A Miniature Odyssey

Miniature Gaming Reviews, Tutorials & Musings

Quest For Knowledge & Radioactive Attacks: Skitarri Vanguard — February 22, 2016

Quest For Knowledge & Radioactive Attacks: Skitarri Vanguard

There was something that drew me to the design of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Months before I even purchased that first batch of models I had torn through both Codex: Skitarii and Codex: Cult Mechanicus in search of new ‘fluff’. Caring not for rules I was impressed by the light shone forth on what has been a mysterious background ‘faction’ in 40K.

Prior to coming close to even touching brush to paint I typically follow a few steps to determine their character. First is their narrative. Who are they? What do they represent? For my project I could not envision a second Imperial-faction army in addition to Astra Militarum, so naturally, the easiest devise was used. This same device will serve to explain the myriad of different design origins of various units as progress wades on.

As the core of these Skitarii and their Imperial allies is the 83rd Odyssey Brigade. It became apparent that perhaps a neighboring Forge World had attached a regiment of their own forces on a permanent basis to the 83rd, itself now attached to a Rogue Trader entourage. This would of course be of benefit to the Adeptus Mechanicus, having a force attached very publicly to an exploration initiative, quashing their thirst for knowledge.

Thus the 14th Forge World Nestor Mountain Infantry Guard Regiment was borne. It would compliment the Armoured, Air, Artillery and Sustainment units being developed without overlapping. Mountain Infantry was selected as their ‘branch’ as none of the 83rd represent line infantry in their classic sense; all proposed units having organic transportation. The closest approximation will be Armoured Infantry attached to a conventional Armoured Regiment. Due to their lack of dedicated transports, while remaining mobile and agile, a Mountain Infantry designation seemed to make sense.

With that set, the colour palette could be determined. In my opinion my painting has certainly improved but does not touch many of the hobbyists that share their wares on the internet. I am however quite proud of the colour palette and its meaning.

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I envisage that the primary colour of Forge World Nestor (prior to its mandatory narrative destruction by the hands of Chaos) was yellow. The reason yellow was selected was simple. There were no yellow-painted units in any of the literature and I wanted something different. Red still needed to be factored in in some way as a tribute to the Priesthood of Mars and can be seen on one of each Vanguard’s shoulder armour in addition to the opposing side of the Alpha’s helmet. The green represents their branch within the 83rd, for Mountain Infantry and was painted to oppose the red. I was nervous this would provide an unwanted Christmas theme but it seemed to work.

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The metal of these cyborgs I believe speaks to itself. I did however betray my usual colours for 40K in using browns. Despite the often backwards future 40K exists in I always struggled to believe that in the 41st Millennium all belts, webbing and pouches were brown leather and similarly butt-stocks were wood. I usually paint them as black or as a vibrant contrast. In this case browns made sense. It added that level of primitive yet advanced technology that this faction represents.

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Finally, in an effort to capture the otherworldly power of their weapons and equipment I went with a lot of purples for their weapons and gears. It seemed different then the typical blues and reds while also suggesting that deadly power that harms them as they harm others. It seemed to work and the final product ended up capturing many more vibrant colours then I initially hoped while keeping true to the gritty flamboyance often exhibited in the various factions of the Imperium.

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Thanks for reading. As always questions, concerns and conundrums are always welcome. I have started to work on a pair of Cult Mechanicus Robots which will follow this theme.

Regards,

Mr. Kalidor

Servo Skull Musings: The Gateway Hobby — February 9, 2016

Servo Skull Musings: The Gateway Hobby

I have dabbled in the world of miniatures, on and off for some twenty years. Granted there have been gaps within that period that may have consisted of years themselves, miniature collecting and the surrounding fluff was always present to some extent. The time where I paused and returned, the return brought with it a pleasant nostalgia. For, there was no other but Games Workshop and specifically their 40K brand. Simply put, if there was no 40K, there was nothing else. No alternatives, and not even a glimmer of curiosity of what else may be out their as alternative options.

The past decade has seen my interest in 40K grow by leaps and bounds. My level of obsessive collecting, painting, and planning has expanded by such means of my creation of my dedicated modelling and painting studio, my expanding to Age of Sigmar, and even by way of this blog.

With that stated in the past few months my eyes have wandered to other options. This surprised me and forced a deep reflection on what that meant, and where it was going to head.

The internet is full of those deriding the direction, cost and even quality of the wares of GW. I do not share those concerns. I recognize them as mild annoyances, sometimes even necessary evils, but I counterbalance that with my enjoyment, in addition to the depth and beauty of their dark worlds.

Enter my favorite of the GW business units, Forge World. For anyone living under a hobby rock, it can be said that if Games Workshop and their brands Warhammer 40K and Age of Sigmar are Chevrolets, Forge World is their Cadillac. The quality of their models, books and supplemental material surpasses anything on the market. Which is why I order their product in spite of the pain it represents to order something from the UK for delivery in my home country.

The problem being… it never arrived. For three years Forge World has been contacted almost daily and four three years, the same response; “research is pending”. As this continues to slowly work its way up the corporate ladder to that level that represents someone capable of making a decision, my love for my little resin and plastic toys reaches an existential crisis. I wanted models. I waited, and waited, and waited. I still want models. I waited and waited and waited. Now, I simply want a refund. I expect I will be waiting and waiting and waiting. I will not give up, but my Cadillac is quickly proving to be a lemon.

That represents the first push towards expanding my horizons onto other alternatives. At first it was minor deviations from the Games Workshop realms, yet still involving Games Workshops. I discovered the beauty and wonder of the GW licensed products being developed by Fantasy Flight Games; Warhammer 40K board games and role playing games.

While I may never get the chance to play a RPG, the books were remarkable; the depth, the art, the details that pass by the militaristic and dogmatic Imperium proper towards the everyday life of Imperials and as yet unheard of worlds. I have mountains of Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy Second Edition books and that seems to be that first addicting hit.

Soon I found myself scouring Ebay for Battlefleet Gothic ships. I was still very much a GW collector, simply having expanded to other companies producing licenced products and tracking down old out-of-print models.

Then two things occurred that simply took me into new directions that have no connection to my history with GW. The first was the discovery of a Kickstarter I found information about on Faeit 212/Natfka. That was Dropfleet Commander. While I was aware of Dropzone Commander, it held little interest to me. This space/orbital based miniature game however was different, and I found myself excited for the game, and my first exposure to Kickstarter.

Next we have the Fantasy Flight Christmas sale. This saw me pick up numerous great deals including additional Rogue Trader books, but more importantly new games. The Merchant of Venus and the Battle of Westeros Miniature games were added. For the Battle of Westeros in fact, the core game and every single expansion was purchased for the same price one would have paid for just the core set prior to the sale.

Thus, the Warhammer world had officially been invaded by Dropfleet Commander and now the Game-of-Throne game that was Battle of Westeros.

It did not end there. Knowing first hand about the depth and quality everything I had purchased fro Fantasy Flight, I made the final leap.

That leap was towards their X-Wing game. A game with pre-painted miniatures that seems to be increasing in popularity fairly steadily since its release several years ago.

So what happens next? Does Forge World magically regain my trust and faith that they can serve this particular customer? Or will other options continue to pique my interest with GW scaling back in my hobby-life.

Time shall tell, the immediate fallout will however become apparent as my GW related posts are joined by non-GW related posts.

How about you? Are you purists? Do you dabble in alternatives? As always feedback, questions, concerns and conundrums are always welcome.

Regards,

Mr. Kalidor