Monday, November 30, 2009

My Flesh Tearers, 4th Company

What is there to say about the 4th Company?

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Warhammer 40,000

Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Veteran, Warhammer 40,000

Being that they are one of my older armies, the pics I have aren't the greatest, but they'll do for now.

I had these as my 4th edition all jumppack beat-stick army, and I haven't really addressed the changes inherant in 5th edition with them. I'm really holding out for the rumored new codex to come out next year. I'd hate to make a ton of changes only to have to change them again.

The problem is is that they were built to be a high-risk, high reward army, but lately, they've been having trouble getting the job done. They have no real anti-tank other than attack bikes or landspeeders.

I'm adding more stuff to them to make them more mechanized and less jump pack based, and I'm probably taking the cheese engine out of the the equation. Yes, I used both Dante (Chapter Master Seth) and Corbulo (didn't think of a name) in a 2500 and 1850 army.

Instead of two Assault squads, and one Tac (for a screening rhino), I'll likely reverse that ratio. I have assualt terminators waiting for the day they get that 3+ invulnerable save, and my Crusader is mostly painted as well. There's all that great detail. Man do I love that kit.

If you haven't got one yet, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


My Valhallans are going through a change, as I noted before. A newer (cheaper) commander was promoted to Captain, with the Colonel moving up in the ranks through field promotions. Penal Legion are being added, as are a Psyker battle squad and a new commissar.

Captain Sorin rested his aching back against the interior of Katya’s hull. His overcoat hung open, and his view out Katya’s open ramp was painted in shades of grey. The weak light of Quentin III’s sun struggled manfully to break the cloud cover, but it was wasted effort. Not even the mud on this sump hole has color. Sorin fumbled for his lho sticks, finding them stowed in his dry inner pocket. He began to pull them out, unthinking. Light discipline! I can’t smoke these. He shoved them back, disgusted.

“Pardon me saying so, Captain, but you’re better off quitting those things.” The voice was only a mild rebuke, but it startled the newly minted Captain just the same. He turned to face the company’s Commissar, who was rounding the bend, an easy smile on a face framed by a crisp salute.

A relieved smile lit up Sorin’s eyes, glad for the distraction. He stepped out of his chimera’s hull, his hand brushing the worn aquilla just inside Katya’s entrance.“Actually, Commissar Price, I was reaching for my pistol to shoot you myself. I thought it a mercy to relieve you from this tropical nightmare that we’ve landed ourselves in. It must be at least ten degrees above freezing. Walk with me, I’d like to hear your morale report.”

Price nodded, his smile still in place. “I’d hardly call ten degrees above freezing ‘tropical’, Captain.” Price fell in with Sorin, and they toured the company’s section of the line, noting the men’s dug-in defenses. “The men are ready for the Eldar’s next push. Casualties were light, mostly from sniper fire. They have been at prayer, and they seem in good spirits.”

“I wish I shared their optimism. These Eldar have been like ghosts. I keep feeling like we’ve got them, and then they melt away like salted snow. It’s been two months of hunting on this hell pit, and we’re still no closer to pinning them down. At least winter is coming. I might actually have to buckle my coat.”

Price could see the strain on Sorin’s face. “The men are up to the task, Captain. I begin to wonder if the Captain is ready for it.” Sorin turned as if he had been slapped. “What the ipac are you talking about, Commissar?”

“My lapels, Sorin. You’re wrinkling them.” Sorin looked down; his hands had grasped the Commissar’s own greatcoat unbidden. Sorin released the other man swiftly, as if he was a scalding pipe. The men who had turned to watch them found sudden interest in their prayers and cleansing rituals for their lasguns.

Price seemed unflustered despite his wrinkled clothing. “Let me repeat, Captain. If there is a problem with this regiment, it is you. The men respect you, General Zedowsky certainly had faith in you.” Price stepped in close, closer than was comfortable for Sorin. “You’re afraid of losing a single one of them, Captain. And for that, you might lose all of them. It’s the peril of raising one from inside the ranks. You’re too connected to the idea of the 42nd as they were under the General’s command. Losses will occur, Sorin. There’s nothing fair about it, and it will come to rest unquietly on your shoulders. But rest assured that High Command, and thus the Commissariat, is unconcerned with your mental health.”

“I can’t just send them into the meat grinder again and again. To do so is a waste of the Emperor’s resources”

“And yet you must. If it means victory, you must be ready to sacrifice them to the man. Not heedlessly, certainly, but blood shed in His Name is the ink that writes the accounts of our victory. But don’t worry, Sorin. I did secure something for the company that might help you overcome your problem.”

Only then did Sorin note the truck pulling up. Full of men in filthy orange jump fatigues, it could mean one thing.

“Penal legions?”

“Yes, Captain. Think of them as training wheels…”

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Plans for my next army.

I'm building a chaos marine army, and the basic idea is thus:

Two forces are lured onto Hope's Demise by the machinations of the Chaos Gods. A band of Death Guard, and a band of World Eaters are caught in the subtle net of Nurgle’s humor.

In a prank of horrific proportions, Nurgle gives both a disease that affects not the body; instead it affects the mind and the memory in particular. Their minds are wiped, and they believe themselves back in the time of the Heresy. And they believe themselves to be heroes. They hallucinate, so that they believe that they are without mutation, their loyalist foes are horrendous mutants, and their defilers and daemon allies are dreadnoughts and loyal militia respectively. Which explains why they are in their original Legion Colors….

Chaos Space Marines, Warhammer 40,000, World Eaters

Friday, November 27, 2009

Chaos Daemons on Parade

I liked my librarian picture so much, I decided to take pictures of my Chaos Daemons outside as well. See more pictures here.

Chaos Daemons, Nurgle

Chaos Daemons, Nurgle

Chaos Daemons, Nurgle

Chaos Daemons, Nurgle

Chaos Daemons, Nurgle

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Valhallan conundrum

I'm having trouble finding a compelling hook for the back story of my Valhallans.

There was once a time that I had the Valhallan 42nd Mountaineers, a regiment mostly of foot troops, led by the zealous Colonel Zedowsky. Over time, my regiment changed in its nature. Elements of support came from the 135th Krieg and some Irregulars that the regiment adopted from their time on Utica IV, a desert planet that had some of the most vicious mountain warfare.

Now, it is lead by a different model, one Captain Sorin (as Colonel Z had some wargear that was costly for a model unlikely to survive actual combat...). Captain Sorin doesn't believe in front line fighting, and is much more likely to be poring over a data-slate and directing his men from his Chimera Katya than being on the front line.

The nature of the regiment changed even more. The 135th didn't make as many appearances. The Irregular's veteran duties fell back on the 42nd, who enjoyed their new Valkyrie. The Mordant 57th Penal Legion was attached to them for mine clearing duty, and the received the support of an Astropath and of a Squad of Psykers. Medusas and Leman Russ Demolishers started making more appearances. The question I have for myself is if they are still the Valhallan 42nd any more? Do I see it as the same regiment with changes, or as an entirely new body?

Maybe that's why I'm having a hard time writing for them, unlike my other armies. Of course, I haven't written anything for my Flesh Tearers. Stelek (of YTTH infamy) first suggested my army list to me, and I feel like they're kind of soulless. I haven't played them as much for that reason.

Valhallan Flamer with Cinematic effects

I like the cinematic effects that Armorcast has, but I'm a bit broke right about now. So I decided to cook up one of my own. This here is just green stuff and a paperclip. I drilled a hole deep into the flamer, and glued it into place. On the clip itself, I left the curve at the end to provide support for the rising flames. I did an unequal mix (about 60% blue) to provide a firmer set at the end of it. I think it came out nicely.

Cinematic Effects, Flamer, Greenstuff, Imperial Guard, Valhallans, Warhammer 40,000

Cinematic Effects, Flamer, Greenstuff, Imperial Guard, Valhallans, Warhammer 40,000

Cinematic Effects, Flamer, Greenstuff, Imperial Guard, Valhallans, Warhammer 40,000

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You should write a bit each day.

