An Epic Game of Epic Epicness

My first wargaming love, err <thinks>... fourth?... well somewhere in the top ten anyway has always been Epic in it's various guises, ever since my first white dwarf (152). Truly an apt name, nothing else has ever conveyed quite the gravitas or captured the ENTIRE GALAXY IN FLAMES!!! feel as Epic does.
Prototype template

Never a perfect system, every version has brought a different experience, and what I've recently wanted to experience was gigantic titans of doom. Having recently ebayed a mass of titans, I cobbled together a simple set of rules (I think I like designing games more than playing them) from all the previous iterations (including the recent GW created one floating around on the net).

I stole the Imperator's plasma allocation for example (that always struck me as an exceedingly elegant way to introduce tension into a game), simplified "to hit" and damage using the space crusade dice (which are excellent tools conveying two different kinds of information as they do), and reduced damage effects to a damage track as per a million different games.

So a couple of weeks ago, as part of a weekend of games-of-stupid-fun a friend and I tried it out!


Project Moth

I really, really, didn't want to play the personal life card (which has been ridiculous and Sept looks no better for the hobby), and I really didn't want to post filler content, but I also really didn't want to let a whole month go by without anything happening here (momentum is everything in blogging, right?) so although I haven't managed to take any photos of THE BIG PROJECT I can at least recap where everything is. Despite the lack of content here, I've actually done a fair ton of work.


Three crossroad sections, three corridors, and two end pieces nearly complete. I continue to be let down by a bitz company (who isn't these days?) which has prevented me from finishing these up, but these have been really successful to my mind (though kind of expensive parts wise). I'm running short on some critical parts so a reload from triple helix is coming up (just as well I'm selling my old stuff on ebay).

All kinds of fun ideas popping up: an 80's style arcade machine tucked in a corner, aperture labs equipment, servitor dispenser lines, patriarch throne room, motivational posters (definitely including recalcitrantdaze's propaganda posters)... gotta have a sense of humour in your space hulk. Or you'd go crazy right?

As a motivational measure as well as to help ensure I have all the right pieces magnetised I've changed strategy to build mission maps, starting with Suicide Mission. Turns out the damn thing barely fits on my dining table. :S

Guess I should find me a games club...


I randomly spotted a copy of Adeptus Titanicus on ebay (complete with styrofoam buildings!), randomly managed to buy it for a not-insane price, then less randomly dug all my old epic stuff out of storage and starting working out armies (I really, really, miss owning army cards), and then went back to random and bought a metric crapton of old epic stuff to round out said armies. I've nobody to play any of this with, and no scenery for it, and all the epic systems have problems as well as charms but it's my favourite game the evil empire ever made - moreso than shulk even.

Oh and I saw all the incredible work at wargames workshop and that didn't help matters. I seem to recall it was similar things which got me into the whole SH3D mess :)

My sense of nostalgia for army cards and those handful of good battle reports in white dwarf is really punishing my wallet.

Dungeons of Doom

Yet another problem my sense of childhood nostalgia has created is my warhammer quest / heroquest lite project. I'm in advanced planning and acquisitions stages of creating four basic scenarios questing into the realms of skaven (imperial sewers), goblins (caves), undead (tomb crypts), and chaos (temples). Lots of scenery required eventually, and as much as possible I'm using classic 80's and early 90's models. Some of my favourite ranges like Kev Adams' goblins and Jes' early skaven, amongst the first stuff I saw in WD's in the 140-160 range (golden era imho).

To prevent this becoming too much of a wallet burner I only need a couple of dozen models for each scenario, and there are bargains to be had on ebay. Mechanics wise the plan is to use artscow again to create some warhammer quest style cards and simple heroquest dice. The emphasis on fast and fun.

Genestealer Cult

A backburner project, rekindled a bit by seeing Oink's excellent Hydras and of course their utility with shulk. I now have most of the hybrid's range collected, and a pile of delaque gangers who I think will make perfect brood brothers. I did plan on making these into a combine-style Half Life homage, especially the Arbites and even managed to acquire a suitable G-man, but I'm a bit iffy on how well they tie in now.

Ordo Xenos

aka the Tru-Scale project, everything acquired just haven't raised the interest past the above distractions.

Mid-Heresy Dark Angels

aka the WH30K project, same state as the above.

Alpha Legion

Well I just finished reading Legion, so now I have to have some.


So yeah... a lot of work. The thing about moths is they tend to burn their wings. We shall see.



Check My Corner

Another week, another corridor, and a corner too this time. I'm basically leaving these in a 90% complete state because I want to be able to come back to them with the space to add uniform elements or things I learn later on, but the shells of these are pretty fixed I think.

Everything so far...


One Percent

First of many, many, many, corridors. I actually have three others underway but this one A). is completed and B). actually came out in the photos. My next post will be about tripods and lightboxes I assure you.


