Posts Tagged ‘Warhammer 40k’

Imperial Space Marine 2016

As you will probably be aware, this weekend GW are celebrating 30 years of the venerable Space Marine. I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you some of the limited edition models painted by the Warhammer World Studio to mark the occasion. From left to right we have a White Scar painted by James Karch, my own Space Wolf and an Ultramarine by Dan Hyams.

These models are currently on display in the store cabinet at Warhammer World. If you are in the area why not pop in and take a look.


Happy New Year! Instead of partying into the early hours last night I stayed in and managed to finish my bounty hunter character for Inq28 (I know, I’m so cool). It’s been a long road with this model but he is finally complete. Initially, I was uncertain how to paint him but once I’d settled on the light grey body armour the rest seemed to come together quite naturally.


I think this is one of the models I am most proud of to date. I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone on this project in terms of kit-bashing and it is the most heavily converted model I own. I am also really proud of him because he is the most original model I have created. Many of my conversions have been copied from White Dwarf or inspired by something off the internet but with this guy the whole concept and execution was my idea.


I was at one point concerned that the model had too much black on him but I have tried to paint the different black areas differently so as to distinguish them from one another. The leather coat was blended up through blue-grey highlights whereas the gauntlets were highlighted by adding khaki to black. The gun casting has sharper, more harsh highlights in pure grey to make it look like a hard, cold material to distinguish it from the fabric areas. Splashes of red were also used on the model to tie him in with Inquisitor Sterne and to add some visual interest.





Inq28 Bounty Hunter

Work continues on the bounty hunter for Inquisitor Caleb Sterne’s retinue. I am really pleased with the face as it has turned out exactly the way I envisioned him: a hard-bitten veteran of many adventures. I think the stubble and shaved head really add to this.

Inq28 Bounty Hunter

The colour scheme was one of the hardest parts of this model to figure out which is why there has been such a delay between finishing building him and getting some paint on him. Initially, I knew I wanted a lot of black on him but didn’t have a clearer idea than that. In the end I opted for a colour scheme which would give him an individual look but also tie him in with Inquisitor Sterne. For that reason I painted the black coat and grey armour using the same methods as I used for the inquisitor. I then added some chips and scratches to the armour and glazed the bottom of the armour plates with Agrax Earthshade thinned with Lahmia Medium to make them appear well used, further emphasising the nature of the character.

Inq28 Bounty Hunter

In other news, I can announce that I will be returning to Warhammer World in the new year for a three-month stint as a Studio Painter. I really enjoyed the experience last time and am looking forward to going back.

Have a great Christmas everybody!


Inq28 Bounty Hunter

Another common Inquisitorial agent is the bounty hunter, individuals skilled in hunting down criminals whose skills are of great use to Inquisitors. While building this model I had an image of Harlon Nayl from Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn and Ravenor books in my head. He is described as wearing a long stormcoat over a black bodyglove and having a shaved scalp. While the model isn’t intended to be a direct representation of Harlon I have incorporated elements such as the long coat and shaved head (although I left the original Mohawk as it looked cool). I also gave him some body armour, always useful when your line of work involves being shot at a lot.

Inq28 Bounty Hunter

The main part of the model is made from a Cadian’s torso attached to the legs of one of the ever-useful Dark Vengeance cultists. I really like the design of the lasguns carried by the scions and converted a pair of arms from the scions kit to fit. I resculpted the left shoulder and hid my rough greenstuff work under a kroot shoulder pad adorned with an etched-brass symbol. A small holstered knife provided the finishing touch to the weapon and gives the impression that he is armed to the teeth. The rest of the model was decorated with purity seals, pouches and grenades.

Inq28 Bounty Hunter

I decided not to use the backpack from the scions kit as the hanging wires attached to the weapon hid the trenchcoat which is one of the defining features of the model. Instead I used a pouch from the ogryns set as a backpack and attached a space marine knife.

Overall I am very pleased with this model, especially as I didn’t have a clear idea of what parts I was going to use at the beginning, just an image of what kind of character I wanted him to be. The rest was a case of trial and error using blu-tak to try out the parts first before gluing them together.

The year was 1995. X-Files was on the telly, Braveheart topped the box office and kids traded Pogs in the playground. It was the year the charts resounded to the beat of ‘The Macarena’, the UK was gripped by Girl Power and Robbie Williams split from Take That. But more importantly for me, in November of that year, I walked into a newsagents and picked up my first copy of White Dwarf. Yes, dear reader, that means that this month marks my twentieth year in the hobby!

White Dwarf 190. My gateway into the hobby.

White Dwarf 190. My gateway into the hobby.

A Personal Journey

Twenty years is a big chunk of my lifetime (nearly two thirds) and, although a lot has changed in my life over those two decades, the hobby has always been an important part of it. From the age of 11, I avidly played Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 along with D&D and other assorted roleplaying games. This was an exciting time for Games Workshop, the fourth edition of Warhammer and second edition of 40k had just been released, codifying and developing the two universes and introducing the format of the ‘boxed game’ which is now the norm for new editions. This period marked a massive period of growth for the company which expanded into many overseas markets. It was also the time when everything was bright red. The grim darkness of the far future was surprisingly colourful back then.

Excitingly, when I started sixth form a few years later, GW acquired the license to produce models for New Line Cinema’s Lord of the Rings franchise. I had a part-time job at the local Co-op at the time and used the money to fund my avid collecting of these models. I still believe that these are some of the best models GW have produced to date and the game was one of the most elegant rule sets ever written.

I read Lord of the Rings in high school. I also painted tiny metal models of the characters.

Throughout my time at uni I, like many people, dropped out of the hobby for a while but would still buy the occasional copy of White Dwarf to see what was going on and picked up the odd set of models from time to time. I really got back into the hobby during my PhD. It was during this period that I really began to develop my skills as a painter (and, incidentally, when I started this blog) thanks in no small part to the Imperial Armour Masterclass books and the excellent ‘Eavy Metal guides that appeared in White Dwarf at this time.

Since then I have become a qualified teacher and helped to run a games club in the school where I worked, I have realised a long-held ambition to have a model featured in White Dwarf and I even spent a short time working for GW as a studio painter.

What’s Changed?

So, what has changed in my twenty years in the hobby? Here are my five biggest changes in no particular order:

  1. The Rise of Plastic – What is undoubtedly the biggest change for me is the rise in plastic. Back in 1995 most models were lead and plastic was mainly used for weapons, shields and steeds. The majority of the plastic models from the time were cheap mono-pose models which could be used to bulk out regiments. Nowadays, most of GW’s kits are high-quality, multi-part plastic which is not only easier to work with but also allows a far greater degree of versatility.
  2. Things are Less ‘Epic’ – Back in 1995 Epic was the third core game and really was the driving force behind the development of the 40k universe. Leman Russ tanks, Waveserpents and Imperial Knights are just three models to be introduced by Epic that have since become staples of the 40k battlefield. Sadly, as the ability to produce these models in 28mm scale was developed, the game was scaled back and eventually dropped in 2013.
  3. The End of the World – Yep, this is a biggie. Earlier this year, Games Workshop took the bold step of blowing up the Warhammer World and ushering in the Age of Sigmar. You can read my thoughts on the subject here and here.
  4. The Horus Heresy – Back in 1995 the Horus Heresy was a myth and the only Primarch models were the Epic-scale Daemon Primarchs (see, I told you Epic always got there first). We were told that 10,000 years ago there was a civil war but the details were deliberately sketchy and vague and it was presented as a mythical age shrouded in mystery. Now the Black Library are chronicling the events of the Heresy in meticulous detail and Forge World have released a fantastic range of models including some of the Primarchs themselves.
  5. The Decline of the Specialist Games – What would come to be known as the ‘Specialist Games’ range was really kicked-off in 1995 with Necromunda, which detailed the political rivalries and inter-gang warfare of one individual hive city in the 40k universe. This was followed by other fan-favourites such as Gorkamorka (1997), Battlefleet Gothic (1999) and Inquisitor (2001) which all explored different facets of the 40k universe. GW also launched the millennial Mordheim (1999) which ‘celebrated’ the year 2000 with its darkly comic play on Y2K fears. It is safe to say that without these games the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes would not be quite so rich and detailed as they are today.


I put the following question to Twitter:

This is what you had to say:

2 3 4 6 7 8 9

Have Your say

So, do you have a personal story to tell about your time in the hobby? What are your thoughts on the biggest changes to the hobby in the last twenty years? Leave your comment below.


Here are my assorted characters for Inq28. Initially the models were created to be a part of my Inquisitor’s retinues but as I worked on them they have developed their own characters and I am planning on splitting them into two warbands, one for my Inquisitor and one for my Rogue Trader. I imagine the Rogue Trader to be an ally of my Inquisitor who provides him with transport when needed which means the warbands will fight together on occasion, allowing me to mix and match models for different scenarios.

Rogue Trader

The first character is a Rogue Trader inspired by an old illustration by John Blanche. The model is the chaos cultist wearing a commissar’s from the Dark Vengeance set. His head was swapped for one from the Empire Greatswords and the arms come from the Scions kit. A bit of greenstuff work filled in the rest.

Rogue Trader

Initially he was intended to be used in my Inquisitor’s warband but I decided that Rogue Traders are too important to just be henchmen and decided to give him his own warband. Plus I liked the idea of playing with a Rogue Trader and his retinue as the swashbuckling fortune-seekers would play very differently to the more austere Inquisitors and their agents. I would like to add some abhumans or aliens to his warband at some point in the future.

