A friend picked up a copy of Aeronautica Imperialis Wings of Vengeance and asked if I’d like to play a game. I said, “Sure, why not?”
This game is a starter set which allows you to fight it out in games of air combat between the Imperial Navy and an Ork Air Waaagh. Wings of Vengeance, out of the box, supports air-to-air combat between a handful of opposing aircraft — a typical flight.
The aircraft are 8mm scale. The plane to the left is a dakkajet, which is a fast, pretty agile fighter with a large number of forward-firing machine guns that put out a hail of bullets if you can get close enough to the enemy.
I enjoyed the game and found the rules easy to pick up yet full of tactical possibilities, which is always a good combination to my way of thinking. Players roll initiative with the winner picking who goes first. Then players secretly assign a maneuver for each of their planes using numbered chits. Once that is done, the player with initiative moves one plane according to the parameters of the maneuver they’ve chosen, adjusting speed and altitude as they go. Then the other player moves one plane and so on.
Speed and altitude are tracked on the base of the models with dials and each plane can perform certain maneuvers such as “Swoop” or “Level Flight.” There is a fair amount of possibility within a maneuver for how you move so I didn’t find it too limiting: a swoop can take you quite a few different places. I also appreciate that each player gets a page explaining the maneuvers graphically on one side with a summary of the rules on the other. The maneuver page was particularly helpful and by turn two I was swooping and snap turning like a real Flyboy.*
Once all of the planes have been moved the turn shifts to the shooting phase. The player with initiative shoots all available weapons for one of their planes and then the other player does the same, alternating planes until all aircraft have fired. If a plane is shot down before it fires then it doesn’t get to shoot.
I like that the game is played on a grid. I’ve played airplane games before where everything is measured out by inches or centimeters and it can become very fiddly and imprecise, which to my way of thinking isn’t so good in games where a plane being angled a few degrees either way can make the difference between it getting to shoot or not shoot, particularly in the case of fighters that only have forward-fixed guns.** I also like that the forward firing arc is molded right into the bases. All of this makes movement and shooting very easy to resolve.
Shooting is fairly simple. Weapons get a certain number of to hit dice at various ranges. The ork planes are most effective at short ranges while the imperial planes are more effective at medium ranges, which makes for some interesting maneuvering battles. The ability to hit is also influenced by relative altitudes with the best results being achieved if both planes are at the same altitude band. If a die achieves a hit then you roll for damage with each weapon having its own damage probability. Most ork guns damage on a 5+ on a D6 if they hit while the imperial autocannons and lascannons generally hit harder.
Also, the Imperial Navy planes are structurally more resilient than the Ork planes, which is to be expected.
“Tailing,” or a situation where one plane has its front arc in an enemy plane’s rear arc, while being at short range, is handled nicely. At the start of the turn, before anyone moves or does anything, a tailing plane gets to shoot for free and then the turn begins as normal. So in the picture above the two ork fighters get free shots at the large Imperial Navy plane they are following. Since the imperial plane has rear-facing tail guns it can also shoot back, which makes sense.
The models are nicely detailed, as one would expect from Games Workshop, and I imagine they’d look great painted up. The game also features bombers and ground assets, and the planes can be given different weapon loads, including rockets, missiles, and bombs. GW sells planes of other factions besides the Imperial Navy and Orks, such as the Tau, Asuryani, and of course the Adeptus Astartes and Astra Militarum. There are also campaign books to expand on the official scenario possibilities. My own interest would be in Chaos Space Marine planes but I suppose nothing is stopping one from painting the loyalist marine planes appropriately if one chose to do so.
The game as it plays out of the box seems fairly balanced based on the first dogfight scenario we played. I obviously can’t speak to the other missions or to the other aircraft one can purchase as expansions to the boxed set.
If you like airplane combat games where it is easy to get up and flying quickly while being tactical enough to be interesting, I think you’ll enjoy Aeronautica Imperialis. All in all, I enjoyed my return to the 40K Universe with this little game and would certainly play it again.
* Given my friend’s and my many past battles between his Imperial Guard and my Orks it went without saying that for our first game I played the orks.
** This can lead to a lot of arguments and confusion that simply don’t come up with a grid.
The challenge for March was for people to dig into their pile of models and paint something they had owned for at least a year. I think most miniature painters, who have been at it awhile, have no general shortage of such models. the collector’s bug tends to hit model builders pretty strongly, no matter what they generally like to paint.
Many thanks to the eighteen artists who took part in the challenge. As always, in many cases, if you click on a picture the link will take you to a larger view. If I have accidentally omitted anyone’s work, please let me know and I’ll add you in. I made a list of everyone and checked it trice but you never know.
Steve, of Dreadaxe Games, begins our round up with his rendering of the mighty Inquisitor Coteaz. Steve says he “bought this figure maybe 9 or so years ago,” so it is neglected and then some.
Coteaz has a lot to recommend him: two-handed eagle cyborg mascot, lots of special abilities that made me weep real tears back in 5th edition, his magic hammer, and apparently a stern but calming demeanor. The inquisitor apparently helped Steve, in a small way, through a rough patch, which you’ll have to read about in his blog if you want to know more.
Marouda says that she is fairly new to miniature painting but she isn’t new to artistic endeavors in general and I think it shows in her work. She saw this challenge and Monster March, put on by Path of an Outcast. Between that and Azazel asking, “are you going to paint a model?” she decided that she was. After all, what is the worst that could happen, she thought.
I’d say it all turned out very well with this trio. The first is Giant Iguana from the Bad Squiddo Shieldmaiden Kickstarter from 2018.
This treant is far and way my favorite of Marouda’s work. She did a great job on it and I like the base very much as well as all of the vegetation extras she added to the miniature. The beard is a nice touch and I think adding the crown of green is much nicer than the bare branches of the unmodified miniature.
Finally, Marouda painted this rather grotesque Maggotcrown Bonesack, produced by Reaper miniatures. She points out “how easily this miniature crosses genres,” and based on her picture below I’d have to agree with her.
Azazel, of Azazel’s Bitz Box and a most prolific painter, comes in this month with 13 entries. We’ll take a look at his five Dungeons & Dragons-based offerings and see the rest at the end of the round-up.
These four cute (but murderous) frog people are called Grung, from the “Waterdeep Dungeon of the Mad Mage” board game. I like the bright lime green Azazel used for their skin, which he details in his post.
Muiral the Misshapen is another miniature from the Mad Mage set. Muiral was a warrior, who engaged in magical studies that in hindsight he probably should have avoided. He descended into madness, turned his odd experiments on himself with the result you see below. Azazel was going for a “boiled lobster red” with this guy. I’d say he most certainly achieved that effect and then some.
These goblins are from The Legend of Drizzt board game. Besides having pretty D&D board game sessions, with all of these sorts of miniatures that he as painted over the years, he also has a great collection if he feels like doing a tabletop roleplaying campaign.
Azazel painted this shadow dragon, Shimmergloom, which also from the Drizzt game.
Finally, from the Tomb of Annihilation board game, come a trio of Zorbos. They are apparently vicious koala-looking beasties that can take on some aspects of their surroundings to make themselves more formidable in combat. For example, they could take on the aspects of a stone cave they are in to increase their general toughness.
That is all well and good, but I do have to say these three don’t look terribly vicious. I’d say they’ve probably eaten too much bamboo and eucalyptus and just want a nap.
Eric, of Candore et Labore, painted this WarhammerCarnosaur, which was “epoxied together and primed black with cheap Walmart spray paint,” just before his wargaming group dissolved in the early 2000’s. So this beast has been hibernating for a long time indeed, which seems appropriate somehow for an ancient dragon.
The carnosaur missed out on being “the big bad center piece of a bunch of large reptiles” for Eric’s youngest son’s army but I’m sure the beast is a lot happier in its new home than it was ratting around the bitz box for 17 years!
Blaxkleric (or Blax the Kleric), of Fantorical, offers up a White Gorilla produced by North Star Military Figures as part of their “Frostgrave” range. This beast is “known to leave their nest deep in the ruins of the Frozen City in order to hunt, these formidably-sized animals ‘are not above eating human flesh.'”
Blax also painted this steathy-looking FedSec Trooper from Crooked Dice Games Design Studio. He obtained the figure from “their now out-of-production Federated Security Starter Set,” and painted him to evoke a “Federation trooper” from the BBC science fiction television series Blake’s Seven.”
Daniel, Infinity player and local Imperial Guard Commander operating out the Santa Cruz Sector and Infinity player, painted this older sculpt of Gabriel DeFersen from Infinity by Corvus Belli. Gabriel “is one of the last templar knights,” who were broken up this time for the sin of creating artificial intelligence. Daniel relates that Defersen does well in games and has “got all the based covered” but you’ll have to pay a premium for his utility.
Dave, of Faith & Steel, is adding some walls to his gaming table for his upcoming WW2-based games. This gate and accompanying walls are produced by Rubicon Models. As you can see from the pictures the walls will block line-of-sight nicely. Plus they’ll be good for any battles fought in Melbourne, Australia where “it is just about a law to paint ironwork green.”
Marvin, of Suburban Militarism, painted these ten 1:72 scale Saxon soldiers, produced by Mars. Each line of five models represents a regiment “of the Saxon army during the Great Northern War.” The front rank in the picture below is “the Kurprinz Regiment.”
The fellows in blue are “Martinière’s Grenadier Regiment.” Check out Marvin’s post if you want to read more about his historical sources (or lack thereof) for the uniforms. As he says, oftentimes “details are scarce,” and he had to use his own judgment.
Marvin painted two more regiments before the month was through. The men in the front rank, below, represent Zeitz’ Regiment. They were “apparently disbanded in 1705 just prior to the Saxon army’s heavy defeat by the Swedes at the Battle of Fraustadt the following year.”
These models represent Hayn’s Grenadiers. The red and yellow piping on the back are Marvin’s “own invention.” He relates that “as key source Daniel Schorr wrote that it was unknown whether the battalion even wore grenadier caps.” Whatever the case, I think they work well with the rest of the uniform.
Marvin’s final offering for the challenge is this 54mm Worcestershire Yeomanry sergeant circa 1900. This piece is one of his “54mm Yeomanry Cavalry Project.” The model was manufactured by Mitrecap Miniatures. Marvin reports that Mitrecap’s source material for this model is 50 Years of Yeomanry Uniforms by R.G. Harris, plate No. 29 by Edmund A. Campbell.
John, of Just Needs Varnish, added two more models to his vast (I’m sure) collection of armored vehicles: a Czech S-I-d tankette (the one on the left) and a French R35 light tank. The Czech tankette is 1/72 and the R35 is 1/75 scale. John writes more at length about these models in a later post for any who are interested.
We’ll conclude our historical foray for the painting challenge with a bit of historical fiction by Mark, of Man of Tin, who refurbished some very rusty figures after watching the 1967 comedy film, The Magnificent Two, which is “set in the fictional 1960s South American ImagiNation of Parazuellia.” He decided the figures would make a good pipe and drum band for his Parazuellian Womens’ Revolutionary Army, complete with a reviewing general.
You can check out Mark’s post if you want to see the condition of the miniatures before he put refurbished them. He writes more about their uniforms in another post.
Tom Douglass, the owner of Dragon Den Games in Stockton, California, tackled a large project this month in the person of Mortarion of The Death Guard. He had fun and it was “easily the biggest project” he’d ever done. The daemon primarch was smaller than the imperial knight he completed last summer but a lot more detailed.
Tom had fun with the base too, adding “extra skulls and goo” and so forth. He even “made sure to always add everything in seven’s because how could I not?” Good man. How not indeed!
Despite completing the mammoth task of putting together and painting Mortarion, Tom still had some painting left to do for March. Some of his friends are “starting to pick up Tyranids,” so he painted up a mob of termagants. He had worked on the models some years ago and wasn’t happy with them. So Tom redid them using the new Games Workshop Contrast paints, which do seem to be perfect for batch painting things like termagants.
Wudugast, of Convert or Die, completed four miniatures for the challenge. They’d make an unlikely group to be thrown together by fortune for a time in, say, a The Magnificent Four or The Dirty Quartet type of scenario.
Wudugast doesn’t know the origins of this Orc Champion, but he’s had him for more than a decade now. The model does remind him of the work “produced by Rackham for the – sadly defunct and much missed – game Confrontation.”
Larsen van der Grauss was “released as part of the Kill Team: Rogue Trader set” and as “a Lectro-Maester” within the Adeptus Mechanicus. This “means he’s a prospector charged with seeking out new sources of power for the forge worlds.” The sculpt certainly isn’t lacking for detail!
