+ inload: Warlord Titans WIP +

+ Painting Warlords for Legio Nikator +


+ Warlord Titans. Iconic, awesome, and colossal. This latter point means they take a lot of painting! To break things up and keep things interesting, I'm hopping around a bit, and developing on the fly. This can end up messy, but as long as you keep your paints thin, you can always work over the top. It's the joy of acrylics. +

+ Battle Titans – that it, Warlords and Reavers – are the iconic units of the game for me. Knights and Scout Titans are all very well, but I want to see clashes between these great land-battleships! +

+ Coropedion +

+ Since we last saw him, Coropedion's received a new head, and the turquoise areas have been replaced with some white sections. Turquoise will be reintroduced, but as an accent colour. +

+ Not a huge amount to say here, other than it's a gradual slog from base coat to the finished effect. It's easy to get disheartened, but keep a vision of the final effect in your mind, and keeping going towards it. + 

+ In particular, I find it helpful to pause occasionally with big projects like this. Focus in on a panel or two (like the head, knee and thigh here) and work those up to completion. It provides an enjoyable break from the monotony of base-coating, and gets you one step closer to completion. +

+ With this approach, there is the risk of accidentally overpainting or mucking up completed areas, but roll with it. Allow it to dry, than work back over – perhaps even incorporate the marks. This is particularly appropriate for the ancient Engines of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and is a sort of back-door way into weathering. +

+ The armament here is purely for the pict-capture – I remove the magnetised bits while I'm working. My plan is to get the main chassis of this pair of Titans game-ready – weapons can follow along afterwards. +

+ Here's an example of a completed area. Working a focal point like the head up to completion really gives character to the piece; and encourages you to finish it. Note the use of stormy blue for the eye – complementary to the terracotta – and also that the surrounding area has been knocked back; painted very simply with deep gunmetal and black. This gives tonal contrast with the bright silver trim and piercing blue eye; building to give a sense of impact. +

+ Ipsus Granicus – the Manifest Law +

+ I like the pose on Coropedion, but (whisper it low), the Manifest Law is my favourite. Stomping forward, kicking buildings out of the way... what's not to love about this grouchy thing? +

+ Painted with the same approach as Coropedion, Ipsus Granicus has considerably more white areas at the moment. The opportunity for variety is a brilliant aspect of the heraldic schemes typical of the Titan Legions. +

+ The large panels are just screaming out for some freehand and super-detailing, just like the Senex Codomannus I finished recently [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +

+ The expansion sprue GW released – with the fist, laser blasters etc. – is lovely: it's no coincidence that my first two Warlords sport the two expansion heads. Ipsus Granicus in particular has my favourite head, reminiscent of the 80s originals. +

+ As with Coropedion, I've worked up the head. Again, deep dark sockets surround bright blue eyes. I've incorporated some gold into the trim here; as the sheer amount of it meant sticking to silver was visually confusing. +

+ inload: Halicarnas campaign opening+

+ Missive: Legio Petition – Halicarnas +

Dataspool: Princeps Senioris grade and above2907019.M41Checkdate: N/A / InternalPriority: Crimson

My lord,

Amphimachus the Thin, the Planetary governor of Halicarnas [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], has requested our aid:
With entreaties and memoria of our lasting friendship, we request, most regretfully and humbly, the aid of your Titan Legion. The deployment of a Maniple of your most puissant and glorious Legio would surely terrify potential rebels into submission, and firmly restate the glory and influence of the house of Amphimachus in this time of our need. We ask you to look to our previous service and association [in-Legio subset report: trade – net positive; political – net negative] and pray that the Throne guides you well in speedy submission to my appeal.


Our agents have revealed the following:

Over the course of the past three generations, long-established trade pacts have thinned for Halicarnas as allied Imperial worlds and nearby Forgeworlds – including our own sponsors – have found new trading partners. This has led to deepening recession, periodic famine and unrest on the world. In defiance of the Planetary Governor’s edicts, it is believed that elements of the Halicarnan government have been prompted to look beyond their traditional routes for growth. Rumours of smuggling, grey-market trading and even forbidden non-human contracts have grown commonplace in the months since.

