Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Tallarn Imperial Guard - first force

I've been busy. Which is to say I've been really ill, and painting is relaxing.

Lets talk about Imperial Guard (or as the Gothic kids say, Astra Militarum).

As ever, I don't want to tow the line of the fluff but would rather create my own. My Imperials are citizen-soldiers of the isolated Syndbou star cluster. A group of human partisans in a galaxy of daemons, aliens and posthuman horrors. These are not regular Astra Militarum, but volunteers and guerrillas who have earned their BS4 living on the edge of civilisation, trying to stop the encroachment of hostile species and cults. Outmanned and underresourced they are naturally most concerned with the strategic aims of the mission at hand.

My initial idea was to make an Emperor's Blade Assault Company. This formation from Damocles Mont'Ka consists of:

The benefits of the formation are:

  • Objective Secured on the infantry
  • Preferred Enemy against foes near objectives. 

This really appealed to me as a force - and it fits neatly into 1000 points. 

GW's old metal Tallarn Desert Raiders are really fun to paint. Taking a leaf from a previous project, I decided to start with a limited colour palette
but vary how those colours were applied to each model to give a sense of unity without uniformity (or uniforms!).

Metal Tallarns direct from GW. Felt good to see "1994" on the base tabs.

My first test models for shades. 

A splash of colour from knife sheaths and skulls.

This guy has great detail on the cloth of his headscarf. Probably my favourite of the Tallarn miniatures.

Got more Tallarns! Time to get a batch process going.

Initial base colours

Base colours for the company command squad.

Everyone's ready for basing!

Phew, finished!

Well, that's that! I have base coated their Chimeras, but nowhere near finished yet. I'll post them in a future update.

I'm also considering running this force using Genestealer Cult rules featuring several Neophyte Cavalcades. The sneaky tactics and careful planning of the Cult suit the feel of Tallarn models as guerrilla fighters.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Tallarn Desert Raiders - the start of something new

So, as many of you will be aware, 2016 has been a horror show. Part of this horror was that I turned 30 in October. So like any self-respectless 30 year old, I bought myself some birthday presents to mark the occasion.

Oh, stick this on while you read, it's pretty great!

In 2015 I happily crafted a simple, self-contained Skitarii army. The army was loosely based on the ancillaries from the fantastic novel Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. While I was working on this my friend GrimDarkRealms was really upping his game with his airbrushing techniques. So, I asked for an airbrush as my 30th birthday gift.

The addition of an airbrush to my life has allowed me to consider projects previously too laborious to contemplate. I have long had two armies in mind for 40k... an Eldar ghost army, which would benefit heavily from the clean coverage and gradients an airbrush can provide, and a mechanised Tallarn army, which needs an airbrush more to cope with the sheer surface area that has to be covered in paint than anything fancy. Well, this year the Tallarns won...

Choosing Tallarns gives me an opportunity to work with some classic miniatures...

Imperial Guard Astra Militarum Chimera Tallarn Al'Rahem Company Commander Metal well as some newer ones...
Imperial Knight Paladin and 40K Chimera Fire Barrels Conversion Genestealer Cult Parts

The Imperial Knight is from the Skitarii project. I really like the scale of the knight compared with the old metal Tallarns. They really are from different eras.

Imperial Guard Astra Militarum Tallarn Desert Raider Metal Veterans Commissar Conversion

My first complete unit of Tallarn veterans. Cyborg commissar to keep their morale up.

I'll post more as the army develops.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Samsung d'light

Travelling to South Korea this year was a great experience. One of the things on my wife’s hit-list of Seoul sights was Samsung d’light, an interactive tech exhibition with a flagship Samsung store attached. After falling in love with the delightful innocence and airy ultra-modern vibe of Miraikan, Tokyo’s ‘Museum of the Future’, I was eager to see what Samsung had to offer.

Samsung is a Korean corporation, and in fact is the largest family-run (chaebol) corporation in South Korea, responsible for 17% of the country’s economy in 2014. So suffice to say my expectations were high!

Samsung d’light is in Gangnam, Seoul (Gangnam is a place, not just a ‘Style’!). The store below carries all of Samsung’s latest products, but star of the show was a VR headset and chair experience, which rocked me around on a rollercoaster ride before we went up to the Samsung d’light exhibition halls.

The displays are really fun, gauging your mood and giving you a chance to express yourself as you interact with them. It really feels like you are interacting with the building itself, and each interaction is a positive, creative activity.

This means a lot of wild flailing around, a really joyful and freeing experience to have with technology. The whole exhibition is like this, offering easy ways to interact with clever displays, each activity giving you a positive, feel-good and creative outcome unique to you.

On the top floor is a display of future technology, smart-house appliances, work-surface sized tablets. Best were the wall displays of how different kinds of technology could help us in the future.

What I’ll take away from Samsung d’light though is the same sense of ‘bright-future’ optimism that I took from Miraikan. It feels great to get so many positive, personalised messages just from walking around the exhibition and taking part. Always a bit wary of crowds and an introvert, I enjoyed how Samsung d’light offers a really positive way for each person as an individual to engage with technology.

You can also read about my wife's experience at Samsung d'light on the Signals blog.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Explorator Vessel XL9N exits the Warp

Autolog of the XL9N Explorator, M41.

