Monday 27 June 2016

Further distractions: some Skitarii

Once again I find myself starting something new while all my other half-finished projects look on in dismay.  Mechanicus!  Trailing pipes and ripped open faces have always appealed to me;  I've wanted to kitbash some horrendously mutilated humans-- Astartes didn't count-- but have only now gained enough courage to get myself a box of skitarii.  A while ago I made a version of Anacharis Scoria and I believe that prompted me.
I must say, the sprues are very pretty to look at, the detail is amazing!  But...

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with NOTHING.

...I was a little disappointed, I'm afraid, at the lack of effects...  parchments, icons, hanging skulls... the Imperium by default are a superstitious bunch and the children of Mars are no exception by a long shot; I know the skitarii are simply vat-grown bastards of the Machine, but surely their masters would grant them at least some incense in an attempt to appear holy...?

*sigh* It seems to be the way that GW is going now, I don't know if it is because people have just been leaving them off or they're trying to push a cleaner, tidier future look.  Throne forbid!  That's why I don't do Tau.

Works in progress
... Sorry, rant over.  Right now I'm experimenting with how far is far enough as far as kitbashing goes-- if it only means I can cross it later.  I don't think I'll be building admech seriously with everything else I'm doing, but the good fellows on the G+ 40K community have told me I can run them canonically with Imperial Knights, which I also hope to be collecting at a later point in time.

Here's a fun thing; I had a half-hearted attempt at a flayed skin hood.  Stretching the greenstuff as opposed to rolling it flat leaves it a bit thin but nicely textured.

A cultist's head and a DE hellion body seem to do the job
 Turns out that necron calves on Tau thighs make halfway decent skitarii legs, too, if you want to make both the rangers and the vanguard from the one kit.

These are only placeholder arms for shaping the cowl, but I can't help but leave them, they rather suit the backwards nature of the skitarii...

So that's a thing!  In the future I might be running admech along with IKs, that ought to be fun.  It opens a world of kitbashing opportunities and some very pretty models to paint.  I look forwards to it... after finishing the grey tide slowly creeping across my desk!

Ah, I promised you a painted model last post... here we are, BAM--

He's got paint on him, has he not?

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Short story: White Rose 'wakens, part 2

This is a two-part story.  Here's part 1 if you missed it.


'Why... why are you here, Separo?'  The renegade scrabbled for desperate comfort against the wall as his assailant approached him with regal piety in his long, elegant stride.  A rubber rebreather left his face and the scion of Silenzi looked mockingly down at the floundering, legless renegade.
'Father called me, and I answered.' His hand returned to one of the three still-grumbling chainblades on his hip, 'take your axe and get up quickly, quickly!  Let's end this before my patience proves thin.'

Snarling in indignation and masked pain, the renegade dragged his body upright-- as best he could-- increasing weakness filled him as his blood fled through his leg stumps.
'You can't even stand,' Sir Silenzi noted unhelpfully, 'this won't do at all.  Thrice-born waste of time, why bother anymore?' the chainblades stilled at his touch and he turned away with a spiteful, 'find me when you have legs again and we will finish this.'

'You're not Separo.  You can't be.'
The monster of the Imperium drove her battle cannon deeper into the smoking neck of her foe, who struggled but was pinned to the ground so could not rise.  'You're not Separo, who are you, to wear his plate-- but his whore?  You have no honour, you won't remember me!  You're his whore, you're that Francisique!'
The White Rose uttered a voiceless noise in response, one of utter fury-- but her stance slackened-- Brass and Blood caught his roaring chain weapon under her cannon and cast her to one side as auto-systems fought with his mind to find his feet.  Missiles sang.  Shrieking noise.  The renegade took a bounding step back, filling the air with shot that carved great furrows into the pied and ochre plate of the Silenzi titan-- tearing with ease-- blithe ease through the sheets of hurricane netting where plate should have been and casting sparking smoke up from her body-- she forgot her void-shields!  Brass and Blood laughed a sickening laugh as the White Rose danced awkwardly beneath his withering fire, bathed in flames and staggering, stumbling-!
'You can be my whore, Francisique!' he shrieked, 'deny me Separo, indeed!  You will have to do!'
His eye cast up and saw the creaking tabernacle strapped to the Silenzi titan's back.  A monument to some dead relative?  It would be better gone.  Uplfted the screaming cannon began to spin again.

