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!

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!

 

 

 

A Year In Review

To review my year in the hobby is to acknowledge that I’ve not posted as much during 2015 as perhaps I anticipated that I might, with only four posts spread throughout the year. That said, this offers the opportunity for a (bumper) reflective on the things that I did do, and didn’t chronicle, as well as the plans for the future too!

The Games

The most recent reflection was on my tournament performance in a local 1650pts 3-game event in August, which thoroughly put me through my paces in learning 7th edition. Mustering four games in two days had bested my total for the rest of the year, and it was great to field a fully cohesive army, even if I couldn’t do better than last place!

That said, just a couple of weeks later I was lucky enough to roll out my Heresy army, to make five games in the space of two weeks – which is most likely a personal record – and was delighted to roll some dice against a top notch opponent. We had planned for a 2.5k Heresy game, I’d originally wanted to roll out my Contemptors, and more of my lovely Heresy-era Terminators, but packing in the early hours before you have to leave for a conference, with the limitation of just one box, meant I had to be slightly creative. A couple of minor proxies and working with what models I had readily available to make a force I’d not yet tested, but thought would be fun to play.

List included the following:

Mortarion with three Deathshroud
Praetor with Paragon Blade and Iron Halo
Legion Destroyer Squad with Rad Missile Launcher and two Phosphex bombs
Legion Destroyer Squad with Rad Missile Launcher and two Phosphex bombs –
Apothecary with Power Sword
Legion Tactical Squad – 20 Strong
Legion Tactical Squad – 20 Strong
Legion Support Squad – all with Volkites
Legion Support Squad – all with Volkites
Legion Sicaran Battle Tank with Lascannons and Armoured Ceramite
Legion Sicaran Battle Tank with Lascannons and Armoured Ceramite
Fire Raptor
2500pts

In short, lots of troops (represented by retro plastic Plague Marines in the main!), a Primarch and not a lot of anti-tank. To then come up against a list like this:

Alexis Pollux
Legion Praevian with 3 Castellax
Tactical Squad Rhino
Tactical Squad
6 Jetbikes
2 Sicarans
Legion Falchion
2 Contemptor Mortis dreads
2500pts

Meant I was slightly outgunned – and against a lot of armour, including the Falchion that with a strength D tank-busting weapon, would probably make things difficult for me.

I got my friend to deploy first, and tried to counter-deploy with everything possible in cover. With the Warlord Trait allowing us both to move a unit, I moved Mortarion et al to the other side of the board, to hopefully wreak havoc around the super-heavy, and to deal with where (at that time) most of the targets he could actually deal with would be. The range of the Falchion meant cover was essential, but difficult with the fire-arc and kill-zones it would inevitably be holding.

Here’s a quick shot of my right flank:

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To the left, the other squad with Apothecary, and then further over, in cover near the objective, both Destroyer squads. Mortarion is in pure white, with three Obliterators (as Deathshroud) around him), and my Praetor in that squad.

First turn was somewhat brutal: I’d wanted to use my Sicarans, was very excited having painted them up nicely and hoped they could kick out some damage. To see the Falchion one shot the first, and reduce the other to one hull point, before being summarily executed by a follow-up shot from another unit, I now didn’t have anything holding the right flank, or any real anti-tank. My opponent (kindly) offered to restart with it swapped out for something different: I had basically nothing that could hurt it, and I’d lost about a fifth of my army early on. The perils of Strength D! I was keen to continue – it was my first game of the Heresy proper, and I was keen to try and at least plough through – even if it meant only another twenty minutes before I might be tabled!

Oddly, things got better – for the fact I would struggle to damage those tanks, it focused my attention on anything softer. Mortarion cleaved his way through the Castellax, then their Praevian, before jumping behind cover. His teleport rules are excellent – the Falchion was somewhat limited by the terrain, and therefore spent time chewing through Tactical marines. The Fire Raptor made a huge difference, knocking out an opposing Sicaran and taking the other to a single hull point, before destroying the Rhino to leave those Tacticals available for Mortarion to scythe through. I was delighted with the Destroyers – their damage to the jetbikes and subsequent effects made it easier for the boltguns of the marines to deal with them – as many nobly died so my Praetor could live throughout. The support squads, with limited range and anti-tank, were basically used to sit on objectives, and it was great to finally see one of my Deathshroud (the last remaining) cut down the contesting bikers.

