The relocation painting challenge

We are having some work done on the house and it’s going to take around 5 weeks. It is so much work, we are having to move out. They are ripping out floors, walls and windows, so we will be without water, power or heating. We are moving into the inlaws home while they tour the south of France in a caravan. 

So while I am out of the house, my painting will be more of a challenge, but I need something to help me chill out during what is going to be a stressfully time. To this end I have decided to challenge my self to to catch up with a few projects. All need to be ultramarines as that limits the amount of paints I need. I have some units to do and a couple of new bits to add to my army. I am challenging my self to paint the following in 5 weeks. 

  1. Command tanks. (Currently around 5%)
  2. Command squad standard bearer and company champion, both on bikes (around 25% done)
  3. Attack bike (unstated)
  4. 5 vanguard on foot (under coated)
  5. 8th company captain (unstated) (stretch target! Don’t think that I’ll get to this one!)

This challenge will help me to stay focused and to take a good chunk out of my to paint pile! The codex has made me want to add to my armoured force, with stalkers, whirlwind, vindicators and predators all on my must get list. However, I really don’t want to be added any new kits until I have painted what I have! (Ok, pipe dream, but I can try) I also want to move most of the army onto 32mm bases. Not because GW say I must, but because I think they look cooler on 32mm over the 28mm. 

Well that’s my plan. Now you can all sit back and watch me fail spectacularly. Till then, see you across the battlefield. 

Big Mar and cheese. 

one of the biggest changes to marine codex was to finally elevate chapter master calgar to a Lord of war. In addition to his new position, he also gets the buff all ultramarine player have been waiting for. The gauntlets of ultramar (2 power fists with under slung two linked super bolters) have finally lost the unwieldy rule! The means he can finally live up to his true potential. 

On the charge he will now get 6, s8, ap2 attacks fighting at i5. This makes him a beast in combat, added to this, he retains eternal warrior, 2+ armour, 4++ save and the ability to just pick his warlord traits. 

I have both versions of the calgar, but he rarely gets used. To celebrate the changes, I have decided to revisit my version in articifer armour. I was never really happy with his banner and his base needed some work. I have decided to make a new, better back banner rather than fix the current one. I wanted something more personal, but also had the standing he deserves as the chapter master. Base wise, he needed a 32,m base anyway, so I decided to go for a raised up cork base to give him a bigger stance. 
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Banner
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Initially I started with a plastic back banner from the command squad. This was topped with the new standard topper from the new upgrade kit. I added a laural from the terminator kits. I then sculpted some rope to add more regal featuers, to hold this in. Place I used 2 smaller skulls. The loose ends were normally caped off with tassels, however, to reflect his endless war against the tyranid menace, I used a left over claw. With an extra purity seal, the build is done. Paint wise, I went for the star field look I have been using a lot of late. I added the white to enhance the regal look. The central decal is from the legion decal kit. This project failed. 
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I wrote the above to show the effort I put in, but it really didn’t look right, so plan be was much simpler. I stuck a topper from the sternguard kit and painted it. This worked really well and I am really pleased with the outcome. Simples really works some times.
Base

The base is a simple cork build. I keep it clean so as not to distract from the model. 
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I hope you like my refreshed version of the ultimate space marine. Just for comparison, here is the terminator version. Till next time, see you across the battlefield. 

Hidden gems of the new space marine codex

The new space marine codex has hit the shelves last week. Lots has been said about the big changes, but I think some hidden gems have been missed. Here are my top 5.

Beware of the mighty vanguard

The price reduction bat has hit many units and lots of talk has been about the drop for centurions and terminators. However, with the vanguard, the drop is hidden, but is huge! The unit cost is unchanged, but look at weapon changes. 

Power weapons and lightning claws drop to 5pt. Yes, that’s 5pts for a power weapon! Or a pair of claws for 10pts! That’s a saving on 20pts or the cost of whole vanguard! Power fist and thunder hammers take a 10 points drop each. That makes a huge difference to to the use of these weapons for me. I can see a them make my list more often. 

The heroic intervention rule has also taken a boost. Gone are the challenge rules, in are reroll to charge distance and ignoring disordered charges. That will deal with those pesky tau grenades! 

The stalking horse

To me the stalker in the last codex was a waste, a cool model with poor rules. The new version however improves this. It (finally) gains interceptor. While they drop too heavy 3, they can still split fire (firing 6 times 3 at each target) or are effectively twin linked at heavy 3 at a single target. All shots are now at bs 4. The old robotic slave shots at bs are gone.

They also gain ignore cover when in a squad of 3. This is so cool. Effectively ending jinxing skimmers! A squad of 3 will be a fearsome vs some lighter armies. Tau will still be tough, but elder and dark eldar will come to fear the stalker. 

