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.