Saturday, 27 October 2007

Leviathan (Part 1) - If your going to blame anyone, blame Jervis.

At the GT Jervis Johnson gave an interesting and enlighting seminar as if often the case at these events, this time it largely discussed Apocolypse, and included him making an entirely valid point that as tourny players for a great many of us there that, the tournament and events like it, was the hobby. Ive been of guilty of that as anyone, I often have wacky ideas, but few of them see fruitation due to the virus of "tourny legal" being too much of a concern. So with it that - and the release of a certain large plastic kit I decided for certain it was time to turn one of my wacky ideas into a reality.


A few other people have created such beasts, notibly grandmasterscpectre and irfpio are examples I've followed, my only complaint with them has been that often they're a tad on the large side, however that said theres never been alot of work with, and what there is alot of variance in the impressions given.

The model above is the old epic model (minus its primary gun), its slightly larger in terms of length and width then a super heavy tank such as the Baneblade and in the last incarnation of it's rule carried 6 Infantry Stands (which equates to 30 models), previous rules versions had them carrying tanks however, and mentions of them in the background nearly always dipect them as real monsters, towering over the formations they command, some even with landing pads for Valkyeries and the like. A more recent background text covers the Battle of Tyrok Fields on Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade, the most telling piece for me here was that Reaver Titans were said to tip the traitor Leviathans over, that was the final nail for me and I decided upon something smaller (with the added bonus that it was actually portable!)

My model is based on two Baneblades, the first step was to join the track assemblies into something larger, this was surprisingly difficult as the various armour plates just didnt line up in a suitable spot (or any!). In the end I settled on lining up with the bottom plates above the wheels, the front half was cut after the third section, the rear before the second with the inside halves cut in line with this.

The result was considerably larger then a Baneblade, which felt pretty much spot on to me.

The two track assemblies were joined with a doubled up belly from the Baneblade kits, the overhang of the tracks filled with plasti-card, I can't emphasize enough how important bracing is at this point to give it strength and just keep the thing together, and how good sprue is for the job!

I was'nt sure at first how best to build the hull, I considered building a framework (which while more complex would be idea if intending interior detail), using a series of box's and finally using a series of panels, linked together with cross bars. It was this final option I went for in the end.

The skeleton was reinforced with crossbars on each side and plasti-strut for extra strength for the rigours of the gaming table.

Now the sides were added, fixed to the skeleton. The next task was to get the turret towers on the sides up, the fore and aft turrets on each side were build around the top section of the Baneblade sponsons which was easy enough. The middle towers were more difficult, my initial idea was to cut out the mount from the Baneblade hull to mount its turret, but this proved itself a little too difficult, instead I built the tower using the bottom plate of the sponsons, I'll then add a turret cupola to act as a turret ring, fixing the third turret in place with magnets.

With that in (and lacking thin plasti-card at this point to do the front curve (more on this later), I've begun detailing, much of this will be done with the Cities of Death kits, starting with the rear of the vehicle using the Sanctum Imperialis, the door is embedded slightly with plate sections on the top and baneblade rear sections towards the bottom, much of whats left white will be armour plating. Theres a long long way to go, it's really only just becomming clear how much time it's going to take to get the detailing done to even just this small section, but I'm hoping the end result will be worth it.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Praetorian 4th Foot (1500pts) UK GT Heat 1 2007

One last entry for today, a couple of shots of the whole army taken by my good friend James (aka Warseers lomo) at the GT, theres work to be done still with revised Roughriders and one last thing to do to the Russ, but hey, it's progress!

Beware, quite large pics!

The Cavalry's Coming (Part 5) and the GT

Well the GT has been and gone, and what a weekend it was!

First off I'd like to say thankyou too all the people who came and commented on the army over the weekend, some of whome I know read this blog or one of my logs on the various online forums I visit. I really was rather taken aback by all the positive comments, to the point half the time I really did'nt know what to say in response! So I'll say it again now, thankyou(!) it really was appreciated!

