Switch Theme:

Back to the Grimdark Future - Mostly Metal 2e/3e Guard Infantry  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
Author Message

Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Last time I did any Sci Fi hobbying was picking up but never fully completing the Dark Vengeance boxed set at the start of 6th edition. I had moved country, left behind my awesome 40K group and was not enamoured of the new edition.

Over the past few years I have been modelling and painting for fantasy roleplaying games, and I have pretty close to what I would have dreamed of as a kid for that sort of gaming - full sets of fantasy monsters and heroes, and a cool dungeon tile set with furniture and all that.

The destruction of the Old World means I have moved away into creating my own setting that incorporates much of what I love from Warhammer into a world that also stuffs in all my other favourite things and some of my own creations.
In the course of this I got back into wargaming with One Page Rules Age of Fantasy, a stripped down version of Age of Sigmar that has alternating activations and encourages DIY approaches to list building and miniatures selection. And while looking through their stuff, I found Grimdark Future, their knockoff 40K with a similar mentality.

Pouring over the lists, and then looking at some blogs like Skinflint Games blog on getting back into the hobby, as well as thinking back to what attracted me to 40K originally, I decided to set about reviving my love of the grimdark future. I had also recently gotten into Stars Without Number, the old school sandbox Sci Fi RPG that could easily slot in as a stripped down 40K RPG without effort. Freed from the need to keep track of whatever GW is up to, I can focus on what I really like about the universe, edit out the bits I don’t like, and make it a setting that is suitable for wargaming and roleplaying.

Broadly, I want to focus on small forces for a variety of different factions so that I can loan them out to friends or family for games, as I am not interested in participating in “Pick Up Game” culture any more.
As I go I am reimagining the setting in ways that make it more appealing to me and easier to make my own stories happen in the way I want.

Last year I bought a bunch of start collecting sets, and I decided to start with Necrons, because they were the ones my wife was the most interested in. They are also very Sci Fi, and easy to paint!
I don’t love the background for Necrons. I always thought it was a bit silly that this ancient alien race made robots that look like human skeletons, and it is an obvious hold over from the old Android models. So I decided to rewrite the background for my games.
Essentially, the necrons are an AI based entity or entities that infect other AIs and take them over. The humanoid Warriors are the Men of Iron from 40K background, the old android slave race used by mankind in the past. Some have been modified with advanced nanotech and strange materials (the Triarchs and Lords) but the mass of grunts are possessed androids. This is why AI is heresy in most human civilisations, and why all tech has manual overrides and back ups that makes it clunky and retro-looking. The more insectoid necrons are the servants of an ancient race that may have originated the AI, and they sleep on tomb worlds just as in normal 40K until signals wake them up and they go out to reap the living. I prefer this background because it keeps the Lovecraftian elements of the Necrons while explaining why the necrons themselves look like T1000s rather than something more interesting. I also think a malicious, alien AI is a fun sci fi concept and allows for cool roleplaying scenarios for Stars Without Number. It also helps to explain the lack of AIs and make using AIs a risk reward problem for my players.
These pictures are recent, but I actually painted the minis a while ago! I will go into the terrain they are posing on shortly!
Warriors and Immortals were fun to do, just simple paint jobs with basic edge highlighting on the weapons. Scarabs are such little cuties, I hope I can find more of these old ones! Despite painting minis for over 20 years this is my first time edge highlighting…

The Annihilation Barge was the last thing I painted. Doing all the edge highlighting was time consuming, but ultimately I am well chuffed with how it came out. I think the Command Barge looks cooler, but I decided to stretch this kit as far as I could.

Lords are fun, and fun to paint as well. Quite pleased with the lord on the 40mm base, his buddy from the Command Barge is fine too.

After finishing the Start Collecting I have added a couple extra boxes to each of these to bulk them up to what I feel is a good game size for Grimdark Future. These Triarchs were a bit trickier, both to assembly and to paint. Not 100% happy with the posing on all of them, it is always my kryptonite, but the paint jobs came out okay.

Wraiths are my favourite necron models, these were great fun to build and look great, but boy am I glad to be done with the edge highlighting!

And finally the Spyder. I need to magnetise this little girl onto her base, but I love the model and the concept behind it.

This message was edited 9 times. Last update was at 2022/06/04 11:48:23

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Of course, if you want to game in the Grimdark Future, you need minis and terrain! I already have space marine, necron and ork miniatures, so my first priority was a set of terrain to play on.
I have a fairly nice Dark Ages set, but I wanted something a bit more sci fi than deciduous temperate woodland. Jungle trees always look a bit more exotic and spacey, so that was the first thing I did. Just a bunch of aquarium plants and some fake sprigs from wedding stuff for the big trees. Very happy with how this came out, super easy to make (literally just gluing and flocking) but I think it looks quite nice! I am especially happy with the trees, because it is difficult to find affordable solutions for that!

Here they are with some Gatormen for scale and context:

Exotic Flora is one thing, but my favourite images from the Grimdark Future are those of ash wastes and hive cities, from my days as a kid reading 2000AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine with the Mega Cities and the Cursed Earth. 40K seemed to me to come directly from that tradition with the descriptions of the Hive Cities on Armageddon in the old 2e starter. A Hive City is probably an impossible project for scenery, but I think the most important element to evoke the feeling of a hive is verticality. Hive battlefields should be full of walkways, gantries and towers, sprawling upward with almost the same density that they sprawl outward. Wargaming battlefields are always just a tool for our imaginations, so you only need a certain amount of vertical layering to evoke a much more complex Hive or City surrounding. With that in mind I brought up this excellent video from Wyloch about making tower and walkway systems.

