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December 31, 2008

40k Apocalypse: Deathstrike Missile Conversion

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Here's a New Year's Eve present from a friend of mine who goes by TwilightWalker when he posts comments here on Bell Of Lost Souls. He's an avid hobbyist who just started with 40K about nine months ago. In that short time he's ramped up his skills to veteran level, assembling and painting all manner of models including some rather large Forge World flyers for his Tau army. His latest project, the Deathstrike Missile Launcher shown below, was built in just a few hours, much of it right before my eyes. I liked it so much I felt I had to share it with you. Many thanks to TwilightWalker for all the great work-in-progress photographs and for allowing me to share this fun project with the hobby community.

The model shown below was built from a GW Imperial Guard Basilisk model and a NASA Space Shuttle kit. Only the fuel tank and solid rocket booster section of the Space Shuttle was used. The launch rail was built from sprue left over from the Basilisk. The work in progress shots below should give you an idea of the steps involved. Note that the fins on the rocket are in a different position in one of the photos than they are on the finished project. I included this to show how experimentation and review are part of the process on a conversion project like this one. As I do with many of my conversions done at the Battle Bunker, TwilightWalker also asked for some input and opinions from friends on various aspects of the project in its early stages, then finished it up once he had a direction with which he was satisfied. I hope you enjoy seeing this as much as I did. It is really cool, right down to the airbrushed paint job.

Rules for the Deathstrike Missile can be found in the Bell Of Lost Souls Lords of Battle download. If you take a look at those rules, I suspect there will be a few more Apocalypse fans out there building Death Strike Missile Launchers as well. Happy New Year!

TUTORIAL: Magnetic weapon swaps

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Lately, Games Workshop has started putting more and more weapon options on their 40k and Fantasy sprues. This is a good thing. But having to decide which weapon you want can be frustrating. Fortunately we have a cool little thing called magnets. This article is a brief tutorial on using magnets for weapon swaps.
For this conversion, you will need the model (obviously), small magnets and some nails. I chose #3 carpet nails as they have a large flat head and are very short. It is important that you use nails made from iron (or one of it's alloys), so the magnets will stick to it. It is a good idea to bring a magnet to the store with you to test with.
For this example, I am using the Black Reach Terminators and some thunder hammer/storm shields I picked up from eBay.
Start off by drilling a hole in either side where the arms go. The hole should be slightly larger than the diameter of the nails. I used a 5/64" bit
Next, place the nail into the hole. If it is not flush against the body of the model, you may need to file it down some.

The magnets I am using a 1/8" wide. So, I used a 1/8" bit and put a hole in the arm. It is very important to go slowly on this. If you drill too deep, your magnet will sit too far in and will not be able to make contact with the metal nail in the terminator body. It may take a few attempts to get the correct depth.
Once the magnet fits snug, glue it in place.
After you have placed magnets in the various arm options, you will be able to easily swap between then.


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A guest article by Australia's: GR00V3R

If you’ve been following my series on Epic:Armageddon, you’ll have at least a passing familiarity with the game--enough so that you can read and enjoy a battle report. To that end, this post describes a great battle fought between Kim and Mark, who pitted a traitorous Planetary Defence Force against the marines of the Space Wolves chapter.

In Epic:Armageddon, the Warhammer 40,000 “fluff” really comes alive. Space Marines, while few in number compared with the teeming billions of the Imperial Guard, nevertheless strike hard and fast, and can take a terrible pounding yet still fight effectively—a skilled commander can use this to surmount seemingly impossible odds. The Guard, meanwhile, bring both large numbers of low-cost troops and some absolutely massive firepower.

The Forces
For this 3,000-point battle, the Planetary Defence Force (PDF) player applied the Guard’s strengths by fielding a combination of massed infantry (three companies) and some really, really big guns (super-heavies), backed up by cavalry, artillery and air support.

The traitorous Planetary Defence Force: Five Super-Heavies is a whole lot of boom-boom

The Space Wolves played to the marines’ strengths by fielding a combined-arms force consisting of a full Battle company, two Scout detachments, Land Raiders, Whirlwinds for short-range artillery support, Bikes, and two Land Speeder detachments. A Thunderhawk gunship completes the army by providing mobility.

