A Miniature Odyssey

Miniature Gaming Reviews, Tutorials & Musings

Servo Skull Musings: Farewell to the Fantasy Flight/Games Workshop Alliance — February 4, 2017

Servo Skull Musings: Farewell to the Fantasy Flight/Games Workshop Alliance

This is not meant to announce or rehash old news. It is old news; months old. I have taken that time instead to reflect on that impact, and work towards completing a few collections before it is too late. I suppose it is never too late, but when Ebay prices soar, they tend to truly soar.

A few months ago Fantasy Flight Games announced on their website that as of this forthcoming February 28th, their licence agreement with Games Workshop comes to an end. This means that all products involving the Talisman, Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 licences, will for all intents and purposes cease to exist with the exception of the libraries of collectors and the profiteering of Ebay and Amazon.

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Whether this licence expiry is mutual, or by one of the parties in particular may never be disclosed. What we can safely say is that Fantasy Flight still has some potent licences including Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and A Game of Thrones in addition to a plethora of other gaming options.

We also know that GW has been aggressively pursuing changes to the way they conduct their own business brands. Ignoring the sometimes questionable video game licences, they have put out more exciting projects in the past twelve months then they have in recent years. They have launched major expansions across their core Sigmar and 40K brands along with many system-compatible yet self contained boxed sets. In addition to this, the Horus Heresy is continuing to expand in their Forge World line-up and with the Calth and Prospero sets. The Horus Heresy is invading the more accessible sides of GW.

The legend of the once scuttled Specialist Games division of GW seems to be seeing a potential resurrection. Inquisitor, Necromunda, and Battlefleet Gothic are still played albeit without GW support. Warhammer Quest made its return. Other self-contained boxes have been regularly appearing. Is there potential hope for GW to bring back the RPG components of their offerings? Is this simply GW understanding that they have potentially been cannibalizing their product development options?

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A rare photograph of the often rumoured illegal Battlefleet Gothic tournaments. It is believed that this photo was taken behind an unidentified restaurant in Saigon.

Truth be told in this humble opinion, Fantasy Flight did a fantastic job with their access to the GW properties. I say this for a simple reason. Anyone who visits either Lexicanum and the 40K Wikia has probably noticed how much of the guts of those articles is from content created by Fantasy Flight; Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, Only War and Rogue Trader. So much of the interesting fluff has come from those product lines; lines produced under licence by Fantasy Flight Games.

While GW proper has produced an increased quantity of books, supplements and releases in the past year it has also seen an increased level of quality to boot. In my time with 40K, the best produced and executed sources for 40K canon has been a tie between the Imperial Armour and Horus Heresy Books of Forge World, and the RPG source books from Fantasy Flight. The reason for the tie is simply because they approach their offering of canon from different perspectives.

The Imperial Armour and Horus Heresy Books provide all manner of history and details and battle campaigns suitable to satisfy the big picture. The Fantasy Flight options provide a less seen picture; planets, sectors, cities and cultures delved into with incredible depth and fantastic illustrations. Ever wondered what life is like on countless worlds? The RPG books have you covered.

In that sense, the end of this era is a sad time. Perhaps the torch will simply pass back to GW and this will be their evolutionary renaissance; a necessary sacrifice serving as harbinger to great things yet to come. More disappointingly though, perhaps my collection of Rogue Trader books will never be complete.

Those books were and remain incredible sources of fluff. I purchased many volumes, and have never played a RPG in my life. What they contain however, is something that any 40K fan will appreciate and enjoy regardless of their intentions to play any of the RPGs. That alone speaks volumes to their quality.

As always, questions, concerns, comments and existential dilemmas are welcome.

Regards, Mr Kalidor

Organized Chaos: Chaos Sentinels WIP — January 9, 2017

Organized Chaos: Chaos Sentinels WIP

Supporting the Chaos Basilisk troop we have their Forward Observer team; three armoured sentinels.

The paint scheme follows the same process used for the Basilisk troop albeit on a smaller scale.

