Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PAINTING: Crusader on the way

With some hard graft over the weekend my Land Raider Crusader is almost finished.

I painted all of the sub-assemblies separately first and the attached them to the hull. That included the tracks, Hurricane bolters and all the hatches and weapons. When it came to painting the hull I ran out of Blood Angel Red and had to buy a new pot. Despite four or five coats of paint the finish is not as smooth as the spray colour on my other vehicles. If I paint more vehicles in the future I may have to invest in an airbrush.

The model feels strangely weighted with all the bits in place; the Hurricane bolters are really heavy and are on the outermost parts of the tank while the centre is lightweight plastic. I reckon the whole thing would fall to pieces if I had to transport it somewhere.

All that is left to paint on the hull are the lenses and viewing plates, a layer of extreme highlights and then some weathering. I also need to add the assault cannons and frag launchers.

I hope to have this model finished by the end of this week.

Monday, July 27, 2009

NEWS AND RUMOURS: Chicago Games Day 2009

Games Day Chicago took place over the weekend and some news and rumours have since emerged.

On the 40k side of things:
  • Chaos Reaver Titan is being worked on
  • Legion specific Chaos Space Marine codexes still a possibility
  • Larger super heavy kits being explored
  • Trenches and rivers being looked at for RoB board
  • More plastic regiments of Imperial Guard planned
  • Dark Eldar and Necrons are still being worked on with DE arriving first
And for WFB the big news was that Chaos Dwarfs WILL be getting an update.

In general news GW will be producing regular podcasts in the future.

There was some grumbling on Warseer about the lack of meaty rumours coming out of this and previous Gamesdays. Harry, a trusted rumour source on Warseer, had this to say:

I feel quite sorry for Jervis (and all the guys in the studio) in all of this.
They are put in a dreadful position. They can't talk about the super secret mystery release. they can't talk about the next 40K release or the next fantasy release ... what can they talk about?

I have no doubt they would love to be talking about the stuff they are working on.
There is often a real buzz in the studio when the creative juices are flowing and the art guys are coming up with new concept work and the sculptors are knocking out great sculpts and the devs are thinking up great rules and background ... projects pick up momentum and soon everyone (in the studio) is talking about a a particular project and getting sucked in by the collective enthusiasm and building and painting in preparation for the release.

Now personally I feel it is a real shame that they are not allowed to share that excitement and enthusiasm with us so that we got caught up with that wave and we started building and painting like mad for a future release. I know it works for me like that. I certainly start buying and painting in anticipation of new releases even if they are 12 months away. I have been building Nids and Wolves for a while now .... and I don't even play 40K.

I honestly don't see how it hurts to say .... 'X' army is coming and no reason you shouldn't start painting 'X' troop choice because you know were still going to be including those and we have no plans to change that plastic kit. Etc.

I understand not wanting to tip their hand to the competition but are they really so bothered about the competition? I understand wanting to keep everyone focused on the stuff they have just released but I think it is a dreadful waste of the energy and enthusiasm generated within the studio to not let some of it 'seep out' into the community.

Fine, tighten up on rumours but let the creative folks in the studio talk to the customers about whatever they are most enthusiastic about ... let them infect us with their enthusiasm and generate the same excitement in the community that exists in the studio. They are currently wasting one of their biggest assets as a company. That being the very fact that everyone in the studio are mad keen hobbyists and are as excited about this stuff as we are.

If that risks one or two competitors getting a head start ... fine, let the legal department slap them around a bit.

If some customers hold off buying some stuff because they want other stuff that's coming are they really going to spend less in the long run? Most of us spend what we spend on our hobby every month regardless. (Usually more than we should! )

What do I know I have never run a business. I guess they must have numbers.

I am also not even sure that being excited about the next army stops us spending on the current army. I think it might work on the same principal as "There is no such thing as bad press". All excitement is good excitement. It is all part of being in an exciting, vibrant creative hobby. Something I am not sure the suits fully understand.

Being excited about the future is what makes us excited about the stuff that is in front of us right now. Why else would the rumour boards be So busy??? It is not like we have not all got plenty of stuff to paint. We come here to read rumours and find motivation for our current projects.

Till then .... the odd little snippet never did any harm.

I'm currently Building Space Wolves, Tyranids and Terminators for 40K
I have also started to collect another 40K army and it is not Dark Eldar OR Necrons.
Make of that what you will.

EDIT: I risk nothing. I don't work for GW and don't know anyone who does. (beyond chatting to anyone and everyone at events). I hear stuff because I listen. A scrap here a snippet there. Put it all together with a fans understanding of who everyone is and how they work and I have some idea of what is going on and in what order things are happening.

I have pulled back a bit recently on talking about stuff that is happening a ways off because I was asked not to.

But not talking about anything at all!!! ... seems bonkers to me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

GENERAL: Bi-monthly book update bonanza!

I'm over the halfway mark in terms of New Years resolutions and I've stuck to my promise not to buy any Black Library novels for the whole of 2009. Unfortunately my acquisition of novels has only slowed down, not stopped. How, I hear you cry in some imaginary part of my brain.

Well, I won the two latest Ultramarine books by Graham McNeill in an online competition, and I've only bally well gone and done it again by winning Salamander in a similar competition on Graeme's Fantasy Book Review. Oops!

Salamander is the first full length 40k novel by Nick Kyme, who is also an editor for Black Library. It deals with the Salamander chapter of Space Marines (duh!) attacking an Iron Warriors outpost and then confronting an ancient prophecy. I followed Mr Kyme's blog as he wrote the novel and it is well worth a read if you haven't come across it before. He talks about re-retconning (is that even a word?) the Salamanders physical traits of having jet black skin and burning red eyes, which has caused some controversy amongst Salamander Space Marine fans.

I look forward to reading the book in the near future.

I rattled through the Imperial Guard codex in short order. As I mentioned in my last book update, the fact that I was reading this rather than the 5th edition Space Marine codex which I've had lying around for months was telling.

There are several different things to judge a new codex by. One of the most important is the strength of the list; both in terms of raw power and also in flexibility. I think the IG codex scores highly in both areas. The Guard now have some much needed mobility to allow them to compete in 5th edition missions, but they also have a number of ways to achieve those missions. The list is good, allowing several styles of competitive and casual play, from ground-pounders to armoured companies.

Another aim of the codex is to showcase the army itself; it's key themes, the model range and paint schemes. Some of the art in the codex is distinctly ropey (Penal Legion Troopers I'm looking at you) but in contrast the character portraits are great. The new models are pretty uniformly excellent with the Valkyrie and advisers stand-outs in particular for me. The continued support of Catachans is a good thing in my opinion.

Many people hate them but they will always have a soft spot for me as I put them in the context of films like Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Commando, Rambo and countless others. Sure, the infantry plastics are a little tired and over muscled but the newer heavy weapons and the command section plastics in particular look great. I have a stack of old Catachan models I'd love to turn into a proper army someday.

I also managed to (re)read Imperial Armour three - The Taros Campaign. This was the first IA book to contain a full campaign with the new rules and vehicles slotted into the conflict, rather than just a collection of random rules and models. For this it should be applauded as all of the latter books have also used this format. I liked the force organisation charts and some of the technical drawings and photographs.

There was much to hate, though. The maps were shockingly bad. There were loads of annoying typographical errors. And the writing was just terrible. Awful. I understand that there was a mix up at the printers and that an earlier draft of the manuscript was used, but I bought this book in 2008 and the book was first published in 2005. Could some of the spelling mistakes not have been corrected in the meantime?

I had actually started reading this book last year but never got through it, partly because of the poor writing but also because of the sheer size of the book. Reading it in bed felt like a wardrobe had toppled onto me. Just saying.

Planetstrike is the latest tome I have read. It felt a bit thin compared to the Apocalypse expansion and even the recent codexes. Although I enjoyed Apocalypse because of the fantastic photography and model porn in it's pages, I didn't get the same enjoyment from the Planetstrike book.

The purpose of the book I suppose is to flog the new terrain which accompanies it. And the terrain is fantastic. It has inspired me to finish off my siege table for 40k and I have bought the new Bastions, Craters and landing platform to go with it. These kits are excellent, they seem easy to put together and they look great.

I like the concept behind the 40k expansions as it is good to get a new way to play the game. You can then revisit your codex anew and it feels like you can rediscover your army. It shakes up the tired old rankings of good and bad units, weapons and wargear. The best thing is that it appeals to numerous armies simultaneously, so virtually everyone can feel like they got something new.

The games seem very dramatic, with action right from turn one, so I am looking forward to getting a game or three in when I get my table finished.

Dark Apostle was the only Black Library novel I read in the past two months. It got off to a great start with a tight narrative and lots of action. Anthony Reynolds was not afraid to play with my expectations of the characters, some of them dying hideously unexpected deaths and some suffering worse fates. I think this is one of the plus points of writing from the bad guys perspective; all normal bets are off!

The only criticism I had was the end of the book. It wanders around a bit, not entirely satisfying the narrative that has unfolded so far. Obviously this is because it is the first of the series so the future conflicts need to be constructed, but it felt a bit clunky. Still, I enjoyed this book and will seek out the next in the series.

The last book on my books read list is Soldier. I only included it on the list because I thought it might be of some use to provide background material for my IG. And that is all it was good for as it was a poor read. It was very dull, ultra-conservative and toes the (Conservative) party line - to be expected I suppose.

That's all I'll say on that other than I won't be adding such books to my reading list in future. They are of limited interest to other readers anyway and just clog up the list. The last such book on there is Bomber Boys, so once that is read it'll be GW publications only.

Whew, that was a lot of books!

It feels good to have crossed the titles off my list, though, and reduced the reading pile.

Books read
  • Imperial Guard codex
  • Dark Apostle
  • Imperial Armour Three: The Taros campaign
  • Soldier
  • Planetstrike

Books bought
  • None

Books wanted
  • Red Fury
  • Planetkill
  • Titanicus
  • Imperial Guard Omnibus Volume 1
  • Creatures Anathema
  • The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
  • Imperial Armour IV: The Anphelion Project
  • Tales of Heresy
  • The Grey Knights Omnibus
  • Heroes of the Space Marines
  • Scourge the Heretic
  • Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium
  • Rogue Star
  • Star of Damocles
  • Lord of the Night
  • Emperor's Mercy
  • Fallen Angels
  • Heart of Rage
  • Dark Disciple

The reading pile

  • Liber Chaotica
  • Storm of Chaos
  • Imperial Infantryman's Primer (Damocles Gulf edition)
  • The Life of Sigmar
  • Faith and Fire
  • Cardinal Crimson
  • Kill Team
  • Annihilation Squad
  • Space Wolf
  • Ragnar's Claw
  • Grey Hunter
  • Soul Drinker
  • The Bleeding Chalice
  • Crimson Tears
  • Codex: Space Marines
  • Warriors of Chaos army book
  • Disciples of the Dark Gods
  • Bomber Boys
  • The Killing Ground
  • Courage and Honour
  • Salamander
The book review will be back in two months.

Friday, July 24, 2009

NEW MODEL FUND: Quick update

I was pondering my New Model Fund this morning and rereading some of my previous blog entries and discovered that I had put a few items up for sale on eBay, sold a couple and then forgot to add the cash to my fund.

I sold an old Eldar codex and a writing magazine and pulled in £14.49. I've added this to the totals in the right column.

I'll be back with a proper New Model Fund update next month.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

PAINTING: Lemartes reporting for duty

Here is the finished Lemartes, Guardian of the Lost.

I picked the model up last year, planning to use him for the Gauntlet tournament but he arrived late from Games Workshop mail order and he has sat languishing in my games room ever since. I had thought about converting him as I don't like the look of the model but I ran out of time for the Tale of 40k Painters so I just glued him together, added a couple of extra purity seals on the jump pack and painted him up.

He was a pretty easy model to paint; I just followed what I did previously when painting Chaplain Diavolo. I did dial the blue armour highlights back a bit though, which shows in the photograph. I'm particularly pleased with the skull helmet which I blended through six stages of highlights.

So with Lemartes done I just have one model left to paint to take me up to 2000 points - the Land Raider Crusader. I plan to have it done by the end of the week.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 20, 2009


I have loads to report on this week as I have received the latest issue of White Dwarf in the post today, and I have also gotten newsletters from GW and Forge World.

Planetary Empires
This is released on 15th August and contains 48 tiles, 96 banners, 48 other map pieces (12 power stations, 12 command bastions, 12 shield generators, 12 manufactorums) and a campaign booklet.The Hive city tiles are available separately from GW mail order and are £5 for two. They look suitably large compared to the other map pieces.

Jervis has created some strategy cards for use in Planetary Empires which will be published on the GW website.

There are two major features on Planetary Empires in WD and quite a few ideas for painting the tiles. I particularly like the Ice World version.

The Strongpoint boxed set of two Bastions and three Aegis lines came out on Saturday gone, as well as the Blastscape craters. I picked up one of each as well as a landing pad. That little lot should keep me occupied for quite some time.

Space Marine second wave
Of less interest to me were the new Space Marine Land Speeder Storm, Ironclad Dreadnought, Vulkan and Khan. None of them are available to my Blood Angels so I just walked straight past them in the store at the weekend.

How to paint Citadel tanks
Released on 1st August this is a 96 page book full of modelling and painting advice. I'm a little wary of this as I'm sure I've seen some of the sample pages in WD and on the GW website previously. I'll have to have a closer look when it is in the shops.

Hellhound and Demolisher
Both tank kits are released on 1st August. The Hellhound kit also includes the parts for a Bane Wolf and Devil Dog while the Demolisher kit allows you to construct an Executioner and a Punisher.

Black Library
The Ravenor omnibus by Dan Abnett is on sale now and contains all three previously released novels and a short story.

Emperor's Mercy was written by Henry Zou and has been pushed heavily by the Black Library; there is even a short extract in WD. I'm not sure why GW have changed their advertising strategy for this book. Is Henry Zou a new writer who needs a helping hand or are BL simply impressed by the book? I shall look out for reviews elsewhere in the blogosphere to find out.

Forge World
The latest newsletter contained information about the Ork halftrakk which will have rules in the next Imperial Armour book after the Siege of Vraks part 3.

You can also pre-order an Ork transfer sheet and a Vulture/Valkyrie transfer sheet. Everything mentioned above will be released on the 27th July.

White Dwarf
Games Workshop announced a welcome addition to their website in the form of the White Dwarf archive - a collection of PDF articles culled from the pages of old White Dwarf magazines.

And that's more than enough for one week.

Pilgrim out...

Monday, July 13, 2009


The big news over the last week is official confirmation from Games Workshop that the Space Wolves will be released this October. I got an e-mail newsletter direct from GW yesterday with the following image:

The additions look characterful and rather nifty to me although I'm not too sure about the haircut!

The e-mail links to a blog entry on the GW website. I have reproduced the brief text below:

The Space Wolves are the most fierce and barbaric of all the Space Marine Chapters. Each Space Wolf is a noble and proud warrior, who has inherited the battle-lust and heroism of their ferocious forebear; yet their actions are tempered by cunning, just as their raw strength is augmented by power armour, boltgun and frost axe. They are the warriors of myth, the Sons of Fenris and of Leman Russ and in their wake legends are born.

This October, the enemies of the Imperium tremble at the coming of the Space Wolves. One of the most iconic and best-loved armies ever to grace the battlefields of Warhammer 40,000, the return of the Space Wolves has been eagerly awaited by hobbyists everywhere.

This stunning Grey Hunter is just one of the incredible new releases that will be arriving in a Hobby Centre near you in October! If you want to learn more about the new Space Wolves releases, check out White Dwarf Magazine for more information.

BDJV is running a rumours thread over on Warseer. The salient points are:
  • The Space Wolf codex has been written by Phil Kelly.
  • Lightning Claws are called Wolf Claws in the new codex, you can choose to either re-roll to hit or to wound.
  • Canis Wolfborn is the new SW SC; He's riding a very big wolf in a not so weird way as that sounds. Let just say those bloodcrushers look like grots!!! Also Canis is power armoured and has 2 wolf claws. The wolf has some cybernetic bits on it. IIRC taking Canis also allows you to take two cav choices, 1 can be SW mounted on wolves, the other is just wolves.
  • Njal Stormcaller returns to the Codex with a new model, holding a gnarled staff out before him.
  • Bjorn the Fellhanded returns to the codex.
  • All special characters have been resculpted.
  • Wolf Scouts will remain the same and they also have the option be mounted in a Land Speeder Storm.
  • There will be 2 main plastic kits, however 1 of them can be used to make pretty much every SW troop choice by combining the oooodles of spares on the sprues with normal vanilla marines kits (e.g. a box of devastators plus the extra from the sprues will make your Longfangs. IIRC there are around 30+ heads on the sprue!!! there may also be a special vehicle, but I'm not sure if it's a complete kit or if there will be an upgrade sprue to add to the existing kit.
  • There's also a funky new way of kitting out your characters called Sagas, it is similar to the Vampiric Powers used by WFB Vampire Counts, but IMO much more fitting for SW, and very fluffy, in fact it is IMO one of the best ideas GW have had in ages. You choose "sagas" for your characters, perhaps someone with Saga of the monster killer (I made that name up by the way) may be better at killing monsters (high strength things) in some way, although there could be drawbacks to this as he may need to kill so many of such things per game to continue his saga......
  • Space Wolves gain access to an Assault Cannon Land Raider variant.
  • The current options for jump packs are going to change. BTW Jump Pack marines are called "Skyriders" in SW Codex.
  • Plastic Wolfguard Terminators; they are ambidextrous, ie they will have right and left handed weapons options like Stormbolters.
  • When asked about Pack/squad size, Brimstone says that Space Wolves will be even less Codex Astartes than they were before.
I'm quite excited about the Space Wolves codex, not because I want to collect the army but because it brings the prospect of a Blood Angels codex that much closer!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


With the end of my Blood Angels army painting in sight I've begun to think more and more about painting my Ork army.

I plan to paint 1500 points by August 2010 and I want to use my existing models as my core. In fact I may even be able to complete the whole army without buying a single extra model. Of course it will probably be pants on the tabletop but hey, even I can't complain about getting a whole army on the battlefield for no additional expense!

The army will be built around Ghazghkull as I already own his model. Naturally he will be accompanied by a horde of Boyz on foot. This is for three reasons; first I already own the models, second it's fluffy and third they work well with Ghaz's special rules. I own a mix of slugga boyz, shoota boyz and 'ard boyz.

I have three Mega armoured Nobz who will act as Ghaz's personal body guard.

I plan to have a second HQ choice of the Warboss from the Black Reach set. He will take to the battlefield with 6 Nobz also from Black Reach, with one free with White Dwarf. I think I have a Painboy model kicking around somewhere so I may add him to this unit.

The three Deff Koptas round out the selections from Black Reach. My second Fast Attack slot will be filled by a unit of Stormboyz I have had kicking around for an age. I believe I have eight of them.

Heavy Support will come in the shape of three Killa Kans which I'll have to dredge out of my bits box.
That should make quite a formidable horde on the tabletop. The tactics would be to advance the boyz behind the Killa Kanz and maybe the 'ard boyz for a turn or two then get Ghaz to unleash his souped up Waaagh so everyone achieves combat. The Deff Koptas and Stormboyz have the speed to act as mobile reserves plugging whatever gaps appear. Ghaz and the Warboss with their retinues would be tasked with taking down the toughest parts of the enemy army.

If I was to buy models to add to the army they would be Trukks and Battlewaggons because mechanised is the way to go in 5th edition, and Kommandos, Gretchin and Warbikes just because I like the models. I'd also like to add a Stompa right at the end for Apocalypse games.

None of those are essential by any means, though, so I may go all the way through 2010 without buying a new model as I did in 2009!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

NEW MODEL FUND: Plans and schemes

I still haven't gotten around to selling anything on eBay as I have been trying to finish off my Blood Angels army ahead of Planetstrike. In my last NMF update I mentioned I had won £150 and would put this toward Planetstrike purchases.

Well, the book was released last weekend and I bought it, along with the limited edition mines, bombs and booby traps. The Skyshield landing pad was also released but that will keep; I'll buy it along with the larger boxed sets of bastions and defence lines later on.

So out of the £150 kitty I have spent £26.75 and have£123.25 left.

Since my last NMF post GW have also announced that there will be a further Battlescape scenery piece with a ruined Rhino buried into some craters, surrounded by shredded trees. It looks great and I'd like to pick once of those up too.

With that in mind, here's what else I plan to purchase:
  • Imperial strongpoint £53.85
  • Skyshield landing pad £23.50
  • Blastscape craters £11.75
  • Battlescape £14.70
Even with the addition of the Battlescape piece I would still have around £20 spare for more scenery. I will read through the Planetstrike book thoroughly and then decide if I want to buy extra pieces themed around some of the strategems.

I've been looking at my finances in a more general sense recently and they don't make for great reading. Despite my economy drives over the past eighteen months or so my situation is still a little precarious.

Because gaming is a luxury and not a necessity it will be one of my first activities to feel the pinch. I really need to buckle down and sell some of my stockpile of models in the coming months to make a dent in my debts.