During this time, Polux and Breacher escort (as Tacticals) had (just) successfully used deep strike to attempt to grab an objective and wreck my left flank: the Destroyers were to turn around, and with Mortarion in tow, carved through all and the warlord. This helped move me above on VPs, with a few solid tactical objectives, despite losing my Fire Raptor – and the game ended with my Death Guard sitting on five objectives, against a Sicaran with a hull point, a Falchion and a Contemptor.

A quick shot shows the devastation:

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It was a fantastic game – coming out with a 22-8 victory was unexpected after that first turn, and was characterised by it simply being great fun. I was lucky to have a superb opponent, and it made for a fantastic game. The massed numbers of troops were clearly a great boon, and I’d probably just want another Apothecary to help the other Tactical Squad achieve. I’d switch out the support squads for something heavier in future, but the Fire Raptor and Mortarion performed superbly – and the Destroyers offered another threat – as well as being very cool.

This was however the most recent game I’ve played, bar a fantastic Apocalypse battle, of roughly 5,000pts a side (five players per team – good vs. evil) – so we could fit in pizza and the game within about three hours.

Here’s a quick overview of setup:

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Aim was to reach that big building where the Titan was residing – if we could capture the grotto, and any objectives on the way… it’d be decent! It was a bit of a slog…

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Mortarion nearly killed the Wraithknight… he got stomped next turn however sadly!

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That was probably one of the highlights – managed to topple a member of the Seer Council on Jetbikes, but broadly as we were slightly outnumbered superheavy wise, and it was quite a long way to go – even recycling didn’t truly help us! Fantastic game though – thoroughly enjoyed it, and can’t wait for the next one!

Aside from this, I’ve managed to fit in a few games of Guild Ball, and one of Bolt Action – I’ve thus far lost all my Guild Ball games, and pulled out a draw in my first Bolt Action game – which suggests I should probably stick to non-sporting tabletop games in future…

Painting

On the painting and modelling side of things, I’ve been lucky enough to paint approximately 9,000pts of stuff over the course of the year, mostly thanks to the different competitions that have run on the Bolter and Chainsword – it’s a great motivation for me to take part in these, and proud to have actually cleared so much of a backlog – and do those pieces justice. I’m hoping to continue this level of output through the year, with a number of different pieces and projects – no doubt supporting the great core of things I currently have.

Most recently, I’ve diversified to add some Renegades, in the form of Traitor Sentinels, and a number of Khorne Berzerkers and Noise Marines, as pictured below:

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I’ve still got a number of things for my Death Guard that need to be improved in future, both repaints and some new ideas – and it’ll be good to explore those in time.

Heresy

The release of the new Betrayal at Calth sets have allowed me to bolster my Heresy army, in the form of the Tactical Marines I so desperately needed! Having totted up my rough points, I think I’m pushing 10,000pts – but so little of that is painted, coming mostly from Contemptors and Terminators. My aim for this year is to complete as much of that Heresy stuff as possible, and I’m looking forward to the next event at the B&C, which should allow me to complete Mortarion, and hopefully some other nice pieces… Watch this space!

The break over Christmas allowed me to build some Heresy leaders, who will be painted in Death Guard livery:
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And, I’ve enjoyed building a number of Breachers (to take me to 20), and the following, which should give me some semblance of air superiority:

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A Fire Raptor, huzzah!

Additions of a Deredeo, Storm Eagle, a Glaive and a Spartan should also heavily bolster these forces, the which have been started in true batch fashion:

I’ve laid them out together:

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Liberally applied glue from the bottle, before covering the full ‘face’ with a brush:

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And then applied my chosen materials, in cork and gravel, before shaking off the excess. About half shown:

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The other half are in progress…

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It is a start anyway – and looking forward to completing these and getting them on the painting table.

Other plans and projects?

