Chaos Revamped: A Review of Sorts of the New Chaos Space Marine Kit!

I’ve always had a bit of an interest in Chaos Space Marines; The idea of the ideal post-human warrior going rogue is an interesting one, and I dabbled in both Death Guard and regular Chaos Space Marines before. But, the Death Guard, while fun to play, were not my cup of tea. They were slow, hard to kill but at the end of the day Nurgle’s chosen legion just didn’t grab me. My normal Chaos marines were to be Red Corsairs, and were a mix of Space Wolves, Iron Hands upgrade kits, and the old Chaos marine box. But even that potent mix did not evoke the post-human dread that a marine of the Dark Gods should.

When Shadowspear was announced, and the news that Chaos Space Marines were getting a revamp, I was very excited. I sold my kit-bashed marines to a player just starting out and on a tight budget for cheap. I bought 2 boxes worth of the Chaos side of the Shadowspear box-set. But, while the new marines looked the part, finally, of a super-human warrior sworn to darker powers, they were mono-pose. While useful to bulk out and kit-bash, I needed the multi-parts to really make a serious effort.

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Goodies! I picked these up before the tournament yesterday.

With the release of the multi-part kits, I was both excited and deeply annoyed. Excited because the kit looked really good…but annoyed that they were 70 dollars Canadian! So does the kit warrant the price?

I started to build a squad today, with their focus being on ranged objective holders; bolters and plasma made the most sense. Luckily, despite concerns that these models would be difficult to customize, I can happily report that while the torso and legs are usually one assembly, the arms are a good old flat surface that will accept almost any arms in the kit, and even ones from outside of it, provided the scale is similar. I followed the instructions very loosely, mostly just to make sure the torso and legs matched. The arms were placed on whatever body I thought would look cool.

Below are my favorite builds from the kit!

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A minor kit-bash on this Aspiring Champion; His pistol has been replaced with a combi-bolter from the Cataphracti Terminator kit. I replaced the hand so it would be the right scale, carefully cutting away the plasma pistol so that it could be reused, and then placing the bolter on the hand. The use of 30k kits is on purpose; I imagine these weapon patterns are common in the warp. He isn’t armed with a chainsword; He keeps a bolt-pistol in a holster. The knife was supposed to be used in tandem with the included missile launcher, but looks far better used here.
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This was a fun model; I love the fact that Chaos bolters appear to be able to accept a belt feed. It makes absolutely no sense, but as seen here it looks really cool! I positioned his head to look as if he is advancing, weapon ready.
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OK, this is the real reason I bought the kit. This guy looks far too badass to not use. A surprisingly easy model to build, I thought the belt would be much harder to put together, but the kit is really well designed to make assembly a breeze.

With the highlights out of the way, here’s the rest of the squad. As usual, you can click the picture for a write up of it.

So yeah, I do think the kit is overpriced, but that being said it IS a good kit. It is too much to hope for a reduction in price, but in this case I’d recommend buying it from a discounted store. My local store, the Giddy Goblin, does a discount. I paid a much more reasonable price for the 2 squads I bought.

Oh, and remember when I got Shadowspear how I said I would convert some models so the duplicates would be less obvious? Well, I completed the Aspiring Champion conversion.

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On the left is a Shadowspear Champion, with a subtle head-swap. On the right is the same base model, but with his melee weapon swapped to a power axe and in his other hand, while the plasma pistol, from the Raptors/Warp Talon kit is in his right. While it is still fairly obvious they share the same base, the dynamic is changed quite dramatically.

There will be more conversions in the near future; I have 8 chainswords left from assembling my ranged squad, and my other box is also going to be a ranged squad, for a total of 16 spare arms. I’m going to try and cut up the Shadowspear marines to be all melee.

I also have some ideas on what these Chaos marines will be a part of. But your going to have to wait a bit longer to find out what! But I’ll leave you with a clue; No psykers, dedicated to Khorne…but not World Eaters! At least, mostly. You’ll see.

As my usual sign off would get me beheaded by current company…lets see here…. Let the Galaxy Burn! And happy war-gaming!

