Taking Hell Part Two: The 9th Roane Deepers!

The sons of Roane storm the beaches, starting with their Command Squad!

Rough and tumble, and tough as nails.

Ah yes! A Part Two. I actually got some progress on the 40k Gallipoli project. On Monday I recieved my Victoria Miniatures order. First up was the Tallarn, which I assembled a couple days ago.

But alongside the noble Desert Raiders, was three and a half squads of “Van Diemens World Devil’s”, Victoria Miniatures love letter to their homeland. Australian as all get out, with all the fixings. Slouch hats, big knifes, and big bush packs for carrying all that gear. As is, they make excellent jungle troops, a perfect alternative to Catachan Jungle Fighters if one wanted a less Vietnam and more Kokoda Track feel.

But, as I stated in the outline for this project, these men would become Roane Deepers. If you are reading this first and haven’t read the outline, the Roane Deepers are from Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series, a side-regiment known for lax discipline and a carefree attitude, but hard as nails on the defense and dogged on the attack. Mr. Abnett has described the Roane as influenced from the ANZAC’s of WW1 and WW2, and it was from here that I took a different route then some others. Many had done the Roane as a Western Front WW1 army, complete with Brodie Helmets. This is brilliant, and I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. But I decided on an altogether different angle…the debacle that was the Gallipoli Landings.

What that meant was no Brodies for starters, as I wanted Aussie “Slouch” Hats(Kiwis, don’t be offended. I’m looking for Lemon Squeezers and I asked Victoria Miniatures if they had any plans to do any!), and stripped down equipment. I would use GW Lasguns to give them a 40k feel, and paint their tucked in fatigues as blue undershirts, which are so common in depictions of Gallipoli.

But first, to assemble them. Lets see how that looked.

Before paint! The GW lasguns look out of place here; I like to think the paint helped with that.

First things first, I forgot to mention it the other day. Man, has Victoria Miniatures resin improved over the years. This stuff was absolute gold to work with. Any flash cleaned off really easily. There were a few mold lines/slips, but I missed a lot of those sadly until I saw them during painting. It is what it is, and minor enough to be forgiven here.

Unlike the Desert Scorpions, I had better luck giving these Roane Deepers their lasguns. It took a little finesse, but I got them looking mostly like they belong.

The first guy I assembled was actually the hardest; The Standard Bearer. I saw him as an older fellow, a recruit like the rest of them but with years of hard-bitten experience in the “Deeps” of Roane.
Next up was this guy! Great pose, but doesn’t give you much of a look at his face. This Lasgun looks alright though.
That being said, he looks a lot better from this side.
This guy is my favourite of the bunch; It’s a strong pose, and the Roane Deeper is smoking an Iho stick, giving him a real “devil may care” feel.
I was going to omit the backpack, but they really add a good look to the models. Not everything had to be exactly like Anzac Cove!
A simple pose. This Guardsmen advances with his lasgun fixed upon the enemy.
“You call that a Knoife? Now THIS is a Knoife.” One of my Clubhouse friends dubbed him Sergeant C. Dundee, almost immediately. This guy is actually going to be a Platoon Commander, but the name might stick….they have a tendency to do so unfortunately.
Absolutely festooned with pouches and gear, this Officer is ready to lead a charge up the gullies and bluffs of Space Gallipoli.

Now, I was on a bit of a roll, so I decided to toss some paint on them. Why these guys and not the Tallarn? Simple! I had English Uniform spray, and didn’t have a Tan spray. The Tallarn will wait till I have paint. In the meantime, the Roane will play!

I’m not the best painter, and I take a few shortcuts, the main one being that I prime the models the colour that they will have the most of. In this case, the brown fatigues.

The shirts I decided would be a light blue, which is excellent for contrast here. They certainly will pop on the battlefield!

Lets see how I cracked on!

