Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Vile Heresy

It's Waitangi day here in NZ which is a public holiday.  I decided to celebrate the birth of a nation by spending the day in the garage, working on my conversion.  A true patriot! (albeit a naturalized NZ citizen and a filthy immigrant really).  I processed all the feedback from my previous post and made some fairly drastic changes and additions.

The abdomen needed the most work and was built mainly out of a Bloodletter torso glued back to back with a Deathmark torso.

I can't remember what the gun on the end of her bottom is.  Something Necron Destroyery I think.  I also don't know what gun she is holding in her hand.  I just liked the look of it.

Playing Warhammer 40k Mechanicus made me realise that there are those adepts of Mars who would eagerly embrace Necron technology.  There might have been some among the ranks of the Tech Priests, nascent heretics, who considered the bio-transference of the Necrontyr as the apotheosis of mortal flesh.

But of course Ad-Mech are not Necrontyr and dabbling in forbidden arts has always attracted the denizens of The Warp. The perversions of Chaos would inevitably seep in, corrupting their ideals of pure intelligence unhampered by emotion.  What rough beast, its hour come round at last, skitters towards Bethlehem to be born?

I needed a suitably apocalyptic base to go with it.  I had a decent spare in the form of the Roboute Guilliman model. This was chopped down to size so that it would fit on a large infantry base.  It is perhaps too small but I have no idea what this model is supposed to be in 40k terms.  Some sort of Sicaraian Infiltrator?  A corrupted Cryptek?  A daemonic Datasmith?  I don't know and I refuse to be constrained by a codex.  It is what it is.

The base was full of holes so I started delving for parts in the bits box.  Skulls seemed to be the appropriate flora.  Yes, yeeess! My base depicts a broken Imperial eagle and a dead CSM.  All it needed was dead Elfs!  Some no-good, Mary-Sue, cheating, sanctimonious Elves! So I started rummaging and I looked and I looked but I couldn't find any dead (and inanimate) Eldar at all.  Goddamnit Games Workshop why do you never see a fucking Elf Skull?!  You do bird skulls and Genestealer skulls.  You do frickin skulls for races of aliens that don't even have any rules and are barely mentioned in the lore at all!  This is a travesty!! I guess they look too similar to human skulls and the pointy ears are only made of gristle.

Then it hit me.  High cheekbones, pointy ears, sinuous body...

I have depicted Elves as the frickin master race.

+++does not compute+++

+++unholy malfunction+++

+++segmentation fault+++

+++core dumped+++

Sunday, 27 January 2019

All your base

Interesting times ahead.  My newfound status as an ageing, single male coupled with a career change back to contracting which didn't pay me for two months appeared to have killed all creative impulses.  I am definitely out of my comfort zone.  Thank The Lord for video games.

All your base are belong to us
My first base was eaten by Tyranids

I belatedly discovered Subnautica, which swallowed me whole for the entire holiday period.  I more or less forgot to eat, sleep and wash (it is possible to survive on banana smoothies). If I could have swapped my computer chair for a commode, I would have done so.  Fortunately, the kids spent xmas with their mother.

A Reaper has his way with my trusty Seamoth

I spent most of my time building ridiculously impractical sea bases and playing chicken with leviathans.  But that was just scratching the surface and I had to go deeper.  If anyone tells you that Subnautica is an underwater survival game, they're wrong.  That's like saying The Hobbit is a crime caper or a heist story.  Its much more than that.  Its a journey.  Or maybe it was just an interesting diversion which helped me through an unsettling period in my life.  Either way, I clocked over a hundred and fifty hours, so you can't argue about value for money.

Oh dear God, he's seen me!  Wait! Is that a coffee machine?

Sadly, real life started to get in the way of my underwater adventures.  This was a good thing really and the return to reality reminded me that I was going to build a Dark Mechanicum army.  I wanted to buy Anacharis Scoria but he might be a bit out of my price range now.  So, instead I wasted even more money by trying to cobble together a Witch Aelf, a Wraith and four Sicarian Ruststalkers.  On the plus side, I didn't have to buy any new kits.

On fire, under attack and taking on water.  But its the Lava Leeches on the windscreen that really scare me.

I was always fascinated by the Daughters of Khaine but never actually wanted to play them as the Daughters of Khaine.  I built one as a Drow Rogue for a D&D game ages ago.  I also tinkered with the idea of using one as a Tiefling but it never came to fruition.  Finally I used one for a head swap on my Cursebreakers.

But I didn't really want to build an army.  Seeing them all lined up on the box art was a bit of a put off.  They reminded me of something out of a beauty pageant.  The swimwear section of Miss World 1968 Barbarella edition.  Whilst the paint jobs are good, it reinforced the doll-like qualities for me.  An uncomfortable feeling.  There is a very fine line between playing toy soldiers and actually playing with Barbie dolls it seems.

Techno Beetle

I wanted something a bit more melodramatic, so I built a 'Mecha-Drider'.  Suitably dark and mechanical or so I thought.  However, it looked more 'Techno-Beetle' than Mecha-Drider.  I was pretty much done with it at this point and about to submerse myself in Subnautica again when I saw this superb piece of art by Victor Guerra

That's more like it! This picture really inspired me. Its so... androgynous.  Except for the shapely but nipple-less breasts, the creature could almost be a male.  Strangely it's the spider that is feminine for me.  The way the torso fits the thorax and has the flared lines of a woman's hips.  The choice of hairless, tapering spider.  A Black Widow?  The shape of the legs look like a sort of wire frame for an 18th Century ballroom dress.  Definitely female, but very odd and intriguing.

I attempted to capture the look and feel of the beast.  But the legs were too short and stubby.  And there weren't enough of them.  I had enough Sicarians to add an extra pair but in Victor's picture the spider appears to have ten legs.  Surely that was wrong?  A quick check on Google revealed that the front ones are actually 'pedipalps'.  Who knew?  I thought pedipalps were something they gave to old people for incontinence.  Anyway, I decided not to add a fifth pair and figured that her arms would make up the numbers and perform the same function as pedipalps.  Four pairs of legs looked even stubbier than three though.  I needed to make them look more tapered and rummaged around in my bits box for ages, to no avail.  There was nothing delicate but strong enough in there to support the body.  I needed something thin, but strong.  The answer was, of course, safety pins.

Anything with more than four legs is abhorrent.

I've still got a ways to go with this conversion but I'm slowly getting back into it.  I think.

Sunday, 25 November 2018


I've been playing a lot of Shadespire lately with my Curseflingers and joined the local league.  I had the odd game with Sepulchral Guard and Thorns of the Briar Queen but the drunken bards suit my play style best.  They can play aggressively or defensively depending on the situation and don't rely on 'score objective' cards.  They are also quite forgiving when I've had a few beers and have forgotten what turn it is.  Plus I'm playing in character.

Paddy (left) is often as drunk as me on league night

I've also been playing a lot of Mechanicus which is a stupendous game and the soundtrack is so good I downloaded it to my phone.  This is the best 40k game I've played since Space Marine and GW must be doing something right when you immediately want to start an Admech army after a play session.

Even the artbook that comes with Mechanicus is fucking awesome

Additionally,  I had my first expedition into the Blackstone Fortress yesterday with Rory and Alistair which was pretty sweet.  By the end of the second combat encounter my Space Pope was almost dead and just about managed to crawl into the Maglev using destiny dice.  UR-025 was in shut down mode and Pious had 2 grievous wounds.  Alistair was playing the chicken ninja who had a chipped fingernail and a few split ends but sensibly managed to collect most of the clues.   I'm looking forward to further expeditions.

Alistair is a bit of a Tau fanboy. Note the rather brilliant Kroot Sphere conversion in this 40k doubles game next to my Razorback

I even managed a game of Killteam which was actually a disappointment after all the hype.  Rory just ran across the board and off the other side with his Nids.  And won.  I killed a few but it was a bit underwhelming and Rory said he would rather just play a 500pt game of 40k next time.  So that was that.

ZERG RUSH! (type this into a Google search engine for a nice easter egg)

All of which means that I've not been doing much hobby-wise.  I did manage to finish the Curseflingers and I'm pretty pleased with them.  I thought Anal Stormsinger's red hair turned out well and I'm proud of the vomit dribbling over the side of Seamus the Disarmed's base.  In modeling terms, I think it breaks the 4th wall and is very Deadpool.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Up-Chucking Monkeys

Drunken Sigmarines are ready to do battle!  To be honest I've played more games with these guys in the last 2 weeks than I have 40k in the last 2 months.  I'm just as shit at Nightvault as I am at 40k mind, but its a hell of a fun game and the beatings don't last as long.  It doesn't help that our local group plays in the pub.  Actually that does help.  It allows me to combine two of my favourite things.

I couldn't find tankards big enough to equip them with so had to get creative.  Rob Singers offered to give me a load of useful bits to help me out but I didn't turn up to our coffee date to collect them.  Sorry, Rob but I'm true to my word (in some respects) and have named them after you: Stormsinger's Curseflingers. From left to right: Eilís Morrígan, Anal Stormsinger and Seamus the Disarmed.

 Stormsinger is carrying a lidded tankard made out of Dwarf Hammerers helmets and weapons.   Eilís has a goblet made out of a hammer head and Seamus' stein is a lantern off the back of a Mortis Engine.  I had to do some excruciating green/grey stuffing in order to repose them, especially Seamus.  I think I'll only get to see how well I did when they are fully painted.

