Tuesday 18 July 2023

The Ancient Menace

Our adventures in 2nd Edition 40k have already taken me down some unexpected routes, not least starting an Ork army to add to my Daemons and Blood Angels. However, when you already have three armies for an obscure game you rarely play, what's a fourth between friends?

Enter the Necrons...

These six models are part of the original range of metal Necrons that were released in 1998 alongside some accompanying White Dwarf articles detailing an army list that included a grand total of four units: the Necron Lord, Necron Warriors, Necron Destroyers and Scarabs. There was also a Necron Immortal model released around the same time but I suspect that it didn't get rules as 3rd edition came along shortly afterwards. 

The Necron Warriors cam in six sculpts, of which I currently have three. However, they do give you a pretty good feel for the range as it appears that the other sculpts were basically these guys with their heads in different positions.

I approached painting them in the same way I did the single modern Necron a couple of months back: Leadbelcher base, wash with Agrax Earthshade and pick out details with Brass Scorpion. The green pits were picked out in white and washed liberally in Hexwraith Flame.

I quite like mixing the original models with a more modern aesthetic for the Necrons.

These tiny models are Scarabs and actually fight as individuals rather than as a swarm. This has the potential to hand an awful lot of points to the opponent in certain missions, however, at Toughness 8 with the ability to leap 16" over terrain, they might prove difficult to hunt down effectively.

In game they latch on to enemy vehicles and reduce their armour values, making the vehicles more susceptible to the Gauss rifles of the Necron Warriors. Against some opponents I can imagine they'll be really annoying. Against others, such as the Tyranids, they'll be best left at home.

The Destroyer is my favourite model of the bunch, partly due to the casually reclined Necron piloting it, who for some reason reminds me of the 80s cult sci-fi classic 'Battle Beyond the Stars'.

Destroyers provide the speed, manoeuvrability and punch of the army, but will still need help from the Scarabs to be able to effectively deal with enemy vehicles.

It's quite a heavy chunk of metal an balancing it on an old-style flight stand was no easy feat. I only have one more of those bases, so unless I can lay my hands on some more, I may well transfer it to something more stable at some point.

Added to my existing not-Necrons that I painted a while back, I have a fair sized force developing. I need to work out what the other models will count as. The smaller walkers can probably work as proxy Necron Warriors, and I think I'll see if I can use either Eldar War Walkers or Space Marine Dreadnoughts as a basis on which to convert a profile for the larger walkers to be 2nd edition Tomb Spiders.

I received another five Necron Warriors in the post last week that are currently siting in a Dettol bath, and so the army should start to grow fairly soon. I'm keeping a close eye on eBay for affordable lots to try to snap up and add to the army. There seem to be plenty of old Necron available, just not always at a price I'm will to pay.

The trickiest model to get hold of will be the Necron Lord and I may need to splash out for that one when an undamaged version shows up.

Acquired: 81
Painted: 199
Lead Mountain: 483

Sunday 16 July 2023


Have I mentioned that some of Crooked Dice's 'beastmen' accidentally do a more than serviceable impression of the the Thundercats and their enemies? 

What are the chances? 

This week I finally got round to finishing off the characters I've not done. Namely, the Thunderkittens (which sounds like a 90s girl group) Wilykit and Wilykat, and Lion-O's nanny/pet Snarf.

These are all really nice sculpts, but a bit small, and since my magnifying lenses broke and I haven't replaced them yet, I had more of a struggle with these that I would have expected.

Wilykit is posed on her hoverboard. In the original cartoon they were actually referred to as spaceboards, and it makes for quite a dynamic model. However, due to her very pale skin, she's ended up looking a little ill, almost zombie-like, which I'm less keen on. 

I'm happier with her clothes and I really like to contrasting colours. It's also interesting to note that in comparison to the Masters of the Universe characters I've painted, this asymmetric design prevents the cost cutting flipping of cells that was done in the He-Man cartoons.

I feel like I've done a much better job on painting Wilykat, perhaps because his sculpt is a little less delicate and his skin colour is a bit more natural. I'm particularly pleased that, given the state of my eyesight, I haven't messed up the piping on his outfit.

Amusingly, although I'm happier with the painting, I'm less keen on the pose. I'd have preferred them to both be quite dynamic, and the flat hoverboard surface is a bit of a blank space. I suppose I could have put a central line in to indicate panels, as they did in the cartoons, and if it bothers me enough, I may still do it.

At least the different poses offer some differentiation between their characters, something that the cartons never really did.

The Snarf mini is a little bit more of  departure from the design of the original, specifically the whiskers don't cover the mouth. I think this might be because it's hard to get the necessary points of different on what is essentially a cat.

However, it is a very well defined miniature and was the easiest of the three to paint, with most of the mini being done in contrast paints.

I was never a massive fan of Snarf's whiny voice. I know they were putting him in the Cringer role from He-Man, but it wasn't endearing, just annoying. In the redone series in 2011 they took his voice away altogether and made him just a pet, which was an improvement.

