Shelfari Shelf

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sandy Mitchell's The Emperor's Finest

The latest Ciaphas Cain novel by Sandy Mitchell is called The Emperor's Finest. This novel goes backward in the Cain timeline, to shortly after his escape from the Necrons (the first time). He is picked up by the Reclaimers space marines chapter - whom he is supposed to liaise with - and they head for a planet that is currently in revolt. In the style of the other novels, there is more going on than initially thought. Also, like all of the other Cain novels, this is a great read, worth picking up, even though it is in hard back and a more expensive buy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ultramarines Pre Heresy Captain

This is a conversion I built as a Golden Daemon entry about three years ago. It is inspired by the Command Squad Ingenus card from the Horus Heresy card game. I started with an old Space Wolf chest plate and removed all of the details from it. This gave me the belt shape where I could apply the Ultramarine symbol. I removed the skull to create the blank chest plate. I then used very thin wedges of green stuff to create the braiding.

I detached the sword hand from the arm and turned it, so that the blade would be turned in and repositioned the arm for the pose. I then used a Space Marine Bike arm for the opposite arm and put a bolter in the hand.

For the shoulder pads, I used one of the Deathwatch shoulder pads and removed the Inquisition symbol and replaced it with a brass etched Ultramarines symbol. The other shoulder pad I used a blank shoulder pad, and then took a scribing tool and made the lines across the inside. I then added a laurel from the command squad sprue.

For the base, I used a blob of green stuff to build up the base, and then added razorwire and a Chaos Marine shoulder pad. I painted the shoulder pad in Word Bearers shoulder pads.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

James Swallow's Garro: Oath of Moment

I just finished listening to Garro: Oath of Moment by James Swallow. This is probably the best audio book the BL has put out so far. I love Garro's story from Flight of the Eisenstein, and this audio book picks up right after it. While the narration and audio drama continues to be pretty much the same voices (who can have the most gravelly voice) with only an Emperor Palpatine style voice for Malcador, this was still a good listen. Garro is sent to Calth on a mission for Malcador that sees him smack dab in between the Ultramarines and Word Bearers. This is the first audio book the BL has put out that actually made me want to do some modelling, perhaps even a Garro conversion, which to me, is a sign of a successful 40k story.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ultramarines 6th Company

It has been a while since I have displayed more of my Ultramarines chapter in company or bulk format. This time out, I have the pleasure to show off my 6th company. It has a couple of different elements which I am proud of, as well as some slight modifications to make it a bit less gaudy.

The first change I made was to discard the orange shoulder pad rims in favor of the gold metallic. Despite that being used for the 2nd company, I figured I could adapt it and use a shoulder pad design that displayed the company number in the left corner, squad number in the center, and squad designation in the right corner. For the most part I was successful with this, though there are one or two instances where I mixed up the squad and company numbers.

I also chose to make two different versions of the company captain, one on foot and one on a bike. As you can see from above, the captain on a bike is a conversion of the Master of the Ravenwing on a jetbike model. That model is probably THE sweetest figure made by Games Workshop.

The biggest obstacle was to remove the plasma cannon from the underside of the chassis. I did this with clippers and then used green stuff to repair the gap and create a fin of sorts in that space. I then applied two pieces of brass etched on the shoulder pads. One was an Ultramarines symbol, the other a winged skull.

While I kept the gold shoulder pads, I felt the tabards(as well as any other models in the company with cloth) should have orange cloth to represent the company color.

Some other elements of the company include four squads of MKIV armor, built from the Red Scorpions Veteran squads and decorated with Ultramarine brass etched symbols. These were built back when that upgrade was the only one available, hence the lack of matching leg armor. I also used a squad of Black Templars Sword Brethern (minus the Lightning Claw marine who seemed to difficult to waste the effort mod'ing at the time)to supplement the command squad.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hammer & Bolter volume 1

The Black Library recently started adding e-books to their catalog of products which they offer, one of them is a new bi-monthly publication called the Hammer & Bolter. The first volume is a free download and contains seven articles; five 40k, and two fanatasy and an interview with Nick Khyme. There are two elements which I would like to discuss in terms of these downloads: ease of downloading and the fiction itself.
Lets start with ease of download. There are supposed to be three ways to view, nook, kindle and Mac's e-book app. To put the e-book on my computer seemed almost impossible despite the blurb on the BL site. So i then attempted to put it on my ipod touch. I had the Kindle app on my ipod touch so I didn't see that it would be a problem. However I had to add the e-book app to my ipod touch and then add it to my ipod.
I only read the three 40k stories: "The Death of Titus Endor", "Primary Instinct" and "Phalanx". All three were very good. "The Death of Titus Endor" is a sad tale about the end of Eisenhorn's once friend Titus Endor. He seems to be working a case , but there are complications that arise. "Primary Instinct" is a story about the Silver Skulls hunting eldar on a planet with a crashed spaceship. "Phalanx" is the first two chapters in the next Soul Drinkers novel. Apparently it will be serialized in the Hammer & Bolter. It is a good start to this novel, with some intriguing developments in the storyline.
One of the stories is an excerpt for Prospero Burns, and while I eagerly await reading this novel, I would like to go into it fresh without any teasers. I stayed away from the Warhammer fantasy stories on general purpose. For the most part, i just don't enjoy that setting. For a free publication, it is worth it if you have the capability to read it. However I'll have to check out the next episode to see if it will continue to be.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Forge World Severn Loth and Honor Guard