Hemingway did it, and so should you. I’m not talking about drinking to excess or going on safari. I’m talking about writing.

Of course, our writing can take many forms. Like writing short stories, army lists, novels, and of course, what I call the theme side bar. Think of it as a scene, a vignette that reveals the flavor of your army. Better yet, think of it as a written trailer for your army. You, of course, have read dozens, if not more of these shorter than short stories. Some of them are highly memorable, others less so. They're all in those text boxes in the sides of your codices and rule books.

The one that I love is simple, and it sets the image of the 40k universe so well. Turn to your chaos codex, current edition.

There is the story of the desperate struggle of an imperial guard regiment under attack by the Red Corsairs. The Guardsmen cower in a bunker, and attempt to call in artillery on their coordinates, when a Land Raider rolls over their position, making a mockery of their resistance. The guardsman's death is an inexorable as a drowning man's. The Red Corsairs, finding him damaged and of no use, toss him aside contemptuously.

What elements does this need to make it work?

1. Brevity - the shorter you can make it the better.

2. Clearly defined conflict - the classics work best here, Man Vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Self

3. A satisfying resolution? - Obviously, you want your side to win. You're writing it, so you get to define the ending. Of course, this being a just a scene, you can build in a cliffhanger. Describe only a tiny slice of the victory.

Your hive fleet's lictor slaughters a few guards, but moves on into the night. Does it complete its mission? That's for the game and dice to decide.

You might a Dark Eldar Wych leaping into the fray against a tactical squad, performing a deadly dance with the marine sergeant. Have that fight end with the wych planting a poison kiss, and having it end with her asking who is next.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's the story? Part 2

Continuing with my clever plan of: a. writing to a non-existant audience, and b. not writing at all about my Valhallans or Flesh Tearers, I present to you my back story for my Chaos Daemons army, The Host of Hope's Demise:

40mm Base, Axe, Chaos Daemons, Chaos Space Marines, Conversion, Daemon Prince, Gas Mask, Horns, Lord Of The Rings, Nurgle, One Eye, Troll, Warhammer 40,000

“...It is here, aboard Hope's Refuge, that we meet our end.”

The sound of the bolter round echoed around the small chapel, its doors bound in this world and the other, the first by the finest locks, and the second by the hexagramatic wards that burned in the eyes of those with the sight. A second bolter round was heard, followed by the slam of meat hitting cold steel, and then, all was silence. Three figures watched the horrors that had unfolded with surgical detachment, the glare from the hololith illuminating them with its harsh light.

“Turn the recording off, Charles. Destroy the 'lith. Take all the standard precautions.”

“Yes, your Holiness.”

Even though Charles had been in Inquisitor Kranz’s service for years, the sight of the taint of Chaos so rampant still turned his acolyte's stomach. The ‘lith left nothing to the imagination. Watching the junior officer's transformation from man into plaything of the Diseased One had been bad enough for all three of them. But to see him take the ultimate step to salvation, and shoot himself not once, but twice... Well, that was a man of the Emperor to the last.

Tech Priest Wanohfour spoke aloud the Inquisitor's thoughts. “It was brave of the organic to terminate functions before the onset of Final Stage Warp Necrophage Majoris. Reanimatic possessions are difficult to terminate.”

Kranz turned a wry eye to his red-robed companion. “Nurgle's Rot can be a bit of trouble, yes.” The Techpriest, for all her bluster about organics, still made the sign of the Machine God with her mechandrites when he mentioned the Lord of Plague by name. “Hope's Refuge was hospital ship in the Segmentum Pacificus, in support of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, correct?”

“Yes, Inquisitor Kranz. It was lost to the Emperor's Light during a warp jump. We originally believed that there were saboteurs on board, who interfered with the Gellar fields. In light of this new evidence, it is my supposition that WMN and an unwitting carrier are a more likely culprit.”

“We've seen this before. The Rot spreads and infects not only its passengers, but the ship itself. The ship will have wards of succor, but given such repeated exposure...”

