Thursday, April 30, 2015

The New Mechanicus - Some progress...

So, I've managed to get start on my Adepts Mechanicus models. The first unit of Skitarii Rangers are pictured above. The overall aesthetic of these models has grown on me, but they are a bit of a bear to put together. The main flaw, in my opinion, being the difficulty you can have to rid yourself of the seams on the sides of the robes once the front and back halves are glued together. These bases are from Dragon Forge Design's Tech Deck range. But anyway, on to the show.

Here's my Ranger Alpha. I really love this head, so I used it instead of a hooded head. The taser goad is there because I love the rules, and the arc pistol is there to give him something that looks considerably different to the galvanic rifles of his squad.

The two Rangers above, give a pretty good idea of the amount of character these models do have, considering their reduced posability and covered faces.

This current squad has a Ranger with palm caliver and a transuranic arquebus (above). I'm planning on giving this squad three arquebuses (arquebii?), the second squad three calivers, and the third squad three arc rifles. The base is made from the box, with a layer of conversion bits, again from Dragon Forge Design's Tech Deck range (just scroll to the bottom of the linked page).

And finally, the first squad of Ruststalkers are under way. They'll all have glossy black faceplates, punctured by a single, glowing red eye. I've started painting one of these wonderful models, so I'll put up some photos soon.


PS. A drop pod tutorial will be coming soon : )
PPS. If you need some 28mm scale skulls, check out Dragon Forge Design's new Kickstarter HERE. Only four days left to pledge.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

And so it begins - NOCF 2015

Over the next few months I'll be ramping up the content here about the 2015 efforts for the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation Army Raffles.

This year we have five different armies/collections planned and underway. There are:
• Flames Of War - a Polish Army (including train).
• Malifaux - close to 70 models including a variety of Masters, meaning that this collection could be a great seed for a club about to get into Halifax.
• 40K - Novamarines, a massive collection is underway.

And the two armies that I'm involved in directing are based on a story by Gav Thorpe:
• Alaitoc Eldar
• Sons Of Orar Space Marines

As you might be able to guess, I'm painting up the drop pods for the Sons Of Orar force.

On Sunday it was nice enough (finally) to be able to sit out on my front porch so, while my wife worked in the garden and my daughters played on the sidewalk, I sat and clipped out all the parts for the three pods. There are a LOT of parts in this kit, and most of them are in multiples of five (which becomes fifteen across three kits!)

I takes a lot of scraping to clean the mold lines on all of those parts.

I'm thinking it might be of interest to do a bit of a "here's how I do drop pods" kind of tutorial. Would you be interested? Let me know if you would in the comments below.

And be ready for many more posts on this subject : )


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The New Mechanicus - A Review (part 3)

At the moment I'm working really hard to get a couple of Flames Of War commissions completed. Both US armies - one a tank company, the other a mechanized infantry army. Those new plastic infantry paint up beautifully, but are a pain in the but to clean mold lines on ; )

Anyway, here's part three of my feelings about the new Adepts Mechanicus fun from Games Workshop. This post? A look at the Sicarian boxed set. Although some felt I was basing on the Skitarii models, I was just suggesting I felt they could have been more unusual. Unusual like the Siciarians are. These models really fit with my thoughts/feelings on how the Skitarii could have looked, so it's cool that they're in the army : )

Like the previous two boxes, you can make two different units from the contents. Above you can see the Ruststalkers. I think these are my favorite of the two. The gasmask heads, spindly legs, and dual blades are reminiscent of some of the great John Blanche Femme Militant range. Also, the Princeps has a great deal of General Grievous going on, with his hooded cloak and additional limbs. I love the look of the transonic blades, so much so I'm going to work on converting a massive for one of the Knights I have waiting in the wings : )

There's also the chance that I might have to switch out their heads for Dark Eldar Wyche heads, so that I can have them look like my Thallax, Usurax, and Knight : )

The Sicarian Infiltrators are also cool. Not quite what I'd immediately think of as 40K, but as a concept sketch (dated 1993) that has been doing the rounds would attest, Jes Goodwin has been excited about this look for 22 years ; )

I think their method for "infiltrating" an enemy formation is great. Overwhelm the senses of the enemy through a variety of means, then stride right in and start poke the enemy with their taser goads. Very cool stuff. And speaking of taser goads, I'm loving the way they work in the game, as well as how they look on the models.

So, for the third of four boxed sets I think I'll have to give these guys an eight cogs out of ten score.

For another perspective on the AdMech releases, I'd urge you to check out KrautScientist's blog The Eternal Hunt, for his one part review of all the releases (along with some very cool links to other great modeling being done in the name of the Omnissiah).

And for a look at some great conversions using this Sicarian kit, head to here and here on the Officio Convertorum.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The New Mechanicus - A review (part 2)

Ok, here we go with part two of the review. 

I think that a few people might have been a little disappointed by my lack of rabid enthusiasm for the Skitarii Vanguard/Ranger models in the first part of this review. Well, prepare to feel the enthusiasm flow for the second release for the new Mechanicus - The Ironstrider Ballistarius/Sydonian Dragoon.

