Ossiarch Bonereapers – Spears VS Swords

The following is a discussion based on probability theory (often called dice-theory in wargaming circles) which compares the performance of different weapon options for both the Mortek Guard and the Deathriders; both units from the new Ossiarch Bonereaper army for Age of Sigmar

 

Mortek Guard – Greatblades

First lets consider the Greatblade weapon option that you can take for one in every 10 warriors of Mortek Guard. Below you can see a table comparing the results of taking Greatblades in units of different sizes for both Spears and Swords forming the majority of the unit. Remember for each group of 10 models, one is a Greatblade. So for 40 warriors there are 4 Greatblades in the unit.

I’ve chosen to compare two extremes of save for the total damage dealt (since greatblades, spears and swords all deal 1 damage).

You can see that with Swords the difference is almost impossible to see between taking Greatblades and not taking them. Whilst the Greatblade gets no Nadirite bonus for 6s rolled on a “to-hit”; it has a better wound roll (3) which makes up the difference.
With spears the Greatblades rending starts to make an impact, however even so the difference is again, quite marginal; however there is a slightly greater gain for the Greatblades over using them in a unit of swords. This is simply reflecting the rending giving the Greatblade a slight bonus in combat.
Overall there is a benefit to having Greatblades within the unit, however the difference is by no means night and day. It should be noted that in the maths above its assumed that all models make it into close combat. Clearly when pairing Greatblades with spears one will have to have more care for the position of the Greatblades within the unit as they will only have a range of 1 inch, compared to the 2 inch range of the spears.

 

Mortek Guard – Spears VS Swords

Now for one of the most often asked questions regarding Mortek Guard – Swords or Spears?! Again I’ve prepared a table of results:

This table is a little more complicated to read, so to make it a little clearer below I’ve summarised the data into four graphs. Each graph refers to a specific save value for the target of the attacks


So at first glance we can easily see that when the number of warriors is the same, swords will always have a greater chance to deal more damage than spears. This is the effect of a whole unit having a -1 rend on the swords compared to the spears which have no rending, but otherwise near identical stats to the swords. Indeed as the save value of the attacked unit improves the divide in number of wounds landed between swords and spears increases, with swords very clearly in the lead when in large numbers against a high save target

However its not a totally clear call. If you look at the numbers and at the graph you can see that when the number of warriors holding spears is greater than the number of warriors with swords, the spears tip the balance quite quickly into doing more damage. Now as Mortek Guard with spears and swords have the same point cost, the only variable we have left to play with is the range. Swords only have a 1 inch range, whilst spears have a 2 inch range. As units get larger it can become less practically possible to get all warriors into close combat range. Thus the inch difference in reach can become quite important in the actual game.

Now at your local game tables these stats might vary in how well they impact your game. If you regularly play against big spread out enemy units with very little terrain then you might well find that its very easy for you to get 40 warriors into close combat range with only a 1 inch reach on their weapons. So swords would be the best choice. However you might fight smaller units and on tables with a more dense covering of terrain. Suddenly those speares with their extra reach start to come into their own. So some local variation might take place for you.

In conclusion I would say that whilst swords always have a greater potential to cause more wounds than spears, the practical nature of using them in the game means that spears start to come into their own as the Mortek Guard increase in number on the table.
If you want a rough dividing point where one might switch form swords to spears I would say at 30 warriors. For units of 10 or 20 its very possible that you will get all units into close combat range with only 1 inch of range. Therefore the bonus to rend is far superior to another inch of reach that you might not ever need. Once you’re up to 30 or 40 models you’re into a scale where that extra inch of reach is going to start making a growing difference in the number of models that can contribute to each round of combat.
Of course keep in mind the nature of your opponent as well. An opponent with lots of high save targets that are spread out is going to really benefit taking swords against; meanwhile if they are armed with mostly 6 save models; the extra reach of spears is going to be more important – especially since such armies tend to be larger so landing more hits is more important than the power of each hit.

 

Deathriders

So we’ve tackled the Mortek Guard, but there’s one more where the debate of spears or swords arises, the Deathriders.

So this one is not as tricky to read as before (and doesn’t fit into a chart as easily). What its showing is actually rather sad in a way because swords are beating spears in every tier. Even on the charge when the spears get to cause two hits on a 5 and 6, the rending of the swords still keeps them above the spears. The rending just makes a huge difference in maximising what the swords can do with the attacks they make.
Again we see that same pattern that in order to get the most out of spears its going to be with big units where not every model will easily make it into 1 inch range to contribute to combat.
Importantly the charge bonus that spears get only just levels the playingfield with swords. So in order to maximise the potential of spears you really want to be retreating and charging as often as possible. Otherwise you want a large unit so that you really are using all of that 2 inch range on the weapons to get every warrior into battle.