The Tale of the Golden Bolter Shell; A Tournament After Action Report

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The coveted Golden Bolter Shell, 3D printed by one of our Clubhouse members! Lovingly painted by another, and mounted on a great wooden base by yet another, a true group effort!

Hey there folks, yesterday I participated in a small town tournament at the Giddy Goblin in Hanover, Ontario. Usually, I’m not much for competitive games of any sort, in wargaming I prefer pick up games and fluffy battles over bringing the newest fromage. But, figuring it would give me a much needed kick in the pants to paint up my army, and to help me learn to play even better, I signed up! It was overall a good experience, and I while I do have some constructive feedback to give them, for their first time running a 40k Tournament, they did really well.

All the tables were really well thought out, with lots of LOS-blocking terrain(more on that in a moment!) and were fun to play on, I heard very few complaints.

The ruleset used was ITC 2019 Championship Missions pack. The basic ITC rulings were in play, and most notable of these is that enclosed buildings, which we counted as any with 4 walls, if not a roof, could not be shot into, out of, and blocked LOS completely. This was a good rule, since most of the terrain I supplied to the clubhouse is absolutely riddled with windows, realistic but in 40k terms making them almost useless as cover. On the tables with buildings, this turned out to be super important. Another was that objectives had to placed on a ground floor, and could not be placed in an enclosed building; This was also nice as meant all armies could theoretically get to the objectives, and prevented a melee heavy army from guarding one in a building with little to no consequence.

Then we get to the meat of it; 6 bespoke scenarios from the Championship pack! These were fun to play for the most part, and the random regular deployment meant that each table had a slightly different experience of the same mission. However, the Championship pack had an interesting way of scoring points; You got your objectives from the scenario, the primary ITC objectives, and 15(!) secondary objectives one could score, picking 3 that a player liked. This is where I felt the ruleset failed us; The secondary objectives were, in my opinion, really fun, but having to pick 3 of them from the available 15, tailoring them to your opponent, and keeping track of them slowed game-play significantly.  There were easy to forget if you didn’t write them down, and only a couple of us printed a list of them, me included, to reference. That combined with a two hour gameplay window meant that unless the players were really sharp and played extremely fast, most games only got to the second round, and in my case, only 1 game completed a full 2 battle-rounds. There were a couple of newer players learning the ruleset on top of trying to remember the objectives, and in the case of Tau and Guard shooting armies, we spent a vast majority of our time in the shooting phase, rolling buckets of dice, which while fun, took almost 30 minutes a piece to do. Bear in mind that I still had a great time, and this is constructive feedback I will be informing the tournament organizers of, and to their credit they have asked for.

With that out of the way, lets get some pictures in! I did take at least one picture of each of my games going on, but got so caught up in the game I don’t have enough pictures for a play by play, but you’ll get a brief overview in the captions! I took my 2000 point Vostroyan/Aeronautica Imperialis army I have been working on and blogging about in the past few months, and while it was a blast to play, was probably not the best list I could have brought; it had teeth, but a chin like glass and not enough bodies for the grinder. Getting to play with all my aircraft was fun though, so no regrets there!

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First game was against Mykah, who ran a Tau army with a lot of nasty shooting; This match-up was always going to be an uphill battle for me, but while losing by a massive margin, I still had fun playing this battle. My flyers were a liability here, but to be honest I’m not sure much could stand up to the markerlight spam and heavy ordinance being fired at them. Despite this, while Mykah brought an extremely powerful list, he didn’t rub it it in or anything and we both left the game feeling good about it. Besides, its a tournament! As far as I’m concerned you can excuse the cheese in this instance, as we are playing for prize support!
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Second game was against Jesse, a young man who has only gotten a few games under his belt, and still learning all the rules, so I admire the fact that he entered the tournament anyway. He brought a Chaos Space Marines army. It was an excellent way for him to learn his army, and I helped him pick a warlord trait and a few psychic powers that he had forgotten about. It was a surprisingly close game; I only won by 1 point, and he played the objectives like a champ! That being said, because of the teaching aspect of this game, we only got 1 battle-round in, and only one round of my shooting; This strict time-limit meant I couldn’t wield the full power of my heavy shooting, and he got the full 2 battle rounds in. In the future I will be helping to teach Jessie how to play that just little bit faster, and his army, in a less time-restricted setting. By the way, Jesse, if your reading this, I had a blast playing against you, and I voted for you for best sportsmanship because you were clearly trying your best with the limited resources and experience you have playing the game!
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My last game of the evening was against Kyle, a regular opponent and friend of mine who regularly carts my butt to and from the clubhouse! He brought a Nurgle Daemon army. This was a list I had fought before in our practice games, but unlike our practice game my first round of shooting went awry and didn’t kill nearly enough, and sure as sure he got his plague-bearers into close combat. By turn 2, it was clear that I had lost, but in the spirit of the game we played it to time, because it was still a great game and we both wished we could have ended it properly. A great opponent and game as always, Kyle!

