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September 30, 2008

My Deathwing Assault Force

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Following on the heels of my recent article about Chaos Terminators, here's a peek into my collection of Deathwing Terminators. This collection includes models from the original box of eight lead models, the original assault Terminators sold in blister packs, the pewter Deathwing specific Terminators, and the newest plastic models. The photo above is of my heavily converted Terminator "command squad" containing a banner and Apothecary model. The whole squad sits upon detailed "urban" basing, a theme I used for all the bases in the force. My Dark Angel army was done as a successor chapter and I've tweaked the color scheme in places throughout the army from the "official" GW scheme. The main color used to paint this force was a mixture of a full jar of Skull White and about half a jar of Bleached Bone. This gave me the very light ivory off-white color I wanted. I've also given my characters names of my own choosing, even the special characters. I also tried to return to the tribal theme GW used to emphasize for the Dark Angels army and I've not only used most of the feathered upgrade bits they give you now on the plastic frames, but I've added feathers gathered from other model ranges. My names are all animal names, mostly but not exclusively birds.

To start this brief visual tour of the army, which thematically comprises seven squads of Terminators, one Master of the Deathwing, one Terminator Chaplain, a Land Raider Crusader and a Dreadnought, I'll start with my Master of the Deathwing conversion, built from the current metal Terminator Captain model. By adding the banner and boosting him up on a piece from the rare Urban Basing Kit, I've visually disguised the fact that he's a wee bit smaller than the newer plastic Terminators.

Next is a close-up of the Apothecary conversion. The head, all the medical equipment bits, the light on top and the caduceus-like pattern on the chainfist were taken carefully from a pewter Apothecary Space Marine model.

My Terminator Chaplain is a dark and wicked looking fellow, a true Dark Angel type:

Here's a close-up of some classic models so that you can see the earliest version of some still current weapons. This includes the original Cyclone Missile Launcher, Thunderhammer & Stormshield, Heavy Flamer and Assault Cannon. Note the little shield over the now tiny Assault Cannon.

Here's a peek at the unique squad markings of each squad in the force:

Months before GW announced they were making an all plastic Land Raider Crusader I decided to build one myself through conversion. The Multi-melta, Hurricane Bolters and Assault Cannons are all plastic on the model shown below. Note the custom crew shield on the Multi-melta. I also painted the inside of this model and the front doors can be opened.

My Venerable Dreadnought was built using the old metal Dark Angel Dreadnought and plastic arms from the current multi-part plastic kit. Note that his close combat weapon is one of the iconic symbols of the Dark Angels, a sword.

So who has tales to tell about their own Deathwing or other Terminator force in games? Have many of you tried fielding an all or near all Terminator army and what do you think of the concept? Leave your stories and comments below. As always, questions and request for hobby tips are welcome.

Oh, and I'll leave you with a teaser. What GW model is partially shown below? Warning, wrong answers may force a "perils-of-the-warp" test!

Interview With Gav Thorpe

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As many of you already know, Gav Thorpe worked for Games Workshop for many years and was heavily involved in the writing and development of a lot of the game rules we are using today in Warhammer 40,000. Gav left GW earlier this year for other pursuits. For those interested in hearing his latest take on his time at GW and what he's up to these days, there's a new interview with him at
The Gaming Kingdom.

Tuesday Odds and Ends

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Hi folks, a couple of quick things on a slow Tuesday.

First Mkerr is back from his long weekend concert and up to old armylist tricks. head on over to the Flywire and check out his latest creations. I think he's brewing up something with Pedro Cantor this time.

Second, in honor of the world's economic meltdown, I've finally gotten around to adding the GW stock ticker to the right hand column as yet another fun widget for you all to play with.

~Now, back to your regular discussions...

September 29, 2008

NEWS: GW Canada Announces Price DROP

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Read all about it!

~As with any conversations involving pricing, keep it under control folks... Deep breaths, you can do it :)

My Chaos Terminator Invasion

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For me, Warhammer is all about the models and few models have inspired the collecting instinct in me more than Terminators. Let's face it, they are really cool looking models, so much so that even if they had little impact in games I'd still collect them. Original one-part plastic, lead, pewter, and now plastic again, I've collected hordes of them and painted them in a variety of schemes. Jes Goodwin created the look of Tactical Dreadnought Armor years ago during the Rogue Trader era and to me, the man's an artistic genius and I have a soft spot for nearly anything he has designed or sculpted. Anything he touches looks great. I have a bunch of the new Chaos Terminator plastics in boxes not even assembled yet thanks to the roughly 47% discount on the Chaos Doombringer Annihilation force bundle deal. My Chaos Marine army is an ongoing hobby project that never ends. Now without further delay here's a sampling of my Chaos Terminator collection. Each picture has a description. You can see larger versions of the pictures by clicking on the small versions shown with the text below.

This first picture shows my Khorne and Slaanesh themed Terminators. The Khorne models are the original lead Chaos Terminators, the first produced by GW. Note the look of the original Heavy Flamer and what was then an Assault Cannon. I recently upgraded their bases and added the Khorne icon to make them fit better with my newer models. The Slaanesh Terminators are heavily converted using the 2nd generation pewter models. I've used a lot of heads, tails and tentacles plus a few sonic weapon conversions. With the removal of Terminator sonic weapons from the current Chaos Marine Codex, the double-barrelled sonic weapons make good Slaanesh looking Reaper Autocannons.

