+ inload: Issuing new uniforms +

+ Rebasing and repainting my Steel Legion +


+ The Great Refresh continues for the Steel Legion, with the aim to take them from the image on the left to that on the right. +


+ Basing +

+ I found a rather neat shortcut for getting the initial colour on the bases – submerging the base (and the model's feet) in a pot of clean water, gently tapping off the excess, then touching a brush loaded with Skrag Brown to the damp surface. As with wet-in-wet watercolour, the fluid paint rushes off the brush and spreads organically into the texture – and if you get the consistency right, it stays clear of the base edges and boots. This hugely sped things up for me, and I was able to get a platoon of thirty Guardsmen and all their command staff done in half an hour. +

+ A couple of notes on this, if you're tempted to try. This technique relies on having a surface that's quite textural – if you try it on a smoother base, you'll end up with a blotchy finish. Secondly, this technique relies on a paint with good coverage. Earth colours (like Skrag Brown, used here) tend to have good coverage even when very dilute, but some paints will likely recede from the surface, leaving it looking a bit patchy. As you'll see below, the finish is quite even, and because you don't need to reach in to recesses – the paint flows everywhere that is wet – it's easy to avoid accidentally getting paint on the model. + 

+ From here, I'll give the bases a light layer of a desert colour (something like Zamesi Desert), leaving some of the brown showing in recesses. Once dry, I'll drybrush it with a slightly lighter tint. +


+ New kit +

+ As well as basing, I'll be updating the greatcoats to a tan leather. Doing this to more than seventy models is – perhaps understandably – a bit daunting, particularly when you're broadly happy with the original paint job. +

+ I confess that part of me wants to keep the ice-world feel. I know that if I worked them all up to the standard I'd done on the few finished pieces, they'd be a striking force. Against this is the sense that they'll still look how I want with the desert scheme, and they'll also become a lot more likely to be used rather than left in a box! +

+ In the manner of all good officers, the good General Ynginel Howl strode forth first to show his men how things would work. As hoped, the white coat  (left) acted as a grisaille underpainting, and a layer of the Contrast paint Aggaros Dunes simply tinted the existing work there. +

+ While the original paintjob is a little rough-and-ready, this strikes me as a much better place to proceed from than starting from scratch with the coats. I'm planning to add highlights and perhaps an oil glaze to even things out and strengthen the shading. +


+ With the General showing the way, his soldiers followed on. Here's the first five to get their new coats. +

Again, this was a mercifully swift process – the Contrast paint is very forgiving, able to be applied quite liberally and still achieving success –and these took roughly a minute or so each. +

+ It's early days, but being able to take relatively large steps with a whole platoon at each stage is a great psychological boost. +


+ inload: Unto Armageddon +

+ Enric Schultz +

+ 7th Army Steel Legion +

+ This lone Steel Legionary had been left unpainted, as he was surplus to requirements for the weekend event alluded to in the last inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. With the plan to update the force from their winter coats, he seemed a good place to make a start with a test scheme. +

+ This was really a proof-of-concept more than anything else. I wanted to visualise what the army might look like with the more traditional tan leather coats, and I rather like it. Note that much of the rest is identical to the polar scheme below: same boots, same gloves, same gun. +

+ The reason for that is speed and ease. If I can essentially treat the scheme above as a grisaille underpainting, then I'll be able to whip through the force in relatively short order. The worst of all worlds will be updating half then losing steam. +

+ The colours here are a bit of a hotch potch – I was having fun with wet blending, so beyond the boots, helm and gun all being Charadon Granite, I can't really tell you much of what I used! +

+ I've picked up a Contrast paint – Aggaros Dunes – and will be trying that out over the white coats. I'm hoping that the contrast effect of base and shading will work nicely over the pre-painted surface; and I'm interested to see how it works over the shading already in place. +

+ Above you can see the green and white flash on the sleeve roundel – this was inspired by the colours on one of the cardboard counters from The Battle for Armageddon boardgame – the green Imperial Army counters have slightly lower stats than the (presumably more experienced or well-supplied) first few Armies. I thought this'd be a nice touch.  +

