Dok’s Shop – Jetbike Praetor

Just a quick post to show my current project, a Praetor on jetbike to lead my Sky Hunter Phalanx list. I was struggling for a while to think of a suitable model when the new Red Scorpions characters were suggested to me. So with my trusted hobby tools I set about sawing Casan Sabius’ legs off and sanding down any scorpion insignia, which there actually was not a lot of. I then built a Custodes jetbike, sanding down some of the insignia and attaching an underslung heavy bolter. Jetbikes are armed with a heavy bolter rather than 6 bolters. I still need to work out what to do with the bit where the bolters are, and blend Casan’s body to the Custodes legs using some greenstuff but I’m really happy with how he looks. I think he’s a pretty unique character.

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And he is a sneak peak of the full command squad, with whom he rides. There’s also a Chaplain and a Primus Medicae in there. Its a pricey squad points wise, but will (hopefully) look the part on the battlefield. And looking good is all Emperor’s Children care about after all!

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J

Dok’s Shop – Isstvan Terrain

Isstvaan III was reborn in plague and fire, and its surface became a scarred and ruined graveyard of civilisation. The life-eater virus unleashed at Horus’ command reduced all organic matter to sludge then orbital bombardment ignited the gases released by the actions of the virus. Firestorms thousands of kilometres wide swept the surface of Isstvan III and after the fires died out, they left a realm of ash and smoke scattered with the twisted carcasses of burned-out hives and dead cities.

This description in Book I caught our attention and, as we are in the process of updating and painting all our scenery, we thought it would be awesome to convert up some terrain to represent the remains of Isstvan III. Our ruined buildings and pipes would work well enough, but we wanted to go further and create some of the terrain mentioned in Book I. It would also give some fun additional rules for playing games with these terrain pieces.

It provides rules for mysterious forests and rivers, mysterious structures as well as a host of other scatter terrain. We decided not to make any forest and the sculpted skull pools on the GW Realm of Battle Boards look perfect as ‘grave slime’ with some green tinted water effects paint on top. It was on the battlefield debris that we devoted most of our efforts.

To build the scenery we used the following tools (not show is the base material we used for the models. We used a canvas board material, but we’d recommend using plasticard as it is as strong and easier to cut!):

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(also learn from our mistakes and wear gloves when using expanding foam; it is a real pain to get off as water makes it stickier!)

Wrecked vehicles

The wrecks of Legion tanks, land crawlers and other civilian vehicles are everywhere on Isstvan III, their crews turned to sludge and hulls scorched by fire. The weapons on many of these wrecks may still function if an operator is willing to pull the dead from their seats and trust to fortune

This is the easiest way to show signs of a recent massive conflict and luckily we had a couple of spare vehicles lying about to turn into wrecks. First we built the rhino normally, leaving doors unglued so we could position them on the base. We then went to town cutting up the vehicle and using drills to simulate weapon fire, and we thought the dead gunner was a nice opportunity to show a last stand of a nameless marine. IMG_9023

Next thing we did was spray a load of expanding foam onto the base then pressed the rhino down onto it so it interacted more naturally with the base; it looks like it was in the thick of it before it got hit/wrecked. To blend the expanding foam into the base we used polyfilla and stuck the sand mix to it using pva glue. The end result looks like this:

We also knocked up a wrecked land speeder. It is meant to look like it got hit whilst skimming and then crashed into the ground, throwing dirt up in the process. We used expanding foam to build up the dirt then used polyfilla and sand to blend it in, like with the rhino. There are a couple of details on the model, like the gunshot hole in the pilot’s helmet maybe suggesting why it crashed. It will have a multi-melta attached, as a deadly weapon you can try and fire in game. IMG_9040

Corpse Mound

The dead are everywhere on Isstvan III. The shattered remains of thousand of dead Legionaries lie heaped like flotsam on a seashore, leaking liquefied flesh from the split joints and broken eye pieces of their armour.

Such a cool idea, and very grimdark. The idea of piles of dead was too cool not to include on the board. We struggled for a while how to represent it on the table though. We had a box of old plastic zombies lying around and added what spare bits we had. Initially we just tried to build up bodies by themselves but it did not look like much of a mound. Instead we went back to the expanding foam and then placed the bodies/marine bits in the foam as it expanded. This looks like it actually offers a cover save and the foam can just be the liquefied remains of the population.

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Whilst biological matter was eaten by the life-eater virus so there technically should not be any human corpses, we figured it helped make the corpse mound look more corpse-y and remind that humans had fought on the planet too.

Drop Pod Carcass

Hundreds of drop pods remain from when the loyalists deployed to bring Isstvan III back into compliance. Now many remain strewn across the grey sea of wreckage and ruin.

Again another image too cool not to do, we managed to get some drop pods really cheap on ebay and set to work making them look like terrain rather than models. We decided to have them on built up bases to represent the damage caused by their impact. Having cut out a suitable sized base we then added expanding foam before pressing the drop pods down in it. We think this makes the landing look realistic, what do you think?

