Mag Bellum

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Greetings Terrans, I hope all is well with you guys & gals. I have something a little different to show you today – I’ve spent the last week on a bit of a terrain kick & have a funky new skirmish board to show for my efforts! Now, as some of you know, I occasionally get to hang with Mark over at Heresy of Us. Mark is working really hard to get his business of the ground, making all kinds of weird and wonderful grim-dark pieces for 40K, and the terrain to game over. Mag Bellum is his flagship system – a series of 6×6 tiles that magnetically lock together, and that have these inserts that allow you to model terrain into the board, but then allow you to swap the bits out by modelling extra inserts. To illustrate this, here’s my new board:

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And here’s the exploded view, showing all the component parts:

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So just by buying more inserts, (available separately, very sensible money), I can use the same board but set it up for AoS, Frostgrave, Necromunda or whatever… The tiles themselves are the main (modest) expense, but they get reused, so it’s a great way to build a really good looking & flexible board in stages and without breaking the bank… and yes, the circles do work for Citadel trees :-)  As an added bonus, I can fit this lot (minus the big buildings) into a shoebox!

Mark is also expanding this range to include indoor spaces – think Zone Mortalis, but with the ability to build up as well as out… IMO, this is a very cool system, and Mark is only starting to scratch the surface of what’s possible. Of course, like any small business, Mark needs exposure & sales!! To help with this, he will be bringing Mag Bellum to Salute this year, and I’ll be there helping him! If you’re there then make sure you swing by & say hi, check out the system, buy some goodies, etc. If you’re going or not, make sure you order up a t-shirt & help support Mark in making his vision a reality, and of course, there is always the webstore too!

And here’s some eye candy to tempt you even more:

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Good old Imperial Sector ruins

 

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Plenty of hiding places

 

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Perfect spot for an ambush

 

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Loads of raised spaces to explore

 

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A nice view of the outskirts of town

 

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Obligatory drop pod

 

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Weird Jinmenju head-tree… picked this up in a kick-starter ages ago, plus a grim-dark ATM

 

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A failed print from Mark’s rubbish pile – a great source of bits!

 

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A colleague got a load of these coasters from Mexico as office gifts… One tap with a rock, and bam – perfect terrain :-)

 

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A ‘Writhing Flesh Statue’, also by Mark, and available on Heresy Of Us

 

Not bad for a week’s effort, eh? I hope you agree that this looks the business, and I really hope that you might be inspired to pick up a few bits & do a board yourself – any questions, just drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer :-)

Anyway, that’s it for this post – I’ll be focusing almost exclusively on my Wolf Time project from here on in… I haven’t been idle in that regard – all the Power Armoured dudes are sculpted & undercoated, so it’s all gravy from here on in!

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2019 Fembruary round-up, International Women’s day & Women’s History Month

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Greetings all & welcome to the 2019 Fembruary round up. Also, it’s International Women’s Day, and in the UK it is also Women’s History Month, so it’s an auspicious time to showcase the ever-growing range of excellent female miniatures in our hobby. As with last year, this post will mostly be presenting the work of other excellent hobbyists, showcasing their contributions to my Fembruary challenge. Again, like last year, I am going choose my personal favourite Fembruary entry, and award it the virtual high-fives and hobby kudos that I think it deserves.

Before we get into that, I feel that I need to address a contradiction between this year and last… In 2018 I got on a bit of a rant about the portrayals of femininity in the hobby, pointing out that GW’s (then) latest releases for the Daughters of Khaine can’t dress themselves fully, and holding that up as an example of the lack of plausible representations of females in the hobby… It is with some sense of irony that my own entry for this year is Daughters of Khaine! Oh, the hypocrisy… But don’t judge me too harshly dear reader – my feelings about gender representation in our hobby remain unchanged. DoK was chosen for me for the AoS Warband challenge, and while I probably wouldn’t choose them for myself, I saw this as an opportunity to try and represent them a little differently & avoid the sexualised look that seems to be the norm for these killers. Instead I went for a real high fantasy/mythological vibe which, I hope, absolves me from being a hypocritical twit.