This next picture shows my Nurlge and Tzeentch conversions, both done from the 2nd generation pewter Chaos models. The Nurgle squad has a lot of putty, head swaps, and other conversions added while the Tzeentch squad, not quite done being painted yet, has tabard, head and some weapon conversions. The Tzeentch squad has ten models in it, but I've only shown once since painting is not done yet.

Here are some Terminators I built using the Forge World upgrades and lots of bits from the Chaos Possessed, Chaos Terminator Lord and Chaos Spawn sprues. I can't wait to see these painted and I hope to get to them soon. Note that I've built the icons on poles to be removeable for ease of transport.

Finally, here's about half of my Chaos Terminators in my personal renegade legion colors. These are pewter with occasional head swaps from other models. I didn't want to paint my legion black, but I wanted it really dark, so I used GW's Deadly Nightshade which was an extremely dark blue color they used to make. I now use Necron Abyss when adding models to the army.

After reading this article to this point it won't surprise you to know that I also have seven squads of Deathwing Terminators in my Dark Angels army and they also comprise the lead, pewter and plastic model ranges. I'll endeavor to photograph those soon.

So how many of you out there also love Terminators? Who else out there collects them madly? Do you love them for their looks, for their in-game punch, or both? What kind of Terminators do you collect and for what armies? Will you be more likely to build Space Marine Terminator Assault Squads now that they get a 3+ save from Storm Shields? Let's hear from the community and remember, if you think I can help, questions asking for quick hobby tips are always welcome. Let's grow the hobby together!

CHALLENGE: Pimp My Night Lords

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~2nd image taken by 5-year old Littlered and attached at the insistance of Mrs.Red (she who must not be crossed)

Hi all,

Remember last week when I said I was working on a new expansion to my excessivly large Death Guard forces. Well here they are; an ancient Night Lords army that has been in Mkerr's closet unloved for years. I've dusted them off, sat down with the new CSM codex, and picked up the x-acto blade, superglue, and brush.

One of the challenges I most enjoy in this hobby, is inheriting an old "Bad News Bears" army and bringing them into the here and now with a good round of re-basing, touchups, weapon swaps, and bulking up and expanding them with current models.

Why the Night Lords? Because they are psychotic criminals in power armor of course. Of all the Index Astartes articles describing the traitor legions, I always enjoyed the tales of Mortarion and Conrad Kurze the most. Whenever I need really dastardly villians in campaigns I'm writing, its Night Lords straight away.

So far, I've re-armed and expanded the terminator squad, fixed the raptor squad, and added a handful of heavy weapons to fill in some rough spots. Here is where you guys come in. I think a cool concept would be for you all, our readers to get to boss me around a bit instead of always hearing me bleat away. I'm going to list what I have and challenge you to design the perfect 2000pt list (in keeping with the Night Lords fluff) using only the following:

1) The existing models
2) Simple bits swapout of basic and special weapons if needed (things like flamers, plasma, icons, etc)
3) Up to $100 of new models

I will leave it up to you guys to rearrange models, redefine squads, add wargear, and reason with each other and revise the suggested lists until several of you agree that the last proposed list in this thread is pretty good.

Now you see the Night lords are also a good fluff army as you can feel free to use any marks of chaos you see fit, these nasty pieces of work aren't choosy.

The Night Lords Roster

Chaos Lord (plasma pistol, on foot)
Chaos Lord (plasma pistol, jump pack)
Chaos Sorceror (on foot)

Chaos marines (12)
Flamer, meltagun
Champion (powerfist or lightning claw)

Chaos marines (12)
Champion (powerweapon)

Chaos Havocs (10)
autocannon(x2), missile launcher(x2)
Champion (powerfist or lightning claw)

Chaos Havocs (10)
lascannon(x2), heavybolter(x2)
Champion (powerweapon)

Raptors (10)
Champion (powerweapon)

Chaos Bikers (5)
plasmagun (x1)
Champion (powerweapon)

Terminators (7)
heavy flamer, combi-melta(x4), powerfist(x3)

plasma-cannon, ccw, havoc


lascannon sponsons, autocannon turret

Land Raider

(also assume there are 40 lesser summoned daemons and 1 major available)

~I'm right in the middle of "pre-heresying" this force as the Night Lords didn't change their scheme or logo (its just a swapout of @50 backpacks). I know this isn't the greatest force, more of a generalist build, but I trust you guys to come up with some great upgrades and armylists. Whatever you guys agree on, I will buy, paint up and test. "Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope! "

September 28, 2008

NEWS: Space Marine Releases, Oct. 4

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The following new Space Marine items will be released in the USA this coming Saturday, October 4:
- Codex Space Marines ($30)
- Land Raider Redeemer/Crusader ($50)
- Drop Pod ($30)
- Land Speeder (new reorganized sprue, easier to assemble, contains upgrade parts for Typhoon and Tornado variants) ($30)
- Scout Bikes ($12)
- Thunderfire Cannon ($45)
- Scout Sgt. Telion ($15)
- Sgt. Chronus ($17)

What items are you excited about adding to your Space Marine forces? Are you adding them to an existing army or to a new one? Which of the new Space Marine toys do you think will be the most interesting or challenging to play against?

