Tuesday 30 May 2023

This Means WAAAGH!

It's finally time for the Bad Moons (and associated clans) to march to Waaagh!

Matt and I were both breaking in new armies for 2nd Edition 40k (although technically, he had used his once before). We played a 1000 point game and both ended up drawing the Dawn Raid mission, which meant getting across the board.

I immediately regretted not having painted up a battlewagon.

My Ork horde for the battle would feature everything I had painted so far and my army list was as follows:

  • Ork Warboss (Kustom Shoota, Kustom Force Field, Power Fist)
  • Gretchin Battle Standard
  • Mekaniak (Kombi-Flamer)
  • Runtherd (Power-Fist)
  • Bad Moon Mob (9 Bolters, 2 Flamers, 2 Heavy Stubbers)
  • Goff Mob (Nob, 9 Skarboyz)
  • Deathskulls Mob (6 Missile Launchers, 2 Kustom Mega-Blasters)
  • Nobs Mob (3 Nobs, 1 with Power Fist)
  • Gretchin Mob (1 Autogun, 5 Autopistols, 6 Blunderbusses)
  • Squig Katapult

I lost the roll for deployment and decided to deploy in a big mob in the centre in order to benefit from my Warboss and the Battle Standard boosting the morale of the horde. They would move through the abandoned Mechanicus refinery to get cover from enemy shooting.

The Katapult and the Deathskulls would remain behind to hammer the enemy lines and also try to protect against any attempts to get units across the board.

Matt was breaking out his newly 3d printed army for an ancient grudge match. Enter the Squats...

I'm not exactly sure what he had in his army, but this is a pretty fair assessment:

  • Warlord in Exo Armour (the one with the shield)
  • Living Ancestor in Exo-Armour (level 4)
  • 2 Hearthguard (1 with bolter, 1 with plasma gun)
  • Thunderer Squad (3 Lasguns, 1 Plasma Gun, 1 Heavy Bolter)
  • Thunderer Squad (2 Lasguns, 1 Missile Launcher, 2 Lascannons)
  • Bike Squad (5 Bikes)
  • Weapon Team (Mole Mortar)

Matt deployed in cover, aiming to hold the line with heavy weaponry and psychic powers, whilst he deployed the bike deep, intending them to make a flank run towards the Ork deployment zone - which was actually his only option for completing the mission as Squats can't actually get across the board in 4 turns.

Gotta love 2nd edition.


Taking advantage of the Orks' Waaagh rule,  I took the first turn and the horde surged forwards, heading straight for the cover of the refinery.

Meanwhile, my heavy weapons laid down a barrage for the ages. The Squig Katapult took aim at one of the Thunderer squads and thanks to a fortunate scatter, the buzzer squigs landed smack dab on Squat Warlord and one of the warriors, killing the Warlord outright, despite him having the protection of exo-armour.

The last words heard from his comm-link were, "Not the bees!"

That had to sting.

Then, not to be outdone, and with nothing else really to shoot at, the Deathskulls opened up on the Mole Mortar crew. 8 frag missiles and 2 mega-blasts left nought but a smoking crater.


After withstanding punishing fire, bike engines roared to life and the bikers sped towards the flank, keeping the refinery between them and the Ork horde. Their mission was simple. Survive and get to the Ork deployment zone.

Meanwhile, the Squats returned fire, but were unable to register any telling blows, killing only a couple of screening Gretchin.

However, the Living Ancestor did succeed in summoning a force dome which obstructed the progress of the Bad Moon mob and slowed their overall advance.


With their path blocked, the Bad Moons were forced to move away from the rest of the horde, but the Warboss still urged the main body forwards, keeping himself and the Nobs safe behind the Gretchin cannon fodder.

The heavy weapons opened up again but were unable to make any real impact against the Squats.


With the main horde having passed them by, the Bikers saw the unprotected rear of the tightly packed Goffs and roared in the hurl grenades at them. However, a desultory series of explosions succeeded in only killing a single Ork.

On the plus side, the Biker on the other side of the crate took aim at the Katapult and killed a Gretchin, causing the other to flee.

Similarly, in what could be described as a hideous round of shooting, the entire Squat line opened up and managed to kill a single Gretchin...with a lascannon.


So far, things had been going well for the inaugural outing for the Orks. However, I was about to learn some very valuable lessons about being an Ork.

