Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kanak Specialists and Theory

I painted up quite a few Special Characters and Regimental Specialists for my Kanak Guard. I may never use many of them, but I had them. They all came out pretty nice and were rewarding to paint up.

The first ones I put together was the Master of Ordnance. There can only be one per Company Command Squad, but I ended up painting three of them. I figured, the Officers would be more 'civilized' than regular Kanak troops. I envision them as being attached to the Skull Takers and not really being part 'of them'. The first one, is a simple creation from Cadian parts, nothing fancy. Now the other two are a combination of old metal Leman Russ commanders attached to plastic legs. I pinned them onto the legs, else one little fall would see the parts flying in different directions. The guy in the middle, I had to extend a pistol holster on the model, down onto the thighs with a little green stuff. Once painted up, you probably couldn't tell if I never told you. I paid a tad bit more attention to these guys as they aren't the cannon fodder that everybody else is.

The Officer of the Fleet figure is a great model from GW. It has a ton of character and even oozes an air of betterment over his earthbound allies. I followed the general look of the guy from the book for lack of inspiration.

The other guy sitting there is 'Good Guy' from Schaeffer's Last Chancers. I've been sitting on that box of minis for the last thirteen years or so. He looked like a strong Commissar model, so, POOF! He got painted up like one. I know he isn't very WYSIWIG. Eh, he hasn't fired a shot in anger yet.

I am going with Psykers in this army. They can be so much fun, especially if I can pull out the Invisibility power for my Astropath. Either way, I love the potential of Psychic Shriek. I was able to take out a remaining nine Salamanders after their Sgt was killed via Interceptor. I was lucky enough to roll a 17 for the strength of the power! Blam! Nine dead marines! I may even push for some Daemonlogy powers later on to really make for some fun moments in the Psychic phase. Anyway, this guy is mostly an Empire Flagellant from a sprue I had picked up when they first came out....about nine years ago. The staff is made from a pair of old Goblin shield add-ons. Sorry about the terrible picture, but think of the Eye of Sauron, and you will get the picture.

The other Psyker in the army is the Primaris. This guy I got from eBay. Another old classic figure from the GW heydays. I really could have done a better job on him. For a 20yr old piece, there is some good detail. You can see the eyes along the hem of the robe with fire flowing up around them. In battle, I pay for the 2nd level of Mastery, and give him the Divination discipline. I place him inside a blob squad for his own protection. The malediction power Misfortune, has helped quite a few times. I was able to wipe out a marine command squad with it. Especially, when the unit was in range of my Punishers!

The Ministorum Priests are carry overs from my Sororitas army. These guys keep my squads from running, leaving objectives, and really help keeping a blob squad stuck in combat. Once in a while, I can get a power off due to their poor leadership. Re-rolling to wound against MEQs really comes in handy. I tend to let the squad sarges take any challenges before I let these guys get in. I just wish I could add an eviscerator or power weapon to these guys.

The last two guys I have this week is Iron Hand Straken and Sergeant Harker. Iron Hand is the older model released with the original Catachan codex way back when. Since my guys are mostly modeled after that style, Straken makes for a perfect fit. I don't think I will ever use him, but this was a perfect opportunity to get him all dressed up. On his left arm, I put a little celtic style arm band on him. It came out really nice. The trick is to just paint the two wavy intersecting lines. Then using the flesh paint, I cut the lines where they met to give it the overlapping effect.

Sergeant Harker is another of the Last Chancers. This guy is known as 'Ox'. He's much like Bragg from Tanith. The set of figures are still available from GW. If you can, I recommend grabbing one before they disappear, as they are metal. They are all so great individually. Anyway, I added a Mom tattoo to this version of Harker.

Painting-wise, I kept to the same general steps and palette as the rest of the company. I will cover the painting steps next week. It's really quite simple and quick.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rough Riders and Company Command

Most Militarum players know the Rough Riders are situational at best. Really, if you are smart, you will use the slot for better units. But damn, I still think they are so cool. GW hasn't made any good models for them since the Attillans.

