Just a short post.  

We've recently moved houses so I'm in the middle of constructing the new man-cave, which will allow me to actually unpack my minis and get back to work!  Look for a short side series on its construction over the next month or so.  As you can see 1) it is quite cave like and 2) there is lots to do!

In the interim we will endeavor to keep the posts coming.  Here is the last known shot of the old desk.  I've keep the image quite large so you can peruse all the WIPs.

The final painted pics of the Looted Wagon are just around the corner.  Stay tuned!

Red ones go fasta! Pt 2

Taking a short break from the Looted Wagon and going back to HQ choices with my second Big Mek, Major Buzdak.  

Buzdak is most often found tooling around in his Battlewagon, ionized air crackling around it from his forcefield generator, as, like any good Mek, he careens in the most reckless way possible across the battlefield, oblivious to any incoming fire, until things end in a right proper pile-up!

First, full credit to highelf who I shameless copied the idea from - I mean... was inspired by.  Check out his far better original on CoolMiniOrNot.

Here is a WIP shot of both Big Meks primed black after building,  You can find my post on Big Mek Gogstompa (the one on the right) here.

Similar to Big Mek Gogstompa, Buzdak is takes his inspiration from the Imperium (in true Blood Axe fashion), and has similarly adorned himself in Mechanicus red robes (but with Orky dags instead of gears) - after all 'red ones go fasta!

The mini is the old metal GW Big Mek with Forcefield Generator.  I've sculpted the hood (and added a few other targeting systems), converted his axe to a more Mechanicus looking gear and added the electrical arcs by bending stiff wire between the arc nodes.

Buzdak is accompanied by his (un)trusty Gort oilers.  These guys are assembled from a random collection of bits:

  • The Pit Chief is a Night Goblin with a Inquisitor scale Mendrite hand and a WWII tank wrench
  • Grot #1 is a Spell Crow torso, Fantasy goblin legs and a second wrench from the very, very, very first Ork battlewagon kit
  • Grot #2 is a GW plastic Grot head, Fantasy goblin legs and the hammer and toolbox are the same battlewagon kit (I knew keeping that kit for 20 years would pay off some day :P)

He is also accompanied by another Mekano Squig from Wargame Exclusive.    I love that its just a giant maw with legs!

And here is the group shot.  The electric arcs don't show up very well against the white background so thought I'd try something a little different.

Hope you like these.  If you do, follow me on social media to see more.  

We'll get back to the Looted Wagon shortly!

Drive it like you stole it Pt 2

The most potent of the Wargear options you can add to the Looted Wagon is the Kill Kannon.  No need to make one of those with this kit - but what if you don't want one (I can't think of why, but, what if).  Similar to the front gun, I built a transition piece that could replace the turret.  I then added a hatch, also from Kromlech.  

Then I got a little obsessive with the magnets.  So, the transition piece is magnetized to the tank, the hatch is magnetized to the transition piece, the lid is is magnetized to the hatch and then the lid then has tiny magnets in the hinge so it can open and close (not completed in pic below).

And with one of Kromlech's tank crew added.

One of the pitfalls (and awesomeness) of so many magnets, is you can just keeping adding and combining pieces.  So Kromlech's turrets (and associated guns) can also be added as an alternate.

And now we loose all pretense of useful wargear conversions.  Without the turret and the steep angle of the front armour made me think this could be an an awesome tank destroyer.  So built a gun, added a magnet and viola, an Ork StuG - but really just another Kill Kannon option.

And the last and most pointless conversion, I swapped out the engine plant in the back for a set of doors. The idea was that if the Looted Wagon was carrying troops, there should be an Access Point.

Finally, a shot of (most of) the pieces laid out.  I did build a few additional options - Deff Rolla, a few more Big Shoota and Rokkit options, etc.

Hope you're liking this look at a, now fairly modular, scrap tank/looted wagon!  Next post we get some paint on this bad boy.

Drive it like you stole it Pt 1

Lets move from infantry models to something with a little more umf - tanks!

With the 7th Ed codex, many of the Ork vehicles got kick-ass new kits.  Sadly, the Looted Wagon wasn't one of them and, in fact, would eventually be removed entirely by the time we got to the 8th Ed book - fortunately, it did reappear in White Dwarf a few months later.

So I was super excited when I found this on MaxMini  - the Scrap Tank (this was long before it was re-purposed as part of their Green Alliance Kickstarter).