The idea is that they are a troupe of drunken bards and destroy their foes with curses so vile that they can break your will, induce catatonia or make your ears melt. The bards become intoxicated instead of inspired and if all else fails, they throw up on you.

Anyway, this is a sure sign that I am still falling to Chaos. Any self respecting devotee of the Stormcast Eternals should find this intolerable.  Is there a plausible way you can depict drunken Sigmarines in the lore? I don't know why I feel the need to pervert decent models like this but it probably reveals a deep seated corruption in my soul.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Shadespire revisited

I decided to re-paint my 'pink' Sepulchral Guard.  I wanted to make them more purple.  So this time I added a blue wash to their cloaks.  That was 10 minutes well spent.  Holy shit, I think I'm beginning to get the hang of this 'basic colour theory' thing!  It only took me 8 years!

I played a few tutorial games of Nightvault with Alistair down at Freebooters and dammit, I enjoyed them despite myself.  I usually sigh wearily when Games Workshop introduce more byzantine and esoteric rules to their games  (yeah, yeah you're a super numerate tactical genius and its all easy but I just want to throw dice and smash things).  However, the magic system is very intuitive and dovetails nicely with the current attack and action game mechanic.  We forgot to play with the red-hex death things so I can't comment on that.  I love the scatter template though, even though it was a bit underwhelming in a purely destructive capacity.

Alistair had bought the game, the Gitz and the snazzy Underworlds travel case because he's a complete fanboy.  I got to play the wizard Sigmarines and had heard bad things about them but they were ideal for a starter force.  A fully upgraded Averon Stormsire can sit back and blast shit off the table with lightning bolts.  He's a righteous dude!  You can get glory from casting spells and you become inspired by casting spells.  You can still cast spells even when you are unable to move or attack.  The only trouble was that stuff like Gambits are pretty low probability and only randomly turn up in your deck.  So I don't think I managed to cast any card spells at all during one game.  Which can make Ammis and Rastus a bit boring, but hey, they still hit things very hard with their swords and you can always tweak your deck.  I think they performed decently against the Gitz.  Alistair didn't have time to build himself a proper deck (I was just using the default), Sourtongue's ball and chain attack probably works better against hordes and they are very squishy.  On the other hand, they were much more thematic and their rules seemed more fun.

Then, of course, there are the Sigmarine models.  Good grief it must get terribly hot under all that apparel.  Would you like to wear robes over your robes over your full plate armour?  The wands are a bit fairy like. Rastus has definitely been eating too many pies and looks pregnant.

I'd want to do some hideous conversions with the Stormsire's Cursebreakers.  I was thinking that since my Sigmarines are all Celtic, I could swap out the wands for beer mugs and try to model them all drunk.  I wonder if Ammis would look good with a Witch Elf head?  I've got a few spares.  I could call her "Eilís" (my mother's name).  Maybe give them all red hair and insult Irish people everywhere.

A unique take on the Sigmarines.  It would be an interesting project.  Ahh crap, I think the game has its barbed little hooks in me now.  I'm going to have to buy it, aren't I?  God damn it.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Dark Light

Falling to Chaos is really exciting and has put me in touch with my feminine side. I can go crazy with ideas and the Ruinous Powers always approve! 'Dollhouse' accessories, for example.  Who knew that they could be so interesting?

 I bought a load of LED lights from True2Scale last week.  I was a bit worried that shipping from America would take an absolute age but they arrived in 10 days.  I paid $61 NZD (including shipping) for 7 lights and 2 power sources.  They even included a Lithium battery.  Thats pretty cheap in my book.  I bought a mixture of 5mm 'Mega' lights and 3.2mm 'Chip' lights as well as a AA battery power supply and a Lithium battery power supply.  You can run multiple lights from the same supply.  There's no soldering involved and a house plant could wire them up (red wire to red wire, black to black). I didn't even bother reading the instructions.

I spent a good few hours pulling my knight's head apart and scooping out his brains but I think the results were worth 61 bucks in entertainment value alone.

The 'Mega' lights are bigger and worked best but all the colours seemed to have different intensities with white being the brightest, followed by blue, green, red and then yellow.  I was really pleased with the effect and definitely want to use them in the finished product.  I'm just wondering if I should use more.  Maybe on the gun and/or the engine parts. 

I think the blue is my favourite

I like the red but its not bright enough

Green is pretty cool but I only bought the 'Chip' version of this and would get the larger size if I was going to use it

Cool White is the brightest but doesn't look spooky enough.

Yellow was pretty crap to be honest.

The AA battery holder was just a tiny bit too big to fit inside the Knight torso.  I could clip the edges down and maybe force it in but I'll just use the Lithium power supply instead.

This is the most fun I've had building models in years. The Imperium of the Corpse God was holding me back with its STC Luddite mentality. I only want to watch the galaxy burn.  Where is the harm in that?