Orky Lesson 1: Don't stop to shoot.
The Bad Moons paused their advance to fire at the Squats to zero effect. A move that ultimately meant that they could no longer reach the Squat deployment zone. They should have either charged off to the empty flank, or charged towards the Squats to overwhelm them on turn 4.

Orky Lesson 2: Orks ain't all that in a fight.
The Goffs saw the opportunity to swarm the Bikers. To my inexperienced eyes, this looks like a good situation.

Indeed, the Orks did succeed in killing two of the Bikers, but did manage to lose the Nob and 3 of the Boyz in the process. Squats are tough.

Then, to add insult to injury the two out of control bikes roared through the Goffs, dispersing them and exploding, killing another 2. Fortunately the Goffs passed their leadership test, but had totally failed to stop the Bikers, who were still above half strength and able to complete the mission.


Orky Lesson 3: Pay attention to the cannon fodder
Aware of the the intact Thunderer Squad off to the right , I'd put the Gretchin in the open to ensure that the lascannons couldn't shoot up my Warboss and Nobz. However, I hadn't clocked that with the Bad Moons stopping to shoot, the Warboss was now the closest target in the open to the Squats directly in front of him.

Matt had clocked this and proceeded to shoot him with a plasma gun, a heavy bolter and two lasguns. The Kustom Force Field failed on the second hit and the Ork Warboss was ultimately felled by lasguns.

How embarrassing.

Meanwhile, the remaining Bikers carried on their merry way into the Ork deployment zone, still above half strength, and poured twin-linked bolter fire into the Deathskulls, killing two of them. 

Orky Lesson 4: Don't rely on Leadership 7.
The Deathskulls promptly failed their test and ran to hide behind the hill.


Orky Lesson 5: Get some transport
Even running every turn of the game, starting behind the Gretchin, the path through the refinery, and the delay caused by the Force Dome meant that I had no Orks capable of completing the mission.

The Gretchin could, but I was fully aware of what their survival chances were.

Therefore, the Bad Moons opened fire, literally. There flamers gushed their incendiary contents towards the Squats and, combined with bolter and stubber fire, frustratingly killed all but one of the squad in front of them.

However, not to be outdone. The Squats returned fire, with lascannons once again trained on the Gretchin, atomizing them. 

Additionally, the Living Ancestor managed to Dominate the Mek and make him pour flame all over his own troops, wiping out the Nobz.

Orky Lesson 6: Get a Weirdboy 
Although the Living Ancestor was curtailed by there only being one psychic die being rolled each turn, as with the Marines, this wasn't enough to fully stop him from doing whatever he wanted to and although he only successfully used three powers in the game, they were very significant.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the battlefield, the remaining Goffs chased after the Bikers and fired their bolt pistols, managing to kill one rider, causing it to crash into another, which then veer off into the Bad Moons.

They'd succeeded in stopping the Squats from completing their mission, but the failure of the Deathskulls to rally (all 300 points of them) meant that the battle was still lost.

Final Score: Squats 10 - Orks 6

Despite being a really fun game played with what we had rather than all the best stuff, there was definitely a turning point in the middle of the game, and I think that was when I stopped to fire with the Bad Moons. A lot of the other things that happened were just luck and that was affecting both of us.

If' I'd carried on running with the Bad Moons, I would have been able to secured another five points and possibly the Warboss would have been a bit more protected. The Deathskulls being 300 point unit failing two leadership tests was the nail in my coffin.

However, playing Orks is fun. I enjoy the randomness of the Katapult and Kustom Mega-Blasters, and knowing that even a lost fight is a good fight and so technically a win for the Orks.

I also now have a clearer idea of what I want to add to the army: a Weirdboy, a Battlewagon, more silly Gretchin weapons and a Dreadnought (just because).

In the grim darkness of my immediate future, there is definitely more WAAAGH!

Monday 29 May 2023

Kill It With Fire!

I'm still building up to the Battle of Marshport, the third scenario from the Lurkers From The Deep feature pack for 7TV. Completing the heroic cast required the addition of a Flamethrower, and the the villains needed me to conjure up one of the defining Lovecraftian eldritch horrors: a Shoggoth.

The Flamethrower team are Warlord Games metal models I picked up from eBay. I'm never massively impressed by Warlord's metal models, as I find them a bit spindly and awkward when compared with their plastics and other ranges like Crusader Miniatures and Artizan Designs.

