The Freak Tank: An Onager in Manufactorum

In my last post I teased something special, a Dark Mechanicus take on the Onager Dunecrawler for my Skitarii.

Obviously my first 2 Onagers are halves of the original kit, but I didn’t have such an easy out for my 3rd. I started scheming on an onager made from scratch built and found materials, but I suddenly returned to an idea I’d played with for years, since seeing a really great model that used this: a tank full of water effects.

Originally I wanted a round tank, but a sudden realization about a chessex dice cube and some drilling later and my vessel was found. The mechanical components cover the top and bottom, and I will have plasticard covering the corners.

The gun arm will be magnetized so I can change his armament, and I am getting sentinel legs to give it a spidery look. I need to come up with a proper name for it but for now I’m calling it the freak tank, in reference to the old carnival barker side shows.

The Advance Continues: Dark Mechanicus pt 2

You can see my CSM bike based Dragoon here, it is in heavy need of greenstuff to bulk up the underside, and I still need to wire up the servitor

Here is the 2nd of the defiler based Ironstriders. The servitor in this case is my favorite of the bunch, he’s completely suspended with the biomechanical connection to the war engine.

The official iron strider is definitely only lightly modified right now. I need to finish building it before I decide if I’m doing anything else, I’ll probably add some extra spikes and that’s about it.

And here’s a family photo. Once I get my order of CSM bike bits I’ll have 4 onagers and 3 dragoons.

And the most recent of my experiments, I’ve built the floating mind slave that will control my 3rd onager and scavenged a clear container that will serve as his home. Next steps include scratch building a top and a base that can go around the tank, as well as getting some sentinel legs to provide the walker portion.

I also have done a little work getting some test models built for my dark skiitari:

I’m considering doing scion backpacks for some of my skitarii:

Anyhow that brings us up to date here. The army is humming along, soon I’ll have 10 vehicles and the infantry bodies I ordered will arrive.

Fire and Smoke: Rise of the Dark Mechanicus

Those who know me likely know that I have a keen interest in all aspects of the chaos gods in 40K. That interest has always extended to the desecrated forges and dark pacts of the Dark Mechanicus. Unlike the capricious will of the dark gods and the fleeting lives of their mortal masters, the great daemonforge is an entirely different entity. It offers a simple bargain, cruel and demeaning, any daemon willing to swear loyalty to the forge first and foremost will be given a new form and set loose upon the mortal realm once again. 

The adepts of the dark Mechanicus are therefore very different from their imperial cousins. They don’t merely revere iron and technology, they explore the very limits of what is possible, using magic and daemonflesh to break the laws of physics. Unfortunately, the closest we have to this army rules-wise is the daemon engines from CSM/daemons and the Heretek Magos from Imperial Armor 13. While this gives us some cool options, the intrepid chaos player looks across the aisle and sees the support Ad Mech got and gets a little jealous.

Enter the Bundle

I was content to slowly acquire dark mech minis for my IA 13 army, stretching rah box across a ton of cultists before moving on to the next one…but GW threw me a curve ball: bundle boxes that offered every one of the ad mech kits except the electropriests. I couldn’t say no. And with them preordered, I set about scheming on a fully realized dark Mechanicus force.

The Dark Master: creating a Techpriest Dominus

I should preface this by saying this model isn’t done, I’m still deciding on how to handle the servo harness. That said, the weapons and legs are quite to my liking, the only question is whether I can find a better way to represent the servo arms.

Obviously I started with a Slaughterpriest from Age of Sigmar. When the model came out and I saw its tall, lanky form and imposing axe I knew I needed to make it onto a tech priest. The protruding spine and horns make great mounting points and the model just worked well. The only issue was legs, no self-respecting Magos has legs. So, I made him new ones. 

I still need to do some work on this model, he needs eye implant goggles and some tech on his skull, otherwise though I’m quite happy:

March of the Ballistari

My bundle got me an Ironstrider Ballistari, but they can be taken in squadrons and I wanted a few. I went ahead and ordered some defiler legs and a spare defiler turret (I already had one) so that I could make 2 ballistari. I am looking at using spare parts to make a dragoon as well.

I originally thought (and assembled) that an extended section was needed for the legs, but it was too tall with it included so i removed it and now it is close to the right height.

One of the most interesting parts of the official model is the servitor attached to the front of it. I wanted this same design note, but i decided to give it a dark mechanicus flare:

Here you can see it next to my official ironstrider:

In fact, lets get into that. The official model is a masterpiece and I’ve taken care not to change much. I added some spikes, two shields from the chaos knight kit, and replaced the bar the gun rests on. I’m considering other ways to enhance the model’s appearance. I’ll take more pics when the model is further along.

Reimagining the Dragoon

This model is in really preliminary phases right now, but with some ravenwing legs and skiitari and chaos parts it will make a good dragoon. The weapons from that model aren’t being used anyway, so it’s a great way to use those parts.

