Handro

Legio Cybernetica - Brother Handro's dive into giant robots!

If there’s one thing playing games in a 30k environment has taught me, it’s that the bodies of the noble Astartes are but grist for the mill of the heresy, and no matter how superhuman they may be against humans or Xenos, the Iron Hands have the right of it…the flesh is weak!

Join me as I dive into the world of servos and plastek brain wafer-chips to bring you big stompy robots…

(Der H: So you bought a Mechanicus T-shirt and realised you should probably start all those robots you’ve been hoarding….)

The Calix-Thanatar, not as good as the standard, plasma mortar-lobbing one, but way prettier. Also I hate Salamanders.

The Calix-Thanatar, not as good as the standard, plasma mortar-lobbing one, but way prettier. Also I hate Salamanders.


Now I know what you’re thinking. Handro, Mechanicum are a bit…well, good, aren’t they? Yes, yes they are. You’ve grasped the practicalities of playing Mechanicum straight away! But obviously here at The Hobby Butterflies we like to think that fluff is equally if not more important and the lore behind the Mechanicum is some of the richest and most evocative of the 30/40k universe. Plus if you can think of something cooler than the line of Mechanicum models I’d like to know about it.

So we felt it was about time we had something 30K non-Astartes on the blog. We will both be churning out Mech and Imperial Militia forces over the coming months. (Der H: If we can find them in our piles of shame, that is!)

This is what the Castellax look like!

This is what the Castellax look like!

The initial plan is to complete a 1000 points Allies list for the upcoming return to Melos. So a Magos, 4 Castellax and the Thanatar need to be completed alongside a 3-strong unit of Vorax to accompany a Praevian consul. Plenty to be getting on with, but after that I fully expect to start requisitioning bigger, stompier robots from the forges of…y’know, I should actually get some fluff brewing…and from there, a long, slow descent into robotic madness…

Thought for the day: The flesh is weak, duh.

Handro.

Legio Praesagius walks!

Presenting to you in all its glory the first completed model for Adeptus Titanicus, Arx Argenti, Thrice Blessed, of the World Eat...Legio Praesagius...

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Oh, how the faithful have waited for this day!...I mean, assuming we managed to get our hands on Grand Master Editions (Der H - Obviously we did!), otherwise it would have been a mighty blow to our campaign plans, but fear not, the Legios will walk!

The first finished Titan, Arx Argenti (Silver Fortress), also known as the Thrice Blessed; by the Emperor, by the Forgeworld of her birth (Gantz) and by the genius that saved me from throwing it out of the window when I realised I'd messed up building the legs...

Heraldry left blank optimistically in case of Praesagius transfers in the future...

Heraldry left blank optimistically in case of Praesagius transfers in the future...

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I may throw some FW weathering powders on the lower legs and feet to dusty them up a little...

Although I didn't enjoy airbrushing this model as much as my Sons of Horus stuff, the results were more than acceptable, and practice is practice! Be warned, painting all the trim of the 38(!?) armour panels may make your brain melt...I also used enamel weathering products for the first time, and they are...tricky to get used to. You need near-microscopic amounts, a bottle will last several lifetimes. Blending them in requires patience, otherwise you end up with horrible-looking, painted-on lines or blotches. White is hardly the most forgiving colour for this either!

On the plus side, I'm well pleased with the end result, and I'd back Arx against any other tabletop standard titan I've seen so far. (Spoiler, that's precisely none). The aim, as always, is to get models on the table, not agonise over mistakes or imperfections (Inb4 Der H makes an Emperor's Children joke)...also, my World Eaters test scheme is ready to go!

Dux Ferrum, the second God-machine, is already under construction in the sacred macro-forges, and is earmarked for the hard-pressed Legion Gryphonicus...

 

Handro. 

Adeptus Titanicus arrives!

So, like many of you, we have both been suckered int...dutifully bought the infamous Grand Master Edition of GW's new Adeptus Titanicus range, (Der H -'Did we not have enough to do?) and I couldn't wait to get started, getting a Warlord built on release day...of course it wasn't until 3 days later I realised I'd put the lower legs on back to front...