Thoughts on Marines and Chaos...

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UPDATE: This just in from GW: "I just checked with Andy Hoare, who is as close as we have to a rules guru, and he has said that units cannot use Locator Beacons, Chaos Icons, or Teleport Homers from the opposing army. He is going to have the studio consider that question for the next round of FAQs."

~ Look at that, a quick rules dispute turned around within 48 hours!

So, I've been going over the new Space Marine Codex with a fine tooth comb over the last few days, and working out various thoughs in my head. As I've done this, I keep going back to my large and ever expanding CSM army and running some numbers.

Here are some of my initial take-aways...

For the marines, there is heck of a lot of sexy bling in that codex. A level of concentrated coolness that we really haven't seen since the days of the previous edition of the CSM codex with its 10-pages of wargear & gifts. I have a feeling that six months from now, just as with the old CSM codex, 90% of that "coolness" will be permanently discarded in favor of a tiny number of the new units that are reliably useful.

Lets take a look at the new SM veterans for a moment. Those Vanguards seem really game changing for a moment, until you read the fine print and realize that no one will ever try a Heroic Intervention without a locator beacon nearby to ensure your incredibly pricy unit doesn't plunge to its death, taking your chances of victory with it.

Now one could say, hey its no problem, I can just pepper my army with locator beacons, until you realize that they are particularly useful for many ENEMY UNITS who can use them to slam right back into your forces with perfect accuracy as well. Add to that the always difficult issues of trying to synchronize different units reliably (ask any Eldar player, its harder than it looks) and you have a recipe for uneven tabletop performance.

Now compare them to Sternguard; a unit that is easy to field, position, and that allows you to custom tailor your ammo for almost any foe from turn to turn. One of these two units is a recipe for a reliable, flexible unit, one is not. Things like this pop up all over the codex, and my feelings so far are that in general, just like with the previous CSM codex, with so many sexy options, very few of which make the army any harder to kill than the older SM codex does, will leave only the self-disciplined list builders with a leg up. Its going to be very easy to go overboard with the new SM codex and get left with an army as brittle as the Eldar, unable to take a solid punch to the stomach and easily recover.

Now let me return to the "terrible" CSM codex. As I've said I keep runing the numbers and I think that codex despite its simplicity offers some spectacular values in 5th. In particular: 30pt Termys, 150pt Close Combat Defilers (giving you a 12/12/10 battlecannon that fleets, ignores stunned/shaken and has 6 attacks on the charge!), and summoned deamons (in particular the major who is one of the best bargains in the game at 100pts). None of these units are sexy, but they are stuningly effective for their cost if used en masse. My current head is trying to wrap itself around an effective list that will provide the "connective tissue" from the rest of the CSM codex (in particular its sterling Troops options) that will tie these bargain units together into a cohesive whole.

~I'm positive there is something there, but my finger isn't quite on it yet. I'd love to hear your thoughts on constructing armies with the two codices and your battlefield experiences.

September 27, 2008

NEWS: Firebase # 8 Approaches...

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~Keep your eye's peeled guys. We hear this is due out early October.

September 26, 2008

NEWS: Price Increase Reminder

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This is just a reminder that Games Workshop prices on all metal miniatures, most paints, and many books will increase as of September 29. If you were planning any imminent purchases on affected items it might be wise to make such purchases this weekend before the prices change. You can read a copy of the official announcement plus an interesting analysis of it at the Purple Pawn Gaming Industry News website. You can also find the official announcement on the UK GW website.


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~Let it never be said that the Fly Lords are without Mercy... :)

Brass Scorpion Trio of Doom

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One of our kind readers recently wrote in to BoLS asking to see my model collection. As you might imagine, I have a lot of models to show and featuring them all at once would likely cause a rent in warp space. However, we are going to feature some of them spaced out over time. It seemed appropriate that the first such topic should feature my Brass Scorpions. I have three at the moment and am planning a fourth, a sort of "King Scorpion" to be built using a Soul Grinder and a Defiler.

My first Brass Scorpion, shown at left in the photo, was built the weekend of Chicago Games Day 2007. Someone posted a photo of the Apocalypse data sheet on the Internet the evening after the event. By the next morning, I had talked myself into using the two Defilers I had in the basement to build one. I was instantly hooked on Apocalypse weeks before the book was even released! I stayed up all night the next night building that first Brass Scorpion. The second one was built shortly after that. The third came about when a friend offered me two more Defilers he didn't want at a discount. I just couldn't say no to the chance to build another daemon engine of doom. I still have more as yet unused ideas for creating unique twists for further Brass Scorpion models.

If you click on the picture above you'll see a larger version of the photo displaying all three of my Brass Scorpions. One thing I like to do is make each one an individual character, with its own unique face, scorpion cannon, and a few other tweaks in the details as well. The creative possibilities of doing conversions like this are what I love about the Warhammer hobby and I'm really looking forward to building more crazy machines for my Chaos Marines and other armies. In fact, if there are models from a particular army you'd like to see featured first, please make your request in the comments below. Besides my massive Chaos Space Marines army I have other large armies, like Imperial Guard, Eldar, Dark Angels with Deathwing and Ravenwing, Fantasy Battle Chaos Warriors and more. All my armies feature at least some converting. Chaos is my first love because of the conversion opportunities. I've done cult terminator conversions, Dreadnought conversions, possessed looking tanks and more. I never grow tired of making new monstrous beings and machines for my Chaos Marines. I hope this article inspires some of you to build your own massive machines for Apocalypse. Have fun and may all your armies grow to beyond 3,000 points!

