Tag Archives: Hobby

Custom Dwarf Techpriest and more!

Much of my Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard) army is mechanized, and that’s the way I like it. But keeping with the theme and fluff, having such a vehicle-heavy army, they would need quite a crew to maintain it. In come the Techpriest Engiseers! I mused openly about my lone techpriest in this post, but I thought it was time he had some support.

I considered buying the new Techpriest model, but I wasn’t too excited about it. I wanted something unique.

So, I got this  model from eBay of a Dwarf Runesmith. It’s for Warhammer Fantasy Battles, but the eyepiece makes him look rather steampunk already.

eBay image of Dwarf Runesmith I purchased
eBay image of Dwarf Runesmith I purchased

Dwarves in general are an interesting topic in Warhammer 40k. The Eldar are obvious proxies for fantasy elves (and by extension Dark Elves –> Dark Eldar). In earlier editions of Warhammer 40k there were references to Squats, the future equivalent of fantasy dwarves. But they weren’t well-received and aren’t supported in current literature. But, they technically do exist in the universe, and it would make sense that a Squat could go to Mars and become a vested tech-priest!

 

The image below shows a mechanized White Dwarf which I used as my inspiration.

Example White Dwarf Techpriest (image source)
Example White Dwarf Techpriest (image source)

 

Converting this model was part of the fun. I took a few servo-arms off of a Master of The Forge techmarine model I had, and another servo-arm off of a servitor I converted to hold a plasma cannon. I used all of those bits and a Vox-Caster backpack (and A LOT of super glue) to create a servo arm.

Next, I stole a power-axe from a techpriest to replace the dwarf’s axe.

Finally, there was a wrench hanging out of a backpack of a Chaos cultists in the Dark Vengeance set. So I carefully modelled that so it looks like he’s holding the wrench in a zealous mechanic kind of way.

 

 

Partially converted Dwarf Techpriest
Partially converted Dwarf Techpriest

In the end, with the white beard and red robes, he actually wound up looking a lot like Santa Claus.

Nearly final product Squat Techpriest Engiseer!
Nearly final product Squat Techpriest Engiseer!

 

Squat Techpriest Engiseer
Squat Techpriest Engiseer

 

Dwarf Techpriest Engiseer (back)
Dwarf Techpriest Engiseer (back)

 

 

But, he isn’t alone. I converted a Chaos Cultist from the Dark Vengeance set to another techpriest.

The process was very similar: I used a vox-caster for the backpack, the searchlight is off of a vehicle kit, and the servo-arm is a combination of a lot of bits.

 

Chaos Cultists converted to Techpriest Engiseer
Chaos Cultists converted to Techpriest Engiseer

 

Chaos Cultists converted to Techpriest Engiseer (side)
Chaos Cultists converted to Techpriest Engiseer (side)

 

Chaos Cultists converted to Techpriest Engiseer (other side)
Chaos Cultists converted to Techpriest Engiseer (other side)

He actually bears a striking resemblance to the Games Workshop Techpriest.

Chaos Cultists converted to techpriest (left), and stock Techpriest from Games Workshop (right)
Chaos Cultists converted to techpriest (left), and stock Techpriest from Games Workshop (right)

 

And, to round out their team, I finally finished the servitors.

Servitors

Servitors

 

Servitors (back)
Servitors (back)

Now, with a few servitors, they’re one big family:

 

Techpriests and servitors
Techpriests and servitors

 

Techpriests and servitors with the tanks they support
Techpriests and servitors with the tanks they support

 

I expect to use this unit quite happily in games. But, they also look really cool together just for display. The red really stands out against the grey of my army.

Rhino

Much like my recently published post about the Ironclad Dreadnought, I saw this Rhino on eBay and decided to buy it and repaint it.

The Space Marine Rhino is the most ubiquitous of the METAL BAWKSES. The steel workhorse of dedicated transports, the iconic Rhino is a competitive stalwart of Space Marine Armies.  At a measly 35 points, it’s also an incredibly cheap transport with a capacity of 10 models and a storm bolter! Two models can also fire out the top hatch giving it some additional punch and overwatch potential.

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Rhino model as it arrived from eBay

This particular tank model looked pretty rough when I received it. I got a pretty good price for it so I knew I was getting what I paid for. It had a rough blue colour and some thatch which I imagine was supposed to represent some sort of camoflage. I tried scraping it off as best I could and then primed it white.

 

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Rhino primed white

 

Like the dreadnought, it was really tricky getting a nice even yellow colour across the whole tank. I started with Averland Sunset then topped it with Yriel Yellow.

I had an older-style Imperial Guard pintle storm bolter which I mounted where there used to be some sort of missile launcher.

I wanted to add my own flair to the tank, I wanted to add optional hunter-killer missiles. I see that the new style is the small pods that look like infantry missile-launchers, but I like the old style that look like a huge box.

