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.


Emperors Children Siege Breaker - aka "Do I need another character?"

It is well known that I have too many HQ choices…(Brother Handro: Isnt it near 12 now…) but with the Narrative event of Purging of Melos coming up soon (July 2019) we need an ‘event character’.

This character will be discussed more closer to the event, but essentially is a stock centurion with 11 upgrade points. Other than this they cost nothing to the army list, and can progress during the event by surviving.

In my case i wanted a warlord that would fit with a Kakophoni heavy IIIrd company elite list. I also wanted him to be vaguely siege themed as (If I paint hard enough) I was going to have my Death Korps of Krieg Imperial Militia as a siege regiment with Ordo Reductor support (Der H: ….lets see how that goes eh?)

Behold my progress…

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As you can tell there are a few bits from a few sources. The torso is from the Palatine blades kit. The head and left arm are from GWs own Slaaneshi upgrade kit. We have a right arm, pad and sword from the legion praetor set and a MKII Emperors Children pad on the shoulder. Some GW plastics in for the form of a chaos backpack, and a AoD dagger and Horn round him out. Phosphex bombs in hand and mag-locked to his legs complete the look!

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I was going for a vaguely Joshua vibe from the battle of Jerico… double edged sword, spear (see below) Ram Horn, and suitable Slaaneshi parts to match. Leading a IIIrd company elite RoW force he fits in well, and depending on what else is in my list he may well see some action!

Because magnets are cool, I’ve equipped him to have paragon blade inter-changable with phoenix power spear - depends on my mood!

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What do we think? Good? Bad? Ugly?

Der h

So you want to build ANOTHER storm eagle...

(Der H: Well not quite…he isnt that insane…but maybe I am…)

Soon after the crushing defeat that was game 5 of Throne of Skulls day 2 I went to the shop and bought the things…

Now, usually that is how the things would stay for, say, 6-8 months. But this time I wanted to build ALL the things. A day off gave me an afternoon free between the chores of adult life so I sat down to build some models. After a quick character-related warm up, I set about building a Storm Eagle…

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As you can see the Krieg were pushed to one side, and the parts clipped, sanded, washed, and bent back into shape. Dreading the warp (Brother Handro: I see what you did there…) so frequently associated with this kit I straightened things during the wash and had both hair drier and heat gun at the ready. The first steps were easy enough, plastics fit into resin panels with ease if they can only fit one way! Pretty soon i was at the vital stage of fitting the door; now comes the serious work.

You may recall that at the Throne of skulls event last month we met Wrights Adventure Guild with an Emperors Children/Alpha Legion combo. James’ Storm Eagle was my new favourite thing ever….and although I’d seen the Shrine of the Aquilla conversion before, I thought James’ was perticularly good.

I had my wish list:

1) Eagle prow (obvs)

2) Maintain the ability to open/close the front door

3) Painted interior (at least the front)

4) Access to the rear interior.

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The initial fit, after much swearing, gave a good cosmetic result, but the door wouldn’t really open anymore! The issue was one of the lower edge, and on opening it tended to foul the underside.

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A little more whittling gave it the range it needed. At this stage the door was heavier and wouldn’t stay shut…to the magnets!

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When approaching the rear I hit a snag. I couldnt seen any way of (easily) making the rear door open/close. The hinge wouldnt be that much of an issue, but the door was oversized by 4 mm, the hinge not the sturdiest, and the rear required some encouragement to align properly - massively helped by gluing the door. This poses two problems:

1) In order to see the inside of the rear portion the rear door must open OR the roof must come off.

2) If the roof comes off it is less sturdy, and the rear is likely to look less well aligned.


1) Build a new hinge for the rear door, paint separately, glue roof

2) Leave door attached, leave roof detachable, never look at the rear again

3) Leave Door attached and, after painting the front interior, glue it up for ever!

…Tricky descision.

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This is how we currently stand! She is looking very tidy (Brother Handro: If you say so yourself…) and the door sits open nicely for a hot ‘combat drop’ from hover mode…

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When sitting on her landing struts the door, unfortunately, doesn’t open; Ill have to put this down to a style thing…

She still needs a plan for the rear hatch, lots of filling and a base to be built, but we arn’t that far off! What do you all think?

Der H

Fulgrim (...finally)

Everybody loves a ‘pretty boy’….(Brother Handro: apparently! It’s not something we’ve dealt with often….) and in 30k there’s only one true choice…


(Brother Handro: *cough* Sanguinius *cough*)



This beautiful model was released long ago, but I’ve simply not got around to buying him (Brother Handro: *looks around in disbelief surrounded by resin*). Finally, the wonderland/perpetual hell* that is the Heresy Trading Facebook group gave results in the form of an abandoned, part converted, Fulgrim.

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The cloak sculpt is a thing of beauty, and the feathers are pretty tasty too!

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Fulgrim, in game, can be run wielding either The Blade of the Laer or Ferrus Manus’ creation, Fireblade. The model only comes with The Blade of the Laer, which is beautiful in its own way, but in game terms Fireblade nearly always wins.