The Mustering of Crusade

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In two short weeks, the Macharian Crusade begins. All across Austin dozens of 40k enthuiasts have been collecting and expanding their IG armies, preparing their nefarious xenos and heretic forces, customizing Crusade Independant Characters, and organizing into their Imperial Army groups. Strategems both brave and vile are being hatched across dozens of homes and quarter will niether be given or offered.

For the next 2-3 months we will be covering the weekly progress of the Macharian Crusade as the Imperials seek to liberate the lost Segmentum Pacificus.

For those who missed it last year, take a look at the lower right hand column for our weekly coverage of the Age of Heresy campaign to see what we have in store for you guys. If any of our readers can make the Central-Texas event we would love to have you. If any of you other die hard campaign players wish to play in parallel with the Austin community, we would love to hear your battlefield dispatches, and will try to work any submitted games into our coverage.

Our las-guns are locked, loaded, and ready for action. Soon it begins.

~I would love to hear what you would like to see in this year's campaign coverage, and in general your thoughts on narrative campaigns are. I think they are one of the "deepest level" of play and enjoyment the hobby can provide, and leave long lasting memories you will recall with your friends for years to come.

September 25, 2008

Rainbow Warriors Logo Sheet

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By order of the Inquisition, Open these doors!
By the Emperor, My Eyes, My eyes!!!

Its really hard to beat the Space Sharks for entertainment value, but I did manage to drum up one last chapter with lets say an "intriguing" history in the 40k universe. Lets hear it for the Rogue Trader era Marines of the Rainbow Warriors, the single most sadly named chapter in the Imperium.

You didn't hear it from me, but word on the street is these dudes give the Dark Angels a run for their money (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)! Now maybe we can speculate a little bit more on the mystery of the planet Prism from p.30 of the new marine codex. Enjoy guys.

We have been noting for a while that GW does a great job of covering the major 1st Founding and select 2nd Founding chapters with their decal sheets. However, there are a number of great looking 2nd and later founding chapters who get a good amount of back-story and have great alternative uniform colors that never have had decals produced for them. In the interest of promoting diversity in the Marine community and encouraging players to branch out beyond the "big 4", I continue our line of logo sheets for some of these other chapters who I think look great and have no GW decal support.

Here is the link to the PDF file for the logo sheet you can freely pull down and use:

Download Here

The sheet is designed for printout on decal printer paper which is easily available online. These decals are designed for the CLEAR or WHITE decal paper. The procedure is as follows:

CLEAR PAPER: If you use the clear decals, the decals need to be applied to a light colored surface to be visible at all. The procedure for applying the "outline only" decals is to apply them to a white surface, and wait till they are fully dried. Then using the outlines as a guide, paint in the darker color around the decal if needed. It is odd, but gets the job done.

WHITE PAPER: This paper will allow you to use it directly over dark surfaces. Cut out the white logos with the thick blue borders, and apply them directly over your blue painted models. Once dry, you can go back and touch up any edge defects with blue paint.

Click here for a detailed Custom Decal Tutorial

This sheet is sized for superheavy vehicles up towards the top and scales down to marine scout shoulderpad size at the very bottom. I have included the standard white chapter logo, against a blue "easy to cut out" outline as well a small amount of inverse blue logos for folks who want some variants for something special. There is also a small set of left-right reversed logos for folks who need to use them on both sides of vehicles. Please make sure you run off a test sheet first on your printer to make sure.

In any case, enjoy and I wish you the best in using this set for your forces.

~Please feel free to leave comments if there is a special Chapter, Craftworld, or something else you would love to collect, but have no GW decal options, and I will see what I can do. Finally, let the innuendo and off color remarks commence; within the bounds of good taste of course :)

September 24, 2008

NEWS: Citadel Spray Gun, Mega Paint Set

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The Citadel Spray Gun is now once again available for pre-order in the US GW online store. Release date is October 18. The cost is $30.

The new Mega Paint Set is also available for pre-order and will be released on November 1. It contains all 73 unique products from the Citadel Colour, Wash and Foundation paint ranges in a hard carrying case. It also contains seven paint brushes, glue flock and sand. The cost is $250.

For full information, visit the US GW online store.

Who Says Wargaming Isn't Art?

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The World's Largest Wargaming Table

~Whats even more incongruous are the wargamers hanging out in an art gallery! Still, I'd like one of those for a crazy Apoc game. I think there is some Cities of Death terrain in one of those pics to.

September 23, 2008

BoLS Polls: Play for the Love Edition

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So remember all that nonsense and mystery a couple of weeks back regarding the Amazon Poison Dart Frog? Well, its time to let the cat out of the bag. For the first time in 20 years, I've gone back on my promise and picked up another main-line GW product: Fantasy.