And I used some really powerful magnets to make them optional. One was mounted on each side of the hull. I had to carve out a lot of space for the magnet.

Concealing some strong magnets within the hull of the rhino.
Concealing some strong magnets within the hull of the rhino.

 

I was able to successfully hide the magnets with a lot of liquid green stuff and then several layers of paint. You can hardly tell that they’re there. But, the magnets on the missile launcher are definitely going to stick, and swivel as necessary.

 

Imperial Fists Space Marine Rhino
Imperial Fists Space Marine Rhino

 

I felt that the dozer blade was totally necessary. I expect the rhino to drive up the field flat out 18″, so passing those dangerous terrain tests is a must. As a last resort, it can also ram some tanks in the back. And, finally, it kind of maintains the “construction” look I was going for with all of my Imperial Fists.

 

Imperial Fists Space Marine Rhino (rear view)
Imperial Fists Space Marine Rhino (rear view)
Imperial Fists Space Marine Rhino with two Hunter-Killer Missiles
Imperial Fists Space Marine Rhino with two Hunter-Killer Missiles

 

Imperial Fists Space Marines
Imperial Fists Space Marines with Rhino in back right

 

Can you see the "construction" theme?

Can you see the “construction” theme?

 

I have the parts to make another Rhino. I was thinking of making it an Inquisition Rhino, but I hear that Rhinos can be taken as Fast Attack units in the next Space Marine Codex. If that’s the case, I can put a squad of Astra Militarum veterans in one and treat it as a cheaper troops unit… hmmm… decisions decisions.

Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought “Fort”

This model was something of a labour of love. I saw this Ironclad Dreadnought on eBay and decided I needed to have it. It came with a hurricane bolter for its right arm, and a choice of Seismic Hammer or Chainfist for the left arm.

The purpose of an Ironclad Dreadnought is to get into CC with things, preferably vehicles and wreck them.

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Original model as it arrived from eBay

Ironically, I rather liked its original colour. The grey was a good match for my Astra Militarum forces, but not for the Imperial Fists Space Marines it would join.

So, I did a dirty coat of white to cover the old paint scheme.

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Getting an even coat of yellow over the formerly grey was really tricky. I find painting any models yellow is a labour of patience and persistence.

I didn’t like the stats of the Seismic Hammer. It’s 2X Strength (so, 12+D6 damage)  and AP1, and unwieldy and comes with a built-in meltagun. Reading a few reviews, many recommend replacing the seismic hammer with a chainfist. The difference is that the chainfist is only AP2, but has armourbane which means its damage will 12+2D6. Another recommendation was to replace the meltagun with a heavy flamer. I think this makes a lot of sense because the meltagun’s effective range is within charging range of its dangerous CC weapons, and the heavy flamer gives this dreadnought some potential anti-infantry punch, especially on overwatch! Both substitutions are points neutral.

As an Imperial Fists dreadnought, I imagined it really needed to have a fist, in particular, a Power Fist! Most tactics blogs I read recommended ditching the hurricane bolter in favour of a power fist.

I got a power fist from eBay and it fit nicely on the left arm.  However, the chainfist arm I had was also meant for the left arm. Since the hand would look weird flipped, I decided to modify the arm so it would go backwards and fit on the right arm. It took a lot of glue and liquid green stuff, but I think it looks almost like it fits on that arm now.

The hunter-killer missiles on the shoulders aren’t the most competitively functional items. At 10 point each, two 1-shot S8 missiles may not make their value back, especially if they miss. But, they looked too cool not to keep.

Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought "Fort" (Front View)
Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought “Fort” (Front View)

 

Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought "Fort" (Side View)
Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought “Fort” (Side View)

 

Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought "Fort" (Other Side View)
Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought “Fort” (Other Side View)

 

Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought "Fort" (Back View)
Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought “Fort” (Back View)

 

The name “Fort” has a double meaning. Fort is a boys name, and could be the short form of Fortuanto. Fort can also be a short for fortification. And lastly, in Italian and French, fort(e) means strong, which makes sense for such a large beast of a machine.

At 155 points including the 20 for the two hunter-killer missiles, it’s a big sink for points. But, if I can get in range of a few enemy tanks and rip them apart, it will definitely be worth it.

Actually getting it into combat may be a challenge. Without a drop pod it will have to walk to the enemy tanks. Its front and side armor of 13 are impressive, but I still don’t want it in the open too much or it will be destroyed before it sinks its chainfist into heretic, traitorous and/or xenos enemies.

Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought "Fort" with other Imperial Fists
Imperial Fists Space Marine Dreadnought “Fort” with other Imperial Fists

 

Bullgryns

Bullgryns are an interesting new addition to the Astra Militarum Codex. They are effectively abhuman Ogryns that have have traded some offensive bite for serious defensive gain.

