Wednesday 31 December 2014

Children of the Imperium #3: The gormless Arbities officer

Oh dear.  Something went wrong with the photos and they didn't rotate.  Again.  It spoils the picture no end.  A thousand apologies.

Never mind... Anyway, I had some Empire pieces rolling around in the bottom of my bitz box, and I also had a spare SM scout body, so I decided to make an Arbites officer.  He's from a world so technologically-backward they still use autoguns.

The purity seals are from a tomb kings standard.  I love the utter nonchalance in his face; I think he might be the junior officer who is given the least responsibility, because he is so scatterbrained.

And that's it.  Sorry that the photos did not rotate.  I think it has something to do with the fact that the camera "automatically" rotates them, but the computer doesn't like it, something like that.


Saturday 27 December 2014

Assembling/converting a Stormtalon part 2

After a break over that time period people call Christmas, I returned to the Stormtalon I started a week ago.

I painted the pilot first before any major assembling.  To prevent the spray can painting the outside by mistake, I used copious amounts of blu-tac.
The pilot isn't glued in at this point, making the whole thing much less of a pain to paint.

The Company icon was a World-tree charm I found at a little shop in town that sold incense and hippy clothes.

I decided upon lascannons, and for the sake of being different, I used Razorback ones.  I might use the originals for something else...

Ah yes, observe; if you want the engines to rotate, you need to shave quite a bit off the axle, otherwise it ends up far too tight.

Here's the painted Techmarine.  Note that I still haven't glued the engines into place yet.  I will do that when I come to paint it, BUT-- I found out this morning my white can is empty, and I won't be ordering again for a long time because I've spent too much this month anyway!

So I have to be content with an unpainted Stormtalon until, what, next month... Oh well.  It looks a lot more menacing than my first one.

And that's that.  What more can I say.  A converted Stormtalon.


Friday 19 December 2014

Assembling/converting a Stormtalon part 1

Well, last night was exciting.  Mum had a baby, and I hid in my hobby room and started assembling the Stormtalon I bought a while back.  I was awake until about 3 in the morning doing this, so I'm really tired now but it made a memory, I suppose.

The kit, glue, clippers, an old scalpel and an elephant's toe-nail.  Oh-- and the mess around is also necessary.  It just is.

When making a model that isn't a figure, I feel it's best to break the assembly down into sub-assemblies, I believe they're called-- I learned this from playing with LEGO for just under two decades.  I haven't grown up yet.

Let me see...

Top part/antennae
The fuselage with stabilizer jets
Cockpit, Techmarine pilot is a separate assembly
Main jet housings
The jets themselves
 Not pictured are the sponsons, which I haven't decided what combo to use.
When trimming the excess off the parts, you have to go against everything you were taught as a child.  Cut towards yourself for better control, and use your thumb to cushion the knife.  This does result in cut fingers quite often, but if a job's worth doing, it's worth dying for, so what's a bit of blood spilt here and there?
What I was meant to do...

...What I did instead
The antennae looked a bit plain, so I used both the aerials from a Land Speeder Vengeance kit I had sitting around; and for the sake of being different I also used a SM scout sniper rifle barrel.
I'm not saying that GW didn't do a decent enough job with their kits, but I simply cannot make a model the way it was meant to be made.  My first Stormtalon, I put the rear fin on backwards-- but that was a mistake-- WHAT I MEANT was I need to convert my models, even if it is just sticking extra bits on or a head swap.
Another thing I've just started to do is add Otherworld-like wire mesh to my vehicles.  After several futile attempts to stick it on properly, I ended up using Greenstuff.  It's messy from this angle, but it works.
Taking the struts off an Aquila Strongpoint I bought to convert a Thunderhawk if I ever get one, I chopped them up and stuck the grilles to the sides of the Stormtalon's tail.
If you don't use rubber bands, you'll run into big problems later on...
My Chapter have fewer complete sets of Mk VII armour than many other Chapters do, and gauntlets are one of the pieces they have trouble in replicating themselves, so they have to rely on salvaged suits.
For my Techmarine, I found two CSM arms that mimicked the existing pilot arms; one held a boltgun and one came with a heavy bolter.  I chopped the hands off and gave them the pilot's hands.
Here's the pilot.  His body is a Mk III (possibly?) one from the Land Speeder, with the Ravenwing icon taken off.  His head is from the Master of marches, and the tilt shield is Grey Knights.