I said I'd never do it, stuck to my guns, but in the end, the forces that be just wore me down like Chinese water torture. Now the cool part is that I got to walk into my FLGS and do something not everyone gets to do with a new GW game. Approach it as a complete newcomer. No pre-dispositions, no biases, just eager excitement. It got me thinking, how does the average player get into an army? Its a question I get often on the 40k side of things "Hey Bigred which army should I collect first?"

I approached Fantasy exactly as I suggest folks do it on the 40k side. Follow your eyes. Take your time, look through the MODELS, box by box, range by range, and see what visually excites you. Once you have narrowed it down to a handful of armies, flip through the codices/armybooks to get a flavor for the fluff, then decide. I consider rules distantly third.

What I've found over the years of watching folks do this is those who are really into their models tend to really get into the game. They tend to paint them up, and get them onto the tabletop, carrying that initial enthusiasm onto army completion and tabletop play. I can't tell you the number of rules-first guys I've seen who still play with metal models, and bitch to high heaven when the (inevitable) new edition and codex upends their "perfect unbeatable list".

In the end, play for the love.

Oh yes, I almost forgot... my choice: Druchii

~Don't fret my 40k readers, like any maniac collector I've started to upgrade and expand an old Night Lords army to round out some of the missing bits of the CSM codex I can't justify doing in Death Guard colors to give me more options on the tabletop. I've thrown up a poll to ask you our readers, what motivates you to collect and expand your armies? Feel free to drop in comments as to why you love your current army and what made you choose them over the competition. You know the drill, poll right column...ATTACK!

Space Marine Captain Painting Guide

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In response to a request here the other day as to how I painted my Assault On Black Reach (AOBR) Space Marine Captain, here's a quick painting guide. I will try to make this guide useful for not only painting a similar color scheme to the one I used, but for painting this and similar models in general. Hopefully this will make the guide helpful to the widest possible audience. You may also want to check out the GW Black Reach Character Master Class available on the GW website. There are some amazing paint jobs and great painting advice there. Nevertheless, by request, here's my somewhat more humble painting guide.

First, prime the model white. I usually use black, but for my color scheme in this case most of the colors look better over white. Next, if possible paint the inner lining of the cloak and tabard and the inner leg sections attached to them before gluing the model on its base as it will be much easier to reach these areas before basing. The inner lining of the cloak is painted Skull White, the inner lining of the tabard is Iyanden Dark Sun, and the armored sections of the model are painted with Red Gore.

Now paint the rest of the model from the inside out like you're getting dressed, starting with the lowest areas and working outward. This causes the least amount of problems with messing up areas you've already painted. Here's a breakdown of all the colors used on my Captain:

1) Armor: Red Gore shaded in the seams with thinned Chaos Black and highlighted on the extreme edges with Blood Red. Note that I used a wet slightly thinned coat of Red Gore, deliberately concentrating pigment more in lower and shaded areas and leaving it thinner and brighter on higher areas. This gives the model some depth and realism before you even begin shading and highlighting.

2) Cloak: Foundation Hormagaunt Purple, then a thin coat of Warlock Purple, shaded with Leviathan Purple wash and then highlighted with a mix of Tentacle Pink and Warlock Purple. Since Tentacle Pink is discontinued, if you have none, try mixing a little, very little Skull White with Warlock Purple. Note that I did not wash the entire cloak in the shading phase, I carefully blended the wash only in areas that have a fold or dip in them, going heavier with it in the deeper areas. This takes longer but can yield a more dramatic result, leaving the base color intact in the upper areas.

3) Cloak Lining and Tabard Front: Skull White shaded with Astronomican Grey and very thin Chaos Black in the folds. Highlight over and blend into the shading as necessary with Skull White.

4) Tabard Lining: Iyanden Dark Sun shaded in the fold with Ogryn Flesh.

5) Face: Tallarn Flesh with Ogryn Flesh wash, highlight sparingly with Elf Flesh. Then paint the eye socket black, fill mostly with white, then dot the middle. Bionic attachments to the head were painted black, then painted with Boltgun Metal. The bionic eye lens was painted Ultramarine Blue, then dotted with Skull White. Pick out the teeth with Skull White. Hair was painted Codex Grey, then highlighted around the edges with thin Fortress Grey.

6) Decorative Braided Cord: This is painted Skull White, but shaded with Regal Blue and very thin Chaos Black. By shading it with a different color than the white tabard near it, it stands out from the tabard even though they are both white.

7) Metallic Decorations, Sword Hilt: Shining Gold, washed with Devlan Mud plus thinned Chaos Black in the really deep recesses, then highlighted with a drybrush of Burnished Gold. Top off the extreme edges with a tiny touch of Mithril Silver.

8) Sword Blade: Mithril Silver, washed with Badab Black, then highlighted on the edges with Mithril Silver.

9) Banner: The red field is painted with Red Gore, shaded in the folds with Scab Red, then highlighted with Blood Red. The border is pure Skull White. The Black outer field is highlighted with sparing use of Codex Grey. The eagle is painted Skull White, washed with thinned Adeptus Battlegrey, then highlighted with Skull White. The scroll below the eagle is painted Dheneb Stone, then painted over with a thin mix of Dheneb Stone and Bleached Bone. Highlight the edges with Skull White. This technique also works well on the purity seals, but I used more Bleached Bone and Skull White for a lighter finished result on those.

10) Final Details: At this point, I highlighted any and all remaining details. Black on the boltgun got a touch of Codex Grey highlights, the plate on the golden bolter casing was painted with Chainmail. The "wax" part of the purity seals were painted Scab Red and highlighted with Blood Red. Their outline was shaded with Ogryn Flesh wash. The banner pole was painted Boltgun Metal. When everything else was done, I painted the bottom edge decoration on the lower rear of the cloak using pure Skull White.

I hope this guide is helpful to those trying to emulate my color scheme as well as to people just looking for some simple painting tips to bolster their confidence at painting their own models. I must say that I am truly impressed with the quality of the models in the AOBR set and I thoroughly enjoyed painting the Space Marine Captain model. It's an impressive miniature and I tried to give it a paint job which reflects that. Good luck and remember, painted models make the game more fun and they fight better too!

RUMORS: Heavy Metal Incoming

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Hi guys,

The little birds have been tweeting.

For months we've been hearing of the much rumored plastic Valkyrie. There has been much talk over the months as to whether it was tied to the Planetstrike supplement that has been pushed back. We now hear that it is coming with the approaching Codex: IG that is rumored to be arriving roughly in Q1 09. It is said to be a transport option for certain units in the codex, with highest probaility going to the rumored plastic IG Stormtroopers.

There has also been fairly constant chatter since the baneblade first hit the shelves along with Apocalypse of a Stompa kit. We have heard various things over the months about the fate of this kit. Some said it was made as an experiment then abandoned, others said it was shelved for a later date, and still others have indicated it was reworked into a much improved version and is now slated for release either with next year's Ork 2nd wave releases, or as part of an "Apocalypse release window" to be shoehorned into the squedule sometime in 2009. In any case, we have heard that the green light has been given and it is coming.

Baneblade Variants
We have also now heard of the first sightings of plastic kits for the Shadowsword, Stormsword and the much talked about Stormlord superheavy transport (perhaps similar to the Forgeworld versions shown above). No talk of release dates for these.

~Take these with the standard caveat emptors, but there is also the never ending chatter regarding the much rumored plastic Thunderhawk. Time will tell, but my question to you is how interested would you be in these kits and do you regularly play in Apocalypse games? Does your group use some superheavies or forgeworld stuff in non-Apoc games? I'm just trying to get a feel for the interest in such kits.

September 22, 2008

Assault On Black Reach Apocalypse!

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Much has been made of how huge Codex Apocalypse formations can be built relatively inexpensively from a few Assault On Black Reach (AOBR) 40K starter sets, but I have yet to see a comprehensive list showing the easy path to doing so. Being a 40K Apocalypse fan of apocalyptic proportions, I've taken it upon myself to compile a list of some of the formations for Apocalypse most easily and cheaply built using AOBR miniatures. So without further delay, here's a list that I hope will be helpful to some of you at jumping right into building Apocalypse sized armies. And if you think of any other great Apocalypse uses for AOBR, please by all means, add your suggestions in the comments area below.

Apocalypse Formations for which Assault On Black Reach (AOBR) sets comprise a full formation or most of one:

- 100+ Ork Boyz allows you to field "Da Green Tide" formation (p.27 Apoc. Reload)
- 6+ Deffkoptas makes a minimum "Deffkopta Choppa Skwadron" (p.25 Apoc. Reload)
- 3+ Nobz units provide more than half the minimum of "Ghazghkull's Bully Boyz" (p.24 Apoc. Reload)

- 60+ Tactical Marines provide more than half a "Space Marine Battle Company". With more than 6 sets you could bunch the missile launcher models into Devastator Squads too. (p.119 Codex Apocalypse)
- 3+ Terminator squads provide all but the single character needed in a "Deathwing Redemption Force" and you could use a Black Reach Terminator from an additional set to make the character as well. (p.21 Apoc. Reload)
- 5+ Terminator Squads, 1+ Dreadnought make a minimum “Deathknell Orbital Strike Force”. All you need to add is a Drop Pod for each Dreadnought. (p.18 Apoc. Reload)
- 3+ Dreadnoughts make a minimum "Ancients Assault Force" if you just add a single Techmarine. (p.33 IA: Apocalypse)

Remember, you often only need to buy half the AOBR sets you need for a large army if you only want the Orks or only want the Space Marines because you can usually readily trade the half you don't want with other buyers who only want the other army in the box.

Now, time to start building and painting. Let the 40K Apocalypse commence!

REVIEW: Assault on Black Reach

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Better late than never...

As I'm sure you all already know the new 40k Boxed set for 5th Edition; Assault on Black Reach has been out for several weeks now. Many of you may not have easy access to local hobby stores or are just thinking of jumping into the Warhammer 40,000 hobby. If you are either of these, the new boxed set may be your dream come true. Lets dive right in.


112 Page Mini-rulebook.
This is a wonderful little book. Small, black and white with a color cover. Its easy to read and perfect for thrwoing into your bag for gaming nights and tournaments. It covers the entire core rules up to the missions section of the full hardback and also includes the master racial index from the hardback's last section.

33 Page Getting Started Booklet
This is a perfect primer for folks who have no background to the hobby. Its a nicely produced full color quick start guide to both the boxed set's contents, and then the greater 40k universe including all the other races. This is really the ideal thing for existing players to hand off to friends, little brothers, and anyone else you think may be interested in getting into the hobby.