As too the gaming side of things (lol), well it did'nt go quite as well as I might of hoped! (Though to be honest I did'nt expect to qualify, it's not what I go for!) I ended up finishing second to last with a draw and five defeats, games were as follows (and apologiesing in advance I'm terrible with names so rather then try an get them wrong I'll not try lol),

Game 1 - Malchek (from Warseer) Imperial Guard - Draw
This was a big surprise, you see Malchek was also my first opponent at last years Heat 1 (what are the chances?), his Guard army is far heavier in armour and elite infantry then my horde though he two has taken a liking to Roughriders and Heavy Weapons Squads (with the later being somewhat down to me I think following our bout last year). He very sensibly avoided my firebase (though I was rather worried by his tanks), with the bulk of his infantry and roughriders pushing down my left flank, his Russ centrally and the Basilisk on the right.

The Baslisk I countered with Infantry crewed Lascannon, while pushing my mobile force up the right and center (leading to a blood bath in the center for both sides) while falling back on my left (though not fast enough as it turned out losing my AT squad to his Roughriders).

I know I'm gonna say this for all my games, but it was really enjoyable, Malcheks a very tactical thinker, which shows in the fact he was one of only two IG players to qualify in the end, nice one!

Game 2 - Andy10k (from Warseer) Necrons - Loss
Three Monoliths! It was a painful learning experience just how effective this formation is against massed Guard infantry, he did'nt even need his Necron Warriors to do the job (though do it they did all the same!) in the first two turns all three arrived and almost all my infantry was promptly packed away. My own reserves did finally turn up and did some damage but it was too little too late.

On the bright side it saved me having a big job packing up all the ifnantry in one go (lol), and Andy was a great opponent, a very relaxed game (and one during which he could'nt stop saying sorry!), I'd happily have my infantry slaughtered by him anyday! It was a nasty list and I'm fairly sure there was'nt alot I could do against it even in the best circumstances, unsurprisingly he also qualified, again congrats!

Game 3 - Tau - Loss
Another great opponent (see the names disclaimer!), he had a very balanced Tau army with only one Railhead and Sniper Drone teams, a veritable rareity at the GT. This game was much more closely fought then someone who viewed the Victory Points might believe, the mission was take and hold, the problem as it turned out for me was a hill obscured my view of the center of the board rendering much of my firepower useless unless it advanced into the waiting maw of the Tau firebase.

I did managed to crush his flanks, though the Roughriders (or rather my dice throwing) failed me utterly (no surprises there then!), I did make a large infantry push on the center, but it ended up going in piecemeal and getting cut up almost entirely. It came down to the last turn with two squads of Crisis suits sitting on the objective, both a mere one wound from falling below half strength and thus being unable to hold the objective. The Mortars failed misrably (though I'll interject they did really well for me over the whole weekend) and the Russ scattered pretty much as far away from a target as it was possible too. Buggar. Great game though, again very relaxed, and well fought.

Game 4 - Emperors Children - Loss
Next up I played one of the Icelandic contingent, as with as far as I could tell all the Icelandic group his English was great, so no troubles there and again was another nice relaxed, but well fought game with a friendly opponent.

It was a cleanse mission, he pushed round his right flank, I made a limited counter push, falling back at first then going for it jumping forward into cover when he entered rapid fire range supported by a charge from the Roughriders - it almost worked! My Guardsmen ended up holding longer then I wanted, such are the perils of tooling up with leadership docturines for my theme! The combat ended in my following turn allowing him to sweep on into what remained of my firebase, circling around with his fast lord to cut into my small push into the other table quarter which so far had only be opposed by a tank hunting Pred (Lascannons on Guardsmen, over kill!)

Game 5 - Space Marines - Loss
Multiple objectives on the other side of the board is generally tricky for Guard, but with only three (one on my side) this was always going to be about the one in the middle with our firebases set about opposite corners around an objective each.

We promptly set about blowing each others armies to pieces! My mortars performed brilliantly pinning more then once over the game, almost entirely wiping out two tactical squads which was more then welcome, the Heavy Bolters Squads picked off a Landspeeder a piece, the Roughriders smashed the Terminator Squad and Librarian (though not before they finished off my AT Squad), the Leman Russ dealt with the Vindicator and a mobile Infantry Squad picked off a Dreadnought with their Grenade Launcher (one shot, one kill - but all the while the damnable Scounts and Whirlwind continued picking off my units one by one.

I believe at the end of the carnage he had his Scouts, Whirlwind, an understrength Tactical Squad and an immobilised Rhino, I had a three or so understength squads and one full strength. Great fun and another great opponent!

