Cognisance

I became conscious that I hadn’t posted an update to this blog in ages – and felt that this should be rectified! Since the last post (April 2016), I have not been inactive in the hobby – and have plenty to show, both Death Guard and otherwise! With the recent release of Codex: Death Guard and the new Edition of Warhammer 40,000 (8th Edition), there is an entirely new range of lovely models to build and paint, including the Death Guard Primarch, Mortarion himself, in plastic. This should mean in due course I’ll be getting lots of the newer sculpts painted up in the traditional scheme in order to get them ready for the tabletop.

From a gaming perspective, this has mostly been dominated by games in the Horus Heresy, including a few narrative campaign weekends, such as Throne of Skulls. My Heresy-era Death Guard have therefore have become suitably battle-worn, to match their paint-scheme, and have grown yet further. The next project for them will be an Orbital Assault Drop-Pod list, as I’m looking to flesh out possibilities for running different Rites of War depending on the game or the event. To complement my Death Guard, I’ve been working through a number of Mechanicus/Mechanicum elements, which have been suitably themed to have potentially questionable loyalties, as to whether they may or may not be Hereteks… as not everything’s allegiance is binary…

This aspect of the hobby began in early 2016: I started initially with Skitarii Vanguard, putting together a core of six units – one of which will have three Plasma Calivers, and the rest will have three Arc Rifles:

In order to get a correct number of Arc Rifles, I bought extra from the Kataphron sprue – and with a cut Radium Carbine, and a small piece of plasticard, we were in business!

This progressed quickly, as I look to paint them in a Ryza-based scheme: the use of orange would appropriately tie in with my Death Guard, as well as being a lovely bright colour! After construction, I looked to get things sprayed grey (including a few other notable additions, such as the Dominus and the Kastelan Robots) to go with the pre-built and sprayed Ruststalkers and Infiltrators (which lurk in the back of the photograph…):

SkitariiSpray3

Working then from a base layer of orange on the Vanguard, Robots, Datasmiths and Dominus, it was good to get the main colours on and blocked, before starting to work in on the lovely details:

SkitariiOrange4

Metals and their first wash:

SkitariiWIP5

Carbines and bases:

SkitariiWIP6

Starting to pick out details:

SkitariiDetail7

En masse:

SkitariiNearFinal8

Then, wanting to venture further into the Heresy side of all things mechanical – I picked up some initial bits to start off with and to form the core of the army:

MechanicumStart9MechanicumFirstBuild10

I then worked on a larger selection of robots, in a variety of sizes. Some Kastelans:

KastelanWIP11KastelanWIP12

A mixture of 30k Mechanicum: Thallax, Castellax, Ursarax, a Domitar and a Thanatar, and associated Datasmiths and Priests:

MechanicumWIP13MechanicumWIP14

I’ve also focused on thematic basing, which I believe captures a suitable ‘Martian’ or technical off-cut style, completed with broken cogs and gears, a few tufts of hardy grass, and set around the Ironearth/Ironcrust Technical Paints:

MechanicumBasing15

A close-up example:

MechanicumBasingFinal

To lead them, I added and started to paint a Magos (to be used as Scoria for competitive games), and added another Thanatar for fire support:

MechanicumAdditionsMechanicumAdditionsCloseUp

Here are a few WIP photos of Scoria:

ArchmagosScoriaWIP2ArchmagosScoriaWIP3

It was around this time that I added (yet) another Thanatar, and kept trying to keep everything cohesive, by tying in similar spot colours among the overarching scheme:

ThanatarManipleWIP

Here’s a photo of the (ever-)growing Cohort:

MechanicumArmyWIP

With a couple of pictures of the Thanatars complete, next to their master:

ThanatarManipleCompleteThanatarManipleComplete2

To make sure my Legio Cybernetica Cohort remain legal, I did require some more Castellax to fulfil the core of my army, so had to bulk that up further. I tried to match those armed with four Dark Lances, with four more toting Heavy Bolters:

CastellaxWIPCastellaxWIP2CastellaxWIP3CastellaxWIP4

As well as then thinking about the other things to start adding, such as an additional Magos Dominus and some Tech Thralls:

CastellaxWIP5

For a Bolter & Chainsword event, Loyalty and Treachery, I also pledged to add a number of further options, including Vulturax, Krios Venators, and more Thralls. A few photos of them in progress are included below!

LoyaltyTreacheryWIPLoyaltyTreacheryWIP2LoyaltyTreacheryWIP3

For my Thralls, I wanted to pick out all the details as they are such great models (despite their relatively low points cost on the tabletop!). I’ve picked out all of the cables in different colours, and used these to help tie them in with the rest of the robots. I chose to do these in yellow, rather than orange, just to reflect both their semi-human nature and to be reminiscent of Hazardous Materials suits. A quick progress photo:

LoyaltyTreacheryWIP5

More final details:

TechThrallsWIPTechThrallsWIP2

The support cohort together as completed:

LoyaltyTreacheryComplete1LoyaltyTreacheryComplete2

Having completed this, I now have somewhere in the region of 4,000pts of Mechanicum (and a reasonable amount of Mechanicus, to be totalled), which has expanded into quite a sizeable amount of support units. Bar the Vulturax and the Krios Tanks, I’ve been able to magnetise a case to fit all of the above Mechanicum in – with a quick example shown below too:

MechanicumCase

It has made things very usefully portable! I’ll follow this blog-post with a few photos of it in action: it plays very differently to the Death Guard within the Heresy setting, and will hopefully be a useful contrast and supporting element in future. With the new Forgebane boxed set having just been released, I’ll show some WIP photos of the Armigers, before looking to turn my focus back towards the Death Guard. Until next time!

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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!