2 Whippy Sticks ~(Owwww!)
A blast from the past, the 18" measuring sticks are back. Just what you need for both gameplay and hijinks while awaiting your turn. I haven't done an exact comparison to a standardized metal ruler, but some say that the whippy-sticks are still marked in extry tricksy "Eldar inches" that may give you a miniscule advantage on the tabletop.

Dice and Scatter-die
Just enough to get you rolling, Nuff said

These are the new 5th edition extra thick green plastic tempaltes (similar to the Apocalypse ones), and include the standard flamer template, plus 3" and 5" round blast ones.

Marine Captain (power weapon)
10 Tactical Marines (flamer, missile launcher)
5 Terminators (storm bolters, power weapon sergeant)
1 Dreadnought (close combat arm/multi-melta)

Ork Warboss (klaw)
5 Nobs (sluggas, CCWs)
20 boys (slugga,CCWs, 2x big shootas)
3 Deffcoptas

This is the real prize. These minis are a true next generational leap for GW. We have all seen the "quick assembly" minis of past boxed sets, and these blow them out of the water. As you can see from the mini shots, and the painted samples on the Assualt on Black Reach page, these look stunning once you get them assembled and painted.

The relief is very great and they are cut into multiple pieces cunningly to give you maximum detail for the smallest number of parts. Not only that but the level of detail is greatly improved for starter minis. Standouts include the impressive Ork Warboss, the Deffcoptas and the Marine Captain which are real headturners once painted up.

I know it sounds like a cliche, but you really need to head on down to you local store to handle these minis in person. The first time I saw a deffcopta and the Warboss painted up I was just stunned. These minis are designed to offer something for everyone. They offer some unique items you can't get anywhere else (multi-melta dread, deffcoptas), and many can be easily expanded with the standard GW boxed minis to fill out the squads nicely as you build up your armies (termys for example). Once painted up and included in your amy you will be hardpressed to tell which models are the "quick assembly" and which are the full multi-part kit models.

Cost: $60 USD

~Bottom line: If you are considering either of these armies, or could trade the contents with other folks to get others you might need (and end up with the mini rulebook and templates) you should RUN, not walk to your nearest retailer and pick up a copy. The price is a steal for just one of the armies and the gaming materials, not to mention the entire second army they throw in. Its good to see that when GW sets their mind to something they can still knock one right out of the park.

5 Stars (out of 5)

September 21, 2008

NEWS: 40K Lucky 13's Campaign

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As many of you may be aware, the Lucky 13's Campaign will soon be drawing to a close on November 6. 40K enthusiasts all over the US have been participating in games and hobby events related to the campaign throughout 2008. Six of the game events are nationally advertised and all run on the same day in each GW store and participating independent game store, while each store is also hosting many additional events to allow participants to acquire the necessary thirteen stamps to fulfill their Lucky 13's "duty" and receive a patch and certificate signifying their successful completion of the program. Purchase of Apocalypse related merchandise like bundle deals offered this year also earned participants a stamp. There are two scheduled national game events to go. The next one is on October 4 and is titled, "Why Would They..."

As you can see by the photo at the top of this article, I just received my own patch and certificate. I don't often participate in these kinds of promotions, but something about this one caught my fancy. For one, it was Apocalypse related and I shamelessly admit that I love 40K Apocalypse; I think it's the best thing GW has ever done to Warhammer 40,000 since inventing the 40K model range and game itself. Participating in Lucky 13's was a way of showcasing my latest large model projects this year, like my Mechanicus themed super-heavy support force that I converted and painted earlier this summer. It was also a lot of fun seeing my newly painted big guns blowing a lot of stuff sky high before sometimes apocalyptically exploding themselves! I participated in many Lucky 13's games as well as related Iron Painter activities toward earning my patch. I also purchased some bundle deals and large Apocalypse models that earned me a few additional stamps. It's all been tremendous fun and I don't think I've enjoyed building and painting 40K models this much ever before and believe me, I've enjoyed 40K a lot for a long time.

By the way, here's a sneak peek at one of my next Apocalypse sized projects. It's my own Space Marine chapter using the generic Codex Space Marines book, something I've never done before in spite of years of building armies for 40K. It will be related to my Mechanicus support force in theme and color. I don't want to give too much away now as I haven't even picked a name for the chapter yet as you can see from the scroll space with no name on it in the picture below. Here's the first model painted for my new Space Marine army, it's the captain from the Assault On Black Reach set:

So how many of you out there have been participating in Lucky 13's? How many stamps away are you from completing the program? What about the campaign has stood out for you? Were there any favorite games or other related events that stand out as being special? What modeling projects if any have you purchased or completed due to Lucky 13's inspired enthusiasm? Let's hear how lucky the Lucky 13's has been for you out there!

Fateweaver; Oracle of Tzeentch, by Gentleben

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Hi guys, Gentleben is at it again, as he's working through a new Chaos Daemons army. Today's treat is Fateweaver, everyone's favorite re-rolling failed saves two-headed magic chicken.

Gentleben isn't to sure but he thinks he may have gotten a one in a million mis-pack error as the Lord of Change he picked up not only came with multiple heads but multiple necks, making the conversion somewhat easier.

