Sunday, 30 December 2012

40K Comics

Since getting photoshop (and an excellent modelling light for Christmas) I've been tinkering with some images and an idea came to me...40k comics.

The following are just some initial attempts but they make me chuckle, enjoy at your leisure.

Introducing Hank and Marv...

Episode 1: The problem with staples

Saturday, 29 December 2012

New HH Novel Mark of Calth?

I was on Amazon a moment ago and was recommended to buy 'Mark of Calth' a Horus Heresy novel available on Pre-order with no product details other than it being in paperback and its publishing date is 13th August 2013. I searched on the Black Library website and could find no sign of this book. Does anyone know anything else about it? I've seen the artwork before but not heard anything about the book!

I'm hoping it is a direct follow up to Know No Fear and will tell us what happened to Remus Ventanus and the other Ultramarines as they are forced to go underground to avoid the storms raging on the surface.

Tartaros Terminators

I am still here, honest. It's been a few days since I added anything to the blog, partly because of Christmas at my grandparents but mostly because I've been building many, many Eldar in preparation for 2013. You can check these out at 

Despite this I have found the time to continue my work on the Guilliman conversion (in the Black Library pic above shouting "I'm fabulous!") and finish building my Tartaros pattern terminators. These were quite fiddley to begin with and made me think yet again that Forge World really should supply instructions with some of their kits...that or I should just think things through a bit more.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Legion Reconnaissance Squads

LRS are one of, if not my favourite unit options in Betrayal. For those who don’t have the codex, LRS are non-compulsory Troop choices that fulfill the roles of Scouts in 40k - but they have full Space Marines stats, power armour, shroud bombs (charging enemy must pass a Ld test to assault). This is all good news but the thing that I really like about them is that unlike most of the units in Betrayal, LSRs can equip each Space Marine with different wargear so you can have a veritable kill-team if you want to (Which is in fact the point of the unit...) 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Battles of Calth

I enjoy playing narrative missions considerably more than standard 'army vs army' slug fests, there's just something more emotive and compelling about these kind of fights. The LOTR SBG did this really well and I loved reliving the Fellowship's flight through the Mines of Moria or Boromir's last stand on Amon Hen. Know No Fear provides plenty of opportunities for the creation of narrative missions and I am going to add a page that is dedicated to just that.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

True-scale Sculpting

A bonus picture of Guilliman's torso that I started sculpting last night. More to follow...

Monday, 17 December 2012

Guilliman Concept

Despite my Tartaros Pattern Terminators arriving today I'm struggling to get excited. Partly because I still have a week of work left before the holidays and partly because the TPTs haven't worked out how I thought they would. Bugger.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Christmas on Calth

Christmas is fast approaching and whilst I do enjoy the festive period it is so chaotic that it is rare that I'll get much building/painting done. Normally I spend my Christmas holiday bouncing from house to house as I visit various sections of the family, we've managed to reduce this from 5 houses to 2 this year which means that I might, just might get some hobby time this year.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Roboute Guilliman Conversion

As I was rooting through my bitz box for something I inadvertently picked up the Marneus Calgar model that had been left over from the Honour Guard and a thought occurred to to guess what the thought was? Well there's a clue in the title.

Forge World will make a Guilliman model, fact. I read it somewhere on the internets so it must be true. However, I doubt that this will happen anytime soon - they'll have to release another HH book for it first and the next one wont be involving the Ultramarines (Drop-site massacre anyone?) and so I'm going to need a stand-in until they get round to it.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Tactical Squad

Finishing squads is always something I find a bit tiresome, there's something about the factory line process of painting batches of models that can be a bit tedious. However the efficiency of this process means that there really isn't much in the way of a viable alternative - particularly if you have large quantities to get through!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Bath time!

Assault Marines taking a dip
Having found it difficult to apply undercoat to a FW dreadnaught I purchased at Gamesday I did some reading and found that lots of people wash their FW resin models in soapy water first. I can see the rational behind it but it did lead to an interesting conversation earlier today...

Fiancee: "Thanks for doing the washing up!"
Me: "No problem...yes, that's exactly what I was doing..."

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Marius Gage, master of the First

All of the models that I have tried to do so far in this project have been tailored to match the descriptions in Know No Fear. However I loved this model and the only thing I could think to match it up with was Marius Gage, so here he is.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Heroes of Calth

Apologies for the poor picture quality but I thought I'd share this photo of my Ultramarines army in my display cabinet, I'm going to work on a proper set up for taking big shots but for now, this will have to suffice.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Painting Time!

