+ inload: Blood Angels Rhino and Zinge Industries review +

 + Rhino Armoured Personnel Carrier +

+ What do you get if you take hyper-advanced Dark Age colonising technology and tell it to make a tractor that can run on local materials, survive anything short of military-grade technology, repair itself on the run, and carry twenty colonists? +

+ ...and what if you then rediscover this, armour it with inch-thick plating, mount a pair of micro-rocket launchers and stuff it full of the most terrifying human warriors ever created? +

+ Okay, so I've probably spoiled the riddle in the title, but the Imperial Rhino APC is about as classic as is gets. Almost as recognisable as Space Marines themselves, the vehicle is an icon of the army, and of the Imperium in general. +

+ Used in the past by loads of Imperial (and, almost by implication, also Traitor) factions, I'm a bit sad to see it get sidelined from the Space Marines in favour of the new grav vehicles, as brutal tracked vehicles have an appeal to anyone who was raised on war films. Fortunately for me, The M35 Nova Terra Interregnum setting is way before any of that, so Rhinos are still the Astartes' default transport option. +


+ Theoretical: the inspiration +

+ As with the rest of this 'childhood dream' project, the Rhino's intended to reimagine part the GW studio army, beautifully painted by Tim Prow (now of the awesome Diehard Miniatures [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]). +

+ Pict capture from the back cover of White Dwarf #140 +
+ credit: Games Workshop +


+ Practical +

+ The original model (above) is a lovely clean warm red, with large, bold geometric markings. To give it an 'apologist-style' makeover, my update is a bit more grounded and less striking. +

+ The scheme is a more muted red, to match the rest of my army. I've also used outline markings on the doors, rather than the large flat blooddrop symbol. This was partially because I wanted to keep as much of the red showing (I'm pleased with how it came out), but also because Forge World's Deimos-pattern Mk1C Rhino that I'm using has much more sculpted detail than the original plastic kit. I felt that working the marking into the recesses would have looked odd, as would leaving an odd cog-toothed line running through it. A military-style stencil outline seemed to fit nicely. +

+ As explained in the WD139 article, the white blooddrop here denotes that the Rhino is part of Third Company. Thinking about it, since I've made the minor tweak to include two small flanking blooddrops for that symbol elsewhere in the army (you can see this on the flag above), I ought to go back and adjust the door markings to include these. +

+ Coded symbols +

+ From left to right, the front shows:
  • Army badge – the blue circle. I've used Vallejo Prussian blue to get a dark, desaturated blue for this.
  • Squad marking – the boxed '1' marks this as Squad Raphael's transport.
  • Chapter symbol – The winged blooddrop of the Blood Angels.
+ All of these are copied fairly faithfully from the original; though I've reduced them all in size slightly. The Army Badge has had to be bumped up a bit, as the Deimos Rhino has raised detailing where the original had a flat panel. +

+ I used blue-grey for the vision and targetting lenses here. I could have matched them to the marines' green/orange accents, but thought that a cool dead grey worked well for glass. +

+ The top shows the double-headed arrow that's a common Codex marking denoting a Tactical squad. Background-wise, Epic: Space Marine explained that these markings are intended to assist with orbital (or air-support) identification. A neat idea, and – I'm sure coincidentally – it's a brilliant place for easy reference during a game. +

+ To avoid a flat white look over the more battered red effect, I used a combination of stippling, negative painting (painting carefully to leave little gaps, rather than creating them afterwards), and two or three off-white hues to create a similarly varied and textured finish to the rest of the paintjob. +

+ Musing on this, sometimes paint detailing can really make a game run more smoothly – both for you and the other player(s). 9th edition makes it explicit that you must share what's in each transport vehicle. With this system of markings, it's easy to explain that the white '1' appears both on the transport (on front and back) and also on the banner of its sergeant and veteran. All the Codex markings help with clarity, which make real-world interaction a bit smoother. +


+ Optional upgrades: Review of Zinge Industries' Rhino Upgrade Conversion kit +

+ I'm often guilty of treating transport vehicles as little more than upgrades to squads, painting and using them very much as an after-thought. However, this is a lovely model in and of itself, and I felt it deserved a bit more attention than I usually would to a tank. +

+ To put it another way, gothic warrior-monks from the far future might not have much need for heated seats or air-conditioning, but I added a few bells and whistles to (hopefully) make this über-familiar vehicle a bit more eye-catching. +

+ The most obvious additions are the grab rails and pennants. These, along with a couple of other details like the top hatch handles and storage crates, are missing from the modern plastic Rhino. I suspect this is partially because the plastic rails and banner poles of the original were notoriously fragile. +

+ I really wanted to include them on my re-imagined version, and in stepped Zinge Industries, which produces a Rhino upgrade conversion kit [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+] designed precisely for this purpose. The kit comes with four resin grab rail ends; two lengths of plastic tubing to form the rail itself; a 'sprue tree' of various handles (giving you some options); two resin flags and two resin crates. +

+ It's a very cleverly designed upgrade kit, as it includes two oddly-shaped pieces of resin that fit perfectly into the recesses on either side of the sloping rear of the Rhino track units, creating a flush surface for the crates to sit on. You can see how cleanly and well-cast they are above: there's no filling there at all – just a dot of superglue to place it. +

+ You need to trim the styrene tubing to length, but you get a reassuring amount of it in the kit – I used just one of the lengths for both sides, so if you accidentally trim it too short, you should still be alright. +

+ Indeed, the quality of the kit is very good, particularly given the budget price (£8). All the parts are made from a sturdy resin that's a pleasure to work with: neither brittle nor soft. 
The kit is cleanly cast, with very little flash and no bubbles, distortion, shrinkage or other casting defects. +

+ The flags are perhaps a little thick, but that's a very minor criticism. I used some hot water to reshape the flags, and they responded very well. Here, the thickness was a virtue, as it meant I could twist them quite vigorously without the banner pole itself bending. +

+ There's a cheaper (£6) option, too, which leaves out the sprue of handles. If you're planning to upgrade a fleet of tanks, you might save a few quid by using different handles on each. The sprue tree comes with enough handles to outfit six tanks. +

In short, Zinge have produced a fantastic little upgrade kit that I have no reservations whatsoever about recommending. Affordable, well-designed, versatile and tough – a bit like the Rhino itself! +

+ inload: In which work-in-progress is revealed +

 + Revelation +

+ Indulge me on the portentous title to this inload; there's nothing hugely new here! However, it's a good demonstration of what's I've got on the blocks. +


+ 'You ever been mistaken for a Cadian?' 'No, have you?' +

+ First off, sergeant 'Ripper' Jackson; the new Catachan sergeant. Lord Blood the Hungry was kind enough to pick up a box for me, as I was otherwise indisposed over the weekend. Absolutely fantastic little model; and if GW release a Catachan squad kit of this quality, I am in like Flynn. + 

+ A very nicely engineered kit, the joins are well hidden when you construct her. Loads of beautiful details, from the relatively crude bionics to the characterful expression and pose; Jackson just bleeds bad-ass. I'm especially taken by the integrated base, which goes a huge way to making her look at home in the jungle. A word of warning for those about to construct your own version of the kit – the fern is delicate, and one of the sprue attachment points is near the tip. I managed to ping the end off, and had a few grumpy minutes scrabbling around trying to find the tip of a plastic toy leaf! +

+ Jackson is going to join Inquisitrix Barbari Kills for a bit – but with a mind to a future Catachan project, her base won't match the Gatebreakers. I've long fancied doing a Kroot/Catachan/jungle 'thing'. Whether that ends up in two small opposing forces, a combined army of some sort, or merely remains a pipe dream, I do not yet know. +


+ RH1N0 utility tractor Armoured Personnel Carrier +

+ Regular inloaders will know my dread/loathing/fear of painting tanks. Few of my usual techniques work, and I just find them a drag. As a result, when I was seized by the infrequent desire to work on one, I went for it! +

+ The tracks – and some other fun accessories – are not pictured, but are currently drying, too. You'll spot the Rhino's on a base: that's part of my plan to help frame the piece and to give it a bit of additional height. It'll still look rather undersized in comparison with the infantry, but hopefully not too markedly. The large oval size base seems to fit the Rhino well; not so large that it's obstrusive, but not so small it gets lost. +

+ Painting it was partly an exercise in trying new techniques, and partly a dry run for painting the Gatebreakers' Land Raider. I used stippling to build up the red here in the following layers:

1_ Vallejo Flat Red
2_ Vallejo Flat Red, Dryad Bark and Xereus Purple
3_ Vallejo Flat Red, Vallejo Off-white and cadmium yellow

+ Stippling – that is, holding a brush perpendicular to the surface and tapping it up and down to deposit subtle dots of paint – allowed me to build up some variation and visual texture without an air-brush style smooth gradient. I think the latter would be great for Eldar tanks or similar, but I see Space Marines as a bit more rough-and-ready. Some texture on the tank also helps sell it as a scale model of a battle tank. Big smooth flat surfaces can easily look toy-like. 

