Shelfari Shelf

Thursday, March 31, 2011

James Swallow's Garro Legion of One

The latest installment in the Garro audio books is Garro Legion of One. In this audio drama, Garro has picked up a second recruit, a World Eater named Lazlo Varren (I am unsure of the spelling) and they have headed to the planet that will see the culmination of their mission and, if successful, a return to Terra. What is known, is that it is a world that Horus has devastated, and they seek someone here. At the same time, a madman named Cerberus is roving the area slaughtering all in his path. I could tell you what happens when they meet, but it would ruin the surprise! This was another great story of Garro, one which I enjoyed listening to while painting my Executioners. If you are have listened to the last Garro audio book, definately pick this one up. Next book up, Victories of the Space Marines.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nick Khyme's Fall of Damnos

The much anticipated, by me, release of the Fall of Damnos by Nick Khyme came this past saturday, and unlike some of the previous Black Library releases lately, I was eager to read this book. Sadly, real life being what it is, I couldn't devour this book in one sitting like I would have wanted, but I have read it all now. This novel is excellent, for one, Khyme is a writer on the same level as Abnett, McNiell and Dembski-Bowden in terms of skill and the weaving of his story.

For those familiar with the Space Marines codex, you may know the outcome of Damnos, it is one of the stories listed within that codex. If not, here is the synopsis: The mining world of Damnos, has found some odd alien technology. Turns out to be a Necron tomb world. The Necrons awake, death ensues. The Ultramarines, recieving their distress call, arrive and attempt to save the planet.

This novel is a great read for two reasons. The first is Khyme's ability to weave a great narrative. Picking up on threads from the Assault on Black Reach novella (available through Games Workshop only, sadly it is some what mediocre despite being written by Khyme)the Fall of Damnos is centered on the viewpoints of three Ultramarines sergeants who each view Sicarius in different ways, ways which are echoed throughout the Ultramarines chapter. There is Sergeant Praxor, who longs to be a Lion of Macragge and believes Sicarius should succeed Calgar. Sergeant Scipio, who has lost his spiritual mentor Chaplain Orad and has turned grim because of it, he takes a pragmatic; what will be, will be approach. Finally, Sergeant Iulus, who is tasked with defending the lone human settlement on Damnos. His beliefis that Agemman is Captain of the First, Sicarius Captain of the Second, and the chain of command, and thus succession is clear. How these viewpoints shift and develop through the course of the war makes for compelling reading.

The second reason to read this novel are the evolving views of who and what the Necrons are as a race. Ideas first offered in Apocalypse: Reload are developed so that we see how the Necrons interact and act at the highest levels of control, where those nodes have remnants of personality beyond pure hate. Ideas from the Medusa V campaign are also brought in, such that Necron Lords have their own names, and personalities as well.

In conclusion, I would strongly urge 40k fans to read this novel. Ultramarine fans will love it, as it brings up questions that have long surrounded Sicarius and Agemman. Necron fans will enjoy it as it fleshes out their race and may offer insight as to what the next codex may bring.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Executioners Ironclad

This is the first of two Ironclads I intend to build for my Executioners army. With a focus on boarding action scenarios, they are ideal for the close quarters fighting that would take place. Also, they fit the strong close quarters theme of the Executioners as well.

I used the same painting schemes as I did for the other Executioners, taking inspiration from the IA:10 Executioners' dreadnought depicted therein. I choose to use the dreadnought close combat weapon and seismic hammer as the weapon choice, with meltagun and heavy flamer so that it can take on an anti-infantry and anti-armor role if necessary.

Finally, the base is a tech themed base from Armorcast to add to the shipboard look of the Executioners.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Executioners part 2

Finally inreciept of my copy of Imperial Armour 10, I was able to move forward with my Executioner's project. The first difficulty I had to overcome was choosing the primary color for the chapter. At first it didn't seem to be very straightforward, witha dark blue (possibly metallic) or grey as the main choices. IA:10 has a square with the chapter insignia framed in grey, when I finally realized this I ended up going with Shadow Grey as the main color. Eventually I plan to build up to 1500 points, but here is the beginning.

