Tag Archives: tabletop gaming

The Tainted (“Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Challenge, April 2021)

I have actually managed to get something completed! Presenting for this month’s challenge by Ann’s Immaterium, I show you my Tainted model for the Lord of the Rings strategy battle game, both the mounted and on-foot versions.

The Tainted is one of my hero choices for my army of Angmar, a foul ringwraith that ebbs decay and rot from his very being. I was a fan of the paint scheme he was given in the army book, the kind of spectre-like greenish glow to his robes giving me some mad Minas Morgul vibes, and so I tried to recreate this with my own miniatures. It involved a few runs of drybrushing to build up the layers of green, followed by some dulling down with Nuln Oil. It was hard to try and find a middle ground between the robes being too garish or not showing any kind of green at all, but I ended up with a result I’m happy with.

There’s not much to say regarding this fella. His base was finished with Stirland Battlemire technical paint and some Valhallan Blizzard (which might as well be my new favourite paint!) In game terms, the Tainted is a Hero of Valour, so he can take a warband of up to 15 models; he also has the spirit keyword which grants nearby Angmar orcs the Terror special rule, making it a bit more difficult for the enemy to charge into their ranks.

Anyways, thanks for reading and take care.

Hobby Progress (9th April)

Hi and welcome back to another progress update. Painting minis has been a fairly odd affair lately, as I’m really just painting whatever I feel like at the moment, rather than sticking to any one unit. I’ve drifted from the wild wargs to the Ringwraiths to the spectres on a whim. Again I find myself in the position of having lots of models nearly finished with very little actually completed.

The weather was reasonable last weekend so I was able to get my orcs primed without them blowing away. I reckon once I get the warg warband painted up then I can move onto the orc rabble for my Angmar force.

Painting the wraiths has been fairly straightforward, with only really the Tainted needing some extra work done to make him look slightly luminous and rotten. The Dwimmerlaik has been something of a test wraith for painting, but he’s endured the worst of it and come out looking alright so far. I’ve been priming them grey, drybrushing highlights and then using the Black Templar contrast paint on them, going back over with some light highlights afterwards. It’s the most painless way I can think of painting the riders in black!

Thanks for reading, take care.


I’ve not been sleeping very well over the course of the last two weeks, with sleep disturbed by odd wake-up times and the odd nightmare. As such, my day-to-day workings have been fairly skewed and that goes for the painting as well. Still, I’ve found some pockets of time to get work done on the minis in my cabinet, and have managed to finish a couple of Lord of the Rings models. Being tired as hell, they are two of the easiest miniatures that I could paint.

The Barrow-wights act as ‘captains’ for an Angmar army, being classed as a Hero of Fortitude which allows them to lead their own warband of 12. With decent stats and the ability to paralyse enemies, a Barrow-wight seems to be a bargain at 50pts. I painted them up to reflect their appearance in various pieces of Lord of the Rings artwork, having a more earthy/dead flesh colour to them than the default paintjob from the website. I would have liked to have attempted an even darker colour to match that of the spirit that appeared on the Barrow-downs in the LotR: War in the North video game, but I didn’t want them to end up blending in with the Ringwraiths.

As for the models themselves, they bring back pleasant memories. I used to have the ‘Fog on the Barrow-downs’ set that GW came out with about 15 years ago, a set that included Tom Bombadil, Goldberry and a quartet of Barrow-wights; unfortunately the contents of that kit have long since left my possession. I recently bought this pair of Barrow-wights from GW, overjoyed (and also surprised) that they were still in production.

I’m aiming to getting my Imperial Guard Scions finished by the end of April, which is a generous deadline to say the least. I’ll see how my sleeping improves.

Thanks for reading, and take care.

Hobby Progress (23rd March)

The last few days I’ve been taking it fairly easy, on the back of finishing the first draft of the latest short story I was working on. My brain took this to mean that I was now free to mosey around on Skyrim, which is what I’ve been doing for an hour or two here and there.

Hobby-wise, I’ve taken the time to work on painting up another Troops choice for my Imperial Guard, this time the Scions. There are just 5 bodies in this unit so it’s a bitesize squad to tide me over, and the paint scheme is quite simplistic. I’ve opted to go with the Iotan Dragons’ scheme, as they are a regiment that trains in dark environments and specialises in cavernous warfare, normally in the pursuit of the xenos menace. This ties in with my own army’s background, as I originally wrote them as being recruits from a harsh mining world themselves.

Secondly, I have been doing a lot of reading into the Lord of the Rings battle game lately. In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned replacing my old destroyed Witch-King with a box of Ringwraiths of Angmar. Since building the kit, I started to read up on the rules and watch a few videos, and did a little list building. Before long, I’d ordered a box of wargs, a warg chieftain (because the model is beautiful), and some Dead Marsh spectres. I would like to get a small force ready for getting out the gates and playing when society eases back into something resembling normality, and I just really love the LOTR models.