First up was this guy! I kept the colours simple, as I have loads of these guys to do. I’m pretty happy with the colours!
A pretty glaring moldline there! Oops. But other then that, this is a good view of his pack and canteen. The Slouch hats were a delight to paint!
My favourite pose looks even better painted! I love the simple glow of his narcotic!
All the Roane carry their belongings with them, and carry a knife as well. The packs really set them off, and I’m glad I included them.
Definitely the most boring pose of the lot, but he looks functional.
The basing is simple, to evoke the sand of the landing beaches.

With the Guardsmen out of the way, lets take a peek at the Officer and Standard Bearer! There were a joy to paint, and I really enjoyed the challenge. I kept them simple; A Guardsmen is a Guardsmen, no matter how fancy.

First, the Platoon Commander!

“Charge!” The Officer urges his men to charge, knife in hand for the bloody close quarters business.
There was actually a pretty bad casting bubble in this torso, but my slapdash painting covered that up a bit. Honestly, its hard to notice when you play.
The big “Knoife” really adds to this character. He’s no gentleman, that’s for sure!

Now the hardest one…the Banner. Oh boy.

I won’t say he was easy, but he was far easier then I thought. Deciding the colours and pattern was the hard part, really.

I was going to make this a game of guessing, but I copied the colours of the Australian Defence Force Ensign. I left out the military crest, but kept the pattern and added a number, in this case, a 9. I feel that it makes for a simple, yet evocative banner.

There is some minor clean up work that I can do on the banner, but nothing too strenuous, and definitely good enough for tabletop use. The “9” was chosen as it was not affiliated with a current Roane Regiment.
The Regimental Standard may draw enemy fire, but it’s place at the front of the advance will get the men going!
An old man even before enlisting, this Standard Bearer brings steely nerves from years working in the deeps. A True Roane “Deeper”.

It was a fun days work! I have some more memory testing tomorrow, so this was a fun project before some not so fun mental gymnastics. These Roane weren’t overly hard to paint, and I can see a squad on them being done pretty quickly.

I have the other 30 left to build, and I need to order 30 more to make a competent list. But at least it has begun, and it is no longer just a project in my head.

I’ve done a lot of research into Gallipoli for this project, and enough so that I might collect a historical army for the period. I might not wargame it(that doesn’t seem like a particularly fun part of the war to fight with dice!), but I feel the itch to get some Gripping Beast metals.

Anyways, that is all I have for today. I hope you like it! Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and have a great day!

The Line in the Sand: “Tallarn” Desert Raiders!

“Mankind has had ten-thousand years of experience at fighting and if we must fight, we have no excuse for not fighting well.”-Lawrence of Arabia

Looks like I have quite the bit of work to do!

Another day, another Regiment of the Imperial Guard. The Tallarn Desert Raiders are a classic Games Workshop regiment, from the distant year of 1994. They are almost as old as I am! They had a really distinct look, equal parts Bedouin tribesmen and British LRDG/SAS.

As a fan of the North Africa campaign of WW2, these guys always called out to me. And over time, GW had began to portray them as distinct Arab in theme, always nice to see in a sea of more European themed regiments, and something that also appealed to me.

Unfortunately their model line is also a product of 1994, being quite dated in appearance. It was a bit of a turn off when I was younger and could have bought them, and while that style appeals to me now, it is far too late to really acquire a full army of them.

Enter Victoria Miniatures. Based out of Adelaide in Australia(although now shipping from the USA), they make a line of “Regiments of the Galaxy’s Finest”, which are clear homages to the GW regiments of old. I’ve purchased from them in the past, as far back as when it was just a small bits shop run from Victoria Lambs own website. I’ve seen them go from Lead to Resin, and from Australia to the USA. My Roane Light Horse are from them, and while I didn’t go with a full army of them in the end, I do have quite a few Victorian Guard from them as well!

Last year, they brought out the Desert Scorpions, an amazing looking regiment with a distinct Tallarn influence. I was lacking funds when they came out, so I missed out on them at release.

Desert Scorpions 10 Man Squad
Well, that’s a Desert themed Guardsmen if I’ve ever seen one!
Desert Scorpions 10 Man Squad
And with some great looking sculpts, especially the heads!

