Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Technical servitor (W40K)

Another 40K miniature: a technical servitor, which will come in very useful, even if just as 'scenery' for my Inquisitor campaign.  This is a classic sculpt from back when I first got into Warhammer 40K, & I think it still stands up against the latest GW miniatures.  The static pose particularly suits the nature of this cyborg drone.

I went with a fairly standard Mechanicum scheme, though he matches the colours of my Inquisitor's retinue. I'm pleased with the wiring, but I still haven't mastered the 'gem' effect for bionic eyes.  I think the skin tone could also be paler for that proper unhealthy servitor look, though this could be a freshly 'enhanced' individual...

I tried using a black fineliner for the 1st time for the chevrons on the power claw, which was easier than fine brushwork, though I think an inverted-V pattern on the side might look better than the simple diagonal banding that I opted for.  I'm pleased with the blue wash & gloss on the drug vials, though the effect doesn't show up too well in these photos.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Death-cult assassin (W40K)

Back to Warhammer 40,000 / 'Inquisimunda' now, after the BfG binge.  This is Lamma Thoss, a death-cult assassin & Inquisitorial agent.  I based her on the Hasslefree Miniatures Kat figure which in my opinion is a much more dynamic model & better sculpt than the GW death-cult assassins.

However, I felt the short sword in her right hand was a bit plain, so I removed her hands & replaced them with suitably dainty ones holding the elegant swords from the Wood Elf Glade Guard sprue.  In the 2nd Edition (Necromunda era) rules I will be using for the Inquisitor campaign, these will count as poisoned blades, each dealing D3 wounds.

As you can see, she is also armed with a stub pistol as backup.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tyranid assault hiveship (BfG)

Moving on to the big stuff, this is my first completed Tyranid hiveship.  In an effort towards frugality I continued to try & use up every piece on the 'Nid sprues, so decided that I would have two main types of hiveship.  I have an extra-large carrier hiveship in progress, based on the Carnifex body & tail with various modifications.  I'd also like to make a pyro-acid-heavy one of these to add some long-range firepower to the fleet.  However, various carapace & weapon options come with the Carnifex (& Warrior sprues), so I for each Carnifex-based hiveship I should be able to get two slightly smaller ones similar to this:

Although mounted on a battleship base, these hiveships are more on a par with the battlecruisers & grand cruisers in other fleets, & follow my cruiser layout from the previous post, but with the Warrior torso turned on it's back, & a spare Carnifex main-plate as the dorsal armour bulk of the bio-ship.  I have used the plain shell section here as the one with open glands lends itself well to my carrier & the spiky one suggests 'boarding torpedoes' to me...  For my first hiveship, I just had to go with the ridiculous massive claws/feeder tentacles option, & make it an insane all-out assault creature that looks a lot nastier than it's actual effectiveness in-game.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Tyranid cruiser (BfG)

Here is my first Tyranid cruiser analog, species: Pyromaw.  I constructed this using a 'Nid Warrior body, with devourer muzzles sculpted base-to-base for the prow pyro-acid battery, & biomorphs for the broadside acid glands.  The front boarding torpedo launchers are Termagaunt spinefists.  I decided this model was tapering too thin towards the aft, so I carved-up Warrior thighs to create a pair of biological 'engine' or thruster equivalents.  Finally I added the hook to the tail using a 'Gaunt claw.

My future Tyranid cruisers will follow this same basic pattern, with different bio-weapon configurations.  I plan to build another Pyromaw to boost the medium-range firepower (unfortunately the only long-range is from pyro-acid-armed hiveships) of my Hivefleet, then get to work on an assault variant cruiser...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Tyranid kraken (BfG)

Following on from my lesser Tyranid escort bio-ships, here are some of the kraken that I have built using W40K 'Nid pieces.  As these heavier escorts lack spore cloud 'shields', but benefit from extremely durable carapace & powerful regenerative abilities (ie. always count as on Brace for Impact orders, without the penalties), I painted them with orange instead of yellow, to mark them out more on the tabletop (I had bees in mind rather than wasps).  Below are my favourites - Hailburners with nasty (for an escort analog) Firepower 6 pyro-acid batteries!  These were made using Termaga(u)nt bodies with the limbs carved away, + plating & devourer muzzles for the 'prow' batteries.  The lower-most Hailburner has battle-damage to it's carapace.

Next is the kraken species (sub-species?) that I have dubbed Terrorcisor.  Again these use Termagaunt bodies & bits of plating, each with 3 Hormagaunt scythes to make up the massive claws.  Like the vanguard drones with feeder tentacles, these can be destructive if they can get into contact with enemy ships, but I have found that my kraken become priority targets in most battles that I have played...

I have also built a brood of boarding torpedo-armed kraken using Hormagaunt bodies & spinefist 'muzzles', to be most economical in maximising the number of ships I can build using all the pieces from the sprues.  Although the BfG Armada supplement mentions that kraken can vary greatly in size & form, I think it would look better to remodel these with the bulkier Termagaunt bodies, to match the other kraken above.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Tyranid vanguard drones (BfG)

Here are my scratchbuilt vanguard drones for Battlefleet Gothic, again pieced-together from W40K Tyranid sprues.  These bio-ships more closely follow the role of the fast frigates & destroyers in more conventional fleets, so I wanted them to look sleeker & speedier than my diminuitive escort drones.  First are the vanguard drones with feeder tentacles (species: Geneseeder), constructed from Tyranid Warrior head shields, flesh-hooks, & Hormagaunt scythes.  I envisage these as scouting ahead, seeding worlds (& the occasional space hulk) with Genestealers, Lictors, Lurkers & other 'Nid infiltration organisms, many years before the  arrival of the main Hive Fleet.  The barbed tendrils flick out at high speed to penetrate the hulls of prey vessels, injecting broods of terrifying killer xenos.  Within a Hive Fleet Geneseeders act as swift & deadly assault vessels.  Their feeder tentacles combined with the effects of their spore clouds & close-range boarding make them surprisingly dangerous (if they survive long enough to reach the enemy).

Next are my vanguard drones with pyro-acid glands.  I made them from Hormagaunt bodies, with the front & rear limbs carved away (I left the central pair of claws to lend a 'drifting' look to the models), & biomorphs added to the 'prow' to represent pyro-acid-spewing glands.  I have used these same biomorphs as broadside pyro-acid batteries on my Tyranid cruisers.  These are quite lightly armed compared to the frigates of other races, so I tend to use them in large swarms.  In vanguard activities, these Scaldcasters support the Geneseeders with their ranged weaponry capability.  As part of a Hive Fleet they can react fast to the changing nature of a space engagement, moving to support other more dangerous bio-ships as required.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Tyranid escort drones (BfG)

If I had to pick a single favourite miniatures game, Battlefleet Gothic would probably be it.  I collect several fleets - Tau Empire, Orks, Blood Angels & Tyranids (plus a few ships from other races/factions).  Tyranids are the fleet I have been working on most recently.  I was never a big fan of Games Workshop's 'Nid vessels however, & I was inspired by an Italian wargamer's (sorry I forget his name!) photos featured in the Warp Rift netzine to scratchbuild my own terrifying xenos bio-ships, using pieces from the W40K 'Nid sprues.  Even before I saw his wasp-like colour scheme, I had always planned to use yellow/black if I ever began collecting Tyranids, but the gribbly alien ferocity of his brilliant models sealed the deal for me - I needed yet another fleet!

I began by making a prototype Tyranid escort drone with feeder tentacles (I have dubbed this species Voidravener) using 'Gaunt heads & tails. This was soon joined by two more.  Originally I planned these to float through the void trailing their tentacles behind as I thought this looked better, but seeing as they need their weapons up-front, & the dorsal armour plating overlaps in the opposite direction, the 'prows' are on the left here.  As slow protectors which stick close to the mighty hiveships, I wanted my escort drones to be diminuitive compared to the other bio-ships I would be crafting, & I was pleased with the results...

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Engineering bay (W40K)

It took quite a few evenings & weekends, but I finally finished my Warhammer 40K engineering bay.  My Inquisitor campaign will mainly consist of 'bitesize' encounters inside buildings & installations, so I needed a selection of rooms & corridors that can be moved around for different set-ups.  The first scenario, set during the inspection of a Rogue Trader's vessel, calls for various spaceship corridors, an engineering bay, & a large cargo hold.  I began with the engineering section, & it was more time consuming than I expected...

The walls are made from foamcore sheets, with thin card girder & access panel details.  I painted everything before gluing it together so it was less fiddly.  For the doors at the edges of the rooms section above I used a Necromunda bulkhead in the main corridor, & the W40K Manufactorum door from the Imperial Sector box in the side corridor.  The doors to the chambers are the power room (double) door & store room doors from Copplestone Castings, which has an excellent selection of furnishings etc in both the 'Future Wars' & 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' ranges.  A half-globe Manufactorum lamp is fixed above the double doors.  The floor panels are sections of thin card cut in an interlocking pattern.  The bases are thick plywood.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Pyromaniac (W40K)

This is Tobius Ragg, a Redemptionist pyromaniac recruited into Inquisitorial service.  He's one of a selection of figures that I'm working on for my planned Inquisitor skirmish/adventure campaign.

I based this miniature on the Necromunda Cawdor ganger with grenade launcher.  I've pinned the muzzle of a flamer from the Cadian infantry sprue onto the end of the launcher, & added Cadian flamer tanks to the model's back.  They fitted nicely with the shoulder straps already sculpted on the figure.  The fuel pipe is some wire sleeve from a pair of old headphones.  The igniter flame is made from Green Stuff putty.  I've aimed for a black leather look using 'Ardcoat varnish, whilst retaining some red in the overall scheme to suggest the Redemptionist cult.  I'm fairly pleased with the light sourcing from the flame & the sooty effect on the flesh, but it's not perfect.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


So here it is.  I've finally started a blog intended to encourage my efforts in the arena of miniature construction/painting & wargaming, with the incentive to showcase my attempts at model-making & painting, & to see what fellow wargamers are up to.  I tend to be sporadic with my miniatures/gaming interests, which continue to expand, so I need to improve my focus...

I have been wargaming for about 16 years, ever since I was inspired to explore the Warhammer 40,000 hobby by the classic 2nd Edition John Blanche box art of the Blood Angels driving a wedge through an Ork army.  Necromunda, Gorkamorka, Epic 40,000, Warhammer Quest, & eventually Battlefleet Gothic were added to my list of gaming interests.  The dark & terrible setting of W40K continues to capture my imagination all these years later.

This was followed by several long-running 4 & 2 player Star Wars D20 RPG sagas.  Over the past couple of years I have collected 28mm Russian Civil War Bolshevik & White forces, & now 15mm IDF, PLO, & Syrian armies.  My wargaming activities have a strong slant towards collecting & painting armies, but I also enjoy the gaming aspect.

Most recently I have been involved in a 3 player Battlefleet Gothic campaign, & have begun to play Force on Force in a 1982 Lebanon setting.  I'm currently playing Sath Cropper - a Halfling vagrant/scrumper - in my friend's RPG, which uses modified Dungeons&Dragons rules.  I have plans to GM a W40K Inquisitor skirmish/adventure campaign using the Necromunda rules.

I'm currently sorting-out the layout of this blog, but I will soon begin posting a largely visual log of miniatures, table-top terrain, related wargaming bits, & perhaps some RPG stuff.