It's roughly the same size as a Leman Russ and is a beautifully detailed resin kit that works just perfectly with the new Ork look (as if it was designed too).  Its super easy to build, consisting of a just an handful of parts but still has a fantastic level of detail.

Now, as awesome as this kit is, it did need a little work to allow for all the Looted Wagon wargear (e.g. Big Shootas/Rokkits, with and without a Kill Kannon, Deff Rolla, etc).

I started with the Big Shoota options.  Instead of using the assault cannon that came with the kit, I magnetized a Big Shoota in its place.

I also added another magnet on top on the turret.  It has my 'Longteef' banner to identify it as part of my Blood Axe clan, but it can be replaced with a cupola mounted Big Shoota (not pictured).   That gave me two Big Shoots but I needed a third.  So I used the big flat area on the front armour, added a third magnet and built a mounting bracket out of plasticard.  I then magnatized that and added the Big Shoot from Kromlech.

Given the mounting point and the guns are all magnetized they can be removed/swapped, so I naturally added the other Kromlech guns (Skortcha, Rokkits, Kannon, plus Big Shoota) - just to have options :)

I now needed three Rokkit options.  I used 2 of the existing magnets and added one more magnet in the smoke launcher (on the other size of the Kill Kannon).

But just to keep things interesting, what it the Rokkits were firing!

The Rokkits where made using the old Forgeworld Ork vehicle weapons kit.  The Rokkits were cut free of their launchers.  I took a wire and bent into a somewhat haphazard flight path and put one end into the Rokkit and puttied a magnet to the other.  I then rolled a ton of green stuff balls of varying sizes to represent smoke blooms and built up a smoke trail, starting with the larger ones at the end working up to the smallest.  The 'bubble' effect gets mitigated when they are painted and the cracks get filled up.

Next post the conversions deviate from just wargear and go slightly off the rails.

Some Like it Hot Pt 4

Ok, here is the final post for the Ork Burna unit with the inclusion of the leader, Mekboy Gear'ead Gazlugg.  Gazlugg, like all of his ilk, has a desire to construct and deconstruct in equal measure.


He's really just the old stock plastic Mekboy with a bit of a fancy base.  I've put him on 32mm to help distinguish him as the squad leader (that and his big shinny gun!)


And finally, here is the shot of entire 11 man squad.  Not bad given 60% of the squad is based off 2 models.

Some Like it Hot Pt 3

A few years ago, in an effort to use up some long ignored minis, I found I still had two of the original metal Burnas.  Having only 8 in my Burna squad it seemed like a good time to boost their numbers.  

Of course I needed to convert them given I had already used these guys twice (so much for my original plan of no dupes!)  

Nothing too complicated here - head swaps from Spell Crow, weapon swaps from the plastic Burnas.

 Then came the hard part - cutting out parts of the metal back-packs and adding different fuel containers to each to change them up a little.  

Next up is the Mekboy, who technically was done ahead of these two, but seamed like a better mini to end on. 

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Some Like it Hot Pt 1

Some Orks just want to watch the world burn.  They are cleverly called Burnas.

During a Waaaah, these flame loving fellows are fearsome flamethrowers reducing all in their wake to molten slag or crumbling ash.  Because their weapon of choice is also a powerful torch, they often join boarding parties where they can cut through the thickest bulkheads to gain entry or assault large warmachines to slowly dismantle them.  In 'civilian' life, Burnas are often employed by Big Meks as welders in their construction projects or in scarp and salvage work.  

My Burnas originally started out as heavy weapon options for my boyz mobs (as was the option in the 3rd ed codex).  

I needed 4 Burnas for my 2 squads but GW only produced 2 single piece metal models (remember metal).  Never wanting dups, I built two others using 2 standard Ork boyz, Burna mask heads, Scortchas from the old (metal) dreadnought and a few Skaven Warpfire Thrower backpacks.

Next up: more Burnas and what happens when Burnas become a squad of their own!

Lowest of the Low Pt 4

We come to the last of our Grot posts - the command squad - in true IG fashion, the Grots of Da Longteef have cobbled together a command squad of sorts, including a Lieutenant, Kommisar and a few 'special' weapons.  These particularly intelligent, brave, ambitious or willing Grots bark orders (a few even correctly) and generally try to keep the squad moving in the right direction.

The Lieutenant is built in same fashion as the other grots, though this time with an officer cap (again from Basicks), a grot-sized chain sword and a las pistol - a fancier weapon, as befitting his rank, than the crude pistols the other grots use.  Finally, a fur half cloak from the Empire White Wolf upgrade sprue makes a nice cape and gives him just a little more 'authority'.

The one element of the IG  that remains an ongoing mystery to the Orks is why you would have two people in charge (the concept of morale being largely lost on a Ork mind).  Never the less, there must be a reason - in this case to mostly give contradictory orders and add to the general chaos that is an Ork battlefield.

The Kommissar is a goblin officer from Basicks with the most Commisar looking hat from their officer head sprue.

Finally, one of the special weapons.  This is one of the older pre-plastic GW grots, though I've sawed him in half to give him some pants and boots.  I think the blunderbuss works great a special weapon - like a crude, big blast shotgun 

Here is a shot of the entire command squad.  The dual pistols and Necromunda shotgun are really just place holders until I can find something a little more characterful.

And finally, the current squad all together.

Hope you're liking this look at the Orks.  Please comment and follow on facebook..
Next post we'll have a new squad!



Lowest of the Low Pt 3

In keeping with the more independent, more trained feel of da Longteef Grot squads, I opted to give them a command squad (next post).  But then that didn't really leave a spot for an Ork Runtherd.

So I opted for Runtbots instead (anyone remember those?).  That way the Grots could to operate on their own, but the Orks could still keep an eye on them (and 'collect' any of the squad that got misdirected).

From a modelling aspect, it was a nice retro nod to the Orks of old and allowed me to use all those cool Ork robot bits out there!

The Runtbots are a primarily Kromlech's Clanking Desytroyers with a little plasticard, random bionics and graba sticks from GW.  

The Ork in the center (who sadly has not been painted yet) is Kurgog, the Sgt Major of the Army and in charge of all the Grot forces.  The mini is from Mantic's Deadzone Marauders faction.  I just love all the medals and epaulets.  In general, I find Mantic's Orcs too different in design to use with GW,  but I couldn't pass this one up, so tweaked him a little and added a Kromlech officer head.  Mantic also has a Goblin sniper team which I think would work well.

I'm really happy with the look of them, but it evolved over several tries.  Originally there were just rust with a little black.  I then went back and added detail like that checkerboard and dags.  It took quite a few tries before I found a colour for the face that played well with everything.

The Graba Sticks are also magnetized to you can swap them out for a Grot-Prod.

And, of course, you have to have a Squid Hound.  Given the Runtbots, this seemed like a perfect place for another Mekano Squig (from Wargame Exclusive Miniatures).

And finally a shot of them together.  Hope you liked this look at the Runtherds.
I will finish this off next post (promise) with the Grot Command Squad.

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Lowest of the Low Pt 2

Continuing on with the Grots of Da Longteef, we're now looking at the close combat side.  Those Grots that prove to be more courageous, reckless (or just poor shots) end up in one of the assault sections.

These Grots are built in the same fashion, largely based off the GW Fantasy Goblin range and Basick's heads.  The guns are a collection of old Necromunda weapons, both metals and plastics, and the sword is a knife from the 40K Ork sprue. 

The backpacks are a random assortment of GW, 3rd party producers, and WWII plastic kits.  Basically, whenever I see a set of backpacks I buy them.  I find the variation provides a bit of the random, slapped together feel the Orks are known for and still gives then a "uniform".

Finally, here is a group shot.  I'll wrap this up next post with the command squad!

Lowest of the Low Pt 1

From the mighty, towering Warbosses, we now swing to the other end of the spectrum with the lowly Grot. The labourers, assistants and functionaries that make Ork society (such as it is) function, and occupy the lowest rung in the Warbands.

I avoided GW's Grot with its loin cloth and bare feet, as being too wild and not representative of the IG theme of the Blood Axe army.

I envisioned the Blood Axe's using their Grots more strategically, actually training and equipping them to serve, admittedly as unequal partners, in their Waaaghs.  After all, Grots already man the artillery and pilot Killer Kans, so not that far of a stretch.

I also recalled the Whiteshields from early editions of the IG (and I think more recently with Cadians). More inexperienced and less battle hardened recruits seemed like a thematic match with the Grots, so added a white arm band as a nod to those old Whiteshield units.

The first 'squad' of Grots is a Rifle section.  There's a fair number of components that go into these guys (totally reasonable for a 2 pt guy that you need 60-90 of, right?)

  1. The body is from GW's Fantasy Goblin range, only using the less 'medieval' legs and torso.
  2. Bare heads are GW Goblin heads, while the helmeted heads are from Basicks, one of the early (and now defunct) Polish microcasters, created after the split at MicroArts Studio.
  3. The guns are converted Lasguns from the plastic Orlock Necromunda sprue
  4. The other arm is from the GW Empire Flagellants range
  5. Finally I added things like kit from the IG sprue and a random assortment of backpacks

I've painted them in my standard Longteef colour scheme, kind of an urban camo, with bluey greys and whites and a touch of actual camo on the helmets.  I felt I needed to include some actual camo as its a distinctive feature of the Blood Axes, but too much can look muddled (not to mention its quite time consuming to paint)  so  I felt that just the helmet was a good compromise.

Hope you like this intro to the more rank and file and will be back next post with more of the Grots!

The Unwashed Masses

I've been talking about how I divided my Zealots into two types - the Acolytes, the low level members of the Imperial Church, and the members of the Congregation.  The last 3 posts dealt with the Acolytes.  This post will focus on the Congregation.  Largely made up of  raggedy men - unprepared, uninformed, under-equipped fodder - that answered the ecclesiastic call, left jobs, homes, and families to fight and die for the Emperor.

This first group is based mostly off the Empire Flagellants box - its really the go-to box for any robed humans and provides a great base for all kinds of conversions.  

There's also the odd Necromunda  Redemptionist thrown-in.  Either the original gang from 1997 or the early 2000s re-sculpts are another great source of 'priest' figs.  I'll eventually throw in other similar models to bolsters the ranks (e.g. more Redemptionists, Empire Warrior Priests, or even the new plastic Chaos Cultists).

The Congregation are differentiated from Acolytes (in red) by their more drab brown robes.  But I've tried to tie them in by using red as an accent colour, particularly on the chain weapons.  And, of course, the liberal application of purity seals.

I've also tried to make them look a little more haphazard in terms of equipment, adding a few bits of kit (like IG pouches, Kroot shoulder pads, even a Space Marine arm) and a mix of chainswords and glaives.  The guns are mostly from the Empire Outriders and help provide an outdated feel to their equipment.

Here is the entire Congregation with their cult issue brown robes and chainswords, in all their zealotry and righteous fury.

And the full 20 man Zealot squad  - Acolytes and their Congregation

Thats all the troops for now.  Next post we go back to the retinue for one quick addition.

Hope you're enjoying this army.  

Men of Faith - Part 3

This is the last batch of 'acolytes' - the low level members of the Imperial church, that will form the command, special/heavy weapons of my Zealot squads.

The second of my Eviscerater wielding 'heavys'.  This is an old Necromunda Redemptionist fig (with, once again, head swapped with a mounted Chaos Marauder head - they just make great angry priest heads, what can I say).  I also replaced his bare feat with some proper combat boots!

The 'leader' of the squad, until I can attached a proper priest to them, is a converted Inquisitorial Coteaz Acolyte.  I replaced his banner with a Sisters of Battle shrine and his plasma gun with a torch.  He caries with him a number of holy books with which to minister to the faithful.  Again, the purple denotes his seniority.  

The last miniature of the group is the GW Missionary with Plasma Gun.  Minimal conversion here:  Swapped his staff banner (as I had used it elsewhere) and put on a back banner.

And finally a group shot of all nine.

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Men of Faith - Part 2

Carrying on from last post, here are more zealots (aka random priestly models).  

I envisioned massive squads of raggedy imperial citizens, their faith bolstered by the presence of a few "official" members of the church - these acolytes would provide leadership, some military structure, and be responsible for the more powerful special/heavy weapons.

The next acolyte is the old Inquisitor Hierophant model, who works perfectly as a 'heavy' wielding an Eviserator.

This is another of the old GW metal Preachers.  Just a few simple conversions:

  • Mohawk hair was removed
  • Club was replaced with pistol from the Empire Free Company
  • Laspistol was replaced by a custom banner
  • Warhammer was added to his back

Similar to last post, this model is the same as the one above (yet another duplicate):

  • Removed both arms and replaced them with the Empire Solider captain arms and replaced the blade with a chainsword.  This also required a bit of reconstructive putty work on the cowl.
  • Swapped the head for another mounted Chaos Marauder head
  • The purple identifies him as a senior acolyte

Hope you like.

Men of Faith - Part 1

Issue 292 of White Dwarf included new rules to add units of Zealots to your Witch Hunter armies.  A stellar mob of raving adherents to the Imperial Cult, complete with unique weaponry (one use Handflamers and Evisterators) and led by a Demagogue or Priest - fantastic! 

