunmetal on sections of the flooring, and the checkplate has a thin touch of blue to it that can be seen in person, if not in these photographs. I also used two of the new Gemstone paints for the first time – Soulstone Blue on the eye lenses, and Spiritstone Red on the bolter targeters. They turned out ok, I guess.

Assassinorum: Execution Force Chaos Space Marines, Iron Warriors.

And showing off the Forge World transfers. I quite like them. I’ll have to order another sheet.

Transfers are from the Forge World Iron Warriors decal sheet. Oh, and I sliced the “joined horns” off the guy on the righthand side. I don’t particularly like those (or these giant ribbed horns, truth be told) on my Chaos Space Marines. They don’t really fit my image of what I want for my Iron Warriors force. I see them much more as Renegade Marines than as Slaves to Chaos, so you probably won’t see another set of those giant horns anytime soon (smaller ones are okay, in limited use). I mostly wanted to avoid very similar chop-ups on 2 of the 3 models here, and being combination boardgaming models and proof of concept models for the proper force, just let them be.

As a bonus, these three count as my first entry for the Tale of Many Gamers Painting Challenge II that I’m once again running on Dakka. They’re not a legal 40k unit, but they are a “complete unit or group” for the Assassinorum: Execution Force boardgame.

I welcome any thoughts or feedback on the bases. Do they work for Iron Warriors despite the shared/similar palette? I’m not likely to add specific additions like blood spatter to them, and I’m not sure about weathering powders since I like the inferred “starship interior” look of them as well. I’m also considering using these for my Deathwatch: Overkill and even Space Hulk bases when I paint those sets of models, especially given the additional contrast from those models.

Tale of Gamers Jan-June 2016 – Final Showcase: Gondor and Undead

At risk of being slightly repetitive, here’s a final picture of all of the units that I managed to complete for the Undead and Gondor armies in the past 6 months. This obviously doesn’t include all of the other random figures or scenic bits that I finished in the same timeframe. (Though that grave I painted up is in the background.)

6 months worth of focused army painting. Completed additions to my Undead and Gondor forces.

I’d planned to also photograph all of the Gondor models I painted separately, but it seems that I forgot. D’oh! These “section” shots will have to suffice.

Gondor Army

Gondor Reinforcements on the right, led by Denethor and Forlong, while a dirtied-up Faramir leads his veterans.

 

Denethor Steward of Gondor, Forlong the Fat

Denethor and Forlong survey the ground that lay in front of their small force.

 

Undead Army

On the other side of the table, Neferata and Bastet lead their own, larger reinforcements to the rest of the Undead army, who will bow to their new Queen.

 

Queen Neferata, Bastet

Queen Neferata and Bastet stride forth before their shambling horde of followers.