 

Overall its a shame that GW didn’t manage to give spears and swords a bit more division in their overall performance. It’s also strange that, since spears featured so heavily in the artwork and early photos of the army (and honestly look darn impressive on the models) that they’ve actually turned out quite the underdog in anything but massed forces.
That said the differences here are quite marginal and I’d wager that on the tabletop they would be very hard to reliably see.

Black Library Novella Series 1

A book review of the new NOVELLA series by Black Library.

Recently Black Library published the first ten books of a new run of novellas which span their range of worlds. From the dark and polluted ruins of the Underhive of Necromunda, to the vast magical peaks of the 8 Realms of the Age of Sigmar, these books take you on a wild series of adventures. They are a nice length for an evening read each and whilst they don’t have the length of a full novel, they still have room to develop characters and give you far more flavour of the worlds they take part in.

The Bloodied Rose by Danie Ware – Sisters of Battle (40K)
Steel Daemon by Ian St Martin – Imperial Guard (40K)
Auric Gods by Nick Kyme – Custodes (Space Marines – 40K)
Spear of Ultramar by David Annandale – Horus Heresy (prequel to Siege of Terra series)
Dreadwing by David Guymer – Horus Heresy (prequel to Siege of Terra series)
Wanted: Dead by Mike Brooks – House Escher (Necromunda)
Warqueen by Darius Hinks – Dark Oath (Age of Sigmar)
The Red Hours by Evan Dicken – Sigmarites (Age of Sigmar)
The Bone Desert by Robbie MacNiven – Gotrek Gurnisson (Age of Sigmar)
Heart of Winter by Nick Horth – Scourge Privateers (Age of Sigmar)

As you can see there’s a fair smattering of stories from the fantasy and the futuristic. Some are clearly tied to major recent publications and soon to be publications, such as Horus Heresy and Gotrek; whilst others are more free form stories set within their respective worlds. As they are shorter books I will provide a short summary review for those I’ve read below.

WARQUEEN by Darius Hinks. This is a powerful story that presents a fresh angle on worshippers of the Chaos gods and focuses on the lesser known Dark Oath factions. Brave and mighty barbarian tribes that worship the Chaos Gods. If any reading have ever read any of the Conan stories/comics or seen the various films (esp the classic with Arnald) then the Dark Oath feel lifted right out of the Hyborean age. Whilst with more trust to magic than your average Cimmerian, they are still akin to that classic warlike wild image. These are not crazed nor mindless characters and they retain a stronger sense of their humanity and emotions.

Within this story is war, betrayal and discovery. Follow a mighty warqueen as she seeks to unite her people under a single banner, to forge them into a single army that can carry them beyond the plains they have warred over for generations in the Age of Chaos. To bring them into the Age of Sigmar and make them a threat for all the world to fear. I would say of all those I’ve read thus far this is my favourite of the series.

 

HEART OF WINTER by Nick Horth. This story is cold. Not just from the frigid lands in which it takes place, where biting winds, ice slick surfaces and frostbite are around every corner; but with the characters that fill the story with their taste for blood, slavery, betrayal and revenge. Aelf pirates without equal, who are the literal scourge of the high seas. Those who have a passing understanding of the Old World (or who have been playing Warhammer Total War 2) will recognise some mighty icons from the past appear again within the Realms as a mighty Black Ark features prominently in this tale.
Of interest this story also ties strongly into the development of the Realms and the Age of Sigmar and is perhaps one of the stories that is the most “recent” in the time line. Whilst it does not focus upon those golden warriors from Sigmar, it does show how their society and the new Order is going. Giving us an idea of the rebirth, the rebuilding and the political shifts that are taking place within the Realms. It’s a view of the world generations beyond the end of the Age of Chaos; where only aged Aelves might remember the Cursed blight that was upon the land. This adds greatly to the story and makes it a fascinating read beyond the development of the background of another faction. Those who are fans of the Daughters of Khaine would also find this story of interest, for its not just scourge Aelves who inhabit the bloody pirate strongholds. Places of slavery, death, blood and fighting attract those piests and worshippers of the bloody God of Murder.

