Continuing to Escalate!

Following my initial vow, our Escalation forces have rumbled on – and I found myself needing to add another 500pts already! Although there’ll be quite a few things that I’ll need to paint in due course, I thought that given the games so far have mostly been Zone Mortalis, it might be nice to add some close-range punch. As such, for my next two vows, I’ve opted to do two Terminator squads – one armed with near basic weaponry, and the other, more lethally, with paired Lightning Claws…

Two more units to vow as part of the B&C’s Loyalty and Treachery:

Vow 5 – 5-strong Terminator squad, with combi-bolters and Power Fists, Heavy Flamer and two Chain Fists.

Vow 6 – 5-strong Terminator squad, all with Lightning Claws

The thought of adding these to my already rather sizeable Cataphractii contingent was too good an opportunity to pass down – and potentially using a load in either ZM, or in future definitely appealed. The aesthetic of their armour very much suits everything I like about the Death Guard – so happy to get more of these fantastic models built and painted for the cause. Armament wise, I’ve gone for two distinctly different squads, in order to fill up the gaps in my current Cataphractii – namely, Chain Fists and Lightning Claws! This ensures I do have a variety to choose from, as and when required.

A photo of them prior to painting:

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Here’s my first WIP photo, blocking out main areas of colour, such as shoulder pads, ptergues and trim:

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And finally, the finished product!

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Glad to have that complete! I’m unsure what I’m going to paint explicitly next, but I think it’s worthwhile considering a 2.5k list and working towards playing more regularly. Watch this space for plans and actual painting!

Otherwise, I’m thinking ahead to things I both need and want to do more broadly. If you’ve ever wondered, this is what a couple of hundred Mantic Zombies look like clipped off the sprue…

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One of the next projects!
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That Escalated…!

I’m lucky enough that my local club and clubmates are running a 30k Escalation league, allowing for a relatively slow grow project – which suits me perfectly! It allows me to work my way through a lot of lovely Heresy models, and get them looking ready for the tabletop. Combined with the B&C’s Loyalty and Treachery, I can work on a number of units – as well as being able to paint some larger things outside of the Escalation league, to really progress all things Heresy-esque.

I’ve gone with the following 500pts to start – whilst this may not see the table particularly frequently, it begins to fill the void in my 30k army: that of Troops! I had previously invested in some of the nice frills, such as Contemptors and Terminators, so to return to the ‘bread and butter’ of Legion-based armies is great:

Legion Chaplain – with Artificer Armour, Melta Bombs, Plasma Pistol – 115pts
Legion Tactical Squad – with additional CCW, Sergeant with Melta Bombs and Power Fist – 190pts
Legion Tactical Squad – with additional CCW, Sergeant with Melta Bombs and Power Fist – 190pts
495pts

Pictured below are the models all on sprues:

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And they look lovely when built:

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And with one eye on the future, I also built some Terminators:

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As I wanted to do something outside of that, I wanted to also paint the Death Guard’s gene-sire, Mortarion:

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Who I’m very pleased with:

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Now, I’ve finished my initial vow too:

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With a couple of close-ups:

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Lots of progress to report on at least – and on to the next thing!

 

 

 

Mantis Creations Kickstarter Cases

I’ve been a big fan of Kickstarter over the last few years, backing probably twenty-odd projects, and have generally been delighted with the result – and I can safely add another to the list.

Mantis Creation’s Kickstarter for Model Storage funded in August 2014, and although it’s taken a little while to get the rewards after the campaign outstripped the predicted levels of interest, I can tell you that the wait has been worth it. I went in quite high, for eleven cases in total – lured by the fact I could choose all of my own foam. In hindsight, perhaps I didn’t even choose as widely as I could’ve – but I focused on the amazing 56 model infantry trays (four to a box… massive storage!), as well as the heavier infantry, a set of Bikes/larger models and some pick and pluck to fill the remainder. I know some people were very adventurous – and if there are such options for a future one, I may look into this too! Was very pleased to find it exactly as requested (minus one topper, not a huge deal!) – and superbly packaged, delivered safely by DHL – thank you!

I’ve got a case from nearly every major foam/bag/storage solution on the market over the years… Games Workshop, Battlefoam, KR, Figures in Comfort… All in varying sizes, with different trays, for the myriad things I’ve collected over my lifetime. I’d liken these boxes probably closest to KR’s – they’re made of what looks and feels like hard cardboard, but clearly built to withstand, and with a carry handle made of plastic. The foam itself is robust: it’s hard to compare to the other brands that are out there, but it’s somewhere between GW’s and Battlefoam’s products – it retains shape well, and is definitely harder than some, but with more give than others. It is kiss-cut down the middle, so I can theoretically halve it, and mix and match more depending on my needs. Each can take up to about 140mm worth of trays – which is sizeable, roughly four depending on each tray’s depth!

