Vacation

In case you were wondering why I skipped my Monday post this week, here’s the reason…

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Arpy lake, near La Thuille, Valle d’Aosta

Good enough? 😉

I picked up some moss, stones and bits of wood for basing, though, so I did do something for the hobby…

More goblins after the weekend!

 

Orcs & goblins 9th Age army project

Coming to face my pile of unpainted miniatures once again after a relocation, I decided I will finally “paint seriously” – that I will dedicate more time to painting and complete projects in a more orderly and timely fashion – and that I will begin to do this by painting my whole Games Workshop Orcs & Goblins collection.

I decided for the green lads because Orcs & Goblins was my first and most loved army and because it is the most daunting part of my collection of models. I am not used to counting points anymore, but I definitely have enough greenskins for a big army: off the top of my head, we’re talking about thirty five cavalry models plus mounted characters, around a hundred gobbos and even more orcs plus foot characters, the whole shebang of warmachines and chariots, a few monsters and other weird creatures from the hills and caves. If my hobby self manages to paint through this and survive, I’ll know I can successfully tackle the rest of the pile, a model at a time, a project at a time.

I’m encouraged in this journey by the stirring currents in the upper miniature-painting echelons, which are rooting for an impressionist style of painting and thus conveying the feeling (a feeling I never had back in the days) that you can paint interesting, more-than-tabletop, models without having to work hours on them.

Because it is a way of ordering the models, and because I am still a gamer at heart, I chose to prepare the Orcs & Goblins to be fielded as an 9th Age army. I am fond of 9th Age – it keeps in the spirit of WHFB 8th edition while tweaking and balancing a few things and integrating the newly released models – so you might read some random tactica and build notes in the future together with the painting shots, even though I doubt I’ll ever actually find the time to play.

So, this is just to prepare you for the times ahead, hoping I’m not aiming too high, speaking too early and setting myself up for a spectacular failure. Which, at any rate, would be rather orkish…

A change of scenery

Garden 1 Garden 2 View from the studio window

From my flat in Paris I now moved to what used to be my partner’s grandfather house in the country, near Chiavari in Italy. Quite a change in scenery, as you can see! On one hand, it’s harder to work here – I brought along 40kg worth of books and notebooks, and they’re never enough! – on the other, I can enjoy the sea and some hikes on the mountains. City or countryside, I never have much time for the hobby – and here I have the garden to take care of, too – but at least I can’t complain about the light!

I’m sorry my internet connection here is limited, we don’t even have a land line and in fact I like it to be like this, taking some time off the computer screen. But this means I can’t take a proper look at your posts – no worries though, I’ll have my fill every time I go down to the town.

Chaos knights musician WIP Wolfen warrior WIP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a couple of pictures of what I’m working on: the beginning of a ten-man chaos knight regiment, old and not so beautiful models on which I want to practice some wash shading; and a Rackham wolfen warrior, on which I’ll try a cleaner, more cartoonish, look with the same technique.

Nausicaa – 8 Translating Khador to 40k, special units

Last post in the series of translating Khador to 40k. It will be a shorter post than usual, since there are few special units in the Imperial Guard codex in the first place. Still, the Privateer range offers some interesting alternatives and conversion pieces.

Translates to: Rough riders.

These are a perfect match. More than a match, in the sense that, in my opinion, these Uhlans make for a better Vostroyan cavalry than the official GW rough riders. With just two rider sculpts and three horse sculpts for five models, the set is not pleasing from a modelling perspective, but I’ll find a way around. All in all, I think they’re going to work well with the rest of the army. They even have an inspiring leader with moustaches! This guy:

“Hey, wait, big face behind the screen! Are you really going to use me as a rank and file rough rider!? Are you even aware of my lineage?” Pointers beware, this man rocks some pointing. And then this:

Translates to: Makeshift Chimera or conversion goodie.

Clunk clunk, hail this beauty! Some might not like the horses: no problem, use them elsewhere, cut away the wheels and paste some caterpillar tracks and you’ll have a steampunkish, somewhat MetalSluggish, transport. All things considered, converting this would be a big project and a pricey pricey, so I’ll have to consider. But it surely has potential.

Translates to: Alternate Ogryns.

I’m adding them just for the sake of completion, since I’d probably rather go with the GW models or with no Ogryns at all. Still, these are an ok alternative. Or, rather, they could be if they didn’t come in just basically three sculpts. Maybe I should look into the possibility of mixing the two kits…

And, finally, can you see any use for these fellas?

Game-wise, I have no clues. There’s a whole sub-set of these power armour troops in the Khadorian range with different weapons and even shields. They kinda look like squat Space Marines (Privateer already already has something like Squats, by the way)…

Nausicaa – 7 Translating Khador to 40k, officers

In the 41st millennium, what had been the Tolmekian empire was selected for soldier production in view of the incoming campaign against chaos (precise setting still to be defined). In the context of the administrative reorganisation, Nausicaa was turned into a cradle-world. The governor proclaimed an edict of birth, by which all women found sterile or not pregnant were to be executed on the spot. The expected result was a peak in pregnancies. In due time, the newborn could have been turned into viable soldiers and shipped away as soon as ready. To face the impending overpopulation and the stress of dealing with the enforcement and exploitation of the edict of birth, the state of siege was declared, the Guard and some special units from Tolmek were mobilised to reinforce local police on Nausicaa. Advanced industrial agricultural facilities were implemented, which changed the face of Nausicaa forever: once a lush farming world, Nausicaa is now scarred by massive agricultural plants and the bleak towers of boarding hive-cities.

Translates to: Loyalist commissar.

Commissars are a fundamental element of the Nausicaan military – without them, and the hierarchies they embody and enforce, they wouldn’t even had left their planet in the first place. After the first signs of revolt, they become even more crucial in maintaining discipline and driving the men to fight against the enemies of their Emperor instead than against the enemies of their class. I plan to use a combination of regular “Imperial looking” commissars – those are the highest in grade and come directly from the Guard garrison on Tolmek. Others, like this one, have been recruited among the Nausicaans themselves. A quick maiming and grafting will be needed on the gun as usual, but for the rest the model is pretty impressive and I think it’ll be immediately recognisable as a Commissar inside a unit.

Translates to: Company commander.

He’s the perfect incarnation of a loyalist officer: he has the smug and a beard in the style of Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible! The sculpt is excellent, and I hate him already. One of the few models it will be a pleasure to remove if the army will ever hit the gaming table.

Translates to: A hell of a psycher.

This one comes from Nausicaa and is one of the few remaining original psychers of Cadmus. The model is gorgeous despite the cloack being a bit too stiff. Maybe I’ll even leave him that chunky runic axe, just because. Again, it is going to fit with the rest of the army while adding some exoticism. He’s clearly more Tzarist than Soviet, but the Vostroyans are a strage beast, close enough to Valhallians to look smooth together, but not quite as “Red army” – especially after being mixed with some Privateer winter guard.

Translates to: Tolmekian senior officer.

He’s a bit heavy on the steampunk gear, but I guess he could still be included. He could work as a commissar, a fleet officer or more likely as a Tolmekian noble serving as senior officer.

Translates to: Rebel company commander.

Nemo in a power suit with what I can only describe as some sort of close combat appliance. I still have mixed feelings about this model. First thing, the power mace goes poof – he’s getting a sword or a plasma gun. I like the face, the flowing beard and the goggles. The armour, on the other hand, seems a bit too much. I can imagine him being one of the senior rebel commanders – not one of the cradle-world draft, but an officer of the original Nausicaan guard detachment nurturing sedition from before the great levy. The model would represent such an officer – still no names here, I am no big fan of “special” characters but we’ll see – in a later phase of the war. He could have scavenged the armour from a slain Tolmekian superior and worn it just because it’s armour and it saves you from bullets. I see him as a pragmatic guy who would not mind looking like the enemy. Only with a cooler beard.

Translates to: Rebel platoon commander.

Not much to say here, nice and fresh, maybe the left arm is going off, as it appears to be rule with these Khadorians. I’d like to change the pose somehow, I’ll know better when I have it in my hands, it’s hard to judge from pictures. Still, the armour is not too imposing and I like the odd bits of gear.

Translates to: Loyalist Company standard bearer.

Yeaarhg. Somehow this seems to be the cry he’s mouthing. The model is not bad and the pose is powerful enough. I like the sash, the hat and the banner. The sword, though, especially from this angle, looks like an ugly chunk of metal. Amputation? Yes sir. Especially with all that space from the hand to the ground, I bet I can come up with something better. I’m not sure if the model is worth the investment, just to have an extra company standard bearer version for the loyalist troops. I’ll see when the project progresses.

I left out Kommander Sorscha since she seems to be really icon for Khador, and beacause her double handed war hammer made her stand out a bit too much. But take a look at this lady…

In case I will ever work on the chaos army that the Nausicaans are facing, she’s going to be the leader of the loyalists that, fittingly I’d say, will try to save the skin selling their soul to the dark gods once the situation becomes desperate. Only to lose both, of course. Her two bodyguards would be the first to receive the gifts of the lord of decay… But that’s enough for today.

