The End of the World (of Battle) as We Know It

Off The Top of My Head

As a Warhammer fan living in Tennessee I’ve always been relatively lucky. My orders ship very quickly, shops are usually well-stocked, and there are a lot of hobbyists to create a pretty good community. Part of this is because the Games Workshop North American Headquarters was located in my state; Memphis to be exact.
I live a fair drive from Memphis but not too far. Not so far that it’s excusable that I’d never before visited the Memphis HQ and gaming site “World of Battle” over the last couple of years. I was suddenly motivated to do so when they broke the news on their Facebook page they would be effected by the Games Workshop restructuring (they are centralizing their operations back in Nottingham rather than maintaining multi-employee shops and several international HQs) and would be converting the epic World of Battle gaming hall into a single-person store on the day this post goes out, March 26th 2014. With that news I knew I’d be heading to Memphis before that occurred so I could see the World of Battle while still in its epic-scale format.
A couple of non-Warhammer folks came along for the ride, and even they were impressed and became interested in the hobby just being in the environment.

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The outside of the building itself was impressive, the huge imperial eagle and the wicked space marine statue standing guard.

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The full-sized Blood Angel still stands in the shop and he’s just as intimidating as a 7-foot tall bloke in red armor would be. Especially since he carried a gun the size of my torso.

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There’s a nice case with Eldar Striking Scorpion gear in it. It is stylized to look like it’s been collected and tagged by an Ordo Xenos agent.

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Loved this Ork Waaagh-Bannah!

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This city table was amazing. We kept wandering around it looking at all the details.

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This fantasy castle was equally incredible.

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One of my favorite sections was the back hall that contained “historical artifacts” from Games Workshop’s history. And a GREAT Dark Angels banner.

I’m not a Games Workshop hater. They are a publicly traded company, they are beholden to make a profit for their shareholders, they do things for business reasons certainly, etc. They have also create a GREAT gaming system, painting systems, and as I said in my Kharn post, one of the best “worlds” I’ve seen in fiction. Some of their decisions, however, I can’t see as being positive. I had a ton of fun in the Woodfield Mall store while I was in Chicago. I went two nights in five days and just swapped war stories (“The Little Commissar who Could” one of the clerks told me was terrific) the same was true for World of Battle. I got a chance to chat with Price there about Imperial Knights tactics, the benefits of the new Crimson Slaughter Supplement, and creative use of bits to make unique terrain. He never tried to sell me anything. Just discussed it. I just wanted to BUY everything.

Even my two friends came away interested, just being in the environment and watching the massive Last Stand battle going on.

I think this is the kind of place GW needs to retain. It brings people in. Gets them started. Just being in the presence of this kind of World of Battle sparks fascination in everyone, Warhammer fanatics, neophytes, and outsiders.

I’m hopeful that as Games Workshop completes its restructuring and rebuilds itself as in a modern economic environment World of Battle will rise from the ashes and opens its epic gaming hall tables for North American Hobbyists.

World of Battle’s FB Page!

Off the Top of My Head: 40k Dark Angels Librarian Turmiel

Off The Top of My Head

This guy I painted the same day as I painted the standard bearer.  In fact I may have painted him first but who can remember such details now?

He’s the Dark Vengeance Dark Angels Librarian and GW really showed off what they could do with plastic minis in that set.  So much so that I’ve heard that finecast has met its demise going forward.  I had a previous librarian, but since this guy was so utterly Dark-Angel’d up, yo, I moved my other one to my little Blood Angels army.

I didn’t follow the exact color scheme used in the Dark Vengeance literature, but it’s more fun to riff a bit right?  He, like my standard bearer, needs some serious touch-ups as I can spot all kinds of places I didn’t blend well, but I do like his force sword!  Other areas are just things I can look forward to correcting soon.

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I actually had two of these guys, but the crew in the sadly closed Woodfield Mall GW store gave me a GREAT idea what to do with my other one.  He’s been primered and painting has only just started on him but this is what I did with my other Turmiel:

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I altered the command bike to carry an extra Tome of the Long Hunt from the Ravenwing upgrade sprue on the wings of the angels on the rear fender.

I’ve included several other little additions, such as the second volume on the side of the fender, A scroll from Skaven plague monks on the front fender, and a cherub I got with an Empire General Standard bit.

I heard of a few ways to convert a regular Ravenwing sergeant into a librarian-on-a-bike (including using Grey Knights bits), but with Turmiel’s dynamic posing (love that outstretched hand) and iconography it was hard to think of another one that would look nearly as Dark Angels-y.

Once I have him completed I’ll post pics of him, hopefully showing, hopefully, more advancement in painting ability.

Check out my previous ork painting posts for more!

Black Reach

Dredtrukk

Warboss with Attack Squig

Boss Zagstruk

Stormboy Nob on Flying Base

Bad Moons Nazdreg

Dark Angels Dreadnought

Dark Angels Standard Bearer

Off the Top of My Head: Painting 40k Dark Angels Standard Bearer

Off The Top of My Head

My dreadnought got me in the mood to paint more Dark Angels, and I decided to jump into robed characters rather than the standard green-armored tac-marines.