Blade of the Laer: Strength User, AP 2, Rending, specialist weapon, two handed

Fireblade: Strength +1, AP 2, Murderous strike (5+), specialist weapon, master-crafted

With the model only having the Laer blade, things went to Heresy Trading pretty quickly, with this as the result!

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The G-Dubs mainstream Rowboat Girlyman has a lovely sword which is quite large, and certainly larger then the Laer blade from Forge World, but works well as an alternative.

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The plan is to magnetise the swords, extract the fallen banner from the base to be carried by Phoenix terminators/Command squad, and to finish the sculpting on the cloak in the next few months…

…Painting however will take longer. Miles of Lil Legend Painting Studios has a fantastic series via his Patreon covering some techniques…guess I should get started!

What do people think? Does the larger sword look too big?

Der H


Motivation and Events

Motivation is often a big issue in our hobby (Brother Handro: Speak for yourself!) and, with limited time available to play with toy soldiers, if motivation and that available time don’t line up then we can easily make no progress!

We have both, however, had several rapid bursts of progress related to attending events. December 2018 saw The Hobby Butterflies attend the Road to Terra Podcasts Scouring of Melos event last year in Manchester, and much progress was made with painting our respective Legions (Brother Handro: I mean, we lost every game, nearly….).

Image Source: Tomada de Securens (www.securens.in)

Image Source: Tomada de Securens (www.securens.in)

Many posts and videos exist around the internet looking at motivation (Tabletop Minions being particularly vocal on this subject), but we seem to progress most effectively with a mixture of encouragement, challenge and the sense of dread associated with an impending deadline!

For The Hobby Butterflies it is events that spur us to progress. Sunkillers, Jetbikes, Doom Rider and Predators have all been added to the forces of the IIIrd legion for events. Brother Handro especially pushes the borders of sanity by insisting on a new 3000pt list for each event! His 4120pts for Melos in december was truly EPIC, and adding another 1000pts for our Throne of Skulls outing is similarly bold!

Der H

For me, having a deadline is very helpful. Much of my professional life is deadline focussed with continuous deadlines followed by another over the horizon. Exams are passed to allow the next exam, courses attended to pass the next ARCP, everything a means to the end…even if that ‘end’ is just the next step.

It is good in so far as it makes me progress and leads to completion, Kakophoni, Mechanicum and armoured elements of the IIIrd being a testament to that. It perhaps explains why Blood and Plunder, Arcworlde and Bolt action sit largely unpainted - we don’t do events for these.

Bad points are aplenty. I never paint in a relaxed, calm atmosphere. It is hard to relax and enjoy hobby for hobby’s sake when there is a deadline.

How to move forwards… Option A) is deadlines for all! (Brother Handro: You get a deadline! You get a deadline! Everyone gets a deadline!) monthly pledges worked for a while, and the ETL always brings about progress! Option B) is specifically no deadlines. Only take things to an event that are finished. When writing a list only pull from completed models, and build/paint what feels ‘next’….perhaps time will tell….or perhaps I‘ll be found dead under 3.4 tonnes of Forgeworld’s finest resin…

Brother Handro

Soooo….whilst it’s true that you get a great sense of accomplishment for nailing a huge amount of completed models in the run-up to an event, I’m not totally convinced it’s the best way to achieve your hobby goals. In practical terms, you certainly get stuff done, but personally I don’t feel that much better whilst doing the actual hobbying. Slow and steady wins the race and all that…Finding a way to keep yourself motivated is the key - for me, that’s increasingly feeling like being proactive and starting a project ASAP so that it doesn’t just fall into a box when the next shiny flits along. Finishing units/models is the secret - each one finished is not only the spur to starting the next, but also another finished unit/model on the shelf lining up with the previous ones; before you know it, you’ll have a fledgling army on the go! (Der H: assuming you manage to paint units from the same army and not get distracted…)

As long as you’re enjoying whatever you’re hobbying on, there’s no real ‘bad’ way to be and feel motivated, find what works for you and run with it. For us, I think that building small Allied detachments which can then grow into armies of their own (Der H: way ahead of you!) is a nice and practical way of easing yourself into a new army but also not getting overwhelmed by having a whole army sitting on sprue…Ooh shiny!


Motivation is an issue for wargamers (Der H: all the ones we know anyway) and everyone has their own ways of managing it….find your own path…I don’t know, just stop asking, I’ve 3000pts of Mechanicum to paint by next month….

Brother Handro & Der H

Thought for the day: “Only in death does duty end”

We have awoken!

Good lord it has been a long time again! It’s nearly the end of May, and we’ve not posted anything since November! Since then there has been much painting (Brother Handro: Ha!), two events, and a great deal of buying!

The time has come to try harder to deliver some more frequent content to motivate our progress through our respective (Der H: ever expanding…) legions of grey.

Der H is now post-exam, with NO MORE EXAMS in the foreseeable future (Brother Handro: I’ve heard that before) and now that real life is a little more settled, has promptly bought more models than sin.

Brother Handro has, again, flitted between several options, but has fleshed out the Sons of Horus to an extent never seen in our little hobby bubble (Der H: Don’t forget your rapidly expanding Instagram account Brother! Brother Handro: Linky linky)

We’ve been quite happy dishing out tempting pictures on Instagram, but haven’t really frequented our own blog…today that changes!

