Monday, August 21, 2017

Grand Cultivator

Catching up on recent news from the gaming sphere, this chap stumbled across my desk, as I'm sure it did yours as well. Slimed on to my desk might have been a better turn of phrase though. This is Nurgle's Grand Cultivator, Horticulous Slimux. 

He is a plague bearer mounted on top of a monstrous garden snail-like creature in essence. I want to make a couple of observations here. Firstly, this miniature is one that has been featured (probably repeatedly) on the official Warhammer Community rumours mill. Check out the legs of the "snail" (I know -- snails don't have legs, but I haven't got another noun for it just yet) -- these are the ones that have been featured on the rumour site over the past few months. 

The miniature itself interests me from a number of different angles. Firstly is the sheer whimsy and joviality involved in the sculpt. By this, I mean the pose and demeanour of Slimux himself, the "face" of the snail, and the hapless nurgling that has been left dangling in front of the snail. Obviously the nurgling is being used as a kind of bait to lure the snail ever onward. Its a bit like the old cartoons of carrots being used of a lure in front of a donkey to urge it onward. The eyes of the snail are directed right at the little nurgling, who in turn is wrapped in in some kind of vine and is looking grumpy about his situation. 

Slimux himself seems to be rather chilled and laid back. He is chewing on an old bone (freshly plucked from the Garden of Nurgle probably) in much the same way as a cartoonish version of a farmer might have some wheat or crop in his mouth. Or at least I think that is what the vibe they were going for is. Given the short length of the bone, it could be that they were going for a cigar replacement instead as well. 

Striking on the painting side of things is the existence of the eyeballs. Not only on the snail, but also on Slimux. In the older fluff, plague bearers would be depicted as having white eyes (almost in totality) to represent some kind of blindness disease. This guy is just yellowed, as is his mount. Speaking of the older fluff, Nurgle and his minions are often depicted as being rather happy. Since through decay comes rebirth of life and vitality. I think this aspect is communicated very well in the sculpt overall with smiles all around (of one kind or another) and a certain level of levity associated with the vibe of what is being depicted. I've not seen this communicated outside of goblins and orcs (Orks) in a long while and its good so see something like this appear after all these years.

Further interesting aspects of the sculpt include the Venus flytrap looking plant on the rear of the miniature painted in red. I have not seen much like this elsewhere. Being towed behind are ploughing implements to break up the land ready for Nurgle's special cultivation treatments. These little details all add up to a very whimsy miniature that looks more ready for happy gardening (or even a party) than warfare. Then again, that is part of the point. Slimux is really harkening back to some of the earlier materials in a way I've not seen in a while. Its a nice new, slightly risky even, direction and one I'm pleased to see the sculptors take. 

Return

Dear Readers,

We are now back from holidays and lining up new posts for the coming week. Thanks for your patience and support (and thank you in particular to those of you who messaged me over the holidays -- I think I've got back to you all now, but if not, just gimme a shout).

More very soon.
-jabberjabber.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Break

Dear Readers,

I will be taking a little break from blogging for the next couple of weeks due to the Northern Hemisphere Summer holidays. 

I hope you have enjoyed the materials so far this year. We will be continuing with the Horus Heresy Review series in the coming months, as well as the usual digest of wargaming, photos, painting, terrain and other assorted hobby goodness. But for now, its time to recharge some proverbial batteries and take a seasonal break. See you in mid-August!

JabberJabber :)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Natural Rock Stacks

Today, I wanted to write about and highlight a set of rock stacks that have been in my collection for some time. They are supposed to represent natural rock formations as might be seen in hot, dry locations around the world as a result of erosion over many millions of years. Not quite buttes, they're more of a set of rocks stacked on top of each other that have resisted further erosion over time. 


Creating these kinds of terrain is actually remarkably simple and easy to do. The key ingredients are:

(1) Plentiful styrofoam;
(2) Hot wire cutter;
(3) Paints;
(4) PVA glue;
(5) MDF base.

Obviously, one doesn't need an MDF base for these items, but I find that it does help preserve the lifetime of the piece. Also obviously, most hobbyists will have paint in their collection. However, I tend to use textured paint for these kinds of projects to try to give a more natural feeling to them. I would certainly recommend that others try them out if they don't already own some. Making your own textured paint can also be achieved through the addition of PVA glue ... but that isn't so kind on your brushes in the long term, so I tend to stick with pre-made and shop-bought textured paint for my projects. Styrofoam packaging is plentiful in this day and age. Just keep some around in your bits box rather than send it to a landfill, and you're sorted.

