+ inload: Firebreak, collecting and 15mm gaming +

+ Collecting +

+ I don't talk much about collecting as opposed to building or painting, and I think that's because I don't consciously think about 'sets' of models. Most, but not all, of my forces and factions have developed gradually. Nevertheless, I do sometimes think of armies as 'complete', which I suppose implies there's a sense of a complete collection. +

+ A selection of models from the War of the False Primarch setting – a collection in the making? +

+ Anyway, why am I talking about it? Well, in turning more attention to the War of the False Primarch, I always wanted to make sure there was at least one new model in every article. As it happened, I've ended up rather deluged(!) with awesome stuff from other contributors, so I haven't had to paint many models up to enable me to make posts like this [+noopshericexloadlink embedded+], which feature a model for each of the eleven(ish) Partisan Chapters and all five(ish) of their foes, the Pentarchy of Blood. +

+ Where I have stepped in, it's usually been to build a 'normal' Tactical Marine; a bog-standard soldier with a boltgun, as – for understandable reasons – creators tend to want to prioritise making the unusual stuff that gives their Chapters character. +


+ Firebreak +

+ So it was with Cameron M's (@Dizzyeye.01) Chapter, the Firebreak [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], where I painted up a marine (see below) in fairly short order. As with a surprising number of the Partisans, the Firebreak scheme is basically silver with differently-coloured shoulder pads, so he was quick to paint up, and I spent most of my time on adding fun freehand twiddles. +

+ Adept-brother Hild Brandt, Fourth Conclave. Note prominent Caputmori torso decoration +

+ While quite pleased with the result, it's niggled a bit at me that, firstly, he's a 3D print, and so stands out a bit from the others in the 'collection; and secondly, the Firebreak have such lovely depth to their background that I wanted to do something a bit different. +


+ The appeal of the Firebreak +

+ They're a subtle Chapter, in that there's nothing that really jumps out as their 'thing' (like White Scars bikes, say); but I think that's where their appeal lies. Their homeworld is a great mix of Arrakis from Dune, Tatooine from Star Wars and a lovely dollop of Warhammer darkness. +

+ As Cameron puts it:
From the start, I wanted these guys to feel accessible to people wanting to give the Chapter a spin without having to worry about forming a squad. Plus, considering the general context for the War in general, it'd make sense for there to be some chapters hurting from the very start so I was more than happy for them to be on the back foot from the very start. 
As for a note on the gardens, I really wanted to explore a different side to the marines that we see flashes of in some of the Horus Heresy books. They have the chance to be more than just killers – but the galaxy has different plans in mind. 
As for any advice I could offer to anyone looking at taking a crack at the Firebreak; the freedom is out there. The chapter is very much an experiment for me testing out freehand skills such as the flame marks and the inscriptions etched into their armour (if you have it, the white markings from the 30k Word Bearers transfer sheet work really nice for adding a little something extra on top) can really go anywhere within reason. [...] Experiment, see what works and what doesn't. You never know when you can hit upon a great idea.

+ It's implied that they're a Dark Angels successor, but the way that that they deal with the secret of the Fallen is awesome. Rather than having only some members of the Chapter informed about them, the Firebreak are all aware of the Fallen – but the twist is that their Chaplaincy (the Dark Judges) use a form of hypnotic memory suppression. As a result, aside from the Judges themeselves, none of the Chapter are conscious of the Fallen until the memory is ritually dredged up immediately prior to the mission – and then just as swiftly repressed once more. +

+ Secondly, they maintained gardens on their desert deathworld home, which has a wonderfully sense of melancholy; and more than a sprinkling of Samurai traditions. +

+ Thirdly, the poor buggers get absolutely stomped by the Carcharadons in the early days of the war (thanks to Cameron for being such a good sport about this!), and driven from their homeworld. As a result, we've got a small number of quasi-mystical warriors armed with the sword style of their lost homeworld. It's a heady mix – and not one that I felt my bog-standard Tactical Marine  properly captured. +

+ So I built this guy:

+ A relatively straightforward conversion, this uses the Phobos Librarian as the basis. I've removed the markings and details that identify him as such, to strip him back to simply being a robe-wearing warrior monk. +

+ The main change is the head. Unless you're happy to resculpt the robes, robed models can be difficult to repose convincingly. Here I opted to change the direction of the head – I've exloaded before about how this can go a long way to changing the feel of a conversion – and so swapped it out for one in my bits box. I think it's from the Deathwing boxed set, but I wouldn't want to swear to that. Initially I left the face bare to further distinguish it from the base model, but in the end sculpted on a rebreather, as it's such a cool part of the original, and not something that is indicative of a Librarian. +

+ The main work went into sculpting over the Phobos legs to convert them into Mark VII. I've really liked the base model since it was released a few years ago now, but really didn't like the legs. I'm glad I finally bit the bullet and gave it a go; the sculpting was easier than I'd feared, thanks to the way the model is broken up. +

