Word Bearers updates

So I never get bored of painting Word Bearers. I wish I could say the same for literally any other army, but something about adding to my Legion horde, is just constantly appealing. It often surprises me how easily I can drop back into it after long periods of slacking or painting other figures. Before all the fuss about a new edition of Horus Heresy, I was sincerely trying to make a dent in my chaos backlog and get things a bit more “legion” codified. So I’ve finished off all these fellows in the last couple of months.

So my bolter marine squads needed some of those classic backpole banners as Vexilla bearers. So I painted up one per squad. Also, “historically”, as per the wise and blessed writing of Alan Bligh, Word Bearers field full infantry squads, routinely packing out the 20 man limit. So my feeble 10 man units would not suffice. Meaning I had to scrounge together enough parts to build up 30 more marines. The first 20 of those are completed and added to their respective units 1 and 2.

The back group use the Forgeworld WB resin upgrade pieces (heads/torsos) I had spare, and older mark bolters spare from my Mark 3 marines. The front group are honestly just straight Tactical Marines from 40K which were sat on a shelf. but I’ve never met a Space Marine I didn’t want to add to the Word Bearers. #PlasticProselytizing

Then there were those resin plasma rifles I’ve had on a shelf for years now, so I finally assembled and painted those up. It gives me a pretty good flex of support options now.

Yeah I used the 32mm bases, and the they look great, but irritatingly I already had a pretty damned big collection before the belated base size change from 25 to 32, so as long as the squads are consistent, that’ll be fine.

But I have a LOT of Word Bearers stuff sitting on the shelf. Including more Cataphractii who were destined to bulk out the Power Axe squad, so I finally built up and painted those bad boys too.

Yes, two heavy flamers in a 5 man squad is illegal, however, these are an addition to my rather plain existing 5 man squad of Cataphractii without special weapons or a sergeant.

I also threw a few more characters onto the painting station, namely the new Praetor in power armour, an old Power Fist sergeant they did as a limited run, and the WHW exclusive Ultramarines banner bearer with a few tweaks, and the bumbling Captain Sicarius, now adequately converted to a proper Legion.

And on we roll. So much more to still paint, but the cabinet is getting a bit crowded now. I should probably start painting more vehicles:

The Rashaar

So my first (and only) game of Carnevale had me playing the Lovecraftian sea-monsters; the Rashaar. Only in reading the background did I come to realise that I could ONLY have chosen this faction in the end. In Carnevale, you can tackle any unfortunates who fall (or are pushed) into the canals… and proceed to drown them. Plus you get drag around packs of slaves like plus sized bento boxes in case your monsters get cranky.

So I immediately painted up the two lesser Ugrdu and the hulking Raadru first. In nice turquoise hues:

Next I quickly batch painted a pile of snacks/slaves for cheap filler units. I had six in total, but there’s a nice little group shot:

And finally, I needed a Magi to lead them, in suitably alien skin tones, but still continuing the theme of turquoises and greens:

It’s a been a joy and very quick to paint them all, and I’ve already ordered some more monsters and cultists to fill out the ranks of my gang. Especially since my wife’s Strigoi are so expensive points wise (with her picking all the heavy hitting main characters in one box).

Starting in Carnevale

I recently attended the Birmingham Games Expo with my wife, and of the many amazing exhibitors we looked at, she was very drawn to some figures from the TTCombat range; Carnevale. The game was originally launched several years ago (with a similar yet different ruleset and miniature range) by a company called Vesper On Games, which sadly died in 2016. The IP was apparently purchased by TTCombat which launched a kickstarter and have since revived the game. I played a quick intro game with one of the staff at the show (minus the usual Games Workshopesque level of overhyped false enthusiasm in demo games), and actually found it pretty fun. I wasn’t sure on my starting gang until that intro game… but after drowning three human thugs in the murky canals of Venice, I’m sold on the Rashaar… but more on that when I paint them.

We first considered the small starter box, with everything to begin playing, including two gangs, scenery, rulebook etc. And all for £35. But before we left the expo, I was already back at the TTCombat stand swapping out for the larger starter box at £65 and I have zero regrets!

