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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 3

So we're almost half way through March and, theoretically, I'm about half way through my Monster March pledge. For those that don't know, Monster March is a painting challenge run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. The basic gist is to paint something large and monstrous in the month of March. I have chosen my Cerastus Knight Castigator which has been hanging about for a few months.

So, what's the current state of play? Well, I think that's best described as, work in progress.

Definitely in progress.
As you can see from the above, I've finished a lot of the colour blocking and applied some basic washes. I often find that it's best to finish a portion of a large model before moving on to the next part. In this case, I've divided the Castiagtor up into six parts (both legs, both arms, torso and head) and I intend to finish them out one at a time working roughly from the ground up. So far I've completed the right leg and glued the armoured greave in place (and boy did that feel good!)

The completed leg!
The next job is to complete the left leg and then the entire lower half of the model will be finished (except for the base.......and the transfers....oh dear) Hopefully you can see that the left leg is progressing reasonably well too and should be finished before too long.

Sort of getting there.
I was fortunate enough to have a bit of a painting day with Blazmo over at Tabletop Apocalypse last weekend which really gave me a boost on the progress front. Conversely, I have been a bit under the weather and have a busy week of gaming this week so my daily progress has been slow. Still, my Excel spreadsheet (because I am just that sad) tells me I'm about 50% through painting this beast, so I'm still on track for the end of the month. Here's hoping that next weekend brings another good shot of painting power.

As usual, you can check out my previous Monster March posts here and here. Good luck to all my fellow participants, your work is an inspiration as always!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Warhammer 40000 Forgebane - Pricing

Just a quick post today as I wanted to discuss the price point of the new Forgebane box set that will be released soon.

I'm drooling already.
I'm pretty excited for the new knights in this set but I already have plenty of Skitarii and I don't need another Tech-Priest. Similarly, I don't collect Necrons and I don't intend to start an army of them so, unless I can find a willing soul to split the box with, they will have to find new homes on Ebay.

Warhammer Community has stated that the box set will be cheaper than the combined cost of all the models minus the two knights and the Cryptek. That should already tell you this is a fantastic deal but where does that leave the approximate pricing of the box? Well, a little digging on the GW website reveals the following:

Tech-priest Dominus - £22
Skitarii Rangers        - £23.50
Necron Immortals     - £20.50
Necron Lychguard     - £20.50
Canoptek Wraiths     - £28.50
TOTAL                      - £115

Now, as Games Workshop are already giving us a hefty discount on this set, I would say that the retail price will be £110. I honestly can't see the set going for less than that because it includes two of the new Knight Armigers which will be incredibly sought after. Still, even if you managed to sell the rest of the set for half of the RRP, you would still be buying two Armigers for £55 which is bound to be far cheaper than they will cost when they are eventually released as a separate set.

Honestly, I'll probably end up buying Forgebane even though I don't need any more models to work on at present. Curse you addictive plastic soldiers!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator - Part 2

Where did that week go? I can't believe we are one week into Monster March already. This Cerastus knight is looking like a steeper challenge by the day! Still, I have made some progress this week by painting the armour panels that cover the body of the Castigator.

For those that missed out, Monster March is a painting challenge run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. The basic gist is to paint a large monster, or other suitably large model within the month of March. I have chosen to pledge my Cerastus Knight Castigator; quite a challenge for my usual glacial painting pace. 

Hopefully some transfers will help them out a bit.
Annoyingly, while taking this photo, I noticed that the beige parts of the leg armour don't match one another. So I will have to go back in and balance the colours until they look right. This is one of the perils of working on a model in parts, you don't notice how heavily you've highlighted some bits until you get it all together.

Despite that minor setback, I'm pleased with the colour saturation on these panels. The brass and green colours have lent themselves well to this scale and I think they will be nicely off set by the beige once the model is complete.

I've also begun putting down some basecoats on the main body of the knight, but no pictures yet as it looks like a patchwork quilt!