+ In terms of detail and personality, this standalone model was the perfect place to experiment – if he ends up slightly different to the others, all the better: I'll have an example from another Regiment to help explore the background for The Ashes of Armageddon. +

+ inload: Sweep and clear +

+ Scryomancy: Campaign preparation +

+ Long WIP Imperial psykers +

+ Phew, the Season of Fire is over; we can start looking forward to cooler nights. +

+ Y'know that horrible feeling when you get enthused but then can't find the right box – or find your worktop cluttered up? Well, with a few projects on the boil, I decided I'd spend a little time over the weekend reorganising boxes and consolidating things. +

+ Kill team and more ready to paint. +

+ Amongst them were my Catachans. A Kill Team of the Ever-Ready 634th have been completed for a while, and they got hurriedly packed into a transport box, while other small groups were packed away in unrelated boxes at various stages of assembly, where they have lurked. +

+ It was the work of moments to gather them all together and shift about various mini-projects to keep them in the right boxes. I've now got a box of small projects, or those in their early stages – Kroot, Catachans and Alaitoc; a dedicated War of the False Primarch box, and a box for Armageddon. +

+ WIP classics +

+ More importantly, I was also able to make some progress. The figures – a mix of eBay buys and the thoughtful and generous nature of PCRC stablemate Omricon – were cleaned up (and where necessary) repaired, had their weapons drilled, were glued into slottabases, had those bases textured, and finally were primed with Halford's Camo Green. +

+  These are all very small steps, but it's surprising how little tasks like this can make your hobby more enjoyable. When the muse comes calling, rather than having to hunt around only to find unprepared figures (or worse, not find them!), I now have properly organised boxes that can be pulled out to paint. When time's short, such preparation can make all the difference. +


+ ...and speaking of planning, with a few projects to juggle, I thought I'd set down some thoughts to make sure I've got things clear in my head. +

+ The War of the False Primarch +

+ This is still rumbling on. This project has got to maturity, and I'm giving myself a bit of breathing room before returning for the concluding part – in short, enjoying the fruits of our collective labours! You can, of course, continue posting material with the #somethingsarebestleftforgotten tag for me to find. We'll be kicking back off with a bang: Bob Hunk and I have a battle in the planning for the medium term, with the Flesh Eaters fighting the False Primarch himself – and who knows, perhaps you'll find one last Index Apocrypha appearing... +


+ The Ashes of Armageddon +

+ This is a new project focussing on the Second War for Armageddon. Do go check it out, and if you'd like to get involved in Ghazghkull's invasion of the hiveworld – whether attacking or defending – you're very welcome. The Discord discussion can be found here [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. +

+ Whitetusk's Howlas are the first force to come under the spotlight on Armageddon – will yours be next? +

+ Running these projects is a lot of fun, and is a great excuse to add to or revisit older projects. One such is my Steel Legion – used once for a campaign weekend, and left – not quite finished – languishing in a box for a shameful length of time. +

+ The force will thus get a bit of spit and polish to be redeployed to Armageddon. +

+ One reason that I find armies linger unloved in storage is that they're at that horrible 'not-quite-finished' stage. Such was the fate of this army, which was rushed to get table ready. The bases were patchy, the details unfinished, and just looking at them seemed exhausting. +

+ Spool on a few years and with an Armageddon-themed project looming, this 'bridesmaid' project has a chance to shine – and the gap means that I'm now effectively looking at a brand new project that's already had all the boring base-painting done, and is ready for the fun stuff. +

+ What a change! Rather than looking at everything that I disliked, I'm suddenly rediscovering the bits I was proud of, like the faces on the psykers and the conversions of the extra sergeants. +

+ Rebasing in progress +

There are about seventy figures in the army, and stage 1 was rebasing. As you can see above, the patchy originals have been covered with a layer of texture medium and sand. Once dry, these will be painted to match my Salamanders [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] – in fact, to match everything I have planned for the Armageddon campaign. +

+ After that, I'm planning to work over the white coats as they redeploy from a frigid icy world to serve on the planet of their birth – Armageddon – and then we'll move on to the details. 


