+ inload: Ecclesiarchy and Blood Bowl +

+ Plastic Sisters of Battle +

+ Conversions, admittedly, but very simple ones. These are made from Genevieve and Eleanor, from GW's new Triumvirate of the Imperium box set. A little chopping and repositioning brings them down to earth, and I've added boltguns from the Sisters of Silence sprue. +

+ I'm more pleased with the one on the left, but I think both are pretty cool. The colour scheme is as-yet undecided, but they'll be joining the vague group below, themed around enforcers of the law and the Ecclesiarchy.

+ Blood Bowl +

+ Unrelated to the above is Piritt Silvers, my Blood Bowl blitzer. A very simple conversion that involved little more than trimming away some of the details from the new Griff Oberwald sculpt from Forge World. + 

+ Here's a scale shot next to one of the old metal team that I'll be painting soon. +

+ inload: Guest Post by Bob Hunk +

[heuristic access testload – user_BOB HUNK]

+ Bit of a treat today, a guest post from Bob Hunk. Enjoy! +



Hi everyone, Bob Hunk here, creator of Team Fisto and Apologist’s long time friend (and bitter tabletop enemy!). Apologist asked if I’d like to do a guest post on his blog, and I jumped at the chance. I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about Letholdus, Praetor of the Imperial Fists, who we’ve recently seen in action during the Assault on Pradesh Novum battle report. [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]

+ Letholdus was recruited on Terra approximately two decades into the Great Crusade. He had been elevated to the rank of sergeant by the time the VII Legion was reunited with Dorn on Inwit. By the outbreak of the Heresy he had risen even further to the exalted rank of Praetor. He remained with Dorn and the bulk of the Legion that stayed to defend the Solar System while the Retribution Fleet struck out for Istvaan. 
+ Although comparatively rare among the Imperial Fists, although not entirely unheard of, his Legion’s geneseed had some effects on Letholdus’ physiognomy. As he aged, he gained the same bone-white hair and flint-coloured eyes as his honoured Primarch. 
+ Letholdus’ ultimate fate is not known to this chronicler. That he participated in, and ultimately survived, the Siege of Terra is a matter of record, as is his role in several major engagements during the Scouring era, including the infamous Iron Cage. After that the record falls silent, and his participation, if any, in the Second Founding is not recorded. 
+ Extract from Astartes Heroes of the Horusian Rebellion, circa M33. +


My objectives in designing this model were threefold:

Firstly, I wanted to create a recognisable version of this classic captain model seen below. I’ve always been a particular fan of this model. I started playing 40K during the closing days of Rogue Trader and really got into it during the heyday of 2nd Edition. For me, this model is very evocative of that golden era of childhood gaming.

Secondly, while meeting the first objective I also wanted to modify the armour-mark of the original to match my version of MkVI ‘Corvus’ pattern armour, as used by the rest of Team Fisto.

Thirdly, I wanted to improve on my previous attempts to make an LED bionic eye. The only other model I’d attempted to give a bionic eye is a sergeant, but he had half a bionic head, so the eye is more of an almond shape ‘visor lens’ style, rather than Letholdus’ circular lens.

I’m pleased to say I feel that I met all the objectives. The sword and head were taken directly from the plastic ‘Web Exclusive Captain’ model that Games Workshop produced a few years back (itself a tribute to the original that I was trying to replicate). I considered also using the elaborate iron halo from the plastic model, but decided against it in the end as this did not feature on the original model. A refractor field is good enough for me!

Although the original model was carrying a storm-bolter, I opted for a simple Umbra-pattern bolter for my Praetor. I like my officers to carry a bit more ranged firepower than a simple pistol so that they can actually participate in the shooting phase alongside whichever squad they joined. However a combi-bolter seemed a bit much for a Praetor to be lugging around.

Painting wise, I simply followed my standard Team Fisto recipe for the yellow: Corax White undercoat, Averland Sunset base, Casandora Yellow shade, Yriel Yellow layer (I apply two watered-down coats of this layer for good coverage), Flash Gitz Yellow layer highlight, Dorn Yellow layer highlight, Lamenters Yellow glaze.