Another happy day, my Severn Loth and Honor Guard arrived from Forgeworld. This is a hybrid kit, comprised of the devastator boxed set leg sprue - so you get six sets of legs, five standing and one kneeling - the command squad accessory sprues, so you could build a company champion, apothecary and standard bearer, and the resin pieces shown above and below. To replicate the honor guard the way Forge World built them, the standard bearer arm is necessary for the Red Scorpions standard, the bolt pistol and close combat weapon hands are needed to mount the two power axes or the bolters. Otherwise the command squad sprues are pretty unnecessary. The detail all of the wargear is phenomenal, with imperial eagles decorating most of the bitz. There are a few red scorpions insignia on shoulder pads and weapons that could pose a challenge for those looking to make them a different chapter though. I intend to make mine Ultramarines, so I will be covering up the scorpions with brass etched insignia. I may also work in some of the character upgrade bitz depending on what looks cool. But first, I have to do some soaking and cleaning of some fresh resin.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Forge World Space Marine Character Conversion Set

When I picked up IA 9 from Forge World, I also got the Space Marine Character Conversion Set. All of the pieces on these sprues are pretty cool. You get two left and one right bionic arm, four bolt pistols and one plasma pistol to be used with those arms, a power fist, power sword, bionic leg, a gas masked head, combat knife and combiflamer. Coincidentally, the Salamander on the cover of Firedrake has the combiflamer in his hands. My only regret is that these upgrades will work for almost every MK armor set that Forge World just released except the MKIII Iron Armor because of the way the armor plates on the hands are placed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Changeling

Sadly, one of the last models on my painting desk right now is now done. I've been sitting on the Changeling for a while now, almost since I finished the Horrors a couple of months ago. For one thing, I'm not a huge fan of the model. I think it is kind of a cop out, by robing him completely.

I started out priming the model black. For the robes, I used a basecoat of Regal Blue, then a coat of Enchanted Blue. I then gave the robe a 50:50 coat of Enchanted Blue and Ice Blue, followed by a coat of Ice Blue and an extreme highlight of 50:50 Ice Blue and Skull White. I also used that last mix on the nails of the Changelings hands.

For the flames, I used layers of Scab Red, Blood Red, Blazing Orange, Golden Yellow and Sunburst Yellow. The bone and gold were done the same way I paint those colors every time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nick Kyme's Firedrake

Nick Kyme's Firedrake is the second book in his Book of Fire trilogy. It opens with Ba'kir and Iagon now sergeants of the squads Da'kir and Tsu'gan once led. They are led by Chaplain Elysius against the Dark Eldar. Elysius also happens to be the current bearer of the Sigil of Vulkan.Da'kir is also back, and we glimpse some of the trials of a prospective librarian among the Salamanders and Tsu'gan continues fighting alongside Praetor and the Firedrakes. The reader also finds out about a prophecy that could spell the destruction of the Salamanders and Nocturne and Nihilan is attempting to fulfill it.

The Dark Eldar are depicited using the new codex's fluff. Their soul hunger and the scheming nature of their society is well done. Vulkan He'stan is also brought into the mix, and his characterization is well done, showing him as mythical due to his rank as Forgefather and craving the brotherhood of his chapter because of the isolation it forces upon him. My only real quibble with this novel is it starts out somewhat slow. Otherwise it is a good read, worth picking up for fans of Salamander.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Aaron Dembski-Bowden's The First Heretic

The latest installment of the Horus Heresy series is Aaron Dembski-Bowden's The First Heretic. This novel is the tale of the Word Bearers, from their censure by the Emperor for worshipping him and spending too long making planets compliance, to their search for the chaos gods and the Dropsite Massacre at Isstvaan. But this novel is really about Argel Tal, 7th company captain of the Word Bearers, and his faith in Lorgar, and the actions Lorgar requires of him in the search for the true faith the Word Bearer's desire. The Ultramarines fan in me loved the opening with Guilliman and how the Emperor's censure of Lorgar is what truly creates the animosity of the Word bearers for the Ultramarines. Finally, there is a tiny bit more elaboration on the fate of the two deleted chapters. At some point, this juicy little secret will slip out in the Horus Heresy, there are just two many allusions to it for it not to happen. At any rate, this is a solid book, enjoyable, quick to read and well executed. Fans of the HH series should pick it up and enjoy!