Splitting the Onager

The onager Dunecrawler is an interesting kit to corrupt, as it has a lot in common with the Defiler, but it’s much smaller. I knew I wanted to split the kit in half, with the legs hosting a daemon on top, and some daemonic legs to put the upper portion on. So far I really like the results (they are very preliminary).

The upper body portion is a Khorgorath (I wound up with 4 of these things lol) and a combo of Minotaur arm and a DCCW, there’s still a lot of greenstuff work to go.

The gun arm is going to be magnetized, so I’ll need to sculpt his upper arm then add magnets. I’ll also greenstuff over the khorne mark on his chest and down onto the base of the legs to give it a feeling of integrating with the machine.

The rest of the onager will be built on these legs, there’s a ton of sculpting to do here, I think I’ll use the tentacle creator I ordered to bulk up the base and then use thin plasticard to make armor plates similar to the maulerfiend.

Finishing off my daemon constructs will be a 3rd Onager, but I’m stalled because I don’t have a plan for the legs yet, I’ll be checking eBay and thinking about scratch building some pneumatic legs. Anyhow the idea is something like an onager, but with a skitarii in a jar suspended in fluid. Something like a navigator from Lynch’s Dune.

Putting it all together

With this army off the ground, so far I’m pleased with how it is shaping up. There’s serious visual congruity between my custom creations and my more official daemon engines. The only major outlier is the official Ironstrider, but with some additional meddling I think it will at least be authentically chaosy, if a bit distinct.

I’ll start working on infantry soon, I don’t have a plan for my Kataphron and Kastelan yet, but I can definitely imagine using some ogres to make additional Kastelan. I know my FLGS had some of the mono-wheels from Kromlech that they were trying to get rid of, if they still have them I could possibly use them to extend the kits I have

Evolution of a predator: Painting the Kytan

I’m still pretty novice at this painting stuff. I’m not saying I haven’t learned some simple techniques that make my models pop sometimes, but overall I only just last week started taking care of my brushes. That’s not an exaggeration. But I’m sticking to it and I hope to reap the benefits. Well maintained brushes are how someone as relatively inexperienced painting big models as I am can manage to get this big bugger done to a tabletop standard:

Obviously I started by blocking out main colors. It took forever. I have a few other photos of this process that I need to post, but it took days to get the basic colors on in an even coat.

Following the completion of that step, I got the metallic painted and washed the possessed areas of the model in the purple I use on my other models (that’s one area, I will say, where I’m somewhat disappointed with my results thus far, but I’m experimenting on improving it).

After that I got everything washed dark (If I get the picture up I’ll add it above. I like to build up from a really dark base (washing the red areas with both red and black washes) to a really bright color as it gives the models a kind of ethereal glow that I think fits my red corsairs rather well. Having gotten better at the color I’m going to go back and work on some of the models I’ve done in the past that don’t hold up as well.

That’s where it stands today. I’m going to do my hobby roundup tomorrow and make commitments for this week, I skipped last week because I poured every minute of spare hobby time into the Kytan!

Daemonkin List-a-palooza

With my Daemonkin trucking along, I find myself with a ton of list ideas. I’m going to go over a few now:

Axes of Doom!

Simple concept: I have 3 different units that can take a D weapon. Why not take all 3?

  • 2 Bloodthirsters of Insensate Rage: 550 pts
  • 2 units of Bloodletters: 170 pts
  • 2 Maulerfiends with lashers: 280
  • Soul Grinder: 155
  • Heldrake: 170
  • Kytan: 525

The Thirsters start on the board and everything looks to get into combat T2. Reserve the Bloodletters and depending on your foe the Soul Grinder and you have 5 fast combat monsters starting on the table. It’s definitely a risky list, but it is somewhat fun.

Speed Freaks

One of the key aspects of the Daemonkin is speed. A Blood Host can be brutally fast:

Blood Host:

  • Herald of Khorne, Jugger, Exalted Locus: 125 pts
  • 2 units of Bloodletters: 170pts
  • Possessed, Rhino: 185 pts
  • 2 units of 2 Spawn: 128 pts
  • 2 units of 3 bikes w/ melta: 192
  • 2 units of 5 bikes w/melta & lightning claw: 310
  • 3 units of 5 Fleshhounds: 240
  • 13 Fleshhounds: 208
  • 2 Maulerfiends with Lashers: 280

10 Fast Attack units, a blob to buff with your Herald without dedicating enough points to make it a true deathstar. 2 of the melta squads are a little more durable, the possessed net you an extra cheap blood point by bringing a Rhino, the Spawn are also cheap and easy to kill, but are lower threat while still being a super annoying tarpit and over watch eating unit. The Bloodletters go into reserve so they don’t slow the army down.