Tyranids Ate My Family

Apropos to my small band of stragglers (more doomed than the Eldar) I borrowed a concept from the fantasy equivalents - slayers! And since there's no trolls in space (hmmm... idea) he's going after the ravenous gribblies of the Tyranid horde. Enter the beastslayer!

Angry? Angsty? Axey? Check, check, check.



Long time coming this one, but please be gentle there's a lot more work here than it would seem.

Behold! The first prototype board section of my Space Hulk 3D project...

This one is a T-section, my plan being to do this project in groups of a corridor, a room, a junction, and an entry/dead-end piece to keep thing varied and my interest up as well as to have something functional as soon as possible.


Dwarves... In... Space!

As mentioned previously I managed to grab myself a bunch of Squats at a bargain price a while back. Normally the high demand puts the little fellas at kind of a stupid-high price bracket on eBay, so I've been a bit careful building and painting them so as not to waste them.

On the other hand, I find them ridiculously fun to paint. Can't explain it, just like it. So after BSGH pushed me to paint one up, I've been slowly putting the rest of them together around my plans for an almost Inq28-ish little ragtag group of Squat survivors - salvaging and raiding for relics of their shattered culture, for sheer survival, and yes for something, anything, (plot driver alert!) which might be used to wreak vengeance on the hive fleets. Truly, it takes a dwarf to do grudge-bearing properly.


Corridors... In... Space!

Inspired by Oink's articles relating to his gothic architecture project, I felt it would be worth doing some similar investigation myself...

Unlike Oink however, the vast majority of material for the interiors I'm interested in is fictional. Movies, games, lots and lots of concept art. Of course the problem here is that the thing I'm trying to build isn't actually real (yet). The closest equivalents I can think of would be the interiors of certain kinds of industrial plants, large mobile structures like warships, and military facilities.


The Enemy Without

Approximately 42 days ago...

In the damp and dripping ruins of an abandoned comms tower on Tenebrae Quintus, Jaques Bishop impassively listened to a man who was neither there, nor entirely a man.

"Are you quite finished?"

The holo-figure glared but remained silent.

"It is not a matter of betrayal. You were greedy, you delayed, and you were noticed. It is as simple as this."

"We did not delay! The trader argued over payment-"

"Come now, it took you five hours to convince the man the pebbles in his hand were worth more than the figure you planted in his mind? Tsk, tsk. I know you know that I too am gifted as you are - I am aware of everything from the moment you loaded the cryo-stores."

The glowing figure looked murderous and sullen beneath his cowl.

"If the Ordo are aware - and I assure you they are, I still have loyal servants within after all - then Van Saar and the other Istvaanite crones who support him will already be on their way, and our business is already concluded. I told you that this would be the consequence if-"

"You know our resources are vast and powerful, Inquisitor. The work will proceed regardless, the Hive will-"

"No. Your Hive fleet is on the other side of the sector, with a great many space marines in between. But you may do as you please if you think you can survive the attentions of the Ordo."

Bishop flicked the holo-comm off, the cowled figure vanished.

"Goodbye, magus."

High above, entirely unnoticed by the sentry drones and the remote-scanners, something watched in the dark.




Day after I decide to go for 50mm, what do I find on frothers?

New (but expenseeve) set from Microart Studios. 50mm wide. Definitely make sue of that...


Finding My Inner Horus

In one of the black library Horus Heresy books (which are generally excellent if you didn't already know btw) there's a moment where Horus is reflecting with one of his minions on why the Emperor chose him above Dorn, Guilliman, the Lion and other candidates to be Warmaster.

The one thing that Horus possesses above any of his brothers, is that he never loses. His is the ability to turn a setback into an advantage, to play any hand and win. To escape his limits.



Doors, right. Who the hell do they think they are?

If you're building your own space hulk set then you have certain limitations and certain choices to make.


And So It Begins!

Now I'm really committed!

Another sector and a bunch of detailing accessories are also in the post, prototype corridor section is in the pipes. Test run with magnet coupling suggests they aren't going to be necessary but obviously will be for swappable wall sections. Kind of disappointed with the quality of the Honoured Imperium set - doesn't appear to be miscast, just a bad mold with pretty sparse sprues - but OTOH I didn't realise the shrine set comes with a different (better) set of floor tiles which is super handy since I probably need to buy at least another four of them.

(Hmmm, maybe this is getting out of control...)

Edit: Oh yeah, GO 'NUCKS GO!


Building a better Space Hulk

So the camera's acting up and I can't get any decent shots of my WIP Deathwatch, of which I've only managed to progress two marines (Brothers Torres and Kesler, soon to be wearing bearskins), my order for SH3D components is trapped in some couriers van somewhere, and real life is no less disappointing sad to say.

Prototypes - I like a snub nose bolter :)
So it goes.