On your bike! 

The subtle change to the mounted assault rule is quite a fun. In the old rule it was that if you took your captain on a bike, then 5 man bike squads are troop choices. A lot has been made of the fact that now 3 man bike squads, however, a more subtle change is that it’s no longer just captains. Any independent character can take a this option. This mean my mounted librarian will getting an escort!

Holy gladius! 

The ‘basic’ formation is the gladius. You must take a single Demi battle company, (basically HQ, 3 tactical, 1assault, 1 heavy support) and 1 other ‘Formation ‘ (lots to choose from!) will give you the gladius formation and access to 3 chapter tactics. As an ultramarines play, I already get 3, this means in 7 turn game I can use one every turn, and 1 tactic will get used 3 times. (1 for scions of gulliman, 1 for a Demi battle company, 1 for gladius) the tactical tactics allow tactical squads reroll to shooting and assault. That’s effectively twinlinked 30 marines! 

Dread squads

The idea of a squad of marine dreads is tempting. The ven and the basic dread both have take a price drop on the weapons, the ironclad is largely unchanged. All have gain attacks, now having 4 each. Taking advantage of the squadron rules, these can become a real force in the marine army. 

That’s my hidden gems of the new codex. I am still getting my head around the whole new concepts, and the new format. I hope you find this missive of use. I am off to paint up some vanguard! Till next time, see you across the battle field. 

Command and conquer-the new hq tanks

This is a new one for me. Hq choices that are vehicles? Sounds interesting,  but it does throw up a few new questions.

For those that don’t know, warhammer world has a special edition box set, only available at the gw store at whw.  The set is a modified land raider and rhino. The set includes all the rules and back story of the new tanks. Parts wise,  you get a full landraider and rhino kit and an extra sprue of new stuff.

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The kit is really nice, presented in a big, lavish box. You get a full landraider and rhino,  2 equipment sprues,  2 sets of new ultramarine decals (not the a4 sheet Just released, but a small a6 card) instructions /rules sheet and the upgrade sprue. The new upgrade sprue is stunning.  The level of detail is great and has some stunning new part. The captain parts in particular are great. It comes with 3 heads, 3 shoulder pads, the best plastic back pack I have seen and some great arms. The vehicle parts are just as nice and ooze details. If you like  your marines blinged up, then this us for you.

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Background
These tanks form part the command of a spacemarine force and the landraider is commanded by a captain.  The rhino, known as a primaris is the link up with fleet, hence the huge radar dish, while the landraider excelsior is a mobile hq facility. They act together to coordinate the marine task force.

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Rules.
These tanks are bought as a pair. Costing 400 points for the 2 and taking a hq slot.
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They differ from their parent vehicles in some ways, but have the same basic stats. Weapons change a bit, the inclusion of the grav cannon on the landraider being the big change.

The get a load of new rules as shown below, but the real strength is the partnership working. This really supports good  play and it’s not just dump the on the table and the will work.

The tanks offer a mixed bag of uses and genrally fill lots of roles. Both are transports (rhino 6, raider 10) but are really designed for this role.

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The Rhino is the best strategical system. Each turn you can bring on a unit from reserves or once a game bring down a massive orbital strike. (S10, ap1, 7″ blast, Ord, barrage). You can also support units with 3 ‘servo skulls’ per game. Each one gives a buff once per game. Defensively you get a twinlinked plasma gun, but remember, the orbital blast must be shot at the same target as the pg. (Unless you give it split fire from the landraider -more later on that) the rhino also gives the landraider +1 to BS making all shots hit on 2+ most being twinlinked.

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The landraider is the beast of the pack and is a real game changer. Weapons wise you get the twin lascannons and a grav cannon with the grav amp. It still keeps the spirit of the machine so you can split fire as with normal landraiders.

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You get a better save that ignores stunned and shaken results it also gives a 6++ save. Skills wise you can give 1 “unit” from the same detachment one of a list of usr.

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You can apply this rule to any unit within 12″ of the raider (18 if you buy a staff of command upgrade for 10 pts). This gives a lot of options that can be game changes and with some thought you can build lists around this. For example you can but a squad of 4 Las cannon Devs and give them skyfire and to make them an aa unit.
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You can also allow one squad to fire normally rather than snap fire, even in overwatch. I will just let you take that in. You can make units unchargeable. Grav cents in particular gain from this.
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To get some of the some of the buffs you need to stay close to the tanks, making your tactical use of the army, which is something I like.

Game use
As I described there are lots uses but it does leave me with some questions.

First off, how does the warlord work? If I take this as a my only hq are both the warlord? What about slay the warlord do you need to kill both?

Challenges are also intersting. Can you challenge a tank? It gives you few rules questions!

Lots of people are comparing these to the fw command tanks. I can see the links bit they are different. To me these are a better but more expensive option.

Modeling
These tanks are a great kits and will be fun to build. They are easy to convert up with kits available and the forgeworld tanks are a great start. The damocles is a great version of the primaris, just the plasma guns need be to built.
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The landraider is just a blinged up st raider. You would be able to use cent grav cannons to make the new weapon. The captain is easily sorted and add a small radar. Some fantasy banners would make a great rear banner. If you have spare razor back heavy bolter you could easily make this landraider in to a basic version.
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It is a shame that these are exclusive releases. They are a great kit and I love the look of them.the additional sprue is a stunning kit. The details are amazing and the kit is well designed.
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I am going to take a long time on painting these. I post updates as i go. Till then I hope you found this post of use.

See you all across the battlefield!

The birthday skirmish 

My local club, the Rugby outlanders, has a great membership and I am happy to be part of it. A great gaming club is hard to find, but also hard to maintain. Membership changes, attitudes creep in and the games change. Locally we all work hard to maintain this club and the efforts of the organisers really pay off. 

As several club members have birthdays in May and June we are having a club outing to warhammer world, Nottingham. The day will be in 2 parts, a visit to new halls and a game on the imperial city board. (All booked !)

The game has been organised by me and lee Bedford (@ratinabun on Twitter), and is a format we call ‘skirmishhammer’ the rules are a stripped down version of the old 40k in 40 mins, designed to be fun, while constraining the options. This stops power play and levels the armies. Here are the rules. 

-1 force each, no allies, formations (unless unavoidable) 1000pts

-armies can be unbound, but only to be fluffy

-no named characters

-no vehicles (anything with an AV score) or monsterous creatures, bikes or fliers

-no fortifications

-game is play to kill points. I kp for wiping out a unit, 2 for firstblood, 2 for slay a warlord, (3 for a team captain)

-5 players per team with a captain each (lee and I) team are chosen randomly. 

-turns are timed! 

As you can this starts to limit options, but also allows for the units you don’t normally get to see make an appearance. We have played this game a few times and it’s fast and fun. With 5k per side, all infantry, it will be an epic clash. I know several players are feverishly painting new units or brining new life to older units! 

For me my ultramarines are going mob handed and I have. Added a new 10 man squad to add a fresh tint to the force. I have nice fluff based list and it’s going to be fun force to use. 

Look out on Twitter for updates, I will be tweeting live from the game on the @outlandersGC feed on the 7th June from around 2. 

Project TWV-Tyrannic war vets

With the release of the new forge world kits for the ultramarine so, I am planning a project. I really like the tyrannic war vet models, but a squad of ten you end up with a lot of similar models. So I want to make up a unit of these models that is unique and varied, but also really challenges my skill.

The plan is simple, the delivery however will be complex and difficult.

Components

To make these models I need to mix plastic and forgeworld. So here is my component list

  1. Head- mk4 preator upgrade
  2. Torso-mk4 preator upgrade
  3. Legs-sterngurd legs
  4. Arms-mixed sternguard and tactical squad
  5. Shoulder left-plain plastic basic pad (to take tyranid bits)
  6. Shoulder right-mk3 ultramarine from forgeworld
  7. Weapon-sternguard bolters
  8. Trim-Phobos bolt pistols and pouches
  9. Trophies-various tyranid bits
  10. Chains-1mm fine chain

Design

My plan is to build them mixing FW ultramarine kits with plastic sternguard kits. The arms arms are mixed from sternguard and the plastic. A couple of the tactical arms are held in great firing pose and I wanted to use these.

To really ‘tyranid’ them up I want to add some trophies. This will be a mix of tyranid parts on the bases (32mm) and personal trophies on the shoulders/guns and backpacks. I want these to be subtle and not massive parts, so things like claws, armour plates and bio upgrades will be used. The sgt will have a larger part, maybe even a head?  To attach these parts I an using a fine (1mm) chain. I am not used to using this and it will be a challenge to accomplish this and I need to be careful not end up looking like a chaos marine. I need to keep them clean and use plenty of purity seals. They will be finished off I will use the veteran assault decals from the ultramarine legion transfers.

Bases

The bases will be 32mm with a built up cork base and use the ‘nid parts to dress them. I might try to use some hormagaunt claws as the beginnings of tyranid spore towers growing out of the base.

Conclusion

So thats my next big project. I have most of the bits now, some bought, some from the bits box. I am waiting for the forgeworld parts. This project is going to a great fun to build and I need to learn some new skill. The chain work will be great fun to learn. Making the trophies will also be a challenge to keep the clean.