Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I just finished reading Ben Counter's Phalanx. I read the first chapter way back when the first Hammer & Bolter had it serialized and was excited to read more of it. For a long time I wondered what would happen in this book, and how the return of the dreadnought Daenyathos would affect the ultimate fate of the Soul Drinkers. In the end, while the book was mildly entertaining, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. This novel has all of the 40k grim dark one could want, but it is tainted by being written by Ben Counter I think. If you have read the other books in the Soul Drinker series, it is probably worth it to read the last, but otherwise, I would stay away.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
The latest audio book from the Black Library is Labyrinth of Sorrows, by George Mann. This audio book came out last month, and I am just finally getting around to give it a listen. The story is about a squad of Brazen Minotaurs attempting to recover an artifact from a Mausoleum world invaded by Death Guard. The Brazen Minotaur way is to charge head long into battle, headless of the cause. Seeking victory or dying in the attempt. But the Raven Guard are on this world as well, attempting to pay off a debt of honor owed the Brazen Minotaurs. This was another good offering and the end is both surprising and well executed.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This year, my birthday present from my wife and daughter was the 25th Anniversary Space Marine. I loved the artwork for the model, the throwback packaging is really great. The cast of the model was pretty good too, with only a few bubbles in it. Nothing someone who has a lot of Forge World models hasn't dealt with before.
I struggled a bit in deciding what to do with this model. Part of me thought it should remain in its natural state and just be a one off figure to sit in the display case. Another part of me though, wanted to use it an army; in which case it comes down to a decision between the Crimson Fists and the Imperial Fists. I already have an army in progress that is themed along a Chapter devastated by war loss catastrophe - the Black Consuls - and I want to try a yellow chapter, so after some debate, I decided on Imperial Fists.
The model was primed black. Then I applied a base coat of P3 Rucksack Tan to the whole model, GW Boltgun to the silver areas and P3 Hammerfeld Khaki to the bone ones. Then a Devlan Mud wash was applied. I used the head to apply coats of P3 Moldy Ochre, Sulfuric Yellow and then GW Golden Yellow. On the shoulder pad, I tried two coats of GW Golden Yellow. Ultimately, I ended up finishing the model with two coats of GW Golden Yellow, though if this grows into an army, I plan to use a middle coat to make the yellow look better.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
The second tactical squad was built along the same lines as the first, with the same bitz from the Death Company and Tactical Marine boxed sets. Again, the sergeant is built with the bolter that has a strap on it, but otherwise the models all have bolters, grenades and pouches.
I'm really liking the paint scheme and green shade I've chosen for the Mantis Warriors. While I wasn't sure of the brightness of the green, now I'm sure it is. The chapter insignia is still tricky for me, but I am enjoying trying.
With the Tactical squads finished for this army, I am looking forward to working on the two Vanguard squads that round out this force. First though, a limited edition models waits on the horizon.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
When I was considering options for the Mantis Warriors thousand points, I was originally keen to have full tactical squads. However, I wanted to have more jump troops than infantry or vehicles, so the initial build got curtailed a bit. To save on points, I opted to build two tactical squads of five marines each, armed only with bolters.
Bitz from both Tactical squad and Death Company boxed sets were used to build the marines. I used bolter arms with a strap to denote the sergeant. Otherwise the models were kept to simple adornment, with only grenades and a pouch for each model.
I stuck to the same painting scheme as the previous Mantis Warrior models, and while I have noticed some improvement in the quality of the chapter symbol, it hasn't been as consistent as I would like.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I probably have not mentioned it, but this Mantis Warrior's army is inspired by HuronBH's (of Blood & Blades blog) Howling Griffons army. The main thing I'm pulling is Ko'sarro Khan in a Razorback with a command squad. We saw the command squad last time, and this week is Khan's turn.
While I do want to buy the actual Khan model at some point, I was feeling kind of cheap when I decided to build this army (after all, the Command Squad boxed set comes with six pairs of legs). To that end, I decided to scratch build Khan (this way he can also double as a Captain of Chapter Master). I started out with the above mentioned extra pair of legs and built the model up from there.
Khan's legs and torso are standard, with the torso being the hose chest plate. I then added the arms and nemesis force sword from the Grey Knights squad box, shaving away the storm bolter. I repaired the gaps with green stuff and the double purity seals. The back pack and head are from the Death Company boxed set with the blood drops filed down to be more like jewels. Next I added the tabard with the purity seals to the front, then I finished the model by sculpting the cloak. I did that in three sessions, adding strips to give it a bit more flow.
I think the cloak is a bit more dynamic than my previous cloak sculpting attempts. It definitely an improvement, but I still have much to learn on that front. On the other hand, the lighter green has grown on me and I'm looking forward to finishing this project.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This command squad is really my first foray into the Mantis Warriors. I modeled four of the members of the squad using the Command Squad boxed set. The sergeant is kneeling, and has an old plastic power axe on his back. I used a blood angels power weapon, and the command squad power weapon for two of the veterans. The apothecary is metal with a plastic backpack and power weapon arm. The company champion is pretty much the stock build.
The yellow was painted with layers of P3 Rucksack Tan, GW Devlan Mud, Moldy Ochre and Sulfuric Yellow. The Bone is P3 Hammerfel Khaki GW Devlan Mud and P3 Menoth White Base. The red is P3 Sanguine Base, Sanguine Highlight, Khador Base and a dot of Khador Highlight. The silver is GW Boltgun, Devlan Mud then Chainmail. I wanted to keep the gold darker, so it is only layers of GW Dwarf Bronze, Devlan Mud, Dwarf Bronze and a highlight of Shining Gold.
The main color, green is the one I am most on the fence about. The IA shows the green lighter than the Salamanders, so I wanted to g lighter than Iosan Green. However, i don;t know if the green I went to is too light, or I should add an ink to darken it. Part of me likes it, because it is similar to a real Praying Mantis. Without further preamble, I painted layers of P3 Gnarls Green, Iosan Green, Wurm Green and then a highlight of Necrotite Green.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
I was given this Finecast version of the Jump Pack Chaplain a while back, but it had lain forgotten in my backpack until I rediscovered it. I originally intended it to be for my Flesh Tearers, but now I think it works much better as a Mantis Warriors Chaplain.
I'm not sure what the vitriol I see one some forums is against Finecast. yes it has flash, but it is no different from a Forge World kit, and believe me, I have seen some messed up ones. Just go back and look at my second Caestus kit. Resin is, in many ways, inferior to pewter. However, its lightness and similarity to plastic makes it great for conversions. I look at it as an improvement, especially for conversions, and not something of a blight.
Much of this model is pretty predictably painted by me. Chaplains, in all black, are easy to paint after all. However, I did choose to use P3 paints, Rucksack Tan, Moldy Ochre, and Sulphuric Yellow. I then used a Micron pen to draw the chapter symbol, filling it in with paint. I think it is a good first effort, and look forward to building the army.