This was the rock upon which my army would be based - Inquisitors and Priests as HQs, Stormtroppes as elites, Zealots as troops with all the Witch Hunter craziness filling in the gaps.  Ok, so never going to be a power army, but great fluff!

When I started modeling this unit I divided it into two types - actually low level functionaries of the church (initiates or acolytes training to one day to become confessors, missionaries or priests) and members of the congregation (imperial citizens who answered the crusade's call).

I'll start with the initiates/acolytes -  they would be made up of all the various priest (or priest-like) models GW had come up with over the years (including some Warrior Priests from the old WHFB range) .

As I mentioned in my last post, the rules for most of the non-Sister units are long gone, but I'll find these guys a home somewhere.

This is the stock Preacher model from Games Workshop.  I think these have some of the best facial expressions of any of the old GW metals.

Notice anything?  Over the years I accumulated quite a few priest models and inevitably some dupes.  This is the same model as above but with a little conversion work:

  • Removed the bell and replaced it with the parchment
  • Swapped the head with one from  the Empire Flagellants range
  • Replaced both hands with pistols from the Empire Outriders

Lastly, this is a converted GW Missionary.  Another duplicate (I used the original as part of another Inquisitor retinue):

  • Replaced both the arms with a blunderbuss from the Empire Free Company
  • Swapped the head with a Mounted Chaos Marauder (a set of truly great heads!)
  • Replaced the backpack with a old, old, old banner from a Necromunda Arch Zealot
  • Added a shoulder pad from Vampire Counts Grave Guard

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Absolution cometh

Here's the next addition to the Witch Hunters.  I felt they needed something a little heavier, so busted out an old Penitent Engine I got at a Games Day (remember those) long, long ago.

It's an excellent model and hard to find a more 40K concept, but there is one little problem with the design.  The flamers on the arms extend out past the spinning saw blades - so unless the raving lunatic piloting it makes some pretty ginger cuts, there are going to be issues.

So the first conversion was to loose the arm flamers and re-position them at the waist.  
The second was to give it a little more dynamic pose by having it climbing up over some rocks.
Finally, I wanted to bulk up the model a little, so my third conversion was to

  • put an oil drum at the back (to feed the flamers),
  • put a suitably religious banner on top (from the old metal Terminator Librarian) and
  • add some shoulder pads (plastic ork bits)

Hope you like and feel free to leave comments in the blog or by email.

Here come the minis!

While some of these posts will cover whatever I'm currently working on, they'll also server to show off some of my existing armies, in the form of a project log.

First up are Witch Hunters/Sisters of Battle.  I started this army at the time the first Inquisition codex came out and has been the slowest of slow burn projects.  I was originally going to do Deamonhunters but a friend of mine jumped on the Grey Knights (of which, many years later, he has a very nice 4000pt force).  I really had no interest in either Grey Knights or Sisters, I just wanted to do Inquisitors, so I switched.  It seemed like a fantastic opportunity to

  1. bring in some of the more esoteric concepts around 40K into the game - all those fluff elements that really sell the 40K background
  2. use (and therefore to buy) a wide range of minis from various manufactures as count-as 'agents of the Imperium'

To start the army I painted up an Inquisitor, a small warband (which I'll feature later), two units of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers (back when they were a thing) and a couple of Chimera's for their ride.  Here are a couple of WIP shots of those Chimeras:

I had three concepts when I started

  1. I wanted them to have more bling that a traditional Guard Chimera (this was the Inquisition after all).  I did a little green stuff casting of some Forgeworld bits using Super Sculpty - a stick and bake putty.  Not a super sophisticated technique but with a little practice can yield some decent results.  Over the years I've amassed quite a few of these molds
  2. I needed to get rid of the side lasguns (which always struck me as the most ridiculous part of an otherwise very nice kit).  I removed the guns, puttied over the lasgun hatches and replaced them with a few cast eagles
  3. I wanted a more substantial turret (the original seems a little weedy).  I subbed in a Space Marine Predator turret, modifying its autocannon option to be the Chimera's multi-laser.  This just makes it feel a little more 'tank like'

The turret is fully magnetized (you’ll find out how much I love magnets!), so you can remove the turret, the gun, the hatch, the power pack (and there's a hard point next to the hatch to add a hunter-killer, spotlight, radar, etc).

In terms of colour I went for the classic Inquisitor colour scheme of red and black.  Its a dramatic combination and ties in very well with my Flesh Tearers Space Marine army.




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