Saturday, December 30, 2017

A look back: The miniatures of 2017

With 2017 coming to a close, we thought we would write our annual post looking back at the best Games Workshop models of the year. It has been an interesting year, filled with a lot of high profile releases, ones that many people people have eagerly anticipating for quite some time, such as reviving Necromunda and expanding the range of Death Guard models. Unfortunately nearly all of these releases were fraught with significant problems, which put a damper on our excitement for them. Longtime readers of the blog will know we can be very critical of the miniatures that Games Workshop releases, wishing to provide constructive criticism that will continue to push the company to being the best miniature company in the world. Towards this end, more than any of the blog’s previous years, we spent our efforts putting our critiques to action, converting and modifying many of the models that we had issues with. With this post we wanted to review the highlights of the models that Games Workshop released this year, and choose what we think is the best release of the year!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Season's Greetings from Between the Bolter and Me

Happy Holidays from the Thorn Moons!
2017 is finally coming to a close, and while we will do some posts to recap the highlights shortly, we wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays! The year would not have been nearly as special without this community and all the collaborations we got to do with people this year, from exploring  the sandy wastes of Tor Megiddo, the boreal Thorn Moons, and the virulent Plague Planet with their Death Guard inhabitants. We know 2018 holds great things to come, but wanted to wish warm tidings to all on these last few days as we get ready to welcome in the new year!

Adam, Eric, and Greg Wier

Monday, December 18, 2017

Making Death Guard Great Again: A Compilation

Karl Kopinski shows us the true potential of the Death Guard.

When the Death Guard models were released this year, we were very critical of them. Although released alongside the Primaris Space Marines, they did not benefit from the improved anatomy that the new Imperial warriors did. Despite their increase in size, the Death Guard models still suffer from unsightly thigh gaps and have precious little in the way of abdomens. Instead of simply complaining about Games Workshop’s questionable design decisions, with encouragement from bigbossredskullz, we decided that we would try our hands at correcting the Death Guard’s anatomical issues. Rather than just doing this ourselves, we proposed a challenge, encouraging anyone interested to convert some Death Guard models that would live up to the legion’s despotic legacy. To our delight, nine talented hobbyists took up the challenge and created some of the finest Death Guard models you will ever have the pleasure of seeing! Below, in no particular order, we showcase their fantastic work.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Thorn Moons Crusade: Building a T-26

"That which I cannot crush with words alone, I shall crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard!"

Earlier this year I started to explore the possibility of using scale tank models in Warhammer 40k. I discovered that both 1/35 and 1/48 scale models work alongside 40k ones, with 1/48 being best if the tank is a medium or heavy one (such as a Russian T-34 or German Tiger respectively), or 1/35 if it is a light tank (such as a USA M5 Stuart). With this in mind, coupled with Adam’s work at creating some Imperial Guard for the Thorn Moon Crusade, I thought that it would be fun to build a tank for them. I have always loved the T-26, a Russian light tank, that despite being largely obsolete at the outset of World War II, still saw widespread use (including use in the Spanish Civil War and the Winter War). Therefore, I decided to get a 1/35 scale T-26 and try to convert it into something for the beleaguered defenders of the Thorn Moons.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Making Death Guard Great Again: Plague Marine WIP

Creeping Death.

After the release of all the Death Guard models this year, we were quite critical of them, disliking their distorted anatomy, with their huge thigh gaps, and their general lack of abdomens. Rather than simply complain about these issues, with the suggestion from bigbossredskullz, we decided to invite anyone interested to take part in a challenge to convert some new Death Guard models to address them. Much to our excitement, we have already gotten some amazing entries, which we are going to share on the blog on December 18th. That leaves a little over two weeks for anyone new to join the challenge. As inspiration, we wanted to share the current progress of our Death Guard plague marine!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 33: Necromunda impressions with Eli Parsons

The Orlocks are soon here...

In this episode we are joined with our good friend Eli Parsons, who listeners may know from the excellent Dragons of Phaeton blog and who created some awesome NPC characters for the Curse of the Alabaster collaborative event last year. In the first half of the episode we talk about how Necromunda has changed with the new edition. In the second half we discuss some of the Necromunda models, with particular focus on the newly revealed Orlock gang. Be sure to follow Eli @totradus on Instagram and his blog the Dragons of Phaeton

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Shadespire: Game Impressions and Ironskull's Boyz

Young Basha squares off against Iki-Turso - the breaker

Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire is a fast-paced board game of arena combat set in the Age of Sigmar universe. It is the newest addition to Games Workshop’s continually expanding board game line. They touted it as their first truly competitive game, one that would occupy a similar space as Fantasy Flight’s X-wing miniatures game. Interestingly, in addition to involving miniatures, Shadespire has a card-based component, allowing you to have finer control over the play-style for each warband. Being a fan of X-wing’s simple yet depth-filled rule system, as well as card-based games (like Magic: The Gathering), the hybrid system in Shadespire appealed to me. Luckily a good friend purchased a copy of the game, and I was able to play a few games, and eventually purchased one of the standalone warbands, Ironskull’s Boyz. With this post I thought that I would talk a little about my thoughts of Shadespire as a whole,and the separate warband box sets.    

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 32: Tor Megiddo with Alexander Winberg

War in the Sun.

In this episode we are joined by the talented Alexander Winberg, who was instrumental in the collaborative Inq28/narrative wargaming projects Outgard and Tor Megiddo. We focus most of the episode on Tor Megiddo, talking about its inspirations, and how it came together, along with discussing Alex’s warband, the 66 Fangs. We also touch on how to go about getting involved or hosting your own collaborative gaming events. To learn more about Alex’s work make sure to visit his (and Alexander Lunde!) blog Echos of Imperium

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Thorn Moons Crusade: Invitational II WIP

"Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places."
- H.P. Lovecraft

Over the last few months, Iron Sleet has slowly been revealing glimpses of their next collaborative Warhammer 40k project, the Thorn Moons Crusade. From the enigmatic Elder Ones, to the shadowy Alpha Legion, to the howling slayers of the Vlka Fenryka, forces are mobilizing to turn the Thorn Moons of the Crataegus Fragmentum into a warzone. During this time, we built Elder One Othalanga to help defend the Thorn Moons, but still had many other ideas swirling through our heads of other things to create for the project, primarily focusing on the human defenders of the Thorn Moons. Incidentally, a few weeks ago Iron Sleet announced their second Invitational, inviting people to join in on creating models and lore to accompany the Thorn Moons Crusade, specifically asking for people to build 5 human-sized models that would fight alongside the many factions looking to spill blood in the coming conflict. We decided to take this as a cue to put some of our ideas into model form, creating some elements of the Imperial Army that originally explored the Crataegus Fragmentum during the Great Crusade, and has spent the last 10,000 years cut off from the wider Imperium.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 31: The Thorn Moons Crusade and the Iron Sleet Invitational II

The Green Man Cometh!

This episode is focused on talking about Iron Sleet’s next project, following the Pilgrym event, called the Thorn Moons Crusade. We talk a little about the origins of the project, and the lore that surrounds it, talking at length about the Thorn Moons and the Elder Ones and Green Mechanicvm that inhabit them. We also discuss the Elder One that Adam built and painted over the last few months. Finally, we talk about the Invitational that Iron Sleet extended to the world, encouraging people to create a series of 5 models to explore the human elements of the Crusade.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tor Megiddo: Seqemose and Guardsman Vell

War in the Sun.

As of writing this, Tor Megiddo, a collaborative hobby event hosted by Alexander Winberg from Echos of the Imperium and Helge "Wilhelminiatures," is about to take place. The event sees a group of incredibly talented hobbyists building warbands and ramshackle vehicles to race across the sun-scorched ruin that is Tor Megiddo. Although we knew we were not going to be able to make it to the event, we wanted to create a few models to take part. Inspiration was not hard to come by for the project, with the setting’s parallels to GorkaMorka (and Mad Max), coupled with all of the incredible models being produced over the last few months (search #tormegiddo on Instagram a Twitter for a fraction of the excellent models that have been created). We decided that we wanted to create a pair of bounty hunters, one a grizzled Imperial Guard veteran, while the other a tall and wispy thin humanoid bird creature.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 30: We started a Blood Bowl League!

Ready to scrimmage enough yards!

We spend this episode talking about a new Blood Bowl League we started with a few friends. We begin by discussing what we hope to get out of the league and a few predictions of how each team will do. After each playing our first game, we reconvene to talk about how the games went and what we learned about the game as a whole.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Space Marines: Raptors

A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords at dawn.

