Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Praetorian Blood Axe Kommandos?

Greetings everyone!

I've been hinting for sometime that I'v been working on something a little different for my army, something a little greener... well without further ado... a Blood Axe Kommando! 

Now before you call the Inquisition on me hear me out. Back when the Praetorians came out, part of the story of Big Toof river was that the badly led Imperial Guard had ignored the intelligence of their highly paid mercenary blood axe kommandos. In doing so they walked right into a trap fully believing the settlement to be lightly garrisoned. As you all know it did not end well for the Imperial Guard and led to Glazers Creek where the remnants of the 24th where holed up maintaining supply lines. 

Anyway, I've always loved the idea that the Blood Axes could be bribed to turn against their fellow greenskins. How far you trust their intelligence is another matter entirely. This inspired me to build a unit of kommandos to fight with my guard, either as proxies for something or simply as orks in bigger apocalypse style games where their sneaky skullduggery can be woven into the story.

Anyway enough guff about the fluff, let's talk models. This guy is one of Kromlech's fantastic Afrika Korp models. They have tonnes of character and with the uniforms I thought they would fit in a treat with my Praetorians.

This model was a lot of fun to paint and was also very straightforward. I actually painted him in parts, with the torso and legs glues together and then the arms and head separate. It was a pain when it came time to assemble him as I had to greenstuff the gaps on the arms, but it was worth it for ease of paint job.

The green for the skin is the GW method they demonstrate in their instructional video with an extra light highlight from me to make it that little better. The eyes are worked up to pure yellow in the centre too to give them a little extra interest.

The white webbing is the same as my regular guardsmen as is the uniform colour. I've changed the shorts to grey to add an extra colour or else I though it would end up far to mono colour. The gun itself is just plain silver as I was at a loss what to do with it!

Here we see the ork next to some of the Life Guards for a comparison of size and to see how the colours go together

This ork is pretty massive in comparison to the guardsman, just as it should be. I know orks are meant to be on the same size bases but I fancied they would look better on the new Space Marine bases and I think I prefer them on the bigger size.

Here we see the ork staring down the barrel of a Life Guard's flamethrower. You will see the vein on the ork arm which is painted with a slight blue hue

So there you have it, the first of a unit of 10 sneaky Blood Axes to add to the Praetorian IV.

I'd really love some feedback on this guy before I paint the best. In particular the following - the weapon, can I leave it just metal? I it needs another colour, what? What do you think of the skin, does it need to be darkeror different in another way? Does the model need more colour? 

Any feedback whatsoever would be greatly appreciated! 


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Finished Praetorian Life Guards

Greetings all! 

A quick post with a few photos of some newly painted models that have been long on the workbench! 

Finally, about 3 to 4 years after the first 5 were finished, I have finally painted the second half of the Life Guards squad! Huzzah! 

No longer will I be forced to field a unit of 5 storm troopers to no effect whatsoever. I can now field a full squad of 10 to no effect whatsoever! Double Huzzah!

Anyway, lets take a look...

Photos aren't great (apologies for that), but here we see the whole squad on my painting table (chest of drawers). I really enjoyed some aspects of painting these fellas and I'm really pleased that they match the originals with little variance.

The three in the foreground are newbies. Painting these guys assemble with the arms in place was a massive pain. I think I'm going to start doing a little more painting of disassembled models. I'm reminded of the Highland Scions who are in need of paint and the thought of trying to get in to the detail is not filling me with joy!

I love the expressions on these guys. Victoria Lamb Praetorian heads are utterly brilliant. Bags of character in every model.

One final picture with a close up of this kneeling fella. I'm so pleased to get these done.

I'm now working on an as yet unseen and announced sneaky unit... I'm having to work out how to paint green...

Finally, there is blog you should all definitely check out if you don't already do so, Tale of Painters. I've followed it for years and have a link in my page banners. It is full of tutorials and the work of some inspirational painters and well worth a look. I also might add there is a fine Praetorian gentleman that has recently began contributing...


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

WIP Colonel of the Praetorian Highland Guard

Hello everyone!

Firstly sorry for still not having posted the battle report from the big Praetorian Bad Moon Orks game, it will arrive eventually... I promise!

But I've surely got to give you something by way of an apology so here are two photos of two new conversions for the army. The army is being expanded again and there are a whole raft of new models that will soon need painting.

I've downed brushes for the time being (I'm actually waiting for some new ones as I used the old to destruction!) and am busy converting new models. Soon to be added are a Leman Russ Demolisher, another Taurox (with the VL Wheels), the Tech Priest's Trojan, some servitors, some more priests, psykers and lots more guardsmen. Of particular note will be lots more Highlanders and some very very sneaky gitz... But more on the latter another time.

Anyway without further ado, two of the new WIP additions!

First up we have the new Colonel (rank and name subject to change) of the Highland Regiment. I recently ordered a load of Victoria Lamb bits and set to work converting up some new fellas and this man, with no real plan on my part, just came to life!

The axe (not enough guardsmen with axes are there?) was a freebie. I was inspired by some space marine characters (is it one of Calgars honour guards?) and gave the pointing axe pose a go. The arm was originally a sword arm. 

The pistol is a plasma pistol to complete the 'points sink what a ridiculous combination of wargear for a guard commander' look.

He will have a Highland command squad to accompany him in due course. I think he might become one of my favourite models...

Finally we have a Praetorian drummer girl! Its all VL bits, with a hat swap and the praetorian epaulettes rather than the stock shoulder guards the model came with. So much character in this model. I think she will need to join Captain Caine's command squad and no doubt I will need to convert a few more characters up to finish it off.

Sorry again for still not having the battle report! Soon, I promise!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Orks sir, fasands of 'em! - The Bad Moons of Warboss Gorblud

Hi All.

As Col. Winterborne's opponent for this rather large battle, he has given me permission to overtake his blog temporarily to showcase my army.

I've been painting this Ork army for about the last 6 years, and the painted models I'm using for this game total about 5300pts with the current rules (rather handily a very similar amount to the Colonel's army). I've always loved Orks for the amazing conversion opportunities the army offers, and I've tried to make as many of my miniatures as unique as I could.

The below two pictures show the whole army. It currently consists of over 15 vehicles and 140 infantry. The whole army is painted as part of a Bad Moons clan, because I just love how much they stand out on the battlefield.

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I currently have six HQ choices in the Army (as shown in the picture below): 2 Warbosses, 2 Big Meks, a Weirdboy and a Painboy. The special rules and wargear that these boys bring to the battlefield are key to the army's success on the battlefield when used well. I've spent quite a lot of time converting and painting each of these and they're some of my favourite miniatures.

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Another two key units that will help determine the outcome of the battle are my superheavies - my Skulhamma Battlefortress (Baneblade conversion) and the mighty Stompa. Again, I really love the conversion opportunities these models offer but I must sadly admit I have yet to finish painting these epic miniatures. Painting my yellow paint scheme takes a rather long time, and because I don't have that many opportunities to use them on the battlefield they haven't quite made it to the top of my painting list yet.

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I haven't got the space to show close ups of all my units but here are a couple of my favourites. Firstly, my Lootas - these are some of my favourite plastic miniatures GW have made. The models look great as individuals but even better in units. And in my favourite Bad Moon yellow colour scheme I think they look just superb. And secondly, my Kommandos (the one exception to my Bad Moon colour scheme). With this unit I wanted to make the sneakiest and most devious Orks I could. They're all converted from plastic kits to create some really cool and unique models and I felt models as sneaky as these (notice the huge silencers they're all sporting) needed a suitably sneaky paint scheme.

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I'll now finish this post with the newest addition to my army (and also my favourite model) - my Dakkajet. I'm fairly certain this is the first bi-plane Dakkajet converted, and I'm so happy with how it looks. I have to admit that during the epic battle (that you're shortly going to see a battle report of) it was also not quite finished, so I've added a picture of it below from a week later (at the London W40k GT) with it fully painted.