+ I use an old 20mm (¾in) flat brush, which had started to splay for the stippling, which sped things up considerably, and avoided the repetitive identifiable 'stamp' which you can get with a smaller or round brush. +

+ The metals were approached in the same way as my Iron Warriors [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], for a deep, dirty effect. +

+ From the details above, you'll note I've supplemented the effect with some edge highlighting. This throws some of the more important lines into contrast, and helps to make the model 'pop'. The lower left detail shows the glazed windows, a detail I'm absurdly – and quite disproportionately! – proud of. They were made with blister plastic glued to the inside with PVA (don't use superglue, as it can fog). +

+ The markings are still to go on; I'll use the original as a guide, but likely modify things a touch. The big flat markings look great on Tim Prow's clean, crisp original, but my grungier style is nowhere near as clear and accomplished. I think my work will be better suited to more 'realistic' stencil-type markings. There's a balance to be struck between making it recognisable and making it my own. +


+ Legion Sumer-Nikator +

+ These moderati build on the collector's project covered here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and use all my favourite paints – Macharius Solar Orange and Hawk Turquoise (for the accents), Dheneb Stone (for the fatigues), and Charadon Granite (for the helmet, boots and so forth). +

+ Lovely little sculpts, these are unaltered. +


+ Gatebreakers: Emblem +

+ The Eremite known as Emblem (above) has got some paint down on him. He's got to be varnished, and then I'll be doing a batch of burnt umber oil washes on him and the arms for the soldiers below. +

+ For the coat, I'm planning on using the same deep worn leather look I used on Nayam Shai Murad's coat [+noosphericinloadlink emdedded+], as this looks practical and utilitarian, and will also give some nice eye-catching contrast. +

+ Having lots of projects on the go can sometimes be paralysing; making you feel like you're not getting anywhere with any of them. Try to bear in mind that none of this is a job. There are no deadlines save those you set yourself; and painting should be full of enjoyment. +

+ inload: Squad Lazarus completed +

 + Updates from the front:
The Alien Wars continue +

+ Following the last inload, in which the Blood Angels emerged from induced hibernation, I've managed to polish off the second tactical squad – which gave me some much-needed practise in colour-matching. I'm pleased with the result; I think the four new marines match the existing figures well, despite using a different set of paints. +


+ Sergeant Lazarus (Melchizadek 8:15) +

+ Touches of contrasting blue are used here as accents to draw the eye. With a big banner, the focal point (the head) needed a bit of extra help to stand out. The inspiration has a helmet, so unlike his comrade, Sergeant Furiel [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], I didn't want to use a bare head to draw the eye. Instead, I built a lot of lines converging on the head – the gun and blade do, as does the large blooddrop jewel on the banner. I really hammered the point home with the veteran sergeant freehand on the breastplate, too. This was taken from the Age of Darkness books; which themselves have a nod to Rogue Trader. I was tempted to go further, but restrained myself – I want to leave some design space for the officers without going really over the top. +

+ I think I've hit the balance of ornamentation and keeping things close to the inspiration right; but judge for yourself. The original models are pictured above. Hopefully the poses are evocative enough of the original, even if they're not identical. +

+ It's been so long since I've worked on this army that I'd forgotten whether it was the personal name (i.e. Lazarus) or the ritual apotropaic name (Melchizadek) that should identify the squad. Judging from how I did Furiel, I think it should have been the other way round. Still; this is the sort of mistake that – firstly – can be justified fairly easily in-universe (some sort of tradition of the squad, or a personal affectation); and secondly, would likely have never been noticed by anyone but me! +

+ Getting the text onto the hand-painted scroll sent me cross-eyed. I was cursing myself for blithely giving him the apotropaic name 'Melchizadek' to fit on there. Still; it did mean the blackletter script on his banner had the easier name to fit! +

+ As per the paint scheme of the time, the sergeant has a yellow Chapter symbol on a black field. You'll note that the rim is two-tone; red and gold. I thought making it all metal would have been a bit much, and similarly all-red would have looked odd. +

+ I like the bolter strap here – it gives a sense of dynamism to an otherwise very still figure, suggesting that the boltgun is in motion; perhaps being swung to fire. +


+ Brother Ilean (Rasa 1:01) +

+ Mark VI plate doesn't turn up in the Tactical squads of the original army, so I was in two minds whether to include it. In the end, I squared the circle by keeping the details minor – if you compare these figures with the ones in the Devastator squad, you'll note that the Tactical ones simply have Mark VI helmets, and are otherwise identical to the rest of the squad; whereas the Devastators are converted more faithfully, with chest cables, single-piece greaves etc. +

+ The variation helps to blend the army together, rather than having the armour marks artificially separated. In my vision of Space Marines, their armour is fairly hotch-potch – some wearing full newly-produced suits of a particular armour mark; others inheriting bits and pieces from previous brethren; or augmenting their armour themselves with recourse to the Chapter forge. As a result, the idea of a whole squad – let alone a whole army – being identically equipped just chimes wrongly to me. It would feel rather too uniform and modern, and not properly evoke the pseudo-mediaeval Dark Age feel. +

+ Of course, some uniformity is desirable, or they'll end up looking like a rag-tag warband – cool for some Chapters or periods in the 40k universe's history (the Horus Heresy period can suit the identikit Stormtrooper look, for example), but not for Nova Terra Interregnum-period Blood Angels, I think. The Chapter badge and overall clean look of the paintjob is thus important to establishing the group's retrohammer-themed identity. +


+ Brother Verroccio (Ambriel 4:11) +

+ The big ol' missile launchers used throughout the army help to evoke the Rogue Trader-period inspiration. 'Proteus-pattern' is GW's in-house term for modern designs based on the older stuff, and I really like this conceit. It's a very clever way to explain the difference between older and modern designs without invalidating anything in-universe. +

+ You'll notice more tiny writing on the pauldron nameplate; again, cursing myself for including so many curly 'c's and 'o's in his name! I've added a little skull on the pistol pouch to break it up a bit – note it echoes the squad kneepad honorific. The missile launcher cowling has the same yellow stripe as in the first squad – though I've added two here. It's a minor detail that makes no odds to the background, but will be useful in-game. Simple visual indicators like this – along with squad banner and honorifics – is a nice way to help both you and the other players keep track of which squad is what. +

+ The power pack is a holdover from 2nd edition. Note also the little trigger mechanism/remote he's carrying in his left hand. That's a nod to the similar details of the single-piece missile launchers from the later 2nd ed. boxed set. I made it from an auspex, with various bits trimmed off and replaced. +


+ Brother Brunellecci (Hamurabbas 1:03) +

+ The other beakie helm in the squad. There's a balance to strike – it's nice to have some variation, but too much spoils the uniformity. With both sergeant and squad leader in Mark VII, I felt I could get away with a few more than in the first Tactical squad. There's a Mark IV helm, too (see Brother Zoma below), though since this is much less distinctively different to Mark VII, it stands out less. +

+ As with Verroccio above, Brunellecci has a small personalisation on his pistol holster, though here it's a blood drop. I think little details like this, the script on the boltgun, the black-wax purity seal and so forth really help to give some realism and make the model feel like an individual. +

+ I like this Intercessor pose. I think the arms (and possibly the whole thing) are from the easy-build marines – either the three-man kit that popped up everywhere or the Dark Imperium starter – which just goes to show how easily these can be repeatedly integrated into an army without it looking like an army of clones. +


+ Tactical II: Squad Lazarus +

+ And so we come to the complete Squad Lazarus, Third Company – or to use the apotropaic nomenclature: Mano Sacra, under Lord Dahavauron, Prince of the Erelim, 3rd Strateia of the Host of Angels +

+ Back row, left to right: Brother Verroccio (Ambriel 4:11); Brother Schirru (Ixael 6:05)Sergeant Lazarus (Melchizadek 8:15); Brother Pappacordo (Zether 1:09); Brother Brunellecci (Hamurabbas 1:03) +