Old School

One idea I had was to use Daemonkin as how you might have seen CSM in 2007 when I just started building my army:

  • Chaos Lord, Terminator Armor, Axe of Khorne, Sigil: 160
  • Daemon Prince, Wings, Armor, Blade of Endless Bloodshed: 255
  • 4 Terminators, 3 combi meltas and a heavy flamer, all with power fists, land raider : 421
  • 2 Squads of 10 CSM with 2 plasma, combi plasma & lightning claw, Rhino dozer: 510
  • 10 CSM with 2 melta, combi melta, lightning claw, rhino, dozer: 245
  • 2 squads of 3 bikes with melta: 192
  • 2 Spawn: 64

I think I had this exact list of minis as my first army (minus the land raider), albeit dedicated to nurgle. Everything is mechanized, move up and take the middle, try to hold it with 30 marines. Unpopular currently but I think it’s still fun to play classic style lists.

I’ve got another list I’m cooking up, but it combines daemonkin with renegades and heretics for a dark mechanicus bloodbath, but I haven’t finished it yet.

Weekly Hobby Commitment 2

So, I’ve decided to do this post on Tuesdays every week. I’ll start with what I did and didn’t get done last week, then move on to this week’s commitment.

Last Week

The Good:

I got my Gal Vorbak Spawn done, they are really great and I can’t wait to use them on the table.

I also got my new bloodthirster mostly assembled.

The Bloodthirster also gave me the bit I needed to make my metal thirster more intimidating.

The Bad:

The Bloodletters didn’t get done but they are close. I still need to highlight the yellow and do some detail work, and figure out their bases.

I also made little progress on the hounds, getting their hides base coated yellow.

This Week:

I had a thought when coming up with my list: chores should count. Some hobby chores don’t take long and make getting hobby done easier.

  • Clean my desk
  • Magnetize the plastic thirster and get both primed
  • Finish the Bloodletters
  • Finish the Fleshhounds
  • Block out the main colors on the Kytan
  • Paint 3 Bikes

Weekly Hobby Commitment 1

So, the experience of getting 3 big, intimidating models painted last week left me with a feeling of confidence. That said, I didn’t get much of any painting done the first half of the week and it reminded me that having goals is important. As a result, I’m now instituting a weekly hobby commitment where I will commit to build or paint a certain amour of minis each week. The amount will vary based on my free time and schedule, but I want to keep making progress (and if I want to get my Daemonkin done by the end of December, progress is necessary)

I’m going to write up a master checklist of units to paint before the army is done, but for now I am making the following commitment, I will get everything in the photo painted this week (note: I’m not requiring getting them based, at least the fleshhounds):

that is:

  • 16 bloodletters, 2 champions
  • 5 Spawn (gal vorbak)
  • 11 Fleshhounds

The bloodletters are going to be pretty fun:

Dreadtober Complete!!!

Well, I did it, after months and months of failing to get a painting commitment done on time for the IC HPC, I finally stuck to a commitment and got my Mhara Gal fully painted. What’s more, painting it gave me a roadmap and the confidence I needed to get a few other minis done. Specifically, today I also finished my first soul grinder and my two mauler fiends. That means I got 4 (seriously, 4) dreadnough class vehicles done in dreadtober. I’m finally starting to feel like I can get the whole khorne army done.

I took a few photos of the Mhara Gal with some of my other minis:

I also picked up a bloodthirster kit and a crusade case this week for my birthday, so soon I’ll actually be playing with these models again. I’m also eying my Kytan as my next big project, so expect to see him in the next month.

Dreadtober WIP

Well, its been a few weeks since I signed up for Dreadtober, and other than getting the Mhara Gal primed and base coated until yesterday I was still trying to figure out a strategy to get the model done. Well, no more, it is still WIP, but I am a painting session away from having the model done, and another before the base is done.

But, whats the point of jabbering on, when I have pictures. Actually, slightly more Jabber: I got my Kytan, assembled and primed it, picked up another Defiler at a swap meet (along with 2 Maulerfiends) and through some dark magic shoved the upper half of a spawn toy onto it. I also have 2 Blood Slaughterers that I haven’t assembled yet. All in all, I’ve got a LOT of daemon walkers to paint!

Anyhow, here’s some of the new stuff before I get to the dread in question:

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Alright, now onto the main show:

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That’s where I planned to stop today, but I just had to keep going once I looked the model over again…

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There we go, My first update on Dreadtober, and my second to last if I get my druthers this weekend…

In the words of Rick, and thaaaaaats the way the news goes.


Occupy Terra is getting in on the fun this October and joining Greg’s Dread painting challenge where we each paint up a dread by the end of the month. I’ve been working on my Khorne Daemonkin’s cavalcade of daemon engines lately, I converted a Soul Grinder from a Defiler and recently got 2 Mhara Gal to use as Contemptors/Decimators, I also have a Kytan and 2 Blood Slaughterers (who will act as Maulerfiends for now) on the way, which along with the Heldrakes I already had will round out my options. Eventually I will add another Soul Grinder and 2 actual Maulerfiends.

Anyhow, this is my first Mhara Gal, I will be painting it this month, and if I get to the other and the soul grinder, I’ll post those too. This is a Khorne Contemptors with 2xDCCW, a tl Bolter and a plasma blaster.

Here’s the Soul Grinder, he will be getting a full repaint:

A struggle for truth in the 41st Millennium