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Thursday, 2 June 2016

Battle Report Guard vs Orks Prologue: Regicide

"Gorblud knew it was a trap.  

It had to be. Winterborne had never made a tactical mistake like this before. After years of chasing each other across many planets, there finally seemed to be an opportunity where Gorblud could face-down the infuriating Colonel with no chance for him to escape.

Winterborne was planning something. He must know the sort of force Gorblud could bring to this battlefield, and yet he had still seemingly stranded himself there with no means of escape. Yes, he had a lot of armour at his disposal - and a lot of Orks would die in the battle - but the numbers were all in Gorblud's favour. That meant that Winterborne had some sort of hidden trick planned, to tilt the odds.
And Gorblud had no idea what it was.

There were two ways to deal with a trap: try and avoid it and get to your quarry via a route he doesn't expect - an unlikely prospect without knowledge of what the trap was - or to spring the trap while endeavouring not to get caught in it. The second option was Gorblud's favourite. It usually meant the trapper thought everything was going to plan until, the last minute. If done well it could mean a crushing defeat to the opposition.

But with it came the risk that you still get caught in the trap, and the trapper gets all that he planned..."

"Winterborne was worried.

His plan was brilliant, he'd spent months working on it and years getting everything in place.
But he was still worried. "The devil is in the detail" his father used to tell him over countless games of regicide when he was a boy. It was true, and Winterborne had spent so much of his time recently trying to ensure every detail was just right. Not 'perfect' - nothing was ever perfect. And if it looked perfect then it was probably too good to be true. No, the details needed to be just good enough to do the job, just good enough to give the outward impression he wanted, but nothing more.

Would Gorblud suspect it was a trap? Possibly. He was an extremely intelligent specimen of his species, and cunning to boot. But if he did suspect a trap, would it stop him falling in it? Winterborne suspected not. In fact his was betting his life, and that of his regiment's, on it.

The plan couldn't fail to draw Gorblud out, but would it get rid of this green menace forever?
"No plan survives the first shot". That was a saying his old Commander used to tell him. He'd surpassed his old Commander on the battlefield just as he'd surpassed his father at regicide, but they had still taught him valuable lessons. That was what he was worried about. As well as he'd planned everything he couldn't know for certain how it would play out on the battlefield. He'd just have to play the cards he had dealt and hope Gorblud didn't have any 'trumps' bigger than his..."

The Battlefield:

Primary Objectives:
Objective 1:

Winterborne and Gorblud have been bitter enemies for decades. They have met on many battlefields over the years and both gotten the better of the other at different times. However, whether through good planning, cunning or sheer luck, both have always escaped the battlefield alive.
This time neither wants this to happen. They challenge has been laid down, and both commanders intend to finish this rivalry forever!

- Slay the Warlord (4VP)
  - Gorblud wants to kill Winterborne personally (Ork player must follow this idea in the game if Gorblud is alive) only 2VP are scored if Winterborne dies via any other means and Gorblud survives
  - Winterborne wants proof that Gorblud is dead (if Gorblud is killed his body becomes a movable objective that Winterborne must claim himself to get the 4VP) only 2VP are scored if Gorblud dies but Winterborne doesn't recover the body
  - no VPs are scored if both Warlords are dead

Winterborne is given special wargear by the rogue inquisitor, Artemus Gilroy:
 - Gauntlet of Abraxis - Master-crafted Power Fist
 - Displacer Field (4+ invulnerable save. Model teleports 2D6” in a random direction after each successful save)

Objective 2 - Activate/Capture the Psychic Beacon:

Winterborne has chosen this planet in particular to stage his battle for 1 main reason - there is an ancient alien artefact on the planet that has the potential power to wipe out all the Orks on the planet.

The artefact is of uncertain origin although some markings indicate it may be something to do with the Necrons. Inquisitor Artemus Gilroy, a more recent association of Winterborne's, led a research team to uncover its secrets. It has been discovered that the beacon releases powerful blasts through the warp that can be specifically attuned to the psychic wavelengths of particular species.