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We then added polyfilla and sand to the based so it would match the boards. We pressed them in at a slight angle as well just to give a bit more interest to them. These drop pods were heavily inspired by the board that was at Warhammer World for a while with all the drop pods lying about. There’s still one more drop pod to build and we think they’ll look pretty great all together. IMG_9039

The centrepiece of our Isstvan board will be the crashed thunderhawk tile from ForgeWorld. We’ve started working on it already and decided to paint it in Emperor’s Children colours so it would stand out from the board. In addition it presented some fun themed battle opportunities around Saul Tarvitz and his actions on Isstvan III.

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That’s all we’ve done so far. The debris is currently sitting outside having been sprayed so there should be updates on them shortly! Let us know what you think of the terrain.

J

463rd Orta, Byzant Janizars – Part 1

‘The Byzant Dominate was a small empire in pre-unification Terra situated next to the Achaemenid Empire, on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Dust Bowl. Despite being a small empire, it had a formidable army, and waged several successful wars throughout its long existence. These wars won the Byzant Dominate prisoners, young children offered to the empire by defeated monarchs and tyrants as terms for peace. These children were raised by the Byzanters, indoctrinated into their cult and eventually joined the ranks of the emperor’s bodyguard: the Byzant Janizars.

Given the best equipment and training the Dominate could muster, these corps, or Orta, occupied a privileged position in Byzant culture and politics. Over time they had gained a reputation as king makers, famed for naming a new emperor and demanding vast sums from them; if they did not pay then the emperor was killed and a new ‘volunteer’ rose to the purple.

The Byzant Dominate, like the Achaemenid Empire, was incorporated by the Emperor in the early days of Unification. The Byzant emperor, Sul-Tac, was determined to resist the Emperor’s diplomatic envoys, believing him to be safe in his capital fortress, Byzant-Alpha. When the massed ranks of raging Thunder Warriors arrived at the fortress gates, the general of the Byzant Janizars, Madhvian, saw an opportunity for political advancement. He feared the enhanced warriors, whose reputation for the brutal massacre of any opposition preceded them. With the Janizars, Madhvian stormed Sul-Tac’s chambers and killed him along with his family. He then opened the gates of Byzant-Alpha, presented the head of Sul-Tac as a gift, and named the Emperor as the new Byzant emperor.

Upon hearing this, the Emperor accepted their declaration, becoming the ruler of Byzant and thus acquiring the empire without bloodshed. For their treachery against their former ruler though, the Emperor had the Ortas swear an oath of loyalty, that the Emperor was the last and only ruler they would ever follow and fight for. In order to seal this oath, whilst punishing them, the Emperor ordered the Janizars decimated. He also obliterated Madhvian with his psychic might.

The Janizars took their oath to heart, and fought in some of the bloodiest campaigns during Unification. The Janizars were allowed to take the noble children of defeated empires (often those preliminarily rejected from the Astartes project) and raise them in their tradition. With the influx of recruits the Byzant Janizars more than tripled in size, and several new Orta were raised, sent to fight alongside the legions in the great crusade. Thanks to their noble birth and early loyalty, they were attached to some of the more noble expedition fleets, most notably a large contingent fighting with Horus under Lord Commander Varvarus.’

This is the fluff I wrote to give a bit of a back story to the Byzant Janizars. I always liked the idea of the Byzant Janizars after reading a fan-made campaign pack about the Macharian Crusade. In it they were described as one of the Emperor’s household, so I reasoned they were likely to have been in the Great Crusade. Even though some sided with Horus in the books, surely there were some loyalist units as well? In the supplement it said how the Byzant Janizars were one of the few regiments to use a-grav vehicles so I was planning on continuing that theme, with land speeders as sentinels and eventually converting up some skimmer leman russes (note I won’t actually count them as skimmers, I just think it’ll look cool!!!)

Anyway, I eventually worked out the bits I wanted after struggling for a while, especially with regards to the distinctive Janissary hat. I settled on the mix of kits you see below, and am pretty happy with the result. Here is the first test model I made:

Their hats are greenstuffed on and I eventually shaved off the gems on their head and replaced them with aquillas to make them look more futuristic.

I was really happy with how he looked so started converting up the rest of the squad. This is the first militia squad, and needs to be bumped up to 20 men strong. I think the squad as a whole looks quite impressive!

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I also wanted to take advantage of being able to choose your warlord trait in the cults & militia list and being able to increase the AP of a weapon in your army. AP2 rocket launchers should be pretty handy at being able to destroy enemy vehicles. I still need to paint up one more rocket launcher to make the squad legal size.

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Finally I quickly painted up a force commander to use in smaller games so I could use the army as an allied detachment for my Emperor’s Children. He will eventually be the commander of the second militia squad but he works as my HQ for now. IMG_8903His pose is based of the Vostroyan command squad on the old Warhammer 40k Battle Missions book as I loved their static poses observing the battlefield rather than being stuck in the middle of the fighting.

