Populating Spero Secundus part 2



Greetings Terrans, and sorry it has taken such a long time to get this done – life got very busy recently, and I had a bit of painter’s block as well, but we’re all on track this week, so welcome to the second post where I share my efforts to populate my made-up Imperial world Spero Secundus! This time, we are venturing deep into the sump of Hive Terminus… Now, a bit of background for you – Terminus is an interesting place in my made-up Imperial world… Originally, it was one of three hive cities on Spero Secundus’ single continent, it was nuked by Hive Sevelli a century or more ago, marking the close of a nasty civil war. Terminus was reduced to a 100 mile wide pile of irradiated rubble surrounded by miles of radioactive desert where the sand had been fused into glass. However, beneath the surface of the rubble, several domes remained intact, and they became the desperate battleground of the survivors of the nuclear storm… Basically, it’s a super-fun sandbox for me as a GM, and my party had a blast hunting Sump-Spiders and fighting off hordes of cannibal rad-mutants… it is these rad-mutants that are the subject of this post.

When mulling over what to use as rad-mutants, my thoughts inevitably went to the Nurgle range (pox-walkers and so on), but I really didn’t want to go buy any new models… besides, the pox-walkers are pretty well defined as what they are, and I didn’t think them generic enough. I also thought about the old Zombie kit, but that kit really is a bit of a stinker (pun intended) and is long overdue an overhaul… Then I remembered that I had an old ‘Escape from Goblin Town’ set from The Hobbit range. I figured that the malformed little shits in that box would be perfect for generic rad-mutants, and looking through the box confirmed my suspicions. The sculpts are a little weird – they are all single pose one piece affairs, with odd bits of poor definition here and there… I suspect this is a by-product of the production approach that GW used for this rabble… they are ridiculously inexpensive, and you really do get an awful lot for your money… even now, 36 of these fellas can be bought for a mere £30!!

I also had the Goblin King’s Captain and Lieutenant to paint and add to the mob, plus I decided to paint the King himself, though more as a painting exercise than with any gaming application in mind. All in all, this gave me 39 models to paint, so not a trivial task. I did toy with the idea of 40k-ifying them, but decided against in in the end… I kinda like that they are generic enough as they are, and wouldn’t want to root them too firmly in any particular genre or system. I also briefly considered converting out the duplicates, but I didn’t bother in the end… I didn’t think the juice would be worth the squeeze, and I just couldn’t be arsed! (I did use some technical paints to add some texture here and there, but hardly what I would call a conversion). Anyway, here they are in all their glory:


They all got the same basic treatment with the paint brush – a white zenithal spray over black undercoat followed by either a purple or crimson wash all over. The flesh was highlighted up with Rakarth Flesh and then a white glaze, while the wood & leather was picked out in Snakebite Leather contrast paint. Boils and pustules got a yellow wash, and the metal work & bone was picked out in my usual way. Finally, I picked out the eyes & teeth, and added some blue or green wash here & there (like a spot of blue shade under the eyes for example), and used a dab more crimson wash for particularly sore bits… The Goblin King had much more attention paid to him, and was really a very nice exercise in blending nasty looking flesh tones:


Here are a few different genre shots to show how versatile they are:


Anyhow, that’s all for now – I’ll be continuing with the drive to populate Spero Secundus next time with a visit to Hive Verento!




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!