However, they came in a pack of two, and I couldn't actually find any other US Army flamethrowers available that I liked better.

Painting was done exactly like the rest of the GIs but I found them faster and more enjoyable to paint. It could just be a numbers thing, but I do prefer painting metal to multi-part plastics. It could also be simply the fact that they are both kneeling and so there was proportionately less to do.

Anyway, my heroic cast for scenario 3 is complete and I definitely have a tine US Bolt Action force now, because Flamethrowers, according to Bolt Action gamers, were used in every engagement in World War II - often mounted in Jeeps and sent barrelling forwards towards the enemy.

"a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor,"

- H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

The formless horror that is the Shoggoth is one of the most iconic creatures in H.P. Lovecraft's work, possibly only behind the Deep Ones and the Big C himself in notoriety.

Although there are many companies that make excellent interpretations of the creature (including Crooked Dice), the whole 'formless' bit gave me an idea of how I could make one myself.

Hot glue.

My Shoggoth is simply hot glue squirted straight from the gun onto a resin base I had lying around and allowed to dry. Most illustrations of Shoggoths feature eyes, maws and tentacles which are simply some chaos bits (Screamer eyes and tendrils, Pink Horror mouths) I had left over pressed into the glue before it dried.

Painting is just a coat of Emperor's Children with a Baal Red wash and the details picked out. Shoggoths tend not to be depicted as pink, but I wanted mine to match other similar monstrosities I've done in the past as my Lost Faculty of Cryptobiology and Pseudoscience cast.

Overall, I'm really pleased with how this turned out and I'm not considering using similar techniques to make some Chaos Spawn for 40k using more leftover Daemon bits. Unfortunately, it doesn't count towards the Lead Mountain as I never considered the bits box as part of the problem.

Acquired: 71
Painted: 178
Lead Mountain: 493

Sunday 28 May 2023

Whips & Spikes

I've not painted anything Masters of the Universe related for some time. Partly this is due to me having done most of the models I wanted to complete as part of this project, and partly it's to do with official models hitting the market and sort of taking the shine off the whole thing.

It honestly just feels a bit less fun and exclusive now. I'm weird like that.

Anyway, I've had Whiplash and Spikor hanging around unpainted for over a year and Whiplash is the last of my 'must have' characters for the whole project, as it's the last of the He-Man toys my brother and I had.

Spikor, I'm less fussed about, but he was one of the characters who appeared in several episodes of the Filmation cartoon, so he's part of my sense of completeness.

Whiplash was one of my favourite villains. Not only was he among the cleverer of Skeletor's minions in the show, but the toy also had a rubber tail that flicked around when you twisted the spring-loaded torso. Cool.

I also really liked the lizard-man character design, something I've only just realised is a thing I thought was cool as a child. The Lizard and Killer Croc, enemies of Spider-Man and Batman respectively, are two of my favourite comic book villains, and I definitely had a soft spot for the Fighting Fantasy book Island of the Lizard King as one of my favourites of the range.

Painting was very straightforward. The body was done with Elysian Green and Loren Forest, washed with Agrax Earthshade and highlighted up. Kantor Blue was used for the 'boots' and trunks, with the metal done gold instead of the orange that appeared on the toy.

I've always felt Spikor was a bit lame. His 'power' is being covered in spikes he never uses (it's also unclear why his head is the same colour as his armour, and is only his head spiky?). He's the villainous version of Mekanek, but instead of having a neck that extended, his toy had a spring-loaded trident/fork in his wrist.

The design of Spikor is a bit all over the place, so I didn't feel too bad going off piste with him. Arguably, the Xereus purple I've used is too dark, and his belt and wrist were red rather than copper/brass, but I think he comes across a little more menacing with a darker palette.

I've still got a couple of MotU miniatures in the pile, but the project if definitely drawing to a close for me...unless, you know...it doesn't.

Getting these two painted balances the two miniatures that arrived this week to finish off the Heroes for the next Lurkers From The Deep scenario (more on that in the next post).

Acquired: 71
Painted: 175
Lead Mountain: 495

Monday 22 May 2023

Army Reserves

Having recently played the second scenario from the Lurkers from the Deep feature pack for 7TV, I've decided to not leave it so long before playing the next instalment. However, it does mean that there are number of things I needed to add to my collection before scenario 3, the Battle of Marshport, can begin.

