My Warhammer 40k Personality

I used to play Space Marines as part of my Warhammer 40,000 army. Specifically, I used to collect an army of Ultramarines. I’ve since lost interest in them. I find them a little too lawful neutral, like Javert from Les Miserables. At other times, they are a little too lawful good (or lawful stupid) being painfully adherent to the rules of the Codex Astartes. When I was little, I used to be so goody-goody and blindly follow the rules. I guess as I grow, my interpretation of morals changes too.

Now I see why the fandom calls them the Ultra-Smurfs
Now I see why the fandom calls them the Ultra-Smurfs

Of the Astartes and Primarchs, I find myself recently more drawn to Rogal Dorn and the Imperial Fists. They’re more neutral good, like me (I consider myself a Type II neutral good). They also seem unusually somber and serious. And the resounding trait they inherited from their primarch is stubborn determination, and must learn when to back off.

Imperial Fists Space Marines painted by me
Imperial Fists Space Marines painted by me

Here’s a great quote from the Sentinels of Terra Space Marine supplement that really struck a chord with me.

Those who encounter the sons of Dorn are often left with the impression of somber and cheerless warriors. Those that know them better recognize the passion that all Imperial Fists keep under tight rein through adherence to protocol. This continual mortification is necessary, for pride has ever been the Imperial Fists’ greatest weakness.

But, in general, it’s a little hard to relate to Space Marines. They’re genetically and technologically enhanced super-soldiers that have been through rigorous psycho-training and live only for combat. In a grimdark future of technological and daemonic monstrosities, how does a normal human stand up? 

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That’s one of the things I find most appealing about the Imperial Guard Astra Militarum: It’s regular humans facing the horrors of the future. They have flak armour and lasguns, but in this setting it’s the equivalent of cardboard armour  and a flashlight.

I suppose the Inquisition could apply too because many of them are just super-trained men.

Anyways, if when I ever play a game, I’ll report on how regular men fare in the grimdark Warhammer 40,000 universe against the horrors that appear there.

Bit Of Fluff

I’ve joined a Facebook group of Warhammer 40,000 players. It’s called a narrative group, but will be based around narrative games. In a fit of inspiration last week, I wrote this as a grimdark introduction to my army and posted it:

” These are dark times indeed.

It was quiet in the cargo hold. Inquisitor Pyradius paced slowly in a dark corner. He muttered quietly to himself as he reviewed the dataslates. His mood was dour, and new news didn’t help.

The Inquisitor and his retinue preferred to stay in cargo holds, engine rooms, and other utility spaces away from the crew. It was as much for their safety as the crews. His retinue did not suffer strangers warmly.

He examined his retinue closely packed but sprawled across the floor of the cold, dark room. They were exhausted from their last encounter, but it would be foolish to assume they were resting unprepared. The Inquisitor spied a melta-gun pointing at the cargo bay door, a half-slumbering acolyte ready at a moment’s notice to defend what was left of the eclectic band.

The group had just returned from a battlefield. They fought valiantly, but we’re forced to quit the field. An exterminatus order was executed to purge the enemy and purify the planet. It didn’t feel like a victory.

The Inquisitor turned his thoughts from his recent foray and back to his dataslate. Reports of incursions in the sector were becoming so numerous that he was starting to lose count. The messages were so frequent and jumbled that it was no longer clear who the agressor was: Heretics? Daemons? Xenos?

He spied his daemonblade resting against the bulkhead. It still bore entrails from the recent battle. Pyradius could also sense the restlessness of the lessor demons entrapped within the massive weapon. He was always nervous using such arcane powers, but he relished using it against the Emperor’s enemies.

The door to the cargo hold burst creaked open. The Inquisitor reflexively pointed his weapon at the door. He quickly lowered it when he spied the regimental commander. His regiment of Imperial Guardsmen had been raised specifically to support the Inquisitor’s activities. It had been whiddled down to but a few squads of hardened veterans over the years. They were sporadically reinforced, but their numbers always remained low.

No pleasantries needed to be exchanged between the two men. After years of shared battle, typical Imperial formalities were no longer necessary. Inquisitor Pyradius gave the commander a morose look. Without a word, the commander understood. He nodded gloomily.

These are dark times indeed.”

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My Inquisitor: Painting

A while back, I made a large purchase from the Games Workshop website so that I could get the Limited Edition Web Exclusive Space Marine Captain. I had to order over $120, so I got a bunch of stuff Astra Militarum models:

I didn’t have enough to get to $120, so I also ordered an Inquisitor with Combi-Weapon because I thought he looked cool. He’s got a massive sword, cool-looking gun, and his cape is flowing! Of course he looks awesome!

 

This is what it looked like before painting (note, not mine exactly, I forgot to take a pre-painting photo)

I wasn’t sure if or how I would use him in my army. The Inquisition eBook Codex has been a really good reference for me. It explained rules and profiles for Inquisitors and how an ‘Inquisitional Detachment’ can be added to any Imperial army.

I primed him white, and then decided that he should have a similar paint scheme to my Imperial Guard Infantry models. So I decided I’d lean heavily on the Adminsitratum Grey, Abbadon Black, and Averland Sunset.

First touches to my Inquisitor
First touches to my Inquisitor

I then decided I wanted to give this model a little punch. I found Auric Armour Gold at my local Games Workshop, and went a little overboard. I wound up painting the entire cape gold over the yellow. I regret nothing. It’s so shiny…

Auric Armour Gold makes it SHINY!
Auric Armour Gold makes it SHINY!

A lot more painstaking work went into the painting, but I’m really, really happy with how he turned out.

A touch I really like is that I added my family’s coat of arms on his right. I’m also particularly proud of the coloured wires on his left arm going to the gun.

Inquisitor Warhammer 40k Model, painted
My Inquisitor Model

 

I think I’m going to call him Inquisitor Pyradius. A long time ago, I used have have the nickname “Pyrad”, so adding the -ius makes it sound more latin-like and grimdark.

I look forward to sharing posts about this model, and potentially his retinue.

Necron Bits

One of my favourite elements of this hobby is being creative with the parts you have.

I received a package from eBay with parts for about 15 Cadian Imperial Guardsman. In the box was something extra. It had most of the parts required to make a Necron warrior, including the Gauss Flayer.

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Reassembling the Necron. It’s almost like reassembling dinosaur bones or an alien autopsy.

The above picture looks like an alien autopsy, which it kind of is. I don’t think I’ll assemble it, but I’ll use the parts. I’ll probably use the skull as part of a servo skull, replace a guardsman’s leg with the bionic foot, and give the Gauss Flayer to an Inquisitorial Acolyte. I don’t know if the Gauss Flayer will be tabletop legal, so if anyone objects I’ll just play it as a hot-shot lasgun that looks really cool.

eBay Purchases!

The Warhammer 40,000 hobby can be really expensive. Games Workshop models are expensive! You can quickly stock up hundreds of dollars worth of little plastic and pewter miniatures. And then you need paint, glue, and other hobby supplies. In an effort to curb my spending, I followed a suggestion I read on a blog and started bidding on eBay items.  It’s been a fun little experiment!

There are quite a few sellers, particularly in the United States and UK selling new, unpackaged, and rare out of production (OOP) models. I’m wary of the shipping costs, but I keep that in mind when making bids.

eBayLogo

It’s obvious I’m not the only collector on these auctions because there are usually multiple bids on items quickly driving up the prices. But I definitely stop when the price + shipping exceeds the cost of getting the item new from the store

I had a wishlist of models I wanted, but it was also nice to see what’s available and would match with my growing army. I’m in the market for bargains on unpainted Imperial Guard Astra Militarum models, and maybe some interesting/cool guys to become part of an Inquisitorial Warband. 

On my wishlist were some special characters like Commissair Yarrick and Lord Castellan Creed.  They’re only available in plastic now, so getting a OOP pewter model would be really cool. Even more cool was a model of a Female Commissair! It’s a genuine Games Workshop/Citadel Miniatures model that is out of production. I have no female models at all, so it would be nice to have a little variety. Sadly, the price for these quickly rose and I didn’t want to shell out too much.

Yarrick Model on eBay source
Yarrick Model on eBay (source)

Creed Model on eBay source)
Creed Model on eBay (source)

Female Commissair Model on eBay source
Female Commissair Model on eBay (source)

 

In a way, not winning certain models helps determine my army too. Since I didn’t win Yarrick or Creed, I’ll build my army without them. It forces me to be more creative.  After all, I believe it was Lao Tzu who said “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want.”

It’s almost a relief sometimes not to win an auction. There are definitely times when I get into a bidding war, and make an impulsive bid I wished I could undo. When someone outbids me, it feels good to me, because I drove the price up getting more money for the seller, and the buyer gets what he/she actually wants.

Slightly used spruies of Cadian Shock Troops

The first item I actually won is an Open Box of Cadian Shock Troops for about $5+shipping. I guess there wasn’t too much interest since it’s an open box or because the seller was from Canada.  A new box of 10 models costs $35. I could tell from the photos that this lot included enough to make 15 models. Regrettably, I didn’t notice that it didn’t come with bases. I could buy them on eBay, but I can also buy them new from the store for $6 for 10. I still think I got a steal! 

new eBay
15 models $52.13 $5.47
bases included $9.00
shipping included $11.87
tax $6.78 $1.17 (bases)
TOTAL $58.91 $27.51

 

My next round of purchases kinda got away from me. Originally, I was looking to score an OOP Ratling model for less than $3. The shipping alone would have been $8, so I started seeing what else the seller had. I saw a lot of $2-3 dollar models that I thought would be nice to have as AM commanders or Inquisitorial Acolytes. I didn’t win the Ratling, but I did get 5 other models! All together it was $17 and with shipping it was only about $30 and I’m pretty happy about that.

 

1st Edition Commissar with Tie (source)

2nd edition Catachan Lieutenant. I think I may use him as a Platoon Commander or Inquisitor Acolyte (source)

2nd Edition Catchan Officer with Power Fist. Could be my warlord, Platoon Commander, or an Inquisition Acolyte (source)

Cadian Officer. Could be my Warlord, Platoon Commander, or Veteran Sergeant (source)

Karskin style Stormtrooper. Probably will be an Inquisitional Acolyte (source)

 

I’m definitely going to be taking the advice from Imperator Guides on this post and NOT BUY ANYTHING ELSE until my current pile of models are painted. It will save me money, save me from burnout, and let me focus on what I currently have. 

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.

Welcome to Keptain Kayak!

Welcome to my Warhammer 40k Sub-Blog! I imagined this was a better solution than cluttering up my main Running Blog with non-Running stuff! 

Well, anyways, as I mentioned in this post, I’ve become quite interested in the Warhammer 40k Hobby again. It’s a tabletop game where you collect models, build and paint them, then play them against other models. The gameplay is an offspring of old-school Dungeons & Dragons involving dice, tables and measuring tapes. I started around age 12, took a break for about 15 years.

I started again by buying a (now replaced) Citadel Hobby Starter set that came with a variety of paints, glue, cutters, and a paintbrush.

Hobby Starter Kit
Hobby Starter Kit

 

I also found some old models and paint brushes. I have since built and painted a few and I’ll detail them in posts to come. 

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Completed tactical squad of Imperial Fists Space Marines. My first painted Warhammer 40k models in over 15 years!

There are several things I really like about the hobby: in particular the painting, the lore (or fluff as the fandom calls it), and the planning/strategy.

 

Art Hobby

I don’t consider myself an artist, but I find I’m quite enjoying the creative element of the hobby. Sitting quietly and painting these little models is surprisingly calming. I suppose that’s how a hobby should feel. I don’t consider myself an artist or ‘artsy‘ type, and I’m definitely not very talented, but it’s nice to think “I painted that.”

 

Backstory and “fluff”

I find the fictional environment of the game is pretty interesting. It’s set in a dystopian science-fiction future where humanity is a sprawling stagnant empire facing destruction from hostile aliens and internal traitors. It’s science-fiction, but much darker than Star Trek and other typical sci-fi environments. The lore describes the backstory of each race, faction, and why they all want to kill each other. It’s told in novels, magazines, movies, video games, and sidebars in other publications.

I could go on and on about the fictional environment. In such a dark environment, heroes seem to shine even brighter. I’ve read a few stories featuring Ciaphas Cain, a cowardly human officer with an uncanny stroke of luck in horrible situations. Surprisingly, all his stories are comedies. And there are stories about families, brothers, friends, heroes, villains and traitors. Some of them are compelling and even motivating.

 

Strategy

I really like the strategy and planning element of it too. Each unit has certain abilities, and cost in game. They also have cost to buy, but that’s a different strategy. At the moment I’m trying to put together a 1000 point army that meets all the requirements. I haven’t played a single game yet, but I just enjoy daydreaming about it. I suspect I’ll lose horribly, but maybe that’s part of the experience too.