+ Go-Xi of Xoa +
Were Amphimachus to be deposed cleanly and quickly, it is possible that a successor would be able to improve things. We have identified House Xoa as the most capable and creative of potential successors. Seemingly upstanding, Xoa are best set to ascend to the Halicarnassan governorship; and indeed served as Planetary Governors for two centuries in the recent past before being dethroned by forces loyal to the Amphimachans. Xoa’s current head, Go-Xi, has forged some promising new trading routes – a rarity for this world. While caution must be advised, as their inward-looking nature in recent years makes them an unknown quantity, the House of Xoa has become exceptionally outward-looking and entrepreneurial.

Many – though not all – of Amphimachus’ subordinates have grown increasingly corrupt, while Amphimachus himself has remained steadfast and honest to the point of stubbornness. Despite the straitened times, the house of Amphimachus has proven stubbornly loyal to the Imperium. He, like his ancestors, has paid the Tithes in full and on time every generation – though at an increasing cost to his authority and the populace. The reactionary, stoic and spartan nature of Amphimachus himself means he still commands personal respect from his people, suffering as he does alongside them.

+ Assessed-optimal landing zone +
Make no mistake, despite its political isolation, Halicarnas is an important planet, providing succour for a number of nearby systems, including critical worlds [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. It also acts as a warning station ahead of corewards aggression into the sector. Its current predicament is regrettable and requires action. It is for you to decide whether it is the fault of the governor, and what the best way is to re-invigorate the fortunes of this world.


The Grand Master of the Legio has granted you authority to Walk; ceding a portion of the Legion’s power to use as you see fit.
  • Declare (by reply) whether you will defend the House of Amphimachus, support a coup in favour of the House of Xoa, or sit out this conflict.
  • Create a campaign list of no more than 4,000 pts (remember to keep some in reserve!).
  • Titans should be named, to help tracking.
  • Submit the list to the campaign organiser, along with your Titan Legion’s name, before Friday.


+ Copies of this message have gone out to the potential players in this campaign; we now await to see the responses of each force. +

+ I've deliberately avoided the 'loyalist' and 'traitor' labels; I'm hoping we get to explore the grey areas a bit more. +

+ inload: Adeptus Titanicus – Senex Codomannus +

+ Old Spiteful – Senex Codomannus +

+ Brooding, surly and recalcitrant, the Codomannus is the last remnant of Legio Nikator's original Titans; the remainder being lost in battle, laid to rest, or ritually dismembered to provide parts for others during the lean days of the Masscal campaigns. +

+ Dramatis Personae: the crew of the Senex Codomannus +

+ Granted the honorific Senex to mark its age and significance, the Engine is more often known as 'Old Spiteful' to its enemies, owing to its dogged pursuit of exclusionary kills. The Codomannus' machine spirit is wary and suspicious, and highly demanding of its crew. +

+ The current Princeps is Teutates Polassar, a senior Princeps who habitually leads battlegroups of the Legio in their walks. +

+ Gaunt, balding and unprepossessing, Polassar has a keen eye for weakness – both in his prey, and in his crew – and a ruthless streak well-suited to the belligerent Reaver Battle Titan. +

+ Adept Xhao Non, Enginseer Primus, has attended Codommanus for a decade, serving well under Polassar's direction. +

+ Like all of Sumer-Nikator's techpriest caste, Non spends an enormous amount of time on neo-cartomancy, relying on scryservitors and withinlookmen underlings to influence and enhance his practical duties +


+ Painting Senex Codomannus +

+ What a treat! I loved the original Reaver model, and when the 28mm scale Reaver came out, I nearly buckled. I couldn't justify the expense, however, so my plans for colour schemes and decorations have sat for the best part of ten years. When the new version of Adeptus Titanicus was released, I couldn't wait for the Reavers – and was not disappointed. Really beautiful kits, and very enjoyable to paint. +

+ The overall idea was to use a very painterly approach, crashing together some different periods of history to give a sense of continuation. +

+ Mediaeval Byzantium gave me the inspiration for the emblem on top. I'll likely add a scroll beneath with the Titan's name, just to finish it off. My initial plan for the Legio was to use terracotta and turquoise, but here the turquoise is relegated to the devotional scene on the carapace. I've painted this quite softly using a fairly high key as I didn't want the decoration to be the focal point – just another decoration on this ancient beast. +

+ The later Middle Ages gave me another source of inspiration, and this sort of design (based on heraldic 'counter-ermine fur') pops up here and there over the Titan. It's relatively simple freehand; requiring careful placement more than anything. +

+ Some large areas of white were added, as the terracotta/orange was far too dominant. These were weathered with a combination of inks and flow medium; heavily applied, then lifted away selectively with a dry brush to create the patination and drip patterns. +

+ I wanted to keep some bold areas of colour, so I have kept most of the decoration to the lower legs – after all, that's the bit that the enemy will mostly see. However, that'd look a bit dull from above – which the players of the game will see – so I added some detail here, too. +

+ There are a few refinements I'd like to tackle at a later date – the scroll work I mentioned above, weapon banners and general refinement, but I think Old Spiteful is ready for war. +

+ inload: Rise of the God-machines +

+ Sons of the Temple: Legio Nikator +

+ All hail the god of machines! + 

Following a weekend of gaming, painting and building enthusiasm, progress continues on the Titans of my Legio. + 

+ I've really been feeling my way around these models; diving in and out and developing areas in isolation. Quite an organic approach, which has advantages and disadvantages. +

+ The panels of off-white were fun. Once a flat surface was achieved and allowed to dry, I drew a brush loaded with sepia ink and flow improver downwards, leaving these attractive streaks of weathering. While wet, I rinsed and dried the brush to lift out pooling areas to avoid backruns. +

+ Bright and colourful and cartoony! The chainfist panelling is unweathered; showing how the armour looks before I go in with the inks and so forth. I used this area to test out the Legio symbol, a hand grasping a crown. I worked freehand, adjusting as I went, so it's not quite right here. I think I'll sketch in onto the carapaces first to make sure it's more symmetrical. +

+ The pauldron and head here show a little highlighting and weathering, while the carapace has received another layer. Building it up gradually like this allows me a bit of control over how weathered the final result appears. +

+ A rear shot shows how some panels are more developed than others. I think I need to incorporate more of the white areas here and there. I'm also in two minds on whether to build up heat glow etc. around the exhausts. +

+ A detail from another work-in-progress Reaver, this kneepad was a fun bit of freehand, based on heraldic 'furs'. Tempted to expand the use of this – perhaps on the carapace of one? +

+ inload: Prelude to Qu'Ba +

+ Heyn'Am Rim +

Today regarded as the breadbasket of the Tzi'Na Enclave, a province of the Tau's Brightsword Protectorate, this promisingly rich and fertile system was discovered by Imperial explorators in M38, and earmarked for forcible induction to the Imperium at least twice. In both cases, its position equidistant between the two rival Imperial subsectors – Starfire and Hesiod-Siculus – saw much political sabre-rattling, and the invasion was postponed.
It bears an unusual population of abhumans alongside at least two xenos species. The three species seem to have a commensual relationship, all living and working together; benefitting from each others' protection and – mostly – using different resources. Imperial hopes that the humans could be recovered and re-indoctrinated proved fruitless after investigation found the humans to be hopelessly corrupted by intentional genehancing – hence their classification to abhumans.  
The agriworld – or rather sept – is known to the Tau as Heyn'Am, a transliteration of the inhabitants' own name. The world did not voluntarily join the Greater Good, and its population still harbours ill-will towards their new rulers.
Extr. Howtopher Buxcraft's Later Histories of Antona Australis vol. VII


Shambling onwards – work-in-progress Death Guard of the Bleak Vespers.