Gilroy and Winterborne have already prepared the machine to attack only the minds of the Orks, but they must leave it completely powered down until they intend to use it, lest the Orks detect it and destroy it from orbit.

Winterborne's teams must activate all 3 power nodes during the battle after Gorblud's presence has been confirmed in range.

- Imperial player scores 1VP for each of the Nodes in his control at the end of the game
- Ork player scores 1VP for each of the Nodes in his control at the end of the game
- each player scores 1 additional VP if it the end of any of their own player turns they are in control of all 3 Nodes

Objective 3 - Secret Vendetta:

The Praetorian 4th have battled Gorblud’s Bad Moon tribe on many occasions and developed particular hatred for certain units in the opposition. Some scores will be settled this day...

Each army picks a single unit on the other army list (in secret)
- players score 1VP if that unit is wrecked, blown-apart, wiped-out or fallen back off the board at the end of the game

Objective 4 - Secret Loot:

The battle is taking place on an unusual planet with many interesting artifacts.  Both forces have secret targets that they wish to secure without the enemy knowing.

Each player chooses 3 of the objective markers (1 – 6) and places them in order of importance (and secretly)
- players score 3VP for their first chosen objective in their control at the end of the game, 2VP for the second and 1VP for the third

Many thanks to Matt AKA Gorblud for writing the great fluff and putting pen to paper for the scenario. 

Monday, 30 May 2016

Iron Skull Best in Show

Happy bank holiday everyone!

Apologies for another interruption before more on the Praetorian v Bad Moon 5k battle report, we will get back to that soon, we have some more urgent news to get to today. This weekend I attended the inaugural 40k London GT and Iron Skull painting competition run by Siege Studios.

Tournament-wise I did pretty well and finished as the best Guard general with 4 victories and a loss. I played some fantastic games against some great opponents.

The real success for me was in the painting competition. I managed to come away with 1st place in Sci-Fi single miniature, Sci Fi Squad and Fantasy miniature, 2nd place in Sci-Fi vehicle/monster and even walked away with the Best in Show!

And to cap it all off the great guys at Siege Studios even took some proper photos of my models so you get a break from the rubbish I usually post. Lets take a look.

Above we have my winning 40k Squad which also walked away with best in show (and a cash prize!). Sadly Colonel Winterborne and the real command squad were busy on deployment in the best army nominations so this cobbled together rag tag bunch of officers were thrust into the competition!

The whole army even managed to win Best Army. Never have I been more proud of these fine men of Praetoria!

Next up the Macharius Vanquisher. It finished second behind a Tau mega-super-massive-suit (no idea what its really called) which was beautifully painted. The judge said it was a damn close run thing and picked me up on me not weathering my freehand panels very much. Solid feedback and one which will be taken into consideration when I come to add some extra weathering and tank stowage to this behemoth.

Next up the might Nork. While his brother ogryns were smashing face on the gaming table he was engaged in some part time modelling work and walked away with 1st place in the Sci-Fi single miniature category.  The judge was particularly complimentary of the flesh on this guy, noting the seamless blending and smooth transition. I think this is really one of my best painted models. I'm definitely going to pick up some more bullgryns/ogryns soon as I love the models and really enjoy painting them.

Finally a rare treat for those of you who also like Warhammer Fantasy! A Bretonnian Knight painted by me all of 15/16 years ago! Covered in countless hand painted flur de lys and a direct copy of the original 'eavy metal paint job. Years back in entered him into Golden Demon in the young bloods category and was a finalist. I didn't place in the top 3 (I was robbed!), the reason given by some of the GW staff that I knew was that the judges had concerns that I hadn't actually painted it...

It was a brilliant weekend, a big thank you to all the organisers of the London 40K GT, Siege Studios, my great opponents and those who voted for my army in the main competition.

I was definitely getting a nudge to enter more painting competitions and Golden Demon next time round... Thoughts?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Glorious IV Praetorian Mechanised Infantry

In preparation for the posts covering my army's biggest battle to date it's only fitting I share something I always love to see on other peoples blogs, photos of the whole army!

This post will look at the army current as of last weekend (21st May 2016 for the record). It started way back in the late nineties and in its current form back in 2011 when I started this blog and got back into the hobby properly.

I've got to say that getting it all out on the table and realising quite how big it now is was really quite something. It's been added to fairly regularly over the years and is really something quite special now I think.

For my whole army photos I've returned to the Tomb Kings desert board at Warhammer World. I took a photo of the army here about 3 or 4 years ago and thought where better to revisit their progress than there.

Apologies in advance, this post will be very photo heavy!

Without further ado lets take a look at a fully painted 5000 points of Praetorian Imperial Guard.

There we have it, the whole army on parade. Takes about 30 minutes to unpack and set it all up! But absolutely time well spent.

A few photos of various units coming up now. These two (above and below) have the Macharius Vanquisher front and centre. What a tank, for me its still the crown jewel of the army, such a gorgeous model.

Another angle of the army showing you more of the markings that all the tanks have on their flanks. There are particular designations for artillery units, infantry platoons, super heavies, so on and so forth.

Still quite a lot of space in the second half of this board... I think I will have to see if I can fill it!

Now a few more close up shots. Apologies for not the best photos, I was borrowing a camera I hadn't used before and focusing wasn't my strong suit!

The commissar I think is one of my best paint jobs to date. I loved painting the model and I think it shows. The model is so well detailed and I really like the pose. I think the gripe I had with the stock version (minus head swap) is that somehow, whether it is the hat or the paint job, he looks to much like he is skipping. No danger of that here with this Patrick Stewart lookalike.

Another photo of the Macharius with the Chosen Men creeping into the shot in the bottom left.

Flight Lieutenant Corvus 'Rook' from 219 squadron of the Praetorian Navy. I said when I original completed this guy, and still say now that I would love to add more fliers and continue the chess theme throughout them all. I so nearly bought a Marauder Destroyer up at Warhammer World but luckily for my bank balance common sense prevailed!

I nice photo of the Baneblade. This is another newish addition to the army, being less than a year old in terms of painting.Such a great model and featuring Col' Gravis' tank commander from Curious Constructs.

Another different angle with more of an aerial feel. Perhaps those sneaky orks were conducting reconnaissance flights...

In anticipation for the big game that weekend I made sure I added to my infantry tally. The infantry ranks have definitely swelled over the years but I still have a lot more regular guardsmen that I want to paint.

I finally finished my 3rd objective marker last week! I converted it when I originally converted Colonel Winterborne himself as this was the original Krieg banner. I greenstuffed over the skulls and then painted it. The banner I kept simple and in the colours of the army.

Another look at some of the infantry and one of the Taurox.

The commissar Lord commanding one of the many Praetorian firing lines.

A close up of the regimental banner and some of the command squad. Nork being the latest addition adding a lot of character to the unit.

Here we have the complete Command HQ, replete with the Colonel's dog and a master of ordinance/officer of the fleet.

Another closer look at the right flank of the army. I still feel the army is very light in terms of AT and Leman Russ. Perhaps that is something I will need to expand in the future.

Finally some of the heavy ordinance in the arm. The slightly different shade are all related to when I painted them and the paints that either GW changed or a heavier drybrush/wash. There are quite a few different shades throughout the army but I quite like the character I think it adds.

So there you go! 5000 points of Praetorian Imperial Guard.

I really hope you enjoyed seeing the whole army together, I know that I certainly did. 

Soon I will be returning with 5000 points of Warboss Gorblud's fiendish Bad Moon Orks and then we will move on to the main event. The final show down between Winterborne and his nemesis Gorblud...

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Battle Report preview...

A quick teaser post for you all. This weekend Colonel Winterborne faced off against his old nemesis Warboss Gorblud!

Without giving too much away at this stage, the points were about 5300 per side with a special scenario that we wrote for this battle. 

Have a look at the photos below with more coming in a proper battle report soon!