This Data-Scrivener is another representative from Necromunda and an example of “futuristic hackers who specialize in stealing data from the hive’s ancient cogitators and manipulating them to suit their purposes.” Wudugast decided to paint the figure when he saw it in the House of Artifice book.
Corwyn the Hunchback is the last of our quadrumvirate and probably my favorite sculpt, mainly because I have a thing for evil magic-using types. He’s another neglected model having remained unpainted “since the late 2000’s,” and is an “evil shaman from Rackham’s Drune Kelt range.” It has taken quite some time but as Wudugast wrote, “the evil old bastard is finished at last.”
Matt, of pmpainting, painted four miniatures for the challenge. The first is Lord Karghoul, produced by Hasslefree Miniatures. I agree with Matt, who wrote that Karghoul “certainly has that ‘evil warrior vibe about him.”
Matt also painted this Space Goblin Commando by Reaper Miniatures. He wasn’t sure what he’d do with a space goblin commando but named him Globrik. Matt thinks he might go back and do some more work on him but isn’t sure if he should “try to tart Globrik up or just get on with something else.” I’ll be curious to read what he decides to do.
This Post Apocalyptic Hunter is my favorite of Matt’s four offerings for the challenge, who he has named Trevor. I’m not sure if this chap looks like a Trevor or not, but there it is. I thought he did a good job on the urban camouflage. The mask is a bit of freehand that I thought was an effective addition to the piece.
This is the metal version of Reaper’sAina the Valkyrie. Matt acquired the miniature in late 2019, got it 70% painted and then “kind of just gave up.” He isn’t sure why. I particularly like the hair and also favor the shiny scale armor.
The kit gives one the choice between a spear and a sword for Aina. I think Matt chose correctly because I think it would have looked a little odd for our valkyrie to brandish her sword while she has a second sword in the scabbard. One could say it was the sword from an enemy or something else, but I think it is just better to give her the spear.
Plague Gardening painted this Princess Leia miniature from West End Games. He bought the model in 1987 and has completed her after “an impressive 33 to 34 years in my collection.” I think he did a good job with the shading for Leia’s white robe. He painted her base white to go along with his other Star Wars models, which you can see in his Princess Leia post.
David, of Scent of a Gamer, started painting this wizard “maybe 20 years ago.” The model was a freebee “on the cover of a White Dwarf magazine,” which he bought several copies of to “get as many different wizards as possible.” This is an interesting piece: I like how the wizard’s clothing sort of evokes something of a fantasy European Renaissance look juxtaposed with a beard that looks like he’s been using his magic to travel back to Bronze Age so he can hang out in Sumer.
Dave Stone, of Wargames Terrain Workshop, finished his wing of four land speeders. First up is this Land Speeder Tsunami. I think that the freehand work on the vertical stabilizer adds quite a bit of interest; especially when several speeders are displayed together.
Dave also did quite a bit of painting for his Battlefleet Gothic fleets. I don’t know too much about the game and I’m not terribly familiar with the ships, but I do know a Space Marine battle barge when I see one. This one is from the Night Hawks chapter and give him four barges.
Next up are four Strike Cruisers. There are “normally six in a fleet” but Dave’s Night Hawks “lost two to the warp.” Maybe they’ll turn up someday. Hopefully they won’t be painted pink and have grown lots of waving space tentacles or pointy bits during their wanderings. You know, after all, how impressionable these space marines can be at times.
These ships “are the three classes of escort ship” put out by Forgeworld “to use instead of the Imperial escorts.”
Dave tells me that these are also imperial ships, but that another version was released for the Eldar, which “were a lot sleeker.” I think these ships would make appropriate-looking logistics and support vessels.
Finally, we have a Desolator-class battleship, which Dave painted for his Emperor’s Children fleet. With five of these battleships, his chaos space marines have quite a formidable long range (if what I read about them is correct) threat going for themselves.
Tamor, of Dragons of Lancasm, painted this Hero Quest “gargoyle.” Tamor puts the name in quotes because he thinks the miniature is in fact a “second-rate Balrog.” I feel the old school balrog-bloodthirster vibe going on with this guy too. I also agree that this miniature would make a good “terrain piece, and potentially a construct (animated statue).”
Finally, Tamor finished this orc. “He’s a bit paler than his brethren because he’s apparently been hiding with my skaven for at least a decade.”
Heretic 30K painted these ten miniatures – five heroes and five villains – from the Marvel Crisis Protocol starter set. He received them as a Christmas present in 2019 and they have been “collecting dust” until now.
“The figures are 40mm scale which makes them quite a bit larger than what most people are likely to already have in their modern terrain collections so it is handy that the starter includes a reasonable amount of scatter terrain too.”
We conclude the painting challenge by coming back to Azazel and his eight further entries. The first is a Varghulf Courtier from Citadel. Depending upon which lore you read, the Varghulf are “powerful Vampire Lords who have devolved into a permanently animalistic and bestial form,” or some type of ghoul-like creature.
Azazel painted a number of miniatures for Growing Hunger expansion of the Last Night on Earth board game. The first group of survivors are Kenny the Supermarket Bag Boy, Amanda the Prom Queen, Sam the Diner Cook and Detective Winters.
The next pair of Growing Hungersurvivors are Mr. Goddard the Chemistry Teacher and Jade the High School Outcast. For Jade, he used “some of the Goth chicks I used to know in my own youth.”
The final pair of survivors are Stacy the Investigative Reporter and Victor the Escaped Prisoner. Azazel painted Stacy’s notepad to look like a tablet “to bring her into a slightly more modern timeframe” and because it would be fun to “see if I could make it look good.” It certainly does add some nice detail and a touch of verisimilitude to the model.
Azazel also completed this duo from Marvel Crisis Protocol, Rocket and Groot. He did some extra work on the bases “in order to really mess up the sidewalk where it’s been smashed in and smashed through by Groot’s extended arm.”
I think it is cute that the angry raccoon’s weapon is much larger than he is. I suppose being a “master of weapons” he can handle it no problem.