It should be noted that the miniatures don’t come on the lovely little paved bases, so you have to buy those separately. But still, £9 will net you enough for two bands easily (this isn’t the full amount pictured, just what I’ve painted to start off):

So my wife’s chief attraction was the Strigoi band (vampires). The faction is a mix of Vampiric Venetians, mutated vampire sub-strains and magic wielding Gypsies. So I grabbed the boxes she liked and started on her warband, with nothing less that Vlad Tepes; Dracula himself. And an attendant vampire priest:

And where goes the great Impaler; so go his three Brides:

If I’m honest, the wife liked the ladies in this box, hence it being her first step in the collection. Can’t blame her though. The whole set is resin and VERY detailed. As in, consider very carefully what you clip off the resin supports because a lock of hair and a feather are literally individual pieces you glue on. The quality of the figures is fantastic though.

Next will be some aquatic vampires (since she doesn’t want to be vulnerable in the water), and a few regular (lady) vampires to fill the ranks. But I’m waiting on that to arrive in the mail.

Frostgrave Beasties I

So what is the next thing you need when playing Frostgrave? Monsters! It’s a flexible and forgiving game thankfully, and the monster roster is BIG across the 9+ expansions, so I’ve been painting up a nice selection to spawn in as required. Starting with Giant Rats, Bears, Boars, some Imps, a Genie, a Giant Worm and a White Gorilla. All of these are metals from the North Star range with a few exceptions..

The Genie is a very quick and rough “conversion” from the (God Awful looking) plastic marauders from GW.

The Imps are from DND Nolzur’s Marvelous Unpainted Miniatures.

And the Giant Worm is from the Sheffield based EMP Games (well worth a look if you’ve never heard of them). You try figure out which end is the mouth.

Starting out in Frostgrave

I recently picked up the Frostgrave rulebook to broaden my gaming and painting, away from the standard GW fare. And I’ve found it refreshingly easy to pick up! The North Star miniature range is just beautiful and very 90’s fantasy. A friend is working on his Skaven warband, which can easily fit into this game system and background. Heck, even my wife is collecting buxom female figures to build her warband!

And that is step one for playing Frostgrave, paint a warband! So I’ve painted a variety of infantry to let me mix and match. Beginning with Thieves:

Thieves are pretty basic and importantly, FREE. So should I need some extra bodies to pad out my party, or maybe replace some fallen comrades after a brutal confrontation… then these guys are key. I went with the same colour pallette on all of them, and used the plastic male Soldiers sprue.

Similar to Thieves…. the secondary option for free muscle, is Thugs. So I painted three of those to fill ranks as well:

I again, kept to a similar colour scheme and I had a bit more fun with these. Pick noses and scruffy looking. The guy on the right even has a pet rat on his shoulder and is still finishing his bottle of mead.

With the disposable scum painted, it was time to make some better equipped troops. So that’s light armour, some shields and some Two-Handers, these kinds of soldiers are known as Infantryman and Men-at-Arms:

Now we’re getting somewhere. But where is the REAL muscle? I need some elite troops when I get deeper into the exploration of this deadly city. Time to don Heavy Armour; leading to my Knight and Templar:

With the finish line in sight, I wanted a few less “choppy” options. Some of the Specialist troop types that bring buffs to the warband. So from left to right, there is the Bard, the Pack Mule and finally an Alchemist (made from pieces on the Wizard Sprue):

All these forces certainly aren’t ALL the troops I intend to paint, but give me a lot of great starting options and future expansion. Again, all of these are directly from the North Star miniature range. My last addition to the force would then be the Wizard and Apprentice themselves:

These two were built straight out of the Wizards sprue and I had a lot of fun. I plan to use this as my “Mad Arab” Summoner, bringing in Demonic power to assist in the fights. I didn’t theme the Wizard/Apprentice duo around the rest of the warband, chiefly so that I can have a couple of wizarding duets to swap around, bringing in Elementalists, Sages and Enchanters with unique models that don’t change the entire warband.

On a related note, all the North Star metal figures come on moulded oval bases, which is great for stability, but difficult to get around with modelling. So you’ll have noticed my green stuff cobblestone basing on all the miniatures. A great way to hide the metal bases (albeit a bit tedious to make each time). I have LOVED painting this range and have managed about one new mini a day to the collection, start to finish.