-EXIT WARP LOC/9372632-2183638-09412
  ±GELLAR CAP-12/100
   -PURGE DECKS-104-112
-UPDATE 00001 / 23313 PENDING
-UPDATE 23312 / 23313 PENDING

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Space Wolves Rhino Rust

Late in the 38th millennium, Harald Gunnarsson's Great Company was presumed lost in the Warp forever. Their three ships broke free of the reality storm too close to Biur IV's gravity well, and fell towards the acid-wind torn surface of the desert Death World. 

Centuries later, with the remnants of the company and its serfs reverted to a tribal state, the Strike Cruiser Moon At Midnight still lies beneath the surface of the nano-plague crawling dunes. Unlike the tarnished power armour of the survivors on the surface, the machinery locked safely in Moon At Midnight's belly still retains its original snow-white colouring. The Rhinos wait. Surely a hero will come.

These Rhinos are in much the condition you would expect 
them to be in after over 2000 years of zero maintenance. 

Perfect condition.

These are Rhinos.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

7th Edition Space Wolves Landspeeders 1, 2 & 3!

Today I'm going to talk about landspeeders.

Landspeeders are easily the most versatile option Space Wolves currently have in terms of fast non-flyer redeployment. 7th Edition has put flexibility and manoeuvrability front and centre with the introduction of turn-by-turn objectives under the Maelstrom mission rules.

(credit to Grim Dark Realms for the terrain!)


Landspeeders are skimmers. Obvious, right? But unlike armies whose stock in trade are skimmers, landspeeders come both cheap and plentifully, as squadrons. Being able to move over terrain is a big advantage, and not something Wolves players have many options for.

The landspeeder has a potential move of 30”. Perfect for line breaking and far-off objective grabbing. Place a couple in cover near the centre of the board. They can pop out and counter any mid-table threats, and also respond immediately to almost any objective-based situation.

This lets you be a bit more gung-ho with them, and can lead opponents to focus on more traditionally powerful targets first. A Dreadnought or Drop Pod of Terminators is a universally scary unit to be faced with, so who in their right mind would shoot a landspeeder that just crept up next to the drop site?


My three speeders are all equipped with a single Multi-melta and Heavy Flamer. The melta gives the speeder much needed punch, making it a threat to all vehicles, walkers and T4 infantry. The flamer also gives you a situational anti-vehicle weapon, should your melta miss its shot. With your manoeuvrability, getting behind enemy vehicles is a cinch, and a S5 shot to AV10 rear armour is worth it, especially as the flamer template will negate enemy attempts to Jink.

Having two completely different specialised weapons makes it hard for opponents to predict your next move. Will you skim over the ruins and grill some infantry, or strike deep into enemy territory to take a pot shot at their ordnance? The mid-board presence of a few landspeeders may stop opponents committing their heavy armour or light troops to the valuable centre ground, as the landspeeders present each with a dire threat.

The Ramans do everything in threes.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Return of the Falcon

I've been paint-stripping some old Eldar models lately. These were some of the first 40K models that I painted. The smooth curves and sharp profile make the Falcon my favourite of the entire 40K range - a bold statement for a model released in 1995 (the same time I started collecting).

To check that date I had to look at this delightful conversation from... 19 years ago...!msg/

I used Dettol to strip it and soaked it for about a week, though it looks more like Papa Nurgle got hold of it.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Forge World Legion Reconnaissance Squad

Well... Forge World (or should I say Forge Wolf, wolfwolfwolf) doesn't actually have much specifically Wolfy to offer me. 

But with the ample spare parts a box of Grey Hunters provides I can make these Recon Marines into stealthy Grey Hunters... or proxy Scouts if need be.

The wolves need more plasma to deal with those pesky Tau crisis battlesuits...

The beginnings of a 10 man squad, probably to be led by a stealthy Wolf Priest with Saga of the Hunter.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Land's Speeder

Dreadnought, courtesy of Protocol-9
About 9 months ago I decided I wanted to paint a Space Marine army. Warhammer Fantasy had been a passion for me in my teens. I met some of my best friends at my school’s Warhammer Club ( those same friends and I later went on to run it) and have fond memories of visiting Games Day and painting everything from Lizardmen to Epic 40k, Gorkamorka and Battlefleet Gothic.

Now that I have disposable income - what better way to dispose of it? It was easy to persuade a friend at work to join me on this escapade and so we set out to make modest, 500 point armies. Nearly a year later and we have several thousand points each... I should have seen this coming.

I chose Space Wolves as my army because I approved of their shamanistic ways, have a thing for vikings and because out of all the chapters (save Salamanders) they are definitely the Good Guys in an unrelentingly grimdark setting. We wolves ignore the dictates of the Codex Astartes and the Inquisition and do our own heroic, axe-wielding space-viking thing. Wolfwolfwolf!

Here are some shots of one of my recently completed landspeeders, tarnished and barely functioning but proudly bearing the marks of a thousand conflicts (given the nature of landspeeders… maybe just a handful of conflicts).

I chose to leave off the iconic Space Marine pauldrons from these speeder pilots. Excessive shoulder pads just get in the way in the cramped cockpit. It's probably based off the Ford KA STC.