C’tan Shard of the Void Dragon

This is just an extraordinary model, and the perfect exemplar of just how damn good Games Workshop’s designers have become at sculpting using modern techniques. This miniature literally could not have existed five years ago!

It was also surprisingly easy to paint to a level that I didn’t think I’d achieve given the amount of effort I put in. It’s not much more than a zenithal basecoat with a rattle can, some pin washes, and a bit of drybrushing.

More pictures below the fold.

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Salamanders Terminator Squad by Burning Beard Studios

At the end of last year, I came to the sad realisation that, due to the challenges of a change in job, moving to a new home, and the birth of my youngest child, all during a global pandemic, the amount of time I’ve been able to spend on the hobby had plummeted, and was unlikely to improve in the near future. And, to make things worse, I had been still been adding to my grey plastic pile of shame, meaning that my backlog had reached ridiculous proportions: it would have taken a decade of no new models to get it back to a reasonable size.

So I made the decision to (a) sell off a lot of the stuff I didn’t think I’d miss, and (b) outsource the painting of the rest, so I found a couple of commission painters who could reproduce my colour scheme at a reasonable price.

Last week I received the first couple of batches of painted models, and will be posting pictures of each unit over the next couple of weeks.

The first is this squad of Salamanders Terminators, painted by Darren of Burning Beard Studios. He’s done a fantastic job of matching my colour scheme for the Salamanders, and has augmented the models with some 3D printed accessories.

This squad will take its rightful place alongside the two other Terminator squads of the Firedrakes in my Salamanders army.

More pictures below the fold. If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable painting service, I can thoroughly recommend Darren, so check out his website.

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Adeptus Titanicus Reaver Titan

Here’s a Reaver titan to go with the Warlord titan I finished late last year. Definitely much easier to paint! I managed to slightly mis-position the feet and toes, meaning that the armour plates on the leg are a bit wonky, but thankfully it’s not too noticeable. I won’t make that mistake again!

I’m now working on some Cerastus and Acastus knights. Rather than going for a homebrew House I’m going to paint them as House Malinax.

More pictures below the fold.

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Salamanders Intercessors

I’ve finally finished my ten-man squad of Intercessors! The squad is set up so that I can split it into two five-man squads: one of the battle-brothers has a Forge World shoulder pad so he’s easy to “upgrade” into a Sergeant.

Of course I’ve pre-ordered Adrax Agatone, so expect him to make an appearance on this blog in the next few months!

More pictures below the fold.

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Necron Seraptek Heavy Construct

As soon as Forge World released this model I knew I wanted one! My amazing other half bought me one for Christmas, and I’ve just finished it.

It has the same basic colour scheme as my other large Necron models: I used a piece of firm sponge to stipple Warpstone Bronze over a black undercoat, and then drybrushed with Brass Scorpion, finished with a highlight of Vallejo brass. Simple but very effective!

More photos below the fold.

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The Sons of the Forge

Last night I thought it would be fun to lay out my entire Warhammer 40,0000 Salamanders army (at least, all of it that’s painted). I did a quick tot-up and it turns out that I have over 4,000 points worth which is a lot more than I would have guessed!

Another nice surprise is how consistent the colour scheme is between the first model and the last, despite there being a six-year gap between them. My painting skills have definitely improved in that time but the old and new models both work perfectly well next to each other on the table.

I still need to paint (or finish painting):

  1. Two three-man Aggressor squads
  2. A five-man Sternguard Veteran squad
  3. A five-man Terminator squad
  4. A five-man Scout Sniper Squad
  5. A Librarian (converted from the model in the Deathwatch Overkill game)
  6. A ten-man Primaris Intercessor squad

I also have ten Mark III tactical Marines and ten Tartaros-pattern Terminators, but I am not sure if I am going to put those into my Salamanders or my Horus Heresy Word Bearers.

You can see blog posts about all of the models in these photos here.

The rest of the pictures are below the fold.