I really like this Thrasher Snail by Reaper. Although I’m not buying miniatures very often these days, this is one I’d like to own. (I might go so far as to ask for it as a birthday present this year.) The production model comes with a bunch of what Azazel calls (and I agree from what I see) “poorly-cast flails.” I think his solution of using a “lovely twisted unicorn-style horn” was a much better solution and if I ever get this miniature I’ll do something similar.
Next up are “Lucius” and “Seth” from Zombicide. I like how the game includes a “zombified” version of each character, which, as Azazel points out in the comments, “can be used as action versions, wounded versions or just extra-nasty zombies in various games as needed!”
We conclude the round up with “Ross” and Phil” also from Zombicide. I particularly like the zombified Ross (aka John Goodman) for some reason. Probably because I like the actor. Azazel relates that the idea of characters as zombies was “to let players who had been killed keep playing.” They never used those rules and instead “played with however many survivors the scenario called for and doubled up when there were more survivors than players – and then we would just hand off a character if someone was unlucky enough to die.”
Well done, Azazel. Thirteen entries and thirty-six completed models. Not too shabby at all!
Much thanks to everyone who participated in the “Neglected” March challenge. The next painting challenge, for May and June, is going to be “The Summer Solstice Painting Challenge,” which begins in May and closes on the Summer Solstice (first day of summer), which is June 20th at midnight (your local time). The idea will be to exhibit a single miniature or diorama that you think is your best or you like the most, which you completed between May 1st and June 20th.
I am thinking of doing a dragon-based painting challenge for July since my mind has been turning to all things draconic lately. I’m looking into to doing a Kickstarter-based anthology of short stories along the theme of dragons. It is all currently in the research and planning stages for now but I’ve been moving forward with the project a little each day.
Túbal Villar is selling some of his painted Dark Angels on Ebay. I thought I’d share his post on the chance someone out there is looking for something along these lines. I think they are well painted and even if you aren’t in the market for some marines, enjoy the pretty pictures. 🙂
We started off January with a challenge to showcase the first miniature people painted for January 2021 to start the year off right, painting-wise. We have a nice round up of first fruits of the year. If you click on the gallery pictures, they will lead to larger versions. As usual, if I missed anyone, please let me know and I’ll update the post with your work.
Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop was first out of the gate just a couple of days into January with his nicely painted space marine librarian sporting the colors of his Night Hawks chapter. Dave’s in-laws gave the model to him as a Christmas gift, which is nice. Better than a tie or some paisley socks, though as I think about it paisley socks sound better and better.
My friend, Daniel, a local, legendary Imperial Guard commander, has been playing a lot of Infinity these days and his first model of the year, according to the official lore “is a member of the Zulu-Cobra unit, a reconnaissance unit that specializes in asymmetrical warfare as well a niche for amphibious and jungle environments.” Daniel likes him because “he’s a very handy sneaky piece that can bring some cool surprises to the table.”
I was curious about the radar dish so I asked Daniel about it. He says it is “a jammer” that “can easily harass everything on the board” by shutting down the enemy’s communications and such. I’m told he is a pretty good shot with with a good, old fashioned firearm too.I like his cloak too; the hexagonal pattern is nifty.
Tom Douglass, the owner of Dragon Den Games in Stockton, California, finished his Death Guard Plagueburst Crawler as his first miniature of 2021. Tom says that Death Guard is “so liberating compared to my space marines or even Necrons, just because there’s no ‘wrong answers’ and nothing has to be uniform. Painting Ultramarines, I need to be exact, be sure not to overstep or overdo anything, it’s all very clean and shiny, which is also very satisfying, but in a different way entirely.”
Tom illustrates this Nurgle Ethos with a gap that he noticed while building his crawler: “There was a gap in the back when I was building it, and while I was wondering how I was going to fill it I decided, ‘You know what? how about “it’s broken” and bubbling gook out of the gap?’ Now it’s on purpose.”
I like that about Nurgle-based stuff too. Embrace the imperfections and treat them as enhancements. 🙂
John tells us that the Cricket was “armed with a 150mm heavy infantry gun and allocated to the support gun companies of panzergrenadier (mechanized infantry) regiments.” There were various versions built; the one shown here “used the chassis of the Czech LT 38 light tank, this vehicle being built by the Germans as the Panzer 38t” and provided “short range, indirect fire support.”
I like what John did with the camouflage. He details how he achieved this look in his post, so check it out if you are curious.
Mick at Twitchy Bristles comes in with his repainted Eldar Farseer Ry’hil. He reports that his faithful eldar commander had distinguished himself in battle and deserved an upgrade. So into the paint stripper he went and the result below is new Ry’hil, ready to distinguish himself even further for Craftworld Ulthanash Shelwé.
Mick writes that is much happier with the repainted model, “especially the green colors and how much better the bone colors ‘pop’ on the rest of the model.” Serendipitously, he “also managed not to spill excess varnish on everything this time,” so there’s that too. A fine kettle of spirit stones that would be, spilling varnish all over a war hero!
Mark of Mark A. Morin painted quite a few Aztecs over 2020 and his first completed miniature for 2021 is a Conquistador with a banner. Mark writes that the banner “is a representation of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary that Hernan Cortes used during the Spanish Conquest.”
I think Mark did a nice job with his bannerman as well as the other members of his command group. Check out the others members of the group on his site. I also liked the dioramas he put together for his Aztecs and I’m glad he did the same for these guys.
Mark is pretty serious about getting his Conquistadors painted — he’s running “Mark’s Conquistador Contest,” (complete with prizes) to motivate himself to paint them. I have to confess when I first saw the contest in my email I didn’t check it out right away, since I don’t have any Conquistadors to paint, but I wish I had before the entry date closed in early January, because it turns out the contest was to guess the date Mark would complete his forces. Lesson learned for next time!
Eric, of Candore Et Labore, graces our painting challenge with his “very old Bretonnian Green Knight,” that he painted after “stripping 99% of the old paint off the miniature, repairing some really bad gaps,” and repainting the miniature with what he’s since learned over the past twenty or so years.
Eric doesn’t think he’ll be playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle again, so he opted for a vignette. I think he did a very good job on it. Kind of makes me think that his old knight has been granted an honorable retirement as some sort of Protector of the Lonely Wood.
Maenoferren22, of Bogenwold, also decided to paint a Green Knight, the same miniature in fact that his “good mate Eric,” had already painted. He already had stripped the paint from his knight (I’m seeing a pattern here) along with a bunch of squires and such. Maeno decided to paint up a couple of retainers to accompany his lordship, though he “cannot actually remember which was finished first.” I know what he means. I’ve batch painted a group of miniatures before without really being able to remember which one I stopped working on first.