'... you can be my whore...!'

Ceramite and tiles shattered before the murderous touch but his attention had faded a moment, and like a lance the silenzi titan had caught him in the neck again.  Another mechanical noise of fury, and the wasted ruin of a heavy stubber began to bark into the renegade's eyes-- putting them out.  Brass and Blood screamed in agony and shore the battle cannon in half-- he tore from the White Rose but the last thirty feet of the weapon still stuck like an iron arrow from his neck-- rendered blind, he now was compelled to rely on the depthless machine eyes upon his missile pod and his own rust-caked stubber.
For a minute skilless blows were parried and the stump of the cannon was knocked aside as it was brought again to bear.  This whore didn't even know how to fight, pathetic wretch!  Even her brats-- had she any-- would wear their titan shells to greater effect than this!
Where was the honour in this?
... And who bloody cares now?  Brass and Blood smiled again and drew out his stance.  Honourless, yes, but all it would take but a blade to the knee or the ankle.  The blade swung back to strike.

And the White Rose closed, bringing her chainblade shrieking down into his shoulder and crashing her faceless mess of piping into his chest.
Normally so close, there would next ensue a horrible war between void-shields, but the lady had forgotten hers so Brass and Blood already had an upper hand...  But now he found he couldn't move.  Of all things, the Silenzi titan had planted her foot upon his-- but he couldn't see this, and how he struggled!  One arm pinned and useless, the other whose arc was now out of range...
'Check,' he spat.  Missiles were out of the question.  Were they now to leap upon the backs of their war machines with blade and pistol?

The lady seemed to think so, for the blood-soaked mesh across the yawning hatch peeled back and she crawled out, lugging behind her nothing more than Separo's chainswords.
'You have legs!' Brass and Blood heard her thin voice for the first time, 'you can finish this now.  Come!  Seppo grows impatient!'

Oddly enough, that day heralded the first time lady Banquo took a life.  From her soft life of comfort she was torn and now all she knows is anger and death.  The limbless body of that noble traitor to the house now swings from the White Rose's battle cannon, flies picking at his crumpled body as he watches mute horror the destruction she wreaks for her cause.  His knight, they took it and threw it into the blackest depths of the world where none could find it again; his shame, though, surpasses the pain he endures now, for he mocked an Imperial child of Silenzi-- and her temper is fragile.


So that's that!  A fairly abrupt conclusion I suppose, but titan battles are a bit difficult to write about, seeing as things take so long for them to accomplish.

Slightly off-topic, the middle image is about the extent of my skill with citadel paints on card.  The variableness one can achieve with the thickness is nice-- drybrushing and wet-blending with the same medium, fancy that!

Hopefully next time I might have some painted miniatures to show.  My desk's a bit of a mess right now and I'm still experimenting with a new method of basing...

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Short story: White Rose 'wakens, part 1

They had seen a god once before, and to see another, like this and so soon, what did it mean?  Was the end of days upon them?  It did not walk screaming from the hanger doors of the distant palace had the other at the first; this one had torn a hole in the mildewy hangings of the sky and had fallen upon the hive with death under its feet.  Thousands were injured in the earthquake and maybe five times that number were dead now and the god had not even SPOKEN yet, what horror visits Brillig now?  With a great hand clutching with roaring fingers into the rockcrete basillicum of the outer hive it drew a horrible chain weapon back to its waist, and with a thousand deafening noises drove it into the body of the stack, ripping out hundreds of hab-blocks into the eradiated, outside air with a flick of the blade.
Then its mouth opened and death was all it said.