However, this represents a project completed unless I decide to try to track down miniatures for some of the more obscure characters like Safari Joe, Hachiman or Ninja. They should be fairly easy to find something suitable for given that they are essentially a big game hunter, a samurai and...well...a ninja. I might also pick up a Thundertank as there are a couple of STLs knocking about on the internet.

I still need to think about putting together some 7TV profiles for the characters, although I will definitely need to think about getting more villains to balance things out. I also had a play with making some Pulp City cards for them, so I might see if I can root those out for a game.

Acquired: 81
Painted: 193
Lead Mountain: 489

Saturday 8 July 2023

Red Hot

I've not played or thought about The Horus Heresy for a while, but my recent 40k distractions have made me look towards the last sprue of Marines that I had left from last year, which I had planned to convert into some Angels Tears (available from Forge World for the bargain price of a kidney and your first born child).

However, I've not been able to find some helmets that work for my idea and Pete painted up a VERY scary Land Raider Spartan, and so I went back to my original plan of putting together a Tactical Support Squad with meltaguns.

I've now got a definite system for painting Blood Angels, and so I really didn't need to think too much about putting these together. The only noticeable difference with this unit are the meltaguns. I've made the muzzles a copper/brass colour to make them more identifiable on the table top, and I've had a bit of a play with washes to try to imitate heat discolouration of the metal. I'm not sure it's worked, but it has made the guns look a bit charred, so I'm okay with it.

My approach to painting the Blood Angels has ended up as quite a slow process and so getting through even five is more of a chore that I'd like it to be. Unfortunately, to keep things consistent, I have to continue to in the same way.

To try and speed things up I have taken to attaching the weapons and shoulder pads during the painting process rather than after. It does mean that the details on this unit are perhaps not as well done as the earlier units, but not enough that you'd really notice.

There are couple of things I'm not overly impressed with in this unit. Firstly, I had a real issue trying to match up the weapons with the arms, and so some of the wrists are a bit off if you look closely. Secondly, the transfers really don't sit flat. I really should invest on some of that Microsol/Microset stuff, or learn to freehand the Blood Angels symbol, as the transfers really let the models down.

Since taking these photos, I've touched up the worst bits with Mephiston Red to improve things a little.

I'm still okay with this unit, it's just not my best. Although these are the last of the Marines I bought last year, I did get another box of 20 Mark IV Tactical Marines for my birthday, and so there's plenty still to go at for the Horus Heresy. However, I don't really need more Tactical Squads, and so I'm looking at options to turn at least some (if not all) of them into something a bit more assault focused - which would definitely suit the Blood Angels style more.

Acquired: 76
Painted: 190
Lead Mountain: 487

Monday 3 July 2023

Scream For Me

I mentioned in a previous post that I was running out of change-based puns, and the same is true of ones related to screaming...for Screamers...get it?

This time I've gone for a deep cut from the first X-Men movie because the others that I thought of would probably bring the wrong sort of traffic to the blog.

Anyway, I've done another Screamer...

Every time Games Workshop release a new edition of a game, it always involves a bit of rejigging for each army I have for the game. Fortunately, for my Tzeentch Daemons, 10th edition simply required the addition of this chap.

The reason for this is that they've simplified the way points work in the game and (for the most part) set costs for units based on the number that come in a typical box, which seems fairly sensible. However, for people like myself who take the opportunity to squeeze extra models out of kits, it presented a tiny issue - namely, I had 8 Screamers and the come in boxes of 3.

Admittedly, you don't have to field units in exactly the numbers listed and I could have still fielded my Screamers as two units of four or a unit of 3 and a unit of 5. However, I would still have had to pay the points for nine.

Therefore, I needed an extra model and the cheapest way to do this was to pick up an old metal sculpt of eBay. The reason it was cheaper was that it came without a tail, however, I still had plastic tails left over from building the others and so it was a simple fix.

I painted the new Screamer exactly the same as I'd done the previous ones, using Caledor Sky, Drakenhof Nightshade and Blue Horror and a series of washes and dry brushes. It was all rather simple.

Here it is next to one of it's plastic brethren and although the model does hold less detail, the most noticeable differences are the fact that the metal sculpt doesn't have eyes and the fact that I've decided to give it pink gums. I think it will fit in perfectly fine.

The only other issue is that due to the fact that it uses an old flying stand peg, it sits a little lower than the rest, but this just means that it will sit alongside them more easily.

My Blood Angels need a little bit of looking at too, however the only necessary change is a weapon swap on the Company Champion in the Command Squad. However, due to the way pints now work, I should also add Hunter Killer missiles to my vehicles and give most of my Death Company Thunder Hammers or Power Fists. However, that might be too much work for a game I only play intermittently. They're not unplayable without those upgrades...they're probably just rubbish.

Acquired: 76
Painted: 185
Lead Mountain: 492