Magnets: How Do They Work?

Magnetized Helbrutes

At some point, I had a total of 4 Helbrutes: 3 from the Dark Vengeance kit, and 1 from the Multi-part kit with all of the options.  I acquired the first Dark Vengeance Helbrute from the set itself.  Number two came from eBay (~5 dollars I believe).  The third was a gift from David (surprise!).

Dark Vengeance Helbrute with magnetized arms and modified sarcophagus.

Since the one I acquired from David was painted and assembled, I used my completely unpainted Helbrute as collateral in part of the trade that garnered me more than 3,000 points worth of Tyranids.  I stripped the paint from the one David gave me.  It was completely painted, but did not match the style of my army, and I had other plans for it...

Originally I was just going to run two Helbrutes, but once I acquired the multi-part kit, I was inspired to try my hand at magnetising as many of the weapon options as I could manage.  Originally, the combi-bolters on the power fist arms were magnetised, but it became too obnoxious and I glued the guns on permanently.

...and besides, combi-bolters are cheap and effective in 8th edition!

What inspired me to magnetise 2 of my 3 Helbrutes?  I came to realise that the multi-part kit had multiple arm mount joints for the same arm.  Two for each, I believe.  After fighting with some knives and green stuff, I managed to carve away the Dark Vengeance arms and slot in some magnetised stumps to join my weapon arms to.

The guns snap over the bit on the left with no need for magnets.

I was able to magnetise the following:
  • Reaper Autocannon
  • Twin-Linked Lascannon
  • Multi-Melta
  • 2x Power fists with combi-bolters
  • Missile Launcher
  • Thunder Hammer
  • Plasma Cannon

All Magnetized and ready to go.
I didn't want to deal with figuring out how to magnetise the Power Scourge and in 7th edition the Heavy Bolter option seemed kind of lacklustre.  All of the gun arms save the missile launcher slot in to the gun mount without the need for additional magnets.  It's a rather tight join, which I imagine will occasionally wear away the paint once painted.

Enter 8th edition, and I've traded off the statically posed Dark Vengeance Helbrute.  I have two magnetised Helbrutes and a painted copy of the Dark Vengeance Helbrute.  Since I'm not super enthused about the multi-melta in 8th, I once again decided to try my hand at converting a replacement 3rd Helbrute with my leftover weapons.

Number 3's load out of Power Scourge and Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter seems like a pretty efficient horde killer unit, and I'm excited to get it painted up!  Modelling this guy was very similar to carving up my magnetised Dark Vengeance model, but I had to fill gaps and attempt to make it "fit" without having any more arm mounts to utilise.

Power Scourge and Heavy Bolter.

How did I do?


Get Pelted

And Now For Something Completely Different

So far, all of my posts have more or less been about Warhammer 40,000.  While I've never played Age of Sigmar (yet) or its predecessor Warhammer Fantasy Battle, I played a metric ton of Necromunda.  My love of Necromunda and wanting to stick a foot in to the Old (old) World made Mordheim: City of the Damned a lock for my interests.

Instead of showing off a current work in progress, I'm going to showcase my Human Mercenaries from the realm of Middenheim.  Replete with beards, hammers, wolf pelts and a much more savage appearance than the other mercenary bands, I was ecstatic to crack open my starter box and dive in.  I was equally enthusiastic to build my Skaven warband, and the split between the two (and lack of enthusiasm for the hobby side of things by my regular opponent) meant that it took me quite a while to finish either.  I don't think I ever finished an entire Necromunda gang or any of my Mordheim warbands save this one.  I don't know what happened, but at some point I buckled down and finished the entire group.

Yay! Finished!
The warband is painted in a much simpler style than what I tend to do now.  There are almost no highlights or shading.  My goal was simply to paint as cleanly as possible.  I arrived upon a striking blue as my primary color, paired with some greys, browns and greens for their no-nonsense clothing and fur cloaks.

Mercenary Captain with Sword, Buckler and Dueling Pistol.

Despite shields being fairly inefficient and costly in the initial rules set, I couldn't resist including these wolf's head shields that I had acquired in trade along with some old WHFB goblins.  I aimed to have a significant amount of variety between models while still having a functional and competitive warband, and I really enjoyed playing Middenheim quite a bit.

Hammer Bros.
There are some questionable painting decisions here and there, but I think they hold up pretty well.  They have a very no-nonsense appearance and the paint jobs are neat and tidy.

Please Hammer, don't hurt'm!

Most importantly, they're something I actually finished (if you ignore the bases)Despite a similarly simple painting style, the larger number of models and constantly shifting armaments meant that my Skaven never got finished.

Youngblood, armed like the Hammer Bros.