+ The background +

+ I really enjoy running these collective projects. It's rewarding to collaborate on something that's far too big for one hobbyist to complete – and of course it's nice to be able to provide a place to showcase work that you admire. +

+ The challenge is to make it inviting to everyone – providing enough structure and feedback to be engaging, while leaving it open-ended enough that contributors feel free to explore. +

+ While I've posted up a couple of posts explaining the project, I always feel these are a bit dry – better to show than tell, I always think. To that end, I've already posted up a sample article for the orks, using my warband – Whitetusk's Howlas – as an example. +

+ I'm going to do the same with these Steel Legionnaires – so keep an eye on The Ashes of Armageddon blog. +

+ Of course, if you've got an idea for an article, let me know! +


+ Death in Paradise XXII +

+ ...and – phew! – a project I'm not curating. Long-time droog Warmtamale has resurrected the long-dormant PCRC campaigns, so while this is a private one, please do feel free to follow along on the blog he's set up. +

+ I'll be using DiP22 to give me the boost to get those Kroot expanded from a Kill Team to a skirmish force, and it's also very tempting to use it to get a foothold on my Alaitoc Eldar. +


+ inload: The Ashes of Armageddon +

 + Armageddon in retrospect +

+ Imperial Hiveworld, site of three iconic wars, and supposed ancestral homeworld of the orks, Armageddon is a place that's been featuring in the background of my  projects for the past few years. +

+ Being the setting for the training missions in Warhammer 40,000 second edition, it's at the heart of 'retrohammer' for me, so I thought I'd scribble down a few thoughts on its history. 

+ Armageddon in total – note that North is off to the top left of the map; which explains why the jungles are  called 'equatorial', despite running vertically. Given the state of the Dead Lands and Fire Wastes, it seems Armageddon has a very weird climate! +

+ Armageddon loomed large in the 90s, as it was the setting for the boxed set of Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition. While not the de facto setting for 40k itself, anyone who played through the six short training missions in the Battle for Armageddon scenario booklet (penned by Andy Chambers and Bill King, this being back in the days when writers were specifically credited) would have had a scrap or two on the world. +

+ The release of 2nd edition 40k was accompanied by White Dwarf battle reports that were fought over a (curiously green part of) Armageddon, and the world would also turn up in Epic battle reports over the years, too. +

+ As was the fashion, these battles – and presumably the Studio's own in-house campaigns and plans – built to create a really rich environment for the planet, that was painted in quite broad brushstrokes. This really appeals to me, as it leaves space for exploration. While there was lots to go on, not everything was detailed – perfect for capturing the imagination. +

+ My Blood Angels are implicitly themed around Armageddon, being based on the studio army of the day. +


+ Strategic warfare +

+ A boxed game in GW's short-lived Wargame series, The Battle for Armageddon, was released fairly soon afterwards. This had a map of Armageddon Secundus – the more densely populated of the planet's two inhabited continents – and detailed the invasion of Armageddon by Ghazghkull Thraka.  +

+ The initial Imperial set-up for Battle for Armageddon +

+ Essentially a reskinning of the Eastern Front of World War II, the game was played at the strategic level, with cardboard chits representing entire strikeforces. It detailed Waa-Ghazghkull's assault out from the steamy central jungles south east into Armageddon Secundus. Three tribes sallied out from their base in the equatorial jungles to fight against a rather poxy and ill-prepared Imperial defence force (thanks to Herman von Strab, the indolent Imperial Commander). The game starts heavily weighted towards the orks, but the Imperials have the industrial might of a continent – and the timely arrival of three Space Marine Chapters midway through – to attempt to stem the tide. It's a fun and diverting game. +

+ The game had an expansion called Chaos Attack, which was interesting because it detailed the (hitherto unknown) First War for Armageddon, in which the daemon Primarch Angron led an attack on Armageddon Secundus some time prior to Ghazghkull's invasion. +

(+ Incidentally, this expansion is the reason that Angron is the only Primarch to have been realised in plastic, resin, metal and cardboard :D +)

