Friday, October 20, 2017

Custom Space Marine Chapter: The Swordbreakers

Greetings fellow gamers! It has been a long, long hiatus and I finally have something I feel like posting about!

With the new edition of 40k, I decided to start my own custom chapter, which is really a chapter I started building a decade ago, but suffered some setbacks and ultimately abandoned. The new primaris space marines have given me the inspiration to push forward and I've assembled the force. Of course in my usual fashion, I've painted very little since I started collecting them in June.

But before I get to the pics, though I want to share a little background. The army started as a Crimson Fists stand-in and was originally planned as an almost pure drop-pods and veterans force. With the advent of the primaris, things have shifted but the ear-marks are still there: stubborn veterans who strike deep into the heart of the enemy to crush it's most vital armaments. Incidentally, even though they are sons of Dorn, I use the Iron Hands chapter tactics. Hopefully you can see why below. Anyway, I'll let my little chapter blurb do the talking.

The Swordbreakers

Parent Chapter: Imperial Fists
Symbol: Sword with broken blade (white on purple).
Heraldry: Purple and black.
War Cry: "We are the shield of the Emperor! We are the hammer of Dorn!"

The Swordbreakers take the legendary stubbornness of Dorn and weaponize it. When the enemy makes siege, the Swordbreakers bring the siege to the enemy. Each marine is a walking fortress, shrugging off grievous injuries through indomitable will while laying down hails of withering firepower from which there is no escape. The Swordbreakers strike deep into the heart of enemy lines, seeking to carve out their artillery and elite troops. Each mission is near suicidal, and Swordbreakers have earned a reputation for iron-willed tenacity. Each warrior emerges from these baptisms of fire a battle-hardened veteran, thrust into the midst of dangerous combat even few other astartes see.

The heavy losses and injuries sustained by the chapter give rise to a large number of dreadnoughts, further epitomizing the impregnable fortitude of the chapter. If each marine is a walking fortress, Swordbreaker dreadnoughts are lumbering bastions of death, crashing into the foe and breaking them upon their heavily armored bodies.  

Severely depleted prior to the division of the galaxy, the Primaris marines were a welcome addition to the chapter’s ranks. Merely 300 of the original chapter’s marines remain, now comprising most of the upper leadership. In addition, the chapter’s entire 1st company is entirely comprised of the chapter’s original astartes. The 10th company is also trained by original Swordbreakers, maintaining the traditions of the chapter. The rest of the battle companies are almost pure Primaris, with non-Primaris marines serving in mentorship roles at a leadership level. The Swordbreakers see the Primaris as the inheritors and future of the chapter, and as such strives to put them at the forefront of their operations.

Notable Swordbreakers:

Chapter Master Alaric Bane (non-Primaris)
Captain Ramirez Holt, 1st Company (non-Primaris)
Captain Fenral Brandt, 4th Company
Chief Librarian Heinrich Voss
Chaplain Balus Richter, 4th Company
Lieutenant Kurgos Vaughn, 4th Company
Lieutenant Godric Lang, 4th Company
Ancient Danais, 1st Company Venerable Dreadnought
Eigon the Elder, 1st Company Contemptor Dreadnought
Brogan the Honored , 4th Company Redemptor Dreadnought

So you have the background, now on to the pretty pictures. First we have Lieutenant Kurgos Vaughn, of the 4th company. Vaughn is an accomplished veteran and carries an honor-mark over his right eye to attest to his valor.

As you can see I went with a semi-half black/purple scheme. I used bright green as the highlight to make it really pop, and white for markings so they would be highly visible.

Next up we have Chief Librarian Heinrich Voss. Even though Voss is one of the less seasoned primaris marines, his prodigious abilities and deep wisdom earned him a rightful selection to head the chapter's librarius.

Specialist characters can be hard to keep the chapter identity with the alternate armor colors, so I tried to convey the purple/black with the robes. I also tried to keep the blue dark as a semi-nod to the chapter's Crimson Fists inspiration. I tried to replicate the same burning sword look from my Dark Angels librarian, but the color shift to green left it looking a little odd. I think it still works though.

So that's two models down of about 60. I wouldn't expect too much movement on this project, but if I get anything else done, I'll be sure to post. It feels good to post again.

Anyways, happy gaming!

Monday, March 13, 2017


(Note: All references to SLAMBO! in this post will be in all caps and punctuated with an exclamation point. This is because his name must always be shouted at the top of your lungs while making an angry war-face. You should imagine that every time you read SLAMBO!)

