Warhammer 40,000 – Codex: Space Marines First Look

Today is Space Marine Release Day. I’ve already given my thoughts about the miniatures (none of which I have in hand), so now it’s time to look at the Codex itself. Specifically, the Enhanced iPad Edition, which I had preordered.

First up, a warning, which I haven’t seen any official word1 about from Games Workshop, but have heard from a number of reliable sources: “technical difficulties” with the iBook Store have prevented several of the promoted features of the iPad Edition from being available at launch – namely, the narrated audio and the “Force Requisition” army builder. To say this was disappointing is a bit of an understatement, but I’m not sure what I’m more annoyed by: the missing features, or the poor communication from GW. A free update to the book is coming in the next week, apparently. I’m posting this up here just to let other hobbyists know.

So, with that out of the way, what about the Codex itself? There’s a lot to it, and a lot to like, so I’ll try and break it down into relevant sections:

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Angels & Demons Diorama

I’m catching up on a few of my hobby related posts I’ve had kicking around in draft for months, so if you see a flood of miniatures rush by, don’t be alarmed!

Back in March it was the 19th birthday of GW: Aberdeen. As part of the celebrations they held a diorama contest. There were only 2 criteria – it must be a duel, and it must fit on a round, 60mm (Dreadnought) base.

Somehow, as soon as I knew the criteria I was struck by inspiration and instantly knew my theme – an “Angel” vs a Daemon, in the ruins of a church. I could picture it clearly; the angel diving through the  smashed window to confront the daemon lurking within. It was a simple idea that told a story. If I pulled it off I had a good chance.

Picking my protagonists was easy. The Angel would be a Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard, and the Daemon represented by a Bloodletter of Khorne. For the setting I’d use a corner from an Imperial Basilica Administratum kit.

Building the base was easy. I added slate chips of various sizes, from the 40K Basing Kit, to simulate the rubble of the ruined church, and broke off part of the window frame to make it large enough for the Angel to fit through. Sprayed black, drybrushed various shades of grey, and given a couple of washes, and the stonework was done. The edging was picked out first in Tin Bitz, highlighted with Burnished Gold, washed, and then a very watered-down Hawk Turquise was painted into the recesses for weathering.

The Angel was assembled “stock”, with no real modifications needed. He was painted in a non-metallic metal (NMM) scheme. I didn’t follow my old method of NMM gold, and instead followed the Sanguinor guide in in the ‘Eavy Metal Painting Guide book. Personally I think it came out a little dark, but overall the effect worked well enough. White areas were painted dark grey for a base coat, highlighted with Skull White, washed with thinned Space Wolf Grey, then re-highlighted with Skull White.

The Daemon did not go so well. I now hate the Bloodletters kit with the heat of a thousand suns. I could not get the pose I wanted, and the limbs are really thin and spindly – so getting a good join when repositioning was nearly impossible. Not only that, I really could not get the right tone of red. I wanted the Daemon to be a deep red, contrasting with the golden Angel, but everything I tried came out really murky  or too bright. I can’t remember how I eventually got it right by working my way up through every shade of red I could get my hands on, coupled with several washes of various colours, to provide shading.

When I assembled the diorama I discovered the Daemon’s pose didn’t quite work. His outstretched had took him too close to the Angel, throwing off the proportions and balance in the scene. I very (very!) carefully cut and repositioned him slightly, and added a helmet from the basing kit into his hand… as if he’d just dispatched one of the church’s defenders. A few touch-ups with paint and he was as good as I was going to get him.

As for the competition? I came second in the Adult’s category, losing out to a very impressive scene depicting a Pre-Heresy Imperial Fist Assault Marine Vs a World Eater.

Grey Knight Terminator Squad

This is a post I wrote back in February, which I’m just getting around to publishing…

Back at the start of the year I outlined a few goals, including painting at least one Warhammer 40,000 army. Since then I’ve been working away on a few things and finally have completed unit to show – the first of my Grey Knight Terminator squads.

I’ll admit, these guys took a lot longer to paint than I anticipated. I’ll really have to crank up the pace if I’m going to get an army’s worth done this year!

Grey Knight Interceptors

This is a post from earlier this year, which I’m just getting around to publishing…

Just to prove that I can finish off some complete units, here’s my Grey Knight Interceptors. I got quite bored of the non-metallic grey colour scheme part way through, so it’s made me a bit demoralised about adding any more units to this army. I’ll see how it goes…
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Nemesor Zahndrekh

This is a post from May, which I’m just getting around to publishing…

On a whim I decided to pick up the Nemesor Zahndrekh model, because I thought he was one of the best representations of the Necron army itself. It really didn’t take long to paint at all, and was the first time I painted a model in just the new Citadel Paint range.

The image above was taken before I based the model.

Warhammer 40,000 (6th Edition) Collector’s Edition Unboxing

Because I’m a) a massive geek, and b) it had to be done, here’s a brief gallery of the unboxing of my new Collector’s Edition of the new Warhammer 40,000 rulebook. If you wondered if it was worth the extra money over the standard edition, then I can tell you: yes it was. The book is gorgeous through-and-through, from the paper, right through the presentation, photography, and illustrations. As you’ll see from one picture, it’s almost as thick as both the 5th edition rullebook plus the 6th edition “standard” version combined! Model in one picture shown for scale.