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Friday, 21 April 2017

Painting Kataphron Breachers - Adeptus April week 3

Phew! These painting challenges are starting to feel like hard work! Those of you that are paying attention will have noticed I missed week 2. This is due to a number of factors, most of which are wargaming related. First off I've actually been playing some 40k (pause for applause), secondly I've been distracted by my Infinity Nomads and thirdly I'm all giddy for Salute this weekend and am struggling to concentrate. Nonetheless I present my unworthy offering below.


Two down, one to go.


In other Adeptus April news someone has been good enough to join me for this painting challenge. Namely the talented (not to mention speedy) Cylde Ar from Mastodontica. If you follow the link you will see that he has already completed the monthly challenge. What a show off! I'd better get a move on if I don't want to be utterly crushed by my own painting challenge!


Cylde's cool looking Librarian.
As some of you may know, I'm a big fan of the Exo Lords range from Anvil Industry and I've used their parts extensively with my Heresy era Night Lords. I'm pleased to see that Cylde is also a fan of their parts and has used plenty of them to make this awesome looking guy. Speaking of Anvil, I'm off to Salute tomorrow to pick up some more of their stuff and say hi to the guys in person.


All that aside, my own progress with Adeptus April has been slower than I would have liked. I have to give big thanks to Cylde for appearing out of the blue and giving me the push I needed to get this far. I just hope the motivation will last and I can finish the last breacher before the end of the month.


The breachers themselves continue to be fun to work with. The details are nice and the paint scheme isn't too taxing. I was lucky enough to be able to get these guys on the field a couple of weeks ago where they totally wrecked face! Knocking out a Contemptor Dreadnought in a single volley and then going on to destroy a second dreadnought and a Rhino. Not bad for an 'uncompetitive' weapon loadout!


What a difference a head swap makes!
So, once again we're going to end on a nail biter. Will I get the squad finished by next week? Only time, and my fickle attention span, will tell.


If you missed the fist part of Adeptus April, you can find it here.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Salute 2017!

Well, it's that time of the year once again, Salute is upon us!




For those that don't know, Salute is often called 'the largest wargames expo in Europe'. Personally I have no idea if that's true but I can say for certain that it's huge! Hosted by South London Warlords at the Excel, London, Salute brings together a massive number of traders, gamers and artists for one day of enthusiastic consumerism. This year, the event will be on Saturday 22nd April and opens at 10am sharp.


Last year I attended Salute in support of my FLGS (Marquee Models) so you may have seen me proudly wearing the blue shirt and putting various punters through the hardships of board gaming. This year I'm being very selfish and just heading down for some good old retail therapy! I was delighted by the bargains on offer last year and hopefully I can snag a few more this time around. In particular I'm on the look out for some terrain to spice up my gaming board but I've no doubt an unreasonable pile of miniatures will find their way into my grubby hands as well. Oh, and don't forget, Forgeworld have a stand at Salute so if you need some resiny goodness without paying the postage this is the place to be.


As well as battering my wallet, Salute has a variety of other attractions to look forward to. In particular the painting competition which showcases some truly amazing examples of the miniature painters art. Last year their were also plenty of impressive wargames displays and a host of participation games for various systems. All in all, a great day out for the intrepid wargamer.


Give me a shout in the comments if you're planning on coming down. It would be nice to put faces to some of the names that comment from time to time!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Painting Kataphron Breachers - Adeptus April Week 1

Howdy y'all! It's been another rootin' tootin' week of progress for me! Under the self appointed banner of 'Adeptus April' I've made a start on a unit of Kataphron Breachers for my ever growing Adeptus Mechanicus force.


Haywire to the max!
As you can see from the above I've gone for arc rifles and arc claws for maximum haywire goodness. Now before anyone starts, yes, I know destroyers and more competitive and, yes, I know they can have heavy grav cannons. But the thought of battering my opponents with 18 grav shots a turn makes me feel a little bit sick. So I've decided to go with the haywire breachers. It's not all bad, they do get a better armour save which is important as these guys don't have feel no pain. They should be the bane of enemy vehicles of any type with 6 haywire shots and 6 haywire attacks (on the charge) tanks have something to fear. You can also pull a funny trick if you combine breachers with a Magos Dominus allowing their weapons to gain the cognis special rule. Suddenly your snap shots hit on a 5+ and can be re-rolled with the right canticle allowing you to threaten aircraft too.


All in all I'm expecting these guys to do pretty well on the battlefield, in fact I have my first game with them tonight (albeit the unit is not yet fully painted).


Does anybody remember TankJr?
As for the models themselves, I've never really been a fan of the battle servitors. I've always preferred the way the breachers look because of their heavier armour. However, after buying the kit I decided that most of my gripes could be solved with a simple head swap. After thinking about it a bit further, I considered what would happen to Skitarii that had been damaged beyond repair. Obviously their spare parts would be turned into Servitors! Hence the vanguard heads on the squad.



Really like this servo arm detail.


As for the paint scheme, I've followed my usual green and brass theme with pink accents. These kits were somewhat unusual for me in that I've painted them in parts before final assembly. This is a huge departure for me as my models are normally fully assembled before I begin to paint. To be honest I'm happy with the method so I probably won't change it for the rest of the squad. I even partially painted some of the parts while they were still on sprue! Something I thought I would never do.


Work continues on the rest of the squad and I hope to have another model done by this time next week. Until then, wish me luck and don't forget to tune in for the rest of Adeptus April!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Titan in a day! - How to build an Eldar Phantom Titan

This was a hell of a project and something that I was thrilled to be involved with.


Hot damn! That's impressive!
To explain a little, a good friend of mine who shall remain nameless (Jack) has a bad habit of buying enormous Forgeworld models that he's too intimidated to construct. Now I have every sympathy here, having built my own Hierophant Bio-titan which was a tricky and time-consuming job but very rewarding in the end. At any rate, Jack has been hassling me for some time to help him out with his growing pile of un-built Forgeworld super-heavies, the grand-daddy amongst them being the Eldar Phantom Titan pictured above. After many months of hassling and a couple of tins of beer I finally snapped and agreed to set aside a day to help him out with these projects.


As the fateful day loomed we talked briefly about what we would need and what models to build. I supplied an enormous shopping list (drills, pins, putty, glue, cookies etc) which Jack went out and bought. As there were several models available including a Revenant Titan, Scorpion grav-tank and a Vampire Raider we weren't exactly sure which to attempt or even how much we could get done in a day.


As a beautiful Friday morning dawned (nothing like building titans in the sunshine) I headed on over to Jack's and we got stuck in to some resiny goodness. After looking at the models we both knew we had to attempt the Phantom, after all, the point of the day was twofold. Firstly to build some badass miniatures but secondly, to give Jack the confidence to tackle some more of these projects alone.


Early progress showing the left leg.
Straight away I could see it was going to be a challenge, the left foot alone was made up of nine separate components all of which had to be trimmed, pinned and glued. On the upside, the feet of a Phantom Titan are exceptionally poseable enabling you to make some really outlandish miniatures if you're feeling brave.


Completed leg assembly, we weren't brave enough to go for a one legged pose!
Strangely, the legs themselves only consist of three separate components, the upper, lower and the knee. These needed to be reinforced as strongly as possible so they were thoroughly pinned along with the hips to make the lower section of the Titan stable. We were able to drive a pin straight through both hips providing a good connection between both legs.


As you can see from the photos we were making a horrendous mess (anyone who's ever drilled and sawn resin will vouch for the amount of debris created). The hoover was used liberally throughout the day to try and keep on top of the stuff.


When it came to the torso assembly we hit a snag, one of the components (front breastplate) was missing. Ultimately I left it down to Jack to decide what he wanted to do, should we stop building and try to build the Revenant instead? Luckily he had a brainwave, a battered Wraithknight was laying around in his bitz box and its chestplate was just what we needed, you can see it in the photos below (the horrible purple part).



Starting to look impressive!
The main torso was quite straightforward and we were able to drive a single pin through all four of the components and into the hips making it rock solid. The shoulder assembly was quite something, involving all the holofield fins, the missile launchers and the massive pauldrons. It all went together pretty quickly though (despite me getting superglue on the coffee table) hence the lack of progress photos.


Then came time to add the head, arms and weapons. Jack declined to paint the inside of the cockpit so the head went straight on. The arms turned out to be a major headache as the guns were really heavy. Much pinning gluing and swearing later and the beast was finished!


Getting there!
Jack wanted to magnetise the right arm as he had both D-cannon and close combat options for the Titan. In the end, we got the sword ready to go but the D-cannon was left for a later date.


Taste the beast!
At any rate it was a fantastic day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thanks to Jack for letting me be part of such an awesome build, now all he has to do is paint it!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Painting Kastelan Robots - Monster March week 4

The end of another monthly painting challenge looms and how have I done, well not bad at all if I do say so myself!


March of the Machines!
I'm delighted that these guys are finally finished, partly because I really like the models and partly because I want to move on to something else. For anyone who missed it, I've been painting these as part of the Monster March challenge set up by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast.


As with Squaduary before it, Monster March has motivated me to add another unit to my growing Skitarii/Mechanicus force. I'm really happy with my progress so far this year as the army is going from strength to strength. These monthly painting challenges have shown me what a powerful motivator a blog can be. Knowing I have a weekly progress post to make has pushed me to work through my projects and made me feel accountable. Seeing the great work of the other participants each week is also a great motivator and spurs me on to reach the finish line.


All of this got me thinking, as I don't know of a painting challenge in April I've decided to challenge myself to paint a unit to completion in the month. I've chosen a unit of Kataphron Breachers to add to my Mechanicus force. Look for weekly updates down the line under the banner of Adeptus April!


My favourite is still the datasmith.
Thanks again to Swordmaster for running Monster March; even bigger thanks for letting me paint things that really aren't monsters at all. I promise next year I'll do something big and gribbly to make it up to you. Speaking of big, monstrous things, my Kastelan robots aren't the only thing I've been working on in March, check my next update for something huge!!


If you missed the earlier updates you can find them here. Stay tuned for the inevitable painting disaster of Adeptus April!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Painting Kastelan Robots - Monster March week 3

We've reached week three and so far, progress has been good. I was hoping to have the last robot finished for this update but unfortunately things rather got away from me over the weekend and I didn't manage to finish.


Close, but no cigar!
As you can see from the above, there is only a final highlight to add, along with finishing out the base and he'll be done. I'm really looking forward to having these guys finished, not just so that I can admire them, but so that I can move on to the next project. I feel like I've made great progress with my Mechanicus in the last few months; in no small part due to painting challenges like Squaduary and Monster March. Hopefully I can continue to work at the same rate and finish up an army within the next couple of months. Does anybody know of a painting challenge for April?!


Dakkadakkadakka.....
I'm also looking forward to getting a few more games in with my Mechanicus. I haven't used them much on the tabletop and have yet to really find my groove with them. I know they've got all the tools but I never seem to be able to use them quite right. This is probably because they're very different to the Tyranids and Dark Eldar which I am more accustomed to. If you're an experienced Skitarii/Ad Mech commander drop me a line in the comments below, I could use some tips!


Once again, big shout out to Swordmaster at Path of an Outcast for running the challenge; it's been awesome so far. If you've missed the rest of Monster March you can scrutinize my efforts here and here.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Painting Kastelan Robots - Monster March week 2

Well, another excellent week of progress if I do say so myself! These painting challenges seem to do wonders for the old motivation! Behold the first of my completed Kastelan Robots.


Johnny 5 is alive!
Not only have I managed to paint one of the Kastelans, I've also finished off the datasmith to lead the squad.


This model is just amazing.
As far as the painting goes, the Datasmith proved to be a lot more work than the Kastelan. Another incredibly detailed Mechanicus miniature that was an absolute joy to work with. I'm very pleased with the way both miniatures have turned out, even though I wasn't quite sure what to do with the visor on the Kastelan Robot I'm reasonably happy with it.


Note the vial on the top of the backpack.
In the photo above you can see that I've painted the vial on his backpack using the same method I first attempted on my Magos Dominus. It's challenging for mw to paint something so tiny with a gradiated highlight but I think the final effect is well worth it. I've also deviated slightly with this model as it includes slightly more pink than my other Skitarii; I picked out the cable bundles on his back and head and I think it meshes with the scheme nicely.


Phosphor blasters all the way!
For those who don't know what this whole Monster March thing is all about, it's a month long painting challenge run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. I've pledged to paint a squad of Kastelans (only one remaining now!) by the end of the month.


If you missed the first part of Monster March you can find it here. Tune in next time to see if I'm still on target or if my inevitable hobby butterflying has led me to paint something completely different!