With the release of the new Necromunda and Mordheim being "dead" for several years, I content myself by occasionally playing the Mordheim PC game, which has a pretty steep learning curve.  It's not a flawless game by any stretch of the imagination, but after butting heads with it on several occasions, I came to enjoy it quite a bit.

Swordsmen with bucklers...I found these two to be super effective!
At some point I'd like to double back and put all of my Mordheim stuff on circular bases.  Square bases never made sense for a skirmish game, and now that AoS is also using circular bases, there isn't much reason not to.  I'd like to touch up some of the paint jobs since they're so basic, but I've got so many other projects...probably not the best use of my time.

Youngblood with dual hammers! Notice a theme?


Mohawk'd Scouts

Dakka Dakka Dakka.

Here's a group shot of my new Space Marine Scouts.  I have two squads of plastic scouts, one of which you can see here, and 2 Scout sergeants.  The one pictured had a bolt pistol that I replaced with a storm bolter I pulled off of a Deathwing Terminator from the Dark Vengeance boxed set.  The storm bolter was ruined from when I removed it, and I had to replace the part back by the grip to make it look more convincing.  Removing the bolt pistol from the metal model was a pain.  Thank goodness for a good pair of clippers and some heavy duty metal files.

The other scout sergeant that I have is a metal space wolf scout that I picked up in a bag of used models.  He'll be joining my sniper rifle armed scouts in a similar fashion.

You can see that I've opted to give my younger scouts all heads with mohawk heads to honor my roots in 2nd edition.  I even remembered to carefully remove the service studs!

A lot of these mohawk heads came from (you guessed it) David.  I believe a lot of them are from the Vanguard Veterans kit.  Apparently all of the scouts from the old Space Crusade board game grew up to be Vanguard Veterans?  I guess.

Ready to pity some fools.

While these conversions were very simple, I definitely made it harder on myself than I needed to.  I kept breaking bolter barrels or losing parts on the carpet.  I have to accept that sometimes I'm just too tired to assemble models.  I drilled out all of the neck holes on the bodies so that the heads would fit in, but I had to carefully carve down all of the necks to fit.

In case extra pitying is required.

I think the extra effort was worth it.  Hopefully you do too!


Devastator Sergeant

A real simple post this time.  I had enough spare missile launchers from my bags of salvaged bits to craft a Devastator squad for my Storm Dragons Space Marines.  However, I didn't really have the bits to represent a modern Devastator Sergeant with signum.  I figured using some fancy Mk. III armor and some doodads to "tech up" his armor would suffice.  Not sure what to do about converting a cherub, but I'll figure that out eventually.

I gave him a storm bolter from an old plastic 2nd edition Space Hulk terminator that has evolved in to a Chaos Space Marine Obliterator so that he can contribute some meaningful but affordable weight of fire to the squad.  Eventually I'll craft a few additional bolter marines so that I have some mooks to soak up a couple ablative wounds.  What?  Isn't that how you Imperials do things?

Does he look sufficiently tech-y enough?  Let me know what you think.


The Dreaded Backlog

Collecting photography as well as hobby progress has been a bit difficult at the moment due to the looming holidays, but I thought it might help me to sit down and take stock of all of my projects so that I can better plan and prioritize.  Presented in no particular order.


Build Projects:

  • Convert old/broken Necromunda models in to renegades and heretics
  • Finish building my "Storm Dragons" space marines
    • Clean up/strip paint from reclaimed models
    • Minor conversion work
  • Build ~3,000 points worth of Tyranids.  A lot of the basics are done but need clean up
    • Figure out how to convert this Swarmlord "conversion" I acquired without murdering my fingers.
  • Strip old Necromunda gangs ("of legend")
  • Build New Goliath and Escher gangs
  • Clean/Build Rubric Marines/Thousand Sons contingent
  • Clean/Build Death Guard contingent
  • Continue plodding through backlog of Word Bearers conversions
    • Make second unit of Berserkers and enable both squads to have more variation in loadout (i.e. banners, plasma pistols, more chainaxes, etc.)
    • Finish 2nd half of converted bike squad
    • Decide whether or not to build 2nd box of Raptors/Warp Talons as more Raptors or Warp Talons.  Build.
    • Assemble Heldrake that has been laying in cleaned parts for over a year!
    • Convert a 3rd custom Obliterator to meet new minimum squad size requirements
    • Build my havocs with heavy bolters and autocannons
    • Convert Warpsmith
  • Build small subfaction of Alpha Legion(?)
  • Finish building remaining daemon models
    • Squad of Seekers of Slaanesh
    • Squad of Plaguebearers
  • Build small Khornate AoS faction that David gifted me.
  • Bonus: Make a small Inquisitorial warband for funsies

