Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bolter Conversion

What do most marine armies (including chaos) have in common?  Of the many possible answers ranging from shoulder pads to geneseed, one of the more obvious would have to be the bolter (unless we're talking about Death Wing ... but that's a different story!).  So, how can you make your army stand out in a simple manner?  Do some conversion work on these most obvious bits!
This bolter conversion is one of the most simple ones to do -- extending the barrel.  To achieve this look, I chopped and filed away the existing bolter barrel.  Then, I took a small section of a plastic styrene cylinder (sold by evergreen for those wondering) and drilled out the barrel at the end, and a cross-section through the barrel with a steady hand and a small bit on my hand drill.  The new, extended barrel was then simply glued in to place on the old bolter.  Voila -- a simple conversion that will make a regular marine stand out from the crowd, or if done for an entire squad, differentiate them from all other marines out there!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Assembled Magewrath Throne

This is the assembled Magewrath throne.  In hindsight, I probably should have placed a miniature next to it to give a true sense of the scale of this scenery kit -- it is certainly a tabletop dominating monster!  But that is part of the beauty of this scenery piece.  The large tower of skulls is nicely shadowed and offset with a moderately ornate throne on the top of it, providing a clear line of sight to the opposing forces where-ever they may be located on the rest of the battlefield.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Old Raptor Lord

Many years ago, I fielded this chap in a conflict style tournament (750 points limit) and I thought I'd share him here to show how far along my painting has moved.  He is painted up in Warp Hornets colours (my very old, yellow!, chaos marine chapter) and was the forerunner and initial inspiration for my more modern raptor conversions.

In game, he is a regular chaos lord with a jump pack (metal wings), power fist and plasma pistol.  My favourite moment with him would be blowing up a rhino to smithereens with his pistol and then surviving the inevitible charge from the (other traitor) marines who were inside to be the last man standing.  He was later backed up by his own troops to secure victory and rout the remaining opposition off the board.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Winner of the September 2011 Army List Challenge

The winner of the September army list challenge is DimmyK with his Space Marine list!  Congratulations mate, you polled 35 per cent of the vote in a very interesting and open competition.

Another challenge will take place next month.  If any reader has a particular idea or concept for a future challenge in a similar vein to previous ones, then let me know (comment below or jot an email!).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Magewrath Sprues

The pair of Magewrath sprues are sold together with the balewind vortex.  I thought it would be good to post an image of both of these sprues for the sake of completeness (and to complement the balewind sprues).  As can be seen, the upper portion of the magewrath fulcrum consists of a throne that comes in only a few (detailed) pieces.  The tower upon which it rests (lower image) is simply four (yes four!) big skull towers -- each effectively being one side of the magewrath "wall" and simple-looking to assemble.  Even if the mage-wrath throne doesn't look as 40k as the balewind vortex, I think the skull tower will see use regardless!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dreadfleet Release

The mystery has revealed itself: Games Workshop has just released the Dreadfleet board game boxed set.  It is a new board game with plastic citadel miniatures for battles on the high seas.  Specifically, the vampire count's fleet takes on the humans et al. for dominance on the seas.  Who will win?  Can your ships get a strong broadside on the enemy or will all your gunpowder kegs go up in flames from incoming fire and sink your ships before you can even get a volley away?

The game looks like it will be a solid addition to the limited edition releases over the past few years such as SpaceHulk.  However, I think that SpaceHulk was probably the best-seller over recent years (with strong tie-ins to the 40k game due to the unique Blood Angels terminators and genestealers sold with the set), so it will be interesting to evaluate how well this limited release does over time.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Head Swap: Helms on Guardsmen

Often, a simple head-swap can do wonders for the feel and aesthetic of a miniature.  I have a small number of guardsmen figures that I'm creating with a "mutated" feel to them just as a mini-side-project to keep me distracted.  The first head-swap effort was using a dryad tree head and I think that came out reasonably well.

This guy, instead of having an alien styled or totally mutated head simply has a helmet (from the chaos knights range).  Sure, its not a massive conversion.  But, I think it gives off an air of "sinister" and "chaos" nonetheless.  I intend to paint this one up in the same colours as the previous guardsman I painted so that they can form a small killteam unit of Tzeentch renegades perhaps.


Due to me missing two late entries, I'm re-starting the poll for the September Army List Challenge (with sincere apologies to those folks who have already cast their votes).  So: There's no more entires and there are now 6 choices -- good luck everyone!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Poll Open: September 2011 Army List Challenge

Here are the entrants for the 2011 Army List Challenge -- INCLUDING TWO LATE ENTRIES.  The theme this month was "no scenery".  So which list do you believe is the most effective that also best articulates this theme?  Poll is open to the right and there's one week to vote in.  Good luck folks!