When I decided to do my Gallipoli themed Guard Army, I also at the same time purchased 30 Desert Scorpions and 3 Missile Launcher teams to go with them. This had the benefit of leaving 6 men spare, as the missile launcher teams went into the squads. This lets me make Platoon Commanders and a Command Squad as well!

So I set up my station, and got to work.

Wash the resin, rinse it off, to get all the mold release off! This took time; 30 men took me all day!

I spent the better part of a day working at them. I did make the controversial move of using GW weapons; this was intentional, to tie the Desert Scorpions into the Warhammer 40k universe and to give my opponents a clear view of which weapon is which.

After about 6 hours I had some models to show off! I’ll admit, the GW weapons work better on some poses then others, and the Plasma and Melta guns are gigantic, and while they would be equally gigantic on GW bodies, they look even more so here. While I think a good paintjob will tie them in a bit better, I will admit they could look better. And they are very securely glued in, they are not coming out now!

Let’s start with the Sergeants!

Lots of pointing and Bolters facing upwards, but they still look pretty good!

The Sergeants turned out really well. I really liked the Bolters they came with, so I kept those. The heads are integral to the bodies, so I took care to pick bodies that would match the pose. My favourite is the Sergeant shielding his eyes from the sun.

Next up is the Vox-Caster operators.

Ready to receive orders!

These Guardsmen turned out pretty well! The GW Vox Units and Lasguns are large, but I like how cumbersome they look. The Kantreal Pattern Lasgun really sells them as Imperial Guardsmen, in my opinion at least!

Now for the most controversial models.

Wow! Those look heavy!

These Tallarn Guardsmen carry the squad special weapon. These weapons were scrounged from my bits box, and I do not know the original kit they are from. I did compare them to my Cadians armed with the same weapons, and they look just as big there!

The arms did not want to cooperate with the Plasma guns, and many glued fingers awaited me. The Meltagun oddly fit really well once I removed the stock from the arm, and lined up with the hand well.

Still, more then one person has expressed confusion as to why I picked them. Honestly, it is so my opponent won’t get confused, and and I do actually like the look of these iconic weapons too!

Next up we have the humble Lasman. Let’s see how they look!

Oh yeah, now those are some Raiders!

These Guardsmen were not particularly hard to put together, outside of some fiddling with the arms to get them to fit. Some fit better then others; while they all look pretty decent from the front, some definitely have some issues viewed from above or the side.

But, as I have said to some critics, I quite like the look of the Kantreal lasgun. I think a solid paint job will make them look right at home!

Now there are an awful lot of them, so I picked out the best to show you.

Ready to ambush any pesky Xeno or Heretic they might see!
The masked heads give them some definite protection from the sandstorms that could blow in at any moment.

Now for the real stars of the show! The Missile Launchers are really neat looking, and have a stripped down and portable look about them.

Portable and versatile, one cannot underestimate the humble Missile Launcher!

These Heavy Weapons will allow my squads to hurt targets much larger then themselves, as well as giving them a long range frag rocket for softer targets.

These I didn’t mess with too much; they looked really good as is!

The business end!
From this angle one can see the unique look to the Missile Launcher. It looks light and easy to carry, excellent for a Guardsmen on the go!
The detail on these models are incredible!

All in all, a good days work. Tomorrow I will get the Officers and Command Squad sorted! I did buy a banner pack so I can make a really nice Regimental Standard for these Tallarn to wave. I might start on the Roane Deepers tomorrow as well, but we’ll have to see!

I do intend to run 6 squads of Tallarn Desert Raiders for my list, so I will be ordering quite a few more from Victoria Miniatures on payday. I sold some spare Airsoft gear(which, with my health problems I might have trouble playing…) to help fund that.

The blog upgrade is looming as well. It is a decent chunk of change!

Anyways, I will be continuing progress on the Gallipoli project soon! Look for that in the coming days! Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and مع السلامة!

Taking Hell: A Project Log, Part One!

A peek at my next, Anzac inspired project!

Landing at Gallipoli | New Zealand troops were part of the A… | Flickr
Kiwis and Aussies land at Anzac Cove, entering into a brutal, unremitting hell that lasted 8 months.