In the end, I didn’t win the tournament, and to be entirely honest I forgot where I placed; my brain was fried after keeping track of all the awesome stuff from the games I played! But I received an unexpected boon…

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A face reveal! Yep that’s me, holding my prize proudly!

In something I didn’t see coming at all, I won the award for best Sportsmanship, the only other prize in contention! I was truly humbled, and honestly, not winning the tournament mattered little to me, but this made me feel like a million dollars. Thanks to everyone who voted for me! The award came with a 15 dollar gift certificate, which I will be using to buy the Astra Militarum Datacards, something I really need, and which will help me remember the crazy amounts of strategems I could use, as I always forget about them. I didn’t go into the tournament expecting anything, so this was a happy surprise!

Unfortunately I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked, but the Giddy Goblin has allowed me to use their pictures of the event for this blog, an act of generosity I really appreciate! So without further ado, on to the picture dump! You can click on the picture for the caption containing details of that specific photo!

All in all, I had a great time at my first tournament, and while I can’t see myself playing a bigger tourneys, I am more then willing to play in the Goblins’s local tournaments, as it is with people I know! A neat side-effect of the Tournament was that a few locals who got to see the boards and armies in action were really impressed; This is how you make a community folks! We may have even gotten a new recruit for the clubhouse!

I will be making another post today on hobby stuff, so if you stick around your going to get a twofer today! But for now, Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming!

 

Fully Painted…Battle Ready?

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Not sure if its the smartest list ever made, but it is a blast to play!

Finally finished my 2000 point list for the tournament tomorrow, after a solid week of painting Vostroyans. Now, I’ve never done a tournament before of any kind, so this sort of competitive play will be an an interesting change of pace. It is using the ITC Championship rules, a huge change from normal play with an insane amount of ways to score objectives. I will be taking pictures of my 3 games tomorrow, and will let you guys know how it went!

I wasn’t planning on painting the flying bases for my aircraft, but a sudden change of heart and the appeal of playing a fully painted army was too much. Unfourtunatly, I had nowhere near the amount of basing material to base them the same as the Vostroyans, so I decided to make the base look like snapshots of a road, as the flyers scream over them.

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 The bases; Note that I have used a larger base, made from a plaque, for my Marauder Bomber as it was dangerously flimsy on the same size base as the rest of my air wing.

Priming the bases grey, I then added a few details, not too many to make it too busy, but enough that they are interesting to look at. I rummaged through the Citadel Basing Kit I bought years ago, which led to some cool resin bits. I’m not sure the kit is still being made, but the resin bits alone are worth the cost.

Of course, with some of the heads having massive bolter holes through the side of them, I took a chance to add some color by adding bleeding and gore effects. Normally, unless the model is very barbaric, I tend to avoid using Blood for the Blood God and Tamiya Clear Red. However, I thought this situation called for it.

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That’s one less Black Legionnaire fighting the Long War!
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Chunky!

Now I can’t claim to be the first to figure out that Tamiya Clear Red is great as a blood paint; I learned it from KrautScientists blog over at https://eternalhunt.wordpress.com. But I like to mix it with Citadels Blood for the Blood God, as the two used together make quite a nasty looking blood effect, with the thin clear red looking fresh, while the thicker BFTBG is great at looking like deep, arterial blood.

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46 Vostroyans, 1 Lord Commissar, 1 Commissar, 1 Leman Russ Annihilator, 2 Wyverns, 2 Thunderbolts, 1 Vulture, and finally 1 Marauder Bomber! My alpha strike potential is high, but this list has one hell of a glass chin.

