Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Occumancer of Caliburn Fell

"The Realm of Shadows is dark and shrouded in illusion. Most adventurers are lost forever in the mists before they ever reach their goal, never mind the risks of the Faceless, the Skald or Shadowserpents. For those with the knowing of it, though, there is one they can go to for guidance. He sees all. His eyeless vision pierces shadow and flame and madness equally. He will guide your steps  - for a price. He is the Occumancer and he can be found at Caliburn Fell."

Having built the Warscryer Citadel, my thoughts turned inevitably to who would dwell within it. The idea of the vast telescope suggested a seer of some description and a rifle through the bits box turned up some interesting stuff. the only major conversion was adding some grotty texture to the cloak with liquid greenstuff; the rest of it was largely cutting up and bashing a variety of different parts.

The painting was again very simple; lots of washes and shading. This left time for some fancy trim and checks to help with the overall John Blanche palette. I painted the base with trompe l'oeil flagstones which were tinted to match the brickwork of the scenery.

I'm rather happy with this chap as he fits with the scenery and helps sell the story of the Caliburn Fell.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Caliburn Fell

At the heart of the Morrowvale stands the high fells; the greatest of these is the shadowed forests of Caliburn Fell. High above the trees and the blasted heaths looms the tower of the Occumancer of Caliburn Fell. Is it here that the traders of ruined Stonehollow come to trade with the few sky ships that ply their trade through the storm-wracked skies of the Fells. It is here that those who wish to know the paths of the future come for guidance. It is here that those brave few who wish to venture into the Tombs of Mawdryn stop before they vanish into the lands of the Skald.

I knew I wanted a centrepiece of scenery for my AoS28 and the warscryer citadel looked like a good bet. The clincher was my eldest son seeing a picture of it and announcing that this was exactly the kind of thing Daddy should buy and paint. For him to play with, obviously.

The beast has a huge amount of presence as it is, but it seemed a shame to waste something this big when I had all those other skills from making other model kits. So I decided to light it up.

Lighting the windows was easy enough - I created diffusers from greaseproof baking paper and painted leading on to it. These were glued in position with PVA. I drilled out the eye sockets of the skulls and ran fibre optics in to those. It was then a matter of positioning the LED loom - made easier by the fact I had a lighting kit left over from the Necromunda terrain I made ages ago. This is on a copper wire look which make its much easier to position.

Once the whole thing was sealed, I primed it black and started working up the drybrushing using a similar technique and palette to the Tombs of Mawdryn.

Overall, this big beast really gives an identity to the table, a very definite AoS28 lived in feel that some of the cyclopean ruins they've been releasing lack. I hope they release some of the old kits again. It would be nice to fill a table with scenery of this quality.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Domain of the Dead

In the far west of the Caliburn Fell are the Mawdryn Marches. Here, untold men fell under the swords of the Skald, defending the high Fells from invasion. Tombs were raised for these heroes in the manner of their kind; stone sepulchres instead of the barrows of old. These tombs hold riches undreampt of in these days. But only the bravest adventurer will chance Tombs of Mawdryn, for the dead do not rest easy there.

This was a total fluke - I'd long fancied the Garden of Morr and later the double pack, but it was low on my list of priorities. Then lo and behold someone in the local area wanted shot of one which was still on sprue for thirty of Her Majesty's pounds. Needless to say I swooped upon the deal like a corpulent eagle.

The basic look was stolen wholesale from Rob Hawkins; simple drybrushing but with random bricks inked with blue and brown to break up the grey and to give a more natural look.

Here you can see one half of the box - the equivalent of the old Garden of Morr box set. As you can see there's enough to spread out and give some decent scatter for a skirmish game, but there's obviously a second lot. One piece of this is going to become an Inq28 oddity I have in mind., but the rest will join the rest of the AoS28 Caliburn Fell setting.

Friday, 16 February 2018

The Slaughtered Lamb

This has been a month of scenery and terrain work for one reason and another. First up was a surprise birthday present from She Who Must Be Obeyed which was a bit delayed in terms of delivery.

It is, of course, the Lake Town House from the Hobbit. It's a great kit; either end of the house is double sided, so there are immediately four different variant houses you can build. The kit is also designed to make it easy to combine multiple kits into a single building.