+ My Salamanders are explicitly themed around Armageddon; being the prototype for the broader project below... +

+ It was a very interesting expansion because, in addition to providing the chits to represent Angron's chaos forces, it also gave details for alternative scenarios for the original game. Herman von Strab, the psychotic and treacherous Governor, for example, got a chit that worked against the Imperial player; there was an alterative building method; and most intriguing of all, we also got an insight into what was going on in Armageddon Prime... +

+ Sharing a crop of the same cover as the main game, this picture – depicting Salamanders fighting Word Bearers and a Titan with red heraldry – doesn't actually relate to either the First or Second War for Armageddon as detailed in the games. Still, it is an awesome piece of artwork, and definitely gets the spirit right!


+ Armageddon Prime +

+ If you look at the map above, you'll see five arrows coming out of the ork glyph in the jungles. Three point southeast into Armageddon Secundus, and in the 'historical' scenario, these are the Goff, Bad Moon and Evil Sun tribes. Chaos Attack provides the chits for two more – the Snakebites and Blood Axes. It is explained that these two tribes invaded Armageddon Prime (hence the two arrows pointing north), where they encountered other Imperial allies – the Squats of Golgotha. +

+ Well 'ard Goffs +

+ Chaos Attack provided the opportunity to play an alternate history of the Second Battle of Armageddon, where Ghazghkull leads different tribes into Secundus, and where the Space Marines and Squats who arrived to support Secundus and Prime respectively, instead went to fight in the other continent. +

+ You could use the variations in any combination, so there was a lot of replay value – and that's got my imagination firing. +


+ More well 'ard Goffs +

+ A global campaign +

+ The planet would later play host to the Third War for Armageddon, which I think is much more broadly remembered. GW really pulled the stops out to detail a still more grandiose subsequent invasion by Ghazghkull, accompanying the event with a real life worldwide campaign that was well supported by the studio and very warmly received by the community; plus new models – the Steel Legion – and Codex: Armageddon, an interesting little artefact in its own right. +

+ Of relevance here is that GW produced an awesome mini website that had huge amounts of inspirational info, models and artwork. I wanted to see if we could produce something of the same spirit today. +


+ 2024 project: The Ashes of Armageddon +

+ In 2024, I'd like to run another project along the lines of Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten. STaBLF has been – and continues to be – great fun to work on, but it has grown way beyond my initial rather meagre plans, and I'd like this new project to be a smoother and swifter experience for everyone who gets involved. +

To this end, The Ashes of Armageddon will be intentionally smaller in scope and run with a rather tighter hand on the reins in terms of which articles are written. Unlike STaBLF, which was almost completely freeform and community-created, we've got a lot of existing info on the 'historical' Second War for Armageddon. This has allowed me to create a framework, so everyone will be singing from the same hymnsheet, so to speak. +


+ The concept +

+ In essence, I wanted to explore the Second Battle for Armageddon in more detail, 'zooming in' to explore the interesting little hints and dark corners of the campaign. +

+ I will invite people to contribute articles based on the 'chits' – so someone might cover the Bad Moon ork horde chit (top left quadrant), while someone else will detail the Hive Gangs of Infernus, or the Imperial Guard 3rd Tank division, for example. +

+ Not all of the chits will need detailing, of course – but while there's not much to distinguish the Imperial Guard 3rd army from the Imperial Guard 4th army or one Goff Horde from another at the strategic level, that's precisely  the sort of stuff that can be explored at this level. +

+ I'll revise and expand the list below, but if you're quietly interested in following along or contributing, it'll give you a good idea of what might be of interest – but if you can think of anything else, please feel free to suggest it. +

+ As with STaBLF, I'll be on hand to help with research – the main thing I'm after are writers and hobbyists to contribute their awesome models! +

Armageddon Prime


  • Steel Legion
  • Squats of Golgotha

Waaagh! Ghazghkull

  • Snakebites
  • Death Skulls

Dramatis personae

  • Inquisitor Horst
  • [Unnamed Golgothan Squat Warlord]
  • [Unnamed Ork warboss under Ghazghkull]

Armageddon Secundus


  • Blood Angels
  • Salamanders
  • Ultramarines
  • Steel Legion
  • Hive gangs
  • Iron Skulls Titan Legion

Waaagh! Ghazghkull

  • Goffs
  • Bad Moons
  • Evil Sunz

Dramatis personae

  • Herman von Strab
  • Dante
  • Yarrick
  • Tu'Shan
  • Marneus Calgar
  • Princeps Senioris Kurtiz Mannheim

+ If this has sparked your interest, then here's what you can do while you wait:
  • Make or paint models to fit the theme – and if you're unsure, Orks and Steel Legion of any stripe will always be very welcome!
  • Register your interest in the comments here, or on the Death of a Rubricist Facebook group
  • Keep an eye out on the blog for the creation of a Discord group – I think this is going to be a better way for me to share and organise things than email!

+ inload: Bloodsong – Eldar and Orks in Adeptus Titanicus +

 + Bloodsong version 0.5 +

+ A quick riffle through the [+ Insphere contentsieve +] (the search function for this noospheric node, to the right of the body of the post) will reveal that I've been working on rules for introducing xenos to Adeptus Titanicus – specifically Eldar Titans and Ork Gargants. +

+ I've just uploaded version 0.5 of the Bloodsong pack to the +Death of a Rubricist+ Facebook group. The files can be downloaded freely and shared as you like – and as always, I welcome playtesting notes and feedback on the group.

A direct link to the files can be found here: [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. You will need to be a member of the Death of a Rubricist Facebook group – and if you're new to it, please answer the three questions when prompted: it's the only way I can screen for bots! +

+ Of course, there's nothing stopping you from joining, downloading and leaving immediately (not even hard feelings!), but I do encourage you to stick around and get involved. +

 + A new fan sculpt I picked up second-hand +

+ Ch-ch-ch-changes +

+ v0.5 brings some big updated: Eldar get access to the Revenant Scout Titan and its weapon cards, and – perhaps of more interest to some readers – brings the orks out to play. You get Gargants, Great Gargants and their weapon cards.+

+ Long-time inloaders might recall the first draft of the ork rules a while back – [+noosphericexloadlink emebdded+] well, they're updated and available now, including terminals and cards. +

+ I'm very pleased with how these rules work – I think they really capture the feel of directing Gargants, and would love to hear your battlefield experiences when using them: both good and bad! +

+ Based on feedback received I've also tweaked the Eldar stats a little – nothing major, but it is worth your time replacing the old cards and terminals with these. I've also squashed some gremlins). 


+ A glimpse into the future +

+ The Warlock is on the horizon, and I'm also planning to revise the Phantom into two sub-classes: the Phantom Shade and Phantom Spectre. +

+ This is because there are two broad schools of thought for the Phantom: one that sees it as the equivalent to the Warlord Titan, and one that sees it as something more akin to a Reaver. +

+ In keeping with my 'nothing new without good reason' philosophy, the most elegant way I could think of to square this circle is to allow both to co-exist. The Shade and Spectre classes are a throwback to the classifications for the Phantom, from the original Codex Titanicus supplement – in essence, equivalent to the Deathbringer, Eclipse, Nemesis variants for the Imperial Warlord. +

+ The Phantom Shade and Phantom Spectre will not differ greatly. They will share the same weapon cards, for example. The nearest equivalent I can think of is that between the Reaver and Nemesis Warbringer – fundamentally the same chassis, but with slight variation in Infinity Circuit, armour etc. +

+ Ultimately, the splitting of the two is for three major reasons:
  • To allow a broad church of players to get a Phantom that matches their vision for the Titan, whether that's slightly heavier or slightly lighter.
  • To give some slight variation and increase the tactical choices available to Eldar players.
  • There are a number of quite different fan-sculpts of the Phantom Titan around, and I've always preferred the 'model-led' approach to writing rules. 
+ My hope is that this approach will let people differentiate their models if they wish – or just opt for a single type without impacting their chances in-game. +