Azazel joins Dreadtober 2017!


So Dreadtober is a thing that has been around some of the 40k Blogs for a few years. Well, this is the third one, and a couple of the blogs I follow have mentioned it recently as they worked through Spartember, so I did some looking up to see how it works and if I can play as well. I found the online home of “Dreadtober 2017” (though I assume it’ll also serve the same purpose next year and so on) and contacted them to find out if finally getting stuff finished fit their criteria for participation, since I have a pair of Dreads that have been unfinished since 3rd Edition and 4th/5th. And now that the dumpster fire of 6th/7th edition 40k has been taken out behind the shed and put out our misery, there’s a reason to get back onto my 40k collection again – including this pair of Albatrosses.

The green-and-white dread was built as part of my fresh-start-for-3rd ed marine army. A lot is done, but it still very much needs highlighting, shading and work on the details and suchlike.

The Iron Warriors Forge World Dread was purchased second-hand about 10 or so years ago now (whenever it was that 4th was transitioning into 5th), and was painted pretty much as you see it now – reasonable tabletop quality but not up to scratch for what I want. I’ve rebased it and built/added the left arm with the drill-powerfist, as the original was a very roughly scratchbuilt thunder hammer. I’ve also magnetised both arms. (and plan to add a Plasma Cannon option.)

For good measure, I also asked if Be’Lakor would qualify, as they have people doing Daemons and such as well. I started him as a stretch goal for 2015’s Painting December project, and never finished him. So, you know. Motivation.

Anyway, the reply I got was in the affirmative so I now have a bit more motivation to get these suckers done. I’m waiting on some 3D-printed Icons for the green-and-white dread that will be integral to completing it beyond the touch-ups and completion of various bit that the model sorely needs. I may decide to rebase it as well. I’m not sure.

Of course, even with these three larger guys to finish off, I’ll continue to blunder my way through completing more Iron Warriors, Minotaurs, Orks, ##### #######, ##########, ############, Dark Angels, and any other Odd Angry Shot that I decide to paint and/or finish off. The important thing is that I now have even more motivation to finish these three off, so they might even get done. Finally.

Not sure if I’ll do a theme for November, but I do plan to resurrect “Painting December” this year, though. I might even see if anyone else wants to get on board, but that’s a post for later!

Realm of Chaos

As I was going through and continuing to repair the damage wrought onto my blog by Photobucket (yep, I’m still plenty bitter!) I found this post – one of my earliest. My seventh, in fact. The models here have by now all been shown again in some form or another – the Iron Warriors especially having been one of the armies I’ve refocused on for 8th edition – finally completing these models and more. This post being more than seven years old shows how long a road its been to get them up and running on the table and they’ve now had a couple of games as I relearn 40k.

The Nurgle guys were promoted into the “leadership team” for my Nurgle Lost and the Damned Cult back in 2015 – and now I need to go fix up that series of posts very soon.

The Slaaneshi model is probably the most tragic of the lot here – he’s never seen the table despite being converted around 2nd-3rd edition and painted sometime before I posted the original here – around 2009. I do plan to build at least a small Emperor’s Children force in the near-mid term, so it’s in the cards for him at least.

So yeah, the images or models may have been re-shown relatively recently (as in, within the last couple of years) but it’s interesting to me to see and reflect on how long the road has been…

Azazel's Bitz Box.

Since the majority of my recent posts have featured Lord of the Rings figures, I thought a bit of variation was in order. These figures are various Warhammer 40k Chaos types, to be used as various champions in 40k, if I ever get around to playing it again. All are conversions, and mounted on the same range of scenic resin bases from Back to Base-ix that the Orc in the first post is on.

These figures were mostly finished during my previous foray back into painting miniatures, around the middle of last year. They were started.. a long time ago.