Ok, so what I can talk about is Space Hulk planning (for hardcore shulkers interest only)...


Deathwatch - Planning

Although I'd normally prefer to avoid counts-as armies, Codex: Ordo Xenos has been pushed back in the release schedule for ooooh well over two decades now. <evilempirekoolaid>But it'll definitely be a doozy when it does come out, oh yes.</evilempirekoolaid>

So anyway, the point was Codex: Grey Knights provides a pretty decent opportunity to do the heavily-Aliens influenced OX army I've had on the backburner for ever, more so than any previous codex I think. The plan is a Lance Henriksen lookalike Coteaz leading a couple of dropships...err, stormravens.. packing a bunch of death cultists (not unlike this one by Numbat) and Crusaders (not sure where to go with them yet), some razorbacks packing guys with pulse rifles, and a squad of true scaled Deathwatch. I'm a bit loose on whether they should be Purifiers or Interceptors but it seems to me that Purifiers would really need another stormraven to assault out of, wouldn't make great use of special equipment (a hallmark of the Deathwatch I feel), and aren't giving me something the death cultists aren't already. Shunt move and warp quake would add a ton of tactical power I think, and I can totally see the interceptor jump pack as a bit of co-opted xeno-tech. It's just kind of a shame that marines have such average stats - baseline 5/5/5/5/2/5/2/8 next time please GW.

Captain Andye of the Sword Bearers
I test ran a true-scale marine as one of the characters for BSGH (the fella on the right). This followed the terminator-with-assault-torso plan, no spacers - I find the doghouse pattern #1 way too limited in poses to make a unit out of, spacers just tend to make for skinny marines, and Synapse/Tsuro's excellent pattern is both a ton of work and doesn't work so well when limited to 25mm bases imho. So I took a middle path.

The waist/abdomen join was pretty awkward and I went with green-stuff and power cables which was a bit meh, but really the core problem was the shoulder pads - they're just HUGE. I think the problem was the rims, so for the Deathwatch with those more awkward shoulder pads I'm going to try and go for more of a smoothed off MkVI style. Handily I have the brown stuff to do it.

I'm conceiving the Deathwatch (or at least those who are part of my slightly Kryptmanite inqusitor) as being pretty high-tech for the Imperium, so I'm looking to go for less of a Baroque feel and more James Cameron war-porn. Parts list per marine:

  • Marine Commander / Devastator Sgt. / Plague Marine Champion helmet
  • Terminator legs
  • Assault torso
  • Interceptor jump pack
  • Terminator shoulder pads (one Deathwatch obvs)
  • Grey knight terminator arms (or thunder hammer arms for halberds)
  • Grey Knight melee weapons
  • Bolter, scope, storm bolter ammo feed
  • Not sure yet about Psycannons, but I do know I prefer the look of the Psilencer

Hope to get a prototype up tomorrow.


The Squat Diaspora

Iosef Bryntsen, Explorator 
In what still remains of the Squats in contemporary 40k background they're somewhere in between an edge-of-the-galaxy race maybe something to do with the Tau and a tyranids-ate-them justification to kill the whole concept. Trying to retro-un-retcon them I can see small bands of surviving Squats, fragments of the brotherhoods and guilds - wandering the galaxy in small ships trying to find lost kin, relics and archaeotech of their lost homeworlds, and any weapon they could turn against the Tyranids. In essence, treasure hunters and explorers, and a natural fit for Explorators, Rogue Traders, and the Ordo Xenos.

I managed to pick up a number of lovely, lovely, Squat models a while back for non-insane prices (sadly without arms, but nothing that a few Cadian and scout sprues can't solve) so now I have longish (so many, many projects) term plans to assemble a band of Squats capable of taking on a space hulk themselves (and part of that will be some kind of ancestor vengeance robot as befits a group of angry engineers with less qualms about the heresy of cybernetics) but in the meantime my colour-scheme pilot model found a role as one of the characters for my BSGH setup, a shotgun toting force field hurling loner. More on him later.



Now that was a game. Kesler for Conn Smythe for sure.


CAT PWL 9000

Obviously, everyone who's ever watched Aliens wanted their very own powerloader, and obviously every gamer wanted one in 28mm scale. Obviously. Since a friend of mine designed an AvPvUSCM Space Hulk Campaign, and I had all this spare plastruct lying around, well... (apologies for my photo skills)


Deep Breath

Having just stumbled upon this incredible bit of work, the mental levy finally broke and I decided what I really, really, needed was one more project, so I'm going to finally build that 3D space hulk set every shulker aspires to.

