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

Warhammer 40,000

Vindicare Assassin

2016-03-23 22.02.11

I Just finished this Vindicare Assassin, to be a sting in the tail of my Salamanders army, or for use in In the Emperor’s Name.

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.


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

2015-06-18 22.15.06

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.


Puppets War Missile Turrets

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The Mark II Missile Turret from Puppets War does a pretty good job of turning a Rhino/Razorback into a Whirlwind. The design would work quite well on Deimos-pattern Rhinos.

More pictures below.


Necron Triarch Praetorians

2015-06-08 22.11.25

Here’s the last of the infantry reinforcements for my Necrons. The Voidblades on these Triarch Praetorians were a bugger to paint and in the end I pretty much just gave up on them. But they look OK if you don’t look too closely!

Now I just need to paint the Night/Doom Scythe, and I can finish this project and get stuck into some Epic!


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


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

2015-03-08 21.00.17

2015-03-08 21.12.47

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!

C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer

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Here is the first finished model from the wave of reinforcements to my Necron army. I’m fairly pleased with the opalescent effect I accidentally achieved on the robes (which is the result of using an ancient Citadel ink over black drybrushed with grey), but the drybrushing on the torso could be better.

More photos after the jump…


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.

2014-12-16 09.08.46

Reaver Update #5


The Reaver is 98% done. Apart from this teaser, I’m not going to post any photos until it’s 100%. I still have a few problems to fix and a couple of parts still to paint, and the whole issue of banners remains unanswered.

There have been a few ups and downs but I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out, more or less.

Stay tuned for the big reveal!

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:

2014-10-16 22.05.10

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


which apparently translates to:


Reaver Update #3

Here a few photos of the head, which is pretty much finished (it just needs varnishing and maybe some decals):






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.


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:


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:


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!


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”


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.


Vulkan He’stan, Forgefather of the Salamanders

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This model is a real bugger to paint and he’s not turned out anywhere near as good as I’d have liked. It’s the first model that I actually wish I had in Finecast instead of metal. The quality of the cast is actually fairly poor, and all the spiky bits and sharp edges are a recipe for having the paint chip off, and to try to prevent that, I’ve had to overload on varnish. Plus, I made the mistake of assembling him before painting, meaning that it was much harder to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Anyway, he’s done now, and while he’s not as good as I’ve liked him to be, at least he’s tabletop standard.

More pics below.

Salamanders Rhinos/Razorbacks

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Here is a pair of Rhinos which can be converted into Razorbacks. When played as Razorbacks they use kitbashed weapons: a twin-linked Heavy Flamer (ideal for Salamanders) and a twin-linked Assault Cannon.

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The side doors on Number 1 are magnetised: I’m planning on kitbashing some sponsons and a turret so that it can be converted into a Predator.

More pictures below!


Salamanders Tactical Squad #2

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Here’s the second Tactical Squad. As with the first squad, the models have a mix of modern Mark VII, Rogue Trader-era plastic accessories, and Mark V armour from Forge World.