Command and control 

I do like a good project. With the new codex, I am trying to avoid buying loads of new stuff, instead adding models I have always fancied painting. I still have a good chunk of troops to paint, but the odd new model won’t hurt. 

Using this approach I have decided to add two new captains. One from 1st company, the other, the Lord high executioner, captain of the 8th. Both have models available, but for various reasons, are ideal. So, it’s project time and I am converting up both. 

Captain Agman of the 1st company

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I have Terminator captain already and he is a great conversion, done a few years ago. Armed with a stormsheild and a Greek style spear (count as a lighting claw). I used loads of scibor bits and he looks rock hard, but in game he’s expensive and doesn’t match the look of my current force. 

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Time for a new captain me thinks. I like the captain model in the strike force ultra box set. He would make an awesome 1st company captain, but he is selling for silly money on eBay (£35) and I am not spending silly money on any model! So the hunt was on for a new model to convert. The current range is really good and the current plastics have great movement. I was drawn to the captain in the deathstorm box set. While a blood angle, there was not a huge amount of blood angles iconography. So I needed to change a few bits to make him a bit more regal. Weapon wise, I wanted a gladius for 2 reasons. 1-cost. I wanted a cheaper model, so power weapon and Storm bolter (130pts) 2-I don’t like striking last! In A squad of 5 terms with powerfists/chainfist the extra attacks from a thunder hammer aren’t game changers. The Head was a easy choice. The 1st company leads the veterans., so old and experienced were to of the list. The new ultramarine upgrades pack the perfect head with a bearded face and a laural. I added a ultramarines icon on the leg and the odd purity seal, topped him off with an iron halo from the terminator kit for the classic term captain look and he’s done. Cheap and cheerful will plenty of character. Total cost was £9.25 for the captain, inc postage, and the rest from the bits box. 
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Painting I wanted an über regal look. So reds and golds were important. The new legion decal kit, bought for another project, helped as well. I just need to sort the base out. Still playing with ideas for this one. 

Lord high executioner.

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GW do a great model for the 8th company commander. I have a a few issues with it, but it’s a nice model. Firstly, it’s finecast. Not the biggest fan of the god awful product. I hate the idea of getting multiple crappy versions till I get a usable model. Secondly, I think it’s a it grim for my army. My ultramarines are ‘glorious’ not ‘grimDark’

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I had legs of the of plastic librarian left over and planned to add the torso from the old plastic commander  with a vanguard jump pack. However, then GW teased the new ultramarines upgrade sprue. The torso of that kit was awesome so plans changed. 

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I used head that looks like a company champion form the upgrade kit, a shoulder pad and the torso. The arms are just leftovers as are the weapons. The sword and shield combo looked ok so I stuck with that. I know the power axe is ap2, but as said earlier, I hate the I1 rule! I wanted to jumppack to stand out and bought the blood Angels guard jump pack. Leaving the wings on this time, I gave him an angelic look. 

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Painting wise, I really wanted to limit the colours. With blue, white and gold being most prominent, with any accents in grey (company livery) this led to a mooted colour scheme that looks quite ‘glorious’  the base was a fun idea. I trimmed the edges off the librarian base and stuck it to a 32 mm bars, green stuff to smooth the join and cove as per normal. This added height and make his stance easy to sort. 

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Cost wise I have spent very little. The upgrade sprue was £8, with most of the parts left over. (Head and both weapons used on the 1st company captain) legs, back, weapons and arms all from the bits box and the jumppack costing £3. 

So, there you have it. 2 new captains, total cost just over £20, both unique, both fitting my current force and both fun mini projects. I hope you like them!

Till next time. 

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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.

Deredeo a review of the model

I have managed to get me a Deredeo class dread. It will most likely be to only big forgeworld purchase till HH book 5-tempest . I wish I could afford more, but this stuff is expensive and this a one off!

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So what’s this new model like? 

   Parts

You have to by this bad boy in 3 parts. The body, arms and missiles. In game you have to buy the missile system as an upgrade. In reality however, this. Is not an option, the mounting of the missile pod is a large round plug. You don’t get a blanking cap so with out the missiles, you are left with an incomplete kit.
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The body is very similar to contemptor kit. Especially the legs. They all assemble in the same fashion with separate knee pads, feet and are just as possible.

