Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

DKK Commissar's Panzer

Hello, more AFV fleet progress !  This is from Thu 11 Jul 13.

This is the Commissar's tank; Two or three coats of Tamiya Panzer Grey over Chaos Black.  As he's an attachment and not part of the Unit, he gets an Imperial Eagle instead of a turret number.  His armorial badge (where the sponson would be) is the two part thing from the Spaze Muhreen vehicle transfer sheet.  The number '4' at the back is there 'cause the Deparmento accounts for every last cartridge, so even Commissar's tanks are registered somewhere.

"Justice Extremis" was then treated to a going over with AK Inertactive's set of filters for Panzer Grey.  So firstly there was a blue filter, which went on OK, and then a blue/brown filter, more of which in a minute.  Lastly were the streaks, done using the streaking solution.  All of the AK Interactive stuff is spirit based, so it's back in time to white spirit to use these, but the effect is nice.

The tracks and mud are Tamiya weathering stick and then AK Interactive's Dark Earth Powder; the weathering stick applied in small circles over the track and then the powders with the brush dipped in white spirit to blend it all in.  It does give a convincing mud effect, reminiscent of Cheshire clays and certain parts of the Soltau Luneberg region.

Yet to do are the hull mounted weapon and its gusset, the lamps and lenses and quite importantly, the rust;  I use Mig pigment's normal rust and might look up Jeff Rust, although the rust here is going to be plastered on the exhaust and exposed pipework with a bit on the trenchrails where they would get hammered getting on and off freight trains and drop ships.

I started practicing using the filters on the Inquistorial wheels.  The blue filter seemed to go on Ok, I'd never got around to putting a pin wash on this vehicle and it is, as you know, grey.

The blue/brown filter, I was a bit bolder with and plastered it on quite thickly.  Now, if you've never tried a propitiatory filter, they are supposed to fade and be less noticeable once dry.  Of course, I managed to turn the damn thing green (using the blue/brown filter over the blue one) and completely lost the camouflage pattern, indeed, you'd not have known it was a grey vehicle at all.

Fortunately, catching it before it was completely dry meant that a generous bath of white spirit actually washed off a lot of it and had the net effect of actually producing the desired result.  Hurrah !

Which meant that work on this tank went all the more smoothly.

I also had a bit of a play once I'd finished, I ground up a bit of white chalk (you know, that white anti-dust stuff you nicked from school) and cut it with some dark brown humbrol enamel (last opened 30 years ago and still in mint condition).  This went on the tracks of one of the Hellhounds.  I'll have a look at later, but it went on looking the same, so here's hoping it produces a good result.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Eldar Codex review (no, really, it is)

You might not remember this post.  As it was some time ago.  I rambled at some length about what I'd like for the new Eldar codex.

Just an opinion, but I like the new wraithguard models.  Very nice.  Ta muchly, Mr Goodwin.

Things that I wanted have made it into the new codex:

Pop up attacks from all of our skimmers.  No, but Battle Focus basically gives us pop infantry unless we're tactically inept.  In which case it's my fault that we Eldar get wiped out.  Happy with that

High flying.  No, but with the new flyer rules this is sort of out of the window; I suppose that effectively being able to deep strike Falcons and Serpents is a tiny bit fromage-ical.  Not unhappy, as my Prism can shoot your back passage from my deployment zone and, being Prism, can also interrogate all of your emails. 

Web portal.  No, but we can have DE allies and quite frankly, its the witches and incubi that I want to web portal into your face anyway.  Happy with that

Storm Guardians   Goddem.  Happy with that

Augment as a Warlock power  Nope.  And my precious Runes have been nerf'd as well.  But, there is a new Farseer whirling dervish power - Farseers in HTH, using this power, will duff you up, be prepared.  And a lot of the warlock powers can be applied in either in a positive or negative way, which is nice; using the same both ways in one encounter (ie with two warlocks) could really influence the outcome.  And the system is not too difficult to use.  Happy with that.   Expect super Seer Councils in Apoc. 

Camelioline Scorpions  Not exactly, but stealth, Infiltrate and move through cover will do, cheers.  Happy with that. 

