Thursday, 30 March 2017

Kit Bashing Fun - Tips and Tricks

I'm not that skilled at sculpting green stuff or 'proper' converting (whatever that may be), but kit bashing is something I thoroughly enjoy and can achieve some pretty decent results from. Now that GW are releasing more and more better quality plastic kits, kit bashing is even easier than it ever has been (anyone else old enough to remember trying to whittle the head from a metal miniature?!). The removal of superglue from the hobby equation can only be a good thing (never stuck my finger to my tongue with plastic glue...).

Some tips (in no particular order)
  • Don't forget to drill those gun barrels. GW's hobby drill has never let me down.
  • Two points of contact. Always aim for two points of contact with fiddly or delicate pieces. Especially with gaming miniatures (as opposed to display-only miniatures). They'll snap off real quickly, sometimes before you even finish painting, which just leads to unnecessary anguish.
  • Don't try and do too much too quickly. You'll get frustrated as one piece you thought was stuck falls off just as you are holding another piece in position. Take your time, leave it over night if you have to, it's not going anywhere!
  • Don't use too much plastic glue, it can and will melt the plastic, ruining some of that lovely moulded detail
  • Don't be afraid to use 'green stuff'. Even for kit bashes it's good for smoothing areas, filling joints and even bonding pieces together.
  • Clean every part before you start sticking. You might find it very difficult to reach some mould lines once the miniature is stuck together.
  • Dry fit before sticking. Sometimes you'll find things don't quite fit and need filing or cutting to fit snugly. Once that glue is applied you have to wait for it to dry before you can continue progress. 
What I wanted to do was share my latest kit bash with you, along with some tips, to show you just how easy it is to do.

First, take a bunch of bits. Start with a big bunch of bits, play around with them and try and imagine the look of the miniature you are going for. The pose, the bits you want to use. Sometimes I get an idea in my head based on just a single bit that I have seen and want to use. And sometimes you'll have a solid idea only for the end result to look completely different, because once you start assembling the pieces they might not quite go together the way you wanted them to. This isn't Lego after all...
Choose the bits you think you want to use.
Then start assembling. Start with the base and other big bits. Remember that plastic glue takes a while, probably 20 minutes, before the pieces are solidly stuck together (do you want me to start talking about the chemical reaction that welds the plastic together? Thought not...).
For this guy I wanted to use a destroyed tank door as my base. I got some wire cutters and started 'destroying' the door from a Storm Raven. Then used a scalpel to add chips
A quick head swap to make my unit unique
Some bits I didn't get to use, such as the wolf cloak (because this guy already has a cloak... and double cloaking, that's madness I tell you!)
And there you go, one kit bashed Wolf Lord in under 1 hour!
This is my favourite kit bash of all time (to date). Made especially difficult as it's based on the metal Gabriel Seth (he's resin these days, which would have made this so much easier!)
Happy hobbying!
Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

30k - Have it your way!

I kicked myself this week for realising that I've actually missed quite a few things in the Horus Heresy big black books, namely different ways to play 30k. I'm a big fan of Zone Mortalis, so was fully aware of that, but didn't realise there were other ways. So, what I thought I'd do is go away and review them, and then make sure you guys haven't missed them too!

Book 1 - Betrayal

There are rules for 6 standard games and 6 Legendary Battles. Don't miss these Legendary Battles, because they really add a lot of flavour. I played a variation on Battle 4 with the Four Dads earlier this year and it was great fun.
There is also Zone Mortalis. If you love close quarters, fast-paced fighting, this is the game for you! This is my favourite style of game; small force, close confines, swift escalation. You get up close and personal very quickly and can easily play a 1500pt battle in under an hour. The only minor draw back is that you need a ZM board, but if you like this style you'll get plenty of use out of it.
From my experience, this type of game is suited to 1250 to 1750pt battles. Anything bigger and the table becomes congested, anything smaller and it's generally a one sided affair.
Image result for horus heresy book 1

Book 3 - Extermination

Book 3 contains the rules for Strike Force. I didn't even notice this the first time I read the boo. I'm more into the fluff and painting side of this hobby, so looking at any rules contained in these books is not usually on my radar. This year, however, I have been playing more games of 30k than I've managed in the last 5 years put together probably, so I should start paying attention!
Strike Force is pretty cool, it is essentially Kill Team in 30k and I love it.
The armies are made up of individual models which you can pick from any unit entry in the book. The limitations are 150pts for 'characters' to lead the force (these can be anything from a sergeant to a praetor, so long as they have the 'character' rule), and then an undisclosed amount of points for the rest of the army. Games Workshop are running a campaign soon, Victory is Vengeance, which allows 300pts for the rest of the army (so 450pts in total), and I have to say that at this points value the game takes a good amount of time to play and the battle is pretty even, despite the fact you will have very very different armies on the board. So I'd stick with that.
Book 3 also provides some updates and additions to Zone Mortalis gaming, don't miss that.
Image result for horus heresy book 3