The plan…

Over the coming weeks we’re going to be more diligent at posting our exploits, starting with a veritable plethora of posts due this weekend when we attend…

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We’re heading down this Friday for a fun-filled weekend of Heresy gaming, and the old allegiance of the Sons of Horus and the Emperors Children will be put to the test (Brother Handro: Not really a ‘fair’ test though is it….). We’re planning on discussing our list over the weekend, and already have a sneak peek of some of the competition through our operatives (Der H: Ok…its Facebook), but more on this in our Throne of Skulls - prelude post later this week.

Following that we will be reviewing the much anticipated Battle report app MyMiniReport when it is released this week. This is much anticipated so head over to their Kickstarter for details of the (now closed) campaign, or head to their forum for general chatter.

Going forwards…

Following that we have a huge backlog of blog posts to churn through, from a review of the December 2018 Scouring of Melos event hosted by the Road to Terra Podcast, to a look forwards to their next event in July. We will discuss Der H’s exploits in Durham at the Company of Legends, and will be going through and showing all the lovely plastic/resin crack we’ve been buying…

In the mean time check our our official Instagram here…

…and Brother Handro’s instagram here…

Der H & Brother Handro

Thought for the day: “Heresy grows from idleness”

Battle Ready - Is this the solution?

So after the reveal of Citadel ‘Contrast’ paints at Warhammer Fest, Warhammer Community have today released an article on the concept of Battle Ready

Seems like a simple enough concept - it is, i suppose, a new way of saying Three colour minimum. It could be taken further as the step between three colour minimum and “Tabletop standard”.

Only back in 2017, Games workshop published their guidance on acceptable standards for painting at WHW events.

As has been pointed out, what animal needed slaughtering to make a mafgic paint that goes black/silver on bolt weapons, yellow on trim, red on eyes despite being blue in the pot….

As has been pointed out, what animal needed slaughtering to make a mafgic paint that goes black/silver on bolt weapons, yellow on trim, red on eyes despite being blue in the pot….

The block with painting is one we all (Brother Handro: well…at least us two!) feel, and the prospect of a means to simplify the first few steps will certainly appeal to some. Already it appears the community is divided on this issue.

For me, Der H, I don’t think ill use it for the Emperors Children, and probably not for Bolt action. But as a means to cover certain aspects I can see immediate use. Flesh tones to easily make a start on skin. Green to do the start of Orks (40k, Gorkamorka and Arcworlde) and to do larger areas of certain colours on uniforms…thinking Blood and Plunder etc where the time gaming will remain comparatively little vs the time that will be required to get such large forces painted.

I see a suspiciously Emperors Children colour top right….

I see a suspiciously Emperors Children colour top right….

I guess it will simply be another tool in the arsenal, another technique to be compared to washing, dry brushing, shading. But time will tell how much use it will get!

Stay tuned to watch Brother Handro and I buy, use and then forget all about Citadel Contrast paints next week (Der H: To clarify, I have no idea when these are coming….meh)

Der H


Blood and Plunder: No Peace Beyond the Line

It. Is. Here! 

Firelock Games’ 28mm historical pirate game is something really special. I went all in for their first Kickstarter, so when the second arose I had to go big or go home!

[Brother Handro: “...is that why there’re still hundreds of lead coloured pirates in the basement?”

I’m a big fan of Kickstarter. It gives smaller companies the space to expand their range or start their business with guaranteed funds and a new player base from the off. I joined Alex Huntley’s 2nd and 3rd kickstarters for Arcworlde [Der H: “and haven’t painted much of that either!”  ] and always find that, with wargaming at least, the enthusiasm of the creators gets stuff finished and shipped out pretty promptly!


This Kickstarter is BIG, huge box...glad I took the landy to pick it up. 


Such goodies! 

The contents are far too numerous to list here, however I will post some pictures of the haul:


The ships are, as with the first Kickstarter, beautiful. The Paragua and Bark are relatively small, and the canoa are essentially glorified longboats with some extra rules.

The fun starts with the Fleut and the Galleon. The Galleon is a BEAST of a model, 4 decks and an impressive chunk of resin. It sounds hollow so I’m tempted to look into putting a Bluetooth speaker in to play dramatic navel music [Der H:   “Think master and commander...”  Brother Handro:   “yeeees! Do it!” ]

The faction boxes are a nice touch; the previous KS had loose figures!

The less clear miniatures are assorted characters, with beautifully crafted cards, and civilians. Always nice to see the disguised female pirates and monkey with blunderbus make an appearance! 



Like a kid in a toy shop....actually, exactly like that... 



The Deluxe/special edition/combined rule book is beautiful! Crafted with a raw cut edge... 



...it is styled to represent the style of many books of the era; Great work Firelock! 


I feel it will be a few weeks at least before I get my teeth stuck in. Exams, real life and the release of Titanicus have occupied much of my time. All being well the new year will see much more hobby time, but until then we shall plod along!

Der H 

Thought for the day:    “To wives and sweethearts; may they never meet”