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Again these have been collecting dust since the first iteration of Apocalypse. I like the models but simply never got around to them. Ah, the old days where even plastic kits came with metal components; in this case the front ‘headlight’ assembly. Having wished they were initially the armoured variety, metal mesh normally used in sculpture was added to create the ‘safety cage’.

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Textured diamond pattern styrene was cut from sheets to add the ‘roof’.

Always thinking the weapons were far to small for the gun-heavy 40K universe, I replaced them with the Autocannons that come with the Astra Militarum Heavy Weapons Squad.

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The lead vehicle has the Chaos component of the Command Sprue attached to the roof while the remaining vehicles have shields attached to their roofs care of the Age of Sigmar Chaos Marauders set.

Finally some hooks and spikes were added from the Chaos Rhino sprue.

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Next up they, along with the Basilisk troop will be mightily weathered befitting the used and abused yet functional nature of this particular Renegade Cohort.

Organized Chaos: Chaos Basilisk WIP — January 1, 2017

Organized Chaos: Chaos Basilisk WIP

Cheers to 10,000 Years of Human Erosion: Heretical Basilisk Conversions

This trio of Basilisk Artillery Tanks was purchased a long time ago. In fact, they were purchased as a set when the very first edition of Apocalypse was released. Compared to modern pricing they were a steal; set price, from a US online retailer. Those were the days.

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The Basilisk is very much a love, hate model for me. I love them because a Basilisk was one of the first models vehicles I painted as a teenager. Although it was a terrible paint job there was still a level of satisfaction upon completion. The hate stems from its open-topped firing platform. I find that ghastly. This level of hate was increased upon discovery of the Forge World variant that is fully enclosed; the Armageddon Pattern Basilisk. That model is beautiful, but the result was my trio of Basilisks remained assembled, yet unpainted for years.

That was until I decided to divide my ever growing collection of Imperial Guard between those loyal to the Imperium of Man, and those opposed to it. I blame the Imperial Armour books involving the Siege of Vraks for showing an alternative to the conventional Imperial Guard. These tainted, rusty, bloodied, cultist versions of typically loyal vehicles offered a huge level of customization ideas to the fray.

As such my oft ignored Basilisks found new life, their open firing platforms now fitting perfectly with the heretical forces. These became as a result, my first attempt to convert vanilla models to servants of the Dark Gods.

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This conversion is fairly basic. As these vehicles would have once upon a time served loyal forces, I wanted their initial imperial motifs to be somewhat present as if lazily removed. As such a dremel was taken to the Imperial eagles found on the sides of the vehicle and on the top of the gun shield. I wanted to ensure the remainders of the winged eagles were still somewhat visible to ensure the look of a haphazard modification conducted by those more interested in fighting then presenting a tidy vehicle.

Additional additions came by way of visiting my Bitz boxes. Banners were added to the tops of the gun shields, partially covering the original Imperial winged skulls. These were banners representing Chaos Undivided found in the Chaos Space Marine boxed set. The dozer blades, spikes and hull-mounted heavy bolter gargoyle came from the Chaos Rhino set.

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As it stands, this represents the painted yet not weathered level. I attempted for the first time, to use the hairspray method. I believe it worked, but I also believe it would have worked better had I not allowed the hairspray to cure over such a long period of time.

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It was airbrushed with a three-tone camouflage; the two beiges from the Afrika Korps set by Ammo, Vallejo Air White and Vallejo Air Gunmetal. The subsequent brushing involved both Vallejo and Citadel products.

This was my first of Ammo by Mig Jimenez and I was very happy with the paint. In fact Ammo will now form the Troika of go-to paints that normally consist of Vallejo and Citadel.

With the exception of the aforementioned hairspray technique on the barrel and locations where the Imperial livery was removed, the only other weathering was from some gunmetal sponging.

After this, I intend to add some very heavy weathering care again of Ammo products. I have never used these weathering products nor have I ever used enamels so this will be an interesting experiment.

Up next will be the remainder of the Chaos vehicles in progress; the Basilisks’ Forward Observers. This will consist of a trio of Chaos Sentinels, again kit-bashed from a variety of sources.