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I have also finished the first of my land speeders which will be count as sentinels. The fluff reason behind this is that their empire was based on the edge of the Mediterranean Dust Bowl and so skimmer tech proved more useful at being able to patrol their territory than conventional walkers/vehicles. Its armed with an autocannon and I wanted it to look burdened with extra supplies and comms to show their use as logistics support for the infantry as well.

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I’m really happy with how they’re coming along and how they look as a whole. Next on the list is the force commander and finishing these squads off. Then I’m looking forward to playing some games with these guys as an allied detachment. If you guys have any comments or ideas let us know.

Thanks for reading.

J

The Expedition to Iydris Part 2

Whilst the other two have been busy with real life, I have been swept up in Heresy enthusiasm and have converted up some models for my planned mid-heresy army. With some reshuffling in the Raven Guard list, the destroyers got dropped as they tended to under perform and didn’t really fit with the theme of the army.

So with the destroyers as a base I set up converting up the squad of palatine blades including the characters mentioned in the last post. For this build I mainly used the Chaos Raptors, the Dark Eldar Hellions and bits from our extensive bits boxes. First up is Kalimos:

He has the power sword from the Raptor kit plus a head and whip from the Hellions. I shaved down the ears of the head to make them a little less alien, then green stuffed some ‘chains’ and hooks around the face to represent his mutilation. I’ll paint the skin on his face all red and cut up; hopefully it’ll look good!

This is my interpretation of Lonomia Ruen. One knife comes from the Hellion kit and the other is just a spare dagger/spike I had lying around that looked suitably wicked. I added a few spikes to his shoulder pads and I think it looks good without being too over the top.

Here is Bastarnae Abranxe. One sword is from Lucius the Eternal that I’ve had lying around for ages but not actually done anything with and the other is from the Mk 4 power weapon kit. The scar and tattoo on his face will be done with paint.

Here are Basileon and Andragoras. These made up guys are equipped with phoenix spears made from the blades in the Hellion kit. I figured they looked close enough to phoenix spears with an added evil look to them. Both of them have heads from the Hellion kit; the hair looks nice and psychedelic and they have masks that represent the surgical upgrades given them sonic shriekers. I was worried that the heads look a bit too small, but overall I’m fairly happy with these guys.

And the final two are Diodotus Sidon and Laenas Apameon. These guys are also armed with ‘phoenix spears’ (I realise that Laenas’ is quite bent, it has since been straightened out) and have heads from the Raptor kit. Several of the helmets have extended face plates that are perfect to represent sonic shriekers.

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And here is the whole squad. I’m really happy with how they look overall. Their armour is still clearly mk.4, but they also very much look like traitors. They’re also more in line with how they are represented in Angel Exterminatus. I’ll do another post once they are fully painted; I’m going with the same scheme as my other Emperor’s Children, just with extra flourishes on them.

As ever if you have any comments or criticisms of them please let me know!

J

Dok’s Shop – The Laer

Welcome to Dok’s Shop! In this feature we’ll go over how we went about creating one of our conversion projects.

At the Great Crusade event we attended last weekend, a lot of time and effort had been put into creating an awesome campaign pack with the rules for all sorts of Xenos factions encountered by the legions. When I saw the Laer had rules I knew I had to make some; the temptation to build the cause of the Emperor’s Children’s downfall was too much!

Having decided I was going to make some, I started gathering images and descriptions of the Laer. Fulgrim was the natural starting point which describes the main combat branch of the Laer in some detail, describing how they all have snake like bodies, two sets of arms and chitinous bug heads. Each was armed with two swords and the lower arms fired blasts of green energy.

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Armed with this info I started looking for suitable models and narrowed it down to the Tyranid Raveners or the Sslyth models. I eventually settled on the sslyth because they were already armoured and looked a bit more lithe. Their heads were too snakey though, and then someone recommended the T’au Vespids, so I acquired a squad of them (the bodies I’ve saved to turn into some Xenos mercenaries for Inq 28). The Vespid heads fit pretty well onto the Sslyth bodies, needing only a little bit of greenstuff to sit right.

Finally I needed weapons for them; in Fulgrim they are described as being armed with sabre like swords, so I rounded up as many charnabal sabres as I could beg, borrow and steal from people! With all my bits arranged I started converting.

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This is the final product after building. Even though I was using the same stock body, I wanted to try and convert them a little bit to make them seem different. I’m particularly happy with the Laer holding the marine helmet, this will be painted purple as a nod to the bloodthirsty campaign. The third one is made up as some sort of squad leader in case I ever decide to expand the unit.

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In terms of painting, I was in a bit of a rush to get them finished for the campaign so they’re not my best work and I will probably go back and finish them off at some point in the future. Their armour is described as a bright silver, but there is nothing about what colour they were, so I stuck with a white/purple (its slaanesh’s favourite after all).

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They performed quite well on the table top, killing a few models here and there. There most useful rule was making those in base contact take blind checks; a surprising number of marines failed this meaning they were much easier to cut down!

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Overall they were a fun unit to convert up, and I’m sorely tempted to make more of them and re-enact Solomon’s bold charge up the centre into the massed Laer…