First on the list of necessary additions were a handful of US Infantry. The scenario requires 2 squads of four men, 2 sergeants, an officer, a medic and a flamethrower. I had already painted an officer, a sergeant, a medic and 3 men a few years ago to accompany Captain America to a 7TV: Pulp event, meaning I still needed to paint another 7 models.

The models are all from a single sprue of Bolt Action US Infantry (just like the last lot) and once again I was reminded how fiddly multi-part plastic kits can be. This is not the best reminder given that I have about 25 Space Marines still sitting on sprue for my Horus Heresy army.

When it came to painting I needed to return to previous posts to try to guess what colour combinations I had used. I think I got it pretty much spot on (although there was a mistake with the webbing on one of them that needed correcting,

However, for some reason, the Agrax Earthshade I slopped over them at the end came out much darker than previously, and so I had to return to the jackets to highlight them up, and tendon the same with the original six models to get consistency in the unit.

I also needed to revisit the bases of the original models and add a more vibrant static grass as I had clearly run out of the stuff I use on the first batch of six.

Astute observers will have noticed that I still need to do a flamethrower, which is true and one is inbound as I type, but this means that the forces of law and order are now pretty much complete. However, before the next scenario can be played, the cultists of Dagon still need some reserves, in the gruesome form of a shoggoth, for which I am going to try something a bit creative.

Excitingly, this post also marks the Lead Mountain finally sneaking below the 500 models mark. A definite milestone.

Acquired: 69
Painted: 173
Lead Mountain: 495

Monday 8 May 2023


Tentacles. Nine of them.

These were printed for me by Matt, as we're reached the gates of Moria in the Quest of the Ringbearer campaign and these will be representing the Watcher in the Water.

They'll also, as you can see, be a nice addition as terrain for games of Carnevale. I'm amused by the idea of characters leaping across tentacles in the canal like James Bond does with alligators in Live and Let Die.

I did nothing special with painting these: base coat, wash and then highlight on the suckers. I've done the bases with green wash over white so that they fit with the Carnevale water tiles.

I did the water on the bases by using tissue paper and PVA. I'm quite happy with how this somewhat low tech effect has worked out.

I still need to do a head/body for the Watcher in the Water somehow, but I'm working on that.

As they're all individually based, these obviously count as separate models, which helps counteract that I can't help myself when I see a magazine with 'free' miniatures on the front. This time it was three Wargames Atlantic horses on the front of Miniature Wargames magazine.

Acquired: 69
Painted: 167
Lead Mountain: 501

Saturday 6 May 2023

Easy Rider?

In the spirit of finishing things off, I turned my attention to the only Judge Dredd miniature I currently have that wasn't painted in the last batch. Joe Dredd himself on his Lawmaster patrol bike.

The model is resin and came in two halves (front and back) with separate handlebars. The pieces went together reasonably well with a little bit of trimming, but there were some air bubbles and miscast elements on base of the back half and, more annoyingly, on the rear of the front section, so that they are actually visible. These are not major issues, but the casting is far from perfect.

The rider came in pieces and also had more issues putting together than the judges on foot, for example one of the arms came separate and I had to work to deal with quite a big gap between the shoulder pad and the body.

Additionally, this version of Dredd is a bit more spindly than the model on foot, although does have the same weird jutting jaw which although in character, ends up looking like he doesn't have a mouth. All in all, I like the model, but I feel it could have been better.

When it came to the painting, I used exactly the same approach as with the judges on foot and comic book colours make things easier, although I did do more highlighting as the flat surfaces needed something to liver them up.

I also took the time to give the Lawmaster a computer screen. I don't know whether it's supposed to be there, but given the bikes have A.I. it seemed to make sense. It also amused me to give it a monochrome screen suitable to what might have been considered high-tech in the early 80's.

Despite the flaws in the model, I am happy with how it's turned out. It certainly looks the part. It also feels like it would be fairly easy to duplicate my painting to make any more Lawmasters I get look consistent.

Once again, even if I don't play the Judge Dredd: I Am The Law very much, have Dredd on a Lawmaster increases the likelihood of me using him in 7TV:Apocalypse games.

In other news, Pete has kindly given me six plastic US troops to make the missing models I need for the next Lurkers From The Deep scenario, so I'll be getting on with them soon.

Acquired: 66
Painted: 158
Lead Mountain: 507