Right… let’s look at some pics shall we?! Massive thanks to everyone who took part & contributed. I counted 13 bloggers (including myself) who got on board, with (I think) 49 completed minis submitted! Please don’t be offended if I missed anything – it’s quite a challenge to curate a post like this! If I did miss anything, just pop a comment & link in the comments and I’ll rectify the situation.  All the pictures here are totally stolen, but are credited & linked, so in no particular order:

 

Luke @ Imperial Rebel Ork completed another incredible diorama for us this year – this time a post-apocalyptic tribute to his own daughters, (who sound like awesome kids btw!) Check this out:

 

Marvin @ Suburban Militarism came in with two entries for us – a fantastic unit of WRENS on parade, and a pair of tough-as-leather snipers:

 

Mark @ Heresy of us gave us this creepy Shepherdess – all the more impressive because he designed and 3D printed the figure! I love the way Mark paints, and his vision of grim-dark futures is superb. I urge you to check out his blog & store:

 

The Argent Badger @ The Bovine Overlord submitted a lethally poised Druze shock-team for his ever growing Infinity force, plus a formidable unit of DoK Blood Stalkers! I love the toxic green he uses on the snake bodies:

 

Thomas @ High Times on the Eastern Fringe got onboard again with another Drukhari – this time, it’s Excrucia Wysp – a beautifully realised, (and particularly dangerous looking), Reaver of the Blood Viziers:

 

The Imperfect Modeller joined in the fun this year, and presented half a dozen superb fantasy minis from Hasslefree. I love a bit of sword’n’sorcery, and I love how TIM paints, so no wonder I like these ladies so much:

 

We also had a first-time entry from Pete @ spprojectblog. Pete has treated us to some excellent painting of the second wave of the Ghosts of Gaia range from Bad Squiddo. I am very fond of this range, and thoroughly enjoyed painting up the first wave last year, so it’s great to see well painted examples of the second wave:

 

Another first-time contributor is Alexis @ cascadiangrimdark. Alexis has tackled the superb spaceport crew from Statuesque Miniatures, and this includes two no-nonsense women. I love what Alexis has done here – the skin tone, the orange overalls – this is right up my street:

 

Again, another first timer is Joe @ joesavestheday. Joe painted this lovely Reaper mini for his wife – it represents her RPG character. The mini is beautiful, but Joe really pushed the boat out on the basing… Incredible work:

 

Man of Tin got onboard again this year with more Land Army gals from Bad Squiddo – this time, it’s the ‘Land Army at work’ minis, beautifully presented to match his submission from last year:

 

Wudugast @ convertordie also joined us again this year, with seven ‘Ladykillers’ – five new members for his superb Escher gang, a beautiful version of the Rogue Trader Death Cult Assassin, (Knosso Prond), and a gritty Sniper from Victoria Miniatures (a gift from IRO no less!):

 

Azazel @ Azazel’s bitz box gave us this awesome old-school Morathi – a lovely palette and Az’s usual crisp painting really gives this classic mini a wonderfully ‘Maleficent’ presence:

 

And finally, my own humble effort is this definitely-not-sexy quartet of daemonic Daughters of Khaine:

 

So there we have it – the Fembruary class of 2019! I hope you enjoyed the round-up, and I’m sure you agree that this is a superb bunch of really strong & interesting characters. Now, I did say that I would pick out my favourite of the bunch… As with last year, this is a tough job… Partly, this is because the quality is so high, but also the diverse range of genres covered makes it difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison. However, someone’s got to be top, and this year, for me, it’s Wudugast.

It’s no secret that I really admire Wudu’s painting style, but he also continuously impresses me with the skill he shows in his deft conversions, his ability to unify his squads & gangs (both evidenced in his Escher), his ability to switch to a more gritty, painterly style when it suits (as shown by the Sniper), and the superb colour choices that he makes for character minis (as for Knosso Prond). Superb mate – high-fives and kudos to you.

Anyhow, that’s all folks! A huge thank you and congratulations again to everyone who contributed – it would be a pretty shite affair without all your hard work! Also thank you to everyone stopping by for a look – I hope you enjoyed it & maybe will consider taking part next year :-)

The Handmaidens of Seros

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Greetings Terrans, and sorry it has been a while since I posted! We’ve had our half term break here in the south of England, so I had a nice week off with the kids, visiting family & having guests in return. My hobby time has been a bit fragmented as a result, but I have been chipping away at a few bits and pieces. My Power Armoured Orks are almost built, and I have some cool terrain on the go as well, but most importantly for today, I have finished my Daughters of Khaine AoS warband quota for February… By extension, this means that I have hit my goal for Fembruary as well:

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These three ladies are pretty much the stock Witch Aelves & Slaughter Queen from the Cauldron of Blood set – the only slight modification is using the heads from the Melusai Blood Sisters to give them a more sinister silhouette & tie them in a bit more with Seros herself. I’ll play them all as Witch Aelves in the first instance, though the Slaughter Queen might get a weapon swap & a promotion later in the project. I’ve followed the colour scheme that I established with Seros – the red skin is intended to give them a more demonic look, and I hope also serves to de-sexualise them a bit, (still something that bothers me with the DoK range).