Airbrush stage finished, onto the nitty gritty...

Airbrush stage finished, onto the nitty gritty...

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It is definitely easier to paint the armour panels whist still on sprue, especially if you're airbrushing.

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You will be heartily sick of painting armour trim by the time you finish...

...but once it starts to come together...

...but once it starts to come together...

Starting to put some panels into place...

Starting to put some panels into place...

Slowly, slowly...

Slowly, slowly...

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And finally a mock-up to check the leg plates all fit as they should...once the lower legs were the right way round...

This one is Legio Praesagius, but I expect to cave in and go full Legio Gryphonicus before too long...glad I got my World Eaters test scheme down though!...

 

Handro

So you want to build a Storm Eagle...

Short answer - don't.

Long answer...

FW resin, meet my friend Mr. Clamps...

FW resin, meet my friend Mr. Clamps...

Now this is how the Steagle sat on my shelf for nearly a year, which was long enough for the top rear panel to almost nearly not quite fit where it needed to be...Seriously, it was, and still is way out from where it ludicrously claims it ought to physically be able to exist. The fit is so bad, I eventually had to pin both sides of the fuselage to the floor, even after hours of heating and filing. Even then, the front ramp sits in a gap that is too big for it, requiring plasticard and Greenstuff to help out.

Further on....you can see that even the plastic on this kit is bent,  the front 'flap' of the cockpit housing the (absent) Multimelta is lifting away from the hull...You can also see that the resin differs in colour, depending on whether it had sat in the sun on my shelf or the darkness of the hobby cupboard for a year...

Further on....you can see that even the plastic on this kit is bent,  the front 'flap' of the cockpit housing the (absent) Multimelta is lifting away from the hull...You can also see that the resin differs in colour, depending on whether it had sat in the sun on my shelf or the darkness of the hobby cupboard for a year...

I had to remove significant amounts of the rears of the top wing parts (where the Greenstuff is in the above pic) just to get them in, the main issue being that the front plastic top panel just wouldn't sit in the right position, consequently shifting all the parts behind it out of position...The engines are pinned into the hull for strength, most of the weight is on the wings and rear of the model (which also causes 'issues' in terms of flying stand stability). Don't forget to pin the landing skids to their legs either, I didn't trust them to hold the weight of the thing alone. Magnetising is an option here.

Pretty much there!

Pretty much there!

Here she is, pretty much done and awaiting undercoat. What a labour of...well, it wasn't love, certainly. Bit of a grind, really!

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Best of a bad job an' all that...

Best of a bad job an' all that...

Here you can see the WIP 'Greenstuff covered in Liquid Greenstuff' phase of the project. Yeah. It looks better than this now, promise!


Overall, this is a great looking model (remember the brick-like abomination this kit is based on) that is dragged down by horrendous warping and bad fit. Equally it's so rear-heavy extra attention will be required to get it to go safely (and/or semi-permanently) on its flying stand. God-Emperor knows how I'll transport it either. I can't really recommend the kit itself to anyone, never mind the inexperienced modeller, just get a Spartan instead. (Der H: Funny you should mention that...) It does pretty much the same job and is more survivable (on and off the battlefield). However, if you really want, or list restrictions require you to have a flyer transport, you don't have any other option in this price range...in that case, Emperor be with you.

 

Handro

Handro lives!...

...and therefore builds things!

It begins...

It begins...

Behold! As DerH mentioned, I did indeed pick up both variants of Land Raider Proteus at the FW Open Day, and by some dark magic, have turned them both around from bags of bits to fully built tanks in less than a week. I know, sit down, I've gone light-headed. The reason? Well, we've only gone and signed up for a campaign weekend in December, for which I bravely decided to volunteer my Sons of Horus for. Y'know, that army I've been collecting for the best part of a decade but barely has 1000 points painted. Yeah, that one.

So now I'm looking at completing around 1000 points a month until December, so I gotta build at lightning speed just to keep up my average whilst I'm unlikely to be finishing painting anything in the first month.

 

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As you can see above, both tanks have Sons of Horus doors (on a whim, despite me picking up the newer transfer sheet too). I preferred this design to the big round eye one, the chains make it more evil somehow. (Everyone  knows chains = evil, right?)