+ I was aware that I didn't want him to read too much as a robed Dark Angel. It would be a disservice to this successor Chapter to simply being a pale shadow of their former Legion – indeed, I like successors in general to be as distinct as possible, which I why I think Chapters like the Carcharadons work so nicely; they nod to their (likely) progenitors, but have a distinct character all of their own. +

+ To that end, I've used a scimitar style sword and trimmed away details like the keys. I wanted this Firebreak marine to look like a road-weary ronin, and plan to incorporate some patterning and colour into the rob to prevent it looking too monk-like. +

+ Looking forward to getting some paint on him, just in time to hep illustrate Warzone Qorabbas, where the Firebreak ambush the Flesh Eaters... +


+ Not only but also +

+ A few extra close-ups of the War of the False Primarch set-up at the top. Who – and what – can you spot? +

+ Coming back to the idea of collections... It's satisfying to pack things away neatly and have a fresh space, but every so often it's worth pulling things out and just appreciating all the work you've put into your stuff. I usually expect to see lots of things I'd change and improve – but I'm also sometimes surprised with how pleased I remain with some stuff. +

+ Mini-warfare +

+ Over the weekend, I met up with my gaming group, the PCRC, and had both a lovely catch-up and some really enjoyable games. The ever-generous Lucifer216 also came bearing gifts in the form of Mark II marines and some casualty figures. The former (and probably some of the latter) will see the War of the False Primarch (or are they really a missing Legion, and it's HH warfare?) expand into the 15mm realm.+

+ Stage 1, as usual, is gluing them onto pennies. As Stuntwedge observed, it's weird to be doing this, but you try finding bases for a penny a pop... + 

+ Onto this I add acrylic texture gel and sand, as for most basing I do. Here, because the figures were designed for 6mm Epic gaming, they have large integrated bases. To help camouflage this, I added a mix of leftover greenstuff putty, small pieces of gravel, and a mix of the detritus that builds up on a  cutting board: old hardened putty bits, plastic trimmings and sprue offcuts make for decent rubble at this scale, and the acrylic gel holds it all securely. +

'One Throne on Terra! Onwards for the Primarch and the Emperor!'


+ inload: Battle report: Meeting Engagement on Gundrun Prime +

+ Meeting Engagement on Gundrun Prime +


Dawn; and the cobwebs stirring in the windows of the long-neglected abbey were all the indication of the former population. Having endured Old Night, the degraded inhabitants clustered in what had once been an important regional centre for the safety it offered. 

It had already been proven an empty promise. Over the course of less than a century, the people had been contacted and made Compliant; brought into the light of the Emperor – and then abruptly been informed that the Warmaster Horus was now their liege lord. 

If he were even aware of the planet, one wonders at his reaction at finding elements of two Legions supposedly under his command squabbling over the scraps.

The locals huddled together as distant gunfire began to be heard...

Game rules: Antares 2 [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]
Mission: Meeting Engagement – aiming to degrade the enemy while maintaining their own strength, both sides were attempting to break the spirit of their enemy. The game would last for six turns, or until one side was reduced to half or fewer of their starting Order Dice (achieved by destroying whole units). 
Combatants: Apologist, commanding the Emperor's Children; vs Lucifer216, commanding the Night Lords.
Battleground: The Feudal World of Gundrun Prime – of little value itself, but a good proxy for control of the Luciferran forges. The victor would be able to throttle control of heavy armour across the region.

+ Building on the playtesting done for our earlier game, The Mirror Plains [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], this was a further test of our adaptation of the Gates of Antares 2 rules. It was also Lucife216's first introduction to the rules, so again it was deliberately fairly low-key and simple. +


+ Forces +

+ A larger game than the Mirror Plains, each Commander had been entrusted with a standard mechanised demi-company of thirty Legionaries deploying as six five-man tactical combat squads. Each side also deployed two Rhinos and a Land Raider apiece. +

+ Each side thus had nine units. Since both Rhinos and Land Raiders are Mulit-Order-Dice (MOD) units – meaning they can act twice in one turn – there were twelve Order Dice for each side. To win, an army would have to reduce their enemies' Order Dice total to fewer than six at the start of a new turn. +

+ Deployment and early turns +

+ The Night Lords clustered their forces on the left, with a lone combat squad on the right in support of the Land Raider. The Emperor's Children, meanwhile, adopted a more centralised deployment. Both sides quickly advanced to take advantage of the available cover, while taking pot-shots at each other. +

+ The early turns were characterised by the Land Raiders wheeling around the central woodland, looking for advantage. The Night Lord Land Raider had the better of the duel, inflicting blast markers on its opposite number, while the purple tank's shots went wide or were saved. +