I was intimidated to start this for ages, but this summer I was at home like all of us and got to work on it. It is long and tedious to do, but I can say it is within the skill level of any crafter because I am not usually good at precise measurements or straight lines and I managed. The whole thing is just chipboard, sprue bits, cross stitch mesh and soup cans, which is awesome!
Here are some shots of the cardboard set up:

As I was working on it, I had a thought. If I make lots of wall sections and some wall sections that are “gates”, I could make this into a huge rampart for a hive wall! Dramatic scenes in Warhammer fiction often occur with troops waiting on top of the wall of a Hive. Again, in the fiction these walls are a mile high and so on, but to evoke them on a battlefield, six feet of wall is pretty decent I feel, especially with towers along the length. I used to play a three game scenario with my best friend as a kid using the old 2e ruins to make a “city wall” which we would then take turns storming, fighting through the “city streets” to the bunker at the heart over three games, swapping sides to see who would win. So this hive wall is a sort of homage to those games.

A side effect of all the walls is I can also make a version of the Whiskey Outpost from Starship Troopers!

I decided to go for a pretty bold red colour scheme. I was dubious about this, but red is the traditional colour of the mechanicum, and I thought rusty metallic or grey would look a bit washed out on the table. I wanted to have rust and weathering, but I wanted a secondary colour as well to make it really pop. So I went with red! I painted all the silver and red in one sitting along with the concrete sections of the walls.

You can see in the last two pictures, a happy side effect of having so many extra walls is I can use spare walkways and walls to make blocky warehouse buildings for line of sight blocking. They look pretty good I think!

It took me about two solid months to get to this stage, and I was a bit burned out at that point and took a break. But I think this set is really well worth going for, and even given I had to order the chipboard in specially, the whole set cost me under 30 euros to make!

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


This set could be used for a fairly bare bones game on it’s own, but I wanted to make a few pieces that would give my battlefields a sense of space. From the 2e starter and then ADB’s excellent Helsreach novel I always loved the idea of the huge docks of Helsreach and the vicious battles that raged for that hive, with the crane workers sealing themselves into their cranes. I grew up beside a port town and my first jobs were all working down on the dockside. So I wanted to make some shipping containers, because they are classic LOS blocking terrain, and a crane to move them around. Just these pieces will give the feel of a spaceport or dock without much extra effort!

The crane is a cheap 4 euro digger I found in Mueller. I hacked the bucket off and added some details to it to trick the eye into thinking it is more detailed than it actually is. The barrel, tarps and jerrycan are all from a Tamiya bits sprue, I used some bases for the magnet on the crane, left over cross stitch mesh for the grating and some chain. I wanted to leave most of the surfaces flat, because you can fit a full squad on this crane as is, and I would like it to be playable scenery, so there is a bit of a compromise there. My wife insisted the wheels stay on, so they are still there. Painted it up with cheap craft paints, Ochre, black and silver, did some basic weathering and sponged on some rust and gave it a grimy wash. Really happy with how it came out!

The Shipping Containers were made by following Mel the Terrain Tutor’s tutorial. I should have accounted for the difference in size caused by the corrugation in several places, but overall I am very happy with how they look. They make for very easy line of sight blockers. I painted them up with Army Painter sprays and then some basic rust patches and a grime wash. The wash interacted weirdly in places, sorta pooled oddly, but I think it looks okay overall.

Lastly, I wanted some fences to delineate areas on the battlefield and provide visual interest. Wyloch has a great tutorial for these and I followed it exactly, except that I kept the base of the fence metallic. My reason for doing that is that I feel it means they fit better onto any kind of board with a metallic base, looking like prefab fences that are dropped down. Since I plan on having city, ash waste and jungle boards for my games, I want as many of my terrain pieces as possible to be base agnostic for interchangeability. These were dead simple to make and I think they look very effective, I would definitely recommend giving them a try! You can also see the wall and walkway "building" in this picture, and I piled the spare clips for the walkway system into piles of metal scrap here as well.

Thanks for looking!

Made in us
Purposeful Hammerhead Pilot

United States

This is looking really good. Glad to see another convert to the One Page Rules community! I'm working on getting the players around where I live to make the switch as well.

The red on your gangways and towers look really sharp.
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Thanks! I love the game, especially as it so easy to introduce total newbies to. And it has ship to ship, mass battle and gang level rules as well, I am just a big fan.

The red was a bit of a scary choice but I am happy with it now!

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


So, I might be getting a game in this weekend with my wife! I am gonna use my Orks, which I have had since I was a little whippersnapper, and she is going to use my freshly painted up Necrons, or Robot Legions in Grimdark Future parlance.

In my age of fantasy games I have been using “cards” which are basically google slides printed four to a page as hand outs and then cut out. Each card has all the stats and rules for the unit printed on it and a little picture to help people know what’s what. I am doing that to maximise accessibility, because I am introducing a bunch of non-wargamers to the game and I think cards really “chunk” the information in a decent way. Additionally, Grimdark Future uses alternating activations (yay!), which means you need some way to keep track of who has acted and who has not, particularly for bigger games. Flipping the card over is a really easy way to manage this. I see some people using markers for all their units but I prefer the cards because it keeps the battlefield cleaner. If you need markers you can put them on the card instead.

My flimsy paper prints were not very satisfying though so I have made a deck of cards from some decent colour prints of my card files, a gluestick and an oven pizza box (a distressingly abundant commodity in our household…). Cut out the cards into rough strips to fit them on the box,glue them on with a glue stick, then cut them off with scissors before cutting around the edge with a hobby knife. Not the neatest job in the world but I am satisfied. They are definitely nicer to handle than the paper cards and will last a lot longer. Probably should have used spray glue or some stronger glue stick but oh well. Gonna probably laminate them too, so they don’t pick up fingerprints and just generally last longer. If anyone is interested I can also put the PDFs for my files here for download. I currently only have cards for units I am going to use and factions I play, but it is easy enough to follow the template yourself in Google Sheets!