Book 4 - Conquest

Conquest contains rules for City Fight. I must admit that of these three rule sets, this is the one I know least about. Book 4 is a book that I never really look at. Back in the day, this was meant to be the release slot for Inferno, so when a book about Imperial Guard was released instead of my beloved Wolves, I was really disappointed. And thus, it sits in the cupboard like an unwanted toy...
Maybe I'll crack it open and take another look. If the game is like the old City Fight 40k rules, it will most likely be a load of additional rules you can add to your standard games for 40k.
Let me know if you've used them please...
Image result for horus heresy book 4


In summary, I'm a big fan of small games. I don't often have time to take a whole day, or even half a day, to play a standard game of 40k, so getting a couple of Zone Mortalis games in of an evening over a couple of cups of tea (only the hard stuff for me these days!!) is ideal.
I always buy these books because of the fluff and the art and have never really looked at the rules they also contain. This goes some way to explaining why it takes so long or Forge World to publish them, they are essentially writing and testing a brand new rules system every time! They should make a bigger deal of it.
After speaking to a couple of friends, we all agree that we'd buy a book that compiles these ways to play, just to have all the rules in one place.

What's your favourite way to play?

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k

Monday, 27 March 2017

Gaming - Strike Force

Just a quick post from me this week. Work has been hectic the last few weeks due to it being the end of the financial year!

Friday I managed to find a couple of spare hours and went to play a game of 30k Strike Force with my friend Dimitri at Warhammer World. There's a tournament (Victory is Vengeance) in a couple of weeks so he wanted to practice.

In essence the game is just like Kill Team. You get 450pts each, 150pts have to be spent on 'characters' to lead your force and the other 300pts can be cherry picked from across the army list.

When I say 'characters', what I mean is any unit with the 'character' special rule, so you don't need HQ's to lead the army, you can take a squad sergeant for example.

My Space Wolves selection ended up being 2 centurians (because I read the rules wrong and didn't realise you could take a sergeant instead...), 5 assault marines, 5 Grey Slayers and 2 terminators. Each man is an individual, so they move, shoot and assault like separate units, but you can form them in to ad hoc squads if you wish.

This was faced by a Raven Guard army consisting of a lot of people with either a) sniper rifles or b) jump packs. The sniper rifles made a good job of catching everyone in crisscrossing fire arcs, but lacked the manoeuvrability to escape from my own assault troops who, due to the close confines and 4"x4" board, were in amongst them by Turn 2.

My Grey Slayers didn't fair so well. With their move-run-charge special rule they swiftly made it across the board, but were unlucky with their saving rolls.

The game was great fun, and very close, with only 1 VP in it at the end of 5 turns.

This guy is a hero, surviving endless sniper shots every turn and decimating everyone at close quarters. The number of 6's he rolled for saves and to hits was incredible. I've probably used up my allowance for 2017!

I'll definitely be playing Strike Force again!

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Fury of the Ancients - planning a new army

Hey there guys! I wanted to run something by you.

You may have seen my army painting challenge post. That's going really well for me, but it got me thinking about wanting to do something a little different later this year. Once I've painted all that infantry, my core forces will be finished and I can afford to have a little fun.

My first thought was to go all out and start a Knight army. I'd only need 5 models for a full army!

Then I thought, actually I like playing Zone Mortalis a lot, and knights don't really fit into space hulk or underground caverns very often, so maybe that's not for me.

What about a tank army? Not really ZM either...

So I've decided to go for a Contemptor Dreadnought army. Using the 'Fury of the Ancients' rule of war I can field Contemptors as troops choices. I have fancied painting a Leviathan for a while and the new Space Wolves dread should be out soon, so this sounds like the perfect time to do this.

I've been looking through the book and considering my options. Some constraints are:
  • Need to take a Forge Lord and Primus Medicae as HQs
  • Want to incorporate the two dreads I already have. 
Manoeuvrability will be an issue as dreads aren't known for their speed. I could include some drop pods, but I don't want to. 

So, I've come up with the list below and wanted some feedback from you guys. What do you think? Weapons load outs ok? I've tried to go for a lot of medium to long range weaponry, not wanting my tin cans to get bogged down in close combat.

The ticks are the things I already have.

Feedback welcome!

