40K · fine detail · miniatures. · space marines · Wh40K

The Cloak of Stars, a 50p Heretic and The Second Company.

I’ve been a bit busy getting married these past few weeks and as such have not had a great deal of hobby time to get either writing or painting. The wedding was wonderful and the honeymoon a big pile of fun too. However, after recovering for a day, we did manage to get some hobby in to make up for it. While away, I was browsing Pinterest and saw an awesome effect on a cloak of a miniature and decided that I wanted to try and recreate it myself. Here are the results:

The effect of painting a galaxy on a cloak was a tricky one that involved creating a base of the swirling colours and then painting an awful lot of little dots over the top finishing off with some white ones. The colour of dots depended on which part of the cloak I was painting but I think it worked out well over all. I think I will be trying this technique again on psyker/librarian characters too. It’s just a shame that this heretic – Ahriman – will likely never see much play time.

The other model I have been painting was found at the Warboot at Element Games a few weeks ago (with a huge hangover no less) and was picked up with a friend who is some sort of demented chaos apothecary with Fabius Bile’s pack back. The Thousand Son miniature was already undercoated and having just finished the novel, I decided to paint him up all nice. He is a fine-cast miniature but let’s not hold that against him, he looks alright and I am sure he and Ahriman will be running off with all the cookies in the cabinet in some sort of heretic shenanigans.

Look at them both – planning on raiding the Ultramarine Cookie Jar already!

Another I wanted to mention was sorting out the marines I had into squads. It was a job I have put off for a while but I finally got the time to sit down and get it done. I knew I had a lot of models and that they needed to be sorted – more so I know who belongs where and who gets what markings. Turns out I have enough for seven squads of a battle company and some Terminators, Dreadnoughts and Bikes (not assembled yet) for support. I also have other models that are not yet put together which will form the majority of the command unit too. Here they are, the Black Hands Second Company in all their ‘organised’ glory.

And finally,  I have to mention one of the awesome gifts my husband and I received as a wedding present. We were given a lot of gifts and are exceptionally grateful for all of them. I feel this one needs a special blog mention though:

The Emperor’s Palace on Holy Terra – Now on our living room wall in all its glory.
40K · miniatures. · Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Sergeant Flowers

As some of you will know, I am getting married tomorrow. The past few days have been a bit of a whirlwind, trying to organise various things; decorations, relatives, cakes and other assorted bits and bobs. I’ve had a lot less time for painting and playing and even less for writing. Fear not, the story is still growing just at a much slower rate than before.

We are not having a huge formal wedding, we’re not those kind of people. We wanted to do something that reflected our quirks and would be enjoyable for everyone, not one of those huge formal affairs were everyone appears tense. I always knew I wanted something in my bouquet; I just wasn’t sure what…

That’s where this guy comes in.

This is Sergeant Flowers. The history I with painting miniatures began when I was around 14 years old and is a story too long for the telling on this post. My recent ‘obsession’ is with 40K and Space Marines so it seemed like a fitting idea to have a guy with a jump pack hidden in the flowers.

A little bit about Flowers then – his first name is Iris (which is painted on the banner in the centre of the black hand). He is the sergeant of the fourth squad in second company and is known for being mean. With a name like Iris Flowers, one worthy of The Emperor’s Children, he has to be. He has served for over 200 years so far and is a dab hand with the lightning claw.

After the day,  intend to take him out of the bouquet, fix him to a base and field him alongside the rest of his assault squad. I will leave you with the shot of him all ready for the big day tomorrow.

There will be no problems with heretics or xenos on the big day!
painting · Warhammer 40k


Someone close to me suggested that ‘art is a journey’. I’m not one to wax lyrical about the intricacies of art and what it means. I paint miniatures because I enjoy it, I find it calming and it is a great way to unwind after a day at work. I have been painting figures on and off since I was about 13 years old. The first model that I owned and painted was  an undead banshee – she is still in the house somewhere I think. I have come a long way since then.

