Long Fang Pack: The Curved Fang

Well it’s taken a while but I’ve finally finished these guys. They’re based around an old 1992 Devastator Squad box and they’ve been great fun to paint. I explained how I painted them back here but, having painted one of them, I’m afraid that I forgot about them for a bit. Still, they’re painted now and I guess that I’m quite happy about them. I’ve fielded them in one game (before they were painted) and they worked quite well. The ability to split fire worked well as I was able to use the heavy bolters against infantry while the lascannon and missile launchers could fire against the rhino that was speeding towards them. They all got wiped out once the assault marines arrived though, they are my Long Fangs after all!

Anyway, here’s the pack. I’ve tried to make them all look different despite the metal models themselves being fairly similar. Due to me accidentally melting a couple of the arms while stripping them as acetone free nail polish turned out to be more aggressive than I had hoped, one of the arms and a couple of shoulder pads are a bit rough. I hid the worst of it behind green-stuffed furs though I hope.

I guess that now that these guys are done I should finish off one of my other partially finished units. I’m trying not to start anything new until I have some of the backlog done, but this is me. I can’t guarantee that I won’t get distracted!


100 Posts

So it’s my 100th post. As with all 100th posts I suppose there ought to be some self indulgent navel gazing, a bit of a retrospective and some looking to the future.

I probably should have reached 100 posts a few weeks back. I’ve been trying to post three times a week but that hasn’t been as easy as I first thought. It’s not been lack of interest so much as lack of time (and more crucially energy). Hopefully things will settle down a bit in the new year (and yes, I guess that I will probably come to regret saying that).

Since I started this blog a lot has happened in 40k. We have had new paints and new rules, the release of flyers and a new look White Dwarf. Due to my complete and utter inability to organise games I suppose that the paints have been the most important change for me. So far I’ve liked the new paints and I plan to keep using them as I plod through the piles of models on my desk.

My painting has hopefully improved since I started this blog. I’m not sure that the painting speed has though as I still have an enormous painting queue.

In future I guess that I really should get round to playing a few more games and having a fully painted army. Whether I get that done in time for my 150th or 200th post is another matter though!

Finally I’d like to say thanks to you for reading this. I know that I could talk to thin air if I felt like it, but it’s nice to think that I’m writing something that might get read some time!

Anyway, there may be another post today, so I’ll leave this one as it is!


Wolf Skull Helmet for a Wolf Priest

The model that this will eventually go on is currently in about five pieces but the last of my Long Fangs is currently waiting for one coat of wash to dry before I apply the next one and I wanted to post something today.

There is a Wolf Priest figure available for Space Wolves, Ulrik the Slayer. Unfortunately it’s quite an old model and he is a particular special character. I wanted my own Wolf Priest. I’ve already built one in Terminator armour, in fact he was my first conversion and it shows. On top of that I really needed something to keep my Swiftclaws in order, so I’m currently in the process of building a Wolf Priest on a bike. He won’t be wearing his helmet but I’d like to have one somewhere on the model.

I started out using a mk. 7 helmet and a Wolf Skull from the Space Wolves pack. I then shaved off the front of the helmet using a scalpel so that I could rest the wolf skull on it at the right angle.

I then filled in the gaps with green stuff and added lenses to the helmet.

I painted the skull Bleached Bone (Ushbati Bone) and washed it with Gryphonne Sepia (Seraphim Sepia). I then highlighted it with Bleached Bone and Skull White (White Scar). The metallic bits were washed with Devlan mud (Agrax Earthshade) followed by Badab Black (Nuln Oil) and were painted either Dwarf Bronze (Hashut Copper) highlighted with Shining Gold (Gehenna’s Gold) or Boltgun Metal (Leadbelcher) Highlighted with Chainmail (Ironbreaker).

Eventually it will end up attached to the Wolf Priest on the bike, but the bike still needs undercoating. As long as it doesn’t rain I’ll get that done this weekend.

Sorry for the poor picture quality in this post. I had trouble getting my camera to focus on such a small model.


Chaotic Thinking

Another short update with no pictures I’m afraid. On the upside though I only have one of my original Long Fangs to go. The only problem is whether I’ll get it finished for Thursday’s post or if I’ll be distracted by Helsreach, which I’ve finally got round to buying.