After being suitably impressed with the First Strike starter boxed set for Warhammer 40,000, I decided that some of the models in the set might be a good place to experiment with painting. Aside from painting the majority of Dreadwhisper for the Curse of the Alabaster games last winter, I have not painted another model in my entire long history of being involved in the hobby, letting that all fall on Adam’s shoulders. Having no particular use for the push-fit Primaris Space Marines that I assembled from First Strike, they seemed like the ideal place to start to learn the particulars of painting. I also had an extra cast of our True-scale Space Marine, and figured his large size would also be a good way to ease into the process. After some consideration, I selected the Raptors Space Marine Chapter to paint my first models as. I always loved the drab military look of their chapter, reminding me of Sherman tanks from WWII. Conveniently, I also had most of the colors that I thought I would need from a Vallejo Model Air paint set for German/Allied WWII models.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Making Death Guard Great Again: A Challenge

“I shall reap a terrible bounty from the death that I sow in your name, Father Nurgle…”

In our last episode of Dragged into Turbolasers we had a lot of critical things to say about the majority of the new Death Guard models. In recent years, we have become increasingly concerned with scale and anatomical accuracy of Games Workshop’s models, and were thrilled when they released the Primaris Space Marines that corrected many of traditional Space Marines’ egregious errors. Unfortunately, aside from Mortarion, the vast majority of the new Death Guard models have not benefited from the Primaris’ improved anatomy, and instead are plagued by massive thigh gaps between their legs and a veritable lack of abdomens, making the range looks awkward and seem like a step backwards. Now, I know that it could be argued that the blessing of Grandfather Nurgle and the passage of thousands of years would have vastly changed their anatomy, so it does not need to make sense. I can accept this to some extent, but I am still doubtful that their proportions were purposefully left wonky to fit with their patron god. But maybe Grandfather Nurgle blesses all of his followers with kyphosis as their first rite of passage? But, I digress… Upon the suggestion from the talented and prolific bigbossredskullz, we decided that we should try to convert a Death Guard model using some of the new models, trying to live up to their storied legacy, instead of simply criticizing. Spiralling from the discussion with bigbossredskullz, together we decided it would be fun to start up a challenge, reminiscent to our Kingdom Death multipart kit Challenge, but open it up to anyone interested in participating.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 29: Mortarion heralds a wave of new Death Guard releases

The Death Guard are here!
We spend this episode talking about the new and upcoming Death Guard models. We devote a significant amount of time discussing their Primarch, Mortarion, and how we feel that he is the strongest model in the range, not not suffering from many of the severe anatomical issues of the rest of his legion. The majority of the rest of the episode is spent analysing the new terminator models, particularly the Deathshroud terminators. We lement at their lack of of abdomens and awkward leg attachment, but think that they will still be excellent for conversion opportunities.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thorn Moons Crusade: Elder One Othalanga Painted

From Throne to Thorne.

Elder One Othalanga is complete! At times it seemed like he would never be done, with all the  
sculpting, casting, and experimentation on the proportion of Space Marines, but after 8 long months, he is done. He was created for Iron Sleet’s upcoming Thorn Moons Crusade, a collaborative event where the Imperium, led by a horde of Vlka Fenryka, is attempting to the expunge the Green Mechanicvm from existance. The Elder Ones are a mysterious Space Marine chapter dating back from the time of the Great Crusade, who were separated from the wider Imperium until the late 41st millennium due to warp storms. Although few in number, each Elder One is a prodigious warrior that towers above most Astartes, fitting well with the gigantic marine I sculpted. All of the other Elder Ones were created by the esteemed FPOA (who is now a member of Iron Sleet), and painted mossy greens and browns, suggesting their ancient lives amongst trees and thorns. When painting Othalanga, I wanted to achieve a similar look to FPOA, so that he would fit along side his brethren. To do this, I experimented with a few different techniques, focusing on using stippling to create variation in color rather than traditional highlighting. Below I will talk a little about the paints I used and how I went about the entire process.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 28: Necromunda Underhive, more details emerge

Necromunda is back!