Wraithguard split into Assasin (CC) and Executioner (warp cannon)  Goddem.  Happy with that.  New names, too, although I cannot see what was wrong with the old ones. 

Waithseer (ie a Wraithlord with Farseer powers - obviously not affected by wraithsight)  He arrived in IA ten.  Happy with that. 

So.  My Seer Council has to be happy with all of that.  The background didn't change, altering history and writing out whole chunks, so that's OK, even if we didn't get much new.

We did get this:

Eldar Wraithknight

The Wraith Knight is vvvery popular on t'interwebs, far more so than the Riptide.  Do I like it ?  Nah, the head looks too small.  Also, the Eldar are and ancient race and dropping in something that seems this winningish, it seems a little puzzling that it's never been seen before.  
The Wraith Knight is vvvery popular on t'interwebs, far more so than the Riptide.  Do I like it ?  Nah, the head looks too small.  Also, the Eldar are and ancient race and dropping in something that seems this winningish, it seems a little puzzling that it's never been seen before.  

And a wraith flyer (OK, I can see that, fluffily) and an interceptor (hurrah !).  The Hemlock looks a bit odd, but at least these things look like the person designing them had heard the word 'aerodynamic' at some point. 

Mordian 7th is knockin' up an Alatoic army very fast, get over to his blog and see it before it disappears into the webway to harass someone.  So, yeah, some mini-porn out there.  And it's been like Andrews Powders to Fritz, so WOSH is back on, coming to a Siam Hainn Army near you soon. 

Still not impressed with the hardback codex though. 

Imperial Guard in shock GW Reprieve

This may not be news to you, on the other hand, it might be.

The entire Vostroyan line has gone back into the "main" product line for the IG (ie out of "collectors").

Also moved are the Valhallan, Mordian and ASL troops boxes.  Summitz garnon.

As usual, all pictures culled from the interweb with apologies to the owners.  You want to change to Vostroyans now, don't you ?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Saranian Light Infantry.

You remember how the cigar chompin’ colonel figure in the A-Team (George Peppard) used to say ‘I love it when a plan comes together’ ?  Well, this post links this post about the Division Liaison Team sent to the Cadian 127th, which talks about the Saranian Engineers;  and this this post here, which talks about combat tracking.  You see ?  There was a plan ! And this one has taken about eighteen months to hit the blog, although it hit the table at the beginning of June.

PVP Studio Shot A

The Saranian Light Infantry are, historically, an offshoot of the Saranian Engineers.  Saran is a relatively modest blue planet in a system with three large mineral rich asteroid belts and three gas giants.  Additionally, there are sixteen other planets of various sizes in the Saran system.  The Saranians are primarily void hardened miners; a dangerous and unpleasant but vital economic activity.   Mining activity either takes place or has taken place on every one of the celestial bodies.

PVP Studio Shot B

The skills of generations of miners have led to the Saranian Combat Engineers being a sought after asset within Imperial Guard formations.  The Saranian Engineers themselves were often used for battlefield reconnaissance, as described in the Engineer Liaison Team post.  Their various talents in this field have also led to the formation of several light infantry units, primarily used for battlefield recce, surveillance and target acquisition (STA).   This tasking was built on the back of their Engineering based reconnaissance capability.
On Parade with 17 Korps Photo 1
As time passed the Saranian Light Infantry have evolved to embrace their new battlefield role; still priding themselves on the STA capability, but fully engaged with their flanking and screening tasks.  Recently, the 5th have had personnel on the 72AG canid handler cadre and each company now includes five geneered pursuit hounds; extending the units search and destroy capability considerably.

On parade with 17 Korps Photo 2
In line with their light role, they are often equipped with vision enhancing equipment, to enable them to better carry out their recce tasks, and underslung grenade launchers, as they often operate without any other heavy weapon support.

PVP Studio shot of Command Group.

At the moment, they are the light element of 902 Div, which makes them a part of 17 Korps and are generally employed on interdiction missions, controlling terrorism in occupied Randstadt.