Such has been the strength of my hobby zeal, a notorious kit that has been lurking on my shelf for nearly a year now has rolled onto the hobby conveyor belt...

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I don't think there is a single straight panel on this thing...I got lucky with the Land Raiders not being as bad as I feared, but it was all paid back with interest on the Steagle...It's a little further on than in this pic; engine blocks and funny top wing things (DerH - technical term) are on and greenstuffed. On the home stretch hopefully!

Thought for the day: For the Warmaster!

 Handro.

Progress! ETL Progress

We actually had a hobby day! Brother Handro made some progress on his new knights, and I pushed on with my ETL vow! 

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Gorgeous sunny day in Manchester so we were outside, made the paint dry faster!! 

Six jetbikes near finished! They all had Halfords grey primer, then a three stage airbrush (dark/mid/light purples and a wash) then silver.    After that it’s gold and brass with details. 

Six jetbikes near finished! They all had Halfords grey primer, then a three stage airbrush (dark/mid/light purples and a wash) then silver.  

After that it’s gold and brass with details. 

The majority of the jetbikes use a white triangle on the front armour plate:

 

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Whilst the Sergeant has a band instead: 

 

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I have plans for a champion on jetbike so stay tuned!! 

 Der H & Brother Handro

Bolt Action Panzer 38(t) by Warlord Games, A Review

You can find a couple of video unboxings of Warlord Games' recent light tank offering, but none of them actually build the thing!...(Although Warlord Games themselves have ninja'd me last week. Should have posted this earlier!...)

Mighty artwork!

Mighty artwork!

So what do we get in the box?

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Two sprues (well, one and a half really) in the usual hull, tracks, turret pieces layout.

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One set of Axis transfers (German, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian) and the modern info card and damage markers. Also included is a nice glossy instruction guide, paint scheme suggestions and transfers guide.


First off, you essentially get the option to build either an 'early'  (Ausf. B/C) or 'late' (Ausf. E/F/G) version, (there are only minor differences, and rules-wise none at all) and the option to remove the hull MG for a platoon commander's tank. (Would probably do for the Recon variant provided in the rules). Equally you get an early-war tank commander with beret and a later version with standard sidecap.

The parts are numbered in the guide but not on the sprue, which causes a little back and forth, but is still technically an improvement from the 'no parts labelling at all, just guess if it looks like the picture' days.

The kit goes together well, taking me about an hour and a half to complete. You can build it quicker but I'm a stickler for every part being cleaned up and dry-fitting before gluing.

Things you might find tricky;

You'll find it easier to build the track assemblies if you put the rear pieces (parts 26 & 27) in first, there's a slot which should ensure you don't go wrong, allowing the adjoining pieces to go in smoothly.

The front hull plate was a pretty tight fit. It'll need a little bit of pressure to pop in, or you may want to insert it before gluing both track sides to the hull.

The rear panel of the turret doesn't sit particularly well until the top plate is fitted, so get that part ready to go at the same time.

Parts 40 and 41, which sit on the rear hull and are something to do with the running gear are incredibly fiddly to attach. Get your tweezers ready! I have no idea why the weren't simply moulded as part of the hull. I think it might be possible to glue them in before attaching the rear panel but I didn't think of that at the time...

Part 39 (turret handgrab) is tiny and will also require tweezers, as well as careful removable from the sprue.

Extras include the signature German jack (placed differently or simply left off all the example models) and a fire extinguisher, of which there is entirely no mention and I can only assume is there for the sprue's other purpose, namely making up part of the Marder kit.

Interestingly (or not...) Warlord always style their kits as being made of 'hard plastic'. I presume that's a technical definition, but I found this kit to be relatively 'soft' - it was very easy to file and clean up in comparison to their infantry sprues and some other makers' plastic.


Ta-dah!

Ta-dah!

She's a dinky little thing, I have a soft spot for many of the boxy early-war, bolted together death traps...here's a size comparison;

For the record, that's a British Sherman V, so infinitesimally longer than a regular one...

For the record, that's a British Sherman V, so infinitesimally longer than a regular one...