+ The Feverdream Episode +

The septworld of Heyn’Am was the scene of a flashpoint during the Tzi'Na Crisis. The Space Hulk Feverdream's drift took it through the Heyn'Am Rim, trapping the region between the space hulk and advancing elements of the Curdling Armada. Primed by the threat both in the void, the already-discontented native population was incited to open rebellion against their Tau masters by insurgent elements.

Alarmed by a sudden cessation in contact from their command centre on the island of Qu’Ba, local Brightsword forces hastily assembled to assist the encamped planetary suppression units. Whilst preparing for a full-scale assault on the Bayeaux Pigues region, orbital scans revealed construction of what appeared to be a large military facility further inland on Qu’ba. Fearing that delaying action would have disastrous consequences, contact was made with reliable alien agents planetside (the Bo’Than movement). Construction plans were appropriated and, although many Bo’Thans died in their retrieval, the T’au infiltrators escaped to the rendezvous point at Qi Liym Bay.

Caught between pursuing Qu’Bans and an approaching hurricane, the evacuation seemed to be heading for calamity when th+++ [+/!queryerror!/+] +++ides were turned by the arrival o+++ [+/!nonbinary expression executed!/+] +++ [+/!external override detected!/+] +++ [+/connection lost/+] +++

[+Colour text courtesy of Warmtamale+

+ Prepping for a game +

+ The PCRC are meeting up for one of our periodic get-togethers, and Warmtamale will be GMing use through The Qu'Ban Laser Crisis. I've been plugging away to get some more Plague Marines ready [+vizref: above+], and have also finally polished off the build for my Chaos Lord, Simargi of Moroz-Morok: 

+ No plan survives contact with the enemy. His planned armament – a blade and bludgeon – went out the window after they looked a bit crap. I ended up going with a giant axe and combi-bolter; and, as you can see, I also gave him his own little death-knell bell. The bells have turned up in quite a few places as part of the visual theme, so it only seemed fitting for SImargi to have one of his own. +

+ The two accompanying him are a second Blightbringer – again, I really like the tocsins, so another bell-carrier was a given – and a Putrifier, a sort of ex-techmarine (and a very kind gift from my brother and nephews – cheers lads). The conversion here is fairly subtle – adjusting the pose of the arm and replacing the head with the more standardised one I like best. +

+ In addition to the other close combat Plague Marines that are on the painting desk, I've also got this fella with a huge cleaver. +

+ ...and finally for today, a squad of Terminators, made with a mix of the Blightlord weapons (kindly donated by Lucifer216) and the new Chaos Terminator kit. +

+ inload: Dwarfs for Warhammer Underworlds +

+ 'Let me sing you the song of our people' +

+  Not being the biggest fan of the 'all slayers, all the time' look of the Fyreslayer dwarfs for Age of Sigmar, a while back I converted the Shadespire warband [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. I finally got round to painting them up. +

+ Not the most free-flowing of painting sessions, these were a bit frustrating to paint. I got there in the end, and painted is better than perfect, as the saying goes. +

+ One of the main stumbling blocks was simply that I don't have a handle on dwarf colour schemes. I keep thinking them through, and changing my mind halfway in, or finding they don't work, and... urgh. In the end, I went for ornamanted but uncoloured metal (as these will probably find a home in my Throng of Nog, made up almost entirely of fully-armoured dwarfs), and picked out the clothing in muted creams, blues, greens and browns. +

+ In addition to letting me experiment with and explore potential colour schemes, this slightly hotch-potch result turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I think the scheme fits the feel of these four as adventurers and treasure-hunters rather than professional soldiers. +

+ With such small faces – and even those mostly hidden beneath helms – I decided to make the beards the focal points of the figures, bringing in some natural variation. +

+ Since I've changed the background to make these proper hill dwarfs rather than the more high fantasy Fyreslayers, I didn't think the embedded gold runes made sense, so I painted them up as tattoos. +

+ inload: On the workbench, and experiments with GW's Contrast paint +

+ Experimenting and expanding armies +

+ Games Workshop recently released their 'Contrast' range of paints. I'm always interested in new developments of mediums and ranges, so picked up a few pots to play around with. +