I’ve been on a Warhammer 40k kick recently, despite all the new drama surrounding the hobby. Having a chance to read the Sabbat War anthology book had given me the inspiration and motivation to work on my Imperial Guard(Astra Militarum, to you new players) forces again, and to play some more rousing games of 9th Edition Crusade. A friend of mine suggested we take two Guard armies against one another, fluffing the 25 Power Level starting games as ‘Military Exercises’ and then opening it up to everyone else once we hit 50 Power Level. An intriguing idea, with one very important caveat; It had to be a custom or lesser known regiment, using the custom regiment rules.

But what regiment could I do? I have a significant amount of Cadian troops that could easily be a custom regiment, but that wouldn’t be as exciting or new. All my other regiments are either big names or used to be, with loads of established lore. It had been many years since I had thought of doing something fresh. I had just sold some Airsoft equipment, and therefore had the funds to acquire something new. But what regiment?

The idea came, oddly enough, by listening to the song “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” one day. It wasn’t a song I hadn’t heard before, nor was it any special day for it. But my love of Australian and New Zealand military history made me think.

Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series introduced a regiment, the Roane Deepers, that he went on to say on his blogs were inspired by Anzac troops of both the Great War and the Second World War. They are often thrown into meatgrinder campaigns, used as cannon fodder by uncaring Guard commanders, doing the thankless and inglorious work while other regiments get the credit.

This is often depicted by other hobbyists doing the regiment as Western Front style trench warfare, with the ubiquitous British Brodie helmet and trench coats. And there is certainly nothing wrong with that approach. But the ‘thankless, inglorious work’ reminded me of a different WW1 campaign.

The ill-fated and tragic Gallipoli landings.

Gallipoli campaign | National Army Museum

There were three main inspirations for this army beyond the battle itself. Firstly, the beautiful and haunting soundtrack from Battlefield 1 for their Gallipoli missions. Secondly, many documentaries covering the campaign in detail. And thirdly, and most of all, the amazing Chunuk Bair diorama and artwork that Weta Workshop, Peter Jackson, and hundreds of painters around New Zealand did a few years back. 5000 figures in all!

ArtStation - Gallipoli: The Scale of our War - Chunuk Bair, WĒTĀ WORKSHOP  DESIGN STUDIO
The amazing Weta Workshop painting of Chunuk Bair by Gus Hunter. A major inspiration behind the project.
The vast 5000 figure collaborative diorama of Chunuk Bair, an amazing achievement for NZ hobbyists and a great and haunting piece of art.

So why do this in 40k, as opposed to 28mm Historical gaming? The simple answer is that I will be able to educate people about the battle more readily with a more popular system, and to both get some creative license on how to approach the subject matter…and that the original subject matter might make for incredibly depressing and boring gameplay. That, and if I’m completely honest, to have an excuse to paint some very different figures!

I was doing an order anyway from Victoria Miniatures, an Adelaide based company that does a great range of 28mm scale Sci Fi soldiers. Many of these are nods to older, out of print Games Workshop regiments, and that is what I intended to order, using the companies Desert Scorpion models to do a Tallarn list that I’ve been wanting to try.

But one regiment that she does has no real GW analogue(although they are often done as alternate Catachans), the Van Diemens World Devils. These models are clearly Australians, with the name a subtle nod, and the Slouch Hats a far less subtle one. I had in fact used the heads from that range for a Roane Lighthorse Rough Rider unit many years ago.

Van Diemen's World Devils 10 Man Squad.
The squad in question. That’s a serious Knife!

The uniforms are depicted in Jungle colours. But the tucked in shirt, suspenders, and cut of the uniform in general struck me as awfully easy to work into a Gallipoli style uniform. I’m thinking of painting the shirts light blue, and the trousers in English Uniform to get a close approximation of Anzac uniforms of the late Gallipoli campaign. The biggest glaring gap in my project is the lack of ‘Lemon Squeezer’ campaign hats worn by some of the Kiwis at Gallipoli. I hope to source a few of those before I do the next wave of miniatures! Otherwise, the slouch hat without the side folded up will suffice, as not every Kiwi wore the Lemon Squeezer in 1915, and it was only post Gallipoli that it was adopted across the board by the New Zealanders.

Van Diemen's World Devils 10 Man Squad.
A very simple uniform, and with some colour palette swaps, easy to get into theme.
Mustering the Troops: Painting guides
A example of the uniforms common to the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. Shouldn’t be too hard to replicate!

So to start, I’ve ordered three 10 man squads and one 5 man squad(to make a command section and a Company Commander out of) to start, and unlike so many of my projects I will start with this and finish them before buying more, unless it looks likely that I won’t be able to get more later.

This will be a thematic army, and the backstory of these poor Roane Deepers is that they will be attacking a key strategic Renegade position, located on the coast of a landmass I have yet to name. Protected by a powerful Void Shield network, Imperial Command must take it by seaborne landing craft, and to establish the beachhead the Roane Deepers have drawn the short straw. The terrain is unsuitable for armour, and the rocky coastline also prevents the use of most Imperial equipment that would make the attack any easier.

Therefore, the Guard has chosen an attrition approach, feeding in Roane Regiments piecemeal until they can either take their objective and disable the void shield network, or they decide such a position is untenable, and stop. Unfortunately for the Deepers, they have yet to decide to stop. Frontal attacks with little chance of victory are the norm.

Since this is in the end both a tribute to the Anzacs as well as a shoutout to a lesser known Imperial Guard regiment, it’ll be a careful balance of what is fun, what is realistic and thematic, and of staying a fictional homage to a real event. It’ll be tricky, but I’m hoping people will see the genuine interest I have in the subject, and that I’m not trying to either glorify or diminish the real event.

There will be more about the Roane Deepers when I get the models in the mail! For now, I will plan the project further, and get ready.

For both the fictional Roane Deepers and the very real Anzacs, Taking Hell will be a project I can see myself sinking a lot of time, effort, and money into. No half measures.

That is all I have for today, and I will have more in the near future! I hope you enjoyed this! Happy Wargaming wherever you are, and have a great day!

Highlights of a Hobby Weekend…and musings about scale!

So, as so happens every few months, my good friend visited from the City again! I tend to treasure these little excursions, as while I may get a good deal of 40k done on my own, it is always nice to sit and watch a good movie the rest of my family has no interest in, all the while building up all the unbuilt stuff in our backlog. Movie night started with Zulu, followed by an episode of Sharpe. The next day, after a short, sharp 40k skirmish, we followed up with America’s closest thing to Waterloo, at least in terms of film; The classic, Gettysburg.

Our hobby area set-up, we started on a small package that had arrived from Artel W, well known for making characters from a certain large British miniatures companies sci-fi books, usually those that haven’t had a model from them before. We all pitched in, and did a nice bulk order to save on shipping, and it was here very quickly, and very crisply and cleanly cast!

Now my gaming group in the city has players of every skill and experience level, and our newest player (and in a fact that makes me quite jealous, is by far the best technical painter in our group!) has little experience with resin. Thus, Artel W’s “Iron Boss”, a large Orc(k) warboss model, was the first on the to-do list.

He’s a big-un! Fully magnetized for all the weapon options at the suggestion of my friend. A good call too, as it was really simple!

Here, he’s armed with a massive power-hammer and missile array

And in this one, a Power Axe and a Grot-Turret

He’s absolutely massive, easily dwarfing my Guard-sized model here!

An unfair match-up if there ever was one!

After this, I started on my part of the package; A certain “Hero of the Imperium” and his rather pungent adjutant. Of course, this could only be a model of the great Ciaphas Cain, which to my shame, I actually haven’t read all of his books yet! The smelly Jurgen is well represented too!

The man, the legend; Commissar Ciaphas Cain, drinking a mug of tanna and holding his saucer like a proper gentleman.

And holding a tanna pot and napkin, his loyal servant Jurgen. Armed with both a meltagun and lasgun for every encounter…should his stench not shoo them away first!