Sort of *sigh*

Painting Projects

  • Paint Tyranid army (no big deal, right?)
  • Finish painting 600ish points of Orks (and then I'm done!)
  • Paint Storm Dragons space marines
  • Continue painting more Chaos stuff
    • Custom Daemon Prince
    • Regular Daemon Prince
    • Berserkers
    • Rubrics
    • Death Guard stuff
    • 3 more bikers
    • 2 more Spawn
    • Havocs
  • Repaint my old Necromunda gangs
  • Paint Warhammer Quest: The Silver Tower contents
  • Paint new Necromunda gangs
  • Paint my hodgepodge of daemons
  • Paint AoS Khorne models

*double sigh*

Other Projects
  • Magnetize all of my 40k armies to work with my new magna rack
  • Strip the surface off of my gaming table and refinish.
  • Organize my bits to use my new storage boxes and get rid of old, falling apart kit boxes

Phew! That's a lot of stuff, and I guarantee you that I'm forgetting some projects.  This is just what came to mind while sitting in front of the keyboard.  I can't imagine what I'd come up with down by the hobby desk.  How overwhelming is your backlog?


They Might Be Dragons (Space Marines)

Dragon-Shaped Chapter Badges

I was going to possibly play the Executioners chapter because I could also get 3d printed badges for them, but I quickly realized that would likely turn in to a huge and time-consuming conversion project.  I intentionally tried to keep my force somewhat conversion-free with a few exceptions (in the event it fleshed out the force on a budget).

Real Scouts have mohawks.
Thanks, once again, to David for the mohawk heads.

This Imperial Space Marines force is comprised of mostly things I already owned or acquired cheaply online or through trades.  It's intended as an army to use primarily for visitors that either don't want to travel with their army or are just getting started.  It was pretty easy for me to flesh out what I had bits and pieces for and turn it in to ~2000 points of Imperial Space Marines.  This force is also the first to get the 32mm base treatment (other than scouts).  I doubt my Chaos Space Marines force is ever going to make the change, but I'm using my surplus of 32mm bases from Betrayal at Calth and some extra from...David (notice a theme here?)

Acquired the apothecary chest and gauntlet
from a bag of bits.  No backpack, but I think my
chunky MKIII bits make it work.

I wanted to make my own homebrew chapter and I wanted to use a 3d printed chapter badge of some sort to make painting heraldry easier.  After much deliberation, I settled on this Dragon Head designed by Pop Goes The Monkey on Shapeways.  I realize that it's intended to represent the Black Dragons chapter, which are one of the cursed foundings rife with mutations.  They are rumoured to be a Salamanders successor.  Perhaps their failed founding is why there aren't any other confirmed Salamanders successors?

I reasoned that it's highly likely that the Black Dragons are going to be one of many chapters to utilise a dragon head as their chapter badge.  There are a decent number of other chapters that have the exact same badge as another chapter and differentiate themselves by their armour colour, I reasoned.  I'm even considering using the Salamanders chapter tactics, but not to represent a successor so much as to use it as a template.  I haven't decided yet.  I've been entirely too wishy-washy about picking something and sticking too it.  So far, all I know is that dragons are involved!

After planning out approximately 2,000 points (which was immediately thrown off by the release of the Chapter Approved book), I first set aside everything that had Imperial markings that I couldn't see myself converting for my much larger Chaos Space Marines force.  Metal models, in particular, were strongly considered.  I have no desire to tediously scrape and smooth metal models.  Currently I own one sprue of MK III power armored marines from 30k (Burning of Prospero; acquired from a friend) and the entire contents of Betrayal at Calth.  I'm using a lot of the riveted MK IV armor pieces on my Chaos Space Marines to represent a mix of salvaged and mutated armor pieces.  Between MK IV and MK III, I've got 30 marines to use as materials.  I'll only be using about half of these for this force, I believe.

Incorporating some of these models is easier than others.  For example, I've got the Dark Angels captain from the Dark Vengeance boxed set.  This guy is just covered in Dark Angels iconography, and it took me quite a while to remove it.

That's a rather large sword.

I've also got this classic metal sergeant model.  I always really liked the pose of this guy, but never owned one back in the day.  I didn't from the angle that he has some kind of weird mullet/rat tail hairstyle!  I set about turning it in to long hair, mainly because I considered it easier than trying to remove or hide the tail.

Pictured: Hairesy.

I also had to make some repairs to this model.  Whoever owned it previously had made an attempt at removing purity seals and other imperial iconography, and had quickly given up.  I had to reattach a plastic purity seal to the gun holster as well as slap a "veteran" icon over the belt buckle.  Since I can't leave well enough alone, I also removed his bolt pistol and replaced it with a storm bolter (which I consider quite an efficient option at 2 points, adding the firepower of an additional tactical marine to a squad).  A chainsword arm and a new backpack later, and all I had to do was slap on my 3d printed Dragon badge.

Here be dragons.