Seriously, how awesome is this?
I had previously held off because I'd never seen the base components to make this work - pure scratch build just takes more time than I have, hirst isn't durable enough (and about as much effort as scratchbuild), plastic sets I've seen look a bit meh, and resin ones just aren't all that 3D (and/or cost one meeleon dollas). Well I know my plasticard skills are good enough that if this Nedius guy can do it, so can I, and he's clearly demonstrated that it can be done incredibly well. I'll steal shamelessly and liberally, but I also have some plans for magnetic couplings for the sections and some LED lighting, and I want to bring some infestation into the fabric of the hulk.

Just to commit myself I ordered up the biotoxin plant already (which I'd dismissed in the past as a horrible silvery blob, so more props to Nedius for the vision). Here goes nothing.


Missionary Man

++ Battlespace Galactihulk, Part 2 ++

One of the more obvious yet challenging parts of the mashup was the player characters. In BSG each player has the role of one of the major players in the series and of course one or more of them is a cylon. The traitor concept maps pretty easily to 40k obviously (too easy really - Chaos? Mutant? Heretic? Necron?) but the idea of one of a unit of space marines betraying his battle-brothers is pretty much anathema to the contemporary galaxy. Betray humanity, oh yes, but one marine isn't going against his chapter any time soon.

So the obvious thing to do was to take a leaf out of a not entirely dissimilar game with a hefty dose of treachery - Inquisitor! So then the problem became identifying ten distinct characters, or really (since I wanted the human players to put their own persona onto their characters) ten character classes, limited obviously by my collection of models.

Brother Ephrys - Missionary
In reverse order then, the last of the ten I settled on was the Ecclesiarchy representative, the missionary. From the fluff, missionaries seemed the most likely to be boarding a Space Hulk or acting within a non-Ecclesiarchy unit. I deeply, deeply love the model from Red Box Games (I think I have a thing for lanterns) but I had to obviously sci-fi it up and 40k it up. Boltgun and an Inquisitorial icon were easy enough but perhaps a little tacked on, so adding some kind of power cable seemed to be a nicely understated way of emphasising the futureness, and yet it's a lantern, so it's got that gothic, broken down kind of future which is what 40k is all about to me. So yeah, I like the model :)

The lantern also opened up the chance to do a bit of OSL which is just the most fun thing to paint for me. I kept to a simple colour scheme of red and blue against a neutral background. The black was highlighted up with hawk turquoise (a technique I learned from somebody or other on BOLS) which lets it maintain a rich blackness without ever looking washed out as it might with pure white highlighting - basically kids, always mix a colour into your greys. The rest of the lighting was simply achieved with varying levels of highlights in appropriate places, and lots and lots of thin washes of red, purple, and black. The only thing I'm unhappy with is the head really, but the model has such a delicate head with very small eyes and a lot of beard obscuring other detail. C'est la vie.

Great fun to paint, and one of my favourite pieces I've done, if I say so myself.


Want some candy?

Friend of mine ran an AvPvUSCM Space Hulk campaign a while back (very cool jungle board btw), for which I had the privilege of painting up some of Copplestone's (AFAIK) very-similar-but-definitely-not-predators. 

Great fun to paint actually (tried out some NMM on the plate armour, to mixed results - not very NMM, but looks ok imho). Bases all scraps from the bits box and generous amounts of green stuff.

Shame I had to give them back :S


Battlespace Galactihulk

++ Part 1, Resources ++

Space Hulk is awesome. Battlestar Galactica is awesome. Ergo, a mashup of the two would be THE AWESOMEST.

A rather ridiculous project considering approx 6 months work off and on for all of a days entertainment (hopefully more return on the investment in future, but getting a mutually free weekend between five gamers is less than simple sometimes).

Without going into details about the design process, it demanded a lot of custom cards to try and mirror BSGs mechanics. Finding a source which was prepared to do arbitrary designs for volumes of less than a hundred print runs was a bit of a nightmare but a friend eventually pointed me at ArtsCow - 54 custom cards of gameable quality and about 4 weeks shipping figure in somewhere between £6 and £10, offers depending.

Yes I could have done it all with a sharpie and a couple of decks of playing cards, but really, if you're going to do something, don't do it 90%.

Resources posted here.


Rolling for CPs...

Well this took me long enough.

With infinite not-even-half-finished projects on the go, and nowhere to host the various games docs and WIP images I need to host, seemed like maybe just finally I should put some effort in.

  • Ordo Xenos army (Grey Knight counts as, basically an excuse to do some not-colonial marines, some true scale marines, and some 40k-ified dropships).
  • Dark Angels and Deathwing (still can't tell if I want to do this pre-heresy, mid-heresy, or contemporary, but the desire for the white armoured terminators may force the issue. Guess the pre-heresy project will have to be Luna Wolves).
  • Space Hulk bits and pieces, including the Enemy Without and Enemy Within homebrew campaigns, and the resources for the BattleSpace GalactiHulk mashup.
  • Power loader, servitors, ship crews, RT era classics, and everything else which fits nowhere else.