+ The range is explicitly designed to make painting quick, the carrier working to deposit the pigment in a way that suggests natural highlights and shadows – a sort of bizarro-glaze. Where glazing aims to get the pigment applied as evenly as possible across a miniature's surface, the Contrast paints are designed to recede from ridges and deposit in crevices. The result is something that is intended to simulates the same effect as you'd get from laying down a base coat, then adding shading tones to the recesses and layering highlights to the raised areas. +

+ I've been looking for an excuse to paint these figures – lovely characterful sculpts that I've had waiting patiently for a project. Robes seemed like the perfect testing ground for this new product, as working out how the tones should be applied amongst their folds and creases can be challenging. +

+ I can see Gryph-hound Orange taking a permanent place in my palette. It's a lovely warm rusty muted earth-orange, a bit like the sadly-lamented Solar Macharius Orange from the Foundation range. The picture above shows it applied as a single layer over a Halford's white undercoat. You work straight from the pot, so it's quite an odd experience, but it applies nicely, with the right balance between flow and surface tension to stay where you put it. +

+ The effect above was very quick. It took – quite literally – seconds to get an equivalent effect to a more traditional base coat and wash. +

+ GW advise you to work over one of their proprietary off-white sprays, as the paint relies on having a completely smooth surface. You can see here what happens over a standard pure white spray – there's a certain graininess to the finish. You'd want to avoid this if you're using this purely to speed up your workflow, so in those cases I would recommend the GW spray. However, if you're looking to add it as another string to your painting bow, you might find this an advantage. I quite like the effect it has on the fabric here; adding very subtle surface texture and still working into the folds. +

+ The big advantage I see for me here is that the Contrast paint has established the areas of shade and highlight in one quick, clean movement – which means I can now use other techniques to push those areas without second-guessing myself on how the light should fall. Very useful – almost like a 'light map'. +

+ This kroot was an experiment in using the paint wet-in-wet; something that suits these fluid paints nicely. Snakebite leather (no, not that one) is the brown here, and Apothecary white for the belly. You can see how the colours have flowed and merged nicely in the recesses of the belly – something I find very promising. +

+ Again, it's the speed – something all but impossible to show here – that's the impressive thing. He (she?) must have taken two minutes at most; and while not great, it's a hell of a better base layer than I would be able to create with traditional paints and techniques. The figure above is ripe for further development – and when time is at a premium, being able to shave time off the dull 'grunt work' of base-coating to give you more finishing time is very valuable. +


+ My initial conclusions? The Contrast range are a useful new tool. While not miraculous, equally they're definitely not a case of 'emperor's new clothes'. I can see them working very nicely in batch-painting (something I find terribly tedious), and in combination with other techniques, will help out a lot for particular effects. As with any tool, then, it's more down to getting familiar with them, and working out how you can use it for something creative and personal. +


+ Expansion +

+ Painting's been mostly off the boil owing to the heat, but I have got some more building done for various armies. Too many unbuilt kits! +

+ Lamb's World +

+ More Lamb's Worlders – a combination of Forge World Elysians, Cadians and Van Saar, plus Victoria Minature bits. It was nice to build some more basic troops. +

+ Something a bit different – a dog handler. The dog's from Anvil Industries, the handler's head from Victoria Miniatures. Not sure what he'll count as, but the important thing is he was fun to make. +

+ Bleak Vespers +

+ Ho ho ho. Grandfather Nurgle's forces gather in the Warp. A nice ol' pile of Death Guard get their bases and undercoat done, ready for the main painting [+noosphericinload link embedded+]. +

+ A quick close-up of the first few off the priming pad – mostly specialists. +

+ ... and apropos of nothing, this chap got built. Using far more mutated and warped parts than the rest of the (relatively restrained) Bleak Vespers, he'll perhaps be a Lord or Greater Possessed. +

+ Ambull +

+ Giant rock-boring pile of bad attitude. What's not to like? +