With Nova Open occuring this weekend, Games Workshop previewed a host of new products, including revealing a lot more information on the new version of Necromunda. We talk at length about the new gang models, but also about the components included in the boxed game. We also critique the new hero models contained in the upcoming Age of Sigmar Blightwar.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Warhammer 40k 8th Edition: First Strike

First Strike

Despite being out for a few months already, we only just recently played a game of Warhammer 40,000 8th edition. While the initial Dark Imperium boxed set was enticing, filled with all manner of nice Primaris Space Marines and Death Guard models, and a hardback copy of the rulebook, its price and sheer number of models (that would likely end up in a box unassembled for a long period) ultimately swayed our hands. It was almost as though Games Workshop knew our plight, and that of new hobbyists, and released two smaller introductory boxed sets, Know No Fear and First Strike. First Strike is heralded as the “ideal first purchase for those new to the Warhammer 40,000 hobby” by Games Workshop themselves, so we thought it would be fun to get the box and see if it lived up to the statement. If nothing else, it would give us a few of the new Primaris and Death Guard models to experiment with, so what was there to lose (aside from $40, ha ha)?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 27: Necromunda Returns

In this episode, we talk about the recently announced return of Necromunda, a fan-favorite game of gang warfare. We discuss the interesting weapons that the revealed models are equipped with, and talk about how the new models compare to the original sculpts.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Rainbow Warriors Project: Chaplain Painted

Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

I recently posted pictures of a Chaplain that I converted for the Rainbow Warriors Project, an initiative to promote diversity and inclusiveness in the miniature wargaming community. I was able to devote the last week or two to painting the model, and am happy to show you pictures of the completed model sans base. All of the bases for the army are being painted separately by Dan from the Lonely Havocs, to help unify the force. Any thoughts or comments on the model are appreciated!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Thorn Moons Crusade: Elder One Othalanga

Elder One Othalanga

Song of Othalanga, Cerberin Brier
With a Thousand Sons I walked betwixt a profusion of petals
Until lymph and serum congealed sweet and thick
Until my marrow drained and flesh transmogrified

For a thousand years I spurned the flesh change
But I had lived as half a being
Until the celestial tides wrought our metagenesis.

I am an envenomed barb, a binary poison
Cerberin brier, a wordless hex
The heart arrests and vision fades

Wreathed in white, brass, and iron
I forge adamantium and steel with branch and bough
I shape a truth that had been sleeping

As the Thousandth Son I am reborn
I am a wanderer of moons, a changer of ways.
From Throne to Thorne.
I must live, I must die, and live again
I am the memory of all that came before,
I am the worlds soil, and the world anew.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 26: New Primaris Space Marines!

Primaris Space Marines have their own Centurions!

In this episode, we talk about some of the new Primaris Space Marine releases. We talk at length about the Reiver and Aggressor models and how they fit in with the rest of the range. We also discuss the new Chaplain and Apothecary character models. Finally, we briefly mention the huge Redemptor dreadnought.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 25: Painting is more than just acrylics!

When painting, there is always something new to try.

In this episode we talk about our journey through painting, how over the years we have developed our own style, but also how we have started to experiment with different types of paints and products to push our skills further. We spend a lot of time talking about our efforts into using enamel and oil based paints, as well as some resources that you can use if you want to learn more about them or how to best use them.

Friday, June 30, 2017

True-scale Black Templar Space Marine

No Fear! No Pity! No Remorse!

Despite the release of the new Primaris Space Marines, which we think would be an
excellent foundation to create “true-scale” Space Marines, we have not given up on our efforts to create more anatomically correct Space Marines. We created silicone molds to cast our most recent attempt at a true-scale Space Marine, and as a proof of concept built a Black Templar Space Marine. I am pleased to say that this Black Templar is finally complete! With this post I want to talk a little about the painting process and show the completed model.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 24: The Reivers!

The Reivers!

In this episode we talk about some newly revealed Warhammer 40k models that will be included in a few new starter sets. First we discuss the new character models for the Primaris Space Marines, a Captain and Librarian. We then talk at length about a new Primaris unit, the Reivers, and how they fit within the Space Marine range as a whole. Finally, we end the episode talking about some new Nurgle models.

Monday, June 19, 2017

AoS28: Stormcast Eternal

“By day fantastic birds flew through the petrified forest, and jeweled crocodiles glittered like heraldic salamanders on the banks of the crystalline river. By night the illuminated man raced among the trees, his arms like golden cartwheels, his head like a spectral crown…”

The Crystal World (1966), J.G. Ballard

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Primaris Space Marines: First Impressions

Hope is a mistake.

Over the years, we have become increasingly critical of the miniature design of Space Marines, and the discrepancies between them and much of the artwork. Many of the awkward elements of their anatomy, and diminutive size compared to other human models in the game, pushed us to begin converting some “true-scaleSpace Marines. To our surprise, shortly after creating some of these larger marines, it was revealed that Games Workshop was releasing a line of new larger Space Marines, called Primaris Space Marines. Many were quick to claim that GW had finally made their own true-scale Space Marines with the models, and we were eager to get our hands on some to make our own judgement, and to see if they corrected some of our issues with Space Marines. Mr_Pink (from the excellent Modern Synthesist blog) generously provided us one of the new marines, and wanted to tell you some of our thoughts on the quality of them, and their place next to their “normal” brethren.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 23: Dark Imperium

Dark Imperium.