First I painted all of the silver sections with Boltgun Metal, then a wash of Asurmen Blue with a final coat of Chainmail. Next I painted the gold sections with Dwarf bronze, a wash of Devlan Mud, Shining gold and an extreme highlight of Shining Gold. This was mainly the Sergeant's backpack. The Broze section got a second coat of Dwarf Bronze and then a highlight of Shining Gold.

I used a .005 Micron pen to line in the Shield for the Chapter symbold, and then all of the red sections were painted Scab Red, Blood red and then given a highlight of orange. The Axes were lined in and filled with the Micron pen as well.

The grey was painted with Fenris Grey, Shadow Grey and an extreme highlight of Codex Grey.

The terminator bases were made with pieces of brass etched from the 40k basing kit and thin plasticard.

I choose to build the terminators with two Storm Shield and Thunder Hammers, and three Lightning Claws. These are to be the main spear head for boarding action games.

Although i added the stipling to simulate writing on the purity seals, I still need to go back and add names for two of the terminators who have scrolls. Unfortunately Thulsa Kane is the only name I know so I'm looking for Conan-esque names.

The Chaplain had his shoulder pad retouched with Shadow Grey and then the chapter insignia painted on with the method described above.

Next up, an Executioner's Ironclad!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Flesh Tearer's Storm Raven

Today I present my Flesh Tearer's Storm Raven. I got it back in the middle of February as a birthday present from my wife. I built it in five different pieces in order to be able to paint the interior elements of the model.

I left the clear plastic windows out and primed the model red using Duplicolor spray primer. I then applied a base coat of Boltgun Metal to all of the elements that would be metallic and gave them a wash of Devlan Mud. Then a coat of Chainmail finished the silver sections.

The Interior was painted Chaos Black. I also used the panel lines to choose sections to be painted Chaos Black as well. The exterior sections were then given an extreme highlight of P3 Coal Black.

Any interior writing was done with Scorpion Green.

The exterior, as well as the techmarine pilot were painted Scab Red, Red Gore and then given a highlight of Blood Red.

The base was covered in a mix of different coarseness of ballast. I put the flying stand on the model to make sure it would fit on the base. Then primed the base black and painted it grey.

Once all of the sections had been painted, I used canopy glue to atatch all of the clear plastic sections. Then I assembled the model.

Though I haven't painted any Flesh Tearer's symbols yet, I will probably get some Forge World brass etched to put on later.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dawn of War II: Retribution

I picked up Dawn of War II: Retribution on March 1st, when it came out. For those of us who enjoyed the last two games, this is, simply put, a must buy. For starters, this is no longer just a Space Marine game with an online component. The campaign system allows players to choose any of the available races for a campaign. At this point, I'm about halfway through the Space Marine campaign with intentions of running through each race's campaign. I'm not a big online player, I enjoyed Call of Duty and Transformers: War for Cybertron, but the randomness, and the temperament of some of the people out in the world of online games is a pretty big turn off. The experience component is still intact, with wargear customizations avalable as well. Foir me though, the biggest lure is the story, which continues the plight of the Blood Ravens in the Aurelia Sub-Sector. In short, for video game players, go out and buy this. It is a stand along game, and is a great substitute for not being able to play Warhammer 40,000 on the table top.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Through a Glass but Dorkly or What is Cannon?

As I have been writing book reviews and pondering what if anything else that is related to the topic that could be talked about. I know one debate is what is considered canonical in the GW universes. The debate centers around what GW considers to be the three view points extant: GW studio releases are primary sources, Black Library fiction is a secondary source and then their is (cringe) fan fiction.

For all intents and purposes, the GW studio only offers crumbs to the fluff hungry. Mostly in the form of unit descriptions, event time lines and short fiction revolving around key historical events that characterize an army. There are a few fictional excerpts or short pieces in army books and codeci as well, but they are often just snippets from novels or summarizations to whet the fluff minded's appetite. What is offered here (at least until the next edition of a codex or army book) is 100 percent canon.