The mighty Space Wolves

( Titans yet. I’m saving discussion of Titans for next year.)

Both players placed their objectives. Mark deliberately tried to put his objective markers in the open as Kim’s large formations can be difficult to shift when they’re in cover.

The Space Wolves player garrisoned two Scout detachments very far forward, including one squad with sniper riffles, while Kim garrisoned one formation of Guardsmen forward on her left flank, overlooking the nearby objective.

Mark and Kim deploy their forces

Turn 1
The Space Wolves won the initiative, and their opening gambit was to perform an aerial assault against the traitor PDF’s Vultures. A combined-arms task force of Assault and Devastator marines poured out of the Thunderhawk to attack the traitor aircraft. Although the task force successfully destroyed the Vultures, the Thunderhawk then came under sustained fire from the Shadowswords parked nearby and was destroyed. Oooouch! (There was some solace for Mark, however, in that his marines formations suffered relatively few casualties despite being out in the open for the rest of the turn.)

A Space Wolves task force assaults the traitor PDF’s Vultures

The Space Wolves followed-up on the assault by moving forward en masse, threatening Kim’s Baneblades and attempting to distract her from the marines in the open by presenting a plethora of targets.

On the far flank, the Scout marines were charged by a formation of Rough Riders. Thanks to their overwatch fire killing the Commissar (and some serious luck), the Scouts managed to draw the initial round of combat. The Scouts then managed to destroy a Rough Rider stand in the resulting follow-up round, eliminating the cavalry’s outnumbering advantage to cling to a draw. A rare third round of combat was then fought, in which the uncannily lucky Scouts managed to wipe out the Rough Riders formation completely.

The dust settles at the end of Turn 1

Turn 2
Mark’s Space Wolves again won the initiative and pressed Kim’s right-hand flank. Land Speeders advanced to fire upon the Baneblades, destroying one with a critical hit, and then provided supporting fire for a formation of Biker marines that engaged the Baneblades. While the Commissar made a good accounting of himself, destroying one Biker stand, the Baneblade crews nevertheless broke under the pressure, leaving the Commissar’s tank as the sole survivor.

Bikes supported by Land Speeders assault a Shadowsword

Kim’s Shadowswords advanced, wanting a taste of the Land Raiders, but could not find a line of fire, and so had to make do with destroying a stand of marines.

The Space Wolves retaliated by firing upon the not-yet-activated Shadowsword. Having put a blast marker on the super-heavy tank, Mark retained and ordered his Assault marines to engage, and they managed to destroy the Shadowsword in the combat resolution.

The smoke clears at the end of turn 2

Turn 3
The Space Wolves attempted to clear the PDF infantry from the center of the battlefield, while the Biker marines claimed the PDF “blitz” objective and the Whirlwinds combined with the Land Raiders to break the Manticores. Elsewhere, the Land Speeders advanced upon the PDF’s Regimental HQ formation to support in a combined-arms assault against it, but were met by vigorous suppressing fire and all but destroyed--a single broken Land Speeder remained and withdrew.

A PDF infantry company managed to break through the Space Wolves lines, preventing them from claiming the They Shall Not Pass victory condition, and also contested their own “blitz” objective with a formation of Rough Riders. This denied the marines their Blitzkrieg victory condition.

At the end of the third turn, the score was Space Wolves 0, Traitor PDF 0, and so a fourth turn was played.

The opposing forces survive turn 3 to fight turn 4

Turn 4

The traitorous PDF forces--gaining the initiative for the first time--unleashed a rain of fire upon the marines contesting the PDF “blitz” objective, and also managed to destroy one of the nearby Biker stands. Kim successfully retained the initiative to engage the outnumbered Tactical marines with her Rough Riders and showed no mercy, destroying them utterly.

Facing three large infantry formations, things looked dire for the Space Wolves. The success or failure of Mark’s next orders would bring them victory or abject defeat.

Gritting his teeth, the Space Wolves commander ordered the Whirlwinds to open fire upon the nearest infantry company--and got lucky. The Whirlwind bombardment exacted high casualties, and broke the target formation, forcing Kim to withdraw them to the only space she could find that was outside any enemy formation’s 15cm kill-zone.

