Deathwatch: Kill-Team Octavius

Posted: December 13, 2017 in 40k
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I always liked the background and appearance of the Deathwatch – Space Marine special forces, with the asymmetry of their silver arms and the variety of different chapter badges displayed on their shoulders. Since my friends and I have been sticking to the 4th Edition rules for 40k and with the release of the Deathwatch in plastic, I decided to put together a small squad specifically for games of Kill Team (what better game type for them?). My friend Sam still had the old White Dwarf issue with the 4th Ed. Deathwatch rules, so I picked up one of the battleforce-style deals GW offered when the new minis first came out and sold off what I didn’t need, leaving me with the contents of a kill-team box plus the special character. With a few extra space marine bits and a little converting, Kill-Team Octavius is born!

Since there would only be six figures to paint up, I tried to go the extra mile on details such as eye lenses, the various chapter insignia and the cloak on Octavius himself. The black of the armor was a bit of an experiment – from the black undercoat, I tried to apply Vallejo Model Air German Grey at a downward angle using my airbrush, then darken it with Army Painter Dark Tone to push it closer to a pure black while still leaving something in the way of highlights. I may have been a little overzealous when spraying the German Grey, but I’m happy enough with the end result. I tried adding more traditional edge highlights on top of that, but I didn’t like how it was turning out and so abandoned it.

I’m quite pleased with the Sector Imperialis bases I chose to use. I don’t think I’d want to use them on an entire army, but they work great for a small squad like this.

It took me quite a bit of planning to figure out exactly which chapters I wanted to use, and which figure should go with each chapter.

Brother-Sergeant Octavius is a reluctant servant to the Deathwatch – with his Crimson Fists chapter devastated, he fears being elsewhere in their hour of need. Nonetheless, he understands that his duty is to lead his team, a task he pursues to the utmost of his ability.


Brother Koba of the Minotaurs chapter is a zealous and hot-headed warrior. While always eager to destroy the enemies of the Emperor, his temper has led him to clash with other members of his kill-team more than once before.


Brother Tavoor hails from the White Scars, and holds his personal honor and courage above his own life. A skilled tactician and marksman, Sergeant Octavius often trusts him as an informal second-in-command if the team must split up.


Brother Zeraile exemplifies the traits of the Raven Guard – he strikes from the shadows, cutting down unwitting enemies with surgical precision. Outside of battle, he speaks hardly a word.


Despite his constant struggle against it, the Red Thirst of the Blood Angels can be both a liability and a ferocious asset to Brother Constantin. A warrior of stern countenance, he secretly hopes that the hazardous plasma gun he bears might prove fatal before the Black Rage can seize him…


The stout-hearted Brother Hephastion is devoted in his duty to the Deathwatch and his kill-team. Both his suspensor-equipped Heavy Bolter and the wargear of his teammates always receives his attention before seeing to his own condition.


Kill-Team Octavius stands ready to destroy the enemies of the Emperor!

Thanks for reading!


Classic Battletech: Heavy Metal

Posted: December 8, 2017 in Battletech, News
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I’d started creating a post apologizing for not creating more posts, but quickly realized that the best way to fix that is to… create more posts. I’ve just finished up a boatload of photos of damn near everything I’ve painted in 2017, which should easily carry things into the new year. Stay tuned…

While it’s 40k that has occupied most of my hobby and gaming time since Long Ago, Battletech was the first game that I properly got into way back in Junior High. At the time it was just Battletech – the “Classic” distinction was not yet required. While it has been a couple years at least since I last played, I’ve still got a lot of stuff for it kicking around. I picked up the Alpha Strike rules back when they first came out, and while my first impressions are quite good I haven’t yet managed to actually play the thing. Some of my friends have though; it sounds like they’re on board.

Alpha Strike does require more figures, so every so often I pull out the bag of plastic ‘Mechs from the starter box they released a while ago and paint some up. I decided to complete the starter set ones (possibly more down the line, too) in a fairly generic gunmetal paintjob that should fit in alright with most other factions. And of course, a fair bit of weathering is both cool-looking and appropriate to the setting, too. Here are the first two completed lances:

I mostly picked what to start painting based on how cool I thought they looked, with some consideration given to building lances that at least made some vague sense, at least in terms of weight class. Here we have the Spider, Jagermech, Vindicator and Clint.

While the paint scheme is fairly straightforward, I find that adding a few small markings with decals really adds to the overall effect. While I have some sheets of Battletech decals from Fighting Piranha somewhere, they’re all faction insignia – here I’ve mostly used numbers and caution stripes from a couple of Heavy Gear decal packs, plus a few others from old model kit decals that I’d stashed long ago.

Now we’re talking… gigantic stompy robots to wreck up the place! These are some of my favorite, iconic ‘Mech designs. Presenting the Awesome, Cyclops, Atlas and Zeus.

(I’m gonna design a ‘mech that’s so great… it’s gonna be awesome. I’m gonna call it the Awesome)

The weathering was done primarily with patches of Army Painter Soft Tone, followed with sponge chipping using Vallejo Panzer Aces Dark Rust (my go-to weathering color). For extra wear, I added flecks of P.A. Light Rust inside a few of the darker patches, with a brush this time for more control. The white panels were one of the last steps, but I deliberately applied it with a patchy dabbing motion to create the look of heavily-chipped paint.

I might end up repainting the bases do something a bit more brown. I used my usual colors here (Game Color Cold Grey and Model Air Medium Grey) but I think it may look a bit too similar in tone to the paint on the ‘Mechs themselves to stand out properly.

And now primarily for my own narcissism, here’s some closeups of some of my favorites:

I mean damn, the Atlas is so freakin’ cool.

Thanks for reading!

The Ork Project: Da Big Bosses!

Posted: April 27, 2017 in 40k
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Here we have the last of the models I actually finished last year and never got around to posting. Since they’re both HQ characters, I tried to put a bit more effort and detail into them – not sure how well it shows (at least in these pictures) but I’m pretty pleased with the final result. ‘Ere we go!

Damn, I love this model. It does a fantastic job of showing off the scraptastic, ramshackle, utter madness that makes the Orks so awesome. And all at the low, low price of… $45? Seriously, GW?

I had to talk myself into spending that much on a single model (one of these days I’m sure I’ll have a fantastic rant about GW’s price structure to post), but in the end I bit the bullet. Worth it? Oh yeah. Maybe that means that Workshop won this round?

This guy has also managed to be a bit of a centerpiece of most of my games so far, too. he seems to fluctuate between a devastating murder machine or simply being gunned down at the first opportunity. Although in my last game, he managed to roll double 1’s and leave a neat hole in reality where he and a mob of grots catching bullets had stood. Oh well, more where that came from!

Of course, any warband needs somebody big and mean to run the show. So here’s my standard Warboss, ‘Oomungus Joe and his little dog, Rippy:

His attack squig normally comes attached to the rest of the figure and on the same 40mm base, but to my eye that looked way too crowded so I went and gave ‘Ol Rippy a base of his very own. I spent extra time on highlights (particularly on Rippy) and I’m quite pleased with the result.

‘Oomungus Joe usually rolls deep in Burna Boys in his finest Battlewagon, and fears no man (with the possible exception of Space Marine Librarians and their accursed Force Weapons). He might get more done if he stuck to charging the squishy stuff, but he tends to wind up in combat with a tooled-up Deathwing Command Squad, from which neither side usually walks away from in great shape. So far, in three separate games, he and Belial have managed to meet in single combat and wipe each other out simultaneously.

So that’s it for painting in 2016. Coming next time, some of the non-orky stuff I’ve distracted myself with since – but of course, the orks haven’t been idle either. Til next time, thanks for reading!


The Ork Project: Nobz and Trukk # 2

Posted: March 5, 2017 in 40k
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A quick boost for the troops with another ride and some Nobz with power klaws. Just the thing to ruin some space marine’s day…


Nothing too fancy here, just assembled right out of the Nobz box. Eventually these guys will probably end up in a proper Nob unit with the rest of their bros, and their place in the troops unit will be taken by conversions of Assault on Black Reach Nobz with third-party power klaws, but for now they’ve done an admirable job smashing up Deathwing and Chaos space marines while their hapless underlings take the enemy’s return blows right in the face. Proper Orky!

Of course, the thing that makes these guys so threatening is how terrifyingly fast they can move when mounted up in their trukks. Here’s the second one that I’ve finished:



The "TRD" on there is mostly to annoy my brother (he's a mechanic for Toyota)

The “TRD” on there is mostly to annoy my brother (he’s a mechanic for Toyota)

Not as much of a departure from the basic kit than the first trukk, but like the first it’s almost entirely modified using parts from the trukk kit itself.

Next time: a couple of big scary characters to stomp all over anything in the way!

Thanks for reading!


The Ork Project: DEFFDREAD

Posted: January 31, 2017 in 40k
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As promised, here’s the first in a series of posts on the progress I’ve made on the Ork Project over the last year or so. This week: THA DEFFDREAD!


This model is one of the most evocative of the Ork range and one of the reasons I started the project in the first place. He’s just so friggen’ cool! The model was a blast to paint too and I’m looking forward to painting his little brothers, the Killa Kans.

I did some minor conversion work, but the kit is awesome right out of the box so I didn’t go too overboard. I cannibalized a couple extra little saws from one of the arms I wasn’t using to beef up his right arm and added a couple extra spikes to the torso. Since the base is such a large, flat expanse I decided to break up the space with some detail – this was accomplished with a spare chunk of diamond-plate plasticard and a spare plastic gear from an old wrecked CD-ROM drive. I trimmed and filed off about half the gear at an angle to give them impression that it’s been partially buried into the ground.


The basecoat marked a bit of a departure from how I’ve been doing things on the other vehicles. Rather than basecoat the whole thing silver, I found it easier to apply my chosen red (Vallejo Game Colour Dark Flesh) over a gray primer, using the airbrush. The Game Colour paints aren’t designed for airbrushing per se, but the Dark Flesh in the Game Air range looked just a bit off in comparison. Once thinned down, I had no problems spraying the Game Colour paint and it made for a really nice basecoat. I’m already using this technique on some of the other vehicles that don’t have so much silver on them.


I think the weathering is one of the more effective parts of the paint job. This was accomplished primarily with sponge chipping, using Model Air Gun Metal and Panzer Aces Dark Rust (I skipped the Gun Metal chipping on the metallic parts, since they were already done in the same color). The whole surface was then shaded with Army Painter Strong Tone, and metallic areas given a second, patchy coat with Soft Tone. The weathering looks especially nice over the white of the giant awesome skull face!

One last new technique with the airbrush – as a final touch I sprayed just a little black onto the ends of each of the exhaust pipes to create a nice, soot-covered effect. I’m really happy with the result and I’ll be using it on all my vehicles and warbikes in the future.


So that’s all for the mighty DEFFDREAD. Thanks for reading!