So, will my Aeronautica list do well? I have no idea, and with my win rate, I’m probably going to lose pretty badly. But, I’m proud that there is not one unpainted or primed only model in this entire force! While the tournament is small, it will still be a grand display when my troops take to the table!

So, until next time, Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming!

 

More Sons of Vostroya join the fight!

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“We shall wage this war with undaunted faith and courage. We shall not take one step back. This is the Emperor’s world and we will not surrender it!”-Lord Marshall Toshenko, Vostroyan XVI

The tournament date of March 30th fast approaches, and this has given me quite the proverbial kick in the pants to get my list painted! An oddity for a guard player, my list actually only has 50 infantry models in it, consisting of 4 Infantry Squads, a Command Squad, a Commissar, a Platoon Officer, and the command staff of a Company Commander and a Lord Commissar. A Vindicare assassin has found his way into the list, as his sniping ability could very well be crucial, and using March’s White Dwarf assassin update makes him quite dangerous.

Of these models, all but the Infantry Squads are painted already, a small dent in the total 100+ strong Vostroyan army I’ve collected over the past year, but a significant portion of my tournament list. The reason for only taking 40 is two-fold; firstly by painting 40 Guardsmen for the list, it knocks out half of my 80 total Infantry Squad models to paint, a major milestone for painting the lot. Secondly, it left me plenty of room to take those shiny planes I showed off a couple days ago. Oddly, I find myself essentially taking a variant of the Loyal 32, a term used to describe the fact that somehow every imperial player is taking 3 Infantry Squads and 2 Company Commanders for +5 command points, for a very cheap cost in points. In my case, my Guard force is substantially smaller then normal to accommodate the aircraft, but big enough to grant me that crucial 5 extra command points, and still a viable enough threat that it can’t be ignored completely.

Now, I was going to paint 2 Wyverns yesterday, but a goof up in a Facebook group chat, by me reposting old content, led to a joke that in penance I should paint up 10 Guardsmen, followed by a prayer to the Emperor*. Of course this was all in jest; but for some reason, it got me thinking. By painting the slog of Guardsmen first, leaving the relatively easy tanks for last minute, my army would look that much better on the tournament date. Properly motivated, I set to work.

As you can see, I held up my end of the bargain. 10 painted and based Vostroyans, ready to march to war on the 30th. Now, they are done up to my personal best, which I know is quite a low standard. But they are easily tabletop quality, and when you have this many more guys to paint over the course of a week and a bit, quantity has a quality all its own. Looking at each model individually, you can see the lack of highlighting and while I at least try to paint within the lines, it has rough edges. But ranked up…

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A firing line of freshly painted Vostroyans, looking sharp as they pose for Regimental Standard?

They suddenly look far better. This is the real secret to painting a horde army, even one as ornate as the one I’ve chosen; Paint well enough that they look good together and suddenly it raises the standard on all of them.

Another problem was also solved here. While they were just undercoated, as the clubhouse I attend doesn’t have a strict painting policy, I gamed with them anyway. But quite often squads would get mixed together, taking a minute or two to fix. That is OK at casual club matches, but it tournament rounds of 2 hours each, slow play just isn’t acceptable. With that in mind, I thought about squad markings. On Cadian models, one could easily paint a piece of uniform a squad color, but those models also have features that carry over the whole squad, like shoulderpads and armor. But Vostroyans are surprisingly not as uniform as you might think. Armor trim, chainmail, even pouches vary wildly on each model.

So, I used the base. By painting a simple block of color on the otherwise drab brown rim of the base, I can easily identify from behind which squad is which. I can’t remember if I saw this idea somewhere before, so I can’t claim credit for it. But it should work really well.

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Simple maybe, but this could save precious time moving my boys up the field.

All in all, a good nights/mornings work. I think today I will tackle another Squad. I learned a few tricks to save time in the process of painting these initial 10, things that I didn’t learn when painting the officer corps individually. Now that the squads will be individually marked, it’ll be even easier to keep track of their exploits on the battlefield, and maybe even earn some of these boys a name to remember them by. Or they could all die in ignominy, face down in a ditch. The dice give, and the dice take away.