Clan Tora -NAS

Earlier this year I grabbed a very cheap copy of Ninja All Stars, the Out of Production little tabletop PVP game by controversial Ninja Division. I love the Chibi style and was always a huge fan of Super Dungeon Explore Miniatures so I started tracking down every clan and Ronin for this game that I could find. And I’ve finally finished my first clan, the “Red” or Fire team, Tora. I’ve more or less tried to keep to the game card art for the eyes, hair and garments.

There’s enough detail and plenty to have fun with without the increasingly irritating level of arbitrary detail that “some other” miniature companies feel the need to employ in their aesthetic.

Aside from the colour scheme being my go to for most armies (red), the Clan Tora “Oni” (their pair of signature demon heavyweights) are awesome giant samurai in full cuirass of the classic looking dō-maru armour.

The kinda remind me of chibi anime versions of those giant samurai from Sucker Punch:

The rest of the clan force is bulked out by specialised ninja warriors who specialise in stealth, magic, melee and ranged attacks.

Then we have a roaming Ronin who specifically associates with this clan, a signature hero (Byakko in this clan), a sort of “captain” type figure called a “Chunin”, and then finally a unaffiliated Ronin known only as the “Blind Swordsman”, in that order below:

Once clan down! Then a colourful selection of Ronin heroes, 5 more clans, the 6 Elemental Shrine clans and then the Imperial Sentries. Loved painting these guys!

Heavy Bolters and Mecha Spiders

I dug up all the spare Heavy bolters I had around and found about three of the old Mark IV belt fed (40K variant) patterns, and another 2 of the ammo drum pattern (clearly not Mark IV… damned if I know what pattern). So enough to finish off my Heavy Bolter squad in the Word Bearers legion. I opted to give the 2 newer pattern bolters to the Sergeant and the Vexilla bearer, so as to be less obvious that I ran out of Mark IV armour appropriate weapons. But it’s not a fully functional 10 man Heresy era squad.

A some closeups of the captain. Specifically because I tried to doodle some scripture on half his face, and also used a different way of painting my legion insignia, namely, gold with red tinting to the tip of the flame.

I also noticed my troop squads lacked decent sergeant models, so I slapped together to powerfisty Mark IV officers, and dug out an old Games Day limited edition sergeant I’ve been wanting to paint for years (and hearkens back to the days where storm bolters on power armoured characters were “cool”). I really like the model, and it’s hand sculpted glory is worlds apart from the 3d modelled sterility of the Mark IVs.

Finally, I reached into the back of my desk cupboard and found something I’d avoided painting for a while now, so I grudgingly dragged it out and quickly slapped some paint on it with zero enthusiasm. I have a special loathing for models that were designed with zero consideration for the two primary interations they were made for:

  1. Being picked up and otherwise handled

2. Being relocated between gaming halls/tables/locations

I only own this nightmare creature because it played well on the table and it was in the Shadowspear pile I was given. I’ve already impaled myself on it’s many pointy bits, and snapped many of those pointy bits off. Ugh!

The calming shades of red

With all the Ultramarines I’ve been commission painting over the last couple of years, I felt a good system purge (irony) would be some wholesome heretic paintjobs. I’ve wanted to re-organize my Word Bearers a bit more, so they’re better representations of the only true Chaos Legion (before and after the Heresy). They retained their legion infrastructure and indeed held Chapter subdivisions long before Guilliman convinced himself that he came up with that concept. So I’m making a point of marking up individual quads with designations and organizational decals, Modelling on specific wargear like pistols and chainswords when they are supposed to have secondary weapons., and putting a little more effort into the heavy weapons, like icons and lights.


Anyway! moving onto the first squad from my pile of shame, Rotor Cannon marines. Now usable in 40K as well!


And I love them, totally living up to the cool look of those cannons.

Next up were the Breacher marines that have been gathering dust for years now. For mine, I went with the plastic Mark 3 kit and 2 packs of 40K “Boarding Shield” kits. A couple of notes on these Forgeworld kits for anyone considering the options:

  1. The proper full resin Breacher kit will set you back £76 for 10 marines. Giving you 10 shields, 2 lascutters and 2 graviton guns.
  2. The “Boarding shield” conversion kit route will cost you £76 (possibly less if you get the plastic Mark 3 kit through a discounted third party) and will net you 12 shields (2 spare!), 4 lascutters and 2 graviton guns (plenty of spares).
  3. The Mark 3 marine arms and bolters fit comfortably with the Boarding shield design if you’re careful.