Here's a group shot of what else is built so far (minus what I built today).  I'm not quite sure what to do with the Stormtalon yet.  I acquired it for a decent discount, but didn't realize the cockpit was glued shut.  There's a fellow wearing chaos marine armor inside, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to paint the canopy.  I was hoping to retain a clear canopy, but alas.  Even if I had a replacement, I'm not sure how I would remove this one without damaging the model.  It's frosted like it's superglued on.

Getting awfully Imperial in here.

Let me know what you think!


1,000 Sons

What Am I Going To Do With All Of These Sons!?

There are literally 1,000 of them.

I can't decide if I want to paint them like Thousand Sons.  Here's my debacle -- GW has officially pronounced that other chapters have created rubric marines.  I acquired the new Ahriman model for 18 dollars.  But I have red marines.  Ambiguously red kinda/sorta Word Bearers marines.  Therefore, I intend to simply run the Rubrics (with Ahriman occasionally) as a Thousand Sons detachment that is only Thousand Sons in name.  The sticking point is Ahriman, because I feel lame for having my cake and eating it too.  On the other hand, the Thousand Sons did originally wear red...

Not bad for 55% off.

I didn't even intend to acquire a mono-tzeentch army.  It just kind of happened via trades and bargain bin acquisitions.  They're not flashy new plastic rubric marines and whatnot.  They're old mono-posed metal marines combined with some paint-stripped multi-part plastic and metal rubrics of the previous mark.  Several of them required a little TLC to make field-able again.  I'm not sure what paint the previous owner used on one batch of them, because not even denatured alcohol could completely get the paint off.

Serviceable as an Aspiring Sorceror, right?

Here's the real clever bit though.  Everybody loves the new and expanded weapon options for the rubric squads.  In particular, which 40k player do you know that doesn't appreciate a nice mini gun equivalent?  But how does one represent a Soulreaper Cannon without hunting down those overpriced bits that are probably a little too large on my elderly rubric marines?  I think you'll agree that my FW rotor cannons work pretty darn well!  They're just the right size from the looks of it.

"Soulreaper Cannons"

I also ordered a baggy of warpflamers (which are in far greater abundance than the soulreaper cannons out in the wild) for a song.  Once again, David came to the rescue by gifting me some Blood Angels hand flamers to use as a basis for warpflame pistols.

Don't judge my "warpflame pistols".  It's not like Chaos is
in to "standard issue".

...besides, I've got actual warp flamers.
How many are appropriate in a squad do you think?

There, that's all sorted!  Now I've got all of these rubric marines, but who will lead them?  I managed to convert one sorceror using a combination of left over rubric bits, marine with missile launcher arm, tzeentch aspiring champion head and an old chaos marine sword that I think you'll agree is a pretty believable aspiring sorcerer conversion.

Next up, David was generous enough (after buying Burning of Prospero and then suddenly winning a second copy!) to gift me with the 30k version of Ahriman.  There's aspiring sorceror number 3 sorted.

Two Ahrimans in one army.  Even though he's the 30k
version I intend to convert him a bit.

With all of my acquired rubric marines and parts and 3 sorcerers, I magically have 27 models to use as squads of rubric marines.  A multiple of 9, hmm...perhaps this was fated to happen.  After perusing my models that I own, I have the following to make up a Tzeentch themed contingent:

  • HQ
    • 1 Tzeentchian daemon prince
    • 1 "Could be anything" daemon prince
    • 1 Chaos Sorceror in Terminator armour
    • Ahriman
    • 1 Gaunt Summoner
      • Who I feel makes an amazing stand-in for The Changeling
    • 1 Ogroid Thaumaturge who is a convincing "on foot" Daemon Prince
    • Assorted Silver Tower Kairic Acolytes
      • Which I feel make pretty cool Heralds of Tzeentch
  • Troops
    • 27 Rubric Marines (with 3 aspiring sorcerors to go around) with a combination of potential warp flamers and soulreaper cannons
    • 10 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (shout out to Joe for the old daemons battleforce box)
      • 2 "pink horrors" serving as Iridescent Horrors (because they're bigger) from the Warhammer Quest: The Silver Tower box, 4 blue horrors and 4 stands of brimstone horrors.
      • This gives me enough horrors to split them up in to two squads of 1 Iridescent, 5 pink, 2 blue and 2 brimstones for a total of 10 per unit, or combine them in to one large squad.
    • 20 Chaos Cultists with autoguns/heavy stubbers
    • 20 Chaos Cultists with autopistols/flamers
  • Elites
    • 3 Flamers of Tzeentch
    • 3 Helbrutes, 2 of which have magnetized arms
  • Fast Attack
    • 15 Screamers of Tzeentch.
      • They don't seem particularly cost efficient in 8th for what they do, but I acquired them in trade for 4 classic eldar warlocks that I picked up as a potential bargaining chip for trades...this is what I got.
      • My reasoning was twofold: trade off the warlocks to prevent myself from starting an Eldar army and build out my available daemons, which could see improvements in the forthcoming daemon codex!
    • 5 Chaos Spawn
  • Heavy Support
    • 1 Land Raider
      • although it's sporting Word Bearers FW doors ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    • 1 Predator Annihilator
      • liquidated from a local guy's Space Wolves army that I need to "chaos-up" a bit
    • 1 Defiler
      • shout out to Andrew for gifting me this fellow
    • 1 Forgefiend
  • Flyers
    • 1 Heldrake
  • Dedicated Transports
    • 2 Rhinos
It burnssss ussss!

