Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Saturday, 21 April 2018


I've been wanting to improve my stock of 40k/Necromunda/Shadow Wars scenery and as much as I love the new GW stuff it's ruinously expensive. So I started to think about how I could build things up without breaking the bank.

The key thing for all the skirmish games I like is to have some height and different levels, so creating some sort of gantry or walkway looked like a good place to start.

A few people has talked about buying aquarium filters and using those for walkways. No-one had ever really said what they would use so I looked on ebay, found a cheap set and took a punt.

When they arrived, I was immediately impressed: they connected together in six different ways, allowing any set up to be completely modular. Even just slotted together, they were able to be lifted holding the weight of quite a few miniatures.

So, how to paint them? I needed something fast, simple and durable - the filters are made of quite soft plastic so I had some concerns about the paint adhering. 

I primed them with Halfords black and then hit them with a dusting of Halfords silver. This gave me a basecoat to work from. I give it a quick drybrush of a lighter silver and painted some black stripes here and there.

Why the black stripe? Well, the most iconic Necromunda colour is the hazard chevrons so I knew they wanted that on them. But how to get them done with the minimum possible? 

The stencils were made out of one of casefile folders. One about 1cm wide, one about 1 inch wide. 

I stippled the yellow rather painting it as this basically makes it 'pre-chipped' and worn. 

Next I started weathering. This was basically Vallejo rust weathering effect painted on then wiped off with my thumb to colour the metal and then stippled back on to create some texture. 

A drybrush of orange finished off. I painted a few sector marking with white and then toned them down with Vallejo smoky ink (if you don't have this, it's a bloody godsend for terrain features, like a liquid Typhus corrosion from the GW line).

I also added some drops of Nurgle's rot for chemical spills here and there. 

So here's all 16 pieces laid out on 36'' by 36'' table. That's a lot of coverage for £6. 

Obviously, I've ordered another set. 

And here's a couple of shots of it against the rest of my terrain. 

Next up - legs. 

Friday, 20 April 2018

Bellicus Vult

Sirrah Helios Galt saw Lux Tenebris fall under the fire of the enemy. Rearing back, he brought the massive guns of Bellicus Vult to bear, scouring the enemy from the remains of his fallen brother. As flames engulfed the cranes and gantries of Sycorax and waterfalls of sparks cascaded upon him, Galt and his mount strode into the fire. He would not fall. He would fight to the end - and beyond. 

For the second of my Knight Armigers I decided to go with something more battered than the first; this one has not been lovingly restored to service - this has never stopped fighting.

I did a bit of cutting and re-positioning to give it a slightly more dynamic pose, and added a victim from my bits box to lift the front leg and shift the pose a little more.

It was again painted by hand but this time I went to town on the weathering. Sponge chipping on the edges of plates helped give the impression of use, and very delicate trails of rust and oil were painted on to help with the impression. I also used paint to chip away at the decals to make them look worn as well.

Finally massive amounts of pigment weathering were caked over all the painstaking paintwork.

Jericho Falls

"It was in the final years of the 41st Millennium that the Jericho Reach, an unimportant area at the edge of the Nephilim Sector, became a pitched battleground. A combination two of Adeptus Mechanicum factions vying over Blackstone deposits awakening sleeping Necron forces and the sudden arrival of a splinter of Hive Fleet Kraken exacerbated the existing problems of Drukhari raiders and Tau incursions. The populace of the Reach were powerless to intervene and had to watch as their hitherto peaceful section of the galaxy was ripped apart."

-from Forgotten Wars: the Border Skirmishes of Segmentum Obscuris, Magos Skol, University of Mars Press

As our Shadow Wars campaign at the school club comes to an end, the members have a hankering for some full blooded 40K. I tried to sell them on some fantasy Skirmish, but no, they want the big toys on the table.

So I developed a simple tile based campaign system. I thought I'd stick it up here in case anyone wanted to use it or a variation at some point.

The map above is designed to be printed out on A3; if blogger compresses it nastily, the original can be downloaded here.

The rules pack can be downloaded here.

Note you can change the length of the campaign by changing the total number of victory points required or the number of forces participating.

Hope someone finds this useful!

Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Rad Dogs

+++data stream extract; communication between Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii command and Archmagos Calorith Syx+++

~The Skitarii Unit Radiphracts 32-Theta-Atrius- has been displaying non-normative behaviour for some time. Advise.

~Context 'non-normative'. Respond.

~32-Theta-Atrius has survived 236% beyond normal expectations; 33 deployments as of m41.998.301. Perfomance in the field is above nominal outside of statistical variation. Levels of Holy Radiance are now at 302% of Radiphract-norm. Advise.

~Expand: behaviour in deployment/organisational effectiveness. Respond

~Effective value 4.2. Behaviour non-normative. Damaged units have been recovered under fire. Advise.

~Quarantine from other Skitarii units. 32-Theta-Atrius to be placed on detached duty. Deployed to Explorator Mission under command of MA Skol. Action.