Steve, of Dreadaxe Games, painted an Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum Sergeant for his 2nd Infanty Squad as his first miniature completed for 2021. He opted to equip this model with a laspistol and chainsword “due to the fact that I ran out of bolters!” Steve also did a head swap from the Sisters Repentia kit for that “grizzled veteran appearance.”
Steve is “currently batch-painting the 2nd squad in 2 chunks of 5.” He’s been painting these troops in a “fairly straightforward” way and “keeping the palette to a minimum,” which he’s been having fun with. I can see that. Although not fancy, the color scheme is effective and I think what one might expect to see for a typical field uniform. After all, not all of the Imperial Guard can march into battle looking like they just stepped out of the Napoleonic Wars or wearing giant, mutant bearskins. 🙂
Matt, “a Welsh bloke living in Vermont” at pmpainting, offers us a Reaper miniatures flashback to the 1970’s, Horace “Action” Jackson. Matt wrote that he “did [his] usual job of procrastinating over what colours to paint him,” and ended up looking to Google for his inspiration, settling on the pink pants pictured below (with just a hint of ’70’s flare).
I like Matt’s choice of colors for the clothing and agree with him that Horace is very suitable for inclusion in a collection of “zombie survivor” miniatures.
Continuing with the zombie survivor theme, Azazel, of Azazel’s Bitz Box, brings us “Old Betsy,” from the 10th Anniversary Edition of Last Night on Earth. I very much like the job he did on the weathering, including some bullet holes and a nifty, cracked windshield.
Azazel reports that he’s used “Old Betsy” in a number of different games, including “the entire campaign of” Zombicide’s Night of the Living Dead, where the truck stood in for the “cardboard car chit in almost all of the scenarios.” I agree with Azazel that the truck “can also work in any modern game, other zombie games and also quite a few post-apoc ones as well.”
Originally, Joe went with the gray basing in the pictures below but remembered that his “Raptors are all based in a reddish Martian wasteland setting,” even though it messed up his brass ammo casings. Perhaps he’ll put them back in at some point — that’s his hope.
Dave, of The Imperfect Modeller, painted “Alain,” a 28mm cavalier produced by Reaper. I agree with Dave that there was “quite a lot going on and a fair bit of detail” with the figure. He said that he kept “base work simple,” and I think it all came together nicely.
One of the commenters in Dave’s post mentioned that he was “surprised by the black shield on the back,” figuring it would be the same color as the device on the front. I was similarly surprised and think that the black shield was a very nice choice, both in terms of the “surprise” and also because with everything going on with the miniature having a solid bit of black and red was pleasing to my eye.
David, from Scent of a Gamer, brings us a welcome touch of Nurgle with his Corrupted Alchomite Stack that as you can see has been taken over by a trio of sickly, yellow nurglings. The base is “old packing material” and David “scatttered some bits of the sprue around as bits of twisted metal and broken railings,” which I thought was a nice idea.
Kuribo, of Kuribo’s Painting, is enjoying Fallout from Modiphius Entertainment and his first completed miniature for 2021 is this Super Mutant Master. A solid plan — paint what you enjoy and are playing. I thought Kuribo had an interesting take on doing the flesh. It looks to me like it sort of could be mutant, desert camouflage. Perhaps the Mutant Master applied it himself but more likely, I think, it is a lucky mutation that gives him a better chance of closing the distance and whacking someone with his hammer before he gets filled with lead or arrows or whatever.
This guy is a “leader/elite model” that “is going to hit in melee close to 90% of the time.” Sounds like if you are see him coming at your forces, you’d better try to soften him up a bit before he gets in your face if you can, unless you have someone on your side who is similarly brutal or maybe is a master of defense!
The last entry for the painting challenge is that same puissant Chaos Lord who began the last challenge I sponsored back in 2020 — Wudugast of Convert or Die. He’s been painting forces for Warcry and his first miniature for this year is this Kairic Acolyte.
These fellows are “the human followers of Tzeentch, petty sorcerors and schemers who make up the rank and file of the cult.” This miniature, as Wudugast relates, comes from the Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower board game. I mostly know Wudugast for his excellent Nurgle and generally dystopian offerings, but it is good to see him turning his attention to some of the other Chaos gods as well.
Thank you very much to everyone who participated in the painting challenge. It is a fun, varied palette of work and I enjoyed putting this post together. I am toying with the idea of doing a Macabre March painting challenge where the idea is to paint some miniature that unequivocally qualifies as being horrifying, ghastly, gruesome, etc.
I didn’t get anything finished myself painting-wise for January, though I did make good progress on Frank’s Pig Demon’s clothes and I made a start on a friend’s dragon gnome for Dave Stone’s Paint What You Got and Alex’s Femburary challenges, both of which conclude at the end of this month.
The strange desire to assemble models continues so I finished putting together this mob of 20 zombies, which Games Workshops brands aptly enough as Deadwalker Zombies.
I suspect that this assembly bug I’ve been experiencing probably is because I don’t really feel like painting Frank’s Pig Demon right now even though I am pretty close to being done with it, but I still want to do something hobby related. Well, whatever the case, I find it is more enjoyable to do what is fun rather than slogging through something that isn’t currently interesting so the demon will have to wait awhile longer in the Unpainted Inferno but as for these fortunate zombies they graduate from the donjon of plastic in my closet to my Gray Legion.
Who knows if and when they’ll ever be painted. It is a great mark of ascension that is probably too much to seriously hope for … if zombies were capable of hope.
As is usually the case these days when I’m photographing unpainted models, I like to mess around with filters and the like. I’m pleased with how the mob looks like a Sanguine Swarm or Herd of Blood or whatever. Certainly would be pretty easy to paint with a little Blood For the Blood God technical paint, if one wanted to go that route.
I like the selection of agricultural implements, in addition to the usual knives and spears and such, that are available in the kit. I’m guessing some random village of farmers had a bad time of it.
We’ll close the book on our newest zombies with the standard bearer and one of the three percussionists, since they were the last ones I assembled.
