Monday, October 19, 2020

Dreadtober 2020: Project Complete!

Behold: a mighty Salamanders Legion Contemptor Mortis! (Warning: Picture Heavy!). 

Fully painted and ready to extract righteous vengeance from the traitors on Isstvan 5. 

Different angles are shown in the images below. 

[Background: Kraken Mats desert war zone city.]

Friday, October 16, 2020

Horus Heresy Review: Ironwing Excindio Class Battle-Automata

The dread silica anima are not dead. Known only to the Emperor and the Dark Angels, these artificial intelligences are not Mars-born, but left over from ancient Terra and born of malice with similar intent. They have been somewhat neutered by the Ironwing, but still lack restraint and could potentially turn on the Dark Angels as much as they wilfully eliminate their enemies. These are the Excindio: Dark Age AI nightmares.

Wow. This unit is in no small part rather incredible. The sheer fact of its existence in 30k is amazing in the first place, and its tabletop rules back it up. These automata are sheer death for most things short of special character models (and it'll happily kill many of them too). They will kill most things in close combat, and with the right weapon load out will do the same to vehicles at range as well. Honestly, they will get the job done. 

There are several weaknesses to consider with these beasts. Firstly, they stand a chance of turning on your own army. Hence the best way to play around this is to keep them away (or keep them nearer to an enemy -- this is a must). Secondly, with upgrades, their price tag starts to inflate to a level where you might as well take the Lion instead (equally, these machines are heavy support choices, not Lords of War). Or maybe some Mechanicum allies for a better health and safety record? Regardless, they can be equipped with a kill switch should they go truly rogue, but I question the utility of this given the close range that a controller has to be within to use it. 

There are several ways to construct these machines. All deadly.

Excindio with 2 Atomantic Pulse Cannons and 2 hunter killer missiles (380 points).
A ranged option to bring down most vehicles in the game. 

Excindio with 1 graviton flux projector, 2 irad cleansers (340 points).
Interesting close combat variant, but consider carefully how it will get in to combat?

Excindio with 1 Atomantic Pulse Cannon (330 points).
My favourite build here, as it provides the best of ranged and close combat ability for an optimal price.

Excindio with 1 Nerve Induction Shredder, 2 plasma repeaters (340 points).
Something to take care of hordes?

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Dreadtober 2020: Fire Knee!

Some progress in Dreadtober 2020 on my Contemptor Mortis Salamanders Legion dreadnought. I completed the under coat using a white colour in order to base coat using contrast paints -- in this case warp lightning contrast paint following my earlier recipe. The one disadvantage of this approach on a model of this size is that it leaves whiter colours in the recesses. This makes getting black in to those areas more essential and time consuming. Not an impossible task, just one that takes time. 

Moving beyond the green base coat, I decided to resurrect my blending approach to fire painting for the knee cap. Its a limited area of the model to try this technique on, but I'm please with the outcome -- see image.

In brief, I've used a wet blending approach with the fire here, similar to how I paint Bloodletter's swords. I start with the white colours here and then apply yellows to the inner fire, blend with orange as the next layer up, and then red at the extremes. This creates a nice visual from a distance and works well to suggest the fire aspect of the miniature. Close up, as per the image, it is easy to see just how messy and haphazard this approach actually is. I won't claim it is neat, but fire isn't generally neat either. This is a paint job best viewed from a little distance in my mind to create the desired effect. 

Next steps will be to extend the fire to the main torso and focus on highlighting the relevant parts of the model. I'm getting there now and its looking promising to say the least - I can almost feel how I want the paint scheme to end up looking!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Horus Heresy Review: Dreadwing Interemptors

These marines represent the ultimate sanction from the Dark Angels of the Lion. They are charged with the literate erasure and annihilation of the enemy in entirety -- to leave nothing behind, nor even speak of their victories. They do this through their plasma burners and incinerators, which has the side effect of irradiating the marines themselves over a period of decades before they become combat ineffective or need placed in a dreadnought. Grim.

I really like the plasma weapons on offer here. Lots of potential shots at AP2, but with the slight drawback of S=4 which should be compared against a regular plasma gun (and has the mild advantage of no gets hot rule). This is somewhat offset by the use of rad grenades though, and it is a squad that could chew through terminators of the enemy with ease. Stubborn is nice here too. 

Fundamentally, these are regular T=4 and 3+ save marines with one wound each. They are prime targets too. And they're competing for an elites slot with many others. My guess is that they will only be used alongside the Dreadwing special rite of war to be honest. Otherwise, the elite slot is being used for other units, and a support squad of plasma might be a superior choice. That said, putting them in a land raider and moving them up to a select target is a viable tactic and one to be explored (or grab them if you're an Alpha Legion player and infiltrate them in?). The plasma incinerator sits in an odd place since it is "heavy" but carries a suspension web resulting in a different range to the plasma burners for extra shots. I'd advocate a stasis missile launcher instead. Further, these marines are not close combat ones, they are dedicated very close range shooting marines. Don't get tar-pitted or they will die due to lack of attacks (1 each with a blade -- the burner is not classed as a pistol).

I only really have one build to offer here since there are few options.

10 Interemptors, 2 missile launchers (340 points).
Take a land raider proteus to rock up to your chosen enemy and burn them away with the plasma (fire your rad or stasis missiles first though!).  Take phospex bombs to taste. 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Horus Heresy Review: Firewing Enigmatus Cabal

Small and elite units that feel to me like a pre-cursor of some Alpha Legion harrow, the Firewing are depicted as a force that merely exist to destroy the enemies key assets, morale, plans, and most other things related to their ability and will to resist. 

Their jump packs give them a standard cover save, no matter what, and cannot be overwatched if charging whilst using them. This is very good to say the least and encourages a head-on style of play for the unit. Shroud bombs complement the feel of this unit.

The needle pistols are a fine and reliable addition, if a bit niche. The charge blades are similarly nice, with an extra pip in strength on top of a standard power sword. 

Fundamentally, I find it odd that we cannot add more bodies to this unit. But with 2 wounds each, that's not so much of a problem unless staring down some instant death weapons. They're meant to be played as anti-AP3 armour and shouldn't aim to get entangles with terminators at all. 

There are not many options here. The only choice is whether to take a grenade launcher. I would suggest not bothering. Simply pay the points for the base unit, and fly them in to other marines (or equivalent) to bash them up. Their rules should keep them in the fight and enable them to win. Take 2 units, just to be sure? Head for a character embedded in a larger unit and then use the special rending rules to take them out. They are very points cost efficient for the job and come recommended from me!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Dreadtober 2020: Salamanders Contemptor Mortis

I have had this project hanging over me for a very long time now -- and Dreadtober is the perfect opportunity to attempt to make some appreciable progress with it. Behold the mighty Contemptor Mortis! Fully assembled and awaiting some tender, loving paint work to be applied.

The plan is to use the contrast painting method worked out for my Shattered Legions Salamanders from much earlier and apply some blending to the more fiery aspects of the armour to help it stand out. The base will be kept in keeping with the other miniatures and feature a dark sandy tone. 

Wish me luck!

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