“Yes, your Holiness. It is likely the Hope's Refuge itself has been tainted, stem to stern. The post-incident encounters with the ship have all been the same. An Imperial ship, off course and lost in the warp, takes damage and casualties, encounters the Refuge, who reports to be lost in the same Warp storm. All appears normal; though scan reports from that time offer evidence of danger. The crew must be beguiled by some unknown force to ignore them. The Officers and medical crew are drawn off, to who knows what fate, and then the Refuge attacks the leaderless and medically depleted ship. Boarding parties consist of Class 1, 3 and 5 Abominations who seem to seek more raw genetic material to infect. Named and known Abominations are known to frequent these attacks.”

“Spread word throughout the Sector. Reclassify the ship as the Hope's Demise, and alert the Commissariat that officers that do not take hostile action against the vessel are to terminated at will. Let them blow through a few clips until they find someone willing to draw up a firing solution. Order them to double the amount of purifying incense in the bridge of any vessel that finds itself operating alone...”

“So shall it be done, Lord Kranz. Now, I must anoint the hololith's memory buffers, lest any taint remain...”

What's the story, Morning Glory?

Why do I put myself through the torture of dealing with Games Workshop as a hobbyist? Why does anyone?

That's an answer as individual as each hobbyist, but for me, it's because of the rich background that Games Workshop has stolen from just about everywhere. I don't blame them. Every artist steals. It's the synthesis that makes it great. How does all this theft get tied together and reintegrated into a new whole? That's the key.

It occured to me that I've let this vital portion of my hobby fall to the wayside. I think trying to be more competative has made me forget that story needs to trump rules at times, or burn out will occur. For that reason, I'm presenting my background story for the Celestial Lions 3rd Company to you, my audience of no one.
They honor those who fell at Armageddon, those who were doomed by their own government:

“To have faith in times such as these is easy. Man is beset from all sides by the Xenos, the traitor. The Emperor is our only refuge. But what of those whose faith is tested? What of those who have been judged, found wanting, and still believe? There is no greater faith than those who hold true after being brought low.”
--Brother-Captain Lerato Vinerex, Master of the Fleet

+++Lexicanum Entry: Restricted, Vermilion Access+++
Thought for the day: An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.

The Celestial Lions are a Space Marine Chapter created in the 38th millennium. They have a long and glorious history. Recently, the highly naive nature of the Chapter led them into conflict with the Inquisition.


During the event known as the Khattarn Insurrection, five companies of the Celestial Lions were attached to Inquisitor Apollyon in order to crush the ongoing revolt on the main planet, Khattar. The orbital defences were nothing to the Space Marines and they quickly landed on the planet, with virtually no opposition. As the campaign progressed and the number of prisoners increased, it became evident that this was no mere minor rebellion. Apparently the priesthood of Khattar had been corrupted and had led the leaders of the planet into the arms of Slaanesh. Local renegade Imperial Guard and Planetary Defence Force regiments were quickly defeated and within three months the rebellion was crushed. The detachment of the Celestial Lions boarded into their ships and left for their fortress monastery.

As the ships left orbit, the Imperial Navy, under orders of Inquisitor Apollyon, bombarded the planet, and obliterated the entire population of the planet. This action horrified the Celestial Lions who proceeded to condemn the Inquisitor. Captain Saul had attempted to halt the bombardment, but could not counter-order an Inquisitor. From then on, the Celestial Lions were highly vocal against the Inquisition, as it was unnecessary to destroy the planet. They sent a series of very loud and public condemnations against the Inquisition in general. A delegation of senior Chapter officers left for Terra to further their cause, but the ship never arrived. It was blown wildly off course by a freak warp storm, far into Ork territory. The wreckage was eventually found two years later, although this was not enough to deter the Celestial Lions, which kept demanding an investigation into the events surrounding the destruction of Khattar.

Their efforts, though valiant, were completely in vain. The Inquisition technically answers to no one but itself and the Emperor, intolerant of any outside pressure and criticism.