+++extract ends+++

I've been using bits of the Skitarii kits for the last year for a variety of Inq28 gubbins so it actually felt a bit odd to build them as originally intended.

However, I think these look like an agreeably messed up bunch of radiation soaked cyborg killing machines. The basic colour scheme was picked up from the Magos Explorator  and liberal application of weathering pigments finished the grime.

Friday, 13 April 2018

The Seeker of Lost Things

...opposed the mission to Sycroax. Regardless of this, Magos Archeopterist Skol's arguments won the day; the possibility of recovering lost teachnology - perhaps even an STC - from the lost foundry of Sycorax was regarded as outweighing any possible risks. 

Unfortunately, it was to become obvious that Skol had severely miscalculated the risk/reward ratio; in his unquenchable thirst for lost knowledge, he dug too greedily and too deep...

[from A Report on the Sycorax Incident, Author Unknown, M41.998.267]

Here is the leader of my little band. He's built completely stock - no conversion. As I looked at the parts on the sprue I more or less fell in love with the model as it.

As a result I spent a bit of time on him, with some blending work on the cloak and a variety of filters and tones on the metal.

I'm very happy with how he looks; now we just need to work on his retinue.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Lux Tenebris

Sirrah Galtos Acre, Esquire of House Tartarus, gloried in the feel of his nerves coming alive. As data from the sensors of his mount fired around him, he plunged into the comforting warmth of its embrace. Around him the ozone smell of electrics sparking and the thudding of the promethium engine were as familiar as the sights and smells of his home, far away. Lux Tenebris, Knight Armiger of the distaff House Tartarus, rose to its full height; the chainsword roared into life as with a snap-hiss of energy, the Melta came up to temrepature. With a slamming of pistons and the thud of foot upon earth, Galtos Acre went to war.


They were dead. All dead. Shattered bones and implants laid around, wrecked vehicles belching smoke. Lux Tenebris limped on, one leg almost seized from the blast of a some hellish weapon. Inside, Galtos Acre's breath rasped through the jagged tear in his throat. His hands, blood slick, had trouble grasping the controls; his vision - down to one eye now, just like the giant faltering around him - showed multiple enemy contacts, closing fast. 

If this was to be the end, he - and his heirloom that would become his tomb - would sell their lives dearly. 

So this is the start of the new project; an actual, honest to goodness Warhammer 40,000 army. It will be small - I'm not made of money, after all - and is basically so I can join in with the club at work as and when they need an extra player. I picked up the Forgebane box intending to build the Necrons but fell back in love with the Adeptus Mechanicus.

My force will be the guard of Magos Archeopterist Skol, seeking forgotten technology in the Lost Foundries of Sycorax. I decided that one of the first things they would try to get back in working order would be the Knights; so here is a wrecked Knight Armiger, brought back to operational parameters.

This is very unlike my usual style of painting. As you can see, there is no chipping to the paint and no rust; the only weathering is environmental. I deliberately set out to create a 'clean' paint job unlike my usual work, for two reasons; first, I wanted to work on my brush control simply as I had been aware that all my work recently on nurgley, grotty stuff had got me into some sloppy habits and secondly I wanted to create something that felt as thought it had been lovingly restored. My inspiration here was those classic cars you see which look better than new. This also led to to the colour palette  - there's something very 1950s about green and beige.

The whole thing was painted with brushes; normally I'd use an airbrush on a piece this large but again, I wanted to work on getting thin, even colours over a large area with a brush simply for the sake of technical practice.

The dusting on the base was done with weathering powder with varying degrees of binder for different consistencies.

Next up is the leader of my little force and a colour scheme test for the Skitarii.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Downhive Reds

Deep in the underhive, there are whispers. The whispers speak of a gang owning fealty to House Escher. A gang that flit from shadow to shadow, every moving, never ceasing. A gang whose exposure to the chemicals and toxins that are their stock in trade has changed them. Changed them so they are barely human any more. Lithe, pale and stealthy, most believe the Downhive Reds took their name from the dyed scarlet of their hair. But the whispers say otherwise. The whispers hiss that the Reds get their name from the fact that they are so changed that they no longer subsist on Soylens Viridians like the rest of Necromunda but instead on some something darker, darker and hotter. All that remains of those who cross them are scarlet traces...

I thoroughly enjoyed putting the Escher models together ahead of the school club's Necromunda campaign. I feel in love with the aesthetic of them; the massive boots and hair look exactly like the Carlos Equezerra line work I remember from 2000AD when I was a lad. So that was naturally where I turned for inspiration.

I considered going down the Judge Anderson route but if they ever get around to releasing Arbites I want to go full Dredd on them, so I cast my net slightly wider and caught... well, Durham Red. When I knew her she was a supporting character in Strontium Dog. Apparently she ended up getting her own strip (and a stripperific costume to boot). In any case, I had the palette I wanted.

Given the amount of times I've done blue tinted skin you'd think I wouldn't have this much trouble with it, but there you go. Anyway, these dangerous lasses are done.

Next is the start of a fairly major project that I am certain I will live to regret.