The kit certainly is showing its age and with all of the zombies out there these days, these guys wouldn’t be my first choice if I was paying full price, which is currently $38 USD. Still, I think I might have given some guy $8 or $10 USD for the kit, still in the plastic, about five years ago at a game store flea market/swap meet, so I’m happy with them.
I think the only one who isn’t, at least at my house, is Frank’s Pig Demon, but I’ve learned through experience not to worry too much what my demons think. As my slaves to darkness, it is meet they remember their place!
I’ve made a little hobby progress this week, working on Frank’s long-suffering pig demon. I’ve been alternately painting and ignoring this miniature for a very long time, but finally I think I’m starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
I had some ambitious ideas for the trident and have painted the weapon maybe four times now. None of my attempts have felt very successful. Given my recent determination to give Frank is pig demon back, I decided the best thing was perhaps a simple gold scheme. I hope to finish the trident this weekend and make further progress beyond the base coat on the loin cloth. For the clothes I plan on following Duncan’s Crisp White cloth video.
I felt like putting together some models earlier in the week, so I assembled a box of ten Bladegheist Revenants I’ve had sitting around for quite awhile. I don’t know if or when I’ll paint them, but at least now they leave my unassembled mountain of plastic and join their compatriots in my hill of assembled plastic.
That’s it for now. I hope everyone has a good weekend.
My husband and I like to play Parcheesi off and on as a quick, low commitment way to get a little gaming in when the mood strikes us. It often works out for some reason that my dice tend to fall so I have late game zergs where I roll a lot of doubles and hence get to cover a lot of ground quickly with my pawns. I often play the green pieces and when this strangely ubiquitous phenomenon begins I have taken to “Declaring the Waaagh!”*
This gave me a spur of the moment idea: why not use our long-neglected Warhammer 40K pieces to play Parcheesi?**
I decided upon a tetrad of bloodletters, including one with a horn and of course their Banner of Hate probably constructed from the flayed skins of their victims. My husband used four of his Ultramarines he painted some years ago. The fact he had a missile launcher made me a little nervous but at least it wasn’t a flamer or that scary Assault on Black Reach captain!
The Ultramarines took an early game lead by getting two marines into the home square as you can see below.*** However, the forces of Khorne had some rather Tzeentch-like tricks up their sleeves where they posted themselves on the blue safety squares in an attempt to take the skull of the unfortunate banner sergeant.****
The Ultramarine banner sergeant turned out to be tricky as space marines in general that chapter in particular are known for. Thanks to some well executed maneuvers and dice tricks he was able to avoid my blue square snares and post himself with his colleague in a protective blockade. Unfortunately for the bad guys, my tricky Tzeentchian-Khornate bloodletters had a very strong position with a blue square blockade of their own with one of their fellows (top left corner) waiting to pounce.*****
I’m sad to report that despite everything, my daemonic blockading plans fell flat and both marines were able to escape past my red home row unmolested. (Note the position of both marines in the picture below relative to the picture above.) My daemons have to move up into the home row toward the home square so anything past that is safe territory for the Imperium.
It is a tight game. Two marines are already in the home square but the balance of my forces are a bit closer to home. Still, I’d say at this point it is a small advantage to my husband’s squad.
In the end I had my usual late game zerg but then so did the Ultramarines. Happily, the Khornate good guys won but it was a close thing: the last marine was in his home row only two squares from victory. So the game was almost as near a thing to a draw as you can get in Parcheesi.
The marines failed to close the warp portal before a massive incursion of Khorne goodness vomits into real space. The imperial fall back plan of Exterminatus fails when their bombs are possessed by daemons. Their primitive machine spirits become existentially enraged so the bombs immediately launch themselves toward the nearest highly populated worlds. Perhaps in a future game of Parcheesi 40K we’ll see if the space marine fleet can catch both the daemons and their own rogue bombs in time!
* I wish I could claim credit for thinking this up but it was my husband who first mentioned it, harkening back to our old 5th edition 40K games of marines versus space orks that always seemed to end somehow in my guys moving absurdly quickly all at once, overrunning his forces in a painful but mercifully short episode of buckets of dice being rolled and sanguine massacre. Actually it didn’t happen all the time: I think my husband forgets all of the times where his guys shot half my army off the table by turn two but hey I’m probably biased.
** The older 25mm bases worked well for doing this. I don’t think the newer 32mm bases would have done the trick because they are too big for the squares.
*** Sweet, sweet victory is achieved by getting all four of your pieces into the home square before your opponent does. Given the You Go/I Go nature of the game, a tie is not possible though I do remember a game I played as a child where my opponent got mad and flipped the board and tried to declare it a draw. She wasn’t the nicest of losers and sometimes used the same pernicious tactic in Candyland.
**** The blue squares are “safety zones” where pieces are safe from capture by the enemy. On the white squares, you may capture an enemy piece by rolling a number that allows you to end your move on the opponent’s square, sending him back to his home circle. Skulls for the Parcheesi Throne!
***** A blockade is formed by having two of your own pieces on a square. Neither your own nor the enemy’s pawns can move through a blockade. A blue square blockade is stronger still, because when you move a piece, breaking the blockade, your other piece is not vulnerable to attack. It is a common tactic to try and capture an opponent’s pawn by denying it the ability to move by means of a blockade, and use another piece behind to threaten a capture.
May through June saw the Miniatures of Magnitude painting challenge where the idea is to paint something that is on the larger side. The model didn’t need to be large, but it had to represent something large. As I wrote back in early May, “Aircraft, daemon engines, tanks, giants, trains, cavewomen riding mammoths, ships, and beasts that are great, writhing masses of tentacles, eyes, and maws that tumbled down from the stars or crawled up out of the sewer all will find a home in this challenge.”
As usual, if I missed anyone, please let me know and I’ll make sure you make it into the (amended) round-up.
First up is Wudugast’s of Convert or DieWarcry bell tower, complete with gibbets and “fiddly” skeletons. I’m glad he included the skeletons because I think they add an osseous touch of class to the piece.
Wudugast also painted this very nice Chaos Space Marine Obliterator. Our heretic astartes is bristling with weapons of all kinds, as you would expect. He’s got some sort of assault cannon, a heavy flamer, a hefty power fist complete with little claws … heck, let’s face it, the only thing he’s missing are pants!
Next up is Tom’s Imperial Knight Castellan. I know Tom because he used to work at the local game store I often frequent. Some time ago, Tom made the trek north from Santa Cruz to Stockton, California where he opened his own store, Dragon’s Den Games.
