Sunday 10 May 2015

Epistolae Daeimonologica

--- Spectres and Effigies ---

Like all interstellar spacecraft the Star of Arlus was cushioned from the seething energies of warp space by its bubble of reality - the stasis envelope generated by the ship's warp engines. Without this barrier the Star of Arlus would be vapourised within moments. Macillan allowed his senses to absorb the flow of the warp round the ship. He felt the friction draw out the shape of the stasis envelope into an elongated tear drop. He sensed the warp close in behind the ship and the turmoil of its wake, eddies of current that sent shock waves spinning into the blackness. Amidst those eddies he could hear vague things made real by the thoughts of the crew, discorporate hopes and fears embodied within the warp and sloughed away by the ship's own passage. For a moment his own voice called to him, a thin cry of warning and terror... go back... go back... before it was swallowed forever.

He was used to such things: his own ghosts no longer unnerved him. He often wondered what happened to the spectral creatures given life and form by his own mind. Did they simply dissolve back into the warp, as was commonly supposed, or did they remain to wander through warp space forever? If so, what were they like, these creatures, dragged into life by the countless random processes of his subconscious? Sometimes a ship encountered tides of ghostly things that clawed and scrambled at the stasis envelope and sent the warp engines screaming. Were these the same kind of creatures, given life over the millennia and cast adrift on the currents of warp space. What was it they wanted? What drew them with such frenetic energy towards spacecraft? He only knew it was best not to follow the specrtres too closely with mind-sense. Sometimes he felt shadows of other predatory things that lurked in the ship's passage, attracted, he somehow felt, to the new born like sharks to the scent of blood.

[art by J. Blanche, words by W. King, © Games Workshop]
[Title added by C. Reiter]

I know, I know, wall of text. tl;dr.
But as an official background afficionado, I can only reply: deal with it :P

Seriously, though, I have been pondering this blog for some time now, pictures of converted and painted minis is all well and good, but something that is missing is more narrative, more feel, more insight into the central concepts: the Daemonic, the warp, and Chaos. So I want to change that.

To kick things off, an awesome little story from the 40k 2nd edition wargear book, by Bill King. I just re-read all the background from 2nd and 3rd edition, and rediscovered some real gems in the process. In the long run, I want to write most pieces here myself, but I will also throw in the occasional bit from other authors.

What do you think? 
Do you guys care at all?  
Or do you automatically skip any text passage longer than 4-5 lines in a blog?
Let me know... 

Friday 1 May 2015

The (International) Herald Tribune

Last week, I decided I needed some Nurgle Heralds on foot. Just basic stuff. No huge, all-conquering awe-inspiring Greater Daemon or Daemon Prince, just some lowly little Heralds. I figured I want some low-level characters for more low-level armies.

Also, thanks to the Daemonic Table, you can never tell when an enemy psyker gets his mind fried and you get a free Herald dropping out of the ether. Better be prepared for the occasion, as it would surely be considered rude not to take advantage of free models...

I wasn't really happy with my initial efforts though:

In the end, I decided it was the head, tore it off again and came up with a new version I prefer by far:

Obviously, I still need to do all the greenstuffing, but I think the basic concept is very sound.
Oh, and the model isn't small, it's just standing on a 40mm base. I was never really happy with the official concept of Heralds just being slightly beefed-up regular troopers, I always thought they should stand out, so they should be discernibly larger and certainly get a base upgrade.

I actually can't remember where I got the antlers from, but I really like them as they feel so Nurgly...


So, when I said some Heralds, I wasn't exaggerating, I was working on two of the dudes at the same time. However, I was even less content with where the second Herald was going, so I disassembled it completely and now am left with just the bare bones of a model:

Still a long way to go, obviously...

Saturday 25 April 2015

The story... so far

The Daemons are coming along. It goes in leaps and bounds, though, with a lot going on at times, and then not very much or nothing at all happening when the project ends up shelved for months. I managed to get most stuff done back in 2012/13, the status after some very productive six months back then:

After that, things slowed down a bit. It is noteworthy that the army was conceived in 2011, using the old Codex Daemons from back then (5. edition). As a nice little touch, I had envisaged to have all units 7 men (creatures) strong, as an hommage to Nurgle (7 being his sacred number). However, under the current Codex, all troop choices need to be at least 10 strong, so I had had to adapt to this.

First, I upped the strength of the Plaguebrides (counts as Daemonettes) to a full 10, so they are a legal choice now:

I realize the picture isn't exactly fortunate, because lots of the girls are standing in each other's way, but I think you get the gist.

Anyway, that left me with a second troops choice missing for the army to conform to standard army selection, so I went to work on some Plaguebearers derived from several different Confrontation Mid-Nor dwarfs. You have seen these guys already, but for the sake of completeness:

You will notice that there are 4 minis short of the minimum size of 10, one of those minis has been completed since the picture has been taken, while two others are very close to completion and the final mini - the unit's champion - still needs some serious work.

I am not a big fan of armies that don't look like armies, so I will certainly paint several more troops choices before I will add more characters or big gribbly stuff. That is the one gripe I have with the army - I just painted random stuff in the beginning, leaving me with a collection of miniatures that do look good, but are not gameworthy.

Saturday 18 April 2015

Back from hibernation

Because it is not dead which can eternal lie... or something along those lines. It certainly appears this blog is only ever used in spring and summertime. I certainly did not plan on this, but I'm certainly willing to play along 8]

After a short foray into the WHFB universe has been ultimately cured by End Times and 9th edition, I haved moved back to the grim darkness of the 40th millennium. For the time being.

While GW manage to regularly ward off my hobby interests by various decisions and products, they also regularly manage to reel me back in with some amazing releases. This time, it was the Mechanicus. While the Skitaarii (sp?) were nice, it was the new walker kits that really blew my mind. I haven't figured if and how I can fit them into my army concept, but if I find a way, I will do it.

For the time being, I have bought the Sicarians, because I will use several bitz for a current ChainsawDaemonEngine project I am working on - keep tuned in.

Also, I am just inches away from being in possession of a fully-painted, legal army... and I intend to use it. Not sure about all the recent focus of 40K on gigantic Apocalypse-style mini-titans, flyers and all this nonsense, but I figured I'll just ignore that. So I got me some fittingly Nurgly dice:

Whaaat? Actually playing a game? Clearly, things are getting out of hand here...

Sunday 1 June 2014

More Plaguebearer Progress

...and they keep turning up, one by one, little by little. But the important thing is to keep going, and the full ten-man unit will be finished in time.

As a sort of "what I did this month" thing, here is the status of the unit so far, 6 models finished including the musician:

Saturday 17 May 2014

Plaguebearers (Progress)

I have posted some early pics of my Plaguebearers converted from Confrontation Mid-Nor Dwarfs in an earlier post. I now have something to show:

Some progress on my Plaguebearers... I have finished four so far:

while three more are in various states of unfinishedness:

and three more are still awaiting paint at the moment:

I like these models, because they were the very very first ChainsawDaemonEngines I ever put together, about two years ago now. I only ever painted two of them and left the rest lying around... until now. I promised myself to finally give them the paint they deserve and not put anything else on the worktable until all of them are finished.

Thing is, I have tried exactly that several times before, without any success at all in the past. So having finished two more models now (making four in total, see first picture), I have actually come a long way already. As I am writing this, another one is very close to completion as well.

Some more pics:

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Blowflies of Nurgle (Supplemental)

I recently found a forum post where a a year ago I had shown where the markings on the wings of my unit of Blowflies of Nurgle are derived from. I had totally forgotten about that! However, I really like it, so I thought I'll share here as well: