Populating Spero Secundus part 1



Greetings Terrans, I hope you are all safe and well during this age of strife. Sorry about the delay getting this post out – it has been a rough couple of weeks, and I actually thought I posted this a fortnight ago! Still, better late than never, and as I promised on my last post, I have been working on more mooks to populate my made-up Imperial Hive World – Spero Secundus. I have had vague plans to do this for a number of years, but since running an online RPG set there, I have been far more motivated to actually get it done. As such, these are all old projects that have been resurrected in this lockdown world we find ourselves in.

First up, the full group of survivors from the shattered rad-wastes of Hive Terminus (including the six test pieces from a few weeks back):

Again, these are de-badged Tallarns with a bit of Greenstuff added to give most them full face coverings & goggles or visors. The only one that is really noteworthy is the chap with the turban – a Tallarn who gave his head to a project a few years ago, and got one back from one of Wargames Foundry ‘Time Warped Wizards’. A few bits and bobs were used to give him a psyker vibe – he makes for a good shamanistic leader or tribal elder I think.

Next up, the Malocchio household guard (again, including previous test models and the nobles of House Malocchio from 2015!!):

Not much to say about these guys – same paint job as before, and no conversions to talk about, but man, I really do like these guys 😊


And a final little set up showing a wee skirmish (because who can resist setting up little vignettes like this when you have your toy soldiers handy):


And that’s about it folks! Not a hugely exciting post I suppose, but rattling through these minis at speed has an enjoyment factor of its own… All in all, I don’t think I spent more than 20 hours on this lot, so to have 2 decent skirmish level forces finished to a reasonable standard in such a short time is a nice achievement. Next time, we’ll be delving deep into the irradiated & mutant-filled sump of Hive Terminus…   Stay safe out there!

Something old, something new…


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nothing borrowed, and fuck all blue!

Greetings Terrans, how goes it? I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag to share with you today – a bit of speed painted cannon-fodder, and a couple of intricate minis. First up, the speedy stuff.

I’ve mentioned the rpg/virtual tabletop/inq28/Frostgrave mashup thingy that I’m running with some of my hobby homies – well, a lot of the campaign ideas have been kicking around in my skull for a good few years. It is set on a world called Spero Secundus, and originally, it was going to be a sequence of linked tabletop battles with the outcome of one game influencing the next. Over the years I’ve collected some miniatures with this in mind, and playing through the campaign in virtual has given me the urge to dig them out and get some paint on them!

First up, we have some Rad Waste types – the backstory for these guys is that they are the survivors of Hive Terminus – the hive got nuked about a century ago, and so these guys are the ancestors of the survivors. They exist in the ruins of the hive, or in the surrounding wastes. The minis are Tallarn from GW, but I’ve removed any imperial iconography, and added face shrouds and goggles where practical… In my head they are a cross between Frank Herbert’s Fremen, and folks on Tatooine:

They were painted with mostly washes & contrast paints, and are deliberately drab and plain looking. I wanted them to be quick and easy to replicate, and I think I did a good job there, with the test model being completed in 32 minutes! I did add some bone & flame iconography here and there, with half an idea of having them as serfs to my Legion of the Danmed, but first and foremost, they are Rad Wasters from Spero Secundus.


Next up we have some guards for House Malocchio – the ruling house of Hive Sevelli, and governing family for the whole planet. I have already painted members of Hose Malocchio, and so the heraldic colours were already established – this made the design for the guard uniform pretty straight forward. I used GW Mordians for some proper officious pomposity:

Again, I wanted these to be quick and easy to paint, so all the main colours are blocked in with washes, and ‘regular’ paints are just used to tidy up at the end and add the odd quick highlight here and there. The Lt. model got a bit more attention with a spot of gold here and there.


So that’s it for the speedy stuff, now for the more intricate work. This next mini is my first ever Inquisitor – a character type that I have successfully avoided over the years! He has been created in response to a new invitational called ‘Daemon Ink’ that Mark @ Heresyofus is getting up and running. Set in a corrupted library world, the setting is dark, mysterious and very Inq28, so I wanted my warband to reflect that vibe to the best of my ability. Mark mentioned that Green is very much the thematic colour for Daemon Ink, so I plan to adopt it widely in my warband – starting with the leader:

He is based on the Deathwatch watch master figure from a few years ago. The character I have in mind is definitely on the radical end of the Inquisitorial spectrum (or ‘pragmatic’ as I prefer to call it), hence the Eldar weaponry. He also had a head swap for an AdMech helm – I really like the crusader vibe this gives him! I also jazzed up his backpack a bit, partly to bring in those candles to give him a more scholarly vibe, but also to change up the silhouette & take him away from the original figure.