Chaos Chosen of Slaanesh

Chaos Chosen of Slaanesh

Chaos Chosen of Slaanesh

Slaaneshi/Emperor’s Children Champion. Converted years ago for me by Dave M. The base is a Kharn the Betrayer body, with a 2nd-gen Daemonette claw (the only thing that range of daemonettes were good for, in my opinion), a head from same and a Chaos Terminator weapon, which looked similar enough…

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Dark Imperium, Dark Vengeance

Not really a content post today as much as a SUPPLY DROP! one. – Part 1 of my 8th Edition stuff – the Dark Imperium boxes arrived, finally. I’m expecting Part 2 (Indices, dice, ruler, etc) and Part 3 (Forge World Indices, HH Book 7, transfers, some models, etc) in the next day or two. Don’t worry – I won’t be posting about each and every new toy that I get. And yes, I will be figuring out a way to sell a few spare rulebooks locally for less than the retail price.

With 8th coming, I dug out my DV boxes a couple of weeks ago. I’d decided to finally get the Dark Angels I’d accumulated over the last few years painted. Starting with the starter box models. The Chaos models have been put aside for now, but will make up the core of a solid force of Word Bearers with a few being siphoned off to other Legions.

Instead of painting at work during my lunch break, this is what I’d been doing for the past few weeks. Mould line cleaning! I figured it might be the kind of tedious-at-home job that could be bearable at work in short bursts while listening to a podcast or something, and luckily – I was right. This how I started getting through the few extra squads I’d eBayed before getting out the DV boxes. Yes, they sat sealed for years since 6th and 7th were not friendly to returning players. I won’t go on and on, I’ve made my opinion on 7th well known by now.

Here’s part of the production line. Weighting down the 32mm bases with washers before clipping the slottas off the DV models, and then gluing them down. I’ll end up with at least a Battle Company for starters – probably two. I’ll get to the Ravenwing and Deathwing components later. In the meantime, I’ve been going through the rebasing process for my existing DAs, moving them from 25s to 32s, and needing to build a bunch of extras to bulk out my old squads from 7 and 8 marines to 10s.

I’ll have some actual painted and finished models from the DA army soon. While I’m working on those, I can start figuring out how to distribute the Primaris marines amongst my Astartes armies. I won’t be doing a “Primaris Army”, but splitting them amongst my other forces instead.

Dave’s Khorne Dreadnought

In my formative Warhammer years, there was a bloke called Dave. Dave was in his (I think) late 20’s when I was a late teen, but we were both in the same Warhammer circles, and he was definitely a good bloke. He commission painted for some people and had a huge collection of models. He used to put together some amazing looking conversions and kitbashes back in the days before plastic kits became the norm. I’ve got a few of his conversions in my own collection, as well as some that I used as the base for further conversions of my own.

Nurgle Chaos Champion in Terminator Armour

No helm = Dave’s conversion. Horned Helm = Dave’s conversion massively re-converted by me.

I lost contact with Dave over the years, as these things happen. But I recently found a Khorne Chaos Dreadnought conversion that he gave me to paint back in the day. Well, it used to be called a Chaos Dreadnought, but now we’d call it either a Chaos Helbrute or a Ferrum Infernus Chaos Dreadnought.

As I thought it looked bloody amazing, especially in relation to the godawful 2nd Edition Chaos Dread, my payment was to be another Dread of the same type. I found the model again this weekend, and sat down to finish off the final bits of detail that were left to do. Given the amount of time that’s passed, I’m not expecting anything in terms of payment, but I’ll be happy enough just to get it into Dave’s hands.

Chaos Dreadnought Conversion, Chaos Helbrute, Ferrum Infernus Chaos Dreadnought, Khorne Dreadnought

So here it is. Well, most of it. He never gave me the weapon arm. I think he was working on something unique before passing it onto me. Also missing the Hellfire Missile rack, which was converted from a non-Citadel model. I’m sure I’ll find it, then finish and post it out.

Chaos Dreadnought Conversion, Chaos Helbrute, Ferrum Infernus Chaos Dreadnought, Khorne Dreadnought

I’ve got an old phone number that belonged to Dave years ago. I called it yesterday evening and got an answering machine. I’ll call it again today and hope to get through. After that, I know of some clubs he used t frequent on the other side of town so I’ll see if I can track him down that way.