The main goal is to continue to clear the backlog of models and miniatures that need to be painted, so they can hopefully grace the table-top more frequently. I’m hoping to do a bit more with the Dark Mechanicus/Skitarii I had planned, and perhaps see where that takes me in future!

To conclude

It has been an excellent year for the hobby, and has been one I’ve immensely enjoyed personally too, and I’m looking forward to all that 2016 has to offer – and I hope that it is happy, healthy and prosperous for everyone else too!

Taking the Legion to war!

I rarely get enough time to play currently, and so when the planets aligned to allow me to take part in my local club’s summer tournament, I leapt at the chance to put some models on the table and roll some dice! However, with the list submission date already passed, I was having to bring something together quickly, without the possibility of really testing it prior to the event. I pulled a list together of things that I thought would be fun or enjoyable to play with, and were things that were painted relatively well so that at least I would have a visually cohesive force, that would hopefully be able to dish out (some) damage. Although I had the possibility of drawing from any current 40k Codex, or indeed 30k, I wanted to play with the most recent Chaos Codex – no allies, frills or gimmicks here! At least ‘ob sec’ wouldn’t be a problem – but building to a 1650pts limit was also another inherent challenge to face. The list I went with was:

+ HQ (230pts) +

Chaos Lord with Lightning Claws, Mark of Nurgle and Sigil of Corruption – 120pts

Sorcerer with two additional Mastery Levels – 110pts

+ Troops (672pts) +

6 Plague Marines with two Plasma Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword and Melta Bombs, with a Rhino – 229pts

6 Plague Marines with two Plasma Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword and Melta Bombs, with a Rhino – 229pts

6 Plague Marines with two Melta Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword, with a Rhino – 214pts

+ Fast Attack (340pts) +

Heldrake with Baleflamer – 170pts

Heldrake with Hades Autocannon – 170pts

+ Heavy Support (405pts) +

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

1647pts

So I had a list – but I also hadn’t properly played Seventh Edition, and I felt it would have been poor form to show up without at least running the list through. I was lucky to find an opponent who, the night before, would put the list through its paces with a list involving a lot of Deep Striking Terminators. It was a great introduction to 7th proper, against a tough list – but I felt that the Death Guard acquitted themselves well under the circumstances, grabbing several objectives, and summoning reinforcements effectively through some Daemons! I’d dealt a lot of damage, and was probably in the ascendency when the game ended: but it ended in an 8-8 thriller draw. Certainly, I felt better about going to a reasonably competitive tournament with a list that I had road-tested, even if I couldn’t make any changes to it!

On the morning of the tournament, I felt positive that I would at the very least make a competent opponent for whomever I faced, and was very much looking forward to at the very least becoming more adept with the latest edition. Seeing everyone else and their superbly painted and modelled armies was a great boost, and I was definitely excited to play on tables that were fully painted and covered with an assortment of terrain. There were three games to be played over the course of the day, the first was ‘Big Guns Never Tire’, deploying as per Hammer and Anvil. The second, ‘Crusade’, would follow the Vanguard Strike deployment. The third, The Emperor’s Will, would deploy as per Dawn of War.

My first game was against an opponent with a Tyranid force, with lots of big creatures, and so at least facing him down the table would perhaps give me slightly longer to hurl demolisher shells at him. In terms of the objective placement, I knew that I would have to fight into the centre of the board, but I had to hope that I could make a sufficient dent in his forces first. In hindsight, I probably didn’t concentrate enough fire on his larger creatures, with a Toxicrene threatening my flank considerably. Despite summoning two lots of Plaguebearers, and a Great Unclean One, I simply couldn’t chew through his stuff fast enough. Despite having no shooting attacks, the distance narrowed and once in combat, there would only really be one winner. Forgetting my reserve roll in the first instance was probably not ideal – but I would still have struggled, either way!

A photo of the action:

DGTyranids

With the scoring adjusted, taking into account the tactical objectives achieved and kill points, I lost 17-3. But, a superb opponent meant I had great fun, and it was good to play an army that I rarely see gracing tables!