 Filename Orks.pdf [Disk] Download
 Description Ork Unit Cards
 File size 827 Kbytes

Made in us
Purposeful Hammerhead Pilot

United States

Very nice cards. Are you gonna try and print off the new Robot Legions STL files that they just put out? They are great designs.
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


I don't have a printer sadly, but man, their designs are getting really good. Their robots have a general grievous look to them which is quite cool. The Saurians are also really nice. Prefer them to Saurus Warriors for sure!

Made in gb
Executing Exarch

London, UK

Really impressive work with those Wyloch walk ways, he has tonnes of stuff I want to try out but getting the time to do it is something I don't have.

Keen to see more of those cards. If the sizing is right, you could see about some top loaders as added protection for them?

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Thanks! It was very time intensive, for sure. I started in August when I was on holidays and basically had to work on it up til Christmas to get it done. The good part is you can just tap away at it to get it finished, it doesn't need to be done all at once because it is quite straightforward once you have it ready. You can wear out your hand doing too much of it actually! I ended up with a big dent in my fingers from my craft knife.

The advantage of the set I think comes when you have done a LOT of towers and walkways so you can really take advantage of the modularity. I did 12 towers, 14 wall sections with 2 gates, 4 12" walkways, 4 9" walkways and 2 6" walkways. I still want to do a few ladders and maybe a couple more railings, but I am gonna take a wee break first!

Wyloch's stuff is great, he is basically the reason I got into Grimdark Future. I am not the worlds best crafter but all of his projects are accessible and I am very happy with the results.

As to the cards, I will have a look. If I can get those sorts of card protectors that would be the simplest solution, for sure. The cards are not "standard" playing card size though, but maybe I can find ones in the right size to use. Would save the hassle of laminating!

Made in us
Purposeful Hammerhead Pilot

United States

Probably wouldn't be difficult to get them to like the Necromunda tactic card size and I'm pretty sure card sleeves are freely available in that size.
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


They are about 6.5cm x 11.2cm in size, so 3" by 4" protectors would work, there'd be a little bit of extra space but that's not the end of the world.

Made in gb
Rough Rider with Boomstick

Leicester, UK

Great terrain! love the digger, and thanks for drawing my attention to the one page stuff, i've checked it out and it looks good. I've always known GW wasn't the be all and end all, as the first time I went to one of their stores, they were still selling other people's game, but I am getting back into the hobby and its good to know there are options, and people doing cool things like this.

My painting and modeling blog:

PaddyMick's Chopshop: Converted 40K Vehicles

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Cheers Paddy! The digger was really fun to do. My first time messing around with a toy like that. I am looking forward to heading back to Mueller and seeing what else they have in a similar line!

GW minis and the setting are great, but I am mostly teaching newbies how to play these days and Grimdark Future is just so much easier to teach to a non-gamer. I love that they have lists for stuff like Space Dwarves and so on as well.

Still haven't managed to get the game I was planning in! Work, as usual, is the culprit. Painted up a bunch of daemons for Fantasy which can also be used in GF, but I thought double posting in both blogs would be obnoxious.

Gonna try and clear out a few fantasy figures that have been sitting waiting to be done for a long time, but still working on terrain for Grimdark Future when I get time, hopefully will be able to update on that soon!

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


So no terrain, instead I decided to do some more nurgly dudes. I picked up these easy to build poxwalkers a while ago. I think they are really cool minis, and they have a lot of applications for post apocalyptic games or settings as generic mutants. I really loved the Lost and the Damned conception of Chaos from the Eye of Terror campaign with units of traitors and mutants supported by only a small number of chaos marines. My chaos marines are Word Bearers, so my plan is to have two big units of cultists as my main troops. I am gonna use the "Plague Walkers" rules from the Havoc Brothers Disciples list to represent mutants, and I plan on painting up a big unit of 20. These guys are a test of concept. I will probably pick up the bigger box, and then fill out the remainder with some conversions for a unit of 20 (the maximum unit size in Grimdark Future).
This pic shows the skin tone well. For some reason the green doesn't come through well in my other pictures.

Here are better pictures aside from the skin, which is a bit too green here.

I have painted them with orange work clothes, I kinda see them as an oppressed underclass, an indentured work gang, who have risen in rebellion along with the free workers and disaffected under the charismatic leadership of the Word Bearers. The orange work clothes are a unifying theme with them but I also went for a pretty unified skin and bone scheme. I know you can go crazy with weird tones on these models but I like the classic green mutant look and I think it will look better on the table this way.

I am planning on using some of my spare Forge Fathers Brokkrs to fill out the numbers up to 10, along with maybe some bare chested Wargames Factory Celts. Happy to have a few converted mutants, I think I wouldn't have enjoyed doing a whole unit.
If you want the cards I made for the Have Brothers army, I have attached them at the end of the post.
 Filename Havoc Marines.pdf [Disk] Download
 Description Havoc Marines cards
 File size 657 Kbytes

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Finally got a battle in. The lighting for our game didn't make for the best pictures but I did what I could! My wife controlled the Necrons, and she was mostly interested in the Elite units.
So she took:
1 Overseer
5 Eternals (Immortals) with Flux Rifles
5 Guardians with Shields and Hyper swords (Triarchs)
3 Robot Snakes with antimatter pistols (Wraiths)

I decided it would be interesting for our first game to see how an elite force like that did against sheer force of numbers so I took
1 Warboss (Represented by a Big Mek, because I had misplaced my Warboss somewhere)
20 Orc Boyz with two flamethrowers
20 Orc Boyz with Carbines and two Heavy Machine Guns.

The battle took place over an abandoned industrial zone on a human world. The Orc warband had arrived in system and detected no life signs but lots of energy signatures and metal, and the Mek leading them figured it was ripe for looting to outfit their ships. On arrival however, they found the charred skeletons of humans littering the city. The robots this planet used for labour had somehow rebelled, and wiped out their oppressors. These mechanical constructs were up to something in the centre of the city, and whatever it was was worth looting!

I kept to the middle of the board and so did the robots on the other side. We wanted to be able to use the stairs to gain the high ground for our shooting units.

First, I rushed my shoota boyz up the stairs. My wife responded by doing the same with her eternals.

Then I ran my choppa boyz down the middle of the towers under the walkways, hoping to use my superior speed to storm up the stairs and get to the eternals from behind.
She responded by moving her Wraiths into position.

My warboss ran under the walkways toward the shipping container that the overseer was lurking behind.

Turn two started with the Eternals opening fire on the Orc choppa boys. Their guns fizzled and only killed a single boy. The boyz charged forward in response, attacking the Wraiths.

Unfortunately, the Wraiths proved more than a match for the poorly armed boyz (helped by me wiffing with my Ultra Claw) and they slaughtered a bunch of them, leaving the Orcs pinned, with Wraiths on one side and eternals above.

The Shoota boyz meanwhile continued along their walkway, taking some pot shots at the Wraiths and finishing the damaged one. The Warboss continued to run across the open ground.

Turn three started with the Eternals opening up, and rolling three sixes for their flux rifles. Each 6 multiplies into 4 hits, so the green lightning arced over the unlucky choppa boyz, killing all but one, who wisely decided to hoof it.

The shoota boyz opened up on the Eternals, killing one, and the Wraiths soared up to the high tower and walkway.

The Warboss charged forward to attack the Overseer, and both wounded each other in the ensuing conflict. The Overseer backed away, blasting the Warboss with light from his staff, doing more damage, but the Warboss held his ground.

At the start of turn 4, the Guardians arrived. The Warboss charged the Overseer one more time, winning the fight by doing damage and receiving none, but the fearless machine was not deterred from it's objectives. The Guardians then charged in and sliced the Warboss up with their hyper swords. (I noted that the Ambush rule when applied to slow units means that Ambushing Slow units cannot attack the turn they arrive. That does not seem to be really considered in the price, so I have ruled that Slow units can ambush up to 8" away.)

The shoota boyz then opened up on the Wraiths, destroying one of them in a hail of bullets. The Eternals moved along the platform, firing arcs of lightning at the shoota boyz as the Wratih replied with it's antimatter pistols.

One the last turn, the Guardians flew up onto the walkway intersection. The shoota boyz charged in valiantly, but only downed two guardians for the loss of several boyz in return. The boyz morale broke and the fled.

A pretty convincing victory for the Robots! A few things helped that along, mostly me rolling poorly with my claws and a terrifying roll for flux along the way. Possibly, I should have used my Choppa Boyz better as well. But I was worried the Necrons would not stand up to the hail of bullets and attacks, but really they proved satisfyingly durable. The Flux rifles are really strong, and my army did not contain a lot of high AP or Deadly weapons to deal with the Wraiths, so they sucked up quite a lot of damage. A couple of Killa Kans or a Dread would have been useful to my army. But I really enjoyed the game, especially how the walkways played into both the visual spectacle and the tactics of it. My wife only likes to play with 4 units each, so a lot of the battlefield goes unused usually in these games, but I was really pleased with the visual spectacle. The alternating activation keeps things engaging and makes it feel like you have taken loads of turns even though it only went to Turn 5, and it "felt" like a game of 40K to me. My wife probably wouldn't be interested in playing a game with a lot more rules to learn, but she quite enjoyed playing this and was interested in playing some more, so I think that is the best possible selling point for the system.

Weirdly, when playing with armies where I painted both sides, I find myself rooting for both, which makes for a much more pleasant experience. I really enjoyed seeing all the necrons do their thing, as I had been thinking about their various abilities while painting them. So them vaporizing a whole unit of Orcs or the Wraiths being monsters on the field felt really cool to me rather than leaving me feeling negative. Mainly sad I couldn't bag the Overseer with my Warboss, but he is 30 points more expensive so maybe that is fair!

Next time we are going to try the Plague Demons, maybe against some Battle Brothers, but also possibly in Fantasy against some Eternal Wardens...
Hope you enjoyed reading this!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/31 13:13:12

Made in ca
Grisly Ghost Ark Driver

Great battle! Grimdark Future seems a pretty interesting system, I might check it out.

See what's on my painting table Now painting: A Very Quick Stormcast Army 
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Cheers! The pros are:
1. It's free
2. It's simple enough to teach non-gamers
3. It has lists for pretty much every GW force and a couple of extra ones like Space Dwarves, Space Ratmen and Dark Mechanicus.

The cons:
1. It is very simple, so some might find it lacking in depth.
2. Balance can be a bit wonky, some units seem over or under priced sometimes.

Made in us
Near Golden Daemon Caliber


Wow, totally slept on this one! Some really cool stuff!

Seeing that Wyloch modular set tempts me, but I just don't foresee having the time. Yours has come out really nicely!

Grimdark future, huh? Hmm.

As for your unit cards, with all of my handouts for D&D over the past few years, I've run my laminator as much as a grade school teacher
I wonder if they'll laminate ok being as thick as that with the packaging cardboard?

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Cheers! Yeah, I decided to start a second blog for Sci Fi, not sure if that was the right call or not but I think I like better that way.

The modular walkways are awesome, but they are very time consuming to make. I had summer holidays and was stuck at home, and it still took me til November to really get them done. But the time I was doing the set of walls I was really getting tired of cutting chipboard! I'm all about modularity with my terrain though. I want everything to be modular to maximise the variety of set ups I can do. I dunno that it really needs to be like that since I'm not actually likely to play that many games any more.

Grimdark Future is alright. I'd say there are upsides to it and downsides. I really like it but if you've got a 40K community that is good nearby it's probably gonna be better to join that. Living in Germany but mainly speaking English sort of limits my participation in the local scene and I'm mostly gonna be playing with my wife or people from my D&D group who are all English speakers but never wargamed before.
I also just liked that it's a system that allows me to use literally my entire collection with one set of rules.

I'd say they will laminate alright. We've got a pretty heavy duty one. But I might not bother either, it's a lot of hassle...

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


So, I had intended to post a lot more often on this blog, but life gets in the way a lot sometimes. I've not been on dakka much in the last year or so, but I've been working away at this project.

Getting back into 40K means tackling the most 40K faction there is - Space Marines. It's fashionable sometimes to hate on Space Marines, and as a longtime Xenos player I certainly did my fair share of complaining about them. But that was about their position in the game. As a concept, Space Marines are really cool. They've got a lot of awesome themes that I really enjoy and they are inspired by a bunch of really cool stuff.

I really love the original Space Marines, hypno-indoctrinated murderers taken from the worst places in the galaxy, distorted into freakish monstrosities by the genetech of the Imperium and sent out in garish armour to kill the enemies of the Emperor. I love how space marines embody a child's idea of manhood and strength, twisted into something grotesque and horrifying. Sardukar-meets-starship troopers is a great mash up and I think they pulled it off with the right amount of punk tongue in cheek in early 40K. I'm not against the "monastic order" stuff either, I think it coexists perfectly well with Marines as murderous lunatics. Lots of murderous lunatics make grandiose excuses for what they do and I think it fits perfectly that Space Marines express a small boy's fascination with knights and secret societies with the earnest seriousness that only a lobotomised, developmentally arrested murder machine could.

When I started playing in 2e, I liked the background for Orks and Squats best of what I'd read. But the models in the box for Orks were underwhelming. The Space Marines were a lot cooler and less intimidating to paint, and the background for them, especially the reflections of Sergeant Raphael about his life on Baal and his transformation were pretty intriguing. So like many players, Space Marines were my first army. I tried to paint them like the box art blood angels, and well, it didn't quite come out as I'd hoped:

Still, I played a lot of games with them at first, and only switched to Orks when 3e came out and I got access to the Gorkamorka models that I thought better fit them as a faction. Back then, I used to play a lot against my brothers Imperial Guard, and our background was that they were rebels fleeing imperial control Star Wars wise, and my Blood Angels were the heartless bad guys sent to eliminate them for treachery. We understood full well that the Space Marines were bad guys back then, as kids. I want to keep that central in my reimagined version of the setting. If I set RPGs in 41st millennium I'm going to make it pretty clear that the Space Marines are essentially monsters that the players should be scared of, and really emphasize the twisted nature of their physical forms and the fanatical madness of their minds.

A few years ago, during 5e, after playing a bunch of Dawn of War, I decided I was gonna make some marines again from the starter set. I decided back then to go with Crimson Fists, because I think their colour scheme is the best one, and I liked that they were the stars of the iconic 2e rulebook artwork that I'd spent so long looking at as a kid. I didn't actually know that this was the Rogue Trader art, or that Crimson Fists were the Oldhammer poster boys back then.
So coming back to the game, I decided to salvage a bunch of my old Blood Angels, the Dark Vengeance Dark Angels, and a few other bits and pieces and just make a big Crimson Fists force. The blood angels and dark angels can just represent different "knightly orders" within the chapter. I'm also ignoring all the stuff about foundings - I've decided that in my version of 40K, the Great Crusade is still ongoing, just badly damaged and slowed down by Horus's treachery, and the Emperor is still stomping around (though much depowered compared to modern background - a staggeringly powerful gestalt psyker, but not a god made flesh). So the Marines are in crusade mode conquering human planets from outside the fold and pushing out towards the far reaches of the Galaxy still.

To paint these guys I wanted something fast and effective. Edge highlighting Marines is a paint, and drybrushing them doesn't look that good. In the end, inspiration struck when I found a bottle of the old Blue Ink in a box in the cupboard. Army Painter Ultramarine Blue spray with Blue Ink over top gave a nice, complex dark blue that I think looks really nice. The pictures kinda don't do it justice, because the way the blue ink interacts with light is really cool. I did these in big batches of like 20 dudes at a time, and this was quick and easy and looked quite nice. I've got pictures from under a few different light sources, so you might be able to see how the effect would work in person, but those old inks were great.
The first batch was a bunch of the old Dark Vengeance starter set marines, which I'd had for nearly a decade. They're great models and I think my favourites of what I have. I think the heroes especially the Librarian look really cool with the dark blue armour and red robes.

After finishing those, I moved on to redoing the old 2e marines (I kept some for nostalgia in the original scheme) and some battered metal 2e heroes (a techmarine, apothecary and librarian), and also some metal scouts.

Those 2e starter plastics look great to me with a modern paintjob and I'm really pleased to see them in action again, but that back banner needed a flag! I had also done the 3e terminator captain, though his sword was long lost, so I ended up giving him a lightning claw instead.
I made flags out of very thin card, and put big transfers from the vehicle sheet on them. I think they look pretty cool, though my freehand is...not the best here.

Along with these guys I'd done some Assault Marines, and I had a bunch of metal Death Company that I'd been too intimidated to paint as a kid. I bought some extra jump packs and scrounged together enough bits to give them all weapons, and I'll just use them as a Veteran Assault squad. I think the skulls and blood drops and big Xs are totally in theme for a rogue trader style veteran assault squad and I'm really happy with how they look. I also had a battered old metal and plastic land raider crusader that I fixed up and finally painted, and a land speeder storm that I bought new just because I think land speeders are a cool part of Space Marine armies and I liked all the scout crew. My blue ink was running out, so I tried substituting some acryllic ink. It worked okay, but I don't think it looks quite as rich as the infantry. Still looks good enough for me though.

Here's some shots of all the army, and an extra bike squad and attack bike. I had some bikes from an aborted White Scars successor chapter I was plotting back when I was 16, so they got stripped and redone.

"I can't believe it's not Death Company"

AOBR termies (So no ink on their armour)

Assault Termies (painted for the original force ten years ago)

Dark Vengeance Termies

Classic Fridge Dread, cannot be beat

Phew. Monster update. If you read down this far, well done! The marines have had several battles against the necrons, in which the land raider crusader has proven to be an absolute brick. Great fun.

Next, I'm gonna do a series of posts about the Imperial Guard army I've managed to paint up since I finished these Marines. The Marines are cool, and I'm really happy with them, but it was a speed paint and a lot of just hacking together stuff I'd accumulated over the years rather than a passion project. I'm much more excited to share the Guard so I won't be doing such a massive info dump again!

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


So, with the Necrons and Marines finished, I was planning to move on to updating my Orks or finishing my Dark Vengeance Chaos. But since I had the jar of alcohol out to strip the marines, I dug out my brothers old Imperial Guard and decided to update and refurbish them (with his permission of course- he hadn't touched the models in nearly 30 years!).

When we were kids, he'd played these guys as a breakaway faction of guard lead by a rebel assassin. My Blood Angels were the "bad guys" sent by the Imperium to capture the traitors (who were not chaos worshippers, just people looking for a life free from tyranny). Pretty typical teenager plotting, makes me smile to remember it. He liked the normal humans more than the super powered marines, and collected a bunch of metal guard figures along with the then new Leman Russ Demolisher and some plastic storm troopers. Painted up with our starter paint set. I remember being really intimidated by the detail on the models and impressed with my brother's paintjobs, and they still hold up fairly well. But over the years the minis have taken minor damage, gotten chipped, or are missing bits. So I decided to update the army and add stuff to it that fits my vision for the Imperial Guard.
Here's some Cadians, Stormtroopers and a Mordian Lieutenant:

Frateris Militia and Ratlings (my brother liked the idea of normal civilians fighting along side the guard)

A unit of Catachans (back in those days it was not uncommon to have a mix of squads in your army, my brother also bought a unit of Valhallans, but they're sadly lost in one of my many house moves.)

This particularly heroic Frateris Militia model was the model we used for his army leader, using Assassin stats from Codex Imperialis. I think he had a C'taan Phase Knife? And the squad of ratling snipers. He liked snipers more than he liked the idea of hobbit snipers, but I love Abhumans in the guard so I'm all about them.

And then the big centrepiece, the Demolisher. I remember this thing being an absolute beast on the table, and I was terrified of the main gun with my expensive Marines. It's taken a bit of a beating over the years, so I'll have to repair it a bit. This is the old hybrid metal-plastic kit, I remember it being a nightmare to put together, but the main structure has held up remarkably well given it was never stored in foam or anything.

And some humour from nearly 30 years ago (I says "Ran You Over!")

Finally, an old metal sentinel! The pilot was lost long ago, but I was able to cut a pilot from the plastic sentinel kit to fit into the gap. This is solid metal and you could do some real damage with it. It's never come apart in the entire time it's been in use:

We had a long series of narrative games with these models with all sorts of crazy events involving vortex grenades and the usual 2e madness. We didn't know what a roleplaying game was back then outside of maybe a type of video game, but that's essentially what we were doing, in a sort of pro-wrestling "I'll get you next time!" sort of way.

For me, the iconic guardsman is the Jes Goodwin drawing in the Codex Imperialis book from 2e. The one with the big backpack and the gasmask, trudging through the snow. I grew up reading Rogue Trooper and Judge Dredd, so the idea of the Ash Wastes of Armageddon and gasmasked troopers fighting in toxic environments was really cool to me. So my favourite regiment is the Armageddon Steel Legion. Luckily, they were still available as the original metals, so I picked up three squads. Another aspect to the Guard that I love is the abhumans. My brother already had some Ratlings, but I decided to pick up the big gang box (now discontinued sadly) of Necromunda Ogryns as a more grimdark looking and less goofy set of Ogryns. I wanted my Steel Legion to be mechanised, but chimeras are really bloody expensive. I decided to buy the three pack of mantic mules instead, far cheaper and the kits are really fantastic. I think they genuinely look better than GW's Taurox. I'm using these as armoured trucks with transport capacity in Grimdark Future.

This mule is holding together with no glue at all!

Here they are all finished. Great kits, really recommend them to anyone looking for sci fi vehicles.

Ogryns (these are "counts as Bullgryns"). The Necromunda models are awesome, so characterful.