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In summary, this is a straightforward, no hassle tank kit that you should be able to knock together in no time. £18 is the going rate for Warlord's plastic medium tanks, so you might feel a little short-changed to pay the same for a light, but what can you do! If you play early-war you can gain same 'value' by buying the 3 tank platoon, and it's your only option if you want plastic, so what are you waiting for?  Panzer (38t) vor!

 

Handro

 

 

LORGAR Bearer of the Word - A Review

Shonky pic ahoy!

Shonky pic ahoy!

Continuing my very irregular book review series with the latest in The Primarchs series...

Coming in at 248 pages for a £12.99 hardback we are certainly in the realms of novella rather than full novel, albeit printed on a larger page. However this is not the book's fault; this seems to be style of the series, essentially giving the reader a flavour of the Primarchs' backstory/upbringing.

Which leads us to the first, crucial point; this book places way more emphasis on Lorgar's upbringing than on a general 'discovery by the Imperium/introduction to/shaping of the legion in question. Specifically, huge parts of this book are given over to Lorgar's first few weeks of life on Colchis. I would take the argument that this most pivotal of primarchs is deserving of such detail, in order that we may get a sense of his studious, fey nature but to me it just felt more like it belonged to a longer novel, rather than devoting a large portion of the novel to his first few weeks and the end pretty much being 'and then after a few years he conquered all of Colchis' (spoiler?). The balance is lacking in this one, I fear.

The contrast between this approach and say, Fulgrim, which places the reader at the IIIrd legion's first solo compliance action, many years post-discovery and legion shaping, with a few recollections of Chemos interspersed, was jarring. 

I would have much preferred Lorgar to have followed the same path and given us a sense of the legion adapting to its new father figure, taking on his teachings, moulding their faith, interspersed with flashbacks to Lorgar's early days on Colchis, much like the regular Horus Heresy series do. Conversely, I would have enjoyed a novel concentrating on Fulgrim's time on Chemos, a backstory I have always found interesting. However, I'm not here to wishlist the novel I wanted, but the one that we got..

The other major bone of contention I have with this story pertains to the pivotal Kor Phaeron-Lorgar relationship. Obviously this requires some suspension of disbelief that a demi-god-like being can be manipulated by a regular human, which is fine insofar as most of the plot of the Heresy requires this, but it still felt a little...plot-device-y. If I can venture some conjecture here,  I suspect the reason so much of this book centres around Lorgar's first few weeks of (conscious) life if that this was the only time it made relative sense for him to be so impressionable and accepting of so dubious a father figure; Kor Phaeron is completely bound up in his spiralling plots - Lorgar is only ever a tool to be manipulated. (There is a throwaway line right at the end of the novel implying Lorgar allowed Kor Phaeron to believe Lorgar unconditionally accepted his teaching as a way of masking his own plans, this is so convenient it just smacks of bad writing, and if Lorgar didn't truly believe all along, how on earth would he magically end up a true believer later?)

The parts I most enjoyed were those centred on Kor Phaeron's clandestine mission to keep the  'old faith' alive wherever he found it; this allows the idea that the seeds for Lorgar's return to the first faith he knew were planted way, way before his shaming on Monarchia and his pilgrimage to the Eye, rendering this aspect of the legion's volte face of worship far more believable. It was there all along!...

There are some minor grammar/continuity issues of no real concern, with the hilarious exception of the epilogue, which is set right at the onset of the Legion rejecting worship of the Emperor, (i.e. post-Monarchia) but according to the subscript apparently takes place in M40...c'mon guys, pretty basic timeline, you're only about ten thousand years out...

Overall, Lorgar is a decent read, I just feel its subject is a little misguided, (how apt!) and it could have done with more focus on the Machiavellian schemes of the legion in the run up (and way before) the Heresy and less on baby Lorgar's first steps. I can't let my personal feelings interfere too much; Lorgar is a decent book with a decent story; certainly you'll feel the urge to take up the sword and mantle of the cultist (incidentally I am building a cultist militia all of a sudden...), I just can't help but wish for the novel this could have been.

Handro.

Thought for the day; 'Blessed is the mind too small for doubt'.