We finished the night with Sharpe’s Regiment, an oddly political episode of the usually quite action-packed, rock solo type show. The next day, our hobby area cleared off so that we could game on it, we decided to play Hold at All Costs; All I needed to do was survive 5 turns. We agreed on lists prior, but my memory played tricks and me and I must have forgotten to check what he was bringing. Out came the Cadian Steel Tithe, Pask, and 4 of his comrades in Conquerors, backed up by Basilisks, a Hydra, and most worryingly, a Baneblade. I was, if we were playing any other scenario, utterly and hopelessly outmatched with my infantry heavy Vostroyans. But, I had a chance, I just had to tank the shots long enough, provide just enough chaff that he could not possibly kill them all…right?

It is in these situations you wonder what went wrong…so very wrong indeed…

It was, for the most part, a total turkey-shoot. Of course, this was a turkey shoot of my own design, as I could have brought better units had I remembered what was coming!

We still had fun of course, and it went by rather quickly. Had I been lucky the last two turns, tanked just a little harder, I might have won by the seat of my pants. But as it was, a total and utter military disaster followed. This was followed swiftly by a strong drink, a good cigar and a brisk walk!

I said goodbye to my friend this morning, and spent the rest of the day tidying up. I did get my hobby space sorted again, and primed Cain and Jurgen. It was at this point I thought to see just how big they were…

Quite tall, even for HEROES OF THE IMPERIUM! Shown in comparison with Commissar Severina Raine from the Black Library event, and a Vostroyan guardsmen. They are all reasonably close though, and I’d have no problem mixing them in the same army.

The answer is, quite tall! They are quite slight and done in a more “true” 28mm then a “Heroic” 28mm, but still stand well above most Guardsmen. It got me thinking; just how big are Guardsmen getting these days?

Right to left; Praetorian, Cadian(with kilt!), Vostroyan, SLY MARBO, Commissar Severina Raine.

The answer is, quite a bit bigger actually! My poor Praetorians are positively tiny in comparison to the newer models, with both newer GW releases being significantly bigger. The Vostroyans have always been on the large side, a side-effect of the designers wanting to cram as much detail in there as possible. This does worry me a little; the current Guard line looks great and finally the right size compared to the new Primaris Marines, and all that effort would be wasted if Guard suddenly got a lot bigger. We’re supposed to be the average joes, not as big as the vaunted Astartes! Hopefully Severina Raine is not a prelude to the future of Guard models, and merely an aberration.

As it was, a packed weekend with lots of stuff done and it was a nice visit! We did get talking about picking up another “Historicals” game, in this case Blackpowder by Warlord. So in the near future, you will see some 95th Rifles, once my next Tournament list painting goals are achieved. But until then, Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming, wherever you are!


About Face!(ings)

A bit of a development on the Praetorian front…Whilst they were originally supposed to be just a loyal 32, that idea was shelved pretty sharpish as I fell head over heels for the models. In a move that most saw coming as I never used the blasted things, my languishing Imperial Knights were sold off, to fund, yes, you got it, more Praetorians. I will never be able to run them as infantry heavy as my Vostroyans, the supply just isn’t there. But what, then, to run them as?

Gone to serve the Emperor in my friends sector of space; May they find better service in the hands of less negligent masters.

The Vigilus Campaign book, Vigilus Defiant, offered a solution in the form the Emperor’s Blade Assault Company; A hard-hitting, fast moving main line of infantry in transports, either in the classic Chimera…or the less then great looking Taurox, backed up by a separate detachment of tanks, using the same regiment as I use to support my Vostroyans, the Pardus Armoured. My Praetorian infantry, all 44 of them, would be used as Mordians for the purposes of the Regimental Doctrine, as this is both fitting to the models heritage, but also the Praetorian lore of them being stubborn men, fighting in immaculate uniforms, in tightly drilled formations. The stratagems in the detachment also encourage an in your face play-style, radically different then my Vostroyan gun-line; with vehicles being able to overwatch even if they were not the target, and to hit on 4’s instead of 6’s while doing so, which apparently stacks with Mordian vehicles hitting on 5’s in overwatch, leading to my transports hitting on 3’s, better then their normal ballistic skill, in the opponents charge phase. I quickly came to the conclusion(perhaps wrongly, if anyone has any ideas on this, please comment!) that while the Taurox is ugly to say the least, it has dual autocannons and the potential for a heavy stubber, for more firepower then a multilaser and heavy flamers on the Chimera. In total, the list would have 2 Chimeras, 4 Tauroxes, 3 Leman Russ Tank Commanders, and a Baneblade. A solid list, I think.