After this game, we took a break for lunch, and had to set up our respective armies for display. I was very proud of my army, and it looked as follows:

DGArmy

DGArmySide

The loss ensured I would be on one of the lower tables, and thankfully, in terms of moving my stuff anyway, I remained on the same table I had played my first game on. My opponent had lost their first game, and I now faced a combined Imperial Guard/Iron Hands army, with two Forgeworld Vultures, with twin-linked Punisher Cannons, that would, in turn, cause some serious damage to my army.

Deploying on the diagonal was certainly a different experience, and perhaps in hindsight I could have chosen the other corner of the table and set my army up more defensively. But, I came for a scrap – and I wanted to show how tough those Plague Marines really were! Regrettably, failing to wipe out a Vanquisher that threatened most of my army early on meant I couldn’t then respond to the Drop Pod landing within my midst. Two Perils of the Warp attacks robbed my Sorcerer of the chance to manifest into a Daemon Prince, which may have secured a failing rearguard. My Lord spent most of the time running between bits of difficult terrain, and I was grateful that his Leman Russ Executioner destroyed itself, having chewed through more than enough of my left flank. Then, the Vultures entered and things became messy. Throwing twenty re-rollable dice at anything is going to ruin people’s days, and I didn’t really have a counter for them. The game finished with my Lord and a lone Plague Marine having finally got to combat and torn the opposition apart, sitting on an objective that counted for nothing. Regrettable! If I had remembered that, I probably would have placed that one out the way – rather than attempting to sit on it for most of the game. When the transports went, getting so few Plague Marines into combat was going to be a nightmare, and sadly I didn’t have the numbers to weather the storm.

My left flank (note, the far left is actually my ‘dead’ pile…):

DG/IG Battle

When I had things left on the board:

DG/IG Battle 2

When things went:

DG/IG Battle 3

This battle scored me a generous 19-1 loss. I’d killed a few things, but the cards were cruel, and entrenched objectives were unobtainable. Holding that one objective that was worthless was also an error!

I knew that for all my hard gaming, running 0-2, I would probably be in the bottom few. To be playing in the ‘wooden spoon’ match was pretty much what I had expected, but I was determined to claw this back! My army certainly had performed well in certain parts, and I hoped to get the synergy right in this game against Liam’s Dark Angels.

It started well: it always does. I’d set up in a way that meant I could get in close early, and hopefully hold the objectives long term, and racked up a healthy lead with some lucky cards, and some good rolling.

First turn - DA/DG

Summoning two Plague Bearer squads early on was useful, and despite being forced to deploy in the corner, it did offer additional protection for my rearmost objective.

Summoning

However, whilst I was casually marauding my Lord and retinue behind enemy lines, two Terminator squads teleported into the midst: and then proceeded to carve into my back line. The sheer fire-power they put out coming in (another great Formation that was used very effectively) meant that however much damage I would be causing to the rest of his army through my Vindicator and Lord, it was being reciprocated in kind through the parts of my army left behind on objectives.

Deep Strike!

That said, most of my army continued to fight nobly – and it was a fantastic game. With spates of luck and terrible/good rolling on both parts, it meant that when the game ended, both sides were thoroughly battered. That healthy lead I had built had crumbled when I was no longer able to hold objectives, and Liam racked up a win of somewhere in the region of 30 points to my still impressive 18, resulting in a 16-4 victory to him when adjusted. It was great fun, and although I still had my Lord, a Plague Marine and two Heldrakes, it would have got little better thereafter. Regrettably, such a loss secured my prize of the ‘wooden spoon’ for a last placed finish, and I was awarded a new game to try!

Marvel Dice Masters

All in all, it was a fantastic day – and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. In future, I think allying with Daemons for the benefits of Summoning would be appropriate, given that I tended to rely on that for the fun factor on this occasion. Or, more Troops may have helped… perhaps swapping out a couple of Vindicators for Maulerfiends may have also helped – but nonetheless, for not being able to play-test and tweak prior to the tournament, I’m very happy with how it performed and most importantly, how seventh edition plays in general. Hopefully, will be the first of many games over the coming months!

And we’re back!