And that's that, for now.  I dry-fitted everything for the photo.  Note I changed the targeting array also.  I'll assemble and paint it later, and hopefully decide on the sponson weapon.


Wednesday 17 December 2014

Sagodjur Fjorlag assault squad

This last while, it has been raining non-stop and as much as I wont to take my motorcycle out for a drive, I've been compelled to remain indoors for the best part of my time; so I put the finishing touches on an assault squad that has taken me about a month to paint.

Not a ridiculously good shot...
Unlike it's primogenitor Chapter the Imperial Fists, the Sagodjur Fjorlag rely on air assault above all other forms of combat; to the extent that they will only ever have one Land Raider and no Thunderfire cannons whatsoever, among other things.  There is a story that goes behind it, but it's so awfully long and I doubt anyone would be interested, anyway.

The sergeant I gave a grav-pistol, a power sword, an auspex and a mallet which has no effect on his stats but is a valuable part of his story.  I also used legs from two different pieces, and gave him the Lord Executioner's arm.

Hand flamer!  All hail the hand flamer!

The 7th company is known by several names; Thollr, Yggrdrasill, the Horse of the Terror, the hangmen.  The only tactical company in the entire Chapter, they are greatly honored and bear the master rune of the Chapter Master in place of Chapter badge.  It is the responsibility of each brother to maintain his own suit of power armour, and he paints the rune himself.

This brother has a Grey Knights helmet; I feel too insignificant and lowly to collect such awe-inspiring miniatures, but I love the kits so much I can't help but include fragments of armour into my figures.  My excuse for this is that the Inquisition, worried for the well-being of such a psychicly-orientated Chapter, will on occasion give the Fate Gryphons gifts of Grey Knights helmets or other pieces or armour.  The Chapter know nothing of the Grey Knights-- if they ever did see them, they were doubtless mind-wiped-- but they are thankful nonetheless of the gifts.
You see, if you really want to include something in your army, so long as it's not too ludicrous, you need to put a decent story behind it to make it convincing.

I tried to replicate the over-and-under firing pose I've seen gunmen like Beyond the Grave and Vash the Stampede do, but they aren't wearing 600 pounds of power armour, so the pose didn't quite work out...

In the ancient history of the Chapter's late homeworld, there were tales of warriors who rode on the backs of gryphons and bore double-ended halberds called kaesias into battle.  That weapon was replicated in chain-blade form.
I based this off Dead Rising's paddlesaw.  Even if it was not the most effective by a long shot, it was my favorite weapon over all.

And that's it, I suppose.  I thought I had finished them, until I bought the technical paints not long ago.  Blood for the Blood god certainly helped the brutal melee look.  That's all for now.


Next squad...

Sunday 14 December 2014

Blood Angels-- Dhampirs-!?

I saw the new Blood Angels Terminators kit to-day.  It's utterly incredible, and I'm almost sad I don't collect them.
All images belong to Games Workshop
Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield are one of my favorite pairings!
I was looking them over and appreciating the effort put into the models, when I saw THIS:
Is it may just be my imagining, but the Sergeant's head been sculpted with pointed ears and extended incisors.  What does this tell you?

Well, I sadly don't have the Blood Angels codex to check my hypothesis, and I haven't read enough vampire stories to be utterly sure, but I think the blood Angels may be dhampirs; that is, half human and half vampire.
My hypothesis is not very well founded.  First and foremost is the Red Thirst, claimed to be a gene-seed mutation-- could it have been the fact that the Astartes of Baal actually mutated their own gene-seed, thus their priogenitors condemned their successor Chapters to eternal damnation?