I might be forgetting a unit or two.  I dont' have any Tzaangors (other than the 6(?) from Silver Tower), which don't feel necessary, but I like them.  Minimum unit size is 10, sadly.

As you can see, this is enough stuff that calling it the "beginnings" of a Tzeentch army seems silly.  I'm well past that point already.  The thing is, I just kind of acquired most of this stuff through trades or on the cheap over time.  I believe it amounts to about 3,000ish points in Matched Play.

What paint did they use one some of these!?
This is AFTER stripping...

It's worth mentioning that some of these models also serve in my non-aligned "main" chaos army as well as components of a similar and unintended Death Guard force.  Hence the painting conundrum.  For example, I don't want to own more than 2ish Chaos Rhinos.  It seems silly.  I intend to find a neutral, ambiguous paint scheme for my rhinos so that I can use them in my mono-Nurgle or mono-Tzeentch armies and still make sense within the paint scheme of my larger Word Bearers army.

Almost all of these models that weren't acquired 2nd hand were either cost-effective as part of a starter box, battleforce, or completely free due to trades or whatever.  The parts I purchased for the rubrics were simply because I realised what else I had!  The only thing that I legitimately paid top dollar for was the Forgefiend.  Even the Heldrake was a sneaky acquisition (although still not assembled) when I realized that there would an influx in them available online due to Stormcloud Attack.

Five bucks and a lot of paint stripping/cleaning later...

Ultimately, this stuff was all still a pretty good chunk of change, but an equivalent force would cost substantially more.  You also have to take in to account all of the time I spent stripping paint, replacing broken parts, sourcing parts, shipping (although there tends to be a decent amount of free shipping on eBay if you're patient to wait for it).  The cost of entry in to 40k can be daunting, but there are ways to soften the blow.

...Now if only had them all built and playable.

Perhaps I should write an article on how I spun some daemons I acquired from a bargain bin in to an entire 3,000+ point Tyranid army.

Let me know what you think!


A Green Light At the End of the Tunnel?


I've been working on Orks for 40k on and off for 23 years at time of writing.  My brother convinced me to split the 2nd edition 40k boxed set 50/50 and immediately exclaimed "I call Space Marines!".  Orks were never my first pick, because I, like many others, were drawn to the weird high fantasy space opera of power-armored knights plying the stars amidst a ruined empire.

A horde-style army is a serious and monetary commitment, and as a kid with limited finances, Orks were a difficult contingent to stick to.  I tried my hand at scratch building and converting to stretch the spare parts in my kits to the maximum and save money.  This resulted in some rather regrettable models from time to time, but at some point I hit a baseline level of quality and consistency that has stayed fairly "modern" that I'm happy with.

Scratch Built Trukk

Yes, my army still contains models that were acquired from the old Gorkamorka boxed set, so they're hardly 100% current.  I have a mix of sizes in my army and I think they hide each other well.  There's enough uniformity in color scheme and basing style to tie the whole force together.

My old Warboss based on a metal Ogryn.  Just in
time for Chapter Approved to gift us with a Big Choppa relic!

All of those identical 2nd edition Goff Ork Boyz?  Every single one of them has been hacked apart and combined with more modern parts, using only the legs and chest as a conversion frame.  All 20 (it was 20, right?) have been re-purposed to bulk out my slugga boyz, shoota boyz or scratch build kommandoz at this point.  Some of them took a brief tour as stand-ins for Runtherds or other models.

Old Nazdred is now a Nob with Waaagh! Banner.
I felt bad pulling this guy apart...13 year old me
won enough in-store credit to purchase my old metal
stormboyz in a painting competition with him.

A couple months ago, I took a long, hard look at every single ork model that I owned and tried to plan what I could do with them.  With my 8th edition index in hand, I set about finalising my force -- completing conversions that I never got around to, assembling squads still on sprues, breaking apart models with outdated armaments, etc.  I even demolished one of my two Gorkamorka trukks and a scratch built Battlewagon (considering I was a teenager at the time, I got some pretty amazing feedback on this Battlewagon before the modern kit came out) to scratch build a larger trukk that matches the modern aesthetic.

