The Lord Captain has forbidden me to write down the events of our journey, but what use is a remembrancer who does not remember? I can only hope that, if we survive, this journal will be a record of victory over these traitors and not an account of the end of our Imperium.

The Emperor protects. ~J

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

XXIII. Iron Hands and Future Plans

I finally finished my second Iron Hand Astartes. Yes, it did take far too long. I've been suffering from complete hobby burn out for the last few months, but I realised just a couple of days ago, that the way through it is to force myself to paint.

With the new year looming, I'm in resolution mode and I've been agonising about the future direction of my hobbying. I feel like I need to adopt a more disciplined approach and I'm considering a fresh start.

In the new year I'm almost certainly going to replace this blog with a new one. The main reason is I'm being persuaded that Blogger isn't the best platform around, but I also want to find the discipline to make more regular posts. I think a fresh start will help. I'm aiming for a post a fortnight - if I feel that every two weeks I have to have something worth posting then it'll motivate me to actually do something :)

However, I also feel like I'm at a potential crossroads in subject matter. The truth is I remain torn between the Horus Heresy and more traditional 40k as a setting.

When I look at what Forge World is putting out and compare it with GW's current work, the decision is an easy one. I love FW's models and the quality of those big, black Horus Heresy books is unsurpassed in the entire hobby. However, I find myself missing that part of the 41st millennium that GW seems to (mostly) ignore. Hive worlds, Death Cults, Genestealer covens, Inquisitors, cultists and the Adepta Sororitas. It's a tough choice.

The catalyst that made me start doubting my choices was a novel. Having ploughed through another Horus Heresy novel (and it really did start to feel like a chore reading another 200+ pages about space marines fighting space marines and feeling like the series has just stagnated), I bought the first book in the new Beast Arises series, "I am Slaughter". Halfway through and I'm gripped. The post-Heresy setting is so rich and characterful.

Now, admittedly, I felt the same reaction to the first Horus Heresy novel, "Horus Rising". Perhaps I just like beginnings? But when I made this mini (next thing I intend to paint) some time ago;

I sat back and thought, "That looks a lot more 40k than Heresy". Perhaps I was trying to tell myself something?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

XXII. Swordmaster

"There may be a hundred stances and sword positions, but you win with just one"
~Ancient proverb

Not all sons and daughters of Knight Households go on to inherit one of those machines of war. Many a younger son is forced to make his own way and find his own fortune. Some become scholars, some become priests of the Omnissiah; but others, lacking a Knight to be master of, become warriors of a different sort.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

XXI. Death Comes

Last weekend I had the absolute joy of attending an Inqvitational event, which was a huge amount of fun and my first introduction to Inquisitor. However, in the rush to get things ready and painted I forgot to post up my finished tech-assassin here. So, here she is.

She was inspired by the Cydonian Sisterhood assassin from the novel Mechanicum, but she'll be a tech-assassin in the employ of House Orasto.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

XX. The Emperor Protects

What's better than one guard? Two guards!

I had a few weeks where my job took all the energy and concentration I had, but summer is here and I'm back at my hobby desk.

The second guard was originally going to have a visible face, just like the first one. I even made a head for him but scrapped it after I decided it wasn't up to scratch. Then I hit on the idea that the heads from the Sicarian Ruststalkers would made good Mechanicum issue gas masks.

Other than the different head, he was made in the same way as the first Household Guard; a Solar Auxilia lasrifleman as a base, backpack from a Forge World Chaos Renegade and lots of greenstuff.

As always apologies for the terrible photography, thanks for looking and your comments are massively appreciated.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

XIX. Guards, guards!

I seem to have a problem actually finishing miniatures at the moment. Very good at starting new ones, but not very good at finishing ones I've started.

This mini was something of a test. He's one of the foot soldiers of my Knight Household. Converted from a Solar Auxilia rifleman, I wanted to create a fusion of the deiselpunk style of the Solar Auxilia and the Gothic design of Imperial Knights. I'm very happy with the way he's worked out so I'll be making some more to create a small squad.

The foot soldiers of the Household are equipped with armour supplied by their Mechanicum allies and made from salvaged Solar Auxilia suits. Each man goes into battle with the 'Litany of Striving' fastened to their armour, a invocation of the power of the Omnissiah. This man wears a 'virtutis' on his right shoulder, a large medallion awarded for bravery in battle.

Monday, 1 June 2015

XVIII Onward!

It's been a whole month with no news, but I've not been totally idle. I've started painting a couple of minis but, so far, finished neither.

Duke Ko is coming along nicely. I'm delighted with how he manages to look both regal and creepy. I've also started work on my second 'Art Scale' Iron Hand.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

XVII. Duke Ko

I must confess that, when I began the ‘Euripides’ project, I had only the vaguest of ideas of what I wanted to do. I certainly had no definite end product in mind. I knew I wanted to explore the Age of Darkness. I also knew that the idea of a rag-tag group of shattered survivors appealed more to me that the full glory of an Astartes Legion in all its strength. Like everyone who starts a project without a plan, I suffered false starts and dead ends, but recently I have begun to feel shapes, structure and themes emerging organically from the chaos.
My last finished model, the Astropath Jaysha Kree, now feels like a turning point. She is a miniature that grew and evolved and took on a life of her own. It almost feels like I built her and then worked out what she is. I fear now I may have been slightly wrong in saying she is of the Mechanicum. Time to rewrite history, or at least tinker with it.

In the last few days, I built a new miniature and again, I’ve had to work out what it is I have built. The answer feels like for the first time, I know what I’m doing.

This is Duke Ko, the Herald of Myleth.

The Knight World Orasto was discovered late in the Great Crusade. A Mechanicum Explorator fleet made first contact and were welcomed as long lost brothers. Orasto had been isolated so long that they were surprised to learn that other humans existed. When these new machine-men were able to repair ancient, long dormant knights, surprise turned to delight. Treaties were signed, oaths sworn and the Mechanicum established an embassy in Orasto’s chief city.

 Now, a mere twenty five years later, the Knights of Orasto find themselves caught up in the wars of the Age of Darkness. Their loyalty is to the Omnissiah and they eagerly joined the forces who combat the Traitor. Given the short time that the Mechanicum has been on Orasto, the Knight Houses still enjoy a large degree of independence. Unlike other Mechanicum aligned houses, which have become virtual thralls to their Forge Worlds, the men and women of Orasto regard the Mechanicum as allies and brothers in arms rather than overlords.

 The Euripides found a small group of battered and bloodied Orastian Knights, survivors of a massacre, and rescued them to fight another day. Their leader is Yol Myleth and Duke Ko is his herald. Proudly displaying the colours of his house (now incorporating the symbol of their Mechanicum allies), Duke Ko announces his leader, reciting the litanies of blessing, the lineage of his house and the deeds of notable ancestors: all of this amplified through the speaker of the cyberskull which never leaves his side.

Right now ideas are coming thick and fast of things to build. I feel like I have to get them started, so painting might be put on hold for a while as I concentrate on forming plastic and resin into interesting shapes. I’m really quite excited.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

XVI. Building in Iron

I did some work on building Iron Hand number two today. He's more or less finished and ready to paint, but I'll probably set him aside for a while. I'm increasingly finding that if I come back to a mini after a break from it, I can spot how it needs to be improved.

Friday, 10 April 2015

XV. Super Creeps

Everyone has gone a little Mechanicum/Mechanicus crazy, including me ... and I haven't even bought the new kits yet. The last couple of days has seen a 100 percent increase in the number of Murder Servitors I have built. I can now boast a squad of two,

Meanwhile, work continues on my second Iron Hand astartes. The legs have been extended and I've finished the torso.

The next step will be to finish the legs by adding the armour plates to cover the pteruges.