I’ve not been idle – although I’ve been keeping busy I’ve been able to get a fair amount more painted since the last update, and hopefully they’ll become more regular from now on. As ever, the ETL over at the Bolter and Chainsword has allowed me to finish a great deal more than I would otherwise, and has equally pushed myself in terms of techniques and hopefully quality!

After the last update, I entered the Daemonic Pact (3) again at the B&C and was lucky enough to win Artisan of Chaos for the Best Paintjob and ascended to Daemonhood! The following model, one of my three Great Unclean Ones, was my entry:

Unclean One Front

Unclean One Back

Thereafter, I’ve completed a few other ‘random’ things, including adding detail onto a previously painted Ahriman to bring him up to higher standard, a bit of repair work in places, that sort of thing:

Ahriman

Ahriman Back

Getting him to look like this:

Ahriman Complete

Ahriman Complete Back

Then, in a bizarre twist of fate, I knocked him from my windowsill – and his staff broke and backpack came off. It broke in precisely one place, allowing me to do this:

Ahriman Final

Tzeentch is truly the changer of ways!

Separate blog posts with follow with updated pieces of work – and my latest offerings!

E Tenebrae Lux III – My Next Vows

As some of my previous posts on this blog have alluded to, I’ve been actively competing in the Bolter and Chainsword’s E Tenebrae Lux III, which is a great motivator to get things painted. After my two early completions of roughly a thousand points a piece, I decided to go somewhat larger, vowing to complete:

Chaos Terminator Squad Corruptus – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, pair of Lightning Claws, Chainfist, Power Fist x2, Reaper Autocannon, Champion with Gift of Mutation and the Icon Of Despair – 280pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Rictus – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Heavy Flamer – 212pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Mortis – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Reaper Autocannon, Power Fist, Chainfist and two Combi-Weapons, Champion with Gift of Mutation. – 267pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Vitiosus – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Reaper Autocannon, pair of Lightning Claws – 234pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Constupro –5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Reaper Autocannon, lightning claw – 230pts

Chaos Terminator Squad Inficio –5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, Reaper Autocannon, Chainfist, CombiPlasma and Power Fist – 251pts

Grave Wardens – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, 4 Combi Weapons and a Heavy Flamer– 232pts

Deathshroud – 5 Nurgle Terminators with VoTLW, 5 Combi Weapons – 227pts

Daemon Prince Chaeron – Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Mastery Level 1, Black Mace, Aura of Dark Glory – 265pts

Daemon Prince – Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Gift of Mutation, Black Mace, Aura of Dark Glory, Ichor Blood – 255pts

Daemon Prince – Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Gift of Mutation, Black Mace, Aura of Dark Glory, Ichor Blood and Wings– 295pts

Two Nurgle Obliterators with VoTLW: 158pts

Typhus – 230pts

Typhus – 230pts

Ahriman – 230pts

Kharn – 160pts

Chaos Knight – 375pts

9 Khorne Terminators with Heavy Flamer and Power Fist, 5 Chainfists and a Combi Flamer – 390pts

…Of total value 4521pts on or before August 1st. Now, making this vow just over four weeks before was perhaps ambitious – but I was keen to crack on and get a huge chunk of this done. Or die trying…

As ever, I resorted to painting in large batches, and spraying too:

Sprayed

I ploughed through the Deathshroud and Grave Wardens first:

And then moved onto the Cataphractii:

Which became:


 
Then:
 

 
Before trims:
 

 
Bases:
 

 

Leaving me with just a Knight:

If anyone is wondering why there’s a change of colour scheme from my normal – it’s because I’ve tied it into the Legio Mortis. With my inspiration being Dread Wake:


 
Meaning I had completed all of this!

And then, crazily, added another two vows with 24 hours to go:

Which I completed that evening:

6971pts completed in total over the course of a month – not bad, eh?

I’d highly recommend entering something similar: high levels of motivation and seeing everyone else’s great work is a massive inspiration. And, you can plough through great quantities in no time!

Necrosius

Another recent pleasure to paint was Forge World’s Necrosius – and I had two of them to do! Although a rough and ready quick job, very happy with how they came out. You can see them before:

And now in my scheme, after:

Much more coherent! Now just to raise a suitably large Zombie host…