The remaining Shadowsword opened up upon the Land Raiders, destroying one; the stalwart Land Raider crews returned fire, however, damaging the super-heavy unit.

The Space Wolves Devastator detachment advanced and fired upon the PDF infantry company holding the town in the centre of the table. The Devastator marines performed above-and-beyond, destroying a fistful of PDF infantry stands and breaking the formation.

The PDF infantry found themselves with nowhere to run. With Space Wolves on all sides, there was no place to which Kim could withdraw the formation, and so they all perished in the crossfire.

Nowhere to run

Now the Space Wolves commander saw an opportunity for victory. The last remaining Land Speeder had rallied at the end of the previous turn, and so he ordered it to advance to claim an undefended objective. Similarly, the sole surviving Assault marines stand had also rallied, and so was able to capture another undefended objective.

The combination of objectives held gave the Space Wolves both the Take and Hold and Defend The Flag victory conditions, making the final score Space Wolves 2, Traitor PDF 0.

Victory for the Space Wolves!

Special thanks to Mark Logue, not only for playing the original game with Kim, but also for providing these great images of his miniatures in action.

~Bigred here. As usual, lets give it up for GR00V3R for continuing to crank out these Epic pieces. I can almost feel the tension in the air for the upcoming article covering titans. Have at it guys.

December 30, 2008

BoLS Polls: Apocalypse Wishes

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Hi all,

Lets step back and have a purely fun poll today as we work our way towards New Years.

2007 was the year Games Workshop rolled the dice with Apocalypse and big kits (the Baneblade). It could have all gone horribly wrong, but apparently was a big seller.

Now we see 2 "big kit" releases in 2009 with the Shadowsword/Variant kit and the Stompa. GW is apparently confident enough to not only expand the Imperial superheavy line but move into xenos territory.

So lets blow this thing wide open and see what the community really wants in future Apoc kits.

~You guys know the drill. Poll, right column, attack! Select the TOP 3 Apocalypse kits you would most like to see for 40k. Lets hear why in the comments or tell us what you would want if I didn't include it. Who knows, someone at Games Workshop may be watching...

Thunderhawk: 2550
Warhound: 2545
Thunderbolt: 1321
Revenant: 986
Scorpion: 695
Fighta-bomma: 691
Heirophant: 682
Brass Scorpion: 666 (ohhhh, spooky)
Trygon: 613

December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays!!! Goatboy's 40k Thoughts for the week!

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Let me start this by saying, yes I know two missions are based off of troops. I know that in 5th Edition the only units that can score are troops. I also know that it seems Games Workshop has pushed the whole, “The grunts are the meat of any army”… I know all of this.

So why do I think troops suck? It just comes down to the fact that you never get enough back to cover their cost to your army and its overall killing ability.

But Goatboy, troops are just there to score, they are not there to kill, killing is bad. See, there is the problem in a lot of the way people play 5th edition. This is a game of brutal conflict. So why would you bring subpar units to a battle. If you have the options, wouldn’t you always want to bring the most bad ass unit you can? (This is about tournament play, not have a good time rolling dice on a Thursday at the local Game store, which I enjoy and throw down with funky armies)

Let’s take a look at the 3 different missions that show up at your local tournament.

Mission one: Seize Ground.

This mission will have up to 5 objectives you can get. So that must mean you have to have at least 5 troop choices because if not, you don’t win because you have to get all 5!

No you don’t, you really only need two. The other 3 can be contested by any of your other badass units. Keeping your opponent from scoring is just as important as scoring one. In fact, most of the time it is more important then the one you are scoring.

Two small squads of regular dudes can do just as well and get on the objective and fall down as they get shot at. Cover saves are everywhere, and if you they are hiding on the ground, picking flowers, you get a +1 to your cover save. And we all know 3+ invulnerable saves are a pain in the butt to get rid of.

Also, if your opponent has loaded up on troops, and you brought the pain with better killers then in reality you will be making your opponent back pedal as they try to get away from all the death you will bring down on their heads. Pushing your opponent back just lets you keep your two objectives and make them concentrate on the incoming doom that awaits them.