Friday, 3 April 2015

XIV. Broken Things

Jaysha Kree is the personal Astropath to Magos Kalindra, mistress of the Mechanicum contingent aboard the Euripides. A telepath of extraordinary talent apparently, but the Soul Binding took an awful toll on her young body. It left her broken, but did not kill her and the Mechanicum took her did what they could. I've seen tech adepts with whole new bodies of brass and steel, but Jaysha refused to give up so much of her humanity: instead her shattered form is kept alive by Kalindra's machines.


It's been a long time since I picked up a brush. March is the busiest time of the year for me at work, and that, followed by a couple of weeks of flu has kept me away from my minis.

Now with work easing off and the flu gone (apart from a lingering cough), I've had time to finish a mini I started a long time ago now.

Thanks for taking the time to look.

Monday, 9 February 2015

XIII. The Medusan

Legionary Azuhk has joined the Immortals. The gloom that has enveloped the Astartes lies heaviest on him and, despite all protestations, Azuhk is convinced he has failed his Primarch.

"I will find redemption in killing the traitors", he told me. I hope the Emperor watches over him.


Finished and I'm very happy with how he's turned out. I'd love to say he will be the first of many, but more likely he'll be the first of a few.

And because size does matter, here's a couple of scale shots;

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

XII. Auto-clade

This is a busy time at work and I'm not getting as much hobby time as I'd like. My first Astartes is coming along though. I'm going to try a big push this weekend to get him finished.

As always though, a big reason he's taking time to complete is my total inability to stick to one job at a time. I've been distracted working on a couple of other miniatures.

The first is a Murder Servitor. These appear in the third Horus Heresy rule book from Forge World and are described as skull faced and armed with crude cutting and stabbing weapons. I kit-bashed this creature from a Dark Eldar Wrack with a head made from a servo skull.

The second is a Cydonian Sister, one of the tech-adept assassins of the Mechanicum. More Dark Eldar bits, a Fantasy Dark Elf witch and a head made from half a servo skull, half a sister of slaughter head and a bit of green stuff to blend it all together.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

XI. The Solar Auxilia

I freely admit that I have a problem when it comes to sticking at a task. I'm just too easily distracted. So, I broke off from working on my art scale Astartes to finish painting my first Solar Auxilia.

I bought these chaps on a whim because I loved the sculpts so much, I'm not trying to build an army here, so it may take me a very long time to get round to painting all twenty of them. However, they may also turn out to be a nice change of pace whenever I want to take a short break from converting. It could be good to just have a few miniatures which I build straight out of the box, as it were.

So, this one is a colour test, using the same restricted palette as I intend to use throughout the crew of the Euripides. Hopefully I can keep a unified look without it all merging into one murky mess.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

X The Colour of Iron

I know some people like to see work in progress photos, so here is the Astartes in his current form. All dark and grubby and awaiting ... well pretty much everything.

I've developed a painting style which could best be summed up as, slapping it on and hoping for the best. Like my first attempt at an Iron Hand Astartes, I'm avoiding painting him black. I'd rather suggest black using shades of slate grey. This time I've added some brown in some of the recesses to add interest and warm him up a little. This Iron Hand is going a bit rusty, I think.

A long way still to go to finish him.

Monday, 5 January 2015

IX. Wall of Iron

The Astartes terrify me. Each is a colossus of ceramite and iron. Each is a glowering, melancholic presence on the ship ... and I fear, that since that terrible time I am forbidden to mention, each is slowly loosing his mind.


The build of my first art-scale marine is pretty much complete and he's ready for some paint.

Since I'm aiming for the Iron Hands after the death of their primarch, I want them to look slightly unhinged and as much a danger to their allies as to their foes. This first Astartes has a chain, ending in a cruel hook hanging from his belt, next to the skull of an executed traitor. Oaths of moment are nailed to the armour of his left leg.

I was wary of taking these element too far and perhaps making him look like a traitor, rather than a loyalist who's loosing his marbles. Maybe with the next one I'll push it a but further.