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

Tuesday 30 January 2018

Raiders of the Lost Hive

"--aise the Omnissiah!"
"Hold your station!"
"Engines to full, bring us into the shadow of the planet-"
"--vity well will pull--"
"Follow your orders, damn you! We have to outrun the wavefront!"
"--oomed, we're all doo--"
"--achine spirits have forsaken us! We can't break free!"
"We're spiralling in!"
"You've killed us all, you meatbag fool!"


My retinue and I were aboard the last ship to leave the Atreus system; all the others were consumed by the Warp Storm that erupted from the Caliban Cascade. The loss of the manufactoria and forges of Hive Karhonnen was certainly a blow to the Padisha Sector but we have slowly recovered. To this date I have been unable to determine whether the storm was as natural an occurance as anything to do with the Warp can be, or if it was summoned by some activity of the Great Enemy. The details of my investigation are contained in CASEFILE SYCORAX but I suspect that the Ruinous Powers were caught as much by suprise as the sudden swallowing of the entire planet Leto as we were.

Given this, if the planet has re-emerged then there is a good chance it has been lost in the Warp and not colonised by the powers of Chaos. If this is so, then all the equipment resources and research contained in Hive Karhonnen should still be intact: and if, as I suspect, the Adeptus Mechanicus Research Vessel Rakkis crashed on the surface, then its cargo of [REDACTED] should be secured immediately.

I would recommend that strike teams small enough to infiltrate whatever is left of the Hive but large enough to deal with any possible interference be inserted. Astartes are the obvious choice but given that the Atreus system lies close to the border of many Xeno races, you may find it prudent to send some Guard Units and possibly even an Inquisitorial retinue if one can be found.

I remain, sir, your most obedient servant,

Inquisitor [REDACTED]

=I= ---------------------- =I=

His breath rasping in his mask, Georgiou looked up from the red ochre dust that caked his boots. It was still there. Vast. Impossible.

"Seriously, Sarge," he said again. "Where are we going?"

The Sergeant slowly raised his arms and pointed. "There, Guardsman. There."

Before them was a Hive, like a thousand others on a thousand other worlds. A spire, tens of kilometres high, a man-made mountain that would have once housed millions. Now, however, it was an impossibility. A vast spacecraft was embedded in the side of it, melded and fused into the very fabric of the Hive by some warpcraft Georgiou couldn't comprehend. 

"Ok, Sarge," he said. With a sigh he continued to march towards Hive Karhonnen. 

********                                       **********

With the games club at work doing very well, it seems like the time is right to kick the Shadow Wars Armageddon league up a notch. The idea is very simple -  a narrative campaign baseda round a number of different Kill Teams attempting to infiltrate an abandoned Hive.

At the start, each team will say secretly where they are attempting to enter the Hive - from the Underhive, from the Lower Levels, from the MidHive where the Rakkis crashed or the Upper Hive.

That will determine who meets who in the first matches. Underhive games will be tunnel fighting using the Necromunda Boards. Lower levels and the Upper Spires will be on traditional Necromunda/SWA multi-level scenery (although there will be some interesting enviromental effects). The mid Hive is the most dangerous area because of the structural damage caused by the Rakkis.

The final round for each team will be fought in the corridors of the Rakkis.

Each team has a secret objective - either a macguffin to acquire or another team they need to take out - and there will be a movement system for teams to move around the Hive.

The teams that will be starting the campaign are:

  • Necrons
  • Space Wolves
  • Orks
  • Space MArines
  • Valhallans IG
  • Plague Marines
  • Inquisition
  • Stalkers IG (this is my team but I think I'll be passing these over to one of the students who's joined late as I'll probably be busy umpiring and running some the other forces that have colonised the ruined Hive...)
We'll be using the scenery we've created at work, so we'll be all good to go over the next couple of weeks. I'll keep you updated on how it goes. 

Sunday 28 January 2018

The Pig Iron Wide Boyz

After a few digressions and a family emergency (my 3 year old son broke his leg and so spent a week in traction and then 5 weeks in a full lower-body cast over Christmas), I finally got my Necromunda Goliath gang finished.

As with the previous members, I kept the Mad Max aesthetic and worked on the assumption that these chaps have come from the dust and filth of foundries deep in the Underhive; so after painting there was a liberal application of ochre and oxide pigments. As well as the usual dusting I also experimented with a new pigment binder which allowed me to really cake it on like thick mud. I'm generally happy with the effect - the issue, of course, is that we don't know how it will react with varnish which is always the unknown quantity when dealing with pigments. As soon as they are coated, I'll report back.

In the meantime, here are close ups of Smak, Gripper, Twos and the rest of the ladz.

Stix and Twos guarding the doors. 

'Gripper' Jenkins


If you go down to the Underhive today....

Hive Karhonnen continues to grow. I've been painting the main scenery sections from Necromunda. They're lovely and lend themselves well to grime and weathering.

They were painted in my now standard industrial grey/green and metal with copious rust and grime. I will probably light the maps on the wall with their airbrush but a certain somebody who shall remain nameless - *cough* my eldest son *cough* - split the nozzle on the airbrush so I'm waiting for a replacement.

Next up will be a push on the rest of the Goliath and then building the Escher - although I may have a little break in between for some Fantasy gribblies I have an idea for. 

Wednesday 3 January 2018


Happy New year, everyone. I'm kicking off with an unexpected project. You can tell it's unexpected because I don't have any narrative to with it. This is one of those cases where the concept presented itself from the miniatures. I'm sure I'll fit it into the AoS setting I'm developing - the Caliburn Reach - for the Narrative Campaign at school somehow, but for now it's just there.

Fpr Christmas this year the Good Lady She Who Must Be Obeyed bought be a shedload of Kharadron because even she likes the idea of steampunk dwarves. However, she took my eldest son into the local games shop and encouraged him to pick something for me - so I also got this:

This is another of those kits which can be built in multiple ways, but my eye was caught by the massive cannon which looked exactly like the kind of thing you could mount on a ship.

And so the idea of a stolen dwarf airship retrofitted as a Skaven Privateer was born.

The main modelling change was to rip open the endrins and replace them with chunks of warpstone. Carved from blue foam, they were randomly splattered with pva meaning that when they were sprayed, they would melt in interesting patterns. The interior of the endrin was built up with bits of sprue and the broken edges and retaining bars made from plasticard.

The rest of the build was more or less stock, but I replaced the crew with Skaven. One I put into a Kharadron suit because the idea simply struck me as really funny. I added a suited tail made from guitar string. As it turns out, he's one of my favourite looking models.

The main gunner had to have a new tail and arms sculpted from greenstuff, which my meagre skills could more or less cover.

The spotter/captain figure was lifted straight from the Plague Claw kit.

The ship was airbrushed with the base blue and then I launched myself into very serious weathering.

Overally this was a fabulously fun little build and a good stretch of the old creative muscles. I'm also left with an almost complete plague claw so I suppose this year will be the Year of the Plague Rat.

I may yet add some rigging to the structure with some Skaven runes; but as yet I don't have a name for this might vessel. If you have any ideas, please leave them in the comments. As per usual I'll nick the one I like the best.