I made some anyway. It is just a simple conglomeration of Catachan leftovers and the Marauder Horsemen. The difficult part was the power lances. To get it to work, I cut some styrene rods into 3/8" strips and glued three or four to the end of a spear bit. Some red paint to simulate dynamite finished it off. Not a bad idea and a somewhat easy modification. 

Keeping with the theme, these guys also have a musician/vox caster, even if they don't get one rules-wise. I also added a banner bearer, again, knowing it has no use in the game. All of the riders have various acoutrement from other sets, Ravenwing ammo boxes, canteens, grenades, and so forth. The unit is one of my favorites. There was quite a bit of work to remove all the chaos stars from he horses and riders. Some of it was hidden by gluing a skull-on-chain bit or something else.

I took more time painting the command squad. As usual they got a banner and a musician. There's also a heavy flamer and two meltas. Later I will paint up some plasma gunners for the extra range. Although the unit tends to sit in a chimera near the back of the army; I probably won't use them that much. Most members of the unit have backpacks that can be used to carry came cloaks if so appointed. The banner was an experiment in wet blending that came out pretty good with red and black.

The star of the squad is the Company Commander. I modeled him on the Humungus from the Road Warrior. Captain 'Normous has the skull head from chaos marine to act as the Death Mask of Ollanius. An heirloom is hanging from his belt meant to be the Kurov's Aquila that I use regularly. That's more of a reason to get plasma gunners. The arm is a bit from an old Necromunda guy I believe. I've been sitting on that piece for quite a few years waiting for just the right guy to pin him to.

Next week's post will cover the Regimental Specialists I put together along with some of the goals of what I am trying to accomplish with the list.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Stoic Arms

This is a wonderful kit from 4Ground in the UK. This is a pre-painted, laser cut model kit of many pieces that is quite a joy to put together. The instructions are easy to follow of you have ever worked with one of their products before. They are step by step, and in full color. Sorry about the different sized pictures, blame it on Blogger!

The box came with two giant ziploc bags of pre-painted laser cut wood, and a bag of clothes pins and rubber bands with which to clamp the pieces together. I cannot stress enough to follow their directions to the letter. If you miss a step, and you invariably will, you will undoubtedly want to throw things across the room. As the pieces are MDF and take standard PVA glue quite quickly, they tend to stick together quite quickly too. Having to go back and remove a piece to fit another in can be painful to your completed product. 

I have taken photos of each of the floors to show you the detail of the item in general. 

Complete front, about 13" long

Complete back, almost 12" tall

First floor front

First floor top view

Second floor front

Second floor balcony side

Third floor front

Third floor 

Fourth floor back

Fourth floor front 

The entire piece took about 10 hours in total. I will say, the time flew by as the dopamine pumped. There were a few hiccups though. A couple spots there were mislabeled parts. Those were further in and as you get into it, you know what they're thinking and are able to get past them. This can cause some headaches for newer modellers though. 
There were also a couple of misfits that I had to fix. The third floor did not sit flush as usual due to two of the angles roof pieces not having notches in them for the balcony. 

I was able to alleviate the issues when I completed it as I didn't notice it until afterwards. 
Also the kitchen roof would not fit as built due to the third floor balcony. I had to trim the roof spine. Fortunately I didn't glue it on yet, allowing me an easier time. 

But back to the positives. There is lots of great detail in here. All of their pieces come with exterior and interior walls. They don't do things simple just to complete a model. There are cracks in the walls. The bar is fully detailed with shelves and a trap door. 

The kitchen has dual ovens too!

The exterior walls are actually glued on to blank wood to give it the yellowish look. Some of the interior walls are panels that get glued on as well. This can be mainly seen on the third and fourth floors. The instructions even come with posters for you to cut out and 'pin' to the walls!

All in all, it is an awesome piece. One that stands out even without any further painting. I highly recommend all of their products. Now back to work!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kanak 2nd Platoon and Heavy Weapons

The Second Platoon uses bands to designate their squad. With the first squad having one band on their upper arms and the second having two bands. This is also mirrored on the squad banner. The basic idea of the squad composition is basic lasguns and a flamer. That's it. The sergeant may get a melta bomb or so, but really that is all.

Why does each squad have a banner, it doesn't do anything? Well, I had so many extra as the Marauder sprue has two types. Why not give each squad one? It sorta gives an old feel to the army. You may notice that each and every unit also has a musician. I have these guys to represent my vox caster. The squads will have drummers with a lasgun strapped to their back. The command squads use horns. Just another way to differentiate the basic squad and a command unit. 

The first platoon command squad has grenade launchers. Yes, I know they pretty much suck, but that unit is designed to move along with the squads. That whole platoon tends to be my speed bumps. Combining into a single blob squad if needed. The second platoon and command squad are my squatters and my counter-attack unit with the flamers. Pretty simple, and it keeps things cheap. Each of my command squads has an extra guy made up in case I need to cut out a flamer, banner, or something. To have them looking different, the command units have a 'barbed-wire' like band on their arms

I do have heavy weapon squads just in case. I've found that each heavy weapon sprue can make three different ones if you plan it carefully. You just need to decide if you want a lascannon, heavy bolter, or autocannon. As there is only one mount for those. Out of three sprues, I was able to get nine heavy weapon squads. I made three of each to keep things simple. The missile launcher and mortar both have the same bipod mount, but you really don't need it for the missile launcher. With these units, I got creative as the base would just be so empty otherwise. Each type of weapon follows the same theme, the mortars are behind stone walls, the auto cannons are behind barricades, and with barrels sitting in front of the missile launchers. 

With the nine different squads, I can make three heavy weapon squads or even just sprinkle them throughout the company.

Next post will have my cavalry and my Company Command Squad. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kanak Skull Takers

Long time no post....
I have finally gone back to the Imperial Guard, oops, sorry, the Astra Militarum. I came up with the plan to make the Kanak Skull Takers when doing the Four Color Chimera Post, link here. Orginally, the name plate showed Malvi, a planet from the Calixis Sector of Dark Heresy by Fantasy Flight Games. Long story short, (too late) I changed the name on the side to Kanak. I just thought the Skull Takers needed to be represented somehow. Also, since I had some extra Beastmen bits and Chaos Marauder sprues, why not put them to use.

So the Kanak Skull Takers are a feral bunch that tend to use axes and flamers a majority of the time. Keeping with the theme, most of my guys also have axes and flamers. I also organized them into clans based on platoons. So each platoon will have a similar skin color, identifying tattoos, and banners-styles that differ by color. First squad has a single slash or bar, the second has two slashes or bars, etc.

Squad One

Squad Two

Squad Three

The figures themselves are incredibly easy to put together. Just mix 'n match a Catachan squad with Chaos Marauders and you are set. I found one sprue of each could usually make a ten-man squad. A word of warning though. Some preparation is required ahead of time. As the chests of the Marauders do not allow for two handed rifles to be added easily. You will notice I use the Catachan bodies for all troopers that are aiming their weapons. The Marauder bodies tend to be carrying their rifles in one hand, have it slung across their back, or some other creative way to fit them in. This was the fun part; thinking of creative ways to fit them together.

Once I got to the Platoon Command Squad, things got a bit more difficult. I want them to be different and stand out more, so I put the Command Squad sprue to use. This sprue is more 'streamlined' as the figures are not as large. The other heads and arms from the troop sprue do not fit quite as well. Luckily, I planned to make some Rough Riders too.
Command Squad

The Chaos Horsemen sprue has sixteen different heads for the five riders. That leaves twenty-two extra heads if I make a full ten man cavalry unit. These heads are AWESOME and fit nicely with the command squad figures. All the helmeted heads go with the Catachan and Marauder bodies quite nicely too. Otherwise, many of the heads can appear too small for the barrel chested figures.

I also added a few little things like giving them something akin to biker jackets.

I am going to leave with just the completed first platoon. Meaning I have to come back and post more pictures of the others I have finished.

If you want to find out more about the Kanak Skull takers, here are another couple of links to the Lexicanum and the Manchurian Campaign put together by the Bell of Lost Souls.