What I want to focus on today is how far I have come over the past few months since finding my way back into the hobby. I managed to pick out one of my first Space Marines and took a picture – here he is in all his Black Hand glory.

When I look at him now, I see the thickness of the edge highlighting and how wonky the lines are. He was a good start however and since then, I have painted a ‘few’ more marines and practiced my brush techniques. Then the Primaris made an appearance and I was faced with new challenges. Here’s the first Intercessor I put my brush to a few short weeks ago:

Since painting this fella, I have improved on my line work and feel the coat of paint looked a lot more even too. I’m more confident in the style of painting – highlighting rather than blending and think the flat colour is really striking when the edges are picked out in a brighter shade. There is always room for improving however and we are always more inclined to see the flaws! The last model I painted was this one:

I am very proud of the ancient and feel it is the best work I have done so far, better even than the Deredeo dreadnought I was pleased with! People have been kind and commented on him on Twitter and Facebook, some going so far as to say it puts theirs to shame. I don’t like such comments! We are all working to improve ourselves and the only people we are comparable to is our self! I’ve compared and shown my progress against my own models, not anyone else’s. So long as we are constantly getting better at what we do, and that there is visible progress to a better looking model, then that is a win!

fine detail · miniatures. · Wh40K

Guest Post – Dynasty or Dallas

This is the first Guest Post I have featured on the blog and I have to admit this is rather exciting! The post had been written by Chris Frosin, whom I have mentioned before as being one of the most enthusiastic people I have met in recent times. Anyway, without any more waffle from me, here are his thoughts on returning to the hobby after an extended break!


It unfortunately doesn’t take much. Or maybe that’s fortunate, you can let me know by the end of this little post.

However, three weeks ago I met up with a friend of mine who I’d been meaning to catch up with for a while. It just so happened that the ‘catch up’ took place at Warhammer World where he was playing a small game of what I’d later realise was a new edition of Warhammer 40,000. Walking back in to an environment that I spent a lot of time in during my 20’s set my creative juices flowing again rather quickly and that certainly wasn’t ‘helped’ by the two guys I met nudging me to having a wander around the store there to see everything that had changed in the 12 years I’d been away.
Well, the models have certainly got even more gorgeous and the intricacies and details that I always loved to pick out have gotten even more precise and sharp. Unfortunately my beloved Tomb Kings seem to have been ‘killed’ off in a large explosion of some sort but seeing as they were playing 40k my mind was brought back to my small Necron force I pulled together all those years ago and a handful of Harlequins I’d converted. Now I love painting and converting so one of my first armies was what turned out to be a huge Ork force that I just kept adding and adding to; converted ork boyz everywhere, with a Land Raider based battlewagon, nobz with lightning claws and grots with guns they could hardly carry resting on their backs! If I was going to get sucked back in to the hobby I didn’t want to repeat that; but the sort of ‘been there done that’ feeling was satisfying enough that gradually throughout the evening watching Eldar PUMMEL (sorry hehe) the Space Marines into submission a plan of action was starting to form. Small numbers. I’d scanned the rulebook enough to see that I could form an elite force, maybe even a narrative army list based around fast attack detachments. Ultimately this would mean small numbers. But would I dig out the Death Jester and Shadow Seer models that I never face getting rid of, and do Harlequins again; the elite of elite, or my Necrons, an army that was more a couple of squads to test a colour scheme idea I had?
Then a further suggestion was thrown at me.
‘We’re having a game of Shadow War in a couple of weeks. Why don’t you get a Kill Team together for that and join in’
‘Errr… hell yeah!’
There was already a Harlequin player so maybe that wouldn’t be the best choice… and then I was shown these!
The Necron Tomb Blades and Annihilation Barge!
Tomb Blades
Annihilation Barge
How. Cool. Are. They!
I was sold. I had to have Necrons again and fine tune my colour scheme to work with a vehicular based fast attack force for a new Dynasty! Mine! And it was going to be epic!
That week I headed in to my local store, had a browse around, checked out the new paints (which have tooootally different names to what I remember. Where’s Deadly Nightshade for instance?!?!) and picked up a box of Necron Immortals and the Shadow War rule book. I’d managed to find one rogue Necron warrior that somehow escaped the clear out all those years ago and that, with a little converting obviously, would be good enough to form the basis of a Kill Team.
And luckily one of the positives of my paint scheme is it’s rather quick to do.
What happened next sent me down an even more excited rabbit hole but I’ll save the story of bouncing around an amazing community on Twitter for the next post. Until then, here’s the first sneak peek of the Necron warrior that I dug out of the loft (attic if you’re from across the pond)
40K · hobby · Warhammer 40k


Seven Model Army...Just a quick update to let folks know where I am up to and what I have spent the last few days doing in regards to the hobby.

I am part the way through Battle for the Abyss and I am enjoying it. Not as much as Legion but I find I am liking the story and the characters. This is a bit of a surprise as it has been mostly ship based so far, not something I thought I would like.

I have been painting some Space Marines with heavy weapons and they are proving to be a bit of a challenge. I’ve run out of regular guys to paint so need to get my act together and get some put together to fix this little problem – pictures of that (failure) to follow.

The novel writing is also coming along well, I have hit over fifteen thousand words and am going strong with it. Most days I smash my pitiably low target of one hundred words and I am loving getting to know the characters and how they react in different situations.

On a much sadder note, I did not get the job as a writer for Games Workshop.

painting · Warhammer 40k

Painting Update

As some of you know, and my sister will very much understand, when someone says they’re selling off some unwanted Space Marines, we tend to buy them. Who would want them to be homeless or worse, sat in a cabinet in the local games store for all eternity waiting for a home?  It’s an act of kindness, not a sign of obsession I swear.

I have been repainting some of these Marines for some time. They were already a shade of blue, which made the job a little easier. I just needed to wash them so the blue was a bit darker and then highlight them as per the other ones I have painted. I want them all looking regimented. I imagine they’re proud of their colours and have some ideas for fiction based around this, though that is a post for another day.

I am rather pleased with the result of the one pictured above. I think the highlighting on the knee pads has come off rather well and I felt like showing this one off a bit more than the others. He is not quite finished, he needs chapter markings and squad markings painting on the shoulder pads and a few details adding here and there I am proud of the outcome of this one, though I know I am not the world’s best painter and never will be. I still feel as though this is a good effort, one of the better ones at the very least.


40K · book review

Descent of Angels – Horus Heresy book 6

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Horus Heresy thus far and after the emotional roller coaster I have been on, I was looking forward to reading the next installment.

This one is very different to the others so far, it focuses on the Dark Angels and is more of an origin story than anything else. It was not what I was expecting, however I decided to give it a go.

The pace of the descent-of-angels.jpgnovel is much slower than the rest of the series thus far and I found that to be a bit jolting. I have gotten used to the break neck pace of the first five books and compared to that, I found this book a bit slow to get going. Once it did, I found to be an alright read.

The characters are certainly engaging and well written, I cared about what happened to them at the end of the book and they have been well developed over the course of the novel. They change as well, which is always a sign of a good story.

I did feel as though the ending of the novel was rushed however, there was plenty of scope for further world building after the Dark Angels leave their home world and set about conquest. There was so much room for the bad guys to be awesome and the stakes to be much higher, however there seems to be something key missing from this part of the novel, which is a real shame. I felt as though there could have been more. Perhaps that is because I was used to reading the fast paced, action packed novels that it has ruined this slower one for me.

All in all, it is not a bad read, however I much prefer the earlier novels in the series as they are much more action packed!

40K · Uncategorized


Dominicus Thoss looked down at the mess that had been Hameal Chios and shook his head. Chios had been a dedicated warrior and a well revered Battle-Brother, who had met his end at the hand of a particularly nasty Tyranid. There were plenty more injured, the fight had been a tough one and Chios had died well. His bravery had ensured the foe was taken down.

Artikus Taran, the apothecary, had removed his gene-seed and stored it safely, there was nothing else that could be done except inform the rest of the brethren of their loss. He was leaning over the body, his shoulders hunched. Thoss walked over and placed a hand on his shoulder, “He did his duty, we can ask no more of him now,” he said, using the words to try and comfort his friend. Taran nodded, he was yet young, still learning that death in battle was not something that could always be avoided.

The door to the medicae bay opened with a bang and the large form of First Captain Corvinus Adas barged in. “Did you save him?” he barked, heedless of the raw nerves he was hitting. Dominicus resisted the urge to roll his eyes; as much as he respected Corvinus, now was not the time for boorishness. He opened his mouth to speak but Artikus beat him to it.

“Not this time,” he said, shaking his head.

“Thought you never lost anyone,” Corvinus said with a snort.

“Corvinus,” Dominicus said, unable to keep the warning tone from his voice.

“What? Kid needs to learn this is not easy!” he replied.

“Of course it’s not easy,” Artikus snapped, his hand automatically fussing with the implement in his hand. Corvinus moved around the table, his eyes focused on the messed up cadaver laid out on it.

“Then why do you persist with such a brash manner?” There was a vein pulsing in the First Captain’s neck and his skin had coloured a shade of red. “Making hollow promises is stupid!”

Dominicus could find no flaw with Corvinus’ words; the naivety of the young apothecary had shown with the pointless bragging of never losing anyone. It had shown his inexperience rather than any special ability he had possessed. It was clear that the bragging had got on the nerves of the more experienced brothers though not to the feckless Artikus. “I never promised-“

“But you did, every time you said no one died on your watch, yet here we are, one of our best dead and you looking the complete idiot!” Corvinus moved around the table, taking out the barrier between them. Dominicus shuffled on his feet a little, aware that this should be happening in private but not willing to excuse himself, he knew first-hand how bad the temper of the captain could be and he did not want Artikus to be on the end of it. Naïve he may be but he did not deserve a beating for it. “How do you expect to win the respect of the others if you’re going to make false promises?” Adas continued.

“Maybe you shouldn’t believe them yourself!”

“I’d be careful-“

“Or what? You’ll hit me? Save it for the practice cages.” Artikus stood up from his hunched position over the body and shook his head, “I’ve said stupid stuff, I know that. I’m done with it but for you to actually think I could save everyone…” He trailed off and shook his head. A small smile crept onto Dominicus’s face and he knew then that the apothecary would be fine. Corvinus’s face coloured a deeper shade of red and he knew it was time to step in.

The chaplain coughed, not to clear his throat but to make them both aware that he was still here and had heard everything. Both of them looked up from the argument they were having and gave him their attention. “We have all lost people we care about,” he said, his soft voice carrying in the large room, “Hameal Chios was well loved and a valued warrior but his work now is done. The Emperor will grant him the peace in death he never knew in life and we should be comforted by that, it awaits us all at the end.” He paused and made sure the two were listening. “You should be honouring your brother’s death, not quarrelling over it,” he added, emphasizing the point. The pair of them looked a little sheepish after that and both nodded.

“You have duties to attend both of you, training to complete and such, go and do it, be the best you can so you can fight on in his name,” he said. Although Dominicus and Corvinus were the same rank, the Captain nodded without question and turned on his heel. The door banged shut after him and Artikus finally looked up.

“Thank you,” he said.

“Thanks are not necessary, I merely spoke the truth,” he replied, “I also have my own work to attend to,” he added, indicating that he should be taking his leave. Artikus nodded and let the Chaplain leave the room without another word, the argument had given him a fair bit to think about.