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Salamanders Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought

My love affair with all things Primaris continues! Just like the Hellblasters and the Astraeus, the Redemptor Dreadnought is both an awesome model and also really easy and fun to paint: all the green parts were painted separately from the dreadnought’s superstructure, so the whole process was relatively quick and easy (albeit spread out over several months since I no longer have a permanent hobby space).

The flames on the armour plates were painted using Duncan‘s technique for Salamanders flame heraldry, and I am very happy with how it’s turned out! I may be going back to some of my older models and adding it to them (especially the shoulder pads on my tactical and assault marines).

The right arm weapon is magnetised so I can swap the plasma incinerator (which is the obvious choice when fielding Vulkan He’stan, since you get a re-roll to avoid the mortal wound on a roll of 1 when supercharging) with the gatling cannon, if appropriate.

More pictures below the fold.

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Salamanders Chaplain Xavier

From Lexicanum:

Xavier was a Chaplain in the Salamanders Chapter of Space Marines. He is regarded as the greatest Chaplain the Salamanders have ever known.

A proud upholder of the Salamander’s Promethean Cult, Xavier is said to have epitomised the Chapter’s ideals more completely than any other Marine in their history. Dedicated to encouraging his fellows in feats of endurance and fortitude, it is said that when Xavier led them, the Salamanders never fell back before an enemy. As a sign of this dedication, he was entrusted with the keeping of “Vulkan’s Sigil”, a relic believed to have been carried by the Primarch Vulkan. He is also famed for having slain a particularly ancient and monstrous salamander with his bare hands.

Games Workshop re-released this model last year through their “Made To Order” service, and since it’s the only other Salamanders-specific model that GW ever made (apart from Vulkan He’stan), obviously I had to pick it up.

More pictures below.

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Salamanders Astraeus Super-Heavy Tank

I am not normally a fan of grav-tanks, and when I saw the Astraeus Super-Heavy Tank, I wasn’t immediately taken by it. But over time I’ve come to really love the design so I decided that I wanted one for my Salamanders army, and I treated myself to one for Christmas.

Compared to the other Forge World models I’ve built and painted, this one was a breeze to assemble and needed very little work to get it ready for painting. The only pain point is the huge number of grav skids that you have to paint separately and then glue on.

More pics below the fold.

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Clearing the backlog #3: Necron Pylon

My birthday treat to myself last year was this, a Necron Pylon from Forge World. It was a fun challenge to get the paint job to match that of my other 40K Necron models, some of which are now over 5 years old, using a different palette of paints (since GW changed their paint range and I’ve started using a lot more paints from other manufacturers). But I’m very happy with how it turned out!

Clearing the backlog #1 : Lorgar and the Bearers of the Word

I haven’t posted much in the last year or so, because of two things: first, I have been getting less hobby time due to personal reasons which I won’t bore you with, but also because it’s so much easier to just throw a photo up on Twitter.

But I really should be posting stuff here more, so I thought I’d throw up a few posts with some of the highlights from the recent fallow period.

First up, here’s Lorgar, who (as you might expect) is the leader of my Word Bearers army for The Horus Heresy:

Lorgar Aurelian, Primarch of the XVII Legion
Lorgar Aurelian, Primarch of the XVII Legion

My Word Bearers army is based on the models from the Betrayal at Calth box set, here is the test model that I painted:

Word Bearers tactical marine
Word Bearers tactical marine

After I assembled and base coated most of the army I made a decision to commission a local freelance painter to finish the army for me: when it’s finished I will post pictures, but if you check out the Facebook page on that link you will see some Work-in-progress links.

Salamanders Deimos Pattern Predator Infernus

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I am quite pleased to have finally (after 9 months) completed this model, as it’s been a complete pain in the arse. The cast was fairly poor (bad enough that I could probably have got a replacement if I’d wanted) and I struggled with the paint job, thanks to my bad habit of assembling the model too much before painting (specifically, the exhaust pipes on the side) which meant that I had to mask off and respray a few areas to cover up the places where I’d got paint where it should not have been.

I magnetised all the weapons, so I can swap the Flamestorm Cannon for a Magna-Melta, and maybe also change the sponsons if I pick up some alternatives at a bits site or elswhere. I’ve also made some plastic doors that fit into the sponson and turret sockets, so I could even use it as a Rhino or Razorback if I wanted.

More pictures below.

Kavan Bor’seth, Chapter Master of the Salamanders, Regent of Nocturne (M35)

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Kavan Bor’seth was Chapter Master of the Salamanders during the 36th Millenium. After a distinguished career as a Sergeant in the 3rd company, he was elevated to the ranks of the Firedrakes, ultimately rising to lead the First Company and assume the mantle of Regent of Nocturne. He was presumed killed after many years of service, when his strike cruiser Sentinel of Hesiod was lost in the Warp en route to the Diadin sector.

Bor’seth wore a legendary suit of Artificer armour dating back to the Great Crusade. The suit was the subject of many legends: some say that it was wrought by Vulkan himself for one of his favoured commanders, others say that it was claimed as a trophy from the decapitated corpse of a traitor legionary during the Scouring. Alas, due to the loss of the Sentinel, this relic of the chapter is now lost forever, taking its secrets with it. The suit’s backpack includes an integrated auspex and teleport homer – technology once common during the Great Crusade but since lost to the Imperium.

Bor’seth’s preferred armament was a finely-wrought Thunder Hammer (with a similar pedigree to the armour he was clad in) and a regulation combi-melta, a weapon he grew fond of during his time in the Sternguard squads of the Firedrakes.

As soon as I saw it, I realised the conversion possibilities of Armillus Dynat (from the the Horus Heresy Character Series) and decided that I wanted to give it a go. The scale-pattern of the Heresy-era Alpha Legion works just as well as drake-scale in my opinion. And given how distinctive (and expensive) the model was, he couldn’t just be a veteran sergeant or company captain, so I decided to write a biography for him and place him far enough back in history as to avoid any conflicts with canon.

More pictures below.

Bray’arth Ashmantle, Venerable Dreadnought of the Salamanders

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It’s kind of silly that it’s taken me more than four years to paint this model, but I’m so glad that I finally did! Soon after I bought it, I primed it using Army Painter Army Green, the same as all the other models, but I quickly realised that it was a mistake and that I should have primed it black instead; and it’s taken me this long to get round to stripping it and re-priming it using the airbrush.

Bray’arth is a great centerpiece model and counts as an HQ choice for Salamanders army. I’ve designed my Salamanders army around Vulkan He’stan in that I have a lot of meltas, but there’s no reason why I can’t take both models as long as the points limit allows.

More pictures below.

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Classic Necron Lords

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Here is a pair of classic metal Necron lords. I picked them up in a bag-o-bits that I bought from vidpui on Twitter, as a result I’ve customised them a little bit.

I’m rather pleased with how the cloaks turned out; although the effect doesn’t really come over in the photos. I drybrushed them with a sequence of greys of various shades, then mixed a glaze using the ancient blue ink I used on the C’tan shard with some Vallejo Model Air yellow and painted it over the grey. I then highlighted the raised areas with a bright, slightly metallic green.

More pics below the fold.

My Completed Warhammer 40,000 Necron Army

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Here is my Necron army (all 4,000 points of it), completed after nearly six years (I started it in late 2009).

Obviously, no army is ever really finished. I expect that I will probably buy and paint new pieces as the whim takes me, but I now have enough stuff that I can have a few options when playing at 1,500 points and higher (rather than simply taking everything I own).

More pictures below the fold.

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Necron Overlord

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Here is my version of the new Necron Overlord released with the new codex. The new rules allow you to equip your Overlord with any wargear you like so I took a couple of bits from my bits box to make him unique.

He’s on a 40mm base which I think works quite well for characters. I’m tempted to rebase some of my other characters on the same size base so that he doesn’t stick out. He got the same basic paint job as all the other models in the army.

It occurred to me that his pose is somewhat reminiscent of Usain Bolt’s signature pose, what do you think?

More pictures below.

Necron Immortals

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Nothing especially unusual about these guys. I already have a unit of Immortals with Tesla Carbines so I chose to give these guys Gauss Blasters for diversity purposes.

The Army Painter Chainmail spray went on a bit too thick in places — I’ve been spoiled by my airbrush — and a couple of the models have distinctly featureless faces. I decided against repainting for the simple reason that although I’m a big fan of Necrons, my aim with this wave of reinforcements is to get the army into a usable state, rather than produce a work of art.

More to follow…

Necron Deathmarks and Old-School Wraiths

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I’ve just finished these models, the next wave of reinforcements for my 40K Necron army.

It’s been an interesting experience to paint models to match the colour scheme I developed more than five years ago; getting the green hue on the shoulder blades of the wraiths to match the original models was quite challenging. My ability as a miniature painter has improved a bit in the years since I started my Necron army, and it’s interesting to compare “before” and “after”, and realise what I would do differently if I were to start again now.

Anyway, these are done now, but I still have a few more models to go: some Immortals (with Gauss Blasters), Triarch Praetorians (with Particle Casters and Voidblades), a Doom/Night Scythe, and a dozen bases of scarabs. Stay tuned!

Reaver Round-up

2014-12-16 09.04.07-1I started working on the Reaver in May, and finally finished it at the beginning of December. That’s six months!

I am generally very happy with how it’s turned out. There were a few glitches along the way but as is the case with any hobby project, those problems that did come up were fixable.

The paint scheme is, of course, the same one I have been painting my Epic titans for 25 years. Here’s a quick run-down of how it was achieved:

  • Prime with Vallejo black primer (via airbrush)
  • Mask off armour plates leaving edge banding exposed
  • Airbrush Vallejo Model Air Brass on banding
  • Wash with Army Painter Soft Tone through the airbrush
  • Remove masking and remask to expose quartered sections
  • Spray with Citadel Skull White spray

The exposed metal of the superstructure was primed black as above then sprayed with Army Painter’s Chain Mail, then washed with Strong Tone through the airbrush. Weathering was achieved using Citadel’s Nihilakh Oxide, Typhus Corrosion and Forge World weathering powders.

The base is a simple cake base with a belt of plasticard around the outside. It’s supposed to match the basing scheme I’ve used for my Salamander and Necron armies and the Leviathan. There is a layer of cork on top of the base to allow me to create depressions into which the titan’s feet can be placed (to create the effect of the ground sinking beneath its feet). I added some crushed up aluminium foil and some craters from Amera Plastic Mouldings to add relief. I then painted with PVA and applied sand. once dried, I sprayed the base with a mix of Army Painter leather and Plasti-kote sprays, drybrushed with a few GW paints and then added static grass (GW’s Dead Grass).

Overall, I’d say this project is pretty straightforward, requiring a lot of technique but not much skill: for example, knowing how to pin the leg joints in the most effective way. Since the model was painted almost entirely using the airbrush, the amount of masking required was pretty exhausting and very boring indeed!

Reaver Update #6: Invictus Ferrum

Adeptus Mechanicus Collegia Titanica
Legio Pantera <Black Panthers>
Battle Group ΔVII <Delta-Seven>
Omega Crusis Maniple 533
"Invictus Ferrum" <Invincible Iron>
Mars Pattern Reaver class Battle Titan
Chassis Serial #MCCCXLVI
Currently on operations on Severus Ultis, Vastus Sector

The Reaver is done! Check out the rest of the photos on my Facebook page. I will post them here (along with a post-mortem of the build and paint) in a few days.

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Reaver Update #4

Work progresses on the Reaver. I’ve finished painting the sculpted detail on the carapace; here’s a photo I posted on Twitter:

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The text on the scrollwork is Latin cooked up by Google Translate from the following:

IN THE NAME OF THE GOD EMPEROR AND THE HOLY OMNISSIAH, LET THIS MIGHTY
ENGINE OF WAR BRING FORTH ITS WRATH UPON THE ENEMIES OF MANKIND. LET ITS
LEFT HAND BRING FORTH FURIOUS HEAT TO CLEANSE THE GALAXY OF THE UNCLEAN
AND THE ALIEN. LET ITS RIGHT HAND SMASH THE TRAITOR AND THE HERETIC. LET
IT RAIN DOWN DESTRUCTION FROM THE QUIVER UPON ITS BACK. LET NONE STAND
BEFORE IT. IN THE NAME OF THE GOD EMPEROR AND THE HOLY OMNISSIAH!

which apparently translates to:

IN NOMINE SANCTAE DEI ET PRINCEPS OMNISSIAH DIMITTE IRAM SUPER TANTO
MACHINA HUMANITATIS INIMICOS FERAT. PURIFICATIONEM EIUS GALAXIA CALUERE
ACCONGERO SINISTRA POLLUTUM ET ALIENUM. FRANGIT DEXTRIS EIUS TRADITOR ET
HAERETICUS. DE EXCIDIO PHARETRA STILLABIT SUPER SE SIT. NEMO RESISTERE
EI. IN NOMINE DOMINI DEI AD CAESAREM OMNISSIAH ET SANCTA

Reaver Update #2

I don’t have much to say, so here’s a bunch of photos:

Here’s one of the titan crew on foot, He came out of the blister with a little lean, which needed fixing:



Here’s the Tech-Priest, who I magnetised so he can go inside the titan’s torso, or on his own base:



Here’s the assembled legs, compared to the Leviathan:



Completion of the legs and armour (everything is still in pieces as I still need to do varnishing and priming):



Work on the base:



Miscellaneous photos:


The Reaver Titan Hype Cycle

hype_cycleThe consulting firm Gartner is famous for its eponymous Hype cycle which tracks the development of new technology.

I’ve come to realise the my project to build and paint a Reaver titan also fits onto this graph. This time last week, I was definitely in the Trough of Disillusionment, as my frustration with the complexity of the leg assemblies (pistons! So many pistons!) overcame my enthusiasm.

Now, however, I have started working on the torso, head and weapons, I feel like my determination to get the bloody thing finished so I can get on with other things is reasserting itself, and I’m approaching the Plateau of Productivity, at which point, the Reaver will probably end up being finished fairly quickly.

Here’s hoping the hype cycle holds true this time!

Reaver Update #1

As you might imagine, the Reaver is a big project, hence the lack of updates. I won’t bother giving you a blow-by-blow account of how I have been working on it; instead I’ll just point to the blog posts that I’ve been working from instead:

As with the Leviathan, the legs are definitely the trickiest part of the model, and you need to take a lot of time testing out positioning. The general procedure is: measure twice, then measure again, then check on the Internet to see if anyone else has done it the same way, then measure again, then cut!

One innovation that I haven’t seen anyone else write about is the magnetisation of the “helmet”, or the roof of the Titan’s head. I did this by drilling holes in the appropriate places (you’ll notice that I had to do this a couple of times before i got it right) and inserting 3mm magnets that I bought from Gladius Game Arts.

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Most of the leg and pelvis of the Titan has now been primed black, and the superstructure will then be sprayed using Army Painter chain mail. I tried a variety of white metal Vallejo model air paints but decided that none of them looked right over a black primer.

I’ve finished some of the interior parts: here are the wall panels that will sit inside the Titan’s body:

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I also have plans to give the Titan a base, although it would probably be fairly impractical to use it for gaming, so it’s probably just going to be for display purposes. I found a 36cm-diameter cake base which looks like it will do the trick:

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As I should probably have expected, I’ve made a few mistakes along the way, the most annoying of which was the realisation that I’d glued this plasticard logo onto the knee pad upside-down!

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In the process of removing it I caused a fair bit of damage to the surface of the knee pad which I then made worse through clumsy application of a rotary tool. So exactly how I fix that will be the subject of a future post.

More to follow!

Salamanders Storm Eagle “Vulkan’s Wrath”

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This is the Salamanders Storm Eagle Vulkan’s Wrath, the personal transport of Captain Dac’tyr, Lord of the Burning Skies and Captain of the 4th Company.

As is common among Salamanders vehicles, Vulkan’s Wrath has been modified by its master, who added a stabiliser wing with forward-facing flaps to function as an air-brake: this allows Vulkan’s Wrath to rapidly decelerate after a high-speed orbital insertion.

More pictures below.

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