The boxes themselves have the great Mantis logo on, and look incredibly professional:

Unboxing

The 56 infantry trays are superb – perfect for a Space Marine, or 28mm equivalent model – a Plague Marine and Von Schill modelling this:

56 Infantry Tray

224 models in a single case?! Two companies worth?! Ideal!

The heavy infantry trays are perfect for those larger models (Terminators, etc.):

Heavy Infantry Tray

And the Bike Trays are great too – I’ll probably also utilise these for larger models (maybe even move my Deathshroud here!) – comfy:

Bike Tray

I’ve not posted pick and pluck photos – simply because I’ve not put anything in them yet! I’ll update it when I do – probably for my Tantive, Transport and Lambda…

Rather than the sort of pallet they were delivered in, I thought it might be worth showing the stack of trays:

Tray Stack

I don’t think my collection will ever be tidier once I’ve finished putting them in here!

To conclude, it was definitely worth the wait – Tyron’s put together a superb campaign, and his second will no doubt be just as good. The quality is worth it, and I absolutely cannot argue at the price for what I’ve got! Definitely keep an eye out for future campaigns and this company!

 

A New Year Beckons…

It’s crazy that this blog hasn’t been updated in awhile – I thought I was getting good at posting regular updates and content, and clearly failed – so at least there’ll be a veritable truckload of posts over the coming weeks. Life has inevitably been in the way of hobbying, which is good and bad in equal measure! That said, since the ETL, I’ve been doing well at ploughing through unit after unit, and creating some really good things that I’m proud of – and continuing to clear my backlog!

As ever, the Bolter and Chainsword ran the Call of Chaos in the run up to Christmas – an irresistible challenge for a batch painter like myself. I went all out:

“I, Chaeron, will answer the Call of Chaos and vow to complete twenty one units, all before January 15th 2015. If I do this successfully I will receive the Mark of Postulant Glory and continue on the path to ruin. If I fail I’ll wear the Mark of the Lost and I expect no mercy on my soul!

  1. Forgeworld Great Unclean One
  2. Forgeworld Great Unclean One
  3. Forgeworld Great Unclean One
  4. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  5. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  6. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  7. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  8. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  9. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  10. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  11. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  12. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  13. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  14. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  15. Five Plague Marines with Aspiring Champion and special weapon.
  16. 1 Obliterator
  17. 1 Obliterator
  18. 1 Obliterator
  19. 1 converted Fiend of Slaanesh
  20. 1 converted Fiend of Slaanesh
  21. 1 converted Fiend of Slaanesh”

It was a pretty big vow – the largest in terms of units pledged, with plenty of familiar faces also participating to suitably encourage and provide the criticism to help progress everything!

There are pre-photos of all of the pledged units:
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And with that, the next Black Crusade commenced!

I began with the three Forge World Great Unclean Ones – arguably, some of the best models produced and one of my all time favourites.

I started with a Rhinox Hide base, getting in everywhere fleshy:

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Proceeded to then drybrush Averland Sunset – trying get that tone and depth between the recessed areas, and make it look similar to elephant skin, wherever possible:

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Then, started to pick out all the flesh ‘disturbances’ in Screaming Skull (of which there are many):

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And all three had that done:

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I then worked on the flesh further:

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With the first one’s flesh coat done:

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And then together!

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So then, I started highlighting…

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And adding gore:

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Some assembly required:

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Up close and personal:

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I don’t even know the collective noun for three Great Unclean Ones – suggestions welcome:

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They all have quite questionable hygiene too:

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Once I got to this stage, I needed to throw in a WIP of something a bit different – those Fiends did nicely:
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Before I began blocking colours on my Obliterators:

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Once those steps are done, things go faster:
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And naturally I had to get the ext batch ready:

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And then get them painted!
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And now with flesh and weapons done:

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Before, finally, after a monumental effort: I completed it all! I went back and did a few extra things on all of the above, making sure everything was of a very good standard, no missed details etc. – which left me with one of everything:
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A nice side view:

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The ‘big guns’:

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The right side:

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The left side:

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Phew! Quite an effort – really pleased generally as the vast majority of the Plague Marines were salvage jobs, hence why there is some discolouration in places. Overall, a new lease of life – so I’m pretty delighted I’ve rescued them for the army.