Secondly, the Flesh Eaters, one of the Blood Angel's curs'd successors.  Fans have thought them to be vampires; Games Workshop has not released much information on them, so rumors abound.

Thirdly is the fact that Baal Secondus has such a ridiculously high amount of radiation, how could the people have even survived at all, except that they're descended from the Nobility themselves in some way?

Fourthly, I think there may be two Pureblood vampires within the Chapter; they are Mephiston, lord of death-- and Commander Dante.

Mephiston, for one his features are very beautiful for a Space Marine.  His face and body show very little sign of the gigantism the effects of the gene-seed would normally have.   Also, the fact that he succumbed to the Black Rage, survived, and became a master Psyker is something I don't think any Astartes would have been capable of.  I have a 2nd edition Angels of Death codex, and the way he was first depicted was vampiric beyond the normal Blood Angel.  He is said to be the most powerful psyker in the Imperium, and I can't help but wonder...

Commander Dante is supposed to be thirteen centuries old, but is suspected to be even older.  I am aware that an Astartes is technically ageless until he falls in battle, but for Dante to have... what, shall we say survived this long, I don't know how he could have done it, except that he is a Pureblood.
The iron halo upon his death mask is said to emit psycho-terror waves; but something like that, I don't think technology will ever replicate, even in the grim, dark future.

Lastly, I just really really want the Blood Angels to be dhampirs, because I want a good excuse to collect them.  I'm no expert on vampires, but I love decent stories about them.  Let me see, I started with Bram Stoker's Dracula, of course; the Black Library's Mathias Thulman: Witch hunter had a vampire episode which was utterly captivating; I also like Vampire Hunter D, Hellsing and Vampire Knight... That's about all the vampire stories I've read.

And that's that, I suppose.  Blood Angels-- Dhampirs.  I went on way longer than I thought; must dash off to the fitness centre now, or I'll be late.


Thursday 11 December 2014

Concerning music from the 41st millennium

It is without doubt that music in the 41st millennium will be as wildly diverse as it is now.  I was thinking of some of my favourite artists and thought to put a few together in a post.  Also, I just learned how to attach video to a post and want to exploit this.

First and foremost; Symphony X.  If you're a WH 40,000 player or hobbyist, you really ought to try Symphony X.  They're a New Jersey band and are incredibly good.  They write music for Imperial and Chaos-- note that this is my opinion only, so you don't have to agree with it.  Also, I don't own ANY of these videos-- I just stole took them from Youtube.  All credit goes to their respective owners.

Prometheus (I am Alive), to me is about the creation of an Astartes.

Church of the Machine-- well, it's mechanicum.

Dehumanized is about a heretic being transformed into an arco-flagellant.  If you don't know what an arco-flagellant is, then you obviously haven't played Inquisitor.

I consider Walls of Babylon to be one of Symphony X's finest pieces.  I'm not quite sure what it's about, but it's something apocalypse-scale.  Something involving the White Scars and the Invaders Space Marine chapters.

Another artist I like is Dragonforce.  They remind me of Tau; their songs seem so much brighter and happier than many metal artist, even their darker ones like Fallen World.

Yngwie Malmsteen is not a particular favorite of mine, but is for some reason nostalgic and the reason I mentioned them.

Final Curtain reminds me of the desperate battle between the Imperial force ad Hive fleet Leviathan on Tarsis Ultra, in particular the final stand on the walls of Hive Erebus.

Damnation Game... I just really like, for some reason.

Battlelore also is an artist that has grown on me.  The fact that everything they write about is related to J.R Tolkien's world is intriguing. 

While a lot of their songs are fantastic, Dragonslayer sounds a bit... Orky, in a way.  But it's still a good song.

Last, but definitely not the least is Slashgore, possibly my top favorite artist.  This is the kind of music played by my Space Marine's choral squads, one of whom I showed at the top.

Brilliant.  Yeah.  I don't know what else I can say.