(1) Dark Eldar (CodyJ)
So because I like the Coven theme, I think I will keep with that.

Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade- 55pts
Haemonculus w/ Venom Blade- 55pts

x4 Grotesques- 140pts
x4 Grotesques- 140pts

x10 Wracks w/ x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst w/ Venom Blade- 135pts
x10 Wracks w/ x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst w/ Venom Blade- 135pts
x10 Wracks w/ x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst w/ Venom Blade- 135pts
x10 Wracks w/ x2 Liquifyer Guns, Acothyst w/ Venom Blade- 135pts

x5 Scourge w/ x2 Haywire Blasters- 130pts
x5 Scourge w/ x2 Haywire Blasters- 130pts

Talos w/ TL-Haywire Blaster- 105pts
Talos w/ TL-Haywire Blaster- 105pts

Cronos w/ Spirit Vortex- 100pts

Basically, the Grotesques screen all incoming fire. Being T5, ID is almost out of the question. I have a ton of FnP and a decent amount of ranged AT. I know I most likely wont destroy anything from range, but immobilized or stuns are just as good. I have quite a few bodies on the field. I would welcome the hordes of Orks or Tyranids to come at me. No terrain, no problem!

(2) Chaos Space Marines / Thousand Sons (Torgrimm)

Daemon Prince with Mark of Tzeench, Bolt of Change, Wind of Chaos.

9x Thousand Sons with Aspiring Champion, Wind of Chaos, Rhino, Havoc Launcher.
9x Thousand Sons with Aspiring Champion, Bolt of Change, Rhino, Havoc Launcher.
9x Thousand Sons with Aspiring Champion, Bolt of Change, Rhino, Havoc Launcher.

2x Obliterators
2x Obliterators

Basically, if there's no cover - Thousand sons eat marines alive with ap3 bolters. Havoc launchers added for horde control. Could drop rhinos and afford whole another Tzeench Daemon Prince, and Thousand Sons are resilient enough to walk with 4++, but they are really slow.

(3) Tyranids (TheGraveMind)
Living Cover

Tervigon 160
Tervigon; adrenal glands, toxin sacs, catalyst 195

Hive guard x3 150
Hive guard x3 150

Venomthropes x2 110

Tervigon; adrenal glands, toxin sacs, catalyst 195

Gaunts x10 50

Tervigon; adrenal glands, toxin sacs, catalyst 195

Gaunts x10 50

Tervigon; adrenal glands, toxin sacs, catalyst 195

Gaunts x10 50

Something around 80 gaunts after the first turn, providing cover and screening. In the wide open they will still have a 5+ cover and FNP. Hive guard behind them get 4+ cover, and tervigons behind hive guard should get 4+ cover or 5++ in worst case.

Everything will also have defensive grenades and dangerous terrain to be assaulted.

1. Swarm midfield
2. Pop transports
3. Assault
4. Devour!

(4) Space Marine (DimmyK)
2x Librarian with gate and might 200pts

2x 5 sternguard with power fist and 3 combi-meltas 330pts

Dreadnought with assault cannon and heavy flamer 125pts

2x Tactical squad with plasma gun and missile launcher in rhino 430pts

Scout squad with missile launcher 85pts

2x land speeder with multi-meltas 120pts

Whirlwind with storm bolter 95pts

Vindicator 115

Plan: gated libbys go with sternguard and cause disruption/havoc and try to demech the enemy if they are meched up. Meanwhile the rest of the army goes in transports/is a tank and just advances up the field hopefully presenting enough targets to cause the enemy to fall into disarray and not be able to cause much damage. Scouts are there as a reserve/backfield objective holding unit.

(5) That Cheeba (Space Marines)

I was thinking about an all reserve army to preserve first shot advantage, but then I realized the ULTIMATE first shot advantage is the Drop Pod Army.

Ultimate long range first shot shooty army:

3x Rifleman Dreads in Pods 480
3x Las/Missle Dreads in Pods 540

MotF 100 (rides in a Tact pod, will come in late to repair downed Dreds)

2x 5 man Tacts in Drop Pods 250
2pf 50
2cm 20

Extra Armour on the Las Dreads + 1 Rifleman 60

== 1500 even

Let him go first.

If he deploys, he shoots nothing first turn, then I drop 4 appropriate pods (horde and light armor gets rifles, heavy mechs get las, tacts always in reserve) AWAY from the army and take the first shot. Let them foot slog while I shoot. 

I think Melta gets priority. 3 riflemen do 5.333 pentrations vs Armor 10, a Las Dred adds another 1.11 ish, for a total of 6.5 penetrations vs armor 10, they should be able to shoot out 3 land speeders with melta before they have a chance to either move or shoot, although I will settle for any results that immobilize vehicles outside shooting range for at least one turn. 

If he reserves, I drop shootiness that can pick off his army as it comes on. If I were too 'saulty, I would have to chase his army to start putting hurt on a reserved army because he will deploy far away from my forces and have some time to roll for more reserves. Being shooty, I stay away from table edges, and towards mid-field so I can concentrate my full force of fire on his troops immediately as they trickle in from reserves.
(6) Speedfreek (Dark Angels)

Belial, Thunderhammer/Stormshield 130
Deathwing Terminator Squad, Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x5, Cyclone Missile Launcher, Standard Bearer, Apothecary 295
Deathwing Terminator Squad,Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x5, Cyclone Missile Launcher 235
Deathwing Terminator Squad,Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x5, Cyclone Missile Launcher 235
Deathwing Terminator Squad,Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x5, Cyclone Missile Launcher 235
Deathwing Terminator Squad,Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x5, Cyclone Missile Launcher 235
Fast Attack
Ravenwing Bike Squadron, Meltagun, Melta Bombs 135

If you go first, scoutboost+death wing assault.
If not, just walk forward and shoot...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Army list challenge extension

Since there's currently only 1 entrant for the September Army List Challenge, the deadline is being extended by a day (I know one commenter was going to put up a list but hasn't yet)... all takers welcome!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fish Tank Scenery: Tower

Wandering around pet stores can be a fruitful endeavour for the keen-eyed scenery collector looking for something a bit more unique for their table-top.

This find cost me a small 5 AUD from the fish tank decoration section of a pet store that I took my daughter to at the weekend (she's always amused looking at the live animals!).  The piece looks like it is straight out of an Hirst Arts cast (and indeed, is probably something that I could cast with sufficient time, but it has the advantage of coming pre-painted and assembled).  But it is more of an entire mold cast, having looked carefully for the mold lines(!) 

For scale, there is a horror of Tzeentch in the foreground.  Hence: the archway is probably big enough for a terminator to stare through, or perhaps two grots side-by-side.  It's a nice bit of kit and something that I'm certain that I'll use in future games.  So, I'm going to be visiting more pet stores and (in particular) fish tank retailers in the future...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thumbs up for Customer Service

Following yesterday's post about some defects in a finecast sprue, I returned the offending article to the GW store from whence it came.  The guys there were very helpful and exchanged it for sprue that were unaffected by the problems I encountered -- even allowing me to mix and match sprues from some unopened sets.  Hence, thumbs up for customer service.  I hope GW gets over the quality control issues surrounding finecast soon.  I really want to like the product...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Finecast Herald of Tzeentch Sprues

Despite some misgivings about citadel finecast, I finally bought the herald of Tzeentch on a disk.  I intend to construct a second chariot of Tzeentch to complement my earlier scratch built one.  I got home and opened up the package.  The sprues (minus the bases) are shown in the image below.

Are my misgivings warrented?  Well, for starters, I felt I didn't need a huge image for people to see one defect: look at the icon of Tzeentch (staff in the lower left sprue).  There's a huge air bubble on the semi-circle that surrounds the Tzeentch symbol (it should just be a notch to fit on another bit).  Other problems (that may not be so visible from the image) include a bubble on the book (lower right sprue) and the "kilt" (if I can call it that, in the top left sprue) being nearly see-through it is so thin.  Moreover, the struts that hold the resin to the frame are overly large and cumbersome.  It'll take me a little while to carefully cut this guy out of the sprue.  I've half a mind to go back to the store and whinge about the quality. Not sure if it'll do much good though. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Who is Guilty?

When I was a much younger lad (playing in the Rogue Trader and Realms of Chaos era), I must confess that I had a bit of a different take on the Horus Heresy.  The impression that I got from the source materials was that:
(a) the traitor primarchs were the primary people responsible for turning their legions to chaos;
(b) the same primarchs were unrepentant / unapologetic about this.

As I've grown up and read some of the newer materials, my opinion has shifted somewhat on a number of primarchs and their legions.  Below, I present brief (one line!) comparisons in the old background (Realms of Chaos) versus the more updated.

III: Emperor's Children: One of the units brought to "pacify" Horus.  Horus introduced Slaanesh worship to their highest officers and the legion declared "neutrality".  But that wasn't enough for Horus and he waited for the Slaanesh worship rot to spread through the entire legion before they broke and succumed to Horus' side.  Most certainly, Fulgrim did not appear to be possessed - he willingly embraced Slaanesh.
IV: Iron Warriors: surprisingly little is said of the Iron Warriors in the old Realms of Chaos books, but there is a small paragraph on Perturabo's daemon world and a couple of imposing banners.
VIII: Night Lords: Dedicated to Khorne according to Slaves to Darkness, but little more is made of them.
XII: World Eaters: Horus (possessed) readily brought them to the worship of Khorne, with little modification of the chapter rituals, bloodsoaked dues to their neural implants as they already were.  Perhaps not too much difference here.  Angron "genuinely thought that he alone could save humanity from destruction" for his temptation to chaos (Lost and the Damned).
XIV: Death Guard: Mortarion openly offered up the Death Guard to escape the plague whilst they were stuck in the Warp. (Only later did it become apparent that Typhus was the cause of this and secretly aligned to chaos all along).  He "fully believed that he was the herald of a new age of justice" in his temptation to chaos (Lost and the Damned).
XV: Thousand Sons: Similar to the modern background.  The Thousand Sons were loyal, but practiced sorcery (to the extent of doing so in favour of fighting the reunification wars according to the Lost and the Damned). They tried to warn the Emperor through sorcery of Horus, but got the Space Wolves sent after them for their trouble.  Ultimately, they were forced to ally with Horus.
XVI: Luna Wolves: Horus started the rebellion and influenced all the other legions to turn to chaos (rather than the Word Bearers being the cause of it all).  Horus instigated "warrior lodges" in to 5 legions apparently (source = Slaves to Darkness).
XVII: Word Bearers: They weren't the first: The Sons of Horus were.  Otherwise, very little is said about them in the old realms of chaos books.
XX: Alpha Legion: "Twisted minds and bodies" in the service of chaos according to Slaves to Darkness, and they most definitely were not secretly serving the emperor's aims.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reminder: September 2011 Army List Challenge

Entries are still open for the September 2011 Army List Challenge.  What army would you field in the absence of any scenery to take cover behind or block lines of sight?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Painted Balewind Vortex Base

The base of the Balewind Vortex is pictured here fully painted up.  I went for a very simple approach with the base, only wanting to have a small number of colours so as not to detract from the vortex itself when I do that.  Hence, the basecoat is pure black followed by a number of layers of progressively lighter greys (the first several layers of grey being done in a drybrush methodology).  The gold was applied to the chaos-looking circle as well as the broken outer sub-burst styled edges and the schools of magic symbols on the foreheads of the skulls.  Muted, to be sure.  But I am intending that the vortex itself will be much brighter (blues and purples).

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Changeling Finecast Sprue

The Changeling proved to be the first finecast miniature that I've purchased.  I've historically used a semi-random miniature to represent the Changeling in previous games, but felt that the time was right to buy-in to the actual miniature give how fond I am of his/her/its ability.  The sprue is pictured to the left.

Whilst I fully accept that the resin will be much easier to work with than the metal alloy version of the miniature, there are more aesthetic issues that I've noticed than compared to a typical metal one. It is very easy to spot the excess flash around the edges of the miniature -- particularly along the slender staff that the changeling brandishes.  The sprue itself looks warped in the picture -- as it does in real life.  This is not a biggie, but I will note that some of the miniature is also warped (again the staff -- no better or worse than a metal miniature in that regard I guess!).  There are also one or two subtle defects in the accessories that the Changeling is carrying -- an odd air bubble in the forearm guard for instance is clear on the obverse of the image.  But I do agree with the hype that overall the quality is high.  For me, the question is whether the ease of working with resin and the extra flash outweighs the lack of defects common to metal miniatures.  I'll get back to you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 2011 Army List Challenge

The theme for this month's army list challenge is barren terrain.  Yep - you heard it right.  There is no scenery because the tournament organisers forgot / best mates don't own any / the game was far too impromptu to include any (delete as appropriate or leave a comment to let the rest of us know how/why this ever happened to you).  So, what sort of army should you field in this situation?  Lots of tanks with high armour value?  A wall of rhinos?  Fast moving bikers?  Or something else?  The only cover you're getting is from your own troops...

(1) Design a 1500 points army list from any codex to take on this challenge.
(2) Post your army lists as a comment to this posting and why the army list is effective and is themed to the scenario.  
(3) Entries close at 01:00 GMT on September 14th.
(4) On that same day, I'll open a poll for Warpstone Flux readers to judge which army list they consider to be the "most effective army list that also best articulates the theme" (whatever readers interpret that to mean) out of all entrants.
(5) The winner will be tallied and announced on September 21st (and entered in to the hall of fame!).  
(6) One entry per person please. 

Remember that there are no prizes for these contests, beyond kudos, honour and entry in to the hall of fame.

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