WANTED: DEAD by Mike Brooks. Necromunda lends itself well to the short story market and this tale does not disappoint in the least. We see the classic Necromunda battle between Houses Escher and Goliath, but things are not always so simple as the might appear on the surface in this dark, dank world of the Underhive. There’s also a tale of love woven into this and of loyalties which are fine additions to the lore of Necromunda, where betrayal and selfish interests can often appear to rule much of the action. It adds to the rich tapestry of the world and shows that the Underhive, for all its lack of education and structure, is possibly one of the most varied settings in the 41st millennium.
We also get a sense of how individual each gang within a Great House is, how they are almost alone as they carve out their own little corner of the Underhive and defend it to the last against any competition.

 

THE BLOODIED ROSE  by Danie Ware. Welcome to the world of the Sisters of Battle, women monks of a powerful militant order who are bound to serve the one true Emperor of Mankind and protect humanity from the threats of the heretic, the mutant, the xeno and the corrupt. The story here touches at the very foundation of the war of mankind vs the darkness of the universe and follies of the long forgotten past of mankind when they originally spread through the stars in ages past.

The religious element is woven into this story well and builds a fantastic mental picture of the churches and religious order of the Sisters. Of how they worship in battle, of how prayer and unity with their sisters armours them against the darkness of the universe and how those dark forces might see to corrupt and tempt them.

The story starts off building a fantastic sense of mystery, touched with the edge of horror. Carrying the reader forward eagerly with page after page as one seeks to uncover the truth of an abandoned settlement and the dark forces that have led to its twisted, macabre end.

 

If you are interested in reading these stories and others in the series, then they are up for sale now. At £3 each for print or digital, or if you get them direct from the Black Library website there’s a £3 discount if you get the whole series of 10 in one go (digital or print). The price is well worth it and this series makes the fantastic in-fill whilst you’re waiting for that next reprint of Inferno Classic or the upcoming New Inferno issue 2

Print Collection

Digital Collection

Inferno – the Classic Era

A review of the reprints of INFERNO by Black Library

Last month Games Workshop started doing print on order of the first run of 5 issues of their classic Inferno series magazine. This was run biomonthly from 1997 to 2004 and features short stories from all the worlds of Games Workshop of the time – Warhammer Classic, Warhammer 40K, Necromunda and others – as well as comics, artwork, cutways, maps and other similar content.

As such they are a fantastic eye into the grim dark worlds that Games Workshop has created, giving you a touch of flavour and adventure as well as a bit more background.

These are high quality reprints made identically to their original versions, even down to the page of advertisements, addresses, prices and even the questionnaire on the last page of the first edition. It’s all here 100% authentic in beautiful black and white (within the pages) as it was when it was first hot off the printers all those years ago.

I was originally on the fence and found it hard to find much info on these and the stories they contain, however as GW was selling them at £5 each and £25 for the set I figured I’d take a leap and give them a try, esp since searching around Ebay showed that the original copies were selling for around those prices anyway. The first series of 5 has now finished its order run (sorry I didn’t get mine till the last days so couldn’t write this any sooner); however they are planning to return to print the entire series from start to finish. Each coming as a set of 5 for a month on print on demand (which is typically pretty fast turn around).

I couldn’t be more pleased with these, high quality printing and some great material and background to really immerse yourself in the lore and settings. The stories are well written and fun adventures. Note that some do appear in later collected editions (eg the Necromunda Story “The Demon Bottle” Also features in Status Deadzone collection), however others are fully stand alone and have not been reprinted by the Black Library. The comics, cutaways and other content have also, again, mostly never been reprinted outside of Inferno.

The stories are well written and have all that punch and wild fun that one would expect from adventure stories set within grim dark settings. From tales of Space Marines against Monstrous first generation Tyranids (the classic Screamer Killer and the old “Alien movie” style hormagaunts); to demonic incursions into the Underhive of Necromunda through to swords and spells as adventurers quest for ancient magical artifacts in dark caves (who also features a barbarian who sounds like he’s right out of the 80s Arnold Schwarzenegger era of films – accent and all). Some of these one off stories stand alone, others are the very early days and adventures of some heroes who later became big names in their own right, such as the mighty Gotrek and Felix!
The authors are wide ranging, some who have come and gone others who have remained with Games Workshop and Black Library for decades – Andy Jones, Jonathan Green, Gav Thorpe and so many more.

The comics vary in their styles of the artist and in what they are conveying, from short one offs to longer running series such as Obvious Tactics. Again another great way to look into the dark world of the 41st Millennium or the deep gothic mystical world of Fantasy.