Chaos Dreadnought Conversion, Chaos Helbrute, Ferrum Infernus Chaos Dreadnought, Khorne Dreadnought

The base is an MDF drink coaster. A little big in my opinion, but it’s Dave’s model and if that’s what he built and he’s happy with it, more power to him. The model is based around a stock-standard metal Castra Ferrum Dreadnought – AKA 40k 2nd Edition/Angry Washing Machine. Feet are Epic 40k Drop pod bases of some description.

Chaos Dreadnought Conversion, Chaos Helbrute, Ferrum Infernus Chaos Dreadnought, Khorne Dreadnought

The head is from the 2nd Edition-era Juggernaught of Khorne grafted onto the front of the Dreadnought Sarcophagus. The spikes come from the Chaos Dwarf Boar Centaur Warmachines – Tenderiser or Whirlwind. The Close Combat arm is made from a standard Dread CC arm with a plastic Adeptus Titanicus Warlord Titan chainfist replacing the power fist’s “hand” and a converted melta barrel replacing the storm bolter barrels.

Chaos Dreadnought Conversion, Chaos Helbrute, Ferrum Infernus Chaos Dreadnought, Khorne Dreadnought

The skull-codpiece is an old metal chaos shoulder pad, the Imperial Guardman’s corpse is an Aliens Colonial Marine casualty from some long lost range, and the lasgun is from the Necromunda Accessories sprue. Dave can add flock, static grass or tufts or any other foliage, to taste once he gets the model in hand. The three parts of the model are only sitting together in the above photos, rather than glued – with the torso loose and the arm blu-taced to the body. Once he gets it, Dave will be able to pose it however he likes, or even attempt to magnetise the arm and sockets.

Chaos Dreadnought Conversion, Chaos Helbrute, Ferrum Infernus Chaos Dreadnought, Khorne Dreadnought

It’s a pretty cool design in a lot of ways, and moreso considering that it’s entirely made of metal components. It weighs an absolute ton! One day I might try to build one of my own – inspired by this one, but using plastic components…

A Question of Vikings and Stripey Trousers.

Last year, purely by accident (my carrying some part-painted Axemen of Lossarnach past him at the end of my lunch break) a co-worker spotted my “little men” and actually recognised what they were – specifically LotR models. It turned out that after (sort of) working together for a year or so (we work in different areas of the workplace), unbeknownst to each other there was another hobbyist in the place. Skipping over why we still haven’t managed to schedule a game yet, we’ve traded some odds and bods each way, and late last year he cornered me and rather generously insisted very strongly that I accept some of his unused Viking models – wanting me to take an entire SAGA warband’s worth of them. I was hesitant to accept, since I’ve got a ton of stuff already, but eventually he wore me down and I accepted. Since he asks me every so often if I’ve started painting them, I’ve now decided to paint them up a dozen or so at a time and hopefully help to motivate him to do some painting as well, as he’s been planning to knock out a big block of 50 Vikings in one hit over a fortnight off for at least 6 months now. I’ve told him about the monthly challenge on Dakka, and he’s warmed to the idea of completing a dozen models a month as a more realistic goal.

My WIP Vikings. Just add colour!

So last week I started these. Doing about half an hour of “monkey work” each night after work. Filing metal bases, gluing them down to plastic rounds, adding acrylic putty to the bases, spray undercoating, sanding the bases, then painting the sand. Blacking out the metal parts, drybrush, highlight drybrush, wash…

Stripey and colourful Foundry Vikings. Image stolen from Alternative Norse Miniatures article on Frothers. Check it out!

But now I’m a bit stuck. I want them to look reasonably realistic. They’ll still retain my overall “clean” style, but I want the colours to be appropriate. Browsing various galleries of Viking miniatures tends to show them painted in the same way that many Celt models are painted. Very bright colours, stripey trousers… I dunno. It just seems like they might be barking down the wrong tree.

The same sort of palette (though more muted) can also be found on Gripping Beast’s website.

I know I wasn’t worried about being historically accurate with the Spartans recently and was happy to go for a “Hollywood Style” combination of Lambdas and Corinthian Helmets, though I was wanting to be reasonable with the colours. I did the same with my T-34s for Bolt Action simply because I wanted to get some Red iconography on them despite most Red army tanks of the period and type not having red stars, etc. For whatever reason, I want to get the Vikings more accurate than that same “Hollywood Style”. Television teaches us that “The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants”, after all… 😉

The Vikings, from THP gallery/Elizabeth Sneed

My googling found me quite a good article on Viking clothing on The Hollywood Reporter’s website of all places (yes, really), including an attached gallery. No stripes to be had, but a smallish variety of muted colours.

I’ve got access to Osprey Elite 3 (Vikings) where Angus McBride’s wonderful colour plates only show striped trousers on a Rus/Eastern Viking (pictured on the cover), and Osprey Men at Arms 85 (Saxons/Vikings/Normans) where once more, the plates (G.A.Embleton) again show a variety of muted colours, but no stripes.

Of course, the models I have here are the nicest ones from the batch given to me, and many of them have capes or look like leaders in some form or another, so a unit destined to provide my Hearthguard in SAGA – and as elites in other wargames. So they’ll be painted a little fancier than others. Still, I’m wanting to know if I should stay with mono-colours on their clothing, with perhaps a differently coloured hemline or some patterning on cloaks at the most – and is striped clothing the historical no-go that it seems to be, despite being painted so often on seemingly everyone’s Viking models?

I know there are at least a few people who read this who are far more well-versed in this than I am. Any ideas?

RPE Skeleton Ballista and Mage Knight Skeleton (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

It’s unusual that I actually manage to start and finish something this quickly, though it helps that both of the kits I reviewed last week are pretty simple, and fall into two of my natural “speedpaint” categories – that of skeletons and simple fantasy war machines. Even though I was out of town for most of the week, I still managed to finish them off today – the ballista and crew in the early hours, and the Mage Knight model that I’m using for a commander just after lunch. Add a few hours for varnish, flock and tufts, and they’re done! My second unit of Undead for the month’s challenge. Now I better get some Gondorians painted in the next fortnight!

RPE Mage Knight Metal Skeleton 541

RPE “Mage Knight” Skeleton.

The Mage Knight model has a very “Oldhammer” feel to him in terms of his sculpt, pose and details, such as the integral shield. He really feels like one of the undead from late 2e WHFB to me, and is a lovely sculpt that I have no hesitation recommending that interested parties pick up. Especially given the cheap price of only £2.50. I really do like this guy. As his shield is smaller than the usual plastic add-on, I wanted to do something a little different with his shield, so went for a red field and a simpler, “scratchy” skull painted on using Dorn Yellow with VGC Off White over the top.

RPE Mage Knight Metal Skeleton 541

…and the rear view.

I gave his cloak a per chevron field, (with a little red trim at the top edge) without a device to maintain a strong link to the colours of the Undead army (Black, Red, Brass, Iron and a bit of Aqua via the verdigris) especially since the other models in this batch don’t really have much gear with which to maintain that link. The per chevron is also a little more interesting for a cloak than the usual halved or quartered that I’ve done in the past.

RPE Skeleton Ballista 02.190

RPE Skeleton Ballista with crew.

The Ballista had a little secret that I only discovered while working on the metal bracings and studs on the wheels – there’s actually different detail on both sides, with a slightly more ornate side and obversely less so. I guess you can make the machine itself a tiny little bit more or less ornate, or simply have the less florid details on the inside of the wheels. Naturally, I only noticed this when it was way too late, so mine are mixed – not that anyone will ever notice, so it’s cool. I’m not tearing the bloody thing apart! I’ve gone for woody colours here, keeping in the overall colour scheme of the army. If the model itself was more explicitly “undead” then I might have painted the “bow” as bone (like the Skull Chukkas) but this way it’s a little more generic, so with a simple crew swap it can be used in almost any army on the table as needed.

RPE Skeleton Ballista 02.190

And a reverse shot of the Ballista and crew.

As I said before, the “firing rope” skeleton and the ballista needed some height adjustment (via bending and a 60mm GW base) to ensure that his rope could slip onto the firing peg of the Ballista. The two crew are quite finely detailed, though simple. The Ballista crew are very “flat” or 2-D castings, if you know what I mean – with very little that can be bent to make them more 3-d (as I have pretty much always done when it’s been an option).

RPE Mage Knight Metal Skeleton 541

Facial close-up. This guy could fit with “Oldhammer.”

RPE Skeleton Ballista crew 02.190

And the other ones. Less exaggerated than the “Oldhammer”.

The faces don’t have the “evil eyes” of the “oldhammer”-era GW skeletons, though I’d hesitate to call them especially realistic either. I’d say that they were someone’s best attempt at doing “realistic” at the time, though – and that’s the better description of the style. Hopefully you can judge for yourselves via the photographs. Still, it’s a great little kit for £6.95, especially when you’re used to GW prices.

RPE Skeleton Ballista 02.190, RPE Mage Knight Metal Skeleton 541

Ready for Battle!

I should point out that I have no affiliation with RPE, etc and paid retail for these models. I’ll eventually buy some more of their lines regardless, as their models have a nice, old-school vibe, they’re nice blokes and their stuff is priced very fairly. Apparently they have a small-scale 28mm dwarfs Kickstarter coming up that looks like it’ll be worth my time to back, as I’m quite liking the look of their preview models.

RPE Skeleton Ballista 02.190, RPE Mage Knight Metal Skeleton 541

And as a tight unit. You can also see just how “flat” the crew are.


And I finally found those Brigade Skeletons this morning, too! I’ve now got 2 units of spearmen to clean, base and prime for March’s challenge. Well, I only need to finish one of them, but we’ll see if I can do better…


Review: RPE Skeleton Ballista and Mage Knight Skeleton

Well, I’m solidly back at work at this stage, so painting time has taken a pretty hefty hit. I was looking for the Brigade Skeletons that I purchased last year to select an undead unit for the painting challenge over on Dakka this afternoon – I was thinking perhaps some Skeleton Archers, and instead found the little tub of models that I purchased from RPE at the same time. Inside were a couple of nice little undead models that combine well into an artillery piece and commander for KoW/Warhammer/etc, so I took them instead.

RPE Skeleton Ballista 02.190, Mage Knight Metal Skeleton 541

RPE Fantasy models in their Mail Order packaging.

This is how the RPE models come in the post. Individually packaged in thick zip-locks with a backing full-colour slip that folds out for a little advert. I’m not sure if this is their B&M retail packaging or if they instead go out in blisters, but I have to say that I like this kind of packaging for mail order. Instead of anonymous zip-lock baggies with something scrawled on them in pen (or nothing!) you get to see what’s what and breakage is much less likely as the models all have a little bit more packaging to keep them safe. And of course, the zip-lock baggies can be reused.

RPE Skeleton Ballista 02.190, Mage Knight Metal Skeleton 541


The models themselves are pretty nice casts. There’s a little bit of flash and some minor mould lines, but it took literally a few minutes to clean them all off. It looks like at some stage in the past the Ballista must have come with a metal base, as both crew have pegs and the “slotta” looks like it’s actually supposed to be clipped off. The result is that they stand a little high when glued into the slottabases, even if you cut the tab down a little. (I prefer to use the tab, as the more contact point the better)

RPE Skeleton Ballista 02.190

RPE Skeleton Ballista, mostly assembled.

The “firing rope” skeleton had to be manually adjusted to lower his rope low enough to slip onto the end of the Ballista. I also had to use a GW 60mm base in order to raise the Ballista for the same reason. The wheels needed green stuff to fit and stay on the frame. I’ll trim the excess down later on. I’ll also add the defensive spikes later, once everything else is cleaned up and entirely dry.

Hopefully I can finish assembly tonight. These won’t travel well to be models to work on at work, but they should otherwise paint up pretty quickly at least.

And then I can have another look for those Brigade Skeletons…

….and FINISHED! (13th Feb)