The dogs (actually LotR Wargs) will use the EoT chaos hound statline.  As previously discussed, the sights and underslung GLs are from Anvil Industries and the heads are the good ones from the Wargames Factory’s greatcoat stormtrooper set.  Some of the torsos are Maxmini’s combat armour torso.  Conversions and paint byPVP.

When the first of these figures were assembled, they were initially going to be household troops for one of the dignitaries of Devos IV; however they quickly became the LI to go with the Wargs (tracker dogs !) and so were all put together CESFAW (Carrying Enough Stuff For A War).  This still wasn’t enough so I used up my surplus sights from the HWS and then bought in the ancillaries from Anvil Industries.  I am pleased with the way they turned out. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Combat Tracking

If you ever wondered what went on at the Imperial Guard academies at places like Cadia and Agripinna, aside from the things you might instantly think of in relation to elite forces, CQB, HALO and other black ops skills, there are also scholae dedicated to more militarily useful skills that can benefit a wider Imperial Guard Army Group and do not neccessarily replicate capabilities already available from bodies such as the Adeptus Astartes.  Such as Combat Tracking:

The Catachans  learned that employing local trackers can be disastrous.  Indigenous folks can be immensely talented at local tracking because they are tuned intimately to their own local biowebs[1].  Problems start from there. “Jungle Man” might be able to trail a butterfly—especially so if he can sell it—but he cannot read a map.  He does not get lost because he knows his home range and how to navigate there.

Catachans in their home range

Biowebs and tracking can change dramatically from one terrain to another, in the space not measured in miles, but feet and inches:  The Catachan 17th were clearing Ork raiders from Maratoone, a water world with a high number of (extinct) volcanic island archipelagoes. On Brun’say, the largest island on Maratoone, jungle gave way within just a few steps to desert-like terrain that resembled Tallarn. When the trees were cut the soil washed away, leaving a near Martian landscape similar to that found on any dead world or moon.  In fact, the Big Island has most of the ecosystems found anywhere, ranging from alpine tundra to forests, jungles, prairies, and desert-like areas, down to tropical beaches and coconuts.
Jungle Man could track around his village, but when loaded onto a valkyrie and flown onto a cold, dry and treeless mountain only minutes away, he might fail.  On the Big Island, alpine tundra is a nine-minute flight from tropical beaches.  Similar dramatic changes are common globally, let alone when considering other worlds.

The Catachans learned that even superb local trackers cannot make up for absent military expertise.  They cannot be transported to work reliably in other conditions.

According to Col Deaams, a retired Kasrkin and combat tracker instructor, “The key factor is the ability to make logical deductions and assumptions via an understanding of military tactics and SOP's…”  Local trackers typically cannot do this.  The Kasrkin Schola include reading ground sign (and hiding one’s own) as a fundamental part when teaching situational awareness.  Other elite forces, ISTs[2], commandos and so on, similarly attach great important to something that most line Imperial Guard regiments regard as something close to warpcraft.  The aim of the Elite training establishments is to ensure that there are good, effective trackers within the Imperial Guard.

However it must be cautioned that local trackers are at times hired to potent use.  One veteran officer mentions the Koevoet units on Samturdal VII during the Sabat Crusade.  They were engaged by the Elysians to assist with mopping  up Blood Pact stay behind units and other guerillas.  The local trackers were not just village boys plucked away from lives of finding wayward cattle.  They received combat training, and then piled tracking atop their new combat skills. The Koevoet had a reputation for hard tracking, hard killing, and hard drinking, often returning to camp with mangled enemies strapped around the vehicles. They stacked the bodies high.  They also were paid for kills, a practice that improved results.

The Elysians would get on track, often simply by flying in valkyries and looking for it in grass or other opportune traps, especially during morning or evening patrols.  You simply cannot move through many sorts of grass without making a color change.

Men of the Arcomet 887th Strike Regiment - trained and equipped in Elysian methods and practices

You can try to hide track from air observation, and it can help, but that wastes time in the open.  If numerous men go single file, there is no way to hide it.  If they spread out, they leave more trails.  Real accounts of combat tracking against good anti-trackers sound like a pict-cast submarine story.  The submarines cannot see each other, but they can sense each other through various means.  Even the stealthiest submarine creates disturbance.

After a track is confirmed, the commander will have options.  He can use a valkyrie to put a dog on the ground.  The dog goes alone.  The handler stays in the valkyrie and controls her by the radio on her back.  The Elysians tried this and it worked.

They just put the dogs down on known track, and the valkyrie lifted off to follow the dog.  Many dogs love to ride in valkyries just like they love to ride in all vehicles.  If she gets tired of tracking, she might look up and bark at the valkyrie.  No matter where it lands, there she comes.

Deep Striking

An Elysian accounts from this phase of the Sabat Crusade mentions dogs inserted by valkyrie.  During training, the dog could track an eight-hour-old trail, more than nine miles, in 40 minutes.  The dog would start off slow, where the scent was weaker, and speed up as he closed.

Dogs can be trained to hide and to lay down when they acquire a target, and to make a small yelp into the microphone.  This is not hocus pocus.  It has been done.

Combat Tracking with dogs

The Elysians would use forces inserted by air to box the enemy, and then crush the quarry with speed and efficiency.  They might find track that was seven days old, and within two hours track it to where it was an hour old, which was close enough for boxing and hammer and anvil.

Throughout their advance along the Wapaso Drift towards Balhaut, the Elysians took fewer casualties, and their tracking and martial skills forced the enemy onto their back foot. Giving not just the Elysians, but all crusade forces in system the initiative.

All pictures robbed from the internet without the owners consent. Sorry 'bout that.  

[1] The term bio-web in this document refers specifically to the interaction of organisms in their natural state, including men and their environment.  Possibly not a term used in the Grimdark of the 39th Millennium, but these thing have to make sense somehow; so there will be local/Daniverse terms for 'butterfly' and 'grass' as well, but the concept of 'combat tracking' is what I'm trying to convey here. 

[2] Imperial Storm Troopers, usually in Inquisitorial service. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Business Plan ?

White Dwarf, natch. 

I caught this interesting article about WD over at the Artificer's Workshop (pretty ladies in power armour).  Which raised some interesting questions about the content of WD and what it's for.  Obviously the answer is 'to advertise the miniature range', we know that.  But as previously discussed, WD could be so much more.  There may well be opinion led articles by Johnson and Vetok (to borrow Artificer's phrase), but this is barely enough to warrant the description 'magazine' rather than 'advert'.

White Dwarf. 

I picked up the Eldar issue (because it has the Eldar in it) and quite frankly, If I played WHFB or LotR, I would be a bit disappointed, to say the least.  I know that a lot of discourse on various subjects is available online, and that these days, many many people are online almost all the time.  However, comma, if someone has bought WD then they are looking for something to look at whilst not on line (they might be on a rural bus service, or fishing on the Amazon* or something).  

So there are things you get with a real comic, but not on a smart phone.  In WD's case this manifests itself almost entirely as huge carefully staged pictures. It seems that precious little else is included; Content for the games system not being featured is minimal and the wise words of two GW stalwarts are not enough or varied enough to warrant shelling out the cash.

The Amazon.  Not an online retailer.

Just my opinion, you understand.  

Just my two'penneth for subjects:  Mr Johnson on the subject of financial investment vs return in relation to balancing your hobby against the expense of the rest of your life(style). 

Mr Vetock on an actual campaign background; the fact that logisitics and travel are going to be the defining factors in intersellar warfare and that in terms of concentration of force, Astartes strike forces are a one shot wonder. 

Col Killgore.  Everyone's favourite Apoc General !

Anyway, on to Apoc, which was the substance of the WD that Artificer reviewed: He asked who the Apoc formations were actually aimed at.  Well, me, obviously.  I would buy the IG formations and some of the Eldar ones as well.  In fact, when the Apoc formations dried up within 18 months of the first release, I was surprised.  I hadn't imagined that Apoc formations wouldn't be on offer forever; after all, the suppliment was not going to be withdrawn or anything. Anyway, I am on record as saying that I would be putting my hand in my pocket, were the Apoc formations ever to be released again. 

However, this is predicated on the not unreasonable premise that the apoc formations would be competitively priced. The prices they are listed at are (for example) 10 x RRP. Which is not really helpful; If I want to Fist the Emperor, I'm still going to buy ten LRMBT from Wayland, not one Emperor's Fist from GW*. 

Even at 10%, people would begin to think twice about that.

The other thought that was crystalised by brief contemplation of these diverse but connected things is the overall GW strategy; The Deamon Hunter and Witch Hunter codices have been replaced by Grey Knights and Sisters of Perpetual PMT - Inquisitor (the large scale game) is not supported and Necromunda, Mordheim, Epic, BFG and the various lines of interesting IG have all now gone the way of the dodo.  Without as much as a whisper in WD;  If you wanted some interesting things to talk about, these would have been interesting.   

Anyway, as I have said before, GW is going to do what GW is going to do regardless of my opinions and what I personally want from the hobby.  I will continue crafting what I see as an interesting exposition of an IG based campaign, trying to drag in ideas and so on from fellow hobbyists.  So no change there.  

But, with Kickstarter and alternative manufacturers increasing providing what I am looking for, And GW increasingly not providing anything I want (yeah, the Wraithknight may well be a nicely constructed game winning model, but that's not why I'm playing.  And it's head is still too small), their share of my hobby pennies looks set to diminish. 

*For anyone who has forgotten (or never knew), the Amazon has been a river since north and south America collided, and only been an online retailer for a few years. 

*unless in this particular instance all of the IG Apoc formation purchases include a vehicle accessory sprue; which would be over £75 off.  Which would be good, were it to be true, [telephones GW] Nah, no accessory sprues in there, just the new got-less-bits Leman Russ.  

Friday, 12 July 2013

By the Authority of the Immortal Emperor of Mankind

This might seem a little bit obvious, but stay with me; its another of my projections into the governance of the Imperium of man:

In a galaxy full of aliens, within which Deamons from the warp can materialize, there would seem to be a clear reason d’etre for the Ordo Xenos (hunting for and protecting the Imperium from, aliens) and the Ordo Malleus (protecting the Imperium from the denizens of the warp).

Gregor Eisenhorn - the Quintessential Inquistor

Implicit in protecting the Imperium from the denizens of the warp would seem to be the suppression of such conditions as might lead to warp incursions.  Unregulated psyker activity being the prime cause (as demonstrated in the case of Vraks).   But the Ordo Malleus does not do this.   They are there to deal with incursions that already underway.

So someone has to keep an eye out for nascent psykers, as a preventative measure, hopefully.  And to suppress the activities of unsanctioned psykers  when necessary.   This is the link in to the Imperial Creed - this is where the ‘Heresy’ comes into the Ordo Hereticus; the Creedo  Imperialis is a vehicle for the governance of a star spanning empire that places defined limits on psychic activity in a galactic empire held together by psychic activity within which the greatest threat is psychic activity.

We are told that the Inquisition’s Black Ships regularly transport thousands to feed the Corpse God of the Empire.  Setting aside the mechanics of this, as the Black Ships come to a planet, it stands to reason that the empire would (should) be able to load the unsanctioned aboard in good order.  Which means that planetary authorities must have a way of apprehending them. 

Muscle for any related activities could come from the Adeptus Arbites, Imperial Guard or even, in extremis, the gentle Adeptus Sororitas.  Or perhaps the Black Templars.   But these instruments, be they skilled discrete Arbites snatch squads or the ever so slightly more obvious interventions of the Sisters or Templars, all need direction.

Now, I would not be one to show any disrespect to the Adeptus Sororitas or the Black Templars.  Not me, no sir.  But their talents in relation to the activities of the Ordo Hereticus are more or less in a similar vein to those of the Grey Knights – when an outbreak has occurred and what it needed is a purge, either of Deamons from this reality in the case of the Grey Knights, or a group or groups of individuals violating the Creedo Imperialis in the case of the Sisters and/or Templars.   This may need some direction at the outset, but once unleashed they will only stop when they themselves are satisfied with the results.  Which will make those directing them either very cautious or gung ho, depending on circumstances.

The majority of Ordo Hereticus operatives on the majority of worlds are almost certainly Interrogators with a small staff who undertake surveillance and detective work.   They might have a specialized resource on hand to conduct their arrests, be they secret abductions or arrests by ‘plain clothes’ operatives or louder events.   Or they might rely on sequestering assistance on a case by case basis.   A team will make an assessment for each arrest; it is entirely probable that most of those apprehended are only just beginning to manifest their psyker powers.  As such, the team may well feel that they are able to make their arrest themselves.

Judge Dread would be proud
Of course, what makes it easier for these teams is working in a Police State like environment, with a large secret police and a community where individuals are predisposed to denouncing one another.  In such a situation, the watcher teams are likely to be embedded with the other enforcing authorities.

Of course, given the length of time that might elapse between visits by actual Inquisitors, the team, whilst remaining focussed on their task, might not view itself as a part of the Ordo Hereticus, but might organisationally see itself as a part of whatever local arrangements are in place.  An example of this is the Cadian Interior Guard; themselves organised like the Imperial Guard, with Shock Troops and Kasarkin, controlled by rosetted Inquisitors who nonetheless are unlikely to ever do anything else than oversee the Interior Guard.   In the same vein, in some areas the Ordo itself may not recognise this function as a part of their work, seeing it as a purely local matter; nonetheless, it remains an activity that needs to happen in order to comply with the Codex Imperialis.

Regardless, the Ordo Hereticus or local authorities will have as many of these teams as they think they can get away with, given that the teams have to resource this from somewhere.   So on a sparsely populated argiworld, there might be one team, possibly based near the starport.  On a Hive World, there might be multiple teams in each Hive, possibly with overlapping jurisdictions, perhaps on trade or filial lines.

So the majority of the Ordo Hereticus, in terms of their manpower, has to be the watcher teams on (in so far as is reasonably practicable) every world of the Imperium.   How does this sit with the Ordo Hereticus’ actual Inquisitors ?  Those who opposed Hector Rex in conclave, those who deal with and call on the militant arm of the Ecclesiasty ?  In part then, in the absence of any other mechanism, they must be there to manage the watcher teams, to represent the watcher teams to other bodies, to use their Inquisitorial Mandate and hopefully assist the watcher teams keep a lid on the emergence of psykers.

"...the fool questions our right to take those lives, the wise man knows we have no right to let them live."

Returning briefly to the Creedo Imperialis;  the Creedo Imperialis has to cover such parts of the Imperium as both govern and pose a threat of some kind.  This is why the Ordo Hereticus needs to be aware of the activities and intentions of both on those who govern (through the activities of its rosetted Inquisitors) and the governed (through the watcher teams).   The only way to maintain adequate focus is to have this two tier organisation. 

The ranking inquisitors also maintain their watching brief over the activities of the Ecclesiasty, the Adeptus Sororitas and other bodies (Arbities, Astartes or Guard) who cross their path; the specialist skills of the watcher teams who detect emerging psykers are not well placed to provide checks or balances to the escalating power of ambitious Cardinals, Canonesses or Chapter Librarians.   It needs to be full status Inquisitors who take on the role of policing the higher functions of the Administratum in all its forms.

The other two major Ordos are clearly there to be called upon in the event that one’s path is crossed is by aliens or deamons, the Ordo Hereticus on the other hand, are the Empire of man’s big brother – it is implicit in their mandate that they are watching everyone, all the time.

She is watching you
Pictures robbed from the internet without permission. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Eidolon, a fallen Astartes, and his bitches.

Another cheeky early in the week post:

You know that PVP painted up my purple marines ?  Well, it occurred to me that there hadn't been a post where they got shown off.  So this is it.  I do hope PVP doesn't mind, but his photos are brilliant so I'm reproducing them here, along with some action shots ('cause Muhven 158 might not be Devos IV, but it is an exciting place to be !)

And as John (from John's Toy Soldiers) says, Purple is the only colour for renegade space marines.

 Eidolon, the deamon prince.  As an ancient pre-heresy dude, he is made of metal.  Oh for lash of submission.  Twin Lash Princes would have been so much fun.
 Deamonettes.  These last generation metal ones are the sexiest.  I realise that there is something fundamentally wrong with me saying that, but they are supposed to be 'wrong' on that level.  And its true.
 As promised, in action, hunting Blood Angels who showed up to take out Eidolon.
 Two land speeders, the speeders run as multimelta and heavy flamer.  I had also envisaged the tornado whizzing up and down the back line, shootin' at things threatening home objectives etc etc.

 Two more views of speeders.  Multimeltas for armour, flamers for infantry.  Sooo lucky that speeders are invincible and cannot be shot down by anything short of Primark in a flying fellblade.

 Two squads of noise marines.  Once in position, they chuck out a fair amount of firepower.
 Zappapreds.  Of course they come in threes, one is not enough, two is normal and three is altogether more slanneshi.  A sort of anti armour menage a tois.
Dakkapreds.  Cause you can never have enough Dakka !  I have no immedate plans to add to this purple army, as I have to wait for PVP to get his vision back and stop seeing everything in shades of purple (there are three Defilers in a box in the garage).

I am expanding the CSM contingent; the Purple ones fit the Devos IV background/campaign/fluff.  There is an expanding Kellog's Khorne Flakes force, who have a history of opposing the DKK, but I'll save them for a later post !

Friday, 5 July 2013

Exchange Officers Redux.

This is basically a repeat of this post, but with slightly better pictures and the inclusion of the finished vehicle. 
If you didn't catch it, I also recommend a superb post over at the Cadian 127th

The 11th (Independent) Sareanian Assault Engineer Company was seconded to the Krieg 19th Armoured Regiment for the Taros Campaign.  However neither unit participated in that campaign, being diverted to Devos IV by Spinward Command on Agripinna. 

The 11th (Independent) Sareanian Assault Engineer Company is a specialist unit whose task is to clear the battlefield of emplacements and obstacles to an armoured assault by a tank formation.  As such, the “company” is considerably oversized[1]; bridging and demolition assets make up the most of its platoons, along with ground surveying, mapping and minefield clearance detachments.  The Company is kept at 150% of its establishment of officers by the Departmento Munitorium.  The over strength officers are dispatched along the wider formation front to advise formation commanders and get a feeling for where the company’s assets will be needed next.  And of course the intention is that these officers are already on the ground gathering intelligence that the unit will need, should it be required.

Captain Ernst Schawt is from long serving mining stock from Sarean’s asteroid belt.  Whilst not a hereditary member of the gentry like officers from some places, he is from a wealthy technocrat dynasty. He has been dispatched to the Cadian 127th as they currently do not have any combat engineering support.   He is a qualified civil engineer with eighteen years experience in the Imperial Guard.

He has taken with him Watchmaster Kluffen, Sappers Griff, Matteus and Kellerman.  Sapper Griff is equipped with a company capacity vox set, to give the detachment the range to communicate with the Company HQ.  Sappers Matteus and Kellerman are toting Melta guns and Capt Schawt and Watchmaster Kluffen are carrying standard guard chainswords.  The Melta guns and chainswords are principally carried for removing obstacles.  Each man carries a lightweight entrenching tool and bayonet obtained from their Krieg hosts.  A lug in the spade blade fits a slotted hole in the bayonet, forming an effective wire cutter. 

The weapons they carry are standard Kantrel pattern items, fitted with Sareanian x3 low light level sights and underslung 40mm grenade launcher.  These items were developed for the Sareanian Light Infantry, who were themselves an offshoot of the Assault Engineer Companies.  Capt Schawt has fitted a sight unit to his las pistol.

The detachment take their dedicated transport with them, a Sarenian pattern IFV (Counts as Chimera).  It is a little smaller than a Chimera and this model, being a command variant lacks the hull weapon mount, the space being taken over by extra engineering equipment.  The vehicle is currently equipped with a HK missile, as befits its usual 'back edge of the combat zone' deployment; this will be dismounted for travel, as their outbound transport is aboard the Governor's Retribution.  May the Emperor protect them on their journey through the warp. 

If you're wondering, that is a Warrior 510 in 28mm truescale.  You can see the model and other modern military minis here.  It is wearing a Chimera multilaser, rather than the truescale autocannon the real one has; which does not really look appropriate on the WH40K table top.  Other mods include the removal of the real smoke dischargers, which again looked too small for the WH40K table and their replacement with a set from a Space Marine sprue - along with the Space Marine radar and HK missile - they just fit the look of the warrior better than the comparatively old-tech looking IG ones.  The HK missile sits on a purpose built plasticard shelf.   There is a rambling post about the conversion here. 

I have heard from the Cadian 127th and am please to report that they did arrive safely, the Govenernor's Retribution living up to its reputation for pace.  And possibly comfort as well. 

[1] The Company is referred to as such because it was originally a company of four platoons.  However, such is the demand for their services that the Company is now eighteen platoons based around what are loosely referred to as Battlefield Intelligence (recce, mapping, surveying and covert observation), Makum (Bridging, field fortifications, roads and drainage) and Assault (obstacle clearance [incl minefields], demolition and dynamic entry). 

Monday, 1 July 2013

DKK Vehicle Fleet (Progress !)

I'm supposing that most of you have figured out that my posts are lined up for a Friday and normally writted four to six weeks before you get to see them. Well, if you didn't; now you know.  But I've made some progress with the DKK vehicle fleet (on my own !) and thought you might be interested.

Even more relevant, "Why now, Zzzzz ?" I hear you ask.  Well, there is every chance that these boys will need to hit the table in August, so they need to progress to a point where I can put them on the table and they don't look like a entire fleet of base coated models compared to all of the finished infantry.  So.

A lot of Sunday was spent putting the redblack basecoat on the tracks.  I've actually used almost a while pot of dark flesh.  Yes, most of my paints are that old. The plan is to hit these with weathering powders and then a 2B pencil; this works well for tracks on WW2 tanks; a lot of these have standard GW tracks and the green tanks (of the PLA) that you can see to the right of the line up above, have tracks which might look a little odd given that treatment; basically because they don't look like the tracks on any vehicle ever seen IRL.  Oh well, we'll see.

So then my seldom used airbrush was broken out and the camouflage applied. Free hand wavy lines FTW ! These are not strictly speaking the correct Wehrmacht colours, but they're DKK, not DAK, so it's Valajeo Model Air Dark Camo Green and Tank Brown. I got as far as beginning to mark them up - these are the tiddlers from Archer fine art decals 1/35 WW2 German Turret numbers in red with a white border.  I've got the FW auto cannon turrets on order (for WYSIWYG) and will get the 1/48 number to replicate the exercise as the 1/35 ones are a little on the large side.  

A front piece of the  AT-7 turret was masked off and treated to two coats of fortress grey and then skull white.  This then got a black skull from the GW transfer sheet.  They will get turret numbers in white from the Cadian transfer sheet.

Oh, Happy Canada Day to everyone in Istanbul.  And Canada.

I hope to continue with a little more progress on Wednesday evening.

A quick word about the photography; I'm trying to follow the guidelines that Karitas gave me; using the 'close up' setting, standing far enough away and then zooming in to actually capture the detail.  If this is making any sense at all to you, your camera possibly also has a flower as the indicator for the 'close up' setting.  So whilst in Cornwall earlier in the year, I actually used it to shoot some flowers. 

It looks pretty, but isn't what I was expected or what I wanted, so I had another go a bit later:

And it works on yellow as well !  In bright light the colour saturates a little more than it does under slightly less sunny conditions.  One could suppose that this is similar to when your little man looks a little duller and not quite as vibrantly coloured in the pictures as he does IRL.  An interesting point.  If you look at my pictures of the fight with the Blood Angels you can see that shooting in bright light really does keep the colour looking good. 

I quite like taking pictures of flowers.  Oh er, that'll loose me man points down the pub....