With the outbreak of the Third War for Armageddon, the entire chapter of the Celestial Lions dispatched was deployed to defend Hive Volcanus. They suffered horrendous casualties within months of arriving. The intelligence they received was horribly inaccurate and often led them into ambushes where they were outnumbered and outgunned. Some of the higher ranking officials began to suspect this was intentional, a ploy to wipe out the entire chapter, but nothing could be proven.

One particularly devastating battle was when four entire companies were wiped out in the Mannheim Gap by the combined forces of Warlord Thogfang's Gargant mob and the Razor Speed Freaks. Losses mounted and ended with a very well-coordinated attack on the Celestial Lions base camp.

This particular battle lasted for three hours. Hundreds of Marines fell to the overwhelming Ork forces. Sniper fire rained down from the mountain sides, relentlessly targeting the Apothecaries. Finally, a small company was able to break through the Ork lines and fight their way back to the Hive. Only ninety-six Marines survived and, to make matters worse, the last Apothecary took a bullet to the head within hours of arriving at the Hive. Their gene-seed lies unharvested on the surface of Armageddon and the remaining brothers have sworn to die alongside their fallen brothers, fighting to the last.


“It was true that we were thought to be doomed. But the Emperor saw us through that day. It is true that we are a shadow of what we once were, and that Armageddon was what broke us. But what is broken can heal. Is it not our burden as Space Marines to carry on, no matter the cost?”

--Brother Epistolary Marcus Alesius

It is whispered in some corners of the wide galaxy that one Apothecary was spared by the grace of the Emperor. Mortally wounded, he saw to his own internment in a dreadnought of the Third Company, Scipio’s Claw. Though nearly blinded by the pain, Brother Albus’s transformation from something more than man to something less than machine was accomplished. Though it pained them to do so, a large contingent of the Third Company smuggled themselves out of the ruins of Volcanus Hive, escaping with Albus to an awaiting Strike Cruiser.

Since then, those elements that survived the hell of Volcanus have rejoined their Battle Brothers. Though they are a shadow of their former glory, the Celestial Lions still keep the vows they made to uphold the will of the Emperor. They survive by the most tenuous of threads, but then again, what servant of the Emperor does not?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Celestial Lions Terminator Librarian with Storm Shield

It's a pity that the only way you can get a Librarian with a decent invulnerable save is to kit him out with a storm shield.

3rd Company, Celestial Lions, Converstion, Librarian, Space Marines, Warhammer 40,000

There's nothing too major going on with this 3rd Edition Librarian, other than a weapon swap. He was carrying the force axe in his left hand, and I had a fierce opposition to that. So, I cut away the storm bolter, pinned the axe in place, and affixed a Brettonian Footman's shield. I added an old shield boss from an Empire shield, and then sculpted the Lion Sigil from there.

3rd Company, Celestial Lions, Converstion, Librarian, Space Marines, Warhammer 40,000

I added the guitar wire to the axe to remind everyone that it's a force weapon. I also like the idea of thinking someone to death, even though it's unlikely that this guy will ever get that lucky. Librarians aren't really combat monsters anymore. He's there for the Null Zone/Vortex of Doom love he provides.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Work In Progress: Manticore

Who needs Forgeworld? Well, I don't need Forgeworld, but I sure as heck would like to have their models.

My poverty, but not my will, consents to convert. Of course, if I'm going to convert something, I'm going to make it look as good as I can instead of just throwing something on the table. The rear missile deck is going to magnetized, and the front sensor will be removeable, so the whole thing will be able to be converted into a chimera if I need more mech.

These are very much a WIP, so do bear with them.

Artillery, Imperial Guard, Manticore, Ordnance, Valhallans, Warhammer 40,000, Work In Progress

Artillery, Imperial Guard, Manticore, Ordnance, Valhallans, Warhammer 40,000, Work In Progress

Artillery, Imperial Guard, Manticore, Ordnance, Valhallans, Warhammer 40,000, Work In Progress

I figure it'll be a fine companion to my bassie to medusa conversion:
Bassie to Medusa