But until next time,  Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming!

*Oh, but don’t think I’m slacking on that last part!

Adore the Immortal Emperor For he is our Protector

Admire the Immortal Emperor For his Sacrifice to Mankind

Exalt the Immortal Emperor For his strict guidance

Revere the Immortal Emperor For his undying guard

Venerate the Immortal Emperor For his Holy Wisdom

Honor the Immortal Emperor For his Eternal Strength

Glorify the Immortal Emperor For his All Seeing Vision

Praise the Immortal Emperor For his Unending rule

Hail the Immortal Emperor For he is Lord and Master

Worship the Immortal Emperor For without him we are nothing

What I think: Chaos Space Marines and Shadowspear!

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“Let the Galaxy Burn.”-Horus

Almost every new player to Warhammer 40k starts with an Imperial army, usually that of the Adeptus Astartes. Some eventually move on to Xenos armies like the Eldar, Orks, and Tau. But you will be hard pressed to find a player who doesn’t at least have one or two Space Marines hidden away somewhere. But some players eventually choose to play the Arch-enemy, the mortal and otherwise legions of Chaos.

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But there is something about Chaos that makes that choice more interesting; We primarily view the galaxy from an Imperial viewpoint, and from that viewpoint forces an outlook that Chaos is the ultimate bad guy, with heresy and unbelief considered capital offenses. For a new player, this gives them a sense that despite the fact Space Marines and the rest of the Imperiums armies are serving, at best, a theocratic hellhole worse then any government in human history, that they are the good guy.

Chaos then, is for when a player decides to go bad. To rebel, to jump feet first into being a villain. Tired of the Imperiums dogma and rhetoric, they either choose Daemons or Chaos Space Marines. Of Daemons, I know quite little. Of the mortal servants of Chaos, I know a bit more. At a surface level, the forces of the Heretic Astartes resemble an evil mirror of their Imperial cousins, with smooth battle-plate replaced by a healthy helping of spikes, tusks, skulls, etc. But once one digs deeper into the lore of these depraved warriors of the Chaos gods, one finds that they have far more depth then what appears on the surface. The artwork depicts baroque, powerful figures of immense power, a force that could very realistically threaten the Imperium of Man.

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These guys look terrifying, an amazing piece of older 3rd or 4th edition artwork!

But for the longest time, this wasn’t well represented on the table top. As Space Marines got release after release, modernizing them and bringing them up to par with today’s standard of miniature quality, the poor humble chaos marine didn’t change much. They were a product of 3rd Edition, and compared to models of the same age, didn’t look too bad.

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Not a bad looking kit….until you compare with below.

But as releases came and went, the humble Chaos Marine stayed the same; they started to look long in the tooth, a holdover from an earlier time.

There was a glimmer of hope at the beginning of 6th edition, with the release of Dark Vengeance. While size had not yet been addressed as yet, the included Chosen in the starter box were less squat, more upright and most importantly, finally looked like what a Traitor space marine might look like after centuries of fighting the Long War.

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A vast improvement! These looked baroque, full of malice, and ready to burn the galaxy.

Chaos players got excited. We lost Dreadnoughts, replaced with Helbrutes, similar but with more fleshy appendages and warped battle-plate. We got new Raptors, new units such as Heldrakes and Forgefiends. We all awaited the release of the new Chaos Space Marine kit.

It never came. 6th left abruptly, and with the arrival of 7th, a new version of Dark Vengeance, with the same models as before, with a new Aspiring Champion model that looked great. It also eventually saw the release of updated Rubric Marines, taller and more imposing then their by now very dated cousins.  But 7th, thank goodness, was left behind with the arrival of 8th.

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Tall, upright, and downright awesome looking! Just like how I imagined them.

8th brought us Dark Imperium, which introduced the Primaris Marine, but also brought in new plastic Plague Marines, which dwarfed the Chaos space marine kits of old. This was great for Death Guard and Thousand Sons fans, as while many had to redo their armies to fit the new releases, at least they looked as menacing as the lore suggested. But for anyone still fighting the Long War with the vanilla Chaos Space Marine codex, our squat marines were still here.

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Just like the Rubricae, these look exactly how I imagined Plague Marines to be, big, bloated, and full of angry sores and lesions. But where are the regular marines?

Personally, my Chaos army then sat on the back burner, as compared to the modern miniatures, mine just didn’t do it for me anymore. The 8th edition codex brought new units but no new models, and I thought for sure that again we were being left behind.

Suddenly, Vigilus Defiant teased something big. 80 days until the Warmaster would arrive? Surely, we are hoping for too much, there was no chance that beyond the release of Haarken World Claimer that we would get much.

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Looking good! A great HQ to lead Raptors and Warp Talons, but those looked pretty good already…wheres the normal marines!

I, and many others, were thrilled to be proven wrong. A new Abaddon replaced his old model from the 90’s, something that while rumored for forever, was still able to surprise us. But for me, never a fan of the Black Legion, the release of new regular Chaos Marines got me very excited!

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Holy Crap, I never thought I’d see the day…And as for normal marines?
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YEEEEESSSSSSSS! Glorious new sculpts! Finally!

So, now that the history is out of the way, what do I think of Shadowspear, our new box set of chaotic goodness?

While yes, much of the kit is mono pose, which was a little bit of a disappointment, as was the high asking price of $210 Canadian, to say the box was popular in my area was an understatement of some magnitude. Our small gaming club ordered 15 of the boxes, all but one selling the same day. The Primaris half I sold to a friend, and then used the funds to buy a second Chaos half. I won’t do an unboxing, as the rest of the internet has done that. What I will show is a scale comparison.

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From left to right; Shadowspear Marine, Dark Vengeance Chosen, MKIII Marine, Mark IV Marine with Khorne Bezerker parts, and finally our tiny Chaos Marine.

And while the kit is monopose, the heads are easily interchangeable with a head swap for some variety. I did one set of marines as the instructions showed, then fooled around with head swaps on the others. While small, it actually goes quite far in changing a models “feel”.

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The one on the right looks like he is shouting to the heavens, while his brother gazes downward, signalling with his chainaxe. The one on the right will probably get a weapon swap to make it less obvious that these are the same models.
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The one on the right looks like he surveying the battlefield, and the one on the left looks like he is blaring a challenge to an enemy champion. One model will get a weapon swap to further the differences.

These are small changes, and are by no means a completed project. A more involved conversion concerns the lack of Icon Bearers. As I wanted each squad to have an Icon of Wrath, I pulled out the hobby knife and tools.

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This Icon Bearer has a standard I took from a Bloodletters sprue. The banner isn’t overly ornate, and will probably be painted to resemble tanned hide. He looks ready to fight at a moments notice, with his bolter at his side.
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This conversion I didn’t like. I used a rather large banner from the Skull Crusher kit, and it looks A. Too heavy. B Too ornate. And C. Just wrong. While led to part 2.
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While not perfect, this is a big improvement I think. The Icon is clearly of Khorne, it looks less unwieldy, and while not planted firmly on the ground I can see it being held like that. I kept the idea of a shield on his arm, both to cover the damage I did to the model removing the big standard, and to tie into some fluff I’m thinking of for these guys.
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A better view of the shield.

In all, it may have been a very long wait, but these new marines are a joy to look at, substantially more detailed, and finally a size that looks menacing! I’m very pleased with Shadowspear. The other models have not been converted up yet, but I am aiming at no duplicate models looking the same, so watch out for that post in the future.

And I was ready to wait a month or two until the multi-part versions of the kit would be released…

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By the Gods! I NEED this. That model with the belt fed bolter feeding it like some sort of 80’s action hero is by far my favourite. And these will have options!

Guess I didn’t need to wait that long, huh?

But that is all I got for today, could be a while before I post again, but keep a look out for my painting logs for the tournament and a tournament after action report! As my usual sign-off would get me drawn and quartered by present company…May you slay many lapdogs of the Corpse Emperor, and happy hobbying!

Aeronautica Imperialis: Because Air-power is awesome!

Hey guys! First off, for those who found my content interesting, my apologies for not posting…in, what, 4-5 months? Its been a while. I had some stuff in life that drained my hobby energy while I dealt with it. I’m not sure if I’m fully back to 100% yet but I figured its high time I started blogging again! So with that out of the way….

“Strong men have conquered the land, Bold men have conquered the void, Between land and void lies the sky, and only the Bravest men ever conquer that.” -from the dedication to the Hessenville Aviation Scholam, Phantine.

When I started 40k, and bought my first flyer, it was new; a gimmick, something useful but outside of Forge World and the realm of the casual game, not seen terribly often. Oh, how times have changed. Now, almost every faction has access to some sort of flyer, be it a fighter, bomber, fighter bombers or even the super-heavy titan killers. Forge-World always had the nicest Imperial aircraft however, and for a teenager on a budget, such things were the realm of fantasy. Now, in my late 20s, that has changed. Enter, Ebay.

Slowly, but surely, through ebay purchases and a gift of an Arvus Lighter by a friend, my airpower grew from one Valkyrie to a Vulture, two Thunderbolts, another Valkyrie. Soon, the idea of owning and painting an entire Squadron was no longer a far off dream, but a very achievable reality.

Now, some thought had to be put into painting them, and a good background reference was both real world reference and history books, and Black Library’s admittedly rather limited selection on the Aeronautica Imperialis(Which, by the way, Dan Abnett’s Double Eagle, set in the same area of space as Gaunt’s Ghosts, is a fascinating view of Imperial air combat!). A little more on the Aeronautica; As Guard regiments are not allowed their own air-support, all aircraft are instead an atmospheric part of the Imperial Navy, who jealously guard this niche. As well, Squadrons, like in the real world, do not consist usually of more then one kind of aircraft, both to keep its role focused and to simplify logistics. With this in mind, I started to paint the Thunderbolts as part of the 144th Fighter Wing, a Thunderbolt equipped fighter-bomber squadron tasked with escort duty or ground attack based on the mission profile. The Vulture, subtly different in paint scheme with a slightly more drab look, belongs to the 317th Tactical Air Wing, who operates Valkyrie and Vendetta gunships as well. The Arvus is part of a naval support wing, and shuttles pilots from orbit to aircraft on the ground, as well as basic logistical duties that may come up.

Now this is where the story would end, but as fate would have it, my tax return and a chance eBay find happened within days of each other. After spending most of it on adulting, I then splurged and got something crazy.

The mainstay of the Imperial Navy atmospheric bomber fleet, the Marauder Bomber is a huge chunk of resin, maybe not the biggest ever but by far my heaviest model. Already assembled to a decent standard, it didn’t take long to get the motivation to paint it. Thinking that a bomber would be part of a larger Navy bomber wing, this beast was painted up to be part of the 541st Bomber Wing. An absolute joy to paint.

I decided that the top would be blue, specifically the Fang, as its blueish grey would look realistic while still showing it off as the centerpiece model it is. The bottom was Army Painter’s necrotic flesh, as its nice cream color complemented it nicely. Note, I do not own an airbrush, so the join between the colors was a mix of brush work and rattle-can trickery. While maybe not the best painted bomber ever, I’m still immensely proud of it.

And, its not done! I’ve put the 541st squadron markings on the tail, but I want to get nose art and put it on the front part of the hull. As well, I’m keeping an eye out for a nice large white aquila to put on one of the wings.

All the models I have shown off tonight are being used in a tournament on the 30th of March, held at my “Local” (if one could call an hour and a half drive local) store. While perhaps not as competitive as some other lists, and very easy to table because of boots on the ground, its capacity for high-damage firepower is undeniable. I did actually get a chance to test it against one of my regular opponents.

The flyers did very well, causing massive alpha strike damage, and generally chewing up whatever it was pointed at. While I did lose because of not playing the objective as well as I could have, it was still a good test of the firepower of the Imperial Navy, and I suffered only minor casualties, and didn’t lose a single aircraft.

All in all, this has been a very fun project of mine, and one I don’t see myself ever finishing. Every time I reread Dan Abnett’s Double Eagle, or watch the Battle of Britain or Dunkirk, the need to add to my air-force grows.

maverick

Hopefully you guys enjoyed my little rambling project log, and I hope to see you guys again really soon. Tomorrow, I will be posting some dangerously heretical stuff from Shadowspear. But until then, Ave Imperator!