Tom’s knight is the largest model he has painted to date. He says that it has “technically more surface area than a Bloodthirster” and the latter being “mostly skin and wing so they go a heck of a lot faster, especially with Contrasts!”. I’m glad Tom persevered because I think his knight came out looking good and will surely strike terror into the hearts of his many nefarious foes.
Look to the skies! David, of Scent of a Gamer, painted a huge dragon who is just waiting to blot out the sun as it soars through a fantasy sky on xanthous wings. David tells us that this miniature is “from the Dragons Don’t Share boxed set that was originally released as part of the Bones II Kickstarter.”
David used a “dark green/black mix” for the body and contrast paints for the wings. He was going for an “eye of Mordor” feel with the dragon’s eyes and I think he succeeded because the eye reminded me of that when I was looking at the pictures in his post before reading the text. I really like that baleful eye!
Size comparison with smaller models.
Continuing with our “Look to the Skies” theme, watch out for flying battleships! John of Just Needs Varnish!painted a couple of 1/1200 scale aeronefs, which are “ships that fly using some form of gravity-resisting technology to stay airborne.” The miniatures are produced by Brigade Models.*
Below is a Japanese Shinano class dreadnought. Nicely done and cute spotter plane too!
John’s Shinano class Flying Dreadnought.
Check out John’s post if you want to see some pictures of the models before they were painted as well as his thoughts about building and modifying these models. He also shows off some of his older aeronefs in his post as well. John also painted a Russian Poltava class dreadnought, pictured below.
Maybe we’ll see more aeronefs from John in the future. He writes that he has “some lighter aeronefs to finish for these two fleets” and he also has the better part of a Chinese fleet done, and a French fleet to paint. Let the 19th Century steampunk skies be filled with flying warships!
All of these aerial pictures makes me wonder: can aeronefs drop bombs on each other and the general landscape as well?
It pleases me to continue with the fortresses that can fly and things with wings, so next up is a nicely painted succubus by Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop. I like those wings by the way with the veins and such.
Dave reports that his demon miniature is about 70mm or 2.75 inches in height, which puts it into the ogre-sized category. Demons come in all shapes and sizes, especially given many of them are shape shifters.
Next up is the prolific Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box. He finished quite a passel of miniatures for the challenge. Where to start? How about something with wings such as his Ashardalon the Red Dragon, which he painted with Contrast paints, from the Wrath of Ashardalon board game.
Makes me think my friends and I should paint the miniatures from the D&D board games we play, though we probably won’t.
We’ll end the current aerial theme (but not Azazel’s contributions to our challenge — there is much more to come!) with his crashed Aquila lander from the Warhammer 40K 4th edition starter set. I’ve seen a lot of these in games over the years and this one is very nicely done.
Azazel writes in his blog that I “was not quite so enthusiastic” about the idea of the Eagle lander being a miniature of magnitude when we talked about it a couple of months ago. I have mostly forgotten the conversation but apparently I was willing to be mollified so long as “there was some kind of giant monster smashing through it.”
Yes, that sounds like me all right. I’m not sure why I was previously unenthusiastic since the lander fits the challenge as much as, say, a Rhino APC would. Probably part of a now forgotten master plan to get Azazel to showcase some of his monsters, which I favor. It worked because he included a “Kaiju shot with not one, but TWO giant monsters …” as you see in the picture above. We even get smaller bonus monsters too and kind of a Nurgle meets Tyranids meets Lovecraft thing. It is great when a plan comes together!
Going back to the Wrath of Ashardalon board game for a moment, I quite like Azazel’s Rage Drake. I think this one would be a whole lot more intimidating when it is plunked down on the board than the unpainted ones I’ve seen when I’ve played the game myself with friends. I particularly like the light stripes on the neck.
He’s also painted an Otyugh, also from Wrath of Ashardalon, which jumped (or perhaps burrowed is way past) the queue “because ‘need it for the game.'” I have a soft spot for this monster because of a rather strange dungeon I ran back in the early ’80’s, which heavily featured these creatures. I won’t say any more about it here because I don’t want to digress.**
These four (air, water, earth, and fire) elementals are from the Temple of Elemental EvilD&D boardgame. Yep, they are bigger than a standard ogre!
We’ll cast Plane Shift and leave the world of Dungeons & Dragons for Zombicide, where Azazel’s Abominations can be found. They are certainly both colorful and corrupt, which is just how we like our zombies.
He also painted an Orc Abomination too. This one comes from “Black Plague’s standalone expansion, Green Horde.”
Azazel has been doing a lot of experiments with Contrast Paint lately and has been mostly “emphasizing how things have gone well.” These Trun Hunters from the Shadows of Brimstone board game, are according to Azazel, are “an example of when Contrast Paints combine with bad models to create … something not good.”
I won’t comment except to say while they probably won’t win the 2021 Golden Demon, they are certainly table top quality and fine for board games, where (at least with my crowd) the figures are usually unpainted. So this green-skinned trio has us beat, board game-wise at least.
We’ll end Azazel’s challenge contribution on a sort of virenslithic happy note with the mighty Mossbeard the Treeman. We’ve saved the largest for last here: Azazel reports that this is “the largest model I’ve painted to date.” I like all of the grass, moss and such; it really adds a lot to the model. Many of the people, who commented on his post, think so too and they aren’t wrong! Here is a little slideshow of this most magnitudinous of ents.
Next up is Steve of Dreadaxe Games and his Word Bearers Rhino. Our friendly Chaos Lord’s goal with this new addition to his painted forced was to “keep it in line with everything that I liked about the Chaos Vehicles: the spiked top sections, the grumpy gunner, the variety of gruesome trophies, etc.” As you can see Steve’s APC has lots of suitable, heretical bling. I wonder if that doom caster he’s got will still make it harder for people to shoot overwatch in the coming 9th edition 40K rules? I hope so!
Mcmattila of mcmattilaminis painted Mollog, of Mollog’s Mob from Warhammer Underworlds. Colorful and as usual, his painting is very good. I think that his miniature pictures could be used as art on some of the miniature boxes or in the army books. They are that polished. I particularly like the big, squishy toad and the dorsal mushrooms are none too shabby either.