The MRAP of 40k, looking way sillier with its cute widdle track units…

Luckily, thanks to Victoria Miniatures, I won’t have to suffer looking at said track units. I’ll be ordering 6 sets of these when the Praetorians get the green light to get started!

With my plan made, and the majority of the Praetorians on the way from distant lands, I decided I needed to do one test figure; and I got hung up on the silliest detail…regimental facings. You see, in the 18/19th century, uniforms had two colors, the obvious one on the outside, and one you’d only see when you turned back the cuffs. These “facings” differed wildly depending on the country, with some having entire branches of the military having the same facings, or in the British example, whatever the founding Colonel thought was a color suitable. I imagine that, even in the 41st Millennium, that more formal regiments follow this idea; You see even the disciplined Mordian Iron Guard in differing uniforms, the Vostroyans with different color turn-backs. I imagine that the Praetorians follow this anachronism as well. The original Praetorians, the 24th Regiment, had dark blue facings and trousers, a quite striking combination that has been emulated quite often. Some others have gone for tan uniforms, some for green uniforms. But the facing colors have always been there, and always a different color. Making mine different was important to me, but it seemed all the good colors had been done already.

13046_md-2nd Edition, Imperial Guard, Praetorians, White Dwarf
As you can see in this spread, the facing color is a dark navy blue, with the same color used on the pants as well.

As you can see on my Vostroyan Company Commander, he has “Buff” or cream colored facings; I didn’t give much thought of that when doing these guys, but I did keep it consistent across the army.

In the end, I settled on a light grey, more specifically Ash Grey from the Army Painter line of paints. I figured if it really didn’t look good stripping them would be easy as they are metal. So, here is a member of the 90th Praetorian Dragoons, a mechanized regiment.

This guy was a blast to paint, as it almost painted itself. The crisp detail was a nice feature of these older metal models. He has a wood-stocked lasgun, grey facings, and the traditional Praetorian red-coat and black boots. The webbing colors I did in class Zulu-era white, as it really pops!

Quite fantastic facial hair on this guy. I feel he’s too cool to just be a normal Guardsmen, so he may get corporal stripes from my Bolt Action transfer sheets!

The wash really defines the crisp detail, and is a massive time saver. It also dulls it down, but with me watching the wash and preventing it from pooling, it leaves the model looking rather clean, but still detailed.

It was actually quite an easy paint job, a little under an hour. My whole methodology is that basic troopers get very little time, and I figure I can batch paint these guys to this standard in 2-3 hours in groups of 10. Easy to do, if a little flat looking. I can always go back and try highlighting if my hand-tremors will allow me! Any comments on the colors are welcome and appreciated!

But, that is all I have for you lovely people today, so as always, Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming, wherever in the world you are from!

Blast from the Past: Praetorian Guard!

So followers of this blog know that I’m a big Guard fan. What may not be as immediately obvious is my love of 18th/19th century warfare. The smell of powder, the sound of musket fire, and bright flashy uniforms are my kryptonite. The Vostroyans fit this bill to a certain degree, but GW rather wisely made them quite distinct from any one historical source, the closest being WW1 era or earlier Cossack’s. This, and their gothic details place them firmly in the 41st Millennium. No one gets their feathers ruffled, and we get an awesome Guard regiment!

Vostroyan Firstborn; When you need wear the most ornate uniform to battle!

