Sunday, October 15, 2017

Imperial Fists' Contemptor Dread Done!

Whew! I finished up the Contemptor dreadnought that I got from Forge World this week. I think this puts a pin in my Imperial Fists for a little while. I'll try and get a group shot together soon, but in the meantime here is Tribune Aramas in all his glory.

He's coming atcha!
Head and Chest detail.
I'm hoping the firepower of a twin lascannon will help with enemy tanks.
A view of the engine block.
Detail shot from the left side.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Wargame Mat by Killing Fields Terrain

I'm not usually the kind of guy to do a product review - but I try to make exceptions to champion new products or companies that make something that I really like. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a new wargaming mat from an up and coming company called Killing Fields Terrain ( and it arrived on Friday. I've had three days to noodle with it, and I thought I'd share my opinion of the product.

I've always really liked the look of mats made from faux fur cloth. I've even had a go at making my own, but the cost was intense for the first attempt. I needed to get the fur (about $60 for a 5'x3'), an electric pet shaver to trim the fur (another $20) and then spray paints (another $30ish dollars) to color everything. The results were really nice, but it was a long, smelly process (the off-gassing of the spray paints takes a while to dissipate).

My own efforts.

Killing Fields Terrain offers a dyed mat at 4'x6' for about $80. I figured that just getting the mat as a base to experiment on would be worth it, so I ordered one. It arrived in a quick fashion, folded inside a nice sturdy box that I can use for storage.

The mat right out of the box and on my kitchen table.
A little tussling of the fur with my hand and it was ready to go.
The mat has really nice "pile" (length of the fur) and can be further shaved into.
One of the things I really like about fur mats is the ability to shave in permanent "roads" on them. I grabbed my electric pet clippers (a cheap brand I wouldn't come near my dog with in a million years) and set about creating some roads.

After a shave, I used white glue and sprinkled sand on it.
Once dry, a light dry brush of a light cream finished it off.
Then it was just a matter of draping it over some hill forms and adding my usual scenic embellishments!

Ready to fight!
The mat is draped over a hill here, creating a nice gentle rolling slope.
Lighting the whole set up was a challenge, but there really is a nice range of color in the mat.

I couldn't be happier with my purchase. I would highly recommend this product. If you're in the US and in the market for a fur mat, take a look at - it'll be worth your time. I'm seriously considering ordering a second mat when I can so that I can play a nice big 4'x12' Napoleonic game on it!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Imperial Fists Finish Line In Sight!

Tartaros Terminators ready to rumble.

I've managed to get a lot done on my Heresy Era Imperial Fists in the last two weeks. A unit of Terminators, a Vindicator siege tank, and a Legion Command Squad to go with my Praetorian. Whew! This means that all I really have left is my Contemptor Dreadnought to do and I think I'm ready to call this project done for a little while. What to do next is the big question - more Napoleonic troops or possibly starting a long desired Imperial Roman army top the list. We'll have to see.

My Legion Command Squad. I made the standard bearer by using
a loose Primaris Ancient standard. 

The Vindicator was quite a project. I learned a lot and would tackle it completely differently if I do another. I made some big mistakes shading the vehicle, but I think the layers of grime, chipping and rust that I added disguised it all pretty well.

Boom. Boom. A Zoom Zoom.
I really dig adding hazard stripes if for no other reason than antagonizing Iron Warrior players.
I'm really happy with the weathering on the dozer blade in particular.
I moved the crane and shell more forward on the vehicle. It just didn't feel right on the back. I know the Vindicator
is loosely based on a WW2 German Sturmtiger, and those had the loading crane over the cannon. Unfortunately,
I just couldn't get it look right on this model.

With any luck, I'll be able to finish up the dreadnought next week and then put up some shots of the whole army.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Devastators and Praetorian Done

I kicked out my Devastators and Praetorian for my Heresy Era Imperial Fists this week. Except for a Command squad, I'm almost done working on MKIII armored Marines! Wooo Hooo!! You have no idea how excited I am to paint something else.

I feel like I'm in the home stretch!

The Burning of Prospero set comes with 3 Heavy Bolters and I quickly scoured Ebay for two more lose plastic MKIII Heavy Bolters and they arrived really quick. I'm pretty pumped about playing a game with five of these bad boys in a squad. If I use them in regular 40K, the plan is to replace the Sergeant with a member of my in-progress Command Squad since I can only field 4 in the 41st millennium (Boooo. Hisssss.)