I acquired 5 metal meganobz for 5 dollars from a used bin and modified
them with Nob parts from the Stormclaw box...

The start of this project was also the first time I used my new methodology of only feeling beholden to 30-60 minutes of hobby time per night.  Keeping it in small chunks that could be accomplished.  As a result, I have ~3,000+ points of Orks that are cleaned, assembled, based and primed.  I would say that approximately 80% of my army points-wise is completely painted.  After two months of short spurts of hobbying, all that remains is to paint them, but new distractions have arisen...

...The 5th meganob became a Big Mek with Kustom Force Field.
He also claimed Nazdreg's old Power Klaw.
Always wanted a weirdboy so I acquired this AoS
shaman for relatively cheap on eBay and gave him a slight
staff modification courtesy of the Mek Gunz kit.
My five deffkoptas from eBay came with no flying stands.
Five 40mm bases and some steel roofing nails later,
I have something far more durable.
This guy had a brief stint as a stand in Nob for a unit of
Slugga Boyz.  He's built from an old metal Evil Sunz Nob
some green stuff and some parts from a few ork kits.  I believe
the spanner head is from the Lootas/Burnaz kit.

Let me know what you think of these conversions.  Hopefully I'll get some photography of the rest of the force in the near future.


Chaos HQ Conversions

Chaos Lord on Juggernaut of Khorne

This was the last model that I finished prior to my daughter being born.  There he sat, ready for slaughter, unused for months on end until finally, my first game of 8th edition arrived.  In my desire to field nothing unpainted, the force that I played against my friend David's Imperial Guard wasn't particularly necessarily unbalanced, but it was definitely a 7th edition "one or two of every force organization chart" hodge-podge.  My Chaos Lord spent the entire game slowly chopping his way with a basic power axe (since there was no codex yet and no relics yet at the time) through a squad of bullgryns and a sentinel.  It was kind of disappointing, honestly.  This first game was definitely an eye opener to just how different 8th edition is.

Rules Shakeup

Flash forward a month or two, and the Chaos Codex hits and...no Juggernaut option?  I was left scratching my head until it was pointed out that I could still take the Index version, although it was a little confusing in regards to keywords, abilities, relics, etc.  Considering that hobby time has been at a premium lately, I was a little perturbed that I had just finished this model not too long ago only to see him benched in the codex immediately.  A recent FAQ has cleared up the interaction with the codex a bit, but I'm still curious what the future holds for the Khorne Lord on juggernaut.

The Conversion

To bring this friendly friend in on a budget, I patiently monitored eBay to acquire the cheapest "whole" juggernaut (with shipping in mind).  He wields a fancy power axe (or possible axe of blind fury upgrade) that I nabbed from one of the Dark Vengeance Chosen models.  The slighted chosen was gifted a shiny new power fist to compensate.  I had to do a little finagling with some pose-able Khorne berserker legs and some green stuff-ing that I'm kind of secretly disappointed in (fur is the simplest and laziest cop out to sculpt...but effective) to make him fit on the saddle.  I wanted him to have a fancy chest piece, so I tore apart my "counts as" Huron Blackheart that I wasn't sold on.

I painted his skin to be very pale and did some small blue veins all over his head with a fine detail brush and then washed and drybrushed his head to make them less prominent, but still visible.  I was happy with the effect.

The base was a leftover from the Daemon Prince conversion I was planning...

Tzeentch Daemon Prince

It seems doubly blasphemous to make a post with Tzeentch and Khorne at the same time AND feature a Tzeentch Daemon Prince that's based on a Khornate model.  I'm just blasphemous like that apparently.  I acquired a Khorgorath on eBay, which were cheap and in abundance at the time to use as the base, as I figured it was about the size of the Daemon Prince model.  It's a little meatier, but I'm okay with that.  I was able to acquire a pair of metal wings on the cheap as well.  This whole conversion cost me approximately 8 dollars all told, although the time spent on conversion work means I probably broke even.  There's something to be said for uniqueness, however.

I liked the wiggly tentacle fingers, which I found suitable for a bizarre amorphous spell-flinger.  I covered the Khorne markings on the chest with part of a Tzeetnch icon and the ever ubiquitous green stuff, although I tried to scullpt it in such a way to avoid it appearing less like fur and more like feathers.

Affixing the wings made it predictably unbalanced, but I came prepared with a hefty steel washer that I attached to the underside of its base.

The head is the most pronounced bird-like head from the Pink Horrors frame.  I can't wait to paint this guy up, but I've been trying to get forces field-able first and painted second.

Let me know what you think!


Chaos Spawn

Nice to meetcha!

I have 5 converted chaos spawn now, but the last 2 have yet to have been painted.  Pretty simple to figure out where the main body for the middle and right spawn came from (the Warhammer Fantasy Isle of Blood rat ogre duo).

