Shelfari Shelf

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hawk Lords Vanguard Squad

After building and painting up Shrike for my Hawk Lords a while back, I realized that there was no real point to having him in an army if he didn't have a squad to go into assault with. Not wanting to build another metal Vanguard boxed set, I resolved to use the Sanguinary Guard boxed set as the basis for the this Hawk Lords Vanguard squad.

The single main thruster jump pack was the main reason I went with the Sanguinary Guard boxed set. I also used the legs, and one of the power swords (to represent a relic blade) for the build. I then added in the two assault marine torsos I had in my bitz box, as well as a pair of regular torso plates (one with eagle, one with skull) and an Mark VIII torso for the sergeant.

To add that Hawk Lords flavor, they all have a studded right shoulder pad, and a single lightning claw (believe me if I had them in pairs I would have used them) except for the sergeant who has the relic blade. Two of the marines got storm shields - having used them with my Disciples of Caliban I saw how much more resilient they can make a squad - and two just have bolt pistols.

I used the same painting technique for the Land Speeders as I did here, starting with black primer, then a basecoat of Leviathan Purple. Next a wash of Baal Red (I really like the depth this adds to the purple), P3 Beaten Purple and a final extreme highlight of P3 Murderous Magenta. The silver is Boltgun, Devlan Mud and Chainmail, the gold is Dwarven Bronze, Devlan Mud, Shining Gold and Burnished Gold. The green is Orchide Shade, P3 Ioasan Green, Goblin Green and Scorpion Green, the yellow is P3 Sulfurous Yellow, Golden Yellow and Sunburst Yellow. I used a Micron pen to draw the X, Terminator Honors and Hawk Lords symbols. I'm not altogether happy with the way these turned out, I think the Hawk Lords symbol is just a bit beyond my reach still.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So You Want a Friend to Read Some 40k?

I have noticed that one question asked a lot on 40k forums is "which novels should I give my friend to get them into 40k?" Everyone has an opinion, and if you don't try to winnow through it, half of the Black Library catalogue will be sitting on your friend's bookshelf before they know it. This could be a good thing, if they are generally interested in 40k and maybe have some knowledge of the fluff. But for a true newb, it can be so overwhelming that it is a turn off. Especially since much of the background is very much an insiders story.

My solution is a pair of books, the Eisenhorn trilogy and Storm of Iron. Eisenhorn is a great choice because it doesn't make any assumptions about what the reader knows. The worlds are all new, and the character is trying to solve a mystery that shows the reader what the 40k universe is like. Xenos ( part one of the trilogy) has only a handful of Space Marines and a handful of Chaos Marines, with some Imperial guard (loyal and traitor) thrown in. This series is kind of like easing yourself into a pool after lunch. Yes, it can be more fun to shock your self, do the cannonball and start having fun. But easing yourself in can build comfort and acclimatization.

Storm of Iron is quite a different beast, however it represents a 40k game in novel form. It is the siege of an Imperial fortress by a chaos legion (the Iron Warriors for those who don't know) and it has everything a 40k fanboy could want in it. Chaos Space Marines, Space Marines, Titans, Imperial Guard, things blowing up, explosions, flashes, booms, bangs! This was Graham McNeill's first novel, and I think it wow'ed fans in a way his Ultramarines novels just haven't done. Not only are the main protagonists bad guys, but they do some horrific stuff to boot. So the next time someone asks you about reading some 40k novels, offer up these two, and they won;t be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hawk Lords Land Speeders

Though not quite so exotic as some Forge World pieces, I do have a pair of Hawk Lords land Speeder Typhoons done now. These have been begging to be painted since all of the Forge World goodness arrived.

These are built from the basic Land Speeder kit, a kit which I had not used since it was recut with the release of the latest Space Marine codex. So it was a new experience for me.

For those who haven't used the kit, it is light years ahead of the previous Land Speeder kit. It still has some fitting issues, mainly in the way the side pieces connect. Which can create some gap issues, but otherwise it is pretty good. The fact that it lets you make the three standard Land Speeder combinations is a great bonus as well.

I choose to build the Land Speeders for the Hawk Lords because it seems characterful for them. The only extant info about the Hawk Lords is that they are most likely a Raven Guard founding, and that they have some of the best Thunderhawk pilots in the Imperium. Often used in formations called Hawks Talons, other Space Marine chapters will often send pilots for additional training with the Hawk Lords.

I intend to build two squadrons eventually, one with an anti-tank role, the other with an anti-infantry role. In this post are the first of both of those squadrons - one with Heavy Bolter, and one with Multimelta. The only addition I made to the kit was to give all of the pilots beakie helmets.

I did some experimentation with the paint scheme for these two models, as I'm not quite sold on the way I painted the Tactical marines and Shrike. So I started with black primer, then applied a coat of Hormogaunt Purple. Next I applied a wash of Baal Red. This had a nice deepening effect on the models. I followed it up with a coat of P3 beaten Purple and an extreme highlight of P3 Murderous Magenta.

I painted the silver a bit differently too. I used a coat of Boltgun Metal, a wash of Devlan Mud, a second coat of Boltgun Metal, and then an extreme highlight of Chainmail. I think it makes those parts look a bit more worn.

That's all for now. Next time I should have a converted squad of Hawk Lords Vanguard Marines to show off. However, due to my work being extremely busy in the next two to three weeks, I will probably only be posting once a week. Time will tell.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

C S Goto's Eldar Prophecy

DON"T READ THIS BOOK! C.S. Goto's Eldar Prophecy is an abominable volume that should never have been published. One can note that it is also his last novel published by the Black Library to date, this is definitely the reason why. The novel is based in the craftworld Kaelor - from the 40k card game (if you have seen the farseer with the blood pouring out of her eyes, she is in this novel as a child) - and deals with the aftermath of a civil war. Goto goes out of his way to explain why this craftworld is archaic and antiquated, but it flies in the face of everything we have learned about the eldar and their status as a dwindling race. Also, many of the place names have a made up or disjointed feel to them, like he was trying to do for the Eldar what Dan Abnett did for the IG. Only he failed horribly.

So why did I read this novel? Readers of my blog may have noticed it sitting in my Shelfari queue for months now, really it's been sitting on my bookshelf since it came out. I read a couple of pages and just decided it wasn't worth my time. However, I would like to claim that i have read every 40k novel from the BL in print (Space Marine is the only exception, and no, Necromunda novels don't count, though I have read a few of them). So in order to feel a bit more justified in these novel reviews I do, I felt I had to read this one. On the up side, I might prevent some eager Eldar player, wanting to know more about his army, from reading something that will destroy his mind. So in conclusion, don't read this book, ever. If you want to read an Eldar novel, read Path of the Warrior. Definitely don;t read any of the other Eldar novels C S Goto has written either. If you have read Path of the Warrior, read it again. savor the Eldar goodness until the next novel in the series comes out.

Imperial Armour Volume Nine The Badab War Part One

I just got IA 9: The Badab War part one in the mail today. It was a nice surprise because I was home early, it's raining in this neck of the woods, and work was moderately blah. However, anytime I get a Forgeworld delivery, my spirits soar. It's almost as warm and fuzzy as seeing my eight week old daughter smile.

For Space Marine fans, this is a must by, not only does it have the second most infamous Space Marine on Space Marine wars, but it is chock full of great fluff. For one thing, there is the first half of the Badab War recounted in general terms. This IA does not follow a planet by planet, blow by blow account of the War, but highlights the key actions such that the flow of the war is fairly well paced. In this section, I think the best parts are in the motivations and frustrations of the Astral Claws (and especially Lufgt Huron) and those of their opposites, most importantly the Fire Hawks.

The second section is a look at some of the chapters that participated in the Badab War (with the promise that the rest will be examined in volume two). The Astral Claws, Fire Hawks, Marines Errant, Red Scorpions, Fire Angels, Raptors, Lamenters, Novamarines and Howling Griffons are all detailed. My only complaint here, is that the Howling Griffons are depicted in an almost all black scheme and it is called night camouflage. On one level this feels like a cop out, as their are so many more complex schemes that could of been used. On another, I've always thought that - fluff wise - only Scouts used camo, and here are marines repainting their armour, possibly angering the machine spirit of their armour. Their are two other sections, one is the campaign and boarding rules. The other is a special character and Tyrant's Legion section. The Tyrant's Legion gives you rules for fielding Huron's forces during the Badab War.

All in all, this is a solid IA, worth buying if you are a Space Marine fan, a lover of historical battle type books (along the Osprey vein) or just a 40k collector.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Caestus Air Ram Part III

I finally finished the Caestus Air Ram and its base. Although, not quite what i had in mind for a base originally, in terms of detail, it does fit the rest of my Ultramarines army fairly well.

The base has a ballast mixture of fine, medium and coarse on it, as well as razorwire and some of the larger slate pieces from the GW basing kit. I waited until after the base was painted and sealed to glue on the flying stand. This was adhered with canopy glue so that the clear plastic wouldn't fog. The only real problem with canopy glue is that it has a long cure time. I allowed it to dry overnight.

Pretty much no new tricks here, all of the standard painting techniques I have used in the past for my Ultramarines have been repeated here. I did consider using water slide transfers, but it is something I'm not a big fan of doing.

You will notice I used a piece of brass etched to indicate this is the 2nd Caestus in the Ultramarines armory. Sadly, I had used all of my number 1's, so mystery solved. I do like the Forgeworld brass etched kits (they are sprinkled throughout my collection). I wish GW would make some plastic detail kits for the Ultramarines, maybe one day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dan Abnett's Sabbat Worlds

For those waiting for another Gaunt's Ghosts novel, Dan Abnett's Sabbat Worlds is a good anthology to tide you over. For one thing, there are two Gaunt's Ghosts short stories that fit into the continuity of the series, and both are quite good. Abnett leaves the continuity question as something for the reader to guess at, so I won't spoil this, only to say that for those two stories alone, the book is worth it.

"Regicide" by Aaron Dembski-Bowden is about the final battle on Balhaut between Slaydo and Nadzybar. Told from the viewpoint of one of Slaydo's lifewards, it is a good story that makes Slaydo a more personal character than we've seen in the novels from Gaunt's viewpoint. "A Good Man" by Sandy Mitchell is a short story along the lines of the Calpurnia novels. It involves the disappearance of an Administratum clerk and his colleague's search to find him. The third story I really enjoyed was "Blueblood" by Nick Khyme. This is the story of one of the Companies of the Volpone 50th being deployed to a rear echelon base while awaiting deployment. The other short stories are also good, however, I didn't feel like they were as engaging.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gav Thorpe's Aenarion

Gav Thorpe's Aenarion is the first audio book for the Time of Legends series. Despite this being an audio book, and the hour to hour and a half run times that the audio books I've listened to so far have had, I feel like I expected more in terms of the time line that this story would encompass. Essentially, Aenarion is the story of why Aenarion pulls the Sword of Khaine from the altar in the shrine of Khaine. I think I was hoping that this would be a story that carried beyond that moment to when the magical vortex was cast, but it is not. At times, I thought this was a bit simplistic, and some of the vocal effects for the different characters can be a bit odd, if not irksome. On the other hand, Gav does a good job in explaining why Aenarion pulls the sword and the grief he feels at the loss of the Everqueen. If you are a High Elf fan, or even a fantasy fan, pick up this audio book. If not, I would pass on this one.