Paint-wise, I used gold a lot on this guy – it seemed appropriate for someone of his rank and grandiosity. Most of the gold on the armour got a cool purple wash, but the odd detail & the eldar bits had a slightly warmer sepia wash to make them stand out a bit. The rest of the armour is a very deep green, (a pot of Black Templar contrast paint with a good splodge of Winsor & Newton green ink) – it looks almost black, but the edge highlights bring out the green again I think. The odd recessed area of the armour has been carefully picked out in pure black Indian ink from Winsor & Newton – this has a slight reflective quality which gives a lacquered effect that I really like (it isn’t robust enough for a raised area, but can survive in a recess).

The robe is painted with a different set of greens, so it is tonally different to the armour without moving away from the theme, and I repeated the same trick for the wreath decoration on the armour and the gems. I pushed the concept to the max for the crystalline blade – I’ve never painted one of these before, but I think I did ok, and it was that was a cool thing to research and practice. Finally, a splash of red and some neutral bone completes the palette.

I’m not ready to share the fluff for this guy, but rest assured, he will be suitably well storied 😊


Next we have this rather exotic member of his warband:

She is a conversion I did a few years ago, but never had the courage to paint – she’s a really complicated figure, and is intimidating as hell! She is based on the Mistweaver Saih from Warhammer Quest, but spliced with the Harlequin Shadowseer mini… yeah… two really detailed and tricky minis 😊

In terms of painting, I kept with the green and gold theme, but looked at the colour wheel to do some more fun stuff. I ended up with a Green/pink & yellow/purple thing going on, which works nicely I think – it’s tight, but allows for splashes of colour across the mini. I brought in a few more colour combos on the masks, but these are small enough to not confuse the overall scheme. I am particularly pleased with the smoke effect, given that it’s the first time I’ve tried to paint it.

the mirror mask was a bit of an experiment as well… I was trying for a ‘ghost in the shell’ type effect with multiple layers of tinted gloss… The skull is quite hard to make out, and I wish I had smoothed out the whole face of the helm rather than leave those metal spikes in place, but hey ho, it’s not too bad, and I like a mini that rewards a closer look 😊

Here’s the two of them together – colours close enough to belong, but without being too uniform I hope…


In other news, there’s a new version of some Games Workshop game or other – personally, I’m finding it hard to find any fucks to give about it, but some of the minis look nice… I’ll leave it to better bloggers than me to comment in detail, but so far I’m not planning on getting involved… (that said, I am a sucker for a collector’s edition…)

Otherwise, that’s it from me for this week! I’ll be doing more Spero Secundus mooks over the week & weekend, maybe a Space Marine or some more Inquisitorial henchmen… we’ll see how it goes, but I’ll be back in a week or so. Stay safe 😊

‘EAVY METAL part 3


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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? This is the last ‘EAVY METAL post for a while – I’ve finished the last two Dreads that I had squirreled away for my Dreadnought Band, and although I will certainly be adding more in the future, for now it’s just these two Ork jobbies:


I absolutely love these guys – they are some of the best Orky models of that era, and definitely the coolest Dreadnoughts… well… ever if you ask me!

I took the time to drill out a leg on each one & screw it to the base at a funny angle so I could get some movement into them… This is exactly how I imagine Ork Dreadnoughts getting from A to B – lurching about with all of their limbs flailing 😊

Yellow has a pair of short legs, and is packing a pair of flamers and a pair of Power Claws… This guy is a close quarters beast, as Ork Power Claws are +4 Strength (so basically 10), and flamers are really really fucking nasty in RT…


Red is a bit more versatile – he’s packing longer legs, (because red wunz go fasta!), a Conversion Beamer and a Multi Melta, so he can deal with armour multiple ranges. Alternatively, I can count the Beamer as a Heavy Plasma, so he can take on heavy infantry with ease. I also swapped the power claws out for 2x twin bolter arms for extra Dakka, and he got a boss pole to show just how hard he is!


Here’s a group shot of the Metal Heads as they stand today – the Eldar are notable in their absence!


So that’s all for this project for now – I will definitely be coming back to it, but not for a while. Instead, I’ll be shifting gears a bit for my next post – I have a few things on the go at the same time so it might be a bot disjointed, but it should be good fun 😊

Until next time!!

‘EAVY METAL part 2


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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? Just a quick Monday post from me today – I have a couple of Dreadnoughts to add to the growing ‘Metal Heads’ Dreadnought mercenaries – another pair of ex-Imperial machines:

Both are of the wide body/long legged variety, and were a bit of a rescue job because I didn’t have enough bits to go around (cheap ebay deals). The green one had his left shoulder mount replaced with suitable plastic parts, and has a heavy flamer for some up-close anti infantry work. He also has a plastic mechanical arm from a Sentinel kit, complete with snazzy power claw, (stolen from some random Commissar or other). Also, his left leg is actually a right leg – I had to amputate at the knee and reverse the lower leg to get him stood up!