After playing 80 minutes of a fairly fast-paced rugby match yesterday and then watching England beat the All-Blacks I was pretty shattered last night and so didn't have much time to paint before I heeded the call of the duvet. Still, I did manage to finish Captain Sydance (above) and therefore the Honour Guard which I purchased way back at the beginning of October!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Stormeagle or Spartan?

It's been a bit quiet on the blog recently, mostly due to a shed load of work stuff all happening at once. However, I am finding the odd few minutes here and there to keep going with my Ultramarines.

This morning I  took delivery of the new FW Assault Marines, though I'm out of glue (damn Thunderhawk...) so I can't do much with them this evening! I've almost finished painting the last of my honour guard marines - designated as Captain Sydance - there are just a few more bits of detailing to go before he can join the others. I'll try and get a shot of the army as is at some point soon.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Assault Marines

I mentioned in an earlier post that I loved the new Assault Marine models from Forge World well, this morning I bought a set. I love the dynamic poses and the sense of momentum in these models. Don't get me wrong, the earlier set is still fantastic but the variants seem to me to be more active, like they're actually hacking people to bits rather than simply bracing them selves for it.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sergeant Thiel

Aeonid Thiel is arguably the second most important character in Know No Fear. He starts of preparing himself for a dressing down from Guilliman himself before manning up and leading the orbital comeback against the traitorous Word Bearers. He even comes to the rescue of the big RG himself!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Kit-Bashed Thunderhawk is Finished

My custom built Thunderhawk Spear of Calth has just been completed and is about to undertake fleet trials (painted) before being given the go ahead to enter active service (blowing stuff up!). 

Friday, 23 November 2012

+++Progress Update+++

Many will be ordered!
Forge World is starting to come up trumps with the release of some flashy new upgrade kits for their Horus Heresy range. Whilst my lists don't have room for a heavy weapons squad, they are still pretty awesome. I really like the new Legion Champion though I won't be getting one - I'm perfectly satisfied with my own effort and while it looks very Betrayaley (new word?) it's not very Ultramarines... The thing I'm most excited about is the release of a second set of MkII Assault troops (shown above), these have a much more dynamic pose and will help me to avoid the problem of pose replication that can occur when you're dealing with small unit kits.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A long expected game

Im not in the business of discussing rumours and breaking news but I saw this at the bottom of the GW website, looks like that Hobbit game is official!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Friday, 16 November 2012

Kit-bashed Thunderhawk Construction Underway

With almost all of the parts delivered (I'm waiting on you Forge World...) I have made a start on the Thunderhawk Gunship. The Space Marine at the bottom gives you a real sense of scale, this thing is going to be massive. It's currently sat in the Dark Vengeance box and is almost the same length. At the moment I have built the core structure but it has been a real headache!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Public Awareness Broadcasts

+++Attention citizens of Calth, due to a recent disturbance by hostile forces, the Planetary Governors have seen fit to distribute the following posters to advise all citizens on how to respond to this unfortunate event. It is an offence to ignore these officially sanctioned procedures+++

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


I seem to have hit a bit of a wall with regards to painting and I'm just not able to get in the right mood to do it, at least to paint things in blue...The Apothecary however isn't blue so I was able to get him done reasonable quickly. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Thunderhawk Update

After a jolly little early Christmas bonus from work I have gone ahead and ordered the Stormravens and Forge World bits I need to complete my custom Thunderhawk gunship. The parts should be delivered soon and construction could begin as early as this weekend - though I have a busy schedule on Saturday and I still want to finish painting my tactical marines. It is more likely that I will make a start and press on with it over the following weekend.

I'm excited.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Telemechrus Arrives

I have spoken about the character of Telemechrus at length in a previous post so this is more about the finished product rather than the inspiration for it. The paint scheme was the same as the Predator, the extra layers of Guilliman Glaze being used to clear away the brush strokes. 


It's been a busy weekend and as a result I've not done as much painting as I usually do, hence the lack of posts in the last couple of days. However, that hasn't stopped over a hundred people from visiting the site - to them I say a hearty "Thank you."

Despite the rush, I have been able to get Telemechrus finished. His base is almost done, complete with dying Word Bearer (as promised), once it is all finished I will put up some pictures.

I have also completed the first of my reconnaissance marines and I'm really happy with the way it has turned out. I have now got grand designs to customise the armour and helmets of each member of the recon squad using the characters from Halo Reach as my inspiration. The key difference will be the weapons, I'm going to try and give them all sniper rifles if possible.