Heavy Stubber

The next guy is a heavy stubber-wielding muscle man who will form part of the Rogue Trader’s retinue. Again, a Dark Vengeance cultist with a simple head swap and some added details. For this guy I wanted to stay clear of the usual archetypes of him being a hive ganger or former guardsman as these character types usually are. Instead I see him as a rating or other crewman from the Rogue Trader’s vessel who labours on the ship and is strong enough to carry a heavy stubber.

Adeptus Arbite

Adeptus Arbite

Here is an Adeptus Arbite enforcer who is one of my Inquisitor’s retinue. The conversion is closely based on one I saw on The Convertorum and is a combination of Scion and Mechanicum parts with a shield taken from the Ogryn set.


I was always very fond of Magos Delphan Gruss from the Inquisitor game and knew I wanted to include a techpriest in one of my warbands. I have seen loads of conversions based on the Vampire Counts wraith model but I wanted a more traditional, human-looking magos. the model itself is a data-smith from the Kastellan Robots kit with a simple head swap. He will probably join the Rogue Trader’s crew, helping to maintain the ship and using his position to explore the galaxy for STCs and other archeotech.

Combat Servitor

The techpriest will be joined by a combat servitor kitbashed from Mechanicum and Scion bits.

Because a number of models intended for my Inquisitor’s retinue have been co-opted into the Rogue Trader’s warband I will need to create some more models to accompany my Inquisitor into battle. I have already started work on the next conversion and hope to share him with you soon.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor

I’m very excited to finally have this model finished. I have been working on and off on this project for quite some time now, trying out various ideas and trying to get the right parts for the conversion. There were times when I doubted my own ability to pull this off or struggled to get him to look the way I imagined him and more than once I set him aside to work on other projects.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor

I have always been inspired by the so-called Inq28  movement (aka ‘Inquisimunda’)* which has been around on forums for a while now and the ‘Blanchitsu’ series of articles in White Dwarf and Warhammer: Visions and wanted to make my own Inquisitorial warband in a similar spirit. Those of you who have been in the hobby a while may also recognise the other obvious inspiration for this piece: the 54mm Inquisitor Covenant model from 2001. This isn’t an attempt to replicate the original model exactly but is rather done in a similar spirit.

The original 54mm Inquisitor Covenant model by Games Workshop

The original 54mm Inquisitor Covenant model by Games Workshop

Although I have been in the hobby for 20 years, converting and sculpting are two things that I have not really done much of over the years and so this project was an opportunity to try out new things and really push myself in those areas. This model is a fairly basic kitbash based around a Warhammer Chaos Sorcerer with a Space Marine torso. The hood is sculpted on with greenstuff.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor

The arms were a bit of a problem and show the difficulty I had in sourcing some of the parts. Originally I was planning on using Space Marine scout arms as they have sleeves rather than armour and the gloves are a close match for Covenant’s gloves on the original model. However, I couldn’t get them to look right holding a sword and so I tried him holding a shotgun but that didn’t look right either. In the end I settled on a pair of Grey Knight arms with the stormbolter clipped away and replaced with a small shield. In game terms this will be some kind of force field generator. Initially, I was worried that this would make him look too much like a Space Marine but I think the paint job prevents that.

Below is a work-in-progress photo which should help you see which parts I’ve used.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor

The backpack is an old metal piece taken from a Space Wolf Scout. It works well and the scanner helps to balance the huge sword on the other side. I did toy with the idea of a shoulder-mounted MIU weapon like on Inquisitor Covenant but couldn’t make this look convincing. However, I think the backpack helps to maintain the silhouette of the original model.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor

Once the basic shape of the model was established the rest was just adding details like a book, a holstered pistol and some pouches before painting. For the colour scheme I again followed the original model with black robes (highlighted up through Dark Reaper and Thunderhawk Blue) and red armour (shaded with purple and blue washes and glazed with reds). I then added a freehand Inquisition symbol like the one found on Covenant’s trenchcoat. I think this really is the focal point for this model and stops the lower half looking too plain and boring.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor

One thing that I tried on this model was using gloss varnish over metalics. I think this works really well as it helps to harmonise the different colours used stops the matte effect that you can get from using washes and glazes over metallics. It also gives the metal a very shiny look. The sword blade is perhaps the best example of this.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor

Finally, I wanted to recreate the rusty orange bases seen on some of the original Inquisitor models. To do this I spread thin plastic glue over the base right up to the edges. I then stuck on a piece of textured plasticard and left this to dry with a book on top to ensure it dried flush to the base. When this was done I trimmed the plasticard to fit the base and filed the edges and filled any gaps with Milliput.

Inquisitor Bases

The base was painted Skrag Brown, washed with Reikland Fleshshade before being drybrushed Skrag Brown, Jokaero Orange and finally Chainmail. This gives a nice warm orange/brown look which is very different to any other bases I’ve done before. I also think it complements the red on the model nicely.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor

On a personal note, it was nice to spend time painting a single character model after weeks of painting large numbers of infantry at Warhammer World. During my time in Nottingham, I also converted a number of Imperial agents some of which will form his retinue and others who will be part of other warbands. I will cover these conversions in my next blog post.

As always, if you have any questions about how I went about painting the model or any other general comments I’d love to hear from you. Drop my a line below and I will try and get back to you.

*Edit – I have just been informed that Inq28 and Inquisimunda are two different games systems used for playing out battles between warbands. I will have to investigate further.

The Battle of Vesh'Yo

Things have been a little quite here on Miniature Miscellany for the last few weeks. However, I can now reveal the reason for this. Five weeks ago I started work as a Warhammer World studio painter on a temporary contract to paint the display shown above. As you can imagine, this was a very exciting opportunity for me and it was great to work alongside talented colleagues on a project of this scale. The display went on show at the weekend as part of Warhammer World’s 40k Open Days meaning that I can finally lift the veil of secrecy.


Working on a display of this size was a real experience and I painted literally hundreds of the models on this board. It took a team of six of us five weeks to paint all of the models on the display. The terrain was started before I joined the project so I’m not sure how long that took to build. I was painting 40 Skitarii a day and even batch painting Riptides! I can safely say that I have painted more models in the last month than I have in the rest of the year. My personal favourites of the models I painted are the Kastellan Robot punching a Crisis Suit in the face and the Y’Vahra Battlesuit blasting the Reaver. I also painted my initials onto the Fireblade’s knife using the Tau alphabet. No one will ever notice it but I know it’s there.

The key to painting this many models quickly was a simple colour scheme applied neatly and consistently.The Mechanicum models were airbrushed silver and then basecoated, washed with Nuln Oil and given a single highlight. The Tau were a bit more complicated and time-consuming. They were airbrushed Tau Light Ochre over Zandri Dust base and then shaded in the recesses and edge highlighted. The Tau took about twice as long as the Mechanicum stuff and I was averaging about 20 Fire Warriors/Breachers a day.

If you have any questions or comments leave them below and I will try my best to answer them. Enjoy the pictures (if you look closely you may even spot some as-yet unreleased models).

Wound Markers

I decided to make some wound markers for my Astral Claws as a quick Saturday morning project. Basically, the number of skulls/helmets represent how many wounds a character has remaining. The skulls are taken from a number of kits (if you own any GW kits then chances are you have some skulls lying around somewhere) and the damaged helmets were taken from Chaos trophy racks. I could have used regular marine helmets but these had battle damage already sculpted on and so saved me a bit of time.

Wound Markers

The helmets were painted to match my Astral Claws models whereas the skulls were an opportunity to try out my new method of painting bone. Previously I had used Zandri Dust and Ushabti Bone for skulls, however, recently I have moved to using a basecoat of Baneblade Brown washed with Agrax Earthshade and then highlighted Baneblade Brown, Rakarth Flesh, Pallid Wych Flesh and finally White Scar. This produces a much paler, more realistic bone colour than the creamy/yellow look achieved with Ushabti bone. The ground texture was then painted to match the rest of my army.

Wound Markers

Wound Markers

I plan on creating a few more themed gaming aides in the future including some objective markers converted from the Space Marine casualty models. Watch this space.


Lord of the Rings Ruins

Over the last few days I have been working on a number of different projects. I have managed to get these ruins finished for Lord of the Rings and continued to work on my Dark Eldar. I had hoped to get more done with the Dark Eldar but the weather conspired against me at the weekend and a combination of high winds and rain meant that I was unable to prime my raiders for painting. Instead, I took the time to work on Space Hulk and started to paint up some genestealers which have been primed and sitting on a shelf looking at me accusingly for a number of months now.

Lord of the Rings Ruins

Below you can see my raiders in their various sub-assemblies. As I plan on airbrushing these I decided to keep them in a number of separate parts to make this easier. However, even if painting by hand it would make sense to paint them as sub-assemblies because of the number of fiddly components that would make certain areas hard to access with a brush.

Raiders sub-assemblies

Here is my first genestealer which was completed a while back as a test model. As you can see, I have gone with the traditional genestealer colours of blue and purple and tried to paint these in a dark moody style like those seen in White Dwarf. I have also tried to get a contrast in textures between the hard carapace and the softer skin by using sharp edge highlights on the carapace and subtle blending on the skin.

Genestealer test model

And here are four of his mates who I was working on over the weekend.

Space Hulk Genestealers

The raiders are going to have to wait until the weekend before I can airbrush them but hopefully I will get a chance to do a bit more work on these guys throughout the week.