The "Leader"

The middle one was based on another conversion I saw online, although I can't give credit as I've lost my bookmark.  It's fairly simple...just the addition of a chaos space marine head and a sculpted collar.  I added a bit of chain from a sprue and sculpted some fur around the neck.

The "Umber Hulk"

The chap on the right was the first one I made, and mostly because I was inspired to make it look similar to a D&D "Umber Hulk".  I think I've achieved that.  I acquired both of these Isle of Blood rat ogres rather cheaply on eBay.  When digging through a pile of Tyranid bits I had received from a friend, the Umber Hulk idea struck me immediately.  I believe it's a large Tyranid's adrenal gland combined with some sort of pincer bit that I'm not going to bother ID'ing while I'm getting whacked upside the head with a juice cup by an under-the-weather toddler.  A crown of spikes and some green stuff completed the head.

The Plague Hulk

Lastly, the guy on the left was probably the most ambitious.  I intended to give him one monstrously large claw and one excised stump that was agitated and bleeding.  The legs are actually from an old metal Slaanesh Keeper of Secrets I acquired as part of a trade.  I put rusted shackles around the sculpted ankles and tried my hand at making some elephantine feet.  The toe nails are simply carved bits of sprue.  I figured I needed to do something to hide the Slaaneshi high heels since I was going for a Nurgle theme.  The bloated and tumorous body is part of (I believe) a Tyrannofex or other large Tyranid creature's bio cannon.  The two chimneys on the right shoulder kind of reference the spore chimneys on Typhus and other Nurgle models and served to help with my theme.  The head is another bit from the Chaos Space Marines possessed frame.  An Ork Boy shoulder pad garnered me some real estate to put a bit of red on the model so that I could tie it in with my Word Bearers if necessary (like the other models in the squad).  The rest of the gaps were filled with green stuff and sculpted to hopefully hide the messy joins.

At present, I feel like the newest two members of the squad were a bit lazily crafted in comparison, but perhaps a lick of paint will change my mind.



Progress and setting goals

I haven't done much painting since I became a father.  In the months leading up to my child being born, I set the goal for myself to make some serious progress on my overwhelmingly large Chaos Space Marine army as I anticipated that my hobby time would be significantly diminished.  My goal was to clean/build/convert/base/prime/paint the first 1,000 points of my slowly evolving force.

The order of units created for this project had less to do with making a cohesive, playable force and more to do with finishing models that were heavily converted or done in sub assemblies by necessity.  Addressing models that (in my opinion) benefitted from sub assemblies would ultimately enable me to field a wider range of units, painted or otherwise in a more timely fashion.  I dislike playing unpainted models, and I'm sure I share that dislike with a lot of people, but I valued being ready and able to play when the rare opportunity arose.

I made it to approximately 850 points (in 7th edition points) before my little nurgling joined the family.  The unit that would have pushed me over the 1,000 point mark was a forgefiend that I had assembled and painted to about 1/3 finished.  I finished painting the forgefiend almost an entire year later in the colors of my main force, which I jokingly refer to as "ambiguous red".


A change in methodology

Perhaps I was just amusing myself because of being tossed in to working under an "Agile" methodology in software development at my place of employment unexpectedly, but at some point I realized that my 40k backlog was seeing very little progress.  If I couldn't finish something noticeable and massive in a single sitting, I tended to not even approach my hobby desk.  To address this, I attempted a change in method.  Instead, I would plan out small chunks of attainable goals that would take up no more than 30-60 minutes per night after my daughter went to bed.  This wasn't always attainable, and I found that I severely underestimated how long certain tasks would take to perform, but I'm starting to get a better handle on it.

For example, the progress on my 40k Orks recently saw me get the entire remainder of my force all the way up to the "primed" phase in the span of about 2 months of work.  Considering that there were a significant number of conversion tasks, customization and even scratch building, I'm very pleased.  I'll probably post something regarding the current state of my orks in the future.  Right now I'm writing up anything I have photography of already.  My hobby space is in a state of disarray for a number of reasons.

Flexibility and/or not being able to make up my mind

A pretty simple conversion based on a
Dark Vengeance Dark Angels tactical marine.

"Ambiguous red" is code for "allow me the flexibility to play as Word Bearers, Khorne Daemonkin, Crimson Slaughter, Renegades, etc.  Primarily intended as a Word Bearers force (although dissatisfied with the brightness of the red), I figured this would allow me more flexibility until I made up my mind.  So far there aren't any distinguishing markings on any of my red Chaos Marines.  Instead, I reasoned that they are one of many sub-groups of the Word Bearers led by one of their numerous demagogues with their own markings and heraldry.