Friday, 9 November 2012

The Next Wave

In my last post I voiced some ideas on how I should go about developing this army, should it be for looks or for playability? At the moment, I have to say I still don’t really know. Fortunately the two ideas are not mutually exclusive as there aren’t really any ugly/boring models in Forge World’s catalogue!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Aesthetics vs. Viability

The super glue is barely dry on less than half of my recent Forge World order but I am already looking to the future. Having poured through the army lists in Betrayal I've worked out that I've got 1,800 points already, admittedly this includes three HQ choices so in real terms I have a viable army of about 1,500 points - give or take a few melta bombs. Since I don't know of anyone at my hobby story doing a 30k army I'm at a bit of a cross roads. Since I have a legit army that could be used, do I continue in the direction of competitive army lists or do I stick with the aesthetic and buy stuff just because it looks cool?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Telemechrus is a really interesting character in Know No Fear, as a newly interred dreadnaught he struggles with his 'life'. His disembodied self is trying to deal with the isolation of being cooped up in a sarcophagus and suppress a rising fear of his new existence. Abnett does a really good job of putting you inside the sarcophagus with him and you get a real insight into the sort of trials and tribulations faced by someone who is caught between life and death. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Master Chief

I love the fact that in 30k you can have scouts with power armour, a sniper rifle, melta-bombs AND a USR: Stealth upgrade!

Today being the launch of Halo 4 I've sculpted a helmet based on Master Chief's Mjolnir armour.

I shall confess that sculpting is not my forte but I'm actually quite proud of my effort here. When it's dry I can file the sides down a bit and define the edges more.

At the moment he will cut a solitary figure as I'm going to build the rest of the MkIVs as tactical marines and also because somehow I've run out of spare helmets!

Now, for a Cortana...

Monday, 5 November 2012

Forge World Care Package

Praetor Marius Gage
My Forge World care package has arrived and in all honesty I'm a little overwhelmed! That didn't stop me from getting stuck in to some building/conversion work though. I made a bee-line for the MkIV Command kit. I wasn't sure that I wanted to buy this but since placing the order this is the model I've kept coming back to in my head.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Kit-bashed Thunderhawk begins!

+++ Stage 1: Acquiring Components +++

Today is a special day because it is the beginning of a lengthy project-within-a-project; The kit-bashed Thunderhawk which I have chosen to call the Spear of Calth.

Someone start the Mark.

Captain and Champion

Since thursday I have produced a model at a rate of one a day, which is pretty poor going I feel, especially as I've been on holiday! However, the three models that I have finished have been character models so perhaps it's not too bad after all. With the completion of the Legion Champion and Captain Sydance I only have Captain Sullus to paint before I have a clear slate - at least as far as Ultramarines go, I've got quite a large back log of Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Dark Angels and Chaos cultists to get through - This is encouraging as my Forge World order was dispatched yesterday (Saturday) and should hopefully be here by Wednesday. However Halo 4 arrives on Tuesday...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Dreaming of Fellblades

Forge World call this the 'Business end'.

The Fellblade is the first in a range of Astartes pattern super-heavy tanks to be released from Forge World. I saw the prototype of this at Gamesday 2012 and have been awaiting it's release with a great deal of anticipation (they'd sold out by the time I got round to deciding I wanted one). It's a stunning model (about the size of a baneblade according to the stats) and carries some serious firepower!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Predator Executioner

Behold the Predator Executioner as it rumbles out of the Calth manufactorum! I've done my best to tie it in to the other models in the army but I've found that surprisingly difficult. With the heavy use of gold trimming on the Cataphractii I needed to find a way of applying some of that to the Executioner.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Arise, Captain Ventanus

I stated not so long ago that the reason I hadn't tackled my Honour Guard yet was that it was quite an intimidating prospect. It was, and is - I still have the other three to do but for now I am incredibly satisfied with the way my new Captain Ventanus has turned out. 

In total I used 32 different paints and 7 different brushes. At a conservative guess I would say this has taken me the better part of seven hours to do - a lot of that was time spent on the banner.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Communication on Calth was pretty dire during the Word Bearers' assault, if only the Ultramarines had used twitter instead of relying on the noosphere it might have been a different story entirely...

For those of you who are twitter minded individuals I've set up an account for this blog. Feel free to follow @calthburns (occasional retweets would be appreciated) - there is a link on the top right of the homepage.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Kit-bashed Thunderhawk

A while ago I was browsing forums and stumbled upon instructions for a kit-bashed Thunderhawk Gunship that had been conceived by the team at Games Workshop Nuneaton. The model is made out of a pair of Stormraven gunships and a Vindicator and comes out looking like a Thunderhawk that's been avoiding carbohydrates. It's not as wide as the Tartarus pattern and lacks the front sponson heavy bolters but it's undoubtedly a Thunderhawk, we might even go so far as to call it a Nuneaton pattern Thunderhawk.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Building Leptius Numinus

With this month's release of the frankly very impressive Wall of Martyrs and the forthcoming battle board pieces from Forge World (See November's White Dwarf) I have started to think about the surroundings for my army - no one wants to fight on a dull battlefield!

Silver Medals

I entered one of my Cataphractii into my local store's monthly Golden Goblin painting competition this weekend. He came in second which is an achievement. The model that took first place was a very well painted Typhus. It was the right decision as he was incredibly detailed and well put together. Overall a deserving winner - on a Calth based note, whilst My terminator was beaten by Chaos, I take solace in the fact that it wasn't a Word Bearer that beat him...

Friday, 26 October 2012

Start the mark

Had my first battle today, it might only have been a house-rules game of Arena but it was great fun and in the end the Ultramarines won! Head over to the Battle Reports page for a brief synopsis. I'll try and get a more detailed one written up over the weekend but for now let's just say that there's a reason why Lamiad is the Primarch's champion...

On a side note I'd like to say a big thank you (and hello) to the new members and people who are leaving comments, I really do want to hear your thoughts and ideas about the project so feel free to chip in!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Actual reinforcements...

So today I ordered my first wave from Forge World. Contrary to my earlier plans I've decided to go for the narrative with this order. As such I've bought kits that will allow me to create my favourite characters from Know No Fear - apart from RG of course...

So here is the run down of what I bought:

Contemptor Dreadnaught with assault cannon and power fist
10 Mk IV Space Marines
Phobos pattern bolters
Apothecary set
Space Marine Command set
MkII Space Marine assault squad
Betrayal codex

I still intend to buy the things outlined in my earlier Reinforcements post but as I said, I wanted to build the story characters first.

Don't tell my fiancée...

Faeit 212

I'd just like to say a huge thank you to Natfka over at his blog Faeit 212 for putting this blog in his weekly exchange post.

Natfka's blog is awesome and has a direct link on this blog's homepage, if you can't find it then try

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Adding some character(s)

Yesterday I finished Know No Fear, those of you who have been following this blog will know that KNF was the inspiration for this project. Now that I've finished it, I can state two things.

First of all it is a real exciting read, well crafted with plenty of detail and just the right amount of suspense. I did feel that it ended a little too soon and I wanted to know a bit more of what happened with a few of the characters (Telemechrus and Eikos Lamiad for starters).

Still a good read all round.

To business!
With KNF as inspiration I am going to try to recreate several of the key characters from the book, these being...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I discovered this morning that there is a growing twitter community who are dedicated to Forge World only armies. This is exciting because it means I have people to share ideas with and get advice from.

If you want to follow the community's progress go on Twitter and search #ForgeWorldOnly.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Despite spending quite a bit of my allocated painting time mucking about with cultists I have made a start on my Predator Executioner. It's only the turret but I'm happy with the way it has worked out. Historically I've really struggled with tanks but so far this one seems to be going alright.

I've added some designation transfers and a free hand kill-tally onto the weapon mount.

At the moment I've painted the cools to look like plasma but I'm contemplating changing them to a more solid copper. At the moment I'm just not sure which way to go.

The Enemy Without

Whilst not strictly speaking part of my Ultramarine army the guys below were (presumably) loyal at one point.

I love the Dark Vengence models but have no desire to start a Chaos army, I'm just too much of a good guy...but at the same time I am loath to get rid of them. As a result the cultists have been sitting in my big box of undercoated models, now I have an excuse to get them painted.

I don't know why I chose greys and purples but I think it works pretty well. I haven't spent too much time on them because they're only going to be used when friends are over for a game of DV. I have also never tried this combination before and it was fun working out the dynamics of the colour scheme a I went.

and if nothing else it gives my Ultramarines something to shoot at...

Friday, 19 October 2012


The Honour Guard are taking longer than anticipated, primarily because work keeps rearing it's ugly head. However this hasn't stopped me looking towards the future and my first bulk purchase from Forge World.

For good or ill, this first purchase is going to be more for aesthetic than practical gaming strategy. Partly because I don't yet have the Betrayal book (and therefore no army lists) and partly because I think that these models are cool...

So down to it:

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


I stated at the beginning of the process that this was going to be a Forge World project, I have however made a small concession in the form of the Honour Guard.

It is a pack that I've had my eye on for some time, though at £37 it was an unnecessary purchase as it did not fit in with my Blood Angels or Space Wolves. Now however I have an excuse.

There is a reference to Honour Guard in Know No Fear, admittedly they've been gunned down as they board a transport ship, but the point is that they were there and from what I have read there is a place for them in the Betrayal codex.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Captain Ventanus

He's finished!

After I'd finished the scratch-build it dawned on me quite how much detail there was on this model and I was somewhat daunted by this. However, I took my time, worked methodically and am extremely happy with the result - I even sent it to @Voxcaster but as of this moment (15th October) I've not had a retweet...

Using some of the tips that the 'Eavy Metal team gave me at Gamesday for the face made a real difference, I hate painting faces normally but this time it wasn't quite as painful.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cataphractii Terminators

It's been a busy painting session this weekend, but I've managed to get the Cataphractii squad finished.

The squad took about 8 hours to do and gave me quite a stiff neck but I'm pleased with the result. The majority of the time was spent working out the colour scheme which should mean that future painting time will be reduced.

Scorched Earth

When I'm reading Know No Fear I see scorched earth, an Aggri-world being burnt to a crisp. All of my other armies (and most of my scenery) have been done up as an urban environment using plenty of greys and metals. For my Ultramarines I wanted something that would fit in with my gaming board and yet tie in with the imagery of Know No Fear. With 'scorched earth' as my starting point I went through about a dozen different styles before I finally settled on these...

I've used lots of GW tufts and sand, I've also included some off-cuts from a Forge World sprue and hacked up movement trays as pavements. I'm pretty pleased with the look, it ties in with the Calth from KNF and still looks good on my gaming board.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Lead by Example

Meet my Captain, who is kit bashed from many pieces.

The body and shield are from Forge World's Gamesday 2011 boarding marine, the halberd is from the metal Grey Knight Terminator Captain, the banner was from the SM Devastator kit and the 'U' is trimmed down from the Drop Pod accessory sprue. Oh, and the head and Iron Halo are from the Sanguinary Guard. He's standing on a Rhino side hatch which I warped with a lighter to give it a "Is that a multi-melta pointed at-" sort of feel.

He's striking a suitably regal pose and is going to lead the army, at least until Forge World release a Guilliman model...

Colour Scheme

I want this army to be different. The models help but a big part of this project is going to be the colour scheme.

The Horus heresy was a dark time and the images and artwork from Forge World and this month's White Dwarf (October '12) are filled with mood lighting, dust, dirt and grime. As a result I want my Ultramarines to feel like they're part of these dark times.

I've gone for a darker shade of blue trimmed with a light gold. Everything is based on the GW Ultramarines scheme but I've dropped it down a notch. This is yet to be finalised but I'm pretty happy with it so far...even if it is a bit Night Lords

Friday, 12 October 2012

Know No Fear

Dan Abnett's novel 'Know No Fear' is simply brilliant and I highly recommend you getting a copy, which you can do from here...

As it states in earlier posts, if meeting the design team was the inspiration to do a Heresy army, then this book was the inspiration to paint them blue.

Buy it, read it, enjoy it.

The First Purchases

Gamesday 2012 was a blast and was really where the inspiration for this project came from. Meeting the designers and creative team from Forge World was a privilege - though I was too late to pick up a Heresy book [codex?] I did pick up some of the new releases.

So the defence of Calth begins with a squad of Cataphractii terminators and a Predator Executioner. 

The Terminators have been kitted out with combi-bolters and power fists - standard. I've sculpted some little 'U's out of green stuff and will use these to spruce the models up a bit. This was a pain and something I need to work on...

The Executioner looks fantastic and I'm pleased they'd sold out of Stormeagles (my intended purchase). I was originally handed an Infernus kit and only noticed the error when I got to the till, my heart sank when they told me they'd sold out but luckily the guy behind me had experienced the same problem in reverse and so we did a simple swap and both left happy.  

I've gone for the plasma cannons and heavy bolters out of aesthetic rather than anything else - I felt that the conversion beamer looked a bit...Doctor Who and not what I wanted, it was also heat warped which helped with the decision making.

Links to Forge World here: