Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Sisters are doin' it for themselves

You've heard me before, waxing lyrical about the old softback codices, with their prose vignettes and their 5ed (-1/+1) charm.  And you can see from the price, that these were £12 each when they were current.  The 9ed Adepta Sororitas Codex was £33ish.  I'm not sure if what was £12 in the early 2000s is £33 twenty years later, but as we have discussed before, the world has moved on and even the people who work for GW have bills to pay (and shareholders to satisfy in a way they didn't twenty years ago)

So meh, the production values are better and more work has gone into it, but I'm not sure about creativity.  Maybe.  What this new book appears to have done is take all of the nunneries mentioned in the old book and fleshed them out.  This has been done in the most direct and least surprising way, but it has been done.  It's nice that the background has been built upon and expanded in a logical and sympathetic way, instead of being overtaken by a burst of hyperbole and ruined by covering it in skulls and more guns than it can carry ammunition for.  Ahem.

So by way of contrast, I offer up these two roughly corresponding paragraphs from the old (above) and new (below) publications.  What the new codex does is to squarely plant them as a faction in their own right (like the Ad Mech) in the new starting line up.  Whereas historically they have perhaps been under the wing of the church and the OH (even if the OH were actually using them to watch the church), the new edition has them out there being the driving force behind wars of faith and then has the OH standing around watching that wars of faith do not exceed their remit.  Exactly how one or even a handfull of Inquisitors is supposed to stop of war (harsh language ?) once its started* is not explained.  I think I prefer the version where the SoB are more or less the chamber militant of the OH, rather than the new one where they are making war on their own behest.  Of course, for once, it's been carefully written not to contradict the earlier version; if only they had been so careful with the rest of the 40K corpus. 

The Obvious pointers are that the old codex is entitled "Witch Hunters" and the basic option was (is) to build your army around an inquisitor and his/her retinue, with added Iggies, ISTs, SoBs and/or Space Marines.   This new codex is about fielding an SoB army; there is a large new mini range to shift and we don't want to be giving the spending public the idea that they might be using a significant part of their existing collection, when the codex can specify some neat all new SoB options.  It's the current world we live in; I don't begrudge GW their commerce - all the people I might face over the table are likely to be ok with 5ed and an iggy command squad of Straken and four heavy flamers because that game is going to run like a Bruckheimer movie - we are not the target audience anymore. 

So an overall thumbs up from me, which is a first for these GW hardbacks.  And of course, as I've reverted to 5ed for all gaming, most of the rules stuff means bugger all to me, but some can be shoe horned in for thematic reasons. 

Thursday, 10 June 2021

The Eagle has Landed

 You may remember that the mission for the German Commandos in the book was to eliminate Churchill and that in the end, the man they were aiming at turned out to be a decoy. 

So as the Eldar can foresee what might happen, it doesn't seem too far fetched that they might employ decoys for their leaders.  

Of course, it might simply be the thirty year old Eldrad meeting his younger, plastic, self.  This episode of Dr Who has been brought to you by Keela Mensha Kaine.  

I think this shows that the new figure is an homage to the old Jes Goodwin Eldrad.  And that the original Eldrad Sculpt was outstanding and, IMHO, still doesn't look too bad today. 

Old Eldrad was the first ever figure I had pro-painted.  but that was a llooonnngggg time ago. 


The new Eldrad was painted by Raven's Nest Painting.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Catching up with old friends

I like to think of the books I read in my teens and early twenties as old friends.  They are familiar and reliable; I know what they're going to say on a subject.  I can share their pain, their struggle and eventual triumph.  It's important to look after old friends.  

I became aware that there was going to be another filum of Doon/June/Djoon in the middle of last year.  Oh crikey, I thought, I'd better re-read it so I can pompously pontificate (as is my want) from a position of less ignorance than I'm under right now.  I remember that the Lynch film was a bit like the pop video of the book; that it was well produced etc but due to being less than 14 hours long, failed to capture the nuances of the book.  Re-reading the book, I was right.  Compared to most space opera epics, not much really happens in Dune.  What you do get is a fascinating insight into certain aspects of the his world(s) that Hubert wanted to talk about.  It's good.  It's attention grabbing enough even if it's not as utterly compelling as Abnett.  There's certainly a lot of Dune in the 1984 RT book.  And the Daniverse, for that matter. 


My old Dune and Dune Messiah were the older, green cover types.  I've obviously lent them out at some point, possibly back in another life when I was a Tom.  So I had to buy the new one.  Which is nice.  I'm kinda hoping that I can pick up a copy of Dune Messiah in the same style/imprint.  

For Christmas 1983/84, my mum bought me Magician.  I suspect that she asked in the FLBS what the hot sellers in fantasy were and picked it that way.  I was more than happy that Christmas Day and certainly cannot remember what else I might have got.  The adventures of Pug/Milamber and Thomas/Ashen Shengaur were more immediate and accessible than Tolkien's more Edwardian characters.  Of course I now realise that I possibly have more in common with Aragorn and Bilbo than with Milamber and Thomas, but meh, they were great.  And even the midst of the riftwar was sometimes preferable to the real world.

Decades later I saw the revised edition in Waterstones somewhere and instantly grabbed it.  It sat on the shelf with it's much loved older self for over a decade until, putting Dune away, I picked it up.  Once again, the transformation of the two young boys into their adult selves and the machinations of Macros the Black (is Pug ever going to find out that he is Macros ?  Who knows...) and the clash of Kingdom of the Isles and Tsurani Empire sucked me in like quicksand in Harold Lloyd film.

So that arc pans out with these two books, tying all the loose ends up, restoring Guy the Bastard, making Jimmy the Hand, securing the succession in the Kingdom and generally proving that former foes can be allies etc.  Epic.  All the subsequent books are up there as well, But it's got to be daughter/servant/mistress of the empire next. 

Ok, you're thinking, fair enough, but what brought this on in the first place ?  A couple of blogs I frequent from time to time had mentioned that they were re-reading old favourites in lockdown and making observations/suggestions etc.  I commented on one that I might go back over the Belgariad, as it's a comfortable read which does not demand of it's reader in the same way that LOTR or Dune does, it's a much easier ride. Which it is.

So after Midkemia, it was off to the Alorns and Murgos and poor ol' small kitchen boy Garion being fed to Torak, the Dragon God of the Angraks. The humour is outstanding, the characters are ace, the dun- dun- daaARR ! is there.  I hadn't previously spent quite so long considering the implications of the theological aspects.  Still a lovely journey with old friends.  The Mallorean is up there on the shelf as well, so I'll have to have that out as well soon.

The only 'new' read here.  Once again the ghosts, forlorn, sent on another one way trip.  For what, I ask you ?  I suspect that real answer by now, decades after the great enemy destroyed Tanith, is that they have forgotten how to do anything else.  But again, the nods to the rest of the 40K universe - Gaunt remembering seeing DKK engineers using Hades breaching drills as a cadet etc - make this another ripping yarn from Kent's favourite sleep-thief. 

Which brings me to here.  Having put The Victory (part 1) on the shelf and assured myself that (part 2) is not yet available, my hand strayed those few inches to where my love/hate relationship with Abnett started.  Oh my god what a rollercoaster.  As I write this, the whole lot of them have been captured and the baddies are going to crash the wounded Hinterlight into a local star.  This is still as good as when I first lost a weeks sleep to it decades ago. 

So, rather than a page about airbrush failures, I thought I'd share this with you all.  After a decade or so of nothing more than military histories, revisiting fantasy and sci-fi is great.  There's a bit of 70s stuff in there, L Sprage deCamps, Harry Harrison, Ursula LeGunn, Michael Morcock, Fritz Leiber, Eric Vanlustbader.  So I might try a bit of that next. 

Saturday, 29 May 2021

A new wave of dance and mime

 "I have come to dance the dance of death."  The tag line for the harlequin from DOW.  

 Fast skimmers.  Well, like light cavalry throughout history, they're good at the beginning of the battle, finding openings in the opposition formation and perhaps prising it open a little more for exploitation by actual battle winners.  

And at the end, when the enemy are scattered and disorganised, light cavalry are the ideal troop choice for preventing them rallying and re-consolidating.

And of course your army needs someone willing to carry the fight to the enemy, someone to go toe to ballet-shoed toe with the opposition.  

Landraider might well be the most stylish way to deliver this lot into the fight.  Perhaps not the most elegant, but certainly the most stylish.  

These jovial minstrels were all painted by Raven's Nest Painting.   So there's a modest build up of Eldar forces going on as well. 

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Iggies reclaim the Brick of Scrutiny from the Arch Fiend

I've put together some reinforcements for the absolutely-finished-never-to-be-added-to DKK.  Because reasons.  Another zug of mid turret Chimerae for the Mechanised Company, a third super heavy, a Macharius Vanquisher and a half battery of Griffins. 


The Griffins are Models and Minis kits.  So these kits are good; the design is well thought out, the actual modelling is just exaggerated enough for 40K and like the not-manticores, they are clean castings with not occlusions.  But models and minis is a one man band working under some awkward constraints not within his control; so like I said before, worth buying, but you're going to have to wait if you're this side of the pond. 


The only GW bits of these are the track units; the hulls are also a Models and Minis kit. Handy to know you can get them somewhere if you're whuppin' up some chimera after market kits. 


The track guards are also Models and Minis.  The kit includes the arrangement of sandbags around the front - I've mixed it up with a couple of spare armour plates as the Emperor loves infinite variety.  The only modification I've had to do is a bit of sprue (I've used the fairly substantial bits of square section resin from the Griffin kit) to lift it up a little.  


Without the heavy mortar in it, just in case you were thinking "I wonder if I could turn that into a Salamander ?"


Not shown here are the panels which kit neatly inside the walls of the fighting compartment - with a pair of humungus mortar bombs on each side.  These are great, I've left them out to be painted separately - actually fitting them will depend on where the crew fit in. 

The Macharius you've seen before. Hopefully including it here will mean progress finishing it.  But it does look like it's done a good job of scaring that scion of the ruinous powers away from the BOS.

The Chimerae are Blood'n'skulls Industries capricorn hulls with FW autocannon turrets (some filing of the hole in the Blood'n'skulls chassis needed to get a good fit).  The turrets have the usual plastic kit searchlight side mounted behind the ammunition bulge.  Like the ASL LRMBT, the searchlights are side mounted to keep the profile down.  The Trackguards were an ebay purchase.  They're really good, I must look them up again at some point.  

 Stowage, cables, barrels, tools and Heavy Stubbers all to do. 

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Despoiling the Brick of Scrutiny


What a lovely spring day for of spot of mild despoiling to warm oneself up for a forthcoming Black Crusade.


Devos IV is not mainstream enough to warrant his personal attention, but hey, he'd too nice a figure to not lavish some care on.



And as noted, there's always the chance for some hot Crusade action ("Let the Galaxy Burn !")

The paint here was done by Raven's Nest Painting. 

Is that your helmet on his trophy rack ?


This is Lupercal's lieutenant, he knew the Emperor.  Now he's potentially the nemesis of the Imperium of Man.


He chose his path, and seems fairly content to follow it.  It's good to be able to take pleasure in one's work. 

Friday, 5 March 2021

Inside the city under siege



Amongst those left in Xphonica once the city is encircled by the invaders from outer space, are those who were amongst the irregular groupings who supported and supplied muscle for the revolution.

This includes Slanneshi aligned cultists.  They probably did not even know that they were Slanneshi cultists four years ago, they were just after shrugging off the harsh yoke of Imperial rule.

And after four years of seeing the inexorable creep of the Imperial Guard across the planet, seeing the bombings and having knights and Titans arrayed against them, they are ready for the last fight, their capital city, the place of Imperial pilgrimage, will be defended against the oppressor.

Paint by Mr Lee's Painting Emporium.

Friday, 26 February 2021

There is a place for Physical Comdey on Devos IV


But the appearance of a Masque would be more than an excuse for a bit of slapstick.

It's an indication that the Eldar as a whole think there is something going on here which requires intervention.  So they are sort of tumbling, leaping and froliking litmus of likely Elder intervention.

Paint by PVP.

Friday, 19 February 2021

OC G Coy 262 Line Infantry Regt

262 Line Infantry Regt are a part of 902 Div XVII Korps 72AG.  G Coy have been reserved by Col Cmdt Welbahn as a part of his ready reserve.  

Major Karim leads G Coy and has brought with him a troop of heavy mortars and a troop of Quad Launchers.  

He's conscious of the fact that the rest of 262 Regt is dying for Emperor and G Coy is standing by in the rear.  However, he has confidence in Col Cmdt Welbahn and fully expects to be thrown into the Schwerpunkt at the critical time.  Being in reserve with a full detachment from the fellow Krieg 19 Armd Regt gives a feeling of fellowship G Coy wouldn't actually have with the rest of the Divisional reserve.  

He's an ordinary son of Krieg from an ordinary background, brought up in the Corinthian hab blocks adjacent to the Stahl arms works.  He fell in love with a daughter of the Tyroc dynasty, but was not of high enough social status to warrant her attention.  This has driven him ever since, with stoicism and determination, already strong Krieg traits, finding new heights in his personal conduct and leadership style. 

Friday, 12 February 2021

I wanted to be an architect

But the careers offices on Krieg offered me ice skater or tank crewman.  At least I've got a seat.

Friday, 5 February 2021

Where are we going ?

 Nowhere if you don't get that track fixed !

Sunday, 31 January 2021