I decided this was going to become my generic fantasy pub, The Slaughtered Lamb. This would work for Middle Earth gaming but also all my other fantasy needs. Painting was a piece of cake, just the usual layers, wash and then a drybrush of green ochre to show where the wood had faded.

The sign was actually done quite neatly but then faded down to the point where it was almost illegible.

This is a cracking little kit - at £25 is at the upper end of single building scenery prices, but I've paid that for 4Ground MDF stuff before. And I've also got a quarter of a sprue of barrels and baskets and other sundries left to use.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Raiders of the Lost Hive

"--aise the Omnissiah!"
"Hold your station!"
"Engines to full, bring us into the shadow of the planet-"
"--vity well will pull--"
"Follow your orders, damn you! We have to outrun the wavefront!"
"--oomed, we're all doo--"
"--achine spirits have forsaken us! We can't break free!"
"We're spiralling in!"
"You've killed us all, you meatbag fool!"


My retinue and I were aboard the last ship to leave the Atreus system; all the others were consumed by the Warp Storm that erupted from the Caliban Cascade. The loss of the manufactoria and forges of Hive Karhonnen was certainly a blow to the Padisha Sector but we have slowly recovered. To this date I have been unable to determine whether the storm was as natural an occurance as anything to do with the Warp can be, or if it was summoned by some activity of the Great Enemy. The details of my investigation are contained in CASEFILE SYCORAX but I suspect that the Ruinous Powers were caught as much by suprise as the sudden swallowing of the entire planet Leto as we were.

Given this, if the planet has re-emerged then there is a good chance it has been lost in the Warp and not colonised by the powers of Chaos. If this is so, then all the equipment resources and research contained in Hive Karhonnen should still be intact: and if, as I suspect, the Adeptus Mechanicus Research Vessel Rakkis crashed on the surface, then its cargo of [REDACTED] should be secured immediately.

I would recommend that strike teams small enough to infiltrate whatever is left of the Hive but large enough to deal with any possible interference be inserted. Astartes are the obvious choice but given that the Atreus system lies close to the border of many Xeno races, you may find it prudent to send some Guard Units and possibly even an Inquisitorial retinue if one can be found.

I remain, sir, your most obedient servant,

Inquisitor [REDACTED]

=I= ---------------------- =I=

His breath rasping in his mask, Georgiou looked up from the red ochre dust that caked his boots. It was still there. Vast. Impossible.

"Seriously, Sarge," he said again. "Where are we going?"

The Sergeant slowly raised his arms and pointed. "There, Guardsman. There."

Before them was a Hive, like a thousand others on a thousand other worlds. A spire, tens of kilometres high, a man-made mountain that would have once housed millions. Now, however, it was an impossibility. A vast spacecraft was embedded in the side of it, melded and fused into the very fabric of the Hive by some warpcraft Georgiou couldn't comprehend. 

"Ok, Sarge," he said. With a sigh he continued to march towards Hive Karhonnen. 

********                                       **********

With the games club at work doing very well, it seems like the time is right to kick the Shadow Wars Armageddon league up a notch. The idea is very simple -  a narrative campaign baseda round a number of different Kill Teams attempting to infiltrate an abandoned Hive.

At the start, each team will say secretly where they are attempting to enter the Hive - from the Underhive, from the Lower Levels, from the MidHive where the Rakkis crashed or the Upper Hive.

That will determine who meets who in the first matches. Underhive games will be tunnel fighting using the Necromunda Boards. Lower levels and the Upper Spires will be on traditional Necromunda/SWA multi-level scenery (although there will be some interesting enviromental effects). The mid Hive is the most dangerous area because of the structural damage caused by the Rakkis.

The final round for each team will be fought in the corridors of the Rakkis.

Each team has a secret objective - either a macguffin to acquire or another team they need to take out - and there will be a movement system for teams to move around the Hive.

The teams that will be starting the campaign are:

  • Necrons
  • Space Wolves
  • Orks
  • Space MArines
  • Valhallans IG
  • Plague Marines
  • Inquisition
  • Stalkers IG (this is my team but I think I'll be passing these over to one of the students who's joined late as I'll probably be busy umpiring and running some the other forces that have colonised the ruined Hive...)
We'll be using the scenery we've created at work, so we'll be all good to go over the next couple of weeks. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.