And with that, the Call was complete. Now to begin preparations for the ETL, and a review of the year in general. Best wishes to you and yours for the year ahead!

Angron

I’ve loved the Forge World character and Primarch series, and the first I was lucky enough to get my hands on was Angron. I had hoped that by painting him under ETL conditions, I could make him into my pièce de résistance…

I was able to put in a good shift early on, which really helped. Some excellent blogs out there really did help on the armour, although I did admittedly cut a few corners and adapt it (like all painters should!) to start getting the effect I really wanted.

Leading, ultimately to:

A model I can very much be proud of!

Lord of Skulls

I always find it so much easier to paint to deadlines – and I love entering for competitions on the Bolter and Chainsword, so taking part in the ETL this year was a no-brainer. For my first vow, I wanted to complete the Lord of Skulls that has been sitting quite happily on my desk for some time. I needed to spray it white (as I’d bought it pre-built):

And could then start working on it. Painting became so much easier when I ripped the Lord of Skulls apart:

So much so, that he is now completed! ROT FOR THE ROT GOD; PUS FOR THE PUS THRONE!

Feels great to have completed a thousand points already, huzzah!

Unsure what I’ll vow next, but it’s a great start!

Blight Drones

One of the additions to my army has been Blight Drones: a second-hand acquisition from a friend who’d tried some conversion work and hadn’t the energy to continue. Naturally, these have joined the Long War in earnest and have been given a new lease of life! It’s been one of the more challenging recent modelling projects I’ve done, and I hope you like the effort that’s gone into them.

I made a start by repairing all of the issues, smoothing out defects and priming white over the previous coat. As you can see, at this stage I’ve blocked out all the decaying metal – next step will be to bring out all the flesh tone, before we start washing and weathering.

After that, the flesh!

I’d done all the flesh, a few washes here and there and most of the detailing. Here’s the back of one of them:

Hopefully looking suitably vile. My concern was that at that moment the flesh was just a bit too light, so I brought that up a shade with a drybrush/highlight combo. It has a nice tone to it, but it’s not perfect – and I didn’t feel it necessarily complimented either the decaying parts, or the armour particularly well. I wanted the spotty boils to stand out – so I needed to take a different tack to make sure it really did contrast with the strong metal orange tones.

I thought that by making the flesh more pallid it’d create the perfect contrast, and still look suitably sickly. So the skin tone was redone and there’s been a stiff highlight around the armour plating. I’ll still need to weather that further, but it’s shaping up at least! It does give the right contrast and leaves you in no doubt what is flesh and what is armour.

And, when the bases came… things started to fall into place:

I started off with the following:

I then proceeded (with help from Dad, cheers!) to cut the pieces of acrylic rod to about four inches each, before drilling into both the sphincter of the drone and through the base also:

Pushing the PVC into the hole created, I was then able to see how long I actually wanted it in the base before sawing off any excess.

I then secured this with superglue, added the tank trap from some spare FW resin blocks, and then used some liquid GS just to fill any necessary gaps.

With the aid of a hot glue gun, I then went and did the following:

To create the slime etc. coming from their rear, it was basically a case of layering and just letting it flow so it was pretty uneven and looking like watery slime trailing behind them and propelling them forward.

But naturally, I couldn’t stop there. We needed to get some colour on that bad boy! Now traditional inks didn’t work: they left the majority clear and simply ran off. So, a quick drybrush/paint of Rhinox Hide gave it a nice brown tone. I then proceeded to undercoat the base (which had been washed with the FW block prior to the gluing stage) in black.

The next step was using the Army Painter Quickshade from the tin: which leaves a glossy finish! I knew I’d have a use for this again! So on that went, quite liberally, before I returned to drybrushing the base in a dark grey and a thick black wash over the top. This was then given another highlight with a lighter grey and a thinner coat of black wash thereafter for detail. I added barbed wire and a stiff highlight on the traps as some final detailing for the time being!

Which leaves me with the following:

Then as a unit from the side too:

And some individual ones!

I really hope you like them!

I’m currently unsure as to what’s next on them – I might weather the armour slightly more, and perhaps a little highlight on the slime, but I’m pretty stoked at the moment as to how these have turned out. As ever, please chuck any comments and criticism my way – if it’ll help improve them, I’m always game to listen!

Thank you all as ever for your support and belief!