With the models I had, I started thinking about how to organise them into a cohesive force. I decided that my Guardsmen were from an Imperial world like Armageddon - a hive world with ash wastes and equatorial jungles. The Cadians would form the Hive Defense Force, mostly fighting from inside the shield walls. I added some weapons teams and an extra squad of plastic cadians to them. I also kitbashed some of the damaged stormtroopers into a special weapon squad using some third party plasma guns and space police heads. The Catachans would be the underhive and jungle Ork Hunters, keeping the Ork population under control in brutal, close quarters fights. The Ogryns and Ratlings and Scout Sentinel would be added to these units, who I imagined were formed from underhive gangs for the most part. I bulked these out with some extra third party metal jungle fighters and some minis from VOID, an old 90s game. The Steel Legion units would form the "Ash Waste Rangers" somewhat inspired by the idea of the special "Spoiler" regiment from Dan Abnett's Necropolis book. Formed of Ash Waste Nomads and hivers with the aptitude, these units would roam the ash waste hunting down bandits and Orks. I really wanted to add some Rough Riders to this detachment to fit the fast moving, ranger feel, so I picked up some American Civil War cavalry to convert, along with another plastic armoured sentinel to act as some mobile fire support. Finally, the Command HQ consisted of Stormtroopers, Commanding Officers (including a unit of conscripts for the Commissar to boss around, made from Stargrave Crew and Necromunda Gangs and VOID minis) and Sanctioned Psykers.

I was really excited about the prospect of this force, because I love all the stuff in Abnett novels about the different units with different uniforms and strengths and weaknesses fighting together, and I felt I'd managed to capture that with the disparate force here.

Next, I'll show how I kitbashed the Rough Riders, something I'm really proud of. Weirdly, in this army, nearly all the infantry are metal and the vehicles and elite units tend to be plastic! But there's something incredibly satisfying about the old metal Guard infantry.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/05/20 08:35:14

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Rough Riders are a really cool part of the Guard. The 2e books had little snippets of text about them, and future cavalry charges with exploding lances was awesome to me.

The coolest Rough Riders are definitely the Death Riders, the WW1 gas masks on horses look is sweet. Since my rough riders were gonna be part of my Ash Wastes Rangers division, I wanted to replicate that look. I thought about buying Forgeworld, but it's just so expensive I couldn't face it. I looked into Mad Robot miniatures, but the shipping to Europe seemed like it'd be a pain in the arse. And this is a weirdly underserved niche in third party apart from that.

So I started looking at historical minis to see what might fit. A lot of napoleonics have excessively fancy uniforms, I wanted something a bit more subdued. I was also planning to attach a lot of bedrolls and pouches and stuff to the horses. So when I found these Perry Brothers American Civil War cavalry, I was sold.
Got them for just under 30 euro for 12 at my local shop. I had some spare Gas Mask heads from a third party that I'd been using to convert up extra weapons teams and special weapon troopers for my steel legion. It was really simple to snip the plastic heads off and glue on the gas masks. Then I raided my historicals for a bunch of pikes and spears to make the lances, as the civil war minis don't come with them. I needed to cut some hands to hold the lances as well. I stuck a bit of guitar string onto them as cabling to show that they were power lances. They were looking pretty decent at that stage, but the signature 40K look is big shoulders and armoured shoulderpads. So I grabbed some of the shoulderpads from a box of Mantic Steel Warriors I had laying around and glued them on.

As for the horses, I deliberated for a long time about these. I wondered if I should use thick guitar wire as air hose connected to air tanks on the side, and bought a bunch of beads to see if any of them would work. In the end, I decided it was too much faff getting the hose to sit right, and the air tanks didn't look that good. So I decided to go for filters on the masks rather than a separate air supply. I used white milliput to mold on the mask itself, using the shape of the bridle and reins to help give it definition. I used the large cylindrical nubs on a sprue for the filters at the end. The eye lenses were more sprue cylinders. The outer ring of metal was a big one shaved very thin, and then the inner eye lens was a smaller one glued in place.

I wanted to make sure the unit looked sufficiently futuristic. I had thought about doing little cybernetic enhancements on the horses, but in the end I thought it would make the models look too busy. So I settled on giving the two unit leaders cybernetic heads. In my imagination, these are the "herd leaders" and they are cybernetically altered to be fearless so that they can lead the charge on all the scary things these rangers will have to fight in the grimdark future. I used some of the cabling from the Slave Ogryn set as the neck, and the robotic head from that set as the horses heads. I think they look pretty cool!

Overall, I'm delighted with this kitbash. It's probably the best bit of conversion I've ever done. And it was really cheap as well, a full squad of 10 gas mask rough riders for about 30 euro and a bitz box raid. I'm a bit worried they'll be annoying to transport, so I may make them their own little box to protect the lances and so on. The riders are not glued in these pictures, because I want to paint them separately.

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


This is my best picture of the finished riders. Paintjob came out pretty well, I'm especially happy with the eye lenses on the horses. It's a bit compressed here for some reason, if you click on it you get a better idea.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/05/29 16:26:47

Made in gb
Junior Officer with Laspistol

The Shire(s)

Those Rough riders look great! I've been thinking about gas-mask Rough rider conversions for ages, but never made the plunge. These are a good reference.

 ChargerIIC wrote:
If algae farm paste with a little bit of your grandfather in it isn't Grimdark I don't know what is.
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


Thanks! I was thinking about these for at least two years before I actually did them, but they were pretty easy once I had the gas mask heads.

The only word of warning when using the Civil War Cavalry is that the majority of the arms are not holding lances, they're holding sabres or pistols. So I had to cut hands off at the end of the sleeve carefully, and then glue on "open" hands from some Wargames Factory sprues I had lying around. You could probably get around this by just snipping them weapons off and drilling through the hand and using brass rod or something, it'd be more difficult to break something like that.