 

If you were on the fence before I’d encourage you  to take the leap and get into this series if you can, even if you only pick up a few direct from Games Workshop. Quite a few are still lurking around on ebay and other secondhand book stores – so if you’ve missed the start its not too late. Meanwhile anyone who already has a collection with a few gaps this is a perfect situation to pick up those issues that you missed out on.

Skaven Pestilens

A book review of SKAVEN PESTILENS by Josh Reynolds

This is a special book for me as it was not only my first foray into the blighted world of the Skaven, not just my  first look at the proper lore and world of Age of Sigmar, but my  first ever full Black Library book that I read. Having spent many years as a Tyranid fan and a fringe fan of many other armies (ergo not fully invested), I’d never really delved deep into the lore of 40K nor the Old World of Fantasy Warhammer.

So from the get go I should say that I really recommend this title!

Within you discover the filth infested, back stabbing world of the Skaven of two Pestliens Clans as they fight over their conquest of a city that crumbles as their rotting blighted powers and war engines tear it to bits. The very ground beneath this vast city being burrowed into by the skaven as they feast on the flesh of the vast living wyrm that forms the foundations. Yes this is a war on the move and the mental images and descriptions that Josh creates are as epic as Age of Sigmar can aspire to be. Vast cities built atop even greater wyrms that wander a vast open plain, the various cities warring with each other and the twisted blights of Chaos that have crept into the world during the Age of Chaos.

Into this we have the Skaven as they seek something a relic from the Old World that was, but they are not alone. For into this destroyed city march the shining beacons of the Stormcast, come to cleanse the great beast and free the peoples of the city and awaken the great Realm Gate nestled in a temple built atop its head. However even their might is not enough to overcome the thick smoke and plagues of the Skaven, allies have to be found not just from the released captives of the city, but also from other races. From an old and ancient race that comes not just to fight the blight of Skaven and Chaos, but with their own motivations and ideals as well.

This is a book filled with magic and battles and Josh expertly balances the forces involved and the heroes that arise within each army. We see and get a fantastic flavour for the races involved and see the personal aspirations of characters as they seek to achieve their various objectives.

The only real criticism I have after reading is that I wish it were longer. I would have loved to have read the beginning of the war when the city was first under siege and the Skaven arose to fight the peoples of the wyrm; and I would love to read more of the story after the events in the book. I really hope that Josh gets to return to the world of the Skaven as he’s got a good talent for writing about these dark, twisted, slightly (if not totally) mad rats.

As I said at the start this is one book that I’d strongly recommend reading, though as noted just below in the links, I’d also recommend that you grab a copy of the Legends of the Age of Sigmar since you can then also tip into the worlds of two other major races as they awaken and throw off the shackles of Chaos invasion; leaving behind the Age of Chaos and bathing in the blood and light of the Age of Sigmar.

I recommend getting this book as part of the Legends of the Age of Sigmar: Omnibus 1 as for the same price as the book on its own, you get a selection of other great novels focusing on the Fyreslayers and the Sylvaneth.

Also available on Amazon and other good book stores.

Tales from the Underhive

A book review of the TALES FROM THE UNDERHIVE by various.

Books in the series:
Death’s Head by Josh Reynolds
Burned by Darius Hinks
Emp-Rah’s Eye by Guy Haley
Scar Crossed by Nick Kyme
Once a Stimm Queen by Robbie MacNiven
Dirty Dealings by Rachel Harrison

As this is a series of short stories I’ve decided to review them as an overall block instead of one by one. With the range of authors and styles presented there’s a little bit for everyone and each author puts their own twist on the grim gloomy world of the Underhive of Necromunda. The toxic, radioactive industrial wasteland that exists beneath the great industrial machines and megacity of the Hive above. These stories focus on short adventures by gangers as they attempt to survive within this hostile environment. Showing how some prevail and some fail against betrayal, cunning traps, the twists of fate and of love, the lust for greed and to escape and more.

As each one is short they take only around 10-20mins or so (on average) to read and thus present a neat bit of flavour to the Underhive. You don’t need much background to get into them, just a general awareness of the dark gritty world; yet if you know more you can see some of the links to the greater Warhammer 40K world. Each of these stories also follows a different gang, giving you a taste of the difference between the primitive Ratskins, the light and agile Eschers and the heavy, stim heavy Goliaths and others.

I found these enjoyable and a nice quick read and more than worth their price. That they are easy to get into without much background awareness makes them an ideal item for those new to the setting and for long time fans.

Buy now on Black Library as a set of 6 with one free
Also on sale as individual stories and on Amazon Kindle store.

Survival Instinct by Andy Chambers

A book review of the novel SURVIVAL INSTINCT by Andy Chambers.

Welcome to the Underhive! My first foray into the world of muck, steel, slag and sump and I feel like I’ve made a very good choice with this book. The story follows the adventure of Mad Donna, a ganger with ties to House Escher who is trying to go it alone in the Underhive, whilst also trying to lose herself from ties to one of the Great Houses of the Spire – the vaulted top of the Hive City where all is clean, bright, airy and a tiny bit safer. The story focuses on one key adventure in her life and brings the Underhive to life with sight, sound and smell. You get a strong sense not only of how variable and rich with lore the Underhive is, but also how utterly vast it is when on the hunt and yet, at the same time, how small it can feel when your character is being hunted.

Each chapter begins with a short background snippet, which early on focus on records of events and places. General snippets that add flavour and a wider view on the world which helps remind the reader that this is but one story in a vast place. As the story progresses those snippets get more focused on the back story of our lead character, a neat way to fill in the growing desire from the reader to know more of her history that neatly slots answers into place. It’s a powerful story telling method that is very well put to use in this book.

The book runs at a good fast pace and is heavy on action, but not at a cost of losing sight of building a story. There are slow sneaky periods; restful moments of calm and then mad moments of action.

All in all a very enjoyable read and a book that works totally as a stand alone read even if you’ve never read a single bit of Necromunda lore or background before.

Buy now on Black Library
Also for sale on Amazon and second hand in paperback on secondhand book sites.

Black Library – Specialist Stories

Below is a collection of the short stories, collected editions and novels published by the Black Library in relation to a host of GW’s specialist games such as Bloodbowel, Necromunda, Shadspire and others.

Notes:

  • Most short stories sold on their own are digital only, whilst many anthologies and collected editions are also sold in paperback/hardback
  • As quite a few of these books are much older (from the first era of many of these specialist games) they are often sold as ebooks only from BL at this stage. However there are often copies around second hand so check out ebay, Amazon and AbeBooks for a chance to get hold of physical copies.

Necromunda

Collected Editions

  • Tales from the Underhive (Outlander, Salvation, Survival Instinct, Junktion, Fleshworks, Back from the Dead, Kal Jerico: The Omnibus, Status Deadzone)
  • Necromunda Week: The Bundle (Death’s Head, Burned, Emp-Rah’s Eye, Scar Crossed , Once a Stimm Queen, Dirty Dealings)
  • Kal Jerico: The Omnibus (Blood Royal, Cardinal Crimson, Lasgun Wedding)
  • Status Deadzone (Badland Skelter’s Downhive Monster Show, Bad Spirits, A World Above, The Daemon Bottle & Rat in the Walls, Descent, Rites of Passage, Sisters, The Day of Thirst, The Lake by Tully, Mark of a Warrior)

Novels

Short stories

  • Death’s Head
  • Burned
  • Emp-Rah’s Eye
  • Scar Crossed
  • Once a Stimm Queen
  • Dirty Dealings

 

Bloodbowl

Collected Editions

  • The Blood Bowl eBook Collection (Blood Bowl, Dead Ball, Death Match, Rumble in the Jungle)
  • Death on the Pitch Omnibus (The Hack Attack, Pride and Penitence, Mazlocke’s Cantrip of Superior Substitution, Foul Play, Scrape to Victory, The Skeleton Key, A Last Sniff of Glory, Hoppo’s Pies, Da Bank Job, Doc Morgrim’s Vow, Fixed, Manglers Never Lose)

Novels

  • Blood Bowl
  • Dead Ball
  • Death Match
  • Rumble in the Jungle

Short Stories

  • The Hack Attack
  • Pride and Penitence
  • Mazlocke’s Cantrip of Superior Substitution
  • Foul Play
  • Scrape to Victory
  • The Skeleton Key
  • A Last Sniff of Glory
  • Hoppo’s Pies
  • Da Bank Job
  • Doc Morgrim’s Vow
  • Fixed
  • Manglers Never Lose

