Thoughts on the painting of, and playing with, toy soldiers.

Knights

A Brief History of Imperial Knights

It looks like Knights are about to return to Warhammer 40,000 in 28mm scale. Before they become the new hotness, I thought it might be fun to run through their history.

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Epic Stormblades on Flames of War bases

2013-10-28 17.37.30

Back in January I mentioned that I was painting a company of Stormblades and said I’d post when I’d finished them. Somehow that post never materialised, but since I’ve just rebased these models onto Flames of War bases (which are perfect for Epic models) I thought I’d fulfil my promise.

These super-heavies will (along with the Ordinatus Golgotha) provide the backbone of armour for the Skitarii force which supports my knights and titans. I have a Leman Russ Tank Company and a Skitarii Mechanised Infantry Company also in the works, and the colour scheme on the Stormblades will be replicated on the Leman Russ tanks and Chimeras of the mechanised infantry company. These models will also be based on Flames of War bases.


Ordinatus Golgotha

Here’s the Ordinatus Golgotha I previously mentioned as being part of the mechanised firepower that will support my knights. This is an old model of mine that I stripped and repainted.

The paint scheme is simple enough, but I had a real headache with the hazard stripes. There’s just no way to do them neatly at this scale! Fortunately I was able to hide the more egregious examples with some weathering powder.

I am currently working on a trio of Stormblades, and will post photos when they’re done. They are important because the colour scheme I choose for them will probably decide the colour scheme I use for the rest of the Skitarii: a Leman Russ company, and a load of infantry supported by APCs.


How to get hold of Thom’s Robots

Pretty much the most frequently asked question I get is how to get hold of the robots I use as Knight proxies. To avoid having to repeat myself (over and over and over and over!), I’m posting this here.

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6,000 NetEpic Game: Adeptus Mechanicus vs Squats at No Mans Land

Earlier this month I took my Knights down to No Mans Land for a 6,000 game of Epic with @StegTheDinosaur, my gaming partner in crime, who used his Squats.

The battle was incredibly one-sided, as you can see from the live-tweet below. This was primarily due to the cheesy nature of my Adeptus Titanicus army, which included ten titans, combined with the relatively inflexible Squat army list which had been designed to deal with swarms of robots.

Here are the pics we took during the game:


Reaver Titan

I recently finished the Reaver titan that I showed you a Work-In-Progress shot of last month. I originally started building and painting it in May, which should give you an idea of how fast I work.

Here are a few shots. You can also see this beastie in the background of my EpiComp submission.

The Epic reaver is Games Workshop’s oldest model still in production, and this item does sort of show it: it’s hard to guess how old the cast is (I bought it off eBay, so it could be two years or twenty years old), but the detail is pretty poor, and the flat surfaces are rather pitted.

Colour-scheme wise, this guy is nothing new. He has the same black and white checked pattern I’ve used on all my titans (one day I’ll do a big family shot so you can see them all), with the additional bronze edging that I’ve given to the “elite” titans (on the Warmonger side of the family).

This is the first Reaver I’ve painted since the mid-nineties, and I have two more to do to complete the second battlegroup. One thing I’ll do differently next time is paint them in pieces and then assemble afterwards: there are a lot of fiddly bits!


EpiComp 2012 – My Submission

It occurred to me that I with a bit of work, I could probably get my knights into a state where I could submit them to this year’s EpiComp.

For those of you who don’t already know, EpiComp is the premiere (ok, probably only) annual Epic-scale painting competition. It regularly brings in some amazing work by the best painters and modellers working in the 6mm scale.

You can see my submission above. I took a load of photos, which, due to the limitations of the competition rules, I can’t submit, so I’m posting them here.

This represents about one third of the models that are going to form the Knight army. I still have another squadron of French chevaliers, two squadrons of Castellans, and a load of Paladins still to paint, not to mention a Leman Russ Company, a Stormblade Company, two Ordinatii majoris, and some Skitarii. You’ll be seeing more of them in 2013. In the meantime, these photos include everything I’ve painted (Epic-wise) in 2012. Enjoy!