Perhaps the hardest item to acquire is the hot wire cutter -- I would recommend mail ordering it if you do not live in or near to a major city shopping precinct as they can be tough to casually track down. This is an integral ingredient as it is needed to slice in to the foam and shape it to the desired morphology. To achieve this, I basically rule together cubes of foam on top of each other using PVA glue and base them on the MDF board. I then slice inward and outward at regular intervals to create the rock shapes. 

Painting them over with a dark undercoat and then a textured layer of brown works wonders. A brief dry brush with a slightly lighter vanilla colour and the job is done. Total working time is a couple of hours, but I think the results are very nice indeed.

Below is a picture of the desert themed board that I regularly use them on (top right hand corner). I think they fit in very well here. Although they also don't look too out of place on Martian themed boards either.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Warlord-Sinister Pattern Psi-Titan


Background.
Assumed to be granted permission to exist by no less than the Hand of the Emperor Himself, the Warlord Sinister is a psychic version of the regular Warlord Titan.

At some level, I can't actually believe that I'm reviewing this. As amazing as the Warlord is itself, the level of "wow" goes up to eleven with the psychic variant. In short, this titan is fuelled by the mental energies of captured psykers that are subsequently bled to a dry husk in service of the Imperium. Grim.

Strengths.
The psychic pilot rule gives this amazing beast a psychic mastery level of 3 and several reasonable quality powers alongside it. These include the ability nova a cover-ignoring soul blaze, the ability to repair hull points on the move, and a haywire vs vehicles or d6 hits vs toughness things models auto-hit witchfire.

Anything within 12 inches has to take a leadership check or fall back due to its shroud of terror that it emits. And should anyone wish to charge this thing (why would you do such a thing????) has to take a -3 leadership modified check.

It has access to a unique weapon called the Sinistramanus Tenebrae. We shall call it the left hand of darkness for the sake of my spell checker. This weapon has a huge range of 120 inches with an apocalyptic sized blast radius with Vortex / Fleshbane / Poison within the inner, middle and outer circles in play.

On top of this, it is a Warlord Titan. Game breaking AV=15 on the front and sides and a rather impressive 30 hull points behind 6 void shields. I will simply refer the reader to my previous article on the regular warlord titan at this point.

Weaknesses.
It explodes in a 36 inch radius when it goes down. And it will kill stuff with D strength hits in doing so in all probability.

Other than that, there are really no weaknesses. Thank Alpharius!

Builds. 
Here are two of my suggestions. You cannot go too wrong overall though.

Psi-Titan with Left Hand of Darkness, Titan Power Claw, Two Vortex Missile Banks (3400 points).
This is a close combat titan(!). Fire off the missiles and then get stuck in once the enemy has been softened up with the Left Hand. It gives the opponent a sporting chance at least. Joking. I actually don't even like this build. But its still ridiculous.

Psi-Titan with Left Hand of Darkness, Belicosa Pattern Volcano Cannon, 2 laser blasters (3350 points).
I like the shooting output potential of this titan. I like it a whole lot. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Horus Heresy Review: Legio Custodes Contemptor Galatus Dreadnought


Background.
The best way to describe this dreadnought is as an anchor point. Armed and armoured with some of the best technology in the Imperium and a pilot who was possible a great friend of the Emperor himself, the Galatus is simply an amazing power house for the slaughter of any enemy of the Imperium from within or without.

Strengths.
There are so many strengths here. The Praesidium shield for a starting point is amazing for the fact that it allows re-rolling of invulnerable saves. Better still, it reduces the typical to-hit roll by one (basically non-gargantuan creatures), meaning that its almost certainly going to have an edge in close combat almost all of the time.

The warblade it carries is amazing as well. Shred, rampage and AP2 mean that it will tear in to almost anything. And just for fun, an inbuilt incinerator as well. Who could want for more?

Weaknesses.
Look, it is not a Caladius. But you knew that already, right? I'm just pointing the Caladius out as it occupies the same force organization chart slot as the Galatus. That is all. There's competition here. And the Galatus doesn't move like a grav tank.

Overall.
This is a very powerful choice that will literally chew up whole enemy infantry units in close combat. Getting the dreadnought there might be a challenge, but one that it should be surviving. 
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