Join me next time when hopefully I'll have a bit more progress to share. You can check out my previous post here.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 1

It's that time of year again! Time to dust off those old projects and bang out some painting challenges! This time it's Monster March run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. The challenge is to paint a monster, or other suitably large model, in March. I took part last year with a pair of Kastelan Robots for my Adeptus Mechanicus and this time I'm looking to up the ante by painting a Cerastus Knight Castigator that I bought some time ago because it was disgustingly cheap on Ebay. Here's the seller's photos from Ebay:

Part constructed, hmmmm...
Feet and legs.
So, what could I glean from these? Well, judging by the price and the fact that none of the components have gates attached it was possible that this would turn out to be a recast and not an original Forgeworld product. Upon inspection of the build instructions (sourced somewhere online) I could also tell that a couple of components were missing but I figured that I could replace them with some parts from my bits box. I could also tell that part of it had been assembled with questionable skill and that the remaining components looked to be in good shape. In the end, I resolved to bid on it but not to go too high. These things retail at £185 from Forgeworld so I would be looking for a substantial discount. In the end, I put in a maximum bid of £60 and was thrilled when the auction ended and I had won at a little over £50. Not bad at all!

When it turned up, I discovered that it is indeed, a recast (at least judging from my limited experience with such things) and that the neck joint was missing along with one of the exhausts. The main body had been fairly badly assembled using some sort of two part epoxy that was caked into the joints and had set rock hard. It seemed that I would have my work cut out for me, but it was far from unsalvageable.

As a brief aside, I am a bit of a fan of salvage projects when it comes to hobbying. I love restoring a miniature that has had a hard life and adding it to one of my armies. I wouldn't want to do it for every model, but once in a while it can be very rewarding.

Anyway, having laid out the components and inspected them I cracked on with the build. The legs were fairly straightforward, all the components were there and I was able to follow the Forgeworld instructions easily. Other than some minor greenstuff work to repair some casting flaws they came together easily. The main body had already been constructed and I couldn't find an easy way to disassemble it without damaging the components. I trimmed off the worst of the epoxy glue and repaired a few more casting flaws before gluing it to the legs.

Replacing the neck joint proved tricky, but I was able to make something out of a rhino cupola and the rear part of a searchlight along with a bit of a Deff dread. I also discovered that the kit had two left shoulder assemblies rather than one left and one right. This was a bit of a head-scratcher, but once I decided what to do, making the components work turned out to be relatively simple.

I pinned the right arm in place and attached the head to the torso assembly. I decided to leave all of the armour panels off to make painting easier. The photos below show the Castigator in its current state.

Looks kind of skeletal without the armour.
My reconstructed neck joint
That all brings us up to the state of play with the Castigator. It will certainly be a challenge for me to paint this thing in a month; it's by far the largest model I have ever attempted to paint to completion and it's a pretty detailed kit to boot. Here's hoping the motivation of Monster March will push me through.

Tune in next week to see how I'm getting along.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Squaduary 2018 - Wargame Exclusive Kataphron Destroyers: Part 4

We've reached the end of Squaduary 2018 and I'm pleased to announce that I've completed my pledge of three Kataphron Destroyers for my Adeptus Mechanicus force.

Robots with abs, what's not to love!?
I know three models isn't exactly impressive compared to some of my fellow Squaduary participants but I'm pretty pleased with myself. The squad has come together nicely and added another 200 points to my growing force.

Painting some models with a bit more flesh was a breath of fresh air in the midst of my mechanical hordes. Wargame Exclusive have created a nice set of miniatures here, which were a lot of fun to build and paint.

So much plasma, so much potential for gets hot!
I've yet to try fielding these guys on the tabletop which is probably a first for me (completely painting a squad before they hit the tabletop). I do have a game booked this weekend so I feel duty bound to give them a test run.

Third squad member complete.
I've thoroughly enjoyed Squaduary again this year. Once again, seeing the progress of the other participants has given me the motivation to finish a squad of my own. Big thanks to Rory over at Stepping Between Games for organizing the event and posting weekly updates of everybody's progress.

If, like me, you're a fan of these monthly painting challenges, Swordmaster at Path of an Outcast will be running Monster March again this year. I will be taking part and attempting to paint my Cerastus Knight Castigator (such an awesome model). Check back later this week for an introductory post to Monster March.

As usual, you can see my Squaduary progress here, here and here. I've had a blast, let's do this again next year!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Squaduary 2018 - Wargame Exclusive Kataphron Destroyers: Part 3

Three quarters of the way through Squaduary and things are looking pretty good. I've got two of the three models completed and have made a good start on the last one.

Now with terrain!
As you can see, this model is equipped with the Wargame Exclusive plasma culverin rather than the Games Workshop version. There is very little to choose between the two. If pushed, I would probably say that I prefer the GW version slightly, but they both look great when painted and scale well with the models.

As before, the details on the Wargame Exclusive models are just excellent. Each of the three servitors is crammed with individual touches which make them stand out from one another and gives the impression of a tech priest really hashing them together from odds and ends. A lovely image for something that the Adeptus Mechanicus would consider a disposable asset.

The 'pec plates' are pretty cool.
You may notice that these photos are a little different than my customary black background. That's because I took these during a little photo session for my whole army to celebrate the completion of a fully painted 1000 points. That's a pretty good benchmark for me but I'll discuss it more in another post.

It's plasma time!
Thanks again to Rory at Stepping Between Games for running this event. It's really pushing me along and I'm looking forward to adding another 200 points to my growing forces. Thanks as well to all  the other participants, let's keep it going and get those models finished!

You can check out my Squaduary history here, here and here. Tune in next week for the final, hopefully triumphant, Squaduary post.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Painting Skitarii - 1000 points complete

It doesn't seem so long ago that I was celebrating the completion of a 500 point force of Skitarii/Adeptus Mechanicus. This weekend I broke out some terrain to take a few celebratory photos of a completed 1000 point force!

The army in all their glory!

Now, 1000 points might seem like a small force by some people's standards but, for me, it's an excellent milestone. I haven't been collecting Mechanicus for that long (again, by my own standards) and to have a well rounded army painted to a good level is something that I'm very proud of.

Skitarii are so cool!

Originally, they were conceived as a Skitarii only force. Mostly because I prefer the Skitarii models over the Mechanicus ones and, at the time, they were split into two codexes. A slight problem came in the form of the Start Collecting Skitarii set as it includes a Magos Dominus who used to be part of the Mechanicus faction. This was complicated further when my darling wife kindly bought me a set of Kastelan Robots for Father's day, not realizing that they were technically a separate faction. This led to them becoming a bit of a combined arms force long before the advent of the current codex, where the two forces have been combined into one list (as they always should have been).

The Mechanicus contingent.

The army, as it stands is still mostly Skitarii. With the Kataphron Servitors and the Kastelans making up the Mechanicus contingent. The balance will change further still as the next unit to be added will be another unit of Kataphron Servitors that I am painting up for Squaduary.

Onager with magnetized Neutron Laser.
The force has benefitted hugely from various online painting challenges. The Onager pictured above was painted for Dreadtober whilst a squad of Skitarii Vanguard was completed for Squaduary 2017 with the Kastelan robots added shortly after for Monster March. The rest of the force has come together in dribs and drabs; but pushing myself to turn out a completed unit instead of three or four models has really helped.

Cool, low angle shot.
The final factor in making this army happen is the builder campaign that was organized by my buddy Lewis. He runs a blog over at Canis Aureus showcasing his own work. But I owe him huge thanks for all the work he put in which really pushed me along to hit those points quotas as the campaign escalated.

I'll leave you with a few more photos of the models, but I'm delighted with the army and can't wait to see how they will grow in the coming year.

Skitarii on patrol.
A Dragoon advances covered by a Ranger squad.
Ruststalkers appear out of the dunes.