In the ancient times at the beginning of Warhammer, Citadel put out a number of metal chaos warrior figures that for some reason or another they decided to name:

They were filled with character and in may ways set the tone for all chaos warriors to come after. They embodied the art of heavily armored murder, and none more so than SLAMBO!

You can see SLAMBO! in all his glory there in the upper left corner. The horns, the axes, the slitted great helm and giant pauldrons, SLAMBO! probably created the chaos warrior look we know and love. He was a real trend-setter from the get go. In fact, it is probably safe to say he was the inspiration for the equally-famous-if-not-more-so chaos warriors from HeroQuest:

They all joined his fan club. They got membership cards and everything.
Over the years, SLAMBO!'s simple approach to horned, armored, double-bladed mayhem has made him somewhat of a legend among the Warhammer community at large. Which meant of course that when Games Workshop released a new, bigger, meaner resin version of him, the internet was buzzing with excitement.

As a fan of old-school miniatures in general and a lover of all things even tangentially HeroQuest related, I had to pick up SLAMBO! and paint him up. I am incredibly proud of the results:

The main technique used on the armor was to prime black and drybrush the model in layers of silver. In this case, Boltgun Metal>Ironbreaker>Mithril Silver. Then I washed the armor with Thraka Green and Gryphonne Sepia in the appropriate areas, giving it color but leaving it metallic.

As you can see, I picked up a pot of GW's Blood For The Blood God and just went to town. This stuff is amazing and it is crazy how much it looks like real blood. I used a toothbrush dipped in BFTBG and ran my finger over the bristles, flicking the paint on to create spatter in the appropriate areas.

I really love how the severed head came out. It is an old Empire head, I think from some knights. I cut the neck area flat and painted in some flesh and bone then just gooped BFTBG all over it. It was only appropriate to show SLAMBO! in his natural element of blood-soaked glory.

He's surprisingly bigger than his original version. While SLAMBO! the elder was 28mm scale and we would expect his new version to be 32mm heroic or some-such, new SLAMBO! is well into the 40mm scale territory, almost completely filling his 40mm base. He makes for an imposing figure on the tabletop.

Speaking of which, while he has rules for both Age of Simar and the new version of Warhammer Quest, I think SLAMBO! will be a display model for some time. If you want to see him in person, you can pop down to Black Moon Games, where he will be menacing people from the display case.

That's all for now! Happy gaming!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Here I Stand And Here I'll Stay

In a post almost exactly a year ago, I made it well known that I'm a ridiculous Frozen fan. Yes, I'm weird, whatever. Let's move on.

Anyway, I was never really happy with those miniatures. The sculpting was a little basic and kinda goofy, even for figures based off of Disney characters. On top of that they were a little out of scale and tiny.

However, Hasslefree Miniatures have once again saved the day with a couple of beautiful sculpts that really knocked it out of the park. This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive both their Raisa and Cara resin masters as a present. I've been eyeing these two for a while now and I've put it off mostly due to the price. But if you have never picked up one of Hasslefree's resin masters, do so immediately. They are incredibly clean and crisp. I don't think I could go back to their metal stuff unless I didn't have the option. Totally worth the extra money.

Raisa is the Elsa look-a-like and she hits the nail on the head:

I used the same basic color scheme as I used on the original Northstar sculpts, although this time around the skin came out much whiter looking, so I just washed it back down with Ogryn Flesh and left it. It came out surprisingly good, and I can see the benefits of the monochrome/wash methods some people use. I may practice more with the technique in the future.

Cara differs quite a bit from Anna in many respects, but still looks great. I was also happy to see that she was not portrayed as a spellcaster but instead a warrior/explorer type. Much more fitting:

Once again I opted not to do the embroidery on the bodice and skirt, but this time for very different reasons. I didn't rush through this one, but the sheer amount of folds in the skirt would have made things very difficult. On top of that, Cara is VERY busty in a way that Anna is not. So instead of having a nice flat surface to work on, it would have been challenging to try and freehand while compensating for the curves. I like to think of it as being a more no-nonsense, less fancy adventuring outfit.

One of the nice things about this model is that the way the hair is sculpted makes it very easy to pick out a single white shock of hair. There are no braids, but the pigtails get the point across. 

Oh and for those of you who like the snow effect on the base, it's Games Workshop's Valhallan Blizzard. This stuff is essentially the same as the pumice gel I use for my bases, but a finer grit and with white paint mixed in. It creates a fantastic effect and when it eventually goes out of production I will be very sad.

So there we have it. Frozen Project: Redux is a success. They will definitely replace the Northstar minis on display and on the tabletop, especially since they are actual 28mm scale and not dwarfed buy the other miniatures around them. I am extremely happy with how these came out all around.

That's all for now! Happy gaming!