But the uniforms fit in well with my guard and the laden horses I think fit well with what I was going for.

Made in de
Terrifying Doombull


I worked through the rest of the infantry over a few months. I've really enjoyed working on them, I had a pretty quick scheme:
Prime Army Painter Grey
Drybrush Administratum Grey over everything
Drybrush flesh areas white
Contrast for skin, mix of skin tones
Contrasts or inks or washes for hair
Metallics gold or gunmetal
Helmets and armour with black contrast
Dark brown highlighted with red-brown for boots, belts, straps, pouches
Blue-Grey (the Fang) for gun casings and shoulder pads, edge highlighted with Trollblood Base (greenish teal)
Dark Green to Bright Green (Caliban, Warpstone, Moot Green) highlighting on lenses, goggles, shades and wires
Power weapons and plasma get a bright teal with blue-white highlights.
Overall coat of Agrax Earthshade to dirty everything up.

Got me a nice grimy, grey/urban force with strong accent colours relatively quickly. The little bit of edge highlighting on the gun casings and shoulder pads does a lot of work for making them look better than they are, the rest is all letting the drybrushing, washes and contrast do a lot of work.

Cadians were done first, I tried to mix in as many female heads as the new sprue offers:

The plastics are sometimes maligned, but I really enjoyed working with them. I also really like the old metals though, and if I had to choose I'd pick them I think! Converted a heavy bolter for the plastic squad from a spare from my heavy weapons and some tamiya sandbags, I think it looks decent.

Then I did some old plastic storm troopers with I think either a VOR or VOID model leading them. Some of these were a bit damaged from years of use, so I was only able to salvage a squad of 5 with everything intact:

Even though these are monopose 2e plastics, I think they look good and a bit of mixing skin tones and a new squad leader is enough to differentiate them. Tactically, these guys are really important for games of GDF as they're my only unit with the Ambush special rule, allowing them to parachute in on distant objectives.

The remaining storm troopers got I think Maxi Mini Space Police heads, backpacks from Stargrave Crew, and some third party plasma guns to make a Special Weapons squad. They can easily work as space cops for RPGs as well.

I think these guys look good enough. There are points where the kitbash doesn't quite line up, but they're hard to see at tabletop distance.

After that, I did the Weapons Teams. I wanted these to be fortified with sandbags, and I used a bunch of Tamiya Sandbags to do so. I also used a second Cadian box to make use of extra bodies to make Lascannon and Mortar crews. I love how these came out, they're quite a lot of work to paint but I think they're really cool.

Then I moved on to my Sanctioned Psykers. I wanted a female Psyker for RPG purposes, so I've painted up a PP Infernal to match these guys. I think the Sanctioned Psyker metals are great miniatures, really pathetic and characterful. WITNESS YOUR DOOOOOOM!

At the same time I was painting these, I also painted up a small squad of 5 Ratling Snipers. Hobbits in SPAAAACE are great imo. These minis are ridiculous but loads of fun.

Next, I had a big chunk of 30 Steel Legion infantry to paint. These are all monopose metals and the 3 squads are duplicates, but I don't really mind. I added in some third party "greatcoat" minis with gasmask heads as extra special weapons (in GDF infantry squads can have 2 plus a heavy weapon, for 11 models) and converted some of those into Autocannon gunners so I can run them with missile launchers or autocannons, or get a third heavy weapon squad out of it if I want. I love these models, they're my absolute favourite Imperial Guard minis. I thought about going for other, cheaper alternatives, but in the end I decided I had to have the originals. I had to order the last squad from GW just as they went out of print, which meant waiting quite a long time to finish these, but I'm delighted with them. They'll be mechanised squads in the army, and represent Ash Waste Rangers. They're lead by an old 2e Tallarn character who looks pretty cool.

I figure any of these minis might be female, how would you tell under the masks and greatcoats?

Last normal infantry then was doing the Catachan Jungle Fighters, being used as sort of underhive recruited Ork Hunters. I had some VOID minis and I bought some third party Jungle Fighters, including 2 very cheese-cakey female fighters. Mixing these together with a 2e metal squad and a 2e Powerfist Captain got me two metal squads of Jungle Fighters with no plastics. Very happy with how these guys look.

After I'd finished these, I cracked on to the Ogryn. Their skin was slightly different, crimson wash over the drybrushing and then just earthshade over that. I think it gives them an unhealthy palor like they've been working without seeing the sun. In my head, these guys are abhuman slave labour, recruited to fight as expendable close combat brutes. The ones with the fists are new recruits, but as they get injured and bits get blown off, they get modified to have the gun arms. Fists and powerfield backpacks are Bullgryns, gun arms and wrenches are normal ogryns with ripper guns. These are some of my favourite new models and I'm happy I picked them up when they were in a bundle pack!

And last, I did the mis models left over from the VOID stuff, some Frateris Militia, a Commissar and a Mordian character. The Mordian is the general I think and the misc figures will be folded into a big unit of 20 militia commanded by the Commissar, mostly made up of stargrave crew with a few Eschers for variety. The Commissar unfortunately lost his powersword somewhere, so I've had to give him a little pistol, which somewhat goes against the mini's composition if you look closely. I might try and fix it properly later.

I think one last thing I will do on all of these is paint the base rims black. It'll help make the sand part stand out a bit more, and tidy up where the Earthshade spilled onto the rim. They'll also get a coat of matt varnish, so I hope to god I don't get any frosting after all this work!

Thanks for looking. Vehicles are next, and then that's my third GDF force fully finished!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/06/04 11:43:47

Forum Index » Dakka P&M Blogs
Go to: