Saturday, July 30, 2016

What's On My Table: 7/30/2016

The march to total army completion continues, as I finish my Support Squad of plasma-gunners. Tonight, I will be working on the final leg of the army: the Heavy Support squad and the handful of remaining characters that I will be rounding out the force with. Stay tuned! Hopefully by tomorrow I will get some actual army shots!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fluff Piece: Meduson's Mauraders

"No sightings of Meduson can currently be confirmed after the Battle of Dwell and the launching of Marr's hunter-killer force. The 'shadow network' that the scattered elements of the still-fighting legion survivors from Istvaan used became filled with conflicting tales, either that he fought on still, or that he had died either on Dwell or someplace else, caught by the Sons of Horus.

Shadrak Meduson's ultimate fate is currently in question, as his identity was at some point taken by none other than Alpharius, Primarch of the Alpha Legion himself. Assuming the mantle of Meduson and garbing a unit of his own marines in Iron Hand battlegear, Alpharius' disguise was completely undetectable by the members of the Iron Hands legion he met. Travelling in a vessel that appeared to be the Iron Heart, Meduson's own flagship, Alpharius fell in with a seperate unit of mixed Istvaan survivor marines under the command of Cadmus Tyro and convinced them, in his guise as Meduson, to aid him in an action against other members of the Alpha Legion. His deception was revealed towards the end of the affair, and the survivors of Tyro's force escaped with the knowledge that Alpharius had been impersonating Meduson.

As to whether Shadrak Meduson still lives, or whether he was killed by Alpharius, or Tybalt Marr, or any other hazard to a loyalist marine operating behind enemy lines during the Horus Heresy...that is currently not yet known."

-via Lexicanum (

"Following the Drop Site Massacre, a mentally volatile Fulgrim would have Fabius Bile clone Ferrus. However these clones proved unstable and each refused to turn against the Emperor, forcing Fulgrim to once again kill his brother and driving him even madder."

-via Lexicanum (

Shadrak Meduson's amalgamation of Iron Hands, Salamanders, and Raven Guard continued their campaigns against the Traitors for long into the Horus Heresy, until he disappeared. His preferred targets were those legions who's betrayal stung the most: Emperor's Children, Sons of Horus, and Alpha Legion. Utilizing new tactics learned from collected survivors of the Raven Guard and Salamanders Legions, Meduson staged multiple raids and lightning offensives, aimed at severing the leadership of the Traitor legions.

However, after the Battle of Dwell, sightings of the Shattered Legions Warleader became sparse, conflicting, and sometimes outright contradictory. Who is to say what really happened to Meduson? I imagine we will find out in upcoming publications from the Black Library.

In the meantime, I propose this alternate backstory. Mostly it is to support my vision of my 30k forces. I hope you enjoy it...

*   *   *

After the failure of the assassination attempt on the Sons of Horus leadership, the decision was made to split the fleet into smaller raiding parties. "We present an easier target, the larger our force collected under this banner," Meduson is quoted to have said. Taking to heart the new tactics he had learned from his Salamander and Raven Guard advisors, the decision was made to split the might of the Shattered Legions, to detract attention and give credibility to the rumors that the Warleader was indeed slain.

An assassination attempt would not be successful at this point. The failure of the previous attempt meant that the guard against such a coup d'etat would be vigilant, indeed. So secondary targets were assessed, and the Shattered Legions waited, and watched.

Their careful observation was shattered when Raven Guard observers discovered a horrifying realization. They had discovered that the genetic material of the fallen Primarch Ferrus Manus was being transported by the Emperor's Children, presumably so their foremost apothecary (Fabius Bile) could begin his foul experimentation on it.

Coupled with the secret information stolen at the Battle of Dwell, this genetic material could give the Traitors the means to create their own Primarchs.

Disregarding earlier agreements to disperse the collected Loyalist forces, Meduson rapidly assembled a strike force and set off after the Emperor's Children fleet, intent on securing the genetic material of his Legion's sire. This was both an emotional and logical goal. Letting the Traitors to profane the corpse of his sire was a personal insult. Furthermore, allowing the Traitors to unlock the process behind the creation of the Primarchs would be disastrous for the Loyalists arrayed against them.

The speed in which Meduson made his decision, collected his forces, and departed did not allow for tactical data to be forwarded to his field commanders. Alone, save for the forces accompanying him, he made the utmost speed for the last known location of the Traitor fleet bearing the remains of the Gorgon.

What's On My Table: 7/25/2016 - Iron Hands Nearing Completion!

Progress marches on for the Iron Tenth. I completed the tactical squads, and have since begun to work on the terminators, completing them to a table-ready 3-color minimum.

Although they are practically clamoring for some blood effects, I am shelving them and moving on for the time being. My goal is to have the entire army's infantry painted by the weekend. The tanks will be a nice reward after that point.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tutorial: Painting Iron Hands Symbols

So last night, I broke out a test model and practiced my freehand work a tad. Since transfers cost 16 pounds (at least 20 bucks for us over here in the USA), I thought it would save me a few bucks if I learned to paint the symbols myself.

Looking at the Legion's icon, and by studying the decals themselves from Forgeworld's online store, I was able to simplify the geometry enough to achieve a satisfactory result with my paltry skills.

Here is the transfer sheet from Forgeworld:

And here is my simplified method of painting this symbol that can be achieved in small scales, even if you don't have the steadiest hand!

  1. Paint a square
  2. Paint a trapezoid underneath the square, leaving a line of separation between them
  3. Individually paint 4 thin lines for fingers, leaving the middle finger the longest (I cut off the picture above by accident)
  4. Paint a diagonal line from the side of the square for the thumb.
  5. Be sure to continue to leave a thin line of separation between all the fingers and the square.
  6. If you mess up, black paint (carefully applied) can act as your eraser.

And that is all there is to it! Simple enough that I should be able to replicate it on the 40+ marines and vehicles I have in my basic army, and I shouldn't want to poke my eyes out with forks. 

Hopefully somebody finds this helpful!

The Flesh is Weak. Raise the Storm!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Eternally in Service to the Emperor...

Who likes naming dreadnoughts? I don't. I'm not that creative, really. Post your suggestions in the comments!

Friday, July 22, 2016

What's on My Table: 7/22/2016

Work progresses on my first tactical squad. I took this shot while their basing materials dried, I have since done some washes and such on them. Almost table-top ready, though even after that point I will continue to add details once I finish the bulk of the army to table-top quality.

To break up the routine and keep things fresh, I worked on an Apothecary minor conversion (if you can even call it that). I don't have any of the specific Apothecary bits but the special paint scheme will eventually mark their battlefield roles. This one, I took time to distress the armor to make it look battleworn. Blood effects should provide a stark contrast when I get to that point.

Iron Hands 30k: Scratchbuilt Rhino

So I need a large number of transports for my mechanized vision of the legion. With that in mind... I set my lovely slave-servitor to work. (Please don't tell her I called her that...)

This is what she came up with. A few minor mistakes aside, this will be the STC for the Rhinos for the Legion. It is resplendent with Iron Hands iconography, is of appropriate design for the era, and (most importantly) it is extremely frugal! This allows me to save my pennies while greatly increasing the viability of my 30k forces.

It is a Patoroch design that I found in a back-alley of the internet. I couldn't be more happy with it. With the experience she gathered making the first one, the next 4 should go very smoothly!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Meduson "The Bloody": Leader of a Shattered Legion

Meduson is also the name of a pretty good short novel by Dan Abnett set in the Horus Heresy era. This isn't talking about that short story, this is about the character Shadrak Meduson, the reluctant leader of the 10th Legion after the fall of their Primarch, Ferrus Manus.

I've seen some decent conversions for his model, since there isn't one available from Forgeworld yet. But in my opinion, a lot of people have a tendency to over-do the conversion. I took a simpler approach... first, a bit of history though!

Shedrak was a simple Centurion, Captain and leader of a company belonging to the Sorrgol Clan of the 10th Legion. He wasn't the Iron Father in charge of his Clan. He was experienced, however, having served the Legion since the early days of the Great Crusade and being of Terran-born descent before being inducted to the Legion. When Ferrus fell, and the 10th Legion barely escaped with their lives, the leadership for the Legion was fractured. The Clan leaders decided on joint leadership, which Shedrak dissented against loudly. He thought it would be much more effective for a single leader to impose a singular will upon the Legion, much like Ferrus Manus ruled the legion under an iron fist. Despite his dissent, he deferred to their decision and the decision of his own clan leader: Jebez Aug.

From Lexicanum:
"The Clan Fathers determined to reorganise the legion along strictly traditional clan lines, although the rag-tag nature of their forces resulted in one particular change. Clan Avernii was barely represented in the force, the majority of them being wiped out alongside the Primarch on the surface of Istvaan V, and could not form their own unit. Additionally, small units of Raven Guard and Salamanders survivors had also been picked up during the escape, who needed to be fitted into the order of battle somewhere. The Fathers decided - perhaps in response to Shadrak's admonition that the legion should work closely with their cousin legionaries into developing new ways of war instead of turning to old traditions - to fold the outsiders and the disgraced Avernii into Clan Sorrgol. To make up for making Sorrgol a 'mongrel clan', the Fathers also made Jebez Aug the Warleader of the entire battlegroup. Aug, in his turn, made Shadrak Meduson his Hand Elect; his second-in-command."

However, the new ruling council's warship, the Crown of Flame (foreshadowing, or ironic?) was destroyed by a naval ambush set by the Son's of Horus who deceived the Iron Hands fleet by disguising their allegiances until it was too late. Furthermore, Jebez Aug was injured during the ambush, so he thrust Shadrak into leadership. Reluctantly taking the reigns, Meduson led his Legion in many counterattacks against the traitors for a good deal of the Horus Heresy.

To me, this indicated that his wargear would be less ornate, more pragmatic and practical. So I dispensed with the heavy armors and all the crazy adornments.... I kept him pretty simple, as I would any line-captain.

His nickname, "The Bloody", made the painting of this model very satisfying! I figured the model had better match the moniker, so I splattered on a good amount of blood effects for good measure.
I am happy to say the painting method that I drew up in my last post, was used with great results! It took me a scant few hours to paint this fellow, from start to finish. Even though I have a few embellishments to finish (eye lens, facial detailing, etc) the majority of the model is table-top ready and painted to what I would consider to be a moderately high standard. I am quite pleased with how he came out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Painting Iron Hands (Faster)- The new plan:

So I have a lot of Heresy-era Iron Hands to paint. That may be understating it. I have upwards of 40 models to paint still, including a Contemptor dreadnought as well. With so many models to paint, I needed to figure out a way to paint them faster, but I also wanted to maintain a high level of fidelity like I did previously when I applied direct line highlights -like this-.

So I have been test painting various models and I am narrowing down my available options and techniques for the black armor. So far, the method I am leaning toward looks something like this:

  1. Primer
  2. Drybrush Pewter Grey (non GW color)
  3. Drybrush Bright White (non GW color)
  4. Block paint 50/50 mix of Abbadon Black / Water or medium. (This one is the tricky part. I have to block only the inside portions of large armor panels, leaving all the drybrushed high points.)
  5. Nuln Oil wash (pretty heavy).
This cuts a lot of time out of the edge highlighting. I can always come back and do extreme highlights if I feel like it is needed, but so far the test model looks promising. I like the amount of contrast so far! Still dark and menacing, but you can see a lot of the detail now. So far, this method takes me approximately 1/3rd of the time that the edge highlighting does. So tripling my speed is something I can't complain about!

Obviously I have a lot of details to pick out. But the black is coming along quite nicely and I am pleased with it. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Iron in the 31st Millennium: Heavy Handed

I finally did it. I did not have the Stubborn USR to save me. I broke down and relented...

I am now into Horus Heresy gaming!

The more I learn about Iron Hands, especially in Pre-Heresy times, the more I like them. Cold, ruthless, efficient... everything a space marine should aspire to be. Their affinity with technology and their fraternity with the Mechanicus is yet another selling point for me.

The Ferrus Manus model is yet another. That model is absolutely beautiful.

So, when I picked up a Betrayal at Calth box set, I decided to make them all the 10th Legion. With some extra bits left over in my personal collection, plus a few vehicles, I can easily create a 2000 point list. When I can afford Ferrus Manus, that will bring me closer to 2500. Not a bad value.

So, to track my progress, I am bringing back a Paint Progress Tracker. I aim to have the entire contents completed in several weeks in order to start participating in local games.


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