The new finecast standard bearer is a nice-looking model with a great bas-relief standard.  It’s what appealed to me about it.  The chance to paint the raised relief edges and also try my hand at the robes for the first time.  I had mixed results but I was happy with my first effort:

I like the standard, though my edging could use some touch ups...
I like the standard, though my edging could use some touch ups…
This kind of shows how I tried to do the robes.  Not bad but it could use some honing it.
This kind of shows how I tried to do the robes. Not bad but it could use some honing it.
I'm actually most happy with the back of the figure and the banner.  I like the red and gold.
I’m actually most happy with the back of the figure and the banner. I like the red and gold.  Again I need to touch up those highlights…
The base of the banner was fun to try, and I used ANOTHER piece from the defiler to accent the base.
The base of the banner was fun to try, and I used ANOTHER piece from the defiler to accent the base.

Dark Angel Standard Bearer 5

Check out my previous ork painting posts for more!

Black Reach

Dredtrukk

Warboss with Attack Squig

Boss Zagstruk

Stormboy Nob on Flying Base

Bad Moons Nazdreg

Dark Angels Dreadnought

Off the Top of My Head: Painting 40k Dark Angels Dreadnought

Off The Top of My Head

It’s true I love painting orks but, like a lot of 40K folks, I have dedicated myself to a space marine chapter as well.  I went with the Dark Angels over a more codex astartes chapter because of their somewhat mysterious past, duel agenda, and their chapter structure.  Gotta love the Ravenwing…

Since I still consider myself a painting neophyte, I started painting my Dark Angels with something a little easier than even a tactical marine figure: a dreadnought.

With the big, flat surfaces and edges, and larger areas it was a simpler place for me to try out some of the layering techniques I’ve seen more expert painters use.  It also has lots of weapons and mixed colors (though still on larger surfaces) so it wasn’t just a single, drab item but required a bit of creativity.

I used the Assault on Black Reach dreaddy-nought since he’s relatively static and he’d be easier to clean off if I had any painting disasters:

I went with the Dark Angels color scheme recommended by GW: Chaos Black, Caliban base, Biel-Tan shade, Warpstone Glow layer, Moot Green layer 2, Underhive Ash dry brush, with Waywatcher glaze.  Pretty vanilla but I don’t feel ultra-confident enough yet to experiment!

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I added the red sarcophagus front-plate and weapon details to give him a bit of character, but still retaining the Dark Angels general scheme.

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I’ve decided I’ll have a lot of my DAs in 4th Company, so I used the munitorium “4” and “IV” from the transfer sheet to detail him, along with some extra bits from the Dark Angels upgrade sprue (pretty good deal, btw folks.  It’s basically the DA veteran’s kit $14 cheaper!) to make him more Dark Angel-y.  I named him “Puriel” an angel described (by Wikipedia at least!) as “fiery and pitiless”

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Again, I love basing models and tried my hand at using some of the Forge World weathering powders on his feet and leg armor.  The rest of the base is pretty much just stuff from the GW basing kit again.

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That’s his big brother, Camael, the venerable dreadnought behind him.  He’s just primed (and yes, that’s part of an Icon of Old Caliban on his back…) I haven’t had the guts to finish completely gluing or painting him yet since, as a member of the Deathwing, he’ll be bone white and I want to practice that a bit more before I potentially mess him up!

Check out my previous ork painting posts for more!

Black Reach

Dredtrukk

Warboss with Attack Squig

Boss Zagstruk

Stormboy Nob on Flying Base

Bad Moons Nazdreg

Off the Top of My Head: Painting 40k Ork Warboss Nazdreg

Off The Top of My Head

Since I’m a fan of both Dark Angels and Orks I found Gav Thorpe’s The Purging of Kallidus to be a perfect book for me.  Not only does it include a lot of small details on the functioning of a Space Marine force in the field, but includes the two biggest and baddest ork warlords in a combined effort; the mighty Ghazghkgull Thraka, and the wily Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub.

Ghasghkull was and is still the king of all orks to me; his semi-religious role, brutish persona, yet strangely high-intelligence seems to encompass the most frightening combination of ork traits.  However it’s nice to have options, while looking over an older ork codex I found Nazdreg is a GREAT option for an ork warlord (if only we could get modern rules for him GW!)

Nazdreg is not only a cunning leader, but also a remarkably good shot for an ork (BS4!  BS4!  With a PLASMA weapon!)  He also has fun painting options, as he is a Bad Moons warboss and can be done-up right in bright yellows and ostentatious decorations.

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The old Nazdreg model is nothing like the current line and difficult to field.  He’s SMALLER than most ork boyz, so that’s not an option.  This one is mine.  He came with his boss pole broken so I replaced it with a different one.  Luckily I got an old metal Ghazghkull with the deal I mentioned in a previous post and decided I’d Nazdreg-him up.

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I used the older Big Mek head so he had a different face from Ghazghkull that gave him a Mek look without having weird screws in his head.  I also liked the smug grin and goggles.SONY DSC

There wasn’t an appropriately massive Bad Moon bosspole, so I made my own out of green stuff.  I mounted it on the Lascannons from a Forgeworld Tauros Venator I turned into a warbuggy and stuck a deffdread face on the back.  The skulls came from the Chaos Defiler kit, whose bitz have served me so well since I converted it to the Dredtrukk.  It’s not perfect but I ended up really liking the look of the moon.

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His armor, instead of black with flames, I wanted a bright, blazing yellow.  Mostly to make his stand out even more from my Goff models.  His custom power klaw is made of the lower-potion of Ghazghkull’s with two ork chain blades and a piece from the Skaven Hell-Pit Abomination kit as flexible spiked-knuckles.

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The most difficult, but fun, part of the model was the Kustom-Blasta-X, Nazdreg’s supa-gun.  It’s frequently described as being “multi-barreled” but because it has the “gets hot” profile and the same feel as a plasma gun I thought it would be good to make it LOOK like a plasma gun.  I sheared off the twin-linked big shoota that came with the model (never cut off so much metal before) and used one of the plasma storm batteries from the Land Speeder Vengeance kit.  The little piece underneath is actually a re-fashioned mace head and it has the power supply from a megablasta off of an extra Mek on top.

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Basing is something that I’ve heard a lot of modelers complain about but it’s one of my favorite parts of finishing a model.  I originally wanted to have him on a telly-porta but I couldn’t think of a good way to make that work on a terminator-size base.  So I went with a scene from The Purging of Kadillus that is by far one of my favorites in the Black Library books I’ve read (along with Primarch Corax’s charge into the Iron Warriors in Raven’s Flight, also by Thorpe).  If you haven’t read the book SPOILER ALERT!

In the novel, Chaplain Boreas leads a defense of a power plant against an ork attack. They initially succeed until Nazdreg himself arrives and dooms the space marine/imperial guard defenders.  Boreas challenges Nazdreg to single combat, and, though he fights as best as he can, is ultimately smashed by the Bad Moons Boss.  I like this narrative not only because the fight itself is rousing, but also because it’s a rare instance of orks portrayed in a Black Library book not as comic relief but as the martial menace that they are.  Boreas and Nazdreg fight fairly, and Nazdreg beats Boreas through strength of arms, not blundering into luck.  This is especially impactful in this book as future Deathwing Captain Belial took a similar beating from Ghazghkull in the novel’s background.  I also have a strong memory of Nazdreg addressing the Dark Angel’s leadership through Boreas’ helmet comm with the typical Ork laconism, “Dey’s all dead…”

For my base I have Nazdreg stomping Boreas’ Crozius Arcanum.  The Arcanum is made from the handle of a thunder hammer; the head is actually part of the angel wings off of the Icon of Old Caliban from a Land Speeder Darkshroud kit.  For the Chaplain’s helmet I used a standard space marine helmet, sliced his face off, and glued on the face of a skull (again, those Chaos Defiler bits save the day!)  I then added appropriate muddy texture and various pieces from the GW 40k basing kit.

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Nazdreg’s my favorite model I’ve completed so far.  I hope I can use him (WITH his profile) in games and I’m really hoping GW includes him back into 6th edition when we get our overdue ork upgrade next summer!

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Check out my previous ork painting posts for more!

Black Reach

Dredtrukk

Warboss with Attack Squig

Boss Zagstruk

Stormboy Nob on Flying Base

Off the Top of My Head: Painting 40k Stormboy

Off The Top of My Head

Before the glory that was Halloween (It’s still going on as far as I’m concerned.  I’m extending Halloween the way the rest of the world does Christmas…) I began posting some of the Orks I’ve been painting.  Though I have two chapters of space marines (the two more “angelic” chapters…First Founding!) and now some Sisters of Battle, the Orks are still my chance to be the most creative.

This model is an old metal Stormboy Nob I got in an incredible deal on eBay along with a lot of other older metal models.  I love the look of the older models mixed in with my newer plastic kits, but they are a bit static and don’t look very “Storm-y.”  Luckily eBay also introduced me to these great flying bases for them.  I have a full compliment of ten to do, but I started with the great Stormboy Nob to test how it works:

It was fun to customize and pose him on this base.  I over tilted so I have a nickel underneath the base to keep him down.
It was fun to customize and pose him on this base. I over tilted so I have a nickel underneath the base to keep him down.
That's a newer choppa he has.  I liked the look of it better.
That’s a newer choppa he has. I liked the look of it better.
The site to buy the bases has a great tutorial on how to paint them to give that layered/glowing effect.
The site to buy the bases has a great tutorial on how to paint them to give that layered/glowing effect.
The Rokkit is a little plain, but the rest of the model is so bright I was ok with it.
The Rokkit is a little plain, but the rest of the model is so bright I was ok with it.
I used a piece of the Chaos Defiler model to accessorize his helmet.
I used a piece of the Chaos Defiler model to accessorize his helmet.
Vroom!
Vroom!
Waaagh!
Waaagh!

How to paint the flying base here.

And my previous ork posts:

Black Reach

Dreadtrukk

Warboss with Attack Squig

Boss Zagstruk