The blue machine needed a replacement right shoulder mount and had an Orky Multimelta fitted for some serious anti-tank work (though it could be played as a flamer of course). Otherwise, blue is a standard build, complete with twin-bolter left arm.


I did finish up another thing as well – it’s this awesome key that Mark (heresyofus) very kindly printed up & posted out to myself and the other droogs that are playing the rpg/virtual tabletop/inq28/Frostgrave mashup that I’m running:

It’s a faithful copy of a sketch that I made of a xenos relic found in ancient tomb, and it is proving to be a recurring symbol throughout the game…  I gave it a good layer of Greenstuff first, just to smooth out the marks from the printing process, and then I gave it a good coat of bronze, a load of wash and some corrosion here and there. I reckon it turned out very nicely indeed, and I am chuffed to have it! It’s little acts of generosity like this that make the difference, and it is so kind of Mark to do this for the group – thank you Mark!!

Oh ,and I should point out that I didn’t come up with the symbol in the first instance… it predates this game by a good few years, thanks to the pilgrim sculpt (on the right) from the original Colony 87 Kickstarter back in 2015:

The concept art for this range was done by Will Beck in 2014, though I can’t find a sketch of the pilgrim character on his web site… The minis were sculpted by Mike Anderson I think, so maybe the symbol got added at the sculpting stage? Hopefully Axiom can shed some light on it 😊

Anyhow, that’s all for now – stay safe out there.

‘EAVY METAL part 1


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Greetings Terrans, I hope you and your loved ones are all fit, well, and bearing up in these strange times. I have another slice of oldschool fun for you today – yes, another project idea has been dusted off, reappraised, and dragged into the socially distanced light of day.

In order to provide context, I need to mention that I managed to get hold of the first 40k Compendium a few years ago – it’s a great book that collects a load of WD articles from the dawn of 40k and presents them in one neat bundle. I didn’t have it back in the day, but my mate did, and it is full of fond memories. It was the compendium that inspired the Primaris Legion of the Damned that I posted a few weeks back, but I have another project idea that this book inspired… It all comes from one paragraph:

“The Dreadnought is the ultimate form of personal armour. Inside his giant armoured suit, the wearer – or more correctly the pilot – controls the Dreadnought’s movement, armament and defences. To an extent, a pilot’s awareness becomes merged with his suit controls, sometimes to the point where man and machine are inseparable. As a result of this perculiar (sic) bio-mechanical relationship, experienced Dreadnought pilots cooped up inside their suits for long periods run a high risk of insanity. Perhaps it is fortunate that so few live long enough to go mad! Of those that do survive, some go rogue, joining the notorious ‘Dreadnought Bands’ that roam the galaxy, hiring out as mercenaries or living upon the spoils of wanton pillage.”

Now, I absolutely loved the idea of Dreadnoughts, (still do tbh!), and I thought this was such a cool piece of lore. With hindsight, it is almost certainly the origin of later Ork Dreadmobs, and also maybe the birth of the idea of Marines going insane while interred in their Dreads, or of Eldar ‘ghosts in the shell’ type situations, with long-dead spirits having a tenuous grasp on reality. This is all good fluff that is now firmly entrenched in the lore, but back in ’89, we just had that one throwaway statement… Notorious Dreadnought Bands…

My 14-year-old imagination ran riot with this, and I had visions of renegades from Human, (Dreadnoughts weren’t just a Marine thing back then), Ork and Eldar society putting aside their racial differences and choosing to forge mercenary bands of mechanised warriors who were bound only by their shared ‘bio-mechanical insanity’ – a band of iron brothers that stomped their way through the galaxy, hiring themselves out to the highest bidder… That 14 year old boy didn’t have the money to do anything about this vision, but 30 years later it’s game on, and with that in mind, I’ve been picking up the odd classic Dread here and there for a few years now. It gives me a lot of pleasure to present the first three members of the ‘Metal Heads’ Dreadnought Mercenaries.

First up is a classic Ork ‘Super-attack Onslaughter’ Dreadnought – I’ve always had a soft spot for the old Onslaughter egg-dreads – they are goofy as hell and a sod to put together, but there’s just something about them that makes me happy… They also happen to have the best name ever 😊

I swapped the usual weapon mount situation for a pair of ex-imperial las cannons that mated directly to the chassis. I actually think they work better as twinned Heavy Plasma Cannons, so I gave them a bit of a glow effect to sell that idea. I also replaced a missing top hatch with the pilot from an old Scorcher – no doubt he’s popped his head out for a better view of his target, or possibly to escape the after-effects of a particularly spicy squig curry. Either way, I see this guy as a long range specialist, (though like all good Orks machines, it’s no slouch in combat either, with twinned power claws).