+ Night Lords Tactical Squads in the centre +

+ Boltguns had received some tweaks since the last game, being upgraded to firing 2 x SV1 shots, with Rapid Fire. Along with the introduction of Bolter Drill (a rule that replaces the fun buddy drone reroll lost in the translation from Antares to Horus Heresy), this meant that they had the potential to deal a lot more damage once the two forces closed. For the moment, the few blast markers being inflicted were the result of long range support weapons like missile launchers and autocannons – and even these were causing no out-and-out casualties. +

+ Emperor's Children mass to defend against the Night Lord Land Raider. While the tactical legionaries had no hope of destroying it outright, being able to place blast markers would be a way to render it combat ineffective. +

+ At the end of turn 2 of the six turn game, there were no major casualties; cover and range meaning that only a few scattered blast markers and a couple of luckless Emperor's Children legionaries would trouble the sides going forward. +


+ Mid-game +

+ The Night Lords advance with the limited force on the right were risking pinning down a superior force. Wanting to avoid this, the Emperor's Children vehicles consolidated their forces towards the centre, hoping to strand the Night Lords Land Raider while it circled the wood. +

+ Realising that hesitation was allowing the Emperor's Children Land Raider to dominate the centre, the Night Lords began an advance on the left, pushing forward their mounted troops. It was somewhat hampered by the numbers of blast markers building up on their unmounted allies. Not one but two Night Lord combat squads failed their Order rolls – perhaps wanting to see how their fellows fared first! +

+ While the advance was thus not the knock-out blow it could have been, it did succeed in establishing a position on the flank, from where the Night Lords threatened to encircle the Emperor's Children lines. +

+ Wanting to avoid this, the central Emperor's Children Rhino moved forward, ready to receive the Emperor's Children tacticals and redeploy. A key failed order meant that the tacticals hesitated a moment too long – and were caught by an assault from the Night Lords! +

+ In the centre, ten Night Lords were being hammered by long-range support weapon fire – and more pointedly, the Emperor's Children Land Raider, which opted to take the risk of acting early and hoping that it could avoid too much damage when its opposite number came to move. +

+ On the right, twenty of the Emperor's Children marines were still struggling to deal with the Land Raider. Although they had managed to wipe out the supporting infantry, it had a been a poor trade, with the Land Raider destroying their support Rhino with little effort. At risk of being stranded out of position, the infantry 
began moving forward and left. +

+ By the end of turn four, casualties were mounting up, but the Night Lords were slightly ahead, remaining one Order Die ahead as the sides traded units. +


+ Closing turns +

+ Things were tightly in the balance. While the Emperor's Children were fractionally behind in Order Dice at the start of turn five, a string of their Order Dice being pulled from the bag (four in a row!) meant that they were able to press the attack in a number of key areas, and place additional blast markers on the already-disrupted Night Lords. +

+ As an illustration of this, the Emperor's Children Land Raider shrugged off the lone blast marker on itself (units that successfully pass an order check remove one blast marker – that's why it's generally best to focus on key units with at least two of your own) and opened up on an exposed squad of Night Lords gamely attempting to support the drive down the centre. Two rounds of firing saw the squad all but eliminated – and the resulting number of blast markers meant that the survivors of the squad broke and fled. +

+ On the right flank, the Night Lords Land Raider had got fearfully embroiled. While it was still undamaged and threatening, the constant harrying from the Legionary squads was preventing it clearing its blast markers, and the resulting negative modifiers to its command meant that it suffered a failed Order check. This resulted in the crucial order being changed to Down: making it more survivable (units targetting a Down unit have to reroll successful hits), but meaning that it was unlikely to be able to make headway. +

+ While it was able to move and target the Emperor's Children Land Raider at last, its shots proved as fatefully ineffective as the Emperor's Childrens' had at the start of the battle. + 

+ Fate was clearly wearing a wry grin, as this was followed up by the two Emperor's Children tactical squads in the centre each failing their crucial order rolls, leaving them Down and their beleaguered colleagues in the lurch! +

+ On the left, the Night Lords continued pressing the attack, being rewarded by wiping out the Emperor's Children behind the rocky outcrop. Had their fellow made it across to support, it was likely that they could have pressed onwards – but it was not to be, as they were instead driven back by weight of fire of the rapidly-redeploying Emperor's Children. +

+ The closing turn saw the critical events – the loss of the Night Lords' Land Raider, and some final piece trading. It was close – both sides had lost around half their starting number... but which could claim the field? +


+ Result: Emperor's Children victory! +

+ Almost too close to call! The result of this razor-close game came down to a single Order Die – a fitting six remained to the Emperor's Children, while the Night Lords were down to five, thanks to the eventual loss of their Land Raider. +

As the Night Lords slipped away into the approaching darkness, the Emperor's Children began counting their casualties. 


+ Post-game musings +

+ We enjoyed a post-game cup of recaf and talked over the events. Lucifer216 really enjoyed the flow and sense of manoeuvre – a key appeal of the Antares 2 mechanics for me, too. +

+ The adjustments to the movement characteristics (up to 10cm from 6cm) helped with the above, and felt about right to me in comparison with the Mirror Plains. You still need to run to make substantial redeployments, but standard advances feel decisive – and crucially, it doesn't look weird when you sprint, either. +

+ Likewise, the boltgun tweaks made firefights with basic weapons a bit more interesting. The high resilience stat (Res) of 7 that I gave to Space Marines means that they're hard to hurt – so adding SV1 to the gun reduces the save to 6 or less. Also leaves some space for future-proofing (for SV0 lasguns, for example). +

+ I think, however, there is an argument that the boltgun could be further refined by simply making it 2 shots. Even taking into account the -1 to accuracy (Acc) this adds, neither Lucifer216 nor myself chose to use the single shot option. In fact, I'm not really sure where that would ever really come into consideration, as in almost every case, it's better simply to roll more dice, even at -1. Perhaps I'm missing something crucial. +

+ We'll discuss things further, but I'm erring towards testing bolters as simple two-shot guns. That takes one modifier out of the equation, and generally frees up brainspace for things like range, cover etc. It'll clean up the statline, too. +

+ The other big thing that I'm wondering about is the resilience of the Land Raider. As it stands, it's all but untouchable to the infantry. One the one hand that's fitting; one the other, I don't want the Space Marines themselves to be a burdensome tax that you take to maximise the number of vehicles you can field. +

+ Whether we deal with that by reducing the Res of the Land Raider (currently 15), or by tweaking the stats of anti-tank weapons – or whether it's simply that we haven't yet painted up the sort of stuff you would take to deal with heavy tanks (Predators, Devastators and the like), I'm not sure. I'd suggest we keep this iconic battle tank as-is for now, and make a mental note to reassess after some battles with other tanks. +


+ ...and speaking of other tanks, I imagine that this conflict, having opened up the route to the Luciferran Forges, will see follow-up battles featuring Dreadnoughts, Predators and so forth sooner rather than later. Perhaps even some slightly bigger stuff? Watch this space. +

+ On a final note, I'm pleased to say that the spectacle got both Stuntwedge and Warmtamale interested, so the struggle for the region will face the addition either of the Salamanders or the Sons of Horus – and perhaps some xenos... +

+ inload: On the road to Coldforge +

+ C-Day +11 +

+ ███ ██████ █████ ███ ███ ████████ ██████ █ ██ ██ ██ ██ █████ ██████ █████ ████ ███ █ █████████████ ██████████████ ██ █ █████ ████ ███████ ██████ █████ +

+ The #warzonecoldforge Challenge Event – details here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] is into its (perhaps significant) 11th day, and over on Instagram you'll see some lovely submissions shaping up. +

+ While I've been concentrating on Kroot, I've also found that the Challenge Events are good to periodically reinvigorate my various War of the False Primarch projects. One of the nice things about this wide-ranging project (for the uninitiated, it's a sort of community-driven modern Badab War) is that there are literally hundreds of avenues to follow, with a lot of freedom in interpretation. I wanted my contribution to Coldforge to reflect this, and so – while things remain open – I wanted to bring in a variety of different models. +


+ Work in progress +

+ While the War of the False Primarch involves lots of Space Marines, the key to me is the idea of an Imperial civil war – that is, involving all parts of the Imperium. To that end, I knew I wanted to include three differents 'arms' of the Imperial forces. +

+ For much the same reason, I wanted to make sure that the underlying silhouettes would be equally at home on either side. The War of the False Primarch digs into the futility and self-defeating nature of the Imperium of Mankind, so I thought it would help hit home if they're not visually 'goodies' or 'baddies'. +

+ With these ideas in mind, I decided I'd include a Space Marine, a combatant human, and a non-combatant. The events are also a good excuse to dig through the Cupboard of Shame Opportunity and bring forth some neglected models... +

+ Pictured here are a scribe, a woman with an autogun and a space marine (and a kroot, but you can ignore him; I was just enthused about having finished painting them!). Shown here unpainted, I think this gets across the point that they could equally well be Orthodox military as Partisan (that is, supporting the High Lords of Terra or the 'Primarch'). +

+ While I've made the decision that the marine will be a Void Baron – there's a decided paucity of this awesome Chapter – I haven't yet decided on the precise nature of the other two. Again, that's one of the things I find so freeing about the project. The scribe, for example, could be painted in rust orange as a Mechanicus factotum, native to Coldforge; in deep green as a Navigatorial aide from House Methuselahn; or perhaps a Chapter serf – and even here, it'd be as easy for him to be an unwilling captive from the Orthodox Death Eagles as it would be for him to be a recovered servant of the Partisan Storm Tyrants. +


+ Besides the figures themselves, I also used the excuse to paint up this little signpost. Scatter terrain? Objective? Just a cool Easter Egg addition for games set on Purefinder Chanterwick? Likely all of these things and more. +

+ ... and because I think it's rather expected of someone organising the challenge to pull their finger out a bit, I also cracked on with the Silver Stars. +

+ There are a number of the ambiguous pseudolegion in a state of mid-painting, and with their Index: Apocrypha* on the near-horizon, I wanted to make sure I had some new models to showcase. +

+ This chap needs his markings to be added, his weapons painted, and his base completed. +


* No definitive Index Astartes for this lot!

+ inload: The Farstalker Kinband kit review +

+ Nuggets of Kroot +

+ Kit review: The Farstalker Kinband +

+ It won't have escaped your notice that the Death of a Rubricist inloads have been quite kroot-focussed recently; and I'm pleased to say that the Kill Team: Into the Gallowdark box arrived late last week. It is enormous – absolutely packed to the gunnels with terrain and two new kits: the Kroot Farstalker Kinband and Imperial Navy Breachers. There are lots of in-depth reviews of the box as a whole, so I thought I'd dial in the mens-iris and subject you to just my thoughts on the new kroot kit. +

+ First impressions are always coloured by the previews we've seen, and in the case, I'm happy to say that the sprues themselves really live up to expectations. GW's own sprue shots are much clearer than mine, so if you want to see the raw components on the three large sprues, go check 'em out there [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. +


+ Snap fire: key points +

+ For those inloaders on a time-budget, or who have stumbled over this noospheric node for the first time, I'll get to the key takeaways for this kit, and answer the questions I had:
  • The new models are well-scaled to the older Carnivore kit, and broadly speaking, can be kitbashed with little to no conversion work
  • There is a great deal of variety in the poses. To my taste, GW have struck a good balance between dynamism and flexibility, allowing for characterful poses when built as stock, but allowing for relatively easy conversion work.
  • As with most of the new Kill Team kits, this kit can be built to replace the existing Kroot Carnivore kit. and used in 40k There are sufficient regular rifles and components to build it perfectly legally for its entry in the Tau Codex. I'd grab one of the older kits if you fancy it, just in case its delisted.
  • ...and likewise with most other Kill Team kits, there are a huge amount of spare components left over. Combine this with some spare Kroot bodies and torsos, and you can really revitalise the older kit. 
+ Polished off older kroot, ready to welcome their new kindred +


+ Into the meat of the review +

+ In exploring a new kit like this, where I was keen to try out different options, I started by doing sub-assemblies of the bodies. Below you'll see a selection of bodies from the new kit alongside a handful of bodies from the older Carnivore kit (handily in a lighter grey plastic, so you can see the difference). I mentioned above that the new kit has lots of options – and you can see the in action with the body on the left, in the middle. It's an old body with one of the options – a bionic leg from the Cold-blood – attached. This required a little bit of cutting, but as the figures are so gracile and skinny, it was very easy. It's a good demonstration of how compatible the kits are. +

+ Relating to this interchangeability, the connection points are very similar to the older Carnivore kit: the old heads are completely interchangeable; and some of the arms marry the old bodies perfectly, though some require a bit of work. Given the ponchos the models are wearing, I had been anticipating this, but I was delighted to find that a number of the poncho-wearing bodies had been cleverly designed to leave a recess at the shoulder – and so in a number of cases, you can slide in the old kit arms without modification. +

+ This isn't, however, universally true: some arms are designed to fit specific bodies, so do test-fit before you get gluey. Likewise, if you want to use the spares from the new kit to add some variety to the older kit, be aware that you might need to rebuild the shoulder in a few cases. You can do this with a spot of greenstuff, or by attaching an old arm, allowing the glue to set, then cutting it away to leave a flat edge to which to attach a similarly modified new arm. +

+ The sole picture of the new Shaper Kill-broker that I took. Largely built stock, I decided to go for the Kroot rifle. He has options for a pulse rifle, held up triumphantly in the now-traditional style for Shapers (don't these guys ever shoot the things?), and a pulse carbine, held as for the rifle above. +

+ Below you can see the specific choices that I made for my figures, along with some build notes; but to provide a quick summary, I'd thoroughly recommend this kit – absolutely stellar, so three mechadendrites up from me!