A potential theme might be an army based on the Angmar invasion force at the Battle of Fornost, lead by the Witch-King on horseback. I need to pick up a box of orcs for the actual fodder, but I’m aiming for a 500pt force that could get me through a few games and get a hang of the rules with to start out. Until then, I have a little chunk of models to assemble and paint up.

Anyway, that’s all for this post. Thanks for reading, take care.

Imperial Guard Command Squad part 1

One unit that appears to cause grief in online discussions is that of the Imperial Guard Command Squad. This is for a number of reasons, but I’ve seen boil down to their equipment loadout as well as points cost, and just the general notion that they apparently don’t fill a role that’s required in a Guard army. While these are points worthy of discussion, I prefer to think of the Command Squad as more of a centrepiece for an army than a unit that’s going to make its points back several times over.

I like the idea of a mixed unit that has various uses but also a unit that looks cool on the tabletop, and/or fits in with the army thematically. With the Command Squad kit, as well as a bunch of leftovers (seriously, where do all these extra Guardsmen keep coming from), I’ve assembled two units that can be mixed and matched depending on what I might feel like bringing to the table. There will be a following post covering the second squad.

The vox veteran relays the Company Commander’s orders from a safe distance.

This first squad is more of a long range deal, being able to hunker down and shield a Company Commander. Here we have a sniper, a vox and the lascannon heavy weapons team that I painted up a couple of weeks back. The vox would allow the Commander to issue orders to other units within range that also have a vox (which, I think, is every one) and the sniper and lascannon team could plink away at tough targets from a safe distance while the spotter gives additional cover with their lasgun.

Veteran heavy weapons team for tough armoured targets.
The deadeye marksman was trained on the expansive wastes of the regiment’s homeworld.

The heavy weapons team I’ve shown before, but have added the transfers to tie them in with the others. I feel like I’ve opened a huge can of worms by issuing squad number decals now, but it’s something that I was probably going to have to do to the remainder of the army sometime down the line anyway haha.

As always, thanks for reading and catch you all next time. Take care.

Imperial Guard Basilisk

The second vehicle to be completed for the army is the mighty Basilisk, equipped with the earthshaker cannon.

The Basilisk is the second Heavy Support choice for my army, a touch of additional firepower for the Guard and one of their more iconic tanks. While I currently have more units assembled for my Troops slots, I realised that my army was somewhat light on the heavies.

I needed artillery with silly range.

With a range of 240”, the Basilisk’s earthshaker cannon does not require line of sight when choosing a target. It also allows two dice to be rolled on deciding the number of attacks, with the lowest number being discarded. I also equipped the tank with a heavy bolter as it had to have something, but I don’t think I’d ever want it to be in the position (range, even) to use this gun. I’ve gone with no upgrades, keeping the Basilisk at 125pts, based on GW’s most recent points shift.

In terms of the crew, I understood there to be a model on the sprue, although no such model was actually shown in the pics online. The kit came in a blank white box so there were no pictures to use as reference, either. It turned out that there was one artillery officer in there, and I would have to use spares to build someone for him to scream at. I had such spares from a heavy weapons platform I hadn’t built yet, so quickly whipped up a crouching troop with leftover pieces.

The shell he’s crouching by was a spare from the Bullgryns kit and the bases were actually unused Necromunda ones, taken from my Cawdor Gang kit that I used to fill out my Word Bearers Cultists a year ago. The idea behind this was it made more sense to have the Basilisk crew on industrial bases as they would be on the gun platform, not the dirt like the rest of the army.

Anyways that’s all for this update. The Basilisk joins the Leman Russ as the backbone of my Imperial Guard heavies. Next up I’ll be working on some infantry or elites and taking a little rest from painting vehicles.

Until next time, thanks for reading and take care

Hobby Progress (13th March)

A few days ago, I made the smart decision to start building the last Imperial Guard model that was yet to be assembled, the Hellhound kit that was a gift from Christmas that I hadn’t gotten around to. Unfortunately, I forgot that there was a reason I’d been leaving this can of worms to one side for a later date.

Jokes aside, this wasn’t as painful as I anticipated. The bulk of the Chimera chassis came together easily, and the interior was fiddly as hell though I didn’t encounter anything too bad. One of the armour plates refused to seal with the plastic glue, but this was down to a wonky strut that hadn’t gone into place.

The chassis and the loose plates were sprayed in grey while the drums for the interior were primed in black, then painted up with Leadbelcher. After a black ink wash and some time to dry, I could finally put it all together. In case you can’t tell, I hate doing models in sub-assemblies. It makes me twitch, maybe because you have loads of half-painted, semi-built parts everywhere with the increased chance of something going walkabout.

It’s fully built and ready for the standard vehicle rundown, but I want to take a break from painting up another tank a) until the Basilisk is fully painted, and b) after I’ve painted up some more infantry. At this point in time I’m torn between painting the Command Squad or the Scions next.

The Tainted. He just looks really sad.