The next lens is the author's writing. The text created and edited by Black Library and published for readers to drool and salivate over (at least that is what they hope for). Here, there is lots of different interpretations of the way things work, lasguns that shoot bullets for one thing comes to mind. The writing should not be confused with the author's intent, those are two different things. One should read a novel and interpret it on one's own because once it is published, what the author thinks or intended isn't necessarily true. Author interviews provide just another interpretation of events in a novel. That being said, most BL novels are fairly straight forward. I would also probably lump in the Imperial Armour books in with the Black Library books. One thing I noticed with IA 10, the short story C S Goto wrote "The trial of the Mantis Warriors" is completely ignored and most likely over written so they could present a version of the Badab War that Forge World wanted.

Finally there is fan fiction and fan interpretation. Just because it is on a website, blog or home made codex does not make it less valid (though the quality of writing could hurt the cause). Bolter & Chainsword created a great piece of alternate history fan fiction just by swapping Horus and Dorn's roles in the Heresy. It is a pretty good piece of work, and those unfamiliar with it should check it out.

In conclusion, if you have managed to make it this far, Games Workshop encourages its players to take an active part in the hobby. Don't feel that the story you might want to tell is invalid just because they don't care about reading it. The universe is vast, even in the 41st millenia, have fun, and remember that is what it is all about.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Andy Hoare's Savage Scars

Andy Hoare's Savage Scars is the third book in his Damocles Crusade trilogy, though he doesn't name it as such. In truth, though this novel is billed as a White Scars novel it really isn't, merely featuring the veteran sergeant Sarik of the White Scars. That aside, this novel recounts the invasion of Dal'yth and the final stages of the Damocles Crusade. It is not well written, Hoare tends to use the same phrases over and over again. And, while those familiar with the Tau codex know what happens in broad strokes, it has a level of predictability that goes beyond knowing what happens to being able to see how everything works out for the main characters well ahead of time. That aside, if you have read the other two novels, you might as well read this one as well. It is entertaining, just don't expect to be amazed.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blood Gorgons by Henry Zhou

Has Henry Zhou redeemed himself in my eyes with Blood Gorgons? Well, maybe. First off, this novel expands on the last, which introduced the Blood Gorgons as a traitor space marine force in the Bastion Stars. Zhou basically characterizes them as traitor marines with evident mutation (in the form of coral, fungal or shell like appearance); but they are somewhat recently turned traitor. They are corsairs who prize freedom, but still have elements of their Astartes heritage in tact. The Blood Gorgons also suffered a chapter war, as each company captain carved out a fief of his own. It was only the intervention of their lord, Gammadin, who welded them back into a chapter again. This novel examines what would happen to them if Gammadin is taken out of the picture. With a greedy sorcerer in league with plague marines, and the new hotness - Dark Eldar - this novel is set to have some interesting machinations in place. In the end it was pretty good, and only the arrival of IA 10 caused me to put it down for an extended period.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Imperial Armour vol. 10 Review

My copy of Imperial Armour volume 10, the Badab War part 2 finally came this past week. My main bar for the IA books, as well as the BL books in general, is do tthey inspire? Not just inspire you to go out and spend money on the latest hotness; but do they inspire you to build a new army, try out a new technique or style or paint scheme? IA 10 did so on a couple different fronts.

The main thing I was excited to see, was the section on the Executioners, and it did not disappoint. The coming weeks will be full of Executioners goodness as I paint up my boarding action force. It also gave me some insights on how to make the army a little more characterful, for instance the executioners replaced one of their devestator squads in their companies with a sternguard squad as part of their penchant for close combat. I was also delighted to learn they are an Imperial Fists founding, and so I won't need to add a different one to my crusade force.

The fluff on all of the other participating chapters are good, but that of the Star Phantoms, Exorcists and Mantis Warriors are interesting enough that I might try my hand at one of them. I also liked the Seige Breaker list, it is interesting and quite tank heavy as the rumors rightly reported.

Finally, the closing fluff for the Badab War is also good, the way the Executioners leave the war is pretty awesome, and while I thought the seige of Badab took longer, its resolution was pretty well executed. All in all this is a great book, if you have part one, you need part 2. If you haven't gotten either, I would suggest picking them up, especially if you are a power armor nut.