This is some classic John Blanche madness right here. When we might have expected a tracked platform for a heavy weapon, we've been given this beautiful, ostrich-legged monster. I love the organic lines of this model. I love the design elements that are echoes of other models in the Imperial ranges (like the "bones" of the legs that echo the leg shapes of the Imperial Knight). I love servitor slaved into the machine and the wonderful backstory about the machine itself, a perpetual motion machine that must keep moving, even when the servitor "burns out" and must be replaced while the strider keeps striding. Throw a Skitarii pilot on top and given him some twin-linked weapons and you have a winner!

But what could be better than the Ironstrider? The Sydonian Dragoon, of course. Not only does it have all the wonders of the Ballistarius-variant, but it replaces the big guns with a taser lance. It's a wonderful blend of "bringing a knife to a gunfight", the Polish cavalry of WW2, and the goblin knights from the movie Labyrinth.

All three of the models I've bought will become Sydonian Dragoons.

One of the things I'm enjoying about the Mechanicum (Forgeworld) and Adeptus Mechanicus (from GW) releases is that with each release I'm getting the chance to slide a model or unit of models that I built for fun into a set of rules. I built that crazy floating Techpriest thing for fun, and then FW released the rules for an abbeyant, a perfect way to bring that model to the tabletop. The new Codex allows me to field the walking lascannons you see above (inspired many years ago by a conversion by Graham Davey) as Ironstriders. They're a little bit smaller, but there's a general feeling of a similar bulk.

Of course, this model can now also be used as an Ironstrider. Slightly shorter and much bulkier, but still ready to pursue the enemies of the Omnissiah relentlessly. 

Here's the first of my new models, assembled and ready for priming.

So many lovely shapes in this kit. I might have to do one up as a display piece : )

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The New Mechanicus - A review (part 1)

Like a bolt from a transuranic arquebus, the Adepts Mechanicus have finally landed on gaming tables the world over. As someone who has had a long-term interface with the Cult of the Machine God, I've been asked by a few folks what my thoughts are abut these recent GW releases. I figured it might be fun to put together a series of quick review articles that covered my thoughts and feelings on each product released. 

First up, I'll cover my thoughts on the AdMech Skitarii boxed set - makes either Rangers or Vanguard.

For a long time, hobbyists with an interest in conversions have been converting the foot soldiers of the AdMech, the Skitarii. Although descriptions have varied through various background sources and pieces of official artwork, these hobbyists (myself included) haven't strayed far from the look of red-robed warriors with bionic legs (easiest limbs to remove/replace) and hoods with cog trim. Companies that specialize in conversion bits have stuck pretty close to that look as well in their creations of Steel or Iron Brotherhoods.

I figured that the reluctance of GW to explore their iconic (and mostly unique to GW) imagery of the AdMech was because they hadn't yet decided the best way to portray these foot soldiers. Descriptions in more recent Horus Heresy novels have them looking very feral, with a lot of beast/beetle descriptors. I was looking forward to seeing those vague descriptions being rendered in hard plastic.

Obviously, however, I was wrong. GW decided that hooded guys in red robes with bionic legs was the way to go. I'm a little disappointed they weren't something else.

Having said all that I must point out that I am quite happy with what they are (hey, I converted a bunch of guys that look similar, so there's obviously an appreciation of the look). My 20 or so models are armed with a variety of weaponry, almost all of it fairly short, almost carbine-sized rifles, so I think they'll become my first two Vanguard units.

This means I'll be able to turn the three boxes of Skitarii I bought into Ranger units. Once I've seen the Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus codexes, I'll know if I should do all three, or if I could save one box to start turning into a new rifle section for my Vostroyan-based Solar Auxila army.

Ever the converter, I think that it'd be pretty straightforward to replace the lower legs with boots from plastic Cadians, cult and cast up a number of heads with furry hats, shave off the cog from the breastplate and equip them with the galvanic rifles (which look great!) Sure, it's a bit of work, but that's how I like to roll. Of course, you could simply use them with the Vanguard heads, galvanic rifles, and paint them a color other than red to represent a cool Solar Auxilia regiment. The heads from Empire Pistoliers would also work really well for a fancy look. Also, if you get enough sets (or trade for the weapons) the plasma calivers would be great as volkite chargers for a Veletaris Storm Section.

Speaking of 30K, these Skitarii would also work well as Tech Thralls in a Mechanicum list. Ten thrall from FW currently runs about $60 in the US, 10 plastic Skitarii are $40.

So, not a bad start to the Adeptus Mechanicus release into the world. The Skitarii are certainly lovely, not quite what I was hoping for, but lovely none the less. I'll rate them at 7 cogs out of 10.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Solar Auxilia - Charonite Ogryns Complete!

In amongst the hustle and bustle of work and family life, I crowbarred in some time to work on these excellent minis, completing them this morning. I know the open face mask is a polarizing piece, but I must point out that the kit comes with the option to use the open mask or a closed mask, so don't let my selection put you off picking up a set.

As I mentioned last time, it was Drew AridMonk Sturrock's version of these beasts that I saw on the Solar Auxilia Facebook page that inspired me. I loved his red so much that I had to add this squad to my army. For the second and third Ogryn, I had the opportunity to use a coupe of the Vallejo Model Air silvers (Gun Metal and Aluminium). I'll give you my thoughts on these at a later date.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these guys : )

This should give you an idea of the size and bulk of these models. They are mounted on 50mm rounds, rather than 40mm rounds for the standard Ogryn.