And don’t they look lovely? I prefer the Boarding shield over the Breach shield if only to avoid the aquila wing design element. Plus I wanted a bigger canvas for Word Bearer markings, chains and skulls.


And outside of the “evil blackboard of doodles” each guy is carrying, these are my first Mark 3 Word Bearers, and they look great with the metallic chipping and chaos scrawl.


That said, I’ve decked this squad out with a single lascutter and graviton gun, I found an old Chaos lord power fist holding a marine helmet, I has spare Mark 3 vox packs, and I slapped a Mark IV vexilla in there too. I don’t see a use for any more Mark 3 marines in the army, which will largely be Mark IV and later armour types from here on out.

Last of the Indomitus marines

I’ve finally summoned the energy to photograph the remaining Ultramarines I painted from Indomitus. I finished them off a couple of weeks ago and swiftly moved onto painting heretics to shake all the vanilla marine funk off. But all in all the Ultra’s came out okay with minimal effort. First off are the new shield… dudes. I don’t know their name and don’t intend to even collect any, but their owner was certainly happy with them:


I only reaslised when I finished painting them that they’re supposed to have white helmets, but pretty much gave that idea the finger since I’d wasted time on the red lenses already. I did go on and paint the hero guy (With the volkite pistol) to have a white helm by way of apology. He’s pictured with the Captain who I forgot I’d already pictured previously.


I really enjoyed all the little individual crests on these new shield marines though. A great chance to give a little character to each model.


And finally, after the banner guy and interesting shield veterans, I finally had to finish off the chaplains. They were pretty swift to complete (thank you black undercoat). The new Executioner guy is a bit underwhelming to paint due to that awful helmet and square sword. It’s a big a miss, cosmetically, to me. I wonder if there’s a new designer in the Studio accounting for the random misfires with the new marines and necrons. The new chaplain alternatively, was lovely.


New Indomitus Marines

I resisted the urge to buy the new Indomitus boxset, partly because I only wanted a few of the necron units and nothing else, but mostly because Games Workshop forecasting for the web sales ain’t worth a damn. Then I later on was handed a box by a friend who wanted the marines painted, in exchange for all the necron stuff. So why not!

But of course it was too easy, since he wanted 2nd Company Ultramarines as the colour scheme. And I’m back to painting Ultras… ugh. My inner heretic recoils at the brief calculations that estimate I’ve painting more Ultramarines that Word Bearers in my hobby career!

My impressions of the Indomitus box, are that it’s fantastic value, even if it is a bit pricey. But the snapfit components reminded me of how aggravating the Dark Vengeance boxset was… only worse. Some parts snap together smoothly, others need to be trimmed and forced together at the expense of your thumbs. It’s not well designed, which is frustrating for the resource and expertise behind these sprues. Often I would resign myself to trimming off the ill-fitting pegs and rely on glue.

I began with the easy stuff though, which I could bulk paint out to a decent table top standard. Unlike my repeat commission friend, the owner of these Ultramarines didn’t need weathering or anything fancy, so any additional detail was on my own head.

So first up are the new Assault marines. Great dynamic poses, and an alternate set of arms and head on the sergeant so you can have 2x 5 man squads out of these monopose guys if you wanted. They were the WORST for snap fitting out of the entire box.




Next up are the bikes. I like the new design, and they’re lovely. Snap-fitting was only moderately shoddy, and I used green stuff to cover up some gaps.


Next I treated myself to the Captain’s model. Figuring a little detail would be fun. He clips together nicely and has a few helmet options with is nice. I love his shield, and you even see interface sockets on the skeleton meaning; A) it was likely once a Primaris Marine and B) those sockets go all the way to the bone for some reason.


Finally some of those new melta guys, which I enjoyed. Very simple and bulky. The backpacks were awkward to fit, but otherwise nicely slotted together.


And lastly a group shot of how many I’ve painting over the last two weeks since I got the box.