There was no resistance anymore-- the available PDF (poor fools!) had meekly surrendered to the billowing clouds of plasma spoken form the awful maw and now they were all scrabbling at their melted bones with bubbling, hollow cries for help venting from hissing lungs.  The god gave voice a murderous laugh and stood upon them, reveling in the noise they made in spite of his own.  Hive Acapella would be his before the sluggish sun fled the sky-- and then, another.
Another god.  Two gods, and neither were that first god they knew.  That first one was green and black-- this one was brass and blood with many faces and a whirling cannon that spat a hurricane of fire in a heedless, maddening whirl of chaos.  Chaos?  Do not speak to me of that word!  I know what these gods are, they are not at all gods, tell me no different!  They are men-- MORTAL men-- sitting within suits of ceramite, do you not understand?  Just like our beloved Loman Silenzi, are they are but the same as he?
The mortals in suits of ceramite knew of our Silenzi and turned upon the distant hill were slumped his palace, skittering down the hive-stack and wading through the filthy outskirts with wild sweeps of their awful weapons that killed thousands of undeserving bodies as if they were nothing.  Whatever could stop their march?  Sir Silenzi was not here-- he was gone-- gone, with the sons of his house (those at least that remained).  He had left many of his family within those palace walls and behind three walls of stone, each a mile high and encompassing the hill all about, but would that be enough to stop these titans?



'You have seen them?'
'Yes, M'lady Banquo,' the elderly maid trembled, dropping the pict-slate she had held with a crack upon the floor.  The faded curtain she faced tore open a little and a bony hand reached out of the darkness, along with a taut, 'show me.'
'I can't madam.  I can't.  I can't.'
The curtain parted completely, the lady Banquo gathered her dresses in the other hand and rose from the couch.  Her low voice shivered as she spoke.
'Did you get word to Loman?  He should be here, not on his crusade.  He should be here.'
the chamber-maid's head shook stiffly and she hid her face in a 'kerchief.  The lady cast her matted locks over her shoulders and trailed out the chamber door into the dark hallway, followed by the shivering maid and a gradual build-up of terrified servants.  In the shadows, all were weeping for their lives, helpless before the doom they now heard-- they heard thumping, thumping, thumping, thumping towards the end of time, thumping, now without the outer gates-- thumping, THUMPING--
'Seppo, Seppo!'  The lady cast her hands over her ears and ran with her veiled face to the floor, 'Seppo, wake up, where are you?  Seppo!' but her lover would never answer her.  She was left alone, all alone in a doomed palace...
'Madam, the White Rose is still here.'
'Why do you tell me this?' a shivering tech-priest blocked her way, weeping with empty hands upstreched to her in childish hope of maternal comfort.
'The White Rose,' he repeated, 'it hasn't moved since Sir Loman went away.'
'But Seppo said--'
'Help us, madam.  I don't wat to die.'
Then before her, amid the distant thumping, thumping-- the little tech-priest whose name she did not even know produced a plasma cutter and shore his throat open, choking to death at her feet.
'Celli,' the chamber-maid appeared at the lady's side after a minute, 'where do the titans sleep?  I don't know where they are.  Show me.'


The outer wall had parted willingly under their tread and now the two titans closed the miles of dust between them and the middle wall.  There were guns on that wall but they did not care much for them.  They were pitifully short-ranged for all their size.
'What shall we do now?' Green and Black asked Brass and Blood.
'The palace is the greatest concern.' came the gleeful reply.
'But it is nothing to us.  Let us climb the walls and break down the little roofs on top.'
'I'm looking for somebody.' Brass and Blood thought a moment before carrying on, 'he asked me to be here.'
'Why then am I here?'
'Because you may need to help.  You were there and I besought you, did I not?'
Green and Black did not answer.  Had guilt struck him?  Perhaps he was wondering who that "somebody" was.
Thumping, thumping.  It was not their own.
'Do I hear your Somebody?'  he said shortly.
'Perhaps,'  Brass and Blood crashed its cannon over the blade and shook the rubble from its teeth, 'Ah!  Who is this?'