The next Dread is a battered old Imperial machine, this one has the thin chassis and the long leg options:

Technically, it’s a Las-cannon equipped ‘Furibundus’ or ‘Fury’ class, but it is missing a twin-bolter arm (donated to another machine, to be revealed in a future post), and instead has a nifty little power claw that I had to hand. It also gave up its imperial pattern las-cannon to equip the Onslaghter above, so it has a slightly less impressive version salvaged from the bits-box. To make up for having such a piddly little cannon, it has a whacking great big missile – no particular reason, I just like it:


Finally we have another beaten up ex-Imperial machine – this time with the wider chassis & short legs:

I think this one was also a Fury at one point, but as with the example above, its arm went to a ‘yet-to-be-revealed’ machine, and its las cannon went to the Onslaughter above. Both missing limbs were replaced with missile launchers from the Sentinel kit – I always liked the idea of a mobile firebase type Dreadnought that doubled down on dakka at the expense of any manipulative limbs. I expanded on this idea with a pair of HK missiles to make an even more impressive fire platform, and I think the wide squat frame really sells that idea. As was the fashion at the time, I am christening this variant and am going for ‘Gundogan’ or Gun-Dog for short.


Here’s a final shot of the three of them together:

They don’t look especially cohesive at the moment, but wait until we add a few more into the mix…   Until next time!

Odds and ends


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Greetings Terrans, I hope this post finds you well. I have a bit of an assortment of odds and ends for you today – just a wrap-up of various items that I’ve completed in and around other work. First up, I painted a small group of Rogue Trader beasties prior to me running the Wolf Time campaign a few weeks back – I remembered regretting not having some way of balancing the game back when I ran it at BOYL, and was determined not to make the same mistake. I had a rummage in the lead pile and turned up a pair of ‘Crawling Insectoids’ (with slightly converted jaws) and a ‘Xenoursid Predator’ – all made by Knightmare Miniatures – they are clearly designed to match the Ambull and the Cthellean Cudbear in the Rogue Trader bestiary, (hence the purple coat for the Cudbear):

I’m glad I did do these guys – I didn’t need the Ambulls in the end, but the Cudbear came in handy when he attacked the Marines in the rear as they entered Kulo’s Castle. It killed 8 Space Wolves, and made for a much more balanced game in the end.

While I was in the ‘creatures’ section of my lead pile, I also grabbed this fella – not sure where I got him from, but he makes for a nice warp creature:

And here’s a quick pic of these beasties attacking my Olleyan Mercs – just to give you a sense of scale:


I also did some painting with the kids – here are three ‘Time Warped’ wizards from Wargames Foundry. My youngest painted the chap with the pink beard, (with a bit of help), My eldest painted the not-Gandalf, while I did the turbaned chap on the right:


We were going to play Frostgrave as a trio of Wizards, but my eldest got a bit teenagery about it all, so it has just been me & my youngest son playing co-op. We deliberately went for non-fighty wizards to start – he went Illusionist, and I went for Soothsayer. Neither has any combat spells in their starting deck, and we haven’t taken warbands either, so we’ve been a bit crap really!! 😊  That said, the illusionist can cast ‘Monstrous Form’ or ‘Beauty’, and my son and I agreed that it would be good to have minis to represent this. We roped in a mildly converted Knightmare Miniatures ‘Hook Horror’, and some random nudie elfin lady that I had in the pile. Both got a spooky glow-type paint job to show their illusory & magical nature on the table top:

We are now two games in, and we have enough money for a couple of Grimoires, so I anticipate some Elemental Bolt action next game 😊


Finally, my Frostgrave terrain has been left out & has been staring me in the face these last two weeks. It is lovely pre-painted stuff, and has been worth every penny spent on it, but the lack of detail was starting to annoy me. You can see in the pics above that it is just grey, grey and more grey. Usually this stuff gets packed away straight after a game, so I don’t get to dwell on it too much, but I took advantage of it being left out for so long & gave it some attention. Nothing hectic really – a bit of green wash, lichen spots, the odd blood splat and painting up the wood, but I think it makes for a big improvement overall. I also did the same to my Garden of Morr set to tie it all together:


And that’s it in terms of painting, but not in terms of hobby… I’ve just embarked on GMing an experimental rpg campaign/tabletop skirmish thing with a few like-minded hobby pals. It is set in the 40k universe, uses the core Frostgrave mechanics for combat, and is being conducted via zoom using hand drawn maps… Yeah, it’s a lot for me to get my head around – I’ve never GMed an RPG before, and I have only sat in on a handful of D&D games… My hat goes off to proper GMs everywhere, especially those that write their own scenarios, because it’s fucking hard core!!! It is taking up all my hobby time at the moment, (there is just so much work in developing and writing the story arc, sketching out maps, etc!), but I am absolutely loving it. Luckily, the party seem to be enjoying it too 😊

Anyway, that’s me for now dudes, I’ll catch up with you all the next time I have something painted to share – until then, stay safe and be excellent to each other 😊