The rumour sites are busy talking about the upcoming Warriors of Chaos models. I guess that I’ll take a good look at the new White Dwarf when it comes out on Saturday. I don’t want to branch out into Warhammer Fantasy just yet but ever since I read Valkia the Bloody I’ve wanted to build my own Valkia, just for the fun of it. The trouble is that now there’s going to be an official one and so I feel that all my plotting and scheming and trying to figure out how to make a slimmer, more streamlined Daemon Prince/Princess may have been wasted.

I need to go to my local GW on Saturday as, not only do I want to get this month’s White Dwarf, I finally need to replace my Chaos Black which is pretty much empty. I’m not too bothered about swapping to the “new” black as it’s not exactly going to have any colour matching problems and so far the new paints that I have used have been perfectly fine.

I’m currently trying to consider whether I really want Angel Exterminatus now, or if I want to wait until it comes out in paperback. On one hand it’s a shiny new Horus Heresy book, on the other hand it won’t fit on the shelf with the others. I’m also wondering if this was the right book to start the new “special” versions with. If it had been Fear to Tread that had been released in hardback then I think we probably would have ordered it without thinking, as the episode is an important one in the Horus Heresy and for the Blood Angels. The trouble is that I know very little about Perturabo. He turned up as the bad guy in The Crimson Fist, but his portrayal there did nothing to warm him to me. It’s been relatively easy to feel some sympathy for most of the other fallen Primarchs and perhaps all that Perturabo needs is his own book in order to rank up there with Lorgar or Magnus or Fulgrim but I’m not gripped with curiosity about him at the moment.  Maybe the internal illustrations by Karl Richardson will sway me, I loved his work in Lone Wolves after all. However I’m still wondering if that and the mystery that is Perturabo is enough to make me pay out the extra euros in order to get the hardback, or whether I’d rather buy a couple of paperbacks instead.

Burden of Duty by James Swallow: A Review

I have to say that I am quite fond of the character of Nathaniel Garro. He first appears in The Flight of the Eisenstein, which is one of my favourite books from the Horus Heresy series, and then stars in his own series of audio books produced by Black Library and Big Finish.

Burden of Duty also features another of my favourite characters, that of Rogal Dorn. It’s odd but I find it very easy to feel sympathy for Dorn. Yes, he is a bit stiff and formal, he is after all a Primarch, but while he hasn’t the easy likeability of Sanguinius or Horus he is very easy to feel sympathy for. He is loyal, and, no matter what he might like to do, he will do his duty.

Duty is the theme of this audiobook, Garro’s duty to Malcador the Sigillite, Dorn’s duty to the Emperor, a Librarian’s duty to his Primarch and all of their duties to the Imperium. These audiobooks, like the short stories in the anthologies, offer little vignettes into the thoughts of characters both large and small, beyond those offered in the books. They offer a really good way of both getting under the skin of a character and exploring what’s going on away from the main plot.

Both Swallow and John French, who wrote The Crimson Fist, have really brought Dorn to life. He is a pivotal character in the Horus Heresy despite and because of his role as the defender, the guy at home providing the last line of defence in a war that he knows is coming and is powerless to stop. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I like Rogal Dorn as a character. He’s not showy or impulsive, he doesn’t run off and get revenge or carve empires for himself or any number of other equally justifiable but incredibly short-sighted things that he’s doubtless tempted to do. He’s been told to stay put and prepare Terra for war and that’s what he’ll do.

Burden of Duty is, while short, a very good story. It’s not a fast paced story, it’s not about bolters and bloodshed, it’s about duty and understanding what that means for the three main characters. For Garro, it’s about doing the Sigillite’s duty, to build up the Knights Errant in order to protect the Imperiun. For Dorn it is about building a fortress, about protecting Terra itself, and for the Librarians of the Seventh Legion, ah, well that’s the whole point of the story and I’m not going to give away the plot twist.

Burden of Duty is well written and it’s also well acted. Toby Longworth has a very strange way of saying “aquilla” but the acting is on the whole very good. Big Finish appear to have dug into their box of Doctor Who sound effects for the servitor’s voice, but that was kind of cute (and if you haven’t heard any of Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio dramas you really should do) and the sound effects don’t intrude too much into the story.

To conclude, Burden of Duty is excellent. I really hope that James Swallow gets to write some more about Rogal Dorn. It’s kind of unfortunate that he’s so good at both Rogal Dorn and Sanguinius as I’d love to see his take on both characters whenever Black Library get round to the Siege of Terra. One other thing that I’d like is to have these stories in print form. I know that I was complaining about this very same thing a few weeks back, but as long as I knew that that was what I was getting, I’d be very happy to actually read these stories as the language is so good. I’d even buy a special edition if I had to!


A painting update: A long wait for my Long Fangs

So, since I temporarily abandoned painting the Aegis defence lines I’ve got back into the rhythm regarding painting. Hopefully, once I get a few more miniatures painted I’ll be able to make some headway on them, but I’m ignoring them for now.

What really spurred on my current painting frenzy was the realisation that I had modelled my second Long Fang pack without finishing the first. After painting the first of the pack a few months back I’ve been really uninspired regarding the other four models. I’d partly painted all of them. The pack leader just needed washing and highlighting while the rest had just had the blue-grey and the Boltgun Metal bits roughly painted in.

I was actually painting a different miniature last weekend, a Wolf Priest to go on a bike so that I can reliably use my Swift Claws. However, while I was applying the wash to that model I decided that I would like to keep painting so I finished a Long Fang. I’m now nearly ready to wash and highlight a second. You may have noticed that there are no pictures. That is because my plan is to photograph the whole pack on Sunday (if I’m good) or early next week (if I’m not).

I’m hoping that the inspiration to paint more might help me blog more. I suppose that I’ll find out in a few days (and yes, I know that posting this late is not a good start).



Guardswomen or “do that shirt up!”

I’ve been doing some thinking. Some time in the future I want to start a new army and for a while now I’ve wanted to field a female chaos cult using either the Sisters of Battle or the Chaos Space Marine codex. The thing that’s holding me back is not rules, especially not now that the new Chaos Space Marine codex has dropped, but models. Now, I don’t have anywhere to play beyond home and the local Games Workshop store, so, if I want to play with this army I’ll have to use Games Workshop figures and this is where the problem lies.

Games Workshop does make female figures. For 40k there are Sisters of Battle (obviously), Eldar Howling Banshees and female Dark Eldar models (not including the awful Dark Eldar Prisoners). There are also a few female Inquisitors. Oh and I guess that there are female Tyranids (unless they have really odd biology). It’s similar for Fantasy. There a female elves (of various sorts), a few Bretonnian damsels, a couple of Vampire Counts models and one Warrior of Chaos. (Slaaneshi Daemonettes are hermaphroditic despite the name). The specialist games have a few female characters but they are far outnumbered by the male ones.

Probably, if I made an effort I could kitbash something. That’s the whole point of this project. If Sisters of Battle weren’t metal, they’d be the obvious choice. However, this is just background to the main point.

While I was looking for things that I could use for kitbashing, I noticed something. There are no female guardsmen and there are no female chaos cultists. Actually there is one female guardsman, but she’s  a “collectors” piece. Fortunately.

Now, I know that Chaos Cultists are a new unit but you’d think that a group of Chaos Cultists might be somewhere that you could find the odd female. However the Dark Vengeance set has twenty guys, and not one female model. Maybe they’ll put out a regular cultists kit and maybe there’ll be a female figure, but I’m not holding my breath.

The thing is that there are female guardsmen in the fluff. The Ciaphas Cain and Gaunt’s Ghosts books both involve female guardsmen in quite prominent roles and Cadia (ignoring the ridiculousness of such a statement for a moment) has a recruitment rate equal to the birth rate which would suggest a strong female presence in their regiments (or that somebody didn’t think at all when they wrote that particular bit of background).

I guess that Games Workshop doesn’t think that they would sell enough female figures, or that they’d appeal to their core market. I don’t know what their actual views on this matter are and neither do I know what the actual opinion of gamers is. The point is, there is a part of Games Workshop which makes more niche figures and that is Forgeworld and I think that this would be the perfect place to put an all-female or mixed guard unit. Currently there isn’t anything and that is a pity.

On the other hand I’d rather see no female models than ones like these. I know guys like boobs. Boobs are fine- in the right place. If you are modelling Slaaneshi cultists or Dark Eldar then exposed breasts are probably thematic. However, there are times when I want to ping elastic bands at the chests of the sculptors who choose to make scantily clad female commissars or guardswomen to show them just how much it hurts to get hit by anything in that area.

To me good gaming models are a representation of a character. They do not have to look exactly as that character would look in real life and there is always a degree of suspension of disbelief when building an army. However, I am of the opinion that in order to be able to suspend disbelief over the big things, be it daemons from another dimension or giant genetically enhanced super soldiers, you have to be careful with the little things like dressing appropriately. When I see these models, I don’t see the sculpting, the work that has gone into them, I see the unbuttoned shirt and go “well that is stupid!”.