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The arm weapons come in a pack and we have already seen the plasma options coming soon. I’d expect a lot more weapons and new top weapons too. The kit lends its self to magnetising if you so wish. It is a simple kit with only the secondary weapon options. Instructions are as basic as you’d expect from fw.

 

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Casting.

On the whole it’s ok, as you’d expect from a new kit. I have found some areas of misalignment, one of which (on the cooling fin of the autocannons) is un repairable. It’s fairly hidden so I am not fussed.

Most is crisp and little cleaning was needed. The cleaning process was not a big task. The rear of one leg armour plate took some filling and I found 2 air bubbles. Anyone used to working with FW kits would not struggle with this kit. 

 

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Pose
Now, this for me is the Achilles heel of the kit. The legs are very pose able, the waist joint is fairly good, but from the waist up, nothing! The nature of the arms and the big ammo feed and hopper mean you get very little without a lot of work. To realign the arms, you are going to want heat and bend the ammo feed. This will not be for the feint hearted. I think we will see a lot of the same pose with lots of different leg settings.

This lets the kit down after the flex ablity of the contemptor arms, but the pose for an aa unit is ok. The nature of kit and the ammo set up meant they had little option. Just don’t expect many conversions! 

   Conclusion.
I think this will become a marmite kit. Some will love it, some will gate it. Ultimately, it’s the on battlefield results that will make this a popular kit. It will never be as ubiquitous as the contemptor. The fact it’s a ‘relic’ mean most players will run them singular. And when faced with both the fire raptor or siciran relics, the decision to to take a Deredeo will ultimately fall down on the opponent. Vs lots of wave serpents, venom and fliers, I think it will be a popular choice. Vs marines the raptor wins hands down. Well I think that needs testing.
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I like this kit, but I think it will ultimately become a painters kits over a regular gaming unit, but we will see.

Till then, I have some painting to do, see you across the battle field.

Old school sternguard

It’s fair to say I hate painting White. Getting a smooth coat takes for ever and don’t get me started on the shading! So why is it I keep painting veterans with white helmets and trim? The best answer I can find is because sternguard are cool. My current 1st company squads are 10 terminators, 10 assault terminators and 10 sternguard. I have recently added, but not yet painted 5 vanguaurd and my current project is a full squad of 10 more sternguard.

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To me, sternguard at the best unit in the codex. They are flexible enough to fit most lists and the new kit are very good. The special ammunition rule gives them most of this flexibility but the fact that they can take 2 special or heavy weapons and then fill the squad with combi weapons as well gives them even more tactical value.

In all my lists I tend to under equip squads and save points for more fliers. My current sternguard squad is the exception to this. They have 2 combi flamer, 2 combi melta and heavy Flamer. The Sgt is armed with a power weapon. This makes for an expensive squad that is ideally suited to the drop pod assault. They rarely survive a game, but usually kill more that their points cost. This heavy hitter squad usually get me first blood. I wanted the second squad to be a bit cheaper, but also to fill out different role. My army is lacking in its ability to kill tanks and a good old fashioned melta squad would help me with this. So 2 melta guns and a combi-melta was the order of the day. As their core target was armour, I chose to arm the sgt with melta bombs and save points on the obligatory power weapon.

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With the armament chosen I need to build the squad up. I will admit, I was somewhat bored one day when I first had the idea to add a 2nd sternguard squad and I just let the creative process flow, which is the fancy way to say I raided the bits box!

I am a strong believer that most people miss the point with ultramarines. Everyone thinks that they are all the same and many armies are just assembled kits and them paint blue. Personally I think they are far more subtle than that. Each squad will have a deep history, every sgt can have a personality. I always try to put a theme in somewhere. For tactical squad, this can be hard, but vetrans, you can really go to town.

So what’s the idea for this squad? I recently painted squad 1, 1st company and bling overboard. I decided that this squad would be squad 10, 1st company. These guys have only just been promoted and haven’t had time to earn all the plaudits of a veteran squad. So they are closer to a tactical squad in apperance, while still be sternguard. For this I went old school in the design and paint scheme. I used legs, bodies and (for the most part) normal shoulder pads. The weapons and head were sternguard. The sgt got a left over banner and I added an armoured neck guard. Some shoulder pads will have some bling, but nothing like the other sternguard.