 

Nausicaa – 5 Translating Khador to 40k, unwanted allies

The whole of Nausicaa has been drafted for war. A small moon of a dead planet on a remote fringe of the galaxy, Nausicaa had enjoyed a certain degree of independence from the Empire. Once a two-world kingdom, counting Nausicaa and its now arid planet Cadmus, Nausicaa fell under the rule of the Tolmekian empire at the time of this latter’s annexation to the Imperium. As the Tolmekian emperor accepted to join the Empire and become a province ruler, he got enough troops and logistic support in exchange to finally mount the great campaign against Nausicaa that his ancestors had always dreamed of. The Cadmus conquest, as it is somewhat incoherently known in the Empire, lasted short of two hundred years but led to the complete destruction of the planet and the extermination or subjugation of its entire population. A vice-governor was installed in what once was the Winter palace on Nausicaa and the world was turned into the sector’s granary.

In this post I cover some more Khadorian and Cygnaran models that can be adapted as Tolmekian troops.

Translates as: Tolmekian stormtroopers.

At first I didn’t like these models. The poses of some are just horrible: they look like someone horribly messed up the sprite animations of those guys with the gas mask from Metal Slug, then added a spiked shield and painted them red. The shields can be removed and put to better use  – necromunda enforcers of course. They might do as Militarum scions, but: while the Nausicaan forces are raised and trained on Nausicaa, as far as I get it the Ordo tempestus is a galaxy-wide consistent organisation, so that having them look so different from the original won’t do. Plus, my men are rebels, so the Ordo’s orders would likely be to shoot them on sight. That won’t do either. So, I could use these models as a Tolmekian unit. Being long-time loyalists, the Tolmekians get access to better weaponry and so they are likely to be able to put up a regular corps of assault troopers to suppress rebellions on the various planet of their small personal sub-empire.

On top of everything, I really like the flamer model that goes with this unit. If I’m going into the range, this particular miniature would be a pity to miss:

I might either buy just the flamer and use it in a special weapons squad (the armour would be justified because who wants to go in battle with a flamer without some extra protection?) or buy the whole lot depending on how much importance the Tolmekians will get in the story.

I found these Cygnaran guys that could represent the Tolmekian soldiers as they appear in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Considering that my time and modeling skills are very limited they might be already good enough as they are, but I might try greestuffing some cloaks on them.

Screenshot from 2016-03-22 22:40:34Screenshot from 2016-03-22 22:48:49

As for what they could be taken to represent in the WH40k universe, I’m at a loss. Extremely archaic (or rather extremely recent and thus technologically inferior) Space Marine copycats? As I see it, though, the armour of the Privateer models, in the 40k universe, would be more for display than protection. And are those power swords? They would surely like to believe it, but they’re definitely not.

For me, these knights are more like a glorified and ridiculous police corps, adept at molesting unarmed peasants on a backward world, until they suddenly have to face demons, industrially produced heavy weaponry, and the true meaning of “warmachine”. They might desert together with the Nausicaans, once they hit the battle line and all their convictions are blown to shards, but they surely won’t find them ready for comradeship. Why not, at that point they might even join chaos, out of cowardice and their habit of serving the most powerful master. That would open up some possibilities for conversion, though that might depend on how easy Privateer Press’s metal is to cut into: they look like Tzeench – because they’re blue, duh – but I still have to decide what particular demonic army the Nausicaans are going to confront.

Translates to: Tolmekian infantry squad.

Now, the Tolmekians as well have their levy. With the usual hassle of repeated sculpts and conversion hardships, these are nice characterful models. Before I settled on the Soviet / Valhallan mood, I even considered these as main infantrymen to complete the Vostroyans. They come with two heavy weapons, both very nicely done and up for kitbashing.

For some reason, there seems to be no decent sized picture of the chain gun on Privateer, so I’m taking this from Waaagh Taverne.

I like both, but the cannon better. Here the trenchers give out their best “medieval” looks and have great gruntish expressions.

And here’s an officer or Commissar from the Tolmekian nobility that could go with them.

One could make an entire infantry platoon out of these minis, or at least a (another) elite squad. If I even want Nausicaans to hold their ground on the 40k tabletop, however, I think I should start looking into tanks.

Trenchers don’t look exactly like Tolmekian soldiers in  Miyazaki’s anime but again, considered my limited skills, they are close enough – in a few ways, they’re even better looking. Here’s who they are meant to stand for.

Screenshot from 2016-03-22 22:44:44

Ok, this has almost taken the size of a project of its own, and it’s clearly secondary, so that’s more than enough for now.