~Comments are welcome, and I'm sure Gentleben will chime in here and there if you have any questions for him. Are you guys having any success converting any of the Chaos Daemon ICs? I'm still working my noodle trying to figure out how to make Ku'gath (I've heard that that Ogre King mini on his palanquin might be a good start) . Consider this a "conversion show and tell" thread, so if you have links, lets see your latest stuff!

September 19, 2008

NEWS: New GW Advance Order Items

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A plethora of items appeared on both the 40K and Warhammer Advance Order pages in the US GW web store today. Some items appear in both sections, like the three new carry bags. The "Fast Attack" bag ($50) is a hobby tool and paint carrying case, while the "Tactical" backpack ($75) carries two standard GW figure cases, and the "Heavy Support" bag ($125) has wheels and carries two GW army cases. Note the symbols on the front of the bags which match the 40K nomenclature associated with each bag. There are new dice available too ($6) and they come in a variety of colors encased in a container that is itself a die!

Additionally, the Warhammer Advance Order page now has many of the new Warriors of Chaos models available for purchase and the formerly limited release "Fallen Giant Template" from a few years ago makes a reappearance as well. If you missed buying the Fallen Giant Template last time you might want to snap one up now.

For your convenience, here are direct links to the GW US web store Advance Order pages.

40K Advance Order / WFB Advance Order

Editorial: Whither Fantasy?

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Why 40k players should Play Fantasy by Austin's own: "Minus67"

Imagine an army of fair elves holding gleaming spears, dark rituals of debased magic and climatic duels that take place not on the ground, but on the backs of nightmarish beasts flying in the sky. These are the images that inspire me to play Warhammer Fantasy inspires in me, and fuel my adoration for both Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy.

Warhammer Fantasy rewards players for making bold choices, but also rewards players who plan their turns ahead of time, which is something you just don’t find in Warhammer 40,000. Too often, 40K armies are based upon how they will operate turn by turn, and each unit is usually expected to operate mostly on its own merit. In Fantasy, units are expected to play as part of a team; they protect the unit next to them from a flank charge, can threaten a flank charge on an outmaneuvered opponent and generally work as a big cohesive unit.

This is one of the most rewarding aspects of Fantasy: players design their army as one big unit. While it will eventually be divided into multiple, smaller parts, each piece has its place, its own brother or sister unit which it operates with. Truly, this is a tabletop general’s wet dream of a game. Watching your Chosen Khorne Knights, who have committed 888 corrupt acts to achieve their place as a chosen, utterly obliterate an opponent’s battle line is one of the most rewarding experiences the game can offer.

40K Players should give Fantasy a chance because the game is truly well put together, with each of the four main phases of the game being an avenue of victory. In 40K, most armies can only ever win the game in the shooting and the assault phase, but in Fantasy, players are greeted by a cornucopia of choices in their route to victory. Will a devastating magical onslaught each turn that crush your opponent’s spirit and send him packing? Will your ability to rapidly redeploy and flank your enemy lead you to trod his banners under your mailed boot? Will your arrows blot out the sun? Will your enemy meet the business end of your lance? All of these strategies are a viable route to victory, which leads to a more varied and tactical game.

You will be hard-pressed to find two games of Fantasy that play out in the same way. The overall faster pace of movement from the march ability of units enables the game to become more than pushing bricks of infantry at each other. We as a community have recently seen how drastically the game can change when some extra movement is introduced with the addition of Run in 40k. In addition, the different races of Fantasy have several different movement values between them; these values range somewhere between 3-6 inches, which enables the movement phase to become a true path to victory.

The magic phase is one of the coolest parts that makes the game totally unique. Each turn feels like an epic duel between the wizards on each side, but the whole feel is achieved without feeling like a game-within-a-game, thus allowing it to mesh with the rest of each turn in a way that feels natural and fluid.

Having 16 unique armies is the next feather in the cap of Fantasy compared to 40k. Each race is completely different than the next one, with each one boosting its own set of mostly-balanced special rules and unique units. Even something as mundane as cavalry is different in its rules, movement and role on the battlefield between each army. The very fact that the game can be won in four different phases of the game, rather than the normal two, allows armies to diversify in ways that 40K armies can only dream about. Armies that have low movement are usually rewarded with heavy armor, good shooting or magic. Armies that are quick usually are easier to kill, but can hit hard when they get to charge. There is no MEQ of Fantasy; each time you sit down to play you have come up with a new plan to try and combat your enemies strength and weaknesses.

Warhammer Fantasy is one of the most rewarding games you can choose to play. You will directly receive what you put into your models, army planning and overall game plan each time you play the game. Planning one turn ahead each round is actually rewarded in this game, rather than trying to react or seize the initiative like in 40k. There is a delicate back and forth in the four phases, which is not unlike a professional boxing match, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself winded and seeing stars for the first couple of games. I fully encourage all 40K players to reach out to those guys across the room pushing little bricks of men across the table and ask them about the game and why they love it. You may find yourself tempted to charge headlong across an open field screaming at your enemies.

~This is the first in a series of guest editorials across a series of topics that will be running on BoLS. These articles are meant to promote discussion and are first and foremost opinion. Hop to it guys! On a side note, if anyone has a flair for the pen and has a great idea for an opinion piece you think the BoLS community would enjoy, please submit them.
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