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Painting wise I went for an old school look. White trim and helm, with the weapons in red to match the other sternguard. I have finished the off with decals, notably the crux terminus from the forgeworld ultramarine decal sheet. This is yet another throwback to old sternguard before the awesome plastic kit.

My recipe for painting white is as follows

1- as I spray them in blue, I need to paint all areas that will be white in black.
2-using the cemerit white base coat thinned with thinning medium, I layer the White paint to a solid level. Thinned to the consistency of milk, it will take 4/5 layers and the first layer will be truly awefull.
3-once I have a smooth, solid base I shade with thinned ‘the fang’ . The mix should be around 4:1 thinner to paint. It takes 2/3 layers to get it right. I only paint this directly in the deepest parts of the White.
4- using the same mix ratio as step 2, build the White back up, leaving just deepest parts shaded. That this stage slowly as this is where it can get all lumpy.
5-for the shoulder trim, I paint a thin line of drakenof night shade along the blue edging where it meets the White. This will neaten the White and really make it pop.
6-avoid, at all cost, getting any paint on the white, as it’s the Devils own task to get it fixed.

So, that’s the new squad. I hope you like them. All I need to do now is blood them in to clear the curse of a new model and they will be done. Next up will be some vanguard.

Till next time, see you across the battle field.

Sunday review

Well, here is a thing! its been months since my last Sunday review. So, what’s changed? I am trying to get the blog back to a regular thing, and 3 in the last 3 days is a good start. 

So what have been up to and and what’s next?

Painting.

Well, I have been plugging away with the 13th legion and I can now field over 8,000 pts (And by Just over, i am 2 points over!)

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Just finished is a Captain on a bike. done more for fun than any other reason, i got the idea stuck in my head for a convesion, so I went for it. I enjoyed the task and i really like him. I have decided to use him to represent Captain Epagus of the 6th Company as denoted by his orange markings. Might have to add some more bike in the future. 

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Also finished, at long last are the 10 sternguard. boy these became a chore. I was never happy with the white on the shoulder trim and if am i am not happy, then i tend to put it off. i finally caved in and did something about it. the end result is much better and reflects their status. 

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while various projects have been going on, I have been slowly adding hatch options for the 2 Land raiders. now finished are 3 closed and 1 open hatch (as in no option taken), 2 hatches with Stormbolters (one open, one closed) and a Hunter killer. the final option with a Multi-melta is still a WIP.

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Taking of WIP, the new Terminator unit started this week. if all works out, then next Sunday, you’ll get to see the finished 5 man Thunder hammer squad. 

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I have also done scenery of late, and heres some photos of the work. 

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Gaming 

well, I played the 1st game of my League ‘group’ stage. The rules for our league are easy. you win, you move up. here is the report from the game 

Next week will see my in a development game against another young league player. I am training him up to improve his game craft, the following week will see me in full game Vs his ‘Nids. 

 

It’s war, a civil war!

It’s our clubs group stage in the annual league and I get my first group game this week. As I finished in the top 3 I am the ‘seeded’ player in the 3 rd group. The winner of each of the 3 groups and a wild card player all fight in the quarter finals in November. The top 2 get to fight it out for the much converted trophy.

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So what can can I expect from this week? My opponent is Ben, a younger spacemarine player. His ecleptic force is challenge to plan for and this can make a coherent plan difficult. It’s also easy to think its easy as he’s young, however as it’s a league match, I can be complacent.

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So what my plan? I am sticking with my core, Cato sicarius and 2 tactical squads. My additional force will be my airborne task force. A single raven, armed with assault cannons and a typhoon missile pod. It will carry a full sternguard squad a fed an ironclad dreadnought. This will enable some fire power to kill power armour and any landraider that I know he loves.
Added to this is my gun totting fireraptor. The fearsome avenger cannon is the bane of all power armoured forces. I just love it. The 2 twin auto cannons will deal with his beloved land speeders.

Finished Fireraptor

Finished Fireraptor

The plan is to dissect his force. Eliminating his treats one at a time. I have a range of weapons to meet his varied threats and I have a coherent strategy in my head to eliminate his forces. 

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Well, that’s the plan anyway! lets see what happens, 

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watch twitter @ozrax for a batrep! 

till next time, see you all across the Battlefield!

 

Project Gladius blog 9 armed to the teeth

Next on this long list of tasks was the supporting weapons.