Getting back in the swing of things

In my last post I mentioned that my wife and I had put our house on the market, so I wasn’t allowed to make any mess. Well, it’s now been about three months since we started having viewings, and we’ve not made any progress. The place that we fell in love with has been lost to another buyer, so we’re at the point of not really caring any more about the whole moving-house thing, and will probably taking the place off the market soon.

This is a bit disappointing, but it does mean that I’ve been able to break out the toy soldiers again!

While my wife took the kids to visit her sister, I’ve had a few days entirely to myself, and I’ve been making good use of them. Apart from making inroads into the 3rd edition of In the Emperor’s Name (for which I’m the editor), I’ve also been working on some more knights.

Here’s the first finished squadron of Castellans:

And here’s some Errants, which just need a decal on the right shoulder and they’re done:

Finally, here’s a Reaver titan, the first I’ve painted since the mid-ninities:


Distractions

Like most hobbyists I tend to have a lot of different projects on the go at once. Here is a list of my unfinished projects as of writing:

  • Firedrakes 40K Army
  • Khador Warmachine Army
  • Epic Knight Army
  • Inquisition retinue for In The Emperor’s Name
  • Epic Tyranid Army
  • Praesentia Army for Critical Mass (15mm SF)
  • Blue Moon Shivan Sisterhood Army (also 15mm SF)
  • Khurasan Mekanoid Army (ditto)
  • Terrain projects for all of the above

In addition, I also have some repairs on my Warmonger to do: as predicted, the fragile resin Hydra turrets have been damaged, so I need to replace them with spares from the bits box.

So what have I been doing today? Starting something new of course! Some more titans:

I have another Reaver waiting to be assembled, and want to get another one to form a Battle Group. This will leave my Titan Legion army with 2 Warlord BGs and 2 Reaver BGs which, along with the aforementioned Warmonger and its Imperator counterpart is quite enough I think (although I do need more Warhounds…)

I’ve also been sorting out some mechanised firepower to support the Knights and Robots. I’ve just finished stripping, reassembling and basing these:

Ordinatus Golgotha

Ordinatus Golgotha

The Ordinatus Golgotha has a fearsome reputation as an anti-Ork unit: any Ork unit that’s even targeted by one of the six missiles has to take a morale check (which is 5+ for Orks) making it highly effective at breaking large Ork companies.

I am planning to scratch-build at least one other Ordinatus using miniatures from Brigade Model’s Neo-Soviet range.

Stormblade

Stormblade

Stormblades are Titan and Super-heavy hunters. They mount a Plasma Blastgun which is normally carried by titans, as well as a number of specialist and one-shot weapons. I have a couple more coming from eBay to form a Stormblade Company.

Deathstrike Missile Launchers

Deathstrike Missile Launchers

These are also basically tank-mounted titan weapons. You can pick any of the one-shot titan missiles to mount on each model.

Leman Russ Tank Company

Leman Russ Tank Company

The mainstay of any Imperial army!

This is the first time I’ve based vehicles and I am starting to think it’s a good idea!


Knights: Test Castellan

Here’s the first of nine Knights Castellan. These are heavy-support knights which mount a Quake Cannon (normally carried by Titans) and autocannons. They’re slow but heavily armoured.

The brass areas were painted using Vallejo brass rather than the Coat d’Arms that I’ve used on previous models (I seem to have picked several pots from a bad batch, so I’m waiting for them to be restocked). The Vallejo paint is much shinier so I toned it down with some Scab Red. The difference between the two colours is visible, but not so much as to ruin the consistency of the paint scheme between models.


Knights: Baron and First Squadron

I’ve now finished painting the Baron HQ unit for the Knight army, and the first squadron of Paladins. Here’s the Baron:

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Knights: Test Chevalier

Here’s the first of Thom’s chevaliers painted in the same colour scheme I tried out on the test knight. Looks pretty good I think.

I just have to paint all the rest now!


Knights: Robot Cohorts completed

This weekend I blitzed the robots and got them all painted. It was a pretty simple process once I’d decided on a paint scheme and set up a “factory line”.

First, I undercoated all the models with black. Then, I base coated them with a mix of Scab Red and Deneb Stone: mixing a bit of Deneb Stone (which is a “foundation” paint) in with the red increases its opacity gives it better coverage.

One this was dry, I painted Coat d’arms Slate Grey onto the base, then I painted details in Boltgun Metal and Coat d’arms Brass. Then they were all given a coat of Devlan Mud – including the base. Once this was dry, I drybrushed the base Deneb Stone.

Here are some photos of the robots laid out on my city board: the bases are intended to match the boards. The robots have support from a few titans of the Legio Pantera.


Knights: Robot Test Model Completed

Having a very productive day today :-) Here’s the model I used to test the colour scheme for the robots. Basically the same as the knights.


Knights: Test Model Completed

This morning I’ve been painting a test model to see what my planned colour scheme looks like.

The first step was to spray the model with a black primer spray. Once this had dried I drybrushed boltgun metal onto the areas where I wanted the metal to show through.

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Knights: stripped and assembled

Here are all the Knights I’m going to be painting. The old models were all stripped, reassembled and debased. There were a few breakages among the plastic Paladins but most could be repaired pretty easily.

I’ve also stripped and rebased all the robots. The next step is to add texture to the bases, and then they can be undercoated!


Knights: Baron and Errants

I spent some time yesterday stripping the paint off of the Knight models, which had spent the previous week soaking in Dettol.

This afternoon I’ve been reassembling and basing the models. The first model I dealt with was the Baron, the Knight HQ unit.

I’ve never been very keen on this model. The banner pole it had made it look very tall and gangly. But I’m really pleased with the new incarnation:

I’ve ditched the banner pole, gave the torso a twist (I used a razor saw to cut the torso away from the hip, then pinned and reattached) and altered the stance of the legs. This makes the model much more dynamic. It also worked really well for some Errants.

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Robots of the Legio Cybernetica

Rather than use Skitarii or Tech-Guard as the infantry support for my Epic Knights, I’m going to use the robots of the Legio Cybernetica. It’s not clear whether robots (or indeed, Knights) are still around in M41, but that’s not a big problem, as we know they both were during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy, so this army could very easily be a pre-Heresy or Heresy-era army.

Here’s a picture of the assembled maniples just before they went into Dettol to be stripped. In OpenEpic they represent about 2,000 points, which should be enough to provide the Knights with a screen of ground pounders.

You can see a mix of all the different robot types (Crusader, Castellan, Cataphract, Conqueror and Colossus) in both metal and plastic.


Epic Knights, Part 1: old and new

My Firedrakes are now all assembled, pimped and ready to start painting. I just finished Nocturne, the final part of the awesome Tome of Fire series by Nick Kyme, so I’m totally stoked about painting my Firedrakes up and joining the ranks of the Fire-born.

However, I am temporarily putting that project on hold. I’m going to use the Army Painter camo green primer as the base coat, and as you may know, Army Painter have just announced a range of acrylic paints that match their primer sprays. Army Green is included but won’t be out until the end of March, so I’ve decided to wait until I can get some before I start painting. That way I can correct mistakes without having to mix my own paint.

So in the meantime I’m making progress with one of my other 2012 objectives: getting my Epic knight army repainted. I’ve just taken an inventory of my old army, and thankfully it’s survived a decade of neglect quite well:

Epic Knight Inventory

Epic Knight Inventory

What you see there is ten plastic Paladins (plus another three on sprues), three Errants, three Crusaders, six Castellans, one Baron, and three of the old Adeptus Titanicus era metal knights: one Paladin and two Wardens.

These are all going to take a bath in Dettol to strip the paint off. I don’t think I’ll be going with the old green and white quartered scheme this time: I’m currently thinking along the lines of a more AdMech combo of red and bronze.

As well as these models, I also have some of the amazing chevaliers by Thom from Epic-FR. The quality on these resin miniatures is absolutely awesome: I’ve never seen such impressive detail and design on “amateur” miniatures before.

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My Hobby Plans For 2012

2012 is almost upon us! The last twelve months have been a period of diversification for me in hobby terms: I delved more deeply into 15mm SF stuff, finished my first 40k army in 15 years, and discovered In The Emperor’s Name.

I thought that it might be fun to post my plans for 2012, so I can look back next year and see how I did.

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