I mentioned that buying in itself is a strategy. It’s incredibly true because units that have high points cost may not have high dollar cost (and vice-versa). In general, Games Workshop models are pretty pricey. There are jokes that their license on the products essentially allows them to print money and that their products are so expensive that crack is cheaper.

But, there is another element of the hobby altogether. I recently discovered buying off of eBay. I lose most auctions, but I’ve found a couple bargains so far.

 

Keptain Kayak

Why the name Keptain Kayak? Most 40k bloggers I’ve been reading have hobby “nicknames”. Keptain Kayak was my ICQ handle from a long time ago. I thought the “captain” reference worked well in a wargames kind of way but was also lovingly self-deprecating.

 

 

Where do I get the time an money to do this? Well, I’m single, employed, and feeling rather introverted this summer. Seems to be a good mix. I’m trying to dedicate Sunday afternoons to painting since I’ll be worn out from my long runs and won’t feel guilty taking a ‘break’.

I hope you enjoy the blog! Comments and suggestions are always welcome!

 

Getting Back into Warhammer

(Reblogged from the original post on my other website)

In a post a long time ago, I mused about a photo showing the proportions of the fictional Adeptus Astartes from the fictional Warhammer 40,000 universe.

 

In a celebration of passing my PMP, I downloaded a new game for my PS3: Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team. I like that it’s in this universe. The game is a little repetitive, but oh well.

It reminded me that I used to be quite interested in the whole Warhammer 40k universe, including painting and playing with the tabletop miniatures. By a long time ago, I mean like 17 years ago!

In a fit of inspiration, I searched some old boxes and found that I still had most of them! Here are photos of some of my miniatures

 

Warhammer 40k minuatures
Imperial Guard

Warhammer 40k Space Marines
Space Marines

Imperial Guard Stormtroopers
Imperial Guard Stormtroopers

Detail of Warhammer 40k Space Marines
Space Marines detail

Imperial Guard Ratling Snipers
Imperial Guard Ratling Snipers

Space Marine veteran Sergeant, heavy flamer, terminator and apothecary
Space Marine veteran Sergeant, heavy flamer, terminator and apothecary
Imperial Guard command squad

Space Marine veteran Sergeant, heavy flamer, terminator and apothecary
Space Marine veteran Sergeant, heavy flamer, terminator and apothecary

Detail of the fiery coat on the imperial guard psyker
Detail of the fiery coat on the imperial guard psyker

Space Marine Veteran with Heavy Bolter painted by me
Space Marine Veteran with Heavy Bolter painted by me

Comparing to the video game Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, I noticed quite a resemblance! They are based in the same universe, but I appreciate that the model I painted looks like the character in the video game.

Sternguard veteran from Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team
Sternguard veteran from Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

Space Marine Veteran with Heavy Bolter painted by me
Space Marine Veteran with Heavy Bolter painted by me

So, what was the point of this post? Well, to show pictures of little 3cm tall figures I painted almost 20 years ago! Well, kinda.

I feel a strange compulsion to get back into the ‘hobby’. There’s something that sounds peaceful and appealing about finding a couple of hours to sit and paint miniatures. The store I used to buy from is still there. I still have my old paintbrushes, but the paints from then have unsurprisingly dried out. I’ve even made a shopping list of which figures I’d like to start with.

My reluctance is trying to justify the time to myself. I’m so focused on professional and health improvement that I don’t see how an introverted hobby like this is a good thing. I know I need rest days, but maybe I should invest my time instead in things like Toastmasters.

We’ll see what I get the urge to buy after Around The Bay.

But can they run?

(This post is re-blogged from its original post on my other site here)

When I was much younger, I played a tabletop game called Warhammer 40k. I recently stumbled upon a wiki with information about the lore of this piece of my childhood.

The most famous ‘human’ fighting force in this hellish, science-fiction future are the Adaptus Astartes or Space Marines. These fictional warriors are given implants and intense hormone training to become unstoppable warriors. Until I read this wiki page about them, I didn’t realize the proportions of how large these sci-fi warriors would be.

Space Marine Anatomy

Take a look at the size comparison on the bottom. The ‘Average human’ at 5’9″ is about my size. Now look at the Basketball Player, then the massiveness of the Space Marine! Imagine humans at 7’6″ and 780 pounds! The only exiting humans I can think of with that build would be Andre The Giant and the WWE’s Big Show. It just kind of boggles to mind to even imagine humans with that much mass.

However, I imagine these 780 pound humans wearing 200kg of armor wouldn’t run too well.