Other artists I like are Gregorian, Dragonland, Eisenfunk, Wings (?) and some others.  I also like the traditional benedictine chants, for obvious reasons.
And that's that.  Music from the dark millennium.


Sunday 7 December 2014

Overnight tramp up Mt Starevall

O-kaay.  I should have posted as soon as I got home, but I suppose two days isn't that much of a delay...  On Friday/Saturday I went on a tramp with an old friend of mine to the top of Mt Starevall.  I'll try to post a link to a map here but most people ought to know where it is.

We drove right through Aniseed valley and parked at the Hacket picnic area.  There's a patch of the river here deep enough to go bridge diving.  I did not.

It was interesting, I suppose, but there would be time for enough for a swim afterwards.  I think we started walking about ten to 11, if the time on the camera was anything to go by.

After about two hours walking along a boring mountain bike track and along the side of a river, we broke away from the pine forests and began actual hiking.

Oh yes, that is the Hacket hut, where we had lunch but did not stay.  And that's me, the long-haired spook.

Taking decent photos in native bush with a point-and-shoot without a tripod is extremely hard, but I did try.  I didn't get hardly any decent enough to post, because the climb suddenly turned very, very steep and all thoughts of cameras and such fled my mind.

We stopped for a break at a lookout of sorts, overlooking this.  I believe it's called Pyramid rock.

Until this.  Eventually we made it into the cloud layer and things began to get a lot more interesting.

Among other things, I found inspiration for a new way to paint white, but that was only a side thing, because--

LOOK at this, LOOK at it!  I thought I would never get the chance to take a photo like this-!!
It reminds me of that game "The Path" if you know it.  I liked that game.

We passed by where some trolls had lost their temper.  There were massive patches of wind damage scattered all over the place.

After four hours steep climbing through the same native bush, Starevall hut was a most welcome sight indeed.  Here we met a German who was tramping his way down the country.  Very keen-- not something I would be trying any time soon.

I was walking around the hut for a bit, and I felt a pecking about my feet.  We have chickens at home, so I thought nothing of it until I looked down-- it was actually a weka.  There were a total of three at one point, and they were so tame they would eat out of your hand and nick things out of your backpack if you let them.  I'm glad they don't learn like kea do.

They're also very hard to get a decent photo of.

I thought also to take a few photos of my miniatures while I was here.

I dispatched a seven-man devastator squad to escort my 7th chaplain across the wilderness.  This is actually the first time I have seen my miniatures under natural daylight and I was surprised.

Here's my 7th chaplain and his helmet bearer.

This reminds me of that scene from the Ultramarines movie.

Anyway, straying off-topic:  we stayed the night in the hut, proposing to set off about ten the next morning.

Instead we were all awake by half past seven, so we left at eight.  That slightly rounded peak in the middle was where we were aiming for.

This is more my kind of terrain.  Above the tree-line, there was little vegetation beside the tussock and lichens.

We carried on for so long we ended up in Lanaryuu province in north Hyrule.  No, really-- it was only about an hour from the hut to the summit.
And I kicked myself all the way home because I didn't get any photos of the peak; I was very glad my friend had his camera too, otherwise I'd still be kicking myself.

I was in the middle of taking my backpack off in this photo, it's not some trendy slip-shod way of wearing it.

On occasion, the cloud would clear enough to see the hut.  I zoomed right in and still it's hardly a speck.

The way down took half the time it did going up.  I suppose we were a total of forty hours on the mountain.

GOATS!  I only just managed to get my camera out and take this before they dashed into the bush.

We took a slight, thirty-minute detour on the way home to see the Whispering falls.  A creek appears to pass through a massive patch of moss, creating this magnificent display.  The path was covered in water, but there was no mud anywhere at all.

It was bigger than it looked.  note the fake MJ lean.

That was that.  This is the longest post I've done so far...  My legs are still recovering from the hammering they took on the way up.  I got a lot of inspiration for writing and painting and all sorts.  I don't think it would be my favorite tramp, though; Iron Hill up the Cobb valley takes that place-- but mt Starevall was still fantastic.