So that’s the story of how Letholdus came to be. I hope this was at least vaguely interesting. If you’d like to see more of Team Fisto, then check out the thread on the Bolter & Chainsword forum here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]. Now back to you, Apologist!


+ Segfault spur identified: malcode purged +

+ Cheers, chum – look forward to seeing him on the field again soon... +

+ inload: 30k Battle Report: Iron Warriors vs Imperial Fists part II +

+ Find part I here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] +

Basilikoi and a Legion Tactical Muster of Iron Warriors advance through the gantries, taking ineffectual potshots at the Imperial Fists.

The smouldering wreck of the lead Predator causes a bottleneck to form, with infantry scattering out of the way of heavier engines of war.

Sporadic return fire from the Fists is baffled by hard armour and obscuring girders.

...all except for the unfortunate multimelta support squad, who are reduced to two men. True to the Iron Warriors' cold logic, they remain stalwart under fire.

Stoic and grim-visage, the Imperial Fist defenders reload.

Hekaton Zodios, the Leviathan Dreadnought, pushes forward, acting as a shield for his comrades. Heavy artillery fire from the graviton cannon rapiers damages both Land Raiders.

The Iron Warriors rush into cover as the Custodes close in; both parties spit fire at each other, but no casualties result.

As the damage to the Land Raiders increases, courtesy of repeated grav-blasts from the Rapiers, the Breachers deploy and advance down the narrow alleyways.

Lehtoldus himself, Praetor of the Imperial Fists Legion, and champion of this section of the wall, deploys from his personal Land Raider and moves to join the Breachers.

Eyes and hearts aglow, the Custodes weather the Iron Warriors unrelenting firepower as they close.

Both sides push for the incremental advantage necessary in Legion warfare.

The streets become clogged with smoke and bodies.

Hyperion signals the charge, and overwatch fire pours out, baffled by the precociously-advanced Custodes armour.

Letholdus and the Breachers escape the damaged Land Raiders just in time, as Hekaton Zodios comes barrelling in to destroy them with his siege drill.


+ Read on for the concluding part III of this battle report [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] +

+ inload: Minos Madrigon +

+ inload: Minos Madrigon +

Ignoring the crew's and serf's ritual obesiance, I walk steadily through the bridge, measuring my pace. I had found myself adopting a creeping, tense way of moving about in the days after the treachery, and was determined to reassert mastery.

I don't feel comfortable here, and by the creak of the heavy black wood of the stairway beneath my feet, it is clear the machine-spirit of the Nereid feels much the same. Reaching and mounting a gantry, I keep my head fixed forward, though I am aware of the Immortal's gaze following me until my ascent takes me out of his line of vision. 

I had been taught that the Astartes were a precious resource. Indeed, we are celebrated, recorded, as humanity's shining champions. I had always felt a little discomfort at the reception with which we were met on worlds after Compliance. The pomp. The parades. The crowds. Always a little... I cannot put words to it.

Isstvan, however, put the lie to that; demonstrating just how expendable we were to humanity at the end. Not the battle. Not the war. No, by the fact that the crews of the ships in orbit seemed all too hasty to leave so many behind. I couldn't know for sure, but our evacuation, scattered and unplanned, had taken less than a tenth of the time as deployment. How could two Legions – and the heart of a third – have been safely lifted?

Impossible. The retreat from the black soil of Isstvan had been a scramble – rescue boats seemed only too happy to translate away once they had what their commanders considered a suitable load.

In the more saturnine moments to which I ration myself, I ask whether I would have done differently than the Nereid's Captain? Hanging in space, unsure of whether the craft around us – let alone the soldiers we had allowed on board – were allies or enemies, would I have stood firm? Would I have done so if I suspected my lord and his coterie were dead, and confronted with a superior demanding to take command?

Hm. A suitable load. A mixed Company of Iron Hands and a few waifs and strays. Less than a quarter of the craft's potential capacity, given the now-empty cargo holds. There are still Salamanders on board, of course, but they are outnumbered nearly twenty to one by the other Legionaries. All but a skeleton crew had descended to the surface in the assault; and of the remainder, half had semi-mutinied and scrambled to the surface after contact was reported lost with their own Primarch.

Upon finding the Salamanders had all but abandoned the craft, Arrowsmith had assumed command. The Nereid's Captain – a wiry, sunken-eyed man – had seemed distracted, uninterested. He stumbled off the bridge as though mazed. His movements were stilted; like broken clockwork. I am no expert in human psychology, but the situation had been less... tense than anticipated. He had retreated here, to the observation deck slightly fore and above the bridge. Here he had stood, gazing intently at nothing, until he was gently escorted to his quarters by aides. 

I do not wrestle with melancholy. I subdue it. It is in the nature of the Tenth – even one like myself – to do so. Nevertheless, In such circumstances, I am glad of the observation deck. It is not exactly a distraction as a reminder of scale. The vacuum of sorrow is made more humble – though no less unwelcome – by a comparison with the yawning emptiness of the void. 

The prow of the Nereid is mounted with stylised rose-gold girders that bear away into that emptiness of the void. The lines are clean and proud; extending outwards to form the maw of a monstrous wyrm. Ostentatious, to my eye, though I admit little appreciation of artistry. It was, after all, a craft of the XVIII Legion, though no home to them now.

I confess. Here I brood. If three Legions could rebel, were they best not left on the surface of that isolated planet on which they quarantined themselves? As a man, would I have unleashed Exterminatus on the surface? 

Steps behind me, measured as were mine. I tense, though make an effort to appear at ease, my arms crossed as I lean on the ornamental balustrade. I would not jump at shadows, nor admit to suspicion of treachery. Not in my brothers. Not even if they suspected it in me. That way lies madness.

"It is stylised after the Heliosan style," the other begins, settling himself on the rail a little way further along. His voice is duskily accented, and for a moment I remember Catabin, his blood wet and cloying on the black rocks. "The dragon, I mean. The prow." 

Standing as I turn, I meet the gaze of a helmed Iron Hand. No. Yes.

The dust and wear of Isstvan is still heavy on black plate. This is not unusual; many – particularly the Lodge members, like Triumph – have taken terrible and binding oaths to retain the damage and patina of Isstvan until such time as it could be avenged. Childish. As though it could be forgotten. As though it can be avenged.

But his armour pattern is unfamiliar, and his iconography unclear. His clan symbol faces away from me, hidden by his bulk.

"You are thinking of the Captain." He continues, and I bristle. That the Clan-Commander was spying on me was pathetic enough. That he sent emissaries to interrogate me was worse.

"Arrowsmi-" I begin, but the other cuts me off.

"The ship's captain. Orioso, late of the Nereid," he clarifies. That shut me up. A psychic, then. Librarius. "Yes to the first, no to the second." His voice betrays a smile, though the words still sound odd. He continues. "Should Orioso – he and the Navy, that is – have argued against the Astartes cleaning house in person? For that is, in truth, at the core of the assault. There was a statement to be made. Honour to be upheld."

I narrow my eyes. I detect no mockery in his voice. Why is he asking something the Clans had debated back and forth? "Had we held back and bombarded Isstvan, we could not have reported to Lord Dorn that the traitors were brought to justice. Deployment was necessary," I said, warily. He merely nods, his gaze still outwards.

"True. Nothing could have guaranteed the Sons, and the Children, and the Hounds – the Eaters, I mean – were felled. Would you trust any malignancy to fell the Death Lord? I would not. We would have faced an eternity half-suspecting that some had escaped." He pauses. "But it was, nevertheless, a luxurious necessity."

"You object? You did not relish a chance to restore your honour?" 

He snorts. "No. And nor did you."

"Librarius or not, if you are psychic, you know I have little honour in the Legion." He nods again at this, but distractedly. "You also know your 'talents' are prohibited." A pause develops. I was annoyed, placelessly. This intruder had put off my meditations. "What do you want?" He unfolded at that; stood up, as though surprised. 

"Companionship?" He said, unguardedly. I hesitated, unsure if this were a question, or a test. "I apologise for the slip – I am used to my time with Medardus, who now plays Achilles, sulking in his tent, and brooks no disturbance. I merely sought brotherhood with another close to him. Nothing more. Brotherhood. There is precious little on this ship. Precious little amongst the Astartes."

I did not know what to say to this odd confession. In the pause, my martial instinct kicked in. Was he an infiltrator? "If you require guidance on morale, the Chaplaincy is wh-" He cut me off once more, and settled back onto the railing, looking forward.

"No, no matter. I mean no harm. A simple yearning for simpler times, perhaps. When there was no need to suspect those beside you." He turned that strange, archaic helm towards me, knowingly. "When we walked the storm on Terra. When we bore the lightning."

"I remember."

"Yes, I see you do." His voice brightens, loses that strange, wistful tone. "Brighter times, when the enemy was to your fore and the Emperor, blessed-be-his-name, was lock-step besides you." He rose once more, bowed lightly. "I apologise for any disturbance; brother."

I nod as he turned to walk away, that unfamiliar clan-sigil nagging at me. I watched him reach the stairway, place his black gauntlet on the guardrail, and watched until he passed out of sight.

We spent a long time within the Nereid; six months sidereal, but the experience felt more exposed than usual to me. Void travel usually felt like burial – the ships of the Tenth sealed the shutters tight, squeezing what cold starlight fell on our craft out. Not so on the Nereid. It had no shutters to close.


+ Minos Madrigon +

+ An enigmatic addition to the force, I really enjoyed putting this figure together. A few details are intended to hint at his origins – along with a couple of red herrings! +

+ inload: Blood Bowl playtest teams +

+ inload: Blood Bowl playtest teams  +

+ Valley Dwarf Teams +

+ Not all Dwarfs dwell in their mountain fastnesses – after all, someone's got to grow the beer-barley and tend the livestock for feasts. While most dwarf settlements in the valleys are small, insular and tied strongly to a nearby Stronghold, some have grown large and independent enough to operate as thriving market towns, inviting trade, cultural exchange and – of course – Blood Bowl. Dwarf teams of the valleys tend to play a less defensive and more mobile game; though they are still dwarfs, with the concomitant advantages and disadvantages! +

                    Cost    MA  ST  AG  AV  Skills
0–16 Linemen        70,000   5   3   3   8  Dump Off, Thick Skull
0–4  Running backs  80,000   6   3   3   8  Sure Hands, Dump-Off, Thick Skull
0–4  Blitzers       80,000   5   3   3   9  Block, Thick Skull

0–8 Re-roll counters: 60,000 gold pieces each

+ Skill access +

          Normal  Double
Linemen     G      SAP
Runners     GP     SA
Blitzers    GS     AP

+ Famous Valley Dwarf Teams +

+ Bryn's End Ravens +
+ Pant-y-Gyrdl Tanglers +
+ Be-Neath +

+ Designer's Notes +

+ Less well-armoured and disciplined than regular Dwarfs, but better at handling the ball, Valley Dwarf teams have younger linemen in place of longbearded blockers. This makes them faster and more nimble, but less hard-hitting (with access to S skills only on a double) and  more vulnerable to injury. +

+ Broad starting access to dump-off is their answer to lack of block – by opening up their area of play, they force the opposing coach to make decisions on where to throw their blitz – as the ball is unlikely to end-up where they want it! + 

+ Valley Dwarf teams that can afford to build up their specialist players can play a strong running game, and even try a passing game in a pinch. Opponents would be well-advised to focus on the dangerous running backs early on in a league, before the Valley Dwarfs can capitalise on general dwarf toughness. +

+ Suggested starting line-up +

7 Linemen
2 Running Backs
2 Blitzers
2 Team re-rolls
Fan Factor 5


+ Stormcast Eternal Teams +

Like all good-thinking gods, Sigmar is a keen Blood Bowl enthusiast. While most Stormcast Eternals are spirited away from their home-planes and reforged into mighty warriors, Sigmar also summons the greatest athletes, girding them with Sigmarite shoulderpads and jockstraps before sending them to do battle on the gridirons of the Mortal Realms. +

                             Cost    MA  ST  AG  AV  Skills
0–16 Stormcast Impeders      80,000   5   4   3   9  Dauntless
0–2  Stormcast Precipitators 90,000   5   4   3   9  Nerves of Steel, Strong Arm
0–4  Stormcast Apprehenders  100,000  6   3   3   9  Nerves of Steel, Sure Hands

0–8 Re-roll counters: 60,000 gold pieces each

+ Skill access +

              Normal  Double
Impeder         GS      AP
Precipitator    GSP     A
Apprehender     GS      AP

+ Famous Stormcast Eternal Teams +

+ Celestial Bulls +
+ Chic-Cargo Beareaters +
+ Western Hammers of Sigmar +

+ Designer's Notes +

+ The Stormcast Eternals are a slow team to start up; you're unlikely to get more than one specialist in a starting team, and you'll be heavily reliant on luck to do much with the ball. On the other hand, the Impeders are excellent all-round linemen/blockers – arguably the best in the game. Similarly, the Apprehenders combine a Runner/Catcher role, while the Precipitators serve both as blockers and throwers. +

+ Initially encouraging a defensive playstyle, Stormcast Eternal teams are vulnerable to injury and letting their players get isolated. With no fast players and with so-so handling skills, the Stormcast Eternal coach must get their cage organised quickly and into the opposing half if they hope to score. +

+ As the team skills up, Stormcast Eternals' durability and strength can begin to dictate the play. With all their team having normal access to Strength skills, players with Grab, Juggernaut and similar offensive skills can begin to leverage their excellent ST stat to open up the field of play and let the Appreheders through. +

+ Suggested starting line-up +

10 Stormcast Impeders
1 Stormcast Apprehender
1 Team re-roll
Fan Factor 4

+ inload: Lex Talionis – an Eye for an Eye +

+ Lex Talionis – an Eye for an Eye +

Past the Immortal, upright and poised, were the Company Colours. They were suspended from the command dome, far above. They were – and were not – my colours. Familiar white and black, plus the green of a Neptunian night.

I knew the hue of the banner was called sea-green, but that reference never had much cadence for me. On the troubled surface of Medusa, fresh water lakes were mostly young and new; inert and crystal clear. I sailed the void before I ever saw a body of water much larger than an artificial reservoir.

Teslo Comitans was the colour-bearer for Clan Kreto, a minor clan from the Arctus Reaches, to whom the Nereid belonged. Comitans was not an Ancient; he was not honoured. He was simply the poor bastard who happened to be dragging the hated thing onto the Storm Eagle when Arrowsmith spotted him. 

To bear the colours of the Clan was an honour. Usually. When the Warmaster's treachery became evident, Kreto's colours were less an honour than a stain. They were evidence of an intermingling. The Clan had many ties with the XVIth Legion, having fought alongside them on a number of campaigns in the coreworlds – notably Corun and Synn, abhuman strongholds. Relationships were cordial. Their Captain, one Berabbadon, had sanctioned a binding banner, and presented it to Arrowsmith personally as a mark of respect.

At the time, Kreto were ecstatic – for Sons of Medua, at least. Comitans had told me, through the sneer that seemed to have become etched on his craggy features, that the colours had been skirl-piped around the Clan's leviathan upon their return. They had been placed alongside the most precious mementos of Kreto.

When called upon now to bear it aloft, Comitans' face twisted, as though handling excrement.

The colours hung in the darkness now, the symbols of our Legions bound inextricably together. It was stained. Pitted. It looked as though it had been ritually besmirched. Perhaps we needed a totem; a focus for our disgust.

I looked at Kreto's colours without rancour. Before the drop, I think I could have understood the shame; perhaps even joined the chorus to bear it in battle and bury its treachery in revenge. After the events of Isstvan, it was hard to put it into perspective.


+ Painting +

+ I do love a good banner. This is not the most complex design, but quite an awkward one. I introduced a new colour to the palette for this one in order to tie it into the broader theme of the army; the Battle of Dwell. +

+ The three figures you see above might form a Command squad, or might be split up into different groups. What do you reckon? +

+ inload: WIP Iron Hands painting +

+ By Whose Command? +

+ The Iron Hands are temperamentally unsuited to a phantom cell structure. Their way of making war is as straightforward as their Primarch. As straightforward, and as rigid. +

+ Rigidity, in war, can be a boon – the Iron Tenth's enviable record demonstrates this. Ferrus Manus' uncompromising focus and drive has made his Legion into a brute machine. +

+ It can also be a fatal flaw. A machine that meets an unmovable object will be shattered. I do not believe the warriors of the Tenth are psychologically suited to operating in any way other than as microcosms of their gene-father. +

– Analytica TacticaLieutenant Commander Ydris Chemosabe, III Legion. [REJECTED: identkey Maloghurst, Captain XVI]

+ Slow going over the weekend, but transfers, eye lenses and similar little bits have been completed on this little group. I've tried something a little different for the power axe – basically painting it grey, highlighting in the recessed join between generator and blade, then drawing the colour out in short feathered lines. Not quite sure of it at the moment, but I think it could work, with a little more care and attention. + 

+ The Immortal is coming along nicely, too. This stage is, to all intents and purposes, game-ready. However, the final details, weathering and addition of pastel powder goes a long way to adding interest and colour without compromising the starkness of the scheme. I thought I'd pop these up to show the contrast with the finished piece – which you can see (hopefully) in the next inload. +

+ I shortened the right arm a little – never be afraid to continue working on a piece if it's just not working for some reason. Better to bite the bullet and make the change before you really get stuck in. +

+ I'm in two minds about the shield. The other Breachers have received a braod white stripe, but the Immortal has been stripped of all his markings save the Legion symbol. Perhaps I ought to work the moulded symbol up in white? +

+ The banner bearer – I do like Mark V helms. There's something so brutal-looking, and they really evoke the Heresy for me. +

+ inload: May You Live Forever – new models +

+ inload: Six Months On +


For the fourth time that watch, I find myself approaching the bridge, my hand raised to alert the armsman-sentry. I am restless. We are all restless.

The corridor is dank stone – Venus-built – and dim, erratically lit by lumno-sconces that draw power from the damaged reactors. That there is light at all is a luxury Arrowsmith has only grudgingly afforded the armsmen.

Ah, Arrowsmith. Clan-captain Arrowsmith. A hard man to like, which makes it all the easier for him to lead. I owe him my life. The memories of Isstvan are raw, and the near-flawless memory my altered state has engendered, means they remain unsoftened by time. It has been six months, and still I see the fateful moment of defeat as though it were happening again, over and over. My sleep patterns are disturbed, my waking actions are agitated and distracted, and my fieldcraft is affected. My plate 'jects me with counterstimms to degrade excess hyperadrenaline.

We are all like this. Like this at best. Decades of experience have taught me that it is not always the best that remain standing; have taught me the arbitrariness of warfare. Of my meagre command on Isstvan, most are counted amongst the happy dead. Medardus, Triumph and myself. We are alive, but I hesitate to call us survivors.

Medardus has retreated into himself, shunning all company. Triumph has similarly isolated himself; communicating only in platitudes and Lodge rote. It is hard for Arrowsmith to enact discipline, particularly with we three on board. We are held in a peculiar mixture of contempt and awe. To have witnessed the Primarch's dea–


To have witnessed the event, we are unusual. The warriors of Sten, who make up the bulk of Arrowsmith's Recon company, seek us out. Some are sceptical, saying our account silver-tongued; others belligerent, as though by bellowing and posturing they can alter the events of the past. Others still are muted, mewling. That I find sickening.

So, one hiding, one in denial, and me. I wander. Perhaps it is easier for an outsider to remain outside.

Ah, one other. I forget. As the armsman salutes and waves me through, the portal to the bridge opens, and he is silhouetted. The Immortal. Hmm.

It is hard to take his oath seriously now. Have we not all failed the Legion? He intimated as much to me during the escape. As we reached atmosphere, I heard a vox-click. A private channel. I was focussed on the flight – anti-air fire has a wonderful effect of narrowing my view – and so I bore it no mind. I do not know how, or if, the Immortal overrode my plate, but I heard, above the roar of my own blood, five words that cut through my turmoil.

We are all immortal now.


+ Warriors of Sten + 

+ We rejoin our narrator on board the Nereid, a Venusian starcraft pressed into service to serve the Shattered Legions. He, and a lucky (well, arguably) few have become attached to other survivors from Clan-company Sten. +

+ These are work-in-progress, but I thought I'd pop 'em up for your thoughts. +

+ An injured veteran (that trailing arm is smashed up, and he's missing a couple of fingers as a symbol of the damage done to the Iron Hands) alongside a marine who might not be quite what he appears... +

+ Banners! Who doesn't love a banner to rally round? Clan Sten's banner will be sea green, a gift from the Sons of Horus in better times, which has taken on a very different tone now. Not sure if this chap will be a Herald or a company standard bearer, but he's got a little servo skull with him. + 

+ An axe-wielding marine – again, perhaps a squad sergeant, perhaps a Legion Command Squad member – alongside the Immortal, who's had a bit of adjustment made to his arm. +

+ inload: Leviathan Dreadnoughts +

+ inload: Leviathan Dreadnoughts +

+ Strapping a mortally-wounded hero into a chassis of steel and pain for an eternity of war is pretty much the Ur-example of 'grim darkness'; and Dreadnoughts have always been a big favourite of mine. I don't think I've ever done a Space Marine force without one of the big stompy brutes. +

+ Leviathans take the concept of Dreadnoughts and crank it up to eleven – and then keep twisting until the dial falls off. They're huge and clanky and stompy, and I think they're awesome. +

+ Brother Zodios +

+ Hekaton Zodios is the Leviathan from Officio Monstrosa. Equipped with a storm cannon, siege drill, forward-facing volkite calivers and a phosphex launcher, this chap is almost stock; the only conversion being a little greenstuff reinforcing on his helm. +

+ I think the base took longer to put together than the model, if I remember correctly – the manhole cover (actually a decorative embellishment from Hobbycraft, I think) was placed on the base, then the Leviathan, and then cork tile was used to build up the base to the right level. This recessed the manhole cover and 'sank' the Leviathan in to give a sense of weight. Pumice texture gel was used to fill in the crevices, and static grass tufts added after the painting. +

+ The posing was – fairly typically for me – understated. I don't like Dreadnoughts that are too dynamic, as for me they should be relentless rather than racing. +

+ It's a very simple colour scheme; identical to the infantry – gunmetal, silver and grey. On reflection, perhaps it's a little too simple. There's muted and understated, and then there's dull. +

+ In action on the Space Hulk-style board at Warhammer World, when we visited last year. This shot better shows the effect of the silver ink I add to my metallics, which gives the paints greater reflectivity. Not quite mirror-effect, but enough to give them some 'zing'. +

+ In the forges +

+ With one for the Iron Warriors, I felt it only right to have one for the Iron Hands – for whom entombment is less a duty as a reward. This chap, who takes more than a pinch of inspiration from 2000ADs ABC Warriors, has been converted with a lead Command Head from the Adeptus Titanicus upgrades that GW used to sell for their plastic Warlord Titans. +

+ While Zodios is a brawler who prefers more reliable, relatively low-tech solutions, I decided to equip the Iron Hands' Leviathan with far more advanced and experimental weaponry – a melta lance and grav-flux bombard. +

+ A particular note of thanks to Luke from Forge World customer services at this point – I had bought the arms from Warhammer World directly months ago, and thrown away the receipt before I came to open the blisters. The elbow joint was sadly missing, but FW came up trumps and sent out not just a replacement elbow sprue, but a whole new Grav-flux bombard! Thanks to the team's understanding, the Iron Tenth have some heavy support and a very happy customer. +

+ I'm looking forward to getting some paint on him. Perhaps I'll try something a bit more creative than the Iron Warriors one. +