Shadspire

Novels

  • Shadespire: The Mirrored City

Warhammer HORROR

Collected Editions

  • Invocations (He Feasts Forever, The Healer, Growing Seasons, Supplication, A Sending from the Grave, Flesh and Blood)
  • Anathemas (Suffer the Vision, These hands, These wings, A Deep and Steady Tread, The Shadow Crown, Voices in the Glass)
  • Maledictions (Nepenthe, The Widow Tide, No Good Deed, Crimson Snow, Last of the Blood, Predation of the Eagle, The Last Ascension of Dominic Seroff, Triggers, A Darksome Place, The Marauder Lives, The Nothings)
  • The Harrowed Paths (A Threnody for Kolchev, Vox Daemonicus, The Thing in the Woods, Hab Fever Lockdown, Voices in the Glass, Skin Man, These Hands, These Wings, A Deep and Steady Tread, Mud and Mist, Suffer the Vision, The Funeral, The Shadow Crown, Runner, Miracles)
  • The Vampire Genevieve (Drachenfels, Genevieve Undead, Beasts in Velvet, Silver Nails)

Novels

  • Dark Harvest
  • The Oubliette
  • Sepulturum
  • The Deacon of Wounds

Audio Stories

Darkly Dreaming

Short stories

  • The Hunt
  • He Feasts Forever
  • The Child Foretold
  • Skull Throne
  • Five Candles
  • Nightbleed
  • A Moment of Cruelty
  • Pentimento
  • The Cache

Blood Angels of Khaine – a conversion

So Daughters of Khaine are my focus right now and the range of new models released by Games Workshop are fantastic. However whilst scouting around the net I happened upon this conversion to the Khinerai

An idea I found very attractive and interesting and decided to adapt for myself, though my intent is to use the feather wings only upon the leaders (Shryke and Harridynn)to further highlight them from the rest of the unit and to show how special and mighty they are as warriors.

And along the way I figured I’d show you how I did this conversion!

Equipment you need:

1) Box of Khinerai. Remembering that the way these kits are assembled has fixed parts going to specific bodies. So you want to turn the manual that comes with them to the latter pages where they make the last khinerai which is the leader unit for the pack. Note that an error means that the weapon arm number isn’t shown on either one (though I assume that as they are last shown GW staff assumed you’d made the rest and thus it was the only blade/javelin remaining)

2) A set of Dark Eldar/Drukhari Scourge wings of the feathered variety. These are not too hard to find if you search bits stores or ebay.

3) Standard modelling tools for assembly.
Myself I used the following tools

a) A pair of clippers to remove parts from the sprue.
b) Plastic glue
c) A GW scalpel blade
d) A file – mine is a small 900 grit half round diamond file. This is a very fine file (like the emery boards that GW makes) that is fantastic to use. Hard to find in a high grit like this, but I got mine from here (no affiliation):

Eternal Tools:
https://www.eternaltools.com/files-burnishers/small-diamond-files
Their product video is worth a watch :

Methodology:

1) Assemble the Khinerai model as normal (optional leave head off). This is an important step because the way the wings are both attached to the core of the body involves them having huge chunks of the body upon them; including the arms. So you’ve got to attach the wings as normal to give you the body to work with.
I also find its important to attach the weapon arms and tail as well so that when you add the new wings they will fit around the rest of the model.
The head I put on with a small bit of white-tac (same as blue-tac just white) as I wanted to have the head separate from the main body to make painting a bit easier.
Remember to follow the parts guide in the manual that comes with the Khinerai. Also note that you should remove all mould lines prior to affixing parts together.

2) Once the glue is fully dry, remove the wings at the shoulders. This is a bit of careful cutting with the cutting blades. Take your time and remember if you’re not sure take off less rather than more, by taking off less you can file/scrape down to a smoother surface.

This shows a rough position for where I placed my cuts onto the model

Once I’d removed the wings I then used the scalpel blade to scrape and the file to smooth over the surface areas to give a nice easy to work with surface.

3) With the old wings removed its time to attach the new ones. Remember to clean off any mould lines from the feather wings before affixing. Also if you’ve done as I have with the head (not attached) remember to use some blue-tac or similar product (a bit of greenstuff would work too in the short term) to hold the head in place on the neck when affixing the wings to ensure that the long hair doesn’t get in the way.
Note that in my experience the horned helm with the interlocked antlers requires the most space. Though if you find you can’t easily fit the wing with this head you can just another head (the wings will already be denoting this as your leader unit so the helm has less importance).

The wing that goes onto the weapon shoulder I affix as normal without any modification. The wing that goes onto the larger shoulder with the buckler I did scrap (retaining the curve) some of the smooth surface of the wing off. This is so that the wing and feathers sit closer to the shoulder surface. I found this helped as this side of the model the shoulder is pushed out far more so, so the wing doesn’t want to be standing raised.

IMPORTANT. Because there’s no socket on the model the plastic glue will take longer to get a decent bond before you can let go. So be prepared to hold the model and wing in place firmly for at least 5-10 mins for each wing. When released release slowly and carefully as even after that time the plastic glue might not be fully cured. Long as the model and wing remain still the glue will set strong.

TIP – dry fit the wing to the model and hold it in place for a bit. This lets you practice how you are going to hold the model when you apply the glue, since there are a lot of delicate parts on these models and its a lot easier to practice without the glue getting in the way.

The final result!

And there you have it, the completed conversion with new feather wings! Note that I might use a tiny bit of greenstuff later on these just to smooth and create a better join area around the wings. This is purely optional and might not really be needed either, but do keep it in mind as an option.

Recent Developments and News

So thought it was about time to collect ones thoughts and do a little army and life update to the blog since a fair bit has happened since the last update. F

First up had a visit and an interview at GW in Nottingham for the position of a product photographer. Sadly I didn’t get the job (though in all fairness to GW they were very good in communicating through the whole process, none of that contact you and then giving one the silent treatment). This did mean that I also got to have a peek around their Warhammer World setup – the studio upstairs is great and seeing the models in the flesh painted is a joy. A large amount are the regular models (most of which you’ve likely seen in White Dwarf and on the front of the boxes) though there are a few conversions thrown in as well. The centre is dominated by a huge assault of Tyranids on a Space Marine Citital and really shows off what the GW staff can do when they want to make something big and impressive to show off. I’ll try and get a few pictures to show up later (hint its dark in there and the combo of small spotlights and glass makes lighting a nightmare).

Back to home base and the Slaanesh army has been growing more in a mound of unfinished models than anything else. Ebay has been pruned regular for fiends and hounds (the former of which are proving rather scarce in the UK at present – at least in metal form) and as I type I’m sitting on a bid and crossing fingers for a Lord of Change in metal. So most of the growth has been in adding more models and finding those few good deals on ebay to bolster the numbers.

My aim at present is to get much of the bulk of metal models as I can, which is mostly Slaanesh Fiends and Hounds of Khorne along with any lords or heros or daemons as well. Mostly to avoid having to work with Finecast, which whilst showing details fantastically can be so iffy with details showing (my Fateweaver is awaiting me taking a few photos to show missing detail to get one wing replaced from GW). I’ve also been gathering up the Seekers I can find in metal and will likely run two units, one plastic (they are good models in plastic) and one in metal, the metal seekers going with my metal seeker herald for a special group on the table.

I’ve thus far avoided the temptation of the metal Daemonettes, great models that they are, but at present I’m more keen to bulk the army up to a good size than to really sink a lot of money into them, I might build up a nice group of 30 or so for a special squad in time, but its low on the priorities at present (which of course means that there are loads on ebay  – thankfully also at higher prices so I’m not tempted).

Other News

Drake the Dragon Wargame – updates have gone out on the Kickstarter and they are entering the final stages of packing ready to ship. A future update is expected in the next few days with a video as well as more specific details. In addition they’ve announced that shipments will be split into two with AGM taking the cost of the second round of packaging (ergo no increased cost to backers). This is because the Rule book (printed offsite) and a few other items are taking longer than expected to complete. AGM is also packing quickstart sheets with the first round of shipments so that players who assemble faster than others can get a start before the final shipment. Final shipment is expected a to ship a month or so after the first so barring customs slowing things up Backers should have all their dragons before Christmas.

Any in Vancouver are also able to drop in for a launch party being held – details to follow shortly (check the KS updates page).

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/agm/drake-the-dragon-wargame/posts

Spartan Games – Firestorm Armada – lots of great stuff with free Battle stations for the core factions for any ordering the new 2.0 rule book (which was developed with aid of the community). In addition new Patrol Fleets are coming out with MII versions of the core ships – new battleships, cruisers and frigates are coming along with brand new flyer tokens for fighters and bombers and also new ships in the form of some new super carriers. They are also releasing a 2 player battle pack for Firestorm, with rumour of a few more battle packs with other core factions in the future. All details and more appearing in the Spartan Blog and also on the Spartan Facebook page.

Spartan Games – Uncharted Seas – Sky Pirates are out on November 5th – get ready for a brand new fleet in the Uncharted waters of the fantasy world.

http://www.spartangames.co.uk/blog

Paint Stripping Metal Miniatures

Paint Stripping

So along with the ebay purchases sometimes one ends up having to get things painted because virgin unpainted models are a rarer thing to come by. This has been my first trip into paint stripping as in the past I was always happy to purchase new models and thankfully the process is very simple with metal.

What you need:

Dettol — my paint stripping chemical of choice in the UK; if you look around you’ll find there’s a variety of other brands or chemicals you can use instead of

2 Worn Toothbrushes

Jam jars or similar small containers

2 Small Trays or bowls

1 Pair of rubber washing gloves

Pack of tooth picks

Scalpel or similar pointed tip blade

1 bowl of warm soapy water

Method:

1) Prep the models for stripping. Remove any base from the models if that base has flock or other small debris material upon it. Stripping chemicals will weaken glue bonds and the last thing you want is your models covered in little bits and flecks. At this stage I also test the bonds on the joints, applying a little force to see if any break (not so much that you bend the metal). This is just to help packing the most amount of metal into the smallest container as that means you won’t have to use as much chemical to cover them.

2) Put the models into the container and give them a little shake; you’re trying here to settle the models into the lowest profile possible so that you can use the least amount of Dettol. Once settled pour the Dettol in until they are covered.

3) Leave for at least 24 hours in a well ventilated area (ideally in a shed or somewhere out of the way). You can sometimes cut down and leave them for less time if you’re rushed, but personally I’d say always leave as long as you possibly can. You can even leave them in for a few days or weeks, the longer the better in general as that weakens the paint up and helps to get into all the little cracks.

4) Once they’ve sat for a while the paint will appear to rise up on the metal and the liquid will become more cloudy. Bring the models over and tip the contents gently into one of the trays. (remember to wear the rubber gloves at this stage)

5) With the other tray fill it partly with clean Dettol, this is now your rinsing bowl.

6) Take the worn toothbrush (a different one to the one you use to clean resin model if you happen to) and begin to scrub the models clean, the paint should come off without much trouble. Be careful around any joints as they might break very easily now and you don’t want to drop and lose bits. Where needed also use the tooth picks and the scalpel blade to just pick out any black specks of paint in any recesses of the model that resist the scrubbing. Chances are you won’t get them all out 100%, but a long soak time and using all the tools and you should get all but the worst out. The tooth picks work well to start, but the tips will go blunt from the Dettol and wet environment, which means you’ll go through a few when cleaning; the blade is there only as a final tool for getting the worst out.

During the process I also like to dip the toothbrush into the rinsing Dettol so that you’re working with clean Dettol on the model itself.

7) Once cleaned and scrubbed leave to drip mostly dry to one side and then rinse in the rinsing Dettol; use the cleaning tools again if needed and then leave to dry again. You can use kitchen roll to help wipe the worst of the Dettol off to speed things up here.

8) Once fully cleaned and dry only then come in and wash the models with warm lightly soapy water and the other worn toothbrush (just like you would for Resin models). You only want to do this as the last stage because any contact with water where there is still Dettol on the model will cause it to become sticky and then a nightmare to wash off.

Note Dettol won’t harm you if you get it on your fingers, but it will dry them out. Working with rubber gloves is strongly advised, but note chances are if you’re working with anything that has spikes you might get tears or rips in them (so don’t use your best gloves).

Once done you’ll now have a shiny new series of models ready to assemble and paint up. Note check for mold lines and treat them much the same as you would a brand new model; you’ll be amazed how many people don’t clean off mold lines from the models they own. You will also find that there is often dried glue in the joints where they’ve become separated – use a sharp blade (scalpel) to scrape the glue off then score the joint ready for re-glueing.

 

 

FAQ:

1) Is Dettol harmful?

It’s a concentrated antiseptic so on your hands it shouldn’t have any problems. Clearly avoid eye contact and do not drink. A note is that the bottle also recommends not using around cats.

2) What happens if I leave the models in the solution for a very long period of time?

The solution might go tacky/thick but otherwise with metal models there won’t be any harm done. Simply let as much drip off as possible and then rinse as normal in more Dettol (do no use water). Note try to avoid leaving in areas where you’ll get strong condensation as the water from that might enter the solution and increase the tackyness/goopyness.

3) Can I use this for resin or plastic models?

Far as I can find yes you can, I’ve not done it myself with either and I would check before trying. Also remember that there are various formula’s for plastics and resins and that as a result you might damage your models if they are made of a certain kind. Ask around and see if anyone else has tried and what worked for them

4) What can I do if I get a lot of tacky residue that is hard to shift?

I’ve read (but not tried) that you can use methylated spirits to clean the model. Just use it to rinse the model off instead of the Dettol.

Source – http://thepaintingbunker.com/2013/04/23/how-to-strip-paint-off-resin-models/