Thoughts on the Word Bearers in 8th edition

The internet gaming community at large has essentially panned the Word Bearers faction rules as being horrible.  In the wake of 8th edition, my only hope was that it provided some sort of flexibility or discount for daemon summoning, and that daemon summoning was still useful.  To paraphrase some of the opinions I've read, summoning is okay if you have a wide range of models in your collection to choose from.  This enables you to pick and choose the appropriate unit to solve a situation at the cost of paying points for reserves.  The Word Bearers' actual trait simply allows them to re-roll failed morale tests like their Imperial counterparts.  Kind of boring, but not necessarily horrible.  The real meat of the daemon interaction comes via a stratagem.

I gave this a long, hard think about whether or not I cared, and I decided I don't.  I might choose to play my ambiguously red marines as another warband entirely or perhaps a subfaction of the Word Bearers that is distinct enough from their parent allegiance to mimic another rule.  Ultimately, I like how important the Word Bearers are to the back story of the state of the Imperium.  Because of this, I'll most likely plod ahead as planned.


Converted Plague Marines

I worked rather hard on these.

I felt obligated to make seven.
When I started on the squad, 40k was a hobby that was done on a budget or not done at all.  I had decided I wanted to have a go at doing a proper Chaos Space Marines army, where everything had the look and feel that I liked.  That meant, for example, less spikes on my models and a mix of heresy-era armor and salvaged parts.  I figured this would give my force a rag-tag look -- a bunch of dyed-in-the-wool heretics that had been operating without Imperial support for millennia.  Their warbands aren't necessarily incapable of producing their own munitions, but driven to recruit and expand and rapidly absorb Imperial worlds.

I'll go back and fix his left eye some day, I promise.
I've always had a habit of playing "the good guys".  Initially, I had landed upon the Alpha Legion as my force of choice, but decided that despite my test model looked rather good for my skill level at the time, that Alpha Legion wasn't really challenging my decision to be the bad guys for once.  After having a blast immersing myself in some Horus Heresy novels and other resources, I decided to switch to the Word Bearers.

How did I land on these plague marines then?  Converting Nurgle models is often viewed as the easiest conversion one can do.  However, one runs the risk of doing a laughable job.  I was determined to do the best I could do.  My plague marines, I decided, would be solid.  They would be some of my best work in the hobby, and I would take my time.  It was a good project on a budget considering that I had a handful of broken imperial Space Marine parts from being in the hobby for several years.  Second hand models.  Bartered-for parts.  The occasional Chaos kit purchased at the largest discount I could find that I deemed to have the most useful conversion parts.  I started painting these lads with the same technique I had used as a starting point for my Word Bearers, but a happy accident led me to this color scheme.  I had originally intended to have several Pantheon-specific sub-cults within my Word Bearers offshoot warband.  I probably consider these guys allies at this point.

I was losing motivation when I made this guy.
 I was pleasantly surprised with how he turned out.
In the future, I intend to show some of my Word Bearers that started as Imperial marines.  Turns out they were quite tedious to convert themselves.  The process of scraping off Imperial eagles and smoothing out the armor plates was not only difficult work, but one slip and your attempt at saving money could end with a ruined model.  Careful knife work was the order of the day, but back to my plague marines.

Why scrape off and shave Imperial eagles when you can simply cover them up?  I somehow managed to convince myself that if I acquired the Dark Vengeance starter box at a discount, I could slowly but surely convert all of the Imperial models in to Chaos models and double my take.  Quite a bit of work that turned out to be.

I'm not the best miniature painter, but I certainly have my own style and technique that is neat and contrasty.  Watching modern painting tutorials on youtube has made me realize that I'm rather stuck in my ways.  I came up with this style on my own when I got in to the hobby 23 years ago.  There weren't a lot of guides back then.  Just White Dwarf as far as I knew, and back then, there were quite a few steps missing in their painting showcases.

These models are made using a combination of several generations of imperial space marines, chaos space marines, a few ork bits, some warhammer fantasy zombies, some "learning the ropes" sculpting and a variety of other little bits and bobs.

So what was the point I was trying to make?  Oh, right.  The Dark Imperium started set and the new Death Guard models.  I split the set with a friend and acquired the Death Guard models, and while I have a few qualms about them, I ultimately enjoy them quite a bit.  Now I'm at a crossroads.  Do I retire my tediously, lovingly converted plague marines?  They look nothing like the newer, modern Dark Imperium plague marines and look rather bizarre next to them.  Not to mention, plasma guns and bolters seems pretty bland compared to their overwhelming new options.  It seems like a shame considering the time and effort I put in to these guys.

I worked rather hard on these...

Ecto Cooler fan.
Rickety plasma gun?
No problem, my face comes pre-melted.

The "healthiest" member of the team.

Looks like he's having a blast all things considered.

Out of sludge? I came prepared.