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Forward heavy bolters.
These were fairly simple, just clean and assemble. I have decided to attach the mounting kits, but not the weapons or the cowling. The allows for some easier painting. The main ‘spindle’ of the guns was a critical part. You need to cut the core to fit, so be carefull, you make it shorter but not longer!

These guns will be able to pivot and the top scanner in free to move.

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Rear heavy bolters
Again these are simple case of clean and assemble. I have not glued them to spindle, so the can be raised or lowered. The assembled units will be attached to wings once painted.

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Hellfire missiles
These presented a small challenge. The moulding process leaves the excess resin tag running from the 4 jets. These leaves you with square block on the back of the jets. I have used my multi tool to round up the jets and put a small ‘dimple’ in the centre. This was done on all 6 missiles and I luckily had the right sized bit for process. The end result looks so much better.

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The mounting of these is quite clever and they don’t need any magnets or glue to hold them in place. This allows be the chance to remove each missile in game to remind me of how many I have left.

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The weapon systems took me a while to clean and assemble, but it’s fairly simple stuff.

 

Project Gladius blog 8 hull assembly and gap filling

This is short blog for a painfully long task!

The process of assailing the hull should be easy as I have spent a long time mocking up the hull and shaping it where needed. I used the thick gamesworkshop superglue to assemble the main hull. While expensive, I know from past projects that it’s good gluing heavy resin parts.

Once assembled the main hull, tail and wings all had gaps that needed to be filled. For the larger gaps, mainly on the wings and were the nose meets the fuselage, I used green stuff. I have packed out the gaps to fill them and the the top layer is done with liquid green as the is easier to smooth over. For the rest, I just used the liquid green, mainly where the tail meets the fuselage. This has been a painstaking Process but it’s worth committing the time to get it right.

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Sunday update 020314

It’s been quite a week at work so work on project gladius has been slow. Need to start off by say a huge well done to lee, (@ratinabun on twitter) his Lego iron maiden went supernova on miniature monad this week with over 1200 re tweets! Madness I tell you. His project is film some ‘live’ maiden tracks using stop motion on a fully working stage. The guy is a slightly mad genius.

For project gladius, my thunderhawk, I have managed to finish the cockpit completely now and the top roof is done. Work has stared on the inside of the main body, with the nose section walls done.

Also completed is the landing gear assembly and this turned it to a total pain. I could not get the thing level and, being very slightly anal about these thing, this took me a while to fix.

I got some work done on the pilots as well, but these need to be finished. I have ordered the acrylic rod for the base, but I am still thinking about the main body of the base. It needs to be really strong, but I want it to be clean. This is taking some planning and any ideas are greatly appricated.

On the hobby front of course is the realise yesterday of the knights and the announcement of the codex: imperial knights. I caved in and I have ordered 2 of these beasts and the codex. To do this I have sold my imperial guard. This army was on the shelf and not getting any love. If I still had it when the codex is released, you know I would slide off target.

I have decided to try the airbrush out on the knights and using k’oosh from Babylon 5 as the core of an idea, house verdan’s core house colours will be a mottled green. I am also going to base the metal using Vallejo airbrush paint. (Gun) this is a new challenge for me and I have bought a couple of Vallejo air paints to play with.

So, that’s me for the week. I have spent enough this month already and I have more to paint. I will try to finish the interior of the thunderhawk this week, but then I will do the 2 knights. I am planning on doing both at the same time, to help me them match. What could possibly go wrong?

Till next week, see you across the battle field.

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Project Gladius build Blog 6 Top cannon mounting and top Fuselage

I have done lots on the Project today, but not much to say about it, so it’s a short update. It was all very simple stuff and the kit at this stage is not causing me any real headaches.

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I decided to assemble the Top fuselage into a single part. I used the Fuselage front, rear and Top and glued them together. I spent a long time getting the top seam right. I then cleaned up the 2 main guns. These fit really nicely and the original idea was use magnets, however, it do think I need to and so I just pinned them with the same 3mm brass tubing as the wings. I did the same for both making it easy to swap the Guns over. I also sorted rears section, just cleaning it up. I will mount this part once the interior is done. I have also cleaned up the cockpit section. So its ready for the glass. Not a task I am looking forwards to!I have added the doors, top equipment and the attack wings.

I can now do a full dry fit of the whole fuselage, so here it is in all its glory! Still some tiding to do, but its nearly ready to break down and Paint the interior.

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