In this episode we are again joined by the talented Mr_Pink, from the blog Modern Synthesist and now a new podcast called Xenos Alchemist, to talk about the new Warhammer 40,000 boxed game Dark Imperium. We discuss all the models contained within the box, as well as the new dreadnought revealed during Warhammer Fest.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

AoS28: Freyvid Hafnar - The Eclipse

Is it like the hand of God hovering above?

Freyvid Hafnar, Chief investigator of the Barak-Nar Biologis Guild, had been commissioned, alongside an Overlord warfleet, to venture into the humid cloudbanks of Ghyran in search of a missing explorator fleet. The Kharadron had long forsaken the realm of life for the riches of their native Chamon, but greed and hubris garnered from their dominion over the skies eventually pushed them outward. Rumors circulated the airways of some daemonic taint that had begun to overtake some of the farther reaches of the realm, and the Admiral Counsel began to fear that their ships may have been lost to its vile clutches. In hopes of salvaging something from the lost venture, they commissioned a Grundcorps reconnaissance fleet to investigate, with Hafnar amongst their storied crew. Never ones for superstition, the Barak-Nar Admirals reasoned that a scientist would prove useful in case the lost fleet met their end via some unconventional means. Hafnar was also somewhat of an expert on Nurgle pox and maladies, if anyone could truly be called such, studying the Guild’s labyrinthine archives on the matter. Whatever the fate of the lost ships, the decaying hand of Nurgle or otherwise, they would be found and avenged…

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 22: A classic design revisited, Primaris Space Marines

Hope is a mistake.

With this episode we are joined by the extraordinarily talented Mr_Pink, from the blog Modern Synthesist, to talk about the newly revealed Primaris Space Marines. We talk at length about the models as well as the lore surrounding them.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Ways to improve resin casting: pressure and vacuum chambers

Using a pressure chamber dramatically improved my resin casting.

Getting into resin casting can be a difficult thing, with so many details to consider (what silcone and resin to use, how to create effective vents, etc.), that it is easy to get overwhelmed. I found one of the trickiest elements was determining how pressure and vacuum chambers can be used to improve the process. Both are used to reduce bubbles in the final product, but since they work in very different ways, each is suitable for a different aspect of the process. A vacuum chamber is used to physically remove bubbles from a material (and all the air from the chamber itself) by creating a vacuum, while a pressure chamber shrinks any bubbles present in the material via pressure. Because the mixing process of silicone introduces air bubbles into it, a vacuum is applied to the mixture before using it (pouring it) to create a mold. This is possible due to the slow curing time of most silicone (~5 hrs). Resin, however, solidifies much more quickly (~15 min.), making a vacuum not a viable way for removing the bubbles in resin before injecting it into the mold. Instead, the mold is placed in a pressure chamber after the resin is added, to shrink any bubble to a negligible size. Although using both strategies are not absolutely necessary for creating molds and using them for casting, from experience, it dramatically improves the final product. I currently use both, and they allowed me to nicely cast the true-scale Space Marine that I recently built. In this post, I wanted to talk about both vacuum chambers and pressure chambers, and how they were important for dramatically improving my resin casting abilities.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dragged into Turbolasers Episode 21: Warhammer 40k 8th edition is upon us!

In the grim dark future there is only war!

The new edition of Warhammer 40,000 is soon to be released, and Games Workshop has been revealing a lot of information about its changes from previous editions via their Community site. We spend the episode talking about some of these changes from the perspective of people who did not get too invested in the previous edition, partially because of how bloated it became and how little it focused on the narrative elements that we enjoy most.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Building our first resin cast true-scale Space Marine

Thought begets Heresy. Heresy begets Retribution.

A large portion of my hobby time this year has been spent building a more anatomically correct true-scale marine, and then learning how to make two part silicone molds. Today I am quite pleased to reveal the fusion of both of these projects by showing you the first True-scale Space Marine that I created using silicone molds created. Not wanting the model to look too much like the original, which is still going to be turned into an Elder One for Iron Sleet’s Thorn Moon’s crusade, I decided to build an Astartes from Black Templar Chapter.