Mission two: Capture and Control

This mission only has two objectives. It is also the one everyone thinks will just be a tie fest, as they site there and just take crappy pot shots at each other.

With your tweaked towards killing army, you should be able to hold your one objective as well as move forward to go and contest your opponents. If they are trying to deal with your hard units in their face, your small little flower pickers will be safe to drink tea and discuss the local flora and fauna.

If you have a troop choice that can speed around, then during the last turns (5, 6, 7 etc) shoot towards the objective, hope for a tank shock and bask in your awesome 40k tactics.

Mission three: Annihilation

Hrm, a mission that is won by killing people. I think if your army is designed around smacking your opponent around then this mission is right up your alley. There isn't a whole lot I have explain about this mission other then just kill your opponent.

Usually when you have a more elite styled army, you most likely will have lower kill points, and thus have the advantage versus any troop heavy army you might see. You take that advantage and run with it, as you try to pinpoint on easier to kill units that you can easily tally up the kill points.

Now of course if you have good troop choices, then this whole entire article might be a moot point for you. That is why some armies seem to have an advantage during 5th tournaments, as their troops are much better then other armies. They have a high potential as a threat beyond their ability to hold some junk on a terminator base. Either they are cheap as hell (orks) or have a large amount of abilities that allows them to “cheat” (marines, chaos, sisters, etc).

Should you only play the armies with awesome troops? Hell no. I just don’t want people to hamper themselves by only thinking in one general direction. Yes “troops” are more important now, but they are not the backbone of your army. They are just there for whatever specific role you need them. If they are pretty sucky, let them lay down on an objective. If they actually can do some damage, throw them at your opponent and make them wish you just stayed back and talked with your other troops about how pretty the flower looks against their bloody chain sword.

In conclusion, troops are needed to win, but just don’t look at them as the only avenue to winning. All the other bits and pieces of your army are in most ways, more important because they are the meat and bones of your dice fearing force. Your assault terminators, dreadnoughts, aspect warriors, nobz, etc are what will make your opponent curse you as well as worry about how many armor saves they might have to make.

If you have any questions, or want me to check out any lists you are thinking of throwing down, email me at

If you have any questions about the list or want to know more, shoot me an email. And again, the link below takes you to my art and miniature commission site.

NEWS: 40k & Fantasy Q1 Releases

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Hi guys,

Here is the latest info we have on the next few months releases. Enjoy.

Product Name
5 Models
1 Model
1 Model
1 Model
5 Models
11 Models
1 Model
1 Model
1 Model
1 Model
1 Model
1 Model
1 Model
96 Page Book
1 Model
10 Models
1 Model
1 Model
1 Model
3 Models
50 Models
4 Models
1 Model
1 Model

~There is nothing unexpected on this list, just further confirmation of stuff we've already seen plus dates and prices. As always lots of this stuff may change, and there are certainly more items coming down the pipe. I would not consider this a complete list. Still... STOMPA!!!

December 28, 2008

TERRAIN: Wreck Dioramas

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Hi everybody,

I have a little terrain project for you today. If you're like me after collecting and painting for several years, you end up with a ton of leftover parts and bits that start to take on a life of their own in your hobby room. There is also the issue of wear and tear from standard play, and lets face it...accidents happen.

In my case years back I had a perfectly good urban painted Tau Devilfish that ended up in a chair and got sat on...crunch! The damage was severe and I just threw it into my bitz box and forgot about it.

As I sat around this holiday season, I got some inspiration. I have always been fascinated by images of nature reclaiming man-made items like these. I find something haunting about them. I glanced over at my bitz box and put two and two together... it was off to dioramaville!

The thing I really like about doing little dioramas like these is the "atmosphere" they add to your 40k games. It gives you a chance to relax, experiment with painting and conversion techniques in a "safe" way that isn't going into your tabletop army, and they make great objectives as well.

The basics of this diorama are the smashed Devilfish, a $5 6-inch circular plaque, some cork, and a lot of drywall spackle and drybrushing. The project proceeded in several phases of first building up the base, followed by solidly mounting the wrecked devilfish to it with screws, followed by heavy application to the spackle to "embed" the wreckage into the base.