Anyway, I would really like to see Games Workshop do some more female figures, even if they are done under the Forgeworld name. However, can they have some chest armour or a decent shirt like the guys please?


n.b. I wouldn’t really ping elastic bands at those guys, it’s stupid.

Long Fang pack leader: Eric Clawfoot of the Pack of the Old Wyrm

I know, no post since last week and this one is a day late. It’s just that I’m currently struggling a bit for inspiration and while I am happily building things, I haven’t been painting that much. I’m blaming it on the Aegis Defence Line. It’s still sitting there looking grey and unpainted and it’s putting me off a bit.

Last weekend I decided that I wanted to do something and so I undercoated a whole batch of miniatures. The model that I was going to work on needed another coat so I picked up one that was waiting and painted it.

You may recognise this guy as the Long Fang pack leader that I posted a picture of unpainted a few weeks back. The torso, head and weapons are from the Space Wolves Pack box, while the legs came from the Iron Hands Tactical Squad  upgrade kit.

It’s the first time that I’ve worked with Finecast at all. With the exception of the bubbles, the legs were pretty nice. There are mould lines (I missed one too) but they turn up on the plastic kits. My main problem was stealth bubbles, those that were too small or well hidden to notice before I sloshed paint everywhere. Still, the detail on the legs was lovely. The lines were sharper than on the plastic kits and the details on the bionics were amazing. If Games Workshop can get a grip on the quality control issues, I for one would be quite happy with using Finecast.

Anyway, I need to paint the rest of his pack and the other Long Fang pack. I haven’t looked at my painting pile as a whole for a while, probably because it is depressingly large!


Postal charges and Games Workshop

I’m going to post a bit of a rant today. I was looking for a book to give somebody as a present. It’s out of stock from Black Library and Amazon, but Games Workshop say that they have a copy. I live half an hour away by public transport and foot from my local GW store and while I’d rather order things from there,  I’d rather not make two trips there just for just one item when I’m busy. However, some time in the past couple of months the free postage limit from Games Workshop to send things to addresses in The Netherlands has risen from €15 to €30. To make things worse, if I lived in Belgium the limit would still be €15. France, Germany and Italy also have the raised limit, but Spain doesn’t. It’s a bit odd that the limit is raised in some countries but not others and while I imagine that most people in The Netherlands are within an hour of a Games Workshop store (mostly because it’s not that big a country) the cost of sending things to different countries in Europe is not that different (The Royal Mail says that it’s the same).

The thing is, if there was no free postage at all I’d not be bothered. It’s just that I don’t get why there is a disparity in the prices. I’m just glad that I don’t live in Finland where the limit is €75! I’d rather not order online and get the item sent to my local store as I’d rather give the local guys my money than the website and, to be honest, it feels very cheeky to order something elsewhere and have it sent to a shop that is not getting the money (and I really don’t need anything at the moment!).

Anyway, I’m going to call the local store on the off-chance they have a copy and then, if needs be, take the train there after work some time this week.


Birthday presents

It was my birthday this week so I’ve been quite busy for a few days. This has meant that the haphazard pile of models on my desk hasn’t moved much. Technically it’s got bigger as I’m now the owner of a Venerable Dreadnought. I’ve mentioned before that I like dreadnoughts but I didn’t own one until now. I’m looking forward to lavishing some attention on this one some time.

I also received a copy of The Emperor’s Gift by Aaron Dembski-Bowden which I then read (1 ½ times so far). It is a really, really good book. I was wondering how Dembski-Bowden would write “good guys” and I can now say that they are as engaging as the bad guys, not that anybody in that book (with the possible exceptions of Vasilla and the cyber mastiff) is particularly good. The First War for Armageddon is a pretty big event in the Space Wolves codex. The version in the Emperor’s Gift is subtly different, the character that finally stops the bloodshedhas changed for a start, but it’s recognisable as the same story (and a lot more gripping). I accidentally found a spoiler for the book on the Lexicanum while looking for something else, so I knew what the big reveal was before it happened, but it did not stop that part from being so good that I read it through three times or so just so that I could enjoy it again.

I haven’t done much this weekend beyond reading, I’ve been too tired, but I did apply greenstuff to a few models. Hopefully this week I can get them ready to undercoat and paint as I’d really like to get at least the Wolf Priest on bike finished enough to use him (and by extension my Swiftclaws) in a game.

Anyway, that’s it for now.