In other news, I finally replaced my Witch-king mini that got damaged beyond repair around 6 years ago. That was a Witch-king on fell beast though, a model I had built at whatever age, 15 maybe? It had been hanging on for dear life ever since and after two house moves and 12 years of bumps and scrapes, the ancient superglue and modelling cement finally gave way when my wife bumped into a table he was balancing on. I’d never seen a metal miniature break into so many pieces before.

That was probably my last metal mini, no joke. This week, however, I was looking at LOTR minis online and figured it might indeed be time to replace him. The fell beast mini was gone from GW’s store but I picked up a Witch-king happily riding his horse, accompanied by a few badass-looking Ringwraiths.

Maybe after all these years, I’ve been wrong about metal miniatures. Maybe back when I was wrestling Mordor Trolls together at the age of 15, the superglue was just bollocks. Building these guys was quite relaxing, and they required little to no clean-up (apart from the resin King himself). It’s been an hour and they still haven’t fallen apart!

As always, thanks for reading and take care.


Faithful and fanatical are the warrior-priests of the Cardinals Crimson, stalwart defenders of the Imperium in the face of its unholy enemies.

Crusaders have been a long-time favourite of mine, going back to the 5th edition Grey Knights codex. At that time, I was planning an army of the Inquisition around a certain Inquisitor who made possible entire armies of random henchmen, and the Crusaders stood out as being a survivable choice among the rabble of disposable mercenaries, operatives and thugs that you could build your force from.

Although I fell out the hobby before the plans came to anything, I continued to love the Crusaders and was very surprised to find them folded into the Imperial Guard codex, especially since now I could take an entire unit of them! For now I’ve been painting up two boxes of them, equating to 4 models. I have to say, despite being resin (or “Finecast”) they arrived in a great state, with no damages or broken limbs. The clean-up was still lengthy but that was to be expected. It was worth it.

The Crusaders wage war with the sword and shield, and have access to Acts of Faith where they can pull off an additional movement phase or reviving one of their fallen brethren, among other things. From what I have read in their rules I can only say that they sound like an interesting unit, and I look forward to the day when I can actually get a game in, let alone get to use them!

As always, thank you for stopping by, and take care.

Hobby Progress (4th March)

What I’ve done is title this post in a way that prevents me from using “WIP”, because that’s been pretty much my label for 2021 so far. Rest assured, this is still a WIP post. But I thought I would share what’s been going on anyway because a post with completed models would otherwise be a week or so away.

So there’s multiple things going on, many different units being worked on simultaneously, and they are all nearing the end. One is for the March 2021 painting challenge issued by Ann’s Immaterium, one is a unit of Crusaders, and there is also a Basilisk (with crew).

With the Basilisk, I’ve been going through the same stages as the Leman Russ before it, with the vast ink wash and drybrushing. I’ve never painted a Chimera chassis before, and it’s quite an interesting shape with lots of indents and nooks. The cannon is a treat for the eyes, so I’ve been trying to do it justice. I saw some 40k art that had the cannon with muzzle burn (not as much as a flamer would have, obviously), which I’ve tried to replicate in the picture below.

The Crusaders are nearing the end, as it’s just their shields and bases that require painting up. Painting “Finecast” is largely a gross affair though, so it’s a task that’s been taking a little longer. On the other hand the Basilisk’s crew will be easy enough- one is an officer and another a standard troop in flak armour, so standard army colours all round.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Leman Russ Battle Tank

In my previous post, I was enjoying the nicer weather and getting things moving with priming. The cold weather seems to be on the way out, but with the beautiful sunshine comes harsh winds and I’m having to hunker down again. This meant a chunk of time devoted to the Heavy Support choice that was part of the Start Collecting boxset, the Leman Russ Battle Tank (I think this also means that the boxset is now entirely built and painted!)

So with the assembly, I actually found it to be pretty fun. Maybe this is just coming from someone who is so weary of building Space Marine Rhinos over the years, but the Leman Russ was a nice change of pace. Everything seemed to fit together with no bother, the tracks went on without any screw-ups, and the instructions were clear enough. There were one or two smaller segments that were a convoluted combination of two fiddly pieces that GW could have just made into one pre-combined piece for the sake of ease, but I think I’m knit-picking.

For the painting aspect, I watched Sonic Sledgehammer’s YouTube videos for tips. I began by giving the entire tank an ink wash, followed by drybrushing the base colour to bring it back up, then adding two highlights. The tracks were painted brown and drybrushed silver, and I did little spots of weathering here and there; this included going over the decals with the base colour just to make them look battle-worn.

This Leman Russ is equipped with a battle cannon and lascannon for long range destruction, as well as two heavy bolters on the sides for any mid-range threats. There were a lot of other options on the sprue, though I felt that this loadout gives the army a good chunk of heavy firepower behind it, with enough reach to justify sitting it out of harm’s way.

On the whole, I’m pleased with how this one turned out. It was a fun experience that changed my opinion on building and painting vehicles, and has left me feeling confident for the next few ahead. Hopefully if the weather improves I can find a chance to prime the Basilisk, but otherwise I have a Sentinel that is primed and ready.

Thanks again for reading, and catch you all next time.