Argentbadger, of The Bovine Overlord, completed a Chaos Knight War Dog in “deep red in honour of the Blood God.” With the giant melta arm and another melta on its back, as well as a nasty-looking chainsword arm, I don’t think I’d want to be sitting in a tank watching this thing as it scuttles my way. I thought it was a nice touch that Argentbadger used the head from a Juggernaut of Khorne kit, which fits these things nicely, both in look and in the canine spirit of the name. Besides melta, this dog’s got some teeth!
We’ll close the painting challenge with a visit to the world of Blood Bowl where Faust of Double Down Dice has added another ogre to his burgeoning roster of malcontents, murderers, and gridiron mavens of mayhem.
His human team can field one of these guys as a special player. If they are anything like trolls, which Faust assures us they are, then they are easily confused and will often just stand around on the pitch and do nothing, but as he goes on to reassure us, “the strength of an Ogre is nothing to scoff at, when they decide to work with you.”
Thank you very much to everyone who participated in this June-July challenge. It took me awhile to keep this round-up posted and all I can say on that front is I spent the last couple of months in the dark prince’s court within the nacreous cloud spire atop his Eidolon of Indolence. It was time well spent and now I am feeling the whole blog and painting thing again. I hope everyone is doing well and as always, “Paint On!”
* John’s ships remind me of a show I used to love when I was teenager called Star Blazers, complete with flying battleship.
** Back around 1980 or ’81 I wrote up an adventure for my friends where the boss was a Xorn with magical spells and very high intelligence. Its upper level minions were a bunch of Otyugh. The secret entrance to the Xorn’s inner sanctum, which was the interior of a huge geode, was beneath one of their enormous crap piles (mostly the accumulation of waste from slaves) through which the Otyughs had burrowed an elaborate network of rooms and passageways. One of the players coined the title, “Dungeon of Dung,” which stuck, though I originally named it the Fane of Feces. Perhaps if one of these days I decide to run some D&D, I’ll dig out this old chestnut and see how it stands up to the march of decades and my older (but hopefully) wiser eyes. That was pretty long-winded for a “I won’t comment” comment.
Let the plague bells ring! Friends, I have at long last closed the books on my mob of twenty Dark Imperium poxwalkers with this round-up. I started putting the wretches together in June 2017, when the boxed set came out, and now we come full circle to June 2020. What a long, disease-ridden road (punctuated with both apathy and frenzied activity) it has been!
One on the left seems to be turning to liquid metal or tar or something.
Ghost tentacles for the Tentacle Gods!
Although it took me three years to get the full mob painted, my poxwalkers have certainly distinguished themselves in battle, along with their running mates the plaguebearers, especially during that fruitful time of mid-2017 through 2018, when I was playing games of Warhammer 40K almost every week.
Confused march toward enemy lines. I don’t think they are all sure which way to go.
Tearing down a tower to eat a sniper.
Get off my tank!
I’ve built up a pretty decent-sized force of minor Nurgle troops thus far. Twenty plaguebearers with a couple of minor leader types, the poxwalkers (of course) and let’s not forget the semi-official mascots including Toad, Rusty the rust monster, and the bit box skeletal snake thingie.
Nurgle = Happiness!
So what’s next Nurgle-wise? I have no shortage of projects to choose from, but the one that shines turgidly forth burbling out to be kicked back to the top of the painting heap is my long suffering daemon engine, Becky the Bloat Drone. She has been abandoned not once but twice and maybe even thrice, though I’ve lost track so I am not sure about that. We’ll have to see what we can do to remedy the situation once Frank’s Pig Demon is done.
I finished Commissar Poxwalker #19 here before its counterpart, Khorne Flower Poxwalker #20, who is also a commissar, as chance would have it.* The picture-taking got a little out of order but I’ve gotten that all sorted and can now present this (not quite) latest addition to my foetid forces.
There wasn’t a lot of blister and pox highlighting to be done on this one, because of the greatcoat, so I thought I’d go for a fairly mild case of yellow mold.** This time I was careful to spread the texture paste without pulling away the paste too much with my sculpting tool. I wasn’t going for a bunch of little spiky bits like I got on my poxbringer’s arm.
Poxbringer’s yellow mold in full bloom.
Poxwwalker before yellow mold …
… and same poxwalker after.
I forget how I painted the mold this time, but it looks like I used some bright green, followed by bright yellow and then a glaze from maybe Waywatcher Green or perhaps Biel-Tan Green with a little satin finish. I’ll have to try this again and write down what I did next time so I don’t forget in the time between completing the model and typing up a blog post.
I did the dorsal tentacles and left arm with Flesh Tearers Red Contrast and Nuln Oil Gloss, then brightened them up with some thinned down Blood Angels Red Contrast followed by Evil Sun Scarlet. I used Basilicanum Grey Contrast to emphasize the separations between the tentacles. I find using contrast paint in this way easier than using washes because the former don’t flow all over the place so one can be a bit more targeted.
I’ve been having fun lately doing a little post-production with my pictures.*** So we’ll wrap up Commissar Poxwalker’s moment in the Verdigris Sun with a few of these sort of offerings. Don’t mind Bits Box Skeletal Snake Thingie; I think it has spent so many years entombed in the sepulchral darkness of the game store bits box that it grabs any chance for attention it can get. Truly, it is incredibly needy for a mindless undead.****
So that is it for this penultimate poxwalker post. I’ll do one more of the whole crew and put paid to this playful party of putrescent perambulators. I’m continuing to work on Frank’s Pig Demon, which I hope to have done before the end of June, since that is my planned offering for the Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge.
Take care all.
* Or possesses the greatcoat of a commissar, which can be much the same thing at times.
** I had a bit of a chuckle reading what my poxbringer had to say about yellow mold almost two years ago now. I had completely forgotten about our little chat.
*** If this continues I might have to break down and learn how to use Photoshop versus just fiddling around with the little paint program I’m currently fumbling around with.
**** For instance, Skeletal Snake is constantly reminding me that it “never got its own blog post and just got stuck in with some badly-painted poxwalkers like 30 years ago.” Even though I’ve promised to use it in a D&D game someday and have given this pestiferous haunt a place as a token/marker/mascot in my forces, I still have to put up with its whining. This is surely not what I expected when I began perusing forbidden tomes and conducting vile painting experiments. Oh well, now it’s got me whining too. Such is the hard life of a Necromantrix!