Here’s the accompanying fluff:

Following her exile from Hagg Nar, Seros kept herself to the shadows – a broken thing, she slowly nursed her change-ravaged body back to health, just as she fed her hatred and anger. Little did she realise that others within Khainite society had been inspired by her defiance of Morathi, and that small groups were quietly seeking her out. The auspicious form of her cursed body and her high reputation as a former Priestess led some to believe that Seros was a prophetess, and that she was destined for greatness. The first such followers to find her were three warrior sisters, who tracked her to a deep mine on the borders of the realm of metal. They called to Seros, declaring their loyalty, and begging to be allowed the honour of serving her. Seros allowed them to approach through the darkness, but their torch-revealed beauty caused her such anguish that she lashed out at the sisters, her crown of snakes striking each in turn. Thus poisoned, the sisters lay in agonised paralysis as their flesh darkened to a crimson hue, and their faces contorted into rictus-like masks. Seros retreated deeper into the shadows, intuitively understanding that if the sisters survived their ordeal, then they had been judged worthy to join her by a higher power than Seros herself. Quietly, she watched from the darkness, as one by one, the sisters slid into deep, dreamless coma.

Many days later, the three sisters awoke, and were soon recovered enough to resume calling out for Seros, beseeching her to allow them to serve her. Their venom-induced transformation had left them with skin the colour of blood and hideously transformed faces, but this seemed to have only strengthen their devotion. Finally convinced of their worthiness and no longer taunted by their Aelven beauty, Seros allowed the sisters to join her. Known as the Handmaidens of Seros, they became her first acolytes, and wearing snake-crowned masks in her honour, they continue to fight at her side. Meanwhile, Seros continues to subject new members of her warband to her venomous ‘kiss’ in order to determine their worthiness and loyalty… The survivors of this ritual are left similarly marked by the experience, and follow the Handmaiden’s example by donning hideous masks to honour their prophetess.

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So that’s it for now – I hope you like the handmaidens, and that you enjoyed the read! I’ll be doing a Fembruary round-up in the next few days, and will be continuing to work on various projects in the background as well… Jobs for March include continuing to add to this warband (another 25 renown), finish building my Wolf Time Power Armoured Orks and start getting some paint on them! I am also committed to finishing up some of Mark’s Heresyofus Mag Bellum terrain pieces that I have on the go – more news to follow!

Seros the Red, Thrice Cursed of Khaine

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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? I have something a little different for you this week – no Orks for a change! However, I do have my first piece completed for Fembruary, who also happens to be the leader for my Daughters of Khaine warband that I’m building. One of the big draws of the DoK for me is the possibility of bringing a bit of Greek mythology into the AoS world… Medusae and Harpies – what’s not to like?? I’m sure I’m not the only one here who loved Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts as a kid ;-)

Anyway, here she is – Seros the Red, Thrice Cursed of Khaine:

She’s made from the tail of a Melusai, the torso from the Cauldron of Blood Hag Queen, and the head from the Bloodwrack Medusae. She was a fun little conversion, and rather nice to paint up! I’ve gone with a simple colour scheme, but I think it works nicely on such a weird and varied model. The base was fun too – I’ve tried to do something that might make sense in the AoS Realm of Metal… basically, she’s high-fantasy with a dash of Greek mythology. Here is some accompanying fluff:

Seros was ordained to be a Priestess of Khaine, a so-called Hag Queen, sworn to serve Morathi in The Helleheart, the first temple of Hagg Nar. As a Priestess of Hagg Nar, Seros was destined for a position of power and authority within Khainite society, yet in her heart, she knew she did not belong… Far from being nought but a cruel and bloodthirsty murderer, Seros held feelings of kindness and compassion for the weak and broken souls of the Leathanam within her heart, especially for a young Aelf male called Kaulgar. These feelings were reciprocated, and their despair at their forced separation was a terrible thing – even though both understood the necessity. Over time, Seros grew into power and majesty as a Priestess of Khaine, yet her feelings for Kaulgar remained, and she occasionally managed to abscond from her temple duties to illicitly meet him.