It also means I may have to sell some models I had previously planned on keeping. Prime candidates are the Catachans I recently stripped. I found I had more of the models than I had thought, many of them metal, and they may bring some much needed cash in. If things get really desperate I may have to sell a painted army too, but that will be a last resort.

Of course any money I make will still go into the NMF but as I have made a resolution not to buy any models this year the fund is largely notional at the moment. Once my finances are back in order I plan to cash in the fund and buy big!

Friday, July 10, 2009

PAINTING: This n that

I haven't got nearly as much painting done as I had hoped, partly due to bad planning and partly because I'm not in the mood. I have a day off work and painting is meant to be fun and relaxing so when it feels like an effort I don't want to push myself.

Even so, I have painted something.

First up are the armour plates for the Hurricane Bolters. The iconography is my usual Snakebite Leather, Desert Yellow, Bleached Bone combo with a wash of Gryphonne Sepia and then some Skull White highlights. I still need to paint the recesses and then touch up the red. I'll probably paint the top and bottom bits in a metallic colour too.

I also spent some time on the gunner.

I wish I'd painted him in separate bits because I had a devil of a job getting in to all the nooks and crannies. I highlighted the red up from Blood Red through Blazing Orange to Fiery Orange. To set the gunner apart from the vehicle I highlighted him again with Skull White mixed into the Fiery Orange.

As I wanted to make progress with my Blood Angels but I wasn't feeling creative I decided to undercoat my Lemartes model and paint his base. It was a quick job but still needed doing.

While I was painting his base my mind turned to the other Blood Angels character models I have. I've put them to one side because they are already painted, albeit to a comparatively low standard. Nevertheless they were still usable in games so I thought I was better off concentrating on my unpainted models first. Their bases were painted green rather than the brown my new Blood Angels are based with now, so I thought I'd bring them up to date.

So, I didn't finish my Land Raider but at least I have something to show for the day.


Well, I haven't had a good start.

I quickly discovered that I didn't have enough Mechrite Red to cover the Crusader. Oops!

All of my previous Blood Angels vehicles have been sprayed with Blood Red spray but this is long discontinued and my stash has now been exhausted. My Crusader would be the first real vehicle to be painted with paint. I'm a little concerned about how it will fit with my existing models - I guess I'll find out soon (but not quite as soon as I thought!).

With the main hull of the tank out of commission I turned to the extra bits and pieces. I had already assembled the Hurricane Bolters, which was a tough task given that I'm working with the old metal model. I sprayed them black and then drybrushed Boltgun Metal over the top. I drybrushed Mithril Silver over that and then washed them with Badab Black. This morning I tidied up the black casings and highlighted them with Codex Grey.

Fortunately I had already painted some of the hatches and plates with Mechrite Red before it ran out. That means I should be able to complete them today. I added another layer of Blood Red then washed them with Baal Red previously so this morning I reapplied the Blood Red. My next task will be to highlight them.

Okay, here we go again...

PAINTING: On a crusade

I haven't blogged about painting my Blood Angels for a while. That's about to change as I have a day off work and I'm settling in for a monster painting session. My rather lofty aim is to completely finish my Land Raider Crusader. Yeah, right.

Anyhoo, I'll be coming back every few hours to chart my progress, hopefully with photographs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

NEWS AND RUMOURS: The Khorne Identity

I don't have anything to report on regarding 40k given that Planetstrike was launched at the weekend, so I guess it'll be a week or two until the next batch of rumours surface. I bought the Planetstrike expansion on Saturday and read most of it on Sunday. I'll finish it off shortly and then start making my nefarious plans. Bwa ha ha!


I have heard a few things about Black Library books, though.

I'm most excited about Blood Pact by Dan Abnett. The good news is that after some delay he has finished writing the book. According to his blog it is a more character driven, espionage type novel than Only in Death and he has jokingly subtitled it The Khorne Identity. The book is expected to be ready by late September for Games Day UK.

Dan also talks at length about his forthcoming Space Wolf book Prospero Burns which is a tie in with Graham McNeill's A Thousand Sons. I'll simply quote him here rather than paraphrase his words:

So, now, as the temperature pushes into the thirties, the cats are flaked out like discarded draught-excluders wishing their fur coats were un-zippable, and Roddick and Federer fight it out to the bitter end, I’m girding my loins for the next big project. Yes, folks, it’s Prospero Burns (Mongomery’s less-well known brother).

Stop me if you’ve heard this, but, originally, I was going to tackle the Thousand Sons side of the deal, and Graham was going to handle the Space Wolves. The reason for this - and I really do understand that the following revelation is such a heretical statement that Eisenhorn might have to come and shoot me through the lungs - is that I don’t really like Space Wolves.

All right. Stop yelling. Stop it. Stop. I KNOW, okay? I know. Let me explain. I think the Space Wolves are great. They are a great, vivid, visceral element of 40K, great to play, great to collect. But for use in fiction they are, to me, too on the nose. They too obviously resemble the source of their inspiration. Think of it this way: I could write a novel about a chapter of space marines, who originated on a tough, unforgiving world of high plains and grassy savannahs. The chief way of life was as drovers, driving the million-animal herds of gigantic, and often very dangerous, grox across continents. This work bred men who were tough, weather-beaten and wily, relentless, dogmatic, reflective, but mercurially fast. They evolved quick wits and cunning, and quick reflexes, but they could also sit in the saddle for days, biding their time. They were almost empathically connected to their loyal steeds. They knew how to chase, hunt, defend the herd, bring down a big bull. And the very toughest and most promising of these drovers were selected by the mysterious warriors, who lived in their isolated fort on the isolated mountain, to be inducted into their ancient order of space marines.

Sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? Sounds like a decent basis for a chapter, right?

Now what if I said the chapter was called the Six Shooters? And that their armour design included chaps, a bandana and a ten gallon hat? Oh, and spurs? And they were famous for their trademark ‘two-bolt-gun’ holsters?

You see what I mean?

The inspiration is fine. The Thousand Sons are Aztecs. The Blood Angels are goth vampires. The Imperial Fists are Romans. The White Scars are a mongol horde. The Iron Hands are robots. The Ultramarines (and, hell yeah, the Iron Snakes) are Greeks. The fact is that all of them have taken the point of inspiration and run with it. They’ve put the background idea through some kind of creative filter to make it both richer and less obvious. But the Space Wolves are exactly what they appear to be, with no filter and no remove, which makes them giant fun on the gaming table, and a giant pain in the arse in a novel.

So anyway... I finally suggested to Graham that I should take the Space Wolves, because it would force me to find a way into them. I’ve already seen the work he’s doing on the Sons, and, oh my god, it’s mouth-watering. His book, which will be called A Thousands Sons (one of those instances where the legion name is so good, you don’t need to invent a better book title), is going to be packed with great ideas. We’re knocking stuff back and forth, and a momentum is building. For my part, I’m filling my workspace with all things Norse and Viking, and Icelandic and barbarian. You wouldn’t believe the sources I’m going to. I want the Space Wolves to be ABSOLUTELY the Space Wolves all of you out there love, AND YET something you’re not expecting; something that’s gone through a filter; something that makes you all go “Christ in a longboat! I have never thought of them like that!”

Another snippet of news from the Black Library is that Steve Parker has handed in the first draft of his Crimson Fists book Rynn's World. According to the Black Library the book will be released in February 2010.

I also spotted some advance orders in the painting and modelling tools section of the Games Workshop website. They are the water pot, which looks like it has spaces to hold brushes upright in the water, and a mixing palette. I'm not sure I'm sold on either of these items but at least they come cheap at £2.95 each.

That's all for now - I'm off to pick a planet to invade!
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

GENERAL: Outstanding

You can read my final blog post regarding the 2005 Gauntlet tournament here. It's a round up of the final results and my thoughts on the day. Good stuff.

That brings my battle reports coverage of all my tournament games to a close and the only outstanding games left are for one campaign. I'm not sure exactly when I'll get round to them as I'll be concentrating on getting my Blood Angels painted for the next week or two but I'd love to get them out of the way.

With Planetstrike looming too I'm going to be a busy boy...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

GENERAL: Blood for the Blood God!

I've just posted my third and final Gauntlet tournament 2005 battle report here.

I had already won the first two games handily so I was in the running to win the whole tournament. Of course, my opponent had also won his previous games too, so he wanted to win just as much as I did. I was using regular Chaos Space Marines while his Chaos Space Marines were all Khorne worshippers. It was a great game to end the day.