The design of the MKIII Heavy Bolter took a bit of time to grow on me, but now I dig it.

For my Praetorian (Marine commander in 30K) I just kit-bashed a guy from the plastic set. Not super sexy, but he'll get the job done.

All ready to smash Traitor Legion filth!
I'm pretty chuffed with how his face turned out.

This guy has ALL the laurels. ALL. OF. THEM.

So my next step is to get on my Tartaros pattern Terminators - which are all built, primed and ready roll - and then I get to do some neat stuff like tanks and dreadnoughts. I'm super excited to tackle those. 


Sunday, September 17, 2017

More Heresy and some Diehard Miniatures art!

Work continues apace on my Heresy Era Imperial Fists. I managed to finish up another squad of Tactical Marines and the entire unit of Adeptus Custodes. But I have more to share this week than just more and more yellow Marines! Some concept art that I've been doing for Diehard Miniatures.

The growing Defenders of Terra.
Diehard Miniatures is the brainchild of sculptor Tim Prow, who I had the good fortune to catch up with while I was in England for Salute. Over way too much rum for how jet-lagged I was, Tim offered me the chance to do some concept art for an upcoming expansion of his line. Its been a really fun project and I'm looking forward to seeing Tim make these drawings real.
"IT BURNS!!!!" Flaming skellies are always fun.

He's coming to get ya! Definitely trying to get an Old Skool vibe out these designs.

I love drawing me some robits, and Tim wanted a 2000AD feel out of these guys.

This guy is supposed to be a repurposed civilian droid that now has a taste for war.

I like the idea of this one being an out-dated medical droid that's REALLY bad at his job.

This is only a taste of the work I've done. We've got lots more on the way. The Kickstarter these will be included in should jump off soonish. I'll certainly share the info when its available.

Up next for my Imperial Fists are a Devastator Squad and Tartaros Terminator unit. They should go pretty quick. Then it'll be vehicle time as I'm all infantry'ed out at this point.

I really like these models. They painted up really quickly and look fantastic for only a little effort.

I think he really likes the Emperor of Mankind.
10 more Rivets… I mean MARINES!…done. Whew.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Objection! That's Horus Hearsay!

After a short hiatus, I've continued working on some marines in MKIII armor from the Burning of Prospero set. I stalled a little when I discovered that special and heavy weapons aren't an option for Tactical squads during the Heresy Era, so I went back and painted a vexilla and regular bolt-gunner for the first 10 man squad.  I was a little put out when I discovered the lack of options for the Tactical squads initially, but I've overcome my ignorance with a little extra effort and a big dose of "Who cares? Its just toy soldiers."

Squad 1 complete! And a second squad begun.
The start of squad 2!
I have also decided to add some allies to my Heresy Era Imperial Fists - a small retinue of the Emperor's bodyguards, the Adeptus Custodes. This might not be 100% kosher, but I really don't care at this point because these are cool models and fit the time period. The Custodes also come in the Burning of Prospero set, and I have really enjoyed painting them up. The level of detail highlights really well and I don't feel like I'm copping out by just doing an all metallic paint scheme.

For the Emperor!
I plan on using the Custodes as a sort of treat to paint every few marines that I get done. Its getting hard to maintain steam on the MK III armor sets - so much trim and rivets! Ugh. Trying to keep my eyes on the prize - less than 10 to go!


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Imperial Fists: Part 5: Old Fistos

"Stupid babies need the MOST help!" said the Primaris Ancient...
A while back I picked up the Horus Heresy game "Burning of Prospero" and still hadn't assembled any of the stuff inside. I ended up deciding to paint the marines it comes with as Heresy Era Imperial Fists, figuring by the time I assembled and painted them all that 30K will be ported into the 8th ed rules. In the meantime, I'll fold them into my regular 40k army as marines wearing honor armor or some nonsense. So now my army has some Tiny Marines™.

These models come in waaaaaay too many parts for such limited posing. 
While I really like the MKIII marine armor, its like GW looked at Privateer Press' models and said "Hold my beer." and then set out to make a smaller model with even more rivets. That said, the technical constraints that two part moulds put on little details like rivets are handled really well here.

Another quick tip that I used to speed up the painting process here was that after the model is primed and then sprayed yellow, a liberal wash of GW's Druchii Violet created the perfect shading and base to work my colors up from. I can't believe I didn't do this the first time since Violet is on the opposite side of the Color Wheel from Yellow - my art college professors would probably slap me. 

Just a quick wash over a sprayed base coat and you're ready to go!