Of course, Morathi was aware of this situation, for she misses little that goes on in the hearts of those within her domain… however, she was prepared to overlook this frailty – after all, Seros was a High Priestess with great potential, and Morathi is nothing if not pragmatic. However, Seros was to commit one unforgivable sacrilege – she shared secrets of the inner temple of Helleheart with her lover, and this could not be ignored.

Seros was summoned to Morathi, who cursed her three times. The first curse was enacting the ritual of Slith-onoir, the rites used to create Bloodrack Medusae. Morathi’s second curse ensured that Seros retained her will and her personality, allowing her to appreciate the full physical horror of her transformation into a Medusa. The third curse was laid not on Seros, but on Kaulgar, who had been captured and brought before Morathi as Seros lay recovering from the terrible changes wrought upon her. Seros watched helplessly as Morathi burned the Doomfire runes into Kaulgar’s living flesh, and she screamed as she saw his love for her die within his eyes as the runes did their work. Kaulgar was left gaunt and ruined, with nought but the spite and pain that defines Warlock existence left in his heart

Her punishment complete, Seros was banished from Hagg Nar, and doomed to wander the Mortal Realms as a hideous monster, filled with the pain of love lost, and the enduring horror of her transformation. We join Seros as she ventures into Chamon, and the tale of her punishment begins to draw a small but dedicated band of followers from Khainite society. Here in the Realm of Metal, she seeks to grow her powerbase, and to try and find a way to break the curses laid upon her.

 

That’s all for now dudes, I hope you like Seros – there will be a few more Fembruary handmaidens joining her over the month, and I’m aiming to get ‘Mad’ D’onne Ulanti painted as well. I also intend to crack on with more Ork sculpting in the background as well, so plenty to look forward to! Have a good one dudes, catch you on the flip-side :-)

More Scumbos, and the Fembruary Challenge!

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Greetings Terrans, how are we all? It’s another quick one from me today – I have (yet) another 5 Scumbos completed for the Wolf Time campaign, but firstly I wanted to formally issue my 2019 Fembruary Challenge! As with last year, I would like to propose that we make Fembruary a time of year for us to collectively challenge the male domination of our collections, and commit to painting some female miniatures for a change. Whatever female minis you have on the to-do list, I challenge you to bump them to number one in the queue for the month and get some paint on ‘em! Drop a link to your efforts in the comments of any of my Fembruary posts and I’ll curate a round-up in time for International Woman’s day on the 8th of March. Simples!

For my part, I’ll be working on a few Daughters of Khaine for the challenge, plus (hopefully) a piece of Necromundan royalty – a real ‘A’ list celebrity ;-)

 

Now, back to the Scumbos – here are the latest 5, (taking me to 20 done & 5 to go):

 

Really not much to say about these guys that I haven’t said before, but as with my last post, I’ve been busy pushing putty in the background & have some WIPs to tease you with. For the first time in one place, here are the 18 Power Armoured Guards that I need for the final scenario of the campaign, all in various states of readiness:

 

Impressive, no? The front four are the most finished, and should give a good idea of where I’m going with this piece of the project. As a side note, I think getting the hang of this sculpting business, but I didn’t want to attempt sculpting Chainswords – I thought that would be just too damn fiddly and time consuming, so I got me some suitable bits from Spellcrow and cheated ;-)

 

So, that’s about it for this post – still a fair way to go with this project, but the finish line is in sight for the Orcs… Exciting times!

Catch you all next time dudes :-)

 

Somewhere over the Skumbo

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Greetings Terrans, how goes it? Another quick post from yours truly today – I have another 5 Scumbos completed for the Wolf Time campaign:

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This takes me up to 65% completed for the Ork side of the campaign! Again, these started life as Fantasy Orcs, but were remodelled with pistols & swords to fit the scenario. These were a bit more involved than the last lot, due to being Archers in their former lives. This meant that there was a bit more ‘making good’ needed where their quivers were removed, and awkward arm poses were rationalised. Here’s a reverse shot to show all pouches and whatnot that I used to hide the cutting:

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I have been busy on the building side of things as well as the painting, and I know that seeing a trickle of painted Orks is somewhat repetitive for you guys so I thought I’d share a teaser for the next stage of the project. I have made quite a bit of progress on some of the named characters for the campaign… see if you can figure out who is who!

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