I then did a series of base coats to the terrain, followed by heavy inking and washes applied to both the wreck and the base to tie them together visually. Gravel was glued on and heavy drybrush blending from the ground color up to white were applied in progressive layers to the wreck. The goal was to give it a wind-blasted appearance that looks like it has begun to dissapear into the terrain visually. Finally staticgrass was applied into a variety of areas of both the base and little recessed pockets of the wreck to give that "reclaimed by nature" effect.

The total time was about 2 days including the drying time from the various washes. All in all a quite simple project. I plan on making a set of these (not all this big) and using them for objectives. If you guys have extra bitz lying around and want a little painting diversion, give a wreck diorama a try. Its great fun, and there is someting theraputic about taking drills, pliers and power tools to the plastic to make it realistically "damaged".

~What crazy projects are you working on? If you all have any cool little side projects or objectives post them up. As usual, comments are welcome.

December 27, 2008

Saturday Omnibus December 27th 2008

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Hi guys, a couple of items this holiday weekend.

Lizardmen Advanced Orders
The Lizardmen February releases are starting to appear on the GW site for pre-orders. The also provide a ton move pictures of the kits and more details on them.

Lizardmen Army Book
Saurus Temple Guard
Chakax, The Eternity Warden

Facebook Connect Enabled
BoLS now has a presence on Facebook. We have enabled Facebook Connect with our Disqus commenting system and added a BoLS RSS page on Facebook itself. What does this mean you ask? It means that any of you Facebook users can now leave comments with your Facebook login info. Run a Facebook search for "Bell of Lost Souls" and see what happens. Pretty cool.

~That Stegadon Kit looks like it comes with a ton of options and extra bits. As for the Facebook Connect commenting, you Facebook users should try it out. It will place a little "f" icon in the corner of your comments avatar so everyone knows where you came from. Have a good weekend guys!

December 26, 2008

TUTORIAL: Snow Basing

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Snow Bases; A guest tutorial by Bushido Red Panda.

I decided to do the tutorial using my Templar Venerable Dreadnought as it was a very large and already somewhat scenic base. The first step after primer is to put the base colors on the parts of the base that will be showing some after the snow is applied. Here I used Adeptus Battlegrey, then Fortress Grey, then skull white drybrushed onto the edges.

The next step is to put a base coat of white on the parts of the base that will have the snow. I use Van Gogh or Liquitex 'Titanium' white high pigment acrylic and a single coat is enough to get the desired coverage. This helps the thinner snow areas to show brighter. It also helps when applying the snow itself to be sure you get it where you want it. I also like to leave the crevasses darker so they show right later as well.

That is all the prep the base needs before applying the snow. To make the snow itself requires water, standard Elmer's school glue, and baking soda. I also like to add some more high pigment white paint to prevent any yellowing, though it requires a bit more caution to be sure you keep it away from the important parts of the model it seems to work well. The mix is approximately 4 parts baking soda, 3 parts water, 2 parts glue, and about a half teaspoon or so of the white acrylic.

It should end up somewhere between the consistency of cream of wheat and a soft frosting. I use an old brush that I've cut into something of a flat edge on one side to apply the paste. I tend to do mix it more on the liquid side, it will settle in time and you can use the thicker part of the mix to build up mounds.

Once it is spread as you want it, it can be set aside to dry. I used my laptop fan to speed up the process in this case. Once it has dried and settled, you can add additional mix (it will stay liquid for some time with some additional mixing) where you feel it is needed. I also used a sharp sculpting too along the feet of the dread while it was setting to show the dreads impression on the snow.

Once I have the snow dried in the shape I wish, I go back over and touch up the model's feet and the sides of the stone still showing. I also mixed a very thin fortress gray and went back over the crevasses and around the feet with a super fine brush to give some shading.

I went over the snow parts with a thinned titanium white to make the snow a bit more white. You can do this as much as you want to bring the snow out. Some other small touch ups and the model's ready to join the snow ball fight.

~Bigred here. OK everybody, lets raid the kitchen and utility room for supplies and get cracking. Lets see if we can make 2009 the year of the snow based army! comments are welcome, and be sure to visit Bushido Red Panda's blog for more pics of the Dread.
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