Archive for January, 2015

Over the Christmas break I took some time to update my spreadsheet inventory of my Imperial Guard miniatures because I bought so many of them last year (and this year, oops!) I was a bit lost with which models I was intending to use with which army. After juggling things around on said spreadsheet I realised that I had enough models to run a Cadian Shock Troops list. This list would give me the opportunity to scratch build a couple of Stormlord Super Heavy tanks (I realise that the Stormlord Super Heavy tanks are “out there in the wild” but I’ve failed to get hold of any) and I would finally be able to field a Leviathan in EpicA in a “proper” list.

I really like the idea behind the Imperial Guard Leviathan. There’s just something about an Imperial Guard army backed up by huge Leviathan command centres that appeals to me more than using Titans. I own three in my Heresy era Imperial Guard army because you need to field at least three of them in a list to make using them worthwhile due to them being such juicy targets. However, I’ve never been a fan of the sculpt. It’s an ugly beast, with little detail, and getting it to fit together properly is an exercise in patience with an end result that just makes me go “meh”. Mine have been half painted for years and looking at them now I just can’t build up any enthusiasm to finish painting them.

leviathan

Anyway, I wanted to keep all three of my half painted ones for my Heresy era Imperial Guard army and the thought of coughing up £12-£15 for another model I don’t like didn’t appeal. I’ve been aware of Troublemaker Games for a while and their Troublemaker Novan Dictum Command Centre looked like a decent update of the classic (classic?) Citadel model:

dictum

First impressions of the model are very good. The detail is well defined and the casting is crisp with no flash.

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I really liked that the model has internal detail for those who want to keep the rear doors open on their model. I’ll be gluing my doors shut but it’s a nice touch all the same.

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Attempting to dry fit the model proved tricky. Like the Citadel one the two halves of the main body of the model don’t fit flush and the tracks didn’t fit particularly well into the main body of the model. To be fair, it’s nothing shocking but it is a reminder that multipart metal models like this require a bit more preparation before assembly. Oh and green stuff. 😉 Below is a photo of the initial dry fit:

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Some size comparisons with the initial dry fit of the model:

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All in all I’m really impressed with it. It fits perfectly with my existing Epic models and has enough detail to make painting it rewarding. All I need to do now is put it together properly.

Years ago I was very much against basing Epic scale tanks. I didn’t like the look of them and I thought that based tanks would look strange if they were based, for example, as urban bases but where then fielded on tables covered in grass. As time went on I warmed to the idea of basing my Epic scale tanks because it reduced the handling of the models themselves when moving them around. I originally used to use Warmaster bases but moved over to equivalent sized bases when I discovered them. I really liked the look I got with the bases and have since kept basing my tanks. In terms of gaming with based tanks I measure all distances from the tanks hull.

This year I made the decision to use slightly bigger bases for my tanks because some of the Epic 40k Imperial Guard range are quite wide what with them having additional armour plates on them or whatever and they look a bit squeezed onto the 20x40mm base. Instead I upped the base size for standard sized tanks, such as Leman Russ, to fit on 25x40mm bases. They look the right size giving a better visual balance to the base and model:

bases1

This was all great until I realised that the army I’m building and painting at the moment will include Forgeworld Epic models. As much as I really like the out of production Forgeworld Epic range the tanks are rather small compared to Citadel Epic models because they’re not quite the same scale and the Leman Russ tanks don’t come with side sponson weapons. This means that they look even more tiny on a 25x40mm base:

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Yet a Forgeworld Hydra looks not only the right size on a 25x40mm base its guns will get a bit more protection when moving the model around:

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However, I want all of my similar sized models to be on the same size of base. I decided that, sod it, they’ll all be on the same base and that the Leman Russ sized models will just look a little lost on their bases. This was all well and good until I finally managed to buy some Forgeworld Leman Russ Vanquishers for a sane price using the “Epic 40,000 Armageddon Buy Swap and Sell” Facebook group. The seller had based his tanks, IIRC, on 20x40mm bases with the tanks right at the very back of the base to offer a bit of protection to the tanks very fragile gun barrel. It was a good idea but sticking the Vanquisher at the back of the base looked odd. On a 25x40mm base it looked even more odd:

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The solution was to put them on scenic bases. I really like the look of scenic bases but I’ve never done them because they can be time consuming but given how few Forgeworld tanks I own (currently 56) it shouldn’t add too much time if I did the bases in batches. I decided to start with the Vanquishers. The first thing was to chop up one of the small ruins sprues that used to come with the Epic 40k infantry bases, I’ve got a huge bag full of of these so I don’t need to worry too much about cutting a few up. I then planted Coal Ballast Scatter into the Greenstuff to be used as either big rocks or debris from the building:

vanquisherbases1

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The razor wire was from Army Painter:

razorwire

The razor wire was twisted around a small drill bit, stretched and then planted into the green stuff. It looked far too neat so I clipped it in various places and squashed it a bit. I then added coarse sand I bought from a pet shop about 15 years ago and applied that to the base near to the building ruins:

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I painted over the coarse sand and once dry I applied fine sand to the rest of the base:

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I then painted the ruins and coarse sand Vallejo Basalt Grey (70.869):

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After that the bases were painted as:

  • Army Painter Dark Tone wash over all of the grey areas
  • All grey areas were drybrushed Vallejo Basalt Grey (70.869)
  • The fine sand was painted Vallejo Chocolate Brown (70.872)
  • Vallejo Beige Brown (70.875) dry brush on the fine sand
  • Vallejo German Camo Beige (70.821) dry brush on the fine sand

The razor wire was painted as follows:

  • Vallejo Black (72.051)
  • Vallejo Gunmetal Grey (70.863)
  • Citadel Chestnut ink wash
  • Vallejo Gunmetal Grey dry brush

The finished bases, and tanks, looking as follows:

vanquishers

vanquishers1vanquishers2

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2014 was not a good year for me when it came to painting miniatures. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you all with the details but the long and short of it was that I only painted one model. All year. Oh dear.. On a brighter note I bought a large number of miniatures and I did some very successful trading enabling me to get hold of miniatures I honestly didn’t think I’d ever get my grubby hands on.

It was this trading that resulted in me getting hold of a lot of now long OOP Epic forumware that I’ve been after for a few years. The Epic miniatures in question being Vraksian and Deathkorps of Krieg models. They were well worth the effort because they are, without a doubt, fantastic sculpts.

The colour scheme I’ve used is very similar in tone to that used in the Forgeworld Siege of Vraks books. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to photograph particularly well making the models look either too green or too orange. Anyway, the colour scheme required using colours I wouldn’t normally use that are mainly from the Vallejo Model Colour range. I also resisted the temptation to paint the tank tracks silver and, instead, painted them dark grey then applied a black wash to them. It looks more realistic and I think I prefer it to the traditional silver with a black wash.

Anyway onto the models I’ve painted so far:

Malcador Defenders

I absolutely love these Malcador Defender models, there’s a very WW1 feel to them.

malcadordefender1

malcadordefender2

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Valdor Tank Hunters

Another great Forgeworld model shrunk down into Epic scale:

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The models have since been based with fine basing sand that was painted a dark brown then highlighted. It’s much more simple than I normally do but it fits the models.

I’ve now got nine Malcador tanks and three Malcador Annihilators to build and paint. These look very fiddly to build but should be well worth the effort.