+ From left to right: a cut-skin; cold-blood; warrior and kroothound. I had a lot of fun doing bits swaps and some minor conversion work to get a unique set of models. The cut-skin, for example, uses the spare blade left over from the Broker – added with a diagonal cut across the wrist/forearm. +

+ The cold-blood is probably the most in-depth conversion, using a set of legs and torso from the old Kroot carnivore kit. Likewise, the warrior is a combination of spares from the new kit with a body and legs from the old. While some parts require a little conversion work – typically building up or resculpting a shoulder – a lot of them work with no conversion necessary. +

+ Some of the figures are less well-suited to conversion – or the poses they’re in are already ideal to my eye . The pistolier is one such figure. Really has that alien cowboy swagger down. Also here is the second kroothound, another warrior – perhaps my favourite pose in the box – and the bow-hunter. +

+ Of course, if you convert one model from a set like this, you’re forced to convert another if you want to retain the specialist. In this case, the bow-hunter’s body was used elsewhere, so I used the left-over cold-blood body (with the supplied natural leg, rather than the bionic) for the bow-hunter. This nicely shows that there are options for interchanging bits and bobs here and there, even where a flat shoulder joint is not immediately obvious. +

+ The kroot warrior with scattergun (far left) uses the default body for the aforementioned bow-hunter. I think each specialist (or certainly the vast majority) can be assembled as a standard kroot warrior – and sometimes going the road less travelled is simply a case of building the model you like the look of best, rather than what has an in-game special rule. Here also is another warrior using the old kit as a basis – and given the number of cool spare parts, I’d thoroughly recommend mixing the old and new together – an alternative pose or head swap will go a long way to rejuvenating the (still wonderful) old kit. +

+ Third from the left here is a heavy gunner with what I’m assuming is the Londaxi tribalest, based purely on the three vanes and ‘tri’ element of the name. The new heavy guns look fun and add a nice sci-fi element to the kit. It’s worth noting, for lorehounds, that the ‘Into the dark’ booklet has lots of cool hints about other minor xenos. It also gives some more info on the kroot’s own culture. +

+ Finally here, the sharpshooter is furthest right. He’s another figure that I liked so much I left him (her?) unaltered and built stock. +

+ The last picture shows the other heavy gunner – made with the braced legs from another specialist, and a left arm donated by a regular kroot from the old kit (this required a little cut at the elbow for the correct angle). The next one along is another warrior, this one reloading his rifle. It’s the subtle poses like this that I think really add character and value to the kit as an expansion of the older kit. Here also is a demonstration of how the shoulder joints could be hidden by a shoulder pad from the old kit, if you’re not confident with building up or converting. +

+ Third from left is the Tracker. This is the only figure in the kit, I believe, that builds two of the specialists (the other is the Stalker), so you either need to decide or to convert. As I’d used some of the Stalker bits elsewhere, my kinband doesn’t have one (yet). The Tracker model is lovely as it stands, so the only change here was the use of my favourite head from the old kit. It’s this specialist that gives me my only (very) minor complaint about the kit, and that’s the lack of a Pech’ra in flight. +

+ Last here is a final kroot warrior with scattergun, rounding off a very, very fun building session. This kit is absolutely fabulous – I haven’t been as impressed with a kit since the release of the Adeptus Titanicus Warlord Titan, which I regard as the best kit GW have ever made. +


+ inload: Painting Kroot +

+ Painting Kroot +

+ Alas, the new Kill Team box has not yet arrived with me, so I couldn't get stuck into the new Kroot. On the plus side, of course, this left my evening free to carry on with those already on the desk. Perhaps a blessing in disguise! +


+ Observations on the Kroot models +

+ All of these figures are work-in-progress, but it's been a very long time since I've both struggled and enjoyed painting so much. As I mentioned in an earlier inload, I've always loved Brian Nelson's beautiful sculpts of the Kroot, but have found painting them difficult – though happily, not unpleasant. It's a multi-layered challenge – lots of organic shapes; lots of decisions to make on colours; and a surprising amount of little details. Being an older sprue, some of the details are slightly soft, so you have to be more aware of exactly where you're applying the paint. +

+ Having said that, they also lend themselves beautifully to Citadel's washes – and I've used multiple layers of Seraphim Sepia on the skin. I've avoided using washes on the fabrics deliberately. Washes soften and blend edges – after all, that's what they're meant to do – and this creates a distinctive look. Because there's so much softness and an organic quality to the overall model, I want to make sure there's a variety of textures. Thus the skin and quills get washes, while traditional brush shading and highlighting is used on the fabrics. +

+ The weapons will likewise get some harder edge highlighting to give a different look and help the various parts to read. The weapons and techy bits are likely the last piece of the puzzle, and that's what I'll tackle next to finish them off. I'm looking forward to tackling some woodgrain (and feel free to remind me of this statement in the next inload, when I come back cursing!) +


+ Colour choices +

+ In terms of colour scheme, I've gone for a variety of warm oranges. Kroot, to me, suit a 'primitivist' underlying scheme, so that their really high-tech synthetic bits pop out from an overall earthy palette. Unsurprisingly, I've gone for a Predator-inspired scheme, and brought in some stippling (lots of little overlapping dots) on the top of the head, back and shoulders to create some visual interest. This also serves to frame the face. With the quills emerging from the back of the heads, it's easy for the top, rather than front, of the head to catch the eye – not great if you want to the face to be the focal point. +