Game 6 - Space Wolves - Loss
I played another of the Icelandic contingent for my last game with his foot Space Wolves, now I had two choices here, I could sit back on my heavy weapons which would of made for an incredably boring game, not a good way to finish the GT for either of us in my mind, or I could be a little unconvential and go for a firefight and swamp him, I had the numbers, the bodycount, so with a battle cry of Leeeerrrroyyyy Jenkins (well in my head anyway!) my whole army advanced.

I know I made the right choice. It's a difficult game to describe exactly, the infantry advanaced into a position that I'd get one massed wave of rapid firing before the Space Wolves charged, supported by my Heavy Weapons Squads getting in one good volley, with the Russ and Roughriders in reserve (Escalation), lots of the Space Wolves died to put it bluntly, but then they counter attacked and lots more Guardsmen died, more then once squads ran only to rally and get chucked back in to the meatgrinder as the Officers lead from the rear.

In the end my infantry got butchered (as you'd expect lol), but it was another great game, quite possibly my favourite of the weekend, and I know my opponent felt the same way about it (at which point I'll say yet another really nice guy, a pleasure to play against).

Yep I lost, yep I came second from bottom(!) but it was a brilliant end to a really enjoyable weekend (...and at least I've got chicken!).

Only one thing left to be said - Roughriders!

Yes I got them finished, pics below, the end result of the project is they came out better then I'd expected when I cast them, but not as well as I now know I can do them. In other words, yes the Roughrider Project is not over yet, these models are the concept, I'm going to create a revised version with more natural posing (especially the Lancers) and more unique details (i.e. different torso's from the basic Infantry) this version will also be the version which will be donated to the Phoenix Club to be made avaialble in resin to those that want them for a limited run but thats in the future, for now heres the finished version ones (be they a little bleached by the light lol)!



Rocket Batteries

1st Rocket Battery

Friday, 12 October 2007

Follow the Colours

Well thats it, I finished the first 1500pts last night at about 1am, heading for Nottingham and UK GT Heat 1 in the next couple of hours.

The Lancers are finished (no pics yet, sorry) as are the Hussars (yes I've got pics but I'll post em later!), and even the Leman Russ has finally been weathered - though it still lacks a unit identification - I'm thinking ID flags but that will be something to work on when I get back.

For now, my final list and a promiss for pictures of the whole army assembled at last! (Ahem, well the first bit of it anyway!)

4th Praetorian Foot

Iron Discipline, Die-hards, Close Order Drill, Roughriders


Command Platoon
Junior Officer inc. Laspistol, Close Combat Weapon, Iron Discipline
Command Section inc. Veteran with Company Standard, Autocannon, Die-hards

Anti-Tank Squad inc. 3x Lascannon, Die-hards

Fire Support Squad inc. 3x Heavy Bolters, Die-hards

Fire Support Squad inc. 3x Heavy Bolters, Die-hards

Mortar Squad inc. Die-hards


Infantry Platoon
Junior Officer inc. Laspistol, Close Combat Weapon, Iron Discipline
Command Section inc. Autocannon, Die-hards, Close Order Drill

Infantry Squad inc. Plasma Gun, Lascannon, Die-hards, Close Order Drill

Infantry Squad inc. Plasma Gun, Lascannon, Die-hards, Close Order Drill

Infantry Squad inc. Grenade Launcher, Lascannon, Die-hards, Close Order Drill

Infantry Platoon
Junior Officer inc. Laspistol, Close Combat Weapon, Iron Discipline
Command Section inc. 3x Grenade Launchers, Die-hards, Close Order Drill

Infantry Squad inc. Plasma Gun, Die-hards, Close Order Drill

Infantry Squad inc. Plasma Gun, Die-hards, Close Order Drill

Infantry Squad inc. Grenade Launcher, Die-hards, Close Order Drill

Infantry Squad inc. Autocannon, Grenade Launcher, Die-hards, Close Order Drill


Roughrider Squadon inc. Veteran Sergeant, 4 Roughriders, Hunting Lances, Laspistols, Die-hards

Roughrider Squadron inc. Veteran Sergeant, 4 Roughriders, Laspistol & Close Combat Weapons, Meltabombs, Die-hards


Leman Russ inc. Hull Heavy Bolter, Sponson Heavy Bolters, Heavy Stubber, Searchlight