However, I didn’t really like the look of the new Bullgryn/Ogryn models. And I’m partial to pewter models too. So, I cobbled together bits from a number of purchases to create my own custom Bullgryns. In the end, they probably cost more than buying 3 new ones in a kit, but they’re uniquely mine.

Bullgryn Slab Shields from eBay
Bullgryn Slab Shields from eBay
Old Ogryn models from eBay
Old Ogryn models from eBay

 

I got 3 Ogryn models through various eBay purchases. They weren’t quite complete. I had to order bases seperately. One was missing a head, but an Ork head made a surprisingly appropriate replacement.

Various pieces of Ogryns and Bullgryn bits ready to be assembled
Various pieces of Ogryns and Bullgryn bits ready to be assembled

I also had to purchase the slabshields and grenade gauntlets separately on eBay as bits. Two of the Ogryns were missing their left hands that would have held their ripper guns, so I substituted ork hands.

The model that would be the Bone ‘ead was the most difficult to modify. His left arm was way up in the air and not appropriate for holding the shield. I had to break his pewter arm and had a hard time getting it re-attached in an appropriate position.

 

Astra Militarum Bullgryns
Astra Militarum Bullgryns

I’m quite happy with the final result. They look imposing, ugly, and very tough. They don’t look like they’re wearing carapace armour, but I can say all the chains they’re wearing help to protect them.

 

Bullgryns taking cover behind their slabshields
Bullgryns taking cover behind their slabshields

 

Tactically speaking, I think they will be a very interesting addition to my army. When two or more of them are in base contact with each other, they improve the cover save of all models behind them by +1. Any models behind them will already receive a 5+ cover save because they are obscured. This would even apply to tanks behind them! With the +1, all models behind them could receive a 4+ cover save.  If the models behind them have camo cloaks or stealth in some other way they have a 3+ cover save!!

They’re a pretty tough unit in general too. With 3 wounds each and T5, they will be hard to disgorge, especially with the 3+ armour save they get from linking slabshields. The leadership 6 (7 with the Bone ‘ead) is a little worrying though. They’ll need something to keep them from running away. I’ll probably stick a ministorum priest with them to keep them from running away. And, in a codex sorely lacking CC options, the one-two punch of Bullgryns with a priest may help with this unit tango at close range.

At 145 points for 3 models, they certainly aren’t cheap! I’m curious to see how they’ll play on the tabletop, but they do look cool in my display case!

 

Better view of my Astra Millitarum Bullgryns
Better view of my Astra Millitarum Bullgryns. From left to right “Otis, Deathlok, and Enzo.”

 

Astra MIlitarum Bullgryns (read view)
Astra MIlitarum Bullgryns (read view)

Painting Infantry Squads

Here’s a post about the painting the first models I bought in this interaction of the hobby.

I’ve decided to go with an Astra Militarum army (formerly known as Imperial Guard). I used to play Space Marines, but I find the notion of regular humans fighting against monstrous creature to be especially heroic. So, I started with a box of Cadian Shock Troops.

Cadian Shock Troops Box
Cadian Shock Troops Box

The default colours for the standard troopers is pretty cool, but I wanted to try my own design to personalize them.

Default colour scheme for Cadian Shock Troops

 

The models come on plastic sprues like this:

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Unassembled guardsmen

There are an awful lot of steps between the sprue and the next stage, but I didn’t take pictures of them all. I see that a lot of people assemble their miniatures first and then paint them. I found it easier to paint the body parts in the sprue. I see that a lot of people assemble their miniatures first and then paint them. However, I still had to do lots of touch up after assembling them.

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Headless, armless bodies!

I decided to paint these troops having grey fatigues and black armour.  At first I was worried they’d look like German WWII troops, but they still look kinda futuristic.

It would have been natural to paint the helmets black too. But yellow is my favourite colour right now, and I thought that would really make them stand out. I used Yriel Yellow first, but I found it was too bright. In the end I used Averland Sunset and liked the final colour. It’s a little more orange and subdued, but still yellow like I wanted.

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Mostly completed guardsman. Preparing the base for detail sand in this picture.

Employing a little bit of out of game strategy, I realized that the kit came with enough parts to make the “characters” for two different squads, including two sergeants, vox-casters, and special weapons. To fill out the two squads completely, I bought two boxes of “Cadians”  which are much more bang for your buck and easier to assemble.

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Two Astra Militarum infantry squads painted by me

I’m pretty happy with the results. At this point I’d consider them “table-top” ready. They could definitely use some touch-up, but they’re ready for a game. I don’t have any HQ units yet, so I can’t play any games at all yet.

It didn’t dawn on me that I have 20 models built already. I’m getting an idea of what an infantry-heavy model will look like, and I like it!

In terms of points they’re very cheap too. A 10-man squad costs 50 points. With a vox-caster and flamethrower, the squad is only 60 points. I’m tempted to call them “veterans” for an extra 10 points and improved ballistic skill. It can all be changed in the future.