Another titan rose to meet them over the hillock, an umber titan whose joints shrieked with inhuman pain every grinding step across the dust.  It had no face.  Bodies chained across the hull shuddered in the glassy wind and bled across sheets of hurricane netting.
'Knight Silenzi!' Brass and Blood called out in a voice that shattered the glass in the palace distant, 'Who are you?'
The faceless knight could not speak, so did not answer.  Brass and Blood was about to call out again when Green and Black halted him with his great hand.
'Stay!  I know this knight!'
'And so?'  Retorted the other, 'quick, he approaches!'
'I fought with him under the Eye, I saw him fall, I saw his death!'
'We are not like our princeps,' Brass and Blood mocked, 'We never die.  We cannot.'
Ancient photoreceptors could now make out closer detail on this newcomer titan, the snarling gargoyles dripping with rusted chain and the brass rose icons growing across the cannon and blade.  Green and Black hung his head.  He remembered it all.
'I cannot fight him.'
'Cannot?  WILL not?'

The ground recoiled beneath their feet as a shot exploded under Brass and Blood, who stumbled and dropped to one knee.  Green and Black turned away with a cry-- and all this granted him was a chainblade in his back.  He shrieked and shrieked as the awful teeth ground down to his midriff-- plasma whistled into gas-- blood rained-- and the freeblade boiled away into a screaming mess of molten ceramite as his reactor gave up its illusion of a ghost with the force of a miniature sun.  Brass and Blood cursed the knight and cursed the explosion that turned him over upon his back and blinded him with an almost solid, burning smoke.
He saw the knight who killed his sell-sword turn.  A cannon, three times the length of his own drove into his neck and pinned him down.  The radiation-blasted wind carried away the dead titan and a little of the smoke with it, and the faceless titan looked down with pitiless, eyeless malice upon her fallen enemy.
Blood and Brass smiled an faint grin beneath his carapace of ceramite.
'You are not him, are you?' he hissed.  '...Who are you then?'
He turned his head and saw the image of a White Rose upon the pauldron-- and the smile left him.


June 23rd: I've finished part 2!  Please read them in order.

Well now, that was a thing!  The story is loosely based on the first time I got the White Rose into battle-- I spoke of it in this post here, somewhere towards the end.  Both drawings are mine, the photo has a John Blanche image in the background.  I like doing that.
Not sure why I imagined Brass and Blood to be a massive grin under a nazi tin hat...
Part two will be published shortly.  What'll happen next, will Brass and Blood gain his feet again?  Will the fight drag on or...?  Throne I'm terrible at hype...  hee hee, never mind!  This short story thing is fun!  Bye bye for now.

Saturday 11 June 2016

Hobby update: Watercolours and motorcycles on legs

Hallo again.  Been a bit of a rough patch of late, but it'll pass soon enough, I'm sure.  I hope this last while you didn't think I'd given up on the hobby!  No!  I've found time to get a few things done, start yet another-nother project and find a new pastime.

Firstly, look what I picked up at the 2nd hand bookshop!  Funny enough I don't actually know what edition this is... 3rd?  It looks a lot more fun than current rules-- despite the lack of flyers-- you also get so much backstory, and it's all quite dark in comparison to nowadays.  I feel prompted to write another "rambling thoughts" post.

Venerable Chaplain Heilagr

Also, a few chaps I finished painting in the last while.  They're on Flikr if you want to see a nice rotation. And better lighting.

Here's a pretty thing.
At first I didn't really know if the Sagodjur Fjorlag were going to have bikers in their midst.  Being 2nd founding, "bastard"Chapter and all that, plus the fact that I haven't found any bike-related 30K information-- it's all been jetbikes.  But then I thought, what if they saw the bikes of other Chapters and wanted to make some of their own?  What'd they look like?

So I got a WoC horse, a CSM bike and a flagellant and there we go.  More pictures to come once he's completed.

Nothing major here, but I was just pleased with the way his hair went and I wanted to share it.

Through the looking-glass; d'you know that Symphony X song?
And finally, on a slightly unrelated note, I have taken up watercolours as a thing now.  Once I read John Blanche uses-- or used at some point-- proper citadel paint for his artwork, and let me tell you, it's jolly fun to work with, 'specially watered down a fraction!  The inconsistencies in the card really help with the look, too.

So that's that.  Quite a few things done; I'm getting a short story ready for next Wednesday too.
Bye bye for now.