+ Front row, left to right: Brother Ornaghi (Utchael 3:04); Brother Ilean (Rasa 1:01)Brother Simnal (Saditel 2:02); Brother Cleon (Sanael 1:02); Brother Zoma (Caraniel 9:01) + 


Very pleased with these, and with a second squad completed, I've now got an officer to pick out and paint. For those who wanted to see the Scouts completed, they'll be the next squad – I started on them at the same time as the four above, so shouldn't be too long, either. +

+ inload: Blood Angels progress +

+ A return to blood +

+ The Alien Wars, a setting based around the actions of armies during the Nova Terra Interregnum, has been ticking over in the background. You can read about the broad scope of the project in the tab at the top of the blog (and check out the awesome aliens people have made!). Part of this is my Blood Angels army [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +

+ They've been a bit neglected this year, but I dug them out last night to assess where I'd got to with them. +

+ The first tactical squad is completed. The army was intended to be an exercise in painting a neater, cleaner style, and I found it very slow going. Neverthless, pulling these lads out of mothballs was very rewarding; and a reminder of why I decided I was going to really try my hardest with this force. I don't think they've quite got the visual impact and 'pop' of my Gatebreakers [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], but they scratch that retrohammer itch and have a lovely warmth to them. After playing around with oils, it's also nice to see what I could – and hopefully can still – achieve with acrylics. +

+ The second Tactical squad is more than half complete. I think I must have got fed up with the remaining four; and this is likely where I'll start again. Small goals, in my experience, are much more sensible to set! +

+ I keep spotting little details like the banners and flamer, and wondering how I did them; or whether all four of the remaining figures have been taken to the same painting standard. This is a problem with breaking off a project halfway through! +

+ If you'll excuse a little self-congratulation, I think the Devastators look awesome together. Painting this Mark VI-themed squad – like the rest of the army, an homage to the RTB-01 models used in the GW studio army detailed in WD139 – should be fun. +

+ I've finally decided how I'll tackle the blue helms, and that's to take a leaf from the Swedish artist Anders Zorn, who used a very restricted palette of just four colours: yellow ochre, vermilion, titanium white and ivory black. Lacking any blue, it's a palette that still allows for a wonderful variety of hues. +

+ Now, I'm not going to be quite so restrictive as to remove all blues from my palette – not only am I no master artist, but my aim is to have tight control over the notoriously variable colour red, not make things harder for myself. I will, however, be using a muted, desaturated grey-blue (typical of the Zorn palette) to stand in for the vibrant primary blues of the inspiration. +

+ I used to really dislike the style of these models – the combination of ruffles and earrings and mohawk/ponytail combos just seemed weird – but now they've got a real retro appeal for me. While I like the 'tacticool' design of the modern sculpts, sculpts like these Renaissance-flavoured scouts really capture the outré, ritualistic feel of 40k's semi-barabaric dark age much better. I'm looking forward to painting these the most, so I might skip ahead to tackle them and get my hand back in for painting in this style. +

+ Having mentioned using acrylics above, I'm wondering if I might get away with using oils for this army, too. The red seems like it'd be ideal to enrich with burnt umber [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and it'd go a long way to making this project more enjoyable. (You can read about my thoughts on changing style, here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]) +

+ If I decide to do so – and it's a big if; consistency here is important, and I want to persevere with the approach – then these scouts seem an ideal place to try it. By their nature, they'll look different to the rest of the army, and an all-over burnt umber oil wash will help to tie together different areas. +

+ Ah, the Terminators of Squad Redemptor. Back in 2018 I wrote a tutorial for converting Terminators large enough to sit alongside Primaris, and then they lurked, victims of imposter syndrome as I thought I'd never be able to do them justice in paint. The tutorial [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+has long been the most-viewed inload on the site, so I really ought to pull my finger out and get them done. Apart from anything else, it'd let me play Space Hulk again! +

+ The characters. I said I'd reward myself by painting one every time I completed a squad, which rather shows how slowly this army has been progressing... Rather like the look of them all gathered together – I'm glad that I decided to go 'all-banner all the time'. +

+ Bases on tanks? Yes, I thought this was a neat way to give the Rhino a bit more presence. Long-time inloaders will know how much I dread painting vehicles, but this might be another excuse to try out using oils, since it doesn't need to exactly match the infantry. Perhaps I'll find a method of painting tanks that I enjoy? +

+ Rather ugly lower legs there. I think I'll need to return and fix that before progressing with the speeder. Half tempted to paint the speeder yellow – it'd make the marines stand out, and I always rather liked the idea that the heraldic colours were reserved for the Astartes themselves, rather than their equipment. What do you reckon?+

+ ...and last but not least, the casualties – including one interred safely in a Dreadnought. Safely for him, that is; not the enemies of the Emperor! Looking more closely at this, you can see that this must have been the last thing I painted before packing the army away – the upper half is the Mephiston Red spray, while the lower part has received two coats of the Mephiston Red and Vallejo vermillion mix I use, as detailed in my painting red tutorial here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +


+ It's nice to have everything collected together again for a once-over. The imminent release of the Primaris Techmarine means I'll have a figure available to plug the last gap in the WD139 force; the techmarine manning the Thudd Gun. That seems a good enough motivation for me to get chugging along with the army once more. What would you like to see me tackle first? Finish off Tactical squad II, paint the scouts or polish off the Dreadnought? +

+ inload: Sons of the Temple: Legio Sumer-Nikator +


+ It's been a while since I've exloaded anything about my Titan Legio, The Sons of the Temple, but I had the chance to play an outside game for the first time in a long while. +

+ The game itself was part of the PCRC's Antona Australis setting, during the War on Halicarnas. Here, a coup d'etat has been staged against the planetary governor, Amphimachus the Thin. To cut a long story short, the world is now the battlefield of a number of Titan Legions fighting either for or against Imperial Commander Amphimachus. +

+ Our game saw the Legio Sumer-Nikator advancing on a city loyal to House Amphimachus; stoutly defended by Legio Kerberos, Lucifer216's beautiful Titan Legion. +

+ A short and bloody affair, the Legio Kerberos maniple retired from the field as the heavy guns of The Sons of the Temple struck home. +

+ The result rather flattered my tactical skill: Lucifer216 had an real uphill climb after we opted for a straightforward shoot-out. Unable to bring his numbers to bear or flank my force, the Legio Sumer-Nikator maniple was able to focus fire and bring down two Titans before the survivors opted to flee the field. +

+ With that said, I did pick up some lessons on armament. I had set up my Warbringer, Dread Hellespontion, as a dedicated heavy Titankiller, packing a volcano cannon and Laser Blaster alongside its Mori quake cannon. Complementing this was an all-rounder Warlord – Ipsus Granicus – bearing a Macro-Gatling Blaster, Mori Quake Cannon and caracpace Laser Blasters; and 'Old Spiteful' himself, Senex Codommanus. The hoary old Reaver had a Gatling Blaster, Laser Blaster and an Apocalypse Launcher, making him good for taking down shields and finishing things off. +

+ Indeed, it was he who claimed the Engine Kill for the enemy Reaver, stripping the shields for Hellespontion to then batter. The following turn saw 'Old Spiteful' cut the Kereberos engine apart at the knees as it struggled to bring its shields back online. +

+ On the other side of the battlefield, the Kerberos group charged down the guns, only to be stymied by the two Mori Quake Cannons; which gave Ipsus Granicus time to blast away one of the Warhounds in a massive volley of fire. That left the Kerberos forces too much ground to make up. With their remaining Reaver stranded out on the left, and the others red-lining their reactors, Lucifer216 conceded, withdrawing his Engines. +

+ Far more important than the result, however, was the spectacle and experience. I love how Titanicus games look, with mighty war engines striding over devastated cityscapes – and all the better to have the opposing force so beautifully painted, so thanks Lucifer216! +

+ My selection of weaponry was mostly aesthetic (well, and wanting to use the ruinously expensive Forgeworld guns I'd bought for Ipsus Granicus), but while playing I really found that they 'felt' right – the Macro-Gatling Blaster felt like it was throwing out a barrage of howitzer shells, while the staggering, slowing effects of the quake cannons was very cinematic. Altogether very nice mechanics to this game. +


+ Painting the Princps +

+ With enthusiasm high, I wanted to do a spot of painting. Having been grinding through the Titans themselves, I wanted a bit of a palette cleanser, so turned to polishing off the Princeps models:

+ We've seen a few of these before [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], including Teutares Polassar, Princeps Senioris of the battlegroup and master of 'Old Spiteful'. He's front and centre above. I hope you'll indulge me in sharing them again as part of the group alongside the new finished figures. +

+ This group is a bit unusual for me. I don't really consider myself a 'collector' of Citadel miniatures per se, as I'm far more likely to chop up and use models than build them stock, but the Princeps range is small enough and lovely enough that I have built a little collection of them as-is. I'm still on the lookout for the Rogue Trader-era ones, and – probably a bit of a Holy Grail set – the crew from the 40k-scale Warbringer Nemesis. +

+ The sitting Princeps is one of the new figures. Nice little piece; I like his scar and goatee. I might play around a bit further with the details, but I'm happy with him as he stands. He's from the 40k scale Warhound Titan, bought second-hand someone on Facebook, if I recall correctly. I think this is the only one of the Princeps models that doesn't have an equivalent standalone non-seated version: the Warlord Titan heads include both standing and seated Princeps, with similar details; while the Reaver Titan had the standing version sold as an exclusive a few years back. I imagine there is a standing version of this Princeps somewhere in Forge World's backlog, but if he does exist, I don't think he's been released. +

+ This figure's relatively common second-hand, as the Warhound is a popular kit and some people build the head closed; I presume selling off the Princeps as un-necessary or to recoup some of the cost. +

+ This Princeps Majoris was a Warhammer World exclusive back in 2015. Perhaps my least favourite of the stock figures, the bionic arm looks a bit crude to me, and the face has a very pinched, thin look that made it a pain to paint. The detail on the face is very stark, too. Once painted, I've warmed a bit to him – I like the clipboard detailing, and the head, while a pain to paint, has given nice tonal contrast. +

+ This Princeps comes with the Lucius-Alpha pattern Warlord head from Forgeworld. It is available to buy as a Warhammer World exclusive. As noted above, you get both a standing and a seated version of the Princeps. This is the only one that I've actually bought as part of the head; all the others I've got as individuals from events, or found second-hand. The head itself is a project for another time, but I'll do my best to emulate the detailing here on the seated version. +

+ The Reaver Titan Princeps was the first one I bought, back around 2008 – but I then sold him on. I purchased this replacement second-hand when I decided to try to idly collect the set. Rather looks like he's suffering from Engine withdrawal, don't you think? The seated version is available only as part of the Reaver Titan body (the head isn't sold separately, for some reason), so unless I'm very lucky, I doubt I'll ever have that one. +

+ He's a bit stiff in terms of pose, but I like the heavier armour plating and the details. This limited figure was likely the dolly for the later Princeps Majoris limited figure above – a cursory glance will show how similar they are. +

+ My favourite of the sculpts, this is one of the few currently readily available, as part of the Warlord Mars-Alpha head kit [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. As near to the 'default' as you can get, I think they made the right choice in making this excellent and characterful sculpt part of the flagship design. Again, I don't own the seated version, but I'm always on the lookout. +

+ Again, I suspect the Reaver Titan Princeps provided the dolly for this, which varies only in head and arm position. +

+ This is the generic Titan Princeps, long available as part of a set of three. He came with a pair of Moderati – still the only standing versions available. I have all three thanks to the generosity of my friend Omricon, who gave me his set when he found I was collecting them. They are now out-of-production. + 

+ Interesting set; these were some very early Forge World infantry, available long before any 40k-scale Titans, and seemingly because a sculptor just fancied making them. You can see how the design varies from the later ones, but he still fits in very nicely alongside them. A surprising amount is very similar, and I wonder if this figure provided the dolly for most of the rest. +

+ As I say, I'm very idly collecting these. Still to source are seated versions of the Reaver and Warlord Mars-Alpha head Princeps, and all the Warbringer crew – if you know anyone who's looking to offload them, please point them my way. +

+ I have the standing moderati and seated Warlord Lucius-Alpha pattern on my painting table; and I'm planning to use the collection as an excuse to build more Techpriests, too. I have the Reaver Titan techpriest, which you can see through the link here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and want to get my hands on the standard Forge World techpriest – still available – which I think provided the dolly for the Reaver one. The others will perforce need to be slightly different, but I'll have fun creating different looks. +


+ ...and as a final bit of fun, I thought I'd paint the clipboard on the Princeps Majoris to give the impression that he's checking the quick reference sheet from Adeptus Titanicus! +