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k

Monday, 20 March 2017

Gathering Storm Part 3 - First Thoughts

I know there have already been a number of reviews out there for this one but I wanted to share my initial thoughts with you guys, both on this book and the series as a whole. 

Gathering Storm: Rise of the Primarch

I think Games Workshop have absolutely knocked the ball out of the park with the Gathering Storm series. The fluff progression and miniatures that we’re seeing is fantastic. If the three books, this one is the one that’s made me go out and buy the miniatures. Who doesn’t want a plastic Primarch?! 

This book provides the epic conclusion to the series, where we see our band of warriors reach their goal and unlock the ultimate prize. We see Cypher returning (currently I’m reading Angels of Caliban by Gav Thorpe, so this throws up a load of questions in my mind… who is this Cypher!? And is he for or against the Big E?), we see the Grey Knights getting involved and we saw a living god travel across the galaxy, speak to his living-corpse of a father and take up the mantle of Emperor (in all but name).

The other thing this series has done is bring the 40k factions into two corners: good guys and bad guys. The Imperium have spent too long losing the fight against all comers so it is good that they have finally accepted that to remove the cancer of Chaos, they are going to need help. The Eldar were obvious, but Necrons?! But then. Maybe it makes sense, all three of these races were created by the Old Ones to fight Chaos, so it’s symbolic that they should finally form an alliance of sorts to finally beat the bad guys. 

I think 8th Edition is going to be a little like The End Times, in that GW will be able to clean up the factions. We have too many in my mind. It’s great that we can play them all, but do Dark Eldar and Eldar really need separate codices? Do all the Space Marine chapters for that matter? When they are united under one banner, they’ll simply be different arms of Guilliman’s Super Legion. 

And what about the rules? On the plus, we now get to field a living saint, an Eldar God and a Primarch! Who couldn’t be happier?

Triumvirate of the Primarch

I was a bit disappointed that Guilliman cannot join a unit though. In 30k, that’s part of the fun; the lord and his chosen heroes running into the fray. But I guess in 40k this could be a bit overpowered. I dunno, I’m not a rules buff, I just like the imagery. Just over 300 points for a Primarch is quite a difference to the 400 or 500pts we see in 30k. I guess I need to see him on the field. 

In any case, I cannot wait to get my hands on him to paint, the model of Guilliman looks fantastic (and it’s not often I say that about the over-fancy 40k-comic miniatures we are seeing these days). I’ve ordered mine from Alchemists Workshops as usual as the 25% discount really helped persuade me to shell out on a non-Space Wolf miniature! haha

What do you guys think? Loving it or hating it? Let me know in the comments below. - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k

Friday, 17 March 2017

Tactical Support Squad - Rotor Cannons

I brought these guys when the rotor cannon set first came out. Why? Because they're cool. I'm not even sure I'll ever use them because rotor cannons are a bit pants against marines. I might give them a go against Mechanicum or Solar Auxiliary if I ever play them.

I've been really trying to push my OSL skills on these.

I'm loving the Forge World transfers but they do tend to fade into the background sometimes. It's a difficult one though; the Games Workshop Space Wolves transfers have a white backing and are super bright, which isn't ideal either...

Thanks for looking!

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Taking the army to war: figures cases

Like many a hobbyist of a certain age, I brought my army cases at least ten years ago. And as my army has grown and evolved, so I have cut and replaced my foam to accommodate it. The result is that the foam inside y cases is now not really fit for purpose. A real miss mash of torn bits of foam that don't really protect my lovingly painted miniatures in the way they once did.

The cases I've got are these bad boys from the days of yore:
Image result for games workshop figure cases
They are huge and sturdy and fit loads of miniatures so they were fantastic when I got them. Then I brought more tanks, more Forge World resin, everything got bigger and heavier and I cut the foam to fit. I can't fault these, but my army is bigger now and I want something more bespoke.

I started looking at the new Games Workshop cases:
Citadel Crusade Figure Case
I remember reading the reviews of these when they first came out and was pretty impressed. They sound really versatile. I must admit, I was tempted.

But then I had a few resin incidents. Where Forge World miniatures have been packed and a sword or axe has been under pressure from the foam, they end up bent. It just happened to my Leman Russ actually. He got a bent sword and I had to get the hairdryer out and bend it back into shape. These cases strike me as having the ability to cause me a lot of trouble in that department.

So then I started looking at KR multicase, I have one of their boxes, just a simple one that holds about 150 marines. Great for a large infantry army.

But they do all sorts of bespoke foam for different things, I'm just a bit concerned about everything being in cardboard cases.

What do you guys think? Any suggestions or recommendations?

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k