+ Further complicating this is the fact that Kroot (obviously) don't have human features like lips, noses or stubble, so there's less that's immediately 'readable' to catch the viewer's eye and add interest. To help combat this, you could paint the 'beak' as distinctly different, but – while I like the avian aura – I didn't want them to read too obviously as 'birdmen'. Instead, I pushed the highlighting on the edges of the mouths so that they read as sharp and dangerous, and also to increase the contrast and detail to draw the eye. Further to that, I've gone for a super-contrasty white on black for the eyes – the gimlet gaze of alert predators. +


+ Krootforms +

+ The (now-old) Kroothounds really capture the bestial, debased feel of the concept, and are fun little metal sculpts. I found my way for the Kroot on them, and tackled them first. I tried out a couple of different fabric colours – including a grey-blue (Prussian Blue) before settling on Death Guard Green and Iyanden Darksun as the underlayers. These were then built up with Mummy Brown from Army Painter. I really rate this paint – it's a lovely versatile warm white that just flows beautifully. +

+ Still to do on these (and the Kroot Carnivores above) are details like the bombs (quill grenades?) and similar. I'm also tempted to add some decoration to some of the fabrics. The background, so I understand, suggests that Kroot aren't particularly creative or artistic themselves, but I'd still like to have some form of culture represented. I'll probably mine various classic patterns – zig-zags, dags, spots and stripes. +

+ The other krootform in this batch is the hunting Knarloc. I'm very pleased with how this is coming along. On a whim, I decided to paint the previously-red Knarloc with a blue-green (Incubi Darkness) pattern. This was restricted to the top parts of the body, and I think it really helps to make the model pop, without being so saturated that it doesn't fit in. I painted the pattern in a couple of very thin glazes – that is, a layer of paint so thinned-down that some of the underlying colour comes through. I had already stippled the red skin underneath, and this read through the glazes. Nevertheless, skin will always look more realistic with more thin layers, so I also mottled the surface with further stippling. +

+ The eyes are the most obvious thing that need finishing, but I also have the saddle and tack (is a saddle part of the tack?) to do. +

+ Application elsewhere +

+ The Kroot tracker will likely be used as a – uh – Kroot Tracker in Kill Team; so I'll need to work out a Pech'ra model to replace the token +

+ And just off to the left of the previous photograph, you'll see two figures. One was a survivor of my old Kroot army – you'll note I had started converting him into a Tracker (armed with a sniper rifle) by trimming away the blades on his rifle. I clearly never got any further than that. In all likelihood, he'll remain as-is and be treated as a regular warrior, but I will rebase him onto a 32mm base to match the others – oh, and drill out the barrel. +

+ Finally here, on the left, you'll see another misfit. This is the Kroot tracker 'Dahyek Grek' from Blackstone Fortress; which I painted up a couple of years ago – or so I thought. After hunting him down, I realised two things. Firstly, I hadn't quite finished him – the skin and cloak are done, but the rifle and details are outstanding. Secondly – and largely unintentionally – I'd painted him in with largely the same scheme. Clearly Kroot are orange in my head. +

+ It's worth noting that this is one of the great strengths of colour schemes of armies with lots of skin or cloth. These organic materials weather and vary naturally, so some variety is not just okay, it's positively beneficial to a realistic result. Rather than sticking to strict recipes, as you might with (say) a Space Marine's heraldic Chapter scheme, you can simply remember 'orange' and play around with that. Different hues, techniques and approaches will all work. +

+ This counts doubly for Kroot, whose nature means that they vary from Kindred to Kindred. It will, perhaps, require some more thought to make a cohesive army, but it also means that you've got unparalleled scope for playing with colour. I'm certainly planning to have Kindreds (squads or Kill Teams) with different schemes – and perhaps to play around with some colours or effect sthat I rarely use elsewhere. Sci-fi birdmen strike me as a great place to play with highly-saturated colour. +


+inload: Warzone Coldforge – challenge event +

  + Coldforged +

Close-quarters combat. The Marines Saturnine pictured bears specialist close-in weaponry and is pictured wearing a Flesh Eaters' helm – presumably looted from the battlefield after his own was damaged. Both are identifable as Coldforge-pattern – the Forgeworld infamously supplied thousands of Corvus-pattern suits to both sides over the course of the later war.

[//Credit: paul_h/@the_midnightmare and tom_k/@ghostys_neon_rust+] 



+ Event – #warzonecoldforge +

+ You – yes, you – are invited to a new challenge event for + Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten +, a group project themed around the War of the False Primarch. If it's not on your radar yet, go check it out – it's full of wonderfully imaginative and grimly gothic models from hobbyists of all stripes, and it's chock-full of lore that'll be sure to inspire. +

+ I've been running periodic challenges (such as #Killthefalseprimarch), for the project. I'm pleased to say these have involved all sorts of wonderful hobbyists – and since the project has always been open to everyone, I'd love you to join in, too. +


+ Okay, I'm in; what next? Guidelines +

+ Welcome to the warfront, soldier +

+ Your challenge is:

  • Build and paint between one and three models from The War of the False Primarch, to illuminate one of the many battles that raged over planet Coldforge
  • Post a picture of – and any lore you've written for – your finished model(s) to:
  • Add some lore on your post – tell us about your model's name, character and accomplishments
  • Coldforge is a place of high-octane danger! Whether you choose to produce three squadmates or a duel between opposing champions, your models should be posed or arranged to emphasise the movement and conflict. 

+ Yes, you can use existing models. +

+ The challenge begins on the 11th September at 11:02am GMT, and ends on 11th October at 02:11pm GMT. +

+ The entries will be featured on the +Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten+ blog, so please do make sure to include how you want to be credited. It's also very much appreciated if the pictures you use are square in format, or slightly landscape – the example at the top is ideal. +

+ The lore below is intended as a starting point – so don't feel constrained. Creativity is king! Despite the marine-centric nature of the top level War, the background that's been developed on this Imperial civil war has huge depth, breadth and complexity, allowing you to explore the  hidden side of the Imperium from Inquisitors to the Ecclesiarchy, and the Adeptus Mechanicus to the Imperial Guard. (There are even lots of minor xenos, should you have an aversion to squishy hu-mans.) +

+ Coldforge lore +

+ The Warzone is circled above +

'Coldforge sits corewards of the Myrean League, where the False Primarch made his fastments in the later stages of the War. A Forgeworld, it was a key strategic point that changed hands multiple times, and saw the footfalls of more than ten Chapters of the warring Astartes, innumerable Imperial Guard regiments and auxilia units.'

[//Astrocartographic Notes: [REDACTED]+] 

+ Coldforge is a principal Forgeworld, covered by the typical colossal manufactories and municipal buildings you'd find anywhere in the later 41st Millennium. As the War gradually approached and then overwhelmed the region, nearly all of its manufacturing power was turned over to the in-Sector production of Space Marine Power Armour – and in particular, Coldforge-pattern Mark VI Corvus Power Armour. +

+ As a result of its key position in the conflict, Coldforge-pattern Power Armour became the single most common type of plate used by both Partisan and Pentarchy forces. +


+ Starting points and inspiration +

+ Mark VI Space Marine armour? Sounds almost like the new Horus Heresy Space Marine releases would be ideal... If you picked up the boxed set, but haven't yet got any paint down, then why not put a couple aside for the project? 

Innocence proves nothing +

+ You can build and paint your entry to represent any of the Partisan or Pentarchy Chapters. Below are links to the relevant Index Astartes, so you can find the colour schemes, logos and background – and generally froth about these Chapters, long hidden from history.

+ Of course, it's not all about Space Marines. Coldforge saw many, many other forces, from Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy, Ecclesiarchy, Skitarii, Inquisition, assassins – even civilians and militia... The civil war encompassed almost all elements of the Imperium. +

The Partisans – followers of the False Primarch

The Pentarchy of Blood



[//Sapper elements of the Void Barons strike force move to engage Pentarchy forces during a Partisan raid+]

[//Tactical Squad Vengaarl, Combat Squad I, 3rd Battle Company+]

[//Boarding action; Fourth Sataba+]

[//Members of the Jade Talons' 2nd Kyndred+]

[//Kill Team Brolo – note the carbon-black compound honour-stave markings; each recording an action within the past galactic-standard year. The fighting during the Sorrowful Years was both high-intensity and frequent+]

[//Silver Stars enter the Furnace Square of Lode Principal 010 during the First Invasion of Coldforge+]
[//Credit: christoph_t/@farnessbeta+]

[//Space Sharks Combat Squad in camouflage variant armour+]

[//2nd Lieutenant Lashynn Akhmet-Kwok, 2nd Company, Red Fish Chapter. Lashynn is a Companion of the Black Wurm; having been gifted a rare Volkite weapon upon his ascension. His membership is obviosut from the scorching of his right gauntlet. He also wears the blessed hydrogen orbital around his chapter symbol, a token of the Sons' high regard+]


'Whilst the Iron Guard's gunmetal armour suits its dour heritage, it is often surprising to outsiders that battle-brothers also adorn their armour with colourful heraldry and markings. This tradition harks back to the chapter's now-destroyed homeworld and the ritualistic adoption of neophytes into one of the historic clans.'
[//Tactica Imperialis: Partisan Identification+]

[//████████ Ke Alaula+]