This restraint wasn’t always the case however, and in the 90’s the Imperial Guard was full of models that more or less represented a stereotypical military force of yore. The Valhallan Ice Warriors are easily Soviets or Winter War Finnish in SPAAAACE. Likewise with the Tallarn Desert Raiders, an equal mix of Lawrence of Arabia’s troops and the WW2 north africa campaign. The Mordians looked like US Marine Corps recruitment ideals, but with their Dredd-Pattern frowns and martial demeanor echoing the Prussians. All of these regiments remained on the store page for a while, as their source material wasn’t immediately going to bother too many people, and their lore distanced themselves a little from their historical analogues.

However, there is always the exception to prove the rule. Enter the Praetorian Guard.

(c) National Army Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Like this, but with more lasers and Orks.

The Praetorian Guard were unabashedly Victorian era British Colonial Troops, more specifically from the Zulu War era. They came from a planet called Pretoria, which any student of geography should realize is a city in South Africa. They fought Orks, which were portrayed as something akin to the Zulus, an unflattering comparison if there ever was one. They remained on shelves for a relatively brief period of time, as if GW realized that, holy hell, this could really be taken the wrong way.

13046_md-2nd Edition, Imperial Guard, Praetorians, White Dwarf
Very little promotional materiel and official artwork exists for these chaps. This two page spread was all I could find!

Despite this, or, in a lot of cases, because of it, they became extremely popular. Many alternate Guard figures websites such as Victoria Miniatures and Curious Constructs got their start making Not-Praetorians for people who missed the boat the first time. Many prominent bloggers, such as Col.Gravis, Col.Ackland and Col.Winterborne made their names with their lovely Praetorian models. And in my case, I bought a few squads of Victoria Miniatures “Victorian Guard” just because the idea of pith-helmeted Guardsmen fighting the gribblies of the week was too cool an idea to ignore.

They do pop up on eBay from time to time, the original models. And they command quite the premium too. Most people used Mordians while they were still available, as body donors for a head-swap to make yet more Praetorians. But once that supply dried up, well, it is dark days for anyone wanting to play Praetorians. However, earlier this week, a huge amount of blisters arrived on one of the eBay stores I frequent.

I almost didn’t want to open them; The packaging was ancient, and it felt like defiling a relic of a bygone era. But eagerness outweighed that feeling pretty darn quick. Opening them up, and letting out almost 2 decades worth of stale air out, and I was left with enough bodies to make a command squad and one infantry squad.

Looking sharp! I really look forward to painting them!

The models themselves are the Perry Brothers early GW handiwork. Great details, full of character. They are still, essentially, the Mordian models with a head-swap; trading the ever-present frown for 19th century facial hair and pith helmets.

Out of all of them, I believe the Bugler is the only completely original sculpt done for the Praetorian splash release. But they are all full of character, ready to defend Rorke’s…I mean Glazer’s Creek. They look several degrees easier to paint then my Vostroyans too, a nice change of pace. Not a break from the red though…(Why is almost every army I play red? Seriously, it isn’t even my favorite color!)

I do have another squad in the post, leaving me with 24 models total. While collecting a full Praetorian Guard army is almost impossible, I’m focusing on getting at least 32 models to be my “loyal 32”, to run in conjunction with my Imperial Knights I never seem to actually use. And as a collectors piece, these guys are pretty great. Not many people my way have seen these in the flesh, so it should be a treat!

Now almost deafening in its lack here is an officer to lead them. And there is a reason for this; I really don’t like the Praetorian Guard Captain model! I think it just doesn’t look right, too haphazard and not nearly uniform enough to really fit with his troops.

So, a while back I had taken a Cadian Company Commander from the old metal command box, and slapped a Victoria Miniatures Pith Helmet on it!

Looking suitably aloof and like he payed for his commission, like a proper gentlemen soldier of Pretoria.

I think he looks pretty good, but I might do some more work on his shoulders, to remove the Cadian Gate insignia or to give him epaulets, a task that may be beyond me!

I got a lot of work to do, and I best get cracking! So, as always, Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming!

Fully Painted…Battle Ready?

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.

 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.

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


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.

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!


“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…

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.

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

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.


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!